Australia opposition ‘hypocritical’ on Sri Lanka
Sydney: Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith has called the opposition’s call to deport all Sri Lankan asylum seekers ‘extraordinary’ and ‘hypocritical’.
The opposition has urged the government to reach an agreement with Sri Lanka for the immediate return of people intercepted en route to Australia.
According to news.com.au, in a joint statement, opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop and immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said: “Sri Lankans who made it through should be immediately sent back to Sri Lanka, without setting foot on Australian soil”.
The call came after Australian authorities intercepted a boat carrying 81 suspected asylum seekers apparently from Sri Lanka, north-northwest of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands on Saturday, the report said.
“Firstly, the suggestion is in breach of the Refugee Convention and in breach of international law,” Smith said.
“Secondly, this is the political party who said that they couldn’t authorise the Malaysian arrangement because Malaysia was not a party to the refugee convention”, Smith said, adding: “So I find it both ‘extraordinary’ and ‘hypocritical’.”
Latest Headlines in Sri Lanka
- Asian Games 2023: India women bag Gold medal in cricket September 25, 2023
- Sachithra Senanayake granted bail September 25, 2023
- Wanindu Hasaranga likely to miss ICC World Cup due to hamstring injury – report September 25, 2023
- Sri Lanka receives USD 890,000 interim compensation for damages by X-Press Pearl September 24, 2023
- Sri Lanka pays off $200 million loan from Bangladesh with $4.5 million interest September 24, 2023