Covid in PNG: A failure of state & a people betrayed

Callick - Rowan Callick at Griffith University
Rowan Callick at Griffith University - "Covid's impact is exacerbated in PNG by the failings of its government, corroded by corruption and by corruption's cousin, disinterest"

ROWAN CALLICK

MELBOURNE - The anguish of our closest neighbours is palpable as the Delta strain of Covid runs riot in Papua New Guinea.

As so often before, the plight of the nine million Papua New Guineans may derive from an ‘act of God’ – a natural disaster or, as now, a pandemic – but its impact is exacerbated by the failings of its government, corroded by corruption and by corruption's cousin, disinterest.

Continue reading "Covid in PNG: A failure of state & a people betrayed" »


Rick Giddings MBE OAM: An exceptional man

Neil Leahy & Rick Giddings 1987 (Bill Gammage)
Neil Leahy & Rick Giddings, 1987 (Bill Gammage)

SONYA & LARA GIDDINGS

Rick Giddings was buried at Pontville in Tasmania on Tuesday and his family has kindly approved sharing this edited eulogy with his friends from his time in Papua New Guinea - PF

PONTVILLE - Richard James Giddings MBE OAM, our dad, was a good man. He was kind, generous, funny, intelligent and wise. He was a storyteller and a poet.

He lived his 84 years with love, devotion, passion and integrity, whether that be for his family, friends, community, or his work. He was a dear friend and mentor to many.

Continue reading "Rick Giddings MBE OAM: An exceptional man" »


Friends
Keith has lost some wind from his sails, which will slow down PNG Attitude for a few days.
That said, your comments and other contributions are welcome and will be published.


Hospitals struggle as PNG covid crisis deepens

Health workers move body bags at Goroka Hospital morgue (EMTV)
Health workers move body bags at the Goroka Hospital morgue (EMTV)

JOHNNY BLADES
| Radio New Zealand Pacific

AUCKLAND - The Covid-19 crisis in Papua New Guinea is deepening as the country's main hospitals are increasingly swamped by cases.

When the government earlier this year decided the country must learn to live with the virus, health authorities scaled back testing and reporting.

Continue reading "Hospitals struggle as PNG covid crisis deepens" »


Involuntary voyagers await repatriation

Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni (Denyse Ealedona)
Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni now have to get the paperwork out of the way after 29 days lost at sea (Photo - Denyse Ealedona)

JARED KOLI
| Solomon Islands broadcasting Corporation

PORT MORESBY - Two Solomon Islands' men missing for 29 days until rescued off the coast of East New Britain 10 days ago are now in Port Moresby awaiting repatriation.

Mary Walenenea, second secretary with the Solomon Islands high commission in Papua New Guinea, said the men, Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni, are staying at the embassy.

Continue reading "Involuntary voyagers await repatriation" »


Aviation pioneer David Inau dies in Moresby

David Inau
David Inau - "Only birds can fly. But having a man in the machine was fascinating"

SCOTT WAIDE

Captain David Inau, CEO of Sunbird Aviation in Vanimo and a pioneering Papua New Guinean Army aviator, died in Port Moresby on Sunday after being medically evacuated from Boram. He was in the second group of Papua New Guineans to train as PNG Defence Force pilots in Australia in the mid-1970s and in 1979 became the first Papua New Guinean to fly solo in a Machi jet. Journalist Liam Fox has commented on how, in his later career with the PNG Accident Investigation Commission, he “transformed it into a competent, professional outfit”. The article that follows was written by Scott Waide in September 2017 for the Inspirational Papua New Guineans website – KJ

LAE - As a six-year-old, David Inau, watched the legendary American flying Bishop, Leo Arkfeld,   transport supplies and other cargo into some of the most remote parts of East Sepik.

At that tender age, the young David decided he wanted to fly planes.

Continue reading "Aviation pioneer David Inau dies in Moresby" »


Forget born or made, you can buy leadership

William Shakespeare -
William Shakespeare Redux - “Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, some have leadership thrust upon them and some do purchase it”

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – A much quoted aphorism on the internet comes from William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” the bard wrote.

