The amendment has increased the prescribed punishment and provides for mandatory imprisonment of one to five years and fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000. The MP told Parliament in mid-February that over 100 young Tamil men and women, arrested at Colombo airport before their journey abroad, have been convicted on charges of attempting to leave the country illegally, imprisoned for a year and in addition ordered to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. Colombo Tamil newspaper Virakesari has reported two instances where Tamil asylum-seekers detained on arrival in Sri Lanka after being deported from abroad, have been denied bail.
Meanwhile, in February, 25 Tamil asylum-seekers were abducted in Ukraine following a dispute between two agents involved in human trafficking. The Tamils were later found by Ukraine police.