Madness reigns supreme in US Pacific deal

Papua New Guineans have been grossly misled and opened wide our doors for large scale criminal gangsters and terrorists to come on to our turf. The Marape government is strongly urged to terminate this hollow and ridiculous agreement

Crimea bridge bombing
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of attacking the bridge to Russian-annexed Crimea, calling it an "act of terrorism". President Putin said Ukraine's intelligence forces had aimed to destroy a critically important piece of Russia's civil infrastructure (BBC)

| Twitter @CorneyKAlone

PORT MORESBY - Delusions reign supreme. It is disgusting to see naivety and short-sightedness reigning supreme in beloved Papua New Guinea.

We should and must know better. The Marape-Rosso government has been hoodwinked and misled.

Continue reading "Madness reigns supreme in US Pacific deal" »

West's anti-China rhetoric reeks of hypocrisy

Those nations, which divided China for plunder, continue to pour more and more opprobrium on it, which, by an incredible means of projection, becomes understood as an aggressive power, supposedly hellbent on upsetting the ‘international rules-based order.’ The hypocrisy is astounding


| Pearls & Irritations

NEWCASTLE - The direction from whence comes most of the anti-China rhetoric in the world today is hardly surprising. It reeks of hypocrisy.

Much of it emanates from the very nations responsible for the dividing up of China into spheres of influence in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Continue reading "West's anti-China rhetoric reeks of hypocrisy" »

Rabaul has been left out of our national story

Six weeks later, on January 23, 1942, Japan invaded Rabaul, and within six months Diana's father, uncle, and most of the nearly 2,000 Australian soldiers and civilians who had been left behind were dead

Diana Martell
Diana Martell was forced to leave her father and uncle behind in Rabaul (Ian Townsend, ABC RN))

| ABC Radio National

SYDNEY - While Kokoda continues to loom large in the minds of Australians, Rabaul hardly resonates.

But relatives of the nearly 2,000 Australian soldiers and civilians who were left behind when Japan invaded the island of New Britain have not forgotten what happened in 1942.

Continue reading "Rabaul has been left out of our national story" »

Buai bans don’t work; so what will?

Under the 'partial ban' policy, betel nut was only allowed to be traded in designated areas, but experience showed this only made the problem worse. The winners were the law breakers

Buai ban


PORT MORESBY - Once again Port Moresby’s National Capital District Commission (NCDC) has embarked on a ban - this time targeting the sale of cooked foods in the city.

This is not the Commission’s first ban. In the last 10 years, there have been three other bans targeting the betel nut trade and the sale of cooked foods in the city.

Continue reading "Buai bans don’t work; so what will?" »


The editor is finding his recovery from back surgery more difficult than expected, with the result that articles are not appearing with the customary regularity. This may continue for some time. Please bear with me - KJ

At long last, can malaria be eradicated?

Two new vaccines may finally turn back the ancient plague of malaria. But the arrival of the vaccines also complicates the path to ending the disease

It’s beautiful but Kenya’s Wigwa River is a breeding site for mosquitoes (Photograph by Kang-Chun Cheng)

| New York Times

Link here to read the complete story

NEW YORK, USA - All through childhood, Miriam Abdullah was shuttled in and out of hospitals, her thin body wracked with fever and ravaged by malaria.

She was so sick so often that her constant treatments drained her parents, who also cared for her many siblings, both financially and emotionally.

Continue reading "At long last, can malaria be eradicated?" »

Oz media treatment of women is no template

 Ten years after Julia Gillard's landmark speech on misogyny, Dr Victoria Fielding examines why not much has changed and why Australia offers no template for addressing sexism in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere

Women Gillard speech
In the Australian parliament in 2012, responding to opposition leader Abbott accusing her of 'sexism', prime minister  Julia Gillard delivered a powerful speech against misogyny that gained global attention


ADELAIDE - This week, misogynist Steve Price decided to spew out his sexist opinion of the Australian women’s football league (AFLW), calling it “substandard” and that “even high school boys are better to watch”.

