DOW - YWAM Medical Ships team-up to deliver healthcare to remote Papua New Guinea

Posted by PNG Today | September 29, 2016 | Posted in , ,

In honour of International Maritime Day, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) has teamed
up with YWAM Medical Ships to deliver healthcare and training to some of the most remote
villages in Papua New Guinea (PNG) via the medical ship MV YWAM PNG.

The MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers deliver immunisations, maternal health services,
dentistry procedures, eye care, and collegial support for rural health workers.
The MV YWAM PNG accommodates 100+ medical, marine and general volunteers and has an
onboard dentistry clinic, day procedure unit and laboratory. In addition to the services provided
aboard the vessel, the MV YWAM PNG acts as a mother ship, small patrol boats are launched
from the ship to reach even more remote areas.

Since the beginning of 2016, the MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers have treated over
30,000 patients, including a 17 year-old boy named Bray who had been blind for two years from
cataracts. After a 45 minute surgery aboard the MV YWAM PNG’s day procedure unit, Bray’s sight
was restored. Bray has now returned to school and is enjoying playing sport again.
Dow Chemical Regional President, Tony Frencham, said that Dow was helping to support the MV
YWAM PNG’s fresh water supply machinery.

“Dow is proud to be supporting the MV YWAM PNG as it provides modern medical assistance to
remote parts of Papua New Guinea,” said Mr Frencham.
Alan Chan, Asia Pacific Commercial Director at Dow Water and Process Solutions, explained:
"We donated DOW FILMTEC™ SW30-4040 membrane elements to enable the drinking water
treatment system on board the ship. Our industry-leading reverse osmosis elements desalinate
salty water and remove contaminants, making the water safe for consumption.”

The MV YWAM PNG is currently in her home port, Townsville Australia, where the vessel is
undergoing further renovations and maintenance before she returns to Papua New Guinea.
The MV YWAM PNG’s Captain, Captain Jeremy Schierer, said he was grateful for Dow’s support
as they prepare for their next voyage.
“With 100+ volunteers living and working on the MV YWAM PNG in challenging and difficult-toreach locations, our reverse osmosis water makers are critical pieces of machinery.
“The membranes provided by Dow allow us to keep the reverse osmosis plants operating at top
capacity – providing fresh water for our volunteers and clinics on board while working in some of
PNG’s most remote areas,” said Captain Schierer.

The MV YWAM PNG will set sail from Townsville next month for an 8-month outreach to isolated
villages along PNG’s southern coastline.
For more information or to donate toward YWAM Medical Ships vital work in PNG, visit

Photo: MV YWAM Medical Ship (Supplied)

Lakatoi set for Hiri Moale Festival

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The people of Pari today launched the famous and significant Hiri Lakatoi at Pari village in preparation for the the Festival this Friday.
This afternoon the Lakatoi sailed for Manubada Island where it will stay over and will set sail on Friday to Ela Beach for the Festival to begin.

Village Chief who took the building responsibility of the Lakatoi Chief Tau Legu took only a week to build the Lakatoi and he was very thankful for all those that were involved in the process to have it ready in a short period of time.

“The tradition of the Hiri Moale Festival, especially the Lakatoi is that, the Chief (Legu himself) will become the Captain to sail the big canoe and will be received by his wife and the contesting Queens (Hanenamos) at Ela Beach,” he said.

Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko in his remarks during the launching encouraged Motu-Koita people to maintain the Hiri Moale Festival.
He told the people that cultures and traditions are our identity and it is very important that it is preserved and maintained and not forgotten.
The Member assured the Motu-Koita people that his office will continue to support this significant event in the years to come and he is looking forward to the main event this Friday when Motu-Koita people will get together to celebrate.
The Hiri Lakatoi is the traditional sailing craft that the ancestors of the Motu-Koita people used to sail to Kerema in the Gulf Province to trade clay pots and arm shells for sago and the other garden foods and bring back for the families to eat with their fish.

