LHOKNGA, Indonesia (APP) – Dozens of Sri Lankan migrants stranded on a boat off Indonesia were allowed to come ashore on Saturday, easing a tense stand-off with local authorities.
The 44 migrants, who include many women and children, had been stuck on a boat off Aceh province for a week as authorities in the western province refused to allow them to disembark.
But officials relented on Saturday and allowed the migrants — who were adrift after their Indian-flagged vessel broke down en route to Australia — to take refuge in tents set up along the beach.
Police has begun taking photographs of those brought ashore in a bid to establish identities, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
Authorities had previously said the boat would be towed out to international waters to continue on its journey after
repairs were completed and the weather improved.