JOHN HOWARD SHUTS THE DOOR

GQ (Australia) - - MEN OF THE YEAR -

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.

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