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128 posts from May 2013

Namah - Somare reconciliation: will 1,000 pigs do it?


“INDAI BLO LUDWIG soim mi olsem mi i mas reconcile wantaim Grand Chief” [Ludwig's death has shown me that I must reconcile with the Grand Chief], said Opposition Leader Belden Namah inside the packed Catholic church in Angoram during the funeral service held for the late member for Angoram, Ludwig Schulze, who sadly passed away in April.

But Namah, the self-made, straight-talking multi-millionaire member of parliament representing the West Sepik electorate of Vanimo Green, knew he had to do more than just say sorry to Sir Michael Somare.

He had to perform kastom to show that he was truly sorry the traditional way - Sepik style.

Continue reading "Namah - Somare reconciliation: will 1,000 pigs do it? " »

What did a kiap do on patrol? 5


On Patrol. Episode 5I’VE WOKEN UP TO A CRYSTAL-CLEAR, cloudless sky and it’s even colder this morning than it was yesterday.

I can see sharp-edged Mount Michael about 150 kilometres away to the south-east.

Last night I started the laborious job of going through every name in all the Village Books.

The Village Book is a specially printed, strongly bound volume in which all names in the first census are carefully recorded. On subsequent census patrols, changes are made as I described yesterday.

Continue reading "What did a kiap do on patrol? 5" »

Kananam and Vidar villagers suffer in Madang


DWU students with Kananam villagersIT CAUSED US TO SHUDDER when we heard the experiences of the Kananam villagers with the Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone (PMIZ) outside Madang town.

There was more of a shudder when we learned that our country’s Constitution under Section 53 (5) (a) (d) protects every Papua New Guinean’s right of inheritance of land based on the customary laws that applies to their respective clans.

This is the same Constitution that is eroding the rights of the Kananam villagers because of ambiguous activities by the PMIZ, the RD Tuna Company and the Madang Provincial Government.

Continue reading "Kananam and Vidar villagers suffer in Madang" »

Keith’s intimate travel diary 22 – Florence is drowning


No all beer and skittles in FlorenceWEDNESDAY 29 MAY – FLORENCE, ITALY.  It’s been 15 years since Ingrid and I were last in this part of the world (Ben was with us, aged 10 and doing a Big Mac global benchmarking tour).

But something has happened here in that decade and a half, apart from the usual profusion of wine cellars.

And, bizarre as the idea may seem, it sort of adds up to the same thing that’s presently happening in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Keith’s intimate travel diary 22 – Florence is drowning" »

In PNG the new colonials are getting the cream


FANCY TALK ABOUT THE INEVITABILITY of the mass of Papua New Guineans becoming poorer as a result of globalisation is complete nonsense.

By far the majority of PNG's people still feed themselves without more than occasional recourse to trade stores.

Trips to provincial and outstation-located stores these days are for special occasions and events like a child's entry to school. Most people buy and sell in their own local markets, large and small.

It is an absolute travesty that those whom I shall term ‘the new colonials’ have extended their activities - illegally, openly and with impunity - into even this small-time area of basic retail selling.

Continue reading "In PNG the new colonials are getting the cream" »

What did a kiap do on patrol? 4


On Patrol. Episode 4OLAMAN, THAT TOOK A BIT LONGER than I expected. I’d read in the Village Book that the last kiap had taken two hours. ‘Oh yes,’ they said when I asked them, ‘he was a fast walker and he didn’t wait for the kago.’

Well OK, there’s just time enough to make camp before dark. This village is quite a bit higher and I’m feeling the cold. But there’s a great view of the Asaro valley from the haus kiap.

As always, the police hoisted the Australian flag as soon as we arrived. Now it’s nearly sunset. The police have changed into their full blue-serge uniform and Corporal Baragu has them on parade in front of the flag pole.

Continue reading "What did a kiap do on patrol? 4" »

Bougainville art project produces grim images


Bougainville art - Dominic 2IN 2012, the University of Papua New Guinea, PNG Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross began the Bougainville Art Project, aimed at giving Bougainvillean artists a platform to display their work.

Last month saw the project release its first publication, Painting memories and experiences of the Bougainville conflict, to display works about the period of civil war in what is now the Autonomous province of Bougainville.

Continue reading "Bougainville art project produces grim images" »

InterOil announces distinguished PNG appointments


Sir Wilson Kamit and wife WinifredINTEROIL HAS ANNOUNCED THAT it has nominated Sir Wilson Kamit (pictured here with wife Winifred) for election to its Board of Directors.  

