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.

Continue reading "My cousin, bad luck he died a healthy man" »


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.”

Continue reading "Let's get serious, we belong to the land" »


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.

Continue reading "This is a time for superb leadership" »


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.

Continue reading "Unvaccinated doctor dies of Covid" »


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.

Continue reading "AUKUS, PNG & the build-up against China" »


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.

Continue reading "News that might not otherwise make it - 1" »


News that might not otherwise make it - 2

News - taxi
It's unfair to stereotype taxi drivers as villains, Dominic says

EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON

No stereotyping, most taxi drivers are OK

DOMINIC CHRISTANIEL MIKMIK
| Modern Papua New Guinean
 
PORT MORESBY -There has been much negativity towards taxi drivers and their treatment of womenfolk, including some men claiming women's safety is not guaranteed in taxis.
 
I don't condone those few rough taxi drivers but I'd like to make it clear that not all taxi drivers atere that bad... it's just a few.

Continue reading "News that might not otherwise make it - 2" »


PNG literature – the olden days

Albert-maori-kiki-dealing-with-rioting-women port moresby 19741
Albert Maori Kiki's '10,000 Years in  a Lifetime' (1968) was a  pathfinder in PNG literature. He became a prominent politician. Here, in Port Moresby in 1974, he tries to calm a group of angry women

KESIA ERICK
| Ples Singsing

GOROKA - Writers have always played an important role in societies, both traditional and modern. Every society, every country has its own literary tradition and its own literature.

Whether, American, English, Australian or Papua New Guinean literature, the significance of literature in a society can be grasped from the fact that there has never been a society without a literary tradition, whether oral or written.

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Australian & NZ are ‘stingy’ aid donors

Australian-Aid (Anne-Orquiza-DFAT)STEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog | Extracts

CANBERRA - Last week the Centre for Global Development (CGD) released its 2021 Commitment to Development Index.

The CDI has, for the last 20 years, compared rich countries in terms of their “policies that affect the development prospects of countries beyond one’s own borders”.

Continue reading "Australian & NZ are ‘stingy’ aid donors" »


UN boss says Pacific voices must be heard

António Guterres
António Guterres - "You have been raising the alarm, and your voice must be heard loud and clear"

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
| United Nations Secretary‑General

NEW YORK - Your [Pacific Islands Forum] nations are confronting a dual crisis of climate change and the Covid‑19 pandemic.  Both threaten Pacific lives and livelihoods.

If we follow the current path, the consequences of climate disruption for the prosperity, well‑being and the very survival of Pacific communities will be severe.

Continue reading "UN boss says Pacific voices must be heard" »


Buruka Tau – keyboard maestro & PNG patriot

Buruka Tau - ambassador
Buruka Tau - PNG's ambassador of culture and the arts

STEVEN TAU
| My Land, My Country

PORT MORESBY - My dad, Buruka Tau, who died in early September, was a larger than life character and as spontaneous in nature as jazz.

As a kid, I just saw him as dad, a musician. One day, he would be with us doing everyday things and the next he was somewhere in the world being a rock star.

Continue reading "Buruka Tau – keyboard maestro & PNG patriot" »


Nose bleeding & cane swallowing rituals

Cane Swallowing (NFI-GKA)
Cane swallowing, also known as 'drin kol wara'

SHIRLEY KOMOGI
| PNG Insight

PORT MORESBY - ‘Last Real Man’ is a documentary film that captures the sacred cane swallowing ritual of Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands Province and took six years to produce.

After extensive consultation, negotiation and research, Ruth Ketau convinced the elders from Sakanuga village in the Bena area that she should become the first filmmaker to record the Neheya initiation, a cane swallowing ritual.

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Transparency signs anti-corruption agreement

TIPNGMEDIA ROOM
| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY – Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) and the Interim Independent Commission Against Corruption (IICAC) have signed a memorandum of understanding formalising a partnership to develop an anti-corruption strategy for IICAC.

The initiative is part of a TIPNG project to promote anti-corruption and integrity strategies, which is funded by the European Union to restore and reinforce public trust in national integrity institutions.

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Perspectives on building a successful society

Bougainville
Bougainville seascape (Simon Pentanu)

SIMON PENTANU MP

KIETA – It is said that some of the best personal and political successes in life have followed great adversity and disappointment.

How many of us have come to the best of times when the worst of times has taken us to the brink?

I have some personal perspectives on this from the Bougainville contest, where we have individuals, businessmen, political leaders, church leaders and women and youth leaders who have the opportunity to change things for the better.

