BD News: Update on Australian PM's proposal for asylum-seeker processing in Timor-Leste (23 Oct 10)

BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor-Leste:

Australian PM's proposal for Asylum-seeker Processing in Timor-Leste:

Sentru Prosesamentu ba Refujiadu iha Timor-Leste ka lae?:

Um Centro de Processamento de Refugiados em Timor-Leste?:

23 October 2010

A collection of articles and news items about Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's proposal to establish a processing centre in East Timor for people seeking asylum in Australia.

Please find below the latest 20 articles from the website.
To read the full article click on the relevant link.
Articles are in reverse chronological order.
To view more of the 350 or so articles on this topic follow this link:

Oct 2010: GetUp! Action for Australia: Campaign Ideas Forum: No to an Australian asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste
"The Australian Government is planning to build an asylum seeker processing center in Timor Leste. Both Timorese and Australian citizens and organizations have spoken out against this processing center. Australia has a responsibility to process asylum seekers on its own soil, and ensure that it meets human rights standards. ... Vote no to the asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste to support this campaign further. ... by Citizens Against an Australian Asylum Seeker Processing Centre in Timor-Leste"

23 Oct 2010: Australian: Refugee centre too far from reality
"IF it is ever built, the East Timor processing facility will be a disaster. THE [Australian Labor] Gillard government's proposed regional asylum-seeker processing centre in East Timor is a fraud. The sheer incoherence and impracticality of the proposal mean it is also leading to a diplomatic debacle. As a result, [Australia's] Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is having virtually nothing to do with it. Instead, it is being negotiated by the new [Australian] Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen." Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor

23 Oct 2010: SMH: Refugee group rallies in Sydney
"A refugee group has rallied in Sydney to coincide with the ninth anniversary of the sinking of a boat carrying more than 350 asylum seekers. ... The Refugee Action Coalition rallied on Saturday to oppose mandatory detention, off-shore processing and forcible deportation of asylum seekers. ... "We want to see an end to offshore processing. We don't want to see the regional processing centre in East Timor."

23 Oct 2010: Australian: Labor plays the long game on asylum-seekers
"[Australia's] IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Bowen plans to reclaim the refugee debate. ... Bowen's announcement - which was as much about relieving the pressure on detention centres as it was about high principle - left the question hovering: what is Labor's plan to stop the boats? Pressed on this, Bowen stresses the government's plan for a regional processing centre in East Timor and more rigorous vetting of asylum claims backed by swift deportation of bogus refugees." Paul Maley

23 Oct 2010: SMH: A compassionate voice for asylum seekers
"[Australia's Immigration Minister] Chris Bowen has dumped the harsh rhetoric for a humane detention policy. ... On July 6 she announced a proposal to establish a new offshore processing centre for asylum seekers, in East Timor. This quickly encountered difficulty when the Timorese parliament voted unanimously against any such thing. But Gillard persisted with the concept of a regional processing centre outside Australia. So everything in the national and government policy and political trends on this issue favoured an increasing harshness. And then there were the expectations of the new minister, Chris Bowen. So how did Bowen defy all expectations and break the trend?" Peter Hartcher

22 Oct 2010: New Matilda: Australia Jumps The Queue In East Timor
"[Australia's Immigration Minister] Chris Bowen is ignoring local opposition to a refugee processing centre in East Timor - and that's not all, reports Shona Hawkes from Dili ... Since July, the East Timor Parliament, the NGO Forum and a public petition presented to Bowen in Dili have all publicly urged rejection of the proposal to build a refugee processing centre in East Timor. Indeed, the last time there was such widespread opposition was when Prime Minister Gusmão ordered indicted war criminal Maternus Bere to be released to the Indonesian government in August 2009." Shona Hawkes

22 Oct 2010: east-timor: Timor-Leste News October 22, 2010
CNRT calls on President Horta to be quiet, Fretilin ready to have dialog
Suara Timor Lorosa’e, October 22, 2010 language source: Tetun
east-timor: [scroll down page]

Oct 2010: Solidarity: Refugee policy: The fight to shift Labor
"Solidarity spoke to Jenny Haines a founding rank-and-file member of NSW Labor for Refugees [Australia]. What concerns does Labor for Refugees have with existing Labor policy?
Labor policy says that those refugees who arrive by boat in Australia should be processed in Australia. The last National Conference (2009) did not rescind the excision of those parts of Australia moved outside the boundaries of the migration zone by the Howard Government.
Robin Rothfield (Labor for Refugees, Victoria) made a very powerful speech about the stupidities of excision, but for some reason, Labor for Refugees was not allowed to put the excision issue to the floor for any vote or further discussion. The big question with Gillard’s policy is, “Will she send those refugees who arrive in Australia to Timor?” We don’t know and we oppose her doing this."

