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Continued: Rudd says asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat will now be sent to Papua New Guinea

  • Article by: ROD MCGUIRK , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 19, 2013 - 8:35 AM

Australia is PNG's former colonial master and is now its largest source of foreign aid. In return for accepting the refugees, Rudd said Australia will redevelop a hospital in PNG's second largest city and reform the country's university sector.

The new policy echoes that of a previous Australian government that in 2001 also pledged that asylum seekers who arrived by boat would never be accepted by Australia. That policy all but stopped the asylum seeker traffic.

Some refugees spent years in an Australian-run detention camp on the tiny Pacific atoll of Nauru before Australia eventually resettled them because no other country would.

A protest by 150 asylum seekers on Nauru turned violent Friday with several demonstrators and their guards injured, Australia's Immigration Department said in a statement.

The department said the unrest was unrelated to the new policy, which was announced later.

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