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42 posts from November 2021

Pius Tikili dies: nation builder & peacemaker

Tikili Pius
Pius Tikili - an extraordinary entrepreneur, a notable peacemaker and a Man of God


NOOSA – The eminent Papua New Guinea businessman and chairman of the National Broadcasting Corporation, Pius Tikili, died early last Saturday morning at Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby at the age of 64.

A member of the Mogi Komunka KomKui tribe of the Western Highlands, Pius studied at the University of Papua New Guinea and the University of New England in Australia before becoming an announcer with the NBC.

Continue reading "Pius Tikili dies: nation builder & peacemaker" »

Thought provoking ideas in a dark novel

Former patrol officer and academic Anthony English adds to the prolific literary output by PNG kiaps in this intriguing novel


Death of a Coastwatcher by Anthony English, Monsoon Books, Burrough on the Hill, 2020, 464pp. ASIN ‏B08LR4YGP8. Available here from Amazon Australia: paperback AU$15.75, Kindle AU$9.35

TUMBY BAY - It may be a product of my advanced age but I have developed a distinct aversion to the depiction of violence and other extremes of human behaviour in literature and film.

My preferred recreational reading and viewing nowadays centres mainly on the gentle and whimsical. This is a genre in which the British excel but seems rare in America and Australia.

Continue reading "Thought provoking ideas in a dark novel" »

Jimmy Drekore spearheads medical breakthrough

Drekore ---  Agua
Jimmy Drekore, unidentified colleague and Dr Izzard Agua - spearheading a great medical achievement for Papua New Guinea


NOOSA –One of Chimbu’s favourite sons, Jimmy Drekore - in 2014 selected as Papua New Guinea’s Man of Honour and in 2016 winner of the prestigious international World of Children Award - is still kicking goals for PNG’s children.

Research into childhood osteomyelitis initiated in 2011 by Jimmy and his Simbu brother Dr Izzard Agua soon extended into better understanding methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the aggressive bacteria that eats penicillin for breakfast.

Continue reading "Jimmy Drekore spearheads medical breakthrough" »

Omicron is exactly what PNG doesn’t need

Emeritus Professor John Dwyer  -  "Covid is far from tamed. Less than 2% of people in Papua New Guinea have been vaccinated"

| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts

SYDNEY - Alarm bells are ringing as a new variant of the Covid virus has emerged in southern Africa and is spreading rapidly around the world.

Labelled Omicron (the number 15 in Greek) the variant has numerous mutations that could make it highly infectious and possibly resistant to vaccines.

Continue reading "Omicron is exactly what PNG doesn’t need" »

Nat Whiting's well-merited humanitarian award

Nat with friends at Divine Word Uni
Natalie (Nat) Whiting enjoys a barbecue with friends at Divine Word University in Madang


NOOSA - Natalie Whiting, the ABC’s Papua New Guinea correspondent, has won a major media award for her news coverage of the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

The annual award is given by the Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) to recognise a journalist who reports with skill and understanding on international humanitarian issues.

Continue reading "Nat Whiting's well-merited humanitarian award" »

Solomons caper: Dexterous, Dopey or Deflection?

Arson - Morrison flanked by announces deployment
Foreign minister Marise Payne and prime minister Scott Morrison in Canberra yesterday afternoon announcing Australia's troop and police deployment to Honiara


NOOSA – As people in Honiara awake to a likely third day of riot, arson and looting , 43 Australian Defence Force personnel will join 23 Australian Federal Police in the Solomons’ capital “to provide security and stability” according to Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, .

Foreign minister Marise Payne says the deployment disagreed the intervention was an intervention and also said it was not to support Solomons’ prime minister Manasseh Sogavere’s faltering government.

Continue reading "Solomons caper: Dexterous, Dopey or Deflection?" »

A 50 year old photo & a story to be told

New Ireland v Vunakanau Tigers  Rabaul  1972 (David-Bridie)
New Ireland v Vunakanau Tigers, Queen's Park, Rabaul,  1972 (David-Bridie)


NOOSA – Now here’s a challenge to readers, especially if you, or someone you know or ought to know, was in and around Rabaul in the early 1970s.

