Their lives should not end on sunken boats – MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Lankan asylum-seekers

Their lives should not end on sunken boats – MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Lankan asylum-seekers

Written by Bella Dalima

09 Jul, 2014 | 10:22 pm

JVP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake raised a question in Parliament on Tuesday regarding the fate of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers heading to Australia.

He expressed these views:

[quote]Although it is true that these people go in search of other countries in illegal fashion, it cannot be thought that this is a willful choice on their part. They are motivated by the hardships of their lives and dreams of comfortable living. Regardless of all of this, they are not people whose lives should be ending on sunken boats.  Last evening on the news, I saw that the Australian authorities had accepted the truth of this matter. I do not know why they played hide and seek with peoples lives for a week.  Honourable Speaker, I expect that the government will profess to this house, as to whether their exists a procedure for dealing with Sri Lankan migrants, in keeping with agreements signed with Australia.[/quote]

Deputy Minister of External Affair Neomal Perera said:

[quote]Intimation by the Australian authorities to the government of Sri Lanka has been in respect of one boat, originating from Sri Lanka, carrying Sri Lankans, which had been intercepted. The government of Sri Lanka is unable to attribute a reason for an action taken by a third country. A memorandum of understanding has been signed on 7th November 2009, between the government’s of Sri Lanka and Australia, concerning legal co-operation between the two countries against the smuggling of migrants.  The officials of this government meet and discuss matters pertaining to people smuggling on an annual basis.  Then thereafter. Sri Lanka and Australia work in close co-operation, which is an ongoing constructive engagement between two domestic operational agencies, which underlines the commitment to work together, in practical ways, to address people-smuggling issues.[/quote]

 

 

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