A voter's observation of a corrupted election

“When you want my wife or my daughter, I can give them to you but when you want my power, I will never give it to you. Even if I lose, I will make my way in”

AChaotic-election-PC
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier front page

 

PHILIP KAI MORRE

KUNDIAWA - According to Greek philosopher Aristotle “Man is a political animal who can work towards his highest good only as a member of a society. Man is continuously searching for an ideal society to live in."

Abraham Lincoln, one of America's greatest presidents, referred to democracy as “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Papua New Guinea accepted this concept and adopted it into our Constitution.

Continue reading "A voter's observation of a corrupted election" »


Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders

A corrupt politician’s strong tribal identity can create an impossible situation for honest candidates to succeed, and so the corrupt are re-elected

Caricatures from Wantok newspaper
Caricatures from Wantok newspaper

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY - Despite colossal efforts by international partners, NGOs and other entities to rid us of corrupt leaders, we are again confronted by their resurgence after the just completed national elections.

As I see things, this is due to three cultural factors that are the salient catalysts that cause voters to install corrupt leaders election after election.

Continue reading "Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders" »


Election gives Marape a stranglehold on PNG

Marape became the first PNG prime minister to be elected unopposed as 97 MPs decided to vote for him unanimously, leaving former prime minister O’Neill, comprehensively outmanoeuvred in the election, to strut out of the chamber muttering something about “a matter of conscience”

Rachael
Rachael and James Marape

 

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Even in the elation of victory, unanimously chosen prime minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, could not bring himself to provide hope for women to occupy a fair share of seats in PNG’s parliament.

“Women do not need special seats, they can run on merit,” was the curt response when he was asked whether two (1.7%) of 118 seats was an adequate return for the nation’s women.

Continue reading "Election gives Marape a stranglehold on PNG" »


Sumatin magazine opens a box of delights

“There are many writers wondering where PNG is heading and when the vicious cycles of political corruption, poor economic development and social decay will end. Papua New Guinea is a nation in denial” - Sumatin

Dom Magasin cover top

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Sumatin magazine, published by Michael Dom and his energetic team at Ples Singsing, is billed as the ‘space for Papua New Guinean creativity’ and is a wonderful initiative that has revived the fading literary flame lit by the Crocodile Prize.

Sumatin magazine issue 2 of July 2022, which you can access here, is a free, online production featuring both original content and relevant writing drawn largely from Ples Singsing, PNG Attitude and DevPolicy Blog.

Continue reading "Sumatin magazine opens a box of delights" »


Kessy Sawang is woman #2 in PNG parliament

This afternoon Kessy Sawang joined Rufina Peter in Papua New Guinea’s parliament as the Rai Coast seat was declared in Madang Province. Two women and 116 men. Anyway, here’s what Kessy wrote after her first attempt at election, in 2017, saw her finish a close third….

Kessy

KESSY SAWANG

RAI COAST - My name is Ms Kessy William Sawang (family and friends call me Kez).

I’m an aspiring political leader and blogger who advocates for good governance in PNG’s public sector as it is critical for development. I would like to see transformation of rural PNG in inclusive development and there is shared prosperity.

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A Kiap’s Chronicle: 33 – Development & dislocation

“In mining, hard facts and foresight are important. We are very conscious of the fact that in a few years, Papua and New Guinea may be independent. Soon there may be an indigenous administration – call it a black president if you like"

Brown 09
Arawa headman Narug and other village leaders including Tavora of Arawa (in hat) listen as kiap Max Heggen explains the Arawa Agreement under which villagers would forfeit a tract of land to allow a large town to be built to service the Panguna mine.  Brown describes Narug as a tough negotiator but "thoughtful and reasonable"

BILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES – Bougainville District Commissioner Des (DN) Ashton paid the price for obeying orders at Rorovana when the Papua New Guinea Administration removed his authority over Bougainville Copper's areas of operation.

Following Australian Prime Minister John Gorton’s August intervention in the Rorovana confrontation, the Administration committed a special unit of a dozen kiaps to the mining operation.

Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 33 – Development & dislocation" »


There’s no escaping a hothouse earth

We're on a path to 3 degrees by the end of the century, or sooner. At 3 degrees much of planetary life would end. McGuire argues that changes to the biosphere are now at the point of no return

Aircraft

RICHARD HIL
| Pearls & Irritations

NORTHERN NSW - A couple of months ago I set off with my partner to the northern hemisphere for a prolonged stint in Canada.

I’ll admit I was excited and relieved to be getting away from the rain-soaked Northern Rivers.

The region had been robbed of sunlight for months on end and the trauma of the floods earlier in the year was deeply ingrained, even though I was among the lucky few whose house was spared.

Continue reading "There’s no escaping a hothouse earth" »


Rufina: Lone woman prepares to take her seat

Rufina Peter, the only woman in the 118 seat parliament, could find herself in a ministry that long and senior experience in public service have well equipped her for

Rufina b
Rufina Peter - experienced, disciplined, committed

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The electors of Papua New Guinea’s prosaically-named Central Province found themselves to be also the centre of national attention today as the only one of 118 electorates to vote in a woman as their Governor and member of parliament.

Late yesterday, Rufina Peter, standing on an unlikely policy platform proposed by Peter O‘Neill’s unsuccessful People’s National Congress, blitzed the incumbent Governor Robert Agarobe (Pangu) who had led the field of 22 candidates until Peter swooped to take the seat in the third last round of counting.

Continue reading "Rufina: Lone woman prepares to take her seat" »


Troubled PNG poll should be wake-up call

Responsibility for the election lies with PNG but Australia’s support was clearly inadequate. A renewed Australian commitment to the Pacific demands more in helping to deliver safe and credible elections in the region

PNG lead image

MIHAI SORA
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

SYDNEY - It has been a difficult election period for Papua New Guinea.

Outbreaks of violence in the nation’s capital Port Moresby and other parts of the country have disrupted voting and counting, leading to the PNG Governor General granting a two-week extension to 12 August for the return of writs. This has been pared back to 5 August.

Continue reading "Troubled PNG poll should be wake-up call" »


Training provides financial literacy ability

‘Papua New Guineans are lost today because we were not taught financial literacy in the education system. It’s one of the key components of giving people a good life’

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Business seminar participants at the Lamana Hotel (Geraldine Maien)

SHARON TEINE
| Journalism Student | University of PNG

PORT MORESBY – Investing safely in online in global forex trading featured at a business seminar in Port Moresby last weekend.

The two-day program at the Lamana Hotel was facilitated by Peter Kinjap, director of Howarig Traders, a locally registered enterprise.

Continue reading "Training provides financial literacy ability" »


Red Cross tries never to leave a victim behind

As tribal conflicts unfold across the Highlands, safe access to health care is under threat. In conflict-affected parts of the country, clinics are in ruins and staff flee for their lives. These ongoing attacks are leaving many thousands without adequate access to health care

A Katiloma 3
Rowena Kasunu, a missionary from the Kambia tribe in Southern Highlands Province, stands outside Katiloma village’s health-care clinic, which was attacked during a tribal fight and remains closed. The health post used to service four tribes in the area

ANDREW KOBYLINSKI
| International Committee of the Red Cross

CANBERRA - 'Fighting in Papua New Guinea? Really?' This is the usual response I get when I tell people about the work the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) undertakes in PNG alongside the PNG Red Cross.

While only four kilometres in the Torres Strait separate Australia and PNG, an understanding of the struggles faced by our next-door neighbour is distant for most Australians.

Continue reading "Red Cross tries never to leave a victim behind" »


The fight to elect women to PNG's parliament

In nearly 50 years, PNG has elected just seven female MPs. Money, culture and corruption are all working against the women trying to address the problem

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Moresby North-East candidate Tania Bale casts her vote at Gordons International (Godfreeman Kaptigau, The Guardian)

JO CHANDLER
| Guardian Australia | Edited extracts

See end of article for current standings of women candidates

Link here to read Jo Chandler’s complete article

PORT MORESBY - When she first tried for a seat in the Papua New Guinea parliament in 2017, Rufina Peter was a political novice who’d had a gutful.

While many candidates solicit votes with lavish feasts and hollow promises, her shoestring campaign – handing out copies of her CV – struck a chord. She won the highest vote of any woman in the country, albeit not enough.

