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84 posts from July 2021

PNG must make people the centre of power

PeopleSTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS - Patrick Angrai’s article, Death of a Teacher, hit me hard too. Firstly sadness, then anger.

Death in childbirth, through lack of timely referral or resources, is so horribly common in rural settings and often goes unreported.

As Arthur Williams has said, how can this happen in such a resource rich country?

Continue reading "PNG must make people the centre of power" »


Back our independence mission: Toroama

Toroama addresses people at Buka's Bel Park after the Wabag leaders' meeting
President Toroama addresses people at Buka's Bel Park after the Wabag leaders' meeting

KEITH JACKSON

BUKA – Discussions were “tough”, Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has revealed after last week’s top level talks in Wabag with Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape.

Describing the leaders’ meeting in Wabag as “tough”, Toroama told a public meeting in Buka that Bougainville’s independence must be settled so the autonomous province can move forward.

Continue reading "Back our independence mission: Toroama" »


Dangerous young men

Phil Fitzpatrick at mic
Phil Fitzpatrick

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In her 2020 book, ‘The Motion of the Body Through Space,’ the contrarian writer and novelist, Lionel Shriver, has one of her characters observe “that men in their teens and twenties are the most dangerous creatures on earth”.

“They’re competing for mates, and trying to establish dominance in the male pecking order.

Continue reading "Dangerous young men" »


Writing in PNG: Kovave & beyond

BooksEVELYN ELLERMAN

In this second extract from ‘Learning to Be a Writer in Papua New Guinea’, Evelyn Ellerman writes of the emergence of student writers at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1967, which led to the development of a home-grown Papua New Guinean literature. Her paper was part of the University of Calgary’s ‘History of Intellectual Culture’ series. Link here to the complete paper - KJ

CALGARY - In the late 1960s, three principal publishing vehicles were associated with the University of Papua New Guinea's Literature Department.

Kovave, an in-house literary journal; Papua Pocket Poets, an in-house poetry series; and a number of externally published collections whose content was gleaned from the journal and the series.

Continue reading "Writing in PNG: Kovave & beyond" »


Death of a teacher

Jerolyn Arimbandai
Jerolyn Arimbandai

PATRICK ANGRAI
| My Land, My Country | Edited

JOSEPHSTAAL - Jerolyn Arimbandai was the only female teacher at the newly-established Catholic high school at Josephstaal in the Madang Province.

She was married to Steven Arimbandai, a Josephstaal man and also a teacher at the school. They had one child and were expecting their second.

Continue reading "Death of a teacher" »


How PNG's first literary blossoming arrived

Ulli Beier
Ulli Beier - "Drawing  upon nearly  15  years  of  pioneering  work  in  Nigeria,  he  had  some  notion  of  what  he  wanted  to  accomplish in PNG"

EVELYN ELLERMAN

In this extract from ‘Learning to Be a Writer in Papua New Guinea’, Evelyn Ellerman writes of the establishment of the Literature Department at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1967, which led directly to the development of the first shoots of a home-grown Papua New Guinean literature. Her important paper was written as part of the University of Calgary’s ‘History of Intellectual Culture’ series. Link here to Ellerman’s complete paper - KJ

CALGARY - Since so few Melanesians could read and write, the first admission to UPNG was relatively small: in 1966 only  55  students  registered.

Many  of  these  students  were  required  to  take  a  bridging  year  in  order  to improve  their  grasp  of  English.  A  handful  registered  for  the  literature  classes  and began  to  write.

Continue reading "How PNG's first literary blossoming arrived" »


A brief history of PNG literature, Part 2

Russel Soaba
Russel Soaba wrote the first Papua New Guinean novel written specifically for his own countrymen

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - It wasn’t until 1977 that a Papua New Guinean novel appeared that was targeted at Papua New Guinean readers, Russell Soaba’s Wanpis.

Wanpis (Tok Pisin for a person who is lonely or alone, like an orphan) is about identity and displays an angst that is quintessentially Papua New Guinean.

Continue reading "A brief history of PNG literature, Part 2" »


Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG

Lance Hill
Dr Lance Hill - "Goodwill, combined with diplomacy and devotion to the PNG environment, saw him through”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Adjunct Professor Lance Hill, who dedicated 38 years to his scientific career in Papua New Guinea, died in Cairns on 1 July aged 76. The cause of his death is unknown.

Dr Hill arrived in PNG in 1970, soon after the establishment of the University of PNG, as a senior tutor in biology.

Continue reading "Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG" »


A brief history of PNG literature, Part 1

BooksPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinea has a rich tradition of oral literature which exists to this day.

