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* Australian parliamentary delegation to visit Sri Lanka to discuss people smuggling
Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 11:48 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 26, Colombo: An Australian parliamentary delegation led by the Australian Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop will commence a visit to Sri Lanka on January 27.

The parliamentary delegation, accompanied by immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and border protection spokesman Michael Keenan, is expected to discuss the issue of people smuggling to Australia.

The group will meet with senior Sri Lankan government officials and opposition parliamentarians to hold discussions on curbing the people smuggling trade, Australia's national news agency AAP reported.

The delegation will tour Jaffna in the North to observe the post-war progress in the conflict- affected area and will also hold discussions with the and Tamil community leaders.

During Australia's Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr's visit to the island last month, Sri Lanka and Australia decided to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to address the current issues of illegal migration, people smuggling and law enforcement.

Sri Lanka is an important regional partner in the fight against people smuggling. The island's tiny Navy last year prevented over 3,000 illegal asylum seekers entering into Australia on more than 60 separate people smuggling ventures.

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