With the Sri Lankan asylum-seekers being shipped off to Nauru for processing, we wondered if there wasn’t a home for them in Australia.
Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley have presided over the Principality of Hutt River since it seceded from Australia in 1970 (for the full story, click here ). The principality, situated 595 kilometres north of Perth, has flourished. April sees the dual celebration of the leaders’ diamond wedding anniversary and the 37th year of the principality’s existence.
On 28 March, we emailed the Prince:
I write to seek your advice. I work for online news journal crikey.com.au.
As you are no doubt duly informed, the Government of your neighbour, the Commonwealth of Australia, is having many problems with people coming to the country unannounced.
Most recently, 83 Sri Lankans and two Indonesians fleeing their homelands attempted to emigrate, but their vessel was intercepted before they reached Australia proper.
Instead, the asylum-seekers were sent to Christmas Island, which has been excised from Australia’s migration zone, for processing. They are now in the Republic of Nauru where the Government of Australia will determine if they are allowed back into the Commonwealth. If they are not, they will be forced to return to their unhappy homeland situation.
I understand that the Hutt River Province came into being as a reaction to the injustice of wheat quotas imposed by the West Australian Government. These asylum-seekers have been rejected from Australia because of people quotas.
Is there room for them in the Principality of Hutt River and how does one apply for citizenship? It sounds like a lovely place … perhaps a haven.
HRH Prince Leonard responded on 5 April:
Generally anyone can apply for overseas citizenship of this Principality.
Residency then must be applied for, similar to Norfolk Island.
HRH Prince Leonard
Hutt River Principality
So much for the Hutt solution.