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102 posts from September 2016

Women writers of PNG: this anthology is just for you


PAPUA New Guinea’s women writers and illustrators are being invited to submit original writing and artwork for inclusion in an inaugural collection of women’s writing and illustration to be published on International Women’s Day – Wednesday 8 March – next year.

Entries may include essays, short stories, articles, poetry and illustrations depicting the theme, ‘My walk to equality’.

The theme is drawn from one of the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals which PNG is working towards achieving to improve the life of its citizens.

Entries must be submitted by 31 December this year and will be judged for publication by Phil Fitzpatrick and me.

Continue reading "Women writers of PNG: this anthology is just for you" »

New measures to control betel nut consumption in Port Moresby

Noken salim buaiPNG Today

THE National Capital District Commission is continuing its efforts to maintain a clean city by introducing new measures to regulate the movement of betel nut into the city.

NCDC has approved six new markets in the city to be used for trading betel nut: Waikele, Six Mile, 9 Mile, Koki and Epen’s in Gerehu will be the only locations recognised by the commission.

“Just like alcohol, which is prone to abuse in PNG, betel nut is also abused by irresponsible people who chew and spit wherever they want to,” said Governor Powes Parkop.

Continue reading "New measures to control betel nut consumption in Port Moresby" »

Australia & PNG warn Manus detainees: 'No future for you here'

Manus asylum seekersBEN DOHERTY | The Guardian

AUSTRALIA and Papua New Guinea are escalating efforts to clear the Manus Island detention centre, telling refugees they must settle elsewhere in PNG, while warning they are preparing to deport asylum seekers whose protection claims fail.

“There is no future for you here,” detainees have been told by PNG immigration officials. Processing at the detention centre “will end soon” and all those held within forced out. The police will be sent in to forcibly move those who refuse to cooperate.

Continue reading "Australia & PNG warn Manus detainees: 'No future for you here'" »

Let me introduce you to Writeatoullie: Anyone can write


An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

PEOPLE who see the title of this article for the first time will wonder if there is any such word as Writeatoullie in any of the world’s languages.

Indeed the word is not to be found in any modern dictionary for it is a word I created after watching Brad Bird’s 2007 Academy Award winning animated film, Ratatoullie.

Ratatoullie is a French dish prepared by expert chefs and the movie tells the story of how a colony of rats in Paris could cook Ratatoullie too, proving restaurant critic Anton Ego wrong when he disagreed with the title of a cookbook, ‘Anyone Can Cook’.

The critic was adamant until, when he finally tasted what the rats cooked, he had to concede that anyone can cook.

Continue reading "Let me introduce you to Writeatoullie: Anyone can write" »

Opportunist leaders are dooming future generations, says Polye


PAPUA New Guinea’s leaders who make errors and then fail to correct them are betraying the country, opposition leader Don Polye has told a huge crowd in Porgera, Enga Province.

“I am surprised to see our fellow MPs pretending everything is just fine,” Polye said. “I see it as a betrayal of the next generations.

“The well-being of the country and its people in future are determined by the decisions and conduct of leaders today.

“My observation of the conduct and performance of the government under prime minister Peter O’Neill is that he is creating a debt-burdened, stressed and unsustainable economy with our children struggling in a nightmare of multiple social ills with declining human development.

Continue reading "Opportunist leaders are dooming future generations, says Polye" »

National disgrace as violence against women soars

Woman beaten by her husband in Port Moresby (Ian Brumpton)PETER S KINJAP

PAPUA New Guinea's Port Moresby General Hospital has recently experienced an increase in admissions due to domestic violence.

The Family Support Centre within the hospital has been conducting medical examinations since 2014 and has found that there’s an increase of cases relating to domestic violence against women and children.

Local online news outlet, PNG Loop, reports that the centre treats over 1,000 victims a year, with about 30-40 patients a month.

