|IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed was generated at Pacific News IndyWatch.
I was born in the small coastal village of Kivori, in Papua New Guineas Central Province. With no healthcare centre nearby, my mother gave birth to me at home, with the help of several traditional birth attendants as well as a traditional healer.
Instead of a delivery bed, an empty rice bag was spread on the ground for my mother to use during childbirth, and my umbilical cord would have been cut with a sharpened stick of a sago palm.
With no access to an ambulance and the nearest hospital and doctor a four-hour drive to Port Moresby, my mother would have been praying that there were no complications.
More than 30 years later, little has changed for the mothers of Kivori. Globally, and within the Asia-Pacific region, PNG has some of the worst maternal and child health indicators. At least one woman loses her life in childbirth every day. Most of these deaths are preventable.
It was on a visit to Australia last year that I was reminded how shocking the conditions are for mothers and their newborns in PNG. We may be Australias closest neighbour, with just 160km separating us, but the differences in our healthcare systems are like night and day.
The Royal Brisbane Womens Hospital has 410 doctors. This is only one of many hospitals servicing the city of Brisbane. The whole of PNG has fewer than 400 doctors, and my home province of Central Province has one doctor servicing almost a quarter of a million people.
In fact, the entire healthcare system in PNG is beset by shortages in doctors, nurses, midwives as well as facilities, medicine and equipment to make childbirth safer.
My village used to have a small aid post, but government funding cuts and a lack of trained staff saw it close in 2013. So mothers wanting to give birth in a healthcare facility must now walk 10kms to a health sub-centre. Here, they will find a building without electricity or running water, without mattresses for the consulting beds, and a severe shortage of proper medical equipment.
It is not uncommon for clinic to run out of medicines even paracetamol. There are only two staff working here with the same skills as a nursing assistant in Australia so clinic times are office hours only.
If anything should go wrong, the closest ambulance is a 45-minute drive away if transport can even be found. If they reach the ambulance, the cost of the journey to Port Moresby Hospital is around 200 Kina; the equivalent of over a months salary and completely unaffordable for the majority of families.
This dire lack of professional, accessible healthcare is why so many women from my village will choose to inste...
Author: Michael Main. Source: East Asia Forum
Two recent reports on the massive ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project have brought renewed attention to the undesirable economic and social impacts of Papua New Guineas largest-ever resource extraction enterprise. This research shows that PNG LNG has hurt, rather than grown, PNGs economy and that it has inflamed violence and tensions in the PNG highlands region. Papua New Guineas so-called resource curse has hit local communities the hardest.
Violent conflict in the PNG highlands, certainly among the Huli landowners of Hela Province where PNG LNG is based, has been an almost constant feature since before first contact with colonial forces in the 1930s. Levels of violence have fluctuated markedly in response to historical conditions. The 1970s and 1980s were relatively peaceful, as PNG transitioned from Australian administration into the early independence years. But local political frustrations combined with the introduction of guns led to high rates of violence in the highlands around the 1992 elections.
Since that decade, Papua New Guineas government services have been in constant decline. A new generation of Huli has emerged that is less educated than the generation of its parents Huli who were educated between the 1960s and 1980s are more literate and fluent in English than those who were of school age from the 1990s onwards. Health has deteriorated with a decline in health services and the introduction of store-bought processed food. By the late 2000s, when the PNG government was promoting the PNG LNG project as a looming economic miracle for the country, the Huli population was desperate for a project that they believed would raise them from the state of poverty and neglect that had gradually descended upon them since independence.
During the first few years of the PNG LNG projects construction, it looked as if all its grand promises were being fulfilled. ExxonMobil and its partners invested US$19 billion a staggering amount for a country whose GDP was a little over US$8 billion in 2009 (just before construction began). Cash was everywhere in the projects area, and this cash was accompanied by plentiful....
The Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, chaired by David Cameron and including such luminaries as Paul Collier and Donald Kaberuka, released its report a few weeks ago. Overall, we think its a helpful contribution that adds the weight of some big names to a growing consensus about what has gone wrong and what could be done better when it comes to helping countries emerge from violent conflict.
The easiest criticism is that the authors dont live up to their own stated ambition: while claiming to be charting new ground and disparaging much of what has gone before, the report echoes existing work, while not really engaging with or even acknowledging some of the most important ideas and publications in the broader academic and practitioner discourses.
