Team officials force Sri Lankan athletes to and over passports amid asylum fears

Team officials force Sri Lankan athletes to and over passports amid asylum fears

Men, women and children are again risking their lives trying to get to Australia and neighboring India in boats, and trying to enter other countries with the assistance of people smugglers.

Between January and the first week of July, more than 150,000 citizens left the country in search of work as the country entered a period of economic insecurity, according to data from the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau.

Athlete disappearances have plagued both recent Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

At least 230 athletes and officials – the majority of them from Africa – lodged applications for protection visas following the last Games on the Gold Coast in 2018. The overwhelming majority of them were denied.

About a third of the Cameroon team went missing after the event, while Rwanda’s weightlifting coach fled the Games during a toilet break at Carrara Stadium.


It was a major increase on Melbourne 2006, the last time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games, when 40 athletes overstayed their visas.

It is estimated that about 100 athletes and officials filed for asylum after the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Fernando told reporters ahead of the Games it was a “dream” for athletes to take part considering the circumstances at home.

“We have a responsibility to fulfill that dream. Just because we are facing economic crisis… does not mean that we just forget about it,” he said.

Britain is in the midst of a fierce domestic debate about immigration as the government facing a backlash over its attempts to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The Conservative Party leadership contest that will choose the replacement for outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson has sharpened the focus on the number of people crossing the English Channel from France. UK Border Force staff are bracing for the arrival of thousands more people in small boats in the coming months.

The Ministry of Defense said 696 people made the journey in 14 small boats on Monday alone. There were 460 arrivals on Saturday and 247 on Friday, and more than 1000 people crossed last week.

In July, 3683 people crossed from France. The total for this year is believed to be more than 17,000.

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