1 Oct 2012

More asylum seekers opt to head home

6:21 am on 1 October 2012

Another group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers has asked to be sent home rather than risk Australia sending them to an offshore processing facility.

Australia's Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the group consisted of 28 men who arrived both before and after the new processing arrangements for Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island were announced in August.

He said the men have come from detention centres on Nauru and Christmas Island as well as mainland facilities including Villawood and Northam, the ABC reports.

Earlier this month another group of Sri Lankans opted to head home rather than be sent to Nauru.

Meanwhile, the Australian Department of Immigration has confirmed 52 boats and nearly 3,200 passengers have been intercepted since the new processing arrangements came into force.

It has also confirmed more than 300 asylum seekers were intercepted from three boats in Australian waters on Friday.

150 asylum seekers have now been taken to Nauru under the new policy.