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* Australia appreciates Sri Lanka's support for curbing human smuggling
Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 12:29 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 18, Colombo: The Australian government has expressed its appreciation to Sri Lanka for its support on curtailing the human smuggling to that country.

Australian Prime Minister's special envoy for Operation Sovereign Borders, Major General (retd) Jim Molan commended Sri Lanka Navy for the efforts taken to curb human smuggling when he met Sri Lanka Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage at the Naval Headquarters on Saturday (18th January).

Major General Molan is a senior advisor on the Australian Government's border protection policy and supports engagement with the regional partners on its implementation.

The Australian official has said that his government's decision to gift two patrol boats would be very helpful for the Sri Lanka Navy's humanitarian operations to rescue people stranded on the high seas while attempting the perilous journeys.

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbot who was in Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last November announced that two Bay class patrol boats will be given to Sri Lanka to boost the efforts by the island's Navy to prevent people smuggling in the Indian Ocean.

The boats are expected to be delivered to Sri Lanka Navy by the middle of this year.

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