Any US immigration attorneys and/or ethical health professionals out there have a view on the wisdom of Australian-based NGOs, "advocates" and so called "mental health-trauma counsellors" encouraging Nauru and Manus Island refugees (who have been imprisoned and terrorised for nearly 5 years) to submit to interrogation by outsourced Homeland Security officials, in order to be trafficked by the IOM to the US under a secretive deal?



We haven't heard anything from the Manus and Nauru refugees sent to the US last September. Have you heard anything? Are they OK? I am worried about them. ---> US officials (Homeland security) are viciting Nauru in next week to conduct the further interviews. I wish all the very best to Nauru refugees.‏ @Shamindan1 [16/2/18]



@Aussie4Refugees [17/2/18]: The Rohingya refugee - who has family in Australia - was told if he did not agree to being trafficked to the US, he could expect to be on #Nauru for 20 years or be trafficked to Cambodia.



4th anniversary of Reza Barati's murder and the Labor policy that killed him continues unopposed ---> Australian officials, including new People Smuggling Ambassador, meet with Sri Lankan Navy chief to discuss how to prevent refugees from escaping [Tamil Guardian - 15/2/18]



Sri Lankan court orders review of investigation into deadly Welikada riot [Tamil Guardian - 16/2/18]



Several Sri Lankan military personnel were arrested in connection with the gang rape of a nurse in the south of the island.

A captain of the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police was arrested on Wednesday by Narahenpita police, following the arrest of an army doctor and driver earlier in the week. ... [Tamil Guardian - 15/2/18]



A former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) has been arrested by Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the 2009 assassination of the Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickramatunga. ... [Tamil Guardian - 14/2/18]



 #BALIKPAPAN ... Day 32 of Afghan migrants peaceful protest for freedom ...



We demand justice, equality, and the primary human right which is FREEDOM. @Miladkhan01 [17/2/18]



Self exiled former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy says refugee trafficking deal is stopping Australia from pressuring Hun Sen to reverse his campaign of political repression [Phnom Penh Post - 16/2/18]:


... “I’m afraid because of this refugee issue, Canberra doesn’t want to have any problem with Hun Sen. So Hun Sen feels there is total impunity for him,” Rainsy said.

“It would be very embarrassing to accept refugees from Cambodia when you send refugees to Cambodia,” he added, highlighting the case of slain political analyst Kem Ley’s widow and five children, who are languishing in Thailand reportedly awaiting a visa for Australia.

Around a dozen former Cambodia National Rescue Party members have reportedly fled to Australia and New Zealand to seek asylum, while more than 100 wait in Thailand after party president Kem Sokha was arrested and the CNRP was forcibly dissolved in November.

Rainsy also said he was “surprised” Australia was not doing more to secure the release of filmmaker James Ricketson, who faces up to 10 years in jail after he was arrested on allegations of spying in June.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wrote to her Cambodian counterpart regarding his case last week. Ricketson’s emails concerning Rainsy have been under investigation. ...



Cosying up to the Australian Labor Party's Chris Bowen - who wants to traffick the refugees he indefinitely imprisoned on Manus Island and Nauru to Malaysia - totally destroys Rainsy's credibility [Liverpool City Champion - 12/2/18]



Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen confronts Gareth Evans about why he's not that into him anymore [Phnom Penh Post - 27/2/15]:


... “I don’t know what disease you had [or] why you criticised me last year. I don’t know whether you really said it or the media published it wrongly, [because] we are longtime friends”, the Premier said, referring to an opinion piece Evans wrote last February that said the government had been getting away with murder.

Hun Sen then reflected on the time that he and Evans had spent working together in the years leading up to the 1991 Paris Accords that laid the foundations for the UN-sponsored elections in 1993.

He took a dig at Evans and the international community for their reluctance to explicitly refer to preventing the return of the Khmer Rouge in the wording of the text.

