Tourism Minister Kulang opens 49th APEC tourism Working Group meeting in Kokopo

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Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Tobias Kulang has officially opened the 49th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation-APEC Tourism Working Group Meeting in East New Britain Province’s tourism hub of Kokopo today.
Delegates and officials from the APEC member economies are in Kokopo to discuss issues focused on fostering economic development in the APEC region through sustainable tourism, inclusive growth , developing the tourism workforce, travel facilitation, trade and investment liberalization and advancing tourism numbers within the APEC region.
Minister Kulang told the APEC delegates and officials that Papua New Guinea is much honored to host the meeting for the first time outside of Port Moresby since 1993 when PNG joined APEC.
“The Asia Pacific region is currently the most significant contributor to the advancement and growth of tourism numbers globally and this is reflective of the above average market growth with the region which registered a 9 per cent growth rate within the first four months of the region according to the UN World Tourism Organization.
“I welcome the outcomes from the 9th APEC Tourism Ministers Meeting hosted by Peru in Lima on the 28th and 29th of May this year under the theme “Connecting Asia-Pacific Tourism Through Travel Facilitation” emphasizing air connectivity and travel facilitation as key catalyst to further enhance economic development through travel and tourism in the APEC region.”
He said Papua New Guinea will host APEC in 2018, and the 49th Tourism Working Group Meeting is one of the many lead up meetings.
“The Tourism Working Group Meeting is the first APEC meeting PNG is hosting since 1993 outside the capital, Port Moresby.
“Papua New Guinea is fully committed to working alongside APEC member economies to advance and promote better understanding and recognition of tourism as an engine for economic growth and prosperity, ensure sustainability and inclusive growth in the travel and tourism sector, promote labor, skills development and certification in order to develop the tourism workforce in the region and promote competitiveness and regional integration through policy alignment and structural reform”, he said.
“I look forward to a fruitful meeting and anticipate constructive discussions and ways forward to advance our tourism Industry within the Asia Pacific Region through innovative initiatives and strategies.
“I welcome you all delegates each and every one of you to our PNG’s tourism hub, Rabaul and Kokopo in the beautiful East New Britain Province and wish you all a pleasant stay and hope to see you all again in 2018 when we host the Tourism Working Group 52 and Tourism Ministers Meeting 10,” Minister Kulang said.
Minister Kulang also said that he will ensure the discussions emanating from the 49th Tourism Working Group meeting will be used to formulate into PNG’s tourism promotion initiatives.
“I will make sure we will go through the record of discussions amongst the delegates from the APEC member economies that have a lot of experiences in the tourism sector and we adopt some of their comments and discussions to improve our tourism market and destination.
“We will work closely with the Tourism Promotion Authority including our provincial tourism bureaus to learn from some of the discussions coming out of the meeting,” he said.
Minister Kulang also praised the work of the East New Britain Provincial Administration has done under the leadership of Governor Eremas ToBaining Jnr to host the meeting.
“I am very impressed with the work and effort put in by the organizers in the East New Britain Provincial Administration to host an APEC meeting and such meetings like this bring recognition to our provinces and cities.
“This is a further confidence boost to us especially for Kokopo as it is one of the forerunners in tourism destination development in the country and for Kokopo to host this meeting is an added bonus to the growth of tourism in the province.
“I as the Minister responsible for Tourism in the country I am very excited and happy that one of our cities outside of Port Moresby has gained the recognition to host an APEC meeting.
“On behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea I thank the East New Britain Provincial Administration for hosting our APEC delegates and the meeting.
The 49th APEC Tourism Working Group Meeting ends on Friday.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to meet US President Obama

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Papua New Guinea Prime  Minister Peter O’Neill will meet with the President of the United States, Barack Obama, at the conclusion of the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders.

The conference began yesterday with PM O’Neill chairing a special meeting of The Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders Standing Committee where key issues on the agenda were finalised.

The number one issue on the minds of Pacific leaders is climate change," Prime Minister said at the end of the meeting.

"People and communities in the Pacific are in grave danger and countless lives threatened by extreme weather brought about by climate change and our leaders are demanding action," Mr O’Neill said, as the chair of the conference.

"President Obama understands the position of Pacific nations and he made this very clear during my last meeting with him in Paris last December and APEC in November.

"While President Obama is nearing the end of his term he is still the President and has a great deal of influence in the global community.

"Climate change is no longer solely a political issue, it is now very much a political issue in how we save communities, and an economic issue because this carries great cost.

"The economic cost is not the responsibility of the victims, but is a cost that has to be met by the countries that caused climate change.

"Pacific Island nations greatly appreciate the support that President Obama extends to our people and we look to furthering these discussions."

The Prime Minister said there was consensus among Pacific Island nation leaders at the committee that a regular Pacific dialogue with the United States is of great importance for the region.

"The United States is the largest economy in the world, has important trading and historical links and has a great deal to offer our countries in terms of development, technology and trade.

"Regardless of who is the President next January, and in the term after that, we have to maintain strong and open relations. "As well as meeting with President Obama, leaders will meet with the United States Secretary of the Interior, and other elected representatives and government officials.

"These relations are essential in advancing matters that matter to our people in the Pacific to create jobs and help small business.

"I will propose that this dialogue between Pacific Island nations is deepened and becomes more regular."

UPNG Student leaders are innocent: Juffa

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ORO Governor Gary Juffa has condemned the actions of the UPNG Council to terminate student leaders for participating in the student unrest that forced the closure of the university.

Juffa said the actions taken by the University Council was not in the best interest of democracy and free speech.

“Dissent and protests were important facets of democracy and such actions were actually discouraging free speech and the approach taken to terminate student leaders was harsh and totalitarian,” he said.

Juffa said it was an indirect message discouraging the democratic rights of students to express their opinions and raise concern.

“The efforts of students unions and NGOs were to be a check and balance for Government policies when the interests of a nation and their people were ignored by those who wielded power,” he said.

He added that if the University council was in a move to restore pride and confidence at the premier institution and open up classes again; they should forgo all the past mistakes and let everyone back on campus forgetting that there was ever a student unrest.

“To remove the student leaders was same as removing the student body because student leaders were only the mouth piece of the student body,” he said.

Juffa has called on Dr Nicholas Mann and his team to be mindful of the fact that a round table discussion between student leaders and the council was the way forward to restore confidence at the university.

“If there was a strike, it was a call made by the student body voiced through their leaders and as far as the law was concerned, they only expressed the sentiments against the government, nothing more,” he said.

“Any criminal actions taken during the strike should be left to the law to take its course rather than blaming it squarely on the student leaders,” Juffa added.

read more on >> PNG Education News

New Adventist president for PNG elected

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Pastor Kepsie Elodo is the new president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Papua New Guinea.

“I am humbled,” said Pastor Elodo, reflecting on his appointment, which was announced late yesterday.  “God has called. My motto, and my family’s motto, is: 'The Lord calls, we follow.' Wherever the Church calls we believe that God is calling us.”

Pastor Elodo has served as president of the Bougainville Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the past three years. Before that, he worked in administration at the Papua New Guinea Union Mission, South-West Papua Mission, North-East Papua Mission, Madang Manus Mission and Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission, where he also served as a local pastor and district director.

At Bougainville, Pastor Elodo was instrumental in reconciliation ministry among a population still carrying the scars of a bitter civil war. He hopes to bring this emphasis into his new role.

“My passion is reconciliation,” he said. “I want to put the Church — with the help of God and the leadership, right down to the lay people — in order, like King Hezekiah. People have differences even in the Church, different thoughts and feelings, but if they can have peace — peace with God and peace with each other — then respect and trust and unity are built.”

Pastor Elodo has also been a strong advocate for reconciliation among family members, with domestic and family violence among the big issues in PNG.

Originally from Efogi, Pastor Elodo grew up along the Kokoda Track. He studied ministry at Sonoma College and more recently at Pacific Adventist University.

“His spiritual leadership has been very prayerful and people focused,” said Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Pastor Elodo replaces Pastor Geoffrey Pomaleu, who died from health complications in July. 610285

Western Health Programs transition vital in health service delivery

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Health services providers in Western Province have agreed on a way forward for the coordination of services for the next two years.

