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82 posts from August 2021

Covid puts Australia on knife edge


ADELAIDE – In ‘Covid: Ineptitude, deception and lies, Keith Jackson correctly refers to the 'weasel words' of both ‘Golden’ Gladys Berejiklian and the man he terms ‘Slovenly’ Scott Morrison.

Jackson writes of how these politicians avoid saying the obvious and how they try to deflect attention from the true situation their complacency, ineptitude and incompetence has created.

Continue reading "Covid puts Australia on knife edge" »

Vaccination: A state failing its people

Countries with lowest immunisation
Countries with lowest immunisation rates averaged across measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and hepatitis B vaccines, 2019

| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - The World Bank reports data immunisation coverage for nearly all countries in relation to three vaccines: measles; combined diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus (DPT); and hepatitis B.

For all three, the most recent data (2019) show that Papua New Guinea has the lowest vaccination rates in the world for infants: 37% for measles, 35% for DPT and 35% for hepatitis B.

Continue reading "Vaccination: A state failing its people" »

When leaders became enemies


TUMBY BAY – It happened when we were still absorbing dire warnings in the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and reeling from the latest Covid-19 outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.

That’s when the Taliban strolled into Kabul and took Afghanistan back after 20 years of occupation by the Americans and their allies, including Australia.

Continue reading "When leaders became enemies" »

Covid: Ineptitude, deception & lies

A western NSW vaccination clinic in Dubbo (Ben Wilkins)
A western NSW vaccination clinic in Dubbo. Indigenous communities are pleading for vaccine, the supply of which the Morrison government constantly lies about (Photo - Ben Wilkins)

NOOSA - It was the slightest of deceits, as unnecessary as it was sly, but nothing out of the ordinary from a person whose honour is tarnished and competency unaccounted for.

I write of the premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, who bears much responsibility, together with her soulmate the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, for steering an entire nation into a position of great danger.

Continue reading "Covid: Ineptitude, deception & lies" »

Corruption report indicts 'deficient' PNG


Download here the full civil society report on the implementation of preventive measures of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Papua New Guinea

NOOSA – A report by Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) on how the Papua New Guinea government is meeting its obligations under the United Nations Convention against corruption has highlighted “a multitude of deficiencies hindering the successful implementation” of the Convention.

In summary the TIPNG report concludes that the PNG government has been only partially compliant with its obligations.

Continue reading "Corruption report indicts 'deficient' PNG" »

It's that ingrained Calvinistic stoicism


NORTHUMBRIA – Keith Jackson writes and I too have begun to worry that many people under the age of 40 have lost resilience, stoicism replaced with almost permanent protestations of victimhood.

Or who exhibit grievances with so much of what is said to them or by being exposed to unavoidable circumstances like the Covid pandemic.

Continue reading "It's that ingrained Calvinistic stoicism" »

The Scientist

University of Technology  Lae (Elizha Maino)
Nightfall on the University of Technology campus, Lae (Elizha Maino)


FICTION - When I first entered university, I came with huge expectations to the University of Technology.

All that was in my mind was keeping my eyes on the books, attending lectures, passing the examinations and graduating with high grades.

That’s what I intended to do. It was in my mind and it was in my heart.

Continue reading "The Scientist" »

Malarial Death Games

Bablis - malarial death gamesGREGORY BABLIS
| Ples Singsing

I’ve battled you most of my life
In health, I am winning
But damn you give me so much strife
When your death zone I’m entering
Warmth leaves my body
Like a soul unmooring from its host
The flashes you give are hot yet chilly
I feel half human, half ghost.

Hot or cold, I cannot tell
In the night and in the day
I’m freezing my ass off in hell
No time for work or play

Continue reading "Malarial Death Games" »

Boost to commerce & conservation in Oro


The 'Afore Highway' from Oro Bay, described as "a reasonable gravel track with some challenging sections" is to be upgraded as part of the Mangalas project

NOOSA –Governor Gary Juffa has won the support of prime minister James Marape in establishing the innovative Managalas forest carbon pilot project in the Afore region, located between the Owen Stanley and Hydrographers ranges in Oro Province.

