Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - if you haven't made this journey, can you really help us?
PHILIP KAI MORRE
KUNDIAWA – Papua New Guinea needs to reform its outlook on development by changing our behaviour so as to transform our society.
But so much of the planning for us - planning that uses foreign concepts and ideologies - does not work.
A planning matrix needs to be home grown and an integral part of our holistic development.
Continue reading "We know we must change, but are you helping?" »
CAIRNS – “We have the local knowledge, we live it -” Dr Momia Teariki-Tautea, PNG Attitude, 29 March 2022
I thank the doctor for his truism, but I would ask whether Papua New Guineans have applied it?
I suggest the knowledge Dr Teariki-Tautea speaks of is ignored by nearly all administrative arms of the PNG government.
Continue reading "The aid gap: inapt activity v resigned inertia" »
The architect John Amory-designed residence in Warrawee sold to Lynda Babao for K16 million
A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
CANBERRA - In August 2020, the Australian media reported that former prime minister Peter O’Neill’s wife, Lynda Babao, had bought a $6 million (K16 million) house at Warrawee on Sydney’s upper north shore.
A few months before, another Sydney residence associated with the family had been quietly sold for $12.35 million (K33 million).
Continue reading "The deal that nearly broke a nation" »
Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare (SBM screenshot)
| Asia Pacific Review | SBM Online | Edited
HONIARA – Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has denied that China is being allowed to establish a military base in his country, which is 2,000 kilometers north-west of Australia.
Sogavare confirmed a security treaty had been finalised with China but said “there is no intention whatsoever to ask China to build a military base.
Continue reading "Sogavare: China military for Solomons ‘nonsense’" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Among the things to be mastered in Papua New Guinean politics are the subtleties and allusions of conversation, figurative speech, presentation and present-giving.
It’s a form of speech known as ‘tok-bokis’ – to speak in metaphors.
Continue reading "Thunder without rain not our preferred MP" »
Russian troops ford a stream at the Battle of Tannenberg in what is now Poland, August 1914. The battle lasted five days and ended in a German victory (Popperfoto)
NORTHUMBRIA, UK - In 1973, Kaiyer Auwin, a fight leader of Milep village in Jiwaka, let me into his inner thoughts.
Kaiyer, who had once carried a spear against early explorer and prospector Jim Taylor, told me he could scarcely believe the benefits that followed the Kiap Administration’s subjugation of everyday inter-clan fighting.
Continue reading "Tribes of Europe readying for war" »
TUMBY BAY - If you want to about the art and demands of writing, then dipping into the autobiographies of successful writers, past and present, is a good way to go.
At present I’m working my way through the two volumes, 1,000 plus pages, of Nicholas Monsarrat’s autobiography, Love is a Four-Letter Word.
Continue reading "Writing success not measured by money (but it helps)" »
Dr Joe Ketan - "Foreign consultants who piggyback on development aid have often been responsible for bad advice"
PORT MORESBY - A quick glance at Papua New Guinea’s recent history will tell you that there are certain things that you would have done it differently if you had your time over again.
But time does not stop or rewind, although sometimes history seems to repeat itself over and over.
Continue reading "Problems of our own need reforms of our own" »
Illustration - Hindustan Times
Social Stability vs Individual Rights
ADELAIDE - Democracies are both difficult to create and difficult to govern successfully.
First and foremost they require a remarkably self-disciplined population willing to voluntarily conform to a broadly agreed set of ideas about how their society is ordered and governed.
Continue reading "Democracy under pressure in PNG & Oz" »
Something of a metaphor. Ulli Beier with monkey idling in the shadows on his shoulder
MELBOURNE - It is 52 years since I attended Ulli Beier’s classes in African literature at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Now as then, and like many others, my view of him remains conflicted.
Maebh Long has laid bare, eloquently, his hypocrisy and deceit which, back then, was a matter of considerable gossip, on and off campus.
Continue reading "Ulli Beier: A personal recollection" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – Recently, there have been two gun incidents in Port Moresby involving politicians.
The most serious of these occurred when a gun allegedly belonging to a PNG politician was accidentally discharged killing a bystander.
Continue reading "Guns & politicians: no special privileges please" »
Michael Dom - "Beier, Fitzpatrick and Jackson were opening up avenues for PNG writing". Dom and his associates are more likely to develop a design that will enable it to flourish
A Tok Pisin translation of this article follows this English version
NARI STATION, MOROBE - It was my impression that one of the questions bothering Philip Fitzpatrick around 2010, as he ruminated about his once adopted Melanesian home, was that, if Papua New Guineans are writing, then where is the published evidence?
