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Oceania What is your opinion on the boat-people saga?

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by jediguy, Aug 29, 2001.

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What is your opinion on the boat-people saga?

Poll closed Mar 24, 2012.
Support the government's decision 21 vote(s) 61.8%
Don't support the government's decision 9 vote(s) 26.5%
Undecided 4 vote(s) 11.8%
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  1. stinrab Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 5
    Don't even begin to compare this with the Holocaust. How ridiculous. If these people really were as legitimate as they say they are then they would've been happy with anything they got (ie. they would've stayed in Indonesia).
  2. Already-Turned Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2001
    star 3
    Australia cannot become the "refugee's nation of choice". We can't and shouldn't attempt to facilitate a large number of displaced persons. Two points.....


    1)One of my uni courses last year focussed on the productive limitations on Australia, including the carrying capacity. In the long term (next 50-100yrs) Australia's population should not increase to more than about 20-22 million. At around this figure a sustainabile use of natural and built resources is possible, a larger population will result in a massive increase in overuse and thus degredation of productive resources, and/or a drop in the standard of living.


    If you have any ecological concerns and you are concerned for the wealth and well-being of your descendants, then you will be opposed to an increased growth of the Australian population. That can't be denied.
    When you decide HOW to optimize population levels and compostition you must make social decisions, based on your own personal ethics system.


    2)After seeing a few reports on the situation in Afghanistan regarding refugess I think that the governments hard line is justfied.
    These reports featured Taliban officials and a few Afghanies planning to travel to Australia, and a very worrying picture began to form.

    You see the Taliban is quite happy for any voice of dissent to come to a place like Australia. This leaves the Taliban with a population that does not question it's government, which the offical said was a desirable goal.
    Perhaps it helps the individual to flee persecution, but it can only lead to an intrenchment of a viscious, fundamentalist regime in Afghanistan........


  3. Jayd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2001
    star 3
    I think that we need to get a much better system of figuring out which people are actually refugees and which people are just coming illegally. We need to accept the refugees and help them out, but send the others straight back where they came from. They are welcome to come here LEGALLY.
    I also think we need to consider such issues as the appalling treatment of women in parts of the world, and give women escaping these countries immediate refugee status.
    There's my two cents. :)
    ~Jayd
  4. mutley Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 1998
    star 4
    Millions of dollars being wasted going back and forward. We try to do the right thing, the "boat people" complain about living conditions, the Human Right people complain about inhuman conditions----I have stayed at the very same area, no-one complained on my behalf.

    And if they wish to complain, then it must not be the same conditions in which they left-so send them back, or perhaps they think/know we are an easy touch.

    Enough is Enough. Seeing as so many Countries this week wish to have a say--let them take them from now on.

    If people are legit-I welcome them. All others take a number a join the list from the UK and Europe that can't get here.
  5. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    there is no doubt in my mind that these guys are refugees, hell, afghanistan hasn't got a lot going for it at present, and pakistan is not much better, well in that it is not very receptive anymore, 20 years of war will do that to a host state i guess.....but the fact they had a very specific destination in mind really loses my sympathy, they could have stayed in malaysia perhaps, its a muslim society, they might feel more at home there........although the fact that they probably paid criminals many thousands of dollars for the flights, then the boats probably indicates that these guys are in debt to their ears, their families back home will be the collateral, they have to go somewhere rich, where they can make lots of money.....

    all this being said, third world countries, or at least non western countries are already home to vast numbers of refugees and internally displaced peoples, many more than the West holds, for example Indonesia has large numbers of refugees from theouter provinces, javanese and other inner islanders sent out to colonise the outer islands during the suharto regime, who have recently been forced out by the natives...there are probably a dozen little low level wars and conflicts similar to this in indonesia alone, all of which have generated many hundreds of thousands of refugees....... so it must seem pretty rich that a large prosperous country like Australia refuses to accept 450 refugees
  6. Bob marley Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 1
    These people would rather live in Australia because we're an open tolerant society, already have a small afghan communitty that they can relae to and because they will find it much easier to get a job. How come some people will complain about the millions of dollars spent on processing refugees and won't even blink when howard spends much more on a military buildup on Christmas Island and the transportation of hundreds of people to Nauru than the processing of these refugees would have ever costed?

    I wonder how much we had to give Nauru for them to accept this deal.
  7. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Bob Marley - if these people were in such dire circumstances then any sanctuary is enough. Did they stay in Pakistan? No. Did they stay in Malaysia? No. Did they stay in Indonesia? No. Why is Australia the bad guy when these people say they are coming here whether we like it or not and Australia decides to refuse access?

