December 29, 2016

Death of Manus refugee sparks calls for a probe

Death of Manus refugee sparks calls for a probe

Over 200 refugees on the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea have a signed a letter calling for the investigation of International Health and Medical Services after a Sudanese refugee died.

Faysal Ishak Ahmed was evacuated to Australia from Manus last week after collapsing at the Australian-run detention camp but died in a Brisbane hospital on Christmas Eve.

The Australian based Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul said Mr Ahmed's ill health was well documented but he was denied proper medical care.

Mr Rintoul said calls were now growing for a Royal Commission into the health provider's lack of facilities and a culture of dismissal and neglect.

"They say there's just no oversight, IHMS works with the immigration department in terms of providing proper medical treatment for people that are being held on Manus Island, there is no oversight, so at the moment, whether or not people get medical treatment is a political decision and that's not acceptable," he said.

Mr Rintoul said vigils for Mr Ahmed were being held throughout Australia.

International Health and Medical Services responds saying reports not correct.

In a statement, International Health and Medical Services or IHMS said it was concerned with the inaccuracies and misinformation surrounding the reporting of Mr Ahmed's case.

The health provider said claims that the patient was denied access to medical care were not correct.

Mr Ahmed was seen by clinicians and other allied health professionals at the clinic on numerous occasions in the three months preceding his death for multiple issues and his presenting medical issues were assessed, investigated and managed, according to IHMS.

The facts and circumstances surrounding his death will be referred to the Queensland Coroner. However currently available information indicates that Mr Ahmed died from severe head injuries sustained in a fall at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre on 23 December.

The health provider said it was extremely proud of the work of its highly qualified and professional clinicians at the Manus Regional Processing Centre carried out and their efforts to stabilise Mr Ahmed and transfer him to Australia were exemplary.
Tonga Rugby Sevens captain confirmed dead in Veitongo crash

Tonga Rugby Sevens captain confirmed dead in Veitongo crash

Captain of the Tongan Rugby Sevens team Atelea ‘Okati, has been confirmed as one of the people killed in the Veitongo crash.

The other person killed was ‘Unaloto Lepa.

The crash occurred yesterday morning on Taufa’ahau Road in Veitongo.

Police said a car heading west driven by a 30 year-old man from Halaleva and carrying three passengers tried to overtake another car crashed head-on with a minibus that was heading east.

Apart from the deaths, two other passengers received major injuries and one is in a critical condition.

This latest fatal death brings the total number of deaths on the road in 2016 to 18.

Acting Chief Superintendent Tevita Vailea said he was saddened by the fact that so many families had lost relatives on roads this year.

He said the death toll was 10 higher than it was at this time last year.

He urged drivers to be more careful on the road in the lead up to the New Year.

“While the full circumstances of Thursday’s crash are yet to be determined I can say that all too often Police are attending serious crashes that are avoidable,” Acting Chief Superintendent Tevita Vailea said.

He said fatigue, alcohol, speed and inexperience were all being considered as factors in the most recent crash.

“Crashes like this are preventable and we all need to do our part to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads,” he said.

“We extend our sympathy to the families of those involved and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this tragic time.”

Family members have also expressed condolences and sympathy for their deaths over social media.
Kaniva News
Reatau Rau is new PNGRFL CEO

Reatau Rau is new PNGRFL CEO

The new CEO for the PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) is Reatau Rau.

The news of his appointment was made public today at a press conference at the Ela Beach Hotel in Port Moresby.

In attendance were the Directors from all four rugby league confederates (New Guinea Islands, Northern, Southern and Highlands) and PNGRFL board member, Graham Osborne.

Chairman of the PNGRFL, Sandis Tsaka explained that board made the decision to appoint Rau after its fourth and final meeting last night.

“The board appointed Reatau Rau following recommendations from its sub-committee in conjunction with the Human Resource company- Vanguard International,” said Tsaka.

Tsaka said Vangaurd received 25 applications for the CEO post (8 were Papua New Guineans and 17 expatriates). The process took 3 weeks.

“Vanguard using the criteria and the requirements of qualifications shortlisted 5 out of the 25 applicants (3 expatriates and 2 Papua New Guineans) and submitted to the PNGRFL board.

“The sub- committee comprising of Graham Osborne, Southern Confederate Director, Gwaibo Mairi and Highlands Confederate Director, Joe Tokam worked with Vanguard to screen the shortlisted candidates and made their recommendations to the board this week,” said Tsaka.

Rau’s position as treasurer of the PNGRFL will now be relinquished. His appointment as CEO is effective immediately.

Rau, 52 from Vabukori village on the outskirts of Port Moresby holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

He also has a Diploma in Accountancy from the Divine Word Institute (now Divine Word University).

Rau resigned this morning as the General Manager of Turumu Investments, part of the Brian Bell Group of Companies. He worked there for over 30 years.

He was the treasurer of the PNGNRL intercity competition back in 2006 and in 2012 became Treasurer of the PNGRFL.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I thank the board for having the confidence in appointing me. There will be many challenges ahead especially with the Rugby League World Cup 2017. We have our domestic competitions to nurture and develop. There is also the women’s squad to prepare for the World Cup.

“I can only be as good as the people around me and will require every support from sponsors, partners, the media and everybody else to take rugby league in PNG to greater heights,” said Rau. Looppng/ONEPNG

December 26, 2016

Police launch Christmas Operations in Tabubil

Police launch Christmas Operations in Tabubil

RESIDENTS of Tabubil town and surrounding communities near the mining township have been urged to be involved in policing during the festive season.

North Fly Police Commander Superintendent Joe Puri said this during a police parade in Tabubil town centre when launching Christmas police operations in Tabubil on Friday December 23.

Police officers from Tabubil and Mobile Squad 05 from Mt Hagen participated in the parade.

Witnessing the parade was Ok Tedi Mining Limited Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Peter Graham and other department managers.

Supt Puri  told the people that it is also their responsibility to do their own policing to assist police maintain law and order and not rely on police men and women to do all the policing work.

He stressed that the community needed to work together with the policemen and women to ensure the festive period was celebrated trouble free.

He also told the community that illegal activities like gambling and alcohol abuse will only attract other unwanted activities and he urged the community to be honest and put a complete stop to these activities.

He reminded the community that an alcohol ban was already in place since Wednesday December 22 to ensure a smooth Christmas and New Year period without any major problems.

Supt Puri encouraged the Tabubil community to obey the ban that was in place and celebrate the festive season peacefully with their families.

He also thanked OTML for working together with police to maintain law and order in Tabubil and the surrounding communities.
Former Post-Courier Chief and veteran journalist dies

Former Post-Courier Chief and veteran journalist dies

FORMER Post-Courier Editor-in-Chief Oseah Philemon passed away over the weekend at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

Late Philemon, commonly referred to as OP by many friends and colleagues was one of the long serving editor-in-chief of the Post-Courier and a veteran journalist.

Late OP retired from Post-Courier sometime back and served his retirement back in his Labu village in the Morobe Province until he was reengaged as a consultant with the newspaper at its Headquarters at Lawes Road, Port Moresby.

It is understood that OP had been also suffering from cardiovascular disease and had been under medication.

He was rushed to the hospital on Thursday after he encountered a suspected heart attack and was admitted at the hospital but died at around 10:45pm on Saturday. Post Courier/One PNG
Australia sets up consulate in PNG's industrial city of Lae

Australia sets up consulate in PNG's industrial city of Lae

AUSTRALIA has set up a consulate in Lae, Morobe Province and this week they named Paul Murphy as Consul-General.

As PNG’s commercial hub, Lae is integral to Australia’s over $18 billion investment in PNG. Lae is also home to a number of Australian businesses.

The Consulate-General will boost Australia’s presence in Papua New Guinea and bolster the growing trade and investment relationship between our two countries. It will also offer consular and other services to the thousands of Australians living in the area.

The Consulate-General will support the delivery of Australia’s aid investment in PNG, expected to be over $550 million in 2016-17. Our investment is focused on promoting effective governance, enabling economic growth and enhancing human development.

Mr Murphy is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Director, Free Trade Agreement Division. He has served overseas as First Secretary (Economic), Australian High Commission, Port Moresby. In Canberra, Mr Murphy has served in the Iraq Task Force and the International Economic and Finance Section.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics, Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University.

Mr Murphy will arrive in Papua New Guinea in January 2017 and operate from temporary premises until the new Consulate-General opens for business in mid-2017.

I thank Australia’s Honorary Consul in Lae, Mr Alan McLay, for his excellent contribution in providing consular services for Australians over the past three years.

