|IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch PNG Politics Feed was generated at Pacific News IndyWatch.
February 21st is the first anniversary of the presentation of a 10,000 signature petition to the Department of Lands demanding the cancellation of the SABL leases. 2018, also marks five-years since the SABL Commission of Inquiry exposed the full extent of the illegal land grab, which affects more than 10% of the whole country.
But despite repeated promises from the ONeill government to cancel the leases, stretching back to 2013, almost nothing has been done.
ACT NOW! believes the governments response to the illegal SABL land grab is the greatest scandal this country has ever seen.
Even the brave landowners who have struggled through the courts to have leases declared illegal, without any help or support from the government, or have stood up and defied the logging companies despite attacks from the police, still have foreign companies occupying their soil.
A list released two weeks ago by the Lands Department revealed that of 75 SABL leases examined in the Commission of Inquiry, only 10 have been cancelled and 5 of those were on the direction of the courts and four voluntarily surrendered.
Meanwhile, as the government delays get ever longer, most of the SABL files have disappeared from the Department of Lands.
Fifty thousand square kilometres of land, more than 10% of the entire nation given away illegally yet the government does almost nothing to undo the wrong and indeed is still allowing logging companies to plunder the forests.
With APEC leaders now preparing to visit PNG, the SABL land grab is a huge embarrassment for the nation.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights slammed the PNG government over its failure to protect its own citizens during his visit two-weeks ago, saying many communities have been forcibly evicted from their homes, often reportedly violently, with impunity and allegedly sometimes with the complicity of local police.
It seems the whole w...
On the 21st of February 1952, political activists and students at Dhaka University in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) were demonstrating about the imposition of Urdu as the national language on the Bengali-speaking population. Police opened fire on the protestors and dozens were killed. The simple monument built on that spot to remember those who died in the independence movement symbolises a mother and her children. It is still a focus of protest on the day I visited, there was a protest for the rights (including language rights) of the indigenous Chittagong hill tribes.
February 21 was chosen by UNESCO for International Mother Language Day, and has been observed worldwide since 2000. This years theme is Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development.
The symbolic power of language was described by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in 1982: language is not only used for communication but also as a means of power. This extends to symbolic violence when the power of a dominant group is seen as natural and used as a form of social control, as in the case where minority languages are suppressed. Minority groups are less likely to have access to the language required for education and employment, resulting in lower levels of development, which can result in conflict.
For those of us who grew up speaking English in a rich country where the national lan...
The 2018 APEC Study Centre Consortium Conference (ASCCC) is to be held from 14-15 May 2018 at the Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG). It will be research-focused, support the overall objectives of APEC 2018 hosted by PNG, and will be an exciting opportunity to inform and influence public policy for APEC economies.
The overall APEC 2018 theme is Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future, with three priorities:
The ASCC Conference will closely align with these priorities and focus on presenting evidence-based research, policy and best practice to inform and present practical steps for policy makers.
The PNG APEC Study Centre (PNG ASC) is calling for expressions of interest to present high-quality research, policy and best practice papers. Each presenter will be invited to speak for a maximum of 20 minutes, followed by a group Q&A at the end of each session.
All submissions should be made through the NRI website portal, and must include an abstract of no more than 500 words (which should describe any potential impact on public policy) and a short bio of the presenter (no more than 150 words). The deadline for abstracts is 23 March 2018. Potential presenters will be advised of the outcome of their submission on 30 March, and will then be required to provide any relevant paper, accompanying powerpoint presentation, and a photo of themselves to be used in the conference program.
Abstracts will be screened by a panel of experts to ensure that high-quality papers which align with the Conference theme and topics are delivered.
For further information please contact Martin Aspin.
Please note that Devpolicy is not involved in this conference and all queries should be directed to the PNG APEC Study Centre at the PNG National Research Institute.
The post 2018 APEC Study Centres Consortium Conference Call for Papers appeared first on...
Pepetua Marangona, Tavolo village, Pomio
Source: Scott Waide, My Land, My Country
Tavolo village in Pomio, East New Britain, is a place not many in Waigani know about.
