TWO of the asylum-seekers who claim to have been deliberately burned by Australian navy personnel during a turn-back operation had burns to their hands before the navy arrived. Â (The Australian)
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison furiously rejected allegations aired yesterday that asylum-seekers whose boat was turned back were abused by Australian officials.
“The Australian government is not going to put up with people sledging the Australian navy with unsubstantiated claims when they have high levels of motivation for spinning stories in order to undermine this government’s very successful border protection program,” he said.
Cameron Stewart is right to suggest that if our relations with Indonesia truly are as rocky as some of the public posturing suggests,Â much of the blame actually lies with Indonesians:
When it was reported this week that 10 asylum-seekers claimed to have been burned and beaten by Australian sailors, Security Minister Djoko Suyanto, who is leading Indonesia’s response to the turnback strategy, immediately accepted their claims as gospel. This was despite having no proof of their unlikely story, despite the obvious motivation for the returned asylum-seekers to fabricate such claims, and despite strong denials from the Australian government and from two of the country’s most senior military officers.
Regardless, Suyanto’s spokesman Agus Barnas described the alleged case of mistreatment as “torture” by Australian sailors…
While the Australian government is careful about what it says publicly about Indonesia, there is growing frustration in Canberra over what many see as hypocritical posturing by Jakarta.
Related blog entries:
Apparently “stop the boats” wasÂ more than just a slogan:
Australia has not recorded an asylum seeker boat arrival inÂ five weeksÂ – the first time in five years there has been such a quiet stretch without more people filling detention centres …
Last week, when Border Protection Command discovered several of its ships had accidentally entered Indonesia’s 12 nautical mile territorial waters in the course of turnbacks, Australia informed Jakarta of the breach, apologised profusely and ordered a formal review to ensure such a mistake is not repeated…
But what was lost in the resulting furore was that this mistake occurred through good intentions. The navy was trying to escort asylum-seeker boats as close as it legally could to the Indonesian shore to try to maximise their chances of a safe return.
Indonesia’s angry response was to accuse Australia of trampling on its sovereignty and to boost naval patrols in the areas where the breaches had occurred…
The irony is that Canberra has been wanting Indonesia to increase its naval patrols in these waters off southern Java for years, to help stop people-smugglers from launching their boats as well as to save the lives of asylum-seekers in distress on the high seas…
If the safety of returned asylum-seekers is genuinely worrying Indonesia, then it could simply give permission for Australian navy ships to escort asylum-seeker boats through its territorial zone all the way back to shore, guaranteeing a safe return each time.
Here’s an example of an Indonesian MP – Foreign Affairs Commission member Tantowi Yahya – making ludicrous claims to push his kick-Australia agenda:
TANTOWI YAHYA: I say many, many times that the asylum seekers are not Indonesians and they came to our territory without our knowledge and then their intention is going to Australia. So, as a matter of fact we don’t have anything – we don’t have anything to do with this except for the reasons of humanity…: Well, if you set aside the humanity reasons, the asylum seekers are not Indonesian, obviously. They were – and then their destinations is also Australia. So,Â in fact we have nothing to do with this.
Indonesia has “nothing to do with this”? Indonesia really has “nothing to do with” Indonesian boats with Indonesian crews smuggling in people from Indonesian territory, often with the connivance of corrupt Indonesian police?
This man takes us for fools.
On Catallaxy Files,Â a reminder to the anti-Abbott Left – so keen to hype up Indonesiam anger against our boat policies – that it is being usedÂ as Indonesia prepares to go to elections:
Partai Demokrat, GOLKAR, PKS, PAN, PPP and PKB coalition partner officials are cheerfully beating the ‘vote for us because we stand up to foreigners’ drum secure in the knowledge that Canberra will not say a word about it. And both benefit from the free publicity flowing from the Narrative. Reports of Indonesian warships going to the area, hysteria about turnbacks, the baseless ABC allegations of beatings and burnings all act to deter new customers for the transnational criminal gangs running the people smuggling trade. Both countries benefit from this.
What the left will refuse to understand is that their predictability makes them perfect for co-option, and so they and their Narrative have been co-opted by political operators vastly more worldly and sophisticated than they. As the left just knows itself to be morally and intellectually superior to both governments, they are unable to acknowledge this or to change their MO. Their worldview does not permit them to realise they are being played like a violin.
How Indonesia will control Australian migration
Wake up Australia. Australia will get through this boats crisis and almost certainly a determined Tony Abbott will stop the boats.
But our defence forward planning is so bad that by the end of the decade Indonesia will have such defence superiority over Australia that in 2020 the Indonesian president, not the Australian prime minister, will decide how many refugees will be allowed to come to Australia.
To understand what is ahead you first need to read theÂ Jakarta PostÂ where we discover that the Indonesian president has used the Australian refugee crisis to revamp and sharpen Indonesia’s military preparedness.
And it’s clear the Indonesians believe their greatest threat is from Australia. Air Force chief spokesman Air Commodore Hadi Tjajanto toldÂ The Jakarta Post: “We are concentrating on four radars in Timika, Merauke, Saumlaki and Buraen, which face Australia.
“So if we notice any border violation, Makassar will be ready.Â Australia is reachable from there.” (my emphasis).
The article carries the heading: “Air Force casts its eyes on borders with Australia” see link at the bottom of the page.
What makes that Indonesian air force statement so important is that the Indonesians realise that ultimately it’s about air power. And by the end of the decade the Indonesians will completely control Australia’s northern air space.
To achieve dominance over Australia Indonesia plans to buy an incredible 180 of the Russian/Indian SukhoiÂ fighters, almost certainly including theÂ T-50 PAK-FA and Su-35S. We are planning to buy America’s Joint Strike Fighter which has been an unmitigated disaster and is absolutely no match for the Russian/Indian aircraft.
And it’s so noisy that when the “stealth” bomber lands or takes off from Darwin the residents near the airport will need ear protection. We may need to base the JSF further south because of the Darwin noise problem but unfortunately the JSF has limited flying range.
As we saw with the Australian defence abuses the department of defence has a culture of cover ups and the JSF disaster is its biggest ever cover-up.
Australia premier defence analystsÂ Air Power AustraliaÂ group,Â has been calling the Joint Strike Fighter disaster correctly for a decade and warning us about the looming Indonesian superiority. Airpower Australia wants Australia to convince the US to merge the JSF program with a restoration of the F22. We would then have an aircraft that could match the Russian/Indian fighter and with American help we would retain control over our air space.
America’s defence chiefs are also covering up the disaster, although high-level leaks mean that Americans have a better appreciation of the JSF disaster than Australians, but Fairfax media has begun to question the capabilities of the JSF compared to its rivals.
The problem is that the developers Lockheed Martin keep saying they will fix the faults and improve the performance and no one wants to face the fact that the attempt to make the joint strike fighter a plane for all services has not worked.
If we end up with a fleet of Joint Strike Fighters or continue to rely on the out-dated and next to useless Hornets (an even worse option) then by the end of the decade Australia may need to turn to China for defence protection against Indonesia. China has a big stake in our minerals and has an aircraft that looks like it can match the Russian/Indian plane.
All our recent defence ministers, including the current one, have let us down and not been prepared to go beyond what the military chiefs tell them. John Faulkner did wake up at least to the danger but promptly resigned.