Senate Inquiry Must Uncover The Truth|
9 July 2002
- Senate inquiry must uncover the truth about SIEV X
~ Tony Kevin (CT)
THE SIEV X story grows. Three recent newspaper editorials [1, 2, 3] demand full transparency. Incisive investigative journalism by Margo Kingston, Cameron Stewart and The Canberra Times's Kirsten Lawson builds the story. There is now even a SIEV X web site (http://sievx.com), a scrupulous compilation by some generous-minded Australian women of all testimony, documentation and media material on SIEV X.
The faces of three drowned children, Eman, Zhra and Fatima, gaze out from the web site's home page. They remind us that this issue is about getting full facts on the deaths of 353 human beings who drowned in Australia's zone of surveillance, rescue and responsibility during Australia's harsh "deter and repel" border-protection exercise last October. To argue otherwise is to claim that Australia's safety-of-life-at-sea obligations need not apply to unauthorised boat people in the same way as they do to missing yachtsmen. No civilised person could take such a position, and certainly not our Australian Defence Force or political leaders...
- Defence fails to answer questions
~ Kirsten Lawson (CT)
Defence's much-anticipated summary of intelligence on the ill-fated SIEV X asylum-seeker boat was finally issued last night, but it omits all detail about the intelligence and leaves the inquiry none the wiser.
The only new information in the summary is the news that while Coastwatch was reporting concerns about the unseaworthiness of the boat and it being overdue, Defence assessed its crew were likely to be experienced seamen and had returned to the Indonesian coast...