Price and the Herald Sun newspaper, which published his filth, don’t care about the damage this ‘opinion’ does to the AFL women players, the women and men who admire them and the young girls aspiring to be equal to their male peers.

Continue reading "Oz media treatment of women is no template" »

Appeasers silent as Russia loses grip on war

If Putin sees his mighty army collapsing, his desperation to retain power may lead to more of the bad decision-making that has been the hallmark of the Russian conduct of the war so far. The use of tactical nuclear weapons may become his last resort

A troops
Ukraine troops advance on Kherson and other Russian-occupied areas


ADELAIDE - Since I wrote this piece (Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong, 20 July 2022), the appeasers have become silent.

The appalling atrocities committed by the Russians in Ukraine have revealed the true nature of the Russian regime.

Vladimir Putin is not a wronged and misunderstood man.

He is an old school imperialist of the worst kind.

You do not do deals with such a man and expect them to be honoured.

At present, the Ukrainians continue to advance in the Donbas and near Kherson.

They appear to have mastered manoeuvre warfare, something the Russian army seems incapable of replicating.

Strategic and tactical ineptitude by the Russians, combined with severe logistical and personnel problems, renders the Russian army highly vulnerable to a fast-moving enemy force.

As of today, Ukrainian troops had retaken more territory in regions illegally annexed by Russia, and continue to advance near the southern city of Kherson.

They were also moving towards Russian-held Luhansk in the east.

"There are new liberated settlements in several regions," said president Volodymyr Zelensky.

While it is too early to be sure, there are clear signs the Russian army is crumbling in the face of the better led, better armed and better motivated Ukrainians.

The implications of this are profound, both for Ukraine and Russia as well as for the rest of the world.

If Putin sees his mighty army collapsing, his desperation to retain power may lead to even more of the very bad decision making that has been the hallmark of the Russian conduct of this war so far.

A reisner
Colonel Markus Reisner has emerged as one of the most credible experts analysing the Russia Ukraine War

The use of tactical nuclear weapons may become his last resort.

Consequently, whether we have fired a bullet or not, we are all invested in the outcome of this appalling conflict.

For readers interested in military matters who want an objective and dispassionate assessment of events in Ukraine, I recommend the commentaries posted on YouTube by Colonel Markus Reisner PhD, commander of the Austrian Army's principal staff training college and its elite Vienna Guards Regiment.

Poetry for Peace



There’s a tremblin’ in the Kremlin,
And a rumour in the Duma,
That it‘s a serious time to definitely make a change,
For there’s those who can’t deny,
That there’s no good reason why,
Putin’s downfall's taking too long to arrange.

B’ville signals tough line on independence

In the last 100 years we have had to endure hardships from oppressive regimes who sought to take away our resources, our rights and even our lives. Our struggle for independence has been a long one

lupari himata
Former PNG chief secretary Isaac Lupari and Bougainville chief secretary Shadrach Himata

| Chief Secretary, Bougainville Government | Edited extracts

CANBERRA -In 2019 a referendum was successfully conducted on Bougainville to decide on the status of our political future in accordance with the PNG Constitution.

An overwhelming 97.7% of our people voted for a political independence from Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "B’ville signals tough line on independence" »

More talk but still no ICAC on PNG’s horizon

The O’Neill and Marape governments’ many years of pro-ICAC rhetoric without establishing a working organisation is probably the best guide to acknowledging that PNG is unlikely to see a viable ICAC any time soon



NOOSA - Papua New Guinea is moving slowly towards establishing a long-promised Independent Commission Against Corruption with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC).

UNODC is supporting interim ICAC commissioner Thomas Eluh, who was appointed more than four years ago to deliver the PNG Anti-Corruption Project.

It is now expected that ICAC will begin the real work of fighting corruption in 2023.

The project, funded by the European Union, covers the development of management, recruitment, induction and staffing systems, the preparation of a code of conduct and a communication strategy.

A draft anti-corruption awareness and education strategy was developed in March 2022.

“Fighting corruption is very complex and requires a concerted effort from every citizen to have any chance of minimising this epidemic,” said Mr Eluh.

