while the rest of 254 ‘boat people’ in Indonesia continued to be ignored and suffered.
The following short report was sent by Ms.Sara Nathan from Australian Tamil Congress (or ATC). She’s been one of the ‘nearly none’, who’ve been closely following up the situation of the stranded-254 asylum seekers in Indonsia water. The arrest of a tamil asylum seeker, as Sara reported, has highlighted the situation of Sri Lanka, where Tamils – along with few dissidents from different commuities – could be faced in the ‘war is over’ country.
‘War is over’ in Sri Lanka never meant ‘safety’ for Tamils or any other dissidents. Needless to say about ‘peace’. Perhaps the other way would be the case, thoroughly examining all those inhumane episodes from the wrongly named ‘welfare villages’ and the flood of asylum seekers to the region who outrightly have refused to go back their – beloved though – homeland due to state terrorism.
In the meantime, another disturbing news has hit me on Dec. 11th. The 25 years old woman named ‘Sivarasa Aravinthi’ on the boat was seriously ill to be brought to the hospital. But she had to wait for ambulence for two hours as there’s no facilities are ready for these ‘seemingly abandoned’ asylum seekers. The details of the lastest on the boat would be updated soon.
– Penseur21 –
By Sara Nathan
Gunasekaram Sujendran aged 25 was arrested on return from Indonesia at Colombo airport on 26 November and has not been heard from and no visitors allowed. Sujendran is the guy who got off the boat at Merak in Indonesia to go to his sick mother’s bedside in Sri Lanka.
His family went to the Police Head Quarters on Wednesday last week and again today (7 Dec) but were not allowed to see or speak to him. Today they were told he has been moved to Boosa.His mother was readmitted to hospital due to severe chest pain again on hearing of his arrest on 26 Nov.
His aunt in Colombo is willing to talk to journalists and I have her phone number.
The remaining 7 who got off the boat have still not been provided access to UNHCR.
The 254 remaining asylum seekers are still on board since 10 October. This includes little children and a pregnant lady. One of the asylum seekers suffered a medical condition, suspected to be an epileptic fit, and stopped breathing. CPR was administered by one of the asylum seekers, and as ambulance was not forthcoming, medical advice was provided over the phone from Australia. Eventually, the ambulance arrived and took the patient to hospital. 109 of those on board hold UNHCR cards recognising them as genuine refugees.