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Selling a Tamil Tiger as Kitten backfires: ASIO explains negative security assessment for Ranjini

September 6, 2013

Selling a Tamil Tiger as Kitten backfires: ASIO explains negative security assessment for Ranjini 

An image innocence from a person who once trained child soldiers


Sometime ago I raised my concerns with allowing people into the Australian community after they have received negative security assessment from ASIO. The reality is that a successful refugee application only indicated that the person is in danger of persecution if returned to their home country. It does not assess whether the applicant poses any threat to other people. Hence we can have the insane position where a very dangerous and despicable criminal may suddenly be treated like they are some kind of a saint because they are now a refugee.

Today in The Age it was reported that such a case has been occurring right in front of our eyes.

Refugee advocates and activists have been pleading the case for a refugee known as Ranjini to be released into the Australian community. For months they have been arguing that she was being singled out for harsh and unfair treatment by the Australian Secret Intelligence Organization (ASIO) when they issued a negative security assessment in 2012.

After the negative security assessment was made Ranjini was immediately detained and sent to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

Ranjini had initially escaped to India after he husband, a senior LTTE office, was killed in the Sri Lanka Civil War. Later she paid a people smuggler for a place on a boat to Australia. After being released into the community she married a new husband and was already pregnant some months later. Her youngest child was born whilst she was held in detention.

Protest Fodder

As a result of Ranjini’s arrest there was a wave of protest groups eager to highlight her case an example of the cruelty of the ASIO security assessment regime.

Online clicktivism website GetUp had a petition setup calling for the end of Ranjini’s detention.

The protest reads:

No Detention Without Appeal

Thursday will mark three weeks since refugee Ranjini and her two young sons began what could be the rest of their lives in detention. They have been given no explanation for the decision by ASIO and no opportunity to appeal their assessment. No matter what, we mustn’t allow anyone – let alone children – to be detained indefinitely without charge, trial or appeal

Assylum Seeker lawyer Julian Burnside also weighed into protest as he penned his opinion on his website in piece called ‘Detention for life, without reasons’. In his posting Burnside tries portray Ranjini as the innocent wife of a former LTTE driver:

Because ASIO has assessed them adversely on security grounds.  They will not tell her why.  The best guess is because her first husband, who is dead, may once have been a driver for Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka.  Even if that is true, it does not involve Ranjini or her children in any sort of offence, and it says nothing about their character.

Senator Sarah-Hanson Young from the Australian Greens made the following comment when referring to Ranjni’s case:

“The treatment of Ranjini and her two young boys is nothing short of shameful. Ripping a young mother who has been found to be a refugee needing protection out of the community and her sons out of school to be thrown into indefinite detention with no explanation or ability to challenge their incarceration seems simply unbelievable in Australia.”.


Another protest website called ‘Letters for Ranjini’ was setup to advocate her case. Under the heading of Ranjini’s Story the page claims:

“Ranjini was found to be a genuine refugee before ASIO decided last week she is a security risk for Australia. But the government won’t tell her why, and now she’s facing a life in detention.”

The also have a promotional video on YouTube to plead her innocence:

Former cricket journalist from The Age newspaper Trevor Grant who was last reported working with the ‘Boycott Sri Lanka Cricket Campaign and the Refugee Action Collective’ penned his emotive article finishing on this note:

I didn’t know what to say. But I knew what to feel. And that is shame. Shame that I live in a big country with such a small heart.

The protestors were in full rage as they could see a symbol for their cause and as a result she was portrayed a pure martyr that could do no wrong.

Yet something was about to go very wrong about her cover story.

Now for the Reality Check

Far from being a sweet innocent mother who was the victim of bad luck there is another darker side to Ranjini.

In an article printed in The Age newspaper has shed light on the true history of Ranjini and her role in the LTTE terrorist organization. In and article titled ‘Tamil refugee was child soldier trainer’ we are presented with a person who has admitted to training child soldiers. Another disturbing revelation was regarding her dead husband. Far from being a lowly driver for the LTTE he was in fact one of Prabhakaran’s personal body guards.

