Recently the United States celebrated its independence on the 4th of July. Veteran US Journalist Bill Moyers examined the contradictions of the life of Thomas Jefferson, the man credited with with writing the American Declaration of Independence.
The second declaration of the US declaration of Independence states;
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the goverened;"
Jefferson who himself had written those fine words didn't believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for he's slaves.
What this of course leads to is the fairness and consistency in the debates around the issue of development in PNG.
Last year Australian Greens Senator, Bob Brown told AAP that he was concerned about the growing negative influence of Australian mining companies in Papua New Guinea.
"It is very, very troubling ... in a marvellous country like PNG where democracy ought to be based on a fair go for everybody," Senator Brown said.
"I'm very concerned about that and ... will be continuing to raise this issue in parliament."
Senator Brown had just visited the Ramu Mine project in Madang Province which is partly owned by Australian miner Highlands Pacific. The Ramu mine will dump 100 million tonnes of toxic wastes into the waters of Basamuk Bay in the Rai Coast area. (source: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49770)
Environmental issues aside, let's ask ourselves whether Queensland based Highlands Pacific would ever be allowed to dumped such large amounts of toxic mine wastes off the Gold Coast. Would the Australian people and their Government tolerate this? It is easier for the Foreign Minister of Australia to threaten PNG with sanctions over 'democracy' than it is for him or any member of the Australian Government to criticize the unethical behavior of their miners in PNG.
Silence is consent and so the deafening silence of the Australian Government over the activities of Australian miners in PNG implies consent for their repugnant behavior. The Australian government does not seem to mind if the actions of Australian miners leads to the destruction of lives and livelihoods of Papua New Guineans. The Australian values of mateship and a fair go or being fair dinkum don't extend beyond the northern shores of Queensland.
The reality therefore is that we live in a region where Australia preaches on thing and practices another. Papua New Guineans have become weary of this and that is expressed in various anti-Australian blog posts.
This post isn't about telling Australia that it isn't a good friend. I have already done that in an Op-Ed for The Age newspaper in Melborne. My intention is to highlight to Papua New Guineans the need to be weary of those who preach about 'doing what's right', including myself of course.
A lot of sheeple continue to make the mistake of defending ideals or religious beliefs even though these so called set of values end up destroying lives of people. The effect of these double standards is that people fail to have a perspective of the harmful effects of their prejudices.
There are probably more people in this country, appalled with the idea of NAMAH storming the Supreme Court than their are appalled by the injustice of that same court allowing Sino-Australian miners to dump millions of toxic waste into the coast off Beautiful Madang.
There are probably more people in this country, appalled by the idea of NAMAH being Prime Minister over O'Neil, even though O'Neil was implicated in the NPF scandal that wiped out the savings of many poorly paid workers!
There are probably more people in this country, appalled by gay guys and gay marriage, even though a lot of heterosexual guys rape women and bash their wives!
There are probably more people in this country, who hate the "pick-pocket boys" than the Chinese shop-owners, even though the biggest thieves are those selling poor quality, fake goods!
There are probably more people in this country who have preached "thou shall not steal" at their congregation s without pointing a finger at theft within the Church.
There are probably more people who think Bougainvilleans are violent people even though the Greatest Violence was perpetrated by the PNG government and Australian miners, who are both responsible for the deaths of 15 000 Bougainvilleans.
There are probably millions of Papua New Guineans who wouldn't wanna be selling buai like me, even though a good number of them would be broke and asking for Dinau from a buai seller.
The next time you read a piece I've written, ask yourself what baggage you have, that prevents you from being open-minded. perhaps, you need to decolonize your mind! For as long as you defend a flawed system and a model of development that isn't working for Papua New Guineans, you will never get the 'Change' you so dearly desire!
The model of development for PNG is expressed in its fullness in the 5 National Goals and Directive Principles as enshrined in the Constitution of PNG. Sadly, that same Constitution makes that development agenda redundant by making it non-justiceable. That has to be changed amongst various other political, social and economic reforms that are necessary for moving this nation forward.