In the news today…
ABC Radio Breakfast : Tamil asylum seekers refusing to leave their boat
Two hundred and fifty-five Tamil asylum seekers are refusing to leave their boat, now docked at Merak in West Java. They’ve come from Sri Lanka, where some say security is tighter now than it was during the 30-year civil war.
The government says it’s concerned that remaining Tamil Tiger guerrillas could mount terrorist attacks and is therefore taking no chances, while critics argue that the Sri Lankan leadership is simply trying to take the spotlight off the ailing economy.
This comes as refugee camps in Northern Sri Lanka continue to overflow, and more refugees leave the island nation for destinations like Australia.
Guest : Dr Jehan Perera, CEO of Sri Lanka’s National Peace Council
Reporter : Mike Woods
ABC Radio Breakfast : Friday Panel: asylum seekers
The government is blaming ‘push factors’ for the increase in asylum seekers, especially civil conflict in countries like Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. But the opposition says it’s all to do with the policy, claiming the government is going soft on border protection by closing down the camps on Nauru and Manus Island, and scrapping temporary protection orders.
This week’s panel discusses the divisive push/pull debate.
Guests : Professor William Maley, Director of the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University; Professor James Hathaway, Dean of Law at Melbourne University
Reporter : Alison Carabine