Previous month:
January 2015
Next month:
March 2015

141 posts from February 2015

Booming population increase is a growing challenge to PNG

Family planning - vital in PNGALOIS BAI

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

THE rapid growth of Papua New Guinea’s population over recent decades is unprecedented and is receiving increasing recognition on the international development agenda.

The PNG population is expected to exceed 10 million by 2020 at the current birthrate 2.7% a year, the highest of the six countries in Oceania.

Countries with high fertility and population growth rates typically have high unmet needs for modern contraception, a fact that contributes significantly to population growth.

Continue reading "Booming population increase is a growing challenge to PNG" »

The re-opening of Otibanda patrol post, 1949-50

John Stuntz with two Langimar leaders, c 1950 (Photo by Sgt Anki)JOHN STUNTZ | PNGAA Library

Former patrol officer and parliamentarian in Papua New Guinea’s colonial days, John Stuntz, has died in the Philippines. His funeral service was held in Angeles City yesterday. Some years ago he wrote this reminiscence of the early post-war years for the PNG Association of Australia, sponsor of the Crocodile Prize Publishing Program

AFTER completing approximately four months at ASOPA, we were flown by chartered DC4 from Sydney direct to Port Moresby arriving in the early morning.

We were met at the Jackson’s Airport by the then directors of DDS and NA, Bert Jones and Ivan Champion. I confess that I was somewhat overawed at meeting Mr Champion whose books I had read while still at high school.

Continue reading "The re-opening of Otibanda patrol post, 1949-50" »

Gary Juffa calls on government to tighten immigration processes

Gary-juffaPNG Today

ORO Province Governor Gary Juffa is calling on the Papua New Guinea government to tighten up immigration procedures and re-engage the Immigration Task Force.

Governor Juffa made the call following recent media reports on the influx of illegal foreigners entering PNG and their illegal activities in the country which are posing a great threat to national security.

The Immigration Task Force was set up by the National Executive Council in 2011 to investigate illegal immigrants and their disreputable activities. Governor Juffa said he does not understand why it has ceased operations.

Continue reading "Gary Juffa calls on government to tighten immigration processes" »

Tackling corruption at its root in Papua New Guinea

CATHERINE WILSON | Inter Press Service

CORRUPTION, the single largest obstacle to socioeconomic development worldwide, has had a grave impact on Papua New Guinea.

While mineral resource wealth drove high gross domestic product (GDP) growth of eight percent in 2012, the country is today ranked 157th out of 187 countries in terms of human development.

Key anti-corruption fighters in the country say that money laundering must be tackled to increase deterrence and ensure that stolen public funds earmarked for vital hospitals and schools do not pay for luxury assets abroad.

 “Our police officers, school teachers and health workers live and work in very squalid circumstances,” Lawrence Stephens, chairman of Transparency International (PNG), in the capital, Port Moresby, told IPS.

Continue reading "Tackling corruption at its root in Papua New Guinea" »

We must ensure that protecting small business delivers results

Another go at localisationBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

NOW that the government is planning to introduce legislation to reserve certain segments of the business activities in Papua New Guinea to indigenous Papua New Guineans, a number of people like the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce are of the view that it will stifle the growth of economic activity instead of stimulating it.

Convinced by the notion that majority of Papua New Guineans lack the necessary skills and capital to thrive in a business environment, they fear that such a reform will regress the growth of business activities instead of growing them.

Yet the counter argument has always been that the reason most Papua New Guineans could not own a business is due to lack of government support, particularly the absence of credit facilities and inaction to clamp down the takeover by foreigners of simple business activities like trade stores.

Continue reading "We must ensure that protecting small business delivers results" »

Ozpresso, Baglaga plantation and the PNG Broomheads

Geoff BroomheadOZPRESSO

OZPRESSO is an Australian coffee shop in Charlotte North Carolina in the United States. Its owner is Geoff Broomhead (pictured).

The shop specialises in distinctly Australian drinks and food and has a close link with Papua New Guinea.

Geoff’s grandfather, Jeff Broomhead, fell in love with Papua New Guinea while serving with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II.

After the war was over, in 1956, he returned to PNG with his wife, Josie, and four sons (one of whom, Richard, was profiled in PNG Attitude earlier this week).