We should all welcome the full-throated repudiation of the liberal state-building model of the 2000s in its most simplistic and hubristic forms. From the outset, the authors frame the escape from conflict as a political process driven by the emergence of institutions capable of solving context-specific collective action problems. They frankly acknowledge the limited ability of outsiders to effect institutional outcomes and social change in a deliberate manner. They warn against seeking to resolve fragility through transplanting OECD-style institutions, quickly pursuing multi-party elections, or driving constitutional reform processes. They rightly argue that such institutional measures should follow and consolidate more organic and legitimate power-sharing and accountability arrangements forged by national actors, rather than initiate them.
The reports emphasis on the importance of critical junctures and the potential use of these moments to signal positive change and project public authority is welcome. The effort to combine a political framework containing insights from psychology (around the importance of a common purpose and shared identity), with a sensible framework for economic development has unusual breadth, at least when compared to the mainstream economic literature. Messages on the need for realism, prioritisation, and a long-term perspective are music to our ears.
Welcome to the fold, Professor Sirs
But how much of this is new? A voluminous literature over the course of more than a decade criticises the externally-driven liberal statebuilding model. A decades-old political economy and comparative politics literature describes historical processes of state formation, covering experiences from...
The previous post generated a lot of comments at the original site at which it was posted. One of them touched on a key factor of politics in PNG. Money.
That response comment to Vergil Narokobis post has been re-posted verbatim below for the benefit of the non-FB readership.
succinctly put; although one must clearly guard against mischievous, opportunistic or politicised actions against the government of the day from within the police or any other institution, clearly the rules need to be universal, whatever ones position. So it it critical that mechanisms are not abused to circumvent due process. But this does bring one back to the question of how governments are formed in PNG and how majorities are gained and retained. Unfortunately, with little or no ideological basis for parties (as in Australia and most places) PNG has ended up with government by dint of personality, but increasingly the use of money. Would an inspiring leader like Nelson Mandela have been able to become PM in PNG if he was to remain honest and not participate in pork barrel or money politics, or would he have just been sidelined by the man with access to logging money? And lets face it this case is partly about thatthe assumption is that public funds were laundered through a law firms accounts to be able to be used by a party for gaining office for funding campaigns and winning over other parties and independentsand if that was the assumption, what were the other parties and leaders doing? similar sorts of things, using SABLs and other land allocations, logging permits, DSIP funds, RESE funds, fish or petroleum licenses, exclusive rice concessions, citizenship awards, construction or commercial contracts, trust funds etc So if this scenario has some truth, the question is, how does one halt it, and halt it across the board, so that no party or group is left with a special advantage, with exclusive access to public or other improperly-gained funds, leaving the others high and dry? how does one rid elections and post election formation of government of the current money element (from vote buy, to rigging electoral lists, to buying parties and members etc)? Many politicians would prefer that, but feel dragged into the current corrupt practices as the only way to play the gamethese are some of the challenges, and it requires active involvement by the parties themselves, think tanks etc but also the wider public to help find the solutions, as clearly the voters are widely accepting and even demanding electoral bribes (in cash or kind)
By Paul Barker
I cannot remember the last time I was here. It was certainly a long while back as I see the shelves here have been collecting dust. There were a few factors that led to this rather lengthy hiatus, but lets not get into that now.
I am here simply to re-post verbatim a commentary that I came across on Facebook for the benefit of the portion of readership out there who may not subscribe to this social media.
In any case, I feel that this man has pretty much summed up and articulated what most likely must be running through peoples mind as they try to make sense of the latest developments in Papua New Guineas rather vibrant national political stage.
Its time for Papua New Guineans to call an ace an ace and a spade a spade!
The call for the resignation by the Prime Minister is a political question, not so much a legal question. The Prime Minister, like any body who goes through the criminal justice system is innocent until proven guilty. Here are some matters the Prime Minister should consider when making that decision.
