Previous month:
January 2021
Next month:
March 2021

76 posts from February 2021

When I counted the authors, I gasped

Extract from the cover of the 2015 Crocodile Prize Anthology


NOOSA – PNG Attitude reader Susan Conroy has asked where in Australia may be found books by Papua New Guinean authors.

Unfortunately I, and others, had to inform Susan that no books by contemporary PNG authors are likely to be seen in Australia’s bookshops, and for that matter very few by some of the earlier celebrated authors.

Continue reading "When I counted the authors, I gasped" »

Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers

Edited by Keith Jackson

“To all my children across our beautiful and blessed country, have hope and faith that you too can make it in life and make use of your time and talents by working hard wherever God has placed you in our diverse and blessed land of PNG” – James Marape, ‘Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose’


WABAG - You know prime minister, your words are gold for children of this country. Your direct message can impact their lives at an early age.

Your words can get them off Facebook and get them into a library full of books.

Continue reading "Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers" »

Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?

Michael_Kabuni top
Michael Kabuni - asks how Bougainville electoral processes, so capable in the referendum of 2019, could be so questionable in last month’s regional election


| Academia Nomad | Edited

WAIGANI - Let’s begin with a quick summary of what this article is about.

Llane Munau last month was the lone female candidate contesting Bougainville’s regional election for a seat in Papua New Guinea’s national parliament.

Continue reading "Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?" »

Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’

Munau - Llane Manu
Llane Munau - Sought to become the first Bougainville woman to sit in PNG's national parliament

| Academia Nomad | Edited

WAIGANI - The Bougainville Regional seat represents the people of Bougainville in the Papua New Guinea parliament.

It was left vacant when the incumbent resigned to contest the Bougainville presidential election in 2019, making a by-election necessary.

Continue reading "Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’" »

Ahluwalia got too close to Fiji’s dark secret

Professor Pal Ahluwalia
Professor Pal Ahluwalia says his deportation is a case of  "let's to get rid of this man because he exposed too much corruption"

| The Pacific Newsroom

AUCKLAND - When the University of the South Pacific’s vice chancellor Pal Ahluwalia was hauled out of his Suva, Fiji, home last week and deported, it had nothing to do with his views on education or tertiary management.

With his wife and nursing lecturer Sandy Price they were driven across curfew-locked down Fiji to be put on a plane to Australia.

Continue reading "Ahluwalia got too close to Fiji’s dark secret" »

‘They beat up the whistleblower’: Ahluwalia

Professor Pal Ahluwalia (Samoa Observer)
Professor Pal Ahluwalia after his deportation from Fiji (Samoa Observer)


| Asia Pacific Report | Pacnews

AUCKLAND - Deported head of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, says his expulsion from Fiji is “a classic case of beating the whistleblower up,” and has vowed to continue in the role from Nauru. Samoa has also offered him a home.

In an interview with the Australian ABC’s Pacific Beat, Professor Ahluwalia has detailed his sudden arrest and deportation.

Continue reading "‘They beat up the whistleblower’: Ahluwalia" »

Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose


PORT MORESBY - This picture, circulated on Facebook recently, drew my attention compelled me to tell you of my experiences. Because if I can make it, you can too.

To all Papua New Guinean children, let me tell you my story. My own children know my story very well and know the reason why I am very strict with them so they understand they will need to work to earn a living and that nothing in life is given to them for free.

Continue reading "Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose" »

Allen Dulles, West Papua & the murder of JFK

Allen dulles and john kennedy
President John Kennedy and CIA director  Allen Dulles, who Kennedy fired in 1961. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963

Dissident Voice | Extract
| Link here to the full book review

JFK vs Allen Dulles: Battleground Indonesia by Greg Poulgrain, Skyhorse 2020, 368 pages. ISBN-10 1510744797. Kindle $19.04, Paperback $25.99 from Amazon here and other suppliers

MASSACHUSETTS, USA - Reading Greg Poulgrain’s masterful analysis, one can clearly see how much of modern history is a struggle for control of the underworld where lies the fuel that runs the mega-machine – oil, minerals, gold, copper, etc.

Continue reading "Allen Dulles, West Papua & the murder of JFK" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 4

Orion anchored outside the reef at the Tami Islands


Continuing my diary of a sea journey in October 2006 when I returned to Papua New Guinea for the first time in 30 years.

TAMI ISLANDS, SUNDAY – These islands, situated 13 kilometres south-east of Finschhafen, are best known for their great natural beauty and magnificent across-the-grain carvings which are traded as far south as the Trobriand Islands.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 4" »

‘Gestapo tactics’ against deported Fiji uni boss

Prof Pal Ahluwalia his wife Sandra Price escorted to their aircraft by Fiji officials at Nadi International Airport (Pacific Newsrooom)
Prof Pal Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price (waving) are escorted to their aircraft by Fiji officials at Nadi International Airport (Pacific Newsroom)

| Asia Pacific Report

SUVA - Staff, students and alumni of the University of the South Pacific have called on the Fiji government to immediately reinstate the work permit of vice-chancellor and president Professor Pal Ahluwalia, who was deported yesterday with his wife, Sandra Price.

The USP community also called on the government to issue a formal apology to Professor Ahluwalia for the violation of human rights.

Continue reading "‘Gestapo tactics’ against deported Fiji uni boss" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 3

Ingrid with Captain Peter Greenhow
Ingrid and Captain Peter ('Call Me the Driver') Greenhow find amusement in my struggle with a recalcitrant camera, MY Orion, 2006


My Papua New Guinea odyssey continues as, for the first time in 30 years, I set foot in Rabaul, the Sepik and Madang. It's my wife Ingrid's first contact with the country

BISMARCK SEA, THURSDAY - Orion wound her way out of Simpson Harbour yesterday evening on her way to the Sepik River.