Continue reading "The fight to elect women to PNG's parliament" »


Joy & lamentation from a poet of real talent

Challenges to popular and cherished notions are features of poetry that often bring poets into conflict with the champions of modern-day philosophies (or fads). In my view, that’s exactly the right position for a poet to take: truth-telling to the wise

Huli father and son (PNG Stock Image  Science Library)
Huli father teaches his son the intricacies of hunting (PNG Stock Image Science Library)

MICHAEL DOM

Cry My Beloved Country, Collection of Poems and Prose, 1998–2018 by Telly Orekavala, JDT Publishing, Port Moresby, February 2019, 76 pp. ISBN-10: ‎1797082752. Paperback $3.60 available here from Amazon

LAE - THERE are many different ways to interpret collections of poems and prose.

For me, writing about a collection of poetry is an attempt to make sure that what I take away from it is more than only what I have read into it myself.

Continue reading "Joy & lamentation from a poet of real talent" »


The journeys of men & the shortness of life

”More important than anything else in the world, live your life. It’s the only one you have. And when it's your turn, you will have gone”

Pastor Matthew Tapus  Superintendent  Christian Apostolic Church in PNG and Jackson Kiakarireflect on a life
Pastor Matthew Tapus,  Superintendent Christian Apostolic Church in PNG, and Jackson Kiakari reflect on the ephemerality of life

JACKSON YALO KIAKARI
| Reflections from Mango_Diwai

PORT MORESBY - On a grave is written a name, a date of birth and a date of passing.

Position, title, bank account and all material possessions are irrelevant.

Life is a function of Time. Live today - make peace with your surrounding. This moment will pass you by.

Continue reading "The journeys of men & the shortness of life" »


Is the debt bomb beginning to explode?

This is the context within which the problems confronting Papua New Guinea must be understood. It seems destined to be presented with a series of very unpleasant debt refinancing decisions over the next several years

Bomb

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - It is difficult to comprehend that only now is the International Monetary Fund belatedly issuing warnings about debt in South East Asia, the Pacific and elsewhere.

The proverbial writing has been on the wall for literally years that the world's mountainous debt was, in reality, a 'debt bomb' waiting to go off.

Continue reading "Is the debt bomb beginning to explode?" »


The crisis is upon us so let's all fall down

the fascists getting stronger / bleeding us weak / conspiracy taking over / a war on society / but we've got ends to meet / gotta pay the banker / maybe if we wait a bit longer / it'll all go away

Sand top

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I’m truly proud of my son Simon, presently transforming himself into a New Zealander after he and Kiwi wife Simone decided to call Auckland home about 12 years ago.

Simon was born in Papua New Guinea – leaving with me, then wife Sue Flatt and sister Sally – in 1976 when he was still in primary school.

Continue reading "The crisis is upon us so let's all fall down" »


IMF warns that rising debt puts PNG at risk

"There are many countries in the region which are facing high debt numbers. And some of these are in debt distress territory. So that’s something which we have to watch out for"

Downtown
Downtown Port Moresby and dockland

RAVI BUDDHAVARAPU
| CNBC | Edited

SINGAPORE - Rising debt levels driven by inflation and tightening financial conditions across Asia and in Papua New Guinea are cause for concern, according to the International Monetary Fund’s Krishna Srinivasan.

“If you look at debt for the region, if you look at Asia’s share of total debt, aggregate debt, that’s gone up quite sharply,” Srinivasan, director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Continue reading "IMF warns that rising debt puts PNG at risk" »


Death in the jungle & the savage aftermath

Jacob Luke’s death ought to be a good lesson that the struggle for power, and the death and destruction of this year’s national elections, is not worth it if a man can die anytime, anywhere without saying goodbye

Kurai Luke
School mates, brothers-in-law and successful Enga businessmen Paul Kurai (left) and the late Jacob Luke at Kurai’s Ribito Hotel in Wabag recently

DANIEL KUMBON
| Edited extracts from an article in The NationalWeekender

The death of Jacob Luke

Engan icon Jacob Luke was found dead in the jungle near his new Mukeres mansion at Lakolam village in Wabag, a few kilometres up the Highlands Highway towards Porgera.

