Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kapris ruling next month

By ROSALYN EVARA, Post Courier
THE verdict on the case against accused bank robber William Nanua Kapris and his 13 co-accused will be handed down next month.
Kapris and his co-accused had yesterday appeared briefly before National Court Judge Justice David Cannings, anticipating the decision to be handed down but this was not the case.
Also present was the Senior Public Prosecutor Kaluwin Pondros, State lawyers representing 10 of the accused Anne Raymond and Mwagawa Mwawesi while absent were private lawyers David Dataona representing Kapris and Seth Daniels who is representing the remaining three of the accused.
Justice Cannings said the verdict was not ready as the court had been very busy. He said the matter would be set down for mention on March 8 while the actual verdict would be handed down on March 10. Meanwhile, in the case against the developers of the Ramu nickel project, Louis Mediang, the lead plaintiff in the Ramu nickel mine waste dumping case, has confirmed he will be filing new contempt of court proceedings against the mine owners.

Tigers name two train-on squads for selection trials

The National - Thursday, February 24, 2011
AFTER false starts in the semi-professional rugby league competition, the inter-city cup, the pride of Morobe, Lae Snax Tigers are seriously preparing for this year’s Dicigel Cup.
Tigers team manager Justus Rapula yesterday announced two training squads for the selection trials next Sunday to select the final 22 players for the challenge.
The squads, Team Grean and Team Gold consist of players from the former Lae Bombers, Simbu Warriors, Masta Mak City Rangers and Toyota Enga Mioks.
Rapula said the company through its biscuit brand, Snax Biscuit, was serious about lifting their performance this season to restore some lost pride for the people of Morobe.
It is also understood the 22-man squad will be housed and employed by the franchise owner for the duration of the season.
The franchise owner has also bought a 25-seater bus to transport the players for training sessions and to the venues for their matches.
Team Green boasts of Wanpis King, Peter Pyala (Mioks), Kerry Tapako, Mai Tom (Rangers) while Gold have James Meninga (Warriors) and David Loko (Mioks).
Rapula said they had some of the players were selected from the Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup competition for the trials.
CCIC chief executive officer and Lae Gold coach Timothy Lepa said that the Tigers used the tournament to select their train-on squad.
Tigers are the second franchise to use the tournament to pick their players for the inter-city competition.
The Ipatas Cup was initially designed to help the Mioks pick outstanding players to represent the province in the inter-city cup challenge.
Lepa said he was confident Lae Gold will give their opponents a good run for their money when both teams clash next Sunday.
Team Green: Russ Kaupa Jr, Lawrence Goive, Moses Ombun, James Pologau, Michael Gawi, Jordan Wau, Mark Mexico, Tom, Sydney Fred, Kehof Mape, Alku David, Dama Philip, Baxter Tagu, John Kamina, Bernard Pes, Yoba Nimem, King, Pyala, Tapako, Norbert Torato and Augustine Reu.
The side will be coached by Joe Verani and David Alua (manager).
Team Gold: Amos Mini,Wanpis King, James Gend, Joe Wemin, Manu Gairo Jr, Iron Ate, Mathias Sekum, Loko, Meninga, Benson Joel, Manik Maipa, Elizah Tipaul, Russel Penias, Junior Belo, Martin Yand, Alfie Nima, Nixon Kohi and Isaac Aiyo.
The coach for the side is Timothy Lepa, Samson Timson (team manager) and Dennis Miall (trainer).

