Australia, Sri Lanka to cooperate on people smuggling issues

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 21:01 GMT]
“The Australian Government is appreciative of Sri Lanka’s cooperation on people smuggling issues and we wish to emphasise the importance Australia places on working with regional partners to combat irregular migration and people smuggling” Senator Evans said, according to a press statement issued by the Australian High Commission in Colombo Friday. Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, visited Sri Lanka from 22 to 24 July and was accompanied by Australia’s Ambassador for People Smuggling issues, Peter Woolcott.

In a series of high-level meetings, Senator Evans discussed Australia’s interest in continuing to work closely with Sri Lanka to address issues relating to irregular migration and people smuggling, including disruption of people smuggling ventures, the release added.

“The Australian Government is appreciative of Sri Lanka’s cooperation on people smuggling issues and we wish to emphasise the importance Australia places on working with regional partners to combat irregular migration and people smuggling” Senator Evans said.

Discussions also covered the situation of civilians displaced by recent fighting in the north of Sri Lanka. Senator Evans welcomed the Sri Lankan Government’s commitment to move quickly to re-settle this population and reiterated Australia’s commitment to help affected civilians.

Australia has provided A$ 24.5 million to support relief efforts since December 2008.

 

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