Pope Francis and Cardinal Ribat, who asks: ““Where will we be after all these islands are gone?”
Cardinal Ribat, the Archbishop of Port Moresby, said that there are many similarities between Papua New Guinea and the Amazon region and many topics resonated with what is happening in PNG. “They (people of the Amazon) are faced with a development that is coming in, taking their land, facing a situation where they are not recognised and sometimes not respected and not being seen as part of that development,” Cardinal Ribat said. When this happens, he said, people sometimes have no voice apart from that of the Church. Cardinal Ribat came away from the Synod more convinced than ever that the world needs to pay attention to indigenous people and their cultures wherever they are situated. He pointed out that “people look to the Church as their only hope for recognition and support.”
For Cardinal Ribat, the Synod was inspiring not only for the people of the Amazon region but for other parts of the world such as the Pacific Islands. “In the Pacific and in PNG many islands are becoming small, we are surrounded by the sea, and we are confounded by what is happening around us during storms and the rising sea level,” he said. “This kind of situation risks our life and makes us ask questions. “Where will we be after all these islands are gone?” the Cardinal wondered. He said that islands in the Pacific do not have vast areas of land as other continents, and that is why the little is so precious. “The land is life to the people, the land is everything, so when you take it away, you deprive people of their lives,” Cardinal Ribat said. …
Cardinal Ribat said, in keeping with Catholic social teaching, the Church in PNG will continue to speak out in defence of the rights of the poor and vulnerable. “We don’t have weapons; our weapon is the faith. “Our faith is our hope in the Lord, and our hope is that there should be due justice for the people.” …
“As I go back home, I will go and encourage our people to understand that in collaboration with our people of the Amazon region, we are facing the same situation. “What is happening to them is also our story.
WASHINGTON DC – Paul Petrus speaks softly about the part he played in the rescue of an accused witch. Anna (not her real name), a young woman in her mid-twenties, was being tortured by villagers outside Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands Province. After a 2015 outbreak of tribal violence in neighbouring Enga, Anna had fled approximately 130 km to escape the conflict. But some members of the opposing tribe recognised Anna at the Mount Hagen marketplace. “[They] kidnapped her … took her to an isolated place and raped her,” says Petrus, who is on a team of more than 100 human rights defenders from Mount Hagen that rescues people accused of witchcraft. The attack took place on a Friday night. Anna managed to escape her attackers around 3am. In shock, with her clothing shredded, she staggered through the dark and stumbled into a village. Ordinarily everyone would have been asleep, but some villagers had just interred a family member in the community cemetery and were keeping vigil over the burial site, watching for malignant spirits that might snatch the body away, Petrus says. To the family holding vigil, Anna’s brutalised form, emerging like an apparition out of the dark, was precisely what their imaginations feared. Some of the villagers grabbed her. They “started making a big fire and started burning her private parts by heating up machetes,” Petrus says. At 4am, he received an urgent phone call for help from the village pastor.
Petrus ran to the police station and arrived at the scene shortly after 6:30am in a cruiser driven by a woman officer. Together, they bundled the victim, now reeking of burned flesh, into the car and drove her to Mount Hagen General Hospital. Part of Petrus’ rescue work involves training the public in how to react when an individual is in imminent danger from witch hunters; the pastor was one of those trained by Petrus. More people should take part, Petrus says, because the “issues of sorcery [are] starting to escalate.”
A study, ‘Ten Preliminary Findings Concerning Sorcery Accusation-Related Violence in Papua New Guinea’, released this year by the Australia National University indicated that since 2016 there have been 357 incidents of sorcery accusations in Enga and Bougainville as well as some in the capital, Port Moresby. Of these 357 incidents, 117 led to violence against 185 victims.
Human Rights Watch corroborates the reports of violence, stating in 2016 that “PNG is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman, with the majority of women experiencing rape or assault in their lifetime.” In 2018, the organisation further reported that sorcery accusation-related violence was “unabated, with women and girls the primary targets.”
PORT Moresby residents have been urged to report to police any illegal activities such as prostitution in their neighbourhood so they can be investigated immediately. Met Supt Perou N’dranou was responding to concerns raised about the increasing cases of prostitution in the city, mostly during the day. The issue resurfaced last week after police warned foreign-owned nightclub owners to stop employing women for the purpose of prostitution. Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Donald Yamasombi said police had been made aware of what had been happening in some nightclubs in Port Moresby and other urban centres. He said they were closely monitoring activities and would arrest club owners if they were found to be involved in such illegal activities. In Port Moresby, areas around 4-Mile are frequented by girls and “clients”. They have their own time and area of rendezvous. A female resident at 4-Mile told The National she had been “approached” a few times by male “clients” who thought she was involved in the illegal practice too. Another female said some women and girls in Boroko were afraid to walk alone along the road. They now walk in the company of others to do their business in Boroko.
CANBERRA – From Saturday 23 November, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will conduct a referendum on whether it will remain within Papua New Guinea with greater autonomy or establish an independent state. The referendum is part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement between the government of PNG and the leaders of Bougainville that was signed in August 2001. The peace agreement culminated a peace process that began in 1998 after nine years (1988–97) of civil war between the PNG Defence Force, its local militia allies and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).
The conflict has its origins in grievances over a lack of shared benefits from the mining of gold and copper deposits in Panguna and consequent social and environmental issues. It resulted in an estimated 20,000 deaths and significant displacement, including migration to other parts of PNG and the neighbouring Solomon Islands. Operated by Australian-owned Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), the Panguna mine was one of the world’s biggest copper, gold and silver mines before the conflict.
The peace agreement comprised three steps: a United Nations-supervised weapons disposal program; greater autonomy for the Bougainville provincial government; and an eventual referendum to determine Bougainville’s political future. The first two steps have mostly been achieved. The focus now is on the third step – a referendum to determine Bougainville’s independence.
Bougainville’s aspiration for self-government was evident as early as in 1968, prior to PNG’s independence from Australia in 1975. As part of a German and later Australian colony, Bougainville was one of the regions in PNG that resisted the inequities of colonial rule and refused to be part of the greater PNG state. Its refusal was based on a strong sense of a separate Bougainvillean identity and what it deemed a misuse of its land from European plantations and exploration, and the later mining of copper and gold deposits. Their resentment led to a unilateral declaration of independence just days before PNG’s independence in 1975. PNG and the international community did not recognise the unilateral declaration. …
The 2002 amendments provide that the PNG government and the AGB will ‘consult over the results of the Referendum’ and the PNG Parliament will decide on the final outcome subject to the consultation. Independence is therefore not an automatic possibility and there is ambiguity as to the effect of this provision. While the provision is generally understood to mean that the outcome of the referendum is not binding, as it is subject to the decision of the PNG parliament, the actions of the PNG government in reaching a decision would not be unilateral and are subject to ‘consultation’ with the AGB….
If the majority of Bougainvilleans vote ‘yes’ to independence, a key consideration for the PNG government in its final decision will be the likely impact of Bougainville independence on other provinces….
It is likely that the United Nations will not support a ‘yes’ vote prior to the decision of the PNG parliament in accordance with the PNG Constitution. Further, responses from the international community may mirror the contesting regional powers that are closely monitoring developments in Bougainville, notably Australia, New Zealand, as well as China and the United States.
AROUND 3,000 people have drowned so far this year, according to the National Maritime Safety Authority. This was revealed during a two-day workshop in Port Moresby last week. Water Police deputy director Chief Insp Christopher Smith said many lives had been lost at sea and urged people to take safety measures. He said there were two instances last week in which two boats ran out of fuel and had to be rescued by the water police, “Basically when travelling at sea it is important to have safety equipment on board and sufficient fuel, we have too many incidents of boats going out and having insufficient fuel and they run out on their return. “Do not overload your vessels. Most of the accidents that we see happening is due to over-loading and insufficient life jackets on board, especially for children,” Smith said. He said the directorate and the National Capital Distract-Central command would do more awareness on water safety. Focus will also be given on safety equipment needed when travelling to sea leading up to Christmas and the New Year.
In 2020 PNG will receive close to K1 billion in free development funds to assist us in our development goals. Topping the list was Australia contributing K745 million while China only contributes K7 million.
Here are the top six donors:
Australia K745.0 million (81%)
European Union K80.0 million (8.7%)
United Nations K41.7 million (4.5%)
New Zealand K22.9 million (2.5%)
China K7.0 million (0.8%)
USA K5.0 million (0.5%)
In contrast when you look at it from how much we borrow, China tops the list:
China K446.2 million
Asian Development Bank K437.6 million
World Bank K185.5 million
Japan K181.3 million
India K7.7 million
Some countries are happy to lend us money where they benefit from the interest earned and conditional on their companies being awarded contracts.
Why did the PNG government allow the pipeline from Hela to be constructed without a first class road alongside it? That would have been available for the developers’ vehicles used for maintenance but more importantly as a vital link from the coast to the highlands heart of the nation.
Why was Komo airfield, the longest in the region, only this past week opened for ANG to use?
Why did the government allow the proceeds from selling the gas abroad to be kept off-shore?
Why did PNG have to pay the Singapore wholesale price plus freight to use the oil drilled from PNG’s land.
Why was Exxon allowed to demand import tax concessions on construction materials, tax-holidays etc to over-contribute to its profits in the low cost production oil and gas fields of PNG?
All these factors have impacted on the need for debt by PNG the richest resource island nation in the Pacific
PORT MORESBY – Inside a packed conference room on the first level of B-Wing at Papua New Guinea’s parliament house, the Public Accounts Committee awaits senior members of the health department. Already present are representatives from the logistics and pharmaceutical companies who have been summoned to give evidence in this investigation into a health system in crisis.
Arriving half an hour late, health secretary Pascoe Kase walks into the packed conference room, smiling sheepishly and nodding an apology to the committee headed by chairman Sir John Pundari and his deputy, Governor Gary Juffa. They’re not impressed by his lack of punctuality. Over the past six years, Kase has earned a reputation for dodging the media at every occasion. But in October his evasive manoeuvres were halted and his arrogance cut down to size by the parliamentary committee summons that compelled him to attend this week’s investigation and give evidence as the star witness.
Kase’s mood quickly shifts as a barrage of questions hits him. Deputy chairman Juffa is relentless and unforgiving. Kase is asked about logistics, pharmaceutical standards and the contract bidding process that the committee will come to find is riddled with corruption and ‘insider trading.’ Juffa squeezes out vital pieces of a puzzle that show how PNG’s health department lowered standards by ditching international quality management systems to allow pharmaceutical companies to qualify for the tender bidding process.
“I want to go back to the ISO 9001. What’s your understanding of a specific set of standards? What does that mean according to your knowledge?” Juffa asks. “My personal knowledge? Or my….” Kase is cut off by the frustrated Juffa. “Well, your professional knowledge. You’re the secretary for health so I’m assuming you would know about this.” Kase gives a long-winded response about how there are technical officers who give him advice about various operational areas of the department, but falls short of answering the question. Juffa again cuts him off.
“Sir…sir… what does the acronym ISO 9001 stand for? Do you know? “I don’t know. I would want some of the technical people to tell me,” Kase replies. Juffa lectures the Health Secretary about the meaning of the ISO 9001, about international standards, and asks why the requirement was removed prior to the bidding process for a pharmaceutical tender. This was just one of many examples of incompetence at the management pinnacle of the health department, shamelessly demonstrated in front of thousands of Papua New Guineans watching the proceedings live on Facebook
A litany of irregularities continues to be highlighted during the three-day hearing. One of the logistics companies – L & Z – owned by a Chinese national with no experience in drug distribution was nevertheless awarded a K17 million contract because of the owner’s links with a former health department staff who wrote the tender application. Another logistics company, operating without a formal contract, was paid more than K20 million with Kase using his authority to make part payments of up to K500,000. Then the bombshell came when the owner of another logistics company named a senior manager to whom he had paid bribes of about K100,000. Issue after issue has been raised and exposed:
Medicine shortages still exist. There are chronic shortages of medicines in nearly all rural clinics. The most expensive bidder was chosen. Borneo Pacific’s bid of K71 million was K20 million higher than the second bidder, City Pharmacy Limited. Winning tenders had no prior experience. At least two logistics companies awarded drug distribution contracts had no prior experience in drug distribution. No electronic tracking. One Chinese-owned logistics company admitted it did not have an electronic tracking system because it was “too expensive.”
Collusion with logistics companies. Former and current health department staff alerted individuals and companies to upcoming drug distribution tenders and assisted them in drafting tender documents. Operating without contracts. LD Logistics operated without a contract for three years after its contract expired and was paid more than K20 million in portions of K500,000 to avoid payment ceiling provisions of the finance management act.
Standards lowered. The health department removed the ISO9001 compliance requirement prior to the bidding process, lowering standards to cater to the demands of tendering companies that could not meet the international quality standard. The committee has found that health compliance standards were deliberately lowered so companies could qualify. It has also found that a drug used to induce birth had failed laboratory tests yet may have been distributed. The health department team, when grilled, could not say if the drug had been recalled and removed. They didn’t know.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Statistical Office (NSO) recently released the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)
2016-2018 key indicators report. The survey on which this report is based was implemented by
the NSO, the National Department of Health and other PNG agencies with support
from Australia’s aid program, the DHS program, UNFPA and UNICEF. There are
positive aspects to this particular PNG report. First, the survey on which it
is based is relatively comprehensive, collecting information on, “fertility,
awareness and use of family planning methods, breastfeeding practices,
nutritional status of children, maternal and child health, adult and childhood
mortality, women’s empowerment, domestic violence, malaria, awareness and
behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and
other health-related issues.” The DHS also collected information on household
agricultural activities and household food security. Second, the vast majority
of the tables in the report disaggregate the survey data by age brackets, sex,
residence (rural vs urban), region (for example, highland provinces vs island
provinces), education levels; and wealth quintiles, thereby providing some
insight into equity of access and outcomes in the health sector. Third, the use
of a standardised methodology provides the evidence base for PNG officials to
themselves track progress over time (and compare trends with other countries.
am not trying to compare the Australian system with our Papua New Guinea system.
And Australia is not perfect. PNG has the potential to invest in education as a
critical tool to enable our country to become economically viable and healthy.
Regrettably, we take education for granted in the way we set up our systems,
distribute our resources, teach our children and reward our teachers. Education
is a basic human right for all individuals regardless of where they are in the
would argue that the education system in PNG has deprived our right and our
children’s right to gain the education we deserve. If you stand back and take a
thorough look at the way our children learn, you discover that the education
system has pushed out many young people with ability and potential to be
leaders. They roam the streets. Our school system has many drop-outs – children
who fail exams and return to the community. In PNG, what paid employment can
anyone get with a minimal education? I doubt there is any. The multinational,
multimillion dollar developments such as oil and gas projects have opened up
roads and access to nearby towns and cities and our children develop the
tendency to explore city life, which is perceived to be better than village
Obviously with no proper education, dreams for a better life are thwarted. Many of these young people go on to steal, vandalise, take drugs and alcohol and even end up in jail. Then these young people are blamed as bad and evil. We have created bad people in our society in the way we manage our education system. All humans are the same regardless of gender, age or behaviour because we all have a soul. So where does the blame really lie?
PORT MORESBY – Yesterday was World
Migrant and Refugee Day and a message from Pope Francis to mark the day was
particularly meaningful for our part of the world. The words of the Pope help uncover a
sense of truth about what has been going on for the past six years in Nauru and
Manus. “Migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have
become emblems of exclusion,” he said.
“In addition to the hardships that
their condition entails, they are often looked down upon and considered the
source of all society’s ills. “That attitude is an alarm bell warning of the moral
decline we will face if we continue to give ground to the throw-away culture.” So
let me mention here some critical language and facts associated with the
festering wounds of Nauru and Manus.
Regional Processing Not a bad idea in itself, but not credible. New Zealand, New Caledonia
and possibly Fiji are not involved, only the very remote, hot and
mosquito-infested islands of Nauru and Manus. Besides that, nobody knows what
the agreements for ‘regional processing’ in these two countries include in
terms of the duties and conditions of the contracting parties. It is probably
not a ‘regional processing’ exercise, but a punitive measure against less
fortunate individuals made unwelcome by the better off white tribes of the
continent, more precisely of Australia.
Mental Health. It is outrageous what is being done in
Manus, Port Moresby and Nauru by actively inducing mental health issues into
young and vulnerable people. People are driven into anxiety, depression and, in
a number of cases, permanent insanity by the unexpected turn their lives have
taken, the traumas they experienced at home, indefinite detention, tough
conditions of life in the camps and the distance from their families. The
medication offered is cosmetic. It makes no sense to spend about $A1,400 per
person per day in off-shore detention with the outcome of ruined human beings.
Medevac Law This Australian legislation allows for medical transfer to mainland
Australia of asylum seekers and refugees requiring medical care outside Nauru
and PNG. It was passed narrowly – and against the government’s wishes – by the
Australian parliament in February this year. The legislation covers the 90% of
offshore refugees whose conditions have remained unattended for many years.
Given the new composition of the Australian government since the May election,
refugees still in PNG and Nauru, and the Samaritans who care for them, now live
in terror that the provision may be repealed with the support of a handful of
Australian senators in exchange for electoral favours. This would be another
instance of the detainees in Nauru and Port Moresby falling prey to money and
de facto human trafficking.
Stopping the Boats I am someone who believes nobody should board a people smuggler’s boat,
although occasionally, and in very dire circumstances, it may be the only way
to escape death. The international community should establish procedures that
put human smugglers out of job. But it is not being done, and that’s why those
individuals still exist and are probably growing in number and power. The Nauru
and Manus asylum seekers and refugees have served the purpose of stopping the
boats at high personal cost; 12 having so far paid with their lives. It’s time
to say that they have been used (and abused) enough for very highly
questionable deterrence proposes. Why still pick on them?
Since 12 August this year, 53 of these
men have been detained at the new Bomana immigration facility on the outskirts
of Port Moresby under heavy security and in total isolation. [See the url above for the full article…..]
LUFA – There’s disagreement about whether Papua
New Guinea is rich or impoverished. Many people, including leaders like Grand
Chief Sir Michael Somare and current prime minister James Marape, support the
view that we are in fact rich. Many others, including myself, differ. We
believe Papua New Guinea is a poor nation. Perhaps the difference in opinion
stems from the definition of ‘rich’ that each group subscribes to. Let me refer
to the two groups as Group_Rich and Group_Poor, where the former supports the
rich PNG view and the latter supports the poor PNG view. The Group_Rich
definition of being rich sees Papua New Guinea as a nation with fertile land
that sustains lush tropical forests and great biodiversity. In their eyes its
land has, without fail, fed its growing population for over 40,000 years,
recent times, minerals and hydrocarbon wealth have been discovered across the
breath and length of the land, giving it the unofficial title of an ‘island of
gold floating on a sea of oil’. Simply put, in this more optimistic view, the
land provides sufficient free food and its people own the land and everything
on and in it. So by virtue of this, Papua New Guinea is rich.
Group_Poor definition of being rich is very different. It perceives Papua New
Guinea as a part of the modern world that relies on complex international trade
and economics. Its place and value in this world is determined by international
standards and rules. And these set out clearly the criteria that defines how
rich or poor a nation (and its people) really are. Simply put, a nation is rich
if its people not only have assets like natural resources, education, skills
and capital, but are able to meet their basic daily needs of health, education,
water, and food security without difficulty. Now, if one uses the Group_Rich
definition alone, Papua New Guinea is a filthy rich country. But is this true? Consider
the plight of countless people seeking medical treatment who die trying. How
about those people who continue to face countless adversities just to get an
education despite the low quality it comes with? Do we even care about the long
walks mothers and daughters take almost every day to fetch water for drinking
and cooking? Perhaps the most honourable thing to say is not that Papua New
Guinea is rich, nor is it poor, but rather challenged in every way possible.
POLICE say sexual abuse of children aged 16 and below is growing
significantly and crippling society. “That is the reality and of grave concern.
“Reports have been received daily nationwide,” acting Asst Comm (Northern
region) Peter Guinness said. He said in an interview on Thursday that “this is
now a very big problem in Papua New Guinea” and called for stiffer penalties to
help curb the crime. “Heavier punishments will at least help deter such
criminal-minded individuals,” he added.
He said another measure to help check the growth of such crimes “is raising
“Raising public awareness is not only about the impact of such crimes on
children, family or community,” Guinness said. “It must include the punishments
and the laws.”
“Awareness campaigns and projects should be targeted at schools, settlements
and workplaces to drive people to understand the issues. “Currently, only a
small number of perpetrators were prosecuted successfully but the majority of
them got away. “Those in remote areas find it difficult to report. “They are
being suppressed by compensation payments or by fear.
The young and fragile victims of sexual abuse then fear to report their
“This, in a way, emboldens perpetrators,” he said. Guinness urged individuals
and communities to help curb or eradicate cases of child sexual abuses by
reporting such crimes against minors so that the police can act swiftly.
Wagambie says alcohol-related violence ravaging
THE majority of violence in Papua New Guinea, including Port
Moresby, is alcohol-related, National Capital District (NCD)/Central acting
Asst Comm (ACP) Anthony Wagambie Jr says.
“Alcohol consumption and intoxication are also the main causes of ethnic feuds
and violence in the city,” he said. “Such alcohol-related violence is on the
rise and the problem is posing a big challenge to law and order and the
Wagambie said some parts of the city had seen on-going fighting and drunken
brawls that needed police to quell such violence. “In the past three weeks,
alcohol-related fights were reported in the ATS settlement, 2-Mile Hill, June
Valley and 9-Mile. “But quick police action managed to stop the fights from
deteriorating into serious and tense conditions.”
