This list is based on what is being reported in the MSM and what I can find from a couple of specialist sites. This is to give a layman’s impression of what is going on and may say more about the MSM than the facts.
The updated, weekly figures I have collated. This will be updated each week.
To stop this posting from becoming as large as a Tolstoy novel, in future I am dropping off any part of the post more than about a week old.
31st Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
While there has been a lull in asylum seeking arrivals. Yet off the water there have been developments in the debate.
Australia has been seriously dissed by its Northern neighbour!
A huge slap in the face has been given to Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison by the Indonesian Government.
On Wednesday he went to to meet Mr Djoko, Minister for security, politics and law, the chairman of Indonesia’s people smuggling taskforce, and the man who must agree to any new policy direction. Mr Djoko was “called away to another event by president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono”.
Indonesian army commander, General Moeldoko. was who was also “unable to attend the meeting” and sent instead his chief of staff for general affairs, Boy Syahrial.
The meeting was chaired by justice and human rights minister Amir Syamsuddin who last week had said,”Australia should ‘pay more attention’ to the countries of origin of asylum seekers in searching for a solution, and be kinder towards refugees. The Australian government should pay more empathy to the position of the Indonesian government, who is not comfortable with having so many asylum seekers here, but also to show empathy with asylum seekers who are seeking to have a better future.”
While the MSM is trying to put a nice spin on the event, the wording used by the Indonesians is telling. An “offer” to “maximise our navy patrols in the south sea, because normally we don’t have that many ships there, because there has been no threat from the south” beomes a” promise” just a few lines later. The person who will make the decisions, General Moeldoko, was one of those “Unable to attend the meeting.”
Australia has been seriously dissed by its Northern neighbour!
On Christmas Island the residents are no longer able to live a free and normal life. The fate of any asylum seekers is becoming shrouded by heavy handed and probably illegal secrecy. Gordon Thompson, an Australian citizen and President of the Shire of Christmas Island has been barred from a public road and the public airport on Christmas Island. This was to allow a convoy of 20 cars belonging to the immigration centre management company Serco and the police and carrying 24 asylum-seekers, to travel the airport.
30th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
29th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
28th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
It seems it has been seven days since the last asylum seeker vessel has arrived in Australian waters. With the Government being as secret about asylum-seeking boats as a teenaged boy is about masturbation, and for the same reason, it is difficult to be certain. There has been a previously recorded eight day break between arrivals. I expect to hear the Government claiming credit for this.
So a few comments about associated matters.
Gordon Thompson tweeted last night, “State Secret#16 Police direct Shire President away from Christmas Is airport road 8pm 20 vehicles carrying 24 Somalis forced on plane Nauru.” These are probably the “Africans” who arrived at Christmas Island via ACV Triton last Monday.
There appear to be security vulnerabilities when it comes to hacking the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a system which is used to track maritime shipping around the world. Like – Durrrrr – The Australian Navy has been doing this for a couple of months now. It is one of my daily aggravations. Attempting to use the AIS to track naval and Customs vessels involved in Asylum Seeker duties has become almost impossible. Ducking out of AIS coverage is now standard procedure. The Romulan cloaking device is in full service!
Darwin is hosting a number of Naval and Customs vessels at the moment. Childers, Maryborough, Sydney, Broome, Maitland, Corio Bay and Cape St George are all moored at the moment. Which raises the question of the whereabouts of the Warramunga, Bathurst, Ballarat, Armidale and Triton all of which are “Out of Range” of the AIS.
27th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
26th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
25th Oct; Confirmatory information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
Yes, two vessels, last Sunday and Monday, 126 refugees on one, 40 on the other and 4 crew passed to Immigration. Morrison emphasised that he was commenting on matters to 9am EST this morning. Should I hear of anything later, I will update this post.
Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison reported today that he is moving our sphere of refugee influence as far as the Northern, Thailand, border of Malaysia. Will the next step be to “liaise closely” with Thailand to stop refugees fleeing Burma? Having turned asylum seeking into a crime, his aim appears to be stopping people from fleeing personal danger within their own country. Criminalising attempts to save yourself and your family in the name of “saving people from drowning at sea” is an outrageous policy! At what point does it become a crime against humanity?
On a completely different matter, I spend a lot of time trawling through vessel whereabouts and I just found a new favourite ship. It is in Darwin Harbour and it is a tug named “George”.
I will have to introduce it to Thomas. You know, the Tank Engine. I may adopt George.
Ya gotta laugh sometimes or you end up going quite insane!