At a meeting in Kiunga recently, service providers met to endorse a transition plan that outlines the future activities of two health partnership programs currently operating in Western - the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) Middle and South Fly Health Program (CMSFHP) and the North Fly Health Services Development Program (NFHSDP).

Both Programs will finish in 2018 and partner organisations have been discussing the best way to maintain and further improve health outcomes once the Programs end.
The 2015 Sector Performance Annual Review released by the National Department of Health in June shows Western Province in the top five best performing provinces in 2015. This is a significant improvement from the 2013 report when Western was ranked last and testament to the health outcomes achieved by these programs.

Director of Rural Health Services in Western, Mrs Alice Honjepari opened the meeting. She remarked that “This meeting is important because we will table and discuss a way forward for health in the province particularly the North Fly and CMCA regions. We must bear in mind the challenges we face every day trying to deliver basic health services to the population”.
A critical focus for all partners is ensuring that the collaborative approach established through the Programs continues. Catholic Health Services Manager, Sr Anna Sanginawa said “Districts need to work together for a successful transition”.
The Programs are partnerships with local health service providers: Provincial Health Office, District Health staff in North Fly, Middle Fly and South Fly Districts, Catholic Health Services and Evangelical Church of PNG Health Services. Both Programs are managed by Ok Tedi Development Foundation

(OTDF), funded by the CMCA portion of the Western Province People’s Dividend Trust Fund and Ok Tedi Mining Ltd with Abt Associates (formerly Abt JTA) as the implementing partner.
A midline evaluation of CMSFHP in 2015 showed that the Program has been positively received by communities and health workers thus far. The attribution of improvements is both from the outreach services provided by the Program team as well as increased service delivery at health facilities.
OTDF’s Manager of Program Services, Mr Eric Kuman said “We have to find a sustainable way of moving the health delivery forward. We need to collaborate to find that way forward”.
A key focus for the remainder of the Programs is to move away from direct inputs and towards working with partners to identify impediments to achieving sustainable health services. The transition plan outlines the outcomes required to maintain achievements beyond 2018.

Three key outcomes were agreed in the meeting. Health service partners agreed to continue to work collaboratively to plan and coordinate health services to communities in Western Province.
Partners also agreed that efforts must be made to ensure rural health facilities are equipped to deliver essential primary health care services. These includes essential obstetric and newborn care, family planning, child health, immunisation and the management of pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases and other common childhood diseases; and, that TB is effectively managed in the community.
The third key outcome was that resources are maintained for individuals and communities to play an active role in improving their own health and welfare through adopting the Healthy Village concept.
NFHSDP is funded by Ok Tedi Mining Limited, while CMSFHP is funded by the OTDF. Both Programs are managed by OTDF and implemented by Abt Associates.

PM O’Neill to Chair Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders in Hawaii Climate Change and Security Among Key Issues Ahead of US Election

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The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea,  Peter O’Neill  said he expects Pacific Island nations to come out of regional discussions with the United States this week holding a stronger collective perspective on key regional issues including climate change and security.
PM O’Neill arrived in Hawaii, in the United States, this morning where he will Chair the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) from 30 August (31 August in PNG).
The meeting will be attended by Leaders and officials from Pacific Island nations and the United States and cover a number of regional integration and cooperation issues.
The Prime Minister said the timing of this conference is also important with a new President of the United States to be elected in the coming months.

“Soon, a new President of the United States will be elected and sworn in,” the Prime Minister said.
“Pacific Island nations have a very positive relationship with President Obama, and we look to working with the next United States Government.
“We have the opportunity at this conference to work with US officials to prepare for the change of Government so that we can hit he ground running when the new President is inaugurated next January.”
The Prime Minister said one of the important features of the PICL is the access it provides to some of the best research scholars and policy officials in the region.
“In the past this has covered research in areas that include the drawdown of RAMSI, maritime issues, the future of seabed mining and other significant regional matters.
“This week, we have a number of important topics before us including regional safety and security and these are issues affect all Pacific Island nations.
“The international community has a number of concerns at the moment including maritime disputes, the spread of terrorist attacks, global economic instability and the constant threat of extreme weather caused by climate change.
“We must manage current political tensions through dialogue, and we must manage economic challenges by sticking with sensible financial management.
“Pacific Islands nations cannot take on these issues alone, we must partner with other like-minded nations and stand for our interests in the global community.”

The Prime Minister was last in Hawaii for the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Summit, which he said was well orgainsed and provides examples for Papua New Guinea in 2018.
“Hawaiians are Pacific Islanders and we share many cultural similarities.
“APEC in Hawaii was well run and we will draw from their experience as we deliver a very Pacific-style APEC in 2018.”

PNG's credibility in hosting 2017 Rugby League World Cup matches questioned after violence

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The violent actions of a Mt Hagen Eagles rugby league official over the weekend on a Digicel Cup match official has garnered widespread International and local condemnation resulting in many questioning PNG’s credential as a host nation to the Rugby league World Cup (RLWC) 2017, this was revealed by Minister for Sports and National Events Justin Tketchenko.

Minister Tketchenko revealed that a lot had been invested to bring the national sport (Rugby League) of the country out of the sad state it was in a few years ago, and while there a positive aspects of the games progression in recent times, this one act has brought the country into the spot light for all the wrong reason bringing the game in disrepute.

“I haven’t met the new RLWC CEO Andrew Hill yet, but I will have to brief him on the incident at the Digicel Cup, it brings question marks to our capability of hosting this event, this is not a small thing this has caused a huge problem for us on the international scene, the stupidity of this person and this act has damaged us in more ways than one.” Stated Tketchenko.

With PNG earmarked to host the RLWC 2017 along with Australia and New Zealand between the 26th of October 2016 and the 02nd of December 2017, Sports Minister Tketchenko ended on a high note saying that regardless of one or two individuals tarnishing the countries reputation he will in his capacity ensure that the RLWC goes ahead in PNG and highlighted that we need to keep moving forward and promoting sports and the country and ensuring everything is ready for the sporting fixtures that are still to come.


USP’s Pasifika Voices headhunted by Hollywood Disney Moana Movie

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The University of the South Pacific’s Pasifika Voices based at the Oceania Centre have secured the official contract of providing a choir for the soundtrack of the much anticipated Hollywood Disney animation Moana
Moana is an upcoming 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, the 56th film in Disney's animated features canon, and is being directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
The film introduces Auli’i Cravalho as Moana and features Dwayne Johnson, also known as the ‘The Rock’ who is the highest earning Pacific Islander. The animation film is scheduled to be released by Walt Disney Pictures in November, 2016.
The exclusive Disney family is known to only work with the world’s best & elite performers, ‘actors and singers.
From a small dot in the vast ocean, barely seen on the world map ‘Pasifika Voices’, made  up of 18 of Fiji’s finest voices plus two young men from the Solomon Islands,  led by renowned Pacific maestro and Head of Performing Arts at the USP Oceania Centre, Igelese Ete were chosen to be the official recording choir.
USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra said it is a historic moment for our local talent that our singers and artists are recognised in Hollywood at the highest level.
“I understand that the Producer, Composer, and Director have all given rave reviews of this recording. This recording by Disney demonstrates that our music and arts programmes produce world-class talent,” he noted.
Professor Chandra added that Pasifika Voices has been a major part of USP’s graduations for the past 10 years and is made up of students from all around the region and led by exceptionally talented staff.
An elated Mr Ete said this contract is a feat of great magnitude and acknowledgement to the talents of the people of the Pacific.
“It is fair to say that Hollywood Disney Animation is the ‘Olympics’ of the entertainment world, especially for children,” he said.
Moana Disney’s Producer Osnat  Shurer was so inspired by Pasifika Voices that even with the strict embargo, she could not contain her excitement as she left Fiji with the Disney crew to return to the mecca of entertainment Hollywood, she tweeted  “Amazing choir recording for our score-thank you from #Moana” with a picture of Pasifika Voices in recording mode”.
With the Directors totally in awe of the sound  and spirit of the choir, the lion king & famed Hollywood Film composer Mark Mancina describing on an email to Mr Ete, “Everything I’ve heard so far has been incredible”.
“This will lead to what will be the first ever official Red Carpet Movie Premiere of Hollywood proportions for the Global Release towards the end of year on November 23rd, attended by our very own vocal stars of Pasifika Voices and also rumor has it the Hollywood Mega- Superstar Samoan/Pacific Islander Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will be attending,” Mr Ete said. 

