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IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed was generated at Pacific News IndyWatch.

Tuesday, 19 June




On Thursday (14/6/18) Waigani National Court dismissed an election petition challenging the 2017 General Election result of Southern Highlands Regional Seat.
The petition was filed by the runner up Joseph Kobol challenging Electoral Commissioner's (EC) decision on 28th September 2017 to declare the sitting Member William Powi as the winning candidate.
EC issued press statement on its website explaining that upon legal advice, the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato applied section 175 of the Organic Law on National Elections under special circumstances to use the primary count (1 vote) results to confirm the declaration made by the former Provincial Returning Officer Jacob Kurap on Friday, 20 July 2017 at 4:04pm at the Momei Oval in Mendi.
"Tally calculations from counts 1 462 showed and justified that William Powi exceeded the required absolute majority with 91,745 primary votes to reclaim the SHP Provincial seat. Absolute majority was set at 86,761 plus one" statement said.
Joseph Kobol was declared the runner up polling 60,131 votes while Jerry Kiwai was third with 40,411 votes.
So was the decision even lawful?
The short answer is No.
The decision exercised by the Electoral Commissioner (EC) Patilias Gamato in declaring Powi the winner is perhaps the worst abuse of power by EC I have ever come across.
I say this based on the following facts:
1) Total ballot-boxes for SHP seat was 650 containing a total of some 420,000+ marked ballot-papers.
2) However, in declaring the Powi the winner the EC only considered ballot-papers contained in 462 ballot-boxes. This means the remaining 188 ballot-boxes were excluded.
3) According to the EC press statement it claimed Powi having secured 91,745 votes had exceeded the absolute majority of 86,761 votes and therefore declared the winner.
An absolute majority of votes is equal to 50% or half of the total number of ballot-papers counted. So when a person secures more than 50% of the votes counted he is declared the winner.
In this case EC is saying the absolute majority was 86,761 votes this means the total ballot papers counted would be equal 86,761 x 2 = 173,522.
4) If this was correct then of 420,000 votes cast 173,522 would only represent 41% with 59% or 247,500 of the votes were ignore...



Peter O'Neill has successfully silenced and neutralised three of his biggest and most vocal critics who were in the opposition benches in the previous term of Parliament.

With a highly corrupt and heavily manipulated election process, Don Polye stood no chance as O'Neill targeted his Kandep Electorate with very heavy police and military presence during election 2017. The result is that Don Polye was ousted under a questionable election process, the outcome of which is yet to be decided by the courts to this very day.

The court process to hand down a decision on the Kandep seat is being unnecessarily delayed and this indicates that the judiciary may not be operating freely from political control and interference. Kandep was one of the seats that experienced violence during the election and how they managed to conclude the election process and declare a winner remains a mystery.

Belden Namah and Sam Basil managed to get through the first hurdle by winning their respective seats. Both Namah and Basil were offered some kind of deal in the lead up to and formation of government by Peter O'Neill. I know because I was with both men in the lead up to formation of government.

Basil took the deal and made his move to join O'Neill in government but Namah being the warrior he is, refused the deal outright. He refused to submit to O'Neill's fear and intimidation tactics. What O'Neill offered was a chance to join him in government and if that offer is accepted, there was no doubt some form of reward for the MP.

When the offer was refused, as in the case of Namah, O'Neill then used every trick in the book and pulled every string available to him to go after the MP concerned. Belden Namah is still fighting his tribunal recommended dismissal from office in court.

In an interesting twist, we now see in the news that a vital piece of evidence in the Namah court case, the tribunal transcript has gone missing from his court files. There is little doubt in my opinion that forces are at play to ensure Namah is removed from Parliament and eliminated as a threat against O'Neill.

Patrick Pruaitch has been unusually quiet as an opposition leader and the reason is quite simple. Pruaitch has his own long outstanding leadership tribunal that is being c...

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Monday, 18 June


We are a nation of weak, indecisive onlookers and observers who cannot stand united to achieve anything! "IndyWatch Feed"

When our university students protested against the corrupt government, and got shot by rogue policemen, the nation sat back and watched saying "em samting blong ol sumatin".

When policemen were shot and killed in the line of duty during the worst most corrupt elections ever, the nation looked on with disinterest and merely expressed passing sorrow and sympathy. Even comrades of the fallen men within RPNGC have not made any noise and to date, no one knows the status of these cases.

