Digging deeper beyond the lies and clichés, Nauru, Manus, refugees, border control

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming started the topic in Saturday, 3 Nov 2018 at 8:51am

Unbelievable the amount of misinformation and lies on both sides of this issue and the lack of mature conversation in Australia, by media, politicians , refugee advocates, and public.

Views always see to be either naive pro refugee advocates or racist anti refugee people.

The recent Kids on Nauru issue is just mind-blowing on the complete tripe being peddled by refugee advocates and media. (not even sure where to start on that)

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blindboy Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 2:48pm

No country ever, including Britain (twice) and the Soviet Union has ever successfully invaded and controlled Afghanistan. The truth was that it was Pakistan who had the greater involvement in protecting bin Ladin. It may have been reasonable to bomb Tora Bora but it was totally irresponsible to put western troops on the ground ....... that was always madness.

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 3:14pm

I wonder how many people arrive in Australia on different Visas that might otherwise become refugees or asylum seekers?

For example 457 Visa's etc (believe now changed to Temporary skills shortage visa) then if the visa ends and no longer eligible to renew they can apply for a protection Visa..

Im sure this happens, especially among those that are well educated and looking for an easier way to get away from a country with issues and into another country.

Not saying it's wrong or bad, just wonder to what extent it happens, as it could also be another lost stat on how many people we give protection too from these countries.

If we could see a list of countries where workers on these visas come from it would possibly give us an idea but i didn't find anything online.

Interesting read kind of related there is a list of countries migrants come from only Pakistan listed so maybe not much of a factor.

(BTW. the info in that article for permanent protection visas is a little bit misleading, it makes it sound like if you arrive in Australia without a visa by plane you can apply for it, which is not the case, you need to arrive in Australia on another visa of some kind first which you must get approved for https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/protec... )

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GuySmiley Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 3:32pm

If Russia couldn't suppress the mujahideen over 10 years in Afghanistan (15,000 killed/35,000 injured) what hope Uncle Sam and his subservients? None.

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happyasS Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 3:38pm

BB. 'conducted with complete and callous disregard for the residents'?????

Not sure what this means.

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blindboy Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 3:46pm

It means that anywhere up to 1.2 million Iraqis died as a result of the invasion. The vast majority being civilians. By way of comparison 318 coalition military died. War? Not really. Mass murder closer to,it.

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happyasS Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 3:54pm

I thought you might have been suggesting that coalition attacks were conducted with disregard for civilian casualties.

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blindboy Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 4:31pm

No doubt about that.

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Ralph Friday, 16 Nov 2018 at 7:56am

This is from The Australian this morning. Not sure if it will be reported in the Guardian or by the ABC so posting it.

"Forty of the 300 refugees who left Nauru to resettle in the US have contacted the island nation asking to come back. Meanwhile New Zealand is quietly blocking entry to about 450 refugees who could legally fly there on holiday visas, Nauru says."

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indo-dreaming Friday, 16 Nov 2018 at 8:34am


Dozens of refugees who left Nauru to resettle in the United States want to come back to the Pacific island nation, Nauru's President claims.

President Baron Waqa says 40 of the 300 people sent to the US have contacted the government asking to return because life there isn't "easy".

But life in Nauru is cheap, warm and relaxed, Mr Waqa told The Australian in a report published on Friday.

"The US -- it's a difficult place to live, a lot of competition for work and jobs," he said.

"They call America the land of the free and all that but (there are) a lot of catches and they soon find out that it's not that easy."

His comments come after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton last month said refugees resettled in the US have been complaining back to friends in Nauru about the conditions in their new country.

"We are seeing ... reports of people that have gone from Nauru to the United States saying it is harder than they thought because they need to find work in the United States," he told parliament.

"They are saying to people on Nauru now you would be better to go to New Zealand or Australia because they have a better welfare system."

The federal government has maintained nobody processed through Nauru will ever call Australia home, even if they are found to be genuine refugees.

But it has confirmed asylum seeker children will leave Nauru by the end of this year.

There are 22 asylum seeker children still on the island, refugee advocates after two families with a total of five children were evacuated in the past few days.




New Zealand is quietly blocking entry to about 450 refugees who could legally fly there on holiday visas, according to Nauru’s government, which has sent a written recommendation from the UN to allow refugees there to move freely in the region.

