Monthly Archives: February 2011

A grim anniversary: What is it about waterborne asylum seekers that makes them more despised than airborne ones?


By Jennifer Wilson, from onlineopinion, 24 February 2011

2011 marks ten years since the events surrounding the Tampa, the Children Overboard affair, and the sinking of the SIEV X in Australia’s border surveillance zone, with the loss of approximately 353 women, children and men.

In the ensuing ten years little seems to have changed in Australia’s attitudes towards asylum seekers who arrive by boat, indeed there are observers who think things have worsened.

The 2001 coalition government struck political gold in their framing of the above events. Following Pauline Hanson, and with the added impetus of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA, they constructed a narrative that played on Australia’s fears firstly about Muslims as terrorists, and then as agents of chaos.

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What quickly became and remains paramount in the debate are their allegedly "illegal" actions. Requesting refugee status, as is their right, was reframed by the coalition as an illegal incursion into sovereign territory. Asylum seekers became criminals

In spite of knowing full well that the boat arrivals were legally entitled to request asylum in Australia, the Howard government continued to describe them as "illegals" and possibly terrorists, who were seeking to disrupt our borders and our sovereignty. They were described quite inaccurately as being "uninvited," and accused of jumping non-existent refugee queues of people who were more entitled than the boat arrivals to request refugee status in Australia.

Despite their patent falsity, theses stories took hold of the imaginations of a large number of voters, and they remain powerful lies politicians on all sides continue to tell.

So profound is public hatred and contempt for boat arrivals in some quarters, that on the day before the funerals of those lost in the Christmas Island shipwreck, Chris Smith, presenter on radio 2GB, ran a competition in which listeners were invited to ring in and guess the number of asylum seekers, including the babies, to be buried in Sydney. The winner, an ecstatic woman heard screaming against a soundtrack of applause, received a prize of a Rick Stein DVD, a book by Kim Scott, and movie passes to True Grit.

In reality, as a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention Australia has agreed to accept asylum seekers no matter what their method of arrival in the country, regardless of their country of origin, and whether they are sans papiers, or not. The international Covenant is supported by our domestic law. The asylum seekers of 2001 were never in any way illegal, and the asylum seekers of 2011 are not illegal either.

They were and are legally permitted to enter Australia and request asylum until their refugee claims are processed, and they are found to be eligible for resettlement or otherwise.

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For the asylum seekers to become "illegals," Australia will have to withdraw from or moderate our commitment to the UN Convention, and adjust domestic law accordingly. Both courses of action are possible. Domestic refugee law does not require any constitutional change, and can be addressed by parliament.

Until such time as these actions are taken, Australia remains a country that is open to all asylum seekers, and every asylum seeker who comes here by whatever means is doing nothing more than accepting Australia’s invitation.

Politicians continue to lie to the Australian people about the "illegal" nature of boat arrivals, and many media outlets are entirely supportive of that lie. Some, such as Paul Sheehan of the Sydney Morning Herald, deliberately conflate the illegality of the Suspected Illegal Entry Vessels that convey the asylum seekers to Australia, with the people themselves, and this spin is upheld by the Australian Press Council.

This contemptuous antipathy is, mysteriously, reserved only for those who arrive by boat. There are real illegals who arrive by plane, with visas, and then overstay, blending into the general population. These apparently are of no concern at all to the anti asylum seeker cohort, even though there are many thousands of them who never declare themselves.

Plane arrivals who overstay are guilty of transgressing borders and violating sovereignty. However, boat arrivals immediately declare themselves, and request asylum. Boat arrivals go through the proper channels. Thousands and thousands of over-stayers who arrive by plane do not.

While 55% of refugee applications from those arriving by plane are rejected, between only 2% and 15% of those arriving by boat are found to fail the requirements for resettlement.

In 2001, asylum seekers arriving by boat were as blank pages, upon which government and media could and did write a story, a story that had and still has very little relevance to the people themselves. Many of them arrived sans papiers, and stateless. In the absence of a documented identity, any identity could be created for them, manipulated by politicians for public consumption.

