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Australia shuts door on Sri Lankan asylum seekers

Australia has said that asylum seekers who come to seek refuge without a visa will not be allowed to settle in the country.
‘Under the new arrangement signed with Papua New Guinea today - the Regional Settlement Arrangement - unauthorised arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there’, an Australian government release has said.
It added that arriving in Australia by boat will no longer mean settlement in Australia.

‘The Australian Government, in partnership with the PNG Government, will support settlement services for those with refugee status, as safe and appropriate accommodation and services are identified,’ the release said.

Facing a serious influx of Sri Lankan asylum seekers arriving on board fishing trawlers, the Australian government has tightened measures to curb them since last year returning more than 1000 of such refugees to Sri Lanka since then.

The Julia Gillard government had also set up off shore asylum application processing centres in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Navy to return the refuge seekers.  Scores of Lankans had been been heading towards Australian shores until now.
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