December 24, 2016

Malaysian woman slap with second charge in PNG

Malaysian woman slap with second charge in PNG

A MALAYSIAN woman involved in the illicit items and sex toys bust has been slapped with a second charge and refused bail. Anita Ting Mee Siong was charged at Boroko Police station in Port Moresby, PNG.

The marijuana was found in her possession in the vehicle she was driving prior to being granted a bail of K10, 000. Earlier she was charged under section 16 of the immigration’s act for illegally living in PNG.

Assistant Police Commissioner of Police NCD/Central Commander Sylvester Kalaut when briefing on the charges said it was up to her lawyer to take it to national court for bail.

Commander Kalaut said she is now under investigation by police to establish other information of interest to the police. The possession of the vehicle which is believed to be owned by an MP is also subject to police investigations.

“Once we confirm that we will invite the MP for questioning,” Kalaut said. The vehicle is now in the hands of the Malay woman’s Lawyer.

The commander said the items confiscated by police at this point are not confirmed as drugs until tested. Those items in police custody, if satisfied as drugs, police will proceed with other charges.

Police are still awaiting arrangement with Australian police for tests. Commander Kalaut said the lawyer has advised police that the items were facial beauty products but will be further investigated.

“We are suspicious because the items were hidden in a concealed place,” Kalaut said. Also police are in contact with Customs for an authorization for further charges relating to the sex toys which are contraband items.

Once the police investigation is complete she will be handed over to immigrations. Post Courier
Two more suspects captured in K1.2 m heist

Two more suspects captured in K1.2 m heist

Rabaul Town
Two suspects involved in the K1.2 million Robbery at the Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby were captured in Rabaul this morning.

Kokopo Police Station Commander, Inspector Edward Gigi confirmed that suspects Alphonse Lance Moha from Siassi Morobe province and Dermott Vekinap from Ambunti East Sepik province are both in Kokopo police cell waiting to be transferred to Port Moresby.
Inspector Gigi said both suspects were captured in a combined Correctional Service and Police Christmas and New Year Operation.

“The first suspect Dermott Vekinap was spotted in a PMV bus when h e was captured then we asked him to direct us to his counterpart Alphonse Lance Moha’s location, which he did and we found Alphonse sleeping in a house when we caught him” said Inspector Gigi.
He said arrangements have already been made by the ENB Provincial Police Commander for the suspects to be transferred to Port Moresby as soon as possible for investigations to proceed into the million Kina robbery.
Meanwhile, it is understood that this brings the number of suspects captured so far to five (5) with the 6th one out on bail. PNGFM/ONEPNG : Picture: Courtesy of Peter John Tate

December 22, 2016

NICTA moves to screen Social Media in PNG

NICTA moves to screen Social Media in PNG

The National Information and Communications Technology Authority, NICTA is taking steps towards addressing the gross misuse and abuse of social media in Papua New Guinea.

Chief Executive Officer Charles Punaha says this will involve print media advertisements, outlining Criminal offences relating to the new Cybercrime Code Act 2016 among others.

"Currently NICTA does not have any specific powers to order an ICT service provider to block off a website.

"This responsibility has to be given to the police department and other law enforcement agencies.

"NICTA will assist in the event that the aggrieved person or a victim of an allegation makes a formal complaint with the police.

"And because of the number of the numerous complaints that we are receiving, we have now decided to initiate a dialogue with the industry, and we are working towards developing an industry code of standards that will govern the use of ICT services, especially internet services.

"The minimum that we've requested from all the ISPs is that they must on the interim appoint administrators that will monitor and screen everything that is appearing on the websites and undertake appropriate actions."  NBC News
Asian Women arrested in PNG

Asian Women arrested in PNG

A new charge has been slapped on the Malaysian woman who was arrested  in Papua New Guinea earlier for overstaying her visa.

“Anita Siong Ting” from the Sarawak region of Malaysia, was again charged for being in possession of marijuana, after being picked up by the Port Moresby police yesterday.

Initially the woman was out on a ten thousand kina bail for overstaying her visa but this time she was re arrested and refused bail.

This has forced her lawyer to seek bail application from the National court.

NCD Central commander Sylvester Kalaut said more charges will follow once the illicit items found in her possession are tested.

He said marijuana was found in her vehicle at the time prior to her being granted bail earlier on, however now she is undergoing further interrogation to establish other information of interest to Police.

The woman while in the country was involved in an illegal drug syndicate,

Police raided her apartment in downtown Port Moresby recently and confiscated illegal items which included sex toys.

The woman was using a vehicle belonging to a member of parliament at the time of her first arrest.

NBC News
PNG authorities moving towards addressing  abuse of Social Media

PNG authorities moving towards addressing abuse of Social Media

The National Information and Communications Technology Authority, NICTA is taking steps towards addressing the gross misuse and abuse of social media in Papua New Guinea.

Chief Executive Officer Charles Punaha said, this will involve print media, advertisements,outlining Criminal offences relating to the new Cybercrime Code Act 2016 amongst others.

He said “Currently NICTA does not have any specific powers to order an ICT service provider to block off their website,the responsibility has to be given to the Police department and other law enforcement agencies.

NICTA will assist in the event that an aggrieved person or victim of an allegation makes a formal complaint with the Police.

Because of the number of numerous complaints that we are receiving, we've decided to initiate dialogue with the industry and we are working towards developing an industry code of standards that will govern the use of ICT services, especially internet services.

The minimum that we have requested from all the ISP’s is that on the interim they must appoint administrator’s that will monitor and screen and all that is appearing on the websites and take appropriate action” NBC/ONEPNG

December 20, 2016

Samoan Minister tables $12 million budget

Samoan Minister tables $12 million budget

Samoan Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, tabled a supplementary budget of $12,288,936.00 (US$5,778,949.45) in Parliament Tuesday.

Speaking about the budget, he said it was the result of a very ‘careful review’.

Sili said the government continues to promote the theme of “living within our means”.

In doing so, the government has attempted to identify various means to maintain its fiscal target of a budget deficit within the range of 3.5% of the national GDP.

“The Ministry for Finance has completed an assessment of previous financials for the FY 2015/2016 and have since concluded that there has been a 0.4% decrease in total national spending,” he said.

“A review of the first quarter of the 2016/2017 financial period has revealed a 0.7% budget deficit of the GDP.

“These are clear indications that all Ministries, under the guidance of the Ministry for Finance, have been committed to ensuring prudent control and the efficient use of all Government resources throughout the course of the financial year.”

Sili made it clear that the expectation was that these ‘controls’ would not diverge from other government priorities that are currently being implemented to ensure a continued improvement in the quality of life for all Samoan. .

Samoa Government amends Constitution to reflect Christian State

Samoa Government amends Constitution to reflect Christian State

A bill to amend the Constitution to define Samoa as a Christian State was tabled in Parliament Tuesday.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 was presented by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi when Parliament convened for the last time this year.

The Constitutional amendment in relation to religion is one of two changes announced by Prime Minister Tuilaepa.

The second change proposed was tabled in the Constitutional Amendment Bill (No.1) 2016.  The bill seeks to remove the appointment of the Director of Public Prosecutions, returning its powers and duties to the Attorney General.

Both changes were not discussed, as it was the first reading.

According to the Constitutional Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016’s Explanatory Memorandum, it aims to insert in the Constitution that Samoa is a Christian nation to declare the dominance of Christianity in Samoa.  

A pre-sitting briefing held on Monday gave the Members of Parliament the opportunity to ask questions about bills before Parliament reconvened Tuesday.

According to the pre-sitting summary on the Legislative Assembly website, Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff explained the Constitutional changes.

Lemalu told M.Ps it would not affect the human rights protected under Article 11, which permits all citizens to practice their own particular religious beliefs.

Currently, reference to Christianity is in the Preamble but the amendment “will enshrine Christianity from within the body of the Constitution which effectively provides a legal definition of the State’s religion.”

Lemalu said the government is not attempting to control religion among its people but merely attempting to define the State religion.

As for the decision to return the powers of the Director of Public Prosecutor to the AG, Lemalu also explained to MPs at the pre-sitting briefing the amendment would decrease the cost of operating a separate prosecution arm.

In addition, he said the amendment will lessen instances of ‘conflict of interest’ with the Attorney General subsequently overseeing all prosecution cases.

The separation of the AGs office and the NPO was recently enacted.

Lemalu stated that as a result of recent events within the NPO, Cabinet decided that the previous structure, wherein prosecutions were handled by the Office of AG. is preferable and also more cost effective.

