15 Jul 2011

Asylum seekers refuse to leave their ship

6:42 am on 15 July 2011

Asylum seekers who were intercepted by Indonesia on their way to New Zealand, are refusing to leave their ship.

They are moored in the Riau Islands off the coast of Sumatra. The BBC reports the Indonesian government is trying to get them to ashore to negiotate.

A boat containing about 85 Sri Lankans who said they were heading to New Zealand was detained in Indonesian waters over the weekend.

The ABC reports they were waving New Zealand flags and holding signs that read '''Our future life is in New Zealand'' and ''We like to go to New Zealand''.

However, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said they were not welcome and that was not negotiable.

He said New Zealand took in 750 refugees per year and would not accept anyone who did not follow the normal channels.