December 22, 2014

Connect Papuan areas through roads, Abaijah says

Connect Papuan areas through roads, Abaijah says

Papua New Guinea’s first woman parliamentarian and Papuan activist, Dame Josephine Abaijah has said that roads should be constructed to connect Papuans.

“I'm not against them constructing roads; I haven't seen any road connecting Western Province to the Gulf province; Gulf province to Central province; Central province to Milne Bay province; or Milne Bay to the Northern province. These are the roads we should be constructing now to bring Papuans together,” said Abaijah in an interview aired today on Dateline Pacific.

Dame Josephine was responding to queries on the ‘value’ of the O’Neill-Dion government planned trans-national highway to link the south of Papua New Guinea to the north of the country.

“You hear about killings at the market, the people talk about violence against women getting worse, violence against children is getting worse, the police are killing people and the people are killing the policemen - it should not be like that.

“We should try and do something that will bring a halt to these types of activities and let people move around, work and live a life where there is peace and harmony and these are the types of things that the Papuans are looking for. Somebody should give us an opportunity to prove that we are wrong in that manner,” stated the female activist.

Following the government’s announcement of the new highway, the Papuan activists led by Abaijah have urged Papuan’s not to give up the fight with plans to rally global support for the cause. The new highway will link the Highlands and Momase regions to the Southern region.

She maintains that although infrastructure-wise there have been improvements; the original inhabitants of the National Capital District remain marginalised on their own land.

“I think people should look at it from a proper perspective that it just seems to be one way traffic. Now, you don't find Papuans going up there to reside, or to get business, or to do whatever on the New Guinea side.

“But all of them come down so that's a good opening for them to come by truck, come by road, come by whatever means and they're just opening up so that more of them can come down here, but none of the Papuans can go up there and do business or reside there or something like that,” she said.

Dame Josephine Abaijah, founder of the Papua Besena movement, has been at the forefront of the Papuan movement since pre-independence and has been very vocal on Papuan issues, which include the “right to self-rule” based on the declaration of Papua’s independence in 1884.

“The Papuan people in the streets and the villages support the concept. We are trying to get our leaders in parliament to see if they can support the people they represent. At the moment we don't see any of them from parliament. But there are village people and townspeople who are very adamant because they see the problem,” said Abaijah.

She urged leaders and people alike to recognise that the ‘problem’ existed and that ways should be sought to solve the issues faced.

She maintains that decisions should be made that are good for everyone concerned.

From Misima in the Milne Bay Province and born in 1944, Dame Josephine Abaijah continues to fight for the rights of PNG’s southerners, encouraging Papuans to take ownership of their land and resources.

The phrase Papua Besena is in the local Motu dialect and when translated to English, means 'Papua children', 'Papua tribe' or 'Papua nation'. The movement was formed in 1971. The movement fights for the rights of indigenous Papuan people, according to the UN Human Rights Act and based on the Crowns Declaration of Papua as Crown Possession.

"Ours is a fight for humanity, recognition, and truth." ONEPNG/EMTV

December 21, 2014

Companies in Port Moresby want alcohol ban lifted

Companies in Port Moresby want alcohol ban lifted

THE PNG Manufacturers’ Council has called for the lifting of the alcohol ban in Port Moresby.
Chief executive officer Chey Scovell said the ban was hurting its member companies and the council wanted stakeholders to find a more appropriate and effective solution to alcohol-related problems.
He said their member companies who legally manufactured and sold alcohol products, contributed significantly to Papua New Guinea’s internal revenue.
“Excise collection makes possible the funds for things such as free education and health,” Scovell said in a statement yesterday.
“It is very disappointing to see these restrictions on our members trading come into place without consultation.”
He added that it was a concern that authorities continued to implement ineffective policies.
“In the PNG context, bans have exacerbated the problem by increasing the size of the homebrew and unregulated sales markets,” Scovell said.
“We don’t expect these bans to reduce the number of alcohol-related problems over the break.”

December 16, 2014

KADIKO's- HISTORY IN THE MAKING

KADIKO's- HISTORY IN THE MAKING

It was a History in the making for the Kadiko's.
Captain Immanuel Kadiko and Captain Steward Kadiko, both aircraft captains, father and son who flew the inaugural flights to re-open Aropa Airport last Friday.
Captain Immanuel Kadiko, the father, was the pilot who flew the last aircraft out of Aropa Airport with a government delegation on board the government aircraft Kumul, before its closure during the Bougainville civil crisis.
Last Friday, his son Captain Steward Kadiko, flew the first aircraft Air Niugini, with a high powered government delegation back to re-open the Aropa airport after 23 years.
Whilst everyone reflect on their own experiences on the Island of Bougainvelle during the crisis, Captain Immanuel Kadiko said, he had great memories of the airport itself.
He said it was a coincidence, that him and his son flew the first two aircrafts on the same day back on the very airport that he had left more then twenty years ago.
The Captain emotionally said he was the last pilot who flew a government delegation out of Bougainville, at the time of Sir Rabbie Namaliu as the Prime Minister. Sir Rabbie sent Chris Haiveta who was Sir Rabbie Chief of Stuff at that time to do the last negotiation effort on the civil crisis. But, Captain Kadiko said it did not work out well, so he had to flew them out on the Kumul before landowners damage the airport.
Captain Immanuel Kadiko with smile said, as soon as he flew the plan out of the run way, angry landowners ran into the airport vicinity and dug up ditches across the runway, and until then no aircraft have ever return to Aropa Airport until today (Last Friday 12 December 2014).
Captain Kadiko who captain the Mangi Lo Ples ,Travel Air told NBC reporter on the flight, " I could not control my emotions, when I first sighted the Aropa Airport from the top, but I reminded myselfself, that I had to bring the plane down safety for Landing."
And he said its a pride for him and his family to see both father and son flew in at the same time on the inaugural flights into an airport where the dad was the last to flew out in 1989. NBC News

Pilot Scholarships >>

December 15, 2014

PNG army, Police, CIS stage march

PNG army, Police, CIS stage march

A combined end of year routine march with the 3 Discipline Force, the  Police, Army and the CIS with was staged today.  The CIS Commissioner Micheal Waipo came in numbers together with Commanding Officer of Murray Barracks Lt Col Francis Kari and his soldiers. The police contingent also came in numbers and together  joined  forces in Unity to show the community and country that that was in unity. The march showed the disciplinary forces came together to serve and to carry out constitutional duty to serve our people and the country despite issues. After the march, the members of the force hugged and shook hands after speeches from Commissioner Waipo and Commanding Officer Kari. Great spirit of comradeship was shown during the march.

December 14, 2014

PNG Government gives 33% ownership in OK Tedi Mining Limited to landowners

PNG Government gives 33% ownership in OK Tedi Mining Limited to landowners

THE people of Western have been given 33 per cent ownership in Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML).
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced yesterday the National Executive Council had approved the free transfer of equity in OTML following consultation with landowners and the provincial government.
He said the remaining 67 per cent of OTML was owned by people of Papua New Guinea through the State.
“This decision is fair and just, and it will be of great benefit to the people of Western province following decades of neglect,” O’Neill said in a statement yesterday.
“The people of Western Province have long suffered extensive environmental harm that has been caused by the Ok Tedi mine. “It is important that affected communities are recognised and receive compensation, while at the same time efforts continue to improve environmental practices at the mine.
“Representatives from the CMCA communities, mine villages and the Western provincial government will be holding further discussions to propose how the 33 per cent will be distributed.” O’Neill said the OTML board and management would be independent, with the State and Western together appointing three board members, while the remaining four would be independent experts, including the chairman, who must be a Papua New Guinea citizen.
“The board arrangements will be unique for any State-Owned Enterprise and this is aimed at improving governance and ensuring transparency while bringing in the world’s best practice to OTML,” O’Neill said.
“It was a different world when Ok Tedi was established, when respect for the environment and downstream health issues were not given the same level of concern as they are today.
“The unprecedented environmental harm has affected almost the whole of Western province.
“We cannot change the past but we have the opportunity to create a brighter future for the people of Western.
“The Government is committed to improving the living standards of the people of Western.
“For too long the people of Western have suffered from treatable diseases and today are facing the challenge of multi drug resistant TB. This is not acceptable.”
O’Neill said the people of Western were determined to be given possession of the substantial amount of money held by the PNG Sustainable Development Programme (PNGSDP) that was subject to an ongoing court hearing in Singapore.
“The Government wants to see the money being held by the PNGSDP returned to the people of Western. That money should be put to use to improve the living standards.”

