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106 posts from November 2016

Politics, New Ireland style, was no place for the meek


MY political career, such as it was, consisted of one term as an elected member of the New Ireland provincial assembly in the late 1980s.

I think my experience is worth recording as a curious historical footnote.

In 1984 I had become a PNG citizen and by 1987 decided it was time for me to make my mark as a provincial politician.

I sought to replace my wife’s uncle, the sitting member for South Lavongai. That was my first political mistake. Traditionally, it was a matter of shame to compete against such a close tambu. My excuse was that poor old Sandi Tito was profoundly deaf.

He would sit in the chamber, straining to follow the debate and often the nearest member would lift his hand when votes were taken. Surely, I thought, I could participate more meaningfully.

Continue reading "Politics, New Ireland style, was no place for the meek" »

Why Susan was suspended after reading at the Papal Mass

Susan Kenga holding Pidgin New Testament, Papal Mass, Mt Hagen 1984GARRY ROCHE

IN MAY 1984, Pope John Paul II visited Port Moresby and Mt Hagen, celebrating mass in Hagen before a huge crowd in the place now called Pope’s Oval.

Naturally a lot of preparation went into the Eucharistic celebration: choirs, procession groups, dancers, readers and altar servers spent many hours readying for this important occasion.

Holy Trinity Teachers College was asked to provide two students for the second reading at the Mass.

Susan Kenga was chosen as the main reader with the other student standing by in case Susan became ill or could not be there.

Susan was from Kamaga in the Western Highlands, on the highway from Hagen to Tomba and Enga Province.

Continue reading "Why Susan was suspended after reading at the Papal Mass" »

Castro, Cuba, the world and Papua New Guinea


THE DEATH of Fidel Castro has been greeted with mixed responses throughout the world.

People in Cuba and South America are in deep mourning. Cubans in Miami are celebrating. The rest of the world is also divided in its reaction.

Donald Trump predictably tweeted that Castro was a brutal dictator who the United States president-elect was happy to see go. Australia’s Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson aped the same sentiment.

They were many simplistic responses to the life of a very complex man.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Castro, mostly because of his stand against American imperialism. But I also realise he became a deeply flawed character. Which I guess is true of most human beings.

Nothing in life is simple. And people have short memories.

Continue reading "Castro, Cuba, the world and Papua New Guinea" »

Those true Australians maintaining bonds with a flawed nation

The Chuave library 1FRANCIS NII

BACK then I could never have known that the creator of the splendid building standing conspicuously on a hill in Chuave would one day be my friend and escort me on my first visit to Australia.

In 1979, when I enrolled in Grade 7 at Chuave Provincial High School, I observed on a prominent hill a monumental structure with a very different architecture from anything I had ever seen.

By the time I arrived, the building – once a library – was derelict, the walls riddled with holes. It was human vandalism that had done this but the structure remained solid as if it was defying human vileness.

I came to know that this elegant A-frame library had been constructed in 1968-69 and I was still at school in Chuave when eventually it was demolished in 1980.

Continue reading "Those true Australians maintaining bonds with a flawed nation" »



A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year. Details here

'BUBU' one of my fist words along with Papa, Mama and tutu.

Bubu” two syllables that rolled off my tongue that referred to two women who I thought were one.

Bubu” I squealed when they lifted me up and swung me in the air.

The world saw two different women but I didn’t care.

One white, one black but two grandmothers whose love I did not lack.

Continue reading "Bubu" »

Tales from the kiap times – Finger counting

Finger countingBOB CLELAND

FROM early childhood, people the world over have used their fingers to help them count.

But while fingers work for simple arithmetic, above ten people tend to use pencil and paper.

Which is fine for people who are literate and numerate, however traditional, pre-literate societies didn’t have it so easy.

Melanesian Pidgin, the lingua franca in PNG for at least 160 years, uses words approximating English pronunciation, for one to ten.

Continue reading "Tales from the kiap times – Finger counting" »

100 Simbu schools & health centres benefit from huge gift

Kundiawa crowd thanks Toowong Rotary & Simby writersFRANCIS NII

SIMBU schools and rural health centres have celebrated an early Christmas with boxes of books and linen gifted by the Toowong Rotary Club in Brisbane.

