Samoa PM cautions ACP Leaders on the future of the group

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By Pita Ligaiula in Port Moresby, PNG

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has cautioned the 79 member group of nations of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) against taking decisions that the group is not yet in a position to make regarding its future after 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the Pacific at the opening of the ACP Leaders Summit Tuesday, Tuilaepa said, “This is a defining Summit for the ACP Group and its international partners and they need to make informed and far-reaching decisions.”

“I am aware that the Eminent Persons Group under the able leadership of Chief Obasanjo will formally table its report during our Summit and that Council has considered and endorsed the Ambassadorial Working Group’s Report of the Future Perspectives of our Group. Clearly, the merging of the salient and practical recommendations of both reports on key strategic issues such as “foundation pillars” to guide our work post 2020 is, in our estimation, the way to proceed.

“But I caution against us taking decisions that we are not yet in a position to make regarding our future.  There is too much at stake and too important a matter to be glossed over. Our Council of Ministers could be tasked with examining the modalities and practical structure of our organisation for our final approval in due course,” Tuilaepa told the leaders.

Tuilaepa said the ACP must construct a future that will strengthen its global influence in key strategic areas and utilise their strength in numbers.

“To this end, it is possible to envisage a post-2020 ACP Group as a “cohesive force capable of articulating its shared concerns and interests in a participatory and inclusive manner at the global level. A group with strong and effective institutions geared towards speedy and timely decision-making and implementation. A group focusing on and embracing its constituents and development partners, capable of demonstrating its value-added and utility. A group that will forge new links and strengthen existing ones, recommended the Samoan PM.  

He said one thing is certain, the ACP will face many challenges that will test its resolve as a group in the coming years.

“Some will be familiar; others will be new and untested. But the common denominator is the imperative for us to meet them together and front-on with clarity of purpose and vision, unwavering commitment, renewed hope as was evident in Sipopo, and above all in unity and solidarity. There is no other choice but to succeed – it is a moral imperative and our duty to the people we are honoured to represent and to serve.

“We are a group steeped in traditions that cherish our diversity, seek to uphold the rule of law and the principles of democracy and good governance, believe in the equality of opportunities for all our communities and above all in seeing poverty become a thing of the past and the attainment of sustainable development.  

“We must never forget the hopes of our peoples, whether in the land continent of Africa, or the ocean continents of the Caribbean and the Pacific. For we all share a strong and common commitment to remove injustice and poverty,” he explained.

Tuilaepa said what the ACP Group, is and will be, depends on the Leaders here at this Summit in Papua New Guinea.

“We must look to the future with renewed hope and belief.  We are one family, he said.

Tuilaepa stressed that leaders should consider the best options to reposition the group to meet the future challenges that await them as well as effectively respond to the development needs of the ACP.  

“My final words are to the EU. You have stood by the ACP for over four decades and together we have witnessed strong improvements in the development of our respective countries. But together we can do more and better. Lessons from the past will help us in this regard, in particular those associated with Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations and political dialogue under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.  

“As we look beyond 2020, my sincere expectation is for us to engage more in genuine political dialogue that will fast track our collective decision making process and thereby arrive at an ACP-EU partnership that will endure for the next 40 years. A partnership that we can all be proud of, that encapsulates the aspirations and hopes of our peoples, and ultimately will launch the next generations of our communities into a more prosperous and peaceful future,” said PM Tuilaepa.

ACP Leaders Summit Chair and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said if ACP is to stay relevant the Groupings vision needs to change to keep up with today’s changing world.

“As one of the biggest international groupings, it is frustrating to see that ACP economic relations have not fundamentally changed and that the political significance of the ACP Group is still marginal.”

He said ACP should focus on trade and investment, increase political dialogue and advocacy, and diversify development and international cooperation.

“We lack trade and investment vertically and horizontally within the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific region. The Group should seriously embark on greater intra-ACP cooperation among ACP member states, firstly starting within the six sub regions of the ACP.

“If ACP is to be relevant and responsive to its members given the rapid rate of globalisation, it requires a major restructure in order to change its core business to one that is trade and investment oriented.”

“As we know, multilateral forums such as the WTO, APEC and ASEAN have undertaken reforms to keep up to speed with trade and investment as new engines of global trade.”

“For these reasons, many countries are teaming up into trading blocks and these re manifested in the establishment of Free Trade Agreement/Regional Trade Agreements in order for them to gain trade and investment market benefits.”

“It is incumbent on ACP Leaders and stakeholders to start the conversation going forward or whether the organisation remains as it is or undertake structural reforms to keep pace with the rapid globalising trend,” O’Neill told leaders.


Government of Tonga ready to give up hosting 2019 Pacific Games, says PM

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The Tongan Government has threatened to withdraw its right to host the 2019 Pacific Games, in light of the unresolved differences between the Prime Minister, the local organizing committee of the 2019 Games and the Pacific Games Council (PGC), PACNEWS has established.

A three page letter from Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva to the President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidya Lakhan on 20 May said, "The Government of Tonga is prepared to withdraw all of its funding and support towards the operations of the Organising Committee (OC) should the matter at hand remain unresolved.'

In addition, PM Pohiva dared the Games Council to 'withdraw the Pacific Games of 2019 from Tonga if you insist on your own unwarranted terms and conditions.'

The Tongan Government injected TOP3 million (US$1.28 million) to the operations of the Organising Committee and decided in February this year to transfer the work of the Organising Committee headed by Lord Sevele to a Government Facilities Committee.

The on-going tussle between the parties stemmed from the removal of Lord Sevele last week as directed by the Prime Minister.

The Pacific Games Council stood by the decision of Lord Sevele not to vacate office saying it did not recognise the directive of the Prime Minister to revoke his appointment.

President Vidya Lakhan said the PGC is the sole authority responsible for the direction and control of the Pacific Games. Any decision to hire or remove members of the Organising Committee rests with TASANOC, the local national olympic committee.

"Your objection of the AGA's power of appointment is directly contradictory not only to the PGC itself but all Parties in the change they made from the Agreement in 2012 to the Act of 2013. This is questionable and utterly dishonorable to all Parties involved, let alone to Tonga as potential client of your Pacific Games, said PM Pohiva to Lakhan.

The Tongan PM said his government has acted in the best interest of the country in the promotion and preparation of the Pacific Games.

"It has not violated any agreements or charter other than following due sensible process and procedures outlined in the Tonna Pacific Games Organisation ACt of 2013 of which the Tongan Government, TASANOC and PGC are all Parties, said the PM.


Focus on sustainable development, President Mugabe says

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ZIMBABWEAN President Dr Robert Mugabe says the new African Caribbean Pacific group needs to concentrate its efforts on clearly defined perimeters and domains for sustainable development.
Mugabe said the ACP-European Union partnership of more than 40 years had regrettably created a typical donor-recipient relationship and a dependency syndrome.

“The year marks 41 years since the signing of the Georgetown Agreement by which we committed ourselves to a relationship with the European Union,” he said. 

“With the birth of an ACP-EU partnership came the evolution of a largest inter-continental body of developing countries whose vision then was to enhance the political identity of the ACP group to enable it to act and speak with a united voice in all international forums and to contribute toward the realisation to a new fairer and more equitable world economic order.
“The question that confronts us today is have we lived up to that vision as an ACP family and what impact has ACP-EU partnership had on our wellbeing.

“As the Cotonou partnership agreement nears its end in 2020, we commend the initiative of ministers who established the ambassadorial working groups on future perspectives and the Eminent Persons Group to intensify reflections on the future of our organisations.”
Mugabe said the new ACP should avoid duplicating activities being carried out by other regional and international organisations which the countries were already party to.
“The fight to eradicate poverty remains protracted daunting and demanding that we all should marshal our actions towards the promotion of the sustainable development goals and agenda 2030,” he said. The National/PNG Today/ Photo by: Justin Tkatchenko

Sir Mekere warns of Parliament becoming a rubber stamp for O’Neill

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Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today the National Parliament is in danger of becoming a rubber stamp for the decisions taken by the Prime Minister, surrounded by a small group of unelected advisers, high-priced foreign consultants and veste

“In recent years the Office of the Prime Minister and those who influence it have come to dominate the structures and processes of decision-making by the Parliament and the Executive,” he said.

“Parliament in particular needs to be restored to its rightful place as the embodiment of the rights, aspirations and views of the people.

