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Friday, December 23, 2011

Xmas gift for all

Source:
The National, Friday 23rd December 2011

It comes from the K350 million allocated in the 2011 supplementary budget for the go­vernment’s free and subsidised education policy.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said last night the release of the money began this week and would continue for the next two weeks. It would ensure a smooth start to the 2012 school year.
Officers from the departments of Finance and Treasury and Education are involved in the exercise.
O’Neill said 6,000 school accounts throughout PNG had been identified and the money would be paid into them, covering all school le­vels from elementary to Grade 12.
The government will meet the fees for elementary to Grade 10 levels, while Grades 11 and 12 fees will be subsidised.
“I call on those schools who have not yet submitted their bank accounts to do so immediately. This will ensure the funds are deposited into your accounts so that the school year can begin smoothly,” O’Neill said.
He believes the fee-free policy would ensure each and every citizen receives a decent education.
“I am a firm believer in education for all and I am backing that by providing a strong budgetary support for the education sector,” O’Neill said.
Meanwhile, in his Christmas message, O’Neill touched on the recent political impasse which had gripped the nation since Dec 12.
“Put simply, the five days between Dec 12 and Dec 16 brought home to all the reality that we are a nation that can boast about our vibrant parliamentary democracy,” he said.
O’Neill assured the nation that it was not heading for “a bloodbath and ethnic cleansing” as many commentators were being led to believe.
“Our government is determined to put our nation on the road to developing a nation of reasonably happy, healthy and wealthy people who can afford to live productive lives,” he said.
He remains focused on the free and subsidised education policy, infrastructure maintenance and development programmes, better health services delivery and a revamp and overhaul of the law and order enforcement system to make it efficient and effective.
Reflecting again on the recent political events, O’Neill said the former government had been exposed, opposed and deposed.
“Their ways were no good for the people of this nation,’’ he said.
“Recent events have drawn a great deal of deliberate misinformation to the public.
“The true state of affairs, the issues before our nation are not about personalities. They are about maintaining our democracy.
“The national parliament is where all eight governments preceding the O’Neill-Namah government were elected and defeated.
“Governments are not appointed by the courts, formed in hotel rooms or created through the barrel of the gun.
“Our government was formed to stop the rot, restore confidence in government, stop the rampant corruption and theft of public monies and
reversed appointments based on wantokism rather than merit,” the prime minister said.
He blamed the former Somare-Abal government for failing to address a number of corruption issues by:
q Ignoring the Finance Inquiry Report;
q Ignoring and failing to investigate the infamous Taiwan scandal;
q Failing to investigate the suspicious circumstances in which millions of kina had surfaced in a Singapore bank account;
q Failing to investigate the actions of the East Sepik provincial government and other parties over the management of the Sepik Highway Trust Account, Wewak Storm Water Drainage Project and the Wewak Stadium;
q Failing to investigate the use of funds allocated for the community college concept and implementation; and
q Failing to investigate the contract with the apparently non-existent Revans university to provide tertiary courses for PNG public servants.
O’Neill said the highlights of his four-month-old government, apart from free education, was the establishment of Task Force Sweep, providing K120 million to improve government infrastructure and church-run health facilities in the supplementary budget and raising the tax-free threshold from K7,000 to K10,000.
While acknowledging the police force for finally exercising control in its command, he paid tribute to the PNG Defence Force for exercising restraint and remaining neutral throughout the recent political crisis.
“Against this background, the O’Neill-Namah government stands firm and dedicated to good governance, sound economic management and a bright future for all Papua New Guineans,” O’Neill said.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The World

Sir Michael Somare has been reinstated as Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister today but he is not guaranteed to lead the country as his rival, Peter O'Neill, still maintains he is prime minister.

PNG Governor-General Michael Ogio reinstated Sir Michael in a ceremony at Government House about 11am.

Somare sworn in as PM as rivals demand governor-general fronts parliament
SIR Michael Somare and his cabinet have been sworn in by Papua New Guinea's governor-general, but the political impasse continues with parliament voting to demand the governor-general swear in his rival Peter O'Neill.

In an emailed statement, Sir Michael said his 19-member cabinet had been sworn in by the governor-general on Wednesday morning.

''My coalition members have today been sworn in by the Governor-General, Sir Michael Ogio,'' Sir Michael said in the statement.

However, the Somare camp maintains the 76-year-old political veteran does not need to be sworn in because the Supreme Court reinstated him as prime minister on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, MPs loyal to Mr O'Neill passed a motion in parliament demanding the governor-general come to parliament to swear in Peter O'Neill as prime minister.

Mr O'Neill's leader of government business, Moses Maladina, also introduced a bill requiring police commissioner Tom Kulunga to ''assist'' the governor-general in getting to parliament.

The MPs also passed a motion to ban Sir Michael Somare and his cabinet from declaring themselves as the nation's government.

The MPs later passed a resolution requiring the governor-general to attend parliament at 2pm (1500 AEDT) to swear in Mr O'Neill.

''The governor general is required to be in attendance at 2pm,'' Mr Maladina said.

There were about 50 MPs supporting Mr O'Neill in parliament on Wednesday, including speaker Jeffery Nape.

Sir Michael's supporters had returned to Port Moresby's Ela beach hotel, where they have held cabinet meetings since Monday.

A heavily-armed contingent of guards were blocking the street leading up to Government House on Wednesday morning.

The governor-general's declaration was due to break a three-day political impasse sparked by a Supreme Court ruling that Mr O'Neill's August election was unconstitutional and Sir Michael Somare should be reinstated as prime minister.

Mr O'Neill has refused to recognise the court's decision, while Sir Michael has been attending cabinet meetings with members of his government held at Port Moresby's Ela Beach hotel.

Meanwhile, the nation's defence force has dismissed rumours of a military coup resulting from the political impasse.

"The defence force neither seeks, nor would accept, any part to play in the politics of this country," defence force chief Brigadier General Francis Agwi told the Post-Courier newspaper.

"The PNGDF has no political position and takes no political sides."

Mr O'Neill was elected prime minister after he and 73 other MPs voted to dump Sir Michael's government in August, but the Supreme Court declared the move unconstitutional this week and ordered Sir Michael returned to office.

Mr O'Neill, who has refused to recognise the court's decision, met with governor-general, Sir Michael Ogio, on Tuesday, after he and about 60 MPs loyal to him stormed past a police barricade to the gates of Government House.

After the short meeting, Mr O'Neill told reporters the governor-general said he would meet with Sir Michael on Wednesday before deciding who is prime minister.

Sir Michael has been attending cabinet meetings with members of his government held at Port Moresby's Ela Beach hotel.

Sir Michael Ogio - appointed Governor-General this year when Sir Michael was unquestionably the prime minister - swore in Mr O'Neill at the August 2 parliamentary sitting that elected him after Speaker Jeffery Nape ruled that the top office was vacant.

At that stage, Sir Michael - who has run the country for almost half of its 36 years of independence - had been away in Singapore for four months undergoing medical treatment.

The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Salamo Injia ruled by 3-2 on Monday that the prime ministership was not vacant, since Sir Michael had neither resigned nor been ruled medically unfit to govern.

Sir Michael, 75, yesterday denied his health would prevent him from returning to office. "My doctor in Singapore believes that my health is as good as any. I'm well enough to be a 40 year old again," he told the ABC.

Sir Michael's claim to the prime ministership rests with the 3-2 ruling. Mr O'Neill's claim rests with his re-election yesterday by parliament, 69-0, following the judgment.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Port Moresby Children's Ward recieved Medical Equipment



Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open. ~B.K.S. Iyengar and also somebody once said, “Greatest wealth is health”.

With that in mind RH Foundation Inc, sees that the health of our young children in Port Moresby General Hospital is of enormous significance to the community and Papua New Guinea generally. In one way or other this kind gesture from RH Foundation will in future have a rippling effect to these unfortunate kids who are sick today.

In addition to what it has contributed since its inception over the years, this donation today is in addition to the beds and cabinets it contributes in March of this year. As we all know Christmas is a time giving to your loved ones and friends, we at RH Foundation also take this opportunity to make this as our special gift to all the sick children and the staff of the Port Moresby General Hospital.

