Australia intercepts boat with 73 Sri Lankans: report

July 12, 2009 (LBO) – Australia has intercepted a boat with 73 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have now been transferred to a detention centre in Christmas Island, a media report said.

Authorities were now trying to find out why they made the voyage, the report said. The Age newspaper said many women and children were among the boat people.

A multi-day fishing boat carrying the group was spotted by Customs and Border Protection aircraft about 80 miles from Christmas Island and was intercepted by an Australian navy patrol boat, The Age said.

The newspaper said authorities had expected “that many Sri Lankans would try to reach Australia and other countries after the fierce fighting on their home island in which government forces crushed the Tamil Tigers’ insurgency.”