Law, order & justice Feed

Public information for public trust

TI PNG
In PNG there is no reliable system to provide official information to the public and this can result in turmoil, caused by citizens reacting to fake news

NEWS DESK
| Transparency International

BERLIN – ‘ORGAN HARVESTERS APPREHENDED.’ This horrifying headline reached citizens of Papua New Guinea as a viral WhatsApp alert one morning in 2019.

The alert pointed to social media posts and reported that police had detained several kidnappers.

It said the kidnappers had been abducting and murdering women and children in the capital city of Port Moresby in order to harvest and sell their organs.

Continue reading "Public information for public trust" »


O’Neill: Chief justice’s shock intervention

LetterKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Papua New Guinea chief justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, has made an extraordinary intervention in politics by lodging a complaint against police minister Bryan Kramer alleging he has spread “a false or misleading report”.

And Salika’s letter of complaint was quickly leaked to Facebook.

Continue reading "O’Neill: Chief justice’s shock intervention" »


K3 billion a year lost in white collar fraud

Bryan Kramer at the anti-money laundering conference
Bryan Kramer at the anti-money laundering conference in Melbourne

BRYAN KRAMER MP

PORT MORESBY - It is estimated that Papua New Guinea loses anywhere between K2 and K3 billion in public funds annually through white collar corruption.

These funds would normally be spent on building classrooms, improving the education system, better wages and housing for public servants and providing lifesaving medical equipment and supplies.

Continue reading "K3 billion a year lost in white collar fraud" »


Just seeing my kids, says O’Neill

Oneill
Peter O'Neill - Says he didn't run away from justice. So can we expect him back in PNG some day soon?

NEWS DESK
| PNG Breaking News

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's former prime minister Peter O'Neill has denied a claim that he has fled the country to avoid being arrested

This is despite police last week withdrawing an arrest warrant for Mr O'Neill after his lawyers had launched a legal challenge to its validity.

Continue reading "Just seeing my kids, says O’Neill" »


O’Neill saga Part 2: Fakes & flakes

Warrants
The O'Neill arrest warrant at left was issued by the court to police. Note that the appropriate box is ticked. On the right is the fake warrant produced and submitted by O’Neill and his lawyers to mislead the court. The signatures are also different

BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Edited

PORT MORESBY – On Friday, I published Part 1 of the O’Neill story, providing an insight into the events that took place in relation to an arrest warrant obtained by Police on 11 October 2019 against former prime minister Peter O’Neill.

To recap, the national court granted a temporary stop order preventing police from arresting O’Neill until the matter returned to court on Monday 21 October.

Continue reading "O’Neill saga Part 2: Fakes & flakes" »


We’re women, not witches

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

ROBERTA STALEY
| 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" »


The challenge of tribal conflict in PNG

Tribal fighters with home made gun (Caitlin Welch ICRC)
Tribal fighters with home made gun (Caitlin Welch ICRC)

AHMAD HALLAK
| Australian Institute of International Affairs

CANBERRA - It is often said that tribal fighting in the Papua New Guinea Highlands is part and parcel of the socio-cultural fabric of the region.

With a history stretching back hundreds of years (if not more), it can be seen simply as an indivisible feature of the Highlands way of life.

Continue reading "The challenge of tribal conflict in PNG" »


Overcoming corruption in PNG

A swamp to be drained (Stefan Krasowski)
A swamp perhaps to be drained (Stefan Krasowski)

DAVID BURFOOT
| The Ethics Centre

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea is known as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Yet through delivering ethical leadership training to public officials there, The Ethics Centre is seeing a natural aptitude for ethics that government and corporations are struggling to nurture in Australia.

Continue reading "Overcoming corruption in PNG" »


Murder - all because of a bottle of beer

Niunk road junction
Niunk road junction where the Kandep-Mendi road joins the roads to Wabag and Porgera gold mine. And recently the scene of death, carnage and mayhem

PORAP GAI

LAIAGAM - Niunk village is on the road to Porgera gold mine, a kilometre away from Laiagam station.

The surrounding tribe, known as Samb, is made up of six clans: Kamul, Lapyen, Tingen, Maralin, Lot and Malwan. And these six are divided into of several inter-clans.

There are many chronic issues here and frosts, droughts, landslides, bushfires and floods shape the land.

Continue reading "Murder - all because of a bottle of beer" »


My frustrating Peter O'Neill years

ONeill_coming_to_power
Peter O'Neill (being restrained by a policeman left of centre) storms the supreme court in his successful bid to come to power in 2012

ALBERT SCHRAM

VERONA, ITALY - Last Friday an arrest warrant for Peter O'Neill, former prime minister of Papua New Guinea was issued. It caught him by surprise.

O’Neill locked himself inside the Crown Plaza hotel in Port Moresby, refusing to cooperate with the courts.

It is Ali Baba abandoned by his 40 robbers, who are now conveniently trying to hide their complicity or participation in his crimes.

