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80 posts from October 2017

The anatomy of fear & control in gender relationships

Sophie Monk & Jarrod Woodgate in The Bachelorette
Sophie Monk & Jarrod Woodgate in The Bachelorette


TUMBY BAY - Men are scared of women. Shit scared. They always have been and it lies at the root of how they treat women.

Violence against women is a direct consequence of male fear.

One of the things men particularly fear about women is their reproductive ability.

The ability to bear children gives women enormous power.

If you want to see how this works you can’t go past the reality television show The Bachelorette.

Ostensibly just another piece of puerile crap dished up by commercial television, it beautifully illustrates the primal forces underpinning the relationships between men and women.

Like a bitch in heat the bachelorette, Sophie Monk, has a slavering posse of men begging and fawning at her fingertips.

Who will be the successful alpha male who finally beds her is the foremost attraction of the show.

Continue reading "The anatomy of fear & control in gender relationships" »

The marvellously engineered cane bridges in the Jimi

Cane bridge over the Tsau river
The cane bridge over the Tsau River


DUBLIN - Sometimes on bush journeys in the Papua New Guinea Highlands it was embarrassing to witness five or six year old kids running freely - and safely - back and forth across a single tree-trunk bridge over a rushing river.

The embarrassment was that I then had to be assisted by many hands as I gingerly inched my way across.

Luckily in the Jimi Valley of the then Western Highlands there were many cane bridges, much easier to traverse, which somewhat alleviated my anxiety.

The cane bridge shown in this 1971 photo, was constructed across the Tsau river in the Jimi. The Tsau flows into the Jimi River which progresses into the Yuat and then the mighty Sepik.

In 1971-72 I was based at Karap in the Jimi, which is now part of Jiwaka Province. The Jimi Valley runs parallel to the Wahgi Valley, but there are major differences.

Continue reading "The marvellously engineered cane bridges in the Jimi" »

In praise of anarchy – Papua New Guinea take notice


TUMBY BAY - In the ongoing debate about the best form of government for a country like Papua New Guinea and some of the other Melanesian nations in the South Pacific, I’d like to offer another possibility - anarchy.

Anarchy has always had a bad rap. For most people it means disorder and lawlessness.

This is not its true meaning. It simply means the absence of government. The bad rap comes from people and organisations that are scared of it.

Its meaning in political terms is also simple. It refers to the organisation of a society from the bottom up, as opposed to from the top down. It is communism upside down minus the oppression and dictators.

For some of our past and present free thinkers anarchy offers a viable alternative to both western democracy and communism.

Continue reading "In praise of anarchy – Papua New Guinea take notice" »

Nautilus was a bad investment call by the O’Neill government

DSM campaign posterPAUL FLANAGAN

CANBERRA - Nautilus or Oil Search - which was the worst investment decision by the O'Neill government? 

Neither should have involved government funding – Papua New Guinea had much more pressing needs in areas such as health and infrastructure.

This type of project should have obtained private backers to bear the risks in an experimental technology.

The fact that the O'Neill government was dragged through the courts to make its extra contributions suggests the government is having serious second thoughts about the project.

In such circumstances, Nautilus should just move to private backers. Why are they having difficulty raising additional funding from private sources?

Continue reading "Nautilus was a bad investment call by the O’Neill government" »

I'm excited about the World Cup – one reason is the PNG Orchids

PNG Orchids
PNG Orchids celebrate a try against the Jillaroos (Brendan Esposito)

MARY KONSTANTOPOULOS | Ladies Who League | Edited extracts

SYDNEY - The countdown officially over, yesterday the 2017 Rugby League World Cup began.

Whilst the Kangaroos and England, who played last night with a hard fought win for Australia, are expected to be two of the strongest teams taking part in the tournament, it has been 45 years since the Paul Barriere Trophy was last claimed by England and England failed to qualify for the last three tournament finals.

The English national team will be looking to change that in 2017.

Whilst there may be plenty of anticipation ahead of the opening clash of the tournament, if you have been following the media you will know that the build-up to this particular Rugby League World Cup has had plenty of interesting storylines.

Continue reading "I'm excited about the World Cup – one reason is the PNG Orchids" »

Ancient skull belongs to victim of Aitape tsunami 6,000 years ago


Skull of a person who lived in PNG 6 000 years ago
6000 year old Aitape skull has connection to present day climate change

LONDON - Scientists studying a mysterious skull discovered in Papua New Guinea 88 years ago have said they believe it belonged to an early victim of a violent tsunami in the southwest Pacific 6,000 years ago.

The skull, named for the village of Aitape near where it was discovered, has been an item of longstanding archaeological interest because it is one of only a few rare skeletal remains to have been recovered from the area.

Australian geologist Paul Hossfeld found it in northern PNG, buried beneath the ground in 1929. Initial investigations concluded the skull belonged to Homo erectus—an extinct humanoid species that died out 143,000 years ago.

