Greens, Opposition combine to condemn Australian gov't refugee deal with Malaysia

16:29, May 12, 2011      

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Australia Greens and Opposition on Thursday combined in the Senate to pass a motion condemning the Labor government's asylum seeker deal with Malaysia.

Australia is close to signing a bilateral agreement, which would see 800 people who tried to get to Australia by boat taken immediately to Malaysia. In return Australia has agreed to take 4, 000 genuine refugees who have had their claims assessed in Malaysia.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a Greens motion calling on the government to abandon the refugee plan with Malaysia.

Greens Member of Parliament (MP) Adam Bandt said he will introduce the same motion into the House of Representatives, and the Opposition Party has promised to back it.

"This is not a step we take lightly," Bandt told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

"If this motion is passed it will be the first time in this minority parliament that both houses of parliament have condemned a decision of the government."

The motion is likely to pass through the House of Representatives with the support of Opposition and independent Andrew Wilkie.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said this deal has been condemned by human rights organizations, not just here in Australia but in Malaysia as well.

Source: Xinhua
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