PNG basketball squad named

The National - Thursday, February 24, 2011
THE PNG women’s basketball team, who were the bronze medallist of the 2007 Samoa Pacific Games have announced their train-on squad for the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, this year.
Among the senior squad members, some junior players have also been in training preparing them for the junior championship next year and also for the 2015 South Pacific Games here in Port Moresby.
Current women’s coach Veitu Diro said the final team will be announced after a trial match run next month and from the many, only 20 players will go into intensive training before the final 15 is announced.
Diro also confirmed the Port Moresby-based players have been in training since November last year.
The team went for the Christmas break and have resumed training.
The train-on squad members are: Ronnie Pomat, Julian Diro, Marca Muri, Nape Waka, Mary Junior Elavo, Peggy, Dianne Narua, Jenny Mararoa, Karo Lelai, Symona Gesa, Nani Nao, Dories Wingi and Agness. Louisa Wallace, Jenny Magatu and Martha Bonga are Lae based train on squad whileVeronica Ole, Richande Idau, Opa Eko and sisters Richande, Idau and Agnes Travertz are junior players slotted into the squad.
Other interested centres were urged to call the Basketball Federation of PNG to express interest and submit names of potential players in both divisions.
Diro said the Port Moresby-based players trains six times a week and rests on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the national men’s squad announced last week are: James Ipasi, Sibona Kala, Donald Kala, Lei Banduru, Richard Arava, Kelly Nana, Eke Kendi, Garo Nana, Keith Raumo, Veuga Taviri, Jordan Mea, Cairo Peruka, Trevor Hane, Watson Mea, Emmanuel Parapa, Tau Gure, James Temu, Noel Biga, Nemani Mea, Charlie Pekaea, Vele Rupa, Blan Tony, Gali Tau, Hekwa Hekwa, Michael Nao, Dia Muri, Slieve Mohu, Peter Davani, Xavier W, Purari Muri, Jessie Boino, Wally Parapa and Tonny Haro. The Lae based train on squad are Wayne Aaron, Percy Aaron, Junior Oscar, Michael Kramer, Richard Sova (NS Busu, Lae), Mika Loko, Jonathan Orme (Unitech Bulls), Peter Buala, Joel Giali and Russell Stafford (Butibam). The females that have been added to the squad are Louise Wallace, Martha Bonga and Jenny Magatu.
BFPNG executives can be contacted on p) (+675) 321 7143 and ask for Chey Scovell for further information.

PNGNRL meet to decide final 10

The National - Thursday, February 24, 2011

THE composition of this year’s Digicel Cup challenge and the announcement of the new PNG National Rugby League general manager are likely to top the agenda at the next PNGNRL board meeting in Port Moresby next Saturday.
In an interview, PNGNRL chairman Don Fox, said the general manager’s position was important in helping run the affairs of the semi-professional league.
“At this stage, we cannot name the person but we will surely make the announcement next Saturday during the meeting,” Fox said.
The position will be filled by a Papua New Guinean who has a long association with the game in PNG.
The board will also be announcing the 10 franchises who will be participating in this year’s Digicel Cup challenge.
The board will also be making a decision on whether the Masta Mak City Rangers will be competing in the tournament.
Fox refuted claims that the deadline for payments of affiliation and other necessary requirements was extended to next Sunday.
He said he was misquoted for certain questions asked and created some confusion among the rugby league followers.
He added that the board had resolved to extend the deadline from Jan 14 to Feb 18 to allow the clubs to meet certain requirements and that stands.
However, Fox declined to divulge any information about Rangers inefficiency to meet the deadline.
“I will not make any further comments. I would like to clarify that I cannot make a one-man decision but it will be the final decision of the board,” he said.
Fox also said that attempts to get Rangers franchise owner Kelly Aiyok to discuss these issues seemed unsuccessful.

Digicel unveils smartpad device

The National - Tuesday, February 22, 2011
PAPUA New Guineans can now experience the benefits of smartpad tablet PCs, which are taking the world by storm, with the introduction of the new ZTE V9 light tablet by Digicel earlier this month.
The ZTE V9 light is one of most recent alternatives to an iPad type device, but offers a lighter, more portable option and a better range of entertainment and business applications for K999.
Developed especially for internet access, the V9 light has a seven-inch touch screen, weighs 403g, and with only 1.3cm thick, it is the perfect portable option which could also be used as a cell phone. 
Unlike the iPad, the V9 runs a Google Android platform with the ability to be turned into a full entertainment device with the large touch screen and G-sensor supporting a broad range of multimedia and games.
It is also the most popular software used for showing online videos.