However, carbon dating since found the skull could be between 5,000 and 6,000 years old, opening new possibilities about what the skeletal fragment could tell us about our own world.

For the first time experts have uncovered what killed the unfortunate individual, using clues left in the earth around where the skull was found. "We have now been able to confirm what we have long suspected," James Goff at the University of New South Wales in Australia explained in a statement.

Continue reading "Ancient skull belongs to victim of Aitape tsunami 6,000 years ago" »

Media council says ‘silence’ on domestic violence must be broken

NEWSDESK | Pacific Media Watch

PORT MORESBY - The Media Council of Papua New Guinea is calling for an investigation into the untimely death of senior journalist and Post-Courier business editor Rosalyn Albaniel Evara.

“While the council respected the wishes of her immediate family to proceed with her burial, it acknowledges that the pain that late Rosalyn had to endure is no longer just hers, and a pain that many more women in the country may be going through every day,” the Media Council said in a statement.

Ms Evara, 41, was rushed to hospital last week on October 15 after collapsing in her home. She died in Port Moresby General Hospital later that day.

Continue reading "Media council says ‘silence’ on domestic violence must be broken" »

Nautilus mining project not as bad as it’s cracked up to be

Artists's impression of the Solwara production support vessel


CALIFORNIA - Everyone take a deep breath.  We need some clarity of thought on the Solwara 1 project in the territorial waters of New Ireland and East New Britain.  

Sir Arnold Amet is the latest person to jump on the anti-Nautilus bandwagon.  He served as Attorney-General and is familiar with many of the details of the Solwara 1 agreement.

In PNG Attitude recently, Sir Arnold made what I believe to be unfounded accusations against Nautilus Minerals, claiming that Solwara 1 is a “dodgy project” and “Nautilus is not a professional outfit.”

To the contrary, Nautilus has demonstrated its professionalism by investing at least K1.7 billion in the project. It has done due diligence in research, sending experts to dive into the Bismark Sea to ascertain the feasibility of the project and has engaged in 10 years of research and experimentation for the project.

Continue reading "Nautilus mining project not as bad as it’s cracked up to be" »

Three key economic questions I hope the PM answered

Paul Flanagan
Paul Flanagan - pertinent questions


CANBERRA – Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill addressed a business lunch in Sydney yesterday and spoke about the policies of his government.

Before he did so, I wrote the following piece hoping that his speech would answer three questions.

First, what will the government do to help restore ongoing balance in the foreign exchange markets?

A small injection of $US100 million in treasurer Charles Abel’s 100-day plan will not address the underlying issue that PNG’s imports have been cut to an historic low and even basic trade financing has been cut off.

The emphasis appears to be on large scale import-substitution (especially through special deals and protectionist arrangements) rather than becoming a diverse exporting nation to Asia.

Continue reading "Three key economic questions I hope the PM answered" »

Death of journalist sparks national debate about domestic violence

Rosalyn Albaniel Evara
Rosalyn Evara


Read Helen’s full report for The Guardian here

PORT MORESBY - The death of a high-profile Papua New Guinean journalist at the age of 41 has sparked a national debate about the country’s continuing epidemic of violence against women, after graphic photographs were shown at her funeral.

Family members of Rosalyn Albaniel Evara, who was an editor at PNG’s largest newspaper, the Post-Courier, have received support from the Port Moresby governor for their calls for a police investigation into her death.

Evara died last week after she collapsed at her Port Moresby home, and was rushed to hospital. The journalist was farewelled at a funeral in Port Moresby on Monday, where an aunt, Mary Albaniel, used her eulogy to allege Evara had been violently assaulted.

Albaniel, wearing a “say no to violence” tee-shirt, showed photographs of her battered body and alleged a history of abuse.

Continue reading "Death of journalist sparks national debate about domestic violence" »

Smart editing tips for writers who want to be read

Pro-writing aid
The Prowriting app can help improve your writing


PORT MORESBY - So you’ve drafted a short story or a novel and want to polish it before sending it to potential publishers.

You don’t wish to put your work out there unpolished, because that’s a good way to make sure no one ever reads it.

You understand the importance of having a good editor look at your work. But, if you’re struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford an editor, don’t sweat it.

There are several options to get your work polished without spending tons of money. It’s a lot of work and will take up a lot of your time, but if you really want get your best work out for public consumption, it’s worth it.

First, read through your own work and use the Microsoft Word tools to improve it.

Use the Spelling & Grammar tab to correct spelling errors and the Navigation feature to search for overused words. Remove these words or replace them with synonyms from a Thesaurus.

Chop away extravagant detail and avoid ‘purple prose’, writing that is flowery and pretentious and uses big words to appear clever. All of these can be done on MS Word.

Then there’s several free online editing applications like the Hemingway App and the ProWritingAid. I’m using Prowriting to edit my novel. You can download the application and install it as an add-on to MS Word.