Continue reading "Ozpresso, Baglaga plantation and the PNG Broomheads" »

Ku High School Anthology presented to teachers & students

Ku High School Anthology presented to the Teachers and StudentsJIMMY AWAGL

An Entry in the Crocodile prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

IT was a surprise gift to the teaching staff and the students of Ku High School in Simbu Province. The first school anthology to be published in Papua New Guinea.

Two hundred copies of the Ku High School Anthology were formally handed over to new head teacher, Wera Essy, in front of 200 students and the ten teaching staff.

A few remarks from Jimmy Awagl encouraged students to think hard and appreciate reading and writing to improve their command of English.

Continue reading "Ku High School Anthology presented to teachers & students" »

The councillor’s wife


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

WITH a hopeless gesture, she threw everything on the ground and cried. She was desperate for life to go back to normal. The way it was before.

“I cannot bear it any more. If only I could die just now,” she muttered to herself.

They had a very simple and normal village life. Such good days they had, each better than the one before. Of course they had problems like all humans do, but they had their ways of solving them peacefully.

Simon was a great husband and father. He was a solid family man. He was their protector and they looked up to him.

Continue reading "The councillor’s wife" »

Tuberculosis a critical public health issue. Prepare for an explosion


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) is a contagious disease that over the centuries has killed millions of people worldwide.

The lack of a reliable cure prior to the 20th century and TB’s perceived randomness in selecting its victims made it a common theme in literature and a metaphor for larger social and political ills.

Today, TB has re-emerged as a major public health threat in Papua New Guinea.

After its incidence decreased in the country for many decades, TB is again on the rise. In some communities, TB rates are particularly high, Karkar Island in Daru are two cases in point. 

Continue reading "Tuberculosis a critical public health issue. Prepare for an explosion" »

Oh Mr One


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Oh Mr One
So scary and formidable
I felt a shame to see your face
Your words are authentic and cute
Sharp, fearful like your scary face
It tears us like a blade

Oh Mr One
A second wasted is like a day
You work against the time each day
Every second is counted or useful in your life
I fear you like a giant wolf
Who is ready to eat anything, everything but nothing?

Continue reading "Oh Mr One" »

Papua New Guinea - A lost kingdom with a sori-cup mandate?


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

WHAT kind of society is Papua New Guinea really? It is a nation crafted and built by Western ideologies, a democracy.

All society are built on ideas of one kind or another which are then developed into concepts as people make sense of the environment in which they live.

It is very important to understand ourselves first before we can appreciate others. And this has led me to a fascination with the concept of a kingdom. It reminds me of PNG traditional society.

I believe PNG, despite its many cultural ethnic groups, has many of the characteristics of a kingdom. The attributes of what kingdom, and they are totally different from those of a democracy, include the centrality of the king as the ultimate and the principle ruler of society. Whatever the king say is the law.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea - A lost kingdom with a sori-cup mandate?" »

Our Prideland


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

BEYOND our Prideland, capitalism is in turmoil. Men have become oblivious to moral values and given to themselves unlimited power through unwritten laws.

The written laws are dead tombs from where men without conscience have driven their spirit into the wilderness. I ask what would our forbearers think of us?

In a hollow space, the oppressed seek enlightenment and refuge through the ballot box. Yet that light quickly fades away as reality and regret take over.

Continue reading "Our Prideland" »

The young man who just wanted to fly faces another challenge

Richard (Dick) BroomheadKEITH JACKSON

Living on the Edge of the Universe: Paradise can be Hell! by Richard Broomhead, Joshua Books, 256 pp, $29.95, ISBN: 978-0992300142. Also available from Amazon here as an e-book

THE last time I sat down and had a beer with Richard Broomhead was 50 years ago and he was flying nothing bigger than a LandRover.

But he told me then, as he had before whenever we met, that his heart was set on buying a DH84, a twin-engined biplane, at which time he would establish a charter airline business based in Kundiawa.

Continue reading "The young man who just wanted to fly faces another challenge" »

On burning witches and sleeping with sick women

Leviticus says....PHIL FITZPATRICK

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. There’s nothing wrong with killing sorcerers and witches.

The churches are being hypocritical if they say there is. Their own bible, the word of their god, says it’s okay. To wit, “A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:27).

