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54 posts from June 2021

Powes Parkop is right: privatise PNG Power

Port Moresby blackout (PNG Loop)
Port Moresby blackout (PNG Loop)

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - For three consecutive weeks, electricity in Papua New Guinea’s capital has blacked out in the evenings.

But this is not unusual for Port Moresby, a city dubbed ‘one of the least livable cities in the world’ by The Economist intelligence unit’s Global Liveability Index in the same week.

Continue reading "Powes Parkop is right: privatise PNG Power" »


A very pleasant Monday’s drive indeed

Isaac from Kongara-Kerei  Patrick  my island clansman and Bariona from Darutue
Isaac from Kongara-Kerei;  Patrick my island clansman; and Bariona from Darutue who prepared a dozen old fern tree posts (kusinai) with his volleyball team boys

SIMON PENTANU MP

KIETA - After spending most of Sunday at sea, the drive to South Nasioi on Monday was a welcome change, travelling past Marai as far as Darutue on the road to Kongara in the foothills of Mt Takuang, the second highest mountain on Bougainville.

The dirt road was rough, in parts atrociously so but still trafficable. Never mind, however, the scenery at slow pace more than made up for the bumpy ride.

Continue reading "A very pleasant Monday’s drive indeed" »


Our politicians are corrupt, say Australians

Political_IntegrityKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Papua New Guineans are not alone. More than half of Australians think corruption is commonplace amongst their politicians.

This has been revealed in an Australia Talks national survey commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in which 60,000 Australians were asked about their lives and what keeps them up at night.

Continue reading "Our politicians are corrupt, say Australians" »


Biloela 4: immorality, cruelty, racism, scams

BiloelaKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Australian government has been in real disarray recently as it struggles with the case of asylum seekers Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two Australian-born daughters, Kopika and Tharnicaa, whose plight again became a matter of great public concern.

The latest drama involving this family occurred when four-year old Tharnicaa became seriously ill and, accompanied by her mother, was flown to Perth after pneumonia turned into sepsis and there were fears she might otherwise die.

Continue reading "Biloela 4: immorality, cruelty, racism, scams" »


Annie’s story: Escape from abuse

Annie at Vision City -
Annie at Vision City - “Archie was only 12 and still needed me, but he gave me the courage to escape from my abusive husband”

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – Archie Iso Kundal loves his mother very much but, as a small child, was frequently distressed to see his abusive father, Ismael, habitually beat her.

The two small boys would often see their mother lock herself in a room and cry while nursing her wounds.

So one day Archie told his mother to escape, return to her people at Kerema and not come back to Wabag until he and his brother Victor were old enough to defend her.

Continue reading "Annie’s story: Escape from abuse" »


A most readable novel connects two worlds

John Kuri and daughters
John Kuri (Kamnguru Nem) and daughters. A novel that takes the reader into the complex world of Melanesians before the arrival of Western influence

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Porugl: Son of the Underworld by Kamnguru Nem, Independently published, 183 pages. ISBN: 9798520442332. Available from Amazon Australia, ebook $25.94, paperback $42.83

TUMBY BAY - A gigl ambu is a female spirit who lives in the underworld and travels at night into the outerworld, where humans live, to secretly forage for food.

The underworld is ruled by an ancient serpent, Kerwanba. Among her subjects are spirits, dwarfs and the mysterious smoking makan nem who act as landlords.

Continue reading "A most readable novel connects two worlds" »


A beautiful book, long in the making

Mutiny on the 37th (Rob Barclay)
Mutiny on the 37th - an illustration from 'Cannibals, Conflict and First Contact' by Rob Barclay

ROB BARCLAY

BLACKBURN, VIC - Cannibals, Conflict and First Contact is my illustrated adventure memoir of a New Guinea patrol officer spanning 21 years from 1958 to 1979.

From the early 1900s to Independence in 1975, New Guinea was Australia’s only colonial experience.

Australia was determined to ‘do it right’, evolving initiatives that were widely copied by other colonial powers as a textbook study of how to bring primitive peoples into the modern world with a minimum of trauma.

Continue reading "A beautiful book, long in the making" »


We need rationality in our leaders

Solar systemCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Religion, by its very nature, requires that the faithful accept supernatural explanations for events in the material world in which we all live.

Consequently, religion frequently is irrational, anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.

In its more extreme forms it offers sociological and political ideas - like those of the Pentecostal movement - that are disguised as religious insights, hence the notion that becoming wealthy is a sign of God's favour.

