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Thailand

Paramanantham Dhushyanthan, 31

Refugee from Mannar District, Sri Lanka, now living in Thailand.

In Sri Lanka I was a member of the Eeelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF). During the election, we were intimidated by the ruling government parties who didn’t want us to run. We were beaten and threatened. Every night when you went to sleep you didn’t know if you were going to wake up the next morning because there were many people from our area who were taken in the middle of the night and were never seen again.

I was afraid to stay in my own house so I stayed with friends or my sister. But one day I was kidnapped. It was on 10 July 2009 at 7pm. Six people turned up, pointed a gun at my chest and told me to get in their vehicle. I was taken to a clearing somewhere and they started beating me with their guns. One of them pointed his gun at my head and was ready to kill me but another one said “Don’t do it now, let’s to it later. When we took him there was a doctor watching us.” So I was allowed to return to my house where I told my mother what had happened. The next day she took me to Colombo.

I gathered some money, my sister sold some things and I made my way to Bangkok. After I left, people came to my home in Sri Lanka and threatened my family but my mother told them I had gone to India.

When I came to Bangkok I thought everything was going to be OK. After 9 months I got refugee status and now I’m getting some money – 2,500 bhat (GBP 50) per month. I also get 3 kgs of rice, 3 eggs and two small packets of noodles. It’s not quite enough to survive.

I don’t know what to do now. If I go home, the police might catch me. If I am resettled I can start thinking about my future because I would know I could stay there permanently but here, if I have dreams I can’t do anything about them. Sri Lanka still isn’t safe. The army doesn’t just kill people with guns, they use poison as well. The media is reporting that things are getting better in Sri Lanka but from my family all I hear is that people are still living in fear, there are still abductions.