There's plenty of articles discussing the horrendous way the Australian government have dealt with asylum seekers who come by boat but I thought this piece on SBS (originally published on The Conversation) was particularly interesting. In it, three academics give their take what motivates asylum seekers, making reference to Sri Lankan asylum seekers specifically. The common logic is that people seek asylum because of physical threats, political persecution or for economic reasons. It was interesting to then read that the number of Sri Lankan arrivals has actually increased despite the civil war having officially ended in 2009 and despite the Sri Lankan government having made a number of health and infrastructure improvements. Further, not all who seek asylum in Australia are fleeing political persecution (though a significant amount are). So why the soar in arrivals from this group? Here is their possible theory:
"In fact, the flow of refugees commonly increases, not decreases, after the end of a conflict...The million or so people who left South-east Asia after the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were not fleeing straightforward oppression: they were leaving behind sites of trauma and despair that had become too painful. The flight of Sri Lankan citizens — Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim — after the conclusion of the recent civil war largely fits this pattern. The alleged autocratic nature of the regime, continuing human rights abuses and threats to democratic processes, the freedom of the press and the independence of the judiciary may well exist, but they are not the reasons why thousands of people are prepared to risk their lives to leave their homeland. They do not see a future for themselves there. They are leaving because their hope, depleted by decades of conflict, has not been restored by the cessation of hostilities and the restoration of some level of material wealth."When discussing refugees and asylum seekers, there is always a call to look at the root of the problem and how to remedy it accordingly. Oftentimes it comes down to the glaringly obvious: end the war and build a stable economy and you've basically got your problem solved (the reality is obviously not so simple). The strong emotional factor is not one widely mentioned.
Though I have no plans to climb the corporate ladder, this article published on Women's Agenda got me thinking about the constant media blabber on how affirmative action policies are important because females bring gender specific qualities to the boardroom (being more nurturing, willing to listen, you know the deal). Jennifer Whelan's article basically calls bullshit on this notion. She also discusses how the "concept of leadership is laden with stereotypically male qualities" yet women in leadership positions who display stereotypically masculine qualities are often chastised for not showing stereotypically feminine qualities (*cough* our PM Julia Gillard *cough*).
Finally, Brodie posted a link to this article about Kanye called "The Revolutionary Politics of Kanye West". I'm pretty new to the hip-hop/rap game. Every time I talk about it with anybody, I get a massive schooling, which is super cool because I get to go home and look up a bunch of new music, but I don't care too much about engaging in the "old school glory days" rap vs modern rap debate. I don't like to think too hard about music, coz you know, ~ music is for feeling dude ~. Anyway! Kanye is likely to be getting political in his next album, speaking out against the 1 per cent, as a member of the 1 per cent. How does that work, you ask? You should read it and find out.