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Thursday, 20 December

22:11

Investors told to wise up over cost of environmental crime "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Companies and their investors are exposing themselves to massive legal and financial risks by trading, sometimes unwittingly, in products derived from illegally harvested timber, according to a new report. Published earlier this month by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Climate Advisers, the report recommends that U.S. authorities look beyond purely environmental legislation to prosecute any crimes associated with the illicit sourcing of timber products. Despite recent progress, a continued lack of transparency in sectors most at risk of illegal forest clearing, such as cattle, oil palm, soy and timber, means that investors may not know the extent of their exposure to material financial risks from deforestation through companies they invest in, the report says. The potential for companies to become involved in such activities is vast, with Interpol estimating the scale of illegal logging at somewhere between $50 billion and $150 billion a year. Climate Advisers highlights the case of Lumber Liquidators in its report: in 2016, the U.S. firm paid more than $13 million in fines and forfeited assets in connection with the importing of hardwood flooring from timber that had been illegally logged in Russias Far East. The Mongolian oak the company used for its products came from forests that are home to two of the worlds rarest big cats: the Amur, or Siberian, tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). Forest clearance and plantation development in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya (PT MJR) palm oil concession in Papua. New Guinea Island is home to the worlds

Indonesia attack shines a light on controversial road project "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Violence in Indonesias easternmost region of Papua has stalled a massive infrastructure project that researchers have separately warned may threaten the islands ecological health and the livelihood of its residents. At least 17 construction people were killed on a stretch of the Trans-Papua highway in Nduga district on Dec. 2, with conflicting reports stating the victims were either civilian works or members of the Indonesian military. The attack, claimed by the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNBP), followed the anniversary of West Papuas declaration of independence, which was submitted and rejected on Dec. 1, 1961. The Trans-Papua highway is the latest major development project by the Indonesian government to come under scrutiny in the countrys half of the island of New Guinea. While the government bills the ambitious road as a lifeline of economic development for a long impoverished region, many native Papuans see it as a means to more quickly move troops around to quash uprisings while opening the island for resource exploitation. Three major hotspots of deforestation (in circled areas)  are expected if the Trans-Papuan Highway is constructed. Image courtesy of William Laurance. Regardless of the motivation for the highway network, its creation will almost certainly accelerate degradation of Papuas forests and increase social conflicts, say researchers from James Cook University in Australia in a report published earlier this month. Weve assessed big development projects around the world, and this is one of the most worrying in terms of its overall social, economic and environmental

20:15

Best of the blog 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

2018 has been a year where the Pacific has been in the spotlight like no other time in recent memory: the Australian Government made a number of important announcements in relation to the backpacker visa and the Seasonal Worker Programme, Fiji went to the polls, APEC was held in PNG, and much media coverage scrutinised the rise of Chinese aid and lending in the Pacific region.

Our blog contributors have also weighed into other debates in Australian and global development policy, including analysing the budget, and some of the governments major initiatives, including the proposed Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific and the innovationXchange.

Here are our top ten most popular blogs in 2018, five in each of our two streams aid and development, and PNG and the Pacific with each list in alphabetical order.

Aid and development

Aid coordination: its all about keeping up with the Kardashians: Not everyone understands how foreign aid works in practice. Ashlee Betteridge attempted to explain, through the international phenomena of the Kardashian family.

Development workers behaving badly: In light of the Oxfam incident, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt used a critical feminist lens to argue underlying inequality and non-participatory methods used in the aid sector create an enabling environment for aid worker misbehaviour.

Something strange has been happening to the Australian Aid Program: Ian Anderson questioned the continued cuts to Australian aid, at a time whe...

20:00

The year of APEC reflections on PNG in 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The people of Papua New Guinea woke up to 2018 as the year of APEC. The thought of having some of the worlds most powerful leaders descending on the rough yet fertile soils of PNG appeared unreal to many, but blissful to some. The assurances of what it would mean for the country were a notch higher with the government promising social and economic transformation. The population was divided: some driven by pride curiosity supported the cause; while others, unable to quantify any meaningful progress on their daily challenges and amidst failing social infrastructure, remained sceptical.

The APEC show began with new hotels erected, roads paved and the construction of the spectacular APEC Haus along the Ela Beach. These were some of the most significant infrastructural developments the country had ever seen. Security was amped as political leaders urged residents in Port Moresby to embrace the foreign tides that were about to visit its shores. But buried away from the APEC limelight were the countrys realities. A weakening health system that was unable to prevent the return of polio from its long absence; the simmering tensions in local communities from the controversial elections in 2017; and the daunting offshore loans that will continue to burden future generations. These were just a few of the demons that haunted the country as it braced itself for some salvation though APEC.

As polio made its unwelcome entry into Port Moresby, the contrast became stark a booming city under the spell of a global event was also under threat from a killer epidemic. As it turned out, the polio threat was contained but the message was clear there is chronic negligence in the delivery of basic services in the country.

In June, the countrys security and social fragility was brought to the fore with the burning of a passenger plane in Southern Highlands province following a court decision against a candidate who disputed the outcome of the provincial seat in the 2017 election. The supporters of the candidate also burnt the provinces National Court House and the residence of the Governor, and destroyed properties belonging to Prime Minister Peter ONeill. In response, the government declared a...

20:00

As June referendum nears, Bougainville's people are confused "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Momis and O'Neill
John Momis and Peter O'Neill negotiate the Bougainville independence referendum - but the people remain divided and confused

LEONARD FONG ROKA

ARAWA - Between March and May this year, the referendum directorate of the Department of Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation left the autonomous province to consult with Bougainvilleans outside Bougainville.

Meanwhile, back at their island home, the people were confused even though June 2019, the time of the referendum to decide their political future, was only about a year away.

Thousands of kina were spent for this team to visit Bougainvilleans in Port Moresby, Madang, Mt Hagen, Lae, Goroka, Rabaul and Kimbe to ask what the diaspora thought about the many aspects of the dawning referendum.

But here in Bougainville, where the majority of the people reside, little was progressed.

I live amongst the ordinary people of central and south Bougainville and I am appalled by what I come across in the villages.

While government leaders in Buka talk confidently from their comfortable offices, our people are laughing at them and saying and doing things beyond the imagination of the leadership.

In Bougainville today there are a number of groups claiming to be the real government of Bougainville. Many readers would be familiar with Meekamui and the Royal Kingdom of Papala.

Meekamui has a number of groups spread across Bougainville with their own agendas and associated conflicts.

Apart from these groups there are others keen to see Bougainville to kneel before them. These people could be tagged as warlords.

And there are also religious groups and individuals offering their own teachings on Bougainville politics: Catholics, Protestants, traditional belief systems and a mixture of the three.

Furthermore, each of these persons or groups have followers. They have their own spheres of influence in business and politics. All our legitimate politicians in Bougainville and in the national government in Port Moresby approach them with caution and not with the power entrusted in t...

As Junes referendum nears, Bougainville's people are confused "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Momis and O'Neill
John Momis and Peter O'Neill negotiate the referendum - but the people remain divided and confused

LEONARD FONG ROKA

ARAWA - Between March and May this year, the referendum directorate of the Department of Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation left the autonomous province to consult with Bougainvilleans outside Bougainville.

Meanwhile, back at their island home, the people were confused even though June 2019, the time of the referendum to decide their political future, was only about a year away.

Thousands of kina were spent for this team to visit Bougainvilleans in Port Moresby, Madang, Mt Hagen, Lae, Goroka, Rabaul and Kimbe to ask what the diaspora thought about the many aspects of the dawning referendum.

But here in Bougainville, where the majority of the people reside, little was progressed.

I live amongst the ordinary people of central and south Bougainville and I am appalled by what I come across in the villages.

While government leaders in Buka talk confidently from their comfortable offices, our people are laughing at them and saying and doing things beyond the imagination of the leadership.

In Bougainville today there are a number of groups claiming to be the real government of Bougainville. Many readers would be familiar with Meekamui and the Royal Kingdom of Papala.

Meekamui has a number of groups spread across Bougainville with their own agendas and associated conflicts.

Apart from these groups there are others keen to see Bougainville to kneel before them. These people could be tagged as warlords.

And there are also religious groups and individuals offering their own teachings on Bougainville politics: Catholics, Protestants, traditional belief systems and a mixture of the three.

Furthermore, each of these persons or groups have followers. They have their own spheres of influence in business and politics. All our legitimate politicians in Bougainville and in the national government in Port Moresby approach them with caution and not with the power entrusted in them by the ballot box....

19:30

Fortnightly links: DFIDs disability inclusion strategy, the risks of metadata, women shortage, and more "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Kelsey Piper writes for Vox that Evidence Actions commitment to research and transparency (they admitted that one of their programs wasnt having the desired impact) should be a model for other nonprofits.

Australias aid for refugee deal with Cambodia, which would have seen that country take refugees currently on Nauru, is on hold for the foreseeable future.

DFID has launched its first disability inclusion strategy, reports Devex.

Can the Chinese government effectively enforce the new ban on solid waste imports in the long-term?

A new report by the ICRC and Privacy International looks at the risks associated with the humanitarian sectors use of certain technologies, particularly their digital trail or metadata.

The shortage of women in countries such as India and China is already having serious consequences.

Open Canada writes on the cases of citizens suing their governments for endangering them by failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions, pending in a number of countries and started by the Dutch in 2015.

The post Fortnightly l...

19:00

Keeping up with Pacific politics a review of 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Tess Newton Cain
Tess Newton Cain

TESS NEWTON CAIN | TNC Pacific Consulting | East Asia Forum

BRISBANE - The changed and changing geo-strategic environment of the Pacific islands made its presence known on numerous occasions during the year. After decades of neglect, the region was rediscovered by strategists in Australia, the United States and elsewhere.

The influence of China in the Pacific has been the subject of much debate and analysis, some of it of questionable quality.

While Chinas engagement with Pacific island countries is not new, it has become more significant of late. A year of jumping at shadows and knee-jerk announcements culminated in the APEC summit, held in Port Moresby in November.

China cemented a number of key bilateral relationships with Pacific island countries by securing sign-ups to its Belt and Road Initiative.

Nervous Western allies sought to reassert diplomatic and strategic strength through some big announcements, including a redevelopment of the Lombrum naval base on Manus and an ambitious plan to bring electricity to 70% of Papua New Guineas population.

Earlier in the year, the renewed geopolitical competition between China and Taiwan caused headaches at the meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Nauru, which saw the Chinese delegation walkout from the Forum Dialogue Partners meeting.

A referendum on independence in New Caledonia in November was another significant event this year. First envisaged in the 1998 Noumea Accords, the referendum was long awaited.

While the result was largely as expected (to remain a part of France), two other aspects of the vote stood out. One was the high turnout (over 80%) and the other was the narrow margin of the result (56.4% No to 43.6% Yes).

Other than some sporadic unrest immediately after the voting concluded, the referendum proceeded smoothly and peacefully. There is the possibility of two more independence referendums following the process established under the Noumea Accords, with the next anticipated to be in 2020.

2018 also...

18:00

In the hands of a black heart "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Black heartJOSEPH TAMBURE

Corruption started as a speck of dust
Nourished by its mother wantok system
Seemingly innocent in its early stage
But gaining power an undue respect
Under the guidance of its mother

Once mature, theres no sympathy
Nothing for the people of the country
Corruption turns all it touches dark
Turns heart, eyes and ears to another world
Leaves behind a trail of endless strife

Then corruption's axe men come
With just one goal to seek to destroy
They spreads greed, poverty and death
Prices sky high, services degrade
And someone says the good news is
We are progressing well, we are fine

He who sits at the highest throne
Doesn't know whats happening down and around
Conscience burned out, no feelings no guilt
Saying everything is good, we are fine
The country in the hands of a black heart

12:05

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

201218ABG EXPENDITURE IN 2019
New Dawn FM News
The ABG will spend its scarce resources in 2019 as follows,
Bougainville Executive Council and Parliamentary Services, 30 MILLION KINA and this will be funded from the Internal Revenue.
Departmental recurrent expenditure ONE HUNDRED THIRTY MILLION KINA.
AND TWELVE MILLION KINA will be reappropriated funds.
The ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, ROBIN WILSON said that although the national Government has not provided Development grants in the 2019 Budget, it has parked 50 MILLION KINA within its works department to fulfil is contractual obligations pertaining to the Arawa Buin Trunk Road under CSTB contracts.
It also included TEN MILLION KINA for the Buka ring road phase 3.
The National Government has also appropriated 20 MILLION KINA to fund the Referendum preparations.

Ends.

12:04

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

201218ABG PRESIDENT SAYS THERE HAS BEEN ACHIEVEMENTS DESPITE CHALLENGES
New Dawn FM News
The ABG President, CHIEF DR.JOHN MOMIS says 2018 has been a busy and critical year.
And despite the many challenges that Bougainville has faced, it has been a year where gains have been made.
And these gains have been made against a backdrop of continued fiscal constraints, a challenging economic environment and complex inter-governmental relations.
Despite these challenges we have continued on our journey to enduring peace and have made headway in our drive to self-determination.
The President made these remarks in his end of the year statement to the ABG House of Representatives this afternoon.
He said that the government continued with its drive to eliminate corruption and poor administrative practices.
President Momis said that this has extended not just to our public servants but also to leaders in the ABG house.
He said that we must do more to bring accountability and transparency to the business of Government.
Because of this support we have brought the PNG Police fraud squad to Bougainville to investigate allegations that have been raised.
He explained that the investigations does not target any person or group of persons.
President Momis said that these investigation is already yielding results and arrests are been made.

Ends

11:58

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

201218ABG TREASURY AND FINANCE MINISTER COMMENTS ON BUDGET
New Dawn FM News
The ABG Minister for Treasury and Finance, ROBIN WILSON says that there are two possible outlooks why the National Government has not funded the Constitutionally Guaranteed Restoration and Development Grant in the 2019 National Budget.
He made these remarks in his budget speech to the ABG House of Representatives this afternoon.
MR. WILSON said that one is a complete negligence on the part of the National Government to its obligations to the Bougainville Peace Agreement and Second is that the National Government is now seeing Bougainville as a burden.
The Treasury and Finance Minister also told the ABG House of representatives that they have omitted the National Members DSIP and PSIP funds from the budget because these funds are controlled by the members themselves.
He said funds by donor agencies have been omitted also because they control these funds also.

Ends

11:57

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

201218ABG APPROVES THE LOWEST BUDGET SINCE 2005
New Dawn FM News
The ABG minister for Treasury and Finance, ROBIN WILSON this afternoon tabled the lowest budget since the Autonomous Bougainville Government was established 13 years ago in 2005.
This is because the PNG National Government has decided to stop the RESTORATION AND DEVELOPMENT GRANT that is guaranteed under the Bougainville Peace Agreement under its 2019 National Budget and just six months before Bougainville decides its future political status through the upcoming Referendum scheduled for June 15th 2019.
The Restoration and Development Grant which started from FIFTEEN MILLION KINA in 2005 were supposed to have increased annually with the Gross Domestic Product of the PNG National Government over the past 13 years.
According to the ABG calculations the PNG National Government owes Bougainville over ONE BILLION KINA in errors until it decided to stop the payment altogether.
The ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, ROBIN WILSON tabled ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY SIX MILLION KINA Budget to the ABG House of Representatives this afternoon.
The funds include ONE HUNDRED THIRTY ONE MILLION, 588 THOUSAND KINA as grants from the National Government.
FIVE MILLION KINA for Referendum Support and FIVE MILLION KINA for Weapons Disposal.
INTERNAL REVENUE totalling 33 MILLION 964 THOUSAND KINA and Reappropriated funds for RDG totalling ONE MILLION KINA.
The ABG House of Representatives debated the budget for a few hours before they finally passed the 2019 ABG Budget.
The ABG House rose and will sit again in March 2019.
Ends

20181220_151303[1]

11:18

Australian corporate complicity globally "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

This week the Human Rights Law Centre in Australia released a stunning report on Australian companies behaving badly around the world.

One focus is in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, where my book and film on disaster capitalism examines Rio Tintos destructive mining practices, and Im honoured to have some contributed some photos to the report.

07:09

Report highlights impunity of Australian companies linked to serious human rights violations overseas "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Serious human rights abuses in the overseas operations of some of Australias most prominent companies have been highlighted in a major report by the Human Rights Law Centre.

Nowhere to Turn: Addressing Australian corporate abuses overseas shines a spotlight on ten cases of human rights violations involving Australian multinationals. The cases cut across countries and industries, from ANZs involvement in financing land grabs in Cambodia to BHPs role in the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil and Broadspectrum and Wilson Securitys responsibility for alleged sexual assaults on refugee women and children held in offshore detention on Nauru.

The report includes direct testimonies from individuals harmed by Australian corporate operations overseas, some of whose stories have never previously been heard outside their communities.

Keren Adams, author of the report and a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the cases paint a stark picture of corporate wrongdoing with devastating consequences for local communities.

"We have spoken with families in places like Papua New Guinea who report being pushed onto the streets and having to wash their kids in public toilets because Australian developers bulldozed their homes and left them destitute."

"Australians will be shocked at the business practices of some Australian companies in parts of the world where no-one is watching them."

Ms Adams said that the actions of some companies were likely to amount to serious criminal wrongdoing that should be prosecuted in Australia.

"Reza Berati was beaten to death on Manus Island by G4S guards in Australias offshore detention centre and yet the Australian and New Zealand guards involved have never been prosecuted and the company has never been seriously held to account. That sort of impunity sends a strong message that companies are somehow above the law."

Ms Adams said the cases highlight the need for urgent action by the Australian Government to strengthen oversight over Australian business operations overseas and improve mechanisms for communities to raise concerns and seek justice in Australia when they cannot do so locally.

"The global footprint of Australian companies is expanding all the time, and yet Australia lags behind many other countries in providing pathways to justice for some of the damaging consequences of their activities," said Ms Adams.

The worst abuses often occur in parts of the world marred by conflict or corruption and where it is impossible for communities to obtain justice locally. The Australian Government should be doing much more to ensure that Australian companies uphold the same human rights and e...

07:03

TiikiiembShiiemb "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

A submission for input to the Tiikiiemb Shiiemb column
Total No: Words:  571
Caption for the photo: A pictorial depiction of Council Members and Top Management officials who are out of the Humilaveka Campus; and are in Kofika village square

University of Goroka Council went to meet Ordinary folks at the Kofika Village
Dramatics as it sounds from the mere words to the headings of this piece, it was a fact demonstrated by the Council of the University of Goroka. Last week the University Council took to the village, and it was special; that on Thursday the 13th of December 2018 the final meeting of the Council for 2018 - to meet and greet the Kofika Villagers, a stones throw away from Humilaveka Campus.
Kofika Village is where the Council held its last of the four official meetings of the year at the villages training and resource centre that was being set up by Mr Stephen Rere who is from the village and has been instrumental in village base economic and financial empowerment- and is one of the nine members of the University Council current Council who helps run the University.
Present also at the meeting were the University Senior Officials who included the Vice Chancellor, Professor Musawe Sinebare, his two deputies, Pro Vice Chancellors Donald Gumbis and Teng Waninga, and the Acting Registrar Dever Kave.
The first out of the official site from the University of Goroka Council meeting was held in February this in the township of bustling Maprik District Headquarters at the University of Goroka Study Centre, courtesy of the Maprik District Development Authority. During the tenure of the current Council meetings were held in Port Moresby and Kimbe.
The University is pursuing definitive very specific goal or the motto: that is to taking the University to the community under its Gown to Town policy. Translated this is which is now shown by these holding meetings of Council in selected strategic locations in communities, whether they are engaged in food preparations or in welcoming ceremonies; thus allowing the public to interact with the University.
In the Kimbe meeting the Council approved the graduation of more than 100 plus students who completed West New Britain Provincial Government sponsored programmes in the various categories within the ambit of the Early Childhood Education; in Port Moresby the Council at its meeting made an appointment of its current, full time Vice Chancellor, in Maprik the Council took a decision to develop the Menifo University of Goroka University City, which is some twenty kilometres out of Goroka Universitys Main Campus. In Kofika the graduation list of more than 1000 students for those who have completed the 2018 successfully the academic programmes were approved for graduation in the coming 2019 graduation in April.
The University under its Institute of D...

04:14

PNG farmers use agroforestry to fight crop diseases and reduce labor "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

LAE, Papua New Guinea Across the more than 600 islands that make up Papua New Guinea, the majority of the countrys culturally diverse population relies on agriculture for both food and income. But issues ranging from global market competition for cash crops such as coffee, to a shortage of manual labor, to waves of diseases that have heavily impacted important crops, have left many communities striving to diversify and improve what they grow. To do this, farmers in both the countrys rural highlands and lowlands, where 85 percent of the population live, are leaning on a traditional subsistence practice to improve their livelihoods: agroforestry. Bokson Kilau surveys his cacao crop, planted next to a series of gliricidia shade trees and the odd banana palm. Image by Camilo Mejia Giraldo for Mongabay. A sustainable system Already used by many communities around the world, agroforestry is seen as an increasingly important method of farming as it combines food crops and trees in a single area of land. By allowing for the production of food as well as things like timber, agroforestry can have a number of positive economic and environmental impacts. The practice supports biodiversity by mimicking natural forests, improves soil quality and diversifies the use of its nutrients, and sequesters far more carbon dioxide than monoculture crops. PNGs traditional agroforestry is applied differently across the country and is shaped by a number of factors. These include geography, weather, tribal groups, types of crops grown, and, of course, amount of land available.

00:42

The ecological costs of Canadian mining "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Julian Vigo | The Ecologist | 18th December 2018

Canadian mining companies are destroying the earth and disregarding human rights.

The commercial space company, Moon Express, has announced that it was setting up Moon Express Canada in order to leverage Canadian space science and technology in the exploration of the Moon and its resources.

What surprised me about this revelation was that Moon Express Canada is apparently planning to...

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Wednesday, 19 December

23:38

Under-MINING Morobe: Wafi Golpu and the struggle for Morobean sovereignty "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Martyn Namorong | December 19, 2018

I have a strong affinity for Morobe province. Although I am not from the province, my surname -Namorong- is Morobean. I wont bore you with the long tumbuna stori but it has something to do with a young Lutheran pastor from Tapen in the Rai Coast climbing the hundred mountains of the Finisterre Range and working with the people of Teptep in the 1970s.

The first time I entered the debates on the extractive sector in Morobe, was in 2012, when communities along the Watut and Markham rivers reported fish and eels dying after what they believed to have been related to a cyanide spill from the Hidden Valley mine (Same miners now involved in Wafi-Golpu).

Last year, with assistance from generous development partners, I ran a workshop in Lae bringing together government officials and community leaders from mining communities associated with the Hidden Valley and Wafi Golpu projects. My interest as well as that of the funders was to educate and empower sub-national leaders on PNGs extractive sector. An overview of PNGs mining regulatory framework was presented by the Mi...

20:00

Fiji Cabinet hides while nation laughs "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Authoritarian governments can easily overcome many challenges to their authority. Mocking laughter is altogether more difficult to combat.

The FijiFirst government of military coup leader Frank Bainimarama has just endured an entirely self-inflicted public relations disaster which has left them the target of derisive jokes on social media. This may ultimately prove corrosive to the governments authority.

It began quite simply enough, with an attempt by opposition figures to serve an election petition on members of the government on Tuesday 12 December.

The opposition parties are unhappy with several aspects of the way this years election was run, and so National Federation Party (NFP) Leader Professor Biman Prasad and Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) member Adi Litia Qionibaravi attempted to serve papers on cabinet ministers holding a meeting at Suvavou House in central Suva.

At this point, shenanigans ensued.

Both leaders, accompanied by bailiffs, say they were denied access to the Attorney Generals conference room on the ninth floor. The building elevator was also disabled so it couldnt reach level nine.

Opposition members and bailiffs then began a highly publicised siege of the building which attracted massive social media attention, very little of it positive.

As the siege dragged into the night (and the next day, and the next night) bedding was brought into the building so ministers could get some sleep, and the mockery on Twitter and Facebook began.

It included a Facebook meme of a roadside sign reading: Its after 10pm do you know where your government is? And one tweet asked: Whats the allowance for the Ministers staying two nights in Suvavou House?

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum insisted the non-stop 48 hour meeting was an urgent strategic meeting, but didnt answer further questions from the Fiji Times about its peculiarities.

That didnt explain why several senior government figures were forced to cancel meetings that had been arranged previously, something gleefully pointed out on social media.

The sight of government ministers bailed up for two days in a building surrounded by opposition members attempting to serve legal papers on them in relation to the running of the election was unedifying to say the least.

It made FijiFirst appear weak and fearful, which is...

20:00

Unitech - a unique experiment in replicating ignorance "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kondom Agaundo
Kondom Agaundo's grave - the words above the tombstone read, 'Tomorrow my sons & daughters will come'. Even in the 1960s Kondom knew a good education was essential for a good future

ALBERT SCHRAM

VERONA, Italy - When I was vice chancellor of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (known as Unitech) from 2012 to 2018, we worked hard to bring it into the 21st century.

The current management and university council, however, seem to be making an effort to bring the university back to its roots in the 1970s, whether intentionally or through sheer ignorance, incompetence or carelessness.

It is a sad tale of regression which forces me to speak out in an effort to reverse this trend.

The current chancellor Jean Kekedo apparently has a great nostalgia for the 1970s and has remarked several times that she wants to go back to those simpler times.

She believes no member of the university staff should travel abroad and that meetings and agreements can be done remotely through video-conferencing.

Of course, for council members and their friends, exceptions are made, but they can travel only to Australia. It is unclear why this is so, but Ms Kekedo also seems to feel she does not need to explain her decisions.

The University Act makes the chancellor the ceremonial head of the university, but Ms Kekedo acts as an executive, accountable only to the government. As a result, the council has lost its independence and become a rubber stamp controlled by Waigani.

The chancellor has also said frequently that the university should not waste money on the dining hall and in providing meals for students, suggesting that it may remain closed next year. Just like when she went to school in colonial times.

...

19:02

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

191218MOMIS ON MEDIA RELEASES
New Dawn FM News
ABG President Chief DR JOHN MOMIS says he would look into the channel of communication between the Chief Secretary and his Bougainville Administration to release important public information to media outlets.
President MOMIS made these comments when replying to the questions raised by the member representing the women of North Bougainville and deputy speaker, FRANCESCA SEMOSO who called on the President to reprimand officers who release media releases without getting approval from the government.
The deputy speaker questioned why the Chief Secretary, JOSEPH NOBETAU released news on the closure of the Buka airport as advised by the NAC before advising the government.
President Momis is also the Minister for Media and Communications
According to the NAC letter sent to MR. NOBETAU in which New Dawn FM has a copy it highlighted many issues that needs to be settled between the landowners the ABG and the contractor but instead of meeting NAC opted for immediate closure of the airport.

