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STAFF REPORTER | The Tokaut Blog
PORT MORESBY - A storm of public criticism and protest has erupted after the publication of photographs showing the delivery of 40 Maserati luxury supercars to the ONeill government.
The white-jacked Maserati Quattroporte cars were shown being off-loaded from two chartered Boeing 747 aircraft at Port Moresbys Jacksons airport.
The luxury cars have been brought to Port Moresby to chauffeur world leaders and other VIP guests around the capital for three days during next months Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
The public furore has put the PNG government onto the back-foot as locals fume at the highly visible excess in a country where basic health, education and transport infrastructure and services are in a deplorable condition and public health outcomes are among the worst in the world.
The PNG government has made a number of claims to try and justify their apparent extravagance and to deflect criticism. Unfortunately those claims do not stack up to any serious scrutiny.
Lets start with APEC Minister, Justin Tkatchenkos first press statement on the affair.
It doesnt start well. It is dated 10 November 2018. Clearly a mistake. Perhaps someone was in a hurry or it had to be released ahead of schedule?
Maserati Quattroporte sedans have been secured and delivered, and are being committed to be paid for by the private sector, says Minister Tkatchenko in his signed statement.
Having vehicles paid for by the private sector is the smartest way to have use of the vehicles for APEC at no overall cost to the State.
The language is slightly tortured, but the message seems clear? The Maserati supercars have been paid for by some mysterious benefactors and bringing the cars to Port Moresby for use during the APEC summit is at no overall cost to the State.
However, it didnt take long for a different truth to start emerging; one that sheds considerable doubt on the veracity of the Ministers claims. And then, as his story started to unravel, so the Ministers statements to the press started to change
It costs about US$25,000 an hour to operate a Boeing 747. Flight time from Milan in Italy to Port Moresby is around 20 hours, plus a refuel...
The appalling human rights abuses being suffered by the victims of the huge SABL land-grab in Papua New Guinea are the focus of a new report published by ACT NOW! and UK based charity, War on Want.
The SABL Land Grab: Papua New Guineas Ongoing Human Rights Scandal highlights the devastating impacts on people living in rural communities and gives a voice to those who have suffered the illegal loss of their land to logging and oil-palm plantations.
People like Peter Tai who says people were threatened, beaten and turned away by armed police and the army when they tried to stop the logging and oil palm planting on their traditional land
When the company uses the police and army, they twist the law and beat us up very badly, to the point where we are afraid to attempt stopping the company again.
It is not only violence that people have suffered:
We, the people have lost our God given birth right to our land for 99 years and significantly our traditions, cultures, customs, virgin forest and friendly environment, the eco systems we depend on and our peaceful community living and life setting, explains a landowner from Pomio.
The report highlights how the SABL land grab, as well as breaching PNGs own land laws and Constitution has breached a whole raft of international laws and conventions. These include the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and many of the fundamental human rights protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
ACT NOW! and War on Want are calling for immediate action to end the land grab and cancel the leases by the PNG government but are also asking the international community to be more proactive in pressuring for action by the authorities.
This includes calling on the UN Special Rapporteurs who have already written to the government expressing their concerns about the human rights abuses to come to PNG to see the impacts first hand and speak directly with the government.
They are also calling on China and the other countries taking logs and palm oil from the SABL areas to stop this illegal trade.
The testimonies that the report presents were collected over a two-year period by researchers who visited SABL affected communities in six different Provinces; Ne...
Papua New Guinea International, Nene
Macdonald will join the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys on a
three-year deal beginning in the 2019 season.
The 24-year-old arrives at the club on the back of a stellar season for the St George Illawarra Dragons, which saw him score 10 tries in 23 games.
After debuting for the Sydney Roosters in 2014, Macdonald has played 91 NRL games across six seasons for the Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and Dragons, scoring 31 tries.
A product of Cairns, Macdonald was originally contracted to the Dragons for the 2019 season, but the club agreed to release the winger to allow him to return closer to family.
Macdonald has also played Nine Tests for Papua New Guinea after making his international debut as a 19-year-old in 2013.
