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28 July 2013


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Norm Richardson

As I recall, Manus is or was a tropical paradise of sun, sea and sand with fishing aplenty, safe beaches, friendly natives, who did not have an axe to grind with the kiaps or anyone else in the world. Everyone that I know who lived there said it was paradise on earth.

Anyone who has the temerity to describe Manus Island as "hell on earth" (a certain Greens Senator) is either falsely condemning the Manus Islanders and the island itself or has a Trotskyite agenda in mind, unrelated to the fact that our Muslim boating population have been rejected by their Muslim brothers and sisters through whose countries (at least 4 and possibly 8 countries) they have passed to get to Australia.

Does living on Manus Island really present a risk of serious harm to those delicate little children who have survived the trip through innumerable Asian countries to get there?
If so, then we should look at evacuating all persons now resident on Manus Island, if it is so terrible.

So, what does the temperature get to in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, Damascus, etc? Was life better there? Who had running water or electricity in the house in Kandahar, Palmyra, etc? What is the problem with lack of access to the benefits of a major city?

They could have stayed in any number of major cities in any number of countries in Asia. I can say from personal experience that medical services, transport facilities, house accessibility, etc, in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore are far better than anything we have in New South Wales, west of the Sandstone Curtain.

The tribal tradition for Arabs and nomads is to live in a camel and goat hair tent. A canvas tent is a step up, is it not?

I have lived in bush material houses and found them more comfortable that a 2 bedroom flat in Fitzroy, Stanmore or Elizabeth Bay, not to mention cheaper and quieter.

We have now been told by the Immigration officials that 50% of all Indian visas issued for education travel to Australia were based on false documentation. Further, the Sri Lankan boat arrivals have been found to be persons wanted by their government for war crimes.

So should Australia harbour war criminals? Perhaps we need more of Bilal Skaff’s cohort?

Should we adopt the methods of our major western defence partner, the United States of America? Their Coast Guard turns the boats around and sends them elsewhere, regardless of their pleas.


Don't forget also that by some legal trickery Australia has excised all of itself from the migration zone, thus even genuine refugees arriving in say Sydney have had their rights bypassed.

Who was that character in Dickens who was fond of saying "If that's so, I'll eat my head!"

That's right, it's Grimwig from Oliver Twist. "He’s stubborn, contrary, abrupt, hard on the outside, but marshmallow-y soft on the inside, and very fond of Rose"

Sounds familiar.

David Wall

I remember fondly the well built bush material house I had in Dreikikir as probably the most comfortable dwelling I lived in over my many years in PNG.

Tony Flynn

"Australia also has obligations not to return people who face a real risk of violation of certain human rights under the ICCPR, the CAT and the CRC, and not to send people to third countries where they would face a real risk of violation of their human rights under these instruments. These obligations also apply to people who have not been found to be refugees".

Thanks for your clear exposition Paul.

I believe that PNG or any other country should not be required to provide accommodation to "refugees" at any higher level than that enjoyed by the majority of its citizens.

This means bush materials in PNG; in Australia it means much better class of dwelling. Thus for Australia to redirect unprocessed refugees to PNG would be against its responsibilities.

In pre-Independence PNG I lived variously in a tank house at Sixmile in Port Moresby, a converted Thames Trader packing case in Madang, and a bush material house at times; as did many kiaps.

Bush material houses are the norm for West Papuan refugees in various camps along the border. It is hypocritical of our leaders to offer these refugees better conditions and benefits now to sweeten the pill of new refugees being given all mods and cons.

How do Turkey, and other countries in the Middle East and Africa treat their refugees. Not well! What does the UN do about it? Not much!

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