PNG government is proceeding with cancellation of Indonesian fugitive passport, says PM O'Neill

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Papua New Guinea  is taking steps to revoke the PNG passport and APEC card of controversial Indonesian businessman Joko Tjandra aka Joe Chan that was issued illegally by PNG authorities.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament Tuesday that people involved in facilitating the processing of his passport would also be disciplined, removed from the public service and face criminal charges.

PM O’Neill was responding to questions from Northern Governor Gary Juffa who made reference to an Ombudsman Commission report that was tabled in Parliament in the last sitting naming public servants and politicians who facilitated the illegal issuance of the PNG passport.

“When this person of interest came to PNG illegally and was accommodated illegally and was doing business illegally, we have a report here produced by the Ombudsman Commission and given to us on the matter of Joko Tjandra who is listed on the Interpol website as a wanted fugitive,” Juffa said.

He said according to the Ombudsman report, the Department of Migration and Department of Police had facilitated the unlawful issuing of a PNG passport under the name of Joe Chen under a different birth date of 27-09-1963, against a Joko Tjandra that entered the country with a passport that listed his birth date as 27-08-1951.

“An APEC card was also issued under the name Joe Chan whereby Joe Chen’s passport has been falsely obtained. A number of people were involved, public servants and ex-members of Parliament, they are all named in this report.”

Juffa asked the PM what steps were being taken to ensure this did not happen again, whereby a person comes into the country, who is a fugitive, and obtains a passport illegally and then he is given an APEC card.

He asked what would happen to the people who committed the crime.

“Are they going to continue working with the Migration and Police? And where is Joko Tjandra now?

O’Neill said the government had taken note of the Ombudsman report and is proceeding to taking steps including the cancellation of the passport and the APEC card.

“Let me say that our processes are there. It is the people who are implementing the approval process that have abused the process,” O’Neill said.

“I can assure you that those people who have been named, I have given instructions that they will be disciplined. They will be removed from public service and if there are criminal charges that need to be laid, it’s up to the police to determine what sort of charges that will be laid and they will be dealt with,” he said.


Kids fly free on Air Kiribati

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Air Kiribati CEO, Tarataake Teannaki, has announced that Air Kiribati has launched its new fare promotion “Kids Fly Free” on its international air services to Funafuti and Honiara.

The promotion allows a paying adult to have one child between the ages of 2 and 11 to accompany them free of charge (taxes are applicable) and is valid for travel from Tarawa between 01 August and 27 September with the return valid until 31st December.

“We are very excited to launch this new initiative,” Teannaki said.

For a family travelling with children the cost saving will be in hundreds of dollars’, Teannaki said.

“We have said it many times, but since Air Kiribati launched its international services we have been committed to reducing the cost of air fares in and out of Kiribati, and this is another step in our efforts to bring affordable air travel to the people of Kiribati’.

This is the second ticket promotion in 2018 after the successful Buy 1 Get 1 free campaign which ends at the end of July.


Meninga wants Kangaroos-Tonga Test match

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Mal Meninga. Picture: KANIVA TONGA NEWS
SYDNEY, 16 JULY 2108 (AAP) – Mal Meninga doesn’t care where the Australia-Tonga rugby league Test is played, he just wants it to happen.

The Kangaroos coach is confident the historic match, which would see Cronulla star Andrew Fifita face off with his former national teammates, will go ahead later in the year.

Meninga suggested the game could be staged in New Zealand following the Kangaroos’ Test with the Kiwis in Auckland on October 13.

“I think everyone wants it to happen,” Meninga said in Canberra on Friday.

“It hasn’t been budgeted for within the game’s financials so they’re working through all options at the moment, what venues they are.

“But I’d hazard a guess, it’s definitely on, it’s just where.”

“There’s been talk about staying over after the NZ Test and playing Tonga over there, but the appetite for it is good.”

Suncorp Stadium looms as the most likely venue, but Meninga also floated Sydney and Melbourne as potential hosts.

