Written by Staff Writer
06 Jun, 2015 | 9:42 pm
A group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who are being detained in Indonesia have called on the New Zealand government to take them in.
A letter bearing the signatures of 65 asylum seekers including the 54 Sri Lankans has been submitted to New Zealand authorities. The group of 65, which includes the Sri Lankans, has been living as refugees in Indonesia for some time after embarking on a boat on May 5 in the hope of reaching New Zealand.
The group includes 54 Sri Lankans, 10 Bangladeshi’s and a Myanmarese national. The asylum seekers were accosted by Australian authorities, who had taken steps to turn them back after providing them with fresh supplies including food and fuel. However, the boat had run aground near Indonesia and it is reported that the asylum seekers had abandoned the vessel and were adrift at sea.
Indonesian media reports that the entire group was rescued by Indonesian fishermen who had then turned them over to Indonesian authorities. They are currently detained on an island in the Kuppan area in Indonesia.
News 1st contacted the Sri Lankan Embassy in Jakarta for more information on the 54 Sri Lankan asylum seekers. The embassy noted that the 54 Sri Lankans are still in detention.
The letter penned by the group of asylum seekers has been submitted to the Immigration Department of New Zealand, the New Zealand embassy in Indonesia, the IOM Headquarters in Indonesia, the Immigration Department of Australia and the New Zealand media. They request that the governments of both countries pay heed to their requests.
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