She told officials her then husband – known as ”Akbar”, killed in a 2006 battle – was a bodyguard for feared Tigers commander Prabhakaran and led fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades.

The article claims that:

She (Ranjini) admitted to using machineguns and AK-47s, being trained in karate, but not in the use of bombs or explosives.

According a heavily censored ASIO report Ranjini remains strongly ideologically supportive’ of the Tigers’ violent cause and was likely to engage in acts prejudicial to Australia’s security.


Editorial Comment:

There is no doubt that this whole episode has left a lot of egg on the faces of those who tried to use Ranjini as the face of protest against the Australia Border Protection policies. A person who once trained child soldiers should have no place in the Australian community. Ranjini claims that she only did this when she was young. However I suspect that more details about her past will come out in due course. In the meantime there should a lot less emotive pleading of her case and a lot more cold hard examination of the facts.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2013 9:56 pm

    Piss all of these pricks off back to where they came from.

    And all of the idiots in the Aust Govt who allow these pricks into the country? Piss them off as well.

    And all of the idiots who believe in the vile Media’s propaganda? Give them all a good smack in the head while you’re at it.

    Apart from that? Who gives a shit. Evil reigns in this world.


  2. September 6, 2013 10:53 pm

    thanks for your comments,
    I tend to think that this person may decide on her own to seek refuge in another country.


  3. September 7, 2013 3:07 am

    But but but… she’s mildly attractive, and has a baby!
    If the bleeding hearts didn’t make so much noise would these revelations ever have seen the light of day I wonder 🙂


    • September 7, 2013 8:00 am

      Thanks for your comments.
      She certainly did tick all the emotional activist poster girl boxes.
      I noticed yesterday that the website ‘Letters for Ranjini’ is in damage control.
      Activists are often a stange beast. They sometimes embrace denial over evidence.


  4. candydman permalink
    September 8, 2013 1:38 pm

    Beautiful women with cute babies can never be terrorists! And even if they are terrorists, they should be let off because they’re beautiful and have got cute babies! And even if they are not beautiful with cute babies, they should still be let off because they were doing it for a good cause (according to Bruce Haigh, anyway)!
    Why doesn’t Australia understand this?
    (This is satire, btw)


    • September 8, 2013 11:05 pm

      Thanks for your comments.
      Bruce Haigh is the epitomy of the gullible protestors.


  5. September 14, 2013 3:03 am

    What I can tell is from her rank of “Lt.Col.” she was a fairly senior leader. Even top LTTE field commanders were of the rank colonel. There were two leaders who were given the rank posthumously “Brigadier” but that’s it (this is one example. He was sort of like the overall operations head at the time of his death–>
    And if her husband was a bodyguard of Prabakaran, I would say she was in a (not the top tier) tier bellow the top. And her husband would have had a similar “rank” (It is very very unlikely that she was a leader while he was soldier).
    And the claim that
    “She (Ranjini) admitted to using machineguns and AK-47s, being trained in karate, but not in the use of bombs or explosives.”

    can’t be true. She may not have been an expert on bombs or explosives but she needs to have some experience and training in those things (Sri lankan war saw heavy usage of land mines, anti personal mines, IEDs, claymore mines, hand grenades and all sorts of things. Most of the mines that the LTTE used were made by them. So the knowledge in planting and taking out mines is an requirement for anyone who fights in that war).


    • September 14, 2013 10:18 am

      Zane Kitt,
      Thanks for your comments.
      I also have the impression that there is a lot more to Ranjini’s story. If any new comes through I will publish it.
      Certainly, no one would be offered the job of being Prabhakaran’s body guard if they were pure as white snow. He only kept loyalists/ideologues close and had everyone else killed.

      Her training may have been limited to her skill level. If she was all thumbs then she might have been been precluded from explosives training. If not? The truth will eventually come out.


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