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Cruel, expensive and unnecessary 'Nauru farce' continues with Sri Lankans.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

Cruel, expensive and unnecessary 'Nauru farce' continues with Sri Lankans

15th Mar 07

Australian Greens spokesperson on Immigration, Senator Kerry Nettle condemned the government's decision to send 83 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Nauru as unnecessary and cruel and a huge waste of taxpayers' money.

"By sending these men to Nauru the Government is lending Australia's backing to the weakening of the international refugee system," said Senator Nettle.

"The Government's ridiculous 'Pacific Solution' not only hurts those unfortunate asylum seekers caught in its web but also sends a message to the world that Australia condones the evasion of legal and moral responsibilities to care for asylum seekers.

"The Sri Lankan asylum seekers will now find it extremely difficult to access legal advice, medical assistance and emotional support.

"The Minister should reveal how much the charter flight transfer will cost the taxpayer and how long these people will be on Nauru?

"Is this going to be a repeat of the sad and cruel situation where refugees were left languishing on Nauru for several years?

"The Nauru government has made it clear that they are only willing to help process people and are not willing to act as a permanent holding centre.

"Prime Minister Howard is still stuck in his outdated political xenophobic mode whilst most Australians have moved on since the dark days of Tampa in 2001."

Contact: Jon Edwards 0428 213 146