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IndyWatch PNG and NCD Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Thursday, 21 September

23:23

Air Niuginis special flight sells out "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The special flight by Air Niugini to Brisbane on Sunday morning for rugby league fans to watch the SP Hunters play in the Queensland Cup grand final is full.

The airline said this was because of the high demand by local fans wanting to watch the match against the Sunshine Coast Flacons live at Brisbanes Suncorp Stadium.

Air Niugini general manager commercial Dominic Kaumu said this was also due to the subsidising of the flight by National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.

The special flight to Brisbane is fully-booked with the 90 available seats on the Fokker-100 sold out. There was a rush soon after Parkop made the commitment to subsidise the flight, Kaumu said.

People have to understand that there are limited seats available for a flight.

Because of the high demand, the airline is considering having a second special flight this weekend.

There has been an overwhelming demand from people to want to watch the SP Hunters game and we are considering ways to have some more flights to Brisbane to cater for this, he said.

Those interested can also go through Townsville and Cairns before transiting to Brisbane. Those flight options are still available as well.

We are also encouraging the public to prepare themselves before rushing to purchase tickets in terms of getting a visa in advance and also buying tickets for the grand final game itself.

There are already some cases where customers have rushed to get tickets without sorting out other necessary and important requirements for travelling..


SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS/PNG Today

23:18

PNG Hunters: PM O'Neill sends best wishes from New York "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Prime Minister Peter ONeill will be among the very few watching from New York as the PNG Hunters Game and PMs XIII strive for the best in Brisbane on Sunday and in Port Moresby tomorrow.

Mr ONeill said yesterday that he would have loved to be in Australia or in Port Moresby to watch the PNG Hunters play for victory in the Intrust Cup Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium.

But he said that he is attending one of the most important meetings in New York the UN General Assembly, where all leaders of the world are participating.

I send my wishes also on behalf of the people of PNG and we are proud of both the PNG Hunters and the PMs XIII teams, as they represent the countrys hopes and aspirations.

All we can ask is for them to do their best. I will be watching the PNG Hunters on TV during my meeting in US.

Sunday marks a most significant achievement for the PNG Hunters, for the players, coach, and officials. Playing in the Grand Final for the first time, after winning the minor premiership, is a mark of the success the PNG Hunters have achieved in a short period of time in a Queensland state-wide highly competitive competition.

This weekend is a great weekend for rugby league in Papua New Guinea.

On Saturday at the National Sports Stadium, the PNG Prime Ministers Thirteen will play the Australian Prime Ministers Thirteen in what has become an annual fixture, with a focus on healthy communities and lifestyles.

History will be made when the national womens rugby league teams of Papua New Guinea and Australia play in the curtain-raiser to the Prime Ministers match.

We wish both the Prime Ministers Thirteen and our national womens team every success on Saturday.

On the Sunday game in Brisbane, Mr ONeill said the coaches, players, officials, and sponsors had achieved great success this season and he was confident that would culminate in the Hunters very first Intrust Cup premiership.

One of the success stories of the PNG Hunters has been the support the team has received from the large PNG community in Queensland, and from rugby league fans in the state generally.

I know that support will be evident on Sunday, as will be the attendance of fans who are travelling from PNG to Brisbane for the game.

We wish you a safe game, and a truly historic vi...

23:01

PNG Government welcomes US decision to take 54 asylum seekers "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Papua New Guinea Government has welcomed the approval by the United States to resettle some refugees from Manus, and hopes more cases are resolved before the closure of the centre next month.

A United States Department official confirmed that a first group of 54 refugees had been approved and would travel to the US in the coming weeks, and more should be resettled in the coming months. An agreement was struck last year with the Obama administration.

The Manus regional processing centre will be closed on Oct 31 in compliance with a PNG Supreme Court ruling last year that the detention of asylum seekers on the island was in breach of the PNG constitution.

A PNG Government spokesman told The National that the process involving the settlement of refugees in the US had been underway for some time.

In broader terms, we (Government) look forward to seeing other individual asylum-seeker cases advanced, particularly ahead of the closure of the Manus regional processing centre, he said.

Ultimately, the intent of the Manus centre was to do our part to put an end to people smuggling in the Asia-Pacific region.

Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani currently held at the Manus centre welcomed the US government decision.

Boochani called on the US and Australia to specify a time frame for sending people to America.

Their (Australias) plan is to close Manus detention centre by the end of October and until now, they could not because the refugees have resisted and refused to leave the detention centre and go to East Lorengau, Boochani said.

There are 730 refugees on Manus and 1053 on Nauru at the end of August, according to the Australian government.

Many of the refugees have been on Manus since 2012 after PNG and the Kevin Rudd-led Labor government signed an agreement to process their cases at the Manus centre.

Meanwhile, PNG Police want to take over the Manus refugee centre when it closes next month, according to Police Commissioner Gari Baki.

He said he wants to set up a New Guinea Islands regional police training centre there.

Baki said the police needed more officers in view of the increasing population and to avoid situations where officers were outnumbered in violent situations.

That is why the constabulary will bid for the East Lorengau ref...

22:00

Foreign exchange restrictions in PNG: costs and remedies "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Three years after their introduction in mid-2014, foreign exchange (FX) restrictions continue to be in place as at July 2017. Unofficial ballpark estimates of excess demand range between US$300 million to 1 billion.

In a 2017 Business Advantage survey of CEOs, 60% nominated access to foreign exchange as the major obstacle, more than double any other challenge. Interviews with businesses reveal that they have to spend significantly more time on finding FX and managing the credit situation with their overseas suppliers. This increases their administrative costs, which are likely passed on to the consumers. In addition, firms are piling up dollarized debt when there is depreciating pressure on the kina.

The excess demand for foreign currency has led to a substantial delay in the processing time of FX-orders, which is now reported to be between 6 and 16 weeks. The processing duration is a function of fluctuating FX availability and the priority of an order, which the Bank of PNG (BPNG) sets at its own discretion. The general pattern is that imports of basic food (especially rice) and fuel are favoured over other consumer goods, or raw materials for construction. Dividends and repatriation are near the bottom of BPNGs priority list, and the majority of such orders do not get processed at all.

To grasp the severity of the situation, and the extent of import-compression, consider the share of imports to GDP. From 1980, the value of imports tends to hover around 50 per cent of GDP, but over the past two years imports have collapsed to 15 per cent of GDP, with the start of the sharp fall coinciding with the imposition of the FX-restrictions in 2014. This decline in imports is far greater than the one experienced in 1994 when PNG underwent a currency crisis. The argument could be made that the decrease in imports could be overstated due to the LNG project, which provided a substantial boost to GDP, with no commensurate increase in the demand for imports. However, imports as a share of non-resource GDP (that is, GDP excluding the mining and oil/gas sectors) have also collapsed to 23 per cent.

Imports as a percentage of GDP and non-resource GDP

...

22:00

The issues stifling PNG literature: shame, division & segregation "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

RASHMII AMOAH BELL

Not being believed (Hanna Barczyk)
Hanna Barczyk illustration for Amber Tamblyns, Im Done With Not Being Believed, New York Times, 16 September 2017RASHMII BELL

BRISBANE Hilary Clinton is finally expressing some righteous anger: Why does that make everyone else so mad? is the title of an op-ed piece capturing the often hostile reaction to the recent release of Hilary Clintons post-election memoir What Happened.

The articles author, Rebecca Traister, opens by referring to Clintons speech to the 2017 graduating class of Wellesley College, the Massachusetts liberal arts college for women established in 1870 and Clintons alma mater.

Wellesley was also the setting of the 2003 film, Mona Lisa Smile, in which a star-studded cast of Hollywoods leading women deliver an important message about the life choices women should have the right to determine irrespective of peer, family and societal pressures.

In the movie, the brilliant, unattached and ambitious teacher Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) is told by her equally brilliant andambitious student Joan (Julia Stiles) that being married and a primary caregiver is more important than applying to Yale Law School.

Fast forward to Wellesley College, 2017.

Dont be afraid of your ambition, your dreams or even your anger Clinton urges graduands.

Ambition. Dreams. Two words I explored when I chaired the My Walk to Equality session at the recent Brisbane Writers Festival.

I sought the panels view on prevailing Papua New Guinean male attitudes towards women of our generation having equal access to education, career building - and ambition.

Film maker and poet Vanessa Gordon identified a key factor stalling the ability of Papua New Guinean women to ampl...

21:30

Fortnightly links: Rohingya crisis, PNG independence, blockchain technology and more "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

A new report from ODI traces the history and impact of the results agenda within the UKs Department for International Development.

To mark PNG independence day Paul Flanagan has a blog post tracking the countrys post-independence development trends.

With the Rohingya crisis worsening, here is an explainer on the situation (including photos).

Cuts to funding global health will have devastating effects, according to a Gates Foundation report.

In a strong message to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week, Oxfam welcomed refugees into President Trumps childhood home.

Blockchain technology, a shared digital ledger system, could transform international aid. The United Nations World Food Program is using it to bring efficiency to refugee camps, saving 98 per cent of money-management costs, as this article explains.

The post Fortnightly links: Rohingya crisis, PNG independence, blockchain technology and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

21:00

Outrageous junket triggers strong criticism of central bank "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Mekere Morauta
Sir Mek - unhappy with central bank governor Bakani

SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

PORT MORESBY - The current trip by the board of the Bank of Papua New Guinea to the Federated States of Micronesia is an outrage.

I cannot understand why the board could not meet in Port Moresby to save money at a time when the government and country has severe cash flow problems and a shortage of foreign exchange.

Can governor Loi Bakani tell us how much this trip is costing the bank? How much is it costing for the entire board of eight members, assistant governors, board secretary and other support staff to travel to and stay in Micronesia?

It is an insult to all the individuals and businesses owed money by the government to see the Bank of Papua New Guinea wasting it in this manner. 

It is a particular insult to all the individuals and businesses who have been waiting months for their offshore bills to be processed by commercial banks to see the Bank of Papua New Guinea board and staff junketing around the Pacific.

