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100 posts from June 2013

Former UN lawyer is Australia's new aid minister


Melissa Parke MPKEVIN RUDD’S SOON-TO-BE-APPOINTED CABINET, with a record 11 women ministers, will include Western Australian lawyer Melissa Parke, 46, in the new ministry of international development and aid.

Ms Parke was elected as the federal member for Fremantle in 2007 at the general election that marked the beginning of the new Labor Government, having campaigned on the need for education and health reform, and for integrity and accountability in government.

Before entering parliament, she was a senior lawyer for eight years in the United Nations, including with the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. 


Continue reading "Former UN lawyer is Australia's new aid minister" »

Adventures in futility: How I offered PNG my services


DESPITE PRIME MINISTER PETER O’NEILL’s frequent admonitions of the nation’s public servants to pull up their collective socks in this Year of Implementation, a more concrete and more selective reproach may be required.

How so? Well, my personal experience over the past year demonstrates a PNG Education Department in apparent disarray, no doubt indicative of public-service-wide institutionalised malaise.

Two decades ago I arrived in Papua New Guinea’s education sector to (mostly) enjoy four productive years of teaching and administration.

Since going finish, I’ve ventured forth to classrooms globally but the lure of tropical shores has remained.

Continue reading "Adventures in futility: How I offered PNG my services" »

A soliloquy of soil


Soil“What is the nature of soil?” I wondered.
“Soil is filthy and weak”, a rock sneered at the earth around it.
In a ploughed field I saw rocks crumbled to dust, where my workers were hand tilling, and many more were piled along the foot deep drains and at the head of each of a score of forty metre long furrows.
“Now we can plant”, I said.
This is the nature of soil.

Continue reading "A soliloquy of soil " »

Port Moresby air connection established to Jakarta

LUC CITRINOT | Travel Daily News

Air_NiuginiINDONESIA’S NATIONAL FLAG CARRIER, Garuda Indonesia, is looking to link Jakarta to Port Moresby with regular commercial services from August.

The Indonesian airline is seeking to serve untapped markets in the Asia Pacific region and this will be the first direct air connection from Moresby to Jakarta.

Continue reading "Port Moresby air connection established to Jakarta" »

Planting the seeds of good health in rural PNG


Cutting firewood, Gulf province“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant” - Robert Louis Stevenson

OUR GROUP TRAVELLED BY PMV from Port Moresby to the Gulf Province to plant seeds, some of which may sprout earlier than others.

Some may grow and flourish quickly, while others may take a little longer.

But one thing for sure is that the seed of hope will grow. And, as some of the specific projects take off, this growing hope will beget greater hope.

Our journey was partially sparked by a Brisbane-based charity call Good Samaritans and a chance meeting with us - young, energetic and creative Papua New Guineans wanting positive change and an improvement in the lives of rural folk.

Continue reading "Planting the seeds of good health in rural PNG" »

Koromira rises like the sun


Koromira sunriseAs the wave crashes upon the seashore
the pirites sing morning greetings patrolling the shore
standing on Oema Bridge, watching the rising sun
across the horizon of the sea she raises, the old sun
every new day as a brand new day dawns,
I wondered why it rises up where it dawns

Every morning I love as her rays’ touches me
I could stand there at it as it stares back at me
my place is Koromira where the sun rises
the eastern part of the sankamap islands
eastern shores of my beautiful Bougainville
That’s is where the sun first saws her avail

Continue reading "Koromira rises like the sun" »

Death of Dennis O’Rourke, maker of passionate films

KARL QUINN | Brisbane Times

Dennis O'RourkeDENNIS O'ROURKE, THE DOCUMENTARIY PRODUCER who made five of his best-known films in Papua New Guinea, has died.

His other celebrated films, The Good Woman of Bangkok and Cunnamulla, won praise and enemies in equal measure, died earlier this month aged 67 from a rare form of cancer.

Some of his peers remember him as a man whose personality was as passionate and divisive as the films he made.

''He was a hard-living bloke, and for me very inspirational,'' said producer Tom Zubrycki.

''He was one of the first documentary filmmakers to get his films into the mainstream - he got his film Shark Callers of Kontu screened at the Sydney Opera House in 1982 when nobody was doing that.''

