Thursday, July 08, 2010

Timor doesn't want Australia's refugees

On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard came up with a new way of grubbing votes from Australia's racist, xenophobic electorate: a new "Pacific solution" based in Timor. John Key was quick to sycophantically crawl up Australia's arsehole offer to help, citing paranoid fears of refugee boats arriving in New Zealand. But there's one sticking point: the Timorese government doesn't want to clean up Australia's problems:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s proposal to set up a refugee processing centre in East Timor is unlikely to be accepted, one of the island nation’s most senior cabinet members has declared.

A day after Ms Gillard’s plan was unveiled, East Timor’s Deputy Prime Minister, Jose Luis Guterres, revealed his nation had initially flatly rejected the idea and was now only considering it because it had been formally asked by Australia to do so.

But he suggested East Timor had enough problems of its own without taking on one of Australia’s. "East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the world. We have huge problems," he told The Age.

"As a citizen and a member of cabinet, I can advance to you that it’s very unlikely that East Timor will accept the proposal."

So much for that, then. Deprived of an easy location, the Australian plan is hopefully now dead in the water. Unless they decide to go back to Nauru. But that may be just a little too obviously Howardian for Gillard's tastes.