The Philippines and New Zealand drawn into Tamil asylum-seeker deal

Paul Maley; 24/12/09

The Philippines and New Zealand have been drawn into the tortuous international solution to implement the special deal the Rudd government offered the 78 Tamil asylum-seekers rescued by the Oceanic Viking in October. The Australian understands 16 of the Tamils who refused to disembark from the Customs vessel for four weeks are set to be moved from Indonesia to The Philippines, before finally being resettled, probably in New Zealand. The move comes less than a week after 13 of the Tamils were sent to Canada via a UN transit facility in Romania. A Philippines official told The Australian talks concerning the Tamils were under way. “The UNHCR requested The Philippines to allow a 90-day transit for 16 Sri Lankan Tamils .. with a view to the latter’s onward resettlement in third countries,” the senior official said. “The request is under consideration.”

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/more-countries-in-tamil-deal/story-e6frg6nf-1225813296575; Child detainee relocation queried; Ari Sharp & Daiel Fitton; 24/12/09; http://www.theage.com.au/national/child-detainee-relocation-queried-20091223-ldg9.html