Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Polye is NA leader

The National - Tuesday, August 9th 2011
THE National Alliance party’s de­puty highlands parliamentary leader Don Polye has been elected as the party’s new parliamentary leader repla­cing Sir Michael So­mare.
The Kandep MP, who is the finance and treasury minister, was elected by less than half of the party’s 42 members du­ring the NA caucus meeting in Minj, Jiwaka region, yesterday.
The parliamentary wing that attended the caucus meeting passed a resolution to appoint Polye but this did not go down well with Madang regional MP Sir Arnold Amet, who claimed to represent the Momase region.
Sir Arnold said there was no vacancy and that the party must follow due process.
He said if the NA believed in party principles, then, it must not violate the party’s constitution for the sake of con­venience.
East New Britain Governor Leo Dion countered that as per the party’s constitution, they were there to elect a new parliamentary leader.
Sir Michael’s term as leader expired this year and he gave instructions last February to begin the process of appointing a new leader.
Dion, who claimed to speak on behalf of the New Guinea Islands region, said they could not keep their people and party supporters in suspense.
He said he fully supported the resolution passed by the parliamentary wing to elect Polye as the new parliamentary leader.
Polye said there was no time left, the general election was nine months away and they needed a leader to take the party into the election.
He told party execu­tives and members that the NA parliamen­tary wing was already split.
He said this was because of the actions of two or three members in the ousted NA-led go­vernment.
Polye said the party, which was built on good values and principles, had been destroyed.
He said the NA was an institution and they needed to protect it from being destroyed by a small group of MPs in the party.
He said because of bad governance, he tried to stem what he described as “the flood but it was so huge” that led others to the opposition to form the new government in order to uphold the good principles and values of the party.
Polye said it was not a bad move and they were rewarded with nine mi­nisterial portfolios.
Of the 42 NA members in parliament, 19 MPs from both sides of parliament attended the meeting.
They included Lucas Dekena, James Gau, Buka Malai, Leo Dion, Sai Besio, Mark Mai­pa­kai, Peter Titus, Andrew Mald, Yawa Silupa, Mi­chael Sape, Mathew Poia, David Arore and Polye.
Four MPs from the opposition present were James Marape, Benjamin Mul, Sir Arnold Amet and Sani Rambi.
Sam Abal, Patrick Pruaitch, Arthur Somare, Ano Pala and Jeffery Nape did not attend.

Confirmed cabinet ministries

The National - Tuesday, August 9th 2011
Peter O’Neill – Prime Minister
Belden Namah – Deputy Prime Minister; Forestry and Climate Change
Don Polye – Treasury and Finance
Sam Basil – National Planning
Bart Philemon – Public Service
William Duma – Petroleum and Energy
Ken Fairweather – Housing and Urban Development
Moses Maladina – Implementation and Rural Development
Charles Abel – Trade, Commerce and Industry
David Arore – Higher Education, Re­search, Science and Technology
Dr Allan Marat – Attorney-General and Justice
John Boito – Internal Security
Guma Wau – Defence
Sai Sailon Beseo – Correctional Ser­vices
Job Pomat – Fisheries
Ano Pala – Foreign Affairs and Immigration
Sir Mekere Morauta – Public Enterpri­ses
Theo Zurenuoc – Education
Sir Puka Temu – Agriculture and Livestock
Thompson Harokaqveh – Environ­ment and Conservation
Sali Subam – Sports
Martin Aini – Labour and Industrial Relations
Byron Chan – Mining
Jim Miringtoro – Communication and Information Technology
Steven Kama Pirika – Bougainville Affairs
Andrew Mald – Community Deve­lop­ment; Religion and Family Affairs
Mark Maipakai – Inter-Government Relations and District Development
Francis Awesa – Transport and Works
Puri Ruing –  Civil Aviation
Lucas Dekena – Lands and Physical Planning
Jamie Maxtone-Graham – Health
Benjamin Philip – Tourism, Arts and Culture
Wake Goi – Assisting the Prime Minis­ter on Constitutional Matters

Beon inmates prepare for mini tourney

The National - Tuesday, August 9th 2011
PRISONERS at the Beon jail in Madang have organised a fun-filled day during the Independence weekend with a mini-tournament for themselves.
Three sponsors have donated balls and other sporting gears.
Ruben Micah, classified as a high-risk prisoner but the man who has been organising the tournament since 2009, said yesterday when receiving 15 balls from Nambawan Hire Cars that he was pleased with the response so far.
Melanesian Tours have given K200, four rugby balls and one ball each for basketball, soccer and volleyball.
Two weeks ago, Microfinance Ltd donated volleyball, touch rugby ball and a whistle.
Events planned for the week will be fun-filled for children such as various games, sack races and relays.
The games start Sept 13 followed by the finals.
It includes a flag-raising ceremony in the morning with a live band concert and a mumu to end the day.
This week, the prisoners are expecting a speedy release of funding for fuel so they can do some fishing as part of their fundraising drive.
The only institution giving them their time in joining the games is Divine Word University.
Micah said it was pleasing to see students mixing with inmates.
 “Why can’t other institutions also do the same? The community here, warder’s families and others, are joining in the fun and this is one way of healthy community participation,” he said.
Jail commander Tita Wada said it was one of the best ways to rehabilitate prisoners and as such business communities should.
“Today they are my prisoners, tomorrow they will be your neighbours or community members. The whole event is organised by prisoners,” he said.
He added that in the four years that the “Kapris group” had been detained, and while instilling self-worth among prisoners through such activities, there had not been one break-out – a record so far.

Ambush on vehicle leaves two youths dead

The National - Tuesday, August 9th 2011
TWO separate deaths were reported in Madang over the weekend.
In the first incident, drunken youths living at the Mero Bridge stopped a 15-seater bus belonging to a businessman from Pangia, Southern Highlands, assaulted and robbed  the occupants and smashed its windows.
Southern Highlanders, in retaliation, travelled in two bus loads and confronted the youths with bush knives and other weapons.
According to police station commander Snr Insp Steven Kaipa, while many fled the scene, one of the youths was hit on the head with a machete.
He was rushed to hospital by traffic police but died laster that evening due to heavy loss of blood.
Kaipa confirmed that the incident last Saturday sparked tension between the Sepiks and Southern Highlanders.
It continued last Sunday with youths blocking the roads with banana stems and stones as soon as Mobile Squad members pulled out of the area after monitoring the situation the previous night.
Last Sunday, Kaipa addressed the Mero crowd, appealing to them to let the law take its course.
“The stretch of road from Biliau Maus Rot to Mero is a hot-spot. If any unlawful activity within this stretch is done it will be met with equal retribution so be prepared to face the consequences,” he told the Sepik community.
In a separate incident also on Sunday, a Western province youth identified only as “Fox” by a friend was found dead at the Banglang Riwo road side not far from the Banglang Club.
According to Kaipa, the youth was stabbed with a sharp object in the right eye and died from heavy loss of blood.
His friend confirmed to police they had been drinking together earlier and was on his way home when he was attacked.
Police are still investigating both killings with arrests expected soon.
Meanwhile, the body of a middle-aged man was found at the bank of Wara-Simbu River outside Kundiawa, Chimbu, in the early hours of Saturday.
The man has been identified as Apa Mosley of Kagai village, Yongomugl in the Sinasina-Yongomugl district.
Police believed the man died from wounds on his head.
The body was discovered by Wara Simbu a resident who alerted Kundiawa police.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gav Stoa settlers ask for 6 months