Its tucked away along a patch of sandy beaches in between rocky shorelines that mark the border of East and West New Britain.
The people go on with their lives knowing very well not to expect any help from the National or provincial government. On the maps held by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Tavolo is part of a Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) in the Melkoi Local Level Government area.
Those who are pushing for the SABL to be implemented on Tavolo land, have probably had no contact at all with the people who own 18,000 hectares of land. They dont understand the peoples aspirations and they will probably defend the SABLs as a sound development option needed for the Tavolo people.
The Tavolo community is small. They have a population of 600 men women and children.
The ward councillor, Peter Kikeleng and another senior community member, Pepetua Marangona, asked me to take their message to those who authorised the Melkoi SABL.
The people dont want a 99-year Special Agriculture Business Lease over their land. They dont want the logging and the oil palm that is expected to come with it. They say that if any development is to come, they must remain in control of their land and that they have to receive direct benefits from the project NOT the crumbs.
When the police come, they beat the landowners because we speak out a lot about land issues, she says in Tok Pisin. What answers does the government have for the shortage of land that we will face?
They have seen the situation in Pomio where large tracts of land have been logged and land taken away from customary landowners through SABLs. They know about the communities that are being broken by the greed and court battles against each other.
They dont want that....
by ALBERT SCHRAM
On 15 February, the Council of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PNGUoT) decided to terminate my services, and gave me and my wife 7 days to ship out, and leave our residence on campus, where we have lived more than 6 years.
On 19 January I was given a mere 7 days to answer the allegations, and I managed to hand in my answers though incomplete before the deadline. I returned on campus from an engagement elsewhere with my wife on 23 January, and that same day the Acting Vice Chancellor Dr. Ora Renagi wrote
that I should stay away from the office. I was also denied an extension to prepare myself, and neither was I given access to important files in the Registry and Bursary regarding this case.
Council itself, however, acknowledged that the main ground for dismissal was that allegedly I did not present a certified copy of my original doctoral degree from the European University Institute. Here is a link to my thesis on the Institutes website http://cadmus.eui.eu//handle/1814/5972. This had been a
condition for my contract renewal in 2015. In an email dated 13 January 2015, I requested the renowned European University Institute, established by an international treaty, to send me two hard copies, one to my office in Lae and one to Cairns. Upon receiving the document in Lae, I handed it over to the Registrar. The other original I kept. Why would I do otherwise and self-sabotage
myself? And, why was this matter not brought up by the Registrar when later on 26 August 2016 I submitted myself to the Annual Performance Assessment, which lasted one whole day and was supported by an independent consultant?
I was interrogated by Council on 15 February, but without being told previously whether I was just to receive the decision of the council, had to answer questions or was allowed to give a presentation. I did not know what was going to happen. At no stage in this process, which started in October 2017, did the Acting Chancellor Jean Kekedo ensure I was involved in or consulted over Council proceedings? An investigation was launched, without a Council resolution and without my involvement. As a result, only convenient information was included in the report. Sam Koim reputedly is specialised in
fighting corruption, but he has no experience with the operation of a large organization or the running of a University. This is a clear breach of due process.
When crucial physical evidenc...
Francisco Guterres, the current President of Timor-Leste, recently dissolved the national parliament and has called for a fresh parliamentary election in 2018. This was declared on January 26th, only six months after our northern neighbour had what was arguably their most successful parliamentary election cycle in history. How did these turn of events happen, and how is this going to impact the growing youth bulge of this already struggling nation?
2017 was a big year for Timor-Leste, with both presidential and parliamentary elections held. The presidential election in March resulted in a win to Francisco Guterres, the first partisan presidential candidate to successfully win the popular vote. The parliamentary election of July saw an increase in voter turnout from the previous parliamentary election, and was largely successful, with little public unrest. In what later turned out to be a shock, the two largest parties, FRETILIN and CNRT, had a swing of votes against them. The increase of votes to the smaller parties of PLP, PD and KHUNTO ended up being the surprise success story of the election.
