Having Tea for Your Country


Last week Friday I had the pleasure of attending afternoon tea with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Turned out also that our own PM, Peter O’Neill was attending as well so we had both of them there at the Australian High Commissioner’s (Barbara Stokes) residence up on Paga Hill.

It was a sweltering 3pm afternoon and every single person that walked in strode past the delicately laid rows of tea cups and headed straight for the Esky to ask for a glass of water. Thank goodness there were ceiling fans at the poolside cover where we all stood waiting for him. The invite had also stated in small writing that the dress code was to be business attire, I had just rocked up in jeans and a short sleeved shirt because I thought, well we’re in the Pacific, I’m sure were not going to over do it. I started feeling a little under dressed when a couple of our Emerging Leaders emerged from the entrance after me with jackets on, but thank goodness when the PM’s turned up, they too had obviously discarded their jackets in the heat.

So after the introductions by the Australian High Commissioner Barbara Stokes, Tony Abbott gave his short and sweet speech:

“…I’ve only been the Prime Minister of Australia for just over 6 months, I’m pleased that I’ve managed to put into a fairly busy schedule over that initial period this trip to PNG because while PNG is not Australia’s largest partner and while PNG is certainly not our most difficult partner, it is a very important partner. I think Australians have thought quite abit about PNG…in the era between World War II and Independence in 1975. I fear that many Australians have tended to rather be oblivious to PNG in that post Independence era, well as far as I’m concerned that should change because PNG is our closest neighbour, its more than a friend, its family and I’m here relatively early into my Prime Ministership because I want all Australians to know that PNG matters and I want all PNG people to know that as far as I am concerned this is a personal relationship its not just a business relationship, its friends and family and not just people that we want to have transactions with. So as long as I’m the Prime Minister I will be a regular visitor to PNG, Prime Minister O’Neill and myself agreed this morning that there would be an annual Prime Ministerial summit, one year in Australia, the other year in PNG and certainly I want the people of PNG to know that they are taken seriously and appreciated by Australia and I hope that might be one of the hallmarks if you like of my Prime Ministership…”

You can guess which words struck my heart!? ‘Were not just friends, were Family’

This is a huge framework to put around our long and complicated history with Australia and lets not kid each other our countries are so intertwined we forget easily the influence each has had on the other over the years.

So the first obvious question that popped into my mind was, if we’re family why do we get treated like strangers? But we won’t go into that one question just yet because, several days earlier, I inquired on Sharp Talk what people would ask Tony Abbott if they had one question and as predicted a flood of questions came in. This surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) prompted an Australian High Commission officer to remark to me before Abbott arrived that the comments had caused a stir in Canberra and that they were concerned that we may jump Tony Abbott with some sharp topics and hot issues. Unfortunately even if I wanted to there were so many people lining up to talk to Abbott and definitely no time to have any in depth conversations. But I guess I’m thankful that in some way we were heard, even if Canberra may not do anything about our concerns.

I’ve placed all the Sharp Talk posts in full below in the comments section for this blog post, so the main issues raised revolved around West Papua, Visa Reciprocity, Asylum Seeker Resettlement in PNG, being Stricter on the PNG Government with Australian Aid and Corruption.

Peter O’Neill spoke after and then two representatives from the Emerging Leaders group were chosen to speak on behalf of us. The first was the wonderful Serena Sasingian from youth organisation, The Voice Inc., followed by Anthony Smare, the only Pacific Islander voted as a Young Global Leader for 2014 by the World Economic Forum (as of just 2 weeks ago).

Image by Belinda Kora, PNG Village
Image by Belinda Kora, PNG Village

Anthony Smare spoke warmly of a handful of us just to illustrate to Tony Abbott the type of young people that he was here to meet, (thanks Anthony for mentioning me). But Serena’s speech dove tailed really well with Tony Abbotts speech on ‘Family’ as she drew from thoughts from various youth associated with her organisation from high school children to university students. She summed up the aspirations of the youth of PNG and what they expected to show by way of leadership tomorrow, she talked about how she had talked to the future, seen the future and listened to the future, but to wrap it up she said ultimately leadership should be about ‘Love’. Love of country and your fellow citizen.

Combining Tony Abbotts ideal of us all being ‘Family’ and ‘Serena’s’ leadership with ‘Love’ it was hard to throw any verbal daggers, but again, this creates a high road for frameworks within which Australia and PNG’s existing policies of politics and practicalities currently operate.