Continue reading "Death of Dennis O’Rourke, maker of passionate films" »

Bougainville Manifesto 5 – Land, incest & greed


Leonard Fong RokaIN THOSE EARLY DAYS of the development of mining in Bougainville, Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) and the colonial administration were not creative or proactive in dealing with landowners and other affected people with understanding and sensitivity.

Similarly the copper company and the state of Papua New Guinea were playing pranks with the people without really knowing their subjects.

For example, Nakonang, the grandfather of the rebel leader, Francis Ona, invested in division and hatred in his family by marrying his own first-born daughter before the Panguna mine was opened.

Continue reading "Bougainville Manifesto 5 – Land, incest & greed" »

A proper understanding of what causes sickness


AFTER RECENTLY HEARING FROM FRANCIS NII that he is trying to help the cancer patients in the Kundiawa hospital where he stays, I sent him a copy of a Christian book called What Cancer Cannot Do which I found of great help last year while having chemotherapy.

Francis said he appreciated the book and would translate it into Tok Pisin for patients at the hospital.

The book was written for Christians to help them to see that getting cancer does not cut you off from God's love.

Continue reading "A proper understanding of what causes sickness" »

Commercial property surges in Moresby real estate


AFTER SEVERAL YEARS of rapid growth in Port Moresby’s residential real estate sector, the market is in consolidating.

Government data show that the finance, real estate and business services sector grew by 10% in 2012, down from 20% the previous year. In 2013 expansion is projected to be just 1.5% according to the Department of Treasury.

Another indicator of a slow-down in the residential market is a decline in the rate of growth for home loans, which fell from 150% for the year ended March 2012 to 41% for the year ended September 2012, according to the World Bank.

Continue reading "Commercial property surges in Moresby real estate" »

Even in farming, the seeds of corruption linger


ANY GAINS AGAINST CORRUPTION in Papua New Guinea usually extend just for the short-life of a particular campaign.

Our leaders as are as other world leaders - not noted for their perseverance in matters that could compromise political allies or business supporters.

By all means Papua New Guinea must have anti-corruption measures but it should depart from the narrow view that corruption is only about money and nepotism.

It is also about the moral failing of positioning incompetent people in positions of power in government. This is both a failure of governance and a corrupt practice. 


Continue reading "Even in farming, the seeds of corruption linger" »

Govt must put public service ahead of big projects


THE PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENT has been told it should build capacity in the public service and provide proper oversight mechanisms before undertaking more major spending.

The government has announced huge spending commitments since coming to power last year, relying on earnings from LNG projects and other resource developments.

But Paul Barker, executive director of the Institute of National Affairs, says more capacity to properly manage these funds is needed to ensure the money is not squandered.

Continue reading "Govt must put public service ahead of big projects" »

The PNG kiap postage stamp that didn’t quite happen


PNG Kiap - unissued stampFAME WAS NEARLY OURS.  Pre-independence Papua New Guinea kiaps came perilously close to making it into stamp albums all over the world.

Around 1960 there were plans to introduce a five shilling Territory of PNG commemorative stamp featuring a patrol scene.

But unfortunately the idea was shelved and instead the 5/- issue was published with a picture of a policeman as the main theme.

Continue reading "The PNG kiap postage stamp that didn’t quite happen" »

No place in the military for the Sergeant Perupes


THE OBESE PNG SERGEANT looked over his shoulder to make sure his Australian counterpart was a few metres away out of earshot.

‘’You are only 163 cm tall. The minimum requirement to join the army is 165 cm,’’ whispered Sergeant Perupe to the new recruit at Murray Barracks.

‘Son I can mark you down as 165 cm tall and let you progress to the next stage of the check-up. But you know our custom, you have to say thank you and shake hands with me today or tomorrow?’’

‘’I have K80 I can give you,’’ whispered the young man timidly.

Continue reading "No place in the military for the Sergeant Perupes" »

Jane Belfield dies at 80 – long-time PNG journalist


The young JaneWITH THE DEATH OF JANE BELFIELD of a heart attack yesterday, Papua New Guinea has lost another Australian who contributed greatly to the development of the nation’s independence.

Jane and then husband Michael Belfield moved to PNG in 1956 when Michael was posted to the Epo Agricultural Station near Popondetta. Jane was to remain in PNG for 23 years.

In the early days, Jane freelanced for the ABC and the Post Courier and was agriculture correspondent for the former Pacific Islands Monthly. She later obtained a diploma in journalism from the University of Queensland.

