300,000 REFUGEES IN S.E. ASIA
Fourteen nations look to resolve regional boat people issue
Yuliasri Perdani of The Jakarta Post, reported on Mon, April 21 2014 “In an attempt to address the boat people issue, Indonesia has invited 13 countries to meet and seek ways to prevent asylum seekers from embarking on perilous journeys by sea. In a two-day international workshop titled Special Conference on the Irregular Movement of People, at the Foreign Ministry on Monday and Tuesday, representatives are expected to establish measures to protect asylum seekers and prevent human trafficking and people smuggling in the region.
The two-day workshop is also part of the so-called Bali Process, an initiative for dealing with people smuggling and human trafficking. The event, jointly organized by the Foreign Ministry and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is being participated in by those countries most affected by the irregular movement of people in Asia Pacific — Indonesia, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand — and those countries further afield — Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“This conference is about a global problem that deals with irregular movements by sea, a problem we have in Southeast Asia. The statistics show we have more than 300,000 asylum seekers in Southeast Asia,” UNHCR Indonesia representative Manuel Jordão told a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.”
Any meaningful advance in the refugee situation between Australia and the RI is still a long way off. Stage two of the Roadmap to Normal Diplomacy has been reached. Four more stages remain.
A Fitriyanti of Antara News wrote on April 21 2014 that;
Indonesia, Australia step ahead restoring diplomatic relationship
“Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa stated that Indonesia and Australia had stepped into the second stage of the roadmap, created by President Susilo Yudhoyono, to restore diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Natalegawa said at the Pancasila Building of the Foreign Affairs Ministry here on Monday, he had a number of opportunities to discuss the issue with Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, the last time was in Mexico. “It was a fruitful conversation between the two of us on the protocol or code of conduct (COC), but we haven’t talked formally in terms of having the draft of the COC,” Natalegawa explained.
The second stage of the roadmap to restore the diplomatic relation between Indonesia and Australia is a thorough discussion of the protocol and code of conduct to be followed. He added that in the next few days, Indonesia and Australia will identify the things that will be refrained in the future. However, Natalegawa did not elaborate on the details that will be assessed by Indonesia and Australia. “I think it is not too complicated. More importantly, we have similar perception about what such a COC, as the basic principle of our bilateral relationship, will aim for and explain that we have to do certain things and not do certain things,” he said.
He also underlined that the basic principles of Indonesia’s and Australia’s diplomatic relationship was the Lombok Treaty, which was an agreement on the framework of security cooperation. The other was to refrain from employing intelligence services that will harm the national interests. “And then, we will set up the modalities to ensure those commitments are carried out by arranging regular meetings between the foreign affairs ministers or the intelligence officials of the two countries,” Marty said.
Previously, Yudhoyono had developed a roadmap with six steps to restore ties with Australia after the wiretapping of the phone lines of the president, the first lady and several other senior state officials was revealed.
Asylum seeker boat turn-back questions
going unanswered by Government, says UNHCR
The ABC is reporting that “The United Nations refugee agency has asked Australia to prove it is not breaching the Refugee Convention with its policy of turning back asylum seeker boats. Speaking in Jakarta, the UNHCR’s regional representative says the Australian Government has not responded to the UN’s concerns about the policies. The request for information was made in January.
UNHCR regional representative James Lynch says people from seven boats that have been returned to Indonesia recently told the UN agency they made it to Australian land or at least its territorial waters. He says if that is true, Australia’s responsibility is to allow them to be processed as asylum seekers. Mr Lynch says it is significant that thousands of asylum seekers arrived in Australia until late last year but it is not a crisis by world standards.
“We have in Syria 6 million either internally displaced or refugees and they have found themselves in the neighbouring countries,” Mr Lynch said. “A country like Iraq, which has its own internal problems, has been able to accept 250,000 Syrian refugees. “I think when you sit and listen to what countries in the region like Iraq are dealing with, or Jordan or Lebanon, it’s hard to see it [Australia's situation] as a crisis.“
BOM seems to be offline
BOM seems to be offline
Cirabon; 30C, wind; 5 Kmh variable, 13 mm
The weekly figures I have collated.
This will be updated each week.