Previous month:
September 2015
Next month:
November 2015

106 posts from October 2015

Settlement upgrading should include people of different ethnicity


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

THE recent spate of ethnic tensions and fights that have swept certain parts of Port Moresby’s settlements, most notably Hohola, 8 Mile and 6 Mile, have brought to light the need to police the movement of people in and out of towns and cities.

This is important to maintain law and order and protect human lives and public property.

In Papua New Guinea, discussion on rural-urban drift often raises the issue of the Vagrancy Act. While there is a definite and serious need for the government and city and town authorities to look into ways of controlling the movement of people, the Vagrancy Act will have to be a measure of last resort.

This is due to the fact that most urban dwellers are second or third generation migrants (especially from Gulf and Central provinces in the case of Port Moresby) who live, work and do business in towns and cities.

Continue reading "Settlement upgrading should include people of different ethnicity" »

‘Litimapim’ is not our chiefly tradition; it is akin to idolatry


THE titles we give some of our Papua New Guinean leaders, such as 'Grand Chief', is just that, a title. What we should really be concerned about is the role played by the person with such a title.

As a nation, PNG has embraced the idea of having the Queen as head of state and the Governor-General as her representative, giving a ceremonial nod to the past.

I don’t believe that PNG is lagging much in modernising its traditional values of leadership. For example, the illegal ousting of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare as prime minister in 2011.

PNG has a modern Westminster parliament comprised of elected politicians from across the nation. But the position and role of member of parliament does not automatically make them paramount chiefs or holders of other high traditional office.

Continue reading "‘Litimapim’ is not our chiefly tradition; it is akin to idolatry" »

Panguna ex-combatants call for reconciliation to go ahead


EX-COMBATANTS from A Company of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), which was raised in the Panguna District, have voiced concerns over a number of issues involving Panguna mine-affected people.

A meeting of Ioro council of elders at Enamira village, led by ABG Mining Minister Robin Wilson, discussed the prospective bel kol (reconciliation) process with Bougainville Copper Limited.

The ex-combatants claimed to have been long suppressed by non-Panguna people and other ex-combatants acting without considering the needs of Panguna people and creating confusion about the roots of the Bougainville crisis.

“Our comrades from other areas of Bougainville do not know our problems,” former A Company operations commander Dominic Bobake argued.

Continue reading "Panguna ex-combatants call for reconciliation to go ahead" »

O’Neill’s leadership, corruption & the ICAC election gimmick


PETER O’ Neill became the seventh prime minister of Papua New Guinea in August 2011 when Parliament ousted Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, in Singapore for medical treatment, in a political coup.

Parliament, claiming to use its supreme powers, voted in Peter O’ Neill amongst much controversy without due respect to parliamentary democratic process and the national Constitution.

Parliamentarians had the choice of Peter O’Neill’s group or Sam Abal’s pro-Somare group. Most Somare supporters broke ranks and sided with O’Neill. Somare’s legitimate government crumbled during the chaos.

Intimidation, interference, coercion, bickering, threats, party-hopping, strong-arming, bullying and other tactics to install the new leaders of the illegal government became the order of the day.

Continue reading "O’Neill’s leadership, corruption & the ICAC election gimmick" »

Sorry story of traditional landowners deprived of their well-being


LAND is not only an economic asset in Papua New Guinea. It is part of our identity as an indigenous people. And it also encompasses human security issues and challenges.

During the colonial period, a significant amount of land was taken by government, missionaries and overseas business people from traditional landowners often in exchange for paltry benefits such as tobacco, salt and sugar.

The pain and tears still visit themselves upon many of these landowners such as the people of Mabanob, not far from Madang town.

The land where RD Tuna cannery at Vidar and the proposed PMIZ (Pacific Marine Industrial Zone) are located is traditionally owned by the people of Mabanob, comprising Kananam, Rempi, Maiwara and Iduwad villages.

