Monday, May 4, 2009

Why arent we suprised?

South Pacific Forum meeting turned out as expected.


Leading in to the meeting, there was all sorts of rumour and speculation flying around regarding Fiji 's membership of that august body.


As part of the pressure being applied on the IG, foreign leaders were suggesting that Fiji could be suspended. But before you go running off thinking the world will come to an end if we are suspended, think again.


The rhetoric is not random but quite well orchestrated. NZ Foreign Minister one day, Australian Foreign Minister the next and most lately Sir Michael Somare.


Mr Michael Somare added his voice in the lead up to the Forum suggesting that Fiji could be suspended and despite being a staunch believer in Melanesian unity, he too was coming around to the view held by our big brothers, Australia and NZ.


Mr Somare's voice is important in this Psychological Warfare being waged very cleverly by our powerful neighbours. Mr Somare is Melanesian, Mr. Kevin Rudd and Mr. Key are not.


But when Mr Somare got up on the soap box to preach democracy, he forgot to mention one thing.


He forgot to mention that he was standing in Canberra.


He forgot to mention that he was in Canberra to ask for more Australian aid.


He forgot to mention that Australian aid keeps PNG afloat.


He forgot to mention that if he doesn't toe the Australian line, he and his country will struggle big time.


And just to highlight the point Mr Rudd was quick to point out that the aid money that his Government was giving Mr Somare's Government was misspent. Mr Rudd also pointed out that sovereign nations like PNG have every right to run their own affairs and Australia does not believe in meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.


Least of all deciding what PNG's foreign policy should be towards their Melanesian neighbour. Of course not.


Sovereignty means that every country has a right to run their own affairs including PNG, without any interference or influence from countries which may contribute a large share of their GDP in the form of aid.


Because aid is not given in the hope of buying influence over the policies of the donor nations. Never.


Japan just feels like giving money to Kiribati and Tokelau and Marshall Islands, the fact they vote in favour of lifting the ban on whaling is because those pesky whales are eating up all the fish and someone needs to go in there and teach them a lesson. Even if that means they end up as sushi .


China gives aid to Solomons , Vanuatu and Fiji because they are making a lot of money these days. The fact these countries no longer give diplomatic recognition to Taiwan is because we are sick of the cheap Taiwan made TV's which always break down during the HK Sevens and nothing to do with Chinese conditions on aid.


Australia gives aid to PNG because they are grateful for what the Fuzzy Wuzzies did for the  Australian soldiers during WW2. The fact that 80% of PNG's forests and minerals have been sold to Australian interests is just a happy coincidence.


And right on cue, as Mr Rudd said the words "Aid" followed by "Misspent", Mr Somare said that Fiji must return to democracy and should be suspended to encourage it to do so. Even Mr Rudd couldnt have said it any better.


Democracy at work! Plato will be turning in his grave!


Anonymous said...

Michael Somare has a love hate relationship with the Australian government. He loves them for the the AID they provide to PNG and hates them for the sometimes lack of respect they have such as a few years ago when he was told to remove his shoes at Brisbane airport during an airport inspection. I think he still bears a grudge against John Howard for that.

True PNG melanasian culture is based on a tribal system of power where the man in power is the person that you deal with, unlike in polynesia where it is based on a hierarchy of chiefs or king. In other words PNG will deal with the tribal man who has the power rather than the ligitimate chief or king if there has been such a power struggle. That might at times explain PNGs view at times in the past towords the Fiji dictatorship which was relatively leniant.

But PNG is moving away from relying on Australia. They now trade alot with China.

fidy said...

LF - things in Fiji are as normal as ever. I have just come back from FJ and you would not notice any difference. Maybe 1% of the population reads any blog of any kind and 10% care about politics.

Unfortunately the country has been going backwards for the last 21 years now and things are not improving but it is no worse then anytime since 2000.