SUCCESSIVE PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENTS have neglected to properly look after the thousands of West Papuan refugees (brothers?) who were accepted in the 1980s (and their thousands of children who have been born here).
The Rudd/O'Neill agreement is merely a gamble that the thought of having to live in PNG will be more terrifying to would-be refugees than the fear of persecution from which they have fled.
That any PNG prime minister thinks so badly of his people and his country is unbelievable! That PM Rudd thinks of anyone else other than himself is unbelievable!
In 1985 the Wingti government reversed the previous Somare's government's policy of sending West Papuan refugees straight back into the hands of Kopasus, and acceded (with some unnecessary reservations) to the UN Convention on Refugees.
It did so after due process and consideration, because it thought it was the right thing to do, even though the Australian advice was probably, "don't upset the Indonesians!"
As far as I knew at the time, there was no indication that they were in any way upset.
The Indonesian government recently made a considered and sensible policy decision in respect of Iranian visitors to their country.
Their maturity contrasts most favourably with the egocentric collusion of the Australian and PNG prime ministers.
The right to seek asylum is a human right.
But equally, accept that the first responsibility of any government, and of PNG in particular, is to its own citizens.
A large proportion of PNG citizens may in fact live in similar fear of persecution to those genuine refugees whom Australia and PNG have agreed to resettle in PNG.
Many more live in greater poverty than the refugees have left behind in their home countries.
No amount of bribe money from Australia can possibly overcome the damage that will be caused to both PNG's society and economy by PNG accepting an impossible responsibility and burden.
Businessman Warren Dutton lives in PNG’s Western Province and is a former member of parliament