A new boat load of more than 50 Tamils arrive at Christmas Island
The floating convoy of asylum seekers to Australia's far-flung Indian Ocean territories continues today, with a new boat load of more than 50 people arriving at Christmas island.
Australian government authorities are barging 53 Tamils believed to be all young men from their fishing boat on to the dock at Flying Fish Cove.
The asylum seekers, who were packed tight on the deck of their small fishing boat, are believed to have been sailing for at least three weeks.
Their fishing vessel was escorted to Christmas Island by an Australian Navy patrol boat.
The vessel brings to four the number of asylum seeker boats that have arrived at the Island in four days.
Another beached at the Cocos Islands yesterday and yet another was detected at Ashmore Reef.Almost 70 Tamil asylum seekers were flown 1000km from the Cocos Islands to the packed detention centre on Christmas Island.
The 67 men who are believed to have sailed abroad a people smuggler's boat from Sri Lanka were picked after they arrived at the remote Cocos Islands group in the Indian Ocean yesterday.
The latest arrivals appear to confirm that people smugglers are ramping up operations to exploit the continuing political impasse in Australia about the most suitable policy to deal with those seeking asylum.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard said today she would take seriously the advice from an expert panel looking at the asylum seeker issue, even if it recommended dumping her government's Malaysian people swap deal.
The Australian parliament last week failed to pass a bill to restore the government's power to send asylum seekers offshore despite about 100 people dying in twin boat disasters in the past two weeks.
- Asian Tribune -