Polye says fire risk a threat to investment

Posted by PNG Today | November 27, 2015 | Posted in ,

PORT MORESBY: Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye says concerted efforts should be taken by all stakeholders to address fire hazards in the country as it portrays threats for investors.
He said and that the government should take the lead with adequate funding.
Mr Polye’s statement has stemmed from a wave of fire destroying properties worth millions of Kina nationwide in a space of over 24 months with TST Group of companies’ shop in Port Moresby being the latest.
He has challenged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to adequately fund PNG Fire services as fire risks are a threat to the investment portfolio of the country.
He said with fire risks at hand, downgrading of PNG’s B+ to negative B in the business climate index only makes the situation worse.
“Giving deaf ears or blind eyes to such an important area is a behaviour of an irresponsible government.
“When the Prime Minister is not serious about addressing the capacity issues of the fire services and other related agencies, why giving false hope to the potential investors at several forums he attends overseas,” said Mr Polye.
He has urged the Prime Minister and his Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele to immediately release the funds still owed to the fire services.
“When I was debating on the 2015 Budget, I did say there was a need for annual unforeseen disasters and the Prime Minister and his ministers responsible were laughing away.
“Time has only proven me right and the government was running all over the place in search for funds to manage the dry spell in the country,” said Mr Polye.
Mr Polye said when the Opposition was in power, they would strip off the office of National Disasters from the Department of Inter-government relations and established a separate entity called National Emergency and Disasters Mitigation Council.
He said the council would be responsible for natural disasters, fires, explosions, disease outbreaks, global warming related disasters and other unexpected emergencies of similar nature.
“When we are in government, we will ensure departments and state agencies responsible for fire, disease outbreaks and other natural disasters are well funded with improved capacity,” he said.

Police and Army clash in Port Moresby

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The PNGDF and the police were at it again, this time an attack staged by soldiers on police at Manu Auto Port service station this morning in retaliation to a shooting incident last night.
The Army’s Chief of Staff, Col. Mark Goina, said the incident last night saw one of their soldiers shot by police while in a car that was suspected to be stolen. The driver of that vehicle, a civilian, was shot dead while the soldier was allegedly bashed up by police after being shot; he is now in a critical condition at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
The Army’s hierarchies held talks with the police hierarchies to resolve this matter quickly,bring normalcy to the city.
Shops, banks and even some schools were closed due to fears of riot by the some members of the pubic who were taking advantage of the situation to attack people and break into shops.

Mt Hagen City to get International Flights

Posted by PNG Today | November 26, 2015 | Posted in , ,

The city of Mt Hagen in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea  will start receiving international flights next year, utilising the K68 million Kagamuga International Airport Terminal, the country's  Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has said.
He said this in front of a huge crowd at Kagamuga yesterday when opening the new 1200 square metre facility.
“The first flight will be from Mt Hagen to Jayapura in Indonesia and back,” O’Neill said.
“We are also starting discussions on having flights from Australia land here so that our people will not have to go to Port Moresby to catch flights overseas.
“This is something that will serve the people of our country.”
O’Neill said Kagamuga would continue to serve the people of the Highlands.
“The next stage of this airport development is that we will extend the runway at Kagamuga,” he said.
“I appeal to landowners to work with us on this extension so that big planes can land here.”
O’Neill said Kagamuga marked the beginning of airport extension, including Kokopo, Lae, and Port Moresby, as well as others in the country.
“I thank the landowners for allowing this project to go ahead,” he said.
“Two years ago, we came here and launched this project, and I’m happy to be back here again to open it for all of you.”
Work on the project, which was 82 per cent funded by the Asian Development and 18 per cent by the Government for the National Airports Corporation, began on July 2, 2013, and was completed on the target date of Oct 1 this year.
Apart from the terminal building, there has been car park extension, water supply and sewage system, and a tractor shed.
Work has included pavement repairs, strengthening of existing aircraft pavements, runway extension, construction of full strength shoulders to existing runway, widening of existing taxiway, widening of apron, construction of apron shoulders, new GA apron, temporary taxiway, construction of runway end safety areas, widening runway strip to 150m and apron flood lights.
Associated works included supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of two standby generators.
COVEC has also completed the K68 million new-look Hoskins Airport in West New Britain and has been awarded a further contract for Goroka Airport in Eastern Highlands.

