New immigration Minister Chris Bowen has barely been in the job a week and has already found himself embroiled in a touchy situation involving a protest by asylum seekers at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre. He would have expected such media coverage sooner or later; the place has been a magnet for controversy for years.

Last night 11 asylum seekers (mostly Sri Lankan Tamils) who staged a rooftop 30-hour hunger strike ended their protest after UN officials agreed to become involved in their cases. Blood was literally spilt, with at least two men reportedly cutting themselves. UN officials arrived at the scene around 6pm and held a meeting with the group shortly after.

These events came only a day after the tragedy that unfolded on Monday, when Fijian detainee Josefa Raulini jumped to his death from a two story building.

The media inevitably report a range of views on issues as emotive as asylum seeker rights and deaths in custody.

Here’s what some of the press had to say:

The Australian

Lanai Vasek and Drew Warne-Smith: Former PM Laisenia Qarase’s plea failed to save Fijian Josefa Rauluni

Deposed Fijian prime minister Laisenia Qarase unsuccessfully pleaded with Australian authorities to grant asylum to Josefa Rauluni. Mr Railuni died after throwing himself from the roof of a Sydney detention centre.

Jehane Sharah and Jodie Minus: Asylum-seekers’ protest ends as UN steps in

At times the detainees cried, clinging to each other for support on the windy roof, and one detainee who threatened to jump was restrained by the others. Their desperate situation spread to the ground, with frustrated supporters protesting angrily outside the centre’s fence.

Big Pond News

Bowen denies aylum deal was done

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the federal government did not do a deal with 11 asylum seekers to convince them to end their protest at a Sydney detention centre. The group of 11 men, who were refusing to get off the roof of the Villawood facility, ended their 30-hour stand-off with Australian authorities on Tuesday night and came down safely.

The Age

Russell Skelton: Human price of immigration detention centres ‘too high’

Jeanette Gibson believes Australia has treated its hardened criminals more humanely than its asylum seekers marooned in the legal limbo of indefinite detention.

Sydney Morning Herald

Lyn Bender: It’s not just people smugglers who exploit refugees

We accuse people smugglers as traffickers and profiteers in human misery, however, they are just the usual small fry victims who take the rap. With 4903 people in detention, 700 children and 21 centres, business is booming in the displaced people sector.

Harry Minas: The problem is detention, not asylum seekers

The tragic death at Villawood detention centre on Monday morning, and the risk to life and health of other detainees who were on the roof, are reminders of the need for a fundamental review of this country’s detention policy and practice.