Friday, December 30, 2011

Conquest of Paradise: Fijians oppose greedy miners

Words and Pictures By Ricardo Morris



406686_212507525499467_132232873526933_480845_918825339_nSomething you won't see in Fiji's mainstream media ... On December 14, 2011, the people of Namosi staged a quiet protest against the proposed mining project on their land at Waisoi. Representatives from Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) turned up for a meeting with the villagers in the area where the landowners are worried about the potential environmental effects and the loss of mataqali (landowning unit) lands. The project is in the environmental impact assessment stage.

While the men sat in the hall with representatives of NJV, the women and children sat outside holding banners calling for their land to be left alone. Witnesses say some women where crying as they sat outside. The villagers appear to want the developers to slow down and not make hasty decisions regarding the project, but the regime is keen for companies to start mining. Reports and photographs on the December 14 meeting have been censored.


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Mipela ino inap… – WTF!??

SAM_0970Above: women demanding Reserved Seats in Parliament –  and they brought change

Why do organizations run by expats do generally better than those run by Papua New Guineans? Why did Papua New Guinean civil servants and disciplinary forces perform better under the colonial administration than they do now? There are various possible explanations and some may be more valid than what I’m about to discuss.

I suppose this discourse is a meditation on a story a heard recently about a recent university graduate who was too scared to present to a white man so he’d tell his female colleague to “test the waters” ahead of him. Perhaps it was his inferiority complex that made him strive for perfection to please that white boss.

I also recall earlier this year at the Institute of National Affairs, researcher Amanda Watson for Australia, was resenting her PhD thesis on mobile phone usage in Madang Province. After her presentation, a senior officer from the Bank of Papua New Guinea thanks her and suggested that she should do a second study to compare with the earlier work. I was horrified! One would think that the senior Central Banker would be in a position to organize such research activity if the information was relevant to the Bank, particularly regarding mobile based financial services.

It is an all too familiar sight at conferences, workshops and seminars that one sees a crowd of high ranking Papua New Guineans stating their own disempowerment and expecting some messiah to solve the problems and that of the country. They focus on what they “LACK” as opposed to the power and influence they have by virtue of the positions they hold in both the public and private sector.

And so I recall at medical school how a colleague asked me why I was reading up on project management and proposal writing. I told her that doctors were highly respected and influential members of the community. As such, there exist a potential for doctors to use their standing in the community to advocate change and bring about community development. Furthermore, the doctor should be knowledgeable about dealing with development partners in achieving Public Health outcomes in community projects like water and sanitation. I envisaged a much broader role of a medical practitioner than just the narrow focus that limits most doctors to clinical medicine.

There is a perverted psyche prevalent through wider society that the sheeple apply upon themselves religiously. It is expressed in phrases such as:

“mipela ino inap...”

“ol lida mas wokim...”

“lack of funds...” “lack of capacity...” “nogat moni...”

“mipela mas kisim tok orait pastaim...”

...Etc, etc...

Yet all of a sudden, if a foreign missionary, technical advisor, general manager or aid worker gets involved, there is a lot of activity as communities, organizations and individuals rally around the foreigner.

I reckon what happens is that a people who for whatever the reason think of themselves as inferior, now have to prove their worth to an external adjudicator. Communities want the approval of the foreign missionary, local workers want to prove their worth to the foreign boss, etc... Once the foreigner is gone and replaced with a Papua New Guinean, the juice runs out and everything falls apart. Sadly, the Papua New Guinean replacement gets labeled a poor manager. Or conversely, the Papua New Guinean manager lacks self confidence and ends up serving his/her own interests in isolation, leading to the collapse of the project.

The most imprisoning thought is that of “mipela ino inap mekim dispel samting” or its English equivalent, “lack of funds and resources”. I didn’t study economics in school but that is no excuse for me not understanding the basis of the study of economics and that is - how to best apply scarce resources to satisfy unlimited human wants. Somehow, the people running this country haven’t figured out that they will always lack funds and resources. This issue therefore is not the lack thereof of funds and resources but how one administers limited resources to achieve development goals.

The other imprisoning state of mind is the perspective of time as circular as opposed to linear time. I’ve written about this matter already. The Europeans had inherited from Judeo-Christianity the notion of linear time – thus the need to have calendar years. The liturgical calendar of the Church also aided in this long-term thinking. This was not the case in the context of animist Melanesia and its circular time.

The saying “mipela ino inap” stems from the assessment that the scarce resources that are available now cannot cater for achieving a desired outcome within this circular time, therefore it is impossible to do anything to solve an issue. Thus Members of Parliament still complain that their slush funds are inadequate even though they were getting K10 million. If it cost K5 million to build a road, they’d say there are lack of funds therefore “mipela ino inap long wokim ol rot na bris”. They don’t usually think alternatively that they could build the road over their 5 year term, spending K1million per year.

A lot of money was allocated for improving infrastructure in schools – the RESI FUNDS, there is very little to show. Remember the controversial private hospital project at Bautama. It was to be built using Chinese funding that was meant for other hospital infrastructure. Since the project flopped we hope the funding was put to good use.

The reality is that at any given point in time, there will never be enough funding to meet all demands for development in Papua New Guinea. The challenge is for people to start thinking about how they apply what they already have to meet their development goals instead of bitching about not having enough.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moments on the Jetty


SAM_0365Every morning the Resident Crab

Inspects the integrity of my wooden structures

In preparation for the midday landings of the water birds

And the evening reflections of a lone writer

He sits silently looking across the calm waters of the lagoon

Gazing into the distance at the misty Hildelberg Ranges

Sometimes he takes shots with a white mobile phone

Sometimes he is nibbling food from a silver gray plate

And I’ve always noticed in his dreamy eyes

A silent sadness


One moon lit night the Sea came to visit

It rode on a watery chariot from the Basamuk canyon

It was sent by Mother Earth to warn her children

That the writer’s kind were planning a genocide

I heard the Sea speak with the Resident Crab

They whispered in low mournful tones

I could see the resident crab weeping

As the Sea left with the North wind to Bogia

An in the watery eyes of the Crab I noticed

A silent sadness

Comrade Nou’s reflections on Ramu Nickel Court Case



Above: Lawyer Tiffany Twivvey addresses Rai Coast Landowners and journalists in Madang

I met up with one of the lawyers who was involved in the case. He was family and it was Christmas Eve. I smiled. "Congratulations on the win, bro!". He smiled back. He probably knew it took a lot out of me to say that, and that there was a hint of insincerity in my voice. The decision had left me gutted. I've been in Papua New Guinea's development circles since I was 14 and though I'm not as naive as I used to be about issues affecting development in PNG, I still wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to  grave social and environmental issues affecting my nation.

The Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea had decided 2-1 that it was quite alright for Chinese state owned Ramu NiCo Mine to dump mine waste in the sea of Madang, boasted the world over as Papua New Guinea's most beautiful Province. I went to Madang this year, and I spent a month with Papua New Guineans (and non-Papua New Guineans) in the frontline of a war against humanity; a war waged by greed and convinience and the dehumanization of a People who are as old as the ancient sea that binds them. This is the sea where the Chinese will dump Millions of tonnes of Mining waste a year.


Southern Highlands Puppets: Who are their puppet Masters?


IMG_1996The international media has gone back after PNG’s silly season before the festive season. Most Papua New Guineans now recognize O’Neil as Prime Minister but the Supreme Court decision to reinstate Somare has created a Constitutional Crisis with Parliament pitted against the Courts.

This legal gymnastics being performed by lawyers, judges and politicians has questioned the very basis of the legitimacy of the existence of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Is it a state ruled by Law or is it ruled by the General Will as defined by Rousseau in The Social Contract?

Parliament believes that the General Will as expressed through the elected representatives of the people is Supreme. The Somare camp on the other hand believes that the rule of Law prevails and that is expressed through the Supreme Court’s decision.

