Support for refugees grows in the Asia-Pacific region


A statement of support for refugees has received wide support from left parties and unions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Initiated by the Socialist Alliance, the Indonesian Working People's Association and the Indonesian National Liberation Party of Unity, the statement condemned the Indonesian, Malaysian and Australian governments for their inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, particularly the Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka.

The statement called on the three governments to withdraw financial and diplomatic support for the Sri Lankan government until it closes its concentration camps and allows the Tamils held there to return to their homes.

It also called on the Australian government to "develop a program to settle tens of thousands of asylum seekers and take a leading role in helping reduce the misery of the world's millions of refugees".

The statement also demanded the Malaysian and Indonesian governments sign the UN refugee convention, release the asylum seekers held in detention and allow them full access to the United Nations migration authorities and human rights groups.

Twenty groups have signed the statement, including four socialist organisations in Australia, the Malaysian Socialist Party, the Labor Party Pakistan, the Asia-Pacific Bureau of the World Federation of Trade Unions and Transform Asia, Philippines.

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