Any bets on how long it will take for another flood of humankind to start?
My bet is the next refugee season, or as soon as there is a break in the weather up north.
So now we will have to pay for another flood, plus pay to prop up the Nauru economy. Or perhaps the Nauruans will all come here, which probably isnt such a bad idea. Cheaper, and they could staff the refugee centres. But we all feel great dont we.
And good for you Richie, I bet you feel great too. Of course you have you plush office in Brussels of wherever, and your salary is paid for by the world taxpayers, so that you can pontificate over everyone. And of course you dont have to pay a cracker of what this is going to cost. Just muggins here.
By Rob Taylor
CANBERRA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Australia ended on Friday its
controversial policy of sending asylum seekers into often-lengthy
detention on small Pacific island nations, with the last refugees
leaving Nauru to live in Australia.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who won victory for centre-left
Labor in November, had fought the election pledged to end the
heavily-criticised "Pacific Solution", introduced by the former
conservative government in 2001 to turn back boatpeople after
almost 5,000 arrived the year before.
"This is the end of a long and fairly painful chapter in
Australian asylum policy and practice," said Richard Towle, the
regional head of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Former Prime Minister John Howard introduced the policy in
late 2001, splitting the nation between critics and supporters,
after a standoff involving 439 mostly-Afghan refugees blocked
from landing in Australia by special forces soldiers.
The Afghans had been rescued at sea by a Norwegian freighter,
the MV Tampa, after their fishing vessel sank in international
waters en route to Australia.
During the next six years, more than 1,300 asylum seekers
were processed on Nauru, while others were sent to Manus Island
in Papua New Guinea in return for millions of dollars in aid from
But the policy was criticised by the UNHCR and Amnesty
International, who both accused Australia of breaching its
responsibilities under international refugee conventions.
Rudd's Labor said the policy had wasted more than A$300
million ($268 million) since its introduction and shut the door
on it with the departure of 21 Sri Lankan refugees for settlement
"We're delighted that Nauru finally will have no more
refugees on it from now on," the UN's Towle told local radio.
Canberra said it would retain a tough border policy through a
purpose-built detention centre on remote Christmas Island, in the
Indian Ocean between Australia and Indonesia.
Nauru's cash-strapped government has asked Australia to
increase aid to make up for the blow to its economy caused by the
loss of income from the detention centre.
(Editing by Alex Richardson) ((email@example.com; Reuters Messaging:
firstname.lastname@example.org, +612 6273 3700))
Keywords: AUSTRALIA REFUGEES/
(c) Reuters Limited 2008
REUTER NEWS SERVICE