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6:43 pm today
Indonesias president was greeted by protestors calling for West Papuan independence when he arrived at New Zealands parliament this afternoon.
A sing-off on the steps of the New Zealand parliament between
protestors and Indonesians during president Joko Widodos visit to
Wellington. 19 March 2018 Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades
But the protestors were vying for airspace with a group of Indonesians who were there to cheer Joko Widodo in his flying visit.
It turned into a sing-off on the steps of New Zealands parliament.
Dozens of Indonesians, buoyed on by a handful of officials, singing nationalist themes with great vigour as they awaited their president, known as Jokowi.
Alongside them, outnumbered but not diminished, around twenty people calling for an end to human rights abuses in West Papua.
Things became rowdy, but as the official Indonesian motorcade arrived, the protestors barely had time to make their point as Jokowi stepped out of his car and disappeared up the steps to parliament.
Indonesias president Joko Widodo disappearing up the steps and
into parliament, as his foreign minister Retno Marsudi waves out.
19 March 2018 Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades
Today he has met with New Zealands prime minister Jacinda Ardern and other leading officials.
Papua was not expected to feature in discussions and, at the Indonesian governments behest, media opportunities to ask Jokowi questions were kept to a bare minimum.
Photo: Pool / Marty Melville
2) Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits Pukeahu
National War Memorial
By: Derek Cheng 19 Mar, 2018 12:16pm
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been officially welcomed to New Zealand and has given a light-hearted speech, joking about New Zealanders love of coffee and its sheep.
Widodo had lunch with dignitaries including Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in which he gave a speech thanking them for the warm welcome and joking about "coffee diplomacy".
He said he noticed New Zealanders love of coffee...
PAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics | Edited
CANBERRA Papua New Guinea is reported to have a cash crisis and this is having dire effect ts on both economy and society.
A leaked central bank email in late February highlighted the difficulties in finding the cash to pay public servants. The response to the recent PNG earthquake has been hampered by a lack of cash for relief operation centres. Departments have been locked out of their offices due to non-payment of rents.
But in the context of this cash crisis, an extraordinary fact has emerged.
On 7 March the PNG government turned down K300 million in cash offered to it by the private sector. On 14 March last Wednesday - it turned down another K270 million.
This K570 million excess funding (an oversubscription) by PNGs banks, financial institutions and superannuation funds is unprecedented.
And it represented an opportunity to collect some scarce cash to pay bills and help meet the needs of the disastrous earthquake.
It seems this opportunity has been squandered.
Someone should be held accountable for such decisions probably the Secretary of the Treasury and, if he informed the Treasurer, the Treasurer himself.
My view is that the ONeill government has been facing a major cash crisis caused by poor fiscal policy with a continuation of the worst deficits in PNGs history. The governments way out was a compliant central bank governor willing to print money - a very dangerous course for PNG....
TUMBY BAY - It makes you wonder, does it not, about people who see other peoples ignorance or misfortunes as opportunities to exploit them and make money?
We tolerate this at a certain level even when the ethics have gone missing. Persuading people to buy things they dont need or which are harmful to their health. Convincing them to take loans and credit cards theyll never be able to pay off.
Those sorts of things are regarded as good business or clever marketing. Being convincing and persuasive enough to make a profit is regarded as a virtue by many people. In business, theres often a very thin line between a salesman and a shyster.
It was the American journalist, Daniel Schorr, who famously said of sincerity that if you can fake it, you've got it made.
Then theres out and out greed with no attempt to fake or hide anything.
In the United States, Martin Shkreli earned the nickname of the "most hated man on the internet" after he bought the rights to Daraprim, a drug used to treat those with weakened immune systems caused by illnesses like HIV.
Shkreli then hiked the price of the drug by 5,000% from $13.50 per pill to $750. Hes now in jail after being convicted of securities fraud over another matter.
Thats a pretty extreme example of the worst kind of human behaviour in a supposedly civilised context, but how does it stack up against other examples say, among politicians and their cronies?
Is there any real difference between a politician who awards a tender at an inflated price to a kickback-paying wantok (who, if he does anything, makes sure its cheap and nasty) and someone like Martin Shkreli?
