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IndyWatch PNG and NCD Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Tuesday, 13 December

00:28

Australian War Grave Gardens in Perpetuity "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Landscape consultants Andrew Prowse and Kim Morris describe their work reviving Australia's war grave cemeteries in Papua New Guinea, Queensland and NT for the Commonwealth. Foci are history and des...

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Monday, 12 December

19:23

No place like Lae "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


It was good to be back home again in Lae the previous weekend, from Dec 2-4 and boy, did I enjoy it.
For me, there's no place like Lae, a town where I was born and bred.
I talked a walk through my old stomping grounds in Top Town  and caught up with old friends.
Here is my visit in pictures:
The first person I bumped into was an old schoolmate of my brother David at Lae International High School in the 1980s Chris Davies and he thought I was David...another Mangi Lae from the glory days of our town has returned home...Chris is a born and bred Lae boy who did all his primary and high school here...and sad to see it going backwards...

I stayed at Lae City Hotel along 3rd Street, where the food and service was absolutely tops, not to mention the free Wi-Fi.


...

19:00

The smart Hela woman: a subordinated mother of invention "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Betty Gabriel WakiaBETTY WAKIA

A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s
writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year.

THE famous bow and arrow combination used by Huli men during tribal fights were invented by Hela woman who also taught the men how to use it.

Women taught Huli men how to build houses and invented the first Huli musical instrument.

These innovations and others are mentioned in Hela history but men try to ignore this and regard women as inferior child bearers.

The work of these women inspires Hela today but they receive no recognition.

In Hela history, Huli women were considered as aggressive and outspoken as Huli men and had great influence in society. They contested with the men to contribute to making decisions in the akali palamanda (men’s house).

Perhaps this was because they were largely responsible for the care of the pigs, the most important Huli exchange commodity.

Huli women owned and inherited land and argued for their rights in legal disputes. Today Hela women are not as aggressive and outspoken as they once were. They hardly participate at the top level of decision making.

So far no woman has ever been among the 111 members of Papua New Guinea’s parliament. I don’t know what happened to them on the way. Is it because they’re not responsible for anything more important than a pig? Or is it that they’re too scared to come out and fight for their rights?

Huli women are considered the backbone of society, making up the majority of agricultural labourers. Most of their skills and knowledge are acquired from their mothers or elders in the village.

Gardening techniques are learned early...

08:10

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill welcomes Bill English as New Zealand Prime Minister "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea,  Peter O’Neill  has congratulated Hon. Bill English MP, as New Zealand’s 39th Prime Minister saying he knows the relationship between the two countries will continue to go stronger.

PM O’Neill also commended outgoing Prime Minister, Hon. John Key MP, for his commitment to advancing development in Papua New Guinea and around the Pacific.
“I congratulate Bill English following his election as Leader of the New Zealand National Party and Prime Minister of New Zealand,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.

“New Zealand is one of our closest partners and a great friend of Papua New Guinea.
“Engagement between the political leadership of our countries is very important, and I am sure that we will continue the strong relationship I have had with John Key.
“There are a number of areas where we will work to advance co-operation such as healthcare and education, and in building capacity in our SME sector.

“New Zealand is also offering substantial support as Papua New Guinea prepares to host the APEC Summit in 2018.
“I will be extending an invitation for Prime Minister English to visit Papua New Guinea at his earliest convenience.
“I look forward to Bill English getting to know the people of our nation better, and visiting several regions of our country.”

PM O’Neill further commended outgoing New Zealand Prime Minister
“It is a testament to John Key’s character that he has chosen to leave office at a time of his choosing,” PM O’Neill said.
“It has been a pleasure working with John Key over the past five years as Prime Minister.
“He has always maintained a keen interest in development in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.
“I have appreciated John Key’s views on regional and global activities, particularly over the past year as the world has experienced challenge and change.
“I wish John and his family happiness and good health in their future life away from Government and politics.” Photo credit: RNZI

07:31

PNG Defence Force beating investigated "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

NBC News - Kelvin Kaspar

A senior Defence Force officer is being sent to Madang to investigate the beating of a prominent Madang resident, allegedly by members of the Defence Force Navy.

Former Commander retired Major General Jerry Singirok said he's reported the matter to the head of the PNGDF, Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo.

It’s been alleged Madang businessman Simon Merton was badly assaulted by drunk navy personnel when he was returning home on Saturday night.

He suffered a fractured eye socket and cheek bone and multiple bruises to his face.

Mr Singirok said Commander Toropo was particularly upset about the incident, and says there is no place for such behaviour in the PNG Defence Force.


07:29

1) PNG opposition leader calls for “honest” take on Papua "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) Thousands of West Papuans mark human rights day
3) Wings Air continues flights to Nabire despite ban
———————————————————-

1) PNG opposition leader calls for “honest” take on Papua
1:24 pm today 
Papua New Guinea's opposition leader says his country and Australia need to play a greater role in responding to human rights abuses in neighbouring West Papua.
...

03:55

I AM NOT BLACK. BUT THATS WHAT YOU CALLED ME. "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

“These Labels were Made Up to Divide us.”

 


Filed under: World Issues

02:45

PNG education policies in urban contexts: Christ the King Primary School, Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Christ the King Primary School (image: Michelle Rooney)Perched on top of a hill in the ATS settlement in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, just a short drive from the international airport and all major services, is the remarkable local success story of the Christ the King Primary School. The settlement gets its name from the acronym used to denote the adjacent Air Transport Squadron (ATS) formal compound. The school, a local initiative, currently caters for several hundred children in the community with no government support. I first encountered the school during my PhD fieldwork in 2013.

The congregation of the Christ the King Anglican Church established the school around 2009. A handful of teachers responded to the call by the church for teachers living in the community to serve in the school. A former school headmaster, Mr Bernard Karad, living in the settlement, was asked to help run the school. The school has gone from strength to strength, expanding over the years to a substantial educational institution in terms of infrastructure, staff and student enrolments. However, despite its successes the school remains unregistered and therefore does not receive government funding. In order for it to receive government funds it needs to meet conditions such as a minimum number of enrolments, a minimum number of classrooms, water and sanitation facilities, and clear ownership of land.

Why is the government of PNG excluding urban schools like the Christ the King Primary School from government funding? The school is meeting the educational needs of this growing urban community. It is also contributing to the government’s Universal Basic Education (UBE) plan and the National Plan for Education (NPE).

...

01:43

Bill Armstrong: volunteering with attitude "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

For generations of young Australians with a passion for social justice, volunteering in developing or indigenous communities has been a rite of passage.

Bill Armstrong has been deeply involved in this movement since the 1960s, working with organisations such as the Overseas Service Bureau (now Australian Volunteers International), and Indigenous Community Volunteers.

In his interview with Robin Davies, he sees a special place for volunteers in our engagement with countries in the region.

‘Volunteers work with the community. They work with the government. They work as employees of whoever it is they’re working for. They work alongside their colleagues. They’re much more like one of them [than consultants].”

Read our profile of Bill Armstrong and his life’s work supporting and promoting volunteering here.

This is the final in our series of Aid Profiles for 2016. The whole series makes great summer reading – catch up here.

The seven profiles we have written in 2016 form the shortlist for the 2017 Mitchell Humanitarian Award, which will be announced at the Australasian Aid Conference dinner on Wednesday 15 February.

If you have nominations for the profiles or award, we accept them on a rolling basis – get in touch with us at devpolicy@anu.edu.au.

The post Bill Armstrong: volunteering with attitude appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

01:33

Crystal Rapids is the perfect escape from Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Crystal Rapids is indeed the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Port Moresby.
All former and current students of Sogeri National High School know about that, however, my elder brother David and I are both ex Aiyura National High School.
The magic of Crystal Rapids
Today, Sunday, Dec 11, my niece Zarin, eldest daughter of David, had her 14th birthday, and invited my kids and I to a day out at this beautiful part of Papua New Guinea.
David pointing out Crystal Rapids to me
David and family picked my tribe at our 8-Mile home, in two Toyota Landcruisers to our rendezvous, along the Sogeri Road past the rolling Laloki River and magnificent mountain grandeur.
Magnificent scenery At Crystal Rapids
The Sogeri Road is a busy stretch with new developments and houses all...

01:20

Interview: Brett Goschen, Chief Executive Officer, Digicel Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Boosting data speeds and widening broadband coverage are the aims of Digicel’s incoming Chief Executive Officer, Brett Goschen. He told Business Advantage PNG he will be drawing on his experiences in Africa to help transform the telecommunications landscape in Papua New Guinea.

Digicel PNG's Brett Goschen

Digicel PNG’s Brett Goschen

Business Advantage PNG (BAPNG): You come to PNG from several roles in Africa. What do you find most satisfying about working in developing economies?

Brett Goschen (BG): For me, most definitely, was being part of an industry that so visibly and in such a short space of time transformed the lives of so many hundred of millions of people.

In most Africa countries, before the introduction of GSM, there were few ‘fixed telephone lines’ and only a tiny elite section of the population had access to telephony. GSM operators changed all of that and bought communication to the vast majority of the population and significantly contributed to the socio-economic development of Africa over the last 15 to 20 years.

More recently the advent of smart phones is having a profound effect on how people live, work and play.

BAPNG: What do you see as your major goals for the year ahead?

BG: My first major goal is to improve the customer experience at all touch points with Digicel. There are many but to illustrate some examples, would include data throughput speeds, network availability, value propositions, promotions, self service, call centre, and product availability.

My second major goal is to set Digicel PNG back on the growth path which I intend to do by improving the customer experience and providing more value to the market through more affordable pricing and innovative products and services.

BAPNG: Digicel has pioneered adoption of the mobile phone in PNG. Clearly, demand and customer expec...

01:00

Introducing the ‘Donor Tracker’ "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

These aren’t bad times if you’re a consumer of aid data. Globally, alongside the good old OECD workhorses, there’s AidData. In the UK, DFID provides a Development Tracker. In Canada, there’s a the excellent Foreign Aid Portal.

In Australia, access to IATI data in a useful form is an ongoing headache. But, on the other hand, there’s some information on the DFAT website, ACFID provides great information on where its members work and, of course, there’s Devpolicy’s very own Australian Aid Tracker.

And now, another interesting new aid transparency tool has just arrived. This is the Donor Tracker, produced by German consultants Seek Development.

When it is fully operational, the Donor Tracker will cover 14 donors, including Australia. (There’s no information on Australia yet, but it is due this month.) In the meantime, the site is well worth visiting. With some digging around, you can use the Donor Tracker to find the standard quantitative information (ODA/GNI for example) both for individual donors and also in the form of cross-donor comparisons. What I found more interesting though, was the qualitative information the tool provided on the covered countries. If, for example, like me, you know nothing about French ODA, the tool provides a quick means of learning the basics on France’s current approach to aid, as well as potential future changes. This is a real innovation and ought to be helpful for anyone who needs to understand different aid donors and how they operate.

 

The post Introducing the ‘Donor Tracker’ appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

00:19

Australian giant, Orica operating on illegal SABL land "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

orica

Orica, one of the leading publicly-owned companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is operating on land outside Port Moresby acquired through illegal Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABLs), according to local landholders.

The accusations have come from the people of Papa village, close to the Exxon Mobil LNG site, who have seen their land illegally occupied for quarrying and provision of other LNG support services. The villagers are now demanding their land be given back.

Villagers hand their demands to Orica security guards

Villagers hand their demands to Orica security guards

SABL leases are at the centre of a huge land grab in PNG in which more than 5 million hectares of land has been illegally acquired from customary landowners. A government instigated Commission of Inquiry, which reported in 2013, found almost all the leases are unlawful with widespread instances of fraud and a general failure by government Departments to follow proper procedures.

According to the Commission of Inquiry, the land on which Orica is said to be operating, Portions 2465C and 2485C, was acquired through “misrepresentation and fraud” [SABL Commission of Inquiry Final Report at p164] and the forging of landholders signatures “was a criminal act” [at p151]. The lease was “fraudulent and improper” [at p156] a...

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Sunday, 11 December

22:47

Is Don Polye the Saviour of our country "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

by ETE BRUTE

As a civil engineer, in the portfolio of Minister for Works/Transport, (that he held for more than eight years) is where Polye had his chance to shine for his people and Papua New Guinean the vibrancy of his leadership.

However, to many he was rather disappointing. It’s been mooted, that he “…failed to address the deteriorating condition of the transport system…” when he had the portfolio. Certainly, despite many years with copious amounts of money, he’s also failed to build the Wasa Bridge in Kandep many believed of what he preached would bee the longest and the biggest bridge in the country. Polye is a cunning politician. 

...

21:00

What a friend I have in Peter: PNG PM is Turnbull’s steadfast pal "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Turnbull & O'Neill - buddiesKEITH JACKSON

PRIME minister Malcolm Turnbull may be quickly running out of friends in Australia – including in his own party – but he has a staunch ally in Papua New Guinea’s leader Peter O’Neill.

Turnbull met in Sydney with O’Neill last week to discuss the globally condemned Manus refugee prison (euphemistically termed the “regional processing centre” by the Australian government) and other problem issues.

During the meeting O’Neill expressed appreciation for Australia’s support of PNG’s hosting of the controversial APEC forum in 2018 – an exercise reported to be costing K400 million of the country’s besieged budget.

“Australia has a wealth of experience and technical information that we are drawing from, and is further providing support and capacity building in areas that include security, logistics and policy development,” O’Neill said.

“In particular, delivering the right level of security for the leaders’ Summit, and all APEC meetings through 2018, is essential in successfully hosting APEC.

“Papua New Guinea very much appreciates the commitment and the high level capacity building that we are receiving through the Australian Federal Police partnership.

“Papua New Guinea further appreciates support from the Australian Defence Force through training and the provision of equipment and personnel during APEC in 2018.

O’Neill said he has invited Turnbull to come to Papua New Guinea in 2017 for an official visit.

The Australian prime minister has so far failed to visit Australia’s nearest neighbour, a four-hour flight from Turnbull’s home base in Sydney.

Australia currently provides PNG with around a billion dollars a year in development assistance and special grants.

20:37

1) Commemorating Human Rights Day, a period action in Manokwari admitted beaten with rattan "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) After his release, 14 KNPB members arrested again
3) UN makes call on Tahiti’s self-determination
———————————————————
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
Minggu, 11 Desember 2016 — 17:02 
1) Commemorating Human Rights Day, a period action in Manokwari admitted beaten with rattan
...

20:00

Australia’s microstate visa: first arrivals "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

One&Only Hayman Island (One & Only Resorts/Roderick Eime/Flickr CC BY 2.0)Last year under the auspices of the Northern Australia White Paper, the Abbott Government announced a new migration pathway for Pacific labour mobility: a microstate visa for Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru. As Stephen Howes wrote at the time, “The two-year microstate pilot could be much more attractive (than the SWP), but what sectors will it cover?”

Today we know more. The first microstate visas have been issued to i-Kiribati migrants who arrived recently to work on Hayman Island at the One&Only Hayman Great Barrier Resort (pictured above). There are currently 28 i-Kiribati citizens on site. A third group of 14 people will arrive shortly. The occupations identified by the employer include housekeeping, maintenance, stewarding, and food and beverage positions.

The creation and activation of the microstate visa category is a signal of the growing importance of labour mobility to the Australian Government’s development strategy. The Minister for International Development, the Hon. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, said recently in an interview with the ABC’s Pacific Beat program, “Whether it’s under this pilot, or whether it’s under the Seasonal Worker Programme, basically our objective is to increase labour market opportunities for Pacific workers because of course the remittances that do go back to those countries are vitally important, not just to those families, but to their communities.”

In total, the pilot will provide the opportunity for 250 citizens over five years to access a two year work visa, with the option of applying for a third year. According information provided to Devpolicy by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the work opportunities must be non-seasonal, low-skilled and based in Northern Australia. Overall the process to hire a migrant using the microstate visa, including labour market testing, mostly reflects existing regulations in the Seasonal Worker Pr...

20:00

PNG mining conference must be held in PNG, says Sam Basil "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Sam BasilKEITH JACKSON

PAPUA New Guinea’s deputy opposition leader Sam Basil is angry that his Bulolo district missed out on participating at PNG’s recent mining and petroleum conference, held in the big city comfort and retail opportunities of Sydney, Australia.

And he's even more livid that the country's premier mining conference is held in Sydney and not in PNG, where he believes it should be hosted.

Basil said the Bulolo District Development Authority - whose activities covers the Hidden Valley gold mine, the emerging Wafi Golpu gold and copper mine and hundreds of second and third generation of gold miners – couldn’t afford the K200,000 it would have cost to send a delegation to the conference.

He said the miners benefit PNG’s national revenue by K60-70 million annually.

“The name Bulolo is synonymous with mining, so wherever there are talks about mining, Bulolo must be invited and assisted by government to be part of such high level conferences,” Basil said.

He questioned the logic of landowners spending huge amounts of funds to travel offshore “to go and talk about resources that are under our feet.

“Investors who are genuine and want to invest in and develop our resources must come to the shores of PNG to discuss how they propose to develop these resources,” he told One PNG.

“Millions of kina in limited development funds are wasted every year by PNG government departments and landowners to attend these meetings when funds could have been spent onshore.

“Also more participants and stakeholders from PNG could attend if it was hosted onshore.”

Basil called on Chamber of Mines president Greg Anderson to reconsider having future mining conferences in PNG.

“If PNG is vying to host such high level events...

19:00

Feeling ripped off by Digicel PNG? This could be why "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Digicel_brand_ambassador_theresa_tonaMARTYN NAMORONG

LAST week the Jamaica Gleaner reported that Digicel Group’s earnings have been hit by worsening economic conditions in Papua New Guinea.

The newspaper was quoting the British investment bank Barclays’ analysis of Digicel’s recent developments and earnings that showed that revenue fell 7% to $US638 million, while its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation declined 14% to $US253 million.”

Papua New Guinea accounts for 14% of Digicel Group’s revenue and is Digicel Pacific’s largest market.

"While we acknowledge investor concerns related to Digicel Pacific given the weak macroeconomic backdrop in Papua New Guinea, we continue to view cash flows from Digicel Pacific Limited as an important source of cash … and believe the operations in the country are close to bottoming-out," Barclays stated.

With lower earnings and pressure from investors, Papua New Guineans can expect to feel a huge squeeze from Digicel.

08:57

National Football Stadium too small , says PNG Sports Minister Tkatchenko "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


WITH the end of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, the country will now set its sights on the much anticipated Rugby League World Cup 2017.

However, the world class National Football Stadium (NFS) will still not meet the demands of the four pool matches slotted in for the country.

Following the attendance and hype of the recent FIFA tournament, the Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko acknowledged that the Rugby League World Cup would be a completely different scenario considering the codes national sports status would create a frenzy for seats.

“The National Football Stadium can sit 15,000, but really at the end of the day when it comes to the four games that will be played that will be played here in October and November next year for the Rugby League World Cup, we have got United State of America, Wales, Ireland,” he said.

“Now they are going to be sold out, they are going to be hanging off the lights the people just to get in to watch these world cup games for the first time as our national sport watching the Kumuls play to see if we can get into the semifinals in Australia, so yes it is going to be a very tough ask.

“The Trustee of the National Football Stadium are already talking with the Rugby League World Cup to expand the two sides to bring up the capacity to 20,000 for October next year.”

He said the additional seating will allow an additional 5000 fans to witness the matches, and is currently being negotiated.

Tkatchenko said the extension in the seating is still in line with the development plan of the stadium that saw the first phase completed under the Tax Credit Scheme with Oil Search PNG.

With the second stage of development will see the NFS trustees’ source funding in time to construct the additions before the 2017 World Cup begins.

“The National Football Stadium is in two stages. What you see now is stage one which has been competed under the tax credit scheme,” he said.

“Stage two will come with the trustee now in charge and how they get that money and how they fund that money will be their own devices through the trustees.

“So really it is out of the government’s hands now, we have invested to the National Football Stadium, the trustees have been put in place to manage and look after that stadium on behalf of the state, in conjunction of course with the Port Moresby rugby league board which is on the board as well.

“So it’s their prerogative to look...

08:33

1) Watch Indonesia-Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) If You Cared About Standing Rock, You Need To Know About West Papua
————————————————————————————

1) Watch Indonesia-Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia
submitted September 2016, published at Human Rights Day, 10 December 2016


Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia

www.watchindonesia.org/wp-content/uploads/UPR_Submission_Indonesia_2017_WI_WPN_OMCT.pdf

Human Rights Council
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia
3rd cycle (May – June 2017)

United_Nations_Human_Rights_Council_LogoJoint Stakeholders’ Submission by:
Watch Indonesia! e.V.
West Papua Network (WPN)
World Organisation against Torture (OMCT)
I. Introduction

1. This stakeholder report is a joint submission by the West Papua Network (WPN), Watch Indonesia! and the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) The report highlights key concerns, trends and significant developments in the human rights situation in Indonesia including a particular focus on the region West Papua between January 2012 and July 2016 in the following areas: torture and maltreatment; extra-judicial and arbitrary executions; violence against land rights activists; freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly; death penalty; discrimination on the basis of religious belief and sexual orientation; truth finding and dealing with the past, the role of the military; human rights defenders; and indigenous peoples. This report will conclude with a set of recommendations
2. The WPN is monitoring and documenting the human rights and conflict situation, the legal and institutional framework in Indonesia and supports a peaceful solution to the long lasting conflict in West Papua for more than 20 years. It operates jointly with other organizations in the International Coalition for Papua (ICP).
3. Watch Indonesia! is a Berlin based human rights NGO working since 1991 to address the human rights, democracy and enviro...

08:20

Few SP Hunters regular players released "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


SP Hunters coach Michael Marum has put his 52 men train- on squad with several omissions of regular players.  The squad includes 25 former and current players, 25 new players plus two from the Southern Academy.

Marum revealed that seven regular players were released during week one for various reasons.

“Co- captain Noel Zeming has withdrawn to concentrate on his career. Stanley Olo and Bradley Yano failed to pass medical tests on injured ankle and arm respectively. Tuvi Lepan failed to arrive in Port Moresby after missing his flight while Bernard Goma was late to arrive in camp on Sunday.

“Timothy Lomai and Warren Glare were released following tests that their fitness levels were not up to the required standard,” he added.

“I have spoken to these players and they have accepted it,” he added.

Marum said the remaining 45 players will continue to be put through the rigorous training program and their fitness levels monitored.

“We will spend another week in Port Moresby and travel to Goroka next Saturday December 17 until December 23 when we will break for the Christmas and New Year period,” Marum said.

“While in Goroka, the squad will be joined by the Highlands Academy and selected Highlands and Northern women players. The Digicel Cup franchise trainers and coaches will also be in attendance,” he said.

The SP Hunters train on squad travel home on December 23 to spend the Christmas period with their families and return to camp on January 2, 2017.

The final 30 man squad and staff to take part in the 2017 Intrust Super Cup season will be announced a week or so later. On behalf of the SP Hunters staff, players and our families, I thank you all for all your support during 2016 and wish you all a very merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

07:03

13 Year-Old Romanian Mountaineer Dor Geta Popescu on GILUWE - A Sought after Mountain "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

13Year-Old Romanian Mountaineer Dor Geta Popescu on GILUWE - A
Sought after Mountain Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea, December 6, 2016: Romanian climber, Dor Geta Popescu summits Giluwe 14,327 ft., the highest volcano in Australia and Oceania on Monday, December 5, 2016, 9:20 AM, local time. This being the 6th of the highest volcanos on each continent from the 7 Volcanos Circuit, that Geta summited thus far.

Dor Geta Popescu is a member of the Romanian Climbing Federation and The Altitude Expeditions Team. She becomes the world’s youngest female climber, age13, that successfully summits Papua New Guinea’s volcano. “A unique mountain, unlike any I’ve climbed before! You have to carve your way through the jungle using a machete. Forge your way through the vegetation and then approach through alpine terrain with soggy, wet soil. We have circumvented many lakes to finally reach minor craters and some lava peaks dominated by the faraway silhouettes of the two peaks. What comes next, are the last 400 meters, the most beautiful, steep, rocky
and challenging final push guided by a restrained happiness of impending success. The peak is breathtaking: 360 degrees of mountains and valleys, peaks over 14,000 ft. projecting through the never-ending jungle. Yes, now I understand, I know why Giluwe is “sought after” mountain”- said Geta. Dor Geta Popescu is a professional member of The Romanian High Altitude Mountaineering Club. She completes 2016- breaking the age world record for high altitude by climbing Aconcagua - the highest mountain outside of Asia, Pico de Orizaba - the highest volcano of South America and Denali / McKinley – The Great One of North America.

Dor Geta Popescu holds The World Record for high altitude climbing for girls under 18. She has established 8- Age WR. She completed 6 of out of the 7 Volcanos Circuit, and she climbed 4 out of the 7 Summits Circuits. She received the “Romanian Climber of the Year,” Award for 2015, and in the last 3 years she has had successfully participated in 9 high altitude expeditions.
Geta’s expeditions for record setting are “Made in Romania,” outfitted by Altitude Expeditions Team and made possible by the following sponsors: Mures SRL, Dynamic ’92, Bravo Europa, Strindberg.ro - professional sportswear, Redis and Seven Mountains Circuits from the Carpathian Garden.

About Dor Geta Popescu
Date of Birth: June 4, 2003
Mountaineering, High Altitude, Technical Climbing
Member of the Al...

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03:27

WPRA Extends Condolences for the Death of Our Hero: George Junus Aditjondro "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

From the Central Command of West Papua Revolutionary Army, the Officers of the WPRA would like to officially Extend Our Condolences       for the death of Our Great Hero from Indonesia, hero of freedom and truth.   All West Papuan fighters in the jungle of New Guinea hereby acknowledge the great work he…

WPRA Extends Condolences for the Death of Our Hero: George Junus Aditjondro was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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03:08

George Junus Aditjondro Meninggal Dunia "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

News Detik - Palu - Aktivis, peneliti dan penulis George Junus Aditjondro meninggal dunia di Palu, Sulawesi Tengah, Sabtu, 10 Desember 2016 sekitar pukul 05.45 Waktu Indonesia Tengah. Ia meninggal dalam perawatan di Rumah Sakit Bala Keselamatan di Jalan Woodward, Palu, Sulawesi Tengah. "Duka mendalam wafatnya seorang tokoh reformasi. Guru dan mentor politik saya semasa…

George Junus Aditjondro Meninggal Dunia was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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03:05

Penulis Gurita Cikeas, George Junus Aditjondro Meninggal Dunia "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Suara.com - Penulis buku kontroversial George Junus Aditjondro dikabarkan telah meninggal dunia di usia 70 tahun. Lelaki kelahiran Pekalongan 27 Mei 1946 itu menghembuskan napas terakhir di Palu, Sulawesi Tengah, pada hari ini, Sabtu (10/12/2016) sekitar pukul 05.45 WITA. Meninggalnya George, yang pernah bikin rezim pemerintahan Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono geram karena karya bukunya berjudul Gurita…

Penulis Gurita Cikeas, George Junus Aditjondro Meninggal Dunia was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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02:49

Indonesian push for education about Papua history "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

RadioNZ - A Jakarta-based group says Indonesians need to learn more about the way West Papua was incorporated into the republic. The newly-established Indonesian People's Front for West Papua, or FRI West Papua, this week declared its support for West Papuan liberation from Indonesian rule. Made up of non-Papuans, the group said that the universal…

Indonesian push for education about Papua history was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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02:11

No truth, no justice, from South Africa to Bougainville "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

On 16 August 2012, 34 South African mineworkers were gunned down by police in collusion with the British mining company, Lonmin, and Government Ministers. This documentary memorialises this atrocity:

A Commission of Inquiry has been launched into the tragedy.

