Australian officials refuse to confirm that boat with SL asylum-seekers is in trouble

Australian officials refuse to confirm that boat with SL asylum-seekers is in trouble

Written by Bella Dalima

28 Jun, 2014 | 7:55 pm

Australian media has reported on a group of passengers who claim to be Sri Lankan refugees that are on board a leaking vessel nearly 250 kilometres off the coast of Christmas Island.

However, Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison has refused to confirm that a vessel carrying asylum seekers is in trouble off the coast of Christmas Island.

The vessel carrying 153 asylum seekers had departed Pondicherry on June 13.

Passengers on board the vessel are believed to be Sri Lankan refuges who sought refuge in South India.According to Australian media reports there are 37 children and 32 women on board the 72 foot long blue hulled fishing boat. Media reports also noted that the vessel had sprung an oil leak around 250km away from Christmas Island.

No vessel carrying asylum seekers has successfully reached Australian shores since the 19th of December 2013.The boat will likely post a major challenge to the Australian government’s turn back policy as it had not departed from Indonesia.

Earlier vessels carrying illegal migrants that departed from Indonesia for Christmas Island were towed back to Indonesia by Australian authorities ..

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison commenting on the issue has stated that there had been “no significant events involving extreme risk of safety for life at sea”

Australian Premier Tony Abbot reacted to these reports in this manner

Meanwhile, Australian Greens immigration Spokeswoman Sarah Hanson Young says that the government must take steps to help the asylum seekers get to shorre safely

The Administration of Primer Tony abbot has taken numerous steps to prevent illegal migrants from entering Australia.

Sri Lanka received two bay class patrol ships as a part of this effort to curb illegal migrants from taking the risky journey to Christmas Island through the sea.

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