Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has again refused resettlement to any of the thousands of asylum seekers caught up in south-east Asia’s growing refugee crisis. He summed up his argument in three words.
“Nope, nope, nope,” Abbott replied today when asked by reporters in the South Australia state capital Adelaide about whether he would offer Australian refuge to the seagoing migrants from Myanmar’s oppressed Muslim Rohingya minority and Bangladesh. According to The Sydney Morning Herald he said:
“(We) will do absolutely nothing that gives any encouragement to anyone to think that they can get on a boat, that they can work with people-smugglers to start a new life.
“If we do the slightest thing to encourage people to get on the boats, this problem will get worse, not better.”
Abbott said Australia’s role was to do all it could to end people-smuggling, which he reiterated was key to stopping the migrant boats.
“The best way to do that is to make it absolutely crystal clear that if you get on a leaky boat, you aren’t going to get what you want, which is a new life in a Western country,” he said.
The conservative Abbott coalition government introduced a military-led operation to turn back boats carrying asylum-seekers before they reached the island continent after coming into power in September 2013. As reported yesterday by Breitbart London, the policy was an immediate success.
It has now been 18 months with virtually no asylum-seeker boat arrivals and no reported deaths at sea, but human rights advocates have slammed the policy for violating Australia’s international obligations. Abbott’s refusal to offer resettlement to refugees is in clear defiance of the UN but he offers the evidence that to do anything else encourages people smuggling.
Before the policy was introduced, boats were arriving almost daily with hundreds of people drowning en route to Australia’s shores. Today there are none.
Abbott’s strong stance on asylum seekers will not be mirrored in the EU. As thousands flood across the Mediterranean from Africa for a new life they are being welcomed ashore in Italy and then given free access to travel through the rest of Europe.
This is despite known terrorists from IS and other terror organizations being among the seagoing passengers.