Saturday 31st of July 2021

the "message" is that australia is a sad cruel sadistic country...




















In regard to the family of Biloela refugees the politicians throw at us that "letting them live in Australia would give the wrong message..." the only wrong message we get is that Australia is a country of cruel sadistic sociopathic mad politicians — and possibly us, all of us, who voted (Gus did not) these bastards in government — us, the Australians living in the land of the free girt by sea... SPEW !!!!


If you think Australia making an example of a sick three-year-old is an exception, think again. This is what we do



This week, my colleagues Melissa Davey and Josh Taylor put together a rich timeline of the events on Christmas Island that culminated in a three-year-old child being flown to Perth for medical treatment.

I encourage you to read it if you haven’t. What you will learn is a tiny girl, Tharnicaa, waited the best part of two weeks, with her physical condition deteriorating, before someone acted to get her the medical attention she needed.


By the time she was transferred to Perth, Tharnicaa had a high temperature. She was dizzy and vomiting. When she reached the hospital, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and a blood infection.

Tharnicaa’s medevac odyssey pinged around the world. The story was made indelible by the photographs of the distressed preschooler being comforted by her solicitous older sister.

While the events were heartrending, it would be tempting to shrug this off as an arbitrary systems failure – some medical bureaucrat somewhere in the border force apparatus making a suboptimal clinical judgment.


As mistakes go, it’s even relatable, up to a point. Anyone who has cared for young children knows they go downhill fast when they pick up nasty viral infections, sometimes scarily so, but their illnesses can turn around just as fast. Parents, being humans, don’t always make the right calls. Neither do doctors. Australian Border Force denies “any allegations of inaction or mistreatment”.

But we can’t shrug off this incident as just “one of those things”, because the suboptimal treatment of Tharnicaa exists in a broader context.

That context is the performative cruelty of Australia’s border protection regime.

Tharnicaa’s parents, Sri Lankan nationals, are unauthorised boat arrivals. The Australian system is configured to make life deeply uncomfortable for this cohort. The regime doesn’t invite or welcome interrogation, but its arbitrary cruelties are designed to be seen, like an Aesop’s fable, or a morality play.


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kanbra fascists...


The poster was glued to a wall or a column—I can’t quite remember—at Vavuniya train station in northern Sri Lanka. At the top, an outline of Australia crossed over like a no smoking sign. A small fishing vessel pictured on perilous seas below it. Bold font for the type in the middle. It was 2017, and though the elements had drained the paper of its original hues and mellowed the once dramatic contrasts, the message was still clear, even if most people in the area couldn’t read English.

The Australian government produced the posters for Operation Sovereign Borders, its militarised effort to prevent refugees claiming asylum. German neo-Nazis soon copied the design for their own anti-refugee propaganda, the German History Museum in Berlin displaying one of the specimens in a 2016 exhibition, “Anti-Semitic and racist stickers from 1880 to today”. The curators probably had no idea that they were, in effect, including contemporary Australian government material in a presentation of their own country’s odious political history.

Vavuniya seemed apt, in its own grotesque way, for the poster’s placement: the district was the site of Manik Farm concentration camp, holding more than 200,000 internally displaced Tamils in a squalor of overflowing latrines, disease, malnutrition, harassment and worse. The camp had been decommissioned five years earlier, but the northern homelands of the Tamil people were still, as they remain, littered with barracks—one of the most intense occupations in the world, following on from the military’s slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in 2009.

Not for the Tamils have the words “Never Again” solemnly passed the lips of Australian politicians, however. “NO WAY” is the language of state here. So it has been for Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharunicaa, a family who made home in Biloela, Queensland, but who have spent more than three years in detention fighting deportation. 

Twenty years ago, the Sri Lankan security forces killed Priya’s fiancé and six others. Hands tied and truck tyres assembled around them, the men were burned alive while local villagers were made to watch. Priya’s mother was sexually assaulted in a military camp and her family was threatened. That’s why she fled, first to India, then to Australia in 2013. The government knows this. And still it says, “NO WAY”.

Nades, a former member of the Tamil Tigers, a national liberation organisation that formed a de facto administration over much of the Tamil homelands, fled for his life in 2012, well after the war had ended. Former Tigers have been targets of harassment and torture at the hands of the security forces. The government knows this. And still it says, “NO WAY”.

Kopika and Tharunicaa have never set foot in Sri Lanka. They were born here and have now spent most of their lives locked in detention. A medical report from September 2018—more than 1,000 days ago—noted emerging “behavioural disturbance” resulting from their incarceration and isolation in Broadmeadows detention centre. The government knew this. And still it said, “NO WAY”. Now Tharunicaa has been evacuated to Perth for a blood infection after being denied proper care in Christmas Island detention


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See also: 

refugees' hope to die at sea dashed...




Brilliant cartoon at top by Cathy Wilcox, The Sydney Morning Herald...



By Jocelyn Chey


Relations with China are increasingly discussed in terms of values. “Liberal values” featured in the Prime Minister’s speech in Perth this week. I propose the need to define the term and to rectify the name, as Confucius said, and to consider how and where it is applied. Then, and only then, can we bring such dialogue back on track.