Continue reading "National disgrace as violence against women soars" »

Western Pacific University on target to open doors in 2017

Ialibu, Southern Highlands (Peter Kinjap)PETER S KINJAP

PNG'S FIFTH state-owned university and the seventh university in the country, the Western Pacific University has acquired a campus of more than 19 hectares from Ialibu landowners in the Southern Highlands at a cost of K15-million.

The landowners had demanded the government pay them K24-million but settled for the lower amount.

The land is now being developed to establish the administration block, students accommodations and other buildings.

Continue reading "Western Pacific University on target to open doors in 2017" »

When good intentions backfire


ABORIGINAL people in the remoter communities in Australia refer to their unemployment and other support benefits as ‘sit-down money’.

From their point of view it is money that they receive for doing nothing.

It is a huge disincentive to do anything to help themselves.

Along with the other services provided in these communities it has bred an unhealthy dependency and expectations of gain without effort.

Continue reading "When good intentions backfire" »

This Land that’s Given Birth to Me


look at that hill-top peak
like the tit of a nubile virgin
this land
how I lust for it
the dust in it
the rust of the days spent throughout it
under the sun of it

her rain that wet me and her heat that burnt me
how I was browned in it
and I wish and dream and fantasize
for the days I am there again
to behold the peaks of her earthly bosom
and strive the full power of my manhood
to give her the fullness of me
and I will

Continue reading "This Land that’s Given Birth to Me" »

It is You, O Western Woman


This is love that life has given,
and it's to You that I'm driven;
a star to twinkle in my heart,
a lily to bloom in my heart,
a beauty of which no bard has written,
a rhyme that cannot be broken,
and wings to lift me toward the heavens.

It is You, O Western Woman,
the spark of my fascination,
that I love with a poet's love.
and, say my Heart, a poet's love
is high among gods, and rare among man;
born in a poet’s sacred den.
It’s a love that angels covet even.

Continue reading "It is You, O Western Woman" »

The appearance & disappearance of the Satanic iceman


An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

IN THAT darkest hour of the night, that which human eyes cannot penetrate, it is fear that occupies the heart of the traveller.

At Mainamo village in the Chuave District of Simbu Province, a Christian women’s fellowship group conducted a week-long fast beneath the tall trees that surrounded the huge cemetery.

The women had nightly prayer session at the foot of a limestone cliff overlooking the cemetery. The women stationed themselves in various locations to kneel and pray for hours.

Their aim was to rebuke the domination of evil within the community and stare down its evil ways: sorcery, witchcraft, drugs, alcohol and gambling.

Continue reading "The appearance & disappearance of the Satanic iceman" »

Momis urges B'ville unity as O’Neill government plays hard ball


BOUGAINVILLE President John Momis has made a call for unity to Bougainvilleans as the autonomous region prepares to decide its political future through a referendum.

“Bougainvilleans must unite to peacefully implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the referendum and let it be a process of integrity,” Dr Momis said.

“Bougainvilleans are a highly-favoured people,” he said.

“Due to the Bougainville crisis it is only in Bougainville that we have the unique opportunity to develop a new socio-economic political order and determine our own political future.”

Continue reading "Momis urges B'ville unity as O’Neill government plays hard ball" »

No 1 Neighbour: 50 years of contemporary PNG art

Simon Gende - No 1 Kiap bilong AustraliaQueensland Art Gallery

FIFTY years of contemporary visual art in Papua New Guinea, with a focus on the country’s relationship with Australia, is explored in a major exhibition opening at the Queensland Art Gallery from 15 October.

No. 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966–2016 will delight audiences with bold colour, towering sculptural forms, humour and hauntingly beautiful sounds.

This is the first time the gallery has presented an exhibition of this scale entirely focused on Papua New Guinea.

It draws together some of the earliest works from PNG acquired for the collection, generous gifts from Australians with long-term connections to the young independent nation, and works secured through the gallery’s flagship Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.

