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Zahra (6), Fatima (7) and Eman (9) - the daughters of Sondos Ismail and Ahmed Alzalimi -  three of the 146 children who lost their lives when the vessel that has become known as SIEVX foundered in international waters en route to Christmas Island on 19 October 2001.
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Letters On SIEVX

17 September 2002

Two of our regular forum contributors have letters in the Canberra Times 'Your Say' today in response to Kirsten Lawson's article yesterday:

  • Marilyn Shepherd
    Imagine any Australian school of about three hundred students. There are plenty of them in the rural regions of our land.

    Then imagine one day half of the school children have disappeared overnight. That is what happened to the 146 children who perished on the boat named SIEVX.

    As a civilised country, and with at least 7 of the survivors and dozens of the relatives of the dead living in Australia, don't we owe the same respect to them as we would if 146 Australian kids fell off the planet in the same way?

    It is truly disengenuous of Keelty to suggest that Australia would go to the trouble of bribing Indonesian officials for it's rotten and corrupt "disruption" program and then not want to know what they were doing.

    One indisputable fact remains, out of 213 boats this appears to be the only one where the people were loaded at gunpoint instead of being unloaded.

    To suggest that only the so-called "conspiracy" theorists want the truth is repugnant. Many thousands of ordinary, non-political people want the truth. We simply can't bear the notion that no-one cares.

    Another terrible truth is this, if Tony Kevin had not persisted no-one would ever have known that the Australian authorities knew almost everything about this boat, and still did nothing. For further details visit

  • Mary Dagmar Davies
    Since reading the SIEVX survivors accounts I keep thinking of that mother who gave birth as she died and that baby bursting from the womb to swallow death with that first gasp for life.

    I have never had a child but I feel the loss of that baby and the 146 children who died. I have never had a sister but I feel the loss of that young mother and the 142 women who died. I did not know my father and have never married but I feel the loss of the men who died. I do not know the survivors but their words cry out to me.

    And now I realise I do not know the men who govern our country. I cannot understand them and I cannot believe in them or respect them. When I see our Prime Minister strut the world stage, or mournfully lay a wreath on a memorial, I think of the 353 of SIEVX. There is no grave for the relatives of the victims of SIEVX to visit in their grief.

    It is improper for people to dismiss the website as being for conspiracy theorists. For the most part is a comprehensive archive.

    It is actually made up of caring people who believe Australia can return to decency,kindness and honesty.

    And most importantly now has a memorial for the 353 of SIEVX. JANNAH THE SIEVX MEMORIAL is a place where anyone can post a message in remembrance and honour the valuable lives of these people. People who died because they wanted to find a home in a country which was kind and democratic. People who wanted to be Australians

    The loss of SIEVX is our loss.

    May they rest in peace.

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