Abbot capitulates to Indonesia, allows asylum boat through

TONY Abbott's government capitulated to Indonesia on Friday night, ordering a Customs boat with up to 63 refugees on board to go to Christmas Island.

A refugee source in Indonesia contacted Fairfax Media early on Saturday to say the boat had reached the Australian territory on Friday night after immigration minister Scott Morrison failed to convince Indonesia to accept their return.

"I have friends on the boat," the source said in a text message, "and yesterday he says, 'my boat [has] reached'."

The source said the people on board were from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and had been organised by people smugglers called Muzahir and Sher Ali.

The arrival is a loss of face for the Coalition, which vowed before the election that Australian authorities would not act as a taxi service for refugees. It is also may encourage other people smuggling syndicates to try their hand.