Continue reading "Smart editing tips for writers who want to be read" »

Rejecting anger & sincerely wanting PNG to succeed


Lively Tales from Papua New Guinea by Bev Floyd, Watson Ferguson & Co (Boolarong Press), Salisbury Qld, 120 pages, 2017. ISBN: 978-0995410541. Available from the author here

TUMBY BAY - What seems ordinary to some people can appear quite exotic to others. Thus it is with the experiences of many Australians in Papua New Guinea prior to independence in 1975.

In reading Bev Floyd’s story of her eleven odd years as a teacher in Papua New Guinea, beginning in 1964, I came across nothing remarkable but that is only because I was there myself.

To someone unfamiliar with Papua New Guinea, Bev’s time there will be read quite differently.

Continue reading "Rejecting anger & sincerely wanting PNG to succeed" »

Passion to progress: PNG poised to enjoy best ever World Cup

NICK CAMPTON | Daily Telegraph

David Mead will captain PNG in his third World Cup
David Mead will captain PNG in his third rugby league world cup

THE strides Papua New Guinean rugby league has taken in the last few years alone are quite staggering.

The PNG Hunters’ victory in the Queensland Cup grand final can be counted as one of the finest days in rugby league’s history for that country, and perhaps as one of their greatest wins in any sport.

Forget what you saw at ANZ Stadium on NRL grand final day, when the overmatched Hunters were flattened out mentally. Their achievement the week before, the performance of rugby league in Papua New Guinea is finally matching the passion.

Rugby league law dictates I must divulge the well known fact that rugby league is the national sport in Papua New Guinea, but the stories of the locals’ hunger for the game are well known. The love for the code in that part of the world is intense beyond almost anything you’ll ever see in Australia.

Continue reading "Passion to progress: PNG poised to enjoy best ever World Cup" »

Bougainville war veterans commit to weapons disposal

BRA irregulars
Members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army with homemade weapons and a reconditioned World War II Japanese 20mm cannon


BUKA - Veterans of the Bougainville civil conflict have made a commitment to work together towards achieving a weapons free Bougainville no later than the end of next year.

This commitment was made recently at former combatants peace building training facilitated by the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Veterans Affairs Directorate.

The commitment focuses on a number of matters: peace building, weapons disposal, reconciliation, the referendum on Bougainville’s political future, rehabilitation and reintegration of former combatants, and collaborative peace building and partnership.

The rationale behind the commitment is to ensure that veterans who are an important stakeholder in peace building on Bougainville are utilised to achieve total weapons disposal and as is consistent within the parameters of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Continue reading "Bougainville war veterans commit to weapons disposal" »

'Yes, we brought them shell - the best shell they ever had!'

Jim Sinclair (George Oakes)JIM SINCLAIR

The late Jim Sinclair wrote this article for the Papua New Guinea independence issue of Pacific Islands Monthly in October 1975. It was reproduced for the public tribute to Jim at Maroochy Surf Club in Queensland last Tuesday.

IN PAPUA New Guinea today, many Australians who have spent the best years of their lives in that fascinating land are leaving, and facing up to the necessity of coming to grips with life in Australia, which to me, at any rate, does not look much like the Lucky Country. 

With independence it is right, just and inevitable that Australians should step aside to make room for the eager young nationals who now fill virtually all of the senior positions in the PNG Public Service and who are rapidly assuming positions of importance in the private sector.

It is usual today for Australia to be blamed for all sorts of errors of commission and omission by some PNG nationalists, and this is natural enough: when things don't always go the way one would like them to go, a scapegoat is always needed, and in colonial situations of this sort, the metropolitan country is invariably elected to the position.

Continue reading "'Yes, we brought them shell - the best shell they ever had!'" »

Clamp down: Curfew on US embassy staff living in Moresby


PORT MORESBY – In the wake of a recent assault and hijacking of an American citizen, the United States embassy in Papua New Guinea has temporarily tightened security measures for its employees in Port Moresby.

The embassy has also recommended that the American community everywhere in PNG “review and adjust” its own security measures.

Embassy personnel have been “strongly advised” to carry cell phones and two-way radios when travelling in their own vehicles in Port Moresby at any time of the day.

They have also been strongly advised not to travel alone in personal vehicles after dark and the embassy has totally prohibited the use of personal vehicles are between 10pm and 5am.

Continue reading "Clamp down: Curfew on US embassy staff living in Moresby" »

Want to be an original thinker? You need to read deeply

Simon Davidson


KOKOPO - Here is a mechanism for becoming an original thinker and not be an echoer of other people’s thoughts.

This mechanism is reading. But more specifically, deep reading.

Today there is a legion of surface skimmers who love superficial knowledge but never do in-depth reading.

Many have lost the ability to think for themselves. By being addicted to shining distractions, many in the Facebook generation have squandered their God-given ability to think abstractly, or from cause to effect.

They regard their peer’s opinion as absolute truth, than take the time to think more independently. As a result many people have wrecked their lives on dangerous precipices of sensual pleasure.

