Tony Abbott Declares Victory Over Asylum Seekers, No Boats in 100-Day Period
By Reissa Su | March 31, 2014 6:35 PM EST
Asylum seekers' boats have not gone near Australian shores for about 100 days prompting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to declare victory on March 29. He claimed he had stopped the boats of asylum seekers.
(REUTERS/Sri Lankan President'
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L), who is currently in Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, gives Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa a signed Australian Rugby Union jersey in Colombo, November 17, 2013. (REUTERS/Sri Lankan President's Office/Handout via Reuters)
Abbott said keeping the boats away can be done despite critics who "scoffed" and said the government could not do it. But the prime minister's claim resulted after two Australia employees of G4S, the security contractor hired by the government, have become suspects in the violent death of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati on Manus Island.
He noted the lack of asylum seeker boats landing on Australian shores in the past 100 years. He compared 100 days in his own term in office against Labour government's own 100-day period that began on December 2012 until March 2013. Abbott said during Labour's time, around 66 boats had arrived with a total of 3,879 passengers.
Meanwhile, Minister Scott Morrison had refused to say if the government will follow the request of police to extradite the two suspected GS4 employees. They went back to Australia after the violence erupted in Manus Island. The two suspects will be facing possible charges for their involvement in the death of the asylum seeker.
After the death of Kevati in the Australia-run detention center in Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, an investigation has been launched to determine the truth about the violent riots.
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is in the hot seat and pressured to resign his post after his admission that most of the riots in Manus Island occurred inside the asylum seeker detention facility and not outside as previously claimed.
Morrison stood his ground as he defended his report and said it was later "qualified" by conflicting accounts of the unfortunate events at the center. He also told parliament that the Immigration Department will investigate all the issues relevant to the Manus Island riots which include events during the leadership of the Labour party.
Amnesty International had condemned the death of the refugee and said the death was a result of the illegal policy of offshore processing of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
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