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150 posts from July 2014

100 of the best as Jimmy Drekore’s bush poetry is published


A Bush Poet’s Poetical Blossom by Jimmy Drekore, Pukpuk Publishing, 2014. Soon available on Amazon. $US10 (also in ebook). ISBN-13 978-1500596064. ISBN-10 150059606X

THE poetry of Jimmy Drekore will be familiar to the readers of PNG Attitude, the annual Crocodile Prize Anthology and the Simbu Children Foundation newsletters.

Jimmy won the prize for poetry in the Crocodile Prize in 2011 and his poems have appeared in all the subsequent editions of the Anthology, including this year’s which will be launched on 18 September.

He is one of several talented writers who have emerged from Simbu Province in recent years, which makes one wonder why those high mountains produce so many fine writers.

There is a clue in Jimmy’s poems. They have an earthiness, an honesty and a lack of pretension that is very attractive.

Continue reading "100 of the best as Jimmy Drekore’s bush poetry is published" »

When Australia botched a chance to do the right thing in Bougainville

Bill BrownIn 1966, kiap BILL BROWN found himself posted to Bougainville as preparations to develop the Panguna copper and gold mine moved into top gear. He was far from impressed by what he found and by what he was called upon to do…

AFTER two weeks I needed a break. I wanted to see my family and I needed to report to Denehy, even though I had no good news.

The people were not interested in any promises of financial rewards, and their opposition to prospecting was intense.

I predicted there would be violence, and I thought there might even be suicides. Perhaps I surprised Denehy when I said that I intended to visit all the villages in the Guava Division on a formal patrol and that I would update the census in each village.

At the rollcall, when all the people were present, I would be able to explain the law about mining, and I would be certain that the people knew about the changes to the mining legislation that provided for financial rewards to landowners:

Continue reading "When Australia botched a chance to do the right thing in Bougainville" »

Holiday Fever

Bereina villageIRIANI WANMA

COCK-a-doodle-doo! Damn kokorou (chicken)! I could strangle it with my bare hands, Abia thought.

She wanted to sleep in but she knew that when the sun came up it’ll be a scorcher so she may as well get up now and have breakfast in the cool of the morning.

Her back ached from the thin mattress against the bamboo slats. She sat up, rubbing her sore back. It’s always like this during the first few couple of days. Just yesterday she had awoken from a comfortable spring mattress in town; this morning she awoke from a foam mattress three times less the thickness of that.

She stretched before exiting her tainamo (mosquito net). Every morning for the next six days she would wake up, tie up her tainamo, and fold her sheets. She had come from Moku (Port Moresby) to spend time with her bubus (grandparents).

Continue reading "Holiday Fever" »

Beautiful Mother Earth


Beautiful Mother Earth
Loving and caring mother
Loving and compassionate mother
A big womb you have, birthing new life every day,

Mother, you have a big heart, loves unconditionally
All Living creatures, including human beings
You provide enough for all.
You are the source of our survival

A true Mother that nourishes the thousands and thousands of lives,
No choice they have but to depend on you alone,
What would life be without you, Mother?
Without cost you give and ask no return

Continue reading "Beautiful Mother Earth" »

Creative Nation 8: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, S - T


THIS is the final episode of our eight-part series featuring the entrants to this year’s Crocodile Prize and examples of their writing.

On Sunday we begin an exciting week when we announce – one each day – the winners of the 2014 Awards.

In the decades following the great burgeoning of Papua New Guinean creativity that accompanied the years around independence in 1975, creative literature did not quite go into hiding but, largely unencouraged and unrecognised, certainly entered a fallow period.

Since the advent of the Crocodile Prize in 2010 (the first awards being made in 2011), creative writing has experienced something of a resurgence.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 8: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, S - T" »

Fraud charges against Paul Paraka total over $100 million

Paul ParakaLIAM COCHRANE | ABC PNG Correspondent

POLICE in Papua New Guinea have charged lawyer Paul Paraka with an additional 32 corruption-related offences, bringing the total alleged fraud to more than $A100 million.

Anti-corruption investigators allege the PNG Government paid millions of dollars to Paul Paraka Lawyers for inflated or invented legal cases. Mr Paraka was arrested last year over 18 alleged offences and now police have added another 32 charges of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and misappropriation.