When Hela speaks up against the government and threathens to shut down LNG operations, they do it alone while the nation looks on with a shrug of the shoulders and again says with disinterest "samting blong Hela".

Now that Southern Highlands have said enough is enough and are protesting because they were denied their democratic rights to elect their leaders in a free and fair election, the rest of the nation simply look on from a distance and again say "problem na hevi blong Southern Highlands".

We all pretend as if we were never affected by the most corrupt election ever and that our lives are not being affected by corruption even right at this moment. We continue to remain silent instead of rising up in support of our brothers.

Maybe other provinces in PNG are benefiting from the PNC government and only Southern Highlands is missing out that's why we all remain silent and our silence is so deafening at this time

Change will never come to this country because we are too timid to stand up and fight for anything. We are happy to sit back and allow one man and his corrupt government to walk all over us again and again.

When will PNG rise up in unity and say enough is enough?? O'Neill feels so relaxed that he is happily taking some of the key Ministers and MPs he will need in the looming VONC on a taxpayer funded sight seeing luxury trip to China.

He knows that the weak and timid Papua New Guineans and their equally weak and spineless leaders will not have the guts to say or do anything while he is away.


My mother was lucky to survive giving birth to me in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed"

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...


Resources curse PNG communities future "IndyWatch Feed"

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....




Attached below is the itenarary of perhaps one of the biggest delegations ever to depart the shores of Papua New Guinea.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his wife Lynda May Babao O'Neill are set to lead the delegation of 91 Ministers, Members of Parliament and government and business leaders as well as Chinese business men and women on this week long trip from Wednesday 20 June to Tuesday 26 June 2018.
The traveling party consists of 41 PNG delegates and 50 Chinese delegates totaling 91, apart from support staff and media personnel.

The trip is estimated to cost around K6.8 million all to be paid for by PNG taxpayers. This is well above the K6 million approved to send in police and army to his Southern Highlands province to implement a state of emergency to quell the civil uprising which is reported to be getting worse by the day.

Citizens are free to form their own opinions about such an expensive trip where an entire Air Niugini 747 Jet has been chartered to travel with the Falcon to China and back to PNG via Singapore.
A total of 8 State Ministers, 1 Governor and 4 ordinary members of Parliament are accompanying the Prime Minister on this high level trip, which appears to be more of a site seeing trip for many of these MPs and Ministers as the countdown to VONC approaches.

The mind just boggles to understand where the priority of this Prime Minister lies. Is it in attending to issues in his own backyard or is it to go on yet another fancy and expensive globe trotting trip paid for by the suffering taxpayers?

Citizens and taxpayers can make up their own mind about what this trip is all about but personally, I see it as another act of sheer arrogance and defiance where police and army are sent in to a war zone to quell an increasingly volatile situation while the Prime Minister goes on yet another sight seeing junket trip halfway around the world courtesy of struggling PNG taxpayers.

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Sunday, 17 June


Cameron and Collier on fragile states: anything new? "IndyWatch Feed"

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.

Sensible messages

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...

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Thursday, 19 June


The curse of money politics in PNG "IndyWatch Feed"

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


Why the Prime Minister has to step down "IndyWatch Feed"

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...

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Tuesday, 14 January



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

Senior official and staff have commenced the 2014 with a series of orientation activities which included revision of the annual work plan in anticipation of the commencement of the governments second year of implementation. At the PNG Office o...

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Saturday, 07 December



Daniel Yekari- BOG Chairman of Passam National High School

Sir, it is over one year now since we were given the K5 million however our projections were done based on K10 allocation and we have implemented part of the project with the K5 million but are unable to continue due to shortage of funds. Hon Prime Minister, the Governing Council is determined to build a new Passam National  High School, not with cheap and fire prone materials but with steel and brick Excerpts of a letter to the PM by Governing Council Chairman of Passam National High School, Daniel Yakeri, 20th November 2013.

Passam National High School in the East Sepik Province has been the grieving party to a sage that appears to have had no end. This very important national institution has been derived of a five million kina, without consent, when a decision was made in Waigani without the knowledge of the governing council of the school to pay as compensation for land which the school occupies- an amount of five million kina. That land has been a state land; and if any payment was to be made, it was valued at K31, 000.00 according to the 2010 valuation by Lands Titles Commission.
That a decision was taken by s...