How can the governor justify not releasing foreign currency to commercial banks for their customers when he is happy to waste foreign exchange on travel allowances and hotels in Micronesia?

What is in the Federated States of Micronesia for BPNG board members to learn about? They have no central bank of their own. They have no currency of their own they use US dollars.

Central bank governor Bakani clearly has no sense of what is appropriate.

This inappropriate behaviour comes on top of the scandal of the theft and recirculation of disused bank notes and Mr Bakanis outrageous statements during the election campaign telling candidates not to discuss issues concerning the economy or government finances as such issues were of no importance to the electorate.

No doubt he thinks his junketing around the world is also of no interest or importance to the people of Papua New Guinea, but he is wrong.

The man is clearly not fit to be the governor of the central bank.  I wonder how the prime minister and the treasurer...

20:00

Heaps of people from PNG to see Hunters, says Justin Olam "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Sunshine Coast Falcons centre Justin Olam (Warren Lynam)
Justin Olam in full flight for the Sunshine Coast Falcons

TOM THREADINGHAM | Sunshine Coast Daily

MAROOCHYDORE -: Although Sunshine Coast Falcon Justin Olam says he is proud of his fellow PNG Hunters countrymen for achieving a spot in the final, come kick-off there will be no love lost.

Olam played for the Hunters last year and before that he was part of Lae Snax Tigers.

The centre expects a tough clash in Sunday afternoons Intrust Super Cup grand final in Brisbane, but said there was no rivalry or ill-will between the Hunters and himself.

"It's a bit different and I've never played against my (old) team like that in such big games but I'm a Falcon so I'll give my best for the Falcons, he said.

"It's just a game, its not about rivalry or whatever.

"I think they are going to play hard to win the game and we will play hard to win the game and that's it.

Olam believed there would be plenty of PNG support in the stands but they wouldn't be cheering for him.

"I don't really expect them to support me, but I know my family back home in PNG will support me, so I'll play for them, Olam said.

Regardless of which side the supporters cheer, he said there was sure to be a good atmosphere.

"I think there is going to be heaps coming all the way from PNG and it will be massive, he said.

"There are heaps of PNG people in Queensland also.

The 23-year-old was confident the Falcons had the talent and determination to topple the Hunters, and believed it didn't need to change the strategy.

"I think we just need to play our game as usual, he said.

"Our game has brought us this far so we don't need to do anything new, just stick to our game plan we've had throughout the year.

Although Olam will be fighting tooth and nail for the Falcons to attain season silverware, he was happy that PNG Hunters are in the race too.

...

19:21

Joint statement at UN 36th session Human Rights Council by Vivat International "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Joint Oral Statement at the 36th regular session of the Human Right Council

Item 4: General Debate human rights situations that require the Councils attention.

September 19, 2017 Delivered by: Andrzej Owca

Mr. President

VIVAT International, Franciscans International, International Coalition for Papua and Westpapua Netzwerk would like to draw the Councils attention to the human rights situation in West Papua, Indonesia, in particular regarding the cases of extra-judicial killings of the indigenous Papuans.

Information coming out of West Papua, since many years, has been of great concern to us. We have documented numerous cases throughout the past years, in which the behavior of the security force members has intensified the conflict escalations and resulted in the unnecessary use of fire arms.

The majority of cases of extra-judicial kilings in West Papua reveals that the victims are indigenous Papuans, including minors. This shows that the indigenous population is more likely at risk of becoming victims of state violence. Often they suffer from racial discriminative prejudices amongst Indonesian security forces in West Papua and being accused of supporting groups of separatists.

We would like to mention a few examples. Cases from Timika, Paniai and Sugapa reaffirm that the promises made at national and international level by state agencies and law enforcement bodies to address such cases and hold perpetrators accountable have not been fulfilled.

The last reported case took place on August 1st this year in Oneibo Village, Deiyai Regency of Papua Province where one indigenous Papuan was allegedly killed by the Indonesian Police Special Forces and ten others were seriously injured by bullets, among them five minors.

Therefore, we recommend that the Government of Indonesia:

  1. Engage on the request for a political dialogue between the conflict parties on the basis of mutual trust with the people of Papua for the long-term settlement of the conflict and violence in West Papua.
  1. Address the cases of extrajudicial killings of indigenous Papuans without delay and uphold transparency in the justice system to keep accountable the perpetrators of such crimes.
  1. Invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution to make a country visit to Indonesia including West Papua.

Thank you, Mr. President

Cosponsored by:

  1. Franciscans International (FI)
  2. International Coalitien for Papua (ICP)
  3. Westpapua Netzwerk (WPN)...

13:30

Papua New Guinea journalist bound for the United States on a U.S. Embassy program "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea journalist bound for the United States on a U.S. Embassy program
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: U.S. Embassy Port Moresby has selected Meriba Tulo from Papua New Guinea to participate in the United States Department of States International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled, The Role of Journalism in a Democratic Society. Mr. Tulo is a senior reporter and anchor at EM TV, one of four television networks in the country.

As a young journalist working at the countrys oldest television network, Mr. Tulo is aware of the changing media landscapes in Papua New Guinea with the advent of social media being accepted more and more as a source of news.
I am very excited about this program and looking forward to sharing and learning best practices from other participants from around the world, and bringing home some of these practices back to my workplace, said Mr. Tulo.
During Mr. Tulos program, September 25 to October 13, he will visit Washington D.C., New York, Iowa City, Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. The program will focus on the U.S. system of government, investigative journalism, and journalism education and training. It will also feature a panel discussion on new journalism models such as community engagement and new business models for reporting. Follow the Embassy Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/usembassyportmoresby/ for updates on Mr. Tulos trip.
The IVLP is the U.S. Department of States premier professional exchange program that aims to provide firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture and politics, while cultivating lasting relationships. By connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts, IVLP fosters lasting relationships and helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world.

12:56

Australia PM's XIII Teams arrive in Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

For the first time the PMs XIIIs match will see a double header of matches to be played by both PNG and Australias men and womens side on Saturday.
Australian PMs XIII coach Mal Meninga said this is an extra-ordinary step forward and they have been working very hard behind the scenes with the Australian PMs XIII womans side who will be playing with PNG womans side for the first ever-international match.
Meninga said that this will be a real momentous time for rugby league in general adding that it will be a great spectacle.
Also this afternoon the visiting Australian PMs XIII side and the Womens rugby league World Champions Jillaroos arrived at the Jacksons International Airport for their match on Saturday.
PNG Rugby Football League Chief Executive Officer Reatau Rau was at the reception to receive the visiting teams. Fans gathered at the International Terminal car park to cheer for their NRL Stars as they drove out. PNGFM / PNG Today

12:34

PNG and Australia PM's Departments sign MOU on Institutional Strengthening "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Department of Prime Minister & National Executive Council of Papua New Guinea and the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet yesterday (20/09/17) signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning technical cooperation and institutional partnership.

Chief Secretary to Government, Isaac Lupari said the MOU will:
1. Pave the way for institutional link and strengthening between the two Departments under the current Department treaty between the two countries;
2. Provides for institutional strengthening in the areas of Public Service Reforms, Whole-of-Government process, and monitoring and coordination of government policies and decisions; and
3. Integral part of this understanding is to twine arrangement for officers from PM& NEC to undergo joint training and skill building.

Mr Lupari said the MOU is set to recognize the importance that both governments place on strong institutional links between PNG and Australia and expanding the existing people to people links between the two countries.
It recognizes the shared role of both Departments in providing quality advice to their respective governments and in supporting the coordinated development and implementation of government policies, the Chief Secretary said.

Mr Lupari said the working relationship and cooperation between the two institutions will be based on mutual understanding, respect, responsibility, transparency and accountability whilst having regard to their capacity and resources for improved development outcomes with full participation from both participants.

12:27

PNG Agriculture Mininister to launch Trukai's State-of-the-art Hulling Mill "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Rice Hulling Mill. Photo by Trukai Industries/supplied 
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock and Member for Unaggi- Bena Hon Benny Allen will be guest of honour when he inaugurates Trukai Industries new hulling mill at its main operations base in Mataram Street, Lae this Monday (25th September).

The state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in PNG and has a maximum production capacity of 240 ton per week. It becomes the vital final component that establishes a 100% fully integrated process for domestic rice production in PNG.

The large scale vertical integration process the mill enables means that for the first time, there will be an end-to-end solution for domestic production of rice in Papua New Guinea.

Trukai is the only rice company with the capability to process locally gown rice, and this mill completes the value chain that involves seed and site research, planting, growing, harvesting, milling, packing and distributing domestically grown rice.

Hon Mr Allen will be joined by other government representatives and a representative from Chingwam Rice Growers Cooperative for the ceremony. Other dignitaries to attend the inauguration will include Trukai Chairman Mr Mark Robertson.

Following opening addresses Hon.Mr Allen will have the honour of cutting the ceremonial ribbon to open the mill. Trukai Industries will then switch on the mill and the rice used in its initial run will be 130 tons of rice grown in its trial crop at Chingwam. The crop was harvested in April/May this year with the cooperation of the Chingwam Rice Growers Cooperative.

The rice hulling mill was purchased from Vietnam and is the first of its kind for PNG. Trukai Industries is proud to be taking the lead with its introduction.

Trukai has invested heavily in the development of a domestic rice industry to date, with the mill representing a further expenditure of over K620, 000.

It will provide the capability to process locally grown rice initially grown in the Markham Valley, as part of Trukai Industries Markham Valley Rice Corridor Plan. The plan incorporates rain fed...