Continue reading "Jane Belfield dies at 80 – long-time PNG journalist" »

US says PNG officials engage in human trafficking

LIAM COCHRANE | Australia Network News | ABC

A REPORT RELEASED BY THE US State Department says Papua New Guinean government officials are facilitating human trafficking through bribery and trading victims for political favours.

The US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons 2013 report strongly criticises PNG and keeps it at the lowest ranking of "tier three" in an annually-released index.

The report describes PNG as a place where local and foreign victims are trafficked for sex work, child labour, or manual labour at mining or logging camps.

Continue reading "US says PNG officials engage in human trafficking" »

Confusion reigns over Fiji job recruitment for PNG

MIKA LOGA | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

A FIJI TRAVEL AGENCY says its planned recruitment for Fijians to work in Papua New Guinea is on track despite a statement from the PNG High Commission in Suva saying the PNG government hasn’t endorsed mining-related employment.

The Suva agency has registered around 1,000 locals who have paid $100 each in processing fees.

In a public notice the PNG High Commission cautions that recruitment underway in parts of Fiji are private arrangements not endorsed by the PNG government.

Continue reading "Confusion reigns over Fiji job recruitment for PNG" »

State of Origin: The game that sends PNG bananas


IF THERE WAS ANYTHING AUSTRALIAN that makes Papua New Guinea go mad then it is the State of Origin rugby league game.

While State of Origin is entertainment, fame and money for Australians, here in PNG it is obsession and fanaticism.

No other sporting event has such a fanatical following. The whole nation goes bananas about the tri-series annual contest that pits the Queensland Maroon boys against the Blue boys from the New South Wales.

The Blues and Maroons culture is growing and spreading even into the remotest communities of PNG.

Children as young as one or two years old are indoctrinated into the Blues and Maroons tribes by their parents. Birthday presents are Blues and Maroons souvenirs.

Continue reading "State of Origin: The game that sends PNG bananas" »

Sad journey of a Papua New Guinean rape victim


IN 2006 LEANI, AS I SHALL CALL HER, was a happy-enough 16-year old orphan doing Grade 6 at the Manetai Primary School in Kieta, Central Bougainville.

Leani’s elder sister, married to a Madang man, despised the school’s poverty and wanted Leani to go to Madang, where she could be educated in a better educational institution.

As it turned out, in 2007, last-born and motherless Leani left Bougainville to be educated in Madang. She left her Bougainville world.

Continue reading "Sad journey of a Papua New Guinean rape victim" »

Bougainville’s library – haus stori fills multiple roles


A LIBRARY THAT HAS JUST OPENED in the Autonomous Province of Bougainville today will strengthen the people's heritage.

The library was built by the New Zealand based Bougainville Library Trust after being inspired by author, Lloyd Jones, whose book, Mr Pip, is set during Bougainville’s civil war.

The New Zealand group has been working with the Bougainville Heritage Trust, whose spokesman, James Koibo, says the library, to be known as the Haus Stori, will be like a museum in strengthening Bougainvilleans’ knowledge of their culture.

Continue reading "Bougainville’s library – haus stori fills multiple roles" »

Successful corruption fight is key to a strong society


IF THE O’NEILL GOVERNMENT in Papua New Guinea has the numbers and really intends to see the fruits of Vision 2050 ("a smart, wise, fair and happy society by 2050"), then it must seriously support the formation of an anti-corruption body.

An Independent Commission Against Corruption must also be provided with the appropriate set of fully formed canines to give it the bite required to get its job done.

In fact, ICAC should be the kind of dog that, once released from its chain and given the order to attack, will go for the jugular and not desist until the body stops jerking.

Continue reading "Successful corruption fight is key to a strong society" »

Melanesia group defers decision on West Papua

NIC MACLELLAN | Islands Business | Extracts

AS A GUEST OF HONOUR at last week’s summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare praised the group as a “vibrant and successful” organisation.

In a wide-ranging speech in Noumea, the former Papua New Guinea prime minister spoke of the founding of the MSG and future challenges facing the organisation.

Somare called on MSG member states to employ their size and strength to the service of the region: “An MSG without the Pacific is the weaker, just as a Pacific without the MSG is the poorer.”