 On 26 November 1988, police and then military began a campaign of violence, logistically supported by British company Rio – ‘Better the Devil You Know’ – Tinto, and government Ministers, against landowners on Bougainville. Many thousands were killed. No commission of inquiry was called, no truth commission was launched. The Prime Minister in charge during this period of abuse and mass brutality, was rewarded with a Board position at the then Rio Tinto subsidiary, Bougainville Copper Limited.


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Saturday, 10 December

23:07

PNG among world's best travel destinations in 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea has been given a huge vote-of-confidence by being selected as one of National Geographic Traveler’s 21 “Best of the World” destinations for 2017.
Tourism Promotion Authority chief executive officer Jerry Agus shows the National Geographic Traveler’s Best of the World 2017 destinations, of which Papua New Guinea is included.

The highly-anticipated annual list will be unveiled in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of the magazine, which became available on newsstands nationwide in the USA starting November 29, and online November 17 at NatGeoTravel.com/BestTrips2017.
The 2017 Best of the World destinations are (in alphabetical order):
• Anchorage, Alaska, USA
• Baja California National Marine Parks, Mexico
• Banff, Alberta, Canada
• Canton Uri, Switzerland
• Cartagena, Colombia
• Central India’s National Parks
• Chengdu, China
• Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
• Ecuador’s Cloud Forests
• Finland
• Georgia, USA
• Guadeloupe Islands
• Hamburg, Germany
• Kauai, Hawaii, USA
• Madrid, Spain
• Malta
•...

21:30

Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

First ever collection of PNG women's writing - the deadline looms.

There are many talented women writers in Papua New Guinea and, for International Women’s Day in March,
an anthology of their writing will be published and launched in both Port Moresby and Brisbane. This will be the first book of its kind to come out of PNG and it will be an important moment. Writers can still contribute
essays, short stories, articles, poetry and illustrations on the theme, ‘My walk to equality’. Closing date: 31 December. Click here for details.

WITH THANKS TO PAGA HILL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY & JO HOLMAN - SUPPORTING THE WOMEN OF PNG
For information about sponsorships & donations, contact Keith Jackson here

21:26

Indonesian police shut down Punks for West Papua Screening. "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Indonesian  police shut down Punks for West Papua Screening.

A planned showing of “Punks for West Papua in Manado was banned by Police.
West Papuan student cannot screening Punk for West Papua in Manado.



------------------------------------------...

21:10

1) Video of march in Sydney "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) Team insists probe into Paniai case will continue
3) Island focus: 60 villages in Papua to be lit by Christmas
4) Indonesia’s human rights record still poor: Imparsial

——————————————
1) Video of march in Sydney (10 Dec.)
where West Papuan supporters and civil society groups joined in a rally and march, uniting with Aboriginal Peoples defence of Human Rights and  to bring awareness to the issues our government should be looking at but don’t.

—————————————...

21:03

Anticorruption activist George Aditjondro passes away in Palu "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/12/10/anticorruption-activist-george-aditjondro-passes-away-in-palu.html
Anticorruption activist George Aditjondro passes away in Palu
Ruslan Sangadji The Jakarta Post
Palu | Sat, December 10, 2016 | 11:28 am


George Junus Aditjondro (right). (Tribun Jogja/Hasan Sakri Ghazali)


Activist, researcher, scholar and former Tempo magazine journalist George Junus Aditjondro died in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Saturday at 5:45 a.m. local time. He was 70 and died by his widow, Erna Tenge, and son from his earlier marriage, Enrico Suryo Aditjondro.
Since 2012 when a stroke affected his health, George had difficulty speaking. He died in Bala Keselamatan Hospital in Palu.
George was known as a passionate cri...

21:00

Oi, Papua New Guinean writer! Write for the people of PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PhilPHIL FITZPATRICK

FORTY-ONE years after independence in 1975 and Papua New Guinean literature is still in its infancy.

It’s like a child that has never grown up. Or like one of those 20 year olds you occasionally see in primary school trying hard to learn to read and write.

Since Keith and I started the Crocodile Prize for Literature I have been trying to interest literary people in Australia in Papua New Guinean writing.

I believe that recognition outside Papua New Guinea will provoke organisations and government in Papua New Guinea to take literature seriously.

I have sent copies of the books we have published, including the anthologies, to all sorts of people in Australia who might be interested.

I have written articles and essays for literary and popular journals in Australia to use and maybe publish.

Every single one of these efforts has got nowhere. At best I’ve received feedback that essentially says, it’s not very good writing is it. Other editors simply don’t reply.

One of the most difficult things to get across to Australian audiences is that different cultures tell stories differently. For instance, a story from Papua New Guinea may not have a beginning or an end.

Some other conventions don’t apply. A cardinal rule in western literature is not to preach: establish your point subtly and whatever you do don’t spell it out. A lot of Papua New Guinean stories are built around morality tales and the meaning is explicit. This often doesn’t go down well with Australian readers or academics.

This doesn't mean that Papua New Guinean literature is ‘not very good’, it means that Papua New Guinean literature is different. It’s that difference that should be capturing their attention, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to.

...

20:00

Story times are precious - & so are sisters "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Theresa MekiTHERESA MEKI

A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s
writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year.

IT ALL starts at home: story times are precious.

Children are usually quick to point out what is fair and what is not.

When I was a kid, I would fight with my younger brother, Avdoh, about small things - who gets the single seat sofa or who holds the television remote. Being older, I felt it was my right to have things my way.

Also, I harboured a small fear that, if I didn’t fight for my rights, he would get his way as the only boy. Did my parents love him more? Thankfully, I have a wonderful mother who understood a nine year old’s anguish.

My mother, Kekas Meki, is a Kafe woman from the Henganofi District of the Eastern Highlands. When Avdoh and I fought, she would pull us apart, sit us down on her bed and tell us about the special nature of the brother-sister relationship and the respect and good treatment given to women in her society.

She did this by telling us a tumbuna (legend) story from her village of Marikente. I called this story the ‘Cave Story’….

WHENEVER feasts or mumus are held, it is customary and important that brothers should first acknowledge their sisters and give them preferable treatment. This custom stemmed from a horrible incident and people guard against a repetition of the incident by honouring the custom.

A long time ago in the mountains around Henganofi there lived a man and his wife. One day there was a big feast in their village. The man was a leader in the village and was busy preparing for the feast and communing with his guests.

Amid all the commotion, he did not not...

19:00

My dear Rabaul town - A bitter sweet reunion "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Rabaul town damage, October 1994JULIE MOTA KONDI

A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year

I WROTE this poem to honour the memory of a beautiful town of Rabaul and the people of East New Britain who have shown great resilience in the face of great tragedy of the twin volcanic eruptions in 1994. I have learnt a lot of moral values and great lessons from the people and their town now buried in ash, abandoned yet proud in its history. I have worked on several human rights projects with the East New Britain Council of Women under the leadership of Elizaberth Pawa, Relly Manning, Mrs Malori and others who have advanced the status and welfare of their womenfolk. I dedicate this poem to these women leaders who have taught me a lot about the road to gender equality.

LIKE an old friend she clung unto me as we drove into town.

We embraced like old friends with each passing gaze and every passing scene,
a chord seemed to be struck with every taste, sound, smell and touch,
there was a bond somewhere.
Through the passage of time’s separate paths we travelled and now we met again on her humble stead where once she took me in with her other brood
and imparted the old wisdom of her people.
Hospitality and perseverance chief among them all.

How could I look past that streak of quiet dignity that graced her every look despite
the weather-beaten neglect of age and tear.
Her hospitality stood in the test of time.

Everywhere the deep jagged thrust of the savanna plains stared back with such loyalty.
...

18:15

Ribuan Rakyat Pro Referendum Papua Duduki Halaman DPRD Jayawijaya "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

WAMENA, JAYAWIJAYA, SATUHARAPAN.COM - Ribuan rakyat pro penentuan nasib sendiri Papua hari ini (10/12) menduduki halaman gedung DPRD Jayawijaya. Para pendukung United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) yang oleh pemerintah dicap sebagai gerakan separatis, berkumpul dalam rangka memperingati hari Hak Asasi Manusia (HAM) sedunia yang jatuh pada tanggal 10 Desember. Menurut laporan para saksi…

Ribuan Rakyat Pro Referendum Papua Duduki Halaman DPRD Jayawijaya was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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18:12

Surya Anta: Kami, orang Indonesia, memberi hormat dan permintaan maaf terhadap kawan-kawan Papua … "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PembebasanBandung, 4 Desember 2016 -- Pada 1 Desember 2016, Front Rakyat Indonesia untuk West Papua (FRI-West Papua) dan Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP) hendak melakukan aksi menyuarakan Hak Menentukan Nasib Sendiri bagi Rakyat Papua di Bunderan Hotel Indonesia, Jakarta. Namun, baru tiba di perempatan Graha Mandiri, massa aksi yang berjumlah 200 lebih itu dihadang barisan polisi…

Surya Anta: Kami, orang Indonesia, memberi hormat dan permintaan maaf terhadap kawan-kawan Papua … was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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16:45

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

submitted September 2016, published at Human Rights Day, 10 December 2016

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia

www.watchindonesia.org/wp-content/uploads/UPR Submission_Indonesia_2017_WI_WPN_OMCT.pdf

Human Rights Council
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Indonesia
3rd cycle (May – June 2017)

United_Nations_Human_Rights_Council_LogoJoint Stakeholders’ Submission by:
Watch Indonesia! e.V.
West Papua Network (WPN)
World Organisation against Torture (OMCT)
I. Introduction

1. This stakeholder report is a joint submission by the West Papua Network (WPN), Watch Indonesia! and the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) The report highlights key concerns, trends and significant developments in the human rights situation in Indonesia including a particular focus on the region West Papua between January 2012 and July 2016 in the following areas: torture and maltreatment; extra-judicial and arbitrary executions; violence against land rights activists; freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly; death penalty; discrimination on the basis of religious belief and sexual orientation; truth finding and dealing with the past, the role of the military; human rights defenders; and indigenous peoples. This report will conclude with a set of recommendations
2. The WPN is monitoring and documenting the human rights and conflict situation, the legal and institutional framework in Indonesia and supports a peaceful solution to the long lasting conflict in West Papua for more than 20 years. It operates jointly with other organizations in the International Coalition for Papua (ICP).
3. Watch Indonesia! is a Berlin based human rights NGO working since 1991 to address the human rights, democracy and environmental issues in Indonesia and East Timor. It has been actively engaged in doing lobby and advocacy work in Germany, at the EU and the UN level together with its local, national and international partners.
4. Created in 1985, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is today the main coalition of international non-governmental organizations (NGO) fighting against torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. With 311 affiliated organizations in its SOS-Torture Network and many tens of thousands correspondents in every country, OMCT is the most important network of non-governmental organizations working for the protection and the promotion of human rights in the world.

read the complete submission at:
www.watchindonesia.org/wp-content/uploads/UPR Submission_Indonesia_2017_WI_WPN_OMCT.pdf


...

16:29

Magnitude 7.8 quake strikes Solomon Islands – tsunami warning eases "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A tsunami warning has been issued for several Pacific countries – including Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – following an earthquake with magnitude 7.8 about 68km off the coast of Kirakira in the Solomon Islands early today. The US Geological Survey (USGS) initially reported the quake at 4.18am local time as 8.0,…

Magnitude 7.8 quake strikes Solomon Islands – tsunami warning eases was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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16:23

Sope praises Fidel Castro over Cuban backing for Vanuatu independence "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

By Godwin Ligo in Port Vila Former Vanuatu Prime Minister and the country’s first Roving Ambassador, Barak Sope, has expressed his personal tribute to the late Fidel Castro of Cuba who died late last week. Speaking from his home on Ifira in a telephone interview with the Daily Post, Barak Sope, who was one of…

Sope praises Fidel Castro over Cuban backing for Vanuatu independence was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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16:21

Indonesia’s Jokowi still owes resolution of past rights abuses "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

By PMC Editor -December 10, 2016,By Margareth S. Aritonang in Jakarta After two years of running the country, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has still not fulfilled his campaign promise to address long-unresolved human rights abuse cases in Indonesia, a promise that is thought to have sealed his victory against his former contender Prabowo Subianto, who…

Indonesia’s Jokowi still owes resolution of past rights abuses was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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16:04

Regional meeting eyes Pacific climate migration and displacement "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

By Debbie Singh in Suva A regional meeting to consider key Pacific priorities and responsibilities for advancing commitments under international and regional policy frameworks on climate change migration and displacement opened in Suva today. Senior Pacific island government officials from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu,…

Regional meeting eyes Pacific climate migration and displacement was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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12:40

PNG Prime Minister O'Neill thanks PM Turnbull for Support and Co-operation on APEC "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill   has expressed appreciation for Australia’s support for Papua New Guinea’s hosting of the APEC process in 2018, and the understanding of the Australian Government in the action required in closing down the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

PM O’Neill made the comments after meeting with his Australian Counterpart, Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, in Sydney yesterday, and the Australian Immigration Minister, Hon. Peter Dutton MP, on Monday this week.

“Progress is being made to close the Manus Regional Processing Centre in compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court, and all parties are committed to this process,” the Prime Minister said.
“Further technical consultations will take place at the start of 2017 to move to the next level of this process.
“Our co-operation on this policy has saved countless lives of children, women and men who would otherwise have attempted to cross the Indian Ocean in unsafe boats.
“The trade human misery by people smugglers has ended.
“Now we move to the conclusion of this process.”
PM O’Neill further thanked the Australian Prime Minister for his Government’s ongoing support for Papua New Guinea in preparation for hosting APEC in 2018.
“This is the first time that Papua New Guinea will host APEC, whereas Australia hosted the G20 Summit two years ago and APEC in 2007.

“Australia has a wealth of experience and technical information that we are drawing from, and is further providing support and capacity building in areas that include security, logistics and policy development.

“In particular, delivering the right level of security for the Leaders’ Summit, and all APEC meetings through 2018, is essential in successfully hosting APEC.
“Papua New Guinea very much appreciates the commitment and the high level capacity building that we are receiving through the Australian Federal Police partnership.

“AFP personnel are amongst the best in the world and are demonstrating their capabilities and we look forward to maintaining, or even expanding this program in support of APEC.
“Papua New Guinea further appreciates support from the Australian Defence Force through training and the provision of equipment and personnel during APEC in 2018.

“Every APEC meeting is a joint security operation between partner countries, and I reassured Malcolm Turnbull that we appreciate the support and co-operation of Australia.”
Prime Minister O’Neill said he has invited Prime Minister Turnbull to come...

11:31

International languages to be taught at Pausa Secondary "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


The students at Pausa Secondary School in Wapenamanda District in Enga Province will have a new International Language Centre set up in the school campus to study foreign languages.


This was announced by the local MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato during the 10th school graduation last week Friday

Minister Pato said language classes in French, German, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia will be taught by specialist language teachers based at the school next year.

“Learning one or two different foreign languages will assist students to become internationally competitive in global job market,” Pato said

The Minister stressed the importance of learning Bahasa language as PNG shares international land border with the Republic of Indonesia and unlimited business trade with our Asian neighbour.

The school ground was pack to capacity by parents, friends and local business that supported the school during the 2016 academic year.

School Principal Gary Mark thanked the School Board Chairman Daniel Yapao and his members for ensuring the school management and teaching staff are committed in ensuring quality education is delivered to students.

Outgoing SRC President Jeffery Kome commended the surrounding communities for providing a safe and conducive environment for students learning. He thanked the Minister Pato for his continued support in providing the much needed infrastructure which includes new boy’s dormitories.

More than 600 students of which 263 where Year12 left the school ground for the last time

This Lutheran Mission run institution is the first secondary school in PNG to have an e library for the students to use.

Picture: The 2016 Dux...

10:30

Dark Matter: Natural Resource Policy in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Submitted By:  Jan Kees van Donge, retired ex Professor of Political Science at UPNG

The concern with corruption in PNG is in the first place forensic: concerned with what goes wrong. It may, however, also be useful to give some attention to issues of policy in order to avoid, as much as possible, such situations arising again in the future. This is especially pertinent with respect to policies governing natural resources, as these are so important for the PNG economy and governance issues are so blatant. Such a policy debate needs to begin with information on the actual present situation. This article argues firstly that such information is not currently available. A debate on procedures for an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is therefore simply irrelevant.[i] There are a number of reasons to ask scholarly as well as politically crucial questions that need to be answered before a sensible debate on natural resources policy can begin. These are set out below. Secondly, there is need of a debate on the ways in which PNG can extract income  from such projects dealing with the amount of leverage allowed and equity participation. This article does not pretend to provide definitive solutions, but it wants to create sensitivity to the issues involved.

First, government data are not explicit on income from natural resources projects. The income flows from mines and oil/gas for the government have to be guessed. These income flows are governed by confidential Resource Development Agreements between the state and companies. Furthermore, there is not one prescribed format for such agreements; rather, agreements are contract-specific and may contain any kind of concession with respect to taxation, royalties, equity participation and so forth.[ii] Political action is needed to change the law so that these agreements become public.

Second, specific questions need to be asked about depreciation and tax concessions. For example: when Asian Development Bank economist Aaron Batten presented the seminal report, Papua New Guinea: Critical Development Constraints, he mentioned specifically the taxation concessions for Ramu nickel and the LNG project. The Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) defended these concessions, as companies need the time to extract, produce, export and sell their products before they can generate a continuous income that is taxable. However, no definite and precise information was given by the IRC to answer the questions about the ten-year tax holiday for Ra...

09:02

Photos -human Rights Day -Sydney "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"





Stand up for someone's rights today!

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights! Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack. 
In Sydney West Papuan supporters and civil society groups joined in a rally and march, uniting with Aboriginal Peoples defence of Human Rights and  to bring awareness to the issues our government should be looking at but don't.
Aboriginal leaders a march through Sydney in a protest to mark International Human Rights Day. In July ABC’s Four Corners program aired footage of the repeated assault and mistreatment of Indigenous boys at detention centres in the Northern Territory, provoking a Royal Commission into youth abuse at the Don Dale detention centre, including that against Dylan Voller whose mother participated in the march
Slide show at
...

03:07

DESKS FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS IN GOILALA – GDDA "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

On the recently held Bulolo Show trip, Goilala District Development Authority was invited by Bulolo MP and Deputy Opposition Leader Hon Sam Basil to be the Guest Speaker.

Knowing Lae been the Industrial Hub of Papua New Guinea, Goilala District MP brought his full DDA Team with him.

Mostly aimed at Fact Finding, meeting stakeholders and establishing connections to foster understanding and help facilitate and deliver much-needed Services back in Goilala.

Two of the highlights of that trip was a meeting with Coffee Industry Corporation Officials here in their Lae HQ, and MRA own and managed Alluvial Mining Training Centre in Bulolo.

Among a host of minor meets, Goilala Development Authority made a finding that no one expected.

And that is MUDDY BARK INVESTMENT LIMITED. Owned and Managed by young Goilala men who call Morobe home.

Muddy Bark is engaged in timber milling and supplying. They cut timber from around the fringes of Lae Open, Naweb Open, Bulolo Open and Markham Open and mill that in their Timber yard and treat and dress before supplying to clients in Lae.

They are also into building construction – homes, offices, classrooms, churches.

Recently they have expanded their operation into bakery business due to the huge demand for freshly baked scones where they are based.

Present in the DDA during the tour of the Muddy Bark yard were District CEO, President Woitape, PreisdentGuari, President Tapini and their deputies.

Seeing the success of our own kind in Lae, GDDA engage Muddy Bark to produce School Desks for selected community schools in Goilala.

These desks once produced will utilize the forward loading option with Manolos Aviation choppers  to drop off at selected schools District-wide.

Insert are photos first 50 Des been produced at the Muddy Bark yard.

 

...

02:44

Mining industry uses the same old false promises to sell Frieda river mine "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Frieda River mine in the Sepik will enhance PNG’s prosperity, claims Fred Hess. Just like Panguna did for Bougainville, Ok Tedi has done for Western Province and Porgera is doing for Enga, Mr Hess?

Anyone with the slightest interest in evaluating Fred Hess’s claims should visit Arawa, Wabag and Daru and see how the same claims by made by Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and BHP have proved to be false.

And don’t be fooled by Hess’s claims that the Frieda river mine will be constructed and operated by PanAust and Highlands Pacific. The mine is owned and will be operated by the Chinese company Guandong Rising Assets Management (GRAM).

Now why is Mr Hess so keen to hide that little fact?

Delly Waigeno | EMTV News | 9 December 2016

The Frieda River Project in West Sepik will contribute to enhancing the prosperity of Papua New Guinea.

Dr. Fred Hess, Managing Director of PanAust said this when talking about the risks and rewards of this project.

Frieda River has the largest known gold and copper deposits in the world with over 2 billion tonnes, and the O’Neill-Dion Government has committed to assisting the project at its various stages of development.

Dr. Hess said the Frieda River Project is one that’s been known for about 50 years. PanAust and its joint venture partner, Highlands Pacific are aiming to bring the project into development very soon.

They have already submitted a special mining lease application.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said the government was committed to the project.

The Project is a substantial open cut mining operation, dominated by a large storage facility.

Dr. Hess said the project will generate substantial revenue that will be shared around a number of stakeholders including; local communities, provincial government, the national government, the company and its shareholders who will all benefit from this project going forward.


...

01:37

World-first PNG seabed mining project “forges ahead” "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Nautilus Minerals' Adam Wright speaks at the PNG petroleum and mining conference in Sydney. (ABC News: Sajithra Nithi)

Nautilus Minerals’ Adam Wright speaks at the PNG petroleum and mining conference in Sydney. (ABC News: Sajithra Nithi)

Sajithra Nithi | ABC News | 10 December 2016

The world’s first project to mine the seabed for minerals is expected to begin operations in Papua New Guinea in early 2019.

Nautilus Minerals is the Canadian company in charge of the Solwara 1 project, which will see copper and gold deposits mined from the seafloor at a depth of 1,600 metres, 30 kilometres off PNG’s New Ireland Province in the Bismarck Sea.

A few months ago, Nautilus reported funding issues for Solwara 1.

Adam Wright, vice-president of PNG operations for Nautilus, said the global oil and iron ore price had an impact on some shareholders, who have now put in a bridging finance facility for the project.

Speaking at a conference about mining in PNG, he said a big incentive for mining the seabed is the higher concentration — or grade — of the metal deposits.

“The grades of the Solwara 1 deposits [are] 7.2 per cent copper. If you look at the average grades of copper in terrestrial copper mines, it’s now less than 0.7 per cent copper,” Mr Wright said.

“Yes, you can still find copper on land, but as grades fall you’re going to have to clear more land … relocate more communities, you’re going to have to store more tailings, you have to dispose of more waste … accessing an ever-decreasing resource with ever-increasing costs.”

...

00:19

Basil on PNG’s Overseas Mining Conference "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Prime Minister O'Neill, Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, Mining Minster Byron Chan and

PNG government spends millions taking a large delegation of Ministers and bureaucrats to Sydney for their Xmas shopping

One PNG | December 8, 2016

Deputy Opposition Leader, Member for Bulolo and Pangu Pati Leader Honourable Sam Basil is concerned that his District has missed out on participation at the recent Mining & Petroleum Conference being held in Sydney, Australia.

Mr Basil said that the Bulolo District Development Authority (the BDDA) represents Bulolo District which hosts the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Gold and Copper Mine.

The BDDA also represents second and third generation of gold miners along the Watut River, the Waria River, the Snake River and the Wau and Bulolo rivers, including hundreds of mining lease operators.

The alluvial miners input into the national coffers stands at K60 to K70m annually, including the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Mine.

The name Bulolo is synonymous with mining so where ever there are talks about mining; Bulolo must always be considered by not only being invited but more so being assisted by any government to be part of such high level conferences or meetings.

Bulolo District could not send its delegation to the Sydney conference because the cost would exceed K200,000.00, which the BDDA simply could not afford.

Mr Basil questioned the logic of land owners and project hosts spending huge amounts of funds to travel offshore to go and talk about resources that are under our feet. Investors who are genuine and want to invest in and develop our resources must come to the shores of PNG to discuss how they propose to develop these resources, said Mr Basil.

Millions of Kina in limited development funds are wasted every year by PNG government departmen...

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Friday, 09 December

23:11

Concern over experimental seabed mining and fisheries in Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Fish caught just outside the Marine Protected Area (MPA) area in Tikina Wai, Fiji. Photograph: Brent Stirton/1521

Rosalyn Albaniel | Post Courier | December 9, 2016

THE Pacific’s two largest fisheries blocs – the Pacific Islands Fisheries Forum Agency and Parties the Nauru Agreement – are treating the issue of experimental seabed mining cautiously.

Pacific waters are home to the world’s largest fishery currently accounting for around 56 per cent of the global supply of tuna.

The dilemma the region faces is that those same waters will also be hosting the world’s first ever copper-gold project.

Papua New Guinea heavily relies on its extractive industry and the progress of the Solwara 1 project, now under development in its territorial waters, will mean added revenue to its national coffers while also much needed foreign exchange [will it? where is the evidence for this?].

Canadian miner Nautilus Minerals has already been granted the environment permit and mining lease required for resource development at this site. It has indicated plans to grow its tenement holdings in the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters also in the Solomon Islands, Tonga and other locations in the Western Pacific.

PNA chief executive officer Ludwig Kumoru, who trained and worked as a fisheries scientist, said he considered deep sea safer for tuna than land based mines.

This is because the proposed seafloor mining operations would be done at 1600 metres beneath the surface, well away from the 200 metre water level where the tuna live and breed.

However, he said the eight-member group recognised that being the first of its kind there were questions and different circumstances in different locations. However, land mines still posed more risk

“Worse is the taili...

22:07

Photos from the Global Flag Raising for West Papua. 1st December 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

On 1st December the people of West Papua commemorated their National Day, remembering 1st December 1961 when the West Papuan flag was first raised  with the promise of Independence in exactly 9 years time. In West Papua this year, people took to the streets to call for freedom and were in many cases arrested and brutally arrested, including alongside Indonesian solidarity activists.

To show international solidarity for West Papua’s freedom, the West Papuan flag is raised around the world in solidarity and support for the West Papuan people who do not have the freedom to raise their own national flag in their own country. This year we received over 200 photos from over 30 countries around the world! We are so grateful for all the incredible support for the freedom of West Papua and would like to thank and encourage you all to keep up the global support and keep spreading the #FreeWestPapua message!

Below is a collection of various photos from the historic Global Flag Raising for West Papua, including pictures from demonstrations within West Papua and across Indonesia.

21:00

My first vote ever - for change at next year’s general election "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Busa Jeremiah WenogoBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

THE PEOPLE of Papua New Guinea should be up in arms about the government's 2017 budget.

As a taxpayer I am absolutely furious. As a mortgagee I am totally petrified and mortified.

This is a direct insult to my family and every other hard-working and honest Papua New Guinean. The government does not seem to know or recognise the many challenges and struggles that my family and I went through just to secure a home for our future.

Furthermore, it does not to seem to comprehend the sheer magnitude of the day to day struggle that average working class Papua New Guineans like myself have to contend with just to keep our heads above the water.

Yet now it sees fit to impose a tax regime that will affect my ability to maintain my loan repayments and which puts my family's future at risk.

Since I have been employed I have not benefited from a large pay increase or additional perks and privileges like the politicians award themselves.

There is no word that can describe what I am feeling right now as I look towards the new year.