Kua was Somares lawyer in the misconduct allegations against Somare. They went through the judicial process to challenge the OC. They failed. But they fronted up at the Leadership Tribunal, went through the process, found guilty by the Tribunal, paid the fine and life goes on. Skate resigned as Prime Minister paving the way for Sir Mekere to come in an atmosphere of serious allegations leveled against him. Julius Chan resigned when public opinion against him was overwhelming in the Sandline Affair. We hold public office as custodians for the people. If they are wrong in their convictions, they stand to suffer. That is the nature of our democracy. We have nothing to lose. Its their office.
There are important national matters that the Prime Minister must attend to. There are roads to be built, hospitals to maintain, doctors to be trained, borders to be protected, investors to meet and the list goes on. If one is busy fighting a criminal matter, looking over ones shoulder when the next counter move will be made, attending a Commission of Inquiry, sacking disobedient ministers and servants of the state, how can one give their 100% level best to serve the interest of the country? Ones time and attention is divided. One cannot serve two masters. To be or not to be, that is the question.
Whilst one serve office, they enjoy the confidence of the people. If that confidence is no longer apparent in ones leadership, and we are a democracy, it is an irreconcilable position to be in and one must do the honourable thing and resign...
|SIP materials being presented to the staff and officials of the Office of the PNG Vision 2030|
|PM & NEC Security official wearing a uniform with the PNG Vision 2050 logo on|
|SIP Training for New Guinea Islands SIP Officials in Kavieng 2013|
|Daniel Yekari- BOG Chairman of Passam National High School|
|Yonki is part of the Arona Valley Systemn|
|Rosie Aize Johnson (L) and Rosemary Koimo|
|Prime Ministers: Peter O'Neill and Kevin Rudd|
|Kombiam LLG Adviser, Tim Taesa|
There does not seem to be much change in the movement of the dial on the scale. It quivers undecided between 88kg and 89kg. Perhaps it does not want to disappoint me. But who am I trying to fool here? It has only been two days. I did not say I was on some miracle fad diet.
In any case, a digital scale would have given a more definitive reading. But I realized that this yearning for an absolute figure is not just some random desire that was borne the minute I stepped onto the scale. It is something inbuilt. Whether we realise it or not, it is that longing that ignites the urge for the absolute truth to give us that peace of mind. It is that age old desire to know.
The only truth right now is that THIS very moment is the truth, as you get bored silly reading this far, and are perhaps pondering upon the possibility that the person writing this may have gone slightly cuckoos after all. (Speaking of which, I still reckon Jack Nicholson in One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest was absolutely brilliant).
The only absolute truth is in the time between what has been and what will be; it is this moment the NOW. Our memories have been either tarnished or glossed over by prejudice while our visions of grandeur play surrogate to the truth of tomorrow. Absolute truth resides in this moment. That is why the Psalmist said Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts (Psalms 95:7-8).
This reaffirms THE truth behind this truth. That the only ABSOLUTE TRUTH is Jesus (John 14:6).
Lets return to the matter on hand.
So before my daily weigh in, I had to pick up a half dozen apple from the nearby supermarket during my lunch break (I feel a post coming up soon on the state of affairs of the apples from Stop N Shop). On my way back I happened to be sharing the footpath with this fellow who was peddling some burgundy and red synthetic leather bags, so naturally I fell into conversation with him. It was then that I found out more about his wares that he actually sews these bags.
They looked quite a classy lot, them bags. Of course not Louis Vuitton classy, but str...
I am into my second day and the scale reads 88kg. I dont know if that is the truth or if it is only me with a bit of wishful thinking.
No matter, after leaving office at around 1726 hours, I happened by an old friend of mine. Hes a caricature artist by the name of Charles. (I think folks over at Sunday Chronicles hire him to do cartoons and stuff). So Charles tags along with me on this one.
Not long after I meet this sharp little kid of 4 by the name of Jaybes. He and his mom Maria were on their way into (that rather detestable) Vision City. I had a quick chat with them and took their photos but, sad to say, I forgot to get them to sign my release form so I will not be putting up their faces here.
Further down the road, just before reaching Waigani* I bump into Elijah Memedu.
Well in fact Memedu was about to overtake me when I introduced myself and told him about what I was up to and if he was interested and he seemed fairly keen. By then even Charles lit up to the game and fell into beat with some support remarks on the side.
At 16 years of age, Elijah is a trainee electrician doing his apprenticeship with...
