September 25, 2012
Processing centres for asylum seekers will be restarted on Nauru and Manus Island, off PNG. Source: News Limited
THE first Sri Lankan to choose home rather than stay on Nauru has been flown off the island this morning.
The man is understood to have struck a deal with authorities to be returned home after spending several days living in a tent in the isolated Topside camp.
It is understood discussions have taken place between some asylum seekers already on Nauru and authorities about them flying home instead of waiting at the isolated Topside camp to be considered for refugee status.
Earlier this morning, the first Iranian asylum seekers to be processed in Nauru were flown in to the island.
A total of 20 Iranians and four Sri Lankans came in on the latest flight from Christmas Island, bringing the number of asylum seekers brought to Nauru to 120. They have completed immigration formalities and will now be settled into accommodation at a temporary facility.
“The completion of this transfer reaffirms the strong message of deterrence for anyone considering risking their lives on dangerous people smuggling boats,” the department said.
“There will be no advantage for boat arrivals.”
An Australian Air force C-17 aircraft arrives at Nauru airport to bring in more supplies for the ‘Topside’ Processing Centre. Picture: Brad Hunter
It was the fourth plane carrying asylum seekers to arrive in the past two weeks, but this morning’s arrival featured a beefed-up police and security presence.
Police Commissioner Richard Britten, who controlled officers on the tarmac, has said previously that some nationalities and cultures were “more boisterous” than others.
The final asylum seeker to be brought off the plane had a bandaged leg and a walking stick and had to be helped down a flight of stairs at the rear of the aircraft.