Nauru Regional Processing Centres
Caseworker - February 2014 - current:
International Organization for Migration, Australia Deployed in Manus Island PNG to coordinate Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) Program Core Functions
Provide targeted return planning to asylum seekers housed at the Manus Offshore Processing Center (Manus RPC).
Liaise closely with local authorities, DIBP, Transfield, The Salvation Army and other service providers on the services IOM offers and responding to client referrals.
Conduct information gathering/sharing interviews with clients considering voluntarily returning to their home country.
Develop individually tailored and viable post-return reintegration plans in coordination with relevant IOM missions abroad that are aimed at enhancing sustainable reintegration in the client's country of return.
... Reduce the task to small and discrete units and bureaucrats involved are ”insulated” from the result of their contribution and, as with Eichmann, remain distanced, at least to the degree they are capable of convincing themselves, from “responsibility,” and guilt. ... [Jerusalem Post - 14/2/13]
Memorial held at Bergen-Belsen to mark 70 years since liberation
Some 70 former inmates attended a service at the Bergen-Belsen Nazi death camp on Sunday to mark 70 years since it was liberated.
German President Joachim Gauck thanked the British military for opening the gates to the camp in Lower Saxony at the end of World War II.
"The British soldiers were ambassadors of a democratic culture that was not intent on revenge on the enemy, but rather that justice and human dignity should be afforded new validity even in Germany," Gauck said at the memorial service at the site of the camp on Sunday.
It was a "deeply felt need" to thank the liberators from the heart, Gauck said.
Lower Saxony Premier Stephan Weil also appealed that the crimes of the Nazis never be forgotten. "Murder never falls beyond the reach of justice, mass murder and genocide should most certainly never ever do so," Weil said.
He said Germany must deal decisively with any sign of racism, xenophobia or right-wing extremism.
"If refugees fear arson attacks, if Jews in Germany feel insecure once more, if people feel excluded because of their faith, then we must not accept it and just go back to normal," Weil said.
When the British Army liberated the camp, which lies near the town of Celle on the Lueneburg Heath, they found some 10,000 corpses within its grounds.
Nothing remains of the barracks which housed the inmates, just open land under which mass graves are located.
Some 200,000 people were deported to Bergen-Belsen during the war, with more than 70,000 believed to have been killed there, among them the 15-year-old diarist Anne Frank.
Another service was scheduled to take place on Sunday at Flossenbuerg in Bavaria to mark the liberation of a concentration camp there by the U.S. Army.
Forty survivors were expected to take part in that ceremony.
At least 30,000 people were imprisoned at Flossenbuerg by the Nazis.
Forget the ‘war on smuggling’, we need to be helping refugees in need [Guardian - 26/4/15]
Over 200 refugees
rescued off Libyan coast
Al Jazeera [25/4/15]:
The Italian coastguard has rescued 228 migrants off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea.
Reports said 38 women and one child were rescued in Friday's recovery effort. Those rescued were transferred to a navy boat that was patrolling in the area.
Separately, 80 people were rescued by Tunisian fishermen and taken to the coastal town of Zarzis in Tunisia.
The latest rescue efforts come after a tragic accident off the Catania coast in Italy just days ago , in which more than 800 people died.
Separately, an Italian court ordered two suspects behind the trafficking racket blamed for the accident to remain in jail.
Mohammed Ali Malek, the boat's 27-year-old Tunisian captain, and Mahmud Bikhit, a 25-year-old Syrian crew member, face charges of multiple manslaughter and aiding illegal immigration.
Malek maintains he was only a passenger on the overcrowded boat while others accuse him of being the boat's captain.
Speaking to Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips, Guilia Chiarenza, who works for the Italian nongovernmental organisation Emergency, said the situation is dire.
"We're very sad. We are fed up. We cannot stand this terrible news - people dying at sea. It's crazy. People should have the right to move, to ask for asylum - not to die just to escape from poverty," she said.
Stating that Cantana receives an average of over 300 migrants every week, Marco Jan Lio, deputy mayor of the city, said: "The migration problem tops all other European problems."
Emmanuel Agius, deputy mayor of Calais, the major ferry port in northern France, said: "There is no other problem like this. We need to take time to review the operation of the Schengen visa because it doesn't give a decent way for European countries to cope with the migrant problem."
On Thursday EU leaders agreed to triple funding of its naval search mission in the Mediterranean Sea back to the 2014 level of $130m.
