australia.jpgThe following statement was issued by the AJDS’s
official spokesperson Les Rosenblatt.
The 9 April Australian government decision to stop processing the asylum/refugee entitlements of Afghanis and Sri Lankans – predominantly from the persecuted minorities of Hazaras and Tamils – combined with the threat to force their return to their countries of origin – based on completely untenable claims of “durable security” in these countries – is intolerably inhumane.
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society agrees with the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring
Centre and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees that conditions in Afghanistan are worsening rather than improving and that the numbers of displaced people are increasing. Similarly we hold that there is no security for Tamils in Sri Lanka and that the boat-arriving asylum seekers represent no threat to Australian society and that we are obliged both legally and morally to
process their claims for refugee status in the shortest possible time.
We deplore as cynically opportunistic the Rudd government’s ploy to garner electoral support from the most ill- informed quarters of the Australian electorate while
pandering to prejudice and ignorance and refusing to put the facts of these matters squarely before the Australian public.
We recognise from our own Jewish history of expulsion or fleeing for safety, the horrors of denial of refuge and
asylum, and cannot accept that our own Government would act so callously. We join our voice to those of many others who will not rest from demanding the government honour its international obligations and reinstate humane refugee assessment and support practices by processing applications without delay.
April 18, 2010