Category Archives: people smugglers

Tsunami of Asylum Seekers swamps Europe

Christina Lamb, courtesy of The Sunday Times & The Australian, 1 September 2015, where the title is “Europe’s asylum-seekers form a human tide of desperation

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It took perhaps an hour for them to die. The children would have suffocated first: the baby girl of around 18 months, the three boys aged about eight to 10, watched by their anguished mothers, helpless to give them air inside the hot, sealed truck. By the time it crossed the border from Hungary into western Europe where the asylum-seekers must have hoped for a new life, all 71 were dead: 59 men, eight women, four children. The Austrian police who found them said their bodies were piled one on top of the other inside the vehicle as if they had tried to climb up. With four bodies for every square metre, they had been so desperate to get air that the side of the truck was bent out of shape.

tsunami 55 Blankets hide the chicken delivery truck in which 71 people, believed to be Syrian, suffocated in Austria last week. Continue reading

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Gunasekera vs SBS: Mahinda from Canada places Corlett’s Dateline Video and SMH Report in Context

ITEM ONE. David Corlett: “The Nightmare of Returning to Sri Lanka,” 10 September 2014 

 TORTURE BACK SMH Tamil asylum seeker shows his wounds from being tortured.

The Abbott government has all but claimed victory in stopping asylum seeker boats. Offshore processing and turning around boats at sea have been important elements in achieving this goal. Also important has been its efforts at returning asylum seekers, especially Sri Lankans. Continue reading

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Sinhalese Asylum-Seekers are dumped back in Galle, while …

Stefanie Balogh, in The Australian, 9 July 2014 in a news items i within the hard copy  which has several images of Sinhalese asylum-seekers in line for court hearings after being brought ashore at Galle by a SL Navy vessel 

THE Abbott government has no intention of sending 153 asylum- seekers at the centre of a High Court challenge to Sri Lanka where Tamil refugees claim they face persecution, as fresh doubts surfaced over the route of their voyage and the identities of those on board. After weeks of denying the boat’s existence, lawyers for the government yesterday revealed the group was being held on a ­Customs boat after it was intercepted outside the country’s ­migration zone.

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Laksiri Jayasuriya explores the transformation of White Australia

James Jupp, in  Journal of Population Research, 2013, vol. 30: 387-88 — reviewing Laksiri Jayasuriya: Transforming a ‘White Australia’: Issues of Racism and Immigration, SSS Publications, New Delhi, 2012, 180 pp., ISBN 81-902282-9-3

James-Jupp-web This short study by an eminent Australian scholar covers the entire period from the initiation of the White Australia policy in 1901 until the asylum seeker controversies of John Howard’s government in 2001. It will be of considerable value to those outside Australia who have only a limited knowledge of the radical changes during this century of organised mass immigration.  They include many Asians who still believe that Australia implements a “whites only” admission policy, which is far from being the case. It will also be of value to the many Australians who have only a distorted and populist view of recent developments. Continue reading

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Arguments in Australia as irregular migrant flow becomes an election issue

Rowan Callick, in The Australian, 12 August 2013, where the title is “A Different Destination

callickTHE drama of this especially intense election campaign is being shadowed by a more bitter struggle being played out in the tropical zone to Australia’s north, on perilous seas and in remote islands. The characteristically bold – or impetuous – Kevin Rudd solution to the asylum-seeker dilemma initially shook up the opposition as much as it did the people-smugglers, threatening to prise away Tony Abbott’s popular grip on the issue, as intended.

146788-asylum-seeker-boatIt may not fully unravel by September 7, nor is it likely on present evidence to demonstrate sustained success by then, despite the claims of Immigration Minister Tony Burke that asylum-seekers in Indonesia now “realise that what they have paid for is no longer available to them”. About 1900 have arrived since Rudd’s Papua New Guinea-Nauru solution was struck, but numbers have moderated in recent days. Continue reading

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Lost and at sea: the asylum-seeker debate in Australia

Michael Roberts, courtesy of ASIA SENTINEL, 12 August 2013

Electoral politics have swamped the debate on irregular migrants, the “boat-people that is, in Australia. There is no change of consequence however. Rudd, Abbott, the Greens and Letters to the Editor continue to present (a) many of the old shibboleths and oversimplifications that have skewed discussions of this issue for years. The motifs peddled in most quarters are also directed by (b) misinformation, exaggeration and fabrication and (c) ideological blinkers.