December 9, 2014

PNG's Trade with EU created jobs, boosts economy

PNG's Trade with EU created jobs, boosts economy

PNG exports to the European Union (EU) in 2012 was €987 million (over K3 billion), most of which were non-mineral exports including fisheries and marine resources, coffee, cocoa, tea, vegetable oils, spices and rubber under the PNG-EU Trade Agreement and the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA). And it has also resulted in the creation of some 40,000 jobs in PNG in the fisheries sector alone.

This was revealed during a week-long training conducted by the representative of the EU for the Customs officers including several officers from other line agencies. The training aims to strengthen PNG’s capacity to fulfil its obligations under the PNG-EU Trade Agreement and the IEPA.

The IEPA, which came into force in 2011, gives PNG duty free and quota free access to the EU, the most lucrative market in the world with more than 500 million people. The EU has now become PNG’s second export market, accounting for 9.2% of total exports. The EU group currently in the country are customs and origin experts.

Their objective is to strengthen the capacity of PNG to fulfil its obligations under the trade agreement so that exporters are able to fully benefit from the preferential access to the EU’s market. One important aspect of the training relates to the correct implementation of the rules of origin.

This was very important with regard to the compliance of PNG’s exports of fish products with the EU’s Regulation on Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing. The visit and training are activities funded by the EU through the second phase of the Trade Related Assistance Program to PNG.
Soldiers, police plan reconcilliation after clash

Soldiers, police plan reconcilliation after clash

PAPUA New Guinea Defence Force Commander Gilbert Toropo has assured Port Moresby residents that the standoff between soldiers and police has been settled with a proposed reconciliation ceremony being planned.

Brig-Gen Toropo assured that the incident had been promptly addressed at the highest level and normalcy had been restored.

"As you all know, there are few major activities ahead of us such as the 2015 Pacific Games, the 2017 National Elections and the 2018 international APEC leaders’ summit. Therefore both forces cannot go on like this as they would play an important role during those events," he said.

He said he had been in conversation with the Police Commissioner to settle the issues in order to prepare for the upcoming major events.

"We would like to give confidence and assure city residents, business communities and the diplomatic partners in Port Moresby that the city is safe and they can go about their normal business," Commander Toropo added.

He said the issues had been effectively addressed at the highest level and normalcy has been restored resulting in soldiers going about doing their normal duties whilst the joint investigation continues.

The clash, which lasted about four hours on Saturday, was a frightening experience for residents in Boroko, when firearms were used.
Parkop warns looters

Parkop warns looters

POWES Parkop, in his capacity as the Governor of the National Capital District, has given his blessing for the use of firearms to disable people while preventing them from looting any more shops.

"On Saturday, I spoke with the Police hierarchy to have zero tolerance with looting," he said.

"That means if we have to shoot people and disable them, they have that blessing from me as governor."

This follows the outcry by the business community in the country who have indicated that they are being targeted by opportunists who are taking advantage of the recent standoff between the soldiers and policemen.

"The business sector has expressed disappointment at what has happened, and that their premises are been targeted."

"I want to offer my apologies on behalf of the people to the business houses for the loss properties.

"It is regrettable but it has happened and I hope common sense prevails now so that it doesn’t happen again."

The Governor commended the hierarchy of the Defence and Police Force for bringing the situation under control.

"I want to appeal to the people of the City not to take advantage of the situation."

It has also come to the governor’s attention that there are rumours of people organising followers on this looting.

"I’ve been assured by the Commander of the defence force that the soldiers are not involved in that, people are just sending text here and there making false stories to incite people unnecessarily."

People should be mindful now that the police are authorised to use firearms to restrain people from unnecessary looting.
Kavo jailed

Kavo jailed


GULF Governor Havila Kavo has been jailed for three years for misusing K131,338 in public money.

The money was initially earmarked for infrastructure development in the Kikori district and was sitting in a LNG (Kutubu MoA) pipeline trust account.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika reached this decision in the National Court yesterday despite pleadings for a lesser penalty, specifically a non-custodial sentence, by defence lawyers Abraham Kumbari and Sarea Soi and Kavo himself (in his allocutus).

Sir Gibbs also refused the defence submission asking him to use his discretion to suspend the entire sentence.

Instead the Deputy Chief Justice ruled that Kavo spend half (18 months) of his three-year sentence in jail for breaching the trust of his people and deducted another 18 months for repaying the money.

Consequently Kavo will be interned for a year and six months at Bomana prison outside Port Moresby.

Kavo, who is a medical laboratory technician by profession, from the Ihu district of Gulf Province, was told by the court during sentencing yesterday that he got the money from the "wrong basket" (trust funds) to pay his outstanding allowances.

The judge refused Kavo’s argument that he acted on wrong advice provided by public servants in the Gulf provincial administration, saying they were only executing a Gulf provincial executive council (PEC) decision, which was chaired by him (Kavo). "The prisoner blames public servants for wrong advice in this case but they were only implementing what the PEC had resolved," Sir Gibbs said.

The senior judge said MPs are in positions of high degree of trust and that they are mandated by the people to serve their interest.

When finding Kavo guilty on September 25 this year, Sir Gibbs said the governor was dishonest in his application of the funds for personal use.

This was tantamount to misappropriation as he was paid out of the K10 million trust funds for special development projects in Gulf Province.

Kavo and his lawyers had asked the judge to impose a non-custodial sentence, claiming the monies paid to him were his lawful outstanding allowances.

They further submitted that the payment was according to what the PEC resolved in its meeting and it was not a one-man decision.

The other ground they relied on to push for a lesser penalty was the fact that Kavo had reimbursed the money two days before his conviction. But Sir Gibbs maintained that Kavo got the money from the "wrong basket" as it was trust money.

The K131,338 paid to Kavo came from the K10 million funding by the National Government for the Kutubu MoA commitments for the people in Kikori district, especially those residing along and within the 10km corridor of the Kutubu project pipeline.

Sir Gibbs also made it clear in the packed National Court room at Waigani that payments of entitlements or outstanding allowances should not come from trust funds. ONE PNG /Post Courier

December 4, 2014

PNG boasts low-cost greenfield gas projects

PNG boasts low-cost greenfield gas projects

PAPUA New Guinea is now recognised as having one of the lowest-cost greenfield LNG projects in the world, says InterOil chief executive officer Michael Hession.

Giving an update of Elk-Antelope drilling and upraising of its well, Mr Hession said having recognised as the lowest-cost greenfield Liquefied Natural Gas project gives PNG a huge advantage over other competing LNG projects in Australia and Asia.

"The project promises to benefit from the pioneering PNG LNG Project, which has shown the world that PNG can build and operate mega-projects," he said in a brief update.

"We believe Elk-Antelope will support at least a two-train project and will benefit from several advantages over other gas developments in PNG."

While updating on the project concept, especially the proposed LNG plant facilities and pipeline routes, Mr Hession sees the setting of the gas project as ‘the natural advantage of Elk-Antelope’ given naturally fitting of location as well as having a greater advantage with the experience of previous project existence and over any possible economic viability factors that would influence any decision. "It is closer to infrastructure than any other developed gas field in the country and it is close to a major river, an important cost benefit when transporting people and equipment.

