SBS World News
8 September 2004

Almost 150 pairs of children's shoes have been laid out on the ground in a symbolic remembrance ceremony outside the Department of Immigration in Adelaide [sic] today.

In October 2001 a fishing boat, the SIEV-X, carrying 397 asylum seekers sank in Australia's border protection zone on its way to Christmas Island.

During the incident, 146 children, 142 women and 65 men drowned.

The federal Government has denied any prior knowledge that the boat had run into difficulty or any failing on its part in the rescue of the asylum seekers.

Speaking at the remembrance ceremony, a former Australian Ambassador and author Tony Kevin, said the children's shoes were a reminder of the children who died on the SIEV-X.

"We cannot continue to sweep under the carpet very real questions based on very real public evidence about the possible extent of Australian involvement in the event that led to these people's deaths."

Mr Kevin says it is outrageous that the federal Government has not responded to repeated calls for a full-powers judicial inquiry into the sinking of SIEV-X.

He says the matter is above party politics and should be properly dealt with once and for all.


[ editor's note: According to information supplied by someone who attended this rally, it took place in Brisbane and not in Adelaide as reported by SBS.]

Back to