Search Results: asylum seekers

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 23 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Paying tribute without creating war narratives

    • Justin Glyn
    • 23 March 2015
    9 Comments

    The emotional parades welcoming troops home from the end of 'Operation Slipper' in Afghanistan leave us contemplating the horrific effects of war on veterans and their families. It is absolutely right, indeed imperative, that we grieve with them and count the costs. In doing so, however, we should beware the danger of selective empathy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Confessions of a grumpy old man

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 March 2015
    18 Comments

    It is becoming common to describe people who offer political, economic and cultural comment in the mainstream media as Grumpy Old Men. It is a nice insult that warms the hearts of those of us whose commentary is confined to the fringe media. 'But, wait a moment', my inner self interrupts, 'Are you really so very different?' To blot out the sound of silent scepticism, I rush on, 'There is Grumpy and grumpy. There is surely a difference ...'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's delusory tolerance rhetoric

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 02 March 2015
    10 Comments

    Prime Minister Abbott's National Security Statement quite rightly spoke of threats to Australia and the need to address them. Many of his utterances might seem uncontroversial: 'Those who live here must be as tolerant of others as we are of them'. But in fact they ignore the way people 'who come here' are treated according to 'how' they came here. The language used to describe them reflects an attitude that is far from tolerant.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Libs take some image advice from Mad Men's Don Draper

    • Jim McDermott
    • 01 March 2015

    The inner sanctum of the Prime Minister’s office, filled with smoke. DON DRAPER sits in a chair, cigarette in one hand, tumbler of Scotch in the other. Across, Prime Minister TONY ABBOTT. Around them, members of his cabinet. GREG HUNT (coughing weakly): We really don't allow smoking in here. CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Plus, how do you still look so good? It’s 2015. Draper turns Pyne's way. His eyes glitter like steel. DON: Really, that's what you want to talk about right now, my looks? TONY: Now listen, Don, I did it all just like you said. Pushed up the spill motion to keep the momentum from building, said I would be more consultative, got on with the business of governing. And yet two weeks later ... Read more

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Govt spending must match domestic violence rhetoric

    • Stephanie Dowrick
    • 26 February 2015
    16 Comments

    The Prime Minister's choice of Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year is wholly admirable. Her advocacy about domestic violence following the tragic murder of her son by his father has been passionate and effective. But the praise heaped upon Rosie Batty is meaningless, even insulting, while support services are diminishing or disappearing for all the other women and children in need of immediate protection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What drives young Australian Muslims to join IS

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2015
    41 Comments

    I fear for those Muslim young people driven into the arms of ideological extremists so unnecessarily. I'm prompted to recall my school years, when Soviet troops were invading Hungary to put down the brief revolution. I wondered uneasily whether it was not perhaps my duty to go to Hungary to fight for freedom there. For an idealistic young man whose Catholicism was tightly intertwined with anti-communism, the thought was natural.

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  • Soul-destroying refugee policy shames Australia

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 24 February 2015

    Just before Christmas last year, the United States Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program, and its use of torture on detainees between 2002 and 2006. Among the report's key findings was the fact that the brutality of the torture and the harshness of the detention regime went beyond what the CIA. had reported to policy-makers (in other words, the CIA deliberately misled its Senate overseers); that the CIA's claims for the effectiveness of torture to obtain information that was vital for national security were inaccurate and unfounded; that the torture regime had damaged the standing of the United States, and resulted in significant costs, monetary and otherwise; that personnel were rarely reprimanded or held accountable for violations, inappropriate activities, and systematic and individual management failures. Read more

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The case for defending children and their advocates

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 24 February 2015
    10 Comments

    Children have always suffered and been exploited. Only recently have been regarded as being children at all, rather than mini-people. Reformers like Dickens raised consciousness beginning in the 19th century. Bombs are raining on children in Syria and elsewhere. Not so Australia, but many are being damaged nonetheless. The Australian Human Rights Commission is having to defend its report on Immigration Detention from critics that include the Prime Minister.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Unmasking Australia's boat-stopping deal with the Sri Lankan devil

    • Justin Glyn
    • 24 February 2015
    4 Comments

    Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has claimed Australia's silence on the country's appalling human rights record was the price for its government taking extra measures to prevent people fleeing the country and arriving in Australia on boats seeking asylum. This is a problem on many levels, including our government's seeking to remove human rights issues by reframing them as national security ones.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker Ali's successful day in court

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 12 February 2015
    23 Comments

    Former Immigration Minister's Scott Morrison's ruthless determination to prevent refugees arriving by boat from getting permanent residence has been successfully challenged. On Wednesday, the High Court ordered the current Immigration Minister to grant a permanent protection visa to a Pakistani Hazara 'S297'. Such an instruction is almost unheard of, as usually the Minister is asked to re-make the decision lawfully.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palaszczuk shows Abbott how it's done

    • Moira Rayner
    • 02 February 2015
    18 Comments

    Queensland’s new premier is a plain-spoken, modest woman with a ‘foreign’ name. She was triumphant after the self-confident three year reign of Campbell Newman. Tony Abbott also did his bit for the Queensland result, as a man of power who characteristically overreaches and is yet to learn the lesson that the right to rule has to be earned, every day, from the people.   

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