Previous month:
June 2015
Next month:
August 2015

141 posts from July 2015

There are signs of a storm developing across the Coral Sea

Tony Abbott & Peter O'Neill enter the PNG ParliamentDAVID EPHRAIM

IT’S been quite a ride since prime minister Peter O'Neill came into office and advocated a strengthening of the already strong relationship bond with Australia – and this past 12 months has presented some particular challenges.

Australian government moves to announce the establishment of a new diplomatic post in Bougainville led to angry Papua New Guinean government protests and a ban (later lifted) put in place to stop Australian passport holders visiting the autonomous province.

Mr O’Neill also wanted Australia to agree to some form of relaxed visa for PNG nationals visiting our southern neighbour – a request that Australia, despite its important strategic interests across the Coral Sea – saw fit to largely ignore.

Continue reading "There are signs of a storm developing across the Coral Sea" »

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: Part Two, 1944

The graves of the Missionary SistersKEN WRIGHT

THE Japanese armed forces did not always act in a brutal manner or have callous disregard for the lives of civilians and prisoners of war during World War II. But, sadly, such acts of humanity were rare.

The following abridged description is taken from the diary of Father John Tschauder SVD who, on 6 February 1944, describes a voyage on the Dorish Maru carrying captured Catholic missionaries to Hollandia in former Dutch New Guinea.

The name Dorish Maru was a pidginized version of the Yorishime Maru  because the missionaries didn’t understand the Japanese pronunciation and ‘maru’ meaning merchant ship.

Continue reading "I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: Part Two, 1944" »

USA & Papua New Guinea strengthen their defence partnership


THIS past week, representatives from the United States Department of Defense and the United States Embassy met with key Papua New Guinea government and defence force personnel for bilateral defense talks.

The discussions focused on improving US support, assistance, and capacity building for Papua New Guinea’s Defence Force (PNGDF).

Continue reading "USA & Papua New Guinea strengthen their defence partnership" »

Literature, the Queensland factor & Papua New Guinea

Literature back on Queensland agendaPHIL FITZPATRICK

QUEENSLAND is sometimes referred to as the ‘Deep North’, an allusion to the Deep South in the USA, where conservative and reactionary values run deep.

Another epithet is ‘the red-neck state’. Having lived and travelled in Queensland for the last six years or so I can confirm that our fair state seems to have an abundance of this regressive species.

The man in large part responsible for this image was former premier Joh Bjelke Petersen. His mixture of home-spun philosophy, aversion to anything remotely cultural unless it was garish or a money spinner and his government’s overt nepotism and corruption tarnished Queensland’s reputation for many years.

Continue reading "Literature, the Queensland factor & Papua New Guinea" »

PNG police threaten to arrest Manus managers over rape

Wilson SecurityAAP & PNG TODAY | Extracts

MANUS detention centre managers have been threatened with arrest for perverting the course of justice, unless three Australian guards accused of rape are returned for questioning.

Papua New Guinea police are investigating allegations that the trio, who worked for Wilson Security, allegedly drugged and gang-raped a woman who also worked at the centre. They are angry that the guards were removed­ from the island before a formal investigation.

Manus Island provincial police commander Alex N’Drasal said he had set a deadline to arrest centre managers after the close of business today unless the three men were flown back to co-operate with the police investigation.

Continue reading "PNG police threaten to arrest Manus managers over rape" »

Zaga Osahi - The resurrection of a dying Bena tradition

Bena singsingKERRY KIMIAFA

ON Thursday 23 July, while the rest of the country was celebrating the annual Remembrance Day, a unique Bena tradition, Zaga Osahi (translated as ‘pig stick giving’) was being resurrected at Sekagu village on Mount Migipa.

Sekagu borders on Kopafo, Kapakamarigi and Hofaga villages in the East Bena, almost 20km out of Goroka town.

The pig-killing was done by the Sekagu clan as a traditional token of appreciation by the Yafahaza Gogunas (Y brothers) Yagaho, Yohoma and Yavapa and their tribesmen to say “thank you” to those who assisted them in kind during a tribal feud which ceased not too long ago after the input of village leaders and the local MP Benny Allan.

