Welcome to Christmas Island

Poon Saan in the evening

Christmas Island is actually the name of a territory in Australia, it is so named because it was discovered on Christmas day by Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, an English East India Company vessel, when he sailed past it on Christmas Day, in 1643.

The 2011 Australian census, estimated resident population on Christmas Island to be 2,072,, these population are spread out in three settlement areas, namely Flying Fish Cove (also known as Kampong), Silver City,Poon Saan, and Drumsite.

The majority of the population on Christmas Island is Chinese Australian who made up 70% of the populace followed by European, with 20% and Malay 10%. also, the religion of the people is predominantly Buddhism with about 75%, then Christianity 12%, Islam 10%, and other 3%.

Christmas Island is a non-self-governing territory of Australia, currently administered by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. Administration was carried out by the Attorney-General's Department until 14 September 2010, and prior to this by the Department of Transport and Regional Services before 29 November 2007. The legal system is under the authority of the Governor-General of Australia and Australian law. An administrator appointed by the Governor-General represents the monarch and Australia.

A unicameral Shire of Christmas Island with nine seats provides local government services and is elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. Elections are held every two years, with four or five of the members standing for election.

Christmas Island residents who are Australian citizens also vote in federal elections. The residents are represented in the House of Representatives through the Northern Territory Division of Lingiari and in the Senate by Northern Territory senators.

From the late 1980s and early 1990s, boats carrying asylum seekers, mainly departing from Indonesia, began landing on the island. In December 2010, 48 asylum-seekers died just off the coast of the island in what became known as the Christmas Island boat disaster when the boat they were on hit rocks off Flying Fish Cove, and then smashed against nearby cliffs

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