Madang cop arrested over deaths

The National - Thursday, February 24, 2011
A ROGUE policeman based in Bogia was arrested Tuesday afternoon on four counts of attempted murder and three counts of unlawful killing with firearm and other related charges still pending.
However, he was not locked up at the male holding cell at Jomba but kept within the confines of Jomba police station.
Assistant Commissioner Police Momase Giossi Labi was surprised that his instructions to lock up the policeman were defied.
Labi when asked to verify the report said that the policeman (named)  “should have been locked up and not held in custody”.
According to police reports, the suspect, with several other policemen who could not be confirmed whether they were part of the auxiliary police unit, stopped a 15-seater bus on Feb 16 around midnight asking for “valid papers from the driver to pass, or buy a carton”.
The incident occurred at the White Sand Market area, a few kilometres from Bogia station.
While the conversation ensued, a Toyota Landcruiser 10-seater, belonging to the son of Tewai- Siassi MP Vincent Michaels, pulled up with seven occupants.
The seven were Junior Bon, 20; Andrew Konny, 30; Rigen David, 34; Angu Sei, 24; Pirol Herry, 31; Titus Osi and Abobo Sarus. The latter three have all died, the first as a result of sepsis (or infection) and the other two from loss of blood that same night.
 According to Bon, the driver of the vehicle, they pulled up at the random road block and were asked their destination. When he sought directions about the place from his friends, being new to the area, he caused the policemen to become suspicious.
They were told to alight the vehicle and told to crawl on the limestone road, where the first three were shot at close range while crawling.
According to police, a bag of 100kg of marijuana was found in the car.
Bon said that the vehicle was hired by the late Osi and Sarus but he denied knowledge about  what was on board.
“I gave them details about myself but they manhandled, gun butted and hit us with fan belts, took us to Bogia police station, where in full view of other policemen, they told us to lie face down on the grass and shot us all in the legs,” he said.
Other allegations levelled against the suspect, according to police, were drunken behaviour while on duty, collection of un-receipted fines from road blocks, threatening and abusing families of two campaign managers, the unwarranted shooting of a teenager two days before the shooting of the seven.
Labi in denouncing the suspect’s actions said, “As a trained policeman, he should know why and when to use and how to use a firearm. The onus is on him and he should be held accountable for his actions.”
The suspect will appear in the commital court this morning for mention.

Principal plaintiff not landowner

The National - Thursday, February 24, 2011
LOUIS Medaing, the principal plaintiff in the ongoing deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) system court hearing in Madang, is not from the Tong clan in the Basamuk area, according to principal landowners in court yesterday.
The landowners, who gave evidence on behalf of Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd, told the court that Medaing came from Mebu in the inland of Rai Coast, many kilometres away from the company’s Basamuk nickel refinery site.
Medaing claimed that he was from the Tong clan and was given the authority to represent the clan, including Sawang families that make up the Ongeg clan in the Basamuk area.
He was one of 10 plaintiffs.
The landowners informed the court that Medaing and his family migrated from Mebu to Basamuk and he was not originally from the Ongeg clan and he was not even given the authority to represent them in court.
The court was further informed that because of Medaing’s education, the Tong clan only authorised him to deal with the land dispute concerning portions 109 and 110 where the refinery is situated and did not authorise him to take MCC to court over the DSTP issue.
Dubam Awan, a Village Court magistrate from the Tong clan in the Basamuk area, further confirmed in his sworn affidavit that Medaing was not from the Tong clan, instead migrated from Mebu.
Another witness Boge William, son of the Ongeg clan chief, told the court that Medaing was not given the authority to represent the Sawang families that made up the Ongeg clan.
Awan, Bugi William and Gabin Asuk also told the court that they had attended all the awareness on the DSTP conducted by the state since 1999 and were satisfied that there would be no impact to human and marine lives.
All witnesses withstood vigorous cross examinations by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Tiffany Nonggorr, and told the court that there was no reason to fear the tailings would affect human and marine life based on what the state and Ramu NiCo had told them during the awareness conducted to date.
The case continues with more witnesses to be called in.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BSP launches 178th ATM