Continue reading "No 1 Neighbour: 50 years of contemporary PNG art" »

ABG takes shareholding in joint Bougainville-China corporation

Momis receives share certificateANTHONY KAYBING

ECONOMIC Development Minister in the Bougainville government, Fidelis Semoso, has announced the autonomous government’s purchase of 500,000 shares in the Bougainville Import and Export General Corporation (BIEG).

The shares, valued at K500,000, are part of the Bougainville government’s efforts to develop an economic revenue stream to sustain its activities.

“Despite the current economic turmoil in Papua New Guinea, the ABG continues to strive to create tangible economic development in Bougainville,” Mr Semoso said.

“The purchase of the shares signifies the ABG’s commitment to give meaning to economic recovery on Bougainville.”

Continue reading "ABG takes shareholding in joint Bougainville-China corporation" »

Oro treasury vandalised as corrupt try to cover tracks

Oro Provincial treasury building PopondettaKEITH JACKSON

HARD on the heels of action by Oro governor Gary Juffa to crack down on corrupt practices, the provincial treasury (pictured) was broken into again last week in what is believed to be retaliation for efforts to clean out crooked elements in the Oro public service.

Governor Juffa said the most recent crime was unusual because the office contained no cash or valuables. But there was much information included in the files that might lead to fraudulent activity being identified.

He said it was suspicious that the break-in occurred soon after the new provincial treasurer had tightened processes and had demanded accountability and that proper procedures be followed.

Continue reading "Oro treasury vandalised as corrupt try to cover tracks" »

Indigenous PNGns & Australians are most ancient civilisations

Melanesian_raftingHANNAH DEVLIN | The Guardian

CLAIMS that indigenous Australians and Papua New Guineans are the most ancient continuous civilisations on Earth have been backed by the first extensive study of their DNA, which dates their origins to more than 50,000 years ago.

Scientists were able to trace the remarkable journey made by intrepid ancient humans by sifting through clues left in the DNA of modern populations in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The analysis shows that their ancestors were probably the first humans to cross an ocean, and reveals evidence of prehistoric liaisons with an unknown hominin cousin.

Prof Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist who led the work at the University of Copenhagen, said: “This story has been missing for a long time in science. Now we know their relatives are the guys who were the first real human explorers.

Continue reading "Indigenous PNGns & Australians are most ancient civilisations" »

Getting rid of corruption: Everyone’s business & education is key


IN previous articles I’ve discussed the prospect of establishing autonomous provinces and an upper house in the national parliament as providing a restraint on endemic and crippling corruption in Papua New Guinea.

In the course of researching the case for provincial autonomy, I looked at arguments supporting both centralised and decentralised government as well as the relationship between the two.

In looking at an upper house, I considered arguments for both unicameral (single chamber) and bicameral (lower and upper house) governments and combinations of both.

Continue reading "Getting rid of corruption: Everyone’s business & education is key" »

Kundiawa Hospital celebrates its achievements

Mathew Kaluvia and colleaguesFRANCIS NII

THE MOSTLY quiet corner of Kundiawa town that is home to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital last week came alive with the beating of kundus, singing and dancing as over 3,000 people celebrated its second open day.

The event marked the hospital’s proud track record of community service and development in both its clinical and non-clinical areas under the management of CEO Mathew Kaluvia (in suit).

The activities took place in the outpatient area in which each unit of the hospital had its own stall where staff conducted displays and exhibitions.

The crowd was eager and amazed at some of the displays, especially weird looking surgical tools they had never imagined before. ‘This is just amazing,” said Jane, a guardian from Jiwaka Province.

Continue reading "Kundiawa Hospital celebrates its achievements" »

Book distribution & second-hand clothes. Is there a connection?

Second-hand booksPHIL FITZPATRICK

DO YOU remember the anecdote, much quoted by United Nations personnel in days of yore, that you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day; but if you teach him how to fish you’ll feed the village for a lifetime?