Divine Word University moves to online learning starting 2016

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Divine Word University (DWU) will offer its programs online alongside the traditional classroom teaching and learning mode starting next year.

DWU President Fr Jan Czuba said this was a strategic move by the University to cater for the growing number of school leavers that the institutions of higher learning (IHL) in Papua New Guinea, which includes the six universities, cannot accommodate.

He was speaking to staff in the Madang campus last week during the end-of-academic year review session.

Fr Czuba said something has to be done about the growing numbers of school leavers and online learning is DWU’s contribution towards addressing this socio-economic challenge.

He said there were over 20,000 Grade 12 leavers coming out of the secondary schools nationwide and the number keeps growing each year while space in tertiary institutions remains stagnant and they can only cater for about 7000 school leavers.

Fr Czuba said “DWU has a moral duty to make university education more accessible to our people and online learning is the way to achieve it.”

“It is impossible for us to build more and more classrooms and other infrastructures and hire more lecturers as we have limited land space and not enough qualified senior lecturers and professors,” Fr Czuba said.

 “Therefore online learning is the way forward to bring university education to as many of our people using modern technology that is available,” he said.

“Our country also has a serious reputation problem overseas with constant reports of crime and lawlessness and professors from other countries are not prepared to come and teach here.”

“But through online teaching, professors from overseas can remain in their countries and teach online and help our students.”

Fr Cuba said: “Students who will study at DWU will receive DWU degrees and certificates from the best universities that they successfully complete some units with.

“This will enhance the possibility of the students to obtain a good job.

“DWU graduates will have the necessary competencies and skills to further advance their studies at different universities during their lifetime.  This is an additional unique contribution we make to the development of our students”.

He said DWU is already using information and communication technology to enhance the teaching and learning environment and online learning builds on from what has worked well.

DWU staff already present lecture notes and assignments and tests online which complement their classroom teaching and interaction with students.

Earlier this month, DWU offered its second semester exams online to all its undergraduate students at the Madang campus for the first time and this went well without any major setback.

Fr Czuba called on deans of faculties and their staff to take online teaching and learning seriously and prepare to offer their programs online next year and onwards.

He said: “DWU Community aspires towards a seamless integration of existing information and learning systems so will seek ways to support coordinated University-wide strategic management of both data and systems and providers that impact the student learning experience.

“We will continue to develop a comprehensive and coherent approach towards electronic tools and resources that support learning and teaching. For student-focused systems, this will include the development of the DWU eLearning Environment (DWUeLE) and for staff-focused systems the DWU eWorking Environment (DWUeWE).”

Fr Czuba said: “We are the University, thus we will explore new opportunities to enhance the supporting infrastructure for independent and classroom-based learning to ensure that it is fit for purpose, specifically, in the area of mobile learning.”

He said the university is doing everything possible to offer training and put in place the ICT infrastructure required for online learning to take place and staff must make use of the great opportunity for the future of the Papua New Guinea.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to meet with President Obama and leaders of threatened Island nations

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Papua New Guinea Prime Minsiter Peter O'Neill will meet United President Barrack Obama and  the leaders of four small island nations facing the threat of destruction by climate change. The meeting comes following the intervention made by Prime Minister O’Neill, at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Manila last week, and subsequent discussion with President Obama at the conclusion of the meeting over his concerns at the threat faced by small island nations. “At APEC I highlighted the fact that there are Pacific island nations that are at risk of being destroyed as a consequence of climate change,” PM O’Neill said. “These nations will no longer existing as countries in the space of our own lifetimes if action is not taken on climate change now. “If no action is taken, these proud nations with their rich culture and traditions, will become uninhabitable and abandoned. “President Obama shares our concern for the survival of threatened communities and we will meet again following the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris next week. “The meeting will be attended by the Leaders from Kiribati and the Marshall Islands from the Pacific, as well as leaders from other threatened island nations, the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean and St. Lucia and Barbados in the Caribbean.” PM O’Neill said he appreciates the support of President Obama in dealing with the challenges faced by Pacific Island Nations and other countries in a similar situation around the world. “Rising sea levels and extreme weather brought about by climate change was not caused by small island nations, but they are being destroyed because of it. “As Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, I would like to express my appreciation for the concern shown by President Obama for our Pacific island nations, and for people in countries around the world facing the same threat. “When we meet at the UN climate change conference next week, likeminded countries will be seeking a binding agreement for action to deal with climate change. “We will also be seeking a commitment from larger nations to help the smaller countries most at risk from climate change to protect their communities and their ways of life.” The United Nations Convention Climate Change, the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21), will open in Paris on 30 November. Prime Minister O’Neill’s meeting with President Obama and island leaders is scheduled to take place on 1 December.

