Monday, June 18, 2018

Papua New Guinea's PM to visit China

xinhuanet.com | June 15, 2018

BEIJING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill will pay a visit to China from June 20 to 26, as agreed by the two sides, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang announced Friday in Beijing.

Background

Prime Minister O'Neill's visit to China is an important high-level exchange between China and Papua New Guinea this year.

During the visit, President Xi Jinping will meet with Prime Minister O'Neill. Premier Li Keqiang will also meet with him.

The leaders of our two countries will exchange views on China-Papua New Guinea relations as well as other important issues of mutual interest.

Besides Beijing, Prime Minister O'Neill will visit Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangdong.

Over the past 42 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Papua New Guinea, thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides, our bilateral relations have achieved remarkable progress.

Notably, in November 2014, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister O'Neill agreed to establish the strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development.

Under the guidance of this important consensus, the China-Papua New Guinea relations have entered a new stage of rapid development.

 In November this year, President Xi Jinping will travel to Papua New Guinea for the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, which will provide an important opportunity for the further development of China-Papua New Guinea ties.

China is willing to work with Papua New Guinea to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and interactions at other levels, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in all dimensions, and enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs so as to move forward the China-Papua New Guinea strategic partnership.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Declaration of state of emergency in Southern Highlands

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has announced that the National Executive Council has approved the declaration of a state of emergency for the Southern Highlands Province, and a call-out of the Defence Force in the province.
The National Executive Council has agreed to a course of action that will restore order
in the Southern Highlands, ensure all Leaders with potential involvement in unlawful behavior are held to account, and prevent further unlawful activities.
“The actions of reckless individuals damaging property in Mendi has disgusted the nation,” the Prime Minister said.
“The state of emergency in Southern Highlands Province will be in place for a period of nine months, and Mr Thomas Eluh is being appointed as the controller of the SOE.
“Put simply, I have had enough of this nonsense that has been manipulated by people who would call themselves leaders.
“Police will investigate every agitator, and every person who was involved in the unrest we saw yesterday.
“No person is above the law and all involved will face the full force of the law and answer for any crime they have committed.
“The Southern Highlands Province has so much going for it, so many natural resources and agricultural potential.
“We will not let this potential be undermined by people who have failed in politics and want to cause disruption.
“The Southern Highlands Provincial Government has been suspended, and I will oversee the operations of the Southern Highlands Provincial Government on behalf of the National Executive Council.
“It is important that we place the actions we saw yesterday into context.
“The ridiculous behavior by an unruly group is all about local level politics and attempts by failed politicians to vent their anger over their inability to be duly elected.
“If there is any group who thinks they can continue cause trouble, they will find out very quickly that their actions will not be tolerated.”
The Decision by the National Executive Council includes:
- Suspension of the Southern Highlands Provincial Government with
immediate effect for the duration of the state of smergency.
- Thomas Eluh to be appointed as the controller of the state of emergency,
with powers, duties and functions as prescribed by the Constitution and
Emergency Acts and Regulations.
- Deployment of police personnel, mobile squad and criminal investigators
(CID) to the Southern Highlands Province with immediate effect.
- Directing the Commissioner of Police, and the Commander of the PNG Defence
Force, in consultation with the controller, to immediately develop an operational
order for the deployment of troops (police and military) to Southern Highlands
Province for the SOE.
- Delegation of powers under Section 187E(5) of the Constitution and
Sections 66 and 67 of the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local
Level Governments for the Prime Minister to oversee the operations of the
Southern Highlands Provincial Government on behalf of the NEC.
- Directing the Minister Responsible for Provincial Government and Local Level
Government matters to table a report at the next meeting of the Parliament in
accordance with Section 187E(6) of the Constitution.
- Approval for the establishment of a technical committee under the l
leadership of the Chief Secretary to the Government to coordinate the measures to be taken in restoring the administration of the Southern Highlands Province in
consultation with the acting provincial administrator and the controller.
- Approval of K6 million in funding to enable the SOE mobilisation immediately.
- Direction for all relevant ministries and agencies to take immediate actions to
implement the decision of the National Executive Council.

Veteran pilot:No national pride in Papua New Guinea

by CAPTAIN PAUL BOGA

As an aviator and a former soldier, I am totally disgusted but also sorry for our nation.
Captain Paul Boga

There is NO national pride and patriotism shown by people who call themselves Papua New Guineans.

Aeroplanes have built this nation and stand to be our flag carrier around the world.

Before we point fingers, we must remember that every problem has a root cause.

After 42 years of Independence, the educated know that our Constitution is nothing but a joke.

Laws are too weak to deal with crime and our natural resources are used against us to kill ourselves.

National security?

Well, we need to open our eyes now.

