The Sri Lankan asylum seekers

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister John Key’s message that 85 Sri Lankan asylum seekers intercepted in Indonesia are “not welcome” has the backing of many in New Zealand’s Sri Lankan community.

The Tamil asylum seekers were detained on Saturday by the Indonesian Navy as they apparently tried to make their way to New Zealand by boat. …

United Association spokesman Chula Rajapakse said there should be no reason for there to be refugees from at the moment, as the country was “as peaceful as Wellington”.

“There’s no violence there right now, the violence there caused by Tamil terrorism has been quelled, it’s been put to rest two years ago.

“We have always taken the position that, when it comes to this queue-jumping by people-smugglers, New Zealand should not be seen to be taking a soft hand.”

The Tamils are not at fear or risk of their lives. They are economic refugees, not genuine refugees. If they actually reached NZ, then a tribunal would have to determine that, but I don’t think it is a close call.

NZ takes in several hundred refugees every year – those who go through official channels. I don’t believe you reward queue jumpers, because doing so will just encourage more and more people to do the same.

UPDATE:

Phil Goff agrees with John Key.

Labour leader Phil Goff holds a similar view and says we can’t run policy on sympathy and let everyone that turns up her into the country.

He says the way to go is meet our responsibilities with our refugee quota, not promote gain for people smugglers who’re making money out of the misery of others.

I suspect not all in the Labour caucus will be happy with that call.

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