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AUSTRALIA: CALLED FOR BURMESE REFUG
Subject: AUSTRALIA: CALLED FOR BURMESE REFUGEE REPATRIATION
/* Written Sep 24 5:00am 1995 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx(DR U NE OO) in
/* -------------" AUSTRALIA: Call for refugee repatriation "------------ */
Following is a letter to the Senator the Hon. Nick Bolkus, the Minister
for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in Australia, urging to promote a
Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of Burmese refugees
According to the Australian Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs'
report to Human Rights Sub-Committee, there are currently 36 Burmese
refugee status applicants in Australia - it' a further decline in
comparison to that of 96 applicants in 1990/91. Although the number of
Burmese asylum-seekers in Australia may be small, it is important that
this Burmese refugee population not to cause panic by the proposal.
I am in a process of informing the local refugee agencies about this
proposal and to tell the Burmese applicants not to cause panic:
Australian Government do have a soft-spot for the Burmese and there
will not be a forced repatriation. Nonetheless, an MOU is still
required to promote formally with the Government, which will assist
those who are capable of going home.
Any of our Burmese friends, who being in similar circumstances in U.S.,
Japan, FRG etc.. are encouraged to promote MOU with the UNHCR. This will
certainly help consolidate our humanitarian movement throughout the globe.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
/* ---------" A letter to Australian Immigration Minister "----------- */
Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
ST MARYS SA 5042
September 21, 1995.
Senator the Hon. Nick Bolkus
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs
The Parliament House
Canberra, ACT 2600
Dear Senator Bolkus
RE: Repatriation of Burmese refugees from Australia
I am a Burmese national who was granted a refugee status by the Government
of Australia. I arrived Australia in January 1988 under the AIDAB student
training programme and have studied at the University of Adelaide under
aforementioned programme. In May 1992, I applied for the refugee status
from the Government of Australia after the cancellation of my passport by
the Burmese Embassy in Canberra. The Determination of Refugee Status
Operation Branch have given the approval for my application in 27 July 1993
and Department of Immigration has since issued a Domestic Protection
(Temporary) Entry Permit for a period of four years.
It is of no doubt that Australia is a good country for refugees to make
resettlement: many refugees and displaced people throughout the world have
chosen Australia as their final destination. Many onshore asylum-seekers,
such as myself, do not therefore hesitate to take up permanent residency
status that is readily offered. Furthermore, the Australians have always
been at the forefront of international humanitarian relief efforts
throughout the world - an evidence of Australian generosity for those
displaced people and refugees. The Australians therefore in many ways have
to be proud of themselves in regards to the care and concern shown to those
people who are in needs.
I am of no doubt that it would be of a great honour for me - and feel sure
that there will be no difficulties - to live in Australia as a citizen.
However, I tend to believe that the indignity to give up my own country,
Burma, have even been greater. Therefore, I have decided that I will
voluntarily repatriate to Burma at any available opportunity.
I therefore call upon the Minister to promote the Memorandum of
Understanding(MOU) with UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Burmese
Authorities for the repatriation of Burmese refugees in Australia. The MOU
must respect the safe and voluntary repatriation of the refugees.
Furthermore, in case of the arrival of Burmese boatpeople to Australia
(thouth highly unlikely), such MOU must also assure that repatriation will
be made only after finalizing a thorough process of determination of well
founded fear of persecution for all arrivals.
Finally, I should like to thank the Minister for your kindness in
allocating more Burmese Special Assistance Category for this year. I look
forward to your favourable reply regarding the voluntary repatriation of
burmese refugees to Burma.
Yours respectfully and sincerely
Sd. U Ne Oo
(a) Statement of Claim for the Refugee Status in Australia,
13 May 1992(Confidential).
(b) Letter of approval for the refugee status in Australia, The Department
of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.
1. Dr Pierre-Michel Fontaine, The Regional Representative for Australia,
Office of UNHCR, 9 Terrigal Crescent, O'malley ACT 2606.
2. Ms Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Case Postale 2500,
CH 1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland.
3. Senator the Hon. Gareth Evans, MInister for Foreign Affairs,
The Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600.
/* Endreport */