Sometimes ‘Family’ find it hard to reprimand each other, could that be happening as suggested by Tony Walker in the AFR where he states, ‘Among various consequences of the Manus Island agreement is that Australian officials will be less likely to call PNG to account over actions that might be inimical to our interests.’ Or can it mean a more balanced relationship such as the announcement by Tony Abbott on Friday (before our afternoon tea), that Australia will now work towards better processes to ensure that the PNG Visa system and the Australian Visa system can interoperate to have the level of information sharing that exists between Australia and New Zealand and which facilitates what is effectively visas on arrival for New Zealanders.

If we are to be ‘Family’ then I would strongly suggest that the purported annual PNG/Australia Prime Ministerial summit be supported by direct debates and panel discussions with the same Emerging Leaders he met on Friday and/or other levels of society. We have some hard issues to talk about and politically flowery language while useful in some ways must be met by hard factual discussion devoid of political influences that skew policy to ridiculous outcomes.

For example as Chey Scovell from the PNG Manufacturers Council put it, ‘What would we need for Australia to take a stiff and proactive stance on poor governance and corruption (hard and soft) throughout the Pacific by not rigorously monitoring financial exchanges between their economy and ours and continued questionable spending of donor dollars. Or if Australia is prepared to take their national interest (commercial) off the table and focus on the complete interest of national development of Pacific countries or when will Australia stop saying private sector is important and start engaging and supporting us in development directly rather then through ineffective bureaucracy’

Its nice that I can have tea for my country and have a meet and greet with Tony Abbott, but when I run through the over 100 comments on what people want for their country I feel guilty not having had the appropriate platform at this tea party to raise some frank discussions.

Image by Belinda Kora, PNG Village

2 thoughts on “Having Tea for Your Country

  1. Well articulated and very good observations, especially the bit about family. There are different definitions of family from different perspectives. If we saw it from our perspective, then we are certainly the poor cousin here…