What Shakespeare was writing about in 1601 was inherited leadership, such as that of the aristocracy, and the play is, appropriately for our times, framed in a context of a dying society crumbling into decay.

Continue reading "Forget born or made, you can buy leadership" »


PNG palm oil's corruption & brutality

Butler -
Logs stacked for export in Vanimo (Ed Davey,  Global Witness)

DESMOND BUTLER
| The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - The police drove into the Papua New Guinean village of Watwat in SUVs during a rainstorm.

It was late on a July night in 2019, and they’d come through the rainforest, armed with guns and metal bars.

Men and teenage boys were dragged out of bed, beaten and thrown into the mud.

Some were arrested, held for weeks and interrogated about vandalising palm trees, according to an investigative report by the advocacy group Global Witness.

One Watwat resident told investigators that the SUVs were owned by one of the companies that runs the local plantation.

“The company has a lot of money,” she said. “They are able to give it to the police.”

Global Witness’s two-year investigation is a rare behind-the-scenes look at the corruption, labour abuses and destructive environmental practices in an industry that is clearing carbon-rich rainforests and emitting greenhouse gases at a rate that has become a growing concern for climate scientists.

The world’s most common vegetable oil has spawned vast fortunes, while coming under scrutiny for its labor practices and environmental impact.

The report includes recordings of oil-palm managers detailing corruption and labor abuses to investigators posing as commodity traders.

The investigation has already provoked a response from 17 corporations, some of which have pledged to remove the palm oil companies the advocacy group identified as their suppliers.

The group’s undercover investigators taped an executive from a PNG-based company called Tobar Investment Ltd seemingly confirming the Watwat resident’s account of the police raid of the village, which came in response to the destruction of palm trees on the plantation.

Edward Lamur, the executive, told investigators in a secretly recorded online meeting that his company had approached police after vandalism to get them to send a message to local residents.

He said that a close friend of his ran the “special operation police” and that he could call the officer “whenever we want assistance.”

“They did some bashing up,” he said. “They know we are owners now.”

The secretly recorded conversations with Lamur and others were broadcast Thursday in the United Kingdom as part of a story on Channel 4 News.

Lamur, who is a founding director of Tobar and a former deputy provincial administrator of East New Britain province, located on a large island off Papua New Guinea, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Global Witness report looks at Malaysian companies operating in Papua New Guinea, including East New Britain Resources Group (ENBR) and Rimbunan Hijau, that it says collectively have cleared tens of thousands of acres of forest in recent years.

More than three quarters of the global product from oil palm trees comes from Indonesia and Malaysia and makes its way through supply chains into products familiar to any Western consumer, from companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg’s and Nestlé.

Many of the buyers have so-called No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policies (NDPE), but Global Witness found some of the palm oil companies whose abuses they documented on the supply list for those three Western corporations, among others.

In a statement, Kellogg Co. called the allegations in the report “very concerning,” while confirming that three of its palm-oil suppliers had indirectly made purchases from ENBR.

The company said it immediately contacted its suppliers when it learned about the allegations and that ENBR is no longer in its supply chain.

“Kellogg is committed to working with our suppliers to support the production of sustainable palm oil from sources that are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable,” the company said in a statement. “Anything less is not acceptable.”

Nestlé said it confirmed that it has identified nine palm oil mills owned by Rimbunan Hijau in its supply chain but has not been connected to palm oil from ENBR since 2019.

The company says it is investigating and will suspend any company shown to be responsible for deforestation or that does not have a policy to obtain consent from Indigenous people before developing.

Nestlé said it requires companies to provide data to allow satellite monitoring that would detect deforestation.

“We take allegations of breaches to our Responsible Sourcing Standard very seriously,” the company said in a statement.

