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110 asylum seekers evacuated by Australian ship: Indonesian official

English.news.cn   2012-06-22 12:26:18            

JAKARTA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- An Australian business ship evacuated 110 asylum seekers whose boat sunk in the waters at the border of Indonesia and Australia on Wednesday, Indonesian rescuer said Friday.

Agolo Suprapto, head of operation of the Indonesian search and rescue office said that the Australian warship Larrakia had ordered the business ship passing the area to help the victims. "Now, all the 110 asylum seekers have been on the business ship and heading to Christmas island," he told Xinhua by phone.

He revised down the number of people on board from 206 to 110.

"According to the manifest the people on board was 110," said Suprapto.

Suprapto said that the boat collapsed on Wednesday near Christmas island of Australia, but it remained in the Indonesian territory.

However, Suprapto said that the asylum seekers rejected to receive help offered by Indonesian rescuers, saying that several Indonesian ships had been ready to give help. "We have contacted the asylum seekers before they were helped by the Australian business ship, but they turned off their satellite phone. This happened for several times," he said.

Suprapto suspected the rejection aimed at having help from Australian side that they may get opportunity to have asylum rights.

"This seems parts of asylum seeker modus of operation. They could also break their own boat, as it has been frequently done by those seeking asylum to Australia. Then they will be facilitated by Australia," said Suprapto.

"But this time they seemed to forget that they capsized their boat when it remained in Indonesian territory. Going forward, we must warn them not to break it in our territory," he said.

Indonesia has been a favorite transit point for those from the Middle East and other countries to enter Australia for asylum.

The governments of Indonesia and Australia have cooperated in tackling such illegal immigrant and set up a treaty.

Editor: Liu
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