Booming local refugee camps a grave concern

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday October 21st, 2013

 THERE has been news on the repatriation of Bubu people of Waria origin to a new refugee camp, or properly put; caretaker camp, in Bulolo where the Sepiks were previously repatriated. 

This is not the only electorate facing this problem as similar ethnic-driven caretaker camps have sprouted in Lae and other provinces to cater for displaced people due to ethnic strife and violence-related issues. 

The unbudgeted costs to provide basic life necessities to these people is an extra burden to the already stressed budget of the respective electorates and provinces. 

This should by now get the attention of the national government and relevant authorities to come up with effective strategies to combat this increasing social problem. 

The emerging culture and perception on how one should respond to law and order issues it the eye-for-an-eye approach; a jungle justice system or rather, primitive approach where people take the law into their own hands. 

The saddest thing about this is in most cases, it is too generalised and ethnically fuelled, where innocent and vulnerable people, especially women and children are affected without due concern. 

The police department is the only mandated and recognised government body to deal with law and order issues in the country and they should be appropriated equipped and trained to deal with these issues effectively.

If they cannot, the primitive justice system will continue to grow and will one day test the sovereignty of the state and its authority to exercise its powers. 

PNG, as they say, is an island of many nations; a term used to express multiculturalism and our unique ability to co-exist as one under a united identity and governance. 

There is now a referee camp or processing facility in Manus Island, which is getting a lot of limelight both locally and internationally, but we have failed to see that our own refugee camps are popping up like mushrooms without due concern of its potential threat that could test the unity of the nation. 


Samuel Ilau