Thursday, 3 December 2009

Merak / Christmas Island Updates

It looks as if the Indonesian military are set on trying to intimidate the nearly 250 Tamil asylum seekers still in the 8th week of their stand off against the Indonesian authorities on board a rickety wooden vessel in the West Javan port of Merak. Having previously backed down from their threat to forcibly deport the Tamils back to Sri Lanka, the Navy have recently tried to board the vessel and are buzzing it with inflatables full of armed personnel.

Meanwhile there was a solidarity demonstration in Sydney on Sunday organised by the Refugee Acton Coalition, which denounced Prime Minister Rudd’s “Indonesian Solution” as “racist” and called for the closure of the Christmas Island offshore detention centre, which has only just come off of a week long lock-down following a large scale disturbance last month. Also in the Australian media recently has the news that the Australian government have been forced to erect tents on Christmas Island to cope with an anticipated overflow of asylum seekers in the coming months rather than the previously floated idea of transfers to the mainland.

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