More than 50 Australia-bound asylum seekers from Sri Lanka have refused to leave their boat after it was found stranded off Indonesia's Sumatra island a week ago, officials say.
Sikakap district police chief Surya Negara said on Friday the boat holding 53 people, including three children and four women, was found drifting near small Mentawai island off Sumatra on September 1 after it ran out of fuel.
Fifty Sri Lankan asylum seekers are refusing to leave their boat after it was towed to Indonesia. Source: AAP
"They refused to get off the boat, saying that they want to continue their journey to Christmas Island (Australia). They want 2000 litres of fuel to sail back to sea," Negara told AFP.
In a letter to a local immigration office, the asylum seekers threatened to go on hunger strike, saying "we will not eat until we die", according to the message seen by an AFP correspondent.
Negara said local authorities have been in touch with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), but as the island was so remote, it takes time to reach the location.
"Up until now, they refused food or medical treatment. But based on our observation they still have enough food on their boat," he said.
Australia is facing a steady influx of asylum-seekers arriving by boat, many of whom run into trouble on rickety vessels in Indonesian waters after fleeing their home countries.
Indonesia has long been a transit country for illegal migration to Australia. Hundreds of boatpeople have died en route to the country this year. (AAP)
Comments - 22
kumaraya Friday, 07 September 2012 03:48 PM
The Government of Sri Lanka must conduct an education program for the people to show that life in Australia, UK, Canada, Scandinavia etc is no easy life. I know of families who went, LEGALLY after obtaining visas, but are now desperate, because they have no employment. Of course, there are those who plunder the system of welfare in those countries in diverse ways. They have excellent experience in such and over the decades after the first migration following the dark days of July 84, I understand that there is a net-work of organizations that will assist these "assylum seekers" with welfare benefits so that they can manage.
Kalu Sudda Friday, 07 September 2012 04:13 PM
It makes my day.Please stay in the boat but do not ask for water or food.
raj Friday, 07 September 2012 04:06 PM
Esala, your comment shows the true mentality of you. Thank god that there are not many with your mentality.
ceylon Friday, 07 September 2012 04:56 PM
So now these asylum seeks demand being illegally in another country. Next time they will be armed with weapons.
Calistus Jayatilleke Saturday, 08 September 2012 09:51 AM
Please let them stay in their boat and dont send them back to Sri Lanka.
ding Friday, 07 September 2012 06:06 PM
make a hole at the bottom of the boat :P then we shall see whether they truly mean it :P
Lobo Saturday, 08 September 2012 01:46 AM
Send them some of the contaminated fuel from here.
podda Saturday, 08 September 2012 01:49 AM
why not let them die & let it be a lesson to the assholes who are going to follow...
MH Saturday, 08 September 2012 01:50 AM
Economic Tamil migrants(My foot) who has anyway sneaked in to Australia since 1983 through Illegal means and raised money to LTTE to kill innocent civiliansin Sri Lanka.I am one of Sri Lankans who tried to migrate through the right way with qualifications but was rejected by the Australian high commission in Colombo as I fell short by 5 points then I realised australia likes the boat people.
senavi Saturday, 08 September 2012 02:35 AM
provide them with CPC diesel
Subbiah Saturday, 08 September 2012 04:54 AM
They will paint a wrong picture about their motherland to get asylum. Do not allow them to return to Sri Lanka. Let them go anywhere.
Arun Friday, 07 September 2012 12:17 PM
Are people so desperate to go to Aussie.??
Dean Friday, 07 September 2012 01:04 PM
"we will not eat until we die" you dont have to eat once you died..
Neil Friday, 07 September 2012 01:21 PM
oh god.who will stop this
Neil Friday, 07 September 2012 01:22 PM
this is the way they are
Sagara Friday, 07 September 2012 01:42 PM
They have every right to refuse to leave boat and refuse any food. So, leave them alone! Even the London Parliament Sq hunger striker managed to smuggle in hamburgers.
IBNUABOO Friday, 07 September 2012 02:17 PM
of the news of Australia bound asylum seekers this is a different story and pityful and poor jouney. but however they escaped from our navy
Esala Friday, 07 September 2012 01:54 PM
No problem let them to die. Who cares. Some of their relatives already in Australia they will help.
Lanka Atapattu Friday, 07 September 2012 02:33 PM
Send Them Back to Sri Lanka!!!!
RamUK Friday, 07 September 2012 02:47 PM
Lol obviously you were reading what you want to read only. If you followed that story it has been proved wrong and given compensation for that it is very similar to lemon puff story Lol
RamUK Friday, 07 September 2012 03:04 PM
y not these are all Sinhalese Tamils and Muslim ppl... our ppl
Jude Sunday, 09 September 2012 04:06 AM
Why LTTE supporters are strugling to fight the country using asylum as a protocol.
The govt should arrest and give them punishment so that they know the damage done to the country, when our generation trying to breathe.
Still trincomalee, Negambo are main places and our defence will definietly block it
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