More Sri Lankans arrive from Australia

Another group of Sri Lankan men were sent home from Christmas Island in Australia today, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said.

This is the sixth involuntary removal to take place in the last week and was made up of 32 Sri Lankan men, all recent arrivals from a number of different boats.

This latest group takes to 232 the number of Sri Lankans returned involuntarily since 13 August, the High Commission said.

The men were advised of their status and that they were subject to removal from Australia. They raised no issues that engaged Australia’s international obligations.

Without a valid visa they had no legal right to remain in Australia and were removed at the earliest opportunity.

“The message is clear that people who pay smugglers are risking their lives and throwing their money away. There is no visa awaiting them on arrival, there is no speedy outcome, and no special treatment,” the High Commission quoted Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen.

The Government will continue to return people where they do not engage Australia’s international obligations.

“We are committed to breaking the people smuggling trade and preventing people from taking these dangerous boats to Australia. And we will continue to regularly transfer people to Nauru and shortly to Manus Island,” he said.

Since 13 August, 324 Sri Lankans have returned home – both voluntarily and involuntarily – as people realise that these smugglers only sell lies and false promises about what awaits people in Australia.

People returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance.