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Thursday, 03 January


WPRA: Kami Telah Memberi Maaf Madan Melupakan karena Kasih Allah telah Mengampuni Kita "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Dari Markas Pusat Pertahanan (MPP) West Papua Revolutionary Army (WPRA) melalui Kantor Sekretariat-Jenderal menyampaikan Sambutan Natal 2018 dan Tahun Baru 1 Januari 2019 dari Panglima Terginggi Komando Revolusi Gen. WPRA Mathias Wenda dengan pokok-pokok sambutan sebagai berikut. Pertama-tama, saya selaku Panglima Tertinggi Komando Revolusi TRWP menyampaikan bahwa kami telah memberi maaf semua orang Papua, sekali

WPRA: Kami Telah Memberi Maaf Madan Melupakan karena Kasih Allah telah Mengampuni Kita was originally published on

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For Nautilus Minerals, the debt comes due "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The MV Nor Sky, a vessel chartered in 2008 by Nautilus Minerals to conduct environmental assessment at Solwara I, steams past the Tavurvur volcano near Rabaul.

Andrew Thaler | DSM Observer | December 19, 2018

2018 was supposed to be the year for Nautilus Minerals. Their three seafloor production tools large underwater robots capable of mining seafloor massive sulphides from 1600 meters depth were finally in hand and undergoing submerged testing. Their ship, the Nautilus New Era, was nearing completion. They had only a few hurdles left to clear before beginning production at Solwara I, the much-vaunted site of the worlds first deep sea mining operation.

Then the floor dropped out.

Nautilus suffered a body-blow in late-2017, when Japan beat them to the seafloor by mining a sulphide deposit off the coast of Okinawa. Though a small operation, their success effectively undermined Nautiluss first-mover advantage, at least in the eyes of potential investors. Japan becomes the first to mine a deep-sea hydrothermal vent is not the headl...


TNI, police seize Free West Papua HQ "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

TNI, police seize Free West Papua HQ

News Desk The Jakarta Post
Jakarta / Wed, January 2, 2019 / 03:24 pm

The Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police have taken over the West Papua National Committee headquarters in Timika, Mimika Baru district, Papua to use it as a joint military-police post.

"The headquarters is not allowed to operate anymore and was taken over as a TNI and police post from now on, Mimika Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Agung Marlianto said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said 80 TNI personnel and police officers went to monitor an anniversary and new year celebration at the headquarters on Monday morning.

Agung said the officers ordered the Free West Papua activists in the headquarters to remove all of the movements insignia and to not to shout any freedom slogans.

"They refused at first, but finally we could remove all the insignia," he said, adding that officers had painted a wall red and white and knocked down another wall that bore the committees symbol.

Beginning on Monday, he said, Papuans were not allowed to use any Free West Papua insignia or anything with the morning star symbol.

The committee spokesperson Ones Suhuniap said the takeover was immoral and unethical.

He said the committee had informed the police they were holding an event on Dec. 31.

Unless the land and buildings belonged to them and they retook it from us," Suhuniap said in a statement on Tuesday, explaining why the seizure of the property was improper. "It was built by the Papuans on their own land. They had given this to us. (ggq)
Armed rebels remain serious threat in 2019: Papua police chief
Reporter: Antara 1 hour ago

Jayapura, Papua, (ANTARA News) Armed Papuan rebels would likely remain a serious security threat in certain areas of the central mountain range of the Indonesian province of Papua, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Martuani Sormin stated.

The police have attempted to approach the armed groups to end the circle of violence but the effort has yet to yield success, he remarked while responding to local journalists` questions on this year`s security situation in Papua Province.

However, owing to the pr...

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Wednesday, 02 January


Ramu mine stake to change hands in overseas deal "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Cobalt 27 Capital to acquire Highland Pacific

Mining Technology | 2 January 2019

Cobalt 27 Capital has signed a scheme implementation agreement (SIA) to acquire all of the issued ordinary shares in Highlands Pacific which it does not already own through a scheme of arrangement (SoA).

Currently, Cobalt 27 is the largest holder of Highlands shares, with an interest of around 13%.

As per the terms of the SoA, shareholders of Highlands will receive A10.5 cents cash per share, provided all applicable conditions are being met or waived and the scheme is being implemented.

This consideration represents a premium of 43.8% over the closing price of Highlands shares on 24 December 2018 of A7.3 cents and takes the equity value of Highlands to around A$115m ($80.9m).

The consideration will increase by A1.0 cents cash for every share to A11.5 cents, provided before the end of this year, the closing spot price of nickel exceeds $13,220 per tonne over a period of five consecutive trading days....


The curse of territoriality: Human instincts & their consequences "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


ADELAIDE - As an enthusiastic amateur historian, I spend far too much time puzzling over why human history has worked out the way it has. Usually, the facts are not in dispute: it is their interpretation and meaning that creates problems.

Many historic events seem to defy an agreed explanation amongst historians because so many personal, cultural, social, economic, geographic and other factors have interacted to shape and drive those events in particular directions.

Even worse, just when broad agreement is reached, it is often the case that new facts emerge that tend to confound or at least call into doubt the agreed interpretation of events. Just ask any paleontologist or archaeologist if you think this is not a problem.

In such circumstances, it can be both useful and convenient to conduct a thought experiment, whereby the many confounding factors surrounding events are stripped away, leaving only the bare bones of the matter on display.

Put another way, it helps to look at human behaviour as we would any other animal species, rather than confer upon humans the specialness that we habitually claim as this planets current dominant predator.

This is a useful way of thinking about the historic problems deriving from what I believe to be an instinctive human territoriality and a related impulse to colonise or otherwise dominate others.

History demonstrates conclusively that humans will fight ferociously over territory, even to the death. It sometimes is a question of survival to do so.

Humans also will fight equally ferociously to seize territory and impose their will upon its occupants or, in extreme circumstances, kill, enslave or displace them.

(As an aside, I think that we frequently underestimate how savagely aggressive our species actually is. What we call civilisation is but a thin veneer that disguises both from ourselves and others the true nature of our species.)

Displacement can take many forms ranging from a few intrepid individuals heading off to make a life elsewhere or, sometimes, vast numbers of people driven to migrate by population pressure or deprivation or warfare or politics or some combination of these forces.

There are so many examples of this phenomenon in history that I will mention only a few of the most well known.

These include the ori.....


Pig kill & the early religion of the Chimbu people "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Displaying the cooked carcassesPHILIP KAI MORRE

KUNDIAWA - The famous Simbu pig kill, 'bugla inngu' in Kuman, was a celebration of fertility rites at a time when the people saw they had plenty of pigs, bountiful gardens, population growth, and peace and harmony.

This was the time for celebration and the coming event was announced by initiated men blowing the sacred bamboo flutes at night.

Singing and dancing were part of the celebration as was the Simbu sun cult, referred to as aril, marked by a wig worn by dancers who had gone through certain rituals.

The display of the gerua board with different designs worn during the dancing by selected people was a similar ancestral veneration.

Towards the final event, there was a mok dance performed by the whole tribe. It was called bugla tabuno in Kuman, the secret dance of the fern leaves.

The dancers circled around the ceremonial ground beating their kundus and holding spears in an orderly manner towards the bolum shrine, built the night before the final dance and pig kill.

The bolum was decorated with slaughtered pigs and the best food. Women would sit around the bolum wearing kaukau leaves on their head as an offering to their ancestors.

The bolum was the sacrificial object and the most secret and the greatest moment of the Simbu people.

The bolum post was cut from a selected tree, called mondo, and only men with the right magical spells or rites could plant the posts.

With the arrival of the early missionaries, the pig kill was not abolished but acculturation took place. Inside the bolum, for example, was placed a crucifix and magical spells and other rituals were not used.

On the final day of pig slaughter, after the pigs were killed they were lined up towards the rising sun as an offering to Neno Ande Yagle meaning 'Sun, Our Father'.

As you can see, our ancestors had a concept of a creator but it was remote and isolated until Christianity revealed it to them as God the father. The people accepted Christianity without hesitation.

Prayers and the use of holy water were also used. A priest or church leader was normally invited to bless the pig killing.




ZCZC GPNG DATE: Thursday, January 03, 2019


SYNOPTIC SITUATION AT 04:00 AM, Thursday, January 03, 2019

Monsoon trough from Ex-Tropical Cyclone "Penny" 995hPa 12.9S143.6E to low [1]
1001hPa near 14S147E to low [2] 998hPa near 09.3S170.2E.






New Dawn FM News

The Secretary for the ABG Treasury and Finance Department, BRENDA TOHIANA this afternoon paid tribute to one of the Departments longest serving officer, NOELA NOMOREKE who passed on last week.
MS TOHIANA said that the Late NOELA NOMOREKE worked for the ABG Finance for 42 years, first under the North Solomons Provincial Government and later through the transitional period and then with the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
She said that she felt small in talking about this dedicated public servant who dedicated her life for the service of Bougainville as a system administrator at the Treasury and Finance.
MS TOHIANA said that she joined the Treasury and Finance in 2014 only and since then had known the late NOELLA as a dedicated worker who never missed work and also was always in the office only coming out for break and knocking off very late.
MS TOHIANA also thanked her husband and daughters for understanding her work and allowing her to serve the people of Bougainville for so long.
MS TOHIANA made these comments at the funeral mass for the late NOELLA URAMON NOMOREKE at the Buka town Parish this afternoon.
He body will overnight tonight at the Residence of the ABG President before she is taken to Buin tomorrow morning for burial.





New Dawn FM News

The ABG President, Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS this afternoon also thanked the late NOELLA URAMON NOMOREKE for serving the people of Bougainville with dedication and distinction whilst working with the Treasury and Finance Department of the ABG.
Speaking at the funeral mass, in Buka this afternoon, President MOMIS said that NOELLA has worked over the years and is one of the officers who has no report of mismanagement and foul play at her workplace.
He said that many such officers have been under pressure by service providers and even government workers and Ministers who wanted their cheques printed quickly.
PRESIDENT MOMIS said many such officers have been pressured and traumatized because of non-payment by the National Government.
He said Bougainville has gone through all these problems as the aftermath of the Bougainville conflict.
The President thanked the family and relatives of the late NOELLA URAMON NOMOKERE for allowing her to serve the people of Bougainville.




New Dawn FM News

The ward 2 member for the KOKOPAU Urban Community Government, MICHAEL KATHOA has thanked the people of Kokopau, the Police and the security services that combined to make sure Kokopau residents enjoyed the festive season peacefully.
He told New Dawn FM today that KOKOPAU for the first time enjoyed a quiet Christmas and New Year and showed that Kokopau town is improving to be one good town in Bougainville.
MR. KATHOA said that since the establishment of the Kokopau Community Government last year, there has been some improvements on the general outlook of the town.
He said the Urban Community Government has plans to make some changes in the town and called on the Kokopau town residents to support their community government to improve Kokopau town.

Ends 10 lines




New Dawn FM News

The ABG Minister for Community Development and member for PEIT constituency, JOSEPHINE RUREI has reminded the people of Peit and Bougainville that the struggles by Bougainvilleans over the years to get out of suppression has been very painful.
Speaking at the Peit reconciliation this week, Minister SUREI said Bougainville leaders have tried many times in the past to break free but did not succeed.
AND this time round is the one and only chance for Bougainville to get out of these problems created by our colonial masters over the years.
The Minister also thanked the people of Peit for preparing well for this event that has proven their commitment to total peace and normalcy for Bougainville.
She said that the future of Bougainville lies with the people of Bougainville and called on her people to make their mark at the coming referendum next year.





New Dawn FM News
The LATO Constituency in the BANA district was declared as Referendum ready last week Friday 28th December 2018.
The declaration was made at the Bana District Administration headquarter.
The special occasion was attended by the ABG Member for LATO,CHRISTOPHER KENA, Lato Community Government chairman, ENOCH RUMASEI and his ward members and the BANA District Executive Manager, MICHAEL OTOROA his staff and the people of BANA.
Before the declaration forms were signed, LOUIS TOBEA host ward representative thanked the constituency member and the committee for preparing well for the event.
He also thanked the constituency member for all the awareness conducted and home brew, marijuana and guns disposal exercise that has taken place to prepare the constituency for weapons free and referendum ready declaration to take place.



The cycle of violence in Indonesian Papua "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

MapRICHARD CHAUVEL | John Menadues Pearls & Irritations

MELBOURNE - The killing of construction workers in Nduga, and the Indonesian security forces subsequent military operations, impact quite differently on the politics of the PapuaIndonesia conflict.

It is contested whether the 16 construction workers were unarmed civilians or members of the security forces but the event on 2 December 2018 marked a departure from the predominantly peaceful, political struggle for independence developed since 2000.

In terms of numbers of those killed, it was the largest attack in recent years.

Over the past two decades, the narrative of human rights abuses by the Indonesian security forces in Papua has been one of the most effective strategies of the independence movement, both within Indonesia and in international diplomacy.

The killing of the construction workers weakens this narrative. The military operations since the killings in early December fall into the more familiar pattern of security force operations against the pro-independence groups and the communities in which they live.

The construction team attacked in early December was engaged in President Joko Widodos signature infrastructure development project of the Trans Papua Road.

The targeting of this project was not a coincidence. It represented Indonesias development program in Papua and the militarys involvement therein.

Lukas Enembe, the recently re-elected Governor of Papua, understood the armed pro-independence groups in Nduga associated the road building project with the military, seeing it as part of the campaign against them.

Following the killing of the construction workers, President Jokowi ordered the military and police to seek out and destroy the armed resistance in the remote and poverty-stricken highland district of Nduga.

The president had previously identified Nduga as the focus and motivation of his commitment to develop Indonesias poorest province. He affirmed the killings will not deter him from the commitment to develop Papua.

The killings of the construction workers and the military operations against the armed resistance highlight the cycle of violence that has characterised Indonesias administration of Papua.

While there has been a cycle of violence, in military terms, the conflict between the armed pro-independence groups and......


TPNPB OPM Accuses TNI-Polri Take Hostage of Nduga Administration "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

TPNPB OPM Accuses TNI-Polri Take Hostage of Nduga Administration

Translator: Aripin
Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta The TNI-Polri (Indonesian Military-National Police) joint personnel were accused of holding hostage to an entourage of Nduga regional administration, Papua, in Yigi district. The accusation was stated by a spokesman for the National Liberation Army of West Papua/Free Papua Movement (TPNPB/OPM) Sebby Sambom.

The number may be dozens, because the team entourage that is being held hostage, Sebby said via text message, Tuesday, January 1. In the entourage, he said, there were Chairmen I and II of the Nduga Regency Representatives Council.

Sebby, who lives in Papua New Guinea, said on December 28, the team entourage traveled from Wamena at around 10:30 local time to Yigi. While in Mbua, the entourage was taken hostage by the TNI-Polri who were guarding the area.

Dozens of people were held hostage, Sebby said, because they did not have a permit.

And until today, they are still being held hostage there, he said. The entourage planned to gather Yigi, Nitkuri, and Mugi residents who had fled to the forest after the war with the TNI-Polri.

The accusation of hostage taking was denied by the National Police.

That is only part of their propaganda to gain sympathy, said the head of the Public Information Bureau at the National Polices Public Relations Division Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo via text message, Wednesday, January 2.

Dedi said that the presence of the TNI-Polri actually protected the community in Nduga from the threat of an armed group. This was done after an armed group attacked the workers at the Trans Papua project in December. In the attack, dozens of workers died.


2) Impossible for KNPB to be registered as legal organisation: Home Affairs Ministry

CNN Indonesia January 1, 2019

Jakarta Home Affairs Ministry (Kemendagri) director general for politics and public administra...


Chairman Establishes Secretariat "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Ms. Kessy Sawang Secretariat
Manam Resettlement Authority
The Chairman of Manam Resettlement Authority Ken Fairweather is focused on establishing the Manam Resettlement Authority as a fully-fledged institution in the first half of 2019.  The first step is to have the Board endorsed by the Minister for Inter Government Relations in mid-January.

It is the ONeill Governments priority to institutionalize the resettlement program and have the Manam humanitarian disaster addressed.

In the interim, the Chairman has established the Secretariat to assist him move things forward, until the CEO and staff of the institution are recruited.

The Secretariat will work closely with the Ministry for Inter Government Relations and the Department of Provincial & Local-level Government Affairs (DPLGA), National Disaster Centre, Madang Provincial Government, Bogia District Development Authority (DDA), Manam Disaster Working Committee, leaders of Manam and host communities, Department of Treasury, National Planning & Monitoring, donor agencies, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders on the Boards agenda.

The Secretariat is headed by Ms. Kessy Sawang.  Ms. Sawang is a local leader from Rai Coast, Madang, who knows and understands the Manam issues.  She is the former First Secretary at Inter Government Relations Ministry, former Head of Secretariat at Tax Review Secretariat, Department of Treasury, and former Deputy Commissioner at PNG Customs Service.

For transparency and to keep the people informed, the work of MRA towards sustainable solutions for the complex Manam humanitarian problem will be communicated through this blog, apart from the normal communication channels.

Manam is the development agenda for Bogia District.  The Chairman appeals to all leaders and the people to work together with him for the good of the internally displaced people (IDPs) and their host communities who have suffered for so long.




We now know what we never knew about the people we vote in as our leaders to represent us in Parliament. This is mainly due to social media because our leaders cannot  hide anymore. Things are reported as it happens especially about our politicians.

Both on the Government side n the Opposition, the only vocal politicians n those who are contributing meaningful discussions on issues appear to be the mixed races. At least they know what to say and when to say compared to our full blooded Melanesian politicians.

Many can't say anything and when some do say something, they spit out mere rubbish leaving us wondering why we even vote them in the first place.

Many of these so called full blooded Melanesian leaders just rock up for Parliament sessions  with their eyed firmly  fixed on the sitting allowances n nothing more.

They do not contribute meaningfully on any issues affecting the country including  CORRUPTION.
Look at how many full blooded PNG politicians are supporting this unpopular government. They are there in numbers n PM O'Neill n his Deputy and even the APEC Minister is standing on their shoulders to do what they are doing to the country.
Then in the Opposition, see who is doing something n raising important issues on the floor of Parliament. The only two full blooded PNG MPs talking are Sir Morauta and Honourable Kua.
So what is actually wrong with our full blooded Melanesian politicians?
Many bribed their way to Parliament n they are there for nothing but money. That may be one reason why they are not talking.

But the most important one is knowledge. You must know what you are talking about.
In order to contribute meaningfully in discussion or to raise important issues, one must have the background knowledge or information. If you do not have that background knowledge, you must put time n effort into researching the topic to understand the required information. And this is not in the DNA of many we elect to Parliament. Remember, many did not even have proper education nor industry experience or even life experiences too. That is why they can't contribute anything positive or meaningful.

If they can contribute meaningfully as good leaders, future of PNG n its people really is in the hands of the full blooded Papua  New Guinean politicians simply because they are the majority in Parliament.

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Tuesday, 01 January


Despite problems at the top, we value the people of PNG "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Keith Leilani & UPNG mural
Keith Jackson & grand-daughter Leilani at the University of Papua New Guinea, from where Keith graduated in 1975


NOOSA - That first Independence Day in Papua New Guinea was organised in a heck of a hurry.

Less than three months before 16 September 1975, Chief Minister Michael Somare gave long-serving district commissioner David Marsh the task of organising events on the day itself and in the six days of celebration surrounding it - from 14-19 September.

Marsh, who died in 2015, did a fine job VIPs, security, transport, accommodation and the proceedings themselves all had to be planned and brought to fruition. And not just in Port Moresby, of course, but throughout the country.

There were a number of high profile events, like the final lowering of the Australian flag at sunset on 15 September (we are lowering this flag, not tearing it down, said Sir John Guise, memorably).

And there were also exhibitions, church services, sports fixtures, band concerts, pageants, addresses, dinners, ceremonies, concerts, fireworks, medals, publications, tree plantings and radio broadcasts.

Even the West Indies cricket team played matches in Port Moresby and Lae.

Then, on the day itself, in the presence of the Prince of Wales, the commander of the PNG Defence Force raised the new Kumul flag on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea.

Independence Day was a huge success. And its success had been achieved at speed. A bit like Independence itself.

Australia had been in PNG to build a nation. And we expatriates played our part in that grand enterprise. Unfortunately, when Australia pulled out, so did thousands of its citizens who had worked in PNG for many years. And they left as fast as Independence had come.

It was said then, and still is by many people, that Independence had come too soon.

But, to me, the issue was that too much experience and expertise deserted PNG in t...


The killing of district commissioner Jack Emanuel "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Jack Emanuel GC


Errol John (Jack) Emanuel was a district commissioner in East New Britain when he was murdered on 19 August 1971. He was posthumously awarded the George Cross for gallantry displayed between 1969 and 1971. At the time of Emanuels death, Andrew Phillips was news director at Radio Rabaul.

NEW YORK - I was posted to Rabaul following Keith Jacksons transfer to Bougainville. The unrest Keith has described continued, and it culminated in the stabbing murder of Jack Emanuel whod been sent on special assignment to negotiate with the Mataungun Association.

It was mid-morning and I was in my office at the radio station when local reporter Dick Pearson, who represented the South Pacific Post newspaper, rushed into my office to announce the occupation of a plantation and invited me drive out to see what was going on.

Kabira Bay Plantation was about 80 km from Rabaul and we drove along the coastal road lined with coconut trees with the limpid, azure Bismarck Sea lapping on the black sand beaches, a picture postcard that belied the danger that lay ahead.

Dick had a shortwave radio tuned to the police frequency. We could hear the crackled instructions from the frontline of the battle at Kabira Bay. At one point I heard panicked voices saying the District commissioner had died.

The district commissioner was leading the colonial administration in the Rabaul District and in Pidgin English dai can mean different things: sleep, stop as in dispela kar i dai [the car has broken down], but dai pinis is to be dead.

DC i dai I heard on the radio. I turned to Dick to confirm the message, not knowing if the DC was dead or just unconscious.

Ahead of us, spewing a thick cloud of dust, a truck packed with riot police in full battle gear - shields, helmets, rifles and batons at the ready - sped toward Kabira. We followed as they...


Heres an idea: Imagining a Museum of the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Chambri mask middle Sepik
Chambri (middle Sepik) mask from the Muse du Quai Branly in Paris. Michael Pascoe comments: "It does a better job of displaying our region's art than anything I've seen [in Australia]"


SAMFORD QLD - Could we dare to imagine that, in 2019, Australia might make a move to establish the world's finest Museum of the Pacific (my working title) on our shores?

This could be a stand-alone entity dedicated solely to the cultures, social mores, artefacts and histories of our region.

Not only would the museum display 'the best of the best', it could be a globally significant research centre as well as a training base for Pacific curators and archivists, not to mention being a temporary holding facility and conservation centre for objects under threat in the region.

This year, the Australian government spent over $100 million on an audio-visual museum in France to commemorate General Monash and Australia's World War I efforts on the Western Front. It was no doubt a worthy contribution to remember great sacrifice.

But how about a Pacific museum in Australia to recall the huge history and prominence of this part of the world? Perhaps $50 million - half the cost of one new RAAF fighter aircraft and a mere drop in the government funding bucket.

Oh, and by the way, a Museum of the Pacific doesn't have to be based in Sydney or Canberra or Melbourne. There are places called Brisbane and Townsville and Cairns which all have closer affinities with the Pacific and its peoples.

Let us dream of what could be....


Indigenous Peoples to March in Washington, D.C. on January 18th "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Published January 1, 2019

WASHINGTON On Friday, January 18, 2019 Indigenous peoples from around the globe will convene in Washington, D.C. for the first annual Indigenous Peoples March.

March organizers told Native News Online that the main demonstration is set to take place on Friday, January 18, 2019, starting at the Bureau of Indian Affairs on 1849 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. at 8 a.m. local time.

The march aims to raise awareness on issues that affect Indigenous peoples through the world. From missing and murdered Indigenous women to border control, police brutality to protecting Indigenous lands, the march is set to unite thousands of people on various issues affecting Indigenous peoples.

Organizers have said they expect at least 5,000 people to attend including groups from Australia, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Canada and various Tribal Nations from the United States. All are encouraged to attend.

Heres what you need to know:

Where and when will the march take place?

Permit requests have recently been approved for the march to be held along C Street near the United States Department of Interior Building beginning at 8 AM on Friday, January 19, 2019. After opening prayer and remarks at the Department of the Interior, attendees will march East on C Street NW, South on 18th Street NW crossing Constitution Avenue NW to JFK Hockey Field on the National Mall.

Organizers of the march requested a permit to hold a rally on the National Mall at JFK Hockey Field (1964 Independence Avenue SW) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What is the route?

Pedestrian entrances to the march are located along the route of the march which begins at the Bureau of Indian Affairs at 1849 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. and will continue East on C Street NW towards the National Mall at 1964 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.

The Indigenous Peoples March is funded by various tribal groups and individuals and will include speakers,...



New Dawn FM News

The National member representing the people of South Bougainville and Deputy Opposition leader, TIMOTHY MASIU is committed to serve the people of South Bougainville, Bougainville as a whole and PNG in 2019.
He made these remarks in his New Year message to the people of South Bougainville starting from Torokina to Wisai aired by New Dawn FM last night.
MR. MASIU said that he will continue to serve the people to the best of his ability and seeking Gods wisdom, knowledge and understanding to lead his people.
He also wished the people of Bougainville all the best in the forthcoming referendum and called on every citizen of Bougainville rise up and stand united for the future of Bougainville.


JSB ARAWA290618 089



New Dawn FM News
Bougainvilleans celebrated New Year 2019 last night quietly and without incident.
Reports received by New Dawn FM says only minor incidents happened in Arawa and Hutjena whilst the other areas reported quiet celebrations.
In Buka the welcoming of the new year was peaceful but the people in Buka town were confused again when to beat their drums for the New Year.
The two radio stations in Buka New Dawn FM and Radio Bougainville announced Midnight based on the Bougainville Standard Time whilst all the shouting and banging by the public were made on PNG Time.
And today was quiet and only few shops opened on New Year.
Normal work for 2019 will start tomorrow.





New Dawn FM News

The ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS yesterday called on Bougainville leaders to be ready for the Upcoming referendum and also the outcome from the result of the Referendum.
AND to be well prepared for this outcome the people of Bougainville must be united no matter whatever the outcome may be.
Speaking to the people of Peit at yesterdays reconciliation and declaration of Peit as Referendum ready, President Momis explained as a Doctor that Operates a patient before he starts the operation he must have everything in case there is complications after the operation.
And if this complication occurs he must have the team of Doctors to make sure they support the operation.
President MOMIS said that Bougainville leaders must also be prepared to stop any possible activities that could come up after the referendum vote is declared.
He said based on this scenario of the Doctor, Bougainville leaders must be ready for the post referendum trauma that may come up.
AND the biggest asset for the people of Bougainville is to remain united and quell any possible situations that may occur after the Referendum.
President MOMIS said that with the reconciliations happening in all constituencies he was more than confident that the people of Bougainville are ready for the Referendum that will finally decide the future Political status of Bougainville.





New Dawn FM News

The Chairman of North Bougainville Combined Community Government Chairmen and Chairman of the Peit Community Government, JULIAN NOGOS yesterday called on the people of Peit to reconcile and unify for the future of Bougainville.
Speaking at the declaration of Peit Constituency as Referendum ready at the ceremony at Kohenou village, MR. NOGOS said that Bougainville should not lose focus on the fight of its leaders who have gone ahead of us.
He said the fight of self-determination must be realized by the leaders and the people who are standing today.
MR. NOGOS said that with the ceremony in Peit the people want to show the rest of Bougainville that Peit is with them in this agenda for referendum that will deliver the final outcome that our people have fought and died for.
New Dawn FM understands, Peit constituency is the only constituency on Bougainville that has its own flag and its own anthem that continues to unite its people because their anthem which is in their Solos dialect talks about the creator who made man and made him the master on his land as explained by the chairman himself.
The anthem and flag is flown at all Peit Schools and school children sing this anthem as a third anthem with the PNG anthem the Bougainville anthem and also the Peit anthem a true patriotic anthem for Peit.






The member for South Bougainville and Deputy Opposition leader, TIMOTHY MASIU today wished his people of South Bougainville from TOROKINA to WISAI a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019.
In his talk on New Dawn FM tonight, MR. MASIU thanked all ABG members from South Bougainville and the other three National Members including the ABG President Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS for working with him in 2018 to progress Bougainville forward.
MR. MASIU said although funding was a problem this year, with the support of donor partners they were able to make some changes in South Bougainville and Bougainville as a whole.
MR. MASIU said that in 2018 they were able to have some conferences in South Bougainville and included visits from development partners to this part of Bougainville.
He said many things have happened in South Bougainville this year including the ground breaking ceremony for the much talked about Kangu Border post.
MR. MASIU said that 2019 would be a very challenging year as the region prepares for the referendum and he urged all South Bougainvilleans to unite and make the referendum a success for Bougainville.




New Dawn FM News

The ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS was surprised and delighted to hear former combatants from Peit talking on forgiving former PNG Security Forces and their Resistance forces who committed serious atrocities to their people at the KOHENOU Care centre during the Bougainville conflict.
Former BRA members said that the KOHENOU care centre was targeted many times and some chiefs even lost their teeth to the barrel of the guns of security forces.
Former BRA member said that they have forgotten these actions and want to reconcile for the future of Bougainville.
President MOMIS told the gathering that he was happy for this to happen and just shows that the people of Bougainville are genuine and want to move on into the future.
He said that he was confident the people will vote well to decide their future in the coming referendum.





New Dawn FM News
Officers from the Bougainville Police Service today called on the people of Bougainville to celebrate the New Year quietly at home and stay safe to see the new year.
Officers made these comments when talking separately on New Dawn FM today.
The Acting North Bougainville Regional Police Commander, Senior Sergeant JOHN POPUI said that the people must celebrate quietly like how they celebrated the 2018 Christmas.
The Acting Buka Police Station Commander, Senior Sergeant JOYCE TSERAHA also called on the people to celebrate quietly and avoid trouble tonight as they celebrate the new year.
And the Senior Sergeant LESLEY METEN the OIC for the Bougainville Auxiliary Police also warned people to celebrate the New Year at home and not on the streets.




New Dawn FM News

The ABG member for Peit constituency and Minister for Community Development, JOSEPHINE SUREI today declared Peit constituency Referendum ready at a reconciliation ceremony between warring parties of the Bougainville conflict.
PEIT was one area were fierce fighting took place at the height of the Bougainville conflict between the PNG Security Forces and its Resistance forces and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).
Guns however were not surrendered as a last major reconciliation ceremony will take place between the two factions in January.
In that ceremony all guns will be surrendered to make Peit weapons free.
The former combatants only surrendered two guns and rounds of ammunition and a Grenade.
The ceremony was witnessed by the ABG President Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS and the ABG member for HALIA, GORDON BATEK and the local member and Minister SUREI including all ward members for the Peit Community Government.
The ceremony started by a march past by the members of the CIS based at the Bekut jail.
And a Khaur group escorted President Momis and his officials to the stage for the ceremony to begin.





New Dawn FM News

The ABG President Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS today send his New Year wishes to the people of Bougainville.

On the eve of the New Year, the President has called on the people of Bougainville to look forward to a bright future.

President MOMIS said that 2018 has been tough for the region due to the National Governments inability to honour its commitments to Bougainville.

He said even funding commitments made through the JSB were not honoured.
But despite these setbacks Bougainville made some progress first with the JSB agreeing on the Questions to be put to the Bougainville Referendum and also the approval of the Chairman for the Bougainville Referendum Commission the body that will run the Bougainville Referendum in 2019.

President MOMIS said that Bougainville was destroyed during the Bougainville conflict unlike other Provinces in Papua New Guinea however Bougainvilleans are strong and continue to have the determination and courage to carry on with life and create changes in their communities.

He says he strongly believes that Bougainville will finally create a new system of governance after the Bougainville referendum next year.

President MOMIS also called on the people to forget their differences and unite for a common good and that is decide on a political status for Bougainville.




January 1 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

1785 John Oxley , who was an early Australian explorer, was hatched in Yorkshire, England. In 1824 Oxley tripped over the Brisbane River and Bremer River on Moreton Bay, an area now known as Brisvegas...err...Brisbane.

1793 The Flogging Parson aka Samuel Marsden was appointed assistant to the chaplain of New South Wales.

1809 Lieut William Paterson frocked up & rocked up at Port Jackson where he assumed the ballgown and role of Governor.

1810 Because he had nothing better to do that day (apart from recover from a hangover), Major General Lachlan Macquarie took up office as the fifth Governor of New South Wales.

1811 Governor Lachlan Macquarie's police regulations for Sydney came into effect, and the Sydney Police Court was established.

1812 John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (in England) is appointed Surveyor-General of NSW.
Oh, and happy 27th birthday, Johnny-boy!

1814 The Fair Isle of Oz got its first form of currency when The 'holey dollar' and 'dump' trotted out into circulation.

1822 The Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Society was formed in Hobart.

1823 YES! We should have this day off as an extra public holiday just to give thanks for the fact that distillation of spirits was officially allowed in the colony of NSW.
It's already a public holiday.

1825 Richmond Bridge, Tasmania, was opened to traffic; it is still in use today. When completed the Bridge had the record of having the longest span of Australias bridges, a record not surpassed until 1836.

1827 The Sydney Gazette began daily publication. On 10th February this was reduced to three times a week.

1829 Explorer Charles Sturt's party reached the Bogan River. He tickled about the edges of the Darling River while having a good stickybeak near present day Bourke, and then fox-trotted his way as he traced the Castlereagh River.

1830 I like their timing...4 hotels in Fremantle became Western Australia's first licensed premises.

1837 For a pittance of 10 licence fee generous Gov. Bourke told squatters to go forth and graze beyond the limits of location.

1838 First horse race meeting held in Adelaide.

1838 Another bloke with too much time over the festive season....Melbourne's first newspaper, a miniature sheet of four pages handwritten in manuscript, called the Port Phillip Advertiser, was founded and issued by John Pascoe Fawkner.

1839 Assignment of convicts for service in towns ended.

1841 WA Governor John Hutt laid the....

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Monday, 31 December


The rise of PNG Intelligencia "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The rise of the PNG Intelligencia


KNPB members arrested: URGENT ADVOCACY NEEDED "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


DECEMBER 31, 2018

Please be advised that Timika police have arrested six Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB)members, including KNPB Timika chapters Deputy Chairman Yanto Awerkion, Many may be familiar with Awerkion from his previous arrest that resulted in the highly publicised #FreeYanto campaign.

We ask that all human rights advocates please call Victor Dean Mackbon, Head of police in Timika +62081217705813 Birawa Jaksa Prosecutor, +62 085234348458 and Timika Prison officer Adam LP+62 08124049900 to demand the immediate release of:

1. Yanto Awerkion
2. Finsen Gobay
3. Eman Dogopia
4. Yohana Kobogau
5. Ruben Kogouya
6. Epesus Usage

According to initial reports, on December 31st, 2018, Timika police raided the KNPB office, vandalised property, and arrested the groups members who were peacefully gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of their Timika office.

Indonesian police officer vandalising the KNPBs sign with a sledgehammer

Indonesian police vandalised the offices by destroying the groups sign with a sledge hammer, spray painting the words Indonesia and NKRI on the building, and affixing the flag of Indonesia. See videos and photos below:

Police graffiti on the building of the KNPB Timika office

An officer putting up the flag of Indonesia on the KNPB building

About Yanto Awerkion

In May 2017, the Indonesian military raided a peaceful prayer gathering and arrested Yanto Awerkion for collecting signatures for the West Papuan Peoples Petition. Banned by the Indonesian government, the petition was signed by over 1.8 million West Papuans calling for the United Nations to give them an internationally supervised vote on self-determination.

Awerkion was held without any formal charges for more than six months. During Awerkions detainment his rights to due process were denied many times over. Indonesian police and the courts used a series of no shows and delay tactics to keep his case from moving forward. At one scheduled co...


Best of our new years: The end of the pig kill "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

2013 - Bolga Ingu (Simbu pig kill)
Bolga Ingu (Simbu pig kill)


KUNDIAWA -  Simbus most celebrated, friendship fostering, peacemaking, wealth and leadership mentoring tradition, the bolga ingu [pig kill], has sadly waned into the history lane through the callous forces of modernisation. And Im glad that I had the privilege of dancing in what I have now realised is a now extinct historical ceremony.

It was 1974, the year I did my second grade at the village community school and before PNG gained independence in 1975, that I danced in the bolga ingu conducted by my Yobai people of the Karimui Nomane district in the Simbu Province.

My father, Tultul (the title given to him by the colonial administration as deputy headman) Nii Duma, dressed me in the finest Simbu regalia and, along with other youths, we danced to the beat of the kundu and songs of the forefathers in the week-long singsing.

Leading to the day of the pig slaughtering, we sang the traditional songs, beat the kundu and danced; not realising that this  would be the last time this exuberant, colourful, fascinating and merry tradition was conducted in that part of Simbu.

Upper Asaro pig kill c 1954 (Bob Cleland)...


Best of our new years: Gorton was packin heat in Rabaul "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

2010 - John Gorton at Rabaul airport 1970 - he was packin' heat
John Gorton at Rabaul airport in 1970 - he was armed


SYDNEY - 1970 was a year of high drama in the Gazelle. There was anger and violence. The Mataungan Association had stepped up its struggle over land rights and was causing the Australian Administration much grief.

Then in July, prime minister John Gorton landed at Rabaul Airport for an official visit.

I was there as a journalist for Radio Rabaul, and stood amongst the chanting crowd as Gorton stepped on an airport trolley to try to give a speech. But the PA system failed.

Gough Whitlam later wrote: [Gorton] was greeted by an audience of 10,000 who were as hostile as our 11,000 [on Whitlam's earlier visit] had been enthusiastic." Classic Whitlam.

Before Gorton disembarked, Tom Ellis, then head of the Department of the Administrator, gave him a handgun. Gorton secreted the pistol in his jacket pocket, a foolish if typically gung-ho act. It's likely lives would have been endangered had the Mataungans suspected the Australian prime minister was armed.

And now we learn that Gorton would have used the concealed pistol if he had to. Many years later, former Labor minister Clyde Cameron interviewed Gorton for posterity. The transcripts of the tapes have just been released by the National Library of Australia.

Gorton and Cameron were uninhibited in their discussion, knowing they would be long dead by the time the interview became public. Gorton told Cameron he would have shot any "rampaging Tolais" if they had threatened his wife.

As the Prime Ministers plane landed, the mood of the crowd being addressed by Mataungan leaders was reaching fever point, District Commissioner Harry West later recalled.

Then the loudspeaker system failed. As planned, vital wires were cut by undercover police and reasonable calm prevailed, but the situation was tense until Mr Gorton left Rabaul. A navy patrol boat was positioned to evacuate him, if necessary.



Best of our new years: A serologist reminisces "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

2009 - Dr Peter Booth first director of PNG blood bank with assistant 1962
The late Dr Peter Booth,  first director of PNG blood bank with assistant,  1962


CHRISTCHURCH - The old hospital at Saiho, 18 miles and 18 rivers from Popondetta. Bush materials, flat swampy ground, a tropical paradise and absolutely lethal. Infested by mosquitoes all full of talciparum malaria, not chloroquin-resistant in my day.

The lab was much the size of an average garden shed, and, when it contained two burly Melanesians - Edward the technician and his mate - and myself, it seemed like Wembley Stadium on Cup Final Day.

l was even more envious after lunch with the Saiho Medical Officer. He was a single man with a mind well elevated above the humdrum, so he failed to notice that his housekeeping was being deplorably neglected by a handful of slovenly Papuan houseboys, who served up an abominable lunch: slices of bread being fried in pig grease on top of old 40 gallon drums. It smelt delicious.

However, an even worse meal from PNG is on record. It was served in 1888 at Government House, Port Moresby, to the Resident Deputy Commissioner, Hugh Hastings Romilly, who was living alone there, awaiting the arrival of the first Administrator, William MacGregor.

When Romilly came to breakfast on his first day, he was confronted by a table covered with a dirty old blanket on which was arranged a bizarre meal.

Cockroach Cheese, One Dutch
Blue mould sardines, One tin opened
Bitten bread, One hunk
Brandy, One bottle
Whisky, One bottle
Office gum, One pot


Best of our new years: Recollections of a kiap "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

2007 - Lloyd Hurrell and Kukukuku man
The late Lloyd Hurrell and Kukukuku man


TWEED HEADS - The Cadet Patrol Officer - who is usually aged between 18 and 25 when he enters the Australian School of Pacific Administration for grounding in such subjects as colonial administration, law, anthropology - gets experience soon enough.

And if he goes into the field with a bright-eyed idealism, it is a good gleam for him to carry. Authority can so easily turn into arrogance - and even the Cadet is at once in a position of considerable authority over natives.

The School represents Australian realisation that well-administered and well-assisted colonial peoples do not revolt and side with the governing nation in war. ASOPA added modern training to a pre-war tradition. About this tradition there is nothing pukkah or military or old-school-tie.

It was Made-In-New Guinea, and with it goes a spirit of belonging to something that belongs to New Guinea; and that means going through with a job when there would be reason enough to give up or turn back by ordinary standards - but not by New Guinea standards, of what men can do, or forbear to do, if they have enough of staunch wisdom and courage.

It is a tremendously respectable thing in the eyes of the native people, this tradition. So it should be in Australian eyes and, indeed, in the eyes of a world which will have difficulty in pointing to anything quite like it anywhere else.


Best of our new years: Smokin' Joe's Moresby encounter "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

2008 - Joe FrazierRICHARD JONES (2008)

BENDIGO - In the mid-1970s Muhammad Ali's greatest opponent, Smokin Joe Frazier, and entourage visited Port Moresby.

They were in town for a few days and Joe went a few exhibition rounds at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium. His opponent one night was James Digger Annand, a noted rugby league player for DCA.

The fit, blond Annand towered over the former world heavyweight champion, who was of stocky build but with enormous thighs (he had to have specially tailored boxing shorts).

Digger poked out long, left leads as the ex-champ bobbed and weaved. Mercifully Joe didn't throw the famous left hook which sent Ali sprawling to the canvas in their first bout, the 1971 world championship at Madison Square Garden.

The Moresby stadium was packed on that balmy evening more than three decades ago. As ring announcer, I recall a number of Papua New Guineans bursting from their grandstand seats, pushing through the security cordon and throwing a few choice words Frazier's way from ringside.

"Joe Fraz-ee-yah. You not in the same class as Muhammad Ali,'' was the refrain before the interlopers were hustled away. Frazier might have been a great fighter, but for the PNG boxing fans, Ali was their man.


Best of our new years: When comments triumphed over posts "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Henry Bodman (1938-2016) - wrote the first comment published in PNG Attitude


SYDNEY - This is a tribute to all those commenters who make PNG Attitude such a lively internet space. When this blog kicked off nearly four years ago, on 26 February 2006, the first comment, from Henry Bodman in Brisbane, appeared the same afternoon. But there wasnt a helluva lot of commentary back then. I wrote the posts and people read them largely in silence.

It wasnt really until regular commenters like Paul Oates (first post, 4 November 2007) got into their stride that the interactivity really blossomed. Back then, the site was entitled ASOPA People and it had a much narrower view of its purpose. Its evolution into PNG Attitude came over time and was largely driven by a growing and diversifying readership.

It was never in doubt that the internet could be a strong influence in bringing together Papua New Guineans and Australians who cared about the relationship between our two countries, and who wanted to strengthen it. But for that to happen, the blog had to be a real forum it had to be interactive, it had to have a wide input from a range of contributors, and it had to be controversial and even irritating.

Well, were now getting around 250 visitors on a good day and on Monday, for the first time, the number of comments on this site overtook the total number of posts. A few moments ago, PNG Attitude contained 1,407 comments and 1,385 posts. Thats a lot of words. And a lot of opinion.

Its been said that the comments are frequently much more entertaining than the posts. Ill leave that judgement to you. I think contributors and commenters should all take a bow this week. Youve made PNG Attitude a very valuable forum indeed.

Yesterday, 31 December 2018, PNG Attitude had 2,110 visitors (a fairly typical day). Since inception the site had published 40,580 comments (2,980 in 2018) and 13,578 posts (978 in 2018)


Wishing our many readers & contributors all the very best for 2019 "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


In 2018 PNG Attitude published 978 posts and 2,980 comments


Diskusi Jejak G. Obus pada Soempah Pemoeda 1928 "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Hotel Luwansa Palangka Raya, 27 Oktober 2018, 09:00-Selesai.

Foto-foto: Andriani SJ Kusni, 2018.



K9bn worth of commitments for PNG after APEC: Report "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

A recent report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers has estimated K9 billion worth of commitments made to Papua New Guinea following the hosting of APEC 2018.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network that focuses on audit and assurance, says at least K9bn worth of signed deals and projects were promised for PNG after Novembers international summit.

This is K7 billion more than the estimated expenditure of hosting APEC.

According to the PwC, the commitments made during APEC can help accelerate inclusive growth and create further benefits for PNG, highlighting that most deals signed focused on infrastructure such as roads and electrification, which are essential enablers for economic growth and employment.

In its infographic, the PwC rated infrastructure with the highest amount of investment, followed by defence, education, health, agriculture and disaster resilience.

Seeing as most of the commitments are aimed at infrastructure projects, the professional services firm says we can expect to see the benefits extend over the next decade.

With proper management and funding, these projects could help drive PNGs economic growth and reduce the boom and bust cycle we have traditionally seen in the country.

PwC has advised that while these projects will be largely funded by multilateral agencies, strong financial discipline and project economics will be required to ensure that these projects are successfully delivered.

The firm has also called for a balanced approach to public-private partnerships to ensure that private business are not crowded out and discouraged from making investments in PNG.

And while these commitments can transform PNG, the firms says the benefits are unlikely to be realised without an environment that is conducive to local and foreign investment alike.

Priorities should include improving digital infrastructure, building the skills of our future workforce, and creating investment-friendly regulations that support entrepreneurial spirit and competition.

(A new multi-country initiative being announced on November 18th, 2018)

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Sunday, 30 December


The most venomous snakes in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Papuan taipan
Papuan taipan


DAGUA - Most people have an instinctive fear of snakes, which is believed to be evolutionary. Researchers think the fear came about as a prehistoric survival mechanism but this does not explain why humans do not fear other predatory animals as much.

Ophidiophobia (also ophiophobia) is the word used to describe this human fear of snakes. It is a sub-category of herpetophobia, the general fear of reptiles like snakes and lizards.

There is mild ophidiophobia where any encounter with snakes brings fear. And there is extreme ophidiophobia in an abnormal fear of snakes.

In extreme ophidiophobia, sufferers develop physical and psychological stress when near snakes, shown images of snakes or told stories about snakes.

New Guinea rough-scaled death adder
New Guinea rough-scaled death adder

Snakes can be found on all continents except Antarctica and in all places where there is year round snow cover all which are very isolated. They are believed to have descended from burrowing or aquatic lizards during the dinosaur age.

In Papua New Guinea, there are more than 80 different species of snake, and it is believed there are species yet to be discovered. Six of these species are extr...


Some people mock & deride refugees. Heres why you should not "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


Henry Lowig
Professor Henry Lowig

NOOSA - On Saturday, Father Bob Maguire [@FatherBob] was attacked on Twitter by journalist Chris Kenny, former politician Alexander Downer and once Labor now Liberal political-hopeful Warren Mundine.

The elderly priest who describes himself as patron of the unloved and unlovely had drawn a comparison between the barbed wire that fenced in the World War II concentration camp at Auschwitz and the conditions prevailing for refugees on Manus and Nauru, a link which had enraged the three chumps.

I tweeted in response to them: My father-in-law lost most of his family in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. My wife is horrified at the Australian government's treatment of refugees. She recognises the same elements of cruelty & inhumanity, sickness & death, present in Manus & Nauru.

I note here, in further defence of Father Bob, the words of the Auschwitz Memorial: When we look at Auschwitz we see the end of the process. It's important to remember that the Holocaust actually did not start from gas chambers. This hatred gradually developed from words, stereotypes & prejudice through legal exclusion, dehumanisation & escalating violence.

I want to reprise here the story of my father-in-law, Henry Lowig, written by his grandson Ben Jackson at the time a book on Henrys life and career was published in 2012. It is a salutary story of hatred, refugeeism and redemption.

Tasmanias forgotten mathematician is remembered in new book


The Forgotten Mathematician by Martina Bevov, Antonn Slavk, Jindich Bev and Vlastimil Dlab, v 50 History of Mathematics Series, Charles University, Prague, February 2012

When Dr Henry Lowig fled from Prague to Hobart by way of London in 1948 to take up a position of lecturer in mathematics at the University of Tasmania, he had just survived not only a very bad War but al...


Robert Mindi and Magarima Secondary School "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Robert Mindi is teaching at Margarima Secondary School- Hela Province. He is 
Teaching Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics to upper secondary students in a remote school in Papua New Guinea is a colossal challenge; Rober has taken on that challenge head on. The twenty-six year Robert is from Pori Village in the Tari-Pori electoral district in the Hela Province.  

This columnist caught up with Robert in Port Moresby and was asked about his teaching experiences in one of the remote schools in the country. Robert has been posted to Maragrima Secondary School in the Hela Province after he graduated at the University of Goroka in April 2016. He said he was formally registered and got inspected and confirmed as a teacher, quite unlike others of his group who are still waiting for registration, inspection and, eventually being admitted fully to the teaching profession. One such group in Ihu, west of Kerema is waiting for one full year for such formalities to be completed.

Recently in an interview with Robert it was revealed that in 2018 grades 11 and 12 students from the school were withdrawn and sent home because of earthquake and tribal fighting in area. Unfortunately, grade 12 students were the most affected; as they could not sit for the national examinations and hence will miss out big time on any chance of going on to tertiary studies or trade training. If luck would strike at all, these students might repeat these classes in the 2019 academic year. Otherwise, that generation of Papua New Guineans will have been denied rights to education and better life. 



PNG LNG invests in improvements to health Care in Hela Province "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

ExxonMobil PNG, operator of the PNG LNG Project, is investing K2.3 million to rebuild and equip three local health centres in PNG LNG project areas in Hela Province as part of its on-going support to invest in infrastructure improvements and support earthquake affected communities.

The Mananda and Para sub health centres are managed by the Evangelical Church of PNG (ECPNG) while the Juni sub health centre is staffed and operated by National Department of Health through the Hela Provincial Health Authority.

 An assessment conducted by Hela Provincial Health Authority and ECPNG identified the critical needs for health care facilities in the province following the earthquake.

 The existing Mananda and Para sub health centres are currently being repaired and an additional staff house is being built for the Para sub health centre.

At Juni a newsub health centre encompassing five wards is being built on the site of the old clinic. Located within the Komo-Magarima district it will service a population of 5000 people.

The Juni subhealth centre is a Level 2 health facility per the PNG National Health Services Standard but was unable to meet the health service delivery requirement with the old building and equipment.

 With the new building design, it will expand its services to provide ante-natal and post-natal care, inpatients wards, emergency and dispensary rooms, a drug storeroom, health promotions, utility and procedure rooms, volunteer counselling and testing of HIV and AIDS, with modern sanitation and shower facilities and hot water system.

Local tradesmen were contracted to repair and rebuild the local health centres ensuring the infrastructure improvements and earthquake restoration work also generated income for local families.

ExxonMobil PNG Executive Director of Production, Dinesh Sivasamboo said there is still much work to be done for communities to recover and the company was pleased to continue support to its neighbours most impacted by the earthquake in Hela Province.

It is vital that basic health services are restored in the communities. Healthy populations mean people participate more actively in the social and economic growth of their communities, Mr Sivasamboo said.

ExxonMobil PNG in partnership with other organizations is also continuing to provide support for the restoration of education services, community food gardens and assisting the gove...

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Saturday, 29 December


Descendants protest museum's removal of Pacific treasures "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Richard Parkinson
Richard Parkinson descendants of the world-renowned anthropologist warn his ''gift of history'' will be marginalised

LINDA MORRIS | Sydney Morning Herald | Extracts

SYDNEY - The Australian Museum's decision to move a world-class collection offsite to make way for a touring exhibition has sparked protests from descendants of a distinguished Danish anthropologist.

After the Garden Palace fire of 1882 destroyed all but a handful of museum artefacts, the Australian Museum turned to Richard Parkinson, his wife Phebe and her sister, Emma Coe Forsayth, known as Queen Emma, to rebuild its collection.

Between them, the pioneers - who established plantations in the New Guinea islands in 1879 - provided more than 4,000 items from 1882 to 1884 alone, and continued donations until 1911, forming a core part of the 60,000 objects that are currently housed at the museum.

The objects would become records of times past that would astonish and inform future generations, the museum's then head of anthropology, Jim Specht, predicted.

But the Pacific collection is to be ejected as a result of a $57.5 million expansion of Australia's oldest museum to stage the blockbuster Tutankhamun exhibition and accommodate peak predictions of nine new visitors every minute.

In a submission made to the Department of Planning's Environmental Impact Statement, 157 descendants of Parkinson and the sisters now residing in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States have protested the relocation and warned this ''gift of history'' would be further marginalised if it is boxed and moved offsite.

''We recognise the obvious lack of floor space at the museum but lament the Pacific - our region, our geographical location, our home - has been on a lower priority rung to other areas and so-called blockbusters," the submission said.

Commercial values should never trump cultural values. Pacific communities especially should have more, not less, access to...


Transparency tells us something of its anti-corruption year "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Daphne Caruana Galizia
Transparency gave its 2018 Anti-Corruption Award to Daphne Caruana Galizia, Maltas leading investigative journalist, who was assassinated in October 2017. The last words she wrote: There are crooks everywhere, the situation is desperate. Her killers have not been found

STAFF WRITER | Transparency International

BERLIN - As 2018 draws to a close, we want to look back on the year in corruption.

From the African Union declaring 2018 the year of anti-corruption" to the Summit of the Americas overarching anti-corruption theme, the cause of anti-corruption has been high on the global agenda.

The year started with the launch of our Anti-Corruption Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for research on corruption.

In the spring, the Corruption Perceptions Index demonstrated the link between corruption and violence against the press and shrinking space for civil society, both worrying trends continuing throughout the year. 

Over the summer, following our critical report, the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations shipping agency, finally set ambitious emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement. 

We also analysed and made recommendations on a proposed EU-wide whistleblower protection directive  which politicians have now voted to adopt. A welcome step. 

In autumn, we held the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Copenhagen, where over...


Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a serious complication of ovulation induction. "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

PMID:  Iran J Med Sci. 2018 May ;43(3):248-260. PMID: 29892142 Abstract Title:  Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A Narrative Review of Its Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Prevention, Classification, and Management. Abstract:  Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a serious complication of ovulation induction that usually occurs after gonadotropin stimulation, followed by human chorionic gonadotropin administration, for infertility treatment. The existing knowledge about the pathophysiology, risk factors, and primary and secondary methods for the prevention of OHSS is reviewed in this manuscript. The clinical manifestations and characteristics of mild, moderate, severe, and critical forms of the syndrome are defined. The methods of handling affected cases as outpatient or in-hospital management methods as well as indications for hospitalization are summarized in this review. The clinical and biochemical routes of assessing and monitoring hospitalized patients with OHSS, various drugs and medical treatment strategies including indications for aspiration of the ascitic fluid and pleural effusion, and also rare indications for surgery are briefly explained in this article. Severe OHSS, which two decades ago was considered an iatrogenic life-threatening condition, can now be effectively prevented or managed during the early stages. An OHSS-free clinic can be established nowadays by carefully considering the endocrinology of ovulation and using appropriate and dose-adjusted pharmaceutical agents, which are summarized and discussed in this review.

read more



New Dawn FM News

The Papua New Guinea Weather Office and the National Maritime Safety Authority reported strong wind warning to all waters of PNG and Bougainville for a further 24 hours.
The office says strong North West to North East winds are expected to blow at the speed between 20 to 34 knots and the seas could rise between 1.5 metres to 2.5metres causing rough seas and high waves.
Isolated showers and thunderstorms are also expected for the next 24 hours starting 5 am this morning.
In Buka town very strong winds and heavy rain came just after 4pm and also uprooted two trees at Ieta near the Digicel Office temporarily blocking off the road however Ieta villagers were quick to clear this road for traffic to flow again.
No damage to buildings have been reported although one or two roofing irons were removed in some buildings.



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Tuesday, 25 December


PM meets University Bosses "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill met today with the Chancellors and Vice chancellors of all state universities, which included the Chancellor said or Chair of Divine Word University. The convener of the meeting was the Minister for Higher Education, Research and Science and technology , Hon. Pila Niningi.

The Prime Minister said that there is not enough money to go around to meet every demand. He urged universities to consider ways of generating income to supplement what little  there is coming from the Government coppers. The Prime Minister also said that there will be no new universities building ,other than the completion of the Western Pacific University at Ialibu. Instead, he said universities must plan for expansion from the existing universities  especially those owned and funded  by the state. The Prime Minister planned to have another follow up meeting, to be arranged by the Higher Education Minister, Hon. Niningi.

Vincent Warakai is Gone! "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

> ------------------------------------------------------
> Vincent Warakai, the brand name known to some as Waraks, Vii or simply Vincent to others. Waraks is what I called, and he will return in response simply calling me  Suks..We both and perhaps one hundred others including a few names we can recall are a few such as the current Minister, for Community Development, Soroi, Ngen Isana,  Naihwho, Tioti and late Haraka Gaudi.
> Vincent Warakai was one of the third generation of a dozen or so Papua New Guinean academics who joined the University of PNG in the late seventies and early eighties. They were recruited, couched and sent overseas to diverse locations including Britain and the USA. Mr Warakai was sent to Britain to do his post graduate studies at the a place called Sussex School of Development Studies. This is where Mr Warakai was exposed and enhanced his abilities and his critical ideals were shared. After his studies he returned to PNG to join the ranks of his colleagues at UPNG. He was attached to the then Faculty of Arts Department of Sociology and Anthropology where he worked colleagues like Maive O'Collin, Bruce Yestes, Collin Filer and others.
> Warakai was a vocal and respected member of the National Academic Staff of the University of PNG. Him and and few others from NASA were the obvious localised voice for the growing scores of the PNG Voice in the academia at UPNG in those early days.
> Warakai was one of the founding members of the so-called Group of Eight founded at the University of PNG. The group which included young academics ( and these were the Sukwianomb, Tioti, Roger, Sakarape, Naihwho Pruapia). These individuals were the determined force to be reckoned with at those early years of PNG academics joining UPNG. The Group of Eight were instrumental in shaping the form and depths of the once powerful voice in the University of PNG's National Academic Staff. In those days, and thanks to Mr Warakai NASA was the mind and soul of critical thinkers and doers in the PNG politics in debates, while joining forces with the Trade Unions, National Council of Women and other vocal, militant groups throughout PNG which shaped PNG to what it is today.


Governor Alan Bird Speaks "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

From Allan Bird...

Sepik Plain Rice - Governor Allan Bird
Firstly let me thank everyone for their comments on the rice growing opportunity in PNG that PM ONeil and his delegation signed last week.
Secondly, I would ask everyone to calm down. All of the numbers that are being mentioned in the media is politician speak. While the technocrats have got some good initial data, we dont have all of the data. The negotiations have not even begun yet.
For the record, as Governor of ESP, I have been in discussions with Secretary Pinol and Ambassador Tejano since my election. I am of the firm belief that our Provinces strongest strategic assets are, our people and their ability to work hard, the Sepik plains and the Sepik river. These three elements give us a comparative and a competitive advantage not only over other provinces but in the entire region. God gave us the largest remaining fertile plains and river in Asia and the Pacific. We should use it to help ourselves and the country. This is a renewable resource, it provides long term sustainable jobs and it is the responsible thing for us to do with this massive asset that God has entrusted us with.
ESP is 4,400,000 hectares of land mass. As a rough guide, my thinking is to allocate about 2.2m hectares for Agriculture and urban development while conserving 2.2m hectares of rainforest and wetlands.
The Philippines needs food, they have the market, the capital, the expertise and the knowledge. We have the land, the work ethic and the water. They need rice more than we do. We prefer yam, taro, sago, etc. Rice is purely an economic commodity for us, just like cocoa, vanilla, coffee and palm oil.
ESPG has already designated 200,000ha for Palm Oil in Turubu and Angoram LLGs. Once completed this will be the largest oil palm plantation in the South Pacific. We have around 100,000 small holder cocoa farmers, each with access to about a hectare of land. Our vanilla farmers only require 5,000 ha to produce the 1,000 tons of vanilla necessary for ESP to maintain its position as the second largest vanilla producer in the world, second only to Madagascar. Currently, ESP produces 300 tons of Vanilla per year. If we allow another 200,000 ha for village food gardens and 100,000 hectares for village and urban development this still leaves us with around 1.5m hectares of land that can be used for crops on a commercial scale.
For arguments sake, if we allocate 1 million hectares of land for rice, the cost of developing this land for rice production will be around K24,000/hectare (based on 2011 estimates on work I did with a Bangladeshi group in my village). So K24 billion is the magic number for land preparation for rice. This excludes roads, canals, irrigation, wharf expansion, townships, international airport, schools, hospitals, etc. For arguments sake, let us assume all the infras...

High Profile Women attend international meeting "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

PNG Judicial Women Officers Attended the Buenos Aires 14th Biennial International Conference

Papua New Guinean women judicial officers have returned recently from attending the 14th   Biennial Conference of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) which was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from May 2-6 2018.  The delegation was made up of the representatives from the membership of the PNG Judicial Womens Association consisted of Jacinta Murray and Leka Nablu, Regina Sagu, Rosie Aize Johnson, Rosemary Koimo, Josephine Nidue, and Patricia Tevese, Lora Kuvi and Tracy Ganaii.
Delegates to this international event come from over 77 countries were represented. The theme of the conference was Building Bridges between Women Judges of the World
In her welcoming address to the delegates, Ms Susana Medina, the President of the IAWJ President and Hostess of the 2018 14th Biennial Conference had issued her welcome address prior to the arrival of the delegates. In the message she said that this biennial event offers great opportunities to exchange knowledge, experience, and wisdom as well as to strengthen ties of friendship Reflecting on the theme of the Biennial event, President Medina further alluded that: we are sure that this theme will lead to enriching, stimulating comprehensive discussions, while providing us an excellent opportunity to contribute improving justice systems, making them more effective, efficient and independent The programme of activities included formal sessions as well as educational and social events.
Some highlights of the subthemes that were allocated for different sessions including:- Development of Gender-based Violence Law: Feminicide; the Legal Situation of Women- Perspectives from Around the World; Human Trafficking; Aspects of International Child Abduction; Environment, Sustainable Growth and Gender; Ruling with a Gender Perspective and Reproductive Health and Rights. These subjects were discussed after presentations by experts.

The issues of great significance to the world, and especially those affect women in the judiciary around the globe were raised, discussed and hopefully passed thought the delegates work in their respective jurisdictions.
 In the case of Papua New Guinea, the delegates admitted that interactions with, and sharing with respective colleagues, mentors and to recognise the place and objectives and plans for the Papua New Guinea Judicial Womens Association (PNGJWA) has been worthy for the members of the Association who attended the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ ) which was held in Buenos Aires. This has broadened the scope of both the Association and its members.

Weary Teachers in Crowded Classrooms "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Our Crowded classrooms and Weary Teachers  in PNG Schools ; let parents pay the school fees.

By Joseph Sukwianomb, Chancellor of the University of Goroka

The invitation by the publishers of the Messenger is here by acknowledged and hence this short piece for the August 2018 edition, And Congratulations are in order!

I welcome this publication, the first of its kind. The request by the Messenger was for this author to share some initial views about the provision of education in our current era, and a reflection on how well or how far we have come, say from the time of independence in 1975 to 2018. To think that a statement can be made or a fair treatment of the subject for the said time period would not be possible. The provision of quality education is a big challenge for all in PNG.

So, it would thus be a summary or brief reflections on the current provision of education in PNG  through the eye of an individual commentator. It is based on his experience as well as collection of views from worthy commentors on our formal school based education.

One of the things that fascinates some observers about PNG education policies and implemenation is the dynamics of scales, which is that we have to deal with the two opposite ends of this rather poorly defined clarities or matches between policies and implementation. Often times, serious education policy experts get derailed by political opportunists who think they know better! .
In fact most often than not, many examples of failed polices in education provision, an example would be the so called fee free education programs in this country. For all we know, serious education policy experts are helpless when decision are made in board rooms devoid of well researched and thought out policies options, and hence implementation.

Public statements uttered by some of our leaders about volume of students attending schools, well, indeed the sad part is the unsaid truth about quality, with seemingly large student numbers, crammed in the space meant for say 30 the most,  thus making teachers unable to deliver serious skills and knowledge contents. The sheer numbers of students, ratio of one to sixty plus make many, if not all teachers go mental, as was related to this writer in a recent conversation.

The requirements for the national education is among others the need to train competent teachers in both contents as well as classroom management. That these teachers are recognised and remunerated to well and in time.. Many teachers that we know from primary to secondary schools face so much challenges, be their registration as teachers or them being on the payroll. We know too that even schools are not able to loan monies for basic necessities from achoo funds, because the promised subsidies do not get to schools on t...


University of Goroka went bush! "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

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...

University of Goroka Medical School and Teaching Hospital "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Information on the Proposed University of Goroka Medical School and Teaching Hospital

My recollection of the recent hub of of. activities to keep the heat and or enthusiasm going forward. I sent by email to the Vice Chancellor this morning. This is your copy.... "These two conversational texts below between the Chancellor and Minister Richard Maru are important to keep in the context of our,  the University of Goroka Council and Management to seek Government support for the proposed establishment of the University of Goroka Medical School and the University Teaching Hospital (  our campaign gimmick to win the Highlands based political support, we will in the interim use the politically  correct phrase "The Highlands Medical School and Teaching Hospital"). The initial request for me to contact Minister Maru for a meeting came from Dr  John Tonar, our principal consultant for the University of Goroka Medical School Project. Since the outright, kneejack reactions or rejection from the Minister, on the 10 of October 2018, though I was not too happy or impressed with such an unthoughtful text. I immediately copied Minister Maru's response to Vice Chancellor Sinebare and also to Pro Vice Chancellors Gumbis and Waninga. My next move was to scheme the next move to find multiple ways to "skin-a-cat" approach. I stuck to the notion that;  "no politician or government, any government for that matter was unapproachable" for bargain a deal for a common good.

