TIPNG condemns deportation of Lay Missionary tennent
Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) condemns the PNG Government’s blatant contempt for legal process in deporting lay missionary, Douglas Tennent. When a court at law rules that a deportation may not proceed and government simply ignores the ruling we are being betrayed.
The Government and its agents have ignored court issued deportation stay order, in the case of Douglas Tennent, and it is a clear act of insolent disregard for the rule of law.
“It is disappointing in the extreme to see that public officials saw fit to target a church worker that was serving the people of this nation. It is even more disappointing that his deportation seems to be serving the interests of a minority and not in the best interests of the people that the missionary is working with”, said chairman of TIPNG, Mr Lawrence Stephens.
Mr Stephens said, “There is something sinister in this. When it is common knowledge that they are unable to find large numbers of unqualified workers robbing PNG workers of jobs why the sudden attention to the efforts of a church worker to follow the instructions of his superiors in the Archdiocese of Rabaul. There is something also cowardly about the manner in which the officials went about this. Arriving with a deportation order in the afternoon of the last day of work before the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend. It appears to have been a deliberate effort to deny the Douglas Tennent and the Archdiocese of Rabaul opportunity to exercise their legal rights. And even when a court order was presented to the officials it was ignored and Mr Tennent deported.”
The Government of PNG has failed to deliver on its promises to protect people being robbed as a result of the scandalous behaviour of officials and foreign timber interests yet its officials move with swiftly and once again illegally to undermine the efforts of the Catholic Church in East New Britain to mediate in seeking justice for the people of the province.
“We are frankly disgusted by this action. It is contemptuous of the people, their rights and their laws. We would expect the Minister to acknowledge a serious mistake in this process and to make sure that the government arranges to return Mr Tennent to his home in Vunapope immediately.” said Mr Stephens.