ASYLUM SEEKER ARRIVES
ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND
One Asylum Seeker arrival has been reported today. Morrison&Minion have turned public speaking into a farce.
The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD is reporting that “For the first time in almost six weeks an asylum seeker coming to Australia by boat has been taken onto Christmas Island. In a statement on Friday afternoon, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison revealed only that the asylum seeker was suffering from a “heart condition” and was taken to Christmas Island for ‘urgent medical treatment’.” – - – - - “The asylum seeker arrived on the island for medical treatment at about 2.30pm on Friday, Mr Morrison said. The minister only learned of the arrival after a hostile Senate inquiry into his military-led operation to stop asylum seekers reaching Australia by boat.”
There is an unconfirmed report that the transfer was made by a Geraldton-based helicopter. @suemazzy (who tipped me off about todays events) has raised the questions, “Was it during a confrontation, are there other family members, if so will they be allowed to go to CI. will the tow back to Indon continue. It is just so terrible .”
This lends credence to the earlier information reported below.
A DOUBLE TURN AROUND?
Nick Butterly from the Canberra Bureau of the West Australian has reported, “Border Protection Service officials will attempt to turn back two asylum seeker boats making the voyage to Australia – a move that could further inflame relations with Indonesia.
The West Australian understands Customs was yesterday moving to intercept two asylum boats on their way to Australian waters. Australian officials have been instructed to turn or tow back the boats, if possible.“
The Customs vessels involved are probably the “Lifeboat Mother” Ocean Protector and the leased trimarine ACV Triton. A little about “Australian Customs Vessel Triton has been fitted with two .50 calibre heavy machine guns and carries up to 28 armed customs officers. The ship arrived from the UK in mid-January 2007 and started operations immediately It is reported that ACV Triton has been modified to provide additional accommodation at the expense of ballast, which has apparently reduced the vessel’s inherent stability.”
Both vessels have been off the radar for several weeks and the assumption has been that they have formed a small “On-Water” Customs post. The West article also confirms my list of 6 vessels returned since December 13th. The use of Custom Vessels in this manouvre indicates a change in OSB attitude. Perhaps a hope that a Custom’s incursion into Indonesian waters will not incur quite as much wrath. I think there will be bad news if it does happen!
To keep the record of these two possible vessels, they are being added to the “arrivals page“. Adjustments will be made as necessary.
SPECIAL MESSAGE TO MINISTER MORRISON
Just because tou have succeeded in pushing, herding or towing asylum seekers away from Australian territory and back to Indonesian waters does NOT entitle you to claim that the boats have been stopped! Please stop lying and using deceptive language.
INDONESIAN NEWS REPORTS
Australia continues to excite Indonesian interest, mostly with regards to the Asylum Seeker issue.
Headlining today in the Jakarta Globe is, “Australia Denies Asylum-Seeker Harm, Confirms Turn-Backs - Australia on Friday denied fresh claims of asylum-seeker abuse by its navy as “completely unsubstantiated” while confirming for the first time that it was turning boats back to Indonesia.”
On Monday the Jakarta Post carried an opinion peice, “Australia’s turn-back
boat policy: There is always a choice. When Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa identified three main challenges facing the Asia Pacific in 2014, one of them was at home — a trust deficit in bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia. A new spat over spying has taken its toll on the two neighbors, bringing their relations to a new low. Indonesia summoned its ambassador from Canberra, froze security and defense cooperation and made it crystal clear that Australia had to follow a six-point roadmap if relations were to return to normal. Australia has been reluctant to do so and in reply exercised a policy of turning back boats carrying suspected asylum seekers.
Now Joyo Indonesia is reporting that “ Asylum-seeker Inquiry: Secrecy Needed to Keep Indonesia Ties, Says Commander A Senate inquiry has been warned that relations between Australia and Indonesia could be damaged by the disclosure of documents relating to asylum-seeker boat interceptions. The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, and the Operation Sovereign Borders commander, Lieutenant-General Angus Campbell, are giving evidence before an inquiry into government secrecy over border protection operations.“
Christmas Island; A weak monsoon trough lies in the vicinity. Forecast for the rest of Friday 31 January Chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Winds: Westerly 10 to 15 knots. Seas: 1 to 1.5 metres. Swell: South to southwesterly 2 metres. Max 30 (BOM)
Cocos Island; Weak monsoon trough to the north. Forecast for the rest of Friday 31 January Chance of a shower. Winds: South to southwesterly 5 to 10 knots. Seas: Up to 1.0 metre. Swell: Southerly 1.5 to 2.0 metres. Max 30 (BOM)
Cirabon; 28C, wind; 15-25 Kmh SE, showers est 10mm
The weekly figures I have collated.
This will be updated each week.
Holding this week’s update waiting on further info.