Commodore Sam Bateman - a leading maritime strategist and friend of Papua New Guinea
VICE ADMIRAL PETER JONES
| President, Australian Naval Institute | Edited
SYDNEY - On 18 October 2020 Commodore Sam Bateman AM, RAN passed away aged 82. He was one of the leading maritime strategists of his generation and has left a significant legacy.
During two stints in Papua New Guinea between 1967 and 1975, Sam was senior officer of the PNG Patrol Boat Squadron, where he knew Colonel Reg Renagi, and was later Naval Officer in Charge, Port Moresby, and Director of Maritime Operations in PNG.
Continue reading "Commodore Sam Bateman's 'heart for the PNG Navy'" »
Dr Bomai Kerenga, chairman & CEO of the controversial Niugini Biomed and some of his research team at a news conference on Friday
| PhD student, Auckland
AUCKLAND - Reading the news on Covid-19 drug production in PNG has prompted me to offer my take on it.
Those people who are familiar with drug research and development will agree with that screening for possible drug leads is just the start to developing a drug.
Continue reading "What is the process of drug development?" »
Dr William Pomat - concerned his medical research institute was bypassed
BETHANIE HARRIMAN & BELINDA KORA
| ABC Pacific Beat
MELBOURNE - The director of the PNG Institute of Medical Research, Dr William Pomat, says he was not consulted before the country's cabinet approved a K10-million grant to a private company for Covid-19 research.
Meanwhile, prime minister James Marape says there is nothing "illegal or improper" about the plan to spend millions of dollars on an unknown treatment.
Continue reading "Marape's K10m spend on Covid 'research'" »
DR PAMELA TOLIMAN
| Twitter | Edited
PORT MORESBY - No funds should be awarded to these people (Niugini BioMed), no drugs should be procured, and no patients should be enrolled until their protocols have been scrutinised and vetted.
This should be done by the PNG Medical Research Advisory Committee and the PNG Institute of Medical Research.
Continue reading "Niugini BioMed: What is this madness?" »
GARY JUFFA & SCOTT WAIDE
ORO – Governor Gary Juffa: We have transformed from a nation of ‘warriors’ who thought of the future, and fought for justice and their people to one of ‘worriers’ who worry about only today, ignore injustice and fight only for themselves.
LAE – Journalist Scott Waide: A warrior is one who battles with himself. The conflict happens in the mind and the spirit. It resolves ethical dilemmas and internal strife.
Continue reading "Are we warriors or are we worriers?" »
PORT MORESBY - This is the story of an old Englishman who passed last Sunday morning.
It was late when our small Korobosea Seventh Day Adventist Church group knew about his plight on Facebook and immediately stepped in to help him.
Continue reading "The death of Rodney" »
Young men following the action at Mendi airstrip in the 1970s
| The Cove
CANBERRA - Stepping out of my LandCruiser and stretching my legs after a long, bumpy drive up the Highlands Highway, I surveyed the misty town of Mendi, provincial capital of Southern Highlands Province.
It was early 2015 and I was on my first of many adventures during my two year secondment to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Engineer Battalion, accompanying my PNGDF boss to a meeting with Chinese state-owned engineering group, COVEC.
Continue reading "Bai yupela kam bek gen?" »
President Toroama encouraged young Bougainvilleans to use their innovative ability to find solutions to problems
| Office of the President
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government is to embark on a program of creating youth employment opportunities through small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
President Ishmael Toroama said this week that youth capacity building and leadership are a focus of his government, saying they are a good way of encouraging local enterprise.
Continue reading "Toroama wants youth to move into enterprise" »
Barrick Ltd is using a treaty between PNG and Australia to claim compensation for PNG's refusal to grant an extension of its expired lease at the Porgera gold mine
| Michael West Media | Extracts
SYDNEY - After 30 years extracting gold, committing environmental and human rights abuses, the operator of Porgera mine is suing the PNG government for not extending its licence.
It is using an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause in a Free Trade Agreement to sue, a clause made famous when US multinational Philip Morris tried to sue Australia over its tobacco plain packaging laws.
Continue reading "Barrick using Oz law to sue PNG over Porgera" »
Port Moresby's central business district
| My Land, My Country
LAE - For nearly two decades, senior journalists who covered the work of foreign cartels in Papua New Guinea have continually warned successive governments of the impending threat of organised crime.
