NOOSA - The powers-that-be who are organising to the point of mania the APEC forum in Port Moresby – now just more than a week away – are sparing nothing and nobody in their search for perfection, however fantastical and fleeting.
No decoration so culturally vacuous it is absurd.
No automobile so extravagant it should not bought.
No speech so unworthy it cannot be delivered by helicopter.
No presence of troops from overseas too great.
No village so needy fishing cannot be proscribed.
No road so impractical it should not be built.
No toea so tiny it’s not worth spending.
No refugee so sick he cannot be forced from hospital…..
Yes, that is all true.
The Papua New Guinea government has flown more than 20 ill – some very ill and in the midst of their treatment - refugees from Port Moresby back to the refugee island of Manus.
All in the name of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC.
Some 70 refugees have been in Port Moresby for medical treatment that is unavailable on Manus.
Late last week, 50 of them were told they had to leave because the Pacific International Hospital was required to treat APEC delegates and staff who might become ill or otherwise need medical attention.
One man had attempted suicide on Wednesday after he was told he would be returned to Manus without treatment.
But, as Helen Davidson wrote in Guardian Australia, that didn't stop PNG police assisted in the transfer of two groups of men - one on Friday, the other Saturday - totalling more than 20 altogether.
The men were told they would be allowed back in a month to continue their treatment regimes.
Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand has reported that the PNG Catholic Bishops Conference has called for Australia to resettle all refugees before Christmas.
“PNG as a country itself cannot handle its issues for its own people,” said conference secretary, Fr Ambrose Pereira.
“This was only supposed to be a processing centre in operation for a year.
“Perhaps Australia needs to take up their responsibility more seriously and say, ‘We have brought them in, we need to settle them’,” Fr Pereira said.