HARD on the heels of action by Oro governor Gary Juffa to crack down on corrupt practices, the provincial treasury (pictured) was broken into again last week in what is believed to be retaliation for efforts to clean out crooked elements in the Oro public service.
Governor Juffa said the most recent crime was unusual because the office contained no cash or valuables. But there was much information included in the files that might lead to fraudulent activity being identified.
He said it was suspicious that the break-in occurred soon after the new provincial treasurer had tightened processes and had demanded accountability and that proper procedures be followed.
CLAIMS that indigenous Australians and Papua New Guineans are the most ancient continuous civilisations on Earth have been backed by the first extensive study of their DNA, which dates their origins to more than 50,000 years ago.
Scientists were able to trace the remarkable journey made by intrepid ancient humans by sifting through clues left in the DNA of modern populations in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The analysis shows that their ancestors were probably the first humans to cross an ocean, and reveals evidence of prehistoric liaisons with an unknown hominin cousin.
Prof Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist who led the work at the University of Copenhagen, said: “This story has been missing for a long time in science. Now we know their relatives are the guys who were the first real human explorers.
IN previous articles I’ve discussed the prospect of establishing autonomous provinces and an upper house in the national parliament as providing a restraint on endemic and crippling corruption in Papua New Guinea.
In the course of researching the case for provincial autonomy, I looked at arguments supporting both centralised and decentralised government as well as the relationship between the two.
In looking at an upper house, I considered arguments for both unicameral (single chamber) and bicameral (lower and upper house) governments and combinations of both.
THE MOSTLY quiet corner of Kundiawa town that is home to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital last week came alive with the beating of kundus, singing and dancing as over 3,000 people celebrated its second open day.
The event marked the hospital’s proud track record of community service and development in both its clinical and non-clinical areas under the management of CEO Mathew Kaluvia (in suit).
The activities took place in the outpatient area in which each unit of the hospital had its own stall where staff conducted displays and exhibitions.
The crowd was eager and amazed at some of the displays, especially weird looking surgical tools they had never imagined before. ‘This is just amazing,” said Jane, a guardian from Jiwaka Province.
DO YOU remember the anecdote, much quoted by United Nations personnel in days of yore, that you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day; but if you teach him how to fish you’ll feed the village for a lifetime?
Unlike many gratuitous adages, there’s a lot of wisdom in that one.
There was a hint of it in author Daniel Kumbon’s recent suggestion that Australia send English teachers to Papua New Guinea to promote literacy rather than giving the government aid funds to squander or boomerang back to Australia.
BOUGAINVILLE’S president John Momis has said many of Papua New Guinea’s politicians are ill-prepared for public office and “Christians in name only”.
The president was speaking at a ceremony in South Bougainville in which the Autonomous Bougainville Government provided a K350,000 grant to the United Church as part of its drive to recognise churches as important development partners.
“A Christian leader must live by Christian principles; the end does not justify the means,” D r Momis said.
The grant was given in conjunction with the 100 year celebrations of the United Church in the Siwai District.
President John Momis commended the United Church in Bougainville for reaching this milestone in the history of the denomination.
Despot toddler with a pot of honey
Using Haus Tambaran like a dunny
So smart and cunning to take our money
Lawyer’s gowns are the skirts of your mummy
Poor academics wave you blow-kisses
From underfunded ivory towers
Trammelled airmen join unemployed masses
But now you know that some will not cower
FIJI is a developing country with a population of less than a million, of which 90% are traditional rural villagers who live close to the coast.
Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner followed by remittances coming back from Fijians overseas.
One-third of Fiji’s 332 islands are inhabited and geographical isolation is an important influence on the country’s economic development potential.
According to the fifth assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change, natural disasters in Fiji are increasing in frequency and intensity.
I’VE JUST read an interesting paper by Peter Sandery entitled A Federalism for the Future: The Three State Approach, in which he proposes a radical reorganisation of political representation in Australia.
I don’t claim to understand the intricacies of Australian politics. To me it is a great lumbering, overfed beast with many heads and limbs, the functions of which are at best obscure.