“Why did [Evans] dare not to speak about the trials of the Khmer Rouge at that time? What was the world afraid of? What were the five big countries afraid of?”

The agreements, which were signed by all the warring Cambodian factions, including the radical communists, instead referred to Khmer Rouge atrocities as the “policies and practices of the past”. ...



... But the routine detention of asylum seekers arriving without visas and the construction of remote detention centres to house them followed the landing of a boat carrying 26 people at Pender Bay near Broome in November 1989.

It was the first boat to carry asylum seekers to Australian territory since 1981 and its arrival marked the beginning of a second wave of boatpeople landing on Australia shores.

(The first wave lasted from 1976 to 1981.  It was made up of about 2000 refugees arriving in small groups who were fleeing Communism in Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War.  They were not detained on arrival.)

There were many Cambodians aboard the Pender Bay boat and subsequent vessels and their arrival came at a sensitive time for the Labor government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Hawke’s high-profile Foreign Minister Gareth Evans was deeply involved in crafting a peace process for Cambodia, which involved the repatriation of 300,000 Cambodian refugees from camps along the Thai border.

The federal government feared that confidence in the plan could be undermined if Cambodians in Australia were found to be refugees or if their personal stories were allowed to become public.

Hawke was quick to declare categorically that the Cambodians were not ‘political’ but ‘economic’ refugees.

He said he would not allow Cambodian asylum seekers to ‘jump the queue’ of Australia’s orderly migration program.

The label ‘queue jumper’ has been used to denigrate asylum seekers arriving by boat ever since. ... Australia's sledgehammer, Peter Mares [APO - 25/2/2004]



@nslwin :  387 #Rohingya arrived #Bangladesh today (Feb. 16) at 3:30PM. ...



@nslwin [16/2/18]:  #Myanmar authorities confiscated at least 300 acres of #Rohingya lands in #AleyChaung VT, #Buthidaung 3 months ago. Today they bulldozered 2 shops. They didn’t give time to take out the things from shops. Just destroyed....



More Rohingya lives will be lost if the world fails to act by Bob Rae Canadian Prime Minister's special envoy to Myanmar [The Globe and Mail - 16/2/18]



Canada imposes targeted sanctions in response to human rights violations in Myanmar [Media Release - 16/2/18]



As region continues denying protection to the Rohingya and signalling approval for Aung San Suu Kyi's genocide, Bangladesh hands list of 8,032 refugees to Myanmar for refoulement [ - 16/2/18]



“This is a separate issue from human rights.” <-- No shit Sherlock! Thailand awards Myanmar army commander-in-chief the Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant for ongoing Rohingya genocide [Reuters - 16/2/18]



Push to release children from Thai immigration detention centres [The Nation - 12/2/18]:


... Angkana [National Human Rights Commissioner] gave an interview after the Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons (CRSP) urged authorities to consider allowing people seeking asylum, particularly children, to live outside detention centres.

CRSP coordinator Siwawong Sooktawee said it would be better to let asylum seekers live together as families.

 “Children should be allowed to live with their parents,” he said. 


The Fortify Rights organisation revealed late last year that Zainab Bi Bi, a 16-year-old Rohingya refugee, died on November 2 after spending more than three years in immigration detention facilities and government-run shelters in Thailand.

“Zainab Bi Bi’s death is a tragedy that should spur Thai authorities to take immediate action to end the indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers,” Amy Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, said in a statement last year. 

Siwawong said there were various other measures available to control populations of migrants and refugees, citing as an example the requirement to have them report to authorities on a regular basis.

On January 26, the CRSP officially urged Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to urgently introduce measures to end the arrests and detention of child refugees and their families, as well as those seeking asylum.  ...



@ThaiPBSEnglish [17/2/18]: Pro-#election activists announce demonstration calendar. 18 Feb: Long march from Nakhon Ratchasima to the Northeast. 24 Feb: TU at 3pm. 10 Mar: Major rally. Location is yet to be disclosed. 24 Mar: Location to be disclosed. 19-22 May: Overnight rally to mark 4 years of the coup.



