A war crimes court action has been filed in Melbourne. TamilNet.tamilnet.com reported that “Sri Lankan-born Australian Arunachalam Jegatheeswaran filed an indictment on war-crime charges against the Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday, declaring he was seeking justice for thousands who perished in a series of aerial bombardments and ground attacks on shelters, schools, hospitals, orphanages and community centres. Rajapakse was leading a delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Perth.”

This action underlines the great failing of the media and of politicians in bringing about a genuine debate or discourse about the causes of the greatest human tragedy of our time, the dispossession and displacement of millions of people seeking refuge from violence and tyranny.

The incessant and irritating focus by media and politicians on “people smugglers” creates a smokes screen which hides the causes of people seeking refuge in a new country. Our political leaders act as if it is people who transport refugees to Australia on a boat who cause refugees to seek refuge. This is of course nonsense and should be treated as a minor side effect not a major cause of displacement.

The reason behind this red herring is to take away our attention from the real causes of displacement, most of which are the fault of Western Governments including our own.

The refugees are here because we were there in in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam  bombing them from the air and shooting them on the ground.

The Tamils are here because we in the West averted our eyes when they were being slaughtered. We did not want to see what was happening because we wanted order in Sri Lanka even though it may cause the massacre of Tamils and the seizure of their lands and property. It has been the same story with Burma and their minority groups.

In Israel our governments have been deliberately blind to the imprisonment and torture of the Palestinians, and to the relentless theft of their land. We have kowtowed to the USA and Israel who want to maintain their hegemony over the oil fields of the Middle East.    Each violent but pathetic attempt by Palestinians to take back their land we brand as terrorism, while the deadly attacks on Palestinian towns and cities, by the Israeli army is ignored.

Worse still we have shut our ears to their calls for justice and strive to prevent their voice being heard in the United Nations. We prevent the censoring of Israeli and US war crimes using an undemocratic veto system and ignore their illegal kidnappings and killings of individuals in third countries.

This great injustice and lack of fairness and balance has brought us international terrorism and flooded the world with refugees.

Here is a message to the media and to governments who want to reduce refugee numbers. Forget people smugglers. Democratise the UN. Stand up against injustice. Stand up to our friends who use wars to control resources. Do not be fooled by fear mongering, and treat the people of all nations equally. We will not prevent the creation of refugees but the numbers will be reduced significantly.