The project, billed as ‘a sustainable integrated land development’ will both conserve rainforest and reforest the grassed plains with cash crops including coffee and coconuts.

Continue reading "Boost to commerce & conservation in Oro" »

Australian resilience is an oxymoron

Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian - existential threats to Australia
Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian - incompetent politicians who are existential threats to Australia


NOOSA – This piece starts in Papua New Guinea, the place that taught me what resilience really means.

After my arrival in the country in 1963, one of the attributes that quickly endeared me to Papua New Guineans was their tenacity; even if it tended to be a tenacity conditional on whether people were convinced that what they were asked to do was meaningful.

Continue reading "Australian resilience is an oxymoron" »

The difficult road to modernity


ADELAIDE – In an insightful piece, ‘A Place, A Time & Lessons Learned, Jim Moore writes that “we humans share so many common traits and characteristics that transcend time and place [and] we need to recognise that we don't know it all... that we’re not members of an exceptional tribe”.

We humans do indeed share many common characteristics, and simultaneously our different cultures create endless opportunities for misunderstanding and conflict.

Continue reading "The difficult road to modernity" »

Lessons we might have missed

Ol narapela kain man
Ol narapela kain man. Young kiaps, 1960s


TUMBY BAY – Culture shock. It was one of the things expatriates were warned about at the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) before departing to take up positions in the then colonial Administration of the Australian Territory of Papua and New Guinea.

Culture shock describes those feelings of excitement, anxiety, confusion and uncertainty when you find yourself in a new and unfamiliar environment.

Continue reading "Lessons we might have missed" »

Treasurer confronts Bakani on money-laundering


Ian Ling Stuckey (PNG Bulletin)
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey used parliament to put reserve bank governor Leo Bakani on the spot (PNG Bulletin)

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has sent a strong ‘please explain’ to PNG’s central bank governor, Loi Bakani.

Ling-Stuckey minced no words in asking Bakani why he had disassociated the central bank from its own Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU).

Continue reading "Treasurer confronts Bakani on money-laundering " »

PNG resumes gas field talks with Exxon

PNG petroleum minister Kerenga Kua and Exxon PNG chairman Peter Larden (Lorraine Wohi)
PNG petroleum minister Kerenga Kua and Esso PNG chairman Peter Larden (Lorraine Wohi)


NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s petroleum minister Kerenga Kua and ExxonMobil PNG managing director Peter Larden have announced that talks will resume on the P’nyang natural gas project.

In November 2019 negotiations collapsed with the PNG government saying Exxon was unwilling to negotiate on PNG’s terms.

Continue reading "PNG resumes gas field talks with Exxon" »

Sonia walks free after life-changing surgery

Sonia Paua
Sonia Paua was "determined as hell" to finish the painful treatment. "She wasn't going to give up"

| Pacific Beat | ABC | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - Sonia Paua flew to Australia from Papua New Guinea to undergo medical treatment that sounds on paper like some kind of medieval torture.

When seven years old, Sonia was diagnosed with a rare and painful bone infection, chronic osteomyelitis, in her left leg.

Continue reading "Sonia walks free after life-changing surgery" »

The naïveté of desiring a state religion


TUMBY BAY - The recent report of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission recommended changes to Papua New Guinea’s Constitution to officially make it a Christian country.

Such a move, should parliament endorse it as seems likely despite some strong opposition, has many intriguing possibilities.

Continue reading "The naïveté of desiring a state religion" »

Roads to the Future: Early days in Baiyer

 Ukini tribe couple
Roche - Ukini tribe couple in Lgeg area circa 1974. The man is wearing a badge ‘Baiyer River Local Government Council – Ward Committee’ (Roche)


MAYNOOTH - Jim Moore’s article, ‘A Baiyer court case, a good kiap reflects’, brought back some memories and some questions.

