Aid, development & collaboration Feed

PNG & the Pacific score a minister for action

'I think the key thing is to build a relationship based on mutual respect. It can't be a transactional relationship where our interest waxes and wanes. A deeply respectful relationship is key'

Albo conroy
Pat Conroy MP, wife Keara and their children and prime minister Anthony Albanese after the new Australian ministry was sworn in last month 

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Richard Marles is now Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister.

When I met him about 10 years ago, he was the Labor government’s parliamentary secretary for Pacific Islands affairs and I was unimpressed.

Continue reading "PNG & the Pacific score a minister for action" »


The Coalition & aid: a story of two halves

Whereas Bishop seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about aid, Payne hardly ever spoke about it, and it was impossible to work out what she thought about the subject

Bishop-and-Payne (DFAT)
Julie Bishop and Senator Marise Payne (DFAT)

STEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA – When it comes to Australian aid, the Coalition government’s just ended nine-year reign can be divided into two periods.

From September 2013, when it came to power; to August 2018, when Julie Bishop resigned as foreign minister after the Liberal Party turned against prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and replaced him with Scott Morrison.

Continue reading "The Coalition & aid: a story of two halves" »


Australia’s aid program needs to be focused

While rebuilding a strong and effective aid program will take time, there are already in existence opportunities to increase funding for highly effective multilateral programs

The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid (Australian Council for International Development)
The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid budget, 1972-2022 (Australian Council for International Development)

MATT MORRIS
| Twitter | Edited

CANBERRA - Poverty reduction and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals offer a good guiding framework for development aid.

Within this, however, Australia needs to carefully prioritise its aid spending both within countries and in its global programs.

Continue reading "Australia’s aid program needs to be focused" »


Five new ideas for Australia & the Pacific

There are ways in which the tone and tenor of Australia’s relationships with the Pacific can be shifted, expanded and improved

Cain - aid plane solomons
Australian High Commission personnel in the Solomons await the arrival of a shipment of aid material (DFAT)

TESS NEWTON CAIN

BRISBANE - The significance of the Pacific Islands region to the new Albanese government was clear from the start.

Between being sworn in as foreign minister and getting on a plane to Tokyo, Senator Penny Wong recorded a video message for the Pacific signalling a step change and promising to visit ‘soon’.

Continue reading "Five new ideas for Australia & the Pacific" »


Progress often needs more than a road

The people of Milne Bay have a point. They have the makings of prosperity and connectivity. But a road from the capital would not necessarily bring them anything but strife

Green alotau sign

JOHN GREENSHIELDS

ADELAIDE – Not long ago, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape convened a stakeholder meeting to discuss Connect PNG – a 20-year plan to increase strategic road connections across the country.

Australian high commissioner Jon Philp told the meeting that Australia continued to support strategic and high-quality infrastructure projects as a tool to promote economic prosperity.

Continue reading "Progress often needs more than a road" »


A muted battle for the Pacific is enjoined

After a decade of neglect, and in some cases mockery, alliance repair in the Pacific Islands will not be achieved by policy shift alone

PAUL OATES

CLEVELAND QLD – We in the south-western Pacific find ourselves in a volatile regional situation that we have not seen since 1942 and where we are unsure of precisely, or even generally, of what might happen.

Perhaps our first problem is that we do not fully understand the intentions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the effective government of China.

What we do know is that the CCP through president Xi Jinping is in firm control of the country and that Xi, providing he makes no significant strategic errors, will remain in place for the predictable future.

Continue reading "A muted battle for the Pacific is enjoined" »


People power: The fight to save the Huon Gulf

It is time human rights and the environment were respected by Australian companies. PNG should not be a dumping ground

Manu Peni & Boe Spearim
Emmanuel (Manu) Peni with Boe Spearim of Let's Talk, a program of Australia's National Indigenous Radio Service

EMMANUEL PENI & LUKE FLETCHER

WEWAK - In Papua New Guinea, the election campaign is heating up ahead of national general elections in July.

