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IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed was generated at Pacific News IndyWatch.

Sunday, 18 September

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Friday, 16 September

02:03

West Papua says Happy Independence Day Papua New Guinea 2016! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Dear brothers and sisters,

On behalf of the people of West Papua I would like to once again wish all our Papua New Guinean family a very Happy Independence Day.

png-independence-day

We are One People with One Soul and One Tumbuna. Together we West Papuans and Papua New Guineans are fellow Melanesians and are proud to celebrate PNG’s Independence Day. I want to tell our brothers and sisters in PNG; your West Papuan family is so proud of you and of your 41 years of Independence and freedom. Every day we pray, every day we cry and everyday we dream about living in a free Melanesian country too.

While PNG is a free country, we your Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua continue to live under the brutal colonial rule and the terror of the Indonesian military. I always tell our family in PNG that for us West Papuans, every day in the village, every day in the city; every day in the garden, the forest, the mountain, the river, the solwara is a day of fear and threat. While animals can cross this border and go where they like freely, we West Papuans are not free to go anywhere at all without fear; even on our own ancestral land.

We West Papuans are inspired by PNG’s Independence and we pray that this year our PNG brothers and sisters will continue to remember their fellow Melanesians in West Papua who are still suffering under colonialism and still struggling for freedom and Independence. A twin cannot forget their own twin brother or sister and so we know that PNG will not forget it’s own twin nation of West Papua but will speak out about its suffering and oppression, helping us also to be finally free and Independent too. 

Our tumbuna always cry at the suffering of our people. We know that they are watching us with tears in their eyes, watching every generation of West Papuans grow up in fear, only to be gunned down by the Indonesian military. All the time, we pray that our dear brothers and sisters in PNG will hear our cries for freedom and help our people and help to take back our ancestral lands together that were stolen by the foreign colonial power of Indonesia.

We your West Papuan wantoks also want to express our deepest gratitude to Papua New Guinea for all your increasing support and solidarity for our freedom and Independence. However many of us the Indonesian military kills, they can never kill Melanesian solidarity
that will continue to reconnect and reunite Melanesian people all across our islands in the spirit of freedom and Independence.

Then at last we will all truly sing of our joy to be free. We are West Papua, we are PNG and together one day let us all raise our voices and proclaim that we are Independent – that we are free.

Thank you very much all our brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea.

Happy Independence Day to you all!

Benny Wenda
West Pap...

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Thursday, 15 September

22:00

How a boxer brought a new country together "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Screenshot - Tumat Sogolik v Barry McGuigan, 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medal match (Youtube/Eamon Mcauley)Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a diverse country of over 800 different languages spread over remote and diverse terrain. Bringing a country like this together was always going to be challenging. This post describes how the many differences were put aside when a young boxer from Tsio Island represented PNG, just after its independence, at the Montreal Commonwealth Games in 1978.

The building of a nation

In June 1972, the Constitutional Planning Committee was established by a motion of the chief minister. The primary task of the committee was to recommend a constitution for the ‘full internal self-government of a united Papua New Guinea’ (Constitutional Planning Committee Report 1974, p. 2). The committee had a large task in front of it. It would ultimately determine what kind of political system this new country was going to have.

As a way of guiding its deliberations, the committee articulated a number of underlying principles. The first was nation-building. For true nation-building, the constitution would need to be homegrown and the result of ‘active and meaningful participation’ for all people of PNG (ibid.: 13). It needed to bring all these diverse people together and create something new. At that time, PNG was still dominated by tribal affiliations. There was little movement of people. If you were born in Finschhafen, it was most likely that you would remain there for your entire life.

After much consultation, the committee was firm in its conviction that ‘Papua New Guinea should have a fully decentralised system of unitary government’ (ibid.: 207). It recommended that provincial government be set up as soon as possible.

An uneasy compact

Already the Islands Region was threatening to break away from the rest of PNG. On the whole, it was doing well and considered itself far more advanced than other parts of the country. It had an advanced system of local government that was serving the people well — people who firmly believed they were able to govern themselves.

Tension was also building in Bougainville. The mine in Panguna was now highly profitable, but disappointed Bougainvilleans watched on as the riches flowed to the national government and local people continued to suffer.

However, the real surprise came when provincial government was omitted from the final constitution. The committee had been very clear in its recommendations, although there was strong opposition from the then Australian administration, whose main concerns were the high costs and disruption caused by such a large change. There was also the fear that provincial government was playing directly into the hands of Bougainville and the Mataungan Association, who were both seeking secession.[1]...

21:00

Engaging diasporas in development "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Migrant- and refugee-led organisations implement innovative, small-scale, low-cost projects that are potentially replicable and scalable. Because of their close connections, these multicultural communities have high levels of contextual knowledge and access to vulnerable populations. However, policymakers have only just begun to appreciate the powerful role that migrant- and refugee-led organisations might play in Australian development efforts.

The role of diaspora communities in international development and humanitarian cooperation is the focus of the Diasporas in Action Conference, which is being convened in Melbourne on 26-27 September by the Diaspora Learning Network. The conference will bring together representatives of migrant- and refugee-led organisations, NGOs, government, the diplomatic corps, and academia from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific to share insights, good practice, and lessons learned from engaging diasporas in development. Check out the full conference program here, and register for the conference here.

For those who are not able to make it to Melbourne, a public seminar featuring two of the international speakers from the Diasporas in Action Conference will be held in Canberra on Thursday 29 September at 1pm. Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie MBE, Director of Up!-Africa Ltd, will draw on his 30 years of experience in advancing diaspora engagement with government, NGOs and the private sector in the UK to identify possible ways forward for collaboration with diasporas in Australia. He will be joined by Finau Limuloa, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Disaster Law Delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Suva, who will reflect on how Australia’s contributions to development and humanitarian response in the Pacific might be enhanced by leveraging the unique strengths, knowledge and people-to-people connections of diasporas.

For more details about the seminar and to register, please click here.

The post Engaging diasporas in development appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

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Wednesday, 14 September

22:00

How much tax should backpackers pay? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Farmers are up in arms that the backpackers they rely on to pick their fruit and vegetables will have to start paying tax. Currently, backpackers (Working Holiday Makers) benefit from the tax-free threshold available to Australian residents, which means that they don’t have to pay tax on their first $18,200 of income. Under the federal government’s 2015 proposal, they will have to pay 32.5 cents in the dollar in tax from the first dollar earned. Given the outcry, that’s the policy that is now under review.

In this article, I argue that an integrated approach is needed.

Workers under the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) only pay tax of 15 cents in the dollar. It does seem odd to subject one group of foreign labourers to one tax regime, and another group doing similar labour to another. Levelling the playing field is a good goal for public policy. From this perspective, taxing backpackers at 15 cents in the dollar would make sense.

But it would be a mistake to look at this reform in isolation. Another good guide to public policy is the “second-best theorem”. This says that a reform which solves a single problem may in fact make things worse once a broader range of considerations is taken into account.

When we compare seasonal workers and backpackers, we see that the field is far from level. In fact, it is tilted in favour of backpackers in a number of ways. For example, if an employer wants to hire a seasonal worker, they have first to conduct labour market testing. But not if they hire a backpacker. If an employer wants to hire a seasonal worker, they have to register with, and be approved by, the government. But not if they hire a backpacker. If an employer wants to hire a seasonal worker, they will have to arrange their accommodation. But not if they hire a backpacker. No wonder there are, as the graph below shows, more than ten times as many backpackers working in horticulture as there are seasonal workers.

Working Holiday Makers and Seasonal Workers working on farms, 2005-06 to 2014-15 To avoid perverse outcomes, in particular a further tilting of the playing field in favour of backpackers, the government should consider an integrated reform package. Fully levelling the playing field will not be possible, but two key reforms would go a long way. Labour market testing should either be introduced for all foreign workers in horticulture, or, I would suggest, given how dominated this market already is by foreign workers, done away with altogether.

Similarly, all employers who want to use foreign workers should have to register with government, or, I would suggest, the requirement to register should be done away with altogether. Far better in this area would be a requirement for all labour hire companies to be licensed by government, as this would do much to end the abuse of workers.

The third and final principle that is relevant to this issue is that of policy coherence. The second-year visa which backpackers can obtain by working on a farm directly undermines the SWP. That visa was introduced back in 2006, when there was a labour shortage in horticulture and when the government of the day was unwilling to introduce a seasonal worker program. But now both sides of politics support the SWP. Seasonal workers from the Pacific have very limited choices; nearly all of them can only work on farms. Backpackers can work in any sector. Either the second-year backpacker visa should be abolished, or it should be generalized, and given in return for any three months of work, or,...

20:17

Experimental seabed mining a threat to at least ten Provinces "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

As much as half of the whole of Papua New Guinea could be impacted by potentially destructive experimental seabed mining operations.

While a lot of attention has been focused on the small area between East New Britain and New Ireland, known as Solwara 1, where Nautilus Minerals intends to start mining the seafloor in 2018, the Canadian company has far grander plans for experimental seabed mining and has recently been joined by the Chinese government in searching large areas of our sea floor.

Nautilus’ exploration activities include the whole of the Bismarck Sea and parts of the Solomon Sea, as shown in the map above (credit: Nautilus Minerals). Areas indicated in red are where the company already holds exploration licences. Areas in green show exploration licences being transferred to Nautilus and areas in yellow are where Nautilus has applied for an exploration licence.

In addition, the Chinese government is currently surveying the New Britain Trench  looking for potential seabed mining sites. The Trench is situated in the Solomon Sea between New Britain and Bougainville as shown in the map below (credit: Geological Society of America)

In combination, experimental seabed mining could potentially directly impact the lives of over 3 million people living in East Sepik. Madang, Manus, East and West New Britain, New Ireland, Morobe, Oro and Milne Bay Provinces and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Nautilus is currently struggling financially, has been forced to stop machine development, lay off staff and close offices, but the threat of experimental seabed mining, whether by Nautilus, another mining company or the Chinese is still very real.

The potential impacts of seabed mining are still not fully known but they could be devastating for PNG with people’s lives and livelihoods potentially impacted across ten Provinces and untold damage to our economically important tuna stocks and marine ecosystems.

01:20

Aisyiyah: 99 years of women’s empowerment "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

acha-ema-sumyati-idu-marhamah

The second in our series of Aid Profiles is now online: on Indonesia’s longest-serving women’s organisation, Aisyiyah.

Aisyiyah currently works with the Australian aid program to deliver the Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction (MAMPU) program, specialising in delivering maternal and reproductive health services. 

But this is not the first time that Aisyiyah has worked closely with Australia. After the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Aisyiyah was charged with running the Victim Assistance Program, providing substantial support to those who were badly injured or lost family members in the bombing.

Our Aisyiyah story, authored by freelance journalist Laura Jean McKay, is a profile in two parts: Part 1 discusses the organisation more broadly, and its engagement with MAMPU. Part 2 looks at the special support that Aisyiyah provided to the survivors of the bombing.

It’s a fascinating story of how Australia has worked together with an Islamic women’s organisation that is 15 million members strong, and of the impact of an act of terror both on the Australia-Indonesia relationship and on the individuals affected.

The Aid Profiles series forms a shortlist of nominees for the 2017 Mitchell Global Humanitarian Award – we’ll be publishing several more profiles in the coming months. 

You can comment on the Aisyiyah profile here or on the Aid Profiles site.

...

00:34

SANDLINE PERSONALITY JERRY SINGIROK, HERO OR ZERO? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


NIUGINI OUTLOOK

Before we hear any outcry from the loyalists screaming that Niugini Outlook is in the pay of this, that or the other politician, or that Niugini Outlook shouldn’t throw stones at glass houses because we probably live in one too, let us tirelessly and cheerfully address those complaints as follows. First, anyone bothering to look through the more than 1,500 posters and associated articles on our Facebook site knows very well that we pick on anyone who deserves to be picked on because of unethical or illegal actions as public personalities, especially those who are in jobs that are expected to serve the public interest. Yes, Peter O’Neill is an adulterer but Sam Basil is too and we’ve called them both out. Yes, Patrick Pruaitch is a major crook and so is Belden Namah. James Marape is a fraud and so is Don Poyle. We’ve called them all out.

What is our moral authority to call these people out, don’t we at Niugini Outlook also commit sins and live in our own glass houses, so to speak? Maybe we do. Is it hypocrisy for us to sin while decrying the sins of others? Definitely so, if in fact we’re committing the same sins as those we’re complaining about. So what is the point of us calling out the sins of public figures, especially public servants?

At Niugini Outlook we feel that the authority is not on our shoulders but on the sides of those who are public figures. We stay anonymous in large part to present ourselves from becoming public figures and personalities that invites to clamour for us to run for public office and all that nonsense. We have a fairly simple objective: To be the voice of reason and the voice of conscience. Being anonymous gives us far more power to serve those roles.
Anyone who becomes a public figure does so willingly and knowingly. Anyone becoming a public figure knows that they will be held up as a role model. Role models are always expected to set a good example, not a bad one. When they set a bad example anyway, they either demoralize the rest of us who are trying to do better or they inspire young people especially that it’s ok to cheat on your wife or husband, or misuse funds given to you in trust, or whatever.

Bad role models can destroy a nation. We hardly need them in PNG.

We believe that out of 10 million population we can surely find a thousand people who are not adulterers, always use money given to them in trust in the way that money was supposed to be used, and aren’t abusing their positions as public servants to personally make themselves wealthier. Surely we can find a thousand people in all of PNG whose conduct is beyond reproach?

We are optimistic that it is possible. That brings us to the focus of today’s posting, Jerry Singirok.

Jerry Singirok used to command the PN...

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Tuesday, 13 September

22:00

Trials and tribulations of a development mum "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Pregnant (Flickr/Frank de Kleine CC BY 2.0)

Those of us who aspire to procreate as well as forge a career in development are faced with tough decisions. One that many consider is whether to take their family and live in a developing country, or to find a development job in a developed country (with a likely need for frequent travel). There are lots of things to consider – schools, medical care, quality of life, proximity to family, cultural experiences and so on.

In this post I’m going to give you an insight into my experience juggling babies and a career in development. For me it has been a matter of trial and error.

Ever since I was a first year undergraduate student, I was sure that I wanted to work in development. Over the following few years, I did all the right things – I completed a Masters, got some international volunteer experience under my belt and found myself on a good wicket. I was in my mid-twenties, working as a consultant for the UN in Bangladesh, and the world was my oyster.

My world suddenly came tumbling down when I found out I was expecting a baby. At the time, I was on one of the UN’s notorious consultant contracts – with a forced one-month contract break after every 11 months of service. Because of this, maternity leave and other employment benefits could not be claimed due to lack of continuity of service. So I packed my bags and headed home to Australia.

So, since becoming a mum, I have tried a few career options. They include:

  1. not working in development;
  2. working in development, based in a developing country; and
  3. working in development, based in a developed country.

After the arrival of my first baby, I tried out Option 1. I decided that continuing to work in development was just too hard. I told myself to give up on the dream and focus on my family. After a couple of years however, I was unfulfilled in my work. I knew that development was my passion and realised I had to find a way to make it happen. So I signed my family up for 12 months living on a remote island in Vanuatu through the Australian Volunteers for International Development program.

The plans were now in motion for Option 2. Just as we were due to depart, we found out we were expecting baby number two. I was told we could still go but that I could only stay in the volunteer program up until 28 weeks of pregnancy due to insurance requirements. This seemed incredibly conservative to me, especially given my history of full-term, complication-free pregnancy. My assignment was to work as a Gender Equality Officer, advocating for better policies and programs for women in Vanuatu, however I was forced to cut my assignment from 12 months to 5 months because I was pregnant. The irony was not lost on me.

Island life in Vanuatu was an experience nonetheless. My three-year-old had a taste of life ‘off the grid’ (literally), went to kindy every day in the back of a ute and made friends that I believe will be lifelong. Some months after returning to Australia he told me about how he would sneak out and play marbles with the kids next door while our haus gel (nanny) napped in the afternoon. Naturally, I was sh...

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Friday, 09 September

04:00

Newsletter: Aid comms | NGOs speaking out? | Solving Pacific financial problems | AAC calling "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Twitter (Flickr/Pete Simon CC BY 2.0)

Time to step up on Australian aid communications

If you got the most aid-illiterate person in your family to visit the DFAT aid website, would they be able to figure out what the aid program actually does? In a new policy brief [pdf] and blog series (here, here and here), Ashlee Betteridge argues that the aid program doesn’t do enough to communicate its work and achievements to the Australian public in a compelling or easy-to-understand way. She also looks at what has changed since the integration of AusAID into DFAT, how much space DFAT devotes to aid news on its homepage and on Twitter, and on what other aid agencies are doing. There are also several recommendations on how DFAT could start improving.

Does government funding silence NGOs?

Terence Wood and Sachini Muller continue to report on their NGO website content analysis. In the second blog of a two part series, they look at a surprising pattern: NGOs that receive a greater share of their funding from the government tend to devote more internet media space to raising public awareness about development issues and encouraging people to take action.

Solving public financial management problems in Pacific island countries

 The World Bank, DFAT and MFAT have recently released a report that makes the case for adopting a problem-driven approach to public financial management reform in Pacific island countries (PICs). The report undertakes a number of case studies to examine how well reform programs have focused on the key challenges that PICs face in managing fiscal policy and financing delivery of public services. On October 31, one of the authors, Richard Bontjer from DFAT, will present its key findings, and a panel of experts from the World Bank, DFAT, and the Nossal Institute for Global Health will discuss the implications of the report’s recommendations for delivery of health services in the Pacific. The seminar will be held on October 31 at 1–2.30pm in the Barton Theatre at Crawford School, ANU. Register here.

Call for papers – Australasian Aid Conference 2017

Our call for papers for the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference (AAC) is still open, until October 1. Whether you’re an academic, practitioner, or student, based in Australia or abroad, we welcome your abstracts on a wide variety of topics related to aid and international development. The AAC is Australia’s premier academic aid and development conference, and a great opportunity to share your work with an engaged audience. Find out more and submit your abstract...

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Thursday, 08 September

23:36

CONSPIRACY OR COINCIDENCE? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

NIUGINI OUTLOOK

FIRST, THE ONLY NON-PNC MP OF WESTERN PROVINCE WAS DEPOSED. POLYE IS NOW FIGHTING ELECTORAL FRAUD ALLEGATIONS. NAMAH IS FIGHTING A LEADERSHIP TRIBUNAL. NOW SOMARE'S REPUTATION IS BEING DESTROYED BEFORE THE EYES OF THE NATION. 

Meanwhile, Peter O'Neill is off the hook. So is Vagi. So is Pala. In fact, over the past few weeks, one case after another against Peter O'Neill and his cronies have been dismissed in court. Our PM is victorious! He and his cronies now are given the appearance of being squeaky clean, while there seems to be a systematic attempt to depose of each and every one of the PM's principal opponents and get rid of other non-PNC MPs before the election, focusing on what for all outward appearances, appear to be very real corruptions by Somare, Polye, O'Neill, etc etc.
Maybe it's all coincidence. Hmm?
Why did the Supreme Court so quickly manage to act on the Vote of No Confidence, showing what they are capable of doing, yet the equally important and nationally divisive UBS loan scandal went on and on and on, not being considered by the Supreme Court for how long now - certainly a year, but maybe even two years?
Maybe it was just a mistake. Hmmm?
Why are these cases against the PM and his cronies being dismissed on technicalities rather than any establishment of guilt or innocence based on evidence?
Maybe all the police and ombudsman investigators, as well as the Public Prosecutor are nothing less than totally incompetent. Maybe the PM doesn't need outrageously priced Queen's Counsel (paid for by we the taxpayers) after all.
On the other hand, maybe those who are gathering evidence against those who oppose Peter O'Neill are all competent...

23:32

Fortnightly links: evaluation and data, immunization, the ethics of aid, Ethiopia, and more "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

A blog, linked to longer documents, from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) offers some clear-headed thinking on just what sort of evaluation is needed and when.

A good post from Justin Sandefur discusses what we can, and cannot, use daytime satellite data for when it comes to measuring and assuaging poverty.

This BBC/Save the Children photo essay on the yellow fever emergency vaccination campaign in Kinshasa is intriguing and alarming in equal parts — due to a global vaccine shortage, people are being given 1/5th of a standard vaccine dose, evidently enough to stave off the virus for about a year. So far, the outbreak is estimated to have killed more than 400 people in Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Also on the topic of immunization, the global health community is mourning the death of Dr D A Henderson, a physician and epidemiologist who is best known for his role in the eradication of smallpox.

In the LA Review of Books, Matt Kennard and Clair Provost author a provocative essay on ‘how aid became big business’, on the interplay of the private sector, multilaterals, NGOs, and donor governments. As a companion read, this essay by Paul Collier looks at the ethical foundations for aid, and suggests that the idea that global poverty can be ended eventually through donor financing of governments is a “comfortable but unfortunate delusion fostered by NGOs and the Millennium Development Goals.”

Lastly, this New York Times Magazine profile of an economics professor-turned-Ethiopian rebel militia leader highlights some of the complex political challenges facing the country and its diaspora.

The post Fortnightly links: evaluation and data, immunization, the ethics of aid, Ethiopia, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

22:00

Evaluating impact evaluation in PNG and the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

A recent update to 3ie’s Impact Evaluation Repository shows that there are 4,260 records of published development related impact evaluations in the world as of September 2015. The number of impact evaluations focused on PNG and Pacific island countries is 18, representing a less than a half of a percentage point share of the database. Why is this number so low? Should we be concerned?

The total number of published impact evaluations focused on development issues has rocketed up over the last 15 years (see chart below), reflecting an increased emphasis on development research focused on what works, what doesn’t, and reasons why (see here [pdf] for a primer on impact evaluations and experimental approaches to evaluation).

Number of development impact evaluations published each year (1981-2015)

Number of development impact evaluations published every year (source: 3ie)

Source: Miranda, Sabet, and Brown 2016

The main criterion for including impact evaluations in the 3ie repository is that they need to identify and quantify causal effects on outcomes of interest (see here [pdf] for 3ie’s repository screening criteria). It is important to note that most operational evaluations undertaken as part of donor based development programs are not able to meet 3ie’s repository criteria. This often reflects a focus on program inputs or outputs rather than outcomes; a lack of data collection on outcomes both before and after the life of the program; and an inability to make appropriate comparisons in outcomes data between those that received treatment from the program and those that did not.

Before trying to answer the questions posed above, it is useful to look at the 18 PNG and Pacific impact evaluations in more detail (you can download a summary of them here [pdf]).

A number of the papers are published by the same authors which indicates that there are significant hurdles for researchers focused on PNG and the Pacific to be involved in impact evaluations. Also, the focus of papers is on health, labour and migration (the last two falling under the “Social Protection” sector), which part...

00:12

WILL AUSTRALIA ACT TO CURB PNG MONEY LAUNDERING? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


by JACOB PARAKISAN

Australian Government inaction on money-laundering by corrupt Papua New Guinea politicians, their business cronies and government officials has once again been exposed by the spotlight of publicity.

Evidence given in a Singapore corruption hearing shows that former Prime Minister Michael Somare and his son Arthur used bribe money to pay off residential properties bought in Cairns a few years earlier.

The deal, in which Somare was secretly paid $US784,000 (K2.3 million), involved the laundering by Somare and his accomplices of $US3.6 million (K10 million) intended for setting up community colleges in PNG.

The court established that the $US784,000 was deposited in Somare’s Standard Chartered bank account in three payments, labelled “housing”.

One of those convicted in the Singapore money-laundering case told the court that "if you don’t pay to the PM PNG you will not be able to get business from PNG.”

 Singaporean Lim Ai Wah, who was sentenced to five years’ jail, said: "I wish to state that the three payments labelled ‘Housing’…were made for the purpose of helping PM PNG to pay for his house and his son to pay for a separate house (in Cairns, Australia)…Hence the $US280,000 and $US224.000…were meant for the PM PNG’s use of housing loans.

"Sometime in 2010, I received a call from the son of PM PNG asking me to send money to him. I told him the amount set aside for him was $US280,000 but since he did not have an account in Singapore, I wrote a cheque to PM PNG’s bank account and told him to pass the money to his son…”
SIR MICHAEL SOMARE

The Somares’ purchase of two properties,a  $350,000 inner-city apartment for the father and a  $700,000 house at Trinity Beach for Arthur, was long known to be crooked. Now clear evidence is staring the Australian authorities in the face.

There are other Australian links to the Somare scam - through lawyer Greg Sheppard, who was last year secretly filmed giving advice about how to launder the proceeds of PNG crime.

Sheppard, an Australian citizen, is a director of Quest Investments Ltd, a PNG company owned by Ms Lim and her American husband Thomas Doehrman, the two people convicted of money-laundering in Singapore.

He and Michael Somare Jr, along with Doehrman, are directors of another PNG company, ITE Ventures Ltd. This company is wholly owned by ITE Trust, a company set up by the Somare Government to buil...

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Wednesday, 07 September

23:43

Singapore corruption case emphasizes need for Australian government to do more "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The recent corruption case in Singapore involving former Prime Minister Michael Somare emphasises the need for Australia to do much more to crack down on money laundering from PNG.

The Singapore authorities say they have a policy of zero tolerance for corruption and money laundering but Australia allows numerous PNG politicians and senior public servants to spend well beyond their means in Australia while seemingly turning a blind eye.

Last week an American and Singaporean couple were sentenced to six years jail in Singapore for a US$3.6 million fraud involving Papua New Guinea government funds intended for a community college program. The couple allegedly paid $784,000 in to the bank account of former Prime Minister Michael Somare. Somare has since apologised but says he has never accepted any bribes.

It is estimated as much as 50% of PNG’s annual government budget is stolen through a variety of different scams involving politicians, bureaucrats and private companies. Much of that money is believed to end up in Australia, invested in property or paying school fees and other living expenses or being squandered in casino’s.

In 2009, a Commission of Inquiry uncovered K780 million had been stolen through the Department of Finance but nobody has ever been held to account and none of the money has been recovered. Australia pours hundreds of millions of dollars in aid into PNG but has never assisted in recovering stolen monies”.

The head of the anti-corruption Task Force Sweep, Sam Koim, says Australia turns a blind eye to PNG corruption, a view endorsed by Professor Stephen Howes of the Australian National University, one of the foremost experts on PNG.