Continue reading "We need rationality in our leaders" »


State, church & the Adventists

Alfred Kranz
Pastor Alfred Kranz (1900-93) was a respected church leader who in World War II persuaded the Australian government to recognise the legitimacy of his students

PETER KRANZ

MORRISET - It is true, as Phil Fitzpatrick has written, that that Seventh Day Adventists are socially and politically conservative.

It should be recognised, though, that much moderation of their worldview has taken place since the 1970s, when several theological disputes rocked the church.

They generally do not get involved in politics believing in the separation of church and state.

Continue reading "State, church & the Adventists" »


The religious nutters who govern us

Scott Morrison
Prime minister Scott Morrison's Pentecostalism worries many Australians because of its extreme theology

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Both the Australian and Papua New Guinean constitutions contain sections related to the separation of the state and religion.

Section 116 of the Australian constitution is very explicit. It says:

“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

Continue reading "The religious nutters who govern us" »


Western posturing & global white privilege

Chandran Nair -
Chandran Nair - "Instead of being captive to an idealised vision of the West, the rest of the world is waking up to Western narratives, fallacies and weaknesses"

CHANDRAN NAIR
| South China Morning Post

HONG KONG - The West’s disingenuous position on Israel and its coordinated attacks on China have blown the cover of the liberal narratives it uses to hide a postcolonial, imperialist agenda.

Its hypocrisy has been further exposed by its hoarding of coronavirus vaccines and the systemic racism that prompted the Black Lives Matter protests and fuelled attacks on people of Asian descent.

Continue reading "Western posturing & global white privilege" »


‘What words dear God / Dear God, what words’

Michael Dom -
Dr Michael Dom - "I like to meet poems one by one. Carefully. Because each one is extracted from someone else's meaning. And everyone has a shadow of madness seeping through them"

MICHAEL DOM

LAE - It's considered axiomatic that ‘words have meaning’, by that I think it is meant that words are used to express real emotion, and not just that words have definitions.

Words here also infer partial and whole sentences, phrases and dialogue.

But I don't think that's the case at all.

Continue reading "‘What words dear God / Dear God, what words’" »


What you can expect in the 2022 elections

Laveil electionMAHOLOPA LAVEIL
| Lowy Interpreter

WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea will conduct its tenth national election in 2022. A by-election last week for the Port Moresby North West electorate provides a preview of what to expect next year.

In PNG, a by-election is required when a vacancy occurs more than a year before the issue of writs for the next election.

Continue reading "What you can expect in the 2022 elections" »


The times they are a’changin'

PNG-Supreme-CourtDANIEL KUMBON

FICTION - Ambassador Akali Wakane – The Old Man – had long been a respected figure in Papua New Guinea but now he had become an instant hero, a household name in every settlement in Port Moresby and throughout the country.

Talk of his Supreme Court victory in the Old Dairy Farm land appeal had travelled fast, and around the streets and villages he had become known as ‘Rabinhat’- the man who took from the rich man and gave to the poor man.

Continue reading "The times they are a’changin'" »


Regarding the perfect Melanesian gentleman

The late Sir Buri and Dame Carol Kidu
The late Sir Buri Kidu, with his wife Dame Carol Kidu, is considered to have exemplified the Melanesian gentleman - ""Quiet, but confident with his profession / An honest expression and eyes that don’t lie"

MICHAEL DOM

LAE – It is my observation that true Papua New Guinean gentlemen respond with quiet confidence, not in brash retaliation.

In 2016, writing to encourage creative and intellectual contributions to the theme of 'The Perfect PNG Gentleman', I wrote:

The article was inspired by the prose poem 'Perfect Gentleman' by Dolorose Atai Wo'otong, which is good to reflect upon in the current situation relating to the University of Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Regarding the perfect Melanesian gentleman" »


Violence: Driven by men with fragile egos

MN
Martyn Namorong

MARTYN NAMORONG
| First published in PNG Attitude, March 2011

PORT MORESBY - Apart from the ‘f’ word, what is the most common explicit used by Papua New Guineans? It is the Pidgin ‘k’ word that refers to the vagina.

Heterosexual intercourse is described in Pidgin as kilim pik [kill a pig] or pasim sua [dress a wound].

It is an everyday experience to hear these descriptive terms on the streets of this nation.

Continue reading "Violence: Driven by men with fragile egos" »


K268 heist: lawyer Greg Sheppard charged

Gregory James Sheppard
Gregory James Sheppard - charged in relation to K52 million of missing funds of K268 million

NEWS DESK
| PNG Bulletin Online | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Members of the Special Police Forensic Criminal Investigation Team arrested prominent lawyer Gregory James Sheppard of Young & Williams Lawyers in Port Moresby last week.

