Last Updated : 21-08-2014 13:44

 

 
 

Audio: Send them back -SL

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Sri Lanka's high commissioner in Australia has endorsed the Coalition's policy of turning around asylum boats as the most effective deterrent to people-smuggling.

Sri Lankan authorities arrested 131 would-be refugees heading to Australia at the weekend, after intercepting fishing trawlers off the island's east coast.

High commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe, a former navy chief, said turning vessels around at sea and sending them back to where they came from was the most effective deterrent for asylum-seekers.

“Turning the boats around will deter people,” Admiral Samarasinghe told ABC radio. “I mean that is a physical barrier ... they know that they can't leave Sri Lankan shores.”

Admiral Samarasinghe said once boats were turned around at sea there was “no other way” for asylum-seekers to attempt to reach Australia. “They are not well educated, they don't have money.”

Australian Tamil Congress spokeswoman Varuni Bala said sending back asylum-seekers back to Sri Lanka was cruel. “To address these issues, they should come to a genuine political solution,” Ms Bala told The Australian Online.

While most asylum-seeker boats originate in Indonesia, there has been a recent spike in attempted crossings from Sri Lanka.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Australia faced different challenges than Sri Lanka in turning around boats.

“If you turn a boat back either in Australian waters or in international waters, under international law they must be brought to the nearest port of call by the rescuing authority,” he said.

That could entice asylum-seekers to sink their boats to prompt a response from Australia's maritime rescue body, he said. “That is not the case in Sri Lanka ... just as it's not the case with any other disruption activities by a home country,” Mr Bowen said.(The Australian)


Sri Lankan navy successfully turns back boats, says envoy (Credit: ABC)

 
 

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Comments 

 
-91+28 # Ruwan 2012-07-16 09:23
Best solution is sink few boats with people... without teaching a lesson this cannot be stopped...
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-8+11 # Rv 2012-07-16 11:21
if you did't know by sinking the boats only they claim they have no means to return and all documentation is lost.
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-16+47 # idiot 2012-07-16 11:59
Be human mate. It is better to resolve the problems that make them leave Sri Lanka.
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-6+27 # Cobra 2012-07-16 12:31
Ruwan, try to go to Australia legally if you can!
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-25+25 # wot to do 2012-07-16 09:25
The HC is nice and comfortable in Canberra together with his Government buddies in Colombo,what about the boat people? Same can't be said of them.
Even if lankan departed boats want to go to Africa,let them go instead of corraling them in Lanka and would be boat people looking out to sea everyday.
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-9+31 # Samantha 2012-07-16 10:19
This issue should be handle very diplomatically and need a joint effert from the both countries This kind of statements will not solve the real issue
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-13+9 # DireStraits 2012-07-16 11:24
The "real issue" being ?
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-11+8 # Samantha 2012-07-16 13:44
Real Issue = People are comming from Boats
Real Solution = Stoping the boats comming through prpoerty monitoring by using both countiers NAVY effectively
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-6+20 # Bigsam 2012-07-16 14:25
Think deeper grashopper. Why are they leaving in droves by boat?
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-15+36 # Tikka 2012-07-16 10:47
Wonder why there are no boats coming from Australia as asylum seekers to Sri Lanka?? Can any just person answer that question!
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-2+12 # Reader 2012-07-16 21:29
Yes, they come from a developing to a developed country. Reasons are largely economic.
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-5+23 # maju 2012-07-16 11:07
there are more n more ppl leaving sl from the educated to the uneducated....
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-9+11 # Dee 2012-07-16 11:22
then what will happen to the aussie politicos who back these illegal economic refugees? they might loose their seats! please be considerate.
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-9+19 # disgusted 2012-07-16 12:11
Because Sri Lanka is the Emerging Wonder of Asia.
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-10+13 # Vicks 2012-07-16 12:15
Many Sri Lankan boats arrived Australia in the recent past. They have a better journey than the old boats as they are well stocked and better directed. The story is that the Sri Lankan government makes up stories about a number of boats to establish a better name from the Australians. They have to show that we stopped many boats, but few slipped through. The slipped through boats were organised by none other than.....
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-6+19 # #Sim 2012-07-16 13:46
Find out why people are leaving the Wonder of Asia.
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-6+11 # Sampath 2012-07-16 16:44
If you give them FREE food & FREE accommodation (like in "X-mas Island" !!) ..THEY DON'T LEAVE!!
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-10+12 # Niranjan 2012-07-16 16:20
This is a another war criminal talks about asylum seekers
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-4+9 # Free 2012-07-16 16:35
What about rescuing them and sending them straight back in proper 'prison' ships and drop them back here? Then no worries with the buru laws.
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-1+9 # DN 2012-07-16 18:19
Yes need to send them back to Sri Lanka or give part from Aussies Northern territory.
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-1+1 # Ekanayaka 2012-07-17 18:21
As the old saying goes rats only leave a sinking ship. What a disgrace that these poor wretches should risk their lives in a watery grave just to get out of the country. There must be something terribly wrong in the 'island of .serendipity'
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