Heavenly match: Ramu beef & Hagen pineapple

Bbq-steak
"For me, the pineapple marinade rump steak took the trophy. The pieces were tender and fit for a sandwich without any stringy beef texture"

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - In July when I took leave, my partner in crime and I were standing at one corner of Brian Bell in Madang trying to decide if we should buy a gas barbeque.

Long story short, BBQ found its way home. (Yes, it just hopped on a Brian Bell delivery truck and followed us home).

Continue reading "Heavenly match: Ramu beef & Hagen pineapple" »


Early morning, PNGDF, IT and me

1  - PNGDF IT team pose for a group photo
The PNGDF IT team poses for a group photo

ALEXANDER NARA
| PNGDF Defence Media

PORT MORESBY - It was early one dark morning at PNGDF headquarters inside Murray Barracks, Port Moresby.

The kind of early morning that makes people say it is always darkest before dawn.

I was slouched in the manner of a drunken stupor over the keyboard, staring at the desktop screen.

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Covid costs Port Moresby musos big time

Musos without a gigOALA MOI
| My Land, My Country

PORT MORESBY - A group of seven Port Moresby-based musicians have lost a combined income estimated at K232,000 over the six months since April, working out to K1,275 for each musician each week.

The musicians gathered last weekend at the National Museum & Art Gallery at Waigani to share personal stories of the effect of Covid-19 measures on their families.

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Re-thing & reclaim Niugini’s own story

Ples singsingMICHAEL DOM
| Ples Singsing Blog

LAE – In her review of my poem collection 26 Sonnets (available here for free on PNG Attitude), Professor Konai Helu Thaman of the University of Hawaii provided a task to Papua Niuginian writers which I believe is central to our current dual objectives.

These are to make our own contributions to national literature and establish and maintain a national literary society in some manner.

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A state of perpetual crisis

Perpetual crisis (The Guardian)PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The world has always been in a state of perpetual crisis. We seem to seamlessly roll on from one crisis straight into another one.

We actually thrive on crises.

If there wasn’t a worldwide crisis at any given time, we would wonder what was happening. That we didn’t have a crisis would become a crisis in its own right.

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For God, country or what? Kumaniel’s war

Nepe Kumaniel and familyDaughter Nancy (PNG meri blouse & fedora) & Nepe with family members, 14 August 2015. Nepe is survived by 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 29 greatgrandchildren and 1 great-greatgrandchild (left of Nancy)

GREGORY BABLIS

FIFE, SCOTLAND - The Oral History Project of Papua New Guinea’s National Museum & Art Gallery and the Military Heritage Project are essentially a national search for common identity and, dare I say, a national consciousness, in a country where divisive diversity is the norm.

The former participates in this search through a blending of different stories while the latter does so through the preservation of the materiality of World War II.

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Finding Mac: Search brought us together

Search party
One of the many search parties looking for Maclarence

MARY TERRIETTE ASEARI
| Academia Nomad

A student from the University of Papua New Guinea is reported missing. A week goes by and he is not found. Students conduct one of the biggest searches the city has seen. Mary Terriette Aseari is a third year student at the university.

PORT MORESBY - Maclarence Akua - a 22-year old third-year student, a good friend and a course mate of mine at the University of Papua New Guinea - had been missing for almost a week.

Mac is of mixed East Sepik and Bougainville parentage but grew up in Kimbe.

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Girl from Bougainville versus Mining Giant

Theonila Roka Matbob looks down on Pangua mine (Human Rights Law Centre - Reuters)
Theonila Roka Matbob looks down on Panguna mine (Human Rights Law Centre - Reuters)

LEANNE JORARI & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract

Link here to the complete story in The Guardian

PORT MORESBY - For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.

The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born - but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.

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The heart can kill, or it can liberate

Leonard Roka holding coconut
Author Leonard Roka is now a farmer and educational entrepreneur in Bougainville

LEONARD FONG ROKA

Award-winning author Leonard Roka is the brother of Theonila Roka Matbob. He was among the 15 losing candidates who stood in the seat Theonila won in the recent Bougainville election. This story was originally published in PNG Attitude on 29 November 2015

BUKA - At the peak of the Bougainville Crisis my father was gunned to death while my mother struggled to save his life as she confronted blood-hungry Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) men from our own Kieta society in Central Bougainville.