12:19

PAPUA NEW GUINEA MENS NATIONAL TEAM SET TO CHALLENGE FILIPINO BASKETBALL LEAGUES FINEST "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea - As part of preparations for the upcoming FIBA Melanesia
Basketball Cup, the PepsiPNG Mens National Basketball Team will face an international All-Star line-up
comprised of the best players from the Filipino Association of PNG (FAPNG) Basketball League.
The two-sides will meet at 7:30pm this Sunday evening at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre (TAIC).
The idea for the exhibition match-up came about following a meeting between Basketball Federation of
Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) President Mr. Nick Daroa, FAPNG Madam President Ms. Cathy Madrid
and PepsiPNG Mens National Team Assistant Coach Mr. Ferdinand Daroya.
The trio agreed that the event would be a tremendous showcase, one that if successfully delivered on
Sunday, has the ability to become an annual event on the BFPNG basketball calendar.
BFPNG President Mr. Nick Daroa acknowledged the game as being a positive lead-up contest for PNG.
Both of our PepsiPNG national teams need pre-tournament games leading into the Melanesia Cup and
this matchup with the FAPNG All Stars gives our mens side a real high-quality hit out, Mr. Daroa said.
When you combine the premier FAPNG players together on one team, it creates a very formidable side.

Their squad will resemble a similar size and standard to that of a top pacific hoops nation and the game is going to be great entertainment for fans. It will certainly be one of the best basketball showdowns that we have seen in Port Moresby since the 2015 Pacific Games and we are grateful to FAPNG for accepting the invitation to participate, Daroa added. The FAPNG Basketball All Stars will be coached by Eddie Salazar and their line-up includes a number of players who possess professional PBL experience. Following the game there will be trophy presentations sponsored by Rainbow Travel. Admission to the game is free for all spectators, with the TAIC doors opening at 6pm. The 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup presented by Paradise Beverages, commences on Wednesday, September 27 at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre (TAIC). For more information, please contact BFPNG Chief Executive Officer Joel Khalu on khalujoel@gmail.com FAPNG BASKETBALL ALL STARS Player Number Player Name FAPNG Team #3 Mark Palisoc Wel Builders #4 Ian Trinidad Wel Builders #5 Ezekiel Echane Rain or Shine Paints #9 Orlando...

12:15

TEAMMATES COLLIDE IN RED VS GOLD INTER-SQUAD BASKETBALL CHALLENGE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Betty Angula (Left) and Rosa Kairi (Right) are ready for their inter-squad game this Sunday. Picture: Matthew Adekponya
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea - In one of their final hit-outs before the FIBA Melanesia
Basketball Cup gets underway, the PepsiPNG Womens National Basketball Team will split into Red
and Gold teams, which will do battle in an inter-squad exhibition game on Sunday.
The two-sides will face-off at 6:30pm at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre (TAIC).
PepsiPNG Womens National Team Head Coach Moi Muri said it was a good chance for his team to
fine-tune leading into next weeks international tournament.
Our girls have been working very hard in training but need some extra match fitness to make sure we are
ready, Coach Muri said.


This game will be six versus six, so it will really test the players fitness levels.
We also hope a big crowd will come along to TAIC and watch the players in their national team uniforms
for the first time.
It will be a good opportunity for basketball fans to see the ladies in action before we hit the court next
Wednesday for our first game against Fiji.
Admission to the inter-squad game is free for all spectators, with the TAIC doors opening at 6pm.
The 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup presented by Paradise Beverages, commences on
Wednesday, September 27 at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre (TAIC).

12:03

Psychiatry Ignores an Elephant in the Room "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Large cohort studies of people with a first-episode psychosis provide a unique opportunity for finding out why so many young people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders die at a young age. However, it seems that those psychiatrists who have access to the mortality data generally do not want the facts to come out. In published cohort studies, there is virtually always too little information or no information at all about the causes of death.

In 2012, Hegelstad et al. published 10-year follow-up data for 281 patients with a first-episode psychosis (the TIPS study). 1 Although their average age at entry into the study was only 29 years, 49 patients (17%) had died in less than 10 years. The authors detailed article was about recovery and symptom scores and they took no interest in all these deaths, which appeared in a flowchart of patients lost to follow-up and were not commented upon anywhere in their paper. In the text, however, they mentioned only 28 deaths (11%), so it is difficult to know how many died.

On March 5th 2017, I wrote to the first author: In your interesting study from 2012, Long-Term Follow-Up of the TIPS Early Detection in Psychosis Study: Effects on 10-Year Outcome, 28 patients died of 281. Do you have the causes of death, which would be very interesting to know about? I noticed that most patients were still on antipsychotics 10 years after they started (table 2). I consider this very frightening, e.g. around half of them will have tardive dyskinesia (which is often masked by ongoing treatment) and many, if not all, will have developed permanent brain damage at this point, to mention just two of the important harms of long-term treatment. In contrast, only 17% of patients in Lappland were still on antipsychotics 5 years after their first episode (compared to 75% in Stockholm).

I sent a reminder ten days later and was told I would get an answer shortly. On May 10th, I wrote again: It is now another two months. You did an important study and it is important for the world to know what 10% of your very young patients died from in just 10 years. It is a frightening death rate. Do we need to file a Freedom of Information request to get this information?

Hegelstad replied that, We are preparing a manuscript detailing the information you are asking for. It will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. When published the information will be readily available to all.

The preparation of the manuscript and its publication were very fast. Already in June, the paper was out, in World Psychiatry.2 With this record speed, I wondered what the peer r...

11:52

Solomon Islands Police confiscates marijuana and kwaso in West Honiara "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A combined team of police officers  from White River and Honiara Central Police stations  yesterday (Wednesday 20 September) confiscated marijuana  and the illegal local brew kwaso at Karaina roadside and Savo heights, at White River in West Honiara.

The raid was in response to information supplied by the public alleging the selling of marijuana and kwaso alongside the road.
Three males have been arrested by police in relation to the confiscated items and the trio are expected to be interviewed today.
Officer Commanding White River Police Station, Inspector Walter Manefakale says, I am pleased with the outcome and cooperation of the public by supplying the information which led to the raid. I urge more members of the communities to provide information to police to ensure those who continue selling and brewing of kwaso and as well as the dangerous drug, marijuana are brought to face justice.
I want to remind the public and communities, that its unlawful to grow, use, sell and possess marijuana, while its illegal to brew kwaso and sell without approval from the Minister concern," says Commander Manefakale.

11:48

Rabbitohs re-sign John Sutton for the 2018 Season "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce the re-signing of local junior John Sutton for the 2018 season,
giving him the opportunity to become the first player in the Clubs history to play 300 first grade games in what will be his 15th season playing in the NRL.

Sutton is a three-time George Piggins Medallist as the player of the year at South Sydney (2009, 2012-13), has played
more first grade games (282) and more grade games (310) than any other player in the Rabbitohs 109-year history,
has represented City Origin on two occasions and the Australian Prime Ministers XIII once; however the greatest
accomplishment of his career so far is leading the Rabbitohs as captain to the 2014 premiership, the Clubs 21st title.
A Kensington United junior, Sutton is already regarded as a modern day legend of the Club, and Rabbitohs Head
Coach Anthony Seibold says Suttons retention is invaluable to the squad.
John is a leader amongst our group, hes played more games than anyone in our jersey which shows his loyalty to the
Club, and those attributes are priceless to our squad, Coach Seibold said.
The experience he brings is instrumental to players like Cameron Murray, Zane Musgrove, Angus Crichton, Tyrell
Fuimaono, Campbell Graham, Braidon Burns and Siosifa Talakai, amongst others.
He brings a fantastic skill set, his knowledge of the game is deep and thorough, and physically hes a big body.
He adds depth to the back row for us alongside guys like Sam Burgess, Angus, Tyrell, Cam, Dean Britt and Sifa, but
most importantly the leadership and experience he brings at the NRL level is irreplaceable.
Rabbitohs General Manager of Football Shane Richardson paid tribute to Sutton and looks forward to him making a
valuable contribution to the Club in 2018.
John is a key member of our leadership group and has been for some time, Mr Richardson said.
He is our longest serving player, he has led the Club to a premiership, hes played more games than anyone else in the
history of this Club, and he is a fantastic mentor for the young players in our squad.
He knows what it takes to win and hes prepared to lead the way in his preparation for games and the way that he puts
every effort into every performance on the field for Souths in any role the coaching staff requires.
He is a South Sydney man from a wonde...

11:45

Worlds biggest butterfly given lifeline by new captive breeding initiative "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The world largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra Birdwing, will be the first to benefit from a new conservation model set to give a lifeline to its declining population.

If proved successful the model will be adapted to other species, in Papua New Guinea (the most important country in the world for conservation action for swallowtails and birdwings butterflies) and beyond.

The Queen Alexandra Birdwing is endemic to Papua New Guinea and endangered by the encroachments made by the palm oil industry to its natural habitat. The new project entails a state-of-the-art captive breeding and release programme - a first for the species - and will involve the local community; this combination will increase the number of butterflies in the wild while also insuring the long-term sustainability of the conservation effort.

Dr Mark Collins, former co-author of the IUCN Red Data Books on Invertebrates and Swallowtail butterflies, recipient of the 2000 Royal Geographical Society Busk Medal and chairman of the Swallowtail and Birdwing Butterfly Trust, has worked closely with senior industry figures in the palm oil industry to develop this conservation project.

11:40

Solomon Islands Police arrested 18 year old girl for allegedly concealing her infant baby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Henderson Provincial Police of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) arrested an 18 years old girl for concealing her infant baby at Kingdom Harvest Henderson in Central Guadalcanal on 17th September 2017.

The infant baby was then taken by Police to Honiara National Referring Hospital (NRH) and declared dead.

The mother of the deceased was arrested and place in police custody for questioning and further investigation.  

Provincial Police Commander Mr Nixon Manetoga said, I call on to every concern person, community, family and church leaders to work together with the police to assist in preventing similar incidents to happen in the future.

I am deeply saddened when briefed by my officers about the poor infant discovery, as there was another similar incident at Guadalcanal plains, GPPOL II area last week and my condolence to other relatives of baby, added PPC Manetoga.


07:10

Boosting PNGs transport department "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Source: Loop PNG

21 September 2017

A partnership arrangement has been signed to further boost the effectiveness of the Transport Department.

