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Seeking Asylum

Morrison: Offshore Camp Can Handle A Profoundly Disabled Child

A profoundly disabled four-year-old Tamil asylum seeker in a Brisbane detention facility will be transferred offshore along with her father, probably to Nauru, The Global Mail has learned.

The family say they have been told by immigration officials that they will be sent offshore for processing, according to sources.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has reiterated that there would be “no exceptions” to the offshore processing of asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat after July 19, 2013.

The minister said: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a child, it doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter if you’re an unaccompanied minor, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a health condition – if you are fit enough to get on a boat, then you can expect you’re fit enough to end up in offshore processing.”

Asked if he was satisfied that the Nauru detention facility was suitable for disabled children, the minister added: “Where there are any particular medical issues on any particular case, then appropriate care is provided for those conditions.”

“I’ve been in facilities where there have been disabled people, and that was occurring under the previous government, particularly on Manus Island, and it continues to occur now so appropriate care and facilities are put in place,” Morrison said.

However, Amnesty has described conditions at Nauru as deplorable and a woman with more than 40 years of nursing experience likened the centre, where she worked for three weeks, to a concentration camp.

<p>Daniel Kirkwood/The Global Mail</p>

Daniel Kirkwood/The Global Mail

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison at the November 15 Operation Sovereign Borders briefing.

The Tamil girl was injured in utero by shrapnel following a bomb blast in her native Sri Lanka, according to sources who know her and describe her as “heavily disabled”; she is confined to a chair and that she “can’t walk, can’t talk”.

A source who regularly visits the girl and her father at the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) facility, explains that the pair were separated from the girl’s mother and two siblings as the family attempted to board a boat to Australia. The girl was “strapped to her father”.

“The army intercepted the mother and she was left behind with two little children,” the source says, adding that the mother was jailed in Sri Lanka after the incident but has since been released.

“So he’s here with a heavily disabled child. She’s bright-eyed and beautiful. She turns around and looks everywhere. The other day I thought I’d just hold her hand for a bit and she held my fingers with a really strong grip and I was able to pull her little chair with me just holding her fingers. She thought that was wonderful.”

Another asylum seeker now in BITA was caught in the same bomb blast in Sri Lanka; her name is Suthakaran. “She was also pregnant at the time. Her husband was killed in the bombing, and she is now confined to a wheelchair,” the source says.

“The concern is [immigration authorities] are going to use the story of [the disabled child] and the woman in a wheelchair to say they’re just looking for medical assistance and they’re really not refugees.”

Refugee activists understand that Suthakaran is likely to be deported back to Sri Lanka.

Human rights lawyer and refugee advocate Julian Burnside, who visited Nauru in June this year, says he seriously doubts that medical facilities in Nauru are sufficient to deal with a seriously disabled child.

“It is not set up to deal with any significant health problems,” he says. “The health system there is not really effective even for their own people, as you know it is a tiny country with a tiny population and it’s bankrupt.”

“It is contrary to ordinary instinct that shifting a child to Nauru with one parent is going to be in the child’s best interests.”

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75 comments on this story
by Tanya

I need to apologise on behalf of the many compassionate, fair-minded Australians. We are not all like this. I am so ashamed.

November 15, 2013 @ 8:47pm
by ali

Hearing this makes me ashamed to be an Australian. Whatever happened to this man that rendered him so devoid of empathy?

November 15, 2013 @ 9:13pm
by Marilyn

Of course none of it is legal or legislated,

November 15, 2013 @ 10:47pm
by Keith De La Rue

Scott Morrison - I understand that you claim to be a Christian. Is this what Jesus would do?

November 15, 2013 @ 10:51pm
by Anne d

This man. Devoid of any humanity
I apologise to for this gross onjustice

November 15, 2013 @ 11:00pm
by Jon

Australian concentration camps. Leaves a foul taste in the mouth, doesn't it. We used to be a progressive country, now we are ruled by fear. We used to be the lucky country, now we are cursed.