The questions simply involved my wondering what specific tribes were involved in the court case Jim presided over, and where in Baiyer the conflict occurred.

Continue reading "Roads to the Future: Early days in Baiyer" »

The confusion that is vaccination in PNG

Healthcare worker at Rumginae Hospital in the North Fly District of Western Province (United Nations)


NOOSA – Papua New Guinea has registered nearly 18,000 Covid infections and is approaching 200 deaths but medical experts say official statistics are likely to be highly inaccurate.

This is because of unidentified deaths, sick people not seeking treatment, low levels of testing, illness and deaths unreported or attributed to other causes and poor data gathering.

Continue reading "The confusion that is vaccination in PNG" »

Belden hits out at rush to legislate

Belden Namah
Belden Namah - "We have seen the bulldozing of laws. This is bad law making. Bad laws will result"

| Leader of the Opposition | Media Statement

PORT MORESBY – The Marape government has postponed parliamentary sittings so often it is now rushing laws through parliament.

During the current sitting, we have before the house a large number of proposed Constitutional laws.

Amendment to the Constitution must undergo certain processes and allow sufficient time for proper parliamentary scrutiny.

Continue reading "Belden hits out at rush to legislate" »

Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu

Professor Evelyn Lavu

| Kirby Institute

SYDNEY - The Kirby Institute joins colleagues and friends in Papua New Guinea in mourning the sudden loss of Professor Evelyn Lavu.

Professor Lavu was the country’s most senior pathologist and an internationally recognised leader in the fight against HIV, malaria and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Continue reading "Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu" »

What it is we truly value

Site of the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province (Porgera Joint Venture)
Site of the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province (Porgera Joint Venture)


KIETA - I visited Enga Province for the first time in early July this year for a meeting between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea National Government.

The meeting was one of a number to consult on the outcome of the Bougainville referendum on independence that showed a huge majority of Bougainvilleans favouring the creation of their own nation.

Continue reading "What it is we truly value" »

Global upheaval is global unpredictability

US military
'As a fighting machine the US military remains without peer'


ADELAIDE - Martin Hadlow's comments, ‘Taliban had time, and are not so benign, are both informed and pertinent.

There has been much hysterical commentary in the media about the sudden collapse of the Afghan government and of the USA's precipitous and badly planned withdrawal.

Continue reading "Global upheaval is global unpredictability" »

Taliban had time, & are not so benign

Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper
Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)


SAMFORD VALLEY - After living and working for long periods in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, I align myself with those who would consider themselves 'professional optimists.'

However, even my optimism was tempered when I read Tony Kevin's view of the Taliban and how it operates, 'The Afghanistan disaster, Russia & China'.

Continue reading "Taliban had time, & are not so benign" »

When calling league was a safety risk

Front page Post-Courier pic from the Hanuabada Hawks v Magani-Badili PRL grand final, 1974. Hawks won 44-29. Richard was probably there


BENDIGO - When we (my wife and I) lived in Port Moresby during the 1960s and 70s there were five member clubs of the Papuan Rugby League (PRL).

These were Kone Tigers (gold and black), Paga (light blue), Magani-Badili (maroon), DCA or Department of Civil Aviation (white with a blue V) and Hanuabada Hawks (green and white — mainly green).

Continue reading "When calling league was a safety risk" »

Is death penalty a real prospect for PNG?

| Monash University | The Conversation

MELBOURNE - On 30 July, the Papua New Guinea supreme court of quashed the national court’s temporary stay of executions for all people sentenced to death.

The judgment has cleared a major obstacle to carrying out death sentences for the first time in nearly 70 years. It makes execution a real possibility for 15 individuals who are on death row.

