Australia’s inhumane treatment of refugees needs urgent attention

Shaminda Kanapathi is a Tamil from Sri Lanka who suffered dreadfully under the Australian-run immigration detention program in Papua New Guinea.

While he now lives safely and productively near Finland’s capital of Helsinki, he is a prime example of why a parliamentary inquiry into this program on both the Australian mainland and offshore is needed urgently.

Support for such an inquiry, albeit with less powers than a royal commission, was formalised as ALP policy at the national conference in Brisbane in August.

It is now more pressing than ever, given the latest revelations about the inhumane treatment of refugees in PNG’s capital of Port Moresby and the Australian government’s claim that it is no longer responsible for their welfare.

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