The image of two black migrants looking dazed as a procession of unnamed coffins filed solemnly by at Mater Dei’s morgue last Thursday spoke louder than a thousand words. “See their silent faces, they scream so loud,” Sting had written in the song They Dance Alone for mothers of those who disappeared under the Pinochet regime in Chile. Would he have written anything different here? ... [Times of Malta - 26/4/15]
Car bombings kill at least 6 civilians in, around Baghdad [Daily Star – 26/4/15]
Syria warplanes strike northwest city seized by rebels [Daily Star – 26/4/15]
Three people were killed and 20 injured when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded Sunday in Pakistan's restive southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said. … [Naharnet – 26/4/15]
Israeli navy attacks Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza [Press TV – 26/4/15]
PNG Loop [25/4/15]:
There are plans for the development of a dairy by an Israeli company in partnership with the Central Provincial Government and the National Government.
The National Executive Council (NEC) has approved a joint venture partnership with an Israel group, Innovative Agro Industry of Israel, to develop the agro-industry.
Under the joint venture agreement the government and LR Group are to immediately develop a dairy farm and production project at the Ilimo Farm in the Central Province and an agro-industry project in the Morobe Province. ...
Jake Lynch cleared of anti-semitism over role in Colonel Richard Kemp protest [New Matilda - 20/4/15]
... When you consider that Colonel Kemp has distinguished himself in his defence of Israeli massacres, this becomes deeply enlightening. If anyone was aggressive in this story, it is those who used violence – the security guards, who used it as a first resort, and the woman who assaulted Lynch, and perhaps his wife too.
The real story here is yet another attempt to smear opponents of Israeli massacres as anti-Semites, and the ongoing campaign to destroy Jake Lynch’s career for his principled opposition to how Israel treats the Palestinians.
The facts are all there about what happened – you can watch the videos yourself.
Whether the factual records makes any difference, well, we will soon find out. [New Matilda - 18/3/15]
Afghanistan: Kabul Bank official shot dead in Uruzgan
A Uruzgann official of Kabul Bank was gunned down in Tireen Kot, provincial capital of southern Uruzgan province this morning.
The name of the official is reported to be Abdul Jabar who was the Administrative Manager at Kabul Bank’s Uruzgan branch.
Abdul Jabar left home and was heading towards his office when unidentified gunmen fired at him in Tireen Kot.
Jabar received serious injuries in the attack and breathed last at the hospital.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The news comes just a night after the acting police chief of this province was killed in a similar attack.
General Gulab Khan went out of police headquarters to check on security check posts and when he was returning unidentified gunmen attacked him in Sarkhuram area between Dehrawoud District and Tireen Kot.
Gulab Khan and a civilian died in the attack and the attackers fled from the area after carrying out the attack at around 11:00 PM last night.
Anti-Taliban cleric killed in Kundoz explosion [Khaama – 26/4/15]
28 militants have been killed in fresh security operations in different parts of the country.
A statement issued Sunday morning by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) states that the operations were carried out in Kandahar, Maidan Wardak, Zabul, Faryab, Jowzjan, Ghazni, Badakhshan, Herat, Paktiya, Helmand and Logar provinces in past 24 hours. ... [Khaama - 26/4/15]
At least five [US backed Saudi] air strikes hit military sites and an area near the presidential palace compound in the Yemeni capital Sanaa at dawn on April 26 while warships pounded an area near the port of the southern city of Aden, residents said. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 26/4/15]
Mr Key [New Zealand's Prime Minister] is leading an 18-member business delegation to press for progress on a free-trade deal.
He is visiting the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from today until the end of the week. ... [RNZI - 26/4/15]
Clashes erupt as Burundi police fire tear gas at protesters [France 24 - 26/4/15]
Libya shuts down El Feel oilfield: field engineer [Al Arabiya – 26/4/15]
Italy on Saturday celebrated the 70th anniversary of a partisan uprising against the Nazis and their Fascist allies at the end of World War II.
President Sergio Mattarella marked Liberation Day by laying a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Rome.
The anniversary marks the day in 1945 when the Italian resistance movement proclaimed an insurgency as the Allies were pushing German forces out of the peninsula. ... [Daily Star - 25/4/15]
Washington started all modern military conflicts - Russia’s General Staff [RT – 24/4/15]
Days before the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Gallipoli Campaign, Ankara has discovered a military graveyard for Ottoman soldiers on a Greek island where Turkish and Egyptian soldiers were buried by British forces.
