Refugee boat intercepted by Australian navy, pushed into Indonesian waters.

 

What happens to the ones that aren't reported?

 

 

 

Yahoo [1/6/15]:

 

 

Scores of asylum-seekers have come ashore in eastern Indonesia after their boat was intercepted by the Australian navy and pushed into Indonesian waters as they headed for New Zealand, police said Monday.

The 65 migrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were spotted by the Australians, said Hidayat, an Indonesian police official on Rote Island in the east of the archipelago.

"According to their testimony, they were pushed back by the Australian navy and immigration after they were interrogated," said the official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"They said they were on their way to New Zealand."

He said they were spotted by local residents Sunday near a beach after their boat sank.

...

… Hidayat did not say where the latest group, which included women and children, had started their journey, although asylum-seekers have in the past set off from Indonesia en route to Australia.

The would-be refugees were being held at a police station and would be processed by immigration officials on Tuesday, the official said.

...

 

 

 

 

Rote Ndao Police in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) rescued on Sunday night 65 asylum seekers stranded on waters around Landu Ti Island.  ... [Jakarta Post - 1/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The Batam Immigration Office in Riau Islands province is considering slapping criminal charges on two Britons for making a documentary about piracy on the Malacca Strait without proper documents.

The office earlier planned to deport the two, but it later received instructions to file the charges after news of the case reached high-ranking officials in Jakarta, according to the Batam Immigration Office supervision and enforcement head, Rafli. ... [Jakarta Post - 1/6/15]

 

 

 



Paying for sex becomes a crime in Northern Island as new law comes into effect

BBC [1/6/15]:

Legislation making it a crime to pay for sex has come into effect in Northern Ireland.

Last year, Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to pass legislation making the purchase of sexual services illegal.

Anyone caught breaking the new law could face up to a year in prison and a fine of £1,000.

Assembly members voted by 81 to 10 in favour of the measure, brought by the DUP peer LordMorrow.

Supporters said it tackled one of the main drivers behind human trafficking.

Opponents included Justice Minister David Ford who claimed it would be difficult to enforce.

 

 

 

 

 

de Todo [1/1/15]:

 


In recent years Sweden has dramatically reduced the number of women involved in the sex trade. In the capital Stockholm and other major cities, street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of male clients soliciting sex has gone down by 80%.

As a result, the trafficking of foreign women into Sweden for prostitution has almost completely stopped. Since the 1970’s Sweden had been renowned for its legal brothels and massage parlors, but that trade has also been greatly reduced. The reason for all of these drastic changes was a groundbreaking law that reversed the way prostitution was looked at.

Traditionally it has been the selling of sex by the prostitute which has been considered illegal. After years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation that simply turned that around by: 1) criminalizing the buying of sex, and 2) decriminalizing the selling of sex.

Another essential element of Sweden’s prostitution legislation provides for ample and comprehensive social services aimed at helping any prostitute who wants to get out, and additional funds to educate the public.

Sweden’s unique strategy is to treat prostitution as a form of violence against women in which the men who exploit by them are the ones who are breaking the law. Conversely, the mostly female prostitutes are treated as victims who need to be protected and helped. In addition, the public and the police must be educated in order to counteract the historical male bias on these matters. ...

 

 

 

 

 

MYGC [1/6/15]:

 

A man has spent the night in hospital after falling through a roof while trying to sneak in to a Broadbeach nightclub.

It’s understood the 19-year-old scaled the roof of the Niecon Plaza shopping centre and walked across a fragile perspex bridge in a desperate bid to enter The Envy Hotel around 2am.

He has then fallen through the structure, plunging 8 metres to the concrete floor below.

According to reports, he lay on the ground for several minutes but managed to run off when police officers approached him.

He was eventually tracked down in a nearby park and taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.

It’s not yet known if police have fined him or laid charges.

 

 

 


More charges over Broadbeach tapas bar table tipover incident downgraded, dismissed

 



Yahoo [1/6/15]:


More men charged over a public bikie brawl on the Gold Coast are expected to avoid prosecution as the case that sparked a statewide crackdown [the passing of draconian, anti rights legislation] draws to an end.

A mass sentencing for more than a dozen men who admitted to involvement in the September 2013 fracas at Broadbeach has been set down for next month.

Most have had their charges downgraded from riot to affray or public nuisance, while several more have walked away with their charges dismissed.

Among those likely to avoid prosecution will be former Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Zivko Stojakovic and alleged member Grigori Kossian, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Monday.

Prosecutor Jeff Hunter QC told the court that charges against the two would likely be discontinued.

He said three others, including former Brisbane Centro president George Bejat, would probably plead guilty to downgraded offences.

If so, they will follow Tevita Bula, who on Monday pleaded guilty to public nuisance after his riot charge was withdrawn.

The fight outside the Aura restaurant prompted the introduction of Queensland's controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws.

Mandated lengthy prison sentences and bans on motorcycle gang members gathering in public were among the tough measures introduced.

Police have been on the back foot since two mass trials unravelled last month and sole defendant Peter Mauric was found not guilty.

Commissioner Ian Stewart reportedly dismissed the court loss in a reassuring email to the state's officers.

But there could be more embarrassment to come as several of those charged are expected to apply to have their legal costs covered by the state.

On Monday, lawyers indicated six men could join Mauric in such an application.

Any ruling is expected to be made after the mass sentencing, which has been set down for July 22-24.

 

 



Fatal crash following police pursuit, Murwillumbah



Tweed Daily News [1/6/15]:

A critical incident investigation has been launched following a fatal car crash on Tumbulgum Road, Murwillumbah, around midnight.

Police were called to the area following reports of an intoxicated male, as when they arrived, a vehicle sped off from the scene and subsequently crashed into a pole a short distance up the road, police have said.

The man driving the car died at the scene; the other man travelling in the vehicle was not injured.

A critical incident team from Richmond Local Area Command, overseen by the Professional Standards Command, will now investigate all circumstances surrounding the incident.

All information will be provided to the Coroner.

No further details are available at this time; however, police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

...

 



Man, boys hospitalised following police pursuit crash, Geebung

QPS Media [1/6/15]:

 

Police have charged a boy and two others are assisting officers with their investigation following two alleged break and enters in the Pine Rivers area and a traffic crash at Geebung yesterday.

It will be alleged a car and mobile phone were stolen from two different addresses in Pine Rivers with the car later being sighted in Geebung.

Around 3.30pm a marked police vehicle was patrolling the area when the car allegedly crossed onto the incorrect side of the road and drove away at speed.

It then collided with a second vehicle on Robinson Road West at Geebung before crashing through the fence of a property.

Police attended the scene of the traffic crash and located two juveniles. A third juvenile allegedly ran from the scene but was located and arrested by police.

One of the youths who was a passenger in the vehicle was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital with a broken leg.

The other two youths were taken to Prince Charles Hospital as a precaution.

The 45-year-old male driver of the other vehicle was transported to the Prince Charles Hospital with minor injuries.

A juvenile, a passenger in the vehicle, was charged with one count each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and wilful damage. He will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

Investigations are continuing.

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




Mt Morgan driver wins appeal on police pursuit case [Brisbane Times - 1/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Cyclist killed after being hit by truck, Bundaberg


News Mail [1/6/15]:


A cyclist has died after being struck by a small truck in Avoca - the second cyclist to be killed on the region's roads in less than three months.

Emergency services were called to Johnson St outside Aldi just before 3pm on Monday.

The man aged in his 60s was pronounced dead at the scene despite efforts of paramedics.

Queensland Ambulance Service critical care flight paramedic Nigel Beyer said details of what happened were difficult to ascertain as police continued their investigations.

"It appears this gentleman is around about 68 years old, was riding a push bike and was hit by a small truck," he said. "

"The patient was in cardiac arrest on arrival of the first ambulance and remained in cardiac arrest suffering what appeared to be significant head and chest injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene despite aggressive efforts by paramedics."

The small truck was a Bundaberg Regional Council vehicle and Mayor Mal Forman confirmed the matter was in the hands of police.

"This incident comes as a terrible shock to everyone at council and our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the cyclist," he said.

On March 19 a 77-year-old cyclist was killed outside Sandhills Sports Club, Bargara after being hit by a car.

...



 

Collision between two trucks on Hume Highway at Sutton Forest traps and injures driver [Canberra Times – 1/6/15]

 

 



Elderly woman hospitalised after being hit by car, Warwick



Chronicle [1/615]:


An elderly woman has been transported to the Warwick Hospital after she was hit by a car in the CBD this afternoon.

The 70-year-old pedestrian was hit by a car on the corner of Palmerin and Victoria St.

A witness said the woman appeared to have suffered a nasty injury to her head, and bystanders were quick to rush to her aid.

The full extent of the woman's injuries are unknown.

...

 

 

Serious traffic crash, Napranum [Cape York]



QPS Media [31/5/15]:


Police are investigating following a serious single vehicle traffic crash on Preng-Im Street in Napranum this afternoon.

Initial investigations suggest the car was travelling south on Preng-Im Street when the vehicle failed to negotiate a corner, colliding with a power pole, causing the vehicle to roll a number of times.

A 20-year-old man from Weipa has been transported to Townsville Hospital in a critical condition.

A 19-year-old male passenger from Mission River was transported to Weipa hospital with minor injuries.

Investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing.

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



 

 

Postman hospitalised after falling off his motorcycle, Yeppoon



Morning Bulletin [1/6/15]:

 

 

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson has reported that a 50-year-old man has been transported to Capricorn Coast Hospital with a rib injury following the crash.

EARLIER: EMERGENCY services are responding to reports a postman has come off his motorcycle outside Yeppoon Central shopping centre on the corner of Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd and Park St.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Food-borne illnesses now pose one of the greatest threats to the health of Australians, warns a communicable diseases expert.

Changes to the way food is grown and distributed across the globe have been blamed for the increased risk of serious illness from the consumption of contaminated food.

Dr Paul Armstrong, chairman of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia, rated food-borne illness among the top three infectious disease threats to Australians, alongside emerging infectious disease and the rise of antimicrobial resistance.

"It comes with globalisation and the change in the way we grow food and the way the food gets to our plate," Dr Armstrong said. ... [Yahoo - 1/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charges changed in train guard abuse case [Yahoo – 1/6/16]:


A Queensland teenager whose racial abuse of a train guard went viral has had charges against him downgraded.

In the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday, Abdel-Kader Russell-Boumzar, 18, indicated he would plead guilty to two counts of assaulting train security guard Josphat Mkhwananzi in October last year.

Several charges, including serious assault (spitting), making threats, and creating a disturbance on public transport, were withdrawn following mediation, with the teen due to enter pleas to the two charges on July 27.

 

 

 

 

 

Drug charges, synthetic cannabinoids



QPS Media [1/6/15]:

 

 

Police from Boondall Tactical Crime Squad have charged a 50-year-old Buderim man with offences under the Drugs Misuse Act, Health Regulations and Criminal Code.

The charges follow a protracted, eight month investigation into the sale of alleged synthetic cannabinoids from adult store retail outlets throughout Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett Regions in 2014 and 2015.

He has been charged with three counts of trafficking in dangerous drugs (Drugs Misuse Act), three counts of unauthorised supplying of a controlled drug (Health Regulations), one count of possession of tainted property (Drugs Misuse Act), one count of possession of things used for the commission of a drug offence (Drugs Misuse Act) and forgery (Criminal Code).

He has been released on bail to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on June 16, 2015.

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


 

 

Activist tells Australia: don’t stick your nose into Bougainville



PNG Loop [1/6/15]:

Australia is directly responsible for the downfall of Papua New Guinea’s economy as experienced when the Bougainville copper mine shut down due to crises on the island, says PNG activist and President of Papa Mama Graun of PNG Party Inc Simon Ekanda.

Mr Ekanda was commenting on the recent outburst by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill about Australia not consulting PNG Government to establish its diplomatic office in Buka.

He said Australia cannot stick its nose into the affairs of Bougainville as lives were lost back in the 80s due to Australia “provoking’’ the Bougainville crisis.

“Australia can’t go into Bougainville without PNG Government’s approval. Bougainville remains an island where many new changes for PNG come about such as piloting autonomous government and mining policies such as landowner equity and benefits.

“Bougainville remains a model province for the rest of the country in many aspects and PNG respects its grounds on autonomy in which some other countries should not try to deal directly with Bougainville. Australia must remember it is responsible for the downfall of Bougainville and PNG,” Mr Ekanda said.

“Australia has provoked the Bougainville crisis resulting in the shutting down of Bougainville Copper Mine and thus the downfall of the PNG economy (at the time),” he said.

Papa Mama Graun of PNG Party Inc is a political party which advocates for resources rights for Papua New Guinea.

Late lawyer Peter Donigi was the former President of Papa Mama Graun of PNG Party Inc.



 

 

 

"I am interested in the idea of reminding people of the humanity at the heart of the issue."



Morning Bulletin [1/6/15]:


Two looming inflatable palm trees sit in the middle of the exhibition room, casting a postcard-like shadow across the wall.

At first glace something is off with the centre piece in Alex Seton's 'Last Resort' exhibition; the inflatable trees are carved from marble.

Alex's intriguing piece is a new exhibition showcased at the Rockhampton Art Gallery, and his art has a very real message.

"This is part of a body of work I have been making on asylum seekers. My mum fled an authoritative regime in the late 1960s, so from that side of the family there was always a sense of gratitude that Australia took them in," Alex said.

"Now we're making choices that we are hardline in our politics around the issue of asylum seekers. As an artist; what those choices mean, who we're becoming as a nation, what it means consequentially later on; are big question marks.

"I am interested in the idea of reminding people of the humanity at the heart of the issue."

Featured in the exhibition are marble versions of a deflated pool toy raft, life jacket, an ore, and of course the trees mounted on rubble.

He said the contradiction of having instruments used to be inflated for rescue, rendered useless by having them set in marble; reflected the realities of seeking asylum.

"There's obviously a sense of sardonic utopia, dystopia. But the idea of that aspiration is there none the less. Australians lead lives of peaceful opportunity and wealth, and it's very easy to take that for granted."

 

 

 

‘Someone died trying to have a life like mine’

 

 

Image: ‏@SaraIrannejad [4/1/15]

 

 

 

Alex Seton 'Last Resort':

 

In collaboration with McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery Linden presents a solo exhibition of Alex Seton's marble sculptures and a new soundscape installation. The works in this exhibition explore Australia's response to migration.

 

 

Artbites: Alex Seton [VIDEO]

 

 

 

 

Malaysia Airlines prepares for privatisation

 

The Straits Times [1/6/15]:



Termination letters were sent to 20,000 employees Monday.

Of that number, a total of 6,000 staff will have their contracts terminated while 14,000 will be offered employment with the new Malaysia Airlines Bhd group (MAS Bhd).

MAS Bhd will be grouped into three divisions - operations, support functions and learning and development with a total of 12 subsidiaries.

At a briefing on Monday, MAS chief executive officer and CEO designate Christoph Mueller said that under the operations division there would be the passenger airline, MAS Wings, Firefly and MAS Kargo.


 



China's military will hold land and air live fire drills along a part of the border with Myanmar where shells have fallen during fighting between the Myanmar government and ethnic Chinese rebels, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.

China has been angered by repeated incidents of shells or bombs from the fighting falling in Chinese territory, in which at least five Chinese have died, and thousands of refugees have crossed into China's southwestern province of Yunnan to escape the clashes. ... [Reuters - 1/6/16]

 

 

 

 

 

"I've been to some places where the threats of violence seemed more imminent," he said.

 

"Here it's something else. It feels more like people are going to be left to wither away and die."


 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch [1/6/15]


American actor Matt Dillon put a rare star-powered spotlight on Myanmar's long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, visiting a hot, squalid camp for tens of thousands displaced by violence and a port that has served as one of the main launching pads for their exodus by sea.

It was "heartbreaking," he said after meeting a young man with a raw, open leg wound from a road accident and no means to treat it.

Mothers carrying babies with clear signs of malnutrition stood listlessly outside row after row of identical bamboo huts, toddlers playing nearby in the chalky white dust.

"No one should have to live like this, people are really suffering," said Dillon, wearing his trademark black T-shirt and jeans. "They are being strangled slowly, they have no hope for the future and nowhere to go."

Though Rohingya have been victims of state-sponsored discrimination for decades, conditions started deteriorating three years ago after the predominantly Buddhist country of 50 million began its bumpy transition from a half-century of dictatorship to democracy.

Taking advantage of newfound freedoms of expression, radical monks started fanning deep-seated societal hatred for the religious minority. Hundreds have been killed by machete-wielding mobs and a quarter million others now live under apartheid-like conditions in camps or have fled by boat —hundreds of dehydrated, hungry Rohingya washing onto Southeast Asian shores in recent weeks.

As they become increasingly marginalized, several groups are warning that the building blocks of genocide are in place.

"I know that's a very touchy word to use. But there's a very ominous feeling here," said Dillon, one of the first celebrities to try to get a first-hand look at what life is like for Rohingya in the western state of Rakhine.

Denied citizenship, they are effectively stateless with almost no basic rights.

Dillon said he decided to come to Myanmar following a desperate, urgent appeal by Rohingya activist Thun Khin at a Refugees International fundraiser in Washington, D.C., just over a month ago. In Japan to promote his new television series, Wayward Pines, he decided it was a good time to make the trip.

"There are people working here, people who know a hell of a lot more about it than I do," Dillon said after hearing grumbling from some aid workers about what he hoped to achieve. "But listen, if I can use my voice to draw attention to something, where I see people suffering, I'll do that any day of the week. I'm happy to do that."

He spoke to two teenage boys who tried to flee by boat, only to find themselves in the hands of human traffickers, and was chased away by armed security guards when trying to snap pictures of the last standing Rohingya neighborhood in the state capital — a ghetto surrounded by tall walls topped by rolls of heavy barbed wire.

But what really choked him up were the camps: "It affected me more than I thought it would."

While there were clear signs humanitarian agencies are active — new latrines, well-placed hand pumps, concrete open sewers — he noted in contrast to camps he's visited in Sudan and the Congo, he didn't run into a single Western aid worker during his two-day visit.

Nor were NGO trucks rumbling through with medical equipment, food or other supplies — due primarily to severe restrictions placed on aid agencies by the government following pressure from Buddhist extremists.

"I've been to some places where the threats of violence seemed more imminent," he said.

"Here it's something else. It feels more like people are going to be left to wither away and die."

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the maddened king stamps his foot: Philippines now backtracking from initial pledge to help Rohingya refugees? [Rappler.com - 1/6/15]:

 

 

 

... The Philippines, for its part, did not commit material aid during Friday's meeting, even as it influenced its neighbors to help the refugees.

It also did not discuss a proposal by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to send rescue ships for the Rohingya.

In Monday's media briefing, Jose explained that the Philippines' broad policy statement is to help refugees, based on its obligations under a 1951 UN convention.

Jose, however, said that when the Philippines released this policy statement around two weeks ago, "it was tempered" by other considerations. These include the need to rehabilitate areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 2013, and to consider the Philippines' huge population.

He added: "The situation has changed. Countries are now open to accepting these refugees. So I think there's, at the moment, no need for the Philippines to accept them."

 

 

 

 

 

Myanmar Business News [1/6/15]:

 

 

Two new foreign banks, Bangkok Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), have been allowed by the Central Bank of Myanmar to open their Myanmar branches beginning June 2, according to a report by Myanmar Times.

With the official nod given to Bangkok Bank and ICBC on May 26, there are now 6 foreign banks have now been allowed to open branches out of the 9 foreign banks that have been granted licenses to begin operations in Myanmar this year.

...

­ The remaining foreign banks to submit applications for their final licences in the coming months are as follows:

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ)

Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)

Japan’s Mizuho Bank


 

 

 

Phuketwan journalist Chutima Sidasathian disclosed today that she has been asked by the Prime Minister's office to suggest a solution to the Rohingya issue - at the same time as she is still being sued for criminal defamation by the Royal Thai Navy. ... [Phuketwan - 31/5/15]

 



 

 

Netherlands ambassador visits Nauru Presidential office.

 

32nd day of Facebook blackout.

 

No comment forthcoming re exiled refugee boy's arm.

 

 

 

Fears refugee boy exiled on Nauru will be disabled after his broken arm not properly treated [West Australian - 31/5/15]:

 

 

... Comment has been sought from IHMS and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's office.

A spokesman for the Nauru government said they would provide comment on Monday. ...

 

 

 

 

 

A female asylum seeker on Nauru who was unable to eat solid foods due to throat pain spent three months without receiving further health testing after a shadow was found in an ultrasound scan, a former detention worker has alleged.

New submissions lodged to a Senate inquiry that is investigating serious allegations and conditions at the Nauru detention facility by three unnamed workers on the island have detailed further concerns about medical treatment and sexual assaults.

...

“This asylum seeker went about three months without having access to food that was easy to swallow such as soup, yoghurt, soft fruit, and relied on her husband to sneak food out of the mess when there was food available for her to eat. Many emails were sent to appropriate stakeholders regarding her issue with food and accessing food appropriate for her to eat, with no outcome.”

... [Guardian - 1/6/15]

 

 



United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria



US Department of Defense [31/5/15]:

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 bomber aircraft conducted four airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Al Hasakah, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kobani, two airstrikes destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL building, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL vehicle.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 13 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL crossing point.

-- Near Bayji, one airstrike struck land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage.

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

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

-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL mortar system and land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL armored personnel carrier and an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Sinjar, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL mortar position, destroying five ISIL fighting positions and three ISIL tunnel systems.

-- Near Tal Afar, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL mortar system.


 

 

 

 

A video purporting to show Shia militias carrying out an atrocity in Anbar province has gone viral on social media in Iraq.

The footage purports to show men belonging to the pro-government Imam Ali Brigades, burning a man they accused of being a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, over a fire.

At least one of the armed men was wearing a uniform with the badge of the Popular Mobilisation Front, a coalition of pro-government militias formed after ISIL advances last year.

The video, which was purportedly shot near the town of al-Karma, around 60km west of Baghdad, shows the men making jokes and taunting the burning body.

One militia member is heard saying the dead man, who appeared to be wearing civilian clothing, was a member of ISIL. ... [Al Jazeera - 31/5/15]

 

 

 


 ‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [31/5/15]:



Baghdad: Agencies:9 persons have been either killed or wounded as a roadside bomb has exploded in Diwanim area in southern west of Baghdad.............

 


Baghdad: Agencies/security source: A woman has been killed and 3 wounded from one family as two mortars have fallen in Albu Etha Village in Doura area in south of Baghdad.............



 

Baghdad: Agencies/security source: Two persons were killed and 4 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded today afternoon near a square at which goods are sold in Nahrawan area in southern east of Baghdad.....................


 

Anbar: The war planes target the civilian homes in Fallujah….. [VIDEO - 30/5/15]

 

 

 



Britain is preparing to expand Iraq training mission: Source [Hurriyet Daily News – 31/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

US and Spain to sign deal making Morón main base for Africa operations [El Pais - 27/5/15]:

 



Washington and Madrid are putting the finishing touches on a deal to make the Morón de la Frontera air base in Seville province the main springboard for US military operations in Africa.

Authorities hope that the amendment to the 1988 bilateral defense agreement will be signed during US State Secretary John Kerry’s planned visit to Spain on Sunday and Monday.

Uncertainty over the makeup of the parliament that will emerge after this fall’s general elections has sped up negotiations

The agreement will increase Spain’s role as a privileged partner of the United States on security issues.

Under the new deal, Morón will became the main base for USAFRICOM, the United States Africa Command, which handles military operations and relations with African countries.

...

This will be Kerry’s first visit to Spain as US secretary of state after a planned trip to attend an international peace conference last November was canceled.

During his visit, the state secretary is expected to discuss the civil war in Libya and the tens of thousands of refugees trying to cross into Europe, the stalled peace process in the Middle East, the advance of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and instability in the Sahel region.

Meanwhile, on April 30 a third Arleigh Burke-class destroyer arrived at the Rota naval base in Cádiz province. When a fourth military ship is sent over, Rota will become the US’s biggest naval station in the Mediterranean.





Saudis continue bombing Yemen [Reuters – 31/5/15]:

 

 

 

... Human Rights Watch said in a report on Sunday that three bombings it had investigated in the northern province of Saada used cluster bombs, which are banned by most countries, adding that it suspected the munitions were fired by Saudi-led forces.

Two of the alleged attacks in April wounded at least six Yemenis, including a 10-year old boy, but another incident on May 23 did not cause any casualties, it said.

"These weapons can't distinguish military targets from civilians, and their unexploded submunitions threaten civilians, especially children, even long after the fighting," said Ole Solvang, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Saudi officials did not provide an immediate response to the report.

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State in western Libyan city kills five: official [Reuters - 31/5/15]

 



Egypt's rights agency says 2,600 killed after Morsi ouster

 

 

Daily Star [31/5/15]:

 

 

The head of Egypt's state human rights agency says 2,600 people, nearly half of them supporters of the nation's ousted president, were killed in violence over an 18-month period starting June 30, 2013.

Mohammad Fayeq, head of the National Council for Human Rights, told reporters Sunday that 700 policemen and 550 civilians were also killed in the period between June 30, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014.

The period roughly corresponds to the July 3, 2013 military ouster of the Islamist Mohammad Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, and the subsequent crackdown on members of his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in a series of clashes with security forces.

At least 600 Morsi supporters were killed on a single day when security forces broke up two Cairo-based sit-in protests on Aug. 14, 2013.



 



At least 1 civilian killed, 4 injured in Ukrainian army shelling of Donbass – reports [RT – 31/5/15]

 

 

 


Operations intensify to rescue Mediterranean refugees

 

 

EURO News [31/5/15]:



Thousands more migrants rescued from the Mediterranean have continued to arrive in Italian ports.

Over 450 were taken to Augusta in Sicily on board the Fenice, an Italian navy warship.

Most are reportedly from Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, where alleged human rights abuses have sparked a refugee exodus.

Also on board were the bodies of 17 migrants recovered from one of the boats off the Libyan coast.

Italian media reports say they probably didn’t drown but were trampled to death in the rush for places on the overcrowded vessels.

European authorities said more than 5,000 migrants had been saved from boats in distress since Friday, and operations were underway to rescue hundreds more.

In some of the most intense operations of the year, migrants who left Libya in 25 boats were picked up by ships from Italy, Britain, Malta and Belgium, assisted by planes from Iceland and Finland, the EU’s border control agency Frontex said.

Naval and merchant vessels involved in rescue operations also came from countries including Germany, Ireland and Denmark.

...

 

 



‏@ItalianNavy [31/5/15]:  #SAR Nave Fenice #MarinaMilitare ha terminato ad #Augusta lo sbarco dei 454 #migranti soccorsi

 

 

 

 

US considers expanding airport preclearance centres



Japan Today [31/5/15]:

The Department of Homeland Security says it is considering expanding airline preclearance operations to 10 new foreign airports in nine countries, most of them in Europe.

The department said it was entering negotiations to add preclearance programs in Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom, where Heathrow and Manchester airports are on the list.

Pre-clearance allows U.S. customs officers stationed in other countries to decide if travelers and their baggage can be permitted into the United States. That alleviates the crush of people attempting to clear customs after arrival.

“Preclearance is a win-win for the traveling public. It provides aviation and homeland security, and it reduces wait times upon arrival at the busiest U.S. airports,” Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

Airlines for America, the industry trade organization for U.S. airlines, applauded the move.

“U.S. airlines drive $1.5 trillion in economic activity, and by improving the passenger experience for visitors or those returning to the United States, while improving security, we can build on that,” said A4A President & CEO Nick Calio.

 

 

 


The United States operates border preclearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign countries. They are staffed and operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Travelers pass through Immigration and Customs, Public Health, and Department of Agriculture inspections before boarding their aircraft, ship or train. This process is intended to streamline border procedures, to reduce congestion at ports of entry, and to facilitate travel between the preclearance location and some U.S. airports that may not be equipped to handle international travellers. However, the US and other countries who engage in the practice have been accused of being motivated also by the desire to prevent the arrival of asylum seekers, who are protected under the 1951 Refugee Convention's non-refoulement provisions once they arrive at their destination. ... [Wikipedia]

 

 

 

 

A US airline has been accused of discrimination after a Muslim woman was allegedly told that she could not have an unopened can of cola because she could use it as a weapon.  ... [Al Jazeera - 31/5/15]

 

 

 


Qatar extends travel ban on ex-Gitmo inmates, talks continue  [Daily Star - 1/6/15]

 

 


Fire breaks out at garment factory in Bangladesh

 

 

 

Channel News Asia [31/5/15]:



 A fire broke out at a garment factory in Bangladesh on Sunday and a fire department official said fire-fighters were trying to put out the blaze.

It was not known whether anyone was trapped inside the building.

The textile industry is an important contributor to the economy of Bangladesh, where duty-free access to Western markets has helped to make the country the world's largest apparel exporter after China.

But a series of deadly incidents, including a building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in 2013, has put the spotlight on safety standards.

 


 

 

Bombs in southern Thailand kill one police officer, wound seven



Channel News Asia [31/5/15]:

 



Roadside bombs in southern Thailand killed one police officer and wounded seven members of the security forces in a region scarred by a long-running Muslim separatist insurgency, police said on Sunday.

The dead officer was part of a bomb disposal team that caught in a secondary blast while attending the site of an earlier bomb attack on Saturday night, police Lieutenant Preecha Prachumchai told Reuters. Four of his colleagues were wounded in the explosion.

The first bomb had wounded three paramilitary rangers out on patrol in the Paklor district of Pattani province, the officer said.

Since 2004, more than 6,500 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in violence in Thailand's three southernmost provinces, where members of the local Muslim Malay population are waging an insurgency against rule by Buddhist-majority Thailand.





Greece, creditors agree on need for quick deal as talks continue



Reuters [31/1/15]:

 

Greece and its European creditors agreed on the need to reach a cash-for-reforms deal quickly as Athens missed a self-imposed Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement to unlock aid, sources close to the talks said.

Athens and its euro zone and International Monetary Fund (IMF) creditors have been locked in talks for months on a reforms agreement. Without a deal, Athens risks default or bankruptcy in weeks.

The pressure has intensified in recent days as Athens faces a payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5 as well as the expiration of its bailout program on June 30.

The government said this week it was looking for a deal by Sunday, but sources close to the talks at the so-called Brussels Group of EU/IMF creditors said that was unlikely.

In a phone call on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande - the second in four days - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pushed for a political solution for the country's economic troubles.

"(The teleconference) took place in a very good climate," a Greek official said, adding that all three recognized the need for a quick deal.

Tsipras has long sought a political push to end negotiations and get aid flowing to his cash-strapped country. But the lenders have insisted that Greece must wrap up talks at the technical level with adequate concessions on reforms so that its budget and debt numbers add up.

In a column published on French daily Le Monde's website on Sunday, Tsipras said Greece should not be blamed for not yet reaching a deal with its creditors and called on fellow European leaders to bypass technical talks and come to a political solution.

"If we have not reached an agreement with our partners, it's not because of our intransigence or incomprehensible positions from the Greek side," Tsipras wrote.

"It is rather because of the obsession of some institutional representatives who insist on unreasonable solutions and are being indifferent to the democratic result of recent Greek elections."

He said the Greek government had been ready to make compromises, for instance on privatizations, despite its ideological opposition to them.

Labor and pension reforms are believed to be among the big sticking points with Athens. Another source close to the talks said the major issues holding up a deal remained.

...




French Red Cross faces €11m bill for overworked staff



France 24 [31/5/15]:

The French branch of the Red Cross could be facing a huge fine and compensation payout after falling foul of the country’s strict rules on working hours, French media reported Sunday.

According to a report by the French Labour Inspectorate, the humanitarian organisation made some 3,800 violations of working hours regulations, involving 480 employees at its Paris headquarters, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

Of these, around 3,300 cases involved employees who had worked more than the legal limit of ten hours in a single day, while the remaining 500 related to staff who had worked more than the weekly maximum of 48 hours.

The organisation had also violated rules that say workers must be given a minimum of 11 hours off between shifts, the inspectorate’s report found.

The Red Cross, which delivers aid and medical care to people affected by war and natural disasters around the world, could now face fines of €750 for each infraction, making for a total of €2.8 million.

But once staff are repaid for the extra hours they worked and compensation for damages is factored in, that bill could rise to as much as €11 million, said Le Parisien.

A union spokesperson suggested the organisation ony had itself to blame, however.

“We have been warning the management about problems relating to overtime for 16 months,” Eric Laurent, a representative of the CFE-CGC union, told Le Parisien.

“People are exhausted. Some start at 7am and finish at 8pm,” he added.



 

 

Canada 5 years behind Europe when it comes to banning neonic insecticides



CBC [30/5/15]:



Canada's wait and see policy on neonicotinoids, the controversial insecticide often blamed for the widespread death of bees, is "where France was five years ago," says a researcher with the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

Jean-Marc Bonmatin says Canadian jurisdictions are five years behind France and most of Europe when it comes to banning neonics, adding, "there is a clear connection between what happened with DDT and what is happening now with neonics."

Bonmatin, who is also vice-chair of a group of European scientists formed in 2009 amid growing concern over rapid declines in insects in Europe, reviewed more than 1,000 studies on neonics and concludes that the evidence is clear.

"Neonics are very, very toxic to all invertebrates including butterflies, earthworms and aquatic invertebrates, which are at the very heart of the food chain."

Bonmatin was in Toronto recently as a guest of the David Suzuki Foundation to help bolster Ontario's plan to dramatically restrict neonic use for the next growing season.

...

In 2013, Europe imposed a two-year moratorium on three popular neonics in use for some applications.

The moratorium ends this year, but France decided last week to demand an extension of the moratorium and to widen it to include all neonics, says Bonmatin.

During the moratorium, bee losses were lessened without any negative impact on crop yields, he says. So, he argues, the widespread use of neonics is not justifiable and not worth the risk.

...



 

 

US: Maryland passes 2-year moratorium on fracking into law


teleSUR [29/5/15]:


Pro-fracking Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Friday that he will not veto a fracking moratorium overwhelmingly approved by the state Congress in the end of March, which will now become law, although wothout his signature.

Gov. Hogan's decision follows an intense lobbying called “Don’t Frack Maryland Campaign,” in which participated over 100 health professionals, 100 business owners, 50 restaurant owners and chefs – in addition with top-notch celebrity Edward Norton who is a native of the state.

“The movement behind this moratorium was unyielding,” said Mitch Jones, Common Resources Director for Food & Water Watch.

“Passing a moratorium under a pro-fracking Governor is a testament to the effectiveness that organizing can have. As more and more scientific studies show the health and environmental problems with fracking, more and more Marylanders oppose the practice. When we are used to seeing moneyed interests rule, it is encouraging to see elected officials heed the will of the people to protect their communities.”

Activists and lawmakers supporting the two and a half year moratorium highlighted that the memorandum will now allot some time for the accumulation of scientific data proving the harmful effects of fracking on the environment and public health.

“In the short time since the legislature passed this bill, we have already seen new health threats being documented,” said Rebecca Ruggles, Director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network.

“There is a new University of Maryland study published which raises questions about Maryland air pollution from fracking in other states, a new review of the risks to communities, and a study looking at impacts on vulnerable populations. We really need at least 30 months to monitor and assess this flow of health studies and analyses.”

Andy Galli, Clean Water Action’s Maryland Program Coordinator, praised Governor Hogan's decision not to veto the bill and let it become law, yet wishing the state-official would put his signature to it. “However we were hoping that the Governor would affirm his commitment to protecting Maryland and its citizens from the many dangers of fracking by signing the law, which was passed by both houses with a large bi-partisan majority.”

...

 

 

 

 



A group of people from the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) prayed before the Israeli ambassador’s house in Ankara early May 31 on the fifth anniversary of Israel’s 2010 raid on the “Mavi Marmara,” a Gaza-bound flotilla ship. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 31/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activists mark 5 years since Israeli flotilla attack [Maan - 31/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

‏@Clare_Land:   BHP Billiton's turn now #sosblakaustralia

 

 

 


...We sit here in resistance to genocide and colonisation  ...

 

 

Dougie Frankenfurt [VIDEO - Rio Tinto occupation, Melbourne - 1/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

@Clare_Land:   Melbourne: Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance rally occupies foyer Rio Tinto mining HQ #sosblakaustralia 

 

 

 

‏@gayedemanuele:   60 mins for 60000 yrs #occupation #RioTinto #Melbourne #noprideingenocide #sosblakaustralia #freeWestPapua  

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge closure. #sosblakaustralia #portaugusta

 

 

Image: ‏@rosmci [1/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

@rosmci:   Bridge Closure. ... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHUT DOWN AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance - WAR

 

 

 

 

 

Media report on Brisbane "protesters", unionists doing PR for the ALP outside Teresa Gambaro's electorate office, Waterfront Place [ABC - 1/6/15]

 

 

 

 

Myanmar detains journalists covering disappearing of captured Rohingya boat refugees.

 

1,000s of refugees still at sea.

 

 

New York Times [31/5/15]:



Myanmar's navy briefly detained journalists who tried to reach a remote island Sunday where more than 700 migrants were being held after their giant wooden ship was found drifting off the country's southwestern coast.

Some journalists were forced to hand over their camera memory cards or sign documents saying they would not try to make the journey again.

The wooden boat was one of more than a half-dozen that have either washed to Southeast Asian shores or been rescued in the last month following a massive, regional crackdown on human trafficking networks.

Around half of the 3,700 people to come ashore have been Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency, and the remainder Bangladeshis escaping poverty.

Myanmar, however, has denied that Rohingya have been among the boat people, saying all have been from Bangladesh. It also has refused to shoulder the blame for a spiraling humanitarian crisis.

It insisted Sunday that all 727 people on board the ship recovered in the Bay of Bengal on Friday — including 74 women and 45 children — were Bangladeshi.

When journalists tried to reach Thameehla Island in small boats to see for themselves, they were either turned back or briefly detained and questioned by navy officials. Four Associated Press journalists were among those who were detained for about two hours before being released.

A navy commander at the base, who refused to give his name, told the AP that "we have safely rescued migrants from Bangladesh."

He said they were brought inside a naval base compound, though the AP was able to see the ship tied to a naval vessel from the water and the tops of the heads of around 50 people still on board.

"We have given them food and medication," the navy official said. "The doctors are taking care of them. We will send them back whenever they are safe."





 

The Batam Immigration Office has said it will deport two British citizens arrested for allegedly illegally making a documentary film re-enacting incidents of piracy in the Malacca Strait.

The office’s spokesperson Hamdan said on Sunday it had received the case dossiers of the two British citizens from the police and was continuing the legal process. ... [Jakarta Post - 31/5/15]

 

 

 

 

The Rohingya - Adrift on a Sea of Sorrows, Eric Margolis [ICH – 31/5/15]:



When is genocide not really genocide? When the victims are small, impoverished brown people no wants or cares about – Burma’s Rohingya.

Their plight has finally commanded some media attention because of the suffering of Rohingya boat people, 7,000 of whom continue to drift in the waters of the Andaman Sea without food, water or shelter from the intense sun. At least 2,500 lucky refugees are in camps in Indonesia.

Mass graves of Rohingya are being discovered in Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). Large numbers of Rohingya are fleeing for their lives from their homeland, Burma, while the world does nothing. Burma is believed to have some 800,000 Rohingya citizens.

This week, the Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace Prize winners call on Burma and its much ballyhooed ‘democratic leader,’ Aung San Suu Kyi, to halt persecution of the Rohingya. They did nothing.

The Rohyinga’s persecution has been going on for over half a century, totally unobserved by the rest of the world. Burma’s government claims they are descendants of economic immigrants from neighboring Bengal who came as indentured laborers to the British colony of Burma in early the 19th century.

Interestingly, the British Empire created a similar ethnic problem by bringing large numbers of Tamils from southern India to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to work the British tea plantations.

But Bengalis have been on Burma’s Arakan Coast for centuries. What sets Rohyingas apart is their dark skin and Islamic faith. Burma seems determined to expel its Muslims for good, treating them like human garbage. It’s the kind of brutal ethnic cleansing, racism and genocide that we recently saw unleashed against Albanian and Bosnian Muslims and Catholics in Bosnia and Kosovo.

I’ve been watched the steady rise of a weird form of Asian racism among some militant Buddhists in Burma and Sri Lanka. The first sign was anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka a decade ago led by fiery Buddhist monks.

But wait a minute. I have always been very attracted to Buddhism as a gentle, sensible, human faith. My first book, “War at the Top of the World,” was inspired by my conversations with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. I like to meditate in Buddhist temples whenever I’m in Asia.

So from where did all those screaming, hate-promoting Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka and Burma come from? Clearly, from deep smoldering fires that we knew nothing about. The bloody Sri Lankan civil war between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils was largely initiated by militant monks. One also remembers Vietnam’s self-immolating monks.

The same phenomena erupted in Burma, a nation rent by violent regional and ethnic tensions that have raged since 1945. But who initiated a campaign of hate and pogroms against the Arakan Muslims who were quietly, minding their own business and eking out a living? As soon as Burma’s military stepped back from total rule, the anti-Muslim violence went critical.

The triple-sainted (at least in the Western media) Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to hear foreign pleas that she do something. Burma will hold elections in November and she wants to avoid antagonizing Buddhist voters – even when her nation in practicing genocide.

I stood in front of her in Rangoon years ago when she was still a prisoner of the military junta, listening to her platitudes about human rights and democracy. I thought then and now that like all politicians, her words were not to be given too much credit. Maybe those fools on the Nobel Peace Prize committee could revoke her Peace Prize and, while they’re at it, Obama’s.

Thailand wants no Rohyingas; Indonesia says only a few thousand on a temporary basis. Australia, which is not overly fond of non-whites, say no. Bangladesh can’t even feed its own wretched people. So the poor Rohyingas are a persecuted people without a country, adrift on a sea of sorrows.

What of the Muslim world? What of that self-proclaimed “Defender of the Faith. Saudi Arabia?” The Saudis are just buying $109 billion worth of US arms which they can’t use, but they don’t have even a few pennies for their desperate co-religionists in the Andaman Sea. The Holy Koran enjoins Muslims to aid their brethren wherever they are persecuted – this is the true essence of jihadism.

But the Saudis are too busy plotting against Iran, bombing Yemen, and supporting rebels in Iraq and Syria, or getting ready for their summer vacations in Spain and France, to think about fellow Muslims dying of thirst. Pakistan, which could help, has not, other than offering moral support. Neither has India, one of the world’s leading Muslim nations.

In the end, it may be up to the United States to rescue the Rohyinga, just as it rescued Bosnia and Kosovo. That’s fine with me. I don’t want the US to be the world’s policeman; I want it to be the world’s rescuer, its SOS force, its liberator.

We should tell Burma to halt its genocide today, or face isolation and sanctions from the outside world.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.

 

 

 

 

Myanmar, Australia to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation [The Republic of The Union of Myanmar, Ministry of Information - 29/4/15]:

 

The 1st Myanmar-Australia Foreign Ministry Consultations Meeting was held at the Lake Garden Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw on 29th April 2015.

The meeting was led by U Thant Kyaw, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, representatives from Ministries and Mr. Craig Chittick, First Assistant Secretary from South East Asia Regional Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on strengthening of bilateral relations and cooperation between Myanmar and Australia, regional and international affairs and matters related to mutual interests.

In the evening, U Thant Kyaw, Deputy Minister hosted a dinner to Mr. Craig Chittick and members of the Australian delegation at the Lake Garden Hotel.

 

 

 

 

... The Government thanks outgoing Ambassador [for People Smuggling Issues] Craig Chittick OAM for his work on promoting Australian and regional efforts to combat people smuggling and trafficking since 2012.  Mr Chittick has been an integral part of the Operation Sovereign Borders team who have worked hard to implement the government’s policies to stop illegal boat arrivals. His dedication and efforts in this role was strongly appreciated by the Government and the personnel of the Operation Sovereign Borders Joint Agency Task Force. [Foreign Minister Media Release - 24/11/14]

 

 

 

 

Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar:

 

Mr [Nicholas] Coppel is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was most recently Assistant Secretary in the People Smuggling Taskforce. Overseas, he has served as Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands; Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea; and Deputy Head of Mission in Manila, with an earlier posting to Washington DC. Mr Coppel holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the Australian National University and a Master of Business Administration from London Business School.



 



Refugee Rights Action Network WA [1/6/15]:



Today, June 1st marks one year since 29 year old Leo Seemanpillai died after dousing himself in petrol and setting himself on fire.

"Leo Seemanpillai wrote in his journal about bad dreams. Some nights he could not sleep at all. His stomach lurched at the looming prospect of being sent back to Sri Lanka and tortured."

Killed by the harsh, unjust and cruel policies of our government. This young man's life was cut far too short. After having survived and escaped torture and genocide in Sri Lanka, Leo was slowly broken by a system of indefinite detention deliberately designed to dehumanise and disempower. Leo was living in the community on a bridging visa when he took his life; clearly even then he did not have freedom. The uncertainty and precariousness of his circumstance meant that he lived in constant fear of being forcibly deported back to his persecutors. It was this fear that led him to take his own life. Killing himself in Australia seemed a more favourable prospect than the thought of being returned.

After his tragic death the Minister did not even have the humanity to allow his parents a visa to attend his funeral.

One year on and we remember Leo Seemanpillai and all the asylum seekers he represents. We recognise the tragedies like this will continue to unfold as long as we are bound by a system that thrives on human misery and intentionally seeks to break people.

We demand Justice for Leo Seemanpillai and for all who have sought asylum in Australia.

‪#‎nocrimetoseekasylum‬

‪#‎lestweforget





 

Profiting from asylum-seeker detention: Time to divest [Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney – 1/6/15]



 

 


... There are some bad people on the rise

They're saving their own skins by ruining people's lives ...

 

'Interesting Drug', Morrissey [1989]

 

 


  

 

1 June 2015

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