Ends

19:00

Dingo hunting, child stealing & the struggles of a mixed marriage "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Dogger CoverPHIL FITZPATRICK

Dogger by Philip Fitzpatrick, Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN: 978-1791741747, 390 pages. $A22.89 plus postage from Amazon; ebook for $US1.00. Available in Australia soon

TUMBY BAY - When I left Papua New Guinea in the 1970s I went to work with the South Australian Museum as a researcher and site recorder, carrying out extensive fieldwork in what was then the North West Aboriginal Reserve where people were still largely living in their old ways.

Over the next 50 years or so, between forays to Papua New Guinea doing social mapping, I continued to operate in the Australian outback with Aboriginal people.

In many cases I ended up working with the children and grandchildren of the tribal people Id first met in the 1970s.

Many of them were descendants of marriages and liaisons with dingo trappers, who were in the region up until the 1980s. The dingo trappers were paid to control the predatory dogs that killed stock.

Many of those half caste children had been taken from their tribal homes and put into orphanages by the authorities. They became what was later called the stolen generations.

The stories of the dingo trappers, or doggers as they were generally known, intrigued me and I undertook a lot of research about them. Most of that was in the government archives or came from oral histories.

I suppose the appeal of the doggers came about because they represented the kind of frontier men you see in American westerns rugged individuals living in dangerous places.

I toyed with the idea of writing a conventional history but finally opted for a work of fiction. That seemed like the best way to capture the scope of events and to fill in the unknown gaps.

The book was first published as Dingo Trapper in 2010. I wanted to call it simply Dogger because that was how they were known, but my publisher seemed to think that could be confused with the doggers who work on high rise buildings.

...

18:00

2019 PNG budget is bad news for anti-corruption fighters "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

AnticorruptionGRANT WALTON & HUSNIA HUSHANG | DevPolicy Blog | Edited

Read here the full article complete with graphs & explanatory material

CANBERRA - Papua New Guineas law and justice sector is set to receive a 22% increase in the countrys 2019 budget.

Treasurer Charles Abel says this demonstrates the governments commitment to the sector, and to addressing crime and corruption.

Look beyond this headline figure, however, and the rise is not so impressive. Indeed, it doesnt even make up for recent years of budget cuts: economist Paul Flanagan shows that with the recent increase, the sector will still have suffered a funding cut of 17% relative to 2015.

Focusing on the law and justice sector also overlooks organisations specifically tasked with addressing corruption.

Most of the 13 organisations making up the sector including the Department of Justice and Attorney General, Royal PNG Constabulary, Department of Defence, National Judiciary Services and Correctional Institute Services are not primarily anti-corruption agencies, although they do help address corruption.

Here, we home in on what the 2019 budget means for dedicated anti-corruption agencies. We examine the 2019 allocations for the Ombudsman Commission, the National Fraud and Anti-corruption Directorate, Taskforce Sweep (and its replacement: the proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption), the Auditor-Generals Office, and the Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (previously known as the Financial Intelligence Unit).

We also include funding for PNGs relatively new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

First, the good news. The government allocated the one anti-corruption organisation included in the 13 agencies that make up the law and justice sector, the Ombudsman Commission, an additional 23% of funding compared to 2018.

The Auditor General also received a small increase over last year its funding increased 7%: from K17.7 million to K18.9 million (in 2018 prices). These increases mean that combined funding for the six anti-corruption agencies we examine increased, in real terms (that is, allowing for inflation), from K42 to K48 million between 2018 and 2019.

...

13:46

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

191218PENTANU SAYS NOMORE MOCK REFERENDA
New Dawn FM News
The ABG speaker of Parliament, SIMON PENTANU today told the ABG House of representatives that following his report on the letter from the Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission regarding holding Mock referendum votes, he met with the ABG President, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Referendum, JOSEPH WATAWI, Minister for Bougainville Peace Agreement Implementation, ALBERT PUNGHAU they have agreed to adhere to calls made by the BRC Chairman and have to stop all plans to have mock votes.
He told the House that he had already written to the BRC Chair on their decision to stop all such activities.
The Speaker also thanked MR. WATAWI for his understanding on this issue as his intention to have this mock vote was for referendum awareness only.

Ends

13:44

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

191218ABG MINISTER TO TABLE 2019 BUDGET
New Dawn FM News

The ABG Minister for Treasury and Finance, ROBIN WILSON will table the 2019 ABG Budget to the house tomorrow for debate by members.
The last two days the ABG House has dealt with Questions without notices and a presentation by the Education Minister, THOMAS PATAAKU on the Education Departments report.
The Ministerial statement by the Education Minister, made nearly all members comment on it including the member for Central Bougainville in the National Parliament, SAM AKOITAI and the ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS.
Many speakers commented on the need to improve the education system on Bougainville which should include more training of the teachers.
They also commented on the need to establish skill training schools throughout the region.