Continue reading "Melanesia group defers decision on West Papua" »

Improving women’s participation in PNG politics

ANTHONY SWAN & GRANT WALTON | Development Policy Blog

6 AUGUST 2012 FELT LIKE A WATERSHED moment for PNG politics; Julie Soso Akeke was declared the third woman elected to parliament in that year’s national election, and the first to ever hold a seat in the PNG Highlands region.

Her election, along with Delilah Gore and Loujaya Toni was never assured. Indeed, many in PNG feared that with the retirement of Dame Carol Kidu, at the time PNG’s sole female MP, it would be a long time before another female MP stepped into Haus Tambaran (Parliament House). This against-the-odds effort was a small but important victory.

In this article we look at why supporting women’s attempts to get into formal politics in PNG is important, how one female MP (Soso) came to power, and what her success means for donor efforts to support female candidates.

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PNG airline pioneer Laurie Crowley dies at 93

RICHARD LEAHY | Via David Wall

LAURIE CROWLEY PASSED AWAY earlier this month in the Highlands of New South Wales at the age of 93.

I am sure Laurie will be recognised as being the most significant light aircraft air charter operator so far in the history of Papua New Guinea aviation.

Laurie was an aircraft mechanic (a fitter) in the RAAF during World War II, and learned to fly soon after hostilities ended.

In early 1950, along with another pilot, Ray Stockden, he started Crowley Stockden Airways at Lae.

Continue reading "PNG airline pioneer Laurie Crowley dies at 93" »

The same old story: let’s blame the women


THERE WAS A VERY DISTURBING letter in the PNG Post-Courier last week. It began: “Women of PNG, please dress up decently”.

It is, as you might have guessed, an attempt to blame women for the high incidence of sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.

The answer, according to the writer? Blame the women for dressing in provocative western-style clothes.

Continue reading "The same old story: let’s blame the women" »

Report into troubled Unitech will not be made public


THE PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENT says an investigation it ordered into unrest at the University of Technology in Lae will not be made public.

The government ordered the inquiry after a split between the management and the board at the university sparked rioting by students.

The students and many staff have been strongly supportive of Professor Albert Schram, who was sacked as vice chancellor just a few months after assuming the job.

Acting minister of higher education, Don Polye, says the inquiry’s report is not a public document and will not be made public.

Continue reading "Report into troubled Unitech will not be made public" »

Growing importance of Melanesian Spearhead Group

TESS NEWTON CAIN | Development Policy Blog

THIS YEAR, AS PREDICTED, is shaping up to be one of great significance for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and its constituent members.

The silver jubilee celebrations have been continuing, and 20 June saw the annual leaders’ summit in Noumea, at which point the chairmanship transferred from Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji to Victor Tutugoro, the spokesperson for the Front de Libération et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia.

In the lead-up to the meeting, there was keen anticipation within Melanesia in relation to the application for membership put forward by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation. There was much lobbying by the WPNCL of Melanesian leaders with numerous indications of momentum building towards their desired result.

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Indonesia intensifies PR campaign on Papua

BAGUS BT SARAGIH | The Jakarta Post

THE INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT has invited foreign ministers from Melanesian nations grouped under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to Jakarta to receive briefings on development in Papua and West Papua provinces.

It is a move that could be seen as a campaign to obtain international support for the country’s sovereignty over its easternmost region.

Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Su-yanto said an invitation for the event had been sent to Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“I met the Fijian prime minister in Fiji on 3 June. The topics we discussed touched mainly on bilateral relations between our two countries,” Djoko told The Jakarta Post.

Continue reading "Indonesia intensifies PR campaign on Papua" »

O’Neill is eager to work with foreign mining industry


PAPUA NEW GUINEA PRIME MINISTER Peter O’Neill will hold talks with Newcrest mining executives next week to discuss the company’s controversial asset write-down.

Last week Newcrest announced an asset write-down of up to $6 billion with a primary focus on the company’s Lihir gold mining operations in PNG’s Hidden Valley.

Mr O’Neill earlier this week publicly offered the company assistance to limit the fallout, and now says he expects to meet with executives when he returns from a state visit to Indonesia next week.

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Vengeance will be mine: Thomas Biunu goes to war


Thomas Biuni 2“BOUGAINVILLE COPPER LIMITED (BCL) destroyed our land and people to built the Papua New Guinea’s Highlands Highway, buy planes for Air Niugini, and build the cities of Port Moresby and Lae,” Thomas Biunu said when I met him panning for gold earlier this year

“They didn’t build us good roads or schools, fund our school fees, provide us with electricity or even provide better training and employment.

