South East Asia: UN concern at plan to exile thousands of Rohingya to a flooded island




Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?


Guardian [14/6/15]:

The remote Bangladeshi island of Thengar Char disappears completely under several feet of water at high tide, and has no roads or flood defences.

But that hasn’t stopped the government from proposing to relocate thousands of Rohingya refugees living in camps in the south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar which borders Burma to its marshy shores.

Bangladesh said last month it was looking to move the around 32,000 registered refugees – in part because they were hampering tourism in the coastal resort district – home to the world’s longest unbroken beach.

The proposal has been met with alarm from leaders of the Rohingya, who began arriving more than two decades ago after fleeing persecution in Burma, and whose desperate search for a secure homeland has recently been thrown into the spotlight by a regional smuggling [crisis of humanity and moral blankness].

The UN refugee agency, which has been helping them since 1992, said a move would be “logistically challenging”.

Police on the neighbouring island of Hatiya prevented the boat AFP was travelling on from going to Thengar Char, saying they could not guarantee its safety.

But accounts from local people and a forest department official who oversaw the 2011 planting of mangroves on Thengar Char gave an indication of the challenges.

“At high tide the entire island is under three to four feet (about a metre) of water,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is impossible to live there,” he said, comparing the plan to “compelling a guest to sit on a spiked chair after inviting him to your home”.

Low-lying Thengar Char, around 30km (18 miles) east of Hatiya island, only emerged from the sea around eight years ago.

The 10,000-acre island is administered from Hatiya, which has a population of 600,000, but local boat operators said they rarely went there.

Such a journey would in any case be impossible during the monsoon months of June to September, when the seas are perilous, and the island would be completely cut off.

The island, around two hours away from the mainland by speedboat, is in an area frequently hit by cyclones, which have killed thousands in Hatiya and Bangladesh’s southern coast in the past.

Hatiya’s top government official AHM Moyeenuddin said the island had been chosen by a team of government surveyors dispatched to the area on the orders of the Bangladeshi prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.

He admitted relocating thousands to the island would be challenging, but said the construction of cyclone shelters, a barrage and a hospital would be enough to “make the place liveable”.

Hatiya police chief Nurul Huda declared it an “ideal place for Rohingya relocation”, even though it is “isolated and frequented by pirates”.

“All we need is a police station to maintain law and order,” he said.


Those living in the Bangladesh camps have refugee status and receive support from the UN, meaning they have access to food, shelter and other basic necessities.

But as Bangladesh and Burma face international scrutiny over the fate of the stateless Rohingya, some fear a plot to move them as far from scrutiny as possible.

“There are other islands nearby, habitable for humans,” said the forest department official.

“But somehow, this island, which becomes inundated during every single high tide was proposed as the relocation site.”


Sydney:  Mother blamed, charged after police pursuit caused crash


"[There were] two cars up on the next door neighbour's front yard [and] police were on the scene within about five seconds flat," he said.

"They were out with guns pointed, [and] a woman left the vehicle, then a very short time after that she came out with her very, very, very young children."

ABC [14/6/15]:

A woman has been charged in Sydney's south-west after she allegedly hit five cars while being pursued by police, with her two infant children in the back seat.

Police said the 33-year-old unlicensed driver, who was known to police, drove through a red light on the M5 motorway at the Heathcote Road exit at Moorebank.

She then failed to stop for officers shortly before 10:00pm on Saturday.

The pursuit began when the woman allegedly accelerated to 110 kilometres per hour in a 60 kph zone along Nuwarra Road into Chipping Norton.

It is alleged she sideswiped three cars during the police chase and then hit the back of another before mounting the kerb and hitting a van.

Officers said the car finally came to a stop in the front yard of a home.

The woman from Ramsgate was arrested and returned a negative roadside breath test.

Her two children, a 14-month-old girl and a three-month-old boy, were taken to Liverpool Hospital with their mother for precautionary checks.

Inspector Ken Hardie said the children were apparently properly restrained in baby capsules and were not injured.

"The children have been handed over to DOCS and I believe they are with their grandmother at this stage," he said.

After being released from hospital she was taken to Liverpool Police Station and charged with a number of traffic offences, including being an unlicensed driver and police pursuit, known as Skye's Law.

She was refused bail and will spend the night in custody, and is due to appear at Liverpool Local Court on Monday.

Inspector Ken Hardie said a man in his 20s was injured when the woman's car rammed into the back of his car while he was in it.

Inspector Hardie said the actions of the woman were "disgusting".

"It's very disgusting; it's very irresponsible of the woman to drive under those circumstances," he said.

"People have just got to use common sense when they've got children in the car especially. Your actions can [have quite an] impact on them."

A resident on Nuwarra Road in Chipping Norton, where the pursuit ended, who did not want to be named, described the scene.

"[There were] two cars up on the next door neighbour's front yard [and] police were on the scene within about five seconds flat," he said.

"They were out with guns pointed, [and] a woman left the vehicle, then a very short time after that she came out with her very, very, very young children."

He said he thought the woman panicked and ran from police and only stopped because her car was halted by the final collision, which left the man in the car with back injuries.

