GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Fake refugees on Oceanic Viking

with 8 comments


The news that the Tamil refugees on the Oceanic Viking have been living in Indonesia for up to five years destroys their claim of refugee status and Australia must not accept them.

Refugees are not “tourists”.   Refugees are seeking a safer place than their own country. Having found safe haven in Indonesia, arriving by ‘normal’ means and registered with the Indonesian government as refugees, they do not have the right to select their country of destination. That makes them tourists.

Australia cannot accept these refugees on humanitarian grounds – they should apply to migrate through the normal channels.

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Written by Greg Naylor

1 November 2009 at 10:09 am

Posted in PERSONAL

8 Responses

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  1. The acceptance of the governments offer to resettle genuine refugees within three months by 22 of the Tamils on the Oceanic Viking immediately puts the validity of the remaining 50 odd in question. Let us hope they are well screened before they enter Australia an we should not become a refuge for ‘Tamil Tigers’ or criminals.

    Greg Naylor

    14 November 2009 at 10:37 am

  2. Hi Greg. I’m a bit puzzled by your use of that picture of the people packed on the outside of a train on a topic about asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. It’s from India isn’t it?

    As for the issue, well we were stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one, surely. What would you have done given that we had an international obligation to pick these people up from their stricken vessel in Indoneasian waters? We’ve done everything we can, I think.

    Ray Dixon

    15 November 2009 at 10:23 am

    • Ray, the photo was used as it was entertaining and plays up to those who see asylym seekers as a rort.

      I’m with you in that the government has done all it can to resolve the issue. The point I am trying to make is that if Australia folds to the remaining 50 on board they will run the risk of turning good Australians against the Tamil refugees.

      IUf those remaining do not avail themselves of Australia’s offer of fast tracking their applications, they probably have good cause to fear closer examination and should be returned o Sri Lanka.

      Greg Naylor

      15 November 2009 at 12:08 pm

      • Just to turn this debate on its head a bit, Greg. One thing that has always puzzled me is how the asylum seekers get into Indonesia in the first place. I might be wrong but I think most of the boat people from Vietnam in the late 70s travelled all the way from their country to ours. Country hopping would seem to put asylum seekers in a different light. I’m still a great advocate for Australia being magnaminous on refugees but there is something else here I think.

        Ray Dixon

        18 November 2009 at 2:08 pm

        • My understanding of asylum seeking is a safe exit from oppression (physical, political, etc) rather than chosing which country one flees to.
          You are right in that these people have been able to traverse other countries to get to Indonesia and then to Australia. Once they leave their country of origin, they should be processed in the new country under the international treaties on asylum seekers.
          Australia should be applying pressure along the route to have those country meet their international obligations with asylum seekers. At the moment, they avoid the issues we face by moving them on. Why should we be the end of the line

          Greg Naylor

          18 November 2009 at 3:48 pm

        • Why should we be the end of the line

          I think it was an Indonesian offcial who said Australia is such a strong magnet for asylum seekers simply because it offers more opportunities, a better lifestyle, better climate, etc, etc, and that is just how it is.

          I don’t know how it works in Indonesia but perhaps there’s a temporary visa issued to them and they never apply for asylum there because they just want to get to Australia. Putting myself in a genuine regugee’s shoes I’d feel much the same way.

          And, as Indonesia is pretty overcrowded, perhaps we just have to accept that refugees will use it as a transit or staging point, not a destination. We can’t tell other countries how to run their affairs.

          Ray Dixon

          19 November 2009 at 10:50 pm

  3. Sri Lanka asylum seekers sent home

    * From: AAP
    * November 15, 2009 4:26PM
    MORE than 30 Sri Lankans, including a man who scaled a lightpole and threatened to jump during a protest on Christmas Island last month, have been returned to Colombo.

    They join 30 others who returned to Sri Lanka voluntarily after their claims for asylum were rejected.

    All were part of a group of 50 Sri Lankan men who arrived by boat in April.

    Of the group, 12 have been granted protection visas and have been resettled on the mainland while another two are in the final stages of processing on Christmas Island.

    Immigration Minister Chris Evans said:
    “People who are owed Australia’s protection under our international obligations will be granted that protection,” Senator Evans said.
    But Senator Evans said all irregular maritime arrivals found not to be owed protection and with no other basis to remain in Australia would be removed.

    “Someone who is seeking better economic opportunities does not meet the criteria for a protection visa.”

    Greg Naylor

    15 November 2009 at 6:58 pm

  4. We can’t tell other countries how to run their affairs.
    But we can and must stand up to intimidation as was shown by the Sri Lankans on the Oceanic Viking.

    Greg Naylor

    20 November 2009 at 11:32 am


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