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Another Lankan boatload to Australia

31 May 2012 02:59 am - 24     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Another boatload of 40 Sri Lankan asylum seekers arrived at the Australia’s Cocos Islands late on Tuesday, immediately putting the resources of the main island and its 500 inhabitants under immense pressure.

The arrival was the second group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers to travel to the islands in as many weeks and the second in Australian waters this week.

The Cocos Islands are almost halfway between Perth and Sri Lanka - about 3000km each way - and are an Australian territory comprised of 27 mostly uninhabited islands.

Yesterday's arrivals have been put up at the Cocos Club, the island's only pub, with local volunteers pitching in to help the island's two Federal Police and Customs officials process and contain the group. It was understood the boat was barely seaworthy but had internet and GPS equipment.

Locals said they feared the island did not have enough supplies or resources to support the sudden increase to its population. They said the Cocos Club was grossly under-resourced to accommodate the arrivals.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, said the asylum seekers would put a heavy strain on island volunteers, the supermarket, community groups and clubs.

"All the volunteers also have their other jobs," she said.

"They're teachers and electricians and shire workers. They all have to give up their jobs to go and volunteer."

So far this year, not including yesterday's arrivals, 578 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have arrived in Australian waters compared with 211 for all of last year.

Australian Tamils Congress spokeswoman Sam Pari said the increase in arrivals reflected the threat of persecution Tamils faced in Sri Lanka, three years after the country's civil war finished.

"Australia wants a solution to the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep here, we need to put diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka to ensure that the rights of the Tamil people are maintained in Sri Lanka," Dr Pari said.

"The soft approach isn't working. It's time for Australia to put serious diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka."

Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship are arranging for the passengers to be transferred to Christmas Island for security, health and identity checks. (The West)
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  Comments - 24

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  • lal Thursday, 31 May 2012 12:06 PM

    They are not only economic migrants but also amongst them fake credit card operatives, extortionists, terrorists, welfare cheats. Australia won't be bothered by the illegals as they need coolies there.

    Jegatheesh Thursday, 31 May 2012 01:13 PM

    Would like to hear from Sinhalese economic immigrants/Australians(now) for their view on this.
    As long as thugery, bullying and hatred exhibitted by the Govt against its defenceless minorities, this will continue.
    After being a refugee in Ratmalana, I fled to India in '83, lived as a refugeeManaged to come to the UK (in '84-no refugee programme),as India couldn't support us. I was gainfully employed in the UK and I'm wealthy now and would like to go back to my Motherland. But the Refugees who left for India in '83 are still in India.
    SL doesn't pay anything for their upkeep, education etc for decades.
    Not even a Thank You.

    Adrian Friday, 01 June 2012 09:56 AM

    B'cos of these selfish idiots, people who are trying to migrate the correct way are inconvenienced. They should be sent back and prosecuted here in Sri Lanka.

    Vijitha Monday, 04 June 2012 08:29 PM

    You mean Gota, SF, etc ?????

    Vijitha Monday, 04 June 2012 08:34 PM

    What about so many of us living in the West? Are we Entitled to be in this country by the Invitation of the State???

    jacoob Friday, 01 June 2012 03:01 AM

    Dot on 200 awaiting prsecution .. where did you get this 200 from ?? from GR ??

    Hussain Thursday, 31 May 2012 07:36 AM

    Australia should send them all back.

    Sajitha Friday, 01 June 2012 03:30 AM

    Well said Ram !

    mohh Thursday, 31 May 2012 03:06 AM

    No need of air tickets now days ... :)

    Laksman Friday, 01 June 2012 10:49 AM

    Just like in the UK these tamil terrorist economic LTTE asylum seekers should be sent back and prosecuted for 40 years of heinous crimes against innocent civilians. the human smugglers should be imprisoned for this illegal business.

    BlindSide Thursday, 31 May 2012 03:14 AM

    Signs of Sri Lanka booming economy.

    Ram Perera Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:17 AM

    Sam Pari is talking rubbish. It is not persecution. These are all economic migrants who go on false pretexts to settledown in Australia.
    Ram

    Rangan Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:25 AM

    Why?

    As long as we have white vans, all will try to flee.

    Tintin Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:43 AM

    How people can turn stories to their advantage!
    "The soft approach isn't working. It's time for Australia to put serious diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka."
    Indeed. What would these manipulative people NOT do, to tarnish the image of my country for their benefit!

    ramesh Thursday, 31 May 2012 04:24 PM

    These are economic migrants....

    ramesh Thursday, 31 May 2012 04:26 PM

    How mush do u pay foe Ltte diaspora?

    Sanjey Fernando Thursday, 31 May 2012 05:14 PM

    Tarnish the image? What image? Do we have one?

    Shandy Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:09 AM

    Australia should deport them asap, otherwise its Australia's problem.

    ANURA Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:38 AM

    This is the real joke of the century. These people are economic miagrants who are testing the weak Australian laws to get the advantage. Australia will learn the truth when one day these people claim part of australia to name as Australian Tamil Elam.

    Nathan Friday, 01 June 2012 05:01 AM

    ANURA, you are a true son of "BANANA REPUBLIC". what i can remember is a couple of days back 115 odd Sri Lankans were caught by the authoraties when they were to do a sea voyage to Aussie. all these true sons of this country are from Negombo, Jaela and Chillaw area.

    Nathan Friday, 01 June 2012 05:10 AM

    Like how much you pay your masters.

    Malin Thursday, 31 May 2012 11:08 AM

    Sam Pari who alleged to be a member of the LTTE terrorist group may have joined the Australian main stream as Asylum Seeker. When all LTTE combatants have been rehabilitated and released (except 200 detained awaiting prosecution ) to the main strem of the society with trained skills, what proof this woman Sam Pari has to prove that 578 aylum seekers are being persecuted? They are nothing but economic refugees who jump the queue and if Sam Pari could save them, it will add more dollars to the LTTE chest in future.

    Sue Thursday, 31 May 2012 11:10 AM

    The way things are happening in Sri Lanka, everyone will be forced to seek asylum somewhere or jump into the see and commit suicide and leave the country for the present government and the politicians to enjoy. We have no hope here.

    Dinesh Thursday, 31 May 2012 05:45 AM

    Newest export product from Sri Lanka


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