Australia says it would continue to send back illegal Sri Lankan asylum seekers if their claims are not covered by the refugee convention.
“When people arrive in Australia unauthorised, any claims they make for their reasons to travel to Australia are assessed by the Department of Immigration. If these claims are not covered by the refugee convention, they will be returned to their home land wherever possible,” Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor said.
Another group of Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals has been flown home from Christmas Island to Colombo, the minister said issuing a statement.
The group was advised of its status and that all 25 of its members were subject to removal from Australia as none raised issues that engaged Australia’s international obligations.
Since August 13 last year, 1029 Sri Lankans have returned home – 819 of them involuntarily. The minister also said, “People who pay smugglers 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.
“We are committed to breaking the evil people smuggling trade, deterring people from taking dangerous journeys by boat and saving lives at sea.
“We will continue to transfer people to Nauru and Manus Island.”
People returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance.