The Jakarta Post
The Maritime Security Coordinating Board (Bakorkamla) says it rejects being dictated to by Australia in deciding the way it handles boat people wanting to enter the country.
It said the 13 marine authorities tasked with handling people smuggling would refer to Indonesian laws, not to those preferred by Australia.
Bakorkamla executive director Vice Adm.Bambang Suwarto said the 13 authorities should not comply with Australia's wishes, that boat people be stopped in any way possible.
'The handling of people smuggling by the Indonesian government should be in line with prevailing laws. We want a win-win solution, not one dictated by Australia,' said Bambang.
He said people smuggling was one of the three main maritime security threats faced by Indonesia.
Bakorkamla, he said, had asked the 13 stakeholders, including the Indonesian Navy, the Water Police, the Customs and Excise Office, the Immigration Office, the Transportation Ministry and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, to place their conceptual framework on the prevention of people smuggling on a par.
'We cannot prohibit people from going to Australia. If they arrive in Indonesia with proper immigration papers, we cannot do anything but let them in,' said Bambang.
'But if they don't have proper papers, we will handover them over to the Immigration Office for processing,' he went on.
According to Bakorkamla data, the number of people smuggling cases has increased drastically.
'Sometimes, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) gets caught in a difficult situation when it helps boat people who have an accident at sea,' said Bambang. (ebf)
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