refugees and Australia

Comment: refugees and Australia’s uncivilised behaviour

manusIt is very hard to put together the words to describe how thinking people in Australia feel about the situation we are in thanks to the Commonwealth Governments of the last couple of decades.

I am totally and always have been against the concept of detention for refugees. As for detention centres on islands and in other countries for refugees trying to come to Australia, it is unbelievable that any civilized country would even have contemplated this.This government is democratically elected. Well almost, if you discount that it was about money, business buying votes and that the media being totally complicit in spreading the then opposition’s lies and misinformation.

So we are here in 2014 with a federal government Minister carrying out a military operation to deal with the refugees who he and his government regard as the enemy. The goodies are dealing with the baddies. The rhetoric is disgusting. Yesterday we saw a labor senator have a go at the general in charge of this operation. I fully support his emotional outburst.

It must be so frustrating to be a senator watching all this happen and to have information constantly withheld and in some cases, misinformation used to confuse the issue. This general is now part of the political game being played out with the Australian people, and he cannot use the excuse that he is simply carry out orders of the Minister. Have we heard that before somewhere?

Yet this particular senator was in fact part of the former government’s decision to have these refugees sent to the concentration camp on Manus Island. Putting this behind us, as we have to deal with the present, it is time to stop this inhuman locking up of refugees by placing them in concentration camps, whether within Australia or overseas.

A few days ago I posted a link to the statement by the former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser. Click here.

He is now joined by the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Anna Burke, who is seeking to have these detention centres closed. Click here.

As Anna Burke has pointed out – Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Yet for some reason Australia, feels it is immune to allowing refugees to our shores – unless they get in the imaginary queue somewhere and come the “right way”.

There are many reports about Manus Island and the murder of the refugee. It is now almost two weeks since it happened and still the government claims not to know what actually happened. I believe that as much as I believe that the Australian Navy did not know where it was when it entered Indonesian waters – not once but six times.

Check out this latest version of events – I believe what she says – click here.

Australians need to take back our politics from these vested interests and from the Murdoch empire. Australia was once a leader in being humanitarian and being an open and friendly society. It is not now.

It Is Time.


Paul Costigan, 26 February 2014


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