Anthony Albanese is about to make a mistake that can prove to be a historic recurrence in future. The Prime Minister of Australia in a recent visit to Ukraine has pledged to help the war-torn country for “as long as it takes.” This reminds us of the erstwhile Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, how he maintained a soft corner for the Chinese people back then and his moves led to Chinese citizens becoming an influential section of Australia’s society.
However, Albanese’s apparent imitation of Bob Hawke in assisting Ukrainian citizens will undoubtedly have disastrous effects on Australia. Australian PM Anthony Albanese visited Ukraine this month and announced A$100 million (US$68.1 million) in military aid. The humanitarian visa program that allowed Ukrainians to live and work in Australia was about to end on July 14 but is now seeing a further extension of two weeks.
Worsening Humanitarian Crisis
However, the cessation of the program caught many by surprise as such short visa changes might perturb the already unsettled and stressed Ukrainians. But, considering the worsening humanitarian crisis the Australian government might come up with alternatives to the move.
The civilians in Ukraine continue to face the destruction of schools, hospitals, and houses among other infrastructures and a livelihood that has compelled them to flee seeking refuge abroad. Around a quarter of the population of Ukraine has fled the country. Several European countries welcomed them with open arms of which Poland remains at the top. Other destinations include Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, the US and Australia.
Read More: Angry Polish citizens are kicking Ukrainian refugees out of their homes
But Australia happened to be the most sought-after destination. Owing to their relatives and friends living in Australia, a distant location from war-torn Europe, job opportunities and an enticing three-year humanitarian program. Unlike other countries, Australia went too generous with the displaced Ukrainians and proffered extraordinary support and assistance to them.
More than 8,500 Ukrainians have been given visas by Australia since February. The Australian newspaper reports that 4,100 of these individuals have accepted the offer and have flown to Australia. Displaced Ukrainians can work, study, and use Medicare thanks to the visa programme.
But, now what? Well, this can prove to be a turning point for the Australian status quo. Australia has in the past witnessed a similar event which panned out to be a catastrophe. In the late 1980s erstwhile Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke was too merciful to change the lives of tens of thousands of Chinese people in a snap of a finger.
Albanese following Hawke’s footsteps
In 1989, as he detailed the slaughter of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square days earlier, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke sobbed openly on screens across the country. The Chinese government attacked the demonstrators on June 4, 1989, using tanks and soldiers since their numbers had risen to nearly 1 million in the months before the crackdown.
On June 9, Australia’s prime minister detailed how soldiers “went into the square, bayonetting or shooting everybody who was still alive.” The description was broadcast live to the nation.
Hawke claimed, “They had orders that nobody in the plaza be spared, and little females and children were slaughtered.”
And out of pity, the PM announced something that caught everybody in shock. He offered asylum to some 42,000 Chinese nationals in Australia. Indeed it was unprecedented! This twisted the fate of a horde of Chinese and the beneficiaries of that program have now even developed Australian roots. But what ensued was horrendous.
The Chinese started organising crimes in Australia. Chinese got involved in a variety of offences, such as the importation and distribution of illegal drugs, illegal gambling, illegal prostitution, extortion, illegal immigration, and money laundering. They soon started wreaking havoc in the country of Australia.
And now Anthony Albanese is on the verge of committing a similar blunder. Albanese’s support for the Ukrainians can prove to be a misstep later. And as we are all aware of how much of a burden have Ukrainian refugees posed for the European countries. The displaced Ukrainians drove the Europeans crazy.
Read More: Bulgarians and Japanese are fed up with ‘lawless’ Ukrainian refugees
Around 110,000 refugees from Ukraine have been given pro tem protection and shelter in Bulgaria. There have been cases in which Ukrainians who fled to Japan were working in hostess clubs and other adult entertainment establishments, despite warnings that such work is not allowed under their visa status. The residential status of the evacuees does not allow them to work at hostess clubs, bars or adult entertainment facilities that are restricted under the adult entertainment law. There were concerns that some evacuees could become victims of human trafficking and exploitation. But still, the Ukrainian refugees continued to break the laws in Bulgaria. Not only in Bulgaria, but Ukrainian refugees caused a nuisance in Japan as well.
This is enough to insinuate Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese about the misstep he is about to take. If not history could repeat itself.
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