The fascinating thing about this event and the singing was that the Zaga Osahi (pig stick and eventual pig killing according to the number of sticks promised to the recipients) was last witnessed by this author in the 1980’s.

In the ritual, a supposedly old man (Ozafa), usually the chief or the village tribal warrior, is shouldered by able men from the village. In the middle of the night, the old man whilst seated on their shoulders blows a howling tune, Uho-Uho Lege Lege, on the Folo Mayane (pitpit flute).

Continue reading "Zaga Osahi - The resurrection of a dying Bena tradition" »

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: Part One, 1943

Japanese garrison on Kairiru Island 1945 (Australian War Memorial)KEN WRIGHT

DURING World War II, the citizens of neutral nations, and even countries in alliance with Japan, suffered badly at the hands of the Japanese military and naval forces.

If the Japanese perceived a hint of threat from an individual or group, the response was usually extremely violent and often murderous. A case in question was the ‘execution’ at sea of over 40 German nationals in New Guinea in 1943 by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Germans in question, Roman Catholic priests and nuns and Protestant missionaries ministering to the local population, would have been, because of their nationality, under the protection of the Nazi regime.

At the time Germany was an ally of Japan following the September 1940 Tri-partite Pact signed in Berlin between Germany, Italy and Japan, creating the Axis partnership. The Catholic German priests and nuns, as religious representatives were also under the protection of the Vatican in Rome, a neutral nation.

Continue reading "I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: Part One, 1943" »

The mysterious disappearance of the five Goroka scientists

Poster offering reward for the missing scientistsDANIEL KUMBON

TWO significant events occurred on the first two days of August 2011 which are indelibly recorded in the history books of Papua New Guinea.

On 1 August, five research scientists, two boat’s crew and one other person disappeared off the coast of Kimbe in West New Britain.

On 2 August, the Somare-Abal national government toppled paving the way for Peter O’Neill to become prime minister.

In the middle of the political high jinks and Sir Michael Somare being seriously ill in a Singapore Hospital, there was not a lot of attention given to the scientists’ disappearance, even when the news broke a week later.

Continue reading "The mysterious disappearance of the five Goroka scientists" »

NGO hopes APEC will pressure PNG on forestry abuses

Eddie TanagoACT NOW!

COMMUNITY advocacy group Act Now! has welcomed the forthcoming APEC meeting of forestry ministers to be held in Port Moresby in October.

“This is the first APEC ministers meeting to be held in Papua New Guinea and will be an excellent opportunity to remind the region of our government’s terrible record on the SABL land grab and illegal logging,” said Act Now! campaign coordinator, Eddie Tanago (pictured).

Mr Tanago said foreign logging companies, unscrupulous public servants and small groups of greedy leaders have exploited the concept of agriculture leases to steal more than five million hectares of land from customary landowners.

Continue reading "NGO hopes APEC will pressure PNG on forestry abuses" »

Momis will encourage investment to develop Bougainville economy


AFTER the recent election of the third Bougainville parliament, a new Ministry of Economic Development was created to fast track the Bougainville economy.

President John Momis said that the Autonomous Bougainville Government will jump start projects and activities to provide the basis for fiscal self-reliance through the ABG’s own taxation system.

“Let us be realistic and practical this time,” Dr Momis said. “Let us learn to accept realities and work for solutions and alternatives.

Continue reading "Momis will encourage investment to develop Bougainville economy" »

Pukpuk Publishing – a great gift bequeathed to PNG writers

A relaxed Phil Fitzpatrick at a writers workshop in Port Moresby (Ben Jackson)KEITH JACKSON

PHIL Fitzpatrick, modest man that he is, would probably disagree with me that Pukpuk Publishing has emerged as the most significant development in the history of Papua New Guinean publishing.

The most recent Pukpuk Publishing book list [download Pukpuk Publishing August 2015], contains 27 titles, all but one about PNG, and offers an abundance of quality reading.

The not-for-profit publisher is one of a number of positive collaterals to derive from the Crocodile Prize, which itself managed to rejuvenate creative writing in PNG which had been largely hiding in a cupboard since the 1970s.

What I particularly like about Papua New Guinean writers, apart from their considerable skills,” Phil has written, “is the way they dip into their rich cultural heritage to background their work.

