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97 posts from August 2016

This original Kauage will raise funds for PNG-authored books

Kauage - Elekopta fly antapKEITH JACKSON

AMONGST the possessions left by the late artist and sculptor Hal Holman – which include so many of his own works of art – was one of his own most recent acquisitions, a large canvass by one of Paoua New Guinea’s most famous artists, Mathias Kilage.

At the request of Hal’s wife, Jo Holman, PNG Attitude is pleased to be able to offer this work, Elekopta fly antap (pictured here), for auction to assist provide money for what we’ve named the Holman Book Fund.

There’s information about the auction process below.

The Fund will ensure that Papua New Guinean authors can obtain supplies of their own published books sufficient to sell or to otherwise distribute, thus completing the cycle of getting PNG-authored books to PNG readers.

The painting on offer is a large Kauage acrylic on canvas measuring 116cm square. It is signed ‘Kauage Mathias OBE PNG Artis 2000’.

Continue reading "This original Kauage will raise funds for PNG-authored books" »

Namorong wins another award as he prepares for Australian visit

Martyn NamorongKEITH JACKSON

ON THE eve of his departure from Papua New Guinea to attend the Brisbane Writers Festival and undertake other literary engagements, political commentator Martyn Namorong has received a 2016 Divine Word University media excellence award.

Together with veteran journalist Biga Lebasi, who won the award for print journalism, Namorong won the online journalism category.

DWU Council member Sir Peter Barter presented the awards during a ceremony at the Madang campus to commemorate the university’s 20th Foundation Day.

Continue reading "Namorong wins another award as he prepares for Australian visit" »

Mini-budget good thing but wider economic problems remain

PaulPAUL FLANAGAN | Edited extracts

PAPUA New Guinea’s recent supplementary budget is a positive development and confirms that key government ministers accept the importance of budget repair.

The K1,886 million loss of tax revenue has been replaced exactly through revenue-raising measures of K958 million and expenditure cuts of K928 million.

The confidence-building objectives of the announcement are partially undermined by the lack of debate in parliament and the lack of transparency.

The details have not been released and a copy of the supplementary budget is not on the Treasury website.

Continue reading "Mini-budget good thing but wider economic problems remain" »

Holman Book Fund will get PNG books to PNG readers


IT’S been a while since PNG Attitude asked readers to kick in for a worthwhile cause, but Phil Fitzpatrick came up with a good idea and now Jo Holman, wife of the late Hal Holman, has come up with the means.

The idea, which Phil brought to life in a piece last week, is simple: funds are provided to buy books which are sent to their Papua New Guinean authors to sell, hopefully retaining the proceeds to buy more books.

More PNG authors are stepping up to the plate to publish books, thanks to the CreateSpace innovation which enable free publication.

Continue reading "Holman Book Fund will get PNG books to PNG readers" »

The state of writing in PNG today – the way I see it


PAPUA New Guinea’s writers patiently wait their turn to one day hit the limelight. Surely it will happen.

We have already witnessed so much raw talent emerging from sport, music and other artistic pursuits that our writers must one day achieve success after being exposed on the national and international stage.

Our government has built modern stadiums and training facilities and provides cash incentives for athletes who win gold medals – the type of support required for success.

Continue reading "The state of writing in PNG today – the way I see it" »

Backfire: Bougainville unites to reject O'Neill share ruse

Oneill_and_momis (Ramu Minewatch)KEITH JACKSON

FORMERLY dissident Bougainville groups have united to reject an attempt by Peter O’Neill to transfer Rio Tinto shares to them rather than to the Autonoous Bougainville Government (ABG).

Panguna landowner associations and the Meekamui Government of Unity, meeting at Kuri village in Buka late last week, spurned the offer, made two weeks ago, which commentators saw as a crude attempt to aggravate divisions between the ABG and groups with which its relationships have not always been smooth.

