Oct 28, Colombo: Eight more Sri Lankan migrants voluntarily returned from Australia have arrived in the island today.
The eight men returned home voluntarily from Christmas Island after departing on a commercial flight yesterday (October 27), the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship said today.
A total of 29 Sri Lankans have returned to the island this weekend, the Australian authority noted.
The returned Sri Lankans include the 14 pirate asylum seekers who were sent on a chartered flight from Cocos Island Saturday. Another seven men have been returned on a commercial flight from Perth on Friday.
According to a departmental spokesman all have arrived in Australia after the government announced new regional processing arrangements on 13 August.
Under the new policy enacted to deter the arrivals of 'boat people' on the mainland or the Christmas Island, the asylum seekers face a long wait at an offshore detection center on Nauru or Papua New Guinea's Manus Island for processing of a legitimate visa.
The spokesman has said transfers of boat arrivals to Nauru have continued and more would follow in the coming weeks.
"Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof that there is no advantage engaging with people smugglers," the spokesman has said.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship said those who choose to depart voluntarily can be provided with individual reintegration support to assist with their sustainable return, through the International Organization for Migration and the reintegration packages are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on need and eligibility.