Monthly Archives: July 2013

Major Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants After Hari Raya Aidilfitri – Ahmad Zahid

Source bernama, 22 July

PUTRAJAYA, July 22 (Bernama) — A major crackdown on illegal immigrants will be launched by the police, immigration department and Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia (RELA), after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad ZahidHamidi.

Ahmad Zahid said the government viewed the issue of illegal immigrants seriously since their presence may increase crime, drugs, prostitution and other illicit activities that may cause a threat to the country’s security.

"Since the start of the Ramadan month, 120 illegal immigrants were detained throughout the country for carrying out businesses without licence, no work permit and valid travel documents.

"The immigration department will continue to carry out raids to weed out illegal immigrants throughout the country," he said after breaking fast with immigration officers at the Immigration headquarters, here, Monday night.

Also present were Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Immigration Director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad.

He added that operations to net illegal immigrants would be carried out at Ramadan bazaars, plantations, factories and construction sites.

Ahmad Zahid said through the 6P programme, 1.3 million illegal immigrants were registered and from that total the application of 500,000 had been processed while 330,000 had decided to return home.

The application of the balance is in the process, he said.

“STOP THE ROT” – Demand Kevin Rudd scraps his PNG deportation plan

Source RISE, 22 July

We at RISE (Refugees Survivors & Ex-Detainees) are dismayed and angered at the announcement by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that Australiawill no longer accept asylum seekers for settlement in Australia. Rudd’s decision to settle all asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea in exchange for increased aid money to the former Australian territory is a disgusting illustration of how refugees and asylum seekers have been used to buy votes in a political race to the bottom.

Offshore processing has proven to be a human rights disaster in the past.Now Rudd wants to punish even more asylum seekers by settling them to a country struggling to maintain infrastructure, safety and support for

its current population. Rudd wants to expand the offshore processing site on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island so that it can house 3000 asylum seekers. Manus barely has capacity to support the 200 people currently there – asylum seekers sleep in hot tents that frequently get flooded during high rains. Medical facilities are inadequate and the incidences of self-harm and attempted suicide have continued unabated since the Manus Islanddetention camp was opened in 2012.

Read more here and take action.

Search called off for asylum seekers missing at sea

Source abc news, Jul 14, 2013 1:32pm AESTAsylum seekers coming ashore 13/07/2013Photo: The survivors have been taken to Christmas Island. (ABC News)

Authorities have suspended the search for survivors from an asylum seeker boat that sank near Christmas Island on Friday night.

The Australian Maritime Search and Rescue Authority (AMSA) says the decision was based on the high probability that it was unlikely there would be any more survivors found.

A baby boy died and eight people remain missing, while authorities rescued 88 people who have since been taken to Christmas Island.

Customs, the Navy, Air Force, chartered civil aircraft and a merchant ship all helped in the search.

It has been revealed that the Australian Federal Police received the first distress call from a Melbourne man on Friday morning who had spoken to a person on the boat who said it was in trouble.

A Customs vessel was directed to assist more than five hours later.

Former Australian ambassador Tony Kevin says lives are being put at risk because of an attitude among authorities that asylum seeker distress calls should not be trusted.

"There’s an entrenched doctrine in the Australian border protection and maritime safety system that distress calls from asylum seekers are not to be believed, that they’re having a lend of us," he said.

"And as long as these attitudes persist in the system, they will go on putting lives at risk, lives that needn’t be put at risk because we have the resources to intercept and save and rescue them."

A spokesperson for AMSA rejected the comments, saying all calls for assistance are taken seriously.

"We have a team of dedicated search and rescue professionals working around the clock to receive calls, to assess the assistance required and then to organise the appropriate assistance as quickly as can practically be done," the spokesperson said.

"AMSA responds to every call to assistance from vessels seeking assistance adhering to convention requirements to respond without regard to the nationality or status of the people or the circumstances in which they are found.

"AMSA reiterates that entering the Indian Ocean in a grossly overloaded, unreliable wooden boat designed for sheltered waters, with no maritime communications, inadequate crew, no life rafts and no distress beacons presents exceptionally grave risks to the passengers, particularly children, and the crew.

"Each incident is managed in accordance with internationally accepted principals and taking [into] account the individual circumstances such as location of the vessel seeking assistance, sea and weather conditions, availability of nearby aircraft and vessels to assist."

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says there will be a standard internal review of the rescue operation.

A total of 97 people from Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were on board the ill-fated boat, which officials believe came from Indonesia.

Mr Clare says the Customs ship Triton arrived at the boat around 10pm (AEST) on Friday night.

HMAS Albany and HMAS Bathurst were called for extra assistance. Bathurst arrived at 1:20am and Albany at 4am.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he was saddened to hear of the child’s death and that it underlined the importance for Australia to continue to work with Indonesia to address people smuggling.

‘Sense of loss’

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has told Sky News the Coalition is open to increasing border protection resources on the frontline to implement the policy of stopping asylum seeker boats.

