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Friday, May 17, 2013 - 3.39 GMT
Australia deports 58 more Sri Lankans home


Australia has deported 58 more Sri Lankan asylum seekers from Christmas Island.

A group of 33 Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals has been flown home from Christmas Island to Colombo involuntarily on Tuesday and another group of 25 on Wednesday, Australia's Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O'Connor announced Thursday.

With the latest send-off, since August 13, 2012, Australia has returned 1,131Sri Lankans home and 920 of them involuntarily.

"Returning this group to Sri Lanka sends the powerful message that people who pay smugglers are throwing their money away and risking their lives in the process," Minister O'Connor said.

He said Australia is committed to breaking the evil people smuggling trade, deterring people from taking dangerous journeys by boat and saving lives at sea.

"When people arrive in Australia without authorization, 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 homeland wherever possible," he said.

"There is no visa on arrival, there is no speedy outcome, and there is no special treatment," he said adding that Australia will continue to transfer people to offshore detention centers in Nauru and Manus Island.

According to the Australian Minister, people returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance.





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Last modified: May 17, 2013.

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