“One Member commented that the principal act was not defective, but rather the implementation and monitoring processes were at fault for recent events within the NPO, and that in the future, the recruitment process for lawyers should be closely monitored,” stated the Legislative Assembly website.


December 19, 2016

PNG Government sign agreement with firm to develop Port Moresby's Waterfront

PNG Government sign agreement with firm to develop Port Moresby's Waterfront

Artistic expression of Port Moresby's Waterfront development
The Government Papua New Guinea and the Paga Hill Development Company have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of the K3 billion waterfront integrated resort and residential project in Port Moresby.
PHDC chief executive officer and director Gudmundur Fridrksson said construction was  scheduled to begin early next year.
“We have been on the project for nearly 20 years and things are now starting to emerge. PNG’s gift to the world is its people, its culture, languages, flora and the fauna, but also its history,” he said.
“Paga Hill is a wholly integrated project. It has a tourism resort, a cultural and exhibition convention centre, where all the provinces can showcase their culture.
“And from there, people can come and learn about it. In the night time, they can go and have a walk around the water, see people weaving baskets, doing tattoos, and people singing and dancing.
We see it as the focal point. People stay at the resort, know the culture and go to a great shopping mall and then learn about the country and decide where to go next.
“We are hoping to have a real hospitality and tourism school attached to the cultural centre. That is going to lift the game.”
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang said this would be a landmark and important project as far as tourism was concerned.
“In the region, we have not been competitive tourism-wise because of (no) such key infrastructure,” he said
Fridrksson said: “The Government is only giving us the strategic support, and making sure that the interest of the people of PNG is taken on board.
“We want the Government to rather than give us the money, give us the incentives so that we can bring in material at a competitive rate.”

December 18, 2016

Australian lawyer joins PNG judiciary

Australian lawyer joins PNG judiciary

A SENIOR Australian crown counsel, Harrold Terrance Foulds, was sworn in as a judge of the Supreme and National Court on Friday, bringing the total number of judges in Papua New Guinea to 41.

Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio officiated at the swearing in ceremony, which  was attended by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and senior judges.
Foulds, 67, was appointed on Oct 31 to serve for three years.
Attorney-General and chairman of the judicial appointments committee Ano Pala said the appointment would strengthen the judiciary’s capacity to deal with the growing backlog of pending cases.

Foulds studied law at the University of Western Australia and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and all Federal Courts in 1975.
He was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1980 and in 1981 was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
Foulds has worked in a number of Australian government and justice agencies since 1971.
He has extensive experience appearing before tribunals and court cases in the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

From 1991 to 1994 he served as the crown solicitor in the Norfolk Islands.
At the time of his appointment Foulds was the principal/senior crown counsel, civil litigation in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Solicitor General’s Litigation Division in Hobart, Tasmania. The National/ONEPNG

December 17, 2016

Vanuatu and Samoa amongst new Green Climate Fund grants for the Pacific

Vanuatu and Samoa amongst new Green Climate Fund grants for the Pacific

A USD 23 Million dollar grant for a Climate Information Services for Resilient Development project has been approved for Vanuatu by the Green Climate Fund.

Vanuatu's Climate Information Services for Resilient Development project will support ongoing resilient development in Vanuatu through capacity development for effective application of climate information in development planning and implementation.

The project has a focus on addressing information gaps and priority needs of target beneficiaries at national, provincial and local community levels across five sectors: tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, water and fisheries.

"Vanuatu is proud of this achievement. The project will support Vanuatu to use and apply the best available information on weather and climate variability, to plan for, and manage the impacts of climate change," said Mr Jesse Benjamin, Director General of Ministry of Climate Change and National Designated Authority for Vanuatu.

This was one of three projects approved for the Pacific islands region this week.

A USD 57 million grant was approved for a project in Samoa with UNDP for integrated flood management to enhance climate resilience of the Vaisigano river catchment.

A USD 22 Million grant for a multi-country renewable energy programme with the Asian Development Bank with a focus on Cook Islands, and support for the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga was also approved

"This is a great achievement for the Pacific islands as a whole," said Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"Resourcing to help our Pacific islands cope with the impacts of climate change and transition away from dirty and expensive fossil fuels is needed.

Having these three projects approved will make a real difference. I congratulate all parties involved in making this happen with the GCF and look forward to seeing more projects like this in the future."

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), is the Accredited Agency for this project which will be implemented with the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geohazards Department, in the Ministry of Climate Change and will benefit from the technical support of a number of regional partners.

As a Regional Implementing Entity to the GCF, SPREP is able to submit applications for funding of projects and programs on behalf of countries, of up to USD 50 million.

"We congratulate Vanuatu and our partners that have supported this process including the CSIRO, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and APEC Climate Centre on this project approval," said Mr Latu.

"Now, more than ever, science based information can help inform decisions made by our Pacific governments and communities, especially in the face of climate change impacts which provide a constant challenge for many of us in the islands."

"This is a monumental occasion for us as our first project, being the only regional implementing entity for the Pacific and we look forward to even greater achievements to come with our Pacific island members, achievements that will be for the better of our Pacific communities."

The Climate Information Services for Resilient Development Project will span four years and focus on the delivery of practical tools and resources to support climate resilient planning and management decisions at national, provincial and community levels. The project will enhance the ability of VMGD to deliver tailored information to support, for example, climate early warning systems, infrastructure developments, management of local fisheries, and seasonal planning in the agriculture sector.

"One of the great things about this project is its focus on using climate information to support local communities cope with future impacts, we are excited about the outcomes of this and what it will mean for us in Vanuatu!" Said Mr Benjamin.

The 15th Board Meeting of the Green Climate Fund was hosted by the Government of Samoa and held in Apia, Samoa from 13 to 15 December

Photo - S. Chape (Erakor Island, Port Vila, Vanuatu).

December 16, 2016

Medical Ship visits Central's Isolated villages

Medical Ship visits Central's Isolated villages

The ‘MV YWAM PNG’ has reached Amazon Bay in Central province.

Central Governor, Kila Haoda while presenting a cheque of K100,000 to the medical ship, says the Amazon Bay is the most isolated village in the Abau district.

Governor Haoda said he is very grateful they have reached Amazon Bay.

He said that the newly refitted ‘MV YWAM PNG’ made its second voyage to Central Province in the space of 12 months earlier this year, visiting villages along the coastline, with a particular focus on the isolated Amazon Bay area in Abau District.

More than 3,500 people were helped during that voyage alone, engaging more than 19 villages with basic primary health care and selected specialized services.

Governor Haoda said the medical aid, treatment and the training they gave to the villages and the local doctors will help in the long run while they are gone.

He said the people in rural areas are really touched by the work of the YWAM volunteers and he hopes to strengthen the relationship so it can continue into the future. NBC/ONEPNG
City Bus operators raise concerns over Police

City Bus operators raise concerns over Police

PMV Operators including bus owners, offsiders and drivers has raised their concerns in the manner in which they are being treated by police officers.
One of the PMV offsider, Benjamin Pombra said it is not the first time police officers have done this to them.
They are normally being the subject of police brutality in public places. Police officers often search them and take their daily takings after bashing them up.
They said they did were doing their part to provide services to people in the city and also family members of police officers and police must sometimes give respect to them.
They do not deserve to be treated this way. They are calling on the police hierarchy in National Capital District to look into that matter and address it. PNGFM/ONEPNG
High living conditions affects PNG Defence Force

High living conditions affects PNG Defence Force

High cost of living has been an issue in which many Papua New Guineans face. This was revealed by PNGDF Commander Gilbert Toropo.
This has been the case of the PNGDF also in which the Commander stressed on points the institution is doing to address this issue. It has a greatly impact on the livelihood of the service personnel and their families.

He said their service review submission cannot be implemented due to the financial situation the national government encountered. But he gave the assurance to his service personnel that it would be implement once the economy improves. He said it is the welcome news for the men and women serving in the force.

The Commander also points out on the housing schemes which is progressing well and are hopeful that many service personnel participated in to benefit from these housing schemes before leaving the force. PNGFM/ONEPNG

December 15, 2016

NEC approves call-out for PNGDF in Hela Province

NEC approves call-out for PNGDF in Hela Province

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill , said internal disputes are impacting on law and order in the province and all stakeholders must work together.

“These problems have the potential to impact on the upcoming election as well as the operation of important projects in the area.

“Cabinet has approved a call-out the PNGDF to support Police to conduct security operations in Hela Province.

