Australia-Malaysia transfer arrangement :
Illegal entrants to Aust. face transfer to Malaysia
The Sri Lanka Navy yesterday reiterated its advice to Sri Lankans not
to fall prey to human smugglers trying to traffic people into Australia
by sea as new regulations are in force to take the number of illegal
asylum seekers to zero level.
According to Navy Spokesman, Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya, any
attempt by human smugglers to smuggle people into Australia will make
them end up in Malaysia under the Cooperative Transfer Arrangement
signed by the governments of Australia and Malaysia.
He said any person who arrives in Australia illegally by sea will be
transferred to Malaysia for the determination of their refugee status.
Commander Warnakulasuriya added that these illegal persons would be
sent to the back of the asylum seeking queue and will not be given any
resettlement priority. The Australian government recently announced this
new arrangement as part of a Regional Cooperation Framework that will
help put the people smugglers out of business and prevent asylum seekers
making perilous journeys to Australia by boats.
The Australian High Commission in release said that the Government of
Australia worked closely with the neighbouring countries including Sri
Lanka to deliver an agreement for a Regional Cooperation Framework
through the recent Bali Process Ministerial Conference attended by
Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem. The High Commission said Australia is
also engaged in ongoing talks with Papua New Guinea about the
establishment of a refugee assessment centre as part of this framework.