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Sri Lankan asylum seekers not disembarking

ABC News Audio:

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has denied reports Indonesia has set a deadline to end its stand-off with Australia over 78 asylum seekers.

As the Sri Lankan asylum seekers spend their 12th day on board the Customs ship the Oceanic Viking, the Government of Australia is under increasing pressure to resolve the impasse.

But the situation is dragging on with the asylum seekers refusing to leave the ship and local Indonesian authorities refusing to take them.

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[courtesy: ABC News] [Click for mp3]

Pictures courtesy of Reuters and Getty Images:

Asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, part of the group of 260 who were detained by the Indonesian Navy, shout slogans on their boat as they call on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to take care of them, at Cilegon harbour in Indonesia's Banten province October 26, 2009. Another 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers rescued by an Australian customs vessel in Indonesian waters are to be taken to a detention centre on the Indonesian island of Bintan.

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11 Comments

What is wrong with Tamils to use their children to fight for their cause. They use them to fight for a country, they used them to win sympathy and not get beaten by the riot police (in Canada when they block the highway) and now to beg asylum? What a shameless race they are.

Posted by: SLFireBall | October 28, 2009 10:50 PM

I pray that these Tamils will be accepted by some country. I don't want to see them come back here. They no longer deserve to be Sri Lankans. They are a great insult to their motherland.
If they are really discriminated against, why didn't they goto India which is few miles away. They always use these false allegations to get refugee status in developed countries, where life is easier.
I wish all these Tamils who don't like Sri lanka will get a chance to leave this country. (Since some of them
crossed Palk straight when Ceylon was greener and now it is natural that they leave her when she is struggling a bit - infact it's they who hurt her the most with brutal act of terrorism, destroying billions of our national wealth)
I said some of them because there are a lot of great Tamils who are toiling hard for the betterment of our society.
May all others (whether they are Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims leave this land for good)

Posted by: Harshe | October 28, 2009 11:43 PM

Harshe,

These people may have been living in the carnage inflicted by both LTTE and Sri Lankan govt. in the recent past. There lives may not be ‘established’ as much as other Tamils who have been uprooted from their original habitats and forced to move to other areas of Sri Lanka, such as Colombo. Now without sufficient means to survive in other areas how do you expect them to live?

And will they be able avoid arrest in Colombo etc?

Will you be happy or have the same view if Sri Lanka govt. has been taking similar measures to Sinhalese in the South to prevent a future instability after silencing the JVP rebellion.

The Government has no backbone to practice what Lord Buddha preached.

Why go to pansala and observe sil while sin is what is done rest of the time.

Posted by: Marlene P | October 29, 2009 08:32 AM

Harshe and SLFireBall reflect the majority Sinhalese view.

They genuinely hope that if they can continue to control the Tamils' destiny in SL, then they have no problems Tamils living in SL. But, if Tamils try to take their own destiny into their own hands, then they do not want the Tamils in SL.

Now, removing Tamils from SL can be done in many ways.

1.Continuing the murders under the guise of fighting LTTE - LTTE? I thought it is no more.
2. Shipping them to foreign countries - preferably to poor countries so they can pay for asking for rights in SL.
3. Giving Tamils what they deserve - Separate State to look after their own affairs freely.

Except for #3, the majority Sinhalese are OK with 1 and 2. - If you guys think I am joking, conduct a election on this issue in the South and you will find the truth.


Posted by: M FERN | October 29, 2009 11:17 AM

Dear MR.\MS. SL Fireball
Children were used because, they were killed without discrimination by SL troops, SL hooligons.

Posted by: Ravi | October 29, 2009 12:32 PM

SL Fireball,

What a shame Srilanka, use Children (child sex) to cover Western and Chinese official to sing along with them.

First correct your GLASSES then comment on others.

These children were discriminated by SL Troops. Do you think, these children will show white flags and allow SL to kill in groups. SHAME ON YOU.

Posted by: Sigiriya | October 29, 2009 02:25 PM

These people & children do not look like ones who have been under prevelaged or starved by mother lanka. These people are better-nourished and speaking english better than ordinary sri lankans. That alone shows there is no discrimination. They just want to migrate to a western country. After they live for number of years in these countries they will realise the real value of the country where they were born. Australia or any other country( UK, USA, Canada or Norway) Please accept these people if you are different to SL

Posted by: nisal | October 29, 2009 06:09 PM

It is sad to see the plight of these innocent Tamils. These people were cheated/poorly advised by the people smugglers.
Prabakaran fought to get dignity for Tamil people. On the other hand Tamil Diaspora (including educated) degrading the dignity of Tamil people. They are spreading lies and unfounded stories about the Srilankan Government and Sinhalese people. It is unreasonable to slam Srilankan government and Sinhala people. We should remember that no goverment is perfect. I personally know that many ordinary Sinhalese people have donated money for the displaced Tamil people. My parents who are living in Jaffna are always reluctant to criticise the Goverment. They have advised me that SL government has always paid their pensions and also provided ration for disadvanged people even during the height of the conflict.

Posted by: Kumar | October 29, 2009 07:38 PM

These Tamils are in the mid sea for a long time now. I wonder what they do for food. If the expatriate Tamils cannot do anything for these helpless how in May 2009 they thought they could force US to intervene in SL to save LTTE and Praba.

Posted by: Amirthakaliyan | October 29, 2009 09:58 PM

The international community must find a solution to this dreadful problem. Why the UN is turning an blind eye, are the tamils being discriminated.

Pavitran

Posted by: Pavitran | October 30, 2009 01:21 PM

Quite obviously there is no need for these people to go through all this hardship if they can live a dignified life in Sri Lanka. Therefore our so called patriots should think as to why these people risk their life savings on the high seas to get out of Sri Lanka. The comments and attitudes of some of our Sri Lankans is evidence enough as to why these people want to get out. Even without the extra harrassment Tamils are subject to every one is having a miserable time with our Chintana Anduwa. Even Singhalese and Muslims are running away from here.

Posted by: SriLankan | October 30, 2009 07:17 PM

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