The Courier-Mail

Bomb­ing cre­ates more refugees


IMAG­INE the ex­pe­ri­ence of Euro­peans this year re­ceiv­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of refugees from war-torn Syria and North Africa ( C-M, Aug 28).

The war in Syria with on­go­ing bomb­ing by all par­ties, lead­ing to a break­down in the sup­ply of food, shel­ter, med­i­cal aid and ed­u­ca­tion for its peo­ple, is the lead­ing rea­son for this mass ex­o­dus.

The Gov­ern­ment has ma­nip­u­lated us into think­ing we have been called on to bomb “tar­gets” in Syria. Bomb­ing will lead to even fur­ther de­struc­tion of peo­ple and their homes.

What needs to be ad­dressed ur­gently is an end to the wars through a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion.

It is time to con­sider what keeps these wars alive, such as the avail­abil­ity of weapons, fi­nan­cial aid and the role of sig­nif­i­cant power­bro­kers. The sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East threat­ens not only the peo­ple of the re­gion but world peace. An­nette Brown­lie, Camp Hill A GOV­ERN­MENT achieve­ment it may be, but it is hardly a suc­cess when Aus­tralia’s navy is used to turn back refugee boats to In­done­sia, where more than 13,000 des­per­ate asy­lum seek­ers and proven refugees are lan­guish­ing, wait­ing years for UNHCR as­sess­ment of their need for pro­tec­tion from per­se­cu­tion, and for even­tual re­set­tle­ment in a safe coun­try.

By cruel po­lit­i­cal de­cree, Aus­tralia has cho­sen not to re­set­tle any refugees from In­done­sia since July 2014.

It has ratch­eted up the pun­ish­ment for all who came by boat, still tor­tur­ing over 2000 men, women and chil­dren with ap­palling and in­hu­mane de­ten­tion con­di­tions. It has sen­tenced some 30,000 to in­def­i­nite sec­ond-class life in limbo here, most of them miss­ing close fam­ily, all of them de­nied per­ma­nent set­tle­ment in this lucky coun­try.

Is this re­ally what Aus­tralians want? Fred­erika E. Steen, Chapel Hill

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