Boat arrivals are seen as violating a nation in which the concept of nationhood resonates with a sense of entitled and sacred inviolability. However, national boundaries are defined by the principles of inclusion and exclusion. They are social constructs, having everything to do with political expediency and human intervention. There is nothing in the least sacred about borders.

Boat arrivals were, and are, constructed as the perilous other within the nation state.

Boat arrivals provoke fears of an aesthetic and cultural annihilation that will inevitably (it is threatened) entail the subjugation of customs and norms that are understood as naturally Australian. This is a preposterous notion, given the range of ethnically diverse groups already thriving in Australia, most of whom were vilified and rejected when they first arrived.

Of course, the churches had their say. Anglican Dean Philip Jensen advised his flock in 2003 that any beliefs other than Christian are "…the monstrous lies and deceits of Satan designed to destroy the life of the believers…" This did not, at the time, encourage a benevolent view of Muslim asylum seekers. John Howard then revealed a few days later that he and Jensen communicated on a regular basis on "moral issues," and the inference was made that Jensen’s view might have influenced Howard’s stance on the non Christian boat arrivals.

Nothing unites a community like the external threat of a common enemy. In 2001, Senator Ross Lightfoot referred to the boat people as "uninvited and repulsive peoples whose sordid list of behaviours included scuttling their own boats." (Human Rights Watch Report, 2003). Disparate Australian communities, at times dwelling in uneasy peace, and sometimes refugees themselves from an earlier time, were offered a common enemy. The Howard government, following the lead of Pauline Hanson, tapped a deep vein of racist hostility in the Australian character across the board.

There is little likelihood of any change in attitudes in the near future. Those opposed to boat arrivals will continue to publicly demonstrate their disapproval in ways that sicken. We will continue to be a country in which it is acceptable for radio stations to run competitions about the burial of drowned foreign babies.

Politicians will continue to lead the charge, as Scott Morrison so ably demonstrated on the matter of the funeral costs. Asylum seekers will continue to fulfil the role of scapegoat that is apparently so essential to defining an Australian sense of identity.

In this country, it seems, and sadly, we still need to define ourselves against who we are not, rather than who we are. The foreigner serves this defining purpose for us, and always has. It was Greeks, or Italians, or Lebanese, or Vietnamese, or Chinese, or Irish, hell, I remember as a little girl being screamed at in the playground for being a pommy. "Go home pommy" was regularly scrawled in the dust on our family car.

And sadly, politicians see far too much to be gained in maintaining the lies than addressing the truth. There is no need for this divisive destruction they work to feed in their relentless pursuit of power. Address our international obligations, and our domestic law, and we will cease to be a country that accepts all asylum seekers. Then the boats will stop, and we can stop pretending to be a hospitable nation that locks up those who don’t know we don’t want them.

About the Author

Dr Jennifer Wilson worked with adult survivors of child abuse for 20 years. On leaving clinical practice she returned to academia, where she taught critical theory and creative writing, and pursued her interest in human rights, popular cultural representations of death and dying, and forgiveness. Dr Wilson has presented papers on human rights and other issues at Oxford, Barcelona, and East London Universities, as well as at several international human rights conferences. Her academic work has been published in national and international journals. Her fiction has also appeared in several anthologies. She is currently working on a secular exploration of forgiveness, and a collection of essays. She blogs at http://www.noplaceforsheep.wordpress.com.

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Uthayakumar, Hindraf supporters nabbed in Malaysia


Source from free malaysia today, February 27, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to stop a rally to protest Umno’s racial discrimination, police arrested Human Rights Party (HRP) leader P Uthayakumar here today.

The HRP pro tem secretary-general was picked up at his residence at Pantai Hill Park Condominium at about 7.50am and brought to the Pudu district police headquarters for questioning.

About 100 others were also arrested including Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam, Kedah HRP president R Ramu and HRP information chief S Jayathas.

However, police have not confirmed the arrests.

Police have also set up roadblocks around the city centre to prevent the march from taking place.

Roadblocks have been erected in Jalan Ampang, Jalan Kepong, Jalan Cheras, Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Duta–Sungai Buloh Highway.

Meanwhile, police chased away several Indians at bus stops in the city centre, warning them they will be arrested if they do not leave immediately.

One of the protesters, Chandran, 45, from Klang, told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) that several supporters have arrived but they were unable to gather.