Continue reading "Perspectives on building a successful society" »


In praise of a wide brown land

The Outback Pub  by Margie Langtip
The Outback Pub, by Margie Langtip

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - While I think Phil Fitzpatrick is over-egging the pudding in Australia – Not that Great a Country, I believe it is true to say that Australia is not a 'great' country.

Phil referred to many of its faults, which is fair comment I suppose, but there are some virtues.

In relation to climate change, every one of Australia’s eight states and territories has now committed to being carbon neutral by 2050.

Continue reading "In praise of a wide brown land" »


Govt must crack down on rogue agency

Log exportEDDIE TANAGO
| Act Now

PORT MORESBY – If the government's ban on new logging permits is to be effective, it must be total, and extended to cover all types of logging consent.

Last week prime minister James Marape directed the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) to stop issuing new permits and permit extensions so the government can meet its 2025 deadline to end the export of unprocessed raw logs.

Continue reading "Govt must crack down on rogue agency" »


Fencemending: France, Australia & the Pacific

French President Emmanuel Macron
French president Emmanuel Macron - his vision of France as a partner in the Western alliance confronting China in the South Pacific would have been stung by the inept AUKUS announcement

DENISE FISHER
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations

CANBERRA - There is more at stake for the French-Australian relationship in the Pacific than just money after Australia last week cancelled a contract with France’s Naval Group to build new submarines.

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison indicated that the $90 billion (K230 billion) contract with France, signed in 2016, included ‘contractual gates’ at which critical decisions. Like this could be made.

Continue reading "Fencemending: France, Australia & the Pacific" »


Australia – not that great a country

Inner-city latte-drinking basket-weavers (Sky News)
Inner-city latte-drinking basket-weavers (Sky News)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Let’s be honest.  Australia is an insignificant world power sitting in isolation at the bottom of the planet desperately clinging on to an increasingly tenuous notion of Western hegemony.

On one current reckoning we sit in seventeenth place on the world power scale, just below Switzerland and just above Turkey.

Continue reading "Australia – not that great a country" »


Sir Paulias Matane turns 90

Sir Paulias Matane at 89
These photos of a still sprightly Sir Paulias Matane were taken at his 89th birthday last year

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Sir Paulias Nguna Matane - author, educator, diplomat and former governor-general - turns 90 today, which is a grand age anywhere in the world.

Sir Paulias was born in East New Britain and educated at Toma Village School, Keravat High School and, in 1956, Sogeri Teachers College.

Continue reading "Sir Paulias Matane turns 90" »


Writing’s always been my passion

Phil
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Shedding the jargon, verbosity and density of the bureaucratic writing style required real effort"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Some people like messing about in boats but writing fiction has always been a passion of mine.

Unfortunately it’s very hard to make a living out of writing books in Australia and I’ve had to resort to other means of subsistence.

That’s why reaching retirement age is such a blessing.

Continue reading "Writing’s always been my passion" »


Oz sub decision of little import

Turtle
The world's first submarine, Turtle, was built by American inventor David Bushnell in 1775 for use against British warships in the Revolutionary War that gave birth to the United States. Due to the single operator's lack of skill, it failed to wreak even the slightest amount of havoc

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – I’m struggling to see how the acquisition of American nuclear submarines necessarily binds us to its foreign policy, let alone fighting a war with it.

If the mere acquisition of US made hardware and very secret and sophisticated technology did that, then surely buying 75 F35 fighters has long since locked us into that role?

Similarly, I struggle with the idea that buying a genuinely potent weapon as a means of defence is a provocation.

Continue reading "Oz sub decision of little import" »


Journalists have a trust problem

Gittins
Ross Gittins' book, 'A life among budgets, bulldust and bastardry', is available from Amazon

ROSS GITTINS
| Economics Editor, Sydney Morning Herald
| Extracts

SYDNEY - As journalists know, but probably try not to think about, polling shows that, as an occupation, we don’t rank highly.

We’re well down the list, held in roughly the same esteem as politicians, real estate agents and people selling used cars.

Continue reading "Journalists have a trust problem" »


No room for neutrality in this new world

Capture
Scott Morrison looks at Joe Biden on a video link - "China is not a benign power. It is no more or less self-interested than any other authoritarian power"

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I think Phil Fitzpatrick, The US sets up Australia for war, has invested Australia’s decision to buy nuclear submarines with more significance than it deserves, at least as far as the prospect of war is concerned.

As I have written before, in Rationality & balance required for China, the 'dance of death' between a resurgent and increasingly nationalistic and belligerent China and the previously dominant USA began some time ago.

Continue reading "No room for neutrality in this new world" »


Morrison’s risky throw of electoral dice

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (AFP)
Scott Morrison has placed Australia on the front line of any future war with China (AFP)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The editorial in this weekend’s ‘The Saturday Paper’ is interesting. It quotes Hugh White, former deputy-secretary of the Defence Department.

