In August 2001, the Indonesian boat KM Palapa 1 left Indonesia carrying over 400 asylum seekers who hoped to reach Australia. On August 26, the Norwegian cargo ship, the MV Tampa, responded to a call from the Australian Coast Guard to save the Palapa’s passengers and crew. What happened still reverberates in contemporary Australia.
Shaffira Gayatri is an activist for women’s and refugees’ rights. She currently works at the Migrant Workers Centre Victoria. She explains to Sri Dean the politics of the Tampa Incident both now and then and the fate of refugees living in limbo in Indonesia.
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