The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
A MANUS Islander believes they will benefit greatly from the regional resettlement arrangement reached with Australia recently.
Norman Sika said history had shown that the transiting of thousands of foreigners through the islands benefitted locals in many ways.
The agreement was signed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd to refer all asylum seekers to be processed on Manus with genuine ones resettled in Papua New Guinea.
Sika, the founder of Port Moresby Institute of Matriculation Studies, welcomed the deal in a press conference in Lae yesterday.
He said the resource-disadvantaged island would benefit without any massive damage to the environment associated with many industrial and natural resource development projects in other provinces.
“In fact during World War II, more than a million Allied troops transited through Manus Island without any lasting environmental damage,” Sike said.
They left behind the Momot airport, sheds and built the road still being used by the islanders.