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”.