I don’t know what those people in the highlands are doing burning them, though, that’s the punishment for whores. “And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire” (Leviticus 21:9).

Continue reading "On burning witches and sleeping with sick women" »

The burial of me

Burial of Me (Emmanuel Landu)EMMANUEL LANDU

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
SP Brewery Award for Illustration

THIS abstract sketch is very meaningful for me as I was born in 1992, since when there has been a drastic change in our Melanesian society and its way of life.

I have watched the changes. The rise of telecommunication and other developments. The revolution in fashion trends. The uncontrollable use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

On the positive side, Papua New Guinea is moving with the times. However, in doing so, we have lost sight of our cultural heritage and traditional norms.

As the illustrated shows, we have buried who we are for who we want to be and for how we want to be seen.

We have forgotten and we have ignored so much in our choice to be a part of the status quo, to keep up with the rest of the world.

It is sad to see how we have lost our real values and institutions like the hausman system, initiations, cultural practices, knowledge and skills and other aspects of our heritage.

Unfortunately, I too am a victim of this. 

The dream was not the reality, but the glorious day finally came

New Tribes Mission, Dinangat PNGDOMINICA ARE

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Paga Hill Development Company
Award for Writing for Children

AT the sound of the aircraft in the distance, he would run as fast as his two bony feet could carry him to the airstrip.

There he would stare in awe at the magnificent sight of the small aircraft loading and unloading goods and people.

He could sit for hours admiring the planes and their pilots. He would dream for hours about flying a plane himself.

Continue reading "The dream was not the reality, but the glorious day finally came" »

Fact versus truth – a writer’s choice


I was an accomplished liar by the time I was five years old. It is not something that has bothered me; it is just that what goes on in my head is a lot more interesting than reality.

The first time I realised this was at Hay Lane in Boynton in Suffolk where we lived in an old farmhouse.

A small boy of my age and acquaintance, I forget how or when I met him, arrived at our door one morning and presented me with a tightly wrapped package.

I was as mystified as my mother but all was revealed when he wished me a happy fifth birthday.  It was not my birthday and I’ve forgotten why I had told him it was. 

My mother went along with the subterfuge however, out of embarrassment more than anything else I suspect, and the boy and I retired to a sunny patch at the base of the apple tree in the back yard to share the liquorice allsorts and the colouring-in-book and pencils that the package contained.

Continue reading "Fact versus truth – a writer’s choice" »

When a country becomes an outlaw


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

When a country becomes an outlaw, juvenile delinquency becomes a norm.
Drunkards abound, roaming the streets without fear.
The rich run the law, while the poor seek justice.

When a country becomes an outlaw, citizens’ rights are written but not told.
The Magna Carta is only words and not deeds.

When its citizens seek to be self-reliant
the government gives them the right to empowerment
with its right hand and takes away with its left hand.

Continue reading "When a country becomes an outlaw" »

Is Papua New Guinea heading for a crisis?

Howes_StephenSTEPHEN HOWES | East Asia Forum

LAST year in Papua New Guinea was eventful, marked by a series of controversial government decisions.

In March, the government decided to take out a loan of about K3 billion (about 8% of GDP) to buy shares in Oil Search. The decision divided the government, and the treasurer was sacked for his opposition to it.

Questions over the legality of the decision led to prime minister Peter O’Neill being referred to a leadership tribunal, a mechanism to deal with accusations of corrupt or illegal conduct by the country’s members of parliament. The prime minister is currently challenging that referral in the courts.

In June, the PNG central bank appreciated the kina against the US dollar by 15%. Since then the kina has only been allowed to depreciate modestly. Appreciation of the kina at a time of falling commodity prices makes little sense.

Continue reading "Is Papua New Guinea heading for a crisis?" »

Friend before


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Friendship is priceless; worth more than gold. Real friends are for keeps; meant for a lifetime, regardless of circumstances. "Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet them on your way down"

You assume your high pedestal
And show the cold shoulder to me, your friend before
The new found fame has deafened you
Of shared memories of our best times

When friendship was raw and pure
Now you appear as a stranger;
Putting a price on a good thing,
A pretentious stock you have become

Do not plan to fall from grace yet,
But if ever you do, as people are prone to,
I pray it may be a soft descent
As I shall still be your friend before.

