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17 May 2014


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A good rebuttal perhaps, except for the suggestion that PNG politicians are guided by national interests, which caused me to vomit.

Half the mess politicians try to clean up is what they themselves created.

FSV is is a country issue that PNG did not consciously deal with for a long time. In fact this social ill was not even perceived as such until relatively recently.

Be that as it may FSV is the outward manifestation of various dynamics that define the male dominated PNG society rapidly transitioning from a complex tribal paradigm to the modern world, especially when the transition is never smooth for most PNG men.

The bottom line is that FSV must be dealt with. It will be effectively managed by the State when families and households do their part by taking ownership, preferably by ingraining in their kids the facts on FSV, in the same way kids are taught useful Melanesian survival skills and modern social habits.

As a nation of course the frontline government agencies and people who must deal with such issues should always deal with and manage FSV as a core State service function. Initially the District Courts of PNG generated the initiative to manage FSV, as the result of the recognition of the practical need to intervene with those affected by FSV and offer relief to victims.

The improvised intervention strategy was on shaky legal footing and that raised some concerns. Later others, including the responsible PNG agencies, NGOs as well as outsiders scoping for opportunities to become 'useful' in PNG became involved as a result of that District Courts' initiative.

The uncoordinated approach to addressing the issue created uncertainty on practice.

Now that legislations have been passed to define the issue and postulate practices, management of the FSV agenda must be driven in a structured way by the responsible State agencies.

Research work and empirical data collection activities as well as academic conversations about FSV are useful, towards mainstreaming a national practice for dealing with this visibly PNG country issue.

Further conversation on FSV should be encouraged at this time, for out of the conversations about the issue, as well as on the processes and practices, best practices for FSV and solutions will emerge.

However, even by ordinary standards, Rooney's easy connection and conclusion on how the Manus Asylum Processing Centre and the business of it adds to or fuels or how it supposedly interfaces with this strictly PNG societal issue (FSV) is faulty.

We shall leave the matter of whether her logic is acceptable to her PhD program supervisors. But we do say that politicians (both PNG and Aussies) must be allowed to deal with the messy political challenges posed by the Manus Asylum Processing Centre.

It's a messy one all right but politicians are guided by national interest on issues like this and we should accept that they will endeavour to do the right thing by their people.

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