“Why is it so difficult to move around? We just want to be the voice of the Indian community,” he said, before being hauled away.

According to reports from the ground, more arrests are being made, including women and children.

Suu Kyi feels sorry for Myanmar refugees


Source from free malaysia today, 25 Feb 2011,

Despite having been kept in isolation and under house arrest for 14 years, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s priority is still freeing her people from the junta.

KUALA LUMPUR: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi feels empathy for her fellow Myanmar citizens who have been forced to seek shelter as illegal refugees in Malaysia.

“I am very sorry that conditions in our country are such that the Burmese (Myanmars) have been forced to become refugees.

“We hope that the day will come when they will be able to return to their homes in safety,” she told reporters here over the telephone from Myanmar.

Released three months ago after being under house arrest for 14 years, Suu Kyi also had a few words for Malaysians.

“To the people of Malaysia, I would like to say, thank you for letting the refugees stay,” she said, without missing a beat.

Acknowledging that refugees were difficult issues for many countries, she said: “We would like them (the home countries) to look upon these refugees with compassion and understanding.”

Nearly 100,000 Burmese refugees reside in Malaysia, with over 10,000 of them children.

As refugees, they are not recognised here. Malaysia classifies them as illegal immigrants.

Help needed

As such, many have been mistreated and rounded up into detention centres.

Some have been trafficked, never to be seen again.

“We are trying to do everything we can to alleviate conditions in which they (refugees) are living in,” Suu Kyi said, calling on donor countries and NGOs for help.

She also said that there were efforts to create an international Burmese network for both refugees and migrant workers.

Nevertheless, the embattled Burmese leader said that Myanmar needed to change if the refugee problem was to be arrested.

“Nobody wants to run away across the border and live in refugee camps. They do so only because conditions here are so bad.

“In order to stop them from being a problem to the rest of the world, we have to try and change conditions in Burma.”

Political conditions

Myanmar has been under the thumb of a military junta for nearly 50 years.

Decried by many around the world as an oppressive regime, the junta has kept an iron grip over nearly all facets of Burmese life.

The junta has also detained more than 2,000 political opponents in the country.

Refering to the prisoners, Suu Kyi said: “They are kept in appalling conditions.

“The fact that I have been released is nothing to celebrate about, as long as there are 2,000 more still in prison.”

The Burmese leader also denounced MPs in her country’s newest Parliament as nothing more than “showpieces”.

It is not difficult to see why, with sessions in Myanmar’s Parliament, the Hluttaw, lasting for not more than 15 minutes each.

Suu Kyi’s own political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was rendered illegal by the military junta in May 2010, months before the country’s first election in 20 years.

Even so, she said that her party still commanded a firm support base throughout the country, especially among Myanmar’s youth.

Media in Burma

Suu Kyi also commented on the junta’s direct control of her country’s mass media.

“There is no freedom of the media yet in Burma,” Suu Kyi said, referring to the recent arrest of Myanmar Times editor Ross Dunkley.

Dunkley, who founded the Yangon-based English-language weekly, was accused of assaulting a woman in January.

Although the woman withdrew the complaint, the junta decided to pursue the matter.

The Myanmar Times is also the only newspaper in the country with foreign investors, a detail which Suu Kyi questioned.

With a heavily censored media system, Myanmar stands at position 174 out of 178 countries, according to the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres.

“It would help if we could try to expand the limits of what journalists can do in Burma. I think we all have to work towards greater freedom of information.

“But I don’t know whether that kind of freedom (can be achieved) by investing in Burma’s media through the authorities,” she said.

Suu Kyi added that it was not practical to use Twitter and Facebook in Myanmar at this stage, due to stringent Internet restrictions.

“We have made an application to the relevant departments,” she said, adding that she hoped to use both tools in the future.

Middle East comparisons

Suu Kyi also told reporters that the current unrest in the Middle East was not reported in Myanmar’s media.

Nevertheless, she said that those familiar with events in the Arab world compared them with Myanmar’s own uprising in 1988.

Back then, thousands of Burmese civilians including Buddhist monks were killed by the military junta after holding demonstrations across the country.

Suu Kyi said that the Burmese have stood up against the junta many times before, only to be gunned down by the army.