“Police will have full powers to ensure law and order and to deal with people who seek to cause trouble.

“This includes the immediate arrest of people seeking to initiate violent acts or make threats against Government officials or projects in the province.

"Hela has enormous potential for development and the improvement of service delivery, and we want to see this take place.

"I am calling on all stakeholders and community leaders to play their part, to work with police, and to calm any unruly behaviour.

“NEC has approved the callout operation for six months.

“The Government will consult with ExxonMobil and Oil Search Limited to provide logistical support to supplement the security operation.”

PM O’Neill said the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) will monitor, risk assess and provide further recommendations to the Prime Minister and the National Security Council.

The Commissioner of Police and the Commander of the PNGDF have also been directed to work out any further administrative requirements as well to ensure ongoing consultation with communities.

December 13, 2016

K4m needed to replace faulty Gerehu to Baruni light posts

K4m needed to replace faulty Gerehu to Baruni light posts

MORE than 200 road side light posts along the newly-built Gerehu to Baruni road in Moresby Northwest need to be re-cabled to function properly.

And the State would have to pay a staggering K4 million to replace them, only four months into use.

This is because of a design flaw along a 10.7km stretch of the road that gives easy access to the main cabling and switch regulator resulting in vandalism and light post dysfunction.

These were part of the findings of the special parliamentary committee on public sector reform and service delivery.

During a committee organised a media tour of Port Moresby last Friday, the committee’s head of secretariat Dr Bill Hamblin pointed out a host of peculiar instances relating to the misallocation of State-owned entities.

It was identified that the light posts have all had the main cabling and switch regulator ripped out of a cabling panel only a metre off the ground, an identified design flaw that Dr Hamblin questioned.

"Why are the most important light post panel which gives access to cabling so close to the ground and accessible with an average screwdriver?," he asked.

Dr Hamblin added that the switch regulator should have been vandal-proof as it was the most lucrative missing component in the cabling that contained a sensor for detecting daylight and automatically switching the lights on in darkness.

It was found that the State paid K20,000 for each light post – K12,000 per light post and K8000 per installation.

Committee investigators said that as a result of the 200 vandalised light posts, the repair costs would be K4 million.

Dr Hamblin said that the company charged with the light post installation should be probed on the design specifics of the light posts.

"The road is only functioning at half capacity if vehicles cannot travel along it at night," he said. Post Courier
Evicted Morata settlers to be resettled

Evicted Morata settlers to be resettled

Settlers from Morata who were recently evicted by NCDC will be relocated in due time. That is the confirmation from NCD Governor Powes Parkop.

He said the settlers will also have their demolished church rebuilt at the expense of NCDC as it was not his intention to destroy their homes.

However, Governor Parkop said they were given eviction notices earlier to vacate the land which was not theirs but they failed to honour the notice and hence the demolition.
He assured the leaders of the settlement that they will receive the assistance they need like other cases to do with eviction of settlers occupying state land.

More than 3000 settlers from Morata one in the National Capital District were forcefully evicted by the city authority to allow construction of a new road from Gerehu to Waigani.
The evicted settles where now finding it hard to resettle and start a new life again after their homes and properties were destroyed by the city authorities last week.
Morata One community leader Eric Steven said National Capital District Commission (NCD) failed to allocate new land or pay them compensation to start a new living prior to destroying their homes and properties and forcefully evicting them.
"We have been living in that piece if land for almost two generations nowbl because its a customary land and not state land, " Steven told local media the National
"However, we were issued a stop work notice by NCDC on August 23, 3016 and a week later on August 30, 2016 we were issued a demolition notice".
"There was no eviction notice and now more than 120 houses were demolished, which include rent houses and about 3500 people are displaced are we are helpless".
"We want Governor Powes Parkop to come clear in that arrangement and address our problem".
Digicel helps Ela Motors Drive Business

Digicel helps Ela Motors Drive Business

Photo caption: Vincent Schirripa, Group General Manager IT for Ela Motors’ parent company Toyota Tsusho South Pacific
At Ela Motors, the reliability of its telecommunications network is almost as important as the reliability of the vehicles it sells.

With 50 years’ experience operating in PNG, Ela Motors is a well-established business and major employer with a network of 16 dealerships spread throughout the country.  Not only a successful business in itself, Ela Motors helps make other businesses successful with companies all over the country relying on its Toyotas, Hinos and Yamahas to take them safely to where they need to be to do their job.

Being able to reach customers and dealerships wherever they are located is paramount for Ela Motors.

Critical to its service is internet and phone reliability, branch network efficiencies as well as mobile and fixed voice services. All of which are needed in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can sometimes create challenges in the PNG environment, which is home to varying terrain and a dispersed population.

Gary Cobain, Head of Digicel Pacific ICT Business Solutions, said Digicel first started working with Ela Motors in 2014.

“In 2014, Ela Motors was starting to outgrow its communication system, which was not meeting its data requirements,” Gary said.

“The company was looking for a telecommunication provider that could fulfill their needs within their budget.”

After an evaluation of the market, Ela Motors chose to partner with Digicel Business Solutions as the company that can provide them the solutions they need.

The company urgently needed additional bandwidth and Digicel Business Solutions recommended it move to a microwave network which it installed on schedule and on budget in 2015. This helped Ela Motors capitalise on Digicel’s nationwide coverage, vital to it conducting its business.

Digicel Business Solutions also set about improving the reliability and response times of its communications services for Ela Motors and providing more secure communications with its customers and its dealerships.

Ela Motors described the customer care experience received from Digicel Business Solutions as exceptional. It has resulted in a dramatic change in its network and communication channels. This has seen benefits throughout the business.

Vincent Schirripa, Group General Manager IT  for Ela Motors’ parent company Toyota Tsusho South Pacific, sees Digicel Business Solutions as a partner, not a vendor.

“Digicel understands the regional challenges and provides real value to our business,” he said.

“Digicel has become an important partner to our business for many reasons. The most important one is the fact that their success is not about resolving short-term problems, but it’s a long term partnership commitment. And, on the top of that, we trust them.”

The communication network established by Digicel Business Solutions is still meeting Ela Motors’ performance metrics. It helps the company providing the most reliable services needed to support its customers and dealer network throughout PNG, with a world-class standard.
TSRA form MOA arrangement with TSIRC

TSRA form MOA arrangement with TSIRC

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) commenced a three-year Memorandum of Agreement 2016-2018 (MOA) with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) on 2 December 2016.
The MOA provides a structure for both Parties to monitor and work in collaboration to improve the effectiveness of project delivery in the Torres Strait region.
TSRA Chairperson, Mr Pedro Stephen AM, said the objective of the MOA is to establish a collaborative relationship between the Parties to achieve their mutual objectives in the local government area.
“This will be achieved through a number of subsequent objectives, including developing and implementing agreed working arrangements on community needs and projects of common concern to address social, economic and environmental needs,” Mr Stephen said.
“Other objectives include co-operating in the planning for future regional service and infrastructure development, and collaborating in the development and implementation of a Regional Indigenous Land Use Agreement.”
TSIRC Mayor, Mr Fred Gela, said that both Parties acknowledge Ailan Kastom as the fundamental guiding principal to the delivery of localised services and programs in the Torres Strait.
“Both Parties have distinctively different roles, but share a commonality that is to strive to achieve the best outcomes for the community and our region,” Mr Gela said.
The TSRA looks forward to working with TSIRC over the next three years in improving project delivery throughout the region.
Preparing to meet the challenge of climate change – launch of Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan

Preparing to meet the challenge of climate change – launch of Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) in partnership with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) and the Torres Shire Council (TSC) has launched the Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan.
The Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan 2016-2021 highlights specific challenges that climate change poses to life in the region, and identifies a suite of actions required to enable the region to adapt and respond.
The Torres Strait is recognised as being on the front line of climate change impacts, particularly the impacts of sea level rise on low lying island communities.
TSRA Chairperson, Mr Pedro Stephen AM, said Torres Strait people are very aware of how sea level rise might impact our homes and culture.
“This Plan highlights that climate change also has important implications for our health and economy and the need for adequate investment and a whole of government response in order to meet the challenge,” Mr Stephen said.
TSIRC Mayor, Mr Fred Gela, said as leaders we acknowledge and understand the risks climate change poses to our way of life and culture.
“We are determined to take a proactive position to ensure we put in place the right planning, thinking and actions to ensure our region meets these challenges head on and remains strong,” Mr Gela said.
The Plan focuses on both reducing climate risks as well as building community resilience.
TSC Mayor, Mrs Vonda Malone, said communities who suffer from a range of socio-economic vulnerabilities such as those in the Torres Strait are likely to experience higher level of impacts compared to communities who don’t have these vulnerabilities.
“Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it’s a human rights and Indigenous social justice issue,” Mrs Malone said.