I have come to the conclusion that the current government under prime minister Peter O' Neill has failed the people of this country terribly.

To go into an election with a budget that will further push many Papua New Guineans below the poverty line is disgraceful.

If there is such a thing as karma, at the next general election in May this government should be turned out after a disgraceful record of mismanaging the economy and jeopardising the future of eight million Papua New Guineans.

At this week’s mining conference in Sydney, Peter O’Neill stabbed the people of PNG in the heart by denying their inalienable rights as landowners who d...

20:54

Make 'action graffiti', eighteen members of KNPB arrested and threatened with treason "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at



Jumat, 09 Desember 2016
Make 'action graffiti', eighteen members of KNPB arrested and threatened with treason

News Portal Papua No. 1 | Jubi,





Activities undertaken graffiti action KNPB members on Friday (09/12/2016) - IST


Jayapura, Jubi - Eighteen members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) are still being held in Abepura Police Sector and threatened taxable Article treason due to perform acts of graffiti (graffiti wall) campaigning for Papuan independence.

Secretary General (KNPB) Suhuniap Ones to Jubi Monday (09...

19:00

True to Myself "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Lapieh LanduLAPIEH LANDU

A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year.

Today I found myself quite broke
A pocket full of dockets
A closet full of fancies
And pretty much everything else.

I bought makeup cos they looked at me funny
Heels cos they told me I was short
Hair cos he said he liked it long  
Shapers cos they said my curves were protruding    
Wheels so they’d perish with envy
I bought a lifestyle not quite my own

Tomorrow I’ll still be broke
A pocket full of dockets
A closet full of fancies
And empty with despair

If I listen to a workspace filled with dimwits
To the team of competitive nincompoops 
To the controlling and obsessive lover
To the smart arse retail broker
To my circle of fake friends
I’d buy a lifestyle not quite my own.

I’m not broke no more
My pockets hammered with cash
A closet with necessities
Clear conscience and san...

04:24

Political Parties get funding form Registry Office "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

This year saw 10 Political Parties receive funding totaling K820, 000 from the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC). The funding was presented to the executives of the parties by the Chairperson of the IPPCC, Dr Orovu Sepoe along with the Registrar of Political Parties Dr. Alphonse Gelu on the 6th of October 2016 during the 3rd Learning and Development Training Workshop for Executives of Political Parties at the Registry of Political Parties Office.

These 10 parties have qualified for funding after meeting the requirements of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (OLIPPAC).

The funding for political parties is for the purpose of funding to political parties as per the OLIPPAC only after they (parties) submit their annual financial returns by March 31st in each year and only when the Commission is satisfied with the information contained in the party’s financial statements. These funds are appropriated for in the National Budget for each year and a calculated by way of K10, 000 per Member of Parliament

...
 
Party

03:41

West Papuan Liberation Movement lobbies at the UN "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/320036/west-papuan-liberation-movement-lobbies-at-the-un


West Papuan Liberation Movement lobbies at the UN

29 minutes ago 
United Liberation Movement for West Papua leaders have been in New York this week, lobbying at the United Nations about their self-determination struggle in Indonesia.

01:46

Big jump in aid to Tonga after US Treaty signing "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Tonga will get a boost in aid associated with the longstanding US Pacific Tuna treaty after it joined other Pacific Forum nations in signing a 6-year extension to financial arrangements for the Treaty.

The signing ceremony, which took place in Nadi on Saturday, brought an end to a rift between the Pacific and Washington which had resulted in Washington issuing a formal notice of withdrawal from the treaty.
Minister of Fisheries Hon Semisi Fakahau told Radio Tonga News the amendments to the treaty will result in increase of about 36% of Tonga’s aid share.

According to Hon Fakahau, the previous agreement gave Tonga more than 6-hundred thousand US dollars a year but with the new agreement that will rise to US$1-million and 10,000.

 The Minister said the United States and the Pacific Islands Countries had to review the Treaty several times to accommodate both parties need due to rapid developments in Fisheries Industry, increasing in the number of fishing activities and also the United States wants to increase its number of catches in the region.


As part of the agreement, the United States is also willing to send its fishing boats to conduct surveys on Albacore in Tonga’s water, not only because Tonga wants to know more about this specific species in its water but Albacore is what the United States really want from the Pacific. He said US is paying an amount of money to Tonga for conducting the survey in its water.

At the moment no US boats fish in Tonga’s exclusive economic zone.

There are options in the agreement if the United States wants to increase the number of boats fishing in the Pacific and for this to take place without any tremendous increase in its fees.

The Minister said the Treaty allows the US fishing boats to fish in any of the 17 member countries of FFA, so if tuna migration patterns change due to Climate Change it will not be a problem for US fishing boats.

Fakahau stressed that the government and the Ministry of Fisheries will split Tonga’s US$1-million share. He says the Ministry will use its portion for its development activities. It involves a plan to return Tu’imatamoana Wharf to the Ministry and a huge amount of funding is needed to help boosting Fisheries development activities in Tonga.

When speaking at the ceremony, the Minister said he was directly involved in the negotiations and it was not as easy as the Director General of FFA told the gathering.

Fakahau thanked everyone who took part in making it as...

01:41

Landslides and collapsed buildings in Solomon Islands "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

RNZ reports that news are coming in of collapsed buildings and landslides in the quake affected Makira & Ulawa province of the Solomon Islands.

A 7-point-8 magnitude earthquake stuck at about 4.30am local time today 70 kilometres off Kirakira, the capital of the province in the country's south.

 Deputy Principal John Gordon Hoto of Marou Bay Primary School in West Makira said the earthquake destroyed the school's office building and a classroom and severely damaged staff housing.

He said there had also been several landslides in the area and there were reports of more destruction in other villages in the Marou Bay area.

"I think we need assistance from the national government to come down here and just witness what is happening," he said.

"The office block was [has] fallen down and our classroom was [is] about to fall and our staff houses were moved sideways and are just about to fall. So I think we need some assistance from the national government to help us."

Meanwhile on the east coast building and water tanks at Pawa Secondary School on Ugi Island have been damaged.

A teacher at the school, Zinnia Tai said one girls' dormitory, a staff house and the student’s sanitation block have been flattened by the quake.

She said luckily all students have left for the holidays or many would have died when their dormitory collapsed.

Mrs Tai said all the water tanks have been damaged which will affect drinking water supplies.
Source: Radio New Zealand

01:37

PNG needs intelligent police officers says WNB Governor Muthuvel "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea needs police officers who are very intelligent with good educational background knowledge to deliver police services, says West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel.

The Governor said PNG need officers who are educated and intelligent and have some understanding of the justice system. Governor Muthuvel made this remark when officially opening the Police Commissioner’s Police conference in Kimbe, WNBP on Monday.

“To become a police officer, you need to be properly educated and trained. They must be of sound mind, intelligent, mental alertness, having the physical strength and able to make split seconds decisions,” Governor Muthuvel said.

Senior police officers throughout the country are in Kimbe for the annual Police Commissioner’s conference, themed “Addressing Institutional Impediments to Effective Control and Command.”

Governor Muthuvel said police now work under unexpected situations and trying times and must stand up to times to deliver police services. He also said they are living under a society where law and order issues are always prevalent and must be mindful of that. No country can survive where lawlessness becomes the law, the guilty of unpunished, the dishonest are rewarded, citizens are indifferent and custodians of the law become the biggest law breakers.

Commissioner of Police Gari Baki thanked the Governor for officially opening the week-long conference and said over the next few days, they will take stock of all their activities and collectively discuss their plans and strategies for Next Year’s upcoming National General Elections and the much anticipated APEC Meeting in 2018.

The Commissioner said those two occasions have already seen them having consultative discussions with other relevant state agencies but the Constabulary must also undergo some changes and rehabilitation to prepare itself for those up-coming challenges.

He said with their theme of the conference, the organization has come under much public scrutiny for the wrong reasons because members of the Constabulary are not being subservient to the values of discipline and ethical conduct.

“In a bid to encourage you all to revisit the Constabulary Standing Orders, the Internal Affairs Directorate will present a symposium on discipline and ethics in the first two days of our conference. I want all to grasp the information disseminated in this symposium and practically enforce these values in our respective areas of command,” he said.

The Commissione...

01:10

Kenya backs Saharawi self-determination "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kenya has expressed support for the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic's (SADR) self-determination as part of the campaign by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Speaking when she made a historic visit to the Western Sahara country, Ms Mohamed said that Kenya supports the SADR quest for full…

Kenya backs Saharawi self-determination was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

01:05

Aspirasi politik Papua Barat dipamerkan dalam pameran seni rupa di Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Jayapura, Jubi - Sampari, sebutan bintang pagi dalam bahasa Biak, dijadikan judul sebuah pameran seni dan serangkaian pameran budaya Papua Barat, serta mengeksplorasi kebangsaan, ekologi, politik dan sejarah Papua Barat. "Tujuan utama dari pameran ini adalah untuk meningkatkan kesadaran masyarakat Papua Barat yang berharap mendapatkan kemerdekaan dan hak untuk menentukan nasib sendiri," kata DR John…

Aspirasi politik Papua Barat dipamerkan dalam pameran seni rupa di Melbourne was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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00:58

Vanuatu pushes for position on UN committee to counter Indonesian colonization "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Former Prime Minister of Almasdarnews - Vanuatu, Barak Sope, wants his country to become a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation to counter Indonesia's aggression on its eastern most provinces of West Papua. Vanuatu has consistently been one of the most consistent advocates of Papuan self determination and to end Indonesian genocide…

Vanuatu pushes for position on UN committee to counter Indonesian colonization was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

00:49

UN takes human rights celebration into PNG’s worst abuser’s home "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

human-rights-day-flyer_9-dec-2016

Today is international human rights day, and the United Nations, USAid and AusAID are inviting us all to celebrate in the home of PNG’s worst human rights abuser, Rimbunan Hijau.

RH boycott sticker

Vision City is a glittering monument to the human rights abuses, illegal logging, land grabbing and environmental destruction heaped on PNG for over 25 years by its owner, the Malaysian logging giant RH.

The Vision City celebration is being sponsored by the CIMC, AusAID and USAid, who all like to trumpet their supposed opposition to corruption and belief in human rights – what a joke!

...

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Thursday, 08 December

22:50

New Ireland governor casts more doubt on PNG seabed mining "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

An experimental seabed mining machine

An experimental seabed mining machine

Radio New Zealand | 8 December 2016

The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland province has cast further doubt on the viability of seabed mining.

Sir Julius Chan, who is a former prime minister, says he is in a dilemma over the Solwara 1 mining project planned for the sea in his province.

While he is keen on economic developments, Sir Julius said the sea is the “garden” of his people, yet the impacts of seabed exploration are a set of unknowns.

Although interested in what new technologies can achieve, he questions the veracity of the environmental impact study by project developer Nautilus.

“Maybe they have found some solutions to the environmental protection and I would be far behind if I don’t look into the future, if I stop the whole project now then possibly I may miss out, if I allow it to happen it may be disastrous for my people.”

The national government has a 15 percent stake in Solwara 1, yet Sir Julius said his provincial government has not taken up an offer to buy in to the project at this stage.

He said the national government has not properly consulted the province about such developments and just bulldozes them through.

This is why, according to Sir Julius, his provincial assembly in September unilaterally declared New Ireland to be an autonomous province of PNG.

The government has yet to formally respond to this.


...

22:17

PNG Opposition says continues hosting of Mining Conference overseas is meaningless and waste of money "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea's Deputy Opposition Leader, Member for Bulolo and Pangu Pati Leader Honourable Sam Basil is concerned that his District has missed out on participation at the recent Mining & Petroleum Conference being held in Sydney, Australia.

Mr Basil said that the Bulolo District Development Authority (the BDDA) represents Bulolo District which hosts the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Gold and Copper Mine.
The BDDA also represents second and third generation of gold miners along the Watut River, the Waria River, the Snake River and the Wau and Bulolo rivers, including hundreds of mining lease operators.

The alluvial miners input into the national coffers stands at K60 to K70m annually, including the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Mine.
The name Bulolo is synonymous with mining so where ever there are talks about mining; Bulolo must always be considered by not only being invited but more so being assisted by any government to be part of such high level conferences or meetings.
Bulolo District could not send its delegation to the Sydney conference because the cost would exceed K200,000.00, which the BDDA simply could not afford.
Mr Basil questioned the logic of land owners and project hosts spending huge amounts of funds to travel offshore to go and talk about resources that are under our feet. Investors who are genuine and want to invest in and develop our resources must come to the shores of PNG to discuss how they propose to develop these resources, said Mr Basil.

Millions of Kina in limited development funds are wasted every year by PNG government departments and land owners to attend this meeting when funds could have been spent onshore and more participants and stakeholders within PNG could have attended if it was hosted onshore.
Mr Basil is calling on the president of the Chamber of Mines Greg Anderson to reconsider having future mining conferences back in our own country. If PNG is vying to host such high level events like the APEC meeting in our country, there is really no reason why we cannot host future Mining & Petroleum Conferences in PNG.

On the one hand the government is preaching about tightening the belt and cutting down on unnecessary expenditure but on the other hand, they continue to spend lavishly on such expensive overseas trips. The government is simply not being truthful but continues to lie to the people while putting up a show for the rest of the world when PNG can least afford to.
When Pangu Pati gets into government, Mr Bas...

21:46

1) Freeport continues to buy time on smelter development "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

2) CSR Sugar owner linked to palm oil deforestation
3) Two years Paniai bloody tragedy: Where is the justice?
4) Incarcerated in West Papua, my son endured a six-month ordeal

—————————————————————————

1) Freeport continues to buy time on smelter development
Viriya P. Singgih The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, December 8 2016 | 09:16 am
Gold and copper mining giant Freeport Indonesia has yet to realize its commitment to build a smelter in Indonesia in support of the government’s downstream industry push, triggering lawmakers to demand the government cancel the company’s export permit. 

Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of United States giant Freeport McMoRan Inc., said Wednesday that it would only build a new smelter if the government could grant an early extension of the company’s contract, which is due to expire in 2021. The earliest miners can renegotiate contracts is two years before they expire, according to a local regulation.

The smelter development is compliant with a local mining law that bans raw mineral exports, slated to take full effect on Jan. 12, 2017, to encourage smelter development in the country and strengthen the processing sector.

“The point is, Freeport Indonesia is committed to building the new smelter. Nonetheless, there are some considerations that need to be addressed first, including the assurance of our contract extension,” said the newly appointed Freeport Indonesia president director Chappy Hakim during a hearing with the House of Representatives on Wednesday...

21:28

"Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake Off Solomon Islands Near Australia, Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Rocks California" "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

"Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake Off Solomon Islands Near Australia-
 Tsunami Buoys Alerting!"
by Newsroom

"A very strong magnitude 8.0 earthquake has just struck in the Pacific Ocean off the Solomon Islands near Australia.  Tsunami Buoys in the ocean are now in "Event Mode" indicating a possible Tsunami. An Evacuation Order has been given for the coastlines of the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu- the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says the first Tsunami waves will begin striking by 1:05 pm eastern US time. Analysis underway to see if the Solomon Islands Tsunami will hit the United States. More details as they become available. Check back..."
Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Rocks California at Cascadia Subduction Zone, 
Second Quake Strikes Same Area

"A very strong magnitude 6.8 earthquake (now re-calibrated lower to 6.5) has struck California in the Pacific Ocean at the dangerous "Cascadia Subduction Zone" 157 km west of Ferndale, CA. This is the exact area where "the big one" will begin if it happens, and a 6.5 quake can trigger it! According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck at 9:50 AM eastern US time  (0650 local time) at a very shallow depth of only 12 km. Initially a Tsunami...

21:10

LARGE 8.0 Earthquake Hits Soloman Islands "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Image Credit: Google

Image Credit: Google

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 has struck the Solomon Islands, prompting a tsunami alert for the region and a tsunami watch for Hawaii, seismologists say. Only few details were immediately available.

The earthquake, which struck at 17:38 UTC on Thursday, was centered about 68 kilometers (42 miles) southwest of Kirakira in the Solomon Islands, or 211 kilometers (127 miles) southeast of Honiara. It struck at a shallow depth of just 48 kilometers.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) puts the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 7.8, down from an initial estimate of 8.0. Strong shaking was felt across the region, but details about damage or casualties are not yet available.

Computer models from the USGS estimated that some 475,000 people on islands in the region may have felt the earthquake, including some 51,000 people who may have experienced “very strong” to “severe” shaking.

As a result, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami alert for the Solomon Islands, which could see tsunami waves up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) above the tide level, and Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, both of which could see tsunami waves up to 1 meter (3.3 feet).

“People living near the coasts should look out for unusual sea level rises,” the Solomon Islands Meteorological Service said in a warning. “These might be tsunamis. If you see anything unusual, you should get to high ground immediately.”

Other countries across the region could see tsunami waves less than 0.3 meter (0.9 feet) above the tide level, but those areas are not under a tsunami warning. Tsunami alerts were initially also issued for Hawaii and New Zealand before being canceled upon further review.

The Solomon Islands are on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. The Solomon Islands arc as a whole experiences a very high level of earthquake activity, and many tremors of magnitude 7 and larger have been recorded since the early decades of the twentieth century.

On April 2,...

21:00

Police brutality on street & market vendors must stop "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Vendor beaten by Port Moresby policeBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

THE NEWS that a woman vendor in Port Moresby was physically abused by police officers - who can only be described as criminals - has once again brought to light the harsh reality of making ends meet in the Port Moresby’s informal economy.

In recent times, the stories of police brutality against innocent vendors doing their best to feed their family have become notorious.

The irony of this latest account of police brutality against this unfortunate woman is that it coincided with a police conference held in Kimbe, West New Britain.

At the conference, the police commissioner expressed concern that police behaviour was getting out of hand and that the force needed to undergo drastic transformation to bring back discipline and regain public confidence, both of which are at an all time low.

Throughout Port Moresby, countless of men, women and youths engaged in the informal economy are being subjected to all manner of police intimidation and abuse.

What gets reported in the news is only the tip of the iceberg. While the sale of goods such as alcohol, betel nut, cigarettes and store goods warrants some level of scrutiny from the police and the health inspectors, a large part of the informal economy is in agriculture, cooked food, artisan, textiles and garments.

These are area where the majority of vendors are women, mostly mothers, whose chances of committing crimes is negligible. Unfortunately, with the imposition of the betel nut ban in Port Moresby, the entire informal economy has suffered a great deal.

While most people would say that informal vendors do harbour criminal elements, we tend to lose sight of the fact that most informal vendors reluctantly comply for their own security. This is where a constant police presence is crucial in places such as markets.

...

20:00

Advocating for women in Porgera: an interview with Everlyne Sap "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Camilla: To begin, can you give us some background on the issues facing Porgera before the Restorative Justice Initiative Association (RJIA) came along?

Everlyne: There have been a lot of social issues in Porgera. In the past, it was okay. The real Porgerans and their families were living there, with the traditional laws that abided then. But when the mining started, it pulled the people from outside of Porgera into the valley.

One of the common issues there is people go out looking for alluvial gold. So they go there, steal gold and come out, and the cash flow in the valley was very high. And when that happens, what happens? When there’s a lot of money, there’s a lot of social issues. They take their money straight to the beer club or disco.

They have money, so they forget about their wives and they go out with another woman and go drink, and then the other woman’s husband comes in, and he tries to retaliate. All these kinds of connected issues occur. When these little things happen between two people, it grows into a bigger issue and tribal fights o...

20:00

Sir Nagora says PNG must diversify economy not add taxes "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Sir Nagora BoganKEITH JACKSON

FORMER head of Papua New Guinea’s Internal Revenue Commission, ambassador to the United States and now eminent businessman, Sir Nagora Bogan, has advised the PNG government to exercise caution in its budget plans.

The government, facing collapsing tax revenues and a huge budget deficit, is struggling to get the PNG economy back on track.

Sir Nagora told EMTV that estimations of tax revenue for 2017 must be rigorous.

He commended the government for easing a punitive tax on housing but said companies will be struggling to stay afloat next year and workers will lose their jobs.

This will have a drastic effect on how much the government collects on income tax and other taxes, he said.

Sir Nagora’s comments came at a time when many companies are reporting losses and laying off workers. He estimated that more than 30,000 jobs have already been lost.

He told Bethanie Harriman of EMTV the government must diversify the economy to cushion the impact of falling oil and mineral prices.

“If we are talking about bringing in investors then we have to be smart about it and also be selective,” he said.

He said the government must not add new taxes but diversify the economy by tapping into sustainable sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and manufacturing.

19:12

Emergency tsunami warnings after 8.0 quake strikes off Solomon Islands' coast "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A tsunami warning has been issued for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru after an 8.0. magnitude earthquake struck 70km off the Solomon Islands, according to USGS. "Widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible," stated the warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The center called on the government agencies responsible for dealing with emergency situations to "take action to inform and instruct any coastal populations at risk in accordance with their own evaluation."

19:00

Yu Husait "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Gordon_VanessaVANESSA GORDON

A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, to be published on International Women’s Day in March next year.

“YU HUSAIT?”

Who are you to dictate my fate or think that my life, my worth, or my body is a term that you can negotiate?

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to doubt me? Who are you, sir, that needs to know more about me, why do I astound thee?

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to tell me to cover up my shame? Is my skin colour to blame? Is my naked breast too dark; is that what you detest? My child needs food you see, hence my exposure. I hope my only means of nourishing her does not offend you kind sir.

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to cringe and whine when I protest? Sir, that land is mine. Your titles and your fancy words may cause generations of unrest.

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to place a limit on how I am to learn? Why do you insist my voice be unheard? My mind is working overtime I want to feed it some truth. Why does seeking education sound so absurd?

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to limit my progression? You see it is you kind sir who ignited this passion. You took from me my land, my worth, and my voice.  Now be prepared because I will rise up and make some noise.

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to place me in a box? Titled and labelled ‘Do Not Tamper’. Oh, but don’t you know whilst your efforts are commended my resilience shall not damper!

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to take, take, take? Then place a tax for my own sake?

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to claim to know me? You spat on, raped, and pilfered my land and now suddenly you care about my clan.

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to defame and shame me? Then in the same breath claim it is to protect me?

“Yu husait”?

Who are you to pretend to be solving my problems? You stand among the sheep in wolves clothing meanwhile my culture is dissolving.

“Yu husait?”

Who are you to be condescending? Please sir, I speak over a thousand tongues, I’m sure English is the simplest one.  Oh, what’s that? Does my articulation surprise you?  I’ve exce...

12:34

Jonah Lomu Legacy Cup set "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The inaugural Jonah Lomu Legacy Cup rugby 7s tournament is all set.
The 12 Capital Rugby Union clubs plus four invitational sides – AROB Black Orchids, Lae Hammerheads, Madang Madgauns and Kimbe Rebels – make up the 16 men’s with eight women’s teams registered to participate.

Nadene Lomu, widow of the former All Blacks great Jonah Lomu arrives in the country tomorrow (Thursday) to officially open the tournament.
Capital Rugby Union president Jacob Anga said Nadene Lomu will be given a traditional welcome by a group from Hanuabada on arrival.
“She will officially open the 3 day tournament on Friday (December 9) at 12noon at the new look Bava Rugby Park in Boroko,” Anga said.
“Sports Minister Justin Tkatachenko and New Zealand High Commissioner Tony Fautua will also attend the official kick off,” he said.

The president said gate fees are K10 for grandstand and K5 for the outer stands. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Tickets will be sold at the gate each day.
Following the official opening, on Oval 1, the first game will see Harlequins take on Haketautai followed by Madang Madgauns up against Spartans. The first women’s game will have Harlequins versus Brothers followed by the Black Orchids women against Wanderers.
On oval 2, Kimbe Rebels play Juggernauts followed by University playing Nova. The first women’s match will see Spartans versus Southern Chiefs.

Anga urged Port Moresby residents to come out and watch some exciting rugby 7s. He also thanked PNG Air, PNG Sports Foundation, BSP, Construct Oceanic Ltd, Global Constructions, Fincorp, Hawkins, Fletcher Morobe, National Airports Corporation, Island Breeze, Tactical Solutions International, Southern Cross Assurance, Boroko Motors, SP Holdings, Beachside Brassier, Paradise Foods, Gateway Hotel and all other sponsors for their support to this tournament.

“This tournament will be the first to play on the world class rugby stadium and we want the players as well as the officials to raise their levels of performance as well,” Anga said.
The tournament ends on Sunday with the Bowls, Plate and Cup finals.

00:58

Support for ODA and donations to NGOs (previous paper replaced) "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

In 2014, Alexandra Humphrey Cifuentes, Jonathan Pryke and I published the Devpolicy Discussion Paper, “Putting our money where our mouths are? Donations to NGOs and support for ODA in Australia”. The paper compared 2012 data from the ACFID Electorate Snapshot Survey of donations to aid NGOs, 2013 Vote Compass data on public opinions about ODA, election results and 2011 census data. Earlier this year I was advised of probable issues with source data that we had drawn on for the paper.

The statistical analysis we had conducted in our original paper was technically correct, and we had used the source data appropriately. However, there were problems with the source data. And so, because we were no longer confident we could trust the data, we were no longer confident in the paper’s findings.

Because of the data concerns with the original paper, we’ve chosen to retract the 2014 paper and replace it with our 2016 analysis. The new paper can be downloaded here. (All Devpolicy papers are available from this page.)

Many of our original 2014 findings remain unchanged. Green party support and academic education are still positively associated with the proportion of electorates’ voting-aged populations who want to see ODA increased, and they are also still positively associated with the proportion of electorates’ voting-aged populations who gave to aid NGOs. Most significantly, we still found a positive relationship between support for ODA increases and donations to aid NGOs. Australian electorates where support for increased ODA was highest also tended to be electorates where a higher share of the voting-aged population donated to NGOs. You can see this in the scatter plot below (each point represents an electorate). (For all the technical details please see the paper itself, or email me.)

Support for ODA versus share of population donating to aid NGOs

...

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Wednesday, 07 December

20:00

PNG’s eye health heroes "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Training in refraction, PNG (Flickr/Community Eye Health/John Farmer CC BY-NC 2.0)I have been reading with dismay the sad stories of the impact of PNG government budget decisions on the hospital sector.

It seems to me we are short of positive stories about what development assistance can achieve.

Therefore, it was a pleasure to be reminded of a positive experience within the PNG hospital sector which continues to deliver real life-changing assistance to citizens of the country.

During an official visit to PNG during my time as Parliamentary Secretary I observed one bright spot at the Port Moresby Hospital, the PNG Eye Care Centre.

This was a bright and cheerful place which was enabling people to overcome unnecessary visual impairment and helping them to enjoy more productive and satisfying lives.

It was a particularly satisfying scene as the Eye Care Centre was receiving significant assistance from the new Australian government program, the Avoidable Blindness Initiative. This additional funding had allowed for the refurbishment of the Centre, the opening of five more centres around the country and the establishment of a National Specs Supply System.

The ongoing work of the responsible local NGO, PNG Eye Care, continues to receive significant funding from the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

One of the most satisfying features of this success story is that the Port Moresby Vision Centre now generates sufficient income to be self-sustaining, fund outreach programs and provide free spectacles to children.

Therefore, it was a great pleasure for me to see one of the workers I met there recognised at the recent International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness General Assembly as an Eye Health Hero.

Dr Jambi Garap was recognised for her pioneering work in tackling health and social barriers and as a...

