General secretary of PNG and Solomon Islands Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Victor Roche, told Radio Australia that when one of their bishops last year described his unhappiness at the conditions he saw in an offshore detention centre, the bishops formed a collective viewpoint on the issue.
“We are against the offshore detention centres in Papua New Guinea,” Father Roche said.
The chief executive officer of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne, Kon Karapanagiotidis, said he was shocked by the panel’s recommendations.
“We are deeply disappointed,” he said.
“I think it’s a recommendation that basically just rubber stamps what (Prime Minister Julia) Gillard has been arguing for. And it just shows you the lack of integrity, and the lack of genuine process because what this panel is putting forward is not what the community and the public were making submissions on.”
A prominent Papua New Guinea politician says he will take legal action to stop Manus Island detention centre being reopened to house asylum seekers.
National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop, a member of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s coalition government, says a detention centre contradicts PNG’s law and culture.
“You cannot detain people here in PNG – even if they are aliens from outer space – we cannot detain them indefinitely,” Parkop says.
News category: Pacific.