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« Another day in the independent State of Manus | Main | Kovave (how it all began) & poems by familiar names »

30 July 2013


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Janet Dykgraaff

Another perspective on this is, remembering the Trojan Horse of Greek history... as an illegal, invading force trying to enter an impregnable walled city.

But nowhere in that story was a PM supplying the vehicle used, a wooden horse ! as could now hypothetically be the case in Manus, or as Nauru recently experienced !

Let all the cultures involved be aware & learn effectively from ancient history, please.

There must be a better way, as Oz soldiers will come back from Afghanistan shortly.. then how long will peace last there?

I think it's like chalk and cheese, trying to assimilate such two diametrically opposed cultures, "an eye for an eye" Old Testament bloody ways of pay back ! when we, the Oz citizens, want peace !! [much to the concern of the multinational munitions makers !]

What about saying Pax? Inour time please!

Arthur Williams

Michelle - Thanks for a good angle on the asylum deal.

Noted your claim that - 'Indonesia views PNG as a valued bilateral partner in the region'. However I think PNG and even big brother Oz are both scared of the largest Islamic nation in the world which share its borders with both nations.

Both are tolerated by RI as long as they do not tread on its domestic policies that include a bamboo curtain around PNG's fellow Melanesians in West Papua (now illegally divided into two parts) precluding free travel for the world’s journalists and many others.

With all the turmoil in the Islamic world the last thing PNG would want is a fifth column of ex Oz asylum seeking Muslims disgruntledly living across the nation. Eventually their natural allegiance would be to be part of the Islamic Ummah found just over the Western and Sepik borders.

It isn't hard to imagine violence arising from friction at the ever present fault lines of Christianity and Islam. PNG's big neighbour would surely be bound to intervene to support their co-religionists.

Oz I fear would stand idly by not wishing to be militarily embroiled with the 250 million strong nation and/or endanger its $5 billion investments there.

Recall that in September 1983 one of the co-founders of PANGU, the Defence Minister Epel Tito, from New Ireland, was stripped by Somare of his portfolio overnight after daring to suggest Indonesia would invade PNG in 10 to 20 years.

Perhaps it was just his timeframe that was flawed.

Peter Kranz

There was a bloke in Greek mythology called Sisyphus, who was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and compelled to repeat this action forever.

Australia is Sisyphus. PNG is the hill.

Peter Kranz

The demonisation of PNG (and specifically Manus) triggered by Rudd and perpetuated by the Australian media continues unabated.

"Female asylum seekers at risk of rape in PNG": Afghan MP.

"I understand that it is dangerous for the people who are travelling far away from Asia to Australia. But, in the meantime, I believe Papua New Guinea is not the right place for them," she said...Ms Barakzai said female Afghan asylum seekers could find themselves caught between Afghanistan and PNG, two of the most dangerous countries in the world for women.""


I repeat - Rudd has set back Australia's reputation in PNG 1,000 fold. What on earth were his advisers thinking?

John M. Glynn

An excellent and perceptive assessment of the situation. The style of leadership being shown by PM O'Neill contrasts hugely with traditional Melanesian leadership. Papua New Guinea never knew feudalism and thus has no ancient experience of being 'ruled'. Leadership was always from within the community depending on consensus. 'Rule' was demonstrated in pre-independence times by British, German and then Australian rulers - it is how foreign mastas ran the country. It will be interesting to see for how long Papua New Guineans will be happy to give up their traditional right to be consulted by their leaders before important decisions are made that closely affect their lives.

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