A record explained, or rationalised?

Chan
Julius Chan brought in the mercenaries, devalued the kina and hated the Ombudsman Commission

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Sir Julius Chan: Playing the Game: Life and Politics in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY – As MP for Namatanai, Julius Chan was one of the founding fathers of Papua New Guinea, twice serving as prime minister (1980– 82 and 1994-97) and currently governor of New Ireland Province.

Unlike Michael Somare in ‘Sana’, who focused much on the principles and traditions that underpinned his statesmanship, ‘Playing the Game’ admits from the outset that it is a book about politics.

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After the gold rush, the funerals

Rio clipBERNARD CORDEN

‘Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armour coming sayin’ something about a Queen / Look at mother nature on the run in the 1970s’ - Neil Young, from After the Gold Rush

BRISBANE - Rio Tinto’s recent destruction of the Juukan Gorge indigenous rock shelters in the Pilbara region of Western Australia attracted extensive media attention and resulted in a federal senate inquiry.

It also led to several resignations of senior executives, humiliated but richly rewarded with golden handshakes.

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The long tradition of orators & wordsmiths

Road opening  Jimi  1970 (Tom Webster)
The Jimi people gather for a road opening in 1970. There will be many speeches. They will be long (Tom Webster)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Older Papua New Guineans will recall the role of oratory or speech-making by clan and tribal leaders.

Many kiaps and other field staff will also remember those times when hundreds of people gathered to hear the words of these important people, not least because they were expected to take part and contribute.

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Indonesia is turning Papuans into terrorists

West Papua armed group
West Papua armed group -Indonesia now labelling freedom fighters as 'terrorists'

YAMIN KOGOYA

CANBERRA - The Indonesian government has officially labelled the OPM (Free Papua Movement) and the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) as terrorist groups.

This came at the height of a string of shootings and murders  in Papua's highlands in recent months that last week led to the killing of senior Indonesian intelligence officer, General I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha.

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Let’s change our election culture

Jackson-Kiakari
Jackson Kiakari - "Don’t vote for your wantok and expect our economy to be healthy. Elections concern our national welfare, not your haus lain agenda"

JACKSON KIAKARI

The Port Moresby North-West by-election – for the late Sir Mekere Morauta’s former seat – will be fought out between 39 candidates on Wednesday 2 June. In Papua New Guinea terms, it is an unusual electorate: 75% of the population is literate; people from all 22 provinces live there; and it covers most of the important government institutions in PNG, including parliament. Of course, PNG Attitude has no preferred candidate but I did find that this thoughtful article nailed one of the most critical problems in PNG politics and governance- KJ

PORT MORESBY - I am not against any candidate in this by-election or any future election. I’m not against any particular individual or group.

But I am against our election culture. The culture of buying votes and enticing support through materialism.

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Reading eclectically is good for the mind

EclecticSIMON DAVIDSON

SONOMA - Reading eclectically is to read books from diverse sources of knowledge - reading a bit of something from everything.

An eclectic reader reads some philosophy, some law, some accounting, and takes a dive into politics, economics, religion, poetry, computer science, political theory, rocket propulsion…. Yes, rocket propulsion.

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Sana: The making of a great man

SanaDIANE HIRIMA & MINETTA KAKARERE
Academia Nomad | Edited

Michael Somare: Sana, An Autobiography

PORT MORESBY - Sana was first published in 1975, the year of Papua New Guinea’s independence. It traces Sir Michael Somare life from childhood to politics and his leading PNG to nationhood.

Sana (peacemaker) is a metaphor for a life lived both in upholding and fulfilling traditional obligations and enabling the transformation to modernity.

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Can ATS repel the Chinese challenge?

ATS
The bulldozers move in on ATS. Marape says he wants them out - but is he being truthful?

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I thought this was going to be a good news story, but now I'm  not too sure.

Late last week, Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape seemed to move with lightning speed  to stop a developer evicting residents and destroying homes at Port Moresby’s ATS settlement.

However, just as I was putting the story to bed last night, I got some disconcerting news. But first some background.

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After 8 years of terror, Alotau says ‘enough’

Tommy Baker
Tommy Baker has masterminded a reign of murder, robbery and intimidation in Alotau since 2013

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Milne Bay is a big province with a small police force. The locals are said to be good at harbouring criminals. And the most notorious and successful of these is Tommy Maeva Baker.

