The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
I SYMPATHISE with the asylum seekers but am not able to empathise with them.
The reason I lack empathy is because I was not born in West Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea or any other place around the world where human lives are endangered and treated with no respect.
Refugees or asylum seekers are the people who have nowhere to go with their lives and families.
Many have watched their wives and daughters being raped and killed.
These are the people whose lives we cannot gamble with.
PNG is a member of the United Nations and therefore is obligated to provide safety for the asylum seekers whenever such a situation appears.
Papua New Guinea is an independent state and therefore it should function as a country by complying with the humanitarian laws.
The Opposition is making a mountain out of a molehill, trying to politicise human life for some political gain.
PNG is a part of the United Nations and the “international village”.
It is not a small land owned by some tribal chief.
For the record, maybe in the past, the government’s policies had failed and things went “south”.
Maybe the asylum seekers or refugees in the past have committed terrible mistakes that violated the expectations of the nationals which had escalated into the hostility toward the refugees in various countries.
But now, this is not only Australia’s responsibility.
Therefore, a good suggestion is to let the heads of every state sit down and discuss policies that will make provisions to keep refugees evenly in their respective countries.
Not all of them will remain in PNG.
Remember, refugees cannot go back, they are here to stay.
It is time for PNG to show its compassion and be diplomatic in its humanitarian policies by giving them a chance to live in dignity and share in our democratic freedoms.
Refugees are the people who never had a chance to live in a democratic world where there is no human oppression.
Hypothetically, just think about how your family would do if you were in their situation living in that country.
If you are a Christian just think about the worth of one soul – Jesus who came to die for us.
Remember their lives are precious just like ours, who were born in PNG. Therefore, we are very fortunate and we thank God for that. Just put yourselves in their shoes and think for a moment what you would do if you were running from such excruciating oppression in your country.
Pastor Clifford Tiripi Indianapolis