Also, like many people in Australia, I have necessarily become apolitical of late.
There are a couple of points in Peter’s argument that have resonance for Papua New Guinea.
FOR decades the issues of climate change was shrugged off as nothing more than a natural phenomenon. It took a long time to get the world to pay attention.
Not until we began to witness the irreversible loss and damage in our backyard did we start to wonder if there was more to it.
Now we observe nature reacting often harshly to unsustainable development and the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. But, from corporate giants in the fossil fuel industry, we still hear the propaganda that this is a myth.
When you consider what the planet is facing, it seems unthinkable that effective action at industry and corporate level has been underplayed for decades. Inaction shrouded in lies of unfathomable magnitude.
THE LAST red yellow rays of the sun dip behind the hills of Ensisi Valley and cut through the leaves of the fig tree crouching over a long green rectangular structure.
This is the building that houses the Papua New Guinean Anglicare headquarters along Koura Way in Port Moresby,
Flowers line up neatly on the footpath and young palm branches stoop low to the ground, creating an exquisite home for diverse insects that buzz around in assorted voices.
Wild flowers speckle the base of a few young Acacia and Melaleuca trees that in the heat of the day, cast a dense wide shade over what looks like a nature garden.
"I THOUGHT Papua New Guinea was a democratic nation which our Constitution gives the right to its citizens to voice any government issues that pose a threat to our economy and the overall governing of this nation,” Raymond Timothy Singamis told the Fly River Forum website yesterday.
“Now look what is happening.”
Raymond was reacting to Air Niugini’s sacking of eight pilots who had staged a political protest against prime minister Peter O'Neill in the period leading to a parliamentary no confidence vote a couple of months back.
My own response, which I aired in a series of comments on Twitter, was similar to Raymond’s.
YOU CAN tell a lot about someone by what they read, almost as much as you can tell by what they don’t read.
When I go into someone’s office or house I usually take a quick peek at what’s on their bookshelves. It’s a great way to quickly work out what sort of person you are dealing with.
Asking someone what they are currently reading is not only a handy way to strike up a conversation but a good method of establishing a whole range of telling information about them.
Occasionally the media will tell you what our political leaders are reading. Their choices are a good indicator of their character.
Or at least that’s the way it used to be. Now it’s somewhat different.
I have nightmares about being stuck somewhere without something to read. Sadly, it doesn’t bother many people anymore.
I WAS reading this week of the celebration of the 80th birthday of Father John Glynn at the Jubilee Secondary School in Port Moresby.
Headmistress Bernadette Ove said Fr Glynn has done so many things for the school in the past 15 years that they wanted to honour his contribution by naming an award for him.
And so each year the Fr John Glynn Resilience Award will be offered to a Grade 12 student who displays spirit and strength in their study despite all odds.
The award will be presented for the first time this year during the Grade 12 graduation in October.
WESTERN Highlands governor and former prime minister Paias Wingti has warned Papua New Guinea’s politicians not to interfere with the office of the Electoral Commissioner.
He made the call following reports that a cabinet ministers and other members of the parliament had made visits to the Electoral Commission in an attempt to influence the appointment of returning officers.
The PNG Post-Courier newspaper reported that Wingti urged Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, who will conduct the 2017 national election, to carry out his duties without fear or favour in the most transparent and honest manner.
URBANISATION in Papua New Guinea raises difficult questions about ethics, morality, social and economic inclusion and various other issues.
On a blistering hot Friday morning recently, Francis Nii, Daniel Kumbon and I arrived at the gated compound at Islander Village in Port Moresby.
I got there half an hour earlier so I could guide my fellow writers and journalists to the reception area.
OPPOSITION leader Don Polye says people want answers from prime minister Peter O’Neill as to why Catholic Church-run health facilities around Papua New Guinea have been forced to close their doors.
Polye said this after the church attributed the closure of facilities due to a shortage of funds.
“The prime minister has been boasting about the free-health care policy and its adequate funding,” Polye said.
“A few weeks ago the health minister staged a publicity stunt and said funds for church-run hospitals have been restored.
