Australian Immigrant and Refugee Issues

Australia: Defiant stand by Oceanic Viking refugees triggers political crisis

By Mike Head, 20 November 2009

The refusal by Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to disembark in Indonesia from an Australian Customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking, has triggered an extraordinary political crisis for the Australian Labor government.

Indonesian police shoot two refugees trying to reach Australia

By Mike Head, 18 November 2009

The real face of the Rudd government’s hoped-for “Indonesian solution” for asylum seekers began to emerge last week. Indonesian police shot and seriously wounded two men trying to reach Australia aboard an Afghan asylum seekers’ boat.

Australia-Sri Lanka deal for joint crackdown on Tamil asylum seekers

By Richard Phillips, 13 November 2009

By reaching a deal with Colombo—that is, with the regime responsible for the oppression of Tamils—the Australian Labor government is legitimising its police state measures and nullifying the basic right of all people to seek asylum under international law.

End the persecution of Tamil asylum seekers by Sri Lankan and Australian governments

By Wije Dias, 6 November 2009

The plight of Tamils living in intolerable conditions in Sri Lanka has been brought into sharp relief by the tragic drowning of 12 Tamil asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia in a small vessel.

“Pressure politics” at Sydney protest over asylum seekers

By Mathew Benn, 3 November 2009

A rally called by the Refugee Action Committee to protest the Labor government’s callous treatment of refugees was dominated by futile appeals for “compassion” from Prime Minister Rudd.

Australian government’s “Indonesian Solution” in disarray

By Richard Phillips, 2 November 2009

Two weeks after an Australian customs ship rescued 78 Tamil asylum seekers, the unresolved standoff over their future has focussed attention on the Labor government’s inhumane and illegal treatment of refugees.

Australian government intensifies crackdown on asylum seekers

By Richard Phillips, 28 October 2009

The Rudd government is planning an “Indonesian solution” paying Jakarta to incarcerate refugees intercepted while trying to reach Australia.

Australia: Rudd intervenes to block Tamil asylum-seekers

By Richard Phillips, 17 October 2009

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s response to the Tamil refugees is completely predictable and reflects the views of the entire political establishment, from the crisis ridden Liberal-National coalition to the corporate media and the unions.

Australian government deports Sri Lankan asylum-seekers

By Richard Phillips, 12 October 2009

In line with the previous Liberal-National coalition administration, the Australian Labor government has begun deporting refugees it claims do not qualify as asylum-seekers.

Australia: New details about “SIEV 36” refugee deaths expose official lies

By Richard Phillips, 8 September 2009

Detailed information about the explosion on a fishing vessel carrying Afghan refugees off the north-west coast of Australia last April underscores the seamless transition that has taken place from the former Howard government’s inhuman asylum seeker policy to that of the Rudd Labor government.

“The government is not reducing the gap between the communities but increasing it”

Indian students in Australia speak to WSWS about recent racist attacks

By our reporters, 20 August 2009

The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with three Indian students about their experiences in Australia.

Australia: Indian students boycott Victorian Labor government’s “Walk for Harmony”

By Patrick O’Connor, 13 July 2009

Indian students boycotted yesterday’s “Walk for Harmony” in central Melbourne after the Victorian Labor government of Premier John Brumby refused to allow them to address the rally.

Australia: The Victorian government’s “Walk for Harmony”: a cynical exercise in damage control

By Robert Morgan, 10 July 2009

The “Walk for Harmony” being led by Victorian Labor premier John Brumby this Sunday is a part of cynical public relations exercise to shore up revenues from the lucrative international student market.

Letters from our readers

23 June 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Violence against Indian students in Australia: the class issues

By Laura Tiernan, 13 June 2009

Protests by Indian students in Australia over the past 12 days have brought to light an ugly under-current of violent and racist attacks that have produced outrage and deep concern among many ordinary people in both India and Australia.

Indian student protests spread to Sydney: “We came here to study, not to fight”

By Laura Tiernan, 10 June 2009

Protests by Indian students studying in Australia that erupted in Melbourne on May 31 have spread to Sydney over recent days.

Australia: Evidence points to Labor cover-up over refugee boat deaths

By Mike Head and Linda Levin, 25 May 2009

More than a month after five asylum seekers drowned on April 16, when their small wooden boat exploded and sank off Australia’s north-west coast, the Rudd Labor government continues to block the release of information about the circumstances that led to the tragedy.

Australia: Unanswered questions about refugee boat tragedy

By Mike Head and Linda Levin, 24 April 2009

The Rudd government is still refusing to release details of how five asylum seekers lost their lives when their tiny boat exploded and sank off Australia’s north-west coast on April 16.

Australian media whips up anti-refugee campaign after asylum seeker boat tragedy

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 April 2009

At least three Afghan asylum seekers were killed in a boat explosion off the north-west coast of Australia yesterday morning. Two are missing, while many of the 49 passengers suffered critical burns and other injuries. Some of the casualties are believed to be as young as 13 or 14.

The tragedy of SIEV X

Did the Australian government deliberately allow 353 refugees to drown?

Part 4 of a four part series

By Linda Tenenbaum, 16 August 2002

Having maintained a stony silence on the fate of SIEV X and its 353 victims once the Senate inquiry began, by June 20, Prime Minister Howard felt obliged to speak.

The tragedy of SIEV X

Did the Australian government deliberately allow 353 refugees to drown?

Part 3 of a four part series

By Linda Tenenbaum, 15 August 2002

Rear Admiral Bonser, a serving officer of the RAN, became director general of Coastwatch, a division of the Australian Customs Service, in August 2001. In his testimony of May 22, 2002 to the Senate inquiry he declared that the primary function of Coastwatch was to “conduct coastal and offshore surveillance in order to generate information on potential or actual breaches of legislation as they relate to Australia’s maritime zones.”

The tragedy of SIEV X

Did the Australian government deliberately allow 353 refugees to drown?

Part 2 of a four part series

By Linda Tenenbaum, 14 August 2002

There is compelling evidence that the scenario suggested by Tony Kevin in his submissions to the Senate inquiry on “A Certain Maritime Incident” formed the backdrop to the sinking of SIEV X. From Indonesian and Australian media reports at the time of the tragedy, as well as testimony from survivors, recounted by Kevin in his two submissions, the following appears to be what happened.

The tragedy of SIEV X

Did the Australian government deliberately allow 353 refugees to drown?

Part 1 of a four part series

By Linda Tenenbaum, 13 August 2002

From evidence presented to a Senate inquiry during the past four months, it appears that the Australian government may have been directly implicated in the deaths of 353 asylum seekers, including 146 children, as a result of its anti-refugee campaign aimed at winning last year’s November 10 general election.