SRI Lanka's high commissioner to Australia says turning boats back to his country will deter asylum seekers from making the journey to Australia.
Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe says asylum seekers will be forced to find other ways of getting to Australia if their boats are prevented from leaving Sri Lankan waters.
"Turning the boats around will deter people," he told ABC Radio on Monday.
"They know that they can't leave Sri Lankan soil."
Admiral Samarasinghe's comments came after a boat carrying 109 suspected asylum seekers en route to Australia was intercepted by the Sri Lankan navy off the island's eastern coast on Saturday.