An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize
With this love that I have loved you,
love me back, but just a little more.
With this kiss that I’m kissing you,
kiss me softly till we part no more,
till thoughts and time make us whole.
In this moment of memories,
let me rest in the sanctum of your
Heart, let me dream in the recess
of your Soul.
And if Fate should cast a shadow
over this September moonlight,
I’ll ask the ocean to steal its glow
and make the heavens our candlelight
while with the twinkles of Virgo,
my Heart, I crown my
IN THE early 1990s, the head of a co-ed residential college at the University of Melbourne faced two allegations of indecent assault.
Dr Colin Shepherd was accused by a student of having put his hand on her breast while they were dancing at a party. The second complaint (also by a female student) alleged that Dr Shepherd did the same, this time in his office when the doors were locked.
The events unfolding from these allegations form the basis of Helen Garner’s critique of society’s unbalanced relationship of gender and power in her non-fiction work, The First Stone.
Garner asks why, in such instances where women are subjected to unwanted and offensive behaviour by men, the first reaction is often silence and inaction rather than immediately verbalising rage or fear to the perpetrator.
Hovering around students’ initial response was the notion of ‘mysterious passivity’.
THE CREATION of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville following the civil war and now the push for autonomy by the Governor of New Ireland Julius Chan raise interesting questions and also highlight the inherent problems of having a centralised national government in Papua New Guinea.
In theory, the combination of various service improvement funds disbursed by the government at local, district and provincial levels, together with the effective discharge of functions by ministers in charge of education, health and infrastructure, should work well.
This is especially so when you consider that - with the combined revenue that the government receives from a range of sources, including tax, resource royalties and overseas aid - there is plenty of money available to fund just about all Papua New Guinea’s rural and urban needs with a bit left over.
SCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My Country | Edited
ONGOING reform in the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) is aimed at rebuilding it with a greater focus on regional security.
Among the objectives are the expansion of the recently-opened Joint Services College into a regional security training centre to cater for the training needs of other countries within the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) countries as well as the relocation of the Lae-based engineering battalion.
“Under MSG arrangements we have an obligation to support our neighbours,” said PNGDF Commander, Major General Gilbert Toropo.
In the case of the Solomon Islands crisis, there was a heavy dependence on Australia as the main regional partner. Australia funded the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) which included members of the PNGDF.
I HAVE been listening to my wife, Julie’s, daily prayers to God in the Enga language in the privacy of our hotel rooms in Noosa, Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns over the action-packed two weeks we were in Australia.
All this was made possible by the inaugural McKinnon-Paga Hill Development Company fellowship scheme, PNG Attitude and many other friends of Papua New Guinea.
One morning in Brisbane, I heard Julie plead with God to make Keith Jackson’s spinal operation successful and when we heard in Sydney that it had indeed gone well and that Keith was ready to go back to Noosa, Julie was elated and thanked God again that night.
Reputation at Risk by Alex Harris, $30 incl postage (or $10 digital version emailed to you), 152 pp, paperback, ISBN 9780980620603. Available here from Alex Harris
SEVERAL years ago, occasional PNG Attitude commentator, Alex Harris, born in Papua New Guinea and supporter of all things Papua New Guinean, published a short book called Reputation at Risk.
In the book, Alex (pictured here with Martyn Namorong in Noosa recently) pointed out the value and necessity of corporations maintaining a good reputation.
In many respects what she said is equally applicable to government.
ST MARY’S Asitavi Secondary School is one of the most respected high schools in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
In the presence of Bougainville's President John Momis, the all-girl secondary school recently celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (60th Anniversary) in a three-day event to commemorate the legacy of a school that has had a long and colourful history.
The school was founded in 1956 by the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary amidst much controversy, as the practice of having an all-female institution was not entirely accepted in those days.
IN SYDNEY, our Papua New Guinean visitors, Daniel Kumbon, his wife Julie and Martyn Namorong, along with Ben Jackson, their tour manager, were certainly good company.