ASIA SENTINEL from Asia Sentinel

A self-evident fact is often glossed over: migration in modern times, whether legal, humanitarian or irregular, is a complex phenomenon. Given the diverse lands from which migrants have headed for Australia it follows that one must attend to regional differentiation in speaking about this topic. Yet sweeping generalizations are continuously voiced – not only by politicians and human rights lawyers, but also by concerned citizens of compassionate heart and, on the other side, by intransigent Aussies on the Right. Continue reading

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Island-hopping: from Lanka to Cocos to Christmas and thence to Manus perhaps

sl -asylum-seekers-colin murty Sri  Lankan asylum-seekers arrive at Christmas Island airport after being flown from the Cocos  Islands yesterday. Picture: Colin Murty  Source: The Australian… ALSO SEE Rowan Callick: “Airlift to Manus swings into action,”  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/election-2013/airlift-to-extend-manus-swings-into-action/story-fn9qr68y-1226687190919 AND

Kamal Wickremasinghe, “Bogus refugees are making waves in Australia,” Daily News, 29 July 2013, http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/bogus-refugees-are-making-waves-australia

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Profound sorrow. Selvamalar and Balamanokaran lose their son at sea off Java

Paul Toohey & Ashley Mullany, in The Advertiser, Sunday, 28 July with title as I just want my baby boy back”

About 1000 asylum seekers have died trying to get to Australia illegally by boat since the Labor Government was elected. The Sunday Times was on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the latest boat tragedy this week and, in a common but rarely captured story, can tell why one woman took an extraordinary risk to reach her husband in Perth and suffered the most painful loss of all. Special report by Paul Toohey in Java and Ashlee Mullany in Perth.

SelvakumarSHE was sold a cruel lie by the people smugglers. He will never meet his son. She was told she would travel on a luxury ocean liner from Indonesia to Australia. They showed her photos of the ship that would transport her, her beautiful son and her brother to their new life in Australia. It was a superb vessel, with three storeys of cabins. “I believed them,” she said. Continue reading

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A grieving Tamil couple … and credulous Australians

Michael Roberts

The headline picture in The Australian was — and remains — gut-wrenching, harrowing. It is a tale of searing suffering: a  young Sri Lankan Tamil couple have just lost their ten-month old infant after a boat with asylum seekers that had set off from Java sank off shore. Take Peter Alford’s story filed from Java yesterday.
  • TAMIL COUPLE
    Hard line unheard or unheeded by asylum-seekers

    The Australian·20 hours ago   

    A baby boy and a 10-year-old girl are believed to be among the dead after an asylum boat sank off Java. THE asylum-seekers from the latest sinking tragedy….

The two are Antony Jayaseelan and Rose Anu Resana, Tamils of Catholic background. They were among the 204 people on board on a boat that had left Cidaun in Java on Tuesday and then floundered in the sea, leaving 44 missing and 4 confirmed dead. It would seem that these asylum-seekers were not aware of the new Rudd-government’s hardline policy. Said Jayaseelan: “We didn’t know but even if we did know we could not stay in Sri Lanka.” Continue reading

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Migrant Remittances drive “Asylum-Seeker” Out-Migration from Sri Lanka

Dinoo Kelleghan in The Weekend-Australian, 13 April 2013 where the title is Tamils flee for cash, not from harm … Dinoo Kelleghan is a former foreign editor of The Australian and was a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal from 1997-2004.

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IN contrast to the weary boatloads of Sri Lankans making the dangerous asylum-shopping trip to Australia, millions of different shoppers are out in force here as the island prepares for Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations this weekend. This year, economists noted a change in the spending patterns – lower-income people are spending more freely than the better-paid shoppers in the capital, Colombo. The reason? The gushing torrents of remittances home from Sri Lankans who have gone abroad for employment, often making empty claims of persecution to leapfrog others who stand patiently in long queues outside Western embassies in Colombo to get a work visa. Continue reading

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