It is no longer just a threat.
Continue reading "Moresby’s gangsters’ high level connections" »
President Ishmael Toroama - "Bougainville's youth must start engaging in political decision-making"
| Office of the President
BUKA – Bougainville’s youth has been challenged to maintain the Papua New Guinea autonomous region’s political journey to independence at every level of Bougainville society.
Newly-elected President Ishmael Toroama issued the challenge during this week’s Bougainville Regional Youth Forum at the Kuri Resort.
Continue reading "Toroama challenges youth to address problems" »
| Ples Singsing
Translations: Bahasa by Sylvana Sandi; Tok Pisin by Michael Dom; Hiri Motu by Gemona Konemamata
She rises late in the afternoon
And tonight she carries her umbrella
Smoky tendrils trail behind her glittering sarung kobaya
As she strolls across my universe
Far, far away she walks, alone
Where my arms cannot reach to embrace her
Continue reading "Tonight the Moon Carries Her Umbrella" »
PORT MORESBY - Rugby league in Australia (managed by the NRL) is a multi-billion dollar business that was well established and has grown from strength to strength over the last 10 years.
It is a potential career pathway for many young aspiring Australians who took up the code in early childhood, whether at school or through the numerous sports clubs that have youth development programs.
Continue reading "Reflections on footy & the NRL grand final" »
Justin Olam scores the first try of the NRL grand final
MALA DARMADI, BELINDA KORA
& TAHLEA AUALIITIA
| Pacific Beat | Australian Broadcasting Corporation
PORT MORESBY - Rugby-mad Papua New Guinea has a new hero, Melbourne Storm player Justin Olam, who earned a spot in the history books by becoming just the fourth Papua New Guinean to be part of a winning NRL grand final team.
He is the kid from a remote village, growing up playing with a soft drink bottle filled with sand. The 26-year-old has been a true role model, providing inspiration not only in sports but with a degree in applied physics.
Continue reading "PNG celebrates Justin Olam’s spot in history" »
AMANDA HA WATSON, JEREMY MILLER
& ADRIANA SCHMIDT
| ANU Department of Pacific Affairs
CANBERRA - In late 2019, the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville voted in a non-binding referendum offering two choices: greater autonomy or independence.
People voted overwhelmingly for independence (97.71%) in what was widely regarded to be a successful process with an informed and engaged citizenry.
Continue reading "Pacific democracy & mobile technologies" »
ADELAIDE – There is a comment by Michael Dom that provides a fascinating insight into the development of Tok Pisin.
"Tok Pisin emi toktok bilong mipela ol liklik man meri bilong giraun. Ol siti lain iken traim long 'stailim' ol iet long kainkain toktok, o bai mi tromoi tok stret olsem ol siti lain iken traim long bilasim toktok bilong ol iet."
Continue reading "Is Tok Pisin becoming class conscious?" »
| Save PNG Blog | Edited
PORT MORESBY - When we speak of ‘Forgotten Food’ we are also talking about ‘Forgotten People’ and ‘Forgotten Language’ because these are the keepers of traditional knowledge and culinary art.
This knowledge includes the food, the stones, the type of firewood, the leaves used to wrap and cover the food and the way the food is prepared and cut.
Continue reading "PNG’s endangered & forgotten foods" »
Isaac Lupari’s alleged financial dealings with Paladin raised in Australian parliament
| The Sunday Age
CANBERRA - The chief secretary of the Papua New Guinea government, Sir Isaac Lupari, allegedly approached a director of controversial Australian immigration detention contractor Paladin for financial support, according to evidence provided to a Senate committee in Canberra.
Sir Isaac is one of PNG’s most experienced officials and is perhaps the second most senior figure in the government behind Prime Minister James Marape.
Continue reading "Lupari said to have demanded payment from Paladin" »
TUMBY BAY - It seems like there is nothing like a widespread and deadly pandemic to expose the hidden underbelly of society. In terms of revelatory power it even outdoes warfare.
While war seems to starkly illustrate the worst and the best in humanity, a pandemic is much more subtle in its nuances.
Continue reading "Could this be a crunch-time pandemic?" »
| Sydney Morning Herald
SYDNEY - Justin Olam looks uncomfortable when his airborne try against the Raiders in the preliminary final comes up in conversation.