Continue reading "My frustrating Peter O'Neill years" »


Tribal conflicts burden wild west Enga

Porap Gai
Porap Gai - "If the judiciary punished the guilty more honestly then there would be less or no violence"

PORAP GAI

LAIAGAM - The Papua New Guinea government needs to establish firmer law and order.

I am not a politician, I am a pastor. I have the pastoral responsibility for the innocent lives so often lost.

Lack of discipline is of concern due to the wantok system. There must be better rule of law in place to allow everyone to live in security.

Continue reading "Tribal conflicts burden wild west Enga" »


Why all the secrecy? What is MRDC hiding?

Mek
Sir Mek - "A blatant disregard for the law and for the transparency and accountability required of public bodies"

SIR MEKERE MORAUTA MP
| Former Prime Minister and Member for Moresby North-West

PORT MORESBY- The lack of transparency and accountability of the Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) and its subsidiaries may be hiding a multitude of sins.

What has been hidden from the group’s auditors and the auditor-general, incorrectly reported in annual financial statements or simply not reported at all may be a ticking time bomb for landowners and the funds they have entrusted to MRDC.

Continue reading " Why all the secrecy? What is MRDC hiding?" »


Mountain of allegations about MRDC scandal

Mekere Morauta (2)
Sir Mekere Morauta - New revelations affirm prime minister Marape’s decision to hold an inquiry into MRDC

SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

PORT MORESBY - New information about the scandal-plagued Mineral Resources Development Corporation has become available, reinforcing the urgent need for an inquiry into its operations and the status of the hundreds of millions of kina it manages on behalf of landowner companies.

There is now a mountain of allegations about MRDC and its landowner subsidiaries. I expect that in the coming weeks more will be revealed about their dubious activities and the real value of the investments they have made, purportedly in the interest of landowners.

Continue reading "Mountain of allegations about MRDC scandal" »


Marape election faces challenge in PNG supreme court this month

Pruaitch
Patrick Pruaitch will go to PNG supreme court - apparently still sore at the failure of his tactics to deny James Marape's election as prime minister

SONALI PAUL | Reuters | Edited

MELBOURNE - Papua New Guinea’s supreme court will hear a challenge to the election of prime minister James Marape, a lawyer for opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch, who has taken the matter to court, said on Friday.

The case, set for Friday 20 September, adds to political turmoil that has delayed progress on two important resources projects in PNG this year: a K30 billion plan to double its gas exports, led by Exxon Mobil Corp and Total SA, and plans to build a major new gold mine, Wafi-Golpu, led by Newcrest Mining.

The PNG parliament elected Marape as prime minister in May, when his predecessor Peter O’Neill quit after losing support from his own party over a range of grievances, including a gas deal with France’s Total.

Continue reading "Marape election faces challenge in PNG supreme court this month" »


Kramer explains reasons for Tokura-Manning RPNGC switch

David Manning
David Manning, whose replacement of Francis Tokura as acting police commissioner has created a few waves

BRYAN KRAMER MP | Minister for Police | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY – This week the National Executive Council (NEC) revoked the appointment of Acting Police Commissioner Francis Tokura and appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner (Operations) David Manning in his place.

The reason behind this decision was twofold.

Firstly, to reinstate Mr Tokura to his substantive position as Deputy Police Commissioner for Bougainville to oversee the preparation and conduct of the Bougainville referendum in November.

Last week, member for South Bougainville Timothy Masiu raised an issue on the floor of Parliament over the decision to remove Mr Tokura as the head of Police on Bougainville, placing him as the Acting Commissioner for Police.

Continue reading "Kramer explains reasons for Tokura-Manning RPNGC switch" »


Marape must not take the O’Neill road on illegal land grabs

LandEDDIE TANAGO | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - The stain of the SABL land grab is hanging over the head of the new Marape government.

It is now six years since a commission of inquiry reported to parliament revealing that over five million hectares of land had been stolen from local communities.

The commissioners recommended the leases be cancelled, yet six years later the nation is still in the dark as to how much land has been handed back to its rightful community owners.

Act Now! is calling on new Lands minister John Rosso to publish a full list of all the special agriculture leases detailing their current status so everyone can see which leases have been surrendered, which have been cancelled and which still remain in effect.

Continue reading "Marape must not take the O’Neill road on illegal land grabs" »


Date set for UBS loan inquiry; Australian judge will assist

John Gilmour
John Gilmour - Scottish-born Australian former judge and expert in commercial law will join Sir Salamo Injia in UBS-Oil Search inquiry

JONATHAN BARRETT | Reuters

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea will start preliminary hearings on Thursday 19 September into the terms of a K2.8 billion loan from Swiss bank UBS used for an ill-fated government investment in the gas sector, the inquiry’s chairman said on Monday.

The timetable and terms of reference, released for the first time, also include a focus on how the UBS loan used to buy a government stake in PNG-focused energy firm Oil Search was obtained, whether it resembled previous loans, and whether the government broke its own rules in taking out the loan.