Vincent Eri’s work of 1970, The Crocodile, was the first novel by a Papua New Guinean, but it seems likely that the first book written by a Papua New Guinean came from the pen of the New Ireland writer, Ligeremaluoga (also known as Osea).

Continue reading "A brief history of PNG literature, Part 1" »


Australia tries to bluff world on human rights

Sophie-mcneill
Sophie McNeill

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Late last week the Australian branch of the global organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) delivered a statement to the United Nations.

The statement was pointed and candidly offered some home truths about how the Australian government treats refugees and its own Indigenous people.

Continue reading "Australia tries to bluff world on human rights" »


Bougainville was not meant to be easy

Malcolm-fraser-3
Malcolm Fraser, prime minister of Australia, 1975-83, popularised the maxim, 'Life wasn't meant to be easy'. The issue of Bougainville independence is a vexing one for all PNG politicians

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Martyn Namarong is quite correct in his commentary, Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG’, both in his analysis of the Bougainville dilemma and his discussion of the implications for Papua New Guinea.

Denying Bougainville independence would be a catastrophe for PNG; while granting it independence will inevitably open up fissures in the wider PNG polity.

Continue reading "Bougainville was not meant to be easy" »


Young poets leaving no blank pages in history

Dom
Michael Dom

MICHAEL DOM
| Ples Singsing

“Remote models require assimilation. You can learn from the past with little risk of merely aping it as you might ape your contemporaries, or the generation just before your own. A young poet impatient with the assumptions and styles of the present might look for springboards and encouragements in another time” - Robert Pinsky

LAE - Our ancients understood the power of poetry, even if it remained undefined to them.

Their dramatic life events and emotional responses were encapsulated in naïve poetic authenticity and released during their chants and dance, sung tales and oration.

Continue reading "Young poets leaving no blank pages in history" »


Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92

Maev O'Collins
Maev O'Collins - "Maev loved PNG, and this is seen in the many close friendships she developed over her years there"

MICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Emeritus Professor Maev O’Collins, an important person in the collective history of Papua New Guinea and Australia, has passed away in Canberra at the age of 92.

As well as Maev’s joyous and warm spirit, it was her relationships with many Papua New Guineans and her stories about her life and friends in PNG that are markers of the real friendship between the two countries.

Continue reading "Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92" »


Bougainville puts press in political crossfire

PC headline top
The headline that James Marape condemned as 'misleading'

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has been forced to state publicly that at no point has his government agreed to Bougainville independence.

Marape has attacked the PNG Post-Courier’s reporting of his Wabag meeting with Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama, stating that “in no part [of our joint statement] is Independence mentioned."

Continue reading "Bougainville puts press in political crossfire" »


Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG

Martyn Namorong -
Martyn Namorong - "PNG needs a new Constitution that recognises the different tribal nations and empowers them with their full rights to self-determination within a political union"

MARTYN NAMORONG
| PNG Signal

PORT MORESBY - Will Papua New Guinea break up if Bougainville is granted full independence?

For some PNG leaders the threat of balkanization has shaped their attitudes towards Bougainville leaving the union of 850 tribes.

One of them is prime minister James Marape, who recently pleaded with Bougainville's leaders to take into consideration PNG’s fate when deliberating on the matter.

Continue reading "Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG" »


Report calls for laws against witchdoctors

Glasmeri (witch-finder) recanting her accusations (Anton Lutz)
A glasmeri witch-finder repudiates her previous accusations against an alleged 'sorcerer'(Anton Lutz)

KEITH JACKSON

‘Sorcery accusation-related violence in Papua New Guinea: The role of glasman/glasmeri as catalysts of accusation and violence’ by Miranda Forsyth, William Kipongi, Anton Lutz, Philip Gibbs, Fiona Hukula & Ibolya Losoncz, Issues Paper 36, National Research Institute of PNG. July 2021. Link here to the full research report

PORT MORESBY – A National Research Institute report says many incidents of sorcery-accusation violence in Papua New Guinea are triggered by glasman or, less commonly, female glasmeri.

A glasman or glasmeri (witch doctor) is a person skilled in interpreting and using supernatural forces, including the identification of people who are sorcerers.

Continue reading "Report calls for laws against witchdoctors" »


Toroama to Marape: Get real on independence

Ipatas welcomes Marape
Enga governor Peter Ipatas welcomes prime minister James Marape to Enga Province for the Bougainville summit

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The second summit between prime minister James Marape and president Ishmael Toroama this week agreed that Bougainville’s quest for independence should be determined no earlier than 2025 and no later than 2027.