Wagambie said that was why NCD Met Supt Perou N’Dranou had initiated a special
operation targeting drunk and disorderly behaviour in the city. “The operation,
code named Drunk Patrol is aimed at arresting and locking up drunkards causing
public nuisance and unrest in public places.
“Every Friday night, NCD police will continue to patrol the streets of Port
Moresby to contain drunk and disorderly behaviour. “Some drunkards are locked
up for their own safety and for the safety of others as well. “In some cases,
due to the high number of arrests, drunkards fill up police lock-ups.
“When they are sober, they are cautioned and released. People who are overly
intoxicated and clumsy to a point where their own safety is at risk in a public
place, we detain them for a short period and release them when they sober up.“We
understand their rights, but we have a duty to protect lives and properties
too; that’s exactly what we are doing.”
CANBERRA – It is often said that tribal
fighting in the Papua New Guinea Highlands is part and parcel of the
socio-cultural fabric of the region. With a history stretching back hundreds of
years (if not more), it can be seen simply as an indivisible feature of the
Highlands way of life.
to some extent true, tribal fighting in the last 30 years has become more akin
to conventional warfare on the battlefields of the Middle East or sub-Saharan
Africa than the pitched battles using the bows and arrows that characterised pre-colonial
confrontations in the Highlands. In the last 30 years, modern weapons, along
with other accoutrements of modern technology, have made their way into PNG. They
have disrupted the traditional rules of tribal fighting that had historically
limited the effects and consequences of the fighting and restrained fighters
from going too far.
in the past, a decision to go to war with an opposing clan or tribe would have
been taken collectively, now young and disillusioned men with access to modern
weapons can unleash devastation on their enemies and their own communities
almost single-handedly. The presence of these modern weapons and their
destructive firepower has also meant that the number of casualties is much
higher, making it harder for opposing sides to reconcile (and the traditional
exchange of compensation prohibitive) and leading to completely unprecedented
tribal fighting dynamics.
of pre-arranged battles between warriors in designated areas as in the past,
villages are now attacked under cover of darkness as part of a scorched earth
policy to kill and destroy with abandon. And while previously fighting was
restricted to the geography of the tribes’ involved, targeted killings can now
occur against random members of either side almost anywhere. Schools and
clinics are frequently attacked and destroyed, and most recently in Hela
pregnant women and children were killed and some burned alive.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been present in PNG since
2007 and opened its offices in Mount Hagen and Bougainville in 2012. Since
then, we have progressively grown our presence. ……..
the url above. It concludes with description
of work of the Red Cross working with the challenge of Tribal Fighing.] “Our teams spend countless hours listening,
conversing with and persuading widows and community leaders, policemen and
tribal fighters, provincial bureaucrats and church leaders to become partners
in an age-old struggle to lessen the inevitable human suffering arising from conflict.”
POLICE have warned people involved in luring young girls into prostitution to stop as such illegal activities are being monitored around the country. Acting Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Donald Yamasombi told The National police were targeting foreign-owned nightclubs. “We already have reports of illicit activities taking place in nightclubs which employ young girls as prostitutes under the guise of employing them for genuine jobs,” he said. He recently issued a notice to be distributed to all foreign-owned nightclub owners warning them to stop exploiting young unemployed girls. “Such illicit activities are not allowed in this country,” he said. “It is against PNG laws to conduct such activities.” He said the activities were not confined to only metropolitan centres such as Port Moresby because they had been detected too in other town and cities. “We have reports that these foreign-owned nightclubs are operating as brothels,” he said. “There is also illegal gambling and use of hard drugs.” Prostitution is illegal in the country, although there have been moves to have it legalised. In October 2016, a Private Member’s Bill was introduced to Parliament by then Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather to instigate legalisation. The concern is about the exploitation of young local girls who may be looking for money. “I am now warning these nightclubs to stop enticing young girls to use them as prostitutes in your nightclubs to promote your businesses. Such illicit activities are done in nightclubs overseas, not in PNG.”
– A new era dawned for the United Nauro-Gor tribe in 2002 when Fr Jan Jaworski,
a medical surgeon-cum-priest, responded to a divine call for the purpose of
serving humanity and entered a place many called a ‘no-go zone’ because of the
warring clans. Fr Jaworski, dubbed ‘the man with magic hands’,
has made an outstanding contribution as a medical doctor throughout Papua New
Guinea where he has conducted many medical surgeries and procedures on many
patients. His former patients speak of him in admiration and awe and to a
certain degree believe the work of his hands is miraculously aided by a
supernatural power as well as his wealth of experience and specialised
knowledge in medical procedures.
Jaworski is renowned for conducting complex surgeries and procedures,
particularly mending fractured bones and cartilage, cutting off flesh from
different body parts and stitching them on another, treating cancers, hernias,
bowel infections and neurological problems, and expertly performing surgeries
on newborns with congenital malformations and women with obstetric emergencies.
David Watters, chair of surgery at Geelong Hospital and a former professor of
surgery at the University of Papua New Guinea, describes Fr Jaworski as “a
remarkable and wonderful man who has served the people of Kundiawa and Simbu
Province well and whose breadth of surgical ability would be hard to match
anywhere”. Watters has written about the priest in a book on the history of
surgery in Papua New Guinea, recognising him as “a true general surgeon, who
could plate bones, perform laparotomies or open a head”. Fr Jaworki is loved
and respected not only by the people of United Nauro-Gor but right across Simbu
and PNG. But leaving a legacy in medicine and surgery was not enough for this
intelligent and hardworking man, so at the age of 55 he became a social
entrepreneur and a peace builder.
initial posting was to Yombar Parish, located in the heart of Nauro-Gor, a
place of warlords and gruesomely uncompromising warriors; an area exposed to
the use of high-powered guns and bows and arrows that caused massive
destruction in human lives and property over three decades. This mostly
emanated from the regular political upheavals occurring every five years during
national elections and took the form of overwhelming jealousy, greed and
pursuit of power amongst the factions that existed within different clans. Fr
Jaworski’s astute leadership clearly manifested the scriptural words, “Go
therefore and save those that are lost and in need”. He demonstrated with
certainty and passion, the serenity and humility needed to serve a community
that had become victims of their own actions. So he served as the Yombar priest
through fierce and bloody tribal conflict. He saw his entire congregation
damaged by the fighting, their homes razed, girls raped, women and children go
hungry because food gardens were destroyed and school children miss their
education for many years.
he watched their suffering and patched their physical wounds, he wondered
deeply about his mission and about what good he might achieve and he would
prayerfully encourage his parishioners and others to believe in his vision and
ambitions for sustainable peace, equality and economic development in the
tribe. Against the backdrop of his own psychological and spiritual trauma, Fr
Jaworski focused on trying to ways to stitch together this brutalised community
to help it heal and find new ways of survival.
about a year after the 2002 national elections, the Nauro-Gor people did begin
to regather their botched lives, and start building new houses, schools and aid
posts, maintain roads and bridges, and encouraging each other to put away their
guns, bows and arrows and talk about making peace and uniting the tribe for a
better tomorrow. In January 2006, with the help of church elders and clan
leaders and support from the police and the Catholic Diocese of Kundiawa, Fr
Jaworski arranged for a reconciliation ceremony (‘katim suga’) in which the warring clans came
together and made peace amongst themselves. With his guidance, a
community-based association, United Nauro-Gor, was incorporated and successfully
introduced the concepts of community-based laws and community policing. Young
men and women were selected to become community protection officers or
auxiliary police officers. The associations interim directors and management
adopted the 32 community laws to guide their conduct and ensure peace. The laws
covered major areas: peace and stability; politics and national elections;
witchcraft (sorcery); drug and alcohol (home brew); rape and adultery; domestic
violence and child abuse; compensation payments; gambling; stealing; and much
people remained steadfast in the belief that they would be guided by the laws
that they introduced themselves and accorded with their own local customs. It
was the foundation of the community-based law we still take pride in today. The
association pioneered numerous community projects particularly in coffee,
agriculture and farming, poultry and inland fisheries; skills training,
carpentry, sawmilling, sewing, cookery, mechanics and muany others. Fr
Jaworski’s main aim was to build a highly resilient community driven by peace,
cooperation, tribal unity and success for a once dilapidated community. The
people believed that a stable, caring and respected population can create an
agile environment, breeding law-abiding citizens who are hard-working,
responsive and lead better lives.
first notable breakthrough made by United Nauro-Gor was our fight against
sorcery and we continue to maintain peace, harmony and a carefree community. As
a result, cases of rape, drug abuse, stealing, bushfires and destruction to
schools, health clinics and bridges have enormously diminished. In 2014, United
Nauro-Gor won the Tomorrow’s Peace builders Competition Award from Peace
Direct, a global peace building organisation based in the United Kingdom. We
were the first Pacific organisation to win this prestigious award. As a
consequence of Fr Jaworski’s work, both social and surgical, he is spoken of
with such deference that he seems more myth than a man. His work has
reverberated to transform this tormented and war torn community to an enviable
place with peaceful people united in their beliefs and aspirations and a model
community in the Highlands region and PNG.
Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel plant spills 200,000 litres of ‘toxic’ slurry into the sea https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-30/chinese-owned-mine-in-png-spills-200000-litres-of-toxic-slurry/11464108
A Chinese nickel mine operator has apologised after accidentally spilling an estimated 200,000 litres of toxic slurry into a bay in Papua New Guinea’s Madang province, turning the water bright red and staining the shore.
Mining authorities in PNG said the spilled material was a mineral-rich slurry that had been piped to the processing plant at Basamuk Bay from a nickel mine site 135 kilometres inland.
Mineral Resources Authority managing director Jerry Garry told the ABC’s Pacific Beat program the slurry was “very acidic”.
“The people from the village they went down to the beach … and they realised the water was contaminated and the colour had turned to red,” Nigel Uyam, a local villager who took the first photos of the spill, told the ABC.
“They are angry … we are trying to control the angry people and we are trying to control the situation.”
Mine pollution at Basamuk Bay… We warned about it 10 years ago https://ramumine.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/mine-pollution-at-basamuk-bay-we-warned-about-it-10-years-ago/
Scott Waide | My Land My Country | 25 August 2019
Ten years ago, a small group of Papua New Guineans made a decision to fight the construction of multibillion kina Chinese owned nickel mine in the Madang province.
The reasons were simple:
1. Land was going to be taken away from its traditional custodians in Kurumbukari in the Usino-Bundi electorate and…
2. the sea, a vital resource for the people’s survival, was going to polluted by the dumping of tailings into the Basamuk Bay.
In 2011, in the course of the campaign, we produced one of several documentaries warning of the destruction that was about to happen. We hoped that in the process, people would be educated and would make the right decision and stop the dumping of tailings or the construction of the processing facility.
While filming the documentary UPROOTED, we travelled to Kumumbukari, where old Benny Mangua, a chief in his own right and chief custodian of the land wept because he was going to lose his land forever. Months earlier, he was told by the Chinese company workers that their village was going to be removed because it was going to become the mine site. They gave him K500 as a resettlement payment.
Months later, his sons were evicted from their village by police. Benny Mangua, didn’t survival long after that. He passed on, a broken man separated from his land. His family was told not to plant food on land that was later turned into a dumping area for the mine.
His son Peter Peter continued to resist attempts by police and the company to remove him. One morning, armed police, acting in the interests of the Chinese mine management, broke down his house and forced him off his land. He died about two years later.
Govt closes Manus refugee centre, stops services
September 3, 2019The National
THE Government has closed down the controversial Manus refugee processing centre on Manus Island and terminated the service of a major Australian government service provider there as of yesterday. The Government through the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) is also looking at transferring all the remaining refugees to the Port Moresby refugee processing centre and process them from there, with the possibility of allowing some to live in the country if they are willing. Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas said the decision to end the processing centre follows directions from Prime Minister James Marape.
Hospitals need equipment
September 3, 2019The National
WORKS and Implementation Minister Michael Nali says the government should allocate funds to purchase basic medical equipment for provincial hospitals and health centres.
Nali told Parliament yesterday that health workers and doctors were unable to deliver services due to lack of equipment and facilities.
“We need to allocate some money to buy some basic medical equipment for the hospitals and health centres,” Nali said. “We can train a lot of health workers and doctors but it’s like sending a mechanic to do his job without tools. “A lot of our health workers and doctors were facing challenges of delivering services because of the facilities and lack of equipment.
“They have the heart to serve the people but without the facilities they are unable to deliver services. “For us to send doctors out there without equipment – we can’t blame them.”
Judges urged to use media to talk about sorcery cases
September 12, 2019The NationalNational
JUDGES and magistrates have been asked to speak out on sorcery-related violence and not to keep such cases hidden. PNG Tribal Foundation director Ruth Kissam said majority of the population in the country were not fully aware of sorcery-related cases appearing before the courts. “We need the judges to come out and say something,” Kissam said.
“Use the media to talk about your judgements on sorcery related cases and help educate the public about the law on this issue,” she said. Kissam spoke during a panel session at the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association Conference in Port Moresby.
She outlined the work that Tribal Foundation had done as a non-government organisation (NGO) in advocating about sorcery accusation related violence and other social issues.
“There is a great need for information dissemination,” she said. “We work with the police, student volunteers and other NGOs, but we need to work with the judges and magistrates.
“Most times judges make very important statements in court that only a few people hear about and the statements go down into your files and the public know nothing about it.
“Those statements should go out to the media because that is the only way people will fully know about the law on this issue.”
Mental illness rife in PNG: Doc
September 17, 2019The National
MENTAL illnesses are rife in communities as a result of substance abuse but health facilities lack the capacity to treat them, a doctor says.
Social Change and Mental Health Services director Dr Uma Ambi said it was crucial to develop the capacity of the workforce at the level where the problem started so that early intervention could be made to prevent people getting ill.
The mental health fraternity in Port Moresby and the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a workshop last week based on the Mental health global action plan humanitarian intervention guide and the psychological first aid guide for field workers guide.
Ambi said the guide was used by WHO around the world in humanitarian interventions during natural or man–made disasters where people could develop acute stress, psychosis or depression.
She said anyone sent to a disaster area should have psychological first aid knowledge to minimise issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and grief which would develop later.
At a health facility, she said, a health worker should be able to assess and manage mental, neurological and substance abuse conditions. Therefore, the WHO guide was contextualised to suit PNG setting and master trainers were trained to visit every province and train more people in mental health.
WHO mental health technical adviser to PNG Dr Yasuko Shinozaki said alcohol and drug abuse were causing mental health issues.
Hand-outs to politicians for development purposes are being abused and need to be abolished say Catholic bishop – and many other people
MICHIGAN, USA – The District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) and Provincial Services Improvement Program (PSIP) are both valued highly by members of parliament in Papua New Guinea because they allow MPs considerable discretion in how the money is used.
For the last several years I’ve been paying particular attention to this DSIP and PSIP spending.
While DSIP and PSIP have great potential for development at the same time both programs can suck MPs into corruption.
In a good year, every one of the 111 members, including governors, receive K10 million from the government with the funds intended for development purposes in their respective districts or provinces. Some of the MP’s have used the funds well, building roads and bridges, establishing new primary and secondary schools, purchasing cell phone towers to facilitate communication, that sort of thing.
Other MP’s travel to Cairns or Brisbane and decide to use between one and five million kina to purchase a house or unit down under.
As long as the national government held the MPs accountable, the funds were used well But when the cat’s away, the mice will play.
In the 17 August 2017 issue of the Post-Courier, Gorethy Kenneth wrote a stunning article which can be summarised this way: In 2013 95 MPs acquitted their DSIP/PSIP funds; in 2014 the number dramatically dropped to 50; in 2015 another steep decline to only 30. And it gets worse: in 2016 a mere 11 MPs accounted for how they spent their K10 million.
That’s one billion kina unaccounted for.
The 31 March 2017 Post-Courier stated that in 2016 the non-reporting MPs failed to acquit K1.1 billion. And what was the consequence?
Response to Petition by Joseph Walters. – Letters to Editor Post Courier, 2nd Sept
Those who presented the petition to the Prime Minister on Monday may claim to represent churches with over a million members, but that is still a minority, and some churches, in particular the Catholic Church, would like to distance themselves from the petition and the whole approach to Christianity that the petition represents.
Jesus repeatedly warns that he did not come to bring peace and prosperity as this world understands it, but to open to us the Kingdom and eternal life with God. Jesus died poor and accursed on the Cross; the Bible does not offer us a guaranteed way to the blessings of this life, but invites us to take up our cross and follow Jesus, to set our hearts on heaven where our treasure cannot be stolen or destroyed. This true treasure is promised to us through the new covenant that God made with us through the blood of Jesus; here is our hope, and the power that draws us on.
We do not hope, therefore, in any covenant made with any group or state. We do, of course, acknowledge that the people of Israel were chosen by God long ago as a source of blessing for the world. But that blessing was Jesus the Saviour who came from them. To make a covenant with the modern state of Israel (which is not the same thing as the Biblical people of Israel) in the hope of sharing in material blessings is to reject the real gift that God. We have already received our Saviour from Israel and can expect nothing greater; it is now our turn to be a source of blessing for them as our renewed lives help them to believe in Christ (cf Romans 9-11).
Jesus fulfils the Law and the Prophets; he brings us freedom to rejoice in God for God’s sake. If we follow the Bible for the sake of anything else than being united with God, then we have worshipped the creature rather than the Creator, and we are under the yoke of the law. The Gospel can only work by bringing us freedom. The welfare of PNG does not depend on a particular Bible being enthroned in Parliament House, but on its message living in the hearts of believers.
Nor should the Bible be degraded to the status of a legal text, to be enforced through the threat of police action and prison sentences; St Paul would not have wanted disputes about its interpretation to be conducted in civil courts. The Bible is at work when it sets people free to follow God.
This country will be Christian in reality and not just in name to the extent that men and women of Gospel freedom serve in parliament and the public service. This is how churches truly influence the running of the country, not by having their pastors employed by the Government and compromised thereby. One of the failings of the kings of Israel was to have prophets who were fed at the royal table, who only prophesied good of the king (cf 1 Kings 18:19, 1 Kings 22:5-8, Amos 7:12-13).
There are many matters here that Christians must discuss in open dialogue. We urge the Prime Minister to listen to what other Christians have to say about the true blessings to come, the new and eternal covenant, the Gospel of freedom, and the high calling of pastors that demands their freedom from government office.
– Fr Joseph Vnuk, op
– Catholic Theological Institute, Bomana
Australia should lead through kindness
Fr. Giorgio Licini
Papua New Guinea is a developing country suffering from budget shortages. Still it occupies a central position among the family of nations in the Pacific. As such the government in Port Moresby and the civil society in the country should not hesitate to raise their voice regarding the current most pressing issues. Papua New Guinea stands between Australia and Indonesia when it comes to the West Papua unrest and divisions, both internal and with the central government in Jakarta, which is rejected by many. Our country is also bearing the brunt, and that way highlighting the issue of people seeking asylum and protection far from their place of birth and troubled spots of the world. Six years of Australian off-shore processing center in Manus (and Nauru), however, are leaving behind a legacy of mental health and bitterness among vulnerable people, who rather needed care and healing. The assault on natural resources also has Papua New Guinea defend its portion of last remaining rainforests on the planet and try to resist the first ever experiments of seabed mining in the world right off its coasts.
Political ambition and corporate greed pose the greatest risks to social harmony in the Pacific. The richest and biggest nation, Australia, should rather lead the region through solidarity and inclusiveness. It will not be a military basis in Manus Island to keep people like the Chinese at bay. They are equipped with financial resources and skills, clearly showing industriousness and hunger for new geographical space and financial opportunities for an immensely bigger population, and not completely abstaining from corrupt and unconventional practices to get their way into business and profit. A costly naval facility will not win the hearts and minds of smaller Pacific nations, who may still surrender their natural resources to China in exchange for ordinary budget needs. It will rather further promote the idea of a new West colonial attempt, which relies on estranged military strength rather than empowerment of local human resources and assets.
The people of the Pacific value cooperation, respect and harmonious relationships with fellow humans and the environment. If Australia wants to lead, it can only do so through compassion and kindness. Arrogance and refusal to listen will isolate the big island south, leaving the smaller ones in the vast ocean with no choice but to turn to Asia. Nobody intends to infringe on the rights and boarders of Australia; but their citizens will not be loved if their government keeps on picking on a few hundred refugees on off-shore detention centers; or if they refuse to acknowledge the negative impact of coal burning on the environment; or make access and work in their country difficult for other members of the Pacific family. A true leader supports and inspires, rather than lord it over and show muscular strength.
(PNG Catholic Reporter, September 2019)
– A report has detailed shocking levels of physical violence and neglect
towards millions of Pacific Islands children, sparking calls for better-targeted
aid programs from countries like New Zealand and Australia. The report team, from
combined aid agencies, investigated child-rearing practices in seven Pacific
countries, as well as Timor-Leste. The report found as many as four million
children experience violence at home across the Pacific – a staggering 2.8
million in Papua New Guinea alone.
More than half of all
sexual violence referred to medical clinics involves children in PNG, where
almost one in three parents report beating children “as hard as they can”. The
research also outlines a range of factors that contribute to the abuse,
including Pacific societies with high levels of gender inequality; social
acceptance of physical punishment of children, weak governance, and growing
poverty and inequality.
The report’s authors said
the research shows the critical lack of overseas aid invested in programs aimed
at ending violence against children, and programs by countries like New Zealand
and Australia need to be more targeted.
Carsten Bockemuehl, World
Vision’s advocacy campaigns lead for the Pacific, said violence against
children will make societies less prosperous and will exacerbate risks to
health and criminal justice systems and that there needed to be a “rebalancing”
of aid priorities in the Pacific.
