According to Chris Bowen, the Australian Immigration Minister, the nation would urge East Timor, Malaysia and Indonesia to support its proposal which caters to a Regional Centre that could process the asylum-seekers. This would be done during the talks which are to be conducted soon.
The minister has said that the government has been receiving encouraging responses from the neighboring countries in this regard. The talks would be centered on human trafficking and border security in all the three nations. He has also confirmed that he might not come back with a finalized deal but definitely intends to have positive arrangements when it comes to a framework pertaining to regional processing with the neighboring nations.
This year, asylum seekers in thousands of numbers belonging to the conflict areas in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have been caught coming to Australia at their transit points in Southeast Asia.
It has been suggested by Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, that East Timor can be a hub too for regional immigration. As of now, all the asylum applicants for Australia are processed at the nation’s Indian Ocean centre known as the Christmas Island.
Initially, this suggestion was not taken very nicely in Dili. As per Mr. Bowen, this concept would only work if there is broader cooperation in this regard. Without a regional framework, an offshore processing centre would not address as a solution to something which is a problem in the entire region.
As of now, there are nearly five thousand asylum seekers at the Christmas Island along with other mainland centers in Australia. These centers were reopened for cater to another hundred immigrants boats which came to the nation this year.
It would not be wrong to say that the facilities are being stretched beyond its limit. This is clearly aggravating the issue which is highly politically sensitive for the coalition government.
The issue was raised up and above recently when a Fijian man died moments before he was deported from a detention centre in Sydney. This had further led to protests on the rooftop of the centers by his fellow inmates.