Discussion on Manus issue to be hosted

The Catholic Professionals Society of PNG (CPS), in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands (CBC), will convene a panel discussion on the ongoing situation in Manus.

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.

There will be questions on what has been happening to the refugees and asylum seekers, what has been happening to the Manus local people, the morality of the situation, the socio-economic situation, the negative effect on PNG and when should the centre be effectively and permanently closed.

In a statement, the CPS said: “About 495 refugees and 131 asylum seekers, totaling 626, are awaiting decision and resettlement.

“There already have been 6 asylum seekers’ deaths in PNG.

“Only 146 have been processed and resettled in the United States.

“There are 37 registered births of babies born to refugees on Manus and PNG. There are unwell men in Port Moresby who should have been medically transferred to Australia.

“The social and moral fabric of the society has been seriously affected, with escalation of prices of day-to-day produce in markets, vendors taking advantage of the refugees on Manus.”

Panel members invited will include NCD Governor Powes Parkop, who is a human rights advocate, Solomon Kantha, Chief Migration Officer, Fr. Clement Taulam of the Kavieng Lorengau Diocese who works with many of the social issues involving the asylum seekers, refugees and the Manus local people, Raymond Paythias, who deals with refugee issues, Benhar Satar, a Kurdish asylum seeker, Paul Harricknen, a human rights lawyer and President of the Catholic Professionals Society, and a United Nations Representative on Refugees.

The panel discussions will be held on Thursday, 01 November, 2018, at the Catholic Bishops Conference hall, Gordon’s, NCD.

The discussions will have a live audience from students, Government, Church, Catholic professionals, NGOs and civil society, who will participate with questions and comments.

(Loop filepic)

Press release