Tag Archives: Manus Detention Centre

PM O’Neill Calls on Disruptive Elements to be Responsible – Accommodation with Services and Utilities Ready for Use

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has cautioned the ringleaders of a demonstration at the former Manus Regional Processing Centre and said it is time to move to new accommodation.

“The Manus Centre was established for the sole reason of processing asylum claims, now all claims have been processed and the centre has closed,” PM O’Neill said.

“The centre will not be reopened and it will be returned to its former function as a Defence Force facility.

“Given the Supreme Court’s decision, the Government has no choice but to intervene for the wellbeing of both the refugees and non-refugees.

“Those involved in disruption have been identified and appropriate means will be used to apprehend individuals who are causing unnecessary anxiety and violence.

“Their actions are now heading towards a law and order situation, as well as a hygiene and sanitation problem, and it will be dealt with as such, whether they are genuine refugees or not.

“There are 610 men on Manus who have been found to be refugees and arrangements are being made to settle them in third countries.

“There are also 210 men who have been found to not be legitimate refugees.

“Now that the processing of asylum claims has been completed, the relocation exercise is taking place where there is a separation of genuine and non-genuine refugees.

“The locations to where they are being moved have much better facilities than the closed centre, with services and utilities provided for much more comfort and healthier living.

“Our Government and the people of Manus are asking all refugees and non-refugees to behave in a peaceful and orderly manner.”

UN Concerned with Process Followed to Close Manus Processing Center


PRESS RELEASE: November 3, 2017

United Nations in Papua New Guinea

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Papua New Guinea is gravely concerned by the process by which the withdrawal of all essential services has been carried out at the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) on Manus Island as of 1 November 2017. We are aware of and support the statement dated 2 November 2017 which was released by UNHCR. The closure of RPC has resulted in more than 600 refugees, asylum seekers, and other related categories of persons, under the responsibility of the PNG and Australian Government, left without food, water, electricity and security which are essential elements of their rights to an adequate standard of living, inherent dignity and right to life. This is a very serious situation requiring urgent attention of both the Government of PNG and Government of Australia.

The UNCT reminds the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia of their obligations under International Human Rights and Refugee Laws which must be upheld in the implementation of plans to close the RPC. The UNCT is concerned about reports that the proposed new places for the relocation do not have sufficient capacity and are not adequately equipped to accommodate all the existing residents of the RPC.
While persons remain at the Centre, the discontinuation of all basic services puts this vulnerable group at serious risk of violation of their right to life. It also has serious implications on their physical and mental health.

The UNCT strongly urges the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia without delay to restore basic services to the Centre, including food, water, electricity and security, until an effective solution is found. We urge both governments to communicate clearly to the refugees and related categories of person residing at the Centre, and the public, on the roadmap for addressing the immediate and long-term concerns, including identifying practical solutions for resettlement.

For any further information, you may contact Kedar Poudyal
email: kpoudyal@ohchr.org
Phone: +675 321 2877


3rd November 2017

The acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha returned from Manus island yesterday(Wednesday,1st November) after a brief visit to the island province to see first hand the situation surrounding the movement of refugees from the regional processing centre.

The authorities have urged some 600 men at the processing centre to voluntarily move to the new location.

The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority have assured the residents full services including their safety at the new location, after some 600 men have refused to move to the new location in fear of their security and safety.

Solomon Kantha told NBC News, the new transit at Loreangau have necessary services such as water, electricity, food and medical services.


He said it is for their own security and safety to move immediately to the new locations as PNG Immigration will not be responsible for their well being at the old processing enter.

Mr Kantha said for those who wish to stay at Lombrum will subject themselves to a situation where they will not have any services. 


He said buses will be made available every day to transport those that want to move to the new locations. 

So far a few have expressed interest to move and PNG Immigration will make transportation available for them.

Anyone that leaves the Lombrum Naval Base will not be allowed to return. 

Kantha said, PNG ICSA is monitoring the situation closely.

Meantime, Minister for Immigration and Boarder Protection Petrus Thomas is expected to give a formal update and PNG standpoint regarding the relocation of the Regional Processing Center issues at hand anytime today.

-NBC News- Rose Amos-

Australia responds to Manus asylum seekers

Source: Loop PNG

2nd November 2017


This was the firm stance by Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, following yesterday’s closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre.



“The Coalition Government has had a clear and consistent policy since coming to office.”



Dutton says the Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) who are refusing to leave the RPC have been aware since May this year that the PNG authorities would close the RPC on the 31st of October.



“Indeed the Government of Papua New Guinea indicated from mid-2016 that it would move to close the RPC.”



He points out that have been informed for a considerable period of time that there is safe and secure alternate accommodation where health and other services will be maintained.



“Refugees can relocate to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre or West Lorengau Haus.



“Those who have been found not to be refugees should relocate to Hillside Haus.”