On top of these elections, other feats included the first LGBTQI+ pride march through the nations capital, Dili. The vocal support for Timor-Leste to become a member of ASEAN also became a heightened priority for the nation. August saw the launch of Kim McGraths explosive book Crossing the Line: Australias Secret History in the Timor Sea, an excellent expos detailing Australias duplicitous behaviour around negotiations regarding its interests in the Timor Sea. Coincidentally, several weeks after the publication and launch of the book, Australia and Timor-Leste reached an agreement over the Timor Sea boundary (although details are yet to be publicly disclosed).
Despite the promising start to the year, the concluding tale of 2017 was all but comfortable for the nation. After several years of a national unity government alliance between the FRETILIN and CNRT parties, the alliance, which was expected to continue, collapsed. CNRT powerbroker, former prime minister and former president, Xanana Gusmao, publicly moved to end the alliance as a result of the fall in public support to CNRT. Under the CNRT-FRETILIN government alliance, both parties had a stranglehold of seats in parliament (55 out of 65), effectively ruling out a legitimate opposition force at the time. The alliance discontinuation suggested the possibility of a ...
Source: Scott Waide, My Land, My Country
Chief William Ape Hawa is a straight shooter and a wise old fella who presents me with a shell necklace used as the local currency during important ceremonies. He apologizes for not giving me the gift the day before when I arrived at his Tavolo village on the border of East and West New Britain.
When new visitors come, he says in Tok Pisin, We give them a tanget headdress. That tells you that you shouldnt be afraid or shy. It means you are welcome.
Then before you go, we give you the necklace which means, go in peace.
Chief William speaks with a lot of wisdom and understanding spiced with wicked, truthful humor. He talks a bit about life and marriage of the young and then our conversation leads on to the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) issued by the Government.
Tavolo is in the Melkoi LLG area of Pomio District, East New Britain. For the people here, the term Special Agriculture Business Lease triggers a lot of anger.
What kind of laws do we have? says Chief William. They tell us that our land is part of a SABL and we had no part in that decision!
Like many other SABL areas, other people signed on their behalf.
The Tavolo people who number about 600 own 18 thousand hectares of land. They have no intention of giving up the pristine rainforest over to the Malaysian company that intends to log their land and plant oil palm.
But Chief William and his people are under immense pressure to surrender their land.
There is oil palm development in neighbouring West New Britain. In the next local level government area which includes the district headquarters of Palmalmal, large areas of customary land have been logged out. Landownership is now being disputed in court. Much of trouble has come about because of agreements that were hastily signed.
Over the past 20 years, the people of Tavolo developed a conservation area over the 18 thousand hectares of land. The government recognised this. The decision has come with its benefits. Fish numbers have been rep...
Imagine a company that is in debt, heavily in debt and still racking up more losses.
Imagine a company that in 2016 alone lost over K354 million.
Imagine a company where the total liabilities exceed the total assets by more than K218 million.
Imagine that this is a company set up by the government to manage a nations interests in its abundant mineral resources.
Now imagine no more and say hello to Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, formerly Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.
The two numbers above are from Kumul Minerals Holdings latest Annual Return, which is for the 2016 financial year.
How could a company that,...
Those of us in the development sector often talk about doing ourselves out of a job; it was even the vision of USAID Administrator Mark Green in terms of the objective of foreign assistance. However, the sticking point is that we may not really know how to achieve that ultimate end goal, and it also seems that very little that we do are steps towards achieving that goal.
In the humanitarian sector, there has been a lot of talk recently about the localisation agenda that emerged through the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) process. There, at least, there are some agreed-upon processes, a movement even, that if implemented will lead closer to the local ownership and control of the process of development. You may be mistaken to think that the localisation agenda is all about the funds, and that has been the focus and sticking point in many discussions, justified by the report that in 2016 less than 2% of the annual global spend on humanitarian action went directly to national actors (by 2020 this should be 25%). However, localisation also has a political agenda it is also about shifting power relations and bringing decision-making down to a local level.