Colgate-Palmolive did not respond to a request for comment but told Global Witness that it has had supply chain connections to ENBR and Rimbunan Hijau and would add the group to its “internal grievance log” and investigate further.

As Malaysia came under increasing pressure in recent decades for clearing its forests faster than any country on Earth, some of its lumber companies began looking to the virgin rainforests of Papua New Guinea.

The mostly unspoiled island country has since become one of the biggest exporters of tropical lumber. And in the wake of all the cutting, Malaysian palm oil companies moved in.

Impoverished PNG sees its economic future in palm oil. By 2030, it plans to increase the size of its palm plantation tracts tenfold from the 2016 level of about 360,000 acres.

But the country has also pledged a sharp reduction in carbon emissions from deforestation by the same year in a national commitment to the United Nations.

The Global Witness report suggests that the government may have a hard time reining in the well-connected palm oil companies.

Tobar Investment Ltd, the local company behind the raid in Watwat, operates under a joint venture with ENBR.

Over a business dinner, the undercover investigators taped two managers from a subsidiary of ENBR bragging about corruption of government officials to obtain logging permits and land access. The managers also told the investigators that they had workers as young as 10 on their plantations.

“Sometimes we bend the rules just to make things happen,” said one manager, identified by Global Witness as Bernard Lolot. It’s illegal in Papua New Guinea to employ children under 16 for heavy labour.

At another dinner, Global Witness said, the Malaysian chief executive of the company, Eng Kwee Tan, detailed a scheme to evade import duties in India. He explained that the duties are higher for palm oil coming from Papua New Guinea than from Malaysia.

“We have to make it show like it come from Malaysia,” he said in English in another secretly recorded conversation that was also broadcast on Channel 4 along with the video of Lolot.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Tan did not deny the veracity of the recorded conversations but said the company had not engaged in bribery or tax evasion.

He said the company “provides essential services such as aid posts, schools, bridges, roads, basic life skills training to local communities, clean drinking water, [and] electricity supply to the least developed districts, villages and communities within East New Britain Province.”

“Any purported claims of discussions and or responses from our Mr. Lolot is all hearsay and not true,” Tan said of the bribery allegations, emphasizing that the company did not employ Lolot to apply for logging permits, meet the minister of forestry or “pay bribes” to government officials.

“The report from GW is misleading and misrepresents the Company’s actual work, value, investment, and contribution of poverty elevation in the project area,” he said. “The allegations are based on secret recordings and unreliable information.”

Global Witness says that Rimbunan Hijau, whose name means ‘forever green,’ cleared nearly 81 square miles of coastal rainforest in New Britain province.

The report also detailed a dozen work-related deaths on the company’s plantations between 2012 and 2020, some of which were not recorded in a government database that catalogues required incidents of workplace casualties that investigators examined..

Rimbunan Hijau did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post. But the Global Witness report includes a statement that the company sent to one of its customers about the allegations, which emphasised the work the company had done to develop the local economy.

In the statement, Rimbunan Hijau said the allegations in the report were out of context and “without any real basis.” It called Global Witness “a group of economic vandals who do not care about the lives they destroy.”

While the companies stress the economic benefit to communities, the report details the cost for local people living in the areas being developed as palm oil plantations.

The witness in Watwat, who recounted the raid by police in July 2019, was asked by Global Witness what good the development had done for the community.

“Only destruction,” she replied.


The struggle to retain a people’s democracy

 

Threats_to_democracy__reynold_philipCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Much of yesterday’s fine polemic by Bernard Corden and Keith Jackson, Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle, rang all too true for me, as did Barry Jones’ Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy.

Jones is right, only we as citizens can change anything.

Continue reading "The struggle to retain a people’s democracy" »


The what & how of drug repurposing

Barbara Angoro
Barbara Angoro is in the home run of a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand

BARBARA ANGORO
| Duressi’s Odyssey

AUCKLAND - In October last year the term ‘drug repurposing’ became known in Papua New Guinea after a company, Niugini Biomed Ltd, stated it was developing its own Covid-19 drug.

