Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PNG faces massive threat from computer viruses

Young Papua New Guinean computer specialist Panu Kasar, who runs the PC Clinic, advises that it is wise for all computer users to be equipped with the latest anti-virus software and fixes to counterattack this flood of cyber pests flooding our computer networks.

“Computer viruses are dangerous and can cause millions of kina loss in income and profit because of the society’s dependence on computers,” he says.

“Preventing loss is wiser, so be equipped with a reliable anti-virus as soon as possible.

“All computers must have at least anti-virus software installed on the PC configured to scan threats that may infect the computer,” he says.

“Anti-viruses such as Norton, Symantec, AVG, need the Internet for updating because they have live update feature.

“This means that when connected to the Internet a user must activate the automatic update feature for latest updates to be installed.

“Otherwise, download anti-virus definitions from the manufacturer’s site.

“Updating definitions is important because anti-viruses are designed to go weak after a month.

“This is a strategy used by the manufacturers to monitor viruses because once a user connects to the net for monthly updates the manufacturers have access to your PC to record the number of viruses you have detected in your PC.”

A virus is software designed to corrupt system files.

It is made to disrupt or deny basic services the computer would need to use to function.

They act as low level computer processes which make some anti viruses hard to detect as they are seen as normal system processes.

Usually they infect a PC rapidly that you won’t notice.

It may take hours to scan and clean an infected computer but takes a second or two to be infected again once an infected USB drive is inserted.

The transferable nature of viruses has caused government departments millions of dollars due to loss of data by destructive viruses.

Viruses are highly dangerous and can cause computers to crash.

Some viruses are designed even to corrupt and disable anti-virus software installed in the victim’s PC.

Mr Kasar discusses the various threats below:


“Spyware is malicious software planted on your computer by marketing companies.

“It is designed to monitor your Internet activities, collect your personal information and can even reach sensitive data like your private passwords, emails and credit card details.

“If your PC is infected with Spyware all your keystrokes, visited websites and even conversations can be recorded or monitored by someone who had secretly installed spy software on your PC.

“This person or company can steal your banking data; make Internet access slower, change browser homepage, etc.

“Spyware is usually bundled with software downloads, attached to e-mails, or transmitted through networks.

“That’s why many anti-virus programs define it as legitimate software.

“Once installed, it can be hard to remove, and therefore, your computer will remain infected and your privacy will be at risk for a long time.

“Originally it was designed by advertising and marketing companies to monitor behaviour of internet surfers.


“Trojans infections are mainly seen when using the Internet without a reliable firewall.

“Trojans filter through networks rapidly, can cause harm to data and stops access to files.

“Like the traditional Trojan horse story of Greek mythology, they become a resident of the victim’s PC and allow hackers access to your computer.

“They also create or clone more viruses when they reside in your PC.

“When the PC becomes a host to a Trojan it invites more viruses who are attracted to it.”


“This was originally was used by administrators to find loop holes in the networks.

“They filter through networks rapidly and can also duplicate themselves on removable storage devices.

“Recently, worms have been modified by cyber criminals to act also as viruses and can cause system crashes in large networks.

“A good example is the Brontok worm which has both characteristics of a virus and a worm. “

Mr Kasar said computer viruses had increased rapidly in PNG in recent years due to the increase in computer usage.

“Viruses are now very readily transferable due to certain factors and changes in the ICT environment,” he says.

“Obvious factors include:

The widespread use of USB storage devices - Today the use of USB flash drives, iPods, MP3/MP4 players, external hard drives, mobile phone storage and also digital camera storage devices is widespread. These are portable and can be carried around and used in any computer. It is a precaution to scan all USB portable devices with a reliable virus scanner before using.
The increased use of Internet by the working class - It is an obvious fact that today most of our corporate working class are using the email facilities for communicating. This has also resulted in the spread of computer viruses. Email servers that do not have updated firewalls have become vulnerable to viruses attacks. This is very critical because emails can be sent to many contacts at a single click. Supposing there is a virus attached, unsuspecting victims will be infected upon downloading the infected attachments.
The introduction of Telikom PNG’s VSAT and Broadband Technology - These are state-of-the-part modern day technology that will definitely lift PNG to a higher level in ICT. With the use of this technology precaution must be taken against computer viruses. Users must be prepared to counterattack computer viruses on a larger scale with the use of this technology. In traditional Internet dial-up technology the speed is 56Kb/s while with the VSAT you experience speeds from 1 MB/s up to 2 GB/s range depending on customer preferences. These speeds have enabled PNG to be opened up to high speed data freeways making our networks vulnerable to virus attacks.”

Mr Kasar said latest threats included W32.Rontokbro@mm , W32.PitinB , W32.Fujacks , .SCR , Surabaya , Panduan Islam Virus—ManOblack , Trojanhorse and Downloader.

He said symptoms that showed a user that his computer was infected were:
The Home Page on the Internet browser changing;
CD Drive opens and closes unexpectedly;
Strange behavior is noticed- applications not responding, Explorer blinks or goes off, start menu pops up and goes off continuously;
· Folders in the USB drive are hidden
· Mouse pointer moves without you pointing the mouse;
· Office documents change their extension form, for example, from doc, xls, etc, to exe.
· Strange pop-ups are experienced;
· Computer suddenly logs off and displays a blue screen;
· You log into Windows and it logs off again;
· Your computer suddenly becomes very slow; and
· Your anti-virus cannot start up or is disabled.

The PC Clinic deals with detection, removal and monitoring of computer viruses and also provides anti-virus installations for WAN and LAN Servers.

They can be contacted on email telephone 325 8912, and mobiles 6890616 and 72571939.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sky is the limit for Regional Aviation Academy

Amidst the ruins of the once-thriving and famous Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) Training College at Six-Mile, Port Moresby, lies the fast-rising Regional Aviation Academy.

