|09JAKARTA1793||2009-10-28 08:07:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Jakarta|
VZCZCXRO2073 OO RUEHDT RUEHPB DE RUEHJA #1793 3010807 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 280807Z OCT 09 FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3675 INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 1604 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 3672 RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L JAKARTA 001793
1. (C) SUMMARY: The GOI has intercepted another group of
Sri Lankan migrants traveling by boat in Indonesian waters.
The GOI is detaining the migrants, who were on their way to
Australia. These 78 migrants join 255 Sri Lankans who are
being held by the Indonesian government after their boat was
intercepted in mid-October. Indonesia and Australia continue
to work on ways to deal with the situation. The GOI
appreciates the Australian assistance, which includes
funding, but full modalities are not yet in place to deal
with the increasing flow of migrants. END SUMMARY.
GOI INTERCEPTS MORE MIGRANTS
2. (U) The GOI has intercepted another group of Sri Lankan
migrants traveling by boat in Indonesian waters. The 78
migrants were attempting to make their way to Australia. The
GOI is detaining the migrants--all of whom appear to be of
Tamil ethnicity--in the Riau Islands area of Sumatra.
3. (U) On October 12, the Indonesian navy intercepted 255
Sri Lankan migrants traveling in a cargo ship to Australia.
The migrants were forced to port and are currently being held
in western Java near Jakarta. (Note: Another large group of
Sri Lankans arrived in Indonesia earlier this year. This
group, numbering 55, arrived in Aceh, Sumatra, in May. The
GOI has intercepted many other migrants this year coming from
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, and African countries.)
GOI WORKING WITH AUSTRALIA
4. (C) Indonesia and Australia are working on the migrant
problem. Officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs
(Deplu) told poloff that the GOI has agreed to provide
"temporary accommodations" to both groups of Sri Lankans.
Deplu also told us that the Indonesian government was working
in coordination with the Australian government on ways to
deal with the arrivals and staunch the flow. Following
recent discussions between President Yudhoyono and Australian
Prime Minister Rudd, the GOI agreed on a preliminary
mechanism to deal with the issue of "irregular" migrants.
Deplu said that the Australians agreed to fund the
development of facilities in Indonesia to house and process
migrants' claims in an orderly and humanitarian manner.
Australia would also assist Indonesia in locating migrant
boats and in sea patrols. In return, Indonesia would bolster
its anti-trafficking efforts and ratchet up sea patrols to
mitigate the flow of migrants in Australia-bound migrant
5. (U) The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has
been given unrestricted access to both groups of Sri Lankan
migrants. IOM is providing food and also serving as a
mediator between the migrants and GOI officials.
INDONESIA WANTS TO COOPERATE BUT NEEDS ASSISTANCE
6. (C) The GOI is very concerned about the situation and
wants to cooperate internationally on ways to deal with the
increase in migrant flows. At this point, consultations
with the Australians have been productive with both sides
agreeing that they need to work together. Indonesia as a
developing country is counting on international assistance to
deal with the problem and Australia has promised funding and
technical support. The joint discussions are taking place
under the rubric of the Bali Process and the Lombok Treaty
which set out guidelines for the two countries' cooperation.
That said, the problem is increasing in scope and the
Indonesian-Australian response will need to be further
coordinated and ramped up.