ASYLUM SEEKERS WON'T BE OFFERED EMPLOYMENT, NAURU SAYS

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YAREN, Nauru (September 5, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Nauru President Rene Harris says reports that the mostly Afghan asylum seekers rejected by Australia -- and now on their way to Nauru and New Zealand via Papua New Guinea -- will be offered employment in the Pacific state are incorrect.

Nauru's Melbourne-based solicitor general, Kerry Smith, said that the estimated 280 boat people expected on the island will not work but may be asked to take part in a community service program.

Harris said the asylum seekers, rescued from a sinking Indonesian ferry by a Norwegian cargo ship near Australia’s Christmas Island last month, may stay on Nauru for up to three months while their diplomatic status is investigated.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia. 

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