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Sunday, 14 October

21:00

Was Silver Fox's crude attempt to censor citizen on APEC's behalf? "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Silver Fox
David ('Silver Fox') Johnson's communications to Emmanuel Narakobi - was Johnson acting with the authority of APEC or as a freelancer?

BRYAN KRAMER MP

PORT MORESBY Last Wednesday, a respectable young Papua New Guinean entrepreneur, Emmanuel Narakobi, shared on Facebook an article showing the arrival of the controversial million kina Italian luxury cars at Jacksons International Airport.

He shared the post of the airline company, Ajot, that flew the cars to Port Moresby. Minutes after posting the article he was in-boxed by a person with a Facebook account called Silver Fox providing his number and insisting Emmanuel call him immediately.

The message read - You must immediately take down posts of Maserati APEC security act will be inacted [sic].

The person then messaged Emmanuel on SMS - Need you to immediately take down FB posts concerning recent airport photos ... It is a security risk under APEC joint task force ... Please call me, David Johnson.

David JohnsonJohnson telephoned Emmanuel explaining he was part of APEC security and instructed him to take down his post. Emmanuel did take the post down and so did Ajot.

So who is David Johnson?

He is an Australian expatriate who arrived in PNG sometime in 2015. He resides in Lae providing financial advisory services. 

He later acquired a shelf company Karama Consultants, registering himself as the sole director and shareholder.

In August 2017 he registered two other shelf (start-up) companies, Karama Developments Limited (w...

20:49

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20:00

Health crisis: Get those refugees off Manus & Nauru says UN "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Asylum seekers on Manus
Refugees on Manus - 1,420 are held in PNG and Nauru; another 500 in Australia for medical reasons

NAAMAN ZHOU | Guardian Australia

SYDNEY - The United Nations has called on Australia to immediately evacuate its offshore detention centres to prevent an unfolding health crisis.

Doctors from Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) were ejected from Nauru laston Wednesday and the UN high commissioner for refugees has warned that many asylum seekers who have attempted self-harm or have critical health issues now have no access to medical care.

Catherine Stubberfield, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Canberra, said healthcare was collapsing at the centres.

She said a pre-teenage girl doused herself with petrol in a suicide attempt last month, and remained on Nauru despite a doctors advice to have her evacuated.

She also said many asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea had attempted self-harm or suicide last month, and others were suffering acute physical and mental health issues but had not been treated by doctors.

On Thursday, MSF called for an immediate humanitarian evacuation of offshore detainees. It said there had been 78 cases of attempted suicide and self-harm in Nauru over the past year.

Speaking on Friday, Stubberfield said Australia had to face the responsibility of its offshore detention camps because it had designed, paid for and set up the system.

UNHCR does not agree with the government of Australias assertion that such cases are solely matters for Papua New Guinea and Nauru, she said. Australia [has] simultaneously designed, financed and managed the system.

She urged the Australian government to take up New Zealands offer to accept some of those held in detention.

About 1,420 people are being held in PNG and Nauru, and 500 have been transferred to Australia for medical reasons. The UNCHRs monitoring suggests that figure is significantly lower than the number of refugees in need of care.

In September this year more refugees and asylum seekers had...

19:00

Liberian author is helping children become anti-corruption heroes "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Robtel Neajai Pailey (Kate Lloyd)
Robtel Neajai Pailey

STAFF REPORTER | Transparency International

BERLIN - Robtel Neajai Pailey is an academic, activist and author from Liberia.

Having worked in in academia, the public sector, with international organisations and the media, she decided to combine her passion for social justice and gift for storytelling to write two anti-corruption books for kids.

Gbagba was published in 2013, and the sequel, Jaadeh! is on the way. Transparency International asked Robtel some questions about the books, her motivation and her vision on fighting corruption in the future

TI: When did you first experience or encounter corruption and decide you wanted to do something about it?

RNP: While living and working in Liberia from 2007 to 2011, I became increasingly troubled by how corruption permeated everyday human interactions. But there was an incident in 2010 that shook my centre of gravity.

At the time, I was chairing a Liberian government scholarships committee, and we embarked on a reform process to make awards merit-based, transparent, and gender-balanced. We discovered that a group of 18-year-old boys had forged their national exam records to become eligible for scholarships to Morocco, so we called them in for questioning.

After initially denying any wrongdoing, they eventually confessed. I was deeply concerned that these young men, in the prime of their adolescence and on the verge of adulthood, were prepared to get ahead by any means necessary.

