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* Some Sri Lankan boat people to Australia are economic migrants -IOM
Tue, Nov 6, 2012, 11:38 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 06, Colombo: The International Organization for Migration has said that some Sri Lankans arriving by boat are economic migrants not refugees.

Backing Australia's view, the Chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sri Lanka, Richard Danziger has told Radio Australia that some of the asylum seekers are migrating to Australia for economic reasons.

Has explained that following the end of war in May 2009 Sri Lanka has loosened the restrictions on maritime activities and the asylum seekers can leave in boats so easily now.

The IOM is assisting the Australian government to return the Sri Lankan asylum seekers, who have expressed desire to return home rather than being sent to detention centers in Nauru and Manus Island.

Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship says those who choose to depart voluntarily can be provided with individual reintegration support to assist with their sustainable return, through the IOM.

Reintegration packages are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on need and eligibility.

The Department returned 11 Sri Lankans home voluntarily on Sunday bringing the total number of Sri Lankans to return home in 2012 to 126.

Australia changed its policy on asylum seekers in August this year and the refugees arriving after August 13 will be sent to the detention centers in Nauru and Manus Island where they have to wait for a long period to obtain a legitimate visa.

Sri Lanka Navy, which has arrested nearly 3,000 people migrating illegally to Australia so far this year, had urged the Australian officials to deport the growing number of asylum seekers reaching Australia by boat saying it was the best way to deter people smugglers.

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