More voluntary returns to Sri Lanka
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship confirmed six more Sri Lankan men returned home voluntarily today.
Five of the men were transferred from Nauru to the 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.
“The six men chose to return home voluntarily,” a departmental spokesman said.
This follows the voluntary return of eight Sri Lankans at the weekend, five from Christmas Island on Saturday and three from Perth on Sunday.
The spokesman said transfers of boat arrivals to Nauru have continued and more would follow in the 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.
This brings to 767 the number of Sri Lankans who have returned home – both voluntarily and involuntarily – since August 13 when the government announced irregular maritime arrivals would be liable for transfer to regional processing facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
People in a regional processing centre or immigration detention can request their removal from Australia at any point in time.
Those who choose to depart voluntarily can be provided with individual reintegration support to assist with their sustainable return, through the International Organization for Migration.
Reintegration packages are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on need and eligibility.
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