Although my gut instinct was to rebuke the young men, I realised how self-righteous it was of me to expect them to miraculously develop scruples when the society in which we lived did not value integrity. So, I reasoned that we needed to start with 8 to 10-year-old children because it is at this stage that we begin to form an ethical core.

TI: How did you come up with the idea of Gbagba, your first childrens book illustrated by Chase Walker and published by One Moore Book to critical acclaim in 2013?

...

15:39

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11:10

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09:58

K38 million Maserati purchase made through Sri Lanka backyard firm'. Bryan Kramer slams O'Neill govt & demands it come clean "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

InvoiceKEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY Prominent Papua New Guinea Opposition MP and Member for Madang Bryan Kramer has slammed APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko for the purchase of 40 luxury Maserati sedans, which he says would retail in PNG for at least $400,000 (K950,000) each taking into account excise duty, clearance and freight.

And he's in possession of what he says is a leaked invoice (right) to back him up.

The cars will be used to ferry world leaders attending the APEC leaders summit that PNG will be hosting in Port Moresby next month.

While the country faces a polio outbreak, failing health and education systems, systemic corruption, and escalating law and order issues, prime minister ONeill appears to be more concerned about impressing world leaders, Kramer said in a statement.

The bottom line is, we cannot afford to be this extravagant. Our country is broke and the ONeill government continues to be irresponsible and reckless.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Tkatchenko said, Maserati Quattroporte sedans have been secured and delivered and are being committed to be paid for by the private sector.

But Kramer says that, if the vehicles have been bought by the private sector without any cost to the government, the sale is illegal.

The Public Finance Management Act requires any State assets to be acquired or disposed of by calling for public tender, he said. The question is: when was the public tender called?

Kramer says he has obtained documents including an invoice issued by Ideal Choice (Private) Ltd and addressed to APEC CEO, Christopher Hawkins.

The invoice, dated 31 August 2018, is for US$5 million (K16.7 million) for 40 units of brand new MY 19 Quattroporte Diesel, Granlusso-3.0L V6 Diesel Engine 275, HP [high performance] Acceleration.

The payment terms on the invoice included a 35% non-refundable advance with the balance payable after 30 days. The airfreight charge of US$1,352,800 (K4.5 million) was 100% non-refundable in advance with insurance costing US$4,884. The total invoice amount came to US$6,357,684 (K21.3 million).

Ideal Choice (Private) Ltd is a auto spare parts and sales company based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The Italian automobile manufacturer must now come out publicly to explain why they agreed to sell 40 Maseratis destined for PNG APEC to a s...

05:47

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Bougainville Team JSB
By Aloysius Laukai

JSB PROPER 121018 035

05:23

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Sample Referendum ballot and we will put n some pictures from the latest JSB

Sample ballot paper 003

03:14

Oldest building in Lae turns 85 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

St Andrew's Lutheran Church at Ampo in Lae turns 85 this month.

The church in May 2018.~Malum Nalu


The church, built in its present form in 1933 (until renovated in 2005), is the only pre-war building in Lae and the timberwork used to bear many bullet scars (until renovated).

During the war, it served as a Japanese hospital when its custodians from Butibam village fled into the foothills on the far side of the Busu River.

A bush material chapel was built at Ampo in 1912 by pioneer German missionary, Gottfried Schmutterer, and the first baptism took place on October 20, 1912.

Timber from Bukawa was put on the ship Bavaria and brought to Lae on Feb 11, 1933.

They started building the church on March 4, 1933, with dedication being on Oct 8, 1933.

01:19

Refurbished National Museum and Art Gallery reopens to all "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Australian High Commission


Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Emil Tammur and Australian Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne reopened the refurbished National Museum and Art Gallery (NMAG) in Port Moresby on Friday.

Dignitaries attending the National Museum and Art Gallery reopening including Museum Director Dr Andrew Moutu, Former Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Emil Tammur, and National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop

Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Emil Tammur opening the newly refurbished National Museum and Art Gallery

...

00:10

The year of living dangerously in Apec City, Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

by MALUM NALU

 I had a 9.30am meeting on Saturday Oct 13 2018 at Islander Village.

I call my faithful City Loop cabbie Albert Wangua (video below) to pick me up.



Near the Islander Village, I get a text saying 10am, so I get off at the service station, walk into the  Bank South Pacific ATM, withdraw K100, and walk into the fried chicken outlet.