Just last year a Global Witness investigation and SBS Dateline documentary alleged Australian lawyers are involved in laundering money out of PNG for corrupt politicians but we are not aware there has ever been any investigation by the Australian authorities into the claims”.

ACT NOW! is calling on Australia to be much more proactive in cracking down on illegal money flows out of PNG and actually prosecuting and jailing those involved in corruption and those who help them lauder the proceeds.

22:00

DFAT and aid communications: how to improve "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Toni Siliwen, of Radio Morobe, which is managed by the Government Department of Information, does her daily program in the Sepik language in 1972. UN Photo/Ray WitlinIn the first and second of these posts on aid communications, we looked at what has changed since the integration of AusAID into DFAT, and took a qualitative and quantitative look at some of these shifts.

In this final post, we’ll look at what other large aid agencies are doing to communicate their work, and point out some areas where DFAT’s communications could be quite easily improved.

How others do it

Communications from other countries’ aid agencies provide strong examples of how DFAT could improve its efforts. For example, when it comes to story-based content, it is easy to find good examples of explainer and case study content on the DFID homepage (which has many stories about DFID’s work). For example, this story illustrates a complicated concept – anticorruption programming – through case studies that can be clearly understood. DFID also blogs about its work, writes ‘NGO-style’ stories about how aid helps change the lives of recipients, and has a YouTube account with content that ranges from videos with pop music over the top of their Minister speaking about the SDGs, to real stories from recipients.

Among other initiatives, such as region-specific YouTube accounts, USAID has a print and online magazine with long-read features about its work and a monthly newsletter – its front page also showcases stories about aid successes.

Even other aid agencies that have been integrated into foreign affairs departments are making stronger efforts.

In New Zealand, where its aid agency was integrated into the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) in 2009, the aid landing page is full of photographs and news stories, and in addition to institutional social media accounts, it promotes those of some of its individual aid staffers.

The social media accounts of Canada’s formerly independent aid agency weren’t deleted, but have continued as channels dedicated to development news. Its aid website has a ‘results and stories’ section...

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Tuesday, 06 September

23:50

KALUWIN SHOULD RESIGN FOR DESIGNING THE MISCARRIAGE OF PM’S CASE, HE SHOULD RESIGN "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

By Keen Observer

The decision by the five men bench of the Supreme Court concerning the case against the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in relation to his referral for prosecution on the UBS loan allegations does not come as a surprise to many who have been keenly following this case. This is a situation where the outcome was designed right from the beginning and all fingers point to the Public Prosecutor, Pondros Kaluwin.

Mr Kaluwin is a seasoned prosecutor whose entire career was with the Public Prosecutors Office. He knows the functions and powers of his office very well.

The mistake that compromised PM O’Neill’s case is very rudimentary (basic) and therefore it is beyond believe that a person in the like of Kaluwin could make an innocent mistake or a professional misjudgment on a very important case. Like I said –this was designed.

The Public Prosecutor committed two cardinal yet deliberate sins that deprived the people of Papua New Guinea justice in the case against Peter O’Neill. Firstly, the Public Prosecutor does not involve in the investigation process. He is vested with the prosecutorial powers and his decision concerning the case against PM O’Neill was to decide whether or not to bring proceedings against him by referring the leader to the Chief Justice for a tribunal to be appointed. Instead, he then wrote to the Ombudsman Commission requesting for further evidence. He exceeded his powers by doing that.

Secondly, Kaluwin amended the original charges referred to him by the Ombudsman Commission and wrote to PM O’Neill, notifying him of the decision to refer him to the Chief Justice in relation to allegations of misconduct that were different to those in the matter referred to him by the Ombudsman Commission. That was also unconventional. The law does not give him that power.

...

22:00

Australian aid communications by the numbers "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Twitter (Flickr/Pete Simon CC BY 2.0)In the first post in this series looking at aid communications under DFAT, I highlighted the need for better aid communications, some of the losses since the AusAID integration, and some of the quality issues with current outputs.

But we can also take a quantitative approach to looking at aid communications from DFAT by examining how frequently it communicates on the aid program compared to other priority areas. As noted in the first post in this series, the former AusAID’s social media channels were closed down after it was integrated, so the DFAT account now has the bulk of responsibility for sharing information about Australian aid.

Taking a sample of DFAT’s tweets – the last 200 tweets made by @dfat prior to the time of writing (20 June 2016) – only 45 tweets, or 23 percent of the total, were about aid-related initiatives. (Note: this sample did not include retweets or replies, but did include duplicate tweets made during the period.) In another sample period (Oct 25-Nov 24 2015), aid tweets comprised only 10 percent.

(See the method notes at the bottom of the page for more detail on how this analysis was undertaken.)

If we expand the sample to include retweets of other content (the large majority of which came from other DFAT social accounts, such as those of in-country representatives) and DFAT’s tweets (but not replies to other tweets), in the same sample period (May 4-20 June 2016), the percentage of Twitter content on aid-related initiatives was 26 percent, or 78 out of 296 total tweets and retweets. For Oct 25-Nov 24 2015, it was 9 percent.

We can also look at the stories on the DFAT website (collated here) over the same period. During the 2016 sample period, 79 news stories were published – 32 stories, or 40 percent, were on aid work. Half of these stories (16) were on the Australian Volunteers program. A quarter (8) were on sport for development initiatives. In the Oct 25-Nov 24 2015 period, only 7 stories were on aid, or 9 percent of total stories on the DFAT website.

It is worth noting that at the time of writing (mid-July 2016), and earlier in June when initial analysis was undertaken, there were no stories about aid featured anywhere on the front page of the DFAT website, despite there being very recent aid stories under the ‘more news’ section. Diplomacy and trade content was given priority on the front page.

We don’t have a true pre-integration baseline, because the AusAID social accounts and website were of course 100 percent dedicated to talking about the aid program and development issues, and social media use has only grown in importance over the past three years. But using the Wayback Machine, I’ve compared the number of stories about aid on the AusAID website in a similar sample period with DFAT’s efforts, as well as the volume of tweets.

I’ve summarised the findings from the two sample periods, and made some comparison...

08:11

Evidence and practice in an age of inequality "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

From the time of the Marshall Plan onwards, international development has struggled with how to generate change in levels of inequality, and how to assess and build on changes that have occurred.

Development Bulletin Volume 77 presents work from some of the 150-plus practitioners and academics who took part in the ‘Evidence and Practice in an Age of Inequality’ conference held in Melbourne in 2015. Organised by the Australian Council for International Development University Network (an organisation now known as the Research for Development Impact Network, or RDI Network), the conference is widely recognised as one of Australasia’s important international development knowledge exchange events.

One of the key achievements of the conference is to highlight the productive nature of collaboration between NGOs and academia. Strong evidence of that collaboration can be found within the new Bulletin. The 23 papers presented come from representatives of Australian, American, New Zealand, Pacific Island and Vietnamese universities; major international non-governmental organisations; local non-governmental organisations; and advocacy groups. There are reports on research and practice from Aboriginal Australia, Cambodia, Cook Islands, India, Indonesia, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Uganda, Viet Nam and Vanuatu.

Together, they consider issues of evidence, practice and inequality from a range of perspectives: economic; access to basic resources and services; the ability to have a voice in community and government affairs; and the effects of climate change. As in earlier issues of the Development Bulletin, several papers also draw attention to issues of inequality as experienced by people with disability.

Development Bulletin 77 will be officially launched on Friday September 16 at 4.15pm at Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Canberra. For more information, contact pamela.thomas@anu.edu.au.

The post Evidence and practice in an age of inequality appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

01:28

Singapore scam couple’s PNG interests "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

CPIBAmerican Thomas Doehrman and his Singaporean wife, Lim Ai Wah, have been sentenced to jail in Singapore for a corruption scam involving funds provided by the PNG government, but the couple have other links to PNG, including through two locally registered companies, ITE Ventures Limited and Quest Investments Limited.

ITE Ventures

Doehrman and his wife Lim are listed by the IPA as the sole owners of Quest Investments Limited and Doehrman is a director of ITE Ventures. Both Michael Somare and Greg Sheppard are also listed as directors of ITE Ventures alongside Doehrman, and Sheppard is also listed as a director of Quest Investments.

Quest Investments

According to the Singapore court case, in 2010, Doehrman was one of three trustees of the Inclusive Education for National Development for Community Education (ITE) Trust in PNG. The trust was established by the government of Michael Somare to set up community colleges.

In June 2010, the trust hired the Chinese ZTE Corporation to supply telecom equipment in a contract valued at US$35 million. ZTE then named Questzone Offshore, a shell company set up in the British Virgin Islands by Doehrman and Lim, as a sub contractor. ZTE paid $3.6 million to Questzone in July 2010 based on false invoice for purported services that were never delivered.

The Singapore authorities say from the $3.6 falsely paid to Questzone, Michael Somare received $784,000. According to the Singaporean’s that money was the proceeds of a criminal enterprise. The money was paid to Somare via three cheques deposited into his Singapore Standard Chartered Bank account in August, September, and November 2010.

Lim was a director of the BIV registered Questzone Offshore and Doehrman a director of Quest Petroleum (Singapore).

What has not been exposed in the Singapore court case is Doehrman and Lim’s interests in the two PNG registered companies, Quest Investments and ITE Ventures.

ITE Ventures Limited has a very similar name to the ITE Trust. It has three listed directors, Thomas Doehrman, Michael Somare and Gregory James Sheppard (who is also the company secretary). According to the Investment Promotion Authority, ITE Ventures is wholly owned by the ITE Trust.

ITE 2

Then there is Quest Investment, another PNG registered company. According to the IPA, this company is solely owned by Doehrman and Wah. Like ITE Ventures, Quest has three directors, in this case, Thomas Doehrman, Lim Ai Wah and Gregory James Sheppard.

...

01:26

MANIPULATIVE COMMUNICATION GAMES BY PNG MEDIA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

NIUGINI OUTLOOK

Yesterday the Post Courier ran the 2 big news stories side by side on the front page, giving the impression of Michael Somare being the shamed sinner and Peter O'Neill being the proclaimed victor. The National did it quite differently. They barely put the Somare Singapore kickback story on page 1, instead printing the Somare denial on Page 3 and calling him "Ex PM" in the title of the article (presumably as to not draw too much attention to the Somare name). On Page 1 they dutifully ran the "from hero to zero" story of Peter O'Neill getting off the hook on one of his long standing court cases.

Both newspapers, as usual, rubbed themselves admiringly against the government, making sure the PM got all the press he needed. The Post Courier, putting the O'Neill and Somare story side by side, delivered an especially harsh and embarrassing slap to the Father of Our Country, which may or may not have been exactly what Peter O'Neill wanted to push the knife even deeper into killing Somare's legacy forever.

The National did no such thing and why not? Why, it's because The National is owned by RH, otherwise known as Rimbunan Hijau, the Chinese Malaysian family owned logging company that has made undoubtedly billions of kina in profits over the past 30 years in its various logging operations in PNG, earned an outstanding reputation for human rights abuses in its remote logging camps, including paying off police to beat up local villagers who finally wake up to the fact that they're going to get no lasting development at all out of the RH logging operation.

It really doesn't matter how exploitative or abusive RH activities have been to the PNG people. All that matters is that RH and Michael Somare have been tight for many years. RH is the one that saved Michael Somare to cement his 'guided democracy' dictatorship for another 5 years in 2007. RH was the one that deposited K40 million into a bank account here in PNG controlled by Somare, who then distributed the money in K1 million packets to buy the loyalty of 40 MPs to remain in power after the 2007 elections.

Somare has been good to RH in return. Somare has been in the logging business himself as a family operation cutting down all the trees on other peoples land, starting more than 30 years ago. Somare made sure that RH got lots of juicy logging concessions until they controlled fully 80% of all PNG's logging operation areas. Michael Somare has been very, very, very good to RH.

The least RH could do, in return, was to make sure their newspaper didn't treat him so harshly.

What a corrupt nation we are! Systemically and systematically, as Mekere Morauta said, and let us add thoroughly and with impunity. Let's see if we climb the Transparency International ladder leading up to next year's TI Corruption Perception rankings, getting closer to the big prize - being known as the most corrupt country in the world.

------------------------------

...

00:26

Dirty SABL Palm Oil to hit the International Market "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The oil palm mill at Dirina in Pomio

SABL Story Project*

Who would think that a responsible government, whose income is dependent on tax revenue would allow one of our major export crop to be smeared with more dirt? 

Turning a blind eye to rogue oil palm planters and milling companies could have serious economic consequences for the whole palm oil industry in PNG as the international market is currently particularly sensitive to allegations of human rights abuses, land grabbing, illegal logging and poor environmental standards.

Kanawi Pouru, former Managing Director of the PNG Forest Authority and now consultant with Rimbunan Hijau (RH) and its subsidiary company Gilford, has told local people in Pomio, the company is set to open its oil palm mill at Dirina. But where will RH find a buyer willing to take this dirty oil?

As part of one of the worlds largest and most controversial land grabs, RH has ventured into planting oil palm on customary land that has been taken from landholders using unlawful SABL leases.

To compound the problems, there are claims of widespread human rights abuses, disregard for local customs and breaches of international conventions and national laws.

There are at least four legal cases currently before the courts disputing RH’s claims to the customary land in Pomio on which it is bulldozing its so called “development”.

To date Gilford says it has planted 10,000 hectares of oil palm in the three of the four SABL concessions that make up the amalgamated West Pomio Oil Palm project. Pomata, Ralopa and Nakiura have 5,000ha, 3,000ha and 2,000 hectares respectively.

Gilford says it plans to plant up to 34,000 hectares in total but blames the various court cases for the slowing progress. RH says it aims to plant a further 4,000 hectares in the Unung-Sigite concession which has yet to suffer any logging and where landholders are standing firm against the logging company.

The plantations have already displaced at least 10 villages with hundreds of households forced to move with no proper plans for their resettlement, leaving them with no choice but to be employed as labourers on their own land. 

In Pomata and Marana, which sit within the SABL boundaries, the inhabitants have been restricted from any alternative form of land use for commercial purposes. Clearly displayed signs have been erected in various parts of the SABL carrying the words “Agreement with LOC, No Planting of Cash Crops”.

In Pomio food staples like Cassava and Bananas are being classified as ‘cash crops’

Although the company claims there are reserved parcels of customary land for use by local people for shifting cultivation, the landholders are restricted from planting many food staples and cash crops to sell that can generate an alternative income. The restriction is closely enforced by armed policemen from the Royal PNG Constabulary, dubbed locally as the “company police.” The restriction has impoverished the landholders to a point where a young man pointed out that he would have little choice but to turn to crime to fend for his family in future.

“The last thing I will do is be a slave on my own land and...

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Monday, 05 September

22:00

The theatre of development "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The Faithful Servant (photo: Shelly Higgs/The Street Theatre)Given the po-faced way aid, development and NGOs are usually presented to the public, this might seem a strange statement: international development is, in the true sense of the word, dramatic.

What makes good drama? Conflict. Narratives of change. Competing worldviews. Moral dilemmas. Strong characters. Sub-text. Death. Birth. The constant threat of failure. None of these are out of place in aid and development.

What the world of aid and development lacks is a dramatic language. A few of us may have had the desire to slip some Shakespeare into progress reports – the joy of informing a donor that you met your targets by writing “… I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety”! – but it’s a desire we usually resist.

Yet development, aid and the very existence of NGOs, not to mention their operation, exercise our emotions as well as our intellect (as if the two can ever be disentangled). To condemn their examination and expl...

02:25

O’Neill’s housing amnesia strikes again "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

nhc

The Prime Minister has recently called for an investigation into the National Housing Corporation, owing to allegations of misconduct and mismanagement. 

It must be asked, why? The NHC has already been investigated, numerous times. On each occasion it was found to be systemically corrupt.  

No serious reform has been implemented of the NHC. A report by the the National Research Institute explains why:

‘Political leaders, bureaucrats and their associates … have plundered that [NHC] organization of its assets and resources. It has been used as a cash cow for politicians, cronies and officials over the years at the expense of ordinary Papua New Guineans where their rights to affordable shelter have been abused through such dealings’.

Actually worse than simply failing to reform the NHC, the O’Neill government has set up an even more pernicious, alternative housing body. In response to NHC mismanagement in 2012 the government transfered all the corporation’s properties to a shadowy new organisation, the National Housing Estate Limited.

In December 2012 the Post-Courier reported:

‘NHEL has acquired more than 50 prime properties formerly owned by NHC in Port Moresby alone and will purchase 500 more throughout the country with more acquisitions to follow in the New Year’.

The paper added:

‘the Government has earmarked K200 million from the K6 billion from the Exim Bank of China for NHEL to purchase existing NHC properties in Port Moresby and other provincial centres’.  

Has this improved the situation? Nope. 

Related content: Gross mismanagement of Papua New Guinea’s public housing stock continues

NHEL is in effect a private company, albeit with Ministerial shareholders, which steadfastly refuses to open its books to the Auditor General’s Office, assuming any are kept.

Second from left, NHEL CEO Kevin Ahipum and senior managers with his top management.

Second from left, NHEL CEO Kevin Ahipum and senior managers refuse to open their books for auditing or comply with IPA reporting requirements

Nor will it open up its books to the Investment Promotion Authority, as required under law. The last annual return submitted by NHEL to the Investment Promotion Authority covered 2009. Nothing has been submitted since. This is a violation of the Companies Act 1997....

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Monday, 24 September

15:47

Day 1: Kure Yosi – Social Worker "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

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 Highlands Province, Kure resides at ATS* but on that day I bumped into him he was on his way to crash at his wantoks’ at June Valley near Tokarara.

During our conversation, he told me a great deal about how stuff works at Lagatoi Haus, and I told him a great deal about my new friend Jesus.

I thought that was pretty cool because I learnt  quite a few NEW things from this quiet spoken man and so shared with him my stash of apple.🙂

*Areas within the general vicinity of the PNGDF Air Transport Squadron.


Filed under: Lifestyle Tagged: 30 day Challenge, giving, Walking

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Friday, 21 September

03:30

Painting my 30-day Challenge with Faces "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

That’s it, I’m done talking politics.

Well most of the time I’m 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 one’s ears mercilessly assailed by a badly strung computerized techno jam overflowing with otiose drum rolls? Every day is high town madness with a driver who wishes he was cruising down the freeway in the hot, hot sun. O how bizarre. How bizarre.

Wait. Was that a line from a song somewhere? In any case, you get the picture.

On the other hand however, there are so many points going in favour of the simplicity of walking. It is economically sound. It is a good, fun-filled and wholesome exercise. You also have the wide open space to strike up a conversation with anyone you are walking with. If you walk alone, then it gives you precious thinking time to muse over the issues of life and beyond.

Now I like to tinker with stuff – even ideas. So I have decided to throw in a twist into this whacky script. I plan to meet and get to know a complete stranger on each of the 30 days that I am walking.

In celebrating the occasion of meeting this new friend, I will share a fruit with them, be it an apple or an orange. Apart from being an icebreaker, this is hoped to drive home the message of healthy eating to get folks off that rather loathsome buai, while furth...

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Tuesday, 31 July

08:14

Juffa clears the air on the ‘Third Corner’ "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Gary Juffa has come out with a statement to clear the air on the supposed 3rd Camp as posted earlier.

In any case, I wouldn’t mind seeing Juffa as my Papua New Guinea’s 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. Here’s 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 PM’s 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*

*source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/Sharptalk

Filed under: Papua New Guinea, POLITICS Tagged: Eastern bloc, Gary Juffa, Government formation, Kelly Naru

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Monday, 30 July

03:40

Camp Juffa: The Third Corner "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

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 O’Neil 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 they’d 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 today’s 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 to…such 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 ridiculous taxation regime that does not favour PNG and Papua New Guineans, to demand that the restricted business list be re introduced, to demand that our energy resources be developed in a more PNG profitable manner, that trade agreements and foreign policy be thoroughly negotiated for a win-win position for PNG, that unlawful foreign business practice be immediately be addressed and the culprits dealt with severely, that law enforcement agencies be better equipped and trained to protect PNG interests, that our procurement and tenders process which is saturated with corruption and facilitates fraud be structured to ensure quality goods and services for the price we pay…the list is quite long but I feel that this is because for too long, leaders have danced around these issues or ignored them or swept them under the carpet for their own convenience, because they do not wish to upset the applecart and because many have compromised themselves…I fear I will make many enemies in parliament but many friends throughout my country…I cannot wait to get into parliament…....

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Thursday, 21 June

01:59

Gonol’s cringe-inducing policy statement "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

This letter serves as a reader’s 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 jester’s 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.

Danny Gonnol's scanned media release

Danny Gonnol’s scanned media release. (Click to enlarge).


Filed under: Papua New Guinea, POLITICS, What Were They Thinking Tagged: Corny drivel, Danny Gonol, National Elections, WHP Regional candidate

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Monday, 21 May

10:09

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

The following comment was picked up from Facebook, and sad to say but I’m 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 O’Neil) 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 PO’s 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.

Sigh…

Oh how I long for gutsy journalism….”

by Tokaut Tokstret

 

… yeah and give me QUALITY!

 

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

 


Filed under: Papua New Guinea, POLITICS Tagged: Election Focus, EMTV, John Eggins

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Sunday, 04 September

23:17

THE NPF SCANDAL AND OTHER HIDDEN STORES ABOUT KASIGA KELLY NARU ARE NOW EMERGING "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"



The wonderful thing about the social media is that at least some people involved in it try to dig deeper to uncover hidden truths.  

Many were shocked when Mr Do Gooder, Kelly Naru, doing something kind of bad, like strongly endorsing the most corrupt PM in PNG's history during the recent Vote of No Confidence. 

If you ask educated people living in or around Lae what they think of Naru, you hear several issues of concern:

-he follows a strategy of putting his face in public places next to a face of Jesus Christ.  He puts these 2 images onto billboards, Kelly Naru with Jesus Christ in the background or above Naru's face.

-before he was elected, for several years he was conspicuous in Morobe Province, giving money to this, that, and the other persons or groups.  Almost always  there happened to be a camera ready to record the event, so that both a photo and a happy story about Naru's gift giving would be published in one of the newspapers.  Kelly Naru seemed like Christ Himself with his generosity during that time.

-in his campaign posters the photo used of his face looked like it came from a very sophisticated public relations effort.  One of our friends said that the campaign poster face of Naru had just the right smile, tilted slightly upwards as if looking to heaven.

-he has a reputation for side girls, at least in the past.  


Just these small bits of information indicates that Kelly Naru is one very smart cookie, excellent propagandist and complete fraud. 

Naru follows the classic Anderson Agiru strategy, whereby Agiru in posters used to always make sure that he had a holy cross placed in the background or a picture of Christ, to create the image of God in partnership with Agiru, designed to attract votes and support.   It appears that Naru took Agiru's con game one step higher with the  heavenly face images on his campaign posters.

The recent article in PNG Blogs (http://www.pngblogs.com/2016/07/kelly-naru-philanthropist-or-robin-hood.html) suggests that Naru...

22:00

A call to alms "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Refugee Rights Protest at Broadmeadows, Melbourne, 9 July 2011 (Flickr/Takver CC BY-SA 2.0)A spate of recent violence in Germany has prompted a backlash against Angela Merkel’s “open door” policy. The policy, which late last year saw almost one million asylum seekers flood into Germany, has received widespread political criticism. Despite this, Merkel has refused to bend, stoically reminding Germany of its moral responsibility and repeating, “Wir schaffen das!” (We can do this).

The attacks — the shooting of nine people in a Munich shopping mall by an eighteen year old German-Iranian, an axe-assault by a teenage Afghan asylum seeker on five passengers aboard a train in Wuerzburg-Heidingseld, and July’s suicide bombing in Ansbach — have all contributed to increased pressure on Merkel to justify her decision.

Germany’s far right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party claims Merkel has endangered homeland security by allowing free movement across German borders, and Horst Seehofer, Bavarian prime minister, has observed that since the policy was enacted, “The country is divided. People...

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Saturday, 03 September

05:52

Michael Somare received US$784,000 in corruption scam "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

 

The Singapore court has found Somare received over US$750,000 in corrupt payments and authorities have frozen his Singapore bank account

Couple jailed in US$3.6m money laundering case involving ex-Papua New Guinea PM

Source: Amir Hussain – Straits Times

A married couple laundered US$3.6 million which had been meant to set up community colleges in Papua New Guinea – then gave US$784,000 of it to the country’s then Prime Minister.

Singaporean Lim Ai Wah, 61, was given five years’ jail on Thursday (Sept 1), while her 68-year-old American husband Thomas Doehrman got five years and 10 months.

They were each found guilty on one count of falsification of accounts and five charges of transferring the benefits of criminal conduct.

Doehrman had been the trustee of a fund set up by the PNG government to set up community colleges in the country.

In June 2010 the trust hired ZTE Corporation for US$35 million to supply telecom equipment for the project and the couple conspired with a ZTE employee, Li Weiming, 34, for the company to pay a secret “commission” to them.

To conceal the true nature of the payment, Doehrman and Lim acquired a British Virgin Islands shell company, Questzone Offshore, and signed a fictitious US$3.6 million contract with ZTE.

No services were provided, but a Questzone invoice was created.

Doehrman and Lim gave Li, a Chinese national, US$850,000 via two transactions to his wife’s Hong Kong bank account. They gave Sir Michael three cheques worth a total of USD$784,000 in late 2010, all of which were paid into his Singapore bank account.

The rest of the money was kept in Questzone’s bank account.

The court was not told how the couple were caught, but heard that US$950,000 was meant for the couple and US$1million was supposedly set aside for bribes.

In their police statements, Lim and Doehrman said bribes had to be paid to the then-PM Sir Michael in order to get business from PNG.

Urging District Judge Ng Peng Hong to impose stiff sentences, Deputy Public Prosecutor Alan Loh said the fact that some of the laundered money was traced to then PNG prime minister Sir Michael Somare’s bank account in Singapore will cause public disquiet.

“The sentences imposed on Doehrman and Lim must reflect the seriousness of the present offences which include illicit payments made to a foreign prime minister.

“This is a very significant case in Singapore’s fight against corruption and money laundering”.

He added: “Singapore should not be seen as a haven for slush funds to pass through to the hands of errant or greedy politicians. A strong deterrent message must be sent to safe-guard Singapore’s position as a clean and corrupt free environment for business transactions.”