What that politician is basically doing is using taxpayers money (or aid money) to rob ordinary people of their due. I would argue that building an inferior rural road that falls to pieces after a year is immoral in exactly the same sense that Shkreli was immoral.
And making money by taking bribes from shonky drug suppliers who provide inferior products is also immoral.
We now hear rumours that relief funds for earthquake victims in Hela Province are being diverted into the pockets of politicians and suppliers who are charging inflated prices. That is a special kind of immorality. How low can these fraudsters g...
NOOSA - A year after the publication of My Walk to Equality, Papua New Guineas first-ever collection of essays, stories and poetry written entirely by women, the Paga Hill Development Company has awarded a writers fellowship to the books editor, Rashmii Bell.
The inaugural award was made to mark International Womens Day by the companys chief executive, Gudmundur (Gummi) Fridriksson, a prominent supporter of PNG literature.
The six-month fellowship will enable Ms Bell to attend literary events in Australia and continue to engage with authors, readers and festival committees to promote PNG women writers, PNG literature and explore opportunities to stage a literary event in PNG later this year.
The MWTE team is grateful for Paga Hill Development Companys ongoing recognition and support for our voluntary literary project, Ms Bell said.
MWTEs overwhelming success indicates a readership wanting a balanced narrative from Papua New Guinea that conveys authentic insights often overlooked by the mainstream media.
We appreciate the continued contribution made by Mr Fridriksson and PHDC to assist contemporary PNG writers develop a sustainable national literary culture.
She described the fellowship as another milestone for PNG writers under the mentoring of PNG Attitude publisher Keith Jackson) and Pukpuk Publications publisher Phil Fitzpatrick, whose 12-year-long effort in publishing and promoting PNG-authored literature continues to yield positive outcomes.
The past three years have been terrific for the development of a large number of PNG writers, Ms Bell said. This has included increased exposure in PNG and internationally.
Hosting a literary event for our aspiring and established writers, illustrators, publishers, sponsors and literary administrators to meet, inspire and share ideas will be a real high point which will build momentum.
We urge the nat...
From The Chronicle of Higher Education: A number of studies have shown the significant problems that arise from financial conflicts in research. Disclosure of researchers funding sources is necessary but not sufficient; more actions must be taken to prevent conflicts of interest.
Academic researchers and their institutions could do more to effect change. Researchers should refuse any input from sponsors into the design or analysis of a study. Sponsors should have no input into the writing, editing, or reviewing of a manuscript before it is published, and no say in whether or where a study is published. Colleges should provide researchers access to statisticians, manuscript-preparation assistance, and other services. They should create enforceable policies that prevent researchers from agreeing to any input from sponsors on the design or analysis of a study, or on the manuscript or any part of the submission process. The sponsors should see the study when it is published. If they dont like it, they can write a letter to the journal like anyone else.
Finally, researchers and academic institutions should become politically involved as advocates for more federal funding of scientific research. Scientists generally shy away from politics, but we have reached a crisis point in which corporations are capturing not only academic institutions but scientific direction. Without more government funding, the role of science will increasingly be one that puts the interests of corporations before the interest of public health. No one can make that dire case better than the researchers doing the work.
Vanuatu deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Tourism, Trades, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, Joe Natuman told
Daily Post he was not satisfied with the verdict outcome but he
MP Natuman made the remark Friday after the verdict was handed down Friday, adding, It is the justice system and we respect that.
It is a democratic country.
We are humans and we make mistakes.
The law always points out the right directions.
The Deputy Prime Minister was given a suspended sentence of two years by Justice Paul Geoghegan, in front of a packed court room.
Natuman was charged on two counts related to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice contrary to section 79 (c) of the Penal Code.
He was joined by the other defendant in the Criminal Case 188 of 2016, the former Acting Commissioner of Police, Aru Maralau, who was found guilty on one count of complicity to obstruct or interfere with the execution of a criminal process.
Like MP Natuman, Aru Maralau received an end sentence of two years which was also suspended. He was also ordered to do 150 hours of community works.
In his submission, Public Prosecutor Josaia Naigulevu noted that the defense counsels have alluded to the Willie Jimmy case as a precedent to support their submission for Natuman. In distinguishing the difference between the two cases PP Naigalevu pointed out that former MP Willie Jimmy pleaded guilty at the first instance, whereas, Natuman had initially entered a not guilty plea.