“And they didn’t keep out the Papuans and New Guineans who uprooted us.”

Like many other Panguna men of his age during BCL’s honeymoon era, he was a break-and-enter jack at the mine site.

Continue reading "Vengeance will be mine: Thomas Biunu goes to war" »

Sijo: We have moved mountains....


We have moved mountains and dug deep into this earth to find gold

To exchange for paper notes, while burying our brothers in filth.

We call development the trenches dug between us for wealth.

Sijo is the classic form of unrhymed poetry in Korea. Sijo have three long lines. Each line varies between 14 and 16 syllables, with the middle line often the longest. The first line states a theme, the second line counters it, and the third line resolves the poem –

PNG corruption: The 'dirty money' trail leads to Australia


MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ALLEGEDLY corruptly obtained from the PNG government have been siphoned to Australian banks, confidential banking documents reveal.

Fairfax Media has also confirmed that the National Australia Bank recently increased its due diligence on some money transfers from PNG due to corruption concerns.

The allegedly dirty money stems from a corruption scandal gripping PNG that has led to the suspension of senior government officials and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill last month asking the Australian Federal Police and Interpol to help investigate.

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The cultural gap: Literary revolutions and after

Russel Soaba and literary journalsRUSSELL SOABA

THERE IS A TENDENCY in every third world country that revolutions spring up every now and then, and often in the form of military coups, one after another.

The objective of such revolutions is to rid an old regime. But the outcome of each remains the same: there is a new.

The very people for whose rights such revolutions are fought see no remedy beyond the fact that even they remain the same underdogs throughout. Nothing happens by way of improved infrastructure, social reform and cultural redemption.

By the same token, literary revolutions abound – particularly within the world of media. 


Continue reading "The cultural gap: Literary revolutions and after" »

Bougainville Manifesto 4 - The four stages of struggle


BOUGAINVILLE WAS FOUNDED on the loose sand of colonisation, being attached to the tether of Papua New Guinea as a source of finance to fund its independence.

Most written literature of pre-independent Papua New Guinea points out that the Solomon Island of Bougainville was a backwater in terms of development and progress.

Papua New Guinea was progressing with copra plantations, timber, rubber, coffee, cattle and so on while Bougainvilleans remained locked outside the doors or as a garden for planters and missionaries.

But the desire for independence in PNG brought Bougainville to the world. Bougainvillean wealth was attractive to build the PNG dream country; the new country the United Nations was pushing Australia to create.

Continue reading "Bougainville Manifesto 4 - The four stages of struggle" »

Jane Awi selected for Pacific leadership program


Jane AwiWHILST THERE HAS BEEN robust discussion in PNG Attitude about Chinese (Mainland China) business involvement in Papua New Guinea, the government of Taiwan continues to provide low key productive assistance to the country.

For decades Taiwan agricultural officers have worked at village level to assist locals establish or improve productive output. 

Perhaps some readers have experienced this this “aid with no strings".  It can be reported there is another contribution, by Taiwan, towards the professional development of potential future leaders.

Jane Awi (from Kerowagi in the Simbu) is the recipient of a Pacific Islands Leadership Program (PILP) scholarship sponsored by the Taiwan government. 


Continue reading "Jane Awi selected for Pacific leadership program" »

Things (like gold) are still unexpected in Bougainville


Washing gold at Loloho beach“DURING THE TIME when the Panguna mine was operating, they used to throw the waste here,” said Paulus Kikihe, indicating an area of land where people were digging to obtain gold.

Paulus is from Rorovana 2 in the Evo-Torau Constituency of Central Bougainville. He is one of the local gold buyers and a miner as well.

The people from Rorovana migrated from Kariki (Fowl) Island in Choiseul Province of Solomon Islands and acquired land along the coast of the North Nasioi area. They have limited useful land because of a big swamp that surrounds them.

Recently, whilst visiting a friend at Loloho, I was surprised to see these Rorovana people panning gold along the beach [see picture] where, as Paulus told me, there was Panguna mine waste from the Loloho concentrator.

Continue reading "Things (like gold) are still unexpected in Bougainville" »

Reality strikes! British film-maker held at gunpoint


Ross KempBRITISH DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER Ross Kemp was held at gunpoint by a gang while filming the new series of his documentary show Extreme World in Papua New Guinea.

