One little story that has all but disappeared in the flurry of election news is the fact that the Australian Navy picked up 16 Indonesians and they are being detained on Christmas Island. Now reports in today’s Australian describe them thus:
They are the island’s first illegal arrivals since February, but will not be joining Vietnamese brothers Joseph and Joe in the island’s detention centre. This is because families with children have been held in community detention, not detention centres, since June 2005.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship officials yesterday continued interviews with the adults in the group – fishermen Sukardi Liri, Sadar and Sangaji Jawa and their wives – as part of an assessment of their claims for protection.
Relatives and neighbours on Roti have told The Australian the group was seeking economic asylum because the commonwealth’s crackdown on illegal fishing had made it impossible for them to earn a living*.
The department refuses to allow the families to speak to The Australian, saying no media can speak with the group while their interviews with the department are continuing. Guards manned the porches of the group’s three homes yesterday.
If they are seeking to come here for purely economic reasons then by any measure they are not “Refugee’s” nor are the “asylum seekers ” they re illegal immigrants pure and simple. I have already noticed oneUber-lefty who claims that these people are “refugees” The poor sad sack is obviously of the “border security? We don’t need border security!” school of thought that would allow just about anyone to enter the country. So this will actually be the first test for the incoming Rudd government with the ideologues from the far left.
This latest group of boat people should be promptly sent back to Indonesia where they do not face any discrimination, where they would not be in fear of their lives, where their only problem is an economic one and where the Indonesian government has the actual responsibility for their welfare.
Finally there is more than just a hint of hypocrisy in certain a “green” Uber-lefty supporting the case of this group of “refugees” when their fishing practice is responsible for the near extinction of reef sharks in northern Australian waters, a significant environmental crime by any measure, yet that Uber-lefty will without doubt make any excuse to ignore this inconvenient truth.
I predict that the detention centre on Christmas island will actually get quite a workout in the coming years as the change of government encourages the people smugglers to try their hand once again. How long will it be before that facility is not only commissioned but full to capacity?
It’s a worrying start Comrades
* my bold