Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the decision to sent 14 people from a hijacked trawler back to Sri Lanka was made by the government on the grounds that they had no entitlement to stay.
He says the federal government was not pressured by Sri Lanka and he also denies that Canberra has been overly secretive over the issue, while the opposition says the boat should never have made it to Australian waters.
One of the 15 people who arrived on the allegedly hijacked fishing trawler Chejan near the Cocos Islands remains, but is expected to be expelled within days.
The 14 asylum seekers left the island on a plane bound for Sri Lanka this afternoon and have been branded pirates by Sri Lanka where they face serious charges after three people are believed to have lost their lives in the take-over of the boat.
Mr Bowen says among those sent home today were three children and a man making his second bid for asylum.
Meanwhile, Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has accused Labor of allowing alleged pirates to enter our waters to make a protection claim.