Borderline

Is Australia Dumping Refugees in Indonesia?

A growing population of refugees is stuck in exiled limbo in Indonesia, a nation that some accuse the Australian government of paying off to keep would-be asylum-seekers at bay. The defeat of the Tamil Tigers by the Sri Lankan military in May has created a surplus of refugees flooding Australia’s shores. In the past year, more than 1,700 people have arrived in Australia via boat, compared to 161 last year, and the past month has shown a drastic spike in asylum-seekers. The refugees have been making their way to Australia via Indonesia, where it has become procedure for Australian officials to intercept them. The opposition party in Australia blames the rise in refugees on new relaxed policies and an alleged agreement referred to as the "Indonesian Solution," in which Australia paid $45 million for Indonesia to hold asylum-seekers en route to Australia. The only problem is, the asylum-seekers don't want to stay in Indonesia and have protested with hunger strikes and suicide threats. Neither country wants to take responsibility for the refugees.