Rohingya Boat People : Abbots 3 Nopes / June 08 , 2015

This was taken from a blog called ” Melodious Ocean ”
http://www.melodiousocean.wordpress.com

Abbott’s Three “Nopes” – Why They Make Sense

June 8, 2015 by melodiousocean

Rohingya Boat People By guest writer Greg Clancy

I didn’t think it would take long. When you have studied the people smuggling business for nearly twenty years, and understood the workings of the people smuggler support industry – the ignorant, the naïve, the crooks, the corrupt, the anachists and the Greens – you learn how to anticipate reactions to people smuggling events. So on the subject of the Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants who were stranded on leaky boats in the Andaman Sea I was not at all surprised to read an article, via the ABC ( The Drum ) by Mathew Davies, a lecturer at ANU, who claims the problem has been – yes, you have probably guessed it already – largely Australia’s fault! According to the article somehow Australia is responsible for the difficulties of the migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh who previously could not find a landing in Southeast Asia. Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have apparently copied the Abbott government’s policy of turning back the boats.

You have to give some cautious credit to the Abbott boat-policy bashers – they don’t give up. Throw at them the facts and the realism of twenty-first century people smuggling and these are neatly diverted into words like “compassion”, “responsibilities”, “treaty obligations” etc. Mention to any of these people that the big majority of the boat arrivals into Australia from Indonesia and Sri Lanka were NOT refugees or asylum seekers – i.e. state the facts – and note the reaction.

The real issue with the Rohingya people in Myanmar is one that sits on the unmentionable list. The United Nations will not acknowledge it – at least not publicly – and most nations do the same. The obstacle here rests with the extreme social and religious differences between the strictly Islamic Rohingyas and the majority Buddhists in Myanmar. The translated attitude of the Myanmar government to the problem is;

Hey, you Rohingyas are new arrivals in our country – you fit in with us, because we are not giving anything away in our culture just because you don’t like it!

It goes on from there, but as the facts gradually surface we learn that the problem is not quite as simple as described by the UN. In the process of attempting to resolve the crisis, there emerges the unpalatable realisation that these two groups of people simply cannot live together. Myanmar may do precisely what has been suggested – grant citizenship to the Rohingyas etc – but will this improve the situation? Of course not, but it will serve as a temporary “out” for those who are too frightened to engage in a realistic discussion and ultimately to make a decision in the long-term interests of all.

Should Australia offer refugee places to some of the Rohingas? There are three fundamental reasons why this should not occur;

Reason One

It would be an unsatisfactory result for the Rohingyas. Of course they would be looked after, and they would receive all the usual assistance, but then what? The Rohingyas have a society severely bound by their religion and social behaviour, and the likelihood that this group would assimilate satisfactorily into a Western nation is highly remote. There would ultimately be enormous social pressures on the Rohingyas, and while materially better off, they would be prone to a cultural mix that would fracture the community.

Reason Two

Australia would be disadvantaged. Forget the financial cost, it is the social cost Australia will be forced to bear that is the significant obstacle. The extreme Islam of the Rohingyas will mean another separate society will need to be catered for. As assimilation will be difficult to achieve, Australia’s underlying unity will be watered down yet again. The Rohingyas are largely unskilled, do not like Westerners or Western-styled cultural norms and will likely be welfare-dependent for many years to come. This combination of welfare dependency and inappropriate cultural and political surroundings will inevitably result in the further dividing of Australia.

Reason Three

Bringing the Rohingyas to Australia will not do anything to resolve the problem in Myanmar – in fact, it may ensure it becomes a greater problem. What is needed in Myanmar is a satisfactory compromise between the two groups. This will inevitably mean the Rohingyas will be required to forgo those parts of their culture that cause concern, or worse, with their numerically larger Buddhist neighbours. Will they do this? Probably not, and the UN will not suggest it.

It is interesting to note the recent comments from the Malaysian Home Affairs minister when he was questioned on why Malaysia had a policy of turning the boats around. Among other reasons he mentioned “cultural” problems. Here is a nation that has received a large number of migrants from Myanmar, and a government minister talks of cultural problems with the Rohingyas. If Malaysia, a majority Islamic nation, has experienced difficulties with the Islamic migrants, what would be the likely social outcome should any reasonable number of these migrants arrive in Australia? Reports of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis killing each other on the boats only adds a greater concern to this scenario.

Tony Abbott’s three “nopes” contain a great deal more sense than would first appear, and the Myanmar problem has ensured that the policy of returning boats has now taken on a greater significance.

Greg Clancy is author of books such as The Conspiracies of Multiculturalism – the betrayal that divided Australia and The People Smugglers

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