Apr. 27th, 2017

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Manus refugees who fed child lodge complaint about Dutton's 'false allegations' (GA, 27 April 2017). "All of these incidents is recorded by your CCTV cameras. We are requesting for the immediate release of the footage of this incident. We didn’t do any wrong except helping a poor boy. We need investigation ASAP."

Manus Island shooting: PNG MP labelled 'discredited witness' by Dutton reinstated by court (GA, 26 April 2017). So much for that dodge.

On my lengthy outing today I read all of Sean Dorney's short book The Embarrassed Colonialist, which discusses Australia's relationship with its former colony, Papua New Guinea. Dorney argues that Australia's lack of interest in our neighbour is to our detriment: a stable PNG is both an important trading partner and strategically significant, as it was in WWII. However, politicians take little interest and the media's attention has dwindled to little beyond sensational stories. Dorney is clear on the fact that PNG does have serious problems with violence, corruption, and general lawlessness, but also asserts the country's strengths: it is struggling, but not failing, to progress. Amongst the ways forward that Dorney suggests is for Australia to contribute training of police, officials, teachers, etc. The book is easy to read, and if anything, too brief; I'm left wanting to know a lot more, which I guess means the author has succeeded! (For me the only wrong note was the use of "political correctness" to explain why Australia's history as a coloniser isn't taught in our schools, which only underlines how meaningless that phrase is.)

Dorney touches briefly on the detention centre on Manus Island, and the promises of aid which helped Kevin Rudd sell its "resurrection" to PNG PM Peter O'Neill. "While there has been some employment created on Manus and a few business opportunities there is real annoyance within the host province that many of the extra aid benefits went to the mainland." (Perhaps there is schadenfreude at the resulting mess.) "Assimilating the mostly Muslim people who are classified as genuine refugees into PNG's strongly Christian communities adds yet another challenge for a country with no shortage of challenges already." Dorney also reminded me of something I'd forgotten: Nauru was also once an Australian colony.





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