Sri Lanka boat people give up | Bangkok Post: news

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Sri Lanka boat people give up

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A group of Sri Lankans have chosen to return to their homeland rather than apply for asylum in Australia, where they faced being sent to a Pacific island for processing, the government said Saturday. 

Canberra has begun sending boatpeople to the tiny state of Nauru, and intends to ship others to Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, as a disincentive to stem a record number of arrivals making the dangerous sea journey to Australia.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said 16 Sri Lankan men who were eligible to be sent offshore were voluntarily returning home and left on a flight from Christmas Island to Colombo on Saturday.

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