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Tag Archives: Australia

The Banality of Crimes against Migrants

Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions, presented animportant new report to the UN General Assembly on Friday. The report is on “Unlawful Death of Refugees and Migrants” — already an unordinary focus for her mandate. In recent years, her office has focused nearly exclusively on counter-terrorism, particularly on deaths by drone attacks.

As she explains, the report concerns “an international crime whose very banality in the eyes of so many makes its tragedy particularly grave and disturbing.” The contention is rather dramatic, and we believe that it is indeed historic, at least as far as reports by UN bodies are concerned.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/editorial-on-crimes-against-migrants-a-1175239.html

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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Australia is at a point where it has to choose between its ally America and its economic backer China 

With America’s commitment to Asia-Pacific security looking shaky and China’s economic—and military—might rising, a peculiarly Australian question is at the forefront: Are we Asian or Western? It’s a dilemma not just of cultural identity—but about which major power Australia’s future hinges on.“We haven’t had to choose in the past,” said Hugh White, a former official in Australia’s defense department who now teaches at Australian National University (ANU). But with a more isolationist Trump administration in power in the US, “Australia now has to think for the first time in its history what kind of place it wants to make for itself when Asia is not dominated by an Anglo-Saxon power.”

Source: Australia is at a point where it has to choose between its ally America and its economic backer China — Quartz

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in Oceania

 

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Australia Beckons a war with China

Australia is sleep-walking into a confrontation with China. Wars can happen suddenly in an atmosphere of mistrust and provocation, especially if a minor power, like Australia, abandons its independence for an “alliance” with an unstable superpower.The United States is at a critical moment. Having exported its all-powerful manufacturing base, run down its industry and reduced millions of its once-hopeful people to poverty, principal American power today is brute force. When Donald Trump launched his missile attack on Syria – following his bombing of a mosque and a school – he was having dinner in Florida with the President of China, Xi Jinping.

Source: AUSTRALIA BECKONS A WAR WITH CHINA

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Asia, Oceania

 

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Rough times

It’s a cold, wet Monday night in Melbourne, but the confluence of Flinders Lane, Degraves Street and Centre Place – the centre of “the world’s most liveable city” – is swirling with activity. In the shadows, just beyond the clip of foot traffic, Peter slumps in his brown woollen poncho on a thick square of cardboard. In front of him is a small wicker basket speckled with silver coins, and a cardboard sign on which is handwritten a tale of personal tragedy and an appeal for charity. In the darkened doorway behind him stands a shopping trolley filled with his life’s possessions: two sleeping bags, a swag, a coat, bundles of clothes and, for bartering purposes, four cans of Canadian Club whisky and two bottles of wine that he found on his night-time wanderings.

Source: Egypt: Laughter in the Dark | by Zadie Smith | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Oceania

 

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Ambiguity over refugee deal is tough for people who have little resilience left 

While it is encouraging to see the inertia around durable resettlement solutions for refugees on Manus and Nauru broken, Sunday’s announcement that they will be resettled in the United States raises more questions for those involved than it answers, particularly in the current political climate, and in light of Trump’s plans to ban Muslim immigration. This kind of ambiguity, while not unfamiliar, is particularly tough for a cohort who have already lived through three years of uncertainty and have scarce resilience left to draw upon.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/15/ambiguity-over-refugee-deal-is-tough-for-people-who-have-scarce-resilience-left

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in North America, Oceania

 

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The art of tour guiding 

Tour guiding in Australia is easy on some levels: you feed your charges well, take them to the right places, and try to keep their feet warm. But extreme weather, mechanical problems, flies in the daytime, mosquitoes at night, the Germans, the lack of sleep, the feelings of deep existential loneliness … all these things will conspire against you.
You should never, or almost never, give your tourists the choice between two options. This is a mistake inexperienced guides often make. Are you not the leader of this expedition? Have you not been here a hundred times before and know what it’s about? Don’t go inflicting the misery of democracy on them. It may seem generous and noble, but in the middle of an Australian summer I have seen some people reduced to tears.

https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/june/1433080800/robert-skinner/art-tour-guiding

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Oceania, Reportages

 

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Offshore detention’s callous, brutal bureaucracy damns itself 

Australia’s grubby little secret is secret no more.
The truth of the offshore detention regime financed, controlled and run by Australian government on the remote Pacific island of Nauru has been brutally exposed by the revelation by the Guardian of the Nauru files.
For all of the extreme measures to which the Australian government has gone to keep its offshore detention regime from public eye – moving detention centres to remote foreign islands where compliant local governments keep journalists away; an extreme and unapologetic secrecy about the “on-water matters” of boat turnbacks; legislation to jail doctors and detention centre workers who speak out on behalf of those held; and restricting access for international agencies such as the United Nations – the truth about its remote camps has continued to leak out over the four years of offshore detention. Now, it is laid bare.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/11/offshore-detention-australia-secret-exposed-nauru-files

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2016 in Oceania, Reportages

 

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Erdogan has military troubles of his own, but he still defends the Ottoman army over the Armenian genocide

If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wasn’t so busy right now trying to emasculate his 600,000-strong Turkish army, he’d be raging about the contents of a new book that – with judicious research and painfully ironic timing – has just appeared in Australia with irrefutable proof of the 1915 Armenian genocide at the hands of Turkey’s (then) 500,000-strong army.  

The Turkish army, in the 1914-18 war, was intimately involved in the Nazi-like persecution and slaughter of one and a half million Armenian Christians. And it neither knew nor apparently cared that Australian prisoners of war were witnesses to the greatest war crime of the conflict. But now along comes a small Australian publisher with a highly researched volume, by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley, in which the reader can find the testimony of Australian and other Allied prisoners who witnessed the dispossession and mass murder of the Armenians.  

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/erdogan-turkey-coup-attempt-purge-armenian-genocide-still-defends-ottoman-army-a7147991.html

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2016 in Middle East, Reportages

 

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Manus, Omid and the campaign against offshore detention and resettlement

After three years of murders, hunger strikes, mass protests and forcing people to live in some of the worst conditions imaginable, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea ruled on April 26 that detaining asylum seekers in the Manus Island Detention Centre is a breach of the country’s constitution.

In the same week, Omid, an Iranian refugee who had been forcibly resettled on Nauru, self-immolated in front of UNHCR inspectors because he could not “take it anymore”.

https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/61678

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Oceania

 

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The Dirty Secret of Utopia

I had a call from Rosalie Kunoth-Monks the other day. Rosalie is an elder of the Arrernte-Alyawarra people, who lives in Utopia, a vast and remote region in the “red heart” of Australia. The nearest town is Alice Springs, more than 200 miles across an ancient landscape of spinifex and swirling skeins of red dust. The first Europeans who came here, perhaps demented by the heat, imagined a white utopia that was not theirs to imagine; for this is a sacred place, the homeland of the oldest, most continuous human presence on earth.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/11/the-dirty-secret-of-utopia/

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in Oceania, Reportages

 

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