PORT MORESBY - In his judgement on Monday, Justice Nicholas Miviri of the national court held that my termination as chief secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) failed to adhere to the process prescribed in the Bougainville Constitution.
In doing so, His Honour provided a damning assessment of the actions of the defendant, in this case the Bougainville Executive Council, in failing to abide by the very laws they were elected to uphold.
Continue reading "Why I took the ABG to court" »
Mungo MacCallum, 1979 (Sydney Morning Herald)
NOOSA - Under the headline ‘That’s all she wrote’, one of my favourite journalists, Mungo MacCallum, announced today his inability to keep writing for the press. Very sad news.
“I never thought I’d say it,” Mungo wrote, “but I can no longer go on working. It takes all my effort to breathe and I’m not managing that too well. And now my mind is getting wobbly – hard to think, let alone concentrate.
Continue reading "A remarkable journo calls it a day" »
FICTION -The man has a battered metal bowl in his hands. His left eye is opaque but he stares at me with his right eye.
I look down at him and he extends the bowl towards me with both of his hands and holds it there smiling hopefully.
Continue reading "The battered metal bowl" »
Rumginae's twin arrival
RUGHAZ, WESTERN PROVINCE – Yesterday was my day off from Rumginae rural hospital but I had determined not to sleep in, which is my norm.
I had administrative issues to attend to with my resident Dr Polycarp. That being the case we planned to get the ward work done early and then travel to Kiunga to attend to these.
Continue reading "In the warriors’ code, there is no surrender" »
CANBERRA – Yesterday, 1 December, was the day of West Papuan statehood, remembrance, and mourning
Each year on this day, Papuans commemorate the conception of a new Papuan state. This was West Papua’s original Independence Day.
Continue reading "The colonial mythology behind West Papua" »
Anthony Uechtritz and Augustine Mano, managing director of the Mineral Resources Development Corporation
PETER KARL UECHTRITZ
CAIRNS - I've read the book, ‘Too Close to Ignore: Australia’s Borderland with PNG and Indonesia’, by Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb, and while I agree with its general drift I can't help thinking that the authors are being a little optimistic with their possible solutions.
I worked in the neighbouring Gulf Province in 2015-16. My younger brother Anthony has worked in Gulf (upper Purari) for nine years.
Continue reading "Realising the promise of the swamps" »
Exploring the high hills in the early 1950s. The late Harry West OAM, war veteran and kiap
They're all old now, their hair turned white as the years went rolling by,
And with every year that passes now, we see more kiaps die.
Their children scattered far and wide, grand-children further still,
And who will care when the last kiap dies, whose memory will he fill?
Continue reading "When the last old kiap dies…." »
Opposition leader Belden Namah - lost a bid to overturn James Marape's prime ministership
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| The Kramer Report
PORT MORESBY – Last Friday, a bench of five judges of Papua New Guinea’s supreme court handed down a unanimous decision dismissing opposition leader Belden Namah’s challenge to the election of James Marape as prime minister on 30 May 2019.
Namah claimed Marape’s election was unconstitutional because the speaker failed to comply with section 114 of the constitution and section 7A of the parliamentary standing orders.
Continue reading "Namah case a 'waste of money & court time'" »
Hon Simon Pentanu is speaker of the Bougainville parliament and a former chief ombudsman of PNG
| Bougainville News
BUKA - Panguna and its landowners had a mix of these feelings during the time of mining but have not felt this way since the mine was forcibly shut at the end of 1989. That is 31 years ago now.
The ordinary folk up there still wake up to an altered landscape with their women – mothers of the land –still asking what they did to deserve this as they eke out their livelihood from their usable plots of land, mostly on hillsides.
Continue reading "Panguna - we have not learnt enough" »
Joseph Nobetau - "The case always meant more than a job to me"
BUKA - Today in the Papua New Guinea national court, Justice Nicholas Miviri ruled that my termination as chief secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government was unconstitutional
I stand vindicated.
It has taken a long time to reach this point: more than 12 months since initiating legal proceedings against the Bougainville executive council and government, who dragged the matter out and delayed proceedings at every opportunity.
Continue reading "Nobetau termination unlawful: National Court" »
Many ex-kiaps maintain a close relationship with PNG. Here Bob Cleland looks out over the Asaro Valley from the Daulo Pass. Bob was instrumental in building this challenging stretch of the Highlands Highway in the early 1950s
TUMBY BAY - It began about 10 years ago when a group of ex-kiaps sought to have their services in pre-independent Papua New Guinea formally recognised.
