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Nepali asylum seekers opt to return home after 19 months on a Micronesian island

Gorkha Post

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At least seven Nepali men have decided to return home after 19 months of detention in a Micronesian island while they were attempting to reach Australia, New Zealand or the United States unlawfully.

Sixteen Nepali men and 18 Indian men were detained at a wharf in Yap since the boat they were travelling on was detained in November 2014, ABC Online reported.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said seven of the Nepalese men would now return home.

According to the reports, when they landed on Yap, one of the Federated States of Micronesia in the north-western Pacific Ocean, they told local police they were hoping to reach Australia, New Zealand or the United States.

They have been detained ever since on a Yap wharf in conditions described by locals as “dire”.

A local clam farmer, Australian citizen Phillipe Dor, said at the time the boat’s crew said they were sent there, with the guidance of GPS, by Indonesian people smugglers who assured them they would be taken from Yap to Australia or elsewhere.

Philip Raffilpiy of the IOM’s office in Yap said the Nepali men who had opted to return home had done so of their own will.

“It appears they’re in a very clear state of mind, they know what they’re doing,” he told Pacific Beat.

“I would not say more on that because they have been here for over a year and maybe they’re stressed and tired of being here and it may have helped them make the decision.”

Mr Raffilpiy said the rest of the Nepali men were reluctant to leave.

The process of determining whether the Nepali men were genuine refugees was still ongoing, he said.

He said moves were also underway to repatriate the Indian men, with the assistance of the Indian Government, which was providing passports and coordinating travel arrangements with Micronesian officials.

“It is the Government of India’s [will] that all those from India should go back,” Mr Raffilpiy said.

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CCTV cameras lying idle

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BETRAWATI— The CCTV cameras installed at main market area and road side of Bidur Municipality in Nuwakot are lying idle.

As many as 25 sets of CCTV which were installed on the initiative of Nuwakot Chamber of Commerce and Industry are now dysfunctional.

The cameras were set up at the cost of Rs 3.5 million. The concerned side has not paid any attention to repair the cameras in the public which were helpful in maintaining security in the areas.

Right now almost all the CCTVs installed in the public places are not in functioning condition, said Basanta Kunwar, Superintendant of Police.

The cameras were installed a year ago in collaboration among the Nuwakot District Development Committee, Bidur Municipality, different banks and financial institutions.

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