"It started at the bottom of the street ... she's been chased for a kilometre, and the only reason she stopped is because her vehicle was incapacitated, it wasn't going anywhere, it was shut down," he said

The resident said the children seemed uninjured and were allowed to stay with their mother at the scene until an ambulance arrived.

"I assume they were restrained ... they came outside and they weren't really crying much," he said.

"They were probably uncomfortable because it was freezing cold last night."

Resident Mark Pauli said the car was centimetres from ploughing through his lounge room and that it only stopped after hitting a van and bushes.

Mr Pauli said his family was in shock because his brother's five children were inside at the time.

"I respect the police and I know they've got a job to do," he said.

"But my concern really is that the police chase occurred in a residential area; it could've placed a lot of lives at risk, including my family as well," he said.

Mr Pauli said the man who was taken to hospital after being hit in his car was a pizza delivery driver.

Family of Darwin man shot dead while driving car plead for information

ABC [14/6/15]:

The family of a young man found shot dead at the wheel of a crashed car in Darwin have issued a public plea for help in finding his killer.

Fabian Brock, 25, was driving a gold Toyota Camry with at least one passenger when he was hit by gunfire while driving along Union Terrace in Wagaman early on Saturday morning.

The car, with a fatally wounded Mr Brock at the wheel, crossed over Lee Point Road and crashed through a fence before coming to a rest in the yard of a house.

A brother of Mr Brock told the ABC of the family's heartbreak over his killing.

"It's hard on me and my brothers and sisters. It's hard on all of us. We're trying to get through it," he said.

"I remember my brother as a great person, a great father, a brother to all of us.

"We're not going to see him again. We're just going to miss him so much."

Mr Brock's brother, speaking on behalf of the family, urged anyone with information to contact police over the death.

"If anyone knows something can you please step forward and say something? It'd mean a lot to us," he said.

NT Police Detective Acting Superintendent Lee Morgan said at a press conference on Sunday the fatal shot was fired "from close range", but could not say if the shot was from within, or from outside, the car.

He said police were yet to established a motive but said it was believed Mr Brock and his killer were "known to each other".

Superintendent Morgan said he wanted to assure the public police had "good information as to who is involved in this matter and we are pursuing those lines of inquiry".

"There are a number of people we'd like to speak to that we are aware are still in the Darwin area. We are making attempts to contact those people as we speak," he said.

He said police "have a person of interest" in their sights and said the "net was closing".

Superintendent Morgan said the weapon used to kill Mr Brock "remains outstanding".

He said reports of a second car being involved had been confirmed by "a number of witnesses", but police were "still struggling" with confirming the identity of those vehicles.

Police were "in constant contact" with Mr Brock's family, who he said were "dealing with matters in their own ways", Superintendent Morgan said.

He urged anyone with information about the shooting of Mr Brock to contact NT Police on 1800 333 000.



Discharge of firearm charges, Kiels Mountain

QPS Media [13/6/15]:

Detectives have charged two men following an incident in which a firearm was discharged from a vehicle in Kiels Mountain overnight.

Around 7.55pm police will be alleging that the men discharged a firearm into another vehicle as they were both travelling on Kiel Mountain Road.

The vehicle was damaged but no one was injured during the incident.

Police located the vehicle and occupants a short time later.

A 42-year-old Mount Coolum man was charged with one count each of threatening violence, discharge weapon in a public place and unlawful possession of weapons.

A 20-year-old Buderim man was charged with one count each of threatening violence, discharge weapon in a public place and unlawful possession of weapons.

They are due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrate Court this morning.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Serious assault, Proserpine

QPS Media [14/6/15]:



A man is currently assisting police with their investigations into the assault of a woman and serious assault of a man at Proserpine this morning.

Around 10.30am police were called to a residence on Lurline Street following reports of a disturbance between two men.

It will be alleged that the men became involved in an altercation resulting in a 66-year-old man being physically assaulted.

It will further be alleged that a 63-year-old woman was also assaulted when she attempted to intervene and help the victim.

The 63-year-old woman suffered minor injuries to her leg and hands. She was taken to the Proserpine Hospital for treatment.

The 66-year-old man suffered head and internal injuries. He was also taken to the Proserpine Hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

A 53-year-old Proserpine man has been taken into custody and is currently assisting police with their investigations.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Update: Sudden death, Atherton

QPS Media [14/6/15]:

Detectives from the Tablelands Child Protection Investigation Unit and the State Crime Command’s Child Trauma Taskforce have charged a woman with manslaughter following the death of an infant at Atherton last year.

Paramedics declared the infant deceased at an Atherton residence on January 21, 2014.

Following a protracted investigation codenamed Operation Mike Tamatins, a 29-year-old local woman was today charged with one count of manslaughter.

She is due to appear in the Mareeba Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Unlawful wounding charge, Aurukun

QPS Media [13/6/15]:

Police have charged a 34-year-old man with unlawful wounding following investigations into a disturbance at Aurukun this morning.

Officers were called to an address on Bowenda Drive around 11.15am following reports of an alleged argument between a man and a woman.

Upon arrival at the residence police located a 41-year-old woman with stab wounds to her chest and arm.

The woman suffered non life threatening injuries and was flown to the Cairns Base Hospital for treatment.

The 34-year-old Aurukun man has been charged with one count of unlawful wounding and is due to appear in the Aurukun Magistrates Court on June 18.

