09 | 19
2011

Has the Pacific Islands Forum (“PIF”) become a tool for white neo-colonial interests?

Categories: Asia-Pacific, Corporate profit, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Genocide by stealth, Human Rights, Indigenous People, Law Enforcement, Neo-Colonialism, Pacific Neighbours, RAMSI, Rule of Law, Solomon Islands, United Nations

by: Bakchos
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The progress of human society, has in different ages, presented abundance of horrors and abundance of vices, which in treating history properly, we are obliged to pass over gently, and often to conceal; but, nevertheless, if we neglect or suppress these facts altogether, we injure the truth of history itself, almost to the same manner as we should injure a man’s health by destroying some of the nerves or muscles of his body. (Richard Payne Knight, 1865)

There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. (Hosea 4:2, New International Version)

What the aforementioned quotes have in common is that they represent two aspects of humanity, the propensity of humans to commit crimes to further their own interest, coupled with humanities propensity to then attempt to conceal the magnitude of those crimes. When I was undertaking a pre-seminary course with Father Beader during Years 11 & 12 we often discussed what Hosea 4:2 meant. During those discussions we agreed that Hosea 4:2 was saying that where there is no truth there will be lies and perjury; for false swearing is brought in to confirm lying statements. And when there is no mercy, killing, slaying, and murders, will be frequent. And where there is no knowledge of God, no conviction of his omnipresence and omniscience, private offenses, such as stealing, adulteries, etc., will prevail. These, sooner or later, break out, become a flood, and carry all before them.

In later life when I converted to Judaism for reasons of matrimony and to keep the in-laws happy, I began reading the Bible from a different perspective and realised that while Hosea 4:2 is speaking of the ills that will befall society in the absence of truth and integrity. It is also speaking of what Christianity, at least in the early days, brought to the “savages” of the Pacific, a bequest that still haunts all of the indigenous peoples of the region.

During the recent PIF West Papuan issue became a non-event. When asked about human rights abuses in Fiji and West Papua UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the issue of human rights was something that should be discussed with the Decolonisation Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, adding that it could deal with any country regardless of whether it was an independent state or self-governing territory. Adding that:

“And when [the issue] comes again, whether you are an independent state or a non-self-governing territory or whatever, the human rights is inalienable and a fundamental principle of the United Nations. We will do all to ensure that people in West Papua [that] their human rights will be respected.”

The young journalist from PNG Henry Yamo who first raised the issue of West Papua with Ban Ki-moon then asked:

“Will a human rights fact-finding mission be dispatched to West Papua at some time?”

BKM: “That is the same answer [to a previous question on Fiji] that should be discussed at the Human Rights Council among the member states. Normally the Secretary General acts on the basis of a mandate given by inter-governmental bodies.”

Throughout the conference, human right groups from West Papua and Fiji were protesting outside the Forum venue at Sky City, calling for the United Nations to give recognition to the issues of human rights in their respective countries.

Groups protesting in Auckland to attract attention from the United Nations included the Free and Democratic Movement of Fiji, based in New Zealand as well as members of the West Papua National Coalition for liberation (WPNCL) and the Auckland-based Indonesia Human Rights Committee.

Representatives of the two groups said they would take their call further to the United Nations General Assembly that would be held later this month.

Difference in media treatment of the West Papuan versus the Fiji protests

In spite of West Papuan protests outside the Forum opening and at the summit hotel, the media seemed to be only interested in the parallel protest against the Fiji military regime. The Forum communiqué from the PIF failed to mention West Papua. While the PIF has already granted New Caledonia and French Polynesia associate member status, and Timor-Leste (another former Indonesian former colonial possession) observer status and is granting American Samoa the same privileges, it remains silent about the atrocities and human rights violations in a Melanesian territory of the Pacific.

The difference between the West Papua and Fiji, at least from the perspective of ‘white’ neo-colonialists, is that multi-national miners such as Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold and others have unlimited access to West Papuan resources while it remains a province of Indonesia while Fiji and its resources remain closed to western exploitation.

How can those who claim to be Christian and to believe in the sanctity of all humanity sit ideally by and watch the false swearing, lying statements, killing, slaying and murders that are the lives of most indigenous West Papuans today? This is hypocrisy of a high order and serves to reinforce the blatant corruption and racism that informs modern ‘white’ society in its relations with the world’s indigenous peoples. But, the hypocrisy does not stop there!

Gender based violence

The issue of Sexual and gender-based violence against women was cited in the final PIF communiqué again this year. What is remarkable about this is the fact that the ‘white’ dominated media took so little notice of it. Amnesty International collected a petition of 21,000 signatures and to his credit, President Anote Tong, accepted this while no other Pacific leader did.

The ‘white’ dominated media took even less interest, in the presentation by Jocelyn Lai of the Young Women’s Christian Association who presented harrowing case studies of violence against women and girls in the Solomon Islands, violence that goes unpunished because of a culture of silence, impunity and stigma. A report about Solomon Islands slums which detailed the appalling state of sanitation and personal safety in them went unreported by the self-interested ‘white’ media. Surely a situation in two thirds of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 had experienced physical or sexual violence from their partners and other family member’s warrants media attention!