The National - Thursday, February 17, 2011
THE Bank South Pacific BSP has put online another automated teller machine (ATM) as part of its programme to make  banking easier, convenient and accessible to customers across Papua New Guinea.
BSP chief executive officer Ian  Clyne opened a new ATM at the Courts superstore at Gordons, in Port Moresby yesterday, bringing the total number of ATMs nationwide to 178.
This makes BSP the largest ATM network serving the majority of Papua New Guineans.
In the coming weeks, BSP would be opening a couple more.
This roll-out was part of an expansion plan to have 400 ATMs nationwide.
 “We will continue to grow our ATM network because of our commitment to our customers, as this expansion allows them to choose how they bank with BSP –  at a time, place and location that are convenient to them,” Clyne said.
Courts general manager Mark Curtis, who also officiated at the launch, thanked BSP for providing the service.
 “This partnership with BSP shows our combined commitment to work together to provide to our customers the ease of comfort when shopping at Courts and needing to use the ATM service too,” Curtis said.

Whooping K500m for Bougainville

The National - Friday, February 18, 2011
BOUGAINVILLE has re-ceived a massive K500 million from the national government to use in key infrastructure projects over the next five years.
The government’s assistance was aimed at reviving the economy of the strife-torn region.
An agreement was signed in Port Moresby yesterday between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and PNG government to seal the deal.
Also included in the agreement were resolutions to transfer several national government powers, including education, health, lands, forest, agriculture and teaching service (see story Page 2).
Earlier, the ABG had demanded that the national government pay the K30 million (K15 million each) for the 2009 and last year’s budget allocations before they could agree to sign the agreement.
However, an agreement was reached and the K500 million financial package would be paid to Bougainville starting next year in K100 million per year installments. The arrangement was outside of the national government budget.
Projects to be covered under the restoration and development financial package included the reopening of the Aropa airport, Arawa hospital, Buka airport and the relocation of the administration headquarters from Buka to Arawa.
Co-chair and Deputy Prime Minister Sam Abal, when announcing the K500 million package, said the agreement signalled a new chapter for PNG and the ABG to develop the region.
He said the Bougainville people had suffered a lot during the 15-year crisis and the PNG government was doing what it could to restore peace and harmony through this infrastructure financial package.
Abal also invited international donors and investors to provide counterpart funding to also assist Bougainville through it restoration period.
President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville John Momis, as co-chair, said the meeting was a success which had dealt with situations confronting Bougainville.
“Today can be described as a cultural paradigm to mutual understanding and, if we can manage the cultural momentum, then we can address the challenges faced by Bougainville and the K500 million financial package is welcome news in Bougainville.”

Karkar Island to host athletics event

The National - Monday, February 21, 2011
VOLCANIC island of Karkar in Madang, is likely to host the popular Highlands Momase regional championships in May.
The popular regional athletics championship is part of the packed programme for the PNG Athletics Union this year as it sets to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The Karkar Island championships will be a minor event but the highlight of the domestic calendar will be the Pacific Games selection trials in Lae during Easter weekend, the national championships in July and a special 50th anniversary meet in Port Moresby, also in July.
PNGAU president Tony Green said the year’s calendar was packed with events both home and abroad.
He said a number of overseas competitions had been identified to assist squad members prepare for the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, the Philippines Open championships in May, the Oceania regional championships in Apia and the Asian championships in Japan in July.
Green said that individual squad members would be selected for competitions appropriate to their own needs and not all squad members would go to each event.

Families to be evicted from NHC houses

The National - Monday, February 21, 2011
Seventeen families occupying government houses at the Walium district, Madang, have been given untill the end of this month to move out or face eviction.
This was the message last week from the current Bundi district administrator John Kari, who had the unpleasant task of relaying this message to the families who had claimed to live more than 20 years in those houses.
Kari said that of the 33 houses at the station, 22 were run down, needing major renovation work with families living in them and of that, 17 were occupied by locals themselves who claimed to have some stake to
the houses they occuppied.
Kari said: “These locals have been there for so long. They initially said that due to no government services being provided and no government staff occupying the houses they moved in. I have now asked them to vacate those houses and they have agreed to.”
He said that past administrators had failed to inform the provincial administration of the situation.
Kari said that from his meeting sometime last week, the people said they felt “sorry”  for the houses because no one had occupied them and were merely looking after the houses.
He also said that they were putting claims for some form of compensation for “looking after” the houses all these years.
“I asked them who gave them the authorities to move in and do renovation work but they are adamant that they did receive some form of authority from previous LLG managers. Only two or three got written approvals.
“February 28 has been set as the deadline for moving.
“Because there is no police presence with a big number of people moving the people has agreed unanimously to move. Also the 22 houses will be put up for auction once they are renovated,” he added.

