keywords: Tamils

  • RELIGION

    'Equal laws and equal rights ... dealt out to the whole community'. How close 161 years on?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 December 2015
    1 Comment

    'Tonight, gathered here in the Southern Cross Club in the national capital, gathered as Eureka's children. We affirm that there is room for everyone under the Southern Cross. I hope you will return to Canberra carrying the Southern Cross flag when we proclaim the Australia Republic on 1 January 2020 which will be two elections after Australia last had a monarchist leader of a major political party. Tony Abbott is the last of his type. Whether the prime minister honoured to witness the proclamation is Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten or another matters not.' Annual Dinner for Eureka's Children, Southern Cross Club, Canberra, 3 December 2015.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia crosses another red line in Vietnam refoulement

    • Tony Kevin
    • 22 April 2015
    17 Comments

    As next week's 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon approaches, the Australian Government has found its own egregious way to commemorate the anniversary. On Friday, the West Australian reported that HMAS Choules was standing off the Vietnamese coast, in an operation to hand back to Vietnam a group of almost 50 asylum seekers. So soon after Malcolm Fraser's passing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court fails high seas detainees

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 February 2015
    20 Comments

    The Abbott Government had a thumping big win in the High Court on Tuesday. All seven High Court judges have made it clear that there is next to nothing that can be done in the courts to question the government's approach. It is lawful, acceptable to government, and hardly a matter of concern to the Australian community, that 157 asylum seekers, including children, can be kept in windowless detention on an Australian vessel for a month on the high seas in the Indian Ocean.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Tamils flee Sri Lanka

    • David Feith
    • 10 July 2014
    22 Comments

    Many Australians regard these asylum seekers as economic refugees. But systematic discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka has existed since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948. Tamils are a minority, and are systematically and routinely treated as second-class citizens by the majority Sinhalese community. The extreme Sinhalese nationalist view regards Sri Lanka as an island sacred to Buddhism, in which non-Sinhalese have no place.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tamils facing new atrocities in Sri Lanka

    • Paul White
    • 04 July 2014
    39 Comments

    On Monday we learned that two boats of Tamil asylum seekers had been intercepted off Christmas Island. Now there are unconfirmed reports that Australia is handing them over to the Sri Lankan navy without assessing their claims for protection. Amnesty warns Tamils face the risk of sexual violence, torture, murder, imprisonment, and enforced disappearance. Since March this year there have been scores of arrests and several deaths.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year open season on refugees

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 July 2013
    16 Comments

    For refugees election years are like duck hunting season. Even dragon flies tremble. So it is not surprising that Bob Carr brought out the big guns that the Rudd Government will use. His claim that most asylum seekers are economic migrants, come from majority religious and tribal groups, and are too easily given protection visas, is a political response to an intractable situation and should be seen us such.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Visiting detention is a political act

    • Nik Tan
    • 12 June 2013
    12 Comments

    The toddlers are from Syria. The boys are Sri Lankan Tamils, nervous as they will soon be flown to a Tasmanian facility for unaccompanied minors — one asks me if it will be cold. Visiting a detention centre is a small act to say that the Australian Government's policy of detaining asylum seeker men, women and children is not in our name.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We all lose when governments trash the law

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 December 2012
    15 Comments

    Evidence about the persecution of returned Sri Lankan asylum seekers calls into question the justice of summary repatriation. And the actions of the Australian Government have thrown doubt on its legality. The rule of law is a delicate web of relationships that protects the weak from the tyranny of the great, and we are all weaker when it is broken. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Targeting aid workers

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 03 April 2012

    Australian aid worker David Savage was severely injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. The Taliban tried to kill him in revenge for the shooting of 17 unarmed Afghan civilians by a deranged American soldier. In more innocent times aid workers were regarded as angels by all sides.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    More asylum seeker blood on Australia's hands

    • Susan Metcalfe
    • 13 March 2012
    16 Comments

    Reports into the death of a 28-year-old Afghan asylum seeker inside an Indonesian detention centre reveal he was bound, burned with cigarettes and beaten to death with a blunt object. The Australian Government and the Coalition must accept some responsibility for the death.

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