Nobody had noticed his disappearance on Wednesday 20 July until a team of Digicel PNG technicians, there to erect a new tower, found his body in the bush the next day.

Continue reading "Death in the jungle & the savage aftermath" »


Australia cannot ignore PNG election violence

For years Australia has had a mute response to these problems, especially the extent of weaponry that has spread through the country that now threatens the viability of the state. Politicians arm their supporters - Michael Main (Twitter)

Arson
Vehicles burn and ballot papers cover the ground in just one of scores of attacks on voting in PNG

MIRANDA FORSYTH & GORDON PEAKE
| Guardian Australia

CANBERRA - Elections in Papua New Guinea are notoriously volatile and dangerous.

But this year’s elections have involved violence, intimidation, corruption as well as administrative ineptitude on what looks like an exceptional scale.

Continue reading "Australia cannot ignore PNG election violence" »


The Jacob Luke I knew – smart & humble

Mike Herman, now in his eighties, was the late Jacob Luke's teacher at Pausa in Enga Province. Mike helped Jacob - who had been expelled from school - on the path that eventually led him to business success

 Jacob Luke and Mike Herman in Boise Idaho
Mike Herman in the United States earlier this month

MIKE HERMAN

BOISE, USA - I would like to share with you the Jacob Luke I knew.

I met Jacob when he enrolled at Pausa High School, Wapenamanda, in Enga Province.

As many people have said, Jacob came from humble beginnings.

Continue reading "The Jacob Luke I knew – smart & humble" »


Ridding ourselves of violence & corruption

Real leadership has several defining factors, not least humility, ethical behaviour and the ability to place the welfare of the people and communities above personal ambition and benefit

Guns

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Yet again a Papua New Guinean national election has turned into a spectacle of mindless violence and corruption.

There are two weeks to go before each electorate’s writs have to be returned, the deadline having been extended from today to 12 August.

Continue reading "Ridding ourselves of violence & corruption" »


Peter Ryan, writer: Never an ugly sentence

From his hospital bed Peter’s last words were spoken to his wife, Davey. “I have to get back to my desk.” In the last day of his life all he wanted to do was work on his next Quadrant column

Tidey Ryan top
Peter Ryan amongst his books. He wrote "the finest Australian memoir of war"

JOHN TIDEY
| ‘Soldier, Writer, Publisher’: Obituary of Peter Ryan
| Sydney Morning Herald, 22 December 2015

SYDNEY - It was once said of Peter Ryan that he climbed many mountains in his life and that his view of things was invariably an elevated one.

His death on 13 December 2015, at 92, has removed quite a remarkable Australian – a war hero, a gifted writer and columnist, publisher, raconteur and mischief-maker.

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Peter Ryan’s story of endurance & courage

Warrant Officer Ryan did not blame the Papua New Guineans for prevaricating about which side to choose when they sometimes preferred to help neither. Even when betrayed to the Japanese, Ryan understood that the same dynamic was at work

Overland - Ryan top
Peter Ryan - a young man, just 18, when he was called to war

CHRIS OVERLAND

Fear Drive My Feet by Peter Ryan, Text Publishing Company, new edition with introduction by Peter Pierce, 2015, 336 pages. ISBN: 9781925240054. Purchase from Booktopia: paperback $13.50 (ebook) $12.75

ADELAIDE - I have just finished reading Peter Ryan’s book ‘Fear drive my feet’, first published in 1959.

Ryan tells the story of his nearly two years patrolling in the mountainous country adjacent to the Markham Valley as an intelligence operative during World War II.

Continue reading "Peter Ryan’s story of endurance & courage" »


PNG’s election: Death, arson & destruction

Elections need to proper planning and management. But this election has repeated previous experience, with 50 known deaths, arson, destruction of property and 3,000 people displaced from their homes

Houses burn in Enga Province
Houses burn in Enga Province

MAHOLOPA LAVEIL
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

PORT MORESBY - Violence is a mainstay of Papua New Guinea’s elections.

As I write this article, tensions are high in the capital Port Moresby. Reports of machete wielding men slashing innocent bystanders along the city’s main roads and fears of retaliation fill my social media feed.

