SIEV X Memorial – stage 2

SIEV X was an Indonesian fishing vessel sailing from Sumatra to Christmas Island carrying 400 asylum seekers. It sank on 19 October 2001 just south of Java killing 353 people.

A ‘temporary’ memorial to these 353 deaths was erected at Weston Park in Canberra. It was opened on 15 September 2006 by then Chief Minister of the ACT, Jon Stanhope. The permanent memorial was dedicated in October 2007. Steve Biddulph, a vocal opponent of John Howard’s boat people policy, was the main proponent of the monument, which was supported by the Uniting Church of Australia. It was designed by Mitchell Donaldson.

Tony Abbott should dedicate a new memorial, or perhaps extend the present memorial, to remember the 1000s of people who have drowned en route to Australia over the past six years. The Prime Minister should invite the Leader of the Opposition, and the Leader of the Greens to join him in the solemn dedication. The present monument could be extended with more than 1000 white poles which local schools, churches and community groups could be invited to decorate. In recognition of his previous work, the Prime Minister should invite Steve Biddulph, Mitchell Donaldson and members of the Uniting Church to the dedication.

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55 Responses to SIEV X Memorial – stage 2

  1. Ant

    Excellent suggestion.

    Following that commemoration, having effectively acknowledged their crime and guilt, perpetrated at the time against the advice of the Navy and against basic common sense and human decency, the asylum sneaker circus spruikers should be promptly charged with criminal negligence (not to mention gross stupidity!) leading to the death of around 2,000 people (4% x 50,000, by Labor’s own admission) and marched off to their day in court and a well deserved lengthy spell of hard labour in maximum security incarceration.

  2. Major Elvis Newton

    Only if they spell out the full SIEV acronym on the plinth just to piss off the luvvies who insist the use of the word “illegal” is in contravention of the UNHCR.

    I would love to see the look on Marilyn Shepard and Ian Rintoul’s face when the curtain was pulled back to reveal that.

  3. Gab

    They’ll need to make the new SIllegsalEV site ten times the size of the previous one to accurately reflect how many drowned under Rudd/gillard’s watch.

  4. Andrew

    Much as it would annoy Sarah Sea-Patrol* I still don’t want to see public money and valuable CBD space that could otherwise host a new 7-star eco-building wasted on a second memorial.

    But if we could somehow last a year without a SIEV, I’d really love to see Abbott666 schedule a memorial service at the SIEV X joint, staking it for conservatives. All that “never again” type speechiness broadcast live on Asia Network by the ALPBC. “We remember the 353 that died that day, and the THOUSANDS MORE who died since.” And so on. That would really fuck with them – it’s meant to be THEIR stick to beat the Conservatives666 with.

    *pron “Sarah Seahyphenpatrol”

  5. Geriatric Mayfly

    It is still far too close to those tragic events to start making any comments, as Bob Brown quite rightly opined. I’m afraid a memorial to the drowned will need his imprimatur, which could be a long time coming.

  6. JimmyB

    Brilliant post…. Why the Conservatives don’t give it back in spades to these imbo’s for their absolute idiocy is beyond my ken. Oh the compassion of the Left… ffs! … pulease…..

    Jimmy….

  7. AndrewWA

    Please explain WHY this SHOULD happen.
    I am of the view that the current memorial SHOULD NOT have been placed in Canberra.

    Currently this article gives the reason equivalent to a childish “because”.

    Please justify why the current memorial is appropriately places in Canberra before we start talking about extending the memorial.

    SIEX X was lost South of Java.

    IF there was to be a memorial then the relatives of the people on SIEV X are free to place a memorialon Java if that can be negotiated.

    PS 8 weeks no boats – job well done as in the end it will stop this terrible trade in human suffering.

    Refugees should be appropriately processed by the UNHCR.

    Isn’t that why we pay so much towards the operation of the UN???

  8. BM

    Labor, the Greens, the ABC and Fairfax should organise a “Spirit of SIEV X” voyage in the style of Chris Turkey’s Antarctic farce.

    If they promise to sink their own ship in the middle of the ocean, I’m sure we could promise to honour the spirit of SIEV X and let them drown.

  9. Nic

    They should have a “sorry day” where Australians and indeed our neighbours are reminded about the perils of such sea based immigration. Better still, all of the above should be mandatorily included in all aspects if school curricula, maths for example, where 400 won’t go into 1

  10. boy on a bike

    Is there a memorial to SIEV 221 anywhere?

  11. Leigh Lowe

    It’s different.
    Dunno.
    It just is.

  12. blogstrop

    I blame the dishonest media for the whole beat up, as usual.

  13. Gab

    Is there a memorial to SIEV 221 anywhere?

    No because that didn’t happen when Howard was PM.

  14. Des Deskperson

    My understanding is that Tony Kevin, former Ambassador to Cambodia, was one of the drivers behind the memorial’. He also won the ACT Chief Minister’s book award in 2005 for a book on Siev X. (he won it award again a couple of years later, clearly a literary genius).

    He should certainly be invited to the ceremony proposed by Samuel. He could also be invited to give his version of events in 1994 when Australian David Wilson was kidnapped and later murdered by the Khmer Rouge. According to The Phnom Penh Post of 31 October 1996, “One of David Wilson’s closest friends, David Purcell, who visited Phnom Penh during the crisis, said that Kevin was a “bumbling mess” and “an absolute incompetent”.

  15. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Eight weeks, eh?

    56 days.

    The daily number of dead one comes up with from Krudd’s claim that his [policies killed one illegal for each 12 who arrived is 2 per day.

    So according to krudd, Abbott has saved 112 lives in that 8 weeks alone.

  16. Nic

    Yes BOAB, whenever we comment at the SMH, when any topic comes up , we reserve the right to froth about GillLARD and talk about Siev 221 irrespective of the article in question. Better still. Accuse the then Government of covering it up .

  17. kae

    Why is it in Canberra?

    Okay, I think I get it.
    To remind politicians who bust perfectly good, working policies that there are consequences.

  18. Rabz

    Where’s the memorial for the 4,100+ drowned by Krudd and Lady Lardarse, you commie poseurs?

    :x

  19. stevo

    That is an extremely good idea.

    I pass the silly thing often and it irks me every time. Its a monument to the hypocrisy and political mendacity.

    Adding to it would actually transform it into a solemn symbol of the tragedy caused when people smugglers are allowed to pursue their criminal activity unfettered and with impunity. The innoceents died while the rudd/gillard governments set policy that rewarded the criminals.

  20. gabrianga

    My mistake.

    I thought the recently announced the St.Kevin Memorial was in memory of those lost at sea during his terms as PM.

    Apparently it is a memorial to honour one of his many paternalistic statements, made in Parliament, about the plight of our Aborigines

  21. Fred Furkenburger

    You’re a devious, devious bastad!! But I like you.

  22. twostix

    One part missing is the Stanhope governments revolting attempt to get Howard to pay for it. In my mind, as demonstrated by the lack of interest in “memorials” now post Gillard slaughter, it’s easily the most craven and ghoulish politics ever played in Australia’s history. And as noted covers not just the ALP, but the entire luvvie left right down to the Uniting “Church”.

  23. wreckage

    Erect a memorial right near it, proportionally sized, commemorating the dead lost at sea en route to Australia since. Do it. Now.

  24. Paridell

    That’s Steve Biddulph (with an ‘h’).

  25. Samuel J

    thanks Paridell – fixed

  26. Bruce of Newcastle

    The ABC news tonight had another go at the terrible terrible breach of Indo sovereignty when Navy ships went into Indo waters five, repeat FIVE times recently.

    It was pretty over the top. Hopefully someone will mention to Malcolm that they aren’t showing any signs of repentant behaviour.

    No mention that last year the illegals were being told by the smugglers to ring AMSA as soon as they went to sea so that the taxi service would pick them up, or that Indo had told us they weren’t able to rescue these sailors in distress just off of Java. No problems then when the RAN and Customs would ‘rescue’ these people in the Indo SAR, just “no you can’t bring them here”.

  27. stackja

    Steve Biddulph is an Australian author, activist and psychologist who has written a number of influential bestselling books; and lectures worldwide on parenting, and boys’ education.
    Born: 1953, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    Wikipedia

    spell check calls him Disulphide

    In chemistry, a disulphide usually refers to the structural unit composed of a linked pair of sulfur atoms.

    The Left do not like memorials to their past mistakes. Otherwise there would be a Ribbontrop/Molotov Pact memorial as well as a Petrov memorial, to name but two.

  28. Nic

    No mention that last year the illegals were being told by the smugglers to ring AMSA as soon as they went to sea so that the taxi service would pick them up, or that Indo had told us they weren’t able to rescue these sailors in distress just off of Java. No problems then when the RAN and Customs would ‘rescue’ these people in the Indo SAR, just “no you can’t bring them here”.

    I seem to remember our leftist friends complaining our Navy didn’t go in and rescue a boat some 100m off the Indonesian shore and thus in their territorial waters

  29. Crossie

    Isn’t that why we pay so much towards the operation of the UN???

    I believe we pay them to attend swish Manhattan parties and call us racists.

  30. iamok

    I have only one word to describe this post and it is “BAM!”

  31. Baldrick

    A small cube of sugar on a small table should suffice as a Siev X Memorial Stage 2 as a testament to what led over 1,000 people to their deaths by an abhorrent Labor/Green government.

  32. C.L.

    Hear hear.

    It should be done.

    But of course Abbott won’t do it.

  33. candy

    It would only be political and poor form to do such a thing. I think Samuel J is just expressing black humour.

    It’s enough the boats are being halted and the tragedies averted, and our borders secure. God willing, it continues!

  34. Gab

    In the interests of fairness, Token – or was it Twostix – has been questioning for quite some time why there hasn’t been a similar “memorial” established for those who drowned at sea due to the Rudd/gillard governments.

  35. JohnA

    C.L. #1191794, posted on February 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Hear hear.

    It should be done.

    But of course Abbott won’t do it.

    Yeah, he’s not into symbols, like!

  36. boy on a bike

    SIEV 221 – consigned to the forgetery.

  37. Free Advice

    Whatever happened to sugar cubes?

  38. Nic

    Whatever happened to sugar cubes?

    They’ve all been taken off the table

  39. twostix

    It would only be political and poor form to do such a thing.

    Like the SievX memorial?

    Why it even gets its whole own website.

    The SIEVX Memorial takes a simple first step. It says – these lives were sacred. We won’t forget them. Over a thousand Australians, most of them children but also churches and community groups from every corner of the country, have made something beautiful, haunting, and full of power, to try and bring about a better Australia.

    An important statement from the people building the sievx memorial

    Ever since the news first broke about the SIEVX tragedy, questions have been raised about the role of the Australian government in the sinking.

    These have included allegations that our government knew about the voyage beforehand, that it failed to mount a rescue which could have saved many lives, and gravest of all, that Australia paid agents to disrupt and sabotage people-smuggling vessels, and this might have caused the tragedy.

    The people building the SIEVX Memorial do not make any allegations of Australian culpability in the deaths of 353 people on the SIEVX…
    Nonetheless we feel that a tragedy on this scale and with so many unanswered questions merits an independent judicial enquiry, or a Royal Commission, to establish just what was the truth about the voyage and its outcome.

    That would be in contrast to the 4000 that died in the last six years, including the ones who smashed up on our very own shores. They are not sacred and they do not deserve a Royal Commission because they damaged Julia Gillard politically.

  40. twostix

    Further from the you couldn’t make it up file:

    A SIEVX Memorial also exists on Christmas Island

  41. twostix

    Remember how much the left cared about individual boats sinking?

    But Mr Stanhope said he regarded the drowning of the 353 mainly Iraqi refugees enroute to Christmas Island in 2001 deserving of being remembered in a permanent memorial in the park.

    He said the refugees might have been in international waters when the SIEV X sank but they ”had been trying to get to Australia and wanted to be Australians” and ”in their hearts and minds they were Australians and we should accept that”.

    ”This was – and I will always believe this – was Australia’s greatest, most significant and saddest peacetime maritime disaster.” Mr Stanhope said opponents of the memorial were driven by ideology to the point where the drowned victims were regarded as ”non-humans”.

