Monday, March 26, 2007

Advance Australia Fair?

Australian officials will speak to the Sri Lankans and decide whether they satisfy the test for refugee status contained in the Refugees Convention. From that decision there is no avenue for appeal; no right of judicial review; no means of correcting errors of bias, or stupidity, or corruption. The officials who go from Canberra to Nauru to ‘process’ the Sri Lankans will not be operating under Australian law, or under Nauruan law, or under any other law. Although paid by Australian taxpayers, they will apparently not be subject to the constraints of any laws.

If the Sri Lankans are determined to be refugees, which looks likely, they will not be offered protection by Australia. Instead, we will hawk them around the world to see if another country will take them.

Way back in 2002 I had a German mate who backpacked through Iran. At each place he stopped he asked the locals what they thought about various countries:

About Europe and Germany he got different answers at different places but the median seemed to be "They're Ok as they tend to stay out of our business."

About the U.S. the general answer was "There are many things we like about America, but, by Allah, they are nosey pricks and they seem to think that we all want to be American. We don't!"

About Australia the answer was always "Ahh... A beautiful country of friendly beer drinkers. I would like to see a kangaroo." It wasn't that long ago that so much of the world felt this way about Oz....... I wonder how they feel now?

1 comment:

Anemone said...

People should read this.