24th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
23rd Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
22nd Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
21st Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
Two Vessels in Two Days! Mike Smith has reported that “Shaz” on Christmas Island has told him that 40 people, possibly Somalis, have been landed by ACV Triton. A number of us have been watching Titon’s antics this morning. She suddenly appeared yesterday afternoon travelling west, apparently directly from the mainland and since then has been moving around Flying Fish Cove.
Gordon Thompson has now tweeted “State Secret#15 Customs ship Triton disembarked 40 African refugees women men – 0 kids 8am Christmas Is. Hope lives.“
Thanks, Vince, Sue and Marg for your help. It seems that Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison has outsourced dealing with Asylum Seekers to the Romulans and their cloaking device! I suspect this group were possibly found at Ashmore Reef.
At the same time, Indonesian police have arrested 30 would-be asylum seekers who failed to board a boat. “Gunung Kidul district police arrested 30 refugees attempting to seek asylum in Australia after they failed to set sail from Parang Racuk beach in the regency on Saturday. Gunung Kidul Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Faried Zulkarnaen said 13 of the refugees had come from Pakistan, 11 from Somalia, five from Myanmar and one from Eritrea. The refugees intended to travel to Christmas Island.
“They left their countries because of political turmoil and violent conflicts. They paid a Jakarta-based broker to smuggle them from Indonesia to Australia, but they were deceived,” Faried said.”
It seems the only “Illegal” Asylum Seekers in Indonesia are the ones who try to travel to Australia.
20th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
At approximately 5pm WST, Gordon Thompson tweeted from Christmas Island, “kids small baby,women,men Rohinga probably 130 disembarked Navy Christmas Is 2:00pm. Rumour Abbott return home no process“
This appears to indicate that a single vessel has been intercepted and its occupants, Rohingya, a persecuted group from Burma, landed on Christmas Island. On Friday (20th), at the weekly Military Press conference “The Government has revealed that 73 asylum seekers were immediately flown back to Sri Lanka following an initial assessment on Christmas Island.“
If this is now the accepted practice then these persecuted people will be immediately sent back into danger. Perhaps it is not only the Australian people who are being kept in the dark but also the rest of the world. Especially the UNHCR since these actions completely breach our international obligations!
19th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
18th Oct; Some information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
UPDATE – 1.00pm WST. Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison has held his Press conference. The Operation Sovereign Borders weekly briefing revealed 167 asylum seekers tried to enter Australian waters on three boats in the past week. The operational commander, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, says these arrivals included a boat carrying 79 people from Sri Lanka which was intercepted last Saturday.
I have recorded the sources which showed the Cocos Vessel as arriving on Thursday, the day before the previous Presser. Since then I have recorded 2 vessels being brought to CI. Morrison prefers to fudge things by recording three vessels this week. OK! He can, I won’t!
With respect to numbers of people, I have recorded 264 asylum seekers arriving in the past fortnight. When I exclude the 70 Sri Lankans who were intercepted close to Sri Lanka on the 5th Oct, as the Morrison Mendacious Machine has done, the number is reduced to 194. So there is a difference of 27 which I cannot reconcile. I have 83 (79 + 4 crew?) (10th Oct) at Cocos, 55 at CI (12th Oct) and another 60 at CI. (17th Oct) – total 194.
There is satisfaction in knowing that the Australian people have been able to keep a track of the arrivals in spite of all the secrecy being imposed by the Government. I thank everyone who has helped in this task.
Friday is the normal day for press conferences from Herr Morrison’s Abduction Squad. Should one happen, I will update this post.
I have updated the table of arrivals and corrected the numbers for last week. Numbers are trending down as was expected by the previous Government. I would expect this trend to be bucked as the cyclone season approaches. Arrivals should quieten down during late November through to April of 2014. It will only then that we shall see whether the new Government has had any effect on the pressures pushing asylum seekers towards Australia.
There have been no reports of new arrivals overnight and no indications of naval activity.
Just heard that Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison has ordered all immigration staff to refer to people seeking asylum by boat as “illegal maritime arrivals”. He has apparently also banned asylum seekers being called “clients” by immigration staff. They are now to be referred to as “detainees”. Perhaps it is time to begin checking Government tender documents for any reference to Zyklon B!
17th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
UPDATE AT 12;40pm WST – Just after I had pressed “Publish” on this post, I saw a report in the Sydney Morning Herald that 60 Middle Eastern and African asylum Seekers had arrived on Christmas Island. Thanks, “Boat Leaks” on FaceBook.
Further information, sourced from Mike Smith’s Sewerage Pond, on this arrival indicates that they were offloaded from HMAS Warramunga. That there were Somalis and Middle Easterners. One child was noticed and there were two people in wheelchairs, one man, one woman. It seems the navy is staying at sea for a couple of days after each intercept. Either to confuse the People Smugglers, to allow a little quarantine time or just to hide things from the Australian public.
