Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, center left, shakes hand with Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison during the handing-over of two Australian patrol vessels to boost the South Asia country's surveillance against illegal migration, in Colombo last month. Pic: AP.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia says more than 150 Sri Lanka asylum seekers have been flown from an Australian immigration detention camp to the Pacific island nation of Nauru after they refused to consider returning to India.

The 157 ethnic Tamil men, women and children had left India in an Indian-flagged ship in late June and were intercepted by an Australian customs vessel.

They spent weeks aboard the customs vessel before they were transferred to the remote detention camp in Western Australia state on July 27 after India agreed to consider taking them back.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday that none would agree to meet with Indian consular officials.

He says the Tamils were flown over Friday night to Nauru where genuine refugees will be resettled.

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.