“It’s actually an economic
issue, it makes countries poorer, so that’s why, out of the many competing
priorities in developing countries, we just advocate for violence to be
recognised as a critical development issue.”
committing violence against children will be fined up to K5,000 or jailed up to
two years or both under the Lukautim Pikinini Act, says Community Development,
Youth and Religion Minister Wake Goi. He made the statement following reports
of recent child abuses in Port Moresby.
Three children were beaten and locked up in the cell two weeks ago at Boroko
and last week, four children were stripped, beaten and poured paint on after
they were allegedly caught doing graffiti.
And recently at Gordon bus station, a grade eight student in school uniform was
allegedly beaten by police officers. Samuel Kolas, 18, a grade 8 student at the
Wardstrip Primary School, was allegedly beaten by three policemen while he was
waiting for a bus. Goi said that these reports spoke volumes of negligence,
abuse and violence perpetrated against children.
Under the Lukautim Pikinini Act section 78, for all forms of violence other
than sexual violence the penalty is K5,000 fine or imprisonment not exceeding
two years or both,” she said. “The perpetrators must be arrested and charged
under the Lukautim Pikinini Act.”
THE head bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Papua New Guinea Dr Jack Urame has condemned physical violence and other forms of violence against children in Papua New Guinea, adding that this is a serious issue and a sign of the breakdown of family and societal values. He was referring to a new report on child protection crisis in the Pacific released at the United Nations High-level Political Forum in New York last month. The Unseen and Unsafe: Underinvestment in Ending Violence Against Children in the Pacific and Timor-Leste report shows that over 70 per cent or four million children across eight countries experience violent discipline at home, including a staggering 2.8 million (75 per cent of the child population) in PNG. The report details, for the first time, the shocking levels of physical, emotional and sexual violence, as well as neglect faced by children living in the Pacific and Timor-Leste. “If the report is true about our country, then it does not reflect well on our society, a so-called Christian country,” Urame told The National. “We will face a lot of problems in the future because we are not helping the children, who are the very future of this nation. “I appeal to mothers and fathers to be responsible for their children. “We must change our attitudes when caring for our children.” He called on all churches in the country to speak out on the issue. “The church condemns and does not tolerate all forms of violence and abuse towards children. We must all work together now to ensure our children are given the rightful and proper care they deserve.”
PNG: Look to agriculture not minerals to strengthen economy
LONDON, UK – Papua New Guinea should look to agriculture to strengthen
growth as the economy recovers from a series of external shocks, the World Bank
has said. Structural transformation was needed in the country to bring about
the inclusive and sustainable development that would enable its economy to
become more resilient, the bank suggested in a report. Real GDP growth in Papua
New Guinea dropped gradually from 13.5% in 2014 to -0.5% in 2018. During this time
there was a commodity price shock, a particularly warm El Niño climate cycle
and a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hampered the economy, the World Bank
pointed out in the report, released on Friday last week.
But now, real GDP growth is forecast to be about 5.6% in 2019, and hover
at just over 3% in 2020-21 – a recovery mainly observed in the resource sector,
dominated by liquefied natural gas. Ilyas Sarsenov, World Bank senior country
economist for Papua New Guinea, said: “PNG’s growth outlook remains positive
but fragile due to rising economic uncertainties ranging from the domestic
political economy to the recent escalation of trade tensions between the United
States and China. “To mitigate downside risks to the outlook and better weather
external shocks, it is recommended that PNG authorities adjust macroeconomic
policy and focus on structural transformation of the economy, especially in
agriculture as a potential economic driver for more diversified and inclusive
development.” About 87% of the country’s population live in rural areas, with
three quarters of them involved in subsistence and cash income agriculture –
including fresh foods, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, copra and copra oil.
New Zealand – Pacific island leaders insist climate change, not China, will top
the agenda when they meet in Tuvalu this month as western-aligned nations push
to curb Beijing’s growing influence in the region. Once regarded as a sleepy
backwater of the diplomatic world, the islands are now a hotbed of aid projects
and charm offensives as anxiety over China’s presence grows. Australia has
labelled its campaign the Pacific Step-Up, New Zealand has the Pacific Reset,
and Britain the Pacific Uplift, while the United States, Japan, and France have
also intensified their efforts to court the region. But local leaders attending
the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Tuvalu from August 13 to 16 are wary their
concerns will be sidelined if they become pawns in a wider power struggle. The
16-member forum mainly consists of small island nations, along with Papua New
Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. PIF secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor said
the forum, whose members collectively refer to themselves as the Blue Pacific,
was at a pivotal moment in its history.”While we are the subject of the
geopolitical maneuvering and strategies of others, the Blue Pacific collective
remains focused on charting our own destiny,” she said.
The primary concern for
island leaders – many of whom live in low-lying nations threatened by rising
seas – is climate change
PNG needs to depreciate
exchange rate, academic says
Papua New Guinea’s economy showed signs of recovery last year but it has not been sustained this year, according to survey results presented at the 2019 Update PNG Forum in Port Moresby last week. Australian National University director of development policy centre Stephen Howes told the forum PNG needed to depreciate its exchange rate. Howes said PNG was the 10th most resource-intensive economy in the world, reliant on petroleum, oil, gas, coal and minerals, the Saudi Arabia of the Pacific. “In order to recover after the boom, PNG needs to depreciate its exchange rate. “Until it does that, PNG is going to suffer from foreign exchange shortages and that will drag on growth. “The rising salary bill, rising interest burden and revenue is flat which makes fiscal adjustments and management difficult. “The Government cannot pay bills because it has to pay salaries and interest obligations. State-owned entities debt and some of the guarantees were adding to the fiscal stress.”
phones have seen rapid rise in off-grid solar in PNG
— The use of off-grid solar products has skyrocketed over the past five years
in Papua New Guinea, with 60% of households now using solar lighting — up
sharply from just 2% in 2012, according to a new report by the International
Finance Corporation. As a result, PNG now has one of the highest rates of use of
off-grid solar lighting in the developing world, according to the report ‘Going the Distance: Off-Grid Lighting
Market Dynamics in PNG’. Part of this is due to the fact that 87%
of the population — or 7.2 million people — are not connected to the
electricity grid. But the increased use of mobile technology has also played a
major role. The report showed the transition happened at a time when mobile
phone penetration was growing rapidly, but the means to charge phones was
lagging. Off-grid solar products on the PNG market now include generic battery
powered torches and lanterns, as well as IFC quality-verified off-grid solar
products — with many providing the ability to charge a phone. “This is because people need the energy to
charge their mobiles, and there is also an attempt by mobile companies to
launch initiatives for mobile charging. It is important to remember that the
revenues of mobile companies are directly related to handsets being charged.”
Sori: Teachers having sexual
relationship to be terminated
TEACHERS who abuse their position of trust and have sexual relationships with female students will be terminated, Teachers Service Commissioner Baran Sori says. Sori told The National that teachers engaged in sexual relationships with their students was not just a serious offence but also criminal in nature. He made this statement after three male secondary high school teachers in New Ireland were terminated for having sexual relationships with their students. “The three teachers were charged with the offence by a senior provincial school inspector after complaints were raised and the matter was referred to the provincial education board, who recommended their immediate dismissal,” Sori said.
TWO police officers were jailed 18 months by the Waigani National Court yesterday for forcing a woman to chew and swallow three condoms in 2015. Justice Panuel Mogish also ordered Joshua Yawijah and Jacklyn Tanda to be dismissed from the force. “Police officers are supposed to uphold human rights, not abuse their powers,” he said. Yawijah and Tanda, both probationary police officers, recorded a video of the woman’s ordeal of chewing and swallowing the condoms and posted the it on the Internet. “You did not formally arrest and charge the complainant for an offence, but instead you forced her to eat and swallow the condoms,” he told the duo. Yawijah, 25, from Pangia, Southern Highlands has two children and Tanda, 26, from Wabag, Enga, has a three-month-old baby. “Before you commit a crime, always think about your family.”
HEALTH Minister Elias
Kapavore said the issue of shortage of doctors in the country could only be
addressed with a standalone medical university and the training of medical
students at other major institutions. Kapavore said given the current ratio of
one doctor for every 20,000 people, the Government was trying to address the
shortage of doctors in the country and had taken several measures. He had
instructed the new Medical Board of PNG with the support of two Australian
medical professors to visit the Divine Word University next month to assess the
curriculum and its facilities related to the teaching of medicine. Kapavore
said while the DWU medical programme had its critics, the curriculum and
training offered at Madang institution the two professors would be able to give
him a clear understanding what the school needed to produce qualified and
quality graduates. He said based on their report, a review of the curriculum
would be done if needed to ensure the changes were made in order for DWU to
graduate its first doctors in 2021 which he said would double the number of
Marape govt begins to address PNG’s grim cancer battle
PORT MORESBY – We are all susceptible to cancer regardless
of age, sex, race, health and socioeconomic situation. Cancer strikes
indiscriminately. It takes alike the old and young, weak and robust,
eliminating a former common misconception- one of many myths of cancer – that
it is mainly an ailment consigned to the older age bracket.
Unlike death and its
inevitability, cancer can be fatal, but is also avoidable and treatable, given
the right drugs and equipment. And it can be curable as well if diagnosed and
treated at the earliest stage. I was privileged to speak to the late Dr John
Niblett about this in July 2013. At the time this great and selfless man was
director of the Angau Memorial Hospital’s cancer treatment centre.
Dr Niblett (God rest his
soul) died on 4 July 2017 – an especially tragic passing given his cruel
expulsion from the treatment centre by an ingrate National Department of Health
and the Health Minister at the time. In light of the Marape government’s recent
announcement of a sizable capital injection of K60 million into the country’s
two top hospitals to ensure cancer treatment will be available next year, I am
prompted to revisit my enlightening conversation with the late Dr Niblett.
Then a leading cancer
specialist and the only resident radiation oncologist in PNG, Dr Niblett said
given the underdeveloped, underfunded, understaffed and under-informed cancer
response by the health department, early detection was the only hope anyone
afflicted by cancer had to be given a fighting chance to survive. Back in 2013,
the statistics painted an almost hopeless picture of the cancer situation in
the country. Of an estimated 2,000 cancer cases each year, an average of 400
were detected and referred to the cancer centre for treatment management. This
was a mere 40% compared to the outstanding 60% of undetected cases, implying
that some 1,200 unfortunate people suffered in what can only be described as
dreadful circumstances without treatment and without hope.
26 August 2019
Peace in the valley – and it all started in the home
– The air is filled with smoke rising languidly above mounds of black ash.
Women and children hide in the forest, terrified of those who have stripped
their fields and herded away their pigs.
In the distance, a
decrepit school stands idly, empty of laughter or the sounds of teachers
scolding students. A small church, recently filled with sounds of song and
praise, is the only building that is untouched. Over a ridge, a widow watches a
sweet potato roasting on a bed of glowing ash. She is worried. Her hands
tremble. Recently a man in her clan died after a long illness. Some of the
relatives are saying she is responsible.
They huddle together and
whisper. A witch, one says. A sorcerer, says another. A Dracula. For that is
the new word they use for the likes of her. She has done nothing but fears what
will happen when the relatives of the deceased man return to her house.
She is still grieving, for
her own husband died two years earlier, and a daughter died recently in
childbirth. It was too dangerous to go to the hospital.
This was the recent, harsh
reality of life for the 3,000 people of the Guna-Goreku tribe in Papua New
Guinea’s rugged and beautiful Simbu Province. According to Benjamin Kola and
his wife, Agnes, few Guna-Goreku people had gone to school because of constant
fighting for more than 25 years. [See the above url for the full article]
Progress may be inevitable but human dignity should prevail
MORESBY – The fate of about 100 families residing in 64 units of National
Housing Commission flats at Gordon in Port Moresby hangs in precarious balance
as they face eviction from their homes of 20-30 years by a private property
The matter is the subject
of a bitter and protracted legal battle that has taken up the better part of
the last 12 years and is still awaiting a final court decision.
But the political
leadership of the National Capital District (NCD) must be lauded, and loudly,
for standing up for the families who are agitated and distressed about the
future. Governor Powes Parkop and the MPs of Moresby South and North-East have
made considerable efforts to address the adverse effects of physical
developments on affected communities in and around the city.
Moresby North-East MP John
Kaupa recently told the affected Gordon families that, if an eviction is
compelled to happen by law, it will take place, but that it is incumbent upon
leaders to ensure it occurs in a just, orderly and humane manner.
Essentially, the MP
captured and amplified the collective view of local political leaders led by Governor
In the last two years
alone, there have been a number of NCD-sanctioned relocation of entire
communities displaced by commercial developments.
A human rights lawyer
prior to taking up politics, Governor Parkop consistently champions the cause
of powerless people caught in the aggressive cross currents of progress and
development. That is certainly the sentiment of Francis Irai, an elderly man of
about 70, living with his family in a makeshift home constructed of rusted
metal sheet walls and canvas for a roof. The squalor in which the family is
living is shocking and degrading, but the family has no place else and the
future is devoid of hope as far as Mr Irai can see, which unfortunately is not
too far as he is losing his sight. They are victims of progress taking the form
of a brand new four-lane road linking Gerehu and 9 Mile, purportedly to reduce
the traffic congestion on the nearby main highway.
Irai is now a broken man
without a job, without a home and without hope. He sought me out to air his
story in his firm belief that Governor Parkop will heed his plea.
admission of health system failure 10 years overdue
SCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My
– For the last five years, I have been repeating the same story: ‘We have a
crisis in the health system.’The rest of the country can see
it. The people who are victims of the medicine shortages all over the country
keep speaking out about it. Health workers have cried while being interviewed
because they simply can’t save lives. And we’re not talking about the expensive
cancer treatment and operations families have to pay for.
It’s the basics that are
lacking. Antibiotics, malaria drugs, family planning drugs and consumables. The
clinics don’t have them. Or even if they have them, the supplies are not enough
for their catchment areas. Personally, I have emailed the health secretary,
Pascoe Kase, about the cancer unit in Lae, the ill-treatment of the late Dr
John Niblet and the medicine shortages. I have called and sent text messages. No
I found that the only
way get the (former) government’s attention was to produce a series of
live videos on Facebook berating the health minister and the ‘higher ups’ until
the issue got discussed on the floor of parliament. It took a change of
government before health workers truly felt free to openly discuss the medicine
shortages. When the new PM, James Marape, travelled to Lae on his second
visit, he came with health minister Elias Kapavore and secretary Kase. We put
the question of medicine shortages to him yet again. The health secretary was
indeed quick to defend saying the medicine shortage was a “broad” assumption
and that the problem was with the area medical stores.He went on further to
state that a lot of the blame lay with staff at the clinics.
I said: “You have to go to
the clinics and talk to staff because the information you are giving me here is
wrong.” (I have the video). It turned into a tense exchange which
we later had to cut short. After more than five years, secretary Kase is now
‘admitting’ that there are problems. I could say better late than
never. But…no. We wanted that admission earlier. We wanted an
acknowledgment of the problem and it is almost 10 years overdue. Senior doctors
like Sam Yokopua, Ludwig Nanawar and Alex Peawi have all threatened to resign
over the unresolved problems that continue to hurt their patients.
PLUS ÇA CHANGE, PLUS C’EST
LA MÊME CHOSE
I liked the last sentence
of Scott’s article. Luckily in my sojourn in PNG I didn’t spend too long living
in the capital but the few years remain etched in my memory-bank.
I can still the recall the
delightful appearance of the Waigani public servants and ministerial
bag-carriers or ‘gofers’.
They looked quite sharp in
their nice clothes complete with an air of officialdom that impressed the
peasants who sought answers in shabby government offices or when these so
called public servants accompanied their ministerial masters often helicoptered
into the sweaty backwaters of the nation and thus avoiding nasty spray from a
dinghy trip or inhaling the road dust and pothole bumps along neglected mud
Having been a mostly rural
inhabitant for my 32 years in PNG I had witnessed the terrible shortcoming of
the Health Department at first hand:
The lovely dental building
at Taskul with no electricity connection and the second-hand dental chair which
would send you somersaulting backwards onto floor as it had a damaged rear
support. Two officers stationed there to carry out 19th century extractions.
Daughter with cut finger
arrived at 1610 so no treatment until next day.
Never ending lack of
correct tablets so aspirin for malaria.
On and on it goes with the
poor old aidposts having rundown buildings with even less medial necessities.
Not even a water supply for some as collecting gutters broken or tank rusted
Reports in PNG media now
in my health file continue to grow and every year appear articles on the
failure of the health ministers and their secretaries to solve the greatest
problem of drug supply in their fiefdom.
011203 Medical drugs run
out in NG Islands region:
INTRAVENOUS fluid, an
essential medical drug, is reportedly running short in the New Guinea Islands
Region. Saint Mary’s Vunapope Hospital paediatrician Dr Pomat told of one
patient, who was very sick and needed IV treatment but hospital staff could not
administer IV because they did not have the fluid in stock and the patient
died. “It is a crisis situation. We are out of intravenous fluids,” Dr Pomat
020624 THE Port Moresby
General Hospital is critically short of drugs There are no anaesthetic drugs
and laboratory reagents.
020102 Goroka needs
steriliser to fight typhoid epidemic
040114 Cancer, silent killer
-UP to 10,000 Papua New Guineans die every year as a result of cancer
060721 Moresby hospital
runs out of drugs
080608 2nd hand cancer
machine that Lae hospital bought in 1979 eventually gave up ghost in 1999
081212 Tari hospital runs
out of drugs
081231 In dire straits
POMGH forced to accept donations to stay in business
090107 Babies miss out as
drugs run out at Well Baby Clinic in POM
091016 Drug supply short
at urban clinics
100223 Drug shortage in
Lae clinics for newborn babies
100520 Last three months
before ART drug supply ceases
119221 The acute shortage
of basic medical drugs in rural aid posts in Madang and Karkar is now into its
second month as the province’s medical store and supplier remains closed.
110722 Drugs shortage
kills nine in Kandrian
111107 A$1.4 million given
to pursue snake-bites study
110130 Papua New Guinea
Health Report – The worst state of health in the Pacific region
120217 No immunisation
vaccines for babies in Lae
120412 Nonga Base hospital
short on oxygen supplies
120418 Wewak General
Hospital is sending away patients seeking X-rays because its machine is not
131201 Internal DFAT
documents identify Borneo Pacific as PNG’s largest provider of drugs from
manufacturer North China Pharmaceutical Group, a known offender in China’s fake
140605 Medical kits here
next week from Borneo Pharmaceutical Company in Indonesia
140722 Hospitals receive
300 second hand beds from John Hunter Hospital in OZ
150331 Shortage of BCG
vaccine for babies at POM G Hospital is unacceptable
151106 PM seems to be
deluded when he says ‘no drug shortages in PNG hospitals’
160413 Critical drug
shortage at POM G Hospital for six months
160415 ‘Hospitals not
short of drugs’ says Secty. Pascoe Kase
160517 Laloki short of
vital mental drug Olanzepine
160623 K50 Millions owed
to suppliers and distributors of medical drugs acknowledged by health Minister
Michael Malabag & his Secty. P Kase
160926 Hospitals lack
170103 Nogat marasin
170315 Lack Of Anti Venom
In PNG A Concern at www. news.pngfacts.com
170320 Shortage of pap
smear tests because of lack of pathologists
170412 Half a million
funding for drugs not enough for 6 months
170609 Drugs crisis being
fixed says Secty. Kase
170808 K15,000 anti-venom
fee will cause deaths says Dr Sam Yockopua
180222 Medicines running
out as supplies stuck without distributor as Sir Puke dithers
180525 Sir Puke Tuma
Health minister NOW admits medicine, needles, gauze, cotton often run out
181031 Oro Clinic serving
2000 people: No antibiotics, no painkillers or other basic supplies such as
gauze, gloves and adhesives.
190319 Ways sought to
improve supply of medicine says Sir Puka Temu
These mere headlines tell
a sad tale of political neglect either from idiots, uncaring or corrupt elites
who turn up to work in their nice clothes but often disdaining to answer the
pleas of the masses crying out for a decent health system throughout the
We are all aware how the
top lot somehow afford trips to overseas hospitals or at the very at least
access private medical care.
Sadly May 2019’s misnamed
‘change of government’ saw O’Neills recent supporters who had just publicly
railed against him happily coalescing into almost the same political swamp
Nothing new under the sun
in politics: ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’
If you’re pregnant, very
unwell, suffering from cancer, TB or with mental illness don’t hold your breath
waiting to see improvements in your rural health facility.
PERPETRATORS of sorcery
accusation related violence (SARV) in Jiwaka are increasingly likely to face
the law after local police received some intensive training. Thirty-two police
officers in Jiwaka were briefed on the latest laws and legal framework
regarding SARV crimes at a recent workshop in Minj. Participants took part in
discussions and activities on efficient ways to identify and charge alleged
perpetrators in sorcery accusation related violence cases.
Constable Alice Bureng, from Banz Police Station, said they attended to SARV
cases on a weekly basis. “After attending the workshop, I now understand that
it is important to attend to minor complaints of SARV such as calling someone a
sanguma (sorcerer) before it escalates into arson or murder,” Bureng said. She
added that witnesses in most SARV cases did not give statements or turn up to
court in fear of retribution, making prosecution difficult.
TUBERCULOSIS (TB) is spreading among prisoners in Buimo
and it is getting worse because of overcrowding, jail commander Supt Judy Tara
says. Tara this said on Thursday in Lae that after the death of an inmate ,
caused by TB, a few weeks ago. “I am calling on the authorities to allow parole
for detainees who are eligible for this release to free up space,” she said.
Buimo prison reduced the number of its inmates by sending some to prisons in
other centres last month.
