Refugees, Trust and Faith

In these days of election campaign in full swing, we the public have to put up messages bombarded by the LNP, ALP and Greens. Such long and hard days had been made easier for me by the political satirist, Shaun Micallef's MAD AS HELL [#1]. He is joking about how LNP & ALP are basically the same when it comes to offshore processing, some dissenting MPs within ALP etc..

Labour listens

Some Labour MPs expressing dissent on Offshore Detention is a very good sign that the Labour party has been listening to the grassroots concerns. This is good for democracy. I feel at ease now that I sense the Labour party's position on Offshore Detention and controversial boat turnbacks were based on the "policy".

I certainly don't get the impression that the LNP position on these matters is based on "policy", but it has being derived from previous experiences and, of course, the poll advise from the spin-masters.

Huston's 2012 Expert Panel Report

You might all remember the Gillard Labor government in 2011, amid high flows of refugee boats at that time, had commissioned a group of eminent persons led by Angus Huston to report on the situation [#2]. The report is quite up-to-date with current global situation in that it has taken into account of 'mixed migration' movements [#3]. One such example of 'mixed migration' movement is last year's Asian boat crisis where smaller portion of Myanmar's Rohingya (Bengali descents) were combined with Bangladeshi nationals. Both refugees ( 30% ) labor migrants ( 70%) have came from same impoverished area with direct ethnic linkage. People smugglers used incentive based recruitments, which finally causing havoc last year.

The Huston's report has sought to address such mixed migratory movements. Boat turnbacks, Offshore Detention and 'whole-of-government approach' are parts and parcels of these recommendations.

Policy and Implementations

The Huston Report's recommendations do look quite draconian for the first impression. However, the most important thing is how these recommendations get implemented. See the Offshore Processing as an example. If Nauru and PNG were only used for strict identity checks and processing (90 days limits), we wouldn't have a problem.

The problem is with LNP government. Having viewed the Huston's report, I even questioned as to why the LNP government did not seek a proper and durable solution for those detained in Nauru and PNG. Manipulative, callous and inhuman, the LNP government used these detainees as as scapegoats to send their 'tough message' to people smugglers. The LNP government keep these detainees over 3 years to show as the 'Monument of Labors policy failures'. We must end this callous practices.

My friends, we must reach out to those who shall listen. We must trust each others and have faith in humanity.

Solidarity, U Ne Oo, Sydney.

Shaun Micallef's MAD AS HELL
[#1] https://www.facebook.com/madashelltv/videos/913424222120086/

Huston's 2012 Expert Panel Report
[#2] http://www.netipr.org/saorg/docs/20120801_huston-expert-panel-report.pdf

UNHCR report on Mixed Maritime Movements (2015)
[#3] https://unhcr.atavist.com/mmm2015

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