keywords: Secrecy

  • 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Diplomatic lessons for Julie Bishop in Tehran

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 April 2015
    12 Comments

    There are few things less palatable – or likely to persuade others to see your point of view – than public humiliation. This week, as Julie Bishop visits Tehran, there are already some signs that these lessons may not have been well learned. If Australia really wants to make a positive difference in the Middle East, it would be better to listen carefully to the many voices than try to push its tired and cruel demands for the boats to stop and for the world to be remade in its own image.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Edward Snowden's lessons for a secure Australia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 February 2015
    2 Comments

    Snowden is both passionate and highly articulate, wanting nothing less noble than to see the delineation between those with power and the people over whom they wield it redrawn. The real meat of the matter is not the revelations themselves, but how in their light governments and societies desiring security will move to decide just how much freedom they are willing to surrender in order to acquire it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

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

    • Justin Glyn
    • 25 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homage to the king of herbs

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 December 2014
    7 Comments

    In pride of place on this feast day, a modest silver cross lies in a glass case. The cross is surrounded by leaves of basil, the plant that was supposedly found growing on the True Cross when it was discovered by St Helen in 326. The word basil means king, the plant is considered the king of herbs, and bunches of it are always used in the sprinkling of holy water.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    G20's opportunity to nail multinational tax dodgers

    • Angela Owen
    • 07 November 2014
    3 Comments

    The media has reported that Swedish furniture company IKEA's Australian arm has earned an estimated $1 billion in profits since 2003, almost all of which has been exported tax-free. Action to crack down on tax avoidance is on the agenda of next week's G20 in Brisbane, but it remains to be seen if the interests of developing countries will be looked after.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Synod affirms Francis' vision of church governance

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2014
    15 Comments

    The Synod was reported in some media as a defeat for Pope Francis at the hands of conservative bishops. Yet for one who had suffered a defeat, the Pope seemed remarkably buoyant at the end of the event. It's likely that he saw it as a victory for his vision of church governance, as it allowed participants to engage in open discussion in which nothing was put off bounds.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Australia's new secret police

    • Brian Toohey
    • 10 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Suppressing information can actually damage national security. President Kennedy intervened to get the New York Times to withhold sensitive details from a report about the imminent invasion of Cuba by CIA sponsored exiles in April 1961. Times executives said Kennedy later told them, 'If you had printed more about the [CIA] operation, you would have saved us from a colossal mistake.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Woman from the Provinces

    • Xiao Xiao
    • 16 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The woman from the provinces must have disturbed someone. Listen: the noise from below the Square. Countless faces aslant, breathing heavily. Rusting in the shell of broken words.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abbott and co. working from Orwell's playbook

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 July 2014
    20 Comments

    Life in Orwell's Airstrip One is graceless, demeaning and inhumane for all but those entitled to preferment. Surveillance is increasing, ruling-party secrecy and monopoly on information is rigid, refugees are demonised and language is reduced to sound bites and slogans. The leadership is disjoined from and cynical about the natural world. Just as well it's fiction because it sounds awful doesn't it?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia supplying alleged refugee persecutors

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 July 2014
    6 Comments

    While Immigration Minister Scott Morrison sits with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and hands over customs vessels to the Sri Lankan Government for use in preventing people escaping Sri Lanka, Australia's High Court is deciding whether a group of 158 Sri Lankan asylum seekers can be returned to the Sri Lankan Government. How did we get to the stage where we are supplying the alleged persecutors with the means of stopping people from escaping and seeking our protection?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stopping the boats at any cost

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2014
    21 Comments

    Like the Dictation Test devised devised to enforce the White Australia Policy, the National Interest Test would allow the Minister to exclude anyone he wanted. People who claim protection can be confident that the Australian Government will not have them or their dogs killed, but they will have no confidence that they will not be placed in dangerous situations or returned to places where they fear for their lives.

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