Name: Dawatage Rumesh Indunil Perera
Nationality: Sri Lanka
Background: Dawatage Rumesh Indunil Perera, entered Japan on March 11, 2018 with no visa. Upon his arrival in Narita Airport, he was caught by the immigration officer and brought to Ushiku Detention Center. After a week he applied for refugee status because his life is in danger. He said he was a very active Catholic youth leader in their Parish; when his mother died on March 3, 2018 many Catholic youth group leaders came to support him. On March 8 many youths came from different regions to attend the funeral. The huge crowd in the church attracted the attention of Muslim groups especially the extremists, and they wanted to kill him. So, right after his mother’s burial he and his family, (his father, eldest sister & youngest brother) decided that he should leave Sri Lanka immediately because his life is in danger. At the beginning he hesitated to leave his job as commercial supervisor for a well-known clothing manufacturer, but the political problems and conflict with other religious groups impelled him to migrate in Japan. He doesn’t want to go back to Sri Lanka because they will kill him. His family is constantly communicating and sending some concrete evidence to help him so that he can avail himself of the refugee’s rights here in Japan. The Sri Lankan government also noticed his active participation in the Catholic Church especially in defending the faith & human rights. So he said he really cannot go back to his own country.
In March 11, 2020 he will have been 3 years in detention center. During in his stay, he was given a chance to have temporary release three times, meaning he was given temporary permission to be outside the detention center one month at a time to look for sponsors who possibly can help him pay for a lawyer and other needs.
Last December 3, 2019, I visited him for the fourth time, and he told me that last November 1 to Nov. 5, 2019 the immigration officer brought him to Shinagawa Detention Office for an interview. He was told to answer the questions they asked, with no explanation at all. He was hoping that the interview will help him obtain refugee status.
Dhay Marqueses, aci