Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Australia deports more Sri Lankans
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Nov 19, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Australia has deported 332 asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka since Canberra reopened controversial offshore processing centers on neighboring island countries.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship said eight Sri Lankan men, including five from the processing center on Nauru Island, arrived in Colombo Sunday after having agreed to return voluntarily.

Some of the 332 returnees have been returned involuntarily and asylum seekers can request to be sent home at any time during their processing, a department spokesman said.

"Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof that there is no advantage engaging with people smugglers," the spokesman said.

Those who choose to depart voluntarily can apply for support from the International Organization for Migration in Switzerland.

All 332 have been sent back since the government announced Aug. 13 that "irregular maritime arrivals" would be liable for transfer to regional processing facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said in a statement the departure of recent Sri Lankans "raised no issues that engaged Australia's international obligations."

A report by The Australian newspaper said Bowen's comment implied that the returned Sri Lankans weren't considered refugees.

"The government will continue to return people where they do not engage Australia's international obligations," Bowen said.

The Labor government ran into heavy criticism from opposition politicians when it announced it would reopen the two processing centers, one being on rugged and jungle-covered Manus Island, part of Papua New Guinea which lies north of Australia.

Opposition parties and humanitarian organizations say they are concerned asylum seekers in offshore centers won't have the same legal protection as people on the mainland.

Papua's government has had close relations with Australia, which governed it until independence in 1975.

Australia also reached an agreement with the government of Nauru -- a circular island in the South Pacific with a population of just more than 9,000 -- to reopen a processing center there.

Nauru, a former British Colony called Pleasant Island, has been independent since 1968 but is under the protection of Australia.

The centers are operated in exchange for financial aid to the governments.

In September, soon after the Nauru center opened, Iranian asylum seekers rioted, causing around $24,000 damage to facilities including kitchens and tents.

Australia continues to struggle with thousands of asylum seekers arriving in its waters in dangerously overcrowded and rickety boats. All have paid people smugglers hundreds or thousands of dollars for the sometimes fatal voyage.

Government figures estimate around more than 600 refugees have drowned in the past three years.

The centers were opened after a deal by the government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Malaysia floundered earlier this year over legal issues.

Australia was to accept bona fide refugees from Malaysia in return for sending asylum seekers there for processing.

Gillard decided in August to negotiate the reopening of the centers after an independent panel, led by former Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, recommended offshore processing.

The panel saw offshore centers as part of a "hard-headed but not hardhearted" approach to the problem of increasing numbers of asylum seekers.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Hundreds of NY homes to be razed after Sandy
New York (AFP) Nov 18, 2012
Hundreds of New York City homes deemed to be safety hazards after superstorm Sandy will be razed in a vast operation the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg describes as "unprecedented." Some 200 homes in the New York boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island that were hardest hit by Sandy will be demolished in the coming weeks or months, the office said. "We've never had this scale b ... read more

China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

NASA Rover Providing New Weather and Radiation Data About Mars

CU LASP package ready for MAVEN integration bound for Mars

Instrument Delivered for NASA's Upcoming Mars Mission

Melt water on Mars could sustain life

NASA Selects Information Technology Flight Operations Support Contract

SciTechTalk: All work and no play?

Get some bed rest - all 21 days of it

Latest China military hardware displayed at airshow

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Space station command changes

Russia restores space contact after cable rupture

Russia loses contact with satellites, space station

Cut in Russian link to space station not serious: NASA

Arianespace's fourth Spaceport mission with Soyuz ready for fueling

Ariane 5's sixth launch of 2012

Ariane 5 is poised for Arianespace's launch with the EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 satellites

Ariane 5 orbits EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 satellites

Lowell astronomer, collaborators point the way for exoplanet search

A Reborn Planetary Nebula

Lost in Space: Rogue Planet Spotted?

Lowell Astronomer, Collaborators Point The Way For Exoplanet Search

Titan is also a green powerhouse

Google's Android is eating Apple's lunch

AVX Introduces SMD Tantalum Chip Capacitors For Aerospace Applications

Google's Android is eating Apple's lunch

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement