The government’s ill-fated bid to defuse “controversy”, by suspending asylum claims for people arriving from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, looks sicker still this week after a report from the International Crisis Group reminded us of the violations visited on the Tamils in the final months of the civil war, this time last year. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed, it says, citing witness testimony, satellite images, documents and other evidence: most from systematic army bombardments of areas that had been officially declared “safe”.
No wonder the Sri Lankan government is cracking down on journalists and NGOs: it has plenty to hide. More than 100,000 people are still interned, with reports trickling out of maltreatment, r-pes and the mysterious “disappearances” that have been the signature MO of the security forces there for decades.
And what I think is on-the-money comment on political pragmatism gone wrong:
You can’t triangulate on race. It’s a lesson the Rudd government is learning all over again. There is no limit to how far a declared party of the Right will go, in search of a wedge: so the supposed “centre ground” simply moves further and further away from the comfort zone of a government still aspiring to hold together a “progressive” base of support.Ay, some of it has cracked the sh!ts with being 'held together'.