UPNG Students leaders permanently excluded from studies

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As the University of Papua New Guinea prepares to resume classes next week on the 5th of September,certain student leaders who led the recent student protest have been given letters of permanent exclusion from the university management. A student leader provided  to the media , a copy of the letter from the office of the Pro- Vice Chancellor signed by the Acting Pro-Voice Chancellor Professor Mange Matui and served to a student leader informing the student leader of permanent exclusion  from studies at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Parts of the letter as quoted stated that “your conduct during the unrest is indecorous, detrimental to the interest of the university, affects peace and good order in the university community, and borders on criminality.”
Upon being permanently excluded from the university, the student leaders are now given seven days to appeal to the University Administration to continue with other students.
According to  UPNG Acting Chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann  this is the normal process that is taken by any institution when institutional regulations are breached. Dr Mann says those student leaders implicated will have to go thru the normal process of disciplinary actions to ensure that justice is done to guarantee the safety of students as classes resume....read more on >> PNG Education News Online

The students were given  two weeks to appeal.  PNGFM/PNG Today

U.S. Government and Papua New Guinea Forge New Partnership to Strengthen the Country’s Environmental Resilience

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Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: On August 24, 2016, the United States and the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea signed a new bilateral assistance agreement that will provide $1.5 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s environmental resilience. This is the first tranche of an estimated $7.5 million package over five years, subject to the availability of funds, to support Papua New Guinea’s priorities in biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, and climate change adaptation.

The new agreement resulted from close consultations between USAID and the Government of Papua New Guinea’s Department of National Planning and Monitoring, Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, and the Climate Change and Development Authority.

“This new agreement demonstrates the commitment of the American people to invest in the security and sustainable economic growth of Papua New Guinea. The U.S. Government and the American people are proud to stand with the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea as partners in strengthening the country’s environmental resilience,” said U.S. Ambassador for Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Catherine Ebert-Gray.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray also congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea “for becoming the 23rd nation on our planet to ratify the Paris Climate Change Agreement.  This sends a powerful signal to the citizens of Papua New Guinea and the world of your commitment to preserving your environment.”

The wealth of Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity is globally recognized. Papua New Guinea’s forests represent the third largest expanse of tropical rainforest in the world, and the country’s adjacent seas form part of the Coral Triangle region, which has the world’s highest level of marine biodiversity.

Papua New Guinea’s rich and unique biodiversity resources, however, are also among the world’s most threatened. Major threats to Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity include rapid and substantial deforestation and forest degradation; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; pollution; industrial activities; and climate change. And it’s the poor - whose livelihoods depend directly on the natural world - who are impacted the most from these environmental threats.

Photo: U.S. Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray, USAID Mission Director for the Philippines, Pacific Islands, and Mongolia, Dr. Susan Brems and Minister for National Planning, Charles Abel after the signing of the bilateral assistance agreement.

Media Release

Home final for PNG Hunters against Sunshine Coast Falcons

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The Papua New Guinea Hunters will take on Sunshine Coast Falcons in the first round of finals at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. This is the  first time the Hunters will host a home final.

According to QRL, the Redcliffe Dolphins have won the minor premiership after edging out the Burleigh Bears. The two teams will meet in Week 2 of the finals for a spot in the September 25 grand final at Suncorp Stadium.

In the elimination final next week,  Townsville Blackhawks will host East Tigers at  Jack Manski Oval. This game will be televised live on Channel 9 at 1:40 pm on Sunday.

The PNG Hunters will take on Sunshine Coast Falcons at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. TVWAN will telecast the game live for PNG viewers at 3:00 pm on Sunday.

Tickets for the PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons are on sale at the Big Rooster outlets.

PNGRFL condemns violence at Rugby League Semi Final

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Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League has condemned the violence that took place on Saturday during the Digicel Cup preliminary final at the Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby.
And they will work closely with PNG NRL to bring those involved whether players, officials or spectators to answer for their unruly and disgraceful behaviour.
PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said today after the Hunters and Falcons match that PNGRFL Board will not tolerate any such behaviour.

Tsaka said, “The incident that happened is deplorable and disgusting. Rugby league as a sport like all other sports is bigger than one individual or team. This is a very serious matter and PNGRFL will take action immediately to set precedence that such violence must not occur again”.
He also said that he has asked PNG NRL to provide video footages of the match and the events that followed after the match as well as reports from the match officials and management from both teams. Tsaka apologised to the stakeholders, sponsors and the every Papua New Guinean that have contributed to the development of rugby league.

With him during the press conference was PNGRFL Board members, Don Fox and Graham Osborne, PNG Kumuls & Hunters coach Michael Marum, players who represented the Highlands region, Timothy Lomai, Esau Siune, Enoch Maki and Henry Noki.
Meanwhile the Highlands players who play for SP Hunters have condemned the violence that occurred. Enoch Maki apologised to the general public and condemned the violence. Esau Siune said he was ashamed of the incident and said this must not happen again. Timothy Lomai apologised to the Gurias team and appealed to all Highlands teams participating in the Digicel cup to be more professional in their approach to rugby league.

Government will Continue to Support the Work of Churches

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Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill has reassured churches around the nation of the Government’ ongoing commitment to working in partnership and funding for important work in education, healthcare and other areas of social importance.

The Prime Minister made the comments when he joined more than a thousand people on the steps of Parliament House to commemorate the National Prayer Day on Friday.

“For the last 5 years we have been supporting and looking after the churches and strengthening the Government Church partnership,” PM O’Neill said.

“But for most of the past forty years, government services had been missing and it was the churches that took care of those of us in the villages.

“When we came to Government, the first thing we did was to extend support to the churches and to those who involved in God’s work, and that is now key Government priority.

“It’s not by mistake that the Government is paying the church health workers, and funding church run health and education services.

“Some people and critics come up with all sorts of ideas and sweet talk but they do not take action or walk the Talk."

PM O’Neill said churches play an important role in the country, particularly when there is change taking place.

“There are many changes happening in our country and it’s good to see there are children amongst us today. It is their future that will see changes and they will benefit from what the Government is doing is for them.

“I am very confident that with the guidance of our creator and God, the unity of our country and the many blessings and changes we see, that we will continue to grow.

"That will happen because of the faith, the belief and the partnership the Government has with the churches that will see many results for our people to benefit."

Hunters beat Falcons 34 - 4

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The SP Papua New Guinea Hunters  thrashed Sunshine Coast Falcons  with six tries to one in round 25  of the Intrust Super Cup match  at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby yesterday.

 The Hunters were first to score through prop Enoch Maki and Justin Olam to take the half-time lead to 12 - 0. The second-half saw the emergence of the Baruni tearaway Gahuna Silas asserting his presence at the 47’ minute when he zeroed in on an inside ball from Stargroth Amean on the right edge for a runaway try. 11 minutes later partner in crime Wartovo Puara Jr showed a bit of his own magic with a further right edge splurge when he jinked his way through with a neat show and go to leave Charlie Galo, Rowen Klein and Samuel Wright dumbfounded. 

Then a loose carry from Falcons prop Martin Cordwell leads to full-back Bland Abavu being rewarded with a four pointer after scooting from dummy-half over the retiring Ben Nakubuwai to lead 28-0. Ase Boas further added salt to the wound on the Falcons left edge defence when he slipped through Jacob Samoa and Klein to set up Olam for his second try. 

The visitors finally broke through on the final hooter through winger Tony Tumusa. With the return of a near full compliment Hunters forward pack, made their going forward easier through the efforts of Maki, Esau Siune, Henry Wan, Timothy Lomai, Benjamin Hetra, Brandy Peter and Warren Glare standing out in a great team effort. Noel Zeming’s five from six conversions also marked his return to the frey as well. Coach Michael Marum said the win brings back confidence in the side, especially with the return of several players from suspension and injury. However Marum is now sweating on key players Adam Korave and Stargroth Amean, who were cited yesterday, but nevertheless is still confident they don’t lose much with several players also pushing to return if they are not available. Both finished fourth (Hunters) and fifth. Third placed Townsville Blackhawks will play sixth placed East Tigers. While minor premiers Redcliffe Dolphins and second-placed Burleigh Bears take a break this weekend, before they play-off for a September 25 grand-final shot the following weekend.

