Reforming a parliament of men
Marape’s new approach to foreign investment

Warning to Oz: Don’t underestimate PNG

Corney Alone tells Australia, "We're not going to sing a backward-leaning Kumbaya with you"


Australia’s ramped-up megaphone hostility to its biggest trading partner, China, has led to trade repercussions, pole-axed Australian diplomacy and raised eyebrows in the Pacific. Papua New Guinean business leader and national affairs commentator Corney Alone tells Australia it can play this game but shouldn’t expect the Pacific to fall into line - KJ

PORT MORESBY – Yes, Australia. You get exactly what you bargain for in your relations with China. For Papua New Guinea, though, on our turf we reject outdated, cold war era nonsense.

We are also acutely aware of the 54 years of neglect, double-standards and the arrogant complicity in genocide of Australia's policy towards Melanesian West Papua.

In West Papua our family is being murdered and tortured on the economic altar of economic greed. The United States is also profiteering from Melanesian blood money in West Papua.

We will not to be brainwashed and misled to disown our Melanesian brothers and sisters who have been in ashes mourning for over five decades. We are not going to sing a backward-leaning Kumbaya with you.

Papua New Guineans are also very much aware of the mind-boggling ill treatment of African-Americans in the United States. That is a 400-plus year blot that gets amplified in modern day lynchings that State-sanctioned forces continue to mete out each day.

There is no sense of equitable treatment there or in West Papua.

And we certainly do not tolerate Australia or the West's self-importance parade, pitching your outpost in Melanesian turf and hoping we will get on board your paranoia boat.

We clearly see Australia and the West's 'late-to-the-party' aid funding realignments based on your security fears and miscalculations.

Melanesia is an open Pacific Ocean. We welcome and embrace all friends, but not any one friend over another.

The world is truly interconnected and open for business. We have the absolute right to determine and choose who to do business and trade with.

Your entitlement is clearly misplaced if you thought otherwise.


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Lindsay F Bond

William, your sentiment is echoed by more than a few, yet enough may have said it to cause PM Marape to be reported as saying: “Let’s not assume and question the wisdom and intelligence of elected leaders”.

Aagghhh. Queenslanders recall a chap who was often admonishing by saying "don't you worry about that."

William Kep

We blame others, especially Australia, for our downfall and poor status quo. We never look in the mirror and blame ourselves one bit - not one time. Shame on us.

We elect mongrels into parliament to make decisions for us and it backfires every time- we have doing that for 45 years. We are a country of 45 years.

Let me ask this...when is the PNG government going to grow some balls and call out Indonesia and support the course of the West Papuan brothers?

Lindsay F Bond

At the word 'entitlement', it might be asked 'whose presumption?'
At the word 'caste', of origins Iberia, Latin, Plato ; to bind or evade?
As societies in 'PNG bipor' had exclusions and entitlements, foreigners might mention 'one-tok' while being as unknowing of that as of allusion to societal segregation in the 'subcontinent'.
All homogenizing of demographics fractures at bumps in plausibility, evading humanity's great challenge of having ethic for inclusiveness with neighbour.

Corney Korokan Alone

'Caste - The Lies that Divide Us' is an absolute masterpiece by Isabel Wilkerson who pored over extensive historical writings on Nazi Germany, the caste system in India and the 'equal but divided' America. It is an excellent read.

This book, along with 'Colour of Law' by Richard Rothstein, gives a clear sighted understanding and evidence that 'equality does not mean equity'.

The law and order mantra, or I should pointedly call it a code word, has been contorted as a lie that defends white supremacist sensibilities and supposed entitlement.

The Reagan economics era was a recent period of such peddling which resulted in punitive drug law policies and mass incarceration in the United States.

Now to lump all that with capitalistic parades and subscriptions to a shameless view that is clearly untenable: that certain quarters of the world should be eternally consigned as suppliers of raw materials (on the cheap) whilst the other affluent mob engages in value addition/creation for high dollars.

We understand and know that intelligence and technology are not exclusive gifts given to some quarters. Everyone has talents.

The people of talent are not going to hide it in the ground and wait forever because of someone's lies and deception that are paralysing or hard to navigate around.

We have the will and the tenacity to value add and be in the game too.

Your gunpowder, nuclear arsenals and unmanned flying war machines will not continue to paralyse and cripple us.

The truth will no longer be tainted by paid corporate propaganda outlets.

In this day and age, the global citizens are the journalists and television content producers. The days of curating news and soundbites is gone.

Truth, honesty, decency, equity and a colorless law without prejudice and personal biases will make the cut in this era.

Truth is universal and doesn't come only from certain quarters.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Just like the USA and, ahem, Australia, Andrew.

Andrew Brown

Every society can be accused of endemic racism not least of all PNG. The worth of a society is how it manages that latent racism. Rule of law and equality of all citizen before it, support of individual rights and protection of private property are some of the most important precepts to ensure a fairer society. If a society cannot or will not protect these basic rights then it will succumb to the chaos of the underlying prejudices that exist within the different groups that make up a nation.

Bernard Corden

"You can judge a society by the way it treats its prisoners" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Chris Overland

Corney has raised a number of important and hideously complex issues here.

Australia's policy towards West Papua is not genocidal although, shamefully, it along with Britain, the Netherlands and the USA capitulated to Indonesia's territorial demands in the 1960's when they should have supported a genuine act of self determination. The reason? Indonesia was virulently anti-communist and according to the Cold War calculus of that era thus warranted our uncritical support lest it be driven into the arms of the commies.

Now, so many years after that event, our shameful acquiescence to Indonesian colonialism has placed us in the exquisitely painful position of having to support Indonesian sovereignty while all the while knowing that it is based upon possession by conquest.

Also, Australia has for far too long undoubtedly neglected its Pacific neighbours and tended to regard them with a patronising gaze. This was a mistake indeed and one that the current government is left scrambling to correct.

The endemic racism that simmers away in the USA has been evident to those who bother to look for my entire lifetime and beyond.

Quite how this is to be addressed is hard to fathom because, so far at least, the US political system has proved incapable of redesigning itself to finally and irrevocably legislate away the various under hand means by which it continues to be sustained.

Even assuming Joe Biden makes it to the White House, I see no evidence of any capacity in him or the wider Democratic Party to do anything meaningful. Of course, if Trump is re-elected it will be business as usual with no prospect of meaningful change.

Contrary to Corney's assertion, Australia has made no miscalculation in recognising the true nature of the Chinese government (as distinct from the Chinese people). They are showing themselves to be worthy successors to the ancient imperial regimes, each of which demanded unquestioning obedience from their vassal states and rulers.

The Chinese Emperor signed off his letters with the admonition to "fear me and tremblingly obey". Xi Jinping doesn't do this overtly, but his actions in relation to matters like trade show that this is still the Chinese government's position.

Corney and other Melanesian patriots would do well to read up on the history of China and re-calibrate their expectations about how relations with this emerging major power should be managed.

Benjamin Moses

Stated well, totally agree with you.

Ed Brumby

Well said .....

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