Last Sunday afternoon, soon after the group’s arrival, we had initial discussions in Sue’s and my apartment as we got to know each other, looked at PNG-published books, scanned the internet with plenty of material recording the breakthrough Brisbane Writers Festival event (expertly photographed) and discussed the state of play in PNG.
Then we excused Ben, who had things to do in Sydney, while we went by car, first to the Opera House and environs, where we spent a lot of time, then to the massive new Barangaroo development on the harbour, in which they took much interest.
PAPUA New Guinea lost a pioneer and good friend when Sir Michael (Mick) Curtain died last Sunday in Townsville hospital.
Sir Mick, owner of civil engineering and construction company, Curtain Brothers Limited, passed away a few days before PNG’s 41st anniversary of independence.
"We lost a true champion of PNG and a man who dedicated most of his life and resources to our country,” said sports minister Justin Tkatchenko.
THE middle decades of the 20th century saw the emergence of a distinctive modern, Australian intellectual consciousness.
The best and most important strand of this consciousness was internationalist in its orientation and approach, and dedicated to making world affairs intelligible to an increasingly well-educated general public.
Standing in a distinguished line that connects the diplomacy of HV ‘Doc’ Evatt, who helped to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the art criticism of Robert Hughes, and the journalism of John Pilger; Professor Peter King (1936-2016), of the Department of Government at the University of Sydney, who has died after a short illness, embodied the scholarly dimension of this Australian brand of engaged public intellectuality.
Indeed, Peter King blazed a trail by securing what was then a rare and prestigious university post without the standard qualification possessed by most of his peers, of at least one degree from an overseas – usually British or American – seat of learning.
BETWEEN 1984 and 1986 I was chaplain at Holy Trinity Teachers College in Mt Hagen.
The college had male and female students from all over Papua New Guinea. The dormitories for the female students were in the centre of the campus. The dormitories for the male students were further towards the boundary with the adjacent customary land.
Visitors from other teachers colleges and institutions, where female dormitories are usually fenced in, were often surprised to see that the dormitories for the female students at Holy Trinity had no fences around them.
A NATIONWIDE health crisis is imminent in Papua New Guinea’s districts and provinces, especially in the church-run health services, says Oro Governor Garry Juffa.
Gov Juffa said the government had promised to maintain these services, but they have not been funded.
He added that nurses planned to go on strike because they have not been paid on time.
Juffa told Loop PNG that he had met with the Anglican Health Services in Oro Province and was told that they have not received any budget allocations since July.
WHILE yesterday marked Papua New Guinea’s Independence from Australia, West Papua, a province on the same island, continues its struggle for self-governance in one of the least publicised and longest-running independence struggles in the world.
West Papua won its independence from Dutch colonialism in 1963 and was annexed by Indonesia in 1969 as part of a controversial referendum.
That has led to decades of tension between Indonesia and West Papuans, who say the relationship is neo-colonial and fraught with violence, economic exploitation and injustice.
Cover of the Australian National Times Magazine in November 1973, when Papua New Guinea was granted self-government ahead of Independence in 1975. It features a jubilant chief minister Michael Somare, who recognised that full independence was now just around the corner. The rapid journey to political autonomy had been swift and, all these years later, remains a matter of great controversy - did it all happen too early? It doesn't seem like the debate is likely to end any time soon....
PAPUA New Guinea has come a long and tough way: its journey made horrible by its people's adamance, every so often, on breaking its resilience.
Its journey made wearisome by its people's insistence on holding onto waywardness.
Its journey made troublesome by its people's acceptance of corruption. Its journey made worrisome by its indigenous people's reluctance to accepting naturalised citizens.
Its journey made hypocritical by its people's hypocrisy towards Christianity. Its journey made unpredictable by its people's constant promotion of tribalism, provincialism and regionalism.
And its future made gloomy by its people's ignorance about other people's recklessness to become rich.
Now we have reached 16 September 2016, let us remember all the praise and wonderful remarks pertaining to the progress of this nation that is being echoed from podiums, hilltops and rooftops may be nothing but superficial.
