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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Free gay Tamil refugee Leela Krishna from Villawood Detention Centre

Leela Krishnan Thinagaran Harindran is a queer Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka. He left Sri Lanka because he faced such high levels of hostility to his sexuality. In Sri Lanka, Leela had been arrested and beaten by police in a series of incidents that seem to have been set-ups or harassment concerning registration papers for vehicles.
 
All Leela’s experiences with the police culminated in him being detained, stripped and beaten. At one stage the police allegedly threatened to put a video of him, naked and beaten, on the internet as a way to “shame” him.
 
The Sri Lankan penal code is homophobic – it has outlawed sodomy and homosexuality for men and women since 1995, when the law was amended to be “gender neutral”. Also, the traditional response to homosexuality by some religious groups in Sri Lanka is death.
 
So Leela fled on a small boat with 43 other people to sail across the Indian Ocean from Sri Lanka, to the west coast of Australia. He left Sri Lanka on September 11 and was taken to Christmas Island after being intercepted by naval border security on October 2.
 
Leela has experienced the same fear, shame and abuse suffered by many young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transpeople people around the world, and feels that he was treated as an “untouchable”; a term that Leela uses to explain the restriction of people from most of the culture, including the already limited job market.
 
Adding to Leela, and many Tamils misery, war broke out in 2009 in Sri Lanka against the Tamil people. They were massacred and brutalised. In a three-month period, 52,000 Tamils were killed and 300,000 people placed in concentration camps. As a member of the oppressed Tamil population, the oppression Leela suffered was compounded.
 
On arrival at Christmas Island Leela told authorities his sexual orientation, explaining the shame he felt, and that he was suicidal. Homophobia exists in all cultures, and Christmas Island was no exception.
 
In Leela’s attempt to explain his specific needs as a refugee, he had to disclose very intimate details about his sexual history and identity. When I spoke of this with Leela, he described his sexual identity as, “I have both woman and man in me,” a statement that is not uncommon from intersex, sex and/or gender diverse people from around the world.
 
Leela is still waiting in Villawood Detention Centre. He arrived on April 10 and has been approved by the Australian government as a refugee who is legitimately seeking asylum based on his specific cultural identity; an identity that would put him at risk if he were returned to his home country. But Leela’s hardship does not end there. Leela’s caseworker is completing security checks from Sri Lanka, standard practice for all immigrants that apply for residency. But because the Australian government disregards the plight of refugees, they have a ‘backlog’ of refugee cases that mean security checks could take up to six months. Leela could be imprisoned inside Villawood for that long, even though he has been accepted as a refugee.
 
Leela is anguished in prison. He is singled out in detention because of his sexuality and his mental state is deteriorating. The Department of Immigration have not been to see him for one month. CAAH activists fear he will not last the possible six months it may take to get security clearance.
 
We are asking you to sign this petition (on this site. I have also included a copy below – JP) demanding the Department of Immigration & Citizenship release Leela from Villawood Detention Centre. We are also requesting that you ring Leela’s Case Manager – an employee of the Department of Immigration and ask them why they have not moved on Leela’s case.
 
Help Leela, and help even less fortunate refugees who are languishing in Australian detention centres while the government plays with their futures. Community campaigning is key to getting more refugees, like Leela, free.
 

Petition Free gay Tamil refugee Leela Krishna from Sydney’s Villawood Detention CentreGreetings, Chris Evans, Minister of Immigration

Leela Krishnan Thinagaran Harindran is a queer Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka. He left Sri Lanka because he faced such high levels of hostility to his sexuality. In Sri Lanka, Leela had been arrested and beaten by police in a series of incidents that seem to have been set-ups or harassment concerning registration papers for vehicles.

All Leela’s experiences with the police culminated in him being detained, stripped and beaten. At one stage the police allegedly threatened to put a video of him, naked and beaten, on the internet as a way to “shame” him.

The Sri Lankan penal code is homophobic – it has outlawed sodomy and homosexuality for men and women since 1995, when the law was amended to be “gender neutral”. Also, the traditional response to homosexuality by some religious groups in Sri Lanka is death.

So Leela fled on a small boat with 43 other people to sail across the Indian Ocean from Sri Lanka, to the west coast of Australia. He left Sri Lanka on September 11 and was taken to Christmas Island after being intercepted by naval border security on October 2.

Leela has experienced the same fear, shame and abuse suffered by many young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transpeople people around the world, and feels that he was treated as an “untouchable”; a term that Leela uses to explain the restriction of people from most of the culture, including the already limited job market.

Adding to Leela, and many Tamils misery, war broke out in 2009 in Sri Lanka against the Tamil people. They were massacred and brutalised. In a three-month period, 52,000 Tamils were killed and 300,000 people placed in concentration camps. As a member of the oppressed Tamil population, the oppression Leela suffered was compounded.

On arrival at Christmas Island Leela told authorities his sexual orientation, explaining the shame he felt, and that he was suicidal. Homophobia exists in all cultures, and Christmas Island was no exception.

In Leela’s attempt to explain his specific needs as a refugee, he had to disclose very intimate details about his sexual history and identity. When I spoke of this with Leela, he described his sexual identity as, “I have both woman and man in me,” a statement that is not uncommon from intersex, sex and/or gender diverse people from around the world.

Leela is still waiting in Villawood Detention Centre. He arrived on April 10 and has been approved by the Australian government as a refugee who is legitimately seeking asylum based on his specific cultural identity; an identity that would put him at risk if he were returned to his home country. But Leela’s hardship does not end there. Leela’s caseworker is completing security checks from Sri Lanka, standard practice for all immigrants that apply for residency. But because the Australian government disregards the plight of refugees, they have a ‘backlog’ of refugee cases that mean security checks could take up to six months. Leela could be imprisoned inside Villawood for that long, even though he has been accepted as a refugee.

Leela is anguished in prison. He is singled out in detention because of his sexuality and his mental state is deteriorating. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia have not been to see him for one month. Queer rights activists fear he will not last the possible six months it may take to get security clearance.

We ask that you release Leela Krishna from Villawood Detention Centre immediately.

This article and petition is reposted from Gay Rights at change.org

I have also received the following note from the original author.

Hi, I am Andrew Brent. I am the author of these two articles. I would appreciate it if you would include the links to the originals on your site.
http://www.thescavenger.net/glb/gay-tamil-faces-double-discrimination-39042.html

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44474

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Comments

Comment from Andrew Brent
Time July 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Hi, I am Andrew Brent. I am the author of these two articles. I would appreciate it if you would include the links to the originals on your site.
http://www.thescavenger.net/glb/gay-tamil-faces-double-discrimination-39042.html

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44474

Thank you for sharing the petition, and helping us publicise this issue.

Pingback from En Passant » Free gay Tamil refugee Leela Krishna from Villawood … « For all the happy people live the world gay city, Sydney | sydneyhomos.com
Time July 13, 2010 at 1:03 am

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