Travel lift-out consulted
Andrew Bolt believes that the political situation in Sri Lanka is sufficiently benign for the Australian government to immediately deport any and all Sri Lankan asylum seekers back to their country of origin.
His basis for this assessment? Why, no lesser authority than the travel lift-out in his newspaper.
The front page today of Escape, the Herald Sun’s travel lift-out, is dominated by a picture of two smiling Sri Lankan children, over the headline “Back to Sri Lanka”.
The report tales [sic] of “endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people”, and notes correctly that “years of war” are “over” and “Sri Lanka’s looking up”.
So why is the Gillard Government still allowing boatloads of “asylum seekers” from Sri Lanka to stay? Are we again being played for suckers?
Well, it may be that his newspaper’s travel lift-out isn’t necessarily a credible source for gauging the political situation in any given country. Here’s the reality behind the rhapsodic spread quoted by Mr Bolt...
Investigations by Human Rights Watch have found that some failed Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom and other countries have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture upon their return to Sri Lanka. In addition to eight cases in which deportees faced torture on return reported in February, Human Rights Watch has since documented a further five cases in which Tamil failed asylum seekers were subjected to torture by government security forces on return from various countries, most recently in February 2012.
The above is freely available information from a respected international NGO. I last night emailed Mr Bolt apprising him of this material, requesting his response to the following queries:
- Will you inform your readers of the above pertinent information, of which I can only assume you've been completely unaware?
- Can you confirm or refute whether the spread in the Herald Sun’s travel liftout, Escape, was or was not paid for by the Sri Lankan government or some agency there of?
- If so, would you consider repudiating your blog post (or at least the quotes around the expression: asylum seekers)?
At time of writing, I’ve as yet had no response. Meanwhile, Mr Bolt’s shallow, agenda-pushing idiocy remains on display on his blog for all the world to see.
Doctor Easychair is as he does. Some people, it seems, just have no self-respect.