Tonga are desperate for their first shot against the Kangaroos and they boosted their chances by defeating Samoa in front of almost 18,000 people at Sydney’s Campbelltown Stadium in June.

Fifita has been joined in the Tongan team by North Queensland star Jason Taumaolo.

The Sharks forward said that Tonga was ready to take on Australia.

“It’d be a massive game if we can get it on,” Fifita told AAP in June.

“Looking at last year I went and played for Australia and there was barely anyone in the crowd for Australia and New Zealand down in Canberra.

“Then I came here (to the Pacific Test at Campbelltown) and it was a full house.” PacNews

Polye backs Governement's move on Autonomy for Provinces but warns of abuse of powers

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Add caption
Giving autonomy to provinces is the right Approach! The government has decided well in my view!

On the issue of the type of autonomy, I think the Government has made the right decision in principle by giving political, administrative and financial autonomy to the three as a pilot case to improve this kind of governance and can be extended to others in the country over time!

In principle, I believe the decision is correct!

The execution and operation of this principle of autonomy is the next issue that needs to be crafted out.

Let's support this move by government and discuss as to how we can contribute making autonomy work better than the current system of governance.

Of course, the Bougainville's autonomy, I think, is absolutely different to that of the three provinces. However, the challenges we have seen in the implementation of the Autonomy in Bougainville could be the common issues for them. Its the implementation, I also think, PNG Think Tank and others should be focussed on in its deliberations to make some input to government and other authorities.

I also believe that some seed capitals should be made available to those provinces to start an economic investment program to begin a process of socio-economic sustainability.

The financial assistance should be staged out over a period suitable for full autonomy. The money could be lent or given as grant and exgracia, but the focus of the autonomy needs to become economic self-reliance!!!

I believe in socio-economic autonomy or self-reliance of each of the province, ethnicity, tribe, clan, locality and citizen and individual of our nation! We must erode free handouts and dependency! I also believe that socio-economic autonomy is key to political, administrative and other elements of sovereignty. Thus, we strive to become a great nation this way!

Nevertheless, let me also mention that such autonomy should not be abused. Autonomy needs to be given and taken with right motive! If the powers of autonomy are misused, abused or misapplied then provisions need to be inclusive in the instruments to withdraw the autonomous powers or for punitive measures to be applied.

We support the three governors and their provincial governments to prove that they can execute their new given powers with responsibility and love for their people. Any power implemented with love and care for the humanity regardless,...is key to surmounting difficult hurdles along the way. Devoid of such love and care from the equation of any power enjoyed, deterioration takes over!!!

Naturally, people do stand up for their rights in one way or another if POWERS ARE misused or abused even in an autonomy!

If marching feet do not rise up against those in power today then it is today.

A power needs to be used with high level of morality and responsibility!

PNG's Wafi-Golpu Mine valued at K16.7 billion

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The rich Wafi-Golpu gold and copper prospect in Bulolo, Morobe Province, is valued an estimated K16.7 billion (US$5 billion) over a 25-year lifespan.
According to local MP Sam Basil, Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) will pour an initial capital investment of K8.8 billion (US$2.8 billion) over a 25 year life of the mine and the other half of the amount will be expended.
And the MP, who is also the Minister for Communication, Information Technology and Energy, told a two-day development forum last week in Lae that attracting financial backing for the project is not easy.
But he said the combined experiences and technical resources of the JV partners Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited and Newcrest Mining Limited will attract the capital investment.
“But what I want to say is that all indications show that the WGJV team collectively knows what they are doing. This is based on experience in South Africa in the case of Harmony and Australia and Indonesia in the case of Newcrest. Their reputation is important in attracting investors to this Wafi-Golpu project.”
In anticipation, Mr Basil added; “As minister for State, I welcome the royalties and taxes to government that the Wafi-Golpu mine project will generate, the estimated 2500 jobs during construction, not mentioning employment of local contractors and suppliers, and enabling infrastructure including roads and bridges.
“The K16.7 billion capital investment the WGJV brings are funds which the National Government, Morobe provincial government, the relevant DDAs and the relevant local-level governments desperately need in this tough economic times.”
Mr Basil said he is excited about the potential of the Wafi-Golpu project unlocking agribusiness in the district and province.
He said there will be greater access to agriculture-related markets with a number of proposed new roads that will open up the region from Highlands Highway to Bulolo Highway.
Aa well new infrastructure to be developed for the Wafi-Golpu mine will make it commercially viable for up to 100,000 hectares of land in the Watut River valley to be used for agricultural purposes.
“I am aware that the WGJV community development program has a strong focus on unlocking Morobe’s agribusiness potential through continuing support of an ongoing cocoa development program. They are also investigating other potential and appropriate agricultural initiatives.”
“The potential for positive impact on the national economy, Morobe Province and each of the core districts of Bulolo, Huon Gulf and Lae District and the city of Lae are already in focus,” he said. ...read more on : Pacific Mining Watch 