  2. Brad André David Why does he not allow his citizens to show vocal support for us West Papuans?
    March 18 at 12:05pm · Like · 12
    Granger George Daveona Why cant Australians come and guard the Camps at Lombrum themselves???
    March 18 at 12:07pm · Like · 2
    Noel Pascoe Does he know where the asylum seekers at Manus will be resettled, if any decide to settle in PNG?
    March 18 at 12:08pm · Like · 6
    Philemon Walpui Tamari How successful is the Australian Perspective on the Manus Asylum Centre Deal? Are objectives being met on human rights issues and is bilateral arrangement with PNG achieving its purpose regarding this issue?
    March 18 at 12:12pm · Edited · Like · 3
    Alyson D Joyce Agree….why is Aus doing absolutely nothing about the massacre in West Papua??
    March 18 at 12:09pm · Like · 12
    March 18 at 12:12pm · Like · 5
    Tepi Nulgi Why you cannot setup the asylum seekers’ detention center in Western Australia and do the processing on your shores? Why Manus? Why PNG?
    March 18 at 12:17pm · Like · 4
    Tangil Okuk Why can’t Assylum centre be tranferred from Manus to Saibai island, Western Province ? Its swimming distance to PNG but Aussie turf…so they can do as they please and also satisfy Australian big business interests without marginalising our own as in Manus. PNG does not need to be part of the equation at all because like it or not we are also footing bills we can’t affford.
    The waters there are also calmer then any other parts around …and should be a more pleasant site for their floating hotel.
    They have barramandi fishing at Bensbach river and much deer meat also…..for the Aussie contingent I mean. So it’s like a Holliday job for all their volunteers and win win all around for them including our local guides at Bensbach Lodge.
    Options are there for our kiwai fishermen to transport some of the Assylum seekers back to Indonesian shores if they choose …….
    March 18 at 12:35pm · Edited · Unlike · 25
    Soliey Didiwik When is PNG and Australia dual citizenship starts. Heard rumours this February but it’s gone please!
    March 18 at 12:24pm · Like
    Harry Jenkinson Why did he say things in West Papua are getting “better not worse” with hundreds more of our innocent Melanesian brothers being raped, tortured and murdered by the Indonesian military all the time adding to the half a million already killed in the genocide?” Abbot cannot ignore the suffering of our people in West Papua
    March 18 at 12:29pm · Like · 8
    Daniel Doyle Don’t ask him anything unless you just want a load of political spin – with the odd lie thrown in.
    March 18 at 12:29pm · Unlike · 3
    David Kitchnoge What are you doing here?
    March 18 at 12:33pm · Like · 3
    Nelson Simbiken Will Australia open and facilitate visa on arrival for PNG citizens. Reason being that we want to watch PNG Hunters play in Queensland. PNG will be supporting its team in greater numbers if its team enters NRL in the future. Will Australia’s policy restraint PNG citizens for the love of rugby. PNG might do likewise (reciprocate) when Australian team come up here. Would the sporting codes like rugby bring people to people relationships between PNG and Australia closer?
    March 18 at 12:33pm · Like · 2
    Philemon Walpui Tamari When would Australia withdraw its Aid completely so PNG can learn to be more responsible and accountable with managing its own resources on its way towards becoming a recognized “middle income nation”?
    March 18 at 12:42pm · Edited · Like · 8
    Tangil Okuk Kevin was an arrogant bastard and hoodwinked PNG on the Manus Asylum deal……We in PNG are very pleased that Australian leaders finally woke up to their senses and promoted you to replace him. Are you going to continue his unpopular Manus Problem/Solution or is there a better solution which does not compromise PNG sovereignty as is current.??…( We know you are a more reasonable person then Kev…so we’r interested to know.)
    “by the way..what’s Kev up to these days ? ..He must be well taken care off by. Aussie contractors of Manus Assylum Centre…..don’t you think ?
    March 18 at 12:52pm · Edited · Like · 7
    Wambiia Miki East Ask him about the arc of instability and its interests concerning Australia and why Australia is afraind of the Indonesians when confronting the West Papua issue.
    March 18 at 12:49pm · Like · 8
    Clement Yang just give him a surf boat and take him to the nearest beach for an hour of surfing….lols
    March 18 at 12:50pm · Like
    Dilu Okuk Can AUSAID redo their programs to address our education systems, tertiary institutions and mainly vocational, rather than infrastructure for at least 5years.
    March 18 at 1:00pm · Like · 1
    Christian Sieland Bandaman Ask him what he thinks on West Papua, and no kore AS to Manus!
    March 18 at 1:02pm · Like · 6
    Arunya Rosemary Haoda Can the PNG citizens that leave in Australia on a temporary long term visa have access to Medicare???
    March 18 at 1:08pm · Like
    Able Utanga Poka Ask him about west papua.. The people who are just at his door steps whom are suffering yet he travel half way around the world for those Irans, Sri Lanka etc… Your single question about west papua might change everything and make a difference and help save lives of our own blood and race. We and west papuans are one.. We are New Guineans
    March 18 at 1:11pm · Edited · Like · 8
    Warren Dutton Tell him that it is immoral for Australia to ask PNG to resettle its boat people!
    March 18 at 1:44pm · Like · 2
    Kila Iamo Have you heard of the PNG Hunters?
    March 18 at 1:56pm · Unlike · 4
    Joel Wak Can Visa restriction to PNG citizens be relaxed since PNG is even closer to Australia?
    March 18 at 2:22pm · Like · 1
    Phillip Magewa Solve your own problems. Dont dump your problems with us
    March 18 at 2:45pm · Like · 1
    Kohodai J. Dada Question 1 – Work & Travel Visa Application for PNG Citizens & the Australian Asylum Seeker Issue
    Papua New Guinea currently offers visa on arrival to Australian citizens & permanent residents.
    Prime Minister are you aware of how difficult it is for Papua New Guineans to be issued travel visas or work visas to Australia?

    If there’s such a hard-line approach toward issuing travel & work visas to Papua New Guinean’s who want to legally not illegally enter Australia why has Australia turned to Papua New Guinea to solve your country’s asylum seeker issues & illegal entry issues?

