Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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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.

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.

TRADE WITH confidence


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.