This donation is worth K 51,308.92 and so far for the Children’s wards alone, it has donated in 2011 only a total of K81, 336.48 for the children’s ward. RH Foundation wishes the sick children and the staff of the Port Moresby Children’s ward a Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year 2012.

Monday, December 5, 2011

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

PNG wants REDD included in Kyoto 2

Source: The National, Thursday 01st December 2011 By JASON GIMA WURI in Durban, South Africa PAPUA New Guinea wants the reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) project included in Kyoto 2 – should countries agree to renew it. Acting head of the PNG delegation Joe Pokana said the government had made six submissions on the project called REDD. One of the submissions is to place heavy emphasis on safeguards to ensure that REDD activities do not result in the loss of biodiversity and culturally significant environment or loss of landowner rights. “There will be no point in attending the conference of parties meetings if REDD is not included in Kyoto,’’ he said. “The Kyoto protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations framework convention on climate change which was adopted in Kyoto, Japan on Dec 11, 1997 and entered into force in February 2005. “The detailed rules for the implementation of the protocol were adopted at the COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001 and are called the Marrakesh Accords. “PNG officials will also be meeting with the World Bank, European Union and contacts in Australia to secure funding for adaptation and mitigation,” Pokana said. He said another submission was that PNG and other coalition for rainforest nations want further refining of the existing decisions surrounding modalities for measuring, reporting and verifying forest-related emissions. This is to ensure developing countries are allowed to develop their national systems in a phased-approach.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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RH FOUNDATION'S COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

2011 had been good for some including, street vendors, ordinary villagers, government workers, some businesses but not for Airlines PNG with respect to the events of October 13th and others in Papua New Guinea the opposite must been experienced. Since in 1989, RH PNG Limited had been operating in here for nearly 30 exciting years now with its core business in logging. However, it has diversified over the years into ICT, media, shipping, property development, general trading, airlines and other businesses including the much publicized oil palm. Though it has been accused of illegally operating in Papua New Guinea with its image tarnished both by local and international NGOs like Greenpeace and PNG Eco Forestry Forum and their sympathizers not forgetting their international donors. Through its charity arm RH FOUNDATION INC,it has contributed to community projects like health, sports education and many others as Rimbunan Hijau's Corporate Social Responsibility.
RH Foundation Inc, was incorporated in 2006 and formalized last year with its core objectives and purposes included; 1. To promote and encourage all works of humanity and charity without any distinction as to race, class or creed for the service of mankind. 2. To promote and encourage holistic development for the communities economically, socially, culturally, spiritually and intellectually. 3. To assist and encourage communities to realize long term well being and self sufficiency by addressing various underlying issues through focused programmatic opportunities, leadership and collaboration.
A rcent donation of trophies for the 2011 Independence celebration games for Tembari Children Care Centre, in addition to cup, chairs and water thank plus other donation to the TCC.
A recent cleaning exercise as part of its community work, staff taking part in picking rubbish.
Donation of of beds and bed side lockers worth of K51,000.00 in March 2001 by staff of RH.
A recent donation to PNG Radiology Association.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New hotel to open in Port Moresby

Source: The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011 THE newly-built Grand Papua Hotel will be ready to welcome both corporate and leisure travellers with contemporary and luxurious accommodation in the city centre on Dec 1. The hotel, which is part of the Coral Seas Hotel group in Port Moresby, yeterday announced its grand opening tonight. The inauguration will be led by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. A cocktail reception, entertainment and fireworks will follow. Attending this significant event will be the business community in Port Moresby, some go­vernment ministers and members of the Swire family from the United Kingdom. The Grand Papua Hotel will be the first property in Port Moresby and the ninth property to join the Coral Sea Hotel portfolio in PNG. The new hotel promises modern, comfortable and luxurious accommodation, where guests could relax and enjoy their stay with full city and ocean views of Ela Beach and Fairfax Harbour. General manager Da­- vid Martens said it would be the first newly-built hotel to open in Port Moresby for over two decades offering the latest in technology with innovative paperless check-in system using tablet technology. It would be the only building in PNG with a fully-integrated building management system that would manage the building’s energy efficiency to minimise its impact on the environment The new hotel has 161 contemporary-designed guestrooms and suites, each of which includes a 32-inch LCD screen cable TV, Wi-Fi internet connection, safety deposit box, fully stocked mini bar and other international standard amenities. The hotel has a contemporary feel with some local indigenous and colonial accents that will surprise, but at the same time delight guests. The facilities also include three levels of underground secured parking, 24-hour security, 330sqm of spa and beauty salon services, outdoor jacuzzi, a 15-metre swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness centre and exclusive executive club on the 15th floor with three executive boardrooms. Equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, the hotel has six conference rooms that can accommodate small-to-medium meetings and private functions and ready to support up to 200 participants. Grand Papua Hotel has special opening rates for guests at K750+ GST per room. Apart from the eclectic “grand brasserie” serving a fresh modern menu with Asian influences in an informal, yet friendly and attentive atmosphere, the hotel also features the “grand Bar, a modern colonial lounge adjacent to the lobby that serves a creative selection of cocktails, draught beers and wine plus the cabinet room that can be reserved for private and intimate parties. Grand Papua Hotel has special opening rates for guests at K750+ GST per room.

Rotarians bring in K600,000 materials

Source: The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011 By FRANCIS POKA ROTARIANS from overseas have arrived in Western Highlands’ Jiwaka region to distribute materials worth more than K600,000. Reports said the team of 14 was scheduled to arrive in Jiwaka yesterday to distribute the health and educational materials. Thirteen were from Rotary New South Wales and one from Poland. The materials would be distributed to schools and the health centre in Jiwaka. The hospital materials included an X-ray machine, adjustable beds, baby clothing, towels and first-aid kits. Materials for schools included computers, water tanks, sewing machines and furniture. The Rotarians would stay for 10 days in Nondugl with visits to various government institutions, facilities and project sites. Team leader Adrian Roach Maitland said his team was pleased to travel to Jiwaka. He appealed to Jiwaka leaders and the Jiwaka Transitional Authority to put their personal differences aside and develop the region. Jiwaka Rotary International founder and president Frank Goi challenged the people of Jiwaka not to ask what the new province can do for them but they must ask what each person can do for the new province. Acting director of Western Highlands public health Philip Talpa said he was happy with the initiative to bring the necessary services.

Israelis to build Hela hydro for K300 million

By ANDREW ALPHONSE THE people of Hela and the Israelis will work in partnership to develop a major hydro-electricity project worth K300 million using the mighty Hewaii Falls of Tagali river in Tari. Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru announced this during an awareness visit on Tuesday to Hapono and Mapana villages near the Hewaii Falls in the Hayapuga local level government (LLG) area in Tari District. To the applause of the huge crowd that had gathered for the occasion, Governor Agiru said he would lead a delegation to Jerusalem in Israel on Christmas Eve this year to sign the agreement between the government and people of Israel and Hela for this major hydro-electricity project. Governor Agiru said the Hewaii Falls hydro plant would be constructed over a period of six years and would provide power just like the Yonki hydro plant in Eastern Highlands Province. Governor Agiru said landowners would also have ‘equity’ in this hydro-electricity project just like the landowners of the hydro carbon industries in the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project like Hides PDL1, Hides 4 PDL 7, Angore, Juha and Komo LNG international airport. He said the PNG LNG project has a lifespan of 30 years but the Hewaii Falls hydro project would be everlasting and is expected to bring in more benefits and developments to the landowners now and in their future. Governor Agiru who was accompanied by engineers, investors and officials from Israel and PNG’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) to the occasion said pre-feasibility study work on the hydro project would start this week including identification of possible construction site before actual design and construction begins. He said as a project of huge magnitude, it would take time. He has urged his people for patience as they embrace this huge development coming into their area which is also situated a few kilometres away from the Nogoli, Kobalu, Hides PDL 1 and Angore hydro carbon project areas. Governor Agiru urged his people to look after the engineers and experts who would come and develop their hydro-electricity project, adding that with this another major hydro-electricity project in Hela, he has created a “ridge and an everlasting relationship” between his Hela people and people of Israel, the “Biblical Promised Land”. He said apart from the hydro-project at Hewaii Falls, Israeli food technologists and investors have also signed agreements with the provincial government to develop three major agro-industrial centres (AIC) in the province at Hulia in Tari, Koroba and Tente in Mendi. Governor Agiru said with these AIC and factories, food, cash crops, vegetables, animals, livestock, poultry and all agricultural produce would be produced, processed and packaged for both commercial and domestic consumption. He said AIC would involve the development of barren and waste land in the province into plantations like the huge Hayapuga swamp in Tari and others while there will also be arrangement with landowners to work their own land and grow products and animal husbandry to supply to the AIC as food security project. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20111111/frhome.htm