Weighing in at 89 kg, the first day of my 30 Day Challenge kicked off to a rocky start but I never expected it to be a walk in the park either. It was a walk nevertheless; and it will be so for the next 30 days.
The first person I bumped into was this office worker type in Westpac bank colours. Opening with a courteous Abinun, bro, I observed on the traffic congestion in the manner of small talk. But I may have introduced myself too soon because I could see that he was all suss about me from the way he eyed me.
You could tell he was thinking, Who is this mausgrass psycho and what manner of scam is he peddling? He had a polite wall up, which he successfully marshalled with a brisk pace for much of the way so I let him be.
But then I caught up with Kure Yosi.
Kure seemed a friendly chap from the word go, all the way to the North Waigani traffic lights where we parted company.
He was walking with a very slight limp that I later found out to be a sprained ankle.
At 33 years of age he works as a Youth Officer at the National Capital District Commission. Hailing from Lufa in the Eastern Highla...
Thats it, Im done talking politics.
Well most of the time Im either quoting someone or blogging a gripe. And I hate to see myself as a person who sees the glass half empty all the time. Although the system and the gremlins that work the system are largely responsible for fueling my words.
But that is not the point of this post. Folks over at Stella Mag recently brought to my attention this super cool idea of doing something out of the ordinary for 30 consecutive days. (By the way, that is one cool magazine you should get your hands on or better yet, subscribe to).
So here I was on Independence Day, trying on for size ideas for endeavours that anyone who knows me would not normally find me doing. And no, I am not going to go to work dressed as Zorro for the next 30 days (although I know of some who would in a heartbeat if they could).
However, I was toying with the idea of bungee jumping every afternoon. Unfortunately I had to forgo that idea for the simple fact that my afternoon schedule could not fit in a trip to the white cliffs of Vararaita National Park and back; and I have not even factored in the time it would take to strap on the gear. Yeah, sound check and all.
On a similar note, I sadly had to cross off a daily round of BASE jumping and croc-wrestling as well. During this brainstorming session, my patriotic zeal got lost somewhere in the mix, and I noticed my shoe lace was undone so I reached down to tie it. It was then, as I bumped into my gut, that I knew I had to do something about my expanding midsection.
Here was something practical I could embark on without unnecessarily creating a hole in my pocket, not to mention drastically reducing my lifespan. So I have resolved to do something about my weight with the help of the trusty old bathroom scale.
My modus operandi is quite elementary really. It is good old fashioned walking coupled with a simple garden diet. So instead of hopping on a vehicle, I plan to walk home every day after work. Plus I am going vegan for a month to boot!
Weighing the pros and cons, the only negative aspect of walking is that I might suffer a little discomfort from the sweat and the strain of my backpack. But I can stand my own sweat than to have my olfactory receptors assaulted by the collective body odour and goodness knows what else 35 people and an bus offsider who has not touched a bar of soap in more than a month can cook up in a crammed bus on an equally crammed road.
Or shall I factor in the PMV experience of having ones ears mercilessly assailed by a badly strung c...
Gary Juffa has come out with a statement to clear the air on the supposed 3rd Camp as posted earlier.
In any case, I wouldnt mind seeing Juffa as my Papua New Guineas next Prime Minister. He has what it takes to save this country from certain doom.
On a side note, those two lead figure who orchestrated the whole political crisis not too long ago, making Papua New Guinea the laughing stock of the world by blessing us with the #WhatElseCanPngHaveTwoOf tag, have now kissed and made up in Alotau, Milne Bay Province. But that is all old news, right?
Anyway, forget them. Heres what Mr Juffa had to say.
There is so much rumor and rhetoric in the media and here that I believe I would like to substantiate and spell out some facts about my part and role in what is happening in Eastern Highlands.
Firstly, I am NOT part of the Eastern Block. I am here to support my Regional Candidate Sam Sii. I am here with Governor elect for Morobe, Hon. Kelly Naru who is a friend by the way and we embrace certain values and principals much of which the members here do as well.
We are also collectively concerned about certain national issues such as the granting of citizenship to
- Djoko Tjandra
- and in my specific case the Naima Rice Monopoly Project
- and the Seabed Mining Project and
- such other issues which we here have spoken about and are concerned about.
