I disagree - PNG must continue united.July 14 2002 at 12:09 AM
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Response to Lack of common ground
Liberal. Thank you for your posting, and for your many other contributions on the Politics Board, I have enjoyed reading them as well as others that have been posted. The postings are informative, intelligent, insightful and more than that, are an illustration of Papua New Guineans activily becoming involved in the nation's affairs. Open discourse and debate on issues of national interest is a culture that must become entrenched in our country if government is going to get better and become more responsive to the needs of its people.
I disagree with your posting that there is no common ground for all the different provinces to unite.
For one, I don't see how there is no common ground for all of us to unite. We just had a KSI convention where people from all those areas you have mentioned, travelled from their respective universities and colleges to Canberra, at considerable cost to themselve, to attend a Convention on national issues and to discuss how they can contribute to national development. That is a classic illustration of "common ground" as you call it; the sense of nationalism being the driving motivation for these people to go to Canberra. Their nationalism is not an aberration and not just restricted to a small section of the country. Concern about the state of the nation is shared far and wide in PNG, and that concern emenates not from perceptions of ethnic and cultural differences, but from a perception of shared destiny and national unity.
My second point is this - none of the areas you have mentioned will survive as independent nations. For one, apart from Moresby, Lae and Rabaul, the other provinces just don't have the infrastructure. Secondly, the developed provinces are dependent on the resource rich provinces for their business and cannot survive on their own. To break off into another 20 little Nauru's is not the answer to our problems and will not lead to higher living standards for our people.
It is a cliche, but I will repeat because it means so much. PNG's greatest, and its survival, comes from the sum of its parts. We are nothing if we are not united.
P.S Please keep the discussion going. I appreciate all the views expressed and it is great that we have such a service through which we are able to discuss and debate issues affecting our country.