Australia has committed $5 million to Vanuatu in the wake of Cyclone Pam, but that could be set to change if the Bali Nine Duo are executed, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned Vanuatu.
“We will be making our displeasure known, we will be letting Vanuatu know in absolutely unambiguous terms that we will feel grievously let down,” Mr Abbott announced in his strongest and most confusing language about the Indonesian execution to date.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop was quick to distance herself from the Prime Minister’s comments.
“I’ve made it quite clear to Vanuatu that the Prime Minister was intending to threaten Indonesia, not Vanuatu, with those remarks,” Ms Bishop told ABC Radio this morning.
“And I’ve made it quite clear to Indonesia that all the Prime Minister was saying that Australia has been and remains a close friend and supporter of Indonesia.”
Indonesia’s continued practise of the death penalty has come under fire in recent months after it was discovered that two of the criminals on death row happened to be Australians. The two are known as the Bali Nine duo, as a result of the name “The Bali 2/9ths” being universally rejected by all media outlets.
After a star-studded viral video failed to provoke any real change, campaigners on behalf the Bali Nine duo have been forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel with legal appeals and diplomacy. As a result, campaigners have urged Tony Abbott to be more vocal about the situation, even though the Prime Minister is the kind of guy who can’t tell the difference between John Oliver and Olivia Newton-John.
(Editors Note: Matthew, can you make the last line a joke about the Prime Minister eating a raw onion? I don’t think that gag’s been worn out yet.)
Meanwhile, Cyclone Pam continues to rage and, just like the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy, is heading straight to New Zealand.
As a result of the devastation in Vanuatu, the total death toll for people killed by Cyclone Pam has climbed to 0 Australians.
Matthew Farthing is the foreign correspondent for The (un)Australian. He may have visited Vanuatu on a P&O cruise, but doesn’t remember ever looking over the side of the boat.