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10 January 2018


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I recall jumping a ride on the back of a ten tonne Toyota truck from Mount Hagen to Lae along the Highlands Highway in April 1967.

The driver of the truck was Australian, as were most drivers then. The highway was fairly rough, unsealed all the way and we had to overnight in Kainantu as progress was slow.

However there were no issues with safety or security, the truck had nothing on it to protect the driver or the cargo, no checkpoints, no locals behaving in a threatening manner and no thoughts that we could at any stage find ourselves in trouble.

The road was dangerous in parts and there was the occasional wreckage of a truck that had gone over the side. Fast forward 50 years, seems like things have got a lot worse rather than better, very disappointing.

And yet we are told in the Tolai exhibition at Melbourne Museum that we made a mess of it all as "Colonial Masters'.

Well I'm proud of my 8 years as a Kiap and Local Government Adviser, having served half of my time in Chimbu. I think most Papua New Guineans today would prefer life as it was under the Kiaps to the chaos it has become.

Fly into Kagamuga and get a bus straight to Kundiawa!

Politicians and bureaucrats at both the national and sub-national levels travel around in the comforts of hired cars so would have no idea about the ordeals common travellers go through.

I am laughing. I like Sil's style of writing. He is truly a great writer.

The solution is really simple. Put a few Kanda Police at these bus stops and all these dopeheads will be gone.

What an indictment of the state of PNG.

But on other platforms, Papua New Guineans never fail to put on a show of patriotism every chance they get.

This false pride needs rechannelling smartly to get rid of the corruption and filth that has destroyed the beautiful country Australia presented to the people of PNG at independence

Get real!

Aside from marijuana and drug abuse, the level of poverty and the tendency among the able-bodied young men are increasing. No one wants to work the land!!

This was unheard of and not seen. When I was a small kid traveling the highway from Goroka to Jiwaka and back to Kundiawa, we really enjoyed those rides because everyone was so friendly.

I wish we could bring those times back for the sake of our children!

Ban Marijuana and declare a national emergency!

Marijuana and lost souls - people cannot save themselves from the debasing effects of drugs, homebrew and whatever else they are concocting out of anything that will make them go high.

The situations at the bus stops along the Okuk highway will get even worse before anything constructive is done about these.

We can forget about promoting local tourism, and encouraging PNGuineans to travel the highway and enjoy the scenery and support SMEs for now!!

Noken wari APEK emi kam klostu

The descriptive writing is reminiscent of Maupassant and analogous with Scotland Road in Liverpool during the 1960s. The impact of unemployment and much of the social deprivation was disguised by the Merseybeat and sport, which replaced religion to subsume the masses.

The sad thing about this very descriptive article is that it is an eye witness account of today's PNG.

There are still those of us who know it wasn't always the same and could still be as it was but for one single factor. The missing factor is effective control.

The problem starts at the top of the food chain and dribbles down like bright red buai spit.

The real question is: What can be done to improve the situation?

The answer is simple: Fix the top of the 'food chain' and the disease will be stopped at the source.

Sometimes my heart bleeds for Papua New Guinea, Sil.

The Kundiawa airstrip maintenance is already completed and there is no reason to delay the flights which we have not seen for more than a year.

We Simbus are facing a lot of problems travelling to Hagen and Goroka to get flights like Sil Bolkin has stated.

When are the flights going to start? Air Niugini is depriving our right to fly in and out of Kundiawa. Small airlines have already operated but only when there is an emergency,

We cannot continue like this as it causes a lot of inconvenience. What is the real problem to keep this historical airstrip shut - one of the highest airstrips in the world and a training ground for the Royal Australian Air Force.

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