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55 posts from November 2017

Agriculture summit must focus on PNG farmers not outsiders

EDDIE TANAGO | Act Now Farmers need support - not foreign owned agri-businesses (Oxfam)

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's first national agriculture summit should be focused on helping the country’s three million rural farmers and not on assisting large foreign owned industries to grab more customary land.

The summit, planned for 13-16 November, was announced last week by Agriculture Minister Benny Allan. It will have the theme of 'Unlocking the economic power of agriculture to sustainably grow our economy’.

The government needs to focus its resources on better extension services for rural farmers and the improved infrastructure they need.

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Is the PNG media letting down women in its coverage of violence

A victim of PNG domestic violenceMICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY | DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - It was a shocking week, even in what seems to be the ‘norm’ of gendered violence in Papua New Guinea.

Norms are so entrenched that without thinking many people become silenced, largely because of the despair that it so difficult to change anything.

On October 14, a prominent journalist, the late Rosalyn Albaniel Evara, passed away in Port Moresby. At her funeral last week allegations emerged that she had been subjected to domestic violence.

Simultaneously unfolding was another harrowing incident of sorcery related violence in a settlement in PNG’s other major urban centre, Lae in Morobe Province. One woman narrowly escaped death when the police intervened while another woman was found dead the following morning in what police believe might be a related incident.

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Plea for PNG & New Zealand to intervene to resolve Manus crisis


Asylum seekers at the Manus facility (Nick McKim)
Senator Nick McKim's recent photo of Manus refugees

Read the full Fairfax story here

SYDNEY - Lawyers are hopeful Papua New Guinea may dramatically intervene in the desperate situation on Manus Island by reopening the abandoned detention centre or striking a resettlement deal with New Zealand.

About 600 refugees and asylum seekers have spent two nights in darkness at the decommissioned Australian-run refugee processing centre, sustaining themselves on stockpiled food and water, since official personnel left on Tuesday.

An injunction application was before PNG's Supreme Court chief justice on Wednesday evening that would effectively force PNG to reopen the facility and provide food, water and electricity.

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Lessons from the Gold Coast women in media conference

Rashmii writer IDRASHMII BELL

BRISBANE - If you had ventured into the Twittersphere this past weekend, you would have noticed that the hashtag #wimconf17 was periodically trending as the most discussed topic in Australia.

If you had followed hashtag #png you would have noted that Papua New Guinea’s presence at the Women in Media Conference 2017 at Bond University on the Gold Coast was embodied by me.

It was an impressive event delivered on a shoe-string budget. Its reliance on generous sponsors and supporter endorsement, and the operations of the two-day event, were reminiscent of the My Walk to Equality project.

Event organisers including Tracey Spicer and Kay McGrath OAM did not shy away from publicising their gratitude to generous donors: the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Bond University, Flight Centre, The Star Gold Coast, Industry Superannuation Funds along with the ABC, Seven West Media, Nine and News Corp Australia all with the support of the Queensland government.

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Manus debacle is a worsening human catastrophe

Nick McKim
Senator Nick McKim


LORENGAU - This week I’ve travelled back to Manus Island. It’s the third time I’ve visited this year, and the third time I’ve walked right into a humanitarian catastrophe.

The asylum seekers and refugees I’ve met here have been stranded for 1,700 days, enduring unimaginable deprivations and had their freedoms and rights trampled.

Some have paid with their lives, others with their sanity.

Yesterday, Peter Dutton has cut off their drinking water, electricity and food, leaving over 600 innocent people caught between Papua New Guinean Navy personnel.

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