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October 17, 2011

ANOTHER CHRISTMAS ISLAND DISASTER VICTIM BURIED AT ROOKWOOD CEMETERY

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

A funeral service will be held at 11.00am Monday 17 October in the Muslim section of the Rookwood cemetery for another male victim of the Christmas Island shipwreck disaster of December 2010.

Relatives of the shipwreck victims living in Sydney have been notified and invited to attend the funeral. It is understood that the body is that of the father of two boys who survived the shipwreck.

The Wester Australian Coroner’s inquiry in to the disaster heard in July this year that there was still no disaster plan in place, seven months after the disaster that cost at least 50 lives.

In September 2011, the navy commander of the HMAS Pirie told the coroner that a navy rescue boat could have been at the scene of the Christmas Island boat disaster 20 minutes before the vessel hit the rocks and broke up on the morning of December 15 last year if the boat had been launched when he first received information about the asylum boat.

There is also a question mark over whether authorities knew of the asylum boat before it crashed into rocks on Christmas Island. Sonia Radovanovic, who was Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) assistant director on Christmas Island, testified that she had been told on December 14 that the Navy was expecting another boat arrival the following day. “[Customs officer Leslie Jardine] said the Navy were expecting another SIEV in the vicinity of Christmas Island. My understanding is the SIEV they were referring to was the 221,” Radovanovic stated.

An asylum seeker in the Christmas Island detention centre also says that he warned guards that a boat was on its way, hours before it got into trouble.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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