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* Sri Lanka Navy arrests 36 Australia-bound illegal migrants
Sun, Sep 30, 2012, 06:04 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 30, Trincomalee: Sri Lanka Navy has arrested another 36 illegal migrants bound for Australia in the seas off the Eastern shores Sunday.

A Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the EasternNaval Command intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying the 36 people about 20 nautical miles in the sea off Koduwakattu in the Eastern Province.

According to the Navy, among the arrested were 28 Tamils, 7 Sinhalese and one Muslim. The group, which included 25 males and 3 women, are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Valaichchenai and Kalpitiya.

They have been escorted to the Trincomalee Harbor to be handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for further investigations.

Despite the perilous voyage and the prospects of getting detained in an Australian asylum center, nearly 3,000 Sri Lankans this year had taken the step to illegally migrate to Australia.

However two groups of asylum seekers have returned to the country after the Australian government changed his asylum processing policies in August and decided to send the asylum seekers to the offshore island, Nauru, where the illegal migrants would face a long and hard stay before they are eligible for a legitimate visa.

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