Friday, November 11, 2011

RH sues Post-Courier for defamation

Source: The National, Friday 11th November 2011 Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group is suing the Post-Courier for defamation over the Pomio land situation which involves one of its subsidia­ries, the logging company Gilford Ltd. A writ of summons was served to the Post-Courier on Tuesday naming South Pacific Post Ltd as the first defendant and reporter John Pangkatana as second defendant Private lawyer Michael Wilson, of Warner Shand Lawyers, said the newspaper company had already received the court documents. Warner Shand Lawyers also issued a press statement yesterday saying: “We act for Rimbunan Hijau Group … we have issued procee­dings for defamation against the Post-Courier for the continuous publication of a statement that the RH Group was in contempt of a court order in relation to the operations at the oil palm project in the Pomio district. “The purpose of this letter is a similar complaint about the article by Grace Tiden on the front page of the Post-Courier yesterday titled “SABL leases flawed – Wo­men shocked, all agreements defective”. “We say that the headline is manifestly wrong, presumptive and sub-judice. It is an invention. Nowhere in the report (pages 1 and 5) is there any finding by the commission as to the fact that the SABL is flawed. “The Commission of Inquiry is still proceeding and has not concluded yet. However, the Post-Courier has chosen to make a finding on its own pre-empting the Commission of Inquiry and the defamation proceedings before the court. “The Post-Courier has never let the process of the Commission of Inquiry into SABL to take its normal course of event. “In this regard, the Post-Courier has published more than 15 headlines similarly pre-empting the process of the inquiry and the litigation before the court. There has never been any court order restraining the oil palm pro­ject in the Pomio district. “The Post-Courier, how­ever, has continuously made an allegation that there is such a court order and in this regard a defamation proceeding has been served on the Post-Courier on Tuesday (Nov 8). “In this case, we note that the Post-Courier was defen­ded by Blake Dawson Lawyers but we are now advised that they are no longer acting. “What does this mean? Has no other lawyers been appointed? Does it mean that the Post-Courier are acting for themselves or indeed that they have conceded? “The Post-Courier has subjected the Rimbunan Hijau Group to a trial by media before the court of public opi­nion. There are a total of about five million hectares of land that are currently alienated under a study undertaken by a professor from the Australian National University. “The Pomio project is only about 60,000 hectares. Why is Gilford, a subsidiary of Rimbunan Hijau being targeted? “It is a question that can only be answered by Post-Courier,” the RH has said through its lawyers, Warner Shand.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A tribute to Lois Englberger

Source: The National-Tuesday, 25th October 2011 By JAMES LARAKI WE pay tribute to Dr Lois Englberger, a dedicated scientist, nutritionist and advocate of local food. She was a great scientist, teacher, a passionate campaigner and a friend. Dr Englberger was dedicated to her work. She is indeed an icon on Vitamin A-rich bananas and a very strong advocator on local foods in the Pacific. Her “Go Local, Grow Local and Eat Local” campaign to promote local foods will be remembered. Dr Englberger passed away on Sept 29, 2011, aged 62, at her home in Pasco, USA. Dr Englberger was born and raised on a small farm in northwestern Missouri, USA. After obtaining a bachelor of science from the University of Missouri in 1970, she was chosen as the state’s delegate by International Farm Youth Exchange and was sent to India. On her return to the United States, she joined the International Nutrition programme at Cornell University to do her masters on lactose intolerance in children. Her field work took her to Bogota, Colombia, and Yemen, which she visited at the invitation of a German agriculturist she had met in India, who later became her husband. After finishing her thesis, she returned to Yemen to work in health clinics with the International Voluntary Services and Catholic Relief Services. In 1980, Dr Englberger and her husband moved to Tonga, where she assisted the National Food and Nutrition Committee in organising activities, including a national weight loss competition. The couple moved to Pohnpei in 1997 where she worked as a United Nations volunteer with Unicef and the Federated State of Micronesia (FSM) government. At that time, conditions related to vitamin A deficiency had started to emerge in children. In an attempt to alleviate the problem, the population was encouraged to eat green leafy vegetables and other foods recommended by international bodies, only to find out that many Micronesians considered green vegetables as food for pigs and had no tradition of eating them. Dr Englberger and her colleagues noticed that since vitamin A deficiency surfaced only recently, something in the traditional diet must have protected the local population against this type of deficiency. They started to look for clues in the traditional diet. It was part of this exercise that led to the discovery for the first time that banana cultivars had scientifically shown to being rich in vitamin A. This finding took her on a hunt for other food sources of vitamin A, the topic of her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her search led to the identification of many carotenoid-rich types of banana, giant swamp taro, pandanus, and breadfruit. In addition to her work on other foods, she went on to produce a series of articles on vitamin A in bananas. Further analyses showed that bananas also have high levels of riboflavin and other micronutrients. Carotenoids and riboflavin were also examined in bananas from the Solomon Islands. With her PhD in hand, Dr Englberger started planning with Pohnpei colleagues the promotion of local foods to reduce the prevalence of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity, which had taken on epidemic proportions following a shift in diet towards more imported processed foods. In 2004, they formed the Island Food Community of Pohnpei (IFCP) as a non-government organisation. Its first challenge was to change entrenched attitudes regarding local foods. Many islanders saw the consumption of local foods as a sign of poverty. That people were only eating them because they had no money to buy rice or other processed foods. In 2005, IFCP joined the global health project led by the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment based at McGill University in Canada. Besides helping document the traditional food system, IFCP promoted local foods using the ‘Let’s Go Local’ slogan. The successes in Pohnpei allowed her to take the Let’s Go Local concept to other Pacific countries. She ran a series of popular nutrition workshops in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. In PNG, the workshop was held in 2008 at West Taraka, Lae, in association with the Family Poverty Rehabilitation Association Mama, a dedicated women’s group. During the workshop, she encouraged people to grow and eat local food. The workshop with the theme ‘Let’s Go-Grow-Eat and Stay Local’ was aimed at making awareness on the importance of eating and growing local food to stay healthier, contribute to the economy, environment friendly, uphold cultural significance and promote food security. Dr Englberger inspired the people of the pacific countries to return to their indigenous ways of living, with much emphasis on the cultivation, preparation, and consumption of local food. Without her work, we will not have realised the nutritional content of locally grown produce. We are grateful for her tireless efforts. We will always remember her in our thoughts and will continue to keep her legacy alive by promoting the go local and stay local theme. Her legacy lives through our efforts, the work she began will also live on. The enduring devotion and passion that symbolised the life of Lois Englberger is an inspiration for all of us to continue her good work. Those of us who are involved in agriculture research for development are fortunate to continue the work she started to make a difference in the lives of local communities by carrying on the work she began as a tribute to her courageous efforts to improve human nutrition by promoting local foods in the region.