The National, Friday, June 10th 2011
COMMUNITY leaders from the Gav Stoa settlement in Madang have asked the Madang provincial government to consider letting them stay until the end of this year.
In a June 3 letter to the provincial administrator Ben Lange, the ward councillors and village court magistrates asked that their plea be favourably considered on humanitarian grounds.
Two weeks ago, provincial government officials, escorted by police, had issued eviction notices, asking for voluntary eviction.
The eviction notices came about after continuous harassment and attacks on staff and students of the three major institutions in the area – Madang Technical College, Divine Word University and Maritime College.
The three institutions were forced to stage a peaceful protest march to the provincial government headquarters giving an ultimatum to either have the settlers move or they would take matters into their own hands.
The eviction deferral request, according to the community leaders, was because, more than 500 children from Gav Stoa settlement at school were nearing their mid term exams; employed residents needing employers approval for alternate arrangements; and that their natural justice has been denied.
They pleaded for a time extension until the end of the year while they organised themselves.
In the meantime, they had given their full support to the provincial government, police and others involved in the eviction exercise of their full cooperation, even scolding their youths to surrender homebrew making equipment to police.
The Gav Stoa leaders also asked that the provincial law and order committee behind the evictions target specific problematic families and leave genuine settlers alone.
Provincial station commander and head of the law and order committee, Chief Insp Steven Kaipa said yesterday that the provincial administration was yet to consider and respond but was pleased with the progress and cooperation of the Gav Stoa settlers so far.
“This whole exercise is for the benefit of the three institutions,” he said.

Basamuk work halted

The National, Friday, June 10th 2011
RAMU NiCo, developers of the multi-million kina Ramu nickel and cobalt mine in Madang, has stopped work at its Basamuk refinery site on instructions from the mine inspector with the Department of Mining..
The company’s general manager corporate office Wu Xuefeng said last night the order to stop work was effective from Wednesday and covered welding-related work.
He said the mining inspector also ordered Ramu NiCo to improve the project’s safety and health management procedures.
Wu said the mine inspector made a recent visit and issued the order after inquiring into a Chinese worker’s death due to heart attack at the Basamuk processing plan.
“Immediately upon the receipt of the notice, Ramu NiCo confirmed with the inspectorate that it will comply with the instructions.
“Ramu NiCo is now taking rectification measures at all sites across the project covering all contractor personnel, while at the same time putting together a comprehensive plan to address areas highlighted by the mine inspector and to ensure problems are fixed before the full commissioning of the pro-ject,” he said.
Details of the accident were not disclosed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Madang league referees in promotion

The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011
LAE Biscuit Company has extended its “no referee, no game” campaign to Madang with the sponsorship of rugby league referees there.
The sponsorship came in the form of 11 sets of uniforms, carrying the campaign slogan, that were presented to the whistleblowers of Madang.
Lae Biscuit’s Madang and Sepik representative, Samuel Koyomu presented the gear to the president of the Madang rugby league referees association, Peter Elavo last week.
Koyomu said Lae Biscuit supported grassroots participation in sports but also expected good conduct from players, officials and supporters in sporting venues.
He said the company considered referees as a very important part of any sport and decided to come up with the “no referee, no game” campaign for rugby league matches as violence against match officials in this sport was endemic.
Koyomu said if people continue to attack and mistreat referees, Papua New Guinea might as well forget the lofty agendas such as the PNG NRL Bid.
“How can PNG develop its players and make them better footballers to play in the NRL when referees who control local matches are mistreated and, as a result, matches are poorly controlled or abandoned?” Koyomu said.
“That is why Lae Biscuit thinks it is better for players, officials and supporters to start respecting referees if PNG is to develop in the game of rugby league,” he added.
Former referee and  Madang league president Paul Poka thanked thanked Lae Biscuit and endorsed the ideals of the company as expressed by Koyomu.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fire Guts Papindo in Ramu

The only supermaket that serves the people of Ramu in Madang Province was gutted down by fire on Thursday afternoon (28th May 2011). The value of the loss has not been established.
Picture: Sharon Onsa-Popple; Courtesy of Post courier
By Sharon Onsa-Pople, Post Courier
THE only major supermarket in the Ramu Valley that serves the 6000 people of Ramu Agri-Industries Ltd (RAIL) estate and its local communities went up in flames yesterday at about 3pm.
The fire started at the warehouse section of the shop and quickly spread through the entire building with looters taking advantage and breaking in a stealing whatever they could lay their hands on. The store is owned by the Papindo Group of Companies.
Papindo, who has been one of the major service providers in retail and wholesale goods, has been a part of the Ramu community in Gusap for many years and the community were yesterday left wondering how they could access goods and supplies.
A RAIL employee said in Tok Pisin: “Displa store em olsem garden blong mipla. Na nau em paia na bai mipela i go kisim ol kaikai long we gen? Kainantu na Lae em ol longwei, na nau bai mipla painim moni gen long baim PMV long go long bikpla supermarket.” (This store is like our garden. Now that its burnt down, where will we get our food? Kainantu and Lae are too far and we have to find money to pay for PMV and go shopping there.”)
Papindo Ramu Supermarket manager, Richard Aung was lost for words when approached. Mr Aung said he was sad the supermarket which provides for the community had burnt down and that his 50 employee’s would not be able to go to work due to the fire.
He said, he was lost for words in losing this supermarket that has also become a part of the community and a meeting place for everyone in Ramu.
He said, he would wait for instructions from Papindo head office in Lae to give more details.
Looters managed to get into the side of the building and made off with whatever they could get their hands on.
They didn’t seem to worry about the risk of getting burnt.
The value of the loss has not as been established.

Crop diseases hit Madang

The National , Monday, May 30, 2011
THE cocoa pod borer and the Bogia coconut syndrome have struck Madang, threatening efforts by the Kokonas Industri Koporesen (KIK) and the Cocoa and Coconut Institute (CCI) for the province to be the leading cocoa and coconut exporters.
KIK and CCI chairman Sir Makena Geno last week told of the re-emergence of the diseases on Karkar and the other five districts.
Sir Makena was in the province for the launch of the cocoa coconut improvement project and the presentation of five sawmills to five vocational schools – Karkar, Danip,Talidik, Ramu and Simbai.
He said the two diseases would be destructive if serious networking between educational institutions, business houses, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders did not exist.
Extending an invitation for these bodies to join in the fight, Sir Arnold Amet gave
K1.32 million for the provision of 2,000,000 cocoa trees and 100,000 coconut trees to be provided by CCI and KIK under a memorandum of agreement signed that day.
Sir Makeno, in accepting the K500,000 cheque for seedlings and nursery materials to be provided with technical expertise for interested  farmers in the six districts, said these two pressing issues would now be their main focus.
He said his area of concern would be to eradicate these diseases before “it kills the industry as well as the growers’ interest”.
Of the money, K250,000 will be for a coconut mill at Murunas; K500,000 for cocoa seeds; K125,000 each for the two new 10-seater vehicles, one for the police and the other for monitoring the projects by the provincial government.
Through this MoA, the Madang government aims to raise an annual export of K16 million, at K8,000 per tonne with a target population of 48,000 people to be impacted by the cocoa and coconutimprovement programme.
He said K820,000 had been spent to get the five sawmills to be set up at the vocational schools with training to be provided for locals under the technical vocational education training.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gau blames govt and developers of PMIZ 

The National, Tuesday, May 3, 2011
THE national government and developers of the controversial Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) have failed to address many outstanding issues before proceeding with the project, Madang Governor James Gau said.
He said although he supported the PMIZ as a major investment and revenue generation initiative for the province, he did not agree with the manner in which the project was “bulldozed by the state”.
Gau claimed the state had failed to involve the provincial government, other stakeholders and landowners in all the consultative processes.
He said the national government had also failed to carry out education and awareness programmes, outlining all benefits and impacts, before kicking off the project.
“How can the second tier of government and customary custodians of the land be left out of the entire project?” he asked.
“This is not right. The provincial government and the people should be involved in all consultative processes.
“Important information has not been disseminated to the people. The people are still confused,” he added.
Gau voiced concern over the state’s failure to provide environmental impact study reports.
He said the environmental study report was important for “all parties concerned to be informed of how well the environment will be protected and how industrial wastes will be controlled”.
He said operations of RD Tuna were already emitting a foul smell that hung over the area.
He said work should proceed as planned but many important issues had not been followed and “that is the concern for the provincial government and the people of Madang”.
“If the government is concerned, it should carry out more education and awareness and the dissemination of any information should be clear and precise.
“It needs to involve the provincial government and landowners in any consultative processes and, finally, make the environmental impact plan available,” Gau said.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Madang boat mishap claims one