The total amount allegedly defrauded by Paul Paraka is around $AU102 million. The case has embroiled prime minister Peter O'Neill, who is alleged to have authorised some of the payments.

Change’s immutable tread: television sets on; fireside chats gone


THERE’S a growing amount of literature that documents Papua New Guinea’s rich cultural heritage, much of which is on the periphery of vanishing.

Like many educated Papua New Guineans, I take pride in my origins and find time to go home whenever the opportunity arises: to sniff the pure air of rural village life and all there is to cherish.

Tarawai is my island home, and what is happening there is a case study for what I believe is taking place in many parts of today’s Papua New Guinea.

There is rapid change in rural areas, perhaps it is a blind quest for western materialism.

Continue reading "Change’s immutable tread: television sets on; fireside chats gone" »

Why did you lie to me?

Why did you lie to meFELIX BARAKA

Every time I think of you
I am always hurt
Because I did not want to lose you
But it’s hard to hold back.
Why did you lie to me?

I gave you a second chance
Even though you broke my heart
Because I promised to love you
No matter what
Why did you lie to me?

And now you come begging me
Why are you begging me?
Where is all the trust?
It is all gone
Why did you lie to me?

Continue reading "Why did you lie to me?" »

Reuniting the Yuri tribe & the homecoming of Nembare

Reunion of the Yuri tribal people after more than 30 years at Iri-mauleBOMAI DICK WITNE

I continue the story of Nembare – which I have previously told here, here, here and here – to the present day. My whole story has brought to fore many things that I previously did not realise about this man or the life he led.

WHEREVER Nembare went from his birth place at Omdara, a remotely rugged and mountainous village along the Maril River - to labouring in plantations in Rabaul and in Jiwaka, to settling in his in-laws’ tribe in the Bari tribal land of Kerowagi - he never lost sight of his reasons for being where he was.

He showed extraordinary vision, determination and commitment to his cause. He wanted to work, accomplish his mission and return to his birth place where he knew his toils would not be denied.

Continue reading "Reuniting the Yuri tribe & the homecoming of Nembare" »

Plea for return of medal conferred by Queen Elizabeth

Peter Leggett MBELITIA VULAIDAUSIGA | Fiji Times

PETER Leggett MBE, a former resident of Papua New Guinea who now lives in Nadi, Fiji, is pleading for the return of his Member of the Order of the British Empire medal stolen from his home.

Mr Leggett was conferred the honour by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in November 1999 because of his extensive community service in PNG where he lived for 30 years.

Now settled in Legalega, Nadi, with his family, he was in Australia for medical treatment when his home was ransacked in February. "There are some things that cannot be replaced," said a dismayed Mr Leggett.

While numerous items were taken including electronic equipment, jewellery, family heirlooms and military swords, he said the MBE, which remained in its presentation box, mattered the most. "Things like these have no use to others,” he said.


Creative Nation 7: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, N - R


NOT everything to do with creative writing in Papua New Guinea happens in open view. The Crocodile Prize website and PNG Attitude may be the public face but there’s a lot that happens beneath the surface.

For example, in wintery Melbourne, former PNG school publications chief Ed Brumby is operating in a mentoring role with Baka Bina, who works in the National Court registry in Port Moresby.

Baka, from Iufa Iufa in the Eastern Highlands, is already a published author but is keen to improve his work so that he can make a real impact in the publishing market.

And there are many similar relationships that have developed out of the Crocodile prize, whereby experience and expertise can be shared, all with the aim of entrenching the burgeoning of PNG’s literary culture that we have seen in the last few years.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 7: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, N - R" »

Political instability in PNG: Culture, leadership or self-interest


LONG before Papua New Guinea became an independent nation in 1975, people lived according to their own traditional structures, norms and values.

The decision to establish PNG as an independent nation-state was an external initiative, derived from the 1946 Trusteeship Agreement between Australia and the United Nations and stimulated by the worldwide decolonisation movement of the time.

At independence, PNG was given responsibility to govern its own people and was provided with a Westminster system of parliamentary government.

The social spectrum of PNG now ranges from traditional village-based life to modern urban living. These interlocking systems of traditional and modern governance impact greatly on the developing national culture of today’s PNG.

