Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 16 a significant occasion in Lae

September 16 may have been Independence Day, however, in Lae, it was also the anniversary of another significant occasion in Lae.
Unbeknown to many, it was on September 16, 1943, that Lae was taken back from the Japanese.
Along 2nd Street in Top Town, at the site of the old Lae Club commanding panoramic views of the Huon Gulf, is a plaque commemorating the occasion.
The site of the the plaque commemorating the capture of Lae from the Japanese on September 16, 1943.

The plaque commemorating the capture of Lae from the Japanese on September 16, 1943

It simply reads: “Here, on 16th September 1943, the Australian flag was raised by the Commander 25th Australian Infantry Brigade, to mark the capture of this important base from the Japanese.”
Lest we forget.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Coronation stages colourful cultural day

Coronation Primary School in Port Moresby started early Independence celebrations yesterday with a colorful cultural day with performances from throughout Papua New Guinea.
Hundreds of parents, students, and members of the public converged on the school grounds yesterday for the occasion.
Students performed dances followed by male and female representatives talking about their individual provinces.

Students from Morobe
These are my two sons Malum Jr and Gedi

The day went well, apart from a minor disturbance by students of Gordon Secondary School, while under the influence of liquor but police quickly attended to that.
Head teacher Julie Ulitaia said the day was a means of promoting culture from the different provinces.

Students from Gulf province

“We are gearing up for the Independence anniversary,” she said.
“Thank you to the parents who trained the students so they are able to appreciate their own culture.”
Coronation is one of the largest primary schools in Port Moresby with 1, 925 students from elementary to Grade 8.

Students from Milne Bay province

Taiwan envoy Daniel Hu leaves after 4 years in PNG

A second farmers’ training centre will be set up by the Taiwanese government at Mirigeda outside Port Moresby next year, according to outgoing Taiwan Trade Mission leader, Daniel Hu.
Hu, who left Papua New Guinea  after being here for the last four years, said the centre was one his his biggest achievements apart from the Taiwan Trade Fair, capacity-building programmes for PNG, health, and others.
Hu talking about Taiwan-PNG relations before leaving.

He said the centre would be like Taiwan’s established farmer training centre at Bubia outside Lae.
“It’s a joint project of Taiwan, Central provincial government, and Department of Agriculture and Livestock,” Hu said.
“This second training centre is like what they have in Lae.
“Our government has agreed to fund this important project which will help PNG government to build up a lot more farmers.
“Training will also be carried out for extension officers.
“The idea is to transform farmers from subsistence agriculture to semi-commercial farming.
“I consider that one of my biggest achievements.”
Hu said PNG-Taiwan bilateral relationships had experienced an unprecedented growth against all odds.
“It is reflected in the increase of trade volume from US$123.5 million in 2010 to US$355.9 million in 2013,” he said.
“This is almost a three-fold increase in trade volume between PNG and Taiwan.
“When I return to Taiwan, I will do all I can to remind our people that PNG is in a new era.
“Taiwanese are welcome to do business in PNG with fair terms.
“PNG is a rising state in the Pacific with double-digit GDP growth in the years to come.
“I believe friendship will bring me back to PNG again and again.”

This blog gains more international recognition

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

PNG's growing army of orphan beggars

My old mate, former kiap (patrol officer) and well-known coffee personality,JOHN FOWKE, sent me these observations about the growing number of orphan beggars in PNG.  I took the pictures of these street kids begging along Waigani Drive last month.


Hundreds of orphan beggars roam Mt Hagen, Goroka, Lae, and Port Moresby
Five main elements of social change are believed to be responsible for the current abandonment of children: parents contracting or dying of HIV/AIDS, marriage break ups, urban drift, unemployment, and inter-cultural marriages.
Society’s rejection of orphans is quite alarming. 

Though there is awareness of orphans, yet there is no acceptance.
Someone already working with orphans recently revealed being herself over-looked, stigmatised and discriminated against for taking care of the orphans. “People call them bastards”, she said.
Two main reasons are believed to be behind the rejection of orphans in the PNG Highlands.
The first is land.
There is a land shortage.
People think that what is available should go to the biological children and not adopted orphans. Sanguma or sorcery related killings of one or both parents also negatively impact upon the children, who may be suspected of having inherited sorcery powers.
For these reasons orphans are left to fend for themselves.
When last in Mt Hagen in 2011, I became aware of a local couple , living in the squatter settlement at Warakum, husband employed, wife supporting these kids from her own pocket and contributions from local businesses which were sympathetic.
The kids got a safe place to sleep and one very basic carbohydrate meal a day, and one with protein once a week.
All on this local squatter-settlement couples initiative.
That’s the power of Christian belief, but it’s rare.
That’s life in wealthy PNG today.
My friend Patrick Killoran and a group of his friends many of whom are practising Christians were among the contributors to “ Betty’s Kids” - and this is how I learned about her.
PNG’s journey through the next few decades is one which is incredibly complex, and one which will proceed guided by fortune, or by luck, bad and good, or by those who see and care enough to be positive, even when seen to be stigmatised, as Betty says she has been.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

A never-ending story

I thought that yesterday, being a Saturday, traffic would be slow but vehicles were lined up bumper-to-bumper from 9-Mile to Erima. 
And we still don't know neither from contractor Dekenai Construction norNational Capital District Powes Parkop as to when the road will be completed,
 Maybe after the 2015 Pacific Games?

