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Detained Sri Lankan 'treated like a dog,' says family after seeing video

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To kill a dog, you first give it a bad name. They must be wondering what the fuss is all about.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Shoko Sasaki, head of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, had met with the family and apologized earlier in the day.

Thank you for your sympathy. Now, what about accountability? Release the video to the public. Fire and charge those involved. Demonstrate through your actions that such behavior will not be tolerated.

56 ( +60 / -4 )

At the very least some staff should have been fired to send a message to others that there are consequences if you mistreat detainees like the way she was.

Absolutely outrageous to only get a verbal warning and their system needs to change asap.

51 ( +56 / -5 )

Rarereason* really dude? Maybe they should release the video to the public and you can have a close hard look for yourself, then at yourself. Rarelackofheart.

46 ( +51 / -5 )

Ministry of justice? Now that’s a title yet to be earned.

31 ( +35 / -4 )

Need to see apology from Ministerial level which is the only way this will be corrected, all responsible parties punished/prosecuted and ensure it never happens again.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

Dogs are treated nicely; too nice in many cases.

Japan must change the Law to allow forced repatriation.

Like every other country other there, including where the moaners come from!

Fact.

-26 ( +14 / -40 )

The vast majority of humans treat other animals, such as dogs, with love and care. Those who did this to Ms Sandamali must be brought to trial and punished for their crime.

36 ( +39 / -3 )

Bow n' wave boys bow n' wave

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

Which is to say, "We can't show it all because it's proves that we mistreated her!

29 ( +32 / -3 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage

What is difficult just press that play button

The agency had at first refused to disclose the footage to the family citing security

Security, what security?

Another fact that some officials lied to a doctor that examined her, they said to a doctor that she just feigning illness to get temporary release. That lead to hear dead.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210703/p2a/00m/0na/016000c

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Security, what security?

Precautions to prevent anyone involved from personal accountability. In a twisted way (and some of the commenters here always prove my point), this kind of stories only boosts the authorities' image to nationalists without holding individuals to account.

Let's not forget that the cases of detainees dying once a year or so are only the tip of the iceberg of systemic abuse.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

Just like hankos and the indispensability of fax machines, the logistics of releasing 336 hours of video is a challenge Japanese bureaucracy is unable to overcome.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Shameful Japan

22 ( +29 / -7 )

If we cannot see even still shots from the video, it is too difficult to make a judgement call.

Any links?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

This is at least a case of first degree manslaughter in which practically the entire staff is guilty. How do you prosecute a gang like this? Keep the spotlight on them 24/7.

22 ( +28 / -6 )

Japan's Ministry of (so-called) justice, obviously puts a very low value on human life.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

And if a Japanese were treated like this in Sri Lanka?

26 ( +29 / -3 )

One look at the comments on yahoo Japan will give you some good insight into how some Japanese feel about this issue. Hardly anything that resembles anything like Olympic spirit.

Mostly about how kokumin money was wasted on such a person who shouldn’t have been in Japan in the first place.

There is little sympathy for her or her family in this matter. The remorse for the cameras is only because all of the Olympics aren’t over yet.

Same with the token gesture of granting asylum to the goalie from Myanmar. They won’t post data on how many applicants are rejected per year, but look at us, we accepted one guy during the Olympics.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

I haven't seen the video so i cannot say much about that.

Overstaying is of course never a good thing to do. But immigration should care about human rights and give medical access. Immigration center should be a place for leaving the country and not for death sentence.

But unfortunately Japan is not the only case that people die at immigration centers.

I hope this may change Japan system but i don't think they will.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

'Logistically difficult' but not impossible. 336 x 1 hour uploads on YouTube. Let the world see the omotenashi and professionalism of the Japanese detention center officials.

We all know why they don't want the whole footage to be seen.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Keep in mind that this was only the sections of the video that they were willing to reveal.

I don't want to think about what got redacted.

Shame on you, Ministry of "Justice".

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Detained Sri Lankan 'treated like a dog,' says family after seeing video

That comment makes it sound like Sri Lankans treat their dogs very poorly.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I am shocked. Absolutely shocked that this was on nhk tv news yesterday. Eyes unblinking and jaw dropped.

For we all know far too well the japanese will never ever admit they are racist and this is the closest I've ever seen the japanese admit publicly to wrongdoing to a non-japanese.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Sad story this, feel terrible for the family.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

..........had met with the family and apologized earlier in the day......