Gordon Thompson just tweeted from CI, ” State Secret#13 At Christmas Island 8am Approx60African,mideast disembark HMAS Warramunga, 1 8yr boy, 8-10 women,2wheelchair- safe at last.” Thank you, Gordon. Invaluable information.
An additional update is the information from the Refugee Rights Action Network WA posted a couple of days ago. (My bad, I had not checked this valuable source since Monday)
“NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE: Another ‘invisible boat’ landed on Cocos Island last Thursday, 10 October: this is the message we got:
“The boat arrived on Thursday with 83 on board, they we blown off course, have been in the water for 30 days approx 18 women and children on board, 1 pregnant. Presume Tamils.
Flew off to presume xmas island for ‘processing’?”
So now we have the ‘+’ in the table above. It is 83! Table will be updated tomorrow.
I can find no reports of any arrivals at Ashmore Reef, Christmas Island or Cocos Island.
One disturbing development is the fact that I am hearing rumours out of our Halls of Power that boats are being intercepted, turned back and then running out of fuel. This then leads to a rescue being required with additional time and manpower. As with all rumours there is little detail and it may simply refer to a single incident. Possibly the strange behaviour of HMAS Warramunga and HMAS Bathurst on Tuesday afternoon.
This rings true with the Howard era method of boat management where a few vessels were intercepted, had fuel removed so that there was just enough left to return to Indonesia but not enough to get them to Christmas Island. While I am not a lawyer, this sounds very much like piracy on the High Seas.
Is this another case of our National Leadership playing out childhood fantasies? Many Australians would like to see our former Prime Minister charged with war crimes in regard to his actions in Iraq. Could it be that both he and our current Prime Minister are liable for a case of crimes against humanity to be brought against them for their actions in the Indian Ocean?
On a personal note, it is very depressing that almost none of the refugees who try to arrive in Australia have names. Depersonalisation is so very useful for a cruel and uncaring Government Agency!
16th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
Following on from the late report on the 15th of movement by HMAS Warramunga North from Christmas Island I took a screenshot of the apparent search pattern at 3pm on the 15th.
The vessel then disappeared and, several hours later, I spotted HMAS Bathurst travelling south, at speed, to Christmas Island. Bathurst had not been seen heading North at all. I just love the cloak Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison seems to be casting over his private navy. Is it now Herr Morrison’s Abduction Squad?
15th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
Gordon Thompson tweeted yesterday that the navy has a lot of patrols out of Christmas Island atm. He has not reported the arrival of the Sri Lankans who dropped in on Cocos Island yet. Maybe they were flown direct to Manus or Nauru. Along with huge security and secrecy, Morrison has also imposed a deliberate breaking of the quarantine regulations!
Hmas Woolongong and ACV’s Corio Bay, Arnham Bay and Cape St. George were all moored in Darwin Harbour overnight. It appears HMAS Warramunga, Ballarat and Armidale along with ACV Triton are currently at Christmas Island although they do not show up on the Marine Traffic site
Sudden Update (0839WST) – HMAS Warramunga has appeared, heading North from Christmas Island.
14th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
The Australian ran an interesting compilation of current events mixed with breathless past history into an apparent pro-Morrison puff peice. Firstly it confirms that there were indeed two vessels involved last week and weekend.
(The chart above has been corrected and will be updated with the Saturday arrival next Friday)
“Although there has been a lull in arrivals, authorities intercepted an asylum boat carrying 55 people on Wednesday afternoon. The boat, which was carrying Iranians, Afghans and Sri Lankans, was unloaded at Christmas Island on Saturday morning, just two days after another boat bearing Sri Lankan asylum-seekers arrived off Cocos Island.” No mention of numbers for the Cocos Island arrivals.
13th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
I admit to some confusion this morning. I braved the Mike Smith slime pit. Here are some of the images from his blog from the past few days.
I reported that he had shown a search pattern by HMAS Warramunga on Tuesday. This was wrong. It was on Wednesday.
That has interesting consequences when considered with subsequent events.
Mike has a Christmas Island informant, the prolific photographer,Shaz, who has returned after a couple of weeks on the mainland.
Shaz arrived back on CI on Thursday 10th and, on Friday 11th, sent Mike some photos of the extensions to the jetty and also of patrol boat HMAS Armidale refuelling in Flying Fish Cove.
So much for the background to my confusion.
Remember that also on Friday Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison admitted that an vessel had arrived at Cocos Island? Well, on Saturday 12th, Smith blogged some further information from Shaz.
(I have included the link to the Mike Smith blog for internet courtesy. It is NOT a recommendation to visit!)