Continue reading "Political instability in PNG: Culture, leadership or self-interest" »

Brown Collar Crime


WANI was a household name in Suwayawi village. He was the last remaining of the twelfth generation of the Suwayawi clan. Four generations older than the present village population, Wani showed little evidence of aging.

A village court magistrate spanning unrecorded years of service to the government, his influence reverberated also over neighbouring villages and as wide as the district boundaries.

He was empowered and immortalised by the reputation of his intense local knowledge and was claimed by many as a soul from centuries gone who had returned as a prophet to take care of his people.

Wani was feared and claimed to possess supernatural powers that could turn a person into stone. His presence alone was enough to make one shiver to the bones. Nobody dared go near his house or land.

The sun was high, and beneath the coconut palms life was motionless except for a few birds whistling in nearby bushes. A lone cock at one end of the village indicated the approach of noon. Nature’s way of signalling time.

Continue reading "Brown Collar Crime" »

Creative Nation 6: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, K - M


DURING the course of this week, I will be sending letters to the seven Papua New Guinean writers who have won the various awards in this year’s Crocodile Prize.

And next week, beginning Sunday, we will reveal the names of these people to our readers as well as the works for which they were nominated and which the judges found so compelling.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Australian High Commission on Thursday 18 September and it is the hope of the Crocodile Prize Organising Committee, COG, that all winners will be present on that night.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 6: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, K - M" »

Illegal cartels make millions through Port Moresby’s buai ban

Betel nut apparatusKELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN

THE buai (betel nut) ban in Port Moresby has not reduced supply into the city. The quantity of buai in Port Moresby is about the same but prices have sky-rocketed.

This has put millions of kina into the hands of a few organised cartels, or should I say well-to-do law breakers.

Let me give you the details.

The typical Engan or Tari or anybody else from the Highlands who sold buai at small tables in Port Moresby’s simmering heat prior to the ban did not have vehicles or the necessary networks to bring bulk buai into Port Moresby, 10 or 20 bags at a time.

Continue reading "Illegal cartels make millions through Port Moresby’s buai ban" »

Godfrey Wippon, from broadcast journalist to PNG faith healer

Godfrey WipponLIAM COCHRANE | ABC PNG Correspondent

THE beach was already packed with worshipers when we arrived: men in shirts and ties; women in colourful dresses, all singing and clapping.

As I set up the camera, a dozen men waded out and formed a line in thigh-deep water, ready for the baptisms.

One of the converts was carried out with a friend following behind clutching a bag of urine still attached to a catheter. He looked like he'd come straight from hospital and he looked very ill.

According to the Revivalist Centre of Papua New Guinea, these baptisms are the moment when people accept the power of God: a power that extends to healing the sick.

After the baptism, the ill-looking man did manage to stumble out, sort of on his own two feet, but mostly supported by a friend on each arm.

Continue reading "Godfrey Wippon, from broadcast journalist to PNG faith healer" »

We must beware of the pitfalls that threaten our cultures

Huli culture meets the weedMICHAEL DOM

WHILE I support the notion of holding on to our cultural roots, we do need to be conscious of those archaic mentalities that may at times bring us down.

One such is the dual notion of the igat/nogat trap.

By this I mean cases such as igat Toyota Landcruiser, nogat piped water.

We think it’s alright for our MP's to rock up to the village in the latest five-door while we go to the bush for a shit and our women fetch drinking water from the stream way down there.

Continue reading "We must beware of the pitfalls that threaten our cultures" »

An analysis & prescription for PNG’s economic management

PNG GDP growth in US dollarsSIMON DAVIDSON

THE O’Neill government has made a very unpopular decision to borrow K3 billion from the USB bank to finance the government’s 10% equity stake in Oil Search Limited. The prime minister sacked Finance Minister Don Polye who refused to sign the loan and signed the loan himself the next day.

The prime minister justified his action by saying Dubai-based company, IPIC, refused to sell its shares to the government as previously agreed.

“The government said the advice sought from financial experts regarding this loan is that this deal is being structured similar to the IPIC loan but on better terms. It is saying PNG has achieved what many thought was impossible.”

When the news of the loan and the sacking of the finance minister who refused to sign the loan reached the masses, public reaction against it was immediate. Two top academics from the National Research Institute (NRI) think tank made a media statement that the loan was not good for the country.