In addition, Isikeli (Keli) Taureka will join InterOil as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Government Relations.

Sir Wilson recently retired as Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, where he began his career.  As Governor, he also served as the alternate governor representing PNG at the International Monetary Fund. 

Continue reading "InterOil announces distinguished PNG appointments" »

Bougainville mining information not reaching villagers


A LANDOWNER AT PANGUNA in the Papua New Guinea autonomous province of Bougainville says discussions on a possible re-opening of the Panguna mine are not reaching people at the village level.

A resumption of mining is seen as critical to the economic development of the province - something that has to happen before any vote on independence, as prescribed in the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

The provincial government has been holding consultations over the last two months to gauge people’s feelings about Panguna’s re-opening.

Continue reading "Bougainville mining information not reaching villagers" »

Defence: Australia should be a leader & not a fool


NOT MANY YEARS AGO Australia was at the forefront in putting pressure on the Papua New Guinea government to reduce the size of the PNG Defence Force.

While at the same time Australia is helping Indonesia to build up its army by training and providing equipment for the Indonesian military, TNI.

Indonesia spends billions each year on its armed forces while PNG spends only a few million to keep our DF from falling apart.

The PNGDF needs help to rebuild, re-equip and be a nation builder. Australia can play a role in this by providing the funding and training that is needed.

Continue reading "Defence: Australia should be a leader & not a fool" »

What did a kiap do on patrol? 3


On Patrol. Episode 3G’DAY AGAIN. I hope you slept well because there’s a bit of walking to do this afternoon.

I told the Luluai and Tultuls yesterday to make sure everyone comes here to the haus kiap this morning and quite a few people are here already.

Kapila, the dokta boi in charge, yesterday sent his offsider Waiaki with the police to have a look at the latrines. Kapila will talk to all the assembled villagers later.

Ahhhh. There’s Kenoli, the forestry extension man. ‘G’day Kenoli, I didn’t see you yesterday.

‘Yes, kiap, as soon as we arrived I went with four village men to look at those hoop pines on that ridge up there. There’s quite a good stand. Plenty of other species of good durable timber too.’

Continue reading "What did a kiap do on patrol? 3" »

Tok Pisin - Our flourishing yet unrecognised language


ONE DOES NOT NEED to make the case that Tok Pisin is a real language among linguists but unfortunately, among ordinary people, the same old tired stereotypes still exist. Like, it's the language in which ‘helicopter’ is mixmaster bilong jesus.

Pisin has some marvellous songs and poetry (e.g., the music of O-shen and other Papua New Guinean artists) and, other than residual prejudice, there's no reason it can't be used for literature.

The idea that Pisin is not a "real" language is insidious. I even think it's a barrier to literacy. I think literacy would be much higher in PNG if students were first taught to read in Pisin.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin - Our flourishing yet unrecognised language" »

What did a kiap do on patrol? 2


On patrol. Episode 2TODAY’S WHEN THE REAL WORK STARTS. I really like being on patrol – just about all kiaps feel the same way.

It’s the only way to get to know the village people; the only way to get to know what’s going on in the villages; and the only way to tell people what the Australian government is trying to do.

I’m now with the cargo and carriers at Asaro. I’ve checked everything, the carriers have their loads, and we’re on an easy, uphill walk to the first village.

That only took an hour. I’m exchanging salutes with the Luluai and others greeting us in the centre of the village.

Continue reading "What did a kiap do on patrol? 2 " »

Social media changes PNG political dialogue


LAST WEEK WAS A ROWDY WEEK in Papua New Guinea's parliament. Allegations that the government made millions of dollars in bogus payments to prominent law firm Paul Paraka Lawyers dominated the sitting.

But it was a controversy that almost wasn't.

When the opposition leader Belden Namah first tried to raise the matter, the Speaker prevented him from asking questions, saying a court order prevented parliament from discussing the matter. That prompted a massive backlash on social media.

Facebook is the most popular avenue for Papua New Guineans wanting to express themselves online, and the biggest discussion group is called Sharp Talk. It has more than 11,000 members and some of them vented their disgust at the Speaker's decision.

Continue reading "Social media changes PNG political dialogue" »

Deterring criminals in Papua New Guinea

SEAN JACOBS | East Asia Forum

A RECENT DECISION by Papua New Guinea’s government to strengthen the nation’s criminal code has re-awakened the debate over the role of deterrence in reducing crime.