A CATHOLIC bishop has called on the Government to tell
companies both foreign and local to renegotiate agreements relating to
customary land. Archbishop Francesco Panfilo told the annual Singkai Lecture on
July 5 at the Bomana Catholic Theological Institute that it must be done to
“Take back PNG” which the Government has to do.
Panfilo said most Special Agricultural Business Leases (SABL) were not fair on
indigenous owners who had little or nothing to gain despite the use of huge
portions of their land and the harvesting of its resources.
He urged the Government to push for renegotiation to ensure:
A fair rental
payment for the land;
fair royalties paid
for the export of resources;
devastation is addressed;
policies are in
place to ensure sound environment practices;
the respect for
sacred sites; and,
contribution to sustainable community services by the company
Panfilo said Papua New Guineans as Melanesians depended on
the land as it was their life.
At least 15
women and children killed in tribal massacre in Papua New Guinea
University anthropologist Dr Chris Ballard, who has spent many years living
with and researching the area’s dominant Huli population, agrees with local
observations that the massacre falls outside even the eroded rules of tribal
warfare. Before European contact, these constraints “managed fighting quite
effectively,” he says. “Even in the worst cases of warfare where entire clans
were forced off their territory, casualties were pretty minimal and they were
almost always fighting men.” Given dense webs of social connection and strict
requirements around paying compensation for deaths, random killing were
considered “truly dumb”.“Nobody was interested in mass death. The cost of
having to fork out pigs for compensation for death placed limits on what people
were prepared to even envisage.”
anger over broken promises
Today locals live in
constant fear and Hela is a virtual no-go zone to outsiders despite the fact
that the recent atrocities played out barely 30 kilometres, as the helicopter
flies, from the fortified compounds that are the heart of the nation’s largest
resources project, the $US19 billion Exxon-Mobil led PNGLNG
(Liquefied Natural Gas).
The maelstrom of the LNG fallout, old
enmities, new jealousies, deteriorating basic services and, last year, a devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake,
underwrites a spiralling social
emergency in which tribal fighting has razed villages,
closed schools, displaced communities and caused an unknown toll of casualties.
The old rules constraining warfare have broken down in recent decades, ,
Ballard says. By 2008 – when the PNGLNG building phase was at its height –
Medecins Sans Frontieres installed a surgical team at Tari Hospital because
casualties from tribal and family violence were equivalent to a war zone. Janet
Koriama says traditional protections for women have eroded notably over the
lifetime of the LNG project.
Patients urged to report hospital staff
PORT Moresby General Hospital acting chief executive
officer Paki Molumi wants the public to report any staff, nurse or doctor who
demands fees for services. He said the admission fee for the hospital was K5,
surgery K15 and K50 for CT scan. “However, the charges have been waived for
children and senior citizens. “Doctors may also use their discretion to waive
the charges for those who could not afford to pay,” he said. Molumi said it was
illegal for any staff, nurse or doctor to collect fees for hospital services. “Please
report immediately any staff who demanded payment so that we can make the
system better for our patients,” he said.
Molumi also said a new policy had been implemented for accepting donations to
“Food donations are not accepted due to the risk of contamination while
donation of clothes and toys will go through the Department of Social Works for
“However, charitable donations for pharmaceuticals, equipment or infrastructure
are most welcome.”
A CATHOLIC church priest is calling on the Government not
to consider death penalty as an option for punishment but to fund
rehabilitation programmes to change the people.
Chaplin of Baisu Jail in the Western Highlands Fr Robert Nolie said the
Correctional Services was established to rehabilitate offenders and Government
should focus on that aspect of the penal system. He said the death penalty was
not the solution for penalising law breakers.
Nolie said he supported Prime Minister James Marape for suggesting a way
forward for prisoners. Nolie said everyone made mistakes and rehabilitation
through the state correctional system as well as faith and social programmes
were better alternatives than ending a life.
He said leaders could not impose laws to kill wrong doers but rather help
change those who broke the laws. Nolie said he was currently running
rehabilitation programmes at Baisu and had seen firsthand the positive impact
on a wide range of prisoners including serious offenders.
He said the rehabilitation programmes had prisoners engaged in were piggery,
poultry, goat farming, agriculture and now the Baisu Technical Education
Vocational Training (Tvet) centre.
“After working with the prisoners for six years I can see that they can change
if they are taught to live better lives through the rehabilitation programmes,”
he said. “I make prisoners feel at home, after they leave they go as changed
person, this is why the Government should consider funding these programmes to
help law breakers.”
He said the Catholic church of the Archdiocese of Mt
Hagen was willing to work with the Correctional Services department in
developing and running rehabilitation and reintegration programmes in jails.
Part of the solution or
part of the problem? Private security in PNG
CANBERRA – In a surprise move, Papua New Guinea’s new prime minister,
James Marape, appointed member for Madang Open, Bryan Kramer, as the country’s
Soon after his
appointment Kramer promised to reform PNG’s police force, the Royal Papua New
Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC). The one-time member of the opposition and critic
of the O’Neill government has outlined a range of measures, including providing
more opportunities for women, addressing corruption and improving discipline. He
is also encouraging citizens to report crime and police misdeeds through social
media, which has already resulted in an arrest.
While Kramer’s promised
reforms are encouraging, improving security in what is often depicted as one of
the world’s most dangerous countries will not be easy. PNG’s police force is
massively understaffed, poorly resourced, ill-disciplined and heavily
factionalised. Even if reform were to improve the state’s police force, PNG’s
serious fiscal crisis means that Kramer, and the still-to-be-appointed new
police commissioner, will need to look beyond the RPNGC to find answers to
PNG’s security problems.
One possible place to
start looking will be PNG’s private security industry, which although
intersecting with many areas of public policing has been largely ignored in
policy and development discussions to date. The private security industry has
become the largest provider of security in the country. According to PNG’s
Security Industries Authority (SIA), which is the designated regulator under
the Security (Protection) Industry Act 2004, the number of licensed companies
grew from 173 in 2006 to 464 in 2016, with a total workforce of around 27,709
security guards.These official figures don’t include what are believed to be
the much higher number of unlicensed security companies and personnel operating
in different parts of the country.
The industry is a major
employer, with some claiming that it is now the country’s third largest source
of employment. While available figures are rubbery, the SIA estimated the value
of the industry in 2016 as between K833 million and K1 billion.
New curriculum brings mixed reaction from officers
have been a lot of discussions, including mixed reactions, about the new
curriculum citizenship and Christian values education (CCVE) at the senior
education officers’ meeting in Eastern Highlands this week. However, most of
the participants agreed to the introduction of the new curriculum as a
compulsory subject due to moral breakdown in the PNG society.
CCVC has come about because of widespread concern regarding lack of prominence
in teaching and learning of CCVE in school curriculums. Acting Education
secretary in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Mary Remi raised an
implementing issue on how the department could address teachers with attitude
problems to teach Christian values education. Church education representative
Michael Ova also agreed and said earlier aspects of confusion of CCVE was
cleared during the conference presentation. First assistant secretary
curriculum and measurement with the Education Department Annmarie Kona, when
updating senior education officers about the curriculum said: “CCVE came about
due to evidence in society about the disrespect for law, disrespect and denial
of human rights, disrespect of environment, non-appreciation of cultural
beliefs and values, growing practices of corruption and total breakdown of
civic participation. Kona also shared that Christian religion education that
was being taught currently by church representatives was about Christianity,
unlike CCVE for which teachers are trained to teach.
elites behind brutal Highlands slayings must be targeted
PORT MORESBY – Sixteen children and women slashed to death by warlords
and their tribesmen were laid to rest in Hela yesterday.
And towards the eastern
edge of Southern Highlands in the Kagua-Erave area, a massacre said to be much
larger continues unabated, perhaps 50-100 victims have lost their lives as
warring tribes ransack villages and orchestrate guerilla warfare. With limited
reliable reporting, the number of deaths is likely to be much higher. Roads
have become dangerous to travel and as a result schools, aid posts and other
basic government services have come to a standstill.
With the use of high
powered guns and hired hit men, tribal fights are much more deadly than those
fought in traditional times. In the Highlands where the payback system
and bigman mentality
are still dominant, battles among the elites for power quickly spiral into
all-out tribal and ethnic war. It gets complicated when political differences
and tribal conflicts intertwine. Lurking behind the images of men with guns and
piles of bodies is a battle among the elites for power, prestige and wealth. Money
and drugs are used to procure high powered guns for the foot soldiers who
follow orders from the top. It’s continuing warfare, there’s no sparing the
innocent and there’s no contemplation of peace. As aptly described by one
observer, the situation in Hela and other parts of the Highlands is not just
chaos, it’s organised chaos. The killing of women and children is an emerging
trend in tribal warfare and may reflect a change in the rules of engagement. It
seems warring tribes are after children, especially male children and their
mothers, in the hope of exterminating future threats. However, we all know that
will only lead to a vicious cycle of revenge, death and continuing violence in
leaders, ward councillors, village court magistrates, tribal leaders and police
all have an important role to play in ensuring that peace prevails. The
organising elite must be held accountable. They are the ones bankrolling these
battles and killings. They are responsible and they must act to stop the
PAPUA New Guinea has the highest number of
child abuse cases of the estimated 2.8 million children facing violence in the
Pacific and Timor-Leste, according to Unseen and Unsafe report.
Save the Children acting head of policy and author of Unseen and Unsafe,
Kavitha Suthanthiraraj, says the report reveals the child protection crisis in
the Pacific and Timor-Leste and the devastating lifelong impact this has on
children. “Violence against children has been ignored and there has been
inadequate levels of funds and policy measures to address this epidemic,” she
said. “Children who face violence and abuse often suffer from serious physical
injuries, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, mental trauma
and even death.”
A research, conducted by Save the Children, World Vision, Plan International
and ChildFund, demonstrated that in PNG:
More than half of all sexual violence cases referred to
medical clinics in Port Moresby and Tari were against children;
27 per cent of parents or carers reported beating their
children over and over as hard as they could;
physical violence against adolescent girls is between 30
per cent and 25 per cent; and,
sexual violence against adolescent girls is between 15 per
cent and 10 per cent.
Scott Waide – As the new prime minister, you have your work cut out for you.
You have to try to get a lot of it done within two years before
the 2022 elections.
That’s a big job. Do what is right by the people. Listen to
their voices through social media. Not all of it is fake news. Take
counsel from those who disagree with you, publicly and privately, in the
interest of your eight million people. Be brave enough to listen to the
criticisms and find the threads of truth in them. Be truthful about the state
of Papua New Guinea’s health system. The people of Papua New Guinea
deserve a Government that tells the truth. There is a severe shortage of
medicine. Puka Temu did a bad job and he did not admit to it as health
minister. Many of our aid posts are closed and our hospitals don’t have
medicine. Yet the media is accused of ‘being political’ when we highlight
these ‘open secrets.’
Be truthful about tuition fee free education. It’s not
working for us. Our schools don’t get the money on time. If we have to
pay for school fees, tell that to the people straight as it is. Papua New
Guineans are resilient and hard working. They do not deserve to be lied
to. Please appoint an education minister who will find out why teachers
continue to have their pays cut when they do not have outstanding loans.
Remove the companies that are benefiting from the cumbersome
procurement processed in the health and education at the expense of our people.
Investigate and prosecute the kaikaiman and kaikaimeri who
suck the systems dry. Send them to jail.
Provide housing for our people. …
Papua New Guineans deserve government that has the guts to dump
the garbage and restore integrity.
SOME prison facilities still being used today were built during the colonial days and badly need to be renovated and upgraded, a senior prison officer says. Correctional Service College commander Chief Supt Kiddy Keko said some of the infrastructures were falling apart including buildings, staff quarters and offices. He called on the Government to increase the Correctional Service annual budget to cater for the upgrading of its facilities. “There are 22 State prisons around the country with over 1000 staff and their families,” Keko said. “In order to rehabilitate convicts like murderers and rapists, officers need proper facilities to use. It is their right to be protected under a proper roof to do their jobs effectively.” He said the Correctional Service was allocated about K166 million annually which was not enough for the rehabilitation process.
TRANSPARENCY International PNG (TIPNG) has urged newly-elected
Prime Minister James Marape and his cabinet to revisit five legislative issues
of national interest to reduce corruption and restore good governance in the
There are five crucial legislative actions that are of national interest that
Transparency International PNG would be urging the Marape Government to take to
reduce corruption and restore good governance in the country:
Establish a fully-empowered Independent Commission Against Corruption, with the power to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of corruption;
pass amendments to the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates to ensure it follows the constitution and is ensures greater accountability in how MP’s conduct themselves;
address the tangible deficiencies identified in TIPNG’s 2017 Election Observation Report through reform of the Electoral Law;
use Open Government Partnership to pass Access To Information Legislation and strengthen accountability in service delivery through civic participation; and,
Establish the outstanding Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) so that benefits from the country’s natural resources can be transparently managed.
pledge of hope & reassurance to the people of PNG
Kumbon – “To all our citizens, we are prepared to work, can I ask of you one
thing? “Give me a good law and order environment, stop crime, stop tribal
fights (my Hela, please), stop torture of mothers and daughters, stop
corruption at all levels, honour time by being punctual, do little things like
stop littering and spitting the red stain of betel nuts. “Let’s all contribute.
I am willing to make few hard calls going forward as the chief servant of my
country, Papua New Guinea.
you who want to work with me please align here or offer me better solution to
make PNG the Richest Black Christian Nation on earth, where no child in any
part of our country is left behind.”
are a modern and effective method of family planning lasting up to five years
and used worldwide for more than 20 years, says Health secretary Pascoe Kase.
Kase made this statement after a group of women called on the Health Department
to provide avenues for them to have their family planning implants removed due
to side effects. More than 20 women called on the Health Department to provide
a safe avenue for them to remove their implants without being turned away or
verbally abused by health workers. Spokeswoman Mary Hulova told The National
that they had been trying to remove their family planning implants since the end
of last year but were turned away by both the public clinics and other partner
service providers. “It’s been five years now, the implants have grown into our
flesh and we have been suffering from all sorts of side effects like migraines,
severe backaches, itchy skin and weight problems,” Hulova said.
“We went to Susu Mamas Clinic at 3-Mile but again we were turned away and told
to go back to the service providers because the implants were placed by them,
so many have given up and have just continued on living with the implants. “We
are now calling on the government to help us and provide avenue for us to go to
and remove these implants,” she said.
National General Elections were “flawed to an unforgivable extent” according to
a published report. Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG)
chairman Lawrence Stephens said the nation had allowed far too many of its
people to be robbed of their basic rights during the election. The report also
stated that voters were not able to vote as their ballot papers were used by
other persons or groups without their permission; many instances of threats and
intimidation and vote buying was observed to have been common place during the
elections. Stephens said that PNG needed to stop making excusing for failing to
honour its own Constitution and laws.
Three years on: Let’s not forget the brave students of 2016
10 June 2016Scott Waide – This week marks three years
since students at the University of Papua New Guinea were shot at a public
gathering. In the days leading up to the shooting they were
belittled, scorned and told their opinions on good governance and corruption
did not matter. The students were campaigning for greater transparency in
government, a stop to overseas borrowing and the resignation of the prime
whose time has come three years later.
mocked them. The public servants told them to go back to school and forget
about politics because they were ‘not qualified’ to talk about what was
happening in the seat of power. On Wednesday 8 June, police shot into a crowd
of students wounding a number of them, some badly. It was fortunate there were
no deaths. Students were chased and teargassed and NBC journalist Rose Amos,
reporting on the protest, was assaulted by police. The university
administration later penalised students for being part of the protest even as
their comrades lay injured in hospital. Some were told they would not graduate
that year. They stood up for democracy when everyone else was too afraid.
Papua New Guinea on the chopping block
Roberta Staley June 10, 2019
Eight members of the Kimadi tribe stand, crouch or sit on
the hard ground, knotty with exposed tree roots, enjoying the relative cool
offered by a verdant canopy of leaves overhead. Just a few metres away, the
quiet clear waters of a Bismarck Sea lagoon, filled with small schools of
striped tropical fish, lap against the grassy bank. The setting is tranquil and
bucolic – but not for the Kimadi, who have travelled from their traditional
territory in Madang province in Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific to
consult with an NGO, the Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG). Founded in 1996 and
headquartered just outside the town of Madang, BRG provides consulting services
and advice to Indigenous groups like the Kimadi who are fighting ever-growing
threats from logging and palm oil development on their lands. …
Signs that the Kimadi’s subsistence lifestyle is under
threat first appeared last July when Malaysian company Woodbank Pacific began
logging about 10 kilometres upstream. Roads were cut into the steep, hilly
wilderness to allow logging-truck access. Then, clear cutting began of softwood
and hardwood trees, such as the kwila, which grows up to 50 metres high and is
used in a variety of products, from furniture and musical instruments to
building bridges. But the loggers were cavalier as they felled these forest
giants, letting some logs fall into the waterways and leaving them to rot,
contaminating the water flowing downstream to where the Kimadi villagers live,
says Lawun. “All the communities downstream are being affected.” …
The Kimadi have reason to be worried about the pernicious
ubiquity of logging in their home province. In 2010, Madang province had
2,000,000 hectares of tree cover extending over 76% of its land area. In 2017
alone, it lost 15,900 hectares of tree cover, Global Forest Watch reported.
In PNG, the roots of the
deforestation problem lie with Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs),
which have weakened Indigenous Papua New Guineans’ claims to customary
landownership. Before the Land Act (1996) came into existence, about 97% of PNG
was controlled by Indigenous peoples. However, provisions in the act enabled
the state to lease land from customary owners, then re-lease it to private
companies or individuals. According to Father Philip Gibbs, a professor and
vice-president of research and higher degrees at Divine Word University in
Madang, this “lease-leaseback scheme” has resulted in 10% of the country’s
total land area ending up in private hands. The national and provincial
governments of Papua New Guinea encouraged landowners to enter into the
strategy, giving up their land, often based upon false promises of community
enrichment or employment, Gibbs says.
Kwa: ICAC Bill awaiting endorsement
11, 2019 The
of Justice and Attorney-General Secretary Dr Eric Kwa says the Independent
Commission against Corruption (ICAC) Bill is with the National Executive
Council for their endorsement. “We are hoping that the ICAC office will be
established soon to fight corruption,” Kwa said on Sunday during the Sir
Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption in Port Moresby. “We are ready to fight
corruption and Prime Minister James Marape wants to push through the ICAC Bill
so I want to say that we have cleared the bill and it is now with NEC and
hopefully we will have this organisation to help fight corruption.” Kwa said
the bill was first tabled in 2009.
Plea to Marape: New PM asked to reinstate sacked whistleblower
PORT MORESBY – “Dear Prime Minister,” wrote Martyn Namorong in an open letter on Monday. “Please reinstate Brian Alois or, even better, appoint him as the secretary for works so we taxpayers don’t get ripped off.”
Now in case you don’t recall this matter, Alois was
suspended by the Works Department last year after he blew the whistle on how
the Papua New Guinea government was being cheated on inflated road contracts. At
the time, Alois was the Momase regional works manager and also president of the
PNG Institute of Engineers. Speaking as Institute president at a national
planning summit, he had highlighted how the government was paying well in
excess of what it should for road construction and maintenance projects.
In doing so, he mentioned a 300-metre stretch of road in
the National Capital District which had cost K80 million to construct. In the
audience was works secretary David Wereh and a number of government ministers
and departmental heads. Within hours Brian Alois had been suspended from his
job. More than a year later he remains sidelined.
Paul Barker, director of the PNG Institute of National
Affairs, commenting on Namorong’s letter this week, commended Alois as a “capable
and honest talent that PNG cannot afford to miss out on. “His message on
overpriced contracts must be heeded and addressed,” Barker said.
Can the Marape government reverse PNG’s ‘resource curse’ Paul Flanagan
here to the full version of Paul Flanagan’s latest article
It is too
early to tell whether the new government will make the important and
politically difficult policy changes required to reverse the ‘resource curse’
approaches of the O’Neill government. Recent PNG National Statistics Office
figures confirmed that the PNG Treasury was over-estimating the health of the
PNG economy in 2016. The new figures increase the gap between PNG LNG promises
and actual outcomes relative to if there had been no PNG LNG project at all.
average outcome remains that PNG’s industries were just over one-fifth worse
off in 2016 than if they had simply continued ‘business as usual’ growth prior
to the PNG LNG project. Overall, the PNG LNG project massively over-promised
and then failed to deliver. This is not because of the fall in oil prices –
indeed LNG export returns are higher than predicted. Resource projects should
be good for development – but this requires good policies. The PNG LNG project
induced poor policies under the O’Neill government. These poor policies
overwhelmed potential PNG LNG benefits….
Uphold laws, live in harmony & achieve prosperity, says Marape, 12 June 2019
I am motivated by leaders who refuse to accept money to see change and good governance. They are offered money, they are offered jobs but they stick to their commitment for the good of the people and country.
to Papua New Guineans, the least you can do is to respect your children, the
girls and women amongst us.
respect society by living peacefully, respecting each other despite our ethnic
differences, our political differences, our religious differences.
realise where we are. We need greater incursion into how we harvest our natural
our corporate citizens will feel a little bit doubtful, will feel a little bit
intimidated, a little bit insecure. But you must not feel that way.
is safe, when PNG is secured economically, when PNG is robust and growing,
businesses will flourish and reap deserved rewards.
PNG to be strong, stable, prosperous and wealthy. And that is why I am in the
business of making huge decisions in as far as resource laws are concerned.