The end result was a reluctant awarding of a Police Overseas Service Medal by the Australian government for those interested in applying for it. It was a fancy piece of tin to keep the old chaps quiet.
The award failed to recognise the kiaps’ primary function as change and development agents and concentrated solely on their police role, which in many cases was minimal.
Continue reading "Ageing kiaps worry about their legacy" »
Boat harbour, Daru (The Guardian)
ADELAIDE – I’m reading the fascinating, ‘Too Close to Ignore: Australia’s Borderland with PNG and Indonesia’, by Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb, recently reviewed by Stephen Howes for DevPolicy Blog.
This whole subject of borderland relations is of increasing importance to both Papua New Guinea and Australia and Howes’ review was republished in PNG Attitude.
Continue reading "Reflections on the borderland dilemma" »
NOOSA – The local newspaper where we're staying, Noosa Today, last week ran a piece from someone pushing anachronistic, sexist, mansplaining propaganda which I could not let pass.
In a published response in the same newspaper, I pointed out that we can all agree that no one – man, woman or other – should face discrimination, emotional abuse or physical violence.
Continue reading "Bumps on the road in the push for equality" »
| My Amazing Paradise | Edited extract
ON THE ROAD - Balimo is beautiful. The sun rises and sets on the most beautiful lagoon in Papua New Guinea.
It’s created by the floodwaters of the dark, freshwater Aramia River that winds its way down from the highlands of Western Province.
Continue reading "Sojourn in Balimo: beautiful people, culture & nature" »
Chinese-flagged fishing boat ( Artyom Ivanov, Tass)
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute
Link to the full story here
SYDNEY - A $204 million (K527 million) Chinese-built fishery plant planned for a Papua New Guinean island could allow Chinese-backed commercial vessels to fish legally in the Torres Strait.
The plan has raised concerns about unregulated fishing in the same waters, potentially threatening the Australian industry and local PNG fishers.
Continue reading "Chinese fisheries project in Daru raises alarm" »
Exotic red bananas found only in PNG (Sebastien Carpentier)
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DARWIN - Scientists are racing to find and save the living ancestors of modern-day, cultivated bananas that grow in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea.
These wild bananas have genes capable of protecting one of the world's most popular fruits from climate change, pests and diseases.
Continue reading "Scientists try to save bananas from climate change" »
A new book arrives. Man Bilong Buk unravelled the life and work of author Francis Nii (Michael Dom)
TUMBY BAY - The Man Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world and is conferred annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
Speaking at the 2020 Man Booker Prize ceremony in England, former USA president Barack Obama related how he had “always turned to writing to try and make sense of our world, both as a young man trying to navigate the different parts of my life, and as an elected official trying to bridge our divides and find a way for all of us to move forward.”
Continue reading "The power of writing" »
BRISBANE - No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it and the sinister objective of every tyrant is to curtail free speech, crush rebellion and disenfranchise dissidents.
The vision or mission statement of most corporations, which even includes some not for profit organisations, mirrors shareholder theory and it is incongruous with the primary object of preventive occupational health and safety legislation.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 5" »
Are we about to see a second face-off between James Marape and Peter O'Neill?
TONY CHARLES WATTZ KEROWA
| PNG News | Edited
PORT MORESBY – Why are so many people supporting prime minister James Marape?
It’s because he has revolutionary ideas that will propel this country into economic independence in years to come.
Let me highlight some achievements so far.
Continue reading "The 12 reasons I prefer Marape to O’Neill" »
Freshwater lagoon of the Aramia River at Balimo
Brown Girl by the Shore
Dirty old hulk caught in the tide
Sun beating down on her battered side
Remember the days when she ran free
Out through the reef and into the sea
I’ve been up and I’ve been down
Round and round the village and town
Rum in my coffee and sugar in my tea
Or cool, cool water from the coconut tree
Under a wide and green clad bough
Soft deep shade for then and now
Whispering waves lapping the sand
And sleek red fish so easy to hand
Brown girl lazing by the shore
Go to the reef and catch me a fish
A dollar or two, whatever you wish
And we’ll be one for ever more.
Continue reading "Drifters, dreamers and beachcombers" »
BRISBANE - Australia’s track record covering human rights is rather abysmal and several notable and controversial struggles include the Home Children child migration scheme, Stolen Generations and Wave Hill pastoral workers.
More recently Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Pacific Solution involving the Manus Island and Nauru Island regional processing centres have attracted significant worldwide media attention.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 4" »
James Marape - "Every MP is entitled to his freedom of opinion and choices"
JAMES MARAPE MP
PORT MORESBY - From the press I receive news of Hon Patrick Pruiatch’s resignation from my cabinet.
