Australia has turned back at least one asylum-seeker boat to Indonesia, believed to be the first time the Abbott government has fulfilled its tough border protection pledge, in a move that has the potential to increase tensions between the two countries.
Australian and Indonesian sources have confirmed to Fairfax Media that at least one asylum-seeker vessel has been turned around. It is understood that the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Stuart performed a “turn-back” in the past week.
The asylum-seekers aboard the boat were given life-jackets and communications equipment before being directed to the nearest land, which was Indonesia, a Defence source said.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refused on Tuesday to comment on Indonesian media reports that a boat had been turned around.
There are conflicting reports as to the precise dates of the incidents and how many times it has happened.
Indonesian water police told Fairfax Media that two boats have been turned back by the Australian Navy, one on Monday and one in December.
The boat from Monday carried 45 passengers, 36 of whom were male and nine female, mostly asylum-seekers from Africa though with several from the Middle East, according to Indonesian police sources.
The boat from December carried 48 asylum-seekers from Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Iran.
The Jakarta Post says a boat carrying 45 ”illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East” was about to enter Australian waters on Monday but was ”immediately forced into Indonesian waters”. The ABC quotes Indonesia’s government newswire Antara as reporting that a boat carrying 47 asylum seekers was intercepted by the Australian navy on December 13 and ”forced back” to Indonesia.
”Australia respects Indonesia’s territorial sovereignty and will continue to do so, just as Indonesia has stated it respects Australia’s territorial sovereignty,” he said in a statement.
This is precisely what we’ve been looking for, as well as having laws in place that with honor, pride, and above all respect will ensure territorial sovereignty. Being civil or at least carrying on the portrayal that one is filled with civility whilst in all instances one reads, hears, and experiences such ridiculous claims as asylum and refugee status.
Moreover, with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issuing orders to member agencies such as the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) on how to teach incoming illegal immigrants to vie for asylum/refugee status, whilst at the same time issuing funds for hotel bills, eating expenses, and no doubt a clothing allowance.
When the Abbott government took office Mr Morrison said he would give weekly briefings to update the public on his ”Operation Sovereign Borders” asylum seeker policy and the number of boat arrivals.
Here at The Contemplative Thinker we have articles that herald the ethics and provisions supported by the Australian government. Two quick issues: One, Further reading click here. And two please click here.