October 31, 2009
All the studies show that Hispanic illegals and their offspring have markedly lower average IQ scores than the white average. My orientation in psychometric research has however always been great caution about the validity of any tests used and I initially felt that the remarkable success of ancient Central Americans in building rather advanced civilizations despite being cut off from the major source of human progress (the Eurasian continent) implied a higher IQ for their descendants than the tests showed.
That is however a fairly arguable proposition and the findings reported below have changed my mind. I think that the findings below confirm what the IQ tests say. The results below show what I very “incorrectly” call the “chimpanzee effect”. A month old chimpanzee is much smarter and more capable than a human infant of the same age but the human does of course far surpass the chimp eventually. In other words, low IQ is less evident in the early years and most evident in adulthood. We find a similar effect in blacks. Average black IQ is closer to average white IQ in childhood than in adulthood. Beyond the early teens, black IQ stops rising but white IQ does not. White IQ peaks at about age 16.
And what is reported below is precisely another example of the chimpanzee effect: Intellectual achievement gap smallest in early childhood but rapidly increasing with age. I must stress that I am NOT saying that either blacks or Hispanics are similar to chimpanzees. ALL human beings of any race are much smarter than chimps. I am just using chimps as a vivid demonstration of what seems a general truth: That real gaps in intellectual ability become evident later rather than sooner — and the Hispanic developmental pattern is exactly what we expect of an average IQ that is indeed lower
A forthcoming study on Hispanic children’s cognitive skills underlines the challenges the country faces in aspiring to close the achievement gap between these children and their white and Asian counterparts. Hispanic “children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older,” reports the New York Times. “The drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other [low-income] groups and could not be explained by economic status alone. . . . From 24 to 36 months, the Hispanic children fell about six months behind their white peers on measures like word comprehension, more complex speech and working with their mothers on simple tasks.”
This new study, from the University of California–Berkeley, may be unusually blunt in its assessment of Hispanic cognitive development, but it is hardly unprecedented. A 2004 study by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office found a similar decline in Hispanic students’ ability to keep up with their peers in learning English. Children from Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking households begin kindergarten with similar levels of English proficiency, but their paths quickly diverge. The Mandarin-speaking students make continuing progress in mastering English, while the Hispanic students’ advance stalls out in the second and third grades as the demands of California’s English-proficiency test grow more difficult. Mandarin kindergartners establish oral skills in English in one year, the legislative analyst found, and by the beginning of second grade, they have begun developing a mastery of reading and writing, unlike Hispanics. The widening English-proficiency gap between Asian and Hispanic students may reflect parental willingness to expose children to English at home, but the gap occurs in math as well.
This summer in Southern California, I observed Hispanic students who had been taught in English throughout their school careers, yet who possessed very weak formal language ability. An in-class reading assignment at Locke High School in Watts asked students to answer the question: “Why is it important to use all your skills during your teen years?” A ninth-grader wrote in response: “To make it better.” Another question, “What sudden insight came to the engineer?” elicited the answer: “How to put the little mirrors.” While diagnosing the student-written sentence, “The pigs squealed loudly because the’re [sic] bored at the barn,” a high-school English teacher in Santa Ana asked his class: “Why does the dependent clause need to be in the past tense?” A student answered: “Because you’re talking about a lot of people.”
The Berkeley researchers speculate that the early decline in Hispanic students’ language and reasoning skills may reflect inadequate maternal stimulation in the home. And indeed, a Santa Ana elementary-school principal recounted to me her largely unsuccessful efforts to get parents to teach their children such basic kindergarten-survival tools as cutting with scissors and the words for colors. “Kids come in not knowing the alphabet in Spanish or the sounds of Spanish,” she said. “They use three-word sentences; they come in without oral-language ability.”
The Berkeley study will inevitably be used to buttress the Obama administration’s plans to pour billions of federal taxpayer dollars into early-education programs. As a matter of education policy, such efforts represent wishful thinking. Head Start has been repeatedly shown to have no lasting effect on students’ academic performance. Even the most successful and lavishly-funded of such early-intervention programs — the iconic Perry Preschool Project from the early 1960s in Ypsilanti, Mich. — explained only 3 percent of the earnings of its participants at age 40, and about 4 percent of their educational-attainment levels, wrote John J. Miller in NR in 2007. Replicating the Perry Project’s services on a national scale for Hispanic children would be extraordinarily expensive and produce only modest results. Many children who receive early intervention provide inferior intellectual stimulation for their own children, whether for innate cognitive or for cultural reasons.