The Plan highlights that fully integrating sustainability and resilience into community development is
critical to building adaptive capacity and resilience within communities. Responding to climate
change will require strong integration and collaboration across our region
For further information or a copy of the Adaptation and Resilience Plan for the Torres Strait, please
visit the TSRA website on or contact TSRA’s Land and Sea Management Unit on
07 4069 0700.

December 11, 2016

Concerns raised over Port Moresby City planning

Concerns raised over Port Moresby City planning

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery has raised serious concerns about the overall lack of planning and management in Port Moresby city.

Head of the Committee Secretariat, Dr William Hamblin raised the concern following a mystery trip around the city with the media.

Dr Hamlin said unplanned streets, car parks, buildings and structures all over the city, show no proper management.

“It’s important for the public to know because one, they have a right to know and two, if they do know then they can demand some change,” Dr Hamlin said.

“These agencies, why they aren’t delivering as they should,” he asked.

“It can’t just be the committee. We got a group of parliamentarians who are donating effectively their time to this committee to try and improve it.

“We can’t change the whole of PNG,” he said.

Dr Hamlin emphasised the need for the committee to work with the media, and he called for journalists to ask more questions of the agencies about the lack of proper management.

NBC News - Toa Sime and Bethsetha Sanau (Divine Word University student)

December 10, 2016

PNG SP Hunters go through tough pre-season training

PNG SP Hunters go through tough pre-season training

SP Hunters coach Michael Marum has put his 52 man train- on squad through one of the toughest pre- season training programs since camp started last Sunday in Port Moresby.

The squad includes 25 former and current players, 25 new players plus two from the Southern Academy.

The respected coach said the pre- season program was six weeks behind schedule and he had only three weeks to put his charges through fitness tests.

“There’s only 12 weeks to go from today before the 2017 Intrust Super Cup season kicks off and we have had to put the train on squad through some very intense training.

“Three weeks is not enough but this has been due to circumstances beyond our control. This week has showed if these players continued training on their own,” he said.

Marum revealed that seven players were released during week one for various reasons.

“Co- captain Noel Zeming has withdrawn to concentrate on his career. Stanley Olo and Bradley Yano failed to pass medical tests on injured ankle and arm respectively. Tuvi Lepan failed to arrive in Port Moresby after missing his flight while Bernard Goma was late to arrive in camp on Sunday.

“Timothy Lomai and Warren Glare were released following tests that their fitness levels were not up to the required standard,” he added.

“I have spoken to these players and they have accepted it,” he added.

Marum said the remaining 45 players will continue to be put through the rigorous training program and their fitness levels monitored.

“We will spend another week in Port Moresby and travel to Goroka next Saturday December 17 until December 23 when we will break for the Christmas and New Year period,” Marum said.

“While in Goroka, the squad will be joined by the Highlands Academy and selected Highlands and Northern women players. The Digicel Cup franchise trainers and coaches will also be in attendance,” he said.

The SP Hunters train on squad travel home on December 23 to spend the Christmas period with their families and return to camp on January 2, 2017.

The final 30 man squad and staff to take part in the 2017 Intrust Super Cup season will be announced a week or so later. On behalf of the SP Hunters staff, players and our families, I thank you all for all your support during 2016 and wish you all a very merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Koki Fish Market opens

Koki Fish Market opens

Koki Fish market is Port Moresby is now open to the public. The market has parking spaces for cars, toilets, shower rooms and slots for selling fresh seafood. The market is the only place where only seafood are sold.  It was funded by the Port Moresby  South DSIP funds.

Lae city development planned

Lae city development planned

THE growth of Lae City in Morobe Province will now move from near stagnation to well-planned and managed developments following completion of its urban development plan.

The master plan was this week handed over by the Japan Internal Cooperation Agency to the Morobe Provincial Government.

Provincial planner Francis Japu said Lae being the second city in PNG from Port Moresby was not progressing as fast as it should.

"Thus, with the master plan of Lae-Nazab Urban Development ready for formal approval and gazettal by the national government, I hope this plan can instigate more developments to change the current pace of the city in terms of roads, buildings, bridges, and other essential facilities that needs to be upgraded, demolished or rebuilt to make Lae’s outlook recognisable and match its city status.

"LNUDP covers all sectors’ development pathways and are documented in detail such as redevelopment of Nazab Airport to international standard, land transport, water supply, sewerage and sanitation, solid waste management, bore water drainage and others vital aspects," Mr Japu elaborated.

He said the main challenge to this master plan was to draw up local plans such as upgrading of main centres of Eriku, top town, the market and other potential areas of business activities.

Mr Japu mentioned politics as another determining factor for the plan as after every five years, political leaders change and he appealed to new local level and provincial government leaders after election next year including the national government to support the LNUDP if they want to see Lae transforming and thriving as a city. Post Courier/One PNG Photo by : Milen S
Bank South Pacific spends K6.7 million in community aid in PNG

Bank South Pacific spends K6.7 million in community aid in PNG

BANK South Pacific Limited has reported record levels of community support totaling K6.7 million since 2009 around the country.

"There are 46 community projects delivered by BSP branches and sub-branches in PNG in the sectors of education, health and environment focused on renewable energy," Bulolo branch manageress Bavilon Kahona Homuo said.

Mrs Homuo revealed this when officiating at the St Stevens Primary School’s 13th graduation ceremony last week.

"This year BSP invested K1.1 million and 287 individual community projects which is an accumulation since 2009 showing that the community is at the heart of BSP.

"When the community is at the heart, the BSP looks at ways to improve education, share knowledge and skills through our banking education programs that are delivered through our branches," Mrs Homuo said.

Mrs Homuo said BSP charges many fees but those fees pave ways for beneficial projects and programs given back to communities with banking education one initiative that has delivered financial literacy to thousands of Papua New Guineans since 2014.

She said BSP reached 30,178 people across PNG where 46 percent of participants are women who are empowered with knowledge to be self-sustained and venture into small business opportunities to feed their families.

"Almost 120 are qualified financial literacy trainers in all branches across PNG and this year, they visited 60 villages, 55 businesses, 142 schools and 39 church groups as well as having 303 agents in communities providing basic banking services closer to the people at their doorstep.

"This is important because we believe that when our people and children are educated in savings, budgeting and money management, we are all able to make informed decisions. It’s always best to start now, when children are young.

"I encourage parents and students to feel free to talk to me about our Kids Savings Account and the Sumatin Account, which are key fee free products tailored for children," Mrs Homuo said. Post courier/One PNG
PNG thanks Australia for Support and Co-operation on APEC

PNG thanks Australia for Support and Co-operation on APEC

PNG Prime Minister,  Peter O’Neill  has expressed appreciation for Australia’s support for Papua New Guinea’s hosting of the APEC process in 2018, and the understanding of the Australian Government in the action required in closing down the Manus Regional Processing Centre.
PM O’Neill made the comments after meeting with his Australian Counterpart, Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, in Sydney yesterday, and the Australian Immigration Minister, Hon. Peter Dutton MP, on Monday this week.

“Progress is being made to close the Manus Regional Processing Centre in compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court, and all parties are committed to this process,” the Prime Minister said.
“Further technical consultations will take place at the start of 2017 to move to the next level of this process.
“Our co-operation on this policy has saved countless lives of children, women and men who would otherwise have attempted to cross the Indian Ocean in unsafe boats.
“The trade human misery by people smugglers has ended.
“Now we move to the conclusion of this process.”
PM O’Neill further thanked the Australian Prime Minister for his Government’s ongoing support for Papua New Guinea in preparation for hosting APEC in 2018.
“This is the first time that Papua New Guinea will host APEC, whereas Australia hosted the G20 Summit two years ago and APEC in 2007.

“Australia has a wealth of experience and technical information that we are drawing from, and is further providing support and capacity building in areas that include security, logistics and policy development.
“In particular, delivering the right level of security for the Leaders’ Summit, and all APEC meetings through 2018, is essential in successfully hosting APEC.

