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Australia, Sri Lanka combat people smuggling

Australia, Sri Lanka combat people smuggling article image
A visit to Sri Lanka by Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith earlier this week has resulted in both countries pledging to combat people smuggling, the financing of terrorism and related organised criminal activities. A statement from Smith's department read: "People smuggling remains a high priority transnational issue for source, transit and destination countries in our region. It presents a threat to the integrity of border security processes and procedures and undermines the ability of States to manage migration in a regular and orderly manner including in situations of humanitarian need. We note that people smugglers and people smuggling syndicates work without regard for human safety or national legal frameworks." Australia and Sri Lanka have jointly committed enhance cooperation against the criminal organisers of the people smuggling trade, encourage regional cooperation on the matter and "undertake a public information campaign to alert Sri Lankan citizens to the dangers of maritime people smuggling". While internal conflict in Sri Lanka officially ceased earlier this year, the large number of displaced civilians has made resettlement, and the post-conflict process of reconciliation, difficult for the government.

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