@lauralzola [26/5/16]: Hay gente que lleva 3 meses aquí pero las tiendas nuevas de ACNUR llegaron hace una semana.
Up to 30 people are feared dead after a shipwreck off Libya, while some 50 migrants have been rescued from the waves, the EU's naval force said on Thursday. ... [The Local - 26/5/16]
They sleep like babies ----> Takes 5 authors to dissemble a genocide, and the Bali Process/UNHCR's "durable solutions" of detention, deportation and death in South East Asia [Conversation - 26/5/16]
Two more Rohingya refugees recaptured after escaping detention in Thailand [Bangkok Post - 26/5/16]
Time is running out for Rohingya, Letter to the Editor [Guardian - 26/5/16]
As Bali Process condemns 1,000s of refugees in South East Asia to indefinite detention, refoulement and genocide ---> UNHCR leadership "pins hopes" on democracy in Myanmar and "repatriation" - calls on Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to sign the refugee convention, while ignoring the role of Australia's exclusionary policies in creating the bottleneck [23/3/16]
... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.
You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.
And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.
But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country. So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...
... Anne Richard, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for population, migration and refugees, said resettling all Rohingya refugees in the United States would entice others to leave their homeland.
"The answer to the issue is peace and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, and that is the solution," she said at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia. ...
... Goledzinowski [Australia’s ambassador for people smuggling issues, Andrew Goledzinowski] said resettlement was raised during the Bangkok meeting on 29 May.
“All who spoke on resettlement said that this was not a durable solution for the Rohingya problem and that it would constitute a pull factor,” he told a Senate estimates committee on Wednesday.
“The UNHCR was the most articulate on this point.”
He engaged in bilateral meetings with representatives from some of the other 16 countries in attendance, and is adamant that at least one will seek further briefings on adopting Australia’s key asylum seeker measures.
“We also were able to talk a little bit about our own experiences during operation sovereign borders where we’ve been very successful in disrupting people trafficking and smuggling networks,” Goledzinowski said.
... We also told the Australian delegation that since the conference did not formally discuss the Rohingyas - originally slated to be the key point of the conference - that the AHG [Ad Hoc Group] mechanism should be pursued quickly to address this pressing issue.
Bringing Burma to the table was a major accomplishment, we acknowledged; however, we cannot wait for Burma to change its policy before discussing the Rohingya crisis. This can be discussed without Burma.
Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas."
Australia announced at the conference its contribution of AD300,000 to care for the Rohingyas in Aceh. IOM said the Dutch are promising a similar donation, perhaps conditional upon a U.S. donation. ...
Eighteen months after they fled to the forests of Ratanakkiri province seeking refuge from repression in Vietnam, 13 Montagnards are set to be flown to the Philippines on Friday, the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday.
However, the U.N. would not say whether the group of recognized refugees, which the government said in January would be transferred to the Philippines while seeking asylum in a third country, had found a permanent home.
The asylum seekers—who set off a new wave of Montagnards fleeing into Cambodia when they crossed the border in November 2014—are the only ones to have been granted refugee status of the more than 200 who entered the country since.
Vivian Tan, regional press officer for UNHCR, confirmed in an email that the group would leave Cambodia on Friday but could not say whether a third country had been secured for them. ... [Cambodia Daily - 26/5/16]
The Chief of Staff on a hi-profile panel of experts report, Lena Sinha, investigating Sri Lanka’s mass atrocities was forced out of her job at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for criticising the UN learns Foreign Policy. ... [Tamil Guardian - 25/5/16]
Day 68 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @InsurrectNews [26/5/16]
"I'm Iraqi guy. I won't stay in exile much longer and my family under fire. 4 years. Enough. Please." "Freedom is our right." "Where is the justice? We are not illegal. Detention is illegal." @racvictoria [25/5/16]: #Manus still protesting. ...
... I should mention that all journalists, human rights defenders and politicians against offshore detention have unintentionally been in line with this policy and the government’s purposes as they are playing a critical role in advertising the violence and exporting it to the globe. ...
Australia, exceptional in its brutality, Behrouz Boochani [Overland - 25/4/16]:
... The law of 19 July 2013 relies on such violence and is executed every day, despite the fact that it is contrary to the democratic and liberal concepts and principles Australia professes.
It is against all of the principles and standards of human rights and human achievements in the course of history and its violent domination is growing day by day.
The nature and essence of this violence in the system is displayed prominently and obviously in front of the Australian political stage.
To clarify, the immigration minister occasionally appears as a political figure with the gesture of a dictator, or as a populist representation in the form of a demon, and afterward, he disappears. ...
Eva Orner wants you to give up. DON'T. ... When asked about her views on this new development, Orner was emphatic: “I’m deeply cynical about it, and I hate to say it, but I don’t think it will make any difference in the scheme of things.
“I hope I am wrong. I hope I am surprised. While we were editing the film there was a High Court challenge in Australia about the legality of Nauru, so the government quickly made the Nauru detention centre an open centre, which meant that people weren’t actually detained there.
“I’m surprised that of all the governments, Papua New Guinea is the one that has stood up and said detention is illegal. The Australian government’s response is that nothing will change. They are saying adamantly that no-one will enter Australia, whether they’re genuine refugees or not. So I don’t anticipate that anything will change.” ... [Australian Jewish News - 26/5/16]
... Orner is understandably more cagey about the incredible footage filmed inside the detention centres.
It was filmed secretly and captures something that the tens of thousands of words written about asylum seeker policies can’t: that Australia’s detention centres are hell on earth.
The tents are mouldy, the fences are high, there is no privacy, the bathrooms are filthy and some of the men are housed in a tin second world war shed – in the tropics.
Graffiti on the tents reads, “Kill us.”
Whether she got footage from multiple sources or had one major source at each camp, she won’t say.
So distressing is the film that there is an argument to be made that it feeds into the government’s strategy of deterrence.
After seeing the footage of Nauru and Manus, it’s difficult to imagine any place that’s worse, or that is home to more suffering.
“There is no point in trying to come to Australia now by boat,” says Orner, in an odd echo of the government’s line.
“I don’t think the film can do any damage [to people seeking asylum]. It’s important to expose what’s going on.”
Orner says that part of the shame inherent in the film lies with the Australian people (“people are scared, frightened, xenophobic and racist, and the government uses that to their advantage”), but most of it with the country’s politicians.
“How can you have policy change when the two major parties compete to see who can be the toughest on asylum seekers?” asks Orner.
“The fact that the Labor party supports off-shore detention is a real crisis point for Australian politics.” ...
PLEASE STOP EXPLOITING REFUGEE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN TO IMPLIEDLY ENDORSE SHORTEN, MARLES, BOWEN AND BURKE.
PROTEST THEM ALL!
@shanebazzi [26/5/16]: @TurnbullMalcolm and @PeterDutton_MP still have no exit plan for #Manus. This is appalling. #CloseTheCamps #BringThemHere <-- Neither do Shorten and Marles.
@rranwa via @lucyham [26/5/16]: @TurnbullMalcolm This was written by a child you sent to #Nauru Shame on you. ... <---- Why do you want people to vote for the ALP?
The ALP's red,
The LNP's blue.
Let's not forget,
Fundraising Dinner 6.30PM TUESDAY 31 MAY 2016 THAI POTHONG NEWTOWN
SPECIAL GUEST: CHARLES FIRTH ...
Anyone who is serious about refugee rights cannot be associated in any way whatsoever with the ALP - or any of its subgroupings - such as the oxymoronically named "Labor 4 Refugees" --> Labor IS NOT - and never will be - 4 Refugees [Safecom.org]
Okinawa calls for US Marines' withdrawal after arrest of base worker [Japan Today - 26/5/16]
... On Wednesday, over 4,000 Japanese rallied around the U.S Kaneda airbase in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa against the murder of a local woman by an ex-U.S. Marine Corps.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Japan for the G7 leaders' summit late Wednesday. ... [Xinhua - 26/5/16]
@Polly_evro [25/5/16]: Full scale tent camp outside #McDonalds HQ outside Chicago
"I WORK FOR MCDONALDS. WHY AM I HOMELESS?" @aaroncynic [25/5/16]: At the #FightFor15 encampment in front of McDonalds HQ in Oakbrook, folks writing messages for shareholders on tents
Burger giant McDonald's is underpaying its Australian workers tens of millions of dollars a year under a cosy deal struck with Labor's largest union affiliate that excludes weekend penalty rates.
McDonald's employees are being underpaid tens of millions of dollars per year thanks to an agreement struck between the fast food giant and the food workers' union.
