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Adding to suffering: reducing food

By Shamindan Kanapathi

On Manus Island there are three camps that are run by PNG immigration and Australian Border Force. East Lorengau Transit Centre and West Lorengau Transit Centre are for people recognised as refugees through the flawed PNG/Australian refugee assessment process. The third is called Hillside camp. It is where those who have been deemed non-refugees, for various reasons, are held.

East Lorengau Transit Centre is fully contracted to a company called Paladin which provides security, maintenance and food. West Lorengau Transit Centre and Hillside camps have different service providers. Paladin provides security and a local company called NKW Holdings, provides food.

Those transferees who live within the East and West Transit Centres are provided with raw food and have self-catering kitchens to cook themselves. Those deemed non refugees who live in Hillside camp are served cooked food by NKW.

Asylum seekers in Hillside camp on Manus are seriously suffering with hopelessness and desperation. Management is now adding more stress and weakening them by reducing the amount of food they receive. Most of the men go to bed hungry because they have not been given enough to eat. This is further crushing on top of all of us being treated like criminals, our very basic human rights actively ignored.

We ask: What is our fault or what was our crime? Why are we being treated like this?

When the guys ask for an extra piece of meat or one cup of rice the guys are being humiliated and refused.

The contractors care only about money. They put all the funds that are given to spend for refugees in their own pockets. After almost six years refugees here are still made to suffer unbearably. This is really, really ridiculous and a cruel crime.

The man who killed 50 people in New Zealand complains about his lack of rights. But here we are having committed no crime and yet we are treated like the worst criminals.

All decent Australian should raise their voices against this injustice that is being done in your name, paid for with your taxes, which are wasted, spent to torture innocent vulnerable people who came to your country to seek protection.

Please speak up for us now. Please make our voices heard. Please use your voices to support ours. Speak now or you may be the next to suffer. What is done to us will be done to you next. Wake up, Australia.

Shamindan Kanapathi is a Sri Lankan Tamil man and refugee. He has been detained by Australia on Manus for almost 6 years. Over a number of years he has been reporting from within the camp through social media. His hopes have been that some day he will be free and reunited with his family; be able to help to raise the voices of those who are not heard; to care for those who are not cared for; and pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian.
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  1. Baby Jewels

    Just when you think our government can’t go any lower…

  2. Vercingetorix


  3. Keitha Granville

    there is no excuse for mistreating those who have done no wrong. the companies that are being paid to manage these places MUST be brought to account.

  4. DrakeN

    Australia’s shameful inhumanity in dealing with people seeking refuge from insupportable circumstance is a stain which will take decades to fade, even if something is done immediately to remedy it.

  5. Josephus

    The entire Paladin contract stinks. They are an international company that makes money from vulnerable peoples’ suffering, as occurs too in some old age Homes.
    But what can we do? Can the UN to drop food parcels, or what? Is Amnesty alerted? The Greens Senators cannot publicise this nasty behaviour as parliament is not sitting. Can we please be learn how to do other than just attend a Palm Sunday rally for refugees.

  6. Andrew Smith

    Good insight. Nowadays one would assume that anti – immigrant and racist sentiments are part of US influenced evangelical Christian political ideology and strategy.

    From ‘Nativist Bedfellows: The Christian Right Embraces Anti-Immigrant Politics’

    ‘A parade of Republican presidential hopefuls there to court support from right-wing Protestant evangelicals attempted to outdo each other with the aggressiveness of their border security plans and the severity of their proposed policies towards immigrants.’

    Apparently been cooked up some years ago.

  7. Patagonian

    This is what the Japanese did to those they held as prisoners of war. We deserve to be regarded as a pariah by the civilised world.

  8. AJ O'Grady

    Criminal and unscrupulous L/NP contracts to criminal and unscrupulous providers. It’s in the L/NP’s DNA. The inhumane and corrupt gravitate to the L/NP. like blow flies to shit.

  9. Terence Mills

    How can it be that after the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea determined that it was unconstitutional to hold people in circumstances where they had not committed any crime, not been before a court of law and not been convicted or received a sentence , that these people are still being held ?

  10. Alcibiades

    On a fanciful, deeply cynical faux legal fiction that they are no longer in ‘detention’.

    It’s plausibly-deniable State torture in a very real Hotel California … you can check out any time you like,
    but you can never leave!’.

  11. helvityni

    I’m speechless…asylum seekers on Manus are not given enough food whilst at the same time on mainland Australia people are getting bigger by the day….

    Our Government does not care about either group, it pains me to see four-year old children who are as wide as they are tall….

    What happened to our humanity…?

  12. Pingback: Adding to Suffering: Typhoid Fever in Hillside Camp - » The Australian Independent Media Network

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