"I don’t think anyone should doubt anyone’s sincerity about the sense of loss that we all feel when this happens, but this will keep happening unless it stops and it won’t stop until it stops," he said.

But senior Liberal party colleague and former naval officer Peter Debnam again questioned the Coalition’s policy of sending boats back to the country they came from, saying it is difficult to carry out.

Speaking on Sky, he suggested the policy may not be easily achievable.

"When you’ve been on a patrol boat in the middle of the ocean and you’re dealing with small boats, it’s fraught for everyone … it’s a very dangerous situation," he said.

"And yes, you can try and turn them around and send them back to Indonesia but if they don’t want to go it’s going to be very difficult.

"I think the point we’ve all made is that you’ve got to stop people getting on those boats.

"You don’t want to have an argument in the middle of the ocean."

“Plight of Rohingya Moving & Arrivals in Australia”

By James,

A boat load of about 300 Burmese refugees was caught up by Malaysian authority across Lankawi waters on the night of 10 July. Most of them are Rohingyans and the boat was caught after about 30 minutes of departure from the shore.
At the moment, they are detained in Lankawi police lock-up and await for UNHCR’s interference.

Similarly a week before, there was another boat load of more than hundred Burmese refugees was caught up between Lankawi and Thai-waters by Thai-navy forces. All of them are still locked in Thailand police custody.

It is confirmed that all of them are heading to Australia despite the Australian government introduced Pacific Solution from 13 Aug 2012 in order to deter boat arrivals through transferring to the islands of PNG and Nauru. However, the boat arrivals continue, women and kids risk together because they could not reunite under the policy.

Part of such policy, last week about 13 Rohingyans and Burmeses from Chrismas Island and Darwin were transferred to PNG detention camp.
Another boat arrived by last month included 30 Burmeses mix of Rohingya were also transferred to Nauru Island.

The smaller nations like Nauru and PNG are bound to be agreed with Australian projects that encourage business interest potentially undermines refugees’ rights”.

It come to note that poor treatment of refugees is not only found in transit countries but also in developed country like Australia.
These vulnerable refugees will be ended up between the bowling policy while the refugee actor UNCR itself refuses to resettle muslim refugees like Rohingya and Burmese muslims who are the most persecuted and facing ethnic cleansing pogroms from the past six decades.

Overcrowding takes toll on Rohingya detainees

Source Bankokpost, 6 July

SPECIAL REPORT: Despite adequate food and clothing, migrants are suffering from cramped conditions and an uncertain future

More than 100 Rohingya migrants being detained in Kanchanaburi are being well fed and clothed, but crowded conditions have left many suffering aches and pains.

The Rohingya in the Kanchanaburi detention centre are among some 2,000 who have fled persecution in Myanmar, sailing to Thailand and arriving on the country’s shores since January.

They are awaiting resettlement in a third country and families have been separated during the process.

Immigration authorities chose to house the men in detention facilities scattered around the country, while the women and children have been placed under the care of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

Kanchanaburi immigration checkpoint inspector Pol Lt Col Somphon Kanchana said his office’s detention room in Muang district had earlier housed 150 Rohingya men.

To ease overcrowding, 40 of them had been moved to detention facilities in Ayutthaya and Rayong. This left 110 men at the Kanchanaburi facility.

As all the detainees had to stay in the same cramped and crowded room, some developed painful symptoms, such as muscular aches and arthritic pains.

Despite the uncomfortable conditions, most of the detainees now look better than when they arrived, Pol Lt Col Somphon said. They have been given plenty of food and new clothes have been provided by police at the facility.

Kanchanaburi Immigration Office has received financial support to feed the displaced Rohingya.

It has hired three Muslim cooks to prepare three meals a day for the detainees in accordance with their faith, the immigration inspector said.

Police have allowed the Rohingya to perform religious activities while being detained.

However, Pol Lt Col Somphon said some detainees suffered with health problems, particularly muscular and arthritic aches, as they lived in a packed room and had no space to walk.

Some had other health problems, such as headaches. Any who fall seriously ill are sent to a hospital outside the area.

Doctors from Phaholpolpayuhasena Hospital in Muang district visit the facility every Monday to give health check-ups.

To help them ease their muscle pains, detention facility staff are encouraging the Rohingya to exercise every morning, Pol Lt Col Somphon said.

He is afraid the Rohingya may develop psychological problems if they are detained for much longer.

The migrants want to know where they could be sent to and some missed their families after they were caught and sent to different detention shelters, he said.

Pol Lt Col Somphon said some migrants who could speak English had tried to ask about their future.

During a visit by the Bangkok Post, the Rohingya looked excited. They shouted and greeted the visitors. Many put on their clothes and wore a kapiyor, a Muslim head cover for men. Those who could speak English tried to communicate with the visitors.

When asked where they wanted to go, one Rohingya young man shouted "Freedom!" Another said "No" when asked whether he wanted to return to Myanmar.

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