““There are a set of basic principles and democratic values that underpin our responses in our national interests which this government will never trade away,” according to Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

Australia’s range of concerns about China’s values is evident in DFAT’s Country Brief. The focus is on human rights issues, including freedom of expression and of religion, treatment of political prisoners and ethnic minorities, torture and the use of the death penalty. These do not accord with Australian official values, as set out in the Australian Values Statement that applicants for Australian visas must sign. These values comprise respect for individual freedoms, freedom of religion, the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, equality of opportunity and a “fair go” for all. Payne’s remarks quoted above imply that they do not exist in China, but this is not so.

When Australian leaders refer to our values, they imply they are uniquely Australian, but this is not the case. Canada, Argentina, Singapore, for instance, all have lists of national values. “Democratic values” do not belong exclusively to the European or Judaeo-Christian tradition. Australia has a history of using value talk to marginalise others. At the time of Federation, white Australians claimed that ethnic Chinese did not belong in the country because they lacked democratic values. This was demonstrably untrue, as John Fitzgerald showed in The Big White Lie (UNSW Press 2007).

The People’s Republic of China has its own set of official values, expressed in 24 characters that translate as prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship. The Communist Party of China, this year celebrating its hundredth anniversary, officially upholds these values, although President Xi Jinping admits that it still falls short and “the situation remains challenging and complex.” Corruption is a core concern for the Party, human rights abuses of Uighurs and Muslim minorities in China’s western Xinjiang Region are alarming, and the judicial system lacks independence and transparency. 


David Brophy has been studying the history and culture of China and particularly the far western region of Xinjiang over decades. He has been an activist in Australia in support of the Uighur cause and has supported Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. In a search for a new approach to the understanding of present political differences between Australia and China and, hopefully, their resolution, his new book China Panic (Black Inc 2021) provides valuable insights. It also makes for uncomfortable reading.


Brophy highlights Canberra’s hypocrisy of first demonizing Muslims and demanding that they denounce extremism, then, just a few years later, condemning Beijing for its campaign to re-program its own Muslim population. There is hypocrisy also in calling China’s regulation of religion for the Uighurs abhorrent, forbidding beards and head coverings and enforcing birth control practices, while failing to mention our own social controls imposed on the Indigenous people of the Northern Territory since the Intervention of 2007 or the forced indefinite detention of asylum seekers.


The number and variety of issues in the present uncomfortable relationship with China continue to expand. They could now well be described as a “value pack.” In November 2020, a spokesperson in the Chinese Embassy in Canberra outlined the succession of unfriendly steps taken by Australia up to that point in a statement provided to a selected group of journalists. The list started with the blocking of numerous Chinese investment proposals on security grounds from as early as 2018 and ended with “racist” attacks on the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Australians by Members of Parliament.

This point followed on Eric Abetz’s questioning the loyalty of three witnesses at a parliamentary inquiry in October 2020 into foreign interference laws. The common thread linking these irritants was that to the Chinese side they all appeared to be specifically targeting China.


Consistency surely should be the hallmark of our foreign policy and of the application of our national values. Let us have some rectification of names. If we condemn Beijing’s policies towards its ethnic minorities, we should also condemn the suppression of the Rohingya in Myanmar and the occupation of the West Bank by Israel. How can we speak of “shared values” with “like-minded” countries like India, where the BJP tolerates or even encourages violence against Muslims? If opposition to the death penalty is one of our national values, why do we not condemn its continued use in the United States?

If our support for human rights were evident at home and voiced equally in multilateral and bilateral forums, we would be taken more seriously. Beijing would not be able to claim that it was being unfairly targeted.


Three and a half centuries ago, Immanuel Kant wrote, “I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law.” 


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Read from top.


And talking about values:




morrison's a christian bastard...


Two government MPs have expressed support for the Murugappan family and called for them to be returned to the mainland, putting more pressure on the Morrison government to act.

The government’s intransigent and hardline stance on the Biloela family continued this week, despite growing calls for their offshore detention to end.



But on Saturday, Trent Zimmerman, a moderate Liberal MP, said he had spoken with the immigration minister, Alex Hawke, and asked him to “look favourably” on a request that he use powers allowing them to stay in Australia.

“This week or in the next couple of weeks, (he) will be considering an application to use his powers to give an exemption to the normal requirements,” Zimmerman told the ABC on Saturday.


Zimmerman said he thought it was “time that we brought them back from Christmas Island” and consider giving them a “long-term future in Biloela”, where there was overwhelming support for their return.

The government MP Ken O’Dowd, whose electorate takes in Biloela, is also reported to have voiced support for the family’s return. O’Dowd told the Brisbane Times that he spoke with Hawke on Friday to urge him to resolve the matter.

“He agrees with me it’s gone on far too long,” O’Dowd said.

“It’s no good for the family, it’s no good for the Australian taxpayer, it’s not good for anyone and it’s got to be resolved.”


The internal pressure may cause a change in the government’s position.

Until now, various cabinet ministers have delivered extreme warnings about the consequences of returning the family to their home. The social services minister, Anne Ruston, warned any leniency would trigger a resumption of the “disgusting” events associated with people smuggling, while the attorney general, Michaelia Cash, warned of the “consequences of blinking” on border policy.

The Tamil asylum seekers Nades and Priya Murugappan, and their daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa, have now been in immigration detention for more than three years, after being taken from their home in Biloela, Queensland.


They were sent first to Melbourne and then Christmas Island. In 2019, a government attempt to deport them was halted by a court injunction.

The government has since spent at least $6.7m holding them.


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Read from top.


And stop protecting your mate Downer by the secret trial of Witness K and his lawyer... Meanwhile:


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