Drug crisis continues

The National - Monday, February 21, 2011
THE acute shortage of basic medical drugs in rural aid posts in Madang and Karkar is now into its second month as the province’s medical store and supplier remains closed.
Last Thursday, a Karkar islander, Atis Deme, said the situation was uncertain following a weekend visit to his area where he said basic drugs had almost nil supply.
Deme said people with malaria and other serious ilnesses could not be treated as there were no drugs like artemeter.
“At Murukanam, Miak and Mapor aid posts on Karkar, patients were being turned away. This situation is getting serious and the health department which promised to build a new medical store for Madang back in 2005 had not done so,” he said.
In support of Deme, acting provincial health director Paul Mabong, last week, confirmed that the prolonged delay by the health department was contributing to unnecessary deaths.
However, there had been no figures given for the number of deaths directly resulting from the low supply of medicine.
The medical store which was closed last December due to termite infestation and declared unfit for habitation was still awaiting payments from the province for the promised 50 pallets needed to store the drugs in.
Mabong confirmed that only 20 had been made but a further delay of two weeks for accounts to be opened was adding to the problem.
The Maritime College, early last month, agreed to provide storage space for the medical supplies for a year free of charge.
Mabong also said the Madang urban local level government which had responded due to the seriousness of the matter, had allowed them to use the condemned building as  cooling room for certain drugs only until they relocated.
A site had been identified between the Lands office and the Madang Nursing College where the current water reservoir was.
Attempts to get comments from executive director corporate service, health department, Paul Dopsy were unsuccessful.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Facility needed to check TB, HIV

By PISAI GUMAR, The National
A TOTAL of 14 multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) patients in the Morobe province have also been diagnosed with the HIV-AIDS virus last year.
They are currently listed as undergoing the anti-retroviral drugs.
According to the 2010 World Health Organisation’s fourth quarter report, seven men and seven women were infected with TB bacilli and HIV-AIDS virus indicating the collaborative trend of two diseases each of them.
This is of critical concern to non-governmental partner organisations such as Medicines Sans Frontiers (doctors without borders), World Vision and WHO, which are assisting the health department to combat TB.
According to Morobe provincial WHO TB coordinator Sabina Waffi, TB cases detection in Morobe is rated the second below National Capital District while in South-West Pacific, Papua New Guinea had moved down from second to fourth placing.
The case detection rate was 108 persons per 100,000 people while treatment under the direct observe treatment (DOTS) coverage was 80% annually.
According to last year’s statistics, total TB cases detected were 2,148 while incidence rates stood at 272 persons per 10,000 people.
In Morobe, of the 32 suspect cases, nine contracted multi-drug resistance TB (pulmonary TB), or Market TB in Tok Pisin.
Six were on treatment while three died while awaiting sputum results from Australia.
Despite extra awareness and advocacy, unavailability of drug facilities and testing to check for the bacilli were major setbacks.
Current mini-laboratories available are only microscopic testing used for new smear positive (NSP) testing to verify sputum results only.  