The pair are known to each other.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Police will meet urgently with leaders of Melbourne's Congolese community to avert any potential trouble after a jury found four of its members guilty of offences that included multiple kidnap offences.

 The four men – members of a small expatriate African 'Combattants' group opposed to their country's leader – were convicted on Friday of offences that involved the kidnap of two Congolese adults and three children. ... [The Age - 12/6/15]







Stealing with violence, Algester

QPS Media [14/6/15]:

Police are investigating following the robbery and assault of a woman in Algester this morning.

Around 8.50am, a 23-year-old woman was waiting at a bus stop on Ridgewood Road when she was approached by a boy who took hold of her handbag.

The woman resisted which resulted in her being dragged to the ground, punched and kicked until she let go of the bag.

The boy, described as being aged between 14 and 16 years old then stole the woman’s wallet before leaving in a green sedan being driven by another male.

Investigations into the incident are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Robbery, Wynnum West

QPS Media [14/6/15]:

Police are investigating after a car was stolen from Wynnum West overnight.

Around 7.30pm, a 26-year-old man was in a parked vehicle on Samantha Street when he was approached by another man.

The man demanded cash and threatened the man in the car, and the 26-year-old has then left the car.

The other man has then driven off in the car, and was last seen on Samantha Street heading towards the golf course.

No one was physically injured as a result.

The vehicle is a 2001 blue Holden Commodore and police are asking anyone who has seen the vehicle to contact them.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Armed robbery, Woolloongabba

QPS Media [14/6/15]:

Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred last night in Woolloongabba.

Around 10.50pm, a man entered a convenience store on Ipswich Road armed with a hammer.

He made demands for cash to the attendant, who complied, and then fled the scene on foot with a sum of cash.

The attendant wasn’t physically injured as a result of the robbery.

The man is described as being around 165cms tall and was wearing a dark jumper with a white hood and had his face covered.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Armed robbery, Manoora [QPS Media - 13/6/15]





Attempted robbery with violence, Sunnybank [QPS Media - 13/6/15]





Party pooping police keep busy looking for trouble in certain places after uptight wankers complain their "inner city lifestyle" is being diminished by noisy youths


ABC [14/6/15]:

Fire authorities are likely to prosecute the organisers of a large unregistered party that was shut down in inner Brisbane on Saturday night.

Up to 800 people were at the event in a vacant warehouse at Victoria Street in West End.

The party was called off by security over fire safety breaches after a scuffle broke out.

Senior Sergeant Todd Sucic said police arrived around 9:00pm with about 40 officers to help disperse the crowd and keep order on the street, after receiving numerous noise complaints.

He said it quickly became evident there were some serious concerns about building safety.

"The Queensland Fire [and Emergency] Service, their concerns were that if there was a fire in those premises last night there was a high risk of persons being injured and possibly killed as a result of the poor safety conditions within that building," he said.

"Those premises were unused and vacant warehouse facilities that were not set up or designed to hold functions involving a large number of people.

"When we were speaking with the organisers of the party it was blatantly evident there were some serious concerns in relation to building and fire safety.

"We contacted the Queensland fire service who attended and conducted their investigations.

"As a result of those investigations I understand they are going to be prosecuting the organisers of that party for several breaches of the Building Fire Safety Act."





Business as usual in Queensland: ALP expand anti fun zones for the young and exuberant [Brisbane Times - 27/3/15]:




... Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said police would be granted the power to breathalyse disorderly or drunk revellers "so they have the evidence they need to prosecute licensees, managers and patrons who are breaching the Liquor Act". ...








Assault police charges, Gordonvale [QPS Media – 13/6/15]




Fatal traffic crash, Blackwater

QPS Media [14/6/15]:


A man has died following a two vehicle traffic crash, approximately 30km south of Blackwater last night.

Initial information suggests around 6pm, a motor cycle rider came off his bike after hitting a cow on Ardurad Road.

Whilst a number of witnesses were rendering first aid to the man he was struck by a four wheel drive travelling on the same road.

The 55-year-old male motorcycle rider died at the scene.

The male driver of the four wheel drive was not physically injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.







Serious traffic crash, Goldsborough Valley [QPS Media - 13/6/15]







Man hospitalised after having hand caught in machine on the Gold Coast

MYGC [14/6/15]:

A young man has been rushed to hospital with a “messy hand injury” after it became entangled in a machine on the Gold Coast.

Paramedics were called to treat the injured man at the Upper Coomera Village shops on Reserve Road, near Tamborine-Oxenford Road, shortly after midday on Sunday.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson said the man, believed to be aged in his 20s, had suffered a “messy injury” after his hand was caught in a machine.

He has since been taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.



Woman suffers heart attack at Cairns ironman event [ABC – 14/6/15]




Sacked police officer fights to get his job back with help of union [Brisbane Times - 13/6/15]:




A police officer sacked for accessing confidential databases and discussing details of a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation is fighting to get his job back.

Anthony Richard Francis' misdemeanors while on the force included urinating on a police car, giving dog food to a colleague as a Secret Santa present and having a conflict of interest while investigating the burglary of his own home. The incidents occurred between 2006 and 2010.

In 2013 the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal gave Mr Francis a lifeline by ordering his sacking but suspending the dismissal for three years.

