20 Mar 2007

Nauru wants Australia to process Sri Lankan asylum seekers in 6 months

1:27 pm on 20 March 2007

The Nauru government has told Australia that the latest group of 83 Sri Lankan boat people should leave the island within six months.

The Nauru cabinet has agreed to allow Australia to process them on the island, but says this needs to be done within six months after previous asylum seekers spent years in detention centres on Nauru.

A spokesperson for Kevin Andrews, the Australian Immigration Minister, says the government cannot comment on its bilateral relations with other countries.

The spokesperson however adds the processing will be done as quickly as possible in accordance with its conventions on a case by case basis.

She adds the boat people will be allowed to apply for asylum while on Nauru and will be permitted to hire a lawyer.