Britain, the leader of the multinational invasion attempt on the Ottoman peninsula of Gallipoli in 1915, had chosen the nearby Aegean island of Lemnos as a military logistics base. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 24/4/15]
He's not funny. And he's not wearing any clothes. [Obama pokes fun at political friends and foes at White House dinner - Reuters - 26/4/15]:
... On a serious note, Obama noted there were journalists around the world who were unjustly imprisoned, and cited the case of Jason Rezaian of the Washington Post, an American-Iranian who is in prison in Iran.
"For nine months, Jason has been imprisoned in Tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and the fears of the Iranian people," Obama said, adding that he had told Rezaian's brother Ali that he would not rest "until we bring him home to his family safe and sound." ...
With the Gallipoli centenary approaching, the nation should remember the words of our last Anzac Alec Campbell, who pleaded on his death bed: ''For god's sake, don't glorify Gallipoli - it was a terrible fiasco, a total failure and best forgotten''. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 20/4/13]
Shipwreck - Marine Stadium, Gold Coast Spit [26/4/15]
Boa Constrictor, Gold Coast Spit [26/4/15]
Charlie Hebdo And The War For Civilisation [Media Lens - 15/1/15]:
… In The Times, the perennially apocalyptic David Aaronovitch wrote:
'Yesterday in Paris we in the west crossed a boundary that cannot be recrossed. For the first time since the defeat of fascism a group of citizens were massacred because of what they had drawn, said and published.'
The Guardian took a similar view:
'Wednesday's atrocity was the... bloodiest single assault on western journalism in living memory.'
But, in fact, the bloodiest attack on journalism in living memory, at least in Europe, happened on April 23, 1999 when NATO bombed the headquarters of Serbian state radio and television, killing 16 people. The dead included an editor, a programme director, a cameraman, a make-up artist, three security guards and other media support staff. Additional radio and electrical installations throughout the country were also attacked. The New York Times witnessed the carnage:
'The Spanish-style entrance was ripped away by the blasts, which seemed to hit the roof just under the large girder tower that holds numerous satellite dishes. Although the tower and blackened dishes remained, the control rooms and studios underneath had simply disappeared.' (Steven Erlanger, 'Survivors of NATO Attack On Serb TV Headquarters: Luck, Pluck and Resolve,' The New York Times, April 24, 1999)
Vile and offensive: Australia's Communication Minister - and his government - continue deporting, incarcerating, torturing and sexually abusing refugees.
SBS presenter Scott McIntyre sacked over thought crime [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/4/15]
@History_Qld [25/4/15]: Camp of 3rd Light Horse Brigade at Belah, Palestine (@slqld collection) #Anzac100 #WW1
@History_Qld [25/4/15]: Invalid soldiers return to Brisbane during the First World War, 1916 #Anzac100 (@slqld pic)
Meanwhile, the Australian media continues its blackout of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war.
The murderous assault on Charlie Hebdo is an attack on every free society, every journalist. [Malcolm Turnbull - 8/1/15]:
A century ago, Australians and Frenchmen were in the trenches of the Western Front fighting and dying to defend France and uphold the freedoms cherished by us both. And our servicemen and women are together in freedom's fight today.
We are heartbroken by the news from Paris and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the people of France whose liberty and security has been so grievously attacked in the terrorists' massacre of the staff of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris yesterday.
This attack was a murderous assault on civilisation and in particular on one of its key foundations - a free and independent press. It was an attack on every free society and on every journalist, every cartoonist, every newspaper, every broadcaster.
Thousands of Parisians have filled the Place de la Republique to show their solidarity, their compassion, their love of liberty and their determination not to be intimidated by terrorists and their cult of hate and death.
"Je suis Charlie" their signs read.
From Australia, and around the world, we can all say today "Nous sommes aussi Charlie."
The ANZACs did not make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
They were massacred.
And they were lied to, just like the Australian political and media establishment are doing 100 years on.
A thoughtcrime is an occurrence or instance of controversial or socially unacceptable thoughts. The term is also used to describe some theological concepts such as disbelief or idolatry, or a rejection of strong social or philosophical principles.
The term was popularized in the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, wherein thoughtcrime is the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question the ruling party. In the book, the government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects. To entertain unacceptable thoughts is known as crimethink in Newspeak, the ideologically purified dialect of the party. ...
Doctor travels to Raqqa to administer health care.
Australian political and media establishment again display their ignorance and bigotry.
No surprise they are unfamiliar with concepts such as the Hippocratic Oath, universal health care and "Jihad" as personal quest.
Competing propaganda about propaganda is not journalism. Civilians are being bombed and murdered. They need help - and we need truth.
