The Australian government deported four Sri Lankan asylum seekers, two Tamils, one Sinhalese and one Muslim, after their applications for refugee status were unsuccessful, a spokesman for the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said today.
The departure of these intercepted individuals brings the total number of unsuccessful Sri Lankan asylum seekers removed from Australia to 80, since late 2008.
The irregular maritime arrivals were on two boats intercepted in last year. The DIAC spokesman said the government’s position on asylum seekers was clear.
“People who are owed Australia’s protection under our international obligations will be granted that protection,” the spokesman said.
“All irregular maritime arrivals found not to be owed protection and with no other basis to remain in Australia will be removed.”
The handling of claims for protection demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to dealing with irregular maritime arrivals in a timely and effective manner.
“Irregular maritime arrivals are interviewed to assess, among other things, their reasons for travel to Australia,” the spokesman said.
“This group was initially assessed as not having a valid claim for refugee status and an independent merits review has upheld this decision.
This brings the total number of irregular maritime arrivals removed since late 2008 to 145. Of those, 19 have been removed in 2010. (Daily Mirror online)