Albert, who is parked outside BSP,  suddenly runs in, warning me to take care, as he'd seen some dangerous characters watching my every movement.

As I cross the road, unaware, this gang is following me.

Albert, now with another passenger, speeds towards Hohola, makes a u-turn, and shouts at me to jump on.

He points out the gang following me.

We go drop off the passenger at Boroko and Albert drives me back to Islander Village.

We pass the men who would have robbed me, perhaps killed me, waiting for another unsuspecting prey.

Albert, a committed Christian, says this is Divine Intervention.

That's a snapshot of living in Apec City.

Times are hard.

People are desperate.

Apec City is a very dangerous place to live and work in.

PS: Albert is the hero and a credit to City Loop. It pays to have a trusted cabbie, who in my case, may have saved my life.

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Saturday, 13 October

21:18

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21:00

Question & questions for Bougainville independence referendum "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

John Momis and Peter O'Neill sign the agreement (Joseph Nobetau)
John Momis and Peter O'Neill sign the joint statement (Joseph Nobetau)

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY At a meeting here on Friday, Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter ONeill and Bougainville president John Momis agreed the important question to be put to Bougainville voters at next Junes referendum on the autonomous provinces political future.

The question gives the voters a choice of opting for greater autonomy or independence, the precise wording being, Do you agree for Bougainville to have (1) Greater Autonomy or (2) Independence.

The question itself raises other questions. Why has it been framed in the way it has? What is 'greater autonomy'? Is the offer of 'greater autonomy' as the alternative to 'independence' a successful demand by Momis or a clever distraction by O'Neill?

I'm sure these matters will soon be addressed by people smarter and better informed than I.

The agreement came late on Friday after weeks of delays at a meeting of a joint supervisory board attended by the chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, former Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahearn.

The referendum will mark the end of a 20-year process following the end of the Bougainville civil war which devastated the province and caused great loss of life over the ten years before it ended in April 1998.

In a media statement the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

They noted the importance of ensuring that the referendum is free and fair, and conducted in full accordance with the constitution and the peace agreement.

They agreed it was essential that people understand the choice they had to make and the process to be followed once the referendum has taken place.

Once the people of Bougainville have opted for their preferred pathway, the PNG national parliament will need to agree to either greater autonomy or independence...

20:00

Bertie Ahern has personal experience of travails of civil war "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Peter O'Neill and Bertie Ahern (The National)
Peter O'Neill and Bertie Ahern (The National)

GARRY ROCHE

DUBLIN - One of the reasons former Ireland prime minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern was chosen to head the Bougainville Referendum Commission is that he has been involved with successful conflict resolution processes in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Ukraine and with the Basque people of Spain.

Aherns parents and grandparents themselves experienced the trauma of revolution and civil war.

His father, Cornelius (Con) Ahern, was involved with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) way back in the 1920s in the Irish war of independence against the English.

Ireland did gain independence from Great Britain but immediately civil war broke out between the IRA members who accepted the proposed treaty with Britain and those IRA members who opposed it.

Con Ahern, who opposed the treaty, was on the losing side of the civil war, and as a result was imprisoned in the Tintown prison camp in Curragh, County Kildare, for some of that time being on a hunger strike.

It seems likely that this family background will help Bertie Ahern understand the complexities involved in the Bougainville issue.

He has emphasised the importance of voters in the Bougainville referendum having a very clear understanding of what they may be voting for.

Hopefully the forthcoming referendum will help to further advance the process of peace and reconciliation.

15:50

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12:39

New Satellite System to increase internet connectivity in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PNGs new satellite internet system, which will increase PNGs internet capacity by approximately 30 percent, was officially opened on October 11.

The critical investment by Australia saw its Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, join PNGs Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rimbink Pato, yesterday for the event.

Payne said the new system will benefit Papua New Guineans by reducing barriers to learning, improving private sector capacity and fostering job creation in the long term.

In the near term, the project will boost connectivity for APEC meetings in Port Moresby in November, she stated.

This investment is an important component of Australias broader internet connectivity support that includes the Coral Sea Cable System, which will connect Port Moresby and Sydney by a new fibre optic cable scheduled for delivery by late 2019.

Australia and Papua New Guinea have committed to working closely together to support the development of PNGs information and communications technology sector over the next 15 to 20 years.