PAUL FLANAGAN | Edited extracts
TODAY is Papua New Guinea’s 41st anniversary of Independence, so I will reflect on some aspects of its economic history.
The PNG economy, after allowing for inflation, is 3.3 times larger than in 1975. Many people doubted that this would be possible at the time of Independence given the challenges and uncertainties facing the new country.
This growth is probably clearest in Port Moresby – it is a much more modern city with freeways, flyovers, luxury hotels, traffic jams, pollution, large shopping complexes and many taller buildings downtown.
This in part reflects the strong urban bias of PNG’s economic policies.
AS PAPUA New Guinea marks Independence Day today, Oro Governor Gary Juffa has reminded citizens about why it is vital to reflect more critically on the challenges still faced.
The country is still not independent of corruption, poverty, apathy, hopelessness and inconsideration from Waigani, Governor Juffa said.
“We are glad we are independent and, yes, we have seen developments here and there.
But we must reflect on how far we have come in the last 40 years,” he said.
“We must not be comfortable and say ‘we are independent and we have come far’ because the fact of the matter is that we have not come far enough.”
PNG has grown from strength to strength
Like a child who loses baby teeth
To grow the teen teeth
To prepare for adult age
You have come a long way
Leaving behind toddler days
From teen memories
You can be strong to stand alone
I have seen you ignoring liquid food
You don't want mashed food anymore
A MORE effective foreign policy is needed to strengthen and improve Papua New Guinea’s international ties, says Frank Aisi, deputy secretary for policy, economic and international relations of the prime minister’s department.
Aisi said PNG has diplomatic relations with 56 countries and needs a policy that is strategic in outlook and capable of drawing tangible benefits that complement national development plans.
He stressed that the policy needs to be delivered by a functioning public service that is responsive, knowledge based and attuned to domestic and international issues.
AS A well-travelled visitor to Papua New Guinea, reasonably fluent in the lingua franca and part of the old colonial push, I’m often assumed to have an understanding of the country and its people.
This is thought to be an asset given most Australians’ ignorance of or apathy towards their nearest neighbour.
The same assumption of wisdom is often made about my many years working with indigenous Australians in the outback.
Perhaps I have unwittingly corroborated this view by writing about various cultures and how they interact. I’ve never sought recognition as an expert but that seems to have happened. I’m not alone in this respect.
The truth of the matter is entirely different.
IN JUNE 1972, during the term of the third House of Assembly, then chief minister Michael Somare proposed to appoint a constitutional planning committee to write a constitution for the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
The drafting of a constitution was a requirement before the territory could become an independent state.
Somare recommended that the House set up a select committee on constitutional development to lay out the future of PNG within a “home grown” constitution.
The setting up of the committee was in response to external pressures on the Australian government, especially from the United Nations through the Foot Report, to fast track self-government and independence for the territory.
DEVELOPING the agriculture sector to increase Bougainville’s revenue stream remains one of the foremost prerogatives of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
South Bougainville has taken a lead by developing its primary industries with support from foreign investors who operate on an equal benefit sharing arrangement.
In areas that need more development, the ABG has always encouraged partnerships between locals and credible foreign investors who can contribute meaningfully to Bougainville’s economy.
President John Momis acknowledged initiatives taken by Bougainvillean resource owners in the agriculture sector such as the Tonolei Integrated Agriculture Initiative and the Bana District Development Initiative.
THE attendance at last week’s Brisbane Writers Festival by three Papua New Guinean writers was a brilliant success.
McKinnon – Paga Hill Development Company fellows Francis Nii, Daniel Kumbon and Martyn Namarong travelled from PNG and were joined by Brisbane resident, Rashmii Amoah Bell.
As I watched the four writers so capably and eloquently express themselves during their one-hour session at the Festival, I reflected upon the story of how it had happened.
I would like to relate that history for the record …..
As I read the poetry, prose, fact and fiction in the 2014 Crocodile Prize Anthology, I realised that most of the writers represented were targeting a PNG audience.
SIR HUGH Foot was a member of an influential British family and a British colonial administrator and diplomat.