As the humanitarian sector starts to embrace (or at least discuss) localisation, questions should also be raised about the localisation agenda for development work. If the humanitarian localisation agenda is implemented after the crisis or disaster is addressed by local and national organisations, do we then expect to take that power away in the implementation of post-disaster development projects?
Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) is an approach that presents strong potential for pointing us in the right direction. FPAR builds on research methods developed as Participatory Action Research (PAR) but integrates feminist perspectives and processes. With a deliberate focus on gender as an analytic category in order to strengthen participatory approaches to research, it ensures that the participation of women is not subsumed under that of the community. Therefore, FPAR ensures gender issues are included and localises research, and the programs it informs, in a way that a lot of current development practice does not.
FPAR is not like other research methodologies that see communities and women as subjects to be studied and researched they are not passive, but an integral part of the research process. The purpose of doing FPAR is to change systems and structures towards the improvement of the lives of marginalised women, and the process emphasises local knowledge and understanding of...
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There does not seem to be much change in the movement of the dial on the scale. It quivers undecided between 88kg and 89kg. Perhaps it does not want to disappoint me. But who am I trying to fool here? It has only been two days. I did not say I was on some miracle fad diet.
In any case, a digital scale would have given a more definitive reading. But I realized that this yearning for an absolute figure is not just some random desire that was borne the minute I stepped onto the scale. It is something inbuilt. Whether we realise it or not, it is that longing that ignites the urge for the absolute truth to give us that peace of mind. It is that age old desire to know.
The only truth right now is that THIS very moment is the truth, as you get bored silly reading this far, and are perhaps pondering upon the possibility that the person writing this may have gone slightly cuckoos after all. (Speaking of which, I still reckon Jack Nicholson in One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest was absolutely brilliant).
The only absolute truth is in the time between what has been and what will be; it is this moment the NOW. Our memories have been either tarnished or glossed over by prejudice while our visions of grandeur play surrogate to the truth of tomorrow. Absolute truth resides in this moment. That is why the Psalmist said Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts (Psalms 95:7-8).
This reaffirms THE truth behind this truth. That the only ABSOLUTE TRUTH is Jesus (John 14:6).
Lets return to the matter on hand.
So before my daily weigh in, I had to pick up a half dozen apple from the nearby supermarket during my lunch break (I feel a post coming up soon on the state of affairs of the apples from Stop N Shop). On my way back I happened to be sharing the footpath with this fellow who was peddling some burgundy and red synthetic leather bags, so naturally I fell into conversation with him. It was then that I found out more about his wares that he actually sews these bags.
They looked quite a classy lot, them bags. Of course not Louis Vuitton classy, but str...
I am into my second day and the scale reads 88kg. I dont know if that is the truth or if it is only me with a bit of wishful thinking.
No matter, after leaving office at around 1726 hours, I happened by an old friend of mine. Hes a caricature artist by the name of Charles. (I think folks over at Sunday Chronicles hire him to do cartoons and stuff). So Charles tags along with me on this one.
Not long after I meet this sharp little kid of 4 by the name of Jaybes. He and his mom Maria were on their way into (that rather detestable) Vision City. I had a quick chat with them and took their photos but, sad to say, I forgot to get them to sign my release form so I will not be putting up their faces here.
Further down the road, just before reaching Waigani* I bump into Elijah Memedu.
Well in fact Memedu was about to overtake me when I introduced myself and told him about what I was up to and if he was interested and he seemed fairly keen. By then even Charles lit up to the game and fell into beat with some support remarks on the side.
At 16 years of age, Elijah is a trainee electrician doing his apprenticeship with...
Weighing in at 89 kg, the first day of my 30 Day Challenge kicked off to a rocky start but I never expected it to be a walk in the park either. It was a walk nevertheless; and it will be so for the next 30 days.
The first person I bumped into was this office worker type in Westpac bank colours. Opening with a courteous Abinun, bro, I observed on the traffic congestion in the manner of small talk. But I may have introduced myself too soon because I could see that he was all suss about me from the way he eyed me.