Cowboys head coach Paul Green said the club was excited to bring a prodigious North Queensland-bred talent home.
Hes a North Queensland kid and we like North Queenslanders representing this region, Green said.
Nene is going to offer plenty of depth to our backline and had a fantastic year for the Dragons.
I know him on a personal level after coaching him in the under 20s at the Roosters and am confident he will be a good cultural fit for our club as well.
Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr said recruiting outside backs for 2019 was a major focus for the club after the departure of a number of long-tenured players in those positions.
Hes a very talented athlete and with the retirement of Antonio Winterstein we were keen to add to our outside backs and in particular the wing position, Parr said.
Nene fits the criteria we were looking for and he indicated to us that he had a desire to return home to North Queensland, so we made some inquiries with the Dragons and they have been very cooperative in helping us bring him back to North Queensland.
Immediately upon arrival the Cabrini team they were
welcomed by Professor Jerzy Kuzma from DWU and Modilon Hospital and
were accommodated at the Madang Resort. The following day they were
taken on a cruise of the Madang Harbourcourtesy of Sir Peter
The former Cabrini team leader, Dr John Griffiths visited PNG first in 1998, since then has been 17 times with the orthopedic mission working initially in Wewak and now in Madang.
Team leader Fr Adrian Trivett is on his second visit and the main purpose is to provide the support in development of orthopedic services in Madang. When Dr Trivett was asked What is the motivation behind your coming here? he stated laconically: we come to help, to teach and to work. Cabrini Hospital is committed to take an active part in the development of orthopedic and medical services along the Pacific region.
There is a long-lasting and close relation between Cabrini and Modilon Hospital that has resulted in has substantial advance of orthopedic services in Madang as well as other successful developmental programs.
Among these support projects, apart from the annual visits, Cabrini Hospital have supported the development of a new orthopedic ward at Modilon General Hospital, significant donation of orthopedic instruments, arthroscopy set and implants valued over K500,000, architectural and engineering design of the new operating theatre now in full operation and organizing histopathology examination critical for adequate cancer treatment.
In addition to the above, Cabrini have funded the extension of the dental section and renovations of administration building and hospital lecture room.
This time the team consists of two orthopedic surgeons Dr. Trivett and Dr Dalalana, anesthesiologists Dr Andeana and scrub nurse Sr. Thompson. They have worked for one week since their arrival on Oct 6 during which time they have consulted 38 patients and operated on 24 patients. Apart from saving many orthopedic patients from disability, by operating together with local surgeons they are passing skills and expertise on local doctors building in this way our capacity to upgrade orthopedic services in the country.
Professor Jerzy Kuzma, from DWU and Modilon Hospital thanked Cabrini and the visiting orthopedic team for their friendship and commitment to the development of orthopedic services in the country.
Union leaders Karen Batt CPSU Victoria Sally McManus Michele ONeil Troy Gray ETU Electrical Trades Union of Australia, Victorian Branch and Lori-Anne Sharp Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, launching new TV ads about the Change The Rules nationwide rallies.
Union leaders Karen Batt CPSU Victoria Sally McManus Michele O'Neil Troy Gray ETU Electrical Trades Union of Australia, Victorian Branch and Lori-Anne Sharp Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation launching new TV ads about the Change The Rules nationwide rallies.
Posted by Australian Unions on Saturday, October 6, 2018
BRYAN KRAMER MP
PORT MORESBY Last Wednesday, respected young entrepreneur Emmanuel Narakobi shared on Facebook an article showing the arrival of the controversial million kina Italian luxury cars at Jacksons International Airport.
He shared a post by airline company, Ajot, that flew the cars to Port Moresby. Minutes after posting the article he was in-boxed by a person with a Facebook account called Silver Fox providing his number and insisting Emmanuel call him immediately.
The message read - You must immediately take down posts of Maserati APEC security act will be inacted [sic].
The person then messaged Emmanuel on SMS - Need you to immediately take down FB posts concerning recent airport photos ... It is a security risk under APEC joint task force ... Please call me, David Johnson.
So who is David Johnson?
