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Wednesday, 18 July 2012 - 8:04
Asylum seekers spark political deadlock down under
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A fierce political deadlock remains in Australia despite the arrival of more than 170 suspected asylum seekers in Australian waters in the last 24 hours.

The latest arrivals come as an independent expert panel led by former Defence Force head Angus Houston meets with MPs in Canberra today to discuss the asylum seeker dilemma.

Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison exchanged barbs yesterday over the effectiveness of the United Nations convention on refugees.

Morrison said Sri Lanka is stopping boats leaving their shores and the United States coast guard is stopping boats coming to their shores.

Morrison highlighted that over the past few days, Sri Lankan authorities have arrested more than 170 suspected asylum seekers trying to get to Australia by boat.

Sri Lankan high commissioner Admiral Samarasingha commenting on the issue said that it is a factor for the Australian government and the navy to decide.

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