I sat and thought out for a crude plan to coincide with the dates set for the upcoming Standing Committee of the University of Goroka Council meeting set for 18 & 19 October; and I needed to travel to Goroka and meet up with the Vice Chancellor, Prof Sinebare, his two Deputies and also conduct initial consultations with several senior  University of Goroka Council Members, senior academics and the University Medical School's  senior most consultants.
I spent Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October conducting heart- to- heart discourses with key officers of the University of Goroka, external PNG consultants, including one key officer from the Department of National Planning and Monitoring. By Sunday a plan was hatched. Those series of meetings did produce a number of ways or means to approaching Government. We managed, with the support of the Vice Chancellor and Dr Tonar we planned a trip to POM to meet with the Prime Minister, with of course important help from Mr Leslie Hoffman, being a senior Council Member facilitating communication with the Prime Minister  direct. The face- to -face meeting with the Prime Minister did take place, but fell short of a full or detailed meeting because that afternoon of Wednesday 17 October meeting with PM did not materialised. So another plan, a fall back plan was worked out. The next meeting with the PM was agreed to, with the Prime Minister proposing fo...


The University of Goroka Graduation Speech in Mt Hagen "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

University of Goroka at Mt Hagen  Highlands Regional Campus 3rd Graduation Statement
By Chancellor  Joseph Sukwianomb
Friday  11 May 2018
EXPANDING OUR SCOPE TOGETHER (Headline Stories: UOG plans to Highlands Medical School and a Modern Teaching Hospital, says the Chancellor Sukwianomb)
The Chancellor Acknowledges those present and appreciate sponsors and collaborators  in higher education enterprise. In particular he praised the Governor of the Province and the WHP Provincial government, and indeed he calls upon the others, including the Southern  Highlands and Enga. Acknowledge the students who will graduate today to consider financial grants to students to study by distant mode.
The Chancellor emphasised that Mt Hagen campus is for the highlands region and all entities and stakeholders; business, government and communities should support higher education provision, via the University of Goroka, and other state and private universities.  Western Highlands Provincial government is a trusted partner, as it has kept its side of the partnership agreement ( it the Chancellors desire the those agreements that have expired  must now be renewed, this includes our agreement between the University and the WHP government).
Here, he will talk about, and in brief the place of the University in a highly populated part of our country, we are committed to bringing the " Gown to the Town" . What does this mean? Those who are graduating today are the living examples of what we can all do together. Examples, the University is to start these study  centers and selected regional campuses where the University has made inroads, I also say that we are not in competition with our colleagues or with our sister universities,we are simply complementing and adding value and creating space and opportunities for our people, especially the young people who have been unfairly treated.
Our programmes have been increased in numbers from one to eight. The IDF institute should provide information on the number of programs being offered, as I speak.
The University of Goroka  is on a mission to accomplish milestone activities, by thinking big.
We are in some very serious discussions,  we have secured land and we are planning to build several more schools such  as the Highlands  Medical  School and a Teaching Hospital, to be among the best in the World, we are also planning to build a school of Agribusiness and Cooperatives, and a school of Business and Accounting.  While our mainstay or what are good at, which is teacher training, we are by no mean confined to this our recent critics wanted us to be. We have  and will continue to expand, as is one of the statements made early this year by the Prime Minister.
On the other side, our academi...

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Thursday, 20 December


Best of the blog 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

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...


The year of APEC reflections on PNG in 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

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...


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

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...


Australian corporate complicity globally "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

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.

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Wednesday, 19 December


Fiji Cabinet hides while nation laughs "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

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...

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Tuesday, 18 December




Two men midgets from Southern Highlands PNG need to know as they are behind every formula that keeps MPs following the Prime Minister like bees following a queen bee. Money attracts MPs although the MPs know very well that the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neil is most corrupt PM in the 43 histories of this country.

Of all PNGeans including Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Able, there are only 2 Southern Highlanders whom the Prime Minister will pause to answer their call or the two men can make the Prime Minister wait in the cue. They are Kumul Petroleum Managing Director, Wapu Sonk and MRDC Managing Director, Augustine Mano.

Although the duo has Boards that by Law are supposed to control them, they seem to control upwards. They call Board meetings and or do Circular Board Resolutions for Board members to sign without any queries. And at times they can openly tell Board Members not to put themselves at risk of losing their Board jobs as all directions and their operation is remotely controlled by the BIG BOSS (Prime Minister).

Most of the Financial Decisions are made by the Prime Minister through these two men and has benefited a lot....I mean to the billions of kina.

Ask any Board member in this two organisations and they will tell you. Those Boards are Rubber Stamps.

Currently, there is a request at Kumul Petroleum for an advance to fund Members DSIP and PSIP in January 2019. Kumul Petroleum is working on it and this will have to be another Bank Loan from BSP and ANZ as Kumul Petroleum is in RED due to the APEC costs.


Anti-corruption and the 2019 PNG budget "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Papua New Guineas law and justice sector is set to receive a 22 per cent increase in the countrys 2019 budget. Treasurer Charles Abel says this demonstrates the governments commitment to the sector, and to addressing crime and corruption (see this PDF). 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 per cent 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. In this blog, we home in on what the 2019 budget means for dedicated anti-corruption agencies. We follow up our previous analysis (see here and here) by examining 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 (EITI).

This blog draws from analysis that tracks budget allocations and spending for each of these organisations since 2008 (available here).

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 per cent of funding compared to 2018. The Auditor General also received a sm...

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Wednesday, 04 April


Moving beyond now in womens political representation in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

On 6 March 2018, PNGs Prime Minister Peter ONeill reportedly announced a shift from limited preferential voting (LPV) back to the first past the post voting (FPTP) system in PNGs national elections. This announcement will likely spark intense debates about the pros and cons of each voting system. It also raises questions about womens political representation in PNG. For decades, debates about womens political representation have waxed and waned depending on who is in parliament, who constitutes the womens lobbying group, the state of the national womens machinery, funding availability and because most funding is from donors the priorities and direction that donors choose.

Early debates revolved around a proposal to invoke a provision in the PNG Constitution to nominate a womans representative. This debate culminated in 2009 when the Somare-led government backed Dame Carol Kidu, who was then a member of the cabinet, to put a motion to parliament for women to be nominated as representatives of parliament, based on this constitutional provision.

The parliament rejected the proposal, but it was an important moment because it deepened the debate about legislative reform and paved the way for progressing the drafting of the Equality and Participation Bill (also referred to as the Womens Bill). After many months of sustained national debate, consultations, lobbying and drafting, women scored another victory on 22 November 2011 when the parliament voted to allow the 22 reserved seats for women under this bill. Leading up to the 2012 national elections, the leaders summit agreed to support reserved seats for women in parliament.

The process involved a concerted effort, with the sole woman MP Dame Carol Kidu as the champion, pulling together a diverse range of stakeholders and securing the support of a significant number of male members of Parliament. Some argue that this national backdrop may have contributed to three women winning seats in the 2012 national elections.

During the next parliamentary term, debates waned. Dame Carol Kidu retired. The passing away of the late Scholar Kakas, the President of the National Council of Women (NCW) and a vocal supporter, created another vacuum in advocacy. The three women members of parliament reportedly...

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Wednesday, 28 March


Filipino land grab doubles to 2 million hectares "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Papua New Guineas Prime Minister Peter ONeil [sic] instantly offered 100,000 hectares for planting even starting tomorrow, but can develop easily 2 million hectares in government lands for rice farming with irrigation.

The problem is, the PNG government doesnt have even 100,000 hectares of land, let alone 2 million hectares. So whose land are they going to use and how many Filipino rice farmers are we going to allow into the country?

See also:

Filipinos on their way to claim 1 million hectares


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Tuesday, 27 March


How true democracy and self-determination can prevail "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

A key aim of my Disaster Capitalism film with director Thor Neureiter is to highlight the darker sides of aid (without arguing that aid should stop). There are currently many screenings of the film around the world from Australia to the US and UK (with many more to follow).

Aid Watch is a wonderful group that challenges the often wasteful and opaque nature of aid theyre sponsoring a film screening in May alongside Jubilee Australia and theyve written an insightful overview of the movie:

Ever wondered why some societies seem to exist in a permanent disaster? Some would have us believe its their fault. This film lays blame squarely at what it calls disaster capitalism an aid-industrial complex that solidifies vulture capital, aid agencies, donor governments and local cronies. The bloc is shored-up by the military but mainly works at the level of policy. Its genius is in converting disaster into opportunity, exploiting vulnerabilities to force a permanent transformation.

The idea is not new. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 the World Bank saw its opportunity for shock therapy, as WB official Jeffrey Sachs called it. Naomi Klein named the concept back in 2007, most graphically focusing on the aftermath of the 2005 New Orleans flood. In 2015 Antony Loewenstein extended the concept, with a focus on profit and securitisation, and now his film takes the concept further, into the murky world of development assistance.

Best-selling journalist and author Antony Loewenstein joins award-winning filmmaker Thor Neureiter, along with co-producers Media Stockade, on a six-year investigation into this world and the ramifications of disaster capitalism in Afghanistan, Haiti and Papua New Guinea.

The film takes us along todays global frontiers of disaster capitalism, from Afghanistan, to Haiti to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

In Afghanistan we encounter the disaster of the US hearts and minds reconstruction effort, larger than the Marshall Plan. The film exposes new US efforts to control the countrys corrupted and coercive mining sector, ironically to compensate for US beneficence as occupier. In Haiti, aid inflows seal deals between the government and post-disaster carpet-bagging investors. The film shows how local people are compulsorily shunted from shanties to industrial estates, to capture their labour for world factories, at knock-down wages. And finally, the film takes us to PNG, the largest recipient of Australias aid...

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Friday, 16 March


Illegal Logging Site Shut-Down, Asians Jailed "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


AN illegal logging company operating in Northern Province was shut down and 13 Asians without work permits were locked up at the Popondetta cells.

Northern Province Police have confirmed the shutdown of the illegal logging company known as Northern Forest Products at Collingwood Bay, Wanigela with thousands of logs and heavy equipment impounded. All logs and equipment will be moved to Oro Bay.

Provincial Police Commander Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari said police had acted on advise from National Forest Authority to move onto the site and shut it down after its illegal operations on 45,000 hectares state land that consists of portions 135, 136 and 137.

We moved in last Friday and caught them off guard, the Asians were cooking pumpkins, and then fled into the bushes and our men went after them, Gerari said.

When caught, the men complained that they were never fed properly and or paid by the site manager since arriving last September.

Police said the loggers...

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Wednesday, 14 March


Vale Chris Owen "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Chris Owen passed away last week on March 9 in Canberra, aged 73. He was born in 1944 in Birmingham, UK, and was educated in both the UK and Australia, in particular at the Birmingham College of Art and Design where he received a Graduate Diploma in Visual Communication.

He moved to Papua New Guinea in 1973, initially employed as cinematographer by the Tourist Board, but joined the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies as resident filmmaker in 1976. He was tasked with designing and initiating an ethnographic filmmaking program that documented and preserved PNG cultures on film, and providing professional training for PNG filmmakers. He would be devoted to these tasks until his retirement in 2010.

In 2000 Chris became the Head (and later the Director) of the National Film Institute (formerly, Skul bilong Wokim Piksa) in Goroka, where he rebuilt the institution and its functions after it was destroyed by fire in 1996. At the time of his retirement, he had spent 37 years working at PNG government institutions: 34 of those years at bodies under what is today called the National Cultural Commission.

Chris Owens many years of productivity, dedication, and commitment to the people of PNG have resulted in an extraordinary rich and prolific output. Many of his films document spectacular aspects of traditional culture, such as The Red Bowmen, Malangan Labadama, and Bridewealth for a Goddess.

Other films focus on the ways individuals and groups have found to deal with potential conflicts between traditional and modern value systems, such as Man without Pigs, GogodalaA Cultural Revival?, and Betelnut Bisnis. Chris directed one of the best known and most widely seen PNG contemporary dramas written for the screen, TukanaHusat i Asua? He also focussed on developmental issues and initiatives, such as Ramu Pawa, Re-Forestation Naturally, and the two films in the Real Options series.

Chriss films have been shown at film festivals in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, France, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Russia, UK, USA, and Uzbekistan, and have received countless international awards. His films have also been shown on television in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and Thailand, as well as PNG. They are used as course materials at numerous universities and museums in the US, Australia, and France.

While Chris was the filmmaker of least 16 films, he is credited in more than 33 others with various roles in the filmmaking process. Indeed, Andrew Pike, film historian and Managing Director of Ronin Films, has noted that Chris has contributed directly or indirectly to almost every significant documentary made in Papua New Guinea over the last three decades whether as director, cinematographer, editor,...

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Friday, 09 March


West Papua's fight for independence "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

West Papuans have it much harder than Scots or Catalans. In West Papua it is illegal to fly the independence flag. Espaol

A demonstration by West Papuans in The Hague, against the Indonesian government. Wikipedia. Public domain.

In guidebooks it is referred to as the countrys final frontier. It is a vast territory consisting of mostly unspoiled wilderness and a relatively sparse population. There are immense forests and soaring, glacier-capped mountains.

When traveling to the region from the countrys populated core, it is common to see settlers and contractors who work for mining and logging companies. One cannot help but notice the presence of soldiers that are there to offer protection from the natives.

This description sounds, to the American ear, like the development of the western frontier. It has an old world ring to it, and is resonant with the frontier stories of Australia, Canada, Russia, and numerous settings around the globe. But the subject of the description is West Papua, a contemporary frontier region in Indonesia.

West Papua, roughly the size of California, is the colloquial name given to the western half of the island of New Guinea (the eastern half of the island is the sovereign state of Papua New Guinea). It is an extraordinarily diverse place with hundreds of languages and cultural groups.

The very concept of West Papua is in many ways the product of colonialism. It was once known as Dutch New Guinea, a region within the Dutch East Indies. Between 1949 and 1963 it was a stand-alone Dutch colony. It was later called Irian Jaya after it came under Indonesian control in the 1960s. Since that time it has been the scene of an independence struggle against the Indonesian government.

The independence effort, or Free Papua Movement, is now 60 years old. It is thought that 100.000 people have died in the resulting conflict, although estimates vary widely. Reports of torture, extrajudicial killing, and human rights abuse...

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Wednesday, 07 March


The worlds most common childhood disease: the burden and the solution for PNG "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The worlds most common childhood disease affects over 90% of the worlds children. It is chronic, non-communicable, neglected, and the most common cause of pain (80% of children will experience pain from it).

What disease am I referring to? Dental disease, usually from tooth decay.

Many Pacific nations, including Papua New Guinea, are experiencing the growing problem of dental pain, which can be alleviated through the control of dental disease.

One survey of six villages in the Western Province showed that there were three untreated diseased teeth person. There is only one dentist per 90,000 people in PNG, an overwhelming number of patients for PNG dentists. During my time in PNG, I removed twelve abscessed teeth from the mouth of one four year old girl, who was in so much pain that she could only eat bananas, which clearly affects her general health. She had already been in pain for half of her life, as there was no local dentist..

This burden is only set to increase as PNGs population is expected to double in the next twelve years. PNG needs effective and permanent prevention of dental disease, and they need it soon.

Worldwide, there are three preventative methods for reducing dental disease. However, only one is practical for PNG: salt fluoridation, or the addition of fluoride to commonly-consumed table salt. This method has been effective for 300 million people in 30 countries across Europe and America, and benefits a wide variety of people: children, adults, the rural disadvantaged, and the urban poor. The cost-benefit ratio of salt fluoridation is 1:240, which means that for every $1 invested in prevention, $240 is saved in future fillings and tooth extractions. In addition, it only costs less than ten cents per person per year.

Salt fluoridation results in the rapid reduction of tooth decay, of 10% per year, which is a massive permanent reduction of 50-65% in just five years. This would be a fantastic public health achievement, and its safety has been proven by research, particularly as it does not increase the consumption of salt.

So how does this prevention of dental disease enhance Australias development impact?

Australia provides substantial support to education and health in PNG. Australias educational development impact is reduced by dental disease because children miss school due to the pain they are experiencing, and their education suffers. Adults with strong pain cannot work or are less productive at work due to the pain. This results in an ongoing loss to the economy and extra costs to the health system for pain relief. Reduced dental disease would increase school attendance and productivity at workplaces, enhancing Australias aid impact.

I make three recommendations for this to work.



Filipinos on their way to claim 1 million hectares "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

PNGs Agriculture Minister Benny Allan and Philippines Agriculture Secretary, Pinol

Media in the Philippines is reporting see below their Agriculture Secretary is in Port Moresby this week to sign a deal with the PNG government allowing Filipino farmers to plant rice on 1 million hectares of land. Is nobody concerned about this huge land grab and the influx of foreign workers?

Papua New Guinea rice-planting deal expected this week

Source: Business World

THE Philippines will sign this week an agricultural agreement allowing Filipino companies to expand their rice planting operations in Papua New Guinea.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piol said he will be flying to Papua New Guinea on Wednesday to fin...

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Sunday, 04 March


How aid can be used to keep nations deliberately poor "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

I was interviewed last week in Australian media outlet Crikey by Charlie Lewis about my Disaster Capitalism film:

The documentary Disaster Capitalism opens with the earthquake in Haiti, 2010. Through the ghostly fog of CCTV video, we see the ground furiously shake buildings into dust. Fronted by Australian journalist and writer Antony Loewenstein and shot over six years, in collaboration with director Thor Neureiter, Director of Video at Columbia University, the film visits and revisits three countries Haiti, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea   riven by various crises and trapped in a cycle of dependence on Western aid. This cycle, Loewenstein tells Crikey, is no accident.

I thought it was important to look at how these countries are connected politically and financially, in other words, how certain conditions are designed to keep poor countries poor, he said.

Filming began in 2011, when Loewenstein was working on a book of the same name.

The aim wasnt to spend six years making the film, Loewenstein said. But there is something to be said for seeing how these countries evolve over six years. All thats really changed is that PMs or presidents have come and gone, but they remain economically broken and I thought it was important to look at why.

Cycle of dependency

A key factor in the Disaster Capitalism  is that these countries are not, and never have been, without the resources to pay their own way. Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan in particular are rich in minerals. Loewenstein says this is part of the problem.

Trump has been very keen to really  harness and expand the mining industry if Afghanistan, and theyre tying aid to that So aid is being used to not help people, but to enrich foreign businesses. Look at PNG, it has huge resources, and after several decades of those being exploited, it hasnt helped the locals one bit.

Aid not only enriches Australian business interests, Loewenstein says, but backs up political aims.

Aid to PNG has been increased, in my view, to provide a bribe to the PNG government to house the refugees we dont want, he said.  Obviously not all of the aid money is related to the pacific solution, but aid has gone up since it was revitalised under Labor.

And the oversight ensuring that aid isnt misspent or funnelled towards corruption, he says, is weak.

Missing Oversight


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Monday, 26 February


A tribute to Sean Dorney "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

As Sean Dorney pointed out, its not usual for journalists to be surrounded by people saying nice things about them. But on Saturday night in Brisbane, 150 people got together to do just that. In response to the announcement that he has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease, friends, colleagues and former rivals came together to eat, drink (some more than others), and tell stories.

There were many stories and they are only the tip of the iceberg. Riots, volcanic eruptions, political intrigue, rugby league, and erotic dancing all got their fair share of the limelight. But they all centred around one man: Dorney.

Getting to know Sean and spend time with him has been one of the highlights of moving to Brisbane. After our first meeting last year, he gave me a copy of The Embarrassed Colonialist. He had recently returned from PNG, where he had been part of the Commonwealth Observers Group during the elections. We had spent an hour or so discussing PNG politics, the success of the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup, and much more besides. His detailed knowledge of Papua New Guinea and his passion for the country were writ large during our conversation. Just as they are in the book. And on Saturday evening, his commitment to PNG was equally evident, as was the continuing presence he has in that country. There were messages of support from Peter ONeill and two former prime ministers. And Tania Nugent spoke of how Sean had planted the seed for a generation of journalists, not just in PNG but across the region.

Of course, Seans relationship with PNG is one that spans many years and has several facets to it. He first went there in 1974, just before independence, to work for the newly-established National Broadcasting Commission. It was during that first three-year stint that he met his wife, Pauline. This was one of three postings to PNG, including a period of 17 years as the ABCs PNG correspondent. A keen sportsman, Sean is well remembered as having captained the national rugby league side, the PNG Kumuls. On handing over the PNG desk to Liam Fox, Sean took on the role of Pacific Affairs correspondent for the ABC until 2014. He is currently a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute.

The Embarrassed Colonialist was commissioned to mark the 40th anniversary of PNG gaining independence from Australia. It came at a timely juncture and has made an important contribution to the conversation about the nature of Australias relationship with it...


Public Q&A on Disaster Capitalism film and how aid is delivered "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Last week in Sydney was the first public screening of my film, Disaster Capitalism. Director Thor Neureiter was in New York but co-producers Media Stockade were there along with a solid audience. There will be many more public screenings in Australia, the US and beyond soon. After the film, we held a Q&A around aid and development plus journalism in conflict zones. It was recorded by Sky News TV and broadcast last weekend. Heres how they described the event:

The Walkley Foundation has held its first Walkley Talk for the year at the State Library of NSW. The event featured a screening of independent documentary film Disaster Capitalism by journalist Antony Loewenstein. The screening was followed by a robust discussion on aid in conflict zones, revealing how the supply of aid to those in need isnt always as transparent and ethical as it seems. The panel included the filmmaker himself, along with head of journalism at Macleay College and former foreign correspondent Monica Attard, and journalists Hugh Riminton and Yaara Bou Melhem.

The conversation touched on the role of journalists in delivering accurate public interest news from war zones, and holding NGOs and aid organisations accountable when bringing the reporters on the ground in the first place. It explored the corruption and conflict rampant in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, and Lebanon, and implications for the media and global community, who may all too often be switching off the television to avoid distressing news. The discussion also offered an insight into the world of freelancing and war reporting, while challenging the concepts of international assistance and development through the perspectives of investigative journalists.

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Thursday, 22 February


ONeill and Allan stitch up another huge land grab "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Philippines President Duterte and his Agriculture Secretary want to plant 1 million hectares of rice in Papua New Guinea by 2023

Prime Minister Peter ONeill and Agriculture Minister Benny Allan have promised the Philippines government at least one million hectares of land in Papua New Guinea for Filipino farmers to grow rice, according to media reports.

The 1 million hectares [10,000 square kilometres] will be leased to Filipino companies and thousands of Filipino farmers and agriculture graduates are expected to head to PNG, according to the countrys Agriculture Secretary, Emmanuel F. Piol.  

The Philip...

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Monday, 17 December


Millions neglected and in need, but where is Australias support for the DRC? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

At the start of this year, an estimated 13.1 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There was one other country that recorded the same number of people in need: Syria. But while the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provided more than $50 million to the Syria humanitarian appeals in the past five years, it has given less than $5 million to the DRC humanitarian appeals over the same period.

Where is the funding for DRC?

DRC has been described as the worlds most neglected displacement crisis. Between 2014 and 2018, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the DRC doubled. New violence in the Kasais, Tanganyika, and the Kivus each largely independent conflicts brought the number of internally displaced people up to 4.5 million, and an ongoing Ebola outbreak today continues to threaten the health and safety of families across the region.

Yet, despite the overwhelming scale of the crisis, political will, media attention, and funding has failed to materialise. Donor fatigue has become palpable: at the end of 2017, the DRC Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was only 58 per cent funded. The year prior: only 60 per cent.

In 2018, donors have provided twice as much funding to the Syria HRP as they have to the DRC despite both countries having the same number of people in need.

This lack of funding for the DRC is having concrete consequences. Towards the end of 2017, with only $385 million of $812 million received towards the HRP, the head of UN OCHA reflected that the lack of funding meant that only 10 per cent of severely malnourished people could be reached with lifesaving nutrition support. Many of those left out were children, and given that DRC is responsible for an estimated 12 per cent of worldwide child malnutrition cases, this shortfall is alarming.

In the Kasais, where violence broke out in 2016, there has been a 750 per cent increase in food insecurity, and hospitals have run out of medicine.

While the series of overlapping crises in DRC have undeniably become protracted and the d...

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Tuesday, 20 February



by Eragairma Yal

I don't know if our Papua New Guinea Defence Force has a Blue Print.

PNG has obtained the Right to Self-Rule in 1973 as a pre-qualification to gaining independence in 1975, 16th September.

43yrs on and I have just learned one fundamental fact that our PNG Defense Force has still been operating as the Eighth Division under the Australian Defense Force Military. The fact is we have not gained Military Independence. We are an Eighth Element or Division similar to an Infantry under the Australian Defence Force Military.

One thing that baffles me is that the Australian Defense Force knowing very well that we are the Eighth Division operating under the ADF Military, why can't they develop our Defense Force into a full pledge Military Force carrying Land, Air and Sea Elements with complete state of the art equipment setup and logistics support with routine modern training as a requirement?

Whatever arrangements they may have had in the past that lead us to this stage, I write to challenge the PNGDF Brigadier General and the government of the day that we must have our own Blue Print for our Military that must lead us into attaining Militarily Independence.

I can remember the announcement of our Defence White Paper some time ago but what was it about? And what developments did we achieve as in the three elements of the Defence Force? What did our soldiers and paramilitary officers gain as in training and personal empowerment?

Our own BLUEPRINT must spell out the establishment of our military components, divisions, infantries, units and paramilitary forces etc.

Our trained Human Resources as in Cadets and Privates are sitting idle in the military barracks basically waiting for their pay packets, SoE callouts, and their eventual retrenchment cheque.

We need to use them in our circular workforces in the public service sector. While we already have some specialists trained as engineers, doctors, nurses, teachers, CHWs, lawyers, etc we ought to increase the training in the different disciplines and deploy them on secondment arrangements to serve everywhere in the country.

We need to use our trained human resource effectively to alleviate the shortfall in our workforce to develop our country.

I regret to see that we have some highly skille...

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Monday, 19 February


How the elite profit while a nation suffers their incompetence "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Port Moresby, a city where the elite profit while the rest suffer the consequences of their incompetence

Imagine a company that is in debt, heavily in debt and still racking up more losses.

Imagine a company that in 2016 alone lost over K354 million.

Imagine a company where the total liabilities exceed the total assets by more than K218 million.

Imagine that this is a company set up by the government to manage a nations interests in its abundant mineral resources.

Now imagine no more and say hello to Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, formerly Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.

The two numbers above are from Kumul Minerals Holdings latest Annual Return, which is for the 2016 financial year.

How could a company that,...

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Monday, 12 February


Disgraced judge Bernard Sakora resigns in latest move to avoid justice "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Disgraced Judge, Justice Sakora, has resigned to avoid facing court

Having seemingly already wriggled out of one corruption charge in the criminal courts, Justice Sakora has now resigned as a Judge [see story below] in order to close down formal misconduct investigations against him, by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, and a separate Leadership Code Tribunal, instigated by the Ombudsman Commission.

Sakoras criminal charge was in relation to his role in preventing the publication of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance which first revealed the role of Paul Paraka and his law firm in scamming millions of kina from the government. It is alleged Sakora received K100,000 from Paraka in return for granting the injunction. 

During the Finance Inquiry hearings, Sakora also granted an injunction to Messr...

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Sunday, 28 January


ONeills monstrous plan trashes traditional land legacies "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Rainforest for palm oil land clearance ... new PNG land plan "a licence for banks and others to progressively expropriate traditional lands in the name of "development"

OPINION: By Chris Overland* 

Recently, Keith Jacksons PNG Attitude has been publishing a discussion on some of the unhappy events that occurred as the colonial regime extended its control over the tribes of Papua New Guinea.

However, one marvellous and positive legacy Australia left to Papua New Guinea was that it did not allow the alienation of more than a very small area of land.

Even then, the land remained the property of the government as distinct from private individuals, who could only lease it.

The first Administrator of the then Territory of Papua, Sir William McGregor, insisted that only the government could buy land and that the policy of the colonial regime should be to restrict this to very small parcels.

My recollection is that he got this idea from his time in Fiji, where the policy had been put in place when Fiji first became a Crown Colony.

McGregor and his successors realised that, in a subsistence economy like that of Papua (and later New Guinea), land was a precious resource upon which people relied to live.

The administrators believed its alienation could lead to profound and very damaging socio-economic consequences as had been all too graphically demonstrated in Africa.

Ruthlessly dispossessed
Anyone familiar with the history of, say, Kenya, South Africa or Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) will understand that the native peoples were ruthlessly dispossessed of their land and suffered greatly as a result.

Now, amazingly, the government of Prime Minister Peter ONeill has developed a cunning plan articulated by minister Justin Tkatchenko.

This plan must, by its very nature, result in the loss of control over communally held land for those Papua New Guineans foolish enough to allow its use as collateral for a loan.

This is a scheme that I thi...

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Friday, 19 January


Will Sahuls First Nations Recognise Australia? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Part One of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism of Indigenous Australia, by Dr George Venturini. Introduction: Head of will Sahul In the Pleistocene-era what are modern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste on a single continent: Sahul. Some 80,000 years ago, the water having receded, the Indigenous People began to arrive.

The post Will Sahuls First Nations Recognise Australia? appeared first on The AIM Network.


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Sunday, 16 December


Employers want to recruit directly "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The DFAT-funded Labour Mobility Assistance Program (LMAP) recently undertook a survey of employers authorised to hire workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), known as approved employers. The aim of the survey was to better understand their perceptions of how the program is being managed within sending countries and to identify areas for improvement. While only 14 employers responded to the survey (out of approximately 90 approved employers at the time the survey was conducted), they tended to be the larger employers, accounting for the employment of 40% of all SWP workers in 2016/17.  Responses were discussed in more depth in a subsequent focus group.

Employers are generally satisfied with how sending countries manage the SWP

Responses in relation to engagement with Labour Sending Units (LSUs) were positive, but indicated room for improvement. The majority of employers rated their interactions as satisfactory, good or excellent, although very few ratings of excellent were awarded. Satisfactory was the most common rating for three out of the five questions.

Figure 1: Satisfaction with LSU engagement

Employers are happy with the workers they receive

The preparation of workers before they arrived in Australia was also rated by the majority of employers as satisfactory, good or excellent, with the exception of a small number of employers who recruited predominantly from Vanuatu and Tonga. LMAPs experience has been that providing workers with adequate information to prepare them for life in Australia, including on their work and employment conditions, and rights and responsibilities during deployments, is essential to the smooth running of the Programme, but that this will require ongoing effort and support, particularly in those countries sending high numbers of workers.

Figure 2: Satisfaction with preparedness of workers


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Thursday, 13 December




The recent outburst by the Attorney General has a lot to be desired coming from a Senior State Minister considered by many to be one of the last remaining upright and good leaders of this nation. However, it seems there is a lot more than what meets the eye. Our knight in shining Amour appears to be a devil of the highest order. A lot of information is intentionally concealed and withheld to deceive the general public and so the government of the day. And to what end, one may ask. Is this a ploy to remove a hardworking and honest woman who has been knocking out dubious claims from the minister and his cronies and may be, other personal reasons the Minister is not telling? Well soon find out. He may not be as honest just like the current crop of ministers in parliament. Ministers of the current government are frantically fighting for their own self-interests and he is no exception. If he was honest, he would have addressed some very high-profile corruption cases that have been before his office for a long time now and of true national importance. Paraka saga and co to name a few. This money as we will see is rightfully the peoples and the delays in settlement was not the Sol Gen fault. Off course not the K200 million as he purports and intentionally inflates to defame, but a fraction as we will see.
This judgment for the payout of royalties of K200 million stems from a Supreme Court decision passed in 2003 against the State. The Plaintiffs were aggrieved Gobe PDL land owners who claimed that royalty payments were not done properly. Royalty payments and not tax payers monies. A Creditors Screening Committee was therefore, set up comprising DPE officers and land owners to assess the claims for payout pursuant to the court order.

However, the Department of Petroleum and Energy wanted a proper audit conducted to ascertain and confirm payments already made and ones owing to the Plaintiff before outstanding payments were settled. This information was to be provided by the DPE and the Finance Department. Numerous court orders and decisions in 2014 demanded the provision of this information before payments were made but to no avail. This off course is not the Solicitor Generals fault. However, it now has become the cross on which she would be hanged. That is, for administrative failures by the Finance Department and the DPE. Nonetheless, the K200 million ordered by court to be...


China International Import Expo: a new opportunity for Pacific states? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The recent China International Import Expo (held in Shanghai from 510 November) represented a valuable opportunity for Pacific island countries (PICs) to promote their products to Chinese importers and consumers. The eight PICs that have diplomatic relations with China Papua New Guinea (PNG), Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Cook Islands and Niue displayed their featured products (Table 1). Although the expo was designed to showcase Chinas commitment to promoting free trade and reducing its trade surplus with partner countries, the sheer scale of Chinas economy means that an imbalance in bilateral trade between China and PICs is ingrained.

By examining the trade relationship between China and the 14 PICs, I argue that while Chinas exports to the region have grown more steadily than its imports over the past decade, the imbalance is less serious if Chinas exports to the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) are excluded. There are practical ways to increase PICs exports to China.

