I Have A Question, Mr Prime Minister.

I’m a little confused.

I think perhaps our Government might be too. You see, according to the Parliament of Australia website, the role of the Senate and House of Representatives {is} to represent the interests of Australians and to ‘make laws for the peace, order and good government of the nation’ (section 51 Australian Constitution).

So, the role of the elected Government is to represent the interests of the people of Australia.

Well, the people of Australia have a question Prime Minister Abbott.

Where are the two boats of Tamil asylum seekers that were {allegedly} intercepted by Australian Navy ships in the waters just off Christmas Island?

Refugee advocates lost contact with the boats, one of which is thought to be carrying over thirty children, some as young as 12 months old, early Saturday morning. Five days ago.

The Australian Government has refused to confirm or deny the existence of the boats, or their possible whereabouts.

Reports circulating include :

If the asylum seekers are handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy, as is being widely reported, Australia will be in violation of the Refugee Convention, and will be in breech of Domestic and International Law.

Why is our Government staying silent on this? How are they allowed to stay silent of this? We live in a democracy, this Government was elected by the people, and are answerable to the people.  If their actions are lawful, and morally just; why are they not telling us? If their actions are ‘representing the people of Australia’, how can they not disclose their actions to the people of Australia?

Has our Government returned men, women and children who are fleeing from persecution, back to the very people who persecuted them?

Apparently, they don’t have to tell us.

Source- Herald Sun
Source- Herald Sun

Prime Minister Abbott today is still refusing to comment on the fate of the two boatloads of refugees, although he did have this to say; “I want to make this observation, Sri Lanka is not everyone’s idea of an ideal society but it is at peace.”

Whilst this is technically correct, (the civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009) the country has a long history of human rights violations, attracting criticism from the UN Human Rights Council and Amnesty International as recently as 2013.

One doesn’t need to stretch ones imagination very far, to be able to hypothesise the possible fate of these people if they have been returned to the country they illegally tried to flee from.

The Refugee Council’s chief executive, Paul Power, said Australia would potentially be sending asylum seekers back to “persecution or worse” if the Tamils on board were returned to Sri Lanka. “For asylum seekers, this is a matter of life and death, particularly in Sri Lanka which has a long history of political violence on a scale unimaginable to Australians.”

So, you can see why I am confused. Reports that Australia has breeched Domestic and International Law, and are in direct violation of the Refugee Convention; by returning men, women and over thirty children to a country where they face persecution, and potentially death, without assessing their refugee status. And the people who are allegedly making these decisions, on behalf of the people of Australia, will neither confirm nor deny this claim.

Source - The Age
Source – The Age

In fact, Immigration Minister, Mr Scott Morrison went so far as to accuse Labor and the Greens of “doing the bidding of smugglers” by asking about the fate of the boats.

Mr Morrison has made his opinion on the plight of Tamil refugees quite clear in the past,  quoted as saying, in October this year; “If you’re coming here to try something on to get access to Australia from Sri Lanka, you’ll go straight back.”


Because, well, you know, Sri Lanka is not everyone’s idea of an ideal society, but hey, it is in peace.

Source- The Guardian
Source- The Guardian
Source- www.safecom.org.au
Source- www.safecom.org.au

The thing is, it doesn’t really matter what your stance is on asylum seekers. It doesn’t matter if you vote Labor or Liberal, if you are left wing or right wing.

What matters, is what the Government that represents this country is hiding from us, and why.

Answer our questions, Mr Prime Minister.


10 comments on “I Have A Question, Mr Prime Minister.

  • Elephant's Child , Direct link to comment

    Sadly, I saw a report that said that the asylum seekers claims had been assessed on the basis of four questions asked while they were at sea. And the implication was, that they have been assessed as having no legitimate claims, so they can be returned.
    I am so ashamed of the way successive governments have treated asylum seekers. Ashamed and horrified.

    • Hesitant Housewife , Direct link to comment

      I have heard similar things today also EC. It really is horrifying. I feel physically ill thinking about the fate that is most likely in store of for those who have been handed over, particularly the children. I really don’t know how the people who sign off on these decisions can sleep at night.

  • Twinkle in the Eye , Direct link to comment

    What this government is doing is horrifying and that they are indifferent to criticism, indifferent to domestic and international law and act under a cloak of silence is abominable. The fact that they can continue to do this without consequence suggests that our systems of protection and accountability are failing miserably. Makes me sick to the stomach #notinmyname.

  • ClaireyHewitt , Direct link to comment

    Sadly there are a huge, huge number of the Australian people who really don’t give a shit about these people.

    They truly don’t.

    History will tell of an Australia that shows the most disgusting human rights policy and pathetic border protection.

    Personally, I don’t know how Australia can do this so easily, we have learnt nothing from history and protecting people fleeing war. But, the majority of my country people voted for this government. They spoke loudly and clearly to say they wanted this and Abbott knows no matter how loud the good people shout, he still has enough people to support his awful ways.

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