Nun assists 87 detainees home


A CATHOLIC nun has helped over 130 detained Vietnamese fishermen in a number of prisons in PNG to return home.
Sister Ma Theresa Trinh Vu Phuong looked after the needs of those Vietnamese detainees and served as their interpreter and mediator in court, said the secretary for communications and youth at Don Bosco Technical School at Gabutu, in Port Moresby, Fr Ambrose Pereira.
“She has been helping these Vietnamese fishermen to be freed and repatriated to their home country.”
They have been detained in the prisons of Alotau, Giligili and Bomana for illegally fishing and harvesting beche-de-mer in Milne Bay.
Sr Trinh communicates with their families back home and arranges for payment of their penalties and getting all the necessary documents and tickets for them to fly back home to Vietnam.
“Sr Trinh successfully processed the repatriation of 87 Vietnamese fishermen and about 18 more will soon follow and all will soon be able to re-join their families back home, thanks to the courage of this sister and the support given by her Salesian community,” said Fr Ambrose.
Sr Trinh is a Vietnamese Salesian Sister working in a girls’ skills training Institute in Sideia Island, diocese of Alotau in Milne Bay.
The diocese is proud of her because her charity is truly heroic and worthy of emulation.
One of the priests there, Rolando Santos, said the case of the Vietnamese fishermen was disturbing.
“They (Vietnamese fishermen )are used by whoever employs them to fish illegally without a proper license or any guarantee of protection or security from their employers.
“It is a serious abuse on the rights and dignity of these young men to be sent out by their recruiters to fish in illegal waters without a proper licence and without any guarantee of protection or security.
“Once caught, they are almost totally forgotten and abandoned.
“The rights of these young men need to be respected, and a better employment worthy of their dignity be afforded to them.”
The Governor of Milne Bay, Titus Philemon has expressed his deep gratitude to Sr Trinh for the help that she has given the Vietnamese detainees.

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