Paul Maley and Mark Dodd | The Australian
Surge continues with two more boatloads of “asylum seekers”
- AUTHORITIES released dramatic new photos ofÂ the interception of two “suspected illegal entry vessels” today.
There have been 17 vessel arrivals since August.
Which is around whenÂ KRudd weakened his laws against boat people. Since then 13 have died.
By the way, can we have a costing of how much all these new arrivals have cost taxpayers so far?Â Â Â Â
Â Andrew Bolt
Recent arrivals doused their boat with petrol and blew it up…
* Not to worry: this time they will all integrate and assimilate, if only we give them their dues. And a mosque. And a madrassah. And the jiziyah… what could go wrong? Besides: “the numbers of those coming to Australia are low” sez the Afghan ambassador…
TWO boats carrying almost 80 suspected asylum seekers have been intercepted by Border Protection Command, bringing to 17 the number of vessels detected since August.
The interceptions occurred less than 24 hours after the mysterious discovery by Customs of four suspected asylum seekers on Deliverance Island, 30 nautical miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
As more of the injured from the fatal boat explosion of two weeks ago left hospital – for immigration detention – Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia backed the Rudd Government’s argument that global instability was behind the surge in arrivals.
One of the boats stopped yesterday was carrying seven people and was intercepted one nautical mile north of Ashmore Reef.
Sources said the passengers, who included at least one child, appeared to be Indonesian. The second boat was carrying about 72 people and was stopped 27 nautical miles west of Bathurst Island, just north of Darwin.
Several women and three or four children were believed to be aboard.
“The Iraqi government is happy if all Christians leave”
The interceptions occurred hundreds of kilometres apart, suggesting the boats were not travelling together.
They came less than a day after four people, understood to be two Afghans, a Sri Lankan and an Indian, were detected by a surveillance flight by a Customs helicopter.
No boat was found with the men.
Yesterday, a government source speculated the find could be a new trend, with people-smugglers preferring to drop their cargo and go home rather than stay with their passengers and risk arrest and prosecution.
Afghanistan’s ambassador, Amanullah Jayhoon, told The Australian yesterday a recent crackdown by Pakistani and Iranian authorities on Afghan refugees was a major factor behind the spike in boat arrivals.
He stressed that the numbers coming to Australia were low compared with those of Afghan refugees opting for asylum in Greece, Turkey or Cyprus.
Two main “push factors” were driving Afghan asylum seekers, he said – continuing insecurity, particularly in the south of the country, and little or no economic opportunities at home.
Many of the Afghan asylum seekers had been long-term residents in camps in Iran and Pakistan, he said.
“The third factor is that Iran and Pakistan are trying to push the refugees back to Afghanistan, so when they are being pushed back to Afghanistan, they consider themselves refugees again,” Mr Jayhoon said.
“These are people (criminals) who thrive on the tragedy ofothers. But most of those (refugees) coming are not coming directly from Afghanistan, because most of these people (in Afghanistan) cannot afford to pay this $10,000 or $15,000.”
Two Afghan asylum seekers who were burnt in the boat blast off Ashmore Reef were taken to a secure immigration facility in a Perth suburb yesterday after being discharged from Royal Perth Hospital. The men are expected to be interviewed this morning by Northern Territory police who are investigating the cause of the explosion.
They will join four men who were placed in one of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s home detention facilities in Perth’s eastern suburbs on Tuesday.
The men will be under 24-hour supervision by guards.
They will have access to members of the Afghan community who have offered support by cooking meals and providing spiritual guidance.
A department spokeswoman said the men would have access to computers, television and a phone to contact their families.
She said hospital staff had already visited the men to provide medical assistance. Department officials were yet to interview the men to establish their identities, she said.
Seventeen other asylum seekers who were badly burnt in the blast remain at Royal Perth, with one of the men in intensive care, three in the trauma unit and 13 in the burns unit.
Four other victims from the blast remain at Royal Darwin Hospital and seven in Brisbane.