The current Aus/Indo “spying” spat is costing lives

As far as I can see it has gone largely uncommented, but in watching (on delay) 4 Corners from Monday I was astonished to hear of a breakdown of basic day to day interaction between the nations.

4 Corners reported that Indonesia had denied an Australian request to allow an Australian plane overfly the in distress asylum seeker boat, which was within Indonesian airspace.  As seems not uncommon, some passengers on the vessel had i-phone technology that gave gps location, and were calling Australian agencies seeking help.

The Australian plane was not able to overfly the vessel, neither nation got rescue vessels to the site, and very many people lost their lives.

I do recognise that the Australian domestic media reportage of the intransigence of the government, and the subsequent related (though not directly) loss of life, is very different than it would be if it had been the Australian government at fault.

I struggle to understand the Indonesian response to the spying, or indeed what they now expect from Australia.

I don’t see that Australia should rush to “fix” the spying issue, with Indonesia. 

However there should be a real level of urgency in seeing that the current difficulties do not increase the loss of life at sea.


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