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Monday, February 24, 2014

asylum seeker dies in Manus Island ... something on Papua New Guinea

I have not heard of this island before (Manus) nor know anything about - Pacific Solution which is in news now for wrong reasons.  

Before that something on Cricket – of the U19 Worldcup now on at Dubai.  On Saturday, a ball from Kuldeep Yadav, the chinaman bowler, pitched outside the off, jumped, turned, beat the bat, and ended up down the legside – Umpire called it a wide – one felt too harsh for a great delivery. English batsmen could not read him properly but still India lost the match, which was sealed in the penultimate over of Hooda, whom Vijay Zol chose to bowl.  India had earlier won all their group matches; in one of them – India crushed minnows Papua New Guinea by  245 runs.  Opting to bat in their last league match, the defending champions posted a mammoth 301 for six, before bowling out their hapless opponents for just 56 in 28.2 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Defending a big total on what did not seem like the best of batting surfaces, left-arm spinner Yadav, returned impressive figures of 4/10 in8.2 overs.  Earlier Afghan caused the biggest upset beating Australia – scoring 253 and restricting the stronger team to 217.  

Papua New Guinea,  is a group of islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.  It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world - 848 different languages are listed for the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers.  Though mining provides impetus to the economy, many people live in extreme poverty.  After being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975 after Australia ceased to administer it. It became a separate Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II reigning as its Head of State.

The news is about the violence in an island here  that led to the death of an asylum seeker.  Down under,  Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says new information casts doubt on initial reports that 23-year-old Reza Berati died from injuries he sustained outside the centre. The Federal Opposition has called for an explanation and says Mr Morrison is not being transparent. More than 60 other people were injured in the violence, and Australia and Papua New Guinea are both conducting investigations. Mr Morrison says detainees risk their safety if they engage in riots, but says that service providers must abide by the law in any response.

Manus Island is part of Manus Province in northern Papua New Guinea and is the largest island of the Admiralty Islands. Lorengau is the capital of Manus Province. Manus Island is covered in rugged jungles, and is home to the Emerald green snail, whose shells are harvested to be sold as jewellery.  In addition to its resident population, asylum seekers have been relocated here from Australia between 2001-2004 and since 2012.

Aussie Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the "majority of the riotous behaviour" that killed an Iranian man and injured 62 other asylum seekers on Manus Island this week happened inside the Australian-run immigration detention centre, contradicting his earlier claims.  Greens leader has accused Mr Morrison of repeatedly misleading the Australian public over Manus Island, and called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to sack him from the ministry.  The furore is over the killing whilst in the care of Australian Govt in a far off place.  The activists claim that the occurrence and its handling is shrouded in secrecy.  Secrecy is completely inadequate for democracy but totally appropriate for tyranny. The events on Manus Island give rise to many questions the public have a right to know as to what happened?; whether asylum seekers were beaten to death and why there was contradicting information flowing from the authorities.

They further want Australia to accept global responsibilities of accepting refugees.  The asylum seekers trying to arrive in boats are fleeing their own Nation for saving their lives and a multicultural Nation should accept them.  

The Pacific Solution is the name given to the Australian government policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention centres on island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland. Implemented during 2001–2007, the Pacific solution strategized islands away as migration zones; Australian Defence Force commenced Operation Relex to intercept vessels carrying asylum seekers and they were removed to detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea while their refugee status was determined. The policy was largely dismantled in 2008 by the Rudd government but in 2012, the succeeding Gillard Labor government introduced a similar policy, reopening Nauru detention centre and Manus Island detention centre for offshore processing.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Feb 2o14.

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