Much of the commentary surrounding the proposed changes has focused on the reinstatement of the death penalty.

But PNG’s parliament is also considering a range of harsher measures including life imprisonment for rape, 50 years for drug cultivation, 30 years for armed robbery, 20 years for illegal brewing, and the criminalisation of sorcery.

The rationale behind imposing harsher sanctions for convicted offenders is relatively straightforward and appears to be popular among the citizens of PNG.

Continue reading "Deterring criminals in Papua New Guinea" »

Keith’s intimate travel diary 21 – In the Vatican


MONDAY 27 MAY – ROME, ITALY.  Some 20,000 souls (I suppose we can call them such) pass through the Vatican each day. Five million a year. That’s a lot of souls.

Their passage follows a similar route – first snaking through the immense galleries, halls and vaults of the Vatican Museum, then down many, many steps (Achilles is displeased) for some quiet time in the Sistine Chapel, glorified by Michelangelo’s magic frescos (pictured), and finally storming into St Peter’s Basilica with its mighty dome dominating (what else?) the Rome skyline and beyond.

At precisely 9 am, outside Caffé Vaticano in Viale Vaticano, Ingrid and I meet our guide, Dr Dino Margiotta, who spent four years  in the Vatican archives and library researching his PhD thesis on a pope whose name my cloth ears don't catch.

Continue reading "Keith’s intimate travel diary 21 – In the Vatican" »

Let’s move beyond those colonial prison walls

Michael Dom and PNGMICHAEL DOM

It’s an argument not uncommonly prosecuted by Australians who were in Papua New Guinea during colonial times – and at its core is the thesis that Australia prematurely granted independence to its then territory.

The matter was again raised in PNG Attitude recently in an article by David Wall, which drew this rejoinder from one of PNG’s leading writers, Michael Dom - KJ

DAVID’S WAS A TIMELY ARTICLE as it brought to light an issue which constantly pops up. Perhaps we can finally bury it.

Let it remain in the annals of history where it belongs.

It is less useful as a means of advancing our future to try to point the finger of blame for early independence on those who are not around to gainsay us.

Continue reading "Let’s move beyond those colonial prison walls" »

What did a kiap do on patrol? 1


On Patrol. Episode 1SO WHAT DID a kiap do while on patrol? Today, only ex-kiaps and a few retired Papua New Guinean police could answer that question fully.

And the answers would all be slightly different because it depended very much on the area being patrolled.

But I’ll tax my memory and look at some of my old patrol-reports to see if I can answer my own question. The answer will be too long for a single article, so I’ll make this a serial over the next few days.

So, dear reader, this is part of Papua New Guinea’s history. Come with me on a typical patrol from Goroka in the Eastern Highlands, this dry season in 1955, when the country was called the Territory of Papua and New Guinea (TPNG) The picture shows the sort of country we’ll be patrolling. But there’s a lot of preparation to do first.

Continue reading "What did a kiap do on patrol? 1" »

Keith’s intimate travel diary 20 – Funny who you meet


They really need a new building codeSUNDAY 26 MAI – ROMA, ITALIA. Jacko’s got writer’s block and handed over the old dairy to me today, so here’s a squirt of milk in yer eye, eh. Just my little Aussie joke, comrades.

Bumped into Keithy-boy here in Roma. Some people would call it coincidence. I call it fate. He was obviously pleased to see me. As he said, “The people you meet when you’ve got an Achilles problem.”

He’s only given me one go at this diary caper, so I’m taking as my topic, travel, or as my missus Darleen calls it ‘Trouble with a capital T’.

Continue reading "Keith’s intimate travel diary 20 – Funny who you meet" »

Consultations begin for Bougainville mine re-opening

JEMIMA GARRETT | Pacific Beat | Radio Australia

HUNDREDS OF LANDOWNERS from around the Panguna mine site in Bougainville will meet today for the first formal consultation on re-opening the mine since the civil war ended 12 years ago.

The mining forum in Arawa comes after three years of talks and is part of a series of meetings across the island.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has held three previous forums but this is the first time landowners from the mine area have been formally consulted.

Deputy chairperson of the Panguna and Affected Resource Owners Association, Theresia Jaintong, says many people in the community will be attending.

