News / Asia

Asylum Boat Sinks Off Indonesian Coast

A survivor, centers, is given assistance as a search and rescue operation continues in Cidaun, West Java, after an Australia-bound boat sank off the Indonesian coast, July 24, 2013.
A survivor, centers, is given assistance as a search and rescue operation continues in Cidaun, West Java, after an Australia-bound boat sank off the Indonesian coast, July 24, 2013.
VOA News
Indonesia says the death toll from the latest sinking of a boat carrying asylum seekers bound for Australia has risen to nine as authorities continue searching for survivors.
 
Indonesian police said Wednesday nine bodies have been recovered from the waters off the coast of West Java province, where the overloaded boat sank the day before, several hours after departing from a fishing village.
 
  • Rescue workers walk along the beach as they search for suspected asylum seekers who were on a boat that capsized, Sukapura beach in West Java, Indonesia, July 25, 2013.
  • A suspected asylum seeker cries after finding out about the death of her husband, at Jayanti beach clinic in West Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2013.
  • Fishermen hold bodies of children who were suspected asylum seekers on a boat that capsized after hitting a reef, July 24, 2013.
  • A rescuer carries a child after a boat carrying asylum seekers sank off West Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2013. 
  • Suspected asylum seekers that were on a boat that capsized July 23 after hitting a reef, arrive at Jayanti beach, West Java province, Indonesia, July 24, 2013. 
  • Suspected asylum seekers who were on a boat that capsized July 23, 2013, after hitting a reef, sit at a temporary shelter near Jayanti beach, West Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2013. 
  • Rescuers carry the body of a victim killed after a boat carrying asylum seekers sank off West Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2013. 
  • A police officer carries a child who appears to be unconscious after a boat carrying asylum seekers sank off  West Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2013. 

At least 200 people had crowded onto the small vessel when it started taking in water while navigating in strong winds. Indonesian fishermen and other rescuers found 189 people in the sea and brought them to the nearby village of Cidaun. Authorities also searched for missing passengers.
 
Most of the asylum seekers were from Sri Lanka. Others included Iranians and Iraqis. They were hoping to reach Australia's Christmas Island, several hundred kilometers to the south.
 
Australia toughened its policy on asylum seekers last week, saying those who try to arrive by boat will be sent to its neighbor, Papua New Guinea, and resettled in the impoverished nation even if granted refugee status. Human rights groups have criticized the new policy as cruel.
 
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Wednesday the move sends what he called a "very clear message to people smugglers" that any asylum seekers they bring to his nation will "not be settled" there.
 
Rudd has been under domestic pressure to stop the influx, with more than 15,000 asylum seekers sailing to Australia this year. His government has said many of them are economic migrants.
 
Hundreds of asylum seekers have drowned in recent years trying to make the crossing from Indonesia to Australia in flimsy boats operated by people smugglers. Canberra has said it wants to deter people from risking the journey.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid