"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Australia to withdraw Indonesian ambassador for "consultations"

Ambulances carry the bodies of the foreigners
executed tonight on Nusa Kambangan island.
The bodies of the foreigners executed in Indonesia, including Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, have arrived via ambulance on the mainland of Indonesia. It will be another 10 hours or so before they reach Jakarta. The Guardian’s Dina Indrasafitri reports there were about five ambulances.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop says the bodies of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be brought to Australia for burial.

The families are in a devastating position and they will put out a statement later this morning.

Asked if the withdrawal of Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia for consultations will be the only consequence of the executions, prime minister Tony Abbott says ministerial contacts will also remain suspended.

"Well it is very unusual, indeed unprecedented,for an ambassador to be withdrawn so I don’t want to minimise the gravity of what we’ve done. Ministerial contacts have been suspended for some time once it became apparent that the executions were likely, ministerial contacts were suspended and they will remain suspended for a period. Apart from that, I don’t want to personalise this because it’s important that the relationship between the Australian Government and the Indonesian Government continue."

Asked if Australia’s aid to Indonesia will be impacted, Bishop says it is under a different set of considerations. Abbott has also issued a warning for people to be careful in how they convey their dismay at Indonesia.

"First of all I absolutely understand people’s anger. I absolutely understand people’s anger. Yes, the drug trade is evil and these two committed a serious crime. But particularly given the last 10 years and the very thorough rehabilitation and reform that these two demonstrated, it is, as I said, cruel and unnecessary what has taken place. So I absolutely understand people’s anger."

"On the other hand, we do not want to make a difficult situation worse and the relationship between Australia and Indonesia is important, remains important, will always be important, will become more important as time goes by. So I would say to people yes, you are absolutely entitled to be angry but we’ve got to be very careful to ensure that we do not allow our anger to make a bad situation worse."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced Australia will withdraw the Australian ambassador to Indonesia as result of the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Speaking in Canberra:

"Australia respects the Indonesian system. We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual.

I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia but it has suffered as a result of what’s been done over the last few hours. Whatever people think of the death penalty, whatever people think of drug crime, the fact is that these two families have suffered an appalling tragedy and I’m sure that every Australian’s thoughts and prayers will be with those families at this time."

Source: The Guardian, April 29, 2015

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