The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2014
Now available from Amazon - $US12.49
Click here to order your copy of the best PNG creative writing
AROUND the world international donors have become more and more comfortable with the ‘c-word’ – corruption that is.
During the Cold War, corruption was largely absent from international aid discourse – both sides of the iron curtain were more interested in gaining the support of ‘Third World’ governments, than monitoring how they spent their aid.
Corruption was a word not muttered in polite company, not in front of one’s friends (strategic allies) anyway.
That changed in the 1990s with the rise of Transparency International, and the World Bank signalling – through President James Wolfensohn’s now famous ‘corruption-as-cancer’ speech – its intention to fight corruption through its projects and programs.
HOLMES was absorbed with something and was hovering over his microscope, whilst Watson was enjoying a comfortable afternoon cup of Earl Grey with a Bourbon Cream.
"Watson, what do you make of this?" cried Holmes peering down his Kohler microscope. Watson spluttered. "Have a heart Holmes, I've just sat down to afternoon tea lovingly provided by Missus Okuk!"
"Put that treat down Watson and come and see this. It's a specimen sent to me by my good friend Sir William McGregor."
"Well I never! A gentleman should never be interrupted in his afternoon Beetons!"
"Oh do shut up and come and look at this."
WHILE the PNG LNG project will remain as one of PNG’s greatest achievements, the biggest question facing the government centres on its ability to transfer the huge revenue inflows to the bulk of the population.
This is a major challenge given that PNG does not have the systems and infrastructure to support the direct transfer of monetary benefits to its citizens.
Therefore, the government’s move to introduce a national identification system and a social protection policy including a pension scheme can be seen as concrete steps towards achieving equitable wealth distribution.
Regular population data collection and updating has been a great challenge and it is hoped that the national identification system will ensure that real time data is available to support the planning process.
THREE jars of cookies and a coffee machine have landed Cairns entrepreneur Flora Pondrilei in serious hot water.
Her humble little PNG-style kofi haus has operated without any issues as a social club in the garage of her McLeod Street Queenslander home since 2006.
That was until a local business complained to Cairns Regional Council that Ms Pondrilei was operating illegally.
“We only aim to break-even,” Flora said. “This isn’t a commercial operation, it’s a meeting place for us.”
On average, Wantok Kofi Haus sells just seven cups of coffee a day.
THAT headline understates Phil Charley's achievements by a long shot, although it does point to one of the great successes of his long career in broadcasting.
You have to look behind the curriculum vitae to find the real essence of Philip Nivison Charley – which was articulated both in his positive impact on successive generations of broadcasters and his engagement with whoever he met throughout his long life.
Phil's career in radio began during the last years of World War II, after he was boarded out of the Royal Australian Air Force with a medical condition.
And this life's work was brought to an end just a few years ago when, in his mid-eighties and after 65 years in broadcasting, he decided to call it a day, for the last time closing the door of his office at Macleay College in Sydney's CBD, where for many years after nominally retiring he taught the radio advertising course.
Phil died early Friday morning of an aggressive lung cancer, diagnosed only recently. Ingrid and I flew to Sydney to see him a fortnight ago and, despite his obvious frailty, we found him in good spirits and well up to sharing a conversation along the lines of “bastards we have known….”
AFTER graduating from the Highlands Regional College of Nursing at Goroka in 2002, I was accepted for employment by the Catholic Health Services of West New Britain based in Kimbe.
My first post was at Kilenge Sub-Health Centre in the Kandrian-Gloucester District. Kilenge is at the tip of West New Britain facing Siassi Island of Morobe Province.
Well, without further ado, let me get into attitude of some of the nurses not only in Kilenge but at other centre’s where I have worked.
“Morning sista!” No response. Her face was as dull as the black clouds above about to let off rainwater. Her lips pouted.
IN the outer regions of Simbu Province are schools in rugged terrain which are accessible only by Toyota LandCruiser.
But this was no hindrance for Francis Nii and me on our drive to Kewamugl Lutheran High School in the early morning of Monday 18 August.
It took us two hours of bumping through the gorges of Jiwaka and Simbu Province to reach the school, located on the border of Mid-Waghi and Kuman languages villages. It’s a small school with about 250 students.
We entered the school precinct at 12 noon as the bell rang for lunch hour. The students on their way to the mess for lunch were caught by surprise as we made our way across their superb lawn.
