Manus Island refugees face forcible eviction


Four hundred and twenty-one refugees and asylum seekers holed up in the Manus Island detention centre have been told by Papua New Guinea's government they must leave on Monday or face forcible eviction, as another legal challenge goes to court, and worldwide pressure continues to mount on Australia to intervene.

Herald political editor Audrey Young said she's riding a fine line.

Jacinda Ardern wants to have a "substantive" discussion with Malcolm Turnbull at the East Asia Summit about the situation on Manus Island.

Eyebrows are being raised as Jacinda Ardern sharpens her attack on Australia's treatment of Manus Island refugees.

They are refusing to move to new accommodation being provided for them elsewhere on the island as they say they will not be safe there.

"I see the human face of this issue".

"We see that we have a role to play here, we're very eager to play that role and as I say I'll be having another conversation with the Prime Minister in the Philippines".

"The safety of both the refugees and government workers plus staff of leading agencies is not to be taken for granted given the tension that is now being expressed by the locals on Manus Island", he said.

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The lawyer Ben Lomai, who is bringing the case on behalf of Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee inside the camp, said the the proposed takeover of the detention centre brought with it the risk of extreme violence.

"We haven't scheduled anything, but absolutely it is my intent to talk with him before this meeting concludes".

That has been mooted as a compromise to allay Australian concerns that New Zealand would be seen as a back door to Australia, potentially encouraging more refugees to head for Australia.

"It remains a New Zealand rite of passage to visit our ancestors in carefully war cemeteries in places like Belgium, Malta, Turkey and Greece", Ardern said.

But National's foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee said it was "surprising she's made a decision to go so hard on the Australians". I stand by the way that we've managed the situation.

"Perhaps it is these every day physical reminders that explain why New Zealanders to this day place a high premium on peace".

Asked about reports that Papua New Guinean authorities will soon remove the men from the centre, Ms Ardern said she would once again raise her country's offer to take refugees from Manus Island with Mr Turnbull. "We will treat our residents as residents, and our citizens as citizens". "I don't think going via PNG would add any haste to the issue at hand".