Environment, health & human rights Feed

Getting HIV services to vulnerable people

UNAIDS Winnie-Byanyima-is-greeted-by-outreach-workers-at-Begabari-HIV-Clinic
UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima greeted by outreach workers at Begabari HIV Clinic


PORT MORESBY - There are around 45,000 people living with HIV in Papua New Guinea, with marginalised groups such as sex workers, other women who exchange sex for money, goods and protection, gay men and other men who have sex with men, and transgender women most affected.

However, less than half of the people who belong to those vulnerable groups have ever taken a test to know their HIV status.

Continue reading "Getting HIV services to vulnerable people" »

Breaking the cycle of violence

Hercules Palme Jim
Hercules Palme Jim - "Not all young men in PNG want to abuse their wives or girlfriends. We've had enough!"


PORT MORESBY - It is disgusting to hear 'experts' or so called feminists in Papua New Guiea say that boys who grow up in broken homes, settlements, villages or homes with violence are prone to get involved in crime or violence.

I grew up in the village and the settlements without a father and have observed over the years my aunties and sisters being beaten up by their husbands almost everyday of my life as a child growing up.

Continue reading "Breaking the cycle of violence" »

Covid-19 would 'wipe out' Daru

Samuel Winggu (centre) leading a march of people in Daru
Samuel Winggu (centre) leading a march of people in Daru

| Radio New Zealand

DARU - Following unconfirmed reports of Covid-19 in Papua New Guinea's Western Province, the mayor of the provincial capital, Daru, has warned the coronavirus could "wipe out" his town.

Situated on an island of the same name off PNG's south coast, Daru is a colonial town initially designed to hold 5,000 people.

Continue reading "Covid-19 would 'wipe out' Daru" »

Let’s have an environment repentance day

Nickson's team on the Kokoda Track as part of their marathon walk (T4G)
Nickson's team on the Kokoda Track as part of their marathon walk to fight climate change (T4G)


PORT MORESBY - Climate change is a global crisis and a multi-sectoral issue. It will take every living person in this decade to do something, big or small, to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to changes in weather patterns.

Nickson McManga, 35, from Kumdii in Western Highlands and his voice on climate change may not be as big as Greta Thunberg’s on the global scale but his is still a " compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet”.

Continue reading "Let’s have an environment repentance day" »

Poor land use is worsening floods

News clip floodsKERRY KIMIAFA

GOROKA - It would be absurd to blame effects of climate change as the sole reason for sudden and unprecedented flooding in certain parts of Papua New Guinea, such as the recent case here in the Highlands.

But the truth is that we humans have abetted and induced flooding through land use changes, especially massive vegetation clearance.

Continue reading "Poor land use is worsening floods" »

Corona fears: Torres travel banned

Treaty villagesAARON SMITH
| Guardian Australia | Extracts

SYDNEY - Travel between the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea has been banned after unconfirmed reports of a coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak in the Western Province of PNG.

The PNG government has yet to confirm any cases of Covid-19 in the country but councillor Kebei Salee of the Western Province village of Sigabadaru, said there were unconfirmed cases in the villages of Buji and Ber, while cautioning that “we are waiting for the results of testing”.

Continue reading "Corona fears: Torres travel banned" »

Planting trees to fight climate change

Mature raintree
The grandeur of a mature raintree


PORT MORESBY - Both in government corridors and private sector spaces, environmental conservation is now a hot topic.

Whether we talk about an international conference or the launch of a new green project, people are talking about preserving our Earth, incorporating a great deal of green innovative effort.

Continue reading "Planting trees to fight climate change" »

Embassy tries to quell corona concerns

Xue Bing  China's ambassador to PNG
Ambassador Xue Bing - "The xenophobic attacks against Chinese people are more serious than the corona virus itself"

| National Broadcasting Corporation

PORT MORESBY - Chinese citizens in Papua New Guinea are being urged to be cautious in their movements after growing discrimination due to the corona virus outbreak.