"It also has the natural advantage of being in a less-mountainous region than other major gas fields – a big factor in development cost.

"More importantly, it is a single gas field that can be developed without the expense of pipelines and processing facilities to collect gas from multiple fields," the CEO added.

The Elk-Antelope project is expected to produce over 9.9tcf of gas over a period of 40 to 50 years.

The project is worth over K38.4 billion to K51.2 billion. Work is expected to start early in 2016 followed by actual construction work after the front end engineering design (FEED) and final investment decision (FID) are completed.

The project is expected to be led by global energy giant and France based Total SA in partnership with InterOil, Oil Search Limited and National Petroleum Company of PNG (NPCP) as the State nominee to hold 20.5 per cent equity.

Meanwhile, Minister for Petroleum and Energy Nixon Duban said the Government wants to see the project kick off as soon as it can while expecting all the project partners to work together. ONEPNG/PostCourier
PNG men rescued in FSM after five months at sea, living on fish and rainwater

PNG men rescued in FSM after five months at sea, living on fish and rainwater


TWO Papua New Guinea men are in hospital in the Federated States of Micronesia after being rescued from a small boat that was adrift at sea for five months.

They were not named although moves are underway to contact Papua New Guinea authorities about their rescue about a week ago.

The FSM government said the two men had set off on a short trip between islands in New Ireland Province in July, but were caught in a storm and cast adrift, Radio New Zealand International reported yesterday.

It did not name the islands. The FSM is in a northerly direction from PNG and New Ireland.

RNZI reported that Michael Bolong and Ambrose Wavut told FSM officials that they survived on rainwater and fish for five months in harsh conditions, which included storms and exposure to sunlight.

They claimed that a third person, Francis Dimansol, died from severe health conditions while they were adrift in the Pacific.

It was not until November 23, that the men were found by a FSM-flagged fishing vessel, The Yap Seagull, about 200km south of Kapingamarangi Island, the FSM’s southern-most island and one closest to New Ireland.

The men arrived in the capital Pohnpei last Saturday and were admitted to hospital for observation, although authorities claim the men are in good health, RNZI reported.

It said work was now underway to repatriate the men.

This is not the first time New Ireland villagers have been swept away to sea and have survived. Last year, three survived several weeks when their boat engine broke down between Lihir Island and outlaying Tanga.

They drifted north, surviving on fish and rain water until they were rescued in the Marshall Islands, east of the FSM. They have since been repatriated.

Early this year an emaciated man whose boat washed up in the Marshalls claimed he survived 16 months adrift in the Pacific, floating more than 8000 miles from Mexico.

November 30, 2014

Morobe wins 6th PNG Games

Morobe wins 6th PNG Games

MOROBE is the winner of the 6th PNG Games, the PNG Games Council and PNG Sports Foundation announced yesterday.
Morobe won 65 gold, 53 silver and 45 bronze medals, 14 gold better than their nearest rival.
National Capital District were the next best province at the Bank South Pacific-sponsored event with 51 gold, 50 silver and 43 bronze medals, followed by Central with 48 gold, 56 silver and 36 bronze medals.
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville finished in fourth place outdoing former Games hosts Eastern Highlands and East New Britain.
Bougainville won 35 gold medals, while East New Britain had 24 rounding off the top five. Eastern Highlands was the best performing Highlands province with 19 gold medals to finish in sixth place.
Western’s one-man team of George Yamak provided the uplifting story of the Games. 
Yamak managed to get his province on the tally with a gold medal win in the 1500m.
That gold medal ensured Western finished in 20th position ahead of East Sepik who won six silver and 19 bronze medals and West Sepik with one silver and two bronze medals.
Games council chairman Edris Kumbruwah, PNGSF chief executive officer Peter Tsiamalili Junior and Host Organising Committee member Vincent Onnevagi made the official announcement yesterday morning at the Melanesian Hotel and said that the official tally included the late medal presentations of kickboxing and karate, which were concluded well into Saturday night after the closing ceremony.
There were 306 gold, 297 silver and 345 bronze medals given out for a total of 948 medals.
Tsiamalili said the Lae Games was the biggest and involved unprecedented preparation and involvement of technical officials from the different codes and other stakeholders around the country.
He said it was beneficial that sports technical professionals had gained good experience to handle the upcoming Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
“We have done a lot better than what we have done in Kokopo, progressively we have done a lot of things differently and I must take this opportunity to acknowledge my staff for their tireless effort and for raising their own game as individuals and professionals,” Tsiamalili said.
Kumbruwah and Tsiamalili admitted that there were some debts incurred but declined to give details.
“My staff and team will be on the ground in the next few days tidying up our administration.”
Tsiamalili said they would meet with the HOC today to review the Games. ONE PNG/ The National

November 27, 2014

Maru urges investment between MSG countries

Maru urges investment between MSG countries

FOR trade and economic relations to foster diversified growth in the MSG region, there needs to be more investments between member countries.

Trade and Commerce Secretary Jim Andreas said while delivering a speech on behalf of Trade and Commerce Minister Richard Maru to MSG Trade Ministers and representatives of business houses and statutory bodies from member countries as well as special guests and partners of MSG during the opening of the 2nd MSG Seminar in Port Moresby yesterday.

He said the seminar was an opportunity for member countries to share ideas on how to promote investment opportunities in the MSG sub-regional block, as well as for them to finalize discussions on the best options to include an Investment Chapter in the new framework of the current MSG Trade Agreement, the MSGTA3.

"Our leaders expect the officials and Ministers (at the seminar) to deliver a complete package of MSGTA3 by the end of 2016 under which there is an agreement to insert a key chapter on investment

"That chapter is important because without investments there can never be trade happening between our countries. There must be more investments happening in all our sectors which provide the best advantage," he said. Mr Andreas said the draft format of the agreement covers areas from investment facilitation to dispute resolution.

He said the terms of the MSGTA3 Text once completed will "achieve greater certainty and clarity" in the member countries’ investment environment and uncover opportunities for both international and regional investors.

Mr Andreas admitted that despite the differing developmental challenges of each MSG country, they can benefit from feeding off each other’s success and growth , a prospect he said PNG as the biggest economy in the Pacific region is willing to examine given its huge development potential and current economic growth.

"Investment within our sub region offers that possibility so while we talk about attracting investments from outside the region, there are even greater opportunities for us to promote wider and deeper intra-regional investments between both the recipient as well as the country whence the investment came from," he said.

He added this can be achieved given the cultural context of the countries fostering better understanding of each other and adaptability towards each other.
One Australian among five dead in diving accident in PNG

One Australian among five dead in diving accident in PNG

Five men, including an Australian died yesterday while diving for an inspection of a sunken ship off the coast of Rabaul, East New Britain Province.

According to reports, they entered an airtight compartment of a shipping barge to inspect its damaged bow and died of suffocation after being caught unawares of the change in depth-pressure.

PNG police said Australian dive operator Stephen Woolcott was one of the men killed in the accident yesterday.

Reports from local media and police suggested the men entered the airtight compartment of the large shipping barge Colossus to inspect damage to the bow.

They reportedly lost consciousness due to a lack of oxygen.

Local media reports said three of the men killed were from the Nivani construction company, but police could not confirm details of the locals killed.

Mr Woolcott was born in Rabaul and was well known for running the Kabaira Dive Centre.
Portuguese airline assists Air Niugini

Portuguese airline assists Air Niugini

A Portuguese Airline company will assist Air Niugini with a leased Boeing 767 while one of the national airline's 767's undergoes its scheduled maintenance check abroad early next month.

To ensure the continuity of services, Air Niugini announced yesterday that EuroAtlantic Airways-a has stepped in to assist with normal flight routes.