Continue reading "Sorry story of traditional landowners deprived of their well-being" »

They say that laughter is the best medicine


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

THEY say that laughter is the best medicine. Most of us understand laughter as a way of telling others that we are happy and want to be friends.

Teachers, preachers or trainers make their audience laugh to get their attention so that they don’t get bored and fall asleep during long lessons, sermons or lectures.

While attending a training session, the trainer decided to arouse his audience before his presentation.

“This story is from Ada’s place,” he began.

“Oh no, you’re putting me off,” said Ada, one of the participants.

Continue reading "They say that laughter is the best medicine" »

Peter O'Neill survives attempt to throw out government


PAPUA New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill has seen off an opposition attempt to throw out the country's government.

Mr O'Neill brought on, and won, a vote of confidence in parliament on Thursday, 78 votes to two.

He had been potentially facing a vote of no confidence tabled by the opposition, which wanted allegations of official corruption against him to be dealt with by the police and courts.

But the opposition's motion was rejected by the acting speaker, who said it was defective and would not be debated.

Continue reading "Peter O'Neill survives attempt to throw out government" »

No confidence motion in Peter O’Neill gathers momentum


OPPOSITION parties in Papua New Guinea yesterday delivered on a long-standing threat and began formal preparations to move a motion of no confidence against prime minister Peter O'Neill.

The key movers of the motion are Pangu leader Sam Basil and Opposition leader Don Polye with other notable signatories being Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Morobe Governor Kelly Naru and former Attorney General Kerenga Kua.

Bryan Kramer, a prominent observer of PNG politics, said the motion needs to comply with a number of constitutional requirements including giving no less than one week’s notice; signed by at least 12 MPs; and nominating the next prime minister.

With the motion now in train, it’s expected that “backbenchers who were previously ignored by the prime minister will now be wined and dined by him [to] solicit their vote,” said Mr Kramer.

Continue reading "No confidence motion in Peter O’Neill gathers momentum" »

For Anjo & the few who gathered at the Unagi Oval

PM must step downRAYMOND SIGIMET

A poem dedicated to the brave few who gathered at Unagi Oval on 26 October as patriots to show their concern and dissatisfaction at the way the country is being run by Peter O’ Neill and his People’s National Congress-led government. My heart and admiration goes out to them

The people have gathered
Though not a crowd
Anjo and them
Wanting answers
From the government
To unanswered questions

The people have gathered
Though, so I have heard
Some prevented
By the men in blue
Compromised, intimidation, brutality
Pretending to uphold the law

Continue reading "For Anjo & the few who gathered at the Unagi Oval" »

Truth is not enough; there is a need for conviction


“THE truth will set you free.” Since the day I first saw those words some 20 years ago, I have often pondered them.

Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that the truth can only set us free through conviction. Knowing the truth may be just the first step to freeing oneself and not the end result.

From this perspective, truth is not the end but the means through which we are empowered to be free. Knowing something is wrong is not enough. If, by conviction, one is forced to go against wrongful actions then it can be said that we have freed ourselves from those wrongs.

Continue reading "Truth is not enough; there is a need for conviction" »

Leaders of integrity don't fear social media, they use them


POLITICAL leaders with true integrity don't fear social media because they are secure in themselves and know that slander and libel are already indictable offenses under PNG law.

When political leaders are really in tune with people at the grassroots (not just the business class and those who grace the swimming pool at Airways), they engage social media as part of their public relations and in maintaining active rapport with stakeholders and leaders in their electorate communities.

If thus engaged, the virtual graffiti posted by keyboard vandals is quickly wiped off by the general public as the disgusting sputum everyone knows it is.

Continue reading "Leaders of integrity don't fear social media, they use them" »

Logging hypocrisy: PNG hosts APEC forest protection talks


AS Papua New Guinea prepares to host government ministers from across the Asia-Pacific for talks on the future of the region’s forests, logging companies are making millions liquidating PNG’s rainforests, often illegally.

Investigations by advocacy group Global Witness show that nearly one-third of PNG’s timber exports in 2014 came from logging under agriculture permits at the centre of a nationwide scandal over widespread land  grabbing.