New generation PNGDF soldiers turn up for infantry training

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Gabina, addresses Charlie CompanyAUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION

SEVENTY-three new soldiers of Charlie Company of the 2nd Royal Pacific Island Regiment, have arrived at Moem Barracks, Wewak, to begin specialised infantry training.

The training of the new Charlie Company soldiers marks the beginning of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s companies of excellence training program, designed to breed a new generation of highly-trained, disciplined and well-equipped soldiers for the PNGDF.

An initiative of PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, the program aims to increase the professionalism and capability of the PNGDF in line with the 2013 PNG Defence White Paper supported by Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program.

“Each company’s training is led by PNGDF officers and non-commissioned officers, and is supported by mentor training teams from 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville,” said the head of Australian Defence Staff, Colonel Dick Parker.

Continue reading "New generation PNGDF soldiers turn up for infantry training" »

Objective and swift investigation into Hanuabada incident needed


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

PORT Moresby residents are still awaiting progress following the Papua New Guinea police commissioner Geoffrey Vaki’s commitment to disband the reserve police unit as a result of two killings in Hanuabada village in January.

The commissioner’s reaction to the incident was swift yet the presence of reserve units in Port Moresby since the decision is creating confusion in the minds of city residents.

While National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop and his management team have come out in defence of the NCDC’s reserve unit, the police commissioner has been silent on the issue since his announcement.

Continue reading "Objective and swift investigation into Hanuabada incident needed" »

A single mother’s triumph


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

JENNIFER, a single mother of a ten year old boy, sat amongst the graduating students of the University of Papua New Guinea Law School in March of 2005.

It had been a hard journey but she had finally achieved the milestone of a bachelor’s degree in law. Tears of joy filled her eyes as her name was announced to mark her achievement. It was a moment of great victory.

Ten years earlier Jennifer was happily married to Jimmy. They did what normal couples do; enjoying the pleasures of life. Jimmy worked for the Morobe provincial government, Tutumang Haus, as a senior accountant. The couple was financially stable and lived in a government rental house in the Administration Compound.

When expecting her first child in 1995, Jennifer was enrolled with the College of Distance Education to do her adult matriculation in Grade 11 and 12 studies, having dropped out of high school.

Continue reading "A single mother’s triumph" »

A new day at home

A new day at home (Kaupa)PHILIP KAUPA

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

The unbearable cold of dawning twilight
Finds the signature of sun at the horizon
Glittering dews on tropical leaves and grasses glorifies the wildlife
With that gentle virgin breeze coming from the forest, its origin

Where the courting cricket chant faded hungrily
The screaming cicada rings the wake up bell
When the little birds tweeted hurryingly
The bossy rooster blows its crow with all muscle

Above my weary kunai roof, smoke and fog gladly mingle
To the beat of bubu in love with the burning wood
Smoke sneakily enters my realm, I cough a giggle
The artistic blind walls couldn't resist my raging mood

I see a new day dawning; natural, magical
A new day at home disturbingly musical

The landlords


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

KANO lived on the outskirt of Port Moresby city. Gerehu to be exact, the city’s biggest suburb.

To escape Moresby’s hustle and bustle, city residents amuse themselves in its modern shopping malls and leisure and entertainment venues.

Kano’s favourite destination was Vision City, the newest hypermarket mall. While he was there, he’d look for girls.

Kano was no sex maniac, but the urge to find an understanding wife continuously haunted him.

Continue reading "The landlords" »

The navigational house

Coastwatchers Memorial Lighthouse, MadangJIMMY AWAGL

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

You remain giant and taller
Unique feature and character
The tall house

Emitting waves and light
Indicates the navigational path
The communicating house

Destinations far and beyond
Attracting the oncoming vessels
The navigational house

Align the shoreline
Indicating the oceanfront
The signal house

Alight both day and night
Glowing top is bright
The light house 

PNG ‘grey listed’ on money laundering & terrorist financing

Sam KoimSAM KOIM | Facebook

PAPUA New Guinea has recently been placed on the 'grey list' of countries open to money laundering and terrorist financing.

It won’t be long before we get on the ‘black list’ if we fail to take active steps to correct the deficiencies in anti-money laundering regimes.

The PNG Proceeds of Crime Act 2005 demands that banks conduct due diligence on financial transactions.