This ramshackle collection of buildings is only a façade, however, because within is the first 100% nationally-owned private school in Papua New Guinea to train licensed aircraft maintenance engineers.

It also offers flight theory lessons for aspiring aviators because it does not have a plane of its own to give practical flying lessons.

Regional Aviation Academy – officially recognised by the National Training Council - began operations in 2001 and offers aircraft maintenance courses and imparts training through lessons where students sit for Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)-prepared examinations.

It uses the Queensland aerospace engineering syllabus.

From humble beginnings, more than 100 students have passed through the Regional Aviation Academy, and are now working all over the aviation industry in PNG as well as overseas.

Two of the most-qualified aircraft engineers in the country, Nick Kuiaha and Simm Kangadab, are at the helm of engineering courses at the academy while academy pioneer and qualified pilot and physics/mathematics instructor John Paui heads flight theory.

Mr Paui recalls that around the 1997-1998 periods, he and another pilot James Yanda saw that there was an urgent need to train PNG pilots.

“We saw a lot of people who wanted to be pilots but there was no training facility, no training school, no avenues around,” he says.

“The Aero Club used to run a flying school but they closed.

“There was also training at the Missionary Aviation Fellowship in Mount Hagen but they were not running theory classes at that time.

“What me and Captain James Yanda decided was to do something to help these unfortunate guys, who had the heart to do something, but there were no training facilities available.

“That was when we decided to start up something that we called National Aviation Training Institute.

“We talked to the guys at CAA and they allowed us to use their classrooms.

“We were teaching private pilot’s theory classes.

“The people from the Department (Civil Aviation) came around, observed our classes, and made recommendations for improvement.

“We needed improvements in course contents at that time.

“At that time, about 80% of the students went through, then the next step was the technical bit, which was real flying.

“We recommended that they go to Mt Hagen and join up with MAF, but by then, MAF were not doing much.

“We couldn’t continue, because there was no point getting students, and there was nothing for them to continue their studies.”

Enter Mr Kuiaha, a dual-licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, former PNG Defence Force Air Transport Squadron aircraft engineer, and lecturer in aircraft engineering at Port Moresby Technical College, amongst others in a distinguished career.

Mr Kangadab, a former PNGDF ATS aircraft engineer colleague of Mr Kuiaha, was a distinguished Air Niugini engineer and trainer before joining Regional Aviation Academy.

“I was retrenched from Airlines PNG in 2000,” Mr Kuiaha remembers.

“That was when I came in and joined them.

“There was a need for Papua New Guineans to train their own people.

“That’s how we came to be.

“We started from humble beginnings and went from strength to strength.

“Having to see our once-proud institutions like CAA College, which was a state-of-the-art school, running down was a real heartbreak and spurred us on to start Regional Aviation Academy.

“We are in our eighth year now and there’s no turning back.

“Over 100 students have passed out and all are employed.

“Two have gone on for further studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute to Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

“We have a former student employed in New Zealand.

“Another one has just returned from Hawaii.

“In Air Niugini we’ve got about 11 former students, while at Airlines PNG we’ve got about 15, HeviLift have got three, MAF have got six, NationAir have got five, National Air Services have got five, Helifix have got two, South West Airlines have got two, so they are scattered all over the aviation industry in the country.

“We are also proud that we are currently training five aircraft engineers from the PNG Defence Force.

“We are also proud that we have female students on board, which shows that there’s no discrimination.”

Mr Kuiaha said Regional Aviation Academy had been the target of a hate campaign, especially among the PNG aircraft engineering and pilot fraternities, but had persisted and the sky was no the limit.

“Critics are basically our own colleagues, who are pilots and engineers,” Mr Kanganab injects.

“They can talk from their comfort zone.

“To be honest, you have to be in there to see the difficulties.

“We (Messrs Kuiaha and Kanganab) are the only two Papua New Guinean instructors in aircraft engineering at the moment.

“We are we getting recycled expatriates in as aircraft engineering trainers at major airlines like Air Niugini?

“Another question we should be asking is that why are we spectators on our own land?”

Mr Kuiaha said there was an urgent need to train aircraft engineers, pilots, air traffic controllers, and other vacations within the civil aviation as there were not enough new people being churned out to meet the rising demand.

Aviation technology was also fast-changing.

“We have approached CAA about these matters, but these approaches have fallen upon deaf ears,” he said.

“”Regional Aviation Academy is a national institution.

“We’ve already secured a piece of land behind the ATS, at None-Mile, and we’re looking at funding to build a state-of-the-art institution.

“Nothing is impossible.

“We have to push on from here.

“Air Niugini has done very well, but why do they bring in foreign instructors to come and train Papua New Guineans?

“Defence Force did the same thing and it failed.

“We (Regional Aviation Academy) have contributed what we can.

“Air Niugini must seriously give us the chance to prove ourselves.

“We’ve done well.

“Why bring in foreigners to run courses when we can do it ourselves.”

