Sept 02 (ABC) The Coalition says the Federal Government should no longer grant refugee status to people from Sri Lanka because the country's civil war is over.
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop says many Sri Lankan asylum seekers turn out to be economic migrants, not refugees.
She says Sri Lankan asylum seekers should be deported before they get access to Australia's legal system.
"Sri Lanka is already making a significant effort by preventing many boats from leaving their shores, however those who make it through should be the subject to an immediate arrangement to be transferred back to Sri Lanka without coming to Australia," Ms Bishop said.
"There is an extremely high rejection rate for Sri Lankan asylum seekers with the vast majority proving to be economic migrants.
"But once they are in Australia they can pursue their claims for asylum through our courts regardless of the merit."
Ms Bishop was speaking after it was revealed Indonesian police were holding around 50 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, including seven children, whose boat broke down on the way to Australia.
The 50 Sri Lankan asylum seekers were discovered adrift by fisherman near the Mentawai Islands. After nine days at sea, they were dehydrated and hungry.
They told their rescuers they were fleeing violence in Sri Lanka and and had hoped to reach Australia.
The fishermen towed them ashore where they were given food, water and medical attention and handed over to police.