Li was also charged with one count of falsification of accounts, but he later jumped bail.

The Questzone bank account and Sir Michael’s Singapore bank account with US$301,000 left in it have been frozen.

Lim and Doehrman intend to appeal against their convictions and sentences.

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Friday, 02 September

06:11

Australia's gulag-guard quits "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Wilson Security currently holds the contract for security services in Australia's Pacific concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island. But in the wake of leaked documents showing that they lied to Parliament and defrauded the Australian taxpayer, they've decided not to renew the contract:

Wilson Security says it will not renew its contract to run Australia's offshore detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

In a statement, the Australian company said it would provide services until its contract expires in October 2017.

The decision follows the announcement by the service provider, Broadspectrum, earlier this year that it, too, would abandon the processing centres.


So, it looks like Australia is going to need new gulag guards. Or, it could close the camps and treat these refugees like human beings, rather than systematically torturing them in pursuit of the racist vote.

01:44

MICHAEL SOMARE'S BOMBSHELL SINGAPORE KICKBACK PAYMENT IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG IN PNG'S GANG OF HYPOCRITE PM THIEVES "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by HARDI NII WOO
Yesterday Peter O'Neill was pointing fingers and calling Somare and Mekere Morauta hypocrites for calling Peter O'Neill a thief. Yes, indeed they are, but that doesn't mean Peter O'Neill isn't every bit the thief like the other former Prime Ministers, with super rich Julius Chan and Paias Wingti known or alleged to have gotten rich off various schemes and scams for many years while they've held political power.
Peter O'Neill should take his own advice: Only those with clean hands should point fingers. O'Neill's fingers smell like pekpek, yet once again our current alleged alleged alleged alleged alleged crook in power proclaims himself as being holier than everyone else.
Our PM once again hides behind the "innocent until proven guilty" constitutional protection. "Innocent until proven guilty" only has credibility in countries where public servant investigators and prosecutors well enough resourced that they are able to pinpoint nearly all of the guilty. In PNG, the 29th most corrupt country in the world (out of more than 200 countries), nearly all the guilty go free. Thus, the unconvicted are a mixed bag of thieves and non thieves. The thieves proudly hide amongst the non thieves and declare themselves innocent as a result. What a joke.
Michael Somare's own Chris Hawkins style propagandist is the inifinitely grumpy faced Betha Somare, the Grand Thief's daughter. Betha is forever defending her father and family, saying that all the houses they own in Cairns were obtained by hard work and saving a modest public paycheque. What exactly is Betha Somare saying now? The Somare name, which has been getting dirtier by the year, now thoroughly stinks as badly as the O'Neill, the Wingti, the Somare, and the Skate names. While Mekere Morauta is hardly squeeky clean when it comes to corruption, it is idiotic for Peter O'Neill to accuse Morauta's high class living off of Ok Tedi Sustainable Development Money (which we will not refute) as being responsible for the needless deaths through poor medical care in Western Province.
Health care and preventing needless death through preventable illness is supposed to be the government's job, not Ok Tedi's or any sustainable development fund's responsibility. Before this current supplementary budget showed how little money the O'Neill government wants to spend on health care, health care expenditures had been cut an astounding 46% between 2014 and 2016. How do peopl...

00:11

Michael Somare received $784,000 in Singapore corruption scam "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Sir Michael received three cheques worth a total of USD$784,000 in late 2010, all of which were paid into his Singapore bank account.

Sir Michael received three cheques worth in total USD$784,000, all of which were paid into his Singapore bank account.

Couple jailed in US$3.6m money laundering case involving ex-Papua New Guinea PM

Lim Ai Wah and her husband Thomas Doehrman were jailed for laundering US$3.6 million which had been meant to set up community colleges in Papua New Guinea.

Amir Hussain – Straits Times

A married couple laundered US$3.6 million which had been meant to set up community colleges in Papua New Guinea – then gave US$784,000 of it to the country’s then Prime Minister.

Singaporean Lim Ai Wah, 61, was given five years’ jail on Thursday (Sept 1), while her 68-year-old American husband Thomas Doehrman got five years and 10 months.

They were each found guilty on one count of falsification of accounts and five charges of transferring the benefits of criminal conduct.

Doehrman had been the trustee of a fund set up by the PNG government to set up community colleges in the country.

In June 2010 the trust hired ZTE Corporation for US$35 million to supply telecom equipment for the project and the couple conspired with a ZTE employee, Li Weiming, 34, for the company to pay a secret “commission” to them.

To conceal the true nature of the payment, Doehrman and Lim acquired a British Virgin Islands shell company, Questzone Offshore, and signed a fictitious US$3.6 million contract with ZTE.

No services were provided, but a Questzone invoice was created.

Doehrman and Lim gave Li, a Chinese national, US$850,000 via two transactions to his wife’s Hong Kong bank account. They gave Sir Michael three cheques worth a total of USD$784,000 in late 2010, all of which were paid into his Singapore bank account.

The rest of the money was kept in Questzone’s bank account.

The court was not told how the couple were caught, but heard that US$950,000 was meant for the couple and US$1million was supposedly set aside for bribes.

In their police statements, Lim and Doehrman said bribes had to be paid to the then-PM Sir Michael in order to get business from PNG.

Urging District Judge Ng Peng Hong to impose stiff sentences, Deputy Public Prosecutor Alan Loh said the fact that some of the laundered money was traced to then PNG prime minister Sir Michael Somare’s bank account in Singapore will cause public disquiet.

“The sentences imposed on Doehrman and Lim must reflect the seriousness of the present offences which include illicit payments made to a foreign prime minister.

“This is a very significant case in Singapore’s fight against corruption and money laundering”.

He added: “Singapore sh...

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Thursday, 01 September

22:00

Will Australia step up in Montreal? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Child receiving TB medication in South Sudan with support from the Global Fund and UNDP (Flickr/UNDP South Sudan/Brian Sokol CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)On 16 September 2016 in Montreal, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will convene the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

At the meeting, the Global Fund will ask donor countries as well as philanthropic and private donors for the financial resources necessary to further assist countries to reduce the impact of t...

05:12

Another SABL falls - this time in East Sepik "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Court upholds SABL ruling

Source: Daphne Wani in The National (owned by logging company Rimbunan Hijau)

THE Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision of 2014 despite a judicial review application by Sepik Oil Palm Plantation Ltd over a Special Agricultural and Business Lease (SABL).

The court ruled in favour of Kowiru villagers from Turubu in East Sepik over their customary land.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Salatiel Lenalia, Justice Terence Higgins and Justice Lawrence Kangwia upheld the decision of Justice Gavara Nanu in July 2014 in Waigani yesterday.

Higgins confirmed the findings and orders of Nanu and said the consultation did not meet the standard process required by the Land Act.

“It can be added that the State was a party to this appeal and made the powerful submission that the process resulting in the issue of this SABL was flawed and could not be defended,” Higgins said.

The appeal arose from an application for judicial review proceeding by customary landowner Leo Maniwa and on behalf of the Kowiru villagers Philip Dagu, Elias Maimbe and seven others challenging the granting of their lands on a SABL to the Sepik Oil Palm Plantation Ltd (SOPL).

The appellants were Hui Tech Lau, as director of Wewak Agriculture Development Ltd, directors of SOPL and seven others.

The application sought a review of the decision by the then Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Puka Temu on Sept 2008 to grant a SABL to developer SOPL.

Nanu found that provisions of the Land Act, were not complied with by the minister when granting the SABL.

Nanu also found and declared that the SABL was issued in breach of the Constitution in that the landowners were unlawfully deprived of their customary land.

01:11

SECURITY PREPAREDNESS IS A MUST "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by NEMO YALO

This week is the Supreme Court week. Usually at the end of each second month, except where dates are set as special fixtures, the Court conducts trials of Supreme Court matters. Yesterday, the day started off with a bomb threat. As reported in the media an anonymous caller called the Chief Justice’s office informing of the bomb threat. Court staff and Judges stayed out of the Court premises of the Supreme Court and National Court Building in Waigani. With the turn off to the Court premise cordoned off and Lawyers and litigants were advised to wait along Independence Drive until the threat was cleared.

It is commendable that the Court administration took the threat seriously and took appropriate steps to clear the threat. Whilst we hear of bombings causing mass destruction to properties and mass loss of lives in quite distant lands the perception that they only happen over there and not here thereby inviting casual approaches to such threats will be a grave mistake. It is far better to prevent than to regret.

Issuing such a threat to an important institution comprising Judges and the highest courts on the land and disrupting its very important business is serious. It is a threat to the core of the judiciary. Every effort should be made to apprehend the culprit and prosecute him or her. Even more serious threat to the nation is the truth of the State’s unpreparedness to respond to such threats, real or otherwise, which came to the fore yesterday.

On 2 May 2016 a comprehensive operational plan to improve safety and security during the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit was launched in Port Moresby (The National, 03.05.16). Isaac Lupari, Chief Secretary, was quoted on the day as saying: “What we have seen today is the product of what’s being done over the last two years, a very comprehensive operational working order”.

The plan was prepared by the security committee co-chaired by Police Commissioner Gari Baki and Defence Secretary Vali Asi and its membership comprises all the disciplinary agencies plus Foreign Affairs, Health, Customs, National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority, Civil Aviation Authority and provinces. Mr Lupari on the same occasion announced that the nation is well advanced in its preparations for the hosting of the APEC Summit.

Whilst we have the security plan it is as good as useless if the government is not prepared to start implementing it. There is no doubt the government is surely making progress in implementing the plan. However observing the dressing of two military officers present at the Court premise yesterday, Mr Lupari’s assurance of preparedness rang hollow. Whilst this writer has no military experience it was regrettable to see the officers in their ordinary military fatigue, a ballistic vest or bullet proof vest worn on their torso and a hand held radio and nothing more.

The bulletproof vest, is an item of personal armor that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the body from firearm-fired projectiles- and shrapnel from explosions. Whilst the government has financial issues and whilst it is not expected to procure and arm our Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit with advanced bomb suit such as the type we have seen worn by an actor in the Academy Award winning movie “The Hurt Locker” it is surely expected to provide the basic protective gear. That is its responsibility. How is a soldi...

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Wednesday, 31 August

22:00

Does government funding silence Australian NGOs? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Man with a megaphone (publicdomainpictures.net)Should NGOs take money from the government? It’s one of those long-debated questions of development. There’s an obvious argument in favour: the money can be put to good use. And yet the counter argument is clear enough too: take money from the state and you give it leverage over you. If you do or say things it doesn’t like, it can cut your funding. At times you may directly be told what you can do or say. In other instances your own preemptive second-guessing may have the same effect. Or at least that’s the theory. But what about in practice?

The data we gathered as part of the NGO internet use content analysis we wrote about in our last blog offers us a test of this theory in the Australian case. From our content analysis we knew the extent to which each of the largest 50 Australian aid NGOs used different internet media to raise publ...

20:30

New radio advert highlights SABL land grab "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Video of Q4grqWYceyE

 

The audio from this video clip is being aired as an advert on commercial radio throughout PNG for the month of September.

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Tuesday, 30 August

22:00

Australia sounds the alarm on PNG’s proposed rice policy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

alarm-959592_640 (Pixabay CC0 public domain)Sometimes all the hallmarks of an impending disaster are plain to see. The course of action has been charted and the engine is running at full steam, but a myriad of obstacles both big and small cover the tracks. Is there anything that can stop the train before it is too late?

In this case the proverbial train is PNG’s proposed rice policy which aims to make the country’s rice production self-sufficient by 2030. This is no small task. However, it seems that the PNG government is determined to press ahead.

The challenge is to increase domestic rice production by 20-fold, from around 15,000 tons currently to 300,000 tons by 2030, according to the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Tommy Tomscoll, in his introduction of the policy in parliament [pdf, p. 20 onwards]. Despite a poor track record of previous government attempts to increase rice production by smallholder farmers, the government seems convinced that a new super-sized approach of focusing on large-scale highly mechanised irrigated farming will generate success.

...

03:42

Bainings win SABL court battle "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Source: Isaac Nicholas, Post Courier

LANDOWNERS in East New Britain Province have won a landmark legal battle to retake their “hijacked” land from the controversial Special Agriculture and Business Lease (SABL).

The people of Baining in Gazelle district had taken the State and developer to court over the SABL deal which has now been declared null and void by the National Court in Kokopo last Thursday.

The Sukpramatka Land Group, led by chairman Joel Puipui, had filed an application for judicial review against the State and developer East New Britain Palm Oil Limited last year.

THE proceedings before the court was for a judicial review of the decisions of the State and developer over the process of acquiring the customary lands for SABL, described and known as Baram-Gransait land over Portions 908C and 909C comprising 10,980 hectares and 23,556 hectares in the Inland Baining area.

The application for judicial review was filed by Mr Puipui representing the Sukpramatka land group, Mr Penias Wagire as acting chairman of Sael Mander ILG, Mr Mathis Sabatka as chairman Malangait ILF of Qaget clan, Chief Jonah Todi of Avir clan and Chief Hosea Kailam of Uramat clan.

They filed the judicial review in 2012 and leave for the review was granted on March 5, 2013.

The respondents are Secretary and Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, the State, Kairak ILG, and East New Britain Palm Oil Limited.

The landowners sought judicial review alleging that the process of acquisition of customary land for Business and Agriculture Leases pursuant to Land Act 1996 were not followed, that there was no diligent and no meaningful consultation with landowners taken by Minister and Secretary for Lands and that the Minister had failed to comply with the statutory preconditions for acquisition of customary land by the State and for granting of lease for special agriculture and business purposes.

Justice Lenalia Selatial said in his 37-page decision that “the process was hijacked from appropriate landowners” as shown in evidence presented during the proceedings and breached the Land Act and the Constitution.

He said the Minister can only grant SABLs when he is satisfied that reasonable inquiry has been carried out by officers of his department and the provincial lands office to establish that landowners agree for the land to be compulsorily acquired.

“I am not satisfied that the three-day meetings held at Malabonga High School community hall on September 1-3, 2010, met the requirements of meaningful consultation.” with landowners.

“Those decisions cannot stand and having discussed the evidence by all parties and issues involved and the position in law, the court declares that decisions are null and void,” Justice Lenalia ruled.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had promised to cancel all SABLs and abolish the provisions of the Land Act that allow for SABLs to be granted, allowing more than 5.5 million hectares of land being taken over by foreign corporations.

Mr O’Neill’s decision refers to the investigation by the Commission of Inquiry which determined that the majority of the leases were in flagrant infringement of laws and fraught with abuse and corruption.

Tags: 
...

01:29

Femili PNG seeks case management volunteer "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Our friends at Femili PNG (who we support in a pro-bono capacity) are looking for a Case Management Technical Assistant (Volunteer) to spend a year working with the team in Lae.

Femili PNG is a Papua New Guinean NGO that works with a range of stakeholders to deliver services to survivors of family and sexual violence (FSV) — it has now been operating its case management centre for two years and has made great strides due to the dedication of the team and stakeholders in the wider community.

The Case Management Technical Assistant volunteer position provides an exciting opportunity to work on this innovative and pioneering project that is making a real difference on the ground while also contributing to the development of PNG civil society.

Femili PNG is looking for an individual with practical problem solving skills, who is patient, organised and hands-on, and combines a cautious and considered approach with a strong commitment to improving life for survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse in Papua New Guinea. Case management experience, and appropriate qualifications (i.e. in social work, community development or other relevant disciplines) is necessary.

Duties of the Case Management Technical Assistant will include:
• Provide technical support to the Case Worker Manager in the delivery of effective and professional supervision to Case Workers;
• Monitor and evaluate the case management service, assessing the effectiveness of the service approach;
• Develop a training module on case management skills and techniques and provide regular training to Case Workers to build professional capacity and support staff learning and development;
• Provide technical advice on case management and monitor the progress of cases through regular case reviews, in coordination with the Operations Manager and Case Worker Manager;
• Oversee the implementation o...

00:55

NEW RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS ECONOMIC DAMAGE DONE BY O’NEILL REGIME: GRASSROOTS SUFFER WHILE O’STEAL AND CRONIES GET RICHER AND RICHER "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by MICHAEL JOSEPH PASSINGAN

Expert independent analysis continues to expose Prime Minister Peter O’Neill as the worst economic manager in Papua New Guinea’s history.

New research published by DevPolicy Blog at the Australian National University shows that PNG is now suffering from a revenue crisis, in addition to its well-known government cash-flow and foreign exchange crises.

The research shows that Government revenue has fallen back to the 2006 level of about K10 billion a year in real terms.

The Prime Minister’s economic and financial recklessness has caused a K2.5 billion fall in revenue in only two years!

This, combined with population growth over the 10 years of about 25 percent, explains why PNG people are suffering under Mr O’Neill like never before.

Citizens’ standard of living and quality of life have been going backwards under the O’Neill Regime.

The collapse in revenue since the peak of K12.5 billion in 2014 is behind the continued decline in service delivery in critical areas such as health, education and transport.

It is a major reason behind the need to bring down the 2016 mini-Budget – which itself will cause more cuts to essential services and bring more suffering to the people.

It is a contributing factor to higher prices and increased unemployment, which in turn feeds into many of the social ills currently being experienced such as the rising crime rate.

Mr O’Neill’s destruction of the national revenue base adds to his international reputation for corruption, waste and mismanagement in all areas of national affairs:

•    Internationally recognized as the most corrupt leader in the Pacific and the most corrupt Prime Minister in PNG history – worse than previous record-holders Paias Wingti and Michael Somare
•    The most useless manager of the economy and Government finances in PNG history – even worse than his conman predecessor Bill Skate
•    The worst manager of foreign relations in PNG history – presiding over a neo-colonialist invasion of PNG by his conman cronies from China, Malaysia and Indonesia, fighting with PNG’s friends in Australia and Fiji, aiding and abetting the Indonesian genocide in West Papua by supporting them in the MSG

Mr O’Neill’s economic and financial management is so bad that every single one of his Budgets has brought the nation ever closer to bankruptcy and ruin.

A mini-Budget was required in 2015 soon after that year’s Budget was shown to be another disaster.

Now a 2016 mini-Budget has had to be brought down because the 2016 Budget is a complete failure.

The mini-Budget confirms Mr O’Neill’s mismanagement of the economy.

He was boasting at the start of this year that GDP was growing at 9.2%. The mini-Budget shows he is a liar – GDP is growing at 2.2% a year.

The value of the kina continues to fall – the mini-Budget predicts it to weaken 9.1 per cent against the US dollar and 12.6 percent against the Australian dollar.

Inflation – the price of goods and services – will rise from 5.7 percent to 6.6 percent.

The mini-Budget does nothing to deal with Papua New Guinea’s underlying economic and financial problems, including the revenue collapse rather than dealing with internal policy and implementation failures....

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Monday, 29 August

23:51

SABL Slavery! Pomio land grab fails to deliver on promises "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

SABL Story Project*

The Pomio West Special Agriculture Business Leases have failed to bring the promised economic development and financial benefits. Instead, whole villages have been taken over as the property of the lease holder along with everything standing on the land. The people have been left trapped as slaves.

One simply cannot imagine how gloomy the future is for these communities that have a rich cultural heritage and strong spiritual connections to their land, who were happy and free to roam and live off their land.

Today, the reality is the so-called ‘developer’ of the SABL “owns” these people’s lives. It is a case of “My way or the Highway” as far as the leaseholder is concerned.

Despite the promised benefits of roads, health centres, schools and BIG cash, the reality is that the people in these communities are now slaves on their own land and will be for several generations to come, the leases being for 99 years.

Gone, along with their forests, are all the kinds of environmental services that their ancestors before them had benefited from for thousands of years. Today the people are not even allowed to plant gardens freely on their own land. Instead, they have the choice of either intensive farming on whatever plots they are allowed to keep, or becoming underpaid labourers, aka slaves, on Rimbunan Hijau’s oil palm plantations (pictured below).

If you think the wages will be enough to keep an average family, you are completely mistaken! The wages are so low that the whole family needs to work to provide their own contribution just to the family food budget. The reality is that only then will there be just enough money to buy food and nothing else.

The experience of the impacts as told by those whose land has been taken away from them are that they have nothing to turn to for survival except to work on the plantations. All of the people who the author has met on his travels have told of how services that have been promised them prior to taking their land are being used to force them into being labourers.

The police station, for instance (pictured below), is built to serve the interest of the company. If there is any expressed resentment against the company, the policemen stationed there physically deal with perpetrators. The schools only get assistance if they agree to conditions set by the company. If any health services are provided at all it is restricted to company employees.

Is this really ‘development’? Is this the future we want for our rural communities?

The Government boasts of ‘bringing development’ through public-private partnerships such as the SABL leases. They say these partnerships provide the much needed services that the government has not got the capacity to deliver. But the reality is that the companies use these partnerships to fool the innocent landowners into believing that the company will spend its own money and therefore should be allowed to do whatever it likes without scrutiny!

An example of this is the Palmalmal Aerodrome and local Sports Field re-development. Funding for these a...

22:00

The need to resurrect aid communication efforts "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Since the 1984 Jackson Review, there have been calls for the aid program to improve how it communicates and engages with the Australian public on its work, and on development issues more broadly.

“The Committee… believes a significant initiative in the development education field is warranted. In addition, a much greater effort in informing the public about Australia’s program is proposed.” (1984 Jackson Review, p. 236)

 

“The Committee believes it is not only legitimate for public funds to be used to inform the public about the aid program, but AusAID has a responsibility to do so” (1997 Simons Review, p. 295)

 

“It is worth reiterating that public communication and public engagement are not peripheral add–ons to the aid program. They are an investment in a solid, long–term foundation for it” (2011 Aid Review, p. 310)

The Simons Review was the first to make a clear recommendation on this front, and dedicated a whole section to discussing it:

Recommendation 19.1: AusAID should adopt a more open and transparent approach to public information and ensure that its information activities are guided by the object of public accountability.

This was followed up in the 2006 White Paper, which articulated the need for building public support for aid, communicating the success stories of Australian aid, and improving information activities in recipient countries.

“During the consultation process for this White Paper, observations were made that, while the Australian aid program was achieving impressive results, AusAID was not maximising the opportunities to capture its achievements and share information with the Australian public, stakeholders and development partners.” (p. 73)

Fast forward to the 2011 independent aid review, where there was a whole chapter on pub...

03:21

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1162 days and c o u n t i n g . . . "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has completely failed to reverse the huge SABL land grab..

So much for all his promises to revoke the unlawful leases, return the land to rural people and stop the illegal logging!

It is now 1,162 days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

Since June 2013, more than three years ago, O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedly cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

In 2015 the Chief Secretary stated:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, despite all the promises, no action has been taken to cancel the leases, landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the logging to be stopped.

For 1,162 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty


...

01:15

Who is the ‘primitive’ one Mr Tkatchenko? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Justin-Tkatchenko

Sports Minister, Justin Tkatchenko has referred to a national rugby official as ‘primitive’, following a melee at Saturday’s Digicel semi-final.

No one would defend a brawling team official, but this racist, demeaning language from a Minister no less has no excuse.

This is how the neo-colonialists oppress us. They demean our culture, history and character, through labels such as primitive. They make us feel small and backward.  

They then offer to help us ‘develop’, for a price, of course. Our minerals, land, and trees are all the price for entering their ‘modernity’.

But what exactly have these modern day foreign missionaries taught us? 

Here is the example set by the ‘highly educated’ Mr Tkatchenko:   

https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/tag/justin-tkatchenko/

Corruption, theft and cronyism. 

Sadly Justin Tkatchenko’s statement only says, what a lot of expatriates think. Many were town fools back in Australia, but they come here and assume thrones, commanding business, government and the media.

They have dipped their hands in bribery, corruption and theft, arguably better than any national, but then piously lecture us on good governance.

Then when our politicians get involved in grease and theft, the foreign academics claim this is a result of Westminster democracy being poisoned by Melanesian ways. 

No sirs, it is you who introduced corruption and theft. Our politicians are not corrupt because they are Melanesians, they are corrupt because they have mastered the dark arts of dispossession that the white colonialists brought to Papua New Guinea, so they could pillage our land and resources.   


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Sunday, 28 August

23:41

ALLEGED MASSIVE FRAUD OF PUBLIC FUNDS IN WORKS DEPARTMENT & KOROBA LAKE KOPIAGO DISTRICT "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PETER HEWAGO

As proud citizens of this country, we applaud the concerted efforts of ONeill Dion Government for implementing its coalition partners' major development policies put together in the Alotau Accord. These policies are; better infrastructure, Tuition Fee Free education, Free Basic Health, Addressing Law and Order and the government's emphasis on SME to propel our economy in this trying times amid economic difficulties as a result of sliding world commodity prices putting strain to our National Budget.

These policies especially TFF within the rheem of education sector, infrastructure development and SME have stood out among others which have directly impacted lives of the people in most parts of this country giving glimpses of hope for better and encouraging PNGeans to be wealthy.

However, certain self-centred Members of Parliament (MP) and senior State Ministers have taken  advantage of the complacent and ignorant attitude of our people and have decided to work in contrary to defraud the state. These MPs are Minister for Works and Implementation, Hon Francis Awesa, Minster for Finance, Hon James Marape and Hon Philip Undialu, Member for Koroba Lake Kopiago. Instead of encouraging equal participation and wealth creation through proper established processes within the government's transparent framework, they have created a leeway to siphon people's money without leaving a trace within the governance frameworks. How dare our leaders do that to our people's money?

It is incumbent for these MPs as our mandated leaders to work in alignment with the Alotau Accord to serve the people with honesty and integrity but that isn't seems to be the case here. There exist an alleged massive fraud and conspiracy among these highly placed politicians and government officials within these aforementioned state departments have secretly  colluded and paid themselves fraudulently using public funds.

Let me give you a scenario to confirm this connections of alleged fraud and conspiracy between these three MPs. In September 30th 2014, a cheque of K15,116,204.00 (K15.1m) was deposited into Koroba Lake Kopiago District Treasury Operating Account # 1000931774. Most of these funds, according to BSP bank statements obtained confirms that large sum of cash has been withdrawn in cash over the counter by a person named Johnson Tiki Haguai. It is believed he is the District Administrator or Chief Executive Officer for Koroba Lake Kopiago District (KLKD). For instance, a cheque withdrawal of massive K2,687,000.00 million in cash was made against Cheque# 0001275 on the 23rd of March 2015. On the same day, an additional cash withdrawal of K600,000.00 thousand was also withdrawn over the counter by Johnson Tiki Haguai. A total of K3.287m altogether!

These significant amount of money withdrawn in cash is very excessive for a government official to handle leaves a lot to be desired.  Cash withdrawals should have been done in cheques to maintain transparency and accountability of public funds but has been done in haste. How can the district acquit this money? We assume that even though acquittals are done, how sure are they to provide a transparent report of this public funds when audited against impact projects on the ground? Records shows that most of the money were direct withdrawals done at will by few individuals who have direct link with people i...

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Thursday, 25 August

05:56

PNG real revenue back to 2006 levels "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


DEV POLICY

The 2016 Papua New Guinea Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released at the end of July tells a sobering tale. 2016 revenue adjusted for inflation is back at the same level as it was a decade ago in 2006.

Figure 1 shows total government revenue (including grants) back to 2000, adjusted for inflation. Comparisons are slightly complicated by the fact that PNG Treasury changed its fiscal accounting standards last year, but, in fact, as Figure 1 shows, this makes little difference on the revenue side.
Figure 1: Revenue (including grants) adjusted for inflation, 2000 to 2016

Source and notes for all figures: Treasury budget documents and BPNG; PNG Treasury switched this year from GFS1986 to GFS2012 accounting standards; 2016 are MYEFO estimates; earlier years are actuals. The data presented in this post can be found in this Excel spreadsheet [.xlsx].

With population some 25% greater than a decade ago, it’s a dire situation for service delivery and infrastructure.
Why is revenue back at 2006 levels? After all, the size of the economy has more than doubled.
Revenue has fallen for the last two years. Last year it fell by 14% back to 2013 levels, and this year it is estimated to have fallen another 6% back to 2006 levels (all growth rates in this post adjusted for inflation). The falls are dramatic, and far more than were predicted by earlier post-oil-price-crash forecasts at the end of 2014. It is fair to say that no-one saw this coming.
But this is not just a story about the last two years. The fact that revenue has slipped back so far (from 2013 to 2006 levels) in just one year (the current one) shows how little revenue growth there has been over the last decade. Even in 2014, revenue was only 20% above 2006 levels. Revenue grew rapidly to 2007, increasing by 50% from 2000. But then it slowed down, and revenue has exceeded 2007 levels only once, in 2014.
Figure 2 shows that economy-wide taxes (taxes other than those from the mining and petroleum sectors) have grown significantly over the last decade. They almost doubled between 2006 and 2014. They have since fallen by 17%, but are still some two-thirds bigger than they were in 2006. But that gain of K3.1 billion in economy-wide taxes between 2006 and 2016 has been offset by an almost identical fall in mining and petroleum taxes, which have virtually disappeared falling from K3.3 billion to 2006 to just K0.2 billion this year. Non-tax revenu...

00:19

One million sign petition against Nautilus and Solwara 1 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Source: PNG Mine Watch

Over one million people have signed a global petition opposing Nautilus Minerals’ plans for experimental seabed mining in Papua New Guinea and the number is still rising.

The petition calls on the PNG government and potential investors not to support the mining plans which could be catastrophic for our climate and biodiversity – and for people living around the mine site who rely on the sea for their subsistence lifestyles.

ACT NOW! advertised the petition on our Facebook page – here are just a selection of the comments made by concerned citizens:

Niruk White Who needs another environmental pollution. PNG rivers has its rivers been poison now sea mine. Is this Canadian company prepared to pay compensation for PNG and the Pacific Islands’ community for any so called unintended environmental damage to the sea bed and the food source.

Martin Heits It takes only a few stupid individuals to agree to such a stupid idea that will ruin the lives of many innocent people. Wake up crazies, we coastal people depend on the sea for subsistance.. kisism lo graun go nonap na nau upla like minim sea floor.. ino long time ba upla salim ol pipol blo upla!!!!!! longx2 wanpla time enaf

James Vuia Simet What is the problem? Don’ t we have enough natural resources to flog to world already? Aren’t the land-based mines and other natural resource projects like oil and gas not generating enough revenue to satisfy people’s greed and selfishness? Why wont we leave these sea-bed mining projects for later when the right kind of technologies have been invented?

Viliame Tori We are already struggling with the effects of climate change and we are still fighting for a solution to these issue…and now seabed mining….the effects will be worse.

Jack NB No to this experimental seabed mining!!! Lets care for Mother Nature and surely it will take care of us.

Tati Wills We have to stop this.. Yes together we can…

Bishop Bee Bottom line is govt to stop seabed minning encourage tourism n. Agriculture priority list of revenue generating industries neglected last 40yrs. Forget about sea bed minning. So many mines come n go yet PNG economy is long way down the road to recovery. Simply just put stop nautilus sea bed mining.

Santhana Wakiawa PNG rise up to say NOOOOOOOOOO TO THIS SEABED MINING.

Jessie Kenken Let us all say No to sea bed mining.. tok2 plnty maski..

Potuku Kumalau NO NO NO NO KEEP OUR OCEAN FREE

Monica Paraide Please damaged is done enough for png no no no no!

Charles Thirlwall …. And meanwhile the Malaysian loggers continue to rape the forests as they have for the past two decades without fanfare ….

Guise Kola No Nautilus no…send them back to the Canadian seas not in our seas…

Hans Columbus Can PNG government ple...

00:06

THE MONOPOLIC RICE & FALL OF PNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by SONIA STEPHEN

Once upon a time PNG-Australia relations was predicated heavily on rice sales in PNG. For a long time, Australian rice sales to PNG was maintained in the vicinity of $300 million, making it one of the largest single commodity export to a single country on consistent basis. PNG provided the blue print by which Australia replicated this model throughout the Pacific. Even in Fiji, the home of Sun Rice, Australia managed to use political and other connections to kill that indigenous rice industry to establish it as one of the distribution point of the Australian rice products. That is largely the case today for Fiji.

Australian rice industry is about Australian politics. It is about the rise and fall of the Country/National Party, where rice is grown in the heartlands of the Riverina and the Murray/Darling basin past the cotton country. So it was not a surprise when Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fisher once flew in to confront Sir Julius Chan over PNG Government move (spearheaded by Haiveta as Finance Minister) to tamper with PNG's rice equation with Australia. Chan quickly learnt who was Master.
At one time, Trukai had all the major law and accounting firms in its payroll so that no intelligent person could meaningfully take them on in this country. It also under the reign of late Utula Samana as Secretary for DAL entered into Agreement with the State to acquire all the arable State land (including Markham, Bereina and Abau) so that the State could not have the land capacity to grow rice in competition with Trukai, and indeed it obtained from the State a commitment in those terms. It was a great win for Austrade Port Moresby office.

Trukai also used the Vitamin enrichment condition to keep a lot of cheaper rice out of the PNG Market. It used lawyers to ban American rice entering PNG via an entrepreneuring Highlander. The Highlander was frozen out of the market. This is Australian government interest, and despite signing APEC and WTO, it has always been keen on controlling this market.
Then you ask, why? Why does Australia fight tooth and nail to maintain this market?
The answer is very simple, and is twofold: 1. It keeps the Leeton Rice Growers Cooperative in Country NSW happy and they keep voting National/Liberal Party; 2. It is the way Australia gives Aid on one hand and takes it back through rice.( see how for many many years Australian Aid has been at the $3oo million mark?)

This was a monopoly that has created a dependent people in Papua New Guinea. We had the Taiwanese come in and tell us we can grow it ourselves, but we didn't listen. We had the Chinese, Thai, Indonesians, the Koreans and even the Japanese come in and tell us to use our good lands and grow it. But we kept buying from Australia. 
WHY: Because we have had weak Political leadership.

When Moses Maladina became Agriculture Minister- he visited Thailand and met the Agriculture Minister, and Thai Rice exporting Houses. It was through this official trip that he organized for his family rice importing business now based in Lae. He defied the Australians using his position to break the Australian monopoly. he is a strong leader and he used his strength to his own benefit.
Now we have Mr Ano Pala and Peter O'Neill, both Business Partners of Tjandra Family in the Naima Rice Company. They have used keen and strong...

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Wednesday, 24 August

00:50

PAUL PARAKA SEEKS EXONERATION FROM ROGUE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by MICHAEL JOSEPH PASSINGAN

In documents leaked by Hon Ano Pala, Attorney General to PNG Blogs, controversial lawyer Paul Paraka submitted a letter on 17 August 2016 to crooked Police Commissioner Gari Baki, seeking "Withdrawal of Criminal Charges and Termination of Criminal Investigations on all Paraka Related Files".

It would be interesting how this will be responded to by the Police Commissioner who is known for bending backwards for high profile people. The Paraka saga gripped the entire country for more than a decade.

Paraka is here claiming that the law enforcement officers were used by political forces to institute the criminal cases against him, something not out of the ordinary these days.

PM O'Neill's case is part of the Parakagate and it will this be the way out created for O'Neill by the very person who dragged him in the first place?


...

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Tuesday, 23 August

01:02

HOW PETER O'NEILL WILL USE NGB MONEY TO FUND CANDIDATES IN 2017, HE'S DONE IT BEFORE HE WILL DO IT AGAIN "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


by MICHAEL J. PASSINGAN

The National Gaming Control Board under the watch of Peter O’Neill in 2012 acted as an extra cash dispenser for the government and its allies.
The office, established in 1995 to regulate a fledgling industry, was brought about by the passing of the Gaming Machine Act (1993). Poker machine gaming began in May of 1995 after its introduction was approved by parliament through a Private Members Bill in 1994.

Since then, the industry has grown rapidly to become a major revenue earner for the state. In the two decades (1995-2015) since its inception, over 2.3 Billion Kina has flowed through the NGCB coffers.

The then General Secretary of People’s National Congress Party, JONATHAN O’ATA, wrote to the Prime Minister’s First Secretary MR ELLIOT TABUA with a list of names on the 18th of April 2012 presenting him with Project Applications from 30 Pro PNC Candidates two months away from the issue of Writs. Mike Eddie at that time was the NGCB chairman who had requested the names from O’ata and it appeared to be a coordinated effort by PNC to flush out cash to its candidates just before the elections.

Listed are names of fake projects with the applicants name and the amount. In all a total of K6952344.53 nearly K7 Million kina illegally paid to People’s National Alliance Candidates in 2012.



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Monday, 22 August

03:28

01:05

New Cybersecurity Act: Cunning Strategy By Papua New Guinea’s Growing Dictatorship To Silence Effective Political Dissent and People Power Organising "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

By Ngaliwaliopa Suritomatengiman and others

One of the most important components of a democracy is people’s right to organize and pressure their point of view to the government to accommodate.   The process of people unifying and organizing to speak out and pressure the government to do things differently is a constitutional right in real democracies.   This is because in a real democracy, a government is of the people, by the people and for the people.  The people are the real bosses in a democracy.  MPs and PM are only there to carry out the will of the people.  

Overall stability is encouraged by the fact that most organizing and speaking out occurs around election time.  However real democracies don’t impose time slots on the right to organize and protest, it can be done any time, election or not, in real democracies.  

An ocean of citizens brought down corrupt government leaders in the nation of Guatemala last year, proving that Guatemala, despite its problems, remains a democracy where nonviolent free speech continues effectively.  Papua New Guinea today is far from achieving such standards of democracy (Reuters).


...

00:59

Don’t be fooled by Prime Minister O’Neill’s weasel words on land "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

There were some fine words from our Prime Minister in Parliament last week on the vital importance of customary land:

“Land, and its connection [to] our people is at the heart and soul of our country and our communities”.

“Our land gives us life and supports livelihoods, it gives us a place for communities to live, and land ownership provides certainty for our children and their children”.

“Their land is their heritage, their land is their livelihood and it is their future”.

But if the Prime Minister really believes in the importance of land why has he done nothing to reverse the illegal SABL land grab in which more than 5 million hectares of land - 12% of the whole country - has been stolen from local communities?

It is now more than three-years since the SABL Commission of Inquiry exposed in detail the extent of the unlawful land grab. Since then the Prime Minister has made repeated promises to follow the CoI recommendations and cancel the leases but there has been no action.

In the interim, foreign logging companies have used the illegal SABL leases as an excuse to clear the forests and have exported logs valued at more than K850 million!

It is easy for the Prime Minister to speak about the value and importance of customary land but his actions don't live up to his promises.

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Wednesday, 17 August

23:33

SO O'NEILL WELCOMES NEW CYBER CRIME ACT? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by BRYAN KRAMER
Both daily newspapers reported Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the passing of Papua New Guinea’s Cybercrime legislation that will protect the rights of people around the nation and strengthen public debate in the nation.
"It is only the people who break laws, incite violence, and who bully or slander, who have to be concerned that their actions will see them become the subject of a criminal investigation."
"I dismiss the claims raised by individuals who hide behind fake online names by night, but by day pretend to be neutral in their jobs."
"There are even a few individuals at some mainstream media who fit into this category and it is in their own interest to show courage and declare their political allegiances."
"Indeed I call on all people who hide behind fake names and hidden profiles to come forward and present your views under your real names."
"If you feel so strongly about your views we have an election coming up in a matter of months and that is your chance to seek real public endorsement for your views."
"I hope that the Internet opens up new channels of debate in 2017 than have ever been experienced in elections in the past, and help people to have more information when they vote."
end// (extracts from post courier article)
My Response:
Now anyone who read both papers will note the articles on the issue are near identical word for word which raises the question was the article authored by the little man behind the Prime Minister.
...

00:51

ROUND AND ROUND WE GO, WHERE WE'LL STOP, EVERYBODY KNOWS "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

NIUGINI OUTLOOK
Peter O'Neill is going through the same procedure with the LNG resource owners as he did with PNG's university students, and one is hard put not to be worried about what the outcome will be. He's starting out with the same old trick of being "too busy" to meet with the resource owners and actually telling the truth to them. Instead, he send the inexperienced and extremely unimpressive Nixon Duban to act on his behalf. We can't think of a more effective way to piss of the Huli resource owners of the LNG project.

We can predict right now that Peter O'Neill will never volunteer and will try to avoid answering all possible questions before they're asked. We wonder about what seems to be 2 different trust funds for the same purpose. We are confused what royalties are sitting in that trust account, and who is getting the mega-interest earned on all that money. We're wondering if the resource owners have ever actually received certified Central Bank of PNG statements to confirm beyond all doubt that the royalty money is sitting in the account as Peter O'Neill says it is.

We wonder why a new trust fund account was set up only in March to hold this money, and we wonder why Peter O'Neill curiously avoided answering Don Polye's question at the Parliamentary session just before the Vote of No Confidence as to why no LNG revenue is shown as income for either the 2015 or 2016 budget. These are elementary questions. The answers should have been offered to the newspapers a long time ago but of course they weren't. We have a government who loves keeping secrets, but as people become more educated, there is progressively less tolerance for secret keeping by the government. We all want answers.

Unfortunately for the Hela landowners, they're as unlikely to get straight answers as were the uni students unless they start raising a really big stink. They'll probably be forced to do this anyway because they'll probably never get any royalties unless they do.
Peter O'Neill worked in coordination with UPNG Albert Mellam to send police to campus to intimidate students and when the students weren't intimidated, someone in his government gave the order to start shooting the students. Does anyone doubt that all this might be in store for the Hela LNG resource owners?

Everything will only be okay if the resource owners accept what the university student activists did not, and agree that Peter ONeill knows best for us all, and will always be our leader. If the resource owners don't accept that and push the PM anyway, we could end up with a tragedy in our hands.
We wonder then if the Huli resource owners will back down and quit like the majority of university students have essentially done, or if they will take on the Prime Minister, Francis Ona style.
We wonder.
==============
[Niugini Outlook on Facebook is for anyone who loves Papua New Guinea. Our site contains news and views on various hot topics affecting PNG today. We purposely offer some of the sharpest talk on the social media, because sharp talk motivates people and motivation is essential to learning, remembering, and developing into active participating citizens. On Niugini Outlook, you can find unusual and varied viewpoints aimed at stretching your mind to become more questioning and skeptical at what is happening today in PNG....

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Monday, 15 August

23:34

Prime Minister twisting the truth - AGAIN "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made a number of statements about PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd and me in Parliament on Wednesday 10 August, which were published in the media.

All of them are untrue. The Prime Minister should apologise for misleading Parliament and the public.

“It reflects very badly on the Office of the Prime Minister for Mr O’Neill to regularly twist the facts, tell half-truths and make misleading statements designed to deceive the public and justify his actions,” Sir Mekere said.

“He fools no-one with his sweet talk. The public knows that the Prime Minister is just trying to justify and cover up his illegal and unconscionable deed in expr...

04:02

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1148 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has completely failed to stop the huge SABL land grab and give the stolen land back to its customary owners.

So much for all his promises to revoke the unlawful leases, return the land to rural people and stop the illegal logging!

It is now 1,148 days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

Since June 2013, more than three years ago, O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedly cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

In 2015 the Chief Secretary stated:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, despite all the promises, no action has been taken to cancel the leases, landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the logging to be stopped.

For 1,148 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds o...

02:19

Are Nautilus plans for experimental seabed mining dead in the water? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Cartoon: Alliance of Solwara Warriors

The problems just keep stacking up for prospective experimental seabed mining company, Nautilus Minerals, and its planned Solwara 1 mine in Papua New Guinea.

Mining was slated to begin in early 2018, but that date has already abandoned and in the meantime the breadth and volume of opposition just keeps growing. 

Over the last few months climate scientists, lawyers, politicians, church leaders, environmentalists, ngos and even the World Bank have all taken aim at Nautilus and Solwara 1 and, with the financial markets running scared, Nautilus doesn’t have the cash to buy a single voice to back their controversial plans.

A recent plea from the Lutheran Church in PNG for greater transparency around the mine approval process and 350,000 signatures from all around the planet opposing seabed mining are just the latest headaches for Nautilus executives.

In April, it was revealed Nautilus has admitted in company documents its mining plans are highly speculative and experimental with no assurances the mining machines will actually work or certainty about the environmental impacts.

This has scared potential investors and...

00:27

FACEBOOK AND OTHER CYBER PRIVACY THAT THE PNG GOVERNMENT AND JIMMY MIRINGTORO CANNOT PENETRATE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by JACK P KELUA
Most PNG laws are just but some are not. Certain laws passed under the O'Neill regime seem aimed at dismantling checks and balances that are considered essential for vibrant democracies. These checks and balances are clearly stated in our constitution but Peter O'Neill is very clear that unless someone has the big money to mount legal challenges as to the unconstitutionality of a particular law, the law will stay in place and can be enforced. In other words, the government wins not by upholding justice but by threatening to bankrupt those who fight for justice.
Such is the case with the cybersecurity law currently on the table. The law is almost certain to pass and when it does, it likely infringes on free speech rights provided by our Constitution. Thus, it is an unjust law.
Martin Luther King said the following about unjust laws: "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." That is why Niugini Outlook is providing this information to you about how you can get around the new cybersecurity laws. We advocate this only for those who would otherwise be suppressed in their political free speech or in providing information and news to the masses because they are afraid that they might be prosecuted under the law.
There should be no such fear amongst us!
Today's lesson focuses on the matter of electronic encryption for information going across the internet.
Certain communications you do on your smart phone can be easily spied on and monitored while others cannot. Any text message you put out on your phone can be monitored using special software that searches every text message in PNG for certain key words. We do not know if Digicel does this, but would only do so if lawfully directed to by the government. The current slowness at which Digicel is forcing registration of SIM cards suggests to us that Digicel and the government are not exactly on friendly terms regarding any extra work the government wants them to do (which of course is likely to reduce Digicel's profits) to monitor or track citizens.
Nevertheless the technology and software exists for your texts to...

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Sunday, 14 August

16:34

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Friday, 12 August

14:51

Torturing asylum seekers in secrecy and proud of it "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

My column in the Guardian:

The recently released Nauru files reveal an inventory of horrors unleashed by Australia on brown and black bodies away from public or media scrutiny. These people now have a voice, albeit in often banal descriptions of sexual abuse, rape, violence and psychological breakdown.

After more than two decades of brutalising asylum seekers on the Australian mainland and offshore, this is what Australia represents. This is who we are. These are our “values” and it’s now absurd for anybody to claim otherwise.

In 2004, I interviewed the last remaining refugee trapped on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Aladdin Sisalem, born in Kuwait in 1979, lived on Manus Island while Australian authorities thwarted his attempts to reach the Australian mainland. “I need to belong to a country that can protect me and where I can live a normal, dignified and productive life,” he told me.

His treatment at the hands of Australia, filled with deception, obfuscation and lack of sympathy, was an ominous warning of 21st century Australian officialdom and its brutal handling of those arriving by boat while fleeing the world’s conflicts.

...

01:13

FAKING A PASSABLE EDUCATION ON TOP OF FAKED UNIVERSITIES "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by NIUGINI OUTLOOK
Successive government in PNG have been brilliant at fooling parents, students and the nation regarding their investment in education. Now Peter O'Neill is bragging that the nation invests K2 billion in education yearly, which no government has ever done.
These are the facts:
- No government has seriously supported education in our country in any kind of quality way.
- The government spends less money per student today for education than occurred 30 years ago, whether it is community school level or university.
- Our population growth combined with the declining value of the kina due to inflation, completely outstrips the government's ability to increase the amount of kina in real terms spent on education per student.
- For many years, the country got away with this lack of investment because so few people had even high school education and there were plenty of jobs available for those who did.
- Our PNG universities in particular started sliding downhill, one small step at a time.
- Because our economy has not grown as fast as our population, we now face the impossible situation whereby the great majority of our university graduates leave school with a very poor education.
- That our uni graduates today receive a very poor education is confirmed by the very poor rankings that all PNG universities have compared to universities in the rest of the world, even in developing countries poorer than ours.
- Poorly educated uni graduates are not in demand nearly anywhere in the world, including PNG. Thus the majority of our uni graduates today are underemployed or unemployed. Employers, particul......

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Thursday, 11 August

02:29

WHY THE LNG RESOURCE OWNERS SHOULD BE CONCERNED WITH TRUST FUNDS HOLDING THEIR ROYALTY MONEY "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by KARK SEMANU

WHAT ARE TRUST FUNDS
Outside of PNG trust funds are normally established as either medium term holding accounts whose contents at a specified date are turned over to a beneficiary, or to an account maintained in perpetuity, where the principal is never touched and only the earned interest monies are ever withdrawn.

CORRUPT USAGE OF TRUST FUNDS:
 

1. LEAVING THE PRINCIPAL BUT STEALING THE EARNED INTEREST
In PNG, the trust account concept has been corrupted in many directions. The most common reason for a politican or a government bureaucrat to want control of a trust account is to steal the interest monies accrued. That is a corruption of the traditional trust account in that they have no authorisation to do this. The interest monies earned belong to the government. The corrupt government official's actions escape the government's attention in many cases in this way: A government disbursement of a quite large amount of money is secured, let's say K20 million. That K20 million is then put into a high interest bearing savings account and called a trust account. In the end, the government official uses up the K20 million and acquits that funding to the government. The government doesn't ask questions, including the most important one: Where did the interest money earned go to? What has happened is that the government official has pulled out the interest money and put it into their private savings account.

This is the first warning flag of what may be happening with regard to the LNG resource owners' royalty monies held within a government trust fund. The Finance Minister reported recently that it contains hundreds of millions of kina currently. That amount of money earns a stunning amount of interest. How much interest exactly, and where is it going? To the LNG resource owners who it rightfully belongs to, or into a politician's or government bureaucrat's pockets?

CORRUPT USAGE OF TRUST FUNDS:

2. BRIBING SIGNATORIES TO CORRUPTLY STEAL OR 'BORROW' FUNDS

The second red flag about trust accounts concerns the signatories to the account. Multiple signatories are commonly used for high balance trust accounts to minimize the chances of corrupt withdrawals of money. Unfortunately, when overall levels of corruption reach the high levels we experience in Papua New Guinea today, corruption is considered almost acceptable. That makes it harder to find signatories who cannot be bought by briberies and kickbacks.

EXAMPLE OF THE KUTUBU OIL RESOURCE OWNER'S TRUST FUND FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
This is not a theoretical description. It happened in real life in a very big way when Sir Mekere Morauta was Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

At the time the fields near Lake Kutubu were producing large amounts of oil. Local landowners received royalties from the oil of course, but it had already become clear to the government that much of the royalty money was embezzled by local corrupt LLG leaders, who then flew to Moresby and wasted it while partying away at the Ela Beach Hotel.

Thus the government had by then established Future Generations Trust Funds into which a small percentage of royalty money was deposited. In the case of the Kutubu Future Generations Fund this still added up to quite a few million kina in only a few years.
A local Kutubu landowner by the nam...

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Tuesday, 09 August

13:34

PART 4: WHO IS THE MYSTERY ‘FEMALE COMPANION’ IN THE SO-CALLED PETER WAIENG MURDER MYSTERY? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Earlier this year in May, in the National Court of Justice in Papua New Guinea, Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika handed down his decision in a case between The State and Janet Oba. Janet Oba – as mentioned in Part 1 – is Peter Waieng’s sister. Around 11 years ago, in 2005 Janet Oba was a Police Prosecutor. She was an Inspector of Police when she ended up being prosecuted by the Public Prosecutor (Ms R Koralyo: “Lawyer for the State”) under the Criminal Code for the following alleged offences: Forgery, Uttering & Misappropriation of property involving more than 1.2 million Kina.

Janet Oba was represented as a Prisoner by Nidue & Associate Lawyers (Mr C Nidue: “Lawyer for the Prisoner”).

Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, in his decision dated 2 May 2016 against the accused Janet Oba, commenced the proceedings by saying: “The accused was charged with one count of forgery, one count of uttering and one count of misappropriation. The charges were brought under S462 (1), S463 (1) and (2) and S383A (1) and (2) of the Criminal Code respectively.”

“Janet Oba is an inspector of police and is the quarter master of NCD based at the Gordon’s police Barracks. She was a sole shareholder and a sole director of a company called J & J Constructions Limited and the sole signatory of that company’s account held at the Bank South Pacific Ltd Account No. 1001553407.”

“It was alleged that J & J Constructions Ltd was awarded a contract to construct a jetty at Wutung in West Sepik Province. The contract was for K6.5 million and the State did pay the K6.5 million to the company to construct the jetty. The jetty was never constructed.”