Ends

13:39

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

191218ABG SHUTDOWN PERIOD FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
New Dawn FM News
The Bougainville Deputy Chief Secretary and Acting Chief Secretary, THOMAS RAIVET has released shutdown period for the festive season.
In a circular sent to all Government Departments, NGOs, ABG Parliament and the Business sector, MR RAIVET said that the shutdown period commences on Monday 24th December to Tuesday January First, 2019 the New Years eve.
Normal work will resume on the Second of January, 2019.
Mr. Raivet said as usual Emergency and On call staff will work throughout the shutdown period to maintain services to the public.
Ends

13:38

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

191218LANDOWNERS NOT HAPPY WITH NEWS
New Dawn FM News
A paramount chief from Ieta village who own the land in which the Buka airport is situated in, JOSEPH MOBISI today commented on the situation surrounding the decision by the NAC to close the Buka airport starting this Friday and for an indefinite period.
MR. MOBISI told New Dawn FM today that the NAC and the ABG should have advised the landowners of the situation instead of blaming the landowners on what happens at the Buka airport.
He said that the contractor on the Buka airport fencing has delayed its work and could not complete the project instead of blaming the landowners for trespassing.
MR. MOBISI questioned why the contractor left loop holes which people are using to cross the airport to the other side.
He said that if they had completed the fencing the people would use other routes to get to the other side and not through the airport.
MR. MOBISI also blamed the ABG for not talking with the landowners before releasing the information to the public.
Meanwhile, New Dawn FM has a signed copy from the Managing Director and CEO, RICHARD YOPO of NAC dated yesterday Tuesday 18th December addressed to the Chief Secretary giving only two-days notice and not giving any room for negotiation between the ABG the landowners and the Contractor.

Ends

07:40

Our 2018 Annual Report "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Dear friends Im delighted to share the Human Rights Law Centres Annual Report for 2018 with you.

We have made progress on many fronts this year, working closely as always with our pro bono and community partners.

Highlights over the year include:

  • Our lifesaving legal action to evacuate children and their families from Nauru.

  • Playing an important role in fixing laws that would have crippled the ability of charities and community groups to advocate for law and policy change.

  • Our work pushing governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility and stopping routine strip searches and solitary confinement in jails.

  • Helping to achieve the decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland.

  • Launching the campaign for an Australian Charter of Human Rights and supporting the campaign for a Queensland Human Rights Act.

  • Helping to secure new laws to tackle modern slavery.

We end the year proud of our achievements and with renewed resolve to tackle the work that remains unfinished, and in particular ensuring safety and freedom for every single one of the 1,100 innocent people still held on Manus and Nauru after five long years.

The Human Rights Law Centres success is only possible because of the support of our partners and people like you.

We thank everyone who supported our work this year and look forward to working together in 2019.

Cathy Branson AC, QC
Chair of the Board
Human Rights Law Centre

06:45

Selutuh Pulau New Guinea Diawasi Pesawat Tanpa Awak: Banyak Berdoa dan Berpuasa untuk Melawannya "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Diserukan kepada seluruh pejuang bangsa Papua, di manapun Anda berada bahwa Tanah Papua, dari Sorong sampai Samarai, terutama sekali dari Port Numbay sampai ke Maroke, di kawasan perbatasan di wilayah PNG maupun di West Papua, telah beterbangan banyak pesawat tanpa awak "Drone", yang diluncurkan oleh Tentara Nasional Penjajah Indonesia (TNI) Menurut Laporan dari Melanesia Intelligent

Selutuh Pulau New Guinea Diawasi Pesawat Tanpa Awak: Banyak Berdoa dan Berpuasa untuk Melawannya was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

Tuesday, 18 December

23:30

Porgera Justice Foundation urges the government to be honest in mining laws "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Jack Lapauve Jnr  | EMTV News | December 18, 2018

The chairman of the Papua New Guinea Justice Foundation has urged the government to serve the interest of resource owners.

Among environment damages and other issues, Chairman Jonathan Paraia believes people in the mining town have suffered enough.

A hefty sum to the tune of billions has been claimed as compensation for damages done, given the reason that developer Barrick has breached initial agreements signed in 1989.

For years the PNG Justice Foundation has spoken on behalf of the people affected by activities of the Porgera Mine.

Speaking in Port Moresby, the Chairman says the national Government as the regulator and middle man has denied serving the interest of resource owners.

Landowners as we speak, the...

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