This year’s meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forestry ministers began in Port Moresby yesterday to discuss how to preserve the region’s forests and combat illegal logging.

Continue reading "Logging hypocrisy: PNG hosts APEC forest protection talks" »

Lost and found & talking space travel at Cambridge University

KingsCollegeChapelWestDANIEL KUMBON

HERE was I from Papua New Guinea sitting in a coach with colleagues from 11 other countries on our way to Cambridge University, one of the oldest and most renowned educational institutions in the United Kingdom.

It was founded in 1209 and has 32 colleges. Of particular interest to us journalists was Magdalene College, where we headed straight for the Pepys Library to view archival material on the development of shorthand.

But I was not there to hear the Assistant Librarian give the briefing because, like any fool who strays from the main group, I was lost in the grounds of this ancient university with students from all over the world.

Continue reading "Lost and found & talking space travel at Cambridge University" »

Dry docked in the desert & the excesses of Peter O’Neill

Freighter approaching Abu DhabiKEITH JACKSON

I write this aboard MV Nautica which is tied up alongside in Abu Dhabi, the richest of, and something of a banker for, the other Gulf emirates because of its vast oil wealth. Outside, the thermometer has just passed the 100 degree Fahrenheit mark.

The long voyage that will take us to Cape Town has just begun and at this first port of call I’ve consigned myself to my cabin, not because the desert sand doesn’t have its attractions but because of my need to visit the ship’s doctor with what turned out to be an inflamed ear drum.

Dr Florante Bejar is a pleasant Filipino, a rotund young man, and we joke that the great thing about impaired hearing is that there are some discussions you’d rather not listen to.

Continue reading "Dry docked in the desert & the excesses of Peter O’Neill" »

Blue ice, whiskey & whispers: a tale of true peace


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

HOG’S Breath Café. A petite, charming bar and grill on a lazy Friday afternoon. The customers almost blending into its furnishings, pleasant music and a welcoming air.

An hour ago, Nathan Kali had just completed his Year 12 exams and had been invited by his uncle, De Salvo Posuweh, a lawyer, to the café for a few cold ones; thus signifying his manhood and freedom.

Both men sat on the café balcony, their eyes intrigued by the passing parade of shoppers moving to and fro.

Continue reading "Blue ice, whiskey & whispers: a tale of true peace" »

Life of uncertainty


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

Take my plea my uncertainty,
Take my hands and warm them.

I’m but cold and anxious,
Wayward and crooked.

Life is but a dream,
But reality is a back lash,
My utter disgrace is my poverty.

My long lost sovereignty,
I lay in asylum for you aid.

Take me and rescue me,
A life of endless misery.

I was told by pastors and priests,
The poor can go to heaven.

But I didn’t sell my riches to be poor,
A statistic of injustice,

An aimless ingrate.
Only death will bring the peace.

Could China be the catalyst for an independent Bougainville?

Chinese warship leaves portThe Australian | Extracts

IF China’s constructions on reclaimed rocks in the South China Sea are a headache for ASEAN, the US and Australia, what if Beijing became the patron of a large emerging island state that stares across the Pacific to the US fortress of Guam?

Conditions have deteriorated on Bougainville, which after boasting the best living standards in Papua New Guinea before civil war broke out in 1989, is now one of PNG’s worst performing provinces, with few job prospects and poor health and education levels.

But there is another, strategically potent, reason why the United States might well wish to pay particular attention to Bougainville. That’s because within five years its 250,000 people will go to a referendum on independence and Bougainville, with deep water ports and lengthy runways that could be swiftly rehabilitated, lies 2,500km straight across the horizon from Guam.

Continue reading "Could China be the catalyst for an independent Bougainville?" »

Amkat Mai & the need for PNG support for West Papua

Gov Amkat Mai exchanges gifts with Indonesian police officerBONNY KAIYO

DIPLOMACY, like other professions, provides its members with a privileged sense of distance enabling them to ignore rules and cheat on their political masters.

