Traditional values, land and the power to be free
Asylum and settlement in PNG: who snookered whom?

Another day in the independent State of Manus


IT IS 30 JUNE 2020 in the Independent State of Manus and Abdul Bin Koziasta has been updating his accounts at the end of the financial year.  He has a frown on his face.

The small Pacific island nation is booming, yet he was almost running in the red for the second year in succession.  He needs to analyse where he is going wrong.

But first he needs a strong, sweet coffee.  He rings the bell on his desk.  A few moments later a diminutive Manus islander, her brown eyes peeping out from her burka, pads across the room and bows.

He orders his coffee and when it comes takes a few sips and licks his lips.  His wife has trained this one well and the coffee is good.  He goes back to his books.

His Kiwai partners in Daru have managed to prang another two banana boats and they appear to have lost another one completely.  How do you lose a banana boat he wonders?

The boats are ideal for running refugees down through Torres Strait to Australia but they are not cheap.

Perhaps he needs to investigate the possibility of something cheaper.  But his main rival, Mos Ferrezza, runs expensive jet boats.  They are exceedingly fast and Mos has never lost one to the Australian patrol boats.  Cheaper or expensive?  He makes a note to check out prices.

He runs his finger down the page.  The next items that catch his attention are the payments to the governors, police chiefs and customs officials in West Sepik and Western Provinces.  Why do these people demand such high fees?  It’s not as if they actually do anything for their money.

All of his ‘special’ cargoes are trucked down the Trans-Papua Highway on the Indonesian side of the border.  Apart from the agencies in Vanimo and Daru they don’t even travel in either province.  Heaven forbid that they should, because no doubt they’d be hijacked on the way. 

At least the Indonesian military provides a reasonable level of security at a reasonable cost.  He ticks that item off.

He has an afterthought.  Perhaps he needs to organise the odd assassination, or maybe a car bomb outside the hospitals and high schools in Vanimo and Daru.  He makes another note.

The next items that catch his attention are the donations to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah.  Their demands are becoming outrageous.  If they were a bit better organised it wouldn’t be so bad. 

Their last raid on the American Embassy in Wellington was a farce and the attempt to bomb the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was an even bigger shambles.

Martyrs’ blowing themselves up is well and good, but they need to have something to show for it.  If it was up to him he’d be targeting politicians.  The first to go would be that horrible prime minister, Julie Bishop. 

After Abbott disappeared off Hervey Bay during a swimming marathon – eaten by a killer whale that spat out his red budgy smugglers – why on earth did they let that hideous woman take over? 

At least Abbott understood religious zealotry.  Those Australians puzzled him.  A woman no less!  He sits back in his chair and makes another note.

He sighs.  He guesses he hasn’t really much to complain about.  What is the odd year in the red anyway?  He has numerous assets to fall back on. 

The jerry-built apartment building in Lorengau City is doing well and there is a steady stream of migrants from the Middle East arriving every day and he has a multi-story office building on the drawing board.

The casino in Vanimo, which he secretly runs with a silent Australian partner, is also doing well and is patronised by most of West Papua and PNG’s politicians. 

Which reminds him; PNG prime minister Belden Namah is due there next week.  He’d better organise a couple of handsome croupiers pronto.  He makes another note.


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Francis Sina Nii

PNG as we all know is a nation of nations with each nation having its own traditions, judiciary, and social order etc.

The republic of Manus is one of them totally distinct from the rest of PNG.

Unity is an issue that threatens PNG at the moment. Given this, some of us PNGeans understand Phil's creativity.

Others who are hellbent on disunity may view the message in a different perspective and that is my concern ... whether Manus is capable of becoming a republic or not is immaterial.

Kevin O'Regan

Digressing a little but in answer to Colin. The Antonov (singular) has been based at Jacksons ferrying the sensitive gas conditioning plant stuff from Jacksons to Komo as part of the LNG project.

To date has completed some 74 loads. It has done 4 quick trips out of Townsville ferrying Australian Defence materials tents, building materials, machines and containers to Jacksons where it is being then flown to Manus by Australian Hercules aircraft.

The Antonov is operating with about 100 ton payloads (though capable of 150 ton on a short haul) which would be many many trips for Hercules or some weeks by barge.

I guess speed is of the essence before more citizens of both countries start to rebel against the idea.

Colin Huggins

Very clever and amusing Phil, I just hope your psychic powers, do not fruition. Too scary to contemplate.

For all concerned - PNG at the top of the list, followed by Australia, NZ and Indonesia. I think many other countries in the Pacific area would tremble at the thought also, so as to fruition, the Islamic
Republic of Manus, will never eventuate.

Maybe one of the commentators on your analysis of this Manus Business might be in 7th heaven or wherever.
Pretty sure the rest of PNG Attitude readers are not. Always some hothead somewhere. SMG certainly is excited at the prospect.

I believe I read that "he of the Red togs" who was swallowed by a whale, and the red togs were spat out, will not reverse this decision.

Anyhow why are Russian super transport planes, Antovovs, doing on Jackson Airport delivering materials to then be transported to Manus?

I have just been out in the street - the BCC is again digging it up, they like the practice, I guess.

I asked the fellows during their lunch break - pity they don't turn the engines off on the machines, monster machines - what they thought of this Manus Island deal.

All had not a clue where Manus was, some thought I was referring to some footballer.

Oh dear, what can one say. If PM O'Neill can fully explain any benefits for the people of Manus (still hopefully), a Province of PNG, to the rest of the country - good luck.

I am sure PM O'Neill is a better PM than Somare and the other fellow, Belden Namah. I think this is the best part of Phil's psychic powers: The musings of Abdul Bin
Koziasta: "Which reminds him; PNG prime minister Belden Namah is due there next week.

"He’d better organise a couple of handsome croupiers pronto."

Well done Phil, gotta have a look from the amusing side at times.

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

Phil, you have with precision painted a scene of the near future with good paints and brush.

I really enjoyed your creativity however, I feel for my children imagining having the Arabs and the Chinese running the underworld crime in PNG.

The PM of PNG has made a blunder that history will judge.

Steve Gallagher

If I have a jet engine boat, I could have followed the shortcut way to an Independent State of Manus.

I have sometimes been tempted to go to Manus on my small 40 hp Yamah but anyway, I will do so if only the Republic of Karkar Island is close to the Independent State of Manus Island.

It's a matter of time that my dream will come true!

Mrs Barbara Short

I'm glad Julie Bishop is having her go in the top job.

Probably no Goshen projects in Manus by then!

Francis Sina Nii

Eh, well okay Phil, but, but ... which island of the independent state of PNG will be the next independent state, New Ireland, Nex Britain or ...? I am having goose bumps!

John Pasquarelli

Couldn't have written better!

Robin Lillicrapp

What a pity. The societal breakdown that occurs when you send Chief Inspector Metau, and Admiral Renagi of Sea Patrol on long service leave.

Peter Kranz

Phil - brilliant! Keep it coming.

(Maybe you could work in a Dr Who angle based on the Father Gill episode?)

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