Continue reading "PNG’s election: Death, arson & destruction" »


Rising from the ashes: a TV series reviewed

A communications response to the challenges of life in rural Papua New Guinea uses storytelling to change attitudes and behaviour.
“My daughters have no mother. My son has no mother. I have no wife”

Village - top
A scene from It Takes A Village

GRACE HEAOA

PORT MORESBY - ‘It takes a village’ is a five-part Papua New Guinean television drama drawing attention to the plight of pregnant women and the risks of childbirth.

Rex is an emerging rugby league star in his local village and his wife, Miriam, is expecting their third child.

Continue reading "Rising from the ashes: a TV series reviewed" »


Bite-size platform more than pulls its weight

Pearls & Irritations is particularly noteworthy for gathering together a ‘stable’ of former senior public servants who bring great weight and understanding to their observations

Current-affairs-magnifiying-glass-white-background-current-affairs-magnifiying-glass-214488084

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - John Menadue’s began publication of his daily newsletter, Pearls & Irritations, at about the same time as Ingrid and I made Noosa our retirement destination.

Now in its tenth year, Menadue started the blog as a platform for independent policy discussion in the face of the general failure of Australia’s mainstream to cover issues with calm and authoritative analysis.

Continue reading "Bite-size platform more than pulls its weight" »


Troops out in force on streets of Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea shamed internationally as candidates’ supporters turned the streets of Port Moresby and some surrounding settlements into a battlefield. Eighteen men arrested as police investigations continue

Troops approach Port Moresby's business district as they move to restore peace in the city (PNGDF)
Troop carriers approach Port Moresby's business district as they move to restore peace in the city (PNGDF)

NEWS DESK
| Asia Pacific Report

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) troops have been directed to patrol the streets of Port Moresby in support of police trying to restore peace in the city.

The deployment followed rioting and machete attacks on civilians across the city triggered by unrest at the general election counting centre in Waigani.

Continue reading "Troops out in force on streets of Port Moresby" »


Election conflict stalks the streets of Moresby

Dozens of people have been killed in election-related violence and 3,000 people have been displaced by conflict. UN officials have also received many reports of sexual abuse, including abuse of children

Chaotic-election-(Post Courier)
Front page splash (PNG Post-Courier). Most people would describe the death and destruction of the 2022 election as being worse than chaotic

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Port Moresby city manager Ravu Frank has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” a fight between supporters of election candidates that spilled out into the streets of Waigani yesterday afternoon.

Machete-wielding men rampaged from the counting centre at Sir John Guise Stadium towards the Vision City shopping centre and the luxurious Stanley Hotel, randomly slashing passers-by, some seriously.

Continue reading "Election conflict stalks the streets of Moresby" »


America’s self-obsession is killing democracy

The United States still has a chance to fix itself before 2024. But when democracies start dying—as the USA already has—they usually don’t recover

Capitol
The United States Capitol (Stephen Voss, Redux)

BRIAN KLAAS
| The Atlantic

NEW YORK - In 2009, a violent mob stormed the presidential palace in Madagascar, a deeply impoverished red-earthed island off the coast of East Africa.

They had been incited to violence by opportunistic politicians and media personalities, successfully triggering a coup.

Continue reading "America’s self-obsession is killing democracy" »


The Pacific Visa quotas need to be strategic

Ten countries should be considered for quotas: PNG, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste & Vanuatu (currently very limited access to Australia); Kiribati, Tuvalu & Nauru (climate-affected atolls); Fiji, Samoa & Tonga (good access to Australia via New Zealand) 

Australian Visa

STEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - Australian foreign minister Penny Wong was putting it mildly when she noted “a positive response” to the new Labor government’s confirmation it would introduce a new permanent residency visa category for the Pacific.

Under the Pacific Engagement Visa scheme commencing in July 2023, each year 3,000 visas will be issued annually via a lottery with country-specific quotas.

Continue reading "The Pacific Visa quotas need to be strategic" »


With Sir Jacob Luke's death, a torch went out

Jackson Kiakari's father, Pastor Thomas Bob, and Jacob Luke were ace tractor drivers and mechanics at Pausa Lutheran High School in Enga Province. As sons of the Sakalin people, they bonded and remained very close friends to the end of Jacob's life

Jacob luke
Chief Sir Jacob Lengepombet Sole Luke: A testament to the belief that a person could rise to the top from just about anywhere and remain humble

JACKSON YALO KIAKARI
| A Personal Tribute

PORT MORESBY - Only a few rise to the very top - to the highest echelons of business and life.