“This is what makes Papua New Guinean literature distinctive and appealing. The result is a school of literature clearly identifiable with the country.”

Continue reading "Pukpuk Publishing – a great gift bequeathed to PNG writers" »

The inspirational Elizabeth Kukume – family friend & mentor

Elizabeth Kukume and her grandchildren (Bomai Witne)BOMAI D WITNE

ELIZABETH Kukume came from Kofena in upper Asaro valley. Her marriage to the late Kansol Seupa of Vanima village in the Gahuku area of the Eastern Highlands was her third.

Elizabeth was slim with light brown eyes and skin. She had curly black hair, a sharp nose and was about 1.6 meters tall.

I met her late husband, Kansol Seupa, in 1997 when my adopted parents settled in Vanima village. Kansol was a charming person who left Elizabeth in the women’s house and spent much of his time in the men’s house.

I would visit the village during my school holidays and, over time, observed Kansol battling mouth cancer.

Despite deteriorating health, he did not give up on enjoying beer, marijuana and cigarettes with his peers. Then, one day in 2002, Kansol called to tell me he wanted to name his son after me.

In 2004, he succumbed to mouth cancer, passing away at Vanima village. I was devastated by the news.

Kansol left behind two huge portions of land where Elizabeth settled and made gardens from which she sold food at the market. Elizabeth’s male in-laws threatened to sell the land but Elizabeth defended it for her son. I left work in Port Moresby and joined her and her son in 2006.

Continue reading "The inspirational Elizabeth Kukume – family friend & mentor" »

A memorable journey through Bundi land

On approach Bundi airstrip (Smokey Joe)MARYAN RUDOLF

“PASS me the worry cup,” James yelled to Peter as the driver shifted the gears and the PMV ascended the steep mountain near Goglme.

Having faithfully transported people over the rugged Gembogl road for many years age had caught up with the open back Toyota Land Cruiser and the possibility of brake failure or loss of steering had bothered James, Ken and Peter at the start of the trip.

However the boys were in high mood after imbibing the homebrew known as steam and now did not mind the vehicle’s condition anymore.

It was the end of term three and the boys were going to Bundi to spend the holidays there. They had been class mates since year nine and were now doing grade eleven in the same class at Rosary Secondary School.

Continue reading "A memorable journey through Bundi land" »

Ok Tedi copper mine closes leaving a shocked Western Province

Peter Graham (RNZI - Johnny Blades)KEITH JACKSON

IN what is a major revenue shock to Papua New Guinea that will have even more devastating impacts on the people of the Western Province, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd has announced a production shut down of its copper and gold mine at Tabubil.

Chief executive Peter Graham (pictured) said in a statement that protracted drought conditions, which are forecast to continue into 2016, mean the mine is unable to ship copper concentrate.

The company’s revenue has also been affected by the current somewhat depressed world prices for copper and gold.

Mr Graham said he realises people will be shocked by this drastic action but it was necessary to ensure the long term viability of the company.

Continue reading "Ok Tedi copper mine closes leaving a shocked Western Province" »

Drinking with a stranger & regrets about a violent world

Hotel Diplomat, CardiffDANIEL KUMBON

A man in his mid-forties with a dark complexion approached me one evening before I was even seated in one of the two bars of the Hotel Diplomat in Cardiff.

“Hello, my name is Bernard,” he said. “I am Portuguese. And I can see that you are a stranger around here. Allow me to buy you a drink.”

“Yes, I’m new to Wales; and thanks for the offer,” I said cautiously.

“Well, let’s sit down, have some drinks and talk,” he said, offering me a bar stool. “It’s good to meet a new friend.”

And so we drank and talked into the evening. He appeared well schooled and expressed himself well.

Our topics ranged from food to politics. But the subject that took up most of our discussion was how society the world over had become more violent.

The poll tax issue and subsequent rioting at Trafalgar Square in Central London was a classic example.

Continue reading "Drinking with a stranger & regrets about a violent world" »

Pacific Games over, Minister Tkatchenko announces venue plans

Taurama-Aquatic-Indoor-ComplexFIDELIS SUKINA

THE recent Pacific Games was a great success with Papua New Guinea topping the medal tally from defending champions New Caledonia and Tahiti in third place.

