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79 posts from October 2020

How’s PNG’s new foreign policy going?

| Pacific Fellow | Young Australians in International Affairs | Edited

SYDNEY - After securing the confidence of parliament in May 2019, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape promptly announced a shift in the country’s foreign policy.

Marape declared that PNG would divert from its traditionally non-confrontational approach to international affairs and would assume a bold focus on forming new partnerships with regional neighbours and challenging historical dependencies.

Continue reading "How’s PNG’s new foreign policy going?" »

Cultural heritage in modern PNG

Andrew Moutu
Andrew Moutu discusses tabu, a traditional Tolai currency

| Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct

PORT MORESBY - The role of tradition and heritage in contemporary Papua New Guinea is a complex topic, and one that is commonly debated in communities and households throughout the country.

About a year ago an expert panel was gathered, together with an engaged audience, to voice a variety of perspectives on this subject at a public event, ‘Cultural Heritage in Modern PNG: Protecting Our Values’, at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Cultural heritage in modern PNG" »

The world’s forests under threat

| Transparency International

BERLIN - We take forests for granted. We forget they’re the reason we breathe, until they burn. We don’t know of all the ways they keep us safe, until we’re sick. We ignore how our way of life threatens them, until they're gone.

Forests are not spared by corruption: illegal logging, illicit wildlife trade, land grabbing and drug trafficking are some of the plagues that lead to critical deforestation, hampering efforts against the climate crisis and making agreed-upon carbon neutrality goals moot.

Continue reading "The world’s forests under threat" »

Hariap! Short story prize closes in 3 weeks


NOOSA - The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded each year for the best piece of unpublished short fiction of 2,000–5,000 words.

The closing date is Sunday 1 November (see below for more information and entry form).

So it’s time to take one of your unpublished short stories out of the file or get the keyboard smoking with your entry in the prize.

Continue reading "Hariap! Short story prize closes in 3 weeks" »

Marape spooked by Bougainville ‘feelgood factor’

Marape in Bougainville (Post-Courier)
James Marape in Bougainville last month (Post-Courier)

| ABC Pacific Beat | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - The overwhelming vote for independence in Bougainville, and now the election of a new president for the autonomous region, appears to have spooked Papua New Guinea's prime minister, James Marape.

He has raised the possibility of a change to the constitution to prevent any other PNG province from promoting the subject of independence or autonomy.

Continue reading "Marape spooked by Bougainville ‘feelgood factor’" »

Dramatic development change needed for PNG

Ship waits to load logs at Turubu Bay, East Sepik (The Oakland Institute)

| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea think tank and community advocacy group, Act Now!, has joined with Jubilee Australia and California’s Oakland Institute to publish a new report calling for an urgent change of course from PNG’s political leaders.

The report, From Extraction to Inclusion, analyses PNG’s economic and development performance since independence in 1975.

Continue reading "Dramatic development change needed for PNG" »

Frieda mine plan ‘disregards human rights'

| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute

PORT MORESBY - The plan for the largest mine in Papua New Guinea’s history carries a risk of catastrophic loss of life and environmental destruction and “appears to disregard the human rights of those affected”, according to United Nations officials.

In an extraordinary intervention, 10 UN special rapporteurs have written with “serious concerns” to the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, China, and Canada, as well as the Chinese state-owned developers of the gold, copper and silver mine proposed for the remote Frieda river in the country’s north.

Continue reading "Frieda mine plan ‘disregards human rights'" »


MBB cover‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) by Keith Jackson & Phil Fitzpatrick is about to come on sale in Australia. It’s a wonderful 320 page illustrated volume about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii. Unfortunately the book is not available in PNG.
But we have a plan.

If you buy a copy for yourself for just $60 (post & packing within Australia included), PNG Attitude will send one free to a Papua New Guinean wantok to read and share.

Step 1 – Transfer $60 to our bank account (Keith Jackson BSB 082-302 Account 50650-1355)
Step 2 – Send an email to Keith here letting him know your postal address

Marape, seeking 'stability', appoints Basil deputy

James Marape and Sam Basil
James Marape and his new deputy prime minister Sam Basil


PORT MORESBY – Davis Steven has been moved from his position as Papua New Guinea’s deputy prime minister to be replaced by Sam Basil, consolidating Basil's political career and retaining the national planning ministry.