A Fairfax Media investigation has found the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) negotiated a 2013 agreement under which some McDonald's employees are paid nearly one-third less than the award – the minimum pay and conditions safety net. ... [Canberra Times - 19/5/16]
Glebe residents protest as McDonald's cafe moves in [Sydney Morning Herald - 25/5/16]
... The Government of Indonesia claim that West Papua is now an open zone for foreign media.
However, as recently as 8th January 2016, France 24 TV correspondent Cyril Payen was refused access to the region as it was claimed his previous reporting focused on pro-independence sentiment in the region and was "biased and unbalanced'.
If a free media is a central element of a democracy then Indonesia clearly has a great deal to learn. In a separate incident in August 2014, two French journalists were imprisoned for reporting in West Papua without relevant permits.
Martinus Yohame, an independence activist who met the journalists during their visit was found dead a week later, having been kidnapped, tortured and then dumped in the sea in a sack, with his hands and feet tied. ... [Huffington Post - 20/5/16]
Papua: Pricking our national conscience [Jakarta Post - 18/5/16]
A temporary stay against the eviction of UPNG students from both the Waigani and Taurama campus has been issued by the National Court.
Justice Collin Makail granted the order at 3:45pm today.
This temporary stay will be in place until next week Wednesday (June 1) where parties will return to court.
The students moved the urgent application filed this morning seeking to stay the decision of the University counsel dated May 24 when it suspended Semester One and ordered students to vacate campus within 48 hours.
This 48 hour ultimatum ended at 3pm today.
They also asked the court to stay the University council’s decision of May 14 inviting Police officers on campus. This order sought by the students was refused by the court. ... [PNG Loop - 26/5/16]
Chinese overstayers deported [The National - 26/5/16]
Shire of Carnarvon refuses to fly Aboriginal flag during NAIDOC week [WA Today - 26/5/16]
Aurukun, Economic Development [Queensland Parliament Hansard - 25/5/16]:
Mr GORDON: My question is to the Premier. Premier, ahead of your visit to the remote Aboriginal community of Aurukun, could you outline to the House what economic development opportunities and job opportunities your government has for the community of Aurukun?
Ms PALASZCZUK: *** BLURT WHITE MAN'S BURDEN BLURT STEAL YOUR RESOURCES BLURT. WE'LL BE BLOWING IN WITH A CONTINGENT OF RACIST MEDIA AND DO GOODERS TO SPLAIN IT ALL ON FRIDAY ***
Mr SPEAKER: Before I call the member for Townsville, member for Cook, that was a serious and important question but can I remind you that in asking a question you need to phrase it in the context of ‘will the Premier advise’ or ‘will the minister advise’, not ‘will you advise’.
North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Other Acts Amendment Bill; North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability (Renewal of Mining Leases) Amendment Bill passed Queensland Parliament, 25 May 2016.
Air Tahiti strike spreads, negotiations fail [RNZI - 26/5/16]
An Auckland marae which has opened its doors for those in need is calling on others to do the same.
Last week, Te Puea Marae offered shelter to the homeless and today they launched a support programme for those looking for help called Manaaki Tangata.
Four families have already come to the marae asking for help. ... [RNZI - 25/5/16]
Why is Julian Burnside QC the only member of the Australian human rights establishment to acknowledge the recent letter from Manus refugees?
Letter from men illegally incarcerated by the LNP and ALP on Manus Island to PNG's Chief Justice (and cc'd to human rights organisations and Australian politicians), requests freedom, justice and GENUINE resettlement [via Lynne Murphy - 18/5/16]
... They tried to encourage refugees to utilise the one and only option (Cambodia) to go and live there but on the other side, refugees did not want to be misused again as laboratory rats ...
Cambodia's offer from Australian immigration to Nauru refugees have proved that Nauru does no have abilities for local integration.
The purpose of NO ADVANTAGE and PACIFIC SOLUTION policies for refugees [who are] described as queue jumpers to be punished in underdeveloped countries and be processed as long as it will take for refugees who applied for UNHCR resettlement process from Indonesia that attest take 3 to 4 years to get an answer.
The difference between us and refugees who are in Indonesia is that we have been processed in DETENTION CENTRE under mouldy tents. ...
We can witness a processing case from a refugee that applied UNHCR in July 2013 in Indonesia who has been accepted and will be resettled in Australia next week, but Nauru refugees still located in Nauru and they are just eligible enough to tolerate the discrimination from UNHCR processing system.