And from this small group, there are fewer still who choose to remain humane, humble and simple.

Continue reading "With Sir Jacob Luke's death, a torch went out" »


Authentic bikman: Memories of Sir Jacob Luke

“Jacob had a rare quality for a famous person in PNG, he was famous for his humility and kindness, and not an infamous thief like many others.  He has left a true impression that transcends wealth”

Luke
The late Sir Jacob Luke

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

Luke - A Mapai truckNOOSA - “Did you ever run into Jacob Luke? It was sad news to hear of his passing,” the message said.

“I had the pleasure of meeting him on a trade mission to Tokyo. I didn’t realise how wealthy he was as he was so humble.

"I saw him a couple of weeks ago with a new jet and now this week’s sad news….”

Continue reading "Authentic bikman: Memories of Sir Jacob Luke" »


A true PNG champion bows out with gratitude

The former Kumuls captain made 14 appearances for PNG and 171 in the NRL for Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans and is admired both for his playing skill and his leadership on and off the field

Mead top

DAVID MEAD
| Twitter @davidmead411

TWITTER - After weeks of thinking about it I have decided to retire from playing rugby league effective immediately.

I want to say a big thank you to the Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans, Catalan Dragons, National Rugby League and Super League Europe.

Continue reading "A true PNG champion bows out with gratitude" »


Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament

Remember the good times, laughter and fun, the Grand Chief said. We united PNG into one nation of diversity and cultural heritage. Make me proud of what you will become

Enga elections 2022
"Rambos appeared everywhere in the province. They stoned helicopters, blocked national highways, hijacked ballot boxes, set fire to property and triggered tribal wars"

DANIEL KUMBON

I

WABAG - This year’s national election has been a disaster in Enga, and for Enga. It is one of the worst since independence. Perhaps the worst.

For the first time in my life – and in the lives of many town residents, educated elites and senior citizens in this country – we did not cast our votes on that gloomy Friday 8th of July.

Continue reading "Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament" »


Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong

Sachs appears to be one of the New Appeasers whose starting premise is that Putin is a rational actor, not an unrepentant neo-imperialist whose territorial aspirations cannot be satisfied through negotiation or by conceding land for peace

Putin and Macron
Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron - the table perhaps symbolic of the distance between Putin's goals of empire and the New Appeasers desire for peaceful resolution

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - In his recent speech, ‘The world imperilled at the end of US leadership, Jeffrey Sachs has advanced several propositions that are highly contestable.

Professor Sachs evidently believes that the underlying cause of the Russia-Ukraine War was the constant expansion of NATO – a military alliance of 28 European, Canada and the USA, which strongly supports NATO’s expansion.

Continue reading "Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong" »


The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves

Australia should be encouraging Pacific Islands nations to join it in forming a regional bloc that thinks for itself, makes its own rules and sees to its own future

Wake-up-america
This World War I propaganda poster has new meaning as the US faces threats at home and abroad

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Jeffrey Sachs speaks a lot of sense but, as he says, no one wants to listen to him.

There are a lot of people like Sachs who people go out of their way to ignore. Among them are climate scientists and epidemiologists.

Continue reading "The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves" »


Smiles in Suva: but the map ahead is unclear

The Pacific Islands Forum was happy to welcome rookie prime minister Anthony Albanese, but his attempt to brag about Australia’s ‘influence’ in the Pacific was seen as unwanted political game-playing

Forum - Albanese (William West)
Anthony Albanese goes for the selfie money shot but the rookie Australian prime minister has a bit to learn about the practice of diplomacy

TESS NEWTON CAIN & STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| DevPolicy Blog

BRISBANE - Last week’s meeting of leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was keenly anticipated and came at a critical juncture for the region.

It was the first in-person meeting since Tuvalu in 2019. Since then, a lot has happened.

