A second group of Sri Lankan men left Christmas Island this morning, choosing instead to return to Colombo rather than be sent to Nauru while their claims for asylum were processed.
Australian Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen said that Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof that people smugglers only sell lies and make false promises about what awaits people in Australia.
Bowen said the group of men included two from Nauru, 20 from Christmas Island and six from mainland facilities including Villawood and Yongah Hill.
The transfer came as Australian authorities intercepted an asylum seeker boat carrying 72 people north of the Cocos Islands last afternoon.
The boat was discovered by the Australian Customs vessel, Hervey Bay, about 5 nautical miles offshore.