He is an Australian expatriate who arrived in PNG sometime in 2015. He resides in Lae providing financial advisory services.
He later acquired a shelf company Karama Consultants, registering himself as the sole director and shareholder.
In August 2017 he registered two other shelf (start-up) companies, Karama Developments Limited (which claims to specialise in r...
NAAMAN ZHOU | Guardian Australia
SYDNEY - The United Nations has called on Australia to immediately evacuate its offshore detention centres to prevent an unfolding health crisis.
Doctors from Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) were ejected from Nauru laston Wednesday and the UN high commissioner for refugees has warned that many asylum seekers who have attempted self-harm or have critical health issues now have no access to medical care.
Catherine Stubberfield, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Canberra, said healthcare was collapsing at the centres.
She said a pre-teenage girl doused herself with petrol in a suicide attempt last month, and remained on Nauru despite a doctors advice to have her evacuated.
She also said many asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea had attempted self-harm or suicide last month, and others were suffering acute physical and mental health issues but had not been treated by doctors.
On Thursday, MSF called for an immediate humanitarian evacuation of offshore detainees. It said there had been 78 cases of attempted suicide and self-harm in Nauru over the past year.
Speaking on Friday, Stubberfield said Australia had to face the responsibility of its offshore detention camps because it had designed, paid for and set up the system.
UNHCR does not agree with the government of Australias assertion that such cases are solely matters for Papua New Guinea and Nauru, she said. Australia [has] simultaneously designed, financed and managed the system.
She urged the Australian government to take up New Zealands offer to accept some of those held in detention.
About 1,420 people are being held in PNG and Nauru, and 500 have been transferred to Australia for medical reasons. The UNCHRs monitoring suggests that figure is significantly lower than the number of refugees in need of care.
In September this year more refugees and asylum seekers had to be medically e...
STAFF REPORTER | Transparency International
BERLIN - Robtel Neajai Pailey is an academic, activist and author from Liberia.
Having worked in in academia, the public sector, with international organisations and the media, she decided to combine her passion for social justice and gift for storytelling to write two anti-corruption books for kids.
Gbagba was published in 2013, and the sequel, Jaadeh! is on the way. Transparency International asked Robtel some questions about the books, her motivation and her vision on fighting corruption in the future
TI: When did you first experience or encounter corruption and decide you wanted to do something about it?
RNP: While living and working in Liberia from 2007 to 2011, I became increasingly troubled by how corruption permeated everyday human interactions. But there was an incident in 2010 that shook my centre of gravity.
At the time, I was chairing a Liberian government scholarships committee, and we embarked on a reform process to make awards merit-based, transparent, and gender-balanced. We discovered that a group of 18-year-old boys had forged their national exam records to become eligible for scholarships to Morocco, so we called them in for questioning.
After initially denying any wrongdoing, they eventually confessed. I was deeply concerned that these young men, in the prime of their adolescence and on the verge of adulthood, were prepared to get ahead by any means necessary.
Although my gut instinct was to rebuke the young men, I realised how self-righteous it was of me to expect them to miraculously develop scruples when the society in which we lived did not value integrity. So, I reasoned that we needed to start with 8 to 10-year-old children because it is at this stage that we begin to form an ethical core.
TI: How did you come up with the idea of Gbagba, your first childrens book illustrated by Chase Walker and published by One Moore Book to critical acclaim in 2013?...
PORT MORESBY Prominent Papua New Guinea Opposition MP and Member for Madang Bryan Kramer has slammed APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko for the purchase of 40 luxury Maserati sedans, which he says would retail in PNG for at least $400,000 (K950,000) each taking into account excise duty, clearance and freight.
And he's in possession of what he says is a leaked pro forma invoice (right) to back him up.
The cars will be used to ferry world leaders attending the APEC leaders summit that PNG will be hosting in Port Moresby next month.
While the country faces a polio outbreak, failing health and education systems, systemic corruption, and escalating law and order issues, prime minister ONeill appears to be more concerned about impressing world leaders, Kramer said in a statement.