In a document seen by PNG Attitude, no mention was made of Steven or why he has lost the country's second top job.

Continue reading "Marape, seeking 'stability', appoints Basil deputy" »

Sanguma, sangoma & the derivation of words

Sangoma - traditional healers of South Africa
Sangoma - traditional healers of South Africa


TUMBY BAY - Tok Pisin is an evolving language of such dynamism that it sometimes appears to be in a constant state of flux.

While there is still a core of basic words that underpins the language many of them have undergone multiple modifications so that their original source has become obscured.

Continue reading "Sanguma, sangoma & the derivation of words" »

Women’s business coalition focuses on leadership

Business Coalition for Women Newsletter

PORT MORESBY - This year our organisation has focused on expanding the support we can provide to encourage women in leadership.

We have done this by increasing varied training opportunities for women, they include our Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, the Senior Executive Women Program and the PNG Directorship Course, which we’ve partnered with reputable companies to provide.

Continue reading "Women’s business coalition focuses on leadership" »

Australia's PNG hand-out drops slightly to K1.2b

2020-21 budget papers (Lukas Coch  AAP)LISA CORNISH
| Devex | Edited extracts

CANBERRA — The Australian federal budget was revealed last night - after a six-month delay due to Covid-19 - and aims to spend big in an effort to boost jobs and economic growth.

Australia’s aid program will be $4 billion for the 2020-21 financial year, a boost of $304.7 million.

Papua New Guinea’s funding drops slightly from K1.3 billion to K1.2 billion.

Continue reading "Australia's PNG hand-out drops slightly to K1.2b" »

Elsie didn’t always do it sweet in league

Elsie Albert only started playing rugby league two years ago (NRL Photos)
Elsie Albert only started playing rugby league two years ago (NRL Photos)

| ABC | Pacific Beat | Extract

MELBOURNE - St George Illawarra Dragons recruit Elsie Albert considers herself lucky to have not had rubbish thrown at her by fans while playing rugby in her home country of Papua New Guinea.

The 24-year-old is the rugby-mad nation's first homegrown player to be picked up by an NRLW team, and is part of the squad named for today's first match of the season against the Sydney Roosters.

Continue reading "Elsie didn’t always do it sweet in league" »

Oz media stokes fears over PNG & China

| World Socialist Website | Extract

SYDNEY - The Australian media is working hand-in-hand with the government to demonise China’s so-called “interference” in the country’s political, economic and educational affairs.

It is also focusing on China’s involvement in the Pacific region, recently stoking fears over Beijing’s presence in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s former colonial possession.

Continue reading "Oz media stokes fears over PNG & China" »

We must change from extraction to inclusion

Extraction-inclusion-coverNEWS DESK
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - With the release of a new report today, Act Now!, Jubilee Australia, and the Oakland Institute, call for an urgent change of course from political leaders in Papua New Guinea.

The report, ‘From Extraction to Inclusion’, analyses the country’s economic and development performance since its independence in 1975.

Continue reading "We must change from extraction to inclusion" »

A rising tide of regional secessionism

| Modern Diplomacy

ATHENS - Secessionist tendencies in Indonesia’s province of West Papua have recently been attracting a great deal of attention from experts and human rights activists.

The main reason for the international criticism of the Indonesian authorities is human rights violations and the suppression of the fundamental freedoms of the indigenous people of West Papua.

Continue reading "A rising tide of regional secessionism" »

Police 'riddled with corruption': Kramer

| Guardian Australia | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s police force is the most corrupt public agency in the country, engaged in drug-smuggling, gun-running, and land theft, and beset by “a rampant culture of police ill-discipline and brutality”, its own police minister has said, in an extraordinary condemnation of his own force.

Police minister Bryan Kramer launched an attack on the police force, saying its endemic corruption would take years, even a generation, to eradicate. His statement follows a concession from the police commissioner, David Manning, that his force includes “criminals in uniform”.

Continue reading "Police 'riddled with corruption': Kramer" »

Working towards a digital revolution

| World Economic Forum

COLOGNY, SWITZERLAND - Papua New Guinea is one of the most challenging parts of the world to run a digital business. But this is changing.

Prime Minister James Marape is leading a digital transformation agenda that aims to harness the potential of technology to spur development and trade.

Continue reading "Working towards a digital revolution" »

Papua New Guinea patrol reports

Sir Peter Scratchley in Papua
In the early 1880s, Sir Peter Scratchley was sent to Papua to manage the affairs of this latest addition to British imperial interests. And so began the important practice of compiling patrol reports

| National Archives of Australia

CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea's patrol reports had their beginnings in 1885 and are credited to Sir Peter Henry Scratchley who, as well as establishing Port Moresby as the seat of government and administration of British New Guinea, also developed a plan for administration and land policy.

The administration plan involved establishing government stations along the coast. These were staffed by a government officer, whose tasks included establishing contact and developing friendly relations with the inhabitants of the area.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea patrol reports" »

Rio Tinto blamed for toxic Bougainville rivers

We live with the impacts of Panguna every day ” said Theonila Roka Matbob  local landowner and Bougainville education minister  pictured at the closed Panguna mine pit last year (Human Rights Law Centre)
"We live with the impacts of Panguna every day,” says Theonila Roka Matbob,  local landowner and Bougainville education minister pictured at the closed Panguna mine pit last year (Human Rights Law Centre)

| New York Times

DARWIN, Australia — The mining giant Rio Tinto has been accused of environmental and human rights violations in a complaint that says an abandoned mine is leaking waste and poisoning rivers on the island of Bougainville.

The claim, signed by 156 residents of the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, is seeking an investigation by the Australian government into what it calls Rio Tinto’s failure to clean up millions of tons of waste at the former Panguna copper and gold mine.

Continue reading "Rio Tinto blamed for toxic Bougainville rivers" »

First we control our destiny, says Toroama

Marape and Toroama
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama at Bougainville's presidential inauguration


NOOSA - In his inauguration address to the Bougainville House of Representatives, new president Ishmael Toroama revealed his leadership strategy, the first element of which is the autonomous province taking “political control of its own destiny”.

“We must be masters of our destiny, and we can only do this by putting our own ‘software’ into the structures and institutions we are going to build,” Toroama said, launching his five-year term as president of Bougainville’s 380,000 people.

Continue reading "First we control our destiny, says Toroama" »

Rio ready to talk on Panguna environment says BCL

Sir Mel Togolo - "Rio Tinto’s readiness to enter discussions is a positive development and BCL intends to play a constructive part”

| Bougainville Copper Limited

BUKA - Rio Tinto’s readiness to enter talks with key stakeholders about social and environmental issues arising from its prior operation of the Panguna mine, has been welcomed by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).

Rio Tinto was responding to a complaint brought by the Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of residents and communities in Bougainville and reportedly said it is ready to enter into discussions with those that have filed the complaint as well with BCL, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the PNG government.

Continue reading "Rio ready to talk on Panguna environment says BCL" »

UK explores sending asylum seekers to PNG

The controversial Manus refugee issue will not want to be stirred up again by the PNG and Australian governments


NOOSA – The United Kingdom government is considering asking Papua New Guinea and some other countries to accept asylum seekers.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the UK Foreign Office has been asked to “offer advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea and Nauru”.

Continue reading "UK explores sending asylum seekers to PNG" »

Patrolling the Maramuni with Graham Hardy

Aerial view of the new Maramuni road
Aerial view of the new Maramuni road


WABAG - Graham Hardy was posted to Wabag as a cadet patrol officer in 1954 and has recalled that period in an enthralling book, ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’, and in other writing, including a September 2015 article in Una Voce, the newsletter of the PNG Association of Australia.

It is clear that he, like former kiap and magistrate Chips Mackellar, developed a special affection for the people of Enga and related areas of the Papua New Guinea highlands.

Continue reading "Patrolling the Maramuni with Graham Hardy" »