Air Niugini said it would be leasing an aircraft from this company-also a B767-which it stated is expected to arrive in the country this weekend .

It will commence operation soon after the national flag carriers aircraft leaves for maintenance.

It stated that the 767 aircraft which Air Niugini is temporarily leasing is fitted with 247 seats, including Business and Economy class.

“Euroatlantic is supplying pilots and engineers for the aircraft, while Air Niugini will be responsible for the cabin crew.

“The aircraft will be operating selected Air Niugini flights to Brisbane, Singapore, and possibly other international destinations, between  December  3 and  January 29 , whilst Air Niugini’s own Boeing 767 undergo scheduled maintenance checks,” the statement read.

Euroatlantic specializes in offering short term leases to the world’s airlines, to cover specific events such as aircraft maintenance or peak travel demand periods.

Their client base includes many of the world’s top airlines such as British Airways, KLM, Air France and Etihad Airways.

November 26, 2014

 Police officers in hospital after crashing into construction vehicle

Police officers in hospital after crashing into construction vehicle

Two police officers have been rushed to Port Moresby General Hospital’s accidents and emergency ward after the vehicle they were travelling in crushed into a construction vehicle.

The incident happened at 4:30pm this afternoon at the back road of the ATS Compound in Port Moresby. The two officers are now in critical condition. Witnesses claim the police vehicle was speeding when the incident occurred.

The police vehicle is partly damaged, with a large dent in the right side of the bumper. It is registered to the Waigani Police Station. Police officers from Boroko have responded and have towed the vehicle away.

Papua New Guinea has a notorious record for irresponsible driving, from industrial company vehicles to public transport vehicles despite the many road checks and regulations in place.  ONEPNG/EMTV

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November 24, 2014

Port Moresby's Gordon market reopens

Port Moresby's Gordon market reopens

GORDON market was reopened by NCD Governor Powes Parkop after a short dedication service for the late Constable Christopher Yaminigi in front of the market yesterday.

The market has been closed for over a week following the daylight murder of a police officer by thugs near the Gordon bus stop.

During the service, Governor Parkop and the residents at Gordon made a commitment to change the market and refrain from petty crimes and murder and start rebuilding its status and reputation.

Mr Parkop said after the incident, he was put under a lot of pressure from other MPs and the public to permanently close the market but he had stubbornly decided to reopen it because it will benefit the local sellers and consumers around the Waigani, Gordon and Erima area.

He said: "Gordon market is the meeting place where people from parts of the country come here, meet and carry out their business.

"It is not fair if we close the market and relocate it outside of the city because every land in the city has been occupied by the formal sector.

"I want my people to have some space in the centre of the city to carry out their trading too."

He said the action of an individual has greatly impacted the innocent people and business.

He reopened the market under the following conditions that the market will start with the selling of fresh vegetables, fresh meat and fresh fish. ONEPNG/PostCourier

He said all informal sellers will be suspended for an indefinite period until they put in place proper market security measures.

Meanwhile, informal vendors can trade at Lavera market in Hohola and Boroko market, which soon will be open.
Team Manus wins gold at PNG Games

Team Manus wins gold at PNG Games

AN emotionally charged Manus edged out early favourites Morobe 9-8 to claim the women’s hockey gold medal in the 6th BSP PNG Games in Lae on Saturday.

While in the men’s gold-medal play-off, Morobe finally got something to cheer about when they held off a fast finishing Manus through two sets of the challenge and the sudden death to eventually win 10-9.

Both sides were locked at 4-4 after normal time, with goals coming from Elaine Hebei-Malum (2), Maton Margaret and skipper Piwen Kanamon (Manus), Vanessa Perry (3) and Lyanne Bon.

Morobe put on a solid effort to come back from being down 4-2 to force the match into a deadlock in the last quarter.

The match was then to be decided on the challenge to decide the winner.

After both sides not giving anything away, it finally came down to a desperate save from Manus goalkeeper Mohe Moke and then her skipper Piwen Kanamon to hit the winner for a 9-8 scoreline to seal the sweet victory after a hectic four days of competition.

After the win Moke said she was confident and did not give Morobe skipper Caroline Molina room to score to pull out that all-important-save.

"I did not panic I didn’t have butterflies in my stomach... I knew I was going to deliver and I did," Moke added.

Morobe coach Peter Jacobs said the challenge was new for the players, especially the goalkeeper.

"It was more of a learning experience for her but at the end of the day Morobe continues to keep the true spirit of the game by showing good sportsmanship as always," he said.

Malum was also the top goal-scorer with 13 goals.

Morobe had to settle for silver. National Capital District won the bronze medal after beating Madang 5-1 to seal the women’s competition.

The men’s grand final match was a tightly contested affair with both Manus and Morobe trading goal for goal, but it was Morobe who managed to pip Manus to clinch the gold medal.

With all the pressure on and the light rain conditions not helping as well, Morobe goalkeeper Julius Raom pulled off the match winner to deny Manus’s Poline Michael to claim the victory.

Morobe’s Rex Loth was the top goal-scorer with 16. ONE PNG/Post courier
Another trophy to line Auckland City’s shelves

Another trophy to line Auckland City’s shelves

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Auckland City FC have laid claim to yet another piece of silverware in Oceania after downing Amicale FC 2-1 in the final of the inaugural OFC President’s Cup at The Trusts Arena this evening.

“It was a very tight game once again, very difficult. We had to come back from 1-0 down but I’m very happy that the boys kept playing with the same ideas once again and we didn’t crumble but showed character to come back again,” Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx says.

A proud Tribulietx praised his players’ perseverance, especially as the side looks toward the Morocco and the FIFA Club World Cup next month.

“I think we had three great chances in the first half and it was a cracking goal from Amicale to take the lead. The good thing for us is we kept creating the chances, we kept playing with the same idea.”

The first half proved a fairly even affair but it wasn’t until the 41st minute of the match that the Vanuatu visitors were finally able to edge ahead of their New Zealand-based rivals.

A great break from Michele Grazia saw the Amicale man create enough space for himself to set up Francois Sakama whose stunning strike was past Auckland City keeper Tamati Williams and into the roof of the net.

Aware they were in the chase the locals upped the ante and started heaping the pressure on after the break. They finally got the goal they were after in the 63rd minute when Ryan de Vries set up Argentinian Emiliano Tade who laid claim to the Golden Ball with a stunning strike from the edge of the box.

Almost 15 minutes later the FIFA Club World Cup-bound side had their lead courtesy of the impressive and industrious de Vries who played a one-two with Tim Payne before chipping over Amicale keeper Chikau Mansale.

With a minute of additional time to go Amicale went down to just ten men as lofty striker Osea Vakatalesau picked up his second yellow card in the Auckland City corner following a dodgy tackle.

It was a disappointing end to what has been a thrilling tournament for a reworked Amicale side.

“Of course it’s a bit disappointing we didn’t come away with a win but I can’t fault the team’s performance. We’re going through a rebuilding phase and I mean the boys did fantastically today,” says technical advisor Anthony Pisano.

“We were quite happy with what we did this week, we’ve exceeded our expectations for this week and the boys lived up to their performances and we’re really happy.”

Just ahead of the final Busaiteen claimed third place with a 3-0 victory over age group side Singapore U-23, but they were made to work for the win.

It took two substitutions and over 65 minutes for Busaiteen to break through Singapore’s defence as the young side upped their game for their final match at the OFC President’s Cup.

Substitute Isa Alroomi, who replaced Friday’s hat-trick man Mohamed Ajaj, made an immediate impact, sneaking in at the back post and placing the ball past Syazwan Buhari in goal for Singapore U-23.