Founder and CEO of Png Rc, Nicodemous Niindiikwanomb

Stand  Alone comedian- Laurence Tau

A little known group a few months ago has begun to hit the airwaves in the social media, thanks to Nicodemous Niindiikwanomb. ...

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Friday, 06 December



Professor Richard Jackson did a paper on relocation of PNGs national capital to Arona Valley in the mid-seventies. His paper was based on an earlier work he did for the then Chief Minister, Sir Michael Somare prior to independence in about 1973/4 period. The University of Papua New Guinea would be more than pleased to revisit the topic and commence a national discourse on the subject matter, according to Associate Professor, Dr Norlie Miskaram of the Department of Geography, University of Papua New Guinea.  
Yonki is part of the Arona Valley Systemn
This week, the Member for Kavieng and Minister for Public Enterprises, Ben Micah raised an important point, when he impressed upon the Members of Parliament to consider relocating the nations capital to Arona Valley in Eastern Highlands Province. The topic is important for many reasons; it is about strategic positioning of PNG in the region and the world. Port Moresby is and for a long time to come a land mark of colonial relic, and outpost made a reality by those who sought to control the world and created empires.
When Professor Richard Jackson made a submission to NEC then in the Cabinet of the Chief Minister, Michael Somare in the early seventies, the Australian advisers told the NEC,...



Towards the end of this weekend, two senior members and executive of the Papua New Guinea Judicial Womens association were in Goroka to meet and address community leaders and their young people at a neigbourhood in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. Magistrates of the family court, Ms Rosie Aize Johnson, and Ms Rosemary Koimo made appearances and addressed the community on a number of pressing issues and concerns regarding family and sexual violence. They met with communities and made presentations of rugby league uniforms donated by an Australian club.

The PNG Judiciary has a new organization set up by the women Judges and Magistrates in November last year. One of their aims is to be proactive in engaging with stakeholders in the community. Ms Rosie Aize Johnson the Vice President of the PNG Judicial Womens Association and the Secretary of the PNGJWA, Ms Rosemary Koimo travelled to Goroka, courtesy of the UN Women PNG to make awareness with communities, especially with the young people about their responsibilities in promoting nonviolent society, and of special importance is about protecting women and children through sports. 
Rosie Aize Johnson (L) and Rosemary Koimo

The Association is very much in its infancy, but over the last twelve months, individual and collective efforts have been put in to build its own network both within PNG and also internationally. The PNGJWA has gone into partnership with UN Women Australia and other international organisations and of course the Law and Justice Sector programme here in PNG. The Goroka assignment is the first time the association has taken the bold step...

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Friday, 15 November




Universities are internationally responsive, collaborating institutions; they are also pillars of nation building. In our troubled world, these national icons must remain the beacon of critical judge and commentator in international, national and community affairs; whilst at the same time these seemingly independent institutions are the creators, custodians and evaluators of knowledge. University based education and knowledge created by curious minds from societys elite remain the propriety of the state and its greater national interest Exchanges with a leading Papua New Guinean academic and researcher, Alotau, 9th October 2013
Any serious central government has constitutional responsibilities to building and maintaining a nation that is stable and united; it cannot bow down to short term politically motivated pet projects like that of setting up a provincial university in whatever form or shape. This message, in its strongest form must be delivered to anyone who is contemplating any such project like building or funding a provincial university.





For selective highlights Tiikiiemb Shiiemb columnist was able to obtain a brief about a number of candidates who have nominated to run for a ward as councilor, or a president of an LLG in Manus Province. To date the names that have been obtained are David Putulan, Parai Tamei, Michael Cholai and Sam Tasion for the Rapotona Local Government Council. Elsewhere on this island province there is Dr Pongi Kichewan from Timoenai Ward who has nominated to contest the post of the President for the Pobuma LLG on the West Coast of the main island of Manus. Other than David Putulan the rest of those named above have attempted the Manus Regional for the Governors seat in the 2012 national election.

This election for the third tier system of government has created such excitement and conditions, such as the allocation of five hundred thousand kina per LLG, that have presented attraction as well as the challenges to the learned and experienced men and women to return to their roots to rural communities to lead their people.