However in February 2015 the Crime and Corruption Commission successfully appealed to QCAT and the sacking was made immediate.

Mr Francis has lodged an appeal to Queensland's Supreme Court to have that decision overturned and to receive compensation for costs.

Mr Francis, who is being represented by the Queensland Police Union, is arguing that the 2015 decision was legally incorrect and his conduct since 2012 had not been given enough weight.






Another witness has come forward with startling new allegations about the murder of Shirley Finn, including claims that a former WA Police commissioner had threatened the brothel madam’s life just days before her death.

The witness claims Ms Finn told her that she feared she was “gone” after returning from a meeting with then Assistant Commissioner Owen Leitch, who warned her that she would be shot in the head if she named names at a meeting with the tax office scheduled for the next week. ... [West Australian - 13/6/15]




Colbert Transport truck caught fire a month before crash killed driver, Adelaide court told [ABC - 12/6/15]







Convicted Australian pedophile taunts victims via newspaper report [Telegraph - 14/6/15]



Disability carer accused of mistreating group home clients loses unfair dismissal bid [Canberra Times – 12/6/15]






Bizarre hailstorm hits Alice Springs

Nine MSN [14/6/15]:


A hail storm has turned the red earth of Alice Springs white, much to the delight and bewilderment of those on hand to witness the event.

Although not common, hail is not unheard of out in the middle – but it is a strange time of year for a weather event of this nature.

"Hail can happen at any time of the year, but [it is] more common during spring and summer," Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Angeline Prasad told the ABC.

"All storms have hail in them ... by the time the hail falls through the storm, if the temperatures are warm enough they do melt into rain droplets.

"In this instance the draft was probably strong enough to keep the hail in ice form when it hit the ground."




Tigers, lions, a hippopotamus and other animals have escaped from the zoo in Georgia's capital after heavy flooding destroyed their enclosures, prompting authorities to warn residents in Tbilisi to say inside Sunday.

At least eight people have been killed in the disaster, including three zoo workers, and 10 others are missing.

An escaped hippo was cornered in one of the city's main squares and subdued with a tranquilizer gun, the zoo said.

Some other animals also have been seized, but it remained unclear how many are on the loose. Bears and wolves are also among the animals who fled from their enclosures amid the flooding from heavy rains and high winds.  ... [Yahoo -14/6/15]





Australia continues arrogantly ignoring Indonesia's plea for answers on refugee boat bribe




Jakarta Post [14/6/15]:



Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused again Sunday to deny allegations an official paid thousands of dollars to turn back a boatload of asylum-seekers, despite calls from Indonesia for answers.

The claims -- that the captain and five crew of the boat were each paid US$5,000 by an Australian immigration official to turn back to Indonesia -- were made to Indonesian police on Rote island in the country's east.

The row risks damaging already strained relations. Australia's ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson resumed his post last week after being recalled over the April execution of two Australians for drug-smuggling.

Abbott said the key message for Indonesia as well as Australian voters was that his government was "prepared to do what's necessary" to stop people-smugglers from transporting asylum-seekers by boat to Australia.

"I think it's very important that the Australian public are reassured that there is a government in charge which will not waver for a second in our determination to ensure that the boats stay stopped," he told reporters.

"And it's very important that the Indonesians know that the Australian government is absolutely resolute in our determination never to see this evil (people-smuggling) trade start up again."

Abbott said keeping the boats stopped was good for both countries and had helped prevent asylum-seekers from risking their lives on treacherous sea journeys.

"We will do whatever is reasonably necessary, consistent with the principles of a decent and humane society, to keep the boats stopped," he added.

Greens senator Larissa Waters said her party would move in the upper house Senate on Monday for an order "for a production of documents to try to get to the bottom of whether money has changed hands, potentially illegally".

Indonesia's foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said Saturday Jakarta was seeking clarification from its neighbour and the payments, if true, "will be a new low for the way that the Australian government is handling this issue".

A spokesman for the UN refugee agency, James Lynch, told the British Broadcasting Corporation Friday that UNHCR staff interviewed the 65 passengers on board "and they have said that the crew received a payment".

The asylum-seekers -- from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka -- arrived on Rote island in late May after being intercepted by the Australian navy en route to New Zealand.





... It is one thing for parliament to say that, if the judicial process results in conviction and imprisonment, a right of citizenship will be suspended for the duration of the sentence. That deprivation is an extension or statutory corollary of the deprivation of liberty that results from the conviction and sentence by court process.

It is quite another thing for parliament to countenance a minister's removal of citizenship rights from a person the minister decides has acted in a particular way. The missing element there is the exercise of judicial power by a court. And it is a crucial omission.  ...




Reginald Barrett retired recently from the NSW bench  [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/6/15]




Nine MSN [14/6/15]:



Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the signing of the Magna Carta 800 years ago has been pivotal to democracies around the world, including in Australia.

Addressing the start of a series of commemorations marking the occasion, Mr Abbott said modern Australia had an indigenous heritage, a British foundation and a multicultural character.

"Today we mark the anniversary of an event which is pivotal to that British foundation, indeed pivotal to the development of liberal democracies around the world," he said in Canberra on Sunday.







