A postscript on Sri Lanka and Australian refugee policy

In the unlikely event that an Australian journalist asks Scott Morrison about  Sri Lanka, and the refugees his colleague Peter Dutton has sent back to the country, he will no doubt say the question is in the ‘bubble’ and then express deep and profound regret about the terrorism over the past 24 hours.

He will even look serious and suggest it is appalling that anyone should raise such an insensitive question. What Peter Dutton might say is even more problematic but it is easy to imagine he might try to make some political capital out of it.

Anyway, probably few in the media or politics will remind Australians that our Government has forcibly repatriated Sri Lankan refugees to their home country in 2018 and 2017. Tony Abbott even gave the Sri Lankan government a couple of boats to help stem the “refugee tide”.

One has to hope none of the returning refugees are among the dead – but if they are their blood is on Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison’s hands.

Whether any of them will blame the refugees for the atrocities is another question – one assumes however that anything is possible.