Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Do the right thing for Rohingya refugees

Sam Neill has called on the government to immediately take in Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanma ethnic cleansing:

Actor Sam Neill has called on Bill English to immediately take in Rohingya refugees who are fleeing worsening bloodshed in Myanmar.

Neill has tweeted English urging him to take in "many" refugees from "the most desperate circumstances", adding, "do the right thing Bill".

That plea comes after the Green Party in Australia called on the Turnbull government to take in 20,000 Rohingya refugees in an emergency intake similar to that set up after the violence in Syria.

Neill is right. What's happening in Myanmar is terrible, a classic case of ethnic cleansing. There's very little we at the bottom of the world can do to directly help, beyond supporting UN sanctions, peacekeepers, and an eventual criminal process against the perpetrators (including Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi). But one thing we can do is help the victims, by giving some of them a new home here. Its the least we can do.

When National refused to increase the refugee quota to 1500 a year, their excuse was that they needed spare capacity to handle an emergency influx in a crisis. Well, that crisis is here now, so its time for that emergency influx. Or was National lying to us all along?