Sri Lanka refugees from Tamil Nadu not welcome in Australia

Over 1,200 died during illegal sea voyage in four years.

Chennai: The Australian government on Friday made it clear that Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu are no longer welcome in its country as they are not from refugee camps approved by United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).

Nearly 1,200 Lankan refugees tried to travel in boats from Indian subcontinent to Australia between the years 2009 and 2013 died before reaching their destination. Sean Kelly, Australian consul-general to South India pointed out that Australia is not in position to take such refugees reaching their country without UNHRC approval.

“Australia will only resettle those refugees who are registered by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” he said pointing out that his country will continue to remain a refugee friendly state.

“There is no way that people who attempt to travel to Australia by boat will be allowed to settle in Australia. Anyone who does survive the journey will be intercepted and transferred to regional processing centres in Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea,” Kelly added. Lankan refugees who reached Australia illegally are now in such camps.

He also said that Tamil Nadu government was doing its best to inform Lankan refugees settled in the state that journey by sea to Australia was almost impossible to finish.

Reacting to the news of the arrest of six Lankans in Tiruchy on Tuesday by conspiring to sail to New Zealand, the Australian official noted that he does not think that the six were luring people to New Zealand, but to Australia only.

“Don’t fall into the trap of such human traffickers. It is just not possible to travel such a long distance using ordinary boats without food and fuel,” he added.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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