An apology will fix everything. Some official will apologize, another will get a pay cut, and the family will surely be satisfied. Right? .... Not!

"I pray her soul will rest in peace. I am sorry she was not able to return home to her mother," Sasaki was quoted as saying.

Let this sink in. She didn't murder anyone, she didn't steal anything, no fraud. Just her visa.

So instead of even being kicked out of the country so that she could return to her mother, she died in some cell in Japan.

Heck, they could have sent her home at her own expense, banned her from entering JP forever, or they could have reclaimed the costs of her repatriation, perhaps through the courts, etc.

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

On the one hand they apologize, on the other hand they drop a bombshell like this. What's a year from now? Did they shoot the video in 8k, 60fps? And even then, what's the problem? Oh right - it's hard to fax a video.

Or they don't (classic one!) have a procedure for these cases and so don't know what to do. Nobody thinks of sending some low-ranking employee to an electronics store, buying some DVD or flash drive for a few yen and just putting the video on it. There's a difference between "logistically difficult" and "it's too much work and we're not going to do it that way".

Unfortunately, this matter will very soon fizzle out and be forgotten here.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Do not come to Japan to cheat or fraud with your immigration status.

You come to Japan to obey the rules, not to be advantageous and take advantage of the country.

-29 ( +9 / -38 )

The guard/guards who mocked her should be fired, there's absolutely no place for that.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

They're not VIP to give them special treatment I guess all over the world immigration has the same policy n rules to follow.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

KentarogaijinToday  09:46 am JST

Do not come to Japan to cheat or fraud with your immigration status.

Ken, there is no justification ever to treat non-Japanese inhumanely. A person’s immigration status is not a factor in determining whether that person is accorded humane treatment.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

In Japan, Japanese take great care of their dogs. Unfortunately Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali was treated like an international person. Having been here for 20 years now, this aspect of Japanese tendency is real. The people at the top down to the prison guards who oversaw Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali should stand trial for murder. But this is Japan.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Japan is a very difficult place to like sometimes.

If you are not sickened by this story then something has gone wrong in your life.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Say her name,Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali and remember it.

Miss.Sandamali was not just a foreigner but a human being,a woman still in her prime of her life.

And murdered by these cold blooded bureaucrats.

A fake apology is not needed,Japan is so good at it,and in the end the deep racism and xenophobia rooted in their society made another victim.

Also this cruel "culture" way to cover their crimes between themselves should be brought to scrutiny as well.

But hey you fellow expats,this is Japan and you all know it.

Nothing will ever change,the xenophobic culture is well engrained and deep rooted in them that it would take a complete reform of their society and cultural values about human rights that it would take at least a whole generation to change.

Japan is not a good place to live for foreigners and this is again one of the many proves.

This situation shows how fake they are,a few nice words,a deep bow,a gomennasai and that's it.

Miss Sandmali doesn't need her fake prays now that she is dead! she needed care,humanity and understandig when she was alive.

Criminals!

14 ( +21 / -7 )

I think any foreigner who has lived in japan for any length of time can relate.

We are either tolerated or despised by the authorities but never ever approach the same level of respect afforded a Japanese national.

Very sad

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Meanwhile the criminals and murderers that killed that poor woman are still working there without a single feeling of remorse about in what they were involved to.

Outrageous.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

It does sound very bad and that she died needlessly. Would like to hear from the guards themselves and why they were especially cruel to her. As is often the case, we only hear one side of the story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, the whole video was so bad that, even after editing, there was nothing remotely humane about her treatment? I'm surprised they even released any footage. What was that about human rights and Olympics?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What Japanese fail to grasp is that once an individual is in detention, be it immigration, prison, hospital, whatever, the authorities become responsible for that person’s welfare. It is known as a duty of care.

Should Sandamali have been residing in Japan illegally? Of course not, but the rights of the Japanese state extend only as far as detention and deportation; brutalising visa overstayers like it’s 1943 isn’t on.

Whenever your Japanese friends and acquaintances claim victimhood, remind them of their country’s treatment of foreigners.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Olympics motto:

United by Emotion.

Apparently there are no feelings in this case on the japanese side.

nihonjin wa yasashi, ne.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm calling out the hypocrites, not the idiots

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That comment makes it sound like Sri Lankans treat their dogs very poorly.

