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Friday, 20 July 2018
Friday, 20 July 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Australia refuses to accept SL asylum seekers PDF Print E-mail
It is reported that the fate of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers rescued by Australian customs ships is still undecided. AustralianGovenment stands by its decision not allow the asylum seekers be brought to the country.

Indonesian officials too had refused to accept the boatpeople.
In a radio interview  foreign minister of Australia said "There is an agreement between Australia and the government of Indonesia that persons rescued in the open seas would go to Indonesia and be processed ... that is what will occur,"

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said further "It is not for the Sri Lankans onboard to decide where they make their application for refugee status. We absolutely defend their right to make that application, but they were picked up on the high seas, it is not their choice."

It is reported that the Indonesian provincial governor has refused to allow the Sri Lankan nationals off the Oceanic Viking customs ship in to the country where the boatpeople were rescued them 10 days ago. The Governor has said Indonesia was not a dumping ground for other countries.

According to media reports now the ship would be taken to a naval base and the Sri Lankans transferred to the Tanjung Pinang immigration detention centre.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he had struck an agreement with Indonesian President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono in Jakarta last week that would see the group interned in Indonesia at Australia’s expense.

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