PORT MORESBY - Darn the wind!
As she stepped out of the PMV bus outside the Port Moresby town police station, Matalina immediately knew she would be in trouble.
The gale-force wind, blowing fast and furious from Ela Beach over the isthmus to Fairfax Harbour, was sweeping the debris away and replacing it with its own rubbish of torn bushes and plants.
Continue reading "When the rains fall red" »
Evelyn Ellerman - "I remember the very day in 1963 I was able to walk into a bookstore and actually buy something written by a Canadian author"
| Ples Singsing
ALBERTA, CANADA - It’s a funny thing about national literatures. It seems as though they find their own time to blossom.
Like Papua Niuguineans, I live in a former colony, Canada. Different circumstances, but many of the same challenges.
Continue reading "Literatures find a time to blossom" »
I am the Corona Virus or Covid-19
I seem to be making headlines this year
In your news, radios and papers
All that you ever see and hear
Continue reading "The Corona Virus" »
Joe Herman - "Is there anything left of those noble traditions that we can revisit as a source of strength as we recalibrate our journey?"
SEATTLE, USA - There are many similarities between the communities of Australia’s indigenous people and the people of Papua New Guinea in how we are dealing with the tension between the dreamtime and this modern era.
As you know, in PNG we have gullibly embraced almost all aspects of the western cultural values that landed on our shores.
Continue reading "Can we resurrect the house of wisdom" »
Author Daniel Kumbon and the subject of his latest book, Paul Kiap Kurai with the vista of Enga below them
This is the Introduction from a new book by Daniel Kumbon which will come off the presses in a few weeks’ time. It tells of three generations of a prominent Enga family over a period of 90 years, from first contact with waitman gold prospectors in 1930 to the present day. The book features the prominent Enga businessman Paul Kiap Kurai who carries with him the knowledge that tradition is not something of the past but part of the spirit that carries his people forward into the future - KJ
Continue reading "From tragic first contact to now" »
"For me, the pineapple marinade rump steak took the trophy. The pieces were tender and fit for a sandwich without any stringy beef texture"
| My Land, My Country
LAE - In July when I took leave, my partner in crime and I were standing at one corner of Brian Bell in Madang trying to decide if we should buy a gas barbeque.
Long story short, BBQ found its way home. (Yes, it just hopped on a Brian Bell delivery truck and followed us home).
Continue reading "Heavenly match: Ramu beef & Hagen pineapple" »
The PNGDF IT team poses for a group photo
| PNGDF Defence Media
PORT MORESBY - It was early one dark morning at PNGDF headquarters inside Murray Barracks, Port Moresby.
The kind of early morning that makes people say it is always darkest before dawn.
I was slouched in the manner of a drunken stupor over the keyboard, staring at the desktop screen.
Continue reading "Early morning, PNGDF, IT and me" »
| My Land, My Country
PORT MORESBY - A group of seven Port Moresby-based musicians have lost a combined income estimated at K232,000 over the six months since April, working out to K1,275 for each musician each week.
The musicians gathered last weekend at the National Museum & Art Gallery at Waigani to share personal stories of the effect of Covid-19 measures on their families.
Continue reading "Covid costs Port Moresby musos big time" »
| Ples Singsing Blog
LAE – In her review of my poem collection 26 Sonnets (available here for free on PNG Attitude), Professor Konai Helu Thaman of the University of Hawaii provided a task to Papua Niuginian writers which I believe is central to our current dual objectives.
These are to make our own contributions to national literature and establish and maintain a national literary society in some manner.
Continue reading "Re-thing & reclaim Niugini’s own story" »
TUMBY BAY - The world has always been in a state of perpetual crisis. We seem to seamlessly roll on from one crisis straight into another one.
We actually thrive on crises.
If there wasn’t a worldwide crisis at any given time, we would wonder what was happening. That we didn’t have a crisis would become a crisis in its own right.
Continue reading "A state of perpetual crisis" »
Daughter Nancy (PNG meri blouse & fedora) & Nepe with family members, 14 August 2015. Nepe is survived by 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 29 greatgrandchildren and 1 great-greatgrandchild (left of Nancy)
FIFE, SCOTLAND - The Oral History Project of Papua New Guinea’s National Museum & Art Gallery and the Military Heritage Project are essentially a national search for common identity and, dare I say, a national consciousness, in a country where divisive diversity is the norm.