The success has been credited to the athletes and the Port Moresby high performance training centre and its coaches.

The government’s Go for Gold program produced results after its K4 million was spent training athletes overseas and at the high performance centre.

Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko praised the high performance centre and said the government will continue the program.

Continue reading "Pacific Games over, Minister Tkatchenko announces venue plans" »

The limits of aid: Is foreign investment better for the Pacific?

Prof Tiku JayaramanTIRU K JAYARAMAN | Fiji Sun

ACADEMICS, government policy makers and businessmen from the region recently gathered in Suva and reviewed economic trends in Pacific island countries.

The event, sponsored by Asian Development Bank in conjunction with Australian National University and the University of the South Pacific, also explored future options for growth and development.

One of the topics of perennial interest is the role of foreign aid in growth and development in Pacific island countries.

Aid is considered in economics as unrequited or unreciprocated transfers of resources supplementing domestic savings for helping less developed countries to overcome their capital shortages.

Continue reading "The limits of aid: Is foreign investment better for the Pacific?" »

Julie Bishop refuses to explain departure of top diplomat


GENERALLY, when a politician refuses to offer an explanation for a controversial event, there’s an underlying reason which it is believed may cause even more embarrassment if revealed.

And so we have Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, refusing to explain why the high commissioner to Papua New Guinea has left her post eight months early.

Last week the foreign affairs department said that Deborah Stokes had been transferred from the Australian mission in Waigani to take another overseas assignment and replaced by Ms Bronte Moules (pictured).

Continue reading "Julie Bishop refuses to explain departure of top diplomat" »

‘My heart is still there,’ says Fose Kake who adopted Enga

Fose Kake and Dr Samson AmeanDANIEL KUMBON

IN the 1950s, there was an influx of people into what is now Enga Province from other parts of Papua New Guinea. They came with the gold prospectors, government patrols and missionaries.

They came as policeman, carriers, cooks, interpreters, priests, brothers, catechists and tradesman.

Some of them fell in love with our beautiful village women and settled in the province permanently.

They contributed immensely to the development of the province and their offspring continue to live in the province to this day.

One such man who came with the tide was a carpenter from Malalaua near Kerema in Gulf Province.

Working both with the government and missionaries, Fose Kake built many of the schools, aid posts, stores and churches still in use today.

Continue reading "‘My heart is still there,’ says Fose Kake who adopted Enga" »

Only one PNG woman in 12 Indonesian scholarships

Scholarship logoPNG TODAY

INDONESIA has offered 12 non-degree Darmasiswa scholarships to Papua New Guinea but only one female student is among them.

Education and cultural attaché, Dr Sedercor Melatunan, said only one female was qualified for the program. He did not provide other details.

“I hope that for next academic year more female participants from PNG will apply for the scholarship,” he said.

Continue reading "Only one PNG woman in 12 Indonesian scholarships" »

Rich and famous – one of our least recognised oxymorons

_Simbu Writers AssociationPHIL FITZPATRICK

READING Bill Brown’s eulogy to the old kiap Harry West, it occurred to me that it will be people like Harry who will be remembered long after any of their wealthy counterparts.

Wealth might make you famous in the short term but it is no ticket to historical fame.

It is what you do with your life rather than how much wealth you accumulate that really matters. If you are wealthy it is what good or evil that you have done with your wealth that people will remember.

There is currently an extremely wealthy and crass businessman in the USA running for preselection as a presidential candidate for the Republican Party who realises this and is running in the hope that if he makes it he will be remembered.  He knows that his inherited wealth won’t buy immortality.

In our celebrity besotted world there are people who are said to be famous for being famous.  When you look at these people, the Kardashians and the Paris Hiltons, you realise how much they are giving fame a bad name.

Continue reading "Rich and famous – one of our least recognised oxymorons" »

Now it’s Dr Jane Awi – great moment for a great person

Family & friends at Dr Jane Awi's graduationKEITH JACKSON

UNIVERSITY of Goroka lecturer and Crocodile Prize Organisation member Jane Awi received her doctorate from Queensland University of Technology on Thursday in the presence of her mother and father and friends.

