Tamil Refugee Assistance Network

Raising the voice of the invisible



  • Hundred Tamils have been imprisoned in the Immigration Bureau jail of Thailand. Around 21 children and more than 20 women are among the hundreds of Eelam Tamil refugees imprisoned. It has been months since any of them had seen the sunlight or breathed fresh air. They are struggling to find space even to sleep among the people from all over the world, who have been imprisoned here under one pretext or another.
  • Children’s education and health are totally neglected. The food provided is devoid of nutrients. Most of the people imprisoned are sick and they are affected both psychologically and physically. Some medicines are given once in a while through the prison bars, without even examining the patient.
  • Normally a family gets split into groups when they are imprisoned here. Young children and girls are sent with their mothers to separate cells, while boys are sent along with their fathers. It has been around 10 months since some of the men saw their wives. They don’t know how their families are faring. This has affected the parents’ morale more than anything else.
  • These Eelam Tamils have not committed any crime, except perhaps seeking refuge in Thailand. And they have no way of letting loved ones known about their fate. There is no way for them to get information to the outside world.

Chandru rides a public bus after visiting the immigration detention centre in the Suan Phlu area of Bangkok where he was locked up for four years. Photograph By Katie DeRosa

Chandru and his father sit in their cramped one bedroom apartment in Bangkok, talking via Skype to Chandru's sisters, Divia, 20, and Pooja, 15, who have been resettled to California. Chandru, a recognized refugee, is still waiting for resettlement. Photograph By Katie DeRosa

The Thai immigration detention centre is in the Suan Phlu area of Bangkok. Photograph By Katie DeRosa

Michael Timmins, legal services manager for Asylum Access in Bangkok, said the inadequate protection for refugees in Thailand and other countries in South East Asia is one of the factors that push asylum seekers to pay human smugglers for a spot on a boat. Photograph By Katie DeRosa

I-TRAN for Refugees

Guided by Tamil values and experience, I-TRAN is working to address the global Tamil refugee crisis. We protect Tamil refugees throughout the world and displaced persons in home land, helping them to build new lives in safety and with dignity.

Why? Because as long as there are still places where it is a crime to be who you are, we have a mandate to be who we are

Join us today. Sign up to learn how you can make a difference on one of the most urgent issues of our time. If you would like to know more about our action, go to our website:

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Thanks in advance for your donation
This will help us our first project for displaced people and advocate for Tamil refugees in developing countries

You can make a donation either with your credit card, using the paypal button, or by check at the attention of I-TRAN at the below address

Subject: I-TRAN Fund

Unit C-1111 Henderson Hwy
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R2G 1L4