Rotary’s Murray Bladwell and Terry Shelley of Goroka’s Nowek Ltd worked together to deliver the Books for Simbu Schools project, a shipping container of 11,000 books, linen and other health items.

Continue reading "100 Simbu schools & health centres benefit from huge gift" »

The age of ‘post-truth’ dawns – beware of what you read & hear


AN ADAGE much adopted by politicians is that if you repeat a lie enough times people will eventually believe it.

I can think of lots of examples but George W Bush’s unsubstantiated claims about Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and John Howard’s assertions that asylum seeking boat people were throwing their children overboard spring to mind.

From the other side of politics Bill Shorten’s insistence that Malcolm Turnbull intended to dismantle Medicare could be seen in the same vein; except perhaps there was an element of truth in that. A grain of truth makes a lie easier to swallow.

Continue reading "The age of ‘post-truth’ dawns – beware of what you read & hear" »

I’m now a teacher, but there were some challenges on the way


A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year. Details here

This story is dedicated to my aunty Oripa Huvi who never gave up hope in me and who boldly told me that one day I would become what I want to be if only I struggled with my education.

GIRLS are never lucky when their fathers favour sons. When my acceptance letter for Grade 11 arrived, my own father was in a state of confusion and chaos.

My father’s brother, Demas, had been filled with joy when the letter arrived in his post office box at Bialla. But, when he showed it to Papa, a furious face glared back at him.

“What will a girl bring to her family nowadays?” he said scornfully. “All they do is get pregnant and marry, wasting our money. I won’t waste anything on her.”

Continue reading "I’m now a teacher, but there were some challenges on the way" »

Is government using psyops to deter election candidates?


WAS the recent announcement of a 400% election fee hike by Papua New Guinea’s O’Neill government a classic psyop?

The proposed rise was perhaps the biggest non-story related to the general elections in May-June next year.

The story hit the headlines with the deadline for public servants to resign to contest the elections just around the corner. It may have had the effect of deterring some of them from resigning.

Continue reading "Is government using psyops to deter election candidates?" »

Harim Mi


A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year. Details here

“There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in black women. It’s as if a steel rod runs right through the head to the feet” – Maya Angelou

IT WAS a chilly early morning on a rainy November day and the dawn was taking its time making sure its radiant beauty embraced every bit of her pathway.

A little boy ran excitably to the hausboi announcing to the father that a girl was being born.

As if the news had made the night a little bit colder, the father dispiritedly followed the boy who had already disappeared into the warm hut. He floundered towards the glowing hut, anxious about what awaited him.

As he entered the hut, the father’s presence woke the baby which began to cry loudly. It was a welcome into his world, a world in which her soul would battle the challenge to be heard.

Continue reading "Harim Mi" »

Pauline’s Story: There is always a way out

Violence against womenDOMINICA ARE

A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year. Details here

SHE came to me one morning in June all beaten up and bruised with her two young daughters. She was carrying her ten-month old daughter on her hip and holding the hand of her three-year old daughter. Her left eye was swollen black and almost shut.  

“Are you leaving him for good this time?” I asked.

“Yes. I have suffered enough,” she sobbed.

Continue reading "Pauline’s Story: There is always a way out" »

Tales from the kiap times - The bomb of Elimbari

Unexploded bomb, West PapuaBOB CLELAND


AN American bomber flies somewhere over the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. It shouldn’t be there. It may be lost. It’s low on fuel. And in its bomb-bay are three bombs.

These bombs have to be jettisoned, got rid of, before the aircraft can make an emergency landing at Mt Hagen.


For the first time a patrol officer visits villages in an area overlooked by the great bulk of Mount Elimbari. The kiap hears stories about large objects dropping from a giant aircraft.

Continue reading "Tales from the kiap times - The bomb of Elimbari" »

Public service minister pleads for cooperation in pay freeze

Sir Puka TemuSIR PUKA TEMU | Minister for Public Service

FOLLOWING the handing down of the 2017 budget, the government has made a number of important decisions relating to the movement of Papua New Guinean public servants pay in the three year period 2017-2019.

The main three year industrial awards for the public service, the teaching service and the police force expire at the end of 2016.

The government will be operating against a deficit budget in 2017 and has had to trim back pay rises for the next two years.

But in the expectation that government income from rising world commodity prices will progressively improve, a mid-year review of pay and conditions can be considered in 2018.

Continue reading "Public service minister pleads for cooperation in pay freeze" »

The public service - the silly, the sinister & the plain bizarre


THE public service in any country is a strange place. Its denizens live in an environment that is at best unreal and at worst bizarre.

Public service behaviour and rules remain a mystery to many mere mortals. But such matters still haunt the dreams of those of us who finally managed to escape its clutches.

It also has many traditions, most of them inexplicable.

I was reminded of this when I saw a recent tweet about the working hours of many government offices and the 4.06 pm knock off time.

Continue reading "The public service - the silly, the sinister & the plain bizarre" »

Ex customs boss uncovers K10 billion 'black hole' in PNG budget


A FORMER senior Papua New Guinea public servant and political candidate claims she has uncovered a multi-billion dollar mistake in the government's 2016 budget which she says amounts to an “unbelievable breach of the Constitution”.

Ex Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Kessy Sawang, a candidate for next year's national election, said the budget papers show the government spending is out by about 10 billion kina.

Ms Sawang said the money hadn't been accounted for in the 2016 Budget and the mistake needed to be fixed.

Continue reading "Ex customs boss uncovers K10 billion 'black hole' in PNG budget" »

Transparency International slams O’Neill’s proposed election laws

Stephens_Lawrence2PNG TODAY

CORRUPTION watchdog Transparency International PNG has condemned proposed changes to election laws describing them as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.

TIPNG is concerned about the proposed increase in election petition fees from K1,000 to K20,000, the increase in nomination from K1,000 to K10,000 and the campaign period being reduced from eight to four weeks.

TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens (pictured) condemned the proposed changes which will be tabled in parliament in January.

The government wanted the changes to be approved so that they will come into effect in time for the 2017 National Election in May-June.

Continue reading "Transparency International slams O’Neill’s proposed election laws" »

Ill-tempered man


Gripped fist
Tightened muscles
Deep breath inhaled
Chest bulges, expands
Lips folded inward, the mouth
Teeth clasped
Eyebrows raised
Small veins exposed
Death manifested in the red eyes
Ready to strike
The bomb inside will be exposed
Soon, soon, soon…

Colonel Royal's final flight with his old New Guinea warbird

Col. Frank Royal salutes after his final flight alongside White 33KATIE PELTON | KKTV | Edited

ONE month after taking a remarkable flight, Colorado World War II veteran, Colonel Frank Royal, died last weekend at the age of 101.

It's not often a veteran is reunited with the exact plane he flew in wartime. In fact, it's happened only once at the Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs, from where Col Royal took his final flight in White 33, the same P-38 warbird he flew in Papua New Guinea.

Col Royal sat as co-pilot just last month in a chase plane flying beside the P-38 he’d flown in combat all those years ago; a plane nicknamed ‘White 33.’

Continue reading "Colonel Royal's final flight with his old New Guinea warbird" »

Mountain Orchestra

Mountain orchestraJORDAN DEAN

From the top and steady now
Looking up while falling down
On these mountains, we dance
Dramatise our fall from grace

Cold misty mountain range
Climb them all to reach the stage
Where our love notes sound so sweet
Where the cicadas sing as we sleep

Bring the fire dancers, bring the tears
Everything we lost over the years
Start the thunder, beat the drums
All we know we must become

Continue reading "Mountain Orchestra" »

Addressing women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in PNG

Hiv-aids-warning-rabaulSR MANASSEH KELLY

Extract from ‘Women’s Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS: The Papua New Guinea Situation’, a master’s degree thesis for Flinders University by Sr Manasseh Ola Kelly. You can read the full paper here:  Download 'Women’s Vulnerability to HIV AIDS in PNG' by Manasseh Kelly

FROM my experience as a nursing sister for 16 years in Papua New Guinea, I have observed and witnessed that poverty is a fact for most young girls and they engage in sex so that they can put food on the table.

I asked one of the sex workers why she was involved in the sex trades in spite of high increase in HIV/AIDS in PNG in 2008. Her answer was (“are you willing to put money into my pocket and willing to meet my daily needs”).

Continue reading "Addressing women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in PNG" »

Mobiles OK but govt needs to address black spots, electrification

Mobiles telephony in PNGAPEC REPORT | Extracts

Case Study on the Role of Services Trade in Global Value Chains: Telecommunications in Papua New Guinea, APEC Policy Support Unit, September 2016. Read the full report here:  Download 'Telecommunications in Papua New Guinea'

THIS report by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) examines the effects of the deregulation of Papua New Guinea’s mobile telecommunications sector, a process which began in 2007.

The Papua New Guinean government’s decision in the lead up to 2007 to end the monopoly of state-owned telecommunications provider Telikom resulted in rapid increases in mobile coverage and subscriber numbers, and sharp decreases in costs to consumers.

Continue reading "Mobiles OK but govt needs to address black spots, electrification" »

Tales from the kiap times - Encounter with the Bamu bore

Bore Tide on Bamu RiverBOB CLELAND

“I NEED to call in to the Mission tomorrow,” I said to the skipper.

“Okay Taubada. Quick way - straight up this channel. Leave early, we go with tide. Be there when the sun overhead.”

“What about the main channel? How long will that take?”

“We go out to sea first. Then we enter channel. Then we be pushing upriver but tide coming down. Maybe we get there in dark. But weather is okay.”

The skipper was a crusty old Kiwai, born to a sea-going life and long experienced as crew in small government coastal ships.

Continue reading "Tales from the kiap times - Encounter with the Bamu bore" »

The politics of opportunism – no way to run a country


ISAAC Newton’s third law of motion is often paraphrased to state that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

It is an interesting law that has more than applications in physics.

In that sense it’s not even an original law. The clans of Papua New Guinea have been exercising the same rule for centuries. Except there they don’t refer to it as action provoking reaction but simply as payback.

In Hollywood it informs the scripts of just about every blockbuster movie ever made. There they call it revenge.

It works in politics too.

Continue reading "The politics of opportunism – no way to run a country" »

Chalkies on the frontline in PNG’s battle for knowledge

PIR students at Taurama Barracks, Port Moresby, 1968DARRYL DYMOCK | The Daily Telegraph

FIFTY years ago, while Australian eyes were fixed on a contentious war in Vietnam, the army quietly began sending another taskforce overseas. This time it was to Papua New Guinea, and for a very different purpose.

Early in 1966, Denis O’Rourke should have been in his second year as a science teacher at Forbes High School in central western NSW.

Instead he found himself in the Australian Army, courtesy of prime minister Bob Menzies’ introduction of compulsory two-year “National Service” for a selection of 20-year-old males.

Continue reading "Chalkies on the frontline in PNG’s battle for knowledge" »

A novel both instructive & infuriating for PNG women


A Bride’s Price: A Novel by Arnold Mundua, 2nd edition, Medtec, New Delhi, 2014, ISBN: 978-9384007065, 274 pages, available from Abe Books, US$3.90 plus postage.

I GUESS many people have memories of lost love in their lives. The relationships that could have been but didn’t quite make it to the finish line for one reason or another, gradually becoming the stuff of random dreams and nostalgia.

This beguiling and bitter sweet novel is an account of one such lost love.

It is a familiar and perennial story in western literature and, indeed, in western media, especially television and film.

The infatuation with a goodtime girl who leads the gullible hero on a merry chase only to abandon him, the intervention of the kind-hearted homebody woman and then, inevitably, the destruction of the goodtime girl.

Continue reading "A novel both instructive & infuriating for PNG women" »

If we want to change PNG, we first must change the boys' club


THE fact is that PNG men do not want to progress.

They are happy with the status quo, particularly with their boys' clubs.

That is why all the development that happens is only surface dressing.

Nothing changes at the core of the nation because PNG men are fundamentally against improvements in gender equality which is also at the root of social equity and other important drivers of the Papua New Guinean condition:

Transparency, which would reveal the extent of the corrupt activities of these boy's clubs.

Good governance, which would deny them the funding, power and privileges of their boys' clubs.

Justice, which is against male supremacy.

And good leadership, which no PNG male political leader has any real intention of adhering to.

Continue reading "If we want to change PNG, we first must change the boys' club" »

Bucketfuls of tears: The strength of a Papua New Guinean woman


A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year

I GREW up with only one parent. A mother.

