Ausy to address root cause of illegal immigration

Australia wishes to develop mechanisms to address the root cause of illegal immigration from Sri Lanka to Australia, The head of Australia’s operation to combat illegal maritime migration, Major General Craig Furini said.

Furini expressed these sentiments at a meeting held with  the Sri Lanka Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday with regard to recent escalation  of people-smuggling ventures to Australia since May, 2019.

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha expressed Sri Lanka’s fullest support to Australia in curtailing human-smuggling operations originating from Sri Lankan shores.

“Sri Lanka and Australia have re-dedicated themselves to Australia counter people smuggling and discussed in detail avenues for strengthening cooperation to address the recent escalation  of people-smuggling ventures to Australia.” the Foreign ministry said.

Aryasinha also stressed the need to jointly develop sustainable and long-term strategies including targeted campaigns to change the public perception and to educate Sri Lankans on the risks involved in irregular migration.

Major General Furini noted that with the setting up of ‘Operation Sovereign Borders Policy’ in September 2013, there has been “zero chance” in reaching Australia by boat, as all illegal migrants by sea have been returned to their countries of origin.