The Chinese embassy in PNG said it's worried about the stigma and hate speech the virus has caused on Chinese people, not only in PNG but in other countries as well.

Continue reading "Embassy tries to quell corona concerns" »

The big bad Australian buai boom

Betel nut gearMARIAN FAA
| ABC Far North

CAIRNS - Health experts are warning about the devastating consequences of chewing an illegal tropical nut with dentists across Australia reporting an alarming spike in oral cancer symptoms associated with the product.

Market vendors in far north Queensland said the intoxicating nut was being traded illegally in growing quantities across the country.

Continue reading "The big bad Australian buai boom" »

Communicate virus better say journos

| Media Council of Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY - The Media Council of PNG is calling on all state agencies involved in policing and securing the country’s borders and people against a potential novel coronavirus outbreak to be better coordinated and to collaborate more closely.

It also says PNG must ensure that all preparatory measures are clearly articulated to the mainstream media if people are to be kept informed and reassured of their safety.

Continue reading "Communicate virus better say journos" »

PNG reacts to corona virus

CoronavirusNEWS DESK
| PNG National Broadcasting Corporation & Sources

PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea department of health has said PNG is among the high risk nations of contracting the corona virus because of its location in the Asia-Pacific region.

Acting health secretary Dr Paison Dakulala said PNG has joined the world in stepping up efforts to contain the deadly virus, which has so far infected 11,000 people and killed 200.

Continue reading "PNG reacts to corona virus" »

Is sustainable forestry a fantasy?


PORT MORESBY – I’ve been reading about guys in the forestry business and thought I might share some of my own experiences.

Cloudy Bay Timbers, owned and operated by the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program before the expropriation of Ok Tedi Mine, was a perennial loss-maker although it was operated with all the right intentions and using 'industry best practice'.

Continue reading "Is sustainable forestry a fantasy?" »

PNG defends human rights effort

Davis Steven
Deputy prime minister Davis Steven says NGO has been premature in its judgement of PNG's human rights and change is now very close (PNG PM Media Unit)

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's government has defended its efforts to protect human rights.

This follows a damning international NGO report into the state of human rights in PNG.

Human Rights Watch's annual summary on PNG says little was done in the past year to tackle corruption, police abuses and domestic violence.

Continue reading "PNG defends human rights effort" »

Deputy takes over health hot seat

Dr Paison Dakulala
Dr Paison Dakulala

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND – A new appointment has been made to Papua New Guinea's embattled health department, after the former health secretary's contract expired this week.

Dr Paison Dakulala will take over on a three month contract after Pascoe Kase's contract expired on Monday and was not renewed.

Continue reading "Deputy takes over health hot seat" »

Under Marape, rights getting worse - report

James marape glum
"PNG has not really worked to dig itself out of the hole it was in, and it is only getting worse"

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - A human rights organisation has released a damning report into the state of Papua New Guinea, where a change of prime minister has done little to tackle rampant violence and corruption.

Human Rights Watch's annual report reveals rates of violence, domestic abuse, corruption and foreign debt haven't improved over the past year, where weak enforcement and a lack of accountability fostered a culture of impunity and lawlessness.

Continue reading "Under Marape, rights getting worse - report" »

Missionary sisters expect miracles

Villagers near the town of Bereina in Central Province
Villagers near the town of Bereina in Central Province

| Catholic Leader

BEREINA - When the villagers of impoverished Bereina need to quell their famine, they reach for the noxious betel nut.

In the town of Bereina, in the Central Province of Papua New Guinea, the addictive seed, which is prohibited in Australia, is often the only food source for the local villagers.

Continue reading "Missionary sisters expect miracles" »

Sarawak loggers deforest PNG

Extreme loggingAZRIL ANNUAR
| Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian companies from Sarawak are allegedly trespassing while carrying out logging activities in Papua New Guinea and contributing towards deforestation in the island nation, says Sarawak Report.

