Daily Mirror-10th November 2009
By Dianne Silva
Australia and Sri Lanka today signed an agreement to combat human smuggling which included setting up a national level focal point in Sri Lanka to deal with the issue. The agreement was signed with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith a short while ago.
Speaking to reporters in Colombo this evening the Australian Foreign Minister said that both Sri Lanka and Australia are faced with an immense challenge to counter human smuggling and both countries believe they can do more to address the issue.
“Combating people smuggling requires long term commitment,” the Australian Foreign Minister said adding that two of his officials who accompanied him to Sri Lanka will remain here to further discuss the issue.
Meanwhile speaking to reporters Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, stated that during talks between Australia and Sri Lanka today both countries had also discussed the resettlement of displaced people in the north as well as steps to counter LTTE activities in Australia .
Asked why Australia has not banned the LTTE in Australia Mr. Smith said that Australia has already taken steps to deal with the LTTE under Australian law and under the UN system.