“Are we nothing other than pawns?” Three more attempt suicide on Manus

Today, three more refugees on Manus Island attempted suicide, including one who wanted to burn himself alive outside the immigration office.



Over the weekend, a refugee on Manus Island, one who was on a hunger strike tried to set himself on fire. Today, three more attempted suicide. This afternoon, another attempted to pour petrol upon himself, wanting to burn himself alive on the steps of the immigration office at East Lorengau. As one of the men on Manus, Shamindan Kanapadhi noted (an individual who has shared and counted the sixty-odd attempts since the May election), “the situation is out of control…things are getting really serious now.”



Today, we registered Papua New Guinea’s desire to tear up the Paladin contract on Manus Island. Per the ABC, “PNG Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas said the country’s chief migration officer had written to the Home Affairs Department about it through the High Commission in Port Moresby. PNG Government’s position is to … terminate the Paladin contract by the end of this month,” he said. ” wants a transparent tender process.”

To those in the middle, like Shamindan, things are entirely different. In response to today’s news, he said “…we are living in an extremely tough environment. Having no idea about our futures or any control over decisions being made for us. Deals constantly changing with no attempt to include us. Men are severely depressed, this constant state not knowing and fearing the worst increases the stress. This is how men reach their limit of endurance and see no hope other than to end their lives. It has been a process dragged out for six long years. Instead of closing the camps and resettling, both the Australian and PNG Governments are fighting over who to give the next contract to. Are we nothing other than pawns to be used in the game of commercial interest?…we are human beings just like you.”



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