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97 posts from May 2017

Bougainville to take PNG govt to court over money woes


THE Bougainville Government says it's taking the Papua New Guinea government to the Supreme Court over the non-payment of funds to the autonomous region.

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, signed at the end of the civil war nearly two decades ago, Port Moresby was compelled to make annual payments to the regional government.

But the Bougainville government said it had not received any of the budgeted money this year, which the vice president, Raymond Masono (right), says was crippling services in the region.

The president, John Momis, had threatened to take the dispute to the courts for months, and now Mr Masono said the government was following through on the threat.

Continue reading "Bougainville to take PNG govt to court over money woes" »

Ben Finney, Polynesian Voyaging Society founder, dies at 83

Prof Ben FinneyGARY KUBOTA | Star Advertiser (Hawaii)

UNIVERSITY of Hawaii Professor Emeritus Ben Finney, who helped to show that ancient Polynesians sailing thousands of miles were capable of finding the Hawaiian Islands through non-instrument navigation, died on Tuesday at a nursing home in Kaimuki, Hawaii.

He was the last surviving founder and first president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, who helped to debunk the scientific theory that Polynesians had drifted to Hawaii by chance.

“The voyage changed the whole identity of the Hawaiian people. We went from being castaways…to being children of the world’s greatest navigators,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson.

Continue reading "Ben Finney, Polynesian Voyaging Society founder, dies at 83" »

PNG elections corrupted by duplicates, ghosts & the dead

Election timeDANIEL KUMBON

I HAVEN'T seen this year’s common roll yet but in 2012, my family members were listed both in Wabag town and on the village rolls. But I can't blame them for the doubling up. Everyone in PNG knows that elections are about numbers.

The more times your name appears on a list somewhere, the more royalty payments you receive from the company, the more bags of rice you get during times of natural disaster, the more funds you’ll be given by the government and the more lamb flaps or cash you collect if you ‘sell' votes to a candidate.

And, if their give-aways and inducements work, the more chances a political party has to get the numbers to form the next government.

Continue reading "PNG elections corrupted by duplicates, ghosts & the dead" »

Moresby bilum market mum wants change with elections

Market-mother-Sila-Silbol (EMTV)KIWIANA NGABUNG | Asia Pacific Report

SHE had a bright smile and was very welcoming as we walked through the craft market.

Sila Silbol is a Papua New Guinean mother of five who sells bilums [traditional string bags], accessories, laplaps [wrap-around cloths] and other craft at a local craft market in Port Moresby.

Originally from Simbu, Sila now lives in Moresby North-West and survives on the income she makes from selling craft.

Sila and other sellers feel the pinch of tough economic times, she says she makes less now than what she used to make.

And she wants something better for herself and her family.

Continue reading "Moresby bilum market mum wants change with elections" »

Are Australians racist? We have them, but they’re not most of us

No room for racismPETER KRANZ

THE rise of Pauline Hanson's One Nation (‘we'll be swamped by Asians, we'll be swamped by Muslims’) political party has given some impetus to the growth of racist sentiment in Australia in recent years.

But, although a recent poll showed 17% of Queenslanders supporting One Nation, I believe this only a tiny minority of Australians are racist.

That’s good news given our history of entrenched racism.

Continue reading "Are Australians racist? We have them, but they’re not most of us" »

Lemon fruit & bleach bottle – PNG’s essential voting items


DURING the last Papua New Guinea election in 2012, I tried to vote at Paga Hill Settlement where the names of me and my family were listed.

I rolled up at 10 am with the missus and we looked up voter registration for that polling booth.  We could not find our names.

So we were sent to the town polling booth, next to the police station. We checked for our names again but only the missus was listed on the roll. My name was not there so I could not vote.

Then I was told there was another polling place at the old parliament house up the road. I left the missus and strolled there. It just five minutes’ walk away.  There was my name and the whole extended family - listed under my surname.

Continue reading "Lemon fruit & bleach bottle – PNG’s essential voting items" »

Bougainville peace process solidifies but old warriors battle on

Leonard Fong Roka (Palipal)LEONARD FONG ROKA

DURING the peak of the Bougainville conflict, while I was in Kupe Village controlled by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, every voice around me called for the liberation of Bougainville from the destruction wrought by Papua New Guinea and Australia.

