The Guardian • Issue #2026


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2026

Memo to Deputy Sheriff Albanese: In his address to the UN General Assembly last week, Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, recalled that the right to establish diplomatic relations between sovereign nations is a universal principle shared by all members of the United Nations. He expressed his concern over “a barrage of unwarranted and misplaced criticisms, misinformation and intimidation” that his country was subject to as it formalised diplomatic relations with China. “Our decision to establish relationship with the People’s Republic of China is consistent with United Nations 1971 Resolution 2758,” he said, reiterating a call for respect of his country’s sovereignty and democracy. “We will not align ourselves with any external power or security architecture that targets ours or any other sovereign country or threatens regional and international peace.” He noted that his country joins others in the Blue Pacific continent, who signed the Rarotonga Treaty, to maintain a nuclear-free Pacific. He then encouraged nuclear power states, signatories of the Treaty, to ratify it, reiterating a call for the total elimination of nuclear material, nuclear weapons and atomic-powered military assets in the Blue Pacific.

The Refugee Action Coalition says that despite it receding from the public eye, Operation Sovereign Borders is still as much of an issue as ever. July 2022 marked nine years since Kevin Rudd declared that no refugee coming by boat would ever gain permanent protection in Australia. After Tony Abbott was elected, the discrimination intensified; with the military deployed to intercept boats and turn them back. Intense secrecy laws prevent the full reporting of details of “on water” operations. This lack of transparency – and corresponding lack of media coverage – can give people the impression that boats no longer arrive, and the borders are quiet. This is false. In 2021, the United Nations rapporteur on the human rights of migrants reported that at least 800 people on thirty-eight boats had been turned back in the period since 2013. Furthermore, boat turn-backs and the Coalition government’s 2014 ban on accepting UNHCR refugees referred from Indonesia, means there are around 14,000 refugees (half of them Afghans) in a state of desperation in Indonesia, who should be settled in Australia. Organisations like the Tamil Refugee Council have also driven home the point that the government deports refugees to countries such as Sri Lanka, deeming them “safe” – despite the fact that human rights abuses are still undoubtedly present. Far from being quiet, the injustices and human rights abuses continue.

PARASITE(S) OF THE WEEK: It’s been a month of praise-the-cadaver-and-pass-the-ammunition. First it was that symbol of colonial plunder, the British Queen. Last week it was the funeral of Shinzo Abe, the war mongering former Japanese PM, assassinated in July at an election campaign event. Attending were former PMs Tony Abbott (“climate change is crap”), Malcolm Turnbull (ousted Abbott as PM in a 2015 coup), John Howard (lies and war crimes), and Anthony Albanese, who may turn out to be an amalgam of all three.

The Guardian can also be viewed/downloaded in PDF format. View More