Morrison’s silence on refugees warrants outrage

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison

COMMENT BY CAROLINE HUTCHINSON: Is it just me or does everyone think we need to work on our humanity every day?

It's easy to criticise, to assume the worst in others and turn a blind eye to people in need.

The Federal Government is hoping you will do all those things, as its behaviour toward refugees and asylum seekers becomes worse by the incident.

On June 28 at about 10am, a boat made contact with authorities on Christmas Island. It was 175 miles out to sea, in some trouble and carrying 153 people - 84 men, 32 women and 37 children.

That same day, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refused to confirm the boat's existence. In a bizarre press conference he told media there was nothing for them to report, unless he told them there was.

When pressed further he refused to comment, saying that public curiosity was not the same as public interest.

The Australian Tamil Congress said one of its members was in contact with the passengers on the boat until late last week, when communication went silent.

It insists the people on board are Tamils seeking asylum from the Rajapaksa Government - Google it if you want to know how that regime treats Tamils.

The boat came from India but, since that government has not signed the refugee convention, it is illegal for Australia to send the boat back there.

Most assume the boat has been towed to Sri Lankan waters, but our government won't say.

I don't know why Australia isn't outraged by Scott Morrison's silence. I am certainly not comfortable with a government that seeks to control information.

And I'm ashamed of a government that will hand asylum seekers back to the regime they claim to be fleeing, without any investigation.

I have no real fear Australia has scuttled the boat, but as a nation are we okay with the fact a large number of innocent people, who came to us for help, have not been heard of in almost a week?

We are such a rich and lucky country, with room for plenty more.

I don't think Scott Morrison speaks for Australia when he says the lives of 153 people asking for help are not in the public interest.

He certainly doesn't speak for me.

Topics:  comment editors picks opinion

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