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Wednesday, 13 September


A wrap up of the 48th Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting "IndyWatch Feed"

Last week the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting was held in Apia, Samoa. The meetings theme, the Blue Pacific, was unsurprising given this years focus on oceans. But it was interesting nonetheless, given the increasing use of terms like the blue economy (PIDF) or blue Pacific (PIFS) to define Pacific regionalism much as the Pacific Way was used in the past.

This year was the first since the establishment of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism not to include a process through which the public are invited to make submissions on what leaders should discuss. That process, which sees proposals assessed by a Specialist Sub Committee on Regionalism (the SSCR), was never intended to occur every year. Its absence this year might therefore be explained in terms of needing to take stock of issues raised previously. Except, many issues identified through the process previously, and which we would expect to see followed up, have seemingly been set aside. They are cervical cancer, ICT, and improved business processes for the private sector.

Another likely explanation for the absence of a public submission process is political. The public consultation process in previous years has raised contentious issues time and time again. Last year, 13 of 48 submissions concerned West Papua much to the dissatisfaction of the Australian, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinean governments. This year, in contrast, discussion of West Papua was limited to one un-critical line in the Forum Communiqu.

Climate change was still prominent, but in terms agreeable to all. Well, almost all. The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, vented his frustration after the Forum both at its failure to endorse Tuvalus proposal for climate change insurance, and at its focus on issues not directly relevant to the Forum members, such as North Korea: The Forum is supposed to discuss issues from its members and small island states Why should they come to a Forum that only supports political wishes of the big countries?

Notwithstanding this outburst, the Forum Leaders meeting this year did f...


And the winner is. strong response to Blues Brothers contest "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Blues Brothers - Turnbull & O'NeillKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA Our first caption competition saw more than 50 enthusiastic readers produce some hilarious entries to represent what Malcolm Turnbull and Peter ONeill might have been saying when this photo was taken at the recent Pacific island leaders meeting.

So let me take you through what I considered to be some of the cleverer and more humorous entries before coming to the grand champion (and a note about the next contest).

Lisa Kune was right up to date with this imagined exchange:

Turnbull: How's your government stability these days?
ONeill: At least my opposition can be bought.

And Kasek Galgal showed a close knowledge of Australian politics:

ONeill: I'm telling you Mal, I won fair and square.
Malcolm: Stop. You sound like Barnaby when they found his Kiwi passport.

Perhaps I shouldnt have been surprised, but there was a disproportionate number of entries in the fart jokes genre.

Kathryn Smith:

ONeill: "Did you just fluff?'
Turnbull: "One of us did."

Paul Oates:

ONeill: Did you smell a fart?

Ross Wilkinson:

ONeill: Did you just fart?
Turnbull: No.
ONeill Mustve been me.

Sangiuwe (name supplied):

Turnbull (thinks): Touch me and Ill fart on you.

Says something about our readers, I fear.

David Thomas came up with a clever exchange:

ONeill: Is that invitation to stay at the Lodge still open?
Turnbull: Mmff....
ONeill: Mind if I bring some wantoks?

And, as you might expect, politics loomed large in peoples imaginations.

Sebastian Kolotau offered this one:

ONeill: I tried clever election tricks but we were almost caught.
Turnbull: Its been playing on my nerves; dont try it again.

While Adrian Rook came up with a brisk one-liner:




By Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville will join the rest of Papua New Guinea to commemorate the 42nd Independence starting tomorrow in Buka.
According to the program, Buka celebrations will be held at the ISA Beach front in Buka town. The three-days program will have awareness on Alcohol and Drugs, Law and Order, Referendum, Tourism, Violence against women and Womens equal rights.
The main Independence speeches will be held on Friday the 15th of September but celebrations will continue till Saturday the 16th September 2017.



Picture of the House burnt...taken in 2015
By Aloysius Laukai




By Aloysius Laukai
Bougainvilles big wholesaler and distributor and local company JOMIK Trading lost its ware house and office in a fire that gutted two of its buildings and other two nearby buildings last Saturday evening the 9th of September 2017 in Buka towns Back Street.
The fire started at about 7pm in the evening and by 9pm two of Jomiks buildings were fully alight and there was nothing that the company workers and neighbours could do without a fire service in Buka town.
The other two houses were a building owned by former Police Officer, PETER MASIKE who built this house as his retirement home and was rented to Island TV and Maino Trading a local trader who had just taken that building and fully packed with cargoes to be opened on Monday the eleventh of September.
According to eye witnesses, fire started from the former plant hire office and spread very quickly spread to its big steel building warehouse just opened in 2015 and built by a Philippine company.
The building where the fire started was built at around 2009 and was built so close to the Peter Masike building which was where New Dawn FM a local Community Radio started its operating in 2008. That building was built at around the late 1990s and was used first by LIMA Trading as a wholesaler and taken over by Tambolema Trading in 2002, when Lima Trading left Buka to operate in Buin, South Bougainville.
Tambolema Trading and New Dawn FM moved out of the MASIKE building in January,2010 after operating there for eight years.
According to PETER MASIKE this was his only investment and could not believe what had happened as it happened very quickly and he could not do anything to save his building. The could have burnt other buildings if some courage volunteers did not stood up and made sure the fire did not spread to other nearby buildings. In this particular area and within most of Buka town the buildings were built very close to each other.
The Buka Town Manager, EDDIE KENAI told news reporters that the ABG is to be blamed for what has happened because it does not have a Physical planning Board and a building board and also has not established a Fire Service in Buka although a MOU with the PNG FIRE SERVICE was signed some years back.
And just last week New Dawn FM talked to fire service staff who carried out a survey on the risk of a fire for the Buka town and surrounding suburbs of Kokopau, Sohano, Kubu and Hutjena.
They said from a table between 0 and Ten, Buka town was at Ten as a risky area in terms of a fire risk area.
Town Manager called on the ABG to quickly set up the Physical Planning board to make sure buildings are approved for standard and quality and also looking at the space between buildings.
He said that because of the non-availability of these institutions people are buildin...


Ex-kiap & former Queensland MP Bruce Laming dies at 79 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Bruce Laming & wife Estelle after a successful early political campaignBILL HOFFMAN | Sunshine Coast Daily | Edited extracts

MAROOCHYDORE - Bruce Laming launched his career in public life at 42 off the back of a kaleidoscope of life experiences, including service as a kiap in Bougainville and the Papua New Guinea highlands.