This writer holds that Papua New Guinea’s diplomats who deal with Indonesia over  the  West Papua issue could better demonstrate a facility with the Indonesian language,  as well as  familiarity with the cultures of the different ethnic groups that make up the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia, including the five Melanesian provinces.

PNG’s diplomats have yet to develop the skills to be catalysts of collective action between Port Moresby and Jakarta. And there seems to be a great deal of difficulty in our diplomats coming to grips with West Papua’s claim to a quasi–state. In short, on West Papua, PNG’s diplomats are dragging their feet

Continue reading "Amkat Mai & the need for PNG support for West Papua" »

Kaupa & Maria call this place home. So do millions of others

Mt Gahavisuka - looking from Kefamo villageBOMAI D WITNE

THEY are far removed from urban life and its knowledge, innovations and technologies. The hut at the end of the ridge is what they have. It is connected to the outside world by a walking track.

Kaupa and his wife Maria live on the edge of a ridge, close to a stream. They are geographically isolated.

The mountains around them are high; the clouds hang forever on virgin forests; the streams are crystal clear and fast running as they descend through the endless gullies to the east.

Continue reading "Kaupa & Maria call this place home. So do millions of others" »

PNG moving towards dictatorship says former prime minister


PEOPLE need to be aware of increasing threats by the current Papua New Guinea government to the right of free speech and to the freedom and independence of the media.

These precious rights and freedoms are under attack as never before by a Prime Minister demonstrably determined to silence legitimate criticism – including criticism of the official corruption that appears to exist at the heart of government.

The Prime Minister’s use of the National Information and Communications Technology Authority. (NICTA) Act to clamp down on freedom of speech and the media is an unparalleled abuse of power.  The nation would seem to be moving step by step towards becoming a dictatorship.

Continue reading "PNG moving towards dictatorship says former prime minister" »

Vision-impaired Emmanuel Simon has completed his big test

Emmanuel takes the 1st Reading during the Grade 12 thanksgiving massROSLYN TONY

AS Grade 12 students throughout Papua New Guinea prepare for their national examinations, vision-impaired Emmanuel Simon from Rosary Secondary School, Kondiu, is comfortably in tune with all of them.

Emmanuel and Clency Amos, both of whom are vision impaired, were enrolled for the first time into the formal education system last year - Clency in Year 9 and Emmanuel in Year 11.

At Rosary Secondary School, the subject teachers rose to the challenge of adapting their teaching-learning strategies to accommodate the two students.

Mingende Callan Services engaged a full time staffer specialising in Braille to adjust the tests and assignments for each subject. It was an interesting year for the subject teachers and the two special needs students.

With the increase of student enrolment due to the free tuition fee policy, students’ behaviour was rowdy particularly during meal times and Emmanuel and Clency sometimes got trapped in this.

Continue reading "Vision-impaired Emmanuel Simon has completed his big test" »

PNG 'lawless' but OK to resettle asylum seekers says Australia

Peter DuttonMATT SIEGEL | Reuters | Extracts

AUSTRALIA has welcomed a pledge by Papua New Guinea to begin resettling refugees from an Australian immigration detention centre, despite questions about how their safety would be guaranteed in one of the region's most dangerous countries.

PNG, which Australia says suffers from a "general atmosphere of lawlessness", has not resettled anyone in the three years it has hosted the centre and it says those who are resettled will face waits of up to eight years before obtaining citizenship.

Asylum seekers are a hot political issue in Australia and successive governments have vowed to stop them reaching the mainland, sending those intercepted to camps on Manus Island in PNG and Nauru.

Continue reading "PNG 'lawless' but OK to resettle asylum seekers says Australia" »

The ultimate team member


This poem is dedicated to the Papua New Guineans from different walks of life who believe in themselves as agents of change for this great nation

I am the ultimate team member

I am mission driven and passionate about PNG

I am always punctual and determined in my duties

I am a team player

I respect and work well with others

I am proactive, I believe in myself and I love to learn new things

I am organized, I planned well and adapt to changes

And that allows me to make a difference in my work

I love my country Papua New Guinea

Food and water shortages challenge us; planning is the answer

Sirinumu water levels are critically lowBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

NEWS about the water level at the Sirinumu Dam dropping to an all-time low got me thinking about what would happen if we ran out of water.

