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Monday, December 31, 2012 - 04.45 GMT

More opt to return home

 

Another 30 Sri Lankans have opted to return home rather than spend time on Nauru, with authorities claiming a win against people smugglers.

They have joined four of their countrymen who made the return trip home last week instead of heading to the Pacific island for the processing of their claims, AAP reported.

"They chose not to pursue their asylum claims and no longer seek to engage Australian protection obligations," said a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia.

"This is further proof that there is no advantage engaging with people smugglers."

Nine Sri Lankan men left Nauru early on Sunday morning, travelling on a charter flight from Perth with 21 of their countrymen who were detained in Western Australia.

"These men departed voluntarily," the spokesman said.

He said more transfers to Nauru would take place in the coming weeks, prompting more people to choose to return home.

A total of 883 Sri Lankans have returned home both voluntarily and involuntarily since August 13, when the government announced that asylum seekers would be liable for transfer to regional processing facilities.

The first group to be sent for offshore processing were transferred from Christmas Island to Nauru on September 14.

The department spokesman said people who elected to depart voluntarily could be provided with support to assist with their return.


 
 
 
   
   
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Last modified: December 31, 2012.

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