Suddenly, the head of the English department, Josephine Peter appeared and told the students to convene at the assembly ground. She informed them that they had visitors on campus to talk about writing.
We sat beneath one of the huge pine trees while the students headed in our direction.
THE Ningil Friends of Nano are an enthusiastic and committed group of women, men and youths in the picturesque highlands of the Sandaun Province of Papua New Guinea.
The group, supported by Sr Bernadine Telami, meets regularly to pray, share and reflect on the Gospel and life and work of Nano Nagle and the Presentation Sisters.
The growing awareness of human rights and justice encourages the Friends of Nano to seek ways of acting to make a difference within their community.
The prevailing cultural practices and attitudes of the Papua New Guinea society can either hinder or support an expression of human rights.
PAPUA New Guinea had not gained its independence from Australia when I arrived in Port Moresby in early 1974 to join the newsroom of the then recently created National Broadcasting Commission of PNG.
I was on secondment from the ABC and had the enormous privilege of being able to watch and report from close up PNG's emergence as a nation in September 1975.
OVER recent months, a few morsels of information have come to light suggesting that the financial situation is tightening around the government of Papua New Guinea.
Now with the benefit of the Treasury’s mid-year report we have a much clearer picture. As expected, it’s not pretty.
What we see is a government struggling to play by its own fiscal rules and to deliver on its own budget. It’s not obvious how long the country can safely continue down this path.
The Treasury report confirms that low commodity prices have caused revenues to undershoot expectations. Dwindling mining and petroleum tax revenues are the main cause.
THE Crocodile Prize was first awarded in 2011 and has been a nurturing force for Papua New Guinea's writers. KEITH JACKSON, co-founder of the Prize, told the ABC’s LIAM COCHRANE how it all began….
JACKSON – [The Prize was initiated] to ensure there was some incentive and recognition for creative writing in PNG. There had been, around the time of independence, a great burgeoning of literature in PNG – poetry, short stories, memoirs, histories – but, over the years there was no structure to support it and there was no publishing industry, so it really faded away.
In 2010, Phil Fitzpatrick, an Australian author and former patrol officer in PNG, and I got talking and wondered whether we might be able to do something to fix it.
COCHRANE – And since those early days, how have things developed?
BOUGAINVILLE Copper Limited (BCL) has told representatives of Panguna mine-affected landowners that it welcomes direct dialogue between parties as well as collective discussion through the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee (JPNCC).
Some representatives of the nine mine-related landowner groups that met in Buka last Friday at a regular meeting of the JPNCC said they would like informal contact with BCL to raise issues not covered by the JPNCC’s terms of reference.
The JPNCC is responsible for a range of activities including environmental, social and economic studies and the reconciliation process known as belkol.
DOOLAN ACTING DC: SHOCK TRANSFER!
Former Kundiawa District officer, Mr LJ Doolan, has been transferred to Goroka as Acting District Commissioner. This surprise move has come on the eve of the Goroka Show, the big social and commercial occasion of the year in the Eastern Highlands and leaves Mr Doolan with the turmoil and hectic organisation of the final week before the Show.
Mr Doolan was accompanied to Goroka by his wife Robin and children terry and Margret. He replaces former Acting District Commissioner, Mr O Mathieson who left suddenly for Australia following the death of his father.
Mr Doolan came to Kundiawa from Samarai in May 1963 and, even during this short time of administration, the town has progressed no small distance. His impact as Acting DC should resound right through the Eastern Highlands.
SO here I was at Mirsey health sub-centre in the Ambunti area of the upper Sepik. There was no oxygen, the hydrocortisone and salbutamol had run out and even the manual foot pump for nebulising the patient was malfunctioning.
Martin, my patient, was developing severe shortness of breath and was cyanosed due to lack of oxygen. Even the antibiotics had not helped. He was restless and gasping for air.
I tried to resuscitate him but failed. He needed anti-asthma drugs to revive him. The only option was to refer him to Boram hospital in Wewak - 14 hours by dinghy along the main Sepik River and then by ambulance to Wewak.
After sorting out the fuel and the boat operator we trundled off following a tributary of the Sepik. Due to low water levels and submarine tree stumps, we could not travel at speed.
At seven o’clock in the night my patient Martin told me to stop and turn back to the health centre. I hesitated. My aim was to save his life.
IN 1953 I was posted to Hollandia (now Jayapura) as a Dutch East Indies Army Signals Intelligence (Sigint) Officer.
We needed to know if Australia and the United States would support us (the Dutch Government) in bringing West Papua to independence.
As we learnt from our intelligence intercepts, the two countries pretended to support the Dutch but did not do so in practice.
I was working as a freshly minted E-Course teacher in the Sepik District when Rockefeller disappeared in 1961 and took a great interest in the case which, ultimately, took a more concrete form in 1962 when I was posted to Vanimo not far across the border from Hollandia.
As it happened, the Hollandia Yacht Club made occasional sailing excursions to Vanimo where I met them and discussed the still hot topic of Rockefeller’s disappearance.
THE Frieda Mine project is Papua New Guinea’s largest reported copper, gold and silver resource. The value of the copper alone, not counting , gold and silver, is about $US75 billion and an investment of $6 billion is required to realise this.
This is the resource that Pan Aust Ltd said it will pay $125 million to own. It has put down $25 million as deposit and will pay another $50 million by the end of 2015 after it has taken control of the mine. The balance will follow later.
On Monday of last week, Pan Aust announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that the condition precedent of the September 2013 deed of sale with Glencore had been satisfied allowing the sale to proceed. The condition referred to was approval from the PNG government.
CHAIRMAN of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), Peter Taylor (pictured), has been reported by Radio Australia as saying parent company Rio Tinto may yet return to Bougainville.
In an earlier statement, Rio said it would review its majority stake in its subsidiary BCL.
The Australian newspaper reported this morning that this meant Rio was “likely to quit” its 53.8% stake in Bougainville Copper.
But in a more nuanced statement Mr Taylor told Radio Australia he's optimistic a solution can be found.
"One can't pre-empt what the outcome of that study is," he said, referring to the Rio review.
RIO Tinto is likely to quit its 53.8% stake in Bougainville Copper (BOC) after the listed subsidiary was stripped of its mining rights to the abandoned Panguna copper/gold mine in Papua New Guinea.
Panguna was abandoned in 1989 because of attacks on the operation by secessionist rebels on Bougainville island.
The response by Rio to the recent stripping of Bougainville Copper’s right to mine under new mining legislation passed by the Autonomous Bougainville Government is to “review all options’’ for its BCL stake.
That prompted speculation that Rio could look to gift its BCL stake to charitable foundations, as it did recently with a project in Alaska, or hand the interest to a trust for the long-lasting benefit of the local people.
THERE may be a war of words occurring around the transitional mining legislation passed through Bougainville's parliament last week, but the good news is that we now have our own law to deal with mining in the province.
Of course, mining has been a controversial issue on Bougainville since the 1960s. We all know it sparked a crisis that cost many Bougainvilleans their lives.
Observing the protests over the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) creating this mining law, both sides seem to have good reason for argument: Bougainville has ambiguous problems within which Papua New Guinea is the catalyst.
In his 1997 doctoral thesis, Dr Jerry Semos stated plainly that “in 1964, an Australian mining company, Conzinc Riotinto of Australia (CRA) came to Bougainville, uninvited.”
This poem is dedicated to all my sisters in Papua New Guinea, inspired by what is happening to females who are subjected to violence, sexual harassment and bullying. I just hope one day soon we can enjoy our freedom in PNG without always looking over our shoulders
She be walking down the street
Her bag grasped tightly to her bosom
In fear of being mugged
Almost running even on a sunny day
What would it take?
For her to enjoy a lone walk without being chased by fear
Little girl be walking to school
Clueless of the danger around
Friendly and chatty to everyone but one
Friend or foe
What would it take?
For a little girl to not grow up in fear
The Crocodile Prize offers annual awards to recognise Papua New Guinea’s best writing. Reporting for the ABC’s Correspondents Report, LIAM COCHRANE caught up with one of this year’s winners, Diddie Kinamun Jackson, on her lunch break from a meat canning company outside Port Moresby.
I sit and wrote and wrote into the moonlight / up on the cold hard rock / writing stories of the dreamtime / Stories passed down and so whole like time itself / Pondering out into the dim firelight / straining my mind just to write down everything / to preserve the story as best I could.
LIAM COCHRANE: That's the poetry of Diddie Kinamun Jackson, the winner of the poetry section of Papua New Guinea's Crocodile Prize this year. We're sitting here by a river; it sort of reminds me a little bit of the mood that you evoke in your poem. And yet you've just taken a break from your job at the Bully Beef canning factory. It's quite a different kind of environment. What is it that makes you write poetry?
It was 24 years ago when mama conceived you
From a shapeless mass of flesh and fluid
You grew into an infant where she and I
Welcomed into this world on fifth July
You were everything to us since that day
When mama called to say she came off pain
You were born weighing no more than a kilo
I brought you napkins and bright fluffy pillows
Years sweep by and here you are graduating
After four years and a Degree in Accounting
We didn’t expect you’d be such a fine young lady
Accomplishing many things that’d make us happy
I am not inclined to adopt a position on the valid questions posed by PNG Attitude commenters regarding measuring the results of the Australian Federal Police deployment in Papua New Guinea and whether it represents 'value for money'.
This is because, although I have been working with the AFP during my couple of shifts a week as an RPNGC [Police] reservist, my observations are those of an outsider who is not the object of their attention.
I have got to know about a dozen of the 30-odd officers who work in Port Moresby, either at Police Headquarters, Boroko Divisional Headquarters, around the suburban stations and at Bomana Police College.
THE Simbu Writers Association’s initiative to host an annual literary competition for secondary school students was endorsed at the Head Teachers’ Annual Conference in Kundiawa last Thursday.
Chairperson Mr Pinaga invited SWA members to make a one-hour presentation before the meeting.
Ku High School principal Ware Mukale spoke as did Mathias Kin and Francis Nii.
Among the matters brought forward were the importance of reading, writing and speaking English outside the classroom environment as a way to improve the appalling decline in language skills in PNG schools over the last 5-10 years.
“WE will stand like the rock and soar like the eagle. Eagles do not flock, they soar alone and are respected by all below. They are the epitome of a leader.”
So said PNG Party leader Belden Norman Namah after the Post-Courier reported unbelievable news: ‘Opposition down to two-men band’.
Mr Namah also said he is encouraged by the statement that “one man with God is a majority”.
Sam Basil, who was until Friday the deputy leader of the PNG Party, decided it was time to move on to become the leader and sole parliamentary member of PNG’s oldest political party, PANGU, replacing former Angoram Open MP, the late Ludwig Schulze who passed away last year.
This left Mr Namah as the only remaining parliamentary member of the PNG Party.
A World Bank Group report says that eight in ten businesses in Papua New Guinea suffer substantial losses and security costs as a result of high rates of crime and violence, slowing business expansion and hampering the country’s economic development.
More than 80% of 135 companies surveyed said their business decisions are negatively influenced by the country’s law and order situation, with crime significantly increasing the cost of doing business.
The expense of avoiding criminal damage limits firms’ ability to grow, deters start-ups, and imposes significant long-term social costs on the country.
“Crime in Papua New Guinea constrains businesses and threatens to put the brakes on the economy,” said Carolyn Blacklock, Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the member of the World Bank Group that focuses on private sector development in emerging markets.
YOUNG mother Grace Tambor could have died but for a final year rural Health Extension Officer (HEO) student from Divine Word University who delivered a first born child on the high seas between Rai Coast and Madang town.
HEO student Margaret Kalisi said Grace was in labour when she was rushed to a local clinic where she and her colleagues were as part of their 10-week rural health centre practical engagement.
Margaret said Grace, from Biliau in the Rai Coast District, was due to deliver her first child on Wednesday 6 August at the local clinic, however the baby was in breech footling position posing a risk for both mother and child.
She said the health officer in charge of the clinic was in Madang and so she was prompted to act in the emergency.
“There were no supervisors at the clinic so I decided we should further seek help,” said the health student.
Margaret said she made a decision to escort Grace from Biliau by dinghy to Modilon General Hospital in Madang town – a three hour trip on the high seas.
In pursuit of his Master’s degree at Auckland University of Technology last year, Dev Capey submitted a thesis entitled Blogging for social change in Papua New Guinea: A case study investigation of The Namorong Report. Plucked off the net by an eagle-eyed Martyn Namorong, you can read the complete thesis online. In this extract, minus the citations, we reproduce Mr Capey’s analysis of the role and functions of PNG Attitude
NINE of [Martyn] Namorong's July  posts were syndicated, or 're-blogged', on PNG Attitude (asopa.typepad.com).
