When I posted about this the other day, I wasn’t sure if there was someone driving the lifeboats or they were being directed to Indonesia by remote control. Now we see they are being towed by an Australian Customs vessel. Good for Australia, good for Indonesia which gets to keep the lifeboats…and the Muslims.
Al-Jazeera (h/t Cathari5) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday that no asylum seeker had reached Australia by boat in 50 days, the longest period since 2008, describing the measures to turn them back as tough but effective. “I’m pleased that we’ve now had 50 days without an illegal boat arriving in Australia, and the message is getting out loud and clear to the people smugglers and their would-be customers that the way is shut … you will not pass,” Abbott said.
In other changes under the new government, Australia is refusing to permanently resettle Muslim refugees who arrive by boat and will not allow their relatives to come to Australia under family reunion schemes open to other refugees. Australian officials last month confirmed that lifeboats had been acquired as part of a strategy to stop asylum seekers as crews on boats smuggling people often resort to sabotaging engines or sinking their vessels to avoid their ships being turned back.
Lifeboat arrives on Java: Muslim
asylum welfare seekers say they were nearly at Christmas Island before being intercepted by Australian Navy.
ABC The asylum seekers on board the lifeboat which turned up on the Javanese coast say they made it close to Christmas Island when the Australian Navy intercepted them.
The life boats have navigational equipment and a diesel motor that can reach the Indonesian coast once the vessel is in Indonesian waters. “[They] bring us in the Indonesian water in the ocean and then put us in the orange boat and close the door, lock the door, and the Navy escort us until Indonesian water and they return us back to Indonesia,” said one man on the video.