Where is the compassion?

WARNING: I AM ALL FIRED UP ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND FRANKLY THIS WILL BE A BIT OF A RANT.

Where is the compassion? My goodness Australia, I am ashamed of my government and the opposition of the day. You are supposed to be our leaders for goodness sake, holding us to a higher standard. Where is the compassion?

While we are at it lets all STOP calling them “boat people” it puts the issue at arms length and is an all too convenient way for those of us living the good life to avoid acknowledging that there happens to be an incredibly good reason for asylum seekers to go to such dramatic life threatening lengths.

Referring to Asylum seekers as ” boat people” protects Australians from having to thoughtfully consider what horrors these people have experienced, that have ultimately resulted in them seeking Asylum on our shores. It suggests that making that harrowing voyage aboard a seriously unseaworthy boat is something a person has a choice about. The reality is people who make the decision to travel with a people smuggler do so because they are out of options.

Mums and dads, decide to go to the extreme measure of fleeing their home and country in hope of a better life. Asylum seekers are attempting to save their children and themselves from the horrors of starvation, grueling war, political persecution, torture, religious persecution and many forms of extreme human deprivation. Asylum seekers desperately pay someone, anyone, the only person who offers them a chance of survival and hopefully freedom, to help them make it to a place where they and their children, the people they love most may be safe to live a long life.


Just stop Australia, really think about what it must mean to be so desperate that you are prepared to risk everything including the lives of those you love most, try to understand what leads to this mindset. Lets try and be a little more compassionate. Especially the media and politicians. Enough of fueling this fire with fear and doubt. We are better then this.

PNG is not a solution, it still involves locking up men, women and children and either sending them back to the perils from whence they came or life in PNG.

Australia’s own smart traveller website advised the following about PNG:

  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea because of the high levels of serious crime.
  • Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • Large crowds and public gatherings should be avoided as they may turn violent.
  • Crime rates are high, particularly in the capital Port Moresby and in Lae, Mt Hagen and other parts of the Highland provinces.
  • Local authorities have advised of a heightened risk of armed robbery and attack at well-attended shopping centres in urban areas, including Port Moresby.
  • Since June 2011, there have been a number of violent incidents in parts of The Highlands, Oro Province, Central and Southern Bougainville, and Lae. You should exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in these areas and monitor local media reporting for information about the security situation.
  • Ethnic disputes continue to flare up around the country. Disputes can quickly escalate into violent clashes. Such clashes not only create danger within the immediate area but also promote a general atmosphere of lawlessness, with an associated increase in opportunistic crime.
  • Car-jacking is an ever-present threat, particularly in Port Moresby and Lae. Car doors should be locked with windows up at all times and caution should be taken when travelling after dark. In the evening or at night, we recommend you travel in a convoy.
  • There has been an increase in reported incidents of sexual assault, including gang rape, and foreigners have been targeted. These crimes are primarily opportunistic and occur without warning. We recommend you monitor your personal security, in both public and private surroundings, and ensure you have appropriate security measures in place.
  • Given the difficult terrain, extreme weather conditions and the condition of some remote airfields in PNG, flying in PNG carries greater safety risks than flying in Australia. On 13 October 2011, an Airlines PNG aircraft crashed near Madang, killing 28 people. Part of the Airlines PNG fleet was grounded on safety concerns but has since been cleared to fly following the implementation of additional safety measures.
  • Cholera is now considered as endemic in PNG. See the Health section for more information.
  • Wet season is from November to May. During the wet season flooding and landslides have resulted in deaths. Roads can become impassable. Check with local sources on the condition of roads and the likely impact of rain before travel.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

Is this a humane place to send Asylum seekers?

There are pragmatic alternatives. I would challenge all Australians to read and consider the ideas contained in this link http://www.watoday.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/youve-been-misled-on-boat-people-here-are-the-facts-20130718-2q5rv.html

 

Rant Complete.

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2 thoughts on “Where is the compassion?

  1. hello, Tash. Congratulations, and thank you for raising the profile of this sordid episode in our histroy! From 1980 to 2010, I was embarrassed to admit that I lived in the Federal electorate of O’Connor. In the last few years I have been increasingly ashamed to call myself an Australian. What have we come to? I was always brought up to have compassion for those less fortunate than myself, but it seems that some of our so-called leaders may not share that. As a country people, we always welcomed strangers into our house, even some of the religious zealots, for a cuppa or a meal. When, How and Why did we change? How many of us can say that we, or our ancestors, weren’t boat people? My great-grandfather came to WA from Ireland at Her Majesty’s pleasure! And I married a boat-person!

    Our great country was built on the backs of migrants, people who came for a better life. Think of the development after WWII, the Snowy Scheme and many other developments. Most if not all would have been impossible without the flow of “boat people” to assist us.

    What are we afraid of? Surely we can do better than this.

    Regards, Michael

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