Almost all of them were his longer, more carefully developed posts: seven essays, one piece of political commentary, and one anonymous post featuring an environmental report, were all re-blogged on PNG Attitude in July.
Farrell and Drezner argue that within spheres of blogs with common interests, certain blogs become 'elite' blogs and subsequently become important nodes of activity in that blogosphere.
All blogs are a networked phenomenon that rely on hyperlinks and recommendations from fellow users: "blogs interact with each other continuously, linking back and forth, disseminating interesting stories, arguments and points of view".
Elite blogs, however, are often aggregators of content, and demand the most attention in a particular area of interest. In the PNG context, Keith Jackson's blog, PNG Attitude, fits that mould.
TWENTY-five public servants from various government agencies started classes at Divine Word University in Madang this week.
They will be on campus for two weeks for the residential component of their program before returning to their workplaces with assignments to do during the semester.
The Secretary of the Department of Personnel Management, John Kali (pictured), was on campus late July to pay tuition and boarding fees for public servants studying under the Public Sector Workforce Development Program (PSWDP).
Mr Kali confirmed that 13 officers were enrolled for Master of Public Administration degree and 12 were enrolled for the Bachelor of Public Administration degree.
The programs were developed by DWU and introduced in 2011 following the government’s request for help in building an effective workforce.
This poem is dedicated to all Papua New Guineans who love our unique, beautiful and culturally diverse country as we are now faced by the stunning forces of globalisation in this 21st century….
In the days of our forefathers
In the days of hunters and gatherers
In the days of our own world view
We lived in communal societies
We shared the common good
We shared the blood shed together
We were hit by the surprise wave of colonisation
European expansion at our doorstep
A new chapter and a new world view
‘Savage Harvest’ by Carl Hoffman, Text Publishing, 2014, 336 pp, paperback, $32.99
THERE’S been a short story, a novel, a play, a film and a rock song (by Guadalcanal Diary, 1984) about the November 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, scion of the wealthy and influential US family, who seemed to vanish without trace on the remote south-west coast of what today is Indonesian Papua.
In that same month 50 years ago, with the mystery generating headlines even in my home town of Nowra, I’d just been accepted into the Australian School of Pacific Administration in Sydney to train for two years to teach in Papua New Guinea.
I was eager to escape the tedium of a country town but trepidatious about the risks that decision might entail. The 23-year old Rockefeller’s disappearance in inhospitable Asmat territory sharpened that concern.
I awoke in the men’s house in the misty mountains of Yongos in Simbu Province. Today I would begin my search for a vanished Sepik crocodile. It was 5:30 on a Friday morning in January 2009.
I crawled sleepily from the cane bed towards the fire place to warm my numb body. I did it reluctantly, not knowing what to do next.
A thought came into my mind. I looked through the door with a burning knowledge that I had to move to an unknown destination.
I moved slowly towards the open door. And I set off empty hand without telling my dear mum what was in my mind.
I regretted leaving my loved ones, but I was filled with enthusiasm for a long journey into an unknown paradise.
WHATEVER the Pacific’s been doing until now, it hasn’t been working.
Overall economic growth in Papua New Guinea, leaving aside the LNG project, has been lacklustre. And the same applies in other Pacific states.
World Bank data shows that in 1980, just after most countries became independent, merchandise trade in Pacific Island small states was 88.8% of GDP.
Twenty-two years later, in 2012, it had actually fallen to 76.5%. In the rest of the world, it rose from 35.2% to 50% of GDP over the same period.
The main challenges are transport costs, including shipping both internationally and domestically, as well as energy, finance, infrastructure and costs resulting from a lack of domestic competition.
THERE’S been coverage in the Papua New Guinea press and in parts of the social media, but one of the most important and interesting stories of the year in PNG has been pretty much underdone.
And this concerns a major new piece of mining legislation passed by the Bougainville House of Representatives last Friday.
There were three significant Bougainville political contributions to the public debate on the bill: the first being a speech by Autonomous Bougainville Government, President John Momis (pictured), on the day the Bougainville Mining (Transitional Arrangements) Bill 2014 passed through parliament.