“Papua New Guinea very much appreciates the commitment and the high level capacity building that we are receiving through the Australian Federal Police partnership.
“AFP personnel are amongst the best in the world and are demonstrating their capabilities and we look forward to maintaining, or even expanding this program in support of APEC.
“Papua New Guinea further appreciates support from the Australian Defence Force through training and the provision of equipment and personnel during APEC in 2018.
“Every APEC meeting is a joint security operation between partner countries, and I reassured Malcolm Turnbull that we appreciate the support and co-operation of Australia.”
Prime Minister O’Neill said he has invited Prime Minister Turnbull to come to Papua New Guinea in the New Year for an Official visit, and he hopes dates for the visit can be announced soon.
Launch of Gerehu General Hospital a milestone

Launch of Gerehu General Hospital a milestone

The launching of the Gerehu General Hospital in Port Moresby last week on Friday December 9, is another milestone achievement for the country’s health system.

“Many developments are taking place in our country in terms of infrastructures mostly to our major public hospitals,” according to the health department.

Secretary for Health, Pascoe Kase told a media conference at his office that, health of the people was moving forward and is ahead of challenges faced by the people of this nation.

The National Government is looking at the importance of health highly despite limited resources, Kase said adding that health indicators are showing that disease such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria have declined.

“I must also thank the O’Neill Government for its continuous support for health,” Kase said.

“The National Health Plan and Medium Term Development Plans calls for new hospitals to be built around the nation; Nonga, Angau, Enga and Boram Hospitals are all coming on board and Gerehu Hospital is one of them,” Kase said.

Recently, there were new state-of-the-art operating theatres being build and opened around the country including Madang, Kavieng and Popondetta soon.

Gerehu Clinic was declared a public hospital by the Health & HIV/AIDS Minister, Michael Malabag two years ago and is now operating as a public hospital in the National Capital District.

“But the facility is nowhere near to a level to cater for the need of the city so with the launching, tenders will be formally put up for the construction of the Level 5 hospital,” Kase said.

The new hospital will give a sigh of relief to the residents in Port Moresby and parts of Central Province too.

That paved way for the renowned Port Moresby (Pom GH) General Hospital to remain as a country’s referral centre and will be a centre of specialist treatments, he said.

“By law and by policy Pom GH is the teaching and referral hospital for Papua New Guinea. It will serve major complicated issues that requires specialist attention. So in the meantime, our ordinary complains by citizens in NCD will seek medical attention at the Gerehu Hospital,” Kase said.

The National Department of Health acknowledges the art work and design of the new hospital by Pacific-Asia (PNG) Limited for their marvellous job.

Picture: Health Secretary Pascoe Kase (second from left speaking to the media flanked by developers, Health Ministry and health officers).

December 9, 2016

Organising Committee express gratitute for PNG's successful hosting of FIFA U-20 WWC

Organising Committee express gratitute for PNG's successful hosting of FIFA U-20 WWC

The Local Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea would like to thank Papua New Guinea for hosting a hugely successful event.
Local Organising Committee CEO Seamus Marten heaped praise on the government for their support and collaboration through the various government agencies who worked with the LOC to ensure the delivery of this prestigious event.

“I’d like to thank the PNG government for their backing of this tournament which will go a long way as part of infrastructure legacy for the country and for that Papua New Guineans should be proud. I must also acknowledge the technical aspect of the support that went into ensuring that the infrastructure was ready on time for the tournament – it is a huge achievement to have the two mini stadiums,” said Mr Marten.

He also thanked the people of Papua New Guinea who turned up in numbers to fill the stadiums as well as the communities who adopted each of the visiting teams.
“The visiting teams have taken away precious memories of their time in Papua New Guinea and as ambassadors for the country overseas. The mutual respect and affection between the teams and the fans is something that we will all remember for a long time to come.”
“I’d like to also acknowledge and thank our three national supporters Telikom PNG, Air Niugini and PNG Power whose contributions have immensely contributed to the success of this tournament,” Marten said.

He said there are many organisations and individuals who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes towards the successful delivery of this tournament, we wouldn’t have delivered a successful tournament without the support from all of you.
“The overarching vision of the tournament was to inspire to excel, if through the tournament, we have inspired a generation of Papua New Guineans to take up football or look at the opportunities available then we’ve done our job. If we have inspired a woman to pick up a referee’s whistle to become a FIFA referee, then we’ve done our job. If we have inspired women to take up administration in football, then we’ve done our job,” Marten said.

The FIFA legacy programs ‘Live Your Goals’ and ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ are here to stay and the national federation PNG Football Association will continue to spread the word of football through football development.
Mr Marten also thanked the staff of the Local Organising Committee for their contributions in planning the delivery of the event.
PNG Hunters to play NRL club in February

PNG Hunters to play NRL club in February

PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka confirmed that the PNG Hunters will play an NRL side in a pre-season fixture in Port Moresby next month.

The PNGRFL are currently in talks with the Canberra Raiders and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs to host a trial match at the National Football Stadium in February.
The date is yet to be confirmed, with the Auckland Nines scheduled on the weekend of Feb 4-5.

Tsaka made the comments before flying to Sydney earlier this week, where he would meet with Raiders officials, including coach Ricky Stuart and Bulldogs mentor Des Hasler, about the proposed trials.
“I’m happy that Raiders or Bulldogs have shown interest,” Tsaka said.
“They will give our players a great challenge.
“It will also be their chance to show what they can do against NRL-calibre players.”
At the beginning of this year, the Penrith Panthers, featuring Jamie Soward, Nathan Cleary and Leilani Latu, played the Hunters at the NFS.

“As usual, I’m confident that the local supporters will come in numbers to not only support the Hunters but to see the NRL players play live.”
Tsaka was supposed to have returned yesterday but extended his stay due to other rugby league commitments in Brisbane.
“This trial will also be used by the Hunters management to settle on its final squad for the Queensland Rugby League Intrust Super League in Australia and PNG.”
Hunters coach Michael Marum was aware plans for the pre-season fixture as a lead up to the March kick-off of the Q-Cup.
A spokesman at NFS said yesterday that after the Under-20 women’s soccer World Cup, the pitch was in excellent condition, owing to the initial upgrading work done in preparation for the tournament. The National / ONEPNG
PNG U18 Women's take home bronze

PNG U18 Women's take home bronze

The Papua New Guinea Under 18 Women’s National Basketball Team have claimed the 2016 FIBA Oceania Championships Division-B Bronze Medal, following their 70-52 win against Guam this morning in Suva, Fiji. It was the ideal ending to what has been a challenging week for the women’s junior representative side. PNG showed tremendous character, but were winless throughout their Pool B preliminary matches, going down to New Caledonia (59-20), Guam (57-56) and New Zealand (121-13). The three losses resulted in the team moving into Division B and a semi-final matchup with host nation Fiji. While the girls battled valiantly, Fiji were too good securing a 70-42 victory.
After showing improvement all week and with a medal on the line, PNG displayed their best performance in the rematch with Guam, running away to an 18-point win.

Svetlana Arthur capped off an outstanding tournament with 15-points and 15-rebounds,
while teammate Jennifer Haro also stood up in the team’s final game, compiling 13-points and a massive 23-rebounds. PNG Under 18 Women’s National Team Head Coach Mary Elavo was feeling proud after the team’s final game result.
“Everybody contributed towards that win so it really feels great,” Coach Elavo said.
“Each player had positive input when they were on the floor and as a coach, to see the team come together like that, makes it all very rewarding.” Coach Elavo said this year’s Oceania Championships had been a real learning curve. “It was certainly a challenging week, but it was great for our younger girls to get exposure
and see what level they need to be at to compete against the other pacific countries.”“For future tournaments it would be ideal to have a bit more preparation time, so we can really work hard to develop our player’s skills leading in.”
“For PNG teams to have success in the long-term though, we need to start teaching the
fundamentals of the game to kids at a much younger age.” The PNG U18 Women’s National Team is scheduled to return into Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby on Monday, December 12 at 12:10pm. (Air Niugini flight PX085).
Port Moresby resident wins trip of a lifetime in Digicel Play competition

Port Moresby resident wins trip of a lifetime in Digicel Play competition

Port Moresby resident and Digicel Play subscriber, Dennis Bray was astonished to discover that he is off to Australia this weekend to watch the next generation of wrestling talent perform at WWE NXT in Sydney, as the winner of the 30-Day Supa Plan Competition.

Unaware that his subscription entitled him to an entry in the competition, Mr Bray said he was surprised but elated with the win.

“I would really love to thank Digicel Play for this great opportunity,” he said.

“I am super excited about the win and looking forward to the trip and to be there in person to watch WWE. Christmas surely has come early for me I guess.”

Mr Bray’s prize includes return airfares for two from Port Moresby to Sydney on Saturday 10 December, four-nights’ accommodation, $1000 AUD spending money and two tickets to the WWE NXT at Qudos Bank Arena on Tuesday 13 December.