Monday, June 16, 2008

Apple Introduces the New iPhone 3G - Twice as Fast at Half the Price

The world and Papua New Guinea, be braced, for the latest and most technologically-advanced mobile phone yet.
Apple on Monday last week (June 9) introduced the new iPhone 3G, combining all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK.
Papua New Guinea, however, may have to wait for a long time yet to benefit from this latest technological gadget given that we do not have the infrastructure such as wireless networking in place.
The new iPhone 3G makes it possible for simultaneous voice and data communications, so you can surf the Internet, find your exact location in the world, and check your email – all while on the phone.
In the US the new iPhone 3G is priced at a stunning $199 for the 8GB model, and just $299 for the 16GB model.
iPhone 3G will be available in more than 70 countries later this year, beginning with customer availability in 22 countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US—on July 11.
“Just one year after launching the iPhone, we’re launching the new iPhone 3G that is twice as fast at half the price,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in a press release posted on the company’s website.
“iPhone 3G supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync right out of the box, runs the incredible third party apps created with the iPhone SDK, and will be available in more than 70 countries around the world this year.”
iPhone 3G gives users ever faster access to the Internet and email over their cellular network with quad-band GSM and tri-band HSDPA for voice and data connectivity around the world.
iPhone 3G supports Wi-Fi, 3G and EDGE networks and automatically switches between them to ensure the fastest possible download speeds.
The new iPhone 3G also makes it easier to multi-task with simultaneous voice and data communications, so with iPhone 3G you can browse the web, get map directions, or check your email while you are on a call.
iPhone 3G includes the new iPhone 2.0 software with both the iPhone SDK and key enterprise features such as support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide over-the-air push email, contact and calendar syncing as well as remote wipe and Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to corporate networks.
The iPhone SDK allows developers to create amazing applications that leverage the iPhone’s groundbreaking Multi-Touch user interface, animation technology, accelerometer and GPS technology on the world’s most-advanced mobile platform.
iPhone 3G includes the new App Store, providing iPhone users with native applications in a variety of categories including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.
The App Store on iPhone works over cellular networks and Wi-Fi, which means it is accessible from just about anywhere, so you can purchase and download applications wirelessly and start using them instantly.
Some applications are even free and the App Store notifies you when application updates are available.
The App Store will be available in 62 countries at launch.
Additional features available with the iPhone 2.0 software include the ability to do real-time mapping and track your progress with GPS technology, mass move and delete multiple email messages, search for contacts, access a new scientific calculator, turn on parental control restrictions for specified content, save images directly from a web page or email them to your iPhone and easily transfer them back to your photo library on your Mac or PC.
iPhone 3G delivers an amazing 10 hours of talk time on 2G networks and 5 hours using 3G, with up to 5 to 6 hours of web browsing, up to 7 hours for video playback and up to 24 hours for audio playback.
iPhone 3G takes advantage of MobileMe, a new Internet service that pushes email, contacts, and calendars from an online “cloud” to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs.
With MobileMe email, messages are pushed instantly to iPhone, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads, and push keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so changes made on one device are automatically updated on other devices.
With iPhone, you can even snap a photo and post it directly to a MobileMe Gallery to share with friends and family.
iPhone 3G will be available in the US on July 11 for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 8GB model and $299 (US) for the 16GB model in both Apple and AT&T’s retail stores and requires a new two year contract with AT&T for qualifying customers.
iPhone 2.0 software will be available on July 11 as a free software update via iTunes 7.7 or later for all iPhone customers.
For further information about iPhone 3G pricing and availability in the US and internationally, visit .
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.
Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications.
Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

McDonald’s Corner and Owers’ Corner

McDonald’s Corner and Owers’ Corner, further in from Sogeri, have always been a favorite place for many residents of Port Moresby.
They are famously known as the beginning of the Kokoda Trail and are visited by thousands of tourists, mainly Australians, every year.
Enjoying a cold beer after a hard couple of days on the Kokoda Trail has always been part of the routine for these trekkers.
Enjoying a family picnic at Owers’ Corner under the blue sky, white clouds, majestic mountains and lush, green environment is a moment to treasure.
McDonald’s and Owers’ Corners, for many years, have been a means of escaping from the sweltering heat and scorched landscape of Port Moresby.
While Moresby is dry as a bone for over six months of the year, these places, invariably, are moist and green and the mountain air cooler.
The mountains, foothills, forests, savannah woodland, rivers and streams have long captured the imagination of many.
It goes without saying that when one goes to McDonald’s and Owers’ corners, one returns to the city very much relaxed, and reinvigorated.
They are very much among the many jewels in PNG’s crown.

McDonald’s Corner

The beginning of the Kokoda Track

In July and August 1942 McDonald's Corner was recognised as the beginning of the Kokoda Track and there is now a memorial at the site as well as a sign announcing the beginning of the "Kokoda Trail".
Nearby was the village of Ilolo, and it was here in July 1942 that officers of the Australian and New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU), such as Lieutenant Herbert Kienzle and his medical officer, the elderly Captain Geoffrey Vernon, brought together the groups of native carriers who were needed to support the Australian advance into the mountains.
Ilolo is reached by a road that leaves Port Moresby and winds its way 40km up a steep hill, past the Rouna Falls and onto the high plateau which includes the Itiki Valley and the Sogeri River.
This area provides a slightly cooler climate and in 1942 was considered suitable for training of the units about to cross the mountains.
Later it became a retraining and rest area for units that had fought on the Track.
It was also the site of a number of military hospitals.
From Ilolo, Lieutenant Kienzle set out with his carriers to establish a series of staging camps along the Kokoda Track to support the troops of the 39th and later the 53rd Battalions.
Staging camps were established at approximately 16km intervals, which meant that the troops would take about eight days to cross the mountains to Kokoda.
Many of the troops who fought on the Kokoda Track have clear memories of Ilolo, and McDonald's Corner - a short distance beyond where they disembarked from their trucks before beginning the march.
The first unit over the mountains, B Company 39th Battalion, under Captain Sam Templeton, left Ilolo on July 7, 1942.
C Company of the Battalion began the trek on July 23.
The first company of the 53rd Battalion left Ilolo on August 11 and the first elements of the 2/14th Battalion began moving on 16 August.
Later an effort was made to push the road beyond Ilolo and a jeep track was constructed to Owers' Corner, but still the troops disembarked at McDonald's Corner.
The first company of the 2/33rd Battalion departed McDonald's Corner on September 10. Eventually, as the track was improved, more troops could be carried forward to Owers' Corner and thus McDonald's Corner lost some of its importance.
It is still regarded, however, as the beginning of the Kokoda Track.
Beyond Ilolo, the first staging camp at the end of a day's journey, was the village of Uberi.

