Non-refugees stay in at camp

National

Reports by CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
in Lorengau
Non-refugees at the Lombrum naval base have not moved out despite not having any food, water or electricity for the third day today, Manus police commander Inspector David Yapu says.
“All of these 575 people  are still there. We told them to move but they are still adamant about staying on,” he said.
“We are human beings and we   need food and water and basic services like electricity to survive.
“We sympathise with them butr what can we do? The Immigration officers are also asking them to move but they still won’t listen.
“Buses  have been arranged for them to move out. We will not use force on them. They will have to move out voluntarily.”
Yapu said that they were still guarding that camp.
“We have three shifts from 8am to 4pm, 4pm to midnight and midnight to 8am. Mobile squad officers from Tomaringa Barracks, East New Britain are here also .
The PNGDF soldiers are also monitoring the movement of people in and out of the camp as it is on their base, so their security is secured.”
Yapu said that they had complied with the Supreme Court order to secure the camp after the court ordered the closure of the processing centre there on Tuesday (Oct 31).
“Our fundamental role is to ensure the safe movement of these non-refugees to their new centre at Hill Side camp in East Lorengau.”
Yapu said that on Wednesday afternoon there was a meeting with Manus MP and Parliament  Speaker Job Pomat, Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin , the provincial  administration, locals and landowners .
“Everyone is happy  for the non-refugees to relocate on humanitarian grounds ,so the police  will ensure the  safety for everyone, both the locals and the non-refugess. I will soon go on the local NBC radio and make awareness for everyone to live peacefully.”
Meanwhile non-refugee Aziz Adam said that going without food and water for a long time was nothing new to them as they had experienced that in their country.
“As long as there is oxygen, we will survive .
“We want to go to Australia.We didn’t want to come here,” he said.
Another non-refugee who requested anynomity also expressed a similar intention, saying that they would not move.
“We will starve in the camp. We will not move out of here. We don’t worry about food and water but we want our safety to be granted,” he said.
“We can’t stay in PNG. We have been here for four-and-a-half-years now. We know the PNG customs .
“All land is customarily owned. Land is passed down through family generations.
“Land will not be given to foreigners like us to settle or to do business.”

Leave a Reply