Continue reading "Smiles in Suva: but the map ahead is unclear" »


Pundari condemns Enga election violence

Sir John Pundari says known election candidates are responsible for the unprovoked criminal violence in Kompiam Ambum which has resulted in deaths and the destruction of vital government properties worth millions of kina

Burning infrastructure in Kompiam (Teddy Piagari)
Burning buildings in Kompiam, Enga Province (Teddy Piagari)

SIR JOHN PUNDARI
| Papua New Guinea Today

ENGA - We cannot blame the Electoral Commission and security personnel for criminal activities carried out by candidates or supporters.

We need to come out clear and condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms.

My district has lost government properties worth hundreds of millions of kina and I am shattered for my people and the public servants who have fled to seek refuge.

Continue reading "Pundari condemns Enga election violence" »


A world imperilled at the end of US leadership

Jeffrey Sachs highlights the damaging US mindset that the world should revolve around it, which is undermining the need for regional cooperation to get on top of the huge problems facing the planet

KEITH JACKSON
| Drawn from John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations and other sources

NOOSA - In this speech made by Jeffrey Sachs ahead of late June’s NATO Summit in Madrid, he offers a view of a world in a great mess and which needs to renew diplomacy, negotiation, cooperation and collaboration to solve the immense problems humanity is facing.

Sachs, a professor of sustainable development and professor of health policy at Columbia University in USA, has served as an adviser to three United Nations secretaries-general and is an economist who advised on economic reforms in Russia and several Eastern European nations in the 1990s.

Continue reading "A world imperilled at the end of US leadership" »


Open Letter calls for doctors free speech

An Open Letter, focused on freedom of speech for doctors, has been sent to all Australian health ministers after being signed by 18 scientists and doctors and 1,400 citizens. The letter seeks an independent audit of the practices of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority

Covid pic
The ultimate responsibility for botching Australia's response to Covid rests with this body - the so-called national cabinet that is failing to stem a rapidly escalating death toll 

NOOSA – Earlier this month in The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger, I wrote of a doctor who has been forced to submit to an unAustralian Communist style re-education program and was publicly humiliated by a government body.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra is their preferred abbreviation) is the body that registers doctors in Australia. It also runs one of the clumsiest and user unfriendly websites in the nation.

Continue reading "Open Letter calls for doctors free speech" »


Marape v O'Neill: Post-election battle looms

James Marape and Peter O’Neill seem likely to retain their seats but Allan Bird, the respected governor of East Sepik Province, is seen by many people as good prime ministerial material

O'Neill casts his vote in 2017
Peter O'Neill casts his vote at the 2017 election. Re-elected prime minister, he was toppled by James Marape in 2019. Now a bitter battle looms for the leadership

RONALD MAY
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - Voting is proceeding apace in Papua New Guinea’s tenth election for the national parliament. A record of around 3,500 candidates are contesting the parliament’s 118 seats.

In the last parliament (2017-22) there was no female MP and despite campaigns to encourage women to contest this election, only 142 of the candidates are women, compared to 167 in 2017.

Continue reading "Marape v O'Neill: Post-election battle looms" »


Pacific uni strife continues as funds dry up

"University of South Pacific is only one of two regional universities in the world, and arguably one of the few tangible outcomes of Pacific regional integration” - Professor Albert Schram

USP dale pana
Solomon Islands student Dale Pala wants regional governments to sort out the USP mess  - 'When they come here students say we are one people, one ocean’

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It’s been a while since this blog touched upon happenings at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

The deportation of vice-chancellor Professor Sal Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price in February last year, and the subsequent withdrawal of Fiji’s funding from the regional university, have kept the issue alive.

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We're back in the Pacific big time, says the US

“We will embark on a new chapter in our partnership, a chapter with increased American presence, where we commit to work with you in the short and long term to take on the most pressing issues that you face"

US vice-president Kamala Harris addresses Pacific Forum leaders (Sam Sachdeva  Newsroom RNZ)
US vice-president Kamala Harris addresses Pacific Forum leaders yesterday (Sam Sachdeva,  Newsroom RNZ)

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Edited

AUCKLAND - United States vice-president Kamala Harris has assured Pacific Islands Forum leaders who are meeting in Suva that the US will “significantly deepen” its engagement in the region.

Harris virtually joined the regional leaders to announce half a dozen new commitments including establishing embassies in Kiribati and Tonga, tripling funding for economic development and ocean resilience and the appointing the first-ever US envoy to the Forum.