‏@justice4aflictd [14/6/15]:  Here is a similar shoe to the one a threw at Peter Dutton at a refugee welcome festival this morning 






... "I think he should be ashamed for what his government is doing and how asylum seekers are being treated in detention centres," Mr Sprigg told AAP after walking free on Sunday afternoon.

"When they use language like `queue jumpers' and `illegal arrivals', I think they're really just turning the public against refugees." 

Mr Sprigg accused Mr Dutton of hypocrisy over the government's policy of turning back asylum seeker boats.

"Here he is welcoming refugees, but his government isn't welcoming refugees at all - they're doing the absolute opposite," Mr Sprigg said.

He said he didn't regret his spur of the moment protest.

"The people in detention are just suffering so much and to be publicly shamed by having shoes thrown at you seems insignificant compared to how many refugees are locked up and mistreated every day."

Mr Sprigg will face court on June 30. ...  [Yahoo - 14/6/15]






Toss a shoe, turn your back or BOYCOTT Refugee Week events being used by lying "stop the boats/people smugglers" politicians for their own PR purposes





How dare Peter Dutton welcome refugees as citizens whilst assylum seekers are inhumanely detained and boats are turned back



 I threw my shoes at immigration minister Peter Dutton, because i'm discussted with his governments policys


"tweeted" by @justice4aflictd [14/6/15]




*UPDATE*   A 33-year-old man has been charged [with public nuisance] after allegedly throwing a pair of shoes at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.  ...



Brisbane Times [14/6/15]:



 Peter Dutton has shrugged off having a pair of shoes thrown at him at a refugee welcome ceremony in Brisbane.

The minister was speaking at the Annerley Football Club on Sunday morning when the shoes were launched at him.

He dodged the first one and caught the second.

 It's believed Acting Premier Jackie Trad, who was also at the ceremony, later commended him on his quick reflexes.  [<---- Scumbags using "good refugees" for their own PR purposes, as others rot. ]





UNHCR representative James Lynch said "crew" had been paid.


He said NOTHING about "people smugglers".


The media and politicians are LYING because they don't want you to have empathy for the plight of these (or any) refugees.


Australia's ongoing incarceration, torture, exile and deportation of refugees relies on the terminology of "people smuggling".




BBC [13/6/15]:



..."The boat that was rescued by the Indonesian navy on 31 May - we have interviewed the 65 passengers and they have said that the crew received a payment," said Mr Lynch. [James Lynch, UNHCR spokesman]

He said the passengers - 54 from Sri Lanka, 10 from Bangladesh, and one from Myanmar - were transferred to a customs boat for four days "before being put on two boats and sent back to Indonesia".

He added: "Mr Abbott says the reason is to save lives because people risk their lives on the boats, and I agree, but I'm not sure putting them back on boats and sending them back is the answer."

Mr Lynch said Australia had a responsibility under UN treaties, which it had signed, to see if any of the migrants were in need of international protection.

He accused Australia of "sending the wrong signal" to other countries in the region - including Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand - which the UN is trying to persuade to allow migrants to disembark.





Journalists say they've seen photos of money Australia pays in attempt to escape obligations of UN Refugee Convention [Canberra Times - 13/6/15]:


... The official report says an Australian official named Agus, who spoke fluent Indonesian, told Mr Yohanis that Australia would not accept the asylum seekers.

"From the communication, he was generous and said: 'We can't accept you brought us immigrants here. Each of you will be given $US5000. With one condition: that you go back to Indonesia, use it for business and never do this kind of work ever again'," Agus reportedly told the crew.





United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria



US Department of Defense [13/6/15]:


U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted three airstrikes near Kobani, which struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL fighting position.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL vehicles, two ISIL fuel tankers and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Huwayjah, one airstrike struck an ISIL staging area.

-- Near Beiji, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Makhmur, one airstrike struck an ISIL rocket firing positon.

-- Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck two ISIL mortar firing positions, destroying two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL mortar firing position, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL structure.

-- Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL sniper positon, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns and three ISIL structures.





Kurdish fighters pressed an offensive Saturday to capture a key Syrian border town from the Islamic State group, as Turkish forces sought to prevent thousands fleeing the fighting from crossing the frontier.  ... [Ahram - 13/6/15]




ISIS militants attacked government forces and their Shi'ite militia allies on Saturday, killing 11 near the city of Baiji as part of the battle for control of Iraq's biggest refinery, army and police sources said.  ... [Daily Star - 13/6/15]




UN Yemen talks in doubt amid humanitarian emergency [Al Jazeera - 14/6/15]




Eight people have been killed in fresh Saudi Arabian airstrikes on residential areas in Yemen’s northwestern Sa'ada province.

All of the victims from the Saudi attack on the small town of Dammaj were women and children, al-Masirah TV reported on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, at least 14 people were killed in another series of attacks on Sa’ada as a residential building and a local council was targeted by Saudi jets. ... [Press TV - 13/6/15]





Suicide bomber kills 3 in Libya's Derna: residents [Daily Star - 13/6/15]








Over a dozen policemen martyred in militant ambush in Helmand [Khaama - 13/6/15]



MoI says fully prepared to distribute electronic national ID cards [Khaama - 13/6/15]








Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian in southern Gaza [Maan - 13/6/15]





US considers storing heavy weapons in Baltic and Eastern Europe [RT - 13/6/15]






A man unleashed a barrage of gunfire on Dallas' police headquarters and planted explosives outside the building early Saturday -- narrowly failing to wound anyone -- leading to a chase to a suburb that ended with SWAT officers killing him in his parked van at a restaurant parking lot.