Continue reading "Consultations begin for Bougainville mine re-opening" »

Tok Pisin is well equipped for PNG's literature


BACK IN MARCH, Phil Fitzpatrick excited a lively discussion when he raised the issue of whether Tok Pisin (TP) should be used as a medium for literature in Papua New Guinea.

What follows is a belated contribution to that discussion and an attempt to respond to Michael Dom’s hope that ‘there are interested and/or knowledgeable writers out there who can expound in essay form on the many views from our discussion’.

That original discussion featured, among many and varied sub-topics, two broad themes: (1) the legitimacy, status, functionality and adequacy of TP and (2) the TP versus English and local versus international paradigms for PNG literature

Continue reading "Tok Pisin is well equipped for PNG's literature" »

I am woman

Lapieh-landuLAPIEH LANDU

A POEM INSPIRED by the national Haus Krai. What does it mean to be a woman, a woman of the world and a woman of our country? What does it take to know our roles and to be respected for our role in society?

I am woman!
What does it mean?
To be woman.

My womb that cradled life
A place for where he lay

My breasts, which fed my young
An ardour for my compeer

My hands, which served the needs of others
That prepares his repast for indulgence

Continue reading "I am woman" »

Heading up to hell: The war comes to PNG

Hal Holman - self-portraitIn this chapter from HAL HOLMAN’s autobiography, The Phoenix Rises Eternal, the author discusses his first landfall in Papua New Guinea as an Australian soldier in 1942….

THE AMERICAN FORCES were firmly entrenched in Townsville long before we arrived.

Army, Navy and Air Force servicemen and women were there in large numbers.  Their uniforms were so much smarter than ours, they were paid considerably more and to make things irksome they were idolised by the bulk of available Australian women.

They had absolutely inundated Townsville and, in fact, commandeered all the dance halls and entertainment venues where it was quite frequent for us to be denied entrance—even having doors slammed in our faces, when we sought to gain entry. 

Continue reading "Heading up to hell: The war comes to PNG" »

Keith’s intimate travel diary 19 – Who are we to advise?


Frecciarosa speeds through the Italian countrysideSATURDAY 25 MAY – ROME, ITALY. Ingrid and I ride from Naples to Rome on the Frecciarosa, which hurtles on steel rails, skirting hills and mountains, through fertile, undulating countryside at 300 kph. It is a journey of such sublimity you never want it to end.

As the pretty pastel villages flash by and the chardonnay in my glass creeps lower, my mind perversely meanders in the direction of Australia, where successive generations of politicians, bureaucrats and entrepreneur-imposters have failed to create decent ground transport whether on rail or road.

My long held and unpatriotic view is that, by and large, Australians are lousy managers and that, if we didn’t have a reasonably good education system and a lot of minerals in the ground, we’d be finding life a real struggle.

Continue reading "Keith’s intimate travel diary 19 – Who are we to advise?" »

Good reading coming up in PNG Attitude.   Tomorrow: We reprise Michael Dom's important comment on the 'independence wars' - did Australia grant independence too early & does it matter?   Monday-Friday: Bob Cleland provides a daily account of what kiaps did on patrol in a descriptive five-part series. All this & much more. First-rate reading in your Attitude

Goroka Hospital: Graveyard of preventable deaths


Michael MalabagTHE MINISTER FOR HEALTH, the Hon Michael Malabag, and his small delegation were welcomed at the Eastern Highlands Provincial Hospital by staff holding a banner that read: WELCOME TO THE GRAVEYARD FOR PREVENTABLE DEATHS.

The delegation included the acting Secretary for Health, Pascoe Kase, EHP Governor Julie Soso, Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa and Daulo MP Ron Garanafo.

The emergency visit to the hospital was to address the current sit-in protest by staff over the appalling deterioration of clinical services in the hospital.

The staff, united in solidarity under their various branch union leaders, demanded that the current EHP Provincial Health Authority Board and the management be changed.

Continue reading "Goroka Hospital: Graveyard of preventable deaths" »

Defence cooperation benefits Australia not PNG


THE RECENT SIGNING OF THE Defence Cooperation Agreement with Australia lacks input from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and other security agencies of the Papua New Guinea government.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill should have listened to advice from these agencies before inking the Agreement. Instead, the O’Neill government has pledged to continue its long-standing allegiance to Australian imperialism.

The Australians are aiding PNG with ideas that are out-dated and will not benefit PNG at all. The advice from the PNGDF to the prime minister was that he should not have signed the agreement before a PNGDF White Paper was prepared, which will also be PNG’s National Security Policy.

