Jun 13, 2014

Cambodia no place for refugees — and Abbott should know it

The desperately poor, corrupt nation of Cambodia is no place for refugees. Crikey sits down with an Australian Jesuit who has made it her home to talk about what might face asylum seekers who have the misfortune of ending up there.

Michael Sainsbury — Freelance correspondent in Asia and <em>Little Red Blog</em> Editor

Michael Sainsbury

Freelance correspondent in Asia and Little Red Blog Editor

In 1980, the head of the Jesuits, Father Pedro Arrupe, decided that one of the Catholic Church’s most influential orders must do something about the wave of refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

The wave of dispossessed people was a result of conflict that had wracked the region for decades. In Cambodia’s case, people had fled the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge and its leader Pol Pot, and there were 250,000 in camps on the Thai border alone.

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5 thoughts on “Cambodia no place for refugees — and Abbott should know it

  1. AR

    The point is NOT that they don’t know.
    They simply couldn’t give a rats.

  2. Plonkoclock

    I think it is very wrong to assume Tony has no compassion. After all, look at the kindness and concern he has showered on the miners, the major polluters, the timber industry, the hotel and gambling industry, his poor Murdoch friends. Stricken, they are, and so very needy.

  3. Venise Alstergren

    It is an outrage to consider sending Australia’s refugees to Cambodia. The existing population is desperately poor and the government significantly corrupt. Which tends to beg the question, between the Australian government and the Cambodian government; which one is the more corrupt?

    It is wonderful having a fundamentalist, Jesuit trained, Christian as Prime Minister of Australia. He, and his deeply religious front bench, set a sterling example for today’s young people. An example to encourage lying, cheating, saying one thing and meaning another, callousness, kicking the environment in the cods, speciousness, ambition at any price, cut throat jousting, deviousness and a refusal to display honour of any sort.

    One day, when Tony Abbott has bitten the dust, he might ponder it is not the achievement that counts, it’s the way you exercise it.

  4. Alex

    An excellent article with a great last paragraph. Sadly, I don’t see that last suggestion happening, and even if it did, I severely doubt that Coghlan’s compassion and humanity would get through to Abbott’s brain. The search itself, for that organ, would probably see it expire of exhaustion.

  5. AR

    VA – many feel the same pain but take heart, this too shall pass.
    Remember how so many throughout the world exulted on Obama’s election and how we here in OZ thought that the Dark Night of Howard had passed when Krudd came to office.
    A 3rd disappointment was bLIAR crushing the undead thatcherite tories.
    What do they all have in common?
    Elected by democracies begging, beseeching change, with huge, agenda altering majorities & each pissed it away in the deluded belief that the other side had similar goodwill at their font.
    Alas & alack.

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