Australian authorities have intercepted another boat carrying Sri Lankan asylum seekers close to the Cocos Islands.
According to Australian media reports, the Royal Australian Navy helped intercept the boat after the vessel they were travelling aboard was burnt close to the Cocos Islands.
It is not known how many passengers were onboard or if they are part of a group of 42 asylum seekers to have left Sri Lanka for Australia in May.
The latest interception comes one week after Australian Border officers stopped a second boat travelling from Sri Lanka.
The vessel left Sri Lanka on the 21st of May with 15 men aged between 20 to 30-years-old on board.
During the dangerous journey, the fishing trawler’s engine had stalled, leaving them drifting in the ocean before it was intercepted by Australian officers on June 6 or 7 under Operation Sovereign Borders.
The group was then taken to Christmas Island where all individuals were processed and sent back on a government-chartered plane.
They were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department at the airport.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended the federal government’s messaging around border policy amid fresh questions about how Australia is working to deter people smugglers.
Shadow Immigration Minister Dan Tehan has asked the Albanese government to send a minister to Sri Lanka to sort out the situation.
He has said, “Let’s take a proactive step, let’s get over there and let’s see what we can do working with them to stop these boats from coming in the future.”