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* More Sri Lankan asylum seekers deported from Australia
Wed, Nov 7, 2012, 11:18 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 07, Canberra: Australia has deported another group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers today from Christmas Island, a territory of Australia where illegal immigrants to the country are detained.

A group of 30 single adult men who had arrived on a number of boats over the last week from Sri Lanka has been returned involuntarily on a charter flight to Colombo from Christmas Island today, the office of Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen said in a statement on Wednesday.

"They were advised of their status and that they were subject to removal from Australia. They raised no issues that engaged Australia's international obligations," Bowen's office said.

"Without a valid visa they had no legal right to remain in Australia and were removed at the earliest opportunity," the statement added.

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

Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship provides reintegration assistance for those who choose to depart voluntarily to assist with their sustainable return, through the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The Minister's office said the Australian government is committed to breaking the people smuggling trade and preventing people from taking these dangerous boats to Australia.

"People who pay smugglers are risking their lives and throwing their money away. There is no visa awaiting them on arrival, no speedy outcome, and no special treatment," he said.

"We will continue to regularly transfer people to Nauru and shortly to Manus Island," the Minister added.

Australia changed its policy on asylum seekers 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.

The Australian government says it will continue to return people where they do not engage Australia's international obligations.

Since 13 August, Australia has sent 156 Sri Lankans returned home - both voluntarily and involuntarily.

Despite the recent return policy of the Australian government and Sri Lanka Navy's efforts arresting the illegal migrants, the trade of people smuggling is continuing. Sri Lanka Navy just yesterday prevented 47 illegal migrants heading to Australia.

Sri Lanka Navy has arrested nearly 3,000 people migrating illegally to Australia so far this year. The Sri Lankan Navy had been urging 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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