Indonesian navy to deter asylum seekers from entering Indonesian waters: minister

19:24, October 26, 2009      

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Indonesian navy would prevent boatpeople, who want to go to Australia, from entering Indonesian territory, Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said here Monday.

Indonesia has been a strategic point for those illegal migrants from Srilangka, Afghanistan, Myanmar and other Arabic countries, heading to Australia.

Recently, a series of boats carrying hundreds of illegal migrants from Srilangka, Afghanistan and Myanmar have been stranded in Indonesia's waters.

Besides, Indonesian police and immigration officials have also arrested dozens of illegal migrants in Indonesia.

Indonesian defense minister told a press conference after meeting his Australian counterpart Jhon Philip Faulkner at his office that a meeting would be conducted next week to follow up the cooperation of the two countries in preventing the illegal migrants.

"Our navy will conduct a prevention for the illegal migrants to enter our territory," Yusgiantoro said.

"Generally, these people aims at better life, but we need to find out the possibility of other purposes," he said.

However, for humanitarian reason, Indonesia has often temporarily facilitated the migrants as they were in poor health condition after traveling for days in the sea near Indonesian waters.

Indonesia wants a comprehensive solution on the boat people issue, involving the origin of state, the transit country and the destination nation.

Indonesia and Australia have cooperated in preventing the people smuggling as part of a defense treaty, known as Lombok Treaty which was signed in 2006 by the two countries.

Australian defense minister could not be reached for comment.

During his visit, the Australian defense minister also met with Indonesian Minister for Politics, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto at his office here.

Source: Xinhua
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