“Likewise the rights and the duty of Members of Parliament to represent the nation and their people need to be restored and respected.”

The refusal of the Government to allow Parliament to discuss properly issues or proposed laws - such as the Budget, revenue, expenditure, taxes and borrowings – is an attack on the House’s position as the centerpiece of Papua New Guinea’s democracy.

MPs have a democratic right and a legal and moral duty to analyse, debate and make informed laws in the national interest.

Failure to do so has resulted in the Supreme Court declaring a stream of laws to be unconstitutional.

An example is the ruling of the Supreme Court that the current government’s attempt to avoid a vote of no confidence was unconstitutional.

“It is also not right that District Support funds be used as a weapon to control votes in Parliament, recruit MPs to the ruling party and maintain political dominance,” Sir Mekere said.

“The result of all this is that people are fast losing confidence in and respect for the Parliament,” Sir Mekere said.

The growing practice of the Prime Minister not consulting Parliament and MPs, or experienced and professional Papua New Guineans in the public service, the business sector, churches and NGOs, was contributing to a general decline in public confidence in national institutions.

“It is clear to all of us that the Prime Minister’s decisions are influenced and flavoured by an army of publicly funded foreign lawyers, foreign bankers, accountants, financial advisers and spin doctors,” Sir Mekere said.

“It is annoying and frustrating for the many educated Papua New Guineans who have been effectively silenced.

“The victims of the Prime Minister’s ruthless, dictatorial style are the Parliament, the Constitution and the Laws of Papua New Guinea and the rights of citizens,” Sir Mekere said.

Press release

Oil Search hands over food drive donations to Kikori Hospital

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By Jacob Marcos

Photo: Oil Search Foundation Kutubu-Kikori Field Supervisor officially handing over the food-drive donations to Mr. Kaipu, Kikori Rural Hospital Admistrator. Attending the donation (R-L), Sr. Mefaramu, Sr. Kaipu and Clement Kumaru.

The Oil Search staff-led tuberculosis (TB) food drive for the Kikori Hospital in the Gulf Province has received overwhelming support. The donations included 190 kilograms of rice, 7 cartons of noodles, 6 boxes of biscuits, 7 cartons of tinned food, 5 litres of cooking oil, and 70 packs of laundry detergent.

Last week, Program Supervisor for the Oil Search Foundation (OSF), Chris’bourne Taput, officially handed over the food donations to Hospital Administrator, Larry Kaipu. The donations highlighted the importance of building on the existing partnerships to continuously strengthen support and deliver patients with the care and management they need.

Kaipu thanked Oil Search for identifying and addressing the need, noting the food supplies would enable compliance to two weeks intensive tuberculosis (TB) medication.

“For TB in-patients. The OSF continues to work with Kikori Hospital to stabilise the critical food supply for patients,” Kaipu said.

Recently lack of adequate food has seen numerous in-patients with TB abandoning treatment to leave the hospital in search of food. Ceasing treatment before the end of the intensive treatment courses raises the risk of spreading TB and consequently developing multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB.

The food donation was attended by Kikori District Health Manager, Sr. Ekaloa Mefaramu, Kikori Rural Hospital Director Nursing Services, Sr Kaipu and patients and staff of the hospital.

Kymberley Kepore, CEO of the Oil Search Foundation, thanked Oil Search and Foundation employees for the very generous support to help address the TB burden in Kikori and said:

“This year’s food drive has been enormously successful. Last year a first round of TB fund-raising was kicked off and I would like acknowledge Oil Search and Oil Search Foundation staff, the Bangladesh Association of Port Moresby, Port Moresby Electrical, TEPNG, Aaron Bird, Kina Securities staff, Simon Anderson, James Watson, Pieter Berkout, Jacob Lakenby, Bupa Medical staff in Australia, and Anne-Sophie Hermann,” Kepore said adding that their help is going a long way in the fight against TB

PM O'Neill assures Solomon Islands PM of safety of students studying in PNG

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Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been assured by his Papua New Guinea (PNG) counterpart Peter O’Neill that Port Moresby will ensure that Solomon Islands students studying at various tertiary institutions in PNG are provided adequate security as the University of Papua New Guinea students continue their protest for his removal as Prime Minister is now in its fourth week.

The assurance was made in a bilateral meeting between the two leaders in Port Moresby ahead of the 8th ACP Heads of State and Government Summit which begins today.

The PNG Prime Minister told his Solomon Islands counterpart that the students’ protests have ‘lost momentum’ and that he expected normal classes to resume very soon.

Prime Minister O’Neill has indicated that the University of Papua New Guinea has a vibrant debating environment, and that the recent protest is an ongoing example of the students’ free expressions of political ideals, attributing the current UPNG students’ protest as influenced by PNG politics as the country is heading for the national general elections next year 2017.

The PNG Prime Minister told his Solomon Islands counterpart that PNG will always support Solomon Islands students studying at various PNG institutions and ensure they are safe to continue on to complete the term of their studies.

He said the safety of Solomon Islands students at the campuses in not the real issues of concern, but rather the disruption to their studies now that the first semester examinations are about to begin.

PM O’Neill also indicated that PNG may consider extending the study terms for Solomon Islands students affected by the protests if required.

The PNG Government has funded scholarships for around 600 Solomon Islands students since 2014 under their bilateral cooperation agreements, most of them still currently undertaking their studies at Papua New Guinea.

More than a thousand Solomon Islanders are undertaking studies at various PNG institutions.


EU signs 10 millon Euros support for post cyclone recovery in Fiji

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By Pita Ligaiula in Port Moresby, PNG

The European Union's Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development,  Neven Mimica and Fiji's Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama today signed an agreement for a new initiative worth 10 million Euros (FJ$23 million) at the margins of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Leader Summit in Port Moresby.

The financial assistance package will assist Fiji's recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the agriculture sector following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“The EU is proud to offer its assistance to Fiji during these trying times for the country. The FJ$23 million will not only help the sugar and agriculture sectors to recover quickly, but will also give hope and optimism to hundreds and thousands of Fijian citizens who depend on the sectors for their livelihoods and survival,” said Commissioner Mimica.

“The support will come in the form of direct budget support so the Government is able to use the funds according to the priorities identified in the recovery plan for the sectors. The Government and development partners have produced a comprehensive Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and we now look forward to a speedy implementation of the recovery plan”.

PM Bainimarama in response thanked the European Union and asked Commissioner Mimica to convey the gratitude of every Fijian to the Commission, member governments and the people of Europe.

“This is an important day for Fiji and for our relationship with the European Union – the signing of an agreement that provides Fiji with 10 million Euros to support our recovery effort in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“This allocation is on top of the 28 million Euros (FJ$65.5 million)already pledged by the EU to Fiji under the National Indicative Programme of assistance for sugar and agriculture and improving access to justice. And also on top of the 1 million Euros (FJ$2.3 million) donated in the immediate aftermath of Winston.

“We are very gratified by the confidence the European Union is showing in our budgetary process and the management of our public finances. You are recognising that the best way to deliver assistance is through a partnership with the Government. And your example is one that we hope our other development partners will emulate,” Bainimarama said.

“This funding is destined to improve the lives of many thousands of Fijians, and especially those in our agricultural sector, including sugar, who have been especially hard hit by Cyclone Winston.

Bainimarama said the total damage bill to the nation of more than FJD$3 billion (FJ$1.405 million). Around FJ$540 million (US$252.5 million) of that is in the agricultural sector, according to Fiji’s recent Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

Commissioner Mimica added that the EU has been responding to the needs of TC Winston since February 20 through the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) Programme, distribution of vegetables, fruits, crops and tree seedlings, support to the preparation of the PDNA, reorientation of projects to help with Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Rural Electrification infrastructure through the roll-out of a new 'Construction and Carpentry' training course that will engage selected mill workers and community members.

