Headlines

PNG Kumuls final team named for Pacific Test against Fiji Bati

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

 Papua New Guinea Kumuls coach Mal Meninga has named a final 18 men squad to take on the NRL dominated Fiji Batis this Saturday in Gold Coast Australia..  Hunters Noel Zeming has been swifted to  half back while in-form Hunters hooker takes a spot on the bench.

The PNG Kumuls team:
1. Josh Damen (Souths Logan Magpies),
2. Nene MacDonald (Sydney Roosters)
3. Thompson Teteh (SP PNG Hunters)
4. Kato Ottio (SP PNG Hunters)
5. Matt Trnka (Souths Logan Magpies)
6. Israel Eliab (c), (SP PNG Hunters)
7. Noel Zeming (SP PNG Hunters)
8. Stanton Albert (Penrith Panthers)
9. Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys)
10. Wellington Albert (Penrith Panthers)
11. Rhyse Martin (Townsville Blackhawks)
12. Tyson Martin (Mackay Cutters)
13. Luke Page (Canberra Raiders)
14. Wartovo Puara (SP PNG Hunters)
15. Willie Minoga (SP PNG Hunters)
16. Brandy Peter (SP PNG Hunters)
17. Adam Korave (SP PNG Hunters)
18. Lawrence Tu’u (SP PNG Hunters)


Monitoring Papua New Guinea's Forests – the new Fire Watch website

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Port Moresby, April 27, 2015 – Man made or natural fires are amongst the factors that destroy Papua New Guinea's unique forest resources. Losing forests is harmful in the fight against Climate Change and impacts negatively on the 85 percent of the population that live in rural areas and depend on the sustainable use of forests.
Providing a tool to monitor fires throughout the country is therefore important for awareness building, disaster mitigation and the sustainable future of Papua New Guinea, in line with the Responsible, Sustainable Strategy adopted by Government.
In this context, the University of Papua New Guinea Remote Sensing Centre launches the PNG Fire Watch website. This is a major new tool to facilitate disaster management and monitor forests in Papua New Guinea.
Supported with a grant by the European Union, the website uses the latest satellite imagery and image processing techniques, to advance an understanding of what is going on in PNG’s forests in 'real time'.
European Union Ambassador Martin Dihm said at the launch: "The new website is an instrument to support forest monitoring in Papua New Guinea. For the first time, authorities, citizens, in fact everybody interested are able to see the location of forest fires as they happen, right across the whole country, including the remotest village. This can be used for disaster mitigation and to monitor forestry resources. It can help to build awareness and support policies in the fight against Climate Change”.
"Sea level rise, severe flooding and droughts resulting from a warmer climate, affects us all. The Union will work very closely with the Pacific region and our important partner Papua New Guinea on these issues. In this context, European Union Commissioner for Climate Change, HE Migue
l Arias Cañete will visit Papua New Guinea on the occasion of the Pacific Islands Forum Summit in September."
European Union
The new Fire Watch website shows every location where a fire is burning, records where and when fires occur in PNG’s forests and automatically uploads the information onto the site as it happens.
Moreover, high resolution satellite images and maps of PNG can be viewed interactively with the locations of each fire. The website also features an archive of past locations, including time and date, of all fires detected across PNG since the mid 1990’s.
The Fire Watch website allows users to generate and print their own maps of fire locations in Papua New Guinea. The site is public and available free of charge to all users.
The new website can be viewed at http://fire.pngsdf.com.

Free Facebook – Digicel deal revolutionises social media in PNG

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

As Facebook explodes across the country, Papua New Guineans are enjoying the benefits of the world’s most popular social media network. In response to this exciting new trend, Digicel has launched for a limited time, a new pre-paid data plan, ‘Social Passes’, that offers huge savings on data and access to free social media, including unlimited Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, PNG Loop and 30 days of free access to Rdio, a popular music streaming site.

Digicel’s groundbreaking Social Passes campaign enables Papua New Guineans to fully explore Facebook, and all other social media networks 24/7, without the fear of high data charges incurred when using data outside of a bundle or pass.  It also comes with the auto-renewal feature, which is an essential safety mechanism for customers, keeping charges at the lower rate within the data bundle, until they wish to opt out by simply dialling *170#.   Auto-renewal is an international standard feature, welcomed by many Papua New Guineans, who can see how much money this will save them, particularly in busy times, when reactivating plans can be forgotten.

“Facebook opens up a whole new world of discovery. With over 750 million active users worldwide, it offers you the ability to communicate like never before and we want Papua New Guineans to experience this economically. Most importantly, it connects you with your loved ones no matter how near or far away they are. You can share your own images, comments or news with family and friends, whether it’s uploading photos from your cousin’s birthday party or sharing an interesting article on the PNG Hunters’ latest win,” said Maurice McCarthy, CEO, Digicel PNG.

“You can also talk to your friends and family via Facebook, in a very similar way to texting, through the Facebook Messenger App, which is free and 24hrs a day.
Facebook has become hugely popular across the globe because it is fun, interesting, informative and very easy to use. It is typically the first entry point for people into the online and mobile world of social media, then people generally explore further with Instagram, Twitter and so on. ”

Mr McCarthy said that Digicel is very excited about this new addition to its suite of data plans and the value the Social Passes rolling plan provides.  This is also a great milestone for Digicel, as it showcases more of its ‘Kisim Moa Value’, value campaign offers to its customer base.

With the launch of ‘Free Social’ with Social Passes, Digicel leads the Asia Pacific region in telecommunications value. Such an offering is incredibly rare, with no equivalent deal currently existing across Australia and many other countries. Digicel is working hard to provide optimum value to their customers in Papua New Guinea.

“The development of this new plan has been highly considered to meet the needs of many Papua New Guineans who wish to explore social media like the rest of the world, but without the high data costs. For only one kina more than the average pass, the benefits of ‘Free Social’ provide incredible value for money and overall data savings,”said Mr McCarthy.

“Cheaper than a loaf of bread or a litre of milk, four kina will allow you to spend as much time as you like connecting with loved ones and accessing information from all over the world.”

To opt-in for a Social Pass today, dial *170# and send. Digicel Customer Care is available 24/7 by dialing 123 from your Digicel phone. For further help setting up your profile on social media platforms like Facebook, visit one of Digicel’s Smartphone Clinics, an extension of Digicel retail stores. Smartphone experts are available to help with any questions you have on social media, data usage, or smartphone operations.


About Digicel

Digicel Group is a leading global communications provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 13 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the title sponsor of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.

Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

For more information about Digicel’s new Social Passes launch please contact Gemma Rasmussen, Publicist, Umm Communications at Gemma@umm.com.au

PM O’Neill Christens Latest Addition to Air Niugini Fleet - “Mt Hagen”

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O'Neill CMG MP, has christened the new latest addition to the Air Niugini fleet, Fokker 70, with the name "Mt Hagen."

The unveiling ceremony of the Air Niugini Foker 70 was held outside the new Kagamuga Airport terminal in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province, today.

In unveiling the aircraft, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Mt Hagen as a centre for regional transportation that has strong working relationship with the national carrier.

"Air Niugini will continue to be a strong development partner for this province and the country," PM O'Neill said.

"The province and Air Niugini have worked hard to strengthen transport industry and provide transport services to the people of the Highlands as well as nearby provinces.

"Air services play a vital role in the Highlands region given the rugged terrain. We must continue to maintain strong support to uphold the highest standard we already have in Air Niugini. This is both in terms of safety and service that we provide to our citizens.

The Prime Minister highlighted the comfort of the inaugural flight to Mt Hagen in the Fokker 70, which will commence servicing rural parts of the country shortly. "This Fokker 70 is the first out of a fleet of six aircraft that will join Air Niugini in the coming months."

PM O'Neill further congratulated Air Niugini for the establishment of the Link PNG services to our communities, particularly in the rural areas.

"Air Niugini has a community service obligation that it takes seriously, and is creating a low cost budget airline that will service our rural communities.