Chairman Salamo Injia, a former chief justice, said in a statement that retired Australian judge John Gilmour would also join the inquiry as a second commissioner.

“The appointments of [an] overseas commissioner and counsel were necessary given the international dimensions of the UBS transactions,” Salamo said.

Continue reading "Date set for UBS loan inquiry; Australian judge will assist" »


Wild Cat: A fraud uncovered & in dire need of investigation

Eric Schering
Eric Schering - time for something to be done about a K30 millon fraud

ERIC SCHERING

WEWAK - By April 2019 prime minister Peter O’Neill was clueless about the depth of opposition to his leadership of Papua New Guinea.

He genuinely believed he would win a vote of no confidence hands down.

In the 3 May 2019 issue of The National newspaper, the title of one of the leading articles had O’Neill saying, “I’m Safe”.

The article quoted him saying that the opposition had “no hope of being successful with a vote of no confidence.” One month later he was out of office and sitting on the back bench.

O’Neill had badly miscalculated the level of support within his own party as well as the backing of his broader coalition.

One of the earliest MP’s to abandon O’Neill was Governor Philip Undialu. In the 28 April 2019 issue of PNG Attitude, Undialu says, “Since the first shipment of gas [LNG] in 2014, over K70 billion has been earned but O’Neill is not telling the country where the money was parked.” K70 billion!

Continue reading "Wild Cat: A fraud uncovered & in dire need of investigation" »


Peace came to the valley – and it all started at home

BRAD WATSON | Adventist Record | Edited

Peace-in-the-valley
Recent literacy graduates from the Guna-Goreku people of Simbu, who seem to have found a sustainable peace

KUNDIAWA - The air is filled with smoke rising languidly above mounds of black ash. Women and children hide in the forest, terrified of those who have stripped their fields and herded away their pigs.

In the distance, a decrepit school stands idly, empty of laughter or the sounds of teachers scolding students. A small church, recently filled with sounds of song and praise, is the only building that is untouched.

Over a ridge, a widow watches a sweet potato roasting on a bed of glowing ash. She is worried. Her hands tremble. Recently a man in her clan died after a long illness. Some of the relatives are saying she is responsible.

They huddle together and whisper. A witch, one says. A sorcerer, says another. A Dracula. For that is the new word they use for the likes of her. She has done nothing but fears what will happen when the relatives of the deceased man return to her house.

Continue reading "Peace came to the valley – and it all started at home" »


Forget the Aussie rozzers & give the New Zealand police a go

RPNGC-AFP-officers
RPNGC and AFP officers - Australian police are said to have problems bridging the cultural gap between themselves and PNG police

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - There have been suggestions that Papua New Guinea’s police minister Bryan Kramer is thinking about seeking advice and assistance from the Australian Federal Police to bring the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary up to scratch so that it can effectively tackle a worsening law and order problem.

This has been tried before and the results were less than heartening, the reason for the failure having much to do with the inability of the Australian Federal Police to bridge the cultural gap between itself and RPNGC.

Most people in the know were not surprised. Bringing personnel from a largely peaceful urban working environment into the sort of conditions that prevail in PNG was a big ask at the best of times.

Added to that was the perception that the use of the AFP represented a neo-colonial approach. This didn’t go down well with the RPNGC itself or the general public.

But there is another option if the minister still thinks outside help is required.

Continue reading "Forget the Aussie rozzers & give the New Zealand police a go" »


Chinese counterfeits are killing PNG’s embryonic fashion industry

James Marape and Annette Sete
James Marape and Annette Sete

ANNETTE SETE | My Land, My Country

LAE - Papua New Guineans in the creative industries will never win against cheap Chinese copies unless and until the Papua New Guinea government tightens up on some of the laws safeguarding our businesses.

Chinese imitations of local designs and fake or counterfeit products will continue to flood our markets.

This past week my total of Chinese copies reached eight. Six of those we attempted to fight against, but high legal costs meant we can’t afford to do it all.

I read with interest and frustration as Papua New Guineans call for protection of our rights.

Continue reading "Chinese counterfeits are killing PNG’s embryonic fashion industry" »


Police commissioner says B’ville fraud investigations not ‘political’

Francis Tokura
Acting police commissioner Tokura - concerned by Bougainville rumours

KEITH JACKSON

SINGAPORE – Papua New Guinea’s acting police commissioner, Francis Tokura, has sought to damp down speculation about fraud squad investigations into a number of matters in Bougainville.

Tokura said that social media claims that the investigations are aimed at destabilising Bougainville ahead of November’s referendum on the province’s political future are untrue.

“I want to make it clear that the investigations taking place are the result of  allegations made regarding a number of audits and financial matters,” he said.

“These investigations are not political in nature.

