Tuesday, May 30, 2006

pelican and politics...

Photo by Sandy Scheltema.

Here is a picture of the boat that we (Pelican Expeditions) use for projects, Pelican1. She took us nearly 6 years to build and was probably the last boat building project in Melbourne's docklands. As we were building the area around us underwent that tragic transition from working wharf to a playground for developers. The shed that we built in had been derelict for a little while but we had sponsorship from the Docklands Authority and free use of a marvelous shed. Pelican1 was built to do projects that have an environmental, research and educational focus. Since she has been built she has been on many adventures and we are just managing to hang in there on the financial level.

I mentioned in an earlier entry that one of the 43 West Papuan asylum seekers was still waiting on Christmas Island for an answer to his application. Senator Vanstone shared the result recently that his claim had been rejected as his mother was Japanese (though she no longer holds citizenship) and he should apply there. She avoided the point as to whether David Wainggai had a valid claim to asylum but a closer look at the courts decision showed that his claim was recognised. Clearly it is the Howard governments way of appeasing Indonesia's dismay at the assessment of the other 42 West Papuan asylum seekers. David Waingai's lawyers are appealing the decision. Japan has not accepted any asylum seekers as far as I know and have a history of sending people back to their place of origin, which could be disastrous for David Wainggai.

I have also posted about Atwar Bahjat, an Iraqi journalist who was recently killed. I had been really affected by the report of the brutal manner of her death. The journalist who reported that she had been beheaded has since realised that she was a victim of a hoax. It reinforces the obvious statement that you should not believe everything that you read but I must say I was relieved that the story was not true. The story still stands that she was killed but that she was shot! Needless to say my horror at the senselessness of her death and all other civilian Iraqis remains.

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