With the Somare camp recently appointing Southern Highlands Governor, Anderson Agiru as Deputy Prime Minister, the stakes have been raised. We now have a precarious situation where the US$ 15 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in the Southern Highlands has become a political pawn.

Western nations and corporations that have aligned themselves with the O’Neil-Namah camp must now contend with Governor Agiru, who has enormous influence in the LNG Project area in the Southern Highlands Province (SHP) . The West has placed its eggs in Agiru’s basket. Indeed, the future prosperity of Papua New Guinea is set to be underpinned by the LNG Project much like the future of a newly independent PNG was underpinned by Panguna.

The west did to play its cards right on Bougainville and its failure to understand the culture of Bougainvilleans led to must death and destruction. Having said that, the circumstances in SHP are different from Bougainville not just in terms of the type of resource being extracted but the issue of land.

The West needs to understand that Agiru is a Highlands Bigman and the pride of his supporters and tribesmen back home. His elevation by the Somare Click, to the post of DPM future inflates that pride his people have for him. This inflated pride is indeed something to be weary of. We know that the Helas and the Engans are cultural linked by a common cultural hero. We’ve seen recently that buildings in Wabag were torched when a false rumor spread that Abal and Ipatas (both in the Somare Camp) were arrested.

We now have a situation where there are two puppets from the Southern Highlands at the center of Papua New Guinea Politics due to the LNG Project. Much the same as Bougainville National MPs who have been used as puppets because of Panguna. So my fellow countrymen from the Southern Highlands become more willing to give up their Laitebo for peanuts because their men are in power, much the same as the Bougainvilleans did because their men were Ministers in various Governments.

It seems that we now have two Southern Highlands puppets being used by those who want to hold on to power. Perhaps President Momis and other Bougainvillean Leaders need to shed light on how they were being USED while Panguna bankrolled Rio Tinto and the State at the expense of the environment and the lives of the people of Bougainville. Indeed the appointment of a Bougainvillean as Governor General is very dubious, coming at a time when with-in a few years there will be a Referendum on Bougainville Independence.

History seems to be repeating itself!

Happy New Year sheeple, if the impasse continues we will have one HELL OF A NEW YEAR.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Not an Elite – AND PROUD!


SAM_1749Above: Boat operators at Buka Passage

Before dropping out of medical school, I always thought that getting a first degree was everything. Having then dropped out and finding out that the education system is just a FAILURE TRAP, I’ve realized that Sir Mekere was right when he described corruption of the system as being “systemic and systematic”. Many commentators have gone further to call the corruption of this system of government as being like cancer.

The use of the term corruption or corrupt can be applied in terms of the bribery, theft and deceit being commonly implied or more broadly it can refer to a system of governance that is morally bankrupt and broken almost beyond redemption.

This corrupt government system is like a corrupted computer system that consistently spews out garbage to the people. So what do we do when the computer spews out garbage? First we take it to the techies or PC geeks to sort it out and if they’re unable to sort it out we buy a new one.

Why do we attempt to fix the computer? Some say to improve productivity, others say because we just don’t like the headache. And essentially, it is because we as humans don’t like the inconvenience and trouble caused by a broken system.

A computer is made up of software and hardware. The Government is made up of ideas (software) by which the politicians and civil servants (hardware) run the country. The ideas that drive our country are foreign. The people that run our country are local.

In medicine a foreign intruder into humans is called a pathogen. Most often, these foreign bodies enter into humans and cause diseases – they corrupt the body.

What we see in our country is that while the people suffer, foreign interests prosper. Why? Is it because the ideas upon which the justice system is based are foreign. Is it because policies and laws are foreign and being foreign, they facilitate the prosperity of foreigners at the expense of indigenous people.

How many of you readers have read the Constitution of Papua New Guinea and understand it? That document purports to have its legitimacy by consent of a people who have probably never read it or understand it. The reality of Government in Papua New Guinea may that be the Judiciary, Executive or Legislative, is defined by the Constitution and enabling legislation and conventions. Have the people given their informed consent to that document.

Now, it isn’t necessarily the fault of foreigners that this is the reality. They come into the country and play by the rules so to speak. Unfortunately, the education system has been pretty much producing garbage who can’t make the system work in our interest. Like a corrupt computer operating system, you send ignorant kids to school and the CORRUPTED education system spews out ignorant elites who screw up the country.

We were given a system that our colonial masters understood but we didn’t have a full grasp of. Now, instead of tweaking that system to benefit our interests, the elite have sold our souls to predominantly foreign exploiters. The elite have sold us out and continue to do so.

So you get educated, become an engineer and engineer the destruction of your people. Even better, become a pilot and fly in the exploiters into your country. Be a lawyer and assist the exploiters rip off your people. So, you’re a law abiding citizen – you must have peace of mind being an engineer or geologist at Ok Tedi who is destroying the Fly River. Much worse, you may be an accountant at an accounting firm that helps greedy corporations work out TAX MINIMIZATION STRATEGIES (basically - tax evasion in its legitimate form) that ensure they do not pay much tax to the government.

If you think 109 Members of Parliament are evil, think of the thousands of nameless faceless elite who are basically facilitating the Great Robbery of the CENTURY – the exploitation of Papua New Guinea’s indigenous people and the destruction of their natural heritage.

You know how the colonizers used to use the natives as trackers so that they could track the natives and “pacify” them – it’s happening in Papua New Guinea today and many don’ realize it.

The Education system sells everyone the FALSE IDEA of kisim save na painim wok. The reality is that only about 100 000 people are formally employed and 400 000 others dependent on those workers. The rest, about 6.5 million Papua New Guineans work the land of their ancestors using traditional knowledge. Their western education has very little relevance to their daily survival in remote rural communities.

Unfortunately, after 8, 10 or 12 years of being brainwashed with the false idea of being involved in the ‘modern lifestyle’ many colonized minds return to their communities as ‘failures’ and for the rest of their disempowered lives, dream of that romantic notion of modernity while living in the reality of the robustness of their cultural and natural heritage. They easily sellout to exploiters hoping to gain that modern dream and soon discover they’ve been hoodwinked.

Those who do ‘pass’ become ‘elites’ and soon find out that their ‘pay’ is not enough to sustain a ‘modern’ lifestyle which their teachers brainwashed them about. While they end up paying heavy taxes on their first pay packet, rich miners get 10 year tax holidays. When they go on strike as the doctors did earlier this year because the pay is crap, the Government takes out a Court order and forces them to go back and work for a crap pay. But when the miners threaten the Government, Peter O’Neil and Byron Chan do a back flip and pike that would have won PNG Olympic Gold in Synchronized Swimming.

It is important that Papua New Guineans realize that their so called elites a failing them. Yes foreign interests are at play but they are only successful because the so called elites suck up to them and the sheeple suck up to the elite.

The modern State and the Constitution as well as the westernization of Melanesia are realities that we need to deal with. The elites are doing a crap job at dealing with it. Sadly the sheeple put too much faith in their so called ‘intellectuals and elites” just as they wrongly believe politicians who have failed them for 36 years will save them after next year’s elections.

That is why I’m PROUD I’m not one of those so called intellectual elite. I believe being a buai seller I have more dignity than one of those so called highly educated law-abiding compradors who are selling off our country for less than peanuts. I remember how my teachers used to warn us against becoming buai sellers but instead join the elite who are ripping off their people –SKUL GUT! KISIM SAVE NA KAMAP CARGO BOI blong rip-off system!

Rendezvous at the Buka Passage

SAM_1724The first time I walked down in the afternoon to take a dip in the Buka Passage, the sun was setting in the Solomon Sea between the passage between Buka and Sohano islands. I was wearing a black sportswear and black adidas t-shirt, looking like an All Blacks rugby player although quite frankly I don’t have the physique of rugby star.

My friend Norman wasn’t impressed. Norman is a cocky teenager who just finished year 10. He lives with he’s aunt at Kokopou. I was sort of under Norman and his Aunt Monica’s care when I visited Bougainville.

