15 May '11, 5am

Thailand interested in Australian asylum seeker swap

SYDNEY: Thailand is interested in an asylum seeker deal similar to the one Canberra plans with Malaysia as Prime Minister Julia Gillard reiterated Sunday that new boat people will not be processed in Australia. A week ago Australia announced alterations to its immigration policy designed to break people-smuggling and stem the flood of boats carrying asylum seekers to its shores. Under the changes, Australia has proposed sending 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia for processing and in return it will accept 4,000 people already assessed by the latter to be refugees for resettlement over four years. Despite the Malaysia plan sparking criticism that Australia is returning to a disputed policy of banishing boat people to poor neighbours, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said his country would be interested in a similar deal. "The agreement between Australia and Malaysia on this ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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