The other contributions - by ABG Finance Minister Albert Punghau and Natural Resources Minister Michael Oni – were delivered three days before the passage of the mining bill to the first meeting of the 65 member Panguna Negotiations Forum.
LESS than 10 minutes drive from beautiful Madang town near where the north coast road passes by RD Tuna Canners is the popular Dalep market.
From the market to the west the road leads all the way up to Nobnob village. Further still, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) sits at the top of the single mountain, which is obvious even from Madang.
You would never miss the market when travelling up the road towards the long-established SIL.
Dalep market was built by the North Ambenob local level government for the people to sell cash crops and other produce. But unfortunately now the people have to find another venue.
The market - once busy and open to locals and settlers – has been surrounded by a wire fence. It seems a security company is purchasing the land from the papagraun (landowners).
THE Australian NRL has launched a Pacific Strategy to strengthen rugby league and build stronger business and community ties in the Pacific Islands.
NRL chief executive, Dave Smith, said the Pacific Islands – Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea – will play a crucial part in the game’s future.
He said there was great potential to develop closer ties with government and business connections in the Pacific and build closer community relations through rugby league.
THE Pacific Solution emerged as a policy of the Australian government under prime minister John Howard’s regime.
The policy aims at transporting asylum seekers to detention centres in small independent states within the Pacific region rather than allowing them to settle in mainland Australia.
When the policy was first introduced in 2001, it had bipartisan support from both the Liberal-National government and Labor opposition of the time.
The Australian government has a big problem on its hands with the influx of boats carrying people from different ethnic backgrounds who seek asylum in Australia.
Some asylum seekers are genuine, while others are searching for a better life. The Australian government needed to find an avenue to deal with the influx and accordingly introduced the Pacific Solution.
I wish you could see what I am seeing now mama
I thought of how you would react
And a teary smile escapes my eyes
The sweat you put into this child
As paid off in many colourful journeys
I hear your voice on the other side of the line
It has been a silly habit that I call to lift your spirit from this far
I think of how I will savour every detail
And later re live the experience with you over a betel nut conversation
The pictures I take are still now.
But soon they will come alive too
I am a story teller
I am a time traveller
NEXT year promises to be a year that will redefine Papua New Guinea’s history and place within the Pacific region and the global economy.
Already PNG’s growing influence in the region is attracting attention from some of the world’s largest economies. The government for its part has already lined up a series of events to showcase to the world the new PNG it is planning to hatch in 2015.
The government is hoping to portray an image of a nation that is well and truly in the midst of an economic revolution.
The biggest project in its short history as a nation, the PNG LNG project, is forecast to bump up the GDP growth to 21% annually.
THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and his wife Caroline arrived in Port Moresby, last Saturday as part of a 10-day visit to Anglican provinces in the Philippines and Oceania.
The trip forms part of the Archbishop’s plan to visit all his fellow primates in the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office.
On Saturday morning, Archbishop Justin met privately with the Archbishop of Papua New Guinea, the Most Rev Clyde Igara, and also met diocesan bishops.
On Saturday evening he spoke at the launch dinner of the Anglicare Foundation, the social outreach arm of the Anglican Church in PNG working mainly with people affected by HIV/AIDS.
This week the Archbishop is also visiting Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific countries.
MOST places in the Highlands area of Papua New Guinea are battling hard to maintain the two-plus wives tradition: a norm people liked having within their societies.
Of the many cultural norms and practices, polygamy plays a pivotal role in Highlands societies. The tradition has been inherited through the generations until this modern era.
Men with more than a wife are seen as leaders with important roles in the community. However the concept is changing in the Highlands and on the coast.
The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2014, Phil Fitzpatrick (ed), $US13.50 (postage c $6.00), 512 pages, obtain from Amazon here
THE Crocodile Prize, now in its fourth year, is the annual literary contest of Papua New Guinea.
It offers a variety of awards for short stories, essays and poetry, the best of which are published in an annual Anthology.
The 2014 Anthology at more than 500 pages is the biggest yet and the quality of the writing the best we've seen from this 7 million strong South Pacific nation.
PAPUA New Guinea's prime minister Peter O’Neill has expressed disappointment in the manner in which the Ombudsman Commission has referred him to the Public Prosecutor.
Mr O'Neill has been referred on three allegations related to his move earlier this year to direct the acquisition of a controversial $US1.1 billion state loan from the Swiss bank, UBS.
