#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 'Dead detained Fijian was to be a witness against regime'

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

'Dead detained Fijian was to be a witness against regime'


Asylum seekers on the roof of a building at Villawood

Eleven asylum seekers spent the night on the roof of one of the centre's buildings after yesterday asking to speak to Immigration Department officials. Two more men have since joined the protest, climbing onto the roof of another building. Two of the original protesters have cut themselves and the group has refused food and water.

The original 11 men - nine Sri Lankan Tamils and two Iraqis - have been protesting for 24 hours. They scaled the roof after the apparent suicide death of Fijian man Josefa Rauluni. Mr Rauluni is thought to have killed himself by jumping off the roof of one of the detention centre buildings. 

Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement president Usaia Waqatairewa says he spoke to Mr Rauluni twice as he stood on the detention centre's roof.
"[Rauluni] is saying to me: 'They're trying to grab me. I'd rather die than go back to Fiji'," he said.
Mr Waqatairewa says both times he asked to talk to Villawood security.
"I asked them to back off because I'm going to try and call the Department of Immigration to intervene and twice they hung up on me," he said.
"[Rauluni] asked to talk to the security guards standing nearby, appealing for them to back off, telling them he has the potential to be a major witness in a fraud case that [he's] trying to nail for the police, for people who have been victimised in Australia by Fiji, but they wouldn't listen. "The lady said: 'We've got a job to do' and I was really upset. I said: 'If he jumps, it's going to be your head on the chopping block' and she hung up on me."

The police investigation into Mr Rauluni's death is continuing.
But his death has sparked calls from the Federal Government's Immigration Detention Advisory Group for an overhaul of mental health care for asylum seekers.

But the new Federal Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, says it is not his responsibility. "Those are primarily matters that should be directed at the Immigration Minister," he said.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says he is reviewing what he describes is a tragic incident. "Obviously in relation to security I'll have a look at this incident and see if there's anything to learn from this incident," he said.

Protestors outline demands
Refugee advocate George Georgiadis says one of the protesters is a 24-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil who has a United Nations refugee card.

"I have photocopies of the letters from the Sri Lankan Red Cross addressed to the Australian Government that if this man is returned [to Sri Lanka] he will be killed," Mr Georgiadis said.
"His brother and sister have both been killed and he's actually quite desperate up there."

Australian Tamil Congress spokesman Bala Vigneswaran says the men on the roof would rather die than go back to their homeland where they could be tortured.

"That option is not on," he said. "If they are going to die there, [they say] we'll die here because we'll die without torture."
Dr Vigneswaran called one of the men on the roof and translated his comments to journalists. 

The asylum seeker said they want someone from the Immigration Department to visit them, to hear their stories and how desperate they are. They say nobody from the department has been to visit them so far.

Through an interpreter outside the detention centre, the Sri Lankan Tamils outlined three requests. They want the Government, in a timely fashion, to treat them with compassion and review their applications for asylum. They also say they do not want to return to Sri Lanka under any circumstances, claiming they will be tortured and killed if they are forced to go back.

And they say if they cannot be accepted by Australia as genuine asylum seekers, they want the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to take over their case for settlement.

A social justice advocate who has been talking to Iraqi man Mohammed Al-Jarani, who remains on the roof, says he wants an independent assessment of his claims for asylum as well. If the Government can meet those demands, the stand-off could end today.


Anonymous said...

Fight the real enemy. Its name is SATAN. One life needlessly lost for the wrong earthly reasons. Will he have eternal life? Or be raised up to be judged and put to death again? What a waste. Could have contributed so much more to the community for the Right reasons.

Joe said...

My sincere sympathies with Rauluni's family. May I say that a Fijian is the most friendly and peace loving person on earth. To my horror, Australia has been entertaining these boat people who are battle hardened and bring with them ideologies not suited to the Australian civil society. I do have sympathy for these people but their beliefs have no place in a modern civilisation. If Aust is of the opinion that their intelligence and military might is superior to any uprising in the future, they may like to revisit the ideologies and ways of thinking of a would be suicide bomber. Rauluni was a peaceful person and a good Christian, as most Fijians are. It is a shame that his life ended in this way. May God bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

This really is a sad, sad day when a Fijian commits suicide rather then return home to Fiji. I hope that Frank and his supporters, especially the non military opportunits - and you know who you are, take heed of this man's death and know they are part of the reason that he died.

All the military personnel and their wives and husbands must also accept the blams for the death of this man. For they have continued to promote and perpetuate this illegal regime and have continued to benefit from the largesse being spread around by raping the county's coffers.

When is civil society and the civil servants and all of Fiji going to say ENOUGH!!

And hey Frank what is Raluni to you cousin?

Blood on their hands said...

The dictator bainimarama and his family have more blood on their hands.

mark manning said...

I believe Josefa and Frank were from the save Village ?

Anonymous said...

Good christians will never commit suicide because their hopes are not of earthly things. They know who to obey. There's nothing in the media that says Frank was behind him at Villawood and gave the man a push. I believe the man chose to jump.

Anonymous said...

Hey Frank will you or any of your family going to attend Raluni's funeral? Is he your cousin or what?

What about you (Ralunis's) relatives in the military and political opportunists in government related to each other and to the Raluni's - are any of you going to ateend his funeral gathering? What will you say? How can youlook at the face of your relatives and feel share with their grief ,knowing that you are part of the reason he died?

Keep this in the back of your mind, those relatives there will greet you but you know that the greetings are superficial and that everybody knows that you are all part of the reason this man died, not only that, but that you and your families are directly benefitting from ensuring that this regime continues to exst.

Anonymous said...

He went to Australia under false pretences, then joined the rebel democracy movement to jump cue a PR when that did'nt work out he took a jump. Its his own fault. Stop passing the buck blaming others. If anyone is to be blamed its the man himself and that so called freedom democracy movement who is mis representing the people. People are coming to Austrlia from Fiji not to return but falsely believe they can join up with this group and their written support "carries a lot of weight" to get refuge status. That seems to be the general idea. Really boils down to false pretenses coming here and abuse of privilleges when granted a visitors visa. The Australian Immigration is not that naive. He should have done the right thing. Visit then return. He was not chased out off Fiji, he left freely and if he had done what was right and legal, there was nothing to be afraid off to return to Fiji.