But the more interesting implications of the study and others like it are for immigration policy. Our de facto immigration policy is currently weighted to a population that appears to require massive additional government education spending — even before formal schooling begins — to be made academically competitive. This choice would not seem to be economically rational, at least so long as we aspire to universal college-going. If the country remains committed to sending a far greater number of students to college, as even many conservatives continue to be, we better get ourselves a different mix of immigrants if we don’t want to bankrupt our education budgets. Alternatively, if the open-borders lobby prevails and Latin American migration continues to dominate our immigration flows, it’s time to acknowledge that many students never will be college material, nor do they need to be to lead productive, fulfilling lives.
October 31, 2009
Unauthorized immigrants from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are at present frequently sailing towards Australia on small boats but most are detected by aerial surveillance, intercepted by the navy and initially taken to Christmas Island, a small and remote Australian territory in the Indian ocean. The sudden influx of “boat people” since the election of a Leftist government and its wishy-washy policies has created a big problem for the government concerned. A news report below followed by a commentary
A GROUP of agitated Sri Lankans facing deportation staged a tense standoff with police and immigration authorities yesterday when one scaled a pole in the Christmas Island detention centre and threatened to jump. The six men were among a large group of detainees due to be flown off the island last night on a government charter and sent back to Sri Lanka without visas. But they refused to leave voluntarily.
Emotions ran high inside the detention centre yesterday morning before the man shimmied up the tall, steel lightpole at about 9.30am, apparently urged on by others determined to stage a protest. Visiting guests and maintenance crews looked on in shock as detainees shouted and gestured to the man, who, almost eight hours later, was persuaded to come down.
Last night an immigration spokesman said all six men had agreed to end their protest and the detention centre was “calm”. “Protest action at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre has been peacefully resolved without incident,” a department spokesman said.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the man who scaled the pole was one of three Sri Lankans who believed they were being tricked into signing forms agreeing to voluntary deportation. “Anxiety levels among detainees have risen since the forced deportation of Sinhalese men in early October,” said Mr Rintoul, adding that yesterday’s incident was one of the most serious at the centre.
Within minutes of the man climbing the pole, contractor Serco evacuated the area and locked down the communal recreation hub inside the centre. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship brought in a psychologist, police and other professionals to manage the situation.
During his high-level protest the detainee accepted water and ice and was offered food by officials who spoke to him from a cherrypicker. The five other men on the ground refused to co-operate.
On Wednesday the Rudd government deported 12 male Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, including a teenage boy, bringing the total number of asylum-seekers denied visas and sent home this year to 115. Last night the department intended to press on with the removal of other asylum-seekers by charter plane, as well as the removal of 12 Indonesian boat crewmen. The six Sri Lankans involved in yesterday’s protest were not put on the flight.
Last night the Department of Immigration and Citizenship flew three Sri Lankans and a parent and child from Indonesia to immigration detention in Perth, from where they will be sent home. The removals left 1127 asylum-seekers and 11 Indonesian crew on Christmas Island, including 925 men inside the immigration detention centre. There were 131 in family groups at a converted construction workers’ camp, 38 in demountables and 44 living in houses in what is termed community detention.
October 31, 2009
Talking about a big Australia and waging a desperate struggle to salvage a tough border protection strategy may appear a contradiction, yet as Rudd knows and John Howard proved, border protection and Australia’s high immigration program have always gone together. This compact, pivotal to Australia’s progress, is at risk. An unpredictable mix of events on the water, in Indonesia, and worry about Rudd’s hard line from within his own constituency has created a diabolical dilemma for Rudd and Stephen Smith. Faced with a limited array of unpalatable options the government’s tough border protection stance is at risk. The political centre, it seems, may not hold with Rudd under aggressive assault from opposite positions on the Right and Left.
There are two boats in Indonesia with Sri Lankan asylum-seekers refusing to disembark, the first intercepted by the Indonesians within their own waters with 250 people aboard and the Oceanic Viking, an Australian boat that rescued 78 asylum-seekers at Indonesia’s request in Indonesia’s rescue zone.
Rudd and his Foreign Minister are standing firm. The plight of the Oceanic Viking has become the most difficult test of Rudd’s resolution. The claim that he cannot take a hard decision offensive to his own side will now be determined. Does Rudd have the nerve and patience to prevail or will he crack before the political blackmail of the asylum-seekers and reluctance of local Indonesian authorities?