Continue reading "Defence cooperation benefits Australia not PNG" »

Japan steps up its interest in PNG’s gas riches

DAVID WINNING | Wall Street Journal Blog

Peter O’Neill meets with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo AbeJAPAN HAS RAISED ITS BETS on Papua New Guinea as an emerging source of natural gas supply.

In the latest deal, Osaka Gas Co Ltd has agreed to pay $204 million to acquire stakes in natural gas assets in PNG owned by Australia’s Horizon Oil Ltd, which has made a string of discoveries and is considering a new gas-export facility on the coast.

Japan is the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas—a natural gas cooled into liquid form so it can be transported by ship.

LNG in Asia has traditionally been sold via long-term contracts, with prices linked to relatively expensive crude oil, even as a natural-gas production boom in North America has driven prices there sharply lower.

Continue reading "Japan steps up its interest in PNG’s gas riches" »

Lost in a million

A younger Leonard RokaLEONARD FONG ROKA

I WROTE THIS POEM in 2005 after an overnight love and booze spree on the Arawa Bay beach with a gaggle of girls after the successful completion of polling in the Ioro Constituency for the first autonomous Bougainville election.

I was assistant returning officer in a no-go-zone where Arawa’s government public servants feared to be.

The poem reflects my then promiscuous life of running after women, until I begin to realise the shit I had being making of my life.

When reading this piece, I kind of see myself as a worst fool or idiot of the Panguna District.

Continue reading "Lost in a million" »

Manus 'Alcatraz' part of PNG assault on crime

ROWAN CALLICK | The Australian

PAPUA New Guinea has embarked on a war against crime that will involve the creation of an Alcatraz-type prison island in Manus, the introduction of the death penalty for murder, aggravated rape or theft of more than $5 million and the secondment of up to 150 Queensland officers to PNG police stations.

The hauskrai movement has dramatised the impact of violence, especially against women and children, in PNG.

Every major centre in the country has established a hauskrai - traditionally, a place for mourners - which have been attended by thousands of supporters, including prime minister Peter O'Neill.

The level of crime in PNG - where law and order has become one of the four priorities of Mr O'Neill's government, along with health, education and infrastructure - has been dramatically illustrated by three recent series of events.

Continue reading "Manus 'Alcatraz' part of PNG assault on crime" »

An invasion of shopkeepers: Are they here to stay?


Coffee picking, PNGIN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE COFFEE INDUSTRY, the first roadside buyers were white men.

Although there were at least two white women driving vehicles in the Wahgi and buying at the roadside - a novelty as temporary participants in the fast-growing industry.

But as the volume of coffee grew and new areas away from the main highway came into being, so the embryo factories began putting local men on the road as coffee buyers.

In one case I am closely familiar with, the first were ex-PIR non-commissioned officers and soldiers. One of them, the late Jack Amos of Busu Coffee Ltd, was anointed as PNG Businessman of the Year back in the eighties.

Continue reading "An invasion of shopkeepers: Are they here to stay?" »

Is it a scam? Fiji officials quiet on PNG recruitment

MIKA LOGA | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

THE FIJIAN LABOUR MINISTRY has still not issued a statement on an agreement between a recruitment agency and individuals in Papua New Guinea to hire 800 Fijians to work in that country.

The Fiji High Commission in PNG conducted investigations and has raised some questions about the agreement.

Fiji’s High Commissioner to PNG, Romanu Tikotikoca, who is in Suva, has met with the Ministry of Labour to discuss the issue.

Labour Minister Jone Usumate said he’s not in a position to release a statement about the matter just yet.

Continue reading "Is it a scam? Fiji officials quiet on PNG recruitment" »

Tei Abal knew that independence came too soon


Tei Abal press clipTHE ACCOMPANYING CLIPPING from the Post-Courier of 1 December 1973 was based on a Tok Pisin interview with Tei Abal, then Leader of the Opposition in Papua New Guinea.

Tei Abal was a man with very little formal education, but who knew his own people well.

Looking back, names come to mind like Andrew Peacock, Bill Morrison and, last but certainly not least, Gough Whitlam: Australian politicians who were pushing PNG towards independence. This is without mentioning PNG leaders like Michael Somare and John Guise.

Continue reading "Tei Abal knew that independence came too soon" »

Could the Tasmanian tiger be hiding in New Guinea?