Bainimarama praised the EU for being “ a reassuring presence by our side” since Winston struck Fiji.... PACNEWS


High Court dismisses prosecutors application

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Belden Namah

A 3 men Supreme Court bench dismissed an application by the Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin seeking to dismiss a special reference by plaintiff and Vanimo Green MP Belden Namah at the Supreme Court.
The application by Mr. Kaluwin was filed this week on grounds of abuse of process in the National Court.
Justice David Cannings in handing down the decision by the Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Allen David and Justice Hitelai Polume –Kiele said the application by the Public Prosecutor was incompetent and not properly before the court and none of the 5 grounds put forward dismissing the reference were meritorious.
The court was satisfied that the reference by Mr. Namah was properly before it and that it is obliged to determine the reference and thus refused the application to dismiss it and it ordered that it would hear the reference.
The questions to be tried in the Supreme Court relate to the Chief Justice Sir Salamoa Injia in appointing the tribunal against Mr. Namah when one of the 10 allegations against him relates to the judiciary. PNGFM / PNG Today

Protesting students may loose their HECAS

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The Department of Higher Education has warned that any student who is on HECAS but withdraw from studies  due to the continues protest may loose their HECAS in 2017.  DHERST has posted the following statement on its website.


The Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST), as the agency responsible for oversight of higher education in Papua New Guinea, would like to inform the general public that it is deeply concerned about the continued student boycott at the University of Papua New Guinea and the three other state universities in the country.

Our interest is to salvage as many tertiary education study opportunities as possible for the remainder of the academic year. We recognize that students and their parents have made significant sacrifices in terms of their money, efforts and time, and many students are still hopeful of realizing a bright future through the attainment of tertiary education qualifications.

UPNG Update

DHERST was informed this Monday that the University Council of UPNG, after consultation with its Academic Senate, has decided that it will need to indefinitely suspend Semester 1 in order to salvage the academic year for 2016.

At a date to be confirmed, the UPNG will then recommence Semester 1 from where the Semester was disrupted, and students will undertake their assessment as per original plans. Semester 2 will then commence shortly thereafter, to compensate for lost time.

The UPNG campus is therefore closed. All students must vacate the campus, including the dormitories, during the suspension period. Students will be notified by UPNG of the date for resuming studies as soon as this is finalized.

In light of these UPNG developments, DHERST would like to make the following announcement to university students:

UPNG students on TESAS Scholarships

During the suspension period, TESAS Scholarship awardees have two main options:

To use their DHERST-funded return air ticket or transport allowance to return home. Flight arrangements can be made by contacting your local Air Nuigini Office. In this case, scholarship awardees will need to fund their own transportation to get back to the campus and to return home at the end of the academic year.
To remain in Port Moresby and make their own accommodation arrangements at their own cost.
The Government of PNG (GoPNG) expects TESAS Awardees :

To devote their time and effort primarily to academic pursuits.
Must at all times behave in a proper manner,
by abiding by their institution’s regulations,
aspiring to meet the expectations of an academic environment,
where there is order and,
respect for State authority and State and institutional property,
and also respect for individual rights and freedom, provided under the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.
In accepting a TESAS Award, you agreed to comply with these TESAS Terms and Conditions.

The GoPNG reserves the right to terminate the TESEAS Award, if you breach, or not comply with these Terms and Conditions.

Furthermore, the GoPNG may terminate a TESAS Award where an Awardee:

Is excluded by the institution from their program due to academic failure or misconduct (as defined by the institution):
Is deemed by DHERST not to have complied with the TESAS Terms and Conditions; or
Conducts themselves in a manner that DHERST has deemed to bring disrepute to the GoPNG or to have transgressed PNG community standards, including but not limited to breaches of national law.
You should be aware GoPNG reserves the right to terminate a TESAS Award without supporting recommendation from the relevant institution.

And you should also note if your TESAS Award is terminated for any reason, you are not eligible to apply for a new TESAS Award until at least two years after the award termination date.

Any TESAS Scholarship Awardees who have any queries, may contact DHERST by telephone, 301 2078, 301 2092, 301 2065, or email: tesas@dherst.gov.pg .

First year students on TESAS Scholarships

These first year students should be aware that, should they choose to withdraw from their studies this year, any application for a TESAS scholarship to study next year will be assessed in combination with this year’s estimated 28,000 Grade 12 School Leavers. There is also no guarantee of admission and enrollment in 2017.

Second and following year students on TESAS Scholarships

Continuing students should also note that they will need to reapply for a TESAS Scholarship for 2017 and there is no guarantee of success.

University students at UNITECH, UNRE and UoG

Each University has its own University Council and Academic Senate which is responsible for their own governance decisions. DHERST remains hopeful that the disruption in this Semester for the remaining three universities can be resolved in a manner whereby the inconvenience felt by students, their parents, academics, university staff and the wider community is minimized.

DHERST remains hopeful that as many students as possible will be able to continue their academic studies in 2016.

Somare condemns Police actions in detaining University students in Wewak

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The Governor of East Sepik Sir Michael Somare expressed outrage at the actions of police towards students and the public on Monday 30 May 2016 in Wewak. Sir Michael said, “It is despicable that leaders are abusing their office by instructing the police to carry out their dirty deeds. Your
role is to provide a safe and secure environment for our people.

“I want the public to know that Sepik students from Unitech and UPNG came home to the province and informed me of their intentions to not only inform their parents of their suspension but also to inform the people of East Sepik of the events taking place in our country.

“They requested the participation of the Provincial Police Commander Chief Superintendent Peter Philip at the meeting which took place over the weekend. They requested my presence and that of the Deputy Governor Ian Samuel and we both obliged. Unfortunately the PPC did not
turn up for the meeting.

“Subsequently, I learnt on Monday 30 May that my staff member, students and two prominent residents had been rounded up and charged by police.
“I drove up to the station and was appalled by the sight of heavily armed policemen and around 20 police cars lining the road leading up to the station.
“As a senior member of parliament, I want to remind members of the Royal PNG Constabulary that your responsibility is towards public safety. You are not there to carry out arrests on innocent students
and the public at the whim of politicians.
“I thank all the concerned market vendors, women, young people and the general public who reached into their pockets that afternoon to provide bail money for those who were rounded up and thrown into police custody.

“I hope that proper arrest procedures were followed in the lock up of these individuals as this would be a serious breach of Constitutional duties and responsibilities as members of the RPNGC.
“Our province and its Capital, Wewak, must remain a safe and secure environment for our people. We are not a police state and this display of aggression towards unarmed and peaceful citizens is unwarranted and not welcomed in the East Sepik,” said Sir Michael

Summit to provide directioin for ACP Group

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It is high time the ACP Group reposition itself and endeavour to become an active player at the world stage for the betterment of its people.

These were the words from the Chair of the ACP Summit, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when official opening the 8th ACP Summit today. O’Neill further said that this particular point is captured in this year’s theme “Repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the Challenges of Sustainable Development.”
“This then is appropriate and fit into the aspirations of many of our nations where we need to have our economies integrated to increase trade and investment opportunities so we can continue to develop our nations,” O’Neill said.
This will not only lead the way for ACP Group becoming an active global player, but also enable partnership with potential partners that ACP states can benefit from.
Meanwhile, the ACP Group holds one- seventh of the global population and if the Group is to improve the lives of that population, O’Neill said there needs to be a new vision for the future and therefore, it is time the ACP Group rise to the occasion and be seen by its people and the world to be an effective and relevant institution that has the power to make some real difference.
The ACP Group’s initial vision when established many years back, was on International Corporation for the need to strengthen relationship with its colonial powers to establish the new countries as independent economic and political players on the global stage.
However, O’Neill said times have changed and this vision is no longer relevant and needs to be redefined to meet today’s needs and he hopes this will take place during this Summit.
Meantime after the official opening of the Summit, the members of the ACP Group had a photo shot in front of the International Convention Centre and were later treated to lunch hosted by the Speaker of Parliament Theo Zurenouc at Parliament’s State Function Room before proceeding to closed doors discussions in the afternoon. PNGFM/PNG Today

PNG Government to ban smoking in public places

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For the prosperity and health of the nation, the Government of PNG is taking a sweeping measure to ban smoking in public places, Health Department Secretary Pascoe Kase states.

Today (May 31) is World No Tobacco Day as it also calls for tobacco control advocates to reach out to other communities to strengthen their efforts in this mortal fight.

Under the theme “Get ready for plain packaging”, the Health Department is looking at ways to legislate the production and consumption of tobacco.

Kase said the theme talks of the removal of all branding (colours, imagery, corporate logos and trademarks), permitting health warnings only.

“The government and the Health Department is calling on all sectors, private, corporate and other government agencies responsible to work together and in the combat to fight against tobacco control and as much as possible, minimise its sale and advertising of cigarettes,” Kase said.