Owers’ Corner

The end of the Jeep Track

Late in August 1942, Lieutenant Noel Owers, with a small survey party, was looking for an alternative route forward of Ilolo by which the troops on the Kokoda Track might more easily be supplied.
The jeep track only ever reached as far as the point which became known as Owers' Corner, and then gave way to a foot track which wound down a steep slope towards Uberi.
During the month of September 1942, two 25 pounder field guns of the 14th Australian Field Regiment were brought forward to Owers' Corner, where they were manhandled into firing positions.
This was the only allied Field Artillery used during the Kokoda Track campaign to support the out gunned and greatly out numbered Infantry.
This action assisted in halting the Japanese advance just 48km from Port Moresby; so began the Japanese retreat.
The terrain was almost impassable for Infantry let alone Artillery.
A third 25 pounder field gun was dismantled and manhandled to Peg 66 beyond Uberi.
The Regiment was assisted in reaching their firing position by a Platoon of the 2/1st Pioneer Battalion.
However, by then the Japanese had withdrawn beyond the range of the gun.
Following the action at Owers' Corner from to September 22-28, 1942, the Commander Royal Artillery 7th Division, Brigadier L.S. Barker despatched the following:
"The ejection of the enemy from Ioribaiwa Ridge indicates a turning point in the battle for Port Moresby. The success of our forces was due in no small part to the action of 53rd Field Battery, 14th Field Regiment in bringing fire to bear on the enemy position which they had every reason to consider was safe from artillery fire.
“The manner in which difficulties were overcome in bringing guns into action at Owers' Corner and later in taking guns forward to Uberi is another example of the aptness of the gunner motto, "UBIQUE".
“The accuracy of the fire brought down at extreme range indicates that the personnel who served the guns are maintaining that standard of efficiency which is recognised as inherent in gunner units.
“Special mention must be made of the early reconnaissance of the area and the accurate observation of fire by the Troop Commander, Captain J.P. Cullen who has been mention in despatches.
“The action of the unit in taking a gun to pieces to manhandle it up and down he steep hillsides of Uberi indicates that the Militia soldier is fully alive to the resourcefulness expected from gunners. The task of getting this gun forward was facilitated by the good work of 5 Platoon 2/1st Pioneer Battalion who improved and prepared the track.
“The CRA desires to congratulate the officers and men who took part in the actual action, on their fine achievement and that he feels confident of the good work which will be carried out in future by the 14th Field Regiment and wishes them every success in the campaign ahead.”
All units which participated in the Owen Stanley Campaign between McDonald's Corner and Kokoda, passed through Owers' Corner.
Later as the counter offensive was under way, on October 3, Generals MacArthur, Blamey, Herring and Kenney accompanied by the Minister for the Army, Mr F.M.Forde, visited Owers' Corner as the 16th Brigade began their move towards the objective, Kokoda.
General MacArthur told Brigadier J.E. Lloyd the commander, "Lloyd, by some act of God, your Brigade has been chosen for this job. The eyes of the Western world are upon you. I have every confidence in you and your men, good luck, don't stop."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bomana never fails to move you

Blue sky
green rolling hills stretch
to tranquil mountains.
white clouds in a wide blue sky

So quiet
so peaceful
above the young sleepers
resting beneath each white stone

With each new dawn
their rising suns greet the rising sun
as the days march to eternity

But they will march no more
no more to toil along the muddy track
no more to wonder where their trail will end
it ended here

sleeping peacefully
under that clear blue sky
there in their earth beds
beneath each white stone
as I walk the graves
and wonder why

- Anonymous

“I visited Bomana War Cemetery, not far from the start of the Kokoda Track, in Papua New Guinea in 1973 when I was 21,” wrote the author of the above poem.

“The peace of the setting and the enormous number of white crosses shocked me with the contrast.

“It was here that I began to grasp the sacrifice made by those who give their lives for their country.”

Bomana War Cemetery, just outside of Port Moresby, respects and honors those who made the supreme sacrifice for their people.

It also serves as a reminder that war kills, not just a few, but many hundreds of thousands, and on both sides.

Bomana – like other war cemeteries in Papua New Guinea – offers an opportunity to create goodwill amongst all the living so that the same tragedies may not be repeated.

It creates strong feelings of sacredness, tranquility, spaciousness, peace and beauty, and is immaculately maintained by devoted staff.

Bomana is not far from the start of the Kokoda Trail.

The peace of the setting and the enormous number of white crosses shocks you with the contrast.

It is here that you begin to grasp the sacrifice made by those who gave their lives for their country.

Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery lies approximately 19km north of Port Moresby on the road to Nine-Mile, and is approached from the main road by a short side road called Pilgrims Way.

After the Japanese landed at Lae and Salamaua in March 1942, Port Moresby became their chief objective.

They decided to attack by sea, and assembled an amphibious expedition for the purpose, which set out early in May, but they were intercepted and heavily defeated by American air and naval forces in the Coral Sea, and what remained of the Japanese expedition returned to Rabaul.

After this defeat they decided to advance on Port Moresby overland and the attack was launched from Buna and Gona in September 1942.

Early in 1942, and almost without resistance, the Japanese established a considerable force and developed a useful base on Bougainville, the largest and most northerly of the Solomon Islands.

This they held until Americans and Australians began offensive operations towards the end of 1943, when Bougainville was the only one of these islands remaining in Japanese hands.

By August 1945, when the Japanese surrendered, most of the island had been recovered.

Those who died in the fighting in Papua and Bougainville are buried at Bomana War Cemetery, their graves brought in by the Australian Army Graves Service from burial grounds in the areas where the fighting had taken place.

The unidentified soldiers of the United Kingdom forces were all from the Royal Artillery, captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore; they died in captivity and were buried on the island of Bailale in the Solomons.

These men were later re-buried in a temporary war cemetery at Torokina on Bougainville Island before being transferred to their permanent resting place at Port Moresby.

The cemetery contains 3,819 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 702 of them unidentified.

