Posted at 02:39 on 21 November, 2012 UTC
The Australian government has begun transferring asylum seekers to Manus Island, with a first batch of 19 flown to the island off Papua New Guinea’s north coast early today.
A Manus Island MP, Ronnie Knight, confirmed the asylum seekers, all family groups, landed this morning with security provided by the PNG riot squad.
Canberra has been moving asylum seekers wanting refugee status from Christmas Island to Nauru and now Manus to discourage others from trying to reach Australia by boat.
Mr Knight says tensions remain on Manus after a protest by landowners led to a blockade of the island province’s airport last week.
The landowners have been demanding compensation for the re-opening of the detention camp.
They are angry because they say they have been locked out of contracts for building and maintaining the site and for providing security there.
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