“If you want a corruption-free and safe tomorrow, I call on everyone now to assist ICAC in whatever way possible.

“We must try and eradicate corruption from society and save PNG from the clutches of corruption,” he said.

In a recent workshop, participants discussed key elements in establishing ICAC, the importance of an effective awareness and education strategy and fostering communication and collaboration between ICAC, civil society organisations and relevant government agencies.

Participants also addressed the topic of whether corruption affects women and men differently.

The main outcome of the workshops was that the interim ICAC will continue working on awareness programs in collaboration with civil society organisations CSOs and government agencies.

That the interim ICAC is still conducting discussions about implementing awareness programs after four years provides a clear view of the snail-like pace of PNG’s adoption of a robust anti-corruption body.

It throws a shadow over the PNG government’s commitment to fighting corruption.

Perhaps we will see a more energetic approach now that the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, UNDP and the European Union are collaborating in the PNG Anti-Corruption Project.

But the O’Neill and Marape governments’ many years of pro-ICAC rhetoric, workshops and discussions without establishing a working organisation is probably the best guide to acknowledging that PNG is unlikely to see a viable ICAC any time soon.

As Wikipedia succinctly notes: "Political corruption in PNG is largely enforced by political nepotism and the patronage system of governance.

"Elected leaders are inclined to seize and distribute resources amongst their electorates in order to secure and maintain popular support."

Learning Tok Pisin: it's harder than it looks

At first as I began to learn Pidgin, I thought, ‘This is easy. It’s a form of baby talk and there’s nothing to it'. I could not have been more mistaken


| Unravel  | Edited

CALIFORNIA - I arrived in Papua New Guinea in September 1980, a young geologist on the adventure of his life.

Esso Eastern, a subsidiary of Exxon Minerals, had hired me to open their copper and gold exploration office and I was living my dream, setting off on a major career step toward the life of physical and intellectual adventure I wanted.

Continue reading "Learning Tok Pisin: it's harder than it looks" »

Can you help reconnect a lost colonial tie?

The whole business of reconnection between Australians and Papua New Guineans from the colonial era is an interesting side issue that often goes on in the comments section of PNG Attitude and the ExKiap website

Fitz pic Danota & Gogo
Danota and Gogo - eminent Australian media figure, Richard Glover, who they cared for as a child, seeks to be reconnected with them or their descendants


TUMBY BAY - My wife and I spent nine years living at Hervey Bay in Queensland before we moved back to South Australia a few years ago.

Lovely weather but Queensland doesn’t have any decent newspapers so we read the Sydney Morning Herald instead.

Continue reading "Can you help reconnect a lost colonial tie?" »

From betel nut seller to university graduate

My advice to young people who might have dropped out of school is, despite the pain and obstacles and negativity of other people, never lose sight of your dream

Benjamin Minaro


RABAUL – Originally from Kiwi village in Enga Province, I dropped out of school in 2014 when I was doing Grade 10 and my family and relatives lost interest in me.

I made my way to Port Moresby to find work. The street became my home and life became miserable.

Continue reading "From betel nut seller to university graduate" »

We've got our Covid policy ass backwards

The target of Australia's medical authorities is not to reduce Covid transmission. Rather, the target is to reduce Covid mitigation measures - and then to ignore any negative effects of doing so

Dr David Berger is a general practitioner and emergency doctor based in Broome, Western Australia. He uses this aircraft, in which he's flown around the world, in his remote medical activities

| Twitter @YouAreLobbyLud

BROOME, WA - I want to make a really fundamental point. The way Covid policy is being pursued is ass backwards.

The success targets are the measures themselves. In other words, there are no meaningful targets, no valid measures of success.

Continue reading "We've got our Covid policy ass backwards" »

Opportunism reigns: US-Pacific Declaration

As has become customary in the Blinkenesque argot, one takes the management waffle with the occasional candid remark. China, the obvious target in this deeper regional engagement by the US, is not mentioned once.