Russian pilot: No warning from Turks

Posted by PNG Today | November 25, 2015 | Posted in

The surviving pilot of a Russian plane shot down by Turkey on the Syrian border has said no warning was given.

Capt Konstantin Murakhtin told Russian television there was "no way" the jet could have violated Turkish airspace, as Turkey said it did.

Russia said Capt Murakhtin was rescued in a 12-hour operation involving special forces.

Turkey insists the pilots were warned 10 times before the plane was shot down.

It is not clear what happened to the body of his co-pilot, who was killed by gunfire as he parachuted from the burning plane.

Capt Murakhtin was speaking from the Hmeymim airbase, where Russia's aircraft have been based in its Syrian campaign, and where he was taken after being rescued.

He said he knew the region he had been flying in "very well" and that the jet had not been in Turkish airspace "even for a second".

He added he wanted to go back to duty and stay at the airbase, saying "someone has to pay" for the death of the other pilot, Lt Col Oleg Peshkov.

Tensions have escalated between the two countries over the incident, and Russia has broken off military contacts with Turkey. The US, the EU and the UN have all appealed for calm.

President Putin has described the downing of the plane as a "stab in the back", and warned of serious consequences.

His Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the incident was a "planned provocation" but Russia did not want to wage war over the shooting, Reuters reports.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended the action, saying "everyone must respect the right of Turkey to protect its borders". He has said he does not want to escalate tensions further.

Turkey is a member of Nato. The alliance has backed Turkey's version of events, although it, too, is calling for "diplomacy and de-escalation" to resolve the situation.

Russian defence officials say the plane never entered Turkish territory, and that Turkish pilots made no attempt to communicate with the Russians before they fired.

An American military spokesman in Baghdad, Col Steve Warren, told reporters that recorded communication between Turkish and Russian pilots showed that the Turks warned the Russian plane 10 times before shooting it down.

Turkish media have shared an audio recording of what purports to be one of the warnings, with a Turkish radar station telling the jet it is approaching Turkish airspace and that it should change course.

The recording has not been confirmed as genuine by Turkish authorities.

Russia has announced fighter jets will now escort its bombers during air strikes over Syria, and Moscow is sending out its most advanced anti-aircraft missile system, the S-400.

Russia and Turkey have found themselves on opposing sides in Syria's conflict, with Russia supporting President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey is a staunch critic.
Radio New Zealand

Emails reveal assassination plot to kill all members of Fijian government

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Email correspondences between some local and overseas anti-government elements – on plans to assassinate members of Fijian government have emerged.

The emails were found on a computer by the owner of an internet shop in Lautoka after a customer left their email open.

One of the e-mails obtained by FBC News – dated 28 August, 2015 reveal an assassination plot of all government MP’s.

The actual dates of when the attacks are to take place are coded as well as the names of people and places involved.

The email says someone – code named -149125198 – would arrange for disciplined officers, while the recipient of the email – would arrange for the man power to carry out the attack.

It says the attack should take place during a Parliamentary sitting and the Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should be present at the time.

It gives clear orders to “Shoot all members" and also to shoot an opposition member code named 2913114.

The email adds, that "all should be dead.”

Another email – titled ’ Change of Plan’ reveals that an earlier plan – devised to take place in September did not eventuate.

It also claims that some police and military are on the side of the plotters.

Meanwhile the police commissioner has stopped making comments on this issue while police from suva and military investigate this matter.

Rajneel Singh – the owner of the internet shop is still recovering in hospital after police turned on him when he reported the emails.


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