CHRIS OVERLAND & KEITH JACKSON
NOOSA – We live at a time when It is difficult to find any outstanding political leadership in most of the world’s democracies. The professionalisation of politics, and associated political inbreeding, has reached its apogee. Winning and retaining power is now the main point of politics. Reform is a subsidiary issue. The will and capability to change and address difficult issues like global warming have been compromised.
Continue reading "Uncomprehending elites put us in danger" »
CHINESE NAVY IN PNG TO PLAY GAMES
PNG Facts reports on the four-day visit by the Chinese naval vessel ship Qi Jiguang to Papua New Guinea. The stay, which ends today, seems aimed at reinforcing relationships with the politicians and military of PNG. “The officers and soldiers of both countries will participate in visits, exchange programs and games,” said China’s ambassador to PNG, Zeng Fanhua.
Continue reading "Recent Notes 29: China in the Pacific" »
TUMBY BAY - Back in the 1980s I decided to add a major in Government to my 1970s double degree in Literature. One of the subjects concerned the impact of technology on paid employment. At the time there was a wide body of literature on the subject. The consensus was that new technologies would do away with the more arduous and soul destroying aspects of work and increase workers’ leisure time.
Continue reading "Tech could enrich us all, but...." »
NOOSA - Here in Noosa, just like the rest of Australia, we’re in the middle of referendum politics, where the vitriol has reached boiling point and exceeds even the hyper-toxicity that prevails around local government elections here in Australia’s premier seaside resort apart from Tumby Bay.
Continue reading "Is this really the Australia you want" »
TUMBY BAY - Many of the disasters that are currently pummelling the world with increasing intensity, from floods to heatwaves, are directly attributable to climate change.
Unexpected consequences from these events, like the deaths of thousands of emperor penguin chicks by drowning in Antarctica and starving polar bears in the Arctic Circle, are catching the world by surprise.
Continue reading "Psychopaths dooming us to catastrophe" »
PORT MORESBY – In June, the Constitutional Law Reform Commission completed a nationwide consultation gauging views on whether the prime minister should be elected directly by the people as in a presidential system. The directive to do this came from the national government.
Why the need to change the current system? Because the government thinks that the unicameral parliamentary system is “not working”? The obvious question therefore: ‘Is the current parliamentary system not working for PNG because it’s a bad system, or because PNG is not using the parliamentary system as it is supposed to be used?’
Continue reading "Who's really to blame for PNG mess" »
EDDIE T PAINE
It's the 48th anniversary of Papua New Guinea’s independence on Saturday and Eddie’s Kikibakik, a folk tale in the Binandere language of Oro Province, discusses the problems besieging the nation and how they might be best addressed - KJ
PORT MORESBY - We sit down in the forever blacked-out Port Moresby night and hear our neighbours playing the famous Saugas song, Sindaun Bagarap, which echoes around on this windy night. And we hear the buai (betel nut) buyers complaining about hikes in prices. And we think about Papua New Guinea turning 48 in a few days’ time.
The question I ask my small brother, Braigi, is how have we progressed so far in the last 48 years as a nation?
Continue reading "48 years on we need to do a lot better" »
The plantation homestead before and its demolition by villagers angry at the PNG government's land use practices
MADANG – I’m an investor in the Papua New Guinean agricultural and livestock industry and purchased a state agricultural lease on the north coast near Madang.
By August last year, I had paid all the required fees and charges like stamp duty and assured myself that the title was clear.
Continue reading "The very risky business of investing in PNG" »
Microsoft Bing Image Creator
PORT MORESBY – As an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Papua New Guinea government, I have to write anonymously to secure my safety.
I am writing to reveal interference by the United States in PNG’s internal affairs which is undermining the bilateral relationship between Australia and PNG.
Continue reading "US gazumps Australia for control of region" »
COMPILED BY LOCH BLATCHFORD
Evelyn and JK Murray in Port Moresby, 1951
Introduction by Keith Jackson
NOOSA - Within the space of a couple of weeks early this year, Loch Blatchford and I experienced coincidental but catastrophic computer failures.
Mine cost PNG Attitude the bulk of its images and links but fortunately retained most of the textual content. Loch’s resulted in him losing most of The Blatchford Collection, his valuable, impeccably assembled historical compilation of the development of Papua New Guinea’s education system after World War II.