Mr Laming would eventually play a role in the shaping of some key players in conservative politics in Queensland.

By the time he passed away on Monday after a long battle with dementia, former MP for Mooloolah and Landsborough Shire councillor, Bruce Laming, had not only established his own legacy but had helped nurture those of his son Andrew, the Federal Member for Bowman, and many prominent Queensland politicians.

"It's a very sad day," said Liberal Senator Mr Wallace. "The LNP has lost a great trooper. He was one of life's gentlemen."

Former Queensland deputy premier Joan Sheldon said Mr Laming had been a fine man who had served his party loyally and had done a wonderful job for his constituents.

Former Queensland attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie recalled a man he described as a statesman of the LNP. He said the Laming home had been a great venue for young LNP members to meet.

"He was a real influence on us and up until recently attended functions and offered support," Mr Bleijie said.

Mr Laming arrived on the Sunshine Coast in the early 1970s following a career that ranged from the Snowy Mountain scheme, the Mount Isa mines, wool-classing in Tasmania and four years patrolling in Bougainville and the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

He and his wife Estelle built a waterfront home in Kawana in 1975 and went on to raise three children.



Papua New Guinea Investment Conference a resounding success "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference was held last week in Sydney, successfully showcasing the nations potential as an investment destination and canvassing different views from the business community about the opportunities and challenges. A clear picture of the countrysand the Pacific regionsgreat untapped potential emerged.

Futurist Mark Pesce addresses the 2017 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference

The conference, held at Sydneys Shangri-la Hotel, opened with an insightful perspective from futurist Mark Pesce, who explored the possibilities of twenty-first century technologyespecially mobile phone and blockchain technology, drones and roboticsfor PNGs long-term economic future.

He described how PNG could use these technologies to leapfrog the industrial era and move effectively into the post-industrial world. In particular, he explored a possible convergence between banking and telecommunications, based on the use of mobile phones.

Pesces keynote really set the tone for the conference. Not only did he take a long-term viewwhich all investors must dobut he identified clear trends that, if pursued, could benefit PNG in particular, observed MC Andrew Wilkins of conference organisers Business Advantage International.

What is encouraging is that work is already underway in PNG in several of these areas. The central bank is actively looking at Blockchain, Oil Search is already using drones to inspect its pipelines, while the near-completion of the National Transmission Network, and a likely new underseas cable connecting PNG to the world wide web are signs of progress in connectivity.

Focus on growth sectors



Madagascar Farmers Confront Canadian Junior Mining Company "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The owner of this land asked DNI not to use his land but the company ignored his request and has continued to exploit his property.

Mine Watch Canada | 12 September, 2017

Farmers from Vohitsara in eastern Madagascar are demanding that DNI Metals Inc. cease operations on their land and compensate them for damage to their lands, crops, trees, and fish ponds that the company has acknowledged destroying without their consent and fair compensation.

Malagasy civil society organisations and media reports have confirmed that DNI Metals has undertaken drilling and trenching on the villagers land in some cases without their agreement, while other farmers have signed agreements that provide vague and inadequate commitments from the company and do not meet basic standards of fairness.

The company had begun to undertake an inventory of damages jointly with Vohitsara villagers in July, but it was never completed. The company had previously done its own inventory, without the presence of the la...


Maru says Papua New Guinea must aim at import replacement in agriculture "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

In an exclusive interview, Richard Maru, the new Minister for National Planning and Monitoring tells Business Advantage PNG that replacing food imports with domestic production is a priority for the new ONeill Government. State-owned investment vehicle Kumul Agriculture looks set to play a key role.

Minister Maru addressing the 2017 PNG investment Conference in Sydney

The intent to create a state-owned investment vehicle for agriculture was first flagged in 2015. Maru says the entity will soon start to receive funds to invest in the sector.

We will be parking equity funds in our own agricultural investment company to partner [with] local and international investors, he tells Business Advantage PNG at the Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney last week.

Maru says the state-owned enterprise, Kumul Agriculture, will hold all the states equity investments in commercial agriculture.

This is something we have not done in the past. We will be parking investment funds, starting this year through the Supplementary Budget.


The motivation is primarily to reduce PNGs reliance on food imports.

Maru says that each year PNG imports K34 billion in food that it could produce itself. The biggest item is rice, followed by dairy products from New Zealand and chicken feed from Australia.

Both human and animal feed is a big issue for us, he says. We have very fertile land: great agronomic conditions, good weather and we dont have too many pests.

The focus will be on serving the PNG domestic market.

All the conditions lend themselves to agricultureunlike countries like Israel, where you have basically a desert.

We have water and very fertile land. What we have to do now is to mobilise the land and then find investors who have the technology and the capital to partner us to start investi...


Governor of Bank of PNG tells conference higher food production critical "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Diversification of the Papua New Guinea economy is critical to maintaining economic growth, according to Loi Bakani, the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea. He told Business Advantage Internationals Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney that a particular area of concern is the high level of food imports.

Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani addresses the 2017 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference

Bakani said the PNG LNG project, from 2010-2014, created a structural change in the PNG economy. But the resultant surplus in the current account did not translate into increased revenue for the Government, or sufficient foreign exchange inflows.

In particular, I am concerned about food imports, because it constitutes the highest demand for foreign exchange and it is not matched by any foreign exchange revenue from food exports.

This is an area of great potential for investment given the land mass and suitable land conditions we have, which can contribute to replacement of food imports and exports of the surpluses.

Middle income

Bakani said the PNG LNG project changed the country from a low-income country to a middle-income country. This affected habits of consumption in PNG.

Given the narrow export base and reliance on mineral projects and exports, the country has not reached a point of being resilient.

We know it will take a long time to change the consumption behaviour of our population, but some change needs to happen to move away from high consumption of imported food to locally-produced food.

I guess, this is one consequence of the change in the economy structure from low-income to middle-income country.

Narrow export base

Bakani told delegates the concentration of PNGs exports in the resources sector makes the economy vulnerable.

Given the narrow export base and reliance on mineral projects and exports, the country has not reac...


