The head of Australia’s action to combat illegal sea migration was in Colombo and Negombo today, joining efforts to warn Sri Lankans of the risky and tells for the long-term consequences of illegal migration by boat.
In charge of Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders, Major General Craig Furini said that since the establishment of Operation Sovereign Borders in September 2013, Australia has worked with Sri Lanka, returning 20 people from 12 people to boats. Smugglers, who are not successfully traveling to Australia.
“Australia shares a strong and productive relationship with the Government of Sri-Lanka. Together we are working to combat people trafficking, educate sensitive people whom they prey and stop people from dying at ocean, ”said Major General Furini.
Last month, 13 illegal immigrants were immediately evacuated to Sri Lanka, as people smuggled in were stopped by Australian authorities. 13 people were handed over to Sri Lankan authorities and further investigations are on. The Australian High Commission said they join 25 other persons from two ships that have returned to Sri Lanka since May 2019.
In June 2019, the Australian Government launched a Chan Zero Chance ‘campaign to prevent potential illegal migrants from joining smuggling ventures by reporting Australia’s strong policies and threats of illegal migration to Australia by sea. The statement said that the successful campaign has seen the message of moving TV, radio, press and digital advertising across Sri Lanka.
In support of this campaign, Major General Furini announced his intention to host an Australian film festival where Sri Lankans would have the opportunity to present short films about the dangers and consequences of illegal maritime migration efforts. He hopes the involvement of current and aspiring filmmakers will complement the current campaign efforts.
Said by Major General Furini ‘We won’t stop in our efforts to make sure people across Sri Lanka understand that illegal maritime travel is just not worth the risk to their lives or the financial burden and I am hopeful that Sri Lankans can help get that message across.”
“An illegal boat journey is as pointless as it is dangerous. There is zero chance of illegal migration to Australia,”