May I acknowledge the strong leadership he offered over the time he served with me in the 18 months we were together.
I thank him, his family and his people of Aitape Lumi for his support of me.
Continue reading "Marape responds to Pruaitch’s departure" »
PNGRI deputy research director associate professor Eugene Ezebilo
| PNG National Research Institute | Edited extracts
Link here to read the complete research paper
BOROKO – The paper, ‘Covid-19 pandemic as perceived by residents of informal-built areas segment of Port Moresby’, looks at the Covid-19 pandemic and the response by the Papua New Guinea government as perceived by settlement residents in the national capital.
The research covered settlements at Bush Wara, 8-Mile, Joyce Bay, Kipo, Mautana, Ogoniva, Ranuguri, Talai, Taurama and Vanagi.
Continue reading "80% of settlement dwellers say Covid ‘a hoax’" »
Cartoon - polyp.org.uk
ADELAIDE - While I have a lot of sympathy with Bernard Corden’s characterisation of neo-liberal capitalism in his Through Immigrant Eyes series, it is wrong to conceive of this philosophy as some sort of malevolent conspiracy.
Neo-liberalism is, as the name suggests, simply a reconceptualisation of the classic liberalism that prevailed during most of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.
Continue reading "Through Immigrant Eyes – Some historic context" »
Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels (Painting by Tom McAulay)
BRISBANE - Papua New Guinea is Australia’s closest neighbour and during the World War II many of its humble natives were engaged under a military directive to provide assistance for embattled Australian troops along the infamous Kokoda Trail.
This involved supply of ancillary equipment to the frontline offensive and first aid treatment and pastoral care for many sick and wounded Australian soldiers.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 3" »
PNG's parliament. "Elections are not simply about voting people to parliament to deliver goods and services," writes Patrick Kaiku. "Elected representatives are law-makers"
WAIGANI - The events that transpired on the floor of Papua New Guinea’s parliament on Friday 13 November again exposed the deep-seated defects in our politics.
These defects have little to do with the constitution and the system of government.
The instability in PNG’s parliament is behavioural, not institutional.
Continue reading "Law-makers need to understand their role" »
James Marape. The global coronavirus pandemic has deepened PNG's economic woes (Ekarvilla Keapu)
NATALIE WHITING & MICHAEL WALSH
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation
| PNG Correspondents
PORT MORESBY - A week ago, it looked like Papua New Guinea's prime minister was about to lose his job after a mass revolt — but in a surprise twist, he managed to take control of parliament and suspend it for five months.
A week is a long time in politics, especially in Papua New Guinea. But things are not over yet.
Continue reading "Explainer: Political crisis heads to the courts" »
BRISBANE - During the first quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic reached Australian shores and its devastating consequences spread across the continent like a catastrophic bushfire.
After many decades of rampant unfettered free market fundamentalism, it soon became evident that preventive legislation, superficial social protection mechanisms and deteriorating public health and privatised aged care facilities were disproportionately inadequate and often ineffective.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 2" »
James Marape - "I am doing my best in one of the toughest times of our nation’s history"
JAMES MARAPE MP
| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Our country is built on democratic foundations that no politician must break. Our parliament, our executive and our judiciary are three separate arms of governance that operate within its legal mandate, processes and procedures.
What happened on Friday 13 November 2020, in haste and lust for power, broke section 2(1)(a) of the organic law on calling of meetings of parliament.
Continue reading "My work goes on; the judiciary will decide" »
Gary Juffa - "I am seeing a more intelligent and brilliant young generation rising up"
| Governor of Oro Province
PORT MORESBY - I have to marvel at what seems to be an amazing phenomenon taking shape largely due to the internet and the rapidly evolving technology that makes global education possible almost instantaneously.
People are learning, becoming wiser and more careful about their choices.
Not fast enough, but for sure. It gives me much hope for our country.
Continue reading "We are marching to a better future" »
‘In recognising the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute’ - Thurgood Marshall
BRISBANE - Much like most superficial western democracies, the Australian economy is underpinned by a ruthless feudal system of indentured servitude, peonage or serfdom.
More recently, it is fashionably and somewhat deviously referred to as a gig economy, which disguises many sinister neoliberal features that secure and protect the interests of the powerful over the powerless.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 1" »
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| The Kramer Report | Edited
PORT MORESBY - During the sitting of parliament on Tuesday 17 November, the Marape government tabled and passed the K19.6 billion 2021 budget.
