Indonesia threatens Australia with 'human tsunami'

The Indonesian authorities say that they will allow 10,000 people seeking asylum in Australia to leave if Canberra continues to antagonize Jakarta over execution of two Australian drug traffickers.

Indonesia threatens Australia with 'human tsunami'

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Indonesia has threatened to launch a "human tsunami" on Australia if it continues to antagonize Jakarta over the execution of two Australian drug traffickers, an official said Tuesday.

The country's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, told Metro TV that Indonesia would allow 10,000 people seeking asylum in Australia to leave if Canberra continued its complaints.

"If Canberra keeps doing things that displease Indonesia, Jakarta will surely let the illegal immigrants go to Australia," Purdijatno said Tuesday.

The threat was in response to a Feb. 18 comment by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott that tied a donation of 1 billion Australian dollars ($774 million) in tsunami aid to the fate of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, along with efforts to disrupt visits by Australian tourists to the Indonesian island of Bali.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has since apologized for Abbot's comments, calling them "unhelpful."

"It was seen in that way in Indonesia and that's why I spoke to Vice President [Jusuf] Kalla to make it quite clear that the prime minister did not intend to link it in an unhelpful way," she said, according to ABC News.

Purdijatno's threat is a direct challenge to Australia's Abbott-led Liberal-National coalition, which came to power in part on a "stop the boats" platform in September 2013 election polls.

Abbott has since introduced a policy which sees military vessels patrol Australian waters and intercept migrant boats, towing them back to Indonesia or sending asylum seekers back in inflatable dinghies or lifeboats.

Purdijatno reminded Australia on Tuesday that Indonesia had been working hard to prevent the asylum seekers from crossing the Timor Sea to its neighbor.

"There are more than 10,000 in Indonesia today. If they are let go to Australia, it will be like a human tsunami," he said.

On Thursday, a court will hear an appeal against Indonesian President Joko Widodo's refusal to grant Chan and Sukumaran clemency, as the executions of 10 inmates appear to have been postponed until their legal processes conclude.

Tony Spontana, Indonesian attorney-general spokesperson, has refused to provide details about the date of the executions as the lawyers of some inmates continue exploring available legal avenues.

"I can only confirm that the executions will not be conducted this week. I cannot even guarantee that they will be conducted this month," he said, according to the Jakarta Post.

They include Filipino Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso who has not been transferred to Nusa Kambangan as the Supreme Court is set to hear a judicial review of her case Tuesday, and Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte who has a history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Chan and Sukumaran were convicted of leading the Bali Nine trafficking gang that attempted to smuggle 8.3 kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin through Indonesia in 2005.

Widodo has adopted a tough stance on drug traffickers, denying clemency while Indonesia faces a "drug emergency."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Mart 2015, 17:17
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