The top level Wabag talks also agreed there will be consultations throughout Papua New Guinea on the outcome of the 2019 Bougainville referendum, in which 98% of voters opted for independence for the autonomous province.

Continue reading "Toroama to Marape: Get real on independence" »


Please care about Port Moresby lawlessness

CrimeBARBARA ANGORO
| Duresi’s Odyssey

AUCKLAND - I read with great sadness and much anger and frustration about the death of a University of PNG student who was stabbed to death because he refused to hand over his phone to thugs.

Why? Why do such people think it’s OK to go around intimidating others for stuff they want?

Continue reading "Please care about Port Moresby lawlessness" »


The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith

Mal Kela Smith
Malcolm Kela Smith (PNGi). "Mal's response was furious and littered with profanities. Needless to say, my relationship with him ended acrimoniously"

WILL MUSKENS
| Ex Kiap Website | Edited

BARDON, QLD - The people who live along the Sepik River, who depend upon it for their livelihoods, are facing the fight of a lifetime.

The Chinese-owned Guangdong Rising through its subsidiary, PanAust, is seeking approval from the Papua New Guinea government to establish the Frieda River copper and gold mine.

Continue reading "The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith" »


Evicted sheriff died fighting for justice

Levi Kurakipa
Levi Kurakipa - a Sheriff of the Court who served Morobe Province for more than 30 years"

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country | Edited

LAE - His voice was as dynamic as it was the first time I met him, but he had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t doing well.

Levi Kurakipa was a man my reporting team and I came across while covering the evictions of longtime National Housing Corporation tenants in Lae.

Continue reading "Evicted sheriff died fighting for justice" »


Regulator: ‘We didn’t want to run casino’

The unfinished & abandoned Boroko casino (TIPNG)
The unfinished K200 million Boroko casino. Arguments continue on a project that went bust in 2011 (TIPNG)

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY - National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) chairman Clemence Kanau says the regulator never had aspirations to run Port Moresby’s casino.

Kanau also dismissed claims by failed Boroko Casino developer, South Korean company CMSS PNG, that it had met all the requirements to establish the casino.

Continue reading "Regulator: ‘We didn’t want to run casino’" »


We need a New Jerusalem

Jerusalem - West PapuaYAMIN KOGOYA
| Kurumbi Wone | Edited extracts

CANBERRA – When I came to Australia 20 years ago, I was gifted a book, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, written by an American academic, Ruth A Tucker.

I had been told that my fellow West Papuans and I were the people ones to receive the good news of Jesus. This book narrated how that happened.

Continue reading "We need a New Jerusalem" »


Australian saboteurs block vaccine, says China

Panda & Roo (Chen Xia)
Cartoon by Chen Xia in the Global Times

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - China has made the extraordinary claim that Australia has planted political operatives in Papua New Guinea to undermine China's vaccine cooperation with Pacific Island countries.

The English-language Global Times newspaper, published in Beijing, accuses Australian ‘consultants’ of manipulating PNG’s Covid prevention policies.

Continue reading "Australian saboteurs block vaccine, says China" »


PNG wants Japan-Pacific economic bubble

Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga
Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga speaking during the online 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM)

NEWS DESK
| Sunday Bulletin

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape wants Japan, Australia and New Zealand to establish an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries as part of the fight against Covid-19.

Marape made his appeal at Friday's 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting, which was held virtually.

Continue reading "PNG wants Japan-Pacific economic bubble" »


Further adventures in Tok Pisin

TopKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - My romp through Tok Pisin the other day brought some amusing embellishments from readers.

I've packaged these into this brief piece, along with other information about how you might pursue an interest in this most eloquent language.

When Phil Fitzpatrick returned to Papua New Guinea in 1997, more than 20 years after he had finished his service as a kiap (patrol officer), he worked in oil and gas exploration and, later, in social mapping.

Continue reading "Further adventures in Tok Pisin" »


Land theft: the old - and, in PNG, neo - colonial project

Image from the cover of Red Nation Rising
Image from the cover of Red Nation Rising

EVE OTTENBERG
| CounterPunch

Red Nation Rising is a new book investigating the violence of border towns: those white-dominated towns located at the borders of Native American reservations, borders which separate the territory of sovereign Native nations from lands claimed by the United States. And the trigger for violence? The desire to steal the land in which Native people have profound roots: an issue which the people of Papua New Guinea will fully understand. Thanks to Phil Fitzpatrick for the referral

Red Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation by Nick Estes, Melanie Yazzie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale & others. PM Press. Paperback. 176 pages. Available from Amazon

PETROLIA, CALIFORNIA - The scope of violence against Native people in the United States is truly staggering.