Part of the PNG government’s election messaging is focused on its commitment to the Wafi Golpu joint venture project – an immense proposed copper and gold mine in Morobe Province.

As with the Frieda River mine in the Sepik, there are serious concerns about how to manage the huge volume of toxic mine waste the project will produce.

Continue reading "People power: The fight to save the Huon Gulf" »


China’s long head start in the Pacific

Australia needs a Catch-Up not a Step-Up in its relationship with the Pacific Islands, and this week started on the long diplomatic journey

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (Tiziana Fabi  Reuters)
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (Tiziana Fabi, Reuters)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – China is now seeking to build upon its existing diplomatic relations with 10 Pacific Islands countries with what it terms ‘a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development’.

It has been working towards this wider alliance since November 2014, when President Xi Jinping met in Fiji with the Pacific Islands states with which it had diplomatic relations.

The concept was more clearly defined in November 2018 when, during the APEC summit in Port Moresby, Xi held a group meeting with Pacific Islands leaders which further elevated the strategic relationship.

Continue reading "China’s long head start in the Pacific" »


The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme

AABUL RIZVI
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited

Exploitation and abuse of Pacific Islands workers will be turbocharged as their numbers are being ramped up

CANBERRA - One of the symptoms of exploitation in the Pacific Access Labour Migration Scheme (PALMS) is the number of workers who abscond from their employer and apply for asylum.

Since late 2019, over 3,500 people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste have applied for asylum.

Continue reading "The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme" »


Addressing the silence of Period Poverty

Manove - Marawaka airstrip
Unloading a plane at the remote Marawaka airstrip

PRISILLA MANOVE

The silent crisis facing women and girls in rural Papua New Guinea

GOROKA - Last year in May, from Queens Pads PNG here in Goroka, I picked up a large box covered in black tape. The contents of this box were 300 reusable sanitary pads.

Reusable sanitary pads are a big step up from the disposable one-time use sanitary pads currently dominating what is termed the feminine hygiene market.

Continue reading "Addressing the silence of Period Poverty" »


China v the West in great PNG electricity war

ElecRYAN MURDOCK
| Harvard International Review | Extracts

Compared with China, the West’s contributions to electrification are less tangible and far less financially robust

CAMBRIDGE MA USA - Amidst global discussion of the increasingly competitive dynamic emerging between China and the United States, Papua New Guinea represents a potential battlefield.

As the country works to establish a functional electricity network, Chinese and Western-allied involvement in the process has presented a point of competition.

Continue reading "China v the West in great PNG electricity war" »


Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG

Charteris - boys in canoeSTEPHEN CHARTERIS

Rethinking how primary healthcare services are funded & delivered in rural PNG

CAIRNS – It was nearing dusk when we happened upon the two boys.

Relieved though I was to have found human habitation, I couldn't help observing that a shirtless boy at the front of the canoe likely had tuberculosis.

Continue reading "Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG" »


Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid

Bville siwai topNEWS DESK
| New Dawn FM

BUKA – Bougainville vice-president and commerce minister, Patrick Nisira, has said the number of tourists visiting the province has declined because of the continuing Covid pandemic.

He said most present visitors to Bougainville are business people whose work is connected to the development of the province.

Continue reading "Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid" »


China, Solomons & the Oz diplomatic omnishambles

Illustration - David Rowe
Illustration - David Rowe (AFR)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”

An epigram usually attributed to Albert Einstein, although there’s no evidence he said it except that it is typical of the great man’s witticisms.

Last night Marise Payne met with Solomon Islands foreign minister Jeremiah Manele in Brisbane to discuss The Most Recent China Problem. Einstein would have understood.

Continue reading "China, Solomons & the Oz diplomatic omnishambles" »


Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

A Immigration at Jackson Airport -
Immigration at Jackson Airport - "long lines of miners queueing ready to extract resources from the ground"

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

'Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose' (the more things change, the more they stay the same) - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1808–1890, French novelist and editor

CAIRNS - Clearly very little has changed since Martyn Namorong’s first visit to Australia in 2015.