02:35

Malaysian illegal logger and politician repays O’Neill for keeping SABL with 8 new town houses valued AT K1 million each "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

huang-tiong-sii-peter-oneill

By PAULUS PARAKA – PNG Blogs

Out at Waigani, behind the new National Conference Centre, a large residential village of 50 or so duplexes is being built by the little known foreign company Jaya & Berjaya Construction (PNG) Ltd. 

 Jaya & Berjaya is owned by Malaysian tycoon, politician and illegal logger Huang Tiong Sii, who in his many years of doing business here has made many valuable friends and contacts in high places. None comes higher than the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and that is probably why Tiong has given him four of the duplexes, a total of eight town houses, to use as his own. 

O’Neill recently visited the development to look over his gift, which is a valuable addition to his large and ill-gotten real estate portfolio, and expressed his satisfaction and gratitude to Tiong. The townhouses are valued at a minimum of K1 million each, so the total value of the gift to O’Neill could be as high as K8 million. 

It is not known whether O’Neill intends to take the rent from the houses or to sell them and keep the proceeds. The Prime Minister has substantial real estate interests in PNG and Australia (on the Gold Coast and in Sydney where the properties are in other people’s names) and he was recently looking to buy penthouses in New York. Huang Tiong Sii is well known in Malyasia as a criminal warlord and politician who has family and business connections to Rimbunan Hijau and other illegal loggers. He is also a money-launderer through companies in the Cayman Islands. 

He has substantial logging interests in PNG, including SABLs, which is believed to be the reason for his generosity towards the Prime Minister (in the same way Tiong was generous to former Prime Minister Michael Somare). O’Neill has repeatedly promised in recent years to cancel all SABLs. He told Parliament in 2013: “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...

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Tuesday, 06 December

20:00

Gaining insights across development silos "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

SDGs graphicThe Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the most comprehensive and expansive development goals the world has ever had. There are 17 goals, covering 169 targets, and guiding global action towards an equitable, healthy and prosperous planet. The goals span across all sectors, are inter-related and their outcomes mutually influence each other. Achieving them will clearly require integrated, interdisciplinary collaboration. With this reality in mind, an article in Nature has suggested a method for mapping interactions between the individual Goals.

The SDGs have to be cross-cutting because global development issues have to be seen in the context of an increasingly complex world. Solutions must also be inter-connected.

Take, for instance, HIV prevention and girls’ education – evidence shows that keeping girls in school is linked to positive HIV prevention outcomes in some contexts. A major concern of the global health community is the impact of climate change on human health. Disturbances in water security can affect agriculture which then can jeopardize food security. The wood product industry has recently been shown to strengthen wildlife conservation and support economic development. The list goes on… and at first glance, what may seem like unrelated or incongruent silos are intricately intertwined.

Unfortunately, this is not yet part of how we think, organize or implement in the development sector. Instead, we follow a traditional, super-fragmented silo-by-silo approach where each specialized sector focuses narrowly on immediately relevant issues, priorities, data sources and stakeholders. This is epitomized by the familiar 18-box graphic used to typically illustrate the SDGs, and the current competi...

04:03

MALAYSIAN ILLEGAL LOGGER AND POLITICIAN REPAYS O'NIELL FOR KEEPING SABL WITH 8 NEW TOWN HOUSES VALUED AT K1 MILLION EACH "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PAULUS PARAKA
 
Out at Waigani, behind the new National Conference Centre, a large residential village of 50 or so duplexes is being built by the little known foreign company Jaya & Berjaya Construction (PNG) Ltd. 
 Jaya & Berjaya is owned by Malaysian tycoon, politician and illegal logger Huang Tiong Sii, who in his many years of doing business here has made many valuable friends and contacts in high places. None comes higher than the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and that is probably why Tiong has given him four of the duplexes, a total of eight town houses, to use as his own. 

O’Neill recently visited the development to look over his gift, which is a valuable addition to his large and ill-gotten real estate portfolio, and expressed his satisfaction and gratitude to Tiong. The townhouses are valued at a minimum of K1 million each, so the total value of the gift to O’Neill could be as high as K8 million. 

It is not known whether O’Neill intends to take the rent from the houses or to sell them and keep the proceeds. The Prime Minister has substantial real estate interests in PNG and Australia (on the Gold Coast and in Sydney where the properties are in other people’s names) and he was recently looking to buy penthouses in New York. Huang Tiong Sii is well known in Malyasia as a criminal warlord and politician who has family and business connections to Rimbunan Hijau and other illegal loggers. He is also a money-launderer through companies in the Cayman Islands. 

He has substantial logging interests in PNG, including SABLs, which is believed to be the reason for his generosity towards the Prime Minister (in the same way Tiong was generous to former Prime Minister Michael Somare). O’Neill has repeatedly promised in recent years to cancel all SABLs. He told Parliament in 2013: “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”.

But O’Neill has too much to gain from loggers like Tiong and Rimbunan Hijau, especially with his 2017 election campaign already under way and demand for cash to bribe the Electoral Commission, the Royal Papua New Guin.........

00:02

Practicing what we preach: Devpolicy receives 4* transparency rating "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Transparency is one of the enduring (exasperating, some might say) topics that we have focused on in our research around Australian aid and global development.

So we were pleased indeed to learn (belatedly; the report was released back in June) that we ourselves were rated as ‘broadly transparent’ in Transparify’s 2016 survey of think tank financial transparency [pdf].

Transparify, a Tblisi-based non-profit funded by the Open Society Foundations, conducted a survey of 200 think tanks in 47 countries, rating them on the extent to which they publicly disclose on their websites where their funding comes from. Institutions are rated on a scale from 0 stars (‘highly opaque’) to 5 stars (‘highly transparent’).

Devpolicy was a new addition to Transparify’s survey in 2016, and achieved a rating of 4 stars (‘broadly transparent’) out of a maximum of five, as did the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA). Within our region, only two think tanks (in India and Pakistan) scored better than us, and several scored worse – including the Lowy Institute, which received just two stars, and the Centre for Independent Studies, a libertarian think tank which describes itself as “Australia’s leading independent public policy research institute” and which received no stars at all.

Globally, the survey findings indicate a trend towards increasing transparency in policy research and advocacy. Whereas in 2013 (the first year that Transparify conducted its survey) only 25 think tanks in their original sample of 169 were rated transparent (4 or 5 stars), by 2016 this number more than doubled. As Transparify notes on its website, promoting transparency as a standard helps to ensure the credibility of the research and policy advice produced by think tanks.

The post Practicing what we preach: Devpolicy receives 4* transparency rating appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

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Monday, 05 December

20:00

Improving quality education in a world obsessed with student numbers: evidence from PNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

A teacher instructing secondary school students in Kimbe, West New Britain (Flickr/Asian Development Bank CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for education was seen by many as a success. It was primarily focused on one key educational outcome: ensuring that all children completed a full course of primary education by 2015. But now the goal posts have shifted. With commitment to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community has set itself a dual objective of ensuring children finish secondary school and improving student learning outcomes by 2030. SDG 4 (Quality Education) has ten targets, and the first calls for:

All girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.

There is no doubt that this goal is ambitious. Are developing countries economically and politically in a position to achieve this dual objective? In this blog we draw on evidence from Papua New Guinea (PNG) to shed light on this question.

We first focus on estimating the public financial cost of only increasing enrolments in primary and secondary schools in line with SDG 4. To do so we keep levels of education quality constant over time. We later estimate the additional cost of increasing enrolments and improving educational quality in line with SDG 4’s first target.

Our model incorporates changes brought about by recent policies aimed at increasing enrolments; this includes PNG’s Tuition Fee Free (TFF) policy introduced in 2012 and the expected removal of...

03:00

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1260 days and still waiting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

The promises from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill keep coming, but we are still waiting to see ANY ACTION to reverse the huge SABL land grab; still waiting to see ANY ACTION to return the land to customary landholders; and, still waiting to see ANY ACTION to stop the illegal logging in SABL areas.

It is now 1,260 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.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

Since June 2013, almost three-and-a-half 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...

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Sunday, 04 December

20:00

How to maintain momentum on nutrition and early childhood development "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Laos: nutritious meals are bringing more children to school (Flickr/World Bank/Bart Verweij CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Of the many issues relevant to international development and poverty reduction, which would you rank as being the most important? According to Dr Jim Kim, World Bank President, the biggest single issue in development is that one in four children suffer from stunting (being well below average height for their age), an indicator of chronic malnutrition among children.

During the World Bank Annual Meetings in October, Dr Kim said:

Poor nutrition, few opportunities for early learning and stimulation, and toxic environments literally hardwire young children to miss out on opportunities to learn and later to earn good wages.

Many countries including Australia have welcomed the reappointment of Dr Kim as World Bank President for the next 5 years. One of Dr Kim’s stated priorities for his second term is an increased focus on nutrition and early childhood development.

On 6 October 2016, the World Bank hosted the ‘Investing in the Early Years’ Summit during its Annual Meetings, at which senior ministers from eight countries made commitments to promote early childhood development and reduce stunting among children. Key commitments from the Summit (outlined in the World Bank’s media...

08:51

PM’s SABL promises meaningless for the people of Pomio "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

On November 4th, the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, stood in Parliament and told the nation the SABL land grab was at an end, the unlawful leases were being cancelled and the illegal logging stopped.

But for people in rural areas suffering from the loss of their customary land and the destruction from clear fell logging operations, nothing has changed. They are still fighting, day to day, to defend their land and protect their forests with no help from the government and ongoing persecution from police officers working for the logging companies.

TAKE ACTION: SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST THE SABL LAND GRAB AND ILLEGAL LOGGING

In Pomio district, the people of Totongpal, Manginuna, Malmal, and Talie are still bravely standing together and continue to set up road blocks in the Marana land area in Portion 196C to stop the onslaught of logging while the people of Lau and Mauna are doing the same.

As the photos above and below, taken on 16 November, graphically show, the announcement from the PM is making absolutely no difference, while the quality of the road building means nothing will be left in terms of lasting infrastructure once the logging is finished.

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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.

...

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...

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....

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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 Aut...

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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 st...

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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
...

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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...

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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 o...

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Tuesday, 25 September

23:43

Day 2: Elijah Memedu – Apprentice Electrician "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

I am into my second day and the scale reads 88kg. I don’t 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. He’s a caricature artist by the name of Charles. (I think folks over at Sunday Chronicles hire him to do cartoons and stuff). So Charles tags along with me on this one.

Not long after I meet this sharp little kid of 4 by the name of Jaybes. He and his mom Maria were on their way into (that rather detestable) Vision City. I had a quick chat with them and took their photos but, sad to say, I forgot to get them to sign my release form so I will not be putting up their faces here.

Elijah Memedu is from Goroko and Alotau

Elijah Memedu is from Goroko and Alotau

Further down the road, just before reaching Waigani* I bump into Elijah Memedu.

Well in fact Memedu was about to overtake me when I introduced myself and told him about what I was up to and if he was interested and he seemed fairly keen. By then even Charles lit up to the game and fell into beat with some support remarks on the side.

At 16 years of age, Elijah is a trainee electrician doing his apprenticeship with Starlight Electrical after having completed his vocational training at Morata* Vocational School. Neat eh?🙂 Good kid.

Elijah loves rugby and resides in Gerehu Stage 1* but was “walking to relax” that afternoon after being dropped off by his boss near the NCDC City Hall when I caught up with him.

His eyes lit up when I presented him with not one, but TWO APPLES. Charles also took a break from his buai and sunk his teeth into the delights of an apple too.


Filed under: Lifestyle Tagged: 30 day Challenge, Apple a day, gi...

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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,...

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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...

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Friday, 02 December

02:00

Newsletter: PNG tax reform | AAC conference program | Three-Minute Aid Pitch | New Aid Profile "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

sir-nagoraThe big squeeze: tax reform and economic diversification in PNG

PNG’s current fiscal squeeze has highlighted the country’s vulnerability to commodity price swings. In his public lecture at 12.30pm on Thursday 8 December, Unitech chancellor and Chair of PNG’s recent Tax Review Sir Nagora Bogan will review the current economic situation, and highlight tax and other reforms to promote economic diversification.

2017 AAC: program now available

We’re pleased to release the draft program for the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference today. With over 110 presentations spread over 4 plenary and 30 parallel sessions, it is our biggest and most interesting yet. This year we’ll be starting on the afternoon of Tuesday 14 February with two book launches and opening cocktails. The two main conference days are Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday 17 February, DFAT will be holding its inaugural Aid Supplier Conference also at the ANU. Peruse the conference program here, and then register for the conference here.

3MAP, the Three-Minute Aid Pitch 

The AAC program may be out, but it’s not quite complete yet. For one of the plenaries, we’ll be holding an interactive session to present and debate ideas for improving Australian aid. We’re calling it 3MAP: the Three-Minute Aid Pitch. If you think you’ve got a stellar idea to improve Australian aid and international development policy, please read more here and submit your pitch no later than December 9.

2017 Mitchell Humanitarian Award and a new Aid Profile

Those attending the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference will also get to find out the winner of the inaugural Mitchell Humanitarian Award at the conference dinner on Wednesday 15 February.
Our Aid Profile series provides the shortlist for this prize.

The latest Aid Profile was published this week on...

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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,...

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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 restricte...

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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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Thursday, 01 December

23:32

Big developments in ANZ seasonal work schemes "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

In Australia, the Turnbull Government has finally passed an amended backpacker income tax rate of 15 per cent. The proposed tax rate for backpackers started off at 32.5 per cent in the 2015-16 Budget, before falling to 19 per cent this past September. Last week Parliament knocked back the 19 per cent rate with several parties arguing for 10.5 per cent instead. At first, the mooted 15 per cent compromise was rejected, but eventually the Coalition were able to negotiate a last minute deal with the Greens by reducing the amount of superannuation backpackers would have to forfeit as well as agreeing to additional funding for Landcare, an environmental not-for-profit organisation.

An income tax rate of 15 per cent has the advantage of being the same tax rate for seasonal workers something we first noted and argued for a few months ago, and in our Parliamentary submission [pdf]. Unfortunately other policy changes to level the playing field between seasonal workers and backpackers, like removing labour market testing for seasonal workers, have been ignored in the public debate.

We’ve also been making the point for a while that 95 per cent of backpackers come from developed countries. So it was good if not remarkable to hear Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull say the following on Thursday morning: “They [Labor] say a backpacker from Europe, a rich kid on holidays here from Germany or Norway, backpacking around, he or she should pay less tax and that Pacific Islander who comes here to pick fruit during the season and is sending that money back to his village – some of the poorest countries in the world.”

No Australian Prime Minister has ever made this argument. Indeed, we’re not sure an Australian PM has ever mentioned the Seasonal Worker Program. There’s no publicity like prime ministerial publicity.

Meanwhile, over the Tasman, the Recognised Seasonal Employer program in New Zealand is being increased by 1,000 places, to a total of 10,500 per year. The RSE has a binding ceiling as demand typically exceeds supply. Therefore any increase in the number of placements will facilitate additional labour mobility from the Pacific. After remaining stable at 8,000 from 2008-09 until 2013-14, the cap has increased each year since.

Figure 1: New Zealand...

22:48

THE BIG PICTURE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Larger implications of smaller things: A PUBLIC BODY THAT CITIZENS KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT. People in Australia would be in an uproar if any Australian government kept so much government information secret the way PNG does. The government news releases speak matter of factly about this or that government decision or action as if all the citizens know what they're talking about. In fact, those who write the news releases know very well that hardly anyone who reads the stories will actually understand what it all means, much less what is purposely being left out of the stories. The lack of transparency to its own citizens has always symbolised the governments of PNG but it has gotten far worse over the years and as transparency has collapsed, corruption has increased.

Most of what is contained in the attached posting should be public information. You have to dig to find all of it. This is sad and it explains why there is so much rumour around. There aren't enough facts to fill up the space so people start reading between the lines and what they assume may or might not be true.

The Gaming Board was just as corrupt under the Somare government and in fact there wasn't even an active governing body for years. Michael Somare may not have been so corrupt as O'Neill but as is well known to all who worked under him, he was an incompetent manager and allowed things to get out of control time and time again.

This is what was recently posted on Voices of PNG: As Garry Juffa has recently described with regard to a church project in Oro Province, there is always a politician waiting in the wings to steal community development type funds. The Gaming Foundation money has similarly been compromised and corrupted.

National Gaming Control Board has funded PNC Candidates in the 2012 National Elections.
Funds were directly deposited into PNC official candidates and pro-candidates some now Mps and others that never won their election.

Evidences so far suggest that many now serving Mps will be charged criminally including candidates that have lost both pro and official.

Funds were obtained using community, district and provincial development funds targeting specific projects but ended up being deposited into PNC's candidat...

20:00

How not to address maternal mortality "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Student midwife examining a pregnant woman in Sierra Leone (Flickr/H6 Partners/Abbie Trayler-Smith CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Papua New Guinea is often referred to as the ‘land of the unexpected’. I sometimes wonder whether it might be better referred to as the ‘land of the extreme’.

Extreme is certainly an appropriate adjective to describe the country’s maternal mortality ratio, which is the highest in the Asia-Pacific region: 215 deaths per 100,000 live births. To put this in perspective, in Australia the maternal mortality ratio is 6 per 100,000 nationally, and 14 per 100,000 among Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Extreme also seems an apt descriptor for PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s plan to address maternal and infant mortality in his country. As reported by the ABC on Tuesday, O’Neill plans to introduce legislation in early 2017 that will make it mandatory for women to deliver their children in a clinic or hospital. To enable this, women will be paid to attend those clinics or hospitals.

To be fair, few details about O’Neill’s plan have so far been revealed. And it is positive that political will exists to publicly acknowledge and tackle the problem of maternal mortality in PNG. But as the history of public health has shown time and time again, the road to hell – or at least the road to some seriously ineffective interventions – is paved with good intentions.

First, though, to validate those good intentions. What I assume to be the underlying impetus of this hasty policy announcement – the desire to ensure that all women have access to...

19:00

Fortnightly links: Trump, education, tons of aid, donated shoes, and more "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The ODI’s Alex Their offers his take on what a Trump presidency might mean for aid. And other ODI experts offer their views on President-elect Trump’s potential impact on other development issues (you have to press the plus buttons to see them). Meanwhile, Elizabeth Stuart offers an interesting argument: that Trump’s election illustrates the importance of the SDGs.

On the subject of the SDGs, they are the topic of the 2017 conference of the Australia-New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics. The conference webpage is here. The conference runs from 9-13 January 2017.

In the London Review of Books Owen Bennett-Jones offers a good primer on the intertwined histories, and ideological differences, of ISIS and al-Qaida.

David Evans blogs on the failure and then partial success of attempts to scale-up education interventions in India. (The paper his blog is based on is here.)

On AidWorks, Emily Troutman provides a sharp analysis of common problems with aid and humanitarian organizations’ use of “data” and “evidence-based” aid in their reporting and social media.

The Economist reports on shoe donation projects, such as that run by TOMS, and looks at recent studies that appear to show their positive impacts, if any, are very modest. If you want to see (at least some of) the studies in question, the webpage of the researcher, Bruce Wydick, is here. There’s another...

13:26

Solidarity with Standing Rock on West Papuan Independence Day "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Statement from Benny Wenda – 1st December 2016

On this day of raising awareness about the plight of the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua I want to take a moment to reflect on the escalating conflict taking place in Cannonball North Dakota in the USA.

We want to extend our friendship to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who are peacefully rallying to protect their people, their sacred places, the sovereignty of their land, and their natural resources. On behalf of the people of West Papua we offer solidarity to our indigenous brothers and sisters as we intimately understand the complicated struggles they are facing.

West Papuans raising the Morning Star flag in Yahukimo in the West Papuan Highlands, today, December 1st 2016West Papuans raising the Morning Star flag in Yahukimo in the West Papuan Highlands, today, December 1st 2016

After fifty four years of occupation under Indonesia’s violent and oppressive rule, my people are facing a slow genocide causing us to rapidly disappear from the land we have been the successful caretakers of for more than forty thousand years. We now look to the struggle of indigenous people in North America to survive the largest and longest ongoing genocide in history. We are alarmed that their people, lands, and traditional ways of life have become threatened to the point of extinction.

While our campaign’s profile has become more visible globally, we have seen an unprecedented increase in arrests of peaceful protesters inside West Papua. As we witness militarized law enforcement agencies commit acts of violence against peaceful water protectors in the U.S., it reminds us of our own mistreatment at the hands of those intending to overpower and silence our voices. Human rights abuses committed against Melanesians, the Sioux, or any indigenous people in isolated communities around the world is an unacceptable practice that has no place at this time in human history.

I call on all of our global campaign allies to join me in supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they begin a Global Mont...

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Wednesday, 30 November

23:54

Who is illegally dredging for gold on Bougainville? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

jaba-gold-dredging

Illegal gold dredging on the Jaba river might not be Chinese owned, as claimed in the media

Recent media reports say a Chinese company, Jaba Joint Development, is illegally dredging for gold on the Jaba river in Bougainville.

It is claimed Jaba Joint Development was allowed into the Panguna area by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and its suspect Commerce Minister, Fidelis Semoso, originally to make bricks, but has now set up a substantial gold dredging operation.

Bougainville News has quoted local landowners as saying Jaba Joint Development is 95% Chinese owned with a small minority interest held by ‘certain landowners’ and the ABG.

Official company records, however, show a rather different ownership picture involving New Zealander Liqun Pan, Bougainville local, Chris Dendai and links to Hong Kong, Australia and the British Virgin Islands as well as property in both Cairns and Auckland.

...

20:00

‘TB anywhere is TB everywhere’: Australia and the global burden of tuberculosis "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

TB anywhere is TB everywhere poster (Flickr/Trygve Berge CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)The global burden of tuberculosis

In October the World Health Organization released its annual global tuberculosis (TB) report. Based on data reported by 202 countries, it highlights the fact that the TB epidemic is larger than previously believed, due to revised estimates from India.

The report reveals that the global TB burden is daunting – both in scale and implications. In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million cases of TB, 5.9 million (56%) of them in men and 1 million (10%) in children. TB is also the world’s top infectious disease killer, with 1.8 million TB deaths in 2015, 0.4 million of these among people living with HIV. Approximately 60% of the world’s TB cases occur in just six countries – India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa – with China, India and Indonesia accounting for 45% of the global burden. Progress in TB control in these countries will likely determine the future course of the epidemic.

The number of TB-related deaths has fallen by 22% between 2000 and 2015, with an estimated 49 million deaths averted. While the global TB incidence rate is declining – by about 1.5% per annum – this is not sufficient to meet internationally-agreed goals to end the global TB epidemic.

In 2015 almost half a million people had multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB, resistant to at least two of the most powerful TB drugs. Current treatment regimens for drug-resistant forms of TB are lengthy and toxic, and patients often have poor outcomes. However a shorter regimen was approved by the World Health...

00:53

KLK pulls out of oil palm in Collingwood Bay but logging fears remain "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

klk

Source: Gabriel Thoumi – ValueWalk

In December 2012, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) bought 51% of the equity in Collingwood Plantations Pte (CWB) via KLK Overseas Investments Limited for $8.7 million. At the time, according to AmInvesment Bank, the assumed production costs from clearing to palm oil production for the new plantation were $6,000 per ha.

In KLK’s 2013 Annual Report, the company estimated that it would develop 30,000 ha of oil palm in Collingwood Bay. The area is known for its pristine primary forests and coral reefs, containing high levels of biodiversity. Prior to KLK’s entry, the Collingwood Bay Indigenous communities had secured a court order that prohibited all natural resource related national government agencies from entering the bay without the landowners’ prior consent.

Collingwood Bay’s Indigenous communities successfully contested KLK’s plantation plans in the Papua New Guinea courts, which declared KLK’s two main leases null and void in May 2014.

In October, KLK confirmed that it has withdrawn all interest in the development of two portions of customary land (Portion 113C and 143C) in Collingwood Bay. A smaller third State Land portion – Lot 5 which is 5,992 ha – is still being reviewed, according to KLK. Without access to the other lots, however, it is uncertain if the size of Lot 5 is economically feasible to develop on its own because it also mostly covered with primary and High Carbon Stock forest.

In...

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Tuesday, 29 November

22:57

PNG: more to Australia than just another point on a star "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


by JOHN GARNAUT

Australia hasn’t noticed the cracks appearing in the government of its closest neighbour and biggest aid recipient, and that’s dangerous.

When Tony Abbott was trying to steer the conversation away from Bronwyn Bishop, he called a press conference to argue that the Northern Territory should become our seventh state. With desperate times bringing desperate measures, the Prime Minister canvassed the idea of altering his beloved flag.

"If the Commonwealth star was to be a seven-pointed star rather than a six-pointed star, that's hardly a massive change," said the Prime Minister, explaining how the territory could be represented alongside the six federated states.

One problem with the Prime Minister's attempt at national distraction was that the big star beneath the Union Jack already has seven points. It's been that way for more than a century, since 1908, when the six states made room for the territory of Papua.

The bigger problem that Abbott unwittingly exposed runs much deeper than ignorance about his flag. He demonstrated that what is now the proudly independent nation of Papua New Guinea has been expunged not only from our sphere of moral and strategic responsibility, but also from our memory. And that's a dangerous thing to do to our closest neighbour and biggest aid recipient.
It was only in December that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was worrying about how PNG would cope with the "huge revenues" that would soon be flooding in from resource projects. Last week, however, the PNG Treasury admitted that those rivers of revenue have not arrived.

The country's GDP is growing faster than that of any other country, at more than 11 per cent, with vast natural gas reserves coming on stream.  But falling resource prices and myriad other problems mean its budget deficit is on track to double to 9.4 per cent of GDP this year,....

20:00

Seeing each other for what we are: Ben Rawlence’s City of Thorns "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Cover image, City of Thorns (Ben Rawlence)We need to use words to once more see each other for what we are: fellow human beings, no more, no less. – Richard Flanagan, ‘Does Writing Matter?’

At the 2016 Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Australian author Richard Flanagan asked the question ‘Does writing matter?’. His presentation was one of the most powerful pieces of writing I’ve come across this year. His answer was to remind us of how very important writing is because of its ability to name, reveal, awaken and liberate. He framed this in the context of Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers as described in leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention centre on Nauru, which The Guardian Australia published in August.

Ben Rawlence’s book City of Thorns is a perfect example of the kind of power that Flanagan reminds us words have. And it had the same impact on me that the ‘Nauru Files’ had on Flanagan:

Words are mostly used to keep us asleep, not to wake us. Sometimes, though, writing can panic us in the same way we are sometimes panicked at the moment of waking: here is the day and here is the world and we can sleep no longer, we must rise and live within it.

Like Flanagan, Rawlence is writing about refugees, specifically those that have found themselves via various routes and for various reasons living in the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. He describes it as the largest such camp in the world: in 2013, during a polio immunisation campaign, some 600,000 people were found to be living and working there. And he comes to understand the ‘camp’, and its function and structures, as much more permanent than the term implies.

Indeed, Dadaab is not one camp but a complex of three, and it has been in place for so long that people have been born and raised there. Established in 1992 to house refugees fleeing the violence of So...

00:52

Phillip Passmore: not your ordinary pharmacist "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

phillip-with-hmong-refugees-in-ban-vinai-camp-thailand188When major disasters strike in developing countries, donated goods are never far behind. But too often they are unneeded, unusable or provided far in excess of requirements. Pharmacist Phillip Passmore played a central role in helping Aceh’s provincial health department to manage medical supplies donated in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, weeding out the damaged, expired and excess ones, organising storage of the rest, and at the same time working with local counterparts to rebuild the province’s own capacity to manage medical supplies.

This was just one episode in the eventful and varied career of the West Australian, who has taken his unique blend of skills to refugee camps in Thailand, universities in Vietnam and more.

