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From Drifters to Asylum Seekers

From Drifters to Asylum Seekers Steffen Dalsgaard and Ton Otto On 16 January 2015, a Manus-born Papua New Guinean posted on Facebook: “To all the security guards that were involved in the recent altercation at the as Camp, mi laik tok faakin good one stret . . . paitim ol” (I would like to say, fucking good one . . . bash them). This was in response to a confrontation in the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Lombrum, Manus, Papua New Guinea (PNG). This confrontation allegedly occurred between security personnel and asylum seekers who had barricaded them- selves in one of their compounds. The asylum seekers were feeling the despair of having lived for more than two years under hideous conditions and were now facing a transfer to another facility (a nearby transit cen- ter) and the prospect of resettlement in PNG rather than elsewhere (see also Wallis and Dalsgaard 2016). The security guards, on the other hand, were . . . well, what were they doing? What motivated their attacks on the asylum seekers, and why were they applauded for doing so? The Facebook comment was far from alone—others referred to letting the asylum seekers “go die,” and an incident in which two http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

From Drifters to Asylum Seekers

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 32 (2) – Dec 11, 2020

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464

Abstract

Steffen Dalsgaard and Ton Otto On 16 January 2015, a Manus-born Papua New Guinean posted on Facebook: “To all the security guards that were involved in the recent altercation at the as Camp, mi laik tok faakin good one stret . . . paitim ol” (I would like to say, fucking good one . . . bash them). This was in response to a confrontation in the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Lombrum, Manus, Papua New Guinea (PNG). This confrontation allegedly occurred between security personnel and asylum seekers who had barricaded them- selves in one of their compounds. The asylum seekers were feeling the despair of having lived for more than two years under hideous conditions and were now facing a transfer to another facility (a nearby transit cen- ter) and the prospect of resettlement in PNG rather than elsewhere (see also Wallis and Dalsgaard 2016). The security guards, on the other hand, were . . . well, what were they doing? What motivated their attacks on the asylum seekers, and why were they applauded for doing so? The Facebook comment was far from alone—others referred to letting the asylum seekers “go die,” and an incident in which two

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 11, 2020

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