When Martyn penned this, Papua New Guinea’s population was around seven million. In the 10 years since, it has increased by two million - a phenomenal rate of growth.

Continue reading "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" »


Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship

A
Cartoon by Hudson

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - This week, Australian citizens observe what seem to be the final paroxysms of the Morrison government as its lamentable record in office and surprisingly poor campaigning leave it in a shambles.

Nothing symbolises this more than the fallout from a series of appalling blunders concerning Solomon Islands, which from my perspective looks suspiciously like a friendly flag operation gone wrong.

Continue reading "Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship" »


West Papua students ordered home from NZ

A Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned in applying pressure on West Papua
Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned in applying pressure on West Papua

SRI KRISHNAMURTHI
| Radio New Zealand | Pacific Digital Journalist
| Edited

AUCKLAND - West Papuan students are facing a difficult time in New Zealand after Indonesia terminated their scholarships and ordered them home.

Master of Communications student Laurens Ikinia told RNZ Pacific said he his dreams of a brighter future have been shattered by the Indonesian government.

Continue reading "West Papua students ordered home from NZ" »


Contesting views emerge in Solomons duel

A Kurt Campbell (AFP)
Kurt Campbell (AFP). China says the US is pushing Australia aside to intervene more directly in the Pacific Islands region

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It seems Kurt Campbell, the United States Indo-Pacific coordinator, will still visit the Solomon Islands this week even after the country declared it had already entered into a security pact with China.

A last ditch effort by Australia failed to change the mind of the Solomons leadership as the Morrison government was strongly criticised for its ineffectual Pacific Islands policies that it is claimed, not altogether credibly, to have enabled China to gain a military foothold in the Solomons, just 2,000 km from mainland Australia.

Continue reading "Contesting views emerge in Solomons duel" »


Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?

KEITH JACKSON

A Capture
Manasseh Sogavare and Zed Seselja pose stiffly for a photo after what seemed like a waste of time and jet fuel. Zed appeared to drop into Honiara empty-handed to praise Manasseh for a statement he made a couple of weeks ago and to express concern anyway

UPDATE

NOOSA – Australia’s international development minister Zed Seselja flew to Honiara today to reiterate his government’s previously expressed ‘growing concerns’ about the Solomons’ warming ties with China and a mysterious naval facility the Solomons knows nothing about.

It's highly unusual for a minister to travel overseas during the caretaker period of a national election, so reasons portentous looked at hand.

But now Zed's back to Aus, the trip appears more as a bit of campaign fluff to try to show Morrison et Fils are on the ball when it comes to pushing back against China.

Continue reading "Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?" »


US will work on PNG’s biggest problems

Land cleared by ExxonMobil for an airfield  Komo  2010 (Jes Aznar  The New York Times)
Men walk across land being cleared by ExxonMobil for Komo airstrip in 2010. The massive LNG project has been a major unsettling influence in the area (Jes Aznar,  New York Times)

BRIAN HARDING & NICOLE COCHRAN
| United States Institute of Peace | Edited

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - In terms of geographical size and population, Papua New Guinea is by far the biggest country in the Pacific Islands, a region increasingly central to United States’ strategic interests.

Along with neighbouring Solomon Islands, PNG is at the centre of a growing geopolitical contest between the US and its allies and China.

Continue reading "US will work on PNG’s biggest problems" »


Understanding the role of developmental leaders

Gibert top
Green shoots nurtured by a hand (Anna Gibert)

ANNA GIBERT | Edited

VILA - From the early 2000s, the established approaches of international aid programs with their externally-led technical solutions have been increasingly called into question by progressive development practitioners and think tanks.

Voices like the Overseas Development Institute, the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice, and the Centre for International Development at Harvard University have consistently underscored other approaches.

Continue reading "Understanding the role of developmental leaders" »


China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?

KEITH JACKSON

Sogavare and Xi
Manasseh Sogavare and Xi Jinping - security deal caused an Australian meltdown

NOOSA – In late October 2010, then United States’ secretary of state Hillary Clinton was in Honolulu nearing the end of a comprehensive tour of the Asia-Pacific region.