Now, according to Norman my dress code was faux pas in Bougainville. Okay so I didn’t know that most guys there wore black t-shirts and tight jeans with a red bandana. My sporty shirt and shorts made me look like a pretty-boy. Such a shame really coz I never considered myself to be pretty looking. I mean just look at that ugly face I have. But to be on the safe side, I decided to take Norman’s advice on Bougainville couture.

Anyway, Norman and I took a dip in the Buka Passage and I was so excited and splashed like a kid from the Highlands. This of course is not unusual because the first time I ever entered the sea was when I was baptized. But that’s another story.

So Norman’s telling me to avoid sea urchins while his eyes cannot avoid he neigbour’s daughter swimming nearby. While swimming I gaze at the glorious sun setting in the Solomon Sea. I’m thinking this must be the richest experience on earth. I know a lot of people dream of money, but I dream of the sunsets at the Buka Passage.

Norman and I pretty much introduce ourselves while swimming. He talks about he’s girlfriend while I talk about my buai selling, blogging and travelling. Norman’s real kool and I supposed we became best buddies with Norm picking on every bit of my unBougainvilleaness – which I found quite amusing coz I’m not Bougainvillean anyway.

It is in the Buka Passage that I develop a huge hangover for Bougainville. I’m glad the hang over wasn’t from Kenny’s Hall, which I was not able to visit. I just love everything about that place – and yes the sunsets are awesome. I can only imagine the many possibilities that exist on the many coral cays that stretch out westward into the Solomon Sea. Sitting on the sand on one of those timeless tropical evenings and watching the sun set in the horizon.

Okay, I did hear stories of locals travelling on dinghies to those coral cays for drunken parties but hey that’s life. Having said that it’s pretty difficult for me to say my interest in Bougainville isn’t tempered by those pleasurable opportunities. But honestly I do sincerely love the people and environs of Bougainville.

Damn, I forgot that I was wearing tight fitting sportswear and ended up walking to the guest house all wet with my shirt and shorts sticking to my skin. If only I had the physique! Norman decides to rub it in with he’s cheeky comments about my pretty-boy couture.

I walk past the copra shed with its putrid copra stench dominating the surroundings. Copra is a real stinker. I take a shower at the guest house then change before having dinner. I have a good night’s rest and am woken up early by the activity outside. A copra boat is being loaded. Its 6 am and the Sun has risen high as if its 8 am. No wonder they call this place Sankamap.

After breakfast I had a shower then changed and walked down towards the dusty limestone main street at Kokopou. At the guest house gate, some boys were winding down on their all night drink-up. Land cruisers from Arawa and further south, begin to pour into Kokopou and stir up the dust. I bought some big Buka buai at the market and pop over to see Norman.

Norman has gone to work albeit for only one day as I would discover in the evening when I walk out of the Buka Passage, dripping wet and wearing my tight fitting pretty-boy gear. Sadly, Norman got fired for insubordination. Being the rebel that I am, I congratulated him although I now rub it into him just to get back for the jokes he made regarding my swimming gear.

Remember I said Norman was cocky. Well he thinks he has rights for this and that and that the lawyers will back him up. That is why he felt he should speak to he’s boss about his employment conditions. I reckon the kid would make a good lawyer, he’s got guts.

A few days later I went on a rendezvous to Tinputz. It was an incredible journey south along the dusty limestone road. I hopped on a land-cruiser with other passengers on the 45 minute trip from Kokopou to Tinputz. The road winds inland up and down mountains and snakes its way around white sandy beaches. We crossed several mountain fed streams and rivers flowing from the Crown Prince Range.

I spent a few days at Tinputz, lying in the warm sandy beach below the hillside of the Sacred Heart Catholic Mission. This Parish on the hill reminded me of the Catholic Mission at Hahela, perched upon the cliff on Buka Island. The Catholic missionaries systematically claimed the physical high ground not just the moral high ground.

A week later I left my heart in the Buka Passage and flew out of Buka. One day I’ll fly back to retrieve it or perhaps to get lost forever in Paradise. The next time I travel to Buka I’ll make sure I pack a red bandana, pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. Think I’ll also pack a file containing Labour Laws for Norman and carry enough dough for both of us to spend at Kenny’s Hall.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To Bismarck's Children of 2050


Hi kids

I wonder how the Bismarck sea looks like in 2050.

The Somare Government said that by 2050 you kids are supposed to be living in a healthier, happier and wiser Papua New Guinea. That same Somare Government also changed the Environment Act and allowed Chinese Miners to dump their toxic mine waste into the Bismarck Sea. No kidding, that was a gift to you kids from the father of PNG.

My name is Martyn Namorong. I’m a writer. Today (Thursday, December 22, 2011) I went to the Supreme Court at Waigani to witness the handing down of its decision on the fate of the Bismarck Sea.

It took about 10 minutes for the Court to Hand down its decision. In a 2 to 1 decision, Justices Sawong and Hartshorne also quashed the decision by the National Court in Madang which found that the conduct of dumping toxic mine waste into the Basamuk Bay would amount to both Public and Private Nuisance. The decision by the Court basically allowed the miners to dump their toxic waste into the Sea.

The only dissenting Judge was Justice Catherine Davani.

SAM_0281Earlier in September this year, I travelled down from Madang to Basamuk. White palm fringed beaches met the waves been blown in from the north. The Bismarck sea was clear and schools of tuna could be seen right near the shoreline. Above, flocks of sea birds hovered over the schools of fish.

All along the Coastline I could see villagers fishing. Some men in dugout canoes ventured into the swells in pursuit of the schools of tuna. On several occasions the skipper of the dinghy stopped to fish where the tuna could be seen splashing in the water. . Unfortunately the fishing line was cut and we arrived an hour later at Mindere village ad without any tuna for dinner.

The water in Basamuk Bay was clear, and from the dinghy I could see fish and coral. There was no evidence of turbidity caused by sediments from the rivers that flow into the Astrolabe Bay. The environment was in a pristine state.

The miners have argued that the toxic wastes would settle in the undersea canyon off the refinery at Basamuk. They have however failed to comment on any soluble toxic substances that will be mixed in with the sea water. Today in 2011, we do not have widespread reports of deformities in marine fauna nor do we have any epidemiologic reports of high incidence of carcinomas amongst communities of the Rai Coast and the Bismarck Sea.

I hope that in the year 2050 when you’re reading this, the sea birds still fly above the Astrolabe Bay, the sea is still clear and tuna still feed near the shoreline. Today the Astrolabe Bay is the closest one could get to Heaven, indeed it is Heaven on earth.

SAM_0297I saw the sun set across the Bay from Mindere and it was the most beautiful sight. I hope that when the sun rises on you the children of 2050, you do not live in the Darkness of Neon Lights.

I visited your beautiful ancestral land and sea and wrote about the trouble that was brewing. I told the world the stories of your ancestors whom I had met. They were a people in crisis.

Mindere villagers who were once independent subsistence farmers were increasingly dependent on the Miner for jobs and sustenance as their land was taken up by mine related activities. They were becoming slaves of the miner. Their lives were dependent on the miner’s goodwill and that wasn’t forthcoming.

SAM_0357At Ganglau village, youth were being persecuted by thugs in police uniform. At these thugs in police uniform didn’t want the villagers using scrap material to build their homes. Yep, scrap to build homes. So much for being mine refinery landowners when all you can show for the refinery’s existence are the scrap weatherboards and roofing sheets that patch up a house. There were bits and pieces of blue attachments to homes, making them look like bower bird nests.

All in all, the villagers of Mindere and Ganglau were healthy although the aid post at Ganglau was in a decrepit state. There was not a single case of cancer in the three communities of Ganglau, Zangang and Mindere.

Today a sovereign people who by a heritage of 50 000 years lived in harmony with the environment, are presented with a disaster - their gift from the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. We were let down by the system. I believe western democracy and the Westminster system have failed the people of Rai Coast. If this is what development looks like, it is as good the toxic mine waste that are about to be discharged into Basamuk canyon.