The former participates in this search through a blending of different stories while the latter does so through the preservation of the materiality of World War II.
Continue reading "For God, country or what? Kumaniel’s war" »
One of the many search parties looking for Maclarence
MARY TERRIETTE ASEARI
| Academia Nomad
A student from the University of Papua New Guinea is reported missing. A week goes by and he is not found. Students conduct one of the biggest searches the city has seen. Mary Terriette Aseari is a third year student at the university.
PORT MORESBY - Maclarence Akua - a 22-year old third-year student, a good friend and a course mate of mine at the University of Papua New Guinea - had been missing for almost a week.
Mac is of mixed East Sepik and Bougainville parentage but grew up in Kimbe.
Continue reading "Finding Mac: Search brought us together" »
Theonila Roka Matbob looks down on Panguna mine (Human Rights Law Centre - Reuters)
LEANNE JORARI & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract
Link here to the complete story in The Guardian
PORT MORESBY - For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.
The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born - but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.
Continue reading "Girl from Bougainville versus Mining Giant" »
Author Leonard Roka is now a farmer and educational entrepreneur in Bougainville
LEONARD FONG ROKA
Award-winning author Leonard Roka is the brother of Theonila Roka Matbob. He was among the 15 losing candidates who stood in the seat Theonila won in the recent Bougainville election. This story was originally published in PNG Attitude on 29 November 2015
BUKA - At the peak of the Bougainville Crisis my father was gunned to death while my mother struggled to save his life as she confronted blood-hungry Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) men from our own Kieta society in Central Bougainville.
So it was that great inhumanity murdered my dad, John Roka, who so loved Bougainville and his Bougainvillean family. Inhumanity was perpetrated in the name of Bougainville freedom.
Continue reading "The heart can kill, or it can liberate" »
Kids on bikes in the park - echoes of the Lae of old
| My Land, My Country
LAE – On Friday night when Lae MP, John Rosso, talked about what the city was like in the past, there were quite a few people who nodded their heads in agreement.
They remembered a city with popcorn and cinemas in Eriku, Town, East Taraka and other suburbs. There was a botanical garden, unfenced, with aviaries, ponds with goldfish, BMX bike tracks and ice cream trucks.
Continue reading "Will the old Lae please stand up again?" »
Richard Brunton and his fiancée Catherine Styles
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guineans and Pacific Islanders are among many thousands of people stuck in limbo because of an Australian migration policy which appears to lack compassion.
Due to the pandemic, Australia closed its borders to almost everyone except Australian citizens, permanent residents, resident New Zealand citizens or immediate family members.
Continue reading "Unjust Oz policy leaves Pacific people in limbo" »
‘Caution! When in Turbulence do not Pick Nose: Ups and Downs of a Kiwi in Papua New Guinea’ by Colin Pain, Independently Published, 2019, 163 pages, ISBN: 9781071185414, AU$15.54 plus postage, from Amazon Australia
TUMBY BAY - This rather disjointed book has some curious spelling errors, inexplicable font changes and a cover that is difficult to immediately link to the content.
The overriding impression is that it was either put together in a hurry or with a fairly blasé attitude about the end result.
Continue reading "The longest title of a PNG memoir ever written" »
| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society | Edited extract
CANBERRA - Two-thirds of Papua New Guinea’s small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to close their doors as a result of Covid-19.
PNG has had a tapered increase in Covid-19 cases, with 578 cases and seven deaths now recorded amidst low testing numbers.
Continue reading "Virus’s huge impact on PNG small business" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - As a Singaporean company with Chinese interests works to get approval to mine sand along the north coast of Madang, many Papua New Guineans are unaware of the impacts of this multibillion dollar global industry.
Sand mining remains largely under the radar in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "50km of Madang beaches planned for sand mining" »
Aboriginal people providing drawings & audio recordings, May 1939 (South Australian Museum)
TUMBY BAY - When I left Papua New Guinea and returned to Australia in the 1970s I went to work recording sacred sites in what was then the North-West Aboriginal Reserve in South Australia.
The job was funded by the Commonwealth government through a grant program channelled through the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and administered by the South Australian Museum.