In our mountains shelled by mortars and amongst rifle fire, there were heroic men with guns leading the independence fight and all of us had one enemy – Papua New Guinea.

Our goal was survival and freedom. Every voice asserted that we would stand and fight for the future of the children. Yes, perhaps even the execution of my innocent father in 1993 was for the good of Bougainville.

In 1994, peace diffused into our consciousness. All voices talked peace. The peace syndrome prevailed and gained momentum. But there was another matter unfolding. Leadership.

Continue reading "Bougainville peace process solidifies but old warriors battle on" »

Remembered: Taskforce Sweep’s recipe for reducing corruption

Sam-KoimGRANT WALTON | ANU Development Policy Centre | Edited

IN October 2014, Papua New Guinea’s Taskforce Sweep released the findings of its investigation into inadequacies in the oversight of key government departments, including Justice and Attorney General and Finance and Treasury.

The report was printed as a paid advertisement in Papua New Guinean newspapers. We reproduce it here.

The report outlined 16 wide ranging recommendations for improving public administration in PNG.

During a visit to Australia in 2014 by Sam Koim (pictured), then head of Taskforce Sweep, I asked him to nominate the most important recommendation of the report. Without hesitation he said PNG’s banking sector needed the most amount of attention.

Continue reading "Remembered: Taskforce Sweep’s recipe for reducing corruption" »

Needed: a leadership to release the great talent of the PNG people

Juffa election posterGOVERNOR GARY JUFFA | Facebook | Edited extracts

PAPUA New Guinea continues towards becoming a failed state.

The People’s National Congress government has destroyed our economy, inflated contracts, taken out unsanctioned loans from predatory banks, deteriorated education and health, poorly managed resources and there’s so much more. It has sold our future,

Another five years of this and we will be doomed. This is a time of reckoning.

If we leaders do not do all we can to educate our people about the importance of electing strong assertive national parliamentarians, then we are failing PNG.

I have advocated always that we are blessed. And we are.

Look at our country. It has rich soil and there is plenty for everyone.

Continue reading "Needed: a leadership to release the great talent of the PNG people" »

Could liberalism's decline motivate insurrection in PNG?


WHILE I agree with much of Ross Howard's critique (see comments on my article 'CEO’s might be right short term'), I think that he is wrong to link post modernism and Marxism.

Post modernism is, as I understand, an explicit rejection of the thinking that we associate with the 18th century enlightenment. In particular, it challenges the idea that certain ideas or processes (such as the scientific method) can be truly objective in nature.

An unintended effect of this type of thinking is that it has created the opportunity for people to believe that "the truth" about phenomena can be ascertained through means other than the scientific method.

Continue reading "Could liberalism's decline motivate insurrection in PNG?" »

Popular anthology takes people inside PNG women’s reality

My_Walk_to_Equality_promotional_pic_from_PNG_AttitudeSELA AHOLELEI | Radio New Zealand International

A CONTRIBUTOR to a Papua New Guinea book about women's equality says it's important that it reach more hands.

The anthology 'My Walk to Equality' is published by Pukpuk Publications and edited by Rashmii Amoah Bell and was released in March. The Australian High Commissioner in PNG distributed 2,000 copies to schools and organisations and 3,000 other copies have been distributed free of charge.

Contributor Alurigo Ravusiro said that in a culturally diverse population like PNG, stories of how women deal with social issues deserve a wider audience.

Continue reading "Popular anthology takes people inside PNG women’s reality" »

After 27 years, Panguna landowners compensated by BCL

Landowners queue to receive payments from BCLLEONARD FONG ROKA

HAVING lost much of their precious land and rivers, landowners in and around Panguna do have grievances. But welcoming the culprit back into their midst to remedy some conflicts is a goal they see as paramount to the progress of Bougainville as a whole.

Thus the communities of the Upper Tailings prepared for almost a month for the day when the mining company, Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), would pay them compensation outstanding since 1990 - 27 years before.

BCL had a cordial welcome from the people of my home Enamira Village in the heart of the Upper Tailings area of the Panguna District.

Continue reading "After 27 years, Panguna landowners compensated by BCL" »

Traumatised PMV traveller takes revenge (or thinks about it)

PMV (Scott Waide)SCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My Country

AS much as is humanly possible, I avoid the highway bus stop in Lae. It is a chaotic mess of large and small buses that exist in a world of their own.

Their drivers, oblivious to the rules that govern the rest of us normal human beings, pay no attention to the needs of hapless passengers desperate to get their K60 kina worth of travel.

The bus stop is always jam-packed with a crowd fit for the riots that never quite happen. The ‘K5 bosskru,’ as they are called, take up the seating and outnumber the passengers in the mornings.

Continue reading "Traumatised PMV traveller takes revenge (or thinks about it)" »

Proud headhunters & eccentric expatriates in mystery novel

Island Lost


An Island Lost by Christina Larmer, Larmer Media, 2012, 254 pp. ISBN-10: 0987187244. Kindle $2.95; Paperback $10.95. Available from Amazon

CHRISTINA Larmer is a journalist, magazine editor and author of nine books including six in the popular Ghostwriter Mystery series as well as The Agatha Christie Book Club and the non-fiction book A Measure of Papua New Guinea (Focus; 2008).

She was raised in PNG and spent several years working in London, Los Angeles and New York, and now lives with her musician husband and two sons in the Byron Bay hinterland of Northern NSW.

“I grew up in PNG,” she says of her writing, “but couldn't find stories I related to. So I wrote my own.”

Continue reading "Proud headhunters & eccentric expatriates in mystery novel" »

CEOs may be right short term - but Titanic bears down on iceberg


THE survey reported by PNG Attitude yesterday, attributed to a group of unnamed CEO's in Papua New Guinea, seems to me to be disconnected from the real world.

Where I see grinding poverty, gross mismanagement of public wealth and rampant corruption, apparently they see opportunity.

It is as if they are living in an alternate universe from the rest of us which, of course, they are.

Being CEO of a major private corporation, wherever it may be located, brings with it a privileged lifestyle that so many business leaders now accept as their natural due. After all, without their genius as a leader, how would the corporation survive and thrive?

Continue reading "CEOs may be right short term - but Titanic bears down on iceberg" »

My mate Sir Peter has his first leave south in 50 years

Peter_BarterROB PARER

SIR Peter Barter GCL OBE KBE came to Aitape to fly for the Franciscans in their small airline Franair in the late 1950s at about the same time as Fr Brian Barnes, who recently died in Sydney.

Peter went on to fly for Talair and Qantas before becoming a successful and respected businessman and national politician. Despite many vicissitudes he has achieved much, including owning the best tourist resort in PNG - the Madang Resort – as well as two motels in Cairns.

Speaking of which, there are more than 350 delegates booked there for an APEC meeting in December. Just think of the security – hundreds of army & police.

Continue reading "My mate Sir Peter has his first leave south in 50 years" »

Prominent New Zealander to lead election observer mission


FORMER Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Anand Satyanand, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group for the national elections taking place in Papua New Guinea in June-July 2017.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland is deploying a 12-member observer mission following an invitation from the PNG government.

“I am delighted that Sir Anand has accepted my invitation to lead the Commonwealth Observer Group,” said Secretary-General Scotland. 

“His considerable experience in the Pacific region, including previously serving as Governor-General of New Zealand and as Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation, will be of immense value in this important assignment.”

Continue reading "Prominent New Zealander to lead election observer mission" »

Survey shows PNG CEOs ‘cautiously confident’ about business

Sky  Building  Port MoresbyKEITH JACKSON

THERE are signs of growing business confidence in Papua New Guinea in 2017, according to a recent survey of 100 chief executives of the country’s biggest companies.

The PNG 100 CEO Survey, conducted by Business Advantage International, sought the views of the bosses of some of PNG’s largest companies across all industry sectors.

Many business leaders had fallen short of their profit expectations in 2016 but this year the mood is cautiously optimistic.

The survey measures business confidence by asking CEOs about their expectations for profit, investment and recruitment in the year ahead.

Continue reading "Survey shows PNG CEOs ‘cautiously confident’ about business" »

Health spending slashed as PNG crisis gets worse, says Morauta

Sir-Mekere-MorautaSIR MEKERE MORAUTA | Edited extracts

PRIME minister Peter O’Neill has slashed health spending for the past three years, despite promises that he would protect it and other essential services from his cuts.

We have now reached the point where his corruption, waste and mismanagement threaten to bring the entire health system crashing down around us.

The past two years have been bad enough, with medicines running out across the country, health facilities lacking essential equipment and in a state of disrepair, health workers not being paid properly, and many other indicators of system failure.

The prime minister likes to boast about his free health care policy, but if people cannot get timely and appropriate treatment, or no treatment at all, then it is a waste of money.

Continue reading " Health spending slashed as PNG crisis gets worse, says Morauta" »

Project Recover finds missing WW2 B-25 bombers off PNG

Underwater wreck of a WWII B-25 bomber (Project Recover)ROBERT MONROE | Phys Org Website

TWO B-25 bombers associated with American servicemen missing in action from World War II were recently documented in the waters off Papua New Guinea by Project Recover.

The project is a collaborative team of marine scientists, archaeologists and volunteers who have combined efforts to locate aircraft and associated MIAs from World War II.

The B-25 bomber is one of the most iconic aircraft of World War II, with nearly 10,000 of the famous warbirds conducting a variety of missions—from bombing to photo reconnaissance, to submarine patrols, and the historic raid over Tokyo.

Continue reading "Project Recover finds missing WW2 B-25 bombers off PNG" »

Has Australian opportunism compromised our northern shield?

Australia's Northern ShieldKEITH JACKSON

‘Australia's Northern Shield? Papua New Guinea and the Defence of Australia since 1880’ by Bruce Hunt, Monash University Publishing, March 2017. Paperback, 374 pp. ISBN 978-1-925495-40-9. $39.95

WHEN prime minister Malcolm Turnbull made his first official visit to Papua New Guinea in mid-April, a series of gaffes lit up local social media reinforcing perceptions of Australian disrespect for the country.

In PNG, social media are big (there are 700,000 Facebook users alone) and very influential in an increasingly activist middle class that an edgy O’Neill government repeatedly threatens to curb.

And the gaffes? Initially there was a fiery accusation by ex-prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta that the visit was timed to interfere with PNG’s impending national election. Then local journalists were excluded from two press conferences (the Australian High Commission later apologising for an ‘oversight’), a business breakfast faced allegations of race discrimination and Turnbull clumsily evaded questions about Australia’s marooned Manus asylum seekers.

Continue reading "Has Australian opportunism compromised our northern shield?" »

Roll confusion: The chaos that is coming to our polling places


I HAVE a copy of the common roll of my electorate. It is 183 pages long and the names of eligible voters are listed under council wards not in village groups.

The common roll would be more sensible divided into villages and family names listed alphabetically. Our roll is mixed up and this will be the first problem when villagers turn up to vote. There will be a lot of angst when people find that they cannot vote in their village groups.

The first part of the day will be wasted on organising people. And, in rural communities, the day starts when the sun is overhead; if it is a cloudy day, they wait for the sun to come out.

Continue reading "Roll confusion: The chaos that is coming to our polling places" »

The power of the big lie


IN his recent article, Bryan Kramer expressed his belief that the reason he has escaped prosecution for defamation over his highly critical articles about corruption in high places in Papua New Guinea is because those he attacks are fearful of being exposed through the defamation proceedings.

He is, quite rightly, relying upon truth to be both his shield and his sword.

Of course, there is a much more cynical explanation for why he has escaped prosecution, which is that those whom he has attacked know that Bryan can simply be dismissed as a purveyor of "fake news". In this way, what he writes is dismissed as a mere fabrication.

Continue reading "The power of the big lie" »

Four deaths but PNG elections are much quieter than before

Kerenga Kua meets voters (Eric Tlozek)ERIC TLOZEK | Australian Broadcasting Corporation

TOUGH economic times are affecting Papua New Guinea's normally colourful election campaign.

Candidates and parties are crying poor, and that has meant the normally feverish campaign is more subdued than expected.

The leader of the PNG National Party, Kerenga Kua, said that has implications for PNG's democracy.

"There is less colour, less movement, and that's not good, because you need to have some level of activity for educational purposes," he said.

Continue reading "Four deaths but PNG elections are much quieter than before" »

Pruaitch joins chorus of scepticism over O’Neill economy claims

Pruaitch_PatrickGABRIEL JAMENEI | Kaulga's Travel Diary

PATRICK Pruaitch, former Treasurer in the O'Neill-Dion government and National Alliance Party leader, has accused the government of bypassing the Fiscal Responsibilities Act, resulting in Papua New Guinea's huge debt level of K21 billion.

Mr Pruaitch said this law was put in place to monitor the government's borrowing habits but it was never considered by the O’Neill-Dion Government and the national debt has risen over a short period of time from K7.7 billion.

He accused the current People’s National Congress-led government of negligence and not acting responsibly.

Continue reading "Pruaitch joins chorus of scepticism over O’Neill economy claims" »

Lost in Papua New Guinea – the saga of a book

Damaged box of booksPHIL FITZPATRICK

LET’S imagine that you’re a book. You’ve got a bright shiny cover with a distinctive Papua New Guinean theme. Below your title is the author’s proudly displayed name.

You’ve just been manufactured on one of the most sophisticated print-on-demand printers in the world in the city of Columbia in the state of South Carolina in the USA.

You are popped into a box with a dozen other identical volumes by an efficient and hardworking employee of CreateSpace, the publishing arm of the giant online retailer Amazon.

The box that holds you and your companions has been labelled and sent off along a conveyor belt to a vast despatch warehouse that runs 24 hours a day.

Continue reading "Lost in Papua New Guinea – the saga of a book" »

Why I haven't been sued over my social media reporting


IT has been almost four years now since I stumbled across social media. It has provided reach and influence in fighting corruption that is beyond the average person's imagination

Over those four years I have published countless articles exposing high-level corruption implicating senior heads of government, police commissioners, constitutional office holders, supreme court judges, high-profile lawyers, members of parliament, ministers and even the prime minister.

Continue reading "Why I haven't been sued over my social media reporting" »

A literary plea for help – any takers?

Phil with Diddie Jackson's book of poetryPHIL FITZPATRICK

WE get some interesting queries coming to us through the Pukpuk Publications website. Most of them relate to authors with manuscripts looking for somewhere to publish them. Occasionally we get an enquiry on something completely different.

One of these arrived last week. It came from Johanna Kilembe, who lives with her family in Lae and works as an adviser to a number of private schools in Papua New Guinea, including Beacon Christian Academy in Madang and World Changers Christian School in Port Moresby.

Johanna is also involved in running an annual students’ convention, mostly held in Lae.

During the convention. the students take part in sports, music, arts and crafts and literary events. The latter includes essay, short story and poetry writing.

Johanna contacted us because she has been seeing weaknesses in the quality of student writing.

Continue reading "A literary plea for help – any takers?" »

The strange tale of the armed pastor in police uniform

Baptist jailedDANIEL KUMBON

An extract from Daniel’s book ‘I Can See My Country Clearly Now’, which is free online here

IN 1993, the Baptist Union of Papua New Guinea was tainted by a pastor – or was he an impostor - who was gaoled for eight months for having in his house at Wapenamanda in Enga Province an array of firearms.

Ron Conaway from Illinois, USA, was imprisoned in Baisu Gaol after being found guilty by Mt Hagen District Court of having firearms in his possession. He was also fined K3,000.

Police arrested him after he left Mt Hagen post office with a parcel containing eight pistols, ammunition and other accessories. He was attired in a Royal PNG Constabulary uniform complete with an non-commissioned officer’s cap.

Police then raided his Wapenamanda home and found two shotguns, two high-powered rifles, a .22 rifle, four pistols, an airgun, a crossbow and arrows and ammunition in large quantities.

Continue reading "The strange tale of the armed pastor in police uniform" »

Concern as PNG moves to launch new coal mining industry

Carteret IslandsCATHERINE WILSON | Mongabay

THE Papua New Guinea government is actively pursuing the potential of developing a coal mining industry for the first time in the country’s history.

Two years ago, it channelled K10 million to its Mineral Resources Authority for research into the viability of coal extraction.

Now, an Australian company engaged in exploration is proposing to build three mixed coal power generation plants in the cities of Port Moresby, Lae and Madang, citing the need for affordable and reliable electricity to boost economic growth.

Continue reading "Concern as PNG moves to launch new coal mining industry" »

The beautiful and challenging inconsistencies of sport

PNG Hunters in trainingPHILIP KAI MORRE

WHEN the first Olympic Games were held in Athens, the motto adopted was ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’, which means faster, higher and stronger.

The Olympic creed was not to win but to take part, not to have conquered but to have fought well.

All participating athletes swear the Olympic oath in which they promise to respect and follow the rules of good sportsmanship.

The Olympic flame symbolises the continuity between the ancient and modern games, for the torch is lit by the sun’s rays in Olympia, Greece, and carried by relay runners to the host site. It is an ancient tradition that is kept alive in all countries including Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "The beautiful and challenging inconsistencies of sport" »

Elections in dysfunctional democracy reek with smell of money

Standish_BillBILL STANDISH | East Asia Forum

2016 for Papua New Guinea was both politically turbulent and economically stressful with government revenues and currency falling, but inflation and deficit rising.

The nationwide election in June–July 2017 will be a major measure of the political impact of the government’s critics, and the sustainability of prime minister O’Neill’s bankrolling tactics.

In May 2016, a five week strike by university students called on O’Neill to resign over corruption and misgovernment allegations. Then in June, police shot at students marching to lobby parliament.

Continue reading "Elections in dysfunctional democracy reek with smell of money" »

Transparency PNG says prison system needs rethink

Buimo gaolRNZI

TRANSPARENCY International Papua New Guinea says authorities need to rethink the way correctional services in the country are run.

This comes after 17 prisoners were shot dead last week during a mass escape from Buimo Prison in Lae.

Chairman of Transparency PNG, Lawrence Stephens, said there had been an increase in mass jail breaks in PNG in recent years.

He said it was clear the system is not working.

Continue reading "Transparency PNG says prison system needs rethink" »

Towards a PNG that promotes qualities of good citizenship


YOUNG people in all sectors of society must be educated and supported to take ownership of their own lives and that of their families, societies and environment.

Efforts of government, non-government, civil society organisations and individuals in promoting such an ideal will go a long way in creating desirable citizens in this country.

We want our young people to be smart, intelligent, skilful, knowledgeable, healthy, wealthy and progressive. This is the call of Papua New Guinea’s Vision 2050.

Politicians and state agencies must be at the forefront of promoting and achieving this call. Non-government and civil society organisations must be partners. All they need is adequate government support.

Continue reading "Towards a PNG that promotes qualities of good citizenship" »

Peter Dutton, the rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem


DESPITE all of the social advancements made in the last 70 years or so there still lingers in many places a distinctly Victorian view of the world.

Traces of it can be found in particular institutions, most notably the churches, police, military and government.

It is a world view informed by the rightness of capital and the place of individuals in pre-ordained and immutable categories of class, race and gender.

This view was once exported to every corner of the globe and very few places were immune to it.

Continue reading "Peter Dutton, the rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem" »

PNG media council blasts assault on EMTV election news crew


THE Media Council of Papua New Guinea has condemned the “unacceptable harassment and violence” targeting media workers covering the country’s 2017 general election campaign.

An EMTV camera crew was “harassed and assaulted” last Thursday in the Moresby South electorate in the National Capital District in an incident the Media Council called “unacceptable and unwarranted”.

The media has an important role to play in the dissemination of information and awareness about the 3,331 candidates contesting the 89 open electorates and 22 provincial seats, said council president Alexander Rheeney.

Continue reading "PNG media council blasts assault on EMTV election news crew" »

The choice of leadership: Should sitting MPs be returned?

Sam KoimSAM KOIM | Edited extracts

A SPLASHY news headline like “I’ll be back!” from an incumbent politician running for office again provokes discussions on several fronts.

Is it incumbents who determine their return or should the people decide their fate? Ideally, an election is a process where the people decide the incumbent’s future.

Like many leadership roles, rising to the top as a member of parliament is no easy feat. Many people aspire to top their careers with politics. Once becoming an MP, the temptation to remain there is strong.

Incumbents do have some advantages over opponents. They have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership using their term in office. The incumbents also have a competitive advantage over challengers because they have access to campaign finance and other resources. They also have heightened name recognition.

Continue reading "The choice of leadership: Should sitting MPs be returned?" »

Is Laurence Security in PNG for APEC or for oil & gas?

LAS mercenaries & PNG policeBRYAN KRAMER | PNG Blogs | Edited extracts

POLICE Commissioner Baki has stated that the "Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is currently engaged in discussions with an American based security company, Laurence Aviation & Security Group, to train an elite rapid response team for APEC 2018 and for ongoing policing into the future."

He explained that he “was approached by the president of the company, Mr Peter Halliman, around July last year. He was offering his company’s services to the RPNGC. Mr Halliman is an American citizen but he was born in Bulolo in 1961 and grew up in the Lake Kopiago/Koroba area of the Hela Province. His parents were Baptist missionaries.

Continue reading "Is Laurence Security in PNG for APEC or for oil & gas?" »

Peter Halliman and the ‘cannibal’ fund-raising tour of 1991


IN September 1991, while visiting the United States, I refused to meet Pastor Peter Halliman in Cleveland, Ohio, after a damaging article appeared in a major American newspaper.

He was with Ekere Embago, an illiterate pastor from Koroba in the Southern Highlands, and they were speaking to church congregations from the east to the west coasts appealing for funds to do more missionary work in the jungles of Papua New Guinea which, they claimed, were still inhabited by missionary eating cannibal tribes.

They appeared to be very successful in using the media, calling press conferences in major cities and towns to draw attention to their cause.

Continue reading "Peter Halliman and the ‘cannibal’ fund-raising tour of 1991" »

Baki had many choices other than mercenaries for APEC security

Facebook mastheadCHRIS OVERLAND

IT IS astounding that Gary Baki has hired Lawrence Aviation and Security Group (LASG) - a private, United States-based provider of security services - to train the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) on how to provide adequate security for next year’s APEC forum in Port Moresby.

Literally every state in Australia, plus the AFP, have Special Tasks and Resources Squads or their equivalent who could do this at least as competently and probably at a lower cost.

Indeed, Australia is contributing about $100 million in cash and kind for APEC, which includes security and 73 Australian Federal Police officers will remain in PNG until after APEC in November 2018.

Continue reading "Baki had many choices other than mercenaries for APEC security" »

Baki must resign over recruitment of US mercenaries: Sir Mek

Gary Baki & PNGDF commanderKEITH JACKSON

PAPUA New Guinea’s former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta today called for the resignation of police commissioner Gary Baki over the recruitment of a group of American mercenaries.

He said it was “impossible” for a police commissioner to remain in office after conducting an illegal operation involving foreign mercenaries.

“His is a constitutional office,” Sir Mekere said. “The holder of such offices must be beyond reproach and Mr Baki does not fit into that category. He must go.”

Continue reading "Baki must resign over recruitment of US mercenaries: Sir Mek" »

Foreign mercenaries should be suspended pending investigation


POLICE Commissioner Gary Baki, should immediately suspend the use of foreign mercenaries in the interest of public order and safety and until an independent investigation has been conducted into all aspects of his secret deal.

The Ombudsman Commission should investigate the arrangements, including the financial and legal aspects.

Mr Baki’s media statement on this scandal yesterday raises more questions than it answers.

It casts serious doubt about the probity and legality of the deal, with Laurence Aviation and Security (LAS) of the United States, and whether the activities of Mr Baki, other senior policemen and the mercenaries themselves were within the law.

