Sri Lankans ‘panicked’ in rescue bid

Paul Maley; 11/5/10; (2 Items)

Five Australia-bound asylum-seekers who perished at sea set themselves adrift in a fatal attempt to find a passing ship after their wooden fishing boat ran out of fuel, food and drinking water. As the remaining 59 Sri Lankans from the boat arrived yesterday at Christmas Island after being rescued and the Australian Federal Police began investigating the incident, new details emerged about the tragedy. The master of the vessel that rescued the 59 Sri Lankans, Oleg Chechulin, told The Australian he believed the passengers aboard the boat had panicked after spending more than 20 days at sea. It also emerged last night that a defence search aircraft on Saturday spotted one of the missing men, lying motionless on a floating tyre tube, but lost sight of him.

See:; Take-off aborted for asylum-seekers after stairs left hanging; Dennis Shanahan; 11/5/10;

Racist rubbish
It was with dismay and disgust that I read ”Coalition ad turns up heat on refugees” The depicted visual representation of movement of people to Australia is clearly designed to reawaken and strengthen latent fears of invading hordes of foreign peoples flooding Australia.Not only is this nonsense, it is dangerous nonsense. It is divisive, legitimating the crude racism that some of us hoped was past history, and it will send a very negative message to our neighbours in the region. Is the Coalition so bereft of integrity and sensitivity to the world of the 21st century that it is prepared to dredge the bottom of the barrel for short-term party-political gain? Margot Pearson Surry Hills
See:; Coalition ad turns up heat on refugees; Ari Sharp; 10/5/10;