Table 1: Products featured by PICs at the Shanghai expo

Source: Yolanda Jiang, Pacific Trade and Investment Commission (China)

Ups and downs

An overview of bilateral merchandise trade between China and the 14 PICs for the period 2007 to 2016 is presented in Figure 1 below. Chinas exports underwent a more than sixfold increase over the decade, notwithstanding declines in 2013 and 2014 largely caused by a reduction in exports to RMI of US $400 million and US $200 million respectively. Chinas imports showed a slower growth pattern, with an overall increase of 315 per cent and fluctuations in imports in 2009, 2012 and 2016. The drop in 2016 reflected an import decrease of US $144 million from PNG and US $84 million from Solomon Islands.

Trade imbalance

China is in trade surplus with PICs and the gap is widening. As Figure 1 shows, Chinas exports to the 14 PICs exceeded its imports throughout the years 200716, with this increase partly driven by the growing number of China-funded infrastructure projects (especially to PNG).[1] Trade betw...


China gets the message. Keep the coal fires burning "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

if for power youre yearning. With apologies to Vera Lynn. If you really want the home fires.

A recent report from the activist group CoalSwarm included satellite imagery that shows many coal-fired power projects that were halted by the Chinese government have quietly been restarted. In total, 46.7 gigawatts (GW) of new and restarted coal-fired power construction are either generating power or will soon be operational. If all the plants reach completion, they alone would increase Chinas coal-fired power capacity by 4%.

Abroad, it is the same story. By the end of 2016, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, China is involved in 240 coal-fired power projects in 25 BRI countries with a total installed capacity of 251 GW,27 making it the most important global player in the development of coal-fired power projects.

Over the past year, demand for energy is up substantially, as high as 15% in the case of natural gas. Given the overwhelming need to boost economic growth, climate change issues are largely absent from official action: Chinese authorities are focused on securing these energy supplies.

Many of Chinas initiatives, including much of its Belt and Road (BRI) development initiative are focused on serving the countrys need for energy, through the building of pipelines, power facilities and ports in more than 70 countries. In particular it focuses on:
securing natural gas and oil supplies:
imports through pipelines from Myanmar and Turkmenistan
planned imports via the nearly completed Russian Power of Siberia10 project
and a proposed Power of Siberia 2 pipeline
from the Middle East, via pipelines through Gwadar, Pakistan to Kashgar, China
securing LNG supplies from as far away as Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Qatar, the United States and Canada, as well as from Russias Yamal project13 along a Polar Silk Road.
securing oil supplies from Oman, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Congo, South Sudan, Brazil, Venezuela, and Canada.

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Wednesday, 12 December


Suitable accommodation for seasonal worker programs "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Accommodation is one of the largest expenses incurred by seasonal workers participating in Australias Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and New Zealands Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE). The cost of accommodation varies depending on the employer and availability in the area. The provision of suitable accommodation is a condition of the pastoral care policy of both programs and is the responsibility of employers, not the workers. Workers must pay for this provided accommodation with deductions taken from their pay regardless of whether they are earning an income or not. There has been public criticism about accommodation for seasonal workers in Australia and New Zealand. Reports have shown that some Pacific workers have been placed in overcrowded and substandard lodgings with inadequate facilities and rates set too high (this was also noted by an SWP agent in March 2018 in personal communication with the author of this article). This blog looks at some of the challenges, as well as changes that have recently occurred in relation to accommodation standards in the RSE, and argues that such changes should also be considered in the SWP. More research is recommended, in addition to better oversight from governments.

RSE and SWP accommodation

Seasonal workers are employed in regions where accommodation is often scarce, especially in peak seasons. Many growers, in particular small-scale operations, consider it burdensome to provide adequate accommodation and pastoral care for their labourers. RSE employer surveys reveal that suitable and reasonably-priced accommodation for workers to live in for periods of up to nine months remains one of the most challenging aspects of pastoral care for some employers.

There have been many unsubstantiated claims that accommodating RSE workers have inflated rental prices in various regions, such as Marlborough in New Zealand, and as RSE worker numbers increase the scarcity of housing is becoming apparent. Growers have responded in various ways; Hotus Ltd, an RSE employer based in Blenheim, recently built customised accommodation for their workers. The...

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Tuesday, 11 December


Accessing justice: police responses to domestic violence "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

This is the final blog presenting the findings of a research project exploring the impact of family and sexual violence (FSV) on families and children. Previous blogs have looked at services to address FSV in Lae, the impact on families, and the impact on school attendance. This post presents our findings on the relationship between the women in our study and the police, including the reasons they did or did not seek police help. This is important in light of the focus over the past decade on the police and criminal justice system in responding to family violence, as reflected in the enactment of the Family Protection Act 2013 and the rollout of specialist Family Sexual Violence Units (FSVU) in many police stations.

Overall, the emerging findings of our study, detailed below, suggest caution with regard to the adoption of policies such as mandatory arrests, or no-drop policies, that remove agency from the survivors and may push them even further from the system that is ostensibly established to support them.

Women navigate between informal and formal support mechanisms

Although there are valid reasons to object to binary distinctions between formal and informal justice systems, given the hybridity that characterises much of PNG, we use the terms formal and informal to reflect how the different mechanisms are conceived by our 71 interviewees. The main informal community mechanism available to women are the blok komitis (see here and here), an ubiquitous feature of local governance in PNGs urban settlement communities. Blok komitis can be problematic for women seeking to address FSV and IPV for a number of reasons. For instance, they charge table fees which many women cannot afford, and the outcomes often involve compensation payments, the terms and prices of which are set at the discretion of the komiti. They are also often based on local ethnic or social groupings, so members of the komiti may be kin to the perpetrator. Moreover,...



Im compelled to write about the most recent turn of events that unfolded before us in the light of Mr ONeills desperate moves to cling onto power. A case in point is the unpopular and unconstitutional tactics applied to withholding the K2 million DSIP cheques for all opposition MPs for the last 4 weeks.

That is 2 Provinces and 21 districts suffering as a result of such evil agendas being pursued relentlessly by people who are not yet done with corruption. If average population for each of the 21 districts is 40,000 and 200,000 in average for the two provinces than you are looking at more than a million people in this country are suffering for this gross neglect. Realistically there could be close to a quarter of the entire population in PNG suffering as we speak. As if the people havent suffered long enough due to their deliberate failures to fairly appropriate care and now has the audacity to hide and keep the DSIP cheques for 4 weeks in a row now. These money do not belong to the opposition MPs but they belong to the people they represent and its them who are suffering

Reliable informations from the corridors of Waigani prove that the cheques trail leads all the way to the Chief Secretary Issack Luparis office. Rumor has it that the Chief Secretary has been nicknamed the Super Minister where all MPs (accept the opposition MPs) pay reverence or be submissive to his office to have access to their rightful funds.

That calls into question why the Chief of all Public servants abruptly becomes the Chief of all elected MPs or Chief Minister and demean the people of which the submissive MPs represent.

But that is the Engan way where if even one with a smaller status is given a slightest hint of power can even use it to play giants into submission. Look at likes of Chan, Wingti, Ipatas, Nali, Duma etc... to name a few.

For years Ive always thought that the people of Wabag Open were so dumb to not elect such a national elite as Mr Lupari to represent them in the parliament. Someone whose resume does not stop to impress the eyes of the beholder. The very reason why theyve been prompted to elevate him to the highest of the civil servants position in this land.

But with the blind selfish ego of the man and his series of deliberate evil neglectful decisions uttered from his office, put to rest my question of old why Mr Lupari is not their num...

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Monday, 10 December


Anticipating the 2019 Solomon Islands elections "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Solomon Islands is expected to hold national elections in March 2019, the first since the departure of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in June 2017. This blog highlights a number of issues to look out for as the country steps up electoral preparations.

Electoral politics

Becoming a member of parliament (MP) in Solomon Islands brings with it access to substantial financial resources, and national elections herald a time of intense politicking as aspiring MPs jockey for office and the accompanying benefits. While there appears little risk of generalised election-related violence, there is always potential for localised conflict. In the past, disgruntled candidates have damaged polling stations and supporters have engaged in brawls. Following the 2014 election, a boat used by politicians from a particular political faction was damaged by gunshots just before a parliamentary vote to form government. The May 2018 Gizo-Kolambangara by-election was notable for its intensive campaigning.

Historically, elections in Solomon Islands have seen high turnover rates with around 50 per cent of incumbent MPs losing their seat. This has bolstered a perception that politics in Solomon Islands is inherently unstable and meant that observers have looked to elections for signs of political stabilisation. The 2014 national election was an electoral outlier for its significantly lower incumbent turnover rates, with 74 per cent of sitting MPs returned. It is unclear why this occurred, but it may have something to do with the large constituency development funds provided to incumbent MPs during the previous parliament. For the coming election, sitting MPs will have had access to about US $1 million a year. To put this in perspective, the median electorate in 2014 had just 5,391 registered voters. Many MPs have used these weakly-regulated funds to try to consolidate their power. It will be interesting to see if this provides an incumbent advantage, with lower parliamentary turnover becoming the new normal.

The 2014 elections saw only one woman elected  Freda Tuki. She was joined by Lanelle Tanangada following the Gizo-Kolombangara by-election. Tuki eventually lost an electoral petition in October 2018, which led to her losing her seat. But with both women in parliament (t...

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Sunday, 09 December


FSV, childrens school attendance and strategies used by schools to help "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Previously, we introduced our research project in Lae and provided some emerging results on the links between family and sexual violence (FSV) and financial hardship among the women we interviewed. This blog shares some emerging findings on the impact of FSV on school attendance, and the strategies used by schools to assist students experiencing periods of violence. It is based on interviews with 71 women, as well as senior staff in a number of Lae schools.

FSV and school attendance

65 of the 71 women we interviewed had experienced FSV. 29 (45 per cent) spoke about how their experiences with FSV negatively impacted their childrens school attendance. Of the 29, 18 said their children had dropped out of school as a result, and nine that their children were only attending from time to time. Another four said that their children were attending, but were negatively affected.

Figure 1: Reasons for the negative impact of FSV on childrens school attendance (N = 31 observed responses from 29 women)

As Figure 1 shows, financial hardship was the main reason for children dropping out of school. Many women were unable to meet the various costs involved in sending their children to school despite the governments tuition fee free education policies. The costs of sending children to school include school project fees that many schools in PNG charge over and above the government provided school subsidies to sustain their school activities. Other costs include basics such as stationery, uniforms, bus fare and lunch. Some children ventured into income-earning avenues such as collecting plastic bottles to sell water to generate income to pay for bus fares or even school fees. Other children dropped out of school for years until their parents saved enough money to send them back. Loss of interest, shame, fear, abuse, trauma and seeking refuge in other homes after episodes of FSV were also reasons for children not attending school....

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Thursday, 06 December


Leprosy was thought to be eliminated in Papua New Guinea but its back "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

At the start of the 21st century, Papua New Guinea declared that leprosy was eliminated.

Eliminated but not eradicated. With the rate dropping below the World Health Organizations elimination threshold  one in ten thousand the nations government redirected scarce health money elsewhere. But leprosy never went away. Eighteen years later, leprosy is back with a vengeance in Australias nearest neighbour. The dreaded bacterial disease can take years or decades to incubate, with steadily worsening disability from nerve damage, such as a hand frozen into an unusable claw. But the historic scourge is now readily treatable with antibiotics, with excellent outcomes if treated early.

Retired GP Dr Colin Martin, the chair of Leprosy Mission Australia, told newsGP that Leprosy never went away in PNG. Its a complicated place, with all these valleys with poor access The government is prioritising HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Leprosy doesnt seem as exciting. But from an individual perspective, its a catastrophic disease due to the stigma, social dislocation and disability it causes.

Now, leprosy is spreading again, with clusters in poor settlements on the outskirts of the capital, Port Moresby, and in remote villages. The disease is much more common amongst women and children, and is spread through cohabitation.

Logistics is shaping up as a major problem. There are caches of antibiotics stored in major cities, but getting them to remote river valleys or up into the misty highlands can be hugely challenging.

A person might walk a full day to a clinic to find that their medications for the next month arent there, Dr Martin said.

In PNG, the Leprosy Mission helps get people diagnosed and treated and gives vocational training to people with the disease. For people whose disease is caught late, the organisation gives supportive devices, arranges reconstructive surgeries and even supplies sunglasses for sufferers who have lost the ability to close their eyes.

Rosa Koian is a project manager with the Leprosy Mission Papua New Guinea. She said their Port Moresby operation had seen around 400 new cases in recent years. A lot are undetected, she told newsGP, Weve identified children who dont want to go to school because their teachers thought they might pass the disease on to the next child. Weve got four of those back in school Papua New Guineans live in crowded conditions. People with leprosy live in with their families and thats how the bacteria spreads. We have some families where the whole family has it.

When Rosa or one of the organisations 52 fieldworkers suspects som...


Fortnightly links: Development Bulletin No. 80, language barriers in crises, Islamophobia and support for ISIS, and more "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The latest Development Bulletin has been published, and its a bumper issue filled with articles on development in the Pacific, past, present and future.

This article in The Economist discusses ways in which language problems are a challenge to crisis responses.

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board has recommended an Australian Global Medical Research Fund as part of its priorities for the next two years.

Is there a relationship between Islamophobia and support for ISIS? Smart new research from Tamar Mitts drawing on data from Twitter suggests there is. (Journal article here; open access here.)

Pakistan has one of the worlds highest rates of abortion, this NPR article explains.

As the Syrian crisis continues, Rukban has become, to its residents, a symbol of the international communitys inability (or unwillingness) to help, writes Rozina Ali for The New Yorker.

The post Fortnightly links: Development Bulletin No. 80, language barriers in crises, Islamophobia and support for ISIS, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


From arrows to M16s: PNG tribal fights get ever deadlier "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Tribes in Papua New Guinea's rough and rugged highlands have fought each other for centuries, but a recent influx of automatic weapons risks turning minor beefs into all-out war.

Israel Laki misses the old days -- just a few years ago -- when clansmen would settle fights in what he deems the proper way: with bows, arrows, axes and spears.

It was honourable, he insists, even if an arrow once thumped within millimetres of his heart as he tried to axe a rival tribal fighter to death.

The wiry 69-year-old still carries the scars and spirit of the old ways from this picturesque part of central Papua New Guinea, which westerners only reached in the 1930s.

Even today, the modern state is little more than an abstract concept in the isolated region, where few respect the government.

Old rivalries persist, as do fights over rape, theft and tribal boundaries.

But tradition is increasingly melding with modernity, to devastating effect.

Locals now speak darkly of an influx of American M16s, AR-15s and Belgian FNs -- all brutally effective rifles designed for the military -- and of roving mercenaries and arms dealers willing to work for cash, pigs or women.

- Tribal arms race -

Papua New Guinea's population has more than doubled since 1980, placing increasing strain on land and resources and deepening tribal rivalries.

Elsewhere in the country however, tribal fights have become rare or ritualistic, thanks, in part, to urbanisation and the fear of firearms igniting an ever-escalating conflict.

But in Enga province, regional police commander Joseph Tondop has already seen dozens die during the three months that he has been on the job.

"I was surprised to see people armed with very high-powered weapons and they are just killing each other by the side of the road," he told AFP.

The surge in violence has prompted a company of around 100 government soldiers under the command of a Sandhurst-trained major to establish a makeshift garrison at a hotel in the main town of Wabag.

"They decide to take the law into their own hands and apply justice amongst themselves. Jungle justice," said Tondop.

Under this system "one person's problem becomes everyone's problem".


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Wednesday, 05 December


Family and sexual violence and its impact on families in Lae "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

In April 2018, as part of a research project into family and sexual violence (FSV), we interviewed women from a range of communities in Lae, PNGs second largest city. In this blog, we share some insights from the stories we heard relating to the financial pressures women face because of violence, and the impact of that violence on families and the next generation(s). Financial hardship is widespread, and impacts both on womens ability to access justice services, and also upon their ability to leave violent relationships and still support themselves and educate their children.

Violence and financial hardship

49 of the 71 women who came to see us (55 from informal settlements, 15 from formal residential areas, and one from a rural area) were the victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) (Figure 1). For 20 of these 49 women, their experience of IPV also involved other people, such as the husbands other partner. In 16 cases, the perpetrator was not an intimate partner but another family member, such as a son. Most women (36 out of 49) experiencing IPV remained in the abusive relationship (the orange bar), and indeed many expressed a determination to continue in the relationship.

Figure 1: Participants experiencing or who have experienced FSV (N=71)

With or without violence, most of the women we interviewed live precarious lives. They had low educational backgrounds, earned low incomes, and worked in the informal sector. 42 per cent earned less than K100 a fortnight. 60 per cent worked on a tebol maket (table market) or haus maket (house market), the common references to small market stalls, selling goods outdoors near their homes.

Of the 49 women who suffered violence at the hands of their intimate partner, including IPV that involved other people, 71 per cent related experiences about how violence led to financial hardship (Figure 2). Financial hardship was common for women still involved in abusive relationships, and even more so for those who were separated.

Figure 2: Experience of IPV involving financial hardship (N=49)


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Tuesday, 04 December




Papua New Guinean development aspirations are all jumbled up and not in order. The National Government should invest its resources including Money where it will improve the lives of its people.

From my observation and experience, there is more grandstanding on the political level building statuesque and echo more than planning on bringing tangible development to communities and towns by elected representatives from both sides of the house.

The following important key development areas should be prioritized.

1. Improving Road and Bridges :
Opening up and connecting the rural PNG communities through improved Road and Bridges will give an opportunity for our people to work on their land by converting ideal land to economic value by planting cash crops and livestock on a commercial scale. The Department of Works should be reviewed and upgraded to function independently. The Department should operate as independently as possible

2. Improving and empowering Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
Department of Agriculture and Livestock must be empowered through training and improving the industry. All AGRICULTURE colleges should be funded and improved to impart new knowledge with students joining the workforce. Through constant support, this industry will one day be the highest income earner contributing to the National Government Budget.

3. Improving Human Resources through quality education.
The country's most important asset is its human resources. The government should focus on training its human resources including citizens who are considered as system dropouts. Everyone passing through the Education system should be able to get engaged in various capacities so their service should be rendered. Any positive change in society is achievable only through an Educated population.

4. Improving Health system in the country.
The government must improve our country's Health system giving as the country needs a healthy population to pursue its development aspirations.

5. The Provincial Government system should be abolished and be replaced with Local authorities to drive the National Government development agendas. Employees at the provincial government should be absorbed into the public service domain so their performance criteria are measured through ther...


Unequal Thailand: trends and consequences "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Thailand has experienced rapid growth and a structural transformation since the 1950s. However, Thailand has also experienced growth without equity. Although it has fallen in recent years, Thailands Gini index has been above 0.40 for the last 30 years. This is high by Asian standards, and makes Thailand look like China rather than Taiwan and South Korea.

Figure 1 Gini coefficient for Thailand and other Asian countries

Looking at income share by quintile, we can see that the richest 20 per cent own about 50 per cent of Thailands national income. This share has slightly fallen over the last 30 years. However, in 2013, the poorest 20 per cent still received only seven per cent of the countrys prosperity.

Figure 2 Income shares by quintile for Thailand

According to Albert Hirschman, the losers from economic development can tolerate income inequality at the beginning because they hope and expect that the windfall will be shared soon. However, if eventually the gap between the rich and the poor does not fall over time, the losers become intolerant. They think that this kind of economic growth is unfair. The result is social movements and political unrest. A well-known example is the Occupy movement protests by young people against economic inequality that began in New York in 2011 and spread to other countries such as Brazil, Spain, and India.

Why hasnt high inequality led to protests in Thailand? It is hard to believe that the modest reduction in inequality in the reason.

There are other, more compelling reasons for why inequality is not a press...

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Monday, 03 December




The prime minister Peter O'Neill has not resigned as yet with his deputy prime minister and minister for Treasury Charles Abel after passing a string of fake budgets over the years including the 2019 appropriation bill which was distraught with fraud as it did not capture the existing foreign debts , especially from the Republic of China and the component of debt servicing which would be as high as 50 percent leaving very little to maintain concurrent services.

The moral and ethical benchmark for proper conduct has declined since independence forcing inductees over the years to become prototypes of their predecessors who themselves were swimming in corrupt behavior.

To begin with the grand statesman Sir Michael Thomas Somare was found guilty of misconduct in office by a leadership tribunal Court for failing to report his financial statements as a public office holder and yet he clung onto public office as if it was his God given inheritance , not to mention the community college scheme which drained valuable state money , of which a bribe was paid to him and one of his siblings with an outstanding Singaporean Court order for his arrest.

Chan and Wingti are even worse for their involvement in the Cayman Island Saga where K3 billion kina had fallen straight into the Bermuda Triangle leaving no trace of the money ably assisted by Mekere who put the leader over the investigation in his term as prime minister.

Mekere has probably done more injustice to the people of Western Province and the nation when he colluded with BHP Billiton in passing the OK Tedi supplementary mining agreements which provided indemnity for BHP to destroy the environment alone the Fly River waterways which is the livelihood of 100,000 people.

Not only that he approved of the PNGSDP which siphoned billions offshore still controlled by BHP as the people of Western Province still suffer from the lack of essential services.

The leader of the opposition is in an unenviable situation where he is struggling to fend off charges of misappropriation.

In between the big players you have bishops who have been introduced as fully pledged members of the Waigani Club who are conditioned to operate and perform robotically as long as PNG remained as a vibrant democracy there was enough to go around.

The prime minister had been involved in so many fraudulent deals including the "...


The gender diplomacy trap and the security race "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Manus Island in Papua New Guinea has again been cast into the international spotlight as the geopolitical contest for power intensifies. During the 2018 APEC meeting, Chinas growing interest showed at the highest level with the Presidents visit  the redwashing of Port Moresby with Chinese flags and symbols, and the opening of several major construction projects. Australia responded by launching its own investments and, with the US, announcing a trilateral arrangement to re-establish the Manus Island naval base.

Putting aside tensions between China and the US, two issues gender and security are important to the relationship between PNG and Australia. For many PNG women and the daunting challenges they face, the bilateral program is a beacon of hope, and programs funded under the partnership have led to great progress. Support from Australia is critical because the PNG Government provides limited budget allocations towards issues like gender-based and sorcery accusation-related violence.

On the other hand, security, a male-dominated domain, binds PNG and Australia together. Bruce Hunts 2017 book Australias northern shield notes that, although Australia has historically viewed PNG as a shield against external threats to Australia, recent defence cooperation has moved towards mutual security interests. See this recent blog for a review of these contemporary strategic considerations and the associated risks.

In using the term gender diplomacy I situate gender within the Australian Foreign Policy White Paper alongside other terms such as economic diplomacy (p. 64), commercial diplomacy (p. 76); digital diplomacy (p. 111); science diplomacy (p. 113-114); sports diplomacy (p. 114); police-led diplomacy (p. 115) and cultural diplomacy. Even though gender is not couched explicitly in terms of diplomacy, it is listed in the Foreign Policy White Paper as one of the values that are foundational for Australias international engagement, and a source of influence internationally (p. 2-3). The phrase gender diplomacy trap situates gender within the frame....

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Sunday, 02 December




It is so sad the PNGDF Air Element has been hijacked by certain PNGDF pilots and Engineers for sinister reasons. It is amazing to note that the same thieves within PNGDF have been abusing the aircraft by way of engaging into commercial operations at the expense of Tax Payers to make millions in clear profit.

On 13 July 2016, whilst doing one of such commercial flights from Telefomin to Vanimo, the aircraft developed reduced oil pressure on its right hand engine Propeller Reduction Gearbox (PGB). The crew procedurally shut down the affected engine on reaching 18000 ft cruise altitude. Indications of imminent failure were detected whilst passing 15000ft on climb...thank God didn't happen on take off roll or immediately after take off.

After shutting down the engine, it was realised that the Propellers of the affected engine didn't feather. This resulted in creation of aerodynamic drag and reduction in performance. To maintain altitude, the crew was forced to fly at the brink of stall with stick shaker continuously activating. This was necessary in order to minimize rate of height loss to sustain flight until Vanimo. The captain instructed his copilot not to transmit any distress call to Flight Service which was something only a mad man can suggest.

The aircraft made it to Vanimo and landing was effected. Note that under the circumstances, a missed approach would not have been possible .
Following the landing, the pilots for some unthinkable reasons decided to give a ground run on the affected and in doing so, completely ruined the Propeller Reduction Gearbox. This necessitated a complete replacement which now would cost some K2 million for plain stupidity, ignorance, unprofessionalism and negligence.
Took sometime to do an engine change and the aircraft was ferried to Port Moresby.
I was formally asked by the former Chief of Staff PNGDF to carry out an investigation on this serious inflight incident which we duly conducted and released our report on 30 November 2016. It appeared that immediately following the incident, for some bizarre reason, the crew and the air element did not instigate formal investigation. We understand some tens of thousands of Kina had been paid by certain Telefomin businessman come politician but his task was not fully accomplished when the aircraft suffered the defect and that those funds had since been spent...

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Saturday, 01 December


Strong review of the documentary, Disaster Capitalism "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

My film Disaster Capitalism, with director Thor Neureiter and co-producers Media Stockade, has screened around the world this year (with more to come including an invitation to a major human rights film festival in the US in early 2019). 

After one of the recent screenings in Sydney, this review by Jim Mcllroy appeared in Green Left Weekly:

Disaster Capitalism is a groundbreaking documentary film about Bougainville, Haiti and Afghanistan, revealing the dark underbelly of the global aid and investment industry. The film offers important insights into a secret multi-billion dollar world by investigating how aid money is actually spent or misspent.

Prominent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein joins award-winning filmmaker Thor Neureiter on a four-year journey through the world of shady mining companies, corrupt and failing governments and resilient local communities.

Narrated by Loewenstein, the film takes us to war-torn Afghanistan to interview leading community figures struggling to defend local village residents against the depredations of overseas mining companies. He reveals the startling fact that the US has spent more on so-called development aid in Afghanistan over the past 15 years than it did on the entire post-World War II Marshall Plan to reconstruct a devastated Europe.

Despite this huge sum, Afghanistan remains a failed, corrupt state, riven by an endless war with the reactionary Taliban. The great majority of its people live in dire poverty and insecurity.

Speaking at a showing of the film at the Edmund Rice Centre on November 14, refugee rights activist Phil Glendenning noted the Afghan government still spends half of its national budget on defence and security. Yet the ongoing violence still leaves people desperate for peace.

In Haiti, the film shows the terrible aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and the failure of UN and other foreign aid to significantly improve the conditions for the poor majority. Thousands died because of dysentery introduced to the country by UN personnel.

Instead of using aid to re-develop destroyed public infrastructure, the US and other rich countries focused on setting up free-trade zones to further exploit local workers with encouragement from corrupt Haitian politicians.

Loewenstein also visits Bougainville, currently a province of Papua New Guinea, which was ravaged by a long civil war in which a reported 20,000 people were killed. The war was launched by the PNG gove...

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Friday, 30 November


2018 Fiji elections: the real losses and wins "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The 2018 Fiji elections were finally concluded with the official results announced on November 18. FijiFirst will form Government with 27 seats in the 51-seat parliament, and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) will form the Opposition, with 21 and three seats respectively.

Much of the reporting by state-inclined media organisations has been emphatic about FijiFirsts victory and the Oppositions loss. However, a comparison of the 2014 and 2018 election results reveals a more complex picture of the losses and gains made by the three main parties.


FijiFirsts leader, Mr Bainimarama has once again been hailed as the party strong man, gathering 167,732 votes out of the total 227,241 FijiFirst party votes (or 74% of his partys total). In 2014, Mr Bainimarama attained 202,459 votes and his party 293,714 votes (he thus received 69% of his partys total). In summary, Mr Bainimarama has solidified his position as the party strong man. However, both he and FijiFirst have lost votes: 34,727 votes in his case, and 66,473 votes in the case of the party. FijiFirst received 59.2% of all votes cast in 2014 but only 50.0% in 2018.


SODELPA made the biggest gains. In 2018 the party received 181,072 votes, an increase of 41,215 votes relative to 2014. SODELPA has been able to increase its number of seats to 21, up from 15 in 2014.


The National Federation Party has increased its total votes by 64,49, receiving 33,515 votes. This results sees the NFP maintain its three-seat position in Opposition.

The three main divisions

The table below shows the votes for the three main parties by the three main divisions (the Eastern Division will be discussed later). FijiFirst and SODELPA received a similar number of votes in the Central and Northern Divisions. FijiFirst won the election in the Western Division, gaining over 60% of Western votes, compared to a little over 20% for SODELPA. Much of FijiFirsts Western support came from within the Nadi and Lautoka area.

The Eastern anomaly

The 2017 Fiji National Census indicates that there are a total of 34,648 people in the Eastern Division. The Eastern Division includes the Lomaiviti group of islands, Lau Islands, Kadavu and Rotuma. The Fiji Elections Office itself...

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Thursday, 29 November


Downers unfortunate Pacific legacy "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

In his recent opinion piece on the Australian Financial Review, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer commends the opportunities now available to Pacific islanders to work in Australia. But, when he was Minister, Downer publicly opposed the introduction of a Pacific farm labour program. Instead, the Liberals gave rich-country backpackers generous visa incentives to work on farms, meaning that today, even though there is now a Pacific seasonal farm labour program, most of Australias fruit is picked by the young people of distant rich countries, rather than the young people of our poor neighbours.

Downer viewed the Pacific too much through an aid lens. In his Financial Review article, he defends successive Australian governments against the accusation that they havent taken the Pacific seriously enough by referring to our large Pacific aid programs. But that has been precisely the problem. We have been too slow to promote integration with the Pacific through non-aid instruments.

Yes, AusAID was committed to the Pacific, but it carried little clout with the rest of government. From that perspective, the absorption of AusAID into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has been a huge positive, because DFAT has taken up the cause of the Pacific. Having both more clout with the rest of government, and being more sceptical of the value of aid, DFAT has been more successful at introducing non-aid instruments for the Pacific. And of course now it can play the China card, which gets everyones attention. This, combined with strong ministerial championing, explains the recent progress on Pacific labour mobility, and, just in the last few weeks, visa simplification.

And what of our aid to the Pacific? Has it really been as well-designed as Downer claims? The former Foreign Minister might have changed his tune on labour mobility (and on the Solomon Islands intervention he earlier publicly opposed and now defends), but he is nothing but consistent in his views on development and aid.

The two-part argument in his article that good governance is the key to economic development and therefore that aid should focus on training constitutes what could be called the Downerist approach to aid. The first argument is as orthodox as it is correct. But the second is as naive as it is wrong.

Tolerance for corruption

If training and advising (together, technical assistance) could fix problems of governance, the Pacific would be the best governed region in the world...

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Wednesday, 28 November


Remittances and migration: the case of Nepal "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

In the last two decades, remittances have grown to almost three times the size of official aid. As of 2017, Nepal has the fifth highest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world (28.3%) just behind Haiti (29.2%), Tajikistan (31.5%), Kyrgyz Republic (32.8%) and Tonga (34.2%). Money sent home now represents approximately one-third of GDP, almost tripling as a percentage of GDP from 12.2% in 2003.

This is a human as well as an economic story: one in every four households in Nepal has one member working abroad at any given time. Between 2008 and 2017, some 3.5 million work permits were issued.

Top destinations for Nepali migrant workers measured by issued work permits include Malaysia (33.3%), Qatar (19%) and Saudi Arabia (18.9%). India is actually the most popular destination, but work permits are not required.

In Nepal, 81% of workers engage in vulnerable employment (defined as self-employed and contributing family workers) with little or no access to social security) and 30% are underemployed. In 2012, per capita gross national income was US $540. It is no wonder that labour migration has become the favoured income alternative. A critique of labour migration is that it creates a brain drain; however, in Nepal this isnt true.  The majority of labour migrants from Nepal are unskilled (70%) or low-skilled (27%), with 40% unemployed prior to departure and 30% from agriculture.

The desire to obtain a better education and create a better life for their children is one of the main motivations for families to engage in labour migration. In Nepal, remittance spending correlates with a positive effect on education spending, increased years of school...

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Tuesday, 27 November


PM should stand down over his corporate conduct "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

[Press Release by Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta]
Prime Minister Peter ONeill should stand down and submit himself to an independent external inquiry into very serious allegations of personal and corporate impropriety.

The allegations concern his then wholly-owned construction company Wild Cat Developments Ltd and a bridge-building contract with the Asian Development Bank. The bank investigated the contract and found it to be improperly and incompletely implemented by Mr ONeills company.

The bank found proper tender processes had not been followed, rigging of the tender process, misrepresentation, financial management deficiencies, potential integrity violations, serious procurement irregularities, contravention of contract terms, and lack of qualification to tender.
Reports by the Guardian newspaper and the PNGi network state that the 2015-2016 project in West New Britain Province was fraught with problems, requiring the ADB to temporarily stop payments and send in inspectors . Eventually, the contract (was) terminated and re-tendered to a Chinese company.

Those reports can be found at and

The information in these reports is deeply disturbing, said the Member for Moresby North-West, Sir Mekere Morauta. It raises the question yet again - of whether Mr ONeill is a fit and proper person to be Prime Minister.

