Sri Lankan asylum seekers fly to AustraliaBy AP News Jul 28, 2014 6:53PM UTC
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A group of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers that languished on board an Australian customs vessel for weeks have been temporarily brought to a detention center on Australia’s mainland where their identities will be determined by Indian officials.
They were aboard an Indian-flagged ship when they were intercepted by an Australian customs vessel in late June.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday all the asylum seekers had been flown overnight from Cocos Islands, an Australian Indian Ocean territory midway between Sri Lanka and Australia, to the Curtin Detention Center in Western Australia state.
Indian High Commissioner to Australia Biren Nanda says India has agreed to take back any of its citizens that might be on board, and will consider taking back Indian residents who may be Sri Lankan citizens.