"Air Niugini is here to meet the travelling demands of our people and it continues to be a strong government partner."

The Prime Minister said the government has placed a priority on the redevelopment of airports throughout the country.

"And here in Kagamuga, we are also constructing the new airport terminal, which will be officially opened this August.

"Like many other things, most of our infrastructure has been critically neglected for many years.

"So our Government has began investing heavily in redeveloping this infrastructure.

"We are developing this new infrastructure through smart economic management and working with counterparts in the Asian Development Bank and other institutions."

After the unveiling ceremony, PM O'Neill inspected the progress of the new Kagamuga Airport terminal, before returning to Port Moresby.

Oil Search Pacific Games Relay in New Ireland Province

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay left Manus today and flew to province number eight, New Ireland province.

The first stop of the day was the primary and elementary school at Pombruk in Lorengau having missed them the day before following heavy rain. The kids had lined up in the rain for over an hour and the team was unable to turn up so today popped in to surprise them on the way to the airport.

The kids heard the sirens and horns and raced outside to catch a glimpse of the Baton. English teacher Agnes Posilih laughed as she showed the Relay team the chalk still in her hand – saying the kids just disappeared during their spelling lesson.

The team were met on arrival into Kavieng by the traditional MaiMai elders who greeted Oil Search representative Leon Buskins and Relay managers Tamzin Wardley and Fiona Speedy, welcoming all as part of their tribe.


The Relay then kicked off at the airport, initiated by Governor Julius Chan. MP Ben Micah accepted the baton before it was handed on to thousands of school children who were lined up along the airport road and in to town.

The Relay was run in incredibly hot conditions and slowed to a walk but was still enjoyed by over 10,000 people.

Runners included the Bishop of Kavieng, ward councillors, teachers, business people, BSP and Telikom staff, and even a real Kokomo, called Tura, after our own.  Tura took no persuading to jump on to the Baton and was not very keen to pass it on.

The Relay was run by young and old with the eldest participant to hold the Baton, a 110 year old lady named Saping who allowed the Baton to pass on to her land area.

The Relay finished with a visit through the Kavieng hospital for staff and patients to enjoy before taking a trip across the water back to Malangan escorted by the MaiMai elders and their youth singing their way across the bay.

Tomorrow the Relay heads down the island to Namatanai.

Photo credit: madNess Photography

Paska rebuts the 400-plus year-old bible as centrepiece

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The P-N-G Trade Union Congress says, plans by the Parliament Speaker to make a 400-year-old Bible, a centre piece in Parliament, are not in the best interest of the nation.
An estimated crowd of 20-thousand were at the Port Moresby Jackson's international airport yesterday to greet the Bible, which was brought back to Papua New Guinea by Speaker Theodore Zurenouc.
Since taking the post, the Speaker has removed traditional artifacts from display in Parliament, calling them symbols of idolatry.
P-N-G Trade Union Congress General-Secretary John Paska has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat, he doesn't agree with the Speaker's plans to promote Christianity.
"We'll, I don't, I don't think Papua New Guinea is fully Christianised anyway.
"I mean, we have all kinds of religion, the fact that, we have a constitution that guarantees for all all kinds of religions".
Meantime, Speaker Zurenuoc has criticized the media and factions of the community, for spreading disunity in P-N-G through their reporting.
"Unfortunately it is a sad and degrading reality that certain institutions in the media for eternity for our nation seem to be either ignorant or deliberately promoting negative ideas.
"I am of the view, that many a time, there is a deliberated intention to misinform the masses simply for the sake of their own economic conveniences"

Can Belden Namah be elected provincial Governor of West Sepik Province?