My friend and back fence neighbour, freelance writer and all-round good bloke, Ian Hauser, has brought to our collective attention this spectacular photograph from 1972.

Continue reading "A 50 year old photo & a story to be told" »

Nick Booth, PNG in his blood, dies at 76

Nick in late life
Nick Booth - "A first rate and highly skilled radio presenter with a wonderful sense of how to construct a music program"


NOOSA – Nick Booth, who died yesterday in Sydney aged 76, was a busy and enthusiastic man, who delighted in being with people and working with people to get things done.

I knew him not in his professional, paid career as a senior public service administrator but in his role as a broadcaster on community radio, especially between 1976 and 1983. I also knew Nick and his wife Lynn as good and kind friends.

Continue reading "Nick Booth, PNG in his blood, dies at 76" »

Plenty of talk, but corruption is worse than ever


PORT MORESBY - Research into prosecutions for corruption in Papua New Guinea reveals that, despite the enormous extent of the misappropriation of public funds, only a tiny number of officials have ever been charged and almost none has been convicted or imprisoned.

This failure is likely one reason PNG shows no signs of overcoming its unenviable reputation as one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and why allegations remain rife of corruption involving political leaders, the powerful and the wealthy.

Continue reading "Plenty of talk, but corruption is worse than ever" »

Bribery makes the Pacific’s wheels go round

Most corrupt country
Port Moresby - PNG is the most corrupt country in the Pacific, but some of the others are giving it a run for its money

| The Guardian | Extracts

Link here to the full story

SYDNEY - One in three people across Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands region paid a bribe when using a public service in the last year, according to a report by Transparency International.

And one in four people have been offered a bribe for their vote in the last five years.

Continue reading "Bribery makes the Pacific’s wheels go round" »

$1.6b handout to Telstra to head off Chinese

Telstra CEO Andy Penn (AAP  David Crosling)
Telstra CEO Andy Penn - soon to be the proud owner of Digicel Pacific (Photo - David Crosling, AAP)

| Michael West Media | Extracts

GOLD COAST - Why was Telstra slotted $1.6 billion (K4 billion) by Australia’s Morrison government to buy Digicel, and how is it Telstra shares slumped by one-third during the bull market?

It’s corporate welfare on steroids. Another bizarre intervention in what Scott Morrison and treasurer Josh Frydenberg like to call free markets.

Continue reading "$1.6b handout to Telstra to head off Chinese" »

Death of Bougainville patriot Reuben Siara

Reuben Siara
Reuben Siara - "We remember him for his patriotism and his will to progress the ideals of our revolutionary cause"

| President, Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Source: New Dawn FM News

BUKA - Bougainville has truly lost one of its great sons in the passing of Reuben Siara.

Reuben was a man who believed in Bougainville’s aspirations for independence and contributed immensely to our revolutionary cause.

Continue reading "Death of Bougainville patriot Reuben Siara" »

The house Peter & Rose helped build

Kranz - Banz house
The splendid house for Mana Dau and her relatives begins to take shape


MORISSET - Earlier this year Rose and I discovered that Rose’s mum, Mana Dau, was being abused by some distant and nasty relatives at the place where she was living in Lae.

It wasn’t just verbal bullying either, Mana had some of her teeth knocked out and the whole situation was untenable.

Continue reading "The house Peter & Rose helped build" »

The story of Captain Sheriff: Pride of the Tribe

PNGDF cadet pilots after graduating from the RAAF Flight School, Point Cook, Australia, 1988. From left: Captain Ted Pakii (flight instructor), Chester Berobero, Major Kwadi (language instructor), Eric Aliawi and Peter Wanamp

| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - Captain Peter Wanamp (‘Captain Sheriff’) Ansphil - a flag bearer for the Jiwaka people and the pride of Senglap tribe - was the first son of the Wahgi Valley to brush aside fear and become an aviator.

His breakthrough as the first person to become pilot from the province broke a barrier in becoming a pioneer pilot for the three ethnic groups, Jimi, Waghi and Kambia – from whose first two letters the name Jiwaka is formed.