This week the Australian media seemed unable or unwilling to describe what was happening before its eyes: the Oceanic Viking asylum-seekers, by refusing to disembark in Indonesia, exploited their moral plight as a device to intimidate the Rudd government into a retreat and re-direction of the boat to Christmas Island where they could be processed.
As Smith signalled, this is a case of asylum-seekers trying to decide what country will process their claims and what country will become their new home if those claims are upheld. Asylum-seekers have no such rights under the 1951 Refugee Convention. The situation is exactly the reverse of the interpretation given wide currency this week. Far from Australia ignoring its obligations under the convention, the asylum-seekers are insisting on rights they do not possess under the convention. It is obvious what should happen: if the Sri Lankans are serious about being refugees they should leave the boat immediately and claim refugee status from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Their real purpose, however, is different. It is to self-select Australia and to resist any effort to have the UNHCR process their claims outside Australia. “It’s not their choice,” Smith told the AM ABC radio program. “It’s not a matter for the Sri Lankans on board to choose where they make their application for refugee status. We absolutely defend their right to make that application.”
The spectre of an ignominious retreat now overhangs Rudd and Smith that would see them forced to bring the asylum-seekers to this country. Such a move would destroy Rudd’s credibility on border protection and represent an Australian submission to the campaign by boatpeople to self-select Australia as their home.
The government has no legal obligation to bring these people to Australia. As Rudd said, Australia took two decisions in relation to the Oceanic Viking asylum-seekers: it engaged in rescue when a vessel was in distress and, having collected the people and in consultation with Indonesian authorities, it decided to take the people for processing in Indonesia.
There is no credible case that Australia should have done otherwise. Rudd and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed that the people be processed in Indonesia. The problem is that Yudhoyono is struggling to enforce the agreement in the teeth of provincial hostility and resentment against Australia seems to be rising.
On Wednesday Smith was unequivocal about the result. “The President has already made that decision,” he insisted. “Now that (going to Indonesia) is what will occur.” He was confident the Rudd-Yudhoyono agreement would be honoured. On Thursday, Smith told radio station 2UE that Australia wasn’t setting any timetable. “These things always take time,” he said. Asked if the government would back down and bring them to Australia, Smith said: “We don’t have that in contemplation.”
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told ABC1’s Lateline on Wednesday that Indonesia would not use force to remove the asylum-seekers and said: “We have an abundance of patience”. Yet he intensified the pressure, saying if the people won’t budge then the Rudd government must take that into account. The next day Rudd followed by saying that Australia also had an abundance of patience. It is a polite way of describing a stalemate in which Rudd and Smith hope they can prevail but have limited leverage and only marginal control over a situation vital to their policy.
It is a game of political poker for high stakes. The more the Sri Lankans believe that Rudd may retreat, the more they will stay the course. In the meantime, Rudd will be under growing criticism at home for his inhumanity and hypocrisy.
The deadlock highlights the agonising nature of asylum-seeker policy. There is little doubt the Sri Lankans are genuine refugees yet the Indonesian and Australian authorities have met their obligations and are fully entitled to insist the boatpeople disembark.
Rudd and Smith know they must ensure the one-off Oceanic Viking event does not disrupt the substantial and permanent regional co-operation they seek with Indonesia that will be canvassed at the next Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting. In this sense the resilience of the Rudd-Yudhoyono concord is being tested. It must survive that test for Rudd to have any prospect of salvaging his asylum-seeker policy.
October 30, 2009
Comment from Australia:
A FEW weeks ago in London, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told me that 75 per cent of the terrorist plots aimed at Britain originated in the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan. Some 800,000 Pakistanis live in Britain. The vast majority, it goes without saying, are law-abiding citizens. But there is a link between uncontrolled Muslim immigration and terrorism.
The real historic significance of the illegal immigration crisis in our northern waters is that this could, if things go wrong, be the moment Australia loses control of our immigration program, and that would be a disaster.
It is extremely difficult to talk honestly about Muslim immigration. All generalisations about it are subject to countless exceptions. Muslims are very different from each other. Most are reasonably successful. But a much bigger minority end up with social, political, extremist or other problems resulting from a lack of integration than is the case with any other cohort of immigrants in Western societies. A lack of honest discussion about this results in bad policy.