    ”I still cannot walk past the memorial without feeling strong emotion to the point of tears, walking past those beautiful poles which in most instances are a memorial to a mother and a child,” he said.

    Oh, you thought Jon Stanhope said that in 2004 or something? No. He said that in 2012. At least a thousand people had drowned under Gillard’s laws at that point. A boat had smashed up on Christmas Island with cameras rolling. No tears and no memorial for them.

  42. Free Advice

    Maybe if they made thr sugar cubes in a half size they would become popular again.

    The irony with the much maligned sugar as a good cheap food source is that it’s probably the main reason we are growing bigger and stronger than previous generations and, along with modern medicine, we are living much longer these days.

  43. Rob

    Great to see Jon Stanhope had the courage to attack Howard over a boatload of freeloaders who disappeared in Indonesia. It’s a pity he didn’t manage to find the courage to apologise for his own actions that led to the deaths of several people and suffering of 100s in the Canberra bushfires (people he had a duty to protect).

  44. Craig Mc

    ALPBC reports “MASS BREAKOUT” on Manus Island via their hopeful people smuggling friends the “Refugee Action Coalition”.

    Good luck with that dickheads. A few days of wandering in mosquito infested mangroves will do you a world of good. That’s assuming they get more than a hundred yards from the free lunches.

  45. Baldrick

    When an illegal entry vessel sinks under a Labor/Green government:
    “Tragedies happen, accidents happen.” Sarah Two-Dads (December 2011)

    When an illegal entry vessel sinks under a Coalition government:
    “Reimposing (the Coalitions) TPVs will again force women and children onto leaky boats to reach their husbands and fathers, as happened when the SIEV X sank in October 2001 under the Howard government, claiming 353 lives.” Sarah Two-Dads (April 2012)

  46. feelthebern

    In todays shipping news: No boats today. That is all.

  47. Token

    Tony Abbott should dedicate a new memorial, or perhaps extend the present memorial, to remember the 1000s of people who have drowned en route to Australia over the past six years.

    Expand the memorial and put the name the ministers responsible for the carnage in brass on a memorial for all time.

    They must include the timeless words of the flint hearted Sarah Heartless-Hypocrit – “Tragedies happen” as well.

  48. Token

    In todays shipping news: No boats today. That is all.

    The sculpture should be of Bolta’s famous graph with big arrows pointing at the times when key Liars Party & Greun-reichers implemented policies in full knowledge that thousands would die.

  49. Dan

    Plinth of the unknown Centrelink Claimant

  50. Abbott was rather stupid to stop the weekly press conferences. Rather, he should have made them daily to drag in all the lefty MSM only to tell them, much to their disappointment, that, like yesterday and every other day, there are no boats, and therefore, no one to advocate for. Any questions about operational matters could have been fobbed off as operational matters.

    It would be worth turning up with a bag of popcorn just to watch the lefty heads explode.

  51. Baldrick

    Dan
    #1192067, posted on February 17, 2014 at 9:42 am
    Plinth of the unknown Centrelink Claimant

    Thanks Dan … there goes the coffee all over the screen.

  52. Token

    Rather, he should have made them daily to drag in all the lefty MSM only to tell them, much to their disappointment, that, like yesterday and every other day, there are no boats, and therefore, no one to advocate for

    In football terms, the best way to respond to a sledge is to point to the scoreboard and ask the person of they can read?

    Seriously, every week the government should force the Stenographers into a room every where the Graph is on display and place on posters the quotes of the key people who encouraged the diabolical trade on the opposition benches and in the press gallery.

    Thank you for the question La Snore, I’ll answer you in a minute after I address your 2008 hagiography of Senator Evans, seen up here on the right, endorsing the minister for restarting this abhorent trade which lead to thousands of deaths.

    When they don’t show up, throw that in their faces in interviews.

  53. Jim Rose

    sj, one of your better posts.

  54. nic

    The sculpture should be of Bolta’s famous graph with big arrows pointing at the times when key Liars Party & Greun-reichers implemented policies in full knowledge that thousands would die.

    That’s what the weekly briefing should be, a graph that states the obvious, nothing more.

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