While she said that the Libyan army was divided on how to treat its citizens, she added that the Burmese junta had no such inhibitions.

UN says Burma ‘a regional burden’


DVB, 25 February 2011

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UN says Burma ‘a regional burden’ thumbnail
UN special envoy to Burma Tomas Ojea Quintana (Reuters)

Increasing levels of Burmese asylum-seekers in Southeast Asian states is evidence that Burma’s domestic crises are having a negative impact on the region, a top UN official has said.

Tomas Ojeas Quintana, the UN’s special rapporteur to Burma, made the remarks after a visit to Malaysia, which has become home to some 84,800 registered refugees and asylum-seekers. He spoke of “an extra-territorial dimension to the human rights problem in Myanmar [Burma]” as more and more people leave the country in search of better livelihoods.

“Countries in the region have a particular interest in persuading the Government of Myanmar to take necessary measures for the improvement of its human rights situation,” he stressed.

The comments will likely attract the attention of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc, which has to date kept out of Burmese domestic affairs as part of its cornerstone non-interference policy. How much further it will go to maintain that is questionable, as heavy fighting in the Burma’s border regions combines with rampant state-sanctioned human rights abuses to fuel a heavy spill-over into neighbouring countries.

Thailand is already home to nine camps housing nearly 150,000 refugees from Burma, and has been heavily criticised in recent months as it seeks to contain increasing numbers by encouraging many to return, despite stability across the border remaining highly questionable. But with Thailand reliant on Burma for some 30 percent of its energy needs, it has stopped short of any substantial criticism of the regime.

Indeed alongside the 84,000-odd registered Burmese in Malaysia are hundreds of thousands of additional migrants from Burma who remain unregistered and, facing the perennial threat of deportation, live in a constant state of limbo. Similarly, in Bangladesh, of the nearly 400,000 refugees from Burma’s Muslim Rohingya community that have fled persecution in Arakan state, only 22,000 are registered by the UN’s refugee agency, and their burden on the country’s already stretched resources is evident.

Quintana’s comments come amid a resurgence of the debate over whether Western nations should maintain sanctions on Burma that aimed at pressuring the regime into improving its human rights record. It follows a study by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) in which they claimed the embargo wasn’t hurting Burmese civilians.

Tan Sri Razali Ismail, also a former UN special envoy to Burma, yesterday however called for the lifting of sanctions, saying that Burma “has to begin to prosper” and blaming the country’s pathetic agricultural output on the West’s blockade.

“They are now importing rice, which is ridiculous,” he told the Second Asian Mediation Association conference being held in Malaysia this week, adding that he disagreed with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who “insisted on sanctions”.

The Malaysian national who has in the past represented Kuala Lumpur in ASEAN said however that Southeast Asia should have an independent mediation unit to handle regional crises, something that critics of the bloc have long called for.

Sea pirates attack Malaysian boat passengers


Kaladan Press,  21 February 2011

Chittagong, Bangladesh: A group of Malaysian boat voyagers were attacked and robbed of their boat and all their belongings near Shamalarpur Village of Teknaf on February 19, according to one of the travelers from Cox’s Bazaar.

“The pirates joined with us in Cox’s Bazaar, Custura Ghat (port), with other passengers. While we sailed to Suhapourdip in the early morning of February 19, the pirates attacked us near Shamalarpur Village.”

“The pirates took all our belongings like mobile phones, cash, watches, food, and clothes. The pirates pushed out us of the boat into the water, and then they took the boat.”

The trafficker who organized the voyagers had loaded 34 people from Chittagong, Majir Ghat, on February 16, according to a boat people watch group.

The boat sailed to Cox’s Bazaar where the trafficker loaded 30 people from Cox’s Bazaar, Custura Ghat, on February 18, the watch group said.

“Among the 30 passengers, there were 12 pirates in the group.”

“May be the trafficker had planned to cheat the voyagers, so he organized the pirates to rob them,” said an elder from Teknaf after hearing about the incident.

All the passengers had to pay more than 20,000 to 30,000 per person for the trip. The trafficker didn’t want to go to on the deadly sea route as he had information that Thailand had recently arrested other sea travelers and kept them in jail, said the elder.