Ruling Party denies extending invitation to Pangu Pati MPs "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The ruling  People's National Congress has denied suggestions they invited members of the Opposition to join the government ranks.

In denying suggestions from the National Alliance party, PNC said: The people of the country made their will clear when the People's National Congress was returned by a large margin to continue our work of providing free education, better health outcomes and a stronger economy that serves us all.

We are happy to work with mature leaders willing to put their differences aside for the good of the country.

The National Alliance party have not proven themselves to be that.

On Monday (Sept 11), Pangu Party Leader, Sam Basil, officially switched seats, joining the PNC-led Government.

Basil moved with all the PANGU MPs from Morobe Province, including Central Province, Sohe and Lufa.

The MPs that made the switch:

Sam Basil PANGU Party Leader and Bulolo MP

William Samb Goilala MP

Capt Lekwa Gure Rigo MP

Robert Agarobe Central Governor

Henry Amuli Sohe MP

Kennedy Wenge Nawaeb MP

Ginson Saonu Morobe Governor

John Rosso Lae MP

Thomas Pelike - Menyamya MP

Kobby Bamareu Tewai Siasi MP

Chris Yer Sumkar MP

Moriape Karori Lufa MP

The four PANGU MPs who did not move are Madang Open MP Brian Kramer, Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta, Finschhafen MP Rainbo Paita and Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom.

Press Release


Workshop to help develop possible digital channels for the future of saving groups "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Honiara, Solomon Islands A two-day ideation workshop is being held in Honiara, Solomon Islands
this week to help shape and develop linkages between savings groups to formal financial services
through digital channels.
Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas. It is at the
core of innovation that PFIP has been pursuing through its workstream and setting up of Innovation Labs
that are aimed at encouraging the adoption and usage of mass market financial services by rural and
low-income households in the Pacific. Through hands-on design activities, the workshop aims to engage
the participants to collaborate to imagine appropriate services by following a human-centered design
In the Solomon Islands, remote rural households, especially women (80%) form savings groups where
there are limited to no financial services available. Savings groups offer a convenient place for saving,
withdrawals, small loans besides opportunities to improve financial literacy, peer support for small
business owners, and building social capital and cohesion within the communities.
Despite the popularity and proliferation of savings groups in rural and peri-urban Solomon Islands,
members often face issues that cannot be met by traditional savings groups models alone. Savings
group members have limited access to a broader range of financial services. PFIP is exploring
opportunities for linkages through digital channels to appropriate and affordable formal financial
30 participants from Saving clubs promoters - World Vision, Live & Learn, Ministry of Women, GELCA,
WARA and commercial banks, financial institutions like ANZ, BSP, POB, SPBD and SINPF will be
participating in the two-day activities.
In opening the workshop, Dr Jasmine Cernovs, Counsellor Economics, Australian High Commission noted
the Australian Government, through its support to the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), is
happy to see the progress of financial inclusion in the country targeting rural Solomon Islanders,
especially women.
We are aware that initial work including a study of the savings groups in the country followed by a
grant project with World vision Solomon Islands covering remote communities in South Malaita reaching
nearly 2000 people has been successfully implemented by PFIP. We support the extension of this work in
assessing the feasibility of appropriate linkages with the private sector that will widen access to and
usage of formal financial services like banking, micro-savings, micro-credit, pensions by those in the
informal sector. These are steps in the right direction to include more Solomon Islanders into th...


Union Heavyweight Sally McManus Backs Hritier Lumumba In His Stand Against AFL Racism "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The nations most prominent union official has weighed into the racism scandal that has engulfed the AFL, warning Australias richest sporting code that its not immune from workplace health and safety laws.

Former Collingwood AFL star Hritier Lumumba who played 199 games for the Magpies under the name Harry OBrien was the subject of a recent documentary aired on SBS called Fair Game, in which he revealed that throughout his career, he was subjected to frequent racist taunts and jokes by players and officials.

Sally McManus, the head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) told New Matilda in a written statement that all workplaces, even major sporting codes, were not immune from workplace health and safety laws.


The AFL has the same responsibilities to players as any other employer would to workers in their workplace. They have a responsibility to ensure that players are safe, preventing racial abuse from fans or anyone else is a part of that responsibility, McManus said.

The ACTU congress has made clear its opposition to all forms of racial abuse, wherever it occurs and all Australian unions stand with Hritier Lumumba and support him for speaking out.

The AFL is a powerful cultural institution, and clear leadership on this issue from them would make a real difference in workplaces across Australia.

This issue has dogged the AFL for weeks. The sporting body has been caught lying about how it dealt with the scandal, and accused of a campaign of smear, with CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan claiming the issue was not about racism, rather Lumumbas state of mind.

CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in a screencap from a video of a recent appearance on Radio 3AW.CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in a screencap from a video of a recent appearance on Radio 3AW.

Lumumba told film-makers that during his time at Collingwood, he was nicknamed Chimp by some players, and subjected to consistent racial abuse and jokes through his time in the AFL.



People moves: Kina Group, KPMG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kina appoints a new brand ambassador, new KPMG partner appointed

Kina Group has appointed Sydney-based professional tennis player Abigail Tere-Apisah as its new brand ambassador.


KPMG audit partner, Peter Zabaks, is returning to the KPMG Sydney office. Herbert Maguma is his replacement in Port Moresby.

The post People moves: Kina Group, KPMG appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.


In brief: Highlands Highway re-opens after a month-long blockade, and other business stories "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Normal services along the Highlands Highways resume, coffee exports steady but expected to fall next year, and China approves loan for Pacific Marine Industrial Zone. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Two sections of the Highlands Highway which were blocked by relatives of two policemen killed during last months elections have re-opened, allowing normal services to flow. The highway was blocked off for a month, affecting the entire Highlands region.  Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Alan McLay, said the blockade had been devastating for business, adding that trucking companies were struggling, and on the verge of layoffs.


Coffee Industry Corporation CEO, Charles Dambui, reportedly says coffee exports are steady, despite the coffee berry borer (CBB) affecting production eight months ago. Dambui said 2016 was a record year, with 1.12 million bags exported, worth K649 million. He said the effects of the CBB would be felt in 2018.