November 15, 2013 @ 11:19pm
by andrew

Does he realise he is now this girls legal guardian?

November 15, 2013 @ 11:29pm
by trish

I want to vomit

For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

November 15, 2013 @ 11:46pm
by Anita Claxton

It's hard to explain the sadness I feel when reading stories like this, and I pray our politicians will stop listening to the ego driven mind fears and move instead to heart based love and compassion.

November 15, 2013 @ 11:47pm
by Ben

These are the actions of a racist redneck! Locking up a disabled 4yo asylum seeker at an offshore detention centre has nothing to do with border security.

November 16, 2013 @ 12:08am
by Jennifer

Who voted this mob in?

November 16, 2013 @ 7:19am
by Alice

Jesus was a refugee. Would Morrison send him to offshore concentration camps?

November 16, 2013 @ 7:34am
by Emily

Anita: how about you just vote for the Green? More efficacious than praying.

November 16, 2013 @ 7:38am
by Kate

Oh God. And we voted for this government. I don't know what to say.

November 16, 2013 @ 7:48am
by john

Morrison, in my mind, qualifies highly as one with a disability of the mind

November 16, 2013 @ 7:49am
by Brenda

What comes next, sew on the yellow stars and fire up the gas ovens? I can understand why Abbott didn't condemn Sri Lanka's human rights record, he is really not in a position to do so.

November 16, 2013 @ 8:05am
by Chris from Brisbane

Peter Beattie when Premier of Queensland used to bring documents he wanted to hide into Cabinet, therefore they could not be seen for 10 years I think. Our Scott uses the word "operational" as often as he can to hide information we as members of the public, have a right to know.

November 16, 2013 @ 8:10am
by Stephanie

Disabled people??? *Individuals with disabilities... A disability does not define who and what someone is. Come on people think about it. At times I am ashamed to be associated with such ignorant and prejudicial actions but feel powerless to stop it :(

November 16, 2013 @ 8:35am
by Jan

"if you are fit enough to get on a boat, you are fit enough . . . For offshore processing". Is there any compassion or humanity at all evident in our government ? Scott Morrison's statements make me feel ashamed.

November 16, 2013 @ 8:39am
by Jack

@Stephanie. I'm disabled. I see nothing wrong with disabled people being used in this way. This whole "bodily abled" crap is asinine. I'm disabled, you can tell that by talking to me. No sense in mincing the words about it. I'll still kick your ass at scrabble though.

November 16, 2013 @ 9:06am
by Michael

Dont forget; he shares the front bench with Bishop who represented Hardies in the Blue Death disgrace where she was personally responsible for minimising payouts to victims by any means available, and an aggressively stupid and cruel inhumane health minister in Abbot, who liked the idea of death panels to help save money and destroy Medicare, and disgraced himself for all time by dismissing and denigrating a dying Bernie Banyton. The rest of the front bench are equally odious, so their collective inhumanity is unsurprising, and will be used against the Australian population as well if this and their former behaviour is any example.

November 16, 2013 @ 9:17am
by carl cleves

Scott is a disgrace . His children will cringe when they discover what he has done. i hope his human rights abuses will one day land him behind bars.

November 16, 2013 @ 9:35am
by A.Miles

Scott Morrison, Tony ABbott. I am ashamed of both of you. I never wish I'll upon someone, however in this case I hope you both suffer the fate of your deplorable actions. Shame, shame, shame.

November 16, 2013 @ 9:36am
by Darren Horrigan

So my grandfather -- and so many courageous men like him -- survived years in WW2 concentration camps, only for the Australia they fought and died for to become a country that now runs concentration camps. How dare Morrison trash their legacy. HOW DARE HE.

November 16, 2013 @ 9:36am
by TimM

predicting the next morrison quote, "If you were prepared to risk drowning you can endure us waterboarding you about where your papers ended up"

November 16, 2013 @ 9:39am
by G.J.Newall

Why is it that this man Morrison's actions remind me of 1930s German politics?