Continue reading "Bridging the chasms that blind cultural understanding" »
The Case of the Great Pumpkin Heist by Philip Fitzpatrick, Amazon Books 2020, 328 pages. Kindle edition US$1.00; paperback US$7.98. 328 pages. Free downloadable copy – go to the Free Inspector Hari Metau Books link in the bar on top of the PNG Attitude masthead above
NOOSA – We had to wait another year for it but Phil Fitzpatrick has produced the fifth novel in his Inspector Hari Meta series of detective stories set in Papua New Guinea.
And this one, no less than the others, offers a rattling good mystery suffused in the aura, chaos and comedy of modern day Papua New Guinea as well as exploring many of the challenging issues that face the country.
Continue reading "Inspector Metau is on the prowl again" »
Dr Kerryn Baker
| ANU College of Asia & the Pacific | Edited extracts
CANBERRA - The Pacific Islands region has the lowest level of women’s representation in politics in the world. Three countries - Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Micronesia - have no female politicians.
Dr Kerryn Baker has researched women’s political representation in the Pacific for nearly a decade. During this time, her work has highlighted the importance and value of having more women in Pacific parliaments.
Continue reading "Getting women into the Pacific’s parliaments" »
ADELAIDE - Unfortunately the tides of history do not always move in a linear or predictable fashion. Take the Russian Revolution for example.
The first major convulsion within Tsarist Russia occurred in 1905. A combination of suppression and political concessions enable the old regime to remain in place but it was an ominous warning for the Tsarists that the status quo would not and could not last much longer.
Continue reading "2020 signals major change for PNG & the world" »
Papua New Guinean author Baka Bina and publisher Jordan Dean
PORT MORESBY - I have written to the Commonwealth Foundation about its writing contest, which closes on Sunday 1 November (see details at the end of this article).
My letter was asking whether, in the interests of fairness, Pacific island competitors could be separated from Australia and New Zealand competitors in the contest.
The letter said:
Continue reading "Is the Commonwealth Writers contest fair?" »
NOOSA – As I’ve written before, ‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) edited by Phil Fitzpatrick and me is unfortunately not available in Papua New Guinea – which Amazon seems to have now taken off its distribution list.
With Amazon the printer and sole supplier, I’ve been working to establish an alternative distribution network for this wonderful 320 page illustrated book about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii.
Continue reading "Where we’re up to with the Francis Nii book" »
TUMBY BAY - One would not expect there to be any apparent upsides to a devastating global pandemic, but strangely enough Covid-19 has provided one.
This has been in the form of revealing many of the structural, social and ideological shortcomings of our current systems of governance.
Continue reading "When crisis is not enough to beget change" »
| Pacific Fellow | Young Australians in International Affairs | Edited
SYDNEY - After securing the confidence of parliament in May 2019, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape promptly announced a shift in the country’s foreign policy.
Marape declared that PNG would divert from its traditionally non-confrontational approach to international affairs and would assume a bold focus on forming new partnerships with regional neighbours and challenging historical dependencies.
Continue reading "How’s PNG’s new foreign policy going?" »
Andrew Moutu discusses tabu, a traditional Tolai currency
| Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct
PORT MORESBY - The role of tradition and heritage in contemporary Papua New Guinea is a complex topic, and one that is commonly debated in communities and households throughout the country.
About a year ago an expert panel was gathered, together with an engaged audience, to voice a variety of perspectives on this subject at a public event, ‘Cultural Heritage in Modern PNG: Protecting Our Values’, at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Cultural heritage in modern PNG" »
| Transparency International
BERLIN - We take forests for granted. We forget they’re the reason we breathe, until they burn. We don’t know of all the ways they keep us safe, until we’re sick. We ignore how our way of life threatens them, until they're gone.
Forests are not spared by corruption: illegal logging, illicit wildlife trade, land grabbing and drug trafficking are some of the plagues that lead to critical deforestation, hampering efforts against the climate crisis and making agreed-upon carbon neutrality goals moot.
Continue reading "The world’s forests under threat" »
NOOSA - The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded each year for the best piece of unpublished short fiction of 2,000–5,000 words.
The closing date is Sunday 1 November (see below for more information and entry form).
So it’s time to take one of your unpublished short stories out of the file or get the keyboard smoking with your entry in the prize.