 

The new Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Westly Nukundj, and Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor, Benedict David, today signed the deal.

 

The two-year partnership arrangement between Papua New Guinea and Australia to November 2019 will support the Department to deliver more effectively on its mandate to improve transport connectivity for all Papua New Guineans. 

 

This partnership with Australia will help the Department to meet the emerging needs of the transport sector, says the Minister.

 

This support is crucial to delivering the goals set out in our corporate plan. This comprehensive program of support will assist us across the maritime, aviation and land transport sectors.

 

A more effective Department will be able to better connect communities and support economic development.

 

The arrangement provides critical support to the development of Papua New Guineas next Medium Term Transport Plan, which will set out how best to ensure sustainable investment in the sector.

 

The arrangement will assist Papua New Guineas preparations for APEC 2018, seek to optimise sectoral funding arrangements and support ongoing institutional reforms, legislative drafting, budget preparation, and reporting and policy development. It will also aim to boost cap...

06:34

Pruaitch welcomes Oil Search decision "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

By: Freddy Mou via Loop PNG.

21st September 2017.

 

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch has welcomed the decision by Oil Search to discuss the future sale of domestic crude oil to the Napa Napa refinery in Kina, rather than US dollars.

 

Pruaitch says he stood by his earlier statement that it is in the national interest for locally produced resources such as crude oil, copper, gold, fishery and forest products, to be sold to local purchasers in PNGs national currency, the Kina.

 

 

Pruaitch believes it is an infringement of our sovereignty for lenders, or any other entity, to insist that domestic resources have to be paid for in US dollars or other foreign currencies, even when sold to PNG buyers.

 

Such arrangements add to the cost of doing business and hamper efforts to encourage domestic processing.

 

If it is true that lenders to Oil Search or the PNG LNG Project made this a requirement of their loan, the government of the day should disallow this practice in future.

 

Pruaitch says he was not convinced by the Oil Search assertion that LNG project lenders had a loan condition that gas and condensate sold by the project must be priced in US dollars.

 

I am fairly sure PNG Power is not paying in US dollars for gas used by ExxonMobil to generate electricity for Port Moresby. This should also not be the case for gas-fired power from Hides that Oil Search sells to the Porgera gold mine.

 

He states under the 100-Day Plan announced by PNG Treasurer Charles Abel, it was disclosed that discussions are underway for Puma Energy, o...

04:55

K4 Billion Spent On Food Imports Annually "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Source: Post Courier

 

09:00AM 

 

PNG continues to spend K4 billion in food imports each year announced Minister for National Planning & Monitoring and Member for Yangoru-Saussi Richard Maru recently.

 

 

But it doesnt have to be that way. The Government will focus on replacing food imports from here onwards and the Sepik Plains is high on our list of priorities, said Maru.

 

 

Maru said this after a recent visit to the Sepik plains with Israeli investors set to develop East Sepik through an Innovative Agro-Industry. The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg-laying farm, broiler meat farm, and grain production. The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 percent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.

 

 

CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Mr. Kautu Boutua, said with the partnership of Innovative Agro-Industry, the Board is keen to see a different result with the new technology and a new way of approaching agriculture development.

 

 

...

04:34

A Tsunami of Earthquakes Striking Globally "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Grace-285H Significant Earthquakes Strike Vanuatu, PNG, Japan Region Significant and Notable Earthquakes Strike Vanuatu, PNG, Japan Region. Vanuatu Magnitude: 6.4 mww   Location: 18.798S, 169.095E [85km NNW of Isangel, Vanuatu] Depth: 200.2 km Time: 2017-09-20 20:09:49 (UTC) Papua New Guinea (PNG) M 5.9 165km N of Finschhafen, PNG   Location: 5.110S 147.834E Depth: 10.0 km Time: []

04:28

US Government to move out Refugees: Whats the Deal? "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Several dozen people on Manus Island and Nauru look set to be told by the US Government that they will be moved to the United States as part of the US resettlement deal, and it is unknown exactly if or when others will follow or what the plan is for the Australian Government regarding those left behind.

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, has visited Manus Island three times to inspect conditions and to meet with the men held there. He joined us today via phone call to tell us more

Play Interview with Daniel Webb 21st September 2017

01:39

Ongoing unrest affecting Porgera mine operations "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 20, 2017

PORGERA mine operations have been disrupted by the ongoing unrest and roadblocks, according to mine operator Barrick Niugini Limited.

Executive managing director Richmond Fenn said it had significantly impacted communities and businesses in the district.

The unrest and violence we have seen in recent weeks, combined with frequent road closures on the Highlands Highway, not only impact operations at the Porgera mine, but also prevent the movement of people and goods to and from the region, Fenn said.

We hope that the situation improves soon, and we are working to assist the government and community leaders in bringing about lasting peace in the area.

The two-week closure of the Wabag-Porgera road was lifted yesterday but a truck belonging to iPi Transport was torched soon after.

iPi Transport general manager Maso Mangape told The National that the roadblock was set up by relatives of a boy alleged to have been killed by the security forces last month.

...

01:36

No Cut To DSIP, PSIP "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Source: Post- Courier 

 

September 21, 2017 

 

 There will be no cuts to province and district services (provincial services improvement program and district services improvement program) funds, says Prime Minister Peter ONeill.

 
He said in a statement yesterday that 2017 was almost over therefore Governors and Members of Parliament will receive only K2 million each, two months of their PSIP and DSIP funds this year.

 
Mr ONeill, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, expressed confidence that the Supplementary Budget will be tabled when Parliament meets, starting on Monday, September 26.

 
He said the supplementary budget was necessary to balance the budget due to the adjustments in revenue collection, and more importantly, to reprioritise expenditure to focus on the key development agenda.

 
The 2017 Budget plan was based on commodity prices for our exports together with revenue generation, the Prime Minister said.

 
We are still in a challenging global economic environment with a slow rebound in commodity prices, and this places pressure on expenditure.

 
We will continue to adjust and reprioritise expenditure to ensure that we protect and build on the gains we have achieved in the past five years in healthcare, education, infrastructure, law and order and empowerment of our people.

 
The continued investments in these areas is vital to our long-term development and improving the lives of our people.

 
The Prime Minister said the devolution of authority to provinces and districts continues to be a core priority for the National Government.

 
Our DSIPs and PSIPs are vital to achieving our development objective right around the country, he said.

 
For th...

01:01

PNG FACES A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

by PAUL FLANAGAN

The press release from the latest mission of the worlds International Monetary Fund (IMF) see here highlights the difficult road ahead for PNG in dealing with recent years of bad luck and economic mismanagement.

Challenges

On the fiscal front, the IMF considers that the government will fail in the Supplementary Budget to bring the 2017 budget deficit back to the target of 2.5% of GDP. Rather, it estimates the deficit will be a little over 3% so a gap of some K370 million relative to the 100-day target.

The goal to reduce the debt to GDP ratio back to the legislated level of 30% as part of the 2017 Supplementary Budget is also recognized as infeasible. Instead, the suggestion is a medium-term objective of moving to a balanced budget by 2020 (and GDP growth will work to reduce the ratio).

So the first two targets in new Treasurer Abels 100-day plan are likely to fail.

Expected growth is also wound back from the 2.7% estimate in 2017 down to 2.4%.

Positive processes

Despite these negatives, my overall reaction to the IMF report is a very positive one.

First, as the government would have had to approve the IMF post-mission press release, it indicates a very different attitude than the attempts to suppress the 2016 report see here and here.  PNGs behavior ten months ago placed PNG towards the bottom of all countries and ensured it had little chance of issuing a Sovereign Bond. The release is a very positive step towards transparency.

Second, the IMF Article IV report comes out at a very similar time to another report from an IMF tax reform mission. PNG appears to be engaging positively with the international community.

Third, indications are that the consultation process in these missions was positive and wide-ranging. There is feedback that Treasurer Abel also worked to ensure a very broad-based approach towards the preparation of the 100-day plan. Broad and constructive engagement makes for better...

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Wednesday, 20 September

22:47

Vanuatu Government MPs defect to Opposition "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Vanuatu Government MPs Ephraim Kalsakau and Fred Tasso of the Workers Party for Vanuatu Development, have defected to the Opposition group.

The Deputy and Acting Leader of the Opposition bloc, Fred Tasso, told the Daily Post they decided to leave the Government because of alleged broken promises.

He claimed Prime Minister Charlot Salwai had promised to allocate a position of Parliamentary Secretary (PS) for Labour to them three times, but this has never eventuated.

He said they have vast experience to deal with labour matters which have become insurmountable and need political will to deal with these labor issues in the country.

MP Tasso said another reason is that they do not want to be part of any attempt to increase MP salaries, while the ordinary citizens of the country struggle to make ends meet.

According to a press release by the Opposition bloc to the local media Tuesday, the two MPs defected to the Opposition because of the alleged overspending of unbudgeted funds to unproductive means solely for the unity of the government coalition and the failure of the Prime Minister in managing the overall functions of the government. In addition there have been continued discontent within government backbenchers.

The two MPs also opposed the signing of the PACER Plus trade agreement, which they say was signed prematurely and without sufficient consultation.

MP Tasso also explained that on July 30, 2017, the name U-Bloc was changed to Workers Party for Vanuatu Development.

The Opposition bloc now commands 10 Members.

In response to the decision of the two MPs to return to the Opposition, the Government Public Relations Officer (PRO), Hilaire Bule said their move is their democratic right.

He went on to stress that the two MPs joined the Government on their own accord and not at the request of the Charlot Salwais Government.

When they performed a customary ceremony to the Prime Minister, they told him that they came with no conditions but to support a stable government and because being with the Opposition does not allow them to implement their policies objectives, said Bule.

The reason for their move back to the Opposition is totally unfounded and untrue.

They may have an agenda which they did not want to disclose to the public but otherwise the Charlot Salwai government...

22:00

Non-government aid comparing effectiveness "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

How can private citizens who want to contribute to international humanitarian or development efforts obtain a guide to which international nongovernment organisations (INGOs) are most effective in what they do?