All the voyagers are now safe as the pirates dropped them in shallow water where they could easily reach the shore.

MMN statement concerning the border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia


MMN statement concerning the border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia

MMN statement concerning border confilict_TH_CM_17 Feb 2011_English

Ethnic armies agree ‘ring of resistance’


Source fromDVB, 18 February 2011Ethnic armies agree ‘ring of resistance’ thumbnail

Troops from the Kachin Independence Army sort through ammunition (James Robert Fuller)

Twelve ethnic armed groups in Burma have agreed to an alliance they claim will see them collaborate in their struggle against the Burmese junta.

Around 50 representatives from a dozen groups, including several ceasefire armies, were present at the four-day talks along the Thai-Burma border this week.

Under the banner of the Union Nationalities Federal Council (Union of Burma), groups such as the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) will come together for the first time in their history.

“Whether armed or ceasefire, we are all uniting as one ethnic group,” said the Council’s newly appointed joint secretary–1, Khun Okkar. “We will try to find ways to solve the political problems via political means, whilst carrying out resistance together.

He said that the alliance had laid down a number of specific objectives, including official recognition of armed ethnic groups and their territory, and their role as protectors of Burma’s myriad ethnic peoples.

Burma’s border regions are home to some 135 different ethnic nationalities whom collectively are outnumbered by the Burman majority, which dominates the country’s government. More than 20 armed ethnic groups operate in these regions, some of whom have fought decades-long wars against the Burmese army.

One of the more prominent groups is the Karen National Union, which has also agreed to become part of the new Council. It’s commander-in-chief, Mutu Say Poe, was appointed chairman at the meeting, and will head a cabinet of six people, including members of the Pa-O National Organisation, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Other groups included in the Council are the Chin National Front (CNF), Kachin National Organization (KNO), Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), National Unity Party of Arakan (UNPA), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), PaO National Liberation Organisation (PNLO) and the Wa National Organisation (WNO).

129 Rohingya found adrift off Indonesia


source from dvb news,
By AFP, Published: 16 February 2011129 Rohingya found adrift off Indonesia thumbnail

Rohinga refugees who washed up on Indonesia’s shores in February 2009 are seen receiving medical treatment (Reuters)

A wooden boat carrying more than one hundred migrants from Burma’s Rohingya minority has been found drifting off Indonesia’s Sumatra island, local police said on Wednesday.

The 129 male migrants from the Muslim community had been at sea for about three weeks when their boat experienced engine trouble, Aceh provincial maritime police chief Mohammed Zaini told AFP.

“The 129 Muslim Rohingyas were rescued by Indonesian fishermen after their boat’s engine malfunctioned. We have given them food and are now carrying out medical check-ups,” he added.

“We’re coordinating with the immigration office, Jakarta government and the International Organisation for Migration for follow-up action,” Zaini said.

The men, many looking pale and tired, were being temporarily housed near the provincial capital Banda Aceh at the Northern tip of Sumatra island after being rescued on Tuesday.

Seven of them were receiving medical attention, Zaini said.

One of them, 27-year-old Nur Alam, said they had left their homes in Burma’s western Arakan state because they were being abused by the military.

“We’ve been drifting for 20 days. We left Myanmar [Burma] because we had been cruelly treated by the military. Muslims there were killed and tortured,” he told AFP.

“We want to go to Indonesia, Malaysia or any other country which is willing to take us in,” he added.

Burma effectively denies citizenship rights to the Rohingya, leading to discrimination and abuse and contributing to a regional humanitarian crisis as hundreds try to flee the country by boat every year.

Rohingya Stateless Refugee Asylum-seekers in Australia Face |Indefinite Detention


By James..

This is the untold brief story of Rohingya refugee asylum-seekers in mainland detention centre of Australia. Firstly, they did not talk as they think they are illegal human and limited their rights. I therefore very eager to express their situation.

They said,“we have had been well enough of detention. Better, to have a negative or positive outcome. We believe there is a place for us once Human Rights and Conventions have been introduced. Let us go to there. Please do not hinder from our liberty.”