So far, only Fiji has agreed to Nauru’s requests to nations in the Pacific region — not including Australia — that refugees living on the island republic be granted visas to travel. Nauru government officials told The Australian this week that the island nation sent each country the request, including a note from the UN advocating for refugees’ rights to travel outside of the country in which they were processed.

The impasse with New Zealand was noted this week by Nauruan President Baron Waqa, who said he was proud to have personally brokered a deal in which New Zealand offered to take a select cohort of 80 of Nauru’s refugees.


NZ blocks visas for holidays
The blocking of holidaying refugees has surfaced as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a meeting in Singapore renewed an offer to Scott Morrison to resettle refugees.

Amanda Vanstone, who oversaw Nauru’s first stint as a destination for Australia’s boat arrivals when she was immigration minister in the Howard government, said yesterday it appeared New Zealand was protecting its borders. “Welcome to our world,” she said. “They obviously don’t want their borders crashed either.”

Air Nauru travels from Nauru to Fiji each week and three airlines offer direct flights each day from Fiji to Auckland or Christchurch.

“Refugees, we encourage them to travel outside of Nauru but not to Australia,” Mr Waqa said. “But some have travelled to Fiji on visas. We give them a Nauru passport, a special passport. And so they are free to move around.’’

Mr Waqa later confirmed that New Zealand was one of the nations that was yet to agree to Nauru’s request to allow its refugees entry on holiday visas.

Earlier this year, Nauru issued a special passport to a Pakistani refugee living on Nauru that he used it to go to Fiji, which issued him a holiday visa. He went there with his girlfriend to celebrate his 21st birthday, The Australian has confirmed. He returned, and is now settled in the US under the deal struck by the Australian government with Barack Obama and honoured by Donald Trump.

Forty of the 300 refugees who left Nauru to resettle in the US have contacted the island nation asking to come back because life in America was harder than ­expected, the Nauruan President has revealed.

Refugee life on Nauru can include holidays in Fiji, business ownership, free housing and healthcare and jobs in government departments and at the local hospital, The Australian was told during a four-day visit to the ­Pacific island nation to interview refugees and government officials.

Nauru’s President Baron Waqa said refugees who resettled in the US had contacted his nation’s Departmen­t of Justice and Border Protection and asked to come back. He said that did not surprise him because Nauru was a cheap place to live, warm with a relaxed lifestyle. “The US — it’s a difficult place to live, a lot of competition for work and jobs,” he said.


NZ blocks visas for holidays
“They call America the land of the free and all that but (there are) a lot of catches and they soon find out that it’s not that easy.”

Afghan nurse Mohammad Noor, left, with pediatrician James Auto at Nauru Hospital. Picture: Glenn Hunt
Afghan nurse Mohammad Noor, left, with pediatrician James Auto at Nauru Hospital. Picture: Glenn Hunt
However, Nauru is also a place of uncertainty for some of the ­remaining 450 refugees and 50 ­asylum-seekers who feel un­welcome, highly visible and left behin­d, as the last of the refugee couples with children are airlifted from Nauru to Brisbane on commercial flights.

In an interview this week, Mr Waqa said he took his responsib­ility to care for refugees seriously.

He believed Nauru had mat­ured in the role and was good at it.

Mr Waqa said, overall, the economic benefits of the nation’s second foray into the business of regional refugee-processing outweighed the hurt of being labelled a prison and a hell-hole in the international media.

Mr Waqa said his people’s history of exile and persecution made them sympathetic as a nation to refugees. Claims the government mistreated or neglected refugees were untrue and painful, he said.

“We try and understand the situation because there are people that have their own political agendas overseas and want to attack us because of our involvement in the process centre and our partnership with Australia. So we get caught up in the middle.”

Mr Waqa said he believed few people outside Australia understood that refugees moved freely around the island, that they owned businesses including a barber shop and a cafe, and worked for his government or had fallen in love with locals.