Lae business slowly picks up after riot

Source: The National, Wednesday 09th November 2011 By GABRIEL LAHOC BUSINESS activities in Lae are slowly picking up following the ethnic uprising that began last Thursday and lasted through the weekend. A number of companies in Lae reported that although they were cautiously opening for operations this week, they were still concerned about the safety of their employees. The number of working days during which they have remained closed had also affected the companies in various industries, who also reported losses from lost man hours. Apart from the private sector, the government divisions and agencies said they were affected as their staff did not report for work for fear of their safety. The retail industry in Lae had been forced to operate with skeletal staff as complete closure would mean shortage of food for many households who would not be able to buy their supplies. Senior staff spoke on condition of anonymity as their employers were still assessing their losses during the four days of rioting and attacks by local Morobeans, especially around Lae. A senior staff at ANZ bank in Lae said the bank heavily lost business during the first two days of rioting, in which less than K1 million in deposits was recorded. He said they started off slowly on Monday and picked up yesterday in terms of transactions with customers. “For banks, time lost is money lost, and we lost a lot from customers not opening new accounts and deposits not taking place,” he said. A senior commercial banker from another banker said several companies were severely affected because salaries of their workers’ had remained unpaid until Monday. The management of Mapai Trucking reported that it had been “greatly affected”. It said the violence had affected many drivers who could not report for work. However, the company said it was slowly picking up. It blamed the local government for failing to contain the city violence. The stevedoring companies in Lae were operating with skeletal staff as majority of their staff had not reported for work, according to workers. A number of business houses said they were hoping to resume operations with mobile police squads patrolling the city on a regular basis..
A police mobile unit personnel inspecting a deserted residential area in a Lae settlement torched during the weekend’s violence. Left: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (left) issuing the state of emergency warning in the presence of Police Minister John Boito, Acting Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga and Energy and Petroleum Minister William Duma

Monday, November 7, 2011

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Source: The National, Friday 04th November 2011 AS far as I know The National Newspaper’s Writer’s Forum has not been properly thanked by PNG writers entering into The Crocodile Prize, at least in the poetry section. Whether that is because few of us have submitted our works to the forum or it is merely an unfortunate oversight, I believe a vote of thanks is overdue (and may be a welcome, even if temporary, flag of truce!). At least for myself and a few others, I know that the Writer’s Forum has provided the first opportunity for us to read our creative work and that of our fellow poets, in print at no cost to us, produced every Friday, almost without fail. Today we have The Crocodile Prize literary competition for poems, essays and short stories, brought to us by the PNG Post- Courier and the inspired website, PNG Attitude. But the Writer’s Forum broke the ice first. And if The National’s daily circulation is really bigger than their competitor, then I would say that for my literary pursuit, it’s all good! Rivalry, and sometimes enmity, between the two dailies is a natural phenomenon in the news world. It is acceptable when it keeps the news hounds on their toes and (hopefully) their readers are better informed. Personally, I hold with the motto “know your enemy”, so I buy both papers. But perhaps this competitive chasm can be bridged, at least at this crossroads where there is so much effort being put in and good opportunity for resurrecting PNG literature. The Crocodile Prize is a first “small step” before the next “giant leap”. In my opinion, to not cease this day would be counterproductive to our shared cause. There may be synergies to be gained by addressing national literature in separate but parallel avenues. My first poem submission to the Writer’s Forum was in early 2007. I recall buying that day’s edition of the newspaper and turning directly to The Weekender magazine to read my name in the byline of the poem “When it falls”, penned 10 years earlier. How cool was that?! Thank you to The National newspaper. Realising for the first time that I had a forum to share my works was a crystallising point, a creative resurgence for my writing. Until that moment I had felt that I was stagnating, for what is a writer without an audience? “Lost messages/hold no meaning/or thoughts would speak/and tongues/all be silent”. Five years after the first publication I now realise that I have submitted and had the pleasure of reading some of my best work (that’s a private opinion) in the Writer’s Forum. By propitious arrangements the poetic submissions share page borders with Russell Soaba’s Storyboard, so that small segment of the newspaper provides an entertaining and elucidating mini-library of literature on a single page! I get the same feeling of pride and satisfaction in sharing my work through that same avenue today, albeit with no other prospect of reward down the line. On the other hand The Crocodile Prize is a great advance in building up PNG writers to tell the great tales and share poetry that expresses our identity as individuals, as diverse peoples and to define and celebrate our promising nationhood. What’s more The Crocodile Prize achieves this broad and worthy objective in a competitive spirit that encourages and rewards excellence. Thursday, Sept 15, was an exceptional day, for a group of budding young PNG writers to receive and read the first ever copy of The Crocodile Prize 2011 Anthology, with our works printed in the pages, bound in dark green covers and delivered to us by Pukpuk Publications. Many of my poems from Writer’s Forum were resubmitted to The Crocodile Prize, and two original works were published in the first anthology. This outcome, for me, would not have been possible without the opportunities afforded by all three parties named. To our two daily newspapers I would propose that on this literary cause our ends are the same, that is, if we’re all in the same boat. Let us work together on the means of achieving our shared goal. On this page are four of my poems. I am sincerely grateful to The National newspaper for first publishing them in the Writer’s Forum.

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OPEN LETTER

This is an open letter on the current Greenpeace and Post Courier propaganda against the Logging Industry, Palm Oil Industry and Rimbunan Hijau Group. The Post Courier lost its number status as leading in newspaper many years ago due to its own lack creativity and extreme militancy stand against certain industries. Post Courier never took this defeat in stride, infact it has taken harden stand against its parent company Rimbunan Hijau Group and its primarily industry namely Forestry. The current high pedestal stand by Post Courier reporter John Pangatana and Greenpeace against the RH Group and the logging / palm oil project in Pomio is laughable to say least. Collin Flier the ANU Professor who first wrote the thesis on the Special Agriculture and Business lease in Papua New Guinea claimed there is a total of 5 million hectares of land was alienated under the SABL. The current RH project in Pomio in total is only about 60 hectares. Why is then RH Pomio project by Gilford Ltd is being targeted by Post Courier and Greenpeace ? We understand that there SABL Leases which are more than 500,000 hectares, 790,000 hectares owed by others on the pretext of SABL but Post Courier / Greenpeace do not target them. Is Post Courier afraid to highlighted this dubious SABL by Australian and powerful politician in Papua New Guineas. Come on PC/Greenpeace. Both of you have turn into a neo-colonization instrument. Shame on you and have lost all credibility. We understand from the media that RH has instituted legal proceeding for malicious reporting against Post Courier whom is willfully defaming the Group and continuing to defame. In order to continue with its militant defaming against the RH Group, Post Courier and Greenpeace has now created an anonymous blog to continue their illegal libelous defamation. Why ? Haven't you have enough blood in your hand already ? John Pangatana, the modern day self appointed Eco reporter claim there is no tangible benefits from the Pomio project. Well, we can understand his ignorance and affiliating with anti-development NGO like Greenpeace. A palm oil project is a 35 to 50 years years cycle project and the benefits of infrastructure, roads, medical facilities , school will be built in due time. John Pangatana, please educate yourself that , one need to clear the forest to built this infrastructure. The continues adverse front page with screaming headlines on Post Courier has the effect of creating fear and uncertainty among the people of Pomio whom majority of the landowners welcome this project. Why don't Post Courier and Greenpeace pick on non Asian business in Papua New Guinea e.g Oil and Gas, Petroleum, mining...why only pick business run by Asians in Papua New Guinea. Is Post Courier anti development, anti- commerce, anti national building, anti Asian, Anti Asian business in Papua New Guinea. Greenpeace is an NGO organization that do support any form development in any part of the world and also do not support any form of commercial activities. Post Courier in order to increase its newspaper circulation has always jump on the Greenpeace band wagon blinded and evident from John Pangatana cruise with Greenpeace in the Esperanza. The media in any country has a responsibility to maintain the greater interest of maintaining law and order. Post Courier's merciless front page twisted and false article is putting the issue of SBAL which is before the Commission of Inquiry and in the case of Gilford Ltd before the trial be media and public against the laws of Papua New Guinea. Purely calculated to do irreparable damage to the RH brand name, its thousands PNG loyal staffs and create a pariah status for RH, its national and expatriate staffs, investment and its standing as a legitimate business entity in Papua New Guinea. Why is Post Courier and Greenpeace is preempting the investigations and finding of Commission of Inquiry, in the case of Gilford Ltd the findings of the Court. The majority of the Landowners support this Pomio project and and Gilford/plus the umbrella landowner company from the start has welcome the investigation. The Company and the majority landowners has maintain from day one that all allocation process of this Pomio project has been duly complied with and in this regard, the minority landowners driven by Celcor ( another NGO lawyers that do not support any form of development in Papua New) with the support of the local and overseas NGO attempt to obtain and injunction and failed. But Post Courier and Greenpeace do not respect the Courts of Papua New Guinea and laws of Papua New Guinea. Greenpeace in breach of PNG laws sailed to Pomio on the pretext that it is sailing to Port Moresby, when the clearance is only given to sail Port Moresby only. Why is Port Courier and Greenpeace is hell bend in manipulating of the truth and driven only by the hate towards RH and National newspaper. In the last two weeks PC highlighted only the Pomio project where a genuine developer has committed to the project with multimillion dollar investment and that's the truth. There is no manipulation. The commitment can be seen in the Vision City development. Whereas the COI is respect of almost 20 odd SABL some are as big as 790,000 hectares which we understand headed by an Australian. Nevertheless, Post Courier choose not to publish the truth and continue to publish false or half truth material in the front page in vain. Come on Post Courier your articles and approach is an affront to common self and an insult to every Papua New Guinean's intelligence. Unfortunately, the National Newspaper does not have the same courage or mean spirited attitude of Post Courier to published the rebuttal continuously in the front page. Well then where does this is going to take us on this confrontational approach !!! PC and Greenpeace does not let the Commission of Inquiry do its work or the let the PNG Courts make its own findings. PC and Greenpeace does no respect the Court order that allows logging in order to commence the palm oil project. In the final analysis, whatever credibility Post Courier still has now is down the drain. Really PC, stand for the truth nor survival of the your newspaper to increase the circulation. Are we expecting another six(6) days front page on next week? The truth, integrity, media independence, unbiassedly reporting and honour no longer a virtue for a paper that seem to claim to champion this virtues. Shocking the state of PNG media has descended into !!!! In the last resort PC/Greenpeace you have now politicize the simple issue which already subject to accountability mechanism by the COI and Court. All best for the future of journalism in PNG. Best Regards, Audacity of Truth