In fact, it would be safe to say the historical genocide never ended. It is ongoing.

Continue reading "Land theft: the old - and, in PNG, neo - colonial project" »


Contentious book tells what kiaps feel

Mutiny on Patrol
'Mutiny on the 37th Day. We want to go home now. Really?' (Rob Barclay)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Cannibals, Conflict & First Contact: 21 Years a New Guinea Patrol Officer by Robin Barclay, Independently Published, 2021, 282 pages. ISBN: 9780646839608. Soft-cover $55, hard-cover $150 plus $18 postage (express $22). Contact the author at ambunti1965@gmail.com to purchase copies of the book and its artworks

TUMBY BAY - In the literary tradition of controversial  colonial magistrate CAW Monckton (1872-1936), Rob Barclay’s new book is a politically incorrect version of the kiap experience in pre-independence Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Contentious book tells what kiaps feel" »


You’re 'katim lewa' & I’m 'ai gumi'

Pisin
Sign 1
 Public announcement. Don't pick the flowers. [Don't] dump rubbish everywhere. This is a school!
Sign 2
Read, think, speak and write English

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – One of the great pleasures of entering Melanesia’s linguistic gateway is to discover the realm of Tok Pisin, with its animated rhythms, vibrant style, and idioms as creative and colourful as a political promise.

Melanesian Pidgin emerged in the south-west Pacific during the late second half of the 19th century on copra and sugarcane plantations to which labour was imported from Melanesia, Malaysia and China.

Continue reading "You’re 'katim lewa' & I’m 'ai gumi'" »


Increasing trust in Covid communication

Rohan Fox
Rohan Fox - "For many Papua New Guineans, sharing stories told by friends, family or local Christian leaders may be received as most trustworthy"

ROHAN FOX
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts

WAIGANI – In May this year 281 students in the School of Business and Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea were surveyed about their attitudes to Covid-19 vaccination.

Of this number, 46% had not decided whether they would like to be vaccinated. Just 6% said they would, while 48% were against vaccination.

Continue reading "Increasing trust in Covid communication" »


750 languages but no word for maintenance

An unmaintained road in Lae  PNG's second largest city
An unmaintained road in Lae PNG's second largest city

GRAHAM KING

YUNGABURRA - The Collins English dictionary defines the word ‘maintain’ as the ‘to keep in proper or good condition’.

And, of course, it is a standard procedure for a successful business to always allocate funds in its budget for repair and maintenance.

Potholes must be filled before they become enormous craters; engine oil must be changed according to the manufacturer’s schedule; tyres must be replaced when worn out. And so a very long list goes on.

Continue reading "750 languages but no word for maintenance" »


The tweets that drew the crowds in June

TwitterKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I have previously mentioned that the Typepad platform I’ve used to disseminate PNG Attitude these last 15 years is unable to provide readership data for particular articles or other creations.

However it is possible to gain an understanding of what subjects draw the interest of readers from how they respond to specific items in my Twitter account @PNGAttitude.

Continue reading "The tweets that drew the crowds in June" »


Namatanai clans fight alleged land fraud

West coast of Namatani District (pngictmeri)
The beautiful west coast of New Ireland's Namatanai district where the Kamlapar clan is located

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Landowners on the west coast of New Ireland's Namatanai district claim a US-based company is illegally selling carbon credits on the international market that have been obtained by fraud.

The Kamlapar Incorporated Land Group alleges that New Ireland Hardwood Timber (NIHT), and its PNG-registered subsidiary NI Holdings, entered their customary land without clan consent having been engaged by clan members who had no authority to deal with the company.

Continue reading "Namatanai clans fight alleged land fraud" »


Uphill & down along the Black Cat Track

Map of the Black Cat Track and surrounding landmarks
Map of the Black Cat Track and surrounding landmarks

MOSES ANDRIAS
| Ples Singsing

LAE – Morobe, November 2018, a blend of everything Papua New Guinean, from the cool mountainous ridges that step from the majestic highlands to the endless plains of the Markham and onwards to the shoreline of the Huon Peninsula.

A walk around Eriku and a visit to Lae Market remains no exception to this, fruits and vegetables of variety, faces and languages of throughout the country, all in chaotic-harmony of economic exchange.

Continue reading "Uphill & down along the Black Cat Track" »