In two weeks Clinton was to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, and high on her agenda were discussions about military cooperation and action “to respond to a more complex maritime environment”.

Continue reading "China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?" »


We know we must change, but are you helping?

Maslow
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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?" »


The aid gap: inapt activity v resigned inertia

dependency theory
Dependency Theory

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

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" »


Sogavare: China military for Solomons ‘nonsense’

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare (SBM screenshot)
Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare (SBM screenshot)

ROBERT IROGA
| 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’" »


Problems of our own need reforms of our own

Dr Joe Ketan -
Dr Joe Ketan - "Foreign consultants who piggyback on development aid have often been responsible for bad advice"

JOE KETAN

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" »


Australia is losing in the Pacific. Here’s why.

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

"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.

The heart and soul of every place in Melanesia is the community and its land - not a government agency or a politician.

Continue reading "Australia is losing in the Pacific. Here’s why." »


Canberra wrings hands as Honiara goes pinkish

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and China's premier Li Keqiang in the Great Hall of the People, 9 October 2019 (Thomas Peter, Reuters)

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’

MeaaKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Australia’s Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) has condemned the suspension of 24 Papua New Guinean journalists by EMTV, PNG’s largest television station.

The MEAA is Australia’s largest and most established union and industry advocate for creative professionals.

Continue reading "Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’" »


China rejects Pacific ‘debt trap’ accusations

China Embassy in Kiribati (Rimon Rimon  Stuff)
The embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kiribati (Rimon Rimon,  Stuff)

LUCY CRAYMER
| STUFF NZ
| With Joanne Holden (Cook Islands), Dorothy Wickham (Solomon Islands), Lisa Monovo (Fiji) & Talaia Mika (Samoa)

WELLINGTON, NZ - Drive from the airport to Nuku'alofa, Tonga, and on the side of the road, you’ll see a ‘China Aid’ sign erected outside a school.

Take the road between Nadi and Suva, and you’ll spot a recently-built hospital made with Chinese money. There is a sign etched into the peach wall to remind passers-by: China funded it.

Continue reading "China rejects Pacific ‘debt trap’ accusations" »


Introducing the awesome MP database

PNG-MP-Database-top
The MP database and its companion Elections database are essential tools for anyone interested in Papua New Guinea. A laudable joint project of the Australian National University and the University of PNG

STEPHEN HOWES & THOMAS WANGI
| Devpolicy Blog | Edited

CANBERRA - It’s not easy keeping track of Papua New Guinea’s members of parliament.

They might change from one party to another, or from government to the opposition. To help make it easier, we’ve created the PNG MP Database, which you can link to here.

A few years ago, we created the PNG Elections Database, which tells you who competed in every seat in almost every election back to independence, and how they fared.

Continue reading "Introducing the awesome MP database" »


A policy to energise the PNG jobs market

Prime Minister James Marape addresses the Pacific Adventist University’s 35th graduation ceremony (PMNEC)
Prime Minister James Marape addresses the Pacific Adventist University’s 35th graduation ceremony (PMNEC)

JOHN K KAMASUA
| PNG Career Development Inc

PORT MORESBY -In the first issue of The Organizational Doctor, published last August, I wrote on the important outcomes of a short survey I conducted on the issue of connecting graduates to jobs.

In Papua New Guinea we are producing many fine graduates who cannot find appropriate employment: this is a quite appalling situation for them and their families and a terrible waste to the nation.

Continue reading "A policy to energise the PNG jobs market" »


The bells toll for us: But will we wake to them?

ASTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS – Chris Overland comments that “we collectively ought to have sufficient insight and humility to accept that we have an obligation to help out those who live in 'shithole' countries….

“Not merely through charity, but by a conscious, systemic and systematic effort to help them reach their true socio-economic potential.”

I agree entirely with this evaluation. The bit that sticks in my craw is the inequity that exists at such a deeply disturbing level.

