A possie in Aussie

May 30, 2009

The virtues of dying in Indonesian waters

Bob Debus and Chris Evans, in a joint media release this week, extolled the virtues of cooperation with Indonesia in the ‘fight’ against people-smuggling:

Wednesday, 26 May 2009 “Australia is grateful to Indonesia for its bilateral cooperation which demonstrates the strength of the Lombok Treaty and the broader cooperation of the Bali Process.’

“Senator Evans said the Australian Government would continue to work with regional partners to deal with issues involving irregular migration and people smugglers.

“’The Government has renewed efforts to work closely with regional countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to prevent and deter people from attempting to enter Australia unlawfully,’ Senator Evans said.

Two days later Xinhua newsagency reported some of the results of this policy: 7 more bodies of Afghan refugees found off Indonesia’s port city

“Indonesian Navy on Friday found the bodies of the Afghan refugees who were onboard a boat that had recently sunk in the Riau waters off the port city of Bagansiapiapi, in Riau province, a Navy commander said.

“This afternoon (Friday) we found five more bodies. We have discovered another two in the morning,” the Detik.com quoted Bagansiapiapi Navy post commander Lieutenant Al Muhfid as saying.

Meanwhile, Mike Head and Linda Levin at the World Socialist Web Site provide a very interesting take that is unfortunately not backed up with sufficient sources: Australia: Evidence points to Labor cover-up over refugee boat deaths

“The Rudd Labor government continues to block the release of information about the circumstances that led to the tragedy. The blast also injured 31 of the 47 Afghan refugees and two Indonesian crew who were crowded into the tiny vessel.

“Conflicting reports about what happened on the day strongly suggest that a major cover-up is underway.

“It is now known that nine Australian Defence Force personnel—not “three or four”, as the navy originally claimed—were on board the “SIEV 36” (Suspected Illegal Entry Vehicle Number 36). They appear in photographs, published by the government in late April, taken 11 minutes before the explosion.”

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