Three minutes later Hesham Nayem cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable strike from 23 yards out in the 70th minute to extend the lead. The third and final goal was another stunner from Nayem as he picked the ball up on the left hand side, skipped past the defender and shot.

Busaiteen midfielder Mujtaba Malek was pleased to pick up third place in the competition.

“The first half was a tough game because Singapore killed all the space. They didn’t give us space but we tried to open them in the second half and after we scored we did what we wanted,” he says.

“I’ve enjoyed it here very much. It’s a fantastic moment that we’ve had here, especially when we came for the UNICEF festival and visited the kids.”

For Subramani Shunmugham and Singapore’s U-23 it was disappointing not to get a final win, but an excellent development opportunity for his squad.

“It was definitely a much improved performance but unfortunately the result doesn’t show that really,” he says.

“It’s been a good experience for these young boys. Now they will know what it’s like to play professional football, and what international football is. With each experience hopefully they can bring the positive back to Singapore and continue from there.”

In the day’s opening match Bodden Town secured their first win of the competition, a 3-0 victory at the expense of the Fiji U-20s.

It was a welcome result for the Cayman Islands club which travelled more than 14,000km to take part in this inaugural competition and certainly captain Ramon Sealy is pleased to be going home with some points.

“The other games you so the not-so-good side of Bodden Town where we didn’t knock the ball around as much as we wanted but today we knocked it and used our flanks to our abilities so that was a good result for us and we’re glad we got a victory today,” Sealy says.

The opening goal came almost against the run of play as a Fiji defender passed the ball towards his own goal. Emmanuel Brown was there to collect and fired in from just outside the box, finding the bottom corner in the 29th minute.

That bottom corner proved popular as Theron Wood struck low with his left to give Bodden Town a 2-0 lead less than ten minutes after the break. Jonathan Ebanks took the tally to three with a close range effort to seal the victory, three points and that fifth place position in the tournament rankings.

For both sides it has been a learning experience as they test themselves against some higher level opponents.

“The tournament has been a success in terms of our development,” Sealy says.

“It’s showed us our flaws and our weaknesses and we’re going to work on them and also improve on our strengths as well. It also showed us different styles of play from the other teams which we can incorporate into our style of play in the future.”

For Ravinesh Kumar it’s another step in the Fiji side’s journey to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“This is not the end of football for these boys and for Fiji. Each time they play games they will learn lessons,” Kumar says.

“I noticed in each of these three games that after 25 minutes we concede a goal. That means that their concentration level is only up until the 25th minute and that’s something we need to work on.

“That’s why we are in this tournament here, to see our mistakes and correct them before the World Cup next year.”

In the individual awards runners-up Amicale midfielder Panagiotis Nikas was awarded the Golden Ball for player of the tournament after some inspired performances.

Auckland City striker Emiliano Tade took home the Golden Boot with four goals in three games. Bodden Town goalkeeper Ramon Sealy was awarded the Golden Gloves thanks to a series of outstanding saves over the course of the tournament and runners-up Amicale also took home the Fairplay Award.
One woman elected in Solomon Islands

One woman elected in Solomon Islands

The third woman ever to be elected to Parliament in Solomon Islands has won a seat Temotu province, holding out the country's Foreign Minister, Clay Forau, by 22 votes.Freda Tuki Soria Comua, from the People's Alliance Party, won the Temotu Vatud seat, and appears to be the only woman to have won, out of the 26 women candidates.
A member of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Jessica Nkuuhe, says there are still big challenges for women and attitudes she encountered show equality is a long way off.
"One polling official told me, we don't allow women here to lead they are supposed be in the home and the kitchen. And with that kind of impression that the men have, you get the feeling that it is going to take a long time for women to make it through."
The independent for North Malaita, Vika Lusibaea, was the only woman in the previous parliament, but it appears she has lost her seat. RNZI
PNG launches campaign to fight gender violence

PNG launches campaign to fight gender violence


WORLD Vision PNG and the delegation of the European Union to Papua New Guinea yesterday launched a "PNG gender leadership against gender violence" project.

A photography exhibition featuring pictures taken by award-winning Russian photographer Vlad Sokhin gave a human face to the project. The pictures were of Papua New Guinean women who were victims of gender-based or sorcery-related violence.

A book by Mr Sokhin titled "Crying Meri" was also launched at the same occasion at the State Function Room at the National Parliament.

The book has photographs of the affected women, which advocates hope will promote change in attitudes and behaviour towards gender-based and sorcery-related violence.

World Vision PNG representative Dr Curt von Boguslawski said the project would seek to achieve this goal by supporting leaders in the government and churches.

They are not decision makers but role models who would need to take a stand as an individual to lead change, he said.

Mr Boguslawski said the project would apply methodologies that he hopes would address the root cause of violence.

The project is funded by the EU at a cost of €278,000 (about K700,000) and seeks to contribute towards upholding the rights of women, ensuring their civic participation and the prevention of and response to GBV.

Responding to unacceptably high levels of GBV in PNG requires a systemic change in the mind-set of duty bearers, communities and individuals.

The project proponents will work with PNG’s members of parliament, government and church leaders to inspire change, solidarity and to help reduce the level of violence in PNG.

Speaking at the launching, the EU ambassador Martin Dihm spoke about human rights and how those rights for women started with gender equality.

"Women need to be represented fairly and participate in accordance with their share in the population in the economy and in politics," he said, adding that gender equality was a prerequisite for a democratic society.

He said violence against women and girls is not a just an issue for the Government nor just a women’s issue and needed the attention of everyone.

The launch was attended by the Minister for Community Development Delilah Gore and Linda Babao, the wife of the Prime Minister and the diplomatic community.

November 21, 2014

NBC READY FOR 2015 PACIFIC GAMES LIVE COVERAGE

NBC READY FOR 2015 PACIFIC GAMES LIVE COVERAGE

The National Broadcasting Corporation, is ready to cover the 2015 Pacific Games for its radio and television audiences.
That's the assurance from N-B-C's Managing Director, Memafu Kapera today, after the Government allocated a substantial 14-million Kina to the organization, in the 2015 national budget, to cover the biggest regional sporting event in the Pacific.
Mr Kapera thanked the National Government, for recognizing the ability of the N-B-C in covering such major events.
Mr Kapera said the 14-million Kina will be used to buy the latest modern equipment for the biggest coverage team the NBC is setting up.
This will include staff from the 19 provincial stations, 40 potential national commentators who will be engaged.
Assistance will also be sought from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Mr Kapera said the rights holder agreement will be signed soon. (insert) Next week we're hoping to sign the 3rd rights holders agreement with the Pacific Games Organising Committee".
Mr Kapera said the NBC will fund the National Broadcast Centre for the Pacific Games Organizing Committee, which will coordinate the coverage of the games, after which equipment purchased by the Games Organizing Committee will come to the NBC.
Bank of Papua New Guinea to host SEACEN

Bank of Papua New Guinea to host SEACEN

Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani
For the first time, the Bank of Papua New Guinea is hosting the South East Asian Central (SEACEN) Bank Governors Conference and High Level Seminar of the Board of Governors.

Since its SEACEN membership in 2005, the Bank of PNG remains one of only two Central Bank members from the South Pacific. The Reserve Bank of Fiji is the only other member from the region in this influential body.

Historically, SEACEN was formed in 1966 as a forum for Central Bank Governors to exchange information and ideas on matters affecting the economies and financial systems of member countries.

Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani said he is honoured to host this event and hopes that discussions will be fruitful in assisting members face the unique challenges in the region. Specific focus will be on the challenge to achieve financial stability while assisting governments attain their economic policies.

This has meant that central banks need to adapt to ensure sustainable growth in their respective economies.