As a person with a keen and professional interest in drug development and clinical studies, I’m eager to find out what happened to this proposal by my fellow Papua New Guineans.

Continue reading "The what & how of drug repurposing" »


K92 & Femili PNG join against violence

K92NEWS DESK
| K92 Mining

KAINANTU - K92 Mining has donated K100,000 to Femili PNG to support its work in eradicating family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.

‘’We have been in operation for four years and, for us as a new company, we want to be able to support social issues and agendas,” said K92 vice-president Philip Samar.

Continue reading "K92 & Femili PNG join against violence" »


Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle

War-is-too-important-to-be-left-to-politicians
Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in 'Dr Strangelove', a black comedy directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick (1964)

BERNARD CORDEN & KEITH JACKSON

“It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil” - Anthony Burgess

“Your Commie has no regard for human life. Not even his own” – Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Dr Strangelove)

“Mr President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks” - General 'Buck' Turgidson (Dr Strangelove)

Continue reading "Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle" »


Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy

Jones - parliament-reps
Australia's House of Representatives. Barry Jones was science minister from 1983-90

BARRY JONES
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations
| Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - Only an active citizenry can prevent Australia sliding towards authoritarianism or populist democracy.

Democracy faces its greatest existential crisis since the 1930s. Hitler used democratic forms to come to power in Germany but rejected the democratic ethos.

Continue reading "Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy" »


‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom

Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet
Filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet - "Ophir is an evocative re-telling of the Bougainville conflict and its legacy over the past two decades"

CATHERINE WILSON
| Pacific Journalism Review

Ophir: Decolonize. Revolutionize, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Arsam International/Fourth World Films/Ulster University. 2020. 97 minutes. Link here to read and see more about 'Ophir'

CANBERRA - In Ophir, a feature length documentary film about the Bougainville civil war of 1989-1998, French filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet analyse the devastating conflict and under-reported repercussions which continue to reverberate in the region today.

Ophir in the Old Testament (Genesis 10; 1 Kings 10:22) is a land of great mineral wealth exploited by King Solomon.

In eastern Papua New Guinea, the people of Bougainville also claim Ophir to be the original name of their remote islands.

Continue reading "‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom" »


Judge, scout leader Sir Robert Woods dies

Sir Robert Woods
Sir Robert Woods served in the PNG judicial system for 30 years and held pivotal roles in PNG and regional scouting

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Sir Robert Kynnersley Woods CBE (1939-2021), a former national and supreme court judge in Papua New Guinea, died in Wellington, NSW, on 23 September aged 81 after a short illness.

Sir Robert had a distinguished career in the PNG judicial system for 30 years from 1970-2000, including as a judge from 1982-99, and in 2001 was appointed a judge of the district court of NSW.

Continue reading "Judge, scout leader Sir Robert Woods dies" »


Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG

Capture
The Manus detention centre in October 2017 ahead of its closure

STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| SBS News | Extract

BRISBANE - The end to eight years of Australia's detention of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea has raised concerns for the United Nations' refugee agency and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The AHRC has questioned whether the Australian government is able to relinquish full responsibility for more than 120 detainees who remain in PNG while still adhering to rights and refugee treaty obligations.

Continue reading "Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG" »


Marape's Papua 30 seconds. God knows the outcome

West-Papua-FlagYAMIN KOGOYA

CANBERRA – Two Melanesian leaders recently addressed the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York: Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape and Vanuatu's prime minister Bob Loughman.

Both expressed concern about human rights issues in West Papua. In Marape’s case this took only 30 seconds of a 42-minute address while Loughman spent several minutes taking a more assertive approach.

Continue reading "Marape's Papua 30 seconds. God knows the outcome" »


29 days: Nanjikana & Qoloni’s big drift

29 days adrift
Lost on their boat in the Solomon Sea for 29 days, Livae & Junior were rescued by a lone fisherman

JARED KOLI
| Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

HONIARA - Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni have beaten big odds in surviving 29 days lost at sea on a 400 km drift from Solomon Islands until their rescue off the coast of West New Britain last Saturday.

