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Thursday, 27 June 2013
Page: 7324

Sri Lanka: People Smuggling

(Question No. 1518)

Mr Fletcher asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 27 May 2013:

In respect of the Minister's four point plan to reduce incentives for smuggling ventures in Sri Lanka (Australia-Sri Lanka talks: Four-point plan to fight people smuggling, media release, 17 December 2012):

(a) what total sum has been allocated to the Government of Sri Lanka, directly or indirectly, to reduce incentives for people smuggling ventures;

(b) how will these funds be spent, and how will they achieve the desired result;

(c) what accountability measures are in place in respect of these funds, including for mitigating against corruption, and

(d) what action is being taken by the Australia Government in respect of allegations that Sri Lankan Government officials are involved in sending asylum seeker boats to Australia.

Mr Marles: On behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a) to (c) Australian agencies deliver a range of capacity building programs to strengthen Sri Lankan border control, investigation and prosecution capability to combat people smuggling. No funds are provided directly or indirectly to the Government of Sri Lanka.

(d) This is a matter for the Sri Lankan Government.