The Storm star is not the kind of player who seeks the limelight, let alone the highlight reel, and points out that the only reason he had to take off in last week's game was to clear a player on the ground, not to add flourish to the finish.
Continue reading "Olam flying high after deluge of homeland love" »
A Yaliman man from the Baliem Valley of West Papua
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
| Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
CAMBRIDGE, UK - A new study of human genomic diversity suggests there may have in fact been two successful dispersals out of Africa, and that a “trace” of the earlier of these two expansion events has lingered in the genetics of modern Papuans.
Three major genetic studies are published today in the same issue of Nature.
Continue reading "The Melanesian expansion out of Africa" »
In 1979, Robyn Davidson trekked 2,700 km across Australia's western deserts with only her dog and four camels as companions
TUMBY BAY - Baka Bina’s recent short story, ‘When the rains fall red’, set me to thinking about women’s issues and my role as a kiap before independence.
The kiap fraternity was, after all, an all-male body but the fact was that the communities we were sent to administer were pretty much half and half male and female.
Continue reading "Taim bilong mun, noken tok" »
NOOSA – Author and ex-kiap Paul Oates is a good friend – but not an uncritical one – of Papua New Guinea.
The respect he developed for the people of PNG during his service in the country from 1969 to 1975 has stuck with him, as has his knowledge of Tok Pisin, which he exercises to this day in his loyal readership of the Pidgin English news service of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Continue reading "Whither Tok Pisin?" »
NOOSA - This week I received three consignments of Phil Fitzpatrick and my book, Man Bilong Buk, a 320 page tome about the late Francis Nii, containing many of his essays and poems and much more.
The consignments came to me instead of going to Papua New Guinea because Amazon has stopped distributing to PNG. Now my problem is to get them to a long list of readers I’ve developed.
Continue reading "Your further assistance is requested" »
“If you don’t start writing, you will continue thinking forever and die with your thoughts” – Francis Nii
‘Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’ by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $9.24
GOROKA - Writing about your own personal experiences and life in your own carefully carved words whilst feeling joy, pain and every emotion along the way can be quite soothing.
It is not easy at first. There are demons that you have to fight off to make peace with your past: your failures, losses and everything you have endured to put your story out there.
Continue reading "My poems are my story" »
ADELAIDE - It is pleasing to see that a new book by Daniel Kumbon, Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter, will soon be available.
It will join recent works by Sil Bolkin, Mathias Kin and the late Francis Nii as another step in preserving the history of Papua New Guinea, in this case of the Enga people in particular.
Continue reading "Beyond first contact & gun-bearing Baptists" »
PORT MORESBY - Darn the wind!
As she stepped out of the PMV bus outside the Port Moresby town police station, Matalina immediately knew she would be in trouble.
The gale-force wind, blowing fast and furious from Ela Beach over the isthmus to Fairfax Harbour, was sweeping the debris away and replacing it with its own rubbish of torn bushes and plants.
Continue reading "When the rains fall red" »
Evelyn Ellerman - "I remember the very day in 1963 I was able to walk into a bookstore and actually buy something written by a Canadian author"
| Ples Singsing
ALBERTA, CANADA - It’s a funny thing about national literatures. It seems as though they find their own time to blossom.
Like Papua Niuguineans, I live in a former colony, Canada. Different circumstances, but many of the same challenges.
Continue reading "Literatures find a time to blossom" »
I am the Corona Virus or Covid-19
I seem to be making headlines this year
In your news, radios and papers
All that you ever see and hear
Continue reading "The Corona Virus" »
Joe Herman - "Is there anything left of those noble traditions that we can revisit as a source of strength as we recalibrate our journey?"
SEATTLE, USA - There are many similarities between the communities of Australia’s indigenous people and the people of Papua New Guinea in how we are dealing with the tension between the dreamtime and this modern era.
As you know, in PNG we have gullibly embraced almost all aspects of the western cultural values that landed on our shores.
Continue reading "Can we resurrect the house of wisdom" »
Author Daniel Kumbon and the subject of his latest book, Paul Kiap Kurai with the vista of Enga below them
This is the Introduction from a new book by Daniel Kumbon which will come off the presses in a few weeks’ time. It tells of three generations of a prominent Enga family over a period of 90 years, from first contact with waitman gold prospectors in 1930 to the present day. The book features the prominent Enga businessman Paul Kiap Kurai who carries with him the knowledge that tradition is not something of the past but part of the spirit that carries his people forward into the future - KJ
Continue reading "From tragic first contact to now" »
"For me, the pineapple marinade rump steak took the trophy. The pieces were tender and fit for a sandwich without any stringy beef texture"
| My Land, My Country
LAE - In July when I took leave, my partner in crime and I were standing at one corner of Brian Bell in Madang trying to decide if we should buy a gas barbeque.
