Home » Featured, News

Indonesia moves scores of Sri Lankan asylum seekers

[Reuters, Monday, 19 April 2010 12:25 No Comment]

refu_dgd5 Indonesia on Monday transfered over 100 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to a detention centre on the Riau islands near Singapore, officials said.

The Indonesian navy in October intercepted a vessel carrying 260 migrants to Australia, and since then they have been held at Merak port, west of the capital, Jakarta.

Asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and elsewhere have long used Indonesia as a transit point on frequently perilous journeys to Australia, a practise that has caused friction between Jakarta and Canberra.

Earlier this month Australia suspended processing asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, citing improved security in those countries.

The move was criticised by opponents of the policy as an election stunt.

Of the original Sri Lankan boatpeople, two returned home and several others were being held elsewhere after escaping from custody, an official said.

"We will take them to a reception centre at Riau islands province," said Sujatmiko, a senior official at Indonesian foreign ministry.

[Full Coverage]

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

Comments are closed.