Read the full profile of Phillip Passmore’s work, written by Robin Davies, here.

 

The post Phillip Passmore: not your ordinary pharmacist appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

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Monday, 28 November

21:45

What is the real cost of road construction in Papua New Guinea? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


I am sure many Papua New Guineans are asking this very question right now, reason being that there are too many over inflated, over costed and over variated and unnecessary extra costs pinned to road construction here in PNG.
Even the national works department staff and engineers and other private engineers have raised their concerns over this issue and the question remains as to; What is the true cost of road construction in PNG.
A per kilometre road of;
1. Pilot track (Rural)
2. Gravelled road
3. Sealed bitumen
4. Sealed hot mix bitumen
5. Concrete road
Many roads constructed using different road contractors have different costs per km in fact it is so confusing that not body really knows what the real costs of constructing a km of road using different construction material in Papua New Guinea.
My enquiries have gathered me some information in regards to road construction using concrete as I can compare the Lae concrete road construction against the Wau Concrete road construction initiated by my district authority board the BDDA.
In Wau it has costed the BDDA,  K800.00 Per Cubic Meter or  K1.3m per kilometre and we use the same thickness of .200mm and same reinforcement stee...

20:00

Open aid: Australian aid transparency and the Open Government Partnership "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

combined-logosDriven initially by eight governments including those of the US, the UK and Indonesia, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) was established in 2011 to encourage improvements in the transparency and inclusiveness of public administration. It’s an approximate contemporary of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and shares with it an emphasis on concrete, time-bound commitments, peer accountability and technology. Unsurprisingly, some countries’ OGP actions plans, including those of the US, UK and Canada, have included aid transparency commitments and references to IATI. Australia’s first action plan, it seems, might not.

Ambivalence overcome

Australia announced its intention to join the OGP’s then 50-odd members under the Gillard Labor government, a little belatedly, in May 2013. Following the federal election in September of that year, the incoming Abbott Coalition government was unenthused about this inherited commitment and placed it firmly on the backburner. When Malcolm Turnbull, an advocate for open and consultative government, replaced Abbott two years later, this raised...

03:00

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Sunday, 27 November

20:00

From managing disasters to managing disaster risk: an interview with Robert Glasser "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Camilla: To begin, perhaps could you just paint a quick picture of global trends in disaster impacts.

Robert: If we look over the last decade or so, we’re seeing a drop-off in the number of deaths from disasters overall, although in less developed countries we’re not seeing the same drop-off in loss of life.

At the same time, we’re seeing a continuing increase in economic losses from disasters. So clearly investments are not risk-informed – hospitals being built in flood zones where they’re vulnerable to storms and the like. So we’re seeing an increase in the economic costs, and it’s going up quite rapidly; $300 billion a year is a conservative estimate. It could be twice that number, we currently don’t have complete data on the costs from all disasters, large-scale and small-scale.

I think there’s generally growing awareness of disaster risk in countries. The main challenge is to move from managing disasters to managing disaster risk. And that really means incorporating risk in the budget process, for example. We’re seeing huge progress in some countries, like Bangladesh and Mexico, where various efforts to incorporate risk reduction...

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Friday, 25 November

23:35

Message about the Global Flag Raising for West Papua’s freedom "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

This statement has been released by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda about the Global Flag Raising which will take place on 1st December on West Papua National Day to raise awareness and support for the people of West Papua and their freedom struggle. 

flag-plaint

I am writing this statement to let you all know that on 1st December 2016, the West Papuan flag will be raised all around the world in solidarity with the West Papuan freedom struggle.

flag1stdecdarwinaustralia2015

The Free West Papua Campaign is calling on all international supporters to please join this Global Flag Raising and show your support for peace and freedom in West Papua.

1st December 2015 marks exactly 55 years to the day that the West Papuan flag was first raised; with full Independence for West Papua due in exactly 9 years’ time. However within months our dreams were crushed as Indonesia invaded West Papua. For over 50 years, we West Papuans have been suffering under a secret genocide and the illegal Indonesian occupation of our country. Over half a million innocent West Papuan people (almost a...

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Thursday, 24 November

22:23

PRIME MINISTER'S HYPOCRISY AND DISHONESTY EXPOSED GLOBALLY AT APEC "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGBLOGS

The recent front-page stories on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill “confronting” facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg do more than highlight the ethical failings of the Post-Courier and the National.

They also highlight the hypocrisy and dishonesty of Mr O’Neill himself.

The Prime Minister complains about Facebook as being “disruptive”, and its content “misleading and incorrect”, “misinformation and malicious lies.”

The problem for Mr O’Neill is that he himself is one of the worst offenders on Facebook.

He has been caught lying on Facebook innumerable times. Worse, he actually pays Facebook to propagate his lies.

The Prime Minister’s Office is so distrusted by the public and social media that it has now been forced to use “sponsored” posts – a type of post where Facebook is paid to propagate the post much more widely than would otherwise be the case.

These posts (see the accompanying sample) are advertising, not genuine posts.

In any case most of the people who read Mr O’Neill’s Facebook posts usually call them out for the lies and deceit that they are.

The only media outlets that use his material uncritically are the Post-Courier and the National, many of whose journalists are bribed by the PM and his spin doctors.

The Post-Courier these days is little more than a PNC propaganda sheet, a fact highlighted by its series on sitting MPs.

This series is a scandal, and constitutes early campaigning by those featured, despite the claims to the contrary by the O’Neill Regime’s puppet Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato.

It is in breach of media ethics or the worst kind, and underscores the moral poverty of the Post-Courier’s management and journalists.

PNG Blogs is aware of claims around town that much of the material is supplied to the Post-Courier by Government spin doctors and the MPs concerned, and that money changes hands with various journalists.

The Post-Courier is an extreme example of what is known as the Post-Truth World, as recently described by blogger Martyn Namorong.

The Post-Truth World is exemplified by politicians’ use of lies, deceit and emotion-charged populist appeals, usually accompanied by bribery and other forms of corruption.

PNG has been in a Post-Truth World for many years. It may be a wo...

20:00

Trump and the PNG 2017 elections "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Donald Trump (Flickr/Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of America took the world by surprise. It was certainly one of the defining moments of the 21st century. Many assumed the United States would continue to herald liberalism, led by the ‘establishment,’ an almost unassailable cohort of conglomerates and political high flyers apparently interested in safeguarding the status quo and advancing the ideals of the democratic world. By their standards, Trump is an outsider. But he unexpectedly found favour with those disenfranchised with the liberal ideal.

His election may not be one of celebration for those in the Pacific region, especially given his reluctance to act on US commitments to climate change and regional treaty obligations. But it should rouse some rethinking in our traditional assumptions of domestic politics.

Papua New Guinea’s 2017 National Elections will be an event to watch closely. How will it affect the current political ‘establishment’? PNG has always had a high turnover of politicians [pdf] and this trend will certainly continue, but this time with more zeal and purpose. It will be a test especially for those who have clung to political power and have well-established links. Trump’s election is an outcome of voters disillusioned with the status quo.

Unlike previous elections in PNG, many voters in 2017 will be more informed. Politicians have often been accused of maintaining their grip on power by bribing or deploying ‘sweet policie...

07:01

Ring of Fire "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

pacific-ring-of-fire

A major quake has hit New Zealand and days later Japan. Unfortunately, this is in line with our model as we head toward our destiny with a crash in the energy output of the sun. The Pacific Ring of Fire is a horseshoe-shaped band of fault lines that circles the Pacific Basin. This is known as the Ring of Fire for it is populated with both fault lines and volcanoes. It is historically prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because it is the most seismically active zone on the planet. Our models show we are headed into a much greater period of activity as we get closer to 2040. This is when we should see the peak in activity and this should help create the coming Mini Ice Age correlating with the decline in the energy output of the sun.

The Ring of Fire extends 40,000km and includes 452 volcanoes, stretching from the southern tip of South America, up and along the west coast of North America, across the Bering Strait and down through Japan. It then turns south taking in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia, where the Indo-Australian Plate collides with the Eurasian Plate, and end in New Zealand, known as the “Shaky Isles”.

The most catastrophic earthquakes have taken place around the Ring of Fire, including the strongest one on record, a magnitude 9.5 in Chile in the 1960s. It was 1816 known as the Year without a Summer that was caused by a massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies. This was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years after the extreme weather events of 535–536AD. The Earth had already been in a centuries-long period of global cooling that started in the 14th century as the energy output of the sun declined into 1700s. Known today as the Little Ice Age, it had already caused considerable agricultural crop failures in Europe. The Little Ice Age’s existing cooling was aggravated by the eruption of Tambora on the Ring of Fire, which occurred during its concluding decades.The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F). This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere as Tambora threw so much ash into the air it snowed in New York City during July.

Instant Access to....

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Wednesday, 23 November

23:44

PAYBACK AGAINST JULIUS CHAN - ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION SHAMED BY THE PETER O'NEILL GOVERNMENT "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by JT SOLOMON
There is a very old PNG game that our MPs have played for many years. It involves one corrupt pollie calling another corrupt pollie corrupt without thinking. Then the pollie being accused shoots back and proclaims that the pollie who accused them is the corrupt one. They are also telling the truth. Suddenly both of them realise that the same shoe fits them both and if either one of them spills any more information about the bad things the other fellow did, the whole house of deception is likely to collapse and all the stories might come out. Then they both suffer.
Suddenly all goes silent and the people of PNG remain in the dark. Just like the pollies want.
We're wondering whether the same game has been played in the PNG sewers of power over the past few months. When Somare and Chan so strongly left the O'Neill government, the Prime Minister had some cutting words to give in reply. We've always heard that the PM is not above getting payback against those who cross him, but using exceptionally sneaky tricks.
Somare comes out against O'Neill before the Vote of No Confidence and went to the side of the opposition.
Then a couple months later, when it was reported in the Singapore newspapers about the secret Michael Somare account holding illegal kickback money from a PNG government contract given to a Chinese telecommunications company, it was none other than Peter O'Neill who made sure that PNG online media got the story, complete with Peter O'Neill's comments about Michael Somare's corruption.
...

21:47

Australia must catch up with Papua New Guinea on how we tax gas "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Australia must catch up with Papua New Guinea on how we tax gas

Diane Kraal, Monash University

Papua New Guinea’s 2017 budget takes big steps in resource tax reform. Following suggestions that I made together with former Labor minister Craig Emerson, starting next year resources companies operating in Papua New Guinea will pay a revamped resource rent tax, as well as the existing royalties and company taxes.

With Australia’s budget deficit worsening, following Papua New Guinea’s lead may help us bring in more revenue from natural gas, sooner.

The different ways of taxing resources

Companies in Australia operating large gas-to-liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects pay a resource rent tax (a tax levied on above-normal profits), as well as the regular company tax. Above-normal profits from these new projects are perhaps a decade away, which is why there has been a recent drop in resource tax revenue.

This resource rent tax has replaced royalties for most of these LNG projects. While the resource rent tax is paid on profits, royalties are paid directly on the value of a resource as it is extracted, long before profit or loss is a factor.

A re-introduction of some level of royalties would not increase the tax burden for industry, but would more immediately provide much-needed revenue for government.

Our tax system wasn’t designed for current gas production

Australia’s petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) applies to oil and gas projects but it was not originally fine-tuned for gas....

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Tuesday, 22 November

00:55

Department of Lands still dealing in illegal SABL leases "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

sabl-17c-ng-10102016

The Department of Lands is still ignoring the SABL Commission of Inquiry findings and dealing with SABL leases found to have been illegally issued and recommended to be revoked, as if there is nothing wrong with them.

The Department has recently issued an Official Copy of the State Lease over Portion 17C in Oro Province despite clear findings by the SABL Commission of Inquiry, published in 2013, the lease was “improper and unlawful” and should be “revoked forthwith”.

The CoI found some landowner signatures were fraudulently acquired and concluded:

All in all, the COI found that the issuing of the SABL over Portion 17C to MVMCL [Musa Valley Management Company Limited] which was then sub-leased to MCL [Musa Century Limited] was improper and unlawful”.

“We also found that consent were not obtained from the majority of the landowners to lease their land for the SABL on Portion 17C. In addition, the SABL is not founded upon a proper Lease-Lease back instrument in accordance with Sections 11 and 102 of the Land Act and therefore, is defective and void”.

“We found therefore, that the SABL over Portion 17C was improperly and unlawfully granted to MVMCL and therefore, any subsequent sub-lease arrangements would be also be deemed to be void and of no effect”. 

“We recommend that the SABL over Portion 17C in the Musa-Pongani area issued to MVMCL and sub-leased to MCL is to be REVOKED forthwith.” 

(CoI report [pdf], pages 218 and 219)

The CoI also found:

“The developer MCL is not interested in developing the oil palm and cattle project but rather using them as an excuse/guise to obtain a Forest Clearance Authority (FCA) and embark on a full scale logging operations instead” (page 214)

Despite these clear findings, the Department of Lands is carrying on...

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Monday, 21 November

21:53

NEW IRELAND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT UNDER SPOTLIGHT OVER MISSING K2.7 MILLION "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGNEWS

Blatant misuse of public funds totaling over K2.7 million by the New Ireland Provincial Administration in 2014 has not gone down well with the Auditor- General’s Office.

The annual audit report on the accounts of the New Ireland Provincial Government for the year ending 31 December, 2014 has seen K2,749,989.00 misused and completely breached certain provisions of the Public Finances (Management) Act.

PNG Auditor-General Philip Nauga in a recent letter to the Governor, Sir Julius Chan, dated July 08, 2016 in highlighting the audit report called for immediate investigation into the misapplication and misuse of the public monies.

The auditor’s report which was submitted to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations with copies to the Minister for Finance and the Chairman of the National Economic and Fiscal Commission highlighted several discrepancies incurred by the New Ireland Provincial Administration.
According to the auditor general’s report the following has been uncovered:


  • Payment of twenty-four (24) outstanding claims in respect of the 2012 PNG Games totaling K75,745 were not supported with duly examined and certified payment documents except for manual invoice/statement and verification letters from managers and CEOs;
  • Consultants engaged and attached to the Autonomy Secretariat & Commerce are paid a total of K72,000 (K36,000 per person) as monthly consultancy fees tax-free. Similarly a Planning Consultant was also engaged and paid on a fortnightly basis or an annual salary of K1,314,000. The Auditor General was not provided evidence to suggest that the engagement of the consultants were duly sanctioned and approved by the appropriate authorities such as the Consultancy Steering Committee of the Department of Personnel Management.
  • The Retrenchment/Retirement Benefits Calculation Forms for two (2) retrenched employees of the Provincial Government who were paid their final entitlements totaling K138,787.00 were neither signed nor stamped by a competent authority from the Department of Personnel Management to authenticate the legitimacy and validity of the payouts. The Auditor General further noted that the retrenched employees were still on the Payroll Register or Pay No. 26/2014;
  • The lump sum payments of cash advances to o...

20:00

Can standard migration programs better facilitate migration from small developing countries? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The recent Pacific Possible report on labour mobility [pdf], produced by the World Bank and the Development Policy Centre, touched on the potential to expand Pacific labour mobility through existing migration pathways.

In this post, I analyse migration flows from the Pacific through standard Australian migration programs. The analysis shows that these visa categories are not delivering substantial flows to the Pacific.

International Students

Chart 1: International student commencements in Australia, 2002-16

Chart 1: Int'l student commencements to Australia, 2002-16

Source: Department of Education and Training, ‘International Student Data 2016’

Chart 1 shows the number of international student commencements for citizens from the following countries: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.

The total number of commencements from these countries (blue line) has increased over the past decade, after dipping off in the mid-2000s. This is at least partially attributable to Australia’s priorisation of education scholarships through the aid program. According to the OECD Stat database, Australia allocated $153m to education expenditure in 2006, or 8.6 per cent of total ODA. By 2014, expenditure on education reached $529m, or 15.1 per cent of total ODA. Given the cost of international student education in Australia, it is difficult for most citizens from these countries to study in Australia without financial assistance.

This looks like good news until placed in broader context. The number of commencements in 2015 from these eight countries represents just 0.3 per cent of all commencements in Australia. And, if Papua New Guinea is removed, there is n...

03:00

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1246 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

The promises from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill keep coming, but we are still waiting to see ANY ACTION to reverse the huge SABL land grab, still waiting to see ANY ACTION to return the land to customary landholders, and still waiting to see ANY ACTION to stop the illegal logging in SABL areas.

It is now 1,246 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, almost three-and-a-half 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...

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Sunday, 20 November

20:00

Imagining the Other: its contemporary significance "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Allan McCulloch and a Dukoif man on board the Eureka on Lake Murray, Western Province, PNG. November 1922. © Australian Museum

Allan McCulloch and a Dukoif man on board the Eureka on Lake Murray, Western Province, PNG. November 1922. © Australian Museum

In a previous post, I reviewed Regis Stella’s Imagining the Other: Representations of the Papua New Guinean Subject and argued that it is important reading for those of us interested in PNG. In this post I reflect on its contemporary significance, offer some tips for readers, and discuss my two ‘take home’ gems from the book.

Why is the book important for pretty much everyone?

Contemporary portrayals of PNG and its people in international media, scholarship and by development partners reflect the persistence of the contradictions and paradoxes that Stella examines. These, he argues, reflect the biases, fears and power agendas of those who influence these representations. These typically juxtapose widely acknowledged tropes relating to development problems such as poverty, corruption, mismanagement, declining basic services, lack of capacity, pervasive gendered violence, and insecurity, with the country’s stunning landscape, untouched natural resources, and rich culture.

Although things in PNG have become more complicated, tropes are still used in representations of the PNG subject. The Manus Island detention centre provides an illustration of this complexity. Vetted by the PNG government and supported and funded by the Australian government it has become difficult to disentangle indigenous actors from outsider actors in the Manus Island ‘hell-hole’ trope. Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island succeeds precisely because Manus Island is represented as a ‘hell-hole’ and its people violent and unwelcoming. Sadly, for Manus Islanders, the evidence supports this representation.

Ironically, within the Australian political debate, this ‘hell-hole’ trope is reinforced by both the Australian government policy to deter asylum seekers, as well as by refugee advocates to argue for the closure of the centre. Both sides of the debate in Australia speak to an Australian audience. Bot...

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Friday, 18 November

02:00

Newsletter: Not the Millennium Villages | Women in leadership | PNG Update presentations and budget "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

best-photo-8-10-16-10-20-53-amNot the Millennium Villages: Colin and Ria in Eastern Indonesia

Colin Barlow and Ria Gondowarsito have spent most of the last thirty years fighting rural poverty in Eastern Indonesia. Their work is featured in our latest Aid Profile, authored by Stephen Howes, who argues that their story is not only inspirational, but has much to teach us about aid and development.

PNG women in leadership

Professor Betty Lovai, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UPNG, gave a hard-hitting keynote speech at the PNG Update titled “Women in leadership”, drawing on her own experience to argue that cultural mindsets are the main constraint holding women back from leadership positions in PNG. You can listen to the podcast or read her blog or full speech [pdf].

Other presentations from the 3-4 November 2016 PNG Update, which was held in Port Moresby, are now also available for download, including the inaugural address [pdf] by the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Bruce Davis. You can also see media coverage of the event here.

The PNG budget was brought down on 1 November, and was a major topic of conversation at the Update. You can read Stephen Howes’ analysis of cuts to core services. Lae’s Angau Hospital, the country’s second largest, sees a reduction in real funding of almost half betw...

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Thursday, 17 November

23:16

Our unique culture can drive development "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

“Development cannot happen without culture and Papua New Guinea must develop on its own terms” - Amanda Donigi

Source: PNG Today

Papua New Guineans have been urged to take inspiration from the country’s diverse culture and rich natural environment to create sustainable businesses and contribute to the nation’s development.

The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct hosted a panel discussion in Lae recently on the potential for innovative indigenous businesses, and the opportunities they offer entrepreneurial women.

The panel, comprising Sir Nagora Bogan, Amanda Donigi, Maria Linibi and Bonita Solomon, was joined by more than 40 local business people and community leaders.

“We need to stop thinking about culture as our history and start thinking about it as our future,” Stella Magazine founder Amanda Donigi said.

“Development cannot happen without culture and Papua New Guinea must develop on its own terms.”

The discussion was opened by Australian Deputy High Commissioner Bronte Moules and was also attended by Ms Sheila Harou, Acting Provincial Administrator for Morobe, and Lady Nohorahnie Bogan.

Ms Moules said the indigenous business sector offered real economic opportunities, particularly for women.

“As an Australian living in Papua New Guinea, I’m constantly struck by the diversity of this magnificent country,” Ms Moules said.

“There are so many people around the world that want to experience the stories, sounds, dances, arts and crafts that Papua New Guinea has to offer.

“These cultural elements provide opportunities for women, at all levels, to participate in the economy.”

Sir Nagora, Chancellor of the University of Technology and President of the Papua New Guinea Indigenous Business Council, said both women and men need to step up and take responsibility for development.

“We are now in transition as a generation of leaders retire and pass on their duties,” Sir Nagora said.

“We need people who can bring strong ethical values, a strong sense of governance, prudential management of our resources and stewardship of our environment.”

Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct is a joint initiative of the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia to support the development of capable and ethical leaders in the public and private sectors.

One of the key objectives of the Precinct is to encourage dialogue and discussion on Papua New Guinea’s development challenges and how et...

03:09

Post Courier peddling influence for sitting MPs in early campaign column aimed at affecting 2017 Elections "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


The Post Courier newspaper is creating an avenue for early campaign though its newly established column, Scan Your MP.

I believe this column published every Tuesdays and Thursdays is a paid newspaper supplement run as an advert.

However, in my view Scan Your MP is indirectly in breach of the Organic Law on National & Local Level Government Elections.

This organic law prohibits candidates and their agents including the mainstream media from taking part in early campaign until the Governor General officially issues the writs. Then the campaign period starts thereafter. 

However, Post Courier is creating a forum for sitting MPs, most of whom have money, to coerce the mindsets of the voters and impose undue influence on them as early as possible.

What if an MP featured on this column has not delivered in practical terms some of those so-called services he professes on the media to have delivered using the DSIP funds?

I am raising this warning as my MP who was featured recently in this column misled us by including some of the projects which he did not delivered. 

It is common knowledge that the power of media cannot be underestimated. As such, Post Courier has already infused some degree of undue influence over the mindsets of the eligible voters and common people.

The principle question the paper is asking to scan the MPs is this. Why should you be voted in again in 2017 National elections?

This fundamental question should not be asked by Post Courier with a profit motive. Post Courier instead should have asked the people this question. What have this particular MP done for you?

Post Courier should have conducted a vox pop asking a cross section of people from across every electorate and province to scan their MPs by way of investigative reporting detailing the expenditure of every toea of DSIP and PSIP funds.

So far Post Courier ran several stories for sitting MPs such as Francis Awesa, William Powi, Robert Ganim, Douglas Tomuriesa, Nixon Duban, and others.

Can the Electoral Commission and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties & Candidates shed some light and clarify if the action of Post Courier is in breach of the relevant laws which prohibit early campaign and undue influence on voters.

by CITIZEN X, Giburi Street, Mora...

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Tuesday, 15 November

21:33

STATE PRISONER RUNNING EASTERN HIGHLANDS PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


The situation in Goroka at the Provincial Capital (Yanepa Haus) is very frightening. The incumbent Provincial Administrator is a state prisoner by virtue of his arrest and bail and is allowed to continue to occupy public office disbursing funds using the section 32 powers ( delegated powers from the secretary of finance who is the custodian of public funds and in doing so as a " not fit and proper person" and awarding contracts  through the Provincial Supply and tenders Board whilst the people of EH continues to suffer,

He is squandering public funds to remain in office using the courts ( through a restraining order, which ousted the former acting Provincial Administrator in Feb 2016) and siphoning peoples money through his dubious contractors and then collecting the same at the exit point to pay for his legal and bribery expenses to remain in office.
The lawyers from Niuage Lawyers, law firm are making huge money out from the peoples purse and the nine MPs from the province don't dare to question whats going on. Eastern Highlands is creating history in PNG and the world to allow a crook to continue to occupy public office,

It also appears that the lady Governor has abandoned her fight for her much talked about "transparency and accountability approach" and gone into bed with the Mafia Monster that runs the provincial administration in Goroka.
No newspapers want to run news articles because of possible contempt because there is an existing court order which is still holding the crook PA in office and it would appear that the lady Governor has compromised with the devil and is work...

03:19

WHILE EVERYONE IS BUSY WITH SPORTS, PETER O'NEILL CONTINUES TO STEAL "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGBLOGS

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s shady business dealings are heating up as he seeks to hide his massive money-laundering operations and legitimise his wealth.

The latest news from within his Remington group is that he is reviving his satellite communications business, which was a gold mine from inflated Government contract s before he sold it to Digicel a couple of years ago.

Remington has registered two new business names for the satellite subsidiary, B2B Solutions and S2S Solutions, and operations are soon to begin.

His former business, Remington Communications, was secretly sold to Digicel in mid-2013 for between K30 million and K40 million.

The sale to Digicel, is highly suspicious. O’Neill was making a fortune out of the business from fake and/or inflated contracts with Government departments.

For example shortly after he was appointed Treasury and Finance Minister by the Somare Regime in mid-2010, O’Neill secretly ordered the Finance Department to purchase more than 100 satellite dishes, worth a total of approximately K5 million, from Remington Communications.

They were to be installed at Vulupindi Haus and provincial treasuries (at separate cost of several million kina) and operated on a fixed contract. However the system never worked and all the taxpayers’ money spent on it was wasted.

And Peter O’Neill got away with millions.

Digicel quickly discovered that Remington Communications was really not worth a toea, and closed it down after only three years of ownership.

Either Digicel was not prepared to enter into the dirty deals that O’Neill masterminded, or it was not capable of running a satellite business.

But O’Neill, the master of the corrupt contract, knows the value of doing business with his corrupt Government – hence the rebirth of the Remington satellite subsidiary.

One fruitful avenue of new business is through existing Remington contracts in other sectors. For example the Remington IT, Wildcat Developments and SouthWest Air subsidiaries were given corrupt contracts related to the Ok Tedi copper mine immediately after O’Neill nationalised it  in 2013.

Now O’Neill is washing the proceeds of those contracts by selling WildCat and SW Air to his favourite laundryman, Sir Theo Constantinou...

01:10

Forest Minister, Tomuriesa, a complete hypocrite over the SABL land grab and illegal logging "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The Forest Minister sitting comfortably on his trip home from Paris

Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, is so full of bullshit…

The audacity, bare faced cheek and hypocrisy from Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa is just jaw dropping!

This is a man who for three years has vehemently denied any suggestion of illegal logging in PNG, and has wholly heartedly endorsed the destructive logging operations in SABL lease areas that have seen timber worth more then US$400 million stolen from customary landowners and exported to China.

That logging in SABL areas is still continuing today, with Tomuriesa’s seal of approval, yet he tells Parliament:

  • ‘The government decision to cancel the leases is commendable’
  • ‘The leases should ‘never have happened’
  • ‘Due diligence must be done before any approval can be granted’
  • ‘Our people’s rights and our children’s future must be protected’

Most staggering of all, Tomuriesa says:

“The land belongs to our people. It must remain with our people, the forest belongs to our people and it must not be taken away from them”

So Minister, please tell us why you have allowed over 4 million cubic meters of logs to be stolen from SABL lease areas without the informed consent of local people but under the guise of approvals granted by you and your Department. 

Why are you STILL allowing the logging to continue when you say our people’s rights must be protected!

