Five RI warships to prevent another "visa case"

9 April 2006

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Slamet Soebijanto said he has prepared five warships to prevent more Indonesian citizens from crossing over to Australian which had a political implications to the relations between of the two nations.

"We have deployed the five warships there (in Papua waters) a few days ago to guard our territorial waters against the illegal use of our sea lanes that might harm the interest of this nation. Besides in Papua, we also step up sea patrol the waters of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara," he told the press during the commemoration of the Indonesian Air Force`s 60th anniversary here on Sunday.

He, however did not elaborate on the warships, and said only that naval patrol is being intensified in the sea boundery of the two countries in the northern and southern parts of Papua island.

The northern part borders with Papua New Guinea, while the southern borders with Australia.

The Australian government last month granted temporary visas to 42 asylum seekers from Papua province. The Indonesian government later sent a diplomatic protest to the Australian government and recalled its ambassador from Canberra.

The warships are also watching our traditional fishermen, preventing them from getting lost and inadvertently entered Australian territorial waters," he added.

With regard to the uninhabited islands in the Indonesian waters bordering with Papua New Guinea and Australia, Chief of the Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Nurdin Safzen said the marines were also ready to guard the islands.

"We are ready. Two marine platoons will be desployed in these uninhabited islands soon, she cited. But he did not elaborate on the plan.(*)


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