“During the course of investigation it was discovered that K1, 286,000.00 remained in J & J Construction account from the K6.5 million originally awarded. The account was frozen through an action taken by the Proceeds of Crimes Unit in the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The accused was restrained from accessing the account of the company and from withdrawing money from that account.”

“On 19 July 2010, a consent order to forfeit the K1, 286,000.00 to the State was agreed to by the parties and endorsed by the court. While the funds were forfeited to the State they still remained in the J & J Construction Account No. 1001553407 for over 2 years. The State should have taken out the consent orders to that effect and served it on the bank. The State failed its part in respect of that.”

“The State alleged that on or about 6 August 2012 Janet Oba and a Peter Waieng (now deceased) went to the Bank South Pacific Head Office in Port Moresby and served on the bank a forged court order dated 16 March 2012 which specifically ordered Bank South Pacific to release the money forthwith to J & J Constructions account.”

“Sometime later the restriction on the account was lifted and the accused withdrew the funds from 21 September to 18 October 2012. The withdrawal transactions were done over the counter in cash and cheques which were signed by the accused totalling up to K1, 286,000.00.”

“The Bank was alerted by the Proceeds of Crime Unit of the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the false court order of the 16 March 2012. The Bank after doing further due diligence checks realised it had been fooled and lied to and took full responsibility for its negligence and repaid the State in full the K1, 286,000.00.”

“The accused was then charged with one count of forgery, one count of uttering and one count of misappropriation.”

The Deputy Chief Justice found the ‘UNDISPUTED FACTS’ of the case to be, as follows:

“Janet Oba is a serving police offer with the rank of Inspector and is the quarter master for NCD and based at the Gordon Police Barrack. J & J Construction Ltd is a company registered under the Companies Act. Janet Oba was the sole shareholder and director of J & J Construction Ltd. Janet Oba was the sole signa...

13:28

PART 3: WHO IS THE MYSTERY ‘FEMALE COMPANION’ IN THE SO-CALLED PETER WAIENG MURDER MYSTERY? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Peter Waieng was elected to the Sixth Parliament in 1997 and ‘took office’ on 16 July 1997 at the age of 31, and not 28 as also recently misreported by PNG Blogs. Radio Australia reported in an article which appears to have been originally published on the 10th of March 2001 [Updated 23 March 2012, 17:15 AEDT]:

“Another member of the Papua New Guinea Parliament has been referred for possible prosecution for alleged breaches of the country’s Leadership Code.”

“The member for Kundiawa, Peter Waieng, is the latest to be referred to the Public Prosecutor, following an investigation by the Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission. It’s alleged Mr Waieng received and used almost 100-thousand dollars of public money from the controversial National Gaming Board between 1998 and 2000. There have been persistent allegations that Gaming Board funds have been misappropriated, and several MPs have already been referred for prosecution.”

Several months later, on Wednesday the 3rd of October 2001, The National newspaper reported: ‘Waieng referred to Public Prosecutor’.

Quite likely, it seemed, Peter Waieng resigned as the Kundiawa Gembolg Open Member of Parliament after the Public Prosecutor recommended to the Chief Justice that a Leadership Tribunal be convened to prosecute him under the Leadership Code. It also seemed as per the The National newspaper headline that Peter Waieng had been referred to the Public Prosecutor by the Ombudsman Commission possibly at the beginning of October 2001, after being notified by the Ombudsman Commission possibly just prior to the 10th of March 2001, and then apparently he resigned the next year from Parliament on the 10th of May 2002 (as per Speaker Hon. Theo Zurenuoc’s speech recorded in the Draft Hansard – see Part 1).

In fact, according to information sourced from Ombudsman Commission records, following an investigation by the Ombudsman Commission acting on information initially received in January 2000, ‘a right to be heard notice’ was served by the Ombudsman Commission on Peter Waieng on the 9th of March 2001. The date of request for appointment of a Leadership Tribunal was 29 January 2002. The date of appointment of the Leadership Tribunal was 19 April 2002, and the date of his referral to a Leadership Tribunal was 8 May 2002 – the date when the Leadership Tribunal convened.

The date of Peter Waieng’s referral to the Public Prosecutor Chronox Manek, according to a report (see page 50) by the Ombudsman Commission, was 19 April 2001. However, the same Ombudsman Commission report (see page 51) also contains a contradictory date which clashes with the date of 19 April 2001. The Ombudsman Commission report also states: “On 1 October 2001 the matter was referred to the Public Prosecutor.”

The dates Peter Waieng was referred can be found in publication ‘Chapter 4 Enforcing the Leadership Code’ bearing the Ombudsman Commission logo – found here: https://www.yumpu.com/…/docu…/view/47707368/2002-ar-chpt-4/9 where it was reported: “In seven cases (Kuli, Mollok, Wama, Waieng, Auali and Arul) the leader resigned after the appointment of the Tribunal.”

Peter Waieng was one of 11 leaders during 2002 ‘who had been referred to the Public Prosecutor in previous years, whose cases were progressed’. Altogether 21 Leadership Code cases were progressed by the Ombudsman Commission in 2002.

Detailed information on Peter Waieng and other Members of Parliament (interesting reading) can be found in the Ombudsman Commissions 2002 Report: ‘Annual Report 2002 [2002] PGOCR 1 (31 December 2002)’, found here: http://www.paclii.org/pg/ombudsman/PGOCR/2002/1.html

However, oddly enough, Peter Waieng still contested in the 2002 National General Election, which commenced only aroun.....

09:42

Disaster Capitalism book receives thorough examination "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

My book, Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe, was released in 2015 (and it’s out in paperback in January 2017). It received many reviews and the latest is by Dr Jason Von Meding, an academic in Australia:

The US Presidential Election is in full swing. Over the next few months, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will go toe-to-toe in what is already a less than clean scrap. In amongst the media and social media hysteria (on both sides), one could be forgiven for missing an intriguing narrative espoused by alternative voices that opts, rather than criticizing one candidate over the other, to reject both the neoliberal status quo and reactionary neofascist agendas that are the product of unfettered predatory capitalism.

In Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe, acclaimed Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein turns his passion for justice to deliver a stunning critique of the thriving disaster capitalism industry, in its many forms; the profiteers of privatized detention, militarized security, the aid industry and multinational mining are relentlessly skewered with style and poise, and their predatory tactics exposed. According to his narrative, Hillary Clinton is exactly the kind of neoliberal hawk that enables neofascist demagogues like Trump to rise, and allows predatory ‘businessmen’ like Trump to prosper. Both Presidential candidates are indeed invested in disaster capitalism, but Loewenstein’s tale is arguably one that focuses on the Hillary’s of the world; the trusted and experienced hand; the status quo; the Establishment.

Disaster Capitalism is the story of Loewenstein’s journey into the belly of this particular beast. The book gives us an up-close-and-personal look at how corporations like Serco, G4S, Halliburton and their ilk profit from organized misery, perpetual conflict and the impacts of disaster, and how national governments and international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank are willing collaborators. In Part I, he takes us to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Greece, exposing the various exploitative strategies employed to enrich the local elite and foreign interests, and the devastating effects on the majority of people in each country. In Part II, we visit wealthy Western democracies (Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom) that punish the most vulnerable in their societies while dictating economic conditions to the world, imposing taxpayer funded cruelty for private profit at home and abroad.

This is an absolutely enthralling read; a must for the revolutionary; the dreamer; the activist; the teacher; the learner. Loewenstein has compiled a treasure-trove of evidence on his travels. His dismantling of the social and economic myths that enable predatory disaster capitalism is robust and compels us to action. He offers a “challenge to cherished beliefs concerning aid and development, war and democracy, and in particular the modern, borderless nature of capitalism.” (p. 14) For this reader, 3 key themes emerge; a dialogue around crime and punishment; a critique...

02:32

PNGSF STARTS FIFA UNDER 20 WORLD CUP CLOCK WITH NO GROUND WORK, NO MONEY, LACKS PROJECT MANAGEMENT, CONTRACT ISSUES "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


by PNG SPORTS FOUNDATION Insider

A clock displayed on a digital screen outside the Sir John Guise stadium will countdown the days until the first match of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup at 4pm on November 13.

The digital clock was turned on by Sports Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, PNG Sports Foundation Executive Director, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr; Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Seamus Marten, PNG Football Association, Senior Vice President, Linda Wonuhali and PNGFA General Secretary Dimirit Mileng.

The significant event took place this week to mark the 100 days countdown to the World Cup.

Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Seamus Marten said the countdown clock will be visible to the residents of Port Moresby who will play host to this world sporting event.

“One of our goals is to fill up the stadiums come November so the countdown clock will act as an exciting reminder for us and the residents of Port Moresby of how long until the kick-off as well as help build up the hype for the event,” said Marten.

Marten said with 100 days to go, the Local Organising Committee is working very hard to ensure that the stadiums are filled with spectators and fans come November.

He said preparations have picked up speed within with each functional area ensuring that they have everything in place.

“This is the biggest sporting event of this stature that has ever been held and broadcast from Papua New Guinea to the world. It is a unique opportunity for Papua New Guinea as the host country to show the world we can,” said Marten.

LOOPPNG REPORT
///
There is really no money to prepare the fields for the games. The landowners whose land the top soil is taken at 14 Mile had stopped any harvest of soil from their land and the project is now stalled for over 10 days. Contractors are yet to be paid with more than 3 invoices outstanding. Seeding for grass to prepare fields to FIFA standards had not yet started. We are looking at an international embarrassment if funds are not released soon and landowners payments also to be addressed at the same time.

The clock was started without any funding to complete the project. There is no work. All contractors ceased operations while waiting for funding.

The Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management contractor is Parohu Engineering Limited. They were supposed to be the consultants only but instead ended up doing construction as well. 

 The point here is the Sports Foundation lacks a real project management team of its own to manage very large projects. 

There are no legal agreements in place to engage contractors for any jobs which may be a legal nightmare for sports foundation if legal action is taken, no rates for equipment hire or anything associated with major projects. The whole project is in total disarray at the start. 

Few contractors were able to assist the project by formally setting up contract documents from their own templates and then getting the Sports Foundation officials to sign. Regarding the soil and the fields, the soil was taken from 14 Mile from a tenant and when the locals found out that the tenant was selling soil they confronted sports foundation and stopped the harvest of top soil. 

Unti...

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Monday, 08 August

04:40

PART 2: WHO IS THE MYSTERY ‘FEMALE COMPANION’ IN THE SO-CALLED PETER WAIENG MURDER MYSTERY? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Police & CIS carrying Peter Waieng's coffin

Continued from  Part 1 ~

In an apparently wrongly dated, and badly misspelt, article titled ‘Peter Waieng’s Murder Suspect Arrested’ published by EMTV Online (found here: http://www.emtv.com.pg/news/2016/06/peter-waieng-s-murder-suspect-arrested/), the then NCD police Metropolitan Superintendent Andy Bawa – in a press conference possibly held on Sunday the 22nd of September 2013 – reportedly announced that ‘a 26 year old suspect from Roku village has been arrested and refused bail at the Boroko Police station in connection with the murder of late Peter Waieng outside Port Moresby’.

Excerpts from EMTV: ‘Waieng was stabbed with a knife last month (August) after an argument broke out between him and a female companion on Roku beach, just outside Port Moresby.’ ‘Assistant Commissioner for Police and Commander for NCD and Central, Jim Andrews told EMTV News last month that the suspect who was with the couple, hit Waieng over the head with a stone when Waiang assaulted the female.’ ‘The suspect then stabbed him in the stomach with a knife. Waieng was said to have died on the scene.’

On Tuesday the 27th of August 2013 in an article titled ‘Black Covenant’, journalist Ramcy Wama reported:

THE observance of the National Covenant Day has turned fatal in Port Moresby with police reporting murders and a rape over a long weekend ironically dedicated to the Government renewing its Christian ethos. In a black day for the National Capital District, the NCD Superintendent for Operations Perou Ndranou said five people were reportedly killed and a girl raped in separate incidents within and outside the PNG capital. “People have to spend quality time with family having fellowship in church in respect for the Covenant Day our Government has declared in 2007 but instead people are killing each other. This is one of the worst days ever to commemorate its meaning than previous celebrations,” Supt Ndranou said. The killings include former Kundiawa-Gembolg MP, Peter Waieng who was killed near a village outside Port Moresby on Thursday last week.”

A person using the pseudonym ‘Png Nationalist’ posted, on Wednesday September 25, 2013:

“The people of Waiye demanded the National and Simbu Provincial government authority and Police to fast track the investigation of the death of late Peter Waieng or else this part of the section of Okuk Highway will be closed.”

The next day – on September 26, 2013 – someone in Port Moresby posted: “The Simbu people went on a rampage this morning at Morobe Blok. Destroying and chasing all the Wains from Morobe Province, suspecting one of their tribesman in the killing of Peter Waieng.”

‘Morobe Blok’ is understood to be located at nine mile in Port Moresby. The day after that, on September 27, 2013 someone else said:

“Frustrated relatives of late Peter Waieng former Defence Minister and Kundiawa-Gembogl MP staged a peaceful demonstration with banners and placards at Bonguglingu village calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga to speed up the investigation and prosecution of suspects involved in his killing at Roku village outside Port Moresby city on August 22, 2013. Waieng’s Narku tribe said five weeks after his killing, the investigation process is very slow.”

On October 1, 2013, in an article titled ‘Waieng Murder suspect held’, The National reported:

TWO men have been arrested over the murder of former MP Peter Waieng, police said yesterday. Chief of Police Operations Deputy Commissioner Simon Kauba said a third person who they believed to be Waieng’s female companion...

03:31

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Sunday, 07 August

12:02

PART 1: WHO IS THE MYSTERY ‘FEMALE COMPANION’ IN THE SO-CALLED PETER WAIENG MURDER MYSTERY? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Peter Waieng's 2012 Election Poster

 

Peter Waieng was a Leader – described in 2013 by one supporter as a ‘handsome fitman hero’- whose brutal death seemingly sent shockwaves rippling and reverberating through Simbu Province in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea leading to an outpouring of grief and anger resulting in alleged ‘mass destruction’ and an alleged ‘massive riot’ occurring in Kundiawa town on Friday the 23rd of August 2013. “Kundiawa town was under siege this morning. Highway closed from Wandi to Mingende,” a commentator on social media said.

‘He was shot dead in Pom last night…people in Kundiawa are going on a riot…ktaun is closed…and highway is also closed between Kundiawa and Mingende,’ someone else alleged on social media, that Friday morning, at 9.06am.

Late Peter Waieng’s ‘Narku people’ mad with grief and anger over the news of their Leader’s murder allegedly had gone on the ‘rampage’ causing ‘bikpela destruction’ and ‘chaos’ in Kundiawa – the capital of Chimbu (Simbu) Province.

An eyewitness in Port Moresby posted on social media – almost three years ago, before 4am on Friday the 23rd of August 2013 – describing how Peter Waieng’s people ‘the Narku people wept and threw themselves on the ground at the Port Moresby General Hospital over the body of late Peter Waieng’.

The next day, on the 24th of August 2013, NBC News reporter Mark Kayok reported: “Police in Chimbu also acted quickly to stop a riot in Kundiawa, following news of Mr. Waieng’s death. The Highlands Highway was blocked at Wandi, three people hospitalised and businesses closed.”

The former Member of Parliament for Kundiawa Gembolg Open electorate in Chimbu Province had not been shot dead as alleged. Nor was he “drugged” by any prominent and affluent foreign businesswoman [named], then stabbed and strangled as recently falsely alleged in a highly scurrilous, downright dirty piece – containing totally false allegations plus incorrect information & outright lies – recently published by PNG Blogs on the 5th of August, 2016.

According to media reports Peter Waieng had been stabbed twice, “his head appeared to be smashed with a heavy object”, and he died from loss of blood. [Medical report still to be sighted.]

Many mourners had already congregated by 5.30am at a Haus Krai reportedly ‘held at 9 mile at ‘Aunty Janet’s’ residence’. Aunty Janet is understood to be Peter Waieng’s elder ‘sister’ known as Janet Oba – a former Police Prosecutor and Inspector of Police.

However, a source recently advised that the Haus Krai was held at Peter Waieng’s residence at nine mile and not at Janet Oba’s residence.

At around 9 o’clock that same Friday morning another commentator, on social media, posted: “The murder of ex Defence Minister and [former] Kundiawa/Gembogl member Peter Waieng has led to a massive riot in Kundiawa this morning.” At 9:18am, the same commentator also said: “Gunshots heard in K-town”.

‘Yes, the little town in an uproar…it has now being [been] contained thanks to the police on ground. The Late Peter’s relatives have arrived in town and are waiting for leaders to address the people on the death…sad to lose another Simbu elite in such a senseless way,’ a commentator, at 9:35am, in response said.

‘Information from those close to him said, there was no gunshot wounds, only stab wounds. His Gold watch, wallet with cash and phone etc were all intact, not one stolen. The only missing item was his hand gun. Yet to confirm…’ someone revealed. “Could be election/tribal related,” another commentator speculated.

In 2013 it was alleged that Peter Waieng was stabbed by some rascals – ‘Ol Motuan’. Different people alleged that Peter W...

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Saturday, 06 August

05:33

Pomio landowners petition against SABL logging "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Landowners in the Pomio district of East New Britain have petitioned the government [see pdf file below] calling on them not to authorise logging in a new concession area on their their land as part of the Sigite-Mukus Integrated Rural Development Project. 

The landowners say they have already suffered from logging in three concession areas, totalling 42,400 hectares and they are now being pressured to allow further logging in another 13,000 hectares known as the Unung Sigite concession.

The Sigite-Mukus Integrated Rural Development Project was set up in 2008 as part of the controversial nation-wide land grab using fraudulently issued Special Purpose Business and Agriculture Leases (SABLs).

The landowners say they have “grievous concerns” for their livelihoods and do not want any further logging. They say the SABL leases over their land were acquired unlawfully, have robbed them of their birth rights and threaten a “catastrophic genocide” in the future as they are for 99-years.

Photo: Pomio MP Elias Kapavore receives the petition

Malaysian logging company, Rimbunan Hijau, holds the SABL leases, which people say were “acquired in very strange circumstances” and without their consent. They say logging has already caused “so much environmental damage” and accuse RH of using a “heavy police presence” to “rob people of their customary land, resources and heritage”.

RH recently sent a...

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Wednesday, 03 August

06:26

Sustainable development focus for schools presentation "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

ACT NOW! has recently given a presentation on sustainable and responsible development to more than 200 secondary school students at the Moresby Arts Theatre.

The presentation, given by Campaign Coordinator Eddie Tanago, was part of the PRIDE program that aims to influence education, confidence-building and the development of expressive abilities in young people through sessions that stimulate discussion about social issues.

ACT NOW!’s presentation focused on the development model set out in the National Goals and Directive Principles in the Constitution and how this differs from the government’s emphasis on large-scale extractive industries and economic growth.

The Constitutional model is built around integral human development, PNG Ways, caring for the environment and retaining our National Sovereignty. But this vision is being undermined by large-scale resource projects and foreign ownership of land and assets which are the root cause of so many problems the country is facing including violence, crime, lack of basic services, food insecurity and inequality.

The presentation emphasized that if PNG is to chart its own development path and to improve the livelihoods of ordinary people then it needs to go back to the NGDP and implement them faithfully, as prescribed in the Strategy for Responsible and Sustainable Development (StaRS).

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Tuesday, 02 August

14:52

US magazine Truthout interview on disaster capitalism and Gaza "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

My interview in US magazine Truthout by Dan Falcone:

Dan Falcone recently interviewed journalist, blogger, filmmaker, activist and author Antony Loewenstein in East Jerusalem via Skype to discuss his current film project, Disaster Capitalism — inspired by his 2015 book, Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe (Verso, 2015), as well as a host of domestic and foreign issues impacting the West, the US and the world. In his film project, Loewenstein provides commentary on US involvement and influence in Haiti, Afghanistan, Gaza, Papua New Guinea and beyond. Loewenstein also draws parallels to Brexit and the national election in the US within his own research and work, and explains how those areas are relevant.

Daniel Falcone: I wanted to first ask you about the film that you’re making, Disaster Capitalism. I know that you’ve spoken a lot about the book, about your thesis, about the argument. Could you just tell me something about the film or where you are in the process of the film and what will the film convey differently from the book, if anything?  

Antony Loewenstein: I started working on the book about five years ago, and I started working on the film at about the same time, and initially, I was working on my own. I was traveling to some of these places that are featured in the book, and decided I wanted to do a documentary about it. I didn’t know the shape of what that would look like. In 2012, I partnered with a New York-based filmmaker Thor Neureiter, and he and I have been working together ever since. He’s my film partner and we have been to Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan...

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Monday, 01 August

03:43

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1134 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill clearly has no intention of ever reversing the huge SABL land grab and giving the stolen land back to its customary owners.

So much for all his promises to revoke the unlawful leases, return the land to rural people and stop the illegal logging!

It is now 1,134 days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For over three years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned compa...

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Thursday, 28 July

09:22

The Astrolabe Bay Declaration 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

On July 20 and 21, seventy Local Level Government, Ward and Youth Representatives from the six districts of the Madang Province met to discuss and promote a wider understanding of the difference between economic growth and community development. 

Their meeting was arranged by ACT NOW! and was hosted by the Tropical Gem community network under the theme  "Rise Up! Return to Your Roots".

On the second afternoon the leaders summed up the outcomes of the meeting in a simple statement which they named the Astrolabe Bay Declaration 

__________________________________________________

Astrolabe Bay Declaration 2016

___________________________________________________

In response to the Government’s huge focus on large scale resource extraction projects like land based and experimental seabed mining, large-scale logging, and mono-culture plantations, that boost economic growth but do not help ordinary people, resulting instead in loss of customary land, environmental destruction and lack of respect for Papua New Guinean Ways.

The Inaugural Grassroots Leaders Forum calls for a new model of development and economic activities that respect PNG Ways and support local communities. We re-assert that our customary land, which includes the sea and local cultural practices are our social safety net and more stringent protection of customary land, sea and environment is needed in order to protect our spiritual connection, which is our identity.

We assert...

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Tuesday, 26 July

04:49

Morobe Governor Hon. Kasiga Kelly Naru’s Excellent, Powerful & Historic Speech Delivered to Parliament on Friday the 22nd of July 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Kelly Naru - screenshot

Pictured: The Governor of Morobe Province, Hon. Kelly Naru delivering his excellent, powerful and historic speech to Parliament and the People of Papua New Guinea on Friday the 22nd of July 2016
_______________________________________________________________________________

PAPUA NEW GUINEA NATIONAL PARLIAMENT
MOTION FOR VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE
AGAINST THE PRIME MINISTER
HON. PETER O’NEILL
22ND JULY, 2016
SPEECH BY HON. KASIGA KELLY NARU, MP
GOVERNOR FOR MOROBE

I. INTRODUCTION

MR SPEAKER,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this motion. Before I proceed to my speech I want to quote from the Bible a statement which I believe is very instructive to all of us in the situation now we are faced with. It is from the Book of Job. Job 36: 15 “In our suffering God teaches us in our distress God opens our eyes”.

……………….

[This excellent, powerful and historic Parliamentary speech by Governor Kelly Naru has been reproduced (by being transcribed in part) after being cross-checked against the PNG Tonight video recording of the 22nd of July 2016 Parliamentary Proceedings on the historic and subsequently highly unsuccessful Vote of No Confidence (VoNC) against the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea & Member for Ialibu-Pangia, Hon. Peter O’Neill who ovewhemingly won the Vote in an outstanding 85 votes to 21; and is further based on an electronic copy of Governor Kelly Naru’s written speech.

Most of Governor Kelly Naru’s verbal speech delivered on the Floor of Parliament was published in audio visual format – found in video footage published by PNG Tonight on NBC News PNG and can found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL1tbLfj554

………………..

The Speaker of the National Parliament, Honourable Theo Zurenuoc nods towards the Governor of Morobe Province, Hon Kelly Naru and says:

“Governor of Morobe.”

The Governor of Morobe then, after opening his introduction by quoting the Bible – The Book of Jobs (Job 36: 15), says:

“Mr Speaker

What is the lesson in the suffering that we are going through that God is trying to teach us? What is the distress that we are faced with that God is trying to open our eyes to see?

Mr Speaker,

I trust my speech will assist this House and Honorable Members to seriously and critically analyze the crisis and the situation we are faced with.

The National Parliament, the National Executive and the National Judicial System comprising of our Courts; under Section 99, Subsection (3) of the Constitution it is stated, and I quote:

“In principle, the respective powers and functions of the three arms shall be kept separate from each other.” End of quote.

Mr Speaker,

This is the Constitutional basis and the source of the principle of Separation of Powers by the three arms of Government.

Under the principle of Separation of Powers there is a requirement and need for mutual respect to be maintained at all times between the three arms of the Government, and in our situation between the Judiciary and the National Parliament. In this respect, Parliament has no right to interfere with the functioning of the Courts in the discharge of their Judicial function to dispense Justice, and, Mr Speaker, likewise the Courts have no power to interfere with the way in which Parliament goes about to conduct its business.

[Members of Parliament concur, by voicing their support, approval and agreement – in concurrence with Governor Kelly Naru’s stateme...

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Monday, 25 July

03:22

00:52

Compugates ditches plans for SABL logging "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

see goh compugates

See Goh’s Compugates has decided against getting involved in illegal logging

Malaysian electronics distribution company Compugates has ditched plans for two controversial logging operations in PNG [see story below].

As we revealed in January – Malaysian company signs agreement to log illegal SABL – Compugates had signed a deal to log the 26,000 hectare Marienberg SABL in East Sepik and a further 72,000 hectares of forest in the Lower Sepik – Malaysian firm Compugates signs a second dodgy logging deal in PNG.

In both cases the proposed logging would have been illegal, the Marienberg SABL having been ruled invalid in a Commission of Inquiry and Lower Sepik Holdings not having any valid logging permit based on the informed consent of local landowners.

Compugates cancels plans for logging ventures in PNG
Source: The Star
Compugates Holdings Bhd has decided not to pursue the two logging projects in Papua New Guinea (PNG) covering areas totalling 96,000ha, for which it signed the memoranda of understanding earlier this year.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, it said this was in view of “the current cha...