In Parliament on Thursday of last week, the Member for Nuku, Joe Sungi, asked if the government could intervene in cutting down lengthy processes at the banks because it is slowing down development in the districts.

Continue reading "PNG ‘grey listed’ on money laundering & terrorist financing" »

The death penalty is foreign to us


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

All people are good but just a wicked few turn to

Burn the mechanisms of our peaceful society

Consequences can be good or bad and it depends upon the doers will

Death caused by choice is murder ,so tell me what death penalty is

Every law was written for guidance, protection and discipline, so what is the death penalty

Find something new, better and even smarter than the death penalty because this idea is foreign

Giving a thousand years or more imprisonment with maximum security is simply better or

Hide the extreme convicts, remove their rights and isolate them for as long as they can breathe

It is similar but better than the death penalty

Justice will still be served harsh but if we are lazy and crazy we'll have it served on the plate of the death penalty.

On the road: Leaving Wewak for the island of no return

MV Mamose loadingJIMMY AWAGL

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

This the third part of a Simbu man’s lone quest for the unknown crocodile. You can read the first two parts here and here

IT is January 2011 and I leave the beautiful crocodile at the superb harbour of Wewak and jump aboard the MV Momase bound for Madang.

It is a pity and disgusting that the Sepik crocodile is banned at the wharf and cannot accompany the Simbu man to the vessel.

My heart tears into painful pieces. I am sad and downhearted as I stroll along the wharf to the ship.

The crocodile looks at me emotionally from behind the metal fence before I jump to the deck of the ship. As I turn around to wave goodbye, I glimpse her white eyes focusing on me.

Continue reading "On the road: Leaving Wewak for the island of no return" »

Civil Aviation Safety Authority is concerned about Air Niugini

Air Niugini logoNiugini Nius

THE Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says it is watching the continuing issue of pilot shortages within Air Niugini with great interest.

Minister for Civil Aviation Davis Steven said last week that the affairs of Air Niugini are not within the ministry but it is concerned about the safety and security of the travelling public.

“The Civil Aviation Ministry is mandated to ensure that all operators within the aviation sector maintain the highest safety performance as determined by international standards.”

Mr Davis said CASA has taken steps to ensure that safety is not compromised because of the issues Air Niugini faces with its pilots and other issues affecting its management.

Continue reading "Civil Aviation Safety Authority is concerned about Air Niugini" »

Protecting children entails empowering their parents


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

THE O’Neill government’s recent move to tackle child protection issues through the revised Lukautim Pikinini (Child Protection) Act is to be highly commended.

In Port Moresby alone the number of street kids is rising at an alarming rate and it is high time measures were taken to take these kids off the street.

A 2011 survey on child labour sponsored by the International Labour Organisation showed we are only scratching the surface of the problem.

And as employment opportunities become scarce and more people migrate from rural to urban centres, this problem is getting worse.

Continue reading "Protecting children entails empowering their parents" »

First day at school


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Dedicated to Kaupa Gena Jnr

White paired socks stretched knee high with a smile
Embroidered with petals of maroon and reddish-orange
A new look enlightened with joy and style
Batched with school logo and smile of courage

A little scholar, with beginner’s big heart
Neither curiosity nor enthusiasm can speak
For innocence blinks in these vibrant eyes
Little does he know that it is time to pick

Continue reading "First day at school" »

Much vaunted Pacific seasonal worker scheme turns into a fail

A happy seasonal workerJAMES BENNETT | ABC | Extracts

READY access to backpackers keen to extend their holiday and a failure to curb the use of illegal labour are to blame for the limited uptake of an Australian government scheme to encourage farmers to hire Pacific Islanders, a World Bank report has found.

The nationwide survey of horticulturalists and industry bodies revealed the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP), championed by foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop, was failing to meet its objectives.

Half of those surveyed did not know about the scheme, while among those who did, the key reasons cited for not embracing it were a ready access to backpackers seeking an extension to their working holiday visa and the continued prevalence of illegal foreign workers.

