The National, Thursday February 20th, 2014
By SHEILA MALKEN
A SENIOR police officer has castigated the Australian government for failing to act quickly on the list of grievances recently raised by asylum seekers on Manus island.
Manus police commander Alex N’Drasal said the Abbott government must properly run the centre in Lombrum and quickly attend to the issues raised by asylum seekers.
N’Drasal said he noticed that the treatment meted out to the asylum seekers were poor and below standard.
“The Australian government should change its approach and act quickly on the petition which was handed to the authority last week by the transferees,” he said.
He said they were not satisfied with the response given to them by the management and that raised their anger and took out their frustrations on the asylum seekers at the Oscar compound.
He said more than 30 transferees protested on Sunday, which resulted in their clash with G4S security guards.
“Seven of them jumped off the fence but were later apprehended by police.
“They were charged on the same night under the Summary Offences Act, due to the minor damage at the centre,” N’Drasal said.
But on Monday, another fight started at around 7pm at the Mike Compound resulting in one death and injuries to others. 500 people live in that compound.
They overwhelmed service providers and the G4S security guards, which resulted in serious damage and injuries.
“Three with serious injuries were rushed to the Lorengau General hospital, one died, two others were flown out of the country,” N’Drasal said.
N’Drasal said the Australian government should deploy qualified people to look after the centre such as “those who have worked in refugee camps and have the experience”.
“These asylum seekers are educated people and should be treated like one,” N’Drasal said.
Police operation chief Simon Kauba said extra police officers had been deployed to the island to maintain peace and order.