00:25

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Friday, 22 July

22:37

Seabed Mining: An Invisible Land Grab "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

By Sylvia Earle, National Geographic 

Thousands of meters beneath the azure ocean waters in places like the South Pacific, down through a water column saturated with life and to the ocean floor carpeted in undiscovered ecosystems, machines the size of small buildings are poised to begin a campaign of wholesale destruction. I wish this assessment was hyperbole, but it is the reality we find ourselves in today.

A deep sea mining machine

After decades of being on the back burner owing to costs far outweighing benefits, deep sea mining is now emerging as a serious threat to the stability of ocean systems and processes that have yet to be understood well enough to sanction in good conscience their large-scale destruction.

Critical to evaluating what is at stake are technologies needed to access the deep sea. The mining company, Nautilus Minerals, has invested heavily in mining machinery. However, resources needed for independent scientific assessment at those depths are essentially non-existent.

SIGN THE PETITION: Stop experimental seabed mining in the Pacific

The layout of a mining operation

China is investing heavily in submersibles, manned and robotic, that are able to at least provide superficial documentation of what is in the deep ocean. Imagi...

01:54

Paraka for Prime Minister! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

paraka party

Lets all enjoy the double irony here – the Office of the INTEGRITY of Political Parties allows Paul Paraka, the mastermind of the K780 million Paraka Scam, to register a political party named after the GRASSROOTS people he stole the money from…

Lawyer Paul Paraka launches party

July 22,2016, 02:41 am

PAPUA New Guinean lawyer Paul Paraka yesterday announced his intention to contest the 2017 National Election as he launched his new political party – the Grassroots United Front Party.

At the Office of the Integrity of Political Party Registry, Mr Paraka and his team received their certificate, to prove the registration of the party with Registrar Alphonse Gelu and his team.

The launch of the party now brings the political parties in PNG to 34.

Initially there were 46 Parties but others were deregistered.

Mr Paraka yesterday said that he felt that at the age of 48 he has reached his pinnacle in building a little known law practice in 1994 to one of the biggest local law firms in PNG, and having given enough and so much to the PNG grassroots communities through his private legal career, he feels that the time is...

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Wednesday, 20 July

23:33

Community leaders meet on lack of development and plan for 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Around 70 community leaders are meeting in Madang this week to discuss the lack of development taking place in the Provinces and to begin organising ahead of the 2017 National Election.

The meeting has been arranged by ACT NOW! and is being hosted by the Tropical Gem community network. The theme for the meeting is "Rise Up! Return to Your Roots".

Successive governments have failed to improve the lives of most people, especially those living in rural areas and urban settlements. They have been too focused on large scale resource extraction projects like mines and logging that boost economic growth but do not help ordinary people.

There are also huge amounts of money being stolen through corruption or wasted on infrastructure projects in Port Moresby and a small elite who are becoming extremely wealthy, but for most people life just gets tougher.

Issues like the SABL land grab, experimental seabed mining and the proposed Frieda River mine show the government is not serious about implementing its own National Strategy for Responsible and Sustainable Development (StaRS) and does not understand the real meaning of development.

Economic growth that does not take care of our social needs and respect the environment is not developme...

21:40

The Road to Home to screen on Australian TV "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The Road to Home, an award-winning feature length documentary about Benny Wenda will be screening on Australian TV from this November.

An agreement has been reached with SBS’s NITV channel for the film to screen 80 times over the next 3 years. Produced and directed by British filmmaker Dominic Brown, the film includes footage from Benny’s first official overseas tour to the US, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and provides a rare insight into his campaigning work and family life.

The Road to Home is also available on DVD or online through iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and Microsoft Store.

The post The Road to Home to screen on Australian TV appeared first on Office of Benny Wenda.

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Tuesday, 19 July

09:48

With StaRS we can be smart, wise, fair and a global leader "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The National Strategy for Responsible Sustainable Development for Papua New Guinea (StaRS) offers a real opportunity for us to build a smart, wise, fair and happy society that can lead the world.

StaRS represents a fundamental shift in PNG’s 21st century planning away from a simplistic economic model based just on economic growth and resource extraction to a much more rounded and holistic development model. As such, StaRS reflects the work of the Constitutional Planning Committee and fully embraces the National Goals and Directive Principles in the Constitution.

StaRS recognises that PNG has all the assets to “reposition itself” as a regional and world leader and to set the agenda for a responsible and sustainable economic order that others will follow “rather than [being] an impoverished nation always playing catch up”. 

StaRS calls for a paradigm shift towards a sustainable zero carbon-generating ‘green’ or ‘clean’ inclusive economic growth path “aimed at strengthen PNG’s strategic positioning and economic competitiveness in the world, while at the same time contributing to a high quality and better life for all Papua New Guineans now and in the future”. 

In this model equal importance is given to the economy, social equity and environmental stewardship to ensure sustainable development that really improves people’s lives. 

In practice this means investment in renewable energy, green agriculture, sustainable fisheries and use of water resources, conservation of forests and biodiversity, cultural and ecotourism, small and medium enterprise development. 

This new app...

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Monday, 18 July

16:51

03:26

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1120 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill clearly has no intention of ever reversing the huge SABL land grab and giving the stolen land back to its customary owners.

So much for all his promises to revoke the unlawful leases, return the land to rural people and stop the illegal logging!

It is now 1,120 days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For over three years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

...

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Friday, 15 July

04:14

Justice prevails with injunction on The Opposition rejected by court – however new legal threat looms "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

carol kidu paga hill

Source: Media Stockade

The Supreme Court of New South Wales today released the full judgment of 8th July 2016, unequivocally dismissing former Papua New Guinean politician Dame Carol Kidu’s claim for a permanent injunction preventing filmmaker Hollie Fifer, Media Stockade and Beacon Films from screening the documentary The Opposition.

On 20 March 2016 Carol Kidu sought to exclude her appearance and dialogue in the film by seeking an injunction restraining the distribution of any visual or audio recording of herself or any summary, representation or description that has the effect of revealing that content. Her legal case was supported by the Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC).

The judgment reads:

When one views the extreme weaknesses of the Plaintiff’s (Dame Carol Kidu’s) claim that she did not know on and from 7 March 2012 that Ms Fifer was hoping to make a documentary for public exhibition rather than a student assignment (whatever it’s topic) the impression gained is that the Plaintiff is prepared, for her own benefit and that of PHDC to say anything to stop the footage taken of her by Ms Fifer being broadcast.

Download the full judgement (1.4MB)...

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Thursday, 14 July

23:45

Carol Kidu loses court battle to suppress documentary about Paga Hill "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Source: Heath Aston, Sydney Morning Herald 

A documentary about the forced eviction of 3000 squatters from a shanty town in Port Moresby can be shown after a court threw out a legal challenge by one of the film’s central figures, Dame Carol Kidu, the Australia-born former opposition leader of Papua New Guinea.

The Opposition delves deep into the David v Goliath battle over a slice of Papua New Guinean paradise.

In a damning finding for the revered politician, Supreme Court Justice Nigel Rein has questioned Dame Carol’s credibility as a witness and dismissed her claim that she thought she was taking part in a school assignment and did not know that novice Australian filmmaker Hollie Fifer was producing a feature documentary to be shown all over the world.

The 77-minute documentary, The Opposition, revolves around the day in 2012 when an Australian-linked company sent in bulldozers, accompanied by armed PNG police, to raze the historic shanty town on Paga Hill.

...

01:42

Govt needs to explain huge difference in mine sale prices "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Tolokuma

The Tolokuma mine, sold by the government for K80 million in November 2015, is now being traded for K670 million…

In November 2015, Petromin sold the Tolokuma mine to a foreign speculator, Singapore businessman Philip Soh Sai Kiang, for a reported K81.35 million [US$25 million]. Soh Sai Kiang acquired the mine using a Singapore registered front company, Asidokona Mining Resources.

The mine has been closed since April 2015 when Petromin shut down gold production claiming it could no longer cover the mining costs. 

At the time of the sale in November 2015, Petromin Chairman, Brown Bai said the decision was based on commercial considerations and refuted claims of ‘political overtones’. He said the Petromin Board had sole responsibility for the decision to sell. 

Mining Minister Byron Chan said the buyer, Asidokona Resources, was “reputable, committed, has integrity and capacity” (LOL).

Now, just eight months l...

00:53

Frieda river mine will blow a huge hole right through Vision 2050 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The PM and his Ministers love to trumpet Vision 2050 and how clever we are to have a long-term development plan but have they actually read and understood what it says?

Source: Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

The government says it fully supports the construction of the proposed Frieda river mega-mine [see story below] but seems oblivious to the fact such projects are wholly incompatible with Vision 2050 and the National Goals in our Constitution.

In order to be a “smart, wise, happy and healthy society” Vision 2050 says we need to move away from an economy dominated by the mining and energy sectors and “instead concentrate on the growth in manufacturing, services, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and the eco-tourism sector”.

Vision 2050 says having an economy dominated by resource extraction is not healthy and has failed to deliver sustainable development and improved livelihoods for the majority of people. The Vision says we must transition away from the current situation where large-mines and gas projects account for 80% of export revenues to a society in which they represent just 30% of gross domestic product.

To achieve that goal we need to do two things – stop the endless cycle of new mines, cutting back on the exporting of gold and other minerals and hydro-carbons, and put far more resources into other areas of the economy.

New large-scale mines like Frieda will just perpetuate a failed economic model and drive us in completely the opposite direction to Vision 2050.

According to Visio...

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Friday, 08 July

00:55

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Thursday, 30 June

12:12

Oro Rice "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Oro aspires to be producing the rice on your table in the next few years..many thanks to our Oro Rice Growers…Trukai Rice and Oro son and rice growing expert Humphrey Saese.

12:09

PART 5 OF 6: A SERIES OF ARTICLES CONTAINING IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON PNGSDP "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

On the 24th of October 2013 – more than a month after the 122.2 million cancelled shares in Ok Tedi Mining Limited were transferred, allegedly unlawfully, on the 19th of September 2013 without the knowledge and approval of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea from Insinger Trust (Singapore) Limited to TMF Trustees Singapore Limited – Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill wrote to PNGSDP Chairman & former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta regarding the termination of all Board Members of PNGSDP.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill formally advised Sir Mekere Morauta that ‘on 23 of October 2013, the National Executive Council approved the removal of all the Directors of PNGSDP and has now appointed the following Transitional team:

Chief Secretary (Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc Kt OBE);
Secretary for Treasury (Dairi Vele); and
Provincial Administrator for Western Province (Dr Modowa Gumoi)’.

At the time, Dr Modowa Gumoi with impressive educational credentials & past advisory experience to the National Government – having obtained his Doctorate from Lincoln University in New Zealand, a Diploma from Harvard University in America, a Master’s Degree from the University of New England in Australia, and an Honours Degree from UPNG in PNG – was already a Director (Ex-Officio) of OTML, having been appointed to the position on the 23rd of September 2013 less than a week after the Mining (Ok Tedi Tenth Supplemental Agreement) Act 2013 was passed by parliament.

Current Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, who graduated from Australian National University (ANU) with a degree in Economics, was appointed a Director (Ex-Officio) of OTML the following year – on the 29th of October 2014.

On the 24th of October 2013, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also wrote to the Managing Director of PNGSDP, David Sode, formally advising him that in accordance with Section 6 of the Act (of the Mining (Ok Tedi Tenth Supplemental Agreement) Act 2013) the National Executive Council, on 23 October 2013, terminated his appointment as Managing Director of the PNGSDP.

Section 6. ‘OPERATION OF PNGSDP’ under the ‘MINING (OK TEDI TENTH SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT) ACT 2013’ stipulates:

“Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any Act, the State has all necessary powers to restructure PNGSDP and its operations to ensure that PNGSDP applies its funds for the exclusive benefit of the people of Western Province.”

The then Chief Secretary to Government Sir Manasupe Zurenuouc wrote two letters to David Sode also dated 24th October 2013. In the first letter Sir Manasupe advised David Sode:

“It has come to the knowledge of Government that PNGSDP has given notice to and is retrenching up to 54 staff. The Government is strongly of the view that this is unnecessary. PNGSDP must act responsibly particularly when it clearly has a large pool of funds available to its use. The National Executive Government on 23rd October 2013, pursuant to section 6 of the Mining (Ok Tedi Tenth Supplemental Agreement) Act directed that there be no further retrenchment and that those retrenched be reinstated.”

In the second letter – regarding a new management arrangement for PNGSDP – in which the Chief Secretary made reference to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s letter also dated the 24th of October 2013 regarding the same subject matter, the Chief Secretary said: “The Management Team wish to see a smooth handover and takeover. I therefore ask your cooperation to vacate the office by close of business today to enable the Transitional Management Team to resume.”

Sir Mekere Morauta promptly responded to the Prime Minister – in a letter also dated 24th October 2013 – pointing out that PNGSDP is a ‘Singapore registered company with an agreed Memorandum and Articles of Association’.

“Your actions are entirely inconsistent with the company’s constituent documen...

12:00

PART 4 OF 6: A SERIES OF ARTICLES CONTAINING IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON PNGSDP "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

So who are all the players or key people behind the formation and operation of PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP), and were they all made aware of what transpired in Singapore on the 19th of September 2013 when the massive share transfer of 122.2 million cancelled shares took place?? How many of them approved of the massive share transfer?

In Singapore, Stacy Choong described in PNGSDP’s Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) as “Advocate & Solicitor Singapore” witnessed the signatures of “LOO LIAN EE” “(Advocate & solicitor)” and “JOHN KARL MOLINE” “(Senior International Lawyer)” in PNGSDP’s MoA. Both Loo Lian Lee and John Karl Moline provided Singaporean addresses and signed the MoA on the 19th day of October 2001 as being ‘desirous of being formed into a Company In pursuance of this Memorandum of Association’.

In Papua New Guinea, the registration of the first PNGSDP entity ‘PNG SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM LIMITED (3-44724) [Overseas]’ with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) on the 21st of December 2001 shows nine current Directors of PNGDSP who were Directors of PNGSDP at the time the massive share transfer of 122.2 million shares took place on the 19th of September 2013.

They are listed as follows:

Six Papua New Guineans: Modowa Trevor Gumoi, Leonad Wilson Fufus Kamit, Donald Wabirao Manoa, Mekere Morauta, Rex Lam Paki & David Sode. Two Australians: Philip James Bainbridge & Patricia Joy Caswell, and one Singaporean: Lim How Teck.

Eight Former Directors of PNGSDP are listed as follows:

Two Papua New Guineans: Lawrence Acanufa & Sir Ebia Olewale. Four Australians: James Joseph Carlton, David Crichton (alternate For William Broughton Smith) Frecker, Ross Gregory Garnaut & William Broughton Smith. One American: John Karl Moline & one Israeli: Jacob Weiss.

All eight former Directors of the PNGSDP were replaced long before the massive share transfer of 122.2 million shares took place on the 19th of September 2013.

The second entity PNG SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM LIMITED (90965), which was registered with the Investment Promotion Authority in PNG as a Foreign Enterprise on the 2nd of April 2003, was allocated the first registered entities company number (3-44724) as the company name registered with IPA, and shows shareholding comprised of two Bundles. These bundles are listed as follows:

‘Bundle 1 Number of shares 50 Percentage 50.00 Shareholder 1 Name Donald Wabirao (for The Indep.state Of Papua New Guinea) MANOA’.

‘Bundle 2 Number of shares 50 Percentage 50.00 Shareholder 1 Name James Joseph (for Trust For Bhp-billiton) CARLTON’.

According to Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) records:

Donald Manoa (Nationality Papua New Guinea) and James Joseph Carlton (Nationality Australia) were appointed shareholders on the 2nd of April 2003. Donald Manoa and James Joseph Carlton are also named as Directors, however IPA records for the first registered PNGSDP entity in PNG shows that James Joseph Carlton ceased being a Director on the 31st of December 2010.

Insinger Trust (Singapore) Limited was appointed Security Trustee in an agreement made with PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited (PNGSDP) otherwise known as the Program Company by virtue of a document called the ‘Equitable Mortgage of Shares’.

Clause 17 of the Equitable Mortgage of Shares Agreement stipulates that this document ‘is governed by the law in force in Papua New Guinea’ and was entered into by the Program Company (PNGSDP) and the Security Trustee (Insinger) on the 7th of February 2002.

The Equitable Mortgage of Shares was stamped and dated by the Registrar of Companies in Papua New Guinea on the 12th of February 2002. The two Charges – No: 200200857 and No: 200200858 may not have been registered in Singapore until the 21st of February 2002 – 11 days after the Charges were registered in Papua New Guinea under Papu...

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Wednesday, 29 June

13:58

12:07

Awala Primary School "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Today…I witnessed Awala Primary School Children dance with joy for their newly connected EQTV system courtesy of the Oro Provincial Government.

We merely went to see if the school had put their system in and were pleasantly surprised to see their cultural dancing and expressions of joy at their EQTV and TVWAN system that was funded by their PSIP.

Awala Primary have a sound hard working board and teachers and parents who care and provide a healthy learning environment.

I wish to mention here also the contribution of JICA who developed the EQTV System and roll out for PNG. Truly genuine partners JICA. They do their bit with very little fanfare.

Its moments like this that make the difficult times struggling to get things done for the province and people so worth it..thanks Awala Primary School.

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Sunday, 26 June

14:04

NOTICE TO ALL STUDENTS AND PARENTS OF STUDENTS AT UOG, UNITECH AND UPNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

PARLIAMENT MUST BE RECALLED!

From the assessment of situations in these 3 institutions where Oro students are currently studying, a special PEC will be convened Tuesday 26th June 2015 in Popondetta to determine what necessary and urgent steps must be taken to secure the welfare and security of our children studying there and the options for their future education and employment.

Besides repatriation, the PEC will consider engagement of students when and where possible should the academic year be cancelled and whilst they await the situation to return to normalcy.

Meanwhile my office is in touch with UOG, UOT and UPNG and we are moving to secure their safety and welfare.

The Oro Administration has been instructed to fast-track all necessary processes and work double time to expedite however we still face some delays, these are caused by some public servants who simply do not care and are inept and ineffective. We are identifying them and will be dealing with these type of obstinate and inconsiderate public servants.

I ask for calm from all students and parents and for further information please email John Duhube on jjduhubeorognvrsoffice@gmail.com. Further updates will be posted in due time.

Our hopes for the future are to develop our University the UNRE into a premium university so our students can study their courses their in safety and comfort.

Meanwhile I am calling on the Government to recall parliament. They can no longer ignore what is happening. We must debate and discuss these issues of urgency that threaten our national security. This is not politics here just common sense.

Today, we are seeing the unprecedented escalation of violence, the eruption of ethnic wars and the destruction burning and looting of public property throughout the main provinces of PNG. Something is terribly wrong. What is the solution?

Parliament MUST be recalled.

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Saturday, 25 June

13:55

League Leader and Legend "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

I caught up briefly with Kumul legend Arnold Krewanty, a true leader. I always enjoy discussions with Arnold and hearing about how League is progressing.

He is always well spoken, always professional and always working.

A lot of great work is being done by Kumul legends like Arnold Krewanty and many others who are promoting league and opening career doors for many of our potential league players overseas and here.

Arnolds’ enthusiasm, hardwork ethic and dedication is truly inspiring and reflects the true spirit of selfless dedication that is the hallmark of true leadership…you don’t need to be elected to be a leader…Arnold is living proof..

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Wednesday, 22 June

15:08

Email Pmfcpng@gmail.com "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Registration forms and party constitution ready for interested Papua New Guineans.

LAND and PEOPLE…our true resources…today, we are in grave danger of losing our land…if this happens we are lost as a people…our dreams of today will be our childrens nightmare tomorrow…

Today PNG is in the grip of transnational criminals that control much of the political landscape…they have compromised our mechanisms designed to protect us and have rendered them useless to us and have converted them for their use to facilitate their plunder of our economy…

Today while we struggle to save a toea and are anxious about our children’s tomorrow..they funnel their illgotten tax free proceeds of crime profit to overseas banks…

These compromised Government entities no longer are capable of giving us quality services…they are no longer able to protect and promote our interests…they cannot protect our jobs and business opportunities…

What type of future are we leaving out children if they have no decent jobs and no opportunities?

What hope do they have of we allow that hope to be crushed by transnational criminals and their elected puppets who betray our beloved Papua New Guinea?

Yes indeed, what will be our childrens tomorrow?

Will they be in charge of their own economy and determine their own future or will they be subservient slaves struggling to generate profits for the transnational criminals that have taken over our economy with the help of those who have been elected to protect PNG but are instead selling it out?

Only you can decide that. Only you – can determine their future.

Here is the opportunity to fight for our jobs..our opportunities…our economy and our future…to fight for PNG…our PNG…a PNG we should leave firmly in control of the hands of our chi...

13:54

Free Trade Agreements "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

They are called FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS…because we give them free access to our resources and our economy…this means resources…jobs…businesses…what is not included in these agreements are the substantial difficulties and obstacles for reciprocation…in other words..no access to their markets and their economies…well except to pick fruit..

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Monday, 20 June

15:21

Reform is Required "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The changes recommended by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Services Reform to the Government in order to modernize the public service machinery and make it a more accountable effective system promoting good governance and transparency stagnate and collect dust in Cabinet…meanwhile..Members have two choices..try to do things the right way and be delayed at nearly every process needing public service effort or break the law and be forced to circumvent most of the procurement laws simply to get anything done and thus be often seen running around like project managers delivering projects and diverted from their true functions as legislators.

The outdated and defunct public service system simply does not function effectively. I am sure we all agree.

Even the most capable public servants are unable to get much done. They often leave frustrated for greener pastures or are cast aside by public serpents who have found loopholes in the system that allows them to crawl in and occupy key positions and work for themselves at the expense of the people. These sinister public serpents enter through nepotism or fraud and push out genuine hardworking public servants.

The system is designed it seems to fail in delivery and promote bureaucratic red tape that sees substantial public funds misapplied, misused and diverted elsewhere. Good efforts are NOT rewarded and bad officers are NOT punished.

This situation creates a chaotic environment where very little is actually achieved by elected leaders or the administration.

It is why I proposed the reforms and had the Special Committee created and nominated Bire Kimisopa to be the Chair. I am the Deputy. I could not be the Chair because the laws on parliamentary committees do not allow for a Governor to be Chair of a Committee. Regardless, under Hon. Kimisopa, the Committee consisting of Hon. JOE LELANG, HON. GOVERNOR Sasindran Muthuvel, HON. MERA KIPEFA, HON. PHILLIP UNDIYALU has don...

14:41

Djoko Tjandra "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

To date…Criminal Fugitive Djoko Tjandras suspect citizenship remains uninvestigated…justice in PNG is selective..there are those who have the means to deter, defer or delay its delivery….with just a little help….from their friends…

Gary Juffa – June 19, 2014 ·

IS A COVER UP LOOMING?

Can the new Attorney General Ano PALA guarantee that his association with long time friend and INDONESIAN fugitive Djoko Tjandra will NOT adversely influence his tabling of the recently completed report into the matter of Djoko Tjandra completed by former AG Kerenga Kua? According to reliable sources the report recommends that TJANDRA’s PNG passport be cancelled, his citizenship be revoked and he be extradited to INDONESIA.

Will this happen now under new AG ANO PALA?

We shall see…

14:21

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Saturday, 18 June

23:41

We Are Sold "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

PNG plunges headfirst into a financial crisis…its people face an uncertain and anxious future…costs rise and basic services are threatened…

Papua New Guineans blame one another and their Government who in turn blames international commodity price slumps…the tension has resulted in bloody demonstrations and bitter and violent hostility amongst Papua New Guineans..

Meanwhile a cartel of transnational criminals are still bleeding the nation dry..operating virtually at whim and will…

Unmolested and undetected, these sinister and clever entities have escaped the imagination of ordinary Papua New Guineans by manipulating a system ineffective in protecting the peoples monies… evading taxes…using clever transfer pricing mechanisms and keeping proceeds of payments offshore…proceeds of inflated Government contracts cleverly secured through international loans, proceeds of timber and fish, proceeds of products highly inflated -two to even three times the actual true book value and some of these highly priced “assets” are even second hand discards…the cartel is a well oiled giant money milking machine..

An Israeli firm, a Pakistani businessman, a Malaysian logging giant..a Chino Filipino fishing giant…are some of the examples…and they all continue unfazed..while a nation reels and totters…its people dying in unrecorded numbers in rural PNG from lack of basic services…

Why should they care..? Their families and that of their puppet facilitators are feeding well..their bank accounts are healthy…their options vast…

Yes, these entities are still making money hand over fist unabated.

…genuine companies who pay their taxes and follow the law hoping for a level playing field suffer and consider the prospect of scaling down costs..laying off staff..even selling off assets and…shutting shop..

Many small PNG businesse...

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Thursday, 16 June

00:42

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Thursday, 09 June

14:21

My Restless May "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Herman Wainggai talks about his trips to New York and Los Angeles and the meetings he’d attended. Interview in PNG Pijin and English subtitles – Ignore the errors. The month of May (2016) a really month for me. I traveled from Washington, D.C to New York City where I attended the UN Permanent Forum on...

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Friday, 03 June

23:37

Indonesia is trying to plant a time bomb and stir up conflict in West Papua but we will stay peaceful "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

In the last month the world has seen a huge growth of international solidarity for West Papua’s freedom as we launched a truly historic meeting at the British parliament in Westminster calling for an Internationally Supervised Vote to peacefully determine the future of the West Papuan people. Now there are entire nation states who are actively supporting the people of West Papua and our fundamental right to self-determination. However this international surge has fueled intense hatred and fear by the Indonesian government and the Indonesian military who have begun to stir up conflict are believed to be actively encouraging violent Indonesian militia groups to burn the West Papuan flag and cause as much disrespect to to West Papuan culture and the West Papuan people as possible. In fact today it is reported that a West Papuan mother and her friend were beaten up by these violent militia just for asking what they were doing.

Indonesians burning the West Papuan flag

Now that international solidarity for West Papua is reaching new heights and still growing every day, the Indonesian authorities have shown their true fear by trying as hard as they can to stir up more conflict and bloodshed in West Papua; trying to provoke our peaceful pro-Independence movement by burning West Papuan flags and demonizing our leaders and supporters. The vast majority of these militia responsible are Indonesian migrants who it is believed are being actively encouraged by the Indonesian government, military, police and intelligence services to cause violence and chaos.