There can be no doubt that Mr ONeills activities as outlined bring the Office of Prime Minister into disrepute. The evidence of wrong-doing is overwhelming.

Mr ONeill appears to be using the ADB, which has signed off on loans worth US$1.6 billion (about K5.4b) since 2016, to sustain his corruption, waste and mismanagement.

Sir Mekere said he was shocked, but not totally surprised, that the Asian Development Bank had not undertaken due diligence on the West New Br...

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Monday, 26 November


In Papua New Guinea shanty-towns, residents question APEC legacy "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


PORT MORESBY: Barely a five-minute drive from the US$50 million conference venue for the just-concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea's capital, a makeshift squatter settlement is tucked away from visiting world leaders.
The Wanigela settlement in Port Moresby looks out directly over APEC Haus, but might as well be a world away.

With the South Pacific nation's rainy season looming, Wanigela's thousands of residents are packed together in overcrowded and dilapidated dwellings with no sanitation and unreliable electricity supplies.
For all the hope and promise the APEC summit would put PNG on the world stage and attract investment that will translate into jobs and infrastructure many are questioning how such an international event will benefit their everyday lives.

"The government says APEC is going to improve our lives, but I dont know, because our politics is not trustworthy," said Bradley Kalau, 31, who has been unemployed for two years. "We find it very difficult because of a lack of education. Its hard to find jobs and put bread and butter on the table."
Close to half of Moresby's population of around 310,000 live in informal or squatter settlements, according to a 2015 study by the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility.

The impoverished communities suffer from chronic unemployment and are prone to crime and gang violence, laying bare the socio-economic problems that will persist long after the APEC leaders depart.

Kalau lives in a small wooden stilt-house perched on the rocky shores of Ela Beach, around a kilometre from an upmarket resort that hosted numerous APEC delegations.
He lives under one roof with his wife and 30 other relatives spanning four generations, including siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.
"The style we are living right now, it can change," Kalaus younger cousin Junior Kalau said. "Everything. Us getting jobs. We need our own house."

PNG, roughly the size of California, has more than 7.3 million people scattered over its mountainous interior and hundreds of small islands....

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Sunday, 25 November




Up to 80% of sitting Members of O'Neill Government are expected to lose their seat following 2022 General Elections.


Corruption and mismanagement of the Economy.

The last time our economy nose dived was in 1997 and 1998 under Skate PNC Government, a Government Peter O'Neill was a key adviser to.

In just two years under a PNC led Government Kina plunged in value from being one and a half times stronger than Australian dollar in 1994 to less than 37 cents by end 1999.

Interest rates on Government Treasury bills was as high as 24% which would normally be between 6%-9%.

Lack of confidence in Skate Government also saw investors and private sector rush to send funds out of the country, concerned over the Kina fast losing its value. This caused a serious shortage in foreign currency reserves that went from US$500 million in 1996 to as low as $80 million by middle of 1999.

In 1996 the debt levels were around 36% in less than one year under Skate PNC Government, it jumped to 52% and eventually as high as 80% in the years to follow.

The mismanagement of the economy saw the cost of goods or inflation escalate as high as 20%.

To avoid a complete economic melt down Parliament voted out Skate and voted in Sir Mekere Morauta as Prime Minister.

Morauta Government was forced to make hard decisions to turn the economy around, including selling off key State Assets (PNGBC, Orgen etc) and raising taxes.

These decisions heightened public discontent that resulted in the only 23 of 109 Members wining back their seats.

The moral of the story is O'Neill PNC Government has mismanaged the economy and is essentially broke.

So broke that it was forced to secure a US$500 million (K1.5 Billion) loan to repay its existing loans.

Furthermore, the Kina continues to depreciate and according to the IMF it is actually overvalued by 20%.

Following 2017 General Elections only 45% of the sitting Members won back their seats which means 55% lost. It is important to note this was when O'Neill Government was flush with money to burn, where every Member during the last term received their full K10 million DSIP or PSIP each year over 5 years.

However, in 2017 Members o...


ACT NOW! condemns suspension of journalist Scott Waide "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

ACT NOW! has condemned the suspension of award winning journalist Scott Waide who has reportedly been sidelined on the orders of the government for his reporting on current issues affecting the country.

ACT NOW! says the suspension is a huge attack on media freedom and should be condemned by everyone in PNG and the region.

ACT NOW! has reiterated the Media Councils call for the government to immediately reverse the suspension. 

Scott Waide, one of Papua New Guineas best-known and most acclaimed reporters, has been removed from his post as the Lae bureau chief and senior journalist for state-owned media company EMTV.

EMTV says it has been forced into taking action by the government and Prime Minister Peter ONeill.

ACT NOW! says the move is deplorable as Scott Waide has always shown courage and integrity in his reporting. He has also been a tireless advocate for media freedom and a shining light in a country where investigative journalism is under-resourced.

ACT NOW! says the governments move is a reflection of the rising tensions in the country over massive corruption and mismanagement of the economy.

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Friday, 23 November


PM exposes PNG to international ridicule "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


Prime Minister Peter ONeill has exposed Papua New Guinea to international ridicule and criticism over the lavish staging of APEC and the failure of the meeting to make the customary Leaders Declaration for the first time in its history. APEC has revealed to the world the corruption, waste and mismanagement within the ONeill Government, and their devastating effects on the nation and citizens, the Member for Moresby North- West, Sir Mekere Morauta, said today.
It has shone the international spotlight on Mr ONeills crude and cynical attempts to play one nation against another, and his inability to understand the nuances of international relations and the dramatic geopolitical changes occurring in the region. What should have been a moment for PNG to shine on the international stage instead descended into chaos, including embarrassing diplomatic incidents, international media allegations of financial and procedural impropriety and organisational disarray.
Papua New Guineas international standing has been diminished. Sir Mekere said the issue for Papua New Guinea is not a failure of the international APEC organisation, the countries involved, or of PNGs professional diplomats it is an...

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Thursday, 22 November


NDO PACIFIC GEOPOLITICS, Will Peter's Gamble Pay Dividends? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


In 2001, when a Waigani insider (you know those types that hop from one politician to another within the corridors of power) complained that Australia was taking PNG for granted, I found validity in that sentiment. He had a cure too:
The next PM should ignore Australia, flirt with China and wait. Australia will come begging. I was scared.
18 years later I see the fruits of that sentiment. But it could come at a price.
Peter ONeill took power in 2011. Soon global commodity prices plummeted. A protracted corruption allegation followed with an economy headed south. But ONeill had a government to run, election to win and tenure to protect (with gloomy Economic Forecasts). With that backdrop, ONeill went to bed with the Chinese (literally). The rest is history.well about to be!
Beijing, flush with cash and hungry for world dominance spoiled ONeill with all and sundry through its signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). ONeill knew 8 countries (Montenegro, Pakistan, Mongolia, Maldives, Lao, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Djibouti) were sinking in debt and their sovereignty threatened by the shackles of BRI when he committed to the deal. (These are facts. Google it.) Closer to home, Tonga is in hot water under this debt-trap diplomacy.


Fortnightly links: the global gag rule, what looks like famine in Yemen, Ebola outbreak in the Congo, PNGs health crisis, and more "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Paul Krugman explains the economic woes that contributed to the election of a far right president in Brazil.

What is the effect of the global gag rule on abortion rates in developing countries? Professor Yana van der Meulen Rodgers gives an engaging talk on her analysis and findings.

Although Yemen looks like its heading towards a famine, the lack of reliable information means that by the time a famine is declared, most hunger-related deaths may have already occurred.

Sarah Bermeo writes about the importance of nuanced, policy-relevant development research.

Jeremy Youde writes about the Ebola outbreak in the Congo, and Donald Trumps role in undermining attempts to tackle it.

Health standards in PNG Australias closest neighbour  are slipping dramatically, and both countries should be worried, writes Matt Wade for the Sydney Morning Herald. In a similar vein, Jo Chandler writes for the New York Times on the polio outbreak and PNGs health crisis.

The post Fortnightly links: the global gag rule, what looks like famine in Yemen, Ebola outbreak in the Congo, PNGs health crisis, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

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Wednesday, 21 November


Australian aid to PNG "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

It takes 15 minutes in a tinny to cross from Australia to Papua New Guinea. Boigu Island in the Torres Strait is less than six kilometres from PNGwithin a bow shot, a colonial administrator once quipped. More conventionally, its a 90-minute flight from Cairns to Port Moresby.

Yet according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, only around 10,000 Australians are in PNG at any one time, including those working in the government and private sectors and more than 5,000 who walk the Kokoda Track each year.

Its disappointing that more Australians dont take an active interest in their nearest neighbour, especially noting our shared history, PNGs vibrant and diverse culture, and its physical beauty for example, the country is home to the worlds third-largest rainforest.

PNG often gets bad press, with news highlighting violence, corruption and hardship, and there may be a sense that its challenges are too overwhelming to address. While Australia is third on the 2018 UN Development Programme composite Human Development Index, behind only Norway and Switzerland, PNG is at 153 with Rwanda, Afghanistan and Solomon Islands.

Australians can expect to live nearly 20 years longer than Papua New Guineans. Women in PNG are at least 37 times more likely to die giving birth than women in Australia. Less than half of Papua New Guineans have access to safe water and only 13% have electricity. Distressingly, polio, eradicated in much of the world, has reappeared in PNG as a result of the very low immunisation rate.

PNG is growing quickly. The population, 2.5 million at independence and 8.5 million now, is set to double by 2050. A youth bulge means that almost 60% of the population is under 25. Access to health, education and other services isnt keeping pace with growth.

Im very aware of these challenges because my job is to help PNGs largest company, Oil Search, help the country address them. As Executive Director of the Oil Search Foundation, I lead a team implementing over $35 million worth of programs targeting health, education and womens empowerment each year. Our programs promote shared value by bringing together whats good for business while addressing community needs.

From 2000 to 2011, I worked for the Australian Government, including heading the PNG-Australia Development Cooperation Program, with an annual budget of over $500 million. Ive grappled with two main questions how to get Australians interested in PNG and how to deliver positive development.

Theres always been recognition at the political level of PNGs importance. Prime Minister Billy Hughes told the 1920 Paris Peace Conference, Strategically the northern islands encompass Australia like fortresses. They are as necessary to Australia as water to a city. During World War II, Aust...

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Tuesday, 20 November




While Post Courier published the front page headline "Yes We Did It'! the rest of the international media reported No we didn't!
For the first time in APEC Summit history, leaders of 21 Nations were unable to agree on a formal written declaration.

The purpose of APEC is to enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community.

The Guardian reported ONeill denied the failure to agree on a declaration was a humiliation for his poverty-hit country, which was hosting the annual gathering of the 21 nations for the first time.

So how did it go so wrong?

Look no further than the Chairman of APEC Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, while in PNG politics where he divides others in the pursuit of his own personal interest this time round it back fired on him.

Never in the history of APEC has the host country made the blunder of staging a State visit at the same time. In this case O'Neill knowing the divide between China and US the two largest APEC Members, he foolishly made the decision to use the opportunity to afford China special treatment.

Any idiot in Politics will tell you that you don't host 21 World Leaders and make it a one member show.

PNG will now go down as a stain in APEC history, the whole event will only be remembered for the Maserati scandal and a summit dominated by a war of words between the US and China.

If there was one positive statement to take from the whole event it was US Vice President's announcement that the US has committed K1.2 Billion to tackle corruption in our region. One can only assume the US are putting O'Neill on notice your days of stealing money from your people are over.

I've always said PNG's biggest development issue isn't major infrastructure or trade but corruption, there is no point making wealth if someone else only ends up stealing it.

This is certainly one spectacular failure on O'Neill's unsavoury political career- adding to the already long list of failures - failed health and education policy, failing economy failed election and now a failure as Chairman of APEC.

picture below of the three usual APEC suspects

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Monday, 19 November




Everyone knows the history and international politics, I will just give a brief ... Power in international relations is defined in several different ways.. Those states that have significant amounts of power within the international system are referred to as Superpowers, big powers, middle powers, and small powers respectively. The power is measured by military and economic power. Countries like the US, Russia, China are a superpower...Example of Big power countries are Great Britain, France and for middle power in Australia and few others...So PNG fits into small power group...That means PNG can be easily influenced by Super Power countries in terms of money via aid and military by conducting an exchange training programme or other means.

Going back to political history..The Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962 confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning American ballistic missile deployment in Italy and Turkey with consequent Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation is often considered the closest Cold War, mind battling came escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. The Cold War was well defined as the geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle between two world superpowers, the USA and the USSR...Now, an ideology of democracy is the USA and USSR is communist, both influence the world... China, North Korea and others were influenced by Russia. PNG, South Korea, Australia and others were influenced by the USA.

Like I said, we all know the history, nothing new.. Brief history, basically to ask this question, Why is PNG entertaining China??? We don't have any political history... In Economic, Yes, China has its motive to gain wealth, build its empire, grow its economy through assisting our government, give and take aid.. China's government Aid gives the pathway to all the Chinese business people to come and do business in PNG. China advocates or practises socialism to those communist countries...Such practises, businesses are all owned by the Chinese government...So, all the Chinese busines...


IRC to clampdown on Mano-style tax evasion "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The Internal Revenue Commission is cracking down on tax evasion by senior executives who divert their salary payments through associated or related companies in order to avoid paying taxes.
According to the IRC, such arrangements are prevalent in many industries operating in the country.
IRC Public Notice published on 31 October 2018
PNGi first alerted its readers to the existence of such scams in June 2017, when we exposed how the Managing Director of the Mineral Resource Development Corporation (MRDC), Augustine Mano, was using a company he owns to evade tax on his salary and benefits.
The MRDC is a State owned entity that manages landowner equity interests in mining and petroleum projects on behalf of landowner companies. Augustine Mano has been the Managing Director since March 2008.
In his report for 2009, the Auditor General revealed Augustine Mano was avoiding paying any income tax on 80% of his K750,000 a year salary package.
According to the Auditor General, rather than being directly employed by MRDC, a Professional Services Agreement had been signed between MRDC and Augustine Mano as the Incumbent Professional of SMA Investment Limited.
Under the agreement, MRDC was only paying Mano K150,000 as his direct salary while K600,000 was being paid to SMA Investment Limited. SMA is a company set up and owned by Mano.
Augustine Manos tax evasion scheme diverts most of his salary via his company, SMA Inves......

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Thursday, 15 November


Australias Trump Lite is overseas seeing what other trade opportunities he can wreck "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The Australian, 13 November 2018, p.2:

Scott Morrison has mounted the strongest defence of any allied leader so far of Donald Trumps trade policies, denying that Washington has turned protectionist because of its imposition of tariffs on China.

The US wants to see greater trade and more open trade and they want to see it on better terms, the Prime Minister told The Australian in an interview in his Sydney office. It is yet to be established that the US is pursuing a protectionist policy. 

Mr Morrison said he did not agree with the protectionist interpretation of the administrations trade policy.

Mr Morrison leaves today on a trip to Singapore and Papua New Guinea for APEC and ASEAN-related summits, during which he will meet US Vice-President Mike Pence, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a range of regional leaders.


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Wednesday, 14 November


The China shift in Pacific trade "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

World leaders are gathering in Port Moresby this week for the APEC Leaders meeting. On the sidelines, Xi Jinping will be meeting with leaders of Pacific island countries that recognise the one China policy. The meeting will be watched closely in Australia. Xi Jinping is widely expected to make announcements relating to enhanced cooperation with the region, and Chinese lending is sure to be a focus of resulting commentary in Australia. However, it is the changing nature of trade ties with the region that present a more significant challenge to Australian policymakers (even if the two are somewhat related).

As the Australian government seeks to step up its engagement with Pacific island countries, Australian-Pacific trade is stagnating. At the same time, trade between China and Pacific island countries (PICs) has grown rapidly, assisted by Chinas growing economic clout.

The increasing importance of trading ties with China is evident from even a cursory examination of international trade statistics collected by UN Comtrade (see Figure 1). The trajectory of Pacific imports from China is especially striking (note we are excluding PNG here, as it is discussed separately below).

Since 2000, there has been a twelve-fold increase in the value of Chinese exports to the region. Over the same period, imports from Australia have remained stagnant, with their value in 2017 lower than that in 2004. These trends would suggest that Pacific consumers are substituting Chinese goods for Australian goods probably due to lower prices. More detailed analysis is needed.

The story is similar for Pacific exports, though the numbers involved are much smaller. Pacific exports to China have risen dramatically from a low base of $46m in 2005 to almost $400m in 2017 (all figures are in USD). There has been no such pattern for exports to Australia, which have moved up and down over the period. Exports to Australia were lower in 2017 ($160m) than in 2005 ($210m), though they were higher in 2012 ($340m).

The combined result is that both Pacific exports to China, and imports from China, have overtaken those to/from Australia in the last five years. This remains the case whether we examine trade statistics in US Dollars (as above) or account for currency fluctuations by examining trade flows in Australian Dollars and Chinese Renminbi.

Figure 1: PIC exports and imports to Australia and China 2000-2017, excluding PNG (US$m)


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Tuesday, 13 November


Civil society petitions China to stop illegal logging in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

As Papua New Guinea prepares to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping, civil society, landowners and academics have written to the Chinese leader urging his help to reduce illegal logging in PNG.

China is the major importer of tropical logs from PNG most of which are sourced from illegal sources including from SABL lease areas.

Civil society says China is risking its global reputation by fuelling illegal logging in Papua New Guinea which, because of the demand from China, is now the worlds largest exporter of tropical logs.


Dear President Xi:

We are researchers, members of civil society, and local landowners concerned by illegality and corruption in the forestry sector in Papua New Guinea (PNG). As you prepare to visit PNG for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, in recognition of the important economic relationships between China and PNG, we are writing to ask for your leadership to reduce illegal logging in PNG and defend Chinas global reputation. 

Your countrys influence in PNG is strong and growing. PNG is one of the newest members of the Belt and Road Initiative, and major related investments in infrastructure, transportation, and agriculture have recently been announced throughout the country. Perhaps nowhere is this relationship more apparent than in the forestry sector. As you will be aware, almost all of the timber PNG produces is bought by China. In 2017, over 87% of our log exports2.8 million cubic meters of timberwere sold to Chinese companies. Together with the Solomon Islands, PNG produces half of all the tropical logs China imports, making this trade an important one for both our countries.

We welcome your vision of an ecological civilization: requiring industries to become cleaner and more efficient, dramatically reducing air pollution, and banning logging in natural forests across mainland China. At the global level China is emerging as a leader in efforts to combat climate change, which must include keeping forests standing. But China has yet to place the same level of attention on its ecological footprint overseas as it is domestically and ensure that materials it sources from abroad, including timber, are legal and sustainable. 

This omission is especially urgent in the cas...

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Monday, 12 November


Leaders Head for a Pacific IslandDont Expect Them to Hang Around.' "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


Papua New Guinea is plagued by gangs, carjackings and kidnappings. Embassies warn their citizens not to leave hotels after dark, certainly not without armed guards. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated its capital, Port Moresby, the fifth-worst city in the world to live in, beating out Lagos, Karachi and Damascus.
Sounds like a perfect place to host an international conference of global leaders and business titans.

This Thursday, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum is scheduled to kick off in the capitalnot that many of the participants plan to stay there. Thousands will stay on cruise ships moored nearby because there arent enough hotels. Vice President Mike Pence plans to lodge in Cairns, which is in northern Australia, more than an hours flight away.
Australia, for its part, is so concerned about security that it is taking the unusual step of deploying navy, air force and army troops to the conference, hosted by a warship. The U.S. Coast Guard also will provide security.
Just finding something to do on your days off that doesnt revolve around having a bunch of security folks with you is a challenge, says Kenneth Clinton, a Floridian who builds camps for workers in the liquefied-natural-gas industry.
Mr. Clinton has been carjacked twice in his eight years there. On both occasions, he drove away unharmed after he rolled down his window and the masked assailants recognized him. Hey, Ken. Sorry, go ahead, he recalls hearing.
Not to worry, authorities say.

Papua New Guineas police commissioner urged residents to not be alarmed by aircraft flying overhead day and night, including Australian air force F/A-18F Super Hornet jets.
Prime Minister Peter ONeill declared on the forums website that the nation would provide a secure environment where leaders, ministers and delegates can advance APECs policy agenda, and can leave Papua New Guinea knowing they have visited a culturally rich economically modernizing country.
Eager to put on a good face, the government bought 40 Maseratis and three Bentleys for use during the summita lavish acquisition in a place where many people lack access to...

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Sunday, 11 November


PM should come clean on multi-billion kina APEC spending "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Prime Minister Peter ONeill must come clean on total APEC spending. It is unacceptable for the Prime Minister to keep hiding the vast amount spent on the meeting, Sir Mekere Morauta, Member for Moresby North-West, said today. This money belongs to the people, not Peter ONeill.

Public money is not his to do with as he pleases, wasting it on luxury cars and private parties for his cronies. People have a right to know how their money is spent, and that right is backed by the law.
According to the Public Finances (Management) Act, Section 47K, the APEC Authority must be audited by the Auditor-General, Sir Mekere said. But there is no record of any audit.

The report of the Auditor-General on the APEC Authority must be tabled in Parliament. This has not happened. Mr ONeill has been promising for ages to table the APEC budget and expenditure report in Parliament but has never done so.

These latest irregularities are in addition to likely breaches of the Constitution, the PFMA and other laws I have previously outlined in relation to the APEC vehicle procurement, Sir Mekere said. The smell of corruption grows by the day, and only full inquiries by the Ombudsman Commission and the Fraud Squad can ascertain the truth.

We know why there is all this secrecy it is a favorite tactic of Mr ONeill to hide his activities from proper scrutiny.
So, Mr Prime Minister, what exactly are you hiding this time? Why are you, the APEC Minister, Mr Justin Tkatchenko, and the APEC Authority CEO, Mr Christopher Hawkins, apparently so willing to break the accountability and transparency laws related to APEC?

The answer may be that APEC spending has far exceeded the figure of K3 billion given by Treasury to the IMF. The Prime Minister claims that it is far less, but the only way he can convince the public of that is for him to provide the Parliament and the people with all the APEC expenditure details this sitting.

Even the officially acknowledged spending is well over K1 billion: Budget allocations of K650 million (K100m 2014-16, K250m 2017, and K300m 2018), plus APEC House K120 million, Paga Ring Road K50 million, Jacksons Airport K240 million, 20 percent shareholding in the Star Mountains Plaza project K300 million.

These figures for APEC House, Paga Ring Road and the airport were announced well before the works were completed. I wonder what the final costs were?....

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Thursday, 08 November


For PNGs sake lets hope hosting APEC is for the better "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

In August, under a headline that read APEC is for you PNG, APEC Minister Hon Justin Tkatchenko said the benefits of hosting APEC would last for many years and would strengthen many sectors in the economy. The Ministers statement seemed to portray APEC as a defining event in the countrys history. As the date for the APEC Leaders Meeting draws nearer, Papua New Guineans will get a chance to assess whether APEC 2018 will live up to its hype and transform our fortunes for the better, or if it will instead become a shadow that will haunt us for many years to come. For PNGs sake, lets hope it is the former.

APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. It aims to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration. Out of the economies of APEC member countries, PNG is described as the smallest and poorest. Perhaps this is why the prospect of PNG hosting APEC is so intriguing to both its citizens and the world at large. Although the PNG Government is adamant it will be a success, nobody really knows certainly it will be by far the biggest event PNG has attempted to host. Ensuring the safety of some of the worlds most powerful leaders is in itself a monumental task at a time when there are heightened geopolitical tensions and risks of terrorism.

Port Moresby is regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. A successful APEC would help to change that perception. But failure to deliver would be catastrophic.

Preparation for the summit so far has been a roller coaster. The government is trying to sell APEC to PNGs public by promoting it as a historic event. But skepticism over the cost associated with hosting the event is rapidly eroding public su...




As Chairman of Umbrella Hides PDL 07 Association Inc, we have found out very serious criminal conduct with regard to Payment of K15 Million Project Security Funding for Hides PDL 07 Landowners.

There were two cheques for PDL 1 & 7 totalling to K35 Million. A K20 Million was for PDL 1 and a K15 Million for PDL 07 presented at Hides 4 Exxon Mobil Camp in front of 10, 000 plus Landowners.

Minister DPE, Governor Hela, Governor Gulf MD MRDC, MD KPHL, MD Exxon and many high profile Government Delegation witnessed the presentation of the Cheques.

The two cheques were drawn as per Agreement reached between entire PDL 1 & 7 Landowners, Exxon Mobil, DPE, MRDC, KPHL and Hides Special Purposes Authority Management Board.

The Agreement was to draw both Cheques under HIDES SPECIAL PURPOSES AUTHORITY. The Payee was according to the Agreement as witnessed when MD MRDC physically showed the cheques on the 13th December 2017, at Hides PDL 07 Project site.

The Landowners appointed two Leaders to coordinate and provide Leadership in distribution of the monies.

The entire Landowners anonymously appointed Mr. David Nallot (PDL 1) and Mr. Huriba Andago (PDL 7) to accompany DPE and MRDC to deposit the Cheques in Hides Special Purposes Authority account and come back to Hides with stamped deposit slip from the Bank.

To our surprise, very serious crime and fraudulently hijacking of cheque has been encashed and stolen by high profile criminals in POM.

DPE and Government Agencies collaborated professionally to hijack our K15 Million for Hides PDL 7 Landowners Project Security Funding and missing in Port Moresby.

The Leader Mr. Huriba Andago and his Landowners are stranded in POM since 13th December 2017 to date (1 yr). It is really frustrating and total breach of Agreement.

The Project Security Agreement of 04th December has been breached by DPE and Govt Agencies. Hence, THERE IS NOT PROJECT SECURITY. DPE is totally responsible for professionally facilitating and assisting fradulent authorizing and approving transaction of K15 Million for Hides PDL 07 Landowners.

We are now appealing to the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O'Neil to intervene and direct DPE, MRDC, Treasury and Finance to replace our money before APEC meeting.

Our Team Leader Mr. Huriba Andago must come to Hides with the K15 Million that...


Joseph Sukwianomb : An Updated CV Nov 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Updated Curriculum Vitae
 for Joseph Thomas  Wolomb

Personal Information :
  - Born on or about 6 June 1953 in the mountain ranges behind Ambunti in Urumbanj Village, Ambunti District, East Sepik Province, PNG. By that fact alone he is among the Kwoma speakers found in the District.
In this narrative Joseph has:-
  - Lived and was brought up a boarding school student from 1964 till he entered the University of Papua New Guinea in 1974, graduating in July 1978.
  -  Spent most times traveling and living in many parts of PNG; and some limited time overseas
2: Education : Bachelor of Education (1978), University of PNG;  Masters of Arts (Education), Kenyatta University, Kenya  (1984).
Primary Schooling  in mostly Church run schools in East Sepik.; Secondary and Technical Schools in Madang Province and Lae  in Morobe Province .
Attended The University of PNG and obtained Bachelor of Education majoring in Community Education, Rural Development and Reforms in National Education Systems.
Obtained Master of Arts in Education, Kenyatta University.
3: Work Experience : Soon after graduation in July 1978, an offer was made by the Faculty of Education, University of PNG for me join a small, but growing number of "future " academics into the University teaching, research and community service, which beginnings were gaining momentum into the universities globally, but more significantly in PNG . I joined the seemingly, future elitist club of academics in a university in PNG. For me, the future looked enticingly exciting, if not adventurous.
From here at the University, the prospects were endless as the few of us, graduates joined the teaching profession at the University. From here I went on to being sponsored for three years doing Masters Degree at the University of Nairobi ( 1979-1982), appointed lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea, an overseas assignment on the South Pacific Regional duties in Tonga ( 1989-1992), appointed Vice Chancellor in 1992 to 1994.
From 1995 I went on to do some odd assignments until an attempt to try for an elective duties and ran for the 1997 PNG Parliamentry election.
On returning unsuccessfully from the election campaign, I was invited and subsequently joined the National Parliament as the Chief of Staff at the Office of the Speaker and served for 24 months to end of August 1998, and took up further appointment as the Secretary for Community Development and served for three years until January 2003.
 In 2013 I was offered an executive level duties with the Public Sector Reform Management Unit (PSRMU) from 2003 to 2013.
After ten years working on numerous reform related  assignments in the public sector organisations within the PNG government I was retired in September 201...


Foreign miners guilty of double standards "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

International Mining Companies have Colonial and Racist Double Standards

Source: Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

A case study comparing the performance of Canadian mining companies in their home country to their performance overseas has found dramatic double standards.

The the study has been published by the prestigious Peter Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.

The report finds Canadian mining companies have been involved in major human rights violations in developing nations including slavery and forced labour, violence against unarmed protestors, sexual violence against women and gang rapes.

Despite the international condemnation of these actions, Canada has failed regulate the behaviour of its companies in their overseas operations.

The study provides a comparison of the regulatory regime for extractive companies operating in Canada versus that in Papua New Guinea.

The study shows how Canadian companies operating in Papua New Guinea, Nautilus Minerals and Barrick Gold, fail to maintain the same standards that apply in their home country.

The double standards apply across the whole spectrum of their operations including environmental assessment and consultation, forced evictions and other human rights abuses, violence and access to the courts, access to information and respect for free prior informed consent.

The report calls for mining companies to apply the same practices and standards across all countries where they operate and for accountability to be enforceable in their home nations.


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Sunday, 04 November



PNG APEC- A- FAILURE Even before hosting it "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

1. The USA Vice President Mike Pence will be living, loving and enjoying Tropical Cairns and commute to PNG daily.

2. All the private planes and jets will be parked in Australia and Indonesia.

3. Australian citizens and Members of Parliament are very furious about the wastage of (tax payers) money on Maserati and Bentleys

4. The International Communities are not confident of the APEC Security arrangements that they have demanded PNG government to lower the curtains for them to provide their own security completely undermining the severeignity of this nation

5. The International Governments/media are keenly questioning and observing why there is absolute secrecy and no transparency in the finances of hosting APEC meeting which defeats the purpose of what APEC stands for.

6. The APEC Meeting is overshadowed by the powerplay between Western Allies and China (PNG succumbing to the traps).

7. Human suffering in PNG at the cost of hosting APEC is immeasurable.

8. The one day sit in protest sends a very strong message to 21 APEC member countries of the disrespect and discontentment the common people of PNG have about Oneils corrupt regime.

9. The Government of Peter Oneil is overshadowed with so many allegations of corruption, collusion, squandering, non transparency, secrecy and massive debt creation that their is no trust by foreign countries anymore. The front they will show during the meeting will be just plain diplomacy and show.

10. The 21 APEC member country dignitaries will come to PNG with mixed feelings whilst the people of PNG will live in fear for security risk during APEC meeting period. Hence, the experience won't be so welcoming and free for all stake holders involved.

11. Etc...

From the outset, the image potrayed and the message echoed is a resounding absolute wastage and failure!!

PNG is not economically, socially and politically placed strategically to reap any conceivable reward. There is nothing good that PNG should be proud of in hosting APEC - our leaders out of greed and selfish deeds have used APEC to squeez millions and worse so from borrowed money. Hence, passing the responsibility and burden down to our common people to bear and suffer in the many more years to come.

The only gain is our PRIDE, BIG MEN MENTALITY and EGO!!
(-> that translates to nothing from c...


Same story, different soil: the Deathscapes Project gets under way "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Hawk Newsome: Its the same story, different soil... from Long Bay to the USA. In Sydney, his name is David Dungay. In New York City, his name is Eric Garner.


lead Hawk Newsome, Black Lives Matter. All rights reserved.

From Australias offshore prison on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, the author and filmmaker Behrouz Boochani, who has been incarcerated there for five years, sent an impassioned appeal to Australian academics to mark a National Day of Action on October 17:

Definitely Manus and Nauru prison camps are philosophical and political phenomena and we should not view them superficially. The best way to examine them is through deep research into how a human, in this case a refugee, is forced to live between the law and a situation without laws. There are laws that can exile them to an existence where they have recourse to no law.


In this situation, the human is living as something in between a human and another kind of animal. How is the Australian government able to keep two thousand innocent people, especially children, under these conditions in remote prisons for years in an age of revolutions in information technology? How can the government convince Australian society to maintain this policy, when so much damning evidence is available?


Its not the first time in modern Australian history that the government is perpetuating this kind of fascist policy. Just remember the Stolen Generations, and what governments have done and still do to First Nations people. The government has now reinvented those barbaric policies at the beginning of the 21st Century, but this time to also inflict them on...

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Thursday, 01 November




Thank You


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Wednesday, 31 October


We happy few! "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he neer so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursd they were not here,

We stand with this gallant band of nations.

Algeria, Canada, Costa Rica, Ethiopia,

Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, FYR Macedonia,

Malaysia, Montenegro, Norway, Papua New Guinea,

Peru, Samoa, Singapore and Tonga.

What do we have in common?

Only 16 countries have set domestic targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are clearly at least as ambitious as their pledged contributions to the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to an analysis published today (29 October 2018)

Hang on, how come we are not in the list? I thought we were ticking the box for setting a target as ambitious as the Paris accord.

What is Japan doing there, they have 13 new coal plants under construction and 17 more in the planning pipeline!?