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Landowners want activists expelled

Source: The National-Tuesday, 01st November 2011 THE Immigration and Citizenship Service has been urged to deport Greenpeace activists from PNG if they broke the country’s laws and regulations. In a signed petition, hundreds of people in Pomio want the department and the National Maritime Safety Authority to investigate whether the activists had clearance to land at Pomio last week. They believe that the Greenpeace vessel, mv Esperanza, entered the area illegally and had failed to follow proper protocol. The petitioners believe that the Greenpeace activists’ objective is to disrupt economic activity and to impede PNG’s development. They see Greenpeace as a foreign organisation which is not genuinely interested in the welfare of the landowners. They believe that Greenpeace is deliberately trying to stop commercial activity in the area and deprive landowners of employment and incomes for themselves and their families. They accused Greenpeace of deliberately inflaming inter-clan tensions for their own purposes. They believe Greenpeace has a history of encouraging potentially-violent confrontation in order to create “footage” that it can send to the global media.

Greenpeace visit illegal, says administrator

Source: The National-Tuesday, 01st November 2011 By PATRICK MAKIS LAST week’s protest visit by Greenpeace to the Drina logging camp in Pomio, East New Britain, was illegal. The visit was not approved by the provincial authorities. Pomio district administrator Pomaleu Langisan said Greenpeace had failed to seek formal approval from police and the provincial government before going to the district to stage its protests. He said the Pomio district administration, as the imme­diate government authority on the ground, was unaware of the visit and he and senior officers were turned away by Greenpeace officials when they tried to board the vessel to find out why it had berthed in their waters. He said the ship, instead, dispatched boats and a helicopter ferrying Greenpeace activists to the village of Mu where they met with landowners who were against the Memalo integrated development project. Langisan said there was a near-confrontation between pro-Memalo landowners, who numbered nearly 1,000, and the NGO-backed people comprising about 100 supporters. “I want to thank the members of the police task force who were on the ground at the time and managed to contain the situation, which could have resulted in fatalities,” he said. Langisan condemned reports published in the Post-Courier, labelling them as biased and mainly concerned with the views of pro-NGO landowners and not truly reflective of the situation that day. He said the Post-Courier reporter failed to report that the number of people in support of the project was greater than those in opposition. “I invited the reporter, including other media personnel, to come ashore with me to the Drina logging camp so that they could get a better picture of what was happening on the ground but they refused,” he said. “I can only understand why the reporting was biased because media officials were accommodated on board the Esperanza and were inclined to report in support of Greenpeace,” he said. He called on Greenpeace and its supporters in the country to res­pect authorities and landowners when protesting sensitive issues such as the Memalo project. The Memalo project covers three concession areas of Ralopal, Nakiura and Pomata and comes under the lease-lease back scheme, which would see logging activities conducted with the cultivation of oil palm forming the agriculture component of the project.

Monday, October 31, 2011

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An erosion of democracy in PNG

Source: The National - Friday, October 28th 2011 I AM deeply concerned at the attempt by the government to restrict the democratic freedom of the East Sepik people. The democratic and legally-elected East Sepik provincial government, as an entity, ought to be allowed to exercise its democratic constitutional rights through the courts. Even though I represent the opposing view in East Sepik politics, my concern is growing daily with the erosion of democracy by the ruling class in Waigani. Are we a democratic country or not? This is the key question. If we are, then all the tenets of democracy ought to be exercised by all the people of this land regardless of whether they are in power or not. Dissent is an essential part of the democratic process. Allowing all sectors of the community the right to disagree with the government of the day are normal occurrences in a democracy. Without the avenue for peaceful dissent, people will then take up arms to dissent. It is a safety valve designed to ensure the in­tegrity of democratic systems. Democracy is essentially about majority rule while ensuring civil and political rights for everyone, including criminals. Like it or not, this is the system our forebears decided we ought to have in 1975. If we want to change the system, then the right place to do it is to take it to the people in a referendum. If the people of PNG choose to have a communist or socialist system of government, then we can throw out the Constitution and start all over again. Until that day, we must respect the Constitution that we all agreed to at Independence. This is essential if we are to maintain our unity. Allan Bird Wewak

Govt must have raked up a hefty Falcon bill

Source: The National -Monday, October 31st 2011 ONE of the first popular decisions the government made soon after taking over on Aug 2 was to put the Falcon jet up for sale. Just hours after making that decision, Deputy Prime Minister Belden Na­mah and some ministers were taking joy rides around the country on the jet. Then the prime minister went globetrotting on­board this ex­pensive toy, flying to Fiji, New York, Canberra and recently to Perth for the CHOGM. If I am not wrong, this government, within three months, has used the aircraft more than the previous government had in the last 12 months leading to its ouster. The prime minister has since changed his stance to say that the aircraft has been sold to Air Niu­gini and will be chartered by the government for its use. That is very good news indeed. But was that not the same arrangement that the previous government had in place? And what about the K20 million the government owes Air Niugini? And if the rate of K20,000 per hour is true, just imagine the costs of the trips taken by our prime minister and his entourage. Indeed, our prime minister has quickly assumed the reputation of a globetrotter. The entourage and the costs added onto the aircraft charter grossly in­crea­ses the costs of each trip. It would be interesting if someone can publicly tell us the total amount raked up so far. On the home front, when the prime minister went globetrotting, his deputy and acting prime minister made decisions only to have the prime minister rescind them when he arrived home. Where are we heading, Papua New Guinea? Christopher Janjuwing Port Moresby