The question I raise is about the field of literary endeavour rather than the academic and workplace necessity of writing.
I refer not to that boring stuff which earns money but the thrilling stuff that returns to us nothing but self-satisfaction and relief.
Continue reading "Asking if we write is the wrong question" »
I once walked the city’s dusty streets,
Homeless, aimless, penniless
Dropped-out, poor, no future,
Surviving on crumbs and goodwill
But with undying hope in my soul
I scraped a few coins to study,
And paid my way right through,
Sat in the university’s honoured halls
Now nothing to lose, all to win
And sensed God’s call in my life
Continue reading "Ode to an Adventist education" »
Illustration by Dola Sun (National Public Radio, USA)
TUMBY BAY - Politicians and other reprobates are known to rely on a suite of well-worn axioms as they go about their nefarious dealings and machinations in office.
One of these is the accepted wisdom that if a lie is repeated often and loudly enough people will eventually come to believe it is true.
Continue reading "In a world of violence, is it forlorn to hope?" »
Defence Minister Peter Dutton (9 News)
"We share with our Pacific family culture, the principles of democracy and freedom, and these are things that are very important to the Pacific Island peoples” – Peter Dutton, Australian Defence Minister, Today
“Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door” – Peter Dutton's bad joke about (a) sea level rise in the Pacific and (b) what he sees as his Pacific family’s lack of attention to punctuality, 11 September 2015
CAIRNS – It is my personal observation following 35 years in Melanesia that Australia has hopelessly missed the mark when it comes to development assistance, and it continues to do so.
The total fixation on trying to build the capacity of central and sub-national agencies to the exclusion of an equal focus on communities has sunk almost every initiative you can name.
Continue reading "Australia is losing in the Pacific. Here’s why." »
| Twitter @LepaniThierry | Edited for publication
PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea parliament has approved the creation of seven new electorates by splitting seven existing ones in time for the elections.
This came after a majority endorsement of the Electoral Boundaries Commission Report.
Continue reading "7 PNG provinces get new electorates" »
The 'sandwalk' where the great scientist. Charles Darwin, did much of his thinking
SONOMA - A fertile brain bubbling with game changing ideas is the by-product of habits consistently practiced.
A fertile brain does not emerge by accident, nor is it given on a golden plate.
It needs to be shaped and transformed through consistent good thinking and good practice over time.
Continue reading "You can improve the way your brain works" »
Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and China's premier Li Keqiang in the Great Hall of the People, 9 October 2019 (Thomas Peter, Reuters)
NOOSA - The Australian government and its tame media are displaying shock and indignation this morning as details come to light about Solomon Islands agreeing to cooperate with China in policing and security, roles historically performed by Australia.
In early February, PNG Attitude reported on extensive negotiations between the two countries that covered a long shopping list including almost every sector and industry in the Solomons.
Continue reading "Canberra wrings hands as Honiara goes pinkish" »
Professor Henry Reynolds - "It is by no means clear that the world’s authoritarian states see themselves as members of an 'anti-democratic coalition'. Some of the most autocratic are American allies"
| Pearls & Irritations
TOWNSVILLE - “I think we are in a contest,” President Biden declared in June last year, “not with China per se but with autocrats and autocratic governments around the world - whether or not democracies can compete with them in this rapidly changing 21st century.”
Was he referring to particular regimes that assumed a hostile stance towards the United States or were geo-political rivals? Or was it really autocracies anywhere and everywhere that had been put on notice.
Continue reading "At war with the autocrats" »
A Russian armoured personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv (Marienko Andrew, AP)
CHRIS OVERLAND & KEITH JACKSON
ADELAIDE & NOOSA – As the Ukraine War moves to its one-month anniversary, the more important Western nations are tonight holding an unprecedented series of three summits in Brussels - NATO, G7 and European Union, all in a row.
They do so as the outcomes of the war remain uncertain, but as Vladimir Putin’s destruction and terrorism continue.
Continue reading "Three summits in Brussels as Ukraine fights back" »
Dulciana Somare with her father, the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. Dulciana is contesting the seat of Angoram in this year's national election (Dulciana Somare)
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - While political dynasties are not prevalent in Papua New Guinea, there are several notable political families.
Sir Julius Chan, one of the country’s founding fathers, has been in parliament since 1968 – 54 years. His son Byron was the member for Namatanai, a New Ireland electorate, from 2002 to 2017.