November 16, 2013 @ 9:54am
by Julie Grant

Sorry, but Australia is not doing the wrong thing. If we went to their countries as with a disability we would be treated the same. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander. Australia has plenty of disadvantage children that have been pushed into the background so as to help boat people

November 16, 2013 @ 9:57am
by Bob Downe

Callous, corrupt, incompetent.

November 16, 2013 @ 10:11am
by Augustus

Australia can do so much better than this. We have no reason to treat people so badly. Just look at what they've already been through.

November 16, 2013 @ 10:27am
by rob ngaragu

julie grant you are kidding australians go to their country we are in 4* motels we have never been through what these people went through so get off yourself and look at reality are you aboriginal no well i am and it being my country i would rather see these second boat people have refuge here rather than have you first boat people nearly destroy a paradise and murder and rape our people to make a society of englands rubbish yeh you and your family and ancestors and your not sorry it is the way you are

November 16, 2013 @ 10:34am
by Margaret McMillan

Julie, saying that if we reversed the situation we would be treated harshly is a meaningless argument. Why would someone from one of the richest countries in the world go to a poor country with one of the worst human rights records in the world? They have valid reasons for seeking asylum here, while we live in our ivory towers thinking that Sri Lanka is just like Australia. It is not. The Tamils are persecuted people. They deserve our help.

November 16, 2013 @ 10:45am
by Bernd

Trish, maybe fair means white!?

November 16, 2013 @ 10:56am
by Mahler

Evidence should be carefully compiled over the next few years so that one day hopefully it can be presented at a Royal Commission or some sort of court hearing into the actions of Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott and co in regard to asylum seekers. If they are never held accountable it will be to Australia's detriment. The LNP won government through a vicious campaign of lies, deceptions and distortions. They have now carried this contemptible behavior into government. Morrison has politicised the military by dragging the hapless General into his so-called Press conferences, though this piece of shameless politicking seems to have been halted - obviously because someone in defence or in the Justice department advised the government it was treading in dangerous waters (!). Why the General ever allowed himself to be part of the charade is surely to his everlasting shame.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:01am
by Tracey Henderson

The Australia Government is doing the wrong thing, and if we continue to support this government's approach. People are fleeing their countries because they are not being taken care of. Australia has plenty of money and resources to take care of their own as well as taking care of people who need help. It's completely inappropriate to compare Australia's ability to be humane with those countries who don't. We are defined by the care we show others. The government is well on it's way to making its population see their treatment of people who completely legally are seeking refuge as criminals, and unworth of our support. Mean and nasty and inhumane! If you think this is ok, then it will be OK when the time comes that someone deems you as you a drain on resources when you become vulnerable - say when you reach old age, or disabled, or poor, or unwell.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:05am
by Dubious

Got evidence to back up your claims there Julie?

November 16, 2013 @ 11:10am
by Ms Care

Hi Julie Grant, you are wrong. Mean and nasty ministers in charge of this refugee issue are trumpeting their nastiness to the world to gain points. Abbott is currently colluding over with known war criminals offering to send refugees back to known danger, breaking international conventions. I have been in "these" countries with an infant seeking treatment, and believe me, the doctors and nurses are extraordinarily kind and caring, even in poor areas without international hospitals. If the ministers would stop wasting money on harming refugees, they could actually assist the many needy people here. I think what you mean is that bad men in power are doing the wrong thing (here, there, everywhere) and women like you prop them up and allow them to be mean-spirited, while mothers like me anguish over other children.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:18am
by Green Peace

Allow me to quote your own words, Mr Morrison: "From my faith I derive the values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness; to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others.” ~~ you in your maiden speech to Parliament, St Valentines's Day, 2008.

You must explain to me and all right-thinking Australians when the re-location of your heart and religious principles took place since February 14th, 2008.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:35am
by Green Peace

Please, Keith De La Rue, do not expect Scott Morrison to associate his brand of christianity with the bloke known as jesus.

