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Papuan asylum seekers reach Australia

Date: Jan 19, 2006
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:43 - 202.5 KB - 16kbps)
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THE ARTICLE

A boat carrying 43 asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, referred to as West Papua by its indigenous peoples, has landed on Australia’s remote northern coast. The group of 30 men, six women and seven children fled Indonesia last Friday in a traditional dugout canoe fitted with an outboard motor. Indonesian authorities had alerted Australian immigration officials about the group’s plans to attempt to reach Australia but search planes failed to spot the craft. The boat contains some of Irian Jaya’s most outspoken independence activists, who clearly want to bring their largely forgotten concerns to the world’s attention. Requests for asylum will put the humanitarian spotlight on Australia and test already strained relations with Indonesia.

The boat was flying the outlawed West Papua flag – a punishable offence in Indonesia. Several political banners proclaimed the group’s intentions and summarized the plight of their people. One banner read: "Save West Papua’s people from genocide, intimidation and Indonesia’s military and state terrorism”. Another banner was worded: “The West Papuan people need freedom, peace, love and justice in our own homeland.” Australia’s representative for West Papuan affairs Louise Byrne said the asylum-seekers faced jail and torture at the hands of Indonesia’s military because of their political beliefs and actions. The Indonesian embassy said the group’s grounds for seeking asylum were “baseless”.

WARM-UPS

1. ASYLUM SEEKER: You are an asylum seeker. You are seeking refuge in another country because you dislike your own country and fear for your safety. Talk with the other “asylum seekers” in your class about their reasons for seeking asylum. Talk about your journey to your country of refuge.

2. MY COUNTRY: Talk with your partner(s) about the history of your own country and the struggles it had to become an independent country. Are you happy with the political situation in your country? Are there people in your country who would like to break away and form an independent state?

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Boats / asylum seekers / Indonesia / indigenous / remote coasts / independence / strained relations / flags / genocide / love / torture / political beliefs / embassies

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. BREAKAWAY STATES: What would happen if the following states or regions broke away and declared full independence? Talk about each with your partner(s). Would you support each newly declared nation?

  1. West Papua from Indonesia.
  2. Palestine from Israel.
  3. Tibet from China.
  4. Texas from the USA.
  5. Taiwan from China.
  6. The Basque region from Spain.
  7. Chechnya from Russia.
  8. Northern Ireland from the UK.
  9. Somaliland from Somalia
  10. Quebec from Canada

5. INDEPENDENCE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “independence”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. MAPMAKER: You are a mapmaker. With your mapmaking partners, discuss the changes you would like to see made to the map of the world. Which borders would you like to create or erase? Which new countries would you like to create? Which people deserve independence? Change partners and share your ideas.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Asylum seekers from Papua New Guinea flew to Australia.

T / F

b.

The group consisted of 30 men, six women and seven children.

T / F

c.

Most of the world is aware of West Papua’s struggle for independence.

T / F

d.

Australia and Indonesia have excellent diplomatic relations.

T / F

e.

The asylum seekers were flying the outlawed West Papua flag.

T / F

f.

The group accused Indonesia of genocide and intimidation.

T / F

g.

An Australian official said the group might be tortured in Indonesia.

T / F

h.

The Indonesian embassy said the group had grounds to claim asylum.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

province

unfounded

b.

indigenous

public eye

c.

outspoken

bullying

d.

spotlight

banned

e.

strained

forthright

f.

outlawed

awkward

g.

plight

state

h.

intimidation

basis

i.

grounds

predicament

j.

baseless

original

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

referred to as West Papua

concerns to the world’s attention

b.

in a traditional dugout

seeking asylum were “baseless”

c.

search planes failed

relations with Indonesia

d.

bring their largely forgotten

of their people

e.

…and test already strained

West Papua flag

f.

flying the outlawed

by its indigenous peoples

g.

…and summarized the plight

hands of Indonesia’s military

h.

Save West Papua’s

to spot the craft

i.

faced jail and torture at the

people from genocide

j.

the group’s grounds for

canoe fitted with an outboard motor

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

Papuan asylum seekers reach Australia

A boat carrying 43 asylum ________ from the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, referred to as West Papua by its ________ peoples, has landed on Australia’s remote northern coast. The group of 30 men, six women and seven children ________ Indonesia last Friday in a traditional dugout canoe fitted with an ________ motor. Indonesian authorities had alerted Australian immigration officials about the group’s plans to attempt to reach Australia but search planes failed to ________ the craft. The boat contains some of Irian Jaya’s most outspoken independence activists, who ________ want to bring their largely forgotten concerns to the world’s attention. Requests for asylum will put the humanitarian ________ on Australia and test already ________ relations with Indonesia.

 

 

fled
clearly
indigenous
strained
spot
spotlight
seekers
outboard

The boat was flying the ________ West Papua flag – a punishable offence in Indonesia. Several political banners ________ the group’s intentions and summarized the ________ of their people. One banner read: "Save West Papua’s people from genocide, ________ and Indonesia’s military and state terrorism”. Another banner was worded: “The West Papuan people need freedom, peace, love and justice in our own homeland.” Australia’s representative for West Papuan ________ Louise Byrne said the asylum-seekers ________ jail and torture at the hands of Indonesia’s military because of their political beliefs and actions. The Indonesian embassy said the group’s ________ for seeking asylum were “________”.

