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Melbourne Protest: Rescue the Rohingyan refugees
22 May 2015 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
– Rescue the Rohingya
– End Boat Turn Backs
– Australia resettle Rohingya refugees
Speakers include Habib Habiburahman
Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia (Melbourne Branch)
The Australian government must help to rescue up 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers stranded in the Malacca Straits – where the Australian Navy patrols close by.
Despite reports of 200 deaths already and many more imminent from dehydration, Tony Abbott continues to defend Australian turn backs of asylum boats, and encourages Indonesia to do the same. But it has become glaringly obvious that turn backs don’t save lives – they cause deaths.
The stateless Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Indonesia has offered support to around 600 Rohingyan asylum seekers who have landed in Aceh, but instead of offering humanitarian assistance Australia is cutting foreign aid to Indonesia by 40%.
Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia.
Abbott’s ‘stop the boats’ slogan is a costly sham that costs lives. The government could have saved the budget and saved lives by scrapping offshore processing which cost $3.6 billion last financial year. Instead it is adding to the obscene cost with $400 million more for its new monstrous Border Force ministry. A tiny fraction of this could instead help with an international rescue effort.
The lives of up to 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers rest in the hands of regional governments of Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Every hour that passes without assistance puts more lives in danger.
Join the protest Friday
for more info visit www.rac-vic.org
or call Chris 0403 013 183
Sign Senator Sarah Hanson Young’s petition for immediate action