Continue reading "Can their political legacy get PNG women elected?" »
Dr Allan Marat -
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Who would you like to see become Papua New Guinea’s prime minister? In this article, the top three candidates are ranked and profiled about why they're good prime ministerial material.
1 - Dr Allan Marat (Melanesian Liberal Party)
Since the passing of Sir Mekere Morauta, there’s probably only one true statesman in the PNG parliament.
Continue reading "Who would make PNG’s best prime minister?" »
Soldiers of the Australian 39th Battalion, Kokoda campaign, 1942 (Australian War Memorial)
NOOSA – After graduating with a BA in history and English literature, Adrian Clack spent six years as a history teacher and school counsellor.
He then served 12 years as a police officer before, in 2017, making his passion for military history a major pursuit.
Since then Adrian has completed 15 crossings of the Kokoda Track as a guide and historian for On Track Expeditions.
Continue reading "The remarkable Doc Vernon, doctor to the troops " »
The first printed plan of Port Moresby was compiled from surveys made in July and August 1886 by Walter R Guthbertson
| From a story originally published in
the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier
Eda Moresby: Our Moresby by John Brooksbank, K250 each (K200 each for five or more). To Australia: $100 + $15 post. Link Facebook and find Eda Moresby here or email here
PORT MORESBY – ‘Only in PNG!’ People might think this catch-all phrase for our country’s extraordinary quirks is a relatively recent addition to our lexicon.
But if the outrageous stories in John Brooksbank’s new book, ‘Eda Moresby’ (Motu for ‘Our Moresby’), are anything to go by, the expression would have applied way back to before Papua New Guinea existed.
Continue reading "The amazing, absurd & shocking story of Port Moresby" »
Graphic by Greg Rosenke
The inspiration for this poem came as Dr Unia Api,
a lecturer at Pacific Adventist University, spoke in
the chapel to Sonoma Adventist College theology
students on Wednesday 16 March, 2022 - SD
At Simon’s saddest banquet feast,
a costly perfume of purest nard
was poured on the body of Christ.
The sparkling oil flowing down,
and aroma sweet filling the room;
‘Christ smelled like a king’
Continue reading "‘Christ smelled like a king….’" »
Ulli Beier and President Léopold Senghor at the exhibition Neue Kunst in Afrika, 1980. Senghor, a poet and cultural theorist was Senegal's leader from 1960–80 (Archive Iwalewahaus)
This article offers edited extracts from ‘Being Obotunde Ijimere and M. Lovori: Mapping Ulli Beier’s intercultural hoaxes from Nigeria to Papua New Guinea’. The complete essay by Dr Long was published in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 11 October 2020
HAMILTON, NZ - Ulli Beier was a hugely influential figure in Nigerian and Papua New Guinean literature from the 1950s to the 1970s.
He founded and edited numerous literary magazines, including Black Orpheus and Kovave, fostered unappreciated talent, and provided publication opportunities when few were available.
Continue reading "Of Ulli Beier, Obotunde Ijimere & M. Lovori" »
Justin Olam - rugby league champion (nrl.com)
KANDEP, ENGA – Papua New Guinea is a developing country doing everything it can to catch up with the Western world.
In my view, easily the greatest Western influence in shaping PNG has been education; although other transformational forces, such as building a minerals-based economy, have been crucial.
Continue reading "Graduating to illiteracy? Just not on" »
Jaivet Ealom - taken from his Manus identification card on which a sharp-eyed Australian immigration official misspelled his name
Escape from Manus: The untold true story by Jaivet Ealom, Viking Australia, 2021, 352 pages, softcover AU$22.00, ebook AU$14.99. ISBN 9781761040214. Available here from Amazon Australia
TUMBY BAY - In 2014 I carried out a social mapping study on Manus Island and got a first-hand look at Australia’s regional processing centre for refugees.
What I saw was deeply disturbing and not something easy to forget.
Continue reading "Morrison’s Manus cruelty, by the man who got away" »
ADELAIDE – There are confirmed reports in the media that the Russians have begun to fire hypersonic missiles at selected targets in Ukraine.
Last night one of these weapons struck an underground ammunition depot in the western sector of the country.