The most enlightening book you could possibly read on this is by US journalist Christopher Caldwell, “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West”. It is by far the best book on public policy of any kind I have read for a long time. It is wittily written but attempts to be neither provocative nor politically correct. It is dense with data but its greatest strength lies in laying bare the intellectual, political and social dynamics that have led to the mess in Europe. The way the Australian debate is reprising what were profoundly destructive and misguided European debates, dominated by moral sanctimony and a failure to grasp reality, is eerie.
Caldwell is enlightening on the way asylum assessment processes are so easily scammed, and the sophisticated, intense exchange of information that means the slightest change in attitude by a receiving country is instantly relayed throughout illegal immigrant networks. He writes: “An easily game-able system was in place that made admissions automatic to prospective immigrants who understood it. Various immigrant advocacy NGOs in Europe made sure they understood it… migrants knew the best countries to claim to come from. They also knew the best countries to go to … (There was an) incredible sensitivity of prospective migrants to shifts in immigration law, and to countries’ moods towards immigrants.”
Caldwell also shows that once an illegal immigrant route is established as reliable it becomes immensely popular. This is what the struggle in the waters to Australia’s north now is really all about. He further demonstrates how completely subjective and plastic the asylum-seeker assessment procedures are. In 2001 Denmark approved a majority of asylum applicants. By 2004, when the mood had changed, it approved only one in 10, though of course in Europe rejected applicants basically don’t go home.
At times Caldwell seems to be arguing against immigration in principle, although all the problems he adduces relate specifically to Muslim immigration, and he acknowledges the success of other immigrants in Europe. He frequently acknowledges the success of immigration in Canada, the US and Australia. In Canada and Australia, the governments choose the immigrants. In the US, most illegal immigrants come from Latin America and don’t have the Muslim problems.
But in so far as he makes a general case against immigration, I strongly disagree with Caldwell. What he is really concerned with is uncontrolled Muslim immigration. The facts he produces are very disturbing. No European majority ever wanted this to happen. There are 20 million Muslims in western Europe and this number will double by 2025.
How did this mass immigration of people with few relevant job or language skills, and a culture deeply alien to Europe, come about? Caldwell argues that the post-World War II period saw a radical disjuncture in European attitudes. Europe had just been wrecked by an enemy, the Nazis, who were avowedly racist. The unimaginable disaster of the Holocaust haunted every discussion of morality or policy. Europe was in the throes of decolonisation and felt guilty about its relations with non-white people. This made an ideology of anti-racism – which itself became extreme and distorted, detached from reality and in many cases downright intolerant – the more or less official state religion of Europe. This had little to do with really combating racism.
In one of history’s countless ironies, Muslim immigrants benefited from the legacy of the Jewish Holocaust. The determination initially to extirpate anti-Semitism didn’t help many European Jews because they were almost all gone, but it offered a template for Muslim immigrants to find and exploit an ethnic victim status. This set up profoundly destructive dynamics and, in another irony, reintroduced serious anti-Semitism to Europe, carried with the Muslim arrivals.
Caldwell suggests a welfare state makes a bad marriage with mass, unskilled immigration. Welfare rather than opportunity becomes the attraction. More importantly, welfare becomes a lethal poverty trap. At the same time, satellite television, the internet and mass immigration from a few countries means the old culture is always on hand for Muslim migrants. They don’t need to integrate if they don’t want to or find it difficult. In many cases Caldwell cites, the second-generation of Muslim immigrants is less integrated than the first, and the third less than the second.
The demographic figures he cites are familiar but still shocking. Native Europeans won’t have babies at anything like replacement level while the fertility of Muslim immigrants does not decline through time, as is the case with other immigrants. Religion is the strongest predictor of fertility in Europe. By mid-century Islam will be the majority religion of Austrians under the age of 15. In Brussels, most births are to Muslims and have been since 2006. In France, one in 10 people are Muslims, but they are one in three of those entering their child-bearing years, and Muslims have three times as many children as other French.
Caldwell writes: “Europe finds itself in a contest with Islam for the allegiance of its newcomers. For now, Islam is the stronger party in that contest … when an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter.”
Uncontrolled Muslim immigration is a change to Europe so great it makes all the treaties and bureaucratic falderol of the EU look footling and transitory by comparison.
October 30, 2009
The Obama Administration recently introduced their plan to restructure the way in which illegal immigrants are detained while awaiting deportation. At the center of this new plan is what they call “alternatives to detention.” The Houston Chronicle recently uncovered a report citing that nearly one in five suspected illegal immigrants absconded while under the supervision of a new intensive monitoring program. Immigrants enrolled in the program are expected to comply by checking in by phone, wearing ankle monitors and obeying a curfew. These measures sound more like parenting a teenager than detaining criminals. Illegal aliens show no regard for U.S. laws when they entered illegally, how can we expect them to respect the rule of law once here?