This strategy has proved to all Nauru refugee that the time of the torture is over and all refugees deserve to be transferred as soon as possible to the 28 UNHCR countries so they can start their new life if they are still mentally and physically healthy.
In conclusion, we are asking from UNHCR to arrange a resettlement in the 27 UNHCR countries except Australia.
But it is obvious that regarding to UNHCR, absence of visiting Guantanamo, government of Australia have used the opportunity to cover some of the problems and disasters therefore it is fair for us to doubt on your visitation of Nauru after all these years for another political games.
We are going to publish this news so at least you can answer media and reporters' questions. ...
One month since the PNG Supreme Court decision, and still the Financial Times and New York Times are the only establishment voices calling on Australia to close its illegal camps and respect the UN Refugee Convention
What I can do with your sorry!!! After lock me up 3 years #Manus island ...
Image: @manusFad22 [26/5/16]
... Amassoma has been and remains the exile island-
island where suspects of fabricated crimes had been
transported to rot but flourished beyond the pale of justice.
They came not in named boats, heralded by darkness
or stars and moon that witnessed the perjury of power;
they came as stolen cargoes to a preordained fate. ...
'Exile Island' by Tanure Ojaide
Cue Richard Marles and Tony Burke leaping to Barnaby Joyce's defence [Jakarta Globe - 25/5/16]:
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has pushed Indonesia-Australia relations onto the country’s election agenda after linking the ban of live exports to Indonesia and an increase in asylum seekers entering Australia by boat from the archipelago.
Speaking in a pre-election Regional Leaders Debate hosted by Australia’s state-owned broadcaster ABC on Wednesday night, the leader of governing Coalition minnow Nationals Party suggested the suspension of exporting live beef to Indonesia prompted retaliation via the increase of boat arrivals.
“When we closed down the live animal export industry, it was around about the same time that we started seeing a lot of people arriving in boats in Australia,” he said. ...
... On 20 February, seven brave church leaders entered the office of Michael Keenan MP to ask him to allow 267 people seeking asylum to stay in Australia instead of being sent to Nauru.
So LMAW [Love Makes A Way] supporters, we need your help.
Can you donate to help the WA church leaders pay the legal and court costs associated with their case?
We are hoping to raise a total of $3723.
Anything raised above that amount will fund the ongoing campaigns and and training work of Love Makes A Way. ...
"I cannot see the options, just the sky and water"
Kenya says it plans to expel hundreds of thousands of refugees within six months, and argues the international community is partly to blame for leaving it to deal with so many refugees for so long.
The deputy president, William Ruto, said it is now up to the developed world to mitigate the fallout, suggesting that other countries including the UK should resettle the refugees who could soon be kicked out of Kenya.
Ruto’s comments follow Kenya’s announcement that it intends to close its refugee camps and shut down its refugee ministry, putting the future of 600,000 mainly Somali and South Sudanese people in doubt. ...
That the UNHCR are only calling for the "immediate movement" of refugees (not genuine resettlement), and rather than urging Australia to immediately close its illegal, offshore concentration camps, and resume meeting its international obligations under the refugee convention, is telling.
... The refugees will be repatriated to their countries of origin or to third party countries for resettlement.
The decision was arrived at in November 2013, when Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR signed a Tripartite Agreement setting grounds for repatriation of Somali refugees.
There has been very slow progress on the implementation of the agreement.
As part of concluding this arrangement, Kenya is committed to close Dadaab refugee complex.
This decision has been made by Government reflecting the fact the camps have become hosting grounds for Al Shabaab as well as centres for smuggling and contraband trade besides being enablers of illicit weapons proliferation.
We are seeking to anchor our humanitarian character, which is recognised all over the world, in considerations that put the security of our country first.
We will not be the first to do so; this is the standard practice worldwide.
For example in Europe, rich prosperous and democratic countries are turning away refugees from Syria, one of the worst war zones since World War Two. ...
... Prior to taking up this assignment in early 2014, Mr. Albrecht served as Head of the UNHCR Regional Support Hub in Nairobi, which, in close collaboration with the Organization’s Headquarters, works with offices in the East and Horn of Africa as well as the Great Lakes Region to ensure strategic coherence, programme quality and results, management effectiveness and financial due diligence and accountability for UNHCR's operations.