The online investigative portal accused Sibu-based Rimbunan Hijau Group (RHG) and WTK Group as well as Amanab 56 Timber Investments Limited as among those stripping the resources of PNG.

Continue reading "Sarawak loggers deforest PNG" »

Measles in POM 'deeply concerning'

| Radio New Zealand

PORT MORESBY - A senior Papua New Guinea health official says the confirmation of measles in the capital, Port Moresby, is deeply concerning, but he's hopeful any outbreak can be contained.

A five-year-old from Boroko was confirmed to have the disease earlier this week, the third in the country since last month.

Continue reading "Measles in POM 'deeply concerning'" »

Disaster awaits if we don’t plan

Informal settlers in Port Moresby (Catherine Wilson IPS)KOMBA SAKUMB
| Take Back PNG | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Have you ever wondered why urban settlements are growing, mass rural urban migration happening, urban accommodation rates skyrocketing, evictions from settlements are occurring everywhere…..

Have you ever wondered why urban customary land is being bought by outsiders, urban law and order problems are rising, urban poverty is growing, rural district centres are run down, the incidence of street begging, prostitution and cities full of rubbish is increasing?

Continue reading "Disaster awaits if we don’t plan" »

'Africa on our doorstep'

Patricia Oome  (Alex Ellinghausen)
Patricia Oome,  14,  a week after being admitted to hospital for severe malnutrition and tuberculosis (Alex Ellinghausen)

| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - It's barely a whisper when 14-year-old Patricia Oome speaks, and her movements are laboured as she struggles to find a comfortable position on her bed.

A room full of children shouldn't be this quiet, but like many admitted to the paediatric ward of the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), Patricia is weak from severe malnutrition - a result of often eating just one meal a day as her family feels the financial strain of having seven children.

Continue reading "'Africa on our doorstep'" »

Measles in Gulf & New Ireland

| Source: PNG News

PORT MORESBY - Just before Christmas the health department confirmed two positive cases of measles in Papua New Guinea.

Testing at the central public health laboratory detected the disease in the Gulf and New Ireland provinces when surveillance was heightened due to the deadly measles outbreak in Samoa which killed 80 people, mainly young children.

Continue reading "Measles in Gulf & New Ireland" »

God, violence & women’s subordination

"In effect the churches blame the wife for the beatings and violence her husband has inflicted on her"


TUMBY BAY - In the first of a series of recent articles on gender and Christianity on The Conversation website it is suggested that a literal translation of the bible may be contributing to domestic violence.

In a self-declared Christian nation like Papua New Guinea, with very high levels of violence against women and children, this discussion has particular relevance.

Continue reading "God, violence & women’s subordination" »

Saving the Sepik from Frieda mine


PORT MORESBY - A photo posted on Facebook showing dried freshwater fish at Wewak market has sparked a discussion on the future of the Sepik River.

In the river’s headwaters, the Frieda copper and gold mine is pushing ahead with its development plans.

The Sepik is 1,100km long and empties into the Bismarck Sea. The river system’s 430,000 people use the river for food, education, transport, health and culture.

Continue reading "Saving the Sepik from Frieda mine" »

Corruption & climate change

| Transparency International | Extract

BERLIN - Solving the climate crisis is possible, but vested economic interests and a lack of political will stand in the way.

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. The climate crisis cannot be tackled without tackling corruption.

International funding for climate adaptation and mitigation measures will reach over K340 billion in 2020. Even more - around K2,000 billion - will be spent from national budgets.

Continue reading "Corruption & climate change" »

A pioneering approach to birthing

Prof Mola and first ‘baby bundle mother’ in Gogmei  Simbu
Prof Glen Mola, the first 'baby bundle' mother (and baby) and the baby bundle at Goglme in Simbu. The bundle encourages mums and dads to seek a supervised birth

| UK PNG Church Partnership

PORT MORESBY - I have spent much of the 50 years of my professional life trying to improve health outcomes for women and their new-borns in Papua New Guinea.