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Commentary by Bryan Kramer 

The short answer is Yes?
The only issue is whether or not his appointment followed the strict procedures prescribed by law to make it legal.
I understand many are confused how can the former Opposition Leader and Open Member for Vanimo Green Electorate be appointed Governor a position normally elected by the people.
The people don't technically elect the Provincial Governor but actually elect the Regional or Provincial Member. The misunderstanding lies in the fact most consider the Governor position and Regional Member to be the same, when in fact they aren't.
There are 101 Members of Parliament made up of 89 Open and 22 Regional Members all elected by the people in their electorates to serve their interest or address their concerns in Parliament.
An electorate is an election boundary made up of people who are eligible (registered) voters that live within it. In PNG our Open and Regional Electorate boundaries are the same as our District and Provincial boundaries. Because we live in both in an Open and Province Electorate we vote for both our Open Member as well as our Regional or Provincial Member. The Open Member represents the voters within the District and Regional Member represents the voters throughout the whole Province.
In addition to this role Members of Parliament may also be appointed to hold a number of other positions which include Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers of Government, Vice Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Leader of Opposition, Deputy Opposition Leader, Chairman of Special Parliamentarian Committees or Provincial Governors etc.
Some positions are only appointed by the majority vote of Parliament example, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament positions. Deputy Prime Minister and all Ministerial appointments including , Vice-Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister. Each position will come with specific responsibilities including perks and privileges which a Member of Parliament has a duty to perform in addition to his role to represent the voters within his electorate.
Provincial Governor's position is typically reserved for Regional Members. Organic Law on Provincial & Local-Level Governments (section 17) states the Member of the National Parliament representing the Provincial Electorate shall be the Provincial Governor. However if a vacancy exists other members of the Provincial Assembly maybe appointed instead.
Provincial Assembly are elected members of Provincial Government
whose are made up of Regional Member, Open Members and Local-level Government Presidents from the Province . Other non-elected members include Provincial Women's and Church Representative who are appointed by Provincial Executive Council or PEC.
Provincial Assembly governs over the affairs of the Province much like a National Government governs the Country. Prime Minister is the head of National Government that makes executive decisions through National Executive Council or NEC chaired by Prime Minister. Other members of the Council include Deputy Prime Minister and 32 other Ministers who are also members of Parliament appointed by Prime Minister. While the Provincial Government makes its Executive decisions through PEC who are made up of Governor, Deputy Governor and other members of Provincial Assembly appointed by the Governor.
While the Prime Minister may be removed or disqualified from office so can Provincial Governor. If a Prime Minister is voted out of office he still remains a Member of Parliament representing the people in his electorate. Regional Member who is sworn in as Provincial Governor may also be voted out or disqualified from the position but still remains Regional Member in Parliament as well as a member of Provincial Assembly.
So how is a Provincial Governor disqualified from office?
Organic Law on Prov&LLG (ss19) states that Regional Member who is appointed to the Provincial Governor position vacates his office if he accepts an appointment to the following positions.
(a) Minister or a Vice-Minister in the National Government; or
(b) Speaker, Deputy Speaker of Parliament; or
(c) Leader or Deputy Leader of Opposition of Parliament
(d) Chairman of Permanent Parliamentary Committee for Public Works or Public Accounts
The reason being that it would be unreasonable to expect a person who is responsible for a Provincial Government to also hold other important positions in the National Government.
Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare who has been the elected Regional Member for East Sepik Province has always vacated the Provincial Governor's position when appointed Prime Minister by Parliament. In 2012 Leo Dion Regional Member for East New Britain Provincial Electorate vacated the Governor's position when he accepted the appointment to be Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Inter Government Relations. Open Member for Kokopo Ereman Tobaining Jnr was appointed Governor in his place.
A further example in 2011 former Provincial Member and Governor for Madang Sir Arnold Armet resigned as Governor to be appointed Minister for Justice (Attorney General). James Gau Open Member of Rai Coast in Madang was appointed Governor in his place.
A Regional Member appointed Provincial Governor may also be disqualified from the position if he or she is voted out by the Provincial Assembly. Just like the Prime Minister may be voted out by majority vote of Parliament should they lose confidence in his leadership.
Governor also vacates his office if he or she voluntarily resigns; or becomes medically or mentally unfit (sick or ill) to carry-out his official duties; or otherwise disqualified by law or ceases to be a Member of Provincial Assembly or National Parliament.
So how is a Governor voted out or dismissed from Office?
Organic Law on Prov&LLG (ss20) states that the Governor or Deputy Governor maybe voted out of office in the following circumstances;
(1) If they deliberately and persistently frustrate or fail to comply with the resolutions (decisions) of the Provincial Assembly; or
(2) Disobey applicable laws, including the Constitution or Organic Law that applies to the Province; or
(3) Negligent (careless) in exercising their powers or performing their functions, duties and responsibilities; or
(4) Does an act that is or is likely to bring into disrepute or call into question the integrity of their office.
Then the Provincial Assembly may, by a two-thirds absolute majority (more than 66% of its members) vote out the Provincial Governor. However they must follow the strict process, giving notice by motion (formal written notice) signed by 1/4 (one quarter) of the members of Provincial Assembly with no less than one week's notice.
So what happens if there is vacancy in the Governor's position by dismissal or disqualification from office?
Organic Law on Prov&LLG (ss21) states that if a vacancy exists in Provincial Governor's position because of disqualification or dismissal from office the Provincial Assembly shall elect a Member of Parliament who is a member of the Provincial Assembly to the Provincial Governor's position.
If the other Members of Parliament also hold other positions (Minister etc) that would otherwise disqualify them from being Provincial Governor or decline to be Governor then Provincial Assembly may elect a Local-Level President who is a Member of Provincial Assembly to the position of Governor.
So what happens if Regional Member who vacates the Provincial Governor's position to take up an appointment of a Ministerial position but is then sacked or resigns from that position? Do they automatically assume the Governor's position?
The answer is no. They remain a member of the Provincial Assembly for the remaining term in office but may be re-appointed by the Assembly if a vacancy arises.
In the case of West Sepik Provincial Governor Position, the former Regional Member Akmat Mai who was elected at 2012 National General Election was removed from office in November 2013 after National Court voided his election finding him guilty of committing illegal practices during the election. In other words his disqualification took effect when he ceased to be a member of National Parliament. (as per section 19(1)(e))
He then challenged the decision in the Supreme Court seeking a judicial review of the National Court's ruling against him. While his appeal was being determined by Supreme Court a vacancy existed in the Provincial Governor's position. PNG Electoral Commission did not conduct a By-Election for the Regional Seat until the Supreme Court made a decision whether or not to overturn the National Court's ruling or uphold it. The decision was pending for one and half years during that time the Deputy Governor was acting as Governor.
In consideration of the passage of time in January 2015 West Sepik Provincial Assembly then sought to appoint a new Governor that resulted in a dispute and physical confrontation outside the Provincial chambers. In response former Governor Akmat Mai filed an urgent application in the Supreme Court to stay (stop) the members of Provincial Assembly from appointing a new Governor until his Supreme Court matter was first determined. A question arose whether Supreme Court had any such powers because technically there was a vacancy in the Governor's position and there was no legislation (laws) that prohibited the vacancy from being filled, unlike where a Member of Parliament who is convicted of a criminal offence if he appeals his conviction then his disqualification is suspended until his appeal is determined.
E.g Paul Tiesnten MP for Pomio Open was convicted and imprisoned for misappropriation in February 2014. Section 103(3)(e) of Constitution states a Member of Parliament who is convicted (found guilty) of a serious criminal offence is disqualified from office. However Section 103(4) states if he appeals his conviction then his disqualification is suspended and he remains a Member of Parliament until his appeal is determined. So although Tiensten was convicted and sentenced to prison in February 2014 it wasn't until his appeal was dismissed in December 2014 he was disqualified from remaining a Member of Parliament and PNG Electoral Commission announced a By-Election for his seat.
In contrast a person dismissed from office by the Court of Disputed Returns and his election voided there is no legislation (laws) that state their disqualification is suspended pending their appeal.
Due to this legal uncertainty the West Sepik Provincial Assembly decided to wait until the Supreme Court handed down its decision on former Governor's appeal.
On 30th March 2015 Supreme Court dismissed the former Governor Mai's appeal (judicial review) and upheld the National Court's earlier ruling voiding his election. PNG Electoral Commission then announced a By-Election for West Sepik Provincial Seat would be held in May 2015 subject to funding.
The fact that there was no longer any legal issue pending the West Sepik Provincial Assembly (13 members) convened on Wednesday 22nd April 2015 and elected Belden Namah Member of Vanimo Green Open Electorate as the new Provincial Governor for West Sepik Province.
Following his election the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible Provincial & Local-Level Government Affairs Leo Dion announced his office did not recognise Namah's appointment as Provincial Governor. He said he was studying documents alleging that Namah "hijacked and abused the legitimate and democratic process of the election of a provincial governor."
Deputy Governor and acting Governor Paul Nengai had complained in a letter to Dion that there was a total disregard of the legal and proper process of parliamentary election by Namah, who did not have respect and regards for rule and process of law and parliamentary processes.
In the recent case in the dispute over Oro Provincial Governor, Member of Ijivati Open David Arore and Member for Sohoe Open Deliah Gore purportedly lead the motion to vote out Oro Provincial Governor Juff. Juffa challenged his removal in the National Court on the grounds it was unlawful.
In the end National Court Justice Kandakasi ruled that the purported meeting of the Oro Provincial Assembly convened by David Arore, Member for Ijivitari together with certain other persons including a number of LLG presidents on 28 October 2014 attempting to remove Juffa, as Governor was illegal. Because they breached strict requirements on removal of a provincial governor prescribed by the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments, the Provincial Governments Administration Act and the Standing Orders of the Oro Provincial Assembly. The Court found that Arore was not a member of Provincial Assembly because he was yet to be properly sworn in at Provincial Assembly meeting and further he had not attended any meetings of the Oro Provincial Assembly since the 2012 National General Elections.
So the central issue whether Belden Namah is legitimately appointed Governor of West Sepik Province will come down to whether the West Sepik Provincial Assembly complied with the strict requirements prescribed by the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments (ss.21) electing the Provincial Governor in the event of a vacancy.
The specific issues that will be considered are;
(1) Was Namah a member of Provincial Assembly when he was appointed Governor. In that was he previously properly sworn in at a Provincial Assembly meeting and did he attend subsequent meetings thereafter.
(2) Was due and proper notice of the meeting given to other members of the Assembly to elect a new Governor.
(3) Did the meeting comply with the standing orders of Provincial Assembly (meeting protocols) including the appointment of chairman in the absence of the Acting and Deputy Governor.
(4) Was there sufficient quorum (more than 50% of Provincial Assembly Members in attendance)
(5) Did the majority of the Provincial Assembly vote in favour of Namah as Provincial Governor.
(6) Did the members vote at their own free will or were they induced or intimidated during the process.
If the answer to any of the above questions are in the negative (no) then Namah's election to Governor if challenged in Court may be deemed illegal and to no legal effect as was the case in Oro Provincial Governor's dispute.
Assuming Namah's election as Provincial Governor complied with the strict requirements prescribed by the Organic Law and his election was lawful, the next issue is what will happen following the election of a new Regional Member in the coming By-Election for West Sepik Provincial Seat?
The law is not clear on this issue, it is only clear when a Provincial Governor vacates his office because he is voted out or takes up an Ministerial appointment etc or he voluntarily resigns from being Governor then he continues to hold office as a member of the Assembly. He is eligible to be re-appointed as, but does not automatically become, the Provincial Governor during the balance of his term of office in the Assembly. (ss 19(3))
In principle if he made the decision to vacate his office or was lawfully voted out it would be unjust for him to be automatically re-appointed to the position he willingly gave up in first place unless the members decided to vote him back in.
However the law does not state what happens in the event a new Governor is appointed after the former is removed from office and following a By-Election a new Regional Member is elected.
Does he automatically assume the position of Provincial Governor by relying on Section 17 of Organic Law or does the incumbent (Namah) continue on as Governor as no vacancy exists.
In such circumstances its referred to as a gap in the law. Where the legislature who drafted the Organic Law did not anticipate such circumstances would arise and failed to make provision (laws) for it.
If Namah decides to vacate Governor's position after the election of the new Regional Governor of West Sepik Province there will be no issue.
However if chooses to continue in office then the new Regional Member has one of two options
(1) If he or she has the majority support of the Members of Provincial Assembly then move a motion to vote out Namah and be appointed to the position; or
(2) Take the matter to Court seeking declaratory orders that Namah vacate the office.
In my opinion the National Court may exercise its inherit powers under Section 155(4) of Constitution to do justice in the circumstances and rule that new Regional Member by right (section 17) assumes the position of Governor taking into account he/she did not voluntarily vacate the seat in the first place. Namah would not be prejudice (greatly affected) by the decision taking into account he is an Open Member and not Regional Member.

