Another Asylum Horror: Wooden Boat Capsizes Off Christmas Island

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AAP / AFP / Getty Images

Residents and police (R) try to rescue refugees from an asylum boat (C) being smashed by violent seas against the jagged coastline of Australia's Christmas Island on December 15, 2010

A wooden boat packed with asylum seekers hit jagged rocks off Australia today, dumping men, women and children into rough seas.

The boat  split apart off the coast of Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. Witnesses say there may have been as many as 80 people aboard the rickety vessel. It is not certain, yet, how many survived.

The island, which is closer to Indonesia than Australia, is a popular landing spot for ships carrying asylum seekers. As TIME reported last year,  hundreds of desperate people journey from Indonesia to Australia each year, often under appalling conditions.

(Watch ‘In Calais, a Dead End for Refugees.’)

But it’s not just an Australian problem. According to the UN there are 15 million recognized refugees around the world at the beginning of 2009, and another 826,000 asylum seekers. More than half of the world’s refugees are in Asia. To learn more about the plight of asylum seekers, read ‘Life in Limbo: The Asylum Problem.’

(Watch a video about the dangers facing asylum seekers in South Africa.)

6 comments
bkhaknsak
bkhaknsak

Fred Phelps was a despicable man who rightfully brought public scorn upon himself for the hurtful way he disrespected military families and gay individuals.  No matter what any legal opinion may infer, there is no moral reason to be so cruel to other people, and therein lies the hypocrisy of his actions.

TimeThoughts
TimeThoughts

Yes. 


Although everything Mr. Phelps did at his hurtful demonstrations was wrong, morally repugnant, and simply unkind, it is right the Supreme Court upheld his right to publically say whatever he wanted.


I normally feel bad when I hear an "evil" person has died. I grieve the newborn infant and innocent toddler they once were. What must have happened to someone like Ariel Castro to make them do such horrendous things?


Yet Mr. Phelps' death does not bring out any sadness about a person hurt so bad they became a monster. I don't know why. Perhaps it's because he was publically informed that his actions were hurtful and still he continued to proceed with no regard to those he was hurting.


The earth is a bit brighter since Mr. Phelps' passing. Let us hope he has now been enlightened and sees the wrongs he did. Feelings of guilt and remorse are often the worst consequence of meanness. 

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

No, Mr. Russomanno, living with "necessary evils" means living in a society that accepts such grave sins as abortion, homosexuality, that joke called "gay marriage," stealing/lying/deceipt (a.k.a. illegal immigration), banning prayer in public schools, banning religious-themed statues from public places, and having to tolerate dimwitted media pundits/academics like yourself preaching against those who spread the Word of God.

john_rambo
john_rambo

Kind of like real estate agents.

drico
drico

@mrbomb13  We shouldn't live with necessary evils I agree with you mrbum13. Gay marriage is definitley not a necessary evil, God preaching virgins like you are. Lock yourself away from all human contact. Read while you're at it.

ryansilverideas
ryansilverideas

@mrbomb13  oh preach it, oh great one on the high horse.


bomb eh?   


please keep all your hate in speech form.