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.


To be signed and acknowledged by anyone wishing to become an Australian citizen is that the applicant understands:

that Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual…[has] a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion…


Read it Mr Abbott, what you are doing is un-Australian – it’s against all the principles that Australians hold dear.

Abbott is taking Australian national identity and making a mockery of it.  In one fell swoop he is turning us all into caricatures of something grotesque and inhuman. He needs to be stopped.  He does not have a mandate for this.

I won’t let Tony Abbott steal my humanity by association.

Mr Abbott,  I am better than that – and so are the majority of Australians.


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7 thoughts on “Manus Island: Not in my name

  1. I am an Australian who knows PNG intimately having worked there for many years. I have also been involved in immigration matters – having sponsored the migration of three Asian families into Australia in past years.
    Generally detest the Abbott government but in respect of the boat people issue it has my full support.
    I am all for immigration into Australia but not for well funded queue jumpers who cynically destroy personal documents so as to obsfuscate their backgrounds.

    Sure, the movement of “boat people “to PNG is a cynical exercise basically designed to scare off future arrivals which were threatening to become a flood of uninvited persons who very well were aware that they were contravening the policies of the Australian government ( and the wishes of the great majority of Australians).
    The PNG government freely entered into this Arrangement and do doubt will extract its quid pro quo. Manus has always been an economically backward region and the work now provided through the detention centre will be very beneficial to the Manus people.
    I greatly respect the work you have been doing through this website – but in respect to the subject issue, I believe you do not represent the thoughts of the great majority of Australians

  2. Over a lot of years I have worked with a lot of people who made it to Australia using the correct channels. They are now very much contributing Aussies. I am still friends with many and take council from what they say. I must agree .. Do not let the queue jumpers in. There is an International legal process and when it is not followed we lose control …Example Rudd/Gillard Govt debacle and all of the lives lost in that one.

  3. I have no sympathy for these people, they have had the money and means to travel down through half a dozen countries, then pay $ 5,ooo a pop for a seat on a boat, and many of them have done this a couple of times. They destroy all their documents, then cry poor. The UN charter states that they must claim asylum at their first port of call after they have left their trouble spot, not travel thousands of miles through other countries just to get to Australia. There is a correct way to come to Australia, and many use it. why not these people. what do they have to hide. Come the correct way or not at all. The people in the camps should be given window seats back to where they came from, and made to apply for asylum the correct way. If Rudd hadn’t have played with some thing that had stopped the boats in the first place , we wouldn’t have this problem now.

  4. State-on-State yes,but overall,the Citizens of PNG and People from Manus Island Province were never consulted initially despite the go-ahead July 19th 2013 Signing of the RRA.This is not a Free-will Arrangement.This so-called RRA was done covertly using the ‘spin-offs’ as a ‘catch’ or ‘strings attached’ arrangement without FULL Consultation with our Land Resource Owners and the general population at large from the Manus Province.Yes,my Province still needs a lot of catching up to do with regards to her Governance system by way of Goods and Services delivery but that does not mean that any one from outside has the right to step right in and push their Agenda under the pretext of ‘economical benefits’ Which to many of us seem a little bit of a pushover.What is clear to me is nothing more of a ‘spoon feeding’ tactic to shut us up and address this whole Political Refugee issue with a ‘keep quiet’ attitude.Is there more than meets the eye? You hav a huge land mass in your Country so why not host them there?

  5. Michaeline, I agree with you. The centre should be shut down for many reasons, the one you state is just one of them. As for the justification that this tactic has “stopped the boats” – well, as far as I’m concerned the price was too high and continues to be for all those directly concerned. I’m sure Reza Berati and his family would agree with me. To say that the end has justified the means in this case is morally bankrupt.

    • Susan, i agree with you on may things, and even on the situation of the camps. but the simple fact is they are illegal refugees, and should be treated as such. To say the conditions in the camp are not the best, just look at the UNHCR camps anywhere around the world, they are no better than these in PNG and Naru. The boats had stopped, the camps had been closed down, but thanks to Rudd and labour, we have this situation again. And with the Libs running the show again, this will end up being the case again, with camps slowly being shut down as the illegals stop coming. They are abusing Australia’s generosity, even going to the extent of trying to book rooms in advance on Christmas island. I have no problem with Australia taking in genuine refugees, but these illegals must come in the correct way, not through the back door. They have nobody to blame but themselves for their situation, this is what happens when u come through illegal means. The loss of life, although tragic, is squarely on their hands too, not the government of the day. I’m sorry, but i have no sympathy for them at all, no matter what their sob stories tell. They had the money and means to get here, so they could have stopped in any country on their trip here. Obviously we are simply to generous with support for these people when they get here , and with relatives already here ringing home and telling more to come, there has to be a line drawn in the sand. Close the camps and send them all home. They can apply through propper means. Save the country billions as well , that could be spent on our own homeless.

  6. I have no sympathy for queue jumping cheats who prey on the generosity and international obligations of Australia.

    Come through the front door like everyone else!

    PNG Student in Oz