But the move has backfired, instead drawing once dissident groups closer together, and moving more Bougainvilleans to contemplate a future without Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Backfire: Bougainville unites to reject O'Neill share ruse" »

Controversy as Tjandra company seeks monopoly over PNG rice


PAPUA New Guinea's trade minister Richard Maru warned the government that its proposed rice policy could have a drastic impact on PNG in terms of its trade ties with Australia.

Mr Maru (pictured) was responding to questions from Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, who asked if a policy which will give a single company a monopoly will strain ties with Australia.

PNG imports K700 million worth of rice annually and Australian company Trukai is the major importer.

Continue reading "Controversy as Tjandra company seeks monopoly over PNG rice" »

Asylum seeker wins cartooning award from Manus camp

Eaten FishHARRY PEARL | Reuters

AN IRANIAN refugee held at an Australian-funded detention centre in Papua New Guinea has won a political cartooning award for his work depicting life inside the camp.

Ali, a 25-year-old whose pen name is Eaten Fish, has chronicled his three-year detention on Manus Island as he struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and debilitating panic attacks.

Under Australia’s hard-line immigration policy, anyone intercepted trying to reach the country by boat is sent for processing to camps on Manus or Nauru in the South Pacific. They are not eligible to be resettled in Australia.

Continue reading "Asylum seeker wins cartooning award from Manus camp" »

On reflection, that new cybercrime act is meant to intimidate


SOME 10 days ago, I wrote a piece following expressions of concern in Papua New Guinea that new cybersecurity legislation would be used to crack down on freedom of speech.

Political commentator Martyn Namorong said he would shut down his Namorong Report blog to avoid breaching the new Act and Transparency International chair Lawrence Stephens said he was worried the Act was “the start of a slippery slope to wider censorship”.

My remarks in response basically argued “let’s see how the new laws are applied, then form a judgement.”

Continue reading "On reflection, that new cybercrime act is meant to intimidate" »

Trespassing between life and death

TrespassISO YAWI

An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

In the twinkle of an eye
As it seemed, onion's vapour comes in contact
It filled with watery feeling
The eye lid worked hard with strong muscles to stay closed
Soon the white retina turned red
Darkness is the image projected inside the brain's focal sight
bang, bang, bang
Behold darkness!

Continue reading "Trespassing between life and death" »

Criminal proceedings against PNG justice minister dismissed

Ano_PalaRadio New Zealand International

A PAPUA New Guinea court has dismissed all criminal proceedings against the attorney general and justice minister Ano Pala.

Mr Pala was arrested and charged with abuse of office and misappropriation in April in a series of high-profile arrests by the police anti-corruption unit.

The Supreme Court last month quashed the warrant of arrest against Mr Pala, and his legal team has sought to end all proceedings against him.

The National newspaper reports that magistrate John Kaumi said the Supreme Court ruling was clear and dismissed all proceedings and ordered that Mr Pala's bail money be refunded.

O’Neill cuts spending again as falling commodity prices bite

Members of the Papua New Guinea government, including Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch (centre)ERIC TLOZEK | Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Extract

THE PAPUA New Guinea government has announced more spending cuts and revenue raising measures in a bid to reduce a deficit blowout.

The government handed down a supplementary budget, saying it would cut spending by K928 million and raise a further K958 million to keep its deficit at K2.1 billion rather than the projected K3.9 billion.

The cuts include slashing K649 million from capital works and holding back K279 million kina from government agencies.

Continue reading "O’Neill cuts spending again as falling commodity prices bite" »

PNG issues ultimatum to Fiji: take our Ox & Palm or else

Gutpela kaikaiLOSALINI BOLATAGICI | The Fiji Times

PAPUA New Guinea’s trade minister Richard Maru has again asked the Fijian government to lift its ban on the corned beef product, Ox & Palm.

Maru said the PNG government struggled for 16 years to have Ox & Palm sold in Fiji and it has given the Fijian government two weeks to respond or PNG will retaliate by shelving some imported Fijian products.

