Press Release – TAMIL ASYLUM SEEKERS IN MERAK SAY IOM IS PRESSURING THEM TO LEAVE THEIR BOAT
Refugee advocates in Australia are concerned that the Australian government may be co-ordinating action to try and force the Tamil asylum seekers in Indonesia to leave their boats.
While media statements this morning refer to the threat to forcibly remove the 78 asylum seekers on the Oceanic Viking, a statement from the 250 Tamil asylum seekers stranded in Merak, Indonesia says that the International
Organisation of Migration (IOM) is pressuring them to leave the ship by cutting their supplies. More
The Australian – Tamils ‘concerned they will be removed’
Sydney Morning Herald – Tamils’ horrific treatment makes them desperate to leave
The Australian – Indonesia ‘might expel’ refugees
The Australian – Caucus united on refugees
The Australian – Kids destined for detention: Jakarta
News.com.au – Chilli weapon ruled out in asylum seeker boat standoff
The Australian – The strange and puzzling case of Dr Kevin and Mr Rudd
- Read or download MAPW’s letter to Senator Evans.
Unions NSW – The Humane Solution
The Australian Government must immediately find a humane solution for the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking, according to Unions NSW.
As the asylum seekers spend their 11th day aboard the Oceanic Viking, Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon supported calls to process them on Australian soil, under Australian law.
“The Prime Minister has a fantastic opportunity to step up and show us the high road to a humane solution,” Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Lennon said.
“This debate is becoming disturbingly shrill. Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Refugees, Indonesia is not.
“These people are desperate. Allow them to be processed under our laws.”
Mr Lennon said the Rudd Government had done much to improve Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, particularly its efforts too ensure children were no longer locked up.
But the trade union movement would not sit by and watch the public debate degenerate.
Mr Lennon said the strong position taken by the likes of AWU National Secretary, Paul Howes and former Unions NSW Secretary John Robertson was typical of the support asylum seekers could expect from organised labour.
“Unions NSW has a long history of advocating humane asylum seeker policies and we were pivotal in the establishment of Labor for Refugees,” Mr Lennon said.
“Unions believe in a tolerant, compassionate and multicultural nation and will publicly advocate humane policies and solutions,” Mr Lennon concluded.