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* No Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka, Ministry affirms
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 09:30 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 18, Colombo: No Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs affirmed.

The Ministry said the Rohingya refugees, who had come to Sri Lanka earlier in three occasions earlier, had left the country after they were handed over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office.

Sri Lanka Navy on March 3, 2008 has rescued 55 Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar when they were stranded in Sri Lankan coast. The group had left the island after they were handed over to the UNHCR office in July 2012.

In February 2013 the Navy intercepted 170 Myanmar asylum seekers in two boats - 138 in one boat and 32 in the other in Sri Lankan waters. The refugees had left the country in November 2015 after they were handed over to the UNHCR, the Ministry said.

The Navy in April 30 this year has rescued 30 Rohingya refugees and they have left the island after a court ordered to hand them over to UNHCR last month, according to the Ministry.

Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs says Sri Lanka has never deviated from the accepted procedure and always worked within the approved frame of law regarding the refugees.

The Ministry's response comes following the reports that Rohingya refugees are entering Sri Lanka. An internet petition has also been launched requesting the government to take action to prevent the Rohingya Muslims from entering Sri Lanka.


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