Sri Lanka will welcome asylum seeker boats turned around by Australian authorities, the country's high commissioner to Australia says.
Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe was commenting on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's pledge to reinstate the Howard-era policy of towing back asylum seeker vessels.
"Any Sri Lankan asylum boat being brought by the Australian navy to our waters we will welcome, and we'll take over them at appropriate locations," he told ABC television last night.
"These are very simple matters to deal (with) and this can be handled at any time, provided the safety of the people in these not very seaworthy boats are assured."
Admiral Samarasinghe said he expected the 66 suspected asylum seekers, who on Tuesday arrived on a fishing vessel at the busy West Australian port of Geraldton, to be sent back to Sri Lanka.
He denied there were widespread cases of human rights abuse in Sri Lanka and insisted people were leaving the country by boat for economic reasons.
"They need not come to Australia if they fear for their life," he said. "There is much closer destinations if they have to (leave)."(ABC)
Comments - 11
saman Sunday, 14 April 2013 12:00 AM
Fair N Square Sunday, 14 April 2013 01:55 AM
It's beyond my thinking as to how people who served in the"Forces" end up as Ambassadors.. What qualification do they have? Diplomacy? Wonder If they know anything about Protocol regarding Foreign Relations... ummmm
OMG Sunday, 14 April 2013 01:53 AM
Thank you BBS, without whom these boat trips wouldn't have been possible.
Andrew Pitugala Sunday, 14 April 2013 02:03 AM
We will welcome with garlands to the "Miracle of Asia" from which they tried to flee.
Ryan Sunday, 14 April 2013 02:16 AM
I was amazed to see them in Geralton harbour being undetected and that fishing boat made it this far. for sure they have received food, fuel and water supply in between with the support of people/drug smuggling mafias. our seas need increased patrolling to prevent intruders/people smugglers. Cheers!!!
Sampath Sunday, 14 April 2013 10:33 PM
they will be torched like no tomorrow on their return.
alex pandiyan Saturday, 13 April 2013 05:14 PM
John Monday, 15 April 2013 06:48 AM
Is that not really the reason why our foreign relations/perception is at this current low ebb, from the high esteem Sri Lanka was held in when worthy deplomats played their role around the world?
Burt Monday, 15 April 2013 12:47 AM
Why are the torture chambers empty?
Sunday, 14 April 2013 12:00 AM
I think ur da rat pandiyan via DM Android App
Ranjo Saturday, 13 April 2013 11:31 PM
But, this man's own navy facilitated many many boats. I am sure the man knows that too.
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