There is a wide range of activities which INGOs undertake as contributions to humanitarian relief and development to give a few examples, distributing relief supplies after natural disasters, providing medical services to victims of armed conflict, encouraging community participation in governance and infrastructure, promoting rural livelihoods, lobbying governments, or trying to change attitudes on gender. This variety makes it difficult to form a meaningful system for measuring IMGOs effectiveness for the purpose of comparison.

Measurements and comparisons make sense only when applied to the effectiveness of limited subsets of INGOs which have common objectives and timeframes for showing results, or else to organisational characteristics which are at one remove from activities and results. This choice is reflected in the sources Ive found which offer information about INGOs to prospective donors.

From Australian sources, there is limited information about INGOs in comparative terms. The system of accreditation of NGOs by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides publicly a three-level categorisation of INGOs, in terms of attributes which indicate some likelihood of effectiveness. There is one Australian-based website, Effective Altruism Australia, which offers and explains a list of several recommended INGOs; these recommendations are sourced from United States (US) organisations mentioned below. There are two other Australian-based websites the Australian Charities and Non-profits Commission and ChangePath providing information about large arrays of INGOs operating in Australia, but this information has limited relevance to their effectiveness.

When I reconnoitred United Kingdom (UK) sources, two features stood out. There is a publicly visible, collaborative effort by development NGOs, through the networks BOND and NIDOS, to keep improving the evaluation of their activities. Several of the big INGOs based in the UK (or straddling the UK and the US) publish accountability reports which are detailed, informative accounts of how they assess their own effectiveness and keep trying to improve it....

22:00

PNG faces a tough road ahead but positives are emerging "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PaulPAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics

You can read Pauls complete article together with links here

CANBERRA - The press release from the latest mission of the worlds International Monetary Fund highlights the difficult road ahead for Papua New Guinea in dealing with recent years of bad luck and economic mismanagement.

On the fiscal front, the IMF considers that the PNG government will fail in the supplementary budget to bring the 2017 budget deficit back to the target of 2.5% of GDP. Rather, it estimates the deficit will be a little over 3% so a gap of some K370 million relative to the 100 day plan target.

The goal to reduce the debt to GDP ratio back to the legislated level of 30% as part of the 2017 supplementary budget is also recognised as infeasible. Instead, the suggestion is a medium-term objective of moving to a balanced budget by 2020 (and GDP growth will work to reduce the ratio).

So the first two targets in new Treasurer Abels 100 day plan are likely to fail.

Expected growth is also wound back from the 2.7% estimate in 2017 down to 2.4%.

Despite these negatives, my overall reaction to the IMF report is a very positive one.

First, as the government would have had to approve the IMF post-mission press release, it indicates a very different attitude than the attempts to suppress the 2016 report.

PNGs behaviour ten months ago placed it towards the bottom of all countries and ensured it had little chance of issuing a sovereign bond. The release is a very positive step towards transparency.

Second, the IMF Article IV report comes out at a very similar time to another report from an IMF tax reform mission. PNG appears to be engaging positively with the international community.

Third, indications are that the consultation process in these missions were positive and wide-ranging.

There is feedback that Treasurer Abel also worked to ensure a very broad-based approach towards the preparation of the 100 day plan. Broad and constructive engagement makes for better decision-making.

The IMF report highlights the tough road ahead for PNG to start crawling back up from its slippery slope of economic mismanagement in recent years.

On...

21:00

Govt's removal of powers creates ICAC toothless monster "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

CorruptionEDDIE TANAGO | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea government has amended draft legislation for an Independent Commission Against Corruption to remove some of its most critical powers, opening the doors to political interference.

The government is watering down the powers of the ICAC and will be creating exactly the kind of 'toothless monster' the secretary for justice has written about.

The government changes were announced at a UPNG Seminar last week by Minister for Justice Davis Stevens.

He said the government has removed ICACs powers of arrest and prosecution and placed the prime minister in charge of the appointments process for commissioners.

Act Now! has been leading a campaign for ICAC to be established within the governments first 100 days and has collected more than 2,000 signatures on its petition, but we are dismayed at the governments changes.

Denying ICAC full powers of arrest and prosecution means it will not be able to act independently and effectively to investigate, prosecute and ensure those guilty of corruption are punished.

Instead ICAC investigators will be dependent on other agencies like the police and public prosecutor to ensure their findings are acted upon.

This has been one of the weaknesses in the existing anti-corruption bodies as police and public prosecutor are already overwhelmed, under resourced and subject to political interference.

Over the past 20 years there have been numerous commissions of inquiry that have recommended dozens of prosecutions for misusing and stealing public funds, but time and again the police and public prosecutor have failed to follow up. The new ICAC should not be adopting this failed system.

The governments proposed ICAC will be as toothless as the commissions of inquiry it is supposed to improve on.

It is essential that ICAC is fully independent of other government agencies and fully funded to investigate, charge and prosecute those accused of corruption.

Act Now! is also critical of the governments failure to publish a full copy of the draft legislation and its intention to put the prime minister in charge of the panel appointing the commissioners.

The government talks about transparency and an independent commission, but it is hiding the amended draft legislation and w...

20:00

Human rights abuses needs national & community approach "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

DespairSYDNEY NAM | The Borgen Project | Edited extracts

SEATTLE - While Papua New Guinea has enjoyed the benefits of economic improvement due to extractive industries, more than 40% of its population of more than seven million live in poverty.

The state of human rights in PNG is severely lacking and includes government corruption, abuse of female rights, inhumane conditions for asylum seekers, police brutality, lack of minority rights and prosecution for sexual orientation and gender identity,.

Police abuse is rampant. Between 2007 and 2014, a total of 1,600 complaints regarding police brutality were logged by the internal affairs directorate. The government has yet to release how many of these cases resulted in judicial proceedings.

Since 2014, the anti-corruption directorate has held a warrant for the arrest of prime minister ONeill, but a court order still prevents the police from arresting him. As a result, in June 2016, police shot at University of Papua New Guinea students for peacefully protesting government corruption. Over 30 people were injured.

The United Nations has not overlooked such violations of human rights. In May 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a 687-page report critical of PNGs government and its authoritarian actions.

Police aggression and abuse have also been highly gendered, with PNG remaining one of the worst countries in the world for its rates of family and sexual violence. The normalisation of these actions has prevented aggressive prosecution of perpetrators or prosecution of these men by police.

The government has failed to rally legislative or judicial action against gender-based corruption and coercion. Violent groups of people have attacked individuals for alleged acts of witchcraft. The severe violation of human rights in PNG requires serious action but proves difficult because of cultural complexities.

Undoubtedly, there is no simple solution to changing dysfunctional cultural and national norms. The approach towards fighting against governmental corruption and gender-based violence, among many other human rights issues, requires national and community-level strategies.

12:00

West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

From Dateline Pacific, 4:03 am on 18 September 2017 The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says its decolonisation aspirations are focussed on action at the United Nations. The Coalition is one of the key groups within the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which is pushing for internationally-facilitated negotiation with Indonesia over Papua's political

West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

08:53

Elections Review: Highlands Region "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Journalist Freddy Mou witnessed firsthand the volatile situation of elections in the Highlands.

This is his summary of elections in the Highlands.

The campaign period in the Highlands region is always a time to showcase the sort of leaders a tribe has.

This is when pigs, cows and other livestock are slaughtered, with celebrations after celebrations held at various campaign venues by candidates to try and lure voters.

As described by bishops and Diocesan Secretaries of the four Highlands Dioceses in their Annual Regional Secretaries Meeting earlier this year, elections in the region have never been free, fair and transparent.

The people of the region have suffered and many have been routinely denied services.

Only a minority have benefited while the common people struggle to make ends meet.

While elections in the Highlands is known for its fiesta, mandating a leader always involved violence and corrupt dealings, requiring more security.

Security personnel engaged for the elections were mainly focused on the Highlands.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki, in a meeting with government departmental heads before the campaign period, said there were still issues in the Highlands which needed close attention.

He cautioned that for the past five years, provinces such as Southern Highlands witnessed peace but this did not mean there would be no threats or disruptions during the election period.

As reported, no election related violence occurred during the campaign period but a large sum of cash was involved.

Heading into and during polling, a lot of issues were raised by concerned candidates and supporters.

These involved the electoral roll update, polling venues and others.

Bulk voting and underage voting was also witnessed in some parts of the Highlands region.

Even though security personnel were present at the polling venues, nothing was done to stop such practices.

A candidate in the Goroka Open seat posted pictures on social media alleging that people were voting at will, without any control from the polling officials.

However, Provincial Election Manager Steven Kaupa brushed aside the allegations.

Kaupa, when a...

08:30

Investor committed to Sepik Plains Project "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Via Loop PNG

20th September 2017

Israeli investor, Innovative Agro Industry, has assured the Government and the people of East Sepik of its commitment to invest and develop several agriculture and farming projects on the Sepik Plains.

 

Chief executive officer of the Innovative Agro Industry, Lior Crystal, was part of a delegation that flew over to the Sepik Plains on Monday, Sept 18, 2017.

 

Other parties on the aerial inspection were the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Bruce Davis, and the CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Kautu Boutua.

 

The delegation was led by the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, and Member for Yangoru-Saussia, Richard Maru.

 

The delegation was given a birds-eye view of the proposed site of the chicken and grain project under the Sepik Economic Zone (SEZ).

Crystal described the Sepik Plains as a beautiful landmass sitting there, waiting for development.

 

I am here on behalf of the LR Group, Innovative Agro Industry, stating that we are committed to the development of this land. We are not only coming to develop, we are coming as an investor. We are putting our money where our mouth is, Crystal said.

 

The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg laying farm, broiler meat farm and grain production.

 

The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 percent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.

 


Filed under: Agreement, Agriculture, Business, Community, Development, Economy, Government, Growth, Information, Investment, land Tagged: Agriculture, Community Development, Development, Government,...

