Indonesia Intercepts Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers

Posted July 11th, 2011 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
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Indonesian police say they have intercepted a ship heading to New Zealand with 85 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers on board.

Indonesian officials said Monday that the vessel was taken to the port of Tanjung Pinang, but the Sri Lankans are refusing to leave the boat, demanding instead that they be allowed to travel to New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was briefed on the situation and said the asylum seekers are not welcome in his country.

Indonesia has become a major transit point for people from Afghanistan, Iraq and other war-torn countries trying to illegally enter New Zealand and Australia.