Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor said the 20 Sri Lankans were sent back to Colombo because “none of them raised issues that engaged Australia’s international obligations”.
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor said the 20 Sri Lankans were sent back to Colombo because “none of them raised issues that engaged Australia’s international obligations”.

'Shadowy process' of rejecting Sri Lankans must end: Greens

ANOTHER group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers has been sent home and 100 more people arrived by boat, it was revealed on Thursday.

Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor said the 20 Sri Lankans were sent back to Colombo because "none of them raised issues that engaged Australia's international obligations".

Since August 13 last year, 963 Sri Lankans have returned home - 756 of them involuntarily.

"Without a valid visa they had no legal right to remain in Australia," Mr O'Connor said in a statement.

It prompted the Greens to say the "shadowy process" of forcibly returning people to Sri Lanka had to end.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said people being returned to Sri Lanka, which up until recently was racked by civil war, faced persecution.

Meanwhile, authorities intercepted two boats on Thursday - one north of Christmas Island with 64 people on board and another north-west of Darwin carrying 41 people.

Six boats carrying more than 350 have been stopped trying to get to Australia in the first three days of April.

It was also revealed on Thursday 20 Vietnamese asylum seekers had been moved to the regional processing centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the group of single adult males, who departed Christmas Island on Wednesday, arrived at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre shortly after 9am (AEDST) on Thursday.

It was the 12th transfer to PNG and first group of Vietnamese nationals to be transferred to a regional processing country.In addition, three people - two women and a child - who had previously been in detention on Manus Island were returned on the same flight after medical treatment in Australia.


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