Boat Capsizes Off Indonesian Coast Killing 4 and Over 60 Missing
Two children were among the four people who have died when a boat carrying at least 160 people capsized off the coast of West Java, Indonesian relief officials said Wednesday.

Fisherman, who saw people floating in the water Tuesday night, alerted search and rescue teams who worked in the shadows to find survivors, said Rochmali, the head of the national Secretariat of research the Indonesia and the rescue team. Rochmali - like many Indonesians - uses only one name.

Some have made to land on themselves and found the along the beach right next to Cianjur district, to the South of Bandung, capital of West Java province, he said.

So far, 156 survivors have been taken to shelters and temporary clinics on the island. Rescuers in rubber dinghies and local fishermen continue to fetch water to keep survivors in rough seas less than 5 nautical miles from the coast.

Some press reports have suggested that up to 60 people were missing, but that figure could not be confirmed that the boat was not registered and has no official passenger list.

"We don't know how many people were on board, because the survivors are reluctant to tell us," said Rochmali.

It is not known where the boat was headed, although Rochmali said Indonesian officials believe they were en route to Australian waters near Christmas Island to seek possible asylum.

"They do not want to talk to officials frankly of their intention and who they are. '' Even some of them tried to flee, or perhaps already absconded after being saved,"he said.

Those who had spoken to the officers said they were nationals of the Iran, the Iraq, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Rochmali said. "But if it's true or not, we still have to confirm", at - he added.

Last week, the premier Australian Kevin Rudd announced that asylumseekers arriving in Australian waters would be most resettled in the country.

Instead, they will be sent to Papua New Guinea for treatment and will be installed there if it is found to be refugees. If their bids fail, they will be returned home or in another country, Rudd announced.

human rights groups have condemned the policy, accusing the Australian Government to shirk its responsibility for the asylum seekers.

"" Cannot possibly be presented as an example of regional cooperation, because it is a bit more of a rich country to pay a neighbor much lower to fulfil its international responsibilities to individuals seeking asylum ", said Paul Power, Director general of the Council of refugees from Australia."

On Wednesday, Rudd said the tragedy off the coast of West Java has stressed the need to change the policy to send "a clear message to the smugglers to stop sending people by boat to the Australia."

"We see too many drownings, we see too many shipwrecks, too many innocent people lost at sea," according to Mr. Rudd. ''

Australian agencies were monitoring the situation, he said.
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