Continue reading "Much vaunted Pacific seasonal worker scheme turns into a fail" »

A poem for my beautiful wife Janet


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

The soft rapids echo to my ears the flow of an unbridled stream that is your heart,
Singing birds and melodious creatures, accompany my reflection of your nature.
As the rivers flow into the sea so is the surety of your loyalty,
Emerging from mountains, overcoming valleys.
Riding the torrents of time, enduring the rush of change,
Resilient throughout, anchoring the ship’s many inhabitants.
Thank you for all that you are and all that you do,
and all that is to come by the crystal streams we receive from you.

The secret tunnels of the University of Papua New Guinea

Port_Moresby_bombs_in_harbour_1942PETER KRANZ

NOW this might sound like some James Bond thriller, but I assure you it is true. I have seen and experienced it.

There are secret tunnels beneath the University of Papua New Guinea. And death, murder, conspiracy and violence have taken place beneath its hallowed foundations.

You may care to type "WW2 ammunition dumps in Port Moresby" into your search engine before you continue reading*.

But all I need say here is that in World War II there was an extensive ammunition dump on the site where the University of PNG now sits.

Continue reading "The secret tunnels of the University of Papua New Guinea" »

Unlucky 13 on death row as PNG takes the Indon option


EVEN as two Australians wait in a Bali prison for the Indonesian government to execute them, creating a storm of controversy in Australia and straining relationships between the two countries, the Papua New Guinea government is preparing to shoot, hang or administer deadly poison to 13 of its own people before the end of this year.

Radio Australia reported yesterday that Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, secretary of PNG's Justice Department, said people were fed up with serious crime and perpetrators should die.

"In this country we have very strong support for the implementation of the death penalty," he told Radio Australia.

Continue reading "Unlucky 13 on death row as PNG takes the Indon option" »

“In all of it, my interest has been in the people,” Dame Carol says


IN a thoughtful comment to PNG Attitude (“this is a first for me to post a comment on a blog,” she noted), Dame Carol Kidu has explained to readers her relationship with the Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC).

Dame Carol said that, after retiring from politics in 2012, she withdrew from affairs related to the Paga Hill settlement in Port Moresby while the residents continued to pursue court cases to determine whether they were legally entitled to remain there.

“(This was) a matter on which I have never agreed and was always clear with them (the settlers) when I was the MP for Moresby South,” Dame Carol said.

On 1 July last year, after two years of court battles, the PNG Supreme Court upheld a previous decision of the National Court which recognised the title held by PHDC and gave the company full access to its 13.7 hectare Paga Hill commercial lease (Portion 1597).

(It should be noted for clarity that the Supreme Court also found that a separate area of reclaimed waterfront land lay outside the boundary of PHDC's Portion 1597.) 

Continue reading "“In all of it, my interest has been in the people,” Dame Carol says" »

Award-winning PNG poet to participate in gender conference

Lapieh Landu and her mother, SusanLAPIEH LANDU

I am pleased to say that an application I made to participate in the Papua New Guinea Women’s Conference hosted by the United States embassy has been successful.

I am so keen on joining forces with other women to better close the gaps created by gender inequality in PNG and the world.

I am attending the conference as a writer who hopes to inspire change through ink that can slowly but surely tap into people’s minds and ignite their thoughts and awareness on this issue.

So they can start thinking seriously about how they, as individuals, can contribute towards the betterment of women in our society and to work towards equal participation in the workplace and homes, regardless of physical differences.

Continue reading "Award-winning PNG poet to participate in gender conference" »



An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Cling- clang, clank -clunk
The cold jangle of the oiled shackles
Heavy and stern
They marry my two feet

A man’s hubris and juvenile slant
Acidic and spiteful
Burn my candid soul

Cling- clang, clank -clunk
The cold jangle of the oiled shackles
Heavy and stern
They marry my two feet

Continue reading "Shackles" »

Caught in war’s crossfire: Running between enemies


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

SIBOTANA reached the Mamaro Care Centre and saw no one except the young Buin High School girl who he called by her village name, Ipirai, to avoid public knowledge of his relationship with her.

She was his fine hearted girlfriend. Her kisses were rough and wild; a treasure he had never found in the mountains of Kieta but he was blessed with in the plains of Buin. At Ipirai village, now a PNG Defence Force protected care centre, he found that heaven.

‘Aung,’ Ipirai called, as she approached him, ‘everybody has gone because of the resistance attack and killing of the BRA man. You can come with me.’