Unlike many gratuitous adages, there’s a lot of wisdom in that one.

There was a hint of it in author Daniel Kumbon’s recent suggestion that Australia send English teachers to Papua New Guinea to promote literacy rather than giving the government aid funds to squander or boomerang back to Australia.

Continue reading "Book distribution & second-hand clothes. Is there a connection?" »

Crying croc Croc relaxedPNG Attitude's Next Mission

Papua New Guinean books are being written and being published.  
But they are not getting to Papua New Guinea's readers.

Let’s make 2017 the year every major development  project in PNG
is persuaded to get PNG-authored books into PNG hands.

Many politicians Christian in name only, says Momis

President Momis hands the grant to Bishop Tim ArthurANTHONY KAYBING

BOUGAINVILLE’S president John Momis has said many of Papua New Guinea’s politicians are ill-prepared for public office and “Christians in name only”.

The president was speaking at a ceremony in South Bougainville in which the Autonomous Bougainville Government provided a K350,000 grant to the United Church as part of its drive to recognise churches as important development partners.

“A Christian leader must live by Christian principles; the end does not justify the means,” D r Momis said.

The grant was given in conjunction with the 100 year celebrations of the United Church in the Siwai District.

President John Momis commended the United Church in Bougainville for reaching this milestone in the history of the denomination.

Continue reading "Many politicians Christian in name only, says Momis" »

For embattled Fiji, climate change devastation has already arrived


FIJI is a developing country with a population of less than a million, of which 90% are traditional rural villagers who live close to the coast.

Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner followed by remittances coming back from Fijians overseas.

One-third of Fiji’s 332 islands are inhabited and geographical isolation is an important influence on the country’s economic development potential.

According to the fifth assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change, natural disasters in Fiji are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Continue reading "For embattled Fiji, climate change devastation has already arrived" »

Upper house for PNG's parliament should be considered

PNG parliament chamberPHIL FITZPATRICK

I’VE JUST read an interesting paper by Peter Sandery entitled A Federalism for the Future: The Three State Approach, in which he proposes a radical reorganisation of political representation in Australia.

I don’t claim to understand the intricacies of Australian politics. To me it is a great lumbering, overfed beast with many heads and limbs, the functions of which are at best obscure.

Also, like many people in Australia, I have necessarily become apolitical of late.

There are a couple of points in Peter’s argument that have resonance for Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Upper house for PNG's parliament should be considered" »

There's the door: Fossil fuel giants mustn't influence climate talks



FOR decades the issues of climate change was shrugged off as nothing more than a natural phenomenon. It took a long time to get the world to pay attention.

Not until we began to witness the irreversible loss and damage in our backyard did we start to wonder if there was more to it.

Now we observe nature reacting often harshly to unsustainable development and the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. But, from corporate giants in the fossil fuel industry, we still hear the propaganda that this is a myth.

When you consider what the planet is facing, it seems unthinkable that effective action at industry and corporate level has been underplayed for decades. Inaction shrouded in lies of unfathomable magnitude.

Continue reading "There's the door: Fossil fuel giants mustn't influence climate talks" »

The story of the huge red ribbon of North Waigani


THE LAST red yellow rays of the sun dip behind the hills of Ensisi Valley and cut through the leaves of the fig tree crouching over a long green rectangular structure.

This is the building that houses the Papua New Guinean Anglicare headquarters along Koura Way in Port Moresby,

Flowers line up neatly on the footpath and young palm branches stoop low to the ground, creating an exquisite home for diverse insects that buzz around in assorted voices.

Wild flowers speckle the base of a few young Acacia and Melaleuca trees that in the heat of the day, cast a dense wide shade over what looks like a nature garden.

Continue reading "The story of the huge red ribbon of North Waigani" »

Protest repercussions leave constitution & culture in the cold


"I THOUGHT Papua New Guinea was a democratic nation which our Constitution gives the right to its citizens to voice any government issues that pose a threat to our economy and the overall governing of this nation,” Raymond Timothy Singamis‎ told the Fly River Forum website yesterday.