The intended trip already had its risks, a 200 km sea journey in a 24-foot open raebo (ray boat) driven  by a single 60 horsepower Yamaha outboard.

Continue reading "29 days: Nanjikana & Qoloni’s big drift" »


Journalism Review roars back to life

Bougainvillean woman in a still from Ophir
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir',  a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence

KEITH JACKSON

AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.

Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.

Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »


Covid’s silent dead: PNG’s unknown victims

Win-Nicholas
Win Nicholas - "The number of deaths is unprecedented. We haven’t seen deaths like this before"

WIN NICHOLAS
| DevPolicy Blog

“Unbelievably too many unprecedented deaths of the loved ones. My heartfelt condolences to the grieving family in this time of sorrow” - recent Facebook post by one of Win’s friends

“Prominent public servants that have spent countless years serving this beautiful province, Enga, are dying.… Over the last one week, we have lost six people that have dedicated their entire life, with kids growing up as Engans. God have mercy on us” - recent Facebook post by one of Win’s friends

PORT MORESBY – Many people aren’t tested, but I personally suspect we are seeing Covid-induced deaths.

Some we definitely know are Covid-19 – one of my colleagues was tested, had Covid and died.

Continue reading "Covid’s silent dead: PNG’s unknown victims" »


'Hot-cake' Maseratis now a bargain. Maybe

BBC - Maseratis
Some of the controversial and much unused Maseratis. It's said spare parts may be a problem in PNG but those street mechanics will turn their hands to that

ASIA NEWS DESK
| British Broadcasting Corporation

LONDON - Papua New Guinea has admitted making a ‘terrible mistake’ after struggling to sell a £4.2m (K20 million) fleet of luxury cars bought to impress politicians during a meeting of regional leaders.

The then-O’Neill government boasted the Maseratis would be snapped up after being used for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.

Continue reading "'Hot-cake' Maseratis now a bargain. Maybe" »


The wreckage they left behind

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia. Phil Fitzpatrick found this country more to his liking than a city teeming with consultants

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - After leaving Papua New Guinea I went to work for the South Australian Museum in a new unit responsible for Aboriginal heritage legislation.

There were less than a dozen of us and shortly after I arrived we were shifted from the museum to a warehouse with attached offices out in the suburbs.

It was a decidedly casual arrangement and on most days when I wasn’t doing fieldwork I turned up at the office in shorts and tee shirt.

Continue reading "The wreckage they left behind" »


Corporate vandalism need not be so

Panguna
Of the thousands of images of the Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville, this must be the most dramatic. An armed guerrilla fighter looks over the deserted mine during the 1988-1998 civil war

BERNARD CORDEN

‘If you want to change culture you will have to start by changing the organisation’ - Mary Douglas

BRISBANE – In addition to the corporate vandalism and carnage reprised in my Digging & Dumping piece the other day, several other contentious mining ventures await approval from the Papua New Guinea government.

I had included the Wafi-Golpu joint venture southwest of Lae on this list until it received approval a couple of days ago.

Continue reading "Corporate vandalism need not be so" »


The deliberate corrosion of public service

ProbityCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Over a 40 year career in public service I saw many attempts to reform the organisations that provide it.

All such efforts were aimed in increasing efficiency and productivity and usually required major reorganisations, with changes made according to the ideas or prejudices of the people driving the supposed reforms.

Continue reading "The deliberate corrosion of public service" »


The erosion of Australia’s political integrity

Pascoe
Michael Pascoe, Gladys Berejiklian and Darryl Maguire - "Political corruption has evolved to the extent of politicians claiming it doesn’t matter and voters expect it"

MICHAEL PASCOE
| The New Daily

SYDNEY - Evolution happens. Sometimes it’s fast, turbo-charged by an asteroid; sometimes it’s at the speed of dripping water wearing a channel through rock, but it happens.

