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Another group of Sri Lankans returned



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CHRIS BOWEN MP

MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

STATEMENT

11 November 2012

ANOTHER GROUP OF SRI LANKANS RETURNED

A group of 36 Sri Lankan single adult men was returned to Sri Lanka from Christmas Island late yesterday - the fourth involuntarily removal this week.

All were recent arrivals from a number of different boats. This group takes it to more than 120 Sri Lankans returned over four days.

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.

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.

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

Since 13 August, 255 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.

Media Contact: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802