Detainees shunted from school

Paige Taylor; 14/11/09;(4 Items)

Plans are under way to separate asylum-seeker children on Christmas Island from local children by teaching them at purpose-built classrooms away from the school grounds. The Weekend Australian has learned that Christmas Island District High School is investigating the establishment of eight transportable classrooms next to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Phosphate Hill detention facilities, where 167 asylum-seekers are being held. A total of 75 asylum-seeker children are attending school on Christmas Island. They are taught by six teachers funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Most go to classrooms in the grounds of Christmas Island District High School, where there are about 300 other students of all ages. Under the plan, all but the youngest asylum-seeker children would instead learn at Phosphate Hill, where the school established a classroom for older Afghan boys in April.

See:; No deals on asylum: Rudd; Patrick Walters & Stephen Fitzpatrick; 14/11/09;; Customs can’t protect Strait from illegals; Michael McKenna; 14/11/09;

First asylum seekers leave ship
Adam Gartrell; 13/11/09
Twemty-two of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have spent the past four weeks aboard Australia’s Oceanic Viking have left the ship and say the rest will follow. After undergoing medical and identity checks by Indonesian officials, the 22 ethnic Tamils, all of them men, were moved from the Australian Customs vessel to ferries that took them to shore. Four more pulled out at the last minute. The group was then taken in a bus to the Australia-funded detention centre in Tanjung Pinang, Bintan’s main town.
See:; Rudd attacks Turnbull’s ‘dot points’ on border; 14/11/09;; Pull factors are a potent drawcard; Palitha T. B. Kohona is Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the UN.;14/11/09;

Rudd denies special deal on asylum
Tom Allard & Yuko Narushima; 14/11/09
Australian officials halved the processing times offered to most of the 78 Sri Lankans on the Oceanic Viking during negotiations to convince them to come ashore. That contradicts Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s assurance yesterday that they did not get a special deal.Twenty-two of the Tamils last night left the Australian customs vessel indicating that others soon will follow them. As they shuffled into the Tanjung Pinang detention centre, two responded positively when asked if the 56 who remained on the vessel would join them.
See:; A cruel and cynical solution; Michelle Grattan; 14/11/09; See:; Turnbull ‘safe haven’ visa plan under fire; Yuko Narushima; 14/11/09;

Knock, knock, who’s there? Hopeful souls at every door
Tanveer Ahmed; 14/11/09
On a trip to Pakistan earlier this year, I was amazed at how sophisticated the knowledge of Western migration rules was among the locals. One postgraduate student regaled me with the minute details of the Canadian points system, which he felt was more relaxed than Australia’s. A taxi driver lamented the growing barriers to entering Britain, which was once seen as a relatively easy option. A considerable number asked about gaining entry by claiming political asylum. Australia was universally seen as highly desirable but difficult to enter. New Zealand was often seen as the gateway country. It is a pattern is likely to be repeated throughout Asia and an indication of how desperate many people are to reach the developed world. It’s also an indication that as soon as there is a perception of a weak spot in the migration rules, you can bet knowledge of it spreads like wildfire.