But to become a thinker and be a thought leader, one needs to read deeply.

Continue reading "Want to be an original thinker? You need to read deeply" »

The bright elusive butterflies of our minds


TUMBY BAY - When an old man or woman in the village says, “I remember when ….”, and starts to hum a traditional song, many young Papua New Guineans switch off and start to play with their iPhones. Little do they realise what they are missing.

I arrived in Australia in 1956 as an eight year old child of migrant parents. I grew up in Elizabeth, the town where the last Australian built car rolled off the production line last Friday.

Elizabeth in those early years was a great place to live. It was an entirely new and modern town full to the brim with optimism for the future.

Nowadays it is a refuge and dumping ground for low socio-economic families.

This contrast between then and now prompted me to start putting together a memoir, Midnight Blue, of those early years and the way Elizabeth shaped my life.

This involved dredging up long forgotten memories, both my own and those of my family and friends.

Continue reading "The bright elusive butterflies of our minds" »

Rebuilding a great repository of PNG’s culture & heritage

Trustees  research team and friends at PNG High Commission  Canberra
Trustees & friends at PNG High Commission, Canberra: (L-R) Andrew Abel, Hillary Miria, Jonathan Ritchie, Zenaleze Abage, Catherine Nolan, Nancy Simeon, Jackson Zabala, Michael Mel, Norah Vagi Brash, Gregory Bablis


PORT MORESBY - In Papua New Guinea in 2016 there was a national court case between the National Museum and Art Gallery and Sir Michael Somare as plaintiffs and the former speaker of parliament, Theo Zurenuoc as defendant.

The case, in which the court ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, related to the destruction and demolition of cultural objects and imagery that adorned the front, hallways and grand-hall of PNG's national parliament.

It was a landmark decision that upheld the significance of the National Cultural Property Preservation Act, which the National Museum and Art Gallery oversees.

This watershed moment in PNG's cultural history defended the value of the country’s culture and heritage, which underpins the very fabric of PNG society and nationality. It also preserved and protected these various artefacts for future generations.

Over the years, there have been many challenges that have faced the National Museum and Art Gallery. The current trustees (president, Julius Violaris, his deputy Andrew Abel ML and Dr Michael Mel and Norah Vagi Brash OBE) have worked tirelessly to ensure the institution accomplishes its mandated roles and responsibilities.

Continue reading "Rebuilding a great repository of PNG’s culture & heritage" »

PNG’s electoral system: Did the founding fathers stuff it up?

We don't want to be pushed
Many Papua New Guineans, especially in the highlands, did not want independence to be hurried


“One of the most pointed, confronting, unapologetic and stimulating emails,” writes Bal Kama, a leading commentator on Papua New Guinea affairs. He had received the communication from a professor of politics, an expert on the PNG government system, who agreed that it be shared. “It’s healthy to hear the minds of radical thinkers from beyond our shores, however unsettling,” commented Bal Kama.

IT REALLY is a curious question. Where did Papua New Guinea’s majoritarian unicameral idea come from? There was simply no plausible model.

It was created in PNG in 1964 at the same time the former Legislative Council dominated by Australian members was abolished. Why?

When granting self-government to the Australasian colonies, the legislative councils were retained. If we had had a Labor government in 1964, this might have been explainable for it was Labor policy to abolish state upper houses. But Australia was very non-Labor in 1964.

It appears the PNG design was invented out of whole cloth. The same design was adopted in the Northern Territory in 1974. (Because Queensland was such a·success?) Also in the Solomons in 1976 and in Vanuatu in 1980.

Continue reading "PNG’s electoral system: Did the founding fathers stuff it up?" »

PNG bishop confirms reinstatement of ‘playful’ Australian priest

Bishop Rolando Santos with Fr Neil Lams
Bishop Rolando Santos & Fr Neil Lams

JOANNE McCARTHY | Newcastle Herald

NEWCASTLE - A Papua New Guinea Catholic bishop says he will reinstate an Australian Vincentian priest to a PNG high school despite a police investigation of allegations involving school students, and a church investigation confirming the priest touched students’ legs and sometimes slapped them.

Bishop Rolando Santos said Australian Vincentian priest Neil Lams was “firm, upright and committed” and he was not changing the priest’s assignment as chaplain to the PNG school.

The bishop reserved the right to take defamation action against people, including school teachers, who complained about the priest’s behaviour.

A church investigation report, which Bishop Santos supplied to the Newcastle Herald, found no evidence to support allegations Father Lams sexually abused two female students at a Catholic high school in eastern PNG.

But investigators for the PNG Catholic Church Office of Right Relationships in Ministry found evidence of confessional “incidents”, where Father Lams touched students on the legs and asked questions about sex that left students “embarrassed or scared or hurt or surprised”.