The Port Moresby Memorial stands behind the cemetery and commemorates almost 750 men of the Australian Army (including Papua and New Guinea local forces), the Australian Merchant Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force who lost their lives in the operations in Papua and who have no known graves.

Men of the Royal Australian Navy who died in the south-west Pacific region, and have no known grave but the sea, are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces.

Bougainville casualties who have no known graves are commemorated on a memorial at Suva, Fiji

A driveway lined with shady trees, flowering shrubs and lawns leads from the main gate to the car park where there is an overall view of the cemetery.

Among these are 438 unidentified soldiers of the United Kingdom Forces captured at the fall of Singapore, who died in captivity in the Solomons.

At the far end lies the Remembrance Stone of richly – grained pink sandstone.

Slightly to the right, on a knoll stretching its arms over all the graves, stands the Cross of Sacrifice.

The Memorial is higher up to the right on top of the hill dominating everything.

A rotunda of cylindrical pillars encloses a circle of square columns.

Their inside faces bear bronze panels engraved with over 800 names of men who lost their lives in operations in Papua and who have no known graves.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Welcome to Papua New Guinea

Lying just south of the equator, 160km north of Australia, Papua New Guinea is part of a great arc of mountains stretching from Asia, through Indonesia and into the South Pacific.

Papua New Guinea has a total land area of 463, 920 square kilometers and total sea area of 3.1 million square kilometers.

It has a moderate tropical climate with high levels of seasonal rainfall.

In the Highlands, temperatures can range from a low of 4 degrees Celsius to a high of 32 degrees Celsius.

The average daily temperature is 27 degrees Celsius.

Papua New Guinea’s population is about 5.9 million people.

This fascinating land boasts more than 600 offshore islands and more than 800 indigenous languages (tok ples), and is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon.

Papua New Guinea consists of four regions made up of 19 provinces and the National Capital District, each with its own special character and cultures.

Visitors will discover a wealth of tropical scenery, from the jungle-clad mountains of the Highlands to the sandy white beaches and atolls of the coastal and island provinces.

People, Language and Religion

Papua New Guineans, most of whom are Melanesians, vary widely in their physical characteristics, ethnic backgrounds and cultural types.

It is the most-heterogeneous country in the world because of the isolation of most communities.

In the past, more than 800 languages have evolved – many of which are still spoken – representing approximately one-third of the languages known in the world.

Due to the cultural diversity of the country, English is the language of Government, commerce and law.

English is a compulsory subject in school through Papua New Guinea and apart from isolated communities, is widely understood.

About 96 per cent of the population is Christian with the Catholic and Lutheran churches being the largest denominations.


In 1973 Michael Somare became the Chief Minister of a democratically-elected government and led the national to self-government on 1st October 1973.

Papua New Guinea became an independent nation on 16th September 1975 with Michael Somare being the nation’s first Prime Minister.

The National Government consists of three independent branches: the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary.

The National Parliament consists of 109 members, including the current Prime Minister and his cabinet of 27 ministers.

There are 19 provinces in Papua New Guinea as well as a National Capital District, each of which are given grants by the National Government to operate such functions as capital works and maintenance, health, education, agriculture, town planning, forestry and business development in their respective provinces.

However, national laws do take precedence over provincial laws if there is conflict.

Papua New Guinea is an active member of the British Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth 11 is the Head of the State, represented by her appointed Governor-General.

Economy and growth

Papua New Guinea is now on a sound financial path.

Economic growth looks to be around 2 ½ to 3 per cent, following several years during which the economy contracted.

Employment and incomes are picking up.

Inflation has fallen from over 20 per cent to around 1 per cent.

The Treasury Bill rate is now under 5 per cent compared with rates as high as 20 per cent around the middle of 2003.

The Kina has been stable.

There is increased optimism about projects for investment in Papua New Guinea, which has been reflected in developments such as the Papua New Guinea – Australia Gas Pipeline.

International reserves are at near record levels.

The deficit has fallen and last year Papua New Guinea repaid some debt.

Papua New Guinea has been described as a “mountain of gold floating on a sea of oil”.

While this may be somewhat overstating the situation, it reflects the importance that Papua New Guinea’s extensive natural resources play in the country’s development.

It is also appropriate, from the agricultural point of view, to describe Papua New Guinea as a “Garden of Eden”.

Fertile soils and a conducive climate allow most agricultural produce to be harvested.

At present there are two distinct economies existing side by side in Papua New Guinea: the traditional economy and the cash economy.

The traditional sector – mainly subsistence farming – supports about 85 per cent of the population.

Most villages are self-sufficient and only small surpluses of produce are available for trading.

The growth of towns has, however, encouraged small-scale cash cropping in nearby villages and these crops are sold by village people in the town market.

The cash economy in Papua New Guinea is very much an open economy geared for international trade.

Exports are mainly minerals, petroleum, gas and agricultural commodities.

The country imports most of the finished goods it requires.

The National Government actively encourages more production onshore for the needs of the population and for export.

The economy is dominated by mineral, petroleum and gas projects.

However, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and manufacturing sectors combined account for a significant proportion of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Total exports from Papua New Guinea are valued at more than US $2 billion.


Vast tracts of the country are wild and undeveloped.

The towering Owen Stanley Range, a massive central spine, divides the mainland with peaks towering over 4000 metres.

Great rivers begin their journey to the sea from these mountains, among them the mighty Sepik River and Fly River waterways.

Beneath the mountain chain, fertile coastal plains, flooded delta regions and mangrove swamps exist alongside broad sandy beaches, colourful sheltered bays and dense rainforest.

The rugged mountain terrain and deep cave systems offer wonderful adventure opportunities for walkers, cavers and climbers, and there is canoeing, kayaking and fishing on the river and delta system.

Papua New Guinea also enjoys some of the world’s best diving around its warm coastal waters, with rich coral reefs around the inland coast and the islands of the Bismarck Sea and the Milne Bay area.

Undiscovered marine life forms are continually being found on the reefs, and visitors can discover some of the world’s rarest shells.

