Sri Lankan men abandon asylum claims to return home

ANOTHER group of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers decided to return home rather than wait to have their claims processed on Nauru.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship confirmed six more Sri Lankan men returned home voluntarily on Thursday.

Five of the men were transferred from Nauru to the Australian mainland before departing Perth for Colombo on a commercial flight. They were joined by another Sri Lankan man who had been detained in Western Australia.

It follows the voluntary return of eight Sri Lankans at the weekend, five from Christmas Island on Saturday and three from Perth on Sunday, and brings to 767 the number of Sri Lankans who have returned home - both voluntarily and involuntarily - since August 13 when the government announced it was reopening processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island.

A department spokesman said transfers of boat arrivals to Nauru have continued and more would follow in coming weeks.

"Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof there is no advantage engaging with people smugglers," the spokesman said.


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