Source:  By By Benbert WASA : PNGFM

Papua New Guinea Lauded for Reforms to deal with Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris has congratulated the Prime Minister,  Peter O’Neill for action taken through the Government’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
The National Executive Council has now taken note of the endorsement of the Government’s actions by the FATF, the inter-governmental body that sets standards and monitors threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
PM O’Neill welcomed the decision by the FATF to remove Papua New Guinea from the list of countries that are monitored by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).
“Papua New Guinea is committed to laying our part in preventing the misuse of financial systems by criminal elements,” the Prime Minister said.
“When the the FATF assessed the country's financial system in 2010 a series of serious deficiencies were identified in our Government’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combat the Financing of Terrorism regime.
“As a consequence our financial system was then subjected to a series of enhanced reviews and stringent reporting requirements.
“The reputation of Papua New Guinea was further undermined in the global financial community.
“Our Government has worked tirelessly to address and remove the deficiencies, and now the international community has been made aware that we meet global standards.
“Papua New Guinea will continue to work with the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism to prevent criminal activities from occurring in our country and around the region.
“I thank the FATF and the ICRG for the work they have carried out to asses and subsequently acknowledge the steps taken by Papua New Guinea to prevent criminal activities the financial system.”
Following the visit and reporting by the ICRG Group when the visited Papua New Guinea in April, the President of the FATF, Mr. Je-Yoon Shin, stated the following in correspondence with the Prime Minister:
The FATF welcomed the significant actions by Papua New Guinea to address the strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime, including by:
- Adequately criminalizing money laundering and terrorist financing;
- Establishing adequate procedures for the confiscation of assets related to money laundering;
- Establishing and implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying, tracing and freezing terrorist assets;
- Establishing a fully operational and effectively functioning financial intelligence unit;
- Establishing suspicious transaction reporting requirements;
- Implementing an adequate AML/CFT supervisory and oversight program for all financial sectors; and,
- Establishing effective controls for cross-border currency transactions.

Police in Samoa tackle cyber bullying, social media defamation

Posted by PNG Today | September 28, 2016 | Posted in

Samoa’s Ministry of Police is cracking down on cyber bullying and defamation on social media.

At the same time the ministry is increasing awareness about offences and penalties in cybercrime law through its Cyber Safety Programme.

Police Spokesperson Su’a Le Mamea Tiumalu told Loop Samoa that many perpetrators and victims of cybercrimes are unaware of the law.

“The Cyber Safety Act 2013 clearly states that any use of an electronic device to defame, hurt, attack or even impersonate another person is against the law and they each have their own respective punishments,” said Su’a.

He made the comment in light of the increase in reports of cybercrimes like cyber bullying.

“Attacking someone on social media with words or videos and even pictures is a violation of their rights and the punishment is no longer than 5 years jail time. As for impersonating a person on line or defaming a person online, not more than seven years in prison,” said Su’a.

Police have linked recent brawls in downtown Apia to the irresponsible use of social media and they have warned the public especially youth that they won’t hesitate to apply the law where necessary.

“The law is the law and if a young boy or girl decides to throw around insulting comments or defaming someone using any electronic device whether through social media or even in direct texting or calling, they can be charged for an offense,” Su’a said.

“There are certain parts of the law that decide the suitable punishment if the perpetrator is below 17 years old,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Communications Information Technology’s Afamasaga Rico Tupai has indicated plans to ban pornographic websites in Samoa.

Loop Samoa

Solomon Islands reiterates its right to bring claims of human rights abuses in West Papua to the UN

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In response to Indonesia, Solomon Islands insisted its right and that of six other Pacific Island countries to bring claims of human rights abuses in West Papua to the United Nations, in an attempt to find a solution to the 50 year old problem.

Rex Horoi, Solomon Islands special envoy on West Papua in his reply told the UN General Assembly that more than 500,000 Melanesians in West Papua have been killed in the last 50 years.

“Solomon Island has received reports from respectable sources including fellow UN member states and moral leaders from civil societies illustrating a lack of protection of human rights of Melanesian people of West Papua.

“Our concern has to do with the increasing loss of lives at the hand of Indonesian authorities. We may argue that mistakes are made and that lives are lost as a consequence, but how can we as members of this august body, defender of human rights and the body of reference in ethical and moral values turn a blind eye to the deaths of more than 500,000 West Papuans over the course of the last 50 years, said Horoi.

He challenged Indonesia to ‘substantiate its allegations that Solomon Islands and five Pacific countries have used false and fabricated information by allowing UN Special Rapporteur mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to visit West Papua and Papua.’

Horoi, who was former Solomon Islands Permanent Representative to the UN, said Pacific Island nations through their regional and sub-regional groupings have, over the past 20 years called for dialogue with Indonesia to discuss human rights violations in West Papua.

“In fact over the last 18 months, the regional and sub-regional bodies have made three attempts to have constructive engagements with Indonesia.

Horoi emphasised the commitments of Solomon Islands and the five Pacific states – Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu – will not be dampened by Indonesia’s non-committal response.

“The lack of will from Indonesia will not dampen the commitment of Solomon Islands together with six other Pacific Island Countries to pursue dialogue and constructive engagement as the only means to resolving this matter. We understand that through constructive engagement and dialogue we can realise the Articles of the UN Charter and the subsequent international human rights conventions that Indonesia has ratified, said the Solomon Islands special envoy on West Papua.

Replying to Indonesia’s call for Pacific states to stick to their concerns of the impacts of climate change, Horoi admitted while those development challenges were real for Pacific countries – the human rights abuses in West Papua required an equal and urgent attention of the United Nations family of nations to resolve.

“We raised these challenges here because we realised that neither us nor Indonesia can address these challenges alone. We are of the position that these matters need to be brought to the attention of the body of the UN.

“It needs to be done urgently as lives have been lost with all impunity. All lives matter and West Papuan lives matter.

