PARI - Shamefully, the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed by PNG defence minister Win Bakri Daki and US secretary of state Anthony Blinken at APEC Haus on 22 May.
This was despite nationwide protests urging prime minister PM Marape to both sack former foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko and not sign the security pact.
The Marape government never respects the people of PNG.
Marape, Tkatchenko and their officers, in the secrecy of their internal WhatsApp group, continue to refer to the students protesting the Agreement ‘primitive animals’.
How can these ugly, racial politicians enjoy the privileges and money voters and taxpayers grant them while and discriminating against us like we are not Papua New Guineans?
We must continue the fight to expose, and depose, those corrupt politicians in the PNG government, and prevent them from selling PNG sovereignty to the US.
Although Marape told the media PNG would not be used for hostile action, how could he and his weak government stop the US using our country as a forward military base when the dreadful day of war arrives?
We highly doubt the ability of the PNG government to push back against the Americans.
Despite the massive protests of the anti-treaty movement, the US convinced Japan to sign the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.
Now the US military bases cover about one-fifth of Okinawa province, which is also home to 75% of the US forces in Japan.
One contentious issue to many Okinawans is the environmental pollution created by the US military, toxic chemical runoff from the bases, live-fire drills using depleted uranium rounds and the damage to Okinawa's water supply and once-pristine coral reefs, reducing their economic value for fishing and tourism.
The most powerful opposition in Okinawa has been triggered by criminal acts committed by US service personnel who are not accountable to local police forces.
The same situation prevails in countries like Morocco, South Africa, Ghana, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar where media reports accuse US military personnel of theft, bribes and rigged contracts.
Before the recent historical US visit to PNG, the Americans committed to provide K11 billion in assistance to PNG.
However, after signing the security pact, the US announced it will provide only about K160 million!
Marape has said the money will be invested in infrastructure, but how could such a small amount of money be helpful and beneficial to PNG’s numerous development requirements?
PNG had spent K8.7 million on preparing for Biden's non-visit at a time the government has been struggling with its budget. And we got in return only K160 million.
So where has the K11 billion gone? Maybe it hasn’t arrived yet or maybe it’s been ‘acquired’ by corrupted politicians.
I despair when I reflect that Tkatchenko and his team spent K6 million of taxpayers’ funds on lavish hotels and restaurants and first class everything for the Charles III coronation.
And a few days ago Marape led a team to South Korea on yet another lavish, excessive, wasteful overseas trip.
This money is needed for medical supplies for rural health centres, school books and repairs for deteriorating schools, more and better trained police and so much else to rebuild our country.
And these people call us ‘primitive animals’.
We should show them our infinite power to defend our country, develop it for the people and do it with dignity.
We call upon the Marape government to abandon the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement and to stop militarising PNG, and focus on economic and social development.
We call upon the Marape government to stop AUKUS getting into our Lombrum naval base to protect our country from nuclear pollution and radiation and possible nuclear war.
We call upon all MPs to be accountable, to use the power granted you by the people to work for the people and at this month’s parliamentary sitting oppose these changes that are being imposed on us.
We call upon civil societies, trade unions, student associations, non-governments organisations and activists to work together.
We ask for another nationwide protest to let the government know what we think and tell it what the people need.
Papua New Guinea needs strong and brave men and women with clever minds and loud voices to rise and fight against the few who are corrupting our government and sucking taxpayers’ money.