O’Neill: Allow us to return home

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Peter O’Neill

FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has urged the Government to allow citizens, including himself, stranded overseas to return home, as required by law.
He said in a statement yesterday that by stopping Papua New Guineans from returning home, Prime Minister James Marape and the Government were breaching the Constitution and international law “which (required) every country to ensure that the wellbeing and rights of their citizens are protected and that they have the right to return home”.
O’Neill, who has been in Australia since February, called on the Government to “let everyone return”.

David Manning

Attempts to get a comment from Marape yesterday were unsuccessful. But State of Emergency Controller David Manning said the repatriation of citizens abroad “is a work in progress”.
He admitted however that it had not progressed as quickly as other countries.
Manning assured every citizen stranded abroad that they would be brought back home.
“This is an ongoing activity and we remain committed to assessing case by case arrangement to not only see how best we can facilitate but also subsidise the cost of returning (citizens) back home,” Manning said.
He said nearly 800 citizens were stranded abroad, most of them in Australia.
“The main focus now is clearing stranded citizens in Australia, then the Pacific.
“The only restriction is the availability of flights.”
O’Neill said no citizen should be “begging” their own Government to return home.
“Papua New Guinea should not be a dictatorship where the Government decides who can come home and who cannot,” he said.
“The day this illegal restriction is removed, I will be on the next plane home.
“Marape must (allow) Air Niugini to accept bookings from all citizens. He knows that I will be home, that I will be in Parliament, and that I will take him to task for the damage he has brought upon our country.”
O’Neill said stopping citizens and residents from returning home could also expose the Government to costly legal action.
“Any of our people who has been illegally denied the right to return home can sue for the breach of their fundamental rights to return as citizens, for the harm that comes with being forced to remain unlawfully in a foreign country, and the psychological and emotional distress and costs incurred to remain abroad,” O’Neill said.

14 comments

  • Mr Oniel, it is not about restricting you from returning home. Marape has taken the right step to prevent COVID 19 into our country which i believe you dont care. Please have patience and wait. you and everyone out there on whatever reason can return home when all arrangements are in place to isolate you and other for 14 days.

  • Current government now they are very afraid of PO NOT enter PNG court proceedings of legality of Prime Minister JM elected as PM on 30th May 2019 will rule any time while PO arrive in PNG any time.

  • Did we PNG just saw him on the newspaper congratulating Benjamin Philip’s victory in the by-election and now he is in overseas???? come on is this a joke????? Are we publishing the latest information on the media?????

    Media people are driving us the citizens crazy in terms of the dissemination of inappropriate information. Come on PNGans, we must do the right thing at the right place at the right time. Don’t try to mislead the very human resource of the country.

  • The government is trying it’s very best to tackle the situation right now. Please put away all your political arguments aside and let the government do what is best.

  • The former PM is correct. Innocent citizens are stranded in foreign countries. Soon the short-term visas that were issued on arrival will expire all due to no fault of the PNG nationals and residents. The cost of living overseas for extended periods of time is killing family budgets. Certainly those stranded in Australia, Solomon islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji need to return.

  • The repatriation of png citizens planned by the Gov’t is still pending. Where did all the covid19 money go to. We hear about donations from businesses and overseas the govt has spent nothing.
    We have finally arrive home under private arrangements and a paying our own quarantine accommodation. This is the requirement to return while all other countries are taking citizens back regardless of having paid accommodation or not.

  • If JM, Brayne Kramer and his poice commissinor do nathing to arrest PO within this remaining years,I will definately say that you are all liers and need to compensate PO and say appology to papua new Guineans as whole.

  • PNG does not need leaders who obtain excessive unnecessary borrowings in guise of infrastructure development. PNGs debts escalated to K30 billion during O’Neil’s reign. Sub standard and very poor quality infrastructure delivered by Chinese. Too much borrowing only to benefit corrupt politicians. Those supporting O’Neil and PNC are cronies or beneficiaries of PNC’s corruption. Nature has its own way of delivering Justice. Only time will tell.

  • Allow other citizens to return but not politicians!
    They forsook the people and took cover from Covid19 and it’s effects!

  • They run the country down and when the country faces problems they run away abroad, that’s exactly what happened and now he wants to return. It’s not someone’s stopping him from coming back, it’s the COVID-19 lock down policy..

  • Wait patiently PNGeans out there. It is not that the government is restricting you all to come home, it a preventive measure against covid19. PNG em ples ya, bai yu still kam yet!

  • Let us not be ignorant about the seriousness of the current pandemic and let’s not play politics with people’s lives. The world is now talking about a second wave of the virus outbreak that will be more severe and prolonged than the first. We all know that if there is an outbreak in PNG, it will be devastating. That is why the government is doing all it can to protect us from this virus. Let us not forget that this pandemic has caused governments around the world to invoke special powers(SOE) to slow down the spread of this virius. These special emergency powers have severely restricted our constitutional right and freedom resulting in our citizens being lockdowned down and stranded all around the world. This is bigger than politics. It is not about taking each other to task. It is about working together to save lives.

  • Oniel and other citizens should come. Government is not doing right. This government have done so many things wrong. Stopping free education, cutting public servants and teachers pay, stopping services and law and order problems increased and all other giaman toktok expressed in media. Where we see all these are not right. We want good leaders and not bad leaders. Let those citizens in Australia should returned first. Its only less than 2hours flight. Government is not doing right.

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