Australian Immigration Minister silent about the vessel carrying 153 SL asylum seekers.


Australian Emigration and Immigration Minister Scot Morison requested the public not to fall prey to human traffickers.

He made this request during the official ceremony held yesterday to hand over two surveillance boats to the Sri Lankan government to enable it to prevent human trafficking.

The ceremony was held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Australia offered two surveillance boats named Bay-Boat to Sri Lanka in appreciation of Sri Lanka Navy’s operations to prevent illegal boat people to Australia for the last five years.

Navy would do necessary modification to this 38 meter long vessel with modern facilities and it will be dubbed as Mihikata and Rathnadeepa.

Meanwhile, International media reports say that a vessel carrying 153 Sri Lankan refugees has been at distress near Christmas island in Australia recently.

The Australian government which did not reveal anything with regard to this earlier officially stated day-before- yesterday that these refugees had been detained by the Australian navy.

Journalists queried Australian Immigration and Emigration Minister Scot Morison about this yesterday.

On this occasion the Australian Immigration and Emigration Minister said that an opinion could not be expressed as the matter was under a court action.

A journalist posed another question to the Australian Minister about the charge that his government did not take care of immigrants coming to Australia. 

Replying to the query the Australian Minister said that he refuted the charge.

Meanwhile Australian Immigration and Emigration Minister Scott Morison toured the Northern Province yesterday.

 During the tour the Australian Minister met and held discussion with Provincial Governor G. A. Chandrasiri and Provincial Chief Minister C. V. Vigneshvaran.