The Hunters will meet the Falcons again in the elimination final next week at the National Football Stadium.

Post Courier/ PNG Today

PNG Digicel Cup Rugby League semi final turns into bloody brawl

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The second semi-finals of the  Digicel sponsored  PNG Rugby National Rugby League match  at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby, turned out bloody yesterday.

Officials and spectator violence wrecked the game, after the Agmark Rabaul Gurias, secured a narrow win over the Wamp Nga Mount Hagen Eagles 19-points to 12.

The Gurias were leading at half time and continued the same performance in the second half, sealing the game with a field goal.
The dying minutes of the game were very physical as Eagles players made crushing tackles against the Gurias in retaliation of their failed performance.
But it was when the final whistle was blown when an Eagles official assaulted the match referee and a linesman on the sidelines.
Eagles supporters took advantage of the situation and ran onto the field, assaulting Gurias players, match officials and even police officers.
A fighting match then ensued, and police had to fire tear gas onto the field and bring in guns to chase off those who fought.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko  condemned the behavior of the Mt. Hagen Eagles officials and their supporters for ending the match with a brawl,

“The primitive and the uneducated action of the Hagen Eagles officials and supporters must be condemned at the highest level,” the Minister said.

“I will be directing in the strongest terms that the officials involved be banned for life from ever participating in Rugby League again and that a criminal investigation be carryout to arrest those that assaulted the umpires and players,” the Minister added.

“I will do my best working with the PNGRFL to ensure new and tougher penalties are put in place so this disgusting behavior hopefully never happens again,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Mt Hagen Eagles Official who assaulted the match officials has been arrested by Police.

Inglis to Captain Prime Minister’s XIII against Papua New Guinea

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South Sydney Captain Greg Inglis will skipper the Prime Minister’s XIII in the traditional match against Papua New Guinea on Saturday 24 September at National Football Stadium, Port Moresby.

Prime Minister’s XIII Coach Mal Meninga has confirmed that Inglis will play in the annual match, and will captain the side.

Meninga said he would be treating the match as a genuine trial for Four Nations positions.

“Greg is an outstanding leader and his selection in the team, and as captain, shows the mindset I have around this game,” Meninga said.

“I want to select the strongest team possible.

“All players who play in the Prime Minister’s XIII game will be genuine chances of playing in the Four Nations.”

Inglis, captain of the Rabbitohs as well as the Indigenous All Stars this year, said he was humbled to be given the opportunity to skipper the Prime Minister’s XIII.

“When Mal called me and said he wanted me to lead the side out, it took a second for it to sink in. It is a real honour for me,” Inglis said.

“When you’re asked to be captain of any side, it means you’re doing something right. The coach and selectors are obviously looking at you and the way you conduct yourself.

“I’m really thrilled to get this opportunity.”

The remainder of the Prime Minister’s XIII team to face PNG in Port Moresby will be selected next month.

Source: Rabbitohs.com.au

Vanuatu receives Pacific Air Ambulance Service

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Vanuatu has received its first Air Ambulance, The Pacific Air Ambulance Service.

When addressing the guests at a function recently, Michael Benjamin a board member to the Vanuatu Pro Medic asked the Vanuatu Government through the ministry of Health to support the initiative which has the potential to benefit all Ni-Vanuatu, expatriates and visitors to Vanuatu.

He said Vanuatu should be proud of this achievement as the Air Ambulance has enabled Vanuatu to be a leader in the Pacific in pre-hospital care and now can provide an international standard areo medical retrieval service not only to Vanuatu, but to the greater part of the South Pacific.

He added that Vanuatu and the South Pacific now have an international standard aero Medical retrieval service that is capable of Domestic medivacs and international ability to Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, New Caledonia, Fiji and Solomon Islands at an international standard comparable to anywhere in the world.

The milestone was achieved through the professional support and commitment of the Promedical, Medepole, Airworx and Air Taxi.

Loop Vanuatu

Shortage of taro supplies a concern for Samoa

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the solution to Samoa’s taro woes are pretty simple, “Go farm harder.”

Tuilaepa admits there is decline in Samoa’s taro produce and offers a simple solution.

“There was a time Fiji took up all the markets for taro overseas, then their market crashed when disease struck, that’s when the door opened for us,” he said.

“You see, soon, we may get some diseases to our produce of our own as well, but right now, what we should do is work the land. We all know that most are just strutting at home not doing anything, while there is heaps of land that haven’t been used for plantation,” he added.

“There’s nothing else that compares to working,” he added.

Tuilaepa questioned the work of village mayors, whose sole responsibility is to observe and support local village farmers.

“There’s always cries calling out for better pay for village mayors, but if the decline in taro produce because of the lack of farms providing is the case, then it bears a question as to what the village mayors are doing,” he said.

At the moment, the cost of a 20kg bag of taro is sold at a little over 65 tala per kg.

Samoa’s biggest export market for taro is New Zealand.

Loop Samoa

996 students graduate from University of South Pacific

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University of South Pacific (USP) continues to showcase the quality and relevance of its programmes, which sets it apart from others through internationally recognised accreditations.

This was highlighted by the USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra during his welcoming address at the second Laucala Campus graduation ceremony for 2016. So far, 16 programmes of the University have received international accreditations.

A total of 996 students graduated during this event which was officiated by USP's newly installed 23rd Chancellor and the Prime Minister of Cook Islands Honourable Henry Puna.  The ceremony was attended by the USP Pro Chancellor Mr Winston Thompson, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Chandra, members of the University Senior Management team, diplomats, Government officials, staff, students, graduates, their families and well-wishers.

Professor Chandra noted that 64 per cent of all graduates were females; (up by nine (9) per cent from April 2015) and 22 per cent or 223 students are from the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE), marking exceptionally fast expansion of Pacific TAFE.

He further highlighted that about 47 per cent of the students have graduated in undergraduate programmes and 30 per cent in Post graduate programmes of which about nine (9) per cent have done Masters by either thesis or coursework.

“I am also pleased to announce that there are three (3) students graduating with PhD’s, two (2) of whom are from the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment and one from the Faculty of Arts, Law, and Education,” Professor Chandra said.

“There are 20 graduates from 11 non-member countries that include Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Guyana, India, Japan, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, and the USA.”

Professor Chandra told the graduating students that graduations mark the start of a new and wonderful journey in life ahead growing from the seeds you have sowed during your period at the University.

“You are now equipped with the tools that will help you forge a future for yourself – a future of immense possibilities—and a future that you will make with your own efforts,” Professor Chandra said.

Professor Chandra advised the graduates to take the cue from the magnificent Rugby Seven’s gold medal performance at the Rio Olympics and be the best one can be through hard work, perseverance, innovation and commitment.

“As the Honourable Prime Minister of Fiji said on Monday, our players showed the world how sevens rugby should be played. Our players mesmerized the whole world with their magic. A small country with less than one million people, with limited resources showed that it can be the best in the world,” Professor Chandra said.

“You too have the capability to truly excel—and achieve anything in the world.”

Professor Chandra made special acknowledgement USP’s very own Pasifika Voices, which recently recorded the choral components of the whole animated production Moana.

“This recording by Walt Disney demonstrates that our music and arts programmes produce world-class talent.  It is a historic moment for our local talent that our singers & artists are recognized in Hollywood at the highest level,” Professor Chandra added.

“Pasifika Voices has been a major part of our graduations for the past 10 years and is made up of students from all around the region and led by exceptionally talented staff.”

The University has continued to make progress with further improvements to its regional campuses with renovations to the Long Island hotel to convert it to the new Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Campus and developments are on track for the new Solomon Islands Campus.

“The Nauru Learning Village Phase 2 ground breaking was carried out by the Australian High Commissioner and the Minister of Education on 11th August. Our new Centre will be part of this new learning village and we are excited by this new development. We thank both the Government of Nauru and Australia for this new development,” Professor Chandra said.