Continue reading "The making of PNG: JK Murray v Bureaucracy" »
| Come the Revolution
Author, journalist and acclaimed political observer, Alex Mitchell (Scott Powick)
Prologue by Keith Jackson
NOOSA - Was the recent on-field cricket incident involving England fast bowler Ollie Robinson, just a display of extraordinarily bad manners or the product of barely disguised racism?
Alex Mitchell certainly brought to life my own thoughts about the matter in constructing a fine narrative that builds a case for the latter.
I'd believe our Papua New Guinean readers would have something to say about this.
Continue reading "England cricketer's ugly outburst a racist slur" »
Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii (1840-2017) was against the Reciprocity Treaty, believing it heralded an American takeover of her kingdom. She was correct
PARI - What kind of danger does a nation face when the United States wants to establish a military base on its sovereign territory? Let me first review the history of how the Hawaiian kingdom died.
Some 3,200 kilometers away from the US mainland, Hawaii’s central Pacific location has long been of strategic military importance.
Continue reading "PNG is our country. We must not give it away" »
PARI - From the time the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed last week, there have been indications that prime minister Marape is behaving more autocratically.
I have the feeling that PNG democracy is heading down the death highway under Marape's rule.
When the news was reported that Biden was going to visited PNG, Marape appealed to Papua New Guineans and the media to be cautious in making comments about the visit.
Continue reading "Is Marape more autocratic since the US deal" »
"Papua New Guinea needs brave men and women with clever minds and loud voices to rise
against the few who are corrupting our government and sucking our people’s money"
PARI - Shamefully, the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed by PNG defence minister Win Bakri Daki and US secretary of state Anthony Blinken at APEC Haus on 22 May.
This was despite nationwide protests urging prime minister PM Marape to both sack former foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko and not sign the security pact.
The Marape government never respects the people of PNG.
Continue reading "We're your hope, we're not primitive animals" »
Screen shot from ChatGPT - frill-free, fast and functional. But can be error prone and demands attention to detail
NOOSA – A couple of months ago, as a consumer and producer of information, I decided I must try to understand something about artificial intelligence and ChatGPT.
By ‘understand’ I meant to find out ChatGPT’s application to journalism and creative writing (it has many other capabilities) and to determine its grasp of human behaviour.
The latter is imperative because if it can’t distinguish between good and bad, truth and lie or fact and opinion it’s use is problematic in the absence of ethical human intervention.
Continue reading "The good & bad of ChatGPT: An assessment" »
BONIFACE KAIYO & KEITH JACKSON
PORT MORESBY – On 1 May 1963, the United Nations transferred the administration of West New Guinea to the Republic of Indonesia. The capital Hollandia was immediately renamed Kota Baru.
West Papuan nationalism and desire for self-determination that had consolidated in the wake of the long deadlock between Indonesia and the Netherlands after Indonesia declared its independence at the end of World War II had not borne fruit.
Continue reading "Connecting the dots on West Papua, Part 3" »
Are they here to help, or to control?
PARI - There’s one word that best describes the United States-Papua New Guinea Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in Port Moresby on 22 May by our defence minister Win Bakri Daki and US secretary of state Anthony Blinken.
And that word is ‘shameful’.
It came into being at APEC Haus amidst the rare sight of nationwide protests urging prime minister James Marape not to sign the security pact.
Continue reading "The shame of becoming a US military base" »
'We Must Put The People First'
KANDEP - In recent mass media news reports in Papua New Guinea, concerns have been raised by senior officials in various government agencies that governance systems are failing.
This is serious enough in itself but especially bad for PNG as a developing nation seeking to achieve its developmental goals as enshrined in Vision 2050.
Continue reading "PNG must put the people first, not last" »
TUMBY BAY - Australia, like many other developed nations, claims it has no responsibility for CO² emissions from the coal, iron ore and gas it exports.
If Australia accepted that responsibility it would blow its emission reduction targets sky high and fail every test of being a responsible and ethical nation.
Continue reading "We have been betrayed by the global elite" »
TUMBY BAY - Towards the end of this year, Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum to change the Australian Constitution.
They will be asked whether it should be changed to establish a permanent, independent advisory body, known as The Voice, to advise federal parliament and the government on matters relating to the Australia’s Indigenous population.
Continue reading "Australia needs to take a hard look at itself" »
From the song ‘Me and Bobby McGee’, written by Kris Kristofferson in 1969 and most famously sung by Janis Joplin, who recorded it shortly before her death from a drug overdose in 1970
ADELAIDE - In the distant past, there arose priestly castes, or classes, whose members purported to have special insight and understanding about the world; an understanding that hugely surpassed that of ordinary folk.written by
Through certain rituals and the possession of uncommon skills - such as the ability to read and write, or through mastery of astronomy or great talent for mathematics - they secured influence, authority and power.
Continue reading "Play with dynamite, expect an explosion" »
A plan is hatched (not in the public interest)
NOOSA - Despite its rich and extensive natural resource base, which should make the task of national development, Papua New Guinea has been steadily dragged down over the last 30 years by a toxic blend of volatile politics and entrenched corruption.
A complex political situation intensified by corruption, cronyism and fluctuating strategic alliances have significantly hindered economic progress and contributed to societal challenges.
Continue reading "Bad, sad, quite mad & rapidly getting worse" »
'Kramer Out' says the Post-Courier. 'Not so fast' says the corruption-fighting minister dismissed by a Leadership Tribunal
Thanks to Phil Fitzpatrick whose scouring of social media revealed what he termed Bryan Kramer's “defiant response” to judge Lawrence Kangwia and senior magistrates Edward Komia and Josephine Nidue, sitting as the Leadership Tribunal which last week dismissed Kramer as a minister and parliamentarian - KJ
PORT MORESBY - Late Wednesday afternoon of 24 May 2023, a copy of a notice giving effect to my dismissal from office as the member of Madang Open was circulated on social media.
It was purportedly issued by the Governor General’s Office [and], given the errors on the face of the document, many raised the question whether it was genuine or fake.
Continue reading "My dismissal is far from the end of the matter" »
TUMBY BAY - Australia has changed considerably since the sleepy 1950s and a major influence can be put down to immigration.
Left to our own devices we’d probably still be dozing in the warm sunshine of national complacency.
Complacency about climate change and its effects is beginning to look more and more like a scourge, even a killer. And yes, we're bloody complacent
Continue reading "Complacency feels good, but it might kill you" »
Warime Guti - "Let us work together to create a sustainable future that values the protection of our natural resources and respects the rights and well-being of its people"
LAE - The Papua New Guinea Environmental Alliance (PNGEA), a representative of civil society organisations, is deeply concerned about the national government’s push to establish special economic zones throughout the country.
We’re concerned about the impact of the Special Economic Zone Authority Act of 2019, legislated to identify environmentally important areas and consider the well-being of communities within and near planned zones.
Continue reading "Taking back PNG? This new law gives it away" »
Dr Bal Kama (ANU College of Law)
BAL KAMA *
| Academia Nomad
CANBERRA – The Papua New Guinea and United States governments are said to be ready (possibly this week) to sign an unprecedented security agreement enabling US forces to operate in PNG.
A draft of the agreement was leaked last week and its substance has not been denied by either government.
Continue reading "Don’t sign PNG-US defence deal until it’s fixed" »
TUMBY BAY - The South Australian government has just finished building a new double-circuit 132kV transmission line to Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula near to where I live in Tumby Bay.
The former transmission line was more than 50 years old and prone to regular breakdowns.
A few years ago the line was knocked out by a storm and people were without power for several weeks.
Continue reading "Devices of benefit become means of control" »
The Eagle and the Bear (Microsoft Bing Image Creator)
TUMBY BAY - Along with many other people I have spent the last year or so trying to get my head around the sabre rattling that has been occurring between China and the USA, with various nervous acolytes, including Australia, standing off to the side.
Both behemoths have unsavoury human rights records and a propensity to strut their military might whenever it pleases them.
Continue reading "What the hell is going on with USA & China" »
The Think Tank (Microsoft Bing Image Creator)
PORT MORESBY - It seems that his current troubles, serious though they are, are not bothersome enough to prevent Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko from attending Monday’s meeting of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation in Port Moresby.
This will be the third summit of the grouping of India and 14 Pacific Island countries, and it is held as PNG prepares to sign a controversial Defence Cooperation Agreement with the USA.
Continue reading "This US defence pact shouldn't be signed" »
Michael Kabuni - "We hope this case sets a precedent, so citizens can continue to hold their leaders accountable"
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – It seems that the Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission has received “an avalanche of complaints from the public” in relation to the Justin ‘Primitive Animals’ Tkatchenko issue and that it intends “to treat each complaint accordingly”.
This case, this saga, is different from any I’ve observed since I became interested in PNG politics. It has set itself apart from the rise of internet, and its temperamental grandchild social media, in making issues go viral.