 

 

grounds
proclaimed
faced
affairs
outlawed
baseless
plight
intimidation

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Papuan asylum seekers reach Australia

A boat carrying 43 asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, _________ to as West Papua by its indigenous peoples, has landed on Australia’s _________ northern coast. The group of 30 men, six women and seven children fled Indonesia last Friday in a traditional _________ canoe fitted with an outboard motor. Indonesian authorities had alerted Australian immigration officials about the group’s plans to attempt to reach Australia but search planes failed to spot the _________. The boat contains some of Irian Jaya’s most ____________ independence activists, who clearly want to bring their largely forgotten concerns to the world’s attention. Requests for asylum will put the humanitarian spotlight on Australia and test already ____________ relations with Indonesia.

The boat was flying the ____________ West Papua flag – a punishable offence in Indonesia. Several political banners proclaimed the group’s intentions and summarized the ____________ of their people. One banner read: "Save West Papua’s people from genocide, ____________ and Indonesia’s military and state terrorism”. Another banner was _________: “The West Papuan people need freedom, peace, love and justice in our own homeland.” Australia’s representative for West Papuan affairs Louise Byrne said the asylum-seekers faced jail and torture at ____ _______ ___ Indonesia’s military because of their political beliefs and actions. The Indonesian embassy said the group’s ____________ for seeking asylum were “____________”.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘seek’ and ‘asylum’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “ASYLUM SEEKERS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about asylum seekers and people deserving independent homeland.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • referred
  • fled
  • fitted
  • failed
  • clearly
  • strained
  • flying
  • plight
  • save
  • justice
  • hands
  • grounds

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What adjectives describe your feelings about the article?
  3. What do you know about West Papua?
  4. What do you know about the different areas and islands of Indonesia?
  5. Do you think the asylum seekers are brave to sail to Australia?
  6. What do you think the Australian government should do with the asylum seekers?
  7. How do you think Indonesia would react if Australia granted the group asylum?
  8. Do you think there is a chance West Papua will ever gain independence from Indonesia, as West Timor did?
  9. Do you think it makes sense that half of the island of New Guinea is Indonesian and the other half is Papua New Guinea?
  10. Do you think the asylum seekers’ grounds are baseless?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Do you think the Indonesian government is worried about the asylum seekers telling their stories?
  4. Do you think all of the world’s indigenous people should be given their own country?
  5. Are there any indigenous peoples in your country fighting for independence?
  6. Why do you think many countries refuse to give independence and rights to people who clearly lived on the land first?
  7. What is your image of Indonesia’s government and military?
  8. Would you stand up for your political rights even if it meant you might be tortured?
  9. Do you think there should be a UN body to sort out claims of independence?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

INDEPENDENCE: You have the power to grant independence to groups of people demanding it. It is your job to prioritize who gets independence first. Walk around the class and ask for information about the peoples in the table. In pairs / groups, agree on reasons why these people should or should not be granted full independence. Put them in order of who should get independence first.

PEOPLE

REASONS FOR INDEPENDENCE

REASONS AGAINST INDEPENDENCE

ORDER

West Papuans

 

 

 

Taiwanese

 

 

 

Palestinians

 

 

 

Chechens

 

 

 

Basques

 

 

 

Change partners and talk about your reasons and order. Advise each other on the wisdom of your recommendations.

Return to your original partners and discuss what you found out from the other “independence deciders”.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on this story. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. INDEPENDENCE: Write an essay describing a group of people who totally deserve to be given independence. Read your essay to your partner(s) in your next class. Did you all write about similar things?

4. A DAY IN THE LIFE: You are a political refugee. You are escaping a dangerous situation in your country. Write an account of one day in your life. Write about the political situation in the country you have left and your desire for an independent homeland. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did everyone have similar days and thoughts?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

province

state

b.

indigenous

original

c.

outspoken

forthright

d.

spotlight

public eye

e.

strained

awkward

f.

outlawed

banned

g.

plight

predicament

h.

intimidation

bullying

i.

grounds

basis

j.

baseless

unfounded

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

referred to as West Papua

by its indigenous peoples

b.

in a traditional dugout

canoe fitted with an outboard motor

c.

search planes failed

to spot the craft

d.

bring their largely forgotten

concerns to the world’s attention

e.

…and test already strained

relations with Indonesia

f.

flying the outlawed

West Papua flag

g.

…and summarized the plight

of their people

h.

Save West Papua’s

people from genocide

i.

faced jail and torture at the

hands of Indonesia’s military

j.

the group’s grounds for

seeking asylum were “baseless”

GAP FILL:

Papuan asylum seekers reach Australia

A boat carrying 43 asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, referred to as West Papua by its indigenous peoples, has landed on Australia’s remote northern coast. The group of 30 men, six women and seven children fled Indonesia last Friday in a traditional dugout canoe fitted with an outboard motor. Indonesian authorities had alerted Australian immigration officials about the group’s plans to attempt to reach Australia but search planes failed to spot the craft. The boat contains some of Irian Jaya’s most outspoken independence activists, who clearly want to bring their largely forgotten concerns to the world’s attention. Requests for asylum will put the humanitarian spotlight on Australia and test already strained relations with Indonesia.

The boat was flying the outlawed West Papua flag – a punishable offence in Indonesia. Several political banners proclaimed the group’s intentions and summarized the plight of their people. One banner read: "Save West Papua’s people from genocide, intimidation and Indonesia’s military and state terrorism”. Another banner was worded: “The West Papuan people need freedom, peace, love and justice in our own homeland.” Australia’s representative for West Papuan affairs Louise Byrne said the asylum-seekers faced jail and torture at the hands of Indonesia’s military because of their political beliefs and actions. The Indonesian embassy said the group’s grounds for seeking asylum were “baseless”.

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