Tag Archives: asylum seekers

Dog-whistle politics offends Indonesian ears

Not since Malcolm Fraser was prime minister has the federal Coalition understood, much less had an engaged relationship with, South-East Asia. This lack of understanding and engagement was reflected again yesterday when the Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson, Julie Bishop, made a ‘courtesy call’ on the chair and deputy chair of Indonesia’s legislature (DPR). What should […]

Migration, cultural diversity and the GDP debate

While in Barcelona for a scoping conference to set up a new research institute for the UN ‘Alliance of Civilisations’, I was asked how it is that culture should be looked at and taken more seriously in economic debates.   My take on this complex question is not a simple one. In fact, we can […]

Current refugee debate must seek inspiration from the Arab Spring

The movement of people from their countries of origin to another country seeking a more secure and better life is not a new phenomenon and is not likely to diminish any time soon. The prevailing wisdom in migration scholarship and policy circles is that people move either in a voluntary or un-voluntary capacity. In other […]

Rudd’s East Timor challenge

As the new consolation prize Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd’s first job will be to try to implement the government’s ‘East Timor solution’ for asylum seekers. The issue whether this policy has any chance of success. The first hurdle to be overcome was the unanimous vote by East Timor’s parliament, if with an incomplete sitting […]

Julia might be 'going forward', but East Timor is standing firm

The vote by East Timor’s parliament yesterday to oppose the establishment of an Australian off-shore asylum seeker processing centre should not have come as a surprise. Parliamentarians from the government and opposition have been saying they were against the idea since it was announced last week. The Australian government has certainly acted unperturbed by the […]

Offshore processing plan: someone forgot to tell East Timor

The announcement by the Gillard government that it intends to use East Timor as a processing stop-over for asylum seekers is either a very clever political ploy or a blunder that has the potential to derail her run for a second term for her government. At its heart appears to be a qualified endorsement from […]

Criminalising the victims

Imagine, if you can, that you have spent the last 30 or more years in an environment of war, where your security is at best not guaranteed and at worst you and your loved ones have been regularly exposed to physical attack. Some, or many, people you have known and loved have been killed and […]

President Yudhoyono visits Australia – we're all democrats now!

The visit to Australia by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono marks an important step in the maturing of Australia-Indonesia bilateral relations. Not since the ebullient Aburrahman Wahid have we had an Indonesian president visit twice (SBY was here in 2005) but, more importantly, Yudhoyono is the most substantial political leader Indonesia has had since the […]

Australia’s foreign policy debacles

When the Rudd Labor Government was elected two years ago, there were high hopes that it would leave behind the more negative foreign policies of its predecessor Howard Coalition Government. What we have, though, is a foreign policy shambles, overwhelmingly as a result of the Rudd Government allowing itself to be trapped by the Howard […]