As smoking cigarettes kills millions of precious lives each year around the world, in PNG, smoking has become a societal norm. This means that tobacco-related diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, respiratory diseases and other non-communicable diseases, have increased.

“The current Government does not want our promising young men and women to pose a danger to their own lives so the Health Department, in consultation with Ministry of Health and HIV, will seek tougher laws on cigarette consumption,” stated the health secretary.

Press Release

PM O'Neill's PNC party says, student early campaign illegal

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THE People’s National Congress (PNC) party president, Gareth Kising, has expressed grave concern over what he says is early election campaigning by university students against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the PNC. 

He said the students had broken the law by engaging actively in early election campaign.
“Instead of returning to classes after presenting their petitions, students have now decided to travel to a number of provinces to continue their protests,’ Kising said in a statement yesterday.
“Under the guise of creating awareness on the issues they have raised, they are actively campaigning for the removal of the prime minister, to vote the prime minister and PNC Party out in the 2017 general elections.

“This is against the law and I call on the Chief Electoral Commissioner and the police commissioner to look into this.
“The law makes it clear that campaigning for a seat in Parliament, for the removal of a member of parliament or a political party only starts when the writs for a general elections are issued, which sets out the campaign period.

“Such illegal and unlawful early election campaigns have the potential to provoke anger and violence among opposing political party supporters.
“Angry parents and relatives who expect their child to be in class and not playing politics may take matters into their own hands as well, and create mayhem.
“I call on the police to act now to prevent potentially chaotic situation in some of the towns where such illegal campaigning is taking place.

“I also call on students to make every effort to return to classes now, to work closely with the university administrations to save the academic year.
“You have exercised your democratic rights to raises several issues of national importance, and the country has taken note.
“Your parents and relatives now expect you to return to classes. By extending your boycott of classes into election campaigning, your parents and the public have the right to be suspicious about your motives.
“Remember, we all have a right to free speech. But the law makes it an offence to engage in early election campaigns,” Kising said.

PNG Barramundis run over Kenya in ODI series

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AN unbeaten century (102) by Hebou PNG Barramundis opener Vani Vagi Morea laid the foundation for a deserved 21-run win over Kenya (228)  in the second match of their World Cricket League series at Amini Park.
Morea’s ton was the first by a PNG batsman in an ICC-sanctioned match on home soil.
The supporting act of John Boge Reva, whose 43 runs off 33 balls and four-wicket haul, did the job for PNG.  
The Barramundis won the toss, with captain Jack Vare electing to bat.
At the end of their allotted 50 overs, PNG scored 249 runs for the loss of six wickets.
Morea, normally a quick-scoring batsman, had to rein in his instincts, batting out the innings as the PNG batsmen fell around him.
 The PNG top order suffered the loss of their two best batsmen with Lega Siaka being dismissed for a duck and Assad Vala for 13.
Both batsmen were dismissed by Nehemiah Odhiambo, leaving PNG 27/2.
Morea kept his composure as he went about building the PNG innings.
Sese Bau (66) helped Morea put on a 124-run partnership from the 18th to the 29th over.
It could have all come undone for Morea when he was caught half way down the pitch in a misjudged run.
Thankfully, some shoddy Kenyan fielding spared Morea. Bau’s partnership with Morea proved vital as PNG recovered from the shaky start.
Bau would eventually be trapped lbw, bowled by veteran Collins Obuya with PNG 151/3.
The Barras next three wickets would fall for 10 runs with Mahuru Dai (8), Charles J Amini (0) and Vare (2) going cheaply.
All-rounder Reva proved the perfect foil to Morea’s measured approach hammering 43 runs off 33 deliveries to get the Barras to 249/6.
Reva’s contribution with both bat and ball epitomised the spirit of the Barramundis team.
A delighted Barramundis coach Dipak Patel told The National after the match: “The euphoria of playing at home and performing as well as the guys have speaks highly of what they are capable of doing.
“The most impressive thing was that in both games the players performed to win.
“Our fielding today was phenomenal and it proved to be the difference between the two teams, we probably would have saved 20 to 30 runs in the field with the run outs and catches that we took,” Patel said. The National/ PNG Today

Vanuatu bank account raided in Facebook scam

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

An international scam has not only landed at least four people in Vanuatu out of pocket but raised serious questions about the security of bank accounts.

A conman claiming to be a London businessman used Facebook to approach random Ni-Vanuatu residents of Port Vila offering them work. The only requirement was they bank with ANZ Vanuatu.

The businessman said he needed Vanuatu staff with ANZ accounts so he could receive payments from his South Pacific clients.

Once the "staff" were recruited, they were told to withdraw money being deposited into their accounts and send it on to Malaysia via Western Union. In return, they would receive seven per cent per transaction.

The money never came from South Pacific clients. Instead, it was being sourced from other local ANZ customers who had no idea their accounts were being raided.

One of those to lose money was well-known Vanuatu pilot Matt Erceg whose account was drained of US$9,000 in a single day.

"I felt ANZ had made a transfer error," he told Pasifik News. "When I rang them, they replied that I should file a police complaint."

Erceg has since received half of his money back but says he has been given no indication of when he'll get the remaining funds. "To me, it's a modern day bank robbery," he says.

He doesn't blame the Ni-Vanuatu people recruited by the fraudster. He considers them victims too because they apparently didn't know they were dealing in stolen money.

An online search indicates the con-artist simply used the identity of a man in America who has a separate Facebook profile but with the same name and photo.

What remains unclear is how the money was able to be transferred from one ANZ account to another without the authority of the original account holder. All four victims say they've never given their passwords to anyone.

ANZ has recently warned customers about a hoax email that asks people to confirm their account details, but the victims say they never opened anything suspicious.

The bank's Vanuatu Chief Executive, Charles Rickey, refused to comment on this specific case but confirmed he is aware of increasing threats.

"Bank customers need to be increasingly diligent with their personal account details, as incidences of money transfer scams and other such fraudulent activities appear to be on the rise in Vanuatu and across the region," he said.

He's urged customers to regularly change their internet banking passwords and PINs, starting today.

Vanuatu lawyer Dane Thornburgh believes there may be more than four victims and is recommending other ANZ customers check their accounts, particularly for transactions between late January and early February. If they do find discrepancies, he wants to hear from them as the victims are considering what steps they can take.

Just last week, ANZ in Fiji was charged with breaching the country's Financial Transactions Reporting Act for failing to properly verify customer identities.

The Director of Public Prosecutions says at least two accounts were opened without proper verification.
Acting CEO of ANZ Fiji Saud Minam insists customers are well protected.

"We have taken a lot of steps in terms of protecting our customer data and things that we were exposed to through some of these fraudulent activities. We have been able to fix these in a very short period of time," he told the Fiji Times.


Citizens of nuclear-bombed Marshall Islands yearn for Obama visit

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As U.S. President Barack Obama visits the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima on Friday, residents of the Marshall Islands — the Pacific nation used by the U.S. as a nuclear test site after World War II — have also begun calling for a similar visit by the leader.

“I question Obama’s trip to Japan. Can he come and visit me as I was there during the Bravo incident and got injured,” said Nerje Joseph, 68, a survivor of the March 1, 1954, Bravo Test on the Marshall Islands’ Bikini Atoll.

That blast has been described as the most powerful of the 67 nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. in the tiny country between 1946 and 1958.

In a recent interview facilitated by the Radiation Exposure Awareness Crusaders for Humanity-Marshall Islands (REACH-MI), a group focused on the nuclear weapons testing legacy in the islands, Joseph lamented the lack of interest in a trip to the tiny nation.

“The bomb in Hiroshima was smaller than the bomb that affected Rongelap in terms of strength,” Joseph said of the atoll where he once lived. “But why (is Obama visiting) Hiroshima and not the Marshall Islands?”

Obama was to visit Hiroshima after attending the two-day Group of Seven summit in Mie Prefecture. He is the first sitting U.S. leader to visit the city, which was hit by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. He is not expected to apologise, but will offer his condolences for all war victims. Instead, Obama will likely talk about his push for a world without nuclear weapons.

At least three atomic bomb survivors, including one from Nagasaki, where a second atomic bomb was dropped by the U.S. on Aug. 9, 1945, were expected to be present when Obama lays flowers at the cenotaph in Hiroshima the Peace Memorial Park near ground zero Friday evening.

