Ok, I may not have been born here, but I’ve lived here effectively my entire life. I can’t remember living anywhere else. I am Australian.
Which is what got me so riled up during Q&A on the ABC last night.
The Australian government wanted to turn around boats of Sri Lankan asylum seekers. Without due processing. If these people had been processed and found to be non-genuine asylum seekers, then that’d be one thing. But they’re genuine. They were fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka. And our illustrious government wanted to send them back to that?
I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I’m pretty sure that’s in direct contravention of the UN policies on refugees and human rights. By all accounts the government is guilty of refoulement – forcing people to return to their place of origin where they are reasonably expected to face persecution or threats to life and liberty on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.
That is exactly what these people were fleeing Sri Lanka for in the first place. Now Tony Abbott’s government has attempted to send them back to that? This government is the most vile of vile.
Thankfully the Australian High Court has intervened before they could be sent back and the asylum seekers are now in limbo until the matter of the legality of their return to Sri Lanka can be settled.
Honestly, I think many Australians would do well to take notice of the following verse from our much lauded national anthem:
Tony Abbott’s welcoming committee leaves a lot to be desired.