The shame of a Southern Highlands woman

by JACQUELENE TANDA

I am so ashamed to be a Southern Highlander right now.
Jacquelene Tanda

Riots over court decision related to "rigged election" allegations result in the burning down of a plane belonging to our flag carrier.

It begs the question WHY?

Why are we as a province allowing people from two or three districts to engage in acts of terrorism and tar us all with the same paintbrush?

 Why are we acting like Peter O'Neil/Michael Nali/William Powi etc own Air Niugini so we burn it down?

Why are other districts looking at this like a Mendi/Nipa problem and distancing ourselves?

Why do supporters feel the need to burn our historical buildings because their candidate did not make it?

 Are these the kind of leaders we want representing us?

 Plis mi sem ya.

 Yumi tok Souths Pawa na where stap pawa blo yumi? 

We have just declared war on Papua New Guinea by burning the one thing that unites us PNG people.

We need to think hard about our destiny as a people and make some hard decisions.

Time blo sackcloth and ashes lo mekim traipla repent because we are no longer Souths Pawa.

By our complicity and passivity, we have become Souths Pawa-less

Shame, shame, shame!

Air Niugini general-manager reflects on a sad day

by DOMINIC KAUMU
Air Niugini General-Manager Commercial

Air Niugini has been in existence for 45 years serving this country with pride.

It has always been for me a symbol of unity, a unifying factor in bringing our country together for the past 45 years.

 For a country with very limited road infrastructure, it was the airline that brought our people together.

 From East to West or North to South, it was PX that brought us together.

When you traveling in from overseas and you board an Air Niugini aircraft in one of our overseas destinations, you get a sense of pride as you see the bird of paradise on the tail of the aircraft and you know you are home.

For over 2000 staff who work day and night to ensure our airline flies and continue to serve our people every day, despite criticism at times and the fact that many routes are non-profitable but we have to continue to operate as part of our obligation to our country, today is indeed a very sad day in the history of our airline and country.
I am saddened to see the picture below and it breaks my heart.

For me after serving our airline for 36 years,  I am in tears.

 I am sure many of our staff who are so committed to this airline and our country are asking themselves WHY?

After the incident of today, our first priority was to get our dedicated crew out of harms way.

Am pleased that no passenger was harmed but the aircraft, WHY?

This post is my personal reflection of today’s event and is not necessarily of the airline acknowledging I hold a senior post in the airline.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

LinkPNG DHC8 aircraft damaged in Mendi civil unrest

Air Niugini

A Link PNG DHC -8 aircraft was damaged during civil unrest at Mendi airport, Southern Highlands Province this afternoon following an election petition decision.

The aircraft has suffered damage when rioters invaded the tarmac, and National Airports Corporation(NAC) has also closed the airport.

Link PNG is suspending flights also to Tari and Wapenamanda until further notice, associated with these developments.

Link PNG regrets the inconvenience this may cause to our customers; however safety is always of paramount importance in our operations.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill condemns Mendi Airport incident

"The actions we have seen today in Mendi are an absolute disgrace.
"A State of Emergency will be declared, and additional security forces being deployed to prevent further unlawful behaviour.
"An emergency meeting of the National Security Council will take place tomorrow at 9am to approve emergency arrangements under appropriate laws.
"Those involved will be detained by police and prosecuted.
"There is no place in in politics for this type of behaviour, and leaders involved with this activity will be held to account.
"All leaders must respect the rule of law, respect decisions of the court and respect the safety of people and property."

59 local community rangers graduate in South Fly District

Australian HighCommission

Twenty-two women are among 59 community rangers from the South Fly District of Western Province who graduated this week through the Building Resilience in Treaty Villages (BRTV) project.
The dignitaries with the rangers following the graduation.

Managed by the Cairns-based Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, the BRTV project aims to build the resilience of the South Fly’s 13 coastal villages by training community rangers in food security, construction, sanitation, first aid and leadership.
Dobrag Done (right) from Sigabaduru village graduated from Phase 1 of the project while Cece Wainetti from Tais village was among the recent cohort. 

The graduation ceremony was held on Daru Island on 11 June and attended by the Western Governor Taboi Awi Yoto and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta, Minister for Defence Solan Mirisim, Minister for Police Jelta Wong, Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas, the Australian Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, Australian Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Claire Moore and Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis.
Monica from Mari Village (left) is one of the 22 women who graduated as a community ranger.

“Papua New Guinea’s South Fly District and northern Australia share a long history of social, cultural and economic connections, formalised through the Torres Strait Treaty which came into effect in 1985,” said Mr Davis.

“It is through these ties that we are supporting a community ranger model for the 13 Treaty Villages in this remote area, which is based on an Indigenous Australian model operating in the Torres Strait Islands.
Following intensive training, the rangers are able to use their new skills to support the delivery of basic services, while also becoming role models and future leaders in their communities.”
The rangers demonstrate how to attend to a snake bite victim, a common issue for villages along the South Fly.