Police shot him through the windshield of the armored van about an hour before dawn after he made more threats, sometime after they chased him to the lot outside the Jack in the Box restaurant in the suburb of Hutchins, authorities said.

But police didn't confirm his death until the early afternoon, with a bomb squad needing to inspect the vehicle after the suspect told them that the vehicle contained explosives.  ... [CNN - 14/6/15]






Refugees sit in as French police block France-Italy border



RFI [13/6/15]:

A group of migrants declared a hunger strike on Saturday, the second day of a sit-in on the French-Italian border, where they are demanding the right to enter France.

French authorities sent police to prevent them crossing the frontier.

Over 100 migrants, brandishing placards declaring "We need to pass" and "We need freedom", started their sit-in in the town of Vintimille on Friday.

On Saturday a dozen gendarmes were present to stop them entering France, although the border remained open to other traffic.

The men in the group responded by refusing food provided by the Red Cross, although the women and children continued to eat.

Most of them reportedly come from Eritrea, Somalia and Côte d'Ivoire and crossed the Mediterranean from Libya, arriving in Europe on the Italian island of Sicily and making their way north in the hope of going to France, Sweden or the United Kingdom.

"I am applying the rules of the game in the European Union," French Prefect Adolphe Colrat, who ordered the police to the frontier, said on Friday.

"People without papers must be readmitted to the country they came from, in this case Italy."

Colrat tightened control of migrants at the station in Nice, the French city 40km from the Italian border, in May.

A record 1,439 undocumented immigrants have been detained by police in the last seven days, according to Colrat, and 1,097 have been sent back to Italy.

With the deaths of migrants at sea drawing international attention to the flow of people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, Italy and other Mediterranean countries have appealed to northern Europe to accept more migrants.

But the European Union's response to the call has become bogged down in a row about whether there should be quotas of immigrants to be accepted.




Soldier stopped with 27 kilos of cocaine at French Guiana airport [RFI – 13/6/15]




We appeal to the coastal countries in the region to provide necessary search and rescue services.

The Hindu [13/6/15]:

Condemning the alleged persecution of Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, the West Bengal unit of the Students’ Islamic Organisation of India, (SIO) a minority students’ body, staged a protest near the Myanmar Consulate in Kolkata.

“The government (of Myanmar) has to provide citizenship to all the Rohingya people and must provide secure shelter to them,” stated the memorandum submitted by the SIO.

They also expressed concern over the recent “exhumation on May 1 and 4, 2015, of dozens of bodies from mass gravesites” near human traffickers’ camps in Southern Thailand.

The SIO leadership appealed to the world powers to put pressure on the Myanmar government to stop the atrocities against Rohingyas.

“The world powers should build up pressure on the Myanmar government so as to ensure that it takes concrete steps to stop the brutal persecution,” Sadab Masum, member of the SIO’s central committee, said.

Mr. Masum said the authorities of the Myanmar Consulate refused to meet their delegation.

“We had to send the memorandum through the police,” he added.

“We appeal to the coastal countries in the region to provide necessary search and rescue services. The root cause of these tragedies should be addressed. The Myanmar government has to take responsibility for the untold sufferings of the Rohingya people.”


The unacceptable silence, Rasheed Abou-Alsamh [Arab News – 14/6/15]:



... The loosening of the repression allowed the worst racist elements in the Buddhist community to bubble quickly to the surface and manifest themselves in tirades of hatred, stirring the masses of the Buddhist public to violent riots in 2012 in Rakhine state where they attacked Rohingya villages.

Whole Muslim villages were burned to the ground, and women, children and old men were beaten, speared and shot. It is estimated that 650 Rohingyas were killed, 1,200 disappeared and 140,000 displaced.

This led the government to declare martial law in the state and send military troops to create internment camps for refugees in which Muslims were forced to stay. An estimated 1.1 million Rohingyas live in deplorable conditions in Rakhine.

With all this poverty, misery and violence against them, it is unsurprising that the Rohingyas are fleeing en masse to seek shelter and a better life elsewhere in the world. Jeddah has a large community of them, who have been there for decades.

Most of Myanmar’s neighbors have been very reluctant to accept these refugees, causing this humanitarian catastrophe, which saw 7,000 refugees at sea in small boats without knowing where they were going to be welcomed.

The media spotlight on their plight is what finally forced Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to give temporary refuge to them of up to one year. Qatar donated $50 million to fund the stay of Rohingyas in Indonesia, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman promised financial assistance to Malaysia to create a humanitarian fund for the refugees.

And what has Suu Kyi said about them? In 2012 she said she “did not know” if the Rohingyas could be citizens, echoing government policy of denying the existence of this group. To date, the government of Myanmar refuses to use the term “Rohingya.”

More recently, Suu Kyi said that she could not defend human rights otherwise the Rohingyas would suffer. ...



Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China [New Mandala - 11/6/15]:


... Since 2011, however, the nature of China-Myanmar relations has changed considerably. Since early 2014, China has been operating twin oil and gas pipelines between Rakhine State in Myanmar’s northwest and Yunnan Province in China’s southeast. This is by far the most significant strategic commitment China has ever made to a new all-important oil and gas supplies for its rapidly growing economy.

It means that China can no longer afford miscalculations and mistakes in its relations with Myanmar. China will certainly want to protect – diplomatically – these new strategic energy security arrangements, and may want to find out first-hand how Suu Kyi and the NLD view these arrangements. Since the suspension of its Myitsone dam in 2011, China has been busy re-calibrating its relations with Myanmar, even engaging in new “public diplomacy” programs to overcome its negative image in Myanmar, while reaffirming the “strategic partnership” it developed under the previous Myanmar military regime. But, at the same time, China may have been concerned that the re-appearance of the United States, after years of sanctions, might have resulted in Myanmar tilting unnecessarily towards Washington.

For her part, Aung San Suu Kyi will want to reassure the Chinese about their ongoing strategic interests in Myanmar, which are intrinsically and uniquely beneficial for Myanmar. ...




Woodside takes up more acreage in Myanmar with BG [Australian Financial Review - 23/3/15]





Time to reign in corporate colonisation, Nathan Willis [30/1/15]:

... My thoughts on the topic are informed by my own research in Rakhine State, Myanmar, where the following facts are notable:

1. the Australian company, Woodside Petroleum, has an interest in gas reserves off the coast of Rakhine state;

2. a gas and oil pipeline has been laid from that location to Yunnan province in China;

3. gas has begun flowing through this pipeline;

4. land has been confiscated from local communities in order to facilitate this process; and

5. Rohingya refugees are fleeing the region. While the violence that they are fleeing is traced by most commentators to ethnic and religious conflicts, these conflicts have been fuelled by the land confiscations just mentioned. A further fact worth noting is that many of these refugees are now incarcerated in detention centres such as Manus Island that are run under agreement with the Australian government and at great expense to the Australian people.

Are we observing criminal behaviour, or activity that constitutes a serious breach of human rights, in this case? While many individuals along with corporate interests are profiting from the gas and oil pipeline that runs through Rakhine State, it is premature at this point to conclude that their investment in Myanmar in itself amounts to criminal behaviour.







Australia's political, media and human rights establishment are deliberately using the term "people smugglers" to deny refugees their humanity.



This is fascism.




Times of Malta [VIDEO - 13/6/15]:



Indonesia says asylum seekers were turned back after Australia paid off those who were transporting them.

The boat then broke down and the passengers were rescued by Indonesian authorities.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said crew members were each given the equivalent of about 3,800 US dollars. 

"From the investigation it was revealed that the captain and five of the crew received 5,000 (Australian) dollar each from Australian authorities."

He says if it's true, it would be first time Australia was involved in an incident like this.   Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declined to comment.

The Australian government has promised to stop asylum seekers reaching Australia's shores.

It's turned boats back to Indonesia when it can and sent people to camps in neighbouring countries for long-term detention.




Who will speak for these refugees who remain detained?



Evidently not Australia's "people smuggling" obsessed non opposition and human rights establishment


Do you think
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oskar Schindler, Captain Schroder and the nuns who helped the Von Trapp family were people smugglers? As well as being misleading and dishonest, the political rhetoric about people smugglers is actually code for "we don't want boat people"




Smuggling payments made, say Australian Greens [RNZI  14/6/15]


Greens will use Senate powers to reveal truth on cash bribes for smuggling [Media Release - 13/6/15]





RNZI [7/6/15]:



... Nazmul Hassan, who identifies himself as one of the 65 in a Kupang detention centre, said they just wanted a peaceful life.

"We leave our country because of some problems and political violence and [too many problems]."

"We are really in trouble now, and under pressure now."  ...



Read the letter sent to the New Zealand Government by the refugees




... "They all looked so wet and cold," Mr Semuel said.

"I said: 'Don't worry about returning the clothes because God will pay us back."

Mr Semuel's wife cooked noodles, fish and rice but some of the asylum seekers were too petrified to eat.

One of the Bangladeshi men, who spoke broken Indonesian, said they were scared the police would come and shoot them.

"I calmed them down and said: 'Don't worry, the Indonesian police are very kind'," Mr Semuel said. ... [Sydney Morning Herald  - 14/6/15]



Australian Greens' previously humane refugee stance appears to have vanished down the memory hole


Indonesian Lawyer Points Path For PM To Save Refugees’ Lives  [Greens Media Release - 3/6/12]:


Prime Minister Gillard should use her meetings today with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to reach agreement on resettling a thousand more refugees from Indonesia and putting $10 million more into the UNHCR's work in the country, to give refugees the hope they need in order not to get on boats, the Australian Greens said today.

"Here is an expert voice from Indonesia, someone working day in day out to help refugees in the country, agreeing with the Greens that the way to save lives is to care for people and give them safer pathways to a better life," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"As Febi Yonesta from Jakarta Legal Aid Institute told ABC Radio this morning, the never-ending wait, complete lack of human or social rights and desperation is what is driving people onto boats, regardless of the danger.