By ROSALYN EVARA, Post Courier
ONE man is dead and two others, including an 11-year-old girl have been admitted to the Modilon General Hospital with serious injuries following a boating accident over the weekend.
While police have yet to release an official report regarding the incident but it is understood the accident happened between 6:30-7pm on Friday just off the Madang Harbour.
Reports received are that one of the boats involved was loaded with passengers who had finished work and had left the boat stop behind the Madang Butchery supermarket in town, headed for the DCA area.
The other boat is said to be owned by a local businessman and which was full of a group of men who were allegedly drunk at the time.
Reports are that the boat with the passengers was nearing the JANT boatstop when another boat allegedly travelling at very high speed rammed into and over them.
It is understood that one of the crew members of the passenger boat died instantly after receiving cuts to his head caused by the blades of the propeller which had been at high throttle.
The girl sustained injuries to one of her shoulders while another male passenger to his head and chest.
All three were rushed to the hospital where two are now recovering.
It is understood the men responsible for the accident and their immediate family members have gone into hiding.
This is for fear of retaliation by the relatives of the boat crew who died.
Police are investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, one resident from the DCA area is counting his blessing after making the decision to delay his trip just to wait for some of his friends who had decided to call into a waterhole to pick up their drinks.
He said he had made his way to the boat stop but decided to delay getting on the boat until his friends showed up.
He said because it was already dusk he was not able to see far but became aware that something was wrong when he heard a loud bang just across the harbour.
He said a similar incident had happened a couple of years back and had resulted in one death.
“Drinking driving is becoming a real problem even at sea and something needs to be done about this problem as well,” he said.

Madang PMIZ debate turns sour

By ROSALYN EVARA, Post Courier
THE people of Madang were given an insight of how issues are debated by national leaders on the floor of parliament during a stakeholders meeting which was held at Alexishafen Primary School outside the town precincts last Friday.
While some found the session to be hilarious and entertaining seeing the national leaders engage themselves in a mudslinging exercise, others were not so impressed it took their shouting to knock some sense back into the leaders as to the real purpose of the meeting.
The meeting was initiated by Minister for Justice and Attorney General Sir Arnold Amet for the purposes of allowing the landowners who would directly and indirectly be affected by the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project.
At Sir Arnold’s invitation other ministers and leaders who had attended in person were Ministers Gabriel Kapris (Commerce and Industry), Benny Allen (Environment), Madang Governor James Gau and Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather.
Also present was Anglimp South Wagi MP Jamie Maxstone Graham.
The meeting got off to a late start and to the dissatisfaction of the villagers from Kananam, Rempi, Malmal, Nobnob, Siar, Karanget, Malmal who had converged on Sek Primary School as early as 9am as per the notice which had been given to them.
The meeting kicked off a little after 1pm and with Mr Fairweather no where to be seen promoted Sir Arnold to take a shot at him for his “non-attendance” at this important meet when he had been specifically asked to come to have these frank talks instead of going behind people’s backs and making statements. While still in the process of his introductory remarks he was interrupted by cheering from the crowd signaling the Mr Fairweather’s arrival.
Taking to the podium Mr Fairweather lashed out at the project calling it a “con-job” and one which did not stand to benefit his constituents. He took a sling at Mr Kapris calling him a “stil-man”. Before taking his seat after venting his frustrations and that of his people he took a swipe at the leaders also for their non-attendance at the meeting which had been organised by the villagers a week ago.
He said their explanation particularly Sir Arnold’s that he had not received any invitation to be lame.
“Mi ino bilip em ino kisim dispel toksave long Karkar inogat gutpela communication system tasol mi kisim toksave. Yupela igat ol spy tasol yupela ino kam ating yupela I poret,” he said in tok pisin. ( I don’t believe he (Sir Amet) said he did not get this invitation. In Karkar where there is no good communication system I still got the invite. You guys have spies yet you guys did not attend, I think you guys were scared)
This got the ball rolling with a landowner and community after the ball was set in motion having his piece by branding Ministers Kapris, Allen and Sir Arnold all conmen and the PMIZ to be a con-project.
Mr Kapris who was not impressed by being called a “stil-man” (thief) said he was not one and hurled one at the Sumkar MP branding him “a failed politician”. More mud was hurled on Mr Fairweather with Sir Arnold calling him a “thief, a millionaire, white man and spy”, who was not needed on Karkar. This did not go unchallenged by Mr Fairweather who said “na yu save long Karkar ol save kolim yu (referring to Sir Arnold) ‘Ekting whiteman’”.
While this saw members of the crowd burst into laughter several got angry with one shouting that they were not there to witness this performance but to discuss serious issues of concern. This comment immediately drew an apology from the Minister for Justice who quickly returned to the business of the day.
To add to the drama for the day Mr Allen had tried to wrestle a mike off a landowners who had touched a nerve when trying to raise concerns about his department’s inability to monitor projects.

Shocking act Madang MPs hurl abuse at each other in public forum

By Rosalyn Evara, Post Courier
A HEATED racial slur exchange between Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet and Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather marred a public forum in Madang attended by senior national ministers to discuss the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project with the local people.
An obviously agitated Sir Arnold held the microphone in his right hand and with his left hand pointed at Mr Fairweather and said: “I’m not a white man’s cargo boy my friend, I don’t need you, you pack up and leave my island.”
“That’s raw politics … now let’s talk politics,” he said. Mr Fairweather is long-time businessman who owns Dylup Plantation on Karkar island where Sir Arnold comes from.
Speaking in Tok Pisin, Sir Arnold told an amused and cheering crowd at Sek Primary school that the NA Government had bought the Dylup Plantation last week to give it back to the local people … “so Fairweather, I’m telling you, you don’t belong here”.
Mr Fairweather did not take it lying down, the smiling and six-foot tall and heavily built Sumkar MP shot back at Sir Arnold saying: “Minister, Minister, I’m telling you, on Karkar, they call you acting white man,” bringing roaring laughter and clapping from the crowd.
However, many people at the gathering expressed disgust at the unbecoming conduct of the two leaders. The exchange between the two has been posted on YouTube.
Ministers who attended the meeting included Gabriel Kapris (Commerce and Industry) and Benny Allan (Environment) who strongly defended the PMIZ project proposal.
During the meeting, local leaders told the three ministers that a lawsuit had been filed to stop the project from getting off the ground. Landowners of impact areas attended the meeting.
They included Rempi, Kananam, Siar, Nobnob, Riwo, Malmal and the Karanget areas.
Francis Gem who made the announcement said the general sentiment among the landowners was that they did not want the project for the reason that it was a “con-project” being carried out by “con-men”.
He said while he was part of the team which had at the invitation of government travelled to the Phillipines to see other PMIZ’s there, he had returned not convinced this would be a good project.
He said soon after returning he had made it his business to tell the people about all that he had seen.
“…mipela bin go long wanpela Yacht Club na solwara long hap em ibin milky yellow. Yupela laikim solwara blong yupela bai olsem. Em wrong!,” he said (… while in the Phillipines we were taken to a Yacht Club situated near a PMIZ and saw the sea there to be milky yellow do you want your sea to be like that.)
He claimed the people did not stand to benefit as there were many issues government had yet to answer to including the underwater lease, Environmental Impact Study and hence he had already registered a case against the PMIZ project.
He said a summons had already been sent abroad to the proposed financiers of the project.
“Mi bai stopim na wanem samting me mekim em blong yumi olgeta (I will stop the project and what I have done stands to benefit everyone),” he told his fellow villagers from Bel.Mr Kapris interjected telling Mr Gem he ought to thank government for the trip adding that, he had heard a different report from the Madang delegation soon after their arrival back in the country.
The minister said the project for real and not a “con-project” as had been stated stating it would bring the country to new heights.
He said its progression posed a threat to many countries which were currently fishing in PNG waters and who had factories abroad including Thailand which would close should the PMIZ come on line.
He said PNG stood to make US$6 billion which was a lot more than it was currently making from the fishing industry.
He said for too long PNG had been crawling in terms of development and it was high time for change.
Mr Kapris said they would be going to China this week to source funding for the project and only then would they have a project and move to looking at benefits for the locals and the other issues the locals were raising.
He added that the project also stood to create up to 30, 000 jobs, 10 percent only of which would be occupied by foreigners.
Mr Allen in explaining the various permits to be issued added there also to be huge benefits for the people including a better water and sewerage system.
He said the department would monitor the project and if there were any adverse impacts the landowners could approach their respective provincial government and/or their MP who could then raise them with the department for them to then address them.
Sir Arnold said all issues including those relating to the environment and benefits were all in working progress.
He said this project was not a the Marengo mine or the LNG project but rather a facility and hence people should refrain from misleading people and instead work towards the common good especially for the people.

