Asylum seekers sent back to Sri Lanka: Morrison

Asylum seekers sent back to Sri Lanka: Morrison

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed 41 asylum seekers, who were attempting to reach Australia by boat, have been returned to Sri Lanka.

Refugee groups have raised concerns over the past week, after a boatload of asylum seekers appeared to go missing, with reports the federal government may be processing the asylum seekers at sea.

Mr Morrison has released a statement this morning, confirming the boat has been intercepted by Australian authorities near the Cocos Islands, and have been processed for refugee claims.

He says the asylum seekers were part of an illegal people smuggling operation, and only one of the 41 people on board was eligible for refugee status, but he has elected to remain with the other passengers.

Mr Morrison says the vessel was not in distress at any stage, and the asylum seekers have been handed over to Sri Lankan authorities at sea.

Greens Leader Christine Milne says the actions of the Government are deplorable.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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