Last month it is estimated that over 2500 West Papuan people were arrested for demonstrating peacefully to call for our fundamental right to self-determination and freedom. We do not burn the Indonesian flag and do not cause violence yet why is it that when violent Indonesian militia groups rampage through West Papua, burning our national flag and beating West Papuan people, they get away with total impunity?

Indonesian militia burning the West Papuan flag

This is exactly what the Indonesian government did in Timor-Leste (East Timor) during the illegal occupation of the country. The world is well aware of the horrors these Indonesian militias committed against the people of East Timor, killing hundreds of people in the name of Indonesian sovereignty.

Therefore I appeal to all the people in West Papua, not to be provoked by these cowardly actions of the Indonesian militia and not to retaliate but to focus on our peaceful struggle and belief that freedom will come soon. We West Papuans have a proud history and proud culture of peacefully struggling for West Papua’s Independence. We are not struggling for revenge but for freedom. Therefore if Indonesia reacts with violence we will not respond back with violence. No matter what, we will continue to remain peaceful and never turn to violence. The world is watching us and they are certainly impressed with and su...

23:36

05:55

PART 3 OF 6: A SERIES OF ARTICLES CONTAINING IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON PNGSDP "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

In his affidavit, dated 27th October 2013, filed in the High Court of the Republic of Singapore, the then and current Chairman of PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP), Sir Mekere Morauta, described the Plaintiff PNGSDP as “a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee incorporated and domiciled in Singapore, and is registered and operating in Papua New Guinea as an overseas company”.

PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP), originally incorporated in Singapore on the 20th of October 2001, was initially registered in Papua New Guinea as an overseas company on the 21st of December 2001 under the Companies Act 1997 and later registered as a Foreign Enterprise in Papua New Guinea on the 2nd of April 2003.

On the 20th of November 2001, around one month after PNGSDP was incorporated in Singapore and around two months before PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) was registered in PNG on the 21st of December 2001 – an attorney called Gary T Evans signed a Share Transfer Form in the presence of ‘D C Frecker’ effectively transferring 122.2 million Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) shares (which were purportedly originally bequeathed by BHP Billiton to PNGSDP) from PNGSDP to Insinger Trust (Singapore) Limited.

D C Frecker (full name: David Crichton Frecker) an Australian was appointed a Director of PNGSDP on the 7th of February 2002 and ceased being a Director of PNGSDP on the 22nd of February 2002. He was named as an ‘alternate’ for another Australian, William Broughton Smith, who was appointed a Director of PNGSDP on the 21st of December 2001 but ceased being a Director of PNGSDP on the 20th of May 2002.

Basically PNGSDP was BHP’s escape clause enacted when the Morauta Government passed the Ok Tedi Mine Continuation Ninth Supplemental Agreement Act 2001 (“Ninth Supplemental Agreement Act”) in December 2001. PNGSDP was set up specifically to enable BHP to withdraw from Ok Tedi Mining Limited (the mine) without incurring or facing any risk of liability of potentially having to pay possibly hundreds of billions in dollars in compensation to Ok Tedi landowners or to the people of pollution affected parts of Western Province in Papua New Guinea.

One estimate of the potential cost of compensation payable to Ok Tedi landowners over a 50 year period for environmental damage amounts to more than 350 Billion Dollars.

In an article published on the 9th of April 2002 by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), writer Will Marshall reported:

“Facing the possibility of legal liabilities amounting to billions of dollars due to environmental damage, BHP-Billiton secured a deal from the PNG government that indemnifies the company against all future compensation claims.”

“The PNG parliament passed legislation last December to rubberstamp an agreement to “discharge the Company, BHP, the Company’s Shareholders… from all and any demands and claims arising directly or indirectly from the operation of the Mine”. This cleared the way for the company, formerly the Australian-owned BHP, to hand over its 52 percent shareholding to a new entity, PNG Sustainable Development Program (PSDP), [PNGSDP] which the PNG government will effectively control.”

It was alleged:

“BHP dumped 80,000 tons of tailings (rock waste) containing copper, zinc, cadmium and lead directly into the Fly and Ok Tedi Rivers every day for two decades. This has ruined the lands of thousands of subsistence farmers, poisoned some 2,000 square kilometres of forest, polluted the Ok Tedi River and contaminated a section of the Fly River, PNG’s second biggest river system, severely depleting fishing stocks. According to a number of experts, the damage will continue for lifetimes.”

“The mine’s operating company, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML), admitted that compensation claims for acid rock drainage—caused when micro-organisms act on rock waste to create acids—...

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Sunday, 29 May

12:27

PART 2 OF 6: A SERIES OF ARTICLES CONTAINING IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON PNGSDP "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

“This is seriously the greatest injustice of the 21st century,” a source claimed last year when commenting on the massive share transfer of 122.2 million Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) shares which purportedly took place at 11.27am on the morning of the 19th of September 2013 in Singapore – on the same date that the ‘MINING (OK TEDI TENTH SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT) ACT 2013’ was certified in Port Moresby after it was passed the previous day on the 18th of September 2013 by an absolute majority in accordance with the Papua New Guinea Constitution by the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.

The massive share transfer was effected allegedly unlawfully the day after the Independent State of Papua New Guinea had already decreed that “(a) all ordinary shares held by PNGSDP in the share capital of OTML shall be cancelled and cease to exist; and (b) 122,200,000 new, fully paid ordinary shares in the share capital of OTML free of any encumbrance, charge or equitable interest shall be issued to the State.”

In particular by virtue of laws contained in the Mining (Ok Tedi Tenth Supplemental Agreement) Act 2013, passed on the 18th of September 2013 by the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea in accordance with the Constitution, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ‘has all necessary powers to restructure PNGSDP and its operations to ensure that PNGSDP applies its funds for the exclusive benefit of the people of Western Province’. BHP Billiton Ltd’s immunity from prosecution was also removed, and the charge (mortgage) held over the 122.2 million shares was voided.

HOWEVER, the very day after the Mining (Ok Tedi Tenth Supplemental Agreement) Act 2013 was passed and on the very day the Act was certified, an attorney by the name of Carolyn Mary Parkes – at 11.27am on the morning of 19th of September 2013 – purportedly effected the transfer of 122.2 million shares previously held by mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd in Ok Tedi Mining Limited by purportedly transferring 122.2 million shares from Insinger Trust (Singapore) Limited to TMF Trustees Singapore Limited in front of a witness called ‘Lim Xue Nuo’ in Singapore.

[See copy of the share transfer attached]

Share Transfer Form - TMF Trustees Singapore

What may indeed become the greatest injustice of the 21st century to the people of pollution affected parts of Western Province in Papua New Guinea is if “the fight” still being fought out, so to speak, between the Plaintiff and the Defendants in the High Court of the Republic of Singapore, is ever completely lost and the ultimate losers ever become the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the Ok Tedi landowners. But that won’t ever happen – not whilst Peter O’Neill is the Prime Minister of PNG.

The fight, which Sir Mekere Morauta the Chairman of PNGSDP publicly claimed PNGSDP did not start but was in actual fact instigated by PNGSDP under the Chairmanship of Sir Mekere Morauta against the Independent State of PNG and 3 other defendants, is basically a legal fight started by Sir Mekere Morauta over the ownership, control & operation of PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited involving supposedly ‘more than USD1.46 Billion’ in assets – believed to have included the value of 122.2 million shares originally held by BHP Billiton Ltd in Ok Tedi Mining Limited. [Refer to Part 1 of this 6 part series of articles.]

It’s a complex issue, however this issue can be broken down or simplified by asking: Where’s the money that is supposedly held in trust overseas on behalf of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the people of pollution affected parts of Western Province in Papua New Guinea through the PNGSDP?

Is there ‘K2 billion funds parked in Singapore’ as rep...

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Monday, 23 May

15:31

The 2016 – United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Every year since 2007, the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous people holds meetings to discuss issues that are important to indigenous people of the world. It is an opportunity for us West Papuans to express our views and concerns, and to remind the United Nations of what happened more than five decades ago in West...

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Friday, 20 May

14:23

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Wednesday, 18 May

11:05

PART 1 OF 6: A SERIES OF ARTICLES CONTAINING IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON PNGSDP "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

“I write to you with malice or prejudice,” the member for Sumkar Open, Ken Fairweather, said in his “memo” (“RE: AN OPEN MEMO RE: PNGSDP”) addressed to Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta.

Presumably the member for Sumkar Open meant ‘without’ malice or prejudice.

In his memo dated 20th April 2016, published in PNG’s oldest daily newspaper the Post Courier, the Sumkar Open member also said:

“Gentlemen if you come together in the interest of PNG and not frozen in on [a] ego boxing match. You can help the economic [sic] and forex can be assisted by simply moving US$$1 billion (sic) to the set up for, central bank then on the (sic) lend their funds to other banks.”

“Surely, this is easily done by lawyers to protect all parties to protect funds, 10 minutes work. This way you will both be seen as real statesmen as you will have shown harmony in the countries time of economic need.”

In response to the Sumkar Open members memo, Sir Mekere Morauta, a Director and the Chairman of PNG Sustainable Fund Limited (PNGSDP), replied through an article headlined ‘Morauta: K2 billion PNGSDF correct’ published by the Post Courier on the 4th of May 2016, in which the Post Courier reported:

“THE solution to the issue highlighted by Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather on the K2 billion funds parked in Singapore is straight forward, says former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta.”

“Sir Mekere said in a statement yesterday that what Mr Fairweather highlighted in the newspaper advertisement about the PNG Sustainable Development Funds was straightforward.”

“Sir Mekere said PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd is, as always, ready to resolve the issues between the company and the State.”

The Post Courier quoted Sir Mekere Morauta in the article as saying:

“PNGSDP did not start the fight. PNGSDP cannot on its own stop it. It will take a genuine effort on the part of the State.”

Further on this issue, according to the Post Courier:

“He said that the solution was straightforward:

• The Prime Minister withdraws from the Singapore litigation;

• The Prime Minister and BHP Billiton Ltd jointly agree to change
the definition of Mine Closure in PNGSDP’s Program Rules to trigger the flow and expenditure of the Long Term Fund by PNGSDP; and

• The Prime Minister ceases his attacks on and interference in PNGSDP, with the State signing a legal agreement to that effect.

Sir Mekere said that when these three steps are met, PNGSDP will be able to transfer some money to PNG and recommence its sustainable development program.”

Whether or not Sir Mekere Morauta is correct to have stated that “PNGSDP did not start the fight” may be debatable, since PNGSDP under his Chairmanship started the fight by commencing legal proceedings against the Independent State of PNG (1st Defendant) in the High Court of Singapore, and against 3 other Defendants namely: Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc (2nd Defendant), Secretary for Treasury Dairi Vele (3rd Defendant), and Provincial Administrator for Western Province Dr Modowa Gumoi (4th Defendant).

Furthermore, since the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is not named as a Defendant in the “Singapore litigation” instigated by PNGSDP, it could be considered misleading to suggest that the “Prime Minister withdraws from the Singapore litigation” as one of 3 steps to enable PNGSDP “to transfer some money to PNG and recommence its sustainable development program”.

It’s the other way around. The onus is on PNGSDP as the instigator of the legal proceedings to withdraw the “Singapore litigation” against the State and the 3 other Defendants.

How much is “some money”, anyway?

Did Sir Mekere Morauta in actual fact state that there is ‘K2 billion funds parked in Singapore’?

Is the figure of ‘K2 Billion correct’ as published in the Post Courier headline?

...

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Saturday, 14 May

13:16

Benny Wenda documentary wins film award "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The Road to Home, a feature length documentary about Benny Wenda, has been awarded ‘Best Documentary Feature’ at the 2016 Amsterdam Film Festival, in their Van Gogh Awards.

The festival celebrates films that capture both the artistry and progressive nature of world cinema today. Created to recognize and award films that have potential to move audiences and change perceptions, the Amsterdam Film Festival is devoted to filmmakers whose quest is self-expression and communication.

Filmed over a two year period by British filmmaker Dominic Brown, The Road to Home provides a rare insight into the life and work of Benny Wenda as he works to bring about the liberation of his people from the colonial rule of Indonesia.

The Road to Home is available on DVD or online through iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and Microsoft Store.

The post Benny Wenda documentary wins film award appeared first on...

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Thursday, 31 March

07:48

Is Indonesia Changing Direction? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo appears to be using his improving political strength and popularity to introduce much needed economic reforms. A few days ago, my professor forwarded me a web link and asked me to check it out. I did. The title on the web page caught my eyes: “Is Indonesia Changing Direction”. It was...

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Friday, 18 March

17:31

The Fate of Dr. Thom Wainggai – by Herman Wainggai "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

For more than three years, Dr. Thom – a respected lecturer and West Papuan leader – was held in Waena military base in Jayapura, West Papua. In a space of four years, he went from being a Fulbright scholar, a lecturer, a respectable leader of West Papua to a political prisoner, treated as a dangerous...

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Saturday, 12 March

19:41

Remembering Dr. Thom Wainggai on the day he left us – March 12 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

28 years ago, I stood at the Mandala stadium in Jayapura in awe as if I was in a scene of a violent war movie. It was not a soccer event, rather it was the day I witnessed the beginning of the end of one of my heroes – a man revered by many, Dr....

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Friday, 26 February

06:32

West Papua Today – my speech "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

My deepest desire is an independent West Papua – Herman Wainggai Thank you for the opportunity to address you today. I appreciate the chance to share what is in my heart and also something of the experience of my people in my own country. I am committed to my people’s struggle for self-determination – the...

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Wednesday, 17 February

18:39

MSG chair on tour of Melanesia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Updated at 5:50 pm on 18 February 2016, Radio NZ The chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and prime minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, has embarked on a tour of Melanesia. Mr Sogavare arrived in Vanuatu for the first leg of a tour which will also take him to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and […]

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Monday, 08 February

14:08

PNG government to review West Papuans’ refugee claims "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The Papua New Guinea government is currently reviewing asylum claims by over 1,000 West Papuans and beginning a registration of all West Papuans living in PNG, many of whom have been there for decades without full refugee status or citizenship.

There are over 10,000 West Papuan refugees currently living in Papua New Guinea who throughout history have been mainly forgotten by the outside world.

Watch national EMTV News’ report on the granting of PNG citizenship for West Papuan refugees here

Radio New Zealand also reported on the news that West Papuan refugees were due to be granted PNG citizenship. Free West Papua Campaign PNG Coordinator, Mr Fred Mambrasar was interviewed by Radio New Zealand and urged the PNG government to help give him and other West Papuan refugees living in limbo some certainty on refugee status. Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Fred Mambrasar said “Sometime the government tok yes we grantem citizenship but only for some people. but like me and other West Papua, not yet.”

The thousands of West Papuan refugees living in PNG are in need of full PNG citizenship and political support as they continue tell our Melanesian brothers and sisters about the ongoing genocide and illegal occupation of West Papua where over 500,000 Melanesians have b...

12:29

West Papuans Call on Christians To Pray for Peace for West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

On February 5th 2016, West Papuans refugees from across Port Moresby held a candlelit church service to commemorate 161 years to the day since Christian missionaries first arrived in West Papua.

They sang West Papuan songs and prayed for unity and the hope for West Papua’s freedom.

Watch EMTV’s report on the service here

In an interview with EMTV News, West Papuan Matthew Hosor said

“We have a God, he has given us this land. Yes we are under Indonesia now but we must not stop believing that our time will time. Whenever it may be.”

He went onto say

“It is One People, One Soul. That is part of our motto, our West Papua motto. We are fighting for our freedom, our self-determination, our Independence.”

The post West Papuans Call on Christians To Pray for Peace for West Papua appeared first on Free West Papua Campaign PNG.

12:08

West Papua Warriors Rugby League team raise awareness for West Papua and win first international match "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

West Papua Warriors rugby league team

The West Papua Warriors celebrating after beating the Philippines national rugby league team, the Tamaraws, 54-8.

The new Rugby League Team, the West Papua Warriors has played and won their first international match against the Philippines National team, the Tamaraws!

The West Papua Warriors was set up in Papua New Guinea last year and is made up of West Papuans and supportive Papua New Guineans determined to raise awareness about West Papua’s freedom struggle though the power of sport.

The team has received overwhelming support from fans around the world and on 5th February played their first international match in Sydney, Australia. The match was a resounding success for the West Papua Warriors who beat the Philippines Tamaraws 54-8 with a great turnout of Free West Papua supporters.

According to Radio New Zealand, team captain Tala Kami said the day and game couldn’t have gone any better and said the team has also been invited to compete in the USA.

“That was actually the first 13-a-side match this group of boys played together. We were a bit nervous before going onto the field, because we hadn...

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Monday, 01 February

15:37

Manifesto: Free West Papua Party of Australia’s National Leadership Team "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Manifesto (What We Believe) The sole objective of Free West Papua Party of Australia (FWPP) is to activate Australia to support freedom and independence to West Papua. The following points state what the FWPP believes and stands for. 1. The Indonesian Military along with global corrupt governments, and associated transnational companies, are supporting the oppression […]

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Sunday, 24 January

06:55

West Papua Weekly update⋅January 15, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Civil Resistance in West Papua Center for Research on Globalization West Papua is a secret story. On the western half of the island of New Guinea, hidden from the world, in a place occupied by the Indonesian military … The Struggle for Merdeka in West Papua – Scoop.co.nz (press release) Papuans Will See The Morning Star […]

06:54

West Papua Weekly update⋅January 22, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

US ambassador concerned about West Papua abuses Radio New Zealand Fresh from a trip to West Papua, the United States Ambassador to Indonesia reportedly expressed concern about human rights abuses in the country’s … Flag as irrelevant     Plan to set up West Papua office here Solomon Star A member of the Solomon Islands Solidarity […]

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Tuesday, 19 January

15:42

West Papuan youth tortured by the Indonesian police in Nabire "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

West Papuan youth tortured by Indonesian police in Nabire-page-001We have just received urgent news from occupied West Papua that another West Papuan youth has been reportedly arrested, beaten and tortured by the Indonesian police. According to the report, West Ppauan student Eli Anouw was arrested without clear reason in the Nabire regency and was then beaten and tortured by the Indonesian police. He was taken to the Indonesian police station and is apparently still in police custody to this day.

We fully condemn this heinous Indonesian police brutality and we call on the Indonesian police responsible to be brought to justice and for Eli Anouw to be given the full medical treatment that he deserves,

Such brutal cases highlight further calls for a high level Pacific Islands Forum Fact Finding Mission to be sent to West Papua in order to expose and detail these ongoing human rights abuses.

The continued reports and evidence of ongoing and systematic torture by the Indonesian security forces against West Papuans is beginning to show the world the real situation in West Papua. The Indonesian government cannot continue to hide their litany of torture, rape and murder in occupied West Papua; the world is finding out the truth.

To find out more about how you can help th...

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Tuesday, 29 December

00:43

Benny Wenda responds to the Indonesian government, “West Papua will never be part of Indonesia.” "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Office of Benny Wenda

Dear everyone,

On Monday 21st December, the Indonesian Defence and Foreign Ministers met with the Australian Defence and Foreign Ministers in Sydney and warned Australia and other countries to “respect its sovereignty over West Papua”.

Not only that but also they boasted about strengthening military ties with Australia, on the very same day that 22 year old West Papuan Marvel Doga was shot dead by the Indonesian military for protesting against a palm oil company. Such state killings and brutality are always the only ‘Christmas presents’ we West Papuans get from the Indonesian government.

What is there to be proud of for killing youths that challenge the corporations destroying their land?

...

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Friday, 25 December

05:55

We wish you a Merry Christmas – from the East Coast "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

We hope your holiday is filled with plenty of warmth, love, cheer, and happiness. Merry Christmas to you and your families where ever you are in this world. May we take this important day to remember those in captivity, especially our friends in prisons across Indonesia – those who will spend this Christmas behind bars...

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Monday, 14 December

04:43

The day I became a political prisoner "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

It’s been a long journey, I can’t find the words, only dreaming of freedom. I need your voice to break the silence. After 25 five years of my involvement in our struggle for independence, West Papua is still under the grip of colonialism. Our beautiful home is still one of the most militarized territories in...

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Sunday, 13 December

18:52

Free West Papua Campaign PNG Coordinator interviewed by Radio Australia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Following the actions of Free West Papua Campaign – PNG on International Human Rights Day, FWPC PNG coordinator, Fred Mambrasar was interviewed by Caroline Tiriman on Radio Australia’s Tok Pisin service on the importance of the PNG government giving citizenship to all West Papuan refugees as they said they would.

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE

He said that although there was much talk about PNG citizenship being given to West Papuans on paper, there was still much to be done in reality. There are now over 10,000 West Papuan refugees living in Papua New Guinea and some of then have been here for over 40 years.

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Saturday, 12 December

14:57

Reported massacre in Yapen – “Indonesia is committing a secret genocide in West Papua” "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda has written this statement on International Human Rights Day about the deaths of up to 4 West Papuan villagers in Yapen who were shot by the Indonesian military and police for raising the West Papuan flag on 1st December 2015. Benny Wenda is available for media inquiries: Email office@bennywenda.org, Telephone +44 7411 053 953

Office of Benny Wenda

Dear everyone,

I am full of grief to learn reports that 4 more West Papuan people were killed and 8 more shot in cold blood by the Indonesian military and police in Yapen last week. According to recent reports, on 1st December the Indonesian military raided Wanampompi village in the Angkaisera district on Yapen Island. The villagers were simply raising the West Papuan national flag and peacefully commemorating West Papua National Day, which is marked internationally with a Global Flag Raising. But while hundreds of people around the world were able to freely raise the West Papuan flag and show their support for West Papua’s freedom, West Papuans were arrested beaten and killed just for doing so.

...

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Friday, 11 December

20:45

West Papua Warriors set to make history in first International Match "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The Port Moresby based rugby league team, the West Papua Warriors are set to make history in January by being the first International Team representing West Papua and the freedom struggle. They will play their first international match in Brisbane, Australia against the Philippines national team, the Tamaraws.

The West Papua Warriors is a rugby league team made up of Papua New Guineans and West Papuans dedicated to promoting the West Papuan freedom struggle through sport.

Watch EMTV’s news report on the team below

“Team official, Richard Marjen, believes the team’s biggest strength is their passion for the West Papuan Cause. He says, unlike other rugby reams, the management has a different approach towards the players to keep them motivated.”

“Captain, Tala Kami, has appealed to the public that if they wish to sponsor their game next month, to contact the team on the ‘West Papua Warriors’ Facebook page or email westpapuawarriors@gmail.com”

We hope all our b...

00:23

Free West Papua Campaign PNG marches on Human Rights Day "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day and Free West Papua Campaign – Papua New Guinea organised a Free West Papua march to Boroko, ending up in the EMTV Studios. West Papuans from FWPC PNG were interviewed about the rights of our people, including for the more than 10,000 West Papuan refugees currently living in PNG.

Along with other West Papuans, Free West Papua Campaign Coordinator, Mr Fred Mambrasar said “As I’m speaking I don’t know what my status is. The talk about refugee status in PNG is all about the refugee centre in Manus. What about us?”

Video below

According to the Government Immigration Department, over 2700 West Papuan refugees have been interviewed for PNG citizenship and out of this, the first bat

Free West Papua Campaign PNG was also interviewed about the continuing human rights abuses and genocide being committed by the Indonesian authorities in occupied West Papua. One West Papuan interviewed said

“In Papua, we remember our mothers and young women who have been killed raped and abused.”

We continue to appeal for advocacy and investigation about West Papua from the media in PNG, as well as the government, civil society and most importantly, all our wantoks and brothers and sisters, the peopl...

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Thursday, 10 December

11:04

West Papuans in PNG mourn on Anniversary of Paniai Massacre "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

2 days ago, West Papuans mourned the Anniversary of the Paniai Massacre, remembering 8th December 2014 when 5 West Papuan children, were shot dead and 17 others injured by the Indonesian military.

 

A West Papuan who took part in this Mourning ceremony said “With one heart, we young West Papuans abroad in PNG light candles, hold hands and pray for the 5 Papuan students who were shot in Paniai on 8th December 2014. Hopefully there will be justice for them.” 

There has been still no justice after the cold blooded murder of these 5 children who were killed mercilessly with 17 others injured when the Indonesian military opened fire on a peaceful demonstration.

To find out more about the Paniai Massacre, please watch this video made by Minority Rights Group International
Please note, some people may find this footage distressing 

The Free West Papua Campaign continues to stand with Minority Rights Group International, Amnesty International and others in demanding that a full and thorough investigation be held into the massacre and that full justice be carried delivered. We demand an end to all human rights violations in West Papua and a withdrawal of the Indonesian military.

We ask people...

07:05

The Unbreakable Melanesian Arrow – Herman Wainggai "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Click here to view the movie – Morning Star TV Editor: My thoughts about the project After five months or so working on this project, this is what we came up with. The clip may not be perfect; the audio quality ain’t that good, but the message is there… the most important aspect of the...

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Monday, 30 November

19:14

December 1st – is more than a flag-raising day! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Your browser does not support the video tag. Unable to view the clip? Click here to report to us…. Apologize for the audio quality. Less than 24 hours and December 1 will be here – the countdown for the anniversary of the raising of the Morning Star flag has begun. However, I want you to...