By HELEN TARAWA, The National (owned by Rimbunan Hijau), November 11, 2016
The Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) was designed to fail and the Government’s decision to cancel it is commendable, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa said.
Tomuriesa told Parliament last week that SABL was designed for disaster and the Government had taken a corrective measure, with land goi...

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Monday, 14 November

22:07

PNG’S 2016 BUDGET FAILURE – ANOTHER 2016 SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET REQUIRED "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PAUL FLANAGAN

Executive Summary

  • The 2016 Budget appears to have failed in its constitutional requirements to appropriate sufficient funding for the activities of government
    • This includes servicing debt (amortization).
  • The Opposition is correct to highlight the absurd differences between the 2016 and 2017 budgetary appropriations
    • But the error appears to be in the 2016 budget
    • One that was rushed through without the chance for adequate democratic scrutiny by the Opposition
    • Holders of Government Bills and Bonds may now have to pay the price – as they did in the Kokopo Loans Affair
    • And possibly the public more broadly.
  • A Supplementary Budget should have been passed at the start of this week to correct the possible constitutional error that had already been pointed out to government by a local PNG analyst (my hat off to her – PNG needs more local analysis and women leaders such as this).
  • In 2016, after allowing for the Supplementary Budget, only 56.7% of required expenditure has legal coverage – since August, probably all payments have been illegal under the Constitution.
  • Now, until the situation is clarified, I’d be careful about taking out more Treasury Bills at the next auction or even expect the next local contract payment to be valid
    • There will be an accusation of scare-mongering – but read the blog and get local legal advice.
    • I expect the solution to this problem  will involve having to recall Parliament and pass another 2016 Supplementary Budget to plug the gap.
    • Economic management is not going well in PNG.

Details

Press reports indicate that the Opposition is concerned about the substantial gap between the figures in the 2017 Appropriation Bills, the figures in the 2017 Budget Speech and documents, and the 2016 Appropriation Bills.  The very large increase in between the 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Bills was pointed out first, I believe, in this 3 November post by a PNG economic analyst here with additional analysis here.  I...

03:00

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Sunday, 13 November

23:37

The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management and Australia’s role as a haven for dirty money "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Australia is a haven for dirty money, money stolen from countries like Papua New Guinea, according to research by Professor Jason Sharman which will shortly be published in a new book, The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management.

The book will explore the moral and legal rule, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, that prohibits one country from hosting wealth stolen by the leaders of another country. Australia, and almost every other country in the world, has legally committed to the Convention.

Sharman has investigated the extent to which the United States, Britain, Switzerland and Australia are living up to their commitment to prevent foreign corruption funds entering their financial systems, and tracing, seizing and returning these funds where they do sneak in.

In a recent lecture, broadcast on ABC radio and YouTube, Sharman gave some insights into his research findings.

Sharman says that US, Britain and Switzerland are generally sincere in respecting their commitment, although because it is a tough policy problem to solve, overall effectiveness of the rule against hosting the proceeds of foreign corruption is not great.

Australia, however, is in a completely different category. Sharman says the Australian government has consistently chosen a path of inaction and denial that has led the country becoming a haven for dirty money stolen by foreign leaders and their families.

As evidence of Australia’s role as a haven for dirty money, Sharman cites examples involving China and Papua New Guinea and evidence from the OECD.

The Chinese regime has long been plagued with endemic corruption among its leaders

The People’s Bank of China (the Chinese central bank) put together a top secret report about corrupt officials fleeing with state money. The report won an internal prize for the quality of the research, but what good is a prize if no one knows about it? 

Against strict orders, the authors posted the report on the web in 2011, though it was taken down within 24 hours, it was widely copied

The report indicated that in the 15 year period 1993-2008 between 16,000 and 18,000 officials had fled China taking funds to the value of between $100 and $120 billion.

Where did these officials go with their loot?

the report listed the three most population destinations for these officials and their money as being the United States...

14:31

US to take in refugees from Australian camps under one-off deal "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The US has agreed to take in some of the asylum-seekers that Australia keeps in off-shore camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Australia will also ramp up its effort to intercept and turn back new refugees trying to reach it by boat. The deal announced by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister […]

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

00:00

Who invents this cruelty? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


In the past fortnight, the Turnbull Coalition government announced proposed legislation to ensure that each person on Manus Island or Nauru sentenced to the cruel and unusual punishment for no legal or moral reason since an arbitrary date in 2013, will never come to Australia. That’s never ever; doesn’t matter if they want to visit the Great Barrier Reef before government lack of policy on climate change kills it off; doesn’t matter if the person is a famous actor, musician or movie star in their future life; doesn’t matter if the person is representing a country at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast; and it even doesn’t matter if a current refugee on Manus Island or Nauru is a head of state in the future — they won’t be allowed to visit Australia (or only allowed to visit at the absolute discretion of the minister for immigration at the time).

Blatantly unfair, unreasonable and un-called for? — certainly. Unfortunately, we should be used to the Abbott/Turnbull government doubling down on the nastiness and sheer hate defined by their policy on refugees. The Abbott/Turnbull government will tell you that they are stopping the people smugglers from sending people on dangerous open sea voyages using equipment that is clearly not designed for the purpose. Immigration Minister Dutton claims:

What we don't want is if someone is to go to a third country, that they apply for a tourist visa or some other way to circumvent what the government's policy intent is by coming back to Australia from that third country.
The Abbott/Turnbull government has a problem. After being given a lesson in humanity by the Papua New Guinea High Court when it ruled that the detention camp on Manus Island breached PNG law, Turnbull has to find a place to house the 1200 or so people we as Australians have illegally imprisoned by various governments going back to the Rudd ALP government. Politically, the government can’t let these people come to Australia as the neo-conservative right wing of the Liberal and National Parties will head further towards the divisive policies of the ultra-right wing parties such as One Nation. As well as that, if the refugees were housed in (say) New Zealand or other countries in the South Pacific, the argument could be made that refugees could simply board a...

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Friday, 11 November

04:25

Log tax increase, a big win for people "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

SOURCE: GRACE AUKA SALMANG - POST COURIER

THE proposed tax increase on log export announced in the 2017 Budget has been described as a big win for the people of PNG.

Former chairman of the Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Mr John Numapo said this saying for far too long those involved in the logging industry and forestry sector have failed the Government and the people by paying very minimal tax and next to nothing royalties to landowners for the export of round logs.

"The landowners in particular were big losers with not only their logs being taken away but also their customary land without adequate and appropriate compensation.

"I commend the Prime Minister Peter O’Neil and his government for taking this bold step to increase the tax on log export as it is long overdue," he said.

He said the proposed new tax will ensure that both the government and the landowners get maximum returns through taxes and royalty payments from exported logs.

"If COI into the SABL has anything to do with this proposed increase on log export directly or indirectly then it appears to me that the current government is genuinely committed to implementing the recommendations of the SABL Inquiry Report and I am very pleased with that.

"It is my prediction that SABL will be a major platform for many political parties in the upcoming elections next year and the party that supports the return of the customary land back to the landowners and that landowners are adequately and fairly compensated for the logs harvested from their land will have the good chance of forming the next government," he said.

Mr Numpo said the high tax on log exports will no doubt, scare away the ‘fly-by nighters’ and other so called investors who come under the pretext of agricultural developments but ended up engaging in full scale logging operations as he discovered in the SABL inquiry.

He said only genuine loggers who are prepared to pay the high tax will be allowed to carry on business.

"And like in everything else, there is a cost in doing business in the country and those who are genuine and want to do business must be prepared to pay the cost.

"I urge the Government not to back down on the calls from the logging industry and forestry sector to reconsider the proposed tax increase.

"Logging has been going on for over 30 years now, but the country has not seen any significant returns on export earnings.

...

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Thursday, 10 November

22:35

PNG Economy – Forecasting Confusion Undermines Confidence but RECESSION CONFIRMED "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"



by PAUL FLANAGAN


Executive Summary
  • The 2017 Budget was a missed opportunity for restoring credibility in the Government’s economic management.
    • Vastly different measures for GDP are included throughout the same Budget document – not a good look for international investors and credit rating agencies
  • LNG values are assumed to increase in the 2017 Budget by 16% while recent World Bank forecasts indicate a fall of 35%.
  • Using official BPNG figures, and updating them for the lower growth forecasts in the 2017 budget, a recession is confirmed:
    • (using the measure most relevant for measuring progress on PNG’s living standards)
    • real non-resource GDP per capita is expected to fall from K2,479 in 2013 to K2,282 in 201 7
    • this is a fall of 8% in average living standards in PNG.
  • According to official estimates from Treasury and BPNG, it will now take until past 2023 to get back to 2013 standards of living (see graph below).
  •  PNG is officially facing another lost decade of development.
  • Economic management in PNG is not going well.
Detail
The 2017 Budget was a missed opportunity for restoring credibility in the Government’s economic management.
The government should have a strong understanding of past and future drivers of growth in the economy.  This means being able to measure the economy’s size as accurately and consistently as possible.
Unfortunately, the 2017 PNG Treasury Budget is internally inconsistent and tells some very mixed stories.  This matters, as it is a key measuring stick for assessing the government’s performance. The GDP figures are also key in determining whether PNG is meeting certain statutory requirements such as keeping its debt levels low.
Let us ask the simple question.  According to the 2017 Budget, how large was the PNG economy in 2015, 2016 and 2017?
The key table for analysing PNG’s GDP is Table 1 on page 88 of Budget Volume 1.  It provides the detail on what has been happening and is projected to happen in the economy. &nb...

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Wednesday, 09 November

20:30

Prime Minister again promises to end SABL land grab "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Source: PNG Exposed blog

The Prime Minister has again announced the government is cancelling controversial SABL leases and returning the land to its customary owners.

“I am pleased to say that all the SABL leases to be cancelled, instruction has now gone to the Lands Dept and as of today (last Friday) I can assure you that leases are now being cancelled” – see story below.

The only problem is we have heard this all before, yet no action has ever been taken.

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” 

Yet it is now 1,235 days since the Commission of Inquiry reports that detailed the fraud, mismanagement and incompetence behind the huge SABL land grab and illegal logging.

For more than three years, we have been waiting for ACTION from the Prime Minister, rather than EMPTY WORDS.

Will this time prove to be any different?

And what about the 35 leases the Commission of Inquiry conveniently failed to report on – including the huge Rimbunan Hijau logging operations in Pomio district and the destruction of New Hanover?

All SABLs cancelled: O’Neill
The National aka The Loggers Times 
THE Government has cancelled all Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABL) due to irregularities in various land and forestry laws that allowed the devastation of forests, parliament has been told.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill urged the landowners to revisit the leases signed with companies and if possible negotiate better benefits.
He was responding to a series of questio...

00:34

PARLIAMENT HIJACKED BY EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT IN A FINAL DESPERATE AND ULTIMATE ACT OF BETRAYAL TO THE PEOPLE OF PNG! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGBLOGS

The O'Neill Dion Government has used its numerical strength to bulldoze through an illegal and fraudulent budget.

In what they describe as their "final budget", the Government and its MPs have deliberately passed this hoax budget which has hidden in it some K10 Billion in loans the government has accumulated illegally outside of the budget during its 5 year term.

In an ultimate act of betrayal to the people and the country, they used their numerical strength to legitimise an illegal act on the floor of Parliament.

The Opposition, being the true and loyal guardians of our constitution and our Parliamentary Democracy had to walk out of Parliament in protest as the Acting Speaker and the Clerk both allowed Parliament to be hijacked by the Executive Government. A very very sad day and yet another low this nation has faced under the rule of this most controversial PNC led government.
...

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Tuesday, 08 November

01:45

O’Neill again promises to end SABL land grab "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

sabl cartoon

The Prime Minister has again announced the government is cancelling controversial SABL leases and returning the land to its customary owners.

“I am pleased to say that all the SABL leases to be cancelled, instruction has now gone to the Lands Dept and as of today (last Friday) I can assure you that leases are now being cancelled” – see story below.

The only problem is we have heard this all before, yet no action has ever been taken.

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” 

Yet it is now 1,233 days since the Commission of Inquiry reports that detailed the fraud, mismanagement and incompetence behind the huge SABL land grab and illegal logging.

For more than three years, we have been waiting for ACTION from the Prime Minister, rather than EMPTY WORDS.

Will this time prove to be any different?

And what about the 35 leases the Commission of Inquiry conveniently failed to report on – including the huge Rimbunan Hijau logging...

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Monday, 07 November

22:59

2017 BUDGET BLUES - K40 MILLION SLUSH FUND ALLOCATED FOR PM's PERSONAL USE "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGBLOGS

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s greed and corruption is on show again in the 2017 Budget, with K40 million allocated for his personal use.

The slush fund is a new allocation, under the Treasury and Finance Miscellaneous category, entitled Prime Minister’s Commitments. Also in this category is K3 million for “PM’s Official Staff Determination Payouts”.

Treasury and Finance Miscellaneous can be viewed on Page 187 of Volume 2a, 2017 Budget Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for National Government Departments http://www.treasury.gov.pg/html/national_budget/files/2017/Vol2a-Revenue%20and%20Expenditure%20National%20Govt%20Depts.pdf

No details of the new slush fund have been given. No reference was made to it in the Treasurer’s speech. No details are available of who or what the K40 million is to be spent on. There is no evidence of any acquittal requirements.

This is a slush fund pure and simple and the Prime Minister and his Treasurer are trying to keep it secret.

Treasury and Finance Miscellaneous has become a pig trough for the Prime Minister and his political and business cronies in recent years.

And it includes the infamous Secretary’s Advance, which in 2017 is K62 million (K100 million in 2016). The explanations for spending, as in previous years, are largely meaningless and probably disguise all sorts of illegal payments accessed by the Prime Minister and his crony Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook covers the Secretary’s Advance in Table 16: Secretary’s Advance Expenditure since the 2016 Budget.

This table shows that up to June 30 Prime Ministerial crony Tiffany Twivey has received two payments through her law firm Twivey Lawyers – one for K1.6 million and another for K2.1 million (TOTAL K3.7 million). Last year she received K1.8 million up to June 30.

Another Prime Ministerial crony and prominent kon man, Jimmy Maladina, benefited from K1.6 million from the Secretary’s Advance in 2015 through his law firm Pacific Legal Group.

K10 million was spent on “Budget readjustments as per PM’s instructions” up to June 30. The Prime Minister has no authority to make rea...

03:00

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1232 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill still refuses to do anything to reverse the huge SABL land grab or stop the illegal logging.

So much for all his promises to revoke the unlawful leases and return the land to customary landholders!

It is now 1,232 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”

sabl cartoon

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedly cancelling the leases,...

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Sunday, 06 November

22:55

GOVERNMENT SPENT K10 BILLION ILLEGALLY THIS YEAR "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

 
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch have been caught out in a massive Constitutional breach over state borrowings and repayment of the national debt in 2015 and 2016.

Their failure to comply with Section 209 of the Constitution means all domestic debt – Treasury Bills and Inscribed Stock - issued in both years, and repayment of that debt, is technically illegal.

The unlawful amount involved will be about K10 billion by the end of this year.

The Constitutional breach and the failure to acknowledge and correct it highlights the incompetence and lack of integrity of the Prime Minister and Treasurer.

It highlights the complete disregard by the Prime Minister and his Regime for the laws of Papua New Guinea, including the Mama Law.

The Constitutional breach was identified by blogger Kessy Sawang, a financial analyst and former Deputy Commissioner of Papua New Guinea Customs Service, and Head of Secretariat of the Tax Review Secretariat at Department of Treasury.

Ms Sawang disclosed the Constitutional breach in a comprehensive and very astute analysis on her blog...

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Thursday, 03 November

09:10

JUSTIN TKATCHENKO'S 1ST PROPERTY PURCHASED IN 2011 - WORTH AUS $1.1 MILLION, PAID BY NCDC CASH! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

PNGBLOGS 

Sources within an Australian Real Estate firm have been exposing prominent Papua New Guinean MPs and Public Servants  to PNGBLOGS who have purchased properties in Australia via dubious means. The latest is Sports, Special Events and APEC Minister, Justin TKATCHENKO. PNGBlogs recently exposed the recent purchase of a property by MINISTER TKATCHENKO and his family at BROOKFIELD outside BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA. MINISTER TKATCHENKO lied through his teeth in Parliament when he said he gave up controls to his parent company KITORO NO 33. Truth is he is still solely involved with the company operations with his wife.

Papua New Guineans have been duped again by JUSTIN TKATCHENKO with a purchase he made prior to entering Parliament when  he was the sole owner of Kitoro No 33.

In 2010 it was alleged Tkatchenko received over K3 million in payments from the National Capital District through his landscaping companies Kitoro No.33 and PNG Gardner. It is claimed these payments, were authorised by NCDC Governor Powes Parkop in breach of the Public Finance Management Act, the NCDC Act and the Organic Law on the Leadership Code.

The payments, which were made for work on the NCDC Mini Park, Water Fountain, Waterslide and Zoo and Animal Farm, were made with no quotations provided and no public tendering process – breaching the fundamental principles of value for money, transparency, effective competition, fair and ethical dealing and efficiency.


The K3 Million obtained by Mr TKATCHENKO was used to pay for the property at 10 Cubberla St, Fig Tree Pocket, just outside the Brisbane Central Business District.  The property is valued at $1.1Million dollars in today market rate. 

There are more than 30 prominent Papua New Guineans involved in the purchases of properties in...

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Wednesday, 02 November

01:15

2017 BUDGET CONFIRMS APEC COST IS OVER K3 BILLION - PNG PRIME MINISTER KEEPS LYING TO STAY IN POWER "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGBLOGS

The 2017 Budget handed down yesterday confirms fears that the cost of APEC is far more than the K3 billion estimated by a recent International Monetary Fund report on PNG.

The allocation for this year is K250 million, taking the total cost to at least K3.8 billion over the four years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The current cost of K3.8 billion will rise even more when the Budget allocation for 2018 is announced at this time next year.
...

00:23

Being a Minister in PNG can seriously expand your wealth and your waistline "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

waistline

If you can judge the wealth of a man by the size of his house then the last four years have been very kind to Justin Tkatchenko. Based on the value of his property holdings in Queensland he might have tripled his wealth as a Minister since 2012!

Last week PNG Blogs revealed that Minister Tkatchenko has recently purchased a piece of land in the Brookfield area of Brisbane for a cool $1.6 million. Brookfield is a largely rural superb about 13km west of the Brisbane city centre.

For his $1.6m (about K3.8 million), Tkatchenko has acquired an empty block of land on which Brisbane City Council records reveal, he now intends to build a house, secondary dwelling, horse stables, greenhouses, garage, gym, a 380 square metre aviary and a lake!. When completed, his new mini estate, will be worth well upwards of $3 million.

But the Brookfield estate is not the only property Tkatchenko ownes in Brisbane. In 2011 he purchased No. 12 Cubberla Street in the exclusive suburb of Fig Tree Pocket for a cool $1.1 million (approximately K2.6 million).

Fig Tree Pocket is an up-market riverside suburb 5km west of the Brisbane CBD. The houses are spacious and widely spread and there is a large proportion of trees and parks and little noise or traffic.

No. 12 Cubberla Street is described as “a stunning family home” where “Country Style Acreage Meets Inner City Convenience”.

12-cubberla-street

...

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Tuesday, 01 November

21:22

PNG’S 2017 BUDGET – FISCALLY FRAUDULENT "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PAUL FLANAGAN 
PNG’s 2017 budget was a key opportunity to demonstrate the credibility of the government’s economic management before next year’s election.  It fails.
Foolish games with numbers and unrealistic assumptions severely undermine the budget’s credibility (detailed examples on the revenue and expenditure side are provided below). Indeed, the level of deception arguably approaches fraud.
This preliminary assessment of the budget documents will be updated over the next few days.  Hopefully more good will be found in the detail.
A major winner from the budget are overseas petroleum shareholders with proposed cuts in the company tax rate from 45 or 50% down to 30%. This will be of particular joy to Oil Search and others that will gain from a new possible Papua LNG project – but they are possibly accessing the lower rate for condensate already. PNG’s tax regime for the petroleum sector was already considered generous relative to world standards – it now will be even more so. And although some of the changes mirror suggestions in the the Sir Nagora tax review, off-setting elements such as the introduction of a capital gains tax and reduced tax incentives are not mentioned in the budget changes.
These are interesting choices by government given major cuts in key areas such as health, education and infrastructure , with further foreshadowed cuts of 11% in nominal terms and 37% in real terms from 2017 to 2021.  Even from the 2016 budget, the cuts are very large. &...

20:00

Hungry for justice, thirsty for change "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Market traders in Port Vila look through the debris left by Cyclone Pam (image: Mark Mitchell for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand)Earlier this month, Caritas Australia, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Tonga jointly produced the second annual State of the Environment Report for Oceania. The report documents the experiences and observations of Caritas’ partners and contacts throughout the region between July 2015 and June 2016 on five key environmental issues – access to food and water; impact of extreme weather; impact of coastal flooding and erosion; climate finance quantity, quality, and support for the most vulnerable; impact of offshore mining and drilling.

This post outlines the key findings of the report, which reflect the voices, experiences and observations of people at the grassroots and coastal edges of life in the Pacific.

Safe and healthy food and drinking water

The overall impact of environmental factors affecting access to safe healthy food and drinking water was the biggest change over 2014/15. At the peak of the El Niño drought in Papua New Guinea an estimated 2.7 million people experienced food and water shortages. In Vanuatu’s central district water tanks ran dry and people struggled to cultivate staple foods, compounding the reduced supplies of bananas and other fruits that are a legacy of Cyclone Pam in March 2015.

In addition to specific weather events, ongoing erosion and salination are affecting agriculture and aquaculture. Caritas’ partners from Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Papua New Guinea, among other countries, have reported losses of coconut, pandanus and swamp taro sources this...

04:07

Police intimidation and violence against Pomio communities "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Police stationed at logging camps in the Pomio district of East New Britain are continuing to intimidate and threaten landowners protesting against illegal SABL leases and wide spread logging.

The landholders from Totongpal and Manginuna have been maintaining a roadblock against illegal logging since early last week. On the 25th ten community members were arrested trying to stop logging machinery encroaching onto sacred sites and conservation areas. 

But as of this morning, the people are still maintaining their barricades, despite threats from the police they will be forcefully removed.

Meanwhile, a group of villages, led by Moses Sarere in Mauna, are trying to stop logging giant Rimbunan Hijau extending its logging and oil palm plantations into the Unung Sigite SABL area. The traditional landholders say the lease was unlawfully issued without their consent. 

The men arrested at Manginuna were taken by police to Palmalmal and held overnight. Two of the men sized by police to were the local Ward Members. 

The men were released without being charged late on Wednesday evening. The police warned them not to try and block the logging machines again, but Thursday they were back with their fellow villages trying to protect their customary land. 

The communities were again confronted by police who intimidated and swore at them and then tried to pick on the women, with nasty sexual insults. The police also smashed the phone of one young man who had captured pictures of the police action.

Rimbunan Hijau has police deployed at Mu, Drina and Palmalmal to try and intimidate landholders and stop any protests. The police intimidation and violence in the RH logging camps has previously been documented in an inter agency report. But despite the public findings the police actions have continued unabated.

Other Pomio SABL / logging stories

SABL warrior wins international human rights award in New York

Rimbunan Hijau tells communities human rights impede their development

...

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Monday, 31 October

03:06

01:30

Court finds fraud in issuing of SABL leases "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

sabl cartoon

The National Court has ruled another two Special Agriculture and Business Leases issued by the Department of Lands unlawful.

The judge found there was “a clear indication or suggestion of dubious, reckless or corrupt dealings or actions by the Defendants” –  The Department of Lands and the Minister, Puka Temu.

There have now been at least seven reported cases in which the courts have found the Department of Lands failed to follow proper process in the issuing of SABL leases and have declared the leases null and void.

In this latest case customary landowners in East New Britain challenged the decision of the Minister for Lands to grant two SABL leases over their traditional land at Giregire in 2004.

The Court found the Department of Lands and the Minister failed to follow the provisions of Sections 10, 11 and 102 of the Lands Act in granting the leases and made “fundamental” and “serious” errors.

In particular, there was no evidence of any agreement between the Minister and the landholders as to the terms and conditions on which the land would be leased and no evidence the Minister had even discharged his duty to meet with the landholders to ascertain their views!

The court found the Department and Minister acted contrary to Sections 11 and 102 of the Land Act as no lease was ever signed by the legitimate landowners. The court also found the decision to grant the leases was in direct breach of Sections 11 and 102 and against natural justice as the proper landowners were never ascertained.

The court then went even further and said the whole circumstances of the case were so unsatisfactory, irregular and unlawful, the grant of the SABL leases was tantamount to fraud. Indeed, the judge said the there was “a clear indication or suggestion of dubious, reckless or corrupt dealings or actions by the Defendants” [The Departamnet of Lands and the Minister, Puka Temu]

The court quashed the decisions of the Department of Lands and the Minister to grant the SABL lea...

00:43

Nautilus Minerals linked to corruption allegations around Namibian seabed mining "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

nautilus

The giant machines Nautilus wants to use to mine the seafloor in Papua New Guinea

Prospective Solwara 1 seabed mining company Nautilus Minerals can be linked to the allegations of corruption surrounding a controversial decision by the Namibian government to allow seabed mining.

Namibia’s Fisheries Minister, Bernhard Esau, is crying foul over a government decision to allow phosphate mining on the seabed.

He says the decision to grant an environmental permit to Namibian Marine Phosphate was done behind closed doors and in defiance of an earlier government imposed ban. As Fisheries Minister, he says he was denied an opportunity to present his own proposal for a detailed 3-5 year environmental study before any approvals were granted.

Namibian Marine Phosphate is owned by the same company, MB Holdings, that is the largest shareholder in Nautilus Minerals.

MB Holdings owns 85% of Namibian Marine Phosphate through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mawarid Mining LLC.

MB Holdings is owned by Omani business man Mohammed Al Barwani.


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Sunday, 30 October

22:06

PRIME MINISTER PETER O’NEILL, YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A LIAR AND A THIEF. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PNGBLOGS

The Prime Minister has been up to his second favourite trick recently after stealing – telling lies.

And once again he’s been caught out big-time, this time over the cost of holding APEC.

The Prime Minister doesn’t know whether he’s telling lies or telling the truth any more – he can’t tell the difference.

So PNG Blogs is going to help the Pacific’s most corrupt and useless leader with some facts about APEC costs.

First of all an official IMF report stated that “the government plans to spend K3 billion over 2015-18 on the preparations for APEC 2018”

Mr O’Neill told Parliament last week that “the amount mention by IMF is utterly rubbish, inaccurate and not true. How can you spend K3 billion, when the country has only K12 billion budget every year?”

Note the big lie: the IMF did not say PNG was going to spend K3 billion on APEC in one year, as O’Steal claims.

It said the spending was over four years – 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Furthermore, the K3 billion estimate was given to the IMF by Mr O’Neill’s own officials during meetings in 2015 in preparation for the IMF report.

Last week, in his usual deceitful way, the Prime Minister did not give a cost estimate to Parliament, simply saying that K120 million was being spent to build APEC Haus.

He has long promised to table the APEC buget in Parliament, but still has not done so.

But evidence available in the public domain, including from the Prime Minister himself, shows that the K3 billion estimate is correct.

For example Mr O’Neill said on March 1 this year that his regime had set up a special-purpose company called APEC Infrastructure Investment Corporation.

Its major function so far has been to invest in the K1.5 billion Star Mountain Plaza Project, which is being built as a major APEC venue.