Continue reading "Police commissioner says B’ville fraud investigations not ‘political’" »


Was UBS loan corrupt? Many questions to be answered: Marape

LISA MURRAY, ANGUS GRIGG & JONATHAN SHAPIRO | Australian Financial Review | Extracts

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea's new government has appointed a former chief justice and an anti-corruption crusader to lead a three-month inquiry into the UBS loan affair, which is expected to renew focus on the investment bank's role in the controversial deal.

Prime Minister James Marape announced on Friday the inquiry would investigate whether any laws were broken when the Sydney office of UBS lent $1.2 billion to the PNG government in 2014 to buy a 10% stake in ASX-listed Oil Search.

The commission of inquiry will also look into whether there was any corruption or impropriety.

PNG PM James Marape says there are many questions that need to be answered.

Former chief justice Sir Salamo Injia has been appointed commissioner and Sam Koim, who headed the disbanded Taskforce Sweep that looked into allegations of corruption involving former prime minister Peter O'Neill, was announced as counsel assisting.

Continue reading "Was UBS loan corrupt? Many questions to be answered: Marape" »


Meet Bryan Kramer, Papua New Guinea's anti-corruption tsar

Bryan Kramer (2)
Bryan Kramer

KATE LYONS | Guardian Australia

SYDNEY - At the end of May, as Papua New Guinea’s most recent political crisis came to a head, huge numbers of people across the country tuned in to watch Peter O’Neill resign as prime minister and the parliament elect a new leader.

Many were watching an online livestream and as the parliamentary debate continued questions from viewers began rolling in, many of them along the same theme: “Where is BK?”

BK, as Bryan Kramer is sometimes known, has become a star of PNG politics, despite being just a first-term MP for the electorate of Madang, on the north-east coast of the country.

He is an anti-corruption campaigner who was instrumental in bringing to light the UBS scandal that helped to bring down O’Neill’s leadership, and was a key leader in the opposition movement, pushing for O’Neill’s removal.

Continue reading "Meet Bryan Kramer, Papua New Guinea's anti-corruption tsar" »


Sir Salamo not the right person to head UBS loan inquiry

FRANCIS NII

KUNDIAWA - Prime Minister James Marape is to be commended for the appointment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the UBS loan affair, however the appointment of former chief justice Sir Salamo Injia to head the inquiry is dubious.

This is already a compromise of the outcome of the inquiry before it has even started and is not a good sign for the Marape government in its announced campaign of fighting corruption.

If Marape is serious about cleaning up PNG and ridding this country of corruption, the multi-billion dollar UBS loan is a classic case to start with.

This is an issue that has brought so much pain and misery to the country and its people.

It is essential for people who want the whole truth that no stone is left unturned in pursuing exactly what happened and who was responsible for it.

Continue reading "Sir Salamo not the right person to head UBS loan inquiry" »


Caution needed in dealing with Australia’s police authorities

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - I think Papua New Guinea’s police minister Bryan Kramer really needs to be careful.

He says he will reach out to the Australian Federal Police for assistance in restructuring PNG's fraud squad.

While a lot depends on the kind of assistance he is seeking, he should be very wary of inadvertently falling into a trap.

The AFP has close links to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

All these agencies are secretive and immune from freedom of information requests in Australia.

The ASD’s main function is listening in on communications domestically and in other countries which may be of interest to the Australian government.

Given Australia’s newly discovered interest in the Pacific region it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a request made by Kramer would be seen as an invitation to engage in a little extra-curricular spying.

Australia, after all, has lots of skin in this sort of game. Just ask Timor Leste, where Australian spies laced listening devices in the cabinet room.

It’s also interesting to consider why Kramer thinks the fraud squad needs outside help.

In the recent past the fraud squad has shown itself to have a team of professional and incorruptible officers. Peter O’Neill will vouch for this fact.

The fraud squad will know exactly what needs to be done to make its work easier.

First, quarantining them from political interference.

Secondly, guaranteeing them a decent budget so they have the resources they need to be effective.

Once they’ve got all that it’s just a matter of letting them loose. They know who the crooks are and where they live.

One of the things they don’t need is dragging some AFP characters around with them hindering what they do.

If the AFP is happy to sit in the Airways Hotel propping up the bar and occasionally wandering over to the smorgasbord, well and good.

But if they want to get in the way things won’t work as well as the minister expects.

If the minister insists in getting outside help, he should look elsewhere for the expertise he seeks.

His own backyard might be a good place to start.


Law & order must be nambawan priority of government: Ipatas

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - If there is one thing Enga governor Sir Peter Ipatas wants to see happen in Enga Province, it is to see his people prosper in a peaceful environment.

He would like many tourists to come annually to events like this Friday’s Enga Cultural Show or to major sporting events like the recent rugby match between Easts Tigers and PNG Hunters in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup completion.

The promotion of tourism is now one of the major policies of the Enga Provincial Government and it aims to promote peace in the province and enable the people to tap into the lucrative tourism industry.

