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Australia expresses appreciation of Lankan Navy's role
Curtailing people smuggling:
Australia's Immigration and Citizenship Minister Brendan O'Connor expressed Australia's appreciation of the role played by the Sri Lankan Navy in curtailing people smuggling activity in the Indian Ocean.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris meeting Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Minister Brendan O’Connor at the External Affairs Ministry on Thursday.
The Australian Minister made these comments when he called on External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris at the External Affairs Ministry on Thursday. A central theme of the discussion was the active collaboration between Sri Lanka and Australia with regard to illicit immigration.
A Joint Working Group between the two countries had been established during the visit to Sri Lanka in December last year by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Robert Carr.
Minister O'Connor said more than 1,500 persons had been apprehended by the Navy in recent months, while Australia had repatriated 1,100 persons who had sought to enter the country illegally in fishing vessels.
The Australian Minister explained the stringent measures which had been put in place by his government to prevent illegal immigrants from having access to welfare facilities in Australia.
Minister Peiris thanked the Australian government for its understanding of Sri Lankan issues and for the support given to the country by Australia at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) with regard to holding the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in November this year.
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