BY KEITH JACKSON
APRIL SAW A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE for contributors to PNG Attitude – for it was last month that the site registered its 10,000th comment. That’s a lot of words by any measure. I estimate about one and a half million.
The content of PNG Attitude stands on two legs: one being the articles (by myself and others) that I post each day; the other, no less important, being the responses, ripostes, rebuffs and rhetoric posted by our readers.
John Fowke observed recently that one reason he is something of a fan of this site is because of the transparency of contributors willing to use their own names in offering their views.
By and large this is true. And I do reject most comments and contributions that bear pseudonyms or false names – except where there may be good reasons to the contrary.
The two key reasons are that the writer’s well-being would be compromised in some way by the use of a real name, or where the contribution is of such substantial value that I am willing to overlook the anonymity of the source.
But these are relatively rare occurrences – and the occasional abusive anonymous comment we receive is always deleted, usually without being read.
And so we turn to a busy month of commentary. To qualify for our league table in April, an article had to score at least 10 published comments – quite a hurdle.
26 – East Sepik declares ‘independence’ from PNG (Keith Jackson). Tim Koeser, former self-styled leader of the World Indigenous Council of Jesus Christ, re-emerged as the no less self-styled President of the East Sepik Interim Government.
16 – Bicamerality: reforming the PNG parliament (Paul Oates). Paul observed that recent events in the PNG parliament revealed glaring deficiencies in the framework that took the nation into Independence in 1975.
15 - Martyn is ready to take the truth to Australia (Keith Jackson). Martyn Namorong, the man whose name is anathema to PNG's The National newspaper, is getting ready to take the truth to Australia.
15 – Is the supreme court a threat to democracy (Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr). The leading lawyer and human rights advocate argued that the constitutional crisis in PNG has been created by certain members of the Supreme Court, not by Peter O’Neill or Michael Somare.
12 – Bougainville stoush: today’s politics or history’s legacy (Keith Jackson). A public dispute erupted between Dr Kris Lasslett, an academic specialising in the social and political impacts of mining, and Axel G Sturm, the president of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper.
12 – Namah’s triumph: PNG to defer elections (Keith Jackson). It looked like a signal victory for deputy prime minister Belden Namah – the wild man of PNG politics - when parliament voted to postpone the national elections for six months. But after some days of confusion, reason prevailed.
11 – Intrigue: the henchmen who sacked the storyboard (Russell Soaba). According to Russell, the anxiety of The National newspaper to rid itself of his Storyboard column began in April 2011 when a new editor was appointed by Star Printing Pty Ltd to head the national daily. One of PNG's leading authors and poets revealed all.
11 – Bougainville outlaws must be brought to justice (Axel G Sturm). "In 2004 I started to invest in Bougainville Copper because an old friend of mine told me about this investment opportunity." Innocent enough words that led to a heated debate on the recent history of this turbulent province.
10 – The circus that is the O’Namah government (Tavurvur). April's mass protest against the deferment of the 2012 general elections and the implementation of the Judicial Conduct Act was "a visibly emphatic and clear message to Peter O’Neill as to how the people of PNG feel about his government’s actions", according to Tavurvur.
10 - The National bans two prominent PNG writers (Keith Jackson). We broke the news of The National's ban on Nou Vada and Russell Soaba, the doyen of PNG literature.
10 – Government ignores Huawei security concerns (Alexander Rheeney). Confidential email correspondence revealed that PNG ambassador to India, Tarcy Eri wrote to then foreign minister Sam Abal in October 2010 to warn that the PNG government should reconsider the engagement of China’s Huawei Technologies on the grounds of national security.