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Monday, 16 June 2003
Page: 16361

Petition on behalf of East Timorese asylum seekers facing deportation

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in the Federal Parliament of Australia.

This petition of certain concerned persons in Australia draws the following to the attention of the House.

Tens of thousands of East Timorese people lost their lives as a result of their assistance to Australians during the Second World War. In addition, when Indonesia moved to annex East Timor in 1975, the Australian Government of the day underestimated the brutal impact which annexation would have on the East Timorese people, and failed for 24 years to support the East Timorese. Therefore Australia has a moral debt to the East Timorese, and on this basis there is a justification for the creation of a special visa class for East Timorese who sought asylum in Australia and do not yet wish to return to their homeland.

Your petitioners therefore respectfully request that the Minister of DIMIA create a special visa class for East Timorese people who do not yet wish to return to their homeland, to enable them to stay in Australia.

by Mr Melham (from 110 citizens)