Monday, October 19, 2009

Siev X: Unanswered questions

Following Tony Kevin's piece last week, writer Steve Biddulph has published a piece in today's Age on the sinking of Siev X. Biddulph poses serious questions about Australia's involvement in the sinking. The same questions that Biddulph asks were raised by Labour in Opposition, but since winning Goverment there has been silence. Biddulph concludes with this:

"The Balibo inquest last year revealed a sickening level of collusion between Australian politicians and the Indonesian military over 30 years. It also revealed that very little happens in Indonesia that is not listened to intently from the Shoal Bay listening station near Darwin. If SIEVX carried a tracking device — and how else could the wreckage have been found in the stormy darkness in hundreds of square miles of ocean — then we need to know who supplied that. If it was tracked by Indonesia, then it would have also been tracked in Australia.If Australian operatives acting for the government of the time were complicit in this — paying funds to the Indonesians, knowing about but deliberately failing to rescue the desperate people in the water — then we stand condemned for a crime against humanity.

We need to remember those who died on the SIEVX, and we need to bring this lesson to the present debate. Asylum seekers arriving by boat are not a threat to Australia: their numbers are insignificant, they are not illegal, and they usually make Australia a better place. SIEVX survivors are living among us now, and are worthwhile and useful citizens. They deserve a royal commission into whether it was our country that caused their terrible loss".

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