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Lankans face return to Colombo or transfer to PNG

30 July 2013 08:15 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A group of 68 Sri Lankans who recently arrived at Cocos (Keeling) Islands is now on Christmas Island about to begin enhanced screening processes and those who are screened out will be returned to Colombo as soon as possible, the Australian government said.

They face the same assessment process that unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs) of Sri Lankan background have since last year when the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) took steps to stem a significant upsurge in boat arrivals from Sri Lanka, Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship said issuing a statement.

“Those who are screened out will be returned to Colombo as soon as possible, often within days,” a DIAC spokesman said today. “If any of the group is screened in, they will not come to Australia for assessment; they will be among the first Sri Lankan boat arrivals sent to Papua New Guinea for processing.
“If they are entitled to asylum, they will not be able to settle in Australia; they will be settled in PNG.”

The Sri Lankans began their enhanced screening as arrangements were finalised for the first transfer of people affected by the post-July 19 regional settlement arrangement to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

Under new rules announced on July 19, anyone – including a person from Sri Lanka – who arrives in Australia by boat without a visa no longer has the chance to settle in Australia.

“If they are not quickly returned to Colombo, they will be taken to Papua New Guinea where their claims will be assessed,” the spokesman said.

The prime ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea signed the new agreement, meaning all people arriving by boat without a visa from July 19 will be sent to Papua New Guinea, where their claims will be assessed.

If people are found to be refugees, they will be permanently settled in Papua New Guinea – not Australia.

“The message this agreement sends is clear: the dangerous boat journey is not worth it and you will never settle in Australia,” the spokesman said.

“Accommodation is being expanded on Manus Island and there is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred there.”

Almost 1300 Sri Lankans have been sent home since August 2012 – nearly 1100 of them involuntarily.

“These arrangements will continue and if they do not have proper asylum claims, people will be quickly returned to Sri Lanka,” the spokesman said. “This is making it clear that those who pay smugglers are throwing their money away and risking their lives in the process.”

  Comments - 9

  • mc Tuesday, 30 July 2013 08:45 AM

    good one.

    Lokka Tuesday, 30 July 2013 09:54 AM

    After few years PNG also like another Tami Nadu.

    Rosh Tuesday, 30 July 2013 10:34 AM

    Then you name it Papua Nadu....

    Ram UK Tuesday, 30 July 2013 10:55 AM

    Any country better than SL will do...just get out of the shit hole

    Lankan Man Tuesday, 30 July 2013 11:23 AM

    Enjoy your new life in PNG. These people think Sri Lanka is a hell for them. Good luck!

    Abdul Tuesday, 30 July 2013 06:39 PM

    are u one of those traitors who who used the refugee trick to get asylum in uk ? your name Ram Uk Explains a lot to us. lanka wont be a shit hole just because you come here and comment something bad about lanka. lanka is always lanka and its better than your shit hole tamil nadu.

    fair n square Tuesday, 30 July 2013 07:18 PM

    dont we have quite a lot of SRILANKAN judges serving in the Judiciary of PNG...? If they can live peacefully in PNG... why not others, who may be or may'nt be refugees?

    Good luck to anyone who wishes to live outside SL... BUT I choose to live in SL... Living in Sri-Lanka to me, is not by compulsion BUT BY CHOICE...

    Sinhala Yaka Tuesday, 30 July 2013 11:54 PM

    Why back to Sri Lanka? How about dropping them off in Toilet Nadoo the kingdom of the Terror Loving Tamilans.

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