Morrison has found out from Phoney Tony Abbott and his National Party friends that jesus is a man of Middle Eastern background.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:38am
by SC

As some one who used to work in the disability sector - I find this quite troubling. The reality is that Australia can't care for children with disability from English speaking backgrounds within Australia. The idea that this is some how achievable on Nauru is simply absurd.

As for the preposterous claim that 'Australian' children, which I learnt in the sector essentially meant white Australians, are disadvantaged by spending money on asylum seekers (or non-white Australians) - the amount of money spent on border protection and offshore processing is absurd. Electing to process asylum seekers off shore or in far flung parts of the country is expensive - but our government has made a deliberate decision to choose the most expensive and inefficient way to perform this task. And savings would not be redirected to less well-off Australians.

Those who like to feign concern about disadvantaged Australians should advocate for more equitable welfare and tax systems - rather than drooling over cuts to superannuation tax concessions for lowest paid Australians (i.e. low-paid, female dominated industries that the first act of the Abbott government was to axe a modest pay rise for) and abolishing a 15% tax on superannuation earnings over 100 K - which only benefits the wealthy.

With this government , we voted in social and income inequality. But this is what the Australian people asked for. That is what is terrifying.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:52am
by Bilal Cleland

We should carefully compile evidence on these matters for a possible future case of crimes against humanity. This is no longer a white man's world where the colonial masters decide what is right and wrong.

November 16, 2013 @ 11:56am
by Ben

So what. The refugees advocates encouraging refugees to come by boat should be in jail for encouraging deaths at sea, corruption, organ part harvesting, and people smuggling enterprises.
I feel sorry for all sorts of people but refugees advocates are criminals. They should be on the ground in other counties helping.

November 16, 2013 @ 12:55pm
by Annette

I am so ashamed of this Government. They are hypocrites and liars completely lacking in human kindness, compassion or empathy. I'm sick of the secrecy they are operating under the, the lack of accountability, the hiding. They make me sick and I despair for my country that was once a warm and welcoming place for those who were escaping persecution. I'm really not sure how we, as a country, will ever recover from this.

November 16, 2013 @ 1:07pm
by eleanor Shannon

if we continue to make policy decisions that alienate refugees it will lead to malcontent and civil unrest in the long term. Surely multiculturalism and our immigration program can extend to those who are in real need and integrate them into our society to create useful, grateful, hard working citizens. What is wrong with us for allowing this?

November 16, 2013 @ 1:10pm
by Jimmy

I feel for the little girl and I'm sure the govt could make some sort of allowance based on a case by case basis. But I am sick of the talk from many here about how cruel these offshore processing centres are. First up, sure conditions aren't ideal in them due mainly to their location so close to the equator, but compared to other centres around the world, these ones are 5 star. The detainees are guaranteed three generous meals a day, shelter, safety and free medical. They have access to canteens, phones and internet. They are also offered activities and learning English & Maths etc. Sure they all have a story on how they ended up here and the majority are probably genuine, but what do you all suggest we do with them? Do we let them all just come on in to Australia without any barrier or checks? If that was the case, then the word would spread quickly and then every man and his dog would be heading this way, which would put this country's infrastructure under the pump. It is easy to bag the past or current govt policies, but until someone comes up with a fair solution to this problem, then it is always going to be a highly sensitive issue that will draw criticism from all corners. I'm curious to here others solution to this problem. The floor is yours...

November 16, 2013 @ 1:11pm
by Marcus

Oh dear, the old "if we went over there they'd treat us no better" moral equivalence argument. An extremely stupid, argumentum ad absurdum approach used by stupid people to justify actions that they *know* are wrong. The horrid human rights abuses (ones which Abbott is apparently OK with) are exactly why this child has fled Sri Lanka. I'd like to think a First World, Western Democracy was above such vile behaviour!!!

November 16, 2013 @ 1:25pm
by Davoc7 (Twitter)

I don't think that I have ever felt less proud to be Australian as I do right now. This is embaressing. Sure getting on a leaky boat is insane but our response needs to be more humane than this.