Pomio invasion by Greenpeace illegal

Source: The National -Monday, October 31st 2011 I am from Mamusi, Pomio district. I was really disturbed by the way Greenpeace, an international NGO, acted beyond international legal jurisdictions to invade my people’s peaceful life recently. Greenpeace, instead of bringing environmental peace in the form of providing balanced advice to the concerned people, came with the ulterior intention of sabotaging the oil palm integrated project that my people have supported and hoping to depend on as the immediate solution to seeing tangible development. At the outset, it was a well-planned “mission of attack” by Greenpeace, the 14 people from the project impact area, and Post-Courier to dismantle the project. The Memalo oil palm integrated project is owned by 121 clans, consisting of some 5,000 people. Unfortunately, Greenpeace and its allies on Oct 23, displayed a gross unethical and irresponsible beha­viour towards the 121 clans without any sense of remorse and respect. Their actions could have resulted in many lives lost, if the police and the Pomio district administrator had not intervened. I agree with your editorial (Oct 26) regarding the invasion, which undermines the sovereignty of PNG, its immigration laws and causing damage to properties, and committing disturbance to my people’s lives. The incident is a wake-up call to the government to start acting to protect the sovereignty of this nation by similar invasion from Greenpeace in future. The people of Pomio are not terro­rists that Greenpeace and its allies have the absolute supremacy of invading them using sophisticated equipment installed on the Esperanza. I do recognise the role that Greenpeace has understaken to protect the environment. However, what international law gave them the right to invade my people’s land? In this regard, I call on the United Nations, as the international organ for “peace and unity” to see what Greenpeace and its local allies have done to scare my people from pursuing a development project that they fully supported. Is it Greenpeace’s intention to prevent development programmes from reaching millions of poor people in developing countries, including my people? As a concerned son of Pomio, I do not see any tangible development in terms of road, electricity, piped water, telecommunication and other econo­mic-related infrastructure reaching us. Pomio has high infant mortality and low literacy rates. We have been leading the same lifestyle since Independence in 1975. We often rely on church-run education and health facilities, with minimal support from the government over the years. We no longer wait for miracles to happen to change our lives today and in the next 50 years. This is the inescapable fact that Greenpeace and its local allies must accept. Greenpeace, Post-Courier and others who oppose this project must redefine “sustainable development” within the context of exploiting natural resources to meet current population needs, while preserving and conserving for future generation. Development and environmental destruction co-exist, but striking a delicate balance between these two to attain sustainable exploitation of natu­ral resources is the mantra of any development programmes for both present and future population. I believe the integrated oil palm project at least aims toddress the UN’s general objective of sustainable use of resources. The proponents of the project, acknowledging this international principle, conducted wide consultations and awareness for almost 10 years to gauge the people’s views on the pros and cons of the project. This has resulted in the 121 clans agreeing in principle to support it. The people of Pomio have learnt a lot from the past logging activities, where our timbers were stolen without tangible development on the ground for landowners. Memalo Holdings does not want this to happen again and that is why it initiated the integrated and sustainable project that would address the problem. I urge the Post-Courier and Greenpeace not to use photos showing children. These innocent children lack the capacity of reasoning and making informed decision on their own, and they should not be exploited in this regard. We, the people of Pomio, want development. Greenpeace, please go somewhere else to practise your invasion. Records around the world indicate that your ulterior motive is more towards destroying people’s lives, not bringing development to them. I reiterate my point that environmental destruction and development co-exist where human activities are taking place. Greenpeace and its local allies must accept this fact. Alex K. Teu Via email http://www.thenational.com.pg/?q=node/24785

Friday, October 28, 2011

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Greenpeace warned to stay out of Pomio

Source: The National - Friday, October 28th 2011 By MALUM NALU GREENPEACE activists who caused havoc in remote Pomio, East New Britain, last Sunday and Monday, have been warned of severe repercussions if they try to re-enter Pomio tomorrow. Rumours were rife in Pomio that the activists and accompanying journalists – from Post-Courier, Australian Broadcas­ting Corporation and National Broadcasting Corporation – who caused havoc with their helicopter and spray-painting of a logging ship, will try to re-enter Pomio tomorrow as the Commission of Inquiry into Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) visits the Sigite-Mukus integrated rural development project. Greenpeace vessel mv Espe­ranza was ordered out of Pomio waters by district administrator Pomaleu Langisan following the “invasion”. However, it was reportedly still in PNG waters awaiting the visit of the inquiry team to Pomio. A majority of Pomio villa­gers who supported the project would be gathering en masse to meet the COI team when it visits tomorrow, and warned of severe repercussions if Greenpeace and local NGOs opposed to the pro­ject tried to interfere. They told The National yesterday that Pomio was one of the least-developed and backward areas of Papua New Guinea until the project came along, and they would not allow Greenpeace and its local supporters to hijack the project. As of yesterday, the pro-pro­ject supporters started camping at the project site in Pomio awaiting the visit of the inquiry team. On Monday, mv Esperanza left the waters of Jacquinot Bay on order of Pomaleu, who accused them of inciting the pro­blems in Pomio. “This letter serves to inform you that you did not show your approved customs entry to Pomio ports, therefore, as the go­vernment on the ground, we want you to leave as soon as you receive this letter,” he stated. “Secondly, you came on shore to spray-paint the log ship without authorisation and you have breached the law for unlawfully spray-painting the ship. “Therefore, I, as the administrator, direct that you move out of the port as soon as possible. “If you continue, I will send police to arrest any person who disobeys.” Meantime, the situation in Pomio remained tense yesterday.
Stay out of our land ... Pomio villagers gathering at the Sigite-Mukus integrated rural development project site at Jacquinot Bay in East New Britain yesterday following an “invasion” by a group of activists aligned with Greenpeace, including journalists. The villagers have warned of severe repercussions if the activists and their journalist friends re-enter Pomio. The project, the villagers said, had given them a new lease on life and fresh hopes for a better future. – Nationalpic by MALUM NALU

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Govt agency confirms breach by Greenpeace

Source: The National - Friday, October 28th 2011 THE Customs Department has confirmed that the Greenpeace vessel, mv Esperanza, breached clearance conditions when it sailed to Pomio, in East New Britain, last Sunday. Greenpeace, which has lost its charitable status in New Zealand after a lengthy investigation, faces a fine of between K500 and K25,000 under section 25 of the Customs Act. The department’s trade and compliance director, Wesley Bulumaris, said the vessel was cleared to enter Papua New Guinea waters but was to sail directly to Port Moresby. “We have now come to learn through the media that the vessel sailed to Pomio rather than Port Moresby and is currently on anchorage since Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,” he said in a letter yesterday to lawyers acting for landowners in Pomio who are opposed to the Greenpeace’s publicity stunts and other activities. A copy of the letter was made available to The National by MS Wagambie Lawyers. Bulumaris said the captain’s action was in breach of the conditions and punishable under the Act. “Investigation will be carried out to establish the facts for any action to be taken,” he said. Esperanza has since left Pomio and was believed to be heading to Port Moresby with a few landowners to seek political support to stop the special agriculture business leases. A Post-Courier reporter is believed to be on board the vessel. FM 100 radio reported yesterday that Greenpeace had abandoned its activities in Pomio following protests from landowners who support the oil palm project which is expected to provide jobs, security and infrastructure, royalties and other benefits. On Monday, lawyers acting for Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group served notice on Post-Courier to publish an apology over a report on the same day or face legal action. The Monday report, headlined “Pro-loggers tell visitors to get out”, stated that RH was still operating in Pomio despite a stop-work order and was in contempt of court. Warner Shand Lawyers said no such court order was in place and that the report was malicious. This would not be the first time that Greenpeace had broken laws to achieve its goals. Last year, its Rainbow Warrior was escorted out of Indonesian waters after the local authorities discovered discrepancies in the papers submitted by the ship’s agent and Greenpeace campaigners.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

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US bans use of APNG

Source: The National, 27th October 2011 THE American Embassy in Papua New Guinea has banned all its staff and citizens from flying on Airlines PNG. In a message posted on its website last Thursday, the embassy said US citizens travelling to or living in Pa­pua New Guinea must not travel on the airline until further notice. It said embassy personnel could fly with Airlines PNG only with the approval of the US ambassador to PNG and only for the embassy’s essential business. It issued this directive following the airline’s recent plane crash on Oct 13 in Madang, when a Dash 8 crashed, killing 28 of the 32 people on board. The embassy said Airlines PNG had experien­ced two plane crashes in the recent past, resulting in 41 deaths. The embassy had encouraged Americans to maintain an updated profile in the Smart Traveller Enrolment Programme, or STEP, at the website: www.travel.state.gov.
Some of the 11 Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft now grounded at the Jackson Airport in Port Moresby.

