TWO ILL (INJURED?) REFUGEES
One Asylum Seeker arrival was reported yesterday.
THE CURATE’S EGG
The Guardian reported yesterday that “A second asylum seeker has been taken to Christmas Island for medical treatment as a result of the government’s maritime operations, according to the immigration minister, Scott Morrison. The minister told 2GB radio on Monday that there were now two people who had been transferred for medical reasons. “We’ve had two persons transferred in the last couple of days for medical reasons but no boat has got here,” he said.“
Ok, nothing unexpected here. With the mis-treatment of Asylum Seekers by Border Protection personnel it is logical that there should be the not-so-occasional case which goes a little too far and requires hospital treatment.
What stands out is the sneaky language. The language with dog-whistles all over it. Like the curete who spoke of a spoiled egg as being “good in parts”, the murderer Morrison has mixed his message and spoiled the truth.
- Part 1; “A second asylum seeker has been taken to Christmas Island for medical treatment as a result of the government’s maritime operations,” A clear though unspoken admission that “The government’s maritime operations” were the cause of the “Illness” of both asylum seekers. It is too much of a coincidence that two people who have suffered persecution in their homeland, fled in fear of their lives and survived the rigours of a sea voyage in foul weather should both “fall ill” while being held by Australian Custodians.
- Part 2; “but no boat has got here” While he may be correct in saying that no boat has actually touched Australian soil, isn’t he ignoring the fact that Australia is MORE that its soil? We have waters which are a part of Australia. Out to 12 nautical miles (20Km) from the actual coast at low tide! That is out over the horizon yet people have been reporting that two hidden vessels, AcvTriton and HMASBathurst are within 5km of the Christmas Island shore.
I received a message on Saturday night which read, “”The triton towing orange pod up and down 3 days within 5nm of ci and Bathurst has as [asylum seekers] women and kids aboard on thurs at anchor. 05:21 PM – 01 Feb 14” Shortly after another message read, “Triton rigged with sea containers now at bow and stern with men separated from women and kids.05:22 PM – 01 Feb 14”
Asylum Seekers who have been “returned” to Indonesia are consistently saying they could see Christmas Island from the vessel to which they had been transferred. Again, well inside Australian waters.
Now Christmas Island is a sea mount without much of an achorage and what anchorage there is, is pretty close inshore! And stopping the boats and protecting our borders is the main aim of this Government. So, if the boats have stopped, where are these refugees coming from and why are military personnel bringing them INSIDE Australias borders before returning them to the Indonesian border?
You cannot have it both ways, murderer Morrison. Those boats and those refugees HAVE reached Australia and those people DO come under Australia’s refugee aegis. To forcibly send them away is to be wilfully in breach of our resonsibilities under the United nations.
TRYING TO MAKE SENSE
I have been trying to make sense of the events off Christmas Island over the past few days.
On Friday we were told of two vessels having been intercepted and one refugee being brough to hospital.
Yesterday there were reports of another interception. No report came with numbers of people so all we have is the raw vessel number. That is what I have updated the weekly list with.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
I began this series when Kevin Rudd announced the “Manus Island Solution”. I needed to do two things on of which was to see if it worked. It has definitely worked so that question was answered.
The other thing in my mind was a nagging worry about just why this whole “Stopping the Boats” was so important. Saving lives was the up-front reason. We were being told that it was cruel and nasty to allow people to get onto boats and head for Australia across dangerous seas. It sounded humanitarian and sensible. But at the back of my mind was the concern that the people who were saying these things had a background of racism and xenophobia. (No! I am not going to cite references here. This is a personal note and some personal feelings. If you want cites, get them yourself!)
I have watched as 457 Visa people came into Australia, I have watched as Government and Business have called for more people to fill vacant skilled and unskilled positions. I have remembered how we took all we could get back in the late 40’s and the fifties (yes, I remember and went to school with some of them). How they filled those horrible jobs I was warned against. Road Workers, Grano-workers, Cleaners. I have seen their children and grandchildren grow into Doctors and Lawyers, Politicians and Entrepreneurs. Yes, the children and grandchildren of those “reffos” I went to school with have boosted Australia’s economy.
Now we need another batch of lucky risk-takers to help with an economy which will soon be on the skids. Where better to find them than in the panicked refugees who are looking for help in a promised land? When they get to this continebt at the end of the world they have been lucky in surviving horrors and dangers we only see in our nightmares. They have been resourceful and successful in overcoming dangers and difficulties many of us would run a mile from. Yet we prefer to allow in that group of refugees who are prepare3d to stand in line. Prepared to wait. Prepared to take no risk.
Do we really want people with that mindset? The easily cowed, the easily led, the “Yes Sir” people? Or do we need risk-takers, ambitious people, people prepared to put it all on the line?
Yes it is a dangerous way to travel but these people have travelled a road filled with death and danger for years. In our comfortable lives where a few shark attacks create a major political storm, we look at these desperate people and say, “Don’t do it!” And we cannot understand why they keep trying, whatever obstacles we put in their way. The ones who succeed are the very ones who will have the success our country needs.
And why they accept the risk and reality of dying.
After spending months involved in chronicalling the arrivals, getting to know of some of their stories and much soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion that the deaths involved in sailing to Australia are highly regrettable but nothing we do will stop them.
On the other hand, in the past week we have come to know that three refugees have died as the direct result of Australians. They had reached Australian territory. Perhaps they were not headed for freedom in our country but they had reached it. Then they were forcibly turned back. Three died crossing a river in the jungle which fringed the shore they were cast up on.
There is a world of difference between people dying because they were taking outrageous risks and people dying because they have been forced into unnessecary danger. They were executed as surely as if they had been put into a gas chamber as an example to other refugees. And the man who ordered those deaths smugly said, “but no boat has got here“.
I apologise if any of this post has descended into incoherence. I am angry!
And I am fed up with my elected Government hiding things from me!
Christmas Island; The monsoon trough lies over the island. Forecast for the rest of Tuesday 4 February A few showers and thunderstorms. Winds: Westerly 10 to 15 knots. Seas: 1.0 to 1.5 metres. Swell: South to southwesterly 2.5 to 3.0 metres. Max 29 (BOM)
Cocos Island; The monsoon trough lies just to the north of the islands. Forecast for the rest of Tuesday 4 February Chance of a light shower, clearing in the afternoon. Winds: South to southeasterly 10 to 15 knots. Seas: 1.0 to 1.5 metres. Swell: Southerly around 2.5 metres. Max 31 (BOM)
Cirabon; 29C, wind; 20-25 Kmh SE, showers est 8mm
The weekly figures I have collated.
This will be updated each week.
Holding this week’s update waiting on further info.