Eloquence dangerous asset for refugee
The Sunday Telegraph : Attention or asylum seekers
HEARING the articulate, reasonable, compelling voices of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers last week, my heart sank.
With every well-constructed sentence their spokesman “Alex” delivered, it got worse.
When tears began rolling down the plump cheeks of nine-year-old Brindha, one of the voyagers, things became more uncomfortable – and I’m worried by their threats to hunger-strike or blow up the boat.
I don’t doubt these people have genuine fears about their war-ravaged, discriminatory, violent homeland. Sri Lanka is, for many Tamils, a dreadful place.
But for a refugee, eloquence is a dangerous asset.
This controversy about boat-people, like all these stories, is a puppet-show.
It’s about symbolism far more than the real dynamics of refuge; conveniently ignoring the fact that if we do have a refugee influx, it’s coming through Baggage Claim C, not the Timor Sea. More