Saturday, 14 June 2008

The voyage of the Tampa

Who remembers the Tampa saga, where, in September 2001 a boat load of asylum seekers traveled the seas having been refused entry to Australia? If you’re Australian you certainly do, as the incident brought unparalleled odium on that country – often from Australians themselves.

The story really begins in June 2001 when a boat departed from the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville en route for Australia organized by the people smuggler Hasan Ayoub. It had 241 Afghans and Pakistanis on board who had paid between $US5,000 and $US10,000 for their journey. The boat (a siev) was intercepted and most of those detained were found to be carrying Pakistani and Afghan passports, many Afghan documents indicating long term residency of Pakistan.
The asylum seekers would have been able to apply for asylum in Cambodia as that country is a Signatory to the UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Only after interception did many of the group apply to the UNHCR for asylum, and then lived in a Phnom Penh hotel under an IOM care and maintenance program while their claims were being processed. Note that only 14 of the 241 (6%) were accepted by the UNHCR as refugees in need of resettlement.
Undaunted, they set off again a few months later in a wooden fishing boat, the Palapa, together with about another 200 Afghans and Pakistanis At dawn on August 24, 2001 it became stranded in international waters about 140 km north of Christmas Island. The Australian rescue authorities had been the first to become aware of the vessel's distress, and for some time attempted to have the Indonesian authorities attend to the rescue as it was the closest landfall.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t hold up on this occasion, and it was left to a ship – the Tampa - from the pagan, godless free-loving Norway to effect the rescue. The rescue was duly undertaken, and the captain headed for Indonesia in line with standard maritime practice.
You’d now imagine that the ‘victims’ would be ecstatic, having not only been rescued from a sinking hulk, but now heading for the world’s largest Muslim country. Not quite. In fact, when they learned of the destination the put a gun to the captain's head - well, to be precise they put a knife to his throat, and said in effect ‘are you fucking insane? We didn’t pay all that money to land in some Islamic hell-hole – head for the heathen fleshpot of Australia’. They helpfully pointed out, according to Captain Rinnan that ‘there would be dire consequences for safety of ship, crew and passengers if he did not’.
With an offer like that, the captain didn’t have much choice, as the passengers outnumbered the crew by more than 10 to 1. However, the Australians didn’t take too kindly to this and refused them landing rights, thus precipitating the saga of the Tampa. Their Ambassador to the UN pointed out, not unreasonably, "it is important that people understand that Australia has no obligation under International law to accept the rescued persons in to Australian territory”.
But he was confused. Because this wasn’t about international law, this was about getting whitey to pick up the tab. And when whitey, in this case represented by Australia, demurred, the reaction was apoplectic. Australia was vilified throughout the world. The Saudis, taking time out from beheading foreign slaves poverty stricken foreign workers, appealed, I'm not joking, for the Australians to ‘show mercy’. Just to be clear, this is the Saudis asking the Australians to show mercy. One commentator referred to ‘the Australian government's mind-bogglingly brutal and irrational stance’.
The asylum seekers were taken to the Pacific island of Nauru and held there pending a resolution. As usual, thanks in large part to a preening Australian lawyers, most of them eeventually were granted asylum, most in either to Australia or New Zealand, where presumably they’re now established members of Hizb ul Taher, or whatever these fanatics call themselves. Ireland took in a few, who subsequently caused endless trouble.
A few points worth noting:
These ‘unfortunates’ paid, as I mentioned, between $5,000 and $10,00 – each. Extrapolating Afghanistan’s per capita income to Ireland, this would mean a sum of about $700,000 to us. What ever about unfortunate, they certainly weren’t poor.
Australia has a well-defined immigration system (although misguided in that they’re allowing hundreds of thousands of Muslims in) and applicants form, or are supposed to form, an orderly queue while their applicants are processed. What the Tampa people did was, quite simply, queue jump. Or more correctly, given that they had earlier been refused asylum status by the UN, simply forced Australia’s hand by hijacking the Tampa.
Much hand-wringing took place over the imprisonment of the ‘refugees’ while their claim was processed. The UN reported that ‘Australia was creating widespread depression among asylum seekers by holding them indefinitely’. But this is nonsense. They were free to go any time they wished. In fact the Australians would, I'm sure, have provided first class air flights back to Pakistan if the 'refugees' had asked.
Finally, they passed up the opportunity for resettlement in a number of countries on their way, including several Muslim states, setting their sights instead on Australia. Quite clearly they weren’t fleeing from somewhere, they were fleeing to a specific place.
The lesson to draw? Whitey and the West will always get the blame for others’ problems. These wealthy pirates, out to queue jump at best, enter by illegal force at worst, were given a free pass, while the Australians’ reputation was dragged through the mud. And whitey was the main player in this act of self-destruction.


Anonymous said...

Good post and good explanation. Just note that the worst offenders undermining the Governments case were Australians, the worst of all being that insufferable prick Julian Burnside, who made a reputation out of the whole thing.

Lamost all of them got in, as you say, either to here or NZ.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to hanging pirates? Piracy on the high sea has always been a capital offense. When did this change?

Anonymous said...

Piracy ended when PC took control. Now you take them to wherever they want to go. By the way, I seem to remember that the crew of the Tampa were abused because they refused to 'share their quarters' with the 400+ pirates!

Anonymous said...

And who pointed a finger at that "asylum seeker" for putting a knife at the throat of the man who had saved his life? Nobody. But boy were they all over Australia who was simply following standard procedure.

As usual these parasites get to do whatever they want. Especially to Whitey. Good ol' liberalism at its best.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what agenda it is that our Australian government has that they allow all these so called Refugees? entry into Australia.They are predominately Muslim but seem hell bent on settling here in preference to anywhere else. Can't our politicians of either party see the problems that are appearing in the U.K. and Europe through allowing this type of mass immigration from 3rd world countries. I can't believe they are that stupid and dim witted , it's a worry and doesn't bode well for our future.