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Yesterday Indonesia announced it will force the 240 asylum-seekers on board the Jaya Lestari into detention, by gun point if necessary.

“This is our nation, so why can’t we (use force) in the name of our sovereignty? After all, this has all only happened because we followed an Australian request”, says the senior immigration official Harry Purwanto.

Will the go to the Australian-funded detention centre in Tanjung Pinang? Stay tuned…

A neat twist at the end of the article..

“Sanjeev “Alex” Kuhendrarajah, a spokesman for those on board, said if there were former fighters on the Jaya Lestari, “they should have more credibility in their request for asylum than even a regular refugee because they really are fleeing for their lives”.

Some thoughtful words from Suvendrini Perera

“I do not agree with those who describe conditions in Sri Lanka as amounting to genocide against Tamils. But the interests of three governments — Sri Lankan, Australian, Indonesian — now converge in whitewashing the undeniable dangers that would face the people of the Jaya Lestari if they were returned. Platitudes about the “damage to our international reputation” aside, can Australians face up to what would amount, in all but name, to a refoulement, or expulsion, of certified refugees and asylum seekers to a place they fled because of a very well-founded fear of persecution?”

Who’s Hearing The People Smuggling 'Message’? New Matilda 15 Dec 2009

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