We will do
it very slowly. I’m looking at 2025 in which we will migrate to a new
changes we intend to do in the next one or two years will be prospective.
to Papua New Guineans to respect and uphold the laws so the country can prosper
extra kina spent on maintaining law and order could otherwise be saved and
spent on schools, education, health and infrastructure.
to everyone nationwide, especially my people of Hela and the region, to help
transform communities into peaceful and law-abiding citizens who can contribute
to nation-building unabated.
30,000 TB cases a year makes PNG a regional health issue
PORT MORESBY – Investing in health is one of the best ways to build a better future. Healthy societies are more stable and equal and have stronger and more productive economies. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, improving public health is a global common good.
Since the turn of the century, there has
been significant progress in the fight against HIV and malaria in PNG. Investments
by international donors and partnerships with faith-based organisations and
other civil society groups have reduced the number of malaria cases and deaths
through national mosquito net distribution campaigns. The country has also made
big strides against HIV by making lifesaving treatment available to thousands
of HIV-positive people.
However, PNG’s 8.5 million people continue to face very
serious development and public health challenges. We have the highest malaria
burden in the world outside Africa, with the entire population at risk,
affecting primarily pregnant women and children under five. We also have the
highest number of new tuberculosis cases in the Pacific Island region – around
30,000 new cases each year, with TB now the leading cause of death in PNG. We
have alarming rates of drug-resistant TB, a more aggressive form that does not
respond to existing medications, resulting in fewer treatment options and
increasing mortality rates for illnesses that would ordinarily be curable –
PRIME Minister James Marape is getting
up and close with Papua New Guineans by sending messages through social media –
Facebook. He highlighted the target of being economically self-sufficient.
Key economic benchmarks and tasks to
Re-assessment of the 2019 budget and
deliver state of economy statistics to ensure our budget for the rest of 2019
and going forward is anchored on solid achievable numbers;
make redundant lesser priority areas in
budget, including taking control of salary overrun and office rental
stop non-economic stimulant programmes,
including loans to projects of insignificance;
ramp up access to international grant
facilities already open to PNG like the EUs and other global grants available
as well as drawing down on productive loans already secured;
do a forensic audit into all levels of
companies operating in the country to ensure they are all tax and fees
compliant;all resource projects coming up for reviews to be negotiated with the
view to gain now for our country with no more concessions, tax deductions or wavering
of fees etc; and,
Promulgation of policies and
legislations to ensure downstream processing of our natural resources be given
highest order of priority and all resources companies in all sectors that want
to participate in harvest of our resources must come up with clearer and
quicker ways to do downstream processing. Gone are the days when someone was
telling us you can’t do gold bullion in the country or you can’t process timber
in the country or we can’t have petro chemical industries in the country, or we
can’t grow rice and cattle in the country. (These) are some examples of adding
value to our resources.
How decentralised funding became
Centralized funding becomes decentralized corruption. 20 June 2019
Over the years, successive Papua New Guinea governments did well in decentralising power from Waigani. The establishment of District Development Authorities signified the completion of the decentralisation process, and also showed that the distribution mechanism for funds was ready to roll. Disbursements of K10 million each year to the districts was the highlight of decentralisation. These funds not only enabled districts to implement their development goals without having to face the Waigani bureaucracy, it also gave them financial power and, ultimately, the freedom to choose and fund projects and deliver services according to home-grown plans. With this freedom and power, rather unfortunately, followed endless impairments of virtue and moral principles.
million became everyman’s object of envy: district government officials, local
businessmen, village leaders, church pastors, recent graduates, and village
illiterates. In fact every Tom, Dick and Harry. Beyond the scrutiny of
government departments, which themselves are allegedly corrupt beyond measure,
abuse in broad daylight grew.
of this is seen in the half completed classrooms that litter many rural schools
across the country. In addition, many other projects didn’t see the light of
succeeded in obtaining a portion of the K10 million suddenly became household
names and role models. Imagine the impact this connivance and greed had on
children, who are the future of Papua New Guinea. If corruption was bad in Port
Moresby, at the district level it was worse. If corruption was secretive in
Port Moresby, in the district it was in plain sight. Decentralisation of power
had also become the decentralisation of corruption. …And this will continue if
the established system is allowed to continue. …
What life is really like in (very expensive) Port Moresby 21 June 2019
Anyone living in Port Moresby without institutional housing, or support from relatives or parents, knows it’s an absolute nightmare.Port Moresby is the most expensive city in the Pacific. The rental price structure is like that in Australia and yet the wages employers’ pay don’t match the cost of living and housing is skewed towards the high end market. Real estate companies charge a minimum K1,000 – K5,000 a week in rental. The vast majority of Papua New Guineans don’t see that kind of money in a fortnight or even six months. A salary of between K35,000 and K50,000 is next to impossible to live on if you have a family. The figure looks great on the payslip. But it can’t pay rent. You can’t save enough unless someone else is paying the rent or your company pays for accommodation. In Port Moresby, the buying power of an K80,000 a year salary is limited if you pay your own rent. Quality of life diminishes once reality sets in after the first year of work. It’s a painful reality that many young graduates have to face. What appears to be a big salary is ripped to shreds by the reality of big city life. …
Becoming a rich black nation: Are we
not rich already?
Many of us
feel deprived of certain opportunities and privileges and therefore miss or
forget that we are rich already. As a country we didn’t have to struggle to
become an independent democratic nation….Our land holds rich mineral and
natural resources that today, in some parts of the country, have become the
cause of our various divisions and tensions. What we need is to appreciate this
Guinea needs to distribute its wealth equally so that our children can have
free good quality education that is relevant for our sustenance and growth and
that our sick can access good quality health care in our country and at no
rich when our women are appreciated as equals and are free from violence and
our youth are an integral part of our decision making. …
continue to rely on foreign consultants to tell us how to run our country.
are unique, diverse and deep and only we understand why we do things as Papua
New Guineans. We must stop relying on borrowed concepts and ideas.
… We have
adopted a belief system that commands us to look after our God’s creation. And
when our forests, rivers, sea and land are free from abuse and exploitation, we
will know we will be rich forever. We are rich already. We just need to care
more and look at our distribution mechanisms and make decisions responsibly.
Triads threaten new government’s desire
to ‘take back PNG’
While the ‘Look North’ policy introduced by the Wingti government was good for the economic prosperity of Papua New Guinea, a sinister development has hijacked those good intentions. The policy has evolved into a Pandora’s Box of counterfeit goods, gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking.
threatens to negate the bold declaration made by the Marape-Stevens government
to ‘Take Back PNG’ and make it “the richest black Christian nation on earth”.
trafficking is already entrenched in PNG, which is reported to have become a
transit point for international drug cartels helped by poorly policed, open
borders, isolated islands and outdated drug laws.
foreigners experienced how weak our laws were when they were deported last
month after spending just 18 months in jail for drug trafficking and illegally
entering the country. One of the men, Lam Tse Lik, was wanted by Hong Kong
police after his name appeared in Interpol’s international criminals’ wanted
list. Of the others, five were from mainland China and one from Montenegro. They
were caught on Budubudi Island in Milne Bay province in May last year with 55
kilograms of cocaine worth about A$1.5 million (K3.4 million). On Saturday 15
June they left Jackson’s International Airport with broad smiles on their faces
and high-five victory signs. Imagine if they had been caught in Indonesia,
China, Malaysia, Philippines or Singapore where the ultimate penalty for
narcotics offenders was death. People caught in these countries with more than
an ounce of drugs are considered drug traffickers. But in PNG, police enforce
the Drug Act of 1954 which allows a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.
Age newspaper, the Chinese mafia has infiltrated and corrupted
the highest levels of PNG’s police force, crippling the nation’s attempts to
tackle law and order problems. The report said an investigation had uncovered
alleged links between 16 of PNG’s most senior police and Asian criminals
implicated in people smuggling, money laundering, prostitution, illegal
gambling, fraud and theft. The police minister at the time, Bire Kimisopa,
refused to discuss the report but acknowledged that PNG faced an organised
crime crisis that implicated senior police.
goes right to the top,” the minister said. “Chinese mafia have bought
off officials throughout the system…. they are operating illegal businesses,
they are siphoning money out, corrupting government officials, colluding with
police and making attempts to kill officials as well.”
organised crime syndicates include groups from Vietnam and Japan (generally
referred to as yakuza or boryokudan), Taiwan and China
(sometimes referred to as triads). They are nothing like the
opportunistic raskol gangs in Port Moresby.
trace their history to secret political societies formed in China during the
17th century to restore the Ming Dynasty to power and who used secret forms of
identification and communication.
North’ policy must be revisited to ensure a more suitable program is adopted to
deal with importation of defective products, prostitution, drug trafficking and
other illegal activities. If not, Asian organised crime syndicates can very
easily cripple this country in its efforts to ‘Take Back PNG’ and make is “the
richest black Christian nation on earth”
KIMBE disaster officers and volunteers are working round the clock
to mobilise the evacuation of some 15,000 people in East Nakanai following the
eruption of Mt Ulawun in Bialla, West New Britain (WNB), on Wednesday morning.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Disaster Centre has declared a Category 2
volcanic eruption, making evacuation mandatory for all villagers.
More than 120,000 other villagers staying further away from the volcano are
also expected to be affected and evacuated as Mt Ulawun continues to spew thick
black ash with growing intensity by the hour. Hoskins Airport is reported to be
covered in 4mm of thick volcanic ash and both Air Niugini and PNG Air had
cancelled all flights since the eruption at 7am Wednesday. The WNB highway to
Kokopo, East New Britain, is also closed to traffic due to thick black ashes. Disaster
officers and volunteers and six trucks of food and water supplies have been
mobilised to leave Kimbe town for Barima, Bagara, Mandi and Soi. However, the
supplies would only last for about a week. Governor Muthuvel is also appealing
to opportunists not to take advantage of the situation to loot abandoned
residential houses or business houses.
An appeal to the new government of Papua New Guinea
The Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea
appreciate the peaceful development of the political debate on the floor of
Parliament and hope it immediately turns to the benefit of the vulnerable
people, of our society, and our environment:
The rural poor and the urban poor expect
improved public services, better education for children, medicines in the
health centers, farm to market roads, jobs, entertainment and sport facilities
to reduce the impact of alcohol and negative behavior among the youth.
Resources and assets must now benefit the marginalized and the peripheries
rather than the wealthier and the centers.
The illegal detention of asylum seekers and refugees in Manus and
Port Moresby since 2013, at the request of the
government of Australia, is a cause of shame and embarrassment that the new PNG
government must denounce in its first day in office. The Regional Resettlement
Arrangement has proven to be unsustainable with people getting sick, depressed,
suffering mental illness, and dying. Their transfer to properly equipped
Australian on-shore processing facilities has to be effected immediately.
The protection of the environment and the country’s natural
resources needs a legislative review, particularly
of the Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) and agreements with foreign
companies in the mining, logging and extractive sectors. People and communities
come first; capital and business follow!
The legislation to establish an Independent Commission against
Corruption should not be further delayed. The
perception of systemic and systematic corruption in PNG is very damaging to the
image of the nation and to the morale of its citizens. We renew our appeal for
the restoration of the separation of powers so that our MPs can focus on making
good laws and the public servants on the provision of services.
The Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea
also ask from the new government an effective partnership in the planning and
managing of the Education and Health sectors in the country. Other Churches
share the same expectation.
It is with the contribution of everybody
and the acceptance of public scrutiny that true wellbeing and prosperity is
promoted and corruption defeated!
May God bless the new executives of
Papua New Guinea and give them wisdom and steadfastness!
The Central Committee of the Catholic
Bishops Conference of PNG-SI:
GIORGIO LICINI, PIME. General Secretary
First public human rights report into
PNG gas industry
BRISBANE – University
of Queensland researcher Associate Professor Nick Bainton has co-written the first publicly available
human rights impact assessment for a proposed gas project in Papua New Guinea.
Dr Bainton and
Nora Götzmann from the Danish Institute for Human Rights were commissioned by
Total Exploration and Production PNG to identify potential impacts on gender,
security and conflict for the joint venture Papua liquefied natural gas
involved extensive desktop research, and interviews and focus group discussions
with key stakeholders in Port Moresby and local communities in the project’s
area of influence in PNG’s remote Gulf Province. The researchers met with some
400 Gulf Province community members over the course of their study, including
about 160 women.
Political meddling & poor training spur corruption in PNG
SARAJEVO – A newly-published discussion paper on corruption in Papua New Guinea’s public sector has found that low-level officials are often poorly informed about laws and regulations. They are also under intense pressure to grant favours to businesses, politicians and clan affiliates, contributing to existing patterns of corrupt behaviour in the developing country.
The paper, ‘Governance and Corruption in PNG’s
Public Service: Insights From Four Subnational Administrations’, was
published this month by the Development Policy Centre, an aid and development
policy think tank based out of the Australian National University in Canberra. Its
author, Dr Grant Walton, drew on interviews with 136 public servants across
four provinces in PNG in an effort to fill the empirical data gap on why public
officials may support or resist corruption and poor governance.
PNG is one of the
poorest countries in the Pacific, with nearly 40% of its population living
below the national poverty line. While the country recently has started reaping
the benefits of oil and gas extraction, its public health system is rapidly
deteriorating—two-fifths of health centres and rural health posts have no
electricity or essential medical equipment, according to the United Nations
is also a great concern among officials, Walton found. In recent years, PNG has
been pursuing a policy of decentralization, and in 2014 the parliament passed
the District Development Authority Act, giving greater autonomy to local
governments over how they allocate resources. However, as members of parliament
are now “often personally involved in deciding how this money is allocated and
implemented,” lower level officials have grown frustrated. “We may plan for
something else but when political interference comes we need to divert our
efforts to suit what [MPs] want,” one senior female public servant said.
While PNG improved its
rating on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index last year,
at 28 out of 100 (with 100 signifying “least corrupt”), it still scored well
below the Asia Pacific regional average of 44.
School suspended classes yesterday because parents feared their children could
be kidnapped for their organs as speculation continued on Facebook.
The school said Grade 12 student numbers had been down since last week because
the fear was real.
Tokarara Secondary principal Gabriel Manga told The National that the school
board had decided to send students away at 10.40am because parents were calling
the school to pick up their children.
Manga said the school would assess the situation and see if the students should
“Many have stayed (home) because of the fear they had from kidnapping –
increased in the city,” he said.
Another Grade 12 student Abel Makele said absent students caused teachers to
delay giving out tests and assignments which was dragging the whole process of
term two assessment schedules.
“Our education is a priority and authorities need to assure us we are
Moresi said the school
had 2,046 students from grades three to eight but only 970 attended classes.
MP Hits 10% Drop
In Living Standard
Post Courier May
Statistical Office (NSO) has revealed that on average, living standards in PNG
have fallen by an extraordinary K516 per person between 2012 and 2018. This was
revealed by Shadow Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey who described it as “a shocking
a 10 per cent drop in living standards in just five years under the incompetent
economic policies of O’Neill’s PNC government,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said.
Minister continues to talk up the economy and keeps promising that things will
get better – but his record simply indicates he cannot be trusted.”
PORT MORESBY – This is my seventh month of complaining about the failure
of the Digicel PNG Ltd telecommunications company to pay the rent money it owes
to the landowners of its digital tower locations. Some Digicel employees feel sorry for us and have said the
people in charge of payments will ignore us and never try to help. The clauses
of the agreement we made with Digicel are clear. No such thing should happen to
any of us landowners. But because landowners are simple people and can easily
be tricked, they continue to ignore us and cheat us. Only a few landowners who
have help from their families and clansmen are now seeking legal advice while
the one hope of the rest of us is to continue to complain at the Digicel office.
But we cannot break through by complaining and therefore are losing hope….
The problem began
when Digicel and its officers did not devise a proper plan for illiterate
landowners to collect the rental payments. At first, Digicel should have found
out who they were the legitimate owners of the land where the Digicel tower
This was not
done. Digicel and its officers never put their feet on the ground to locate the
boundaries and never even asked the people to confirm who the legitimate
landowners were. Some landowners are paid through their bank accounts but not
in full. It is clearly indicated in the agreement signed with landowners that
payments will be made every six months. Digicel and its officer should know
what the outstanding funds are and when they must be paid. To get their unpaid
rental payment, landowners use their own funds to come to Port Moresby or, if
they live in remote places, travel miles and days to reach their Digicel
branch. This is despite the agreement with Digicel clearly indicating that the
lessor will not need to spend funds due to the existence of the tower on their
is that Digicel is supposed to employ four security guards for the towers and
to pay them every fortnight – two security guards should protect the towers for
the night shift and two for the day shift.
But many of the
guards are ghosts who are never seen, security is left to the landowners who
live near the towers. So what happens to this money that would be paid in wages
to protect more than 1,000 towers across Papua New Guinea?
A ST John Ambulance bus
was yesterday robbed by a group of men at Morata Two in the Moresby North-West
electorate. It took place at about 5.40am, eight officers were on board. According
to a statement from St John, the group of men blocked off the main road and
threatened the driver with a gun to the head. They then smashed the window and
helped themselves. They grabbed items including mobile phones, bank cards and
money among other things. Two St John female officers were punched and kicked
several times and indecently assaulted while being dragged out of the bus. They
were ordered to lie face-down outside the bus and left there. “According to our
team, the group of men appeared heavily intoxicated,” the statement said.
“As a result of this, St John will be suspending all services to the suburb of
Morata for an indefinite period until safety of all our St John team can be
St John Ambulance commissioner and chief executive Matthew Cannon condemned the
actions of the gang, saying St John did not discriminate when attending to
patients, whether hoodlums or not, and such actions by a few show a complete
lack of human decency and respect for emergency service workers.
St John in the first
quarter of the year responded to 670 emergency calls from the Moresby
North-West electorate. Three-quarters of the calls were from Morata.
THE Catholic bishops
annual meeting last week heard that legal action is probably needed to prompt
the Government into action to meet its obligations in education through the
“If the demands are not met the following year, there will be an appropriate
legal action taken to protect the rights of the people for quality education
that has been destroyed by the current Government,” Bishop Rochus Tatamai told
a press conference on Friday.
The president of Catholic Bishops Conference from PNG and the Solomons Islands
and Kavieng diocese said sensitive issues discussed at the meeting affected
people and the work the church used to do in PNG and the Solomons.
“One of the issues that really needs to be highlighted is regarding our
partnership with the Government in providing basic services like education to
the people,” he said. “We accordingly call for a fundamental re-orientation of
our attitudes and the institutions of government, commerce, education and
religion towards PNG forms of participation and consensus.
“We also call for a continuous renewal of the responsiveness of these
institutions to the needs and attitudes of the people.
“These are the values that we believe should be the basis of our
partnership with the State in providing education services to our people.
“However, in the past six years, our experience in the field of education is
that there has been no consultation, very little consensus and lack of
participation in decision-making.”
Among many of the issues faced by Catholic church education agencies, Tatamai
Teaching council had not met since last year;
no consultation about the new school structure and cost analysis;
grand in aid to help church agencies with administrative costs not
met since 2011; and,
Mistreatment by the Government and the Education Department of
church schools regarding Tuition Fee Free funding.
In regards to those
issues, Tatamai said that as a church, it is now asking the government to deliver
what it needs to be.
Nurses in rural areas still working despite threats
NURSES in rural areas
continue to provide patient care responsibilities under extreme pressure and
threat from patients due to inadequate drugs supplies, deteriorated facilities
and without enough staff, an official says.
Nurses in remotest Huon Gulf and other districts are faced with difficulties in
drug supplies, rundown facilities and not enough workers.
“Nurses continue to use kerosene lamps and torches at night to treat patients
using local herbs and prayers to stabilise patients,” Paru said.
In Huon Gulf, out of 47 aid posts – 12 were closed, five were in Salamaua and
four each in Wampar and Morobe patrol post. “These nurses walk for days or
travel by dinghies or dugout canoes to buy drugs in Lae. “When clinics are
closed over no drugs, nurses face the consequences being attacked by patients,”
He said complications of pregnant women, critical axe or knife injuries, snake
bites, bows and arrow injuries over land issues or adultery cases were a common
Kenmore Catholics’ trash buys a new boat for Milne Bay priest
BRISBANE – Kenmore parish has furthered its commitment to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home by turning recyclables into foreign aid donations.The parish has collected more than 4,000 recyclable containers like bottles, cans and cardboard, which earn 10 cents per unit under the Queensland government initiative Containers for Cash. The funds collected by the parish were used to buy a boat for a Papua New Guinean bishop. “We had a parishioner come to us last year about helping buy a small boat for Fr Sam Phasz, a priest of the Province of Milne Bay in the Diocese of Alotau-Sideia,” said parish priest Fr Mark Franklin.
“The parish is mainly
water, so it would enable the priest to get around the islands and see his
diocese. “The boat is also used for delivery of food and medical items and
taking people to hospital.” Fr Franklin said he started the project about two
months ago as part of a communal partnership with Kenmore Rotary Club. “One of
our parishioners who is a member of Rotary came to us a while ago about being
in partnership with the Kenmore Rotary regarding (the parish) being a
distribution point for Containers for Cash,” he said.
“There are distribution
points all over the place in the city, but because we’re a bit isolated out
here the Rotary (club) decided to take it on as a collection point in Kenmore.
“The parish keeps 50% of
the funds, which we then hand on to the Diocese of Alotau-Sideia.” Fr Franklin
said the Containers for Cash initiative was a practical way to raise money
while also raising environmental awareness in the parish.
