'Independence Doesn't Have Any Meaning': Disenchantment inRural Papua New Guinea
|Collections||ANU Dept. of Pacific Affairs (DPA) formerly State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program|
|Title:||'Independence Doesn't Have Any Meaning': Disenchantment inRural Papua New Guinea|
|Publisher:||Canberra, ACT: State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program, The Australian National University|
|Series/Report no.:||State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program in brief series: 2017/01|
The year 2015 saw the celebration of forty years of independence in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In his speech at the Independence Day flag raising ceremony on 16 September, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill declared that Papua New Guineans can look back with pride on what they have achieved together (O’Neill 16/9/2015). ‘We can’, he said, ‘look forward with confidence to an even better future [for] our children’ (ibid.). He promised his audience that despite the challenges facing the country, such as uncertainty in the global economy and climate change, they would have the ‘free school education, better health care and better community services you are entitled to as our citizens’ (ibid.). However, there are some rural Papua New Guineans who feel that independence has not lived up to its promise and they would prefer it had never occurred. This In Brief reports on recent research among the people who live in the shadow of Mt Wilhelm, PNG’s highest mountain, in the Kundiawa-Gembogl District, Chimbu Province. Existence for the people of this province with its rugged mountain terrain is distant from life in the resource-rich provinces of Hela and Southern Highlands. Aside from income from coffee grown at lower altitudes, access to cash income and services is a perennial problem. This marginalisation has generated a profound disenchantment with the PNG government and the project of nationhood.
|IB2017.1 Richard Eves.pdf||1.07 MB||Adobe PDF|
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