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indonesia's aussie' trash bin....!

  1. Yak

    13,672 Posts.

    Unbelievable these people....they're the ones at the very center of the boat people saga. They're the ones who both profit from or turn a blind eye to the porcess that leads to the influx of boat people to Oz.

    And now, when we do perhaps the most sensible thing....send 'em back where they came from....

    .....they're the ones that whinge.....

    Foolgit I am sure will have his Indonesian hackles up and will of course defend them to the ned.....

    BTW he never did answer any of the questions posed to him did he.....

    Not your trash bin: Jakarta
    By Kimina Lyall, Sophie Morris, Marianne Kearney and agencies
    November 13, 2003

    INDONESIA yesterday declared it would not become an immigration trash bin for Canberra as 14 Kurdish asylum-seekers complained of rough justice at the hands of Australia's Government and military.

    Officials in Jakarta launched an investigation into Australia's handling of the case, questioning the men throughout the afternoon.

    "We will see if what the Australian Government did was wrong," Indonesian Immigration Department spokesman Ade Dachlan said.

    "What do they think Indonesia is, a trash bin for these people?"

    Twelve of the men yesterday lodged a claim for asylum in a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    And while the UNHCR accused Australia of "shirking responsibility" for its treatment of the Turkish Kurds, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer backed away from his assertion on Sunday that the men had not claimed asylum in Australia.

    But in a spectacular twist, the Kurdish men have told reporters of a dramatic stand-off with men they believed were military on Melville Island.

    In broken Indonesian, some of the men claimed that after five hours on the island, khaki-clad men who they thought were soldiers put them back on the boat and pushed them off.

    "The Australian people may be good, but the army and system, no good," said Asim Bali, 30, while holding an Australian Navy life vest.

    Behan, 27, who refused to give his full name, said: "All the time they shout at us, they say shut up, shut up, sit down. We get no food, only water."

    Despite speaking little English, Mr Bali, 30, said that while they were on the island and later on the boat the 14 men had called out "refugee, refugee, refugee". He said the "military", yelled in reply "be quiet, sit down, don't speak!" and "Go Indonesia".

    Another of the men, Ali Kizil, said: "We wanted to go to Australia to get a better life."

    Irfan Kardo, also 27, said most of the asylum-seekers were extremely stressed by their treatment at the hands of the Australian navy and the subsequent trip to Yamdena island in Indonesian.

    The official government explanation, supported by anecdotes from islanders, is that the men only came in contact with officials after locals pushed the boat offshore and rang Coastwatch.

    The Government's version is also at odds with the men's claims they received no food no water or medicine.

    Behan said the asylum-seekers did not know if they were being taken to an Indonesian island, New Zealand or perhaps to Malaysia. "I feel like I'm an animal ... just being taken wherever. I feel like a kangaroo, but I think kangaroos are treated better than me by the Australian troops," he said.

    "The waves were enormous. We didn't know if we'd live or die."

    In London, Mr Downer said he had denied the men made asylum claims on the basis of advice from the Immigration Department, but would have the advice investigated.

    "But it doesn't have any legal significance, because, as you know, Melville Island was excised from the Australian migration zone by the Attorney-General, so in those circumstances such an application wouldn't have any meaning in law, as I understand it," Mr Downer said.

    Two of the 14 men have agreed to be returned to Turkey, according to the International Organisation for Migration's chief-of-mission in Jakarta, Steve Cook.

    Another three men - suffering from a heart condition, a lung disease and a sexually transmitted disease - were undergoing medical tests, two of them at the IOM clinic.

    Asim Bali said the men had each paid $US7000 ($9790) for the passage to Australia. He said they paid $US3000 to a man called Mustafa in Turkey, who organised passports and air tickets to Jakarta, and $US4000 to an Iraqi called Hassan in Jakarta.

    Irfan Kardo said: "We want to return to Australia, but not like last time, we're all scared of the Australian troops. They're all terrible," he said.

    During their four-day wait on their boat just off Melville Island, troops refused to find a doctor for them, even though many of the Kurdish boatpeople were sick, or to explain what would happen to them, Kardo said.

    Kardo and Behan said they had told both Melville Islanders and Australian coastal guards that they were refugees and wanted to stay in Australia.

    "We said to the people on Melville, we are refuge please help us. If were refuge of course we want to go to Australia and stay there," Behan said.

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