Not really. It's a common expression used to express that someone has been treated like an animal - i.e. less than a human.

I'm sure that if my sister had died under these circumstances, my choice of expressions, idioms, metaphors, adjectives etc. might not all be universally accepted and literally true.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She wasn’t a criminal,yes she overstated her visa but she also was maltreated from her boyfriend and was ASKING FOR HELP at a police box and what a shame that’s the help she got .

I live in Japan 50 years and I overstaded my visa by two weeks just lazy to extended and didn’t thought it was a big deal my luck I was just scolded by the man who attended me but in the end gave my visa .At that time not many foreigners in Japan but now it’s a different story with many criminals also .

Emigration Office has to reflect seriously because now the world is global and is watching as this can be considered as humanitarian crime ,they should not let one or few agents decide the fate of the person in this situation especially because they are not doctors ,if they were more careful or compassionate she might her been alive today .

As today a Japanese tv commentated

I would feel terrible if this happens to a person I love in another country!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Wait--you are defending Japan, then criticizing Japan in the same argument?

Doing neither lol

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The agency had at first refused to disclose the footage to the family citing security but later changed its policy for humanitarian reasons out of consideration for the family.

Kyodo knows fully well it is not out of humanitarian reason that the finally gave in, it was out of pressure from the sisters, rights group, student bodies and press coverage. No credibility at all as a news agency.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Dogs are treated much better.

she was treated as a Foreigner with NO rights.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Anyway, for the many who missed it by a mile the main point of my first post was that it's really not reasonable to judge a whole country by a single incident involving just a bunch of its people.

Happy thinking day everyone

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

My heart goes for this family. I hope they find justice and peace. This is murder and a life has been unnecessarily lost due to poor mistreatment.

Some of the comments here are absolutely sickening. She's human and nothing less. Death was certainly not the price to pay over a visa issue.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

This moron thinks anyone will be belief his flimsy logistic crap, if one is suspected of evading even 10,000yen in taxes it won't be difficult and their homes will be evaded and a truckload of papers, computers and even wallpapers with inscriptions will be ferried off.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

they need to cut the crap - we all know its a disingenuous apology. who are they fooling...

just tell us who the murderers are and when are they up for trial! and what steps will they take so that such a tragedy does not happen again!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

If they stopped trying to fax 2 weeks worth of video footage it might not be so logistically difficult.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We are talking about of the life of a beautiful woman took with cruel inhuman behaviour.

Some of you fail to comprehend that even refugees are humans with heart and dreams like all of us.

And myself like many of they posters here were lucky enough to be born in a developed country with many privileges.

And for this reason we should try to be comprehensive and kind to people escaping or living in harsher situations and not look down at them.

These racist at the immigration centre in Nagoya should face justice for the life taken of a poor woman.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Very easy to say. Now explain how you are going to do it.

Logistically and economically impossible to accommodate every economic migrant.

There must be rules, there must be a barrier to entry.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There must be rules, there must be a barrier to entry.

Yes there must be rules,but we are not just made by rules written on a paper.

And even so the rules must be humane and protect the dignity and health of these people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ibusuki had requested that the agency release the whole video, but the agency responded it would be "logistically difficult" to show two weeks' footage, adding it would consider requests to view specific parts.

How is logistically more difficult to show everything rather than cut and edit selected parts?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

One look at the comments on yahoo Japan will give you some good insight into how some Japanese feel about this issue. Hardly anything that resembles anything like Olympic spirit.

Mostly about how kokumin money was wasted on such a person who shouldn’t have been in Japan in the first place.

The current climate which views foreigners (particularly non-white) in a negative light is highly influenced by the xenophobic views promulgated by the Abe administration from 2012-2020. It is unfortunate that the Japanese people themselves are not able to realize how much they have been manipulated.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Classic, crime is a crime! Japan is good to show up some of fake good things and hide the crap on the back! more transparency and impartial approach is required! Hope there would be a proper justice to put behind the bars for those responsible at Nagoya Immigration Office.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

sickening how in Japan they are covering each other backs and nobody gets penalized