Authorities urged to fix Madang schools

Source: The National
MANY parents with children attending schools in Madang want education authorities to look into restoring and renovating old school buildings and provide more teachers’ houses.
A concerned parent said this yesterday after recent reports of the shortage of space during enrollment.
The parent, who was a former board member of one of the schools and who did not want to sound biased, said most of the infrastructure in schools around Madang town such as Tusbab, Kusbau, Jomba and Mero at Sagalau were in dire need of repair and major renovation.
“At Holy Spirit High, there is a serious shortage of teachers’ houses, Kusbau is falling apart. You should see the staff houses; it is like putting the chickens in a chicken coop.
“There must be major renovation to classrooms to cater for the large number of students coming in.
“Teachers will only be happy to perform if their living conditions are improved,” he said.
The parent also stressed that landowners were taking advantage of the usage of land and occupying teachers’ houses illegally.
The example, he stressed, was in Jomba where a Yabob landowner occupied a staff house and had been living there for several years.
He said the issue of shortage was not only a problem at Tusbab but the entire country and most had never been reported.
He also supported Tusbab Secondary School principal Margret Valakvi’s call for more secondary schools to be opened in Madang.

Experts say no baseline study for Basamuk

By JAYNE SAFIHAO, The National
THE resounding question of whether or not a thorough baseline study of the Basamuk area was conducted or not prior to, and during, the environmental study revealed that there was none.
These and other questions raised in relation to sedimentation and upwelling were spelt out yesterday in the courtroom by Tiffany Nonggorr of Nonggorr and Williams Lawyers.
The scientist who took the stand today representing the developer Ramu Nico management were: Philip Tower, a marine chemist; Dr George Shou, an engineer with BRASS Engineering, a Canadian company; and Stuart Jones, an environment and social impact scientist who has an honours in geography and a bachelors in geology.
All admitted that to an extent a baseline study was not properly conducted which included, the sum total of every scientific data and the various living organisms within that particular area.
Jones spoke at length on the strong possibility of upwelling during the monsoonal rainy seasons, of which were currently being felt, was likely with the current strong northwesterly winds.
With reference to the Scottish Association of Marine Scientist report, he said that there needed to be a continual 12-month period of monitoring done.
Shou brought a 500ml plastic coke container of slurry into the court room to show the court what slurry would look like in the 350km pipeline and then, in layman’s  language, he explained the processes of the extraction of the nickel, laterite and other minerals in stages to the waste removal.
Shou, however, admitted that due to a ‘judgment error’ previously made by miscalculations the piping of the Misima mines eventually broke causing the spill that occurred in September 2004.
With leading questions still unanswered by a straight “yes–or-no” answer regarding the question of stringent monitoring and toxicological effects to the marine environment the court was adjourned yesterday afternoon to 9.30am today.
Secretary for Environment and Conservation Dr Wari Iamo and others who were supposed to take the stand yesterday will do so this morning

Thursday, February 17, 2011

PNG-Australia alumni group donates instruments to Modilon

The National - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 
THE PNG-Australia Alumni Association (PNGAAA) has come to the aid of Madang’s Modilon Hospital with the donation of two new blood pressure (BP) machines to its ante natal clinic and the labour ward.
The BP machines are very important medical equipment that are needed in every health facility but unfortunately staff at these two facilities at Modilon have been using one each to examine pregnant women.
The PNGAAA had initially planned to donate the machines to the Lutheran School of Nursing (LSON) however the school decided that the machines be given to the hospital instead.
LSON midwifery coordinator Elizabeth Natera said they saw the hospital’s need for these machines and it (hospital) was also used as a training ground for LSON students.
She said they would also be requesting for additional BP machines for the post natal and gynecology wards.
Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr John Bolnga said the new BP machines would go a long way in assisting the staff at the maternity wing with their daily work.
“The ante natal clinic sees about 100 pregnant women in a week, including those that travel in from the rural areas,” acting sister in charge of the ante natal clinic Margaret Gemo said.
She said apart from the ante natal clinic, they also have family planning clinic and it was a must that the women had their blood pressures checked.
PNGAAA chairperson Menser Wagun, when presenting at the hospital last Friday, said that as Papua New Guineans who were educated in Australia, they were challenged by the government to help improve the health of its citizens.
She said this was part of a small health project by the association that they hoped to expand throughout the country.
Wagun told the gathering that 13 machines were given to University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Medicine, another 12 were given to Maprik hospital in East Sepik and 10 to Milne Bay.
The first phase of the project was a mobile clinic at Gaire village in Central’s East Hiri district.