Continue reading "An analysis & prescription for PNG’s economic management" »

Creative Nation 5: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, J


THE Crocodile Prize is Papua New Guinea’s national literature contest. It was established in 2010 to encourage Papua New Guineans to write and also to ensure the people of PNG had access to a home-grown literature.

Both a writing competition and a publishing program were initiated and the first prizes were awarded in 2011.

The contest and related activities, including the publishing program and writing workshops, are managed by the Crocodile Prize Organising Group (COG), an association of 18 Papua New Guineans and Australians.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 5: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, J" »

Busy afternoon at the station as Parakagate approaches climax

Sam Koim & Thomas Eluh at Boroko police stationKEITH JACKSON

IT turned into a big Friday afternoon down at the Boroko Police Station in Port Moresby.

First, at two o’clock, believing themselves to be under imminent threat of arrest, Task Force Sweep director Sam Koim, reinstated by the courts, and suspended Fraud Squad investigator Thomas Eluh voluntarily turned themselves in (picture).

At 1.30 pm, Koim had used Facebook to broadcast his intentions:

“Information being circulated since this morning is that certain policemen want to arrest Messrs Gitua, Damaru, Eluh and Koim for certain charges (unbeknown to all of us).

“Despite court restraining orders in place, it seems these people will not stop at nothing. The only way to show them true observance of the rule of law is for both of us to voluntarily make ourselves surrender to whatever it’s worth. God Help PNG!’’

Continue reading "Busy afternoon at the station as Parakagate approaches climax" »

Walking along a deserted road

Image by Yah PhotographyPAUL WAUGLA WII

Along a deserted road she walked,
Her feet trod, plodded and drummed along the path
Trodden by thousands…or was it millions?

How was she to know how many, before her, have travelled on the deserted road!
And along this road she was a sojourner.
If she had a mind to contemplate, she wouldn’t care,
For that thing yonder was so good-looking
And along that road she endured, stubbornly persisted.
What manner of youthful ideal did she harbour?
Everything that opposed and stood in defiance of all rational thinking.
Do you think she cared?  Not at all,

Continue reading "Walking along a deserted road" »

Creative Nation 4: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, H - I


THE Crocodile Prize reaches it culmination each year in the period around Papua New Guinea’s independence day, 16 September.

This year marks the 39th year of PNG’s political independence from Australia and the fourth year of the national literary awards, which will be held at the Australian High Commission on Thursday 18 September.

This seems like an opportune moment to pay tribute to the past winners of the Prize – and many of their names will be familiar to you as they are still writing the words that are helping build and strengthen the literary culture of PNG.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 4: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, H - I" »

The legend of Sissano Lagoon and how it came to be

Sissano LagoonFELIX BARAKA

SISSANO Lagoon on Aitape’s west coast in the Sandaun Province is a fertile source of sea food for the coastal villages of Warapu, Arope and Sissano.

The area also has long historical links with South-East Asia.

Historically, when people started to migrate from Asia, the Pinapro, a huge tribe comprising four clans, moved in. These four clans are nowadays Pou (my village), Barapu, Ramo and Sumo, which is located at the pedestal of the Torricelli Range.

These four villages, as living evidence, continue to have a common spoken vernacular.

Continue reading "The legend of Sissano Lagoon and how it came to be" »

Lest we forget those PNG soldiers who served Australia

Australian and Papua New Guinean soldiers at Kerema in the 1960sTRISTAN MOSS

AS Papua New Guinea marked its Remembrance Day on 23 July, in Australia the service of thousands of Papua New Guineans in the Australian military went unnoticed.

At Remembrance Park in Port Moresby, services took place in front of a statue immortalising Raphael Oimbari, the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel” of George Silk’s 1942 photograph, whose bronze likeness leads a wounded Australian soldier to safety.

The statue reflects how closely PNG’s military past is entwined with that of Australia. Remembrance Day in PNG commemorates not only soldiers of the Papua New Guinean Defence Force but also those Papua New Guineans who served as an integral part of the Australian military until independence in 1975.

Continue reading "Lest we forget those PNG soldiers who served Australia" »

Creative Nation 3: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, E - G


TODAY our Creative Nation series offers a short profile of those Crocodile Prize entrants whose first names start with the letters E, F and G.

