Sri Lanka grills Tamils in Jakarta

Angus Hohenboken; 9/1/10; (2 Items)

Tamil asylum-seekers were “interrogated” by a Sri Lankan navy officer within the walls of an Indonesian immigration detention centre yesterday, a refugee advocate in Australia said.  Saradha Nathan, of the Australian Tamil Congress, last night said Captain Kapil and two other navy officers from the Sri Lankan Embassy had visited eight asylum-seekers from the boat moored at Merak in their detention centre in Jakarta. She said Indonesian immigration officials escorted the Sri Lankans into the centre to talk to the asylum-seekers, who had signed Indonesian immigration forms two days before, several weeks after disembarking from the ship. The navy officers were trying to negotiate the return of the Tamils to Sri Lanka and had threatened to deport them to Boosa jail in Sri Lanka, Ms Nathan said. Fears were held for the security of their personal information, which could endanger their families in Sri Lanka.

Navy stops suspected asylum seekers
The navy has stopped another boat carrying suspected asylum seekers off Australia’s northwest coast. HMAS Maitland intercepted the vessel about 3.30pm (AEDT) on Friday, 12 nautical miles northwest of Ashmore Island. On board were 27 passengers and three crew. It is the third vessel to be stopped by border protection command since the start of the year.