The former EastEnders actor-turned-documentary maker is known for his hard-hitting TV shows about street warfare around the world, but things took a scary turn as he filmed his latest show when a group of armed gang members held him captive in PNG.

Mr Kemp, 48, managed to defuse the dangerous situation by negotiating with his captors - and even persuaded them to give him an interview for the documentary series.

Continue reading "Reality strikes! British film-maker held at gunpoint" »

Townsville business seeks to build links with PNG

KATE HIGGINS | Townsville Bulletin

PNG PRIME MINISTER Peter O’Neill is expected to pay a visit to Townsville before the end of this month.

A week after the Queensland government announced a new taskforce to drive its relationships with PNG, Mr O'Neill will arrive in Townsville in late June to strengthen ties between the north of the State and the growing Pacific nation.

Chamber of Commerce President Dawson Wilkie said Townsville and Port Moresby had been sister cities for 30 years and that continued trade was vital for both regions.

"Becoming sister cities was about fostering ties and developing business links," he said.

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Bougainville: Writers should not fan flames of discord


WHEN ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED writers in Papua New Guinea urges his peers to show clear-thinking and steadiness on the Bougainville issue (see Monday’s PNG Attitude article, Rationality & calm required on Bougainville), it behoves the rest of us to listen.

Writing from a hospital bed in Kundiawa, composing his words on nothing more elaborate than a mobile phone, author and essayist Francis Sina Nii has called for “a harmonious, balanced and non-aggravating history” of the civil war of the 1990s.

The war initially pitted Bougainvilleans against fellow Papua New Guineans and then, in its perhaps more tragic phase, saw Bougainvilleans killing each other.

Francis Nii, at the time an economist and development adviser making a mark for himself in business, was rendered a paraplegic in a road accident and has since been confined to hospital and a wheelchair.

Continue reading "Bougainville: Writers should not fan flames of discord" »

No quick fixes to sorcery-related violence in PNG


Villagers in the Simbu Province (Photo, IPS)FOLLOWING WORLDWIDE OUTRAGE over a spate of brutal sorcery-related murders in Papua New Guinea, the government has rolled out a new hard-line approach to spiralling crime.

Repeal of the much-criticised 1971 Sorcery Act means that sorcery-related killings will now qualify as murders and will be punishable by the reinstated death penalty.

But for many who reside in the mountainous highlands in the country’s interior, where there is scarce infrastructure and government services, safety from sorcery-related violence will remain a distant reality unless promises on paper translate into action at the local level.

Continue reading "No quick fixes to sorcery-related violence in PNG" »

Winning hearts: China makes splashes in the Pacific

ALFRED SASAKO | Islands Business

IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT PACIFIC Islands Forum leaders meet the Chinese leadership on Chinese soil. But things are changing.

In November, Pacific Forum Leaders will converge on China’s eastern coastal city of Guanzhou for the first Sino-Pacific Forum Leaders’ summit. Beijing is expected to use the opportunity to showcase the power of its growing economy.

The world’s third largest economy will, among other things, announce a US$1 billion soft loan facility it is offering Pacific Islands governments during the three-day China-Forum Leaders’ summit from 9 November.

The hosting of the historic summit also heralds the advent of a new player in the game plan to, not only have a slice of the Pacific, but win the hearts of its citizens and governments struggling to make ends meet.

Continue reading "Winning hearts: China makes splashes in the Pacific" »

Melanesian leaders discuss West Papua bid to join MSG


A GATHERING OF PACIFIC leaders in New Caledonia is this week deciding whether to admit a pro-independence group from Indonesian province of West Papua to the body.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) brings together the leaders of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, along with New Caledonia's indigenous political movement, FLNKS.

The Free West Papua movement, which has been pushing for independence from Indonesia, sees membership of the MSG as a step towards international recognition.

Vanuatu has voiced support in the past for West Papuan membership, but Fiji and Solomon Islands have yet to make their positions known.

Continue reading "Melanesian leaders discuss West Papua bid to join MSG" »

Rationality & calm required on Bougainville issue


APPARENTLY THERE is a lot of misunderstanding, confusion and misconception, especially among Bougainvilleans, on the factors that became the impetus for the Panguna copper mine conflict.