Right now we are witnessing a high-speed evolution of political integrity in Australia.

In fairly short order, we’ve gone from a premier grabbing bags of cash and selling knighthoods, to a premier resigning over what might be a matter of diving into the pork barrel to do a mate a favour.

Continue reading "The erosion of Australia’s political integrity" »


What to do in case of irrelevant government

MoirPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - This is an interesting question when you consider that Australia will be going to an election fairly soon.

The current Morrison government is irrelevant when it comes to tackling climate change.

The world is moving forward, as are our state governments and corporations, but the federal government is still pathetically twiddling its thumbs.

Continue reading "What to do in case of irrelevant government" »


PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level

Png_societySTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS – In ‘Forty Years Lost’, Dr Joe Ketan has applied a pretty broad brush (a term I picked up from an organisation improvement text in an airport bookshop). However, I believe he quite correct.

I certainly don’t decry the notion that public sector reform is necessary.  A cursory look at Papua New Guinea’s development indicators tells you something is badly amiss.

Continue reading "PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level" »


40 years lost on useless reforms

Dr Joseph Ketan (DWU)
Dr Joe Ketan - "The failed government systems have set PNG back many years – this time back to the stone age" (DWU)

JOE KETAN
| My Land, My Country

KUK - Public sector reform is an alien concept to the people of Papua New Guinea.

The idea has been brought into countries like PNG by fly-by-night consultants, whose knowledge seems based almost exclusively on trendy paperbacks purchased at airport bookshops on their way to their new jobs in Third World capitals.

Continue reading "40 years lost on useless reforms" »


PNG’s Indigenous language crisis

Bel heviANDREW WARNER
| Language Magazine | via Ples Singsing

MALIBU, USA - Papua New Guinea, frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world, is in the middle of a language crisis.

According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the youngest generations in the nation are using Indigenous languages far less than ever before, instead opting for English and Tok Pisin, an English-based creole language.

Continue reading "PNG’s Indigenous language crisis" »


A corny novel with some real insights

Chet Nairene
Chet Nairene's - "“I was no longer really Western anymore, but not quite yet Eastern. Mid-Pacific, maybe?"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Pacific Dash: From Asia Vagabond to Casino King by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, June 2021. Independently published, paperback, 394 pages. ISBN-13 ‏979-8745977275. Available from Amazon Australia for $26.34 plus postage

TUMBY BAY - Although Chet Nairene cites novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux as his inspiration, Pacific Dash is more reminiscent of the pulp fiction that was popular in the 1960s in works like Harold Robbins' 1966 pot boiler, The Adventurers.

Continue reading "A corny novel with some real insights" »


Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86

Lus - Marape Lus
James Marape and Pita Lus at this year's Independence Day celebrations in Maprik,  just a few weeks before Sir Pita died

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Sir Pita Lus, one of the fathers of Papua New Guinea independence, has died in Maprik aged 86 only a few weeks after giving his last public speech.

Sir Pita was elected to seven PNG parliaments, including the first House of Assembly in 1964, his political career ending in 2002 after 38 years. He was knighted in 1979.

Continue reading "Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86" »


Tok Pisin first for Commonwealth story prize

StoryEMMA D'COSTA
| Commonwealth Foundation

LONDON, UK - Guyanese writer Fred D’Aguiar will chair an international panel of judges for the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, which is now open to 1 November 2021.

And for the first time the prize - offering a first prize of K24,000 - will accept stories in Creole languages like Tok Pisin.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin first for Commonwealth story prize" »


Dealing with GBV is good business sense

PNG workers (IFC)
A study of three PNG companies revealed that gender-based violence cost them about K7.3 million a year

EVONNE KENNEDY & SHABNAM HAMEED
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Evidence has emerged that the private sector in Papua New Guinea can play a key role in responding to gender-based violence, and that doing so makes good business sense.

Research by the International Finance Corporation, in partnership with the Business Coalition for Women, has found that a gender-balanced workforce, and appropriate workplace responses to family and sexual violence, can provide benefits to businesses and their employees.