    Question 2 – Manus Island Asylum Seeker Detention Center

    Prime Minister, knowing all well that Australia’s asylum seeker issue is a very real issue that needs to be addressed & all things aside, from a person-to-person perspective do you feel the existence of an asylum center on Manus Island or anywhere for that matter is humane?
    March 18 at 2:50pm · Unlike · 2
    Sharon B Pondros reduce their visa fees please
    March 18 at 3:05pm · Like
    Samuel Krimbu Wabezy I would like to ask him if he drinks PNG coffee and if he likes PNG coffe. And what can Australia do with PNG coffee industry
    March 18 at 3:06pm · Like · 5
    Hilda Wayne Why has Australia continued to deliberately ignore the silent genocide in it’s backyard of West Papua? Isn’t it hypocricy at an international scale, flying over West Papua claiming to fight for democracy & world peace in the Middle East, yet 45 minutes away human beings are experiencing some of the worst atrocities ever & Australia does not utter a single word about it?
    March 18 at 3:07pm · Like · 12
    Florence Kamel West Papua
    March 18 at 3:15pm · Like · 2
    Wemsolodge Tours Late Nelson Mandela was a World Hero for he levelled the playing field for all kids from every ethnical background and race to play and live happily embracing each other as equally created with all the main characteristics of human being. When this hero died, Australia was so dauntingly quiet. It didn’t send any condolence or did it? Did he sent? Ask him what he said because we never saw anything. If nothing was sent, ask for his stand and what he feels for the racial discrimination many Australians hold for the black people.
    March 18 at 3:22pm · Like · 9
    Tara Susuke Are you afraid of Indonesia?
    March 18 at 3:33pm · Like · 5
    Dickson Mendano Here’s a question that The Aussie PM will definitely avoid answering.

