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Give sanctuary in NZ to Timorese now, say Greens

Give sanctuary in NZ to Timorese now, say Greens

New Zealand must move urgently to provide temporary sanctuary for East Timorese people forced into exile in Indonesia, the Green Party says.

"We shouldn't pussyfoot around while pro-independence activists are being executed in refugee camps in Indonesia," Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

"We understand that Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere is discussing the matter with his department. However, he doesn't need to wait for the paperwork, he should simply say we are ready to take the refugees.

"New Zealanders will open their hearts and their doors to the East Timorese people who have suffered so much. The practicalities of housing and looking after the refugees will be quickly worked out.

"After all, the refugees will only be here temporarily, until there is sufficient infrastructure for them to return to East Timor.

"The forced expulsion of 200,000 East Timorese is a despicable act and we must do our bit to reverse it," Mr Locke said.

"The Australians have taken the lead in preparing camps in Darwin. We must tell them we'll pull our weight in this major new refugee operation."

Keith Locke 09 630 0789 (H), 09 377 1367 (W - Monday)


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