Its about bloody time that the law of the sea that requires rescued seafarers to be taken to the nearest port is at last being respected when it comes to the so called asylum seekers.
Once these would be immigrants realise that having the Australian navy on speed dial won’t guarantee them passage here they might just reconsider taking the trip in the first place. The sad thing is that the same message should have been sent earlier when other boats and their compliments insisted that they had to not only be rescued from their self induced peril but also that they should be taken to Australia even when their peril was almost in sight of Indonesia. This belated change in the destination of rescued asylum seekers also puts paid to the oft repeated claims that Indonesia would not have them back even when they are obliged to do so by the laws of the sea.
It may even help to stem the tide but one has to ask why did Gillard take so long insist that Indonesia had to step up to accept their rescue responsibilities?
- Ships Try to Rescue Asylum Seekers off Indonesia (irrawaddy.org)
- 140 missing‚ 6 rescued as boat sinks off Indonesia (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Six Rescued, 140 Missing After Asylum Boat Sinks Off Indonesia (blogs.voanews.com)
- Many still missing from asylum seeker boat (radionz.co.nz)
- Search for asylum seeker boat abandoned (news.smh.com.au)