Feb 05 (Australian) A COALITION government would greatly enhance the intelligence-sharing arrangements with Sri Lanka, providing Colombo with more information on the backgrounds of arriving asylum-seekers.
In what would amount to a significant deepening on the operational relationship between the two countries, opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said he would seek to bolster the presence of the Australian Federal Police and Customs and Border Protection in Sri Lanka, while providing more data on arriving boatpeople.
Mr Morrison said the Liberals would provide "generic" information about asylum-seekers including where the boats left from, the origins of the passengers and the name of the smuggler.
The purpose would be to enable Sri Lankan authorities to disrupt the smuggling syndicates.
Mr Morrison said Australian officials would stop short of naming individuals on boats -- a move that that could endanger the lives of asylum-seekers, or relatives back home, but he said the present arrangements, where Australia provided virtually no information to Colombo, was a "one-way street".
"We understand there is sensitivity about people's specific information, but that doesn't mean it should operate as a one-way street," Mr Morrison told The Australian.
"Intelligence sharing should be a two-way street, but obviously respecting some information that would always have to remain confidential because of our obligations."
The Sri Lankan government has long been privately frustrated at the uneven nature of the intelligence-sharing arrangement with Australia.