In addition we link to an example of their creative writing.

When this series of profiles concludes in early August, in what will be a first for the Crocodile Prize, PNG Attitudewill announce the winners of this year’s awards.

Each day from Sunday 3 August, we will publish the name of one winner a day.

This is being done so that the writers can ready themselves for the awards ceremony to be held in Port Moresby on Thursday 18 September.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 3: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, E - G" »

The frog’s mistake

Green-Tree-FrogOBZ TAUNA

Under the sun, mother-nature reflected
herself by the open fields of vonu-swamp,

when the stars fell from the night sky
and breathe life into the sons’ of the earth
The swamp beget a frog, hardly the fairytale story

floppy legs to hop, he hoped everywhere and anywhere,
even away from the sun rays of the swamp,
and the sight of the water lily that ignited his passion

Continue reading "The frog’s mistake" »

In praise of the Commonwealth Games

PNG Opening ceremonyPETER KRANZ

WELL you can say a lot about the Commonwealth games. 

A hangover of empire. Colonialism's last gasp. The Englanders’ desperate attempt to hang on to a memory of past glory.

But try saying that to the local bloke na meri at Boroko market. 

This is a chance at world recognition and victory. Ryan Pini or Dika Toua. Like Gene they can carry the flag of national pride high and glorious.

Yeah maybe it's the old colonies that are being marshalled, but they are free and independent now. And they are proud.

Continue reading "In praise of the Commonwealth Games" »

Tony Abbott can’t find time for Pacific counterparts


THE flawed decision by Tony Abbott not to attend next week’s Pacific Islands Forum shouldn’t be taken as a slight by regional leaders so much as an expression by Australia’s prime minister that he doesn’t see there’s anything in it for him.

After all, with Papua New Guinea and Nauru now providing concentration camp like arrangements for asylum seekers, there’s not much more to glean is there?

And Palau (population 21,000; islands 250) – where the Forum will be held this year – may be a republic in free association with the United States but, well, it’s not the United States.

Australia’s Coalition governments in recent times have never felt entirely comfortable with the Pacific and, apart from favouring it as a refugee dumping ground, this one doesn’t really know what to do with it.

Abbott has previously met PNG’s Peter O’Neill but this would have been a first opportunity to connect with all regional leaders.

Continue reading "Tony Abbott can’t find time for Pacific counterparts" »

I am a time traveller, not a transitional person

Bainings fire dancerJOHN KAUPA KAMASUA

I am thinking that I am a time traveller not a change traveller.

Commentators may say that Papua New Guinea is a country in transition, that we have not learned anything from our forefathers and that we are trying our very best to emulate the western way of life.

Those Papua New Guineans who think that way will most likely lose their sense of heritage and their ancient connections.

I am not in transition. I feel my heritage steeped deep in the past.

Continue reading "I am a time traveller, not a transitional person" »



The rugged endless terrain crawls mercilessly,
Winding and meandering carelessly,
Through time and age;
Challenging the cause and destiny of the inhabitants along its path.

The beauty thereof, one beholds in awe.
Parallel to this unspeakable awakening,
Is the disappearance of a varied species of flora and fauna.
Yet no one awakes. It is like a dream.

Continue reading "Invaded" »

Creative Nation 2: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, C - D


WE continue our series of eight articles on the more than 130 writers who did Papua New Guinea proud with their participation in the 2014 Crocodile Prize.

You can read a short profile of each writer (whose first names today start with the letters C and D) and, where it has been published, an example of their creative work.

A reminder: if you’re a writer and want to attend a workshop facilitated by Trevor Shearston and Phil Fitzpatrick, there’s a free opportunity on Thursday 18 September. Refer to the note at the top of this page.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 2: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, C - D" »

Papua New Guinea’s dual economy needs good governance


SINCE Papua New Guinea became an independent nation and gained sovereignty in formulating and administering its own affairs, it has operated under the two economy system: the traditional economy and the modern economy which was introduced by its colonial master.

The weird thing in PNG’s ongoing struggle is its knack of adapting to the new ideas of the western economy.

To adapt and accept ideas which are alien is a difficult mountain to climb in a nation that is so multicultural and which has people with different needs, perceptions and beliefs.

