Saturday, 28 June 2014 - 13:02
Indian newspaper says boat with Sri Lankan refugees in distress: Australia denies report
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has refused to confirm claims by refugee activists that a boat carrying Tamil asylum seekers off the coast of Christmas Island is in trouble.
Refugee activists said the 21m boat carrying 153 asylum seekers, which left from India, had sprung an oil leak and was 250km from Christmas Island.
Morrison said there were no significant incidents at sea to report.
India’s the Hindu newspaper said that a boat with 153 refugees from Sri Lanka on board is in trouble 250 km from Christmas Island.
Passengers have spoken to reporters in Australia, saying the boat left from India two weeks ago and contains 32 women and 37 children and they are mostly Tamils from Sri Lanka.
Australia follows a strict policy against illegal immigrants and no longer provides residency to such persons.