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Rohingya refugees: Govt never budged from prescribed procedures

The government yesterday said that it has never deviated from prescribed procedures in dealing with Rohingya refugees.

Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary D. Swarnapala in a release said the government has acted within the legal framework when dealing with the Rohingya refugees.

The statement: "It is observed that numerous groups have been expressing divergent views over the past few days with regard to the situation that has developed in Myanmat and the Rohingya refugees.

"A group of 55 Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar was rescued mid sea by Sri Lankan Navy on March 03,2008 and handed over to the UNHRC. All these refugees have left Sri Lanka in July 2012. In February 2013, the Navy had once again rescued in the mid sea refugees who travelled by two boats - one boat carrying 138 and the other with 32 refugees who were handed over to the UNHRC. They too had left the Island in November 2015.

"On April 30, 2017, the Navy had rescued 30 Rohingyas, including 17 children, seven women and also a pregnant woman faced with danger to life in a boat near Sri Lanka.

They were handed over to the UNHCR after completing the court proceedings related to refugees.

The government has acted within the approved legal framework and never deviated from the prescribed procedures and will act under the previously approved procedure in future too."