Update on Boat people and Christmas Island 24 Nov 09‏

I’m gonna post update on Tamil asylum seekers on boat in Indonesia as well as those who are in Chrismas Island.
Sara Nathan from Australian Tamil Congress and Eka Pangulimara Hutajulu from Alliance of Trade Unions Congress of Indonesia (KASBI) have contributed for this update.
– Penseur21 –
Christmas Island
Last week detainees were told that 72 Tamils will be given visas on Tuesday 24th November. Then on Tuesday (today) they were told that this will be delayed by another week due to the fight on Saturday night. On the other hand, 3 of the 5 leaders of the Afghani gang were given visas and flown to the mainland.
Boat off Merak
Still no access to International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Still no access to UNHCR
Still no access to fuel – therefore danger of not having electricity, not able to pump water to shower and not able to charge mobile phones. Will not be able to seek emergency medical assistance without mobile phone.
People suffering from malnourishment and food poisoning.
8 people who got off this boat on 11 November on assurance from IOM and Indonesian immigration that they will have UNHCR processing and won’t be held in detention are now held in detention and no UNHCR access provided yet.
Sara Nathan

+61 412 236 703

Email: sara_nathan@yahoo.com.au

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By Eka Pangulimara (Alliance of Trade Unions Congress of Indonesia – KASBI)

* There are some asylum seekers who have gone to the hospital on their own costs, particularly one woman is said to be have an operation paying by herself, as no access for health care. Asylum seekers want Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) to assist them regarding health problem. The Red Cross has shown up on October 12 only.

* The Asylum Seekers are still able to get food twice a day, even if IOM has withdrawn. It is the Navy who gave asylum seekers food from one local restaurant named “Simpang Raya restaurant”. But it’s not clear who is providing this food (IOM? or Navy?). Nevertheless asylum seekers complain about the food, which may have caused food poisons, as they have often found small white germs in food. Sometimes they are given spoiled food and obviously the food has poor quality.

* The Asylum Seekers have asked to allow media to reach them, as they have been in desperate to make their miserable situation internationally known.

* There have been eight men aged 20-30 years, who has chosen to move to the IOM shelter. However, they were arrested along with Afghan asylum seekers and then were threatened to be deported. Since this episode, the asylum seekers do not believe anymore with IOM.

* The asylum seekers have not had access to hot water, vitamins, diapers and sanitary napkins (for the period), there is no hygiene product.

* On November 22nd, there were lots of (local) people who came to help asylum seekers, but the Navy prevented these visitors from accessing to the boat.

* The ship would be flooded if it rains much, creating really miserable conditions. With the current weather conditions, in which heavy rain have been seen at times, asylum seekers were afraid that some kind of natural disasters such as tsunami would hit.

* The details of sick people on boat as of November 20th are following :

1. Nirosha (20), infection bleeding, bandages are not replaceable

2. Sobemika (1.5), serious diarrhea for 2 days – 20 times -, fever but no inventory pampers

3. Pavani (age unknown), 4 days in the hospital because of diarrhea, low blood pressure, thyroid, cholesterol, gastric (stomach related illness), after the date of October 26 when she went to clinic where she’s got 10 times shot with much serum
4. Darusia, (13), collapsed and cough flu
5. Sandradewi (61), diabetes

6. Sudarsini, (29), asthma, has not been given tablets or other asthma medications

7. Mugitaran, (3), fever and sore stomach (gastric)

8. Mada University, (2) fever

9. Vernat (unknown age), diarrhea, vomiting, fainting

10. One woman (30s), who were menstruating. Ravi (one of those on boat) has asked for Imodium and vitamin K to stop bleeding

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