|Prime Minister O'neill greeting students and staff|
Graduating students from Ialibu Secondary School in Southern Highlands Province thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for implementing his Government’s ‘free education’ initiative throughout Papua New Guinea. Speaking during the school’s 14th graduation ceremony in Ialibu, the Students Representative Council President, Augustine Rawae, said thanks to the ‘free education policy’ there are a large number of students graduating. “On behalf of my fellow students and our parents, I express our heartfelt gratitude and salute you for realising this basic need. Our parents have for too long struggled to make ends meet just so that we can be educated,” Mr Rawae said.
He spoke of how parents had to make numerous gardens each year to sell their harvests and to raise pigs for sale at the market to pay school fees. “Now they have been relieved off this burden and their lives have been made easier. “If previous Governments had the heart for their people, they would have implemented this policy many years ago and saved our parents the hardship. Unfortunately, they sat back and watched us suffer till the O’Neill-led Government came along and saved us,” Rawae said.
He said this policy has since been an answer to every parent’s prayer.“Your appointment as Prime Minister was certainly, without doubt, divine intervention,” he added. After his speech, Mr Rawae presented a huge pig to the Prime Minister as a sign of gratitude for his Government’s assistance.
Posted by Niugini Nius | December 11, 2013 | Posted in International News
|The body of Nelson Mandela arrived at Pretoria's Union Buildings|
The body of Nelson Mandela is due to be taken in procession to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where it will lie in state for three days.
Each morning his remains will be transported across the city in a glass casket.
People have been encouraged to line the route and form a "guard of honour".
The public, as well as invited heads of state and international guests, will be able to view Mandela's body at the Union Buildings.
The former South African president died last Thursday, aged 95.
The country is observing a series of commemorations leading up to the funeral, which is being held in his home village of Qunu(Kunu) in Eastern Cape province on Sunday.
Tens of thousands of South Africans joined scores of world leaders for a national memorial service on Monday.
|Pato satisfied with outcome of ministerial meeting. Image Souce PNC/Getty|
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato today expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the PNG – Australia Ministerial Forum held in Canberra. Minister Pato said the agreement between the two Governments, outlined in the Communique signed, delivered a new outlook in the relationship between the two countries. “The new focus in our economic and development cooperation, as outlined, only serves to strengthen our existing relationship,” Minister Pato said. He said PNG’s economy was one of the fastest growing economy in the world. He said there was increased spending by the government on key areas like infrastructure development, education and health, and law and order.
“The Australian Government is now aligning their annual aid with our development priorities in these key areas, and I’m very pleased and excited. In fact these are exciting time for all of us (both Australia and PNG),” Pato said. “Focusing resources in these priority areas will ensure we get the outcome we want.” Minister Pato and his Australian counterpart jointly addressed the media in Canberra after signing the Communique.
The upgrade of the Madang-Ramu Highway, Angau Hospital redevelopment, building a lower court house in Waigani, and upgrading facilities at the University of PNG are initial projects agreed to by both Governments.
Foreign Minister Bishop also announced she would visit PNG early next year, possibly February.
Some of agreements in the Communiqué include;
- Australia supporting PNG’s hosting of the APEC summit in 2018;
- Australia supporting ongoing implementation of Bougainville Peace Agreement;
- Both sides committed to work together maximize take-ups for Seasonal Workers Program;
- Both sides to continue to work on streamlining visa arrangement to make it easier for PNG citizens to travel to Australia;
- Continue the Defence and Police Cooperation, with 50 Australian Federal Police personnels now deployed in PNG;
- Australian Government fully supporting the Anti Corruption efforts of the PNG Government;
- Australian Government supporting PNG Government’s efforts in improving the procurement process.
Minister Pato said PNG will continue to work with Australia in addressing human trafficking issues, and expressed satisfaction that the Manus Asylum Processing Centre was working well, in line with laws and standard expected of such a facility.
THE country’s youngest politician, Ezekiel Anisi, is back in Parliament after reclaiming his Ambunti-Dreikikir Open seat in a by-election.
Anisi, who turned 25 on September 1, was declared the member-elect on Sunday by returning officer Kila Ralai in Maprik after the 14th exclusion that saw former MP and National Alliance candidate, Tony Aimo fall out of the race.
Anisi, the People’s National Congress candidate, polled 11,200 votes to beat his nearest rival and United Resource Party candidate Johnson Wapunai, who received 8,758 votes.
Anisi first contested the general election last year when he won by 8,141 votes.
But his election was nullified by the Supreme Court because he was not 25 years old at the time, the minimum age for a general election candidate.
Sixteen candidates contested the by-election that Ralai described “as very peaceful and without regular police presence during polling”.