SAM_0380Louise Medang and Terry Kuning were amongst many of us who opposed the dumping of these toxic mine wastes into the sea. Tiffany Twivvey did an excellent job. I was in Court when she presented the appeal along with Ginia Topa. On the morning of the decision, Ginia was there representing Louise et al.

I hope this letter meets you well, kids. I wrote this a record of how things were.

Kind regards

Martyn Namorong

Sunday, December 18, 2011

“Regime Change” sounds familiar doesn’t it?


tumblr_lrp30hm7Oe1qjkzz8o1_1280There is no way that the Western States will allow a pro-China Government in Port Moresby. The Parliamentary coup that overthrew Somare, surprised everyone in PNG. What was even more surprising is that the West was quick to embrace Prime Minister O’Neil instead of condemning the coup as is the usual mantra of the West.

Regardless of what your personal views have been regarding the Judiciary, what we’ve seen from the Courts is the discharge of its Constitutional duties. Our Supreme Court can best be described as being very Nationalistic.

The decision by the Supreme Court to end neo-colonization by Australia under the guise of the Enhanced Cooperation Program (ECP) was perhaps a second Declaration of Independence by Papua New Guinea. In one sense Papua New Guinea stamped its independence and set the rules of engagement with Australia as opposed to the usual situation of things being shoved down PNG’s throat by Australia.

In one sense the Courts have been truly Independent by virtue of the fact that the People are the Fountain of Justice from which the Courts gain authority. Parliament and the Executive still have to gain final approval from the Representative of the Queen of England, even if that approval is symbolic. The Courts however are Supreme in the Land and they reflect the true meaning of independence.

Thus having recently ruled that the election of Prime Minister O’Neil was illegal, the Supreme Court once again stamped PNGs independence from its former colonial power. Unfortunately for the Court, it restored to power a regime that is hated by a majority of Papua New Guineans.

For the West, the problem with the Somare regime is called China. For Papua New Guineans, the problem with the Somare regime is called Berthur (Bertha + Arthur = Somare Family). With popular support and the consent of Parliament along with strong support from western governments, the O’Neil-Namah Government is set to rule.

I’m sure the folks at Murray Barracks understand this geopolitical standoff here in PNG. The Army therefore refused to obey a Three-Month Call Out order from Governor General, Sir Michael Ogio.

What we’re experiencing are the side-effects of REGIME CHANGE. “Regime Change”, sounds familiar?





Papua New Guinea

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Political Crisis is beyond PNG’s hands


SAM_0949What we now have on our plate is a classic resource curse where foreigners are supporting either or both sides of politics. When I wrote my post yesterday highlighting the geopolitical power-play currently underway, I never expected such a vitriolic response from pro-western miners.

You can read the pro-western miner’s spokesperson’s comments on Mine Watch. The miner’s spokesperson who uses the pseudonym Wesley, wrote:

“But what people in PNG have to realize if they keep going the way that they have been and the State becomes a security risk to the region, and in particular to Australia, things will change whether the people of PNG stick their heads in the sand, or not”.

O yeah baby, haven’t we heard that before when Bush invaded Iraq supposedly to find weapons of mass destruction and protect America’s security interests. Bush went in for the oil just as any direct or indirect military intervention would be to protect Western interests particularly in Mining and the US$ 15 billion Liquefied Natural Gas Project.

For me, reading Wesley’s comments on Mine Watch crystallized my view of the geopolitical struggle between the East and the West as it unfolds here on PNG soil. That is the nature of squabbles between world powers: they fight their fights using proxies and on foreign territory.

What this means for Papua New Guineans is that if you support Peter O’Neil and his crew, you’re a foot soldier for the West i.e. Australia and the United States. If you’re supporting Somare, then you’re supporting the East i.e. the Asians - Chinese and Malaysians.

Indeed the recent media war between Rupert Murdoch’s Post Courier and Rimbunan Hijau’s The National newspapers has been a war over influence of public opinion. Lately, The National Newspaper has indeed been publishing positive spin about the Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel Mine apart from its regular spin on the Malaysian loggers. The Post Courier on the other hand has pretty much consistently published the ugly details of the Malaysian loggers, including the recent Pomio SABL case.

So where does this leave Papua New Guineans. Well we actually have two choices: either to fight for the Chinese or the West, or to stand back and let them fight themselves. Usually, the world powers do not like sending their sons to war; instead they’d prefer that others do the fighting on their behalf. It would be extremely foolish for Papua New Guineans to fight and kill each other just so that either the Chinese or the Western nations benefit from the spoils of destruction.

If there is going to be a Military Coup, it is most likely going to be a pro-western coup. Any sane military strongman wouldn’t dare undermine the strategic interests of an increasing Fascist and trigger-happy West. Australia’s strategic interests would be undermined if there is a pro-China military man in Port Moresby and so will the United States. With Australian Military just a few minutes South and a large US Navy base up North at Guam, no sane military leader would to dare antagonize the West.

Today, Papua New Guineans must realize that we do not have political leaders. Those at the top are puppets for foreign interests. Let them fight amongst themselves at the top and let the East and West battle it out however they wish to. Let us not build hatred and animosity amongst ourselves and let’s not spill Indigenous Melanesian blood for foreigners who hide in the shadows and pull the strings of those Puppets in Waigani.

The stakes are too high for either side to give up easily. Western resource exploiters are increasing weary of the Chinese intrusion into the resource sector. Hilary Clinton expressed this view to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she stated that China was trying to undermine United States interests in the PNG LNG Project.

Mostly Asian loggers, who have stolen 5.2 million hectares of land under the Somare Regime, now feel threatened by the Commission of Inquiry into the Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases. The Chinese miners, who were allowed to dump toxic Mine waste into the sea, now feel threatened by the O’Neil Government that wants to reverse the changes to the Environment Act that the Somare dictatorship forced through Parliament. You can see why The National is allied with the Chinese Government-owned Ramu Nickel mine.

Now we’re talking about Billions of US dollars that are at stake here. An increasingly Fascist West isn’t going to let China win this tug of war in PNG. Each side wants to protect its interests.

This is not our battle to fight. This is a Cold War between the East and the West to try and protect their investments. Remember that the Ramu Nickel Mine is owned by the Government of China. Also the Governments of the United States and Australia have put money into the LNG Project through loans from their Export-Import (Exim) Banks.

Of course, the agents of the East and West would want you to believe that this is a Papua New Guinean’s problem, and they have nothing to do with it. They would want you to believe that Papua New Guinea is insignificant in the region. Well if Papua New Guinea is insignificant why have we received high-level Government Officials from the United States and China in recent years?

Our politicians have compromised themselves and are therefore now acting in the interests of their Puppet Masters. That is now obvious 5 days later; as no end seems to be in sight. Only Beijing, Canberra and Washington know how this will end or at least how they would like it to end.



I have been called a lot of things by my critics but one thing is certain, I’m an indigenous Melanesian. I believe that the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea and their customary land need to be protected from exploitation. Many exploiters promise ‘development’ but all that our people see around them is ‘bagarapment’. So don’t get sucked into the lies as it’s played out at the moment by those Puppet Leaders in Waigani, their table-cats and Puppet Masters.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The political economy of the Somare-O’Neil standoff


clip_image002Above: Protestors call on Sir Michael to step down

“L’etat c’est et moi!” exclaimed Louis XIV, the Sun King of France. The dude was saying in French, “I am the State”. The question of defining the State has bothered societies for centuries. This issue of state and sovereignty as well as the application of power becomes crucial as we try to address the current political crisis.

Five hundred years ago when Melanesian societies had already arranged themselves politically and economically, the English Philosopher, Thomas Hobbes was discussing the concepts of Statehood. For Hobbes, the State was Civitas - the Commonwealth – the People’s Representatives or the Sovereign.