Defense counsel representing both Natuman and Maralau, Nigel Morrison, used the Willie Jimmy case and acknowledged that the Judge in Willie Jimmys case started a three year out of a 10 years maximum sentence, so I drew in parallel with that. I fully accepted that Natuman had not pleaded guilty in the first reasonable opportunity.
But he asked the Judge to take into consideration that at the time the decision of not guilty plea was made, they do not have a deep understanding of the matter.
Maralau was one of the hard-working officers who takes orders from his superiors including ministers without question, Morrison stated.
Natuman on the other hand was referred to as a well-respected person.
He is a pioneer of Vanuatus political independence, a man of integrity, a humble man, and man of principle....
Pacific development partners and beneficiaries of
the Hub and Spokes Programme, an aid-for-trade initiative, ended a
three-day regional planning workshop on Wednesday, with
appreciation of the programmes tangible impacts on the ground.
Pacific Island Country beneficiaries developed a new framework that
is likely to guide the implementation and management of a successor
The proposed framework aims to support sustainable and inclusive development through technical assistance and capacity building in international trade.
The Hub and Spokes programme is a multi-donor aid-for-trade initiative of the European Union, the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific states) Group Secretariat, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF); its current phase ends in August this year (2018). In the current format, designed a decade ago, the Hub and Spokes Programme has been hailed by development partners and beneficiaries as an effective and model Aid for Trade Project.
The workshop was jointly organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Forum Secretariat; the programme across the ACP Group is supported by the European Union.
Speaking at the workshop closing, Mr Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, thanked the programme partners for the excellent cooperation since 2004, when the Hub & Spokes programme was initially launched.
"Over the years, the programme made an important contribution by assisting several Pacific Islands countries develop their first trade policy framework and by facilitating continuous on-the-job training in Pacific trade administrations, said Mr Wagner.
With the current project coming to an end in 2018, the Regional Planning Meeting proposed that a successor programme should build upon current best practice and incorporate new and emerging trade-related issues such as e-commerce into a future work programme. The framework should also be localized into the Pacific context, to capture and contribute to regional priorities relating to trade and development.
'The regional planning meeting was effective in identifying the strengths of this unique trade related technical assistance programme that has benefited many Pacific Islands Countries, Stephen Fevrier, the Regional Trade Policy Advisor (Hub) based at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, said.
Beyond identified strengths, the meeting exp...
Air Kiribatis Chairman of the Board of Directors,
Tabokai Kiritome has reiterated the new flight schedule servicing
Kiribati and Tuvalu will reunite and revive the colonial friendship
of the past when the two countries were once known as the Gilbert
and Ellice Islands under the British Empire back in the late
In his key note address to launch the inaugural commercial flight of Air Kiribatis Dash 8 on Wednesday last week, Kiritome said the new schedule will provide various travel options for the Tuvaluan travel community to connect to Australia, Solomon Islands, Majuro, Nadi and Asia through Air Kiribati and its airline partners network in particular Solomon Airlines and Air Niugini.
I understand the Tuvaluans are longing to have more options than their traditional Funafuti/Nausori route and I am glad to say that your fellow island state has responded and offered these travel options and maybe more in the not too distant future.
On this note I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government, my fellow directors and our team at Air Kiribati and of course our mother ministry for their hard work in realising these travel options and Dash 8 will reunite and revive the colonial friendship opportunities for our people, said Kiritome.
The airline chairman thanked the Government of Tuvalu and all relevant stakeholders that have worked tirelessly to secure the appropriate FAOC approvals from the Tuvalu Government.
Without all your help, this process will be a difficult one and cannot be achieved within this shortest time possible, he said.
The start of the commercial flight will certainly support the Kiribati Government Vision known as the KV 20 where the development and growth of fisheries and tourism sector in Kiribati is paramount.
Our vulnerability and lack of participation in regional trade within this sectors is obviously evident with air and sea transport being identified as the key impediments that needs to be addressed to close these trade gaps.
I am proud to say that Air Kiribati wakes up to this call and through our new service which we consider in our own way to be small but meaningful, it brings these trade and tourism gaps closer. I trust that our people and private sectors from our respective countries will use the service and try to reap maximum benefits out of it, said Kiritome.