Baker, who has developed expertise in guerrilla-style hit and run tactics, heads a gang of up to 100 men who engaged in murder, plunder and arson.

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Half colonial – the man who stayed behind

Ken Fairweather
Ken Fairweather - a rollicking story from a man who learned to play the game

RUSSELL KITAU
| Academia Nomad | Edited extracts

Ken Fairweather: Farewell White Man, An Autobiography

PORT MORESBY – ‘Farewell White Man’ is the autobiography of Ken Fairweather CBE who arrived in Papua New Guinea from Melbourne as a young man in 1970.

Fairweather writes about his life and also tells the story of PNG from the end of the colonial period to self-government and independence.

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We all have a part to play

Michelle (far right) at the first graduation on 22 April
Michelle (far right) at the first graduation on 22 April

MICHELLE AUAMOROMORO
| Mim’s Diary

POPONDETTA - After moving to Popondetta late last year, my partner Pau and I were a little concerned that youths and even adults living in the community were mostly unemployed.

Doing nothing - no school, no work - seemed to be normal to them. We noticed that one of the things they lacked was basic computer knowledge.

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A Kiap’s Chronicle: 30 - Tightening the screw

Looking to Loloho and Rorovana from the ridge on Kieta peninsula (Darryl Robbins)
Looking to Loloho and Rorovana from the ridge on Kieta Peninsula (Darryl Robbins)

BILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - Despite continuing protests from the community, mining giant Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia (CRA) remained intent on securing Pakia village and the surrounding land for its town.

The Pakia area had most of the things CRA wanted: gently sloping land, a pleasant aspect, cool nights and, most importantly, a short drive to what would be the mine.

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If we’re family, remember what we share

Morrison marape
Scott Morrison and James Marape. Morrison talks of PNG as “family” and the Pacific as “our patch” 

PATRICIA A O'BRIEN
| The Conversation

CANBERRA – Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is fond of describing Papua New Guinea as ‘family’. He did so recently when announcing Australia’s assistance with PNG’s Covid-19 outbreak.

The urgent support for PNG in the form of vaccines, testing kits, medical personnel and training was “in Australia’s interests”, Morrison said, because it threatens the health of Australians, “but equally our PNG family who are so dear to us”.

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He had a phone & he wrote a book

Gerard Ivalaoa with his book ‘70 Reminders of Academic Excellence’
Gerard Ivalaoa with his book ‘70 Reminders of Academic Excellence’ (Ples Singsing)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Young author Gerard Ivalaoa struck it lucky after writing an 85,000 word book on his smartphone in the most difficult of circumstances.

After hearing of his achievement, Digicel PNG presented a new Dell laptop and a Samsung smartphone to Gerard, who is of Gulf parentage and lives on the outskirts of Port Moresby in a settlement with no electricity.

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The marriage proposal

MumuDANIEL KUMBON

FICTION – The ceremony over and the photographs taken, The Old Man and Delisa decided to skip the refreshments for the new nursing graduates and drive straight from Lae to Bumbu village where a big mumu was sizzling amidst hot stones.

The family trooped to the three vehicles. Delisa sat in the backseat while, as protocol dictated, her aunt’s husband sat in the front seat with The Old Man.

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Stop griping & get a grip on GBV

4 objectives of the national GBV strategy
The four objectives of the national strategy on gender-based violence

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY - The gender-based violence (GBV) we struggle with in Papua New Guinea is a result of many activating circumstances.

The number of cases continues to increase. Just on Sunday, two women accused of witchcraft were tortured and burnt with hot irons for hours by 20 men in Port Moresby.

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Words that mean more than they say

50000 morePHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The articles featured in the Anzac Day edition of PNG Attitude had a common theme related to the corrupted mythology of Australia’s leading commemorative event and its emergence as a caricature of reality.

The comments by various authors reflected on the inconvenient truths revealed in the articles or sought to defend some of the mythologies thought to be questionable.

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Bookshop

BookshopRICHARD HAUSER

With skin like burnished copper parchment
this slim Eurasian lady seems in charge.
She emerges from the shadows of the shelves
and the pages of a spy yarn, now at large.