Long story short, BBQ found its way home. (Yes, it just hopped on a Brian Bell delivery truck and followed us home).
Continue reading "Heavenly match: Ramu beef & Hagen pineapple" »
The PNGDF IT team poses for a group photo
| PNGDF Defence Media
PORT MORESBY - It was early one dark morning at PNGDF headquarters inside Murray Barracks, Port Moresby.
The kind of early morning that makes people say it is always darkest before dawn.
I was slouched in the manner of a drunken stupor over the keyboard, staring at the desktop screen.
Continue reading "Early morning, PNGDF, IT and me" »
| My Land, My Country
PORT MORESBY - A group of seven Port Moresby-based musicians have lost a combined income estimated at K232,000 over the six months since April, working out to K1,275 for each musician each week.
The musicians gathered last weekend at the National Museum & Art Gallery at Waigani to share personal stories of the effect of Covid-19 measures on their families.
Continue reading "Covid costs Port Moresby musos big time" »
| Ples Singsing Blog
LAE – In her review of my poem collection 26 Sonnets (available here for free on PNG Attitude), Professor Konai Helu Thaman of the University of Hawaii provided a task to Papua Niuginian writers which I believe is central to our current dual objectives.
These are to make our own contributions to national literature and establish and maintain a national literary society in some manner.
Continue reading "Re-thing & reclaim Niugini’s own story" »
TUMBY BAY - The world has always been in a state of perpetual crisis. We seem to seamlessly roll on from one crisis straight into another one.
We actually thrive on crises.
If there wasn’t a worldwide crisis at any given time, we would wonder what was happening. That we didn’t have a crisis would become a crisis in its own right.
Continue reading "A state of perpetual crisis" »
Daughter Nancy (PNG meri blouse & fedora) & Nepe with family members, 14 August 2015. Nepe is survived by 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 29 greatgrandchildren and 1 great-greatgrandchild (left of Nancy)
FIFE, SCOTLAND - The Oral History Project of Papua New Guinea’s National Museum & Art Gallery and the Military Heritage Project are essentially a national search for common identity and, dare I say, a national consciousness, in a country where divisive diversity is the norm.
The former participates in this search through a blending of different stories while the latter does so through the preservation of the materiality of World War II.
Continue reading "For God, country or what? Kumaniel’s war" »
One of the many search parties looking for Maclarence
MARY TERRIETTE ASEARI
| Academia Nomad
A student from the University of Papua New Guinea is reported missing. A week goes by and he is not found. Students conduct one of the biggest searches the city has seen. Mary Terriette Aseari is a third year student at the university.
PORT MORESBY - Maclarence Akua - a 22-year old third-year student, a good friend and a course mate of mine at the University of Papua New Guinea - had been missing for almost a week.
Mac is of mixed East Sepik and Bougainville parentage but grew up in Kimbe.
Continue reading "Finding Mac: Search brought us together" »
Theonila Roka Matbob looks down on Panguna mine (Human Rights Law Centre - Reuters)
LEANNE JORARI & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract
Link here to the complete story in The Guardian
PORT MORESBY - For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.
The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born - but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.
Continue reading "Girl from Bougainville versus Mining Giant" »
Author Leonard Roka is now a farmer and educational entrepreneur in Bougainville
LEONARD FONG ROKA
Award-winning author Leonard Roka is the brother of Theonila Roka Matbob. He was among the 15 losing candidates who stood in the seat Theonila won in the recent Bougainville election. This story was originally published in PNG Attitude on 29 November 2015
BUKA - At the peak of the Bougainville Crisis my father was gunned to death while my mother struggled to save his life as she confronted blood-hungry Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) men from our own Kieta society in Central Bougainville.
So it was that great inhumanity murdered my dad, John Roka, who so loved Bougainville and his Bougainvillean family. Inhumanity was perpetrated in the name of Bougainville freedom.