Professor Chandra took this opportunity to invite everyone to USP’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, which will be in 2018

“We plan to mark this milestone with significant events and legacies and I invite you all to be part of this exciting event in 2018 that will celebrate our achievements and regionality, and secure our future as a world-class university that our leaders, the Pacific people, and our partners can take genuine pride in.”

Source: USP

PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons preview

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

The Hunters will be hoping their imposing home record remains intact after suffering some indifferent form on the road of late. The Hunters have won 34 of their 36 home games, including their last 26 in a row. However, five of those wins this year have been by a margin of four points or less. Last weekend, the Hunters were disappointing in going down 40-16 against the Pride – especially after putting in a good showing against their other NQ opponents Townsville 24-20 in Round 23. For the Falcons – it is a difficult away trip to end the regular season, but no matter the result, they are guaranteed to finish in either fifth or sixth place on the ladder. This will be the first time the Falcons feature in final since 2010, an achievement they celebrated with gusto last weekend after downing Wynnum Manly 30-28 in a thriller at home. This game will be the 100th Cup game for Sunshine Coast back Rowan Klein, making him the first player to play 100 games for the club. Twin brother Callum is not far behind, with this to be his 99th Cup game for the club. This Sunday, both teams have had a player ruled out by suspension, with Falcon Tui Kamikamica Tui pleading no contest to a careless high tackle charge, while Philimon Kimisive has pleaded guilty to a Shoulder Charge offence.

PNG Hunters

1. Bland Abavu 2. Butler Morris 3. Noel Zeming (c) 4. Justin Olam 5. Stargroth Amean 6. Ase Boas 7. Wartovo Puara 8. Enock Maki 9. Gahuna Silas 10. Esau Siune 11. Timothy Lomai 12. Nickson Borana 13. Brandy Peter 14. Warren Glare 15. Adam Korave (c) 16. Henry Wan 17. Edward Goma 18. Benjamin Hetra 19. Watson Boas

Coach: Michael Marum

Sunshine Coast Falcons

1. Samuel Wright 2. Tony Tumusa 3. Callum Klein 4. Paul Ivan 5. Rowan Klein 6. Alex Bishop 7. Ryley Jacks 18. Ryan Hansen 9. Jake Turpin 10. Martin Cordwell 11. Troy Giess (c) 12. Charlie Galo 13. Thomas Murphy 14. Brett Doherty 15. Jacob Samoa 16. Ben Nakubuwai 17. Tui Kamikamica 19. Tom Geraghty

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen

National Football Stadium on Sunday, August 25 - 3.05pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvSCF

**Statistics by Brad Tallon/ qrl.com.au

Catholic Bishops support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate in the Melanesian Spearhead Group

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The Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania ( Australia, New Zealand, PNG/SI, CEPAC) is currently meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. We come from a multitude of island nation States spread throughout the Pacific.
We are delighted to be here in PNG and have enjoyed greatly the wonderful hospitality of this vibrantnation. It was an honour for us to meet with the Hon. Powes Parkop, Governor of Port Moresby, and we all offered him congratulations and encouragement on the development of this city and his commitment to justice, integrity and service in civic leadership.
Though we come from diverse cultures and regions, as Pastors and Shepherds our hearts are united in the desire to seek what is best for the human family and the common good of any society. Indeed our faith, following the example of Pope Francis, prompts us to see the world firstly not as a global market but as a universal home.
Last year we urged governments and businesses to support the Paris COP21 initiative addressing issues of climate change and sustainable development. We are therefore heartened to see that the PNG government has recently passed a Bill agreeing to implement the strategies of that initiative.
Responsible use of the environment and resources is a duty and task for everyone. The Clean Generation Campaign which we have come to know about here in PNG is an inspiring example of local initiative among the young. Also we have learned of those working to support coastal communities who wish to raise their voice against Seabed Mining. Far from being “anti-development” such communities wish to pursue sustainable development including family friendly tourism, fisheries and agriculture. What kind of trade agreements permit foreign companies to engage in practices and processes which in their own country are illegal? The sea is a treasure for all and should never become a “playground of exploitation.”
A particular focus of our current gathering is the people of West Papua. They seek what every family and culture seeks: respect of personal and communal dignity, free expression of one’s aspirations, and good neighbourly relations. Political boundaries can never contain or control ethnic relationships and so we urge governments to support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate fully in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Therefore we wish to support the 2003 joint interfaith declaration ‘Papua Land of Peace’. Blocked participation in MSG is a wound in the side of all Melanesians. For West Papuans, the MSG is a natural place of collaboration and a potential source of deeper regional understanding. In that regard we wish also to acknowledge the assistance of Indonesian authorities in making possible a recent visit of PNG and Solomon Islands Bishops to Jayapura in order to meet with their brother Bishops in West Papua. Such visits are always for the cause of peace.
Finally we once again echo the international outcry at what is happening to asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. Callousness can never be the proper response to human tragedy. We applaud PNG’s Supreme Court’s decision that the Manus Island detention centre is unconstitutional and illegal and we trust the Australian and other authorities will act swiftly in implementing a humane plan of rehabilitation for the detainees.
CBCPNGSI �Archbishop John Ribat MSC (President), Archbishop of Port Moresby,
ACBC �Bishop Robert McGuckin (Deputy President) Bishop of Toowoomba, Australia.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, Australia
NZCBC �Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop of Palmerston North, New Zealand
CEPAC �Archbishop Michel Calvet SM, Archbishop of Noumea, New Caledonia.
Bishop John Bosco Baremes, SM, Bishop of Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Executive Secretary: Fr.Victor Roche,SVD, CBC-PNG/SI, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Special Mining Lease Application submitted for the Wafi-Golpu project

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

By Peter Kinjap

Papua New Guinea's Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture in Lae , Morobe Province has announced through a statement that an application for a Special Mining Lease (SML) for the Wafi-Golpu Project was registered yesterday (25/08/16) with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

Project Director Bryan Brailie said the lodgment sees a crucial milestone in the progressing the Wafi-Golpu Project.

“We look forward to work with the government, landowners and other stakeholders,” Mr. Braillie said.

The application follows the review earlier this year by the Board of Directors of both Newcrest Mining Limited and Harmony Gold Mining Company of a project feasibility study and pre-feasibility study.

The SML application includes a proposal for development, which incorporates the feasibility study report and supporting documents such as a national content plan, which underpins land ownership study, sets out the proposed approach to workforce and supplier development and community investments including potential employment and local business opportunities.

It is anticipated that, if developed, the project will make a substantial positive impact to Papua New Guinea’s economy at both a national and provincial level. It will be the first major large-scale resource project in the Morobe Province since the Hidden Valley mine commenced operations in 2009.

"The Landowner communities would benefit from royalty streams, compensation and community development projects which focus on skills development, local business opportunities, agribusiness, health and education. Key milestones An Environmental Impact Statement is being prepared for the Project and is expected to be lodged with the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) in the near future," the statement said.

Any future development of the Project will be subject to the grant of an SML and obtaining all other necessary permits, approvals and agreements required from the Government, landowners and other stakeholders, and ultimately approval by the Board of Directors of both Newcrest and Harmony.

The Wafi-Golpu deposit is located approximately 65 kilometres south-west of Lae in the Morobe Province of PNG. Lae is the second largest city in PNG. Newcrest and Harmony each currently own 50% of the Wafi-Golpu Project through the WafiGolpu Joint Venture. The Independent State of Papua New Guinea retains the right to purchase, at a price pro-rata to the accumulated exploration expenditure, up to a 30% equity interest in the Wafi-Golpu Project, at any time before the commencement of mining. If the State chooses to take up its full 30% interest, the interest of each of Newcrest and Harmony will become 35%.

Photo: Executive Team make the submission.

PNG Government passes supplementary budget

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The PNG government has passed the 2016 Supplementary Budget using its numerical strength yesterday when the Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch presented it on the floor of Parliament.

Mr. Pruaitch said the first six months of the year has been tough for many economies and Papua New Guinea has been no different.

He said the supplementary budget comprises adjustments that include both expenditure-saving measures of K928 million and additional revenue-raising measures of K958 million.
Works Department and National Development Bank received the biggest cuts in the supplementary budget amounting to over K3billion which has not gone down well with the Opposition.

