Australia Warned of ‘Human Tsunami’

JAKARTA—An Indonesian minister has warned a “human tsunami” of asylum-seekers could be unleashed on Australia in retaliation if Canberra keeps pressing for clemency for two Australian drug smugglers on death row, as ties between the neighbors fray.

Several foreigners are due to be executed for drug-related crimes with Australia among countries pleading with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to show mercy to their citizens.

They include Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, as well as a Frenchman, Brazilian, three Nigerians and convicts from the Philippines and Ghana.

Australia’s repeated calls for clemency have included comments by Prime Minister Tony Abbott that appeared to tie his country’s aid donations to the pair’s fate.

But the bid caused great offense in Indonesia. 

Indonesian Security Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said this week that his country could release a “human tsunami” of asylum-seekers in retaliation.

“Indonesia has done a lot in preventing illegal migrants from other countries from going to Australia,” he was quoted as saying by Indonesian media.

“If Canberra keeps acting this way, Jakarta will certainly release migrants wanting to go to Australia.

“There are over 10,000 currently in Indonesia. If they are released and we let them go to Australia, it will be like a human tsunami.”

Australia has struggled for years to stem a rising tide of asylum-seekers trying to reach its shores, often from transit hubs in Indonesia.

Many have died making the hazardous journey in crammed, rickety boats, normally after paying huge fees to people-smugglers.

Abbott last month said Jakarta should remember the $1 billion of assistance sent from Australia in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed around 220,000 people.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker