Last Updated : 21-08-2014 03:27

 

 
 

Lankans returning: 'Raises question'

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A decision by a group of Sri Lankan men to return home rather than enter a detention centre in Nauru raises questions about past claims for asylum from the war-torn nation, Australia’s deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop says.

Eighteen Sri Lankan men left Christmas Island for Colombo on Saturday after asking to return home instead of being sent to the Pacific island for the processing of their asylum seeker claims.

They were the first group to opt for a return journey since the federal government reopened the Nauru centre earlier this month.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said it marked an important step in deterring people-smuggling.
But Ms Bishop said it called into question the government’s processing of asylum applications from Sri Lanka since the civil war there ended three years ago.

“It does call into question the processing of applications over the last three years,” Ms Bishop told ABC TV on Sunday.

“They would have been provided with a safe haven in Nauru... and they chose to return to Sri Lanka.”

She said it vindicated the coalition’s stance on border protection, repeating calls for the Gillard government to bolster its asylum policy by introducing temporary protection visas (TPVs) and turning back boats where it’s safe to do so.

Ms Bishop said TPVs, which extend protection to a person until it’s safe for them to return home, would have been “ideal” for assessing asylum claims from Sri Lanka.

Under domestic and international law, it is legal for people to seek asylum in Australia.

Meanwhile, HMAS Broome intercepted another suspected asylum seeker vessel - with 66 passengers and two crew on board - north of Christmas Island on Saturday afternoon.(AAP)

 
 

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Comments 

 
-3+64 # Subbiah 2012-09-23 14:37
At least now you have started understanding the truth.
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-6+59 # clement 2012-09-23 14:53
the truth is out. this is fantastic! given the option they still choose to rtn to SL! no need to comment further! this wl be hard for LTTE diaspora to handle.
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-5+52 # lal 2012-09-23 16:15
True, but hardest to handle for the diaspora is that their bogus claims of have been exposed and returnees have chosen Sri lanka to return to and not their homeland, that Tamil Nadu.
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-1+30 # Lobo 2012-09-23 17:12
Now everyone will have to re-think about the claims of torture, harassment and victimization made by these 'refugees' to qualify for asylum
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-24+7 # sach 2012-09-23 22:28
Tamil nadu is not there homeland. It is here.
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-1+22 # Charith 2012-09-23 16:55
These people were shown in the News on TV, they just walked out of the airport like normal passengers, no CID investigations..
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-4+19 # Nodrog 2012-09-23 17:10
Now that these countries are being economically affected because of the high costs to maintain these refugees their HR stance has changed drastically.
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-1+21 # Sameer 2012-09-23 19:44
Thank God Aus and the West is slowly undrastanding the real agendas behind these people leaving SL and its purely Financial business with some groups in these western nations...
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-31+6 # Sandu 2012-09-23 20:35
I bet all those who returned are Sinhalese. There cannot be a single Tamil
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-9+9 # Sandu 2012-09-23 20:37
Why don't they release the identities of returnees
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-1+12 # John 2012-09-24 09:30
News reports say all communities are represented with possibly more from the minority group?
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-26+3 # Ananth wellarusu 2012-09-24 09:29
Australia please don't entertain these Sinhala people from Sri Lanka ....they will plant Buddha statue all over the country and destroy the other races as ......
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