PM loses bid to delay reference

Source: The National, 27th October 2011 By SAMUEL RAITANO THE Supreme Court has dismissed an application by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stay the East Sepik provincial executive’s special Supreme Court reference. The five-man bench voted 3-2 to proceed with the reference hearing. O’Neill had applied for the stay order on the grounds that the medical records of Sir Michael Somare from the Raffles Hospital in Singapore should be produced in court first, in compliance with the full bench’s order of Sept 27, before the case should proceed. But Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, with fellow judges Nicholas Kirriwom and Les Gavara-Nanu, ruled that proceedings should not wait for the medical records from Singapore. Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika and Justice Bernard Sakora differed on that. O’Neill’s lawyer Ma­nuel Varitimos said the court orders for Sir Michael to produce medical reports and “records” were not complied with. It was argued that only medical reports and affidavits from medical practitioners were made available. But Sir Michael’s lawyer Marshal Cooke pointed out that the medical records were the property of the hospital, unless required to be produced by Singapore courts in accordance with the laws of Singapore. That was the policy of the Raffles Hospital, according to an affidavit sworn by the chief executive officer, Peter Lim Hong Haw. Cooke said the application by O’Neill and his group was purported to delve into the jurisdictions of another country, a move designed to stall the reference hearing for an indefinite time, given the likely legal complications to be encountered. Lawyer for the referrer (ESP executives) Ian Molloy also pointed out that the reference was brought by his client specifically for the constitutional interpretations of the events of Aug 2 rela­ting to the vacancy of the prime minister’s post. The Ombudsman Com­mission, through its lawyer Virgil Narokobi, told the court that given it was an undisputed fact that Sir Michael was found to be incapable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the prime minister, it was only appropriate that the reference continue uninterrupted. The special reference is expected to be heard today.

Australian family’s emotional pilgrimage

Source: The National -Friday, October 21st 2011 By MALUM NALU AN Australian family recently made an emotional pilgrimage to Buna/Gona in Northern province to find the battlefield of their relative, Private Allen Arden Lobban, who was killed in the Gona Battle in World War II. Glenys and John Irons, together with their youngest son Gary, his wife Cathy and grandsons Ben and Sam, from Maclean in New South Wales, Australia, travelled to Papua New Guinea to find Gleny’s brother, Allen, who was killed in the Gona Battle. The Irons family was accompanied by Charlie Broughton and Kevin Symmons of Rockhampton, Queensland. Lobban, NX37318, of the 2/33 Australian Infantry Battalion, was killed in the Gona Battle on Nov 22, 1942. He was born at Coffs Habour on the NSW north coast and enlisted on June 25, 1941, at nearby Lismore. He was buried in the Gona War Cemetery and later transferred to the Bomana War Cemetery. Under the guidance of local tourism guide, Thomas Auhava, the Irons family spent some time with Lobban’s grave at the Bomana War Cemtery, and travelled to Owers’ Corner to see the beginning of the Kokoda Trail. They also spent some time at Schwimmers’ War Museum, which is Auhava’s home. The Irons family then visited Buna, Sanananda and Gona in Northern province, receiving a traditional welcome from each village. They stayed in guesthouses in Buna and Gona. Local historian Maclaren Hiari was their guide and historian through this part of the journey. This was a special and historical part of the journey. The Irons family visited Lobban’s gravesite at the old Gona War Cemetery and found the area where he was likely to have been killed. The family came and found what they were looking for and much more. Glenys Irons said: “The friendliness of the local people and their wonderful welcome has been in itself a unique experience that we will never forget.” At the Gona War Cemetery, Thomas Auhava presented Glenys Irons with the Australian Flag, which in turn was presented to Raphale Siraga, who received it on behalf of the people in the Gona area. “We would like to thank EcoTourism Melanesia for making this trip possible for our family, and for introducing us to Maclaren Hiari and Thomas Auhava,” she said. “This has been a very memorable journey. “Thank you, Papua New Guinea.”

Lae doctor dies at inquiry

Source: The National, 26th October 2011 By JEFFREY ELAPA A MEDICAL doctor and administrator died while presenting the Morobe health status report to the Public Accounts Committee at Parliament House yesterday. The sudden death of Dr Likei Theo forced the cancellation of the PAC inquiry into the health status of the country. It was adjourned to next month by committee chairman Malakai Tabar, the MP for Gazelle. Theo was the Morobe provincial health adviser for more than 27 years and a medical doctor who had served in provinces around the country. Yesterday, Theo collapsed while presenting his report on the poor and deteriorating health services before the committee. During his presentation, he was emotional as he outlined the lack of quality health servi­ces. And, as a person who had been dealing with such poor health services, Theo stressed the need to improve the service to assist the many rural and disadvantaged communities. Theo said over the years, funding and poor health services in PNG had never improved despite the government coming up with diffe­rent development plans. He pointed out that funding for health in Morobe was the worst despite the high population, which is next to the Southern Highlands when including the Hela region was included. In his budget allocation report, Theo said proper budget planning had been done without his input because it was always hijacked at the provincial and national level, with no conside­ration on the health issues affecting the people. He spoke passionately while recalling the difficulties he faced and the poor health conditions of the rural people disadvantaged by geographical features, over-population and insufficient funding over the years. At around 11.45am, Theo collapsed and was rushed to the Port Moresby General Hospital after the medical doctors present unsuccessfully tried to revive him. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Doctors present condemned parliament for the poor emergency evacuation plans and lack of first aid and medical staff. Chief secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc, who was present at the inquiry, said Theo was a healthy and experienced health administrator who had served eight years as the provincial administrator. Theo was from Sio village in Siassi and served as a medical doctor before taking up the provincial health adviser’s position in 1983.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Project will churn out K800 million for Pomio, says RH

Source: The National-Tuesday, 25th October 2011 THE Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group estimates that its palm oil project in Pomio district in East New Britain will contribute some K800 million to its economy. It said the project would contribute royalties, payments, levies and other community funding and provide much-needed jobs, economic security, transport and social infrastructure to the local communities. Landowners were consulted by RH subsidiary Gilford Ltd and all necessary compliance documents had been forwarded to the Commission of Inquiry into Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) currently underway, it added when condemning Greenpeace’s action in the district. RH said Greenpeace’s acts of piracy in PNG and throughout Asia-Pacific was well-documented and questioned whether the NGO’s actions could help the country’s long-term development goals. It said Greenpeace’s latest attack on the group’s oil palm project in Pomio was part of the NGO’s wider effort to transfer its global anti-oil palm campaign to PNG by tying it to the SABL issue. “There is no justification for Greenpeace’s actions in Pomio today. The palm oil project is supported by the majority of landowners in the area, based on the SABL in place under which all correct procedures were followed,” it said.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Experts examine plane’s engines

Source: The National-Monday,24th October 2011 SALVAGED engine parts of the Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft, which crashed in Madang, have been stripped by its manufacturers, Pratt and Whitney. They are being assisted by experts from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The engine parts and the propeller blades were airlifted to Port Moresby from Madang last week. Senior transport safety officer from the bureau Eric Blankenstein and a team of technical experts from Singapore will try to establish if there are any mechanical issues in the engine which could have contributed to the accident. Blankenstein was busy at work with a camera and small torch looking intensely at the engine parts and taking photos of the left engine. Assembled neatly was the burnt aluminium alloy of the metal sheets covering the right engine which looked like white paint on all metal pieces. In the front are engine parts of the left and right engines and few mangled blades of the propellers. Blankenstein said they were still stripping the mangled engine parts. Propeller parts will be sent to Hamilton Standards, manufacturer of the propellers in America for further analysis. According to Accident and Investigation Commission chief executive officer, David Inau, the blade angles “when in flight gives corresponding power values so Hamil­ton Standards can be able to tell us at what angle it was set in which we can be able to determine what occurred”. The investigators will also look at the pilot’s flying records, medical records and maintenance records to assist with the investigation. Inau said they hoped to complete their work by next week but the process was tedious and could take longer. Data from the Dash 8’s flight recorder sent overseas for analysis has been downloaded awaiting analysis from the manufacturer. The team is working at the Papua New Guinea Defence Force air transport hangar.