Leader Don Polye said the supplementary budget is a way of admitting that the government did a bad budget for 2016 with wrong projections in the first place.
He blasted the government for bulldozing the budget through without been transparent and allowing the parliament to debate it before passing it.

Digicel Foundation helps children with Special Needs

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There is no greater disability in a society than the inability to see a person as more. That is what’s given many parents of children with a disability the impetus to try and try again.
Six-year old Tally Kandianine- year old Manu Saunare perfect outcomes of parents who have persevered to overcome the odds. Both children were diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (secondary to TB Meningitis) at a very young age and were stagnant with very little progress in the early years of their childhood.
When first met by the Cheshire DisabilityServices (CdS), both were found to be struggling and needed assistance with all basic activities of daily living. They were unable to sit, stand, walk or talk independently.
These little children, with the help of their parents, have overcome the odds in a space of 6 to 10 months of rehabilitation. Digicel PNG Foundation CEO Beatrice Mahuru attributes this to the sheer will of the parents and a program funded by the Foundation called the Community based Rehabilitation which is delivered by their partner, Cheshire Disability Services.
CdS discovered Tally and Manu in their respective communities during a baseline gathering outreach and the progress each child has made with consistent therapy sessions both at their homes and the CdS centre has been remarkable.
Since Tally’s initial assessment in October 2015 and Manu’s assessment in March this year, both children have made astounding progress, now able to sit up and turn, move and walk around with partial assistance.
Tally is also now able to grasp objects independently and even keep a balance on his father’s shoulders when Digicel Foundation met him during a meet and greet event recently.
Manu’s progress has been nothing short of a miracle. She is a fast learner and her therapist has described her to be a “very bright student” now even able to calculate digits and read with little assistance.
Manu’s mother, Maria Wamala, was very emotional and expressed gratitude for all the assistance by Cheshire Disability Services with the funding of Digicel PNG Foundation.
Maria is a teacher by profession and has unconditionally loved and assisted Manu to live a normal life as possible for a child living with a disability.
Digicel PNG Foundation CEO, Beatrice Mahuru, said since the inception of the program in 2014 and through its implementation in NCD and Central Province by Cheshire, the Foundation has witnessed the positive and life-changing impact it has had on beneficiaries. This is what has encouraged and inspired the Foundation to continue with the financial support of K 150,000 for the program for the third year running.
The CBR Program commenced 2014 and has impacted the lives of over 900 people living with disabilities in Kokopo, Wewak, Central Province and the National Capital District.
Meanwhile, Benard Aiyeko, General Manager, Cheshire Disability Services said that the focus of 2015/2016 programs implementation will be to build up on the lessons learned under the successful NCD project, employ strategies to address the challenges which were experienced and to strengthen partnership with especially, the Government Administration at the national and local levels to sustain the outcomes and improve the lives of the beneficiaries.
“Cheshire disability Services is grateful to Digicel PNG Foundation for the continued funding of this program. Their funding enables us implement the program and pay the salaries of the field workers and physiotherapists who go out to the communities so that we can achieve our shared objectives,” said Aiyeko.
Targeted locations for the roll out of this program are Settlements, Suburbs and Indigenous Communities. They include; Morata,Wildlife,8 mile,9 mile,14 mile and 17 miles. Local villages to be targeted are Kirakira,Mahuru,Pari and Hanuabada while Gerehu, Hohola, Tokarara and Burns Peak suburbs will also be covered.


Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

BANZ town in Jiwaka came alive culturally last weekend as the cultural groups from in and around Jiwaka and other neighboring provinces stormed the dancing arena.
The singsing groups came from as far as Hela, Bundi in Madang, Western Highlands, Simbu and Eastern Highlands Provinces.
The small township of Banz was jam packed with people, vehicles and singsing groups in their traditional attires.
There were cultural fanfare from all cultural groups singing their peroveta songs and swayed to the beat and sounds of their kundu (hand) drums.
The celebration was a mini cultural festival organised by the Upper Kon Association from Jimi Valley, one of the Jiwaka’s districts.
More than 20 cultural groups took part in the festival, making the festival and the town colourful with their attires, body decorations and dancing which spiced it with the beat of the kundu drums.
Although, many of the invited guests could not make it to the official opening, people from within Jiwaka and surrounding provinces including Hela, Madang, Western Highlands, Simbu and Eastern Highlands Provinces were treated the best with the cultural performances.
The officers from the responsible government organizations deals with culture including National Cultural Commission, Tourism Promotion Authority, the Jiwaka Provincial Government and few tourists from overseas were at hand to witness the official opening of the festival and celebration of the cultural festivity.
The festival was from August 5 to 7, 2016 and will be staged annually to give the Jiwaka culture the exposure it deserves.
It was during the festival that the people of Upper Kon in Jimi area enacted their daily lives with a cane foot bridge which became the highlight of the festival.
The association executives explained to the festival participants that the traditional culture, arts and the cane foot bridge they built were the demonstration of their daily struggles.
Many business houses, cooperate organizations and service providers supported the festival making it colourful.
The festival will become one of the Jiwaka’s annual events in the province from next year onwards. The festival was better described as one of the colourful events of the province.

Huawei launches latest brand ‘P9’

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GLOBAL information, technology and communication (ICT) provider-Huawei has just released to the PNG market its latest flagship smartphones- the P9 and P9 plus. The devices were launched by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch at a gala event held at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby on Tuesday evening. Present for this auspicious event were senior executives from Huawei including its chief executive officer (CEO) Dennis Hou, Digicel’s CEO Maurice McCarthy, senior ministers of government, department heads and representatives from the private sector. 

Mr Pruaitch said he was pleased that since the firm’s entry into the PNG market in 2012 that it had grown to be a key partner of government in rolling out much needed services. He said he was especially pleased to learn that it had a huge research budget which was enabling it to come up with new products in order to meet its customer demand, not just around the globe but in PNG as well. In congratulating the firm on its new line of products he assured also of the Government continued support especially towards the investment it was making in the country. Mr Hou said the firm had started bringing smartphones into the PNG market in 2012 adding this had been through the partnership it had forged with Digicel. He said the firm had gone on to explore the open line market in 2014 and that between 2014/2015 had brought in a quarter of million smartphones. “These phones are easily available not just in Port Moresby but in the other centres as well and I would like to thank the operator, our distributors and dealers for this remarkable achievement.” 

He said the firm is moving towards its goal in becoming the biggest manufacturer adding that PNG would be an integral part of this global strategy. He had assured of more investments in PNG including in ensuring increased customer experience is achieved. “We will focus on brand building in, setting up more store facilities, more incentives to benefit our distributors and dealers. Most importantly we have a dedicated team in PNG and we will grow together with our customers by delivering good products and service in PNG,” Mr Hou said. The stand out features of the P9 boast is that it gives customers the Leica experience and photo quality, great image focus in all types of condition, has an ultra slim unibody with a large display and is able to stay charged for a longer period with its 3000mAh high capacity battery. ...read more on >> PNG Technology News

Post Courier

Air Niugini to increase services on Port Moresby / Cairns route

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Air Niugini will increase its flights between Port Moresby and Cairns to meet the market demand and seat capacity once Qantas pulls out services on this route at the end of October.
Air Niugini Chief Executive Officer, Mr Simon Foo said the airline company will increase its frequency and seat capacity by over 50 percent by increasing the use of Fokker 100 and F70 jets on this rote.
Mr Foo said, “ It is good news for our customers who will now be able to fly on an all jet schedule services from POM/Cairns/POM and reduce travel time whilst continuing to enjoy a choice of carriers and departure times.”
Air Niugini and Qantas have agreed to a code share arrangement on this route, but is subject to regulatory approval.
“This would allow Qantas as a marketing carrier to continue offering Qantas Product at competitive prices to the traveling public. This will operate in a similar manner as to code share on the POM/Brisbane route over the last 14 years. Competition on any market is healthy,” Mr Foo concluded.