“Now look what is happening.”

Raymond was reacting to Air Niugini’s sacking of eight pilots who had staged a political protest against prime minister Peter O'Neill in the period leading to a parliamentary no confidence vote a couple of months back.

My own response, which I aired in a series of comments on Twitter, was similar to Raymond’s.

Continue reading "Protest repercussions leave constitution & culture in the cold" »

If PNG had more bookshops, would people buy their books?

Browsers in a Port Moresby bookshopPHIL FITZPATRICK

YOU CAN tell a lot about someone by what they read, almost as much as you can tell by what they don’t read.

When I go into someone’s office or house I usually take a quick peek at what’s on their bookshelves. It’s a great way to quickly work out what sort of person you are dealing with.

Asking someone what they are currently reading is not only a handy way to strike up a conversation but a good method of establishing a whole range of telling information about them.

Occasionally the media will tell you what our political leaders are reading. Their choices are a good indicator of their character.

Or at least that’s the way it used to be. Now it’s somewhat different.

I have nightmares about being stuck somewhere without something to read. Sadly, it doesn’t bother many people anymore.

Continue reading "If PNG had more bookshops, would people buy their books?" »

Father John Glynn at 80: In praise of a resilient priest


I WAS reading this week of the celebration of the 80th birthday of Father John Glynn at the Jubilee Secondary School in Port Moresby.

Headmistress Bernadette Ove said Fr Glynn has done so many things for the school in the past 15 years that they wanted to honour his contribution by naming an award for him.

And so each year the Fr John Glynn Resilience Award will be offered to a Grade 12 student who displays spirit and strength in their study despite all odds.

The award will be presented for the first time this year during the Grade 12 graduation in October.

Continue reading "Father John Glynn at 80: In praise of a resilient priest" »

Leave Electoral Commission alone, Wingti tells MPs

Paias Wingti (Peter Kinjap)PETER S KINJAP

WESTERN Highlands governor and former prime minister Paias Wingti has warned Papua New Guinea’s politicians not to interfere with the office of the Electoral Commissioner.

He made the call following reports that a cabinet ministers and other members of the parliament had made visits to the Electoral Commission in an attempt to influence the appointment of returning officers.

The PNG Post-Courier newspaper reported that Wingti urged Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, who will conduct the 2017 national election, to carry out his duties without fear or favour in the most transparent and honest manner.

Continue reading "Leave Electoral Commission alone, Wingti tells MPs" »

Urbanisation or hell: Where are we headed?


URBANISATION in Papua New Guinea raises difficult questions about ethics, morality, social and economic inclusion and various other issues.

On a blistering hot Friday morning recently, Francis Nii, Daniel Kumbon and I arrived at the gated compound at Islander Village in Port Moresby.

I got there half an hour earlier so I could guide my fellow writers and journalists to the reception area.

Continue reading "Urbanisation or hell: Where are we headed?" »

People want answers on closure of health services


OPPOSITION leader Don Polye says people want answers from prime minister Peter O’Neill as to why Catholic Church-run health facilities around Papua New Guinea have been forced to close their doors.

Polye said this after the church attributed the closure of facilities due to a shortage of funds.

“The prime minister has been boasting about the free-health care policy and its adequate funding,” Polye said.

“A few weeks ago the health minister staged a publicity stunt and said funds for church-run hospitals have been restored.

Continue reading "People want answers on closure of health services" »

With this Love

Wardley Barry at workWARDLEY D BARRY-IGIVISA

An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

With this love that I have loved you,
love me back, but just a little more.
With this kiss that I’m kissing you,
kiss me softly till we part no more,
till thoughts and time make us whole.

In this moment of memories,
let me rest in the sanctum of your
Heart, let me dream in the recess
of your Soul.

