Friday, April 15, 2005

In ‘Crusader country’ they welcome Tampa asylum seekers!

Christchurch (home of the mighty Crusader Super 12 RU team) City Council has put out a press release today welcoming 50 new Tampa citizens.

Next week Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore will confer citizenship on about 50 people, all connected to the group of Afghani asylum seekers rescued from drowning in 2001 by the crew of Norwegian ship Tampa.

Among those who will become New Zealand citizens at Tuesday afternoon's ceremony are several of the so-called Tampa boys - minors who embarked on the rickety Indonesian boat without parents or other relatives. The vessel was making for Australia before foundering off Christmas Island.

New Zealand took 150 of the Tampa asylum seekers as refugees after Australia refused entry to the ship. Similar citizenship ceremonies have been held this month in other New Zealand centres.

The land of the long white cloud, running All Blacks and short summer is modeling what it is to be a good international citizen. Not for the first time those Tasman outlanders have put us to shame.!

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