The Womens Micro Banks Ricky Mitio. Credit: Loop PNG

Chinas Exim Bank has agreed to fund the new plan for the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project in Madang, with a US$152million (K350million) loan,  says Trade Minister Wera Mori.


The Womens Micro Bank is releasing seven million shares at K1 per share to mem...


Direct flights to Townsville from Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Air Niugini is now flying to Townsville directly from Port Moresby. Return flights to Townsville are starting from PGK 1,020* and flights are operating on Mondays and Fridays.

Begin your exploration in the blooming city of Townsville. Townsville City combines federation architecture with classy restaurants, accommodation and shopping like no other regional Queensland city. Townsville is a nature lovers paradise. The Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands, wetlands, wet tropics rainforests and a glorious beachfront are few major attractions. Townsville offers you a diverse range of historical, military, island, active and relaxing experiences. Townsville is packed with activities to excite every travel style!

So book your trip to Townsville with Air Niugini. Visit to book online now.


China Exim bank approves PNG K350m PMIZ loan "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The China Exim Bank have agreed to fund the new plan for the Papua New Guinea governments multi-million Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project with a US$152million (K350million) loan.

The loan is concessional and will be repaid by government when the project is operational and generates returns.

This was announced by the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry Wera Mori Tuesday.

Mori said the initial Financial Investment Decision (FID) by the Exim Bank was stalled by the lengthy court battle with the Madang Environmental groups.

The initial Financial Investment Decision (FID) by the EXIM Bank of China was stalled by the lengthy court battle with Madang Environmental NGOs, resulting in the withholding of funds that had been earmarked for its development. However, the minister said traction was made on the project under the leadership of his predecessor now Planning Minister Richard Maru.

Under Maru, the PMIZ was redesigned to cater for all the communities and to hall larger ships into the new wharf.

Further for the redesigning and renegotiation of the FID with the EXIM Bank of China, Mori said.

Mori said he would be calling for a general forum to gauge the views of all impacted stakeholders to gauge their views which will be captured in a supplementary Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

He said given the disruptions the project had suffered, this was his initiative for a way forward to discourage any further delays and wastage of resources.

The PMIZ project must be delivered under my leadership without any further delays, the minister stressed..


PNG Registrar of Political parties yet to hear from pro-Pangu MPs "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Pangu Pati has moved only seven MPs from the 10 it has on record, according to the official registry of political parties.

Along with it on Mondays announcement were four pro Pangu independents Robert Agarobe (Central), Lekwa Gure (Rigo), Henry Amuli (Sohe), John Rosso (Lae), and THE party member turned Pangu member Lufa MP Moriape Kavori.

The Registrar for Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu said the movements by independents who have aligned to Pangu are yet to be officially lodged to the registry.

Dr Gelu said however, that it was just according to the registrys official record and does not stop any movement occurring by MPs that have already occurred.

He said independent movements registered so far have only been lodged by the ruling party Peoples National Congress.

We only received the four (independents) that have moved to PNC and they have formalised that, but the other political parties not as yet, Dr Gelu said.

We havent received anything from Pangu. We havent received any paperwork from them. They will have to advise us in order for us to recognise them as members of Pangu Party.

Dr Gelu said officially those who had moved with Pangu are still considered independents as far as the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates was concerned.

Mondays move by Pangu and pro-Pangu independents reduces the number of MPs in the Opposition ranks of 46 MPs in the Alliance coalition, the biggest opposition ever assemble in the past four terms of parliament.

Meanwhile, the registry of Political Parties says the decision made by Pangu is the prerogative of the party and its leadership.

Dr Gelu said each MP has the prerogative as to where they want to move to, with the registry only involved as far as recognised party listings.

That is Pangus decision, the Registry has no say, not only Pangu but any other party, when they want to move that is their decision to make, Dr Gelu said.

Here at the registry we have nothing to do with that.

We have our listing on the movements. Now it is up to Pangu to move from the opposition to the government together with those members of parliament, 12 members.

When asked about what happens to...


Papuan landowners in PNG to receive first LNG project royalties of K15m "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Boera village in Central province landowners from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties. Video: EMTV News

Meriba Tulo in Boera village | Asia Pacific Report | September 13, 2017

After more than three years and 200 shipments, landowners of Boera village in Papua New Guineas Central province have became the first beneficiaries from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties.

This followed the release of royalty benefits for PNG LNG Petroleum Processing Facility Licence 2 (PPFL2) area landowners to the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) from the Department of Petroleum and Energy, Department of Finance, and the Central Bank.

Royalty payments for the four villages of Boera, Papa, Porebada and Rearea are in line with the Ministerial Determination number G692, 2015, which will see 83 clans receive a share of K15.6 million (NZ$6.7 million).

According to the Oil and Gas Act 1998, only 40 percent is to be paid as cash disbursement to landowners, with the remaining 60 percent to be set aside in two trusts the Future Generation Trust Fund (FGTF) and Community Investment Trust Fund (CITF).

Royalty Payment Allocation:
1. Cash Payment to Landowners: K6,250,701.00
2. Community Investment Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00
3. Future Generation Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00

From the K6,250,701.00 cash allocation, this is further broken up according to the following:
1. Rearea Village: K1,746,946.00
2. Papa Village: K1,746,946.00
3. Boera Village: K1,352,027.00
4. Porebada Village: K1,154,755.00
5. Others: K250,028.00

Meriba Tulo is a senior reporter and presenter and currently anchors Resource PNG as well as EMTVs daily National News. EMTV News items are republished by Asia Pacific Report with permission.

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Tuesday, 12 September


Improving elections in PNG "IndyWatch Feed"

As I wrote in my previous post, the 2017 elections in Papua New Guinea fell far short of what the people of PNG deserve. In the previous post I also explained the central cause of electoral problems in PNG: a voter-politician relationship that provides little incentive for politicians to care about well-run elections.

This particular dynamic isnt likely to change soon. This isnt a counsel of despair though. The relationship isnt wholly deterministic. Papua New Guineas next elections can be better. Here are some suggestions for what can be done. They arent aimed at any one in particular. Some could be championed by donors, but others will be better driven by Papua New Guineas domestic reformers. Papua New Guinea has a strong and vibrant civil society, and it will have a crucial role to play in improving elections.