Her manner firm, attesting ownership,
insisting that I do it by the book
and sterilise my suspect Covid hands
lest I taint her tidy tomes as I look.

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Marape once again outwits opponents

Marape and Kramer (Kalolaine Fainu  The Guardian)
James Marape and justice minister Bryan Kramer. Marape has again demonstrated he is a political tactician of considerable acumen (Kalolaine Fainu The Guardian)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Prime minister James Marape last week adjourned Papua New Guinea’s parliament as once again he sought to slip away from a vote of no confidence.

With a worrying increase in the number of Covid cases in PNG, Marape explained his action as a move to fight the disease.

"It’s no time to play politics,” he said, before adjourning parliament until Tuesday 10 August.

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The persistent stigma of white racism

Feelings towards specific groups in Australia
Community feelings towards specific racial groups in Australia

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – Let me start with a statement.

The most prevalent form of racism is based on colour and is manifested almost entirely by whites against people of colour.

And now a definition.

Racism is the belief that humans can be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities (races) and that there is a causal link between biological traits (such as colour) and intellect, personality, morality and other cultural and behavioural features.

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Time to empathise with our Earth

Gary Juffa
Gary Juffa - "We have used our superior intelligence to pursue selfish gain in a shortsighted manner detrimental to our very existence"

GOVERNOR GARY JUFFA

ORO - Empathy is a great teacher. Only when you go through a situation experienced by others will you be able to truly empathise and understand what they have gone through.

Well we have a situation happening right now which, to humans and humanity is instructing us like never before.

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Funding quirks make it hard to put smiles on faces

Western Province is the largest and most remote province in PNG
Western Province is the largest and most remote in PNG

TABOI AWI YOTO

DARU – You may be aware of a Papua New Guinea government policy that every province and district should expect to receive K10 million a year to spend on local projects.

This scheme is known as PSIP/DSIP or ‘MP’s funds’ and is meant to disburse K10 million to each province and district, the funds being administered by committees chaired by district or provincial politicians.

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Anzac must honour values of peace, not war

Gold diggersPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – For the past month or so, the Returned Services League (RSL) has saturated us with television commercials drumming up interest in today’s Anzac Day celebrations (now cancelled in Perth because of Covid).

That Anzac Day has been turned into a lucrative money-making industry for many organisations, including the RSL, couldn’t be made any clearer.

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The Anzac myth & our ignored frontier wars

Map showing locations of Australia’s colonial massacres
This map shows more than 500 locations where colonial forces or individuals massacred Australia's Indigenous people. Australia has never come to terms with the Frontier Wars than continued for about 140 years

JOHN MENADUE
| Pearls & Irritations

SYDNEY - Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial war. They encourage us to focus on how our soldiers fought to avoid the central issue of why we fought.

We fought in World War I for Britain’s imperial interests not our own. The AIF was the ‘Australian Imperial Force’. It could not be clearer.

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Foreign land grab disaster in Pomio

Paul Pavol - forest defender
Paul Pavol warned his people of what would happen, but they did not listen

PAUL PAVOL

POMIO - The people of West Pomio in East New Britain Province lost most of their land and forest under the controversial, government-backed, Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) scheme.

Today, eight years after a Commission of Inquiry condemned the SABL program, there are still a number of active schemes in the West Pomio area with Malaysian logging conglomerate Rimbunan Hijau the major player in logging and promised oil palm.

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Leaders: what do they think their job is?

Morrison
The Morrison government’s approach to the Covid pandemic has too often opted for spin over substance and politics over science

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Across the democratic world denial, blundering incompetence, confusion, wishful thinking and indifference have been the common hallmarks of the response to Covid-19.

The political class has, with very few exceptions, made a complete hash of managing the pandemic.

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I’ve got the Anzac Day blues

ComradesWILLIAM DE MARIA
| Pearls & Irritations

BRISBANE - Australia has never been the maker of its own history. So said the legendary Manning Clark, who spent a life mapping the heart of our nation.

From the utterly worthless Sudan campaign of 1885 to the most recent atrocity-ridden Afghanistan War, our people have been made to wade through blood in foreign lands to satisfy feckless sycophantic leadership at home and unfathomable geo-political intrigues festering far away.