Call for apt facilities for disabled, homosexuals, foreigners
THERE are no facilities and rehabilitation programmes in Buimo jail to cater for people living with disabilities (PLWD), homosexuals or foreigners, an official says. Outgoing Buimo commander Chief Supt Felix Namane said that the government and relevant agencies – Department of Correctional Services, Law and Justice Sector, Community Development and various stakeholders should draft policies to enable apt facilities and rehabilitation services and programmes. He said this in response to the National Court decision in Lae by Justice Frazer Pitpit who sentenced one Steven Bumang, 45, a PLWD to four years in prison. Bumang was charged with raping an 8-year-old girl on Feb 27. “In Buimo, we have no facilities to cater for PLWD, lesbians, gays and foreigners and it is a great concern for lack of such facilities and services in jails,” Namane said. Namane said Buimo had no separate cell block with toilet, shower and kitchens to accommodate various types of PLWD including rehabilitation activities. Namane said a gay who was sentenced to six months in Buimo was accommodated with female prisoners. “However, people may think that accommodating gays and lesbians in a female inmate wing is possible but some of their characteristics varies and never suits normal female inmates”.
A new government must restore confidence in the law
Francis Nii – “Laws must be strong, respected,
upheld and they must work fairly in the interests of every citizen”
FRANCIS NII. KUNDIAWA – Public confidence in the police force and judiciary as independent and impartial state agencies of the state has drastically declined under the leadership of Peter O’Neill.Meddling in appointments and in the operations of the police and hard-to-understand decisions of the courts has raised serious doubts and mistrust in the minds of the people.
independence and integrity of the two institutions are being questioned.
As the political numbers
game in the lead-up to a possible vote of no confidence intensifies and as a
mass exodus occurs of government MPs to the opposition, prime minister Peter
O’Neill had no choice but to relinquish his position.
Whether he actually does
this in favour of Sir Julius Chan or thinks of some other escape tactic, it
will be a last minute do-or-die manoeuvre for his own survival.
That O’Neill has not
resigned but stepped down “for a few days” means he could resume his position
As of yesterday, the
opposition had 63 members and the government 47. There were more defections
expected from those who still remained in the government but the opposition
said it had shut its doors to them.
As D-Day gets nearer,
perhaps today, the formation of a new government looks certain.
Should this occur, one
of its first tasks needs to be the restoration of the integrity and
independence of the nation’s law enforcement institutions.
Under the O’Neill
government, these vital state institutions have been severely impaired
There has been the dismantling
of the corruption-busting Investigative Task Force Sweep and the termination of
its members, Peter O’Neill’s parachuting of Gary Baki into the job of police
commissioner and the Supreme Court’s quashing of the UBS loan case against
There has been the
continuous suppression and eventual closure of the Parakagate affair by O’Neill
and Baki without a proper trial, the storming of parliament by the
‘disciplined’ forces, never properly investigated and a much-promised
anti-corruption commission never delivered.
These are just a few
examples of malpractice that have contributed to the decline in public
confidence of two vital state institutions.
If and when a new
government takes office, one of the first items of businesses must be to
restore the independence, credibility and integrity of the judiciary, the
police and the public service.
This means that all
heads who took political sides and practiced nepotism during O’Neill’s tenure
should be replaced with neutral personnel through proper and transparent
All allegations of
corruption that have not gone to trial must be resurrected and justice meted
Those found guilty must
be punished by law both to restore confidence in the judiciary but also as a
wholesome bid to rid Papua New Guinea of corruption.
To give credence to this
effort is the passing of an ICAC – Independent Commission Against Corruption –
bill into law. The bill must be looked at again to ensure it is totally free of
political interference and manipulation both in the appointment of its
personnel and in its operations.
The unpopular and
unnecessary dual citizenship law must also be repealed to prevent law breakers
escaping from PNG.
If the economy is to
grow and civil society is to enjoy prosperity, peace and harmony, the country
needs a vibrant, independent and impartial justice system and related law
The laws of a nation not
only protect its citizens but they are the compass that directs the course of
the nation. The laws must be strong, respected, upheld and they must work
fairly in the interests of every citizen.
Money politics, the use of criminal elements and the engagement of
security forces are a feature of elections in the Papua New Guinea Highlands,
and have slowly spread into all other regions, most recently into the PNG
Islands and Milne Bay.
“Candidates across the country (in all four
regions) were observed to have spent significant amounts of money securing
support and offering material incentives to voters.
“Though widespread, money politics was of a different order than
in earlier elections, being focused on key officials and those with the ability
to influence. It was mediated by ‘strongmen’ in some communities, and
well-respected leaders in others.
“There was also a significant flow of resources from voters to
candidates, providing an ideal situation for ‘strongmen’ and other community
leaders to consolidate their political influence at the local and parliamentary
Problems with the electoral roll were a feature of voter
discontent. In 2017, all 35 observer teams noted serious defects with it, and
the report finds that “many citizens were not provided genuine opportunity to
register on a non-discriminatory basis, nor were they provided reasonable
opportunity to inspect the electoral roll prior to or during the election.
Overall, very few of the 7,510 citizens surveyed pre- and
post-polling had confidence in the electoral roll, with confidence dropping to
just 10% in 2017.
Two-thirds (65%) of all citizens surveyed post polling
considered the 2017 elections worse than the 2007 and 2012 elections, and fewer
than half (46%) reported being able to freely exercise their vote. (See the full article in the url above).
on 25 years of research into health service delivery and the health status of
women and children in Papua New Guinea, it is distressing to observe the
current catastrophic failures and continued decline in services for women and
children. The anticipated improvements to health services from mining and
liquid gas royalties have not eventuated, and the problems of corruption and
inefficiency in service provision are compounded by the government’s apparent
lack of concern for the health of the population. This has led to a crisis in
public health. Although the budget allocation for the Department of Health has
increased, most interventions in public health remain dependent on foreign aid
agencies. Research assessments of population health are almost all managed or
funded by outsiders.
of financial and technical assistance from the Australian government, other
international donors, and a range of NGOs notwithstanding, the health of PNG’s
population is declining. Diseases that in the past had been brought under
control through immunisation now seem to be reappearing with the reduction in
fully immunised children and the increased difficulty of maintaining a reliable
delivery of vaccines. Tuberculosis (TB) is now categorised as a pandemic, with
PNG one of the worst-affected countries in the world. Health service delivery
to rural areas is increasingly difficult, with a lack of trained staff, low
wages, deteriorating buildings and frequent lack of critical drugs and
all the Millennium Development Goals that were not achieved by PNG, those
specifying improvements in women’s and children’s health are perhaps the most
egregious failures. PNG’s maternal death rate of 215 per 100,000 is the highest
in the Pacific region and among the worst in the world. While infant mortality
has shown a steady decline since 2000, currently it is 37 per thousand live
births compared to 14 in the Solomon Islands. Women’s and children’s health is
disproportionately at risk, particularly in rural areas, and TB is now the
major cause of death of women between the ages of 15 and 44 years.
POLICE have found
pornographic materials in handphones belonging to students in schools.
This is one of the many reasons why there is an alarming rise in the number of
child sexual abuses in Morobe, police commander Supt Alex N’Drasal told The
N’Drasal blamed the rise in child sexual abuses in rural areas on the excessive
use of mobile phones and internet to access pornographic materials.
“In schools, pornographic materials are found in the handphones of students.
They view the materials freely, and practice what they see,” he added.
He said the abuses were happening both within and outside family environments,
affecting girls aged between 12 and 18.
In 2015, the Government
had announced it was to put in place a K2 million internet filter to block
access to porn websites. It followed a report by Google Trend that PNG was the
“most pornography-obsessed country in the world”. It said although PNG had a
population of around eight million and a low rate of internet use, it had the
highest percentage of searches for the words “porn” and “pornography” in
comparison to the nation’s total “searches” online.
THE women’s wing at Bomana
prison in Port Moresby is overcrowded with 54 inmates, including three
children, crammed into a dormitory meant to hold only 35. Senior Inspector
Agnes Kunjil told The National yesterday that some inmates had to sleep on the
floor because there were not enough beds. “There are 31 convicted inmates, 18
on remand to await their court cases and five children below five years old all
crammed into the dormitory,” she said. Because of the lack of space, inmates
are allowed to keep only a few personal items. Kunjil said more women were
being sent to the prison by the courts although there had been no additional
space had been provided to cater for the extra detainees.
Papua New Guinea state fails to wrest control of
The government of Papua
New Guinea (PNG) has lost its protracted battle in the Singapore High Court to
wrest control of an entity with assets worth about US$1.4 billion (S$1.8
billion) that were spawned from a deal inked with the “largest mining
company in the world”. Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy has ruled in favour
of PNG Sustainable Development Program
(PNGSDP) company, saying the state of PNG had failed to prove it had
a deal with PNGSDP’s co-founder BHP Minerals Holdings, for joint control to
develop PNGSDP assets.
It also failed to prove
that there was a charitable trust that allowed the state to intervene.
“I have found that
neither the agreement nor the trust exists. The pleaded breaches of the
agreement and the trust must correspondingly fail,” Justice Vinodh said in
decision grounds on Tuesday.
The outcome means PNGSDP
is free to carry out its objectives under the control of its independent board
according to the 2001 contractual framework, without interference from the
GENDER-based violence is a
cross-cutting and sensitive national issue which many people cannot easily
handle at home.
I met Rose Marai at Port Moresby’s Kaugere clinic during one of my news runs. I
walked into her office nervously when she gave her best smile and I could see
from her eyes that she really wanted to me tell untold stories she had been
dealing with, knowing I was a media personnel.
Being female and knowing that she will be the only one to make changes in her
surrounding communities, she stood with confidence amongst more than 5,000
people in Sabama, Kaugere, Kokeva, Joyce Bay, Horse Camp, Kirakira village,
Kila Barracks, Gabutu, Badili, Korobosea, 2-Mile Hill and Koki market. She is
passionate about change and creating awareness on gender-based violence is
something she does from the heart.
Every day she sees more than 10 women walking into her little room with bruises
and cuts all over their bodies, being physically hurt and emotionally tortured.
She takes them in for counselling and many of them have progressed and have
seen changes in their homes and communities.
Hospital Closes Doors
GOROKA’S water crisis remains unsolved.
As the Goroka General Hospital closed its doors on Sunday and
sent patients away.
Only emergency cases were being treated while general patients
had been referred to the district hospitals while the sick have been discharged
from their wards, some with medical supplies.
Eastern Highlands Provincial Hospital Authority chief executive
officer Dr Joseph Apa said yesterday that patients were sent home after water
in the reserve tanks ran out.
“Water is required for all the operations of the hospital and we
cannot keep patients here for the safety of other patients and to avoid the
risk of other infections,” said Dr Apa.
“We currently do not have the statistics of patients affected by
the closure of the hospital but mothers at the labour ward and new-born babies
will be greatly affected by the situation.”
Dr Apa said the hospital has bought water bottles from shops for
nursing staff and patients to use for washing hands and drinking medicine on
Saturday, Sunday and yesterday as well.
“Patients were also not fed yesterday (Sunday) and we had to
supply patients with biscuits,” Dr Apa said yesterday….
Bus-Stops No Longer Safe For Women and Girls: Commuter
Post Courier, April 9, 2019
WOMEN and girls are harassed, face barriers as a result of these
harassments, says commuter Jean as she speaks of her experience. She said she
witnessed an incident last month and shared her experience in light of the Anti
Street Harassment week that was launched by UN Women NCDC yesterday. She (Jean)
travels the route from Manu Autoport to Koki before changing bus to get to
“According to Jean, a Badihagwa student had his school bag
snatched by a thug in front of everybody. The boy thought he would find safety
inside the busy market place as the public watched without doing anything,’’
Jean felt furious and could not believe what she had witnessed. When
she got out of the bus to transfer, she shouted at the top of her voice to men
loitering with a quick lecture.
“When women are running away, you can understand that. But when
it is a man, a boy, a school student on his way to school, you men watch and do
“And look at you! You’re discussing what happened when you
watched everything that happened before your very eyes, and especially when it
is all over. Did you do anything? No! You all ought to hang your heads in
shame,” she said.
The thugs who rule Koki bus-stop are free to ply their trade and
law-abiding citizens have to protect themselves in a community that does not
“There are good things like the Meri Seif bus (women only safe
bus for women) the good governor organised which is highly successful.
“But for all other city buses, the women go prepared, they carry
some kind of weapon, a pocket knife for instance or a lime bottle for the
betelnut which they hold ready to throw in the face of their attacker to blind
“When they are approaching bus- stops they wind up the windows,”
She is now asking why the police are not doing their job
affectively by patrolling the bus-stops.
Pride of the force – How we grew Lae’s rapid police response unit
Anthony Wagambie Jr
The Lae Police Sector
Response Unit (SRU) was launched to deter criminals who took advantage of weak
policing in Papua New Guinea’s second largest city. Since it was set up, Lae
police command has been monitoring the results. Average response time is now
between five and ten minutes.
LAE – I took a gamble in forming the new unit. We
selected a bunch of very young probationary constables with just over a year in
We put them in with
experienced non-commissioned officers, the majority of whom were former Mobile
Squad and Lae Rapid Response members.
I told them, “You guys
will make it or break it. If you fail and I fail, I will be dealt with!”
We nurtured them, me
being in the field and taking command myself to make sure the SRU operated the
way I wanted. Now my boys are very experienced and everything is in place.
I am proud of all of
them. Yes we have one or two who step out of line. But the guys have done me
It’s like a father
watching his child take his first steps until he can walk unaided.
We took Inspector David
Kumayon, who was Commander Mobile Squad 13, and moved him to command SRU Lae.
We then increased the strength to the current 74 men.
Never before have we had
24/7 police armed response coverage of the city.
Sections of SRU have
also been deployed out of the Lae to Morobe rural, Kurumbukari (Madang), Madang
town unrest, Bogia (Madang) and Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands.
Now I don’t personally
take command of the unit as much as I used to. I do that only for major
incidents or operations.
It gives me personal
pride when I see and hear people praising SRU for all that they do. Yes, they
do extremely well.
SRU has become the
strength of Lae Metropolitan Command and they are here to stay even after I
leave my beautiful Lae City.
Anthony Wagambie is the
Police Metropolitan Superintendent of Lae
Laloki Public Psychiatric
Hospital outside Port Moresby has released 100 patients and closed all its
services to the public as staff members protest over an unresolved chronic
water supply problem.
The hospital staff started a sit-in protest today following the expiry of a
14-day notice by the Department of Health to fix the water supply contamination
The hospital did not have the resources to get Eda Ranu to connect water to the
hospital to replace the water wells.
The staff decision, backed by the hospital management, to stop work comes after
Hepatitis A, a waterborne faecal disease, broke out at the hospital six weeks
The disease affected both staff and patients with laboratory tests confirming
bacterial contamination of the two wells that had been used the past 19 years.
Since the outbreak of Hepatitis A on Feb 27, acute ward manager Sr Dianne Rambe
said six patients and two staff members contracted the disease.
“The management had no choice but to release most of the 80 patients to contain
the disease, not forgetting the high risk these psychiatric patients pose to
PNG, doctors warn botched penis enlargements have become a ‘nationwide problem’
Doctors in Papua New
Guinea have warned of a “nationwide problem” of men injecting foreign
substances, including coconut oil and silicone, into their penises in an
attempt to make them bigger. A doctor at the Port Moresby General Hospital said
that over the last two years his clinic has treated at least 500 men with
penile disfigurement and dysfunction as a result of injections.
“I have seen five new
cases every week for the past two years and these are the ones that have come
forward for treatment. We don’t know how many of them are out there,” said
Akule Danlop, a surgeon at the hospital. “I saw seven today.” The substances
injected include coconut oil, baby oil, silicone and cooking oil and the side
effects are serious, sometimes irreversible.
17 April 2019
media (but not NZ) is missing in action on Bougainville
Bougainville, the autonomous region of Papua New
Guinea which suffered a brutal 10-year civil conflict in the 1990s, was due to
have a referendum in June to decide if it would separate from PNG. But because funding and
arrangements for the plebiscite were well behind schedule, the voting date has
now been postponed to October.
Does this matter beyond
PNG? One would think so.
This referendum is a
celebrated element of the 2001 peace agreement that finally brought the bloodshed
to a close and could result in Bougainville becoming another independent but
under-developed, economically struggling small island state in the Pacific,
with a population of 350,000 people.
If it achieves
independence, this small archipelago just over 1,000 kilometres from Cairns
will have as its legacy a still festering internal debate about the future of
its fabulous mining wealth that was at the heart of the conflict that claimed
around 20,000 lives.
And whether independent
or not, Bougainville remains an area of intense geo-political interest for
Australia particularly as other nations, including China, seek to access that
fabulous wealth. Yet judging by Australia’s recent media coverage of this
volatile rich island, it is just about invisible aside from some reporting in
the business media about Australian mining interests in Bougainville. All this
is doubly strange, given it’s not as though nothing has been happening. In a
year not yet four months old, there has been a flurry of discombobulating
developments already in 2019 in what was already set to be an important year
for Bougainville. These threaten to impact on Bougainville’s ability to weather
the political and massive economic challenges ahead.
TWO police officers were
found guilty of forcing a woman to chew and swallow condoms in 2015. Justice
Panuel Mogish, who found the duo guilty of one count of unlawful deprivation of
personal liberty, two counts of forcing a person to do indecent acts and one
count of abuse of office and set April 25 for sentencing.
“The woman alleged that she was attending a party at Sky 9 Club at Boroko the
previous night and was on her way to catch a taxi home in the early hours of
the morning when she met two men. “They were dressed as civilians and asked if
she had any money. She said she did not have any money. They then told her that
they were police officers and brought her into the station. “They told her to
sit while they emptied her purse and found some condoms. “Yawijah then asked
her if she was a sex worker and how many men she had slept with. He then forced
her to eat a condom and swallow it. She said it was not for eating and she
would not do as they say. “Yawijah then grabbed an iron bar and hit it on the
table and threatened her, so she ate the first one. Tanda did not do anything
to stop it but instead laughed and filmed a video clip. “The woman was then
told to chew and swallow another condom and she did while Tanda laughed and
took videos of her.
Children warned to stay away from Porgera’s open
CHILDREN from the special
mining lease villages surrounding the Porgera mine have been warned to stay
away from the operation areas, especially the open pit.
According to a statement from the Porgera Joint Venture, trespassing by
children continues to be a problem for the mine operation. Of the number of
illegal miners entering the mine in a month, it is estimated that 5 per cent
The mine’s community development section carried out a school outreach
programme recently to educate children on the dangers of illegally entering the
It targeted seven schools. Children enter into the mine area to look for food
or scrap materials.
The four messages communicated were:
The mine is a dangerous place. You can get killed, badly injured
or risk living with a disability for the rest of your life;
not everyone who gets injured on the mine site dies;
the Government has laws to punish parents who do not protect their
children from danger; and
That communities need children who will stay in school and become
good leaders in future.
At the Aumbi Elementary
School on April 10, community development manager Jacqueline Nen told the
children that there were many other options for a playing field and the open
pit was not one of them.
PORT Moresby General
Hospital’s maternity ward is close to collapsing due to lack of maintenance and
support, a doctor says. “The hospital was built in 1955 by the colonial
government when the city’s population was about 50,000 but 65 years later it is
serving more than 500,000,” head of obstetrics and gynecology Dr Glen Mola
Mola said the 24 delivery suites and 100 beds at the postnatal care were not
enough because 40 women delivered each day and mother and baby could not leave
the hospital the next day. He said about 15,000 women gave birth at the
hospital every year of which 5000 cases were complicated and 10,000 were
normal. This meant that daily, about 13 women out of 40 who gave birth faced
complications. A common complication involves a Caesarean birth and Mola said
one in every 10 women needed a C-section to save the baby or mother. He said
they had to do three C-sections in the same evening so “by the time we came to
the third, we were late which resulted in losing the mother or the baby”.
“We have three operating theatres but there is staffing only to keep one
operating theatre working in the night,” Mola said.
pirates attacked a dinghy but left a mother and her baby, a 13-year-old girl
and eight others unharmed. However, two others are still missing after they
were forced to jump into the sea. The terrifying drama unfolded at 3pm on
Saturday when the dinghy, ran into six pirates armed with homemade guns, two
bush knives and two catapults. The pirates ordered everyone, except the mother
and her baby, to jump into the sea near the Kalibobo Lighthouse towards the
After carting away all the groceries that were bought from town, and
handphones, cash and belongings, the pirates left in their boat. The victims
then swam and climbed back onto their dinghy and a head count found that two
other passengers were missing. Moka said the dinghy was running low on fuel and
thus could not conduct a search for the two missing passengers.
Bishop reveals shortage
of medicine causing health emergency
Many health facilities in the country are running out of
medicine, says the president of Catholic Bishops Conference Bishop Rochus
Tatamai. “We have been requesting the Government to purchase medicine because
medicine has not reached clinics, aid posts and health centres,” Tatamai said
“Throughout the country, there are symptoms of a profound public health
emergency: young and old are getting sick and dying unnecessarily, while health
facilities lack basic medicine and equipment. “Many aid posts, clinics and
hospital shelves have no stocks of medicines, there were no antibiotics,
bandages and anything.”
Tatamai said MPs were elected to represent people and the delivery of basic
health services should be a priority when dealing with public funds. He said
when it came to health service delivery, political leaders should always
mandate line agencies to bridge services to the people. “What have we done with
the revenue of our natural resources and the Government funding we get every
year?” Tatamai said.
At least 40 women and children a month flee
their homes in Port Moresby because of sorcery-related violence and incest by
stepfathers and uncles. Haus Ruth Crisis Centre for Abused Women and Children
revealed that cases of sorcery and incest have increased markedly in the past
decade. The number of women seeking refuge in the centre has increased.
China Railway Construction Engineering (CRCE) PNG Ltd showed its support to
these women on International Women’s Day on Friday with a surprise visit. House
Ruth Crisis Centre manager Monica Richards said women between the ages of 20
and 45 years were the largest group seeking help because of forced sex,
jealousy, rape and other forms of domestic violence.
