July 27, 2014

Tamil Refugees: High Court of Australia Challenge

Tamil refugees secretly have a hard time, not only in Australia.

It would appear that the High Court of Australia shares concerns that the Government of Prime Minister Abbott has no right to make an inherently human rights issue (Tamil refugees) a secret matter of martial law. The Australia Government is fortunate that the Indian Government has agreed that India's representatives in Australia will process the Tamils regarding refugee status and possible repatriation to India.

Many of the 157 Tamil refugees concerned fled from Sri Lanka to refugee camps in India before boarding a boat with the hope of coming to Australia. The High Court of Australia had ordered the Abbott Government to pull its head in and allow the Tamils to be processed on the Australian mainland.

"The case in the High Court really boils down to two simple propositions: one is that the Australian Government cannot, could not intercept this boat and return them to a place where they wouldn't be safe [Sri Lanka], and secondly that there needed to be a fair decision-making process around that," http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-26/lawyer-questions-legality-of-returning-asylum-seekers-to-india/5625866 .

The High Court is concerned about Australia's military forces holding Tamil refugees - under conditions of military secrecy - in international waters under quasi martial law, at gunpoint under so-called "Operation Sovereign Borders".

The more formal conditions for martial law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_aid_to_the_civil_power#Australia are:

- Defence Assistance to the Civil Community (DACC) in matters of emergency, and

- Defence Force Aid to the Civil Power (DACP) usually to handle invasion and violence.

None of these conditions are present in Abbott's orchestrated refugee "crisis". Australia's refugee responsibilities are mild and routine by international standards.

Immigration Minister Morrison and Abbott can't hide behind the "righteousness" of khaki or naval uniforms in conditions of secrecy. They need to obey the precedent ruled by the High Court of processing refugees on land not on a Australian military run prison ships.

Background Links

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-31/detention-centre-inquiry-hears-claims-of-immigration-cover-up/5637654 The national inquiry into children in immigration detention has heard evidence alleging a Government cover-up about the scale of mental health issues among child asylum seekers.



Anonymous said...

Their ancestral home is Tamil Nadu so why don't they settle there?

Pete said...

Good point Anonymous.

I agree.