Continue reading "PNG bishop confirms reinstatement of ‘playful’ Australian priest" »

Beware get-rich-quick schemes, they'll get you poor fast

Get rich quick mugJORDAN DEAN

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guineans have been exposed to numerous ‘get rich quick’ schemes over the years – so-called plans which claim to deliver high rates of return for a small investment.

These schemes range from U-Vistract to the miraculous and magical products Forever Living, Pro-Ma Systems, 4Life, Ardyss, BHIP International, JM Ocean Avenue, Hop Rocket and now the latest craze, AIM Global.

There are so many scam artists with misleading information.

Unsuspecting people are told they will obtain great riches quick by signing up to money making schemes with all sorts of niche products that promise lots of money for little work.

Continue reading "Beware get-rich-quick schemes, they'll get you poor fast" »

Sambra Aikit – music blending the traditional with the modern

Sambra AikitCOOPER-LILY NIKORA | Wantok Musik

PORT MORESBY - Sambra Aikit is a contemporary band formed in 2013 by creative arts and music graduates at the University of Papua New Guinea.

In January 2016, the Wantok Musik Foundation launched the inaugural Tony Subam Fellowship, established to honour the late Tony Subam, former member of the prominent PNG band Sanguma

The vibrant Sambra Aikit continues a long legacy of preserving traditional PNG sounds in modern western music and is ecstatic to have received this year’s fellowship.

Sambra Aikit was formed as a collection of like-minded students and it shares musical influences from popular Melanesian bands such as Sanguma, Tumbuna 84, Tambaran Culture, Tribal Chants, and Mosong.

Paying tribute to traditional Papua New Guinean music, Sambra Aikit strives to maintain its cultural roots in sound: intricately weaving Melanesian elements with contemporary music across the four tracks of their debut EP release, Motomse.

Continue reading "Sambra Aikit – music blending the traditional with the modern" »

Hell is the New Heaven

Wardley Barry
Ward Barry in full flight


She smiles and I die,
she speaks and I live,
the lady in purple and green
meriblouse and boots.
A virgin of preternatural specimen
– black with a tinge of gold.
She must have been
born of angels
given to earth to make
demigods like myself
                                                             much     further
from the apotheosis of mortality.

Hell has never tasted so much like heaven
than it is when she whispers in my ears.

‘Nautilus a risky deal’, former attorney-general warns investors

Amet_Sir Arnold
Sir Arnold Amet

MEDIA RELEASE | Deep Sea Mining Campaign

PORT MORESBY -  Former Papua New Guinea attorney-general Sir Arnold Amet has joined the growing opposition to Nautilus Minerals Solwara 1 deep sea mining project in the Bismarck Sea off New Ireland.

“It is understandable that Nautilus shareholders want to protect their own financial interests but new investors should beware, the Solwara 1 project is very high risk,” said Sir Arnold.

“The muddy puddle at the so-called test site at Motukea Island near Port Moresby is not fit for purpose.

“It will not provide any evidence that these machines won’t malfunction at the intended operating depth of 1.6 km. The hulks are already deteriorating in our tropical conditions.”

Canadian company Nautilus is still seeking funds for its flagship Solwara 1 deep sea mining project. Commercial operation has been delayed year after year since it received its licence to mine the floor of the Bismarck Sea in 2011.

Continue reading "‘Nautilus a risky deal’, former attorney-general warns investors" »

Overlooked laws prevent proper growth of informal economy

Gerehu Market, Port Moresby


PORT MORESBY - In Papua New Guinea most people believe the informal economy – like street, door-to-door and market vendors - operates without legislation or appropriate policies.

This is perhaps understandable since, in most places, informal economic activities are conducted in a chaotic and disorganised fashion.

And market inspectors and urban council rangers are mostly nowhere to be seen to ensure that relevant rules and regulations are complied with to protect the interest of the consumers and the public.

In their absence, police reluctantly step in to sort out problems, often using heavy-handed tactics.

This has led to controversial and sometimes fatal incidents with police officers falling victim to the wrath of disgruntled vendors and vendors losing saleable items worth thousands of kina as a result of retaliation by police.

Continue reading "Overlooked laws prevent proper growth of informal economy" »

Cheap fatty meat is blamed for Pacific diabetes epidemic

Lamb flapsMICHAEL MORRAH | Newshub

AUCKLAND - Health specialists say sugary food as well as fatty meat from New Zealand are contributing to a diabetes epidemic in the Pacific.

The foods include high-fat Kiwi corned beef, biscuits and sugary soda.

Imported processed food inundate supermarket shelves in the Pacific, while junk food adverts even appear at school.

"There's a consensus here that there's a crisis when it comes to non-communicable diseases as a result of poor diet in the Pacific Islands,” said Associate Professor Dr Jacqui Webster, from the George Institute for Global Health.

Many Type 2 diabetes patients end up in surgery to remove cataracts after losing their vision.