PNG Kumuls in Hunter mode

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Nine Papua New Guinea Hunters players have been named in the 18-man Kumuls squad that will take on Fiji in the Pacific test on Saturday.
Israel Eliab, Wartovo Puara Jr, Adam Korave, Willie Minoga, Kato Ottio, Brandy Peter, Noel Zeming, Thompson Teteh and Lawrence Tu’u have all been included in Mal Meninga’s team.
Eliab has been in form for the Hunters in the five-eighth role while Zeming’s goal kicking is a plus for the side. Puara has been rewarded for his sharp form out of dummyhalf all season and will combine well with club captain Eliab.
The line-up has three debutants in Luke Page (Canberra Raiders), Matt Trnka (Souths Logan Magpies) and Josh Damen (Souths Logan Magpies).
The hard-charging Page is expected to start at prop while backs Damen and Trnka are options for the fullback and wing positions.
A notable exclusion from the squad is Gold Coast Titans winger David Mead, who had been earlier named in the 29-man train-on Kumul team squad last month.
Though named in the squad, Mead opted to play for the New South Wales Country team — in an attempt to don the NSW Origin jumper.
A NSW Origin or Kangaroo spot is looking grim for the former Kumul international — who cost the Kumuls a quarter-finals playoff in the 2013 World Cup in England by missing a conversion in front of the post against Scotland in a pool match.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka yesterday confirmed that the team had assembled on the Gold Coast, where they are preparing for the Test match.
“The full team is already in camp at the Gold Coast with Kumuls head coach Mal Meninga,” Tsaka said.
“We are looking forward to Saturday’s match which will reflect the rugby league programme we have in the country. The team is building up towards the Test match and the Hunters programme has provided a platform for us in the build-up.”
The only experienced NRL players named in the side is North Queensland Cowboys halfback Ray Thompson, who can slot in hooker or five-eighth, and Sydney Roosters winger Nene MacDonald.
Israel Eliab is expected to be named captain, with either Ray Thompson or Tyson Martin deputising.
Meanwhile, Fiji have named a side featuring 12 NRL players for Saturday’s fixture.
The Bati proved their quality via their strong showing at the 2013 World Cup but will be disappointed at missing out on the Four Nations last year following their defeat to Samoa in the 2014 Pacific Test. The Natioinaal/ PNG Today

Papua New Guinea welcomes historical 404 year old Bible

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Thousands of people brave the heat of Port Moresby and gathered at the Jackson's International airport to welcome the historical 404 year old King James Bible from the United States. The bible was  brought in by a government delegation led by parliament speak Theodore Zuorenuoc.  It is a gift of State of Indiana in the United States to the people for Papua New Guinea. 

Men, women and children from many denominations began praying and singing praise, giving glory to the Lord as soon as the plane doors opened. .

Reverend Walters along with other church elders carried the Bible out from the plane, along the red carpet and onto the stage.

Tears of joy were shed by the people who were crying out openly, praising the Lord.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill arrived later and was ushered straight to the stage and received the Bible from Speaker Zurenuoc.

The PM is reported to have flown in from Popondetta.

Other Ministers and MPs who welcomed the Bible include Opposition Leader Don Polye, Finance Minister James Marape, Forestry Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, Community Development and Religion Minister Delilah Gore, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso, Mendi MP De Kewanu, Usina Bundi MP Anthony Yagama, Kundiawa Kembogl MP Tobias Kulang and other distinguished leaders.

A mighty worship team from the AOG Cornerstone church led proceedings as people began praying and rejoicing, welcoming the Bible.

Mr Zurenuoc challenged the Government to reform the ways they were operating and to look unto the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for their refuge and shelter.

“There’s no way for us to hide or run to. Jesus is our only Hope and our refuge in time of need,” he said.

Mr O’Neill thanked the Speaker for bringing the Bible to PNG and received the Bible.

Chairman of the Port Moresby Pastors Fraternity Reverend Joseph Walters made the final remarks and blessed the Holy Word as it departed for the Governor General’s office before bringing it to the National Parliament where it will be kept.

New LNG Project in PNG to generate jobs in construction and further Long-Term National Development

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

PNG Prime Minister Peter  visited the new LNG site  at Antelope 5 Wellhead in Gulf Province on Monday as part of ongoing preparations to open the next LNG project in Papua New Guinea.

During his visit to the site in the hinterland of Kikori, the Prime Minister also witnessed the first flaring of gas at the Antelope Wellhead 5.  At the conclusion of a briefing on the project, which will be operated by French company Total, the Prime Minister said he was encouraged by the progress being made on the Elk-Antelope LNG development and extends the Government's full support.

"This multi-billion-dollar project is expected to employ more than 10,000 people during construction," PM O'Neill said.

"We envisage that the Elk-Antelope field has gas for at least two production trains, which would double Papua New Guinea's current LNG output.

"I thank Total for being the major operator of this project and for its commitment to work and live with our people in the process of developing this resource for us.

"Total is increasing staff numbers in Papua New Guinea to join people already working on the project around the world.

"We know that our joint venture partners will continue to work closely with the government in ensuring our citizens have the maximum possible opportunity in benefiting from the resource that will be developed in the near future.

"Our government looks forward to engaging with major stakeholders and we can assure you that we have the same commitment that we gave during the first project."

The Prime Minister said the first export of LNG to come from the project is still some years away, but the activity associated with the construction phase will continue to increase.

"We expect the first stage of front-end engineering and design to begin later this year.

"Following this, early work on the project will begin in 2016 with first construction contracts to be awarded in 2017 and first production in the early 2020s.

"As we move forward we expect the joint venture to discuss the preferred site for an LNG plant later in the year.

"The progress being made in the advancement of this project is very good news for people in the Gulf region, and very good for all Papua New Guineans."

PM O'Neill was accompanied by Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban, InterOil Chief Executive, Dr Michael Hession, Total Managing Director in Papua New Guinea Philippe Blanchard, and Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten.

Manus MP Ronnie Knight faces dismissal from Office

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A penalty of dismissal from office has been recommended to the Leadership Tribunal for Ronnie Knight, after hearing resumed this morning.
The Manus Open MP is currently under suspension after facing the leadership tribunal last November were he was recently found guilty.
Knight was found guilty of breaching the leadership code last month, on four out of five allegations which were considered serious and criminal in nature.
The Public Prospectors Office submitted for dismissal from office, the highest maximum penalty available under the Leadership Code.
Among their submissions they say, the leader is responsible for what has happened without considering laws, proper advice and safety of the Manus people when purchasing MV Manus Trader Star, a third level ship for transporting cargoes and passengers in 2013.
Knights lawyer urge the court to impose fines, as others were also involved.
A sum of 836 thousand kina was found to have been misapplied when MV Manus was purchased.
The allegations against Kinght centred around him providing misleading information to his Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee members, used office for personal gain and speak and vote on matters which he has interests in.
A recommendation to have the matter dealt with by the police has also been made.
A decision will be handed down this week.