So it was that great inhumanity murdered my dad, John Roka, who so loved Bougainville and his Bougainvillean family. Inhumanity was perpetrated in the name of Bougainville freedom.

Continue reading "The heart can kill, or it can liberate" »


Will the old Lae please stand up again?

Bikes
Kids on bikes in the park - echoes of the Lae of old

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE – On Friday night when Lae MP, John Rosso, talked about what the city was like in the past, there were quite a few people who nodded their heads in agreement.

They remembered a city with popcorn and cinemas in Eriku, Town, East Taraka and other suburbs. There was a botanical garden, unfenced, with aviaries, ponds with goldfish, BMX bike tracks and ice cream trucks.

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Unjust Oz policy leaves Pacific people in limbo

Richard Brunton and fiancée Catherine Styles
Richard Brunton and his fiancée Catherine Styles

JOHNNY BLADES
| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guineans and Pacific Islanders are among many thousands of people stuck in limbo because of an Australian migration policy which appears to lack compassion.

Due to the pandemic, Australia closed its borders to almost everyone except Australian citizens, permanent residents, resident New Zealand citizens or immediate family members.

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The longest title of a PNG memoir ever written

Cover extractPHILIP FITZPATRICK

‘Caution! When in Turbulence do not Pick Nose: Ups and Downs of a Kiwi in Papua New Guinea’ by Colin Pain, Independently Published, 2019, 163 pages, ISBN: 9781071185414, AU$15.54 plus postage, from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - This rather disjointed book has some curious spelling errors, inexplicable font changes and a cover that is difficult to immediately link to the content.

The overriding impression is that it was either put together in a hurry or with a fairly blasé attitude about the end result.

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Virus’s huge impact on PNG small business

SmeHUGH MCCLURE
| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society | Edited extract

CANBERRA - Two-thirds of Papua New Guinea’s small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to close their doors as a result of Covid-19.

PNG has had a tapered increase in Covid-19 cases, with 578 cases and seven deaths now recorded amidst low testing numbers.

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50km of Madang beaches planned for sand mining

SandSCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - As a Singaporean company with Chinese interests works to get approval to mine sand along the north coast of Madang, many Papua New Guineans are unaware of the impacts of this multibillion dollar global industry.

Sand mining remains largely under the radar in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "50km of Madang beaches planned for sand mining" »


Bridging the chasms that blind cultural understanding

Desert
Aboriginal people providing drawings & audio recordings,  May 1939 (South Australian Museum)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When I left Papua New Guinea and returned to Australia in the 1970s I went to work recording sacred sites in what was then the North-West Aboriginal Reserve in South Australia.

The job was funded by the Commonwealth government through a grant program channelled through the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and administered by the South Australian Museum.

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Inspector Metau is on the prowl again

CoverKEITH JACKSON

The Case of the Great Pumpkin Heist by Philip Fitzpatrick, Amazon Books 2020, 328 pages. Kindle edition US$1.00; paperback US$7.98. 328 pages. Free downloadable copy – go to the Free Inspector Hari Metau Books link in the bar on top of the PNG Attitude masthead above

NOOSA – We had to wait another year for it but Phil Fitzpatrick has produced the fifth novel in his Inspector Hari Meta series of detective stories set in Papua New Guinea.

And this one, no less than the others, offers a rattling good mystery suffused in the aura, chaos and comedy of modern day Papua New Guinea as well as exploring many of the challenging issues that face the country.

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Getting women into the Pacific’s parliaments

Kerryn_baker
Dr Kerryn Baker

WEB TEAM
| ANU College of Asia & the Pacific | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - The Pacific Islands region has the lowest level of women’s representation in politics in the world. Three countries - Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Micronesia - have no female politicians.

Dr Kerryn Baker has researched women’s political representation in the Pacific for nearly a decade. During this time, her work has highlighted the importance and value of having more women in Pacific parliaments.

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2020 signals major change for PNG & the world

NeobombCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Unfortunately the tides of history do not always move in a linear or predictable fashion. Take the Russian Revolution for example.

The first major convulsion within Tsarist Russia occurred in 1905. A combination of suppression and political concessions enable the old regime to remain in place but it was an ominous warning for the Tsarists that the status quo would not and could not last much longer.