You could tell he was thinking, Who is this mausgrass psycho and what manner of scam is he peddling? He had a polite wall up, which he successfully marshalled with a brisk pace for much of the way so I let him be.
But then I caught up with Kure Yosi.
Kure seemed a friendly chap from the word go, all the way to the North Waigani traffic lights where we parted company.
He was walking with a very slight limp that I later found out to be a sprained ankle.
At 33 years of age he works as a Youth Officer at the National Capital District Commission. Hailing from Lufa in the Eastern Highla...
Thats it, Im done talking politics.
Well most of the time Im either quoting someone or blogging a gripe. And I hate to see myself as a person who sees the glass half empty all the time. Although the system and the gremlins that work the system are largely responsible for fueling my words.
But that is not the point of this post. Folks over at Stella Mag recently brought to my attention this super cool idea of doing something out of the ordinary for 30 consecutive days. (By the way, that is one cool magazine you should get your hands on or better yet, subscribe to).
So here I was on Independence Day, trying on for size ideas for endeavours that anyone who knows me would not normally find me doing. And no, I am not going to go to work dressed as Zorro for the next 30 days (although I know of some who would in a heartbeat if they could).
However, I was toying with the idea of bungee jumping every afternoon. Unfortunately I had to forgo that idea for the simple fact that my afternoon schedule could not fit in a trip to the white cliffs of Vararaita National Park and back; and I have not even factored in the time it would take to strap on the gear. Yeah, sound check and all.
On a similar note, I sadly had to cross off a daily round of BASE jumping and croc-wrestling as well. During this brainstorming session, my patriotic zeal got lost somewhere in the mix, and I noticed my shoe lace was undone so I reached down to tie it. It was then, as I bumped into my gut, that I knew I had to do something about my expanding midsection.
Here was something practical I could embark on without unnecessarily creating a hole in my pocket, not to mention drastically reducing my lifespan. So I have resolved to do something about my weight with the help of the trusty old bathroom scale.
My modus operandi is quite elementary really. It is good old fashioned walking coupled with a simple garden diet. So instead of hopping on a vehicle, I plan to walk home every day after work. Plus I am going vegan for a month to boot!
Weighing the pros and cons, the only negative aspect of walking is that I might suffer a little discomfort from the sweat and the strain of my backpack. But I can stand my own sweat than to have my olfactory receptors assaulted by the collective body odour and goodness knows what else 35 people and an bus offsider who has not touched a bar of soap in more than a month can cook up in a crammed bus on an equally crammed road.
Or shall I factor in the PMV experience of having ones ears mercilessly assailed by a badly strung c...
Gary Juffa has come out with a statement to clear the air on the supposed 3rd Camp as posted earlier.
In any case, I wouldnt mind seeing Juffa as my Papua New Guineas next Prime Minister. He has what it takes to save this country from certain doom.
On a side note, those two lead figure who orchestrated the whole political crisis not too long ago, making Papua New Guinea the laughing stock of the world by blessing us with the #WhatElseCanPngHaveTwoOf tag, have now kissed and made up in Alotau, Milne Bay Province. But that is all old news, right?
Anyway, forget them. Heres what Mr Juffa had to say.
There is so much rumor and rhetoric in the media and here that I believe I would like to substantiate and spell out some facts about my part and role in what is happening in Eastern Highlands.
Firstly, I am NOT part of the Eastern Block. I am here to support my Regional Candidate Sam Sii. I am here with Governor elect for Morobe, Hon. Kelly Naru who is a friend by the way and we embrace certain values and principals much of which the members here do as well.
We are also collectively concerned about certain national issues such as the granting of citizenship to
- Djoko Tjandra
- and in my specific case the Naima Rice Monopoly Project
- and the Seabed Mining Project and
- such other issues which we here have spoken about and are concerned about.
I am NOT forming a group as an alternative government and I am not lobbying for the PMs job I am just speaking to like minded elected leaders and discussing how best to approach our common concerns and how best we can represent our people in our electorates, our province and our country.