China us pacific
GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) is a military intelligence sharing agreement between Japan and South Korea (Map by ABC)

| Pearls & Irritations

MELBOURNE - If ever there was a blatant statement of realpolitik masquerading as friendliness, the latest US-Pacific Island declaration must count as one of them.

The Biden administration has been busy of late wooing Pacific Island states in an effort to discourage increasingly sharp tilt towards China.

Continue reading "Opportunism reigns: US-Pacific Declaration" »

The King & Duncan & the mangroves of Boera

It was then the team leader informed us of the royal visit to Papua New Guinea, including a trip to Boera village. The Prince of Wales would officially launch our mangrove conservation project

Prince Charles plants the mangrove seedling at Boera village
Prince Charles plants the mangrove seedling at Boera village during his visit of 2012


WEWAK – On this morning in 2012, I stood inside the greenhouse surrounded by mangrove seedlings and in a state of high anxiety.

Soon I heard distant singing and the beating of kundu drums followed by cheering.

Continue reading "The King & Duncan & the mangroves of Boera" »

Oz blasted over response to K268m fraud

"Australia's apparent inability to assist in this most basic of legal processes does not sit well with its broader anti-corruption and security intentions in the region" – Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary

Samson Jubi was granted Australian permanent residency more than a decade ago (Facebook)
Samson Jubi was granted Australian permanent residency more than a decade ago (Facebook)

| ABC Investigations | Extract

SYDNEY - A Papua New Guinea government minister and top justice officials say they are "extremely frustrated" with Australia for harbouring a Cairns resident wanted for one of the biggest alleged frauds in the country's legal history.

In an early test for the Albanese government's Pacific strategy, PNG immigration minister Bryan Kramer and the country's national police force have spoken out to the ABC about "unacceptable" delays in Australia's handling of an extradition request for PNG citizen Samson Jubi.

Continue reading "Oz blasted over response to K268m fraud" »

Cherished Words


I still cherish those first words
Strings of harmonious chords

I will not forget their worth
Spoken with sincerest thought

I wonder about their measures
Entangled down many years

Gifting me revelations
Ticking off recollections

The thoughtful anecdotes
The inspirational quotes

These I cherish as I rummage
Through these maiden messages

Chiselled on life's pages
To live on down the ages

Drowning nations: ‘This is how an atoll dies’

The cost of eking out a living on islands threatened by sea level rise eventually becomes too much to bear, causing families to leave and the nation to disappear. "This is how a Pacific atoll dies. This is how our islands will cease to exist”

Marshall Islands president David Kabua addresses the United Nations General Assembly last week (AP Photo by Jason DeCrow)
Marshall Islands president David Kabua addresses the United Nations General Assembly last week (AP Photo by Jason DeCrow)

| AP News | Extracts

NEW YORK - While world leaders from wealthy countries acknowledge the ‘existential threat’ of climate change, Tuvalu prime minister Kausea Natano is racing to save his tiny island nation from drowning by raising it four to five meters above sea level through land reclamation.

And while experts issue warnings about the eventual uninhabitability of the Marshall Islands, president David Kabua must reconcile the inequity of a seawall built to protect one house that is now flooding another one next door.

Continue reading "Drowning nations: ‘This is how an atoll dies’" »

Corruption eating the nation, says Rosso

"Corruption boils down to the attitude of individuals, which needs a complete change. The onus is on everyone to end this disease that continues to eat away the fabric of the nation"

John rosso
PNG deputy prime minister John Rosso

| National Broadcasting Corporation

PORT MORESBY - The Marape government has vowed that it will work closely with key government agencies to combat corruption in Papua New Guinea.

Acting prime minister John Rosso said the government cannot tackle corruption alone, and needs a collective effort from government agencies and every individual.

Continue reading "Corruption eating the nation, says Rosso" »

Vice-minister Tonpi wants to attack laziness

“When people are too dependent on the government for handouts, their mindset is positioned in one direction only. Their minds become stagnant and they will not prosper"

Raphael Tonpi

| The National

PORT MORESBY - Poor judgement has resulted in Southern Highlands been riddled with law and order issues and this needs to change, says Mendi-Munihu MP, Raphael Tonpi.