Governor Ipatas has personally involved himself in bringing in visitors like birdwatchers and people who wanted to see how traditional salt was made at Mulisos Yokonda Salt ponds near Sirunki.

Continue reading "Law & order must be nambawan priority of government: Ipatas" »


Police minister Bryan Kramer will seek assistance from Australia

NEWS DESK | NBC News/ PNG Today

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s police minister Bryan Kramer says he will be reaching out to the Australian Federal Police for assistance in restructuring PNG's fraud squad.

The AFP has long historical links with PNG police, and Kramer wants that to extend to the beleaguered police anti-fraud unit.

Kramer says in recent years the fraud squad has been under-resourced and undermined in its ability to probe high-level corruption.

But speaking on FM100 radio, Kramer said the new government of James Marape has fresh resolve to fight corruption.

"My job is to clear the roadblocks so they [the fraud squad] can do their job.

Continue reading "Police minister Bryan Kramer will seek assistance from Australia" »


Is Marape crabwalking away from anti-corruption legislation?

Editorial cartoon  The New Times  Rwanda
Editorial cartoon, The New Times, Rwanda

KEITH JACKSON

AARHUS, DENMARK – Once again we have a Papua New Guinea government that feels it needs to have another look at much-required legislation that PNG governments have been having a ‘hard look at’ for years.

And after each hard look they have made a bunch of promises and never have those promises been fulfilled.

Now the freshly-minted James Marape government is set to have a hard look at two desperately needed pieces of legislation that could be introduced tomorrow if the prime minister had the will.

I refer of course to whistleblower protection and anti-corruption laws.

Continue reading "Is Marape crabwalking away from anti-corruption legislation?" »


Royal PNG Constabulary, Bryan Kramer & the future of PNG

Joanne Clarkson and Francis Tokura
Along with minister Bryan Kramer, the new face of the RPNGC, assistant commissioner Joanne Clarkson and commissioner Francis Tokura

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The recent horrific events in Hela Province have brought the role of the police force in Papua New Guinea into sharp focus.

Prime minister James Marape is currently in Australia and has apparently discussed the issue with prime minister Scott Morrison.

We can only hope that Morrison, if he responds positively, will take considered advice on the matter and not charge off on some ill-advised scheme involving direct Australian intervention.

Probably the worst thing that Morrison can do is dither and fund some sort of too hard basket investigative consultancy, although I understand this has already been canvassed.

The situation in Hela and the way the police respond is essentially up to the Papua New Guinean government. What it needs from Australia right now is solid practical support in terms of funding and resources.

Papua New Guinea is well-aware that its police force is in a very sorry state and needs to be both considerably expanded and resourced.

James Marape may have various plans to change Papua New Guinea for the better but the most crucial change maker in his government is police minister Bryan Kramer.

Continue reading "Royal PNG Constabulary, Bryan Kramer & the future of PNG" »


Fears of a new era of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea

KaridaJO CHANDLER | Guardian Australia | Extract

Link here to Jo Chandler’s full story in Guardian Australia

SYDNEY - The pictures that came out of a remote highlands village in Papua New Guinea two weeks ago were not, at first glance, particularly graphic: bulging cocoons of blue mosquito nets hanging from wooden poles propped along a roadside.

But the story they told was gruesome.

The nets, said the health worker in Karida village who supplied them, held the remains of 10 women, six children and two unborn babies, all hacked to death with machetes⁠ sometime before dawn on 8 July.

The health worker told the Guardian they had not been able to work out which body parts belonged to which person.

Continue reading "Fears of a new era of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea" »


The awesome armaments of the Highlands raskols

ArmamentsPETER SALMON & COLLEAGUES

BRISBANE - Oilmin Field Services provides various services to the petroleum industry in Papua New Guinea mainly with the seismic exploration programs.

The purpose of seismic exploration is to identify drilling targets for various oil companies. In the past, I was one of a number of ex-kiaps employed by Oilmin.

Ex-kiaps are usually employed in the capacity of logistics managers, camp managers, labour managers and in community relations.

In general the routine for personnel commencing a tour is to fly into the Oilmin Field Services base in Mt Hagen, overnight there and then fly out to the field the next day.

Continue reading "The awesome armaments of the Highlands raskols" »


New police minister acts to respond to devastating tribal war

Bryan Kramer at Karita village
Bryan Kramer at Karita village

BRYAN KRAMER MP

PORT MORESBY - Yesterday, I returned from Tari Electorate in Hela Province following a one day trip to assess the situation following the horrific killing of 23 women (two of whom were pregnant) and nine children in the worst payback killing in our country's history.

In my capacity as Minister for Police, I represented the Marape-Steven government to be on the ground to pay respects to those killed and prepare and provide a brief to the prime minister on the circumstances behind the incident - what, who, when, how and why.

Tribal fights are not new in PNG and in recent years they have become more prevalent in the highlands region, one may argue they have been going on since the beginning of time.