It is imperative that there must be more education on the fundamental factors that triggered resentment and the subsequent crisis if there is to be better understanding, unity and progress.

Let me clarify my stance from the outset. I am not condoning the Bougainville crisis or its aftermath. I do not wish to interfere with the dreams and aspirations of Bougainvilleans. I am mindful that wounds heal, memories fade but scars remain.  

Continue reading "Rationality & calm required on Bougainville issue" »

Progress towards proposed anti-corruption agency


THIS DISCUSSION PAPER has been developed for the purposes of engaging Papua New Guineans in the government’s development of a dedicated anti-corruption agency (ACA).

It is important that Papua New Guineans have a chance to have a say in shaping one of the strategic institutions in the Government’s widespread efforts to stem corruption in our country.

PNG’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy was adopted by Parliament in November 2011, which provides a comprehensive road map for the many actions that PNG will take to tackle corruption.

Continue reading "Progress towards proposed anti-corruption agency" »

Bougainville Day celebrations held around PNG


Bougainville tee-shirtsBOUGAINVILLE DAY IS AN ANNUAL celebration to commemorate the day on which Bougainville was granted autonomous self-government.

Since its inauguration at Hahela on 15 June 2005, it has been marked in all parts of world where Bougainvilleans live.

Back home in Bougainville, celebrations have been happening all through the weekend in every part of the region from north to south. The Facebook social network was flooded with news of happenings and messages of good will.

Continue reading "Bougainville Day celebrations held around PNG" »

The convergence of cultures - PNG’s great challenge

Michael Dom hsMICHAEL DOM

IN A RECENT COMMENT in PNG Attitude, former kiap Chris Overland made two very important points that we Bougainvilleans and Papua New Guineans need to come to terms with:

(1) We did not have a thriving 'civilisation' pre-colonialism, but rather strong tribal systems with loose inter-tribal affiliations bound by cultural practice than 'political treaty. It was a very fluid arrangement, methinks.

(2) It is true that we were brought into contact with Western civilisation and that the colonisers dismissed our cultural ways, as they themselves had centuries before been forced to abandon their tribal living and become a coherent civilisation (the Romans first accomplished this), albeit through a long a painful process that was still happening when they arrived on our islands.

Continue reading "The convergence of cultures - PNG’s great challenge" »

Much-loved Brother Andrew Simpson dies in Madang


Brother Andrew Simpson and DWU studentsMY EYES WELLED UP with tears when, on the evening EMTV bulletin, I saw that this great man, the Australian Christian brother, Andrew Simpson CFC, Vice President of Divine Word University, was dead.

I couldn't believe the news until the calls and text messages from friends confirmed his death on Friday from a heart attack.

Bro Simpson will never be forgotten in the hearts and minds of every Papua New Guinean who passed out of that institution from its pre university state to this day. He contributed so much to the university to be where it is today as a leading model institution in PNG, providing knowledge and skills required in this 21st century.

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Papua & security on agenda at PNG-Indonesia talks


Peter-ONeill-Pacific-ScoopON A THREE-DAY VISIT to Indonesia over this weekend, Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill is discussing the key issues of trade, border security and extradition.

“We want to encourage further strengthening of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries,” Mr O’Neill said.

The prime minister added that he will talk about ways to develop economic opportunities along border areas as well as strengthening the management of border issues.

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The lingering joy of burning a BCL chopper


Ambrose KuiruaTHE ATTACK GANG CREPT down the ‘V’ shaped waterway towards the main road heading into Tumpusiong Valley. Their task: to torch a Bougainville Copper (BCL) contracted helicopter, which also served the PNG security forces.

The team headed into the Dapera resettlement and climbed into the garden brae towards the concentrator area where the chopper was based.

The attack team comprised Kongara and Tumpusiong Valley men. In their midst was a 14 year old boy, Ambrose Kuirua.

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Wenda: In 20 years West Papuans will disappear

DAMIEN McELROY | Daily Telegraph (UK)

Wenda_BennyBENNY WENDA GREW UP in the remote highlands of West Papua, the former Dutch colony on the island of New Guinea which passed into Indonesian control in the early 1960s.

After graduating from university, he became the secretary-general of the Koteka Tribal Assembly, using his position to protest against the repression of West Papuans’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

In 2002, he was arrested and accused of inciting violence and arson, his home was ransacked without a warrant, and authorities refused to inform him of the charges brought against him.

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