PNGRFL recognise Poka as president

The National, Friday, April 29, 2011
PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) under re-appointed interim chairman John Numapo has recognised Paul Poka as the legitimate president of Madang Rugby Football League (MRFL).
PNGRFL operations manager Joe Tokam made the statement after MRFL elected Jack Taraika as  president in a meeting last week.
Tokam said in the recent court ruling on the PNGRFL, Justice Catherine Davani ruled out Bryan Kramer as chairman of PNGNRL.
Davani said the Nov 28 meeting conducted at Lae which elected Kramer was improper.
Tokam said Davani appointed a new interim committee comprised of Numapo, Gary Juffa and David Tamtu.
According to Tokam, Poka was elected on Nov 10 during a special general meeting last year with Taraika as the vice-president, however, Taraika and a faction of MRFL had undermined Poka’s election with the latest action.
President at the time Philip Welia was absent during the election of Poka and Taraika’s group claim this invalidated Poka’s presidency if court rulings on other rugby league matters were anything to by.
“The national rugby league body only recognises Poka as president,” Tokam said.
“For the common good of rugby league in Madang, Taraika’s group must refrain from opposing Poka and work together as a team for the betterment of MDRFL.”
Tokam appealed to club presidents and officials in Madang to cooperate with Poka’s administration and to continue running the competition.

Modilon marks 50 years

The National, Friday, April 29, 2011

THE Modilon Training Hospital yesterday celebrated 50 years of providing health services to the province with traditional dances and stalls for the public to see what their work was about.
But notable absentees were Governor James Gau and provincial administrator Ben Lange who were away in Port Moresby for a budget review meeting.
That resulted in a proposed hospital tour being cancelled.
Former health minister, Sir Peter Barter, called for the hospital board and stakeholders to implement the Health Administration Act as a vital tool for service delivery and growth.
“Manus, Milne Bay, East Sepik and Western Highlands have initiated and are working the act to move health services in rural areas but Madang is falling way behind and I do not know if we are taking it seriously,” he said.
Sir Peter said health services were dismal in some rural areas, citing Long Island as an example, saying it had no medicine, radio or health worker for the past five years despite 2,000 people living there.
He praised the Catholic and Lutheran churches for their unseen but unwavering commitment to providing quality health care to those in remote places.
Sir Peter urged the hospital board to look into the missing K2.5 million earmarked by the government for the refurbishing and maintenance of the operating theatre some years ago.

Seven excluded from 7.5% pay rise

The National, Friday, April 29, 2011
NOT all public servants will benefit from the 7.5% pay increase signed between the Public Employees Association and Department of Personnel Management yesterday.
Under the new memorandum of agreement, seven government organisations involved in service to the people are excluded in the payout expected on May 18, the 10th pay day of the government payroll system.
More than 35,000 public servants will be entitled to the salary increase.
Department not included in the award are police, Correction Services, Teaching Service Commission, Defence, Ministerial Services, National Forest Authority and the National Judiciary Services and Magisterial Services.
Public servants in other departments and government organisations will benefit from salary increases for the next three years.
Public Employees Association president Michael Malabag said a 6% salary increase plus a 1.5% increment based on productivity had been agreed too.
He said the package included a consumer price index threshold given by the government to cushion any fluctuations of CPI.
He said this would be determined “from time to time”.
He said recreational leave fares to employees would be made available after every two years for a public servant and his family.
Malabag said the association had rejected the government’s buy-out offer of K500 per annum for the K20 fortnight housing subsidy.
He said the association was negotiating for a K250 fortnightly accommodation allowance and would pursue the matter before the public service conciliation and arbitration tribunal.
He said the government’s home ownership scheme was vague and a long-term plan that would benefit and solve the housing problems of public servants.
But, Malabag said other matters such as retrenchment/ retirement agreement, reduction of 35% tax on terminal benefits, compulsory life and health insurance cover, risk allowance and review of outdated allowance rate provided in the general orders would be negotiated at a later date.
DPM secretary John Kali urged all public servants to perform their duties diligently.
He said the people really needed their service and with the increase in salary, they should perform better.
The new agreement covers a three-year period of annual increases.

Ministers: Marine industrial project will go ahead

The National, Monday, May 2, 2011
THE controversial Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project will go ahead, Environment Minister Benny Allan and Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris said last Friday.
They said the government was adamant the Vidar land was state property and the project “will proceed as expected” despite outstanding custodian issues over land and environmental impact worries.
It was apparent at Friday’s gathering that those assertions were easier said than done.
Landowners, led by local Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather, highlighted various concerns including land ownership and legal and environmental issues with Fairweather promising to take legal action to stop the project.
Speaking at Sek in Alexishafen, outside Madang, Allan defended his department and the government, saying the project had been “approved by the government”.
“Minister Allan, I want to know if we have an environmental plan for the lagoon?” Fairweather asked.
“Show us the document as we want to see these plans.
“How will the waste be treated and disposed of? We already have RD Tuna polluting the air and, now, we are told that seven canneries will be built and 30,000 people will come.
“I am worried about the fish stock and the pollution that will occur,” Fairweather said.
“I represent the portion of land that is in the Sumkar district and do not want the people to suffer.”
Clearly inciting the crowd with his bold stand against the project, Fairweather’s supporters clapped and cheered.
But they quickly turned to heckling and cat-calls when Allan tried to explain the processes of granting environmental permits and approval in principle as an important process of giving the green light for construction work.
Kapris stressed that the project was important as it would generate more than K6 billion annually, making PNG one of the leading tuna exporters in the world.
Patrick Matbob, a senior journalist and lecturer at Divine Word University, who was one of the last speakers at the three-hour-long meeting, and clearly unimpressed with the ministers responses, said: “Portion 1350 is disputed land which is yet to be resolved.
“I know growing up and have documents to this day that the land is one where my elders used to have numerous conflicts over and were attending court cases for.
“I know, to the best of my knowledge as I have been following this issue for some time now, that the land is still a disputed land.”
The land in question was leased from RD Tuna, which had acquired it from the Catholic church some time back.
Regional member and Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet was exasperated after he and the other ministers were branded “conmen” by one speaker, Francis Gem.