Continue reading "Hariap! Short story prize closes in 3 weeks" »
James Marape in Bougainville last month (Post-Courier)
| ABC Pacific Beat | Edited extracts
MELBOURNE - The overwhelming vote for independence in Bougainville, and now the election of a new president for the autonomous region, appears to have spooked Papua New Guinea's prime minister, James Marape.
He has raised the possibility of a change to the constitution to prevent any other PNG province from promoting the subject of independence or autonomy.
Continue reading "Marape spooked by Bougainville ‘feelgood factor’" »
Perhaps beautiful as sunny rays,
Shining as a diamond glimmers,
But in reality merely flesh,
Garlanded to attract a man,
Dishonest beauty to deceive a gent,
Reckoning he may be quite handsome,
Feeling that he desires a lassie,
A bloke with a heart for love,
Continue reading "Deceitful beauty of a lassie" »
Ship waits to load logs at Turubu Bay, East Sepik (The Oakland Institute)
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea think tank and community advocacy group, Act Now!, has joined with Jubilee Australia and California’s Oakland Institute to publish a new report calling for an urgent change of course from PNG’s political leaders.
The report, From Extraction to Inclusion, analyses PNG’s economic and development performance since independence in 1975.
Continue reading "Dramatic development change needed for PNG" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - One of our biggest failures as a people is that we give our power to someone else and expect them to do use it for our good.
We vote in politicians and expect them to speak for us and solve every single problem when we have the solutions.
Continue reading "How we waste our power" »
LYANNE TOGIBA & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute
PORT MORESBY - The plan for the largest mine in Papua New Guinea’s history carries a risk of catastrophic loss of life and environmental destruction and “appears to disregard the human rights of those affected”, according to United Nations officials.
In an extraordinary intervention, 10 UN special rapporteurs have written with “serious concerns” to the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, China, and Canada, as well as the Chinese state-owned developers of the gold, copper and silver mine proposed for the remote Frieda river in the country’s north.
Continue reading "Frieda mine plan ‘disregards human rights'" »
‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) by Keith Jackson & Phil Fitzpatrick is about to come on sale in Australia. It’s a wonderful 320 page illustrated volume about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii. Unfortunately the book is not available in PNG.
But we have a plan.
If you buy a copy for yourself for just $60 (post & packing within Australia included), PNG Attitude will send one free to a Papua New Guinean wantok to read and share.
Step 1 – Transfer $60 to our bank account (Keith Jackson BSB 082-302 Account 50650-1355)
Step 2 – Send an email to Keith here letting him know your postal address
James Marape and his new deputy prime minister Sam Basil
PORT MORESBY – Davis Steven has been moved from his position as Papua New Guinea’s deputy prime minister to be replaced by Sam Basil, consolidating Basil's political career and retaining the national planning ministry.
In a document seen by PNG Attitude, no mention was made of Steven or why he has lost the country's second top job.
Continue reading "Marape, seeking 'stability', appoints Basil deputy" »
Sangoma - traditional healers of South Africa
TUMBY BAY - Tok Pisin is an evolving language of such dynamism that it sometimes appears to be in a constant state of flux.
While there is still a core of basic words that underpins the language many of them have undergone multiple modifications so that their original source has become obscured.
Continue reading "Sanguma, sangoma & the derivation of words" »
Business Coalition for Women Newsletter
PORT MORESBY - This year our organisation has focused on expanding the support we can provide to encourage women in leadership.
We have done this by increasing varied training opportunities for women, they include our Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, the Senior Executive Women Program and the PNG Directorship Course, which we’ve partnered with reputable companies to provide.
Continue reading "Women’s business coalition focuses on leadership" »
| Devex | Edited extracts
CANBERRA — The Australian federal budget was revealed last night - after a six-month delay due to Covid-19 - and aims to spend big in an effort to boost jobs and economic growth.
Australia’s aid program will be $4 billion for the 2020-21 financial year, a boost of $304.7 million.
Papua New Guinea’s funding drops slightly from K1.3 billion to K1.2 billion.
Continue reading "Australia's PNG hand-out drops slightly to K1.2b" »
SAMUEL LUCAS KAFUGILI
A web of human mind,
Showing deep mind boggling,
A thought like a wireless gadgets,
Impelling deeper work of a neuron.
A tangle mind fearful,
Human inflated badly,
The power of muddled mind,
Disappearing sagacity of permissive.
