Illegal Aussie migration at zero level
Illegal migration from Sri Lanka to Australia has come down to zero
level from October 2013 due to the steps taken by Sri Lanka and
Australia at individual and bilateral level, Navy Commander Vice Admiral
Jayanath Colombage said yesterday.
It has been reported that not a single Sri Lankan would-be refugee or
irregular migration by sea has reached Australian territory since
October last year, he said.
“The surveillance carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy and intelligence
gathering by the Sri Lanka state intelligence services and the Sri Lanka
Navy and the collaborations we experienced with the Australian Navy and
the Australian Border Protection Force and the tightening of laws in
Australia has contributed towards this end”, he said.
“However, we are not relaxing surveillance in our waters as human
smugglers would switch to other methods to send people to Australia
illegally”. The Navy Commander said that Australia has launched a new
military-led campaign called Operation Sovereign Borders to prevent
anyone reaching Australia and the Australian Navy, Coast Guards and
Customs are involved in it.
“At present there is a joint working group between the two countries
which discusses various matters to stop human smuggling and Australia
has provided us with technical assistance to carry out surveillance and
“They will give us two patrol boats in the near future to strengthen
our deep sea surveillance capability”, he said.
He said investigations on illegal migration rackets carried out by
the CID and the police, had also contributed to the drop.
“Allegations have also been levelled at some Navy personnel as well.
Hence, we have permitted the police to carry out investigations and
four Naval personnel are under police custody and the normal law of the
country will take its course, he said.