He was to later preside over moves to give independence to various of the former British colonies and was the United Kingdom representative to the United Nations.
On 27 November 1961, the Trusteeship Council of the UN announced its intention to send a visiting mission to the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. It was commissioned to examine the political, social and economic development in the Trust Territory of New Guinea and was led by Sir Hugh accompanied three other members.
The Foot mission visited many places in the Territory and spoke to many people.
NEW Ireland Governor and former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Julius Chan, has told his Provincial Assembly that the province is ready for autonomy.
Sir Julius said it taken eight years of hard work to transform New Ireland into a self-reliant and self-governing part of PNG that is efficient, market-oriented and internationally competitive.
The only hitch, he said, was that “we have received little official action on our bid for autonomy.
“We are asking only that the spirit and letter of the PNG Constitution be upheld.
PNG books for PNG authors for PNG readers
Many PNG authors cannot afford to buy their own books, so we are auctioning a painting by famed PNG artist Mathias Kauage (1944-2000). Proceeds from the sale of the 116cm square acrylic on canvas, Elekopta fly antap, the gift of Jo Holman, will go to a fund to purchase books by PNG authors, which will then be provided to the authors to distribute.
More information here.
Donate directly to the Holman Book Fund: current total - $1,700
Donations via: Keith Jackson, BSB 082-302, Account 50-650-1355
Donors: Chris Overland; Col Young; Lance Hill; Bob Cleland; Francis Nii; Phil Fitzpatrick, Keith Jackson; Allan Kidston; Rob Parer
Seventy percent of children in Papua New Guinea suffer physical abuse and 50% face family violence, a new report has found.
The study by Save the Children, UNICEF and Doctors without Borders found children in PNG face high levels of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Save the Children's country director for PNG, Jennifer El-Sibai, said the findings were "very concerning".
"The research suggests that sexual violence against children primarily happens within the home, which is very concerning — or at least within the extended family unit," she said.
AFTER the surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army in 1945, an Australian civil administration in Papua and New Guinea took over from the military administration known as the Australia – New Guinea Administrative Unit, ANGAU.
This relevant legislation was the Papua and New Guinea Provisional Administration Act of 1945-46.
Later, the Papua and New Guinea Act of 1949 formally recognised the creation of a single administrative entity in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea under Australian civil rule.
This Act also provided for the creation of a Legislative Council and other areas of administration such as a judicial service, public service and local government.
TWENTY-FOUR people who have lived in Papua New Guinea for more than two decades have been granted citizenship of their adopted country.
Most of the new citizens are businessmen, some married to Papua New Guineans, who have lived in Port Moresby for up to 30 years and wanted themselves and their family to be inducted into the PNG community.
Over the years they had contributed in many ways to the country and had children who were born in PNG and attended schools here, making PNG their home.
SINCE I’ve been a contributor to PNG Attitude I’ve attracted some interesting comments on what I write.
Most of the comments are supportive, but a small proportion are critical. Some people take offence at what I write. They accuse me of being deliberately provocative, baiting, fulminating and even sensationalist.
While the supportive comments are nice it is the critical stuff that I really like reading.
While there is satisfaction in drawing commentators into my little traps, the most important part is the opportunity to engage in genuine debate.
THE CALLS by Pacific small island developing states to curb emissions and reduce climate change impact are gradually being heard post the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The reality is that some of these islands are headed for total annihilation.
A 2014 United Nations report has locked in a 1.3 meter sea level rise over the next 2,000 years, even if we reduce emissions tomorrow.
This was a conservative estimate and other projections suggest that it may already be too late for some populations.
THE curators of an art exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, are urgently looking for Papua New Guinean artists to submit work for the upcoming Sampari Art Show in December.
The submission date is 17 October 2016.
The show, curated and organised by a team of dedicated volunteers from the West Papua Women's Office, is themed 'West Papua' and will feature the art of artists across Melanesia in solidarity with the West Papuan people.
Sampari coordinators in each of the Melanesian nations are working to attract submissions inspired by West Papuans, their geography, cultures, politics, history and environment.