Refugee Boat Timeline Updated to January 19th




19th JAN

No information released by the Morrison Flotilla of Rubber Ducks. The Minister for Foreign Affairs (ahem) has said that she has contacted Marty on the telephone and written to him as well.




After making a wild statement in the previous edition of this series, “A shooting skirmish may be closer than we think!” I felt a little silly. This sort of hyperbole is only suitable for a Cassandra. Oh, by the way, I am re-reading Lindsay Clarke’s “The Return from Troy” so I know all about Cassandra. Since then I have begun to worry.

I have read too much over the past 24 hours and not a lot of it is comforting. Beginning close to home and moving further and further away.

Independent Australia headlined “The inadvertent Abbott Government’s Indonesian crisis

So, you think relations with Indonesia couldn’t get any worse under the new Government? Well, buckle your seat belts, says Alan Austin, things may be about to get even more rocky. IT IS NOW UNDENIABLE. Nothing the Australian Government or military say about border protection can be believed.

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD reports that ‘Navy sailors now on ‘war footing’ to turn back boats’ 

David Wroe wrote, “Navy personnel carrying out border protection were quietly stripped of some workplace safety protections and obligations last month in an apparent preparation for dangerous operations such as turning back boats. The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, used his powers under workplace safety laws shortly before Christmas to exempt Navy sailors from their obligation to take ”reasonable care” to ensure their own safety and that of other sailors and asylum-seekers.  The change aims to give sailors legal protection, meaning they would ”not face individual criminal sanctions under the Act for giving effect to Government policy”, an explanatory statement issued by General Hurley states. General Hurley acted in consultation with Employment Minister Eric Abetz to make the change, which effectively puts the sailors on a similar footing to military personnel fighting in battle.

The Jakarta Globe added to its front-paged screamer with the following; [Updated on Jan. 18, 10:05 a.m.] Indonesia has sent two additional fast patrol boats to its southern maritime border as it deplored intrusions by the Australian navy into its waters and demanded Canberra suspend its military-led operation to halt the flow of asylum seekers.Agus Barnas, a spokesman for the office of the chief security minister, said on Friday that Indonesia would intensify patrols along its border in the Timor Sea. Another frigate will be added to the existing armada there later this month, he said.“The government of Indonesia deplores and rejects the violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity by Australian vessels,” he said, reading a statement after a meeting on Friday between his office, the Foreign Ministry, the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI).
The Jakarta Post reported that “SBY resents Abbott in his new, controversial book.”
In his new book, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed disappointment at the way Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott handled tensions between the two nations after revelations emerged of Australia’s suspected wiretapping of the President and his wife in 2009. In the book, titled Selalu Ada Pilihan (There is Always a Choice), Yudhoyono said he initially refrained from following a harsh policy that could have affected relations between the countries after the eavesdropping revelations.  However, Yudhoyono said the final straw came when he learned that Abbott viewed the incident as normal. “When my best friend Tony Abbott made several statements before the Australian parliament suggesting the case was normal and refused to apologize, I could no longer stay silent,” said Yudhoyono in his book, which was launched on Friday.
This clearly places the Abbott Government’s reaction to the spying incident in the centre of the disagreement between the two countries. The Naval incursions, Operation Sovereign Borders and Asylum Seeker Boat push-backs are all additional irritants in the now disfunctional relationship.
As an aside I have seen, in social media, right-wing apologists suggesting that this is an election year in Indonesia and everything will quieten down again once the election is over. I cannot see any signs that this is a political issue in Indonesia. It is, however, very much a matter of national pride being hurt. This is above Indonesian politics!
The imbroglio has been noticed much further afield.
The Taipei Times in Taiwan  headlines “Furious Jakarta demands Australia stop operation.

Zee News in India reports (from 48 hours ago,  “Indonesia criticises Australian use of lifeboats

The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation has noted, “Indonesia bristles over ‘deplorable’ Australian sea incursions”



A study of the Maritime Live website reveals that there have been a number of Australian Naval vessels leaving Darwin and Fremantle (Stirling) bases heading West and North-West repectively. The waters off Christmas Island appear to be the common destination. The same waters which are about to be closely patrolled by Indonesian Naval vessels.

I do hope all the sailors involved return safely. Something the ADF cannot guarantee as we can see from the earlier report that “workplace safety protections and obligations ” have been removed.

Please, Mr Abbott, we do not need a regional conflict. Give it up NOW!



Christmas Island; The monsoon trough lies to the north Christmas Island.

Flying Fish Cove today Courtesy of Arthur Floret

Flying Fish Cove today
Courtesy of Arthur Floret

Forecast for the rest of Sunday 19 January Chance of a shower. Winds: South to southwesterly 10 to 15 knots. Seas: 1.0 to 1.5 metres. Swell: South to southwesterly 2.0 metres. Max 29 (BOM)

Cocos Island; The monsoon trough is expected to remain to the north of Cocos Islands. Forecast for the rest of Sunday 19 January Chance of an shower, increasing in the evening. Winds: Southerly around 10 knots. Seas: Around 1.0 metre. Swell: Southerly 1.5 to 2.0 metres. Max 29 (BOM)

Cirabon; 28C, wind; 15-25 Kmh SE, showers est 4mm


arrival list


The weekly figures I have collated.

This will be updated each week.


To find older information click here

(the dates are all “skewiff” so keep opening “new page” to find recent posts)


3 responses to “Refugee Boat Timeline Updated to January 19th

  1. Thanks for a new update Archie and please keep the news comming out for the public to see whats happening


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