I am NOT with John Kerenga GUL and with due respect to him and his group, have my own stance that I will take into parliament and again, I do not intend to deviate form what I believe in and have spoken against here or anywhere.Gary Juffa ~ Oro Province Governor-elect*
With August 1 announced as the official date of the Return of Writs by the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen (who I think should be given the sack anyway), power play heats up for government formation as we see all of them old dogs, Somare included, team up with ONeil as a formidable force and the most likely camp to be invited by the Governor General to form the next government.
On the other hand, Belden Namah, brash as ever, stands undeterred he will be the next PM. Comments on the ground and on social media as well as from the news reflect the general concession that in PNG politics, anything goes. It goes without saying that a tactician such as Namah still has a few tricks up his sleeves.
But that is not the reason for this post. Papua New Guinea has had it with the two lots of groupings or blocs as theyd rather be known; and with all the shades they come in (shady indeed!).
The gist of this post, however, is the confirmation of a rumoured third camp as mentioned in todays Post Courier (30/7/2012) on page 6. The third camp is reported to be in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province. It is being led by two fresh faces in PNG politics. Oro Governor elect, Gary Juffa, and lawyer/philanthropist, now Morobe Regional MP Kelly Naru.
Here now is a chance for all newly elected members to put their money where their mouth is and start over on a clean slate. To stand up for better change and to lead this country forward with a fresh faced government devoid of the miasma of corruption and all the trappings of PNG politics.
In my personal opinion, it would be the sensible thing to do and the best decision for this nation, if we could have all the Independent MPs and other smaller political parties to consider siding with this camp. I chance upon this opportunity to call out to the likes of Loujaiya Toni, member elect for Lae, to consider this as well.
Without further ado, here is a statement by the newly elected Governor for Oro Province, commenting on the establishment of the third camp Camp Juffa.
Let me say that we in Goroka are discussing how best we can serve the people of PNG, to represent them and not abandon them and their dreams and hopes, to fight for them and to ask the pertinent and controversial questions that the people of PNG are anxious for answers tosuch issues that I personally am concerned about are need answers such as the granting of citizenship to a international criminal fugitive (PALA), the plans to monopolize rice commercialization for a Chinese Indonesian Company only (TEMU), to demand that actual and thorough investigations be conducted into the controversial issues that have cost the nation and indeed the people substantial amounts of money, the r...
This letter serves as a readers feedback on a full page advertorial which appeared on page 56 of The National on Monday, 18 June 2012, by Mr Lawyer David Gonol.
With all due respect to Mr Gonol, I must say that write up alone has left me questioning his viability as a potential Governor of Western Highlands Province; or as he so arrogantly puts it, the Governor in waiting.
Given his profession and the office that he is running for, I expected an article that was intellectually scrupulous as well as grammatically refined. For a policy statement if it can be titled as such at all it failed on both these fronts and instead, left me cringing right from the opening line all the way to the part where The plant and animal kingdoms [sic] of Tambul/Nebilyer, Mul/Baiyer, Dei Council and Hagen Central decided to join the party.
If Mr Gonol is reading this, then I suggest he fire his publicist for doing him the disservice of dressing him in a court jesters garb with this sad case of a media release. After that he can go ahead and fire himself for even sanctioning such a write up to see the light of day in the first place.
This has certainly raised the bar of corny drivel to the next level and has debased our collective intelligence, allowing them to further condescend to us.
Grow up already, PNG.
The following comment was picked up from Facebook, and sad to say but Im not surprised at all.
EMTV once again takes the honours for being a DUD for a TV station.
EMTV ELECTION FOCUS*
EMTV(John Eggins) interview of PO (Peter ONeil) last-night was a big let down. I expected tough questions from Eggins but instead got such a soft kiss-a$& interview. The background video conveniently skipped the NPF chapter of POs life, and Eggins never asked about the controversial laws made by the ONape Parliament, nor his method of gaining power.
Looks like we can expect same treatment of all other Interviews in the Election Focus series.
Oh how I long for gutsy journalism.
yeah and give me QUALITY!
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