“We need to respect and comfort them and find ways to assist and make Mendi town regain its glory days,” he said.

Continue reading "Vice-minister Tonpi wants to attack laziness" »

Australia violated Torres Islander rights: UN


Houses top
Dwellings damaged by a storm surge on Iama Island (John Rainbird)


MapNOOSA – The United Nations has declared that Australia has violated the human rights of a group of Torres Strait Islanders by failing to adequately protect them from the impacts of climate change.

Torres Strait Islanders are Indigenous Australians who live on small clusters of low-lying islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Australia violated Torres Islander rights: UN" »

BRA was the root of a bloody civil conflict

When the Bougainville Revolutionary Army succeeded in routing the PNG police and military from Bougainville in 1988, the BRA turned their violence upon Bougainvilleans they believed to be enemies or just ‘easy pickings’

Leonard Roka
The young Leonard Fong Roka and torture scar picked up in a refugee camp during the Bougainville civil war. When still a schoolboy, Leonard was deployed to serve in the bodyguard of Joseph Kabui, later president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government

| From Our Archive, 23 September 2012

MADANG – In October 1992 I was a kid roaming around parts of the Kieta and the Bana districts in South Bougainville with Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).

I was a member of the ‘A’ Company bodyguard unit.

Continue reading "BRA was the root of a bloody civil conflict" »

Quake signals danger for Wafi-Golpu project

As deadly earthquakes pose catastrophic risks to communities, all levels of government have been asked to pause the Wafi-Golpu deep sea tailings pipeline proposal until consent has been given by affected communities

A large crack in a highway near Kainantu following the 7.6 magnitude Morobe earthquake that killed at least seven people
A large crack in a highway near Kainantu following the 7.6 magnitude Morobe earthquake that killed at least seven people

NOOSA - Following the deadly Morobe earthquake 10 days ago, a coalition of Papua New Guinean and Australian civil society organisations have called for a pause to the Wafi-Golpu gold mine project.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.6 and the organisations want the geology to be fully understood and for Morobe communities to be consulted, especially on the risks of deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) to their livelihoods and health.

Continue reading "Quake signals danger for Wafi-Golpu project" »

Enough! We need to see the end of Empires

"I have been reading history for 60 years now and one of the things I have realised is that the human urge for conquest and the instinct to dominate others transcends geography, ethnicity, language and culture" - Chris Overland

Assyrian Empire (2025-605 BCE)
Assyrian Empire (2025-605 BCE)


ADELAIDE - The death of Queen Elizabeth II has led to some reflection upon the British Empire and its legacy.

Commentary has ranged from the vile and tasteless to thoughtful consideration upon what is undeniably a very mixed British imperial legacy.

Continue reading "Enough! We need to see the end of Empires" »

Today's tribes are not loyal to their own

The invigilators didn’t care who won the election, as long as the sitting member’s henchmen were not able to push false votes or influence the counting

Showing that ballot boxes are empty before voting
Poll workers demonstrate that ballot boxes are empty before voting commences


PORT MORESBY – ‘Bigmanship’, in Simon Davidson’s, 'Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders', is such a strange and new term.

If you look at it in the construct of Simon’s article, it’s like watching the vomit of over-analysis give life to something that is a post-colonial media construct.

Continue reading "Today's tribes are not loyal to their own" »

The Covid data they don't want you to see

BA.4.6, a subvariant of Omicron, quickly gaining traction in the US and the UK, is able to evade immunity acquired from vaccination and prior infection. It is likely to be followed by BA.2.75.2 - an even more evasive subvariant (Illustration by Andrii Vodolazhskyi)

New Covid variant


NOOSA - The full weight of nine governments and the public health bureaucracy continue to succeed in persuading the Australian population that Covid is not something to worry too much about.

One result of this nonsense is that in five of Australia’s eight states and territories, Covid infection is showing positive growth, with Queensland and South Australia looking likely to soon burst out into major expansion.