National Capital District

Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea and this area is sometimes referred to as the National Capital District.

Located on the southern coast of the mainland, it has a total population of 254, 158 made up from all regions of the country and including a large foreign population.

The striking Parliament House building reflects the harmony of modern architecture and traditional design, while the National Museum and Art Gallery exhibits cultural features of the country’s complex tribal lifestyles.

There is a range of international hotels, as well as shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other amenities.

Main Regions and Provinces

Papua New Guinea is divided into four main regions known as Highlands, Momase, New Guinea Islands and Southern.

The Highlands region is made up of the provinces of Eastern Highlands, Simbu, Western Highlands, Southern Highlands and Enga.

The Momase region consists of Morobe, Madang, East Sepik and West Sepik.

Southern consists of Central, National Capital District, Gulf, Western, Milne Bay and Oro.

The New Guinea Islands region comprises of East New Britain, West New Britain, Bouganville, New Ireland and Manus.

Flora and fauna

The country’s pristine rainforest is home to some 700 species of birds, including parrots, pigeons, hornbills (kokomos) and cassowaries (Papua New Guinea’s largest bird), but best know is the brilliantly coloured bird of paradise.

Thirty-eight of the 43 known bird of paradise species are found here, including the rare Blue and the Raggiana varieties, enticing birdwatchers from around the world.

The world’s largest butterfly – the Queen Alexandra Birdwing – is also native to Oro Province, with a wingspan that reaches up to 30 centimetres.

Native mammals include bats and marsupials such as tree kangaroos, forest wallabies and echidnas (spiny anteaters).

Papua New Guinea is also especially famous for its stunning orchids.

Over two-thirds of the world’s known species are found here, and new varieties are still being discovered.

National Parks and Reserves

Papua New Guinea has more than 1000 hectares of land dedicated to national parks.

Varirata National Park (1063ha), just 42km from Port Moresby, is a haven for native flora and fauna, and birdwatchers.

The park protects the Western end of the Sogeri Plateau, across to the Astrolabe Mountains.

McAdam National Park (2076 ha) stretches between Wau and Bulolo, protecting wildlife such as echidnas, cuscuses (a large marsupial), cassowaries and birds of paradise.

The Baiyer River Sanctuary, north of Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, contains the world’s largest collection of birds of paradise, and some shorter bushwalks.

Pokili wildlife area in West New Britain in unique for its hot springs, geysers and boiling mud pools, while Lake Kutubu in the Southern Highlands provides a refuge for birdlife, reptiles and turtles.

The face of Facebook

Two weeks ago, EMTV featured Facebook on its popular Sunday night news programme, 60 Minutes, introducing thousands of Papua New Guineans to this website that is taking the world by storm.

Are you on Facebook yet?

More than 60 million people already are and by the end of the year, it'll be 200 million.

That's how fast it's spreading.

Here's how it works.

All you have to do is set up a profile page about yourself.

From there you can swap news and photos with friends, track down old acquaintances, and even play long distance Scrabble.

It can be a very useful tool, or an addictive time-waster.

Either way, Facebook has created an Internet revolution.

And as we so enviously discovered on 60 Minutes, it's now a US $15 billion business, the creation of one very young, very geeky computer whiz-kid.

This is the face of Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old mogul who is guiding its extraordinary growth.

What everyone wants to know is - is he old enough to be running a company that some people say is the biggest thing since Google?

“I'm 23 right now,” Zuckerberg humbly told Lesley Stahl of American 60 Minutes.

“It's not that big.

“It used to be the case like, you'd switch jobs, and then maybe you wouldn't keep in touch with all the people that you knew from that old job.

“Just 'cause it was too hard.

“But one of the things that Facebook does is it makes it really easy to just stay in touch with all these people.”

Facebook's headquarters in downtown Palo Alto, California, looks like a dorm room.

The 400 employees, who get free food and laundry, show up late, stay late, and party really late.

Zuckerberg, who has made the cover of 'Newsweek' and is reportedly worth US$3 billion, sits at a desk like the other software engineers, writing computer code.

He told Lesley Stahl that he has neither changed his lifestyle or into buying really expensive clothes.

“No, I'm not buying really expensive clothes,” Zuckerberg says.

“No, I have a little, like, one-bedroom apartment with a mattress on the floor.

“That's where I live.”

Kara Swisher, who used to write about Silicon Valley for the 'Wall Street Journal' has called him 'The Toddler CEO'.

“I think it's hard,” Swisher says of Zuckerberg.

“I think when all of a sudden you're the smartest person in the world, and you're the meal ticket for everybody, and this is the big hit, this is the new Google, at this point, and so Mark is under a lot of pressure because everybody wants something from him.”

Like the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg is looked up to in Silicon Valley as a visionary.

He can be awkward and reluctant to talk about himself, so you have to turn for help to his Facebook page.

His Mom is a psychiatrist and his Dad is a dentist.

Mark was a computer whiz early on, writing software in sixth grade.

In his second year at Harvard he and his two roommates created an online version of the Harvard student directory where kids could message each other.

They called it The Facebook and launched it from their dorm room.

Within four months they had expanded to 40 colleges and over the summer moved to Palo Alto.

“Probably about half my time is spent on business operation-type stuff,” he says.

Despite his young age, Zuckerberg seems to have made one savvy business decision after the next.

He expanded access to Facebook from college students to high schoolers.

Then in 2006, to adults - his fastest growing demographic.

Now he's inviting everyone on the site to create new software and pocket the profits themselves.

It's a way to keep the next big thing on Facebook.

New programs emerge daily, like Facebook Scrabble.

“ I actually have a couple games going on now with my grandparents, so, they got on Facebook and we started playing Scrabble together,” Zuckerberg says,

Facebook is growing so quickly, there is talk of it becoming a "giant slayer" which is why Yahoo! offered to buy Facebook in 2006 for US$1 billion in cash.

