KEVIN RUDD’S POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED agenda of dumping the asylum seeking boat people on PNG’s soil should be reversed.
The deal between Rudd and his PNG counterpart Peter O’Neill was done in a dubious manner and driven by the might of the Aussie dollar.
PNG PM Peter O’Neill was suborned by Rudd into blindly shouldering Rudd’s politically motivated ludicrousness under the influence of the Aussie taxpayers’ money without proper assessment of the long term implications on PNG.
Even after so much public outcry, the deal still remains a secret. This is unbecoming of democracy and should be condemned in the strongest term for the deal to be reversed.
In the global community in which we live, every nation depends on each another for commerce, trade, security and other bilateral and multilateral matters. There is no exception for PNG and Australia.
The PNG-Australia relationship is unique and it goes beyond the boundaries of any normal bilateral relationship of any two nations.
It has been more of a brotherly relationship that has had extended as far back as World War II when Papua New Guineans became wartime carriers for the Australian soldiers and even took up arms to fight alongside the Australians against the Japanese.
The relationship was further strengthened under the flagship of colonial administration when thousands of young Australians toiled under horrendous conditions to bring civilisation to the uncivilised and cannibalistic PNG – an effort that led to the subsequent granting of independence on 16 September 1975 without bloodshed.
Until now Australia has continued to enhance the relationship by way of aid. Until the 1980s, Australia pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into impoverished PNG coffers as direct budgetary support with no strings attached. PNG used the money as it pleased.
Later Canberra changed the aid policy to tied aid-projects under which PNG enjoys an annual subvention of around half a billion dollars.
In view of these facts, I have always believed in my heart that Australia is PNG’s best friend and will always remain our best friend. I am sure many Papua New Guineans and Australians agree with me on this.
However, there are times that I get angry with Australia for certain Canberra-sponsored policies that are deemed detrimental yet are imposed on PNG.
One prime example was Outcome-Based Education and now we have the asylum seeking boat people deal between our two prime ministers, Kevin Rudd and Peter O’Neill.
Australia has long been an asylum seekers’ preferred country of destination. They have always headed for the shores of Australia; never PNG. Kevin Rudd and Peter O’Neill know that.
Now Rudd has shoved his politically-motivated egoistic agenda down the throat of O’Neill under the might of the Aussie dollar without regard for the views of the ordinary Papua New Guineans who will day by day bear the implications of the deal.
This to me is Australia as bully; emasculating the sovereignty of PNG and denying the intelligence of its people.
PNG politicians will always fall into the trap of ‘free money’ but Australia has a moral obligation to not set the pernicious bait in the first place.
This trend of Aussie dollar doing the talking without respect for the sovereignty of PNG as an independent nation will breed contempt and sour the relationship.
This pernicious approach by Australian politicians must be condemned in the strongest terms.
Mutual understanding and respect for each other’s sovereignty and adherence to the wishes of the citizens of our respective countries must take precedence over money and other duress.
Then we will continue to enjoy a harmonious relationship between our two great nations.