And if Fate should cast a shadow
over this September moonlight,
I’ll ask the ocean to steal its glow
and make the heavens our candlelight
while with the twinkles of Virgo,
my Heart, I crown my
                                                enraptured Soul.

Gender equality & the possibilities of the Brisbane Writers Festival

Rashmii & Keith meet for the first timeRASHMII BELL

IN THE early 1990s, the head of a co-ed residential college at the University of Melbourne faced two allegations of indecent assault.

Dr Colin Shepherd was accused by a student of having put his hand on her breast while they were dancing at a party. The second complaint (also by a female student) alleged that Dr Shepherd did the same, this time in his office when the doors were locked.

The events unfolding from these allegations form the basis of Helen Garner’s critique of society’s unbalanced relationship of gender and power in her non-fiction work, The First Stone.

Garner asks why, in such instances where women are subjected to unwanted and offensive behaviour by men, the first reaction is often silence and inaction rather than immediately verbalising rage or fear to the perpetrator.

Hovering around students’ initial response was the notion of ‘mysterious passivity’.

Continue reading "Gender equality & the possibilities of the Brisbane Writers Festival" »

Autonomy for the provinces; an old idea worth revisiting


THE CREATION of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville following the civil war and now the push for autonomy by the Governor of New Ireland Julius Chan raise interesting questions and also highlight the inherent problems of having a centralised national government in Papua New Guinea.

In theory, the combination of various service improvement funds disbursed by the government at local, district and provincial levels, together with the effective discharge of functions by ministers in charge of education, health and infrastructure, should work well.

This is especially so when you consider that - with the combined revenue that the government receives from a range of sources, including tax, resource royalties and overseas aid - there is plenty of money available to fund just about all Papua New Guinea’s rural and urban needs with a bit left over.

Continue reading "Autonomy for the provinces; an old idea worth revisiting" »

Government needs a long-term view, says Army commander

Scott WaideSCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My Country | Edited

ONGOING reform in the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) is aimed at rebuilding it with a greater focus on regional security.

Among the objectives are the expansion of the recently-opened Joint Services College into a regional security training centre to cater for the training needs of other countries within the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) countries as well as the relocation of the Lae-based engineering battalion.

“Under MSG arrangements we have an obligation to support our neighbours,” said PNGDF Commander, Major General Gilbert Toropo.

In the case of the Solomon Islands crisis,  there was a heavy dependence on Australia as the main regional partner. Australia funded the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI)  which included members of the PNGDF.

Continue reading "Government needs a long-term view, says Army commander" »

Julie says 'thanks Australia for treating me as one of the writers'

Julie, never before seen the ocean, & DanielDANIEL & JULIE KUMBON

I HAVE been listening to my wife, Julie’s, daily prayers to God in the Enga language in the privacy of our hotel rooms in Noosa, Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns over the action-packed two weeks we were in Australia.

All this was made possible by the inaugural McKinnon-Paga Hill Development Company fellowship scheme, PNG Attitude and many other friends of Papua New Guinea.

One morning in Brisbane, I heard Julie plead with God to make Keith Jackson’s spinal operation successful and when we heard in Sydney that it had indeed gone well and that Keith was ready to go back to Noosa, Julie was elated and thanked God again that night.

Continue reading "Julie says 'thanks Australia for treating me as one of the writers'" »

Reputation, can’t see it, eat it or buy it; but it’s vital

Martyn recording the event with PNG-born Alex HarrisPHIL FITZPATRICK

Reputation at Risk by Alex Harris, $30 incl postage (or $10 digital version emailed to you), 152 pp, paperback, ISBN 9780980620603. Available here from Alex Harris

SEVERAL years ago, occasional PNG Attitude commentator, Alex Harris, born in Papua New Guinea and supporter of all things Papua New Guinean, published a short book called Reputation at Risk.

In the book, Alex (pictured here with Martyn Namorong in Noosa recently) pointed out the value and necessity of corporations maintaining a good reputation.