Photo sources: JETPHOTOS.NET

MRSM welcomes government's decision to offload 33% shares in OK Tedi Limited

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The Board of Directors of Mineral Resources Star Mountains (MRSM) Limited, representing the 10 landowning villages around the Ok Tedi Mine would like to thank the Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neil for the decision made to offload its 33% equity shares in the Ok Tedi Limited to the respective landowners and the people of Western Province.
This is a first of its kind hence, an announcement of historical significance to the landowners and the people of Western Province and Papua New Guinea as a whole.
The Prime Minister in his good wisdom and with our welfare at heart has made this decision which will now allow us direct equity participation in the project rather than just receiving dividends.
We the MRSM board of directors take this time to show our heartfelt gratitude to the government on behalf of the landowners and the people of Western Province.
We encourage our people to leave all differences aside, take this opportunity from the government and work hand in hand for the benefit of our people and our children of Star Mountain.
With the announcement, we call for MRDC to also manage the new shares offloaded by the government upon the endorsement of the National Executive Council (NEC) under existing management agreement.
MRSM is managed by the Mineral Resources Development Company Limited (MRDC) through a management agreement. Under the agreement MRDC, as MRSM’s Manager and agent; manages, controls, and runs all its corporate, investments, client services and other affairs.
Mineral resources Star Mountains Limited (MRSM) was incorporated under the Companies Act to acquire the local landowner’s equity interests in the Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML). MRSM holds a 3.05% shares in OTML, in trust for the benefit of the 10 Ok Tedi landowning communities.

Read more mining news on >> Pacific Mining Watch 

Nalu College of Advanced Education needs government support

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Church-Government Partnership in bringing in sustainable development changes in the education and health sectors throughout the districts in PNG is vital and must be maintained.
A matriculation center setup and run by the Catholic Diocese of Aitape in West Sepik, the Nalu College of Advanced Education, needs attention from the government with funding to sustain it's operation in order to cater for the growing number of students enrollments.
Head of Nalu, Brother Thomas Rice said that the college has brought changes in terms of getting school dropouts to complete their education and find employment and further the growth of their district.
"I don't know why the district administration is not seeing what has been achieved in the past years since it's establishment in 2002."
"I had asked the district administration for funding some three years ago and was promised K200,000.00, but I have not received in money yet until now we are still waiting," said Brother Rice.
"Human resource development is vital for sustainable change,"he said.
Pictures: Nalu College of Advanced Education, Aitape/ PNGFM

Port Moresby to host ProjectBRA run

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A Port Moresby multisports club will be hosting a special on Saturday 30th September in honour of ProjectBRA, a global awareness campaign for sexual violence survivors.

ProjectBRA of Project Beach Run for Awareness was launched in South Africa two months ago by Claire McFarlane, of South African and Australian descent, to raise funds for sexual violence survivors.

Claire, who’s a survivor herself, has embarked on this global campaign which will cover 184 countries. In each of these countries, Claire will be running 16km of beach and at the same time raise funds and awareness for sexual violence survivors.

In the last two months, she has travelled to South Africa, Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tonga (this weekend) Fiji, with Solomon Islands and Port Moresby, PNG early next month.

Coming to Port Moresby will also be a big reunion for Claire who attended a Brisbane girls school twenty years ago with some Papua New Guinea classmates. These PNG girls assisted Claire finding out a local club to help with organizing this 16km beach run and will be looking forward to catching up again after all these years.

Port Moresby-based sports club, Club SCRAM Port Moresby, and event management company, Up South Events Ltd, will be organizing the Port Moresby run along the Paga ring-road and Koki on Saturday 30th September.

Club SCRAM (acronym for Swim, Cycle, Run and Multisport) organizes running events every month. Unfortunately, we do not have enough beach for this run but we have a little stretch of beach on the Ela Beach side which we will use.

Global Construction Ltd has put its support behind this run with helping out with logistics and refreshments. International aid group, Abt & Associates, is another local ProjectBRA supporter.

The 16km run will commence at the Stanley Esplanade and Cuthbertson St intersection; opposite Harbourside West, and head along the Paga ring-road towards Ela Beach and Koki.

Runners/walkers then reach the Koki roundabout and head back along Ela Beach Drive; along Paga ring-road and Stanley Esplanade to the Port Moresby Yacht Club and return back to Harbourside West for the finish.

Club SCRAM Port Moresby is also hosting shorter runs – 2km, 5km and 10km – for its usual running club members but the public is also invited to join in a run or walk if the 16km is to too long.

Entry is free but participants are encouraged to give a donation of any amount at finish line. Proceeds from this run/walk will be donated by ProjectBRA to a local organization working with sexual violence survivors.

Participants can also go online to purchase t-shirts on www.projectbra.org or get more information on this global awareness campaign. For more information on this run on Saturday 30th September, please call Stephen on 76097214 or email damien@upsouthevents.com

Tongan couple burglarising 75 year-old woman in US angers caregiver community

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The Tongan couple who was arrested after they burglarised a 75-year-old woman in El Granada, San Mateo, California has infuriated some of the Tongans who worked as caregivers in the United States.

Antonio, 33, and Zorrana Mapapalangi, 38, were arrested by the sheriff’s deputies after forcing themselves into the victim’s house at the 200 block of Coral Reef Ave on August 14 and escaped with an unknown amount of money.

Det. Salvador Zuno of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed to Kaniva News this morning (NZ Time) the Mapapalangis are of Tongan origins.

The victim told deputies one of the intruders “placed a pillow over her head and tied her wrists together while one of them, whom the victim believed was a woman, demanded money.

“When she declined to reveal the money’s whereabouts, the intruders ransacked the residence”, a press release from the sheriff’s office said.

“Even though the victim couldn’t see the intruders, she heard at least two individuals in her bedroom. The victim believed she recognized the female’s voice as belonging to her caretaker.

“Sheriff’s detectives were able to identify Zoranna Mapapalangi and her husband, Antonio Mapapalangi as suspects in this home invasion.  After obtaining a $500,000 arrest warrant for each of them, Sheriff’s detectives located and arrested Antonio, Thursday morning in San Mateo.  Later in the afternoon, Sheriff’s detectives located and arrested Zoranna on in Daly City.  Both were booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility on felony charges.

A Tongan woman by the name Fatafehi Toki who appeared to have been working in the United States as caretaker for years was infuriated by the Mapapalangis’ action.

She wrote on Facebook in Tongan, “sio hifo kihe kakai pehe fau mani eee talu eku i heni he 79 moe ngaue pehe au kihe eku nofo sea koeni teeki iai hato lekooti palaku pehe hoiiiiiii”. This could be translated into English as: “look at this oh my since I was here in 1979 I did the same work until I left without any such disgusting record”.

Some of the commenters who commented on Kaniva’s Facebook pages and groups when the news was first released over the weekend said the couple’s thoughtless action gave Tongan caregivers who were honest and working hard in the United States bad name.

In 2012 Selu Mataele, 30, and Ane Pailate, 55, were convicted of felony charges of theft after committing a $171,256 elder fraud in East Palo Alto, San Mateo County, California.  They were sentenced to 11 months in jail and 5 years probation for defrauding the 82-year-old woman.

Kaniva News

BSP Vanuatu officially opens in Port Vila

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Bank of South Pacific chief executive officer Robin Fleming says the bank’s acquisition of Westpac Vanuatu has gone well in terms of branding, with BSP prominent in the business community and customer experience.

Fleming told The National that he and chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou visited Port Vila last week for the opening of BSP Vanuatu.

“Our customers were positive of the change in ownership to BSP, noting that our staff were enthusiastic and responsive, and also very proud to be the newest members of the BSP family,” Fleming said.

“We gave the clients in Vanuatu a background on the proud history of BSP, its Papua New Guinean ownership, its strong balance sheet and profitability, as well as its commitment to the region.”

Sir Kostas emphasised that BSP is a true Pacific bank with ownership, management and culture all Pacific.

He also reflected on the strong Melanesian ties with Vanuatu.

Last Friday, the Central Bank Governor Simeon Athy and the Minister for Lands Ralph Regenvanu opened BSP Vanuatu in Port Vila.

Athy welcomed BSP to Vanuatu and looked forward to the bank participating positively in the development of the Vanuatu economy.    

Goldie farewells long serving officer

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The Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) last Friday farewelled one of their longest-serving regimental sergeant majors at Goldie Training Depot in Central Province.