Entry into the competition was automatic for all customers purchasing a 30 day, 14 day or 7 day Supa TV Plans between 23 November and 5 December 2016.

Fourteen-day Supa TV Plan subscribers were entered into the draw to win a TCL 40-inch television, which was won by Prudency Manua from Goroka.

All seven-day Supa-TV Plan subscribers were eligible to win a family pass for 2 adults and 2 children to attend the live grand final show of YU EM KHAX in Port Moresby on 21st January, 2017.  This prize was won by Kolen Wahawe of Lae.

Winners were contacted by telephone on Wednesday 7 December and CEO Nico Meyer said they were all thrilled with their prizes.

“This competition was our way of saying thank-you to our customers for their ongoing support,” he said.

“Never before have Papua New Guineans been given the opportunity to watch a WWE event in person, and Digicel Play is delighted to be able to give Dennis and his guest the opportunity to be the first to experience this incredible prize.”

Digicel Play has a range of flexible packages available to suit the needs of all customers and their budgets.

The popular Supa Plans offer packages of either 32 or 37 channels and are available to purchase in 1 day, 7 day, 14 day or 30 day plans.

The 30 day Supa Plan is currently selling on a promotional offer of K75 for 37 channels for a limited time.

For more information aboutDigicel Play’s affordable plans call 1801515  orvisit the Digicel Play websitefordetails

December 8, 2016

Active disruptions from Vanuatu govt put Mini Games hosting at risk

Active disruptions from Vanuatu govt put Mini Games hosting at risk

RNZ reports the Pacific Games Council says active disruptions from within the Vanuatu government are a dangerous development which seriously threatens the country's ability to deliver the 2017 Mini Games.

The Van2017 Organising Committee was forced to postpone major initiatives, including this week's scheduled official sponsorship announcements, due to the lack of support and active disruptions from some elements within the government.

The Pacific Games Council said over the past three months the VAN2017 team has been doing an excellent job in making up for many years of lost time, engaging commercial sponsors, sports federations, athletes and the Vanuatu public.

But, with less than one year to go before the Opening Ceremony in Port Vila, it said the government's actions are putting the whole event at risk.

The PGC is visiting Port Vila this week to meet with the Prime Minister, other senior government ministers and the Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee in an attempt to find a way forward for the Games to proceed as planned and contracted under the Host Agreement, signed by the three parties in 2011.

It said the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers have provided assurances on previous visits that the Vanuatu Government wants to host the Mini Games and respects the processes of organising the Games as outlined in the Host Agreement.

The Council said the core responsibilities and obligations outlined in the Host Agreement must be respected so that VAN2017 is in a position to organise the Games in accordance with the PGC Charter.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan at the PGC General Assembly in May. Photo: ONOC
Radio New Zealand
Digicel Play brings best of Yu Em Khax auditions to TVWAN Life this Saturday

Digicel Play brings best of Yu Em Khax auditions to TVWAN Life this Saturday

TVWAN Life’s new entertainment hit Yu Em Khax, will make a comeback this Saturday 10 December at 7pm, when the most entertaining performers from the entire series are re-played in a special 45-minute episode.

Digicel Play’s newest home-grown show, Yu Em Khax is a reality television talent show showcasing PNG’s most talented entertainers.

The top entertainers set to feature in this Saturday’s highlights episode include Jack Spade, Bradley Iobuna and Hannah Hola, who provided incredible performances to the show’s judges – former radio personality Kenny Havora, Olivia Rondeau, Steven Tau and Serah Palek.

Fans and newcomers to the first-of-its-kind Papua New Guinean reality TV show will also be in for a treat each Saturday evening from December 17 until December 31, when each audition from around the country is re-run on TVWAN Life.

On Saturday 17 December, Port Moresby talent will feature, followed by a recap of Lae performers on Saturday 24 December and Mt Hagen and Kokopo entertainers on Saturday 31 December.

These programs will be used to highlight who are going to be competing in the semi-finals on January 14, 2017.

Digicel Play CEO Nico Meyer said Yu Em Khax had been incredibly well-received by viewers since it premiered on November 5.

“Yu Em Khax is PNG’s newest smash-hit and is a home-grown talent show everyone at Digicel Play is deeply proud of,” he said.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the talent on show across the country including musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians, actors and illusionists.

“For anyone who missed out on the show, I strongly recommend subscribing to Digicel Play and tuning into TVWAN Life from this Saturday to catch up on this exciting entertainment show.

“To ensure our viewers enjoy the airing of Yu Em Khax each Saturday, we encourage them to make sure their Digicel Play TV plans are up to date ahead of time.

“To subscribe, customers can simply visit selected Digicel stores, dial *515# or call 180 1515 to speak with our customer care team today.”

Digicel Play is committed to the growth of the local entertainment industry by producing and developing shows that are produced in Papua New Guinea and feature local talent.
Corruption is a threat to the national growth.

Corruption is a threat to the national growth.

By PETER S. KINJAP : Commentary 

MANY current Papua New Guinean parliamentarians are highly respected individuals in their own areas, successful in business, education or public service.

With such backgrounds, they routinely attract great respect. This drive their popularity and ability to attract votes when they make known their political aspirations. Voters put their trust in these people.

But when politicians attain public office, their pronouncements, decisions and actions at times may attract criticism and opposition. Politicians must be able to face such scrutiny when they decide to come out of their private life and become public figures.

Many parts of PNG have misconceived perceptions of leadership. We mix Melanesian leadership style with Western leadership. In Melanesia, a leader is one who owns many pigs, marries many wives and contributes greatly to society in terms of wealth-sharing and

With the introduction of the Westminster government system, the perception of leadership was different. PNG's democratic system provides that any politician or public office holder who is not performing should be able to be questioned by any member of the public.

Recently, many local youths have been led to believe the tribal system or Melanesian perspective should prevail and many lives have been lost in related violence. Injuries have been sustained and homes and families have been destroyed.

This mostly happens when the information on the Western perspective is not disseminated. When we want to raise issues in social media forums (the only medium left for us to openly discuss and express ourselves) some people turn to personal attack or seem to
 oppose every idea put forward.

To post a question about government services and start debating and creating discussion is not wrong. But in PNG, it seems to be.

Some people think we should respect politicians and not criticise them on social media. Well, I hold the opinion that you can respect them as an individual but as politicians they are answerable to questions by any member of the community.

Holding onto the Melanesian ways of respecting even non-performing public office holders or politicians is totally unacceptable.

Let’s demand what is rightfully ours while still respecting them as private citizens and successful people in their own right.Let’s know our rights and insist that politicians should act in our interests and then we can accord them our respect.
The more we confuse traditional respect with present day bad behaviour, the more we compromise with corruption.
There is a clear distinction between a Melanesian leadership perception and a Western perception. The more we confuse ourselves with Melanesian and Western perceptions, the less government services we see in the communities and the more corruption is right
 in front of us.
Corruption is a real threat to the growth of the nation. It is a double-edged sword that hangs over our head.
Together we must fight against corruption for a better PNG tomorrow.
Basil on PNG's Overseas Mining Conference

Basil on PNG's Overseas Mining Conference

Deputy Opposition Leader, Member for Bulolo and Pangu Pati Leader Honourable Sam Basil is concerned that his District has missed out on participation at the recent Mining & Petroleum Conference being held in Sydney, Australia.

Mr Basil said that the Bulolo District Development Authority (the BDDA) represents Bulolo District which hosts the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Gold and Copper Mine.
The BDDA also represents second and third generation of gold miners along the Watut River, the Waria River, the Snake River and the Wau and Bulolo rivers, including hundreds of mining lease operators.
The alluvial miners input into the national coffers stands at K60 to K70m annually, including the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Mine.
The name Bulolo is synonymous with mining so where ever there are talks about mining; Bulolo must always be considered by not only being invited but more so being assisted by any government to be part of such high level conferences or meetings.

Bulolo District could not send its delegation to the Sydney conference because the cost would exceed K200,000.00, which the BDDA simply could not afford.
Mr Basil questioned the logic of land owners and project hosts spending huge amounts of funds to travel offshore to go and talk about resources that are under our feet. Investors who are genuine and want to invest in and develop our resources must come to the shores of PNG to discuss how they propose to develop these resources, said Mr Basil.

