A view of Australia's detention of asylum seekers and a search for an antidote to the dictum "might makes right"
This story shows that, regardless of all the acknowledgements by the government in recent months about the culture problem that DIMIA had/has, this problem is actually worse within DFAT - and is going almost completely unacknowledged. The process (such as it was) with the defection of Chen Yonglin (the Chinese diplomat) last year showed very clearly that DFAT were even more dismissive and unconcerned with due process than DIMIA. This case with the Vietnamese refugees is another example.(some of whom were also locked up on Christmas Island for over 2 years for their trouble before finally getting visas - quite possibly in part for the same 'diplomatic' reasons)If Australian DFAT is this touchy about not upsetting Vietnam, regardless of the human rights issues, imagine how bad it is with China, who we place much greater economic, political and strategic importance on!
The various "montagnard" (mountain tribesmen) people of Vietnam are having an even tougher problem in leaving Vietnam - I don't believe they can even make it to your shores. A few of them are now living in the United States, where they have a web site: http://www.montagnard-foundation.orgPerhaps you may be able to coordinate with their efforts. So far, the only help they have been able to get is from the italian "radical party" - I believe that site is at radicalparty.org. Though them, my friend Kok Ksor, from the Dega tribe, has been able to speak before the European Parliament.Good Luck!Wolfgang P. May
Hi Andrew and Happy New Year. Good to see you are taking time out before the heat gets turned up again in 2006. Hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable break. Of course, as usual, your comments on the bastardry of DFAT and DIMIA are spot on.
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