Asylum-seekers Yasin Zadeh, left, and Sayed Zaidi at a refugee camp on Nauru. Picture: Glenn Hunt
Asylum-seekers Yasin Zadeh, left, and Sayed Zaidi at a refugee camp on Nauru. Picture: Glenn Hunt
At the $27 million hospital that Australia built in 2016, refugee Mohammad Noor works as a nurse using the qualifications he gained at the International Medical Corps in Afghanistan. The 37-year-old, who is skilled in the operating theatre, is planning the day he can be reunited with his wife and seven children, who remain in Afghanistan. One option open to Mr Noor is to seek to bring his family to Nauru.

The island’s government offic­ials say one refugee has already successfully applied for a Nauru visa for his spouse to join him.

This year, a Pakistani refugee, who has since been resettled in the US, flew from Nauru to Fiji to celebrate his 21st birthday on a passport issued by the Republic of Nauru.

“Yeah, they go on holidays — you didn’t know that,” the ­President said.

Nauruan parents Maverick and Ziki Eoe don’t recognise their country the way it is depicted in some media reports; they say their island home has adapted well to the government’s decision in 2012 to take 10 per cent of its population as refugees.

“The refugees are good people, and people on Nauru are welcoming and laid back,” Ms Eoe said.

“It is working much better than what is portrayed. We are a graceful people so we accept the critic­ism but it still hurts.”

President Baron Waqa in his office. Picture: Glenn Hunt
President Baron Waqa in his office. Picture: Glenn Hunt
Mr Waqa lashed Australian-based advocates he claimed had stirred up anxiety and false hope among refugees, while Nauru’s police commissioner, Corey Caleb, said at times more than half of all callouts on the island of 10,000 permanent residents had been for incidents involving refugees and asylum-seekers whom he believed “got the wrong advice” about how to bring attention to their plight and get to Australia.

Mr Caleb said the police force had increased from 110 to 130 officers to deal with the cases, which had included allegations that unknown Nauruans committed serious crimes against refugees.

He said police found no evidence of such crimes and the ­alleged victims did not want to give a statement. He said Nauruan police were routinely called to incidents of attempted self-harm by refugees that were then photographed by other refugees. “They got the wrong advice, you know — that’s my point,” Mr Caleb said.

Some refugees approached by The Australian this week are deeply troubled. Hazara refugees Sayed Zaidi and Yasin Zadeh have been on the island for five years. Mr Zadeh, 29, has been told he will soon go to the US but finds it hard to say if he is pleased about it.

His flatmate, Mr Zaidi, 23, said he did not know whether he would be accepted. He said he barely ate and had stopped caring about what his future holds.

“We are forgotten,” he said.

Nauruan children at play. Picture: Glenn Hunt
Nauruan children at play. Picture: Glenn Hunt
One Iranian man was due to fly to Australia with his wife and children last month but told The Australian his family’s transfer had been on hold since he was charged by police over an outburst at the offices of a non-government ­agency on Nauru that assists refugees. Police allege he made threats to kill and smashed a computer, while the man said he was only shouting in distress because his children barely ate.

“If I was shouting, I was shouting for my family,” he told The Australian.

His anger is directed at the Australian Border Force, the authority that has been a presence in the family’s life since their asylum boat arrived at Christmas Island just three days after Kevin Rudd shut the door on boat arrivals on July 19. 2013.

“ABF is our God,” he said.

Ian Rintoul, of the Refugee ­Action Coalition, said claims that advocates coached refugees were baseless, and nobody who had made that claim had had proof.

Not all refugees have felt safe on Nauru. One young father, who said he had Nauruan friends, also told of being identified as a refugee and beaten by locals in the street late at night.

“They grabbed my hands and said ‘Do you want to fight?’ And I said ‘No, I am your friend’ but they hit me, make video, make fun,” he said. “I told them ‘I am human’.”

The man and his wife did not want their names published in The Australian, but said they worried about the future for their young son while their circumstances were so uncertain. In the small refugee lodge where they live in a one-bedroom house, their refugee neighbours on either side have been flown to Australia. He did not know why.


tried to reopen to cut and paste wont let me view again or the third article. (got it with different browser)

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indo-dreaming Friday, 16 Nov 2018 at 8:41am

Interesting stuff, i never knew they could travel within Fiji region.

