The Australian Foreign Minister is in town primarily to look into ways of preventing the record number of boat people from Sri Lanka attempting to reach Australia in 2012. The SL Govt. claims to have also prevented 3,000 from leaving, by catching them before and while they were on the high seas.
All ethnicities are involved, and it has nothing to do with Education per se. Those who have good A levels are the most frustrated in their employment search in Sri Lanka, and so arguably spending money on Education will add to the their problem!! NOT REDUCE IT
People hear stories of Australia being the Country where you can be laid back and earn a packet! So whoever you are educated or not they try to emigrate, legally or illegally. The stories are legendary of people who go there and within months are very comfortable. I do not know how much is true, but it is believed. So parents sell everything to pay people smugglers to take their children there hoping their offspring, usually a son, will make it big and then send them a ticket too!!
For Sri Lankans seeing so many lotus eaters in the land(Sri Lanka), who do little and have a good life, those who don’t have that life, feel it is not achievable for them here and wish to go somewhere where they feel that likelihood is greater.
You cannot stop this urge and education will not stop it, only the opportunities for advancement in this land, by getting a job with prospects is the only possibility. After all it is the most enterprising that leave, not the most desperate!!! The people willing to risk their lives for a better life are the ones who leave, and actually they are the ones that Australia will benefit from as they are entrepreneurial and WILL contribute immensely to the Australian Economy too.
Granted the one we lose who have a good education and skills, go to Australia the legal way as legal emigrants, straight into jobs in Australia as their skills are in demand. So the paltry US$40M does not begin to touch the annual human resource value of these legal migrants, which I believe is AID worth about US$500M a year to Australia from Sri Lanka. One must bear in mind this perspective.
All Australia wants to do is CHOOSE who they want. So, if they want to deter the boat people, they must WITHOUT exception, deport them as soon as they arrive, whatever the international treaties say, and within 6 months this problem WILL sort itself out. So don’t add to your woes solve your problem, its not ours.