However since that time the rules of engagement have always been that the elderly, women and children have been off limits.

Continue reading "New police minister acts to respond to devastating tribal war" »


There’s a new look at the top of the PNG police force

Francis Tokua  David Manning  Joanne ClarksonKEITH JACKSON | NBC News/PNG Today

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s acting police commissioner Francis Tokura says he will provide the leadership required to address law and order issues in the country.

Mr Tokura has been appointed for a period of three months pending the announcement of a permanent choice by the National Executive Council.

David Manning has been appointed acting deputy commissioners operations and Joanne Clarkson acting deputy commissioner administration.

Mr Tokura said he is aware of stood down former commissioner Gary Baki's intention to challenge the appointment process, saying it is his right to do so.

Continue reading "There’s a new look at the top of the PNG police force" »


Australia should help end tribal violence in PNG

ArmedMITCHELL THOMAS | Organisation for World Peace | Edited

HOUSTON, USA - The remote highlands regions of Papua New Guinea has recently been the subject of international attention in the wake of a brutal massacre.

The remote village of Karida saw an outbreak of tribal violence last week as part of ongoing conflicts in some of the country’s most remote provinces.

While tribal conflict and warfare have historically been an issue for PNG, the rate and escalation of violence has increased in recent years.

This is due in a large part to the provision of high-powered weapons that has led to a marked change in the way conflict has unfolded.

Continue reading "Australia should help end tribal violence in PNG" »


Women who died in Karida massacre were community anchors

Charred remains (Scott Waide)
Charred remains of a Karida village hut where the atrocity took place (Scott Waide)

SCOTT WAIDE | Asia Pacific Report

KARIDA, HELA - On Wednesday, some of the bodies of 18 Papua New Guinean women and children were buried by the roadside in Karida Number One village.

They were the latest innocent victims of a 20-year tribal war driven by local warlords in the Tagali local level government area of Hela Province.

Karida Number One was not directly involved in the fighting that initially left seven people dead in neighbouring Munima village.

But they were accused of harbouring an in-law involved in the attack.

And the women and children paid the price.

For the older generation of Hela, the killing of women and children has broken the traditional protocols of tribal fighting.

Continue reading "Women who died in Karida massacre were community anchors" »


Power elites behind brutal Highlands slayings must be targeted

Bodies
The cocooned remains of the women and children who were victims of the Hela massacre - beyond the foot soldiers are the elites

BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY – Sixteen children and women slashed to death by warlords and their tribesmen were laid to rest in Hela yesterday.

And towards the eastern edge of Southern Highlands in the Kagua-Erave area, a massacre said to be much larger continues unabated, perhaps 50-100 victims have lost their lives as warring tribes ransack villages and orchestrate guerilla warfare.

With limited reliable reporting, the number of deaths is likely to be much higher. Roads have become dangerous to travel and as a result schools, aid posts and other basic government services have come to a standstill.

With the use of high powered guns and hired hit men, tribal fights are much more deadly than those fought in traditional times.

Continue reading "Power elites behind brutal Highlands slayings must be targeted" »


Bougainville public servants sacked after funeral expenses fraud

Joseph Nobetau
Joseph Nobetau - hot on the heels of thieves and fraudsters

ANTHONY KAYBING

BUKA - Efforts by the Bougainville government to curb systematic corruption in the Bougainville Public Service continue to gain momentum as more public servants have been implicated in fraud.

Chief Secretary Joseph Nobetau said a further two officers employed by the Department of Community Government have been dismissed due to their involvement in gross misconduct, theft and fraud.

The officers were found to have misused funds allocated by the Autonomous Bougainville Government last year to assist with the funeral expenses of former premier Leo Hannet.

“The fact that these individuals could steal money that had been allocated to assist with funeral expenses brings great shame to them and the ABG,” Mr Nobetau said.

“The funds were meant to offset the cost to the family in recognition of Mr Hannet’s significant contribution to Bougainville.

“But instead these individuals acted selfishly for personal gain”, he said.

Continue reading "Bougainville public servants sacked after funeral expenses fraud" »


Shocking massacre of women & children in Highlands

Hela landscapeMONICA SAGER | The Week

PORT MORESBY - At least 24 people, including pregnant women and children, have been killed in Papua New Guinea in one of the country’s worst outbreaks of tribal violence for years.

The deaths are said to have taken place over several days in Hela Province. At least eight of the victims are reported to be younger than 15 and two of the women killed were pregnant.

“Rival tribes apparently clashed over control of local gold deposits in the mineral-rich soil,” says AFP.

A representative from the provincial department of health posted pictures on Facebook of what he said was a massacre in Karida village.

Continue reading "Shocking massacre of women & children in Highlands" »


Informal rural courts were an important part of the kiap’s role

Informal court (Graham Forster)
An informal village court (Graham Forster)

ROBERT FORSTER

NORTHUMBRIA – Back in colonial times, informal bush courts were taken seriously by Papua New Guinea’s village people and also by patrolling kiaps.