When I was a kid, I’d ask my mother who my father was. Children all around me had daddies who’d go to work, come home, play with them, pick them up in cars and take them out for dinner. I never really understood why I didn’t have one.

And my mother, being headstrong as she was, would tell me and my sister to shut up and that we didn’t have a father.

Continue reading "Bucketfuls of tears: The strength of a Papua New Guinean woman" »

My shadow


I am but a shadow of what is me
A mask that cast doubt in what is me
The red blood in me is now thin liquid
It spills not on my land when I bleed
The sweat on my brow is becoming water
It falls not on my land and taste less saltier
The tears in my eyes is about survival
It drops not on my land when I feel vulnerable

Continue reading "My shadow" »

Let's adopt a team approach when we vote in 2017

Jennell Poigeno casts her vote in 2012 electionMARTYN NAMORONG

EVERY election cycle our people have fallen for individual charisma and each time we have regretted our choices.

Perhaps in 2017 we should be voting into parliament development teams.

Development in Papua New Guinea requires teams of development experts and not just individual members of parliament.

Solving health, education, and infrastructure challenges isn’t just about MPs throwing money at projects but also an implementation team that oversees project monitoring and completion.

Continue reading "Let's adopt a team approach when we vote in 2017" »

“Yu no man, yu meri.” The Gogodala longhouse mindset lingers

Betty LovaiBETTY LOVAI | Dev Policy Blog

“YU NO man, yu meri.” [You are not a man, you are a woman] Does this sound familiar?

Women are not preferred for leadership roles in many societies because of tradition and stereotypes concerning women’s place in society. This mindset will not go away easily.

Gender inequality is a major development issue in Papua New Guinea. Different governments, through the adoption of national plans, have addressed gender inequality. Yet experience over the last 41 years since Independence shows that integration of gender equality through legislation and policy has not automatically achieved gender equality or leadership equality for women.

Continue reading "“Yu no man, yu meri.” The Gogodala longhouse mindset lingers" »

Making Port Moresby public transport safe for women & girls

Women ride a Meri Seif Bus in Port Moresby (UN Women-Marc Dozier)UN Women

FOR women, getting on a bus in Port Moresby meant an almost guaranteed experience of violence or harassment.

A scoping study conducted by UN Women in 2014 found that more than 90% of women and girls experienced some form of violence when accessing public transport - on buses, at bus stops, walking to and from stops, or in taxis.

This included verbal sexual remarks, inappropriate touching, and indecent exposure in terms of sexual violence, and also extortion, robbery, threats or intimidation.

Continue reading "Making Port Moresby public transport safe for women & girls" »

Development & injustice – what is happening to our country?

Daru seashorePETER S KINJAP


DEVELOPMENT or modernisation is no magic potion. There is still unfairness and injustice. Wealth is still limited to a small handful of people. Most continue to be left behind.

This is a global phenomenon. We see it in Papua New Guinea. Those who felt disempowered just elected Donald Trump president of the USA. They took Britain out of Europe.

The struggle to find a better life extends from one community to another around the globe. It seems that now, in democracies, people may be exercising the power of numbers.

Continue reading "Development & injustice – what is happening to our country?" »

How Australia really sees PNG: ‘hands always out for more money’

Bishop_patoLAURA TINGLE | Australian Financial Review | Extract

IT IS regarded as a bit impolite to say so, but Papua New Guinea is an almost, if not entirely, broken state.

Almost broken in the sense that, partly thanks to us, it has never really made it successfully to statehood. Corruption remains a big problem and a direct problem for us in terms of our aid budget.

PNG is by far our biggest aid recipient and the handouts increased significantly as a result of the deal struck in 2013 - but regularly updated – to have PNG host an offshore detention centre for asylum seekers on our behalf on Manus Island.

Everything is always connected to everything in this world so just think about how Manus Island has distorted our relationship with PNG in the past three years, and curbed our capacity to influence events there, or demand answers about how our aid dollars were being spent.

Continue reading "How Australia really sees PNG: ‘hands always out for more money’" »

Internal revenue staff urged to ‘support crumbling economy’


PAPUA New Guinea’s chief secretary has conceded that the country’s public service is inadequate and contributing to what was termed the country’s “crumbling economy”

“Public services are failing because the enforcers are not delivering expected outcomes,” Isaac Lupari told staff of the Internal Revenue Commission this week in what PNG Today said was the first ever visit by a chief secretary to the commission.