In fact, this diversity is one of the reasons why economic development in PNG is on a slow growth curve.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea’s dual economy needs good governance" »



Money can buy costumes but not beauty
Money can buy idols but devotion
Money can buy books but not wisdom and knowledge
Money can buy bed but not rest and sleep
Money can buy medicines but not health
Money can buy clothes but not shame
Money can buy food but not hunger
Money can buy flowers but not freshness and fragrance
Money can buy land but not home ( made of human heart )
Money can buy honey but not sweetness
Money can buy something but not everything
Money can buy luxuries but not happiness.

Lustrous advertisement in support of O’Neill was a decoy

Francis Nii 2013FRANCIS S NII

IT was a lustrous and paid for advertisement about Peter O’Neill that appeared in The National newspaper of Monday 21 June.

It was political propaganda.

And it had been deliberately crafted to divert, mollify and diffuse the focus of the nation on the possible impending arrest of the prime minister in relation to his alleged corrupt involvement in siphoning off K71.8 million public funds in the direction of Paul Paraka Lawyers.

And its core argument, that political and administrative stability is “absolutely necessary” to achieving socio-economic prosperity, was a cunning decoy to distract the attention of the people away from the prime minister and what is now called Parakagate.

The blatant nature of the advertisement have led to the serious questions about the credibility of its author and the research that underpinned it.

Continue reading "Lustrous advertisement in support of O’Neill was a decoy" »

PNG’s police problems demonstrate a failure of leadership

Kwikila Sub-District RPNGC Detachment, 1964CHRIS OVERLAND

IT is tragic that the Royal Papua New guinea Constabulary, which once had a deserved reputation for its genuine connection to the community it served, has now degenerated to the point where some of its officers are little more than armed thugs.

Any organisation that is failing so spectacularly to fulfil its main mission is certain to be bereft of effective leadership.

In particular, there evidently is no-one willing or able to clearly articulate what the RPNGC's core values are and then enforce those values.

This is always a tough job in policing, which is a dangerous, demanding and sometimes distressing line of work. However, it is critical to success of a police force that it gains and retains the overwhelming support of the community it serves.

Continue reading "PNG’s police problems demonstrate a failure of leadership" »

Creative Nation 1: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, A - B


WHEN 130 of a nation’s writers conspire to enter a contest to demonstrate both their own literary skills and the creative talent inherent in their nation, they and the words they craft are to be applauded.

In the eight-part series starting today, PNG Attitude provides a brief profile of entrants in this year‘s Crocodile Prize together with a link to an example of their published creative writing.

In an earlier edition of PNG Attitude, we listed the names of writers represented in this year’s Crocodile Prize Anthology. (If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so here.) We selected 160 entries for publication but this left many fine stories, articles, essays and poems out in the cold.

In some small way this series may make up for that.

Continue reading "Creative Nation 1: Writers of the 2014 Crocodile Prize, A - B" »

From the Kundiawa News 50 years ago today

Possible roads to the Highlands 50 years agoKEITH JACKSON

By the time it reached its fourteenth issue, the Kundiawa News has settled into a neat fortnightly publishing routine with a 16-page production circulating around 100 copies. And for the first time it was being made available in Goroka. As the parliamentary public works committee came to town, the topic of conversation in Chimbu was of how to convince the Administration that the best route to the Highlands would be a linking road from Madang to Kundiawa. Fifty years later we know it did not happen, but then there was hope….


A hushed air of anticipation hung over Kundiawa this morning as hundreds of luluais, tultuls and other Chimbus gathered in the town to lobby the Standing Committee on Public Works. This number included most of the village officials in the Gumine area, 110 of them gathered by Kundiawa Town Advisory Council member, Mr Kuman Dai.

Continue reading "From the Kundiawa News 50 years ago today" »

Revivalist churches dangerous campaign for 'faith-healing' AIDS

Pastor Godfrey WipponLIAM COCHRANE | Australia Network News | Extract

REVIVALIST churches in Papua New Guinea are promoting prayer as a substitute for medication to those with HIV, according to human rights groups.

PNG is a deeply Christian society, and most mainstream churches are trying to improve attitudes to those living with HIV.

