Before I went to Australia I talked to several Australians about the political climate in Australia. Those I met said that Australians are very xenophobic, that there is a fear of immigrants and more immigration. Australia is not far from many poor Asian countries, so I can understand.
Let us help each other
Although I think – certainly by travelling – that we should help each other in the world. The fact that you were born somewhere determines your future, that’s unfair, and those who try to find a better life I understand. I would do the same if I didn’t have a future in my own country.
Island of Nauru
They also told me about Nauru, an island off the Australian coast. Here many refugees are kept where they live in tents. Many people have lived there for years. They can’t go to their own country, where they are persecuted because of their nature and the government doesn’t want them to become Australian. With that there are people who have lived for years in no man’s land without any future.
Bad conditions on Nauru
The conditions are bad, but no one really knows, because journalists are not allowed to come. The government denies that, but recently another journalist was arrested because they wanted to talk to a refugee. There are now 198 refugees, far fewer than when the detention centre was established in 2001. At its peak there were 1233 refugees.
New Zealand offer to take over refugees
New Zealand offered to take over 150 refugees in 2016, thus solving Australia’s problem of not knowing how it came from the refugees, but the Australian government refused.
Rejection of Australia
Understandably, if they would accept that they would acknowledge that it is a problem. You don’t want that. And you don’t want to have your problem solved by a neighbour with a smaller wallet. Who can then also tell everyone that he has helped you with this ‘problem’.
Why the offer?
Why did the New Zealand government make the offer at all? I know too little about New Zealand politics, but I feel that it has an undertone of ‘we know better’. Australia has a very right-wing government that tries to keep immigrants out as much as possible.
For the New Zealand Government, it is also a subtle way of pointing out to Australia that they are treating people scandalously. Which developed country treats its refugees like this?
Just coming from India where I have travelled for two months I think everyone in Australia smells of soap, it’s clean and everyone is wearing the latest clothes. Almost everyone walks on white sneakers.
I think if you have so much money you can afford all kinds of luxury that you can’t make it to put people in tents on an island without any prospect of a future.
In my own way I am also working on my future by travelling and developing myself. I also studied and worked. This was all for the future. Everyone is working on that.
So I can hardly blame someone for trying to flee their country where they have no future, I also understand that Australia does not want an open door policy, you want and you can not just admit everyone, but a rich country should take care of the guests who come to visit, whether or not they are invited.
You just do that, because everyone is human.