The two-day event will end this evening.
Gordons Market to open with tight security

Gordons Market to open with tight security

SECURITY will be tighter when the Gordon Market in Port Moresby is re-opened on Monday, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop says.
The market was closed last week after a police officer from Yangoru was stabbed to death there. Police have arrested one man over the incident.
Parkop said the National Capital District Commission and police, under Metropolitan Superintendent Andy Bawa, would ensure that security was tight to make the market safer for vendors and those who frequented it to buy food and goods.
He said the NCDC management and the Metropolitan Superintendent had come up with short-term strategies as part of opening the market. They are that:


  • Only fresh vegetables and meat be sold;
  • the bus stop be relocated to Unagi Oval for bus routes 4, 6, 13, 16 and 17;
  • the Boroko market be opened so that vendors from Central can use it;
  • Lareva Market at Hohola be opened for informal sector vendors to use. The area will be fenced; and,
  • Security firms engaged to tighten security in the three markets.

Parkop said the same arrangements had been made at Gerehu Market.
Bawa promised that police would work with NCDC officials to ensure that the short-term strategies were executed. He said officers would be based at the Gordon police station and patrol the areas between Gordon and Unagi Oval.

November 20, 2014

Sean Paul arrives in Port Moresby

Sean Paul arrives in Port Moresby

A-list star Sean Paul arrives in Port Moresby
A-list star Sean Paul is in Port Moresby. The singer/rapper arrived from Brisbane this afternoon with his dancers and DJ.

He will be performing in PNG for the first time at Lamana Gold Club for two nights , tomorrow and Saturday night (Nov 21-22) and is looking forward to the shows.

He said today during a media conference that he is very pleased to be here and thanked PNG for having him.

“It’s going to be a great performance and I am here with my beautiful dancers, feeling excited as we are here to have fun and experience a piece of the PNG culture.

“Tomorrow we are going to be reaching out to you,  all of my fans here so I hope to see you all,” Sean Paul said.

Tickets for his two concerts went on sale on Nov 5 selling at K150 arena, K200 black stage and K400 to get the best view from the balcony.

However, fans who wanted to buy the K200 black stage tickets were disappointed this week as all were sold out in a week while the arena and balcony tickets for both nights are still selling.

Sean Paul’s tour to PNG was sponsored by Lamana Hotel and fans can purchase tickets at the hotel’s reception.

The show starts at 10pm and he will be performing for more than 60 minutes, with  all his hits including Passion Whine, She Doesn’t Mind, Temperature, Got 2 Luv U, Baby Boy, How Deep is Your Love including hits from his sixth studio album “Full Frequency” which he released this year . ONEPNG/PNGLOOP

Female boxers bring PNG Games alive

Female boxers bring PNG Games alive

IT was an enthusiastic highlight to see female boxers show off their energetic muscles of the 54 kg division at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Indoor complex.

The bout between team NCD boxer Flora Loga and team Morobe boxer Elisa Henry, really featured exchange of powerful punching strikes.

In round one both boxers were in their quick moves to throw in superb punches which impressed their coaches, team mates and of course the packed roaring crowds of team Morobe.

It was a fair punching round for both boxers but as they head into round two, Flora was making her way around the ring to distract the attentive and determining punches from Elisa.

This round was very crucial with both boxers receiving shocking hit punches which saw both of them being called over to the ring corners for checks.

After round two ended there was cheering shouts from the supporters. "Asa Sumba," "Go Morobe"

This really got the nerves of Elisa to throw in powerful punches at Flora who was caught off guarded at certain moves. Flora reacted with well-guarded moves to stop the powering punches from her opponents but the bout was not in her favour.

Other female bouts like the 57 kg division featured Silen Kigen from team East New Britain who went on to beat Beky Lamp from team Eastern Highlands.

Boxing matches were suspended as of yesterday afternoon by the boxing referees. ONE PNG/Post Courier
Police Commissioner Gari Baki not happy with governments budget allocation

Police Commissioner Gari Baki not happy with governments budget allocation

THE country’s chief spy Gari Baki is very disappointed that the top intelligence network he heads has been allocated a mere K5.9 million in the 2015 Budget.

Mr Baki, who is the director-general of the National Intelligence Organisation, had asked for K15 million.

He said in recent years the NIO receives annual allocations of K5 million, sometimes K4 million, which had set back its operations in intelligence operations.

Mr Baki, a former police commissioner, said he had put forward a proposal for K15 million to the budget steering committee early this year.

He said the request for a major increase was because there was much plans for NIO as well as preparations for the upcoming 2015 South Pacific Games and the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit which would involve leaders of 21 nations.

Interviewed by the Post-Courier yesterday, Mr Baki cried foul over the Government allocation of K5.9 million to fund intelligence services of the nation.

"K4-5 million allocated for NIO has not done any good for this organisation," he said.

"The Government might as well forget about NIO. This is absolute madness. I asked for K15.5 million and they only gave me K5.9 million.

"I need to get new staff, I have no telephone lines, we need new vehicles. We speak about the law and order but the people behind the scenes in intelligence are not properly funded.

"We have the Pacific Games coming, we planned for that and we want to prepare for the 2018 APEC Meeting, we have nothing. In the past seven years the NIO had allocated budgets of between K3m to K5 million, these funds had not effectively served the organization and affecting most operations of the office, Mr Baki said.
Undercover Policemen apprehend drug dealers

Undercover Policemen apprehend drug dealers

TWO drug dealers from the central province met their fate when they mistook undercover policemen for clients.

“The young men from the Goilala District of the Central province who were standing with three bags of marijuana on the junction of Tapini and the Trans highway in the central province approached the undercover detectives thinking they were there to buy drugs,”

Detective Chief Inspector Joel Kapinias, the Officer in charge of the National Drug and Vice Squad told the media in Port Moresby yesterday.

He said the men have been arrested and charged together with three others who cultivate and sell drugs (marijuana) in large quantities in the Kairuku and Mekeo Local Level Government areas of the Central Province.

The men were sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour by the Boroko District Court on Monday.

“My men have uprooted 2162 matured marijuana plants during a two weeklong operation in the Kairuku and Mekeo LLGs in the central province,” he said

“The cultivation and sale of marijuana in the Kairiku and Mekeo areas of the Central is rampant and the local community is faced with a lot of social problems associate with the drug.” He added

Inspector Kapinias says the operation was planned and conducted at the request of the local leaders in the area who were fed-up of youths causing problems in the community associated with drugs.

According to the detective the operation which ran from the 13th to the 19th of this month was conducted in the Inawi, Tesubaibu, Eboa, Rairai,Inawabui and Angabangia villages in the Kairuku and Mekeo LLG areas of the Central Province.

In commending his men for a job well done and the community leaders of the area for providing police with the information linking to a successful operation, the Chief of the Drug squad urged the general public to help in the fight against marijuana and other illicit drugs by contacting the National Drug and Vice Squad on telephone number 3217222 or mobile 716864301 / 71155255 and supply tips. The identity of those who provide information regarding cultivating and sales of drugs will be kept confidential.

Meanwhile the truckload of marijuana plants that were uprooted in the operation when fixed and packed into 50 kilogram bags weighed 334kilograms in total. ONEPNG/Post Courier
BRYAN KRAMER LOCKED UP AT BOROKO CELLS AFTER BEING CHARGED

BRYAN KRAMER LOCKED UP AT BOROKO CELLS AFTER BEING CHARGED

Mr Kramer behind bars
at Boroka Police cell.
Businessman  and Social Media activist, Bryan Kramer has been charged and detained at Boroko cells on allegations of attempted assassination or conspiracy to kill Nixon Duban and three others including the Returning Officer and Assistant Officer of 2013 Madang By-Election. The charges are absurd and clearly politically motivated in attempt from informing the country on corruption and political issues, a spokesperson said.
A close relative of Mr Krammer said  "Bryan is in the cell but said he's ok. He has been charged with attempted murder - attempted assassination of Nixon Duban. Bail currently being organised but don't know if he'll be released now or have to overnight."  It is understood he was also refused bail. 

