Military helicopters carried out emergency food drops on Wednesday for thousands of people stranded by flash flooding from early monsoon rains which have killed at least 120 in northern India, officials said.
Australia asylum revelations disappoint Indonesia
An investigation by Australia's ABC Television aired Monday claimed an Iraqi-born smuggler known as Captain Emad had travelled to Australia from Indonesia on a refugee boat under a false name in January 2010 and was granted asylum.
"Surely this matter is very disappointing and difficult for the Indonesian government to accept," Natalegawa told reporters.
"If somebody is suspected of being the brains behind people smuggling crimes and then given permission to live in Australia, while others who become their victims are detained, this is difficult to accept.
"We have communicated with Australia. We know they are investigating."
Australia said Tuesday it may revoke the visas of the alleged people smuggling kingpin and six of his associates after reports said they continued arranging boat trips after obtaining asylum.
Emad was described as the "head of the smugglers, the head of the snake" by an informant who linked him to a powerful Indonesian ring behind two ill-fated boats which sank before reaching Australia, killing almost 150 people.
Indonesia is a key staging post for smugglers who take Afghans, Sri Lankans and others on the dangerous sea journey to Australia, where many seek asylum.
Jakarta has long claimed that hundreds of its citizens detained in Australia on people smuggling charges are innocent victims -- poor fishermen conned by ringleaders into sailing on the boats.
Gonjang Raharjo, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, said: "Personally, I am shocked and upset that Australia would grant asylum to people smugglers.
"Indonesia is huge, with so many islands. It's tough to catch smugglers who can be hiding anywhere in the country. And yet Australia expects us to help nab them while it grants them asylum."
Muhammad Yunus Junaid, head of the immigration detention centre in Tanjung Pinang on Bintan island, told AFP it was wrong that people smugglers were given asylum while their victims were detained.
"Indonesia and Australia may have different laws on people smuggling, so I am unable to comment on whether what Australia did was right or wrong.
"But our centre is nearly full with around 400 migrants. Some wait for three months while others take more than two years for UN refugee agencies to process their asylum papers."
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