Unlike the usual convention where the treasurer presents the budget and parliament is adjourned for a week to allow the opposition to reply, the 2021 budget was tabled and passed on the same day.
Continue reading "Is the 2021 budget legal?" »
Gary Juffa - "I remained with Marape. There were not enough compelling reasons to change the government"
| Governor of Oro Province
PORT MORESBY - We the elected officials of Papua New Guinea owe it to our people to explain our decisions in parliament where we are mandated to speak for the people and on behalf of their interests.
This is our fundamental responsibility, along with making laws.
Continue reading "I was there in parliament, let me explain" »
Sam Basil - the deputy prime minister, known for setting loyalty aside to seize the main chance, flipped once too often last Friday, and flopped (Photo - Johnny Blades)
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's prime minister has urged the public to not get caught up in the country's political crisis which has ended up in the courts.
Marape's government appears to have staved off a vote of no confidence by quickly passing the budget on Tuesday and adjourning parliament to April.
Continue reading "Marape stands firm amid political crisis" »
Bassim Blazey - "Quite a bit going on in Australia -Papua New Guinea relations"
TUMBY BAY - Towards the end of October I sent an email to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) asking whether it was possible to get some background on its Papua New Guinea Branch.
The request was mere curiosity on my part but I thought it might be a useful topic for a PNG Attitude article and in particularly its PNG readers.
Continue reading "Dear citizen, there’s a bit going on…." »
Eddie Tanago - "ICAC should be set up as a truly independent constitutional body but we are concerned about the loopholes"
| Campaign Manager | Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - The passage of the law allowing for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption is an important step forward for Papua New Guinea, but it is too early for any celebrations.
An independent commission is urgently needed to tackle the rampant corruption that is holding back our economy and stopping the delivery of vital health and other services to the people.
Continue reading "ICAC is important but too many loopholes" »
ADELAIDE - I think that most of you will agree that 2020 has been the most strange, disruptive and, in many respects, disturbing year of our lives.
This has certainly been the case for me, where two major medical events have occurred leaving me seriously frightened and, for some time, in considerable pain.
Of course, in the wider world, what has happened in my life is of no consequence.
Continue reading "The Covid reality versus death & denial" »
SAMUEL LUCAS KAFUGILI
A puppet is no more than,
human hand in lifeless glove,
A finger cluster in one round hole,
Following one man’s orders.
The canon is filled with puppets,
Mindless but yet power-hungry,
Trapped in a snare of enticement,
Just a limp cloth around someone’s hand.
Continue reading "Moving glove puppets" »
Empty opposition benches tell the story of a terrible political miscalculation
NOOSA - Contrary to what Belden Namah’s opposition planned when it rushed to remote Vanimo to plot the downfall of prime minister Marape last Friday, its failure to grasp the nuances of parliamentary procedure were disastrous.
The opposition and defectors sat stranded in Vanimo unaware that Papua New Guinea’s parliament had not been effectively adjourned.
So when parliament resumed yesterday under Marape's control, it passed the budget and adjourned to 20 April next year - five months away - with the opposition benches largely vacant.
Continue reading "Clever footwork saves the day for Marape" »
Ishmael Toroama and United States ambassador to PNG, Erin Elizabeth McKee
| Office of the Bougainville President
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government says it is making headway part way in its first 100 days in office with progress in the economic and development sectors as well as in its relations with the Marape government.
President Ishmael Toroama’s overarching theme over this period has been ‘Innovation and Change’ with a strong focus on raising revenue and steadying the government’s course ready for post-referendum consultations with the national government.
Continue reading "Midway report on Toroama’s first 100 days" »
James Marape - "I’m surrounded by a group of leaders who want to do the right thing for the country"
PACIFIC MEDIA CENTRE NEWSDESK
| FM100 | PNG Post-Courier | Edited
AUCKLAND - Prime Minister James Marape says his executive is still in control for the next three weeks for doing state business, passing the budget and to serve the people of Papua New Guinea.
In spite of the defection by rebel members of his majority last Friday and a vote to suspend parliament until next month, Speaker Job Pomat says the motion by opposition leader Belden Namah is “not right”, reports FM100 News.
Continue reading "Marape: 'I'm in control & won't bow to greed’" »
Shipments of many books to PNG, including some of great importance, are being delayed because of thefts from the postal service
TUMBY BAY - Amazon in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom and Amazon’s other international outlets say they won't ship to Papua New Guinea because too many orders go missing.