Continue reading "Cheap fatty meat is blamed for Pacific diabetes epidemic" »

Awakening to LBGTIQ - experience, disagreement & acceptance


BRISBANE – Walking into the State Library Queensland early one morning in September this year, I made a beeline for the elevator that would take me to the Green Room of the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Despite being well ahead of the suggested 45 minutes arrival time, the weight of the day and our Papua New Guinean women writers presentation had me flustered.

I hadn’t even thought that I might transit into the same confined space and breathe the same air as writing royalty, in this case the author and journalist Benjamin Law (The Family Law and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East).

Floundering in panic at the sight of brilliance and Law’s pleasant and boyish smile, I catastrophised; eventually managing a delayed, goofy grin.

Continue reading "Awakening to LBGTIQ - experience, disagreement & acceptance" »

Wheels of justice turn slowly for Philip Siaguru

Philip Siaguru


CORRUPTION, as we all know, is a huge problem in Papua New Guinea, draining billions of kina from the government purse and depriving basic services of vital funding.

While there have been some heartening instances of high-profile public figures being brought to justice in recent times, Eremas Wartoto and Paul Tiensten are obvious examples, these cases are all too few and far between and represent nothing but a tiny needle in a giant haystack.

There are still far too many high profile figures who seem to be beyond the law, think Michael Somare and his role in the Singapore bribery scandal for example, while for others, the wheels of justice seem to roll all too slowly.

Philip Siaguru is one who seems to fit this latter category. It has recently been announced the former high-profile Vice Chancellor for the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) in East New Britain, has been arrested and charged with fraud.

Continue reading "Wheels of justice turn slowly for Philip Siaguru" »

Rosalyn Evara, prominent journalist, dies suddenly aged 41


NOOSA – Rosalyn Evara, a senior journalist who was business editor of the Post-Courier newspaper, has died suddenly in Port Moresby.

Ms Evara collapsed at her home and was pronounced dead after being rushed to Port Moresby General Hospital.

Rosalyn Albaniel Evara was 41 and had been the long-serving bureau chief for the Post-C ourier in Madang.

“It is a shocker to us all,” said the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Todagia Kelola. “It is a sudden and great loss for the Post-Courier and the media industry in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Rosalyn Evara, prominent journalist, dies suddenly aged 41" »

Papua New Guinea and democracy – it was never going to work


TUMBY BAY - The Papua New Guinea that I knew in the 1960s and 1970s bears little resemblance to the Papua New Guinea of today.

Outwardly the physical appearance has not greatly changed, the towns are bigger and busier as the world over, but the rural areas are still remarkably familiar. So too are the ordinary people.

Where the real difference lies is the way the country runs, the way it operates, the way it gets things done or in many cases not done.

That’s a simplistic summary, it’s much more complicated than that, but one conclusion many people make is that the time before was much better than the time now.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea and democracy – it was never going to work" »

Australia’s election to UN human rights council blasted

Human rights KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA –Australia’s elevation this week as one of 15 countries elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council has occurred despite strident criticism – including from the UN itself - of the country’s harsh treatment of refugees in Manus and Nauru.

A coalition of Australian organisations has accused Australia of “backsliding” on human rights, a slap in the face for a nation that once ranked in the top echelon of defenders of both individual freedom and fair and compassionate treatment of people in need.

A recent Fairfax poll showed nearly one-third of Australians believe human rights to be under threat in Australia (table) and today Australia is expected to be grilled by an expert UN committee over its human rights record.

Continue reading "Australia’s election to UN human rights council blasted" »

Taking the risk – the battle of PNG's political strategists

Pangu logoSYLVESTER GAWI | Graun Blong Mi (My Land) | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Pangu Pati's move to join the Peoples National Congress (PNC)-led coalition under prime minister Peter O'Neill has spurred widespread criticism from its supporters nationwide.

Pangu leader Sam Basil had campaigned against the O'Neill government over the last five years with allegations of mismanaging the economy and a pending arrest warrant over the Parakagate saga.

While O'Neill may have welcomed the move to the government by Basil and 13 of his members, several PNC members and its coalition partners are fazed by Pangu's move.

Pangu is now the second biggest party in the government coalition and one minister has lost his job to accommodate Basil as a minister while two new vice-ministries have been created.

Continue reading "Taking the risk – the battle of PNG's political strategists" »

PNG’s dangerous complacency on private sector credit growth

The Bank of Papua New Guinea building in Port Moresby

PAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics | Edited

Read the full article, complete with tables, here

CANBERRA – The Bank of Papua New Guinea - the central bank - is failing the PNG people in its dangerously complacent view on appalling credit growth rates to the private sector.

The latest BPNG policy statement estimates private sector credit growth at 2.5% in 2017. It then states: “The bank considers the projected growth in monetary aggregates sufficient to support the growth in the non-mineral private sector” (emphasis added).

However, 2.5% is much less than BPNG’s forecast of inflation of 6% in 2017 – so there is actually less real money available. Real credit growth is actually a negative 3.5%.