Rapotona LLG is made up of the islands of Rambutso and its fifteen islets, the other islands are Pak, Tong and Nauna. Rambutso has four Wards, while Pak has two wards, Tong and Nauna have one ward each, bringing the total wards to eight. Manus Province has 12 Local Government Councils. Located at Panusela on the island of Rambutso is the administrative headquarters of Rapotona LLG, which is the village where the favourite and more popular candidate comes from. Panusela is where the story about one villager called David Putulan begins this week. In fact last Monday he set out to go to his island roots to seek their endorsement and campaign for the presidency of the Rombutso Local Government Council in the 2013 elections.





Undoubtedly one of the earlier reform packages that Papua New Guinea Government adopted and has faithfully carried on with its reform plans and activities of the public sector is through training and workshops under auspices of the Service Improvement Programme. SIP is synonymous with the Public Sector Reform Management Unit, a reform arm of the Department of the Prime Minister and NEC. The Unit has been raised to the status of an Office of the PNG Vision 2050 by Prime Minister, Peter O Neill. Since the days of the then Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, the Prime Minister of the day has always taken on the responsibilities of reforms in the public sector.  From 2009 onwards reforms in PNG has reached its high, when the mega PNG vision 2050 was adopted.

Service Improvement Programme is organic, in that it address the changing events and mode of thinking, as well as packaging of how best, and why basic goods and services should be provide by the public sector bodies and not by others in a rapidly developing country like ours.





Going down the memory lane, history reveals that the establishment of the local government councils in PNG as we know it today may have its beginnings in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands Province. The late Sir Barry Holloway was said to have been instrumental in instigating this grassroots, community based empowerment programme. Today that legacy is being revisited by none other than Governor Julie Soso. The Soso EH Haus Man Model in planning is a practical realization of her own thinking whilst being member of Public Sector Reform Advisory Group some years back. The background to reviving local government councils in PNG was presented to Government in 2006, when Governor was a member of the PSRAG representing women in PNG.

By end of June 2013 all agencies of government including the provincial governments are expected to complete all their plans with the budget estimates for multiyear funding and have these submitted to the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring. That was an agreement that was reached at the fourth national leadership summit held in Port Moresby on the 4th of February 2013.This is the year of implementation.

The Governor for Eastern Highlands, Julie Soso Akeke was among the prominent participants at the summit and  she undertook to have her provinces integrated development plan  completed by June and will be submitted on time as expected by the Planning and Monitorin...



As the evening fog was hovering over, a short drive along the Surunki sub district road rehabilitation project came onto the full view of a visiting team of Government Officials from Waigani.  The twenty or so minutes of driving has just passed the Surukni Secondary School grounds on the way to a very fertile land capable of growing a dozen varieties of food crops and vegetables. Surunki Highlands is known for cultivating high grade potatoes.

On this Sunday evening the rains have begun, with the locals whispering about their fears that the lands below, wherein lies Lake Surinki, its shores are experiencing quick rise in water levels which might burst in time; affecting communities below on the banks of the Lai River System. The rise in water level at the lake has been caused by a land slide that has blocked the stream form the natural flow into the Lai River.

This short drive for sightseeing and mere discovery of the land off the main highway from Wabag to Porgera via Laiagam was intriguing as the local MP was investing in rehabilitating old, disused roads. Some signs of use of the DSIP funds. There were off and on conversations about economic and social development potentials of this area, like most parts of Papua New Guinea that have been left to own devices for decades.
In the course of this chilling evening tour, an interesting topical issue was brought; this was about all these monies going to the Members of Parliament, to Open Members and in 2013 the Governors now have their hands too in the till of the national government. Papua a New Guineans are again treated to the regular feed of news and views about politicians doing their rounds again pertaining to ceremonial ground breaking of projects, or reopening of half-finished classrooms and health centers of yester years. These activities of pulling crowds are fine, but there are still fundamental issues of accountability of public funds being disbursed, and of course the future sustainability of these projects.



TiikiiembShiiemb "IndyWatch Feed"

we are composed of all the teachers weve had since the day care or preschool, students spend more time at school than they do at home, every one of us here have attributes of educators in our lives, sure weve inherited genes form our parents but a lot of our characteristics and worldviews are shaped by people we interact with daily. With that being said, I believe right now , our young people really need us to be the best we can be, we need to be the disciplined and have a good work ethics  and display good leadership, we need to be the change that we want to see in our youth and the future generation of our people. Quote from Theresa Meki, Speaking at the National Education Conference, University of Goroka, July 2013.
A hugely serene scene, tone changing moment, when a young lady, a future leader of Papua New Guinea took the podium at the recently held national conference at the University of Goroka. She charged every Papua New Guinean to take heart and listen to her and millions of young people in this country. The topic of her statement was on the youths of Papua New Guinea, her experience as a peer educator in a University of Papua New Guinea run HIV/Aids Peer Education programme. According to Theresa Meki, this programme was truly remarkable and one of a life changing one too.

