Protest six forcibly removed to Sri Lanka

Paige Taylor; 16/11/09;(2 Items)

The Rudd government chartered a 100-seat jet to Sri Lanka at the weekend to forcibly remove six asylum-seekers who staged a dramatic eight-hour protest inside the Christmas Islands immigration detention centre last month. The six Sinhalese fishermen became the first asylum-seekers to be isolated inside the centre’s controversial “red block”, built by the Howard government, with small metal cells to detain violent or unstable detainees. They were among 50 Sri Lankans who had been trying to reach New Zealand when their boat hit a reef in Torres Strait on March 28. So far, only 12 have been found to be refugees and granted visas. Another 29 have gone home voluntarily on commercial flights from Perth, one is in detention in Perth in preparation for returning voluntarily on a commercial flight and the remaining two are in detention on Christmas Island while their claims are resolved.

See:; Indonesian police shoot two on asylum boat; Stephen Fitzpatrick & Matthew Frank; 16/11/09;; Malaysia’s people-smuggling crime move a win for Rudd; Matthew Franklin; 16/11/09;; Test of stamina; Sally Neighbour; 16/11/09;; Boatpeople breakthrough; Letters Blog; 16/11/09;

Indonesia moves to deport 130 asylum seekers
Tom Allard; 16/11/09
Indonesia is planning to deport Sri Lankan asylum seekers at Merak back to their homeland, including ”Alex”, the spokesman for the group that has spent more than a month at the Javanese port refusing to leave their wooden vessel. The development includes an option to force many of the 255 Sri Lankans on to an Indonesian Navy warship, which would take them back to the country they fled amid claims of persecution by the central government. The deportation plan marks a significant hardening in Indonesia’s policy towards irregular immigrants, and undermines the so-called ”Indonesia solution” and Australia’s hopes to negotiate a framework agreement where both countries agree on a method of intercepting and processing boat people.