outrageous

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In general, it’s that famous outstanding nail. Behave like the rest and nothing will happen, in contrary, you are treated excellent here. Wear a mask without any anti-corona law that has to be police enforced in all of your other home countries. They wear a mask here without that, so do the same. And in this case, all foreigners line up in time at that immigration office, pay the stamp, get an extension, nothing happens to you, they don’t bite you, beat you, take you away into a detention center, nothing. It is really only a very very few manners or rules that you have to follow, why is that sometimes so difficult and ending in such a tragedy? I don’t understand that. And if you know that minimum, then go first to the immigration center and explain why you’re late , that bad boyfriend didn’t let you out of the house for example or just excuse overstay in a written statement and then afterwards go to that Koban and telling police again about a bad acquaintance or boyfriend or whoever it was in that case. Of course, the treatment was very bad and deadly, but anybody complaining that must also admit that she made a simple but severe error first. Overstay without showing up and giving a declared reason is a no-go here, period.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I would tend not to believe the side that has a video and will not share it. Either send people back to their country or if you chose to detain them you have let them see a doctor.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

At this point of development don't think there's any positive outcome for immigration.

Best they can do is full disclose of all wrongdoings and bring measures to stop the abuses.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wonder how many people have gone to read the report before making their comments? Based on the report, there were some procedural violations (failure to make the proper reports ... etc), but substantively Wishma was not exactly seriously violated.

Readers may want to pay particular attention to the section starting P.36. Ms. Wishma received medical attention, including regular checkups with center physician. On February 1st (for example), she was offered the chance to see a doctor, from the outside. Wishma refused.

また,A氏は,面談の際,看護師に対し,服薬,検査及び医師の診療(庁内診療のみならず外部医療機関における診療も含む。)はいずれも受けたくない旨を述べた。

Eventually, on the 5th, she visited an external center. For another sampling of the care she did receive (on Feb 24):

看護師は,A氏の意欲の向上,食欲や体力の回復を図るため,同日から,各平日に,1回当たり30分程度のリハビリテーション(深呼吸・腹式呼吸,左右上肢の運動,背中・下肢のマッサージ,各関節の屈曲・伸展等)を行い

Yes, they even gave her massages.

William77Today 12:23 pm JST

We are talking about of the life of a beautiful woman took with cruel inhuman behaviour.

Did you know that Ms. Wishma, at the point of entering detention (2020 Aug 20), is only 158cm and yet weighed 84.9 kilograms (186 pounds). Given these numbers, she's more likely to have been a blimp rather than beautiful.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Let the video be out to the public and let the Japanese people even know how coward the immigration people are in Japan .

show me the video

let it be out

3 ( +5 / -2 )

She was stupid to have overstayed her visa. What did she think would happen? But nobody deserves to die like that. Rip.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Someone needs to post the video. Anything short of UN or International Court of Justice attention is not going to result in change.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The agency had at first refused to disclose the footage to the family citing security but later changed its policy for humanitarian reasons out of consideration for the family.

They knew what they have done and wanted to hide it! Very Japanese reaction!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@GaijinjlandToday 05:43 pm JST

She was stupid to have overstayed her visa. What did she think would happen? But nobody deserves to die like that. Rip.

That was not her only life mistake. She also made stupid lies on a refugee application (P.22) that would not have worked even if her facts were swallowed (this qualified her for one of the reasons to NOT allow for provisional release) and allowed herself to be incited by a support group to change her decision from leaving to staying (P.26). Further, she was caught voluntarily entering the shower on her own two legs in the same time period she's begging to be pushed around in a wheelchair, something that must have earned considerable contempt from the staff.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What gives any nation the right to kill a person just because they overstayed their visa?? There are international laws and in place that protects people in this condition, Japan has failed every step of the way, RIP poor soul.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

RIP.

In Japan it is difficult to make friends whether with the Japanese or foreigners. She must be dealing with her life issues alone without friends to consult.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most posters here don't care how exactly this case ended up like this as they don't bother read into the detailed reports which is openly available to anyone, but only keep dancing on the biased media reports which neither read any part of reports, only echoing what her family shouted..... except very a few who pointed out the truths

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Whether she was culpable in overstaying her visa, whether she made some bad judgment calls in trying to fight to stay in Japan, in no way justifies or excuses the way she was treated. Her death was unnecessary and easily avoidable but for the culpable negligence compounded by deliberate misinformation and institutional racism of the staff. The management all the way up to ministerial level are complicit in the death through their failure to recognise or deal with the racism and management failings that culminated in this poor woman’s death. It is not as if there have not been other cases highlighting that there were problems in the operation of these immigration detention centres before.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As of 2020 the end of December, total number who rejected deportation order and thus detained is about 3100. Of those 2800 were given provisional release(90%), of those 2800, more than 400 are missing at large.