Continue reading "The bells toll for us: But will we wake to them?" »


Australia fends off China with K1.5b for ports

Port of Lae
Port of Lae - set to become a regional container hub as Australia fends off Chinese influence.

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Australian government has announced it will provide K1.5 billion in loans and grants to Papua New Guinea to upgrade its ports facilities.

Australia says the funds will strengthen trade ties between the two countries and encourage PNG to decline investment from other nations including China.

Continue reading "Australia fends off China with K1.5b for ports" »


FBI & RPNGC join forces to fight corruption

FBI official
FBI assistant commissioner Hodges Ette poses with a RPNGC officer at the financial crimes and corruption training program [USA Embassy]

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – “Who wears sunglasses on a rainy day looking like they’re going to the concert in a suit?” the joke goes.

The answer is a G-man, the American slang term for agents of the United States government, usually from the FBI.

The famed Federal Bureau of Investigation is the domestic intelligence and security service of the USA, the government’s principal federal law enforcement agency.

Continue reading "FBI & RPNGC join forces to fight corruption" »


Miserly Australia cuts Pacific aid again

Aid
Australia will cut its foreign aid next year even though the impacts of the Covid pandemic are still hurting Pacific Island nations (Development Policy Centre)

STEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Australian government reversed its earlier policy of cutting aid, and started to increase it.

Aid increased from $4.29 billion in 2019-20, before the pandemic, to $4.56 billion in 2020-21, the first year of the pandemic (amounts adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2021 prices.)

Continue reading "Miserly Australia cuts Pacific aid again" »


The house Peter & Rose helped build

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

PETER KRANZ

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" »


Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific

Capturetop
Naomi, a support staff member at World Vision in Papua New Guinea (Nelson Kairi Kurukuru)

DANE MOORES & JONATHON GURRY
| Devpolicy Blog

MELBOURNE - The socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are devastating communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste as much as the virus itself, and sometimes to an even greater extent.

In late 2020, World Vision surveyed 752 households (with an average of six people per household) in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.

Continue reading "Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific" »


PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level

Png_societySTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS – In ‘Forty Years Lost’, Dr Joe Ketan has applied a pretty broad brush (a term I picked up from an organisation improvement text in an airport bookshop). However, I believe he quite correct.

I certainly don’t decry the notion that public sector reform is necessary.  A cursory look at Papua New Guinea’s development indicators tells you something is badly amiss.

Continue reading "PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level" »


Australian & NZ are ‘stingy’ aid donors

Australian-Aid (Anne-Orquiza-DFAT)STEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog | Extracts

CANBERRA - Last week the Centre for Global Development (CGD) released its 2021 Commitment to Development Index.

The CDI has, for the last 20 years, compared rich countries in terms of their “policies that affect the development prospects of countries beyond one’s own borders”.

Continue reading "Australian & NZ are ‘stingy’ aid donors" »


Adviser’s arrest spells trouble all round

CarolynBlacklock
Carolyn Blacklock - senior woman adviser engaged on an Australian government funded program finds herself in hot water

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – Carolyn Blacklock, former acting managing director of PNG Power, has been arrested by a police criminal investigation team and charged with conspiracy, forgery, false pretence and misappropriation.

The forensic team had been established by police commissioner David Manning to investigate high level financial crimes.

Continue reading "Adviser’s arrest spells trouble all round" »


The deadly damage of naïve consultants

Capture
A 1959 report on kiaps by Sir David Plumley Derham KBE CMG (1920–85), Australian jurist and university administrator, was misused to enhance police powers and weaken kiaps' more measured approach to pacification and administration in PNG

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – For decades Papua New Guinea has been a happy hunting ground for the consulting industry.

Careers have been built on providing often gratuitous advice to governments in both PNG and Australia, not to mention the purchase of the odd sports car or coastal retreat.

It’s not a post-independence phenomenon as many people assume. Consultants have been active in PNG since the 1950s.

Continue reading "The deadly damage of naïve consultants" »


Colours of battle still shine for best friends

PIX 1
PNGDF project team leader Lieutenant Livia Wrakonei points the way to Australia’s High Commissioner Jon Philp and PNGDF chief Major-General Gilbert Toropo

ALEXANDER NARA

MURRAY BARRACKS, PORT MORESBY - Best friends are connected souls, so to speak. They align. They trust each other.

Some say our best friends can be our worst enemies, but Chinese philosopher Mencius (372-289 BC) said, “Best friends are our own siblings that God did not give us.”

These types of friends are rare and bless us with true companionship.

Continue reading "Colours of battle still shine for best friends" »


Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers

The Ialibu-Kagua built by 12 CE Works was sealed in 2019
The Ialibu-Kagua road built by 12 CE Works in the 1970s was finally sealed in 2019

KEVIN PAMBA
| Harim Tok Tok

MADANG - By the time the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) unit left Mendi in 1999, most parts of the former Southern Highlands Province (Hela was created from its western region in 2012) were connected by basic roads while the more outlying areas had airstrips.

Members of the Australian Army’s engineering corps had been deployed to Mendi in 1970 to run the Provincial Works Division.

Continue reading "Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers" »


Lethargic Australia drops ball on Covid

Delta pcKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The more infectious, faster moving Delta variant of Covid has been identified for the first time in Papua New Guinea.

The Delta strain is currently proving hard to control after breaking out in Australia’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. It has killed three people so far.

Continue reading "Lethargic Australia drops ball on Covid " »


Western posturing & global white privilege

Chandran Nair -
Chandran Nair - "Instead of being captive to an idealised vision of the West, the rest of the world is waking up to Western narratives, fallacies and weaknesses"

CHANDRAN NAIR
| South China Morning Post

HONG KONG - The West’s disingenuous position on Israel and its coordinated attacks on China have blown the cover of the liberal narratives it uses to hide a postcolonial, imperialist agenda.

Its hypocrisy has been further exposed by its hoarding of coronavirus vaccines and the systemic racism that prompted the Black Lives Matter protests and fuelled attacks on people of Asian descent.

Continue reading "Western posturing & global white privilege" »


Stop griping & get a grip on GBV

4 objectives of the national GBV strategy
The four objectives of the national strategy on gender-based violence

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY - The gender-based violence (GBV) we struggle with in Papua New Guinea is a result of many activating circumstances.

The number of cases continues to increase. Just on Sunday, two women accused of witchcraft were tortured and burnt with hot irons for hours by 20 men in Port Moresby.

Continue reading "Stop griping & get a grip on GBV" »


Funding quirks make it hard to put smiles on faces

Western Province is the largest and most remote province in PNG
Western Province is the largest and most remote in PNG

TABOI AWI YOTO

DARU – You may be aware of a Papua New Guinea government policy that every province and district should expect to receive K10 million a year to spend on local projects.

This scheme is known as PSIP/DSIP or ‘MP’s funds’ and is meant to disburse K10 million to each province and district, the funds being administered by committees chaired by district or provincial politicians.

Continue reading "Funding quirks make it hard to put smiles on faces" »


Covid: urgent business for Australia - & China

AidBRENDAN CRABB & MIKE TOOLE
| The Canberra Times

MELBOURNE - The surge of new COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea is deeply worrying.

At the end of January, this country of nine million had reported just 866 cases and nine deaths. By 12 April, these numbers had increased to 8,442 cases and 68 deaths.

Continue reading "Covid: urgent business for Australia - & China" »


Daru – the town the good life left behind

Sil
Sil Bolkin

KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN

DARU - Daru Island has its own honourable and gallant history dating back to the arrival of Portuguese explorer, Luis Vaez de Torres, in the 1600s.

But today it is withering away in misery under the independent state of Papua New Guinea.

Daru is one of the Torres Strait islands in PNG’s Western Province. The town is the provincial capital and is home to the vast majority of the island's population of some 25,000 people.

Continue reading "Daru – the town the good life left behind" »