Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Julia Gillard and East Timor

The Sydney Daily Telegraph’s Joe Hildebrand reports:
SYDNEY, July 10, 2010—Prime Minister Julia Gillard has today unveiled a landmark policy package in which all of Australia’s problems are exported to East Timor.

Under the scheme—hailed by ALP strategists as a key circuitbreaker—asylum seekers, people smugglers and the Hells Angels will be sent to Dili for processing.

It expands on an initial proposal for an immigration detention centre there and continues Australia’s proud tradition of shafting East Timor wherever possible. [. . . ]

Ms Gillard said she had consulted extensively about the plan. “I have spoken to the President of East Timor, the Prime Minister of East Timor, the Deputy Prime Minister of East Timor and the Foreign Minister of East Timor about having asylum seekers processed in no particular country,’’ she said.

Ms Gillard said she had also spoken to the Prime Minister of New Zealand who offered in principle support for both countries dumping their political problems on a third. At the resulting tri-lateral talks East Timor lost the vote, 2-1.

Asked his response to the plan, East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta suggested the Prime Minister may not have considered the differences between the two countries.

“What we have here is no money, crumbling infrastructure and a deeply unstable Government dictated to by tribal rule. Then on the other hand you have East Timor.’’
Read the whole thing here.

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