Australian action angers Jakarta

JAKARTA - Indonesia's foreign minister has called Australia's policy to tow migrant boats back into Indonesian waters inhumane.

Marty Natalegawa was commenting after a boat carrying 34 people from four countries was found drifting ashore in West Java on Wednesday.

"Can such an (Australian Prime Minister Tony) Abbott administration policy be called the policy of a government that upholds human rights and humanity?" he was quoted saying by Kompas newspaper.

"Those asylum seekers are people that need protection."

The Australian broadcaster ABC aired footage last week of a boat carrying refugees being towed by an Australian vessel. The boat in the video is believed to be the one that washed ashore in Indonesia.

Natalegawa urged international human rights groups and the UN to scrutinise Canberra's new policy of intercepting illegal immigrants at sea, noting that Australia is a party to the 1951 UN refugee convention.

However, he said it was not the Indonesian government's policy or intention to help the illegal boat traffic.

Both countries, he added, were affected by refugees, many of them South Asians who reach Indonesia before attempting to get to Australia.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 10/02/2014 at 04:54 AM
Perhaps Indonesia should embrace their fellow Muslims and not force them to seek refuge elsewhere!
Discussion 2 : 09/02/2014 at 05:35 AM
so take care themselves first hand and not drift them away with guns
Discussion 3 : 09/02/2014 at 01:22 AM
Bangon, you're perfectly right! It's only a pity for those who are serious and true "refugees", and who indeed are really in need. They deserve better but are considered by these money hunters and people smugglers as collateral damage...
Discussion 4 : 09/02/2014 at 12:55 AM
What a poor comment! While my fellow ozzie brothers and sisters have their issues, this 'policy' is not one that is shared by the larger Australian population and there are many that are ashamed by Abbots stance on Asylum seekers. Just like there are many Americans who are ashamed at the continued use of Guantanamo.
Discussion 5 : 09/02/2014 at 12:49 AM
the correct title should be: jakarta inaction angers australia.
Discussion 6 : 08/02/2014 at 10:52 PM
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone ....look how the americans treated their native land owners. And I won't even go into the slave trade .....nor the way you treated them until recently.
Discussion 7 : 08/02/2014 at 08:33 PM
This is normal for Australia. You have to remember this is an island of criminals. They only care about them themselves not other humans. Look how they have treated the first land owners of their country for the last 100 years.
Discussion 8 : 08/02/2014 at 05:56 PM
"Those asylum seekers are people that need protection." ... which they surely will not find in the country of "complaint", the islam state of Indonesia... Shouldn't muslim-Indonesia start sweeping its own floor instead?
Discussion 9 : 08/02/2014 at 05:49 PM
Pity the UK government hasn't the balls to ship economic tourists back where they came from
Discussion 10 : 08/02/2014 at 05:36 PM
Tony Abbott, an immigrant from the UK,indeed is proof of the truism that there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker.
Discussion 11 : 08/02/2014 at 05:13 PM
Before arrival on EU soil, as good as all of these so-called 'refugees' burn, get rid of, their passports, travel documents, etc., anything that could identify them, and their real country of origine, and then pretend to come from some place where there is unrest or a (civil) war. And the interpreters, paid by NGO's and human rights organisation, or state, called in to communicate with them in the tongue(s) of that place pull their hair out, as the 'refugees' don't speak any of those, but (must) shut up, as too many organisations make (a lot of)(taxpayers') money out of this flow of, MIGRANTS! Been there, seen that. Send them back, Aussies!

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