In this photograph from 1974, the postures adopted by the village group were typical of people taking part in the informal community courts of the time.

Regular government patrols moved through rural locations holding these courts, conducting censuses, checking on sanitation and other issues, advising on road construction and undertaking many other tasks.

The gathering shown here took place immediately in front of the haus kiap and the kiap (back to camera), who was accepted as a neutral arbiter, is sitting on its step.

In front of him, one of the patrol’s policemen is summing up the circumstances surrounding the complaint.

Continue reading "Informal rural courts were an important part of the kiap’s role" »


Kramer writes of threats, false arrests & intimations of mortality

Bryan Kramer & police
Police minister Bryan Kramer on cleaning up the force - "No question of doubt that I will eventually get killed for what I do"

BRYAN KRAMER | Kramer Report

PORT MORESBY – Over the last few days I have been receiving intelligence reports from within political circles, police and security forces that there are plans to have me arrested and charged.

Certain high ranking officers within the police force are planning my arrest acting on complaint by former prime minister Peter O'Neill, including a complaint filed by a journalist in Madang who, in June 2018, I exposed for being paid public funds by the former member of parliament.

So there can be no question of doubt, if certain members of the police force wish to bring charges against me, it is their constitutional right to do so, provided of course they have sufficient grounds based on credible evidence.

For the record, I won't be going into hiding or running to court to seek restraining orders, which has been the practice of some members of parliament in the past.

Continue reading "Kramer writes of threats, false arrests & intimations of mortality" »


Part of the solution or part of the problem? Private security in PNG

Security guard dog group
Security guard dog group, Port Moresby

SINCLAIR DINNEN & GRANT WALTON | DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - In a surprise move, Papua New Guinea’s new prime minister, James Marape, appointed member for Madang Open, Bryan Kramer, as the country’s police minister.

Soon after his appointment Kramer promised to reform PNG’s police force, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).

The one-time member of the opposition and critic of the O’Neill government has outlined a range of measures, including providing more opportunities for women, addressing corruption and improving discipline.

He is also encouraging citizens to report crime and police misdeeds through social media, which has already resulted in an arrest.

Continue reading "Part of the solution or part of the problem? Private security in PNG" »


Triads threaten new government's desire to ‘take back PNG’

Two of the drug smugglers deported to Hong Kong
Jubilant drug smugglers leave Jacksons Airport, Port Moresby, after serving an 18 month sentence for a crime that would get them executed elsewhere in Asia

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - While the ‘Look North’ policy introduced by the Wingti government was good for the economic prosperity of Papua New Guinea, a sinister development has hijacked those good intentions.

The policy has evolved into a Pandora’s Box of counterfeit goods, gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking.

This threatens to negate the bold declaration made by the Marape-Stevens government to ‘Take Back PNG’ and make it “the richest black Christian nation on earth”.

Drug trafficking is already entrenched in PNG, which is reported to have become a transit point for international drug cartels helped by poorly policed, open borders, isolated islands and outdated drug laws.

Seven foreigners experienced how weak our laws were when they were deported last month after spending just 18 months in jail for drug trafficking and illegally entering the country.

One of the men, Lam Tse Lik, was wanted by Hong Kong police after his name appeared in Interpol’s international criminals’ wanted list. Of the others, five were from mainland China and one from Montenegro.

Continue reading "Triads threaten new government's desire to ‘take back PNG’" »


Providing police housing is a Marape government priority

Police Minister Bryan Kramer and chairman of Nambawan Super chairman Anthony Smare
Police Minister Bryan Kramer and chairman of Nambawan Super Anthony Smare - hundreds of new homes for the police

BRYAN KRAMER | Kramer Report.

PORT MORESBY - While members of the police force have received much lip service over the years to address on-going housing issues, this will be a priority issue under the new Marape-Steven government.

My office has already commenced discussions with Anthony Smare, chairman of Papua New Guinea’s largest superannuation fund, Namabwan Super, on developing a strategy in partnership

Mr Smare explained that Namabawan Super has plans to build 3,000 plus houses at 9 Mile in Port Moresby, a project I hope the government will buy into, providing over 1,000 houses to members of the police force and their families.

In addition to the government housing component, we also discussed establishing a police home ownership scheme where officers who have served 10-15 years will qualify for home ownership at cost.

There is no point in the government providing police housing only to kick retired officers on to the street without any recognition of their service to the country.

Continue reading "Providing police housing is a Marape government priority" »


Papua New Guinea: A tough place to be a woman

Michael Bociurkiw
Michael Bociurkiw - "The aspiring 'richest' and 'Christian' nation needs to take immediate action to guarantee the protection of its female citizens"

MICHAEL BOCIURKIW | CNN

PORT MORESBY - You don't have to spend a long time on the fringes of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, to realise that many of the roads lead to a place where luck seems to have run out.