Meanwhile, the inaugural flight betwee...
Komo Airfield, Hela, Nov 10, 2016.
Satellite images show the extent of damage in Papua New Guinea after a massive earthquake rocked the countrys remote highlands on March 1, 2018, leading Exxon Mobil Corp. to cease natural gas exports from the nation.
The magnitude 7.5 temblor, which has caused numerous landslides and aftershocks, destroyed about three-fourths of the Komo airport runway, near Exxons operations in Hides. The country declared a state of emergency in areas hit by the disaster and Reuters has reported at least 31 people killed.
The images from DigitalGlobe Inc. show landslides that have blocked the Tagari river, which runs through the Southern Highlands province to the ocean, potentially adding a new threat to people and infrastructure downstream, should the river breach the earthen barrier....
Vladimir Putin will lead Russia for another six
years, after securing an expected victory in the presidential
With 50% of the vote counted he had received 75% of the vote, the central election commission said.
The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.
Addressing a rally in Moscow after the early results were declared, Mr Putin said voters had "recognised the achievements of the last few years".
The scale of victory - which had been widely predicted - appears to be a marked increase in his share of the vote from 2012, when he won 64%.
Mr Putin's nearest competitor, Pavel Grudinin, had received 13.2% so far, according to the central election commission.
Mr Grudinin is a millionaire communist, but the race also included a former reality television host, Ksenia Sobchak, and veteran nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
A state exit poll put the turnout at 63.7%, down on 2012. Mr Putin's campaign had hoped for a large turnout, to give him the strongest possible mandate.
His campaign team said it was an "incredible victory".
"The percentage that we have just seen speaks for itself. It's a mandate which Putin needs for future decisions, and he has a lot of them to make," a spokesman told Russia's Interfax.
In some areas, free food and discounts in local shops were on offer near polling stations.
Video recordings from polling stations showed irregularities in a number of towns and cities across Russia. Several showed election officials stuffing boxes with ballot papers.
Videos taken from the election commission's live stream of polling stations also appeared to show some instances of officials stuffing ballots into boxes.
In Dagestan, one election official said he was prevented from doing his job by a crowd of men who blocked the ballot box.
But Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Electoral Commission, said no serious violations had been registered yet.
"We have analysed and monitored everything we could, everything that has arrived. Thank goodness, it's all rather modest so far," she told a commission meeting while speaking about violations.
She had earlier said that anyone involved in violations would be caught.
Sunday's vote was also the first in Crimea since Russia seized the reg...
Newcrest to spend more on $US2.8b Wafi-Golpu mine, chooses ocean tailings
Peter Ker | Australian Financial Review | 19 March 2018
Newcrest Minings top growth project Wafi-Golpu will cost $US200 million ($259 million) more to build under updated plans that envisage a larger mine being built and mine wastes being piped into the ocean.
Last estimated to cost $US2.6 billion, Newcrest said on Monday it would now cost $US2.8 billion to build a mine at the Wafi-Golpu site in Papua New Guinea, with the mine expected to last 28 years and offer an 18.2 per cent rate of return.
Capital spending over the life of the mine would rise to $US5.4 billion.
Wafi-Golpu will produce copper and gold,...
Mathew Vari | Post Courier | March 19, 2018
The PNG Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI) national secretariat launched its
2016 and 2015 reports last Friday.
Treasury Minister Charles Abel was on hand to launch both reports as the head of the secretariat Lucas Alkan delivered the progress of the country to the global initiative.
In launching its fourth report, Alkan said the Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) agreed to publish the reports together as both reports will be used by the EITI International Secretariat to assess PNGs progress in implementation the initiative in the country.
EITI International started taking this thing up to make sure that companies that are operating in the countries we should know who is the owner, the shareholders, these are the things that EITI international has made a requirement for us to take on board as an implementing country, Mr Alkan said.
We are also conducting sub national payments. We have been concentrating at a national level of payments and transfers taking place.
But we are all aware that a lot of the transactions happen down the line past the national level to provincial local and district resource revenues...
Brendan Ryan | Mining Mx | March 16, 2018
AFRICAN Rainbow Minerals (ARM) may be considering getting involved with associate Harmony Gold over the development of the Wafi-Golpu copper/gold project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) which is a joint venture between Harmony and Newcrest Mining.
