The Jakarta Post
A boat carrying 40 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka has returned to Aceh to ask for more fuel so that they can continue their journey to Australia.
The group, which includes one pregnant woman, returned to Lhoknga waters in Aceh Besar regency on Monday, after departing the previous day.
The vessel was first stranded off the coast of Aceh on Saturday morning when their boat suffered damage.
They embarked on Sunday morning after local authorities helped repair the boat’s engine, gave them food supplies and 1 ton of fuel to help them reach their destination, local authorities have said. However, they returned on Monday asking for 6 tons of fuel, as they feared 1 ton would be insufficient.
There are no details yet on whether they will continue sailing and if so when.
The Geutanyoe Foundation, an Aceh-based organization providing humanitarian assistance urged for medical assistance and full protection to be given to the group, said Lilianne Fan, the foundation’s international director.
"We hope that the Tamil asylum seekers will be shown the same humanity and granted the protection they deserve by the people and governments of Aceh and Indonesia," Fan said in a press statement on Monday referring to the widely praised humanitarian aid given by the Acehnese to Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi nationals who were previously stranded in the westernmost province of Indonesia. (rin)
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