“What we do is accommodate them, give them skills training like sewing and
small business training, so that after two weeks when their term is over, they
have better knowledge to go out and sustain themselves,” she said. Victims get
medical treatment and police and court clearance during their stay. Richards
said many teenagers from high schools escaped from their homes because of
CRCE human resources manager Athena Chow said women’s problems were everyone’s
problems. “It is very important to recognise women on their special day, as it
is the only time we come out to talk about issues that are affecting women in
society,” she said.
“They are very important people in the society.
“They need to be protected, loved and cared for by their partners without
PNG Facing TB Crisis. Ranked 10th in the World
PAPUA New Guinea is facing a tuberculosis (TB)
crisis. This is because PNG is ranked 10th globally for rates of TB, with
35,000 new cases a year, of which 6000 of them are in the National Capital
District alone. This is according to Businesses for Health: Tuberculosis and
HIV project manager Dr Ann Clarke, who says women, while also falling ill with
TB, are largely impacted by social and economic factors that need to change if
PNG is to end the TB epidemic. “Thousands die unnecessarily of TB – drug
susceptible TB, drug resistant TB or TB/HIV co-infection.“ Last year there were
more than 2000 cases of drug resistant TB and drug resistant treatment success
is less than 50 per cent, while only drug susceptible TB is 100 per cent
curable,” she said.
Observing International Women’s Day last Friday,
March 8, Dr Clarke said it was an opportunity for Businesses for Health to
celebrate the contributions of women to the health and well-being of all who
live in PNG. “However, it is also a time to reinforce the actions needed to
speed up gender equality in this remarkable and diverse country.
PNG bishops attack government
over corruption, incompetence
In a public
statement, the Catholic bishops have asked why an Independent Commission
Against Corruption had not yet been established, despite many promises over
many years, and why nothing has been done to end the Special Agricultural and
Business Leases (SABLs) which are said to have led to many illegal land grabs. They
condemned SABLs for continuing to destroy the environment and the livelihoods
of thousands of Papua New Guineans.
also attacked the practice of politicians directly distributing government
funds to the people themselves. The bishops called this “notoriously corrupt”
and said it was an impractical and failed system.
The church is
one of the key providers of education in PNG but the bishops said their
services were increasingly interfered with by politicians and the government.
criticised the government’s so-called Fee Free Tuition as not effectively
implemented and not providing funds and materials to schools.
government is also not adequately supporting Catholic health centres where
staff are not receiving wages and medicines and equipment are not reaching the
clinics. Saying they were talking on behalf of the people of PNG, the bishops
called for answers from the government and said they are expecting change.
Work on resettlement project for Manam Islanders begins
WORK on the land in Bogia allocated for the Manam
resettlement project has begun with machines being moved in, an official says.
Acting chairman of the Manam restoration authority John Bivi said the government
had allocated K6 million for the project. Bivi said the resettlement of the
Manam people fleeing the volcanic eruptions on their island had been an
outstanding issue. The land clearance will begin at Andarum in Tangu of the
Almami local level government.
Manam people have been living in the care centres for nearly 13 years with no
land to grow crops, no sea to fish and no forests to hunt in. Some had died
waiting to be relocated while some had returned to their island.
“The Government allocation of K6 million as mobilisation funds will be
prioritised to help our people,” Bivi said. Manam people were moved to the care
centres at Potsdam, Suaru, Bom, Asuramba and Mangem when the major volcanic
eruption took place in 2006.
Baliau villagers who lived at Suaru and the Dugulava people who lived at Bom
had to return to Manam after clashes with the Bogia landowners. They receive
relief assistances every time the volcano erupts and destroys food gardens. Those
staying back at the care centres survive on what they have.
‘Australia over a barrel’:
PNG official sought K20 million ‘donation’
MELBOURNE – An Australian government contractor on Manus Island was asked by a senior Papua New Guinea official in 2017 for a multi-million-dollar donation to the ruling party of prime minister Peter O’Neill. When the company, which was working for the Home Affairs department on the offshore detention regime, refused the request, the company’s senior managers began to encounter problems with visas for staff to enter or remain in PNG.
The contractor, which asked that its name not be used to protect
the welfare of its Manus Island-based staff, rejected the donation request and
reported it to senior department officials in late 2017. It’s understood more
than one contractor has experienced similar problems.
If the company had made the donation of K20 million to the
People’s National Congress party, it would have likely committed a criminal
offence under Australia’s foreign bribery laws.
While Australian government agencies and departments refer to
PNG as a “difficult environment” to operate in, an internal 2018 AFP report
seen by The
Age and Sydney Morning Herald is more direct and
describes PNG as having “significant corruption issues”.
than K100 million collected by the government from logging companies to fund
community development projects has been stolen or misused. Senior departmental
heads appointed as trustees have failed in their duties and the biggest
beneficiary has been the government itself, which has unlawfully taken more
than K80 million of community funds.
are findings contained in a scathing Auditor General’s report recently released
to the public.
is now well-documented that large-scale logging by foreign-owned companies does
not bring lasting development to the communities who suffer the often
devastating environmental and social impacts. This fact was acknowledged by
government more than a decade ago when the Log Export Development Levy
(LEDL) was introduced.
levy is an additional tax paid by logging companies on every cubic metre of
timber they export. All monies collected
is then supposed to be used by government to fund the agriculture and
infrastructure development projects in communities impacted by logging that the
companies so frequently promise, but so rarely deliver.
government has proven to be no more reliable than the foreign logging companies
in upholding its side of the bargain. Between 2012 and 2015, more than K100
million in levies was collected by government and placed into a trust account.
However, in a devastating set of findings, the Auditor General has revealed how
those funds, intended to alleviate suffering in logging communities, have been
stolen and misused.
Electoral Commission Needs Help
For LLG Elections
Post Courier March 28, 2019
THE PNG Electoral Commission
says that it needs extensive collaboration with provinces to deliver the local
level government (LLG) elections. The PNGEC says it needs collaboration with
all the 20 provincial administrations to ensure the 2019 LLG elections is
conducted successfully. Early this year, the national government made the
decision and asked the Electoral Commission to administer the 2019 LLG
elections in partnership with provincial administrations to pool resources,
save money and promote provincial ownership of the process.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias
Gamato said though it is an exciting potential partnership, the dilemma is that
the commission has yet to conclude agreements with the 20 different provincial
administrations. “PNGEC has engaged in conversations with provincial
administrations since 2018 and has concluded a memorandum of understanding with
only nine provinces in all at this time,” he said.
“This model ensures increased
complexity of implementation as many of the personnel and materials needed to
run the LLG elections do not fall under PNGEC’s control.” Mr Gamato said
PNGEC’s budget for the 2017 national election was K279 million, whereas for the
LLG elections, the total budget line of K100 million is being split between the
commission and provincial administrations.
“I am calling on the national government to
provide adequate resources to PNGEC in a timely fashion for us to be able to
play our role in these important LLG elections.”
rigging of the 2017 election: (1) You were very wrong Australia
Journalist Mark Davis has abstracted the main issues from the
Australian National University’s report on the 2017 Papua New Guinea national
election. Beginning today, we present Mark’s summary in four parts. The ANU
report documents a scandalous election replete with threats, malfeasance and
corruption. You can link to it in full here
The report calls into question the legitimacy of the current
regime of prime minister Peter O’Neill and the future of the nation’s
parliamentary democracy. The long-awaited ‘2017 Papua New Guinea Elections – Election Observation Report’ reveals
the systematic corruption of the election by Mr O’Neill’s ruling People’s
National Congress Party, other parties and candidates, the PNG Electoral
Commission, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, the PNG Defence Force and
other elements of society.
It is an extraordinarily detailed report who’s unique and
invaluable data is based on direct observation by a team of 258 including 32
PNG academics and researchers as team leaders, 31 ANU-based academics and
students, 192 PNG observers and three support staff. It is unprecedented in
detail, scope, and intensity, covering all four PNG regions, and 69 of the 111
electorates, including detailed studies of 44 electorates. Detailed
observations were conducted of 945 of the 10,825 polling stations, and 7,510
citizens were surveyed individually.
Observations were carried out over three months from the start
of the campaign period to post-polling, amounting to more than 6,500
person-days, and were recorded in template journals kept by each observer. The
report is a showpiece of election data and analysis – it is delivered in lay
language and clearly based on a foundation of well-coordinated and
comprehensive field coverage by a qualified and knowledgeable team. It has the
ring of absolute authenticity and it pulls no punches.
The report gives the lie to claims by Mr O’Neill, then
Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop and
Australian officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
that the election was free, fair and successful. It was not.
Cult activities taking on satanic character, says academic
CULT activities, which are seen as increasing
more satanic, are so entrenched in our education systems that it will need
everyone to find practical solutions, says University of Goroka Dean of
Education Dr James Aiwa. He was contributing to discussions at a seminar on
cult and generation activities in schools. Dr Kainaro Kravia, a lecturer at the
School of Education, and Priscilla Sakopa, the head of the mathematics and
computing department, also took part.
Kravia said there was an element of “strange happenings” within the dormitories
which amounted to the belief that cult practices and their undercurrents were
rampant at the university and tertiary institutions near it. Kravia said the
initial cult groups were formed as a result of forming “bonds” with each other,
to make the alienated feel part of a social grouping and to have each other’s
interests at heart as a means to survive in national high schools. But he said
all that had changed.
“What we have now are hierarchical groups where generational names are given
and with it comes the attitudes, character and personality changes which affect
the coerced innocent student,” he said. With it comes the expected roles. If
you don’t comply you are punished, most often severely nowadays, but previously
it was a way to bond students and help each other succeed”, he said. Sakopa
said she had been privy to the inside of a cult working some years ago and most
of what happened were satanic and took on the cultist ideology where others
looked up to a “godfather”.
A MAGISTRATE has ordered a mother who sold
her two-week-old son for K800 to pay the same amount to the court as a fine. Mt
Hagen Magistrate Jacinta Doa also ordered the arrest of the husband, and the
woman who bought the child.
She warned mum Yawama Kuna, 29, that she would serve two months in jail if she
failed to pay the K800 fine. The court was told that Kuna was having
difficulties looking after her two children because her husband Amos Hari was
not supporting them.
Kuna, from Sembriki in the Kagua-Erave district of Southern Highlands, was
arrested last Wednesday and charged with selling her son to a woman. She told
the court she had to sell her son because her husband did not provide her and
the two children food and money.
She told the court that her husband was aware of what she did but did not
They continued to live together until last week when he came home drunk and
asked her for money.
She gave him the only K20 she had. The husband lodged a complaint with police
that she had sold their son. Police prosecutor Sam Nili submitted that the
husband was not concerned about the son his wife had sold and had not make any
attempt to get him back until last week. Nili told the court that just because
Kuna’s family demanded that he paid bride price before taking his son and wife
back, he went to the police.
Despite an economic boom led by extractive industries such as mining, an
estimated 40% of people in Papua New Guinea live in poverty. The government has not taken sufficient steps to address gender
inequality, violence, corruption, or excessive use of force by police. Rates of
family and sexual violence are among the highest in the world, and perpetrators
are rarely prosecuted. The government has been the focus of sustained protests,
including student boycotts and acts of civil disobedience, over allegations of
corruption. Reports of mob violence, especially against individuals accused of
sorcery, continue to be reported. Former United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, visited PNG in February 2018 and called on
the government to tackle a long list of abuses, including corruption, land
rights abuses, gender-based violence, and attacks on activists and journalists.
In June, authorities confirmed that the country was facing its first polio
outbreak in 18 years, prompting an emergency vaccination campaign. Chronic
problems continued to plague the criminal justice system in PNG, including
abuses by police. Overcrowding and dire prison conditions led to prison
breakouts. PNG continues to see high levels of violence and political unrest
since the 2017 election, which was marred by widespread electoral
irregularities and violence. In June, in the Southern Highlands, a mob set
alight a passenger plane in an election-related protest.
Many Papua New Guineans
don’t know about the cost of cancer treatment until one member gets sick. The
diagnosis alone is problematic. In rural districts and outstations, many community health workers are not
equipped with the awareness which would trigger a referral to a major hospital.
But that is just one problem.
Take for example, a
place like Baindoang in the Nawaeb District of Morobe province. It is only
accessible by plane. A young mum with the early stages of cervical or breast
cancer will not be able to get the proper diagnosis until the disease is in its
If the community decides
to send her to Lae, they will have to raise at least K2000 for airfares and
treatment in Lae City. It is big money for a village community. There is no
certainty of the time it will take for them to remain in the city. I’ve come
across wives separated from their husbands and children for weeks and months. Many
give up and die lonely deaths surrounded by strangers who become family. Many
are left with no means of talking with their families either because of the
lack of mobile network coverage or no means of buying a plane ticket back home.
There are unclaimed bodies at the Angau hospital morgue. Some came from remote
Today, I learned that a
pack of four vials of morphine costs K100. For a cancer patient the family
needs to spend K100 a day to ensure some level of comfort for their loved one.
That’s K700 a week, K1400 a fortnight and K2800 a month.
Highly Endemic in Southern Region
Post Courier January 28, 2019
LEPROSY is highly
endemic in the Southern region, according to The Leprosy Mission.
Mission country leader Natalie Smith said, at the end of 2017, 587 new cases
were detected in the country where 74 per cent of all new cases were reported
in the Southern region. “The six high endemic provinces reported more than 87
per cent of new leprosy cases in the National Capital District, Gulf, Central,
Western, Sandaun and East New Britain provinces.
“587 cases of leprosy is too many cases in
PNG. “We want the number to come down to zero, so our aim is to fight against
this disease,” she said.
Rapacious loggers & bewildered people – the taking
apart of PNG
In late October 2017 I
was in Kavieng when I was handed a copy of Government Gazette G161 notifying the
gazettal of a SABL over almost 80% of my wife’s island of Lavongai for 99 years
free of any land tax. It was one of three SABL that had been foisted onto
semi-illiterate rural people as a clever trick to get around the tighter legal
requirements of a normal logging permit. SABLs weakened Forestry Department’s
regulation of the granting of leases because their intent was alleged to be
agriculturally motivated. This gave the developers the wonderful opportunity
not to log according to normal forestry rules but clear fell for a monoculture
of cocoa, rubber or most likely oil palm with all the inherent environmental
dangers a single crop can experience. Over the years coffee and cocoa borers
spread worldwide, rhinoceros beetles in Indonesian palm oil migrated into South
Pacific plantations and later banana Black Sigatoka. None of these serious
agricultural impacts ever slowed down the rapacious loggers. …
Corruption of PNG’s political system infects economic
CANBERRA – PNG’s economic statistics have been
corrupted. Even the most basic economic statistic of “how big is the PNG
economy” has been manipulated to tell stories convenient to the O’Neill/Abel
government. An extraordinary gap of 18% has opened between measurement of
the size of the economy (‘gross domestic product’ or GDP) by the PNG government
compared with measurements by independent outside observers, led by the
International Monetary Fund.
The gap in this most
basic economic measure will be 34% by 2023. Specifically, the PNG government
claims the PNG economy will reach K125 billion while the IMF estimates it will
more realistically reach 93 billion in that year. The NSO 2015 GDP figure was
released on 9 March 2018 – a date that marks the clearest point from which the
government started manipulating statistics, although there have been
questionable practices in the past….
Like any PNG town,
Kundiawa is full of unemployed youths, psychopaths, street kids, street
sellers, drug dealers, street preachers, pickpockets, beggars, prostitutes and
the whole town of
Kundiawa has become a market place with rubbish everywhere and town authorities
and police seem powerless to do anything about it.
On street corners and in
public places you can see youths drinking, smoking and gambling. Some sell
plastic bottles filled with ethanol or home brew alcohol for K5 or K10 a
container. You can see youths selling drugs rolled in pieces of newspaper.
Sometimes it’s difficult to identify because marijuana is mixed with tobacco
When youths are drunk,
they demand or steal from anybody: money; mobile phones and other valuables.
You will see youths running to catch a thief but they don’t catch him as they
are feigning. They all cooperate to execute illegal activity. Long hours are
spent in town doing nothing and at night hanging around in front of stores,
beer clubs and night clubs looking for opportunities to steal. A lot of strange
things happen in town; you can hardly believe them.
There is no quick
solution to solve these problems but one way to assist juvenile delinquents is
to avoid labelling them as bad people in society. They are troubled human
beings and imposing tough penalties is not going to solve their problems. We
have to be empathetic and show interest in them as human beings who have the
potential to become people. We need to look at how we can provide options to
change their lives….
A new report by the global watchdog
Transparency International has again classified Papua New Guinea as one of the
most highly corrupt countries in the world.
The 2018 Corruption Perception
Index (CPI), a worldwide examination of perceptions of levels of corruption
suffered by individual nations published by TI yesterday, has revealed that PNG
is highly corrupt with a ranking of 138 out of the 180 countries that were
Under the theme ‘Corruption and the
crisis of democracy’, the 2018 CPI revealed some crucial areas of the public
sector corruption that are contributing to the weakness of democratic
institutions and the stagnation to their performance must be addressed by
responsible agencies like the government departments and non-government
organisations as well.
According to a press statement
released by TIPNG, some of the areas that contributed to the rank of corruption
in PNG are the deteriorating respect for democratic principles.
“Simply said: There is a massive
disrespect for the rule of law,” TIPNG said.
The statement went on to condemn
public servants and citizens’ lack of integrity to adhere to proper processes
and respectful ways of conduct. And taking the 2017 National Election as an
example, the statement expressed great distaste about the way the election was
conducted. This was evident in the 2017 National Elections with discrepancies
and electoral roll inaccuracy, bribery, and intimidation by voters and
candidates, double voting and blocks voting. There was also a lack of
enforcement of laws by official agencies responsible during the election
providing an opening for citizens to disregard measures to ensure a free and
fair election, TIPNG said.
However, when corruption seeps into
the democratic system, particularly at the higher levels of power, democratic
institutions that keep the government in check suffer.
The O’Neill regime is dumbing down a whole generation
PORT MORESBY – High profile journalist Scott
Waide’s recent articleabout the high cost of his daughter’s university
fees highlights a conundrum Papua New Guinea faces in terms of the quality of
its education system. Scott was shocked about the high cost. But let us reflect on
what is a major crisis in the sector. When the O’Neill government introduced
the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) education system for primary and secondary schools,
it failed to account for capacity constraints. Schools were flooded and schools
lacked and continue to lack learning resources, infrastructure and staff
numbers to cope with the influx. Primary and secondary schools in PNG have
essentially become child-minding centers as opposed to centers of learning. In
terms of TFF, the government contribution is K20-K50 a child and it warns
schools not to charge fees. Schools are
then expected to turn this miserly level of fees – five loaves of bread and a
couple of fishes – into something to feed knowledge to thousands of students. Universities
also continue to be grossly under-funded leading to massive fee hikes. However
when one considers the true cost of providing university level education, the
fees are a drop in the ocean.
The member for Menyamya
recently highlighted in parliament the rural-urban technology divide and how
rural students are disadvantaged in terms of securing places at university.
While the predatory
elite in government is dumbing down the general population, their children are
being trained overseas to rule over a dumb population in the future.
The O’Neill government,
whether by design or accident, is increasing inequality and making social
stratification much more pronounced. The constitution of the independent state
of Papua New Guinea calls for integral human development as its first national
goal and directive principle. The way things currently are under the O’Neill
regime, this national goal is ignored.
PNG’s constitution also
calls for equality and participation as another national goal. Whilst the TFF
policy can be seen as being reflective of this, the poor quality of education
means many students leave school unable to equally participate in the economy.
They become a liability.
The rural-urban divide
also means rural students don’t have the same level of opportunity to attend
university, thus furthering social inequality. A poorly educated population
that lacks capacity to engage in the modern economy becomes reliant on
This is a politician’s
dream because, as long as people keep waiting for handouts from politicians,
politicians can control voting behaviour.
Development, Youth and Religion Secretary Anna Solomon has called on churches
in the country to help vulnerable children. She expressed appreciation for the
efforts of two Catholic churches in the Highlands region for partnering her
department to provide “out-of-home care” for disadvantaged children last year.
“The department wants to partner with more churches in the country in taking
care of these children who come from broken families and homes, orphanages or
whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS, sorcery-related killings, and those
living with disabilities,” Solomon said.
“The two care centres that have been given licence in April recognising them as
state partners to care for vulnerable children are under the Diocese of Mendi
in Southern Highlands and Archdiocese of Mt Hagen in Western Highlands.”
Solomon said the Lukautim Pikinini Act has allowed the inclusion and provision
of the out-of-home care centres by churches in partnership with the government.
“The out-of-home care centres are mandated through the licence for removal of
endangered children from within the community and having them given due care in
the temporary shelter until they are returned to a permanent home.
“These two care centres have each assimilated about 15 children and may take in
more as vulnerable children increase in numbers coming from broken homes, or
orphanages whose parents have died and those living with disabilities.
“We have all the data for the churches in PNG, especially seven mainline
The picture of a grieving mum that told a million stories
LAE – A few days ago, I asked Sally Lloyd about the
picture she posted on Facebook of a distraught mother weeping over the body of
her baby who had died. This is the story behind the picture. They are from Fomabi
Village near Nomad. …middle Fly in Western Province. The child got sick with
pneumonia, I believe, and Nomad Health Centre could not help them. The facility
there has been very run down and ill equipped for a very long time.
They then had to make
the long walk to Mougulu health centre for many hours to get further help. Unfortunately,
the child died the following afternoon, and without any helpers with them the
parents had to walk back to their village with the dead child….