November 16, 2013 @ 1:43pm
by Karen

Shame. Sad. Ashamed. Hard-line. They ARE concentration camps! We put German (& Italian) immigrants in camps during the major world wars. It would be cheaper for us, the taxpayers, if they were processed in the community (after initial security check of course).

November 16, 2013 @ 2:49pm
by Ishe Boge

The Abbott Government is in an abusive relationship with the rest of Australia that isn't Big Business. I wish we could all just walk away.

November 16, 2013 @ 3:25pm
by Blair Donaldson

The only thing that gives me any comfort is that each day that passes brings the end of Morrison and Abbott a day closer. Then we begin to clean up the mess they left behind…

November 16, 2013 @ 3:33pm
by md

Shame!

November 16, 2013 @ 3:35pm
by Sandra Hey

The hard nose approach from Tony Abbott PM and his Immigration Minister is of no surprise. Tony Abbott has a past, whereby he deserted his pregnant girlfriend 24 hours before they were to be married and the baby ended up being adopted out. So if he can behave like that, to what he thought at the time was his own flesh and blood, then I would suggest over the years he has become even more uncompassionate to others peoples misfortunes and we are only starting to see the measure of how cruel this man can be. Next time Tony Abbott is out on his taxpayer funded pollie pedal he should be mindful that any person can suffer from an unplanned accident by way of ending up in a wheel chair.

November 16, 2013 @ 3:39pm
by Barry

What a load of shit..I can't believe how naive people can be and how you all jump on the "save the poor young disabled child". Coming from someone who works on Nauru I can tell you she will get excellent FREE medical care, FREE meals and FREE accomodation. the photos that are shown on the news are old and the place is actually not that bad. Do you people actually know how many of the detainees are actually disabled or severly sick. HEAPS.. How about we look after our own citizens as well as we look after the asylum seekers. My niece gets no help from the government at all, but you don't see her pic in the news. Stop carrying on about how hard they have got it when you don't work with them or know the true facts.

November 16, 2013 @ 3:45pm
by arielshadow

I am so upset to read this story, I am an immigrant and disabled and this country gave me and my family refuge. This was many years ago when this country's refugee laws and its feeling were much more generous and my gratitude is immense. But, I cannot believe the change and I cannot countenance it. The government of the country today is supposedly the reflection of its people and their desires, it is not a reflection of mine. I am truly disgusted and appalled by Scott Morrison and his edicts towards refugees and asylum seekers that seek their way here via boat. This government and the one before its policies are not mine and never will be. I am now shamed by their behaviour and I am sure that their are others that feel the same. All I ask of them is to let their voices be heard loudly and constantly so that they may effect a change before too much more time passes. Write to your member of parliament, write to the newspapers and the television stations, if they are bombarded by your voices of protest perhaps they will then print and air our words and we may effect some change and allow mercy and compassion to be shown to these tortured souls. They are after all human beings just the same as us, all wanting a safe home for themselves and their families.

November 16, 2013 @ 3:49pm
by Ann

There must come a point where Australia breaches the UN Refugee Convention. What happened to compassion.

November 16, 2013 @ 4:09pm
by Marilyn

Ben did you read how this little child became disabled after her mother was shot in the womb by her own government?

Are you are complete moron or just another heartless bastard who believes that coming to an island by a boat is somehow a new thing.

It is a legal right to come here by sea, if people have no other form of transport to be safe who are you or anyone else to tell them to stay away and die.

November 16, 2013 @ 4:18pm
by Doug

The Christian Right is neither.

November 16, 2013 @ 5:04pm
by Marnie Bower


What happened to compassion.

November 16, 2013 @ 5:49pm
by Fergus

Barry (sic "load of shit") - Please enlighten us all and present the evidence for your statements? If you think the media is biased, help us redress the balance !

