Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced a boost for Sri Lanka's spy network and closer maritime ties to help target people smuggling rackets there.
Senator Carr is in Colombo for talks with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Under a plan announced on Monday, Australia will give Sri Lanka extra surveillance and search and rescue equipment.
AAP reports Australia will also host a joint training programme on maritime surveillance for Sri Lankan naval officers.
"There is a message from these talks to people in Sri Lanka - by getting on that boat you risk your life, you'll lose your money and you will be sent back home," Senator Carr said in Colombo on Monday.
There has been a surge in the numbers of migrants from Sri Lankan undertaking asylum seeker boat journeys to Australia in recent years.
AAP reports there will also be a $A700,000 advertising campaign targeting Sri Lankan towns and villages identified as people smuggling hot spots.
"We're setting a clear agenda for intelligence sharing, naval co-operation and helping rebuild Sri Lanka - all designed to reduce people smuggling," said Senator Carr.
Australia hopes to cut demand for economic migration with a $A45 million programme, over five years, to help rebuild houses and schools in poor rural communities, Senator Carr said.
Senator Carr said co-operation this year had disrupted 65 smuggling ventures involving 2900 people and led to the involuntary return of more than 700 Sri Lankans since August.