Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Air Pacific and Christmas Island

from w
I was very much surprised to read that Air Pacific will resume flights to Christmas Island. Well, the Christmas Island in the news is a depot for asylum seekers, west off Australia so it is a sorry place. However then I discovered another Christmas Island, this time in Kiribati and the island is called Kiritimati and it too has a very sorry tale to tell. Google to here Christmas Island Bomb Tests Bomb to find Jane Resture's information about the terrible atomic bomb tests in this place.

Air Pacific looks at new markets
11/26/2009 from Fiji Sun
Air Pacific revealed plans to recommence flights to Christmas Island next year as they prepare for the aviation war with the arrival of Continental Airlines, V Australia and Jetstar into Fiji. etc. etc. “We have a number of routes under consideration and expect to recommence services to Christmas Island and beyond to Honolulu in the new year following repairs to the runway on Christmas Island. etc etc.

When I was searching through Christmas songs to plan for a family program for December 20th I came across a quaint song and with a change of only about six words I subverted the niceness of it.

Christmas Island
By: Lyle Moraine (1946) (USA_
Let's get away from sleigh bells, let's get away from snow,
Let's make a break some Christmas dear, I know the place to go.
How'd ja like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?
How'd ja like to spend the Holiday away across the sea?
How'd ja like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?
How'd ja like to hang your stockin' on a great big coconut tree?

How'd ja like to stay up late like the detainees do,
Wait for Santa to sail in with your presents in a canoe?
If you ever spend Christmas on Christmas Island,
You will never stray, for ev'ry day you will ask
can your Christmas dreams come true?

142 turned back from Christmas Island

In case you are not aware of the Christmas Island off Australia here's one story about it by Piers Akerman From: The Daily Telegraph
November 25, 2009 9:09AM The latest boat load of asylum seekers arrive for processing at Christmas Island today. Pic: Allison Millcock Source: The Daily Telegraph

AS A further 52 asylum seekers were brought ashore on Christmas Island yesterday, a fleet of fishing boats carrying 142 Sri Lankans bound for Australia was intercepted.
Sri Lanka's navy last night said it seized the four fishing trawlers off the island nation's southern coast and handed them over to local police.

Join Piers Akerman's blog here.

"The passengers had paid large sums of money to people smugglers to take them abroad," navy spokesman Athula Senarath said.

In recent months there has been an increase in the number of Sri Lankans trying to enter Australia, many claiming political asylum - most famously the 72 who ended up aboard Australian Customs vessel Oceanic Viking.

At Christmas Island yesterday, however, the 52 new arrivals - brought to land under the watchful eye of an Australian Federal Police contingent - were Afghans. They were transferred from an Australian Customs vessel standing off the island and conveyed by barge to the public wharf in Flying Fish Cove, where interpreters were waiting with buses to take them to the island's detention centres.

Sources said the latest group comprised 39 adult males, one adult female and 10 minors, plus two crew.

Extra security precautions have been in place since Saturday night's violent riot at the island's principal immigration detention centre - where the men will be housed while their identity and security checks are carried out.

The women will be put in temporary accommodation of prefabricated huts behind barbed wire in the grounds of the recreation centre and at an adjacent construction camp. The male arrivals will put further stress on the already overcrowded camp, which was built to hold 400, expanded to cope with 800 and has recently held more than 1000.
On Monday, nearly 70 people who were processed on Christmas Island were informed they were to be granted permanent visas and taken to Australia.

* A FEDERAL Parliamentary committee has called for the high-security facility at the Villawood Immigration and Detention Centre to be demolished and replaced.

So whether Air Pacific flies to Christmas Island One, or Christmas Island Two, there are sad stories attached to both places, stories about colonialism, power and powerlessness.


Hampers said...

Nice blog and thanks for sharing the Christmas Island. I found it to be wonderful. Will order my copy very soon. Have a wonderful Christmas.

bathmate said...

nice posting. very good work. thank you. :)