Of course Hobbes and Louis XIV where kinda thinking along the same page. The Sun King believed the State was embodied in the Sovereign – the Head of State. However, the French weren’t buying this and the French Philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau kinda summed up their contempt for Le Roi – the King. But being French, Rousseau decided to pick on the English, instead of the French King. Rousseau wrote:

“Sovereignty cannot be represented, for the same reason that it cannot be alienated... the people’s deputies are not, and could not be, its representatives; they are merely its agents; and they cannot decide anything finally...

The English people believe itself to be free; it is gravely mistaken; it is free only during the election of Members of Parliament; as soon as the Members are elected, the people is enslaved; it is nothing.”

Now, since we’ve inherited the British Westminster system of Government, according to Rousseau we’re slaves of a system that Hobbes described to be an expression of sovereignty through the people’s representatives. That is why you the PNG-reader cannot have much direct influence on the current political impasse as it is your representative who is to hopefully sort it out in your best interest. Ok, so maybe you can protest but you’ll get killed anyway and the politicians will still have the last laugh.

Karl Marx was the first to identify that both representative and individual sovereignty weren’t as influential in society as the economic relationships of people. Ok so if you’re confused, basically Marx was saying money can buy you influence and a place at the top. We all know how money buys power these days and Marx was critical of those money-men who ran the system by class coercion.

Note how Byron Chan had to cop out of giving mining rights to landowners because the mining companies were opposed. Also note how The National newspaper published biased pro Somare propaganda. And it was Marx good friend Friedrich Engels who summed up the power struggle of the classes. He wrote;

“Because the state arose from the need to hold class antagonisms in check... it is by rule the state of the powerful, economically dominant class, which, through the medium of the State, becomes also the politically dominant class.”

The two economically dominant classes in PNG are the Agents of the West represented by mining and hydrocarbon exploiters on one hand, and the Agents of the East represented mainly by logging and oil palm exploiters.

The struggle between the West (US) and the East (China) is played out in the current political crisis.

When O’Neil was elected Prime Minster, he was congratulated by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, on behalf of the Western Nations. O’Neil was able to meet Gillard in Canberra and even Mrs. O’Neil had her picture taken with US First Lady Michelle Obama during the recent APEC Summit in Hawaii.

Somare on the other hand has been the darling of the East. He was given red carpet treatment in Beijing and was responsible for bringing the Chinese Miners to Madang. Indeed the Ramu mine is majority owned by the Chinese Government through the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC). The National Newspaper owned by Malaysian Loggers, has also been openly supporting Somare.

Papua New Guineans may also recall that Sam Basil was a Guest of the United States Government when he was sent to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. The United States Ambassador was present at the Grand Hall of Parliament when Powes Parkop launched he’s political Party. Both men are in the O’Neil Camp.

It is therefore hardly surprising that both Somare and O’Neil are willing to play brinkmanship. Both men would not be so adamant about being in power unless they were both confident that the international community would recognize their leadership should they ascend to power.

The current antagonism between the politically dominant classes is fuelled by the antagonism between the economically dominant classes i.e. the US aka Exxon Mobil LNG Project and China aka Ramu Nickel Mine. Guess who the politicians are referring to when they talk about assuring investors – the Governments of the East and West.

Our politicians, being the manipulative psychopaths they are, cannot realize that they are just making the rest of us cannon fodder for the Big Boys in the region. Papua New Guineans must not take sides in the struggle between two world powers. Don’t end up being used by these two Super Powers and their two political puppets.

The Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States was fought in foreign territories such as Vietnam and Afghanistan. Today’s Cold War between an increasingly Capitalist China’s and an increasingly Fascist America will be fought in an increasing Fragile Region. Obama’s recent announcement of basing troops in Darwin was met with stiff opposition from China. The power struggle between the US and China is being played out in the Pacific and PNG appears to be feeling the effects.

This isn’t our war to fight. It doesn’t make any difference to a villager in Josephstaal, Madang Province, whether O’Neil or Somare is in Power. That villager will wake up tomorrow and will still have NO school, NO road and NO aid post. That is the reality for 80% of the country and that reality will not change regardless of who is in power for the next 5-6 months until the next elections.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

PNG’s Political Crisis deepens


Activist Noel Anjo:  expected to lead a protest todayAbove: Activist Noel Anjo:  expected to lead a protest today

And as if having two Prime Ministers, Two Cabinets, Tow Police Commissioners wasn’t enough we now have two Governor Generals.

Bothe Somare and O’Neil claim to be legitimate Prime Ministers.

Tom Kulunga is the Police Commissioner appointed by Peter O’Neil while Fred Yakasa is the Police Commissioner appointed by Somare’s kitchen cabinet.

Yesterday afternoon Parliament suspended the Governor General making Speaker Jeffrey Nape the acting Governor General. Today, acting Governor General Nape is expected to force his way into Government House.

Amidst the turmoil, activist Noel Anjo has planned a protest today in Port Moresby to call on the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call the General Elections.

Meanwhile the 2012 Budget has not been through the final vote. Somare and hes kitchen cabinet have been challenged to prove their numbers in Parliament. Sir Puka Temu called on them to play the game in the soccer field instead of the netball court referring to the Parliament as a playing field.

Speaker Nape, now acting Governor General also swore in the O’Neil-Namah government late yesterday afternoon in Parliament. This followed the swearing in of the Somare kitchen cabinet by Governor General Ogio.

In Port Moresby and around the country passions are running high. In Somare’s heartland of East Sepik there have been celebrations following his reinstatement by the Courts. Elsewhere though there is much disdain at Somare’s greed for power.

As the political tectonic activity wasn’t enough the geological plates also moved. At around 3 PM yesterday a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern coastline of New Guinea adding anxiety to an already tense situation.

Papua New Guineans aren’t very polarized at the moment but as the crises drags on an unpopular Somare regime is becoming the focus of much public anger. Yesterday in Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah made a mostly impassioned and perhaps inflammatory speech calling on Papua New Guineans to rise up against the Somare regime. He described Somare as “a street boy from Murik Lakes” referring to Parliaments removal of Somare as the Member for East Sepik.

Speaker Nape also stated that Sir Michael would be removed from the Chamber should he enter Parliament since he is no longer a Member of Parliament. Now that Nape has been relegated to the puppet post of Governor General it would be interesting to see how acting Speaker Francis Marus makes he’s rulings today.

One thing is certain, the longer this game of political brinkmanship continues the greater the chances of violence erupting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Round-up on twists and turns in PNG Politics

Tindi Apa

Governor General Sir Michael Ogio swore in Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare as Prime Minister, earlier this morning. Sir Michael was sworn in after a Supreme Court ruling on Monday 12th of December that declared him as the legitimate Prime Minister.

However on the same day, Parliament amended sections of the Prime Minister and NEC Act, retrospectively disqualifying Sir Michael from Office as well as legalizing the election of Peter O’Neil as Prime Minister. Parliament also voted 71-0 to reaffirm O’Neil’s primacy following the Supreme Court’s decision.

Yesterday, O’Neil and his Ministers blocked the entrance to the Governor General’s residence in an attempt to prevent Somare from being sworn into Office. Today however as Parliament was in session, news filthered through Parliament that the Governor General had sworn in Somare.

Parliament has now summoned the Governor General to appear before it and explain he’s actions. The Governor General has also been ordered by Parliament to swear in Peter O’Neil as the Prime Minister.

Speaking in Parliament a few hours ago, Speaker Jeffrey Nape invited the Public to attend the swearing in ceremony at Parliament. Today Parliament expresses the independence of Papua New Guinea whereby the representative of the Queen of England has to enter the Melanesian Hausman and swear in the Chief of the People. Usually, the Prime Minister is elected in Parliament but has to make a long trip across the city to be sworn in at Government House. Today’s swearing in at Parliament should set precedence and mark a Papua New Guinean tradition that expresses the Power of the People through its Parliament.