    Real refugees in need are happy to stop at the first place of refuge until they can return to their homeland.

    These people are simply attempted illegal immigrants.
  8. Ooryl Qyrgg Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2000
    star 3
    I believe we should have taken them in. I can't say I read anyone else's reply, it's a situation in which you either support or reject the government's action.
    I beleive from a Christian/humanitarian stand-point, that they should have been taken in. Originally I thought, stuff em, leave them out there, but I realised it was very selfish to do so.

    That's my 2 cents...
  9. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    On the one hand, I don't know if I agree with someone sailing half way around the world to seek refuge. That says Tourist more than Refugee. If you want refuge, don't you go to the first safe place you can find?

    Now, on the other hand, these people were pretty unlucky to come when they did.

    After the controversy of the gang-rape sentencing, the public found a good scapegoat in the boat people. They found a way to vent their anger. It gave them a sense of control.

    Also, people still remember the breakouts from the refugee detention centres, and just about everyone heard stories about how the refugees "terrorised" the locals.

    And of course, people still remember the kosovo refugees, and the fuss they made about "poor facilities" in Singleton, etc.

    So, they also happened to try at a very touchy time.

    Btw - did anyone else hear about Cypress? They too turned away a boat load of refugees, at the same time as Australia, but nothing was mentioned.

    Interesting.
  10. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    well as i said above, alot of these places have problems that make aussie seem a little selfish in turning away refugees, cyprus has its whole greek-turk problem, in a sense half the population of cyprus whether they be greek or turk are refugees.......
  11. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
  12. Bob marley Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 1
  13. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Um, actually - not enough.

    The Supreme Court has said sending them to Port Moresby instead of letting them off in Australia was "unlawful detention" and they might be sent back to Australia.

    Also, another boat has been found on its way.

    Now, I'm puzzled - if sending them to Port Moresby for a week was cruelty and "unlawful detention," then isn't sending them back to Australia, and hence spending ANOTHER week on the boat, even more cruel and even more unlawful detention?

    I don't understand that bit. How can someone who is trying to preserve human rights say that its better to turn them around again and spend another week on a boat?

  14. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Maybe the courts want us to fly them here first class in a Qantas jet.
  15. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5


    Maybe they should give them all first class tickets to Oz on an Ansett flight?


    It's going to be interesting to see how people react to the boat people, in light of NY et al.

    On the one hand, people are already attacking Arabs and Muslims and basically anyone from the middle east. And I just heard on the news that one of the government's arguments to the federal court for not letting them in was "in case they do become terrorists and do something like NY."

    On the other hand, these people are (supposedly) fleeing the people who (allegedly) committed these acts. If so, don't they deserve some compassion, now that we see what they're running from?

    As they say, the best way to bring people together is to give them a common enemy.


    Anyway.

    That's my sermon for today.
  16. Zyphyr Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2001
    star 3
    Hi, I'm new here and thought I'd put my 2 cents in (2.2 cents including GST).

    I personally think it's deplorable that Peter Reith has tried to link the boat people with the terrorist attacks in America. Terrorists do not sail on barely seaworthy vessels for days on end in squalor to be locked up in detention centres for years on arrival. They are far more organised than that. These people were fleeing persecution and the very regime that is sheltering the terrorists. To insult our intelligence by suggesting these people could be plotting the next WTC attack is ludicrous.

    I'm not surprised that the High Court has found the government acted illegally in storming the Tampa and removing the boat people. They may not have been on Australian land, but they are protected by Australian and Maritime laws once they are in our territorial waters. When accused in the High Court of holding them under false imprisonment on the Tampa the government actually responded that they chose to stay there and didn't want to leave the ship because of sharks (!?) It would be funny if it weren't so serious.

    We are a signatory to the international conventions on refugees, meaning that if someone applies for asylum we are obligated to hear their case. Since 80% of Afghani asylum seekers are granted refugee status in Australia, it indicates that many people on board the Tampa are legitimate refugees. We don't know until they're processed.

    Now we're paying millions of dollars to Nauru to look after the asylum seekers for us. So it will cost us just as much (if not more) money as keeping them here. And why? If they're granted refugee status they are going to be allowed to settle in Australia anyway. If the reason we are turning asylum seekers away is because we cannot afford to keep bringing them in, then paying someone else to look after them isn't exactly going to fix the problem.

    Taking the asylum seekers to Nauru hasn't acted as a deterrent. We have already seen more boats approaching Australia. If people are desperate enough to pay thousands of dollars to people smugglers to be taken to another country in squalid and dangerous conditions, nothing much is going to dissuade them.

