Scott Morrison Confirms Dick Move, Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Were Sent Back At Sea

A couple of days ago we covered the speculation concerning the fate of two boats containing Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers that had reportedly been intercepted at sea. Reports from the media suggested that the people on board both boats had their applications for asylum processed via videolink, and were asked a grand total of four questions before their case was rejected and both boat’s occupants subsequently handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy. Today, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison confirms those reports for one of the boats, with the fate of the second boat still bewilderingly not known.

In a statement, Morrison reveals that 41 Asylum Seekers – which he referred to as “potential illegal Maritime arrivals” – were processed at sea, and subsequently sent back to Sri Lanka. Only one asylum seeker’s case was approved, but they chose to return to Sri Lanka with the other seekers. The fate of the other boat, reportedly carrying a further 153 Asylum Seekers, was not addressed.
The Abbott Government sends these people back to Sri Lanka, despite Australia officially condemning Sri Lanka for supposed practices of abduction and torture, and lapses in human rights. At the recent United Nations Universal Periodic Review – in which member nations have their human rights records assessed by fellow members – Australia recommended to Sri Lanka the following:
Take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abductions and disappearances; take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abuse, torture or mistreatment by police and security forces; and take action to facilitate greater participation by citizens and civil society in helping to implement human rights action plans.
It’s this stance that makes the arm’s length treatment of this particular batch of asylum seekers all the more troubling, particularly given the complete lack of transparency the Government has afforded the Australian public on the issue.
Meanwhile, former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has been scathing in his assessment of the situation, posting the following to Twitter:


When even Malcolm Fraser is not on your side, perhaps its time to reassess your own policies.
Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty Images.