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Thursday, April 15, 2010


My next holiday

The Australian government has decided that it will no longer process asylum-seeker applications from Afghanis and Sri Lankans. Australia's Department of Immigration has decided that it is now safe to send them back to their own countries.

What wonderful news I thought. These countries must now be safe for me to travel to. Just to be sure I decided to check the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website. Unfortunately DFAT does not seem to be aware of the improvement in the situation in these countries. Their site's recommendation (as of 15 April) for Afghanistan is 'Do not travel'. It goes on to say, 'We strongly advise you not to travel to Afghanistan because of the extremely dangerous security situation and the very high threat of terrorist attack. If you are in Afghanistan, you should consider leaving.'

Looks like I need to put off my plans for a holiday in Afghanistan. So, how about Sri Lanka? I'm particularly interested in going to the northern and north-central areas because that is where the asylum seekers have most likely come from and where I assume they'd return to.

For Sri Lanka in general, DFAT says 'We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Sri Lanka at this time because of the volatile security situation. Sri Lanka remains in a State of Emergency.' And, 'Attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Sri Lanka.' Specifically on the northern and north-central areas, it says 'We advise you not to travel to the north of Sri Lanka'.

Well, maybe I won't go to Sri Lanka either. I suppose I could always go to Thailand??? Unfortunately for the asylum seekers, they're probably not going to be given that choice.


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