08:12

Better Regulatory Mechanism Needed For Pasca "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Co-operation between all stakeholders to put in place a better fiscal and regulatory mechanism for the the petroleum and mining industry, and the economy as a whole, is needed.

Papua New Guinea Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) head of national secretariat Lucas Alkan said the countrys first off-shore gas project, the K1 billion Pasca Gas Field in Gulf, is set for first drilling in 2020.

Mr Alkan said changes in technology and the way people do business today are so swift, and the petroleum and mining industry have their own challenges and opportunities.

He said the country is in a very unique position to be a model country to set standards that other miners and explorers around the world can learn from. The Solwara 1 Project in New Ireland and the Pasca projects are case in point, Mr Alkan said.

We are of the view that the industry and the Government are living up to meeting immediate obligations and this must be further be strengthened to see better outcomes, Mr Alkan said.

If there needs to be finer tunning to certain legislations and policies, the timing is now right to make things happen. He said PNGEITI believes that with the offshore gas project in the Gulf province, the Department of Petroleum and Energy is on top of this in terms of policy and legislations to cater for this development.

We hope to see better outcomes from negotiations and discussions around setting up better fiscal and regulatory frameworks to lay solid foundations for similar projects in future.

We have world class technical expertise to make PNG a model mining and petroleum country that strictly upholds global best practices, whether it be in transparency or the overall approach taken in administering and regulating business in the mining and petroleum space.

There is a whole scheme of things we need to harmonize before the economy and the investors alike can enjoy the benefits of PNGs resource.

We at PNGEITI always stand ready to do our bit to promote accountability and transparency in the industry.

 

http://postcourier.com.pg/better-regulatory-mechanism-needed-pasca/


Filed under:...

06:45

Govt Offers Rebate To Land Catches Onshore "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Government will work closely with the fishing industry to implement new policy initiatives announced by Prime Minister Peter ONeill last week.

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Patrick Basa held a meeting with representatives from the fishing industry last week to assure them.
The initiatives announced by Mr ONeill included a rebate being offered to fishing companies so that they land their catches onshore to be processed.

The Government forecasts that this would prompt the existing processors to lift their capacity from about 30 percent to about 70 percent. This would create more jobs for Papua New Guineans, and ensure revenue and foreign exchange that is lost to countries like Philippines and Thailand are retained. But the companies say they have not seen the details of the rebates scheme, and are worried that its fast implementation would lead to them make financial losses, resulting in the closure of their business.

Chief among their concerns is the high cost of doing business in PNG, poor infrastructure, lack of adequate and reliable power supply, and high labour cost.
Minister Basa told the representatives that the government appreciates their concerns, and will work closely with them to ensure their concerns are accommodated and addressed. He told them the government was not against the companies, but working towards ensuring a greater return to its people for the harvest of their resource.

Minister Basa instructed the National Fisheries Authority to work with the industry representatives in the nest three months to develop a matrix on the way forward. He directed, among other things, for the NFA to identify the catches by fleets over the last 5 years in PNG and where these fish are landed or exported.

He directed that these data be clear on whether these catches are recorded as catches from Distant Fishing Nations, Locally based foreign flagged vessels, or PNG flagged vessels.

We need to know the exact volume of catches and by fleets. Further to that I want to also know the volume of catches by fleets that is landed in Bangkok and the Philippines, the Minister said.

With four processing plants already operating in Malahang Industrial Centre in Lae, and another two being planned, the government is pushing ahead to build a wharf dedicated to serve fishing companies.

That wharf is to be built in nearby Wagung...

06:17

Lae Snax Tigers' Charlie Simon named Captain of PMs XIII to play Australia "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Charlie Simon from Lae Snax Tigers will lead as skipper of the newly announced 18 men PMs 13 team that was named this morning in a ceremony witnessed by the Acting Sports Minister Charlie Raminai at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.
Acting Minister Charlie Raminai at the official team announcement urged the Stanley Tepend coached side "to take pride in the jersey they will wear this weekend against the Kangaroos and perform to their best for the country."
The team was announced by coach Stanley Tepend in front of the PNG Rugby Football League Board and major sponsor National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) Chief Executive Officer Imelda Agon.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said the annual match between Australia and PNG is aimed at driving social messages of Violence against Women and children and strengthens bilateral ties between both countries.
NGCB CEO Imelda Agon said they were happy to support and assist the PNG PMs 13 team host the annual match.

NGCB PNG Prime Ministers XIII team:

1.         Joe Joshua

2.         Brendon Gutono

3.         Stanford Talita

4.         Junior Rau

5.         Karo Kauna Jnr

6.         Jason Missian

7.         Charlie Simon

8.         Junior Rop

9.         Stanley Olo

10.       Dilbert Issac

11.       Tuvi Lepan

12.       Kato Ottio

13.       John Andy

14.       Sailas Gahuna

15.       William Mone

16.       Eddie Daffa

17.       Muka Peter Kulu

18.       Joshua Nani

Coach: Stanley Tepend

Team Management: Steven Nightingale, Roderick Puname, David Westley, Solomon Kulinasi, Leonard Tarum and Tim Rodgers.


05:10

NRL must expand comp to include Hunters, says Johns "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

September 20, 2017  
Source: The National

RUGBY league personality  Matthew Johns says the NRL is going down the wrong path in terms of expansion and the Papua New Guinea Hunters must be the next team to join the competition.

 
Cities like Perth and Adelaide are frequently touted as possible locations as part of a strategic plan to grow the sport and plans for a second team in Brisbane has been on the agenda for a decade.
But Johns says the games administrators are guilty of tunnel vision in their pursuit of growth and should be targeting the Hunters as the next team to join the NRL.

 
The Hunters have been an instant success since their inaugural season in the Queensland Cup in 2014 and are one win away from being crowned this years premiers.
Johns believes the inclusion of the PNG side will revolutionise the NRL like the West Indies did for cricket in the 1980s.

 

 
I urge the game to think out of the square, go away from their traditional thinking. We look at the game too narrowly and we look at the Australian continent we keep talking that we want Perth, we want Perth and I get that, Johns said on Triple Ms The Grill Team.
(But) The Pacific Islands, thats where the growth is.

 
Weve got a situation this weekend in the Queensland Cup, the Sunshine Coast are playing against the PNG Hunters.
It is the most underestimated story in rugby league that the PNG Hunters are in the Queensland Cup grand final, the second best competition in rugby league outside of the NRL I put it on par with the English Super League, it is that strong of a competition.

 
Last weekend in Port Moresby to get into the game [preliminary final] they were lining up for 24 hours to watch the game.

 
What are we doing? Whens our plan to bring them in?

 
They could be the West Indies. The West Indies revolutionised cricket in the 80s and they could do the same thing for rugby league.

 
Johns played as five-eighth for the Newcastle Knights, playing outside his younger brother Andrew Johns at halfback for nine seasons.

 
Johns was part of the Australian squad that won the 1995 Rugby League World Cup and went on to play eight matches for his country.

...

03:05

Hope for a handful, but fear, despair and limbo for 2000 left behind on Manus/Nauru "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Today up to several dozen people on Manus Island and Nauru look set to be told by the US Government that they will be moved to the United States as part of the US resettlement deal. Refugees have been told the transfers could take place next week but it is unknown exactly if or when others will follow and what the Australian Governments plan is for those left behind.

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, who has visited Manus Island three times to inspect conditions and meet with the men held there, said:

Today, after 4 years of fear and violence and shootings and death, a handful of people finally got some good news. But the tragic reality is that hope for a handful doesn't end the suffering of the 2000 innocent people left behind.

Over 2000 people remain warehoused on Manus and Nauru, 1783 of whom have already been assessed to be refugees. Among these 2000 innocent people are 169 children.

In signing the US deal our government was rightly conceding that it couldn't just abandon people on Nauru and Manus forever. That was an important and long overdue concession. Now, it is our Governments responsibility to make sure not a single person is left behind. Not one life can be abandoned in limbo.

The announcement comes at a dangerous and tense time on Manus Island. The Australian Government is closing the Manus RPC facility around the men it has detained there for the last four years - recently cutting water and electricity to the major compounds - but the men have nowhere safe to go.

Their safety is Malcolm Turnbull's  responsibility, not Donald Trumps. Their lives - their futures - are in Malcolm Turnbull's hands, and he must ensure no one is left behind.

This dark chapter in our history does not close - this painful chapter in their lives does not end - until every single man, woman and child tormented on Nauru and Manus for the last four years is finally safe. Anyone who can't go to America must immediately be brought to safety in Australia, said Mr Webb.

For a handful of families separated by the Australian Governments offshore detention regime, the US deal still offers no way forward.

There are a handful of families ripped apart by offshore detention. Fathers separated from children. Sisters separated from brothers. For them, the US deal won't end their pain. It is not a pathway for their fam...

02:31

Intrust Super Cup: PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons Grand final team list "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


The Papua New Guinea Hunters will play their first ever grand final match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons on this Sunday. The match will by played at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The game will be televised live by Channel Nine in Australia and TV Wan+ in PNG. The game will  also be  live streamed on the internet via the QRL website.

The team lists for the   two teams are:

PNG Hunters

1. Stargroth Amean 2. Wawa Paul 3. Bland Abavu 4. Adex Wera 5. Butler Morris 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Wellington Albert 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Stanton Albert 11. David Loko 12. Nixon Putt 13. Moses Meninga 14. Rahdly Brawa 15. Willie Minoga 16. Enock Maki 17. Brandy Peter 18. Esau Siune

Coach: Michael Marum

Sunshine Coast Falcons

1. Guy Hamilton 2. Matthew Soper-Lawler 3. Justin Olam 4. Christopher Lewis 5. Jeremy Hawkins 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Ryley Jacks 18. Tui Kamikamica 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lachlan Timm 11. Dane Hogan (c) 12. Joe Stimson 13. Harrison Muller 14. Alex Bishop 15. Jye Ballinger 16. Jon Grieve 17. Louis Geraghty 19. Martin Cordwell 20. Liam McDonald

Graphics: QRL/ISC

01:48

Papua New Guinea businesses should expect APEC-related income streams from this October "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea businesses should expect income streams from October, as momentum builds towards the APEC Summit in November 2018. The Director-General of the APEC PNG 2018 Coordination Authority, Sir Charles Lepani, told the Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Summit in Sydney that towns outside Port Moresby will also benefit.

