Now where have I heard this one before?
"'My question is this: if people are really persecuted here, why don't they go to India, which is two hours away? Why do they take a dangerous journey of 25 or 30 days in a boat to Australia?' So asks Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, in the course of a long discussion in naval headquarters in Colombo." (Sri Lanka heads back the tide, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 29/8/13)
Bugger me if it wasn't back in Sheridan's column of June 13 this year:
"The refugee convention envisages people fleeing across borders to avoid persecution. Consider Sri Lankan Tamils. There are tens of millions of Tamils living next door to Sri Lanka in India. They are certainly not persecuted. But India is poorer than Sri Lanka. Australia is much richer. So they choose Australia, not India. That is an immigration decision, not a refugee decision." (People are fed up with continued growth in asylum-seeker numbers)
Not to mention his column of October 22, 2009:
"Just being a Tamil does not make a person a refugee. Moreover, if you are fleeing persecution as a Tamil in Sri Lanka, why wouldn't you go and live in Tamil Nadu, the giant Tamil state of India, just next door to Sri Lanka? India does not persecute people for being Tamils." (Boatpeople paint PM into corner)
Months, nay years, before! And oceans apart! A Sri Lankan admiral and an Australian journalist - so alike it's scary!
Now that's what I call spooky.