Continue reading "The Covid data they don't want you to see" »

Goroka ransacked after murder of official

Fego Kiniafa’s tribesmen rampaged through Goroka town armed with bush knives, burning houses and shops and ransacking other buildings

Goroka arson
A building burns in Goroka following the slaying of Fego Kiniafa


NOOSA - Goroka was tense last night following the brutal murder of the chief executive officer of the PNG Ports Corporation, Fego Kiniafa, 43, on Saturday.

Kiniafa was killed near his village of Nagamiufa as his tribesmen clashed with clans from Korofeiga and Lower Bena, with the fighting taking to the streets of Goroka early on Sunday morning.

Continue reading "Goroka ransacked after murder of official" »

Give the raskol a tenner & watch him grow

These are youths who sleep in the drains beside the Courts, at Yakapilin Market and in various dirty shanties around Port Moresby



PORT MORESBY - Whilst others were painting their faces on Independence Day, I spent my day at Jack Pidik Park.

I had been invited to give a little speech at the Human Development Institute graduation ceremony. So, what is significant about that?

Continue reading "Give the raskol a tenner & watch him grow" »

The mountain cave that harboured Sgt Ryan

Ryan hid in a cave in the mountains of Sarewagat, 1,000 metres above sea level in a steep, densely forested valley with a fast flowing river

Peter Ryan - just 18 when called to war
Peter Ryan MM - just 18 when called to war


OLIN – This is my place, Olin; a little village in Nawaeb District, Morobe Province.

Some years ago, I was told by my great-grandfather about a World War II soldier who was assisted by the natives of this area to escape from the Japanese.

Continue reading "The mountain cave that harboured Sgt Ryan" »

Ill Papua governor banned from treatment

Spokesperson Rifai Darus said Governor Enembe's home is being closely guarded by thousands of people, including his close relatives

Governor Enembe undergoing medical treatment. He's believed to be the target of an Indonesian power struggle over Indigenous administrations in Papua (Pacific Pos)
Governor Enembe undergoing medical treatment. He's believed to be the target of an Indonesian power struggle over Indigenous administrations in Papua (Pacific Pos)

| Asia Pacific Review | Edited

AUCKLAND - Governor Lukas Enembe of Indonesia’s Papua Province has been banned from travelling abroad, preventing him from undergoing vital medical treatment in the Philippines.

It is believed the popular governor of Melanesian Papua is the target of an Indonesian power struggle over Indigenous administrations in the region.

Continue reading "Ill Papua governor banned from treatment" »

'Change is up to the people,' says governor

"We must stop getting drunk in public. We must stop playing pokies all night. We must stop cutting deals & compromising the public interest. Our public servants must turn up to work on time"

Governor Allan Bird
Governor Allan Bird


WEWAK -Independence is not free, it comes with Responsibility.

In my address to the Sepik people on the occasion of Papua New Guinea’s 47th independence anniversary, I stressed that it is important we understand independence as meaning that the people have the right to do everything themselves.

Continue reading "'Change is up to the people,' says governor" »

B’ville looks to its international relations

As an emerging Pacific Island state, Bougainville will work towards building mutual government relationships that will enhance trust, trade and investment

Bougainville Vice-President-Patrick-Nisira

"As we reach out to the international frontier, our focus must be on growing the Bougainville economy and attaining fiscal self-reliance" - Bougainville vice-president Patrick Nisira

| Bougainville News

BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government continues to make headway with its strategy to make practical the people’s 97.7% vote for Independence in 2019.

The Bougainville Independence Mission, launched by president Ishmael Toroama in April 2021, marked the beginning of the implementation of a Trident Strategy to prepare Bougainville for independence.

Continue reading "B’ville looks to its international relations" »

The allure of the Crown: PNG & the Palace

"The emergent PNG elite was mightily enamoured with aspects of monarchy, notably the awarding of various medals and honours. Such bilas never lost its allure, whether in PNG or elsewhere in the remnants of the former Empire"

Knighthood-sir-mel-togolo June 2018
In PNG, the imperial awards system is maintained alongside the home-grown Order of Logohu. The Post-Courier records the knighting of business leader Sir Mel Togolo in June 2018


ADELAIDE - I guess it is baffling to most outside observers that a foreign Queen, who was formerly an Empress, should have been the Head of State in Papua New Guinea and generally held in high regard.

