NEGOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) – The number of Sri Lankans trying to illegally enter Australia by sea is on the rise, an Australian general said on Tuesday, a day after Canberra said it has sought asylum seekers from the Indian Ocean island The 13th boat carrying was stopped.
The increase could be linked to the Easter bombings on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka, with Craig Furini, head of Operation Sovereign Borders, saying that it killed hundreds and caused fear on the island.
“There has been a slight expansion recently,” Furini told reporters in the coastal city of Negombo, from where many Immigrants are accept to be riding on boats.
“Apparently, the tragic Easter bombings here may have played an effect, but there are also a whole bunch of unknown people trying to get to Australia illegally by boat,” he said.
The boat carrying 13 people was intercepted from the Cocos Islands, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. It was the 13th boat from Sri-Lanka to attempt to travel to Australia to seek asylum in the last 18 months.
Under Canberra’s hardline migration policy, emigrant seeking refuge in Australia will be find for those who return to the country of the boat.
Refugees arriving in Australia are sent to Arresting camps run by Australians in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific islands of Nauru, where they are placed in widely condemn positions by community such as the United Nations.
“Australia’s boarder security policies remain strong and not changed and we want the Sri-Lankans to know the realityabout this and encourage communities to get this message out,” Furney said.