Kondra Guilty : Judge wants criminal prosecution

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A recommendation for criminal prosecution was made by a judge who found a State Minister guilty for misappropriation of public funds.
Justice Selatiel Lenalia wants police to investigate the case against Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister and North Fly M-P, Boka Kondra
The judge is the chairman of the Leadership Tribunal that handed down its decision this afternoon (27/4/15).
Justice Lenalia told the leader, what had transpired in 2008 to 2010 was a case of double-deeping and misappropriation.
Kondra who is currently suspended was found guilty of all six allegations on payments amounting to 238 thousand kina.
The three men tribunal handed down its decision in a packed Waigani Court room.
This relates to payments of rental accommodation in Port Moresby, his electoral office in Kiunga and settling of outstanding 2007 election debts using public monies.
Payments were found to have made from the district services improvement program funds as well as district grants, whilst the MP was still receiving his allowances meant for this.
Another member of the tribunal, Magistrate Rossy Johnston says, they want to change the way leadership tribunals are viewed and not duplicating past outcomes.
She says the Leadership Code is unique in this country and the tribunal must protect its integrity.
In that way, she expects leaders to learn and not repeat the same mistakes.

Oil Search Pacific Games Relay in Manus Province

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Today the Oil Search Pacific Games Relay travelled to the islands region and spent the day in Manus.
The team arrived at Momote Airport on the island of Los Negros to be welcomed by the Deputy Governor, John Pomat, and the islands’ traditional dancing girls stamping to the beat of the large Manusian garamuts.
The Manus team then embarked on a lengthy running Relay around the island of Los Negros and over the Loniu Bridge and then onto Manus Island and into the town of Lorengau.
Hundreds of runners took part in the Relay representing the villages and districts that the relay passed through and included masses of small children dressed in their BSP green and taking their turn at carrying the Baton.
The Baton was then taken over the Lolak Bridge by a youth made up as a skeleton dancer who created quite a stir with his gyrating performance.
The Relay ran passed untouched beaches and an ocean so clear that, on landing, the team could see down the fringing reef to the depths below.
The Relay then headed into Lorengau town passing numerous schools where the kids lined the fences to cheer the Relay on.
The town market stopped to watch just as the rain came pelting down and the team had to rush for cover and shorten the final legs.
In island fashion the rain was brief and cleared before the Baton was taken by traditional M’buke, a one hull outrigger canoe, around the Bay and out to Pityluh Island. The canoe left the beach with the Baton, the sing sing group and the large garamuts so that they could dance their way across the Bay.
Tomorrow the Relay will visit some of the schools that missed out today due to the early afternoon rain and before heading to New Ireland.

World Famous Baiyer Zoo revived and rehabilitated

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                                                                  Peter Solo Kinjap
Reggianna Bird of Paradise.
Photo courtesy of Niugini Exotic Tours
The once world renowned Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary known as Baiyer Zoo in the Western Highlands Province is now being revived and rehabilitated to attract tourists and bird watchers. The rehabilitation process is currently being spearheaded by the local Member of Parliament (MP), Honourable Koi Trappe in consultation with the Department of Environment and Conservation. This was made possible by an Australian team of Biologists who toured the area late last year and carried out a feasibility study to assess the viability of reviving the Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary. The recommendations of this feasibility study were forwarded to the Government of Papua New Guinea for implementation. The basic perimeter fencing and the animals and birds cages are currently taking shape.
Highlands’s volunteer tourism promoter Philip Willie Ukuni said the Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary was well known in the 1860s when internet and social media was not as popular as it is today, yet so many thousands of tourists flocked in to Baiyer River. Now that we have internet, websites and social media as a tool for tourism marketing, we will see a lot of tourists coming for bird watching. He said the Government has neglected the highlands region for tourism support and this is unfair. “Government departments and statutory bodies responsibilities for tourism must now take into consideration the highlands for tourism promotion and marketing,” he added.
The writer and Mr. Ukuni paid a courtesy visit to the Baiyer Zoo recently and meet the locals and security minding the area. Mathew Mark, a local from Kepeka tribe who voluntarily looks after the zoo facilities said, “When I was a small boy, the zoo was in existence. Some 20 to 30 years ago, Government system changed, the zoo left abandoned.” The Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary was managed by Western Highlands Provincial Government when it started in 1968. It faced closure when management arm of the zoo was abolished and funds slashed therein.  “Bushes have grown back to natural forest and over the 20 years or so the Reggianna Bird of Paradise and other species of Bird of Paradise have multiplied in numbers and mutated to human habitant. So when you come, the Bird of Paradise (Reggianna species) will be easily seen in the forest. They will not run away as many birds do when people go closer,” the Zoo keeper Mark said.
The rehabilitation program had seen 10 buildings to be erected to standard. There will be Administration Centre, Induction for Tourists, School Excursions, Conferences and a Lodge.
 Local Antenga Village Court Magistrate Benjamin Aret from Wantenga Tribe said when the zoo was down, we looked after it. “It was on our land so we looked after it by not cutting down the trees and making gardens or houses. We reserved the zoo hoping some good day it will be reopened,” Mr. Aret said. “The Zoo is on the customary land belonging to Wantenga and Kepeka Tribes of Ukuni 2 of Baiyer area. The Zoo was preserved for future reopening, and those people who disobeyed the local leaders to cut trees or hunt for birds were taken to police and jailed. The other local leaders who enforced the laws of zoo for preservation and protection were Emos Korowa from Andanga Tribe, Steven Koi from Andanga Tribe and Councillor Jerry Team from Wantenga Tribe. We make sure that the birds and animals in the zoo must now run away. We stopped people from cutting down trees and hunting,” Mr. Aret said. “It’s our tradition for people living around the zoo area that we never eat the birds and animals from the zoo. Even when they die of a natural cause, we never eat the meats rather burry them,” he added with a smile.      
Willie Kang, an ancillary policeman who provided the escort for the 6-member team of Australian biologists and botanists who visited the zoo in April, 2014 to study the neutrality of the zoo and its habitants said the Reggianna Bird of Paradise is still around. This is believed to be only place in Papua New Guinea where the Reggianna Bird of Paradise can breed and live freely. “We made sure that no locals disturbed the area. We punished those who disobeyed,” he said.
Micheal Paraka, a local recalls, “When the zoo was in operation, there were people flooding in every weekend. Bus loads of frequent the area. There was picnic place and both local and international visitors frequent the area. I can precisely remember about 200-300 people per weekend.”
 The renovation work is expected to be completed in June this year. While the administration centre is being prioritised with the funding from local MP, the other areas that needed more funding to be completed are; the picnic areas, animals’ cages, and the parameter iron fence that surrounds the zoo area.
“More funds should be allocated to speed up the work. When the local MP has started it, other stakeholders should come in to finish the rehabilitation process with more funding as this a national significant project,” volunteer tourism promoter Philip Ukuni said.    
Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary is believed to be the only site in Papua New Guinea where the Reggianna Bird of Paradise species can freely live and breed today in large numbers. The Reggianna Bird of Paradise is the National Symbol of Papua New Guinea found both on the National Flag and the National Crest Feature. It is only found in Papua New Guinea and the Air Niugini Limited is also using the Bird of Paradise as its symbol.
Bird of Paradise originated on the island of New Guinea. Only six (6) of the forty-five (45) species are elsewhere. Two in Indonesia on the Island of Moluccan Archipekago, and four in Australia; two of which have far greater and more widespread populations on the Island of New Guinea.
The writer is a volunteer highlands tourism promoter and based in Mt. Hagen. For queries contact him via email at: howarigc@gmail.com  or SMS: 73081368

PNG Foreign Minister Pato Strengthens Papua New Guinea’s Bridging Role that Links Pacific Islands, Asia and Africa

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The 60th Asian African Conference concluded last week in Indonesia with the Foreign Minister, Hon. Rimbink Pato MP, saying agreement was reached in a number of areas that are important to the nation, and utilises Papua New Guinea's position in the region."Papua New Guinea has a strategic role linking the Pacific Island states to the ongoing engagement between Asia and Africa," Foreign Minister Pato said after the conference.