The boy from Kieta eyed her. This was love but blood was in the air and the fearless BRA men would come back for revenge. So Sibotana rejected the invitation, greedily kissed her and headed fearfully towards Tangtareki Care Centre.

Continue reading "Caught in war’s crossfire: Running between enemies" »

Wrong turn


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

IT was about half past five at the end of a long day and I was standing at the Goroka town bus stop trying in vain to catch a bus home after work.

I was oblivious of my surroundings and what happened came as a total shock.

“Are you Sarah Ben?” an unknown woman confronted me icily.

“I am”, I replied courteously despite her harshness.

In a split second she started arguing and swearing at me and accusing me of having an affair with her husband.

I was caught unawares.  I told her she must be mistaken and tried to defend myself.

“I saw your photo in my husband’s phone and this is you!” she screamed, pointing her finger at my face. “My husband told me everything,” she added.

Continue reading "Wrong turn" »

Polygamy in PNG: traditional value or present-day promiscuity

Pajo tribal chief with wivesBENJAMIN HOWARD

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

MICHAEL is an unassuming local from Orokolo Bay, a familiar figure on many project sites in the Gulf Province.

Unlike the feared Orokolo warriors of lore, who greeted early missionaries on the beaches of their vast bay, he displays a blasé disposition, making it easy for him to strike up a conversation with strangers and to make friends with people he has just met.

He exudes such a sense of familiarity that many people have taken him in as “family” and say he is like a “brother from another mother”.

Continue reading "Polygamy in PNG: traditional value or present-day promiscuity" »

In this modern dystopia, a thousand steps for water


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

AS dawn approaches the morning, the women and girls head out in search of water to beat the rush hour.

One by one they go to the oasis carrying empty bags full of water containers. It is a tough life and, while the kings of men are still fast asleep, the subjugated of our society trudge on.

When the privileged ease from their slumber to start their day, the unfortunates have already made a mile of progress. By the day’s end, their female body is bruised, the spirit battered but the dream of a brighter future remains unchanged.

Continue reading "In this modern dystopia, a thousand steps for water" »

PNG expands its wings as young interns are bound for APEC

Ingrid Kuman and Fredrick TamaruaROBIN SUANG | Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation PNG

FOR the first time, Papua New Guinea is to send two bright and promising officers to the APEC Secretariat in Singapore as junior program directors.

In a historic appointment, Ingrid Kuman and Fredrick Tamarua will work for six months with the Secretariat.

Despite their youth, both Ingrid, from the Tourism Promotion Authority, and Fredrick, from the Department of Justice and Attorney General, have contributed immensely to the current APEC establishment in PNG.

Along with other applicants, both interns were nominated by their respective government agencies and, after a rigorous screening process, Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc endorsed their successful nominations.

The internship program will provide capacity building to PNG in the APEC process as well as training in the lead-up to PNG hosting APEC in 2018.

Continue reading "PNG expands its wings as young interns are bound for APEC" »

The mother who committed suicide due to a hereditary disease


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Cleland Family Award for Heritage Writing

IN the late 1970s, at Kombuglo Mu village in the Upper Jimi area of Jiwaka Province, lived a lovely couple, Mogli and Klen.

Today the concept of dating and friendship has gained momentum due to the external influences. But in the past it was only through the form of karim lek (courtship).

The village elders constructed a new house and called for karim lek among the young boys and girls from the nearby tribes to participate.

Mogli and Klen were the first partners to have karim lek in the new house.

They were not allowed to karim lek with other boys or girls but only with the ones whom they first courted.

After six to seven months of consistent courtship, Mogli and Klen made up their mind to develop an everlasting relationship. They were faithful to each other, their love grew and finally they married.

Continue reading "The mother who committed suicide due to a hereditary disease" »

The Spark 2


An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

THE 2012 national elections had been done and dusted for some months and the Pub Politician was having a hard time coming to terms with his electoral demise.

His foray into politics had left him emotionally and financially scarred and he knew a quick recovery on both fronts would not be easy.

He was spending less time at his favourite haunt, the ever popular Fifth Floor bar, and, although a welcome change as far his missus was concerned.

His predicament was also a major setback for his “political advisors” from the roundtable and it was agreed that planning for nation al elections 2017 would have to start in earnest as soon as the Pub Politician had settled back into some sort of routine.

Continue reading "The Spark 2" »