Julius Chan brought in the mercenaries, devalued the kina and hated the Ombudsman Commission
| 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.
Continue reading "A record explained, or rationalised?" »
‘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.
Continue reading "After the gold rush, the funerals" »
The Jimi people gather for a road opening in 1970. There will be many speeches. They will be long (Tom Webster)
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.
Continue reading "The long tradition of orators & wordsmiths" »
KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY – At independence the constitution of Papua New Guinea did not separate church and state.
In fact, the constitution declared Christian values as a decent custom to be adopted, upheld and passed on to the next generation.
Continue reading "Christianity seems to have failed us badly" »
West Papua armed group -Indonesia now labelling freedom fighters as 'terrorists'
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.
Continue reading "Indonesia is turning Papuans into terrorists" »
She was quite a nerd while in her childhood
Celebrated party girl, a beauty, in her teens
Sometimes you can glimpse the image from those days
Sheltering sad thoughts that lie deep below
But you’ll never know the depths of that love
Or the invisible residue of pain now it’s lost
Continue reading "Life of a well-known Stranger" »
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"
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.
Continue reading "Let’s change our election culture" »
Bougainville traditional mona
SIMON PENTANU MP
KIETA - Canoes, not unlike boats, come in different sizes and varying shapes and different abilities to manoeuvre.
The ones most common in Bougainville today are outrigger canoes. Also still in use is the mona which has a colourful history and folklore but its use has been on the decline.
Continue reading "I have been this way before" »
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.
Continue reading "Reading eclectically is good for the mind" »
| The Guardian
CANBERRA - News broke last week about the horrific attack on two women in Port Moresby after they were accused of sorcery.
Senior leaders and police in Papua New Guinea expressed outrage that such violence was occurring in the nation’s capital.
Continue reading "Sorcery violence is profoundly modern" »
DIANE 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.
Continue reading "Sana: The making of a great man" »
FICTION – As soon as Delisa returned from the college with her belongings she went straight to Japheth’s new house to pack properly.
She decided to leave most of her possessions behind and pack just her clothes, a few personal items and educational certificates.
Continue reading "The Old Man begins a new life" »
The bulldozers move in on ATS. Marape says he wants them out - but is he being truthful?
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.
Continue reading "Can ATS repel the Chinese challenge?" »
FICTION - Delisa woke with a start. It was The Old Man calling. “Good morning, Delisa, how was last night?” he teased.
“It was really good until you spoilt it for me.”
“How?” The Old Man feigned surprise.
Continue reading "Interlude: ‘Kaime, embame kanda’" »
Tommy Baker has masterminded a reign of murder, robbery and intimidation in Alotau since 2013
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.
Continue reading "After 8 years of terror, Alotau says ‘enough’" »
| Duresi's Odyssey
AUCKLAND - As a Papua New Guinean woman, a pharmacist and a mum, I’m speaking up for the things that matter in my country?
It's been a few days since I read Scott Waide's article, ‘Speak Out! Silence is Killing Our Nation’, but I have not stopped thinking about it.
Continue reading "The things that matter" »
Covid information booth in Kundiawa
PHILIP KAI MORRE
KUNDIAWA – Covid-19 is giving us problems in Simbu and there are two conflicting stories concerning care and support at Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital.
For a while the hospital seemed to be doing well in admitting people to clinical treatment and isolation.
Continue reading "Covid in Simbu: Things are not OK" »
Ken Fairweather - a rollicking story from a man who learned to play the game
| 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.
Continue reading "Half colonial – the man who stayed behind" »
Michelle (far right) at the first graduation on 22 April
| 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.
Continue reading "We all have a part to play" »
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.
Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 30 - Tightening the screw" »
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”.
Continue reading "If we’re family, remember what we share" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - In 2020, we went to each of the 10 health centres in Lae City with forms on which the officers-in-charge stated what medicines were in short supply and for how long the problem had existed.
Each form was signed by the manager.
Continue reading "Speak out! Silence is killing our nation" »
Gerard Ivalaoa with his book ‘70 Reminders of Academic Excellence’ (Ples Singsing)
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.
Continue reading "He had a phone & he wrote a book" »
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.
Continue reading "The marriage proposal" »
The four objectives of the national strategy on gender-based violence
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.
Continue reading "Stop griping & get a grip on GBV" »
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.
Continue reading "Words that mean more than they say" »
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.
Continue reading "Bookshop" »
James Marape and justice minister Bryan Kramer. Marape has again demonstrated he is a political tactician of considerable acumen (Kalolaine Fainu The Guardian)
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.
Continue reading "Marape once again outwits opponents" »
Community feelings towards specific racial groups in Australia
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.
Continue reading "The persistent stigma of white racism" »
FICTION - Early on the morning of the graduation, The Old Man drove from Lae International Hotel to Bumbu village to finalise arrangements for the festivities.
He had asked Japheth to call Delisa to pass on the message that he and Japheth, together with her siblings, would come to the graduation.
Continue reading "The Old Man and the graduate" »
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.
Continue reading "Time to empathise with our Earth" »
FICTION – When Delisa read the text message from The Old Man, she was stunned.
‘I have to come to your graduation as this is the fruit of my efforts and your own commitment to your studies,’ the crucial line had said. The Old Man would be there. He would come to her graduation.
Continue reading "The meeting of the tribes" »
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.
Continue reading "Funding quirks make it hard to put smiles on faces" »
ADELAIDE - Dr De Maria has certainly unleashed some caustic criticism of the Anzac tradition, much of it well deserved.
I would argue, for example, that Paul Keating was right to say that the Kokoda campaign of 1942 was much more deserving of recognition as a seminal military event in our history.
Continue reading "A day to remember that 'war is hell'" »
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.
Continue reading "Anzac must honour values of peace, not war" »
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
| 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.
Continue reading "The Anzac myth & our ignored frontier wars" »
Paul Pavol warned his people of what would happen, but they did not listen
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.
Continue reading "Foreign land grab disaster in Pomio" »
The Morrison government’s approach to the Covid pandemic has too often opted for spin over substance and politics over science
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.
Continue reading "Leaders: what do they think their job is?" »
WILLIAM 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.
Continue reading "I’ve got the Anzac Day blues" »
Marina Amaral in her studio. An exceptional artist, 76,000 viewers can't be wrong
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.
Continue reading "The image that stunned our readers" »
MELBOURNE - There was a time when it seemed Papua New Guinea had managed to dodge a bullet.
Instances of coronavirus were minimal, along with its disease, Covid-19. Through 2020, the country of nine million people recorded a mere 900 cases.
Continue reading "Covid road for PNG bumpy & vicious" »
NORTHUMBRIA - Here in the United Kingdom, one the world’s top ten economic powers, our government was wickedly slow to close our borders against incoming infection.
It then imposed public movement lockdowns after the virus was imported.
Continue reading "PNG not alone in struggling with Covid" »
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
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.
Continue reading "Now listen up, you bullies & misogynists" »
BRENDAN 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.
Continue reading "Covid: urgent business for Australia - & China" »
FICTION - The Old Man was glad, the nursing college graduation was only two weeks away and the three new houses had been completed in record time.
The house built for Japheth had three bedrooms, and was fully furnished. It had power and water connected complete with Tuffa storage tanks.
Continue reading "The Old Man readies for the next chapter" »
MV Aveta ready for patrol, c 1970
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.
Continue reading "Patrolling not all mountains: Messing about in boats" »
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.
Continue reading "The unfortunate Lucy Maino controversy" »
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.
Continue reading "Yama’s vaccine case is ‘idiotic, laughable’" »
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)
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.
Continue reading "Land Rover, the prince of vehicles" »
Boigu Anglican minister Rev Stanley Marama gets his vaccine last month (Brook Mitchell)
| 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.
Continue reading "Torres Strait nervous as vaccine is paused" »