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Is the Commonwealth Writers contest fair?

Baka Bina & Jordan Dean
Papua New Guinean author Baka Bina and publisher Jordan Dean

BAKA BINA

PORT MORESBY - I have written to the Commonwealth Foundation about its writing contest, which closes on Sunday 1 November (see details at the end of this article).

My letter was asking whether, in the interests of fairness, Pacific island competitors could be separated from Australia and New Zealand competitors in the contest.

The letter said:

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Where we’re up to with the Francis Nii book

MBB coverKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – As I’ve written before, ‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) edited by Phil Fitzpatrick and me is unfortunately not available in Papua New Guinea – which Amazon seems to have now taken off its distribution list.

With Amazon the printer and sole supplier, I’ve been working to establish an alternative distribution network for this wonderful 320 page illustrated book about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii.

Continue reading "Where we’re up to with the Francis Nii book" »


How’s PNG’s new foreign policy going?

FlagHENRY HERITAGE
| Pacific Fellow | Young Australians in International Affairs | Edited

SYDNEY - After securing the confidence of parliament in May 2019, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape promptly announced a shift in the country’s foreign policy.

Marape declared that PNG would divert from its traditionally non-confrontational approach to international affairs and would assume a bold focus on forming new partnerships with regional neighbours and challenging historical dependencies.

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Cultural heritage in modern PNG

Andrew Moutu
Andrew Moutu discusses tabu, a traditional Tolai currency

REPORT
| Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct

PORT MORESBY - The role of tradition and heritage in contemporary Papua New Guinea is a complex topic, and one that is commonly debated in communities and households throughout the country.

About a year ago an expert panel was gathered, together with an engaged audience, to voice a variety of perspectives on this subject at a public event, ‘Cultural Heritage in Modern PNG: Protecting Our Values’, at the University of Papua New Guinea.

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The world’s forests under threat

ForestsNEWS DESK
| Transparency International

BERLIN - We take forests for granted. We forget they’re the reason we breathe, until they burn. We don’t know of all the ways they keep us safe, until we’re sick. We ignore how our way of life threatens them, until they're gone.

Forests are not spared by corruption: illegal logging, illicit wildlife trade, land grabbing and drug trafficking are some of the plagues that lead to critical deforestation, hampering efforts against the climate crisis and making agreed-upon carbon neutrality goals moot.

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Hariap! Short story prize closes in 3 weeks

CommonwealthKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded each year for the best piece of unpublished short fiction of 2,000–5,000 words.

The closing date is Sunday 1 November (see below for more information and entry form).

So it’s time to take one of your unpublished short stories out of the file or get the keyboard smoking with your entry in the prize.

Continue reading "Hariap! Short story prize closes in 3 weeks" »


Marape spooked by Bougainville ‘feelgood factor’

Marape in Bougainville (Post-Courier)
James Marape in Bougainville last month (Post-Courier)

RICHARD EWART
| ABC Pacific Beat | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - The overwhelming vote for independence in Bougainville, and now the election of a new president for the autonomous region, appears to have spooked Papua New Guinea's prime minister, James Marape.

He has raised the possibility of a change to the constitution to prevent any other PNG province from promoting the subject of independence or autonomy.

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Dramatic development change needed for PNG

Ship
Ship waits to load logs at Turubu Bay, East Sepik (The Oakland Institute)

NEWS DESK
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea think tank and community advocacy group, Act Now!, has joined with Jubilee Australia and California’s Oakland Institute to publish a new report calling for an urgent change of course from PNG’s political leaders.

The report, From Extraction to Inclusion, analyses PNG’s economic and development performance since independence in 1975.

Continue reading "Dramatic development change needed for PNG" »


Frieda mine plan ‘disregards human rights'

Ban mineLYANNE TOGIBA & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute

PORT MORESBY - The plan for the largest mine in Papua New Guinea’s history carries a risk of catastrophic loss of life and environmental destruction and “appears to disregard the human rights of those affected”, according to United Nations officials.

In an extraordinary intervention, 10 UN special rapporteurs have written with “serious concerns” to the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, China, and Canada, as well as the Chinese state-owned developers of the gold, copper and silver mine proposed for the remote Frieda river in the country’s north.

