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Sunday, May 05, 2013 - 03.29 GMT
CHOGM, a great opportunity for Sri Lanka Australian Minister


Australia's Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendon O' Connor says that his government is fully supportive of Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting later this year in Colombo and the summit will be a great opportunity for Sri Lanka.

Addressing a media briefing on Friday, O'Connor who was on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka said Australia is in a position to give advice to Sri Lanka in organizing the meeting and confirmed Australia's participation in the meeting.

"We are very happy to provide practical advice about organizing such an important international meeting." the Australian Minister told media.

The visiting Minister met his Sri Lankan counterpart, Prof. G.L. Peiris Friday and held discussions on a range of issues, especially focusing on illegal migrations of Sri Lankans to that country.

Following the meeting Minister O'Connor told media that he made it clear to the Sri Lankan government that it needs to pursue reconciliation and improve its human rights record.

He further said that from the discussions it was clear that the Sri Lankan government is very serious about responding to these concerns in a practical way.

The Australian Minister said the support received from Sri Lanka to eliminate human smuggling is significant.

The Minister also visited the Southern Naval Base in Galle to meet and observe intercepted people smuggling boats captured off the coast of Sri Lanka.

He noted that Australia took the initiative of sending back 1071 Sri Lankans who illegally entered Australia from August last year. Another group comprising 42 was sent back to Sri Lanka on Wednesday.





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Last modified: May 05, 2013.

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