Gee now that is a question many would like the answer to. Yet during a small gathering in our own area today, when this subject came up, those in attendance found it very difficult to imagine that this could have actually been the case. After all it would mean risking the lives of women, children and babies, not to mention the men onboard as well.
Only last week, a boat carrying asylum-seekers also sank off Christmas Island. The boat was believed to have been carrying about 200 people. A total of 110 people were rescued and 17 bodies were found. The search for survivors was called off late on Saturday.
Christmas Island lies off Australia’s north-west coast. It is closer to Indonesia than Australia, and is targeted by asylum-seekers hoping to get to Australia.
The joint rescue attempt by the Indonesian Authorities and Australian Authority’s did save lives on both occasions, but there were still many deaths.
The Australian Government has been at odds for quite some time as how best to deal with the increasing number of asylum seekers attempting to enter the country. It has been well covered in the media – and no doubt in the Indonesia media as well – Indonesia is where these boats are sailing from in an attempt to gain easy access and residential status for the occupant travellers.
Do you think it is possible with all the media attention showing boats capsizing and Asylum Seekers drowning, and politicians in Australia are in tears, grieving on television for the unnecessary loss of lives – that the criminals, who are responsible for bringing these people across the ocean miles, may have deliberately caused this latest boat to sink?
Australia has an immigration policy and an asylum seeker policy – but it is seriously in need of reworking and some compromise.
In the interim hundreds, if not thousands of people are in danger of losing their lives by attempting to arrive in Australia illegally, by boat from Indonesia.
According to an article from The Irish Times:
Asylum seekers are a hot political issue in Australia. So far this year, more than 50 boats carrying more than 4,000 asylum seekers have been detected by Australian authorities.
Refugees seeking asylum in Australia often set sail from Indonesia heading for Australia’s Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island in dangerous and overcrowded boats, with the help of people smugglers.
In December 2011 as many as 200 died when an overcrowded boat sank off the coast of East Java in December, 2011.
In 2010, 50 asylum seekers died when their boat was thrown onto rocks at Christmas Island. In 2001, a crowded boat known as the SIEV X sank on its way to Australia with the loss of 350 lives.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Parliament today: “I don’t want to see a 13-year-old girl drown at sea in the weeks between now and when this parliament comes back in the spring. We’ve seen too many people lose their lives at sea. We have to act.”
Unfortunately so far, there is no compromise towards a solution to this ongoing smuggling problem.
If Indonesian ‘people smugglers’ continue to see Australia as the easy/soft option, they will keep overloading their boats and killing innocent people. They make large amounts of money from this corrupt practice. While our politicians are seen to be a soft touch, and our borders considered open to one and all – there will be no stopping this vile smuggling effort.
Politicians in-fighting and crying on national news will not be seen as a deterrent. Just cram another unseaworthy boat full of desperate people, head in the general nautical direction of Christmas Island, radio for help as you scuttle the boat – and Bob’s your Uncle…… Australia here we come.
So a few people drown at sea. Is their sacrifice for the greater good or the greater rupiah?
Maybe the Asylum Seekers would not sabotage
their own boat, but the smugglers might
think it worth the effort.