Continue reading "The story of Captain Sheriff: Pride of the Tribe" »

Humanity stands at the cusp of catastrophe

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg - telling the world a truth it doesn't want to hear. The longer we wait, the harder it will be


CAIRNS - It truly beggars belief that the government of a wealthy, modern nation state, that prides itself on the quality of its education system, cannot comprehend the significance of the most basic laws of nature.

The physics and chemistry of how increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide drive global heating and feedback loops is Science 101 for Grade 6.

Continue reading "Humanity stands at the cusp of catastrophe" »

‘A political act designed to intimidate’


NOOSA - I worked twice for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in my 22-year media career.

The first time was in Papua New Guinea between 1966 and 1970, when I wrote and produced schools broadcasts from the ABC’s studios at Boroko, which are there still, tired by age as I am.

Continue reading "‘A political act designed to intimidate’" »

My father’s dilemma: when cultures collide

Men of Enga (Joe Herman)
Men of Enga (Joe Herman)


SEATTLE - The word arrived quickly that Pambene, a cousin in neighbouring Pumas village in Enga Province, had been assaulted and severely injured by tribesmen over a land dispute.

As expected, my oldest brother Yandapae and two cousins retaliated and forcibly took a large pig from the culprits as compensation.

Continue reading "My father’s dilemma: when cultures collide" »

How Stewy Brown beat the Dog Act

I am what i am
'I Am What I Am' - Stewy Brown was a serial drunk and on the verge of deportation from  colonial PNG when Bob Parer asked the Policemaster to give him one last chance


BRISBANE – One of the unusual colonial laws of Papua New Guinea when it was an Australian territory was the so-called Dog Act.

Under the Dog Act a magistrate could order that people with an alcohol problem could have their name and photograph posted at all local hotels and clubs for a year.

During that time any premises that served that person alcohol would be fined.

Continue reading "How Stewy Brown beat the Dog Act" »

This time our Chinese are Lowy's targets

The Lowy Institute thought this blurred photo of a mahjong game was an appropriate image to accompany its survey report on what was presented as the indistinct loyalties of Chinese Australians to their home country, which is Australia


NOOSA – In February, author Hervey Forsythe wrote in PNG Attitude of how an Australian government-supported think tank, the Lowy Institute, had been accused of racism and ‘infantilising’ Pacific islanders.

In ‘Lowy feels heat over ‘tone deaf comments’, Forsythe told how the Institute faced a barrage of criticism following an extraordinary article in its magazine, The Interpreter.

Continue reading "This time our Chinese are Lowy's targets" »

Climate: the stupid reluctance of the rich

Delegates pose at the end of COP26 (Yves Herman  Reuters)
Delegates pose at the end of COP26. They gave themselves protracted applause. It was not deserved (Pic - Yves Herman Reuters)


COPOUT26 - The ‘Glasgow climate pact’ has just been adopted with the 37-strong Alliance of Small Island States expressing “extreme disappointment” after a last-minute intervention by India to ‘phase down’ rather than ‘phase out’ coal use and a failure by rich nations to agree a mechanism for poor countries to receive 'compensation', a word rich countries say they 'cannot countenance’ – KJ

ADELAIDE - Phil Fitzpatrick, in recent comments on PNG Attitude, has pointed out the true implications of any serious attempt to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This has been amplified by Paul Oates and Bernard Corden, while Kindin Ongugo has voiced legitimate concerns about the COP26 climate change conference further disadvantaging the world's poorest people.

Continue reading "Climate: the stupid reluctance of the rich" »

Keith took police band to its finest moment


NOOSA – In 1996, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Band was in the middle of its golden age.

It was a splendid band, frequently invited to at festivals in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

But its performance at that year’s Adelaide International Tattoo has been described as sensational in every respect: playing, marching, dress, discipline - and the dancers of the Raun Raun Theatre.

Continue reading "Keith took police band to its finest moment" »

West Papua presses for a Green State Vision

Bonny Kaiyo
Bonny Kaiyo - "The Green State Vision will make ecocide a serious criminal offence"


PORT MORESBY - The wealthy countries of the world have agreed on a 'Green State Vision’ at COP26, which ends in Glasgow today.