“I have lost my island, my ocean, my culture,” Joseph said. “I have lost everything about me. Can Obama come and see me? I am like a coconut floating adrift in the ocean with no set course,”

The interview with Joseph, who has been residing in the Marshall Islands’ capital on the main island of Majuro since the mid-1980s, were shared with Kyodo News by REACH-MI.

Eight days before her 6th birthday, Joseph witnessed the nuclear test from her home on Rongelap Atoll, exposing her and her family to radioactive ash. Unaware of the danger, Joseph playfully applied the falling white powder on her body and also consumed food covered with it. Soon, her lips felt numb, and her skin and eyes felt as if they were burning.

Aside from Rongelap, the inhabited atolls of Ailinginae and Utrok also suffered widespread fallout contamination as a result of the Bravo Test.

Two days later, American soldiers, arriving in astronautlike outfits, ordered residents to leave their homes without taking any of their belongings, taking the residents to Kwajalein Atoll.

In a Kyodo News interview two years ago in Majuro, Joseph said that, after the nuclear test, she lived a life she could never have imagined — suffering skin burns and hair loss, both immediate effects of radiation exposure; being displaced from her home. She said she was ridiculed by others for her condition, suffering from thyroid cancer and miscarrying twice while also giving birth to a mentally disabled child.

Rosania Bennett, 45, president of REACH-MI, said by email that if Obama visits the Marshall Islands, he would “see for himself what our nuclear victims go through every single day since 1954 up to now.”

“I wish Obama would spend some time with one of them to have, at least, that humanly connection before they are wiped off from the face of the Earth,” Bennett said.

“A heart-to-heart connection goes a long way,” she added.

Desmond Doulatram, 29, a co-founder and officer of REACH-MI, added that while he is “extremely proud” of Obama’s Hiroshima visit, “showcasing his respect for the Japanese people,” he is “deeply and extremely disheartened that (U.S. leaders) are overlooking the poor island folks in the Marshall Islands.”

Although happy that the U.S. is acknowledging its nuclear legacy in Japan, Doulatram slammed the same lack of a similar acknowledgment by the United States “in their small island developing state.”

Believing that Obama’s Hiroshima trip is “a peace visit,” Lani Kramer, another REACH-MI official, said she views it as Obama’s way of “showing the world the devastation caused by nuclear weapons, and that he is a big supporter of a nuclear-free world.”

“He was born in Hawaii. I am sure the attack on Pearl Harbor has affected him deeply as well,” Kramer said, referring to the December 1941 attack by Japan on the U.S. naval base that sparked American entry into World War II.

The U.S. has stood by its position that full and final compensation worth $150 million has been paid to the Marshall Islands, on top of other assistance it has already extended.

With nearly 55,000 people, the Marshall Islands is one of the world’s smallest countries in terms of population and land area.


Must win for Vanuatu in OFC Nations Cup

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After losing their Group B opener, Vanuatu is hoping to get their 2016 OFC Nations Cup campaign back on track.

Vanuatu, who went down 1-0 to the Solomon Islands in their opening match, will face New Zealand to open Tuesday’s action at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

Vanutau coach Moise Poida couldn’t hide his disappointment following his side’s defeat to their Melanesian rivals.

His players looked comfortable on the ball and created a number of promising opportunities but they lacked cutting edge in the final third.

Poida knows that it will not get any easier against the All Whites, but he believes his side is more than capable of causing an upset.

“We know New Zealand is a better team, they have players from overseas and they have a good game strategy. But I saw their game against Fiji and I think the way they played in that match was not the New Zealand we were thinking of, so I think we can do something.”

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson revealed his relief following his side’s comfortable but scrappy 3-1 win against Fiji.

Admitting that the All Whites weren’t at their best he was still happy with his players' determination to get a result.

The All Whites coach handed debuts to four players - defenders Luke Adams and Kip Colvey, as well as midfielders Monty Patterson and Luka Prelevic against Fiji.

Against Vanutau he will have the option to make some changes to the starting eleven by calling on some of the late arrivals, including Kosta Barbarouses, Marco Rojas, Jeremy Brockie and Michael Boxall.

New Zealand will again go into the match against Vanuatu as clear favourites but Hudson insists his side won’t be taking anything for granted.

“These teams are very dangerous and we saw that last year in the islands. They've got some players that can hurt any team.”

Vanuatu vs. New Zealand
Sir John Guise Stadium
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Tuesday 31 May, 2016
Kick-off: 4pm

Referee: Amos ANIO (PNG)
Assistant Referee 1: Norman BAFINU (PNG)
Assistant Referee 2: John PAREANGA (COK)
Fourth Official: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)


The players: Striker Kensi Tangis looked the most likely to get on the scoresheet against the Solomons. Using his physical strength and mobility, Tangis was a constant threat up front. Captain Fenedy Masauvakalo and midfielder Bong Kalo have also offered attacking options, particularly from set pieces.

The vital statistics: Despite having less possession than the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu had five more goal attempts than their Melanesian rivals. They also had two more shots on target and forced five more corners than the Solomons. Moise Poida will be hoping his players can be more clinical in the front of goal against the All Whites.

Coach Quote:“Our final touch in the final third was a big problem for us against the Solomons. But it's ok we accept it, we still have another two games to go.”

Squad list: 1. Seloni IARUEL (GK), 2. Brian KALTACK, 3. Kevin SHEM, 4. Jason THOMAS, 5. Jacques WANEMUT, 6. Ignace YAMACK, 7. Samuel KALOROS, 8. Remy KALSARAP, 9. Bill NICHOLLS, 10. Dominique FRED, 11. Raoul COULON, 12. Zicka MANUHI, 13. Nemani ROQARA, 14. Bong KALO, 15. Daniel NATOU, 16. Tony KALTACK 17. Jean KALTACK, 18. Fenedy MASAUVAKALO, 19. Kensi TANGIS, 20. Chikau MANSALE (GK), 21. Kaloran FIRIAM (GK), 22. Jacky RUBEN, 23. Don MANSALE

Coach: Moise POIDA (VAN)

New Zealand

The players: Two senior strikers, Rory Fallon and Chris Wood both found the back of the net in New Zealand's win over Fiji. The two veterans have a proven record and they are effective players and leaders on the pitch. The All Whites could be strengthened by senior players Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas, who weren't selected for the match having arrived late into camp.

The vital statistics: The All Whites were forced to share the possession evenly with Fiji in their opening match. Going forward they produced seven shots on target for their three goals, which seems like a decent conversion rate. However Anthony Hudson will be hoping for more clear cut chances to test Vanuatu’s defence.”

Coach Quote: "When you come to these competitions, the conditions are tough to play in. You're never going to come here and have it all your own way.”

Squad list: 1. Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), 2. Kip COLVEY, 3. Mat RIDENTON, I 4, Themistoklis TZIMOPOULOS, 5. Michael BOXALL, 6. Bill TUILOMA, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Michael McGLINCHEY, 9. Chris WOOD, 10. Luka PRELEVIC, 11. Marco ROJAS, 12. Max CROCOMBE (GK), 13. Monty PATTERSON, 14. Rory FALLON, 15. Jeremy BROCKIE, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Luke ADAMAS, 18. Sam BROTHERTON, 19. Thomas DOYLE, 20. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 21. Logan ROGERSON, 22, Moses DYER, 23. Tamati WILLIAMS (GK)

Coach: Anthony HUDSON (ENG)


Papua New Guinea reaffirms support for Japan's initiatives at G7 Summit

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ISE-SHIMA: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, has  reaffirmed Papua New Guinea’s support for Japan’s initiatives at the G7 Outreach Meeting.

In addressing the Outreach Meeting of G7 in his capacity as the Chair of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) as well as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, PM O’Neill said he focused on quality infrastructure, the global economy, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the need for securing open and secure

seas and the achievement for sustainable development goals (SDG) particularly in health, women and development issue in Africa.

“PNG adopted the SDG’s in 2015 with the National development plans and policies aligned to Vision 2050 & Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2010-2030.

“On the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), PNG is fully aware of its obligations and is making investments in key drivers of the economy, including improvements to these key social indicators,” PM O’Neill said.

He said in recognising and appreciating humanity which is the key focus of the SGDs, he advised that the PNG Government is fostering multi-stakeholder partnership, guided by national ownership and leadership on human rights protection and promotion of this national development agenda.

