Nearly 400 men are languishing on Manus Island in the South Pacific because they dared to try to reach Australia by boat. A majority of them have been detained there for more than four years, and most are legally eligible for resettlement. Technically, the site is not a refugee camp but a “regional processing center,” which is a misnomer because it implies a process and an outcome, and there is little sign of either for these men.
This is the culmination of Australia’s oppressive refugee policy, under which asylum seekers who travel to the country by boat are prevented from ever settling here.… Seguir leyendo »
Let me tell you a fairy tale called Australia. Despite what you may have heard about snakes and spiders and sharks, the remarkable thing about Australia is not its danger but its safety. At its best, this is a peaceful nation, with health care and education for almost everyone, that has enjoyed over the past two decades the longest period of economic expansion of any developed country in modern history. Our cities are regularly judged to be among the most livable in the world.
But we are in danger of stuffing it up, which is an Australian way of saying we may be ruining it all.… Seguir leyendo »
Our Christmas smells like pine needles and chlorine. My children help decorate the traditional tree at their grandparents’ house, then run outside to leap into the swimming pool. They sun themselves in the humid air of an Australian summer.
Back at our place they have been building a gingerbread cottage and adorning it with snowdrifts of icing while batting away flies. On Dec. 25, we will be baking a whole ham studded with cloves and roasting a turkey, but unlike most roasts served on the other side of the Equator, ours will be served with cubes of fresh mango, stirred through with lime.… Seguir leyendo »