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Saturday, 22 September 2012 - 12:54
Eighteen Sri Lankan male asylum seekers sent home
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Eighteen Sri Lankan male asylum seekers have been sent home after refusing to be transferred to the offshore processing centre on Nauru, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says.

Mr Bowen says the Sri Lankans left Christmas Island for Colombo on Saturday after asking to be sent home instead of being sent to the Pacific island for the processing of their claims as asylum seekers.

The first group to be sent for offshore processing since new asylum seeker laws were enacted were transferred from Christmas Island to Nauru on September 14.

Australia has reopened the processing centre at Nauru and is soon to reopen Papua New Guinea's Manus Island as part of the federal government's policy to stem the number of boat arrivals.

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