While ICE claims a 99 percent immigration court appearance rate for participants in the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), records maintained by private contractors that administer the program show they were “unable to locate” 18 percent of 6,373 illegal immigrants who passed through the program over the last five years. Overlooking this poor performance record, Janet Napolitano stated her intention to expand these alternative programs. If the Obama Administration truly wanted to enforce immigration laws, they would detain illegal aliens in a manner that ensured 100 percent were at their deportation hearing.
The above is part of a press release dated October 27 from Federation for American Immigration Reform, 25 Massachusetts Avenue – Suite 330 Washington DC, 20001, Office 202-328-7004 http://www.fairus.org. Contact Dustin Carnevale on 202-328-7004 for details of the above. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Founded in 1979, FAIR is the oldest and largest immigration reform group in America. FAIR fights for immigration policies that enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs and wages and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
October 29, 2009
Medicare is the single biggest spending commitment of the United States. As Obama stacks enormous new health care spending commitments atop the old, Medicare’s already bleak future grows dimmer still.
Who wins as Medicare loses? The short answer is: the uninsured. The president will use the money squeezed from Medicare to extend some form of coverage to the 35 million to 40 million people estimated to lack health insurance. And who are these people?
About one-quarter of them are foreign-born. Recent immigrants to the United States — unlike the immigrations who arrived between World War II and 1970 — have tended to be very low-skilled. Their labor is just not worth enough to their employers to support the high cost of an American health insurance plan: $13,000 a year, on average, for a family of four.
So here’s how the world looks to a Medicare enrollee: Over the opposition of some 80 percent of the American people, your government allowed millions of poor newcomers to enter the country, many of them illegally. (Over the past 10 years, half of all immigrants to the United States have arrived illegally.) These people cut the lawns of your more affluent neighbors, tended their babies, cleared their tables after their restaurant meals.
If you were not so affluent, they reduced your wages and crowded your schools, highways and hospital emergency rooms. Now you are being told that your old age will be made less comfortable to accommodate them. Unsurprisingly, you don’t like it.
The debate about immigration and health care has centered on whether immigrants who are here illegally might qualify for coverage under the Democrats’ reforms. Theoretically, they will not be eligible, but since Democrats have so far voted against enforcement measures, some illegal immigrants will no doubt slip through.
But the debate over illegal immigrants is a proxy for something larger and more unsettling to older Americans. The problem is not illegal immigration, it is all low-skilled immigration, legal and illegal. By importing tens of millions of people who earn too little to pay for their own health insurance, we have made this supremely difficult social problem radically more difficult than it ever needed to be. With “Obamacare,” the bill for four decades of permissive immigration has at last come due.
Since the 1930s, the United States has run two different kinds of government social programs. One kind of program is sustained by contributions from the very same people who will benefit from the program in future: Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation. These programs have never been controversial.
The other kind of program taxes some for the benefit of others: Medicaid, social housing, the old welfare programs for the poor. These programs have always been intensely resented. Medicare was the first kind of program: social insurance. Obama’s public option will be the second kind of program: income transfer.
That’s the explanation for the resistance the president is encountering.
October 29, 2009
By Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe
THE debate in Australia over the influx of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka should take into consideration the nature of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan conflict that ended on May 19.
Since the LTTE’s defeat, the Sri Lankan government has been weeding out hardcore LTTE fighters to ensure that the group cannot regenerate. So far, according to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence, out of nearly 272,000 internally displaced persons, 9818 LTTE fighters have been identified and interned. Nonetheless, the government remains cautious, as suggested by Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe: “There are still some persons among the IDPs who have not disclosed their former affiliation with the LTTE.”
In early August, the Sri Lankan government suspected that about 10,000 unidentified LTTE fighters were hiding in IDP camps, posing as civilians. However, in early October the leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front, Veerasingham Anandasangaree, claimed that most, if not all, of the remaining undetected LTTE fighters had fled overseas.
Sri Lankan military officials believe that two categories of refugees are fleeing: those who are fighters or who have collaborated with the LTTE; and those who are fleeing for economic reasons. Many of these civilians are known to have been strong supporters of the LTTE and constitute maveerar (war hero) families whose children fought in elite LTTE units.
In September, reports emerged that since May about 20,000 IDPs have escaped from dozens of these camps; many of them are suspected by the Sri Lankan government of being former LTTE fighters.
Conditions in these camps have been the subject of considerable media debate, but recent visits by senior foreign officials suggest that significant improvements have been made. For example, IRIN News quotes Walter Kaelin, the UN Secretary-General’s representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons, as saying: “Certainly people do get food, they do get medical assistance and there is education in the camps. So from that perspective, the government and international community have done a lot.”
The Indian daily The Hindu reports that 41,685 IDPs have been released and resettled and the government is engaged in the process of resettling another 58,000 in line with its target of releasing and resettling more than 70 per cent of the IDPs by January 31.
The LTTE in the diaspora is engaged in a process of reorganisation and there are no credible indications that it will move away from terrorism, a view affirmed by Canadian terrorism expert Tom Quiggin, who says: “The LTTE has not given up its program of an independent homeland, and they will continue their campaign of violence from wherever they can re-establish themselves.”
It is beyond doubt that hardcore LTTE fighters have infiltrated the Tamil refugees who have arrived in Australia, as noted by Victor Rajakulendran, who represents the Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations: “There will … definitely … be (LTTE) in these boats. The ex-combatants are in danger in Sri Lanka so they will have to flee somewhere.”
Australia needs to be aware that many LTTE combatants were involved in serious acts of terrorism against Sri Lanka and its citizens, including suicide bomb attacks, other forms of bombing, torture and murder. For instance, there was a sustained LTTE campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Sinhalese and Muslim populations of northern and eastern Sri Lanka, which from 1984 to this year involved an estimated 257 attacks that killed 4485 civilians, wounded 5897 and displaced close to 200,000 Sinhalese and Muslims. Furthermore, according to Dharmalingam Siddharthan, leader of the anti-LTTE People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam, at least 10,000 dissident Tamils were eliminated by the LTTE during the conflict.
Rajakulendran claims that LTTE combatants “are not going to be fighters here. They were fighting for a cause, even if some of the tactics are unacceptable … They are not going to fight for a cause here. They are not like Islamic terrorists.” However, evidence of LTTE activities in the West suggests otherwise. For instance, a 2006 Human Rights Watch report, Final War: LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora, reported serious LTTE infringements of law and order in the West, including extortion, wanton intimidation, violent repression of dissenting Tamil voices and even homicide.
Canadian-Tamil journalist D.B.S Jeyaraj has written that “the activities of pro-Tiger elements in the West have often been provocative and blatantly defiant of Western laws governing terrorism. In spite of the LTTE being banned under anti-terrorism laws, the diasporic Tiger supporters have flagrantly flouted them.”
Examples of serious LTTE infractions of the law in the West include: the murder of a French policeman; suspected murder of dissident Tamil journalist Sabaratnam Sabalingam; death threats to the dissident Tamil Broadcasting Corporation in Britain; assault and intimidation of dissident Norwegian-Tamil journalist Nadaraja Sethurupan; and, according to the Asian Tribune, alleged death threats against Selliah Nagarajah, a political columnist and law lecturer at the University of Western Sydney. In addition, dissident liberal Sri Lankan Tamil group University Teachers for Human Rights-Jaffna claims that the LTTE was responsible for the murder of Subramaniam Muthulingam, an Australian citizen who was on holiday in Sri Lanka and was known to have refused to co-operate with LTTE attempts to streamline fundraising from a Hindu temple in Perth.
Hence, based on its actions in Sri Lanka and abroad, it is not surprising that the LTTE is outlawed in 31 countries. Indeed, the US FBI website states: “The Tamil Tigers are among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world (and their) ruthless tactics have inspired terrorist networks worldwide, including al-Qa’ida in Iraq.”
The FBI goes on to say: “(The LTTE) perfected the use of suicide bombers, invented the suicide belt, pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks, murdered some 4000 people in the past two years alone and assassinated two world leaders (former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa), the only terrorist organisation to do so.”
While the Australian government ponders whether to outlaw the LTTE, as practically every other Western country has done since 2006, it should take an uncompromising view of LTTE combatants and operatives and ensure that a thorough screening process is conducted.
Clearly, not all the Tamil refugees coming to Australia fit this category, but those found to be members of the LTTE should be treated no differently from the way Australia would expect other countries to treat operatives of Jemaah Islamiah and al-Qa’ida.
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