SIEV X drownings remembered

Issue 

On October 10, 50 people joined a memorial service at Melbourne University to commemorate the drowning of 353 refugees when their Indonesian boat — the SIEV X — sank in international waters off Christmas Island in October 2001. A year after the sinking, a Senate select committee investigation concluded that it was "extraordinary that a major human disaster could occur in the vicinity of a theatre of intensive Australian [border patrol] operations and remain undetected until three days after the event, without any concern being raised within intelligence and decision making circles".

Students at the commemoration held up poles with murals on them to symbolise those who drowned. The poles were taken to Canberra for a national memorial for the tragedy, held on lake Burley Griffin on October 15.

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