Last known thylacine named BenjaminMANY PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) survives in the wilds of Tasmania, even though the species was declared extinct over 80 years ago.

Sightings and reports of the elusive carnivorous marsupial, which was the top predator on the island, pop-up almost as frequently as those of Bigfoot in North America, but to date no definitive evidence has emerged of its survival.

Yet, a noted crypto-zoologist (one who searches for hidden animals), Dr Karl Shuker, wrote recently that tiger hunters should perhaps turn their attention to a different island: New Guinea.

Continue reading "Could the Tasmanian tiger be hiding in New Guinea?" »

Karl Hoerler, 63, planter, dies in the Western Highlands


Karl HoerlerKARL HOERLER DIED UNEXPECTEDLY at Korgua Plantation, Western Highlands Province, on 12 April. He was aged 63.

Karl Rudolph Hoerler was born at Seraigi Plantation with his identical twin brother, Emil, in the Bainings of East New Britain.

After finishing school at Oakhill College in Castle Hill, NSW, he returned to work in Ppapua New Guinea starting as shipping clerk with Burns Philp, Rabaul, then on the family plantation until he left for the Highlands in 1972 where he became part of Dan Leahy's clan.

Continue reading "Karl Hoerler, 63, planter, dies in the Western Highlands" »

Critics note: Bougainville government is right on track

Leonard Roka title shotLEONARD FONG ROKA

I SOMETIMES WONDER, were I president of Bougainville, what sort of a person I would be; what amount of condemnation would I be subjected to from the Bougainville people; how would I cope with the kind of unpredictable political climate. Real shudder there!

Anyway, people so often jump to premature conclusions at a leader’s political behaviour. But I, as a Panguna man, should not deny I play pranks with Bougainville politics in the social media; bad child I am.

But that is Panguna culture. We are good at it. Whether our politicking is profitable or not, we play it for the whole of Bougainville to dance to.

But as a Panguna student with a burning desire to enter Bougainville politics sooner or later, I hate one general criticism decanted on my Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG). And that is, I hate to read or hear critics saying that ‘the ABG is weak’.

Continue reading "Critics note: Bougainville government is right on track" »

PNG says Pacific nations must go it alone on trade


PNG Trade Minister Richard MaruPAPUA NEW GUINEA’S TRADE MINISTER, Richard Maru, says he wants to see a common market established in the Melanesian Spearhead Group of nations.

Richard Maru has also said he is against PNG being part of the PACER Plus scheme, which is strongly favoured by New Zealand and Australia, because the trade imbalance means there is no benefit for PNG.

The MSG group includes PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS of New Caledonia and Mr Maru says he wants to see trade among these states bedded down.

Continue reading "PNG says Pacific nations must go it alone on trade" »

Indonesia-PNG joint exploration in border areas

AMAHL S AZWAR | The Jakarta Post

INDONESIA HAS AGREED TO TEAM UP with neighbouring Papua New Guinea to explore potential oil and gas reserves in border areas as the former shifts its oil and gas exploration focus to the eastern part of the archipelago.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said after a meeting with PNG Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister Ben Micah this week that the two countries would work together by establishing joint operations to explore oil and gas reserves.

Indonesia’s Papua province shares a 760-kilometre land border with PNG. The two nations currently have a few territorial disputes along the border, in areas with poor infrastructure.

“The border possesses a huge amount of unexplored oil and gas reserves, according to data obtained by The Jakarta Post. Economically, it would be easier to jointly explore these untapped resources,” Mr Jero said in Jakarta.

Continue reading "Indonesia-PNG joint exploration in border areas" »

Death penalty law is in parliament this week


Kerenga KuaPAPUA NEW GUINEA’S MINISTER FOR JUSTICE and attorney-general, Kerenga Kua, says amendments to the law on the death penalty will be tabled in Parliament this week.

He says work on the draft document is being completed.

Mr Kua says the law and order situation in the country is serious and the government wants to seek ways to address the problem through better policies.

Continue reading "Death penalty law is in parliament this week" »

Keith’s intimate travel diary 18 – Sex in old Pompeii


Wall fresco from ancient Pompeii brothelWEDNESDAY 22 MAY – NAPLES, ITALY.  Weather-beaten old hack that I am, I know there’s nothing like a tabloid headline and an erotic pic to pull in the punters.

But believe me, this is all in the interests of broadening your education. So let's talk history.

