Do not come to Australia by boat, Sri Lankans warned
ECONOMYNEXT – Australian government officials have warned Sri Lankans to not try to reach Australia by boat, saying a revamped campaign called ‘Zero Chance’ has been launched to block such attempts.
The Commander of Operation Sovereign Boarders, Craig Furini, launched the new campaign which the Australian Government said was to save the lives of many who attempt to illegally migrate by boat.
“I want to send a very clear message today to people smugglers both in Sri Lanka and across the region,” Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton told a news conference at the Australian high commission.
“Australia has had a recent election and the government has been re-elected. However, the law in relation to security is not changed. People smugglers might be telling some of those who seek to come to Australia that the situation has changed, but it hasn’t.”
It was reported recently that 20 illegal immigrants travelling from Sri Lanka on a people smuggling boat were caught and returned on the 29th May 2019.
Before this incident there have been a lull in activity of illegal immigration to Australia, the minister said.
“Sri Lanka’s coast guard, the navy and the police do great work in co-operating on this threat. On the 23rd of May they rescued a vessel in the Indian Ocean that had gotten into distress,” Furini said.
“Fortunately the Sri Lankan Navy managed to rescue 41 Sri Lankan nationals on board. This highlights the real danger behind attempting these journeys.
“Over 1200 people had drowned at sea attempting such journeys,” he said.
(COLOMBO, 04 June, 2019)