I am NOT forming a group as an alternative government and I am not lobbying for the PMs job I am just speaking to like minded elected leaders and discussing how best to approach our common concerns and how best we can represent our people in our electorates, our province and our country.
I am NOT with John Kerenga GUL and with due respect to him and his group, have my own stance that I will take into parliament and again, I do not intend to deviate form what I believe in and have spoken against here or anywhere.Gary Juffa ~ Oro Province Governor-elect*
With August 1 announced as the official date of the Return of Writs by the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen (who I think should be given the sack anyway), power play heats up for government formation as we see all of them old dogs, Somare included, team up with ONeil as a formidable force and the most likely camp to be invited by the Governor General to form the next government.
On the other hand, Belden Namah, brash as ever, stands undeterred he will be the next PM. Comments on the ground and on social media as well as from the news reflect the general concession that in PNG politics, anything goes. It goes without saying that a tactician such as Namah still has a few tricks up his sleeves.
But that is not the reason for this post. Papua New Guinea has had it with the two lots of groupings or blocs as theyd rather be known; and with all the shades they come in (shady indeed!).
The gist of this post, however, is the confirmation of a rumoured third camp as mentioned in todays Post Courier (30/7/2012) on page 6. The third camp is reported to be in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province. It is being led by two fresh faces in PNG politics. Oro Governor elect, Gary Juffa, and lawyer/philanthropist, now Morobe Regional MP Kelly Naru.
Here now is a chance for all newly elected members to put their money where their mouth is and start over on a clean slate. To stand up for better change and to lead this country forward with a fresh faced government devoid of the miasma of corruption and all the trappings of PNG politics.
In my personal opinion, it would be the sensible thing to do and the best decision for this nation, if we could have all the Independent MPs and other smaller political parties to consider siding with this camp. I chance upon this opportunity to call out to the likes of Loujaiya Toni, member elect for Lae, to consider this as well.
Without further ado, here is a statement by the newly elected Governor for Oro Province, commenting on the establishment of the third camp Camp Juffa.
Let me say that we in Goroka are discussing how best we can serve the people of PNG, to represent them and not abandon them and their dreams and hopes, to fight for them and to ask the pertinent and controversial questions that the people of PNG are anxious for answers tosuch issues that I personally am concerned about are need answers such as the granting of citizenship to a international criminal fugitive (PALA), the plans to monopolize rice commercialization for a Chinese Indonesian Company only (TEMU), to demand that actual and thorough investigations be conducted into the controversial issues that have cost the nation and indeed the people substantial amounts of money, the r...
This letter serves as a readers feedback on a full page advertorial which appeared on page 56 of The National on Monday, 18 June 2012, by Mr Lawyer David Gonol.
With all due respect to Mr Gonol, I must say that write up alone has left me questioning his viability as a potential Governor of Western Highlands Province; or as he so arrogantly puts it, the Governor in waiting.
Given his profession and the office that he is running for, I expected an article that was intellectually scrupulous as well as grammatically refined. For a policy statement if it can be titled as such at all it failed on both these fronts and instead, left me cringing right from the opening line all the way to the part where The plant and animal kingdoms [sic] of Tambul/Nebilyer, Mul/Baiyer, Dei Council and Hagen Central decided to join the party.
If Mr Gonol is reading this, then I suggest he fire his publicist for doing him the disservice of dressing him in a court jesters garb with this sad case of a media release. After that he can go ahead and fire himself for even sanctioning such a write up to see the light of day in the first place.
This has certainly raised the bar of corny drivel to the next level and has debased our collective intelligence, allowing them to further condescend to us.
Grow up already, PNG.
The following comment was picked up from Facebook, and sad to say but Im not surprised at all.
EMTV once again takes the honours for being a DUD for a TV station.
EMTV ELECTION FOCUS*
EMTV(John Eggins) interview of PO (Peter ONeil) last-night was a big let down. I expected tough questions from Eggins but instead got such a soft kiss-a$& interview. The background video conveniently skipped the NPF chapter of POs life, and Eggins never asked about the controversial laws made by the ONape Parliament, nor his method of gaining power.
Looks like we can expect same treatment of all other Interviews in the Election Focus series.
Oh how I long for gutsy journalism.
yeah and give me QUALITY!
|IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed was generated at Pacific News IndyWatch.
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