November 19, 2014

Court allows Pala to fight arrest warrant

Court allows Pala to fight arrest warrant

ATTORNEY-General Ano Pala, who was charged with conspiring with others to defeat the course of justice in relation to the Paul Paraka Lawyers legal bills payments case, will review the issuance of warrant of arrest against him in the National Court.

He also obtained interim injunctions from Justice Colin Makail yesterday, restraining the police from executing that warrant of arrest until his matter is heard and determined.

Mr Pala, who is also Minister for Justice, claimed in his leave application for judicial review in the National Court that the principal magistrate of Waigani District Court, Cosmas Bidar, had erred by relying on wrong facts to issue the warrant of arrests on him on July 11 this year.

Ralph Saulep, representing Mr Pala, submitted that the facts relied on by Mr Bidar to issue warrant of arrest were wrong because Mr Pala was not Attorney-General at the time when court proceedings in relation to payments of legal bills by the State to Paraka Lawyers were instituted.

Justice Makail granted the leave application after he was satisfied that Mr Pala has standing as the Attorney-General, he has raised serious questions in relation to his bid for judicial review, he had an arguable case with the balance of convenience favouring him and the overall interest of justice.

The facts arose out of an allegation leveled against the Attorney-General, that he conspired with certain named lawyers, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Finance Minister James Marape and others to pervert the course of justice.

It was alleged on July 11 that Mr Pala as Attorney-General, along with the above named persons, conspired to pervert the course of justice by instituting proceedings titled OS 115 of 2014 – James Marape vs Paul Paraka Lawyers.

However, Saulep submitted that a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice under Section 128 of the Criminal Code was misconceived, saying this could have misled the magistrate, who made the Arrest Order ex parte (meaning, in the absence of Mr Pala).

The court noted that a charge under Section 128 of the Criminal Code was an indictable offence and as such was a serious matter and must be fully tried.

Judge Makail ordered that the matter returned to court on December 10, at 9.30am for directions.

November 17, 2014

PM TO SEEK COURT DECLARATION

PM TO SEEK COURT DECLARATION

Lawyers representing the Prime Minister will be going to court, to raise questions whether or not the decision by Cabinet to approve a 3-billion Kina loan from the Australian Branch of the Union Bank of Switzerland was according to law.
Peter O'Neil's legal team will be questioning the administrative process of approving such arrangements in a Supreme Court Reference.
Mr. O'Neil was referred on allegations of misconduct in office, failing to comply with administrative and financial processes including the normal overseas borrowing process in the approval of the UBS loan.
But he had maintained, that his government's action to borrow money to buy shares in Oil Search, was in the country's best interest.
"Again all these evidences will be presented.
"We know that we have followed every administrative and financial process that is necessary to get the approvals for us to go and borrow this money.
"It is not a one man decision, it was made by Cabinet.
"NEC has made that decision, endorsed that decision and infact I want to say here that we welcome this decision because it gives us an opportunity to go before the independent tribunal and the courts to determine the outcomes of this decisions base on real evidence that are going to be presented to the tribunal," Mr. O'Neil said.
Mr. O'Neil says his referral to be investigated also shows that Constitutional offices are working independently and transparently.
PRIME MINISTER O'NEILL FACES BEING SIDELINED ACCORDING TO LAW

PRIME MINISTER O'NEILL FACES BEING SIDELINED ACCORDING TO LAW

Prime Minister Peter O'Neil says only a Leadership Tribunal will decide whether or not he steps down from office, while he's being investigated over allegations of misconduct in office.
But the leading case law on suspension of leaders before a Tribunal, is that of current Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, in which a three-men Supreme Court bench in 2010 had ruled that the suspension of a leader from office is automatic, once a Tribunal is appointed.
Mr. O'Neil was served a letter by the Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin (last Friday), informing him of his request to the Chief Justice to appoint an appropriate Leadership Tribunal to enquire into the allegations.
But Mr. O'Neil told reporters over the weekend, that unless he is requested to step down, he'll continue as the Prime Minister of PNG.
"When we go before the Tribunal, the Tribunal will make those decisions.
"Of course Im elected by the people, Im elected on the floor of Parliament.
"The only way that I can be removed is through this two means - by the people and by Parliament.
"So of course, I will continue to run the affairs of the country, and there is no need to make any decisions as such.
"We will allow the Tribunal to do so," Mr. O'Neil said.
History has recorded Sir Julius Chan as the only Prime Minister who stood down from office while he was investigated by a Leadership Tribunal, following the Sandline Crisis in 1997.
Mr. O'Neil's predecessor Sir Michael Somare raised eyebrows in 2011, when he became the first Prime Minister and leader of the highest rank to continue in office while he was investigated by a Leadership Tribunal.

November 10, 2014

Call for Australia to act over illegal PNG logging

Call for Australia to act over illegal PNG logging

A Papua New Guinea NGO is accusing Australia of being the largest beneficiary of illegal logging and exploitation of PNG's rainforests.
Act Now's comments come as Australia prepares to host an Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit in Sydney this week.
The summit's aim is to bring together forest nations, donor countries, corporate leaders and NGOs to focus on practical steps to reduce forest loss.
A spokesperson for Act Now, Eddie Tanago Paine, says the group is calling on Australia to proactively help the PNG Government stop unlawful logging and land grabs.
The group also wants Australia to help stop the flow of money from political corruption and illegal activities in PNG to Australia.
Eddie Paine says Australia is doing little to address underlying issues in PNG because it is also the largest beneficiary of PNG's corruption.

Source: Radio New Zealand International
Global downturn affects PNG’s investment firm

Global downturn affects PNG’s investment firm


THE recent dramatic global fiscal fears have had an adverse effect on Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) only listed investment company, Kina Asset Management Limited (KAML).

In its third quarter report released yesterday, KAML announced an investment loss of K1.1m or 2.2% attributable to the volatility in the global markets and the Bank of Papua New Guinea pegging which resulted in the valuation loss of its offshore assets.

KAML in a statement released through the Port Moresby Stock Exchange yesterday stated that during the quarter, the Board had approved the inclusion of domestic fixed income as a new asset class. This would allow the company to amass Government Inscribed Stocks (GIS’s) which offer attractive yields of above 10% while also providing cash inflows through regular coupon payments.

KAML’s chief executive officer and managing director Syd Yates confirmed that the company has also sold its entire international share holdings in ‘MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan’ index fund, positioning it to make investments in the domestic fixed income instruments as such the GIS’s.

Mr Yates stated that KAML would continue to review the company’s investment exposures to Global Fund ex Australia" as well as Australian Security Exchange equities adhering to its long term investment strategy offering optimal, risk adjusted performance to its shareholders.

Commenting on the latest economic developments and trends Mr Yates said the GDP growth is expected to increase to double digits year-over-year in 2015 due to the impact of the PNG LNG Project with inflation rising to c.8%.

"PNG Kina (PGK) is expected to normalise and likely depreciate over the next 6 months depending on BPNG’s ability to maintain target FX rate and level of FX reserves (c.U5$2.5b) or over K6.3 billion", he said.

Further, he noted that domestic cash and fixed may see long term rates rise but at a muted rate compared to the past 6 months with a possible increase in short term rates as the government resorts to short term borrowing.

Commenting on the international scene, the CEO indicated that there was a positive outlook for economic growth but not without risks arising from geopolitical tensions and health concerns in light of Ebola outbreak. He further stated that commodities such as oil and gold were expected to remain flat at current levels and possibly decrease in 2015.

During the quarter approximately 1,250,776 KAML shares were traded at an average price of K1.07. As at 30 September 2014, KAML recorded an NTA of KO.98 and last traded at K1.07.