Tempers flare at Madang forum

The National, Monday, May 2, 2011
SENIOR government ministers were branded “conmen and thieves” at a public rally organised by Justice Minister and former Madang governor Sir Arnold Amet last Friday.
The rally, at Alexishafen, saw angry landowners and villagers expressing their frustration over outstanding land issues and refusing to let the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project go ahead until all issues were resolved.
Ministers of two of the three leading departments, Trade and Industry and Commerce and Environment, Gabriel Kapris and Benny Allan arrived two hours late for the gathering, scheduled for 11am.
A notable absentee was Fisheries Minister Ben Semri, who was said to be overseas.
People from the impact areas in the crowd commented that they had received little support from the concerned departments.
Outstanding issues highlighted included organising of incorporated land groups and infighting among executives and clan members of the two umbrella companies, Kananam Investment Ltd and Rehammb Holdings, over positions of power; the absence of a working memorandum of understanding and agreement yet to be formulated; the exclusion of any legislation protecting the people’s interest regarding long-term effects to their environment, health or land; the government’s failure to conduct thorough awareness exercises in discussing boundary issues concerning underwater leases already marked and taken over by the project; and the question of equity for the people and provincial government.
Thirteen speakers grilled the ministers repeatedly on the outstanding issues.
Provincial government officers said since the inception of the project, the Madang provincial government, its project representative Francis Irara and impacted locals had been “in the dark” on how the project was progressing.
Francis Gem, a NGO representative and landowner, incited a scuffle on stage and started the name-calling.
He pointed at the ministers’ faces, and said: “Konman ya. Yupela olgeta konman (you are all conmen)”.
This was after Gem asked the crowd if they wanted the PMIZ pro-ject to continue and the crowd shouted “nogat (no)”.
His outburst, which did not settle down well with Allan, who stood up to confront Gem and was shoved aside, brought provincial police commander Anthony Wagambie Jr and his men promptly on stage to calm things down.
Gem insisted on finishing his speech despite attempts by police to get him off-stage.
He was allowed to do so as villagers crowded the small stage, shouting menacingly.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Call to stall land leases

By ROSALYN EVARA, Post Courier
THE debate on the Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) has heightened in Madang with calls now being made to government to suspend the issuing of any more until proper investigations are conducted into the existing ones.
The calls are from landowners and non-government organisations in the province.
Speaking during a recent SABL meeting NGO worker Rosa Koian said government must move swiftly to taking this measure and seriously in light of the amount of land which had been acquired by this means, especially in the last six months.

“As of January 2011, a total of 5 million hectares of land, has been acquired through this means. 2.7million of which were acquired within just six months from 2010 and 2011.The land sizes are the equivalent to the land mass of Morobe and Madang Provinces put together. The government must find out about the processes which were involved in the issuing of these leases as many landowners were never made aware before their land was taken from them,” she said.
She said many of the companies obtaining these leases were obtaining them under the pretext of having the land developed for agricultural purposes but were more interested in the logging aspect which logically would have to take place first. The meeting heard that subsequent searches which had been done had found many of these leases to be signed off by very prominent people.

HIV rife in Madang, EHP

By PORENI UMAU, Post Courier
MADANG and Eastern Highlands provinces have been revealed as provinces with very high number of youths with HIV infections.
This came from Natasha Uri, Youth Outreach Project (YOP) officer with Save the Children PNG in Madang.
Ms Uri said that because of the high HIV infection among youths between the ages of 15-25 years in Madang and Eastern Highlands, YOP offices were established only in both provinces.
She did not reveal the figures but said that both provinces had the highest HIV infection rates in PNG among the young people.
She said that this was the result of multiple or concurrent sexual partners, abuse of alcohol and drugs with the ’kisim wara na pasim sua’ expression among many youths or paid sex which was on the increase.
Ms Uri said other factors were sexual violence or rape outside and within families against young people, inconsistent and improper condom use or young people being discriminated when visiting health centres to acquire condoms.
She said that health workers insulted young people, saying they were too young and should not be engaging in sexual activities, forcing the young people to shy away, putting their lives in danger.
She also said there was limited access to service providers such as the Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT).
She also said that traditional customs that forbid sex being discussed publicly was also another major factor that had restrained young people from getting enough information on sex to be aware of the dangers involved.
Ms Uri said that because of the increasing number of youths being infected with HIV, youth outreach projects were set up to provide awareness to youths on HIV prevention, how to avoid sexually transmitted infections and unwanted teenage pregnancies and also for the young people to access information on child rights.
She said that other services include referral to clinics, teach the youths on music, dance and sports skills and provide an avenue for young people to socialise and exchange ideas to shape a better life in the future.

Pact with EU will boost tuna industry

The National, Monday, April 18, 2011

A EUROPEAN Union (EU) economic partnership agreement (EPA) is major boost for the Papua New Guinea fishing industry, Fisheries Minister Ben Semri said.
Semri said the agreement would benefit the country through direct foreign investment, employment and poverty alleviation.
The EPA between the two parties was signed in 2009.
The agreement provided access for PNG canned tuna into European markets without any import duties.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration Don Polye thanked the EU delegation who supported PNG to secure global sourcing for fisheries exports into EU market.
He said the government was taking measures to ratify the deal quickly so it could implement the provisions in the agreement.
Polye said this at the first meeting of the trade committee under the EPA with EU representatives in Port Moresby last Friday.
Polye said local canned tuna could be found on European markets at a competitive price be­cause it enjoyed no import duty.
He encouraged other Pacific Islands to sign EPAs with EU to enjoy similar benefits.
Polye encouraged local fishermen and women to embrace fishing as the agreement had added va­lue to fisheries.
Semri thanked the European countries that voted 80% in favour of allowing direct export of PNG canned tuna to European shores.
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Thompson said both parties agreed with the EPA PNG could inspire other Pacific nations to join the agreement.
“The EU remains committed not only to supporting PNG in implementing the agreement, but to strengthen it further by deepening its coverage – to include provisions on development, services, investment and sustainable management of fishery resources – and widening its membership to other Pacific Island Countries,” Thompson said.
Polye said  PNG could become the tuna capital of the world should all go well in the agreement.
He said that the EPA added value to PNG’s as­pirations which other Pa­ci­fic island counties could benefit from as well.
“To make PNG the tuna capital, we must grasp the opportunity available and take ownership of the development,” Polye said.
He stressed the EPA would promote other spin-off businesses outside the fisheries industry.
“Most important of all is the engagement of women and youth in this business, women and children being significant component of our population,” Polye said,
Semri said: “The beauty of it is that huge revenue associated with the tuna market where no duty or taxes will be charged on every tonne of tuna lands on EU market”.
“Not only our tuna is very competitive in the EU markets and that will greatly benefit our economy,” he added.
Meanwhile, the two-day African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) review seminar meeting will start at  Lamana Hotel today.
The EPA between EU and ACP countries is aimed at promoting trade between the two groups through trade development, sustainable growth and poverty reduction.
EPA set out to help ACP countries integrate into the world economy and share in the opportunities offered by globalisation.

