Sri Lanka: Australia-bound immigrants held

2013-03-27 13:12
Sri Lankan asylum-seekers sit on their Australia-bound boat in the Mentawai island group in West Sumatra. (File, AFP)

Sri Lankan asylum-seekers sit on their Australia-bound boat in the Mentawai island group in West Sumatra. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Colombo - Sri Lanka's navy on Wednesday seized a fishing trawler carrying at least 97 illegal migrants on their way to Australia, a naval official said.

The boatload of migrants belonging to Sri Lanka's Tamil minority was intercepted at Oluvil off the country's eastern coast, navy spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.

"In the arrested lot were 39 men, 18 women and also 40 children," Warnakulasuriya said.

They will be handed over to Sri Lankan police later in the day, he added.

Last year around 16 770 asylum seekers arrived on Australia's shores, with Sri Lankans the biggest group, numbering about 6 360.

Hundreds have died making the treacherous journey over the past few years.

Thorny issue

Canberra is struggling to contain the numbers and has set up processing centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Sri Lankans pay up to $3 000 for a place on trawlers that take around two weeks to make the treacherous crossing to Australia. Some migrants travel by air to Indonesia and then take rickety wooden vessels to the Australian coast.

On Monday two people including a young child died when an asylum-seeker boat capsized off Australia. More than 90 were plucked to safety and taken ashore.

Illegal immigration is a thorny political issue in Australia, and Canberra currently funds a media campaign in Sri Lanka to educate would-be boatpeople against undertaking the journey.

Australia also announced $36m in aid last December to boost educational opportunities in Sri Lanka, in the hope it will stem the flow of illegal migrants from the island.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sri lanka  |  australia  |  immigrants
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Milnerton 16:29 PM
Road name: Marine Drive Northbound

DELAYS between Loxton Road and Blaauwberg Road

Bellville 16:28 PM
Road name: N1 Outbound

DELAYS between Plattekloof Road and the Durban Road exit

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.