 Last night, after an afternoon at the cinema with the kids, the cab took the back road from Erima as traffic was chock-a-block along the main highway and it was quite scary ploughing through mud, the settlement, drunks, and those obviously high on marijuana. 
I can only imagine what could have happened if we got bogged in a quagmire, ran out of fuel, or had a flat tyre.
 There are worse stories to tell. 
This is what we have to go through every day because of the prolonged road construction between Erima and 9-Mile by Dekanai Construction,
A neighbour of mine, who happens to be one of the top civil engineers in the country, was telling me on Friday (in the long line between 8-Mile and Erima) that the NCD Commission  should have forced contractor Dekenai to speed up work on the Erima-9Mile portion of the Hubert Murray Highway instead of letting so many people suffer in silence like this every day.
 He also said us denizens of the deep could take a class action against the company for so much suffering inflicted on us by deliberate prolonged road construction. 

Painting the town red

Buai (betel nut) spit is ruining everything in this country including the brand-new road infrastructure along the Hubert Murray Highway between 9-Mile and Erima. 
Every second vehicle has people spitting buai pekpek (betel nut shit) and running the new roads, pavements, road signs, everything. 
Buai skins line the road. 
Oh well, I supposed we're painting the town red for the 2015 Pacific Games and APEC 2018 (I don't know how we got this honor when we're so filthy).
 It goes without saying that this country will never change, despite all the "LNG money" because we can't change our useless habits like buai
My solution: Buai chewers should be forced at gunpoint to swallow what they're chewing so that it becomes real "buai pekpek" and paints their asses red,

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

This is our flag, flag of our land

Happy 39th Birthday, Papua New Guinea, and our torn and tattered flag on Independence Hill - where the flag was first raised -  epitomises our no-care attitude since September 16, 1975, which is why the country has gone backwards big time.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Dramatic Papua New Guinea volcano quietens

Report from Agence France-Presse
Published on 30 Aug 2014

A volcano which has erupted in Papua New Guinea was Saturday spewing fragments from its crater and rumbling loudly, but its activity appeared to be subsiding, a seismologist said.
Mount Tavurvur, which destroyed the town of Rabaul when it erupted simultaneously with nearby Mount Vulcan in 1994, came to life again early Friday, with rocks and ash erupting from its centre.
The eruptions on the remote island of New Britain in eastern PNG thrust plumes of ash into the air, prompting local evacuations and international flights to modify their routes.
"At the moment we are getting only discrete explosions," Jonathan Kuduon, a senior seismologist at the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory, told AFP.
"The activity has subsided," he said, adding that the fragments were reaching less than 200 metres (600 feet) above the crater.
"These small explosions are usually accompanied by noise."
So far there have been no reports of injuries or damage, but the volcano continued to boom and spew lava overnight and parts of Rabaul are blanketed in ash and pumice stone.
Kuduon said Mount Tavurvur remained a concern, saying officials were worried about the amount of ash in parts of Rabaul, but the kind of eruption -- Strombolian (low-level) -- meant it could subside quickly.
"I think from Tavurvur you can expect small eruptions to go on yet. You can still expect eruptions from that volcano but not from Vulcan," he said.
"Looking at past eruptions, I think the eruptions are getting less and less. Which simply means that the volcano is dying out."
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in the northern Australian city of Darwin said it was keeping a close eye on the situation after Friday's eruption which saw ash reach 60,000 feet (18,000 metres) which is flight level.
"The last two big eruptions at Rabaul, you've had the Tavurvur eruptions first and then one in a fairly close time period you've had Vulcan erupt," official Cyndee Seals told AFP.
But Kuduon said he was not overly concerned about Mount Vulcan erupting.
This crater rumbled to life with Tavurvur in 1994, with the eruptions destroying much of Rabaul, with falling ash causing buildings to collapse. While loss of life was minimal, looters ransacked the evacuated town.
"In 1994 you had eruptions from Vulcan that went (on) for nearly two weeks and then the volcano just shut of," Kuduon said.
The seismologist said the people of Rabaul were now waiting for the eruptions from the 688-metre (2,270-foot) Tavurvur crater to stop completely.
"We need to go back to our normal life. So long as we have eruptions going it will affect our normal life. We only wish that the volcano can go back to sleep now," he said.
PNG sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where high volcanic and seismic activity is the norm.

Photo of Mount Tavurvur in eastern Papua New Guinea erupting

AFP news agency (Agence France-Presse)

Photo taken on August 29, 2014 shows Mount Tavurvur in eastern Papua New Guinea erupting, spewing rocks and ash into the air.