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More asylum seekers to Cocos Islands

2 August 2012 01:11 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A boat carrying 67 Tamil asylum seekers has arrived undetected at the Cocos Islands.

The boat was 200 metres from the Cocos Islands when four of the men onboard swam ashore.

Local resident Jack O'Donnell, who has a beachfront house, says he spotted the boat just after 8:00 am local time..

"About 10 minutes later four of the refugees, they're Tamils, swam with life jackets through the surf," he said.

Mr O'Donnell says one man, who spoke broken English, said the people on board were exhausted and in need of food.
"It was obviously crowded with bodies," he said.

"We were just worried that they might try and traverse the surf which would be dangerous, well, it would be catastrophic because it's jagged reef."
Mr O'Donnell says he alerted police who showed up and spoke to the four men.

It is understood the boat has been towed to the island's lagoon.

The asylum seekers have since been taken into custody and will be transferred to Christmas Island.

Opposition Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Keenan says he is not surprised the boat arrived undetected because there are too many for Customs vessels to deal with.

"These are very hardworking men and women who are doing a very difficult job but unfortunately they're mopping up the consequences of Labor's failed polices," he said.

"It's clearly increasingly difficult to intercept those vessels before they get to Australia."

Overnight, a boat carrying 28 asylum seekers was intercepted west of the Cocos Islands but it is believed the two boats are different.

Meanwhile, Australian authorities have intercepted an asylum seeker boat north of Christmas Island.

It is understood there are 43 passengers and two crew on board.

The group has been transferred to Christmas Island for health, security and identity checks. (Source: AbC News Australia)

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  Comments - 9

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  • perumal Thursday, 02 August 2012 01:38 AM

    These people fleeing their country may be part of the solution to the national question.

    Kondebandapucheena Thursday, 02 August 2012 05:26 AM

    Good For Aussies

    Jeevan Thursday, 02 August 2012 06:38 AM

    Yep, at the end of the day, you wont have a national question!

    Political Illiterate Thursday, 02 August 2012 07:18 AM

    Is there any national question? What is the question? Why is it the national question?

    Nodrog Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:06 AM

    are you talking about the national question in Australia where these people will be given PR to increase their low population?

    pri Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:20 AM

    after 3 years what have done is govermnet for win this people

    Jayantha Thursday, 02 August 2012 02:53 PM

    Thousands of refugees still stranded in India, unable to return home due to the presence of the Army. You can't blame these fellows leaving Sri Lanka.

    lenka Thursday, 02 August 2012 06:15 PM

    These people not Sri Lankans , they may be south Indian Tamils, they are not leaving from Sri Lanka, they leaves from either some where from Thailand or Malaysia. This cant be so much boats from Sri Lankan shores. these people destroying our Sri Lankan name and the image. Well, Australians like it, you provide them the citizenship, that's up to you!!! and please dont send them back to us, send them back to where they exactly from. Sri Lankan Sinhalese are not that desperate like these people.

    Banda Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:49 PM

    I think everyones got it good. Since there are less jobs in the world new ones can be created just to monitor the Tamils, the ones illegally fleeing to Australia, and the South Indian Tamils fishing in Sri Lankan waters illegally. Maybe, we can get some advise from Jayalalitha.


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