Canberra Times [26/4/15]:
An Australian doctor has appeared in a propaganda video for Islamic State, spruiking its health services and urging other Muslim health professionals to join him.
The video, published on Friday and circulated by IS-linked social media accounts, shows a man calling himself Abu Yusuf explain that he travelled from Australia to the IS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, to use his medical skills to help others.
Fairfax Media has confirmed the man is Tareq Kamleh, a registered doctor who is believed to have worked up until recently in the health system in Perth. ...
Universal health care
An ex-Murdoch propagandist advising the Greens these days?
Jihadist doctor and terror: saying "just don't do it" won't do it – Milne [Greens Media Release - 26/4/15]
Just don’t do it: ISIS bans Nike sports brand [Al Arabiya - 25/4/15]
US Justice Department initative looks very much like the Australian Greens "Centre for Social Cohesion" (except it appears to target ALL extremism). [Boston Globe - 4/10/14]:
A new Justice Department initiative in Boston aimed at preventing people from joining extremist groups will focus not just on radicalized Muslims but on all forms of militants, including white supremacists, religious hate groups, and school shooters, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said.
In an interview, Ortiz said the program is unprecedented in its scope, enlisting a broad spectrum of religious leaders, community leaders, and experts in health and education to identify people susceptible to radical ideology and intervene before they become a threat. It also draws on counterterrorism specialists, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement, to assess risks and threats.
Middle East Eye [12/1/15]:
... "The situation is unbearable, catastrophic and many in Syria no longer have access to medical care," said Oubaida Al Moufti, a French-Syrian doctor and member of the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations (UOSSM), at a press conference in Paris last week.
Another UOSSM member warned that in Raqqa there were "no obstetrics, gynaecological or paediatric services". ...
... Asked whether Israel does, in fact, hospitalize members of al-Nusra and Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State organization), the military spokesman's office said: "In the past two years the Israel Defense Forces have been engaged in humanitarian, life-saving aid to wounded Syrians, irrespective of their identity."
According to Israel's health ministry, so far some 1,000 Syrians have been treated in four Israeli hospitals. Many of the wounded are civilians, and some are members of the secular Free Syrian Army rebel group. Doctors say most arrive in serious condition, some even unconscious, dehydrated and with infected wounds. Some lose a lot of blood before reaching medical care in Israel. ... [i24 - 10/11/14]
I came to Australia in 1979 as a refugee from Vietnam. I came with my family — my mum, two sisters and a brother.
Four years after the war ended in 1975, life was very hard for many families. My father was a soldier with the South Vietnamese army and he was placed in gaol for 13 years. My mother had to work very hard to support us. Together with thousands of other families, we were forced into the countryside where we were given shovels and axes to fend for ourselves. There was no running water and we had to build huts. Also, my sister was kicked out of university. Four times my mother tried to escape from Vietnam.
Eventually, we got out by wooden boat with about 1,100 people. It was very crowded and it looked like sinking. Somehow we survived on the ocean for 10 days before reaching a little town in Indonesia. Two people on board died and one lady gave birth to twins while we were at sea.
We then spent seven months in a refugee camp in Indonesia before coming to Australia. I couldn’t understand a word of English (Phong could speak French, Vietnamese and Chinese) but I knew it would be very important to learn.
Today, one thing I love is the beaches in Australia. I love the sea but I still feel uncomfortable to get into the water. I take my kids to the water, but each time they get into the water I cringe. Somehow I have not got over the terrible memories of being in the sea on that boat. Even on big Australian ferries I still feel uncomfortable.
We consider that we are the very lucky few because many Vietnamese families perished and never made it to Australia.
Source: World Vision (2010) Get Connected – Issue 8: People on the move, page 13
40 years on, Vietnamese refugees are still coming [ABC - 23/4/15]:
... What caused the 46 people just turned back to Vietnam by the Australian Navy to get on a boat and flee Vietnam in the first place?
No doubt Vietnamese authorities are interrogating them now to find out the answer to this question. ...
Canada: Minister Kenney issues statement on the passage of the Journey to Freedom Day Act [Canada News Centre - 23/4/15]:
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on the passage of Bill S-219 the Journey to Freedom Day Act:
“This year Canadians will mark the first annual Journey to Freedom Day, thanks to a Senate bill which received Royal Assent today.
“The Journey to Freedom Day Act, which was introduced in the Senate in April 2014 by the Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, designates April 30 as a day to commemorate the thousands of Vietnamese ‘boat people’ Canada has welcomed since the end of the Vietnam War.