November 16, 2013 @ 6:11pm
by Claire

Barry, you obviously didn't speak with Fairfax Media when they investigated conditions in Australia's offshore detention system. Those quoted in yesterday's Age gave a vastly different impression to what you have represented above. This report is not OLD. I work with many asylum seekers who have made it to the mainland so I also have received a lot of info about conditions in detention.
I don't know how you can possibly suggest that we look after asylum seekers better than our own citizens. Looking after our own citizens should not come at the expense of providing care and respect for those who come here seeking refuge.

November 16, 2013 @ 6:27pm
by Bob

If you support the phoney refuges who come here to take advantage of us you are a traitor to this country and an enemy of this nation. You don't deserve citizenship.

November 16, 2013 @ 6:38pm
by Megan

BOB just who in the hell do you think you are to cast judgement like that on people expressing concern & compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves? It is the pure lottery of luck being born into a privileged country like Australia, it could so easily be us fleeing the horrors & despair. Don't you DARE tell me that my humanity disqualifies me from belonging. It's the only meaningful thing that qualifies me.

November 16, 2013 @ 9:41pm
by Jason

Seriously Bob...Australia would be a better place if we swapped a refugee in and you out.

November 16, 2013 @ 10:49pm
by Terry

Thank you, Megan. Bob's comment is illustrative of everything which is wrong with this Nation at the moment. I feel such deep shame about where we have ended up... engaging in State-sponsored cruelty and torment of the world's most wounded and vulnerable people... all for the sake of rank politics! It's a disgrace... this IS NOT the generous and egalitarian Australia I grew up in. I feel such deep, deep shame!

November 16, 2013 @ 10:52pm
by Not in my name

While many of the comments to this story redeem my faith in humanity, some disturb me.
We came to this country as migrants, every one of us. The indigenous Australians came millennia before us, and then a bunch of us came later. We found a home. Why did we come? Because it was better than what we left behind. Or we were forced to.
When other people want to do the same we end in a political battle. It has rested on some key arguments.
We can't take them all. Well, maybe we can, maybe we can't. But we can take some, and we should. After al nobody counted when we arrived.
They are not really refugees, they just want a better life. Well, this one is, her story proves it. And why shouldn't she want a better life?
We have to do security checks. On a four year old? Who is profoundly disabled? Really?
They could go somewhere else. Maybe. But they came here.
New Zealand has the luxury of being much more difficult to access by sea. Do they shut their doors to refugees? No. They choose the hardest cases. The disabled, the old, the single mothers.
We choose skilled migrants.
The deaths at sea argument? Sure. I don't want people dying at sea. I don't. Nor do I want them dying in a war. And we haven't been able to stop that either.
The conditions on Nauru are fine? Really? The conditions on Australia are tough enough for a kid with profound disability.
If there was ever a time for us to show that we are not just being hard hearted jerks, this case is the one. If there was ever a time to demonstrate that we are not just trying to hold on to what we stole from the indigenous people, but actually trying to do the right thing, this case is the time.
If we ever had doubts about what all the fear mongering about refugees is really about, this case makes it very clear.
Shame Australia. Shame.

November 17, 2013 @ 12:21am
by Donna

Would be interested to know how many of you voted this government in?

November 17, 2013 @ 10:16am
by Neil

Bob, none of the comments here support phoney refugees. What I don't get is why QANTAS isn't prosecuted as a people smuggler.

November 17, 2013 @ 10:16am
by Faye Paull

To Not in my name, you may have come here as a migrant but I did NOT. I was born here, as were my parents and their parents before them.
This government should hang its head in shame!

November 17, 2013 @ 4:46pm
by John

Child didn't need much specialist medical care on the boat over here so don't carry on now.

