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31 July 2013


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Emma Wakpi

Thank you all for your comments. To Paul yes both our countries want a fair go and I am really surprised at how both our leaders are handling this situation. They know better than this surely. To Barbara totally agree with you, and hope that a regional consultation can be convened soon.

Felix Kipalan

Thank you Emma, it was really good reading / perspective.

Fiona Hukula

Mi nogat planti toktok. Emma Wakpi, you are a brilliant writer!

Francis Sina Nii

Well done Emma and excellent suggestion Barbara. I fully support your idea.

The boat people issue is a regional problem that affects Indonesia, Malaysia and even Nauru has been drawn into it as well.

Hence a regional consultative meeting is the best pathway to finding the best, collective and regional solution to the problem instead of a PNG-Australia solution. Excellent idea Barbara.

Mrs Barbara Short

Thank you, Emma. You have expressed the PNG sentiments well.

Yes, I want a fair go for everyone, which includes the people of PNG and the refugees.

I understood how refugees were housed in Manus while they were processed to see if they were genuine refugees, then they were sent to other countries that would accept them.

But to ask PNG to take boat-loads of refugees, bound for Australia, and place them in Manus and state they could never come to Australia, was wrong. It put all the burden on PNG which, for many reasons, is very wrong.

It was done to stop the people smugglers but it hasn't worked.

The Australian government must work at other ways of stopping the people smugglers and stopping all the boat-loads of refugees arriving in Australia.

There should be important meetings set up between all countries involved - Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and so on, and ways worked out to put a stop to the wholesale movement of people through many countries to their main destination, Australia.

These people have heard from their wantoks that in Australia, if you work hard, you can make a good life for yourself and that we are a relatively safe country in which to live with people from many racial, cultural and religious backgrounds, all trying to work together for the common good.

The Manus solution must be stopped as soon as possible before there is more heart-break.

Look at the riots in Nauru. There could be something even worse in Manus if boat-load after boat-load are sent there.

Five years ago today, Barbara made the first of what has been a plenitude of sympathetic, supportive, intelligent and experience-based comments on PNG Attitude. We thank her and salute her - KJ

Paul Oates

Well done, Emma. You have effectively highlighted the problems from PNG's point of view.

Everyone needs to understand that there is a mutual lack of knowledge and appreciation about each other's countries. The decision to embroil PNG in the Australian asylum seeker debacle is one the leaders of both our countries have made.

The current Australian PM, who nobody voted for as leader, usurped power from his predecessor. However that is what she did to him previously. He therefore does not have a current mandate as Australian PM. Wait a minute, that sounds rather familiar doesn't it?

Mr Rudd is desperate to win the next general election at any cost even if it means demeaning anyone who might get in the way and get hurt as collateral damage. What does that say about him and his backers?

The average Australian, is there is one, is only just starting to find out and try to understand a little more about PNG. The same could really be said about the average PNGian if there is one, when he or she thinks about Australia.

The situation is not being helped by unscrupulous press reports and journalists who try to ramp up public opinion in order to sell their employer's newspapers.

The people of both our countries just want a 'fair go.'

It begs the question: What is it our leaders want?

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