Home » Featured, Headline, News

Tamil Tigers asylum accusations rejected – SBS

[MISC, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 12:52 No Comment]

site_1_rand_2039891457_detention_2611_b_a Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor has rejected claims some Sri Lankan boat people detained on Christmas Island are former Tamil Tigers who could pose a security risk.

Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia, Senaka Walgampaya, has spoken of his suspicions that former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels are among recent illegal boat arrivals.

It has been claimed some of the recent arrivals raised suspicions because they had injuries consistent with having been involved in conflict, including shrapnel wounds.

‘Trying to infiltrate’

"I have in fact informed (the Department of Immigration and Citizenship) also that there is a really strong possibility that the (LTTE) combatants, the LTTE cadres, will try to infiltrate, will try to come to Australia," Mr Walgampaya told The Australian newspaper.

However, Mr O’Connor says checks of illegal arrivals during the past 12 months had uncovered no people considered to be security risks.

"There are no adverse security findings that have been made in relation to the irregular maritime arrivals that have arrived since September last year," Mr O’Connor told Fairfax Radio Network on Tuesday.

He said there was a comprehensive security and identity checking process in place and no person would be provided with a visa if there was a question mark about security issues.

Assessment process defended

"We have a very rigorous assessment (process).

"Once a boat is intercepted and taken to Christmas Island there are health checks, there are identity checks and there are also security checks.

"And they are rigorous because we want to ensure that we do everything we possibly can to maintain the integrity of our borders and the integrity of our immigration system."

The opposition says the recent surge in illegal boat arrivals is because the Rudd government has gone soft on border security.

Unrest ‘increasing arrivals’

But Mr O’Connor maintains the influx is due mainly to push factors caused by conflict and unrest.

"We’ve maintained the mandatory detention, we’ve maintained the process of having people intercepted and brought to Christmas Island, we believe in a strong, robust system," he said.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.