Last Monday 53 Tamils from Sri Lanka had been unloaded in Australian coast. On Sunday night, as Christmas Island slept off its weekend, another 39 Tamils from Sri Lanka – 37 men and two boys – had slipped in from the Indian Ocean.

They were mere apparitions in the dawn, waving, insignificant among the 72 boats that have made it to Christmas Island this year and the 5242 passengers they have carried, including the 18 bodies retrieved from two sinkings in the past 10 days that are believed to have claimed about 100 lives.

 The Australian navy will tow the wooden boats out to sea and burn them, and steel craft will be sunk, leaving no sign of their coming.There are now 1475 asylum seekers out of sight in detention on the island.

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