A crucial start will be to press the government to adequately fund the electoral processes. Good elections cant be run on the cheap. But PNGs political dynamics mean politicians wont focus on resourcing national electoral infrastructure unless theyre pushed. The government also needs to adequately resource the parts of the legal system that deal with electoral petitions and similar matters. If the courts arent functioning or are taking years to hear cases, dishonest candidates have a lot less to fear. If theyre running well, the consequences of electoral malfeasance will become a stronger deterrent.

Also, push for transparency in all aspects of electoral process itself. As I said in my previous blog, the least transparent parts of elections are often the worst. How was the roll compiled and cleaned? Your guess is as good as mine. It doesnt have to be this way. In the next election the entire roll (or at the very least ward totals) should be published online, and then republished at each stage of the modification or tidying process. No need for fancy widgets; simple PDF files will do. The same process should be repeated with ballot paper distribution. Lets know in advance exactly how many ballot papers are intended for each polling station. If illegal manipulation of the roll occurs, as...


Im concerned about Sam Basil, who called ONeill spineless "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


Sam Basil
Sam Basil - what happened to the honour, the principle?

KUNDIAWA - The speculation surrounding Sam Basil and his Pangu Party convening a secret meeting to join the Peter ONeills government finally became a reality on Monday when nine Pangu members and four independents from the opposition moved to the government side.

The Pangu MPs who joined the government are Sam Basil (Wau Bulolo), Kobby Bamarea (Tewai-Siasi), Kennedy Wenge (Nawaeb), Thomas Pelika (Menyamya), Konnie Iguan (Markham), Chris Nangoi (Sumkar) and William Samb (Goilala).

The four independents are Robert Agarobe (Central), Lekwa Gure (Rigo), John Rosso (Lae), Moriape Kavori (Lufa) and Henri Amuli (Sohe).

Politics in Papua New Guinea is always fluid and unpredictable. Something occurs now and later the exact opposite can happen.

No one had ever imagined Sam Basil would marry Peter ONeill who seemed to contradict all that Basil stood and fought for including good, prudent, honest and transparent governance.

Basil had been very vocal about how badly the ONeill-Dion government had handled the economy and finances of this country. He even declared ONeill as his number one enemy in an anti-ONeill slogan, Friend to all enemy to one Peter ONeill.

Most Papua New Guineans looked up to him Basil, ranking him alongside Garry Juffa, Mekere Morauta, Kerenga Kua, Allan Marat and Belden Namah to lead a strong alternative government for the next 18 months before a vote of no confidence motion could be taken against the ONeill regime.

However, Basil ditched his own integrity and the trust, respect and honour the people of PNG had placed in him and proceeded to marry his number one enemy, Peter ONeill.

In my view, Basil will go down in history as the hypocrite of the century. He has also made himself a laughing stock in the eyes of the international community.

In PNG politics, personal integrity as a national leader is not important to most members of parliament. There is no moral principle in them.

They something now and tomorrow th...


Basil has moved to the government that has wrecked PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Mekere Morauta (2)SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

PORT MORESBY - Sam Basils decision to move to Peter ONeills government, along with other MPs from the Alliance, is extremely disappointing.

This was the last thing I thought would happen when I asked my colleague independent MPs to join Pangu Pati.

Of course, I respect the decision by the individual members to move as they see fit. But I do not agree with the move.

The ONeill government had wrecked Papua New Guinea during the last five years wrecked important oversight institutions, interfered with law enforcement agencies, allowed corruption to flourish, grossly mismanaged public finances and forced the economy into recession.

Why join a prime minister with such a reputation?

I do not support the view that members have to be in government to receive district services improvement funds or other development funds.

Every member, whether in government or opposition, represents Papua New Guineans who have an equal right to share in the nations wealth and opportunities.

It is unfair and immoral for the prime minister to use development funds as toys for his own political survival.

I am urging all members of parliament on both sides to fight to save the country.

The last thing MPs should be doing is giving Mr ONeill more political oxygen to continue the train wreck of damage.

Rather than entrenching the mismanagement and destruction, leaders should be fighting to stop it which obviously means not joining his government or strengthening his position as prime minister.

We have a responsibility to protect Papua New Guineas future.


B'ville bureaucracy: Where the Peace directorate fights over chairs "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


PANGUNA - I was rather shaken by Gorethy Kenneths article, Do away with PNG habits at workplace, that appeared in the Post-Courier not so long ago.

Behaviour and performance in the workplace is an issue affecting Bougainville as well as Papua New Guinea and I believe some words about the Autonomous Bougainville Government bureaucracy may be usefully written.

When people are recruited by the ABG, they have a mission to dedicate much of their life to keep the government functioning and delivering for the people.

Im one of these people. And I say give away much of their life because, in Bougainville, we leave behind our families and travel north to Buka, deserting them in the villages and entering urban Bougainville. Some people have proper accommodation for their families but not most.

The ABG says we need to find accommodation in Buka that is less than K300 a month, which is almost impossible. Before 1990, when I was a kid, nearly all employees of the then North Solomons Provincial Government were provided with residences within Arawa township.

But we now sleep in our offices in Buka and in the morning pack our things under the tables and get dressed in a bureaucratic mode and saunter high for the world to see us.

If you enter one of our offices in Buka you will see bent and buckled cardboard cartons beside our tables. Those are our sleeping mats.

You cannot expect a public servants to deliver when their basic needs are not been met.

Let me talk about our work.

I am in the Department of Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation. This department has four directorates - autonomy, peace, veterans and referendum. It is the most important department for Bougainville at this time.

But the ABG is not supporting us. In Buka this department has no office of its own, meaning it is not housed in one building, Many of us do not know what we are doing despite the fact our work should end by June 2018.

Veterans occupy a space I do not know. Autonomy another spot. Peace and Referendum fight over the limited number of chairs and tables. They occupy the condemned Green House building in the administrative compound next to Buka Hospital.

In the Green House, each day we battle for one of the four chairs. The first to reach t...


This is Samoa; its a free country "IndyWatch Feed Niugini";-it%25E2%2580%2599s-a-free-country.htm

This is Samoa; its a free country

11 September 2017

Mataafa Keni Lesa

The fight for West Papua might be far from a victory for people there but at last weeks 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting; the vocal local protesters who made the issue known can claim a moral victory.

