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The annual yam festival and sex tourism

Categories: Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Government, Culture, Hypocrisy, Rule of Law

by: Bakchos
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In the Trobriand Islands the annual yam festival is more than just ordinary. Nick burst out laughing when I told him I was heading for the Trobriand Islands.

“I hope you know how to bite off a man’s eyebrows,” he said. He saw the bewildered look on my face. “And eyelashes,” he added, wiping away tears of amusement. Nick was a native Trobriand islander, but he had been working as a doctor on ‘mainland’ Papua New Guinea for the past four years. In all that time he hadn’t been back, and he needed no encouragement to talk about the tiny archipelago where he was born, just an hour’s plane hop away in the beautiful Solomon Sea.

“It’s a crazy time of year,” he said. “The big yam harvest will be coming in now. And women will be given permission by the paramount chief to capture men and have their way with them.”

“You mean, assault them?” I asked, disbelieving. “Sexually.”

“That’s it,” said Nick. “They will rape them.” He pronounced it ‘rep,’ as in travelling salesman, and made it sound just as casual.

“The women lie in wait in the bushes,” he continued. “They jump out on a man when he goes to work in the gardens or even while he’s just waiting to get a lift to town. It’s always a man from another clan; women will never rape men from their own village. It’s a kind of ritual humiliation. It’s a very dangerous time for a man to be walking by himself. Men will be going round in twos and threes, just in case.”

Nick would elaborate no further. He’d already gone beyond the bounds of decency by talking about the practices to a dim-dim, a foreigner – and a woman at that.

“It’s tabu,” he reminded himself reproachfully and leaned forward to grab another can of South pacific, the Papua New Guinea beer that, appropriately, has a bird of paradise as its logo. (Isabella Tree – Travel Intelligence.Com)

Anglo-Saxon Child-Sex Tourism, indeed all sex tourism is a nasty, nasty business. It becomes even nastier when it is done by exploiting the eons old culture of the indigenous people of the Pacific.

Two of the issues I have been ‘banging on’ about on Blak and Black over the last few months involve allegations by the Australian Federal Police that Australian citizens Mr. Julian Moti, the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands and Mr. Fred Martens, the founder of the PNG Flying Doctor Service, had engaged in under age sexual activities while living and working in the Pacific. The original charges against Mr. Moti were thrown out of court with considerable legal cost awarded to him in 1999 when Vanuatu Magistrate Bruce Kalotiti ruled that he had no case to answer, though the Australian Federal Police have been attempting to revive them since 2007 in what can only be described as a politically motivated attack by the Australian Government on one of its more vociferous opponents in the Pacific.

Similarly, Mr. Martens had his conviction quashed by the Queensland Court of Appeal in 2009 with the Court finding that:

[169] After his arrest the petitioner was released on bail, a condition of which was that he not leave Australia. It was therefore impossible for him to travel to PNG to conduct his own inquiries of the CA Authority. It was, in any event, eminently reasonable for him to rely upon the resources of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the AFP to obtain the records. They undertook the task and informed the petitioner that the records did not exist.

[170] The records have always existed and have now been produced. It is a poor reflection upon the two organisations that one should have failed to find them, and denied their existence, and the other object to their use in the reference on the ground that the petitioner should have obtained them earlier. (My emphasis) (R v Martens [2009] QCA 351)

What is so offensive about the charges that have been brought against these gentlemen by the Australian Federal Police is that the same police force has and continues to ignore the sexual exploitation by Anglo-Saxon Australians of young girls every year during the Trobriand Islands annual yam festival.

While living and working in PNG in the mid-1990s it was common for expatriate Anglo-Saxon Australians to boast about their “conquests’ and ‘virility’ during the Trobriand Islands annual yam festival. These boasts extended to boasts about the age of their ‘conquests. Some of the girls they were boasting about were as young as 14 at the time of the alleged encounters, which can only be described as ‘cultural rape’.

Discussions about the sexual exploitation (rape) of young girls by Anglo-Saxon Australians were had openly at the Aviat Club and the Yacht Club in Port Moresby. Those taking part in these discussions included Anglo-Saxon Australians attached to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, including Anglo-Saxon Australian police and security personnel attached to the High Commission.

In essence what these Anglo-Saxon Australian officials posted to PNG were boasting about was that they were child sex tourists! As a Wiradjuri and more importantly as a human being I found this type of conduct disgusting to an extreme, made more disgusting by the fact that to some Anglo-Saxon expatriate Australians working in PNG at that time, the measure of their virility was how many young girls they could rape during their exploitation of an indigenous peoples cultural rite.

While the Trobriand Islands annual yam festival was the most obvious of child sex tourism destinations for some Anglo-Saxon expatriate Australians working in PNG, other destinations boasted about included the Philippines and Thailand.

While I believe that child sex tourism laws are important and I fully support them, it appears that the Australian Federal Police have used them on a selective basis to further Australia’s commercial and security interests in the Pacific.

Given the hoo-ha the they and the Australian government have made over the Moti and Martens cases, it is only fair and equitable that they now turn their attention to all those Anglo-Saxon expatriate Australians working in PNG who have boasted over the years of having raped young girls at the Trobriand Islands annual yam festival and other locations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Naturally, any proper investigation of child sex tourism by Anglo-Saxon expatriate Australians working in PNG would have to extend to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, including Australian police and security personnel.

Let’s see if the Australian Federal Police have the moral fortitude to conduct an unbiased and non-political investigation into the true nature and extent of child sex tourism by Australian citizens in the Asia-Pacific region.

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