"As the only country that is a member of Asian African Conference, APEC and the Pacific Islands Forum, our country is in a unique position as a bridge between these forums.

"The purpose of the Asian African Conference is to strengthening south-to-south cooperation, in other words, to enhance cooperation between developing countries.

"We are building on the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership that was signed at the Asian African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, ten years ago.

"Papua New Guinea is engaging with other countries to share information and work closer in areas including tourism, small and medium enterprises, food security and energy security.

"As our economy grows we need to be a party to this engagement so that we can learn from similar development experience around Asia and Africa, and where appropriate, we apply these in our Pacific Island nations."

The Foreign Minister called on all members to maintain consultation and to follow-up on commitments made at the Asian African Conference.

"Papua New Guinea urges all member states to make concerted efforts to implement the resolutions made at this conference to enable us develop a new spirit of South-south Cooperation and strategic partnership," Minister Pato said at the Ministerial Conference.

"Let's all continue to reaffirm our commitments to freedom, peace and security, respect for human rights, fundamental to which is adherence to the rule of law to building just and democratic societies for the world."

The conference was attended by representatives of 116 countries, accounting for more than half of the membership of the United Nations. These included the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of China, while the conference was hosted by Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo.

In closing the conference, President Widodo invited all representatives of Asian and African countries to maintain economic cooperation to increase the quality of life of their people.

"This is a revival voice of Asian-African nations that cannot be replaced by anyone," President Joko Widodo said at the conference.

"The Spirit of Bandung is to advance people's welfare. Therefore, we must cooperate."

While in Indonesia, the Foreign Minister also held a range of meetings with leaders and ministers in partner countries. These included the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Fiji, Sweden, Morocco, the Deputy Prime Ministers of South Korea, Thailand and Turkey, and a range of Asian and African Ambassadors.

The first Asian African Conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955 and marked a new beginning between developing countries working together to ensure peace and enhance prosperity in their countries and across the Asian and African regions.

Papua New Guinea applauds Korea Government for Partnership

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, has applauded the Korean Government for its contribution in building the new Rigo hospital.

PM O'Neill was in the Rigo District, Central Province on Friday to officially open the new state-of-the-art hospital. "On behalf of the people of Rigo and the government of Papua New Guinea, I would like to thank the Korea International Cooperation Agency, for giving this wonderful gift to Papua New Guinea and the people of Rigo," the Prime Minister said in Rigo.

"Thank you for being a strong development partner of Papua New Guinea and I urge the Korean Ambassador to convey our people and government's gratitude to the Republic of Korea."

"As partners we are facing challenges that confront our people in areas such as healthcare, and they are aligning development programs with the priorities of our government.

"As you are all aware, one of our government's main priorities is the development of healthcare system in the country.

"That is why this government is focusing its energy and efforts in ensuring that our health care is properly maintained, providing better health services for our people.

"This is one of the outstanding partnerships that we have developed and for that, we are very appreciative to the Republic of Korea and it's government.

"It can now serve thousand people from the Rigo District as well as nearby villages in Central Province."

The Prime Minster called on the new custodians of the hospital to properly maintain the facility. He said if the hospital is properly taken care of it will last for one hundred years, but this was in the hands of the people.

PNG offers Condolences Following Earthquake in Nepal that has also affected China and India

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill  has offered the nation's condolences to the governments of Nepal, China and India following a significant earthquake yesterday that has killed more than 1,000 people.

The highest number of fatalities from the 7.9 magnitude earthquake were in Nepal where their Government estimates the number of dead could be as high as 1,500.

It is further reported that dozens of people have been killed in China and India in border areas close to Nepal.

Among the dead are a number of foreigners who were visiting and working in Nepal.

"We express our deep sympathies to the countries affected by this earthquake that has caused significant loss of life in Nepal, and appears to have killed a number of people in China and India," the Prime Minister said.

"This was a very destructive earthquake, and we cannot imagine the horror experienced by those who were in buildings that have collapsed or were affected by avalanches.

"From the information we have received so far, there does not appear to have been any Papua New Guineans among the foreigners who were killed or injured.

"As a country we do not have extensive trade or social contact with Nepal, but we join with global community in expressing our sorrow for this loss.

"With new communications technology, we are all much more aware of tragedies when they strike.

"I ask Papua New Guineans to remember the families of those who have died in this disaster in their own thoughts and prayers."

PNG Kumuls team announced for 2015 Pacific Cup against Fiji

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The Papua New Guinea Kumuls coaching staff have named the Kumuls that will  take on NRL dominated Fiji side. Notable omission from the Kumul squad are David Mead, James Segeyaro, Alex Johnston, Rod Graffin, Neville , Tommy Butterfield  because they put their hands up to play for Australia.

The PNG Team that will take on the Fiji Bati next week are:
Stanton Albert (Penrith Panthers)
Wellington Albert (Penrith Panthers)
Ase Boas (SP PNG Hunters)
Josh Damen (Souths Logan Magpies)
Israel Eliab (SP PNG Hunters)
Adam Korave (SP PNG Hunters)
Nene Macdonald (Sydney Roosters)
Rhyse Martin (Townsville Blackhawks)
Tyson Martin (Mackay Cutters)
Willie Minoga (SP PNG Hunters)
Kato Ottio (SP PNG Hunters)
Luke Page (Canberra Raiders)
Brandy Peter (SP PNG Hunters)
Wartovo Puara (SP PNG Hunters)
Esau Siune (SP PNG Hunters)
Thompson Teteh (SP PNG Hunters)
Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys)
Lawrence Tu’u (SP PNG Hunters)
Noel Zeming (SP PNG Hunters)

Kangaroos side named for 2015 ANZAC Test against the Kiwis

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KANGAROOS coach Tim Sheens has named his side to take on the New Zealand Kiwis in the 2015 Anzac Test.
1. Billy Slater (Storm)
2. Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs)
3. Will Chambers (Storm)
4. Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs
5. Josh Dugan (Dragons)
6. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
7. Cooper Cronk (Storm)
8. Matt Scott (Cowboys)
9. Cameron Smith (Storm)
10. Aaron Woods (Tigers)
11. Greg Bird (Titans)
12. Sam Thaiday (Broncos)
13. Corey Parker (Broncos)
14. Luke Lewis (Sharks)
15. Trent Merrin (Dragons)
16. Nate Myles (Titans)
17. James Tamou (Cowboys)
18. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
19. Michael Jennings (Roosters)
20. Josh Papalii (Raiders)
Coach: Tim Sheens

Fiji name team to take on the PNG Kumuls

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The  Fiji side will play on Saturday, May 2 as part of a Pacific Test double header at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. The Fiji Bati side to take on PNG:
Head coach Rick Stone has selected a mixture of youth and experience with the nucleus of the team involved in the highly successful 2013 World Cup, along with some local Fijian players.
“It’s an exciting squad we have assembled, with some great young talent and plenty of experience,” Stone said.
“We are really looking forward to seeing players like Viliame Kikau and brothers Daniel and Jacob Safiti represent their country for the first time.
“The squad also includes three local Fijian players who will take enormous benefits from the week in camp, especially 19-year-old Tikio Noke, who has been selected again after being part of our World Cup squad in 2013.”
1 Kevin Naiqama – Wests Tigers
2 Marika Koroibete – Melbourne Storm
3 Fabian Goodall – Wentworthville
4 Brayden Wiliame – Manly Sea Eagles
5 Eto Nabuli – St George IllawarraDragons
6 Darryl Millard – South SydneyRabbitohs
7 Ryan Millard – Brisbane Norths
8 Eloni Vunakece – Wyong Roos
9 Apisai Koroisau – Penrith Panthers
10 Daniel Saifiti – Newcastle Knights
11 Jason Bukuya – Cronulla Sharks
12 Jacob Saifiti – Newcastle Knights
13 Korbin Sims – Newcastle Knights
INTERCHANGE
14 Tyrone Phillips – Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
15 Viliame Kikau – North QueenslandCowboys
16 Tikio Noke – Fiji
17 Osea Sadrau – Fiji
18 Timoci Ratulolo Dabea – Fiji
Coach: Rick Stone

PNG Hunters drop to 7th place

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The Papua New Guinea Hunters dropped to the 7th place on the Intrust Super Cup ladder despite a miraculous win over the Burleih Bears 38 - 32 over the weekend.

