Australian Protesters Demand Shut Down of Manus Island Facility for Asylum Seekers
By Reissa Su | February 26, 2014 8:18 PM EST
Protesters in Australia have called on the government to close the asylum seeker detention centre in Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, after it was revealed in a report that a former Sri Lankan military officer is running the facility.
(REUTERS/Sri Lankan President'
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L), who is currently in Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, gives Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa a signed Australian Rugby Union jersey in Colombo, November 17, 2013. (REUTERS/Sri Lankan President's Office/Handout via Reuters)
The Australian government has confirmed recently that Dinesh Perera from Sri Lanka served as the operations manager for the asylum seeker facility which was set up on Manus Island in 2013.
The detention centre is located in a rugged jungle-covered island off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. Asylum seekers who attempt to enter Australia by boat are sent to the Manus Island facility.
According to reports, Mr Perera has been working for a private global security company G4S which the Australian government has contracted to manage the asylum seeker facility. Violent riots have recently claimed the life of one asylum seeker from Iran.
The asylum seekers mostly come from Asian countries, including Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The detainees have been rescued from unstable boats after paying people traffickers money to cross the Tasman.
Human Rights Law Centre advocate Emily Howie said the Manus Island facility has been described as "cruel" and "inhumane" by the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees. Ms Howie is an expert on issues regarding international refugees. She has studied the human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and remarked that even if Mr Perrera had passed government scrutiny, there is no guarantee and "no peace of mind."
Independent NGO and not-for-profit organisation HRC is concerned that a member of the former Sri Lankan army is operating the detention facility where there are many ethnic Tamils.
According to reports, as many as 100,000 people allegedly died in a war which ended in 2009. The Tamil Tigers had fought against the Sri Lankan military to create an independent Tamil state.
Activists in Australia said about 30 to 1,300 refugees in Manus Island came from Sri Lanka. Ms Howie said they don't want former members of the Sri Lankan army managing the facility.
A spokesperson for the Australian Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison said government contracts with G4S and other services for offshore processing centres included clauses that require Australian Federal Police clearance.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy:Camilla And Princess Eugenie Jealous, Duchess Reportedly Only Good At Making Babies
- Pregnant Kate Middleton Wants To Have A Big Family With ‘Five Children’ At Anmer Hall Residence- Reports
- ISIS European Teen Jihadists Allegedly Pregnant; New Zealand Silent On Kiwi Jihadist's Request To Return Home
- New Zealand Scientists Dissect Well-Preserved Female Colossal Squid [VIDEO]
- This Model Thinks She Is A Bombshell After Plastic Surgery Costing £30,000 Makes Her Look Like A Sex Toy
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- Canadian IS Jihadist Wants to ‘Play Soccer’ with Heads of US Decapitated Soldiers
- Warning to U.S. – ISIS Has Shot Down a Syrian Regime Fighter Jet
- Spice Dream Uno vs Xiaomi Redmi 1S: Android One Smartphone to Challenge The Existing Budget Friendly Smartphone