The Ombudsman alleges the government did not follow proper processes in acquiring the loan to purchase shares in Oil Search Ltd.
ONCE more Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is in the headlines, after the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) passed transitional mining legislation that seemingly continues the momentum towards the re-opening of the Panguna mine.
The legislation has provoked strong condemnation from the landowning communities that will be directly impacted by the mine’s prospective reopening. They fear BCL’s return is now unstoppable.
Bougainville’s President John Momis has dismissed this opposition on Radio Australia; he claims it is being stirred up by certain backdoor mining interests.
While it is hard to know whether a particular individual has or has not signed a MOU, as Momis claims, the vast majority of people in the mine affected areas have no interest whatsoever in these backdoor players.
A former head of Papua New Guinea's defence force says efforts to rebuild the army are floundering for a lack of political will.
Major General Jerry Singirok says plans to grow the capacity of the force are being held back by the government's failure to repatriate and pay hundreds of retrenched soldiers dating back to 1999.
PNG released a defence white paper last year amid announcements by defence minister Fabian Pok that personnel numbers would be built from 2,000 to 5,000 in four years. However the numbers remain largely static and General Singirok says the military's operational preparedness is dire.
"In all aspects - mobility, logistics, just general administration, general discipline - it's at its lowest,” he said. “There's absolutely no political will. The minister for defence can say what he wants but if cabinet doesn't support what he's saying, it's only as good as a political speech."
I appreciate and commend the PM O’Neill Foundation and its employees for working hard to meet its legal requirement and raising funds to support and sustain the foundation and achieving its objectives.
But I also feel that most non-government organisations, especially civil society organisations, that require the same level of support and commitment from business houses, government agencies and individual MPs, should be accorded it.
My reason for being sympathetic to other NGOs is because none of the founders of these organisations occupy a privileged position equivalent to that of the founder of the O’Neill Foundation.
They do not command the attention of high profile individuals who can donate huge sums of money on behalf of themselves, their families or their organisations.
A funeral mass will be held at St Peters Church at Erima in Port Moresby today for popular television journalist Jerry Ginua who died last week.
Mr Ginua was born in Baliau village on Manam Island and attended St Mary’s Primary School in Bieng, completing Grade 10 at Malala High School.
He spent three years studying for the priesthood at Kap Minor Seminary in Madang (1985-87) before continuing his studies with the Dominican Order in Bomana.
After undertaking a pastoral year at the Catholic Communication Centre in Goroka in 1993 he left the Dominican Order, joining EMTV News in 1995 and transferring to Kundu 2 TV in 2009 as news producer.
BOUGAINVILLE will not move along the path of advancement with the current notion of ‘dancing to the PNG and BCL tune’. The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) should step outside the box and streamline the politics in a way that meets with public approval.
Bougainville is not a fragile state. In the 2008 paper, A Promising Liaison: Kastom and State in Bougainville, Volker Boege argued:
‘Although, state institutions on Bougainville are still rather weak, it is misleading to see Bougainville as a fragile state. It is instead a hybrid political order in the process of state formation. This process is driven by actors and institutions not only from the realm of the state, but also from the customary sphere and civil society.’
JULIANNA WAEDA | PNG Loop
A Port Moresby based radio announcer has been arrested and charged by Port Moresby police for broadcasting misleading information over the weekend.
The 30-year old from the Western Highlands went on air last week commenting on the lack of a report about the joint Australian Federal Police and Royal PNG Constabulary police operations.
Bawa said media personalities should refrain from making unsubstantiated comments or jokes that could be detrimental to regional and national operations.
He said an announcer was formally charged on Friday and should appear in court this week. He added that he plans to get in touch with media organisations to advise them to be more strict about their on-air content in order to avoid such incidents.
THE Crocodile Prize is Papua New Guinea’s one and only national literary contest. In fact as one of its organisers has observed, ‘Only one out of 22 provinces is not represented in the competition entries’.
That says a lot about the importance of literature to different people and about the potential of PNG writers to produce work which is of relevance in contemporary culture.
It has been only four years since its inception but, with the efforts of many writers, editors, organisers, sponsors, readers and supporters, the Crocodile Prize has swum against the currents of time and tempest.
The Prize began in 2011 and last year presented organisational challenges even though 2012 was considered a watershed year in the turnout of written works.