Continue reading "Tkatchenko affair: Pipol 1, Marape 0" »
World in Chaos (Bing Image Creator)
TUMBY BAY - The final scene in Sean O’Casey’s 1924 Dublin play, ‘Juno and the Paycock’, ends with a drunken character dropping his last sixpence on the floor and declaring "the whole world is in a terrible state o' chassis" before passing out.
‘Chassis’ was a malapropism for ‘chaos’ and ‘paycock’ was an Irish rendering of the word ‘peacock’, which Juno liked to use to describe her layabout husband, Jack.
Continue reading "The world has always been in a state of chaos" »
Jacksons International AIrport Port Moresby (peace-on-earth.org)
| Pearls & Irritations
SYDNEY - And the anti-China media beat-ups continue, this time over possible Chinese naval bases in the South Pacific.
The anti-China campaign never stops: Hong Kong; Xinjiang; debt traps; the tennis player Peng Shuai, who was ‘disappeared’; Covid policies that were too strict and then too permissive; a property collapse; a shrinking economy now growing too fast; and renewed beat ups about Chinese military bases in the South Pacific.
Continue reading "New colonisation of the White Man’s Pacific" »
USS Oakland is on duty in waters around PNG and the Pacific Islands as AUKUS steps up activities in the region
PORT MORESBY - United States president Joe Biden and Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape are slated to sign a defence cooperation agreement next Monday which will give nuclear submarines and other military assets freedom of entry to PNG and the Pacific Islands.
The signing of the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement will drag PNG into a military alliance with the US and Australia and give the US and its allies the right to utilise Lombrum naval base in Manus Province.
Continue reading "US defence deal will weaken PNG sovereignty" »
TUMBY BAY - If you speak to any of the diminishing band of old kiaps they will probably tell you that Papua New Guinea changed their lives.
In most cases they will put a positive spin on the nature of the change and tell you that being there opened their eyes to a whole new concept of society and what it meant.
However, not all could see what they were looking at.
Continue reading "Melanesian beauty is now ashes in our mouth" »
Foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko’s response to public criticism has led to a serious question about the character of PNG's parliament - is it a chamber of mendicants controlled by kleptocratic leadership?
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s MPs have refrained from engaging in the debate around foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko’s “primitive animals” slur.
Many Papua New Guineans are wondering why their MPs, with few exceptions, have remained silent on the saga.
Continue reading "Tkatchenko reveals the sad secret of PNG: A parliament trapped by a reckless executive" »
As Justin Tkatchenko clings to office, can James Marape afford to cut loose this powerful figure?
| Academia Nomad
Supplementary information by Keith Jackson
PORT MORESBY – Following his 'primitive animals' abuse of social media critics, demands are growing for Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko to quit his ministry or even resign from parliament.
Other people are calling for his passport to be revoked and then have him deported.
Continue reading "I think it’s good if Tkatchenko won’t resign" »
Port Moresby university students protest against foreign minister Tkatchenko, who called social media critics of his daughter “primitive animals” (Michael Tamty Pais | Benar News)
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Justin Tkatchenko has stepped aside as foreign affairs minister after sustained calls for him to resign.
This comes after he branded Papua New Guineans “primitive animals” for criticising his daughter’s TikTok videos showing a lavish trip to the United Kingdom funded by taxpayers’ money.
Continue reading "What we learn from the Tkatchenko saga" »
‘Sack him!’ - how the PNG Post-Courier reported the furore (screenshot by Asia Pacific Report)
| RNZ Pacific | Updated
This article was republished by Cafe Pacific under a community partnership agreement with Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko has stepped aside from his position after calling critics of his daughter, ‘primitive animals’ and ‘useless individuals’.
Savannah Tkatchenko posted a video on TikTok after attending the Coronation of King Charles III in London last week.
Continue reading "Tkatchenko goes after ‘primitive animals’ slur" »
Microsoft Bing image creation
TUMBY BAY – Having reached an age well past the Biblical allotment of threescore years and 10, I’ve noticed in the scriptures there could be more – although it comes with a menace.
‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away’ – Psalm 90:10
Continue reading "Are we humans failing to secure our survival?" »
Pacific Islands representation at the Coronation of King Charles III. PNG really knows how to waste money (What's Good PNG)
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea government has just spent K6 million on events to mark King Charles III’s Coronation at London’s Westminster Abbey.
PNG is one of a diminishing number of Commonwealth countries that have the King of England as their head of state.
We are one of the poorer countries and this waste of money needs a response.
Continue reading "31 at Coronation is an abuse of our people" »
TUMBY BAY – When I first arrived in Papua New Guinea in the 1960s, the system of local government was not widespread, especially in remote areas.
Government reached the people in the form of interaction between Administration officers and clan leaders, officially appointed as luluais and tultuls in New Guinea and as village constables (mamusi) in Papua.
Continue reading "When the bigman arrived, so did capitalism" »
TUMBY BAY – The cynics among us have always known that political ethics and personal ethics are not similar or indeed compatible.
It has been naively said that political ethics comes from the head while personal ethics comes from the heart.
By that is meant that political ethics are based on what seems practical while personal ethics are based on what is fair and right.
Continue reading "The diabolic forces who inhabit our politics" »
'Blackbirding' in Melanesia in the late 19th century was an approved way of stealing people's liberty to profit business. Later governments became smarfter and sold the people's property instead (State Library of Queensland)
TUMBY BAY, SA – In the world over, for many years now, both conservative and progressive governments have been privatising public services.
The argument runs that services like health, water, electricity, gas, transport and telecommunications can be operated much more efficiently, effectively and cheaply by business than government.
That this is a capitalist fallacy is now readily apparent.
Continue reading "Robbing the people to boost the profiteers" »
James Marape and Joseph Lelang at the debate: Soft questioning failed to call the two leaders to account
| Academia Nomad | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Was it a debate? Maybe a panel discussion? Or perhaps a church gathering?
Whatever it was, the debate between Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape and opposition leader Joseph Lelang was promoted with a massive fanfare and ended in a storm of criticism.
Continue reading "Marape v Lelang debate: a lost opportunity?" »
ADELAIDE - I have spent many decades studying the wise, wonderful, astonishing, strange and all too often terrible and cruel behaviours of human beings as, collectively, we have created what we call history.
One thing is obvious. History does not follow a predictable and linear trajectory by which we collectively reach progressively higher levels of economic success and enlightened civilisation.
In fact, a feature of history is how good we are at engineering the collapse of elaborate, successful and productive civilisations.
Continue reading "As storm clouds gather, are we prepared?" »
ADELAIDE - The last 30 years or so have been dominated by the idea that the market is the infallible distributor of goods and services, with government's essentially reduced to the role of bystanders.
An entire generation of politicians has grown up with this idea firmly in their minds, especially amongst the conservatives.
Continue reading "Let’s address the future & not the past" »
Caricature portrait of Paul Keating c 1984 by John Spooner (National Library of Australia)
TUMBY BAY - Despite my increasing aversion to the 24 hour news cycle, and after the resultant negative pile-on by what passes for the media in Australia, I couldn’t help but be lured to view an interview with Paul Keating at the National Press Club on Wednesday.
Keating has an impressive intellect and an acerbic wit, which was fine-tuned even in his first days as a young Labor Party MP in the late 1960s and had become well-honed when he became Australia’s prime minister in 1991.
He also has always had his finger very firmly on the pulse of Australian and international politics.
Continue reading "The AUKUS mess & straight talk from Keating" »
TUMBY BAY - A lot of my friends, most of whom are elderly, tell me they’ve given up watching, listening to or reading the news.
So too have some of my younger acquaintances, including my son and daughter in their early forties.
The general consensus is that it’s all too depressing.
Continue reading "People tuning out from bad news is a threat" »
PORT MORESBY - Great leaders have vision. They dream of a better future.
An Engan leader who had a great vision was the later Malipu Balakau. He has a grand vision to change Enga Province.
His vision of change was embedded in his captivating political speeches. He is said to have uttered his spellbinding speeches during his numerous campaigns.
“Poh mende ailyah lo epesamo ongo, namabame poh lo ono lo pena laro.” The wind that is blowing upwards, I will make the wind blow backwards.
Continue reading "PNG desperately needs a leader of vision" »
TUMBY BAY - Michael Dom and Paul Oates took issue with a comment I made about ethics and religion following an article by Chris Overland about the inexorable rise of stupidity in the 21st century, ‘The inexorable rise of the 21st century stupid’.
In my comment I wrote that you don’t “necessarily need religions to decide on what is right and what is wrong. All you need is a functioning brain."
Continue reading "The rules that guide us were created by us" »