Sri Lanka arrests Australia-bound boat people

2014-05-03 07:26
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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

kalahari.com

Colombo - Sri Lanka's navy Friday arrested 54 would-be illegal immigrants in the first major detection of boat people heading to Australia this year, an official said.

A fishing trawler was detected with the passengers, including 11 women and 13 children, off the island's north-eastern coast of Mullaittivu, navy spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.

"The trawler was intercepted by navy patrol craft 20 nautical miles east of Mullaittivu," Warnakulasuriya said, adding that the 54 people on-board were handed over to police for further investigations.

He said the suspects told them that they were trying to leave for Australia, despite Canberra announcing last year that they will no longer allow even genuine asylum seekers the right to settle in Australia, moving them to Papua New Guinea instead.

In February, Sri Lanka's police arrested 75 people who were trying to illegally travel by boat to New Zealand.

The last detection of significant boat traffic to Australia was in October, when 70 Sri Lankans were arrested by the navy off the island's southern coast of Galle, the navy said.

Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, many of whom claim persecution at home over Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist conflict, have tried to travel to New Zealand by boat in the past, but Australia has been a more favoured destination.

Sri Lankan police have arrested dozens of people for organising illegal boat trips to Australia, including several naval personnel - an embarrassment for Colombo, which had maintained there was no senior-level official collusion with the smugglers.

Australia has sent back dozens of Sri Lankan nationals who tried to enter the country illegally.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  australia  |  migrants
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
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

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

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. 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

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...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.