'Chief Warrior' Hargesheimer dead at 94
The pains of love

PNG protesters assert claim to Oz citizenship


AAP - MORE THAN 110 Papua New Guineans protesting for Australian citizenship have been intercepted in Australian waters and will be detained before they are sent packing back to PNG, the Australian Immigration Department says.

The people had set off in 12 dinghies from Daru on a 150km journey to the Australian mainland.

They are from Papua Australia Plaintiff United Affiliates (PAPUA), who want Australia to recognise that Papuans were not given a choice to remain Australians when PNG gained independence in 1975.

They claim they are still Australian citizens because there has never been a referendum to legally sever ties with Australia.

A Department of Immigration spokesman said a group of nine PNG nationals were intercepted late yesterday near Cape York where they were refused entry to Australia and detained.

"A second group of up to 110 people was intercepted at Warrior Reef and is currently being escorted to Horn Island," the spokesman said.

A PAPUA spokesman yesterday said another 20 boats would make the journey in coming days.

The majority of the group remained in Daru after Australian and PNG authorities, including immigration officials, sought to dissuade them from making the journey.

"The Australian government's message to these people is clear, they have shown blatant disregard for our laws by trying to enter the country despite being told on numerous occasions the correct procedures to follow when applying for citizenship and we will be resolving this situation expeditiously," the immigration spokesman said.

The people detained will have their boats confiscated and the department will conduct a quick assessment of any claims presented before they are returned home at the first available opportunity.

Spotter - Paul Oates


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K C Karara

It is sad that the previous leaders during the post independence era did not iron out the Papua issue, which is back again with illegal crossings...

We are now one country, one nation one people... PNG.

I suggest those who want Aussie citizendhip should follow procedures and file an application at the Australian High Commission in Waigani.

True PNG.

Ross Wilkinson

Autonomy for Papua and Australian citizenship for Papuans are two different issues and should not be confused.

The question of Australian citizenship has previously been canvassed on this site earlier this year when I posted a link to the following site: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UNSWLawJl/2009/3.pdf

This link provides a summary of an Australian High Court decision on the question of Australian citizenship for Papuans. Unfortunately it is not good news for the aspirations of those intending to come on the boats to seek reinstatement of rights to Australian citizenship.

Unless new grounds can be put forward this case serves as precedent for the question and boat people will be treated purely as refugees/illegal immigrants.

Papua Besena

Papua and its people have a good case. It should not be ignored any longer by the PNG and Australian governments.

Many provinces in PNG are also demanding autonomy from the central powers in Waigani.

Well, did Papuans lose their birth citizenship?

Papuans who were born before 16 September 1975 were born legally as Australian citizens.

For these Papuans to become Papua New Guinea citizens, they must first legally renounce their Australian Birth citizenship, and become naturalised citizens of PNG.

Because these Papuans were not born Papua New Guinea citizens.

Joyce Kema

The move by these few Papuans is only the tip of the iceberg. This regional call for Papuan autonomy is now openly supported by many Papuans in all five Papuan Provinces.

After 35 years of Independence in 1975, Papua has fared very badly. It is still not a very well developed region like many parts of the New Guinea side of PNG.

The whole government system is very biased towards Papua, and its political leaders in Parliament. The numbers show New Guinean political domination in the PNG Parliament.

This should be the concern of the PNG government which has ignored this issue for many years.

For for some time now, several stakeholder groups have been quietly carrying out community education awareness programs.

They go aroung informing Papuan communities in coastal, and rural villages what the long term political, economic and social implications are for Papua if nothing is done now.

The majority of Papuans are very well aware of a great imbalance of power in the present PNG political structure.

It is very obvious, and indicates why Papuans can never achieve any fair distribution of services, wealth, etc in the PNG Parliament.

The Papuans are simply fighting for the recognition of their birth citizenship and want the many wrongs done against Papuans put right.

Australia and PNG must address this situation because the majority of Papuans now are calling for autonomy for Papua.

If they do not get what they are asking from the PNG government than they will declare total independence.

The Papuans will do what Boungainvilleans doing: ask the PNG government to give them a referendum on independence from PNG.

Manitoba Kaioni

Australia and PNG must address this situation because the majority of Papuans now are calling for autonomy for Papua.

If they do not get what they are asking from the PNG government than they will declare total independence.

Papua Mero Tauna

The Papuan's concerns are genuine.

For many years, Papuans have raised their concerns with the PNG authorities who do not know how to respond to their requests, and situation.

The Australian government thinks its an internal matter as it does not want to get involved in a mistake of their doing since the self-government days.

On the whole, many Papuans now believe that this is a response to that fatal mistake in 1975 to merge two competely different countries.

Papua Besena

In the coming months, many Papuans will keep on trying to cross to Australia to push their message as their concerns are being ignored by the corrupt Somare government aided by a not very helpful Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

The AHC only shows arrogance towards these Papuans and their long plight since independence.

On a few occasions, the High Commissioner has ignored the Papuans outside the AHC building, and just sends his silly junior officiers to deal with the crowd.

Peter Kranz

I think these people have an interesting legal point - but sadly with no hope of success.

As citizens of an Australian Territory, Papuans did not have a say in their status pending the independence of PNG. Legally aren't they in the same position as citizens of the Northern Territory, or the ACT?

By the way, Merry Christmas and a great 2011 to everyone :)

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