One of my good friends whom I bumped into few days ago probably summed up the situation well. He said if the dam runs out of water, the people in the Port Moresby settlements will go on a rampage.

Water pipes will be ripped apart or dug up to free the remaining water while shops will be looted as people go in search of bottled water. This conjured in my mind images of the Mad Max movies.

Continue reading "Food and water shortages challenge us; planning is the answer" »

Thomas Alva Edison: the boy with the addled mind


FROM my grandfather’s first wife, four children were born – two boys and two girls. One of the boys was my father. The other boy, whose name was Peruwa, was killed in tribal warfare.

My grandfather’s second wife brought uncle Ene into the world. He married Paula, whose brother Imaipi Apai was not present during the bride price distribution. He was working on a copra plantation on the coast. When he came home, Paula and I went to see him at Kanawaingi village.

A red box he had brought back attracted my attention. He placed a circular disc on a circular surface and wound a handle on the side of the box. Music started to play. I was left in awe.

Continue reading "Thomas Alva Edison: the boy with the addled mind" »

MSP leader challenges PNG to aspire to do mission work overseas

Fr Eladio Oliver meeting with a family during the celebrationsFIDELIS SUKINA

LAST Sunday was a day of celebration for the parishioners of Mary Queen of the Pacific. It marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP).

The Filipino community in Port Moresby and members of the church held a mass together and followed this with food and entertainment.

The Society itself founded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines in 1965, which saw a need to expand its mission work to neighbouring countries.

The Mary Queen of the Pacific Parish is located at North Waigani in Port Moresby. It has been part of the MSP mission since its arrival in 1981, work that has since extended to Kerema, Daru, Kiunga, Vanimo and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The main celebrant was Fr Eladio B Oliver MSP, who was a parish priest in PNG and has since become MSP’s Father Moderator and Superior General.

Continue reading "MSP leader challenges PNG to aspire to do mission work overseas" »

My Papua New Guinea family, which is so dear to me


The family
WHEN I arrived in Papua New Guinea
two weeks ago to sort out visas for Rose's sisters, Rose’s family prepared a mumu in my honour.

I don't know why I deserved it, and I was once again taken aback at the great Melanesian traditions of hospitality and friendship that the feast embodied.

We should never ignore the real people who make PNG and Australia tick.

That fine Australian artist Bill Dobell painted Papua New Guineans so well. Everyone has a story to tell and a picture worth painting. But I had a camera.

Continue reading "My Papua New Guinea family, which is so dear to me" »

On being a girl & being a boy


I would like to share this piece of wisdom with younger people who are starting out in a blossoming relationship, something I went through when I was younger.

I am now a mother who has experienced life with my boyfriend who is now my husband.

I have learned that in intimate relationships, however deep or shallow, it is patience for one another and respect for yourself and others that are virtues weighed in gold.

Continue reading "On being a girl & being a boy" »

A period away from my desk but it’s business nearly as usual

Keith in IstanbulKEITH JACKSON

TONIGHT Ingrid and I depart these sun-drenched Queensland shores for Dubai, where we will meet up with MV Nautica for a long cruise along India’s coast across to my old Maldives stamping ground and on to Africa.

The five-week voyage will conclude with a few days in Cape Town from where an arduous string of flights will, 35 hours later, deposit us in Orange NSW for the wedding of Ingrid’s first son, Evan, a medical student.

This period away from my desk will, of course, have an impact on the production of PNG Attitude although, on previous sojourns afloat or in hospital or on long treks, I have somehow managed to produce the blog regularly and, as usual, my email remains open to you.