Continue reading "The Power of Muddle Mind" »
Elsie Albert only started playing rugby league two years ago (NRL Photos)
HILDA WAYNE & CATHERINE GRAUE
| ABC | Pacific Beat | Extract
MELBOURNE - St George Illawarra Dragons recruit Elsie Albert considers herself lucky to have not had rubbish thrown at her by fans while playing rugby in her home country of Papua New Guinea.
The 24-year-old is the rugby-mad nation's first homegrown player to be picked up by an NRLW team, and is part of the squad named for today's first match of the season against the Sydney Roosters.
Continue reading "Elsie didn’t always do it sweet in league" »
| World Socialist Website | Extract
SYDNEY - The Australian media is working hand-in-hand with the government to demonise China’s so-called “interference” in the country’s political, economic and educational affairs.
It is also focusing on China’s involvement in the Pacific region, recently stoking fears over Beijing’s presence in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s former colonial possession.
Continue reading "Oz media stokes fears over PNG & China" »
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - With the release of a new report today, Act Now!, Jubilee Australia, and the Oakland Institute, call for an urgent change of course from political leaders in Papua New Guinea.
The report, ‘From Extraction to Inclusion’, analyses the country’s economic and development performance since its independence in 1975.
Continue reading "We must change from extraction to inclusion" »
| Modern Diplomacy
ATHENS - Secessionist tendencies in Indonesia’s province of West Papua have recently been attracting a great deal of attention from experts and human rights activists.
The main reason for the international criticism of the Indonesian authorities is human rights violations and the suppression of the fundamental freedoms of the indigenous people of West Papua.
Continue reading "A rising tide of regional secessionism" »
| Guardian Australia | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s police force is the most corrupt public agency in the country, engaged in drug-smuggling, gun-running, and land theft, and beset by “a rampant culture of police ill-discipline and brutality”, its own police minister has said, in an extraordinary condemnation of his own force.
Police minister Bryan Kramer launched an attack on the police force, saying its endemic corruption would take years, even a generation, to eradicate. His statement follows a concession from the police commissioner, David Manning, that his force includes “criminals in uniform”.
Continue reading "Police 'riddled with corruption': Kramer" »
| World Economic Forum
COLOGNY, SWITZERLAND - Papua New Guinea is one of the most challenging parts of the world to run a digital business. But this is changing.
Prime Minister James Marape is leading a digital transformation agenda that aims to harness the potential of technology to spur development and trade.
Continue reading "Working towards a digital revolution" »
In the early 1880s, Sir Peter Scratchley was sent to Papua to manage the affairs of this latest addition to British imperial interests. And so began the important practice of compiling patrol reports
| National Archives of Australia
CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea's patrol reports had their beginnings in 1885 and are credited to Sir Peter Henry Scratchley who, as well as establishing Port Moresby as the seat of government and administration of British New Guinea, also developed a plan for administration and land policy.
The administration plan involved establishing government stations along the coast. These were staffed by a government officer, whose tasks included establishing contact and developing friendly relations with the inhabitants of the area.
Continue reading "Papua New Guinea patrol reports" »
"We live with the impacts of Panguna every day,” says Theonila Roka Matbob, local landowner and Bougainville education minister pictured at the closed Panguna mine pit last year (Human Rights Law Centre)
| New York Times
DARWIN, Australia — The mining giant Rio Tinto has been accused of environmental and human rights violations in a complaint that says an abandoned mine is leaking waste and poisoning rivers on the island of Bougainville.
The claim, signed by 156 residents of the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, is seeking an investigation by the Australian government into what it calls Rio Tinto’s failure to clean up millions of tons of waste at the former Panguna copper and gold mine.
Continue reading "Rio Tinto blamed for toxic Bougainville rivers" »
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama at Bougainville's presidential inauguration
NOOSA - In his inauguration address to the Bougainville House of Representatives, new president Ishmael Toroama revealed his leadership strategy, the first element of which is the autonomous province taking “political control of its own destiny”.
“We must be masters of our destiny, and we can only do this by putting our own ‘software’ into the structures and institutions we are going to build,” Toroama said, launching his five-year term as president of Bougainville’s 380,000 people.
Continue reading "First we control our destiny, says Toroama" »