Mr Yates also confirmed that KAML’s largest shareholder Monian had made an offer to increase its holdings to 25% of the company’s total shares on issue and at present an external advisor was assessing the offer on behalf of the company.

Meanwhile, several attempts as well as yesterday to get an explanation from BPNG as to why the PGK value is on a declining trend have been so far unsuccessful.


It’s a growing concern for business houses especially foreign owned business who have reported that they are unable to remit funds back to their countries as well as buy other currencies.

Few of those who attempted to remit funds to their countries or for other purposes and transactions were unable to transact, reliably told this newspaper that they couldn’t buy other currencies. ONEPNG/Post Courier
PNG Finance Departement introduces Anti-Corruption system

PNG Finance Departement introduces Anti-Corruption system

Even in a country known for a high level of official corruption, PNG's Department of Finance has long stood out as one of the most corrupt arms of government.

In 2010, when the then Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare released the results of a Commission of Inquiry into the Department, he said people "will shudder in awe" at what was exposed.

Now under new management with a new Secretary, former accounting academic Dr Ken Ngangan, the Finance Department is trialing a system designed to eradicate corruption by encouraging staff to send anonymous text messages if they have any suspicions.

Those calls will be monitored by the secretary and a group of internal auditors, and Dr Ngangan says the ultimate aim is to expand the strategy to other departments, and eventually open it up to the general public.

October 29, 2014

Prime Minister  Peter O'Neill Opens New Lae Port Overseas Wharf Extension

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill Opens New Lae Port Overseas Wharf Extension

Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has officially opened the new Lae Port Overseas Wharf extension and commended PNG Ports for their effort ingetting the project.

In addressing guests, staff and management of PNG Ports, the Prime Minister stated that he is impressed with the new facilities and work will continue into the second phase including the commissioning of the Lae Tidal Basin project.

“This wharf is going to be the hub of trading activity for the Pacific, as well as Australia and New Zealand, as it can cater for large ships that carry bigger loads and would continue to serve out of this port,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.

“It is very important that the second stage of the project is completed as planned so that it can facilitate growing business activities in Lae and many other parts of the country.”

He said the expanded facility will work in with other major projects such as the Wafi Golpu mine and other mining projects that are taking place in the vicinity of the port.

Speaking to PNG Ports staff and management, the Prime Minister encouraged all people involved with the port expansion to think big and work to continually to increase their efficiency as the port expands.

“You have been given the authority to operate this port according to best commercial practices, and it is up to you to improve your level of service to your customers,” he said.

“I know staff and management will work together to improve services and the efficiency of the facilities to meet the consumer demand.

“We can spend millions of Kina on projects like this, but to make it work we have to go beyond old practices and work at world standards.”

The Prime Minister said while the government had inherited a range of infrastructure deficiencies following decades of neglect, he said the National Government was working through these problems and allocating funding to key projects.

The Prime Minister cut the ribbon to officially open the port.
PNG GOVERNMENT APPROVES PROPOSED NEW DIAGNOSTIC AND SURGICAL CENTER FOR EASTERN HIGHLANDS PROVINCE

PNG GOVERNMENT APPROVES PROPOSED NEW DIAGNOSTIC AND SURGICAL CENTER FOR EASTERN HIGHLANDS PROVINCE

The National Executive Council has recently endorsed a proposal by the Ministry of Health & HIV/AIDS for the redevelopment of the Goroka Provincial Hospital in Eastern Highlands Province.

Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said Cabinet endorsed the proposal by the Health Ministry and has given its approval for the hospital’s redevelopment by an Austrian Company called VAMED Group. The redevelopment of the Goroka Provincial Hospital includes the construction of a new diagnostic and surgical center, he said.

The Prime Minister said NEC also approved for utilization of the low interest Export Credit Facility loan offered by the Governments of Austria and Czech Republic for the construction of the new diagnostic and surgical center.

Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said the redevelopment of the hospital falls in line with the 2011-2020 National Health Plan key results Area 1, to improve service delivery within the health sector. “NEC also directs the Treasurer to enter into appropriate detailed loan negotiations for the project."

“Approval was also given for the use of K10 million in funds currently held in trust for Nonga Hospital to meet funding shortfalls for the project in 2018 with a view to replace the Nonga funds as part of the 2015 budget,” the Prime Minister said.

The Cabinet also directed the Minister for Health & HIV/AIDS to obtain a construction estimate from a registered Quantity Surveyor to assure value for money for the project, upon receipt of formal quotation for redevelopment of the Goroka Provincial Hospital from VAMED," he said.

NEC further directed the Minister for Health & HIV/AIDS to ensure that the scope of services fully satisfies hospital needs and a comprehensive contract for services is negotiated and forwarded to Cabinet for approval. He said NEC has also directed the Treasurer to include an annual appropriation of K30 million for the project in annual budgets commencing in 2018 until such time that the loan is expunge

“NEC also directed the Chief Secretary, Secretaries of Finance, Treasury, National Planning & Monitoring and all central agencies to give their full support and co-operation to the Ministry of Health & HIV/AIDS in the implementation of this decision,” the Prime Minister said.
NEC ENDORSES ESTABLISHMENT OF PNG SWF UNDER ORGANIC LAW

NEC ENDORSES ESTABLISHMENT OF PNG SWF UNDER ORGANIC LAW

The National Executive Council has recently endorsed the establishment of the Papua New Guinea Sovereign Wealth Fund (PNG SWF) under the Organic Law.

Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said Cabinet has endorsed the establishment of the fund under the Organic Law and approved a Certificate of Compliance issued by the First Legislative Counsel. In support of the PNG SWF, Prime Minister O’Neill said Cabinet has taken note of the First Legislative Counsel’s draft bill for the establishment the fund under the Organic Law.

The Prime Minister said NEC will advise the Governor General to recommend to Parliament that the bill be accepted and has directed the First Legislative Counsel to;

a) Prepare an instrument for the Governor General to sign that recommends to Parliament that the Organic Law on SWF Bill 2014 establishment be accepted;

b) Prepare and publish the instrument of gazettal for the bill and;

c) Carry out any other processes to allow the bill to be tabled in Parliament.

“NEC also directed SWF Secretaries Committee to report back to Cabinet, through Ministerial Committee on Economic Sector (MCES), with updated action plan to operationalize the SWF,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.

The Prime Minister further added that Cabinet also approved the engagement of an external law firm by Department of Treasury to assist the SWF Secretaries Committee prepare secondary legislation, consequential amendment to existing legislation's & regulations and procedures necessary to operationalize the SWF.

October 27, 2014

MP Ronny Knight suspended from Office by Leadership Tribunal

MP Ronny Knight suspended from Office by Leadership Tribunal

Manus MP, Ronny Knight was suspended from office this afternoon by a Leadership Tribunal headed by Justice Salatiel Lenalia, who accepted references submitted by the Public Prosecutor, Pondros Kaluwin.
Kaluwin had presented to the tribunal, references relating to allegations of misconduct in office by Knight which in turn resulted in due processes being followed which saw the suspension of the Manus MP, with full pay, pending the outcome of the tribunal.
The outspoken MP was referred by the Ombudsman Commission on five counts of misappropriation of public monies totalling to over K240, 000.
The tribunal has been adjourned to 10 November, 2014, and copies of the instruments of Knight’s suspension will be officially presented to the Speaker of Parliament.
Manus MP, Ronny Knight, is the son of a former Australian naval officer – Ronny Knight Senior, who was stationed at the Royal Australian Navy HMAS Tarangau base (now the PNGDF Lombrum naval base) in the province of Manus in the 1960’s.
His parents chose to become PNG citizens when Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975 from Australia and started their family business with interests in stevedoring and tourism.
The now-suspended MP has been given till November 10 to respond to allegations made against him in the court of law, under the Leadership Tribunal.  ONE PNG /EMTV