In many respects what she said is equally applicable to government.

Continue reading "Reputation, can’t see it, eat it or buy it; but it’s vital" »

Schools of St Mary’s Asitavi mark 60 tumultuous years

President Momis is welcomed by a studentANTHONY KAYBING

ST MARY’S Asitavi Secondary School is one of the most respected high schools in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

In the presence of Bougainville's President John Momis, the all-girl secondary school recently celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (60th Anniversary) in a three-day event to commemorate the legacy of a school that has had a long and colourful history.

The school was founded in 1956 by the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary amidst much controversy, as the practice of having an all-female institution was not entirely accepted in those days.

Continue reading "Schools of St Mary’s Asitavi mark 60 tumultuous years" »

PNG writers’ Sydney visit brings hope of literary assistance

Prof Ken McKinnon & Daniel Kumbon take a stroll in SydneyKEN McKINNON with a note from DANIEL KUMBON

IN SYDNEY, our Papua New Guinean visitors, Daniel Kumbon, his wife Julie and Martyn Namorong, along with Ben Jackson, their tour manager, were certainly good company.

Last Sunday afternoon, soon after the group’s arrival, we had initial discussions in Sue’s and my apartment as we got to know each other, looked at PNG-published books, scanned the internet with plenty of material recording the breakthrough Brisbane Writers Festival event (expertly photographed) and discussed the state of play in PNG.

Then we excused Ben, who had things to do in Sydney, while we went by car, first to the Opera House and environs, where we spent a lot of time, then to the massive new Barangaroo development on the harbour, in which they took much interest.

Continue reading "PNG writers’ Sydney visit brings hope of literary assistance" »

Death of Sir Michael Curtain: he & his brothers helped build PNG

Sir Mick CurtainKEITH JACKSON | One PNG

PAPUA New Guinea lost a  pioneer and good friend when Sir Michael (Mick) Curtain died last Sunday in Townsville hospital.

Sir Mick, owner of civil engineering and construction company, Curtain Brothers Limited, passed away a few days before PNG’s 41st anniversary of independence.

"We lost a true champion of PNG and a man who dedicated most of his life and resources to our country,” said sports minister Justin Tkatchenko.

Continue reading "Death of Sir Michael Curtain: he & his brothers helped build PNG" »

Former UPNG politics professor, Peter King, dies at 80

Prof Peter KingJAKE LYNCH | Evatt Foundation

THE middle decades of the 20th century saw the emergence of a distinctive modern, Australian intellectual consciousness.

The best and most important strand of this consciousness was internationalist in its orientation and approach, and dedicated to making world affairs intelligible to an increasingly well-educated general public.

Standing in a distinguished line that connects the diplomacy of HV ‘Doc’ Evatt, who helped to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the art criticism of Robert Hughes, and the journalism of John Pilger; Professor Peter King (1936-2016), of the Department of Government at the University of Sydney, who has died after a short illness, embodied the scholarly dimension of this Australian brand of engaged public intellectuality.

Indeed, Peter King blazed a trail by securing what was then a rare and prestigious university post without the standard qualification possessed by most of his peers, of at least one degree from an overseas – usually British or American – seat of learning.

Continue reading "Former UPNG politics professor, Peter King, dies at 80" »

Sorry for kicking you, Fr Garry, we were trying to get the drunk

Holy Trinity Teachers College,  Mt Hagen, c 1984GARRY ROCHE

BETWEEN 1984 and 1986 I was chaplain at Holy Trinity Teachers College in Mt Hagen.

The college had male and female students from all over Papua New Guinea.  The dormitories for the female students were in the centre of the campus. The dormitories for the male students were further towards the boundary with the adjacent customary land.

Visitors from other teachers colleges and institutions, where female dormitories are usually fenced in, were often surprised to see that the dormitories for the female students at Holy Trinity had no fences around them.

