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More Sri Lankans involuntarily sent home



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CHRIS BOWEN MP

MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

STATEMENT

7 November 2012

MORE SRI LANKANS INVOLUNTARILY SENT HOME

Another group of Sri Lankan nationals has been returned involuntarily to Sri Lanka on a charter flight to Colombo from Christmas Island today.

The group of 30 single adult males had arrived on a number of boats over the last week or so.

They 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.

People who pay smugglers are risking their lives and throwing their money away. There is no visa awaiting them on arrival, no speedy outcome, and no special treatment.

The Government is committed to breaking the people smuggling trade and preventing people from taking these dangerous boats to Australia.

We will continue to regularly transfer people to Nauru and shortly to Manus Island.

And where appropriate, the Government will certainly continue to return people where they do not engage Australia's international obligations.

Since 13 August, we have seen 156 Sri Lankans 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.

Media Contact: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802