Six persons have been rescued after a boat believed to be carrying 150 asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia sank in the Sunda Strait between Java and Christmas Island. The six survivors had been in the water for about 24 hours at the time of rescue by a merchant ship. Given warmer water temperatures in may be possible to survive for 36-48 hours in the water. Indonesian and Australian forces and private ships are searching for survivors. The boat’s passengers included women and children are believed to have been Afghan asylum seekers.
Category Archives: Indonesia
200 Sri Lankans, mostly Tamil refugees, have agreed to leave the boat on which they have been living since October 2009. The boat has been under guard in the Indonesian port of Merak since it was intercepted by Indonesian authorities at the request of Australia. The boat and its passengers were trying to reach Australia. The migrants have been moved to the Indonesian immigration centre at Tanjung Pinang where their claims for asylum will be assessed by UNHCR. Australia has reportedly been paying the Indonesian government to intercept migrants seeking to sail to Australia. Some of the migrants on the boat recently managed to escape and reportedly used smugglers to reach Australia’s Christmas Island where they are now seeking asylum.
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Approximately 250 asylum seeking Tamils have been held on board a boat in the Javanese port of Merak since October 2009 when the vessel was intercepted by Indonesian authorities. The vessel was attempting to reach Australia. The Tamils are refusing to leave the boat unless Australia agrees to accept them for resettlement.