The National, Tuesday 28th August, 2012
FOREIGN Minister Rimbink Pato said the ban on foreign journalists entering the country to report on the establishment of an asylum seeker detention camp for Australia is a temporary one.
Pato said in a radio interview at the weekend that the temporary ban was necessary while the country sorted through internal issues related to the re-opening of the centre.
PNG officials have been finalising arrangements with their counterparts from Canberra over the reopening of a facility on Manus for the processing of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia.
“There’s no need for the (media) access. PNG’s a culture where we discuss, negotiate and compromise.
“So we don’t want any misreporting as a consequence of which issues could be misinterpreted by our own people
as well as by the outside world.
“And to work out those issues, we’ll do it ourselves first and then – when the time is right – everyone will be invited to come and see what we’ve achieved.”
Director-general of immigration Mataio Rabura confirmed he had issued instructions to all PNG’s overseas missions not to facilitate visas for journalists planning to come to the country to cover the Manus story.
The issue is expected to be raised at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands this week.