The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) today announced the transfer of a group of irregular Sri Lankan maritime arrivals to Nauru – the first transfer to depart from the mainland after setting off from Darwin.
The group, comprising of 31 men from Sri Lanka, departed Darwin at 11.46pm EST Thursday September 27 on a charter aircraft, escorted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), DIAC staff, interpreters and medical staff. The group arrived in Nauru at 5am EST today, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said.
The completion of this transfer reaffirms the strong message of deterrence for anyone considering risking their lives on dangerous people smuggling boats. There will be no advantage for boat arrivals.
It also shows that all asylum seekers who arrived after the August 13 changes are subject to new regional processing arrangements, regardless of whether they are located on Christmas Island or the mainland.
On arrival in Nauru, transferees were subject to relevant immigration, customs and quarantine clearance processes. They will now be settled into their accommodation at the temporary facility and go through induction processes.
Selection of this group was based on operational considerations and an assessment of their particular circumstances to confirm transfer was appropriate.
Transfers will continue to take place regularly as part of the new policy of regional processing of irregular maritime arrivals.
DIAC continues to implement the recommendations of the report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, whose central principle provides that people choosing to travel to Australia by boat should receive no advantage.