UNRELIABLE POWER UPDATE. Not a great day for sailing, at 6am Wind provided 4% of SE Australian demand, at 8.30 there was some sun and Wind and Other managed 6.6% of demand. At 6 in the evening Sydney time the score is under 3% as the sun fades.

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Tuesday, 30 October


Delays in criminal justice system cheat everyone "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

News from the Correctional Services chief, Stephen Pokanis that the prison at Baisu, near Mount Hagen, is overcrowded because of the number of people awaiting trial is disturbing for a number of reasons.  

First, because section 37(14) of the Constitution suggests that a person committed for trial in the National Court should have his or her trial commenced within four months of when they are committed for trial:

In the event that the trial of a person is not commenced within four months of the date on which he was committed for trial, a detailed report concerning the case shall be made by the Chief Justice to the Minister responsible for the National Legal Administration.

If the Chief Justice obeyed that requirement then he would probably not have time for anything other than preparing those reports and the Attorney General would have little for for anything other than reading those reports.

Secondly, when the current Chief Justice was sworn in ten years ago, in 2008, there were about 20 judges.  There are now around 40 judges. (One judge for each Maserati in the country!)  Ten years later, despite doubling the number of judges, the backlogs remain.  Recently, the Chief Justice has said he wants as many as 80 judges and that, on the basis of number of citizens to the number of judges, PNG should have as many as 160 judges.

Thirdly, the ten year term of the Chief Justice expires soon and it appears he is seeking re-appointment and the NEC will soon decide who should be Chief Justice for the next ten years.  The current Chief Justice has had ten years and has doubled the number of judges but a backlog of criminal cases remains.  If the current Chief Justice is re-appointed, will it be more of the same: more judges and more backlogs?  Or will the NEC appoint a new Chief Justice who can and will get rid of the backlogs?

Fourthly, the problem is that it is difficult for anyone other than the Chief Justice to do anything about this situation.  If the government suggests what should be done then the response from the judges will be to respect the independence of the judiciary.  Indeed, if anyone goes too far in criticising the Chief Justice or telling him what to do...


No hope for Australia "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Australia's policy of imprisoning refugees in offshore concentration camps has long had bipartisan support, but recently there's been some hope that that support was fading and the policy of cruelty might be able to be ended by electoral means. Sadly, that hope has been dashed, with the Australian Labor Party pledging to keep torturing refugees in camps forever, just as Tony Abbott did:

Australia's opposition Labor Party will maintain the offshore processing of asylum seekers if it forms government.

Leader Bill Shorten has told the Lowy Institute that Operation Sovereign Borders would be "fully resourced".

Under the programme, asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by boat since 2013 have been sent to detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

Mr Shorten says his government would look to appoint an Ambassador for Refugees and boost efforts to find resettlement countries.

"Stopping the boats was never meant to leave people languishing in indefinite detention," Mr Shorten said in his speech.

In other words, the ALP's big "solution" is to look for other countries to dump the problem on - a quest which ignores their moral and legal responsibilities to their victims. Meanwhile, the ALP's position combined with Australia's use of full preferential voting (an establishment rort requiring voters or parties to preference every candidate for their vote to be valid) means that voters and parties who oppose concentration camps cannot effectively threaten to withhold their electoral support from the parties who support this cruelty - meaning that there is no electoral pressure for change. The Greens might oppose concentration camps, but unless they win, their preferences will ultimately flow to Labor, who support them. The only hope of change is for a change in the leadership and direction of the ALP.

Meanwhile, if you're outside Australia, remember: don't buy Australian. Buying Australian goods means supplying the Australian government with tax revenue - tax revenue it spends on the torture and abuse of refugees. If you support refugees, you should boycott Australia until its policy changes.

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Monday, 29 October



MRDC is the Trustee of funds belonging to Landowners of major resource projects in the country. It makes "investments" on behalf of the landowners. Peter O'Neil in his capacity as PM owns the shares of MRDC and Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari is the Chairman of the Board.

In 2012 CEO Augustine Mano and the MRDC board bought the fledgeling Resort in Fiji with much fanfare. The resort boasts an 18 hole golf course and numerous swimming pools. This transaction was rushed despite opposition from landowners and against the advice of experts in the hospitality industry in Fiji. MRDC not only purchased the resort but it also invested heavily in the construction of a new wing.

It appears that the resort is now in serious financial strife with very low occupancy rates and dwindling income. Rooms are believed to be offered now for as low as K120 as no one is going there. The financial status of the resort and all other MRDC investments cannot be confirmed as the financial statements have not been audited and published for the landowners for over 6 years now as required of the Trustee by law.

MRDC failed to conduct proper due diligence on the investment including asking the previous owners why they were selling. The tourist numbers and financial projects used to justify the investment are also understood to have been overly exaggerated.

Other controversial "investments" include the abandoned 4 Mile Casino Hevi Lift, and PNG AIR where the values of the original investments have decreased significantly meaning the landowners have suffered losses because of the poor investment decisions of Mano and his board. The rationale for investing almost a billion Kina in the Hohola Hilton is also confusing. It would be interesting to see the numbers used to determine an acceptable rate of return.

MRDC continues to squander poor landowner funds without any transparency and accountability while the landowners who the funds belong to suffer in 4th world conditions in the rural areas across the country.

The laws surrounding the operations 0f MRDC need to be reviewed Nd strengthened (after a thorough Audit of course).

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Sunday, 28 October


OECD auditors to crack down on tax evasion by loggers "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

International and national civil society groups have welcomed the announcement that international experts will support government authorities crack down on tax evasion by multinational companies in the forestry and fisheries sectors. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is sending auditors to Papua New Guinea early next year to work with officials from the Finance Department and Internal Revenue Commission, under its Tax Inspectors Without Borders Program.

We are glad to see the government take action on this vital issue," said Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute and the author of two investigative reports that have exposed financial misreporting by multinational logging companies  in PNG. The schemes set up by logging companies are complex, involving multiple subsidiaries and tax havens and the techniques used to avoid taxes are very sophisticated.  Therefore support from international experts is key to address the grave situation".

PNG governments partnership with the OECD follows the public outrage over revelations that logging companies continue to avoid taxes by reporting mounting losses even as they increase timber harvesting to record levels.

In 2016 the Oakland Institute released a report alleging that financial misreporting was resulting in the nonpayment of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. A second investigative report in September 2018 revealed the worsening of tax evasion.

According to financial records, 16 studied subsidiaries of PNGs largest log exporter, the Malaysian Rimbunan Hijau Group, doubled their financial losses in just six years while increasing their exports by over 40%. The more these companies harvest and export timber, the more money they declare as losses and as a result they almost never pay any income taxes, explained Mousseau.

ACT NOW! has been working with the Oakland Institute to lobby government authorities to take action on the financial misreporting and the wider issues of illegal logging and land grabbing.

The tax evasion by these international companies deprives the government of vitally needed revenues and defrauds the people of better health and education services said Eddie Tanago.



Tracking and lifting donor nutrition funding "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

As Australias nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea (PNG), prepares to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders in a few weeks, it is timely to examine action on a key cause and outcome of poverty in PNG and other APEC countries inadequate nutrition. This is an issue that APEC leaders have recognised as a priority, as the 2017 Leaders Declaration included a section on food security and agriculture.

Both the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs) (2000) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2015) have included goals to dramatically reduce or end hunger. The MDGs included a target to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, which the world came close to achieving the proportion of people in developing countries who are undernourished did fall by nearly half between 1990 and 2015.

The SDGs go further, including the following targets:

  • By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
  • By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving the internationally-agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age by 2025, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

Even with these ambitious goals, and some progress towards them, the extent of hunger and malnutrition remains distressing. In 2017, 151 million children were stunted (below average height for their age, an indicator of chronic under-nutrition), a reduction from 198 million in 2000. In the same period, the number of children who are overweight (a measure of poor-quality nutrition) increased from 30 million to 38 million. The total number of people who are undernourished was 815 million in 2014 to 2016, a moderate reduction from the one billion undernourished people in the early 1990s.

In June 2013, leaders from countries with high burdens of under-nutrition and donor countries gathered with philanthropic leaders and business executives at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in London, making pledges of US$4.15 billion on nutrition-specific interventions and an additional $19 billion on nutrition-sensitive sectors between 2013 and 2020. Nutrition-specific interventions address nutrition directly, and include...

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Saturday, 27 October



1.       The 40 Maseratis have no software to make them go so Maserati experts have flown from Australia to install it. At additional expense.

2.       The Maseratis have constant electronic connection to the factory in Italy, but PNG internet speed is not sufficient for them to work.

3.       A full time mechanical team have to be here during APEC to keep them running.  All extra expense.

4.       The diesel in PNG is unsuitable and will bugger the engines, turbo and catalytic convertors.

5.       The eventual buyers will have to pay all import duties.

6.       There is no warranty on the cars.

7.       World Bank have told the Government that unless there is a very good explanation for these cars, the loan of USD 100 million will be withheld. Good stuff.

8.       Since Trump has pulled out of attending and VP Pence will stay in Cairns and fly in and out for one day in POM, the American team has reduced from 1600 to 400.  This has meant that the PNG Government  has leased and paid for a cruise liner which will be empty.

9.       The Hilton Hotel was opened last week string quartets, acrobats, three tenors and other carnivals were there. The Governor of Western Province made a very good speech apparently.  But he ended it withas I look at this magnificent building I  think about my people in Western sitting around fire , scraping for food, suffering TB and dying of other diseases and with no electricity or medicine.  And walked off the stage.

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Thursday, 25 October



Dear Prime Minister

Greetings to you and the Cabinet.

This morning (Monday) 22nd of October 2018 I visited the Cancer Ward at Port Moresby General Hospital at 1:13 am.

The purpose of my visit was to see and feel the life in this ward. Hon Prime Minister the first feeling that engulfed me as soon as I opened the door was similar to walking into a morgue.

 There was no life in this building except the lights from fluorescent tubes. I will bring you to the realities in this place.

 Hon Prime Minister, if you stand where I stood you will see a stretch of corridor. If you look to your left and right, you will see curtains hanging lifelessly on the doors. I believe you would vividly know what is behind those curtains.

If you peep through these curtains you will see our mothers, wives and sisters awaiting their deaths. Looking at their lifeless faces and you see Death is inevitable. They expected it to come to them any moment.

There are about 36 innocent patients awaiting death. Their Cancer has reached stage 3 which requires Radio Therapy to cure. There is hope in the dim of their faces if ONLY they are able to secure K60 000.00 for Radio Therapy treatment in overseas. However from my brief interview none of them can afford that money thus just praying with Hope if there could be any miracle.

Hon Prime Minister these women have no choices in life. Hon Prime Minister Cancer is curable at our doorstep if Only we have these treatments available.

The obvious questions are Who and Why.
1) Who is to provide this t...

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Wednesday, 24 October




The Shadow Attorney General Kerenga Kua said the Prime Minister's promise to certain Provincial Governments to delegate to them more powers from the Central Government is illegal and unconstitutional under the current framework of our laws. The Prime Minister has no powers to make these promises.

Everything he has said about decentralizing more powers to East New Britain, West New Britain, New Ireland and Enga Provinces is all hot air and cannot be done. There are three main reasons for this.

Firstly, under our legal framework, the peoples powers is vested in the central government. Then the National Parliament can delegate some of these powers to the provincial and local level governments through an Organic Law. That has already been achieved through the existing Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments. Only North Solomon Province is excluded from this regime.

If anymore powers are to be delegated to the provincial governments starting with East New Britain, West New Britain, New Ireland and Enga, the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government must be firstly amended.

Secondly, if there are criteria and benchmarks to be achieved to quality for more decentralized powers then those benchmarks must be spelt out in an amended organic law. That will enable all provinces to have a fair and equal opportunity to make a bide for it. Right now no one has any idea on what those benchmarks are except what the Prime Minister dreams up. It is a legal principal that for a public policy to be applied it must firstly be published and be make known to all those it is to affect. The criteria must be published in the amended Organic Law.

Thirdly, the Prime Minister cannot arbitrarily pick certain provinces to delegate more powers. That is discriminatory and unconstitutional. The Constitution requires all provinces to be treated with equal respect. If powers are to be given out incrementally and selectively then the benchmarks to be achieved by each province to qualify for selection must also be spelt out in the amended Organic Law. Until that part of the law is also reformed Prime Minister has no power to arbitrarily handpick provinces for preferential treatment.

Without that all the promises by the Prime Minister is illegal and liable to Supreme Court challenges. Infact the Ombudsman Commission has the power to take out a Supreme Court...

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Monday, 22 October


Government waters down ICAC bill "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Papua New Guineas proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption could end up being an ineffective and toothless organisation as a result of government changes to the draft ICAC bill [can be downloaded below].

Expert analysis shows the government has watered down the draft legislation to remove key powers from the proposed agency, despite claims to the contrary from the Prime Minister and Attorney General.

A close inspection of the proposed ICAC legislation shows, for example, changes to the definition of corrupt conduct, in particular in relation to unexplained wealth.

The following wording, which was paragraph 1.7(1)(f) of the original draft bill prepared by United Nations advisors, has been removed:

the possession by a public official or one or more of his family members of unexplained wealth, being a disproportionate value in the property of the public official or family member or members compared to his, her or their lawful income.

The change has been made despite the advice in the original draft that;the definition of 'corrupt conduct' [is] very important and the Law will not work unless these definitions are satisfactory.

There are also important changes made to the rules on self incrimination, which extend the privilege to cover documents provided by a person during an investigation. This change would seriously undermine the ability of the Commission to use summonsed documents, such as bank statements for example, in any criminal or civil proceedings. This could lead to the bizarre situation where the Commission could publicly report a finding of corrupt conduct but the corrupt person could not be charged with a criminal offence and the money could not be recovered!

It is also not known why the government has backtracked on its engagement of respected Australian lawyer and former judge, Graham Ellis SC to head the ICAC. Judge Ellis was originally appointed by the Prime Minister to head the interim-ICAC in 2014, but his takin...

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Thursday, 18 October


Bel Isi PNG: a world first "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Can family and sexual violence (FSV) be more than the humanitarian concern that we know it to be? The answer is yes. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) FSV has been quantified as a significant cost to business. For example, for one company recently surveyed in Port Moresby the cost was three million kina in one year alone.

One common story is of a person, most often a woman, who experiences family and sexual violence, and is distracted at work, worried about her safety and that of her children. She may miss days at work because of injury or mental stress. She is concerned that disclosing her situation will only create more problems, so she remains silent and is increasingly exhausted from pretending that everything is fine. Her job performance suffers, she is disciplined by her supervisor and this causes even more stress.

Now let us propose a different scenario. The same woman walks into a workplace that is actively committed to providing immediate, practical support to staff. She has access to safety planning, counselling, legal advice and, if required, to a safe haven. She is aware, as are her colleagues, that her company will help her and that there is a safe space to share her situation.

Such is the direction chosen by Bel Isi PNG (Peaceful PNG): to tackle the problem from the angle of the economic impact on the workplace. The initiative has the dual purpose of benefiting both individuals and companies.

Bel Isi PNGs innovation is three-fold. First, it takes a strong partnership approach involving all sectors government, private sector, and community. Second, it increases resources for support through asking companies to pay subscription fees. Finally, it galvanises leadership, both male and female, to prevent violence and improve services. Combined, this model is a world-first public-private partnership to address family and sexual violence.

Bel Isi PNG started with donations a building from Bank of South Pacific to be used as a safe house and an office space from Steamships Trading Co for a case management centre, both in PNGs capital, Port Moresby. The Oil Search Foundation agreed to design, manage and help fund the project, and the Australian Government stepped in with significant financial backing. Since the initiative was launched, G4S a local security firm has donated 24-hour free transport from an unsafe location to a safe one; Nine Mile Farm and Stop and Shop local producers have donated regular food supplies; Brian Bell   a local homeware store is giving furniture and cleaning supplies; and PNG Power all of the power. The operation of Bel Isi services by Femili PNG, a PNG NGO, will assist survivors and support the existing network of s...

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Sunday, 14 October


New report on human rights abuses caused by SABL land grab "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The appalling human rights abuses being suffered by the victims of the huge SABL land-grab in Papua New Guinea are the focus of a new report published by ACT NOW! and UK based charity, War on Want.

The SABL Land Grab: Papua New Guineas Ongoing Human Rights Scandal highlights the devastating impacts on people living in rural communities and gives a voice to those who have suffered the illegal loss of their land to logging and oil-palm plantations.

People like Peter Tai who says people were threatened, beaten and turned away by armed police and the army when they tried to stop the logging and oil palm planting on their traditional land

When the company uses the police and army, they twist the law and beat us up very badly, to the point where we are afraid to attempt stopping the company again. 

It is not only violence that people have suffered: 

We, the people have lost our God given birth right to our land for 99 years and significantly our traditions, cultures, customs, virgin forest and friendly environment, the eco systems we depend on and our peaceful community living and life setting, explains a landowner from Pomio.  

The report highlights how the SABL land grab, as well as breaching PNGs own land laws and Constitution has breached a whole raft of international laws and conventions.  These include the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and many of the fundamental human rights protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

ACT NOW! and War on Want are calling for immediate action to end the land grab and cancel the leases by the PNG government but are also asking the international community to be more proactive in pressuring for action by the authorities.

This includes calling on the UN Special Rapporteurs who have already written to the government expressing their concerns about the human rights a...

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Wednesday, 10 October


Minister must name cancelled SABL leases "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Video of zmlVBdiVsiU


ACT NOW! is calling on the Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko to name the Special Agriculture Business Leases he claims have been cancelled. 

The Minister has stated on social media that of 53 Special Agriculture Business Leases reviewed, 34% have been cancelled via voluntary surrender, 2% cancelled via consent or court order and 12% have been referred for further verification. 

However, the numbers reported in various other media are different and contradictory. TVWAN for example has published a table showing 68 leases have been reviewed.

The Minister needs to publish a full list of the SABL leases with their names, portion numbers, locations and size, and identify those that have already been cancelled, those recommended to be cancelled, those that have been surrendered and those whose files are missing.

It is also noted that while the Minister says 53 leases have been reviewed, there were 77 that were investigated by the Commission of Inquiry, so what about the additional 24 leases?

These are leases that affect customary land and the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people. We all have a right to know the details of which leases the Minister is talking about and he should not be trying to hide the facts or confuse the public.



Is Papua New Guinea really as dangerous as people say? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Recently I made a trip to Papua New Guinea, the remote southwestern Pacific island country that is due to host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.
Before I set out for the place, I was warned by a number of my friends, including seasoned war correspondent Susanna Cheung Chui-yung, that Papua New Guinea has a reputation of being the worlds most dangerous place.
Given that I got such advance warnings from my friends even in the past when I decided to travel to places such as Brazil, Paraguay, Pakistan and Palestine, I was not too perturbed.
There is no shortage of stories and hearsay on the Internet about how dangerous and horrible Papua New Guinea is. Yet the more dangerous it sounded, the more I wanted to find it out myself.
There is a prevailing notion that there is a structural reason behind the poor law and order conditions in Papua New Guinea, more commonly known as PNG among international travelers: the country has a whopping unemployment rate of over 60 percent.
Ever since the PNG gained independence from Australia in 1975, only its capital city, Port Moresby, has undergone rapid modernization and urbanization.
As a result, over the years young Papuans from all over the country have continued to flock to the capital to look for jobs, thereby giving rise to slums across the city, which are highly reminiscent of the notorious slums in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As many of the young Papuans dwelling in Port Moresby were unable to find jobs, many of them have turned into members of street gangs, who often set up their own roadblocks within the city to rob local motorists and foreign tourists, and hence countrys bad name.
Nevertheless, I have serious reservations about the accuracy of the so-called 60 percent unemployment rate of the country.
It is because in PNG, only 15 percent of the populations are living in urban areas, while the rest are scattered across the countrys vast rural regions.
These rural Papuans are predominantly self-employed and self-sufficient farmers, whi...

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Monday, 08 October


Government's 'interim ICAC' not "Independent" "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The governments announcement of a so-called interim ICAC is an insult to the nation and an abuse of the ICAC name. 

An ICAC must be independent from government and free from any political interference, but, what the Prime Minister has announced, fundamentally fails both these tests.

Peter ONeill and his government have been pledging to establish an ICAC since 2012 yet all that has been announced is a politically driven body set up to investigate political opponents.

The interim ICAC is being directed on what it can investigate by the National Executive Council and it is being housed in the Department of the Prime Minister.

It is not even clear whether there is any legal basis for an Interim ICAC or whether its investigations will have any legal validity.

What Papua New Guinea urgently needs is a truly independent, full resourced and properly empowered ICAC, not some half-baked interim committee.

While critical of the governments announcement, ACT NOW! is also urging the Department of Justice and the Attorney General to release its draft ICAC Bill for proper scrutiny and public consultation. This is particularly urgent as it is rumoured the government has been modifying the Bill to water down some of the powers of the proposed ICAC.

It is vital an ICAC is an independent constitutional body with powers to investigate complaints, arrest suspects and prosecute cases of corruption in both the public and private sector, while working alongside existing law enforcement agencies.

It is over 10 years since Papua New Guinea ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) yet we are still waiting for an ICAC just as we are still waiting for a Human Rights Commission and a Freedom of Information law.

* Image: Post Courier, 10 September 2018


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Thursday, 04 October


How can Papua New Guinea gain more opportunities for seasonal work in Australia and New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Why is it that Papua New Guinea, as a country of nearly nine million people, including 3.2 million men and women aged 20 to 45 years of age, have so few workers accessing high paying, low-skilled jobs in its near neighbours?

The issue of few PNG workers getting jobs through Australia and New Zealands seasonal work programs was raised in PNGs National Parliament at the end of August 2018. Mr Ling-Stuckey, Member for New Ireland and the Shadow Treasurer stated: I am very concerned that PNG is not rising to meet this wonderful opportunity. Last year, Tonga, with a population of about 107,000 people which is smaller than New Irelands population  successfully engaged 2690 of its citizens in Australia, sending home about A$26.253 million in foreign exchange or about K64 million.

In a recently published Devpolicy Discussion Paper, I have analysed the most recent available data to the end of financial year 2017-18, and compared PNGs performance with the other eligible countries for both the Australia and New Zealand seasonal work schemes. In 2017-18, PNG had only 92 workers go to Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme, and 138 workers go to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. These are very small shares of the nearly 8,500 SWP workers and nearly 10,600 RSE workers in that year, particularly taking into account PNGs population, which dwarves the rest of the Pacific.

The Discussion Paper also looks at what other countries, namely Timor-Leste, Fiji and Solomon Islands, have done to lift their performance and what the lessons are for PNG. The starting point for any approach to improving PNGs performance has to be a realisation that Australia and New Zealand employers hold the key to access to seasonal work. There are no country quotas. It is approved employers who decide whether to recruit workers from local sources such as residents or itinerant backpackers or go to the extra expense of recruiting directly from eligible countries. And they choose which country to recruit from.

The challenge for a sending country is to make it as easy as possible for approved employers, within the proper safeguards, to recruit the workers who they think will be the most reliable and productive. The most difficult part of the process for employers is the first step. Many employers travel themselves to a country to oversee the selection process based on a government-managed pre-selection process called the work-ready pool. Or they turn to a trusted intermediary they know who has links to a community in the sending country.

The Discussion Paper conclude...

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Saturday, 29 September


The APEC Summit in Port Moresby: Delivering Great Expectations for the Indo Pacific? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The Essential Background to APEC 2018 Australia will have an important steering role when leaders from the twenty-one-member Asia-Pacific Economic Summit (APEC) which will convene in Port Moresby between 12-18 November 2018. Some associate and observer states will also attend. These latter groups will include India, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the

The post The APEC Summit in Port Moresby: Delivering Great Expectations for the Indo Pacific? appeared first on The AIM Network.

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Friday, 28 September


Landowners petition to stop logging in Turubu and Sausso LLGs "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

More than 230 leaders and other clan members from the Ibab, Tring Wau, Kamasau and Murai villages in the Turubu and Sausso LLG areas of East Sepik say they are opposing any further and logging activities in their forests. They are petitioning all appropriate authorities to completely stop what they say is continuous illegal logging activity on their land. 

Copies of the petition, which is reproduced below, have been sent to Summit Agriculture, the PNG Forest Authority, other government agencies, national politicians and the provincial government.



The effects of Climate Change is bombarding the livelihood of people worldwide. It is a rising global issue which many concerned charitable scientists, experts, people in all walks and works of life are concerned about reducing it. It is a global concern and issue which literate people must absorbed and practically involved to minimize and reduce the emission of carbon. The front line practical activity for people who owned forest are to refuse logging and mitigate secondary forest and grassland areas. 

The only positive approach and mechanism to assist in reducing current global warming is to mitigate natural forest and planting of more trees. 

Turubu Eco Forestry Development Program Inc. is a Community Based Non-Government Organization established to embark on; 

  • defending and protecting the legitimate landowners traditional ownership rights over their land and natural resources 
  • ensuring that sustainable development is executed when management of extractive industries such as logging, mining palm oil activities and etc opted to bring developments into customary owned lands. 
  • ensuring that prior informed collective decisions are obtained from customary landowners and use of land agreements are signed in the villages in the eyes of ALL citizens. 
  • ensuring that monetary benefits are reaching all land owners. 

Above are some expectations this Community Based organization is embarking on however there are many mo...

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Tuesday, 25 September


What does disaster capitalism really look like in the 21st century? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

In the last 7+ years, Ive been investigating and reporting on disaster capitalism around the world. This culminated in my book, Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe, and the documentary, Disaster Capitalism.

Theres a great, long essay in the US magazine Public Books about disaster capitalism in the modern age, written by US academic Tom Winterbottom, and he assesses the various ways that three writers view the issue: Naomi Klein, George Monbiot and me. Below are some extracts from the essay:

That there are many cases of disaster capitalism is a point made by journalist Antony Loewenstein in his book, Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe (2015), and in the 2018 documentary Disaster Capitalism. In these comprehensive and unsettling works, he covers war (in Afghanistan), aid (in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake), and environmental exploitation (in Papua New Guinea). He also cites many other examples of exploitative economic practicesthose that aim to make money for corporations or purposefully impoverish citizensin Greece, the UK, the US, and Australia.

Early on in the book, Loewenstein makes an important terminological point: Whether we call this disaster capitalism, he writes, or just a product of the unavoidable excesses and inequalities of capitalism itself, the end result is still a world ruled by unaccountable markets. Although Loewenstein neglects to flesh this out, it is a crucial observation: what he sees in disparate locations and contexts is not necessarily produced or predicated by a disaster or extraordinary event. The crisis that Loewenstein documents pervades capitalist societies and lies in actors systematically embracing exploitative and damaging practices in the unfolding of the neoliberal story.

Be it detention centers in the US, relief aid in Haiti, military contractors in Afghanistan, economic sanctions on Greece, complicit corporate-sponsored NGOs in the developing world, or prison systems across much of the Western world, predatory behavior does vary from country to country, but the strategy is the same: exaggerate a threat, man-made or natural, and let loose unaccountable private-sector contractors to exploit it. Loewenstein frequently uses the term disaster seemingly interchangeably with terms like exploitative, crisis, and predatory as descriptors of capitalism. That he settles on no single word is not a weakness, but rather an intriguing diagnosis: c...

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Sunday, 23 September



Prime Minister, Peter ONeills decision to officially visit Wewak, East Sepik province, three days before Independence Day must be applauded and well accepted. Further to PMs major project announcements and launchings in Wewak Thursday Sep 13 projects worth nearly K500 million, the visit itself goes to show the appreciation of the Prime Minister, his ruling Peoples National Congress (PNC) party and the coalition Government as well as the 8 million people of Papua New Guinea of East Sepiks contributions to our nationhood 43 years on.
As a Sepik myself, I say thank you, Prime Minister and PNGhappy 43rd Anniversary celebrations! I am sure Prime Minister ONeill and the Grand Chief would have shared some wonderful moments together in Wewak and reminisced from discussions.
It was East Sepik regional Member, then Michael Thomas Somare (now Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare - 1968-2017) on 16th September, 1975 that led this infant nation into Independence from colonial Australia as the countrys first Chief Minister. He took over from Frank Martin in 1968 and never left the seat for 49 years, cracking yet another Commonwealth history.
When Paul Bengo (from Keram in Angoram), one of Sepiks best brains and advisors to Michael Thomas Somare then approached him to say Sir, you want to get Independence, but you dont have enough save man to help you run this country, Sir Michael replied quickly; thats why I want Kanakas like you to go to school.
Other East Sepik leading brains the likes of Yauieb, Nindim, Narokobi (all from Wautogig village in Dagua), among others were Somares best band of lieutenants then. Their ultimate loyalty and distinguished services to the Chief Minister cannot be overstated during these formative days. Bernard Narokobi, then a young law graduate from Sydney University, Australia was asked to assist the Constitutional Planning Committee (CPC) to put together the home grown National Constitution. These are but East Sepiks greatest contributions to nation building at a time we needed it. Thank you tru, yupela all bikpela! You had made East Sepik proud of our contributions.
The founding fathers and their band of dedicated and loyal lieutenants (public servants) at that time had worked so hard to put together a National Constitution and importantly the Institutions of State the statecraft built - so we can fully operate as a country.
Today, everything was taken for...

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Thursday, 20 September


Counterarguments to the devaluation of the PNG Kina "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The proposed devaluation of the PNG Kina has recently been promoted by international donor agencies, specifically the IMF, and academics at The Australian National University (ANU). Stephen Howes, of the Crawford School of Public Policy within ANU, has been a strong academic voice arguing for devaluation. In a blog earlier this year, he argued that in recent years traditional business concerns such as security, skills shortages and infrastructure have been displaced by concerns around foreign exchange availability:

The only real solution is a devaluation of the exchange rate. A devaluation would be neither painless nor a panacea, but there is simply no other way to resolve the foreign exchange crisis other than to try to wait it out. Again, the IMF has it right: [We] recommend that the Kina be allowed to depreciate to eliminate the current over-valuation of the currency, end the FX shortage, and promote external competitiveness.

Moreover, in the same article he continues to explain his position: If businesses cant import, they are not going to produce and employ. And if they cant get their profits out, foreign investors are going to stay away The IMF put it well in its December 2017 report on PNG: The main impediment to private sector development is macroeconomic policies. The main obstacle to business activity and investment are difficulties in obtaining foreign exchange.

If I understand Howes argument correctly, it appears he believes that essentially, businesses find it difficult to import because of the missing foreign exchange required to purchase imports. The high cost of the Kina means high operational costs within PNG. Lowering the cost of the Kina means lower operational costs, allowing for profits that will offset the cost of imports. As PNG thus creates a more profitable business environment, new investors will find it attractive, with a devalued Kina consequently increasing foreign investment bringing in much-needed foreign exchange.

One might argue that a devalued Kina, which lowers the cost of investment for foreign investors, will not work if the prospective investor lacks confidence in the business environment. Howes claims, nevertheless, that business confidence is high and it is the lack of foreign exchange availability that is holding matters back.

But who are these investors that will rescue PNG from the foreign exchange crisis if the Kina is cheapened, allowing investors to get their profits out? PNG has a very limited resource-based economic market. As Adam Smith noted in the...

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Sunday, 16 September


SPICES: The Forgotten Commodity "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Video of 1KHStHKkwAY


Originally aired on EMTV's Olsem Wanem program, SPICES: The Forgotten Commodity is a short film on the potential of the spice industry in Papua New Guinea.

Although small now, the industry has the potential to earn the country more than K100 million a year. What it lacks though is any proper government support.

Despite this neglect, spices are a perfect example of how ordinary people can use their customary land for small and medium sized businesses that sustain their families and develop their communities.

Such enterprises also support the national economy, reduce our dependence on foreign imports and help make Papua New Guinea a strong, vibrant and independent nation.

This is the future envisioned for us in our Constitution!

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Tuesday, 11 September


The Nauru 2018 Pacific Islands Forum: the new Boe on the block, and more "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Last week, Nauru hosted the 49th annual meeting of Pacific Island Forum Leaders, a grouping that includes Pacific island countries, two French territories, and Australia and New Zealand. Australia was represented by Marise Payne, fresh into her new role, just one week after becoming Foreign Minister in the Morrison government. Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Palau were the only other members to send a senior minister instead of their head of government.

Given its location and timing, the 49th Leaders meeting was always likely to be eventful. Naurus hosting of the Australian regional processing centre has delivered plenty of bad press over the years. So has the Nauru governments crackdown on the opposition, and its blatant disregard for the judiciary. The Nauru government has sought to limit such bad publicity by both charging exorbitant visa fees to journalists, and by denying entry to journalists likely to be critical a strategy it also pursued in the lead up to the PIF meeting, when it announced that the ABC would be banned from entering the country. Naurus formal recognition of Taiwan was also expected to rile China, which attends the Forum Dialogue Partners meeting.

Those expecting an eventful leaders meeting were not disappointed.

Pacific island concerns about climate change were, predictably, centre stage. The significance of climate change was underlined by its prominent inclusion in the new regional security agreement the Boe Declaration (more on that below). Climate change was also centre stage in the Leaders Communiqu, which emphasised that climate change presents the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and wellbeing of Pacific people (a reiteration of wording included in previous Leaders communiqus), and called on countries, particularly large emitters, to fully implement their nationally determined contribution mitigation targets. The Communiqu also singled out the United States, with leaders calling for it to return to the Paris Agreement.