Artists impression of APEC Haus, currently being constructed near Ela Beach in Port Moresby.

According to Lepani, hotels, small business suppliers and the informal sector should, by October, start to benefit from preparations for next years APEC Leaders Summit in Port Moresby.

Sir Charles Lepani talking about APEC 2018. Source: Business Advantage International

Lepani said the authority needed to manage expectations, noting that it would not change PNG overnight. But he said it would establish a foundation for stronger growth, bringing in much-needed foreign exchange, and raising PNGs profile.

Already, hotels have been paid for senior delegates accommodation.

We intend to go to tender, or look for, PNG women around the country who make bilums. Each province will make bilums, but not flags, as APEC does not use flags because they are political. We hope to get about 15,000 bilums made by women for each delegate.

Not plastic, which would be thrown away afterwards, but real bilums...

01:45

Fiji nurses to go on a strike is a strong possibility - Union "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Nurses in Fiji are confused as to what is the actual salary increase under the new contracts that they are signing and their union says the likelihood for nurses to go on a strike is a strong possibility.

Fiji Nursing Associations General Secretary Salanieta Matiavi says they are hoping to get a clarification from the government as most of the nurses are raising concerns that they are only getting a transitional 5 percent pay increase.

It was announced in the 2017/2018 National Budget that specialised nurses will get salary increases of 25 percent while nurse practitioners will get a 74 percent salary increase.

Matiavi said this has not eventuated and they will be conducting a secret ballot soon to see whether the nurses will go on a strike next month.

When questioned on what will happen to patients in hospitals and health centres if nurses will go on strike, Matiavi said nurses need to be satisfied by the government.

Matiavi said most nurses are not satisfied with the new contracts and they would like to go on strike.

There are over 2,000 nurses in the country and 1,500 nurses are members of the Fiji Nursing Association.

Meanwhile, a strike by members of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions is possible over their disagreement with the civil service reforms being undertaken by Government.

CPSU general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said a secret ballot would be conducted next week to decide on the strike.

The Registrar of Trade Unions has been informed by the four unions. FPSA, FTA, FTU and FNA to supervise the balloting by its staff as per the requirement of ERP, Section 175 (3) (c), he said.

In another development, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has pointed out a number of incompetencies within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

While conducting the third round of nurses and civil service consultation in Suva Tuesday, he said theres a lack of communication between the Human resources department and its staff.

He said this continues to be an issue across the board and it must be carefully looked into.

The administrative arm of the ministry is obviously not doing as well as it should be. For example in particular some issues that were raised was regarding the issuance of the contract in time, regarding the advertisements of the position as their not gi...

01:43

Fiji praised for taking on Presidency of COP23 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Fiji's decision to take on the presidency of COP23, the UN negotiations on climate change, has been regarded as a bold move for a small island developing state that is also affected by climate change.

Germany's State Secretary for the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Jochen Flasbarth made the comments today when he joined Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at a side event at the UN to update preparations for COP23.

In his statement, he linked the possibilities that can be derived from two different nations working together to advance awareness on climate change.

Looking at Fiji, a small island state, less than a million inhabitants, and (whilst) Germany, 80 million people a highly industrialised country I think you cannot think of how different countries have joined in the spirit of Paris (Agreement), we want to mutually find solutions to solve our climate problem.

This is an opportunity, to bring together the world to showcase that it is possible and needed to cooperate between very different countries in the world.

Tuesday's side event was an opportunity for Fiji, Germany and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide a formal information session for interested parties in the lead up to COP23.

At this event, Prime Minister Bainimarama reiterated the importance of working closely with each other to address climate change.

Addressing climate change is at the heart of our common future. This is why the Paris Agreement is so important. We all must continue to create prosperity and to ensure the wellbeing of the nations and ecosystems of the world. To do this, we must work together. There is opportunity for growth in the transformation we must make away from carbon. I have learned of many examples of brilliant innovation in technology that provide hope and excitement.

The UNFCCC executive secretary Patricia Espinosa echoed the statements made by Flasbarth and highlighted the significance of Fiji's presidency in underlying the problems faced by small islands developing states from the threat of climate change.

Prime Minister Bainimarama is leading Fiji's delegation to the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly. Whilst there, he will also officiate at several climate-related events as incoming President of COP23.


SOURCE:DEPTFO NEWS

01:42

Talking about the laws of war in a peaceful Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

While currently known as a relatively stable part of the world, the Pacific is no stranger to the devastating impacts of conflict. In recent decades both the Solomon Islands and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville have experienced internal strife, while communities in the PNG Highlands continue to deal with the humanitarian consequences of inter-tribal violence.

These conflicts illustrate the necessity for all countries in all regions whether at peace or war to know and support the humanitarian laws designed to put limits on warfare.

For the past three and a half years, Netta Goussac, the ICRC's outgoing legal advisor to the Pacific, has helped increase awareness of international humanitarian law (IHL) across the Pacific, working with governments in countries ranging from Papua New Guinea to Australia to the small island nation of Kiribati.

A former government lawyer, she played a significant role in promoting the ratification and implementation of the Geneva Conventions, its Additional Protocols and other IHL treaties among Pacific Island nations.

Despite the relative peace in the region, Goussac said it's critical that the rules regulating warfare are implemented into domestic legislation: "Efforts to promote the rules that protect civilians in war continue to be important, despite the absence of conflict in the region," she said.

During her time in the region, Goussac assisted Pacific Island nations to reach a number of milestones in terms of IHL.

Earlier this year saw the formation of PNG's national IHL committee, which provides a permanent platform for members to discuss the country's participation in IHL treaties and the local implementation of these laws.

Also, in July, many Pacific States participated in the process to draft and adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This landmark international agreement makes clear that any development, production testing, stockpiling, use or threat to use nuclear weapons is completely unacceptable.

"This as an historic achievement for the Pacific, a region which has suffered from the effects of nuclear testing," Goussac said.

Later in 2017, the ICRC will also co-host the inaugural Pacific Roundtable on IHL, which for the first time provides a dedicated forum for discussions on the laws of war and their importance in the region.

Goussac said she leaves the Pacific with fond...

01:39

Tourism Arrivals to the Pacific region Up 18.4% in the June Quarter "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Tourist arrivals in the Pacific ACP and SPTO member countries increased by 18.4% in the second quarter of this year when compared to the first quarter.

This increase is in line with the global momentum of tourism growth with international tourist arrivals reaching 6% growth compared to 4.7% in the previous quarter.

The figures were released by SPTO in its Quarter 2 Tourism Arrivals Review this week with comparative analysis over the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of the prior year.

The favourable performance in the June quarter reversed the consecutive decline witnessed in the preceding two quarters in the region. Year to June 2017 arrivals already reached 949,712, up 2.8% over the corresponding six months last year.

The marked turnaround reflected a number of massive tourism promotional campaigns, increased in new air service arrangements and flight schedules and improved tourism infrastructure developments undertaken by most of the major destinations in the region.

Consequently, tourist arrivals to the region accelerated, triggered by strong growth in tourist arrivals to Cook Islands by 47.7%, Solomon Islands 31.6%, Fiji 28.3%, American Samoa 26.5%, Samoa 22%, and Tonga by 13%. Compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016, tourist arrivals to the region also grew by 5.5% with Timor Leste showing the highest growth by 52.2%.

On market shares, Fiji maintained its supremacy as the lead tourism destination in the region with 40.6% share, up from the 36.9% share in the First Quarter of 2017. The second highest, French Polynesia registered an estimated share of 9.1%. This was followed by Cook Islands at 8.2%, PNG 7.7%, Samoa 7.0%, Palau 5.7%, Timor Leste 5.0% and New Caledonia and Vanuatu with estimated share of 5.2% and 4.6%, respectively. The remaining 7.0% was shared among all the other destinations in the region.

Arrivals by major source markets rebounded by 8.6% to 464,256, after two weak quarters. The acceleration of 36,887 arrivals against the previous quarter was underlined by rising arrivals from the Pacifics four leading source markets, Australia by 22%, New Zealand 56.4%, USA 4.2% and Other Asia by 4.7%. Against the same quarter in 2016, arrivals by major source markets to the region however, fell mildly by 0.6% with Europe showing the highest fall by 25.8%.

Australia and New Zealand remained the leading markets for the region in the Second Quarter, with shares of 31.7% and 22.5%, respectively. USA, the third highest source market represented 10.2%, followed by Other Asia at 9.1%, China 7.0% while Europe and Pacific Islands each with shares of 6.5%. The other source markets made up the remaining 6.5% at the end of the Second Quarter.

The June Quarter 2017 publication can be accessed through SPTO RTRC Website. The publication i...

01:37

Conditional poultry ban in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A conditional ban on uncooked poultry imports is in effect, according to the Papua New Guinea Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

The latest gazettal to undertake a conditional ban on uncooked poultry imports has already been made official by the National Quarantine Authority (NAQIA) and is in effect since September 12.

The process was completed last Tuesday (September 12), following the signing of instruments by the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Benny Allen on September 8.

The action taken by the ministry will see standards of poultry products entering the country meet the highest of quarantine standards used by New Zealand and adopted in processing poultry imports.

Gazettal number G715 has already been distributed to all major port facilities throughout the country to ensure border authorities adhere to the ministerial direction.

What we have done is that we have distributed this to our ports for them to take note and apply the standard, NAQIA managing director Joel Alu said.

The gazette revoked a previous national gazette made in June this year by the former minister Tommy Tomscoll to allow the importation of foreign poultry products from overseas markets into the country.

Standards currently used by New Zealand are amongst the highest standards in the world.

