FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr will travel to Sri Lanka on Friday to  discuss trade ties, tourism and efforts to disrupt people smuggling.

The three-day trip will be Senator Carr’s first visit to the south Asian  nation as a minister and will include discussions on Australia’s aid assistance  to Sri Lanka, a spokesman for the minister told AAP on Tuesday. People smuggling will also be on the agenda. Sri Lankan authorities have in the past 12 months disrupted 69 people  smuggling operations involving 2900 people who were intending to come to  Australia, the spokesman said. Meanwhile, HMAS Larrakia intercepted a boat carrying 57 suspected asylum  seekers and two crew on Monday night, north of Ashmore Islands The opposition’s immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said asylum seeker  boats were continuing to arrive in record numbers “even with the onset of the  monsoon season where conditions are perilous and the risk of taking boat  journeys to Australia intensifies”. AAP ]]>

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