    Why is Tony Abbott keeping mum on and firmly supporting Indonesia in terms of the West Papua issue when he perfectly well knows of all the atrocities carried out by the Indonesian military on the indigenous Melanesians, yet he is happy to go on TV and radio in a heartbeat and criticize Russia on the Crimea issue? Shouldn’t he be more concerned about sorting out the pressing issues in his backyard first?
    March 18 at 3:46pm · Like · 7
    Don Tapio West Papua, Why ignore the human rights abuses right under his nose? More Asylum seekers here from half way across the world living off from Aussie funds and West Papua?
    March 18 at 3:52pm · Like · 5
    Rose J Kepo Pass my love..tell him he looks more like a movie star than a politician lol..thanks Manu
    Sarah Shelley Referring back to when Australian government was tapping the phone of Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudyhono and his wife – A question for Mr Abbott; “what was the Australian government listening for?” as Mr Tony Abbott says it is “for good and not evil.” So what kind of things do we think cause Australian intelligence analysts to prick their ears up as they listen in? Mass murder? Human rights abuses? Genocide?…….
    March 18 at 4:01pm · Like · 6
    Granger George Daveona After tea, Take him to the nearest Buai market or Erima na lusim em lo hap na you escape.. Hehehe
    March 18 at 4:02pm · Unlike · 6
    Mal Mege “what the heck are you going to do about manslaughter in the alien concentration camp run by you and your government in manus island, territory of the sovereign state of papua new guinea”?
    March 18 at 4:27pm · Edited · Like · 5
    Priscilla Gaiyer Can Ausaid increase any funding/programs to address not only education as Mr Okuk has suggested, but HEALTH as well?? Especially CANCER?? Many of our people are dying of cancer because we don’t have any facilities to effectively diagnose and treat this dreadful disease in its many forms. Thankyou.
    March 18 at 4:27pm · Like · 1
    B.l. Asitau Do it the PNG way, shake his hand and listen to more rubbish that he is trying to pile on us and at the end tell & show him that we are more humans than what his country say about us.
    March 18 at 4:30pm · Like · 2
    Alyson D Joyce Also ask him how he can sleep at night.
    March 18 at 4:36pm · Like · 3
    Wemsolodge Tours Ask him about the colour of the undies he is wearing!!!!!
    March 18 at 4:38pm · Like · 1
    Douveri Henao Julie Bishop intends to use the new Colombo Plan to make young PNG and Australians more engaged in building dialogue and partnership. Horrible synonyms in development but needless to say ask him if he supports it and what does it entail? Because apart from the budget books that mention aid flows into PNG, no one really knows what Australian relations mean.
    March 18 at 4:44pm · Like · 7
    Albert Schram Is he still committed to the $30 million dollars counterpart financing for the PNG higher education system following the implementation plan of the Namaliu/Garnaut report? (Independent Review of the University System). To be asked to PM PNG: when is he going to make this funding available from the PNG side?
    March 18 at 4:52pm · Edited · Like · 17
    Nick Chesterfield How can he live without a brain or a heart?
    March 18 at 5:35pm · Like
    March 18 at 5:42pm · Like · 4
    Paul Billy Kone what is wrong with you???
    March 18 at 5:57pm · Like
    Sharon Hoka What are you doing about the shit you dumped on Manus island??
    March 18 at 6:19pm · Like · 1
    Wilson Onea Why doesn’t the Australian flag and national anthem don’t depict anything about the indigenous people of Australia?
    March 18 at 6:22pm · Like · 4
    Manu Ngalai Bobola Prime Minister, who do you work for?
    March 18 at 6:33pm · Like
    Jinghan Phalanger Ask to remove the detention center on manus.
    March 18 at 6:36pm · Like
    Ep Coogan why does he always look either dorky or the man from stranger danger……precious…my precious
    March 18 at 6:37pm · Like · 2
    Jeremy Power east timor/ west papua on the scales which has more value in the eyes of australia thrillions of cubic feet of gas in the arafura sea close to west aus or a country full of melanesians that want self governance with the definite possibilty of forming an alliance with Papua new guinea and therein lies your problem rich black nations if ever governed properly that becomes a formidable opponent in this part of the world
    March 18 at 6:38pm · Like · 3
    Cuma Png Make sure you take over-ripe tomatoes to throw at him. It is a traditional welcome for Australian politicians. If he doesn’t get it, he might feel cheated
    OMG. He does look like “my precious” out of Lord of the Rings….creepy!
    March 18 at 7:11pm · Like · 2
    Esther Brill Why don’t you all sort o’neil out before you go shooting Abbott.
    March 18 at 7:15pm · Like · 3
    Simon Pekon Why is it taking ages for Australia to help develop PNG? In serious business it would take less than 5 years to do so.
    March 18 at 7:19pm · Like
    Florence Tuene Oala Ask him to relocate the asylum seekers to Australia;there’s so much land there!
    March 18 at 7:38pm · Like · 2
    Peter J Yer Ask him 2 questions- Since PNG looks at Australia as the “Big Brother” (1)does he as PM acknowledges that?,and(2) Has he any plans to partner with the little brother in shaping the little brother in all departments to advance the little brother to a developed country?
    March 18 at 8:15pm · Like · 1
    Brandon John I will ask him to put a full stop to Aus-Aid to PNG.
    March 18 at 8:58pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Patrick Seleng yes, pls ask him to stop the AusAids to PNG
    March 18 at 9:02pm · Like
    Daisy Yawilebo “A fitness fanatic and volunteer life guard, he completed an ironman triathlon involving a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26-mile run in 2010.”
    In light of the above quoting you as being athletic can you please try swimming from Manus to Oz? Would like to see your personal best
    March 18 at 9:26pm · Like · 2
    Soliey Didiwik Ask him to send more AUSTRALIAN POLICE to PNG this is of more importance that we need our Law or Order in place
    March 18 at 9:32pm · Like
    Dilu Okuk Robert, dont forget the plate of mumu stones.
    March 18 at 9:38pm · Like · 1
    Marsh Narewec Is Australia aware of human Rights abuse and genocide happening across the border? Australia has spent millions of dollars on people who are half the world away but turns a blind eye to its neighbors. Is it because of the color of their skin? Tell him…See More
    March 18 at 9:43pm · Edited · Like · 4
    Solomon Kantha teach him how to pronounce Pap-piu-a New Guinea and Man-ass Island correctly
    March 18 at 11:05pm · Edited · Like · 7
    Emmanuel Gin ‘Would the further deterioration of PNG make it a better deterrent to Australian asylum seekers?’
    March 18 at 10:16pm · Like
    Gabriel Tika ask him to take pm n all ministers for a morning run around waigani office area…..
    March 18 at 10:25pm · Like · 3
    Hans S. Serero Bougainville Vs Rio Tinto.
    Court Case that was thrown out Carlifornia High Courts…and Australian Govt and Rio Tinto denial of an hand to end this decade long court battle…why Aust Govt continue to deny our Human Rights.
    March 18 at 10:34pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Gabriel Tika i reckon justin will come a close second to abbot hehehe….
    March 18 at 10:27pm · Like · 1
    Marcus Taru Ask Mr. Abbott why can’t Australia accommodate asylum seekers rather than sending them to small island nations.
    March 18 at 11:27pm · Like
    Christian Lohberger Ask him what immediate changes PNG should implement to be more “open for business”. Also, ask him where he sees the PNG-Australia relationship in 10 years from now.
