200 Sri Lankans, mostly Tamil refugees, have agreed to leave the boat on which they have been living since October 2009. The boat has been under guard in the Indonesian port of Merak since it was intercepted by Indonesian authorities at the request of Australia. The boat and its passengers were trying to reach Australia. The migrants have been moved to the Indonesian immigration centre at Tanjung Pinang where their claims for asylum will be assessed by UNHCR. Australia has reportedly been paying the Indonesian government to intercept migrants seeking to sail to Australia. Some of the migrants on the boat recently managed to escape and reportedly used smugglers to reach Australia’s Christmas Island where they are now seeking asylum.
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