(Australias Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, right, watching a young Manus dancer in action)

Read more on  PNG Technology site : PNG eHow

12:33

Three Australian Army Blackhawk Helicopters Pass Through Rockhampton Airport Heading to PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

During a stormy Saturday 13 October, three Australian Army Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters were noted passing through Rockhampton Airport while heading to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

File photo

They arrived from the South separately as "Centurion 62", "Centurion 61" (as shown below) and "Centurion 63".  


After taking on fuel, all three - which were sadly not able to be identified - departed together under the one radio callsign of "Centurion" and looked to head West to avoid weather before later landing at Townsville.

The Blackhawks are all flown by the Australian Army's 171st Aviation Squadron (forming part of the 6th Aviation Regiment) based at Holsworthy Barracks near Sydney.  It is believed they are ultimately heading to Papua New Guinea which is hosting the forthcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

12:13

PNG government under fire over APEC Maserati fleet "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Papua New Guinea government is facing a community backlash over the purchase of 40 luxury Maserati sedans to ferry APEC leaders around Port Moresby next month, while the country struggles to pay school teachers and deal with a worsening polio outbreak.

As APECs poorest member state gears up to host the biggest event in its history, with at least $130 million (US$92,599) in support from Australia, locals have also expressed alarm at the installation of new Chinese-funded surveillance cameras across the city.

The Maserati Quattroporte cars, which cost between $210,000 (US$149,000) and $345,000 (US$245,000) each, were delivered to Port Moresby this week from Milan, Italy, on two privately chartered Boeing 747 cargo planes.

The vehicles are equipped with V6 Ferrari engines but will struggle to reach their top speed of 240km on Port Moresbys often potholed roads, which have a maximum 80kmh speed limit.

PNGs Minister for APEC Justin Tkatchenko said the Maseratis had been pre-sold to private sector buyers who would take the vehicles off the governments hands after the summit.

Of course we have paid a deposit to get everything here but all costs will be totally reimbursed and there will be no burden at all to the government at the end of the day. They are selling like hotcakes, Tkatchenko told The Australian.

Its not as though we are going out of our way to show off or be stupid. We just want to make sure the vehicles we purchase are not a burden to the government after the event.

But the purchase has sparked a furious response from PNG community activists.

Prominent PNG blogger Martyn Namarong questioned whether private buyers in PNG would have the money to purchase the $12 million (US$8.5 million) fleet, amid an ongoing foreign currency crisis brought about an artificially high exchange rate.

The private sector has been unable to buy machines and other equipment because of difficulties in getting foreign currency. So its hard to see how they can buy 40 Maseratis, Namarong said.

I never heard about a Maseratis until they arrives in PNG. We cannot maintain our very hardy Toyota vehicles so its hard to see how we will maintain these Maseratis.

He said everyday Papua New Guineans were becoming increasingly angry over the governments APEC expenditure, which some have linked to unexplained pay cuts for the nations teachers.

PNG is also in the midst of a health crisis, with an outbreak...

12:05

New Zealand Kiwis stun Australian Kangaroos 26 - 24 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kiwis celebrate a try. NRL Photo 
New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak declared that the Kiwis would only continue to improve as they begun a new era for international football by inflicting the first defeat in Mal Meninga's tenure as Australian coach.

Kiwis halfback Shaun Johnson led his team to their first win over the Kangaroos since the 2015 Anzac Test, while debutants Joseph Manu and Brandon Smith were among the stars in the 26-24 win at Mt Smart Stadium.

It was the first Test for Australia since Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk stood down from representative football and the retirement of Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston, with just eight members of the Kangaroos team which won last year's World Cup playing in Auckland.

However the Kiwis also had a new-look team, with Watene-Zelezniak making his debut as captain and Manu and Smith joining the new players blooded in June's Denver Test against England.

The win is a boost for the game in New Zealand after the disappointment of a World Cup campaign in which they suffered back-to-back losses to Tonga and Fiji and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

However, Watene-Zelezniak said the Kiwis still had a lot of work to do and would benefit from the upcoming Test series against England.

"It feels so surreal," Watene-Zelezniak said. "We are still building, We have only set the foundations now but we have to keep building.

"Everyone was just on. We were a bit shaky at times but we this is just the beginning.

"That's what we came here for to give the fans.

"I think we take a lot of confidence. We have got some work to do but we are on the right track."

The Kiwis dominated the first half for all but the opening three minutes and the last 60 seconds but Australia led 12-8 at the interval following an early try to Valentine Holmes and another by Dane Gagai just before the siren.