From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Albrecht served as Deputy Regional Representative at the UNHCR Regional Representation for the United States of America and the Caribbean, located in Washington ... Thomas Albrecht UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Refugees for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific [Kaldor Centre - UNSW]
UNHCR exhibition provides insight into refugee camps around the world by Genevieve Jacobs [ABC - 18/6/14]:
Twenty years ago, Thomas Albrecht was in East Africa dealing with the crisis in Somalia for UNHCR.
Deployed to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, he saw the tide of human misery that washes up when a country falls into violent chaos.
Two decades later, he was back at Dadaab where the children he’d seen were still in camp and had become parents themselves. ...
Perhaps Genevieve Jacobs could interview Mr Albrecht again, and - among other things - ask him how many of the refugees he repatriated from Ghana he thinks are still alive? [UNHCR starts repatriation to Liberia; first refugees arrive on convoy, airlift - 1/10/04]:
... "On this occasion, we want to yet again express our sincere gratitude to the country and the people of Ghana, who in such an exemplary way have given refugees the protection, safety and respect they deserve – and who continue to do so. This hospitality will remain in the memory of every Liberian," said UNHCR's Representative in Ghana, Thomas Albrecht, bidding farewell to the refugees at Accra's Kotoka International Airport.
"The refugees leaving on this first voluntary repatriation flight are all too aware of the many difficulties and challenges they will face while trying to rebuild their lives in their home country," added Albrecht.
"More progress is still needed in Liberia to make it possible for all traumatised refugees to return in safety and dignity to their homes in all the different parts of the country. But as we witness today the departure of the first refugees on their journey to Liberia, which they so dearly missed, we wish them all the very, very best." ...
Not calling for the immediate release of illegally imprisoned refugees on Manus and Nauru - and their GENUINE resettlement - is prolonging torture.
... Due to unexpected circumstances, Maina Kiai has had to cancel his trip to Australia and will no longer be the keynote speaker at the dinners. We are very excited to announce that Peter Greste will deliver the keynote speech at the Sydney Dinner and Stan Grant will deliver the keynote speech at the Melbourne Dinner. ...
Peter Greste says Julie Bishop’s death stare helped get him out of prison [Buzzfeed - 26/3/15]
How the asylum and immigration court backlogs reached an all-time high [American Immigration Council - 25/5/16]
Clinton ignored multiple warnings on email vulnerability [TIME - 25/5/16]
Today, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 11:30am CEST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP.
This release includes a previously unknown annex to the TiSA core chapter on "State Owned Enterprises" (SOEs), which imposes unprecedented restrictions on SOEs and will force majority owned SOEs to operate like private sector businesses.
This corporatisation of public services - to nearly the same extent as demanded by the recently signed TPP - is a next step to privatisation of SOEs on the neoliberal agenda behind the "Big Three" (TTIP,TiSA,TPP). ... [WikiLeaks - 25/5/16]
Telstra is tipped to be the record keeper of all Australian cancer screening information.
A Department of Health contract for a national register of cancer screening is set to be announced on Thursday, with the telecommunication giant likely to net the $180 million deal, Fairfax Media reports.
The contract, which has raised concerns about corporate involvement in private records, will create a single database for positive results from cervical and bowel cancer tests and will send check-up reminders to patients. [Yahoo - 26/5/16]
Workers at France's 19 nuclear plants have voted to strike on Thursday as part of protests over labour reforms, a union official said Wednesday, as a standoff between the government and unions escalated.
Police used water cannons in the early hours of Wednesday to dislodge some 80 unionists who were blocking a fuel depot at Douchy-les-Mines, in northern France, union and police officials said. Other depots were unblocked by police on Tuesday.
Undeterred, CGT chief Philippe Martinez told France Inter: “We will carry on.” ... [France 24 - 25/5/16]
France forced to use oil reserves amid sweeping labor protests [Democracy Now - 25/5/16]:
In France, gas stations have reported fuel shortages as protesters blockade oil depots amid sweeping protests against labor reform.
All eight of the country’s oil refineries were reportedly out of commission Tuesday as workers went on strike.
France has been forced to dip into its strategic oil reserves for the first time since 2010. Unions are protesting reforms that would make it easier to fire workers, among other provisions.
Union official Franck Bobard spoke on Monday.
Franck Bobard: "We’re going to cause a fuel shortage. You know, in the media we hear that there won’t be a shortage before three weeks time. It’s been less than a week that we’ve mobilized all around France; there are already shortages everywhere. Let them try to find some lies that are a little more credible."
26 May 2016