Aug 02, Colombo: Australia has transferred the group of 157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers to Nauru after they refused to consider returning to India.
Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has told the Australian media that the group of 157 asylum seekers including about 50 children has been flown to the offshore processing center in Nauru Saturday since none would agree to meet with Indian consular officials.
The asylum seekers left Pondicherry, India early in June sailing to Australia when they were intercepted by the Australian authorities and held aboard the Customs vessel Ocean Protector at an unknown location.
They were transferred to the Curtin Detention Center in Western Australia on July 27 when a court prevented the Australian government from returning them to Sri Lanka.
The Australian Minister told media that the asylum seekers were flown over Friday night to Nauru where genuine refugees will be resettled.
Mr. Morrison earlier in an interview with ABC News has said that if the asylum seekers refuse to go to India they will be sent to the offshore centers.
"If the outcome of this is that no-one chooses to talk to Indian consular officials, then the government's policy is very clear and they will go to offshore processing and that's where their claims will be assessed. They will never, ever be resettled in Australia and that will be the outcome and nor will they ever be able to probably ever go back to India again," he stressed.