The Hunters shot up to 6th place with 10 competition points after 5 wins and 3 losses so far this season.

But a big 66-4 win from the Wynnum Manly Seagulls over the Norths Devils this afternoon displaced the Hunters.

The Seagulls are also on 10 points but their points for and against difference of 22 puts them ahead of the Hunters who have a points difference of only 12.

Also on 10 points but in fifth place on the ladder are the East Tigers who have a points for and against difference of 64.

The Hunters will have a bye next week and majority of the players will represent their country in the Pacific Cup against the Fiji Batis.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill addresses ANZAC Day Service

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His Excellency, Sir Michael Ogio, Governor General of Papua New Guinea;
Ministers of State;
Honourable Christian Porter, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Australia;
Her Excellency, Deborah Stokes, Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea;
His Excellency, Tony Fautua, New Zealand High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea;
And all representatives of the diplomatic corps;
Veterans, Servicemen and women;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am deeply honoured to be here today with you.
At dawn services around the world, in nations where Australian and New Zealand military personnel have served, thousands of people will stand in silence and pay their respects for the fallen.
Around Papua New Guinea, right now, there are many services taking place to commemorate ANZAC Day.
While it is not our official national day of remembrance – we come together to honour the men and women who lost their lives in our country.
On this day we also honour the very special contribution of our own servicemen who worked with allied forces seventy years ago.
The bravery of Papuans and New Guineans who served in the Australian Army during World War Two is remembered – as is the extraordinary commitment by carriers and by our villagers.
The bravery of the Papuans along the Kokoda track remains one of the most honoured parts in the history of the war in the Pacific.
We pay special tribute to those brave men and women, who wrote their names into history with distinction and courage.
Right now we stand on sacred ground – where so many fallen warriors are buried.
Here at Bomana – 3,824 service personnel, from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and other allied partners, have their final resting place.
Sadly, 699 of these graves are, as their headstones state – “Known unto God.”
These unknown soldiers were not able to be identified by name – but they will forever rest in our soil with due care and respect.
Our country takes very seriously our responsibility to protect and honour those who are buried here.
We also thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for their tireless effort in preserving cemeteries and monuments with dignity.
The number of visitors to Kokoka, and other places where fighting took place has increased over recent years.
Papua New Guinea welcomes you with open arms.
We encourage more young men and women from all nations that served here, to come and learn more about our shared history – Regardless of whether we were friend or foe during the war.
It is so important that we learn from the tragedy of war – and after the shooing has stopped that we strive to live in peace.
In just a few hours, the leaders of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, will stand side-by-side at Gallipoli.
These nations, who were once enemies, are now friends.
The same is true of the relationship that allied countries now share with Japan.
Last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid respects to his country’s war dead when he visited Papua New Guinea.
Now the Pacific lives in peace, and our countries have moved on from the horror of war – but we will honour those who paid the supreme sacrifice.
We must ensure their loss was not in vain – by upholding democracy and liberty in our countries.
On behalf of the Government and the people of Papua New Guinea, we honour and express our gratitude for all who have served – particularly those who lost their lives and lay buried before us.
Lest we forget.

PNG Hunters come from behind to bury Burleih Bears 38 - 32

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The Papua New Guinea SP Hunters have demolished Burleih Bears  with come from behind score of 38 - 32  on their home turf. 

The Hunters were shut out by the Bears in the first half. The Bears wasted no  time to cross over for the opening try within opening five minutes of the game.  They  crossed over again to extend the lead to 12 - 0 . The Hunters found some energy and replied with an unconverted try to trail 12 - 4. Another try from Hunters reduce the margin to 12 - 10. The Bears fought back with  two converted tries to extend their lead 24 - 10 into half -time.

In the second half, Michael Marum's men regrouped and started the game off well but the Bears were first to score  to extend their lead to 30 - 10. The Hunters found some energy to stop the flood games and  Thompson Teteh crossed over for the Hunters to trail  30 - 16.  This try boosted the Hunters game  and another two tries were scored through big Willie Moninga  that placed the Hunters within reach with 30 - 28 scoreline. 

Another magic break by Hunters hooker placed captain Eliab to cross over again to steal the lead 32 - 30.  A penalty shot from Bears equalised the score 32 - 32 all with five minutes left on the clock.

A magnificent try from Hunters fullback Stargroth Amean in the final minute sealed the game with Hunters coming out winners 38 - 32. 





PNG Hunters vs Burleih Bears game to be streamed live online

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In one of the anticipated ANZAC day clash , the PNG Hunters  take on Burleih Bears this afternoon. The game will be streamed live online. PNG TVWAN will bring the game across Papua New Guinea.

Venue: Pizzey Park, Burleigh
Date: 3.30pm - Saturday April 25
Referee: Michael Gordon

TEAM LISTS

Burleigh Bears: 1. Khan Ahwang 2. Zach Mackay 3. Brad Tighe 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Kevin Gordon 6. Tyler Chadburn 7. Ryley Jacks 8. David Hala 15. Tyron Haynes 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Jason Chan 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 16. Louis Fanene 17. Josh Ailaomai 20. Kyle McConnell 
Coach: Jim Lenihan

PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. David Lapua 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Atte Bina 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Kato Ottio 12. Brandy Peter 13. Timothy Lomai 14. Roger Laka 15. Lawrence Tu'u 16. Willie Minoga 17. Adam Korave 18. Oti Bland Tony 19. Ase Boas 20. Nickson Borana
Coach: Michael Marum


Would you go backpacking alone in Papua New Guinea?

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By Bart Napierala
Would you go backpacking alone to a place that has a reputation of being notoriously dangerous like Papua New Guinea?
In spite of the bad press and information I was given, I took the risk, and I had an absolutely wonderful time up there. Quite frankly, I have rarely experienced such hospitality!
The key to success was making friends from this amazing country before I started travelling. Hanging around Cairns for a few weeks gave me a chance to meet the right people to start planning my adventure. In Papua New Guinea, I spent one month in total: one week in the capital, Port Moresby, then two weeks in The Highlands, and the last week in Madang Province. Once I met friendly Papuan, I could always rely on someone recommended while on the road. Port Moresby, being avoided by tourists likes a plague, I found to be a great place. Unless you have someone local to hang with, you will enjoy its laid back atmosphere. Roaming around colourful, busy markets, or using PMV buses full of music, locals singing in Pisin language, or explaining to curious people around what is a reason of your visit, are simply exciting! If you overcome your prejudice to betel nuts and try to chew a few with your newly made friends, you will become a 100% Papuan.


The writer chewing betelnut (buai), a hobby for most
Papua New Guineans for leisure.


The Highlands, discovered barely sixty years ago, offer other attractions as well. Once getting to the village, you automatically become a member of the tribe. As walking alone in the capital might be a bit risky, there is no fear in walking by yourself in a village. You will be always assisted by autochthons, who will show you the best of the village and explain whatever you wish to know about their life. An amazing tropical forest with its birds of paradise and plenty of breath taking walking tracks are just the cherries on the top of an already wonderful experience!

The writer with local highlanders wanted to do thing
the villagers do every day. He was taking a pig to
 the near bushes for feeding. In the Highlands of
 Papua New Guinea, pigs are integral part of their life - it
is a source of meat/protein, it is used to make
peace or compensation and it is used for bride price payment
. In today's economy, pig in the Highlands
is a good sale for cash. This pig would cost
an average of PGK500.