    March 18 at 12:19pm · Unlike · 2
    Okuk Mori Rogerson Ask him to fund our electronic voting system with his aid money.
    March 18 at 1:12pm · Like · 2
    Gregory Malagui Tell him to give asylum to those who seek it – just like the original inhabitants did 200 years ago.
    March 18 at 1:17pm · Like · 4
    Nancy Sullivan Ask him why one of the wealthiest countries on earth is so afraid of asylum seekers they need to farm out processing to desperate island states? Ask him if he really think treating asylum seekers as terrorists doesnt promote xenophobia across the south pacific?
    March 18 at 1:43pm · Like · 4
    Tina Alston Ask him to go back to where HE Originates from by boat via PNG and let us know how goes..
    March 18 at 1:55pm · Like · 6
    Lena A. Musson Hi Emmanuel, our country already had good relationship between Australia, ask the PM, our country need Immigration Law should change a bit for people of Papua New Guinea y
    March 18 at 1:57pm · Like
    Sarah R Todd Tell him “thank you for funding ANGAU” ….
    March 18 at 3:27pm · Like · 1
    Lazarus Kenni Manu ask him what key measures he thinks we need to take (as a nation) to address corruption. And stress to him that Corruption in all its forms and at all levels of Government and society at large is a major inhibitor to us achieving our development aspirations.
    March 18 at 3:30pm · Like · 1
    Delynta Deb West Papua’s fight for freedom!
    March 18 at 4:51pm · Like · 1
    Leo Wafiwa Any compensation for PNGuineans engaged in WW2?
    March 18 at 4:58pm · Like
    Chey Scovell What would we need for AU to take a stiff and proactive stance on poor governance and corruption (hard and soft) throughout the Pacific by not rigorously monitoring financial exchanges between their economy and ours and continued questionable spending of donor dollars. Or if AU is prepared to take their national interest (commercial) off the table and focus on the complete interest of national development of Pacific countries either regards to aid… or when AU will stop saying private sector is important and start engaging and supporting us in development directly rather then through ineffective bureaucracy
    March 18 at 6:49pm · Unlike · 2
    Setae Maurice Graham Ask him what is the one thing that he’d rili like to do to impact PNG in a positive manner..What does he want to gain from this trip?
    March 18 at 11:32pm · Like · 1
    August Apelis Can Australia bring them asylum seekers back to where they come from? They’re already a problem to PNG right now
    March 18 at 11:51pm · Like
    Tobanera Ragon Tell him the people of the png borders are waiting for compensation to Australian ignorance of straight line border..we are heavily affected to date
    March 19 at 1:29am · Like · 1
    Jason Gamu Aside from how much he enjoys PNG Tea, can you ask a question on Australian Aid and how can we enhance the current system to reflect more tangible benefit to our public service , all service industries and our education. If his government are serious a…See More
    March 19 at 2:26am · Like
    Dave Mamus Tell him to divert all money into building infructure
    March 19 at 2:31am · Like
    Jeffery Tanoa Dash I would ask for a photo with him to share on facebook..,(joking)…Id like to know what he has to say about corruption in the png government and what he thinks of O’Niels decisions concerning issues in the country, and I would like to know what he would do if he was the prime minister of png and would ask him to answer with reasons.
    March 19 at 11:02am · Edited · Like
    Robin Suang Ask him why is Australia spying on PNG?
    March 19 at 6:14am · Like · 2
    Vergil Narokobi 1. Will Australia continue to act as PNG’s security guarantor almost 40 years after independence in light of the recent allegations of Indonesian soldiers incursion into PNG territory? 2. Others have raised important questions as well such as Albert Sc…See More
    March 19 at 8:50am · Edited · Like · 5
    Mendricks Angat Freedom of West Papua!! ..??..
    March 19 at 9:43am · Like · 3
    March 19 at 9:50am · Like · 2
    Reginald Renagi Australia was and still has strong racist sentiments towards its former colony. The problems created has over time greatly contributed much to the current problems the country is experiencing now. One serious question that all Papuans will now ask the Australian Prime Minister is: Mr. Tony Abbort, your Country Australia and its former colonial Government made a terrible mistake to join two separate independent territories Papua and New Guinea. There should have been a referendum conducted then whether the peoples of the two territories want to join as one country. It is time to undo this and Papua must be given its own Independence and the same for New Guinea. North Solomons (Bougainville) to be given its own Independence after 2017. PNG will not be a united country as it is being constantly destroyed by corrupt politicians from a particular region whos people do not respect other people and just want to posses their land and wealth. The government and democracy of PNG is a total sham. Australia destroyed British Papua and did not prepare it for full and proper nationhood as the Crown would have wanted it. You have to go to the UN to undo it or the people will now exercise and there won’t be anything anyone, will do about it!
    March 19 at 11:38am · Like
    Rausim Na I want visa on arrival on australian soil
    March 19 at 11:44am · Like · 2
    Reginald Renagi If the worse comes to worse, Papua will exercise its Royal Perogative as it was still a Crown Possession prior to 1975. Papua’s future now lies in it being an Independent nation to look after its own people, safeguard its land and natural resources…it is being raped by a corrupt regime.
    March 19 at 11:46am · Like · 1
    Jeff Lung Why is it the Australian government’s always give PNGeans a hard time to approve our visas to visit Australia while other pacific islanders easily obtain entry visas? And our country helped and fought along side them in world war 2
    March 19 at 1:40pm · Like · 4
    Simon Tipu Just tell him to get f#£@ed with his neo-colonialism and racist attitudes towards PNG. By the way, whose big brother as some of you are insinuating? Am black and proud of it and need no white racist to be my big brother!!
    March 19 at 1:55pm · Like · 2
    Jason Adrian Vali Yeah, so when are you getting your asylum seeker problem back, and no, its not a regional problem.
    March 19 at 3:02pm · Like
    David Nugi Ask him about PNG TEA…any market in Aussie??
    March 19 at 3:19pm · Like · 2
    Mangi Niugini Tony who? .. what are you doing here ?
    March 19 at 7:03pm · Like
    Woruba Question to ask TA: Where do you see PNG in 5 years from now?
    March 19 at 7:03pm · Like
    Gregory Palavo Balavue No visa for png to aust….
    March 19 at 7:08pm · Like · 1
    Gama Gamato Why is he not saying anything about the atrocities in West Papua?
    March 19 at 7:08pm · Like · 1
    Paul Barker what’s that poor kid behind him saying? …why did that big man come and take my tea??…why can’t he get his own and stick with the adults…?
    March 19 at 7:46pm · Like · 5
    Cuma Png That is exactly what it looks like too Paul……yikes!
    March 19 at 7:48pm · Like
    Sioni Sioni Why is he more concerned about Iranian asylum seekers than the West Papua genocide right on his doorstep?
    March 20 at 8:09am · Like · 3
    Terry M. Kassman Why is australia making it very hard for PNG tourist and migration visas. 2)why manus island when png govt struggle to look after it’s very own people? ? ah??
    March 20 at 8:17am · Like · 1
    Emmanuel Mabi Quetion! If Tony A can do this..can PO come down from heaven ?
    March 20 at 9:21am · Like · 3
    Amos T. Wama .
    Emmanuel Narokobi (Manu),

