A semi-literate Indonesian hired hand started thumbing the tears from his cheeks in the dock of courtroom LG2 in Sydney’s Downing Centre last April. He faced a roomful of imposing figures: two defence barristers and a crown prosecutor in black gowns, a judge resplendent in black, scarlet and lilac, an Australian Federal Police officer, two …read more
Asylum-seekers will continue to flood across the sea on rickety boats unless the Australian government slams the door on them. Afghan asylum-seeker Mohammad Ali told The Australian yesterday that he would happily buy clandestine passages to Australia for himself, his wife and his two young children if he had the money. He said the growing …read more
On a mild autumn day earlier this year, Keith Cooper was admitted to Melbourne’s Austin hospital with pain and tenderness in his belly. Diagnosed with generalised peritonitis, possibly from gall stones, a perforated ulcer, or maybe an inflammation of the pancreas, his condition wasn’t considered critical. Certainly not serious enough for immediate medical intervention.
It was after midnight when the patrolling forest guards first saw them. Five poachers crouching in the jungle, tense and braced for trouble, ready to slaughter a rhino in one of India’s premier national parks. They had crept in from the north as the monsoon flood-waters ebbed, willing to risk death for the precious horn.
It was test of patience and perseverance that would derail most filmmakers. It began late last year when Burma’s xenophobic military authorities deported the Australian filmmakers Hugh Piper and Helen Barrow. They were in Rangoon, working on a documentary about the nation’s first elections in 20 years, tied in with an Australian newspaperman and his …read more
Yingluck Shinawatra is the smiling new face of Thai politics. Friendly, extremely attractive, conciliatory: the one-time business executive might be the circuit-breaker the deeply polarised nation so desperately needs. The youngest sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, 44-year-old Yingluck will almost certainly become Thailand’s first woman prime minister. She seems to have politics in …read more
Thailand’s prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva sallied forth in the rain in Bangkok’s Chinatown yesterday, greeting lottery-ticket vendors, poking his head into the New Empire hotel, venturing into the Canton House restaurant, drumming up support for his Democrat party in tomorrow’s election.
THE long-anticipated trial of the four most senior living Khmer Rouge leaders begins today, more than 30 years after Cambodia was racked by their ultra-communist rule of mass torture and murder.
THE film is jinxed. Due to screen at the Sydney Film Festival today, Dancing with Dictators has been pulled at the 11th hour after a series of calamities.The problems began when the Australian filmmakers, Hugh Piper and Helen Barrow, were arrested and chucked out of Burma last November. Then the subject of their documentary, journalist …read more
The magic list of refugees who might make the cut to come to Australia has taken on mythical proportions in the ghettos of Kuala Lumpur. To make the list means an end to a life of uncertainty and insecurity, an end to dodging police and the paramilitary corps. It means being able to work legally, …read more