Continue reading "A period away from my desk but it’s business nearly as usual" »

Jacob’s story: Finding peace as a man


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

AS the sun rose over the dried El Niño suburbs of the city, Jacob woke up, tired and still depressed from yesterday’s thoughts.

As he yawned and stretched he felt that he just couldn’t care less, “Same old things, different days” he murmured.

His siblings were running around circles, irritating him.

“James, Isaac! Go wash; go to school”.

It was like watching a re-run of his own life; each day a replay of a soap opera where the characters never changed.

Continue reading "Jacob’s story: Finding peace as a man" »

Maxie koros long Jemma


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

DAA-DD-YYY mobail ling!” The shout from inside the house jolted Danny from his thoughts as the little one opened the door wide open at the same time and announced again with an urgency, “Daa-dd-yy haliap! Mobail blo yu ling!”

Christy, pasim door!” Came Julia’s familiar not-too-harsh not-too-soft admonishment from the kitchen corner. The little one left the door still open and moved towards Danny.

Julia is Danny’s partner and mother to the little one. They’ve been together for five years now. Their union was one of necessity. She wanted someone to provide for her and he wanted someone to manage the house. One complementing the other.

“Okay doll, give me one sec,” Danny got up from his peace seat, picked up his two and half year old daughter who happens to be the messenger and walked into the house, closing the door as they went in.

Continue reading "Maxie koros long Jemma" »

Sir Iambakey Okuk lives on in Rome, or so the legend says


WE Papua New Guineans are sometimes a superstitious lot. Despite living in a technological age with the majority of us professing to be Christians, we still believe in spirits, sorcery and kastom beliefs.

Some of our traditional beliefs and superstitions actually identify us to specific ethnicities, tribes and clans. Our superstitious nature also creates a perfect environment for fantastical stories to evolve and be retold, over time becoming our legends and myths.

Our superstitious nature has also resulted in a few urban legends that continue to cause awe, inspiration and fear. They have been in existence for many years and pop up in people’s everyday conversation.

According to Wikipedia an urban legend is “a form of modern folklore consisting of fictional stories with macabre elements deeply rooted in local popular culture. These legends can be used for entertainment purposes, as well as for semi-serious explanations for random events such as disappearances and strange objects. Despite its name, an urban legend does not necessarily originate in an urban area.”

Continue reading "Sir Iambakey Okuk lives on in Rome, or so the legend says" »

The lessons of childhood

Lessons of childhood (Amanda Yeou)AMANDA YEOU

An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

This poem is dedicated to our strong and beautiful mothers, the women who teach us how to live in peace and harmony with those around us. A special dedication to my mum, Miriam Yeou, and my best friend’s late mum, Karo Bogino. We honour you ladies for your hearts of purest gold.

When I was born you were there for me;
You fed me and kept me close to your heart;
Our hearts and emotions were one;
We were intimate!
We were one!

Continue reading "The lessons of childhood" »

Gender-based violence: hurting the bottom line for PNG business

Lindy KananLINDY KANAN | DevPolicy Blog | Extracts

THE social, emotional and physical costs of gender-based violence are widely recognised and in recent years a number of studies have calculated the costs of gender-based violence for national economies.

But what are the costs of gender-based violence for individual businesses and how can they be calculated?

A recent report released by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Gender Violence in Papua New Guinea: the cost to business, seeks to answer these questions for PNG.

The study is the first of its kind in PNG, where gender-based violence has been described as being in epidemic proportions. The overall objective of ODI’s study was to highlight that gender-based violence not only has high social costs, but also significant economic costs, which impact on the business bottom line.

Continue reading "Gender-based violence: hurting the bottom line for PNG business" »

Thoughts of a grandmother


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

THE full moon shone above the peaks of the mountains while the cool breeze caressed our faces as we sat around the fire.

My grandmother talked as she chewed her betel nut, telling us little secrets of life.

“It’s not the big things that help you live a peaceful, happy and harmonious life,” she said. “It’s the small things. Do them right and your life will be good.

“I was the second born of six girls. I had responsibilities at a young age because mother was blind. But I took it in my stride. I learnt early in life to accept my responsibilities and not complain.

Continue reading "Thoughts of a grandmother" »

Is PNG headed for a bust? And another rebuild, regain, restore?


THE last time Papua New Guinea experienced a major economic crisis and a devastating drought was in 1997 when the late Sir Bill Skate was prime minister.

Skate was the leader of the People’s National Congress (PNC), now the lead coalition political party under the leadership of Peter O’Neill.

After failing to resuscitate the economy and with a kina in free fall, Skate and the PNC were voted out of power in a vote of no confidence by the People’s Democratic Party led by Sir Mekere Morauta.

It so happens that the present PNC-led government is in the middle of its own turmoil with the nation said to be experiencing a cash flow crisis made worse by one of the worst droughts in history.

Continue reading "Is PNG headed for a bust? And another rebuild, regain, restore?" »

More education ‘reform’: killing the system from within


WE’RE in the middle of allegations of high level corruption, court cases involving government officials, El Nino drought and deaths, government service delivery breakdown and a vote of no confidence and national protest.

But in all this, one of the most important sectors of the nation has taken another battering.

Education Minister Nick Kuman, during his recent visit to Karamui in Simbu Province, announced that the Grade 8 and Grade 10 national examinations will be phased out as part of the new standard-based education (SBE) reform.

Kuman announced that the only external examinations will be in Grade 12, while students’ results prior to that will be assessed internally. He said this aligns line with the government’s vision to have all school-aged children go through 12 years of uninterrupted education from elementary to upper secondary.

Continue reading "More education ‘reform’: killing the system from within" »

Development goals, peace & the PNG women in parliament


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

IN September, the international aid community met in New York to acknowledge and adopt a follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under the new badge of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There has been much talk about ambiguous terminology and the ambitiousness imposed on developing nations to achieve the 17 goals within 15 years.

But perhaps a clearer guide for Papua New Guinea view of the new SDGs is its dismal attempt at the MDGs – of which it achieved none.

Continue reading "Development goals, peace & the PNG women in parliament" »

Rose needs her sisters, yet PNG visa disgrace continues

Rose after chemotherapyPETER KRANZ

UPDATE - Peter Kranz reported late this afternoon....

A result at last! Thanks in no small part to Keith and PNG Attitude, the Australian High Commission today confirmed that visas for Rose's two sisters have been approved.

And many thanks for your kind comments, dear readers.


CLAIMING it would improve efficiency, the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby outsourced its visa application procedures to a British company called TT Services.

On its website TT Services brags that it is dedicated “to excellence and innovation …. a trusted partner for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.”

But if my family's experience is anything to go by, this is far from the truth.

Continue reading "Rose needs her sisters, yet PNG visa disgrace continues" »

Special needs students pass Grade 10 exams

Clency Amos with Kondiu Secondary School Principal Gabriel Aina in 2015 after fulfilling her dream of completing Lower Secondary Education
Clency Amos with Kondiu Secondary School Principal Gabriel Aina after fulfilling her dream of passing the Grade 10 national examination


KONDIU - Rosary Secondary School here in Kondiu has marked a milestone achievement in certifying two special needs students in this year’s Grade 10 national examination.

Clency Amos, a student with low vision impairment, and Leo Kutne, a 53-year old student, successfully completed the examination on Friday.

Continue reading "Special needs students pass Grade 10 exams" »

Archie Markham's view of Enga - & dying for a drink

EA (Archie) MarkhamDANIEL KUMBON

THE late Edward Archie Markham was from Montserrat in the Caribbean and a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom.

Archie was also my counterpart in 1983 when we both worked as media coordinators in the Department of Enga Administration.

We had been recruited under the communication development component of an K8 million World Bank project.

Archie was a widely published poet and writer of short stories.He became familiar with the Enga culture and way of life and hisPapua New Guinea Sojourn: More Pleasures of Exile (1997) tells the story of his life in Enga Province.

