Australia, Lanka discuss boat issue

Australia and Sri Lanka had discussions focusing on ongoing bilateral cooperation on people smuggling, a Navy statement said.
The Navy said that visiting Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor met the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage at the Naval Headquarters yesterday and discussed these issues.
He was accompanied by Secretary of Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Martin Bowles and Ministerial Advisor, Stephen Wettenhall. The Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Robyn Mudie was also present on the occasion.
The Minister conveyed his appreciation for the efforts by the Navy in countering irregular migration and commended the commitment shown by Navy personnel in rescuing of persons coerced to take on the perilous journeys.
The Commander of the Navy briefed the Minister on the measures being implemented in collaboration with law enforcement authorities for the prevention of illegal migration and the continuous missions of the Navy to search and rescue people trapped in rough seas, the Navy statement added.
The Australian Minister is in Sri Lanka as part of the Australian Government’s continuing commitment to deepening Australia’s relationship with Sri Lanka.