Research over the last 30 years has been very clear, that supervised birth in a health facility and family planning are the two things that can make the difference between life and death for women and their babies.

Continue reading "A pioneering approach to birthing" »

I am not to be silent

Nursing staff
Nursing staff and children in Oro Province, c 1970s


BRISBANE – Mine is a truly sorrowful and even frightening story and I am motivated to write it after reading a PNG Post-Courier article by Nathan Kuman.

I follow Rostrum’s motto “not to be silent when I ought to speak”.

Four weeks ago I spent three nights at Kokoda, staying at a guest facility run by the family of Henry Amuli MP, which is located nearby the Kokoda Hospital.

Continue reading "I am not to be silent" »

Health corruption & incompetence exposed

Juffa Pundari
Public accounts committee deputy chairman Governor Gary Juffa and  chairman Sir John Pundari enter a packed conference room to investigate the health department. How many deaths has this corrupt and incompetent department been responsible for?

| My Land, My Country | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Inside a packed conference room on the first level of B-Wing at Papua New Guinea’s parliament house, the Public Accounts Committee awaits senior members of the health department.

Already present are representatives from the logistics  and pharmaceutical companies who have been summoned to give evidence in this investigation into a health system in crisis.

Continue reading "Health corruption & incompetence exposed" »

The mystery of low birth weight

Even if small babies survive, they can suffer severe health problems throughout life and have a shorter life expectancy

| Burnet Institute

MELBOURNE - Shockingly, one in seven babies in Papua New Guinea is born with a low birth weight.

Babies born too small are often too weak to fight infection and as a result are very likely to die.

Even if they survive, they can suffer severe health problems throughout their life, and have a shorter life expectancy.

Continue reading "The mystery of low birth weight" »

Jamie Maxton-Graham: A tribute

Jamie Maxton Graham
Jamie Maxton-Graham in Mexico in 2008 - he persuaded Daniel Kumbon to adopt a healthy lifestyle


WABAG – When we met for the first time far from home, the late Jamie Maxton Graham encouraged me to give up Coca-Cola.

It was in Mexico City in August 2008, and it’s not often you come across a national minister who talks on a personal level about health and other important life issues.

Continue reading "Jamie Maxton-Graham: A tribute" »

Healing in the jungle

All in a day's work (Aurélie Rawinski)
All in a day's work (Aurélie Rawinski)

| Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders

KEREMA - We spend two days a week at Malalaua in the Gulf region.

Local buses are sporadic and each boat trip costs more than our patients can afford.

Transport support is, therefore, part of the package of services that we offer to ensure quality care for patients throughout their tuberculosis (TB) treatment, which lasts at least six months.

Continue reading "Healing in the jungle" »

Youth bulges as population booms

Spectators line a makeshift ring (Natalie Whiting)
Boxers entertain crowds of mainly young people at an after hours marketplace in Mt Hagen (Natalie Whiting)

| PNG correspondent | Australian Broadcasting Corporation

MOUNT HAGEN - The Mount Hagen Market is usually one of the busiest places in town, with hundreds of people visiting each day to buy fruit and vegetables.

But on Sundays it belongs to the City Rats and their crowd of spectators, who form a circle and watch as two men strap on shin guards and gloves. Then the fight begins.

Continue reading "Youth bulges as population booms" »

Ok Tedi locked in new legal fight

Landowner Alex Maun
Landowner Alex Maun in the dying forest near Ok Tedi River. He sued BHP in the 1990s (Alex de la Rue)

| Sydney Morning Herald/The Age

MELBOURNE - A fresh legal dispute has erupted over control of a fund set up to benefit the tens of thousands of villagers affected by mining giant BHP's environmental disaster at the Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea more than 20 years ago.

The Ok Tedi mine – which BHP co-owned with the PNG government until selling its stake in 2002 – discharged tens of millions of tonnes of mine waste into the local river system during the 1980s and 1990s, contaminating fish and trees and devastating the area's economy.