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Friday, 06 November

00:17

HOOD LAGOON COMMUNITY BENEFIT FROM JETTY PROJECT – THANKS TO ANO PALA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

HOOD Lagoon community in Rigo, Central Province, have welcomed the construction of a new K5 million jetty project. Work on the project began late last month. Hood Lagoon comprising of three villages of Keapara, Alukuni and Karawa were thankful of their local member and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Ano Pala, for the initiative. They […]

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Monday, 02 November

00:42

JUFFA: STABILITY vs JUSTICE – YOU CHOOSE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Stability vs Justice Stability is the excuse the weak will use because they fear for themselves more then they care for others enough to demand Justice…. No Ghandi didn’t say that nor did Martin Luther King, I did because it is relevant here and today. You may sleep well and claim that all is fine […]

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Thursday, 29 October

05:19

PNG WARN OF LOOMING ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL STORM – Sir MEKERE MORAUTA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Media Statement by Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta Port Moresby 29 October 2015 Papua New Guinea needs to take urgent action to save itself from a looming economic and financial storm, former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. Sir Mekere, an economist and former head of Treasury, the Bank of Papua New Guinea and […]

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Wednesday, 28 October

23:12

JUFFA: VONC IS NOT ABOUT CHANGING GOVERNMENT, ITS ABOUT SAVING OUR FUTURE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Many have succumbed their fate to a future of subservience and misery…they have accepted their future as designed by an uncaring and selfish Government hellbent on selling PNG to sinister foreign interests and their puppets….ask yourself… Why has the Government failed to prepare for this El Nino a disaster that is costing lives every day? […]

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Monday, 07 September

04:35

PNG blocks Benny Wenda’s visa bid again – open Pacific plea for West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

17:47 September 4, 2015 Pacific Scoop: Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk West Papua independence leader Benny Wenda’s visa application for entering Papua New Guinea has again been rejected and he has been left unable to travel to Port Moresby for the Pacific leaders summit next week. This shock visa rejection comes […]

04:17

West Papua activist Benny Wenda leaves Papua New Guinea after ‘visa issue’, government says "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

ABC News, By Liam Fox Updated 26 Mar 2015, 5:21pm Photo: West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda. (AFP) Related Story: Deportation order against West Papua activist delayed Map: Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea’s government says a prominent West Papuan activist has been flown out of the country because he was travelling without a visa. […]

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Sunday, 06 September

22:20

The 46th Pacific Islands Leaders meeting Agenda "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Pacific Peoples Agenda on Saturday, 05 Sep 2015 by Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby The 46th Pacific Islands Leaders meeting is expected to be different from previous meetings. Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, said critical issues that will be discussed are people driven. “These issues are […]

21:50

Polye: Discuss West Papua in Pacific Islands Forum "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

on Sunday, 06 Sep 2015. By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby Opposition Leader, Don Polye has called on all Pacific leaders to discuss the fight for West Papua’s Freedom in the 46th Pacific Island Forum scheduled to start tomorrow. Polye said West Papuans have been striving for self-determination for a long time and […]

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Tuesday, 01 September

22:05

O’Niell Speaks Out on West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill did something remarkable last Thursday. In a wide-ranging policy speech at a leadership summit in Port Moresby, he acknowledged the oppression of the people of West Papua. It was the first time an incumbent prime minister of Papua New Guinea has spoken directly about the rights of West […]

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Thursday, 02 July

03:47

Gen. Mathias Wenda: Thank you to All Melanesian Leaders "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

General WPRA Mathias Wenda, from Remote Jungles of New Guinea, hereby would like to thank all leaders of Melanesia States: The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, the Prime Minister of Fiji and the Leader of Kanak peoples for their full support for West […]

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Thursday, 19 June

18:04

The curse of money politics in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

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 Narokobi’s 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 one’s 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 government’s 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 let’s face it this case is partly about that…the assumption is that public funds were laundered through a law firm’s accounts to be able to be used by a party for gaining office for funding campaigns and winning over other parties and independents…and 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 game…these 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


Filed under: Corruption, Crime, Papua New Guinea, POLITICS Tagged: Cash, Corruption, Papua New Guinea, Paul Barker, png ...

16:53

Why the Prime Minister has to step down "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

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 let’s 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 people’s mind as they try to make sense of the latest developments in Papua New Guinea’s 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 Somare’s 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 one’s 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? One’s 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 one’s leadership, and we are a democracy, it is an irreconcilable position to be in and one must do the honourable thing and resign. A leaf should be taken out of the dissenting opinion of the member of Leadership Tribunal Sir Robin Auld in the Somare Leadership Tribunal who thought that Somare should be dismissed from office. He said, “what would the reasonable person at Gordon’s market think about it?” What would the ordinary Papua New Guinean think the Prime Minister should do under the present circumstances?

When the Prime Minister relies on his privilege as a Member of Parliament to avoid a warrant of arrest, it raises the question whether one is using his office for personal gain and therefore misconduct in office under s 27 of the Constitution. Does an ordinary Papua New Guinean have that privilege when they are called into question by the police? When a Commission of Inquiry is set up to exonerate one from a criminal allegation, when the same question can be raised in one’s defence before a court of law, it raises the question of whether the Prime Minister is using his office for personal gain and therefore misconduct in office. How many ordinary Papua New Guineans can set up a Commissi...

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Tuesday, 14 January

02:59

OFFICE OF THE PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2050 HAS A BUSY START "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

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 government’s second year of implementation. At the PNG Office of 2050 this week there is an in-house awareness workshop for all staff of the rank and file, and is conducted by team managers- Philip Leo, Simon Cholai and Ephraim Sukbat.
The workshop highlighted the theme of bonding of staff for a common course, take part in recalibrating and rebranding the office and its mandate, its annual revised work plan and also design and implement an outreach and awareness activities. In addition and most importantly is that of connecting with all stakeholders. The staffs are informed about the need for revising and understanding several of the principal mandates of major national reforms in the public sector agencies, beginning at Waigani and connecting with people and government in the provinces, districts and LLGs and wards. This is a major calling by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill which is why there has to be a repacking of the work plans and resources- not just for the PNG Vision 2050 Office, but across the public services agencies of the three tiers of government.
The first day of the workshop session was dominated by highlighting PNG’s history of planning and budgeting in since the mid-sixties this period witnessed influx of internati...

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Saturday, 07 December

00:15

K5 MILLION DIVERTED FROM PASSAM NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL RESI FUNDS… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"




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 some known authorities in Waigani without consultation with Passam National High School, and anyone who should have known, do know the story that they have not been party to the compensation payout. That decision has deprived the school of development funds.
The Government of the day did make an allocation of funds through its RESI project funds an amount of forty million kina to four national high schools. It was also specified that an allocation of  ten million kina each were approved for the four national high schools; and these were- Passam, Sogeri, Aiyura and Keravat. The three national high schools got the full ten million kina as promised for what was termed as the school infrastructure development programme. This was all very well for the rest, except Passam,...

00:14

PNG RAP CULTURE HITTING THE SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"




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.  The group has begun operating from the 16th of September 2013. The founder operator is Nicodemous, the Rap Culture Group has found a fertile ground and following from like-minded enthusiastic support and following from a range of young talents within the city of Port Moresby. The Rap Group is ably supported by Donald Devete who is the co-founder and musical director, with an equal support from Ronald Lakasa, who is designated as the financial adviser, with Yosufus Warakai being the technical and strategic manager. Others in organizing team include Constantino Yuasause and Tuian Rongap.
...

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Friday, 06 December

23:21

THE BEN MICHA PROJECT: OPERATION MOBILISATION FOR ARONA VALLEY AS PNG’S NATIONAL CAPITAL "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"



Professor Richard Jackson did a paper on relocation of PNG’s 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 nation’s 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, that Port Moresby was the center, relative to Australia’s strategic and security interest. The Richard Jackson NEC papers never found the light of the day.
Almost by coincidence towards the end of 2012 the subject of relocation of PNG’ national capital was raised in a private conversation in Goroka with Merrha Minne Kipefa the new Member for Obura- Wanenera. The Member hinted that he would have as a matter of priority and an audience, and that he would take the matter up with the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.
There is a bit of history to this important topic for Papua New Guinea having to pursue further a nat...

23:13

ENGAGING PAPUA NEW GUINEA JUDICIAL WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION WITH THE COMMUNITIES "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"



Towards the end of this weekend, two senior members and executive of the Papua New Guinea Judicial Women’s 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 Women’s 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 forward to be engaged in community awareness. Last Friday, 5th of December 2013 the two senior officials of the association made presentations of rugby league jerseys, socks and pairs of shorts to village based teams, again these being donations from the UN Women Australia network.

As an end note, it is perhaps an opportune time now to make known the eight resolutions that were approved and adopted, following the inaugural launching of the PNGJWA in November 2012. The following have been accepted by the full membership of the association:-


...

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Friday, 15 November

07:50

PROVINCES MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO FUND AND RUN UNIVERSITIES "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


COMPELLING REASONS WHY PROVINCES MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO SET UP UNIVERSITIES…

“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 society’s 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.

This column provides some unbiased, underlying reasons why provinces must not be allowed to establish institutions of higher education. Universities and colleges are of high caliber that is required to meet internationally accepted benchmarks, and they must not be funded, built and run like second class, low rate education and training facilities in the twenty-first century, an era in an increasingly knowledge based economy, period.

No prime ministers, including governors must...

07:19

ROBIN NASON "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


ROBIN NASON AND THE MASTERS SKILLS TRAINING OUTFIT IN EAST NEW BRITAIN.
T
his week the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry, Richard Maru was at it again when he opened a week long consultative workshop in Port Moresby on SME Master Plan and Policy. Small and medium size enterprises workshop is also seeking to define what encompasses SME. The exercise by an active government agency, the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry is a worthy undertaking. This columnist takes a break and venture into finding from a catalogue of Papua New Guineans who are actually engaged in the business of providing education and training, which can be conveniently classified under the SME.

One day during an official trip to Kokopo, an unplanned meeting took place outside a shopping complex between Robin Nason and this columnist in August this year. Robin was doing his usual daily runs to Kokopo, whereas the latter stopped over for purchase of some bottled water. As a matter of course a conversation developed in which some quick pleasantries turn into businesslike queries and testimonials about the operations of this fifty five year old New Irelander.

Over the years Robin has trained quite a sizeable number of Papua New Guineans about hazard in mining and in industrial complexes. Robin estimates that over the years since the establishment of his training facilities, he has trained or inducted 300 safety officers and about 3000 heavy equipment handlers and specialists. Beneficiaries of these training are both Papua New Guineans, who are the majority, but also some Australian tradesmen and women were trained in Australia.


Established in 2010, the Masters Skills Training and Professional Consultants is a training facility founded by Robin and is based in east New Britain. Robin originated from the Namatanai area  of New Ireland Province, but found it convenient to operate out of East New Britain because of business opportunities. Robin is engaged in training and skilling Papua New Guineans in safety and heavy equipment operations. And he has become a master trainer and entrepreneur in the field, as his twenty years of work, both in technical and business schools in Papua New Guinea as a technical and vocation al schools instructor, and later industrial experience in Ok Tedi and Lihir Mines puts Robin in a better position to run a successful training and consultancy work in the country.

07:16

DAVID POTULAN FOR PRESIDENCY "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"



DAVID PUTULAN FOR RAPOTONA LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

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 Governor’s 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.

In this column article, an attempt is made to trace and place on record the beginnings of a potential political career for an islander in the race for the presidency of Rapotona LLG. As he departed the shores of Momote for Rambutso on Monday the 17th June 2013 to kick start a campaign; David Putulan is followed and commented on by his contemporaries. David is a scholar and research scientist in the field of biology; a graduate in Science from the University of Papua New Guinea. In recent times while employed by NARI he went to do some research on coconuts and beetles on the islands that make up Rapotona LLG. His campaign trails this time will be like tracing his footprints of his many adventures; first as a boy growing up on the island in his earlier years, and recently as a budding scientist and scholar.

...

07:10

PNG VISION 2050 IS A MEGA REFORM IN ITSELF "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


THE PNG VISION 2050 IS A MEGA REFORM PLATFORM-SERVICE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME IS A VEHICLE TO DELIVER THE BIG PICTURE EXPECTATIONS

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.

Service Improvements Programme has been the vehicle that has been consistent and durable over the time it was first introduced some ten years ago. All provinces, agencies of government, service provider public service organisations have been exposed in one form or the another about the spirit, philosophy and contents of SIP. Consistencies in pushing reforms in agencies and units within agencies have been important in making, or bringing about changes to the way public service has been doing its business. There have been marked changes, despite criticisms.

...

07:07

EMPOWERING THE HAUSLAIN "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

EMPOWERING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN EASTERN HIGHLANDS THROUGH JULIE SOSO HAUS MAN PLANNING AND RESOURCING MODEL

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 province’s integrated development plan  completed by June and will be submitted on time as expected by the Planning and Monitoring Minister. Three months of serious work, the planning team from the EHP have been at work, collecting and authenticating statistical information, and also checking and rechecking with the national department of planning and monitoring, including courtesy call at the Office of the Papua New Guinea Vision 2050, just to ensure that the meaning of alignment as adopted at the provincial level is that same meaning understood by the custodians and advocates of the Vision 2050.

Headed by Bill Kavanamur, the new Acting PA for EHP, the delegation members of the planning unit from the province was in Port Moresby conducting a series of workshops on two sets of documenta...

06:57

ENGA PUBLIC OFFICIALS LEARN ABOUT FINANCIAL INSTRUCTIONS 2013 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


DISCOURSE ON FIXED ASSETS AT SURUNK WORKSHOP
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.

One such issue which is being raised, and may be for the first time was in a conversation during the twenty minutes ride on the Surinki Road. That conversation centered on the keeping of register of fixed assets in Enga and indeed the rest of Papua New Guinea. Over the years billions of kina in development funds have been spent under differing project descriptions as development projects by Open MPs, including purchase of land, heavy construction machineries and even residential and office buildings. Vehicles of all sizes and shapes have been bought, distributed and used. There are fewer, if any records of the whereabouts of these valuable state assets, as politicians get voted out, and new ones being elected in cycles of five years.

A random check by the Department of Works through its PTB system, and also by the Department of Lands and Physica...

06:53

TiikiiembShiiemb "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


CHARACTER BUILDING AND SENSE OF PATRIOTISM IS VITAL IN A NATIONAL CURRICULUM
“…we are composed of all the teachers we’ve 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 we’ve 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.

Following are some of Theresa’s excerpts from  her statement about her skills training. “Now I can say joining the UPNG Peer Education Programme was the best decision I have made in my life. First, I gained confidence in my own abilities, prior to that I could never stand in front of an audience without turning red. I learnt new skills, building networks and organizing events and activities. The programme gave me a space, to make mistakes, to learn to grow as a Papua New Guinean.” Surely, these experiences through the a range of activities within the programme, this is what has been described as the most successful peer education training in an educational establishment in Papua New Guinea. ...

06:43

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

FEAST OF WORDS-UKE KOMBRA SPOKE IT ALL!
“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. I’m pushing for greater recognition of TVET”
Conversation with Dr. Uke Kombra, Mt. Hagen, 12th September
 2013.

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 college’s 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 MHTC came at the time, when implementation of the Papua New Guinea Vision 2050 was being implemented; one of its directional statements makes reference to the establishment of four regional institutions of technical and vocational colleges, now known as the National Polytechnic Institute. The first National Polytechnic Institute for the country was inaugurated at the Lae Technical College a few years ago. Mt. Hagen Technical College is in line for the next round of decision making and formalization.

To push for the national agenda for upstaging of TVET the government would necessarily need unblemished, qualified and experienced champions. Uke Kombra fits the bill for consideration in the next round of appointments to executive positions. The Government must pick and choose what it wants and considers as the most qualified individuals, those with sense of urgency, optimism and vision. Uke is a local boy who went to school among...

06:37

Temu Pkwaveto is Bulolo Lord Mayor "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

FIRST KUKUKUS AS THE LORD MAYOR OF WAU BULOLO URBAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL
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 fourteen thousand, nine thousand and two hundred are reportedly enrolled as voters for the LLG elections in 2013.
While pursuing his business in trade store to provide for his necessities, Temu has held down an elective post of a ward councilor for ward eleven in the Wau Bulolo urban council for fifteen years. In the 2013 election for LLGs Temu mounted one of the biggest challenges for him and  his fellow Kukukus tribesman to attempt an entry into the political limelight. His recent election victory with a total of two thousand votes, against thirty one other candidates for the Wau Bulolo mayoral seat is a momentous accomplishment in the eyes of his people who claim part of Wau Township as nestling on their land.
...

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Monday, 29 July

07:07

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Monday, 22 July

23:22

CHARLES AKUNAII, FOR LORD MAYOR OF GOROKA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


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 province’s 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 votes and give the excuse that they have been quite busy organizing money and projects all these years. These lame excuses have always been taken at face value by the vulnerable voters, year and year out. Charles also makes the claim that Goroka town has been neglected because of lack of serious leadership with foresight. Past cohort of politicians leader of Goroka have been musical chair occupiers, nothing more.

If he gets elected as the Lord Mayor of Goroka, Charles aims to build and advocate at higher level for his town to become the country’s fourth city, after Mt. Hagen. The town’s leadership has to work on the big picture in preparation for this plan, apart from attending to the daily needs of the town residents’ as well as the provision of services such as health, education, new water and sewerage, even a new market, and new or elevated recreational facilities. There are some discussions about expanding the town boundaries, as well as the building the requir...

23:16

AUSTRALIAN ASYLUM SEEKER REROUTED TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


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 to emerge in magnified levels and forms.

The case in point is the straight jacket political expediency for two men. Be informed and alerted that Peter and Kevin who are in history making limelight. That’s right, the other day it was Kevin Rudd who slipped into Papua New Guinea, whispered into the ears of Peter O Neill. What was the secret deal? Last weekend a sweetheart deal was done, all asylum seekers would be processed in Papua New Guinea, and those found wanting would be resettled in Papua New Guinea. Price tag was the bribery money or the promise of millions of kina to be poured in PNG. It sounds too good to be true, leave along all the negative reactions that have come out from alm...

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Wednesday, 26 June

14:05

TIM TAESA, ONE OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA'S CHAMPIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"




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.

 

TIM TAESAhails from Aupos Village on the fringes of Wabag Town; he claims to be about eighty years old. He is the anchor and perhaps the face of government in the Kombiam District of Enga. At this point in time Tim seems to be the sole government officer...

14:03

DAVID PUTULAN FOR RAPATONA LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL PRESIDENCY "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"



 
David Putulan for Rapatona LLG Presidency

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 Governor’s 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.

In this column article, an attempt is made to trace and place on record the beginnings of a potential political career for an islander in the race for the presidency of Rapotona LLG. As he departed the shores of Momote for Rambutso on Monday the 17th June 2013 to kick start a campaign; David Putulan is followed and commented on by his contemporaries. David is a scholar and research scientist in the field of biology; a graduate in Science from the University of Papua New Guinea. In recent times while employed by NARI he went to do some research on coconuts and beetles on the islands that make up Rapotona LLG. His campaign trails...

09:26

MEKOP POYA FOR SOUTH WIRU LLG PRESIDENCY "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


 

 

“In the 2013 LLG Elections, there are highly motivated, well-educated and knowledgeable professionals who are contesting the seats of the presidency and the ward councilors. As Papua New Guinea desperately needs to grow its quality, honest and transparent leaders, may be the LLGs can provide the environment and the home for identifying and growing such leadership…”

 

On a foggy Friday morning last week in Mt Hagen an unexpected encounter took place. Yours truly was out and about, looking for a photo scene to be placed along with a story about introducing head tax in the local government councils in Papua New Guinea for the Sunday Paper. From the blue, a presidential candidate for South Wiru Local Government Council, a 35 year old Mekop Poya from Mamuane village popped up. An impromptu conversation ensued.

 

The results of his grade six in 1978 has written him off, when he failed to raise high the level of his grades. Any hope of ever making anything in life for him and his immediate family was seriously impaired by one stroke of a pen that gave fail to his school marks. He was one of many that have passed through Tunda Primary School, somewhere in Pangia. And, there are still more passing out each year, and being graded as failures who join the army of push outs in this country.

 

Mekop Poya has never, and will not be one who will surrender to societal branding through schooling, examinations and results, NEVER. Like most energetic young men and women would do, Mekop took up the challenge and headed for Lae; there he found an opportunity to purse his education dream and took up studies with the College of Distance Education-CODE (now Flexible Open and Distance Education or FODE). In Lae he completed grades seven to ten in years from 1988-1991. He then signed up in 1992 with Aiyura National High School and completed grade e...

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Friday, 14 June

11:21

GENERATING SUSTAINABLE INCOME THROUGH HEAD TAX IN LOCAL LEVEL GOVERNMENTS "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


“Two types of people involvement can be beneficial for a long haul in political participation and rural development. Voting by people to elect their Ward Councilors and Presidents is a significant improvement in a democratic governance. Three is also the need to involve the same people to help generate sustainable income for the LLGs through taxation of a moderate amount” Conversation with a colleague in Mt Hagen, June 2013.

Mt Hagen Urban LLG has assets and revenue base to sustain itself
Not long ago, Sir Peter Barter, then Minister proposed that a system of head tax be reintroduced in the local level government councils in Papua New Guinea. When the subject matter was introduced, there was a lukewarm reaction, and not much happened since. But in recent  times so many changes have been introduced, including a government decision to allocate, for the first time five hundred thousand kina to each and every local government council in the country. It is time that this subject is brought on for serious consideration by Government for a number of significantly beneficial reasons.

There is a talk, and may be that a definite decision would be made to introduce district authorities in PNG, possibly next year through a revised law that was introduced under the same name in 2006. Speculation is that the bill to amend the 2006 District Authorities law will be done in the coming September session of Parliament. When that happens, there will be an authority in place, with revised powers, composition, duties and responsibilities of the current Joint District Planning and Budgets Priorities Committee. One notable inclusion in the new arrangements under the District Authority the inclusion of the Presidents of LLGs, whose mandate after the 2013 elections will be directly from the people by virtues of their direct election by the voting population in a given LLG in the District.

This development is important in terms of the balance of power, control and decision making in a Committee that was controlled by the Chairman of JDPBPC, who is the Member of Parliament. Because the presence of LLG Presidents will hold sway the controlling power of the MP in the current set up.

In 2013, for the first time Council Presidents will have rea...

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Tuesday, 28 May

10:02

EMPOWERING LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS WITH GOV JULIE SOSO "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


EMPOWERING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN EASTERN HIGHLANDS THROUGH JULIE SOSO HAUS MAN PLANNING AND RESOURCING MODEL

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 province’s integrated development plan  completed by June and will be submitted on time as expected by the Planning and Monitoring Minister. Three months of serious work, the planning team from the EHP have been at work, collecting and authenticating statistical information, and also checking and rechecking with the national department of planning and monitoring, including courtesy call at the Office of the Papua New Guinea Vision 2050, just to ensure that the meaning of alignment as adopted at the provincial level is that same meaning understood by the custodians and advocates of the Vision 2050.

Headed by Bill Kavanamur, the new Acting PA for EHP, the delegation members of the planning unit from the province was in Port Moresby conducting a series of workshops on two sets of documentation with relevant key agencies of the Central Agencies Coordinating Committee or the CACC. Their duty tour last week concluded with a session at the Office of the PNG Vision 2050. Their core task was having the documents articulated and to make presentations, f...

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Tuesday, 21 May

03:55

GOVERNOR GARY JUFFA...EMERGING SPOKESMAN FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


Governor Gary Juffa leading crucial intellectual discourses on underdevelopment at home and abroad

“If we decide and opt not to stand up for what is right and just;
If we shy away from the challenges that confront us and
threaten our future and the home that we have been blessed with;
If we are to ignore the plight of our people who require our attention
and care; If we instead choose for the easy way, to allow ourselves
to be led by ego and self-interest, then we have fooled our people
and we have fooled ourselves...to act and stand up against all
that is improper and all that is evil and perverse and wrong,
to zealously shun all that seeks to destroy and to resist the lure
to shore up profit and promote greed, is to LIVE....anything else
is mere existence and meaningless…” Gary Juffa, Governor of Oro
 Province, 20 August 2012.

...

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Tuesday, 14 May

06:32

AMBASSADOR MAX RAI AND HIS SHORT WRITE UPS ON PNG LEADERSHIP "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"





Ambassador Max Rai and his discourse on Papua New Guinean Leadership 
Ambassador Max Rai











For the leaders of the past who fade into our    history as memories;
          For the leaders of the future who remain our unrealized dream;
 For the leaders of the present who must lead us through servitude
(Dedication from the Book by Dr. Musawe Sinebare: Principles and Practices of Papua New Guinea Leadership, 2013)

Retired Ambassador Max Rai has wealth of experience, and he does very well by engaging with the young generation of his audiences in the social media, most importantly through the pages of the face book. Max is retelling his viewers and followers about his lifetime encounters with past leaders. He has, as a result of telling vivid stories, has in turn received positive and encouraging responses. Papua New Guinean’s most experienced and knowledgeable senior diplomat, Ambassador Rai is reliving his personal encounters in meet...

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Sunday, 12 May

07:13

WESLEY RAMINAI & SAM VULUM CREATED NEW SPACE IN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHING IN PNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"






Wesley Raminai took on the biggest challenge in his life, to start up a newspaper, the Sunday Chronicle with his new found friend and great supporter (or may be co founder of the newspaper!), Sam Vulum sometimes back in 2006, may be earlier. Once they got the first newsprint rolling out, they, have stuck around, and even growing stronger each day, eachmonth and even year. I joined these two great Papua New Guineans, believing in what they have started out to do, not just for themselves, but for all of us, to have a voice and to change views presented mostly by outsiders, using their own medium. I did not join their staff, rather as an outsider support, even now.

What started off as an free lance columnist ( Tiikiiemb Shiiemb) in 2006, June to be exact, has continued the series of articles and photos up to this Sunday-12-5-2013 (in the Sunday Chronicle). Sam and Wesley did not just sat around being satisfied with their Sunday reading paper, they set out do one more publication, the Midweek Chronicle, staring on 27th December 2011.Another column was inauguration for the Midweek Chronicle, the Nation Builders, .which has been running since December 2011. The features and photos that have been published both in Tiikiiemb Shiiemb and Nation Builders  can be found in this blog.
Wesley Raminai- Owner Publisher of Sunday Chronicle and Midweek Chronicle

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Tuesday, 02 October

08:56

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

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).

Today.

This reaffirms THE truth behind this truth. That the only ABSOLUTE TRUTH is Jesus (John 14:6).

Today.

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 straight up niugini freestyle K10-wan-wan classy. Sawn up like those regularly printed ‘Radazz’ bags, the only difference was the material used here, and a bit of flair factor with the inclusion of proper buttons and fasteners, handles and side pockets. Neat, eh?

Bill Ningur, the upholstery maker

Bill Ningur (left) and his salesman, Joe

This trooper’s name is Bill Ningur from Simbu and he is a upholstery maker. He resides in June Valley near Tokarara and supports his family chiefly through this trade. He told me he also uses this to keep youths and wantoks busy by getting them to help him sell his products.

I thought that was neat and that Billy deserved an apple for simply being a go-getter and not a gimme-gimme. I promised to check up on him later to see if we cou...

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