Where is a moral-shelter for the international students in this democratic soil Australia?

By Shiva Neupane

Most of the international students may have beef with this democratic nation after which their compassionate ground had been crumbled owing to Prime Minister’s visceral response to the media in relation to how a government can remain a supportive force for the overseas students during this global emergency.

Everyone should understand that international students must support themselves with their daily expenses even including a return ticket to their own country. But it is also equally important to ponder over how the global failure had decimated the chian of global monetary network system and that had paralysed the businesses of those international students’ parents from which they have made their way to Australia.

It must have been glaringly obvious to the Prime Minister Scot Morrison that the domino effect in the world’s monetary system has largely troubling the international students and the global ecosystem of businesses but the Prime Minister pretends not to see an elephant in the room for his political vested interest to protect the national interest first.

This is a naked truth no matter how people in power like to sugar coat it with false political and legal verbatim.  

The PM telling the international students go home is nerve-rackingly frightening and psychologically coercive particularly in this worst time of our human civilization perhaps after the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.   

To utter, such words when international student have a colossal mental anxieties during this global emergency it is extremely naïve and childish on the part of Prime Minster for the host of reasons.

For example, one of the reasons why most of the international students like to come to Australia for study is because Australia has relatively good reputation in the world’s human rights index.

But heartlessly telling the international students to leave the country may be against the moral-fibre of a leader of a democratic nation. The government must have made all the options or provisions available on the table before making such a harsh statement.

The government must have allowed all the international students to get access to their superannuation without waiting period, refunds from the universities for the subjects they haven’t yet touched, refund of their overseas student health cover, the refund of the bond and the rebate payments for terminating lease contract due to unexpected circumstances.

In addition, the safety guarantee of international students must be ensured by the government at this stage if the government really wants to force those destitute students to walk on the whirl of storm.

There are so many newly arrived international students currently in Australia who want to get out of this wall-less jail due to psychological traumas, homesickness and social media’s bullies such as “Go back to where you came from”.

To my utter knowledge, the government is barking up the wrong tree by not understanding what it means to add assault to injury. The government must treat international students by not breaching the code of conduct of international human rights and moral decorum.

There are no laws that can dictate the human rights. No matter how the individual government behaves in a hubristic manner. The ultimate and universal law that protects humanity is human rights. All the laws that have been practiced and enshrined in every nook and cranny of the world must be in line with the UN universal declaration of human rights.

It is true that Australia may hold its legal rights to send those international students to their home countries who can’t afford to live in Australia. However, the ripple effect of this decision may beg the fundamental question as to what limit a country can exercise its legal power particularly in a time of global crises when students are vulnerable to deadly Corona Virus to make a trip to overseas.

On that note, I am not saying Australia is financially obliged to support the international students but it should have taken the lenient approach to deal with this issue in a more humane manner because this issue is not only related to whether students could afford or not to live in Australia but more importantly when the world is enveloping with the humanitarian crises the PM’s words are not timely and do not reflect the veracity of truth nor the validity of logic.

His words are legally appropriate but not morally sensible at a time when the whole world is shrinking with an unfathomable fear and trepidations.

Therefore, giving the cold shoulder to the international students may not help the government to get the insight into what gives the solutions to this catch-22 situation.

Shiva Neupane: is the author of “In the Pursuit of Utopian Life in Australia”, Falang English Dictionary, My Waves, The Elixir of my voice, and Falang Food Dictionary. His articles have been appeared in the mainstream Newspaper of Australia “The Age” and The National daily of Nepal “The Himalayan Times”

For the feedback he can be contacted at; [email protected]



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