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War being transformed by the power of words

All of this may seem a world away from Papua New Guinea but it provides some useful context for China’s efforts to extend its influence. People in the Pacific need to understand that nothing the Chinese do is just a gesture of goodwill or good neighbourliness

Overland tank

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – It’s important that we understand what the hell is going on in much of the world right now.

My recent comments about China in the Pacific, ‘Chinese now a real threat in the Gulf of Papua’, were informed by my reading of Major General Mick Ryan’s book, ‘War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict.

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Junior Raka: In the footsteps of the great

Martin Beni died last November while officiating at boxing championships in Port Moresby. It's been left to middleweight Junior Kauko Raka to carry forward Beni’s vision. He feels the old champion’s spirit at his back whenever he fights

Junior headshot top
Junior Raka - a world class boxer walking in the footsteps of the great Martin Beni

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The best Papua New Guinean boxer to emerge since Martin Beni 50 years ago departs PNG at the end of this month for bouts in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Beni had decided to return from retirement in 2018 to train lightweight boxer Junior Kauko Raka from the Bali-Vitu Islands in West New Britain Province.

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The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger

David Berger has been forced to submit to a Communist style re-education program and humiliation where he has to explain how he has behaved discourteously, unprofessionally and offended the community. If he does not comply, this skilled, ethical and courageous doctor will face deregistration because he told the truth

Berger
Dr David Berger - Covid truth teller who the Australian authorities are trying to silence as they seek to cover up accountability for over 10,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of seriously ill victims

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - There has been an outpouring of support for Australian doctor David Berger, whose social media activity has been censored and registration as a doctor threatened because he tells the truth about the incompetence of the Australian government’s handling of Covid.

Dr Berger has been an acute reporter, knowledgeable analyst and severe critic of how Australian governments have failed the public in their handling of Covid.

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Chinese now a real threat in the Gulf of Papua

Lying, obfuscation and diversion are all part of well-established Chinese strategy to confuse or misdirect putative enemies and gullible others as to its real intentions. What Chinese diplomats are saying about the development at Ihu clearly fits this category

Capture
Speaking before 3,000 representatives to the National People’s Congress in Beijing in March 2021, president Xi Jinping proclaimed his country had been the first to tame Covid, the result of “self-confidence in our path, self-confidence in our theories, self-confidence in our system, self-confidence in our culture”

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I worked as a kiap in the Gulf Province (or District as it then was) for two years from mid-1969 to mid-1971.

It was a very impoverished region then as it is now.

For this reason, any major development project is likely to be welcomed by the local people.

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China's moves take shape in Torres Strait

All the indications are that there is much more push and shove to come before we know whether China will have a tangible presence on the Torres Strait – and whose military and navy will occupy two proposed bases at Ihu

Ihu Zeng Aeo dig first soil
Ihu Special Economic Zone groundbreaking ceremony by cheerful Chinese ambassador Zeng Fanhua and PNG foreign minister Soroi Eoe. The project is of vast importance to the impoverished Gulf Province but poses strategic problems for Australia as China seeks to consolidate its interests in the Torres Strait region

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Reports in the Australian media that China is readying to build a military base at Ihu Papua New Guinea’s Gulf Province have been dismissed as “baseless and hype” by the Chinese embassy in Port Moresby.

China has reacted with anger to media reports that the developing Ihu Special Economic Zone at Kikori in Gulf Province will be a platform for a Chinese military base.

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PNG's ill-prepared election has a shaky start

The election varies in many ways, including levels of cheating and violence, but one of the most basic forms of variation is the number of candidates standing

Big
Protesters gather in Wabag town as the start of voting is delayed. Poor election organisation has led to protests, some violent, throughout PNG 

FRANK RAI
| Sights & Sounds, Smells & Surrounds | The Blog of Patrick (Big Pat) Levo
| Additional edited comments from Terence Wood | DevPolicy Blog

WABAG – Democracy came under threat at Rakamanda village outside Wabag town yesterday when four ballot boxes containing voting papers were destroyed by supporters of a candidate.

Supporters of various candidates attacked a vehicle transporting 15 ballot boxes to Wapenamanda Airport to be airlifted to Maramuni government station.

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