In reiterating PNG’s stand, PM O’Neill commended Japan for the initiatives and re-assured PNG and the PIF countries’ support for these initiatives as these resonate well with the region’s (Pacific) own efforts towards ensuring security, promoting public health and ensuring of gender inclusiveness.

“Furthermore, at the global level, PNG’s efforts to safeguard and protect human rights are consistent with and guided by international commitments and obligations under several multilateral frameworks, including core human rights instruments,” PM O’Neill said.

During the outreach, PM O’Neill engaged in brief meetings with the Prime Ministers, Matteo Renzi (Italy), Justin Trudeau (Canada) and the Presidents Barrack Obama of USA and Hollande Francois of France.

PM O’Neill also met with leaders from international organizations such as World Bank, IMF, OECD, EU and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Development and deficit budget in PNG

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Commentary by Hon. James Marape, Member  of Tari Pori,

Hi all out there, development takes time, years in fact to evolve. All it takes is stability and consistency in public policies and efforts for development to happen.

Before I expand on this topic of development and deficit budget, may I firstly thank all who have read my previous posts and offered your commentaries. I am the first to admit that I am no expert in subjects I write on which mostly are my opinions skewed towards my point of view. Secondly some of you wrote contrary to my point view and I accepted them as your points respectively.
In this write up, I am going to discuss on development aspirations in Papua New Guinea and why we in the current O'Niel Dion Government have embarked on a 5 budget deficit budget plan since 2012.
In 2012 when we took office, we looked into the 5 years ( what we describe as the medium term; 2012 to 2017) and we estimated that our total revenue will be less then our development and recurrent expenditure cost. Now the question we asked then was do we sit back handicapped with revenue constraints hence not fund free education, free basic health care, our infrastructure plans, our districts and provinces and etc?

We agreed as a government that we will not sit back but we planned successive deficit budgets to ensure our development targets are met. Today almost into the end of our term results are evident and we stand to be judged on our performance.
Ask education department; they will confirm that one million new children are in our school systems because of free education ( mind you we are working on space and quality aspect as we speak). Most education institutions have new buildings as a result of either national government direct funding ( example 4000 new lodging facility at university of PNG), or PSIP and DSIP for provincial and district schools.

Ask health department; if Port Morseby hospital is transformed, if Lae, Hagen, Madang, Kokopo are seeing changes, ask Enga leadership if we have secured funding their Province's 300 million Kina provincial hospital, ask all provincial hospital CEOs if they have been receiving direct funding from national government starting 2012.

Ask works department; of you can now drive from Kimbe to Kokopo ( never done before 2012), they will tell you 3000 kilometers of new road have been sealed, check Kundiawa to Gembolg, Buluminski highway the last 20km is being sealed, sealing taking place from south to north Bouganvillie ( kokobau Buin road), you drive from pom to Kerema on total sealed road, lae city road improvements and of course port morseby roads. Works are happening in most sections of our most economical road, the highlands highway and it is a work in progress.

Ask the National Airports Corporation; who initiated and funded the Port Moresby international airport, the mt Hagen, Hoskins and Goroka terminals, the Aropa airport and terminal or Girua airport as a case in point, ask tourism promotion authority on what is happening at gurney airport in Alotau. Check if Kundiawa and other airports have some small work happening since 2012.
Ask PNG ports; who initiated and funded lae ports, Kieta ports, Kimbe ports, Port Morseby ports, the many small jetties in our coastal areas.

Time and FB space does not permit me to write all that we have undertaken since 2012. All of you PNG citizens come from a district, check your local elected MP for work he or she has done whether as Provincial Governor or District Member.
Contrary to what our oppositions say, on record we as Government directed by our Prime Minister, have given DSIP/PSIP development money equally to all Provinces and Districts including Bulolo. For instance since 2013, 2014 and 2015 we have remitted a total of 30 million kina each to ALL 89 districts in PNG. If nothing is happening in your districts then ask your elected leader at elections, that is your right.

I have post below a picture of a 500 bed and study capacity Technical college and a "3 star type"100 bed hospital my Tari district will soon complete that I had started funding for my district in the last three year as an example of work happening in rural PNG as a result of direct money transfer from national government to sub national government agencies unlike in the past where national governments tries to do all.

All these we were able to do because we deliberately structured plans to enter a series of responsible deficit budgets. If you interested all you have to do is read our 2012 budget documents.
Why deficit budget? Because money available in one year is not enough to meet all our development needs.
Is deficit budget only done in PNG? Ask any Australian economist and they will tell you the first 40 years since the world war 2 ended (1945) they structured deficit budgets. Infact last year 2015, their national Debt to GDP was 213%. Their national history is littered with deficit budgets and their accumulated national debt is way higher then ours which presently sits at 29%.

I am presently reading a book written by "Vern Gowdie" published in 2015 and he writes that the most established economies are in huge national debt incurred over many years. For instance Japan 400%, USA 233%, China 217%, Singapore 382%, Philippines 116%, Vietnam 140%, Indonesia 88% to name few countries that we in PNG are familiar with. These countries build their nation and economies by transferring national debt into improving their economy and country in general. Don't listen to glass house economist who wants us to individually remain below poverty lines.

The roads, ports, airports, schools, health and other interventions are national assets acquired through sustainable deficit financing to grow our economy for our children's future.
For us in PNG, in the last four years our debt remains sustainable low and at amounts below 35 percent as required by our fiscal responsibility act. In fact with revised figures in our economic base released recently both by our central bank and national statistical office, our debt to GDP stands at 29 percent.
May I encourage every one out there that we in government are concern about our country just as much as you all concern. We doing our utmost best within confines of constraints we currently faced with, like the 70 % slash in national revenue ( 2014/2015/2016) both from drought related non production at Oktedi and the drop in global oil prices.

If you think that we not doing well leading this country, then in 2017, you have every right to remove the mandate majority of you, our voters gave us in 2012. But for now we will complete the few development tasks we have left to do for this term, including upgrade and sealing completion of untouched sections of the highlands highways like Halimbu to Komo, and Halimbu to Kelabo.
My next post will be on you, citizens and the importance of your constitutional section 50 rights, rights to vote leaders at elections.

Keep in touch. We have many international visitors, head of states, leaders of public services, businesses leaders, sports ( international soccer and cricket). Let's not talk ourselves down all time , see in the positive always.

Photo caption: This photo shows my district's hospital and Technical school campus that we are putting final touches now, an example of DSIP at work.

The writer is a Member of Parliament representing the people of Tari Pori in Hela Province. 

Students from the University of Technology attacked along Highlands Highway

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Reports of Unitech students been attacked along the Okuk Highway has been confirmed but it is still unclear who attacked them.

Vice President of Unitech SRC, Mr Robert Kerenga confirmed today that a group of students from Simbu province who set out to conduct awareness in Kundiawa were open fired at between Kainantu and Kompri Valley in EHP last Friday while travelling back to Lae.
“Fortunately for the Students no one was hurt or injured in the incident but we are still not sure who open fired at them,” said Mr Kerenga.
Mr Kerenga adds that despite of all these, the Unitech students stand united as one and will not back down from their stand to continue their boycott until they get a favourable response from the PM Peter O’Neill.
He also noted that there were some rumours regarding the sidelining of Unitech Chancellor, Sir Nagora Bogan, which he said were false rumours and nothing has change with the School Administration.
Meanwhile, a forum was conducted today with students that went out to do awareness from respective provinces, presented their report to the SRC and the student body. PNGFM / PNG Today

Parking TFF infrastructure component with DSIP education infrastructure funding would take time

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Tying the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) infrastructure component to the District Development Authorities education infrastructure funding component would take time to materialize, explains the Minister for Education Nick Kuman.
Minister Kuman said through the TFF policy Cabinet had endorsed that partnership arrangement decision in December 2015, and up until now, it is not been implemented as the mechanisms are not been finalized yet.

Mr Kuman said the partnership arrangement allows for 30% of TFF infrastructure component to be put into a trust account together with the 20% education infrastructure component of District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) manages by the DDA.
He said this arrangement will not take immediate effect until all arrangements with the Departments of Finance and Treasury are in place to establish the accounting mechanism in the districts.
“Through that partnership, the schools can nominate for a classroom or teacher house to build. The education sector infrastructure funding component held in a trust account in the district can then be used to build a good double classroom or a teacher house for nominated schools.
“We have not yet implemented that decision until the structures are put together and finalized and we will inform the country as to when it will happen.