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The image that stunned our readers

Marina Amaral
Marina Amaral in her studio. An exceptional artist, 76,000 viewers can't be wrong

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - On Monday, PNG Attitude published a famous World War II photograph, newly colourised by Brazilian artist Marina Amaral.

It proved to be an instant hit with many thousands of readers.

Some 76,000 people viewed the image and the accompanying story. Nearly 1,000 engaged actively with comments, likes and shares.

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Now listen up, you bullies & misogynists

Lucy Maino
Lucy Maino and all Papua New Guinean women need to be treated with  respect, decency and morality. Papua New Guinean men have much to be ashamed of

KARA WEISENSTEIN
| Mic

NEW YORK - Lucy Maino was an accomplished role model before she became Miss Papua New Guinea.

The 25-year-old co-captained her country’s national football team, bringing home two gold medals from the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.

She also attended the University of Hawaii on a sports scholarship and earned a business degree.

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Covid: urgent business for Australia - & China

AidBRENDAN CRABB & MIKE TOOLE
| The Canberra Times

MELBOURNE - The surge of new COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea is deeply worrying.

At the end of January, this country of nine million had reported just 866 cases and nine deaths. By 12 April, these numbers had increased to 8,442 cases and 68 deaths.

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Patrolling not all mountains: Messing about in boats

MV Aveta ready for patrol  c1970
MV Aveta ready for patrol, c 1970

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – As a newly minted Assistant Patrol Officer in 1969, I was assigned to Kerema in Gulf Province, seen by new kiaps as a fate worse than death - perhaps exceeded only by a posting to Western Province.

Old hands confidently expected that junior kiaps posted to the Gulf would flee back to Australia, unable to cope with living in the estuarine delta, full of pukpuks and binatangs.

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The unfortunate Lucy Maino controversy

Lucy Maino
Lucy Maino - An innocent victim of deep-seated misogyny or offended Christianity? Or perhaps both

AVDOH D MEKI

PORT MORESBY - Lucy Maino is best known as a Papua New Guinean footballer and recently Miss Pacific and PNG 2019-20.

Because of Covid, her tenure was extended into 2021 but she was released from duties by the MPIP governing body earlier this month after a video she posted on TikTok triggered a social media storm.

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Yama’s vaccine case is ‘idiotic, laughable’

Peter Yama
Governor Peter Yama - off to the supreme court to try to stop people who want to receive Covid vaccines from getting them

BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report

MADANG - Last week, Madang governor Peter Yama announced he would file a Supreme Court reference challenging the decision of the Marape-Basil government to provide vaccines to Papua New Guineans who wished to receive them.

Yama said that, after studying a recent US Supreme Court ruling overturning universal vaccination, he had instructed his lawyers to file the reference to stop the vaccine for being provided to ‘his’ people in Madang.

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Land Rover, the prince of vehicles

New chalkies hit the road near Wewak  November 1963  aboard the Land Rover we came to know so well
New chalkies hit the road near Wewak,  November 1963.  Yes, there were 10 of us aboard the Series 2 Land Rover. That was fortunate. It took all of us to get it out of a bog later in our journey (Keith Jackson)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When Prince Philip married Elizabeth, the future British queen, in November 1947 my mother was two months pregnant with me.

Like a lot of English women besotted with the handsome prince she decided to name me after him. My Irish father had little say in the matter.

Apart from that tenuous and rather embarrassing connection, Prince Philip has otherwise been entirely irrelevant in my life, as no doubt I have in his.

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Torres Strait nervous as vaccine is paused

Boigu Anglican reverend Stanley Marama gets his vaccine last month (Brook Mitchell)
Boigu Anglican minister Rev Stanley Marama gets his vaccine last month (Brook Mitchell)

CHRISTOPHER KNAUS
| The Guardian | Extracts

SYDNEY - The Torres Strait is paying the price for Australia’s poor Covid-19 vaccination planning, experts say, and now faces significant risk from the outbreak in nearby Papua New Guinea.

The rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine to vulnerable populations in the Torres Strait was complicated significantly last week when the federal government warned against giving the vaccine to people under 50.

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