The mere fact it was acknowledged in the official communiqu is a step in the right direction. Some people might say it is not enough but it must be said that small steps are better than no step at all.

On the other hand, for allowing the protest to proceed barring an incident where protesters were asked to produce a permit the government of Samoa can also hold its head up high that it allowed a basic freedom in a democracy to be exercised.

The fact that the protesting group was allowed to express their views without having anyone dragged into Police cells, as weve so often seen in these things, is a good sign for Samoa.

The only downside was the Police demanding a permit when from what weve been told such a permit is not required.

We are not lawyers but this is perhaps something that needs to be clarified in terms of going forward. Whether the Police made a mistake, someone should own up and acknowledge that.

What we do know is that the second protest went ahead unopposed.

Which was a massive relief.

We say this because wherever protests are involved, there is no guarantee that there will be no confrontation. In countries near and far, weve often seen these confrontations turn ugly, extremely ugly.

Yet in Apia last week, while it did create a scene, common sense prevailed in the end for the sake of Samoa and the preservation of democracy on these shores.

The mere fact that the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, made an appearance to acknowledge the views of the protest group speaks volumes about the mutual respect we have in the Pacific. She couldve just ignored them but she didnt.

Whats more, the recognition of the issue in the official communiqu is even more encouraging as it means the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua is not being ignored, as some people say.

Reads the Communiqu: Leaders recognised the constructive engagement by the Forum countries with Indonesia with respect to elections and human...


SABL logger cheating Bewani locals "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

What little I get from my royalty payments I give back to the logging company because most business houses in Vanimo town, including the only supermarket are owned by the logging company. Moreover, the company cheats me by claiming money from my royalty payments

Thats from Emap Itep of Aimbai village in Bewani, West Sepik Province.

A Malaysian logging company has logged his forest and now has an oil palm plantation on his land under a Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL).

The company came and said they have a Special Agriculture Business Lease and so have the right to claim my land for oil palm. When I realized its getting my trees and exporting them overseas while clearing the forest for oil palm, it said it will develop my village in exchange for my trees. I regret believing them because now I cant get whatever Ive grown and cultivated for food and income within the areas that the company has claimed, a worried Emap said.

Like most of the people Act Now! has come across in Bewani, Emap was not aware that the government has ruled all Special Agriculture Business Leases illegal and void. To Emap, the government seems like a nightmare that he unknowingly took part in creating, a government thats now terrifying him by allowing the company to continue and not standing by him.

The Moresby Government says cancel the SABLs but the Vanimo government lets the logging and land theft continue in Bewani. I dont understand, whats the need for a government if it cant operate as one for the people? he stated.

Emap was told by the logging company that he would no longer have to travel long distances to access basic services like health and education etc. He needed the very things that the company promised and wanted to see them happen so he, along with others welcomed the company in and has since been suffering at its hands.

The company said it will build a school in my village, an aid post, permanent houses etc, but first I have to give him my trees. I gave it permission to only get the trees but its claimed my land and said the land is its for 99 years. The cost of services it promised to deliver for free as a trade for my trees, has since been deducted from my royalty payments.

Emap gave an example of how the company fooled him and takes back money pai...


PNG's Divine Word University Opens new faculty of Bachelor of medicine and Bachelor of surgery (MBBS) "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temus idea to increase the number of health training institutions in the country 15 years ago became a reality at Divine Word University (DWU) yesterday.
Sir Puka, on behalf of Prime Minister Peter ONeill, and Minister for Higher Education Research Science and Technology Pila Niningi, opened the universitys faculty of medicine and health science lecture building yesterday.

It took 28 months to construct the building at a cost of K6 million.
The building complex contains 12 lecture rooms, a simulation and conference room, a staff room with cubicles that can cater for 30 staff members, head of department office, a room each for storage, tea and UPS and toilet facilities on both floors.

Sir Puka initiated the idea of training more health workers 15 years ago when he was the health secretary to deliver better services that could reach the rural population regularly.
One way is to educate and train more health workers or give additional training to the existing workforce, he said. Education and health remain the Governments top priorities while the Government addresses economic growth so it can generate sufficient revenue to support education, health and infrastructure developments.
DWU president Prof Cecilia Nembou said the building was one of the five priority infrastructure projects for its Madang campus. Four have been completed, with the K14.2 million faculty of arts and social sciences lecture building still being constructed.

The campus water supply system, staff accommodation, student dormitories and the faculty of medicine and health science lecture building are completed projects.
Sir Puka said one of the most important ways to improve health was through education.
He said education helped people take preventive health measures, avoid risky health behaviours and demanded better quality health services.
Sir Puka said that DWUs newest programme Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) was urgently needed in the country.


Frabelle continues expansion plans in Papua New Guinea fisheries sector "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

An expanded wharf, increased tuna output, boat replacements and a new blast freezer are part of fisheries company Frabelles development plans. But reducing costs is also important, as Frabelles Melinda Ragudos, General Manager for Cannery Operations, tells Business Advantage PNG.

Papua New Guinea tuna processing.

By the end of 2017, an expanded wharf at the Port of Lae will allow three boats to unload at a timea 50 per cent increase on the current wharf capacity, according to Frabelles Melinda Ragudos.

Earlier this year, Frabelle opened a new tuna processing line, allowing the company to increase production to 100 metric tonnes of tuna per day, up from 70 metric tonnes. Its total staff now is just under 2000, working two shifts.

Frabelle is one of four canneries in Lae. The others are Majestic, IFC and Nambawan.

Majestic Seafoods, a joint venture with Thai Union of Thailand, Century Canning of Philippines and Frabelle PNG, began four years ago with a new tuna processing plant in Malahang, Lae. It continues to flourish, says Ragudos.

Frabelle also produces raw-packed canned tuna exclusively for the French market.

Both Frabelle PNG Ltd and Majestic Seafood Cannery export canned tuna and frozen cooked tuna loins to the European Union, with which PNG has a market access agreement. Frabelle PNG also sells into the local PNG market under the Isabella brand.

Major improvements

During 2017, Frabelle made major improvements to its fish sorting conveyor systems and biomass boiler. It expanded its receiving and production, installing new packing systems and a fish oil extractor, and putting in a freezer that has doubled the output of frozen cooked loins. It also has a new 500-tonne cold room.

