Australia-bound Lankan refugees rescued as ferry develops snag
Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu): More than 100 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees heading to Australia by a ferry from nearby Karaikal were rescued by Indian Coast Guard personnel when they got stranded in mid-sea off here after their craft developed a snag in the wee hours on Saturday.
The refugees, residing in various places including Tenkasi and Kadayam in southern districts of Tamil Nadu, had last night left Karaikal coast on the illegal voyage to Australia but the ferry developed a snag this morning, officials said.
Acting on information, Coast Guard personnel rescued the refugees and were bringing them back to the shores, they said adding the Lankan Tamils would be arrested for leaving the country illegally.
Several instances of Lankan Tamil refugees leaving the state for Australia seeking asylum and greener pastures, lured by agents, had been reported last year.
The Australian Government had warned that those arriving in that country by boat would not be given asylum and stand to lose opportunities to work and earn. It had also cautioned that it was a long way to travel to Australia by boat and dangerous.
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