Dissatisfaction toward Australia, which reportedly prevented a stronger statement on climate change, was also evident in post-meeting interviews with leaders. Tuvalus Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga, noted his disappointment that a stronger statement had been scuttled (in response to a journalists question about whether the name of the country that had done so began with the letter A, he replied bemusingly: Youve very, very observant in that. I was hoping nobody would pick it up but its there. That speaks volumes).  Vanuatus Foreign Minister later confirmed his account to be both accurate and unfortunate.


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Tuesday, 04 September


How they f**ked us..Australias own history of apartheid in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

For those thinking living under Australia would have been different, you need to understand your own country's history first. Here is an extract from the late Professor of Pacific Studies, a New Zealander by the way:

This is a reprint of a 2009 article by the late Pacific academic and commentator MANY of Australias colonial and post-colonial policies and practices are a major factor in the problems of Papua New Guinea today, and cause some Papua New Guinean leaders to have serious reservations about their Australian counterparts.
Despite being a colony from the 1890s, Australia ensured that Papua did not get its first high school until international pressure led to its opening in 1955. Very few others were built for a long time in a country of similar size and population to New Zealand.
Likewise for three generations nothing was done to develop Papua New Guinean leadership, in fact everything was done to block its development and ensure that leadership roles and responsibility were held by Australians and that there was no chance for the development of national consciousness or leadership.
I remember, in about 1964, being on a Qantas flight from Port Moresby to Brisbane seated across the aisle from a Papua New Guinean. It was the first time I had seen a Papua New Guinean on a flight to Australia. No one was seated next to him.
The hostess gave everyone their meal except the Papua New Guinean. I assumed it was a simple oversight so asked her if she could please get his lunch, to which she replied with scorn, We dont feed natives.
I objected but she explained, Its company policy, we are not allowed to feed natives. I took it up with the company and they confirmed that it was indeed their policy on the advice of the Australian officials who understood them. That was consistent with their practices on many fronts.
About 1966 John Guise (later Sir John Guise, the first Governor General of Papua New Guinea) was then an elected member of the Legislative Assembly with the largest majority of any member, and he was Member for Agriculture (a prototype Minister for Agriculture in the lead-up to independence).
He had been invited to study agricu..........


Logging industry depriving PNG of millions in gov't revenues "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Foreign owned logging companies could be defrauding the country of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues and ACT NOW! is calling for a moratorium on any further logging licences until there is a full and transparent investigation and the cancellation of all illegal SABL leases.

A new report titled The Great Timber Heist Continued, released today by the Oakland Institute, shows while some logging companies have been increasing the amount of timber they harvest, much of it from illegal SABL areas, their declared losses have also been increasing and as a result they are paying little or no corporate taxes.

Not only do these logging companies not pay their fair share to the government, they also avoid the huge social and environmental costs of their destructive practices.

The Oakland Institute report also rubbishs claims made by the Forest Minister and Industry Association that increases to log export tax rates introduced in 2017 would cause the logging industry to collapse and companies to abandon their operations.

Instead, Papua New Guinea continues to be the worlds largest exporter of tropical logs and exports look set to reach new heights in 2018.

The Great Timber Heist exposes two glaring anomalies in the financial reporting of the logging companies operating in PNG. First the average price they declare for their log exports are 33-40% below world prices. Secondly, the more the companies harvest and export, the more their losses grow.

This raises the significant possibility that logging firms might be engaging in financial misreporting tactics to avoid paying income tax and reduce the amount of log export taxes and levies says the Oakland Institute.

The Institute estimates that PNG could be losing out on as much as $100 million in government revenues from the logging industry every year because of financial misreporting and a lack of effective policing by government agencies.

This analysis is very similar to that for the mining, oil and gas sector recently published by Glenn Banks and Martyn Namorong. They uncovered that while ten years ago the government was collecting more than K2 billion annually from the sector by way of taxes and dividends,...

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Wednesday, 29 August


SABL Scandal Buried and Forgotten "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Video of zmlVBdiVsiU


The government has tried to bury and forget the SABL land grab scandal in which more than 5 million hectares of land has been stolen from rural communities.

It is using a well tested formula that we see employed almost every time a new corruption scandal is exposed:

  1.  First a long-drawn out official inquiry that is delayed by funding and other logistical problems.

  2.  Then a further delay before the inquiry findings are tabled in Parliament.

  3.  Next a public promise of action and the announcement of a committee to supposedly implement the inquiry findings.

  4.  And then nothing - no corrective action, no resignations, no prosecutions, no compensation.

In the case of the SABL land grab, the Commission of Inquiry took more than two-years to complete its investigations (March 2011 - June 2013) and, due to political interference and funding problems, only reported on 42 of the75 leases investigated.

The Prime Minister then delayed for a further 3 months before presenting the COI reports to Parliament (September 2013).

Since then, a number of different committees have been announced to supposedly implement the COI findings, which included recommendations for criminal prosecution of public servants involved in the most egregious and fraudulent leases.

In November 2013, the PM announced a Ministerial committee comprising Forestry, Lands and Agriculture to review the findings of the COI. Nothing was ever heard from that committee.

In May 2015, the Chief Secretary announced an independent Task Force to speed the implementation of the COI recommendations and cancellation of the leases. Nothing was ever heard from that Task Force either.

Then, in August 2017, new Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko announced a further committee to review all the SABL leases and cancel those found to be unlawf...

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Tuesday, 28 August


Getting realistic about the South Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Advocates of stronger and more effective Australian engagement in the South Pacific face a couple of entrenched structural challenges. First, the region is hardly critical to Australias economic future the South Pacific accounts for a mere 1.3% of Australias total trade in goods and services. And Papua New Guinea represents well over half of that, meaning that all the rest of the Pacific islands add up to just over half of one percent of our total trade.

In terms of investment, the South Pacific is even more marginal. Papua New Guinea accounts for 0.8% of the total stock of Australian investment overseas, and Fiji  the next in line in the region  a tiny 0.06%.

A second factor is the relatively small size of the population in Australia originating from the South Pacific. The 2016 census showed that this group is growing at a fast rate but, at around 200,000 people, it still represents less than one percent of the total. Moreover, the Pacific islands population in Australia is heavily dominated by Polynesian communities. Our nearest Melanesian neighbours Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are seriously under-represented. Its a surprising fact that, according to the census, in 2016 more people in Australia claimed Cook Islands ancestry (over 22,000) than claimed ancestry from PNG (under 19,000), particularly given that PNGs population is around 500 times the size of the Cook Islands.

Thats not to say that there arent reasons for Australian governments to pay attention to the region. But taken together, these two structural challenges mean that, despite its proximity and abiding strategic relevance, the South Pacific has often struggled to gain traction as a priority in government. No Pacific islands lobby group, whether business- or community-based, carries much weight in Canberras corridors. No politician risks losing their seat over South Pacificrelated issues.

Over the years, this has left Australias policy on the South Pacific vulnerable to swings between neglect (benign or otherwise) on the one hand, and sudden crisis-driven interest on the other.

Arguably, were currently going through an example of the latter phenomenon in response to the disruptive emergence of China as a player in the region. Arguably only because Australian policymakers would claim that the current governments Pacific ...

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Tuesday, 14 August


Construction Work Halted on Site of Fraudulent SABLs "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Fraudulent SABLs that the government has failed to cancel despite the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry are still causing conflict and injustice - see stories below.

This is what the Commission of Inquiry said about the SABL over Portions 2465C and 2466C.  

There was misrepresentation and fraud involved in the whole process [Report p164]

Landowner signatures were forged in a criminal act [p150].

The whole process was riddled with defects and flaws [p157] and it was obvious that officers from DLPP [including] Romily Kila-Pat deliberately decided to ignore and by-pass the existing protocols and practices [p153].

Those responsible must be held accountable for their unlawful conduct and actions [p165]

Read more about the CoI findings.


Source: Grace Auka Salmang, Post Courier

Enough is enough, was the plea made by landowners of Papa and Lealea villages of Caution Bay, Hiri during a peaceful protest on their land.

The locals peacefully fronted up at the Konekaru site yesterday where a construction was taking place and demanded the workmen conducting the earthworks to stop and move out of their customary land.

Chairman of the Papa delegation committee Pastor Joseph Baeau said several calls through peaceful protests have been made and yet controversial acquisition of land portion 2465C, 2466C and 2485C portions in Konekaru area still continuing.

There is no respect for the law. The subject land portion 2465C and this title where Konekaru Holdings Limited (KHL) and CJ Ventures Limited is holding is illegal, according to a commission of inquiry findings.

Mr Baeau and his committee are calling on Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko and his customary land advisory committee to fast track the COI recommendations, stop further illegal land grabbing and remove aliens from Papa customary land....

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Monday, 13 August


Corruption is ONeills Biggest Failure "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

It is six years since Prime Minister Peter ONeill promised the country an Independent Commission Against Corruption. Yet that vision is no closer to being realised today than it was in 2012.

Peter ONeill has totally failed to live up to his promises in both the 2012 and 2017 Alotau Accords that the government would establish an ICAC.

The impact of not having a dedicated anti-corruption agency that is politically independent, fully resourced and that has full powers of arrest and prosecution has been devastating for our economic well-being and the quality of life for ordinary people.

Delegates at last weeks APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency workshop repeatedly spoke about how corruption inhibits development and is a serious threat to economic growth [1], yet PNG had almost nothing to show in terms of progress under the United Nations Convention on Corruption. [2]

In PNG we repeatedly hear that a large-proportion of the national budget is lost every year to corruption, taking money directly from health and education services.

We also hear about the high costs that businesses have to endure as a result of corruption. Costs which reduce profits, lower employment and limit investment. Yet the government has just dragged its feet for year after year over an ICAC.

While together, PNG, Australia and China are spending more than K1.1 billion [3] on the whole APEC extravaganza in Port Moresby, a tiny proportion of that money would have been sufficient to fund the operations of a robust, independent and well staffed ICAC for more than a decade.

Ridding PNG of the scourge of corruption would do far more to assist development in PNG and ensure the well-being of our citizens than a huge party for the worlds leaders and their entourages.

Perhaps in November, when the leaders from the worlds two biggest economies will be here in PNG, they will ask the Prime Minister why he has not established an ICAC and whose interests he is protecting.


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Sunday, 12 August


PNG turns protectionist in its APEC year "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The first sign that Papua New Guinea would be taking a more protectionist trade policy came in late 2015, with the banning of a number of fresh fruit and vegetable imports from Australia. That ban was short-lived, but this last year has seen a major reversal in trade policy. For the last two decades, PNG has been following a policy of tariff reduction. As part of its negotiations with the World Bank and IMF, the country introduced a Tariff Reduction Program (TRP) in 1999, which set out tariff reductions to 2006. Despite some opposition, the TRP was upheld by a 2003 review, and the 1999 plans were broadly implemented. Another review in 2007 resulted in a further round of reductions out to 2018. The reductions planned and/or achieved are shown in the table below. It is important to note that most tariff lines (three-quarters) in PNG are in fact zero, with no tariffs being applied on imports of most goods for which there is no domestic production. The table below shows the tariff rates for those goods that are subject to tariffs. Since 1999, there have been three tariffs intermediate, protective and prohibitive. All have fallen significantly.

Non-zero tariff rates under PNGs two Tariff Reduction Programs (TRPs)

With a few exceptions, the tariff reductions were implemented over the last two decades as planned. The unweighted average of the three tariff categories fell from 42% in 1999 to 18% in 2015. The Import and Export Customs Tariff Act of 2012 legislated a series of tariff changes that would come into effect immediately, with further reductions to come into effect on January 1 2015, and yet more to be implemented on January 1 2018. However, in August 2017, the TRP was suspended. In legislation accompanying the 2018 budget (November 2017), about 250 tariffs lines were increased, and over 600 decreases were abandoned. On average, the tariff increases were moderate (about 7%), but...

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Wednesday, 08 August


Everything You Need to Know About Papua New Guineas Massive LNG Project "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"


Since its beginnings as a failed pipeline project in the early 2000s, through to the announcement of a proposed doubling of production capacity earlier this year, Papua New Guineas PNG LNG has had a bumpy road to travel. Its past has been chequered by violence, vandalism, natural disaster, and seemingly insurmountable technical hurdles.

Heres the story behind one of the worlds largest, most controversial, and most challenging LNG projects.

Inception of PNG LNG
PNG LNG traces its origins back to a proposal by the Australian company Oil Search Ltd, known as the PNG Gas Project. The idea behind this first project was to bring gas from Papua New Guineas southern highlands to consumers in Australia via a 3000km pipeline.

Oil Search joined forces with ExxonMobil in 2001, but the project ran into problems. These came to a head when the Australian Gas Light-Petronas Consortium pulled out of laying the Australian section of the pipeline because of concerns over a lack of confirmed customers.

Another issue was that gas prices in Eastern Australia had been kept below the market average due to competition with locally produced coal. As prices in Asia and elsewhere in the world rose, it quickly became apparent that shifting focus to LNG would bring better returns.

In 2008, an agreement was signed between ExxonMobil, Oil Search, and other partners defining the legal framework under which the PNG LNG project would operate. Sales agreements followed, most notably with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

In 2010, the construction phase of the PNG LNG project officially began.


At the outset, Exxon and their partners were aware that PNG LNG would be no straightforward undertaking. The planned sites for the wells to be drilled were situated in rugged, hilly terrain far from roads or ports. Exxon would have to fly in the necessary construction materials and equipment.

But flying in such large cargoes would require heavy cargo planes, and a runway able to accommodate them - so Exxon set out to build one.

As the site of the new runway, Exxon chose a flat mountaintop in Hela province, close to where the wells would be drilled. 400,00 cubic metres of rock were laid to construct an asphalt runway 3.2 km long. Komo Airfield, as it is called, would be larger than any other in Papu...

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Thursday, 02 August


Fortnightly links: the Peace Ark, PNGs malnutrition crisis, the park designed to flood, and more "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

WWFs Sustainability Committee was so effective that its no longer needed.

The ICRC has documented the stories of some of those involved in the Rakhine crisis through a photo gallery.

The Peace Ark, Chinas floating hospital, treated more than 4,000 people while docked in Port Moresby for just over a week: helping friends and allies while also winning hearts and minds.

PNG is facing a malnutrition crisis, with almost one in two children affected.

Chulalongkorn University Centennial Park in flood-prone Bangkok is designed to flood; it also collects and cleans water and reduces the urban heat island, and brings some greenery to the concrete jungle that is Bangkok.

Revolutions is the memoir of Trayle Kulshan and contains 99 lyrical, 99-word stories of her travels as an aid worker.

Algeria is expelling migrants, stranding them in the Sahara, reports AP News.

The post Fortnightly links: the Peace Ark, PNGs malnutrition crisis, the park designed to flood, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.



Video of D0c-KdM8KAM


Originally aired on EMTV's Olsem Wanem program, LIQUID GOLD is a short documentary film on the potential of the honey industry in Papua New Guinea.

The honey industry is a perfect example of how ordinary people can use their customary land for small and medium sized businesses that sustain their families and develop their communities.

Such enterprises also support the national economy, reduce our dependence on foreign imports and help make Papua New Guinea a strong, vibrant and independent nation.

This is the future envisioned for us in our Constitution!

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Sunday, 29 July


NPR covers the growing trend of offshoring refugees in remote locations "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The 21st century sees many nations looking for ways to punish, isolate and deter refugees (while often contributing to the reasons these people are fleeing in the first place through wars and occupations).

I recently published a major investigation in US magazine The Nation on how Australia is inspiring the EU and others over its draconian refugee policies.

NPR in the US has featured this reporting in a story written by Isabella Alexander:

Key parts of Europes new plans have a controversial precedent in Australia.

Antony Loewenstein, a reporter who has spent the past several years investigating Europes move toward externalized border controls, revealed in June that officials from individual European countries and the EU had secretly met with Australian officials about their refugee policies.

As part of a complex system established by the Australian government in 2001, migrants and refugees who were imprisoned in privatized detention centers on the Australian mainland were increasingly sent to small Pacific islands that border the country Manus in Papua New Guinea and the nation of Nauru.

Although access to these centers has been tightly controlled, reactions from the international community have grown louder as news from the inside slowly trickles out stories of routine abuse, rape and death from beatings or suicide. Australia, which campaigned for three years to gain a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council, received a scathing report from the council during its first week in session in 2017. In a 20-page expos, the U.N.s special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, detailed a system of abuse designed to punish and use migrants as an example to deter future ones.

It is not because [the refugees] are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers we [have] to deprive them of the product, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a phone call with President Trump in 2017, according to a transcript in The Washington Post. The product he was referring to is their basic right to seek asylum.

According to Loewensteins reporting, Europe...

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Wednesday, 25 July



The Port Moresby Stock Exchange (POMSoX) has excelled since its official inception in April of 1999. With its fundamental aim to provide a medium for mobilizing and raising national and international capital for the long-term benefit of the citizens in Papuan New Guinea, POMSoX has transcended efficaciously. POMSoX trading protocols and procedures are a mirror image of the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) (the ASX licensed its Business and Listing Rules to POMSoX). With Papua New Guinea experiencing a resource boom especially in the mineral, oil and gas industries, international groups and companies have shown immense interest in doing business in Papua New Guinea. Those approved have listed themselves with POMSoX giving opportunity to ordinary citizens to buy and sell shares.
Has general trading of shares benefited ordinary (individual) Papua New Guineans? The answer lies subdivide between those that have some knowledge and have traded, those who are aware but cannot trade due to limitations (accessing trading facilities, stern procedures, less user friendly etc.) and those that have absolutely no idea such trading opportunities exist.
With regards to the current trading platform mechanisms in Papua New Guinea to buy and sell shares, it is an absolute disgrace and far from being user friendly. Apparently, its monopolized and operated on stringent protocols that do not favor the general populace. To add to the mounting frustrations, individuals cannot trade openly and freely as the requirements to establish a trading platform (or account) are subduing within rigorously stipulated guidelines when compared to other trading platforms arou...




It is almost 5 years since the Laniata Legacy got established as a non-profiting organisation on April of 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. The inception of the Laniata Legacy bears the name of an innocent woman who was accused of sorcery, put through prolonged periods of public torture, humiliated and set ablaze to her death. Kepari Laniata was 20. 

The formation of the Laniata Legacy proved significant at the time when both the domestic and international community woke up to the news of this barbaric act and were in need for information to fully comprehend how such savage ferociousness would transpire in a country renowned for its principles, moralities, ethics and beliefs all based in the Christian faith. From its inception in 2013 in Brisbane and gradually reaching PNG, the Laniata Legacy won hearts over as it took a bold step in publically condemning and openly denouncing every act leading to Kepari Laniatas torture and death by way of demonstrations [anti-domestic violence campaigns (via social and mainstream media), protest marches, rallies, outreaches and petitions] each year under the slogan Haus Krai. In due course, the Laniata Legacy organisation had conformed to driving awareness of gender-based violence particularly focusing on women. 

It is worth mentioning that in the same year, (June 2013), while all these awareness campaigns where actively being pursued, another innocent 40 year old woman, Helen Rumbali was accused of sorcery and beheaded in public. When news of Helen Rumbalis death hit social networks, the international community reacted but this time profoundly anathematising the perpetrators and equally criticising the PNG Government for slumbering and lacking intervention on such sensitive issues especially with Laniata Keparis case still waiting closer. 

By now, and to the outside world, the name Papua New Guinea was associated to scenes of extreme violence accompanied by dramatic headlines that strenuously reprehended and criminalised Papua New Guineas culture especially the maltreatment towards woman. Laniata Legacy...

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Sunday, 22 July


New Study Reveals Dangers Inherent in Land Registration "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Photo: New oil palm planting and processing mill in Pomio District, ENBP

Customary land registration processes can easily be captured by local big men and companies with disastrous consequences for local people. This is the conclusion drawn in a study on recent oil palm expansion in Papua New Guinea by academic Caroline Hambloch from the University of London. 

Hamblochs paper is titled Land Formalisation Turned Land Rush. Its findings are based on three months field research in East and West New Britain. The paper was presented at a World Bank conference in Washington earlier this year.

The paper demonstrates how land registration processes, rather than protecting customary land, can easily be used to disenfranchise local communities and alienate them from their land. This is because of an environment of weak governance and huge power and information imbalances.

Hambloch details how PNGs weak or non-existent state capacity for regulation and enforcement of laws have been exploited by logging/oil palm companies who have surpassed various government agencies.

The results have been disastrous for local communities. They are experiencing worsening poverty, increasing wealth inequality, increased conflict and a lack of basic service provision such as roads, schools and health centres.

The study is very important for Papua New Guinea as it exposes and debunks the myth that land registration or formalisation is necessary to generate income, improve productivity and drive development. 

This is a theory that has long been backed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Bank and foreign governments and has therefore dominated the development discourse in PNG. It is frequently repeated by government Ministers, industry bodies and think tanks although it is not supported by the evidence.

Hamblochs study reveals that rather than increasing agricultural activity and national income, customary land formalisation has had the opposite effects, deepening poverty and retarding economic growth. It has also exacerbated deeply-rooted, pre-exi...

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Tuesday, 17 July


The ingredients of timely investigative journalism "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Richard Keeble is one of Britains leading journalism academics and hes taught at the University of Lincoln for many years. Author of seminal books on reporting, his latest, just released work is co-edited with John Mair and its called, Investigative Journalism Today: Speaking Truth to Power. It features a range of writers exploring the importance of investigative work from the English and non-English speaking world:

Rumours of the death of investigative journalism have been greatly exaggerated. This book is proof enough of that. Examples from the corporate and alternative media across the globe highlight the many imaginative and courageous ways that reporters are still kicking at the right targets.

Im honoured that Keebles chapter positively interrogates my work, especially around disaster capitalism, and hes allowed me to post it here: keebleloewensteinchapter

From the introduction:

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian investigative reporter, freelance author, photographer, blogger and campaigner. He has written for a wide range of publications both mainstream and alternative such as the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Green Left Weekly, New Matilda and Counterpunch. His books include My Israel Question (2006) and The Blogging Revolution (2008 and 2011). His 2010 ABC Radio National feature documentary, A Different Kind of Jew, was a finalist in the UN Media Peace Awards. And his book, Profits of Doom: How Vulture Capitalism Swallowing the World (2013) has been followed up with a documentary film, Disaster Capitalism, about aid, development and politics in Afghanistan, Haiti and Papua New Guinea.

Profits of Doom also serves as a useful case study to examine Loewensteins investigative strategy in more detail. As this chapter will argue, Loewenstein draws creatively from a wide range of genres peace journalism, investigative reporting, literary, long-form journalism, counter journalism and activist reporting making his reportage both important and original. In particular, the study will focus on his investigative techniques, his ideological/political attitude and his distinctive investigative writing style.

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Monday, 16 July


Aid coordination: its all about keeping up with the Kardashians "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Recently I was asked to participate in the Great Debate, an academics versus students comedy debate that is part of ANU Asia Pacific Week, on the topic of Does foreign aid do more harm than good. Myself and the other academics were on the negative team, and managed to keep the crowd on side (who were already supportive of aid at the beginning).

The students put forward some good arguments, particularly around the colonial history of aid, some of the failures of aid, the changes brought forth from non-aid economic growth and technological advancement. But one thing that really stood out, and that stands out time and time again when seeking to explain foreign aid to groups of people with limited knowledge of it even those who maybe have done a development studies class or two is that people dont really understand how aid gets from the developed country to the developing one.

There seems to be a popular misconception that aid is simply a transaction between two countries. That on 1 July each year, Australia opens its internet banking app, flicks Papua New Guinea half a billion bucks and just writes in the transfer description Frm Oz plz spend on health n ed.

This misconception is problematic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it fuels the idea that aid is just handed over to corrupt governments or dictators without any degree of accountability. Second, it doesnt give a clear sense that there are rules around what aid can and cant be spent on. And third, it really understates the complexity of the global aid system, which leads to sweeping generalisations about everything when one thing goes wrong.

So my goal in the debate was to try to get across the complexity of aid, especially to explain why some project failures dont mean that most aid is causing harm.

I started thinking of ways to describe the range of actors involved in the aid space. Having recently returned from a family funeral that has its own coordination challenges, an extended family immediately came to mind. And the worlds most famous extended family are no doubt the Kardashians.

So, imagine you are in a country called Calabasas, and every Kardashian-Jenner is an aid project. This is what youd be faced with (Ive added some Kardashian kontext for those who might not have been keeping up lately).

Kris Jenner (Kardashian-Jenner matriarch and momager extraordinaire) A very tightly run managing contractor (some might say micromanaged) that delivers results to its beneficiaries, even if the social benefit of its projects is questioned by some. The coun...

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Monday, 09 July


The time is right for a step-up in ABC broadcasting to the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Broadcasting can touch the heart, inspire the mind and set ideas into action, but in the Pacific it is struggling.

It has been four years since the Australian Broadcasting Corporations (ABCs) respected voice in the region was almost silenced by budget cuts. Now China is using former ABC radio frequencies and the Australian government is reviewing Asia Pacific broadcasting.

The review comes as media freedom in the Pacific is under greater challenge and audiences in significant parts of the Papua New Guinea Highlands and islands, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have no service.

Beyond Melanesia, there are now ten Pacific Islands Forum countries that no longer receive any FM or shortwave radio from the ABC. Television from the ABC is patchy and has barely any Pacific-focussed programming. The ABCs online, mobile and streaming services are only available to those who can afford internet data or, in limited form, through Facebook, which is offered free by some phone providers.

A review of Australian broadcasting services in the Asia Pacific (now being conducted by the Department of Communications and the Arts and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) came about as a result of the Pacifics angry response to the ABCs decision to end all shortwave broadcasting in January 2017.

The ABC argued shortwave technology was old and served a very limited audience. It promised to redirect funds towards an extended content offering and a robust FM distribution network. FM radio is high-quality audio but its signal rarely reaches beyond a 70 km radius and is known to be blocked by hills and mountains. Shortwave on the other hand can have a powerful signal that can be received on low cost, battery powered radios by remote communities over tens of thousands of square kilometres (as heard here in Pentecost, Vanuatu, in 2012). With its transmitters located in Australia, shortwave cannot be turned off by hostile regimes (such as in Fiji in 2009) or put out of action by heavy weather. Shortwave penetrates rugged landscapes and its reach is not limited to major cities.

The critical value of ABC services to the region is seen in the unusual step taken by Vanuatus Prime M...

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Saturday, 07 July


Australian asylum policies inspiring the globe "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

My investigation in US magazine The Nation:

Soon after President Trump assumed office in January 2017, he had a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The transcript of the conversation, leaked in August, revealed that the new US president admired his Australian counterpart because Turnbull was worse than I am on asylum seekers. Turnbull had proudly stated, If you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Nobel Prizewinning genius, we will not let you in.

In their phone call, the prime minister begged the US leader to adhere to a deal struck by Turnbull and former President Barack Obama the year before, in which the United States had agreed take up to 1,250 refugees imprisoned by Australia for years on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru in the Pacific. In exchange, Australia would take refugees from Central America.

Trump didnt understand why Australia couldnt take the PNG and Nauru refugees in. Turnbull responded, It is not because [the refugees] are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers we had to deprive them of the product. Trump liked what he heard. That is a good idea, he said. We should do that too.

Turnbull was proudly explaining the complex system established by Australia many years earlier: Refugees are imprisoned in privatized, remote detention centers on the Australian mainland and on Pacific islands. Trump isnt the only one who is impressed; many Western leaders have not only expressed admiration for Australias draconian refugee policies but have initiated ways to implement them in their own nations to contend with the recent surge of people fleeing Africa and the Middle East.

The mainstreaming of xenophobia regarding refugees was perfected by Australian politicians more than 20 years ago. Along with a media-savvy mix of dog-whistling against ethnic groups with little social power, refugees have been accused of being dirty, suspicious, lazy, welfare-hungry, and potential terroristsand theyve been accused of refusing to assimilate, despite the countrys largely successful multicultural reality.

Australia hasnt been shy in offering advice to European nations struggling with an influx o...

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Monday, 02 July


West Pomio SABL Damages Assessment K2.4 billion "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Communities affected by three Special Agriculture Business Leases in the West Pomio District of East New Britain Province have assessed the economic damage caused by logging and oil palm planting at more than K2.4 billion.

The damages assessment has been compiled by seventeen communities that have lost 42,400 hectares of customary land under the Pomata, Ralopal and Nakiura leases.

The total assessment of K2,402,362,483, comprises both the actual damage already suffered since the leases were issued and the future loss that will accrue through to 2110 if the leases are not cancelled and the land returned.

Community spokesperson, Ana Sipona, says the communities never agreed to the loss of their customary land or the logging and oil palm planting.

There was never any proper awareness conducted by government departments and people did not give their free, prior and informed consent.

The SABL Commission of Inquiry revealed the same thing happened across the whole country, with more than 5 million hectares of land being illegally acquired.

Spokesperson Norbert Pames says the size of the damages assessment is a powerful reminder of the value of customary land to local communities and the damage they can suffer when the State facilitates or encourages customary land alienation.

Too often our leaders are fooled by false promises of the development and government services that will follow if they sign over our land and they do not stop to think about what will be lost in the process.

The communities affected by the three SABLs are Atu, Bairaman, Gugulena, Kaiton, Lau, Malmaltalie, Manginuna, Mauna, Meinge, Mu, Polo, Pomai, Porosalel, Puapal, Rano, Rovan, and Tontongpal.

Members of the communities compiled the damages assessment using a framework developed by Dr. Tim Anderson of the University of Sydney, published in 2017. The framework provides for an economic evaluation of the damage caused by activities that follow from the alie...

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Saturday, 30 June


ACT NOW! and the Open Govt Partnership "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Photo: ACT NOW! was on the panel for the discussion on Public Participation and Access to Information.

ACT NOW! Program Coordinator, Eddie Tanago, attended the High Level Conference on the Open Government Partnership in Port Moresby this week. 

The conference was organised in an attempt by the government to revive its stalled OGP Action Plan which has not been actioned since 2016. This has led to a threat from the OGP international secretariat to exclude Papua New Guinea from the initiative.

ACT NOW! believes the 2016 plan was much too narrow in its scope and wants to see a much more comprehensive OGP plan developed for implementation over the next two years. 

This should include measures to address government integrity and greater freedom of information around resource use decision making.

ACT NOW! has developed a comprehensive set of fifteen policy proposals for open and accountable government that have been published as a consultation document to contribute to the national debate on improving governance and service delivery.

The proposals, which were circulated at the conference, can be downloaded from the ACT NOW! website -

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Thursday, 21 June


Fortnightly links: Who Was in Command, Afghanistans deepening migration crisis, 2018 Lowy Institute Poll, and more "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Two out of three women in PNG experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner, but volunteers are now offering safe havens across Port Moresby.

A new Australian SDGs website was launched in Sydney last week, and is a centralised platform where case studies and examples of action being taken can be shared openly.

Two Fishes is a new podcast out of Fiji exploring the ideas and stories that make our minds tick.

The 2018 Lowy Institute Poll shows that on average, Australians think 14% of the federal budget is spent on aid and that this should be reduced to 10%, where in reality aid spending is approximately 0.8%. It also has some interesting findings on how Australians feel about Papua New Guinea.

Who Was in Command is a new website containing data on the names, ranks and command responsibilities of security forces in Nigeria, Egypt and Mexico. IRIN reports on how being able to track personnel helps combat rights abuse.

This podcast by four LSE grad students discusses various aspects of global development, from an interesting variety of perspectives.

In Afghanistans deepening migration crisis, the government is trying to help returnees, but the absence of long-term reintegration plans may make the situation even more volatile.

The post Fortnightly links: Who Was in Command, Afghanistans deepening migration crisis, 2018 Lowy Institute Poll, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Developm...

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Monday, 18 June


My mother was lucky to survive giving birth to me in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

I was born in the small coastal village of Kivori, in Papua New Guineas Central Province. With no healthcare centre nearby, my mother gave birth to me at home, with the help of several traditional birth attendants as well as a traditional healer.

Instead of a delivery bed, an empty rice bag was spread on the ground for my mother to use during childbirth, and my umbilical cord would have been cut with a sharpened stick of a sago palm.

With no access to an ambulance and the nearest hospital and doctor a four-hour drive to Port Moresby, my mother would have been praying that there were no complications.

More than 30 years later, little has changed for the mothers of Kivori. Globally, and within the Asia-Pacific region, PNG has some of the worst maternal and child health indicators. At least one woman loses her life in childbirth every day. Most of these deaths are preventable.

It was on a visit to Australia last year that I was reminded how shocking the conditions are for mothers and their newborns in PNG. We may be Australias closest neighbour, with just 160km separating us, but the differences in our healthcare systems are like night and day.

The Royal Brisbane Womens Hospital has 410 doctors. This is only one of many hospitals servicing the city of Brisbane. The whole of PNG has fewer than 400 doctors, and my home province of Central Province has one doctor servicing almost a quarter of a million people.

In fact, the entire healthcare system in PNG is beset by shortages in doctors, nurses, midwives as well as facilities, medicine and equipment to make childbirth safer.