The numbers of genuine Rohingya Burmese refugee arrivals in Australia is 42 persons for the year 2009 and about 100 persons for the year 2010. Arrival in 2009 are now in mainland and the rest are still in Christmas Island. The figure is about 1% of total arrivals by boats. But there is no doubt that their processes could be took more longer than the process of those total arrivals.

Unlike others, earlier group of 42 persons were landed in Australia-waters by four different boats through Indo-waters in between September to December. Most of them have UNHCR documents received in Malaysia and Indonesia, then had been well experienced in extortion, arrest, detention and deportation. They headed to Australia in order to avoid such cycle of circumstances. Some told their journey from Malaysia to Australia took one to three years as they been detained in Indonesia. Their asylum claimants also required to attain security clearances from transit countries of where they been. It means the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) to conduct their cases to attain the sources or recommendation provided by authority from such transit countries. Although this option is fall in legitimate way, it does not available in such un-signatory countries. So, how security agency assessed them is unclear and result to uncertainty. Otherwise, If such legitimate option is exercisable, why they are kept for.

 

Unequivocally, they delighted and felt very comfortable when they firstly kept in Christmas Island for processing of their asylum claimants before four months period of detention because they have no more fear then they can stay no matter how long. Hereafter, they frustrated and weaken mentally once they found that they are not treated equally in visa processing quota. Time by time, credible outcome is lacked for why they are pending and kept as an exemplary. They don’t have jealous but they start pointing out the other undocumented clients from different countries whom were granted in the respect of timely process properly done within 90 days and how some bogus clients granted visa very earlier than them.

 

On April 2010, they all 41 were transferred to mainland and the one left was early lifted to Perth Hospital for urgent treatment. Of them, 39 were kept in Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) of Darwin. On May 10, they sent an appreciation letter to the out going immigration minister because they thought the letters of exile based Rohingya communities was unworked. In the letter, they also explained about their situation and condition of family left behind. An inclination part of their claims had been informed by verbally that they were found to be refugee. As well as, it is being fear for they have to remain until security checks done. The worst is how long it could be took again when there is no such parameter for the process. For the other nationalities, they would be granted visa within 2 weeks of such inform.

 

Australia had already experienced with Rohingya cases especially on the first group of 8 persons arrival in 2006 August but paving similar path is in-accreditation and decimation for later arrival Rohingyas and family left behind. Australia has under taken to adhere refugee protection but the responsibility in determining by immigration is waging to delay bureaucratically. Relating to this, the Refugee Action Coalition Ian Rintoul said they have been waiting for months and months for security clearnesses, entirely unnecessary. (see at:http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/21/2932218.htm)

 

In this manner, their intolerant frustration made them to express their dis-satisfactions through various peaceful strikes. One of the forlorn event among the strike was that they hold 12 days over long Voluntary Starvation (VS) ended in June 25. It was highlighted in ( http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44670). It is not surprised for us due to at least dozen of hunger strikes taking places in every month in every detention centre of Australia. But, our right to know is blocked by modern way of the so call privacy. More than more, they would be isolated into a separate compound where guarded by SERCO staffs. We don’t know the actual kind of treatment providing there and recovering or either how. It is also learnt that any immigration authority did not meet them during this VS and letting to fall down by themselves or waiting to stop voluntarily by themselves. It is only immigration’s back-warded policy dealings against the vulnerable asylum-seekers.

 

In favour of sympathy, The Christian Uniting Church raised about their plights to the out going Immigration Minister Chris Evans, covered on 2 July at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/burmese-minority-left-to-languish/story-e6frgczf-1225886887081

They had been visited by many concern quarters and approached by some individual welfare workers. These help them to send appeal letter to ASIO, Inspector General of Intelligence Organization (IGIO) and DIAC for intervention as their pending was told for only security clearnesses. Furthermore, the situation was also highlighted widely by Pamela Curr in a public forum in Melbourne led by Refugee Action Coalition group.

 

Longer than longer, their incurable distress reached to the peak and sprung -up their calls by various approaches including self-hurt attempts. Some said they did not believed the sorts of pending for security clearances as a few are well known in country of where they been. Why they can’t be escalated?

For the consequences of strikes and self harms, total 19 persons were slowly grated visa since end of moth June to December of 2010. However, this slow out come made them the hope for the rest 23 persons to be in stable condition.

