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Sri Lankan navy detains 67 asylum seekers, including children, in Trincomalee

The Sri Lankan navy reportedly detained 67 people who had attempted to flee the island by boat in Trincomalee on Monday.

According to an official navy report, “Fast Attack Craft P 483 and P 415 attached to the 4th Fast Attack Flotilla in the Eastern Naval Command were deployed in a search operation and the SLN units intercepted a suspicious local multiday fishing trawler in seas off Trincomalee”.

In total, 45 men, 7 women and 4 children were detained. The youngest child was just 3 years old.

The Sri Lankan navy went on to add that the detained had come from Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Puttalam, Ampara, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Colombo.

Last week, a group of 40 people from Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya, were arrested in a joint operation by Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force and navy, as they also attempted to flee the island.

Australian authorities also confirmed that they had sent back a group of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka last week, after their vessel was intercepted by Australian security forces.

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