From a mix Gumine and Henganonfi parentage, the twenty five year old graduated with a political science degree from the University of Papua New Guinea at the end of 2010. Since her graduation, she has been employed by a project called the Pawarmeri, funded by gender division of Australian Government funded AusAid. The Pawameri is a collaborative project between the University of Goroka and Victoria University. In her portfolio Theresa underwent another life changing experience when she was one of a very few Papua New Guinean who was selected to take part in Oxfam International Youth Partnership Programme, commencing in 2010 and will end in 2013.


UKE KOMBRA....and TVET "IndyWatch Feed"

Our Government is emphasizing and actually allocating resources to
 ensuring access and quality education. Education Department cannot
 do it along in meeting demands; therefore we will have to work in
 partnership with everyone- provinces, Members of Parliament,
 community and even development partners. Minister James Marape
 is leading in making sure that there is dialogue and communication at
 all levels. Im pushing for greater recognition of TVET
Conversation with Dr. Uke Kombra, Mt. Hagen, 12th September

A prominent scholar and senior educationalist, and he is the number one promoter, Uke Kombra was at his best, when he spoke so eloquently and truthfully about his favourite subject, the Technical and Vocational Education; often referred to as TVET. Uke is now the First Assistant Secretary, the man in charge of TVET, and he who spoke at the occasion in Mt Hagen Technical College on Wednesday during the official ceremonial opening of the three projects funded by the people and Government of Australia to the tune of ten million kina. It is the beginning of the colleges modernization programme.

Hundreds of people, including children, local leaders and even singing and dancing groups from Morobe, Tari, Enga, Asaro and senor Waigani bureaucrats and development partner representatives took part in what was described as the most colourful event. It was also the time for celebration for a state institution that has suffered for years of neglect in terms of recognition and funding. The grant money from Australia, via the Incentive Funding Scheme came to the college, thanks to the sheer hard work put in by the administration and lecturers of the Mt. Hagen Technical College. That support for MH...


Temu Pkwaveto is Bulolo Lord Mayor "IndyWatch Feed"

An unassuming middle age man was leaning against a wooden pole of a housewin in the compounds of Pine Lodge in Bulolo. This is the venue of a three day workshop for Local Level Government Leaders which is being arranged by the Member for Bulolo and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Sam Basil.

The Member for Parliament for Bulolo has decided that he would need to run a workshop for the newly elected LLG Leaders in his district; which is meant to take them through a number of important interventions; among which involve the need for leaders to be made aware about public financial regulations, not least of course is the recently approved and distributed financial instructions and the administrative directions issued by Government following the passing of the national budget that provided direct funding to Provincial Service Improvement Programme, the District Service Improvement Programme and of course the Local Level Government Service Improvement Programme. The workshop will run for three days, beginning Monday 26thand ending Thursday 29th August 2013.Other subject matter being addressed at the workshop concerned with the roles, responsibilities and mandate of the Joint District Planning and Budgets Priority Committee.

Anyway, the forty-five old man at the corner of a table, at a location arranged for the workshop is Temu Pkwaveto; the Mayor elect of the Bulolo-Wau Urban Local Level Government.Temu is from the Okanaiwa 
village in the Menyameya Sub-District of the Wau Bulolo Electorate. Many years ago, in 1981 Temu left school at grade six and went on to secure an employment as an assistant shopkeeper in at local trade store. In 1989, he decided to go on his own, so he started his own trading business in mini supermarket at Wau that has a population of about fourt...

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Monday, 29 July

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Monday, 22 July



At the age of forty three year Charles Akunai has tried many things in his life and career. He has played two times big time rugby, he has been an educator and school administrator for over twenty years, he also acknowledges as having been one of a consistent political activist in Eastern Highlands. Now he wants to be real, to contest and secure the headship of Goroka Urban Local Government Council. Charles wants to become the Lord Mayor of Goroka.