Continue reading "PNG’s dangerous complacency on private sector credit growth" »

Revealed to the world: The grumpy old men of PNG Attitude

Ugly Head
Phil - has survived long-term exposure to grumps reasonably intact


GRUMPY BAY - One of the hidden delights of PNG Attitude over the years has been the contributions of articles and comments by a venerable coterie of grumpy old men.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned grumpy old women. I’m sure they exist but I’m not sure I really want to go there. Call me sexist or cowardly but there are some possums not worth poking with a stick. So back to the men.

They are, of course, a fairly elite group. You don’t become a grumpy old man unless you’ve earned it. You have to be able to exhibit the scars of battle to gain membership. Not even bribery will get you there.

So what makes this band of brothers so unique?

I think Chris Overland, himself a fine example of the genre, defined it quite well when he said: “Sixty or more years of experience can confer a degree of wisdom and, unless you are truly delusional, you mostly see the world as it is, not as you might wish it to be.

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How the central bank is killing growth in an ailing PNG

PaulPAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics | Edited extracts

Read Paul's complete description and analysis here

CANBERRA - The good news is that Papua New Guinea’s inflation rate is falling. And good progress continues on financial inclusion initiatives and technical improvements in the banking system.

The bad news is that the September 2017 monetary policy statement by the Bank of PNG (BPNG) – the central bank - is the worst for more than a decade.

It is out of touch with the economic pain being felt by many people and businesses in PNG. Even worse, it tries to cover up its contribution to that pain.

There are three major deficiencies in this statement. The next three articles will deal with one major deficiency at a time as each is substantive and somewhat technical. 

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The endangered poetry project: preserving the poetic tradition


 You can read the complete article here 

LONDON - “They fly to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and there they take a bus for three days and then they hike over a mountain and then they take a canoe and then they get to this little bay with 300 people.”

It’s the stuff of Indiana Jones – but rather than seeking out a treasure hidden in the jungle, the aim of this journey is to collect voices.

And the people venturing into some of the world’s most remote places aren’t hardened adventurers carrying whips.

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We came seeking your help; you denied our liberty & tortured us

We came seeking help
Introduction to the letter sent by Abdul Aziz Adam & signed by 500 refugees

ABDUL AZIZ ADAM | A Manus Refugee

Alison von der Borch lives in Australia and has familys ties to Papua New Guinea through a great-uncle who worked in the Wau area as a doctor in the 1930-40s. Alison has written to PNG Attitude:

“With the Manus detention centre closing in just a few weeks, I fear the tension this will create between the locals and the people Australia transported there.

“Although there are many kind locals and some friendships have been created, overall nothing has been done to facilitate any understanding between the two groups. There is great fear on both sides.

“I received the following letter from Abdul Aziz Adam, a friend on Manus, a very smart guy, Sudanese speaks seven languages. This was a collective effort written on Manus by refugees. It had 500 signatures attached to it.”

LOMBRUM, MANUS - To the people in authority over the treatment of refugees. To PNG prime minister, the attorney general, parliament members, PNG police, royal PNG constabulary chief justice of PNG.

We have been held in your country against our wishes and have been denied our Liberty and have been tortured in your country.

We came to Australia for seeking Asylum. Australia has signed the 1951 UN refugee convention, however they deliberately broke it and have not offered us Asylum. The UN, UNHCR, Amnesty International, Save the Children, HRW and many other organisations have rebuked Australia's treatment of us here in Manus detention centre.

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Embassy official’s kidnap poses serious questions for APEC

POM roadblock
Police roadblock in Port Moresby


NOOSA - The robbery and kidnapping of a United States official in Port Moresby this week could emerge as a signal event for Papua New Guinea’s crime-ridden capital.

Especially as the crime occurred at a police roadblock and may have been carried out by a plain clothes officer.

Many organisations employing expatriate staff in Port Moresby lay down stringent rules around their employees’ movements in the city.

These include using personal security devices, vehicle mounted duress alarms, protection details to shadow cars deployed at night and, of course, personal bodyguards.

In this case, it seems the official had none of these available and, when he was held up at the police roadblock, was compelled to hand over his cellphone and watch.

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Nautilus says it’s on track for seafloor mining operation

Community leaders witness developments at Motukea
New Ireland leaders witness trials at Motukea Island

INVESTOR RELATIONS | Globe Newswire | Edited

TORONTO - Nautilus Minerals has provided an update on the status of its seafloor production system to be used by Nautilus and its partner, Eda Kopa (Solwara) at the Solwara 1 Project site, in the Bismarck Sea off New Ireland.

It will be the world’s first seabed minimg operation.

“The company is pleased by the progress that continues to be made with the construction, trialling and delivery of the seafloor production system,” said Nautilus CEO Mike Johnston.

“The system remains on track for initial production during the first half of 2019, subject to further financing.”

Submerged trials have been completed at the trial facility in Motukea Island in Port Moresby. The results indicate the machine can perform to design specifications.