Sheppard was taken to Boroko Police Station, interviewed and charged with two counts of misappropriation and another two counts of money laundering in relation to his alleged direct involvement in the transfer of funds amounting to K52 million.

Continue reading "K268 heist: lawyer Greg Sheppard charged" »


Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled

John Gorton -
Australian prime minister John Gorton Gorton decided to proceed to self-government in PNG despite the economic implications for Australia"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Documents on Australian Foreign Policy: Australia and Papua New Guinea: The Transition to Self-Government 1970-1972, Bruce Hunt and Stephen Henningham (eds.), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UNSW Press, 2020, 932 pp, eBook (ISBN: 9781742249681), AU$55.51, hardback (ISBN: 9781742237176) AU$89.99, available from New South Books

TUMBY BAY - This impressive volume is the second in a series of three. The first volume published in 2006 covered the period 1966-1969*. The third volume, covering the period 1973-1975, is scheduled for publication in 2022.

The three volumes will no doubt become an important primary source for historians and other professionals but should also be of interest to the readers of PNG Attitude who wish to understand what happened in those formative years.

Continue reading "Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled" »


Do good men still live at UPNG?

Safe UPNGMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - Drunkard students sexually assaulted a female student at the University of Papua New Guinea and on Monday 7 June the female students protested against sexual harassment, which is an ongoing issue.

They hosted a forum at the UPNG Forum Square to address the issue. The media present to cover the story were attacked and chased by the male students who didn’t want them to cover the meeting, ironically stating that it would portray a bad image of the institution.

Continue reading "Do good men still live at UPNG?" »


Toroama on strategy, independence & challenge

Ishmael toroama portrait
Ishmael Toroama - “Corruption or perceptions of corruption continue to be a major stumbling block to the government"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama this week briefed the autonomous province’s House of Representatives on the “important work of independence readiness” on which his administration has embarked.

He said the program is based on the 97.7% referendum vote for Bougainville independence and comprises three key strategies.

Continue reading "Toroama on strategy, independence & challenge" »


The PNG disease: Capitalism doesn’t care

CapitalismARTHUR WILLIAMS

CARDIFF, UK – I would suggest that the disgraceful eviction of 2,000 people from the ATS settlement is merely the symptom of a Papua New Guinea 'disease'.

Namely, that over the last 100 years, hundreds of businesses have fastened onto the money-making teat that a capital city, in this case Port Moresby, always engenders.

Continue reading "The PNG disease: Capitalism doesn’t care" »


How poetry helps us express feelings

MARIA TAKOLANDER
| The Conversation

MELBOURNE - Poetry has made something of a comeback in popular culture, thanks to America’s Amanda Gorman, who read her performance poems at a presidential inauguration and this year’s Super Bowl. Gorman has been described as bringing poetry to the masses.

However, when it comes to the mainstream, poetry has long been hiding in plain sight. Gorman’s spoken-word performances, which have been compared to hip hop, drew attention to poetry in music lyrics. But poetry is also visible in movies and on TV.

Continue reading "How poetry helps us express feelings" »


Male students turn nasty at UPNG protest

UPNG female students protest
UPNG female students protest against sexual harassment on campus (Charlie Dumavi - PNG Bulletin)

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – A mob of angry male students has disrupted a protest and threatened women objecting to sexual harassment at the University of Papua New Guinea.

The male mob also physically harassed and abused media workers covering the event.

For many years, female students have experienced persistent sexual harassment on UPNG’s Waigani campus.

Continue reading "Male students turn nasty at UPNG protest" »


A history of the Western Highlands

Landscape around Mt Hagen (Gudmundur Fridriksson)
Landscape around Mt Hagen (Gudmundur Fridriksson)

JOE KETAN
| Facebook

MOUNT HAGEN - I am pleased to report that we are about to complete the first phase of research on the history of the Western Highlands (including Enga and Jiwaka provinces).

The first phase involves library research, much of which is coming from the archives of the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen.

Continue reading "A history of the Western Highlands" »


After the rebellion, sweet peace - & Uluru

UluruDANIEL KUMBON

FICTION – As the crowd dispersed, The Old Man met with Fredric Farapo and his people in the middle of Independence Drive and Simon Kerowa drove the Governor Bird back to his accommodation at the Ela Beach Hotel.

The Old Man, Kerowa, Farapo and some compatriots who had planned the peaceful outcome would join him for dinner that evening.

