JOHN HOWARD SHUTS THE DOOR
It was evident to even a weekend sailor that, in August 2001, the KM Palapa 1 vessel was not going to make it. For Arne Rhinann, captain of the Norwegian cargo ship MV Tampa, there was no question. Four hundred and thirty eight asylum seekers were adrift in a life-threatening position. Aboard, they asked to go to the Australian territory of Christmas Island. The government refused. So began Australia’s ‘Pacific Solution’ where asylum seekers would have their claims processed in countries like Nauru in detention centres.