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Beyond the euphoria: PNG has world’s highest rate of oral cancer

Buai chewerKATHLEEN PRIOR | BBC News | Extracts

Read the full story, with its graphic images, here

PORT MORESBY - In Papua New Guinea, the popularity of the psychoactive betel nut is on the rise. With mouth cancer rates soaring, the nation is struggling to control its growing addiction.

Once reserved for sacred events, now almost half of Papua New Guineans chew betel nut.

It is common for children as young as six to chew it, and addicts admit using the drug every day from morning to night.

The chewing of betel nut, the seed of the Areca palm, is common across Asia and the Pacific.

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Teach for Tomorrow upgrades 377 more teachers in New Ireland

Two graduates from New Ireland Province
Two newly upgraded teachers celebrate their graduation

TESS GIZORIA | Kokoda Track Foundation

NAMATANAI - 377 elementary teachers from across New Ireland Province gained their certificates of elementary teaching last Thursday in the Teach for Tomorrow project.

The project is an initiative of the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF), PNG Education Institute and New Ireland Provincial Department of Education.

The certificate enables partially trained teachers – some 7,500 across Papua New Guinea – to meet the government’s new minimum qualifications required of elementary teachers.

Without additional certification, the teachers would no longer be employable on the government’s payroll, putting at risk the schooling of 225,000 students.

Generously funded by Newcrest Mining Limited, the James Family Foundation and the New Ireland Government, the skills and knowledge training was delivered over six weeks in facilities hosted by the Kimaden and Katedan communities in Namatanai.

New Ireland is the seventh province in which KTF has delivered this training which has involved 1,629 teachers in Oro, Gulf, Milne Bay, Morobe, Manus, New Ireland and Bougainville.

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The year of MWTE – the story of a successful project

Rashmii at the book launch
Rashmii Bell launches 'My Walk to Equality' in Brisbane, March 2017


Download the 'My Walk to Equality' Project Report here

BRISBANE - In September of 2016, a group of Papua New Guinean writers was invited to participate in a panel event at the Brisbane Writers Festival facilitated by the Paga Hill-McKinnon Fellowship, an initiative of PNG Attitude.

Three male writers and I presented an overview of the current state and directions of Papua New Guinean literature.

As we did so, audience members highlighted the potential of nation-driven literature to provide authentic insights and widening the lens through which PNG is viewed internationally.

Particular reference was made to indigenous writer telling more of the nation’s ‘positive stories’, especially by women

It has been the common trend that international media report stories from PNG that centre around issues of governance, infrastructure and societal breakdown coupled with the ongoing reliance on foreign intervention to address problems.

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PNG education leaders complete Australian fellowship

TESS GIZORIA | Kokoda Track Foundation

PNG Fellows
The education leaders who completed their professional development program in Port Moresby last week

PORT MORESBY - Ten Papua New Guinean education leaders last week completed a professional development week as part of an international award offered by the Australian government.

The Australian Awards Fellowship enabled the Fellows to deepen and broaden their links with leading academics from Western Sydney University and its partners in the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF).

The fellowship focus was to improve teacher training in Papua New Guinea to enhance the education of children and young people with disabilities.

Fellows were in Sydney from 18 June to 14 July involved in high quality networking and professional development activities to promote inclusive education practices and the transfer of these to PNG.

Last week, the Fellows met in Port Moresby to share the findings of their research projects which had been planned in Australia and implemented on their return home.

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Former BCL managing director Paul Quodling dies


Paul & Pam Quodling
Paul Quodling with wife Pam shortly before his retirement in 1987

BRISBANE - PAUL Quodling OBE, who was associated with the development and operations of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) for 20 years, has died aged 90.

Mr Quodling entered the mining industry in 1956 with Rio Tinto and in 1966 was appointed to the project team responsible for the feasibility work on the Panguna project.

He and his late wife Pamela moved to Arawa in 1971 as the mine moved into its operational phase.

Quodling held senior positions in administration and community relations before his appointment as general manager in 1977 and managing director in 1982.

Shortly before his retirement in 1987, Quodling was awarded an OBE for his outstanding service to commerce, public and community affairs.

“Paul was instrumental in making BCL at the time one of the world’s leading mining operations,” said BCL chairman Robert Burns.

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Yokomo may ride again in the virtual world of the 21st century

Yokomo & the Beatles  June 1967
Yokomo & Omokoy meet the Beatles, PNG School Paper, June 1967


You can visit the Library for All website here

NOOSA – A Papua New Guinean schoolkids literary hero may make a return after 50 years if an organisation dedicated to making books accessible to everyone has its way.

Library for All, a non-profit organisation operating in Cambodia, Mongolia, Rwanda, Congo and Haiti, funded by World Vision and other agencies, is keen on including the fictional character Yokomo in a suite of offerings now being developed for Papua New Guinea.

Yokomo, a clownish figure who always seemed to triumph despite the odds, proved to be a big hit with school students and is still recalled with affection and humour.

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