Speaking at his Wewak home yesterday, an elated Anisi thanked the electoral commission, police for providing security during the counting and supporters of all candidates for delivering a peaceful election.
“I would like to acknowledge Yangoru-Saussia MP and Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Richard Maru, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the PNC Party for their support.
“As you all know, Ambunti-Dreikikir is the least developed district in East Sepik but I am confident we will see some changes in the next three years I will be in office,” Anisi said.
He said the people had spoken through the secret ballot and he would work with O’Neill to bring changes that people had not seen for the past 40 years.
Whitehaven have swooped to sign Papua New Guinea second-rower Larsen Marabe.
Marabe, a PNG team-mate of current Haven star Jesse Joe Parker, has signed subject to receiving visa clearance but the club aren’t expecting a problem and it should be sorted out this week. The international duo will arrive in Cumbria towards the end of January.
Meanwhile, Haven will play a St Helens Select team at the Recre on Sunday, February 9.
And chief executive Barry Richardson is expecting their team to include several players from the first-team squad.“The arrangement has been made on the back of our relationship with the club last season,” explained Richardson.
Adam Swift played several games with Haven last season before returning to the Super League outfit and establishing himself in the starting line-up. And Saints Jordan hand and Anthony Walker also played in the Haven ranks.
“We would much prefer loan deals than duel-registration player,” explained Richardson. “And we will definitely be getting a player on loan for the full season, as well as others as required on a month-by-month basis.”
And Haven have also arranged a dinner on Saturday, March 29 in Whitehaven, and Richardson added: “It’s going to be a great night and we’re hoping that St Helens bring some of their star players up to meet our fans.”
Source: News & Star
|PNG Health Minister Michael Malabag .|
PAPUA New Guineans will receive free healthcare when the Government’s new policy comes into effect on Feb 24.
Health Minister Michael Malabag officially declared the implementation of the Free Primary Health Care and Subsidised Specialist Services Policy in Port Moresby last Friday.
The implementation of the policy comes in two phases in the following areas;
- Phase one involves the implementation at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4, which are rural health facilities (aid post, sub health centre, health centre, community health post) run by churches and the Government, and,
- Phase two involves the implementation of the policy at the public or provincial hospitals, which are level 5 to 7 health facilities, including provincial hospitals and referral hospitals.
“Hospitals will continue to charge user fees, however the level of fees charged have been either reduced or removed,” Malabag said.
“Fees for some services have been reduced by 50%, while fees for services that are complex and expensive in nature will marginally be reduced.”
Malabag said those amendments were additional to the exemption category under the Public Hospital Charges Regulation.
The government has allocated K20 million towards the implementation of the policy of which;
K6.1 million will go to the provinces for the government run health facilities, and,
K13.9 million to the Health Department under Division 241, Hospital Management Services and is further broken down to K9 million for public hospitals and K4.9 million for Christian Health Services’ facilities.
“To make up the loss of future revenue from user fees, the government has committed to appropriate K20 million on an annual basis over the next four years to support the implementation of the policy,” he said.
Malabag called on all hospital chief executive officers, provincial health advisers, provincial governments and the Finance and Treasury Department to ensure that the policy was implemented throughout the country.
He said the policy was one of the pillars to improve service delivery and accessibility to the people.
“The O’Neill Government’s Alotau Accord for a Government of reconciliation, unity and hope announced this policy while maintaining the commitment to the people for affordable health care,” he said.
The National / PNG Today
|Ecuador's Foreign Minister shows a hidden spy microphone . AFP|
According to Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian surveillance executive whose firm was contracted by several clients to sweep for hidden mobile interceptors and other spying devices in Australia and Asia has found dozens of them.
Les Goldsmith, chief executive of ESD Group, told Fairfax Media his company found about 20 physical bugs when conducting sweeps in Australian business and local government offices, and another 68 in Asia between 2005 and 2011.
The firm found 47 bugs in Papua New Guinea, ten in Singapore, three in the Philippines, five in Thailand, two in India and one in Fiji in several searches.
"All governments are falling victim to surveillance and some governments are falling victim to it but not saying anything," he said.
Mr Goldsmith no longer conducts sweeps, saying he grew tired of crawling through roofs with his team and sleeping on client’s premises.
He declined to say whether Australian agencies were responsible for any of the bugs found.
"Australia might be conducting spying operations but, from what we’ve seen, many other governments are doing spying operations across Asia as well and the majority of those operations are for economic reasons, not for criminal. It’s not about national security," he said.
Devices with microphones and/or hidden cameras were usually found in power points, telephone outlets, lighting fixtures, inside doors, walls and furniture such as in couches, keyboards, computer mice, clocks and in lamps.