Indonesia signed up and now has the hard task of navigating what this means for itself and especially West Papua.

It is the restive province of West Papua that carries the bulk of Indonesia’s forest richness, which the country has now ratified and agreed to protect.

Continue reading "West Papua presses for a Green State Vision" »

Covid news from PNG: Yeah, stats are hard


NOOSA – I was interested to read that Papua New Guinea’s shadow health minister Elias Kapavore, who represents the good people of Pomio in parliament, has calculated that the PNG recovery rate from Covid is an unbelievable 99%.

The global recovery rate is 90%, which happens to be the same in Australia. So why, with Covid on the rampage through PNG, is the recovery rate so high?

Continue reading "Covid news from PNG: Yeah, stats are hard" »

Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)

Field justice 1950s
Colonial kiaps brought the law to the people, and often tailored it to align with traditional cultural values and expectations


Making Law in Papua New Guinea: The Colonial Origins of a Postcolonial Legal System by Bruce L Ottley, Jean G Zorn and David Weisbrot, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, June 2021, 526pp. ISBN: 9781531005504. Editions: Kindle AU$68.90; Paperback AU$144.75. Kindle edition available from Amazon here

TUMBY BAY - The period just before and just after independence in Papua New Guinea was a time of optimism and promise.

That Pax Australiana - the institutions built by the colonial Administration - would remain intact, as stable and progressive as they were, was never assumed.

Continue reading "Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)" »

Solomon islanders continue wrangle over China

China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons
China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons

| The Sunday Guardian | Extracts

NEW DELHI - In September 2019, the Solomon Islands switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The central government made the decision without public consultation, and it was widely unpopular, particularly in the most populous province, Malaita.

Continue reading "Solomon islanders continue wrangle over China" »

Woke, right – neither is honest on history’s truth

Real history war
Real history war


ADELAIDE - I am a severe critic of ‘wokeness’ in its latest manifestation. Beginning its life to signify awareness of social and racial injustice, it has since been weaponised as a term of abuse.

These days it refers to people who have an absurd world view and who ostentatiously hate anyone who disagrees with them. I suppose we needed a word for that, and that’s the meaning I give to it here.

Continue reading "Woke, right – neither is honest on history’s truth" »


Knigge - We quickly leave the bad weather behind us in Mt Hagen.
Wilfred Knigge - "As we set course for Wewak, Hagen township was already swallowed by rain"

| MAF PNG Facebook

WEWAK - It's Tuesday afternoon and I've landing at Mount Hagen. Andy, a colleague pilot from Wewak, tells me something is going on around a missing boat near the East Sepik capital.

We quickly walk to the operations manager’s office for some clarity. There are hardly any details. All we know is that a boat went from Wuvulu Island to Wewak, but failed to arrive there at the agreed time.

Continue reading "Search" »

How to marry a Chief’s daughter

Chief Lapakio with Rose
Chief Lapakio Kambu with Rose (left)


WABAG – I was delighted when an extract from my book, I Can See My Country Clearly Now, was used in the recent English comprehension test for the Grade 12 Papua New Guinea national examinations.

At the time, I wondered if any Enga students noticed they were being examined on an extract from my book.

I’m sure most of them didn’t because they don’t know the book exists.

Continue reading "How to marry a Chief’s daughter" »

Where do you get the news?

John Pilger and Julian Assange
John Pilger and Julian Assange at a rally in London, 2011


TUMBY BAY - In a recent article by Australian journalist and provocateur John Pilger, there is an interesting observation about the state of the world’s media.

Pilger was writing about the trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a piece published on the Counterpunch website:

Continue reading "Where do you get the news?" »

We are one by blood


I’m black, I’m white
We’re one by blood 
Nothing separates how hard we try
I’ve same blood group as you
So we’re one forever
Dialects, circumstances, boundaries,
Standards, status don't matter here
Born same, die same, no difference
And we are one forever

See same sun; walk same earth
Breathe same air; sleep same sleep
So we are one by blood
Both feel pain, shed tears, lived life
Through life's blessings and curses
But still one by blood

Continue reading "We are one by blood" »

Covid & the affliction of untrained pastors


KUNDIAWA – I commend Michael Kabuni on his fine article, Do we pay too much reverence to pastors, about the problems we experience every day with some pastors and street preachers.

