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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cutting Refugee Intake and the Bashing of A Sudanese Boy

Mr. Kevin Andrews, the Federal Immigration Minister of Australia, is back in the news headlines. He announced the decision of Australian government in cutting the intake of African refugees, particularly from Sudan, and cited the difficulty of those people in integrating into the Australian society as his reason.

The announcement was made on the back of news of one Sudanese boy who died recently as a bashing victim by three teenagers in Noble Park, Victoria. It was originally thought that the boy was involved in a fighting with a kind of "gang", perhaps of African background, however later on Police found out that the basher are not of African origin.

The timing of Mr. Andrews' announcement is quite strange because to tell people that the African refugees intake from Sudan will be cut due to their difficulty in adapting to the Australian lifestyle while one Sudanese boy actually died as a bashing victim by three other boys and girl, without any information on who was at fault, frankly does not make sense at all. It was pretty much a prejudice that the boy died because of his own fault, perhaps he bullied his basher or tried to robe one of the basher, or because he didn't want to do what most ordinary Australian do.

Understandably, Mr. Andrews has to cope with heavy criticisms from several people, no less than the Premier of Victoria, Mr. John Brumby and the Police Chief of Victoria, Ms. Christine Nixon.

Ms. Nixon told that the numbers of crime committed by the Sudanese only make up 1% of the total numbers of crime they deal with in Victoria and are not represented more than the proportion of their population.

What already clear is the government of Australia had decided to limit the intake of African refugees of Sudanese origin, due to reasons we don't know, and the recent bashing case of a Sudanese boy has been taken for a ride by the office of the Federal Minister of Immigration to announce its decision. It must have been more difficult for the minister to announce the decision had there been no case involving member of the Sudanese community recently.

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