In an article elsewhere, White suggests that conventional submarines are perfectly suited if Australia is only interested in defending itself, whereas nuclear-powered submarines are perfectly suited to attacking another country.

Continue reading "Morrison’s risky throw of electoral dice" »


Aukus strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism

James Bhagwan  general secretary  Pacific Council of Churches (Radio New Zealand  Jamie Tahana)
Rev James Bhagwan,  general secretary of the Pacific Council of Churches - "Australia is not acting in the best interests of  vuvale,  family" (Radio New Zealand Jamie Tahana)

JOHNNY BLADES
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - Australia's new security pact with the United States and the United Kingdom has touched a nerve at the core of Pacific regionalism.

The AUKUS alliance, announced by the leaders of the three countries late last week, finds them seeking strategic advantage in the Indo-Pacific region.

Continue reading "Aukus strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism" »


US sets up Australia for a China war

Johnson  Biden and Morrison (Mark Knight)
The Big Three Meet - Johnson Biden and Morrison (Mark Knight, Herald-Sun)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The United States of America is a warmonger but prefers to fight its wars in other people’s countries: Moro (Philippines), Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, the list goes on and, as you can read here, it is very, very long.

War and the military industrial complex are inextricably entwined in the US economy and now it seems to be quite advanced in its planning for the next war – another one in our backyard, the Indo-Pacific.

Continue reading "US sets up Australia for a China war" »


Some useful advice to a young person

Juffa
Gary Juffa (left) shares a joke with two constituents

GARY JUFFA MP

ORO - My dear young person, I have some thoughts formed from not a few experiences gained along the way in my last 49 years.

I decided to share them to mark the 46th Independence Day of our great young nation, Papua New Guinea.

I offer them to you in the hope that perhaps they will be of some use.

Continue reading "Some useful advice to a young person" »


ANU honours eminent PNG scholar, Ron May

Ron May
Ron May has provided an immense legacy of knowledge and scholarship in 5o years of research and writing about Papua New Guinea

ANTHONY REGAN, NICOLE HALEY
& THIAGO OPPERMANN

CANBERRA - Emeritus Fellow Ron May is being honoured by a conference and Festschrift (collection of writings) to celebrate his 50-year contribution to research, writing and thinking, especially about Papua New Guinea.

The celebration is hosted by the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University.

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Tetchy Bougainville leaders told ‘don’t panic’

Marape toroama
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama - bold statements from Bougainville on independence seem to have given way to a more nuanced approach

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Discussions about Bougainville inside Papua New Guinea’s parliament have had a significant and disgruntled repercussion in the autonomous province itself, NBC Bougainville has reported.

Prime minister James Marape presented a statement on the Bougainville peace process to the national parliament and opened the topic for debate amongst MPs.

Continue reading "Tetchy Bougainville leaders told ‘don’t panic’" »


Can renewables save the planet?

Morrison
Scott Morrison's government keeps promoting coal (cartoon by Paul Dorin @DorinToons)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia’s daft prime minister and climate change laggard says he wants to solve the problem of global warming using technology.

What he means by technology are dodgy developments such as carbon sequestration.

Until that happens he plans to open new gas fields to provide feedstock for new gas-fired power stations, which he thinks produce less pollution.

Continue reading "Can renewables save the planet?" »


A nation in denial

PNG_flagERIC MOLONG

UKARUMPA - We are a nation that is drowning in its own oil. We are a nation that is being dragged under – submerged by the weight of our gold.

We suffocate as our natural gases get sucked out of our lungs by the barrel. Our large timber exports continue to land us in cardboard shelters. Every ship that sails away with our tuna leaves us staring at an empty plate.

Continue reading "A nation in denial" »


Women journalists win media awards

Russell top
Russell Hunter - a fearless and ethical journalist who always had time to mentor and train younger members of the profession

ROWAN CALLICK

NORTHCOTE, VIC - Women reporters with the National Broadcasting Corporation and EMTV have won the Russell Hunter Awards for Young Papua New Guinea Journalists of the Year.

When Scottish-Australian journalist Russell Hunter – who was living in Brisbane - died in July, a group of friends decided that the most appropriate way to memorialise him was through sponsoring an award for young journalists in PNG.

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Waka Poet Faumuina meets Blunt Bugger Dom

MICHAEL DOM
| Ples Singsing

Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i
Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i

My Grandfather is a Canoe by Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna'i, July 2021, Flying Geese Pro. Order here for $36.52 (post included)

LAE – Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i’s first poems appeared in print in ‘Fika – a fictional body of new writing by First Draft Pasefika Writers’ (2008), under the banner of Pacific Arts Creative New Zealand.