Mr Davis added that there is no separation of roles for male and female rangers, regardless of traditional cultural norms. 

Female rangers are treated equally throughout the training and learn the same skills as men, such as small boat handling, safety and maintenance.
The rangers demonstrate their carpentry skills in building school furniture.

The BRTV program is supported by the Papua New Guinea- Australia Partnership.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New log bridges for Kokoda Track

Australian High Commission

In April, the Australian Government supported Kokoda Track communities to construct two river crossings along the Kokoda Track.
Community members float logs down the river to build the bridge crossing.

 The crossings were at Emuni Creek near Manari village and Eora Creek adjacent to the campsite.

The projects are a part of a regeneration and conservation programme supported by the Kokoda Initiative, a partnership between the Papua New Guinea and Australian governments to protect the Kokoda Track and surrounding areas.

 Rita Sori was one of the women who assisted with the works.
Rita Sori from Manari village sharpens a stick to build support rails on the log bridges.
She said the Kokoda Track was not only an important link for local people to move between villages and the two major towns of Popondetta and Port Moresby, but was also a major source of income through the trekking industry.

 “We rely on the track for money," Sorisaid.

"Our husbands and sons work as porters and guides for tourists coming in, so keeping the track safe is not only important to the trekkers, but to us as well.

" If the track is safe and open, it means more tourists can come in and provide more income for us.”

 Seven similar track regeneration and conservation projects were conducted and funded through the Kokoda Initiative partnership in March 2017.
Community members and track rangers transport a log to Eora Creek as part of the bridge construction.

Upgrade activities include maintaining bridges, building steps and repairing safety fencing.

 The Kokoda Initiative also provides vital education, health and water and sanitation services to local communities.

In addition to service delivery, these activities directly inject funds into communities through paid employment opportunities.

Tari-Pori MP James Marape commends local leaders for working for peace

Tari- Pori leaders are showing partnership and teamwork to bring peace and also arrest of murderers and associates of crime at the community level,says MP James Marape.
Tari-Pori MP James Marape (third from left in front row) with local leaders during one of a series of meetings in the district.

He is back in the district to witness handing over of five suspects of the murder of late Lae Tagobe, a councilor of Ajukali Ward 1 in Pori.
”Real work and effort was put in by the local leadership of other village leaders and youths,” Marape said.
“Other councillors of Pori LLG - Cr Pipe, Cr Agiru, Cr Hebale and Cr Belo - led by local Tade councillor Timothy Lembo and Pori President Charlie Apalu were also instrumental.
“Great commendation to leaders and people of Pori for working for peace in their district.“
Marape is  spending a week  in his electorate linking up with village elders from all over Tari-Pori  who have been working to bring warring factions to the table.
This  includes bringing to police various murderers in the electorate.
“Iam now mobilising elders and youths of electorate who want peace,” Marape said.
" Hulis have traditional dispute resolution methods,yet these are not being embraced in Hela, with fullest working of modern law and justice sector.
"The basic structure of peace resolution in my electorate is to be restored with 79 ward  structures, which should link to modern village courts and higher courts, including ensuring that police and Correctional Service are correctly functioning in Hela."

Monday, June 11, 2018

Oil Search finds new gas in Papua New Guinea


by Daniel J. Graeber, upi.com
June 7, 2018

June 7 (UPI) -- A new gas discovery was made in Papua New Guinea and data assessments are now geared toward commercial developments, a key regional player said.

Oil Search announced Thursday it encountered gas in an appraisal well dubbed Kimu 2. The prospect could be linked to other nearby reservoirs.

"Evaluation of the well data acquired has now commenced and will be used to help assess options for the potential commercialization of the Kimu field," the company stated.

Oil Search is a partner in a liquefied natural gas facility in Papua New Guinea. The country is positioned well to take advantage of the growing energy demands from economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Many of the island nations in the region lack adequate domestic reserves, so the super-cooled LNG, which has more options for delivery than piped gas, fills in the gap.

Construction at the LNG facility in Papua New Guinea began in 2010. The facility is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over its 30-year lifespan.

Led by Exxon Mobil, the facility marked a milestone with its 100th delivery three years ago. More than 7 million tons of LNG has been shipped from the facility since it opened.

Exxon shut down much of its infrastructure and evacuated non-essential personnel from the areas impacted by major and deadly earthquakes that shook Papua New Guinea in February. Oil Search said some of the transit infrastructure, bases and a refinery were damaged, but "the operating facilities generally withstood the earthquake well, with no loss of oil or gas containment identified."