In pre-independence times the Queen's status must have mystified Papua New Guineans.

Continue reading "The allure of the Crown: PNG & the Palace" »

The real virtues of constitutional monarchy

Britannia defends Law, Monarchy and Religion against Violation from the Great Political Libertine. Despite its many flaws, inequities and inequalities, a constitutional monarchy remains the least easily manipulated governance system humans have devised

Monarchy top
Death or Liberty! Cartoon by George Cruikshank, London, 1819


ADELAIDE - Raymond Sigimet's perfectly competent and informative article about the death of the Queen triggered a remarkable outpouring of venom about the monarchy from those who want to replace it with a republic.

There is no denying that the monarchy is an archaic and elitist institution. Also, there are plenty of examples of royals behaving badly.

Continue reading "The real virtues of constitutional monarchy" »

The Old Justice is Dead

"The old justice is dead, and lost to time / Where once in the hausman it chanted at night  / Amidst broken betel nut and waft of lime /  Spoken in a chanted glow of embers’ light"



The old justice is dead, and lost to time
Where once in the hausman it chanted at night 
Amidst broken betel nut and waft of lime 
Spoken in a chanted glow of embers’ light

Burnt and buried, the old justice of the past
Where balance and order were societal norm 
Calling upon ancestors and act not in haste 
To pass judgement from man’s earthly worm

Continue reading "The Old Justice is Dead" »

We need a national TVET authority: Here’s why

The potential of TAFE-delivered vocational education and training has been relegated to mark it as a pathway for students who do not have the academic ability to progress in regular schooling. It hurts to write this, but it is the truth

Kuri - TVET


PORT MORESBY - The education sector in Papua New Guinea has gone through various structural reforms in an attempt to ensure that principles and directives enshrined in the Constitution are realised.

Education as a development pillar is also highlighted as a key sector in PNG’s Development Strategic Plan 2010–2030, in the Medium Term Development Plan 2011-2015, in the Medium Term Development Plan III and in Vision 2050.

Continue reading "We need a national TVET authority: Here’s why" »

I have reason to celebrate Independence Day

Indy top 3
The celebration of a nation

| First published in PNG Attitude on 16 September 2019

In 2019, James Marape replaced Peter O’Neill as prime minister and briefly the nation breathed a sigh of relief that better days were to come. Francis Nii reflected upon the change of mood. The great author was to die before the disappointment set in

KUNDIAWA - In the last eight years, when other Papua New Guineans celebrated their country’s independence anniversary on 16 September each year, to me it was just like any other day.

I didn’t feel anything special about the occasion. Independence was meaningless and unimportant to me.

Continue reading "I have reason to celebrate Independence Day" »

How we raced to make independence happen

Indy top 2
The new Kumul flag is raised on Independence Hill

| First published in PNG Attitude on 16 September 2015

In 2009 former long-serving PNG district commissioner, the late David Marsh, who died in 2015, reflected upon what happened on that first Independence Day in 1975

PORT MORESBY -In late June 1975, Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam asked Papua New Guinea chief minister Michael Somare to provide a date for PNG Independence.

Somare set the date of 16 September the same year. Then he gave me the job of organising the event. We had ten weeks. Getting people to join me to get the job done was difficult.

Continue reading "How we raced to make independence happen" »

35 years on - some reasons for pride

The main issue was that too much experience and expertise deserted PNG in those few years immediately after Independence. But that was in the seventies, and nothing can change what happened then

Indy top 1

| First published in PNG Attitude on 16 September 2010

In 2010 I sought to draw back the curtains of gloom and identify some of the important areas in which PNG was doing well. Twelve years later, I leave it up to readers to assess how things are going. Plenty of space for Comments below

NOOSA – I was at that first Independence Day in Papua New Guinea and was amazed and impressed in how such an important and complex national event could be was organised in a heck of a hurry.