PNG is among a number of countries that Amazon won't ship to because of this problem.
Publicly Amazon says this is related to Covid-19, but when you question the company about individual shipments it admits the real problem is the loss or theft of shipments.
Continue reading "Amazon’s PNG book ban – too many ‘go missing’" »
| Ples Singsing Masterminds
“The Ples Singsing blog is created to encourage and facilitate this process to “re-thing and reclaim” our own stories, poetry and drama. Here we may interact with each other through our writing, in literature which expresses what it means to us to be Papua Niuginian” – Michael Dom in 'Re-thing and reclaim our own approaches to express our story'
LAE - As part of our aim for Ples Singsing to be a place for Papua Niuginian creativity we want to welcome all writers to participate in presenting their thoughts and opinions about aspects of our society, economy, politics and culture.
We encourage open expression provided that this is done in a constructive spirit and displays respect and due consideration.
Continue reading "Ples Singsing welcomes PNG writers & poets" »
James Marape - "A Huli doesn’t surrender in a fight, you have to kill me on the battlefield and I will die with dignity"
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has arisen with fire in his belly this Monday morning.
A short time ago he issued a short and pugnacious Facebook message to members of parliament who are plotting to overthrow his government.
The plotters are reportedly led by former prime minister Peter O’Neill and his former deputy Belden Namah.
Continue reading "Fierce words from Marape to ‘political scumbag’" »
TUMBY BAY - Silence has always been recognised as complicity. Failing to speak out when something bad is happening is often interpreted as endorsement, especially by the people perpetuating the badness.
A cowed and silent population is the ultimate aim of despots who use the repression of its citizens’ right to a free voice as a political weapon.
Continue reading "The dangers of complicity" »
Liam Fox meets Noah Musingku in 2010 (ABC News)
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation
SYDNEY - Noah Musingku turns to an ancient PC that looks like it stopped working years ago, taps away on the keyboard seriously for a few seconds, then looks up and says: "You're a millionaire, Gorethy!"
"Your account has $2 million in it. Just send me your bank account details and we'll send the money to you," Musingku says.
Continue reading "Bougainville's conman 'king' still on the run" »
PORT MORESBY - As Sabbath descends, I am at peace.
All things happen for a reason in its season. To all the people of Papua New Guinea, don’t be uptight of what happened today when some of my colleagues decided to leave my government.
They are elected leaders, what they did today is within their rights so I ask our people to respect the work of our parliamentary democracy.
Continue reading "What James Marape wrote to the people…." »
NOOSA – It became clear yesterday that prime minister James Marape was not going to easily relinquish his office, nor Papua New Guinea’s government, to the Belden-O’Neill syndicate which had been conspiring for some months to seize the reins and the treasury.
In a telling revelation on his Kramer Report blog, police minister Bryan Kramer stated:
“Behind the scenes, I have been tracking the likes of Sam Basil, William Duma, Charles Abel, Sir Puka Temu, Sir Julius Chan, Paias Wingti and Chris Haiveta, expecting them to make a play for a change of prime minister.
“I was very much aware that Basil was in secret talks with O’Neill and Namah, who were so desperate to change government they would mislead Basil into crossing the floor. Basil believes he will be the next prime minister, so does Sir Julius Chan and O’Neill.”
Continue reading "Marape intends to clean out the house" »
CORNEY KOROKAN ALONE
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, James Marape, consolidated his political capital with 52 MPs and urged calm to Papua New Guineans, the business community, international friends, supporters and political observers in a press conference on Friday.
He warned against corporate lobbyism by mineral resource developers peddling money bags as part of their questionable pursuits. You can link here to his full press conference.
I want to tell you what we, most Papua New Guineans, know and feel.
Continue reading "Marape’s resolute & patriotic stand" »
Kramer says James Marape has great public support that will only build over time because the people of Papua New Guinea are sick of corruption, self-interest and greed (Kramer Report)
| Kramer Report
PORT MORESBY – On Friday, deputy prime minister Sam Basil and 12 other ministers in Papua New Guinea’s government crossed the floor to support former prime minister Peter O’Neill and opposition leader Belden Namah’s bid to move a vote of no confidence against prime minister James Marape.
A total of 41 members from the government side crossed to join Namah and O’Neill and provide them the 57 votes required (majority is 56) to take control of parliamentary business and change the Permanent Parliament Committee members to ensure their planned notice of a no confidence vote makes its way to the floor of parliament.
Continue reading "Kramer says Marape can fend off Namah/O’Neill play" »