“Designating April 30 as an annual day of commemoration will give Canadians the opportunity to reflect on the journey of more than 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to Canada, to recognize the remarkable role Canadians played in helping them settle in their new home through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program, and to celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Vietnamese origin to our country.
“I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the heartbreaking and inspiring voyage of the Vietnamese boat people, which is an important part of our country’s history.”
Vietnam rebukes Canadian ambassador over commemoration of fall of Saigon [The Globe and Mail - 24/4/15]
... As I drive through the city, I see crowds gathering at intersections and arguing. Several million people are now estimated to be living in Saigon, many of them recent refugees from the countryside. Not everyone wants to leave, but several hundred thousand believe their lives have been compromised in the eyes of the communists by their association with America and its policies, and are desperate to get out. I drive by Saigon's port and see small ships crowded with people setting off down the river. ... ['Saigon has fallen' - 40 years on, correspondent Peter Arnett traces Vietnam War's chaotic end - Star Tribune - 25/4/15]
... [Neil] Davis was even permitted to cross enemy lines and film the other side of war, going with the Viet Cong. And he was the only Western journalist to film the fall of Saigon. It was Neil's historic footage of the first North Vietnamese communist tank crashing through the Presidential palace in Saigon that told the world the war was finally over. The film points up the myriad ironies of the war: President Nixon announcing the war is finished, while Davis is being bombarded in a rice paddy; young American soldiers revealing their confusion when asked why they are fighting in Asia; Cambodian boy-soldiers going fishing whenever there is a lull in the deadly fighting. ...
'Operation Babylift' kids, soldiers reunite 40 years later [Stars and Stripes - 25/4/15]
The ALP isn't listening to dissenters - they are using them.
A neutral refugee advocate would acknowledge that the ALP and LNP are beyond reform.
At least be honest about your support/membership of the ALP, and what your intentions and priorities are as a "refugee advocate" (ie. re-election of the party first and foremost?).
People can then judge for themselves if you are fair dinkum about wanting to liberate refugees.
Shit is dire.
Resistance, divestment, boycotts, civil disobedience and non-co-operation are the only logical response to bipartisan fascism.
Lobbying Senator Lines is a waste of energy ----> Tormenting and humiliating families..and removing babies from their Mothers. The stress of these forced removals and the violence inflicted on these families is a blight on our nation. We urge our supporters to begin to lobby Labor in the lead up to their conference regarding the manner with which asylum seekers are being treated. Please start with Senator Sue lines who sits on a number of committees examining changes to the Migration Act. [Refugee Rights Action Network WA - 25/4/15]:
Maryland Governor sends troopers as protests mount over police murder of Freddie Gray [ICH/WSWS - 25/4/15]:
... The response of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat and African American, has been to feign sympathy for the devastated family of the victim, promise a quick and thorough investigation, and urge demonstrators to remain peaceful. At the same time, repression against demonstrators has increased, with two people taken into custody on Thursday.
Now the governor, a Republican, is sending state troopers to Baltimore in what could be the first step in a larger mobilization of state forces.
With the protests growing in size and moving from the local police precinct to City Hall and the US Courthouse in downtown Baltimore, Democratic officials are beginning to raise the red herring of “outside agitators” to divert attention from the murderous actions of the police and the longstanding cover-up by local and state politicians.
Bernard Young, Baltimore City Council president, said on Thursday that he hoped residents would not let “outside forces come in here and dictate how we act by destroying our infrastructure.” Young speaks for the largely African American Democratic Party establishment in Baltimore that has for many years presided over the deindustrialization of the city and impoverishment of its working class inhabitants, black as well as white, and enrichment of a narrow African American elite. ...
Pledging to shut down the city, thousands of demonstrators jammed the streets of Baltimore on Saturday to protest the death of a black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.
Daily demonstrations have swept across the city since the man, Freddie Gray, died last Sunday, but Saturday’s turnout was among the largest. The march began at the housing project in West Baltimore where Mr. Gray was arrested, the Gilmor Homes, and proceeded downtown to City Hall, where organizers addressed the crowd. ... [New York Times - 25/4/15]
Noam Chomsky: Media, NATO, ISIS, Free Trade Agreements and Humanity [VIDEO - ICH - 19/4/15]:
"There is always some invented enemy, which is about to destroy us, which we have to defend ourselves against"
An informational event was hosted by acTVism Munich at the Muffatwerk in Munich in which the significance and role of whistleblowers, the alternative media, activism and a host of other related issues were discussed.
26 April 2015