A Certain Maritime Incident
the sinking of SIEV X
A remarkable book by Tony Kevin
A Certain Maritime Incident joins the dots for the first time to reveal a disquieting record of government misconduct, including Australian Federal Police involvement in a people-smuggling 'disruption program', and an extraordinary combination of stone-walling and professed ignorance by a government dedicated to micro-managing the deterrence of asylum-seeker voyages.
In October 2001, over 400 asylum-seekers departed from Indonesia in a grossly overcrowded, unseaworthy boat bound for Australia. Somewhere between the two countries the boat sank, with a terrible loss of life - 353 of the asylum-seekers drowned.
The Australian government claimed it had no prior knowledge of the unfolding tragedy. Yet ministers and senior officials from the beginning tried to mislead the Australian Senate and the community over important questions. What did the government and its agencies know about the boat and its fate, and when? Did we have any responsibility for the tragedy? Did we have a duty of care to save the survivors that we shirked?
Many of the victims of this disaster have family members living in Australia on temporary protection visas. This book is dedicated to them. It is also for the rest of us because, Tony Kevin argues, nothing less than a comprehensive judicial enquiry into the sinking of SIEV X will suffice if Australia is to regain its national honour.
The treatment of refugees is one of the great scandals of the modern age... With impressive courage and determination, Tony Kevin has unearthed the grim and deeply moving story he recounts in this remarkable book -- an "always powerfully contested story," and one of "durable national significance" that has "crept into the hearts and consciences of many Australians" and must find its way to the hearts and consciences of many others if these persistent and shocking crimes are to be brought to end.
- Noam Chomsky
About the author:
Tony Kevin retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1998, after a thirty-year public service career. He served in the Prime Minister's Department, and was Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia. He is currently an honorary visiting fellow at the ANU Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. He has written extensively on Australian foreign, national security and refugee policies in Australia's national print media, including Eureka Street, Canberra Times, the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, and Australian Financial Review. Since February 2002, his research has been focused on the sinking of the asylum-seeker boat that he named SIEV X. Source - Scribe Publications
5 August 2004 - The treatment of refugees is one of the great scandals of the modern age... With impressive courage and determination, Tony Kevin has unearthed the grim and deeply moving story he recounts in this remarkable book -- an "always powerfully contested story" (Noam Chomsky)
Title: A Certain Maritime Incident: the sinking of SIEV X
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