My village used to have a small aid post, but government funding cuts and a lack of trained staff saw it close in 2013. So mothers wanting to give birth in a healthcare facility must now walk 10kms to a health sub-centre. Here, they will find a building without electricity or running water, without mattresses for the consulting beds, and a severe shortage of proper medical equipment.

It is not uncommon for clinic to run out of medicines even paracetamol. There are only two staff working here with the same skills as a nursing assistant in Australia so clinic times are office hours only.

If anything should go wrong, the closest ambulance is a 45-minute drive away if transport can even be found. If they reach the ambulance, the cost of the journey to Port Moresby Hospital is around 200 Kina; the equivalent of over a months salary and completely unaffordable for the majority of families.

This dire lack of professional, accessible healthcare is why so many women from my village will choose to inste...


Resources curse PNG communities future "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Author: Michael Main. Source: East Asia Forum

Two recent reports on the massive ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project have brought renewed attention to the undesirable economic and social impacts of Papua New Guineas largest-ever resource extraction enterprise. This research shows that PNG LNG has hurt, rather than grown, PNGs economy and that it has inflamed violence and tensions in the PNG highlands region. Papua New Guineas so-called resource curse has hit local communities the hardest.

Violent conflict in the PNG highlands, certainly among the Huli landowners of Hela Province where PNG LNG is based, has been an almost constant feature since before first contact with colonial forces in the 1930s. Levels of violence have fluctuated markedly in response to historical conditions. The 1970s and 1980s were relatively peaceful, as PNG transitioned from Australian administration into the early independence years. But local political frustrations combined with the introduction of guns led to high rates of violence in the highlands around the 1992 elections.

Since that decade, Papua New Guineas government services have been in constant decline. A new generation of Huli has emerged that is less educated than the generation of its parents Huli who were educated between the 1960s and 1980s are more literate and fluent in English than those who were of school age from the 1990s onwards. Health has deteriorated with a decline in health services and the introduction of store-bought processed food. By the late 2000s, when the PNG government was promoting the PNG LNG project as a looming economic miracle for the country, the Huli population was desperate for a project that they believed would raise them from the state of poverty and neglect that had gradually descended upon them since independence.

During the first few years of the PNG LNG projects construction, it looked as if all its grand promises were being fulfilled. ExxonMobil and its partners invested US$19 billion a staggering amount for a country whose GDP was a little over US$8 billion in 2009 (just before construction began). Cash was everywhere in the projects area, and this cash was accompanied by plentiful....

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Wednesday, 06 June


Modelling or muddling? Economic analysis of the PNG LNG Project "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Double or nothing: the broken economic promises of the PNG LNG Project is an April 2018 report by the Australia Jubilee Research Centre. It was authored by Paul Flanagan and Luke Fletcher.

It critiques the 2008 ACIL-Tasman macroeconomic modelling of the Exxon-led PNG LNG project. As the report notes, this project since 2014 has shipped approximately 7.9 million tonnes of natural gas per year from the gas fields of the PNG Hela region, with this gas being liquefied at a plant close to Port Moresby and shipped to buyers in Asia.

A key prediction of the ACIL-Tasman modelling was that the LNG project would double PNGs GDP. Other predictions regarding the impacts of the project in PNG included an 84 percent increase in household incomes, 42 percent increase in employment and an 85 percent increase in government expenditure.

Double or Nothing states that the proponents [of the project] positioned it as a major transformational project for the PNG economy, based around the central claim of a doubling of GDP and that caveats around assumptions [of the modelling] were lost (p. 5). It is true that some proponents did this, and that the claim influenced the approval of the project in 2009 and found its way into the 2011/12 PNG election campaign. But not all proponents did. Many were skeptical of the ACIL-Tasman modelling, although believing that with appropriate institutional and policy settings the project had the potential to transform the PNG economy and contribute to many positive economic and social benefits.

The report argues that these and other forecasts of beneficial impacts were wrong, spectacularly so in many cases. Some of its findings, alongside the predictions of the ACIL-Tasman modelling, are set out in the following table.

ACIL-Tasman model prediction Double or nothing finding
A doubling of (100 percent % in) GDP An increase of 10%.
An 84% increase in household incomes A fall of 6%;
A 42% increase in employment A fall of 27%;
An 85% increase in go...


Australian government's hypocritical stance on PNG corruption "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Image: Sir Michael Somare arrives at Parliament House in Canberra in 2009. Photo: AAP

Source: Michael Pascoe, The New Daily

Its illegal for Australian entities to bribe foreign entities, but apparently were perfectly happy to take dirty money from bribed foreigners and consort with corrupt leaders.

Malaysias prime-minister-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim, called us out on Friday, expressing a view that Australia has been completely dishonest about ousted leader Najib Razak, and complicit in Malaysian corruption.

Hard on the heels of that attack, Fairfax Media on Monday reported on Singaporean court documents claiming a Chinese telecommunications company paid $1 million to Papua New Guineas then-PM, Sir Michael Somare.

As part of Fairfaxs anti-China campaign, the PNG story was pitched as an example of Beijing trying to exert greater influence in our region, rather than a rather unsurprising example of PNG corruption over a mobile phone contract.

Theres a long history of Australia seemingly turning an official blind eye to the questionable behaviour of our developing neighbours.

In 2002, Four Corners Andrew Fowler reported on how property tycoon Warren Anderson, former friend of ex-PM Paul Keating, bought the Cairns Conservatory building in 1994 for $9.75 million and sold it a fortnight later to the PNG public sector superannuation fund for $18.72 million. A PNG Ombudsmans report valued the building at $7 million and found that associates of the then-prime minister, Sir Julius Chan, acted improperly and that associates stood to make a considerable financial gain.

In 2000, Sir Mekere Morautas government lodged a court claim in Cairns and Port Moresby for $30 million damages against Chan, Anderson and the former finance minister, Chris Haiveta but the case was later dropped.

And no Australian body had any interest.

The same report included the infamous footage of another PNG prime minister, Bill Skate, allegedly distributing corrupt payments.


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Tuesday, 05 June


Exactly how large is New Zealands massive aid increase? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

I was sitting in a quiet meeting room in Port Moresby when my reliably silent phone started ringing. I hung up. It rang again. With everyone looking at me, I tried to figure out how to turn it off.

It wasnt until I checked my emails later that I worked out why the phone had gone rogue. Emails from journalists and development friends about the massive increase in the New Zealand aid budget. There was even an email from my mother, excitedly relaying the news: a $714 million New Zealand dollar boost over the next four years. To put that in perspective, at the end of the 2017 financial year, the entire New Zealand aid budget was less than $600 million NZD. That night I started teasing Australians that I couldnt see why everyone was making a fuss about China; New Zealand was the real threat.

Youll imagine my disappointment when last weekend, back in cold, cloudy Canberra, I downloaded the data from Treasurys website and crunched the numbers, only to find the increase wasnt $714 million. Or, to be more exact, the $714 figure was the cumulative difference across four years between the new governments aid budget and a counterfactual budget of no increase under a hypothetical National government. Its the sort of maths that you find only in press releases and econometrics textbooks.

Still, as the chart below shows you, even with the cumulative, counterfactual, and hypothetical stripped from the budget, there is an sizeable increase on the books. Compared to the previous government, in which the aid spend stumbled up and down, the planned trajectory is a happy change.

Even with inflation taken into account, if spending goes as projected, the aid budget will be 15% higher in the 21/22 financial year than it is in the current financial year. Assuming the increases occur as planned, they will be part of five consecutive years of increases to the aid budget. (Increases, even with inflation accounted for.) If OECD data are anything to go by, the last time New Zealand had a five-year run of real increases was under the Kirk government in the 1970s.

Actual and budgeted aid, New Zealand (NZD, million, nominal)


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Friday, 01 June


Moni istap long graon long PNG: Bisnismeri itok "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Frangipani and Galip Nut-PNG (Photo:Dorothy Luana)

Source: Caroline Tiriman, ABC Radio

Wanpla farmer na bisnismeri long Papua New Guinea itok, moni istap long graon na ol pipal imas iusim graon blong ol long mekim moni.

Dorothy Luana husat i gat wanpla Galip farm long Kokopo District long East New Britain provins i mekim despla toktok bihaen long emi wok long mekim gutpla bisnis wantem galip long Port Moresby.

Mrs Luana itok emi save sore long lukim olsem planti pipal igat graon, tasol oli no save iusim ol despla graon long planim ol samting we oli ken lukim moni long en.

Ol Galip tree isave grow long tripla kantri blong Melanesia, olsem Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands na Vanuatu.

Long mun igo pinsis National Agrikalsa Research Institute long Kerevat long East New Britain ibin lonchim ol nambawan Galip product blong ol na oli salim nau long ol stua.

Mrs Luana itokim Radio Australia olsem emi bin kisim ol Galip seedlings blong en long Institute planti yia igo pinis na nau emi lukim moni long en.

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Wednesday, 30 May


ABC Radio Pacific Mornings interview on journalism, the Middle East and disaster capitalism "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

ABC Radio Pacific Mornings program, broadcast across the Pacific, interviewed me this morning about my work as an independent journalist over the last 15 years. From the Middle East to disaster capitalism and Australia enabling corruption in Papua New Guinea to tackling faith, it was a wide-ranging discussion.

My segment starts at 3:00:20.

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Sunday, 27 May


Noble Caledonia Limited changes its mind about Port of Yamba-Clarence River? "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi", 27 May 2017

Noble Caledonia Limiteds Australian Coastal Odyssey twenty-two day cruise from 9-31 October 2018 - flying from London to Cairns to Port Moresby, then sailing through the Torres Strait and down the east coast of Australia to berth in Melbourne before returning home on 31 October - is still being advertised online and it just got a lot cheaper.

In an apparent effort to fill cabins aboard the vessel MV Caledonian Sky, the UK-based cruise line is now offering across-the-board discounts of 1,000 per two-person cabin.

There has also been a change in the ships itinerary for Day 16 - 24 October this year.

All mention of entry into Port of Yamba-Clarence River was removed from the cruise line's website sometime between 21 and 27 May and, Trial Bay, South West Rocks inserted instead for both its October 2018 Australian Coastal Odyssey and October 2019 Australian Coastal Discovery east coast cruises.

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Saturday, 26 May


Another asylum seeker death on Manus Island "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

There have been three deaths of asylum seekers held in Australian off shore detention in the last nine months - one on Nauru and two on Manus Island - according to Border Crossing Observatory.

This recent death brings the count to four.

UNHCR: The United Nations Refugee Agency, media release, 22 May 2018:

UNHCR Statement
By UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra  22 May 2018

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is profoundly saddened by the death of a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, today. The tragic loss of yet another vulnerable person under Australian offshore processing again underscores the need for proper care and immediate solutions.

With the passage of too many years and the withdrawal or reduction of essential services, the already critical situation for refugees most in need continues to deteriorate, said Nai Jit Lam, UNHCRs Deputy Regional Representative in Canberra. Australias responsibility for those who have sought its protection remains unchanged. Our thoughts and condolences are with the mans family today.

UNHCR renews its call for the Government of Australia to take immediate action to provide assistance and solutions, and to avert further harm and tragedy. Comprehensive, intensive support for refugees and asylum-seekers remains desperately needed in both Papu...

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Friday, 25 May


ABC Radio Pacific Morning interview on Papua New Guinea and disaster capitalism "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Despite being Australias closest neighbour, Papua New Guinea (PNG) rarely receives coverage in the media. I investigated the reality in the PNG province of Bougainville, when mining company Rio Tinto exploited the area with its polluting copper mine in the 1970s and 1980s, in my Disaster Capitalism book and film.

NGO Jubilee Australia recently released two startling reports on the murky PNG LNG plant along with the associated corruption. The country deserves far better from its leaders, Australia and corporate backers.

I was interviewed about these issues on ABC Radios Pacific Mornings this week. The program reaches across the Pacific. The segment starts at 1:31:06.

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Monday, 21 May


LNG project that promised economic boom leaves PNG in worse state: report "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Source: Isabel Esterman / Mongabay. 

  • Proponents of PNG LNP, an ExxonMobil-led natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, predicted it would bring massive economic benefits to landowners and to the country as a whole.
  • According to two recent reports by the Jubilee Australia Research Centre, PNGs economy is worse off than it would have been without the project.
  • Jubilee Australia also links the PNG LNG project to an upswing of violence in the areas around the plant.

In 2008, when a consortium led by ExxonMobil was drumming up support for a $19 billion natural gas extraction and processing project in Papua New Guinea, proponents of the development predicted it would underpin the countrys economy for decades.

Production began in 2014, and now reaches approximately 7.9 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. However, according to two recent reports by advocacy group Jubilee Australia Research Centre, the PNG LNG project has not only exacerbated conflict and inequality in the Papua New Guinea highlands, it has also failed to produce the promised benefits. According to Jubilee Australias analysis, PNGs economy would be better off if the gas had been left in the ground.

Predicted economic impacts of the PNG LNG project compared to actual impacts (based on Jubilee Australias analysis of underlying economic trends). While exports have exceeded expectations, GDP growth has been slower than forecast and income, employment and government spending have dropped. Image courtesy of Jubilee Australia.

Big promises

When pitching the project, developers made big promises about the economic and social benefits the megaproject would bring to the country.

One influential 2008 study, an economic impact analysis commissioned by ExxonMobil and authored by Australian con...



JUSTIN TKATCHENKO WAS STILL MP AND GOVERNMENT MINISTER WHILE HOLDING ONTO HIS AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP Where is the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)? If you are a foreigner and trying to purchase your first property in Australia, your application to purchase is strictly processed by that Board. Ted Taru a PNG National went thru the process, paid a nonrefundable fee of $15,000 to instigate the process. You are asked all sorts of questions like, where did you get the money, how you get it, contract documents, bank accounts etc.....very very scary but he did get his approval and bought the property in Cairns eventually. Now the question is.....was that Gardener cum MP an Australian citizen when he bought those properties? If that was the case he wasn't questioned because he doesn't have to go thru the FIRB as an Australian citizen, and on the other hand, was he qualified and eligible to contest the National Elections if he can easily acquire those properties with ease!? He circumvented laws and regulations here and in Australia! Investigations is a must The owner of a Brookfield property is battling Brisbane City Council and a local residents group to build an aviary big enough to house 600 finches alongside her home. Catherine Tkatchenko, whose husband is Papua New Guinea cabinet minister Justin Tkatchenko, paid $1.77 million for the 34,470sq m Brookfield Road site in 2015. The couple also own a $1.1m house at Fig Tree Pocket, in Brisbanes west. Plans lodged with the council in 2016 proposed a 320sq m house almost 11m in height, 30 aviaries over 380sq m, plus a lake, fountain, pool and small animal stables. In response to the plans, 178 residents lodged objections that raised concerns about noise and odours from the aviaries and stables, and described the buildings as an eyesore. A seven-page submission from the community-based Rural Environment Planning Association said the scale of an...

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Thursday, 17 May


The University of Goroka and Police Department collaboration Project "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

This is the beginning of a discourse or discussions between the Human Resources Management Section of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (focusing on the training facility at Bomana) on the one hand, and I'm the other the University of Goroka. This interaction commenced in a humble or modest way (unofficial though)  between Chancellor Joseph Sukwianomb and a couple of Police Officers, (who for reasons shall remain nameless).
A small beggining...
The University Chancellor himself read in recent weeks from the newspaper stories of police recruits who were passed out from training acted in such manner (reminiscent of the Secondary Schools culture of induction into the pack). These trainees who passed out,were to have been deployed were considered dismissed. The Chancellor hinted that  it was perhaps time to consider suggesting in the way police recruitment, training and behavioural change instructions are given to the new intake by the Royal PNG Constabulary. A rethink is now necessary, given all that has been given by so many people and their organisations both from without and within PNG.
The way forward...
It is the considered view of the Chancellor that a collaboration and cooperation between the Police Department and the University of Goroka is necessarily and even urgent ever more than before. There are vital areas to be discussed or explored for the mutual support and benefits to the parties,if some agreements are reached. The Chancellor suggested that the first item to be considered and acted upon is to get the police hierarchy (especially in HR Division)  to meet formally with the Secretary and his officers from the Department of Higher  Education, Research, Science and Technology. The reasons are many  but one thing is clear. That is that since the passing of the Higher Education (General Provisions) Act 2014, all education and training provisions in PNG through any recognised institutions come under the supervision and control or scrutiny of the Board of Control established under the Higher Education Act from the date of the enforcement of the provisions of the Act.
This, the Police Training College at Bomana comes under DHERST in areas of curriculum, staff or lecturers or instructors competencies, certification, career pathways etc. Importantly, is the need to comply with the PNG National Qualifications Framework. There is work to be done in these areas in the three disciplined forces, but first is to start with the police force.
Areas of collaboration and cooperation...
The current areas that could draw the attention of the University of Goroka is to start a preliminary discussions on a number of key areas, and these i...


Vanimo Free Economic Zone ( with John Tekwie) "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Friday 4 May 2018
This is a statement that follows an initial brief discussions with an officer who is helping with the work related to the Vanimo Free Economic Zone in the Sandaun Province. Many years ago at the University of Papua New Guinea, I and some of my academic colleagues were discussing a proposal where PNG could establish what was thought at that time as Northern Economic Zone or hub.  This hub would free up the idea of provinces in the north consisting of Morobe, Making, East and West Sepik, and even Manus into a political marriage or consolidation into a economic block to harness all the resources that are available. So that infrastructures like the airports, wharves and road network established and operating. A "crazy" idea of building railway network was also discussed even way back in the mid eighties, among these academics. The idea did not gain any ground or did anyone tried to transmit those ideas to ambitious politicians until someone came along years later.
From what I know  is that former Governor for Sandaun, Mr John Tekwei was and early initiator and a great advocate of the revived thinking about the Free Northern Economic Zone. Just there months ago in February I happen to come across  Mr Tekewei who has been rallying support from people in power to revive the idea of establishing the free trading zones in some strategic locations. Vanimo and Lorengau in Manus were the two that Mr Tekwei mentioned, at least to me anyway. I was very interested and hinted that he should continue to pursue his dream,  and he replied  that he would do but he would need inputs from me and others. In the same venue, after talking to Mr Tekewi,  I met Governor for East  Sepik,  who said to me, before I could talk about the reason why I was there in the first place to meet and talk to him. The subject was about early childhood education trying of teachers for East Sepik. The governor said he wanted to introduce Bahamas into the curriculum of early childhood education in the East Sepik in the kiddie schools. In doing so  the Sepik people will be better able to interact in economic activities across the border with the most populous neighbouring country,  Indonesia. This idea from Governor Bird goes to support the idea of economic integration on our part as a country before we can reach out to other larger economies like Japan, Korea, China or even Indonesia.
And so an invitation for me to join like-minded Papua New Guineans on a crusade to find a way, away from the norm is indeed an honour. It is an opportunity so rare to relook at our sovereignty by revisiting and interpreting the preamble of our constitution, the 8 point plan, and the most recent one being the PNG Vision 2050.
In having said in so many words as alluded above, Im indeed very honoured to submit my expression of interest to join people of different professions...


Chancellor Sukwianomb says he wants to build Highlands Medical School at the University of Goroka "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The University of Goroka Chancellor, Joseph Sukwianomb on Friday 11 May 2018 made the first public statement in relation to the building of a new Highlands School of Medicine and a Teaching Hospital as part of the School to be the expansion of the University of Goroka long term plan.  This follows  statement and urging from the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill  when met with the state universities Chancellors and Vice Chacellors on the 18 of January 2018.

The Chancellor made this first public statement at the graduation ceremony held in Mt Hagen when he presided over the 3rd Graduation in Mt Hagen where 14 students  from Western Highlands, Enga and Southern Highlands graduated with Bachelor of Education in School Management.  Students who graduated, they studied by distant mode, under the University of Goroka Institute of Distant and Flexible mode. The students were enrolled in In-service Training that took minimum of two years;  sometimes this can take longer.

The University of Goroka graduation on Mt Hagen was attended by Deputy Governor who represented the Governor for Western Highlands, Hon. Paias Wingti and the Provincial Government of Western Highlands. Chancellor. The Governor for WHP is commended for articulating and realising the Pillar 1 of the PNG Vision 2050, said the Chancellor. Chancellor Sukwianomb further said the Nation of PNG  can not go wrong if every little  from the Prime Minister down do what Governor Wingtips is doing in his province. 

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Tuesday, 15 May


Treaties Committee critiques PACER-Plus "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The Australian Parliaments Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCT) has issued its final report on the PACER-Plus trade agreement. Although the committee recommends that Parliament should ratify PACER-Plus, the report is a telling critique of the treaty, noting: the absence of Papua New Guinea and Fiji from PACER-Plus significantly diminishes the utility of the agreement for Australian business.

For more than twenty years, successive Australian governments have promoted trade agreements with Forum island countries as a central element of regional economic integration as well as poverty alleviation. According to the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, Australias approach to the region is based on helping to integrate Pacific countries into the Australian and New Zealand economies and our security institutions, [as] essential to the long-term stability and economic prospects of the Pacific.

After nearly two decades of preparation and seven years of negotiations, PACER-Plus arrived in June 2017 with a dull thud. As Matthew Dornan noted at the time on the Devpolicy Blog, most post-signing analysis of the deal highlighted the lack of ambition, the failure to lock in labor market access in the binding treaty and the disproportionate benefits for Australia and New Zealand. The Office of the Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA) tried to highlight the benefits of the treaty for Forum island countries, but many commentators were dismissive, with headlines such as Disappointment and lost opportunity and Not much to celebrate.

Former Forum Secretary General Sir Noel Levi, who guided the initial drafting of PICTA and PACER in the late 1990s, was scathing over the outcome of PACER Minus. He decried the lack of leadership by his successors at the Forum Secretariat, for not addressing objections raised by Fiji and Papua Ne...

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Thursday, 10 May


Fortnightly Links: aid data, donors and spending, how to rig an election, and more "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The OECD has a detailed new report on how much aid donors give to civil society and what its spent on.

Jo Chandlers beautiful reporting for the Monthly puts human faces on the sometimes dry topic of the resource curse in Papua New Guinea.

Continuing their tradition of clearly communicating the findings of robust evaluations, Oxfam UK have a handy summary of what they learned about evaluating womens empowerment projects through a meta-analysis.

DFAT have updated their high-level aid data (and in user friendly spreadsheets too!). Access it all here.

A fascinating podcast on how to rig an election, covering the types of electoral fraud and the logic underpinning it.

The post Fortnightly Links: aid data, donors and spending, how to rig an election, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

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Sunday, 29 April


LNG project is hurting PNG economy - new report "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Source: Jubilee Australia

A new report on the economy of Papua New Guinea shows that despite predictions of a widespread economic boost from the ExxonMobil PNG LNG project, on most economic indicators the economy has actually gone backwards relative to predictions.

Jubilee Australias new report Double or Nothing: The Broken Economic Promises of PNG LNG is co-authored by Paul Flanagan, director of think tank PNGEconomics. Paul has worked for the Australian government in senior executive positions and with the PNG Treasury where he was Team Leader and Senior Advisor to the SGP Program from February 2011 to August 2013.

In 2008 Australian economics consultants ACIL-Tasman provided inflated projections of growth in employment, essential services, household income and the broader economy if the PNG LNG project went ahead. This new analysis proves just how misleading these promises were and how PNG has slipped back into the poor policies associated with previous experiences of PNGs resource curse. Currently, on almost all economic indicators, the people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all, said Paul Flanagan.

The aim of this study was to compare the projected benefits for the early years of the PNG LNG project with the actual outcomes.

By building an underlying growth path based on how the economy would likely have performed without the PNG LNG project, this study has made the following findings:

  • Despite predictions of a doubling in the size of the economy, the outcome was a gain of only 10% and all of this focused on the largely foreign-owned resource sector itself;

  • Despite predictions of an 84% increase in household incomes, the outcome was a fall of 6%;

  • Despite predictions of a 42% increase in employment, the outcome was a fall of 27%;

  • Despite predictions of an 85% increase in government expenditure to support better education, health, law and order, and infrastructure, the outcome was a fall of 32%; and


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Thursday, 26 April



It is very interesting that Prime Minister Peter ONeill has announced an inquiry into the sale of PNG Sustainable Development Programs 100-percent-owned Cloudy Bay company, and other SDP transactions and investments.

Why now? He has known about the sale for fours years and has investigated it once already, resulting in it being cleared.

The reason is that he is trying once again to get his sticky fingers on the PNGSDP assets - $US1.3 billion in the Long-Term Fund, plus hundreds of millions of kina in cash and other investments.

Cloudy Bay is one of PNGSDPs richest assets, owning land on the outskirts of Port Moresby worth approximately K100 million.

Mr ONeill, who is known as the Octopus, desperately wants the land, and has delegated one of his criminal cronies, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, to look for any remotely plausible way in which it can be expropriated without payment.

Illegal expropriation was the tactic used by Mr ONeill to steal PNGSDPs 63.4 shareholding in the Ok Tedi mine by special legislation in 2013.

He has previously attempted to get ownership of the Cloudy Bay land through another of his cronies, businessman, bagman and money launderer George Constantinou.

Land grabs and other secret property dealings are a favourite way for the Prime Minister and other prominent politicians and businessmen to launder money in PNG, Australia and elsewhere in the world.

Mr ONeills mastermind in the Cloudy Bay deal is none other than prominent businessman Rex Paki, who has probably been involved in more illegal corporate activities than anyone else in PNG.

He and his company RAM Business Consultants have been named as guilty parties by the NPF Inquiry, along with Mr ONeill, the Finance Commission of Inquiry, an International State Crime Initiative report on the Paga Hill Scandal, in which he was a principal player along with Mr ONeill, inquiries by the Auditor-Generals Office and the Public Accounts Committee, and a Supreme Court case over a fraud at the state-owned motor vehicle insurer MVIL.

Mr Paki has been an ONeill Government appointee on many companies and statutory authorities, and in almost every case he has skimmed off millions and millions of kina. His fraudulent activities are a byword in PNG business circles.

Cloudy Bay is no exception. A Public....

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Wednesday, 25 April


Take Action On The Manumanu Land Deal "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

See also Gross manipulation and dishonesty over Manumanu land deals

Source: Post Courier Editorial

The K2 million administrative inquiry into the K46 million Manumanu land deal must not be a waste of hard earned public money and time.

Already the property of Parliament, this report presented last week by Prime Minister Peter ONeill as promised in the public interest, must now be decisively acted upon.

Its recommendations are crucial for establishing the formal terms of reference a formal Commission of Inquiry must operate under when it is set up.

And senior Government Ministers, politicians and senior public servants were implicated in the entire saga. It is only fair that the COI is established so that these people can b...

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Tuesday, 24 April


Chinese cry foul over Duran Farm housing project "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

See Also: Port Moresbys housing crisis just got worse Duran Farm Development rotten to the core

Source: The National

NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop is concerned about the poor management of the joint Chinese-PNG government public housing project.

Parkop was told by a Chinese investor during a visit to China that he had being misled by the National Housing Corporation over the development of the multimillion kina housing project at Duran farm in Port Moresby .

Parkop said the Shenzhen-based Yinjiang industry expressed the concern during a visit to China by Parkop, Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko, city manager Bernard Kipit, city engineer Frank Ravu and financial adviser Augustine Ravi.

They went to Shenzhen city in China for a meeting on a sister city arrangement.

Parkop said the Yinjiang industry officials told the delegation in front of Shenzhen city deputy mayo...

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Monday, 23 April


Gross manipulation and dishonesty over Manumanu land deals "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Ministers Pok and Duma have still to be cleared over their involvement in Manumanu land deal

Gross amount of manipulation and dishonesty between the three key state agencies including Kumul Consolidated Holdings Limited, Defence Department and Lands Department.

Source: The National

THE disappearance of files from the Lands Department on the Manumanu land deal points to corruption and conspiracy, according to an inquiry.

The report of the inquiry into the land transactions and deals by the Ministry of Public Enterprise and State Investment, and Ministry of Defence, was recently handed over by chairman John Anthony
Griffin QC to Prime Minister Peter ONeill.

The fact that the Lands Department files disappeared strongly supports the proposition that there was corruption involved and there is circumstantial evidence which supports the notion that there
was a wide-ranging conspiracy, such as the lengths some personnel in th...


Land Policy encroachment by UNDP and World Bank "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

Author: Justin Ondopa

UNDP and World Bank must stay away from land policies in Papua New Guinea.

Under the auspice of its REDD+ strategy, sponsored by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the Word Bank, the UNDP is taking over the mandated institutional functions of the Department of Lands and Physical Planning (DLPP). Recently, through the UNDP website, this mysterious giant development partner has seen fit to solve land development issues in Papua New Guinea. The UNDP has advertised two positions International Consultants to support development of a Sustainable Land Use Policy in PNG and also National Consultants to support development of a Sustainable Land Use Policy in PNG.

I find it very troubling for a foreign development partner, (whose funds come from major economies), to lead the development of a LAND USE POLICY in this country. Firstly, the UNDP must understand they are financially supported by the WORLD BANK through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). The same World Bank has a very bad record dealing with the land issues in PNG, but is now trying to find solutions to sustainable land development.

Has the UNDP forgotten the recent failed Structural Adjustment Programme to mobilise customary land in this country? It was controversial, the whole nation stood against any strategies pushed by foreigners and so-called development partners, and the Chan Government threw the World Banks SAP out of the window. The successive Somare governments also refused to allow donors to fund, and participate in anything to do with land in this country. Even Australia (DFAT) has said no to fund or interfere in land issues (including land policies) in PNG. Who is UNDP?

With these short historical events still ringing fresh in Papuan New Guineans, the UNDP through the World Banks FCPF finds it very comfortable to develop a Sustainable Land Use Policy (SLUP) for the Country.

How much do UNDP, World Bank and FCPF know about land tenure, our customs, feelings, mindsets, and traditional bondages that bind our people with their land? Policy development in this country is not the job of a foreign entity, let alone international fly-in consultants from UNDP, to come and develop a paper and shove it down our throats, and say digest it. It works! Policy development on any development ma...


Elomar brothers in $9 million legal row over PNG deal "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

The Elomar brothers in Papua New Guinea.

By Patrick Begley, Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney businessmen the Elomar brothers were busy in 2014.

Mamdouh Elomar was publicly decrying the actions of his son Mohamed, an Islamic State fighter in Syria who would go on to be photographed holding severed heads.

Mamdouh was also vying for Iraqi construction contracts with his brother Ibrahim, arranging a $US1 million bribe for which they would both be jailed last year.

But the pair struck another deal that year, paying $6 million for a logging company only to end up negotiating a $9 million payment from the previous owners after a dispute.

The case, now before the courts, involves the forests of Papua New Gui...


Release the full Manumanu report! "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

File picture of Ministers Duma and Pok after they stepped aside from their ministerial responsibilities pending the conclusion and outcomes of a Commission of Inquiry, which was then downgraded to an administrative inquiry

BY: Loop Author 

Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) is calling on the Government to make a report on the Manumanu scandal available for public scrutiny.

This report cost taxpayers K2 million. Media outlets have not been given access to the full report into the payment of K46m made to a dubious business entity for land allegedly valued at only K10,000 in Central Province.

The Administrative Inquiry was tabled on the floor of Parliament last Friday (13/04/18), and this week the formerly suspended Lands Secretary and the head of the MVIL have gone to the courts to be reinstated to their positions on the basis of this completed Inquiry, said Lawrence Stephens, Chairman of TIPNG.


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Monday, 16 April


On writing, PNG literature and the voice of the diaspora "IndyWatch Feed Mosbi"

I recently caught up with Rashmii Bell over lunch in Brisbane, and asked about her background and experiences as an author. Listen to the podcast, read the transcript, or for highlights of what we discussed, read on.

I began by asking Rashmii to tell me about her background, and what she is currently involved in.

Rashmii hails from Sio, Morobe Province in PNG, having being born and lived in Lae, as well as Port Moresby and (presently) Brisbane. She was educated in Australia, and has lived between there and PNG since 1990. She studied at Griffith University, obtaining a degree in psychology and criminology. She has more than ten years of experience working in case management within adult and youth corrections services.

And now?

Im a little past nine years while Ive been at home. Ive just been raising children. But, Ive always enjoyed reading. I read everything, read every day. And writing, I have been writing for myself, but I only just started having my work published in the past three years

I went on to ask what Rashmii considered to be the most significant milestones in her journey as an author. Her first, and possibly most significant milestone, was seeing her work published on the PNG Attitude blog, edited by Keith Jackson. More recently, her role as editor of My Walk to Equality has provided new opportunities:

appearing at the writers festivals, the Sunshine Coast festival this year, and then Brisbane Writers Festival, both in 2016 and 2017, which has really, I think, for the majority of the emerging contemporary PNG writers, thats a huge thing for us to know that Papua New Guinean literature is being mentioned at these international events.

In a similar vein, I asked Rashmii what she thought were the things that had the most influence on her voice as an author. She explained to me that she focuses on long form writing, with her pieces best classified as opinion and commentary. This is not a genre favoured by many Papua New Guineans and, among those that do, there are very few women, so I think that in itself helps elevate my voice because I am the minority in amongst the commentators out there, among the PNG men.

In addition, the subjects she writes on social justic...

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