On November, tensions were raised unfortunately for Mr Shoef-38 from the first Burmese boat was rejected for failing in security assessment. He claimed that his rejection under section (4), Australian Security Act 1979, was not related to him by any means, and they also found another ironic in both refugee process and security assessment which revealed something wrong in the processes and time taken for both processes is untrue. It shocked among them and deteriorate the situation and then questioned for why rejection too lately in 15 months detention and meaningless of Refugee Recognition. They also willing to see the outgoing immigration case managers who said them that the case would be strong longer than longer. Mr Shoef was lifted to Sydney and yet detaining in Villawood detention centre of Sydney.

 

The one, Mr. Majid-29 who do not happy in detention had attempted suicide by hanging on the tree on 9 Dec 2010. It was reported in ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/10/3089988.htm / http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/16/3094905.htm ). But, the reasons and sources in the first report were not given. He had also escaped to outside on 18 Sept 2010 and back after 2 days. It can be seen at(http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/18/3015449.htm) but the reason was not stated. Mr Majid explained, he escaped because he believed he will be sent to the court if he would be caught by police. He is unhappy for police sent him back to detention where he don’t want to spend any more thus he attempted self-hurt.

 

A fore stated patient, Mr Yusof who getting intensive treatment in Perth Hospital said that dying is better than waiting like now for security outcome. But, he did not explained about his malady or how.

 

On 10 Dec 2010, 2 persons have been transferred to Meribyrnong detention camp of Melbourne including one was Mr Eliyas-36 who attempted self-harm by head-banging twice to the wall on 29 Nov 2010, and the other 2 persons to Villawood detention centre of Sydney on 12 Dec 2010. When the situation is not quiet, immigration occasionally said that any striking behaviours would be delay the process but why not processing before this was not talked. Is not a punishment against their freedom of expression? Keeping them in unlawful detention mode for long-term and defining them as bad people when they spoke out in freed-mode. At the moment, the condition is seem to be dormant but their sufferings is unsustainable and even though they were separated as 4 persons in Villawood, 2 persons in Meribyrnong, and the rest 16 persons in NIDC of Darwin.

Mohd Nowbi-36, who is detaining in 14 months, had been set-fire himself in the room on 31 Jan 2011. Before alight, he locked the door and covered his body with piles of clothes and sheets. As a result of he can’t support for family left in Malaysia and his wife no longer waited then left his three children. The children are younger than 7 years old and living temporarily with his friend since four months ago. He reported his vulnerability to case manager and appeal finally to send him back to Malaysia. It is believed that no attention is paid to whomever no matter how vulnerable.

 

They handed over a letter to immigration minister when visited the centre on 2 Feb 2011. It was highlighted in (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/08/3132743.htm?section=justin). In the letter, they pointed logically that ‘the time taken for security clearances is well enough to have a result compare to Refugee Assessment Process’. They asked, if their pending is only by ASIO, the department must regularize its exercises through intervention on ASIO’s delaying, transferring to community detention centre once their immigration matters solved and in placing with judiciary arrangement. If we do agree with the security agency’s responses, the questions would be how those some of them granted visa and where did their clearances get from. Unfortunately, we would find out the fact of discrimination or ironic in the procedures. Despite the both departments say their pending is based on certain concern of risk to security, there is no one Rohingya would harm Australian society in the future. It come to understand that ASIO just ignoring their plight while DIAC pay less attention.

 

In PM Howard era, 8 Rohingya men arrived in 2006 August were also kept about 18 months in similar way. After US made an agreement to transfer pending asylum-seekers to its country from Nauru Island in 2007, they were finally accepted in Australia. That shows Rohingyas do not risk to security but kept for indefinite policy achievement by pointing to security threat. A researcher Ms Susan Metcalfe has made a long report at (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11429&page=0)

It is considered as an exemplary form of modern hindering from their liberty. They also ask about how ASIO provided clearances and DIAC granted refugee status for those bogus clients. Two fake Rohingyas (not included in 42 persons) were granted visa, one was in 2010 November and another one was in this month. Their situation was highlighted recently in ABC news, (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/10/3135097.htm)

 

In summary, they might not be desperated for coming to Australia and they are in need of humanitarian interference to get release out from the unlawful detention which powering against the country’s legislations. As well as, current detention system doesn’t respect ICCPR and Refugee Rights. The Australian communities should not allow to keep them in such legal limbo therefore I am very eager to call upon Australian communities to come together to cater our support towards their plights. Particularly, the government and human rights quarters must be involved to look into the matter because they are kept as the decision was made whether inform or not and this is modern deprivation and delaying from their liberty.