Continue reading "After the rebellion, sweet peace - & Uluru" »


ATS & the complexity of land titles

The Port-Moresby-Hills
The hills of Port Moresby - waiting to be fought over

AG SATORI

PORT MORESBY – Two thousand people from Portion 695 of the ATS settlement are seeing their homes and gardens destroyed even as lawyers seek to determine whether further legal action may be possible.

It is not clear if the Papua New Guinea courts will allow an inquiry into how the ATS settlement titles were obtained in the first place.

Continue reading "ATS & the complexity of land titles" »


The big yellow excavator

Buk Bilong Pikinini students
Students from the Buk Bilong Pikinini School worried that their home has been removed by the developer.

BETTY WAKIA
| Ples Singsing | Edited

I interviewed some of the students who went to Buk Bilong Pikinini School on the ATS hillside. This is one of their stories. The girl’s name has been changed - BW

PORT MORESBY - It was a bright sunny day and Mekeme was reading a book at the Buk Bilong Pikinini School on the hillside of the ATS settlement.

As she sat on the school veranda, she saw a big yellow excavator come slowly down the hill towards her house.

Continue reading "The big yellow excavator" »


Polye's dramatic evidence to UBS inquiry

Don-Polye
Don Polye - about to spill the beans on the K4.2 billion UBS loan

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Former finance minister Don Polye has provided a stunning statement of evidence to the UBS Commission of Inquiry, now in its third year.

Led by former chief justice Sir Salamo Injia, the inquiry is investigating whether there was any corruption or impropriety in the PNG government obtaining a $1.2 billion (K4.2 billion) loan from the Union Bank of Switzerland in 2014.

Continue reading "Polye's dramatic evidence to UBS inquiry" »


The disgrace of the ATS settler eviction

ATS destruction
The destruction of ATS Portion 695 (@nayahamui)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – A stark report has revealed a humanitarian crisis developing at the ATS settlement in Port Moresby as long-standing residents are evicted.

A Twitter string from from Nayahamui Supowes (@nayahamui) estimates that 2,000 people have been displaced from Portion 695 of the settlement.

Continue reading "The disgrace of the ATS settler eviction" »


Lombrum contract awarded to Australian company

Lombrum
Artist's impression of the site of the upgrade works at Lombrum naval base - more boomerang aid

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Australian government says that Australia and Papua New Guinea’s security partnership has reached an important milestone with a contract for the redevelopment of Lombrum Naval Base awarded to Clough Australia.

According to Australia’s defence department, the contract will strengthen the PNG Defence Force capability to “protect PNG’s borders and maritime resources”.

Continue reading "Lombrum contract awarded to Australian company" »


Captain Happ & his New Guinea memento

Len Happ (R) of Park Ridge with local villager next to his fighter plane  Little Joe.
Captain Len Happ (right) with a fellow aviator and local villager alongside his fighter plane,  Little Joe, at Gusap

STAFF WRITER
| Chicago Daily Herald

CHICAGO - In the early phases of the Pacific War, Captain and operations officer Len Happ was based at Gusap Air Base, just south of Lae.

From the war zone in 1943, Happ sent a rare native tribal bow set with several arrows to his home in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Continue reading "Captain Happ & his New Guinea memento" »


Why our national integrity is suffering

Integrity
James Marape centre stage at the Transparency International integrity summit

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - The head of the Papua New Guinea’s National Fraud and Anti-Corruption (NFAC) Directorate, Mathew Damaru, didn’t mince words.

Last week he told a Transparency International summit that his directorate had been starved of funding.

Continue reading "Why our national integrity is suffering" »


China. First Daru. Then Queensland?

FlagsCHIPS MACKELLAR

WARWICK - The expansion of China’s influence into the Solomons, Vanuatu, Samoa and Kiribati is of increasing concern to us in Australia.

But it is as nothing compared to the mischief to happen if the Chinese move into Daru.

This is because Daru - together with its mud and mangrove neighbour, Bristow - is the only island in the Torres Strait which is part of Papua New Guinea.

Every other island is Australian territory.

Continue reading "China. First Daru. Then Queensland?" »


Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG

PNG landscape
The breathtaking landscape of PNG. In a nation where land is embedded in the soul, Norm Oliver spent his working life managing the volatile balance between its spiritual and economic values

ED BRUMBY

MELBOURNE – It is with enormous sadness that I heard the news of the passing of Norm Oliver – former Land Titles Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, basketball stalwart and a friend to so many people throughout the country.

A native of Tempe in Sydney, Norm was a draughtsman at the Sydney Water Board before joining the PNG Land Titles Commission in the early 1960s.

