A possie in Aussie

October 7, 2009

Rudd Government alarmed by asylum seekers

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people,refugee,Tamils — Nayano @ 7:35 am
Tags: , , ,

I received a media release from Chris Evans (Minister for Immigration) yesterday. It made me realise that there is a thesis in analysing media releases!

The release announced the first deportations (of two people) from Christmas Island.  The motivation for the release is clear –boats of asylum seekers arriving are by sheet weight of numbers providing fodder for a new surge of anti-asylum seeker sentiment in Australia.\

On the same day news outlets reported the Department had hired Saatchi & Saatchi to stop potential boat people from Sri Lanka by providing a publicity campaign about the likely horrors of the attempt, including street theatre Street theatre to stop boat people.

The day before there was a media release from Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre announcing that the Sri Lankan men deported have been beaten and sent to Negombo Prison, which has an egregious human rights record. A foul fate for asylum seekers – is Australia responsible?

There is no doubt that the situation for Tamils in Sri Lanka is of such a terrible nature that any of them reaching Australia would be considered to meet the conditions for acceptance as a refugee. Asylum seekers are not tigers – just Tamils

I don’t know whether the two deported last weekend are indeed refugees, but it is clear that the Rudd government is becoming anxious, and seeking to publicise any measures that could indicate that they are not ‘soft’.

Public opinion was the motivation of the Howard government, which introduced the Pacific ‘Solution’, an unlawfully hard line on refugee status determination, and the torture of the Temporary Protection Visa. “Be alert AND alarmed” if you remember the TPV

Rudd abolished these excesses – but will his government also succumb to pressures to look tough?

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