Continue reading "Foreign mercenaries should be suspended pending investigation" »

El Niño, villagers & the millennium development goals


THE last El Niño (2015-16) that affected an estimated three million people revealed why Papua New Guinea will still struggle to achieve its millennium development goals (MDG) into the future.

MDG is a people based project. It measures the welfare of the people in achieving a certain standard of living. This is a human right of all people regardless of their status in society, wealth or influence.

In other words, the successful attainment of MDG goals will happen when the poorest of the poor in society achieve an improved life as measured by United Nations’ MDG criteria.

Who then are the poorest of the poor in PNG?

Continue reading "El Niño, villagers & the millennium development goals" »

South Fly: A lesson in leadership and genuine self-reliance

Jamie Namorong campaigningMARTYN NAMORONG

MY brother Jamie Namorong’s election campaign for a New South Fly region has been a journey in testing development theories in resilience and self-reliance.

Whilst many people talk about ending the “handout mentality” they fail to show by their example how it is achievable.

In Jamie Namorong’s campaign, I have seen how community organising and leadership can inspire our people to pool their resources for the good of the community.

What this needs is time for the seeds to germinate. Time however is not something so-called development partners and specialists don’t have in their implementation schedules and monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

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Armed expat paramilitaries alarm residents of Port Moresby

Mysterious armed expats in POMKEITH JACKSON | Various sources

PHOTOGRAPHS of armed expatriate men in the company of Papua New Guinean police have caused alarm in Port Moresby and given credence last year’s disclosures by PNG Blogs that a private security operation was functioning in the country with the support of the O’Neill government.

TVWan News and Loop PNG both said there was “confusion” in Port Moresby about the sightings of armed paramilitaries.

“Pictures were posted online causing people to question and speculate about the reasons behind the men being in the country,” reported Loop PNG.

EMTV reports that the engagement of private military contractors from the United States is a multi-million kina operation of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary leading to next year’s APEC forum.

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Sir Mek: Salvaging the sinking & near destroyed MV PNG

Sir-Mekere-MorautaSIR Mekere (Mek) Morauta is the only political leader we can think of right now to salvage the sinking and near destruction MV PNG.

In his earlier capacities as Secretary for Finance, Managing Director what is now Bank South Pacific, Governor of the Central Bank and Prime Minister, Sir Mek created and then reformed Papua New Guinea’s key pivotal democratic and economic institutions.

He placed the economy and the country on a recovery and growth path and, through a range of important initiatives, orchestrated price stability and favourable economic conditions.

This year he has returned to politics by nominating for the Moresby North West Open Seat in the national elections.

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PNG needs mature education policy, not unsustainable give-away

Pius Imolket tutors his class at the Tavolo community schoolPETER S KINJAP

WE ARE going into the third week of this eight-week election campaign before polling in Papua New Guinea’s general election commences.

Unlike previous elections, this election appears more sedate. Social media is playing an important role with almost all political parties advertising their messages on Facebook and using social media more effectively.

The ruling People’s National Congress has reportedly spent much money disseminating information about its polices in social and mainstream media.

One of the PNC’s major pitches is the free education policy. It implemented this policy in office and it proved to haves weaknesses.

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Evidence contradicts Oz government stance on Manus shooting

Peter DuttonAAP

AMNESTY International says its experts have verified images and footage from the Good Friday shooting on Manus Island that confirm bullets were fired directly into the immigration processing centre.

The human rights group says the digital verification, expected to be released on Monday, contradicts initial claims made by Australian immigration officials and Papua New Guinea police suggesting soldiers only fired bullets into the air.

"Ridiculous" is how a leading Manus Island MP described Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's analysis of the violent unrest at the detention centre.

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Why does PNG brag about being a Christian country?


THE hold that religion has on Papua New Guinea has always puzzled me, especially since nearby Australia is rapidly becoming a majority secular society.

Unlike Australia, Papua New Guinea mentions Christianity in its constitution and its politicians frequently remind us that it is a ‘Christian’ country.

Anecdotal and some empirical evidence suggests the churches in Papua New Guinea have a large influence on the government.

This begs the question that if the churches are so influential why is there still widespread corruption? The inference, of course, is that the churches are complicit. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this could be true.

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