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Thursday, 03 May 2012 - 9:22
Australian Immigration Minister under pressure by rights groups
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Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen who is currently in Sri Lanka has been under pressure from rights groups to ask Sri Lanka about its treatment of political activists and asylum-seekers.

More than 30 activists have disappeared since October, and some asylum-seekers deported from Australia and Britain say they were detained and tortured by police.

Bowen says he'll raise these issues in private discussions during his scheduled visit but he says those returned from Australia are safe, because they have been found not to be genuine refugees.

Meanwhile, the visiting minister met Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem this morning and also held discussions with Attorney General Eva Wanasundara.

The Ministry of External Affairs also confirmed that the visiting minister will meet Deputy Minister Neomal Perera and discuss matters pertaining to Australian migration and citizenship.

An aviation agreement will also be signed this evening while the minister will hold a special press briefing as well.

The External Affairs Ministry also noted that the Australian Minister will meet Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapakse tomorrow.

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