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19 January 2016


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I've been slowly trawling through the PNG Attitude archives. In June 2006 the following article appeared.

Today’s issue of the 'Sydney Morning Herald' features an article on the current state of play in Papua New Guinea which is a ‘must read’ for any person with an interest in Australia’s former territory.

The article, ‘The other disaster on our doorstep’, was written by Allan Patience, professor of political science at the University of Papua New Guinea, who will win no friends in Port Moresby for his candid and even brutal political, economic and social assessment.

“The education system has all but disintegrated. Literacy rates are plummeting as schools close. Teachers are not being paid properly, or are not being paid at all. The higher education sector is fragmented and grotesquely under-resourced. It long ago ceased being the main builder of human capacity for PNG.

“Over the past two years the United Nations Development Program has placed PNG successively lower on its Human Development Index because essential services are failing and governance is stalling. Now the UN has warned that PNG may be downgraded from being a 'developing state' to a 'least developed state', ranking it among the poorest nations in the world.

“Canberra's befuddled responses to the looming crisis in PNG have been as reactive as its responses to the Honiara and Dili catastrophes. Its aid programs over the three decades of PNG's independence have, at best, held a shaky line between basic incompetence and total disaster.”

Nothing seems to change; it just gets worse and worse?

And it's absolutely disgusting that politicians and public servants can put money into their own pockets while people are starving.

Papua New Guinea my heart bleeds for you.

Hear, hear, Paul ....

Paul Oates, you put it truly correctly: autocratic dictatorship.

Let's just call it as it is: Provided the local members keep supporting the PM and his government, the DSIP funds keep coming. They have become the slush money local members can use as they wish.

The DSIP program has a duel purpose of ensuring those who support the government are financially rewarded and providing a re-election fund for these members.

Feedback from the kunai roots is that at each level of the DSIP financial food chain everyone involved takes a large cut out of any funds that trickle down. By the time any of these funds actually reach the local level, ineffective management and malfeasance disposes of the residue before anything positive is achieved.

Why would anyone really be surprised since the system has been intentionally set up by those in power and thus presented as an example of how things in PNG should be run.

Why has this been allowed to happen? This article explains that those who are marginalized by the political process don't have any say at all.

So let's call a spade a spade. This is not democracy. This is autocracy leading to dictatorship.

By providing over half a billion dollars a year of aid to PNG, the Australian government it seems apparently happy to both formally recognizing and aiding the formation of an autocratic dictatorship being imposed on our next door neighbours.

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