Those who love a real adventure will find a fifteen hour long trip by crowded PMV bus from Wabag to Madang really fun. Constantly changing varieties of stunning landscapes watched from a window, and heaps of opportunities to chat with talkative passengers, make it definitely worth experiencing.

Mt. Giluwe. Photo courtesy of Niugini Exotic Tours.

The trip to Papua New Guinea was the best one I have done in my life. I guess, if I had taken an organized trip, I wouldn’t have met so many authentic people on my way, and possibly wouldn’t have experienced so much. The trip gave me a chance to learn not only about Papuan life and disincentive cultures, but about some of the problems they’ve been facing. Papua New Guinea is an amazing place with beautiful people, and I cannot simply wait to visit it again. It definitely does not deserve the bad reputation it has received from today’s media.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this travel. Bart Napierala via email at, bart.napierala@gmail.com or local Niugini Exotic Tours at, howarig4@gmail.com or find more travel articles and photographs about Papua New Guinea at, http://howarig.blogspot.com 

The writer is a travel journalist from Poland and he travelled to Papua New Guinea in 2013, started in Port Moresby to the highlands and then down to the coastal in Madang via the Okuk Highlands highway. He was very astonished with scenes and sites and attributes this article to thank those who made his trip memorable. He plans to make a return trip and currently raising funds in Poland.



Oil Search Pacific Games Relay on Fly River, Western Province

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Today The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay travelled down the Fly River to the remote government stations of Aimbak and Suki, on the way to Daru.

The first stop was on the banks of the Fly River at Aimbak. The station in the Middle Fly district is very remote and surrounded by small hamlets rather than the larger villages found elsewhere in Papua New Guinea. The station is known locally as river mile number 252.

500 people had made their way to the station to greet the Relay and community leader Richard Zumoi had arranged for the youths of the area to carry the Baton around the station.

Next stop was Suki, an island in the middle of the Fly River, and located at river mile 152 in the South Fly region.

The community travelled by canoe, banana boat and foot to see the Baton, after OTML had done Toksave to advise the people of the Relay coming to visit.

At each stop the Relay team and mascot Tura handed out community partner UNICEF Pacific Games piksa buks and crayons to the local schools to be used as teaching tools.

From there the Relay landed in Daru for a Relay around the island and town. It seemed like the whole town came out to have a look at the Relay and be part of the journey.

Tomorrow the Relay will do some school visits in Daru and then the Relay heads back out to the islands region, with visits to Manus on Monday and arriving in New Ireland on Tuesday.

Indonesia, Vanuatu sign inter-parliamentary cooperation agreement

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The Indonesian and Vanuatu parliaments have signed an inter-parliament cooperation agreement which is part of the Asia-Pacific Parliament Forum.

Chairman of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Setya Novanto and his Vanuatu counterpart, Phillip Boedoro signed the cooperation agreement at the Parliament Building here on Thursday.

During the signing of the agreement, Novanto was accompanied by Deputy Chairmen of the DPR Fahri Hamzah and Agus Hermanto, while Philllip Boedoro was flanked by his deputy Dunston Hilton.

On the occasion, Novanto also expressed gratitude to the Vanuatu parliament for sending its delegation to the Asian-African Parliament Conference.

Similarly, Phillip Boedoro expressed gratitude to the Indonesian parliament for inviting the Vanuatu parliament to the conference.

Through the conference, the Indonesian parliament is looking forward to establishing closer and more strategic relations with parliaments from Asian and African countries, Novanto said.

Phillip Boedoro also expressed gratitude to the Indonesian government which has helped the people of Vanuatu when natural disaster hit the state recently.

“This shows good cooperation between Indonesia and Vanuatu,” he said.

The conference was part of a series of events held to mark the 60th anniversary of the Asian African Conference held in Bandung, West Java, in 1955.

SOURCE: ANTARA NEWS

PNG Government refuses to accept Namah’s election as governor

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PNG government rejects Namah's election as Governor 
The Papua New Guinea Government has refused to recognise the election of Vanimo-Green MP former opposition leader Belden Namah as West Sepik (Sandaun) Governor this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion, the minister responsible for Inter Government Relations, said he was studying documents alleging that Namah "hijacked and abused the legitimate and democratic process of the election of a provincial governor."

Deputy Governor and acting Governor Paul Nengai had complained in a letter to Dion that there was a total disregard of the legal and proper process of parliamentary election by Namah, who did not have respect and regards for rule and process of law and parliamentary processes. “… I appeal to you not to recognize the event at hand as legitimate and legal. I further request your intervention and investigation of the whole process employed by Namah to have himself purportedly elected Governor of Sandaun Province.

“I very much appreciate your immediate act in this respect for protection of the legal and proper parliamentary process,” Nengai said in his letter.

According to document of facts, there was a notice issued for a provincial assembly meeting to take place last Monday, April 20, but realising that the former Assembly Clerk, who was now in his substantive position as director assembly services, abused the process in allowing the meeting under dubious means..


SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

Australian Defence Force signs Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement with PNG Defence Force

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Commander Joint Logistics, Rear Admiral Clint Thomas, has signed a Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement with his PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) counterpart, Chief of Logistics Colonel Ben Siria.
The Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement will facilitate reciprocal logistics support between the ADF and the PNGDF.
Rear Admiral Thomas and Colonel Siria discussed how the arrangement could be put into practice for the benefit of the PNGDF. They discussed the significant existing cooperation between the two militaries, with logistics experts already conducting exchanges between Port Moresby and Townsville, along with infrastructure, supply, maintenance and equipment support provided through the Defence Cooperation Program. They also discussed how the PNG-Australia Defence Cooperation Program can be further tailored to support the PNGDF’s logistics capabilities.
Rear Admiral Thomas said: “I look forward to the arrangement being an important means of building the PNGDF’s logistics capability, which will support the PNGDF’s development as a more capable, sustainable and professional regional security partner.
“The Defence Cooperation Program with PNG is our largest with any country, with approximately approximately K53 million allocated in the 2014-15 financial year and this is set to increase in 2015-16.”

PNG Students in the United States meet PNG delegation

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Two Papua New Guinea students studying in the United States  have met up with the PNG delegation  who are in the United States to receive the 400 year old King James Bible.  Students Max Sale and Samson Paul drove six hours from Ohio to Indiana to meet up with the PNG delegation.  Both students are from the Nipa Kutubu electorate in the Southern Highlands Province.  It was a proud moment for the two students to meet up with the higher profile delegation led by Speaker Theo Zurenuoc. They also met  up with their governor Honorable William Powi.

The delegates are coming back to PNG on Monday  with the KJV Bible and will be given a guard of honor to welcome them.  The historical old Bible will  replace the  traditional parliament carvings that the speak destroyed in a controversial stance  claiming that the carvings depicted evil spirit.

PNG Customs register 28 fraudulent cases

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Papua New Guinea Customs, has registered a total of 28 fraudulent cases related to its operations in the country.
These cases related to the unlawful removal of imports from Customs control, through forgery and altering of Customs system-generated documents, like declaration and receipts.
Chief Commissioner, Ray Paul, spoke of this in Port Moresby, today.
Since February this year, Customs have carried out investigations with the help from police and have registered 28 cases related to unlawful removal of cargoes.
Out of that 10 people have been either detained or arrested, with five already behind bars awaiting trial.
Chief Commissioner Ray Paul said growing number of cases is a concern.
The unlawfully removed imports includes cooking oil, graders, backhoes, vehicles and other items.
The Chief Commissioner said, despite facing a serious men power shortage and resources, PNG Customs, with the assiatnce of Police, remain committed to ensuring those involved in these illegal activities be brought to justice under Customs Act.
So far customs have lost more then 1 million kina through this fraudulent cases.
Meantime, PNG Customs is appealing to the business houses and individuals to be wary of whom they deal with to remove their cargoes from the wharfs.
Ray Paul said importers must be careful when engaging Customs brokers, as there is a syndicate involving Customs Officials, Ports workers, shipping agents and others. PNG Facts/NBC

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