Given the appalling state of personal safety in the SI, an issue that was raised at the PIF, yet ignored by the media, brings into question the supposed successes and justification for RAMSI and reinforces a point I have been making for some time now – who really benefits from RAMSI – is it the people of the SI, or the owners of the RAMSI related companies? As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding… and the RAMSI pudding is very sour indeed.

In fact, the Forum’s engagement with community issues was dismal. While PIF leaders recognised that many of the issues impacting on the wider community were already on the regional agenda. It was rhetoric and no action. Female representation, or rather lack of it, is nothing short of “scandalous”. There are ten countries in the modern world that boast of female free legislatures, six of these are in the Pacific – way to go RAMSI!

Little will change politically in the Pacific region without more women and a greater diversity in parliamentary representation. Yet women’s and certain minority groups remain marginalised, if not actually excluded, by the Australian funded and supported PIF establishment. Next year in the Cook Islands an actual “dialogue” is needed between the region’s political leaders and the NGOs.

Anti-Fiji bias

An independent think tank, the Pacific Policy Institute based in Vanuatu, was excluded from the PIF. While the conservative Australian-based Lowy Institute enjoyed a privileged position, including having a day-long conference in an Auckland hotel just two days before the Forum opened and had the opportunity to launch a controversial Fiji opinion poll, its opposite number – a real Pacific think tank, was being denied any accreditation.

It is believed that this is because of its policy on Fiji of seeking “positive engagement”.

What all this says is that RAMSI and its major sponsors Australia and New Zealand have a long way to go if it is really their intention to bring the ‘rule of law’ to the “savages’ of the Pacific. Finally on the point of “savages” what could be a higher indicator of inhumane savagery than to sit ideally by watching innocents being slaughtered in a near neighbour – West Papua in the name of the all mighty god – Mammon?

26 Comments

  1. One or two brothers or sisters selling out the rest of the community is one of the biggest problems indigenous people in Australia face, it looks like it is the same in the rest of the Pacific. As a people we need to look to the future and put community interest before self-interest and the almighty dollar!

  2. Cuz that’s right, we need to stand as one people before we’ll achieve anything.

  3. Ah gus you might be amazed by what benefits a little unity might bring!

  4. Hello jenifer, i assume that you mean guys rather than Gus? Either way I agree that unity in action will bring benefits far and beyond what can be possibly achieved by an individual no matter how committed. Unity needs to extend beyond Australia’s and t needs to be inclusive.

  5. Andy you are absolutly correct, the government is always looking for a sellout. It’s the old rule, united we win, divided, well you know the rest. What the PIF has demonstrated is that to many elits in the Pacific, whities dollar is worth more to them than unity of action.

  6. The dollar of the white man along with his grog and STD’s have fucked indigenous cultures world wide! The violence and sexual exploitation, indeed the worshipping of sex is a product of repressed Christianity, now it is being used as a weapon against us all by the very people who introduced the repression in the first place. White man can have his lasw, his grog and drugs and his STD’s and take them baqck to Christrendom and leave us in peace and unity with our enviroment.

  7. I’m indigenous and proud to say so. Yes all we need is unity!

  8. Mick your comments are a bit harsh, but not unjustified. What we lack as a people is respect for ourselves and our culture, that is what I see Blak and Black as standing for, at least in part. Obviously bakchos sees unity as being a lot wider than just Indigenous Australians, in the end he is right, but self-respect is a first step for all Indigenous, indeed for all Australians.

  9. Mickya right white can take all his shit and fuck off unless he wants to start treating us with the respect and dignity we deserve as humans. I,m sick of being second class in a land I’ve called home for 40,000 or more years.

  10. yeh reg I’m with you on this, 40,000 years is a long time and for the last 200 or so we have been second class citizens to the ‘christian’ invaders from the north. Time for a change!!!!!

  11. Oz is big enough for everyone, but no matter how big without mutual respect it will always be way 2 small.

  12. Mahmud Ahsan via Facebook says:

    It never ceases to disgust me that the original inhabitants of this ancient land have become second class citizens in their own land. I pray for you all every day, that justice might be done.

  13. mahmud I also am appalled by the way society treats Indigenous Australians. Yes out of unity can come respect.

  14. What interests me about the PIF is the fact that the enemy of ‘white’ Australia as bakchos likes to refer to the Government, Fiji got all the media coverage or more specifically the anti-Fiji regime protestors got all the media coverage while those protesting against the genocide in West Papua were ignored. I think that proves the point better than any essay that Australia does not give a ‘toss’ about human rights, it’s all about the money buddy!

  15. helen I think that Australia’s views or should I say real views on human rights are well known by those of us who care to be informed. Australia has no interest in human rights only money. Where is our Bill of Rights? Where are the voices of opposition in parliament speaking out against the off shore processing of refugees? Where are our leaders in the PIF? All hiding behind the mighty dollar, that’s where.

  16. Human rights always comes a poor second to money – sad but true.

  17. JW Frogen says:

    Slight problem with your “white” is always wrong theory, West Papua is under the political and military thumb of a non-white Islamic political elite, revealing that race has little or nothing to do with exploitation.

