Subject: RA: Northern Territory seeking clarification on asylum seekers

4/01/02 11:18:36 | ABC Radio Australia News

Northern Territory seeking clarification on asylum seekers

In Australia, the Northern Territory Government says it will be writing to the Federal Government seeking clarification of its stance on East Timor asylum seekers.

The Federal Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, says he won't give special consideration to almost 16-hundred East Timorese asylum seekers wanting to stay in Australia.

But, the Territory's Acting Chief Minister Syd Stirling says many of the East Timorese who've been in Darwin for the past 10-years have made a valuable contribution and deserve to be treated fairly:

"They came here in the wake of the Santa Cruz massacre in Dili in 1991at a time when they would have had to the laymen's view be judged genuine refugees, now they simply were never processed or asylum seekers I guess in that ah framework they were given ah temporary visas, time after time after time."

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