Rudd says will review ban on Lankan, Afghan asylum seekers

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Brisbane, Apr.11 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said the freeze on refugee claims by Sri Lankan and Afghans can be revisited and reviewed, but for now, would remain in place.

"It is a matter of suspension being enforced as of now, which means it will be reviewed in the case of one group over a three-month point and a second group, at a six-month point," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Rudd, as saying.

"The reason for that is based on information concerned with the changing security circumstances in the country of origins. Our obligations are to deal with genuine asylum seekers, and those who are not genuine asylum seekers, we send them back to their countries of origin," he added.

Sri Lankans and Afghans comprise 80 per cent of all boat arrivals, for three and six months respectively.

Rudd's stand came as a Customs vessel intercepted a boat carrying asylum seekers on Sunday morning northwest of Browse Island off the West Australian coast.

Initial reports said there are 25 passengers and two crew on board. (ANI)

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