The U.S. Navy said on Friday it had removed three senior officers deployed in Japan for "personal misconduct," after one was reportedly found wandering the base drunk and naked.

The navy did not disclose the details of the Feb 12 incident, but the Navy Times reported that Lieutenant Commander Jason Gabbard was relieved of duty after "being discovered in the woods wearing only his boots."

He was "found intoxicated and walking naked in the woods on Camp Shields" in Okinawa Prefecture, the newspaper said. ... [Japan Today - 17/2/18]



Japan received a record 19,628 asylum applications in 2017, but only 20 were successful, according to preliminary figures released by the Justice Ministry on Feb. 13.

There were 8,727 more applications compared with 2016, when 28 people were granted refugee status.

The total number of asylum seekers in 2017 marked a high for the seventh straight year. ... [The Asahi Shimbun - 14/2/18]



The Haircut - A North Korean Adventure [2017]



Commander of US Pacific Command (and incoming Ambassador to Australia) Harry Harris reassures House Armed Services Committee that he's picking plenty of fights in South East Asia and the Pacific [Media Release - 15/2/18]



The war on dissent: the specter of divisiveness [Counterpunch - 16/2/18]:


... In profoundly authoritarian cultures like the contemporary USA, people tend to believe the authorities, particularly when they’re all repeating the same simple message over and over. People want to believe the authorities. They want to because they’ve been conditioned to want to from the time they were children by their parents, teachers, political leaders, the corporate media, television, Hollywood, cultural icons, and more or less every other ideological organ of “normal society.”

This is why, when it’s time to whip up popular support for a war of aggression (or a war against anyone expressing dissent), all the ruling classes have to do is make up an emotionally-loaded narrative with a halfway-believable official enemy and have their “authoritative media sources” repeat it, over and over and over, in a thousand different iterations, each repetition reifying the others, until the narrative becomes the axiomatic “truth,” which no respectable, normal person would ever even think of wanting to question.

In fact, once an official narrative has become the axiomatic “truth,” it can be rather dangerous psychologically if these “respectable persons” are confronted with evidence that demonstrates that the official narrative (or, in other words, their “reality”) is based on … well, a load of horseshit, as by this time they’ve forgotten it is fiction, and thus genuinely believe the lies they’re telling. ...



@Aussie4Refugees [17/2/18]:  4 years ago today Australia orchestrated an attack on refugees imprisoned on #Manus Island. Reza Barati was murdered. Rest in Power. [Note: It was NOT a riot and any writing filtered through the pro "deterrence" Guardian should be viewed with suspicion]




The Guardian is censoring peaceful protests at the Australian funded IOM concentration camp in Balikpapan, Indonesia. Refugees have been directly tweeting Van Badham. ---> Erfan Dana's report (Translated by Omid Tofighian - who translates Behrouz Boochani's writings from Manus Island) [Hazara International Network - 3/2/18]



How the ABC sets up counter narratives when government goons attack refugees as part of "deterrence" policy ---> Michael Rowland, Virginia Trioli and Liam Cochrane establish Manus refugee concentration camp  "riot" lie with dodgy, looped footage and victim blaming [February 2014]



This was a brutal attack, not a “riot” - Refugee Action Collective Victoria – Manus Island Fact Sheet [2/3/14]



Submission 67 Nauru Senate Inquiry [2015]  ... We were expected to "manufacture" Individual Management Plans as this was what the Department of Immigration wanted.

... After the murder of Reza Barati,  we were told to lie to our clients and tell them it was a "riot" to deter them from protesting. ...



Lukas Schrank's award winning 2015 animated documentary Nowhere Line [see 9 minutes in] offers another account of the events of February 2014. 



If you still believe what happened in February 2014 was a "riot", read the Hansard. ---> Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Recommendations re "Incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre from 16 February to 18 February 2014" [December 2014]




16 February 2018