He told staff to work as a team and increase their productivity levels “to support our crumbling economy”.

Continue reading "Internal revenue staff urged to ‘support crumbling economy’" »

Bougainville government warns against use of illegal 'kina'

Bougainville 'kina'ANTHONY KAYBING

THE ONLY legal tender to be used in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is the Papua New Guinea kina and no other currency, President John Momis has said following reports that the so-called ‘Bougainville kina’ has re-emerged.

The fake currency is being used in parts of south and north Bougainville by a faction aligned with the Mekamui group that is located in the heartland of the now defunct Panguna mine.

Continue reading "Bougainville government warns against use of illegal 'kina'" »

Female fear in PNG: From fleeting emotion to a state of being


“In Western countries violence is a reason for fear and outrage, but in Papua New Guinea it is as common and accepted as a natural disaster - is a form of natural disaster, is just as cruel and capricious” (Kira Salak, pictured, in Four Corners: A Journey into the heart of Papua New Guinea)

AS I reached the final pages of Kira Salak’s book from which this quote is drawn, my attention drifted to some reflections by Phil Fitzpatrick and a debate that ensued from Lapieh Landu’s poem, A Fear Unbearable.

Landu’s poem was a contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the volume I am currently editing which, next year, will become the first collection of works published by Papua New Guinean women writers.

Continue reading "Female fear in PNG: From fleeting emotion to a state of being" »

My Name is Boko

Boko (Picture courtesy of Richard Sineyhan)JORDAN DEAN

My name is Boko
Son of the Earth
Great grandson of Nabwalega
Born under a village hut
Using herbs from the forest
In the ways of my ancestors

Rain drummed against the earth
And the wind whispered welcome
Nature embraced me warmly
Trapped between heaven and hell
Meandering through the jungle
I followed my ancestors’ spirits
Spells and chants were imparted
Waded through the twilight grove
And drank from the spirits well
I ate fruits of knowledge
Each fruit sweeter
Than the one before
I gathered the pearls
On Digalagala Island
Filled my mind with its wisdom
To save my people’s ailments

Continue reading "My Name is Boko" »

Attack along the Black Cat Track : now the full story is told


Attack on the Black Cat Track, Max Carmichael, Melbourne Books, November 2016, $29.95, ISBN: 9781925556018

ON 10 September 2013 seven Australians and one New Zealander set out on an epic adventure to trek Papua New Guinea’s remote Black Cat Track.

Situated to the north of the Kokoda Track, the Black Cat is said to be tougher than its more famous neighbour and the trekkers were keen to test themselves against the gruelling terrain.

Continue reading "Attack along the Black Cat Track : now the full story is told" »

Rich nations play hard ball on impacts of climate change

Vitinaqailevu_RokoROKOTAMANA VITINAQAILEVU in Marrakech

THOSE countries most vulnerable to climate change, such as those in the Pacific islands, will not be able to reverse the terrible impacts nor recoup the loss experienced.

That’s why the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM) was mooted in 2013.

This year, at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco, it is clear that more evidence and research is still required on the loss and damage faced by many countries as a result of climate change impacts.

But, in a pre-emptive move, the developed countries once again downplayed the scientific evidence to stall the negotiation process.

Continue reading "Rich nations play hard ball on impacts of climate change" »

We must give up guns before referendum says Momis

Still many weapons in BougainvilleANTHONY KAYBING

SHOULD the Bougainville people wish to establish a separate political entity after the 2019 referendum on independence, the province must be totally weapons free in conformity with the Bougainville Peace Agreement, says president John Momis.

There have been concerns expressed by Bougainvilleans that weapons should be kept as an insurance policy, particularly hard-line secessionists who foresee another revolution should the Papua New Guinea government fail to ratify the outcome of the referendum.

Dr Momis has stated that, to meet the requirements of the peace agreement, Bougainvilleans people must surrender weapons still in their possession.

