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Monday, July 30 , 2012 - 6.00 GMT
SLN urges Australia to deport asylum seekers back


Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) urged Australian authorities to deport the asylum seekers back home as it is the best way to prevent the human smuggling into their country.

Sri Lanka's naval operations director Commodore N. Attygalle and head of naval intelligence Nishantha Ulugetenne have told The Weekend Australian newspaper that Australia ought to turn large numbers of Sri Lankan asylum seekers straight back home as a real deterrent to people-smugglers.

The naval officials have warned that the reluctance of the Australian government to turn them back is draining Sri Lanka Navy's resources to help Australia to combat the influx of illegal migrants.

"When you start deporting then this problem will ease for us," Commodore Ulugetenne has told the newspaper.

He has explained that just turning boats back will not help since the smugglers will purposely sabotage the boats and then the Australian government has to rescue the people because they are in Australian waters.

"If (Australia) turns the boats around, then these guys will just pull the plug, the boats will start sinking and you will have to assist them because it's in your waters," he told The Weekend Australian.

"So the best way is deportation."

"More than 1,500 Sri Lankans have landed in Australia in the last six months. What are you going to do with them, screen them one by one?" the senior naval officials have asked.


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Last modified: July 30, 2012.

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