The Minister brushes aside claims of inhumane treatment of refugees whilst at the centre, stating the constant claims of IMAs and advocates about their situation in Manus are nothing more than subterfuge.



“They have long claimed the Manus RPC was a ‘hellhole’ – but the moment it was to be closed, they demanded it be kept open.



“They claim to fear for their safety if they leave the RPC, but held no such fears for a long period of time as around 200 of them, each and every day, travelled to and from Lorengau township, some staying in the town for extended periods of time.”



Dutton says PNG’s processing of these IMAs has been completed and there are clear pathways ahead of them.



“Those found to be refugees can settle within Papua New Guinea as agreed under the arrangement struck between the previous Rudd Labor Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2013,” states the Minister.



“The Australian Government has provided reasonable alternate pathways for those who do not wish to resettle in PNG; specifically they can apply for resettlement in the United States or apply to move to Nauru.”



He says those who have been found not to be refugees are in PNG illegally and should return to their country of origin as hundreds already have done.



“The governments of PNG and Australia will facilitate voluntary returns.



“These people sought to subvert Australia’s laws by paying people smugglers to bring them illegally to Australia by boat – none will ever resettle here.”



Meantime on Monday, PNG’s Immigration and Border Security Minister, Petrus Thomas, stated that PNG still needs to sit with Australia to review the Regional Resettlement Agreement.



“The RRA is still current, but because of the date of the 31st we are just reviewing the RRA.



“Because the main idea of bringing the asylum seekers in was to process them, so now we’ve identified the refugees from the non-refugees, after the 31st we have to look for a way forward on how Australia will support them in the third country.”



(Immigration Minister Peter Dutton – Picture: Sky News)

Govt warns new security contractors on Manus

Source: The National by Helen Tarawa.

THE Government has warned new security contractors on Manus to maintain the status quo and avoid stirring up issues with local contractors.

Minister for Immigration and Boarder Security Petrus Thomas said the government wanted the new contractors not to create any issues on the ground.

Thomas said some Fijians had wanted to provide security services which he strongly discouraged.
“We have local security firms that are providing the services at the facility on Manus and doing exceptionally well,” he said.

“I don’t see any reason to bring foreign security guards. Security services are reserved for nationals.
“There are no consultations with us on their (Fijians) coming. All those processes have to be followed because we have laws to assess their work visa.

“We have Australian trained security guards in that project for the last four years to meet the requirement and standard.

“Fiji and PNG are Pacific brothers and this kind of arrangement might disturb our good relationship. I believe Fiji will understand our laws.”

Acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha, said the initial agreement in 2013 was for Australia to transfer asylum seekers to PNG to process them.

“Processing meaning making assessments, refugee status determinations whether they quality as refugees or non-refugees,” he said.

“And then we had a new agreement with them that includes the resettlement aspects of those who are found to be refugees. To date, PNG has fulfilled those obligations under the current agreement, which was to accept the transfer of asylum seekers, process them, and give them the option of resettlement in the country.”

Government supports Manus fish cannery

Source: Loop PNG

Author: Freddy Mou

The Government will support the proposed tuna cannery processing plant that will be built in Lorengau, Manus Province.

Minister for Fisheries, Patrick Basa, said the Government welcomed the idea which was raised in Parliament by Planning Minister, Richard Maru.



The question was raised by Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, during the last session of Parliament on what plan the Government have to sustain the economy of Manus after the closure of the Asylum processing center.


Maru in a response said the Government has plans and one of them is to establish a fish cannery that will employ more than a thousand people and bring revenue to the province.



Minister for Fisheries, Patrick Basa, when presenting a dividend of K60 million to the Government as dividend payment, said the Government is always having an open dialogue with coastal provinces in helping them with projects.



He added that the establishment of the fish cannery in Manus will boost the province and the country in terms of revenue generation.



However, Minister Maru, in the last session of parliament also called on the provincial Government to have plans to help their people rather than depending on the Government.


The Asylum processing center will be close effective as of October 31st 2017.

October 31st – Official Date for Manus Detention Centre to Stop Operating

Australian Prime Minister Michael Turnbull has commented that refugees in Manus will be removed lawfully by October 31st the official date for the detention to cease operation.

Mr. Turnbull said the Australian and Papua New Guinea Governments will work together to settle the refugees.

A first batch of 54 refugees from Manus were notified of their acceptance to the United States in September, with 24 already in the States, however hundreds remain in Manus.

The Australian Government said refugees refusing to leave will be forced to leave the shores of PNG to their country of origin.

The Australian Prime said the Federal Government has not categorically ruled out cutting off the water supply and sewerage to move detainees on.

Turnbull confirmed that the Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Service has already found alternative accommodation in Manus Province – the larger group of islands – for the detainees.

If they refuse to return, they will be forced to leave Papua New Guinea by the PNG government.

Source:  Jack Lapauve Jnr – EMTV Online