Pompeii was a typical Roman city before it was knocked off its perch when Mount Vesuvius volcano exploded in 79 AD, pouring down waves of gas upon 20,000 hapless citizens and covering the place with pumice and ash.

But nearly two milennia later, Pompeii, on the eastern fringe of modern Naples, is not typical any more. In fact it’s remarkable - because the debris in which it was buried is being cleared, leaving pretty much intact a near perfect real-life example of this 2,000 year old Roman metropolis.

Continue reading "Keith’s intimate travel diary 18 – Sex in old Pompeii" »

Jack Amesbury, educator and sportsman, dies at 89


JACK AMESBURY, who served in the Royal Australian Navy in World War II and had a long career in Papua New Guinea, died last Saturday in his 90th year with his family by his side.

Jack was well-known in education and rugby league circles in PNG in the pre-independence years between the 1950s and 1970s.

A celebration of Jack's life will be held on Friday 24 May at the Northwood Garden of Remembrance, Deception Bay, Queensland, commencing at 10 am.

How PNG squibbed opportunity for better governance


This is an edited extract from a report examining the process of decentralisation and improvements to service delivery in Papua New Guinea. Kari Mansa is a pen-name....

SEVERAL YEARS BACK, Dr James Macpherson developed a cabinet submission and bill for amendment of the PNG constitution so as to provide for ability to remove the Speaker (see previous PNG Attitude article here).

The government did not pursue this belated possibility to fill the gap in the constitution. The public is not aware of the submission and bill getting even as far as the cabinet, which may mean it did not have support from the prime minister.

Fine-tuning the constitution is generally not a priority for policy-makers and, as proved by the actions of the previous parliament, blatant abuse of constitutional provisions is reverted to when politically convenient, even in the face of supreme court determinations to the contrary.

Continue reading "How PNG squibbed opportunity for better governance" »

Why, woman?


THIS POEM IS ABOUT A WOMAN’S TURMOIL upon finding pictures of another woman taken by her husband.

She chooses to remain in the relationship despite her overwhelming resentment. As a result she starts to display unattractive traits.

She hates the person she’s become. She wants to save herself but she does not know how. She feels stuck as it were.

Here she has a conversation with herself, going back and forth, asking the questions that ought to be asked and answering them herself.

Continue reading "Why, woman?" »

Pacific paying price of major environmental abuse


Fiji maritime sceneTHE CONSTELLATION OF ISLANDS AND ATOLLS scattered across a vast swath of the Pacific Ocean micro-states are among those most exposed to the consequences of global warming: ocean acidification, multiplication of natural disasters, coral reef degradation, rising sea-levels.

These little islands, which account for a total of about 10 million inhabitants, are paying for the environmental irresponsibility of the world’s great powers.

"Pacific islands are the victims of industrial countries unable to control their carbon dioxide emissions. The truth of the matter is that we have no option but to accept this and adapt," says Dr Jimmie Rodgers, head of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), a regional development organisation.

Continue reading "Pacific paying price of major environmental abuse" »

Not race, reality: PNGn business prospects deprived


“[Ishmael Palipal’s] article will influence less informed readers or bloggers to develop anti-Chinese sentiments and biased opinions. Such emotions will cloud our judgement and is a barrier in finding a way forward for the people of PNG” – Bernard Singu Yegiora, in a comment to PNG Attitude

I HOPE THAT YOU DO NOT MIND my commenting on Bernard's pro-China position.

The view from the dusty market place is a little different to the clear views obtained from the ivory towers of academia.

The new Chinese at my level are intent on filling every small-time niche in the Papua New Guinea economy. Most of the entry-level businesses are filled with Asians.

As a new citizen of PNG in 1976, I operated a kaukau farm and a fast food outlet in Goroka. I learned business in this way and now I am a substantial employer in good standing with Nasfund and other institutions.

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PNG firm to recruit 800 Fijian workers for Lae-Madang

MIKA LOGA | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

BETWEEN 500 AND 800 FIJIANS will be recruited to work on Papua New Guinea’s new economic corridor to be constructed between Lae and Madang.

Aleena Limited, a wholly-owned indigenous PNG company, has expressed interest in recruiting Fijians for the project which is estimated to cost K2 - 4 billion.

“The workers required have their skills in infrastructure development, building construction, roads and civil and mechanical engineering, plant operators and so forth," said Fiji’s High Commissioner to PNG, Romanu Tikotikoca.

Tikotikoca says Aleena Ltd will also look at issuing contracts to Fijian companies.

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