Search continues for asylum seekers missing after boat bound for Australia sinks
Tragedy comes days after prime minister changed refugee policy so that people who arrive by boat will no longer be allowed to settle there
Rescuers are continuing to search for dozens of asylum seekers after their boat sank in Indonesian waters on route to Australia.
More than 150 survivors have been taken to safety whilst a baby boy, a 10-year-old girl and a woman were among the dead.
The incident occurred after prime minister Kevin Rudd changed Australia's refugee policy so that people who arrive by boat will no longer have permission to live in the country. His move was in response to domestic political pressure and a string of accidents involving rickety boats packed with asylum seekers attempting to sail to Australia.
Police said the group was believed to consist of around 204 migrants from Sri Lanka, Iran and Iraq. They departed Tuesday morning from Jayanti, a coastal town in Cianjur, using a smaller boat that was supposed to meet a larger ship at sea to complete the journey to Australia.
Their overloaded boat, built to carry only 150 passengers, sank about nine hours into the trip due to a leak. Some of the migrants scrambled for the lifeboat, while others swam before being rescued.
Among the survivors was a pregnant Sri Lankan woman who was being treated at a health centre in the town of Cidaun.
A rescuer at the scene said the exact number missing remains unclear since some survivors may have fled to avoid authorities.
The asylum seeker issue has been a long-standing point of contention for both Indonesia and Australia. Last week, Indonesia decided to stop issuing visas on arrival to Iranians because a growing number of them have been caught smuggling drugs or using Indonesia as a transit point for seeking asylum in Australia.
As of last Friday, Australia said all newly arrived refugees would be resettled on the island nation of Papua New Guinea, though their claims for asylum will still be assessed in Australia and at detention camps in Papua New Guinea and the tiny island nation of Nauru.
Australia will help genuine refugees settle in Papua New Guinea. Others can return to their home nations or a country other than Australia.
The move, condemned by refugee and human rights advocates, is an attempt to stem the flood of asylum seekers who travel to Australia from ports in Indonesia and Malaysia. Hundreds have died attempting to undertake the journey in recent years.
Mr Rudd said the latest boat incident highlights the need for a shift in policy."Too many innocent people have been lost at sea," he said. "The asylum seeker policy we've adopted is about sending a very clear message to people smugglers that if you try to come to Australia by boat you will not be settled in Australia. ... That is all about destroying the people smugglers' business model."
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...
£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: SAP ABAP Developer - Rugb...
£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...