In an urban slum called Eight Mile, women are relegated to decrepit shacks, caring for their children, who are fighting off a range of illnesses from malaria and dengue fever to skin rashes.

Last month, former finance minister James Marape was sworn in as the new prime minister on the promise of transforming the country into "the richest, black, Christian nation on the planet."

But chances are that it will take some time before the women and children of Eight Mile and across much of this South Pacific nation of eight million see any tangible improvements in their livelihoods.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea: A tough place to be a woman" »


World Whistleblower Day: Is this a landmark year for protection?

Brian Alois
No protection for PNG whistleblower Brian Alois - still suspended as provincial engineer  more than a year after exposing corrupt contracts

NEWS DESK | Transparency International

BERLIN - The brave individuals who report wrongdoing at work are vital for exposing corrupt schemes and actions.

Countless lives and billions of dollars of public funds have been saved thanks to whistleblowers.

Too often, however, they face retaliation after bringing corruption, fraud and financial malpractice to light.

These attacks are sometimes professional, sometimes legal, and can even be directed against the whistleblower’s family, property or physical and mental well-being.

Many times, those who enact revenge on whistleblowers are able to get away with it because there aren’t sufficient measures in place to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

But, is change around the corner?

Today we celebrate World Whistleblower Day, Sunday 23 June, with some serious wins for whistleblower protection already behind us in 2019, and some encouraging developments on the horizon.

Continue reading "World Whistleblower Day: Is this a landmark year for protection?" »


National anthem should reflect the true make-up of PNG

DV
"....more than half are daughters of the land and most have suffered abuse, rape and mistreatment at the hands of males"

PETER KRANZ

O arise all you sons of this land,
Let us sing of our joy to be free,
Praising God and rejoicing to be
Papua New Guinea.

MORRISET - This is the first verse of the Papua New Guinea national anthem. It needs to be changed.

How about changing it to be more inclusive? Instead of 'O arise all the sons of this land', maybe 'Arise all the children of this land'?

After all more than half are daughters of the land and most have suffered abuse, rape and mistreatment at the hands of males.

An estimated 67% of wives have been beaten by their husbands, and close to 100% in the Highlands Region according to a 1992 survey by the PNG Law Reform Commission.

Continue reading "National anthem should reflect the true make-up of PNG" »


Lands minister Rosso must act on long-running SABL scandal

Sabl-how-much-landEDDIE TANAGO | Campaign Manager, Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - New lands minister John Rosso must make the Special Agricultural Business Lease (SABL) land scandal his number one priority!

It is a national disgrace that six years after a commission of inquiry most of the unlawful leases recommended for cancellation still exist.

For six years, the O’Neill government made promise after promise to cancel the leases, stop the logging and return the land to its customary owners, but all we have seen are lies and obfuscation.

Act Now! says if the new Marape government is serious about tackling corruption then the SABL scandal must be finally put to bed.

The minister should start by publishing a list of all the SABLs and their current status. The people have a right to know, which leases have been cancelled and which have not.

Continue reading "Lands minister Rosso must act on long-running SABL scandal" »


Former student leader calls for enquiry into 2016 UPNG shootings

James Marape (Prime  Minister's Office)
James Marape - asked to instigate enquiry into 2016 student shootings

NEWS DESK | PNG Education News

PORT MORESBY – The former president of the University of PNG students’ representative council, Kenneth Rapa, has asked prime minister James Marape to order a commission of inquiry into the police shooting of UPNG students during the 2016 student unrest.

“As we look towards the future now with renewed hope, we ask that you heal all the wounds from the past,” Rapa wrote in a letter to Marape.

Rapa said students at that time had no personal or political agenda.

He said they had the people’s agenda to respect the integrity of the office of prime minister and restore democracy by demanding that Peter O’Neill to step down, but they were suppressed by police.

Rapa said students were a relevant voice in the country and had taken the responsibility to protest the government’s decisions that were negatively impacting their lives – mismanagement of the economy and the lack of good governance and true democracy.

Continue reading "Former student leader calls for enquiry into 2016 UPNG shootings" »


‘Our women in blue face unspeakable difficulties’: Kramer

Kramer and RPNGC
Women police and Bryan Kramer: "I'll make it my business to stamp out gender bias and sexual harassment in the RPNGC"

BRYAN KRAMER MP | Kramer Report | Edited

MADANG – On Thursday I had the privilege to accompany prime minister James Marape and fellow ministers to inspect progress on the Australian government-funded Angau Hospital redevelopment project in Lae.

During the event, members of the Royal PNG Constabulary asked me if it was OK to take to a picture with them.

Under the leadership of Marape-Steven government, and in my capacity as police minister, our women will play a greater role in policing throughout the country.

While all members of the force face challenges in serving our country, our women in blue face unspeakable difficulties, not because of their lack of ability or performance but because of discrimination for being a woman.

Continue reading "‘Our women in blue face unspeakable difficulties’: Kramer" »