So much BS and intentional not reporting or misleading reporting on this issue.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018 at 6:35am

No manus or Nauru, but interesting read from Jakarta Post
"Afghan refugees stage protest in Medan, asking to be sent to Oz, US"

Dozens of refugees from Afghanistan staged on Monday a rally in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Medan, North Sumatra, demanding to be sent to their destination countries, which include Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

The refugees, many of them children, carried banners and posters depicting images of violence taking place in their country of origin. They said they were restless because the UNHCR said it had stopped the process of sending them to the destination countries.

"We don't know where to go. We are also humans who have the right to live in this world,” the refugees’ spokesperson, Muhammad Zuma, told reporters at the rally on Monday.

Zuma said most of the Afghan refugees currently in Medan had been waiting in the city for five to seven years, which they said was too long.

Yassin, another refugee, said that when he set sail to leave his country, Indonesia was not his main destination.

“We want to be sent to the US soon,” Yassin said.

He added that many of his fellow members of the Hazara tribe, a minority group in Afghanistan, were being hunted by the Taliban. He said killings of Hazara tribespeople still occurred today, forcing them to flee the country and avoid persecution.

“We just heard that some of our relatives back home have escaped [the Taliban] and are living in the mountains, despite the winter,” he said.

No UNHCR representatives were willing to meet the protesters.


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Optimist Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018 at 7:04am

Makes you wonder Indo, they are already free in a Muslim country where they can settle, get work and live and no one supposedly trying to kill them. Some of my friends live there and are happy, why aren't they. Perhaps economic refugees is a just title for some of them.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018 at 7:35am

To be fair they can't legally work in Indonesia, so not really a country they can stay in long term.

But it's really just a case of way to many refugees and not enough places for resettlement, i mean off course they would like to go elsewhere, but so do many of the other millions of refugees.

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indo-dreaming Thursday, 29 Nov 2018 at 6:40pm

The kind of stuff media don't tell you


Sorry wont let me embed pic?

<script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 12 Jan 2019 at 4:21pm

Not Manus or Nauru.

But this recent case of this Saudi teen is interesting. (She has since been given asylum in Canada)

Most refugees become refugees through no fault of their own, war, famine etc but this case is a little different obviously Saudi Arabia is not a good place for women (or non muslim men)

But how do you deal with these situations?

Remembering that she has endangered her own life by renouncing Islam.

What would happen if this situation became common place?

Although at this stage i don't think it is possible, as i heard on the radio women in Saudi Arabia can't freely travel out of the country anyway without permission from a man (husband/father etc) I believe she was on holiday elsewhere with the family.

I mean yeah people will most likely just say, just give them asylum, but you always have to remember in doing so you have just put huge disadvantage on other refugees.

So if become commonplace it would be a real problem to the system.

Anyway it think the government handled it pretty good, didn't show there cards, no big yes or no and the outcome is a good one for all.

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truebluebasher Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 at 10:24am

Widely reported that over 70 Nauru Refugees refused US resettlement.
1000's of Reports say since resettlement that's been revised down to 40.
Advocates in touch with the refugees are aware of 'a few' wishing to return.
To date only one has applied for Nauru Citizenship.

Dutto's Toilet Scroll of ungrateful Muslim whingers buys Front Page by default.

Refugees cited U.S. Govt drumming up hatred of Muslims.
U.S. travel Bans on Muslims...Meant never seeing home country/family again.
U.S. travel Ban prohibits Muslims from ever reuniting with Oz loved ones.
Nor can Australian or most Muslims visit or reunite with American Muslims.

Who here would sign up to a dumb deal of permanent isolation from your family?
I'd hazard a guess & say most would put U.S. last on whatever list for every reason.

Media chose to downplay most obvious reasons of loss of liberties & freedom.
Dutto & Co report refugees prefer Nauru detention over Land of the Free detention.
Nauru provides last hope of reuniting with loved ones. (U.S. ends all hope!)

Dwindling few are entitled two sides to every story. Oz are fed Newscorp cereal.

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Blowin Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 at 11:20am

So they’re refugees because it’s unsafe in their homelands and now they’re country shopping based on who lets them visit home for holidays ?

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 at 11:29am

Haven't read much on this since been in media but those things sounds suss, id always take any reports by advocates with a grain of salt, as always have clear agendas.

