Hunger strike will not change Canberra policies-Gillard

2013-04-16 08:05:39

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard says asylum seekers going on hunger strike won't succeed in pressuring the government to change its policies.

Gillard was commenting on a group of 27 asylum seekers on hunger strike at a Melbourne detention centre.

While the Immigration Department won't comment on why the detainees are on strike, it is believed they have been granted refugee status but have had their release into the community refused due to adverse Australian security assessments.

Gillard on Monday stressed the importance of assessing would-be refugees on security grounds.

"We've got duties and obligations to the nation here in terms of properly assessing who's a refugee and making appropriate security assessments," she told ABC Radio.

"You do not change your circumstance as an asylum seeker or a refugee with an adverse security assessment through hunger striking," she said.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the detainees were very weak but had resumed drinking fluids.

Meanwhile, the asylum seekers who arrived on a boat at the West Australian port of Geraldton will soon learn if any of them will be sent back to Sri Lanka, Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor said.

Last week, a boat with 66 Sri Lankan asylum seekers reached Geraldton port after a voyage of more than 5,000km.

O'Connor said the government has made it "very clear" if the asylum seekers fail to meet the requirements of the United Nations Refugee Convention, they will be sent home.

"Very shortly, we will make an announcement about returning people home who are not refugees if that is the case," he told Sky News on Tuesday.(BERNAMA)

  Comments - 19

  • Achcharu Tuesday, 16 April 2013 08:32

    Well Said Gillard. Wish there were more alikes among SL and TN politicians

    Reply : 11       117

    OMG Tuesday, 16 April 2013 08:40

    A country built by immigrants refusing immigrants.

    Reply : 138       33

    Dhammaloka Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:23


    Reply : 14       61

    Dammika Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:26

    they are not immigrants ... they are refugees

    Reply : 12       93

    saman Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:10

    fake ones though...

    8       57

    weha Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:32

    Dude we too are imigrants from India. so don't pelt throws from a a glasshouse.use your brains that is if you have any

    Reply : 64       50

    bhumi Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:34

    They are not immigrants, they are refugees

    Reply : 16       61

    semage Tuesday, 16 April 2013 08:41

    Excellent comment madam

    Reply : 19       83

    SAM_SPARROW Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:15

    Come on madam, we all know that your country also dancing USA's song

    Reply : 73       24

    Maha Rajanani Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:40

    Most of them economic migrants, be careful Australia, mate.

    Reply : 10       64

    Game Kolla Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:10

    Australia is a country with highly disciplined people unlike Sri Lanka....definition of a refugee is...a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural they are not refugees.

    Reply : 22       54

    Suq Madique Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:20

    Still, Australia is not obliged to accept refugees who could pose a threat to their national security. The refugees who were denied had violent backgrounds and were considered dangerous.

    Reply : 0       5

    band Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:12

    Hunger is an HR issue. your food they can't eat. you don't give eatable food. don't you get the point?

    Reply : 16       27

    dilan.fernando Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:40

    Give some curry and they will start to eat!

    Reply : 7       25

    jo Tuesday, 16 April 2013 13:13

    Well said madam,you have proved ,that you have courage.

    Reply : 8       33

    Gamarala Tuesday, 16 April 2013 15:55

    These are NOT refugees nor acceptable Migrants. These are all illegal aliens who have no right or entry to Australia.

    Reply : 11       30

    Ananda S Wednesday, 17 April 2013 04:23

    y don't they go to TAMIL Nadu?

    Reply : 1       21

    Concerned Wednesday, 17 April 2013 11:02

    Wasn't it a colony for the British to dump their criminals in the olden days?

    Reply : 1       3

    Max Wednesday, 17 April 2013 11:26

    Tamil Nadu should be asked to take all these Tamil Refugees, as they are so concerned about the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

    Reply : 0       7

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