Millions of Kina in limited development funds are wasted every year by PNG government departments and land owners to attend this meeting when funds could have been spent onshore and more participants and stakeholders within PNG could have attended if it was hosted onshore.
Mr Basil is calling on the president of the Chamber of Mines Greg Anderson to reconsider having future mining conferences back in our own country. If PNG is vying to host such high level events like the APEC meeting in our country, there is really no reason why we cannot host future Mining & Petroleum Conferences in PNG.

On the one hand the government is preaching about tightening the belt and cutting down on unnecessary expenditure but on the other hand, they continue to spend lavishly on such expensive overseas trips. The government is simply not being truthful but continues to lie to the people while putting up a show for the rest of the world when PNG can least afford to.
When Pangu Pati gets into government, Mr Basil will ensure that such unnecessary wastages are trimmed out and all conferences that can be hosted within the country will be hosted in PNG using the facilities we have spent millions of Kina building and setting up in preparation for APEC.
Polye visits displaced residents of Morata in Port Moresby

Polye visits displaced residents of Morata in Port Moresby

PORT MORESBY: Opposition Leader, Don Pomb Polye will be pushing for the relocation of displaced residents of Morata settlement in the nation’s capital.

Mr Polye said he will be writing to NCD governor, PowesParkop and Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill to have an alternative plan to help resettle the displaced residents.

MrPolye who visited the displaced residents at Morata said he is saddened to see citizens of this nation mistreated in the name of development.
MrPolye said any developer must resettle the settlers before developing the land.
“Basic human rights have been abused, displacing mothers and children in the name of development,” said MrPolye.

MrPolye met with the leaders of the displaced community and gave an undertaking to bring up their grievances with concerned authorities.
The settlers wanted a form of compensation for the loss of their properties and be relocated to a vacant land outside the city.
Thousands of people have been displaced when a private company which has the title to the land moved in with bulldozers and police escort to level their properties to ground zero.
The people are still camping out there despite the bulldozers at work.
Trukai Industries launches health conscious, low cost rice for grass ‘Roots’ families

Trukai Industries launches health conscious, low cost rice for grass ‘Roots’ families

With the majority of local businesses feeling the effects of tough economic conditions in PNG right now, Trukai Industries has instead focused its attention on stemming the ripple effect of this hardship flowing onto its customers, being the majority of everyday Papua New Guineans.

To offer support to families struggling with little income and many mouths to feed, Trukai Industries has developed a new “high quality, high affordability” rice product, launching what it considers a vital addition to its product line in 2016.

Trukai brand ambassador and NRL legend Jonathan Thurston is the face of Trukai’s newly launched Roots Long Grain Rice, a new rice product introduced under Trukai’s popular ‘ROOTS’ value brand, which is focused on providing a value for money, high quality rice for grass roots consumers.
“With the launch of our Roots Long Grain Rice range we are providing an affordable rice option to the low-income consumer, while still providing a product that is of high quality and flavour,” said Trukai GM Sales & Marketing, Andrew Daubney.
“The second point is important. While rice products have entered our market focused solely on price, what is invariably compromised is quality.

“Roots Long Grain Rice, like all our rice products, is Vitamin Enriched (VE), whereby micronutrients such as iron and B vitamins are added to regain nutritional content lost during the manufacturing process. It is also fortified using the superior extruded method. What this means is that no matter how many times you wash your Roots Long Grain Rice, it will not lose its VE.
“So we have gone to extraordinary lengths to develop a very good quality rice product, at prices our ‘grass roots’ consumers and families can afford.”

Like all Trukai rice products, Roots Long Grain Rice is the result of extensive research and development that has seen both the Trukai and Roots brands now exceed most world standards, set by governing bodies which oversee food manufacturing in the international rice production sector.
“Roots Long Grain Rice is a brand extension that will provide a great offering to families that have many mouths to feed, and not as much disposable income. While price point is very important to families, so is the nutritional value of the rice you eat, especially when rice is our staple diet in PNG.” Mr Daubney explained.
“This range promotes healthy eating at an affordable price point.”
Roots Long Grain Rice is available throughout PNG in 1kg, 10kg and 20kg volumes, and to mark the launch Trukai is currently offering in-store value-add promotions.
Purchasing two bags of the 1kg Roots Long Grain Rice will see customers receive a free rice serving spoon. In upcoming promotions, purchasing 10kg and 20kg bags will see customers rewarded with even more impressive value- add items over the next 3 months.
To celebrate the launch, Trukai is also rewarding every member of its staff across the nation with a free 20kg bag of Roots Long Grain in early December.
Roots Long Grain Rice RRP (range according to individual stockist):
1kg: K3.50-K3.90
10kg: K33-K33.90
20kg: K65-K66
PNG Foreign Minister Pato arrives in Bali for 9th Bali Democracy forum

PNG Foreign Minister Pato arrives in Bali for 9th Bali Democracy forum

Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Minister,  Rimbink Pato  arrived in Bali, Indonesia on 6 December 2016 to attend the 9th Bali Democracy Forum from 8-9 December 2016, at the invitation of the Indonesian Government.

Minister Pato will be accompanied by Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to Indonesia Commodore (Ret’d) Peter Ilau, including officials from the Papua New Guinea Ministry and Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Bali Democracy Forum is an institution dedicated to promote regional and international cooperation in the field of democracy since its inception by the Indonesian Government in 2008.
The 9th Bali Democracy Forum will bear the theme “Religion, Democracy, and Pluralism”, with the agenda to explore the new understanding on the rise of religious identities, the dynamics of pluralism, and the question of democratic responses.
Pluralism as a political philosophy is the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which permits the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions and lifestyles.
The recent trends in migration, identity politics, and global security have posed challenges in the Asia Pacific and the regions beyond. The question is now about religion and civic pluralism worldwide.
The significance of religion in the policy-making of developed democracies directly corresponds with the influx of current migrations from the Middle Eastern and North African countries into the Asia Pacific region. This is because migrants shape the destination countries’ new demographic and economic environment, which subsequently leads to further issues of pluralism, politics, and security.
Similarly, as governments across the region, including Papua New Guinea, struggle to respond to the cultural and religious challenges brought by generations of immigration, the immigrants also have difficulties assimilating into mainstream societies whereby they become geographically ghettoized and economically marginalized. Significantly, such socio-economic alienation has led to religious intensification and violent extremism, especially among second-generation Muslim immigrants.
For democratizing countries, the significance of domestic movement of peoples (urbanization, transmigration, and migration) lies in how it affects the regional political landscape and identity politics. Such movement changes the region’s social and demographic contours by affecting voter composition, redistributing resources and services and questioning state impartiality, thereby shaping the new political economy landscape of these countries. Identity politics further complicates this as conflicts may be provoked from intolerance and discrimination resulting from the politicization of differences in the values, institutions, and cultures of migrants from that of the majority.
Acts of terrorism and the emergence of social violence are often indirectly linked to the shifts in demographic and political contours, which subsequently threaten national, regional, and global security. Across Western Europe, both Christian and Muslim communities have become breeding grounds for disaffection and disengagement from pluralist practices.
While anti-immigrant groups accuse migrants for stealing jobs and using violence to spread their beliefs, those who are sympathetic to the migrants are often scorned for their perceived lack of nationalism. Such social and economic upheaval makes it difficult for state actors to develop strategic agendas to deal with the changing conditions and ultimately, promote pluralism. These realities mean that there is a pressing need for a sharper understanding of the situation on the ground in order to formulate comprehensive solutions to the security concerns currently faced by Western Europe and developing democracies worldwide.

The 9th BDF will have two (2) discussion sessions around the sub-themes of promoting democracy and religious harmony in responding to the challenges of pluralism, and sharing best practices and key lessons in fostering religious harmony and countering violent extremism and discrimination through democratic responses, respectively.
Foreign Minister Pato and the delegation stand ready to participate actively in the discussions of the Forum and see how these discussions will assist Papua New Guinea’s Government and policy makers in managing the issue of pluralism, with the recent influx of migrants to Papua New Guinea, particularly in managing the interests of these migrants and those of PNG citizens in various communities around the country, so that both co-exist in a harmonious environment.
On the margins of the 9th BDF, it is also anticipated that Foreign Minister Pato will have bilateral meetings with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, H.E. Retno L.P. Marsudi, including Ministers of Papua New Guinea’s other bilateral partners in the region.

Foreign Minister Pato was met on arrival by Consul General Geoffrey Wiri and officers from the Consulate in Jayapura who were in Bali for a separate conference, but were on hand to brief the Minister on the meeting and the situation in the Provinces of West Papua, Papua and other Melanesian Provinces of the Republic of Indonesia.