Continue reading "Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG" »


US warns Pacific about Chinese ‘coercion’

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken - “Economic coercion across the region is on the rise”

KATE LYONS
| The Guardian | Edited extracts

Link here to the full article

SYDNEY - The US secretary of state Antony Blinken has warned leaders of Pacific countries about “threats to the rules-based international order” and “economic coercion”, in what appears to be a veiled swipe at China’s growing influence in the region.

Blinken was addressing leaders and their delegates from 11 Pacific countries and territories including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Palau and Marshall Islands as part of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, which is held in Hawaii.

Continue reading "US warns Pacific about Chinese ‘coercion’" »


‘We’ll learn from you,’ PNG tells China

Soroi Eoe and Wang Yi
Foreign ministers Soroi Eoe (PNG) and Wang Yi (China) meet in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)

NEWS DESK
| Xinhua

GUIYANG – China’s State councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi has held talks with Soroi Eoe, Papua New Guinea’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade.

The meeting, held in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province, marked the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Continue reading "‘We’ll learn from you,’ PNG tells China" »


How colonial radio came to PNG

Nellie Exon (Lawrence)
Radio Rabaul's Nellie Exon, the first Tolai woman broadcaster

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The first government broadcasting station in Papua New Guinea, Radio Rabaul, was opened in a hurry in October 1961.

There were no adequate production, transmission and office facilities – a demonstration that there had been little planning behind the bold decision of the colonial Administration to enter the broadcasting field.

Continue reading "How colonial radio came to PNG" »


The threat to language & biological knowledge in PNG

Tree fern savanna in the Cromwell Mountains (RBG Kew)
Tree fern savanna in the Cromwell Mountains

ALFRED KIK et al
| US National Academy of Sciences

Edited extracts from ‘Language and ethnobiological skills decline precipitously in Papua New Guinea, the world’s most linguistically diverse nation’. Link here to the complete research article

WASHINGTON DC - When evaluated against a common set of extinction-risk criteria, the world’s 7,000 or so extant languages are even more threatened than its biological diversity.

Orally transmitted cultural knowledge may be threatened by similar forces. The majority of languages have relatively few speakers and nearly half of the world’s languages are considered endangered.

Continue reading "The threat to language & biological knowledge in PNG" »


China in the Pacific: We must do better

China 1JEFFREY WALL
| Online Opinion

BRISBANE - I am increasingly of the view that the plans by a Chinese state owned fishing company to build a port and ‘fisheries factory’ on Daru is part of a strategic plan by China to expand its Pacific presence, and influence.

Of course it is designed to irritate Australia, and undermine our influence in Papua New Guinea something China has most certainly given more focus as our relations with the Peoples Republic of China has deteriorated.

Continue reading "China in the Pacific: We must do better" »


The Old Man comes to the rescue

Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton  Kundiawa  2021
Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton.  Kundiawa,  2021

DANIEL KUMBON

FICTION - For millennia, land has been the lifeblood and spiritual amalgam of the Melanesian people.

Land. Much more than a possession to be traded. An ancestral bequest to the people, uniting the past with the future.

Brutal tribal wars were fought over the ownership of land. Countless numbers of people – both warriors and the innocent – lost their lives over land.

Continue reading "The Old Man comes to the rescue" »


Mama Tang (Mother Tongue)

Clothes1MICHAEL DOM

Mama tang
The hook
Long hangamapim
Your items of bilas
Is not missed
Until it's not there
At the pool showers
Na your bilas
Emi silip long floa 
And gets trod on
By other swimmers
Disregarded, made to look
Olsem pipia. Ragged.
Go ahead
Have your swim
When you're done
Bai yu painim 
Narapela trasis 
Long karamapim ass
Bilong yu na sem
Olsem na
In what language 
Will you excuse yourself
And the sem pipia
Taim kastam emi lus


More churches come out against casino

SlotQUINETH WANGORO
| Kalang FM

PORT MORESBY - Church members of the Body of Christ have joined the Catholic and other churches in expressing great concern about the government’s intention to build a casino in Papua New Guinea.

An agreement was signed last Friday by the National Gaming Control Board and Paga Hill Development for the construction of a casino at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.

Continue reading "More churches come out against casino" »


PNG just can't handle high-end gambling

CasinoSCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - Opening a large casino in Port Moresby is a dangerous and destructive move. The harm it will cause will be greater on our country will be more than the good it will supposedly bring.

We don’t need that kind of development. There is a time for it, but now is not that time.

Continue reading "PNG just can't handle high-end gambling" »