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TWO BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

MBB cover‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) by Keith Jackson & Phil Fitzpatrick is about to come on sale in Australia. It’s a wonderful 320 page illustrated volume about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii. Unfortunately the book is not available in PNG.
But we have a plan.

If you buy a copy for yourself for just $60 (post & packing within Australia included), PNG Attitude will send one free to a Papua New Guinean wantok to read and share.

Step 1 – Transfer $60 to our bank account (Keith Jackson BSB 082-302 Account 50650-1355)
Step 2 – Send an email to Keith here letting him know your postal address


Marape, seeking 'stability', appoints Basil deputy

James Marape and Sam Basil
James Marape and his new deputy prime minister Sam Basil

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – Davis Steven has been moved from his position as Papua New Guinea’s deputy prime minister to be replaced by Sam Basil, consolidating Basil's political career and retaining the national planning ministry.

In a document seen by PNG Attitude, no mention was made of Steven or why he has lost the country's second top job.

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Sanguma, sangoma & the derivation of words

Sangoma - traditional healers of South Africa
Sangoma - traditional healers of South Africa

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Tok Pisin is an evolving language of such dynamism that it sometimes appears to be in a constant state of flux.

While there is still a core of basic words that underpins the language many of them have undergone multiple modifications so that their original source has become obscured.

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Women’s business coalition focuses on leadership

BCFWEVONNE KENNEDY
Business Coalition for Women Newsletter

PORT MORESBY - This year our organisation has focused on expanding the support we can provide to encourage women in leadership.

We have done this by increasing varied training opportunities for women, they include our Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, the Senior Executive Women Program and the PNG Directorship Course, which we’ve partnered with reputable companies to provide.

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Australia's PNG hand-out drops slightly to K1.2b

2020-21 budget papers (Lukas Coch  AAP)LISA CORNISH
| Devex | Edited extracts

CANBERRA — The Australian federal budget was revealed last night - after a six-month delay due to Covid-19 - and aims to spend big in an effort to boost jobs and economic growth.

Australia’s aid program will be $4 billion for the 2020-21 financial year, a boost of $304.7 million.

Papua New Guinea’s funding drops slightly from K1.3 billion to K1.2 billion.

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Elsie didn’t always do it sweet in league

Elsie Albert only started playing rugby league two years ago (NRL Photos)
Elsie Albert only started playing rugby league two years ago (NRL Photos)

HILDA WAYNE & CATHERINE GRAUE
| ABC | Pacific Beat | Extract

MELBOURNE - St George Illawarra Dragons recruit Elsie Albert considers herself lucky to have not had rubbish thrown at her by fans while playing rugby in her home country of Papua New Guinea.

The 24-year-old is the rugby-mad nation's first homegrown player to be picked up by an NRLW team, and is part of the squad named for today's first match of the season against the Sydney Roosters.

Continue reading "Elsie didn’t always do it sweet in league" »


Oz media stokes fears over PNG & China

MediaJOHN BRADDOCK
| World Socialist Website | Extract

SYDNEY - The Australian media is working hand-in-hand with the government to demonise China’s so-called “interference” in the country’s political, economic and educational affairs.

It is also focusing on China’s involvement in the Pacific region, recently stoking fears over Beijing’s presence in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s former colonial possession.

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We must change from extraction to inclusion

Extraction-inclusion-coverNEWS DESK
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - With the release of a new report today, Act Now!, Jubilee Australia, and the Oakland Institute, call for an urgent change of course from political leaders in Papua New Guinea.

The report, ‘From Extraction to Inclusion’, analyses the country’s economic and development performance since its independence in 1975.

Continue reading "We must change from extraction to inclusion" »


A rising tide of regional secessionism

West PapuaVLADISLAV GULEVICH
| Modern Diplomacy

ATHENS - Secessionist tendencies in Indonesia’s province of West Papua have recently been attracting a great deal of attention from experts and human rights activists.

The main reason for the international criticism of the Indonesian authorities is human rights violations and the suppression of the fundamental freedoms of the indigenous people of West Papua.