Most pastors from Pentecostal churches are not educated in either biblical studies or science, and being neither scientists nor medical doctors they are not educated in the causes, effects and treatment of disease or in how vaccines work.

Continue reading "Covid & the affliction of untrained pastors" »

Only the grassroots can save the planet, but....


TUMBY BAY - One of the most perverse inventions of capitalism is planned obsolescence.

This is the idea that an article is manufactured to fall apart and cease to function properly after a certain amount of time.

Annoying for you and good for the manufacturer, who has ensured that users have to purchase a new article to continue to enjoy its convenience.

Continue reading "Only the grassroots can save the planet, but...." »

Telstra’s PNG mobile monopoly is no cakewalk

Telstra_acquires_digicel_pacificKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - On Monday 25 October, the giant Australian telecommunications corporation, Telstra, announced it was buying Digicel Pacific, the dominant mobile network operator in the region.

Digicel owns the biggest telcos in Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga and the second biggest in Fiji.

Continue reading "Telstra’s PNG mobile monopoly is no cakewalk" »

COP out: How PNG & the Pacific lost in Glasgow

Glasgow - K6m tripKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – For me, the first big cop out of the COP26 climate change conference came with the revelation that Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape had spent K5 million sending a 62-member delegation to Glasgow.

On Twitter I remarked that this was at the criminal end of reckless indulgence for a country that is literally broke and having to borrow billions just to sustain its basic operations, and which has a health system in tatters.

Continue reading "COP out: How PNG & the Pacific lost in Glasgow" »

Juffa: I had Covid; I nearly died alone

Gary Juffa
Gary Juffa - " many of our people are dying in unprecedented numbers"

| Governor Oro Province

GLASGOW - My dear fellow Papua New Guineans, I am not forcing you to take the vaccine, I am just asking you to consider it.

So many of our people are dying in unprecedented numbers.

I can’t speak for others, but I have lost too many friends and family in such a short span of time that I am breathless with grief.

Continue reading "Juffa: I had Covid; I nearly died alone" »

Canberra looks away while West Papua aflame

Funeral of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau
Funeral of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau allegedly killed by Indonesian security forces (AWPA)

| Asia Pacific Report

AUCKLAND - The Australia West Papua Association has protested over the “lack of any concern” by Canberra over worsening clashes in the Indonesian military crackdown on pro-independence groups in West Papua.

Joe Collins of AWPA has said in a statement that the harsh ‘behaviour’ of the Indonesian forces would lead to the instability that the Australian government fears.

Continue reading "Canberra looks away while West Papua aflame" »

That climate summit: Going through the motions

Cartoon - Australian Way
Cartoon - The Australian Way, by Hudson


ADELAIDE - It must be apparent by now to all world leaders that the Australian prime minister and his government are merely going through the motions of committing to the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Their policy is a confection of aspirational statements backed by no credible analysis, no real plan and certainly no genuine commitment.

Continue reading "That climate summit: Going through the motions" »

‘Morrison not listening’, say Pacific leaders

Sir David Attenborough and Governor Gary Juffa
Sir David Attenborough and Governor Gary Juffa at the Glasgow summit - “Sir David is so sharp and ever more passionate about our natural environment,” says Juffa


NOOSA – Scott Morrison’s announcement in Glasgow that “technology will have the answers” to saving the world from climate change has generated widespread disapproval from world leaders.

And his offer to increase Australia's climate funding by $100 million (K260 million) a year for the next five years to cover all Pacific Island and South-East Asian countries also left his audience cold.

Continue reading "‘Morrison not listening’, say Pacific leaders" »

The village boy who became chief censor

Jim Abani
Jim Abani on the Great Wall during a visit to China

| Mim's Diary | Edited

POPONDETTA – Jim Abani’s journey in life began at remote Bibira No 1 village in Oro Province, where he was the third child in a family of nine children (two of them adopted).

Jim started his educational journey at Safia Community School and moved on to Popondetta High School in 1983.

Continue reading "The village boy who became chief censor" »