“But I don’t anticipate this would happen quickly, it would take time,” he added.
He said the arrangement is to ensure some of those money used for infrastructure development must remain so that there must be overall visibility of the use of the money.
Mr Kuman also mentioned that the Department of Education is also putting the structure together to ensure that there will be an overseeing body at the provincial and district levels to monitor the use of this money.
“These things are now being worked out through the departments of Finance and Treasure to set the accounts in the districts but, as far as the disbursement of term one TFF is concern we have not held back those money.”
“My direction to the Department of Education is to pay everything which is supposed to be paid until those mechanisms is put in place then we channel the money for infrastructure component to the districts to partner with the DSIP."

Red Cross PNG Society has new Secretary General

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The Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society, Ms Janet Philemon, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Philip Tapo as the new Secretary General, who took up his duties on 10th of May 2016.

Ms Philemon, on behalf of the National Governing Council thanked Mrs. Allison Dage Yamo who filled the role of the Interim Secretary General for the last seven (7) months and supported the changes taking place within the Society being undertaken by the new Council that was voted into office in September 2015.

“When the new council were appointed in 2015 they were aware that the PNGRCS had not been well managed for some time. The Council has been putting in place strategies to rectify this and the appointment of Mr Philip Tapo was timely," said Ms. Philemon.

She said Mr. Philip Tapo was selected on merit following a rigorous recruitment process.
“This is the top management position in the national society and he will support the National Councils vision to rebuild the structures within the National Society to support strong branches and programs and enable the Society to fulfill its role as an auxiliary to the public authorities in humanitarian matters." Ms Philemon further acknowledged the continued support of our movement partners, the International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) the Australian Red Cross (ARC) the New Zealand Red Cross and the Government and corporate organisations, Stakeholders and donors for the on going support to PNG Red Cross.

Mr. Tapo has an extensive experience in the public service sector.
He said in the long run the national society should identify the pitfalls and the challenges under his leadership so that it can stand out from other humanitarian organisation.
“ People should be able to see what the national society is about not only in existence, but in the act of actually doing something and impacting the lives of the needy whether it be in times of disaster and non- disaster”
To achieve this capacity building for preparedness to respond must be achieved.
“We can only give what we have if we don’t have that level of capacity available we will not be able to give when needed”

Polye calls on UPNG council to reconsider decision

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PNG Opposition leader Don Polye has called the UPNG council to reconsider its decision to suspend the first semester of the 2016 academic year for an indefinite period.

Mr. Polye who met with the university administration and members of the council at the Waigani campus  to find out the reason for the suspension, warned that the education system will be in chaos if this academic year is terminated.

“The final years must graduate with their degrees and pass out at the end of the year so everyone else down the line must move up the ladder and provide room for the younger ones to enter the system,” he said

Mr Polye said based on the briefs he got from the university administration and the council members the circular of the suspension issued was just a threat to allow for normalcy to return and the academic calendar would be realigned.

He called on the students not to panic and keep calm on campus as they did not violate any tenancy agreement of the university nor did they commit an offence against the State

He said students have risked their education which was their parents’ investment and took a bold step to step up and fight for the silent majority concerning the manner in which the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is running the affairs of this country.

He claimed that O'Neill was controlling all the important state institutions to safeguard his own political interest and personal gain and it is really frustrating for any thinking citizen of this nation....read more on >> PNG Education News Online

Indonesia will never allow West Papua referendum, Expert

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Indonesia is unlikely to ever allow the people of West Papua another referendum on independence, according to a leading expert on the region.

"The TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) has made very clear it will not allow it, and no president has sufficient political will or capital to push it that hard," says Damien Kingsbury, Professor of International Politics at Deakin University in Melbourne.

Activists want the United Nations to pass a resolution for an internationally supervised vote for independence.

But Professor Kingsbury told Pasifik News, the UN Security Council would be unlikely to authorise a referendum without Indonesia's agreement.

Does that mean all is lost for the independence movement?

Not according to Tess Newton Cain, political analyst from the Vanuatu-based TNC Consulting. "We need to look at what the movement has been able to achieve in recent years in terms of raising the profile of this issue not just in our region but across the world," she says.

Dr Newton Cain points to an active social media campaign that has put the issue of human rights violations in West Papua on the world stage.

That's also led to influential politicians, like Britain's Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn, from backing independence.

“It’s about a political strategy that brings to worldwide recognition the plight of the people of West Papua, forces it onto a political agenda and forces it to the UN," Mr Corbyn said last month.

There is support too from the Australian Greens. “The UN has said the West Papuan people risk extinction if human rights violations in the country continue, but their suffering is being ignored by the Australian Government," says Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

Australia, like many countries in the world, recognises Indonesia's sovereignty.

One country that doesn’t is Vanuatu, which is leading the charge for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua to be given full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

"Momentum is growing for that to happen," says Professor Kingsbury, "but Indonesia is using its considerable influence to stop full membership and hence recognition. It will be difficult for West Papua to gain full membership, not least because it cannot claim sovereign status."]


Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives in Port Moresby

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Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe arrived in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby this evening  under very tight security, accompanied by over 30 members of his delegation.

The President held on to Madam Mugabe hand while he slowly walked down the exit stairs toward an already packed welcoming delegation from Papua New Guinea on ground.

President  Robert Mugabe will be the only head of state attending the 8th summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in Papua New Guinea next week.

Fifty delegations from the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states have confirmed their attendance at eighth leaders’ summit in Port Moresby next week.

The 50 heads of delegations include a president, four vice-presidents, 13 prime ministers, one deputy prime minister, one speaker of the national parliament, 14 ministers and 16 ambassadors.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato said the president was Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe who a

Pato said the meeting would be held at the National Convention Centre and chaired by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
“We may be looking at an attendance of around 500 people, meetings will take place at different venues in Port Moresby, mostly at the convention centre and at the national parliament and Sir John Guise Stadium,” Pato said.
“We are very excited.
“Some of them (ACP leaders) are coming to PNG for the first time.
“Let us show them the hospitality and sell our country to ensure that this is the first of many more of them to keep coming.”

Photo credit: Hon.Justin Tkatchenko

PNG Hunters 30 - 12 loss to Jets see them slip to fifth spot on the ladder

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The PNG Hunters have slipped down two places to fifth spot on the ladder in the 2016 Intrust Super Cup competition.

This is after their  30-12 loss to the defending champions Ipswich Jets this afternoon at the Ipswich Reserves in Australia.

The Hunters will face another tough encounter as they  meet  Northern Pride in round 13 at the National Football stadium in Port Moresby next week.

PNG Hunters fall to Ipswich Jets 30 - 12

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The SP PNG  Hunters  suffered 30 - 12 defeat from the defending Champions Ipswich Jets in this afternoon's round 12 match at the Ipswich Reserves.  The Hunters have registered more loses  in Australian than at home soil and this loss adds to the tally.

The defending champions were first to score at the 12 minute and took the early lead 6 - 0.  A penalty was awarded to the Hunters  close to  the  Jets try line, however, captain Zeming resorted to shoot a penalty goal and trailed 6- 2.

On the 29th minute, Hunter's fullback Stagroth Amean was injured and was taken out of the field that affected the Hunters attack and deference.

The Jets scored again to extend their lead to 12 - 2 at half time.

 In the second half, the Hunters put themselves right back into the game  when Thompson Teteh scored out wide on the 52nd minute.

Captain Noel  Zeming missed the uprights and the Hunters trailed  12-6.

The Jets responded straight away through PNG boy Richard Pandia, who proved too much to handle on the wing and scored  for Jets. The conversion was successful and the Jets led 18 - 6 .

The Hunters replied with a try on the 60 minute after a nice foot race from Thomson Teteh who set up Watson Boas to score. Zeming converted the try and reduced the margin to 18 - 12.

The spirited Hunters fight back was short lived after stand-in fullback Adex Wera dropped the ball in the Hunters in goal that saw Jets forward Nat Neale recouped the lost ball and scored. The conversion was successful and the home team led 24 - 12.

The Hunters threw everything at the Jets in the last ten minutes but the Jets repelled them.

