Sri Lankan president discusses asylum seekers in Australia

By on May 24, 2017


Sri Lanka's president has met with the Australian prime minister with fighting people-smuggling high on the agenda. (Photo: Maithripala Sirisena/Facebook)
Sri Lanka’s president has met with the Australian prime minister with fighting people-smuggling high on the agenda. (Photo: Maithripala Sirisena/Facebook)

CANBERRA, Australia—Sri Lanka’s president has met with the Australian prime minister with fighting people-smuggling high on the agenda.

President Maithripala Sirisena is making the first visit by a Sri Lankan head of state to Australia. His visit to Canberra and Sydney marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries.

After meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday he’s also scheduled to speak with Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton.

Sri Lankans, Iranians and Afghans are the largest national groups among more than 2,000 asylum seekers who are kept at Australia’s expense on the Pacific island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. But no Sri Lankan asylum seeker has reached Australia by boat since 2013.