Monday, March 27, 2006
Dingos, Politicians and Asylum Seekers
It appears I severely under-estimated the Indonesian Governments Reaction to the Australian Government's granting of Protection Visas to the Papuan Asylum Seekers. The Indonesian Government has withdrawn its Ambassador to Australia and the more Nationalist Newspapers are having field day. Some of the more bizarre newspaper cartoons depict Prime Minister Howard and Foreign Minister Downer as Dingos (an Australian Native Dog - pictured). I wonder what the reaction would be in reverse (oh that's right, we have seen that).
Personally, I cannot see what other decision could have been “reasonably” expected in democratic country. The rules are fairly simple:
Under The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees a refugee is "A person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution."
The only question is would the Papuan's have a "well-founded fear of persecution" I guess they can only base that on past history (you can come to your own conclusion as well).
I would have to question the withdrawal of the Indonesian Ambassador raising what would have been a minor new item into Major International News. Who on earth plans the government's response to these sorts of things?
BTW, if anyone has knows where the Dingo Cartoons online are, I would love to know.