The PhD was awarded for Jane’s thesis, completed within the Creative Industries Faculty, on using forms of folk opera to educate Papua New Guinean villagers about HIV/AIDS.

The thesis investigated how western theatre techniques can be blended with indigenous PNG performance methods to communicate effectively and change rural people’s awareness and behaviour around HIV/AIDS.

Jane also has credentials in leadership training and, back home in PNG, is enthusiastically turning her attention to the whole spectrum of communications, especially at the grassroots level.

First of PNG's APEC ministerial meetings looms


PRIME minister Peter O'Neill has expressed satisfaction at the announcement of the first APEC ministerial meeting ever to be held in Papua New Guinea.

Forestry Minister Douglas Tomuriesa said PNG will host the third APEC meeting of forestry ministers in October.

The meeting is one of 200 meetings that will take place in PNG in preparation for the APEC leaders' summit in November 2018.

Mr O’Neill, who is also Minister Responsible for APEC, said the meeting and other APEC events provide an opportunity for PNG to make an important contribution to regional policy and to gain from APEC's knowledge and skills base.

Continue reading "First of PNG's APEC ministerial meetings looms" »

Thousands of people get free Adventist healthcare in Bereina

Bereina Mission 15ANDREW McCHESNEY | Adventist Review

THOUSANDS of people received free medical services in Papua New Guinea during a two-week effort by the local Seventh-day Adventist Church to share Jesus through actions rather than words.

More than 300 patients received dental services and general health checks daily at a special clinic run by more than 50 doctors and nurses during the Bereina Mission 15 project.

Bereina is a town of 1,800 people 160 kilometers northwest of Port Moresby. Doctors also performed more than 30 surgeries.

Continue reading "Thousands of people get free Adventist healthcare in Bereina" »

Did your entry make this year’s Crocodile Prize anthology?

_Crocodile Prize 2015KEITH JACKSON

OF the more than 800 entries received in this year’s Crocodile Prize, 160 have been selected by editors Phil Fitzpatrick and me for publication in The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 – all 400 pages of it.

This year’s collection of the best Papua New Guinean creative writing (and illustrations) is nearing publication date, with proofs being checked preparatory to throwing the switch to ‘print’.

A link to the published contents can be found further down in this article.

It is anticipated that, as a result of a generous donation from the PNG Association of Australia, some 1,500 copies of the anthology will be distributed free of cost to PNG libraries and schools. In a few weeks’ time, we will be asking readers to nominate themselves as distributors for schools in their areas.

In all, the anthology includes 52 poems, 42 short stories, 28 essays and 15 heritage stories. There are also 12 stories for children, seven entries in the Tourism, Arts & Culture category and four illustrations.

Download here The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 contents

Afghanistan beats PNG and qualifies for 2016 T20 World Cup

Afganistan on the way to victoryMIRWAIS ADEEL | Khaama Press

THE Papua New Guinea Barramundis national cricket team has been denied a place in the ICC Twenty20 world cup by Afghanistan.

Afghanistan defeated PNG in a qualifying play-off after PNG had seemed certain to qualify in earlier rounds, including a notable win over tournament favourites Ireland. 

The Papua New Guinea batsmen set a target of 128 runs from 20 overs after they won the toss and elected to bat first.

The Afghan batsmen chased lost just four wickets and chased down the runs with 10 balls remaining. Nawroz Mangal was highest scorer for Afghanistan with 65 runs from 56 balls.

The play-off against Papua New Guinea was the last chance for both teams to qualify for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 World Cup 2016.

Evil music, tribal warfare & cultures of violent death

Linda grieves for her 25-year-old daughter Amanda, who died in Port Moresby after being rapedDANIEL KUMBON

THOMAS Edison invented the phonograph with good intentions for people to enjoy music. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone for easy communication.

But in the modern era, with all the advances in technology and knowledge, society has abused these milestone creations to gratify the desires of the flesh. Filth is transmitted through the airwaves.

A friend of mine took me to a night club in Akron, a lively town near the city of Cleveland in America. A crowd of young people was dancing to American rock music.