That possibility was raised thanks to ARM chairman Patrice Motsepes rambling reply to an analysts pointed question at todays presentation held in Johannesburg of ARMs interim results for the six months to end-December.
Motsepe tap danced around the issue in his lengthy answer during which he effectively neither confirmed nor denied the suggestion of a joint venture over Wafi-Golpu.
A very good question, Motsepe commented when the question was put to him. He then went into the history of ARMs relationship with Harmony going back to when ARMGold was merged with Harmony so giving ARM its current 14.3% stake.
MORISSET - Well it took a long time, and with changing and ever-stricter requirements it was something of a tribulation, but Rose has had her Australian citizenship application approved. Thank you, Minister Dutton.
It started when we were married in the Port Moresby Botanical Gardens. I wanted to take Rose to visit Australia, and the tourist visas were then processed at the Australian High Commission in Waigani. That was the easiest step - getting her a tourist visa.
Then things got more complicated when we moved to Australia. The three-month tourist visas had to be renewed but you had to leave the country. So she enjoyed trips to Bali, Singapore, Vanuatu and back to PNG. It almost bankrupted us. But then someone helpfully said you can apply when in Australia!
Then came the spouse visa. More checks and reports, but it was granted. Then came permanent residency. This involved an AIDS test, chest x-rays for TB and more police clearances. Someone then said, why dont you apply for citizenship?
So we did. That was a rigmarole involving more police checks, medical reports and dozens of forms to be filled including one which asked if you had ever been a terrorist or involved in the production of weapons of mass destruction. We were tempted to answer, Yes buai, but decided against.
Permanent residency was eventually granted and then we waited to hear about the citizenship application. And waited. And waited some more.
West Papuas enduring struggle for independence
Asian news hub covering geo-political news and current affairs across Asia
West Papuas enduring struggle for independence
By GIACOMO TOGNINI MARCH 13, 2018 4:24 AM (UTC+8)
The next two years could prove to be transformative for Melanesia, a region of Pacific islands spanning from Papua in the west to Fiji in the east. Two votes on independence, scheduled in 2018 and 2019, could bring two new nations into the fold and shake up the politics of a region where decolonization is still a pressing matter.
One more long-running movement hopes to join their ranks: the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), which seeks independence for the Indonesian-controlled western half of the island. Unlike their neighbors in French New Caledonia and the Papuan island of Bougainville, there is little prospect of a free vote for West Papuans.
In an unprecedented effort organized by ULMWP leader Benny Wenda, activists in West Papua and among the diaspora worked to collect 1.8 million signatures throughout West Papuas two provinces for an independence petition to be presented to the United Nations last September. Despite receiving the backing of over 70% of West Papuas population, the effort to gain a seat at the UN Decolonization Committee failed it won the support of only eight countries, all of them small Caribbean and Pacific island states.
I think the Indonesian government will increase its efforts to block the ULMWP, says Jakarta-based Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono. This could range from increasing bilateral cooperation with Melanesian states to threatening to boycott some businesses over their support for West Papua.
Indonesias Papuan provinces were incorporated into the...
Dedicated to Dr Unia Kaise Api BA MA, Lecturer, School of Theology, Pacific Adventist University
You can find a glossary of Tok Pisin words and phrases at the end of the poem
Im from Papua Niugini.
If you cut me open, and shake out my insides
no Weet-Bix, Bubble Gum or Shakespeare
will tumble out.
Dissect and break down my cells
into tiny microscopic bits
and you will find totongor, buai and tumbuna singsing
dangling on the strings of my DNA.
I care no more about time
than my bubu did the theory of relativity.
I clock in at 9:30
and sign out for a two-hour lunch at 11:30.
Then I complained to the masta
for not giving me enough time
and cutting my pay.
I sneak out at 2:30
for a session of buai and brus
and small talk with my kandere.
When Im done
I unload a mouthful of red spittle
onto the newly-built sidewalk
and blame Mr Parkop for not doing enough
to keep our big village clean.
I think we should rausim da memba.
Hes stealin a lot of da pipols moni, I said.
All my wantoks agreed.
But when election time came,
the memba gave us some of the money
he stole from the us
and we sent him back to the Big Haus.
