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Bello Nambucca RAR Newsletter 17th March 2020

Harmony Time concert report
What happens next?
Roadside demonstration: Thursday 19th March, 2.30 to 4.00 pm
Sydney High School student speaks at the UN
The suffering continues for Medevac evacuees

Harmony Time concert report
We had a wonderfully uplifting and entertaining concert on Sunday to raise funds for the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown. The musicians were simply outstanding and those attending told us how much they had enjoyed such a varied performance by so many talented musicians.
A huge thank you to Heather Rose and friends, to the Eleventh-Hour Choir and to the musicians of the Coffs Harbour Conservatorium of Music for their inspiring performances.
Also, a big thank you to Marlene who organized the event so superbly, and to our loyal band of RAR supporters for making it all work so well on the day.
Ticket sales, donations, the sale of paintings and the raffle mean that we have been able to donate $2,000 to the Asylum Seekers Centre, which is an excellent outcome.
What happens next?
The spread of the corona virus, and the consequent necessity to curb public gatherings and other activities will no doubt impact on us all, and will severely limit our ability to campaign and to fundraise in the months ahead. Bellingen market, scheduled for Saturday 21st March, has been cancelled, and no doubt Valla Beach market will also be called off.
We were hoping to organise a fundraising get-together lunch and auction towards the end of April, but that too will now have to be postponed.
We will continue with our roadside demonstrations for now, and will keep the situation under review.
Given the significant limitations on our activities in the months ahead, our newsletter will be published once a fortnight, rather than weekly, until further notice.

Roadside demonstration: Thursday 19th March, 2.30 to 4.00 pm

Our next roadside demonstration will take place on Thursday in Coffs Harbour, by the Big Banana, from 2.30 to 4.00 pm. The forecast is for a sunny day, so why not make a resolution to join us to help to keep the plight of refugees in the public eye? Don’t forget to wear covered shoes to keep the ants at bay! 

Sydney High School student speaks at the UN 
Australian high school student Renuga Inpakumar has addressed the United Nations about the plight of two Tamil refugees in a Victorian detention centre. Source: Facebook
A week ago, Renuga Inpakumar, a year 12 student from Sydney, travelled to Geneva to address the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council. She spoke passionately about the plight of Tamil refugees, who face persecution and worse in their homeland, and she was very critical of the Australian government’s treatment of Tamil asylum seekers who have sought protection in Australia. Renuga is a dedicated advocate of two Tamils, Sivaguru Navanthirasa and Loganathan Janurupan, who, she stated, have languished in “various Australian detention centres for more than ten years.” She reminded the meeting that Australia is in breach not just of the “spirit of brotherhood”, but of its obligations under international law.
It seems extraordinary that our government continues to treat people in such a cruel and inhumane manner. In response, Minister Dutton simply reminds us that he is tough on border protection issues, and that his job is to keep Australians safe.

The suffering continues for Medevac evacuees

 Our government seems determined to add to the suffering of refugees who were transferred to Australia for medical treatment. Many of them have received no medical treatment at all to date and remain in lockdown in hotels in Melbourne, Brisbane and other centres. In one hotel in Melbourne, costing $160 per night, plus huge security bills, there are 56 refugees,

including a young man who goes by the name of Moz. He reports that the men are all confined to the hotel, except for the two occasions each week when they are transported to the MITA detention centre, where they exchange the four walls of a hotel room for barbed wire fences. “It’s a kind of torture”, says Moz. “The Australian government is really expert at torturing us. We really need help. We were tortured on Manus for seven years and now we are locked up in this place. For what crime have we been imprisoned for seven years? What is our crime?”
These men should, of course, be released into the community, and they should receive the medical treatment that they clearly need.
If you would like to contact the Acting Minister for Immigration, his details are:
Tel: (02) 6277 7790

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