    Indeed this is almost certainly the case with peoples who have no tradition of history but rather rely entirely on mythological tradition, such as Aboriginals prior to British settlement. Almost certainly Aboriginal groups took territory from other Aboriginal groups when they had the power to do so, there is no way to explain why any group would leave the good and plenty of Northern Australia into the desert harshness of the center of the continent unless they were driven there by other Aboriginal groups, but a mythological story was created over time to explain that such groups always existed and gloss over Aboriginal violence against weaker Aboriginal groups.

    The only difference between this sort of exploitation and that of Western exploitation is that the latter had developed historical method so is more honest about what it does.

    • Bakchos says:

      Thank you for your comment. I am well aware that West Papua “is under the political and military thumb of a non-white Islamic political elite” that is a point made in the post. It is this Islamic colonial invader who has opened West Papua up to western economic exploitation. It doesn’t really matter what someone’s creed is – exploitation is exploitation.

      As with all continents, Australia has undergone massive climatic changes over the last 40,000 years, evidence suggests that until about 10,000 years ago Central Australia was a much more hospitable place. Perhaps and this is only a perhaps tribal boundaries were settled in a more climatic favourable environment and those tribes in the centre lost out to climatic shifts. I realise that there is evidence to support other theories, but as you say without a history that is acceptable to the white, we’ll never know. Mind you, have you given any thought to Milman Perry and his research into oral history? It might be that oral history and mythology contains more than a kernel of truth, something to think about.

      As for honesty, I don’t think that the western tradition is more honest, it just has more spin. In my lifetime I have known elders who had experienced massacres in sleepy old Yass in the 1930s. A local land owner whose family benefited from the aforementioned massacres took me to one of the sites – I haven’t seen this recorded in any white fella histories.

      More to the point; you seem to have missed the point Blak and Black is trying to make – history is history and fact is fact and the fact is indigenous peoples are still treated as second class citizens in their own land by western and other colonizers. All I’m seeking is justice for the original inhabitants of colonized lands.

  18. What this says to me is that human society accepts that any stronger society can make any weaker society is prey and that is acceptable. Indonesia preys on West Papua, Australia on the pacific and perhaps one day China on Australia, I wonder how many of those who are now saying that this type of conduct is acceptable will be ‘dancing to a different tune’?

  19. I’m uncomfortable with the way Australia treats its first peoples. It’s time for a change in attitude from the wider community. This will only happen once out political leaders start demonstrating actual leadership and address the real disadvantage facing Indigenous Australians – ignorance!

  20. Our culture is as valid as any other culture. You can’t argue that just because you are white or Indonesian or Chinese that you are any better or any worse, we are all humans we are all fundamentally the same. All we asked is to be treated the same.

  21. Richard Toms says:

    I logged on to your blog after being approached by one of your collogues wanting my signature on your petition calling for a Royal Commission into the AFP, my question is why? Does anyone really care about what a bomb assed black cunt really thinks? You complain about white genocide against your people. The sooner we get there the better, all you black cunts are nothing more than a waste of space, a drain on hard working, Christian society. It might surprise you to learn that most as you say ‘white’ Australians hate the very ground you black cunts walk on. If you all committed suicide it would save the rest of us the trouble of finishing what was started in 1788.

    I joined the police for the very purpose of dealing with you useless black cunts in the most direct way I could think of, at the end of my boot. Shit you people really do look sub-human, which is because you are sub-human; you even make Neanderthals look normal. Every time I see one of you useless black cunts in the street I stop to look for your tails before I lay my size 13 into your useless arses.

    Just up and die and do all god fearing Christians a favor.

  22. Paul says:

    Well hello there you useless abo good for nothing walking dead man. You have certainly caused a stir now haven’t you, useless abo cunt. What are you actually crapping about? Poor abo cunt lost his job. Well that job really belongs to white people not black. The abo should not have been there in the first place, he deseves what he got. I’m proud to stand up and be counted as one of those Australians who hate you abo cunts. Good on Richard for having the balls to tell you what he thinks, I’m adding my thoufgts to his. We don’t want your kind in this country, you don’t belong here, go back to where you came from. As someone else has said in relation to you, crawl back into the gins cunt that you crawled out from. Hey cunt, I work for Ernst & Young, I’m proud to say that. Do I care about your bumb useless blog? Nup, no one does. I can say what I like and nobody cares. I reckon one of my mates in the AFP will gut you before much longer and good ridddence to you, I say. Won’t need no pillow cases when we come for you because no body cares we know you about the fat bitch and where she lives. You’ll did abo shit, you wont see Christmas, which is for white christians only.

  1. […] two comments were received by Blak and Black yesterday in response to Blak and Black’s post “Has the Pacific Islands Forum (“PIF”) become a tool for white neo-colonial interests?”. The first comment was made by someone who identifies himself as “Richard Toms” and who […]

  2. […] recent commenter on Blak and Black expressed much more severe racial denigration. ‘Paul’ made his disdain for Aborigines abundantly clear, as did his mate Richard Toms immediately […]

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