“This evening they have the long walk back (6
to 8 hours at least) to Fomabi Village with a very heavy burden – almost too
much to bear. “The father offloaded some heavy food items and we gave high
protein food and fish, a torch and umbrella- it’s going to storm tonight. “God
knows how much we need that emergency vehicle – to bring patients more quickly,
but also for parents who should not have to walk a day (or all night) to get
home and bury their child. “RIP Ezekiel.”
Kieta Flights Suspended
Post Courier February 11, 2019
Air Niugini has suspended its services to Aropa airport, Kieta in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) this week due to removal and theft of the solar panels which power the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights at the airport. PAPI lights are a visual aid that are generally located beside the airport runway that provides guidance information to help pilots maintain the correct approach to an airport. They are a requirement for jet operations. PAPI lights at Aropa airport were only installed recently, allowing the resumption of jet operations into Kieta in January this year.
Loggers Declaring Losses But Increasing Exports
Post Courier February 13, 2019
A high-end investigative report has
revealed that despite decades of operating in PNG, logging companies barely
declare profits. Furthermore, the report reveals an odd financial contradiction
where loggers have reported doubling their losses while continuing to increase
their exports of tropical timber. In a comprehensive report furnished by
renowned international researching group The Oakland Institute, new evidence of
financial misreporting and grand scale tax evasion in the PNG logging industry
have been unearthed.
Titled “The Great Timber
Heist-Continued: Tax Evasion and Illegal Logging in PNG”, the institute makes
public a host of new case studies that have been ascertained through the study
of sixteen subsidiary logging exporters.
Following a 2016 report of the same
nature which alleged that financial misreporting by foreign firms resulted in
nonpayment of hundreds of millions of kina in taxes, the new report reveals an
apparent worsening of this pattern in recent years.
According to financial records, the
16 studied subsidiaries of a logger that court injunctions hinder us from
naming, have doubled their financial losses in just six years while increasing
their exports of tropical timber by over 40 per cent….
After the decline throughout much
of 2017, the volume of logs exported returned to their upward trend in October.
To date, the abolished special agriculture and business leases which added 5.5
million hectares to the 10 million hectares remains a mystery.
Law Not Understood: Kamit
Post Courier February 14, 2019
FOUNDATION chairperson of the
Coalition for Change (CFC) Incorporated, Lady Winifred Kamit, has expressed
grave concerns regarding the general consensus surrounding provisions of the
Family Protection Act 2013. Lady Kamit made this comments yesterday after
reading media reports which paraphrased a Mount Hagen District Court magistrate
in saying that the new law was “biased towards women” and that it “destroyed
As the head of the organisation
instrumental in the drafting of the law through to when it was passed, Lady
Kamit said she was disappointed that a member of the PNG Judiciary would
express an understanding of the law which was so fundamentally flawed.
“The statement, if true, is not
only wrong, because that’s not what the law is, but it also shows that the
provisions of the Family Protection Act are not understood,” said Lady Kamit.
“The Family Protection Act is a law
which gives protection to both female and male survivors of domestic violence,
who can go before a magistrate for a protective order and other orders which
are sanctioned by the act.” Lady Kamit added that the public needed to have a
better understanding of the law and its role in the protection of oppressed
survivors of domestic violence which was prevalent around the country.
Tower Equipment Torched
Post Courier February 15, 2019
Communications equipment at the
Loloho Digicel Tower situated on the mountains overlooking Loloho was burnt on
Wednesday morning allegedly by disgruntled landowners.
This has now resulted in a total Digicel network outage in Arawa and the
surrounding communities. Although details are still sketchy, the burning of the
tower equipment is alleged to have stemmed from a dispute over the distribution
of rental payments amongst family members of people who own the land where the
tower is situated on. This act of sabotage is the latest of a number of acts of
vandalism targeting Digicel communication towers on Bougainville. This also
comes amidst recent revelations from the mobile telco that it was struggling to
maintain its services on Bougainville due to the frequent acts of vandalism and
burning down of its communication equipment.
“The banks, the easy pay power
system, mobile banking and even EFTPOS machines all depend on the Digicel
network here and people cannot hold others to ransom by destroying vital
communication equipment,” a town resident who did not to be named said.
“Is this the type of behaviour we want to portray to the outside world
especially in the lead up to referendum?”There were long queues at the Arawa
BSP Bank yesterday as people; especially public servants struggled to access
their monies through the ATMs as EFTPOS services in shops have been affected by
the network outage and police are investigating.
On Referendum From NRI Report
PO February 15, 2019
THE final report on the forthcoming
Bougainville Referendum was released yesterday and brought out some broad
successes with a few peculiarities that cannot be ignored.
Authored by Dr Kylie McKenna and
titled the “Status and implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and
implications for referendum”, the research document contained just that. As the
sixth and final paper of a research endeavor conducted by the PNG National
Research Institute into how far the Bougainville Peace Agreement has come and
what remains to be done for a smooth transition, many insights were given.
While the document mentioned that
significant achievements have been made and named a few in the likes of the
implementation of the Weapons Disposal Plan and the successful holding of the
first Autonomous Bougainville Government and subsequent structuring, it also
detailed many troubling realities. Therein, the report identified that progress
on a number of provisions in the Bougainville Peace Agreement have not been
met. It stated that ‘weak collaboration with the National Government’ by the
ABG and the delayed payments of grants had now resulted in the process’ delay.
It also mentioned that there were still an unknown number of weapons still in
circulation and a number of groups and individuals that still posed a threat to
the ongoing peace process. Furthermore, key risks identified that could harm
the peace process included the finding that human and financial capacity was
still not where it needs to be for a referendum. The findings also suggested
that there was inadequate information on autonomy and its outcomes to inform
voter decision-making, continued proliferation of misunderstandings about the
referendum and localised conflict.
Panel discussion organised for refugees to
panel discussion organised by the Catholic Bishops Conference was held in Port
Moresby on Wednesday for refugees to raise their concerns. The panel discussion
was attended by church representatives, media personnel from across the
country, students, and refugees.
The theme of the panel discussion was ‘Listening across borders’. Participant
Sam Kaipu, who summarised the highlights of the speakers, said it was evident
that refugees lived in fear for their lives, and have lost their rights and
freedom. “They have left their countries at great risk to themselves and their
loved ones,” Kaipu said. “They are in search of a better and safer life.
“All the five speakers are young men who have been in PNG for five or six
“Despite being from different countries – a Pakistani, a West Papuan, a West
African, a Sudanese and a Central African – their stories had a very important
decision. “Either risk long imprisonment or even death, or abandon their
beloved country, family and friends in order to find safety and freedom in
another country. “It was not simply a better life they were looking for, but
their very existence as human beings deserving of respect and enjoyment of
their rights and freedoms. “As young men they had made traumatic decisions to
abandon their families and friends and countries and lands. The suspense of
waiting for their cases to be determined for settlement in another country has
aggravated their trauma.”
Our daily bread: How scarcity drives the Mosbi mob
18 February 2019 KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY – It was ona Saturday that the
mob stormed into view, alleging that a dog bit a woman on the leg. There were no witnesses
and the incident was not reported to the owner of the dog. The table mamas who erect
stalls and sell betel nut along this stretch of the street did not witness a
dog bite. These table
mamas report everything that happens in the neighbourhood to
those returning from work because they tend their stalls 24/7 to make ends meet
in this unforgiving city. A heavily bandaged woman was carted in a wheelbarrow
escorted by men, women and children to the unregulated hostel in the street
where Kol stayed. A grubby man representing the mob came straight up to Kol,
pointing at his face. He knew Kol was not the owner of the dog but acted as if
“Your dog bite off a piece
on her calf muscle. We took her to the hospital and the doctor said that her
leg will be amputated if not properly treated,” was the line. Kol listened
politely because he was a loner and the mob were ready to devour anybody who
opposed their story cooked up to make some money. There were no medical papers
presented as proof of a visit to the hospital. It was also unusual that the
injured woman was not given an opportunity to tell of her experience. The
leader of the mob resolved that Kol would reimburse the cost of the medical
treatment and compensate them to ‘fan their stomach’, as is part of their
Kol said he did not own
a dog, or a house or land but he was shouted down by the men and women. The mob
insisted that Kol owned the dog and all they wanted was compensation and he
should not divert from that. A neighbour, a leader in the area, endeavoured to
confirm that Kol was not the owner of the dog but the mob told him to back off.
Kol, in his second attempt to defend himself, said dogs being dogs come here to
scavenge in the rubbish but he and others here do not who owns the dog that bit
the woman. In fact, the dog was owned by Gemo who he lived in an adjacent
The mob knew Gemo owned
the dog but decided to hook Kol into the problem so he could partly own the
dog. The primary reason was that Kol came from the same area as Gemo (though
they were not related) and besides, unlike Gemo, he had a permanent job.
Kol and the Gemo were
outnumbered in that stretch of the street so Kol had to raise the white flag of
surrender. Without going to Gemo, Kol contributed K200 and other people living
in the neighbourhood had the courtesy to donate smaller bills adding up to
He handed the K550 to
the leader and the guy took the money and stated that if the woman’s leg
developed an ulcer he would come back to Kol for greater compensation.
The next day, a Sunday,
the thugs went to Gemo, coerced him and got K300 from him.
On Monday morning, the
woman sloughed her bandages, chopped her walking stick and without flinching
marched to town to sell her betel nuts. This mob had felt the sharp pain of
scarcity that makes them insane and unsafe to mingle with and live alongside.
Although a few of them
are law abiding and have a mountain of civic virtue.
Hundreds of families without water supply for five years
Hundreds of families
living in Madang town have had no water supply for more than five years, a
survey report said. Madang’s ward seven councillor Bonny Solomon said most
families had their water supply disconnected years ago and were using other
sources of water for their needs. Solomon said he submitted a report and list
of residents in the New Town area to see if the government would assist them
pay their outstanding water bills last year but nothing happened. Sharon Halo,
living at Kuperu Road, said Water PNG disconnected her water supply yesterday. Halo
said high water bills were incurred by previous residents and she was paying
K1000 every month to reduce it. She appealed to Water PNG to assess the
situation and weigh out reasons before disconnecting water supplies.
Stand their Ground
Post Courier, February 27, 2019
500 homes have been destroyed in an eviction at Gerehu in the Nation’s Capital
on Monday. Women and children were at home when six police vehicles and two
excavators moved into the Red Hills and Goroka Block areas between Gerehu and
Nine-Mile between 9am and 10am.As police
spoke to the families, the two excavators started their destruction of the
homes. In the confusion that followed, houses were destroyed with families
unable to remove their personal belongings before the excavators moved on their
families managed to get representatives from National Capital District
Commission to intervene but 10 minutes after they left, the bulldozing and
destruction of the houses continued. As of yesterday, families had camped
outside their wrecked homes, without electricity and water as many used a
single hose for their cooking, washing and drinking water. School children were
not able to attend schools amongst the issues that arose.
Yambu and Janet Kuso, both from East Sepik province, said that the actions
taken by the person who was claiming to be the landowner was uncalled for as
there was no prior notice of an eviction given to the families. “The landowner
came just before Christmas of 2018 and showed a court order but did not issue
any eviction notice.
violence has continued unabated, with women and girls the primary targets. In
May, in the Southern Highlands, one woman was killed and another two seriously
injured after a mob attacked the women following accusations they had used
sorcery to kill a man. The government’s 2013 Sorcery National Action Plan is
inadequately funded and has yet to be implemented.
In December 2017,
the PNG government announced A$4 million (US$2.9 million) of funding for
sorcery awareness and education programs. In July, the National Court sentenced
eight men to death for their involvement in a sorcery-related killing of seven
people. PNG continued to impose the death penalty, although authorities have
not carried out any executions since 1954.
In 2013, the
Family Protection Act was passed, which criminalizes domestic violence and
allows victims to obtain protection orders. In 2017, the government passed
regulations to implement the law, but enforcement remains weak and
prosecutors rarely pursued investigations or criminal charges against people
who commit family violence—even in cases of attempted murder, serious injury,
or repeated rape—and instead prefer to resolve such cases through mediation
and/or payment of compensation.
There is also a
severe lack of services for people requiring assistance after having suffered
family violence, such as safe houses, qualified counselors, case management,
financial support, or legal aid.
PNG continues to
have one of the highest rates of maternal death in the Asia-Pacific, and the
number of women and girls who give birth in a health facility or with the help
of a skilled birth attendant has reduced in the last five years.
government failed to address abuses by security forces. Few police are ever
held to account for beating or torturing criminal suspects, a common
occurrence. In September, the government indicated it would introduce new
measures to give immunity to police and defense force soldiers on special
operations supposedly to “curb lawlessness.”
ombudsman and police announcing investigations into the 2016 police shooting of
eight student protesters in Port Moresby, at time of writing no police had been
charged or disciplined and neither body had issued a report.
In July, prison
officers shot and killed four men who escaped from Buimo prison in Lae. This
followed a similar escape in 2017, in which 17 prisoners were killed.
Corrective Services ordered an inquiry in 2017, but at time of writing no
investigation had begun, allegedly due to lack of funding.
Police often beat
children in lock-ups and house them with adults, despite a child justice law
that states children should be kept separate from adults during all stages of
the criminal justice process.
In August, a
video showing two PNG police officers brutally assaulting a teenage boy in West
New Britain was widely circulated on social media. Minister for Police Jelta
Wong ordered an immediate investigation and promised to hold those responsible
to account. The two officers have reportedly been suspended and charged under
the Criminal Code Act, but neither had been prosecuted at time of writing.
to education improved from 2012 to 2016 following the introduction of the
Tuition Fee Free Policy in 2012 but was still low, with only 76 percent of
children enrolled in primary school and 33 percent in secondary.
More than 5
million hectares of land has been awarded to PNG-based subsidiaries of foreign
companies on Special Agricultural Business Leases, resulting in loss of
ancestral land and forest for rural Papua New Guineans. The leases represent
over 10% of the country’s total landmass and potentially impact more than
Corruption in PNG
is widespread. In December 2017, the Supreme Court quashed a long-standing
arrest warrant for corruption against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, finding
that the warrant failed to meet a number of requirements and was issued without
That same month,
anti-corruption police arrested and charged the country’s deputy chief
electoral commissioner with corruption for allegedly manipulating votes, for
perjury and making a false declaration.
In April, media
reported that anti-corruption police are investigating the Governor of Port
Moresby Powes Parkop, after a former official revealed the city council was
paying K2.8 million a year to a yoga and health company run by his alleged
About 570 male
asylum seekers and refugees live in PNG, most on Manus Island. Nearly all were
forcibly transferred to PNG by Australia in 2013. Following a 2016 PNG Supreme
Court decision that detaining asylum seekers is unconstitutional, in November
2017, the Australian and PNG government closed the main centre on Manus and
relocated refugees and asylum seekers to other accommodation facilities on the
seekers and refugees suffer complex health problems including mental health
conditions that have been exacerbated by long periods in detention and
uncertainty about their futures. In May, a Rohingya refugee died by apparent
suicide having jumped from a moving bus, the seventh asylum seeker or refugee
to die on Manus Island since 2013.
Department of Home Affairs has acknowledged that medical services have been
reduced since the men were forcibly removed from the main center in 2017. There
have been urgent calls, including by Australian doctors, to improve healthcare
standards on Manus Island.
for refugees’ living expenses but refuses to resettle them in Australia,
insisting they must settle in PNG or third countries, such as the United
States. US resettlement from Manus remains slow, with 163 resettled as of
asylum seekers do not feel safe on Manus due to a spate of violent attacks by
locals in the town of Lorengau and ongoing disputes with the local community.
In January, neighbouring residents blocked access to living compounds in a
protest about leaking sewage. In May, a fire in Hillside Haus forced the
relocation of 120 residents.
Since June, a
12-hour curfew has been imposed on the refugees and asylum seekers in violation
of their freedom of movement, following a car accident in which a woman died;
an allegedly drunk refugee was driving the car. In October, a local man
violently assaulted an Iranian refugee who was hospitalized with serious
injuries to his head and eyes.
following a class action settlement, the Australian government paid K164
million in compensation to asylum seekers and refugees for their illegal
detention on Manus Island.
In July, the
Queensland Coroner ruled that the death of Manus detainee and Iranian asylum
seeker Hamid Khazaei in September 2014 was preventable and the result of
“compounding errors” in health care provided under Australia’s
offshore immigration detention system.
existence of a national disability policy, people with disabilities are often
unable to participate in community life, go to school, or work because of lack
of accessibility, stigma, and other barriers. Access to mental health care is
limited, and many people with psychosocial disabilities and their families
often consider traditional healers to be the only option.
orientation and gender identity
The PNG criminal
code outlaws sex “against the order of nature,” which has been interpreted to
apply to consensual same-sex acts, and is punishable by up to 14 years’
then-Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop visited Port Moresby and met with
PNG foreign minister Rimbink Pato to discuss health and immigration. In
November, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and PNG prime minister Peter
O’Neill signed a joint defence agreement to deepen relations and security
cooperation, partly to curb China’s growing influence in the Pacific.
China is set to
overtake Australia as the largest donor to PNG, though most assistance is in
the form of infrastructure loans rather than aid. China is committing
approximately K13 billion to developing a national road network. Australian
government aid to PNG for the year 2018-19 is K1.3 billion.
In November, PNG
hosted the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum which was
overshadowed by growing tensions between China and Australia for regional
dominance in the Pacific. China provided significant infrastructure
support—including the K82 million convention centre—and President Xi Jinping
invited Pacific Island leaders to a special summit ahead of APEC.
K305 million on security costs for APEC, and provided 1,500 Australian Defence
government drew criticism for its purchase of 40 new Maserati cars for visiting
APEC dignitaries, when the impoverished country struggles to pay teachers and
faces a health crisis. The summit ended in disarray when Chinese officials
physically forced their way into the office of the PNG foreign minister and
refused to sign the final joint statement.
appeal for refugee action in open letter to O’Neill
Fr Giorgio Licini – ‘I appeal to
your sense of humanity and the responsibility of your high office’
FR GIORGIO LICINI |
General Secretary, Catholic Bishops Conference
WAIGANI – Dear Hon Prime Minister: It is with heavy
heart and an intense sense of sadness that I report to you on my recent visits
to Lorengau town in Manus Island and to the Pacific International Hospital in
Port Moresby. At the two locations, I had the heartbreaking experience of
making contact with an appalling level of desperation in which refugees and
asylum seekers live. I am not referring to the logistic conditions in which the
men are kept, which appear to be decent with security, cleanliness, and respect
by national and expatriate personnel. My concern is rather about their fast
deteriorating health status, which is making now acts of self-harm and
attempted suicide a daily occurrence: three cases only for the two days I was
in Manus on 20-22 January.
While travel to Manus
and to the detention centers may prove hard to your busy schedule, I warmly
invite you to make a quick visit to the [Intensive Care Unit] ward of Pacific
International Hospital at 3 Mile.
You will come across
well-kept health facilities and extremely kind and professional personnel, but
you will also meet about twenty refugees and asylum seekers in a deplorable
state of mental health compounded with other ailments affecting their cardiac
and respiratory system, kidney failure, fractured bones, etc.
Hospital and the PNG health system in general cannot cope with these types of
diseases and the men are prevented by their status from seeking independent and
autonomous medical attention elsewhere.
Needless to say, Hon
Prime Minister, that the foreigners hosted in Manus, at Pacific International
Hospital and other locations in Port Moresby have never committed any offense
against the people or the State of Papua New Guinea.
Their detention, mainly
at the hand of the government of Australia was organised between July 2013 and
February 2014 because of their irregular arrival by boat on the shores of that
country and as an attempt to deter additional asylum seekers from taking to the
The people of Manus
expected the offshore processing of those more than one thousand men taken to
their island at Lombrum naval base to last two or three years at the most. Now
half of the initial number of those men are still there after six years.
The uncertainty about
their future, the rejection of claims and applications for resettlement, the
length of the review process has brought to a significant breakdown in their
mental health conditions.
From the information I
gathered the situation has begun to become alarming by September 2018.
Self-harm and attempted suicide, due to depression and hopelessness has now
practically become a daily occurrence.
You may see by yourself
the men admitted at Pacific International Hospital, and there will be no need for
me to supply additional details and information.
I am therefore
appealing, Hon Prime Minister, to your sense of humanity and the responsibility
of your high office.
As you accepted in 2013
to offer help to the Kevin Rudd government of Australia and the refugees
themselves to have their status processed in Papua New Guinea and begin a new
life elsewhere, I am now humbly asking you to give a very close deadline to the
authorities in Canberra for the removal of all refugees and asylum seekers from
our country on the basis of strongly compelling medical and humanitarian
Having achieved the
objective of “stopping the boats” their detention now amounts to cruelty and
plain mental and physical torture.
Without this decision,
the mentally impaired people will grow by the dozens in the next few weeks and
months. Who is going to care for them?
They risk outright
rejection by any third country. They will be unproductive and a burden to
Australia if that government is eventually forced to take them in. It is
unthinkable that they are treated in Papua New Guinea and spend the rest of
their lives here in total abjection and poverty.
Dear Prime Minister, the
photos I attach to this letter are indeed distressing and painting a picture of
the country that may easily appear of complicity, injustice and
irresponsibility. The people of Papua New Guinea, your people, are of a
completely different stock and do not deserve this bad international publicity.
I am sure that everybody
will appreciate you demanding from the Prime Minister of Australia that any
offshore processing in Papua New Guinea is ended within sixty days at the most,
and these men immediately receive proper medical treatment in Australia while
waiting for the final decision on their future in any safe country.
Thank you very much and
may God bless all your efforts!
REV FR GIORGIO LICINI,
Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands