Scott Morrison – Asian Australian Alliance slams PM Scott Morrison for travel ban from India
Amid the unprecedented second wave of COVID-19 in India, the Asian Australian Alliance (AAA) on Friday called upon the Australian government to withdraw its decision on penalizing Australians defying the travel ban to come home from India. The travel ban was announced on April 27 by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and came into effect on May 3 in the wake of the COVID-19 surge.
AAA condemned the harsh penalties imposed on Australians returning from India and said, “This is discriminatory when no such penalties were imposed on people returning from other nations even at the height of the (coronavirus) pandemic in those countries. To arbitrarily criminalize the return of a person to their own home and families is also a blatant disregard of human rights. Any curtailment of human rights needs to be proportionate and necessary,'”
The Co-founder and Lead Victorian Convenor for AAA Molina Asthana, “The AAA has also started a petition that demands the Australian government immediately withdraw its decision to impose fines up to 66,000 Australian dollars or five years of imprisonment for anyone defying the travel ban preventing Australians from returning home from India with immediate effect. The unjustified and harsh penalties imposed on the return of Australians from India are an unprecedented act to target particular communities and are racial in nature. No such ban, let alone penalties were imposed on returning Australians from any other country. This is nothing new, systemic racism has been the fabric of Australia and this is just another form of that racism,”
the Co-founder and National Convener for AAA Erin Wen Ai Chew said, “Back in early 2020, Australians in China who returned were sent to the Christmas Island Detention Centre for quarantine, and those who had legitimate visas were banned from entering. Now, Australians in India will be penalized if they come home. However, the Americans and those from the UK were allowed to enter Australia with ease.'”
Australia To Allow Flights From India
However, Australian PM Morrison on May 14 said that the temporary suspension of flights to and from India will end at Friday midnight and the facilitated commercial flights by the Australian Government will resume as planned, however, with strict pre-flight test rules. In a post on Facebook Morrison said “At midnight tonight, the temporary pause on flights from India to Australia ends and facilitated commercial flights by the Australian Government will resume as promised, with a strict pre-flight testing regime to keep Australians safe.”
(With Agency Inputs)