But with poor medical facilities and a widespread belief in sorcery, belief in faith healing is growing.

Ten years ago, PNG was on the brink of an AIDS explosion.

"The original thinking in PNG, given the facts and figures around sexually transmitted infections and unwanted teen pregnancies - behavioural information - certainly gave us the idea that we were heading towards a sub-Saharan African style epidemic," UNAIDS country co-ordinator Stuart Watson said.

But that generalised epidemic has not happened.

Instead, the virus has been localised to the Highlands, Morobe Province and the National Capital District.

Continue reading "Revivalist churches dangerous campaign for 'faith-healing' AIDS" »

Guma Culture


Dawn is breaking, as we approach the modern times
Culture is transition, as we move with the changing times
People are moving, with the changing tides
At the end of the Day, We are who we are

No one can change me,
                No one can change you,
                                No one can change us,
                                                No one can change them,
                                                                  No one can change the country,

Think big, change your own mindset to have a positive attitude towards Guma culture.
At the end of the Day, We are who we are

Editing – it can turn a bowl of old stodge into a real delicacy


SINCE becoming involved in the Crocodile Prize, and in particular the production of the annual anthology and the spinoff books that we’ve published under the Pukpuk Publishing imprint, I’ve had to learn a few skills that I wouldn’t ordinarily have bothered about.

One of these is layout and design and the other is editing, although I still don’t claim to be an expert in either field.

The former has been a matter of trial and error.  Publishing is now very much a digital affair and it is evolving with the technology at a rapid pace.

Continue reading "Editing – it can turn a bowl of old stodge into a real delicacy" »

Such a fine father, the late Dina-nem, Norbert Bomai

Late Dina-nem Norbert Bomai holding 2 days old BomailynBOMAI WITNE

I heard his voice from time to time over the phone while he was working with the Ok Tedi Development Foundation in 2007.

He was born, raised and educated and attended Rosary High School in the 1970s with my stepfather, Raphael Witne.

After school, he went to study for the priesthood and later agriculture, after which he joined the Department of Primary Industry in the Simbu Provincial Government. He also had other work experiences before joining the Foundation.

Dina-nem Norbert Bomai knew my name and would address me in his usual soft voice as, “Dina nem” (namesake) and I would also respond in the same way.

From time to time we would spend long hours on the phone and he would share with me his plans for his daughters. I knew he had educated his four daughters to Grade 12 and was planning to assist them pursue studies at tertiary institutions.

Continue reading "Such a fine father, the late Dina-nem, Norbert Bomai" »

Thugs in uniform: Our police force needs to wake up to its duties

Armed PNG policeOBED IKUPU

THERE was a time when the people of Papua New Guinea lived harmoniously with nature and maintained order and peace in the manner of many primitive cultures through various rules and taboos of existence.

This way of living maintained the peace amongst the tribes and societies they inhabited.

When the colonisers came with their western style of living, they also introduced and enforced their own laws to secure order and conformance.

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary came into existence to enforce this new model.

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Arawa Motors

Apo Yuri Arawa MotorsLEONARD FONG ROKA

Arawa Motors, a company selling vehicles in the industrial suburb of Arawa, was the pre-crisis outlet for new vehicles in the economically booming Bougainville heartland. But the main car buyers were non-Bougainvilleans who ruled the urban areas of Bougainville while the indigenous population was belittled in its safe havens.

By the Solomon Sea breeze
She stood an eye catcher
For the lost traveller
Of the New Guinean town in Solomon
The lawns perfect
The trees swaying
Flowers blooming
And machines brawling
On the shimmering asphalt road

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The scandalous manipulation of development funds in PNG

Okapa road ground breaking, EHPBENJAMIN SAIMBEL BARCSON

DEVELOPMENT as an end goal can only come about if it is well funded. Regardless of the commitment, honesty and good governance ideals that are prerequisite to it, it cannot come about if there is no money.

In Papua New Guinea, electorates are heavily reliant upon development grants from the national government. These grants varies in scope, size and purpose

The most notable one, which has drawn a lot of attention lately, is the District Services Improvement Program Funds (DSIP), which is integral if not the backbone of development in electorates.

It is no secret in most electorates in PNG that under development is an issue. It seems that the further you move away from the urban areas the more desolate become the infrastructure and services.

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