21 Oct 2010: east-timor: AusParl: Refugee detention centre in Timor-Leste
"The Australian Governments plan to establish a refugee/asylum seekerprocessing centre in Timor Leste has attracted some attention in the Australian parliament this week. The principal focus has been Opposition attempts to show the July announcement was largely a political move by the Gillard Government to take the heat out of the 'boat people' issue prior to the August national elections."

21 Oct 2010: Herald Sun: Refugee dumping fears for East Timor detention centre
"THE Federal Government has revealed its East Timor detention centre would see asylum seekers from across Asia able to apply to come to Australia. The Opposition says the plan risks creating a regional dumping ground that would serve as a magnet for asylum seekers."

19 Oct 2010: east-timor: Timor-Leste News October 19, 2010
Timor Leste is not land for asylum seekers processing center: MPs
Timornewsline, October 19, 2010
east-timor: [scroll down page]

19 Oct 2010: Daily Telegraph: Truth is a work in progress
"Gillard's handling of this issue is the IR equivalent of her sloppy East Timor solution to asylum seekers. Shortly before the election, Gillard said Dili had agreed to the establishment of an off-shore processing centre. The only problem was that Dili had not and Australia ended up facing condemnation in the Timorese Parliament. Gillard's handling of the issue was more about convincing the voters that, unlike Kevin Rudd, she had found a workable solution to the asylum seeker mess. The opposite was true." David Penberthy

19 Oct 2010: Herald Sun: Drop the charade on East Timor processing centre
east-timor: [scroll down page]
"IT'S time the Gillard Government dropped its face-saving pretence and admitted a regional processing centre will not be built in East Timor. The centre - or centres - may be regional, but they will be located here in Australia." Paul Toohey

19 Oct 2010: Age: Asylum seeker package OK, but no solution in sight
"Gillard raised the prospect of a ''fix'' for the purpose of the campaign - her proposal for a processing centre in East Timor. It's still too early to tell whether this will turn out to be a mirage. Evidence to a Senate committee yesterday was inconclusive. But nothing is going to happen quickly. The emphasis is on a regional solution, but the region moves in a snail-like fashion."

18 Outubru 2010: Suara Timor Lorosae: Konaba Sentru Prosesamentu, PM Xanana: Presiza Dialogu ho Indonezia
"DILI – Primeiru Ministru Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão informa katak, Governu Timor Leste sei la taka dalan atu simu proposta Governu Australia nian atu kria sentru prosesamentu ba refujiadu azilu politiku internasional. Maibe, TL presiza halo dialogu ho Governu Indonesia no Nova Zelandia (NZ), inklui Governu Australia hodi tetu hamutuk vantazen no dez-vantazen proposta ne’e."

18 Oct 2010: Abhinav Blog: E Timor NGO’s reject asylum bid!
"The latest in this regard has been that a petition has been presented to Chris Bowen, the Immigration Minister of Australia. This petition clearly opposes a regional processing hub for asylum seekers. The public petition was presented by the Director of Timor-Leste’s NGO Forum – Ms. Dinorah Granadeiro to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship at a reception in Dili. Apart from standing against the processing centre being built in Timor-Leste, it also mentions the poor record of human rights in Australia when it comes to the asylum seekers."

18 Oct 2010: Australia Forum: Refugee Advocates Score East Timor Plan
"Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is currently in Dili, East Timor stepping up efforts to have the East Timorese government to accept a plan to establish a refugee processing center in the country. This was scored by many refugee advocates as a plan to the involuntary removal from Australia asylum seekers currently detained in the country."

18 Oct 2010: SMH: Aust to foot bill for processing centre
"Australia will pay a "significant proportion" of the cost of building a refugee processing centre in East Timor, a senior government official says. Labor is currently in talks with East Timor about opening a centre in the fledgling nation to house potentially thousands of asylum seekers. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on Monday revealed Australia would foot the lion's share of the bill even if other countries contribute." Julian Drape

18 Oct 2010: ABC: Funding for proposed E Timor centre not finalised
east-timor: [scroll down page]
"A Senate estimates hearing has been told Australia would cover the bulk of the cost for an immigration detention centre in East Timor, but not necessarily all of it. ... Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade head Dennis Richardson says East Timor would not be expected to pay for the centre."

18 Oct 2010: National Visas: Australia and Indonesia talks further on Timor asylum center
"Plans of putting up a refugee center in East Timor for those who are looking for an asylum all throughout Southeast Asia as they make their way to Australia is to be further discussed by Jakarta and Australia. This both countries have agreed upon on Wednesday."

15 Outubru 2010: Timor Expose: FRETILIN hateten ba Australia Timór-Leste labele sai sentru detensaun ba Azilu Politiku.
"Dili- Sorumutu entre lideransa Fretilin ho delegasaun Australia nebe sefia husi Ministru Imigrasaun Australia Chris Bowen atu deskuti konaba estabelesementu sentru detensaun ba Azilu Politika iha Timór la hetan saida mak governu Australia hakarak."

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BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor-Leste monitors the media following topical themes of relevance to Timor-Leste.

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