Asylum boats ready as rainy season ends

Stephen Fitzpatrick, 3/4/10

Indonesian immigration authorities are questioning 47 asylum-seekers seized this week trying to reach Christmas Island from Java, one of several boatloads taking advantage of the end of the rainy season. “The weather is definitely a factor,” national police spokesman Edward Aritonang said. “If we use the picture from previous years as a guide, we can see there’s a rise – we’ll see what develops this year.” Many of those trying to reach Australia’s immigration zone in the current wave are from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, and most appear to have been living in temporary accommodation near Bogor, south of Jakarta.

See:;; Who’s afraid of 4500 boatpeople?; Peter van Onselen,; Crossing the borderline; Yuko Narushima;; Australian envoy meets Hmong refugees; Ben Doherty; 3/4/10;; Oceans apart over brutal reality; Yuko Narushima;3/4/10;