The State would directly contribute K316 million and the rest would come from the State-Owned MRDC Ltd, a well know PNC slush fund, by the simple device of stealing the landowner funds the company is supposed to hold in trust.

So there is K1.7 billion of the K3 billion already.

In addition, the O’Neill Regime is investing K1.4 billion in the Hilton Hotel, currently under construction as another major APEC venue. Again, all the money is being stolen from landowner trust funds at State-owned MRDC Ltd.

Make that K3.1...

20:00

Transferring HIV treatment to the PNG government: a good idea? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Pill bottle (Flickr/Joshboyd Studios/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Despite its size, Australian aid is rarely front page news in PNG. But it was earlier in the month when the Post-Courier ran a story that aid funding was to be cut to a number of NGOs providing HIV treatment and other health services. The story was based on a briefing note prepared by the affected NGOs outlining the impact of the foreshadowed cuts on their services. The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby responded (in the same article) that funding for HIV treatment would run to the middle of next year (no mention of whether there would be any respite for the providers of non-HIV reproductive health services). The statement also said that Australia was working with the PNG government to help it “better and more sustainably deliver health services, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive health programs.” The implicit expectation that the Australian government expects, or at least hopes, that the PNG government will pick up the tab after June 2017 is consistent with the statement in the September 2015 Australian aid PNG strategy (and reiterated as recently as last month) that “Our investments in HIV will progressively shift to PNG Government responsibility.”

I certainly recognise that Australian aid to PNG is small and faces many demands, only a few of which can be met. But I think the intention announced in the aid strategy, and apparently conveyed to the NGOs involved, to pass responsibility for funding HIV treatment to the PNG government is ill-considered. Indeed, as I argued in my presentation at the ACFID National Conference last week, it illustrates some of the ailments in the Australian aid program revealed by our 2015...

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Saturday, 29 October

17:38

URGENT REPORTS: At least 9 West Papuan people shot, 1 killed by Indonesian police. My people are in danger. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

This statement has been released by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda after urgent murder and shootings of West Papuan people by the Indonesian police in Manokwari

onesimus-rumayom-west-papuan-killed-in-manokwariWest Papuan people in Manokwari today carrying the body of activist Onesimus Rumayom who was murdered by the Indonesian police

Dear everyone,

I have received urgent reports that on 27th October, at least 9 West Papuan people were shot and 1 was killed as the Indonesian police opened fire in Manokwari.

According to reports, West Papuan people took to the streets to protest the murder of a West Papuan youth Vigal Pauspaus (20) who was stabbed by an Indonesian migrant. In response, the Indonesian police opened fire on the crowd and killed West Papuan Independence activist Onesimus Rumayom (56). They also reportedly attacked and shot at least 8 other people including children.

My heart is crying tears. How long will my people continue to die and continue to cry for help while the world silently watches? 
 
My people are in danger under the the hands of the Indonesia government, military and the police. The Indonesian government is actively seeking for more violence in occupied West Papua in order to excuse killing more West Papuans until they have wiped out the entire population.

Recently I made a statement condemning President Jokowi’s empty visit to West Papua while human rights atrocities continue in West Papua. Just a few days later, at least 9 West Papuan people have reportedly been shot by the Indonesian police.

There have been so many West Papuan people shot, tortured, raped, lynched, burned alive and killed in other horrific ways and the Indonesian government, military and police responsible are...

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Friday, 28 October

05:48

Provincial Govt sends in armed police against customary landholders "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Logging on New Hanover: "This is our customary land. Why would they do this to us?" 

New Ireland Provincial Government has sent in armed police to defend illegal logging and road clearing operations on New Hanover island. Local people have been engaged in a long struggle to defend their land and reclaim what is rightfully theirs from the foreign logging companies.

The Government has issued instruction to Police to guard and protect road works and to arrest anybody that is seen to obstruct the progress of road construction. Police are fully armed.

Local people, led by their Local Level Government President, John Aini say their customary rights are being disregarded.

New Hanover’s remaining forest areas are being destroyed by logging operations under three Special Agriculture and Business Leases. The leases were examined in a Commission of Inquiry and found to have been fraudulently issued without the consent of local people but this has not deterred the Government and the logging company from pressing ahead.

Aini says the people have argued with their Governor that he can't do this to them on their customary land and they never wanted the logging or a road that is causing them so much headaches.

Aini says his people will block the road works by cutting trees across the muddy tracks as the roadline goes through customary land and is against the people’s wishes.

He says Police are forcing the road into areas the people don't think it should go through and are demanding they tally their crops and allow the dozers to bulldoze them down.

Aini has tried contacting Kavieng Police to raise complain but has been told the police are acting on the instructions of the Provincial Government.

"This is our customary land. Why would they do this to us?" ask Aini.

"The Governor was involved in decisions to use the police and army against local people in the Bougainville crisis, and what is happening now is similarly against the people's wishes".

Tags: 

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Thursday, 27 October

23:55

JUSTIN TKATCHENKO BUYS $1.6MILLION RESIDENTAL PROPERTY IN BROOKFIELD, QUEENSLAND WITH STOLEN MONEY "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


by MICHAEL JOSEPH PASSINGAN
Brookfield in Brisbane is a largely rural suburb consisting primarily of acreage properties. Although there are a small number of farms, the vast majority of property is residential. The newest resident is ex PNG gardener turned businessman now politician and a key figure in Peter O'Neill's government, JUSTIN TKATCHENKO, Mr Tkatchenko through his holding company KITORO No 33 purchased 15 Upper Brookfield Road in Brookfield (34,399 m2) with an estimate market value of $1.6 Million dollars, or K3.8 million Kina for himself and his family using money he stole from PNG through various kickbacks including the over-budgeted Pacific Games building program.

He has never escaped from the limelight and has the tendency to educate native Papua New Guineans that he is Mr "Know it all". Mr TKATCHENKO's disrespect to the country has seen him willing to steal and build an empire which has grown from nowhere to being the "go-to-guy" for the Prime Minister who himself is a crook and thief. What Papua New Guineans are experiencing is a clear case of institutionalize fraud involving men who are custodians of this country, men who have been given the privilege to serve yet continue to steal for their own good. Mr TKATCHENKO is currently seeking a rezoning of the property with the BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL for Dwelling House and Animal Keeping.

This is how dumb Papua New Guineans are electing a foreign national who has vested interests elsewhere, Mr TKATCHENKO is still a director with KITORO No: 33 even when he lied blatantly in Parliament that he has no interest. Property records now with the Brisbane City Council show the property owner is CATHERINE J TKATCHENKO.  Will the Ombudsman Commission investigate this fraudster? we think not? TASK FORCE SWEEP is toothless, crooks and cronies pile up in all the key government institutions and are holding the country to ransom. While the few get to live overseas and spend all their stolen money overseas, we, us you and me we...

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Wednesday, 26 October

22:49

IMF PUTS TRUE COST OF APEC SUMMIT AT K3 BILLION KINA, TO BE FINANCED LARGELY BY DEBT "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by LOWEY INSTITUTE


The 2016 Budget was one of emergency for Papua New Guinea. Adjusting to a 20% collapse in revenue caused by plummeting commodity prices and an economic slow-down, the government has implemented expenditure cuts that are harsher than those contained in Greece’s austerity package.
In many ways, the 2016 Budget was the one PNG had to have. While commentators, including myself, have questioned the severity and the way in which cuts have been made, all agree the government could not keep spending at the pace it has been given the collapse in revenue and rapid increases in public debt. But will expenditure actually slow? And what is the true level of public debt in PNG?
We can shed some light on these questions by focusing on a specific, big-ticket item of expenditure: PNG’s hosting of the APEC leaders’ meeting in 2018.
Port Moresby is going through a massive transformation in preparation for this event, driven by a confusing mixture of public, private and state owned enterprise (SOE) expenditure. Due to the degree of off-budget expenditure that is commonplace in PNG, it has been difficult up to this point to quantify the public cost of the APEC event, not to mention overall public debt. But, thanks to a recent Article IV consultation report from the IMF, we are a step closer to answering both of these questions. Before we move on, however, it is important to note that while sources don’t get much more cr...

06:01

PETER O'NEILL STOP THE PRETENSE AND GRANDSTANDING OVERSEAS AND DEAL WITH REAL ISSUES DOMESTICALLY "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by Dr Anthony Deklin
PRIME MINISTER O'NEILL SHOULD STOP THIS RIDICULOUS INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING AND REDIRECT THE LIMITED PUBLIC MONEY PNG HAS TOWARDS ALLEVIATING POVERTY AND RAISE THE LIVING STANDARD OF THE MAJORITY OF PAPUA NEW GUINEANS LIVING IN THE VILLAGE.
When I saw in yesterday's Edition of the Post Courier (Monday 24 October 2016) a report that PNG will be hiring three cruise liners and parking them at the Fairfax Harbour in Port Moresby to accommodate the APEC guests in November 2018, I had to come out and express this feeling, which had been building up in me for some time.
My question to the Prime Minister is this: Why go out and make a fool of not so much yourself as of your country in the eyes of the world by inviting world political leaders and their entourage of more than 6,000 people to come to a world event when you know very well that you don't have the hotel accommodation capacity to host them? This simply does not make sense. It is embarrassing, to say the least.
I am not saying that PNG shouldn't host the APEC . PNG is a member of the regional economic grouping and so, it has a responsibility to host it at some point. But not this time. It's a question of timing and affordability. If you are going to host such an august gathering, make sure as a matter of common sense that you are fully prepared before you issue the formal invitation to your guests, especially some of the most powerful leaders of the world, such as the President of the US. I just hope they don't put the US President on a cruise liner at Fairfax Harbour. She/he would be more comfortable in the Air Force 1 parked at Jackson's than in a small room on a cruise liner. Fancy the embarrassment you and I as Papua New Guineans, would suffer if the headlines of the world me...

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Tuesday, 25 October

23:21

MISAPPROPRIATION OF K3 MILLION NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE REFORM FUNDS "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by PAUL GENIA

In the first quarterly NSO Reform Steering Committee meeting held in April 2015, Mr Koloma was instructed to table the expenditure report which he never did. However, in the last meeting on the 25th August 2015, he lightly briefed the members that it was expanded on the salaries and wages of the NSO Policy and Coordination Division's staff of around K1.3 million and NSO's Goods and Services of K1.7 million Facts at NSO that may relate to abuse of NSO Reform Funds. NSO's Policy & Coordination Division staffs are fulltime employees with employment file number paid through the normal government salary system by the DPM since 2012. It is 100% not from NSO reform funds. NSO utilities such as telephone, email, fax have been out since 2013. Why is NSO engaging alot local consultants some of which are computer illiterate. ? There is a super consultant, a failed Director for 2011 Census. This particular consultant has no apparent use at all. He has been engaged by Koloma as a consultant since 2013. A lot of hire has been engaged even after the NID Project was taken out from NSO. The hire vehicles were were mostly from CountryWide Solution and Datafix. There were other companies and individuals engaging their vehicles as well.

All these vehicles were distributed to the acting deputy national statistician, accounts manager, Koloma's controversial steno secretary, Koloma's brother engaged as a casual, the corporate service manager and a junior officer(librarian). The super consultant as well. These are all 24 hour hire. These minority are still holding onto hire vehicles up till now. This is where much of the NSO reform fund has been exhausted. Papua New Guinea is calling to the Minister for Planning & Monitoring Hon. Charles Abel to look into this. Investigation into the K3million has to be conducted immediately.

02:08

“SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT" "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


by  NEMO YALO

Introduction

This article replies to the Ombudsman Commission’s paid public notice (The National, 10.10.16, page16) which responded to my article in the same paper (06.10.16, page 37). In my article I answered the question ‘is an Ombudsman conferred arbitrary powers by law to stop investigations into alleged or suspected misconduct in office under the Leadership Code’? The article was prompted by an allegation that an Ombudsman had made a decision unilaterally stopping all leadership investigations under the Leadership Code pending the appointment of the Chief Ombudsman. The Commission has stated in bold in the second paragraph of its article: “The matters alluded to by Mr Yalo are internal discussions awaiting formal internal legal advice and not ‘matters of public interests’ nor is it meant for public discussions”. This article informs the public that I stand by my statement.

The Commission’s denial
The Commission denied the allegation I raised and further stated that there is no such intention. It further expressed concern as to how such an information reached me stating “… all members, officers and employees of the Commission took oath to maintain secrecy in relation to the affairs of the Commission and promise on the Bible not to directly or indirectly communicate or divulge any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their functions except under compulsion or obligation of law or as provided by law”. I will address this in detail.
The Commission appealed for its internal administrative processes to be respected. It called for former Ombudsman and former officers to uphold rule of law and maintain high degree of independence as they hold offices or positions of trust and are bound by law and good conscience not to be abusing that trust by entering into debates to allow other interests to conflict with the duty to the people. In that vein I have been urged “to carefully consider [my] position and abstain from any further media reports on information that came to [my] knowledge unlawfully”.

My reply
As I stated I stand by my article. Prior to publishing the article I personally spoke to two officials from within the Ombudsman Commission on specific dates. I personally spoke to one of them by phone. I asked a specific question if the allegation was true and th...

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Friday, 21 October

06:38

New book: Assessing food needs following a natural disaster in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Papua New Guinea is vulnerable to natural disasters, including drought and frost associated with El Niño weather events and excessive rainfall associated with La Niña events. Drought, frost and excessive rainfall can cause major disruptions to village food supplies. Drought also reduces villagers’ access to clean drinking water, which in turn has a negative impact on peoples’ health and the capacity of schools and hospitals to operate. There are often other impacts — damage to crops and property by wildfires, out-migration and an increased death rate.

In 1997–98, and again in 2015–16, a major El Niño event caused significant disruption to drinking water and food supply for many Papua New Guinean villagers. Staff of many agencies, including those working through the Church Partnership Program El Niño Drought Response Program, were involved in assessing the impact and providing relief in 2015–16.

A new publication has just been launched in PNG, titled Assessing Food Needs Following a Natural Disaster in Papua New Guinea. The book reflects on some of the experiences of the Church Partnership Program El Niño Drought Response Program and serves as a guide for assessing future food shortages and to help those in need. It brings together the experiences of those working on the Church Partnership Program response to the 2015–16 El Niño event and serves as a guide for assessing future food shortages and to help those in need.

This publication was authored by Matthew Kanua, Mike Bourke, Brendan Jinks and Michael Lowe, with the support of the Church Partnership Program, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

It can be downloaded free of charge here. A limited number of hard copies are available by emailing brendan.jinks@anu.edu.au.

The post New book: Assessing food needs following a natural disaster in PNG appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

03:00

Newsletter: Helen Evans | PNG Update in 2 weeks | AAC bumper crop | ADB@50 | Pacific PFM | World Bank future "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

rs9924__dsc7980-lprLatest aid profile: Helen Evans

After working on Indigenous health and HIV/AIDS in Australia, Helen Evans rose to leadership positions in two of the world’s biggest health funds, tackling some of the most significant health challenges of our time. Helen’s story is the latest in our Aid Profiles series, profiling the lives of Australians who have made a difference in development.

PNG Update in 2 weeks

The PNG Update will kick off at the UPNG Waigani Campus in Port Moresby on Thursday 3 November with addresses from the PNG Minister for Planning, Charles Abel and the Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis. Keynote speakers during the two-day event include Professor Betty Lovei on women in leadership, and Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan on public sector finance reform. ANU-UPNG faculty will showcase our joint research, and there’s a special session on the 2015-16 drought and frosts. Panel sessions will examine PNG’s post-boom economy, and address issues relating to gender, infrastructure, sustainability, and much more. The full program is available here. No registration required.

Australasian Aid Conference: humanitarian aid panel

Many thanks to everyone who submitted proposals for the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference. Submissions were up by two-thirds on last year. The program will be released in December. In the meantime, we’re pleased to announce our second plenary panel, on how to fix humanitarian aid. Phoebe Wynn-Pope (Australian Red Cross), Adam Kamradt-Scott (University of Sydney), Paul McPhun (MSF) and our own Robin Davies will discuss the crisis in the current global humanitarian aid system, and explore options for resolving it. Early-bird registration for the conference remains open until November 10.

ADB@50

The Asian Development Bank was founded 50 years ago. Our...

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Wednesday, 19 October

21:57

Indonesian President Jokowi should openly allow the people of West Papua a referendum on self-determination "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Dear everyone,

Last week the Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visited West Papua in an attempt to draw the attention of the world away from the ongoing illegal occupation and genocide of West Papua.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) with members of the Indonesian militaryIndonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) with members of the Indonesian military

Last month, seven Pacific Island nations raised West Papua at the United Nations General Assembly and as well as raising deepest concerns about the ongoing human rights violations, support was expressed for the fundamental right to self-determination of the West Papuan people. This was a truly historic moment in West Papua’s history and it signals a new path in which the family of our fellow Pacific Island nations are now speaking up in support of their suffering West Papuan brothers and sisters. Since this moment, the United Nations has begun to turn it’s gaze on West Papua and the suffering of the brutally oppressed West Papuan people. Our peaceful struggle for self-determination is being watched by the world.

...

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Tuesday, 18 October

02:09

Politicians and the logging industry at the centre of organised crime: ANU "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

illegal-logging-log-pileOrganised crime in Pacific involves political elites: Report

BY: Cedric Patjole on PNG Loop

A recently published discussion paper by the Australian National University (ANU) argues that the most significant organised crime in the Pacific involves the connection between political elites and illicit actors.

The discussion paper featured in the Development Policy Blog states that the social and economic disruption caused by this relationship is more serious than other types of organised crime.

“This means organised crime in the Pacific is less about tatts, drugs and gangs, and more about networks of politicians, business elites and assorted intermediaries,” states the report.

Authors, Sinclair Dinnen and Grant Walton from the ANU argue that the most visible of this connection is in the logging sector in PNG and the Solomon Islands.

They claim both countries have a long history of illegal logging facilitated by an alliance between Asian logging companies and local political actors.

“This collusion has resulted in “the blurring of legal and illegal trade in relation to formal export-oriented log production.”

“Estimated net exports of illegal timber from both countries in 2010 were US$800 million; transfer pricing in the sector has been said to cost PNG alone US$100 million per year,” the authors said.

The paper states that law enforcement is w...

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Monday, 17 October

00:50

Politicians and business at the centre of organised crime "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The dark side of economic globalisation: politics, organised crime and corruption in the Pacific

By Sinclair Dinnen and Grant Walton on DevPolcy Blog

The phrase ‘organised crime in the Pacific’ conjures up pictures of shady characters in criminal gangs. This is understandable: mafia and bikie gangs do operate in parts of the Pacific and are often featured – prominently and sensationally – in local and international media. However, in our recent Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper we argue that that the most significant organised crime in the region involves the nexus between political elites and seemingly licit actors. The social and economic disruption caused by this nexus is often more serious than many other types of organised crime. This means organised crime in the Pacific is less about tatts, drugs and gangs, and more about networks of politicians, business elites and assorted intermediaries.

The most visible nexus between organised crime and politicians is in the logging sector. Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have a long history of illegal logging facilitated by an alliance between Asian logging companies and local political actors. This collusion has resulted in “the blurring of legal and illegal trade in relation to formal export-oriented log production” (see page 93 of this pdf). Estimated net exports of illegal timber from both countries in 2010 were US$800 million [pdf]; transfer pricing in the sector has been said to cost PNG alone US$100 million per year.

The quasi-legitimate nature of organised crime groups and links to politicians is exemplified by the tiny nation of Nauru. In 2013, the AFP uncovered emails showing that an Australian company was using inducements to obtain political backing for its phosphate mining operations on the island. As with logging, this is a case of a legitimate company operating illicitly with the active connivance of local elites.

Fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific – the source of almost sixty per cent of the world’s tuna – is another area where organised crime mixes with politics. By monopolising decisions around licensing, fisheries ministers and licensing officials have been accused of mak...

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Monday, 10 October

23:32

West Papua says Happy Independence Day Fiji! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

fiji-independence-day

10th October 2016

Bula brothers and sisters, Wa wa wa

On behalf of the people of West Papua I would like to wish all our Fiji family a very Happy Fiji Day.

As fellow Melanesians and fellow Pacific Islanders, we West Papuans are with you always in spirit and solidarity. We are proud of the incredible achievements of the Fijian people and your values of multiculturalism.

We smile today with our Fiji family celebrating your Independence Day but we also shed tears as we are still struggling for our own Independence and freedom as we remain under the brutal occupation and colonialism of Indonesia. We the people of West Papua live our lives under constant terror knowing that we may be the next person to be killed, raped or tortured by the Indonesian military. In this neglected genocide of Pacific Islanders, over 500,000 West Papuan people have already been killed. We pray today for the support and guidance of our Fiji family so that one day we may live in peace and Independence too.

We pray that our Fiji family has a wonderful Independence Day full of passion, solidarity and hope and will that it will continue to progress onwards.

We pray that our Fiji family will continue to remember their West Papuan brothers and sisters who are still suffering under colonialism and genocide and still struggling for freedom and Independence.

And we pray that one day, we the people of West Papua will be Independent and free too and will be able to hold hands with our Fiji family, honouring and defending the cause of freedom forever.

We want to express our deepest thanks and gratitude to the people of Fiji for all their increasing solidarity and support for West Papua. Across Melanesia and the Pacific, there is so much of this increasing solidarity from all corners of society and there are now 7 Pacific nations supporting West Papua, even at the United Nations! Much of this is being spearheaded by the people of Fiji, so passionate to defend the freedom of their West Papuan fa...

08:53

Ending violence against women: ANU forum "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

On Thursday 13 October a day-long forum at The Australian National University will explore current developments in ending violence against women in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

An experienced panel of speakers has been assembled with experts from academia, government, non-government and UN agencies.

Four main topics will be covered: data collection, responses to violence against women, prevention of violence against women, and coordination/advocacy.

Femili PNG’s Research Director and ANU academic Dr Kamalini Lokuge will be speaking at the event, presenting on the valuable work Femili PNG does in Lae to support survivors of violence. (Femili PNG is a Papua New Guinean NGO that the Development Policy Centre supports).

The forum is jointly hosted by the ANU Gender Institute and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It will take place from 9am to 5pm on Thursday 13 October 2016 at the Sir Roland Wilson Conference Centre, 120 McCoy Circuit, ANU, Canberra.

Register here or see here for the full list of speakers and to download the program.

The post Ending violence against women: ANU forum appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

04:00

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1204 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

count

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill still refuses to do anything to reverse the huge SABL land grab or stop the illegal logging.

So much for all his promises to revoke the unlawful leases and return the land to customary landholders!

It is now 1,204 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...

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Thursday, 06 October

21:00

The dark side of economic globalisation: politics, organised crime and corruption in the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Gangster at our door (Flickr/ClaraDon CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)The phrase ‘organised crime in the Pacific’ conjures up pictures of shady characters in criminal gangs. This is understandable: mafia and bikie gangs do operate in parts of the Pacific and are often featured – prominently and sensationally – in local and international media (see here, here, and here). However, in our recent Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper we argue that that the most significant organised crime in the region involves the nexus between political elites and seemingly licit actors. The social and economic disruption caused by this nexus is often more serious than many other types of organised crime. This means organised crime in the Pacific is less about tatts, drugs and gangs, and more about networks of politicians, business elites and assorted intermediaries.

The most visible nexus between organised crime and politicians is in the logging sector. Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have a long history of illegal logging facilitated by an alliance between Asian logging companies and local political actors. This collusion has resulted in “the blurring of legal and illegal trade in relation to formal export-oriented log production” (see page 93 of this pdf). Estimated net exports of illegal timber from both countries in 2010 were US$800 million [pdf]; transfer pricing in the sector has been said to cost PNG alone US$100 million per year.

The quasi-legitimate nature of organised crime groups and links to politicians is exemplified by the tiny nation of Nauru. In 2013, the AFP uncovered emails showing that an Australian company was using inducements to obtain pol...

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Sunday, 02 October

01:13

Open Letter of thanks to Pacific Leaders after historic UN speeches on West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

This open letter has been written by Benny Wenda as the Spokesperson for The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) following the historic speeches of many Pacific countries supporting West Papua at the United Nations General Assembly. 
ULMWP LETTERHEAD
1st October, 2016

To the Hon. Presidents, Hon. Prime Ministers and Representatives of Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu,

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the people of West Papua, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) would like to express its deepest and sincerest thanks and encouragement to you all for your incredible solidarity and support for our people, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

It brings tears to our eyes and joy to our hearts to witness such strong Pacific Island solidarity for our people who have suffered the most sever human rights violations for over 50 years. Across West Papua, people gathered in their thousands to thank and show support to you all for the outstanding speeches that were made in support of us and our fundamental rights. Such is the level of ongoing oppression in West Papua that up to 100 people were arbitrarily arrested by the Indonesian police simply for attending these peaceful demonstrations.

This is the first time since the 1960s that so many nations have stood up at the United Nations together to show support for the fundamental rights of the Pacific people of West Papua. This moment marks a true landmark in West Papua’s history and a significant turning point on our long road to peace and freedom. It is estimated that ever since West Papua was illegally occupied by Indonesia, over 500,000 West Papuan people have been killed. Hearing the voices of fellow Pacific Nations bravely standing up for West Papuans’ rights means so much to the people of West Papua; knowing that we are not alone but that we remain together in solidarity as Pacific Islanders.

We the people of West Papua continue to strive for our fundamental right to self-determination as is guaranteed to us under International Law. It is vital for our very existence as a people that we will be able to exercise this fundamental right in order to freely choose our own destiny before there are no more West Papuan people left. Therefore your support for our fundamental right to self-determination is also vital for West Papua and...

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Friday, 30 September

05:17

SABL warrior wins international human rights award in New York "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Paul Pavol, with MP Gary Juffa, at a protest outside the Rainforest Summit in Sydney

Mr. Paul Pavol, from the Pomio District of East New Britain, has been awarded the Alexander Soros Foundation Award for Environmental and Human Rights Activism at a ceremony in New York city.

The award recognises Paul’s brave and tireless efforts to protect his customary land after four SABL leases were issued without the consent of local people as part of a huge land grab across Papua New Guinea that has seen rights to more than 5 million hectares of forest stolen from customary owners.

Malaysian logging giant, Rimbunan Hijau has already logged more than 42,000 hectares of forest in the Pomio area, including 10,000 hectares of clear-felling, but Paul is still fighting to protect a further 13,000 hectares from the logging company: Pomio landowners petition against SABL logging.

While many people in Pomio felt powerless to stop logging when they first saw the heavy equipment arrive, Pavol took the lead and became a protest leader, campaigning, setting up road blocks to prevent the movement of logs, and circulating petitions to build support against logging.

"I go around and talk to the people, and advise them and encourage them and support them," Pavol told reporters in New York.

Paul has faced abuse, threats and intimidation from the logging company, and there have been numerous instances of serious physical assault by police officers engaged by the logging company as detailed in investigative reports.

"They said what I was doing is trying to stop development," he said. "But I said no, look, I'm not stopping development ... We all want development, but no one wants to be landless."

Legal cases in other parts of PNG have seen six SABL leases declared illegal by the courts and a Commission of Inquiry recommended in 2013 all the leases be revoked. 

But legal actions by Paul and his people are still stuck in the court system so for them the fight for justice fight still ongoing.

Tags: 
...

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Thursday, 29 September

22:00

PNG through the lens of Australian newsprint media "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Kim Kardashian (Wikipedia / © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com)How we receive information and how it is used to shape our views is a battle played out every day by tweeters, bloggers, journos and their executives, advocacy groups, corporations and politicians, to name a few. From this perspective, together with my general interest in Papua New Guinea, I became curious about how Australians form perceptions of our nearest neighbour and how they are influenced by Australian media.

