In a recent interview with Australia's Nine Network, Prime Minister John Howard indicated that his government may have little sympathy and less patience with its citizens caught in possesion of illegal drugs while traveling abroad. The Prime Minister said, "It's beyond belief that any Australian could be so stupid as to carry drugs into any country in Asia."
The Prime Minister's comments come on the heels of the arrest last week of Michele Lee, an Australian lingerie model, suspected of carrying two ecstasy tablets into a local 'rave" party; the pending prosecution of the "Bali Nine" accused of trying to smuggle over 8 kilograms of heroin out of Bali; and the recent conviction of Shapelle Corby for bringing over 4 kilograms of marijuana in her personal baggage upon landing at Bali's airport.
Following the recent announcement by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of a "zero tolerance" policy on the illicit use of narcotics, police across the Nation are suddenly cracking down on drug use, including regular sweeps of night spots and urine testing of those suspected of drug use.
Hoping to reduce the growing number of his countrymen under arrest for drug-related charges, Australia's Ambassador to Jakarta, David Ritchie, last week circulated an e-mail to thousands of Australians registered as living in Indonesia to heed seriously the current drug crackdown and abstain from any behavior that could result in penalties that potentially include capital punishment for convicted drug dealers. The e-mail warning contained the admonition "to urge you not to take chances: purchasing, carrying or taking any drugs into Indonesia is simply not worth the risk."
Some observers in Australia have interpreted the most recent pronouncements by Australia's Prime Minister as signaling a "swing away" from the government's and the Australian people's support for Shapelle Corby, presently awaiting the results of her appeal against a 20-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.
Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced
if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.