Last updated on September 3, 2019
NEGOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) — How many Sri Lankans attempting to enter Australia illegally by sea is rising, an Australian general said on Tuesday, a day later Canberra said it had intercepted a 13th vessel carrying asylum seekers in the Indian Ocean island.
The growth could be connected into this Easter bombings on resorts and churches in Sri Lanka, stated Craig Furini, the leader of Operation Sovereign Borders, which killed hundreds of individuals and sowed fear about the island.
“There’s been a small increase lately,” Furini told reporters at the coastal town of Negombo from where many migrants are thought to have boarded ships.
“Obviously, the dreadful Easter bombings here might have played a direct impact, but also a whole group of unknowns as to why individuals are attempting to come to Australia illegally by boat,” he added.
This was the 13th ship from Sri Lanka trying to go to Australia to seek asylum from the previous 18 months.
Beneath Canberra’s hardline immigration coverage, prospective asylum-seekers intercepted at sea while attempting to reach Australia are returned into the ship’s state of origin.
Asylum-seekers who hit Australia are delivered to Australian-run detention camps in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific island of Nauru, in which they’re held in states broadly criticised by organisations like the United Nations.
“Australia’s boarder security policies stay strong and unchanged and we need Sri Lankans to learn the facts about this and invite the communities to receive out this message,” Furini said.