Australia hands 41 asylum-seekers back to Sri Lanka


Abbott's government has confirmed that 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who attempted to reach Australia by boat have been handed over to Sri Lankan authorities.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison released a statement saying that the asylum seekers, whose boat was intercepted in late June, were returned to Sri Lanka yesterday.

According to Morrison, of the returned asylum seekers were from the Sinhalese majority and four were Tamil Sri Lankan nationals.

The asylum seekers were transferred to a Sri Lankan navy vessel off the Port of Batticaloa yesterday.

He said the government was grateful to Sri Lankan authorities for their assistance in tackling people smuggling and that it looks forward to continued co-operation with Sri Lanka.

Navy spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya stated that the 41 Sri Lankans will be handed over to the CID for further investigations.

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