A week ago Charles resigned from his comfortable position of an executive officer for the School of Science and Technology at the University of Goroka, a job he has held for five years since 2009.In his past life Charles was a pioneer high grade player for Rabaul Guria for two years running (1988-89) when he was a student at Kokopo High School. Later he switched allegiance to play for his beloved home team, the Lahanis for three years from 1990-92. Die heart Lahani supporter of all Gorokans and Eastern Highlanders should remember their favourite son; Charles who played prop forward in the years he has played for the provinces much loved national rugby games competitor team.

Charles graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree in 1999 and went to teach in secondary and high schools in Eastern Highlands. Overall, he has accumulated a twenty five years teaching and administration of schools experience; some of the schools are located in remote parts of the province. Charles accumulated six years experience as a deputy Principal of number schools, which included Tairora High School in Obura Wanenara District, Rintebe Lutheran High School in the Unggai Bena District, and Onerunka High School in the Kainantu District. In various times in some of these schools he also served as the Principal. His last teaching post was at Goroka Secondary in 2008, before he joined the staff of the University of Goroka.

Speaking over the telephone, he gave reasons why this professional educator, cum big time rugby player decided to contest the politically glamorous seat of the Lord Mayor of Goroka. Here is the summary of the reasons that have prompted Charles to have a go at the seat of Lord Mayor. As a political activist, he has spoken out against politicians who have gotten votes from people, but have been living outside the province. These so called leaders would return to their voters after five years to beg for vote...



Prime Ministers: Peter O'Neill and Kevin Rudd
I feel insulted that my Prime Minister could easily, without ritual and pomp get on a plane, land in Australia and sign a deal that no one knew, even citizens like me woke up on a Monday morning only to read stories of what transpired between them- PNGPM Peter O' Neill and Aussie PM, Kevin Rudd. What do they think? Am I a piece of shit, that they hold me in contempt for being a citizen of an ancient sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea, not to know what the hell was going on in my front yard? I am angry. Observer at a popular night club, Port Moresby, 22 July 2013.

It is all nice and sweet talking about how important it is for Papua New Guinea to support Australia in this instant, the provision of a safe haven for those aliens seeking to enter Australia and live there as refugees. It is also amusing for those few Papua New Guineans, who feel that the country stands to benefit from the unlimited flow of cash and expertise to alleviate the majority of the poor to a level of an internationally recognized level of poverty line. Well these are all ploy and politically charged trickery. This is media hype meant for the meek and uneducated section of our national community. The truths have yet to come, if not now, certainly these will emerge in the not too distant future. Other consequences will take years...

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Wednesday, 26 June



Kombiam LLG Adviser, Tim Taesa
Not very many committed government officials would have clocked up

44 years of public service and Tim is not about giving up. He is about

Seventy years plus. He does not seem to be showing any signs of diminishing

as he is still kicking and doing his public service duties; serving the people of

Kombiam Local Government Council, which has 38 elected councilors and

two nominated members Statement by a colleague from Enga Provincial

Administration, Surunki, Enga Province 2nd June 203.


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Tuesday, 02 October


Day 3: Bill Ningur Upholstery Maker; and a dab of Truth "IndyWatch Feed"

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...

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Tuesday, 25 September


Day 2: Elijah Memedu Apprentice Electrician "IndyWatch Feed"

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.

Elijah Memedu is from Goroko and Alotau

Elijah Memedu is from Goroko and Alotau

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...

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Monday, 24 September


Day 1: Kure Yosi Social Worker "IndyWatch Feed"

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.

Day 1 - Kure Yosi

Day 1: Kure Yosi of Lufa in the Eastern Highlands

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...

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Friday, 21 September


Painting my 30-day Challenge with Faces "IndyWatch Feed"

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...

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Tuesday, 31 July


Juffa clears the air on the Third Corner "IndyWatch Feed"

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.

Hi people.

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*


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Monday, 30 July


Camp Juffa: The Third Corner "IndyWatch Feed"

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...

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Thursday, 21 June


Gonols cringe-inducing policy statement "IndyWatch Feed"

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.

Monday, 21 May


Seriously EMTV: Can we get any lamer-er? "IndyWatch Feed"

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(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.

by Tokaut Tokstret


yeah and give me QUALITY!


  • * EMTV ELECTION FOCUS is one of this TV stations lame concoction to cash in on the election fever.
  • Give me #QandA any day and I promise you  Ill shut up. I swear.


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