Parkop right to oppose asylum processing centre in Manus

Letters, Normal

The National, Friday 7th September, 2012

AI Karege’s letter “Manus affairs are not Parkop’s business” (Aug 23) cannot go unchallenged.
It is true that Powes Parkop’s priority should
be in the NCD but such a
self-centred attitude is dangerous and short-sighted.
The processing centre for asylum seekers in Manus is not an issue confined to Manus, its governor Charlie Benjamin, Peter O’Neill and Australia to sort out for the sake of bilateral relationship.
No, this is a serious issue that needs to be debated thoroughly.
It is something that touches the core and spirit
of our Constitution and
our Melanesian way of life.
How can the writer claim that having the processing centre in Manus would be a humanitarian gesture on our part?
We, Melanesians, value life and do not enjoy it when humans are caged or processed as items.
But when they are detained in Manus and face undignified imprisonment, are they not running from a form of cruelty, only to be faced with another?
The asylum facility would be dealing with human lives; people who wish to go to Australia.
Why does Australia not do its own processing of asylum seekers?
What makes them a friend if they cannot respect our cultural va­lues?
Any human abuse that takes place in the detention centre would not only bring Manus and Australia into the spotlight, but would tarnish PNG’s good name.
This is what the writer failed to see in Parkop’s opposition in the issue.
If we only see the monetary benefits, then we are no better than heartless torturer­s, murderers, such as those in Guantanamo.
Please, let us not take the blame for something we do not wish to do and that would compromise the way we respect and value human lives.
I call on all Papua New Guineans to support Par­kop to oppose the processing centre in Manus.

Andreas Neansugel
Via email