The actions will see the protection of local poultry producers and protect the country from poultry related risks from entering.

According to the ministry of agriculture and livestock, the local poultry industry produces in a year is 25,000 tonnes of chicken meat, 115,000,000 eggs, and 14,000,000 day old chicks.



SOURCE: PACNEWS

01:34

Kumul Telikom urgently looking to build undersea cable to Sydney, says Chairman "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Mahesh Patel, the chairman of Kumul Telikom, told the Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference that the newly formed entity is urgently looking to build an undersea fibreoptic cable to Sydney. He said the aim is to reduce telecommunications wholesale prices by two-thirds.

Kumul Telikoms Mahesh Patel. Source: Business Advantage International

It has been a bee in my bonnet since I have been Chairman, Patel said of the need to upgrade PNGs oldest connection to the worldwide web, currently sited at Ela Beach in Port Moresby (a second, more modern connection, is sited in Madang).

We should have done it four years ago but that is water under the bridge now. We have chugged along over the last four years looking at various options.

It has come at a time when the economic situation is looking pretty bad. Funds have dried up, so we need to look at various options.

Four years ago, we could have funded it ourselves. We had the capability and capacity financially.

Options

Patel said there is huge urgency to get it startedyesterday. The funding, he said, could come from different sources.

Representatives of PNGs two superannuation funds, Nambawan Super and Nasfund, told the conference they would be interested in investing in the cable.

We have the option of private sector participation, Patel said. The expectations of returns are obviously very high there.

We have the World Bank, who are keen to fund itit is a slow process, but cheap money.

Sydney is very well connected, and we can get it done very quickly.

We have got other private financial institutions who are looking at build, lease and transfer. Again, an expensive model but it can be done quickly. All three options are on the table.

We are looking at going to the Cabinet as early as in the next couple of weeks with a proposal to proceed.

Pacific

Patel said the focus will be on connecting PNG directly, rather than through other Pacif...

01:12

Education standards need to improve to solve Papua New Guinea graduate employment problems, says human resources expert "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The education of Papua New Guinea graduates needs to improve, says Scott Roberts, General Manager of human resources firm Rubicor Technical. He tells Business Advantage PNG that it will help address the problems of unemployment and under-employment of graduates.

Rubicors Scott Roberts. Source: Rubicor

Roberts says many graduates enter the market without the right skills to do what employers expect.

Roberts says his firm recently advertised for graduates; he was surprised when about 500 applied.

I was astounded that we had this significant number400 plus, either unemployed or under-employed recent graduates in the market. They were wide-ranging graduates from all the universities across all the disciplines: chemistry, physics, engineers, business, HR.

Many of the students struggle to cope with tertiary class content.

There were large numbers of people whose verbal skills, reasoning skills and numerical reasoning skills were quite poor relative to international graduate comparisons.

It suggests there may be a real mismatch between what the qualification suggests a person can do and what is actually required in the working environment.

Assessment

Roberts says he would like to see more work done to identify, screen and select better students.

I have anecdotal evidence, from most of the universities that have selected people based on grade point average from grade 12, that many of the students struggle to cope with tertiary class content. They almost need remedial courses before attempting their tertiary studies.

Big companies do their own development and training, but small and medium enterprises usually lack the resources.

We can and should invest in assessment tools to identify these deficiencies. That way, people who do go to uni can participate in tertiary education from day one.

Sure this will cost money, but they cant continue putting out a product that is not appropriate to market needs and expectations. Eventually, it...

01:02

Refugees to receive decisions from the US "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A 2014 file image of asylum seekers staring at media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea. AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell.

A 2014 file image of asylum seekers staring at media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea. AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell.

CANBERRA AAP

After years in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru, some refugees will soon know whether they will be moving to the US to start a new life.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday US authorities would begin handing out resettlement decisions in the next few days with the first group to leave in coming weeks.

He says the processing of other individuals continues and further decisions by US authorities are expected in due course.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there would be about 25 from each centre in the first wave, with more extreme vetting to follow.

President Trump had some reservations about it but nonetheless, he is honouring the commitment made by his predecessor and I want to thank you for doing so, he told the Seven Network.

Some refugees received appointment slips on Tuesday afternoon.

People are a bit surprised, some people had given up hope that it would happen, Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul told AAP.

Right now theyre experiencing anxiety and anticipation.

A document on a notice board on Manus Island warns refugees every case is different and moves through the required process at different speeds.

Please be patient, the US Resettlement Support Centre document says.

It says more decisions will be issued over coming months.

The Manus Island detention centre is slated for closure by the end of October.

T...

01:00

People moves: Bank South Pacific, Bougainville Copper "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A new Director at BSP, senior appointments at Bougainville Copper

Gerea Aopi has retired as a Board Director of Bank South Pacific. He will be replaced by lawyer, Robert Bradshaw. Aopi has served as a board member since the amalgamation of BSP and Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC) in 2002.

***

Bougainville Copper Limited has confirmed four senior appointments. Justin Rogers has been appointed as Executive Manager for Bougainville, while the companys Buka-based Bougainville Manager is Ephraim Eminoni. Ezekiel Burain and Genevieve Itta have been appointed as Senior Project Officers.

The post People moves: Bank South Pacific, Bougainville Copper appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.

00:59

In brief: Construction of industrial zone in Madang will commence soon, says ONeill, and other business stories "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Proposed K350m Pacific Marine Industrial Zone to start soon, tuna exports to the EU equal that of Thailand and Philippines, and Supplementary Budget to be rushed through parliament next week. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Prime Minister Peter ONeill reportedly says construction of the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project in Madang will commence soon, now that loan funding worth K350 million (US$ 152 million) has been secured. The project will be developed over 215 hectares of land, of which approximately 100 hectares would host canneries and 115 hectares would be for residential and commercial purposes. The Government expects the project will generate 30,000 jobs. Once fully developed, it will house 10 tuna processing plants for tuna caught in PNG and the Pacific.

***

R D Tunas cannery in Madang. Credit: R D Tuna

The PNG Fishing Industry Association says that, despite the current slump in the economy, the countrys exports of processed tuna to the European market is now almost equal in volume to that of Thailand and the Philippines, according to the Post Courier. It says the tuna industry has been consistently providing an average of 20,000 tonnes to the EU.

***

Treasurer Charles Abel says the 2017 supplementary budget and 2018 national budget will be rushed through Parliament because time is not on his side. Parliament resumes sitting on September 26. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) Team Leader Thomas Baunsgaard, who is in PNG,...

Tuesday, 19 September

22:00

Rebuilding education and peace in Mindanao "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Ella, not her real name, was allegedly caught as an amazon or woman fighter for the MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front] during the Zamboanga siege in September 2013. Her family is poor and she supported herself through vocational school by selling in the market. She was forced to leave her studies to help raise funds for a big amount of dowry that her brother needs to pay for his brides family. To prevent rido or clan feuding, the brother had to get married even if they were too young to settle down. Ella and her younger siblings stopped going to school to help in paying for the familys debts and in earning a living for the family.

The education sector in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) exists within a complex and multi-layered social, political, economic and conflict environment. There are an estimated more than 10,000 displaced children from the recent Marawi conflict who will be unable to attend school this year. Both government troops and local residents have reported that child soldiers are fighting for the Maute/ISIS group in Marawi City. There is genuine fear that out-of-school children are vulnerable and at risk of being recruited by extremist groups. According to a joint DFAT and World Bank study in 2014, the education deficit in ARMM is so serious that only one in ten students will complete high school.

Ellas story, and what has happened in Marawi, illustrate how education poverty perpetuates conflict and the poverty trap in Mindanao. Thus, education is a vital component of peacebuilding in Mindanao. Our own research, based on a Justice User Survey with 540 respondents administered over six areas in ARMM in June-July 2016, confirms that next to health services, education is the Philippine government service most desired by people in ARMM. Peace and security, employment, and basic utilities are also urgently needed in the region.

Yet, past peace settlement efforts have glossed over this critical dimension of addressing the cycle of conflict and poverty. Most initiatives were geared towards showcasing immediate and short-term peace dividends rather than cultivating gradual and long-term solutions to structural drivers of conflict. The poor state of education in the ARMM reflects a long history of funding...

22:00

Scourge of leprosy, a disease of the poor, returns to PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

LeprosyROSA KOIAN

PORT MORESBY - Sitting in the car I could see her in the distance running, half limping.

After a while I got out and moved to the front of the vehicle and waited for her.

Rebecca slowed down as she approached but continued towards me. I could see she was excited but, just as she came close, she turned as if to dash away and escape.

I grabbed her and held her close to me.

Rebecca is a 15-year-old girl who lives on the outskirts of Port Moresby.

She is spending her early years living in shame because of her condition.

Growing up with leprosy she can see how she is losing both of her feet and her right hand.

She is worrying about being deformed. She understands the implications of her predicament and lives in shame.

Leprosy and poverty feed off each other. In places where leprosy is widespread, there is often unbearable poverty. Where there is leprosy it is not hard to see disability but it is not only in the hands and feet, it affects the eyes.

Globally, Papua New Guinea is considered to be a poor country (two in five people live in poverty) and it is not hard to find people living with leprosy in these statistics. In fact the incidence of the disease is on the increase.

PNG boasts of its modern infrastructure development but there is a group of people who will never have the opportunity to benefit from these services because of their physical condition.

These people continue to live without proper nutrition, without clean water and in crowded conditions prominent factors leading to the re-emergence of leprosy.

In Papua New Guinea leprosy was announced as being successfully eliminated in 2000 however, in recent years, we have seen it resurface in Western, Gulf, Central and Sandaun provinces and in the National Capital District.

The World Health Organisation reports that at the end of the first quarter of 2017, 356 new leprosy cases were recorded. Off this 140 were women and 89 children.

If not treated leprosy causes significant disability in hands, feet and eyes. The good thing for PNG is that the medicine to cure it is available free.

However not all people are aware of the disease and those who have been diagnosed often do not take their medicine. In many cases the one k...

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