He said a letter was sent to the Fijian government after testing carried by the PNG National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority.

Continue reading "PNG issues ultimatum to Fiji: take our Ox & Palm or else" »

Wafi-Golpu special mining lease application submitted

Wafi-Golpu (Peter Kinjap)PETER KINJAP

THE Wafi-Golpu joint venture in Morobe Province has applied for a special mining lease, the first large-scale resource project in the province since the Hidden Valley mine commenced operations in 2009.

The application follows a review by the boards of both Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold Mining of a pre-feasibility study.

If developed, the project will make a substantial positive impact to Papua New Guinea’s economy.

Continue reading "Wafi-Golpu special mining lease application submitted" »

The writer’s trance. Inside the mind of a writer


“WHEN, in Paris Trance, Alex asks Luke why he never got round to finishing the novel he came to Paris to write, Luke responds: “Why write something if you can live it?...  ”Why write something if you can live it? Alex knows why. “Because you can’t live it forever.” (excerpt from ‘New York Trance: Geoff Dyer and the Life of a Writer’).

This glimpse of a layer of rich tapestry popped up in a long-form essay Englishman Toby Lloyd (pictured) in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

It was a gem I uncovered midway through a lazy Sunday trawl of the internet; my usual haunt when needing inspiration or procrastination while writing.

Continue reading "The writer’s trance. Inside the mind of a writer" »

Unitech bounces back to business after an unhappy winter

Torched Unitech buildingRadio New Zealand International

AS STUDENTS converge on the University of Technology in Lae for resumption of the academic year, repair work continues on damage from June's unrest.

Unitech courses were suspended after the murder of a student in a dormitory and university buildings were burned down in a concerted attack on campus in late June.

Unitech vice chancellor Albert Schram says the administration has worked hard to reconstruct key infrastructure including the mess in time for resumption of classes next week.

Continue reading "Unitech bounces back to business after an unhappy winter" »

PNG’s revenues collapse - and recovery is a long way off

DOT logoRadio New Zealand International

PAPUA New Guinea's revenue base has shrunken back to where it was a decade ago despite the economy having doubled in size in that time.

The PNG Treasury's 2016 mid-year outlook shows a collapse in revenue for a second consecutive year.

Australian economist Stephen Howes, who is director of ANU’s Development Policy Centre, said a central reason for the reduction is a disappearance in taxes from the mining and petroleum sector.

Continue reading "PNG’s revenues collapse - and recovery is a long way off" »

John Momis sharply rebuffs Peter O’Neill’s BCL share ploy

John Momis & micKEITH JACKSON

BOUGAINVILLE president Dr John Momis has given PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill a “final opportunity” to transfer the 17.4% equity in Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) bequeathed to it by Rio Tinto to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).

If this does not happen, Momis has said in a letter to O'Neill, “the ABG must use other means to keep control of decisions made about the Panguna copper and gold mine.

“The ABG cannot allow your bad decisions to stand," the president said.

“In particular, we will cancel BCL's exploration licence under the Bougainville Mining Act [and] seek a new developer by inviting tenders.” 

Continue reading "John Momis sharply rebuffs Peter O’Neill’s BCL share ploy" »

Getting the politicians we deserve, or the politicians we need

Hogarth-Gin-Lane-1751CHRIS OVERLAND

IN A recent article, Phil Fitzpatrick described politicians as a global rabble. Like many of us, he thinks that the political class - now dominating democracies almost everywhere - has conspicuously failed to deliver the quality of government we need.

As a general observation, very few of us aspire to be politicians. We do not wish to expose ourselves to the often unfair criticism and abuse that politicians endure, nor suffer the unsociable hours and many tedious and frustrating aspects of the job.

Most particularly, few of us would enjoy the relentless public scrutiny involved, where our slightest error in judgement or other misdemeanour can see us publically labelled as hypocrites, fools or crooks.

Continue reading "Getting the politicians we deserve, or the politicians we need" »

Want to help a PNG writer? Send them their own books

Pukpuk PublicationsPHIL FITZPATRICK

UNLESS you are extremely lucky there is very little financial reward attached to being a writer.

In Australia the average annual income of a full-time writer is currently $12,900, well below the poverty line in our money driven society.

In Papua New Guinea, it’s fair to say writers’ incomes are not far above zero. That doesn’t help Papua New Guinean literature.

This is one of the hardest truths to convey to new writers when they approach Pukpuk Publications for help in getting their books to market.

Continue reading "Want to help a PNG writer? Send them their own books" »

Will the 2017 election be fought on governance issues?


IT APPEARS that 2016 is a volatile year for Papua New Guinea in both politics and economics.

The economy under the O’Neill government has faced a volatile period since 2014 when the economy began to experience commodity volatility following a successful decade of impressive economic growth in the Pacific region.

The slump in the global oil price in late 2014 affected the revenue base of the PNG economy. As a result, the government imposed austerity measures to keep economic risks to a manageable level.

Continue reading "Will the 2017 election be fought on governance issues?" »

Clement Koys & me – cultural preservation through art

Clement Koys at workPETER KINJAP

IT WAS a Facebook post that caught my eye. He’d posted two of his latest paintings, this Facebook friend I’d never met in person.

Clement Koys is a talented and down to earth young man with passion and commitment. He’s a lad from Simbu now living in Port Moresby.

Clement’s paintings are attractive and eye-catching. But since I am interested in Papua New Guinea’s cultural heritage and do volunteer work on cultural preservation and promotion, I was particularly intrigued.

Continue reading "Clement Koys & me – cultural preservation through art" »

You see dried grass over rough cut logs

Goroka_SarahHalferty-29MICHAEL DOM

You see dried grass over rough cut logs
And the earth floor of my house
When I open my home to you
And you think to yourself how you can help me.
And yet…
I smelled the air that morning we cut the kunai grass
And I heard the children laughing as they played
On the green knoll beside us
And I tasted the sweet sour sweat
As we hewed the living trees to earth.

Continue reading "You see dried grass over rough cut logs" »

Preaching to those who will not listen, & who pay the price for it

Two Sides to Every StoryPHIL FITZPATRICK

Two Sides to Every Story: A short guide to cross cultural awareness in Papua New Guinea, Philip Fitzpatrick, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, ISBN: 978-1537118406, 114 pages, US$5.53 plus postage from Amazon Books

SEVERAL years ago I wrote a paper about cultural awareness. It was based on my experiences working in Papua New Guinea, with indigenous communities in Australia and in some South Pacific islands, including Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.

My target audience was resource and project developers in Papua New Guinea. With that in mind I consulted many sources including a number of Papua New Guineans working in the field - geologists, camp managers and anthropologists.

I was prompted to write the paper, which finds a new life in this book, after watching the unnecessary problems that development workers and project managers seem to experience in Papua New Guinea because of their lack of cultural awareness.

Continue reading "Preaching to those who will not listen, & who pay the price for it" »

Sunset over Mount Kauka

Asia_australasia_papua_new_guinea_sepik_karawari_lodge_sunset_galleryEMILY JAMAIZ HOKO

An entry in the Crocodile Prize

As the Sun sets over Mount Kauka,
A magnificent ray of golden red splatters the horizon.
Before the night makes the world darker,
That ancient Sun is certain to rise again when it dawns.

Beautiful golden red, pink and purple,
Such are colours to behold.
But if a sunset has them all, 
Now that is a moment untold.

Continue reading "Sunset over Mount Kauka" »

Cairns business anger after Qantas dumps Moresby flights

Cairns airportCairns Post

CAIRNS businesses have lashed out at Qantas for abandoning direct Cairns-Papua New Guinea flights.

Qantas announced last month that, due to high demand for flights to Bali, it would be reducing its domestic flights in regional areas.

This includes shifting its Cairns-Port Moresby flights to Brisbane-Port Moresby from the end of October in order to better serve the business market.

Continue reading "Cairns business anger after Qantas dumps Moresby flights" »

Don Williams – teacher, punter, man of the west, heart of gold

Don Williams (centre) and ASOPA palsKEITH JACKSON

DON Williams ('Old Baldy', he'd call himself) was hewn of the toughest and roughest stuff that they grow in the urban jungles of Sydney’s west.

Of gravel voice and challenging mien, he had a fondness for racehorses, bourbon, fishing and Camels. In no particular order of preference.

Those same cigarettes, he told me in our last conversation three weeks ago, were certainly responsible for the cancer in both lungs that killed him.

Don had called me to explain his circumstances and to say goodbye. We had a long conversation.

Continue reading "Don Williams – teacher, punter, man of the west, heart of gold" »

Which way, PNG? Look in the mirror!

Tanya Zeriga-AloneTANYA ZERIGA-ALONE | EmnauPNG’s Blog

GETTING ahead in life by cheating the system is extolled as the smarter way, smarter than following rules and regulations that keep societies fair for all citizens.

This is observed on PMV buses, in taxis and with political leaders. Smart lawyers divulge that information to business prospects.

How did this mentality come about? Maybe this lack of respect is a carry-over from the lack of trust pervasive along tribal lines. Everyone wants to get ahead at any cost but cannot trust anyone outside the tribe.

We need more common sense. But common sense is not common; it is a product of culture. If by common sense we mean Western custom, this alien custom needs to be learned. It is not captured through association or by watching reruns of Neighbours or Ramsey Street.

Continue reading "Which way, PNG? Look in the mirror!" »

Politicians. Whatever did we do to deserve this global rabble


WHILE the political system in Papua New Guinea has thrown up a particularly venal type of politician, in Australia it has created something quite different.

Here the standout politicians are the cruel and unfeeling ones.

That isn’t to say Papua New Guinea’s politicians aren’t also cruel and unfeeling or that Australian politicians aren’t greedy and avaricious.

Greedy politicians still hurt people and cruel and unfeeling politicians usually have an economic motive at their base. It’s just that in our two supposedly democratic countries the emphasis is different.

Continue reading "Politicians. Whatever did we do to deserve this global rabble" »

Ben Jackson heading for a communications role in PNG

Ezekiel Burain & Simon Jaintong with Ben Jackson, Buka, 2014KEITH JACKSON

MY SON Ben Jackson has just been appointed as communications specialist to an important Australian-funded project in Papua New Guinea.

Together with partner Becky and three-year old daughter Leilani, Ben will head to Port Moresby at the end of September to work in the new Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.

This is a joint PNG-Australia program that aims to develop ethical leaders who will implement the PNG government’s priorities for national development. It’s a visionary project aimed at effective service delivery and equitable growth across PNG.

Continue reading "Ben Jackson heading for a communications role in PNG" »

At last a book by a chalkie, and it’s a good one too

Land of the UnexpectedPHIL FITZPATRICK

Land of the Unexpected: short stories, anecdotes and memoirs of Papua New Guinea, Peter Comerford, APM Publishing Services, 2016, ISBN: 978-0994447425, 360 pages, $25 plus postage from Peter. Email him here

WHEN Peter Comerford’s book arrived in the mail a few weeks ago I looked at the title and cover and thought, ‘Oh dear, not another one’, and put the book at the bottom of my stack of unread books.

When I eventually worked my way down to it I discovered a note inside from Peter that explained his own trepidation about the title,

“My original idea for a title was ‘Tingting Bek …’ but in the end I went with the highly ‘original’ title of ‘Land of the Unexpected’”.

I’ve never been very good with book titles and headlines either. That’s more in the line of an expert journalist like Keith Jackson and I can sympathise with Peter.

Continue reading "At last a book by a chalkie, and it’s a good one too" »

Rio Tinto's billion-dollar mess: 'unprincipled, shameful and evil'

The abandoned Panguna mineDANIEL FLITTON | Fairfax Media | Extracts

Read the complete article here

THE gaping hole carved into mountains was at one point the world's largest open-cut copper mine.

Right on Australia's doorstep, it delivered riches beyond imagining and a mess big enough to tear a country apart.

This controversial pit became the flashpoint for a bitter civil war in Papua New Guinea in the 1990s that cost as many as 20,000 lives.

Continue reading "Rio Tinto's billion-dollar mess: 'unprincipled, shameful and evil'" »

We may be good orators, but let’s practice what we preach

Students carry a protester shot by policePAUL WAUGLA WII

THE turbulent events of recent months in Papua New Guinea have greatly affected our daily lives.

For the first time ever, I am beginning to think seriously about our country and what the future holds for us as a nation.

We are going to celebrate our country’s independence next month. It is an occasion when we come together as family and friends to celebrate the journey of triumphs and travails we have taken together.

So many people in PNG today are disillusioned by the accumulated injustices they see all around them.

They believe the future is really not promising. 

Continue reading "We may be good orators, but let’s practice what we preach" »

Bigmanship is a total abuse of useful customary systems


IN HIS critical review of traditional kastom in Papua New Guinea, Sam Koim should have been more specific.

He should have stated that our culture has been politicised both by politicians and those mostly western educated men who have become bikman by money and who go back to the village to flaunt their wealth in order to buy support and recognition.

This is a total abuse of our customary systems.

I am writing this as someone who comes from a simple background and who has been privileged to witness and experience the benefits of customary practices like hauskrai and bride price and the benefits they have on society.

Continue reading "Bigmanship is a total abuse of useful customary systems" »

Sam Basil attacks 400% hike in election nomination fees


PAPUA New Guinea's deputy opposition leader Sam Basil has expressed concern over the 400% increase in local level government election candidate’s nomination fees from K2,000 to K10,000.

In parliament late last week, a series of questions was asked about the local level government elections and prime minister Peter O'Neill indicated that the next sitting of parliament will seek to amend the election laws.

"That is to increase the nomination fees to help fund the shortfalls in the overall funding of the Electoral Commission budget which was reduced from K500 million to K300-million,” Mr Basil said.

Continue reading "Sam Basil attacks 400% hike in election nomination fees" »

O’Neill puts peace in Bougainville under threat, says Momis

John Momis & micKEITH JACKSON

IT IS now clear that PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill’s decision to transfer part of his government’s equity in Bougainville Copper Ltd to “the Bougainville people” specifically excludes the transfer of shares to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

O’Neill said he "deliberately decided" to do this so "the ABG does not control the shares.”

And Bougainville president John Momis is furious.

Rio Tinto recently decided to quit its stake in BCL and foolishly transferred shares to give the feuding PNG and Bougainville governments equal equity.

Continue reading "O’Neill puts peace in Bougainville under threat, says Momis" »

Hela landowners will get their royalties; LNG blockade lifted

Royalities agreement is signedPETER S KINJAP

HELA landowners from the Hides area have signed a memorandum of understanding with a PNG government team paving the way for normal business operations to resume at the Exxon LNG project.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban was present at the signing and agreed to honour all the matters in a landowners’ petition that would be taken to cabinet for further action.

The government provided bank documents showing that royalty money had been deposited in Bank South Pacific and the Bank of PNG. Government officers have also begun the clan vetting process to determine who should receive payments.

Continue reading "Hela landowners will get their royalties; LNG blockade lifted" »

Witch Hunt

Burn_the_witch_by_metalomaniac-d1961i6ILLYANA GARAP

An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

You’re hurting me, please stop I cried
I’m sorry that your brother died.
Your brother was my son, you see,
So stop this pain. You’re hurting me.

I’m sorry that your father died,
He was my husband, at my side.
He was so old, he could not walk,
He even found it hard to talk.

I’m sorry that your daughter died.
In God’s own hand she’ll now abide.
She was my grandchild, dear to me,
I would not harm her, don’t you see.

Continue reading "Witch Hunt" »

There is a need to rethink our wasteful customary practices


OUR customary practices in Papua New Guinea are mostly geared towards wealth consumption not wealth generation.

Whether it's haus krai, compensation, bride price or Moka, all are designed to consume wealth.

There is no wealth transfer during these customary exercises nor is there wealth generation.

Continue reading "There is a need to rethink our wasteful customary practices" »

PNG's forgotten backwater to receive a hospital facelift

Daru hospital in decline (2)PETER S KINJAP

THE forgotten backwater that is Daru is to receive funding from Australian Aid for its seriously dilapidated hospital.

Daru hospital has only three wards in one unit. According to Hospital CEO Sister Orpah Tugo, the paediatrics ward, the surgery ward and the medical ward are all stationed in one unit with 10 beds allocated for each.

Furthermore, the gynaecology ward, the labour ward and the obstetrics ward share one unit again with 10 beds allocated for each.

Continue reading "PNG's forgotten backwater to receive a hospital facelift" »

Tell me now what have I become


An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

Tell me now, what have I become, a creature of the dark?
I don’t have my own soul.
I am not my own.
Living on the wasted
Feeding on the remains of the night
A life I call mine
Screams out through the window of my insanity.

Tell me now, what have I become, a creature of the dark?
I cannot sleep.
It has ceased with time.
I remain locked, trapped, a prisoner of my insanity
Robbed from the joys that were once mine.

Continue reading "Tell me now what have I become" »

New internet laws: free speech suppressor or debate enhancer?


WHEN prime minister Peter O’Neill welcomed the passing of Papua New Guinea’s cybercrime legislation this week, he said the internet must be a place where "human rights are respected and cowards not misuse technology to hurt people and incite violence.”

Commentator Martyn Namorong’s immediate response was to say he was quitting his long-running and respected blog, The Namorong Report.

He said the new laws had elements that caused him concern, including a section with vague references to "defamation" and "undermining the state"which could potentially be used to quash criticism of the government.

Continue reading "New internet laws: free speech suppressor or debate enhancer?" »

Students’ lawyer served with contempt notice over UPNG protests


THE University of Papua New Guinea will today initiate contempt of court proceedings against Student's Representative Council lawyer Laken Lepatu Aigilo.

UPNG allege the young lawyer (pictured) encouraged students to go on strike after the court issued a restraining order not to do so.

UPNG is also blaming Aigilo for property damage that occurred when campus buildings were burned down.

"I welcome the proceeding and, if the law finds me guilty, let me serve the prison term," Aigilo said.

Continue reading "Students’ lawyer served with contempt notice over UPNG protests" »

Bishop Francesco Sarego celebrates final mass before handover

Bishop FrancescoBOMAI D WITNE

THE CATHOLIC church dedicates August as the month of the bible and Catholics everywhere are called to read the good book with renewed energy, zeal and commitment to prayer.

This year’s theme is ‘listen to God’s heartbeat in the bible’. For Christians, God speaks to us in the bible and, when we read the bible, meditate and listen deeper, we can feel God’s heart beat in his words.

In Goroka, Bishop Francesco Sarego, in one of his final homilies, challenged parishioners of St Mary of Help Kefamo to make the gospel become a reality in their lives.

“If you don’t read your bibles, it is useless,” Bishop Sarego observed. “The words of God do not reach your hearts. Read your bibles and let it open your hearts.”

The bishop concluded that Jesus was a model in serving others; he lived a life of serving, sharing and caring for others. Jesus revealed God’s infinite mercy for mankind.

Continue reading "Bishop Francesco Sarego celebrates final mass before handover" »

O’Neill caves in on Bougainville: ABG to get Rio’s BCL stake


PETER O’Neill has avoided a full frontal clash with the Autonomous Bougainville Government by agreeing to give it a majority stake in the Panguna gold and copper mine.

In a move that was fundamentally stupid, mining giant Rio Tinto in June decided to split its 53.8% stake in Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) to leave the PNG and Bougainville governments each with 36.4% of the equity.

It was a recipe for potential conflict and tragedy which only a global company with no sense of the society and culture within which it was operating could have formulated.

Continue reading "O’Neill caves in on Bougainville: ABG to get Rio’s BCL stake" »

New PNG cyber law forces Namorong out of blogging

Martyn  Namorong & Julie BishopKEITH JACKSON

ON THE eve of his visit to Australia to attend the Brisbane Writers Festival, award winning writer and political commentator Martyn Namorong has decided to shut down his blog to, as he put it, “avoid the risk of being charged under ‎PNG's new cybercrime laws”.

Namorong announced to his readers yesterday that “in light of ‪‎PNG's new draconian cybercrime legislation, I regret to inform you all that my blog is no longer available for public viewing.”

He says he is concerned that the new legislation, passed by parliament last week, could lead to a crackdown on freedom of expression in Papua New Guinea although officially the Cybercrime Bill seeks to control things like spam, hacking, forgery and computer fraud.

Continue reading "New PNG cyber law forces Namorong out of blogging" »

Peter O’Neill is twisting the truth & should resign says Sir Mek

Oneill_vesus_morautaSIR MEKERE MORAUTA | Chairman, PNG Sustainable Development Program | Edited extracts

IN PARLIAMENT on Wednesday 10 August, prime minister Peter O’Neill made a number of statements, which were published in the media, about the PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd (PNGSDP) and me.

All of them are untrue. The prime minister should apologise for misleading parliament and the public.

It reflects very badly on the office of the prime minister for Mr O’Neill to regularly twist the facts, tell half-truths and make misleading statements designed to deceive the public and justify his actions.

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LNG landowners form leadership committee to address issues

Angore landownersPETER KINJAP

LANDOWNERS in Papua New Guinea's Hides and Agnore areas of Hela Province remain firmly of the view that the government must provide the benefits they were promised in relation to the liquefied natural gas project.

In Port Moresby at the weekend they formed a group - the Angore Well Head Leadership Committee (AWLC) - to address their issues with the government.

Chairman Hari John Agipe said the group will fill a leadership vacuum in order to pursue important issues affecting landowners.

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Big program looms for PNG writers on major Australian tour


THE first ever appearance by a group of Papua New Guinean writers at the Brisbane Writers Festival in September has just been upgraded to a prime lunchtime slot.

Francis Nii, Martyn Namorong, Rashmii Bell and Daniel Kumbon will participate in the one-hour panel discussion that organisers have entitled, ‘PNG: A State of Writing,’ from 12.30 in Auditorium 2 in the State Library of Queensland conference venue.

Collectively the four writers represent a splendid cross-section of contemporary PNG writing, ranging across the spectrum from novels to poetry, commentary and journalism.

Their names are well known to PNG Attitude readers, of course, and also to those many Papua New Guineans interested in public affairs.

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Landowners defy government: LNG blockade still in force at Hela

Hela landowners meet with Mineral Resources Development Company officialsRadio New Zealand

REPORTS from Papua New Guinea's Hela province say landowners continue to block access to a key site in the ExxonMobil-operated LNG gas project.

The project's gas conditioning plant at Hides remains locked by landowners protesting that the government owes five years of outstanding project commitments worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

They had threatened to shut down the entire LNG project this month if government didn't respond adequately with payments.

Speaking in parliament last week, the prime minister Peter O'Neill said all outstanding payments would be made in due course, while a government delegation travelled to Hela last Wednesday for discussions with the landowners.

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