Continue reading "Putin’s doodlebugs signal increasing desperation" »
The Mariupol theatre, with its vivid red roof, was packed with 1,300 people taking refuge and presented the softest of targets
| Translation by Roman Sheremeta
Last Tuesday, Svitlana Zlenko fled the besieged eastern Ukraine city of Mariupol with her young son. After finding safety, she used Twitter to share this account of life under siege. Dr Roman Sheremeta is an associate professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University at Cleveland, Ohio, in the USA. He prefaced this translation with a warning: “The faint-hearted should not read this” - KJ
SOMEWHERE IN UKRAINE - We collected snow, warmed it on a campfire and cooked macaroni. My family was in the bomb shelter of High School No 2.
Continue reading "Escape from Mariupol: '21 days changed everyone'" »
1,300 people had sought refuge in this theatre in Mariupol, bombed earlier this week. Only 130 have been rescued
ADELAIDE – The ugly war in Ukraine is not proceeding according to Vladimir Putin’s wishes.
The result so far is a strategic failure that seems to be engendering a situation within Russia that is quite unstable.
Dictatorships rest largely upon an ability to enforce control by inspiring fear, and they employ large security apparatuses to do this.
Continue reading "If you can’t win the war, kill the innocents…." »
Sylvia Pascoe - “I’m not the type of person that sees an issue and just walks away from it” (Godfree Kaptigau, The Guardian)
| Guardian News & Media Ltd | Edited
| Supported by the Judith Nielson Institute for Journalism & Ideas
PORT MORESBY – In June, entrepreneur Sylvia Pascoe will attempt to take her leadership to the highest level by contesting the country’s national election.
Pascoe, who began the Port Moresby city markets, is passionate about creating opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs, especially other women.
Continue reading "Ipatas leads charge to get women into parliament" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Following the 2021 Port Moresby Northwest by-election, we conducted a small survey among 120 UPNG students and working class residents of the electorate.
One of the questions we asked was about the criteria they used to cast their votes in the by-election.
Continue reading "Research reveals insights into women candidates" »
CAROLINE MIMBS NYCE
| Senior Associate Editor, The Atlantic
WASHINGTON DC - One year has passed since a gunman took the lives of six Asian women and two others at spas in the Atlanta area.
The shooting spurred new activism and awareness around violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States.
Continue reading "Violence against Asian-Pacific women in the US" »
Ben Micah lived the high life while, along with many cronies, stealing the money that kept PNG and its people poor. Micah's now dead but corruption is well and truly alive
NOOSA – The veteran New Ireland politician Ben Micah died on Wednesday morning after a suspected heart attack. He was aged about 63.
Micah had previously been admitted to Port Moresby’s Pacific International Hospital.
I republish below an extraordinary mea culpa Micah wrote two years ago, when he seemed to realise his political career might be over (although cronies say he was contemplating standing again in this year’s national election).
Continue reading "On the death of Ben Micah: Admission & contrition" »
ADELAIDE - The idea that Pacific Island nations will not be dragged into the emerging great power conflict is risible. More poor joke than serious contention.
Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands are already involved, and there is no way out.
Continue reading "Ukraine: PNG & Pacific Islands need a rethink" »
Cedric Agurope and his uncle, Cr Max Okm (Max Okm)
| Pacific Beat, ABC | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY - Hundreds of students in a remote Papua New Guinean school have repeated the same grade for eight years because teachers are abandoning their jobs.
Cedric Agurope, a former student of Jangit Primary School in East Sepik Province says he did not make it past Grade 3.
Continue reading "Where schools don’t open & teachers don’t teach" »
Kerenga Kua - “I must say that personally I am ashamed of the government”
| Pacific Mining Watch
PORT MORESBY - Petroleum minister Kerenga Kua says he is ashamed of the PNG government for delays of up to 13 years in K120 million of payments to LNG project landowners.
Kua announced the outstanding funds will soon be released by the PNG Treasury after landowners from the Hides petroleum precinct gave the government 14 days to release the money and respond to other outstanding issues.
Continue reading "Kua ‘shamed’ by late payday for landowners" »
Samoa prime minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa skipped a recent summit between Pacific Island leaders and China (AFP)
CHARU SUDAN KASTURI
| Al Jazeera | Edited extracts
DELHI, INDIA - Flanked by senior diplomats in Beijing, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi addressed leaders from Pacific Island nations last October.
The president of Kiribati, prime ministers of Fiji, Tonga and Niue, and the foreign ministers of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia and Solomon Islands appeared in windows on a screen, their video summit meant to herald a new promise in China’s relations with their region.
Continue reading "In the Pacific, growing wariness of China" »
NOTE TO READERS & CONTRIBUTORS
You may or may not have noticed a tendency to slackness in providing the usual fare
over recent times. Entirely due to the publisher experiencing a rough patch which,
he hopes with a certain desperation, will pass as quickly as the autumn storm it feels like - KJ
Auditor General Gordon Kega - 1,500 entities to audit, many eight years in arrears, is an impossible workload
| PNG Bulletin
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s auditor-general, Gordon Kega, says a large percentage of the 1,500 government entities his office is mandated to audit have not submitted financial statements, some of them for the past eight years.
They include 42 national departments, 21 provincial governments, 20 hospital boards, 321 local-level governments, 432 service improvements plans, 487 statutory authorities and 155 business arms
Continue reading "PNG govt spending not being accounted for" »
TUMBY BAY - Historians tell us we should not make comparisons with the geopolitical situation in the world today with what prevailed just prior to World War II.
This is despite the similarities creating a great sense of déjà vu among many people.
Chief among these is the emergence of a leader with imperialistic ambitions and scant regard for the human cost; a man who is prepared to risk everything to right what he perceives as historical wrongs.
Continue reading "The generation that’s ceasing to care" »
Ishmael Toroama - Proposal to give politicians greater control over public servants failed (ABG)
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited
BUKA - I have previously written about my concerns with proposals by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) to remove provisions in the Bougainville constitution which protect the independence of the public service.
In this article of March 2021 (‘Good governance in Bougainville is being undermined’), I wrote of proposed amendments to give politicians control over the appointment, assessment and discipline of senior public servants, matters independent of political control.
Continue reading "Bougainville's bold step to defend integrity" »
Relatives of Makilon Tabuni carry his body to be cremated in Sinak village, West Papua, last month (Benar News)
| Asia Pacific Report | Edited
AUCKLAND - West Papuan leader Benny Wenda has praised the bravery of Ukrainians defending their country while condemning the hypocrisy of a self-styled ‘peaceful’ Indonesia attacking innocent civilians in Papua.
“The eyes of the world are watching in horror [at] the invasion of Ukraine,” Wenda said in a statement.
Continue reading "Call for urgent action on W Papua child killings" »
Fairfax Harbour showing Port Moresby CBD and Hanuabada village ( RGAPhoto86, Shutterstock)
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s economy is projected to grow by 4% in 2022, about the same as forecast for Australia, but the World Bank characterises the recovery as ‘fragile’.
As Covid slowed global production, the PNG economy contracted by 3.5% in 2000 but returned a small but positive outcome of 1% last year.
Continue reading "PNG economy ‘fragile’, but don’t mention the C word" »
Russian marines train in Belarus before invading Ukraine (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service)
ADELAIDE - The Ukraine War has now been going on for 11 days and I have been following developments as closely as possible in both mainstream and social media.
While not a military person, I am an avid student of military history and feel able to offer these tentative observations about how events have unfolded so far and how they might reveal themselves in future.
Continue reading "The Ukraine War is a warning to us all" »
Under Vladimir Putin, the Soviet state has returned, complete with its underlying kleptocratic economic culture and entirely stripped of any benevolent parts it might have had
FROM AN AUSTRALIAN EXPATRIATE
MOSCOW - The BBC world service has reported new press restrictions in Russia, including 15 years jail for those who breach them.
The official Kremlin narrative is the only permitted one.
I agree with those who say that the Soviet state has returned, complete with its underlying kleptocratic economic culture, though entirely stripped of any of its benevolent parts.
Continue reading "Yes, the fog of war has descended" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - It took less than a week for the world to come together to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sanctions were applied to Putin, oligarchs and the Russian Central Bank, there was a suspension of SWIFT banking services and weapons and aid money were supplied to Ukraine.
Continue reading "What about West Papua? It’s our Ukraine" »
AUSTRALIA PACIFIC SECURITY COLLEGE
CANBERRA - COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Pacific, with many island nations experiencing their first outbreaks of the pandemic.
As the two-year anniversary of the pandemic in the Pacific approaches, island nations continue to see record numbers of cases, and in some instances hospitalisations.
Continue reading "Covid in the Pacific: February 2022" »
The Vanuatu government borrowed money from China to fund the Luganville Wharf (Slone Fred, Stuff)
| Stuff New Zealand | Edited extracts
WELLINGTON, NZ - When the media started reporting in 2018 that China might seek to use the Vanuatu wharf for military vessels, the foreign minister at the time, Ralph Regenvanu, denied this was a possibility.
“There was nothing in the contract around this idea that we would have to lose the wharf if we couldn’t pay back the loans.
Continue reading "The quiet militarisation of the Pacific" »