November 17, 2013 @ 5:35pm
by William Miller

The Australian Government's treatment of asylum seekers is a policy deliberately designed to harm fellow humans. It is extremely harsh and cruel. It is imprisonment without trial and a psychological torture. It is a grotesque denial of basic freedoms, human rights and natural justice which threatens all of us. It is an odious assault on people the like of which happened under Nazism, Communism and the Pogroms against peoples of times past. It has no place in our modern, compassionate, freedom and justice loving democracy. It is a gross wrong that needs to be set right.
Consider also what it is doing to us. Promulgated to the Australian peoples as being necessary to protect us, it does the exact opposite; far from protecting us, it threatens our own rights and freedoms. Far from bringing honour to us as Australians, it brings dishonour. Our Australian Government's inhumane treatment of people seeking to escape war zones and tyrannous, murderous regimes diminishes us.
Abbott's brushing aside of human rights, in his recent statement about the events in Sri Lanka, that “difficult things happen in difficult times” is profoundly corrupting. Contrast it with the contemporaneous statements by the British Prime Minister.
“Difficult things happen in difficult times” excuses the Sri Lankan Government for its offences and offers the “rationale” for the Abbott Government's continuing denial of human rights and cruel treatment of asylum seekers presenting to our shores.
Australians should be very aware that “Difficult things happen in difficult times” is a philosophy that presents a serious threat to civil liberty and worse. The Abbott Government, is building a “Terrible Australia” not a “Better Australia”.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, defines “crimes against humanity” as being : “particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings”; seems to me that the Abbott-Morrison polices fulfil those criteria.
I ask my fellow Australians, to stand against these polices; bring them to an abrupt halt; ensure freedom, justice and human rights for all in our country; close Manus and Nauru; promptly process applications for asylum; and find other effective ways of “stopping the boats”.

November 17, 2013 @ 5:35pm
by Bernadette Skuse

How low can we go? Mothers separated from their newborn; children sent to off-shore detention centres; and the reports on conditions in these centres almost defy belief. Shame, horror, feeling sick to the stomach .. how come no one in the government is experiencing the same feelings?
I don't want this done in my name either .. but how do we get the government to listen?

November 17, 2013 @ 6:12pm
by Jim KABLE

John @5.35pm - did you really write as you did? How ugly!

Scott Morrison made much of his Christianity pre-election (certainly allowed it to feature in interviews/reports - without vetoing) - so his capacity for insisting on inhuman treatment is astounding, is it not? The other thing that strikes me is that most of the Abbott front bench have little experience of other lands (excluding South Africa, Britain) - of dealing with ancient cultures and civilisations which in their modern contemporary forms are non-English speaking. I feel they are not widely travelled nor particularly "simpático" with people of difference. I discount any "official" contact as a consequence of political office - the trips abroad as part of official delegations/the contact with the special kinds of people of difference at local level who are part of the political process. We need people leading us who demonstrate the truth of their words through their actions. I see a clear disconnect between the kind of Christian Scott Morrison portrays himself to be - and the kinds of actions he takes in his official capacity. His Australia is definitely not mine!

November 19, 2013 @ 6:12pm
by Cheryl Wilder

Something has to change and surely this case is an exception! Although I believe that each and every asylum seeker deserves better, a disabled child clearly needs more than the basics that would be provided in an off-shore detention centre.
To argue that these people are here for healthcare alone is ludicrous, when this girl's disabilities are obviously the result of war.
To have no exception to the rule is simply inhuman, and the treatment of these people resembles more how we treat cattle than people.
I live near Brisbane, and although I'm a single Mother of limited means, I would rather have this Father, who has risked everything for his family, and his disabled daughter, live with me!

November 19, 2013 @ 11:11pm
Show previous 72 comments
by Cyndy Connole

To Scott Morrison, Abbott and all the other 'pretend' Christians:-

Jesus wept.

December 2, 2013 @ 1:47pm
by stephi hemelryk donald

It doesn't matter whether you're Australian, it doesn't matter whether you're a white male, it doesn't matter whether you have a degree in business, it doesn't matter whether you have a nice wife and lovely children and a comfortable home, if you're fit enough to represent a nation and to fly to Canberra on a plane, you're fit enough to make decisions worthy of a modern democracy and to treat people better than refugees in the 1940s were treated in some parts of the world.

January 2, 2014 @ 12:43pm
by Marcus

You missed the point, Faye. The point is that all of us, if you go back far enough, are the descendants of migrants.

January 11, 2014 @ 8:10pm
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