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Friday, December 21, 2012 - 05.45 GMT

Australia transfers 23 Sri Lankan boat people to Manus Island


The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said a group of 29 asylum seekers was transferred on Friday to its offshore processing facility in the Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Among the 29 transferred on December 21 were 23 Sri Lankans, four Iranians, one Afghan and one Pakistani.

According to the DIAC, this is the 5th batch of irregular maritime arrivals - migrants arrived by boats - transferred to the offshore detention center.

Australian Federal Police, immigration staff, interpreters, children's services and medical staff accompanied the transferees, the Department said.

Selection of this group was based on operational considerations and an assessment of their particular circumstances to confirm transfer was appropriate, according to the Australian authorities.

On arrival in PNG, the group had undergone local immigration clearance processes before being moved into the regional processing center.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship said the transfers will continue to occur regularly as part of the policy of regional processing of irregular maritime arrivals and to deter new arrivals.

"The completion of this transfer reaffirms the strong message of deterrence for anyone considering risking their lives on dangerous people smuggling boats. There will be no advantage for boat arrivals," the Department said in a statement.

DIAC says it continues to implement the recommendations of the report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, whose central principle provides that people choosing to travel to Australia by boat should receive no advantage.





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Last modified: December 23, 2012.

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