Continue reading "Dealing with GBV is good business sense" »


Yama & wives nabbed over missing K6m

Peter Yama
Governor Peter Yama -  along with family members facing numerous charges in relation to missing millions

MADANG – The governor of Madang Province, Peter Yama, and two of his wives have been arrested in relation to K6 million missing from the Manam Resettlement Authority.

The fund was established to resettle displaced people evacuated from the volcanic Manam island and living in care centres.

The Yama family has experienced 18 arrests in relation to this matter and has had numerous charges laid against members including money laundering, conspiracy, false pretence and, in Yama’s case, abuse of office.

Continue reading "Yama & wives nabbed over missing K6m" »


Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle

Porgera
Porgera gold and copper mine in Enga Province

BERNARD CORDEN

'Every dogma has its day' - Anthony Burgess

BRISBANE - Over the past five decades many notorious corporate brigands in the mining and mineral resources sector have plundered vast quantities of ore and precious metals from the bountiful arc of the Pacific rim that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Buccaneering recidivists include Rio Tinto at Panguna, BHP at Ok Tedi, Placer Dome on Misima Island, Barrick Gold at Porgera, Newcrest at Lihir, Morobe Mining JV at Hidden Valley, St Barbara at Simberi and Gold Ridge and Ramu NiCo at Kurumbukari and Basamuk Bay near Madang.

Continue reading "Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle" »


The making of a great friend of PNG

Ron-May
Ron May - "Sir Norman Chester wrote back agreeing to write a reference but asked why I would give up a promising career in the Reserve Bank for a position in Papua New Guinea"

RONALD J MAY
| DevPolicy Blog

Ron May has spent more than 50 years working in and on Papua New Guinea, including 32 years at the Australian National University, where he was one of the forces behind the establishment of what is now the Department of Pacific Affairs. In this article, Ron discusses the origins of his long engagement with Papua New Guinea.

CANBERRA - In my last year at Sydney High School in 1956, I did quite well in the New South Wales Leaving Certificate exams, topping the state in economics.

Someone in the local Commonwealth Bank branch who saw my results asked what I intended to do.

Continue reading "The making of a great friend of PNG" »


Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks

Language - Children on the Takuu group of atolls also known as the Mortlock Islands (ABC)
Girls from Nukutoa village, Takuu, in the Mortlock Islands - one of four Polynesian outlier atolls off the east coast of the Bougainville

KUʻUWEHI HIRAISHI
| Hawaii Public Radio

HILO, HAWAI’I - New linguistics research by  suggests the original settlers of the Hawaiian Islands came from a small chain of low-lying atolls just east of Bougainville.

Language professor William ‘Pila’ Wilson of the University of Hawai’i has uncovered evidence that Hawai'i’s first inhabitants may have migrated from Papua New Guinea's Mortlock Islands .

Continue reading "Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks" »


Ian Dunlop, pioneering filmmaker, dies at 94

Ian Dunlop with Spencer (Nuni) Banaga  from ‘Desert People’  1965
Ian Dunlop in 1965 with Spencer (Nuni) Banaga from the film 'Desert People’ 

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Australian documentary filmmaker and author, Ian Dunlop OAM, has died in Canberra at the age of 94.

Dunlop began making films for the Commonwealth Film Unit in the late 1950s and is probably best known for his international award-winning series, People of the Western Desert.

Continue reading "Ian Dunlop, pioneering filmmaker, dies at 94" »


How Palnge & Simbil built a new community

Paul Minga
City dwellers take shots with skyscrapers in the background or holding a whisky or SP. Others stand in front of 5-door cruiser or in their office. As a bush writer and adventurer, this scene is appropriate for me and where l think l belong

PAUL MINGA
| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - My late mum, Agatha, would tell me stories of what transpired before her eyes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It was a time when pioneer Catholic missionaries established mission stations and schools in various parts of the Wahgi Valley and further into the Jimi and other places.

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'Post-colonial Literature' is a stupid title

Michael Dom 2
Michael Dom - "I completely reject 'Post-Colonial Literature' as a valid category for considering Papua Niuginian literary works"

MICHAEL DOM

Fragment I

LAE - Post-colonial literature is a stupid title. But I do understand the objective of those academics determined to force us writers to accept it.

They see it as a starting point which, while seemingly logical in an historical time frame, provides a false indication of where our personal creativity and the creativity of our people really began.

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China: White water rafting through history

China industrialCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Over recent times I have been writing, almost to the point of tendonitis, that China’s decades-long ‘economic miracle’ is a present day replay of how all advanced economies have developed.

First, there is a dramatic acceleration as resources are mobilised in a large scale modernisation and industrialisation phase.

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My cousin, bad luck he died a healthy man

Ok Tedi covid screening station
Ok Tedi Covid screening station - with no vaccination mandate, not enough to save AG Satori's cousin

AG SATORI

PORT MORESBY – I was sorry to hear of the death of Dr Naomi Pomat and my condolences go to the Pomat family.

When a professional person leaves the nation, it leaves a gap and it will take a while to replace her.

My cousin, a professional with the Ok Tedi mine, died three weeks back.

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Let's get serious, we belong to the land

Duncan Gabi
Duncan Gabi - "Perhaps we have forgotten that we do not own the land, but are put here to protect it and pass it on"

DUNCAN GABI
| Auna Melo

WEWAK - A man sat alone drenched deep in sadness.

And all the animals drew near him and said, “We do not like to see you so sad, ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it.”

The man said, “I want to have good sight.” The vulture replied, “You shall have mine.”

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This is a time for superb leadership

Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu (544-496 BC),  Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher 

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - While I agree with Phil Fitzpatrick's observation, in a comment to PNG Attitude, that the USA has involved both itself and Australia in a series of mostly disastrous wars, it does not necessarily follow that this is inevitable in the case of rising tensions with China.

I say this for several reasons but will mention only one, which is China's serious vulnerability to a trade embargo.

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We’re not all corrupt, says William Duma

William-Duma
William Duma

NEWS DESK
| PNG Bulletin Online

PORT MORESBY - Not all Papua New Guineans are corrupt and PNG is not a corruption riddled country as portrayed by the international media, says William Duma.

State Enterprises Minister Duma made the remarks after the Federal Court of Australia sitting in Sydney last week entered a defamation judgement in favour of him against the Australian Financial Review.

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Unvaccinated doctor dies of Covid

CovidLEANNE JORARI
| The Guardian

PORT MORESBY - Tributes have poured in for a doctor in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province who died last week, in the country’s first death of a healthcare worker from Covid-19 confirmed by the government.

Dr Naomi Kori Pomat, 60, the director for curative health services at the Western Provincial Health Authority, was medevaced to Port Moresby after contracting the virus and died on 19 September.

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AUKUS, PNG & the build-up against China

Aukus subsKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Australian mass media and opposition Labor Party have “missed the point” of the AUKUS pact which saw the Morrison government dump a huge submarine contract, says Mike Scrafton, former senior adviser to Australia’s defence minister.

Writing for Pearls and Irritations, Scrafton forecasts that, under Australia’s new strategic arrangements with the United States and the United Kingdom, there will be a major step-up in the US militarisation in Australia.

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News that might not otherwise make it - 1

News - Peter Tsiamalili Vice Minister for Bouganville Affairs - TOP
In the footsteps of his late father, Peter Tsiamalili, Vice Minister for Bougainville Affairs, at the United Nations

EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON

Bougainville at the heart of the United Nations

PETER TSIAMALILI MP
| Vice Minister for Bougainville Affairs

NEW YORK - What an honour and privilege it is to accompany our prime minister, James Marape, to New York to witness the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations.

I am overwhelmed knowing my Lord has led me this far for my people, past, present and future.

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