"He agrees that resettling more people from Indonesia will reduce the pressure to get on dangerous boats, as will increasing support for refugees in Indonesia through properly resourcing the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

"Prime Minister Gillard should use her talks with President Yudhoyono today to agree to put $10 million swiftly into the UNHCR in Indonesia, to resettle a thousand refugees from his country immediately, to increase cooperation with Indonesia so we can rescue people before they are in the water, and to urgently address corruption in Indonesian ports that allows more people smuggling to take place.

"I welcome The Prime Minister's commitment of four Hercules transport planes to help the search and rescue effort, but there is much more that could be done straight away to save the lives of refugees that doesn't involve trampling on their rights even more.

"History shows that punishing desperate people will not save lives. Let's focus on helping people fleeing persecution - that is what will save their lives."



People Smuggler Myth Busters


Asylum Seeker Resource Centre [PDF]:


MYTH: People smuggling is a business model that needs to be smashed


People smuggling is not a ‘business model’ that needs to be ‘smashed’ but rather vulnerable people who need protection from persecution. While there is a legitimate need to address the behavior of people smugglers who exploit vulnerable people, a real solution would focus upon roviding adequate alternative pathways for asylum seekers to escape their conditions of persecution and destitution. Until such options exist people will always get on boats because they having nothing to lose when a likely death awaits then back home.

MYTH: Asylum seekers get on boats from Indonesia and Malaysia because of people smugglers


The vast majority of boat arrivals travel to Australia via Malaysia and Indonesia not because of people smugglers but because they have no genuine alternatives. Neither country has signed the Refugee Convention and asylum seekers face long periods without protection of their basic human rights. According to the Parliamentary Library, Australia resettled only 560 refugees from Indonesia during the period 2001 to February 2010 and only 490 refugees from Malaysia in 2010-11. The wait to be resettled from Indonesia for someone assessed as a refugee by the UNHCR could be up to 37 years. Amnesty International records Malaysia as hosting some 90,000 to 170,000 refugees and asylum-seekers so the wait here to be resettled in Australia could be up to 500+ years.

MYTH: Australia is being swamped by asylum seekers coming by boat


It’s important to put the issue of people smuggling in perspective. According to the UNHCR, in 2008, more than 51,000 asylum seekers crossed the Gulf of Aden making their way from Somalia to Yemen by boat. Also during 2008, more than 67,000 people travelled on boats tothe European coast, 38,000 of whom landed in Italy. This year, Italy received over 10,000 boat arrivals in just two months. In comparison, despite the increase in boat arrivals in November, arrivals in Australia are down from 6879 last year to 4184 this year as of December 16 th 2011. This accounts for just 0.009% of the 43.7 million refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people globally.

MYTH: The Australian Government policy is reducing people smuggling


The Australian government has in fact contributed to the creation of people smuggling by restricting the legal avenues for asylum seekers to find protection in Australia. As the world’s leading authority on international refugee law, Professor James Hathaway, explains: The whole people-smuggling problem is a false issue. We created the market for human smuggling. If asylum seekers could lawfully come to Australia and make a refugee claim without the need of sneaking in by boat, they would do it. But we make it illegal and create the market that smugglers thrive on.

MYTH: People smuggling is the key issue we need to focus on when it comes to dealing with refugees coming by boat to Australia


It is not people smuggling that is the issue we should be focusing on but Australia’s inadequate contribution to the international refugee problem. Australia’s refugee humanitarian intake – as a percentage of our total migration - is the lowest in 35 years. At the same time,the number of asylum seekers in need of resettlement is at record levels. Australia ranks 79th in the number of refugees in hosts per capita which is equal to just 0.21 percent of the global total. More than 80 percent of the world's refugees are in developing nations.

MYTH: People smugglers are ‘scum’ and the ‘Vilest form of human life’


People smugglers are not the ‘vilest form of human life’ but are in fact often victims themselves. As the Australian Federal Police have conceded, of the 493 individuals arrested in Australia on people-smuggling charges during 2009, 2010 and 2011, 483 were simply working as crew on boats leaving from Indonesian ports. Only 10 individuals were organisers. Almost all of these crew members are poor Indonesian fishermen – including many children - who have been mislead by people smuggling ringleaders. A recent report highlighted that a number of these children have been imprisoned by the Australian government on people smuggling charges for up to two years.

What has been the cost of protecting Australia from these poor fishermen? In 2009-10, the Government allocated $654 million ‘to fund a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to combat people smuggling and help address the problem of unauthorised arrivals’. In the 2010–11 budget, the Government increased this to $1.2 billion in order ‘to bolster Australia’s border security’. This is on top of the $772 million allocated in the 2010-11 budget for managing Australia’s detention centres. Clearly, the government’s attention and resources are being directed in the wrong place.

MYTH: Stopping the boats is the solution


The government should be focusing on increasing our refugee intake and working towards building the capacity of our regional neighbors to provide adequate protection for the large numbers of asylum seekers and refugees they host. It should also be working towards creating a regional cooperation framework that includes source, transit and host countries as a way to end the demand for people smuggling. A just framework would ensure the burden ofasylum seekers and refugees is distributed evenly across countries and according to capacity.



Now incorporated into this document ----> Asylum seekers, myths facts and solutions [ASCR}




14 June 2015