Exploited in a crisis: why are Sri Lankans getting on boats bound for Australia? A Sri Lankan asylum seeker boat in 2016. Despite a change in government, Labor has committed to continue the Coalition’s turnback policy. Photograph: Future Publishing/Getty Images Poor and vulnerable people fleeing Sri Lanka are being met by Australian boat turnbacks and ‘enhanced assessments’ that may breach international law Get our free news app; get our morning email briefing “I thought if I travelled to Australia, I could earn more money and lead a better life,” Jayan* says from his modest home, in a coastal village in the north of Sri Lanka. A fisherman by trade and a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, Jayan is familiar with boats and was asked to fix the ageing vessel that was to take him to Australia, alongside a desperate handful of men, women and children. The boat made it ...

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We can’t catch them all: Sri Lankan navy on boats to Australia-By Chris Barrett Source:Theage Singapore: The Sri Lankan navy has been given priority access to fuel on the crisis-hit island as it tries to stop a surge of boats leaving for Australia while conceding it will be difficult to catch them all. The Australian Border Force intercepted at least three vessels from Sri Lanka in the past month, as hundreds tried to flee a devastating economic meltdown, while the Indian Ocean nation’s own navy stopped an additional seven boats, it said on Monday. A picture supplied by the Sri Lankan navy of an alleged asylum seeker boat bound for Australia earlier this month. ...

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirms unauthorised vessel from Sri Lanka has been intercepted   Source:abc.net.au The Prime Minister has used his last appearance before voting closes to confirm an unauthorised vessel from Sri Lanka has been intercepted on its way to Australia. Speaking after casting his ballot in his home electorate of Cook in Sydney, Mr Morrison told journalists reports of an interception were correct. “I can confirm that there’s been an interception of a vessel en route to Australia. That vessel has been intercepted in accordance with the policies of government and they’re following those normal protocols,” he said. “In the interests of full transparency in the middle of an election campaign, the Labor Party was advised of this and a statement has been issued by the border protection authorities.” Minister blames Labor for boat attempts under her watch The Home Affairs Minister, Karen Andrews, told media the interception was the ...

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Defence connections between Australia and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) over the 75 Years by PAUL COONEY Source: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade The geographical location of Sri Lanka, being one of Australia’s  Indian Ocean neighbours has resulted in regular Naval interaction for the  Royal Australian Navy (RAN) through Goodwill Visits and when transiting to or  from the Arabian Sea or Europe via the Suez Canal. The progression of three  HMA Ships Melbourne is a good case study of this. HMAS Melbourne (I) HMAS Melbourne (I) was a Town Class Light Cruiser  introduced into the RAN not long before the declaration of the First World  War and took part in the seizure of the German Pacific possessions. On 9  September 1914, the Melbourne (I) landed a naval party on Nauru Island to  carry out the destruction of the German wireless station, one of the less  well-known battles Australians took part ...

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        “TO THOSE, CONCERNED” – By Des Kelly   A video that essential viewing, especially to all our Sri Lankan friends. This was sent to me, by Charles Schokman, and I thank him for it, on behalf of e’Lanka, all of whose members are hopefully animal-lovers, and would certainly love to watch this superb bit of work carried out by the Sri Lankan Navy, of whom I have  always been proud.  How this incident came about, I haven’t a clue, but this just goes to show what a bit of “caring” can do. Please watch this video folks, and be uplifted.            Desmond Kelly.  (Editor-in-Chief) e’Lanka.     ...

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Sri Lanka faces ‘worst beach pollution’ in history from burning ship Source:-abc Sri Lanka faces an unprecedented pollution crisis as waves of plastic waste from a burning container ship hit the coast and threaten to devastate the local environment, a top environment official warns. Thousands of navy sailors have been using mechanical diggers at beaches to scoop up tonnes of tiny plastic granules that have come from the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, which has been smouldering on the horizon for 10 days. Sri Lanka’s Marine Protection Authority (MEPA) said the microplastic pollution could cause years of ecological damage to the Indian Ocean island. “This is probably the worst beach pollution in our history,” MEPA chairman Dharshani Lahandapura said. The X-Press Pearl, which caught fire as it waited to enter Colombo Harbour, remains anchored just outside the port.(AP: Sri Lanka Air Force) The tiny polyethylene pellets threaten beaches popular with tourists as well as ...

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“ROYAL CEYLON NAVY, THEN, SRI LANKAN NAVY, NOW” – By Des Kelly     1953, in Ceylon, I had just turned 17 years of age, still living with my family at No.38 Lorensz Road, Bambalapitiya, jobless, after just having toured the Island with an English Circus Troupe whose owners wanted to “adopt” me, then take me around the World with them. I was more than happy to go along simply because there is NOTHING more showbizzy than “Circus”,  & I had enjoyed every single minute of my time with them, but although Dad was willing to let me go, Mum refused point blank, to sign the necessary papers, so there it was, her decision was always the final one in our family, but here I WAS,, a grown man, looking for a job, impossible to get, as I wasn’t an University graduate or anything even close to that. This was ...

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Sri Lankan Navy leaves to participate in Australian military exercise   A Sri Lankan navy ship left Trincomalee for Australia yesterday, to participate in a military exercise with 26 other countries, including the United States, Canada and China. The ship, “Sindurala”, carried 150 Sri Lankan navy personnel on board, including 26 officers. It is scheduled to take part in the Naval Exercise KAKADU 2018, being hosted by the Royal Australian Navy. Source: Tamil Guardian According to an official Sri Lankan navy website, the exercise will involve, “a wide range of air and maritime combined naval activities, including humanitarian assistance, disaster response and maritime search and rescue operations”. The latest exercise comes as the Sri Lankan armed forces have been increasing military co-operation with several governments, in particular the United States. Several military exercises have taken place between the two in recent months, despite concerns over Sri Lanka’s history of human rights ...

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