- Published on Monday, 28 January 2013 12:10
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The Australian High Commission in Colombo said that the total number of Sri Lankan asylum seekers returned since August last year has amounted to almost 1,000 with the 13 Sri Lankans who voluntarily returned last week.
The High Commission said that a total of 942 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have returned, both voluntarily and involuntarily, after they either failed to engage Australia’s protection obligations, or voluntarily withdrew from the asylum seeker process after arriving unlawfully in Australia by boat.
It said that there have been 213 voluntary returns, representing those who abandoned their claims for asylum, demonstrating clearly there is no advantage engaging with people smugglers. It said that people in a regional processing centre or immigration detention facility can request their return at any time.
The High Commission explained that transfers of asylum seekers to regional processing facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea continues and the facilities were established following the Australian government’s policy announcements on August 13, 2012.(niz),