Torres Strait and PNG travel banned

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011
ALL travel between the Torres Strait and PNG for traditional purposes is now banned as health authorities keep a close eye on a malaria outbreak on Saibai and Dauan.
The Australian department of foreign affairs and trade (DFAT) said the ban would prevent malarial patients from PNG placing further strain on an already fragile health system.
“Please be aware that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, not person to person contact, so the restriction is not in place to prevent the spread of malaria,” the DFAT spokesperson said.
“Rather, it is to prevent further strain on the limited health resources available on the Torres Strait Islands where there are malaria cases.”
Queensland health public health medical officer Dr Steven Donohue said the outbreak could not be declared over.
“The incubation period of the malarial parasite in the Anopheles mosquito is one to two weeks, and can be more than two or three weeks in a person,” Donohue said.
“The last case on Saibai was detected on April 10, so we will be actively looking for new cases for several weeks yet.
“We need to be very vigilant. Queensland health has put extra staff on the ground, with teams going house-to-house looking for people who may be infected.”
Health officers on Saibai were giving people advice about malaria prevention, with seven locally acquired cases of the disease confirmed since March, he said.
Travel restrictions were put in place on March 28, with some exemptions for traditional activities of significance.
But last Friday, a DFAT spokesperson said allowances would no longer be made for activities under the Torres Strait Treaty.
These include hunting, fishing, gatherings for ceremonies or social purposes, and barter and market trade.
“The restriction is in place on the Torres Strait-PNG border for all activities until April 30,” the spokesperson said.
A department of immigration and citizenship spokesperson said its movement monitoring officers would continue to work with island councillors and communities to monitor movement in the region.
“Traditional inhabitants who travel during a suspension will be refused immigration clearance, and their return to Papua New Guinea will be facilitated,” the spokesperson said.
“In addition, surface and air surveillance is conducted by border protection command, which conducts joint maritime patrols with PNG authorities.”
Donohue said PNG nationals with malaria had been presenting to health facilities in the Torres Strait on a regular basis for a long time now.
“People should not be quick to blame PNG nationals for the outbreak, he said. – Torres News Online

Madang, new softball kings

The National, Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Kings are the new national softball champions after defeating Lae Red 4-2 in the men’s grand final at the 36th NGCB national championships at the National Sports Institute Oval, Goroka,  yesterday.
In the women’s grand final, defending champions Pacific MMI Port Moresby saved their best for the last coming from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory 2-1 over newcomers Kavieng.
Playing in their maiden final, Kavieng got there by upsetting top teams Lae Gold and Lae Red for the right toface the defending champions.
Kavieng registered their first point through right outfielder Flavia Panga who scored a three-base hit after two down.
Then second-base Elma Kalven sent a ball into the outfield to bring her home for Kavieng’s first and only point of the afternoon.
The next six innings remained scoreless until the final inning when Port Moresby pitcher and female player of the tournament Natalie Bart levelled the score 1-1.
Bart made a three-base hit to safely secure the third base before Josepha Raphael hit the ball to centre outfield to bring her home, and she advanced to firs and second base.
Next on the batting box was veteran Selina Karai, who made a similar hit to centre outfield to bring Raphael home to seal the match.
The men’s encounter went down to the wire the lead changing hands in the first two innings before Madang stamped their mark in the bottom of the fourth inning with three runs.
Madang got the score sheet rolling at the bottom of second  when Kelly Upaupa got home for the first point of the final.
However, at the top of the third inning Steven Bunbun scored after he made a three-base hit.
Pitcher Simon Mark made a sacrifice fly to bring him home while he was caught out to level the score at 1-1.
At top of the fourth inning, Peter Simon made a two base hit before a Mark Ilam hit put Lae in front 2-1.
Lae introduced Paul Keleu at the bottom of the fourth which saw Madang register three runs through Meli Tarangau, Mathew Pokanau  and Joe Petau to push out to a 4-2 lead. Lae sensing the game was slipping away made a re-entry call to bring back opening pitcher Anslem Bunbun but Madang kept a tight lid on the remaining three innings to win the match.
In the third place playoff, Lae Red came from behind to beat their sister team, Lae Gold 6-5 in the women’s game while, Lae Gold (men) won on forfeiture against the defending champions, Port Moresby after their players inexplicably did not turn up on the NSI field for their scheduled third place playoff match.
Tournament director and senior vice-president of PNG Softball Federation Ralph Tarasomo thanked all 28 teams that participated in three-day tournament in Goroka.
He also thanked the Goroka Softball Association for hosting the trouble-free Easter weekend championships.
The next softball championship is slated for Port Moresby next year.
However, he reminded the top four clubs from each association to start preparing for the club championships in Port Moresby during the coming Independence weekend.

Home Yama: Probe withdraw of K1.3m case

The National, Thursday, April 28, 2011
MADANG businessman and former politician Peter Yama wants a police investigation into why a K1.3 million misappropriation of funds case against an Australian national was withdrawn by the state.
Australian national John Maddison was alleged to have misappropriated more than K1.3 million from Nesenal No.77 Ltd, which is part of the Yama Group of Companies.
Maddison had been charged with 49 counts of misappropriation.
Yama, who was the complainant in the matter, had expressed disappointment over the sudden dismissal of the proceedings.
He said the matter had already gone to the Committal Court process and was referred to the National Court for further prosecution because there was sufficient evidence to do so.
“There are hundreds of similar cases pending before the National Court and why was my matter so important for the acting public prosecutor to step in and withdraw the charges,” Yama said.
He said he was stunned by the actions of the recently appointed acting public prosecutor, Camillus Sambua, who withdrew the charges.
 “As a former cop, I have been involved in making arrests and prosecuting criminal matters but I have never come across instances where a public prosecutor steps in with a declaration to dismiss a matter,” Yama said.
He said such an intervention was rare and had disrupted a normal court process.
He said it was a dangerous precedent that could undermine the hard work of police who spent years of investigating and prosecuting matters.
“My matter did not just pop out anyhow; police took three years to investigate after I first laid the complaint.
“When they were satisfied that there was sufficient evidence, they carried out an arrest,” Yama said.
He said his matter was in relation to a high profile white-collar crime which involved professionals like bankers, accountants and lawyers collaborating to rip off money from individuals and business houses through the system.
He called on police to investigate, saying the nature of the matter was serious.
He said the justice system should prioritise such matters to weed out stealing and corrupt practices.
He also called on prominent lawyers to speak up about the National Court dismissing a case based on a declaration from the office of the public prosecutor without considering the nature of the matter and the suffering caused to the complainant.

Madang RL elects new president

The National, Thursday, April 28, 2011
JACK Taraika is the newly-elected president of Madang rugby league.
The former vice-president was elevated to the highest office at a recent annual general meeting convened last Monday.
Former league president Snr Insp Philip Welia travelled from Bulolo to chair the meeting.
Welia did not contest a second term due to his recent posting outside the province.
He affirmed his confidence in Taraika as his successor.
Other newly-elected league executives include vice-president, Paul Male, treasurer Murry Koimo and secretary David Teine.
Last year’s AGM was scrapped after it was deemed improper by the members.
The former president did not convene or chair that meeting and only three eligible clubs attended. 
Six of the eight clubs attended the recent AGM confirming beyond doubt Taraika’s legitimate election to the top post.
The executives will hold their first meeting  tomorrow to finalise the season calendar.
A general meeting will be held on May 5 to confirm club affiliation.
Clubs are asked to pay  their K500 affiliation fees  before they will be included in the draw for this season.
Rugby league in the sleepy tourist town of Madang is showing signs of real development.
A school boys competition was introduced last year.
Two newly-established clubs East United and Bomai Panthers have also confirmed to affiliate to Madang rugby league this year bringing the total clubs to 10 and strengthening the competition.