Continue reading "We must give up guns before referendum says Momis" »

Aitape Diocese marks another milestone in its fine history

Bishop Separy (right) farewells an employeeROB PARER

ON TUESDAY the Diocese of Aitape celebrated its golden jubilee. Fifty years ago Franciscan Bishop Ignatius Doggett OFM had become the first Bishop of the Aitape Diocese.

Priot to this, on 15 May 1952, Monsignor Ignatius Doggett OFM had been installed in charge of Prefecture Apostolic of Aitape.

Following him was Bishop William Rowell OFM in 1970, Bishop Brian Barnes OFM 1988, Bishop Austen Crapp OFM 1999 and now Bishop Otto Separy of East Sepik (pictured on right), who was consecrated on 30 October 2007 and is the present Bishop of Aitape.

In 1946, some 18 priests and 14 brothers who had survived World War II arrived back in the Sepik District from Australia and were joined by six Franciscans who moved to the Aitape and Vanimo Districts manning some SVD mission stations and moving inland over the Torricelli Mountains.

Continue reading "Aitape Diocese marks another milestone in its fine history" »

Airways Hotel included in best hotels of the world list

Airways & its DC3MEDIA RELEASE

AIRWAYS Hotel in Port Moresby has been named fifth in the Huffington Post review of top hotels.

Huffington Post contributor, travel pioneer and ‘father’ of modern adventure travel, Richard Bangs, has published a list of the top 10 hotels he’s experienced, selected for “being special, extreme in cosiness, service and that ineffable quality of heart.”

According to Bangs, Papua New Guinea is a special destination. He calls it “a country as diverse and bewitching as any on earth.”

“Things have improved [including] the signature hotel in the capital, The Airways, an oasis just a stone’s throw from the airport.

Continue reading "Airways Hotel included in best hotels of the world list" »

Australia’s role as a haven for dirty money: inaction & denial

Professor Jason SharmanACT NOW

AUSTRALIA is a haven for dirty money, money stolen from countries like Papua New Guinea, according to research by Professor Jason Sharman of Griffith University which will shortly be published in a new book, The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management.

The book will explore the moral and legal rule, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, that prohibits one country from hosting wealth stolen by the leaders of another country.

Australia and almost every other country has committed to the convention.

Continue reading "Australia’s role as a haven for dirty money: inaction & denial" »

Fading links: A modern day Goroka couple’s engagement

Preparing for the mumu (Raymond Sigimet)RAYMOND SIGIMET

IN JUNE, I had the opportunity to witness a contemporary Goroka engagement ceremony, hosted by the family of a young man from Okiufa.

His fiancée was of mixed parentage - Simbu and Daulo, Eastern Highlands.

The clan leader informed me that, in Tok Pisin, this ceremony is referred to as 'sindaunim meri' [seated with the woman].

The 'sindaunim meri' ceremony saw the family of the woman arrive with strength in numbers and fanfare to issue their bride price demand upon the man's family.

Continue reading "Fading links: A modern day Goroka couple’s engagement" »

Social media and kids – the missing demographic


SEVERAL centuries ago when I was a kid, one of the things we looked forward to was the weekend newspapers.

In those days the Sunday Mail came with several pages of comics and a centre spread called ‘Possum’s Pages’.

Possum’s Pages was a mixture of articles for kids, articles by kids, artwork by kids, jokes by kids, letters from kids and a mixture of puzzles and crosswords designed for kids. There were also competitions for writing and regular colouring-in competitions.

Getting something published in Possum’s Pages was an aspiration for many of us. It was something to cut out and take to school to brag about on Monday morning.

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Boroma and Manada, the first pigs

Piglet (Sean Briggs)This is a short extract from a children’s story by PHIL FITZPATRICK. You can download the full version using the link at the end of this excerpt.

IN THE days when the world was new a small group of frightened people on one of the many islands far to the northwest of Papua New Guinea were preparing three large outrigger canoes for an ocean voyage.

On the hill overlooking the beach where the outriggers were moored a lookout kept watch ready to raise the alarm should the war canoes of their enemy appear on the horizon.

Boroma had never seen anything like it. The little black piglet was sitting in a bamboo pen in the hull of the largest canoe.

Everywhere men, women and children were hurrying about loading the canoes with everything necessary for the voyage. Bilums of taro and hundreds of coconuts were being packed into every available part of each canoe.

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