The company added, however, that while production was disrupted, there was no impact on plans to expand LNG activities. Its insurance loss adjuster outlined an initial estimate for damages to its assets at between $150 million and $250 million.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

ADB SUPPORTS OVER $1 BILLION IN CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENTS IN THE PACIFIC UNTIL 2021 — REPORT

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (7 June 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support over $1 billion in energy investments in the Pacific between 2018–2021, including 19 projects to help countries in the subregion have better access to quality, affordable, and sustainable energy sources, according to a new ADB report.

The Pacific Energy Update 2018 provides a comprehensive overview of ADB’s energy-focused work in the Pacific. The publication highlights the impacts of ADB-supported energy initiatives completed in 2017 and ongoing in 2018, while providing details of ADB’s future plans in the subregion’s energy sector.

“ADB is helping the Pacific region plan for a renewable energy future and improve regional energy systems by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy; maximising access to energy for all; and supporting energy sector reform, capacity building, and effective governance,” said ADB’s Transport, Energy, and Natural Resources Division Director for the Pacific Mr. Olly Norojono.

The report highlighted ADB’s efforts and partnership with governments, communities, private sector, and other development partners to help improve the availability and quality of clean and affordable sustainable power in the Pacific region. It also provides a country-by-country snapshot of various energy projects and technical assistance, which Pacific governments have prioritized for ADB assistance.

Cofinanced by ADB, the European Union, and the Government of the Cook Islands, the Cook Islands Renewable Energy Sector Project will help lower the country’s reliance on fossil fuels by building solar-powered plants on five of its islands and help the government achieve its goal of supplying 100% of inhabited islands with renewable energy by 2020.

Meanwhile, ADB is assisting the Government of Fiji in developing the institutional capacity for regulation of the country’s electricity sector, while developing a sector investment planning framework.

The Yap Renewable Energy Development Project in the Federated States of Micronesia, funded by two ADB loans, supported the construction of a wind farm capable of withstanding typhoons. Grid-connected solar panels were also installed on about five government buildings across the island and new fuel-efficient diesel generators replaced aging ones.

Nauru’s power outlook improved dramatically when the government installed two new energy-efficient, diesel generators—completed under the Nauru Electricity Supply Security and Sustainability Project, with initial grant funding from ADB and the European Union, and later supported with additional funding from the governments of Australia and Nauru.

Together with other ADB-financed renewable energy interventions, ADB is assisting Papua New Guinea achieve its national electrification objectives while promoting a shift to clean energy from power generated from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, ADB’s energy assistance in the Solomon Islands include supporting the country’s drive to tap more of its energy from clean sources, including hydro and solar power.

ADB approved the Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility in June 2017 to help fund a series of renewable energy projects and sector reforms in the smallest 11 Pacific island countries. For instance, a project to help reduce the Marshall Islands’ consumption of fossil fuels and increase renewable energy generation—20% of the country’s energy mix by 2020— received a $2 million grant from the facility in December 2017.

ADB is currently supporting 15 active projects in 11 countries in the Pacific worth $426 million.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

PNG demands new name for Taiwan office

by Stacy Hsu, taipeitimes.com
June 2, 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday confirmed that the Papua New Guinean government last month insisted that Taiwan’s representative office change its name due to repeated pressure from China.

Since late last year, China had taken advantage of its status as the second-largest provider of aid to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to keep pressuring the government to change the name of Taiwan’s representative office and its treatment of the office’s staff, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.

“Despite the office’s best efforts, the PNG government was not able to withstand China’s carrot-and-stick pressure and eventually demanded a change of name,” Lee said, adding that the name change does not have any substantial impact on the office’s operations.

China’s demands first came to the ministry’s attention in February when Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) praised the PNG government’s adherence to the “one China” principle when responding to reporters’ questions over allegations that Taiwan’s trade office had been asked to rename itself.

The ministry acknowledged at the time that the nation’s trade office in PNG had been asked to change its name, as well as remove its nameplate and diplomatic license plates from its vehicles, but stressed that bilateral negotiations were still underway.

The office, which was previously named the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Papua New Guinea has been renamed as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Papua New Guinea.

It is not the nation’s first overseas representative office to have been forced to undergo a name change due to Chinese pressure.

The nation’s trade offices in Ecuador, Bahrain, Nigeria, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have also been forced to remove the term Republic of China or Taiwan from their designation.

Taiwan and PNG, despite not having formal diplomatic relations, have had close exchanges in the areas of energy, trade and fisheries since the 1990s, Lee said.

“Taiwan has also begun cooperating on agriculture and medical health,” he said.

The ministry understands the situation the nation’s international friends face due to Chinese pressure, Lee said, adding that Taiwan would continue its substantial exchanges and cooperation with PNG to safeguard its dignity and rights.