7.5% pay rise next fortnight

The National, Thursday, April 28, 2011
PUBLIC servants can expect their much-anticipated pay increase of 7.5% in their pay packets next pay day with housing benefits still a contentious issue.
The pay increase will be backdated to January this year.
The K500 accommodation subsidy buy-out will be implemented by the Department of Personnel Management (DPM), but will not be included in the salary fixation agreement for this year to 2013 to be signed this morning between PEA president Michael Malabag and DPM secretary John Kali.
Malabag, in a letter dated last April 19, responding to Kali’s letter of April 15, stated that PEA had opposed the government’s “buy-out” of allowance plan which it viewed as inferior and was not in line with the union’s claim of K250 on top of the current K7 subsidy rate. Malabag said: “I will take into consideration your letters stating that the government will proceed with its intention to apply K500 across the board to all salary scales and that the general order accommodation subsidy will cease forthwith, although it will not be included in this agreement.
“PEA will pursue this matter with the public service conciliation and arbitration commission with the intention of reaching an amicable resolution,” Malabag said.
He also welcomed the consumer price index (CPI) clause in the agreement, to be added as a protection against inflation projections, which was an added bonus on the salary adjustments.
“PEA is also satisfied with your offer of ‘recreation leave fares’ to be made available in full for public servants and their dependents.”
Malabag said both DPM and PEA must reach a separate agreement on other matters such as retrenchment and retirement, reduction of 35% tax on final payment of entitlements and compulsory life and health insurance cover and risk allowance.
“We commend you for creating and improving better terms and conditions of employment in the public service.”
The official signing ceremony for the 7.5% pay rise for public servants, slated for April 14, was deferred due to differences over housing conditions.
The government had approved a 6% increase with an additional 1.5% for productive performance. On top of that, the government had decided to make a K500 one-off payment in housing allowance.
However, the PEA had demanded a K250 fortnightly payment.
In his letter on April 15, Kali stated that because housing was not a condition of employment for public servants and an allowance was, therefore, not negotiable, the government would proceed with paying K500 across all salary scales and effective from the date of implementation, it would also cease the general order accommodation subsidy.
“This decision is of significant benefit to the lowest paid employee and should not be denied to them,” Kali stated.
The K7 allowance per fortnight for public servants had been in the general orders for decades.

18-year-old widow gets nine years

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The forced marriage of a 15-year-old girl to a man has resulted in a double tragedy – the man is dead and his young wife, now 18, is to spend nine years in jail for killing him.
Sentencing Jenny Dei at the Madang National Court last Thursday, Justice David Cannings said the starting point for sentencing for this sort of killing was 13 to 16 years in jail.
However, he said the circumstances that led to the killing and the nature of the incident itself were strong mitigating factors that warranted a more lenient sentence.
He ruled nine years in jail with the pre-sentence period in custody of 14-and-a-half-months be deducted from that.
The court ruled no part of sentence was to be suspended, which means Dei will serve seven years, nine months and two weeks.
The court granted her request to serve her term at Buimo Correctional Institution in Morobe.
Dei wanted to serve her sentence there so she could be closer to her relatives.
“That is a reasonable request and I will sign a warrant of commitment to that effect,” Cannings said.
The court heard that on their marriage, Dei and her late husband, Bob Wari, moved to live at
the Gusap oil palm plantation settlement in Ramu, Madang.
Dei’s home is in Kagua, Southern Highlands.
Dei was charged with the wilful murder of her husband but was convicted of manslaughter after the court rejected her self-defence claim because of her use of excessive force.
Cannings said the court established during the trial significant findings about the sort of marriage, the offender, the deceased and the circumstances of the incident.
“It was accepted that the offender, who was only 18 years old at the time, had been forced to marry the deceased against her will and that he was a violent man who failed to provide for her, routinely took her wages and often assaulted her,” Cannings said.
“Two days before the incident, she lent him K20 but he went off gambling.
“When he returned she asked him about the K20 which made him angry and struck her on the head with a rock.”
This action caused her to use the knife she was holding to stab her husband.
“The post-mortem examination report showed that she inflicted a 13cm wound, penetrating through the neck into the lung, causing the lung to collapse and major blood loss.
Dei was convicted of manslaughter under section 302 of the Criminal Code.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New classrooms for Karkar Island schools

The National - Friday, April 1, 2011
TABEL Elementary and Primary School on Karkar Island, Madang, last weekend witnessed the launch of the new classroom buildings.
It is part of Digicel PNG Foundation rollout of new school infrastructure nationwide with the two schools each receiving two permanent classrooms.
Tabel Primary School received a new double classroom which took one month to complete.
Tabel Elementary was provided with 300 library books donated by Hope World Wide, slates and blackboards while the Tabel Primary was provided with 40 desks, a water tank and two bucket showers for the female students and a pit toilet.
The two double classroom kit-structure buildings, including an office space and related basic school materials were funded at a total cost of K250,000.
Tabel Elementary School started in 1995 and serves the people of Mangar 1 and 2, Kudu and Buson.
There are more than 200 children enrolled at the school and were taught by five teachers.
Tabel Primary School caters for the same communities as the elementary school and was established in 1958.
The are 342 students enrolled at the school with 12 teachers and is supported by the community through fundraisings.
Digicel Foundation chief executive officer Marina van der Vlies said communities on Karkar Island had shown that they could be self-reliant and look after their children’s basic education by fundraising and working hard to support their schools.
The Digicel Foundation singles out applications from those communities that are active in helping themselves with the little resources they have.
The foundation aims to initiate projects that will provide opportunities and inspire a positive and vibrant future for the communities within PNG.

Ramu NiCo helps farmers

RAMU NiCo project in Madang is providing many indirect benefits, apart from direct opportunities and benefits to the impacted landowners in many ways.
Supplying of fresh vegetables by local farmers is an obvious one.
Kanai Imai from Gogou village outside Basamuk refinery in the Raicoast district is one of those regular suppliers of fresh vegetables under the purchase order (PO) arrangement with NCS Raibus.
NCS is a catering company in PNG joint venturing with Raibus Ltd, the Ramu NiCo project landowner umbrella company serving meals to Ramu NiCo’s Basamuk refinery and Kurumbukari mine sites.
Imai and his family members supply fresh vegetables, including ripe bananas, raw banana, ripe pawpaw, snake bean, green bean, ripe pineapple, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and other fresh produces twice a day to Basamuk refinery.
He said such opportunities were not available in the past but now local farmers, including himself, could earn comfortable living after Ramu NiCo established it refinery at Basamuk.
Due to lack of road, he hires local dinghy to his village, Lamtub to pick up vegetables and dropped them at the Mendre beach for NCS vehicles to pick up.
Imai said previously MCC-Ramu NiCo gave them a better rate when purchasing their vegetables but NCS-Raibus had lowered the rates.
He hoped this could be improved to encourage more farmers to engage in farming as the mine could not employ all landowners.
It takes roughly eight hours to travel from his Lamtub village to Basamuk, costing K200 to hire a truck for every trip.
But Imai admitted that his earning caters for other expenses and went home with sufficient earning, compared to his past agricultural engagement in copra and cocoa.
Imai also noticed that with the growing work force and three meals served a day, he would like to increase his produce so that the supply was constant or else vegetable growers from other provinces would compete with him.

source: The National

Potty Hole Madang

This section of the road in Madang Town leading to Ela Emporium, Ela Motors, Kalibobo clothing and Butchery is just one of the many similar figures in and around Madang Town. Due to continuous rain and overlook by the Provincial Government of Madang, the road conditions have greatly deteriorated. Madang Town is slowly developing into a Pot Hole Town. We hope for something to be done about this soon.

Looting-related cases cited at Modilon hospital

By JAYNE SAFIHAO, The National
THE Modilon General Hospital has received 30 patients with knife wounds  and about 10 with stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting due to food poisoning as a result of consuming products looted from the burnt supermarket last Saturday, hospital staff said.
The symptoms were explained as minor but patients were closely monitored and later discharged .
The cases stemmed from reportedly eating and drinking tinned and bottled food and alcohol scavenged from the burnt shop.
During the fire, looters and opportunists laid their hands on anything they could, including policemen and security guards themselves, it was claimed.
It was also claimed that many settlements had men on a drinking spree from the free “boiled” beer, spirits and wines.
According to a resident medical officer who did not want to be named, the knife wound patients were mostly men who, after drinking, got involved in fights.
 “When they came here, we asked them how they were hurt and they said  from fighting after drinking the looted beer”.
With  the other patients, he said it was mostly women who came with stomach pains while others with diarrhoea or pains said they ate tinned fish and meat reportedly sold cheaply at their compounds after Saturday’s fire.
Only two patients were sent to the cholera command centre, one diagnosed with cholera, who was under observation when The National called while the other was monitored and later discharged.
Although health warnings were issued to residents during the fire last Saturday, opportunists were reportedly spotted yesterday morning leaving the burnt down wholesale with bags of 10kg rice  and bags full of SP bottles found amid the burnt debris.