Solomon Islands, Horoi said is willing to engage with Indonesia on the matter of West Papua.

“In fact our Pacific regional and sub-regional bodies have indicated their willingness to discuss this matter with Indonesia as we are all concerned with the increasing loss of lives in West Papua. We can together as a family of national must address the human rights violations and the loss of lives in West Papua.

Horoi said his country cannot accept the argument of sovereignty and integrity of any country and watch these atrocities take place.

“It is our moral and ethical duty as member states to bring this unfortunate reality so that we together can find a way to stop the loss of lives and protect the rights of all human beings, be it in West Papua or any other country in the world, said Horoi.


Australia and New Zealand should follow France example: Vanuatu Opposition

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Vanuatu’s Opposition bloc has expressed its appreciation to the French Government for the decision it has taken in permitting Vanuatu passport holders to travel to New Caledonia, France and French Polynesia without prior visa application and approval requirements.

“The Office of the Opposition expressed its highest appreciation to the French Government in its recognition for Vanuatu citizens to travel to New Caledonia and Tahiti without prior visa application requirements and approval before travelling.

“Also the Opposition appreciates and salutes the French Government as representing the European Union here to open up the same travel arrangements avenue to the European countries (Schengen areas), the Opposition statement read.

“The Opposition wishes to question Australia High Commission and the New Zealand High Commission if they could consider the example set by French Government to the people of Vanuatu and see if they can open up their boarders in the same way the French Government has done for the people of Vanuatu to grant the Ni-Vanuatu citizens the same privilege,” the Opposition asked.

“Australia and New Zealand persist in asking Vanuatu to sign the Pacer–Plus (Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations) and if Australia and New Zealand seek such a closer economic relations, then please open your boarders to grant visa exemptions to the Vanuatu citizens to Australia and New Zealand,” the Opposition asks in a statement.

“The Office of the Opposition also calls on the Vanuatu Government to pursue this issue with Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible,” the statement was signed by the Opposition Leader, Ishmael Kalsakau.


PNG eyes more Fiji trade, Ox & Palm trade war expected to be resolved soon

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , , ,

Papua New Guinea is determined to have more trade missions with Fiji, says Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru.

Maru was commenting on the recent impasse between the two sister countries, stating that the issue was a thing of the past and needs to be solved so that both countries can look forward to signing the Melanesian Spearhead Group trade agreement number three.

“We are determined to have more of your trade missions and we would like to bring our products to the Bula country, and this dialogue over the next few days is very important to us as well, and I want to assure you every support of our government and team and we look forward to the positive conclusion and the outcome that we all desire as we want free trade in the MSG area.

“So we’re very proud of this agreement and the way it’s going, because the most important thing with the MSG trade agreement number three is that it will not only cover the trading of goods however the next one will cover services and labour mobility so that Papua New Guineans can be able to go work in Fiji and vice versa.”

Maru said the issues have never been included in the previous trade agreements, therefore the Government aims to conclude that by this Christmas so that they can sign off before the elections.

He said the trade agreement has been negotiated for the past four years, so if the issue of trade impasse concludes between Fiji and PNG the four countries represented under MSG can be able to finalise bigger agreement which will have a big impact for all four countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, the row over the export of PNG’s Ox & Palm bully beef to Fiji is expected to be resolved this week between the two countries now holding trade talks in Port Moresby.

A team of four from Fiji’s ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and Biosecurity Authority arrived in Port Moresby last Saturday for talks to iron out differences this week. The Fijian delegation included Fiji Trade Commissioner to PNG Navitalai Tiuvuniwai, chief veterinarian Dr Sian Watson, chief plant protection officer Nilesh Ami Chand and team leader, trade facilitation and compliance Ronal Prasad.

The PNG delegation includes officials from the Department of Trade Commerce and Industry, Department of the PM and NEC, NAQIA, NISIT, Department of Justice and Attorney General, PNG high Commissioner to Fiji Lucy Bogari, DAL and DOE.

The 12-year impasse is expected to be a main agenda after having prominently featured by Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru in a war of words with Fiji over the last couple of months over biosecurity fears.

Maru in welcoming the Fiji delegation said the issue of Ox and Palm is an old one for the two countries for over 12 years without proper dialogue and is hoping the three day meet will help to solve the issue.

Maru said he is expecting full co-operation from both teams to solve these issues and hopes the Fiji team can be able to tell PNG what is wrong with its products.

“It is my hope that we will work together as Melanesian friends and wantoks over the next three days so that we can resolve our very issue,” he said. and get stuck on the big MSG trade agreement number three which is a really big thing we want to get done this year.

“I will do whatever it takes on my part to pull in all the information you require from the companies concerned so you can complete the task that has been given to you and it is our expectation and our hope that this so called impasse will be a thing of the past and we can move on. “The PNG government is very keen to complete the MSG 3 as we don’t want this small impasse to be a blockade or hindrance to a greater step we need to take as the sub regional trading block,” he said.


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