The other day the masta called me into his office
and scolded me for turning up late again
and spelling the word seperate wrong.
You stupid black beast! He said angrily.
After he was done with me,
I walked out, head bowed and deep in thought.
Hes wrong. Im not black. Im Tolai and Im brown.
Just then I heard my friend from Buin calling.
Hey, poro, I got you one big Buka buai.
Longlong bilak bokis! I sneered.
At last Ive found my place in the world.
If white equals smart, then black equals stupid.
Im brown so Im just here to dish out to the black
what the white freely gives to me.
Im a Papu...
More than 70,000 people in earthquake affected
areas in Hela, Southern Highlands, parts of Gulf and Western
provinces in Papua New Guinea have to date received
earthquake relief supplies from Oil Search Limited.
Oil Search emergency response teams have been visiting different villages, providing relief assistance, on the ground medical treatment, conducting village assessments and medevacking critically ill patients.
Our rapid assessments of damages and needs have shown that a significant number of villages experienced food insecurity with gardens destroyed, water supplies contaminated by sedimentation and debris from the quake, homes and infrastructure, including roads, and health facilities have been damaged or destroyed, Managing Director Peter Botten said.
Mr Botten said he company then mobilised aid efforts out of its Moro Camp and established an emergency relief coordination centre.
Within this centre, we have a team of people who receive supplies of food, water, shelter, and medicine received from a range of donors and ensure these are properly packed according to the international emergency guidelines, ready for distribution, Mr Botten said.
He said that as of March 13, Oil Search helicopters have made over 86 village drop offs, moving over 70 tonnes of material to Moro and delivered almost all of that already to our communities. Over 10 tonnes of medical supplies have been delivered to health facilities across Hela, Southern Highlands and parts of Western and Gulf Provinces.
The company has treated more than 80 people and medevacked seven patients to Port Moresby, five to Mendi and Tari hospital each.
The future of the Catholic church in Tonga depends
on faith shining through simplicity, according to Cardinal Sane
For me, ours is a journey along the path to growth in finding real joy in being who we are, and even in the beauty of just being alive, Cardinal Mafi told Catholic Outlook in New south Wales.
In other words, we shine out in being simple.
Richness in faith, love and joy gave beauty to many of the poorer Tongan families.
These people still show joy in their ordinary way of living even when they still give to others out of their own poverty. There is also a glow of certain grace in people in homes who on a daily basis take good care of their sick and elderly members, he said.
Cardinal Mafi, who is also Bishop of Tonga and Niue, was appointed to the cardinalate by Pope Francis in 2015.
He sees the spread of Mormonism in Tonga as a challenge to the Catholic church.
The Latter Day Saints have claimed that 60% of Tongans are Mormon, although this figure is disputed.
Cardinal Mafi sees this growth Whatever the real story behind the counting process normally used by the Mormon Church, what is perhaps more important here is something for all other churches including the Catholics to learn from, the Cardinal said.
He described the growth of the LDS, whose members include Prince Ata as a wake-up call for all churches and especially for our local Catholic churches.
He said the Mormons untiring door-to-door home visitations and their charitable offerings to struggling families and individuals, was an inspiring example for Catholic pastoral work.
Understandably there are many of our people who do struggle with financial needs to their families, he said.
He said Caritas and the Society of St Vincent de Paul helped the marginalised with necessities and environmental initiatives.
Caritas had been involved with community projects in villages and parishes to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Projects included planting trees along shorelines as soil protection and to screen buildings from the wind.
Long before Caritas was established in Tonga, the St Vincent de Paul Society was already functioning on the parish level in helping out those poorer families and those who were la...
Pilakambi Secondary School in Wabag, Laiagam District has become
one of the first remote schools in Enga province to have solar
lights in classrooms and dormitories, thanks to Banks South Pacific
(BSP). The delivery of the lights was part of the BSP
Wabag branch 2018 community project initiative, subsequent to the
theme for this year's Community Projects "Solar lights in
High Schools" near each BSP branch, especially for boarding
Branch staffs with the help of a local contractor installed solar panels and connected led lights to a total of 10 classrooms and 2 dormitories for Pilakambi Secondary.
BSP Branch Manager for Wabag Thomas Tembil said, "BSP believes that providing Solar lights to schools will help improve literacy rates as well as an increase number of student intake into Tertiary Education."