Faumuina’s poetry later featured in dried grass over rough-cut logs’, my own collection of 2020, published by the late PNG publisher, poet and essayist, Francis Nii.

Continue reading "Waka Poet Faumuina meets Blunt Bugger Dom" »


Can you trust a politician with high BMI?

“The Bosses of the Senate”
'The Bosses of the Senate', 1889 lithograph from the collection of the United States Senate

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - For Australians, and other people with a close interest and involvement in Papua New Guinea, there is a curious dilemma that revolves around trust.

This is the result of the rampant corruption and lawlessness that seems to permeate everything that happens in our near neighbour and good friend.

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Australia’s feeble ‘blame China’ narrative

China-v-AustraliaSOURABH GUPTA
| East Asia Forum

WASHINGTON - The Australia–China relationship has been in the deep doldrums for some time now.

Australian commentary pins the blame for the deterioration of bilateral ties on "China’s aggressive attempt to expand the domestic authoritarianism of [Chinese] President Xi Jinping into the Indo-Pacific region".

Continue reading "Australia’s feeble ‘blame China’ narrative" »


Ignored report: Illegal logging major crime risk

Ship-waiting-to-load-logsNEWS DESK
| Act Now

PORT MORESBY – It has been revealed that a 2017 risk assessment by the Bank of Papua New Guinea found illegal logging in PNG to be a major money laundering threat but that there was a lack of will in the PNG Forest Authority to investigate and prosecute.

A money laundering and financing of terrorism risk assessment by the central bank said that illegal logging generated very large profits and also had a highly detrimental impact on the economy and natural environment.

Continue reading "Ignored report: Illegal logging major crime risk" »


Sam Basil faces misconduct allegations

Sam Basil
Sam Basil leaves the tribunal accompanied by his lawyer Greg Sheppard

NEWS DESK
| PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil was suspended from leadership duties on Friday by a leadership tribunal hearing into misconduct allegations against him.

Basil, who is also commerce and industry minister, was suspended after his reference and statement of reasons were presented to the tribunal by public prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin.

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PNG offloads 30,000 vaccine shots to Vietnam

Vaccine from_papua_new_guineaNEWS DESK
| Voice of Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY – Last Friday Vietnam received 30,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine transferred from Papua New Guinea through the COVAX program, ostensibly to help combat Covid-19.

Nguyen Tat Thanh, Vietnam ambassador to Papua New Guinea, said the shipment was delivered to Vietnam on the basis of a government-level agreement on vaccine transfer recently signed between Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and the vaccine alliance, GAVI.

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A very good morning for a Medevac

Medivac 1 aerial top
MAF Medevac - Piet and Marijke flew over some of the world's most rugged and beautiful terrain on their mercy mission

MARIJKE MUILWIJK
|MAF Telefomin

TELEFOMIN – On a Saturday in late August, I had the opportunity to join a Medevac flight with my pilot husband, Piet.

Piet was asked to Medevac a woman with a broken back and an MAF lady offered to babysit our boys so that I could join Piet on the operation. A golden opportunity.

Continue reading "A very good morning for a Medevac" »


Partnership takes aim at better governance

Peter Aitsi at the OGP workshop top
Peter Aitsi speaks at the Open Government Partnership conference

MEDIA ROOM
| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY – The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is Papua New Guinea’s biggest multi-stakeholder initiative promoting good governance and a people-focused democracy.

Last week’s OGP national good governance conference in partnership with the European Union formally opened a conversation on these important issues.

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Telstra visit signals Digicel deal is closer

Denis O'Brien
Digicel's Denis O'Brien - Australia's China troubles is the tycoon's get rid of debt card

BUSINESS DESK
| The Irish Times | Extract

DUBLIN - The downward spiral in relations between China and Australia in the past year has played into the hands of businessman Denis O’Brien as he looks to further reduce the debt burden of his Digicel telecoms group.

Early last year O’Brien effectively forced bondholders to write off $1.6 billion (K5.6 billion) of what they were owed.

Continue reading "Telstra visit signals Digicel deal is closer" »


Undelivered contracts cost PNG billions

K2.7 million hole in the ground  Sohe district near Kokoda (Post-Courier)
The K2.7 million hole in the ground near Kokoda (PNG Post-Courier)

NEWSDESK
| Asia Pacific Report

AUCKLAND - A one meter-deep hole in the ground is all there is to show of an almost K2.7 million state contract project in Papua New Guinea’s Oro Province.

The project was to design and build a community health building with support facilities for Kiorata in Sohe district.

Continue reading "Undelivered contracts cost PNG billions" »