A record of the attempts panicking and hopeless people make
To reach Australia, the Land of the Fair Go.
Disturbingly I am hearing reports, which I have not been able to confirm, that the people who were taken into custody by ACV Triton from the “Indian Boat” are being returned to Sri Lanka directly. That they will be off loaded near that Island onto the patrol boats Australia gave to the corrupt and criminal Government which currently rules what was once a paradise in the Indian Ocean. Triton has a range of some 3000 nm and so would be capable of that task.
It is a little harder to find news, even rumours, about the 50 refugees from Indonesia. It seems unlikely they will be “pushed” back to Indonesia within the next couple of weeks as the Indonesian presidential elections are happening. So, it looks like we are running a prison ship or two at the moment. Delightful!
It has just been pointed out to me that thses are people, taken from their vessel way outside our territorial waters, the High Seas, and being taken to another vessel from another country. Can anyone say “PIRACY”? Or “KIDNAPPING”?
The fact that they are being sent back into the suituation the origionally fled rates at the UN-defined “REFOULMENT”
A Summary of What Happened Last Week
On 23rd June there were reports of a vessel headed for New Zealand but North West of Ausralia. It had an unknown number on board and was in trouble. We were told nothing more.
On 27th June there were reports of a vessel claiming to have come from India but with Tamils on board. It had left India on June 13th. Again we were told nothing for the next 24 hours.
“We are refugees. We come from Sri Lanka, we stayed in India and we are unable to live there. That’s why we are coming to Australia,” a passenger told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
A boat with 153 refugees from Sri Lanka on board is in trouble 250 km from Christmas Island, it was reported on Saturday. Passengers have spoken to reporters in Australia, saying the boat left from India two weeks ago and contains 32 women and 37 children and they are mostly Tamils from Sri Lanka. “We are refugees. We come from Sri Lanka, we stayed in India and we are unable to live there. That’s why we are coming to Australia,” a man calling himself Duke told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The man said the vessel was leaking and struggling in high seas and strong winds, and requested assistance.The Australian government has vowed to stop boats carrying asylum seekers from reaching its territory, which includes Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.
On June 24th, the Hinduu Times published When the law gives no refuge“
“The lack of a law providing certain basic rights to refugees violates India’s obligations under customary international law
India is no stranger to serving as a safe haven to refugees, from as far back as the first millennium, when the Hindu rulers of Gujarat granted refuge to Parsi settlers from erstwhile Persia. At present, refugees in India hail from places such as Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and even conflict zones further away, such as Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
According to data collected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), India has close to 2 lakh refugees living within its territory with the number constantly rising. However, unofficial reports place the figure at above 4.5 lakh. Currently, only judicial decisions regulating specific situations govern refugees in India. There are also ad hoc administrative advisories by the Ministry of Home Affairs regulating specific situations concerning refugees, such as the 2012 Advisory on preventing and combating human trafficking in India. Lack of standardised documentation for this category of persons and a lack of legal recognition has led to difficulties in their access to basic facilities such as decent living conditions, employment, free or subsidised medical facilities and education.
Oh, for us metric-based Westerners, a Lahk is 100,000 in the South Asian Numbering System.
We learned nothing officially
Luckily, in the interests of transparency, there was a Member of the House of Representatives on Christmas Island on other official business as the events unfolded.
Lifted unashamedly from the Radio Australia website.
“Federal Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan, who was on the island, said there was a lot of activity on the water early Saturday morning. “On Friday night it was very evident … around midnight [or] 1:00am, there was a lot of activity,” she said. “At that stage people started saying there must be a boat out there. “There was a lot of elite Australian Federal Police coming up to the island on Thursday and that presence was very visible.”
A source has told the ABC that staff at the island’s detention centre were instructed to prepare 300 beds in anticipation of possible arrivals.
On that Saturday night we also learned that there were about 50 people on the other vessel which had presumably come from Indonesia.
“The government is being urged to explain what is happening to sick, young children believed to be detained on border patrol boats. The federal government has refused to confirm reports that a boat carrying 153 Tamil asylum seekers, including 30 children, is in high seas off Christmas Island. Nor has it confirmed reports that a second boat, from Indonesia with 50 people aboard, has been intercepted by Australian Customs vessel Triton near the island.
But the Australian Greens say Christmas Islanders have said local boats are transporting supplies to Australian vessels Ocean Protector and Triton.
Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young is concerned about asylum seekers who may be on board Australian ships. “The reports we had [were that] on board one of the boats yesterday there were children very sick after spending two weeks out on the seas,” she said in Canberra on Sunday. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison must explain how they are treating the people who have already spent over two weeks at sea, she said. “It seems as though it is more like `operation prison ships‘ than it is Operation Sovereign Borders.“
New Matilda writer Ryan Essex has an excellent discussion on the Sri Lankan disgrace in “Shining A Light On Australia’s Role In Tamil Genocide.”
BACK IN INDIA
Lifted unashamedly from the same, previously quoted Radio Australia website.
Indian authorities have no knowledge of boat
Local authorities in India say they are not aware of any asylum seeker boat leaving the country’s shores. The coastguard in the state of Pondicherry – where one of the asylum seekers claims the boat departed from – said it would be difficult for an asylum seeker boat to depart from the state’s 21 kilometre coastline without being detected. “Nobody is leaving from Pondicherry to Australia,” a spokesman said.
The coastguard of the larger neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu said two boats carrying asylum seekers to Australia were intercepted off the Indian coast in 2013. A spokesman said the last one was in August and said it was highly doubtful there have been any more departures since then.
Filed under: Australia, politics | Tagged: ACV Triton, India, Indonesia, Operation Sovereign Borders, refugees, sri Lanka, Tamils | 6 Comments »