This morning’s Parliament session saw attacks on the Judiciary and a passionate call by Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah, for Papua New Guineans to rise up against tyranny. Mr. Namah also described Sir Michael as the Mugabe of the South Pacific.

The nation watches for the showdown at 2 PM today. Many MPs in Parliament have openly called for the sacking of the Governor General. Sir Julius Chan has called on Sir Michael to give up his claim to power. Speaker Jeffrey Nape has stated that Sir Michael is no longer a member of Parliament per Parliaments decision last Friday, and that he would be thrown out of the chamber of Parliament should he trespass into Parliament.

Disempowered sheeple leading the sheeple









Here we are two days on after the Supreme Court decision and still there is a stand-off over the post of Prime Minister. Yesterday, seeing the rather pathetic attempt by O’Neil and his amigos to prevent the Governor General from swearing in Sir Michael, was for me an indictment of how disempowered the ruling elite are.

Of course I already knew from the start that this bunch of wannabe leaders were all disempowered. They didn’t have the balls to stand up against the miners when they announced changes to mineral ownership laws. They capitulated then just as they’ve capitulated now.

In the struggle for independent exertion of power, Parliament is losing to the unelected Judiciary because elected sheeple are so disempowered. Perhaps it is a failure to recognize that Parliament constitutes the elected representatives of the people. The fact that Members of Parliament generally have no regard for their people now comes to haunt them when people do not wish to be part of this power struggle between the elite.

It seems O’Neil with the Parliamentary majority he has ends up like a commoner that he is, being locked outside the vestiges of a colonial past. There standing and sitting outside the symbol of colonial power were colonized minds seeking legitimacy from London when indeed all power rests with the People of Papua New Guinea exercised through their elected representatives.

So O’Neil doesn’t realize that he has the mandate of the sheeple by virtue of a Parliamentary majority. Perhaps the only real Leader during this impasse has been Speaker Jeffrey Nape, who has consistently defended the independence of Parliament.

Meanwhile the disempowerment of the sheeple through their elected representatives has had profound psychological effects on the sheeple over these years. Yesterday the Daily Log reported the story of a community leader in Ambunti calling on he’s people not to make extra demands on Xtrata. Reading this I was so pissed off. That community leader obvious has zero leadership qualities. Mr John Mukas, get it into your thick skull that Xtrata aint leaving Frieda River tomorrow after the hundreds of millions they’ve spent on the project. I wish Papua New Guinean sheeple and their sheeple-Leaders could stop buying the the miners bluff.

It’s time O’Neil flexed his muscle as a leader of a democratic nation. The longer he looks elsewhere for legitimacy, the more he acknowledges the legitimacy of Sir Michael’s claim to throne. The question here is that who has currency? A piece of legal paper with written instructions or the 70-strong elected representatives of the sheeple!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Crowds wait outside Court House in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s verdictAbove: Crowds wait outside Court House in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s verdict

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision has saved PNG from developing a coup culture. The Parliamentary coup that brought Peter O’Neil into power was illegal. The 5-judge Supreme Court Bench voted 3-2 in favour of Sir Michael Somare.

Last night a group of armed Policemen tried to prevent Mr O’Neil from reaching Government House and being sworn in as Prime Minister hours after the Supreme Court dismissed him from Office. One Police officer yelled, “we are defending the Constitution,” as O’Neil’s convoy made its way past the blockade.

The Governor General did not sign instruments making O’Neil PM.

Indeed the standoff between Police and Mr O’Neil caused quite a stir. There was speculation about a possible coup and the Policemen who were preventing O’Neil from entering Government House, were viewed by some as mutineers. Of course in light of the, Supreme Court’s decision, the policemen were simply upholding the Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

No doubt Papua New Guinea is now going through a phase of illegitimate Governments. The O’Neil-Namah Government came into power illegally and through its populist policies gained consent from the masses. The unpopular Somare regime now has legal authorization to rule but lacks the support of the masses.

Clearly, the days of the Westminster system are numbered. The people of Papua New Guinea cannot possibly continue to accept a system of Government that has consistently failed them for 36 years.

The Westminster system has largely produced illegitimate political leaders. The introduction of the Limited Preferential Voting system was recognition of that. LPV was introduced to legitimize the election of political leader by increasing their voter base. It was aimed at ensuring leaders have some sort of majority consent.

But of course the LPV system is just a manipulation of numbers to create the façade of legitimacy.

Illegitimate political leaders have colluded with public servants and corrupted the public service. Positions of power in Government bodies have become politicized. This has meant that Parliament and the Executive have lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of many Papua New Guinea.

The Judiciary has thus become the center of Power in PNG. Yesterday the fate of the nation was in the hands of 5 men who are not elected representatives - 5 men who do not represent any group of electors. By their own making, the elected representatives of the people shifted power from the people to an institution created by Law.

People have to realize that the Westminster system is not representing their wishes. Yesterday the system preserved itself thus today we can say the system is working. The issue now is whether the system is working for the people or working for itself.

A new model of development is now needed more than ever.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Supreme Court says there was no vacancy

The Supreme Court has said that there was no vacancy of the Prime Ministerial post when O'Neil was elected.

It means Sir Micheal was still occupying that post while interned in Singapore after cardiac surgery.

Supreme Court Dismisses Application against CJ

The application by Prime Minister O'Neil to disqualify the Chief Justice from the bench determining his (O'Neil's) election, has just been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

The dismal of this application for apprehension of bias by the Chief Justice, paves the way for the Court to hand down its decision on the substantive matter relating to the election of the O'Neil-Namah government.

Just now, there was a bit of confusion leading to the crowding surging to the gate of the Court House. Some thought they were to be addressed regarding the Court's decision

Parliament 'legalizes' O'Neil Govt this am


Parliament voted this morning to amend sections of the Prime Minister and National Executive Council Act, in order to retropectively legalize the election of Peter O'Neil as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

All this, while the Supreme Court was about to hand down its decision as to the validity of the election of Peter O'Neil per the Prime Minister and NEC Act.

If you ever thought Papua New Guinean politicans were idiots, think again... They're masters of this Chess game.


Every now and then mobile phone ringtones pierce through the mumblings of the crowd.

Many people outside Port Moresby are contacting those here in order to get the latest on the news from the Court. Sadly, none of us here in the crowd have a clue about what's going on inside the Court House.

This change in news and conveyance of information is part of the mobile phone revolution.

Indeed this blogger is filing this blog update via mobile phone.

Meanwhile on Facebook, many users are posting messages asking for the latest information related to this Supreme Court case.


The Supreme Court is in session at it hands down its decision as to the legality of the election of the O'Neil-Namah Government.

There is a heavy Police presence and entry into the Court Premises is restricted.

Anxious crowd waits outside for news on the Courts decision, oblivious to the proceedings in Court.

The atmosphere is tense but orderly.

Today most city residents went about their daily routes however bus numbers were down and there was increased police presence at bus stops.

The nation now holds its breath as the fate of its political leadership rests in the hands of a 5-judge Supreme Court bench

While dark clouds still overshadow Parliament and the Supreme Court, there is sunshine at the moment. Perhaps every cloud does have a silver lining. Things should only improve from now on or else the recent warnings of Prof. Alan Patience become reality.



Above: Police vehicles line up entry to Parliament. I just saw Trade Union Boss Micheal Malabag enter the Court Premises. Police Numbers are gradually increasing as crowds pour into the area in front of the National Library


Nature reflects the mood in Waigani today as dark clouds hang above Parliament and the Supreme Court.

Standing at the A
National Library just opposite the Supreme Court I see two unmarked white Police cars (above pic). All along the entrance to Parliament and the Court there is a heavy presence of Police men and women.

A small but sizeable crowd waits quietly, speaking in hushed tones.

Every once in a while a tinted car or two speeds up the road into Parliament.

There is a sense of anxiety in the crowd as people wait for the verdict regarding the legality of the O'Neil-Namah Government as well as news about today's proceedings in Parliament.