"With these lights now installed for the school, it may now enhance student's night studies and also provide a safe and secure environment in the campus for all," Mr Tembil added.
Pilakambi Secondary School Principal Ms Kangun, expressed her gratitude to BSP for recognising a remote schools very need and attending to it.
"The initiative is an eye opener for the community and we urged the community to take ownership of this asset and look after it, as it will benefit us all local villagers around here," She said.
BSP Wabag branch is the first out 46 community projects rolled out for this year based on the theme "Solar lights in High Schools" to officially hand over its project.
Police action squad dealing to illegal loggers in Oro Province. Image: Gary Juffa/FB
OPINION: By Gary Juffa
In the ongoing saga of stopping illegal logging in Papua New Guineas Oro province, our facts reveal that the PNG Forest Authority is failing our people.
A network exists whereby a few corrupt public servants in both Oro and the PNG Forest Authority have helped facilitate fraud and theft of resources worth millions. This network exists in every province where there is illegal logging occurring.
In Oro we have identified those involved and they shall be dealt with.
Meanwhile, our investigations reveal that PNGFA is negligent in its efforts and has been facilitating the theft of our forest resources for decades, it is complicit in the transnational crimes being committed and those who process the paperwork are in fact accomplices.
Despite all the government rhetoric about stopping illegal logging such as the SABLs and being concerned about the environment, the truth is, that this government entity, designed and created for the purpose of protecting PNG interests PNG resources is in fact failing miserably in its mandate and is assisting transnational criminal cartels steal our forest reources.
What is the point of an organisation we pay for with our taxes to serve transnational criminal cartels and sell us out?
Pretext and fraud
Every month, shipments worth millions leave our shores forest resources obtained under pretext and fraud, leaving behind destroyed landscapes, polluted waterways, and miserable landowners who have either been fooled or contemptuously mistreated and intimidated by corrupt elements of the public service and police.
But we can stop it.
Yes, you and I.
If we know about it and do nothing, we too are complicit.
I am doing something about it. I need you to stand with me and demand that the PNGFA and its Chairman, David Dotaona and its minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, and its entire department act to stop these crimes against Papua New Guinea and our people and protect our forest resources....
Supporting the restoration of health facilities in
the Highlands for the recovery of the communities is one of the
ways that ExxonMobil PNG is supporting the nations relief efforts
following the devastation of the earthquake on Feb 26.
ExxonMobil PNG managing director Andrew Barry said, Several of the health centers in the communities near our Hides Gas Conditioning Plant have been damaged or have been displaced following the earthquake. In addition to assisting with delivering critical medical kits, we are helping with assessments and providing logistics support to the health workers, as relief agencies work to re-establish health services in affected communities.
Meanwhile, deliveries of food, water supplies, tarpaulins for shelter as well as medical and hygiene kits continue for communities across the Highlands including Kutubu in the Southern Highlands, Hulia, Tari, Hayapuga and Komo in the Hela Province and Huiya in Western Province. ExxonMobil PNG has so far delivered over 20 tons of food and water, over 200 tarpaulins and 35 hygiene kits in addition to support for relief agencies that require transport for their workers to affected areas.
For the longer term, ExxonMobil PNG is planning to support the re-establishment of food gardens in a number of its project area communities, with its partners from the ANU Enterprise (ANUE), through its existing community livelihoods improvement program.
Similar to healthcare, the re-establishment of food supplies for the community here is going to be important in the following weeks and months. Our ANUE partners have indicated they will be looking to get back into the field shortly to help address the critical need to re-establish food gardens in communities near our facilities, said Barry.
We have been working with ExxonMobil PNG and target communities in the Hides area since operations began in 2014 to address food security, vulnerabilities and income generation. To support the restoration of communities recovering from the earthquake, our teams are currently preparing to get into the field to assist them with initial planting materials so that they will be able to grow their own food again, ANUE Project Manager Owen Hughes said.
Plans by ANUE include issuing to some 2,500 families quick-growing corn seed that can be harvested within 100 days of planting, and the purchase and distribution of vegetative cuttings for longer-term staples like sweet potato and cassava. ANUE will also be providing garden tools for people to cultivate...
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