June 22, 2012
On the basis of following evidences we can now confirm that there was only one distressed boat carrying 200+ asylum seekers departed from Indonesia [not Sri Lanka] and majority on board are from Afghanistan; however there were passengers from other nationalities as well – including Parachinar, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Middle East.
- We acquired a message from a Hazara fellow, saying that He had now spoken to someone on Christmas Island, who has confirmed him that his [on board]Hazara friend has safely arrived in Island on a navy ship from the point of disaster.
- An Iranian asylum-seeker in Indonesia has spoken with the ABC’s Helen Brown in Jakarta of the fear he is feeling for a friend, who he believes was on the capsized vessel. He has been trying to phone his friend since hearing about the search and rescue operation yesterday, but the phone keeps cutting out. (ABC News 24 live blog)
- Mr. Prakoso head of search operation in Indonesia whose statement about the departure venue of the boat which he apparently said ‘Sri Lanka’ has been quoted in many leading news websites. In his recent statement to The Jakarta Globe, He retreated from his previous statement and said “the boat was reportedly carrying 206 people, but added that he could not yet say their country of origin or from where they departed”. (The Jakarta Globe)
We believe that this mass confusion over the departure venue of the distressed vessel rose, when Australian authorities sent a fax on TUESDAY to Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, about a distressed boat in Indonesian waters who they believed were Sri Lankans, according to Mr. Parakoso – spokesman Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, they responded as per information and sent rescuers to the designated location but couldn’t find any boat and therefore abandoned the operation.
On THURSDAY, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) sent another fax to their counterpart in Indonesia, but this time it was about the new distressed vessel carrying 200+ asylum seekers not stating anything about the vessel’s origin/departure venue but Mr. Parakoso deemed that the second fax is the continuation of the first fax about the distressed Sri Lankan boat that he had received on TUESDAY. Thus talking to media, he cited the first fax and quite surely said the troubled vessel left Sri Lanka and was heading to Christmas Island. Except from Mr. Parakoso, who himself is in Indonesia and the tragedy occurred north of Christmas Island, Australians authorities till now have not stated anything about the vessel’s origin.
Now we are pretty sure passengers on board were from different nationalities but it did not depart from Sri Lanka.
(Note: We have concluded this short factual piece after ensuing numerous news agencies as well as our internal sources)