Continue reading "Sorry for kicking you, Fr Garry, we were trying to get the drunk" »

National health crisis is looming says Governor Juffa

Gary JuffaFREDDY MOU | Loop PNG

A NATIONWIDE health crisis is imminent in Papua New Guinea’s districts and provinces, especially in the church-run health services, says Oro Governor Garry Juffa.

Gov Juffa said the government had promised to maintain these services, but they have not been funded.

He added that nurses planned to go on strike because they have not been paid on time.

Juffa told Loop PNG that he had met with the Anglican Health Services in Oro Province and was told that they have not received any budget allocations since July.

Continue reading "National health crisis is looming says Governor Juffa" »

Benny Wenda on West Papua's struggle for independence


WHILE yesterday marked Papua New Guinea’s Independence from Australia, West Papua, a province on the same island, continues its struggle for self-governance in one of the least publicised and longest-running independence struggles in the world.

West Papua won its independence from Dutch colonialism in 1963 and was annexed by Indonesia in 1969 as part of a controversial referendum.

That has led to decades of tension between Indonesia and West Papuans, who say the relationship is neo-colonial and fraught with violence, economic exploitation and injustice.

Continue reading "Benny Wenda on West Papua's struggle for independence" »

Happy 41st birthday Papua New Guinea

End of an empire (National Times, November 1973)

Cover of the Australian National Times  Magazine in November 1973, when Papua New Guinea was granted self-government ahead of Independence in 1975. It features a jubilant chief minister Michael Somare, who recognised that full independence was now just around the corner. The rapid journey to political autonomy had been swift and, all these years later, remains a matter of great controversy - did it all happen too early? It doesn't seem like the debate is likely to end any time soon....

Continue reading "Happy 41st birthday Papua New Guinea" »

PNG's 41st Independence Day - A Reflection

Mother & child at Ulye, Mt Hagen, 1973JEFFREY MANE FEBI

PAPUA New Guinea has come a long and tough way: its journey made horrible by its people's adamance, every so often, on breaking its resilience.

Its journey made wearisome by its people's insistence on holding onto waywardness.

Its journey made troublesome by its people's acceptance of corruption. Its journey made worrisome by its indigenous people's reluctance to accepting naturalised citizens.

Its journey made hypocritical by its people's hypocrisy towards Christianity. Its journey made unpredictable by its people's constant promotion of tribalism, provincialism and regionalism.

And its future made gloomy by its people's ignorance about other people's recklessness to become rich.

Now we have reached 16 September 2016, let us remember all the praise and wonderful remarks pertaining to the progress of this nation that is being echoed from podiums, hilltops and rooftops may be nothing but superficial.

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PNG’s economic history: a failure to deliver to the people

Paul Flanagan 2

PAUL FLANAGAN | Edited extracts

TODAY is Papua New Guinea’s 41st anniversary of Independence, so I will reflect on some aspects of its economic history.

The PNG economy, after allowing for inflation, is 3.3 times larger than in 1975. Many people doubted that this would be possible at the time of Independence given the challenges and uncertainties facing the new country.

This growth is probably clearest in Port Moresby – it is a much more modern city with freeways, flyovers, luxury hotels, traffic jams, pollution, large shopping complexes and many taller buildings downtown.

This in part reflects the strong urban bias of PNG’s economic policies.

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Papua New Guinea is not independent of corruption

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AS PAPUA New Guinea marks Independence Day today, Oro Governor Gary Juffa has reminded citizens about why it is vital to reflect more critically on the challenges still faced.

The country is still not independent of corruption, poverty, apathy, hopelessness and inconsideration from Waigani, Governor Juffa said.

“We are glad we are independent and, yes, we have seen developments here and there.

But we must reflect on how far we have come in the last 40 years,” he said.

“We must not be comfortable and say ‘we are independent and we have come far’ because the fact of the matter is that we have not come far enough.”

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