Published: Thu, June 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Aussie home minister lays wreath at bombed Sri Lanka church

Aussie home minister lays wreath at bombed Sri Lanka church

Australian Home Minister Peter Dutton, center, talks with Catholic priest Shameera Rodrigo during his visit to the St. Sebastian's church, one of the sites of Easter Sunday attacks in Negombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, June 3, 2019.

The UN refugee agency, a fierce critic of Australia's policy, said on Monday it was seeking clarification from Canberra on the return of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka.

The Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders Major General Craig Furini launched the new campaign prevented at preventing irregular migrants from attempting to reach Australia by sea, named "Zero Tolerance".

"As these events show, Australia cooperates closely with partner countries to end the unsafe crime of maritime people smuggling - both before and after boats actually take to the water".

Through this campaign the Australian Government will continue to raise awareness of the dangers, consequences and utter pointlessness of attempting an illegal boat voyage to Australia.

Since the implementation of Australia's toughest-ever border protection measures in 2013, the country has intercepted and turned back or returned 847 people from 35 people smuggling ventures, including more than 165 Sri Lankan nationals.

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Before laying the wreath, Dutton spoke with priests and observed the reconstruction of the church, where two Australians of Sri Lankan origin were among those killed.

"Australia has just held a recent election and the Government has been re-elected". However, the law in relation to security is not changed.

It was reported recently that 20 illegal immigrants travelling from Sri Lanka on a people smuggling boat were caught and returned on the 29th May 2019. The press conference was organised to announce that the Operation Sovereign Borders has been re-vamped.

Upon his arrival, the Australian Home Affairs Minister will visit the St. Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya, one of the churches targeted by the terrorists who set off bombs on Easter Sunday.

But Mr Dutton was quick to respond by attacking Labor's record on people smugglers.

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