O’Neill: East Sepik govt not suspended

Source: The National-Monday,24th October 2011 By ISAAC NICHOLAS EAST Sepik Governor Peter Wararu has been given until Wednesday to show cause why his government should not be suspended, according to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Speaking through his chief-of-staff Ben Micah, O’Neill said yesterday the East Sepik provincial government had not been suspended. Minister for Inter-Government Relations Mark Maipakai wrote to Wararu last Friday reminding him that the East Sepik government was not provisionally suspended but impressed that he should be at the prime minister’s office, Morauta House, on Wednesday. “The prime minister’s letter to you and my letter to you, dated Oct 18, 2011, only advised you of the existence for a ground for suspension. “Consistent with your request, the NEC has met this afternoon and resolved to give you until Wednesday, Oct 26, to have a definitive stand in relation to the NEC directives contained in my letter to you. This is ample time for you to convene a PEC meeting to resolve the issues contained in the NEC directives.” The prime minister’s letter of the previous day stated in part: “The council (NEC) is of the view that your PEC has undermined the authority of the parliament by challenging the decision made by parliament. “Further, the provincial government has a standing in the Supreme Court only when it affects its administration and not everything under the sun.” Micah said the issues that the National Executive Council was dealing with was on the suspension under the Organic Law on provincial and local level government and “is not restricted to East Sepik provincial government alone”. He said since the enactment of the Organic Law in 1995, the law had not been used although provincial governments had challenged the executive and parliament decisions. Micah said there were three main criteria that could lead to a suspension including secession, a major disaster or emergency and undermining the authority of parliament. He said Wararu and the provincial executives had challenged the national parliament’s decision of Aug 2 to oust the government of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. Micah said the provisions of the Constitution allowed challenges on certain issues that had a direct effect on provinces but in this instance the removal of the prime minister “does not affect the East Sepik provincial government”. “Therefore, all NEC is doing is going through the necessary process in asking Wararu to explain why he is challenging the decision of the national parliament. “The national government feels that Sir Michael, as the provincial member for East Sepik, is the rightful person to take the matter up in court. “The national government is not suppressing the rights of anyone from proceeding with the matter but the East Sepik provincial government is an arm of the national government and NEC, and, as provided under the law, is calling on the East Sepik provincial government to come forward and explain.” Micah said other provinces were being looked at and would be dealt with by the provincial affairs minister. “This action is not against the people of East Sepik but an action looking at all activities of provinces, including gross abuse of funds by provinces.” He said the “show-cause” was part of the normal process. Micah said in a suspension, the governor and provincial assembly “will be prevented from exercising section 42 powers under the Organic Law on provincial and LLG”. The powers included law making and executive powers that will be returned to Waigani and a team comprising the provincial affairs minister and two other provincial representatives to oversee the running of the province. The substantive arguments for the reference would be heard today as well as Sir Michael’s challenge to his ouster from parliamentary membership by the speaker.

Friday, October 21, 2011

RH assist PNGPNS

The Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group has again assisted the PNG Peri-operative nurses Society (PNGPNS) with K3, 000.00 towards their fund raising today (21/11/2011) for a seminar on the 17 to the 18th of November in Port Moresby. The PNGPNS is a member of the International Federation of Peri-operative Nurses and International Council of Nurses. The PNGPNS is a professional group trying to improve their practice in the country and purposely, seminars/workshops are held yearly so that nurses from other provinces or chapters come discuss and share their work and experience in order for them to identify their own weaknesses and strengths how to better improve. Nevertheless, it enhances their skills and knowledge and also provided venue where those from other provinces can learn from nurses in Port Moresby who have better training and skills. The President of the PNGPNS Sr. Eunice Laim thanked and Rimbunan Hijau for the assistance as first corporate organization to assist them and at the same appealed to others who can assist by calling her 721 58095 or 768 33801 for more information.
The PNG Peri-operative Nurses Society posing with RH representative in the centre, Sr. Laim second from right and Sr. Mathew on the right to other Executives on the left hand side.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Court: Somare of sound mind

Source:
The National -Thursday, October 20th 2011

By SAMUEL RAITANO
THE Supreme Court has ruled that Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare had not, “at any material time, been of unsound mind and is not of unsound mind”.
Justice David Cannings, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge, also ruled that the East Sepik provincial executive council had authorised the reference invoked under section 19 of the Constitution.
The findings by Cannings will be used by the five-man bench hearing the constitutionality of the appointment of Peter O’Neill as prime minister.
The full hearing starts on Monday.
Cannings was directed by a five-judge bench to hear evidence concerning 47 disputed facts in regard to the ESP special Supreme Court reference.
The issues of the facts related to the following:
lSir Michael’s leadership tribunal proceedings of March 2011;
lMeetings of parliament in 2011;
lSir Michael’s absence from the parliament in 2011;
lSteps taken by the NEC regarding Sir Michael’s absence and health;
lEvents of Aug 2, 2011, relating to the appointment of Peter O’Neill as prime minister;
lEvents of Sept 6, 2011, relating to a declaration of a vacancy in the East Sepik provincial seat;
lMedia reports of events relating to the reference;
lSir Michael’s medical treatment and his unsoundness of mind; and
lDecisions and resolutions of the referrer, the East Sepik provincial executive council.
Cannings found that during the course of hearing evidence, many of the issues turned out to be irrelevant.
He said seven of the nine categories of disputed issues of fact had been proven on evidence to be largely uncontentious.
Two categories that remained in dispute and gave rise to what appeared to be the most relevant questions of fact were:
lThe authorisation of the reference by the East Sepik executive council; and
lWhether Sir Michael had been, at any time, of unsound mind.
Cannings found that the East Sepik executive council had authorised the reference and Sir Michael had not been and is not of unsound mind.
It was understood that the referrer and parties aligned with it have 14 evidences of witnesses.
Nine witnesses had been cross-examined last week while five had not been available in court.
The five included medical experts from Raffles Hospital in Singapore.
The first intervener, Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat, and parties aligned with him, had the evidence of nine witnesses, two of whom were cross-examined for claiming that Sir Michael had missed three consecutive sittings of parliament, and that an opinion by a clinical neuropsychologist purporting that he (Sir Michael) suffered irreversible brain damage.
Seven did not appear for cross-examination in court but had their
affidavits taken as evidence.
In addition, the constitutional interpretations on the disqualification of Sir Michael as member for East Sepik will be considered by the full bench.

http://www.kcci.com/r/29528191/detail.html

http://www.kcci.com/r/29528191/detail.html

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Death list duo alive and well

Source: The National - Wednesday, October 19th 2011 By FRANK SENGE KOLMA INVESTIGATIONS into the Madang Dash 8 crash has taken a bizarre twist with revelations that two of the “dead” passengers were in fact not on the ill-fated flight last Thursday. The two, Petrus Akau and Ronald Bibi, named on the flight manifest, are very much alive, investigators have learned. Akau and Bibi had given their tickets to two other passengers who Madang provincial police commander last night named as Bernard James (for Akau) and Divu Langa (for Bibi). In its attempt to contact all 28 relatives of persons on the manifest of Dash 8 aircraft, Airlines PNG turned up two passengers whose names were on the manifest but who had given away their tickets to two other persons. This revelation further complicates the already difficult process of establishing the identity of all the 28 bodies that have been badly charred in the fiery crash near Marakum village in the Raicoast area. Whether they are relatives who were offered the tickets or other persons who bought the tickets off the two passengers on the flight manifest remained a mystery.
Brother and sister John Paul and Paula Matlam in the company of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at Madang’s Divine Word University yesterday. They lost family members in the Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft disaster last Thursday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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