With only ten weeks’ notice, chief minister Michael Somare gave District Commissioner David Marsh the task of organising events both on the day and for the six days of celebration from 14-19 September.

Continue reading "35 years on - some reasons for pride" »

Independence Day: 47 years of failure

Before independence, our leaders chose and promoted a people-centred approach and enshrined this in our Constitution. But successive governments have steered another course



PORT MORESBY – It’s Independence Day for Papua New Guinea, marking 47 years since a new country was born.

But while we celebrate 47 years of political independence, we must acknowledge that, as a nation, we have failed to fulfil our aspirations.

Continue reading "Independence Day: 47 years of failure" »

The world is changing: Are we ready for it?

The power elites in Western countries resort to self- delusion, distortion, evasion, lies and hypocrisy to justify and defend policies and actions they believe or pretend are in the national interest



‘The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: A History of Now’ by Michael Burleigh
Pan, July 2018, 432 pages, paperback. Available here from Amazon Books $9.99

ADELAIDE - I have just finished Michael Burleigh’s acclaimed book, The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: A History of Now’ (Macmillan, 2017).

Burleigh is a distinguished academic specialising in the Nazi era, and he has held teaching positions, including professorial roles, at New College, Oxford, the London School of Economics and the universities of Cardiff and Stanford.

Continue reading "The world is changing: Are we ready for it?" »

Serenade of the Sea

The sea took away my kin not long ago, but the sea is not the enemy. I do not blame the sea, the sea will always serve its purpose

Suang pic


PORT MORESBY - As the Bismarck moonlight shines so  bright, I can recall early memories of being on a canoe with my uncles at night, fishing the pristine waters near our island for crayfish and reef fish.

This was where I was born and where I spent my first few months when isolation was at its greatest.

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Prince Charles, Kerr & the dismissal of Gough

John Kerr was looking for  friendship and support wherever he could. Prince Charles allowed himself to be drawn into the collaboration to bring down an Australian government

Prince Charles in 1976
King Charles III (then Prince Charles) in 1976

| Pearls Irritations

SYDNEY - In the heat of early spring 1975 in the New Guinea highlands, Australian Governor General Sir John Kerr sidled up to Prince Charles and suggested a quiet chat.

The topic? The possible dismissal of the Australian prime minister.

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PNG's monarch, ‘Misis Kwin’, has passed away

"I know how honoured Her Majesty is to be your Queen, a title borne by her with immense pride and renewed by the people of this great country upon independence in 1975" - King Charles III, speaking as the Prince of Wales, in 2012

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited PNG in October 1982


DAGUA - Papua New Guinea, as a member of the Commonwealth, is mourning the passing of its head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth II, called Misis Kwin in PNG Tok Pisin, died aged 96 one week ago, Thursday 8 September.

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Does B'ville need a new anti-corruption law?

In 17 years since the first Autonomous Bougainville Government was formed there has been little practical action to utilise the powers to hold political and bureaucratic leaders to account

Jn top
Joseph Nobatau found himself targeted as he sought to bring senior Bougainville leaders to account. He lost his influential job as chief secretary, but was later completely exonerated by the courts


BUKA - Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama recently announced his government’s intention to enact a new anti-corruption law. 

The president, who campaigned on a platform of eliminating corruption, has since his election advocated for reform and should be commended for his focus on corruption.

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Private notes for understanding friends

Keith portrait
Keith, September 2020


“The game's afoot: / Follow your spirit, and upon this charge / Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (Henry V by Wm Shakespeare, c 1599)

“Old age sure ain’t no place for sissies” - Bette Davis, movie star (1908-1989)

“I'll be glad to leave here. I feel like eating palm trees. I don't like this place. It's for people with arthritis. They come here to play golf and to die” - Ernie Holmes, American football hero (1948-2008)

“We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is” – Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)


NOOSA – Well, here we go again: 120 kilometres to Brisbane and the Wesley hospital for more surgery on my spine.

It feels like it may be the denouement of an unfinished 40-year long drama about the steady creep of arthritis.

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