1000's of reports?

I will have to go read about travel bans, but its a bit hard to believe Australians or Americans are banned from traveling to each others countries as tourist/family visit based on religion.

I thought all travel bans were to and from dodgy countries.

But yeah if you are a refugee who can travel home to visit friends or family, then really you shouldn't be classed anymore as a refugee.

Thats the problem in some cases it does become safe to travel home for refugees when situations change, wars end, governments change etc.

Hence why resettlement focus and priority should be on those who will always be refugees like stateless refugees.

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truebluebasher Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 at 12:40pm

Oz Games Asylum Seekers

1956 Olympic Games (Melb) 61 asylum seekers
2000 Olympic Games (Syd) 145 overstayed + 35 on the run
2006 Commonwealth Games (Melb) 26 asylum seekers
2008 Homeless Persons World Cup (Melb) 15 asylum seekers
2008 World Catholic Day (Syd) 3,000 overstayed + 20 asylum seekers
2018 Commonwealth Games (GC) 205 illegals + 50 'games people' the run
2018 Invictus Games (Syd) 6 unregistered Sporting Wheelies are on the run

Re: 25,000 Defence/Cops/security guards laughed off Closing Ceremony walkout?
Dutto homeland security fail on epic proportion (Oz media Ban > 100's on the run)
Front page Boat People but 100's of asylum seekers living amongst us is no news?

Are Royal Comm Games-Invictus athletes too good to fill empty Nauru Beds?
Here's the tough approach Dutto weilds out to the the Right Royal Reffos...
We decide which reffos are royal enough for crowdfunding.

[factcheck] Medalists seeking Oz asylum have in turn won Gold medals for Oz.

In regard to Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun being granted Oz asylum...

Oh Shit! 'Not Dutto again!' UNHRC said "No! No! Not Ever...No way in hell !"


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truebluebasher Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 at 2:38pm

221,000 reports of 40 Refugee (shoppers) wanting to return to Nauru.
As I researched & reported just one fussy romeo actually ! Hardly News?
As was reported by advocate whose clear agenda is to care for U.S. refugees.
Aussie Disaspora Steps Up...Aussies in the USA helping Manus & Nauru Refugees.


The U.S. travel exclusion applies to Dual Citizens of Listed Banned countries.
You all may recall British being granted exemption while Oz said just torture them.
Australia's clarification is watered down Brit version. Muslims are urged to check!
U.S. target bans towards Oz Muslim speakers of any age or topic because they can.

Trump stated Australia was worse. OZ won't honour U.S. Refugees dumb deal.

Back to Media Ban on Dutto's Comm' Games (lost tribe) crime gang.
[STOP THE GAMES] We decide who wins Gold.
Be afraid! Be very afraid or just go back to sleep. [Dutto 4 President]

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truebluebasher Monday, 25 Feb 2019 at 11:04am

WSR BASHERBAN enters day 4 ...
Surfboard loads of Basher Smugglers illegally breach WSR sovereign borders.

Scomo milks votes from Humanitarian Crisis... {We decide who surfs our reserves}
Dutto: Any illegal 'Basherz' will work for the dole cleaning Xmas Island Wavepool.
Flip your HelloWorld Welfare Flyby Club Card for Timetable/terms & conditions.

[ WSR Cyclone Club requires neat & tidy surf product attire! ] (No Beach Bums!)

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truebluebasher Monday, 25 Feb 2019 at 12:31pm

Basher'z Reffo Lawyer finds loophole to exploit posh WSR Cyclone Club by-laws.

Technically once a washed up surfboard is high'n'dry it's declared stateless.
A bit like how Oz Beach Kidz can throw Jellies/Pop Bluebottles/Collect Shells
Beachcombers claim they often use homeless surfboards as shade or o/n shelter.

Washed-Up Surfboard Tours will partner infamous lucrative WSL jumperz.
Once in the WSR the Basher Smuggler throws you overboard or jump off if you like.

Each decommissioned surfboard can stack 10 reffos high...(Gold Coin Donation)
All Basherz are supplied Red Bull Rashies to hail WSL JetSki for return to carpark .
See WSL-Red Bull Jumpoff Timetable for WSR routes & Stops...All Hail the Jetski!