    “Show, don’t (just) tell.”
    This is the ultimate mantra for writers. Coz pictures/photos, as you know, tell a ‘000 stories!
    Where am I going with this?
    On this grand occasion with PM Abott, I suggest you make a statement that is closest to the ‘heartbeat’ of most ‘thinking’ Melanesians: the perpetual genocide and ethnic cleansing happening in West Papua.
    How to make the ‘granite statement’ without raising one word or spilling your cuppa tea on this politically sensitive issue?
    I suggest you wear the infamous West Papua ‘T’ shirt (white) with the ‘Morning Star’ on the front side.
    The ‘T’ shirt, of course, should be worn on the inside or under shirt.
    On top, throw on a cool (grey or lite choc-brown) party jacket WITHOUT front buttons!
    Once gathered around the tea parlor, Abbott will NOT miss the ‘T’ shirt’s implied message.
    And neither will he EVER 4get the “strongest of statements” ever delivered al beit stealthy by you, simply donning the W.P. Morning Star ‘T’ shirt.
    Manu, this is “the” moment to ‘show, don’t just tell.
    And who better to make this public statement than you; the bloodline of ‘Narokobi’, especially that of Late Statesman Bernard Narokobi, who championed the ‘Melanesian Identity”.

    March 20 at 8:29pm · Edited · Like · 5
    Susan Merrell What’s it like to be such a right-wing, reactionary, heartless and exploitative arse hole? Try this one: “How do you sleep at night?”
    March 20 at 3:17pm · Like · 1
    Ramson Miller ouch!!!
    March 20 at 3:20pm · Like
    Eskander Nejram why are west papuan refugees treated differently from those at manus now?
    March 20 at 4:11pm · Like
    James Capone When does he plan on shutting down the asylum centre on manus island?
    March 20 at 5:17pm · Like · 2

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