Manus Island: Not in my name

Please praqy for us.
Please pray for us.

“Please pray for us.”

This is a message I received last night from a detainee on Manus Island who had contacted me through my facebook page.

It broke my heart, for, in reality, his prayers were for deliverance from me.

Whether I like it or not, as an Australian voter, I have been complicit in prolonging and adding to the suffering of people that have done no wrong.

They asked for safe harbour and for their trouble, I have locked them up in a hostile, crowded and unsafe environment surrounded by a volatile local situation: where local jealousies and rivalries are being violently visited on the detainees who are like sitting ducks.

It must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

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World TB Day – 24 March

nosmokingTo coincide with World TB Day, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (the Union) has released the results of a study that shows tobacco smoking  doubles the risk of tuberculosis (TB) recurring.

The Union states that the Study is the most robust ever conducted into how smoking tobacco increases the risk of recurrent TB.  The Study involved a large sample of 5,567 patients who had successfully completed TB treatment.

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Manus Island: What did they expect?

Much has been written on the plight of the asylum seekers on Manus Island but as dire as their plight is, there are other casualties of Australia’s callous politically motivated policy: the people of Manus Island.

By PNG Echo

To establish an Asylum Seeker Detention Centre with less than humane conditions on an island in a country with such profound problems that media commentators have referred to it, variably, as a ‘hell hole’ or a ‘failed state’…well, what was the Australian government thinking?  (Oh yes, the polls.)

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Vexatious litigation and Namah:

Vexatious litigation is legal action that is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass or subdue an adversary.  Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the judicial process.

By PNG Echo

v_for_vexatious_640Opposition leader, Belden Namah, through his lawyer, Alois Jerewai, yesterday made an application to the court (Sakora J) to vary the conditions of a consent order made on 20 January in the court of Justice Cathy Davani that protected all parties to the proceedings from arrest until the court case was decided.

It’s the latest salvo in a case that has little to do with justice and everything to do with using the courts to create political instability in order to effect Namah’s political ambitions that he has been unable to realise through the correct channels: the parliament.

How long will the PNG courts entertain his behaviour?

Continue reading Vexatious litigation and Namah:

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Did sharpened fencing wire spell death for Manus detainee?

By PNG Echo

A local Manusian returning to Port Moresby today claims to know who killed the Iranian, Reza Berati at the Manus Island Detention Centre last week and how he died.

His information, he said, came from a local G4S guard from the Incident Response Team (IRT) who was guarding the perimeter fence that night and who went inside to quell the rioting.

According to his information, the riot was between ‘factions’ inside the compound, one more militant than the other.

Reza Berati, part of the more militant faction was killed by a Palestinian from the other faction with a piece of fencing wire, sharpened on the concrete and stabbed into Berati’s temple.

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The politics of fear: A vote winner

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.  To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom – Bertrand Russell
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom – Bertrand Russell

PNG Echo

Beautiful Manus Island
Beautiful Manus

I can’t remember having any one particular conversation about it, but over time, I have come to know Manus Island vicariously, through the eyes of a local – as a lovely, lazy, tropical idyll populated by friendly, relaxed and gentle people.

It was before the Australian Detention Centre opened there.

Yet, ironically, in the latest reports coming out about the riots in Manus, it is the ‘locals’ who are being blamed for the breaching of the perimeter fences and for the vicious attack on the inmates

How can this be reconciled?

Let’s face it though, the reports have been contradictory – even the ones from the Minister himself have been revised, corrected and updated.  I suspect it will be some time before we know for sure what actually transpired, and maybe not even then.

However, not in dispute, is that a violent confrontation took place there resulting in one death and many injuries.

At this stage, local Manusians are one group suspected to be the perpetrators.  Other suspects are the civilian security guards and police (both PNGean and ex pat.) and ,of course, the asylum seekers themselves.

What could possibly turn peace-loving Manusians into those who would potentially wreak havoc on incarcerated asylum seekers (if, in fact, they did)?

There’s only one answer: fear.

Continue reading The politics of fear: A vote winner

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