Continue reading "Ok Tedi locked in new legal fight" »

We’re women, not witches

Witch burning
Dramatic photograph captures the horrific scene of a woman being tortured in front of a village crowd

| Ms Magazine | Extract

WASHINGTON DC - Paul Petrus speaks softly about the part he played in the rescue of an accused witch.

Anna (not her real name), a young woman in her mid-twenties, was being tortured by villagers outside Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands Province.

After a 2015 outbreak of tribal violence in neighbouring Enga, Anna had fled approximately 130 km to escape the conflict.

Continue reading "We’re women, not witches" »

Laiagam’s descent into HIV hell

Gai - election colleagues 2012
My colleagues involved in the 2012 national election - ambitious candidates made it an easy way to earn money


LAIAGAM – It was seven years ago, during the 2012 national election, that I first witnessed that a larger number of young people living in my community in Enga Province were HIV victims.

My home village is Niunk in the Lagaip-Porgera district. Nearby villages include Kanak, Wanepap, Komaip, Waiyap and Lakris.

My friends in those villages left high schools at that time in 2012 to get involved in the election. I was going to do the same but withdrew since in those days I was a drunkard and chasing women.

Continue reading "Laiagam’s descent into HIV hell" »

Cardinal Ribat: Let's protect our islands

Pope Francis Cardinal Ribat
Pope Francis and Cardinal Ribat, who asks: "“Where will we be after all these islands are gone?”

| Vatican News

THE VATICAN - As the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region ended recently, Cardinal John Ribat of Papua New Guinea said he could identify with most of the topics that were discussed.

Cardinal Ribat, the Archbishop of Port Moresby, said that there are many similarities between Papua New Guinea and the Amazon region and many topics resonated with what is happening in PNG.

Continue reading "Cardinal Ribat: Let's protect our islands" »

Tough job: Tackling TB in PNG

Louisa - "Shortly into the treatment, I felt better, and I stopped taking the medication regularly”. It was a mistake

| Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

PORT MORESBY - Louisa’s hands shake from anxiety, as they do every morning. She is clearly nervous as she fills a bottle of water and picks up a handful of different tablets.

Louisa, who is in her late 20s, lives with her family close to the seashore in one of the many small settlements that make up Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Tough job: Tackling TB in PNG" »

Medevac Bill - a matter of life or death

"If not transferred to Australia, they will be on the streets of our capital city, their days numbered at the hands of thugs or as a result of starvation and sickness"  - Fr Giorgio Licini


PORT MORESBY - The debate rages on about the possible repeal of the so-called Medevac Bill in the Australian Senate.

The politically divisive legislation came into force in March this year allowing about 140 seriously ill asylum seekers and refugees to seek medical treatment in Australia from the offshore processing centers of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Medevac Bill - a matter of life or death" »

The festering wounds of Manus and Nauru

Giorgio Licini
Fr Giorgio Licini - "It is outrageous what is being done to refugees in Manus, Port Moresby and Nauru"


PORT MORESBY – Yesterday was World Migrant and Refugee Day and a message from Pope Francis to mark the day was particularly meaningful for our part of the world.

The words of the Pope help uncover a sense of truth about what has been going on for the past six years in Nauru and Manus.

Continue reading "The festering wounds of Manus and Nauru" »

Time for action on family planning is now

Dr David Ayres - "There is an obvious need to improve access to family planning methods in PNG"

Country Director, Marie Stopes PNG

PORT MORESBY - Today is World Contraception Day. Launched in 2007, it seeks to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people of child-bearing age to make informed choices about fertility choices and sexual and reproductive health.

The use of contraception in Papua New Guinea remains very low.  The most recent ‘Papua New Guinea Demographic and Health Survey 2016-18 Key Indicators Report’ painted an alarming picture of family planning.