Western Governor Taboi Awi Toto joins O'Neill Government

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WESTERN Governor Taboi Awi Yoto stole the show yesterday when he interrupted a Government announcement by announcing that he was also defecting.

The Government was on the verge of welcoming Maprik MP John Simon and Usino-Bundi MP Jimmy Uguro to its ranks, when Mr Yoto barged in to announce his defection.

The surprise turn of events took place at the ground floor conference room of Sir Manasupe Haus at Waigani, which is occupied by the office of the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Mr Yoto’s unassuming walk-in surprised the media, when he walked in on the Government announcement of the move by Mr Simon and Mr Uguro.

He was quickly taken to the front and greeted Mr O’Neill with a firm handshake and a smile before standing next to the PM and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel.

The media reaction was instantaneous with a flurry of whispers growing and the flash of the cameras, the attention Mr Yoto got was one of shock and disbelief that a member and one considered to be among staunch Opposition MPs, was joining Government.

With a smile, he was welcomed into the fold along with Mr Simon and Mr Uguro.

Mr Yoto entered politics as a member of the United Resources Party but later changed his allegiance to the PNG Party.

He quietly explained his reasons and why he chose to move.

He likened his move to being on the other side of a broken bridge, and trying to get to a mango tree full of fruits, however his stones were not reaching their target.

“It is difficult for me to deliver while sitting on the other side.

“Although we have a lot of resources, I don’t have the money, I need the Government’s support to bring that money back to spend.

“I know my people will support me, I know this decision will get criticisms, but the criticisms will not move the province, they have the choice in 2022.

“I will stand by this decision and when it comes to 2022, the people will have the final say for my political career,” Mr Yoto said.

The Prime Minister welcomed Mr Yoto, Mr Simon and Mr Uguro, saying that their move to the Government had boosted his ruling People’s National Congress number to 46 MPs.

“We formally welcome the members who are joining the Government to deliver on the good policies that we have and that the policies we are developing and delivering to the nation.”

The Opposition was contacted yesterday for comment but had not replied. Post Courier/PNG Today/PacNews

Mass Polio vaccination campaign launched in PNG

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The four rounds of sub-national mass vaccination campaign against polio in three high risk provinces in Papua New Guinea has been launched by Minister for Health and HIV and AIDS Sir Puka Temu in Lae Monday.

Sir Puka said the government is committed to working with partners from World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other global partners to re-eradicate polio in the country.

“The commitment of the government and the department is for PNG to be declared again as polio free. It is a status that we must achieve and the world is watching us now.

“So, our biggest challenge is to make sure our cold chain systems with our special immunisation programs are done effectively and we can go back to effective routine immunisation programs,” Sir Puka said.

He said the four rounds of sub-national mass vaccination campaign programme will go in all the communities of the Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands provinces simultaneously effective as of Monday.

WHO country representative Luo Dapeng said for the next two weeks, the wide vaccination of all children under five years will be on in these provinces to protect them against polio.