Since our arrival in Rabaul early Monday, Tavurvur volcano has continued to belch a thick cloud of black ash which the prevailing south-easterly caused to drift remorselessly over Rabaul leaving the town, and us, grubby and sulphuric.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 3" »

Another PNG census risks failing

| DevPolicy Blog | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea plans to conduct its fifth national census in July this year.

The last census in 2011 was considered a failure.

This means that, if this census goes ahead, the 2021 census will be the country’s first chance in more than 20 years to gather complete socio-demographic information from across the country.

Continue reading "Another PNG census risks failing" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 2

Ingrid on the Uepi Track
Ingrid on the Uepi Track. Orion visited the Solomon Islands en route to Rabaul. We made the most of the opportunity


In October 2006, I returned to Papua New Guinea for the first time in 30 years. This is my diary of that journey on the motor yacht Orion

MAROVO LAGOON, FRIDAY - Jill and Grant Kelly have spent 25 years developing and then enhancing their small but exquisite resort on Uepi (you-pee) Island in the Western District of the Solomon Islands.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 2" »

‘Victory Song’ dedicated to a kiap wantok

John Gordon Kirby  Melbourne 2019
John Gordon-Kirkby was a kiap in Enga when he encountered Daniel Kumbon as a boy. After connecting on the internet in recent years, they have formed a great friendship


PORT MORESBY - Early this morning, I received a ‘thank you’ note from one of the kiaps (patrol officers) John Gordon-Kirkby, now aged 84, who had served in Enga Province up to the time of Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975.

A few days ago, John asked me to send him a dedication note with my signature on it so he could stick it somewhere in my new book, ‘Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter’, which he had just ordered.

Continue reading "‘Victory Song’ dedicated to a kiap wantok" »

Lurid attack again shows Indon racism

Natalius Pigai
Natalius Pigai - a prominent, outspoken and well-respected Papuan human rights activist and businessman

| Kurumbi Wone

CANBERRA - Natalius Pigai was born in Paniai, Papua, on 25 December 1975. He is a prominent Papuan human rights activist in Indonesia.

He has previously held several key positions in the country’s highest offices: special staff of the minister for manpower and transmigration ministry and one of 11 members of the National Human Rights Commission.

Continue reading "Lurid attack again shows Indon racism" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 1

MY Orion enters Cairns harbour
Orion enters Trinity inlet at Cairns, October 2006


In October 2006 (PNG Attitude had been born in February), I returned to Papua New Guinea for the first time in 30 years on the motor yacht Orion. This is my diary of that journey, slightly edited. To mark the fifteenth anniversary of this blog, I wanted to bathe myself in nostalgia and this short memoir of my rediscovery of a great country is my indulgence.

CAIRNS, SATURDAY - MY Orion berthed at Trinity Wharf in Cairns right on seven o'clock this morning after a passage from Darwin after she had cruised to the the Kimberleys and Timor.

Her raked bow and sleek lines gives Orion the most elegant appearance; and her diminutive size is perfect for expedition cruising and getting into lagoons and harbours that would defeat larger vessels.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 1" »

Plants that heal: the old folks know

| My Land, My Country

LAE - Our planet is filled with millions of plants with healing properties – some of which we are only starting to understand.

In Papua New Guinea, traditional healers and elders in our many cultures  are custodians of a lot of  that knowledge.

My maternal grandparents taught me a lot  about the healing properties of guava leaves, hibiscus, native gingers and cinnamon bark.

Continue reading "Plants that heal: the old folks know" »

Was Cannings’ Madang decision judicial overreach?

Bal Kama
Dr Bal Kama clarifies the unusual role accorded to PNG judges by the national Constitution

| Your Daily Press | Edited

CANBERRA - There are concerns about Justice David Cannings’ orders late last week for the Madang Provincial Administration and Madang District Development Authority to fix the roads in Madang.

Many say Cannings overstepped his role as a judge. But is that so? Arguably, the brief answer is ‘no’, based on the Papua New Guinea Constitution.

Continue reading "Was Cannings’ Madang decision judicial overreach?" »

Aaah, that highlands coffee....

Jerry Kapka at the Kongo Coffee factory
Jerry Kapka and a pensive Scott Waide at the Kongo coffee factory near Chuave

My Land,My Country

LAE - Two years  ago, we were passing through from Western Highlands and stopped by at Jerry Kapka’s coffee factory along the Chuave section of the highway.

Mr Kapka is the owner of Kongo Coffee, one of the biggest brands in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Aaah, that highlands coffee...." »

The beauty of the haus krai

Enga mourning
Simulation of an Enga mourning ritual (Daniel Kumbon)


SEATTLE, USA – Over the years, the haus krai [mourning rituals] concept has evolved and changed its spiritual framing.

Growing up in Enga, my first childhood experience of death was the loss of my second mother.

She had been confined in bed for several days from an illness. We had no access to medical assistance and she was unresponsive to the rituals administered.

Continue reading "The beauty of the haus krai" »

Old leaders must encourage young leaders

Young-leadersROBERT IKI LESO
| North-West By-Election 2021 | Edited

From Thomson Honga's Facebook page, which he describes as a “media platform designed to provide critical North-West by-election information and discuss development issues for the people of the North-West Electorate”, the seat formerly occupied by the late and greatly admired leader, Sir Mekere Morauta

ENGA - You can have lots of titles and positions but if you do not raise young leaders to take over, you could be something else and not the leader you claim.

Such people are puffed up with ego and pride. They are always insecure, sensitive and uncomfortable to share experiences, skills, talents and knowledge with the novices and younger generation.

Continue reading "Old leaders must encourage young leaders" »