Continue reading "Evil music, tribal warfare & cultures of violent death" »

Harry West: Not a big man, not a small man; a great man

Harry West on a PNG highlands patrol early 1950sWT (BILL) BROWN MBE

HARRY West was not a big man. Harry West was not a small man, but Harry West was a great man. Harry was also a kind man, a thoughtful man, and a generous man.

Masta West, Mata ‘Arry, was admired, respected and loved by all those who knew him: black, brown and white.

A letter from the Chief Minister, written in April 1974, epitomised Harry’s enormous contribution to Papua New Guinea. Michael Somare, later Sir Michael wrote:

Dear Harry

It is with sincere regret that I learn of your impending retirement because of ill health. I am very conscious of the outstanding role you have played in the progress of our country over the last 28 years, and I realise that a man of your wide experience and understanding would be invaluable to us as this country moves through the independence period.

Independence will bring us problems, but the public services and the people will be able to cope with those problems, due to you, and to others like you, who have given a lifetime of service with this object in view.

Continue reading "Harry West: Not a big man, not a small man; a great man" »

Story of a little jewel


It fell from heaven
Slipped from the hands of the gods
But didn’t land on the floor
It was too precious to be smashed
The angels caught it

They told Wilhelm
The king of the land
To treasure it
To embrace it
For it belonged to the gods

King Wilhelm was proud
He wore it as his necklace
To show the world
This gift from the gods
This precious little jewel

Continue reading "Story of a little jewel" »

Incentives for athletes but what about the injustices of our country

Peter O'Neill (Post-Courier)GEORGE KUIAS

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has announced that athletes who did not win any medals during the 2015 Pacific Games will each receive K2,500 as an incentive for their efforts.

Well, I congratulate Mr O’Neill for the initiative and the plan to develop sports in Papua New Guinea. Through sport the government will be able to combat increasing crime.

But, before the honourable prime minister does this, could his government locate sporting facilities in every district of PNG down to village level so we can develop the best and most talented sport men and women to national and even international level?

Continue reading "Incentives for athletes but what about the injustices of our country" »

Unemployed youth say the future they want begins with them

The Tropical Gems (Catherine Wilson - IPS)CATHERINE WILSON | Inter Press Service

ZIBIE Wari, a former teacher and founder of the Tropical Gems grassroots youth group in Madang, has seen the hopes of many young people for a decent future quashed by the impacts of corruption and unfulfilled promises of development.

Once known as ‘the prettiest town in the South Pacific’, the most arresting sight today in this coastal urban centre of about 30,000 people is large numbers of youths idling away hours in the town’s centre, congregating under trees and sitting along pavements.

“You must have a dream, I tell them every day. Those who roam around the streets, they have no dreams in life, they have no vision. And those who do not have a vision in life are not going to make it,” Wari declared. “So, as a team, how can we help each other?”

Continue reading "Unemployed youth say the future they want begins with them" »

Was it Bougainville? DFAT coy on Deborah Stokes' departure

Deborah Stokes (DFAT)LISA MARTIN | AAP

THE Australian federal government is refusing to say why Australia's high commissioner to Papua New Guinea has made an early exit from her posting.

Deborah Stokes was appointed high commissioner in March 2013 and finished up last week.

It's believed she still had about eight months to go on her Port Moresby posting.

"Today I farewell PNG taking with me many fond memories of this remarkable country. Lukim yu bihain," she tweeted late last week.

The timing of her departure, so close to PNG's 40th anniversary of independence celebrations in September, has raised eyebrows in Port Moresby.

Continue reading "Was it Bougainville? DFAT coy on Deborah Stokes' departure" »

Peter O’Neill’s Torres islands claim rejected by former official

Sign on Boigu Island (Stefan Armbruster, SBS)KEITH JACKSON

A lawyer and former Papua New Guinea official, who was involved in negotiating Torres Strait border arrangements between PNG and Australia, has rejected a claim that PNG villagers are denied traditional access rights to the Strait.

PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill last week called for the arrangements to be reviewed, saying traditional hunting and fishing rights of Trans Fly villagers have been extinguished, leaving many communities with no income.

Continue reading "Peter O’Neill’s Torres islands claim rejected by former official" »

Games chief blames closing ceremony chaos on fans and VIPs

Pacific Games Closing Ceremony ©Port Moresby 2015LIAM MORGAN | Inside the Games

PACIFIC Games chief executive Peter Stewart has sought to clarify the reasons behind the closing ceremony ticketing row.