    I understand the concerns people have with the influx of refugees in *all* countries around the world right now. There are over 10 million displaced persons globally at any one time. We need to look to the causes, not just lock the gates in violation of the treaties we have signed, because the problem is too big for us to deal with alone.

    Phew. That was a big rant. I need to get drunk now and regain my strength :)
  17. Already-Turned Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2001
    star 3
    Yeah I've gotta agree that the link between terrorists and the boatpeople is fairly slim, the govt. is clutching at straws on that one...


    However I still maintain that the illegal entry into Asutralia BY ALL PERSONS (refugees or not)must be slowed to the absolute minimum. The transport of illegal immigrants is a lucrative business, generating large amounts of cash for criminals, much of the profits go into organized crime groups. To not change our policies is to encourage these criminals to continue, is not an option.

    Also it must be noted that these illegal boat people have thousands of dollars to pay their fares out here, money that could well be utilised to feed themselves and their families in refugee camps in other nations. Sure their conditions will be hard, but we cannot be concerned about anything except the survival of refugees, their standard of living is not an issue for Australia when they are not on our shores.

    Another point. If we practice an open borders system, as some people have suggested, then we will only encourage larger numbers of illegal immigrants (refugees AND economic). Essentially this means that these people will favour Australia over other possible destinations, when genuine refugess should seek asylum in the nearest possible country. The risk to the health an wealth of the nation is too great in my opinion.

    Whad'ya reckon?
  18. Zyphyr Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2001
    star 3
    I agree that we should never have an open border policy. We do need to verify exactly who is coming into our country, for how long and why. I also agree that the real criminals behind this are the people smugglers, and everything should be done to bring them to justice and prevent them from profiting from human misery.

    And as to spending thousands of dollars supporting oneself and one's family in the refugee camps - the closest refugee camps to Afghanistan are in Pakistan. They have no running water, no sanitation, and virtually no medicines. Under these conditions no amount of money will protect you from dysentry, will make your children safe from disease or discomfort, or make life much easier than in the country you fled. There are 3 million Afghani refugees in Pakistan. The infrastructure simply cannot cope with it any more. The burden has to be spread to countries that can help.

    In essense, though, the only effective way to stamp out illegal immigration is to attack the cause and not the symptoms. While people suffer they will attempt to escape suffering. With all the conflicts happening in the world today it is not surprising people are trying desperately to find a secure, peaceful place to live.

    The system in place to legally apply for refugee status is abysmally slow. Many thousands of people, who have been recognised as legitimate refugees by the UN, are languishing in camps around the world - sometimes for years - waiting for a country to accept them. In addition the officials in many countries to whom people have to make their applications are hopelessly corrupt and demand more money than the people smugglers for their services.

    While I think we cannot be held solely responsible for the displaced people of the world, we can't simply wash our hands and say 'Not our problem'. If every country did that we really would see situations reminiscent of Nazi-like genocide again. It needs to be tackled in a calm, reasonable manner with the overall emphasis being on human rights and due legal process, not our own economic fears.

    Another 2 cents. Which brings me up to 4 cents (4.4 including GST). If you like, I can offer you bulk discount on my rants in future... :)
  19. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    The one and only thing I agree with John Howard about is this: "We're not against refugees. We just don't want people climbing over our back fence and setting up camp in our backyard without us knowing. They should come in the front door."

  20. mutley Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 1998
    star 4
    Not sure if he said it--but it sounds like great words to me.
    Join the line like everyone else--it's cheaper but does take a bit longer.
  21. Zyphyr Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2001
    star 3
    Well the Federal Court has overturned the High Court ruling that the boat people can come back to Australia. So they're on their way to Nauru again. Except the civil libertarians are talking about appealing the appeal.

    OMG these poor people are going to die of old age before they ever see land again the way this is going! This is getting silly. While I don't agree with sending them to Nauru, I'd rather them go there now than be stuck for another three weeks at sea waiting for someone to take them in.
  22. LittleJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 4
    it's a difficult situation but if you start letting some boat people in, you've got to let them ALL in and quite frankly, Australia can only support so many people.

    It may be a large country, but most of it is inhabitable anyway.

    I immigrated to australia legally, and so should others.

    So there. :)

    -Little Jedi-
    MTFBWY
  23. Somebody_For_Someone Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 4
    i really dun think that most of those ppl could actually afford to migrate to autralia legally like you (and everyone in my family in aus except me). and if they tried to save, then that'd be a long time before they'd actually be able to.
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