As a Tamil refugee commits suicide, former Aust. diplomat criticises ASIO

November 8, 2011 Comments Off on As a Tamil refugee commits suicide, former Aust. diplomat criticises ASIO

ABC Unleashed – Time to clear up some security clearance doubts

The security clearance industry is just that – an industry.

In theory and more often in practice the more sophisticated a society the more efficient and streamlined is the process for obtaining a security clearance.

Record keeping – births, deaths and marriages – school, trade and university qualifications, police records, military service records and media interventions, mentions and appearances, all assist in building a profile. Couple this with an efficient filing and retrieval system and obtaining a security clearance should be neither difficult nor lengthy.

Where things start to unravel is when some or many of the prerequisites listed above are not kept on file or are missing from file. Add to this sloppy record keeping and matters become a bit hit or miss. Further add in corruption and the process ceases to function…

Bruce Haigh is a political commentator and retired diplomat who served in Sri Lanka.

SMH Opinion Editorial – Vaunted values too slow to save neglected son from fatal despair

An open letter to ‘Shooty’, who committed suicide in Villawood detention centre last week.

Dear ‘Shooty’,

I’ve just watched our Prime Minister talking about shared Commonwealth values in Perth. My mind turned at once to you and your solitary, late-night death in Villawood detention centre last week…

…At CHOGM, the high table of Commonwealth values, Sri Lanka went un-punished for atrocities against Tamils. But even when the Tamil human-shield civilians were being blasted at the end of the Sri Lankan war between the government and the Tigers, we all knew some people like you would inevitably come to Australia. Good old John Dowd, who is head of our local chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, had already called for the trial of the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia for war crimes against your people. This just cry, like most just cries these days, has penetrated the stratosphere and vanished into space.

Amnesty International has reported death and torture of those asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka. Of course, none of those accusations made it to the high table of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Mateship. The only person who said anything of note at CHOGM, anything that tried to push out the envelope of concern, was the Queen…

Tom Keneally, AO, is the Booker prize-winning author of Schindler’s Ark. ‘Shooty’ committed suicide in Villawood detention centre last week.

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