Continue reading "Is death penalty a real prospect for PNG?" »

Kiap law was fair, just & adaptive

Kiap holds court  Highlands  1960sCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Jim Moore’s excellent piece, A Baiyer court case. A good kiap reflects’, accurately describes the situation confronting any kiap when trying to administer the law in a fair and just way in those pre-independence years in Papua New Guinea.

When I went to PNG in 1969 I was 18 years old and knew virtually nothing about life generally.

Continue reading "Kiap law was fair, just & adaptive" »

Is PNG sleepwalking through the pandemic?

Waiting room at Mt Hagen hospital (Mark Dozier  AFP)
Waiting room at Mt Hagen hospital (Mark Dozier,  AFP)

| Radio New Zealand Pacific

AUCKLAND - The heat on Papua New Guinea's hospitals appears to have eased, but some worry the country could still be asleep to the full extent of its Covid-19 outbreak.

Earlier this year, soaring case numbers stretched PNG's health system and workforce to the limit.

Continue reading "Is PNG sleepwalking through the pandemic?" »

Is Australia benefiting unfairly from Covax?

| The Mandarin | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - A global initiative to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to developing nations by the end of the year is half a billion doses short as reports emerge that Australia took hundreds of thousands of Pfizer doses from the Covax stockpile for domestic needs.

Covax was established to ensure that safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines reached the world’s high-risk and vulnerable populations in 92 low-middle income countries and economies.

Continue reading "Is Australia benefiting unfairly from Covax?" »

A Baiyer court case: A good kiap reflects.

Weaponry PNG modern style
A Tagali warlord presents his Mac58 and M16 at a Hela gun surrender. Technology has made clan warfare much more lethal


WARRADALE - Among the boxes of stuff in my shed, I dug up a document I had kept because I wanted to prove I had not embellished a story.

The document was a carbon copy of a Local Court case I heard at Baiyer River in the Western Highlands nearly 50 years ago, on 10 December 1971.

Continue reading "A Baiyer court case: A good kiap reflects." »

Review recommends PNG become Christian state

Chairman Kevin Isifu presents final report of Declare PNG as a Christian Country Review to prime minister James Marape
Chairman Kevin Isifu presents the 'Declare PNG as a Christian Country Review' to prime minister James Marape

| PNG Bulletin Online

PORT MORESBY – If Papua New Guinea is constitutionally declared a Christian country, this will not change the rights of people to follow other religions, faiths or beliefs, says Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) chairman Kevin Isifu.

Mr Isufu made these remarks when presenting the final report of a review investigating whether the Constitution should be changed to declare PNG a Christian country.

Continue reading "Review recommends PNG become Christian state" »

The Afghanistan disaster, Russia & China

China was one of the first countries to recognise the Taliban's Islamic government In Afghanistan. "We respect the people's decision," said a spokesman

| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations

CANBERRA - The fall of the Ashraf Ghani regime in Kabul came very suddenly but was entirely predictable.

Neighbouring great powers China and Russia had been quietly preparing for this expected outcome for months.

Russia has in practical ways been reaffirming its reliable security obligations to the ‘Stans’ on Afghanistan’s northern border and has doubtless engaged in informal diplomacy with Taliban contacts.

Continue reading "The Afghanistan disaster, Russia & China" »

The shape of things to come

Shape-of-things-to-comeCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The title to this piece comes from a book written by H G Wells and published in 1933.

In his book, Wells made a number of predictions about how the world would develop in the aftermath of World War I.

Some of his predictions were correct, notably regarding the development and use of air power to influence the outcome of warfare, especially strategic bombing.

Continue reading "The shape of things to come" »

Splendid Bahá’í dome signals unity

The dome of the Bahá’í House of Worship has become a prominent landmark in the Waigani area of Port Moresby (Shannon Ambu)

| Bahá’í World News Service

PORT MORESBY - A major milestone has been reached with the completion of the complex steel structure of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Port Moresby.