Despite 85% of PNG’s population living in rural areas, only 35% of contraceptive users live in rural areas, and lesser educated and poorer women are much less likely to use contraception.

Continue reading "Time for action on family planning is now" »

‘We’re an important voice,’ Parkop tells climate summit

Powes Parkop has initiated a Million Trees campaign as part of his program to promote resistance to climate change in Port Moresby and PNG


NEW YORK – Governor Powes Parkop will today address a United Nations climate action summit which is seeking to mobilise collaboration and investment to accelerate and support climate action to combat global climate change.

The boss of Papua New Guinea's capital will share his experience from Port Moresby and emphasise the serious problems issues that PNG and small island developing nations in the Pacific and elsewhere face with climate change.

Continue reading "‘We’re an important voice,’ Parkop tells climate summit" »

The great twin threats of climate & corruption

| Transparency International

BERLIN - The climate crisis, like corruption, is a matter of life or death.

The evidence is hard and clear. The last five years are the hottest ever recorded in the 139 years that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tracked global heat.

Continue reading "The great twin threats of climate & corruption" »

Malaysian companies exploit oil palm workers

Children on oil palm estate
Children on an oil palm estate - life in camps with no schools and their birthright disappearing

NEWS DESK | Sarawak Report | Edited extract

SARAWAK, MALAYSIA - Dayak landowners of Sarawak will take no pleasure, but experience little surprise, in hearing how the people of Papua New Guinea have been ill-treated by logging and oil palm plantation conglomerates based in East Malaysia.

These are companies who first robbed Sarawakians of their land rights before extending operations into virtually all the remaining timber reserves on the planet.

Continue reading "Malaysian companies exploit oil palm workers" »

Something wrong when PNG’s wealth benefits others


CARDIFF, WALES - I’m a simple person who lived in Papua New Guinea for over 30 years and who feels there is something very wrong with the political system when a very large island nation with a small population and blessed with a super abundance of resources has experts talking about its fragile state.

Indeed why has the former Australian territory of PNG with such an abundance of wealth has depended for over 44 years since independence on Australia for many billions of dollars in grants and other forms of aid.

I would love someone to research how many massive billions have been earned by the various extractive companies over those 44 years plus the billions earned in cash crops such as coffee, cocoa, copra, oil palm in addition to the many billions transferred from tropical logs and the wealth derived from PNG’s huge marine zone fisheries.

Continue reading "Something wrong when PNG’s wealth benefits others" »

Oro Province moves to protect the world's biggest butterfly

Queen Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly
Leaders in Oro Province are taking steps to protect the endangered Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly

NEWS DESK | NBC News / PNG Today

PORT MORESBY - Concern has been raised in Papua New Guinea and overseas about the disappearance of the Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly species in Oro Province.

The Birdwing is the world's largest butterfly and it is found only in PNG and can be found only on the Managalas plateau in Oro.

A proposal presented to the Ijivitari District Development Authority by local MP Richard Masere said there are plans to establish a foundation to protect the endangered butterfly.

"I want to be the patron of this foundation,” Masere said.

“To kick start the foundation's work I'm putting K10,000 to campaign to save the Queen Alexandra butterfly.

Continue reading "Oro Province moves to protect the world's biggest butterfly" »

The sadness of Basamuk: Ignorance & greed begat destruction

Basamuk Bay
Basamuk Bay, the once pristine water red from waste

SCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My Country

LAE - Ten years ago, a small group of Papua New Guineans made a decision to fight the construction of a multibillion kina Chinese-owned nickel mine in the Madang province.

The reasons were simple: land was going to be taken away from its traditional custodians in Kurumbukari in the Usino-Bundi electorate; and the sea, a vital resource for the people's survival, was going to be polluted by the dumping of tailings into Basamuk Bay.

I cannot mention the names of those who were strongly opposed to this because I do not have their permission. But they remained dedicated and were determined to stop the destruction from happening years before I got involved in the campaign.

