HL Deb 16 October 2002 vol 639 c52WA
Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether in April 2002 in Sri Lanka the Deputy High Commissioner, Peter Hughes, stated that the United Kingdom would not be removing unsuccessful asylum seekers until a lasting solution has been found to the ethnic conflict; and, if so, whether the statement is a reflection of government policy. [HL5844]

Lord Filkin

The Deputy High Commissioner was misquoted in April 2002. There has been no change in government policy regarding the removal of unsuccessful Sri Lankan asylum seekers. Indeed, removals were taking place to Colombo during the civil conflict in Sri Lanka and before the commencement of the ceasefire agreement and moves towards a peace settlement.

Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many Sri Lankans were removed to their country of origin in each quarter for each year from 1998 to and including 2002. [HL5845]

Lord Filkin

I regret that the requested information on the destination of persons removed from the UK is not collated centrally.

The available information relates to the number of Sri Lankan asylum seekers removed. The latest available quarterly data are given in the table.

Qtr 1 2001 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Qtr 1 2002
Sri Lanka 35 40 40 40 70
(1) (2) (3)

(1) Estimates of asylum removals by nationality - principal applicants removed only. Includes persons departing "voluntarily" after the initiation of enforcement action against them and persons leaving under assisted voluntary returns programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration.

(2) Persons removed to Sri Lanka or a third safe country.

(3) Quarterly data not available prior to 2001.

Figures are rounded to nearest five.

Equivalent data about the number of Sri Lankans who were removed but who had not claimed asylum are not available.