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More in the media about Tamils seeking asylum

October 17, 2009

AFP : Sri Lanka ‘unable to stop migrant outflow’
Media minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the Government could not “stop people from getting into a boat and seeking greener pastures in another country”.
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The Australian : Sri Lanka refugees in Merak
Watch and listen to this photograph and audio report.

The Australian : Halted Tamils say they face ‘genocide’
SRI Lankan asylum-seekers refusing to disembark from their boat in Indonesia yesterday hit out at claims they were not genuine refugees, saying they expected the eventual annihilation of the ethnic Tamils in their country.
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The Australian : Rudd’s softer stance mugged by reality
KEVIN Rudd has substituted the Indonesia solution for the Pacific Solution in seeking to stop asylum-seeker boats arriving in Australia, a strategy that imposes new financial, diplomatic and security tests with Jakarta and the region. Rudd’s policy now stands or falls with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. In truth, the quality of Australian humanity towards asylum-seekers depends on practical ties with Jakarta. This is as obvious as it is uncomfortable.
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AAP : Rudd ‘heartless’, asylum seekers say
SRI Lankan asylum seekers staging a hunger strike aboard their boat in Indonesia have labelled Kevin Rudd heartless, but the prime minister says he will not bow to their emotional blackmail.
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SMH : Children frightened, confused as parents starve in protest
They are promised a bright future awaits, that the gods will take care of them, but the 31 Tamil children among the 255 asylum seekers moored in Merak are deeply traumatised and confused.
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ABC PM Program : Asylum seekers will trade people smugglers for refuge
A group of 255 Sri Lankans staging a hunger strike on a boat in Western Java say they will reveal the identities of people smugglers if Australia accepts them as refugees.
…”Look I’ve asked [Alex] if he was educated overseas. He says – and whether he was educated in America. He has said to me he was educated in New Delhi, in India, not New Delhi specifically. But he was educated in India and he said he has an MBA.”
Click here for report.

ABC PM Program : Sri Lankan Govt attacks Tamils’ asylum claim
Off the coast of West Java there’s still no sign of an end to the standoff between Tamil asylum seekers and Indonesian authorities. More than 250 men, women and children on board a wooden boat are refusing all offers to come ashore. The group had tried to sail for Australia but Indonesian authorities intercepted them last weekend. Now the Sri Lankan Government has hit out at the ethnic Tamils, describing them as “bogus asylum seekers” and denying their central claim that they face discrimination and a climate of fear in Sri Lanka.
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ABC PM Program : NT MP says Alice dongas going to ‘scum’ asylum seekers
In the Northern Territory the Opposition is on the back foot today after one of its members referred to asylum seekers as “scum”. The Country Liberals’ Adam Giles made the comment in Parliament while he was talking about the Government’s decision to move demountables, or dongas as they’re known locally, from Alice Springs to Christmas Island. He argues that the dongas have been collecting dust in Alice Springs for three years when they could have been used to ease the housing crisis for Indigenous people. One volunteer group helping disabled Aboriginal children says it applied to use one of the dongas two years ago but was told they weren’t available.
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ABC AM Program : Sri Lankan asylum seekers stage hunger strike
The standoff between Tamil asylum seekers and Indonesian authorities is continuing after the group refused onshore accommodation and chose to stay on their wooden boat and stage a hunger strike. Indonesian authorities want the group of 250 men, women and children, who had plans to sail to Australia, to take up local lodgings and begin the United Nations refugee verification process – which can take up to nine years to complete. The ethnic Tamils say they can’t go home and would rather die than wait years for resettlement. Indonesia correspondent Geoff Thompson reports from Merak Port in Western Java.
Click here for report.

ABC AM Program : UNHCR says Australia may be asked to help
The United Nations refugee agency says it’s ready, if asked, to assist the Sri Lankans and help resettle them if they’re deemed to be genuine refugees. The agency’s regional representative, Richard Towle, says there has been a large increase in boats heading to Australia. He says the change to Australia’s immigration policy has given people smugglers a new marketing tool. Richard Towle spoke by phone from Geneva to our reporter Samantha Hawley.
Click here for report.

The Australian : Indonesia key to boat solution as aid millions to stop arrivals
KEVIN Rudd is seeking a new strategic compact with Jakarta to halt the transit of asylum-seekers through the Indonesian archipelago to Australia.
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