There was a photograph of the Frigate HMAS Warramunga with tarp shading people.
Also on Saturday, Gordon Thompson tweeted from Christmas Island that 55 men women and children had disembarked from HMAS Warramunga.
So this is the confusion. Are Shaz’ and Gordon’s reports about those people from the Warramunga search pattern on Wednesday evening or are they from Thursday’s arrival at Cocos? Do we have TWO vessels or just one? Was there time for Warramunga to travel from its “search pattern” North of Christmas Island on Wednesday evening across to Cocos and back to Christmas Island by Saturday midday?
I shall await the drip-feed of facts from the Morrison Secrecy Machine tomorrow.
12th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
At approximately 6pm WST Gordon Thompson tweeted from Christmas Island, “State Secret#12 Today 8:30 Christmas Island time 55 children,women,men landed. First boat at CI since 30 Sept.”
Pending further information, I am assuming that these are people from the vessel which arrived at Cocos Island on Friday. The timing is about right. I have updated the numbers of people on the chart above as if it were. Corrections will be made later if necessary.
11th Oct; Some vague information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
In a media conference today Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison was forced to admit that a vessel had been apprehended at Cocos Island. He was able to duck such details as how many refugees there were and from where had they come. I have shown that vessel and a “+” sign to represent the number of people who arrived at Cocos. I will update the chart as soon as I have further details.
I have included the 70 Sri Lankans who were intercepted last week by the Sri Lankan Navy. They were Asylum Seekers and they were headed for Australia. The Morrison Military Machine will both deny their existence and claim credit for making the Sri Lankan Navy intercept them in yet another case of Coalition cognitive dissonance.
The administrator of Christmas Island Jon Stanhope has credited Labor’s Papua New Guinea deal for a dramatic reduction in asylum seeker boat arrivals, even though he is uncomfortable with the policy. Mr Stanhope says since the policy was introduced in July, the number of boat arrivals has gone from about five a week to just one. “There certainly has been a significant change in activity, certainly since the beginning of July the number of boat arrivals, the number of asylum seekers arriving on Christmas Island has decreased,” he said.
But he is highly critical of his own party’s handling of the issue and its current policy position, even though it appears to be working. “Is that the indicator of success that any asylum seeker that gets to Australia is immediately deported? Or is a key performance indicator or an indicator of success that you acted with compassion, that you acted with humanity?” Mr Stanhope says many within Labor are uncomfortable with the party’s policy and he is hoping the new leader – to be announced on Sunday – will change tack. “There’s a high level of concern, regret, and I think it’s fair to say, anger,” he added.
And that was where I came in. I too was VERY uncomfortable with the Manus Island solution. Yet it does appear to be cutting the number of people getting onto boats and dying. I should be happy. I’m not!
The xenophobic Australian fear of “the other” is put up in bright lights for the rest of the world to see and wonder at. Any relief I have at the apparent saving of life is overcome at the shame of our collective reaction.
Of course I also realise that history will be re-written and the new Government will take all the credit for this slowing of new arrivals.
6th – 10th Oct; No information released by the Morrison Military Machine.
Despite a close watch being kept on maritime movements there have been no apparent arrivals, no reported sinkings en route and utter quiet on the Christmas Island front. Mike Smith (spit) spotted HMAS Warramunga doing some apparent search manoeuvres 50Km to the North of CI on Tuesday around 7pm WST. It will be interesting to hear what the Great Poo Bah General says on Monday.
Back on the third of this month there was an interesting announcement. The Coalition Government said it would set aside 500 places for Syrian refugees in response to an appeal from the United Nations Refugee Agency to help accommodate displaced Syrians. It will also settle about 800 Afghan interpreters and their families who had helped Australian forces in Afghanistan, continuing a process started under the previous Labor government. The places for Syrians and Afghans will come from within the government’s existing humanitarian program.
“The government’s policy of denying permanent visas to those who arrived illegally by boat will enable Australia to continue offering targeted resettlement to those most in need,” Mr Morrison said in a statement. The Abbott government has pledged to renew the focus on places for refugees waiting overseas, as opposed to asylum seekers who come to Australia by boat. It has also promised to reduce the annual humanitarian intake from the 20,000 places per year offered by Labor to 13,750.
So let’s get this straight. Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison is cutting the humanitarian places by 6,250 places, allocating 1,300 (10%) of the remaining places to two specific groups yet is to “continue offering targeted resettlement to those most in need.”
The numbers of refugees waiting in Indonesia is going to increase, the “Push” factors are not going away and the pressure to become a “Boat Person” will continue and grow.
Unless we hear news of Indonesia sending refugees back to home countries en masse, this week’s lull in arrivals will not last.