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« Do not be silent: A heartfelt note to the future leaders of PNG | Main | Two views of Tony Abbott, PNG and the Manus question »

21 March 2014


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A cunning PM, such as O'Neil,l will use the Manus asylum deal as a leverage for any deals with Australia.

Australia's hard line approach to stop asylum seekers entering Australia will continue to succumb to the whims of O'Neill.

So why should Australia speak up on the PNGSDP, the Schram issue, the Borneo Pharmaeuticals issue and the recent GoPNG-Oil Search issue?

Because if Australia does, the PM will waive the asylum deal (just as he did with PNGSDP) and Australia will be back to square one.

The whole asylum deal is a thorn in the side of Australia.

Thank you Chris Overland, for your clarity. It is a pity that from PNG, although our government, led by PM O'Neill has made such a magnanimous gesture towards Australian security and diplomatic issues, we are yet to see the benefit at the grass roots.

After all, any deal the government made should have flow on to the proverbial.

Or maybe I wish for too much.

What's the cost of this favour anyway?

Of course, you're quite right, history has its own path, and we're all in the way.

I'm so glad Australias' "people smuggling" issue is being sorted.

As for the other stuff in PNG, well, let's wait for a tectonic movement shall we? (Come on Rabaul - one more!).

By the way, for those living in a dream world about WWII glory days, if you want a 'challenging walk' in modern day PNG, come walk with me from Sabama to Waigani at 7pm in the evening.

It's quite an experience. Not Kokoda, I'll admmit, but I'm sure you'll feel something.

I suppose we're all waiting for the earth to move.

Small steps methinks, small steps - "for every reaction..."

Too many Howes and not enough Whys.

Pasin nau yu mekim

The deal over Manus Island was done as part of a broader plan designed to destroy any incentive for prospective asylum seekers to make use of the criminal enterprise called "people smuggling".

Part of the deal was an implicit understanding by both PNG and Australia that, if the total plan worked as hoped, the demand for places on Manus Island would rapidly reduce to nil.

The recent riot no doubt helped drive home the message to prospective asylum seekers that the Australian government was serious about its expressed intention to deny them any chance whatsoever of securing Australian residency.

The strong impression to date is that the government's plan has worked, having been implemented with ruthless efficiency using the military.

Surely, only a fool would part with thousands of dollars to risk a journey to Australia in a leaky boat when the result is either being towed back to Indonesia or transported by jet to far away Manus Island, there to languish until who knows when?

In Australia, the overwhelming response to the recent riot has been indifference. Despite the efforts of some sections of the media and those who have a passionate interest in the topic, the great Australian public devoted their thoughts and energies to other things.

Few Australians know much more about PNG than that its 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" were heroic supporters of our troops during the war and that the Kokoda Track is a really long, tough walk.

Whether PNG's help with the asylum seeker problem really impacts that much on future bi-lateral arrangements is, I think, a decidedly moot point.

Certainly, there will be gratitude sincerely expressed by the Government, both publicly and privately, but then I expect it will be the same issues that have vexed the relationship for a long time that will doubtless re-emerge.

History doesn't change course simply because we wish it so. Only events of almost tectonic power can generate enduring change.

Anyone who doesn't understand this need only look at recent events in the Ukraine, where Vladimir Putin has acted in a way that would have made Joseph Stalin or Catherine the Great or even Ivan the Terrible feel proud. Russia's traditional xenophobia and paranoia is once more to the fore, as is its willingness to act quite ruthlessly to protect the Motherland.

The events on Manus Island are highly unlikely to have a long term impact on Australia's enduring relationship with PNG, which Australians who actually know it tend to regard with a combination of genuine affection, more than a little bemusement and occasional exasperation.

I apologise for Tony Abbott, the leader of the Australian Government, who is obviously thinking of himself first.

He promised to "stop the boats" and he has been silly enough to back what Kevin Rudd set up - the Manus Island Detention Centre, as part of his strategy for stopping the boats.

There must be better ways of "stopping the boats" than using the threat of having to go to live in Manus Detention Centre and be processed as refugees and be accepted by PNG.

I hope O'Neill has not been blackmailed into doing this. I think it is a stupid idea as PNG has enough problems of its own to solve without asking them to help us to try to solve one of Australia's problems.

Just my views!

The Manus Assylum issue has unecessarily sidelined many other important topics of cooperation that the PNG-Australia relations can focus on.

Realistically it is important for both countries to realise that this relationship can be maintained at many different levels.

The thing is that as much as Australia is nervous and concerned about many issues that are ongoing in this country, it will maintain its diplomacy, by throwing the responsibility for addressing the current issues as highlighted by Stephen Howes back to PNG. This will be in line with the argument that PNG is capable of adressing its own problems.

At the end of the day, Australia it appears has not been really upfront to PNG on some of the issues that affects the growth and prosperity of the coutnry.

So will it be the case that the Manus Assylum issue will swallow and overshadow all other important matters before both countires? It should not be too long to find out!

To be more accurate, the Australian government needs Peter O'Neill so the people of PNG will suffer for it.

Thanks Tony Abbott & Peter O'Neill, you guys are the best!

This article prompts one to ask the question; what is the way forward for PNG-Australia relations?

Looks like PNG will forever be the needy bastard on the street who is dying for a few coins from cashed up Australia.

But in giving Australia expects PNG to dance to its music.

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