10 Jan 2008

Sri Lankan refugees still in Australian offshore detention

8:07 am on 10 January 2008

75 Sri Lankans refugees are still held in Australia's detention centre on Nauru more than a month after the new Labor government came to power.

The new government has promised to end the controversial Pacific Solution policy that led to asylum seekers being detained in Nauru.

The Sri Lankans were granted refugee status four months ago, but they are still in offshore detention.

A lawyer representing 27 of the refugees, David Manne, hopes the new government will take action soon.

"The processing is well advanced in relation to the cases to the Sri Lankan refugees in Nauru. What we would hope is that the same common sense and humane approach that was taken in relation to the Burmese refugees in Nauru who were resettled to Australia before Christmas, that the same approach is taken with the Sri Lankans."

David Manne says the Nauru camp has caused suffering and is a waste of taxpayers' money.