Zuckerberg declined.

But then Microsoft swooped in and bought 1.6% of the company for US$240 million.

That meant that Bill Gates valued Facebook at $15 billion, roughly the same as Ford or CBS.

Some analysts say that's wildly unrealistic since Facebook has yet to figure out how to make money off its huge audience.

“I think that's a pretty relative thing,” he says.

“But I mean, as a private company, we just have the advantage of not necessarily having to report to the outside world all of our financials.

He may duck the question, but there is no getting around the fact that Facebook needs to find a way to generate revenue.

And so Zuckerberg is experimenting with ads, trying to cash-in on his users's own recommendations.

Say you write on Facebook that you like a certain movie, that's turned into an ad.

Or maybe you like a scarf from Bloomingdale's.

“So this isn't an ad that's going to go to a lot of people,” he says.

“Basically, when you put that information in your profile that you bought a scarf and that you like that scarf, that's something that your friends might find interesting, right?

“So what we'd do is we might show that information to your friends a little bit more pro-actively, as an ad.”

The real trouble started when they began using a tracking program, called Beacon, that monitors what you buy on over 40 web sites and automatically reports it to your friends, without explicit permission.

People signed up for Facebook thinking that it was a way to just stay in touch with their friends, and now, some of them feel that there's some snooping going on.

“I actually think that this makes it less commercial,” Zuckerberg replies.

“I mean, what would you rather see?

“A banner ad from Bloomingdale's or that one of your friends bought a scarf?”

But when a Facebook user bought his wife a diamond ring online, the surprise was ruined because Beacon notified all his friends and his wife about it, on Facebook.

With stories like that, criticism of Beacon began to build.

But Zuckerberg dug in his heels until he had a full-blown PR disaster on his hands, including petitions and bloggers writing obituaries.

“It might take some work for us to get this exactly right,” he says.

“This is something we think is going to be a really good thing.”

So does Zuckerberg think that his age is an asset or a liability?

“There's probably a little bit of both, right?

“I mean, there are definitely elements of experience, and stuff, that someone my age wouldn't have.

“But there are also things that I can do that other people wouldn't necessarily be able to.”

Friday, June 06, 2008

Port Moresby’s fascinating WW11 history

Long before the arrival of the white man, the Motuan people of the area now known as Port Moresby, traded their pots for sago, other food and canoe logs, with their partners from the Gulf of Papua.
They sailed from Hanuabada and other villages, built on silts above the waters of the bay.
They also intermarried with the Gulf people and created strong family and trade links.
The Hiri expeditions were large-scale.
As many as 20 multi-hulled canoes or lakatoi, crewed by some 600 men, carried about 20,000 clay pots on each journey.
To the Motuans, the Hiri was not only an economic enterprise but they also confirmed their identity as a tribe because of the long and dangerous voyages.
These voyages are commemorated in modern times by the annual Hiri Moale Festival held at Ela Beach in September.
The area was already an important trade centre by the time Captain John Moresby, of HMS Basilisk, first identified the area of the site later to become known as Port Moresby.
The Englishman had just ventured through the Coral Sea at the eastern end of New Guinea and upon encountering three previously unknown islands landed there.
At 10 o’clock in the morning of the 20th February, 1873, he claimed the land for Britain and named it after his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby.
He called the inner reach "Fairfax Harbour" and the other “Port Moresby”.
Actual European settlement of the site did not occur until a decade later when the south-eastern part of New Guinea island was annexed to British Empire.
British New Guinea was passed to the newly established Commonwealth of Australia in 1906, and became known as Papua. From then until 1941 Port Moresby grew slowly.
The main growth was on the peninsula, where port facilities and other services were gradually improved.
Electricity was introduced in 1925 and piped water supply was provided in 1941.
Japan had been on the roll since the early 1930s with the rise of Japanese Imperialism.
Japanese troops invaded Manchuria in 1933, China in 1934, and then came into the South Pacific by attacking Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.
The ambitious Japanese wanted a stranglehold of the South Pacific, including Australia.
The former Australian territory of Papua, which comprises the south-eastern portion of the island of New Guinea and some groups of small islands, is separated from the Australian mainland only by the 145 kilometre-wide Torres Straits.
Port Moresby, the most important centre, has a good harbour on the Gulf of Papua and its situation so close to the Australian mainland makes it eminently suitable as a naval and military base for operations in the south-west Pacific.
It became a vital point to hold when the Japanese invaded New Guinea.
On January 23, 1942, the Japanese landed at Kavieng on New Ireland and at Rabaul on New Britain where they quickly overcame the Australian defenders, with the ultimate objective of taking Port Moresby.
Before WWII, Port Moresby was a small administrative center for the Australian territories of Papua and New Guinea.
During the war it was the strategic objective of the Japanese during the Battle of Coral Sea and the overland during the Kokoda Trail campaign.
Japanese invasion attempts were unsuccessful, but the area was subjected to many air attacks.
Japanese air raids against Port Moresby started on February 2, 1942, and continued until April 12, 1943 (plus later nighttime harassment raids).
The area became a major American and Australian staging area and airfield complex in support of the Allied push to the north of New Guinea, including Kokoda and Buna/Gona.
The Battle of the Coral Sea from May 5 to 8 averted a Japanese sea borne invasion of Port Moresby and the American success at the Battle of Midway in June not only destroyed Japan's capacity for undertaking long range offensives but also provided the Americans with the opportunity to move from the defensive to the offensive.
The Japanese, who were regularly bombing Port Moresby with 20 to 30 bombers with fighter escort, decided on the overland attack across the Owen Stanley Range.
It was on July 21, 1942, that Japanese troops landed on the northern coast of then New Guinea and unexpectedly began to march over the Owen Stanley Ranges with the intent of capturing Port Moresby.
It was out of here that the Australian 7th Division resisted the Japanese General Horii's overland attempt to capture Port Moresby, and the advance was halted within 30 miles of the city.
Had the Japanese succeeded, the mainland of Australia would have come under dire threat.
Nearly the entire city has some connections with World War II
These include Port Moresby (Town) Prewar town and wharf area; Konedobu Northern area of the town; Kaevaga North of Konedobu ; Waigani former 5-Mile Wards Drome and the PNG goverment headquarters; Gordons South-east of Waigani PNG Modern History Museum; Boroko Located to the east of town ; Gerehu Area to the north of the present day University of PNG; Kila Kila East of Port Moresby town, former 3-Mile Drome; Mount Lawes Peak behind Port Moresby; Fairfax Harbor Port Moresby's Harbor; Bootless Bay Inlet to the east of Port Moresby; Idlers Bay Inlet to the west of Port Moresby, Roku village; Joyce Bay Bay to the east of Port Moresby, Local Island
By 1944, Port Moresby had six airfields. Jackson was the largest, and was named after Australian ace pilot John Jackson, leader of RAAF Squadron 75, who was killed in a dogfight against Japanese planes over Port Moresby on April 28, 1942.
Wartime airfields in the area included the following:Kila Drome (3 Mile) Airfield for fighters and bombers; Ward Drome (5 Mile) Airfield for heavy bombers and transport planes; Jackson Airport (7 Mile) Main airfield still in use today by Air Niugini; Berry Drome (12 Mile) Fighter and medium bomber base near Bomana; Schwimmer (14 Mile) Fighter and medium bomber base; Durand Airstrip (17 Mile) Fighter and medium bomber base; Rogers (Rarona, 30 Mile) Fighter and medium bomber base; Fisherman's (Daugo) Emergency landing strip on off shore island
There are a number of abandoned gun emplacements, bunkers and fortifications. These were constructed by Australian Engineers in 1944, but never used, then abandoned after the war.
Basalisk Battery Largest, three gun battery to the west of Moresby ; Paga Hill Battery Gun battery and radar set location hill outside Moresby ; Gemo Island Battery Gun position on offshore island, overlooking the east ; Bootless Bay Battery Gun position at Bootless Bay; Boera Battery Gun position west of Port Moresby