Its D-Day in Waigani. And showers now soak the parched earth. Hopefully this is a sign of regeneration in PNG, and surely politics won't be a same in the next 48 hours.

God bless Papua New Guinea

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Journeys of a Pilgrim Soul


SAM_1980Sometimes the journey we make in life turns out better than we expect. That even in the moments of despair the spirit rises above the challenge and the head fights to remain above water. For when we think we’re down and out we are indeed in Churchill’s words at “the beginning of the end and the end of the beginning.”

I remember texting my friend Jai, one night in December last year and telling him I just wanted to end it all. He said said he believed in climbing each mountain no matter how many mountains there were to climb.

The thing about mountains is that once you’ve climbed them you’ve reached the top of the world. And so as I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I decided to climb the mountain each day. I decided to keep my head above water.

Jai called me on the 25th of December and we had a great chat. It was the best Christmas present I ever got. Why because it calmed my restless soul.

One of the lessons that life teaches through experience is that the suffering that fellow human beings go through is actually avoidable and can be remedied.

But remedies must not be imposed or prescribed by external parties. Remedies should be highlighted by the oppressed and facilitated by parties willing to assist. In my own little way I understand what disempowerment and disenfranchisement feel like.

I also understand the value of prayer – no not the Capitalist version where you pray for wives, lovers, money and jobs, etc... True faith and prayer is when a friend thousands of miles away sends an sms and tells you, “boy, just hang in there. Tomorrow the sun will rise.” Your friend truly believes that one sms will save you and it does because you know that even in all the darkness, someone picks up your hand and makes you feel the pulse of your heart and in for a moment in time you get a glimpse of salvation.

Now I realize I’m not insane. I understand the human condition in its weakest and at its greatest. Life is beautifully painful. It is in the darkest hour that the moon shines brightest. The inner strength and will to survive flourish in times of trial. Darkness passes to light, winter to spring, and one finds love in its fullness in an unloving world.

I have just had the most beautiful time of my life. This evening I walked through the coconut plantation along the Jais Aben road catching glimpses of the moon. I smiled to myself and took a deep breath of fresh air. I’ll be heading for the big smoke to spend the holidays.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Malaysian Rainforest Terrorists waging War on Namah-O’Neil Government

Pro O'Neil Protestors

PNG exposed blog has picked up on a story that is trending on Facebook regarding the war on the Namah-O’Neil government, being waged by Malaysian Rainforest Terrorist Organization (MRTO), Rimbunan Hijau (RH).

The MRTO has brought back its former editor of its propaganda mouthpiece – The Daily Log (aka The National Newspaper). According to online chatter, the big-gun is Brian Gomez, who until recently was employed by junior Somare as IPBC’s Spin-doctor. This was also leaked onto Facebook in the last 48 hours by Journalists at the Daily Log who have decided to do the right thing and spill the beans on their boss. They revealed that Brian Gomez wrote the recent Editorial Criticizing Sir Mekere Morauta over his stance in revealing the stench at IPBC created by junior Somare and his cronies.

Sir Mekere responded in a statement released on the 5th of December 2011. He said in response to Gomez and The Daily Log:

“Is the National really suggesting that I should not point out that the appointment of the Somare family’s financial advisor to the managing directorship of the IPBC involved a clear conflict of interest?

I am astonished that a media organisation should call on a Minister to be silent on the facts of publicly-owned businesses and assets, and not explain to the people how they were abused, exploited, manipulated and stolen from, and precisely who was responsible. Mr Somare is a politician, and he was responsible for the disasters...”

Various punters have expressed disgust at MRTO’s attacks on the Namah-O’Neil Government. One wrote this on Facebook:

“I know Gomez, he's ruthless, and he was behind the pro RD anti-Sullivan report garbage in the National a few years ago. He's an Indian from Malaysia, actually a Portuguese Indian, to complicate things, and is a long time editor and journalist under that anti-democratic media-as-a-political-weapon regime. Nothing surprises me. He should be deported for the damage done to personal reputations of Papua New Guineans.”

Another wrote:

“It is reported that Brian was brought up from Sydney to do the dirty work. He certainly is no stranger to that - been doing the dirty work for a long time haven't you Brian? Oh well - you made it. You sure have. So keep your eye on the Daily Log as the elections draw near everyone - you won't believe what you read - and check the English. As my bubu told me as a child - we know what you are -we simply don't know your price.”

Once again the Malaysian Rainforest Terrorist Organization and its propaganda mouth-piece the Daily Log are attacking the people of Papua New Guinea. And as if frying Malum Nalu at Pomio wasn’t enough, the Daily Log wants to toast Brian Gomez.

Papua New Guineans aren’t buying the propaganda from the Daily Log. They are responding to it and informing each other via Facebook.

What did the Daily Log’s Editorial say about Sir Mekere?

Warning against listening to the Daily Log

What did the Daily Log’s Editorial say about Sir Mekere?

The Daily Log (aka The National Newspaper) published its editorial on the 29th of November 2011 under the heading “Morauta-Somare feud must stop.”

The Daily Log and, or whoever wrote that editorial exposed themselves in the first two paragraphs:

THE feud between Minister for Public Enterprises Sir Mekere Morauta and his predecessor, suspended member for Angoram Arthur Somare, goes back to about this time of the year in 2001.

[Really? So we’re supposed to believe RH that it’s nothing serious, just a feud? Isn’t Sir Mekere telling the country how a State entity was badly managed by a crackpot?]

Reshuffling his cabinet, Sir Mekere sacked Arthur’s father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare as his foreign affairs minister alleging a conspiracy to engage in backstabbing which, in PNG, comes by the more respectable description, “motion of no-confidence”.

[Wait a minute: They’re saying it’s a feud between junior Somare and Mekere but they’re using papa Somare as collateral. Is the old man that cheap?]

Now the editorial gets really tasty as you read further down.

With meticulous consistency and persistence, Sir Mekere, since his commissioning as minister for Public Enterprises three months ago, has been unravelling all that Somare has set in place in the ministry and policies relating to state-owned enterprises.

[Do you think we’re less than human and can’t think for ourselves? Papua New Guineans support Sir Mekere because we don’t want political families running SOE’s like private family businesses and piggy banks]

The Department of Public Enterprises has been annulled and its staff scattered. The National Petroleum Company of Papua New Guinea has had its wings broken with its roles divided between the IPBC and the Department of Petroleum and Energy. There remains a shell company.

[What’s the point in keeping unproductive staff?]

Somare was all for restoring to profitability state-owned enterprises such as Air Niugini, Telikom PNG and PNG Power.

[Hallelujah! let’s say the only people who profited from Air Niugini were the once who were able to use it to escape Taskforce Sweep. Seriously dude you live a posh lifestyle so you don’t know what a PNG Power Blackout is like. Have you smelt the stench of sewerage in Port Moresby? Telikom is an inefficient and expensive monopoly and so are other SOE’s. Arthur? Profitability? Who are you kidding?]

If the Supreme Court were to decide against the O’Neill-led government in a week’s time, whatever is to become of the changes that have been wrought upon the public enterprises landscape?
Were the former government to be restored, might we not see wholesale changes to restore everything to what they were only weeks back, a situation which might, quite realistically, confuse the living daylights out of all concerned?

[I love the above paragraph. What they’re saying is that if the Somare regime is restored, it will be so stupid that it would create chaos by just reversing what Sir Mekere has done? Perhaps the Somare regime is that stupid after all if they were confident in employing mediocre Spin-doctors]

Allegations that Somare allowed K100 million worth of people’s assets in MVIL to be put at risk or that K31 million was invested under Somare’s watch in the failed US merchant bank Lehmann Bros, or that the Somare regime left behind a K31 million bill for the Falcon jet are all worrying.
Still, it is difficult to distinguish in the absence of other government voices, whether this is part of the Morauta-Somare feud or whether it bespeaks something far more sinister that has happened in the political and financial management of our country.

