MID-OCEAN STANDOFF, Fairfax claims
It was not a mid-ocean anything as HMAS Ballarat last night responded to a distress call a mere 57 kilometers from the Indonesian coast and well within their own search and rescue zone.Â Â MoreÂ MID-OCEAN STANDOFF
If our Coast Guard water taxi picked them up in Indonesian waters we already lost it. It is simply not our business to pick up fraudulent asylum seekers in foreign waters. Once again, the actions of the Indonesian make it clear that their government and their military is facilitating the Â Islamic invasion of Australia….
I said last nightÂ the Abbott Government had failedÂ – judging from reports – in its first clear test of its border policies.
It’s not that simple:Â
A mid-ocean stand-off between Australia and Indonesia may be developingÂ late on Thursday night as a customs vessel tries to return a boatload of rescued asylum seekers to a reluctant Indonesia.
Up to 56 asylum seekers were rescued from their wooden boat in Indonesia’s search and rescue zone by an Australian ship on Thursday and, rather than taking them to Christmas Island, it is seeking to return them to Indonesia…
Basarnas’ deputy officer in charge, Adi Fachroni Azis earlier said Australia had “called us talking about evacuating the passengers [to Indonesia] but until now Indonesian authorities are still talking with their Australian counterparts. So far as I know, still no decision has been taken.”
I said yesterday the timing of this confrontation was suspicious. Indeed:
On two occasions since the election of the Abbott government, rescued asylum seekers have been returned to Indonesian agencies in mid-ocean, ship-to-ship operations.
However, with tensions high over allegations of spying by Australia, and no agreement reached yet on a cooperative way of dealing with asylum seekers, the Indonesians may be reluctant to take the latest group.