Continue reading "Archie Markham's view of Enga - & dying for a drink" »

An open letter to Peter O’Neill on family violence

Janet WalshJANET WALSH | Human Rights Watch | Extracts

DEAR Prime Minister - Please accept my regards on behalf of Human Rights Watch, an independent non-governmental organisation that monitors and reports on human rights in more than 90 countries worldwide.

I am writing to you on an issue of great shared concern—the prevalence of family violence, particularly against women and girls, in Papua New Guinea and your government’s efforts to reduce this violence.

Your government has taken important steps to combat family violence, including adoption of the Family Protection Act, establishing police Family and Sexual Violence Units and hospital-based Family Support Centres, and initiating a process to develop a gender-based violence strategy.

Continue reading "An open letter to Peter O’Neill on family violence" »

The Arapesh leader – peace, diplomacy & mediation

Arapesh man, c 1931 (Reo Fortune & Margaret Mead)RAYMOND SIGIMET

In recognition of past leaders of the forgotten eras who safe guarded and protected their people during times of conflict and war, and worked to bring about peace and harmony in their societies

THE Arapesh people inhabit the west coast region of East Sepik, up into and over the Torricelli hinterlands.

There are three main groups based on dialectal differences: the coastal Arapesh, the mountain Arapesh and the plain (kunai) Arapesh.

In the past, the traditional Arapesh, like other societies in Papua New Guinea, solved their conflicts and disputes through the diplomacy of bikman intervention and mediation.

When a conflict arose, the village tribal chief or bikman known as the takuien of the disputing groups, would come together in the man house, smeiguh, to discuss a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The takuien occupied the uppermost echelon of the political and social strata of the Arapesh societies. These leaders had high standards. They would not instigate conflict or embroil themselves in conflict of any sort.

Continue reading "The Arapesh leader – peace, diplomacy & mediation" »

My mother and her mother’s advice


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

WE sat in a crude semi-circle on the lawn in front of our house, our faces illuminated by the light coming from a neighbour’s house and the fire that burned nearby to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

The sun had gone and the chirping of the cicadas was a welcome sound after the angry shouting and screaming earlier in the day.

We were quiet, looking at our mother. Her head was bowed and face turned away as she tried to contain the tears we could see hanging on her lashes. Nobody said a word to comfort her; we did not know what to say.

After a long time, we she sighed and cleared her throat and started speaking softly, so the sound of her voice would not carry to my father. He had retired early, in a rage. He had kicked the wooden cross beams that supported the posts.

Continue reading "My mother and her mother’s advice" »

How the adulterous woman averted a tribal fight


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

MARY, from Gunage village in the Sinesine area, was 20 when she married her husband Kaupa and went to live with him at Mormaule village in the Dom area of Simbu Province.

Mary and Kaupa loved each other and lived harmoniously with their two kids. They lived a subsistence livelihood, earning a little cash from the sale of surplus garden food to buy soap, cooking oil and salt.

Their tribe was well known for its warfare against neighbouring people and, after some particularly ferocious fighting, Maary and Kaupa lost their home and food gardens.

Thereupon, they migrated to Kia as refugees and took refuge with Kaupa’s uncle. Some years later, when the fighting was over, they returned to Mormaule village and lived almost as vagrants on their home soil.

Continue reading "How the adulterous woman averted a tribal fight" »

El Nino, Mother of drought


Empty blue skies cloud thirsty

Longing but the raging winds scatter the cover

Night skies starry glitter like city lights

In mornings, evenings frost bites the dying fauna and flora

No rain but the scorching sun each day

Over the burned, dry and hazy cover

What I was told


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

What I was told by Grandpa …
Show compassion to others
And you sow amity
Multitude friends you shall win
Myriad peace and harmony you’ll enjoy

What I was told by Grandpa …
Care for the old, vulnerable and meek
And you sow prosperity                             
Copiousness you shall reap
Peace and happiness shall fill your home

Continue reading "What I was told" »