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Friday, February 07, 2014 - 05.49 GMT
Sri Lankan boat arrivals sent to Colombo


The Australian government yesterday successfully sent back 45 Sri Lankans who arrived illegally in Australia by boat.

All 45 detainees were screened out of a protection assessment process. Eight of the detainees chose to return voluntarily.

As they had no matters ongoing with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, they were removed. This is consistent with Australia's obligations. "We will never allow people who come illegally by boat to settle here," Australian MP Scott Morrison said.

Morrison said the Australian government's message is crystal clear: you should not come because you will not be allowed to stay.

"Anyone who arrives by boat illegally will either be sent to Papua New Guinea or Nauru, or sent home," Morrison said.

"The Australian government does not deal in half measures and has the policies and resolve to fight people smugglers and stop illegal boat arrivals. The government will continue to return people seeking to come to Australia illegally by boat."

The voluntary returnees may be helped to resume their lives in Sri Lanka by a reintegration assistance program. The assistance is available only to those who voluntarily agree to return to their country of origin.






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Last modified: February 07, 2014.

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