It is one part of my life I never regretted.

Continue reading "The sadness of Basamuk: Ignorance & greed begat destruction" »

Progress may be inevitable but human dignity should prevail

Irai and family
Francis Irai and his family stand forlornly before their makeshift home at 9 Mile in Port Moresby located between a rock ledge and a busy road


PORT MORESBY - The fate of about 100 families residing in 64 units of National Housing Commission flats at Gordon in Port Moresby hangs in precarious balance as they face eviction from their homes of 20-30 years by a private property developer.

The matter is the subject of a bitter and protracted legal battle that has taken up the better part of the last 12 years and is still awaiting a final court decision.

But the political leadership of the National Capital District (NCD) must be lauded, and loudly, for standing up for the families who are agitated and distressed about the future.

Governor Powes Parkop and the MPs of Moresby South and North-East have made considerable efforts to address the adverse effects of physical developments on affected communities in and around the city.

Continue reading "Progress may be inevitable but human dignity should prevail" »

On Australian mission, Fr Giorgio says refugee crisis worsening

Fr Giorgio Licini
Fr Giorgio Licini - “You cannot keep people in those conditions indefinitely; you destroy them. And who allows you to destroy people?”

PETER BUGDEN | The Catholic Leader

BRISBANE - A senior priest in Papua New Guinea has turned to Australia seeking compassion for refugees and asylum seekers languishing in our nation’s off-shore detention system.

Fr Giorgio Licini, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands, has been in Australia in recent weeks pressing the case for an end to what he calls “a humanitarian crisis”.

Fr Licini has called for the Australian government to resolve the situation on humanitarian grounds.

Speaking as a missionary from PNG – a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions – and as a church man, Fr Licini said “we don’t necessarily question the policies of government in terms of border protection … but in this specific case I would say, see now the humanitarian crisis”.

Continue reading "On Australian mission, Fr Giorgio says refugee crisis worsening" »

Marape govt begins to address PNG’s grim cancer battle

Rebecca and Benona
Young Angau Hospital patients Rebecca and Benona later succumbed to cancer - Papua New Guinea has a desperate shortage of equipment and drugs to fight the disease


PORT MORESBY - We are all susceptible to cancer regardless of age, sex, race, health and socioeconomic situation.

Cancer strikes indiscriminately. It takes alike the old and young, weak and robust, eliminating a former common misconception- one of many myths of cancer - that it is mainly an ailment consigned to the older age bracket.

In recent years males are catching up to cancer’s prevalence amongst females - shattering another misconception that females are more prone to cancer.

Unlike death and its inevitability, cancer can be fatal, but is also avoidable and treatable, given the right drugs and equipment.

And it can be curable as well if diagnosed and treated at the earliest stage.

I was privileged to speak to the late Dr John Niblett about this in July 2013. At the time this great and selfless man was director of the Angau Memorial Hospital’s cancer treatment centre.

Continue reading "Marape govt begins to address PNG’s grim cancer battle" »

'Patriarch' Morrison trying to teach Pacific children how to behave

Mungo MacCallum - "Australia is not an innocent bystander at the mercy of the polluting giants: we are a major player"

MUNGO MacCALLUM | John Menadue: Pearls and Irritations

BYRON BAY - The Great White Father has arrived in the far flung atolls of the Pacific. And, like the missionaries before him Scott Morrison is delivering the bringing of the light — a gospel of hope and salvation.

Well, up to a point. Boiled down, his message is that if they are worried about the rising waters, they should sandbag the foreshores and move to higher ground if there is any, because he is not going to do anything substantial to help.

He will, of course, offer money, which his host at the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuvalu prime minister Enele Sopoaga, said was not really the point:

“No matter how much money you put on the table it does not give you the excuse not to do the right thing, which is to cut down on your emissions, including not opening your coalmines. This is the thing we want to see.”

Continue reading "'Patriarch' Morrison trying to teach Pacific children how to behave" »