According to Sean Dorney,

“Fewer and fewer Australians have any real knowledge of this fascinating country to Australia’s north, which we were responsible for bringing to nationhood. This lack of understanding affects our dealings. The Australian media generally ignores PNG.”

Last year, PNG’s High Commissioner to Australia, Charles Lepani, was also critical of the level of Australian engagement and understanding of PNG issues,

“Australia remains substantially ignorant of Papua New Guinea. You cannot dig any deeper than the ongoing Manus issue to see the vitriol and vilification borne out of ignorance by Australians of Papua New Guineans and our country.”

To what extent does the Australian media focus on PNG, and, when it does, what issues are focused on? Are there differences in the way PNG stories are reported across media outlets?

Before I present data that sheds light on these questions, I would like you to guess the average number of Australian newspaper articles on PNG per 1000 articles published. My focus is on newspaper articles because of their tractability and including other forms of media, particularly newswire services, could give meaningless results due to their relatively low levels of readership.

In terms of overall PNG focus, Factiva search results indicate that there were around 2 million Australian newspaper articles published over the last 5 years, of which 2...

00:24

Supreme Court condemns oppressive SABL agreements "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Ninety-nine year SABL leases issued to logging and oil palm companies have been condemned as "oppressive" and unfair by the Supreme Court.

The comments came in a decision endorsing the findings of the National Court that the SABL lease over Portion 144C in the East Sepik Province was null and void and all logging and oil palm planting was illegal.

The SABL lease, granted to Sepik Oil Palm Plantation Ltd, covered 123,200 hectares of customary land and was for a term of 99 years. The lease made no reservation of the traditional rights of the landholders to continue to live on the land, garden or do other things necessary to sustain their subsistence lifestyle. 

The SABL also incorporated an undertaking signed between the landowner company, Limawo Holdings, that denied local people any rights to challenge the lease in the future or raise any grievance through the courts and which indemnified the State if the lease was sold or mortgaged.

The Supreme Court has said the terms were so oppressive and unfair it called into question whether the landowners could have understood what they were being asked to agree to, if, indeed, they were asked at all.

Sepik Oil Palm Plantation Ltd is a PNG registered company owned, through Wewak Agriculture Development Limited, by the Malaysian company, Sin Yew Industries.

The Supreme Court described it as “extraordinary” that the Minister, Puka Temu, had granted the SABL lease for 99 years but failed to reseve the customary rights of the traditional inhabitants.

The Supreme Court also reiterated the obligation on the State to properly inform landholders and obtain their informed consent before leasing customary land:

“[where] a substantial area of customary land is to be acquired, the consent of all the affected landowners with authority to lease the land to the State must be obtained. It must be a free and informed consent. The environmental issues must be properly explored and explained”.

The court emphasised the importance of Section 255 of the Constitution that stipulates “consultation must be meaningful and allow for a genuine interchange and consideration of views.” 

According to the Court this means it is necessary “to go to the villages in SABL areas and talk to the landowners, in their families, clans and tribes, in the languages they could understand. If they did [not] understand English, Pidgin or Motu, then use interpreters to interpret things in their own languages.” 

The Supreme Court endorsed the comments from Justice Gavara-Nanu in the Na...

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Wednesday, 28 September

04:51

Clearing out the gulag "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Back in April, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled that Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island was illegal and ordered Australia to come up with a plan for resettling its victims. Instead, Australia appears to be planning to clear out the gulag and dump its refugees in Papua New Guinea with nothing, while starving out those who refuse to move:

Australia and Papua New Guinea are escalating efforts to clear the Manus Island detention centre, telling refugees they must settle elsewhere in PNG, while warning they are preparing to deport asylum seekers whose protection claims fail.

“There is no future for you here,” detainees have been told by PNG immigration officials. Processing at the detention centre “will end soon” and all those held within forced out. The police will be sent in to forcibly move those who refuse to cooperate.

[...]

The document hints at “changes to the services and conditions” for the different groups.

Those inside the detention believe those found not to be refugees will have their conditions significantly worsened in an effort to encourage them to leave. Their rights to limited movement, and their ability to access cigarettes, phone credit at the internal store, are expected to be cut.

“We will give you further information about these changes soon,” the document says.


Why wouldn't people want to move elsewhere? Because Papua New Guinea is not safe for refugees. Refugees who have left the camp have been beaten and abused; others have been left destitute and homeless due to the lack of any real planning or support for them. Australia's plan seems to be to ignore all this, dump them on the streets of PNG, and let them be brutalised and die. Its just another example of their callous and inhumane approach.

But the refugees are Australia's responsibility, and Australia should be providing a home for them. They can not be allowed to refuse to do so.

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Saturday, 24 September

13:57

In Case You were Confused about the Out of Africa News "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Many news outlets are running headlines this week like this one in the Times:

A Single Migration From Africa Populated the World, Studies Find
But others are running headlines like this:
Mysterious Branch of Humanity Possibly Discovered
That story goes on to explain that a "new, ancient" branch of humanity was in Australia before fully modern humans.

Both stores are based on the same group of three articles just published in Nature. Those articles describe studies that analyze large samples of human genomes from indigenous people around the world, 787 in all. They use mutation counts to estimate the date of the common ancestry for all those people. For the most part they come up with dates between 50,000 and 75,000 years ago. Also, they find that all the people outside of Africa are more closely related to each other than they are to most people in Africa, hence, they descend from a single African group.

But wait – what about the skeletons found in Israel, apparently fully modern humans, that have been dated to between 90,000 and 120,000 years ago? What about the tools kits from Saudi Arabia that look like those of fully modern humans and date to 100,000 years ago? Modern human teeth from China dated to 80,000 years ago?

Two of these studies found no evidence for any such people; if they existed, these scientists suggest, they simply went extinct without leaving any descendants. But didn't modern humans interbreed with Neanderthals and Denisovans? Um, yes, they did. And why would they breed with semi-humans they encountered in their travels but not other modern humans?

Which brings us to the third study, based on genomes from Australia and New Guinea:
But on that question, Dr. Metspalu and his colleagues ended up with a somewhat different result. In Papua New Guinea, Dr. Metspalu and his colleagues found, 98 percent of each person’s DNA can be traced to that single migration from Africa. But the other 2 percent seemed to be much older. Dr. Metspalu concluded that all people in Papua New Guinea carry a trace of DNA from an earlier wave of Africans who left the continent as long as 140,000 years ago, and then vanished.
I have some personal history on these questions. When the first genetic arguments for the "one wave out of Africa" were made 15 years ago, I accepted them wholeheartedly. Back then the upper bound for this migration was set at 55,000 to 60,000 years ago, and I began to write and talk about how this date would effect studies of things like lang...

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Friday, 23 September

04:00

Newsletter: PNG Update | Aisyiyah | AAC taking shape | Diasporas & development "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

A.A Milne

Now we are six

Devpolicy turns six this week, and we would like to thank you for your continued support. One milestone we have reached is the publication of more than 1,500 blogs since 2010. A quick reminder to our newer readers that we are always happy to receive submissions to the Devpolicy Blog. Guidelines here.

New dates for the 2016 PNG update

The 2016 PNG Update will be held at the Waigani campus of The University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) on 3-4 November 2016. The annual PNG Update is the premier forum for the discussion of research and analysis relating to contemporary economic and public policy issues in PNG. Organised by UPNG’s School of Business and Public Policy and Devpolicy, the 2016 PNG Update will feature keynote and plenary sessions on the post-boom PNG economy, gender issues, urban and infrastructure development, the private sector, health, education and development strategies, public-private partnerships, the impact of the drought, and more. Participation is free and open to the public. Details and a draft program are available here.

Aisyiyah: Australian aid and Indonesia’s largest women’s organisation

The second in our series of Aid Profiles is now online: two articles on Indonesia’s longest-serving women’s organisation, Aisyiyah. Part 1 profiles the organisation and its engagement with the Australian aid program. Part 2 looks at the special support that Aisyiyah provided to the survivors of the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

The Aid Profiles series shares stories that deserve to be better known and showcases international development contributions with an Australian flavour. It also forms a shortlist of nominees for the 2017 Mitchell Humanitarian Award – we’ll be publishing several more profiles in the coming months.

AAC taking shape

The...

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Thursday, 22 September

00:59

HOW AUSSIES CENSOR PNG MEDIA "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

By Camillus Potpot and our Australian contributors
Highly confidential information that has just now been shown to PNG Blogs reveals how Australia’s kon dealings support the O’Neill Regime’s ongoing corruption.

Very high-up sources in Australia say the Turnbull Government’s media policy stops any criticism of the Prime Minister, the most corrupt leader in the Pacific and most corrupt in PNG independent history.

They have told PNG Blogs that the Turnbull Government compromises the mainstream PNG media, which is already wide open to bribery and corruption by O’Neill, by using secret ways and means.

One certified example by the sources is the recent EMTV documentary series Tanim Graun, which was funded through the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

A top-secret agreement with EMTV allowed the Turnbull Government to censor the program through the AHC so that there was no criticism of O’Neill or his corrupt government or his corrupt cronies.

Final productions of the show were given to the AHC to censor before going “On Air”.

It is unknown about whether the producers of Tanim Graun or the guest appearances knew about the top secret agreement or the AHC censorship.

As well as banning any reporting of O’Neill and corruption, other subjects were also off-limited by the Australians.

This subjects included:

1. Climate change and Australia’s fight to keep its high-polluting coal industry going when at the same time sea levels are forcing PNGeans off their low lands as refugees in their own land without any assistance or compensation from Australia.

2. The O’Neill Regime trying to get its hand on the Bougainville Copper Mine against Father John Momis and the ABG and the landowners.

3. The genocide being conducted against the rightful Melanesian landowners in West Papua and the Turnbull and O’Neill’s support for Indonesia by military training of Kopassus (Australian) and diplomatic agreement for Indon killers to join Melanesian Spearhead (O’Neill)

The program Tanim Graun focussed on sustainable development in PNG so no one can answer why there was no criticism of O’Neill allowed when it is widely known he and his “AUSSIE MATES” in PNG steal development funds including aid funds from Australia.

Neither can they say why no commentary is permissible on climate change and the Indon wa...

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Tuesday, 20 September

00:16

Rimbunan Hijau tells communities human rights impede their development "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

RH Consultant and ex Managing Director of the PNG Forest Authority, Kanawi Pouru, addresses villagers in the Pomio district

SABL Story Project*

PNG’s largest logging company and multi-sector business group is telling rural communities that human rights and sustainable business principles impede rural development and should be ignored if people want to get rich.

This is the message Rimbunan Hijau and its consultant Kanawi Pouru, have been delivering to people in the Pomio District of East New Britain Province who are questioning the company’s logging and oil palm operations. Kanawi Pouru is the Former Managing Director of the PNG Forestry Authority.

Speaking to local people at the Talo Club in Malakur Village last month, Kanawi told them the United Nation’s Declaration on Human Rights and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria are anti-development mechanisms setup by rich and wealthy Europeans to suppress people in rural communities in Papua New Guinea who want to change their life style and alleviate poverty through commercial exploitation of their vast natural resources.

Kanawi and Mok, a representative of RH subsidiary Gilford Ltd, bluntly told people at Malakur Village that unless they allowed their land to be converted into oil palm plantations they will remain in poverty. Kanawi also accused NGOs of misleading “ignorant rural communities” and suppressing their rights to advance economically. 

This didn't stop the villagers complaining about the manner in which Gilford and the umbrella land owner company, Memalo Holdings Ltd, were being secretive about a lot of information in relation to the controversial SABL on their land and pointing out the safe guards under the UN Declaration and the RSPO. 

Mr. Mok told the people that it was not their place to ask such questions about whether Gilford complied with RSPO and UN standards.

“We have the answers but we will not give them to you in this meeting because you are not the right person to ask us these questions.” said Mr Mok. 

Mr. Pouru and Mr. Mok were also asked questions about why there was no transparent process in seeking the free prior and informed consent of landholders before deciding what type of activities were to be introduced on their land and if the company was a member of the RSPO and if not, did they intend to seek membership. 

They also asked whether RH was aware that under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples the landholders were entitled to be informed of the positive and nega...

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Sunday, 18 September

01:47

21 West Papuan people arrested and at least 1 tortured by the Indonesian police "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Dear everyone,

yahukimo-tortureAntol Sol (26 years old) after being brutally tortured by the Indonesian police. Photo: TabloidJubi

Yesterday at 8:00 in the morning 21 West Papuan people, men women and children were reportedly arrested by the Indonesian police in Yahukimo simply for distributing leaflets inviting people to a peaceful demonstration.*

A 26 year old West Papuan man tried to negotiate but was brutally tortured by the Indonesian police. According to a report, he was beaten with guns, rubber and rattan rope on his forehead, spine and rib. There are also reports that other West Papuan people were shot and tortured. It breaks my heart to hear of such ongoing acts of extreme brutality and sadism against my people.

Below activist footage can be seen of West Papuan people fleeing from the Indonesian police after the crackdown. It later shows an interview with those who were arrested and they are explaining that they were arrested and tortured simply for distributing leaflets. The Indonesian police took their shirts off, smashed up their motorbikes and confiscated their money and mobile phones. After eventually being released the people came straight from the police cell to the jungle to record this video message for the world to see.

I hope that as many people as possible hear about this new story of brutality in occupied West Papua. What kind of democracy is Indonesia when people in occupied West Papua are arrested and tortured just for distributing leaflets?

These brave people just wanted to invite others to join in a peaceful demonstration on 19th September to show our backing to our fellow Pacific nations who are supporting West Papua and our fundamental right to self-determination. There are also reports that other West Papuan people were stopped by the Indonesian police just for distributing similar invitation leaflets in the capital city of Port Numbay/Jayapura.

This is more evidence that the Indonesian government is becoming increasingly scared of the growing international support and solidarity for West Papua’s freedom. In West Papua, the Indonesian police and military who torture and kill West Papuans are n...

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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...

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Wednesday, 14 September

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.

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Monday, 12 September

22:00

A reframed Pacific regionalism: rise of the foreign ministers "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

47th PIF Leaders (image: PNG Daily Updates)In a post last September, we examined the first year of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism in the aftermath of the Port Moresby Pacific Island Forum leaders’ meeting. This year the action was in the Federated States of Micronesia, where for the first time, non-independent territories (New Caledonia and French Polynesia) were granted full Forum membership status.

Another first which went largely unnoticed was the inaugural standing meeting of the Forum Foreign Ministers in August (the meeting last year was a one-off affair; as of this year it becomes an annual occurrence). The foreign ministers’ meeting now serves as an additional filter on proposals submitted as part of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. Whereas previously proposals were assessed by the Specialist Subcommittee on Regionalism (SSCR) tasked with reviewing regional public policy submissions and vetted by the Forum Officials Committee, they are now also considered (and vetted) by foreign ministers.

The prior meeting of foreign ministers appears to have influenced what was discussed (and not discussed) in the Forum leaders’ meeting. It may also have bolstered the influence of Australia and New Zealand given their foreign ministers’ interest in regional affairs.

Australia and New Zealand were vocal supporters of admitting New Caledonia and French Polynesia into the Forum, a move agreed by leaders despite the subject not having been raised through the SSCR process, opposition from pro-independence groups within those territories, and reports of unease among some Forum member states. Of course, the inclusion of the French territories also sits at odds with the original impetus for establishing the South Pacific Forum (as it was then known) in 1971. France at the time had prevented discussion of decolonisation and French nuclear testing in meetings of the South P...

20:28

Govt's Development Strategic Plan undermines our Constitution "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Papua New Guinea's Development Strategic Plan for 2010-2030 undermines the principles in our Constitution and will lead to further inequality and poverty if government departments continue its implementation.

That is the conclusion drawn in a study undertaken by University of Papua New Guinea academic, Patrick Kaiku on behalf of the community advocacy group ACT NOW!

The study findings are published in a report that assesses the consistencies and core assumptions of the DSP in relation to the Constitution and our National Goals.

The DSP, published in 2010, was designed to be the main development blueprint for PNG under the umbrella of Vision 2050. Although the government ordered a review of the DSP in 2012 and NEC approved the adoption of the Strategy for Responsible Sustainable Development (StaRS) in October 2013, the DSP is still being followed and implemented by many government departments.

The DSP sets the ambitious target of making PNG a middle-income country by 2030, but Kaiku's study finds its economic growth orientated approach to development completely fails to comprehend the social and environmental costs which inevitably undermine its noble aims.

Endlessly pursuing economic growth as an end in itself is not a model for development at all as the growth comes at the expense of our collective well-being and human development. This was something the Constitutional Planning Committee foresaw and which framed the development of our National Goals and the support for our own PNG Ways. But rather than following the guidelines in our Constitution, Kaiku's report says the DSP pursues a radically different path that actually undermines the work of the CPC.

As we have all seen over the past 40 years, economic growth and a concentration on large-scale extractive industries is very beneficial for a small elite who have grown very rich and now live in small enclaves protected by razor wire and armed security guards. But the majority of our people are suffering from the loss of their land, culture and declining public services like health and education.

The DSP pursues economic growth and raising other economic indicators with the assumption this will achieve a higher quality of life for us all but in achieving those economic ends it actually destroys the things that ensure our survival - our land, culture and communities.

“The blind faith in the growth model will generate unintended costs. The degree to which such a model affects...

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Sunday, 11 September

01:35

Our Government is morally bankrupt "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


Recently on this website, we discussed the nastiness of the conservatives that currently inhabit the halls of power in Canberra. Ad Astra’s article gave a number of examples that demonstrated the point and you can read the article here rather than have me go over the fertile ground yet again.

To paraphrase a sacked host of an extremely popular BBC television program loosely based on cars when talking about their ‘tame‘ racing-driver; some say they reached a low with treatment of refugees, others might suggest that the blatant disregard of human rights was worse — all we know is that the government allowing these things to happen is morally bankrupt. How about we look at the claim of moral bankruptcy in the cold light of day. There are a host of examples that could be provided.

Example 1: Offshore detention

We’ll start with offshore detention. During August, The Guardian came into possession of over 2,000 claims of mistreatment and abuse perpetrated on refugees held at a Detention Centre on Nauru funded by the Australian government and staffed by contractors to the Australian government. A significant number of the subjects of the reports were children. The holding company currently contracted to provide management services to the offshore detention centres was recently bought out by Spanish interests and —

… has been warned by professors at Stanford Law School that its directors and employees risk prosecution under international law for supplying services to Australia’s camps on Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
“Based on our examination of the facts, it is possible that individual officers at Ferrovial might be exposed to criminal liability for crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute,” said Diala Shamas, a clinical supervising attorney at the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford Law School.
They will not be extending their contract arrangements.

Dutton seems to have no problem in continuing to justify the obscenity perpetrated on refugees immorally held on Manus Island...

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Thursday, 08 September

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…”
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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...

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Tuesday, 06 September

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.

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...

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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...

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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.

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Tuesday, 30 August

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 ever...

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Monday, 29 August

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, 14 August

16:34

International attention needed for Day of Broken Promise in West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

To the International Community,

Tomorrow, 15th August the people of West Papua are set to take to the streets, to demand justice after 54 years of Broken Promise.
15th August 2016 marks exactly 54 years to the day that we the people of West Papua had our freedom and nationhood sold to Indonesia.
On this exact date in 1962, the Netherlands-our former colonial rulers, Indonesia-our current colonial rulers, and the USA-with economic and cold war interests in West Papua met in New York and agreed to hand over West Papua to Indonesia. 

This so called “New York Agreement” was held behind closed doors in New York under the watchful gaze of the Statue of Liberty. It was held without consultation from ANY West Papuan people. We were not allowed at the table, in the room or even in the building.
Imagine a conference on Indian independence without any Indians, or on majority rule for South Africa without any Black South Africans?

The New York Agreement being made between Indonesia, the Netherlands and the USA behind closed doors in New YorkThe New York Agreement being made between Indonesia, the Netherlands and the USA behind closed doors in New York

How can an entire nation be sold for the sake of cold war politics without ANY AGREEMENT from the local people?
The only fairness was that this agreement promised a free and fair referendum on independence for ALL West Papuans within the next few years; the so called “Act of Free Choice”. However we the people of West Papua call this the Act of NO Choice because what actually
happened was just 1,026 people being hand-picked by the Indonesian government and forced at gunpoint to vote for joining Indonesia.

We West Papuans therefore call 15th August the Day of BROKEN PROMISE because the promise of an Independence referendum was BROKEN by the Indonesian...

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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.

Sisalem was eventually allowed to settle in Australia, after an extended period of time on Manus Island, 10 months of which was alone at an exorbitant and futile cost to the Australian taxpayer. He became the last refugee to suffer in the makeshift facility during its first incarnation as an Australian refugee camp.

I often think of Sisalem’s story because so little has changed in Australia’s posture towards asylum seekers. I read over my 2004 Sydney Morning Herald online interview with him and analysis of Australia’s refugee policies, and all that’s altered are the names of ministers, prime ministers along with invisible and unaccountable immigration officials. Public opinion has ebbed and flowed in the interim, between outright hostility towards asylum seekers and...

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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 t...

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...

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....

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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 kil...

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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: “T...

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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 i...

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Wednesday, 20 July

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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Monday, 18 July

16:51

Indonesia’s democracy turns to violence in West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

This statement has been released by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda following the mass arrests and torture of West Papuan people for peacefully demonstrating for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). For media inquiries, please contact office@bennywenda.org 

Dear everyone,

Last week a historic meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) was held in Honiara, Solomon Islands and discussed the full MSG membership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papa (ULMWP). The final result was differed for technical reasons and will instead be announced in Vanuatu in September. However ULMWP is full of hope and confidence at the firm support of the majority of MSG members and our fellow Melanesian people. I watched with my own eyes as thousands of fellow Melanesians marched in Honiara in a powerful and historic show of Melanesian solidarity for West Papua’s full membership; for the West Papuan people to return to the Melanesian family. I would like to thank all supporters across Melanesia and around the world for our ongoing support for my people and our freedom struggle.

March in Honiara, Solomon Islands for West Papua's full MSG membershipMarch in Honiara, Solomon Islands for West Papua’s full MSG membership

I am confident that at the next MSG summit in Vanuatu, West Papua will return to its rightful place in the Melanesian family of the MSG as a full member. The delay of the granting of full membership was not the fault of the MSG leaders and therefore we should instead continue to address Indonesia’s state brutality towards Melanesian West Papuans.

...

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Friday, 08 July

00:55

Benny Wenda’s Solomon Islands Independence Day Message 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Dear brothers and sisters,

On behalf of the people of West Papua I would like to wish all our Solomon Islands family a very Happy Independence Day.

We West Papuans are always proud of our Solomon Islands family because we ONE people as you and we have a shared ancestral Melanesian history together going back tens of thousands of years. We forever remain ONE People with ONE Soul and we are very happy that our people in Solomon Islands are already Independent and Free. In these past 38 years there has been so much that our people in Solomon Islands have achieved and we West Papuans are proud that our Solomon Islands family live in peace and unity.

Solomon Islands West Papua MSG Melanesia34

For over 50 years, we West Papuans have had no Independence Day. We have suffered and continue to suffer under a brutal Indonesian occupation that has left over half a million Melanesian people murdered by the Indonesian military and police. Almost every week, Melanesians are murdered by the Indonesian authorities simply for calling for freedom.

On behalf of the Melanesian people of West Papua I must say that we cannot describe our joy as we stand together with our Solomon Islands family who are committed to helping us to be fully free and Independent. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart when I see the smiling faces of our happy Solomon Islands brothers and sisters marching together with us as ONE PEOPLE to call for Melanesian West Papua to be free as Solomon Islands is.

It is even more heartening to see these calls taken up directly by the Solomon Islands government and Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands. Both the Hon. Prime Minister and Solomon Islands government have consistently shown so much true support and Melanesian solidarity for our people, including at forums such as the United Nations, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Solomon Islands’ support for The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)’s full memb...

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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...

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 C...

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Wednesday, 29 June

13:58

The Indonesian government’s claims of investigating human rights in West Papua are based on fraud and lies "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

 

In the wake of building pressure from across the Pacific and around the world for a Pacific Islands Forum Fact Finding Mission to investigate human rights in West Papua, the Indonesian government has recently been claiming it is investigating it’s own human rights abuses in West Papua.

Why is the Indonesian government refusing to allow the Pacific Islands Forum Fact Finding Mission access to West Papua? 

It has been widely documented by the United Nations, human rights organisations and countless others that there have been terrible human rights violations committed in West Papua ever since the Indonesian government illegally took control of the country in 1969 through the fraudulent Act of NO Choice. If the Indonesian government wants to play a constructive role in engaging with Pacific Island countries, why are they publicly refusing to cooperate with the Pacific Islands Forum by refusing access to the Human Rights Fact Finding Mission?

West Papuan people in Yahukimo demonstrating and holing a banner refusing the Indonesian government's claims of a Fact Finding Mission West Papuan people in Yahukimo demonstrating and holing a banner refusing the Indonesian government’s claims of a Fact Finding Mission and calling for the Pacific Islands Forum Fact Finding Mission instead.

Such a Pacific Islands Forum Fact Finding Mission is clearly in the interests of people of West Papua, in fact W...

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 children…

Join us today and help #TakeBackPNG

Brochure GJ Constitution-front

...

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 done a fabulous job and produced substantial recommendations from extensive research and review of public service machineries in Australia New Zealand Samoa and Fiji.

The reforms will improve professional commitment, ensure recruitment, promotions and appointments are transparent and based on merit. It will pay wages and benefits fitting for the position and ensure that discipline and rewards can be delivered in a timely manner, in a nutshell it will corporatize the public service.

Now the PM and most of the NEC are in agreement reforms are needed. Yet there are some Government MPs in parliament who do not want these reforms.

It seems they like the inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

One wonders why.

Sadly this lack of political will, this apathy and inconsideration is a major impediment to any true progress in PNG and just as bad if not worse than the corruption we all hear so much about…

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 businesses have folded. Many homes have had to be sold by the banks..

But the transnational criminal cartel moves on relentless..their members employing a ruthless two pronged assault…milking a developing nation of much needed limited funds via inflated contracts and simultaneously denying said nation its right to revenues via tax evasion and transfer pricing…

And all these efforts are facilitated by members of a Government that does not seem to care for its people…endorsement mechanisms to protect the interests of the people are neutered…they now aid political leaders package and facilitate PNG to the cartel and its agents…

Yet the blame is not primarily the cartels as much as it is that of those who are facilitators…the nation’s very own elected guardians…have abandoned their duties…and the gates…are wide open.

The Government.. is no longer a Government of the people for the people…perhaps it never w...

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Friday, 03 June

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 agr...

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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...

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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...

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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 … Continue reading HOOD LAGOON COMMUNITY BENEFIT FROM JETTY PROJECT – THANKS TO ANO PALA

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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 … Continue reading JUFFA: STABILITY vs JUSTICE – YOU CHOOSE

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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 … Continue reading PNG WARN OF LOOMING ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL STORM – Sir MEKERE MORAUTA

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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? … Continue reading JUFFA: VONC IS NOT ABOUT CHANGING GOVERNMENT, ITS ABOUT SAVING OUR FUTURE

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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: Corru...

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...

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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 pl...

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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 s...

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. ...

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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,...

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...

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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.

...

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...

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 att...

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.

...

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 Monitorin...

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.

...

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.
...

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 Visio...

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 fourt...

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07:07

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IndyWatch PNG and NCD Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.