Outgoing Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) chief warrant officer Mark Sakei, has served in the force at Goldie for 21 years.

During his career, he climbed up to be the Regimental Sergeant Major of the unit, which is the highest post a soldier can get in an operating PNGDF Battalion.

His service was described by his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dickers Esso, as a man who strives to achieve the best.

Lt Colonel Esso said what the outgoing RSM Sakei has started will be pursued with dedication and vigour.

Sakei will take his new post as RSM Lae Area. He is replaced by the incoming new RSM chief warrant officer Samuel Timmy, the former Chief Sergeant Major at PNGDF Headquarters Murray Barracks.

A wonderful handover-takeover parade was displayed by the PNGDF soldiers in signifying the transfer of powers and authority vested on the RSM pace stick, to the incoming RSM.

Lieutenant Colonel Esso farewelled the outgoing Sakei and thanked him for his leadership, commitment and dedication he has put in developing Goldie.

He congratulates his predecessor and urged him to carry on from where the former RSM has left off and perform his duty without fear or favour.

Lt Col Esso urged all the service men and women at Goldie to establish a good relationship with the new RSM and continue the good work the former RSM has started.

Picture: (L-R) Outgoing RSM to Igam Barracks Area, warrant officer Mark Sakei, handing over the command, authority and leadership invisibly inscribed on the RSM pace stick to his predecessor, warrant officer Samuel Timmy, at Goldie River Training Depot during Hoto Parade last Friday. ​(Picture by Capt. Barnabas Malken/supplied)

Coach Marum make changes to Hunters team to face Sunshine Coast Falcons

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WITH one game left in the Intrust Super Cup’s regular season, PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum has made several changes to his side to face the Sunshine Coast Falcons on Sunday.
Feisty hooker Gahuna Silas is set to start his first game in the number nine jersey, with Warren Glare battling a lower back injury despite being named on the bench. Fullback Bland Abavu and centre Justin Olam return from one-game suspensions while Wartovo Puara Jr replaces the under-performing Watson Boas at halfback for the round 24 fixture against the fifth-placed Falcons at the National Football Stadium.
Stargroth Amean shifts to the wing from fullback after Philemon Kimisive was handed a one-match ban by the Queensland Rugby League judiciary for a shoulder charge on Javid Bowen in the Hunters’ disappointing 40-16 loss to the eighth-placed Northern Pride last week in Cairns.
Edward Goma retruns to the bench after one match in the centres.
Having dropped their last two matches Marum said it was crucial his side regained some momentum heading into the finals.
“It’s important that we have some mometum going into the finals,” Marum said.
“We have to build that mometum and carry it through and it starts this weekend against the Falcons.”
Marum is walking a tight rope needing his side to get the win over the Falcons, who beat them 28-20 on the Gold Coast back in Round 4, as well as allowing several returning players ample game time to reach match fitness.
Prop Henry Wan, who last played in Round 16, has been included on the bench after an extended period out.
His size and undoubted metre-gaining ability will prove crucial in the finals with Marum saying he had no choice but to play Wan in order for the 105kg front-rower to gain vaulable match fitness.
Back-rower Nickson Borana has also been given a starting berth ahead of co-captain Adam Korave with Marum looking to give more members of his squad time on the field.
Utility Atte Bina Wabo, 30, has been suspended indefinitely by club management after breaking team protocol for a second time in as many weeks.
SP PNG Hunters:  1. Bland Abavu, 2. Butler Morris, 3. Noel Zeming (C), 4. Justin Olam, 5. Stargroth Amean, 6. Ase Boas, 7. Wartovo Puara Junior, 8. Enock Maki, 9. Gahuna Silas, 10. Esau Siune, 11. Timothy Lomai, 12. Nickson Borana, 13. Brandy Peter; Reserves: 4. Warren Glare, 15. Adam Korave (C), 16. Heny Wan Noki, 17. Edward Goma, 18. Benjamin Hetra, 19. Watson Boas (two to be omitted).

The National/ PNG Today

Samoa Talofa Airways ready to take off after launch

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A new airline, Talofa Airways, has been launched in Samoa and will start flying next week.

RNZ reports it will be the third locally operated airline alongside Polynesian Airlines and Samoa Air.

Talofa Airways will operate two nine seater Twin Commander aircraft between the two Samoas and also plans to fly to Vava'u in Tonga.

The airline is managed by a former CEO of Polynesian Airlines Taua Fatu Tielu and Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter who is the new airline's CEO.

"Competition is scary, it's always scary, but it's good. It's good for the travelling public, it's good for us, people that are running the airline. It gives us the opportunity to look at what we need to improve and then we improve from there,"said Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter.

Talofa Airways is waiting for a permit to allow its aircraft to land in Tonga and its flights to the kingdom are scheduled to start before the end of the year.

The Prime Minister and former chairman of Polynesian Airlines Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said he hoped the increase in the availability of flights between the two Samoas would result in fewer complaints from the travelling public.

Seventeen staff have been employed in Apia and seven in American Samoa.

The airline launches its service at Tafuna International Airport in American Samoa tomorrow.

Source: Radio New Zealand

Tongan Olympian Taufatofua sets his sight on Tokyo 2020

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Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua made a well-oiled exit from the Olympic Games, jumping on stage for a few moments during the closing ceremony in Rio.

Kaniva news reports instead of the black costume he wore in the opening ceremony, Taukatofua wore an outfit featuring the word ‘Tonga’ in red.

The taekwondo competitor joined Julia Michaels and Kygo’s performance of their hit “Carry Me,” dancing as rain fell on the Maracana stadium.

Taufatofua also joined fellow athletes with Japanese wrestler Kaori Icho, swimmer Yusra Mardini, representing the Refugee Olympic Team and Syria, Brazilian gymnast Arthur Mariano and runner Shaun Miller of the Bahamas.

Taufatofua lost his taekwondo match against Iranian medal favourite Sajjad Mardani on the weekend, but still managed to keep his fans cheering.

After the match he posted: “Felt so privileged to get out on those mats and represent Tonga! There are no excuses, I started slow, got caught and lost to a legend of Taekwondo, a great opponent in Iran. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn!

“It took me 20 years to get here, if it takes another 20 we will bring that Gold home! Thank you for the love, prayers and support without you all we would not be here! Malo Aupito, ofa atu.”

His coach, Master Paula Sitapa told Radio New Zealand they intended to keep going and push towards the Tokyo Olympics in four years time.

“What happened in this Olympics is just the beginning for us and we’d like to keep on going,” Sitapa said

“There’s a lot of things for us to do – especially raising up the next generation and see what we can do more to help and giving back to the communities and all the people that are supporting us.”

source:  Kaniva News

Government receives investigation report into University of Goroka student unrest

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The Government has received an independent investigation report into the student unrest at the University of Goroka in June this year.

Chairman of the Investigation Team, Lawrence Titimur, said the unrest came about as a result of students who were fed up with others who intimidated and prolonged the student protest over certain government decisions at that time.

He said one of the recommendations was for the UOG Administration to employ a professional security manager to train, equip and look after the needs of the security personnel of the UOG.

The 20-page report recommends for the UOG management to develop and put in place processes and procedures for students to air their views and grievances and is attended to appropriately.

It said the administration relied too much on the security guards when its staff was supposed to address such situations.

The report recommended that an aptitude test be done for all school leavers and non-school leavers who are applying for admission at UOG. No student should enter only with his or her GPAs.

“Every student that comes in from now on should be tested at the gate to ensure whether his or her results are genuine.

“It is time now we allow students who are genuine and interested in pursuing his or her studies at the University and those who are not should not be allowed in,” Titimur said.

It also recommended that student groupings be limited to provincial and ethnic groups for the promotion of cultural activities at the campus only and not politics.

It also recommended, amongst others, that the student’s welfare office must be manned by professionally qualified counselors as it is not the case now.

The report also called for the Royal PNG Constabulary to use its constitutional powers to intervene earlier and not wait for the vice-chancellors to invite them.

It said police should handle future student unrest as a law and order problem.

The Deputy Secretary for Economic & Infrastructure Sector & International Relations, with the Department of Prime Minister & NEC, Frank Aisi, received the report on behalf of Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.


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