Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Loss of life at Christmas Island a tragedy

The sinking today of a boat off Christmas Island carrying a large number of asylum seekers is a terrible tragedy and one that should remind the world of the dangerous lengths people are forced to go to in order to flee persecution and violence.

The State Committee of the CPA expresses sympathy with the survivors, many of whom will have lost family members in this horrific incident.

While supporters of both major parties are busy pointing the finger of blame at each other, it is our position that neither the ALP or the Liberal Party have presided over immigration policy that meets Australia's international obligation to provide a safe haven for asylum seekers. Australia is a wealthy country and its people are, in the main, compassionate. Despite this, successive federal governments have persisted with refugee policy that is inhumane and runs counter to UN human rights conventions.

The CPA (SA) demands that the current Gillard Federal Government acts swiftly to adopt a more compassionate and humanist approach to those seeking asylum in our country; there must be no more tragedies like the one we have witnessed today.

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