Holmes's 12th try in his last four Test appearances struck fear into the hearts of New Zealand fans that the new look Kangaroos would be just as dominant as previous versions,...

04:59

PNG Governments censor film on Australian developer takeover "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

[Video inside] An internationally acclaimed film of Paga Hill communitys fight for justice from the illegal eviction and demolition of their homes in downtown Port Moresby has been banned from screening today at the PNG Human Rights Festival. It is known as 'The Opposition Film'. See trailer and details of showings here. There is a lot of Australian involvement in this disgraceful powerplay, including NSW court system and Australian developers. However, what is happening in PNG is also happening to Australians, who mostly fail to realise that they are also being treated and exploited like a 'developing country'.

The ban highlights the lingering limits on free speech in our country and the continued attempts to censor our story of resistance against gross human rights violations [1], claimed Paga Hill leader Joe Moses, the main character in The Opposition film who had to seek exile in the United Kingdom after fighting for his communitys rights.[2],[3]

This censorship comes as a deep disappointment for my community who have suffered greatly over the past 6 years.

The Opposition film tells the David-and-Goliath battles of a community evicted, displaced, abandoned their homes completely demolished at the hands of two Australian-run companies, Curtain Brothers and Paga Hill Development Company, and the PNG state. What was once home to 3000 people of up to four generations, Paga Hill is now part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit AELM Precinct which will take place this November.[4],[5]

Mr. Moses continued, We appreciate the PNG Human Rights Film Festival for choosing to screen The Opposition film at their Madang and Port Moresby screenings.

It is shameful that our government continues to limit free speech and put such pressure on our countrys only annual arts and human rights event. How does this make us look to the world leaders who will be coming here for the APEC meeting in November?

Under the theme Tokautnau long senisim tumora" (Speak up today to change tomorrow) the mission of the PNG Human Rights Film Festival includes We are all born free and equal in dignity and rights and that the international and local human rights films promote increased respec...

00:25

Nautilus are you nuts! "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

 
Sccop NZ |12 October 2018

The United States Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck close to the proposed Solwara 1 deep sea mine in Papua New Guinea yesterday at 7am local time. This follows a magnitude 6.6 quake nearby in March.

Friday, 12 October

22:21

piwen~ 852126269188 604958C OM "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

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21:00

Papua New Guinea - you do not need Maseratis "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Maserati
"PNG doesnt need a squadron of expensive cars to prove anything. It doesnt need a flash conference centre on an artificial island and it doesnt need a horde of five star hotels to impress anyone"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The purchase of 40 very expensive Italian motorcars to be used for a few days during APEC and then sold off seems to be an incredibly stupid and callous act on the part of the Papua New Guinean government.

It makes you wonder what they are trying to prove with such unabashed extravagance.

Maserati eh! Emi samting nating, olgeta man meri blong PNG save raun long dispel kain kar. Ol tisa, dokta na olgeta raun olosem, pasin blong mipela tasol.

["Nah, Maserati! They're nothing, everyone in PNG travels in this kind of vehicle. Teachers, doctors, everyone travels like this, it's the way we do things here."]

Perhaps more than anything else, this episode aptly illustrates the irrationality and chaos that characterises Papua New Guinean politics and governance.

Is it any wonder that democracy and the Westminster system of government has failed so miserably in such a place?

When logic and order comes up against the irrational and the chaotic it stands no chance at all.

Not that logic and order dont have their own problems, especially if they are overdone like we in the west tend to do.

Running a country that is based on irrationality and chaos by trying to impose on it the sort of regimentation that passes for governance in the west doesnt sound like a very good idea at all.

Its a pity we didnt realise this before 1975.

When the vast majority of people in Papua New Guinea get up in the morning they probably have only a vague idea about what they are going to do for the rest of the day.

Go to the garden? Try a bit of fishing? Laze about in the sun? Who knows? Let the day decide. Whatever needs doing will get done, one way or another.

Contrast that to someone in the west. Wake at precisely 6am, wolf down a hasty breakfast, get to the...

06:00

Historic waste: Papua New Guineas govt lambasted for importing 40 Maseratis for APEC summit "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guineas government has faced an intense backlash for importing a fleet of 40 Maserati luxury sedans to drive international delegates around at the upcoming two-day APEC conference... However, speeds are limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) on the countrys roads which have fallen into disrepair in recent years. In the more mountainous regions, off-road vehicles are required, making the luxury sedans an impractical choice for world leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence.

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