No detention of asylum seekers in Indonesia and Australia!

Stop criminalisation of activists!

Reject the “Indonesian Solution”!

Free the refugees!

No detention of asylum seekers in Indonesia and Australia!

SBY-Budiono regime is an Australian puppet!

By Central Committee, Working Peoples Association (KP-PRP)

Jakarta, February 5, 2010 -- Five years, and a hundred days of SBY's neoliberal regime, have not only failed to increase the welfare of the people, but also failed to handle the Tamil refugees' problems. These failures to handle Tamil refugees indicate that SBY's regime is obeying neoliberalism.

Already more than a hundred days the Tamil refugees have been in Merak without any clear status. They escaped from their country to avoid persecution and civil war because they are part of Tamil ethnic minority. They are afraid that they will be captured and be killed if they go back to Sri Lanka. This has been proven when one of the refugees went back to Sri Lanka because he heard that his mother was sick. Until now he is being imprisoned in Boosa Prison, Sri Lanka.

There are around 240 Tamil refugees who, until now, have been living on a boat designed to accomodate for not more than 50 people. They don't want to leave the boat because they are afraid of being deported to Sri Lanka or they would be imprisoned by the Indonesian authority without any clear future.

The Working Peoples Association has been giving solidarity to the refugees from the beginning, when they were forced to dock at Merak in October 2009. At first we met the refugees and gave humanitarian aid. Since November 15, 2009, the harbour area has been declared as a restricted area and to enter it we must have permission from Indonesia's foreign affairs department. Any attempts to gain access have been rejected by foreign affairs for various reasons.

Inhibited attempt by complicating the permission process to Working People Association by the government, surely indicated that neoliberal regime in Indonesia do not have humanitarian perspective towards the refugee. It is very clear, that the refugee need humanitarian aid while they try to survive in the location. But, for the sake of their good image and to obey the agreement between Indonesian government and Australian government, this neoliberal regime in Indonesia marginalized humanitarian perspective. These has been proven by the death of one of the refugee name Jacob at 23rd December 2009, because of sickness and not given decent health service by the neoliberal regime

Besides complicating the refugees to gain humanitarian aid, the Neoliberal regime also trying so hard to make this refugees problem does not have any solidarity support from the people, either in Indonesia or international community. An attempt to cover up this issue done by the neoliberal regime by trying to arrest several activists that want to give solidarity.

Attempt to arrest one of the activist from Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) have been tried by SBY’s neoliberal regime. At that time RAC’s activist involved in demonstration along with Working People Association and Confederation KASBI in Australian Embassy at December 4th 2009. But this attempt can be prevented by the unity of the people movement that being built at that time.

Another attempt to arrest the activist continued on 26th January 2010. Three activists from Canada and Australia that visit to Merak were arrested, interrogated, and their stuffs, including passport, is confiscated. The three activists were Saradha Nathan, Pamela Curr and Jessica Devi. Those arrested absolutely without any rational reason except accusation for their involvement in peoples smuggling or entering a restricted area. Their passport being returned with condition that they are not allowed to talk to the media and they are finally being deported from Indonesia on 29th January 2010 and forbid to come to Indonesia within six month period. The banning of the three activists to speak up to the media surely indicates an attempt to increase neoliberal regime’s image on international community. This is the pattern of political imaging that is trying to build by neoliberal regime in Indonesia.

The accusation that these three activists engage in peoples smuggling is surely ridiculous. The Australian Humanitarian Visa form that is given by the activists to the refugees was said as a method of peoples smuggling. One thing that the Indonesia authority not known is they gave that visa because it was advised by the DFAT (Department of Foreign Affair and Trade) Australia. Noticing that this accusation would bring them face to face with the Australian they change the accusation with violating restricted area. This accusation is also unreasonable since the position when they are arrested were on public space, outside the Indah Kiat Harbor where the refugee is. On that public space there is also a restaurant and a car wash that being visited by the public. But with any reasons, neoliberal regime would try to destroy any effort to build international solidarity.

The government itself does not have humanitarian perspective to deal with refugee issues. What SBY-Boediono’s trying to do is build an international image that they are handling this problem in humanitarian approach. But, practically, the regime treats the refugee un-human. SBY-Boediono regime never considers them as refugee that try to escape from persecution and a civil war. Those refugees are being considered as illegal immigrant that doesn’t have any legal document. That can be treated whatever the regime wants. SBY-Boediono’s neoliberal regime even collaborated with neoliberal regime in Sri Lanka, by allowing three Sri Lanka Navy officers from the embassy of Sri Lanka, to interrogate the refugees that being held by the Immigration, in Jakarta on 8th January 2010.

What the Indonesia government does by deporting those three activists is a form of criminalization of activist. Criminalization that we in Indonesia sees done by SBY-Boediono regime over labor activist, student activist, peasant activist, etc. These tactics is implemented to legitimize the criminal attitude of SBY-Boediono regime. Like what the Regime done now by holding refugee that is going to Australia.

Criminalization and un-humanitarian treatment over the refuges is related to the Regime interest in the so called “Indonesia Solution”. Where Australian allocate $18 million for Indonesia to fix “migration management and border security”. Beside that also include another budget like $24 million that being given to Australian federal police and also the immigration and border protection to place their person in several country including Indonesia. Meanwhile, Australia as a government that have the responsibility because they ratified UN Convention on Refugees precisely step aside. With “Indonesia Solution”, the Australian government would burden all their responsibility to the Indonesian government. With such policy and the persistence of the refugees remained inside the boat is not impossible in the future the Regime would force the refugees to get off from the boat. To be place in inhumane detention and had to wait for the resettlement process that could take years.

The treatment of Neoliberal regime over the refugee indicates that neoliberalism do not have any humanitarian perspective. Neoliberalism regime would always fulfill the demands of the capitalist and the ruling elite. The capitalist and elite’s profit that backing up neoliberalism gain from oppressing people. For that, unity is needed by people movement to fight against neoliberalism.

We, Working Peoples Association, stated:

1.       Reject all form of criminalization of humanitarian activist.

2.       Reject “Indonesia Solution”

3.       Free the Refugee

4.       No detention to Refugees in Indonesia and Australia.

5.       SBY-Boediono regime is an Australian puppet. Because obeying “Indonesia Solution” that demanded by Australia .

6.       SBY-Boediono Regime use Tamil refugee for their own interest.

7.       SBY-Boediono regime failed to respect human rights

8.       All element of people movement must unite and build unity of people movement to fight against neoliberalism