Monday, March 28, 2011

One shot dead as fire destroys shop in Madang

By JAYNE SAFIHAO, The National
ONE man has been shot dead and another wounded by police who tried to stop looting as fire gutted the Martin Tsang business compound in Madang on Saturday.
According to the accident and emergency staff of Modilon Hospital, the man, aged 28 from Chimbu but a resident of Sisiak, was shot in the face at close range by police.
The hospital also confirmed treating another bullet wound patient but did not elaborate.
There was no official statement from Madang police about the two shootings.
Looters, however, managed to raid several containers and some sections of the compound in the fire, which raged all day.
Madang fire station commander Insp Robert Wandokun said the fire started in the morning in the main office area of the warehouse and spread quickly.
He said the whole area was locked up, making it difficult for firemen to get inside to use their hoses.
“It is too early to determine the cause of the blaze,” Wandokun said, adding that a senior investigator was expected today from Port Moresby to assess the damage.
A fenced-in compound area was badly damaged.
It housed the two major Martin Tsang wholesale, which distributes to almost all businesses and government institutions in Madang.
The main supermarket and the head office contained three safes, one of which was nearly ransacked but police arrived in time to disperse the mob.
Also destroyed by fire were the company’s armoured vehicle and a new forklift.
Police were tipped off of mass looting on Saturday morning and were out in strength on foot and vehicle, patrolling around the town area.
“We did not see anything suspicious and were pulling out when we heard of the fire and came back,” one policeman said.
By 4.45pm, the fire raged 2m high helped by the southerly  wind which caused the fire to spread from the back (office) towards the midsection and backwards towards Lutheran Shipping, adjacent to the compound.
Saved were the staff’s two-storey residence, although ransacked, the mini fuel tank pump station and several containers of merchandise.
Yesterday, the firemen were still trying to put out the burning embers, which threatened to spread.

Friday, March 11, 2011

BSP backs surfing judges for Madang national titles

Judges at the national surfing titles to be held in Madang from March 19 to 25 will ride on a K10, 000 sponsorship from BSP to ensure the championships goes smoothly and champion is chosen.
BSP presented the sponsorship in Port Moresby to the Surfing Association of PNG (SAPNG), which also includes t shirts and hats for the judges.
Tournament director Jason Pini thanked BSP for the timely support saying SAPNG is confident of staging a successful tournament and such support goes a long way in developing all aspects of surfing – the sport itself, its judges and the administration.
“We are so thankful that BSP recognises our ambitions and is supporting the judges who will play a pivotal role in the tournament,” Pini said.
The judges will come from surfing clubs in PNG with Australian Gavin Hensler as head judge. Hensler while overseeing the judging, will also evaluate local judges as they work towards their next level of accreditation.
Pini added that the education of our surfing officials is paramount to the direct success of the competition system.
He explained that the role of a Judge in a surfing contest is to decide which surfer performs closest to the judging criteria in a particular heat.
“It is therefore essential that the judge's have the knowledge, confidence and finally the experience to obtain the correct results,” he said, adding that PNG has 23 qualified surf judges who have can officiate internationally as well.
BSP manager corporate sponsorship Rosemary Mawe said the bank recognises the importance of sports in the country, particularly sports that young Papua New Guineans participate in, and sports such as surfing that also promote tourism and boost local economies when surfers from within and abroad participate.
“BSP is committed to the development of sports in PNG and we are happy to support this event that also promotes PNG on the international market,” Mawe said.
The PNG National Surfing Titles will be hosted by the Tupira Surf Club at Ulingan Bay in Madang, with participation by Central New Ireland Surf Club, Kavieng Surf Club, Sepik Dolfins Surf Club, Sero Board Riders Club (POM), Sunset Surf Club (Vanimo), Taurama Surf Club (POM), Tupira Surf Club, Waromo Surf Club (Vanimo) and Yako Surf Club (Vanimo).

Parents query Sir Arnold’s policy

The National - Thursday, March 10, 2011
Parents and students of Bundi, affected by former Madang governor Sir Arnold Amets free education policy, are asking him to clear the air over the announcement he had made.
The call came after nearly all primary schools in Bundi district – Bundi , Yanderra Snopas and Danagar Primary – informed The National that the schools were on the verge of closing down.
According to Bundi Primary School board chairman, Vitus Kianuga, whose son is doing Grade 12 at Brahman who was among other students were sent home two weeks ago to look for the balance of the full K700 fee, said yesterday that Sir Arnold needed to come out clear on what the status of his promise was as he had thrown the district into confusion.
“We depend on project fees and if none is forthcoming, then, we will have to close down,” he said.
 “Sir Arnold has to come out clear and tell us what is going on. Parents are saying the government will pay and are not paying up.”
According to Kianuga, there were more than 50 elementary schools throughout the villages and children were now attending free classes putting a strain on the teachers and school boards.
“By force we are allowing the school to run,’ he said.
Snopas school headmaster, John Yombai said that elementary schools had started but the primary school had not due to the same reasons.
Bundi Primary School parents citizen association chairman John Bau said that it looked like the four schools would close because of non-payment of project fees.
“Brahman is on Bundi soil and why is it that our children have to suffer like this while children from other districts continue? If Sir Arnold does not come out and clear the air, then, the other primary schools here are likely to close,” Bau said.
Sir Arnold’s electoral office when posed this question yesterday, did not come back to confirm their stand, but is understood to be “still sourcing funds” for the commitment made.
The commitment which was made last year was unfortunately over-looked in this year’s provincial budget.
The other problem still facing the district is the bad road condition forcing schools to spend extra in paying carriers to either transport school materials and stationary or pull a bogged car out of the river.

Surf titles on with Globe

The National - Wednesday, March 9, 2011
SPONSORSHIP in waves have consecutively hit the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea as they finally hit their target of K100,000 to host this year’s national titles.
Yesterday saw Trukai Industries and PNG Motors each pour in their share of K10,000 while the Carpenters Group of Companies under its “Globe” brand claimed the naming rights with K50,000.
Trukai’s sponsorship will go towards the new “stand-up paddle”  and retro surfing contests while PNG Motors support will go towards the long board contest.
The 2011 Globe National Surfing Titles will be held at Tapira in the Ulingan Bay, Madang, from March 19-26.
During the announcement of the naming rights yesterday, Carpenters Estates operations and sales manager Rangaswamy Ramesh said that Carpenters were pleased to support surfing  because the SAPNG had a sound development strategy in place along with a and a bright future.
He added that the support was a step forward in developing people and their communities with not only the sporting aspect of surfing but the economic value it wouldbring with tourism.
He added that the company had supported clubs in the region as well as regional games and this was the first time that it had taken the lead on a  bigger scale.
SAPNG president Andrew Abel said the association was proud with Globe coming in with half the value of hosting the events which marked another important milestone between the two organisations working hand in hand to move the sport while also developing and showcasing PNG’s rural communities.
Abel also revealed that the event would see selection for a team to the Pacific Games in New Caledonia later this year.
He said the focus of the titles would be on the long board and short board events with boogey boarding dropped.
Next year, SAPNG will be hosting the World Qualifying Series in Vanimo which will be an important event that will showcase PNG to the world.
Abel said with the Vanimo event next year, wild cards would be drawn for PNG surfers to participate in the Wor