 

Rohingyas never a risk

source from: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/rohingyas-never-a-risk/story-fn558imw-1225856604509

YOUR article “Viking Tamil to challenge ASIO’s security threat ban” (21/4) says David Manne “in 2007 secured visas for eight Burmese Rohingya asylum-seekers who could not obtain security clearances”.

In fact the eight men represented by Manne were held in Nauru under the Pacific Solution, and there was never an issue with their security clearances – the previous government refused to allow them into Australia as part of its policy. When the Rudd government was elected the men were given permanent visas within a couple of weeks after an 18-month stint in Nauru. They are hard-working and respectful men.

One is now permanently disabled from an accident after his arrival in Australia. As an independent advocate, I sat for six months in hospitals with this man, and it is upsetting to see them cast in this light.

59 HINDRAF, HRP MEMBERS DETAINED IN PERAK, NEGERI SEMBILAN, SELANGOR AND KL


14 Feb 2011, Bernama news

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 (Bernama) — Police today detained 59 Hindraf and Human Rights Party (HRP) members in Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur for staging illegal protests against ”Interlok”.

A Bukit Aman spokesman said among those detained were 21 from Kuala Lumpur, five in Selangor, six in Perak and 26 in Negeri Sembilan.

"Similar protest convoys were also held in Kedah but no arrests were made. As of 7pm, police have only detained members in four states," he told Bernama tonight.

According to Gombak police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Abdullah, Hindraf Information chief S. Jayathas was among those detained at Jalan Templers Park for behaving aggressively against the police.

"Initially about 50 people had arrived in 15 cars and started distributing flyers in Rawang to protest the Interlok novel, calling for its abolishment," he said.

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POLICE-HINDRAF 2 KUALA LUMPUR

He added that police also seized Hindraf Makkal Sakti flags and 65 flyers that urged the public to gather at the Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC) on Feb 27, to stage a mass rally to protest the Interlok novel.

In Brickfields, ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said 21 people, including five women and a child were detained at the Jalan Tun Sambathan junction in Brickfields at 2.30pm when they arrived in 18 cars.

"The cars displaying stickers ”Say No To Interlok” arrived in a convoy," he said at the Travers police station here today. However, they were later released on bail, he said.

In IPOH, police detained six HRP members for behaving aggressively against the police when they gathered in front of the Jelapang police station.

State CID chief Datuk Dzuraidi Ibrahim said among those detained were Perak HRP chairman P. Ramesh, his deputy N. Subramaniam, 43, secretary S. Sivakumar, 51, S. Sivakumar, 38, S. Jayakumar, 49 and Perak HRP coordinator R. Mogan, 44.

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POLICE-HINDRAF 3 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR

Dzuraidi said before their detention at 10.15am, about 20 people had started moving as a convoy in 10 cars from Buntung, Buntung market, Buntung police station and onwards to Jalan Besar, Jelapang. In Seremban, Police had detained 26 Hindraf members, including six women and four children, who were involved in an illegal convoy of 16 cars at 2.15pm.

Seremban police chief ACP Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said police had received information that an illegal convoy cars would be passing through the town today. "Police started monitoring their activities from 1.35pm and detained the members who arrived in 16 cars which displayed ”Say No To Interlok” stickers, when they reached the Jalan Zaaba traffic light near the Rahang police station," he told reporters here today. He said police had initially spoken to the head of the convoy, R. Sivakumar, 44, and told him that the convoy needed a permit and that it was illegal to carry on without a permit. "However, our advise was not heeded but instead they continued and shouted ”Hidup Hindraf” in Tamil. We had no choice but to detain them due to safety and security reasons. They were also wearing T-shirts of the movement that was deemed illegal by the government.

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