All our cartons are imported and this uses up precious foreign currency.

Aside from the pre-cooked production line, Frabelle produces raw-packed canned tuna exclusively for the French market and it is about to launch a new line of raw tuna for the European Market.

Packaging advances



Sir Mekere disappointed with Basil's move to the government "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The former Prime Minister and Member for Moresby North-West, Sir Mekere Morauta, says Sam Basils decision to move to Peter ONeills Government, along with other MPs from the Alliance, was extremely disappointing.

This was the last thing I thought would happen when I asked my colleague Independent MPs to join Pangu Pati, Sir Mekere said.

Of course I respect the decision by the individual Members to move as they see fit. But I do not agree with the move.

Sir Mekere claims the ONeill Government had wrecked Papua New Guinea during the last five years wrecked important oversight institutions, interfered with law enforcement agencies, allowed corruption to flourish, grossly mismanaged public finances and forced the economy into recession.

Why join a Prime Minister with such a reputation, he asked.

Sir Mekere said he did not support the view that Members had to be in Government to receive DSIP or other development funds.

Every Member, whether in Government or Opposition, represents Papua New Guineans who have an equal right to share in the nations wealth and opportunities. It is unfair and immoral to use development funds as toys for ones own political survival.

I am urging all Members of Parliament on both sides to fight to save the country.

Rather than entrenching the mismanagement and destruction, leaders should be fighting to stop it.

We have a responsibility to protect Papua New Guineas future.


Samoa 2019 organisers sign Pacific Games hosting contracts "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Samoa deserved to host the Pacific Games 2019, reaffirms the Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan after signing the host agreement with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi Monday.

When we got the bids, Samoa ticked all the boxes and came up with flying colors, said the PGC President.

Samoa met all the criterias from government backing and support to the availability of international sports facilities and two experts on the ground to facilitate, manage and deliver the level of competitions.
By far, I am very confident that Samoa will deliver.

And the PGC President Lakhan elaborated in a press statement;

It is an honour to be back in Apia to formalise the Games Host Agreement with the Prime Minister and SASNOC President, Fepuleai Patrick.

The PGC is very grateful that Samoa put itself forward to organise the 2019 Pacific Games at such short notice and that SASNOC has the full support of the Prime Minister and his Government.

The PGC will offer SASNOC all of the assistance and expertise we can to ensure they deliver another successful Pacific Games.

The PGC sincerely thanks the Prime Minister and Government of Samoa for its commitment to support SASNOC and fully underwrite the cost of staging the 2019 Pacific Games



Dan Sinykin: The Apocalyptic Baldwin | Dissent Magazine "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Apocalyptic Baldwin | Dissent Magazine: In the 1970s, James Baldwin offered the same answer. Raoul Pecks Academy Awardnominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro sheds light on what prompted him to abandon his earlier hope for racial harmony. We might also ask why this refusal so resonates today. I Am Not Your Negro and Get Out come five years after the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, a period during which movements like Black Lives Matter have propelled racism to the forefront of American public discourse. It is against this backdrop that Baldwin has increasingly become the subject of renewed interestand it is his later, more radical critiques of racism that offer the most insight into contemporary struggles.
Peck composed the script for I Am Not Your Negro entirely from Baldwins words, drawn mainly from three 1970s projects: No Name in the Street (1972); The Devil Finds Work (1976), an essay on Hollywood; and an unfinished manuscript that Baldwin began late in his career, in 1979, Remember This House. The script is read by Samuel L. Jackson and paired on screen with images from the civil rights movement, clips from popular films, and footage of Baldwin himself speaking in various settings.

Monday, 11 September


Sam Basil rats on his voters - & on representative democracy "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


Sam Basil yesterday - apprehensive
An apprehensive Sam Basil fronts a media conference yesterday afternoon

NOOSA The defection of Pangu Party leader Sam Basil and eight members of his parliamentary team (plus four independents) to the ONeill governing coalition has sent shockwaves through Papua New Guinea.

It was yet another example of how money does more than talk in PNG politics   it first shrieks, then poisonously embraces and finally squeezes even the best principles out of weak and venal leaders.

In this case, Basil misled his own people in Bulolo and Morobe who voted for Pangu in huge numbers in an explicit rejection of the ONeill government.

He has deceived them in an act which leaves people in his own electorate and throughout Papua New Guinea justifiably feeling they have been betrayed.

The move, foreshadowed two weeks ago by Basils now former colleague Bryan Kramer MP and denied at the time by Basil, strengthens the government benches and leaves the opposition which after the election looked strong and viable in tatters.

The response on social media was immediate and angry. And so it ends, wrote @masalaifrog on Twitter, the hope of thousands murdered in its infancy. Such is life in PNG.

New Zealand journalist Johnny Blades reacted with a pungent, Excuse me I have to go and puke.

Blades had interviewed Basil for Radio New Zealand International in a story aired on 17 July in which Basil warned that ONeills Peoples National Congress was ready to pay a million kina each to any newly-elected independent MPs to join its coalition.

"That [successful] independent candidate must understand why he was chosen by the people to represent them, Basil said. And he or she must not sell the voters' rights to a political party that voters do not want to come back into power."

Now it seems Basil has done precisely that.

Around the same time in July Basil attacked ONeill as a spineless leader, a term the Post-Courier newspaper chose as a headline.......


Enhancing educational outcomes in conflict affected Muslim Mindanao what we learned "IndyWatch Feed"

The program

The Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) was a significant education and peace initiative jointly implemented by the Government of the Philippines through the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). It commenced in September 2012 and concluded in June 2017.

The program initially comprised four independent yet interrelated components in partnership with UNICEF, GIZ, BRAC and Cardno. Following an independent review in 2014, BEAM-ARMM shifted towards a programmatic approach with shared outcomes and outputs. The strategic shift to shared end outcomes triggered more effective implementation and management with DFAT, DepEd-ARMM and implementing partners agreeing on four end outcomes:

  • improve access by increasing completion rates;
  • improve quality of education and learning environment;
  • improve employability of Out of School Youth (OSY) completers, and
  • improve education governance to support Early Childhood Education, basic education and OSY.