“We are doing the same vaccination campaigns in two other provinces of Madang and Eastern Highlands,” Mr Dapeng said.

More than 300, 000 children under the age of five have been targeted for the immunisation programme in the three provinces.

UNICEF officer in charge and deputy representative Judith Bruno said their priority is to achieve the highest possible polio coverage for these provinces.

“Our priority now is to achieve the highest possible polio immunisation coverage to stop the circulation of the virus because the threat will remain as long as children in this country are not consistently and routinely immunised against polio.

“UNICEF is fully committed to supporting government efforts led by the department of health and WHO to re-eradicate polio in PNG,” Bruno said.

UNICEF has procured and delivered 611,00 doses of polio vaccines early this month to support the emergency vaccination for children in the three provinces.

Sir Puka has confirmed K6 million funding from the national government is earmarked for the polio immunisation coverage in the provinces.

He also aims to secure additional funding to increase efforts to revamp the health surveillance systems and take care of any detected polio cases in other provinces.


Cost of Air Travel in PNG a concern

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Commentary by Bryan Kramer, Hon Member for Madang Open

Today I boarded a flight from Lae to Madang on PNG Air. It was the first time I've traveled on the airline, while I was impressed with the service what put me off was the cost of the ticket - K600.

The distance between Madang and Lae is just 200 km yet the price of a ticket is equal to flying on a special from Port Moresby to Brisbane, another country.

So foreign nationals and Politicians enjoy flying abroad on cheaper flights than everyday PNGeans in our own country.

When I inspected the ticket I noted the break up of cost, PNG Air fees being K272 and Government Tax & Charges component making up the balance of K321.

This is certainly ridiculous, where the Government charges exceeds the cost of the actual service.

I've been informed EDA Ranu has recently increase the water tariffs in NCD by 600%, Motor Vehicle Registration has also increased by some 40%.

It appears the O'Neill Government now broke from running down the country and misusing Billions in public funds is now trying to pass the cost onto the people while Members of Parliament continue to be overpaid, under taxed and yet corrupt MPs still feel the need to steal millions in public funds.

As a Member of Opposition and Shadow Minister for State Owned Enterprises I intend to put an end to it this madness.

While I maintain the war on the newspaper companies I will start carrying out inquires to establish whether these exorbitant price increases are even legal and what options are available to the public to bring a class action against it.

Undersea cable to boost Internet Access in Papua New Guinea

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A NEW underwater telecommunication cable from Australia to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands is expected to boost internet quality and is set to be completed towards the end of 2019.
The Coral Sea Cable System project was advanced with a signing of an agreement between Prime Minister Peter O’Neil and his peers from Solomon Islands and Australia last week.
There was also a signing in Port Moresby to confirm arrangements with the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Bruce Davis said Australia was proud to be a partner.
“The new cable system underscores PNG’s efforts to promote economic integration in the Pacific in its 2018 Apec host yea
r, and to foster domestic growth opportunities,” he said.
Australia will fund the majority of the project, with PNG and Solomon Islands to also provide a contribution as a partner in this trilateral project.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil said at a workshop late last year his department was ready to support the development.
“We support the submarine cable and we support Australia’s initiative to provide funding,” he said
Basil, pictured, said his department and agencies under it must play a more-significant role in the ICT sector.
“A case in point is the terrestrial network upgrade, the submarine cable bandwidth, and the Apec 2018 ICT arrangement. Both should have come under my ministry. None of the Government organisations under my ministry are playing the leading role in them for whatever reason,” he said.  ....read more on PNG Technogy website : PNG eHow

PNG Hunters v Northern Pride Match live updates

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We are delighted to bring the live updates of SP PNG Hunters  v  Northern Pride round 18 match updates from the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

We are using twitter feeds for this live updates. Follow the feed below.

Make sure to refresh the page  frequently to see the new feed updates.

Live feed ended: Fulltime: PNG Hunters 18 beat Northern Pride 8


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