Refugees

More refugees leave PNG shores

Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, said resettlement is a key step in the lives of refugees and one of the three durable solutions which are promoted and recognized by the UNHCR.

Minister Petrus Thomas said the departure of this latest group was a significant milestone in delivering on the expectations of Prime Minister James Marape that the regional processing caseload be resolved quickly.

The departure of the nine individuals now sees a total of 269 refugees depart PNG for resettlement in the United States.

Immigration aware of self-harm cases

Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, has advised that they are aware of the increase in self-harm incidences in Manus by refugees and have taken steps to mitigate them.

Solomon Kantha said they observed an increase in self-harm incidences in recent weeks, after the Liberal Party won the elections in Australia.

“With the recent change in political leadership in PNG, these incidents have again increased to seek attention to their plight,” stated Kantha.

Attempted suicides concerning

There have been reported cases of attempted suicide and self-harming by refugees in Manus over the past years due to mental depression.

Last month alone saw four cases of attempted suicide among refugees housed at the East Lorengau Transit Centre in Manus.

Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector David Yapu, is raising concerns on the incidents.

He said between 25th May and 31st May, three refugees attempted suicide while one tried to set his accommodation on fire.

18 refugees leave for US

“The 18 refugees have gone through an independent screening process carried out by the US Department of Homeland Security and were successful. We wish them well as they rebuild their lives in the United States,” said Minister Thomas.

The departure of this 18 refugees yesterday morning has brought to total 218 who have moved to the US since the first batch departed on September 2017.

Draw from refugees’ skills: Lawyer

A member of the Catholic Professionals Society of PNG believes that just like USA, refugees’ contributions have the potential to grow our market.

Samson Kaipu is a lawyer by profession, an academic at the University of PNG and a member of the Catholic Professionals Society of PNG.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the Catholic Bishops Conference in Port Moresby, Kaipu highlighted that immigration is a strong contributor to economic growth.

Peaceful protest request refused

The Manus Development Forum had written a letter to the provincial police commander’s office to seek approval for them to host a peaceful walk from Ward 2 to Lorengau town main market.

The purpose of the peaceful walk is to call for an urgent humanitarian evacuation of all refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

PPC Manus Chief Inspector David Yapu refused to grant the request due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Discussion on Manus issue to be hosted

The asylum seeker issue continues even after the Supreme Court in April 2016 declared the Australian and PNG governments’ detention centre unlawful and unconstitutional.

The discussions will highlight the social issues in the country that the Catholic Church is concerned about.

Refugees’ class action dismissed

Ben Lomai, who acts for the 730 applicants, said his clients now have two options, either to file a case in the National Court seeking damages or file a slip rule application.

They believe the Supreme Court made an error.

The group of refugees and asylum seekers, led by Behrouz Boochani on 7 November, 2016, filed an application for the enforcement of their constitutional rights (section 57 of the Constitution) and unlawful transfer and detention in Manus, after the Supreme Court ruled on 26 April, 2016, that their detention since 2013 was unlawful.

Refugees attempting suicides worrying

The province received reports of three attempted suicide cases, two involving refugees.

Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector David Yapu said the reports of Refugees committing Suicide in Manus is worrying, and both PNG and Australian Governments should look into this situation or more deaths by suicide will take place.

On August 28 at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre, an Iranian refugee poured petrol on himself and tried to set himself alight but his roommate intervened.

Another 35 Nauru refugees set to depart

Almost all are single men and are Afghan, Pakistani or Rohingya.

In a statement, the Refugee Action Coalition says there is one Sri Lankan family (with four children) and one Bangladesh refugee.

“This will bring the total to 84 people who have flown from Nauru to the US since resettlement began last September,” says Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“At least one more flight of refugees to the US is expected by the end of February.