Opposition parties must forget political play but cooperate to pass new immigration law which has not been changed for last 70 years so as not to unnecessarily detain illegals at the centers

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Total lack of accountability on both Japan and the deceased women, when you enter a country on a visa you enter as a guess. Once your term is up you leave. Japan on the other hand should have simply deported her problem solved.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Whatever happened with this woman, it can be said, that some detention centers where foreigners are hold for deportation are in surprisingly poor condition. It's up to the Japanese government to carry out improvement of the situation - it's not only about the rooms, it's about overcrowding, about the staff who often cannot understand anything but Japanese, and in this case about the possibility to ask for medical assistance and so on.

Provisional release is however a 50/50 matter, as this option is often misused by foreigners who are awaiting deportation but do not want to leave Japan. If they are out they are gone to somewhere, just missing.

On the other side, show me in Asia a country where the treatment of illegals is so much better compared to Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Actually dogs get treated a lot better in Japan than foreigners by the Japanese

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Note how the Japanese supervisor said he regretted that she wasn't home with her family? That has me thinking she was refusing to be deported.

Was she refusing to be deported?

Did she have a history of faking illness?

These things are important questions.

I don't understand how a country can not just deport people they've decided to deport after 1 appeal. Life isn't fair. Anyone who said it was lied.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And they are answered, if people would only read the report:

Was she refusing to be deported?

The report explains this from P.24 to P.26.

Did she have a history of faking illness?

The reasoning for why the staff believes she may be faking can be found in P.54-56.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yep. Either you don't read the official reports, or you cannot read Japanese in the 1st place, or you are not as interested in this issue as equalizing Japan's treatments to China's or North Korea's, Yep, people don't have so much time but can spit around on Japan. unhappy people in Japan.

That's the reality.

I personally think the investigation should have been done more on this supporting group called STARTS as much as the one into each officers and the outside doctors.

I still wonder how come this group did not genuinely and simply suggest her to return home despite that was her original intention. Her reasonings to apply for refugee status ( or reasons to reject the order ) were completely different in between, which anyone with brain would think strange.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

‘ Treated like a dog ‘is probably a cultural reference , but a dog deserves all the love in the world.

The way this woman was treated is despicable, Japanese immigration, like that of many other countries, is mad up of xenophobic dinosaurs.

They should have gone extinct a long time ago!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did you know that Ms. Wishma, at the point of entering detention (2020 Aug 20), is only 158cm and yet weighed 84.9 kilograms (186 pounds). Given these numbers, she's more likely to have been a blimp rather than beautiful.

What I didn’t know is that being overweight was a valid reason for a person to be mistreated to the point of death.

As for a visa violation turning a person into a criminal deserving of all they get - as a PR I cannot overstay my visa, but I have made myself ‘illegal’ a couple of times, when I forgot to renew my expired passport or gaijin toroku. It’s easily done. I’ve never been made to feel a criminal, or feared deportation, incarceration or death.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

cleo 

As for a visa violation turning a person into a criminal deserving of all they get - as a PR I cannot overstay my visa, but I have made myself ‘illegal’ a couple of times, when I forgot to renew my expired passport or gaijin toroku. It’s easily done. I’ve never been made to feel a criminal, or feared deportation, incarceration or death.

My passport elapsed. Spoke with immigration who said I didn't need one provided I had my Resident Card. But don't let your passport elapse because it becomes a real hassle to replace these days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We are going off-topic.

This article is about a murder.

Not expiration dates and Immigration paperwork.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There needs to be a major over hall of the system, it needs to start right at the top and filter down. the whole way of how people are detained, looked after, and treated. This is a catastrophic failure of ALL of the system and the complicit staff, without any shadow of doubt some, or all of the staff are complicit in this ladies death, which could have been avoided. As for a quick bow and a sorry, or a pathetic reprimand, this is not good enough. All of the staff need to be arrested and an external investigation needs to be carried out, and once the failures, have been spotted, suitable punishments need to be handed out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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