Continue reading "The heart can kill, or it can liberate" »
Kids on bikes in the park - echoes of the Lae of old
| My Land, My Country
LAE – On Friday night when Lae MP, John Rosso, talked about what the city was like in the past, there were quite a few people who nodded their heads in agreement.
They remembered a city with popcorn and cinemas in Eriku, Town, East Taraka and other suburbs. There was a botanical garden, unfenced, with aviaries, ponds with goldfish, BMX bike tracks and ice cream trucks.
Continue reading "Will the old Lae please stand up again?" »
Richard Brunton and his fiancée Catherine Styles
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guineans and Pacific Islanders are among many thousands of people stuck in limbo because of an Australian migration policy which appears to lack compassion.
Due to the pandemic, Australia closed its borders to almost everyone except Australian citizens, permanent residents, resident New Zealand citizens or immediate family members.
Continue reading "Unjust Oz policy leaves Pacific people in limbo" »
‘Caution! When in Turbulence do not Pick Nose: Ups and Downs of a Kiwi in Papua New Guinea’ by Colin Pain, Independently Published, 2019, 163 pages, ISBN: 9781071185414, AU$15.54 plus postage, from Amazon Australia
TUMBY BAY - This rather disjointed book has some curious spelling errors, inexplicable font changes and a cover that is difficult to immediately link to the content.
The overriding impression is that it was either put together in a hurry or with a fairly blasé attitude about the end result.
Continue reading "The longest title of a PNG memoir ever written" »
| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society | Edited extract
CANBERRA - Two-thirds of Papua New Guinea’s small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to close their doors as a result of Covid-19.
PNG has had a tapered increase in Covid-19 cases, with 578 cases and seven deaths now recorded amidst low testing numbers.
Continue reading "Virus’s huge impact on PNG small business" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - As a Singaporean company with Chinese interests works to get approval to mine sand along the north coast of Madang, many Papua New Guineans are unaware of the impacts of this multibillion dollar global industry.
Sand mining remains largely under the radar in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "50km of Madang beaches planned for sand mining" »
Aboriginal people providing drawings & audio recordings, May 1939 (South Australian Museum)
TUMBY BAY - When I left Papua New Guinea and returned to Australia in the 1970s I went to work recording sacred sites in what was then the North-West Aboriginal Reserve in South Australia.
The job was funded by the Commonwealth government through a grant program channelled through the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and administered by the South Australian Museum.
Continue reading "Bridging the chasms that blind cultural understanding" »
The Case of the Great Pumpkin Heist by Philip Fitzpatrick, Amazon Books 2020, 328 pages. Kindle edition US$1.00; paperback US$7.98. 328 pages. Free downloadable copy – go to the Free Inspector Hari Metau Books link in the bar on top of the PNG Attitude masthead above
NOOSA – We had to wait another year for it but Phil Fitzpatrick has produced the fifth novel in his Inspector Hari Meta series of detective stories set in Papua New Guinea.
And this one, no less than the others, offers a rattling good mystery suffused in the aura, chaos and comedy of modern day Papua New Guinea as well as exploring many of the challenging issues that face the country.
Continue reading "Inspector Metau is on the prowl again" »
Dr Kerryn Baker
| ANU College of Asia & the Pacific | Edited extracts
CANBERRA - The Pacific Islands region has the lowest level of women’s representation in politics in the world. Three countries - Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Micronesia - have no female politicians.
Dr Kerryn Baker has researched women’s political representation in the Pacific for nearly a decade. During this time, her work has highlighted the importance and value of having more women in Pacific parliaments.
Continue reading "Getting women into the Pacific’s parliaments" »
ADELAIDE - Unfortunately the tides of history do not always move in a linear or predictable fashion. Take the Russian Revolution for example.
The first major convulsion within Tsarist Russia occurred in 1905. A combination of suppression and political concessions enable the old regime to remain in place but it was an ominous warning for the Tsarists that the status quo would not and could not last much longer.
Continue reading "2020 signals major change for PNG & the world" »
Papua New Guinean author Baka Bina and publisher Jordan Dean
PORT MORESBY - I have written to the Commonwealth Foundation about its writing contest, which closes on Sunday 1 November (see details at the end of this article).
My letter was asking whether, in the interests of fairness, Pacific island competitors could be separated from Australia and New Zealand competitors in the contest.
The letter said:
Continue reading "Is the Commonwealth Writers contest fair?" »