Tamil women begin new hunger strike off Indonesian coast

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Merak (Java, Indonesia), Nov.9 (ANI): Ten women among a group of almost 250 Sri Lankan asylum seekers refusing to leave their boat in Indonesia have begun another hunger strike.

The move comes after the spokesman for the Tamils, known as Alex, confessed he was once a member of a violent gang in Canada and was jailed for making death threats.

The Tamils, who were intercepted by the Indonesian navy en route to Australia on October 11, have now spent four weeks moored in the Javanese port city of Merak.

According to news.com.au, they have said they will come ashore after they meet with a representative of the UNHCR but claim the Indonesian government is refusing to allow such a meeting.

Most adults on board the boat took part in a hunger strike last month but abandoned it after two days.

Alex was deported in 2003 and returned to Sri Lanka.

Alex said the Sri Lankan Government dug up the dirt because it was desperate to divert attention from its role in human rights abuses, particularly against Tamils. (ANI)

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