The context

The operating context within Mindanao significantly influenced the program. The ARMM region is a fragile, conflict environment, which lags the rest of the country in terms of educational access and overall learning outcomes. Additionally, the installation of a new national and regional government heightened tensions in the final year of program implementation.

The evaluation

End of program reviews for DFAT programs are usually conducted by independent external evaluators. Given the complexity of BEAM-ARMM, the challenging environment and broad scope of work, DFAT agreed to a quasi-independent approach with the program partners self-evaluating, under the guidance of the international M&E Adviser (who is the author of this post). We employed a mixed-method methodology utilising a range of approaches to demonstrate progress towards end of program outcomes and practices of interest and uptake. The evaluation considered three major questions:

  • To what extent has the program achieved stated end of program outcomes?
  • How appropriate were BEAM-ARMMs institutional and governance approaches with DepEd-ARMM and other partners?
  • To what extent has the program demonstrated relevance, efficiency and effectiveness through a unified approach to implementation and management? What lessons can be learned?

All evaluations have li...


A Kiaps Chronicle: 15 Around the Sepik "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


The Sepik District 1958 (Bill Brown)

THE first three days of October 1957 were momentous for me but much more so for Patrol Officer John (JW) MacGregor, two years my junior and who had been deeply involved in the Anderson Affair.

While I was flying out of Wewak to go on leave, MacGregor was in Port Moresby trying to salvage what he could of his career.

In August, magistrate Fred (FJ) Winkle RM had dismissed two charges of assault brought in the lower court against MacGregor, concluding that they were trivial, but MacGregor had also pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to two other charges, one of deprivation of liberty and one of setting fire to a native house.

On the first charge, deprivation of liberty, MacGregor was convicted - and then discharged.

In his summing up, the Chief Justice remarked:

The Patrol Officer was in charge of, and solely responsible, for a major development project at Woitape [in the Goilala] involving the construction of a new airstrip. The task was urgent and required an amazing amount of native labour from the District which is well known for its difficulties, geographical and administrative.

The difficult task was completed and I have no doubt the accused deserves great credit for the undertaking

The accused was dealing with a serious source of trouble by what amounted to be a technical offence. It is possible that the accused might have justified his action by going into substantial evidence, but in the circumstances, I think it proper to discharge the accused.

On the second charge, setting fire to a native house, MacGregor was convicted and discharged on his own recognizance of 50, the Chief Justice commenting:

There are many things to be commended about Mr MacGregor. He has commendable self-control under difficult circumstances and genuine regard for native welfare I dont think he will feel any difficulty in carrying out his duties loyally in the future.

His service was motivated by the right principles and I would be sorry to be compelled to inflict any punishment which would make it impossible for the Crown to continue to employ him.

At 9:30 on the morning of 1 October 1957, MacGregor...


Discord marked the first struggle for a Bougainville referendum "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


Leonard Fong Roka October 2014 H&SPANGUNA - The 1974 book, Bougainville Nationalism: Aspects of Unity and Discord, by Alexander Mamak and Richard Bedford, with support from the late Leo Hannet and the late Moses Havini, shows similar political trends 43 years later as we march into the window of next years referendum.

The book tells how Bougainville had its first taste of a referendum in 1969, the direct result of a 1968 meeting in Port Moresby of 23 Bougainvillean students attending tertiary institutions in Papua New Guinea.

After this meeting there were significant outcomes in Kieta. A meeting of some 2,000 people, chaired by the late Sir Paul Lapun, discussed the acquisition of land by Bougainville Copper Limited in the coastal areas around Kieta.

The meeting resulted in the threat of secession unless the PNG colonial administration revised its rules for obtaining traditional land for mining interests.

Negotiations were long and bitter. There were protest marches by Bougainvilleans and tear gassing and baton whipping by police personnel.

The few literate people-oriented leaders like Sir Paul Lapun, seeing the number of people involved established Napidakoe Navitu as the voice to push for the interests of the people of central Bougainville.

This group succeeded in uniting these Bougainvilleans and began to push for a referendum in 1970.

Napidakoe Navitu was also known to be pushing for secession and leaders of most Bougainville communities feared their influence, resulting in the referendum notion being attacked by leaders from north and south Bougainville. Central Bougainville stood firm.

In Buin, for example, 7,000 ballot papers were confiscated by the president of the local government council who argued that his council had not consented to any vote.

In the north, the president of the local government council also attacked the referendum sponsors.

It seemed that the north was concerned that secession would stop cheap labourers from New Guinea from working in the cocoa and copra plantations.

This discord helped trigger the 1988-89 crisis. Seeds were sown that resulted in the loss of 20,000 lives and property valued at many millions of kina.

Observing trends in our current political drive, I see loopholes garnered by m...


Complex issues flow from Bougainville referendum says academic "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


WELLINGTON Bougainvilles political future is not just dependent on what the people of the autonomous province want but what the Papua New Guinea government might be prepared to agree to, Australian academic Ted Wolfers has told Don Wiseman of Radio New Zealand International.

There has to be a dialogue, Prof Wolfers said. And I don't believe that dialogue has taken place.

Prof Wolfers said people assume that independence means breaking away totally but there may be substantial interests working through what the options really are.

There has to be a careful discussion, not a complicated and academic one, but working through the issues until both sides are clear about what it is they are prepared to argue about, he said.

Even then it still has to go to the national parliament which has the final say over whatever the outcome of the referendum might be.

But there are quite practical issues that need to be addressed.

Would Bougainvillean university students still have access to mainland universities? Would people be able to move freely around the world - there are all sorts of arrangements, free association between formally independent entities which allow for certain kinds of freedom of movement, shared institutions and so on.

Prof Wolfers said the Bougainville Peace Agreement does not state that Bougainville has a right to independence but that doesn't stop people saying that they have.

He said the referendum (due next year) on Bougainvilles political future was a very contentious insertion into the agreement [and] there is even a provision in the Bougainville Constitution [that] in certain, very limited, circumstances it might be possible not to hold a referendum, but it is extremely unlikely that that would ever be the case.

I haven't heard anyone say, in Bougainville, that it shouldn't go ahead, but as a matter of law there's that possibility, Prof Wolfers said.

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