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Group of Sri Lankans sent home



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CHRIS BOWEN MP

MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

STATEMENT

17 January 2013

GROUP OF SRI LANKANS SENT HOME

A group of Sri Lankan was today returned home on a flight from Christmas Island to Colombo.

The 18 Sri Lankan men and one woman 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. All were recent arrivals.

Since 13 August last year, 935 Sri Lankans have returned home - 735 involuntarily.

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

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

We are committed to breaking the evil people smuggling trade, prevent people from taking dangerous boats and save lives at sea.

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

People returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance.

Media Contact: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802 / Laura Stevens 0432 833 769