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Friday, November 25, 2012 - 7.20 GMT

Australia returns Sri Lankan asylum seeker families home


Australia has returned five groups of Sri Lankan asylum seeker families home Friday as part of the 11th involuntary removal this month.
The family groups, made up of eight adults and four children, as well as 15 single adult men were sent home on a flight from Christmas Island to Colombo, office of the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen said.

The asylum seekers were all recent arrivals from a number of different boats. Including the latest group Australia has returned 493 Sri Lankans involuntarily since August 13.

More than 600 Sri Lankans have returned home, both voluntarily and involuntarily after Australia decide to send the boat arrivals to offshore islands of Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for processing.

Some Sri Lankans have taken the option of returning to home country voluntarily. Voluntarily returning migrants get reintegration assistance from the Australian government through the International Organization of Migration (IOM).

Australia has repeatedly warned that people who pay smugglers to take them to the country are risking their lives and throwing their money away.

"There is no visa on arrival, there is no speedy outcome, and there is no special treatment," Bowen's office says.




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Last modified: November 25, 2012.

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