[What are you saying here? So if a snake bit me and only my mum was raising her voice, does that mean that the snake didn’t bite me? Sir Mekere as Minister for IPBC has direct access to information which may not be available to other Members of Parliament. He therefore is the main source of the information.]

The cacophony of voices last Friday in parliament should inform both Sir Mekere and Arthur Somare that the type of tit for tat media war the two have been having is neither enjoyed nor welcomed by many people, including those in government.
Housing and Urbanisation Minister Ken Fairweather said state entities like water, electricity, communication and other important state-owned enterprises ought not to be “used as a football for political point-scoring games”.
He said: “We cannot move forward if we play politics with the SOEs and we can’t play football with the people’s needs like water, health, education and transport facilities.”
NCD Governor Powes Parkop said: “We are just a developing nation and we should not compare or introduce policies from outside that will not work in the country like privatisation to vital service delivery entities as it will affect the lives of the people.”

[Powes Parkop is a Social-Democrat, one would expect such thinking from him. Sir Mekere is from a different school of thought. Interestingly both Ken Fairwhetther and Parkop failed to acknowledge the fact that many of these SOE’s CURRENTLY DO NOT DELIVER SERVICES TO A VAST MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE. It really doesn’t matter to 85% of the population if these SOE’s are privatized or not: most people don’t have access to them anyway. The Daily log’s use of their statements is therefore weak.]

It is time this debate was depersonalised. It is not about Sir Mekere and Arthur Somare. It is about Papua New Guineans and their welfare

[Its time you take your sticky fingers out of PNG Politics. It’s not about you and the Somare’s. It’s about Papua New Guineans and their welfare. By the way, since when did you become concerned about people’s welfare considering your biased reporting of issues related to the Malaysian Rainforest Terrorists?]

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mangi blong Paul’s Mangi blong Peles set to fly


This aint the Mangi blong Peles

The controversial Aircraft - Mangi blong Peles owned by controversial businessman Mangi Blong Paul - Mr Wartoto, is set to take the skies soon. Travel Air will be providing much needed competition starting Saturday the 10th of December 2011.

The routes are as follows:

Port Moresby to Hoskins
Port Moresby to Rabaul
... and
Port Moresby to Madang

For all you Christmas travelers who may be having trouble travelling to and from above centers, here is an alternative. I suppose that’s if you don’t mind how it was purchased at the first place using Public funds.

This blogger did not receive any payments from Mangi blong Paul and his Mangi blong Peles. I just thought the travelling Public should be made aware of a Travel alternative this busy holiday season.

The media’s role as an agents of Change

By Scott Waide

SAM_0121Oksapmin, 2002: Election year. I arrived at a school in the Tekin Valley after a 6 hour trek through the jungle. The rain had just ended when I began an interview with a local teacher. I was asking him about maternal and infant mortality rates and he mentioned in passing that the nearest health centre was a days walk from where we were. Two days for villages I had passed. For those in very remote villages, it was just too difficult for them. This teacher told me they had no proper record of the number of mothers and babies who had died that year or previous years. He gave me an educated guess. He said between 15 and 30 babies died in a year. So when a baby died just after birth, the father would take the tiny body to the back of the hut and bury him/her there. No one mourned for them. They were just nameless children who had not even seen their first birthday.

Nuku, 2002: I met a health worker in a small aid post. Half the concrete floor had collapsed. It had sunk about 15 centimetres into the ground. The medicine cabinet had only anti malarial tablets and liniment used for body aches. He told me a child had died about 24 hours ago of dehydration. By the time the child had been brought to the aid post, the health worker couldn’t insert a needle because the child’s veins had already collapsed. The father arrived minutes later and the health worker told him: If you want your son to live take him now and run to the health centre. To walk would have taken him six hours. He did make it to the government station. He had the health centre in sight. But the child had already died.

Port Moresby 2003: At the Airlines PNG hanger. I was taking pictures for a story on EMTV news. The story was about the aftermath of ethnic violence. In front of me were seven coffins bound for Goilala in the Central province. What caught my attention were two coffins - a large one in which lay a man and beside him was a smaller meter long coffin containing the body of his son. They had been hacked to death after being blamed for instigating trouble at a marketplace. Usually, I don’t try to think about these things. But when you’re doing the job, you find yourself thinking about it a lot. You try to understand the reasons behind why people kill others and in this case – an innocent child. I still have difficulty understanding the brutality and reasons behind that massacre.

Port Moresby, 2009: I met a landowner from the Moran Area in the Southern Highlands province. He’s been fighting for about three years for the government to recognize the legitimacy of his landowner group in the LNG project. He’s a young man in his early thirties. He isn’t as well educated as many of you in this room but he knows where is land boundaries are and he knows his land rights. He represents a group of dissatisfied men and women.


So what does the murder of seven Goilalas in Port Moresby’s Tete settlement have to do with maternal and infant mortality in remote Sandaun Province?

How does the story of a southern highlands landowner tie in with a child dying in his fathers arms minutes before reaching a health centre Nuku?

In Journalism school, they tell you to keep the big picture in mind whilst giving your story a human face. The stories that I’ve told you shows you the human face of the challenges and difficulties that confront ordinary Papua New Guineans. These stories are also the human face of the dissatisfaction felt through a cross section of society.

A few years ago, the Institute of National Affairs published a small article about the ethnic violence that happened in the Solomon Islands. It said ethnic violence…

“…was largely the result of imbalanced development …with portions of the population feeling alienated and aggrieved…”

“…they were missing out on opportunities… or had injustices done to them or had lost control over land and resources…”

‘…corruption and deals over natural resources contributed to that dissatisfaction…”

Somehow all this sounds very familiar. If I were a doctor, I’d say Papua New Guinea already has what appears to be the Solomon Islands Syndrome and we are in denial. We’ve taken the formula that created the disaster on Bougainville and we’re creating a more lethal recipe for nationwide self-destruction.


We as a nation have so many outstanding issues that we need to address. Yet we keep creating new problems for ourselves. We haven’t solved Ok Tedi’s environmental problems and yet we’ve allowed another foreign company to dump it’s waste into the Basamuk Bay. While dozens of teachers in Port Moresby and other major centres live in classrooms because of the lack of accommodation and high rentals, we give ourselves hefty increases in accommodation allowances and we say it’s justified.

Why does a father in remote Sandaun have to accept the death of his son when our leaders have access to the best doctors in a foreign country. Why do we buy a jet to be used by just a few when we don’t want to subsidize rural air transport for ordinary people?

We all have solutions to the ills of our society. For ethnic violence, we say send them back to where they came from. But send them back to what?

To a village that has no road access?

To schools that have no teachers?

To health centres that have no medicine?

It is sometimes difficult to understand why we choose to nurture dissatisfaction and anger amongst our people? In a sense, we are fortunate that the vast majority of Papua New Guineans do not draw the link between decision makers and poor service delivery. Maybe it’s because they’re too busy just trying to survive because of those bad decisions.

But I tell you this that void of ignorance is diminishing at a very rapid rate. Soon every Papua New Guinean with a mobile phone will know exactly what Waigani is doing though mobile internet access and they will have every right to be angry.


Each of us has a responsibility. Every person has the job of fixing this great country of ours.

If a teacher taught for eight hours a day, five days a week. Wouldn’t we have better educated people?

And if that one person in authority made sure medicine got from point A to point B, wouldn’t we have less people dying?

At almost every workshop or meeting where the role of the media is discussed, people keep saying “the media has an important role to play in development.” It has been said so many times that its become a cliché.

If you buy a paper, you see headlines like these…(newspaper) Turn on the radio at Midday and the NBC tells you what’s happening around the country.

We can write a hundred stories about illegal immigrants and human smuggling…

We can write about disappearing millions and investigations by the Public Accounts Committee…

But the media is good only if ordinary people and those in authority take the information that is supplied and act on it. If the systems and authorities don’t take steps to address the problems we expose, then our attempts amount to very little.