The debacle, which left hundreds of spectators outside the Sir John Guise Stadium, was caused by a fans without tickets trying to gain access, as well as more than the anticipated number of VIPs turning up for the event.

Large groups of fans were not allowed in despite having purchased tickets.

The debacle marred a spectacular end to the 14-day event, described by many as setting the standard for future Pacific Games.

Continue reading "Games chief blames closing ceremony chaos on fans and VIPs" »

My remote home

My remote homePHILIP KAUPA

I've heard of big trucks
but I've seen the biggest tree trunk
my rich river and amazing forest

I've heard of big cities and towns
good food, health and riches abound
but live in my little hut, still a part of you

I see a thundering jet plane
another day in its lane
I wonder where its headed

I see a lone rugged trail
another weary traveller
I wonder where he's  been to

Continue reading "My remote home" »

Norman cathedrals, Thomas Cook & the waste of tribal fighting

Peterborough CathedralDANIEL KUMBON

AS I sipped tea in the ancient building in the grounds of the Norman cathedral, I realised how old and modern were intertwined to make Peterborough in England the city it is.

My colleagues from around the world were so captivated by the beauty around them that they wanted to stay there all day.

We had to be told ‘to get a move on’ to our next destination – Nene Park, firmly establishing itself as one of the top ten English country parks.

As we passed over the willow-lined River Nene, our guide asked, “Did you know that the underwater scenes of the James Bond movie Octopussy were filmed here?”

Continue reading "Norman cathedrals, Thomas Cook & the waste of tribal fighting" »

Street preachers who burned Bible “fools deceived by devil”


TWO street preachers in Mt Hagen have burnt the Holy Bible claiming “it is an ordinary book”.

The two men burnt the Bible while preaching in the city’s streets. Onlookers were stunned by the act and immediately called police, who arrested the men and locked them up.

Religious leaders slammed the action of the men, strongly condemning the burning of the Bible.

Assemblies of God Highlands superintendent, Pastor Peter Ropra, said the two men must be punished and sent to prison.

“This is a criminal act according to the Christian faith and I totally and strongly condemn their actions,” he said.

Continue reading "Street preachers who burned Bible “fools deceived by devil”" »

The PNG-Australia relationship: threat to one; threat to the other


THE Papua New Guinea-Australia geopolitical relationship dates back to independence in 1975 and, despite a few political mishaps along the way, both countries enjoy a vibrant relationship based on mutual understanding, respect and trust.

Australia continues to play an important role in PNG’s development. It’s the biggest aid donor ahead of China, the European Union and New Zealand with an emphasis on health, education, economic and defence and security.

Trade and investment also continues to strengthen. In 2013-14, trade between the two countries was worth $6.8 billion.

Geopolitics is the study of politics of geography. The location of a country and its resources possess a strategic value which is fundamental to the position of a state in the international system.

Continue reading "The PNG-Australia relationship: threat to one; threat to the other" »

It takes two things for employment


A paper with a college stamp
A bachelor’s degree
Attractive curriculum vitae,
Yet it is not enough for a corporate job
Although he is a Papua New Guinean by birth
He needs two more things to qualify
A wantok in the office or bel kol money
No wantok, no bel kol money
And Petrus is a uni graduate and full time street youth

Continue reading "It takes two things for employment" »

Ekio Taitaito – an introduction to the moon


IN the Telei language ekio is the word for ‘moon’ and it is bonded with an initiation known as ekio taitaito, which is performed to new babies aged between three and four months.

It is the official introduction of the moon to the baby.

It is the tradition of the Buin people to never carry newborn babies in the moonlight, whether it’s a full moon or not. Babies are kept indoors and they are not allowed to see the moon.

If, due to something important, the mother takes her baby out she must cover herself and the baby with a laplap, making sure no moonlight shines onto her child’s body.

Continue reading "Ekio Taitaito – an introduction to the moon" »

PNG cricketers just one win from T20 World Cup despite loss


PAPUA New Guinea have kept alive its hopes of qualifying for next year's World Twenty20 tournament despite an 18 run defeat to the United States on Sunday.