This development comes after hundreds of steel components were individually positioned and linked with nine steel meshes to complete the dome structure on which the support frame was raised.

Continue reading "Splendid Bahá’í dome signals unity" »

PNG people unlikely to reclaim birthright

Democracy will have to do better than this
Democracy will have to do better than this... Panicked Afghans storm an aircraft as they try to leave Kabul after its seizure by the Taliban


ADELAIDE - While I endorse Governor Gary Juffa's sentiments in ‘The world is ours, let’s act that way', I am afraid 'ordinary people' will not retake possession of their particular worlds any time soon.

In places like China, theocratic Iran and newly Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, the world will belong to armed minorities who will impose their world view upon the great majority.

Continue reading "PNG people unlikely to reclaim birthright" »

Big worries about next year’s PNG election

Wood - Scrutineers watching as ballots are counted in Lae  2017 (Terence Wood)
Scrutineers watch as ballots are counted in Lae,  2017 (Terence Wood)

| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea is set to hold elections halfway through next year.

Unlike many developing countries, PNG did not lapse into autocracy in the wake of independence. Its history of regular elections is something to be proud of.

Continue reading "Big worries about next year’s PNG election" »

How the ethics program fell back to earth


NOOSA - According to a recent study by the PNG National Research Institute (NRI), public servants trained in ethics and values-based leadership are sceptical that these courses can improve workplace behaviour.

Each year since 2015, with the aim of improving ethics on the job, selected groups of PNG public servants have been attending ethics and leadership courses at the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance.

Continue reading "How the ethics program fell back to earth" »

The bare-faced lie of sustainable mining

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke and European Union Ambassador H.E Mr. Jernej Videtic
PNG mining minister Johnson Tuke, who falsely claims PNG mining is sustainable & has trouble wearing a face mask,  poses with ambassador Jernej Videtic of the European Union, which is trying to convince PNG that 'green mining' is a thing


MADANG – At a meeting to discuss sustainable mining with European Union ambassador to PNG, Jernej Videtic, Papua New Guinea’s mining minister Johnson Tuke claimed his government is mindful of the impact mining has on the environment and people’s livelihoods.

Tuke also claimed the PNG government is addressing these issues by updating its regulatory framework and demanding investors introduce modern and sustainable technologies to diminish the negative impact of mining on the environment.

These claims were totally wrong. They were without truth.

Continue reading "The bare-faced lie of sustainable mining" »

The world is ours, let’s act that way

Gary Juffa and friends
Governor Gary Juffa and friends relax after a meeting of the People's Movement for Change


ORO - I say this often, but it cannot be said enough, although I’m confident that eventually many people will understand, and act upon their understanding, in due time.

I pity those who do not wish to understand and cannot see this reality, so let us focus on helping them understand.

Continue reading "The world is ours, let’s act that way" »

90% of agencies fail to report how billions spent

Peter aitsi 2
Peter Aitsi - Over a period of years 90% of government agencies have failed to report on how they have spent billions of kina in public funds

| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY – On Tuesday, as Papua New Guinea’s parliament reconvened on Tuesday following a six-month break, Transparency International PNG took the opportunity to highlight multiple failures in accountability by government agencies.

Transparency’s has made public an ‘Accountability Scorecard’ that reveals that the majority of public bodies in PNG had not submitted annual financial statements required by law under the Public Finance Act, with many not reporting for multiple years.

Continue reading "90% of agencies fail to report how billions spent" »

Marape: Bougainville independence ‘biggest issue’

James Marape
James Marape - The question of Bougainville independence is more challenging than Covid-19, the economy or any other issue

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape says the possible independence of Bougainville is the greatest challenge Papua New Guinea faces.

The sanctity of the union of PNG as one country is very important, Mr Marape said, and the Bougainville issue was bigger than Covid-19, the economy or other challenges.

Continue reading "Marape: Bougainville independence ‘biggest issue’" »