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Australia+admits+to+detaining+153+SL+asylum+seekers-Video
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 - 19:42
Australia admits to detaining 153 SL asylum seekers-Video
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The fate of a boatload of Tamil asylum seekers could be undecided for weeks as Australia's High Court considers a legal challenge to Australia's attempts to hand them over to Sri Lanka.

Australia promised last Tuesday to give three days' notice before returning the 153 asylum seekers that include children.

The case, which follows the return on Sunday of 41 other Sri Lankan asylum seekers on a separate boat by Australia, has received international attention amid strong criticism by the United Nations and other human rights groups.

Lawyer Justin Gleeson, acting for Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, said the second group was intercepted 12 miles from Australia and outside the country's migration zone.

They were now on an Australian navy vessel on the high seas.

Australia's undertaking of three days' notice applies only to the possible return of the asylum seekers to Sri Lanka.

They could instead be held on the boat or transferred to offshore holding centres on Australia's Christmas Island and the South Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Army media spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya addressing a media briefing held at the Ministry of defence stated that the Australian government has not officially informed Sri Lanka about the 153 asylum seekers.



 

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