Having restricted the Americans to 6-147 from 20 overs, the Barramundis’ run chase started disastrously with openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka dismissed in the first eight balls.

Sese Bau grafted 26 from 31 deliveries and was supported by Kila Pala and Mahura Dai but the run-rate proved too much with PNG only managing ten boundaries as it finished its innings at 9-129.

Continue reading "PNG cricketers just one win from T20 World Cup despite loss" »

Perhaps we should disempower the double standard

Holiday Inn Port MoresbyRASHMII BELL

A lifetime ago, when I was awaiting my knight in shining armour, I looked forward to Tuesdays the most.

The local Blockbuster, wedged between a noodle bar and a gelato parlour, had all the trappings a single, career-woman needed on a worknight. Cheap Tuesday’s one-dollar DVDs went well with crammed plastic tubs of seafood chow mein and Toblerone gelato.

The hard slog of Tuesday at the office made me deserving of hearty doses a self-pity, MSG and a self-induced sugar coma.

Loud and proud, I indulged in a film diet consisting a staple of African-American movies, live-in-concert tapings and TV series by the season, like ‘Felicity’, ‘The Wood’, ‘Two Can Play that Game’, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Dance’ and 50 cent’s ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’. I kid you not. I am that diverse.

My longing for a box set of ‘Dawson’s Creek’ remains unfulfilled. I’ve never figured out beloveds who ask what I’d like for my birthday then gift me with some ridiculous mud body-wrap voucher.

Continue reading "Perhaps we should disempower the double standard" »

How the war-ravaged Tsak Valley was transformed by its alumni

Michael Kambao and Tsak Valley LodgeDANIEL KUMBON

PAPUA New Guineans believe that an improved road network - especially in rural areas - is the key for all forms of development to fall into place.

This certainly proved to be true in the Tsak Valley of Wapenamanda in Enga Province.

Through went a new K27 million road and up sprang the new permanent high covenant homes, trade stores and chicken projects.

Buses began to run along this road and the people travelled in comfort. No more bouncing around on Dyna trucks.

And once the road was sealed and electricity supplied to the adjacent villages, the area began its transformation along with the livelihood of the people.

Even a hotel was built by lawyer Michael Kambao, a local man from the Yanuni clan of the Yambaren tribe. He is the Provincial Legal Officer of the Enga Provincial Government.

It does not make great commercial logic because Michael built the hotel in his village of Wapidis far away from the district headquarters of Wapenamanda, the Okuk Highway and Wabag, the provincial capital.

Continue reading "How the war-ravaged Tsak Valley was transformed by its alumni" »

Minai & Mwat ti-Koniu - a tale from Rambutso in Manus


THIS is a story from the days when warfare was prominent amongst the tribes and the people were still using Stone Age tools. It took place at M’brunai on Rambutso, south-east of Manus Island.

There lived an old widow named Koniu. She was barren throughout life.

Growing old without children was her greatest regret as there was no one who could help her with gardening, fishing or house chores. She grew old with the desire to have a child, believing in the impossible even after she was beyond child bearing age.

Continue reading "Minai & Mwat ti-Koniu - a tale from Rambutso in Manus" »

Nancy Sullivan, friend of Papua New Guinea, dies in US car smash

Nancy Sullivan - committed herseld to PNGKEITH JACKSON

THE noted anthropologist and philanthropist, Dr Nancy Sullivan, 57, has been killed in a one-car crash on the Taconic State Parkway in Connecticut in the United States.

Three children aged 5, 8 and 10 from Papua New Guinea were injured in the accident, two of them critically.

A fifth person in the vehicle, Skudy Bangan, 43, also a Papua New Guinean, was taken to MidHudson Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Local police reported that the car being driven by Ms Sullivan left the road and struck an embankment at about 9:50 pm on Thursday. Ms Sullivan was declared dead at the scene and the children were airlifted to Westchester Medical Centre.

Nancy Sullivan ran her Madang-based anthropology consulting company and had lived in PNG for 23 years. The company employs several former students from the PNG Studies Department of Divine Word University.

Continue reading "Nancy Sullivan, friend of Papua New Guinea, dies in US car smash" »