The icing on the cake came a minute out from full time when Nemani Velekapa crossed over.

Kicker and fullback Carlin Anderson was impressive , kicking  5 from 5 conversions.

The Jets won 30 - 12

Photo credit: Mayor Paul Pisasale

No Yellow Fever in the country, people told not to panic

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BY JACOB MARCOS-NDOH Senior Journalist

National Department of Health Secretary Pascoe Kase has called on the people not to panic about the reports on the Yellow fever outbreak in Angola, Africa.

“There is no Yellow fever in in the country,” Mr Kase said.

But Mr Kase has warned travellers to be wary of contracting the disease while travelling to other countries as efforts are underway by the international community to control the outbreak and prevent further spread of the fever.

Yellow fever is a viral illness spread by the Aedes mosquito, the same mosquito that can spread other diseases such as dengue and Zika, according to the Secretary.

“Yellow fever occurs in certain countries in Africa and Central America. There is no Yellow fever in Papua New Guinea (PNG) that can be transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes unless an infected person comes to PNG,” he said.

The infection with Yellow fever virus can result in no symptoms or a mild fever or can progress to a severe form involving damage to the liver or yellowing of the skin and eyes from which yellow fever gets its name and sometimes death, the Secretary said.

Mr Kase said that the African country of Angola has been experiencing a large outbreak of Yellow fever since December 2015 so far causing over 2000 cases and 260 deaths. One case has been reported in China in the Asia-Pacific Region.

“These cases have largely been due to failure of individuals to be properly vaccinated against Yellow fever,” he said.

“The primary prevention for the fever is a very safe and effective vaccine. A single dose of Yellow fever vaccine is protective for life. The list of affected countries is available from the World Health Organization at: http://www.who.int/ith/2016-ith-annex1.pdf,” he said.

As Yellow fever vaccine is not widely available in PNG, the Secretary warns travellers from PNG that anyone planning to travel to countries affected by the fever should consult with their medical provider and plan well in advance including allowing ten days after vaccination for the vaccine to take effect before arriving in the affected country.

“Similarly, travellers returning from countries affected by Yellow fever will be required to show proof of vaccination before being allowed re-entry into PNG,” he said.

“Any traveller who becomes sick shortly after returning from overseas should seek medical advice immediately. Healthcare workers should report any suspicious illnesses immediately,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Kase wanted the people to take personal responsibility to avoid getting mosquito bites and by destroying mosquito breeding sites around their homes.

He also said that the Health Department will work closely with the Immigration and Citizenship Authority and the Department of Foreign Affairs to monitor international points of entry for detection of Yellow fever.

The Secretary wishes to reassure the public that any relevant developments concerning the global Yellow fever virus situation will be communicated by his office.

Oil Search takes lead in Public-Private Partnership Programs in PNG

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The Oil Search Foundation (OSF) is taking a lead in the Public-Private Partnership Health Programs for providing and supporting health in the country as part of their primary and preventative health care programs.

Just recently, it has conducted a HIV refresher training in Tari, Hela Province to boost in HIV management and treatment for health care workers from rural health facilities throughout the province through a help of a visiting medical doctor.

OSF facilitated Dr Arun Menon to conduct an intensive three day workshop with the officers from the resource rich Hela Province.  

Over 106 health care workers, including general hospital staff, Provider-Initiated Counselling and Testing (PICT) trained officers and Integrated Management of Adolescent and Adult Illness (IMAI) trained officers from all three districts, maternity ward nurses, and Family Support Centre staff were given additional training over three days.

Dr Arun spent two days at Hela Provincial Hospital and a day at the Oil Search Hides base conducting the sessions.

The range of topics covered included: diagnosis and treatment of most common Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI’s); issues surrounding discordant couples and how to counsel them; identifying Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) failure in HIV patients; selection of first-line ART for HIV clients with issues surrounding co-infections; general HIV treatment updates; ART pre-exposure prophylaxis versus ART post exposure prophylaxis, how to manage people requesting PrePEP, occupational exposure; PICT refresher training on  HIV testing new algorithm; and addressing ART treatment and management in Most-At-Risk Populations (MARPs).

As part of our primary and preventative health program the OSF ensures a major learning and development boost was given to health and HIV personnel from both the public health system and their own workforce.

Photo: Dr Arun Menon running a HIV refresher training for health care workers in Hela Province

NZ All Whites and Solomon Islands off the mark in OFC Nations Cup campaign

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All Whites celebrate a goal. Photo OFC
Tournament favourites New Zealand have defeated Group B rivals Fiji 3-1 to get their 2016 OFC Nations Cup campaign off to the best possible start.Elsewhere, the Solomon Islands edged past their Melanesian rivals Vanuatu 1-0 to complete proceedings on the opening day at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

The All Whites went into their opening match against Fiji as hot favourites and it took them just 16 minutes to take the lead through Themistoklis Tzimopoulos.

The opening goal came as a result of some good lead up play by New Zealand captain Chris Wood, who forced a reflex save from Fiji's goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau, before Tzimopoulos tapped in the rebound.

Led by Fiji captain Roy Krishna the Fijians tried to get back into the game but rarely tested All Whites keeper Stefan Marinovic.

In the 41st minute New Zealand doubled their advantage courtesy of veteran striker Rory Fallon, who pounced on another close range rebound to make it 2-0.

Fiji did manage to pull a goal back before the break following a foul on Setareki Hughes inside the penalty box.

Captain Roy Krishna stepped up to convert from the penalty spot to end the first half at 2-1.

New Zealand looked to control possession and territory in the second half and their patience payed dividends in the 61th minute when they were awarded a penalty for a handball Alvin Singh inside the box.

Wood restored the All Whites two-goal cushion with a low shot that snuck past a diving Tamanisau.

Fiji pushed forward looking to close the gap but the All Whites held firm to record a comfortable 3-1 win.

New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson was satisfied with the result.

“We're very pleased, today was all about getting a win. It was important that we got a win here today and they caused us problems, especially [Roy] Krishna. We know all about him, he's a great player. I was pleased that we showed a great togetherness, resilience. We had a few things go against us but they did well today.”

Krishna says his side was unlucky not to get something out of the game.

“In the first half we had most of the possession and we had more chances. They had two chances and they scored so credit goes to them. It's always enjoyable to play against New Zealand and I'm proud of the boys. The result didn't go our way but I'm proud of my boys. I know I scored one but it wasn't enough so if we'd won it would have been a happy ending but it's football and we move on.”

In the second match on the opening day, the Solomon Islands had to withstand an early onslaught by Vanuatu who seemed to be in total control in the opening 15 minutes.

Pressing high up the field, Vanuatu striker Kensi Tangis looked particularly dangerous, causing plenty of problems to the Solomons’ defenders with his physical presence and movement.

However for all their early dominance Vanuatu had nothing to show for, and they were made to pay in the 19th minute when the Bonitos took the lead courtesy of Jerry Donga, who chipped the ball over goalkeeper Seiloni Iaruel in a one-on-one situation inside the box.

The goal seemed to have settled the nerves of the Solomon players who began to control possession and territory to hold onto their lead going into the break.

The best chance of the second half fell to veteran Solomon Islands' striker Benjamin Totori, whose shot from inside the box in the 69th minute looked to be heading for the target forcing an acrobatic diving save by Seloni Iaruel.

In the final 20 minutes, Vanuatu tried to press forward searching for an equaliser, but couldn’t break down the Solomons defence.

Winning coach Moses Toata Moses heaped praise on his players.

“I'm very happy for the boys, it was a job well done. To our fans back at home I think the boys did it tonight, we tried to stick to our game plan and we managed to hold on to get the three point. We approach each game differently and from what we have seen we will go back to the drawing board with Ramon [Tribulietx]. From what I've seen so far we stepped it up from our last game.”

Meanwhile, Vanuatu coach Moise Poida couldn’t hide his disappointment

“Of course I'm not very happy because I believe we played better than them but they had perhaps more experienced players than us. But I think we played better. We managed the ball better, the thing is the final touch in the final third was a big problem for us. But it's ok we accept it, we still have another two games to go.”

The action at the 2016 OFC Nations Cup will continue on Sunday from 4pm local when tournament hosts Papua New Guinea face New Caledonia at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

Tahiti will begin their title defence against Group A rivals Samoa from 7pm.

Source: OFC Media


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