Below is a timeline of major events in the Japanese bid to take Port Moresby.

03/02/1942 Japanese air raids begin on Port Moresby.

10/03/1942 Japanese aircraft attack Port Moresby.

23/03/1942 Port Moresby is again attacked by Japanese aircraft.

04/05/1942 The Japanese Port Moresby invasion force leaves Rabaul, in New Britain.

19/07/1942 Japanese invasion fleet leaves Rabaul for Buna, New Guinea.

21/07/1942 Japanese land at Buna.

26/08/1942 Two thousand Japanese land at Milne Bay, South East of Port Moresby and advance up Kokoda Trail.

06/09/1942 Australians force total Japanese evacuation of Milne Bay, with just 1,000 troops surviving to be evacuated.

08/09/1942 Japanese advance from Kokoda to the Owen Stanley Mountain Range in an overland drive for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

11/09/1942 Japanese drive halted by Australians at loribaiwa, just 32 miles from Port Moresby.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Vision City K1 billion project planned in Port Moresby

THE Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group is undertaking the most ambitious commercial property development ever undertaken in the country at an estimated cost of K1 billion.

Named Vision City, the proposed multi-user complex will incorporate a three-storey megamall, a 12-storey hotel with more than 290 rooms, a twin-tower office block, a convention centre and about 120 serviced apartments.

It is located on a 9.2 hectare site fronted by Waigani Drive and Sir John Guise Stadium.

Vision City will create a new focal point for shopping and business in addition to Boroko, the downtown area and Harbour City.

The master plan for the spectacular project, to be undertaken by the RH Group’s property subsidiary, Dynasty Development Ltd, has been approved by the National Capital District Commission and a ground-breaking ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 17, 2008.

Work will begin first with the shopping mall which will take about a year and a half to complete.

Besides a large hypermart and department store, the megamall will feature more than 50 retail outlets.

The entire project is expected to take between seven and 10 years and will create about 1,800 jobs at the peak of construction.

“Once Vision City is completed we expect that about 5,000 people will be employed or accommodated within this vast complex that will virtually represent a city within a city,” said RH managing director James Lau.

“It will be home to some 250 business entities and be responsible for generation of business activities worth K200 million to K250 million a year.

“This and other projects being undertaken in Harbour City and in the downtown area are destined to turn Port Moresby into one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in the South Pacific.

According to Dynasty, the mini-city complex will have a floor area of 150,000 sq metres or more than seven times the floor space in the 19-storey Deloitte Tower.

The 33,000 sqm shopping mall alone will increase Port Moresby’s current shopping floor area by more than 20% and generate around 1,200 jobs.

Similarly the hotel, which will be managed by an international chain, will be the largest in the city.

The twin 10-storey office blocks will be built in two phases.

On completion they will boost the available office area by 60,000 sq m, about three times more than the space available in Deloitte Tower.

Mr Lau said the RH Group had spent several years planning this mixed commercial and residential development.

“This project will only be successful if the PNG economy continues to experience strong growth and we are confident that initiatives undertaken by the present government in recent years will ensure a healthy climate will prevail for private sector investment and growth,” he said.

“The extremely strong growth in employment in the past two years is one of the factors that make us confident that a visionary project of this scale can be a commercial success by providing many more world-class amenities for public use.

The complex will incorporate various high-tech features to take care of growing concerns about greenhouse effects and climate change.

The hotel, for example, will employ sun-shading devices to maximise natural ventilation and natural lighting and an “external skin of steel mesh over part of the façade” will reduce power requirements.

The landscaped courtyard for the serviced apartments will also allow for better cross ventilation and improved entry of natural sunlight.

There will be 2,600 parking lots, with a third of them under cover.

Residents of the apartments will have use of squash courts and a gymnasium.