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Police 'riddled with corruption': Kramer

PoliceBEN DOHERTY
| Guardian Australia | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s police force is the most corrupt public agency in the country, engaged in drug-smuggling, gun-running, and land theft, and beset by “a rampant culture of police ill-discipline and brutality”, its own police minister has said, in an extraordinary condemnation of his own force.

Police minister Bryan Kramer launched an attack on the police force, saying its endemic corruption would take years, even a generation, to eradicate. His statement follows a concession from the police commissioner, David Manning, that his force includes “criminals in uniform”.

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Working towards a digital revolution

DigitalHARRY KRETCHMER
| World Economic Forum

COLOGNY, SWITZERLAND - Papua New Guinea is one of the most challenging parts of the world to run a digital business. But this is changing.

Prime Minister James Marape is leading a digital transformation agenda that aims to harness the potential of technology to spur development and trade.

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Papua New Guinea patrol reports

Sir Peter Scratchley in Papua
In the early 1880s, Sir Peter Scratchley was sent to Papua to manage the affairs of this latest addition to British imperial interests. And so began the important practice of compiling patrol reports

FACT SHEET
| National Archives of Australia

CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea's patrol reports had their beginnings in 1885 and are credited to Sir Peter Henry Scratchley who, as well as establishing Port Moresby as the seat of government and administration of British New Guinea, also developed a plan for administration and land policy.

The administration plan involved establishing government stations along the coast. These were staffed by a government officer, whose tasks included establishing contact and developing friendly relations with the inhabitants of the area.

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Rio Tinto blamed for toxic Bougainville rivers

We live with the impacts of Panguna every day ” said Theonila Roka Matbob  local landowner and Bougainville education minister  pictured at the closed Panguna mine pit last year (Human Rights Law Centre)
"We live with the impacts of Panguna every day,” says Theonila Roka Matbob,  local landowner and Bougainville education minister pictured at the closed Panguna mine pit last year (Human Rights Law Centre)

LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA
| New York Times

DARWIN, Australia — The mining giant Rio Tinto has been accused of environmental and human rights violations in a complaint that says an abandoned mine is leaking waste and poisoning rivers on the island of Bougainville.

The claim, signed by 156 residents of the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, is seeking an investigation by the Australian government into what it calls Rio Tinto’s failure to clean up millions of tons of waste at the former Panguna copper and gold mine.

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First we control our destiny, says Toroama

Marape and Toroama
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama at Bougainville's presidential inauguration

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - In his inauguration address to the Bougainville House of Representatives, new president Ishmael Toroama revealed his leadership strategy, the first element of which is the autonomous province taking “political control of its own destiny”.

“We must be masters of our destiny, and we can only do this by putting our own ‘software’ into the structures and institutions we are going to build,” Toroama said, launching his five-year term as president of Bougainville’s 380,000 people.

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Rio ready to talk on Panguna environment says BCL

Togolo-bcl
Sir Mel Togolo - "Rio Tinto’s readiness to enter discussions is a positive development and BCL intends to play a constructive part”

DENIKA SEETO
| Bougainville Copper Limited

BUKA - Rio Tinto’s readiness to enter talks with key stakeholders about social and environmental issues arising from its prior operation of the Panguna mine, has been welcomed by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).

Rio Tinto was responding to a complaint brought by the Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of residents and communities in Bougainville and reportedly said it is ready to enter into discussions with those that have filed the complaint as well with BCL, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the PNG government.

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UK explores sending asylum seekers to PNG

Manus
The controversial Manus refugee issue will not want to be stirred up again by the PNG and Australian governments

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The United Kingdom government is considering asking Papua New Guinea and some other countries to accept asylum seekers.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the UK Foreign Office has been asked to “offer advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea and Nauru”.

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Patrolling the Maramuni with Graham Hardy

Aerial view of the new Maramuni road
Aerial view of the new Maramuni road

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - Graham Hardy was posted to Wabag as a cadet patrol officer in 1954 and has recalled that period in an enthralling book, ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’, and in other writing, including a September 2015 article in Una Voce, the newsletter of the PNG Association of Australia.

It is clear that he, like former kiap and magistrate Chips Mackellar, developed a special affection for the people of Enga and related areas of the Papua New Guinea highlands.

Continue reading "Patrolling the Maramuni with Graham Hardy" »