The bottom line is, we cannot afford to be this extravagant. Our country is broke and the ONeill government continues to be irresponsible and reckless.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Tkatchenko said, Maserati Quattroporte sedans have been secured and delivered and are being committed to be paid for by the private sector.
But Kramer says that, if the vehicles have been bought by the private sector without any cost to the government, the sale is illegal.
The Public Finance Management Act requires any State assets to be acquired or disposed of by calling for public tender, he said. The question is: when was the public tender called?
Kramer says he has obtained documents including an invoice issued by Ideal Choice (Private) Ltd and addressed to APEC CEO, Christopher Hawkins.
The pro forma invoice, dated 31 August 2018, is for US$5 million (K16.7 million) for 40 units of brand new MY 19 Quattroporte Diesel, Granlusso-3.0L V6 Diesel Engine 275, HP [high performance] Acceleration.
The payment terms on the invoice included a 35% non-refundable advance with the balance payable after 30 days. The airfreight charge of US$1,352,800 (K4.5 million) was 100% non-refundable in advance with insurance costing US$4,884. The total invoice amount came to US$6,357,684 (K21.3 million).
Ideal Choice (Private) Ltd is a auto spare parts and sales company based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Italian automobile manufacturer must now come out publicly to explain why they agreed to sell 40 Maseratis destined for PNG...
St Andrew's Lutheran Church at Ampo in Lae turns 85 this
|The church in May 2018.~Malum Nalu|
|Dignitaries attending the National Museum and Art Gallery reopening including Museum Director Dr Andrew Moutu, Former Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Emil Tammur, and National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop|
|Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Emil Tammur opening the newly refurbished National Museum and Art Gallery|
by MALUM NALU
I had a 9.30am meeting on Saturday Oct 13 2018 at Islander Village.
I call my faithful City Loop cabbie Albert Wangua (video below) to pick me up.
PORT MORESBY At a meeting here on Friday, Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter ONeill and Bougainville president John Momis agreed the important question to be put to Bougainville voters at next Junes referendum on the autonomous provinces political future.
The question gives the voters a choice of opting for greater autonomy or independence, the precise wording being, Do you agree for Bougainville to have (1) Greater Autonomy or (2) Independence.
The question itself raises other questions. Why has it been framed in the way it has? What is 'greater autonomy'? Is the offer of 'greater autonomy' as the alternative to 'independence' a successful demand by Momis or a clever distraction by O'Neill?
I'm sure these matters will soon be addressed by people smarter and better informed than I.
The agreement came late on Friday after weeks of delays at a meeting of a joint supervisory board attended by the chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, former Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahearn.
The referendum will mark the end of a 20-year process following the end of the Bougainville civil war which devastated the province and caused great loss of life over the ten years before it ended in April 1998.
In a media statement the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
They noted the importance of ensuring that the referendum is free and fair, and conducted in full accordance with the constitution and the peace agreement.
They agreed it was essential that people understand the choice they had to make and the process to be followed once the referendum has taken place.
Once the people of Bougainville have opted for their preferred pathway, the PNG national parliament will need to agree to either greater autonomy or independence...
DUBLIN - One of the reasons former Ireland prime minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern was chosen to head the Bougainville Referendum Commission is that he has been involved with successful conflict resolution processes in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Ukraine and with the Basque people of Spain.
Aherns parents and grandparents themselves experienced the trauma of revolution and civil war.
His father, Cornelius (Con) Ahern, was involved with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) way back in the 1920s in the Irish war of independence against the English.
Ireland did gain independence from Great Britain but immediately civil war broke out between the IRA members who accepted the proposed treaty with Britain and those IRA members who opposed it.
Con Ahern, who opposed the treaty, was on the losing side of the civil war, and as a result was imprisoned in the Tintown prison camp in Curragh, County Kildare, for some of that time being on a hunger strike.
It seems likely that this family background will help Bertie Ahern understand the complexities involved in the Bougainville issue.
He has emphasised the importance of voters in the Bougainville referendum having a very clear understanding of what they may be voting for.
Hopefully the forthcoming referendum will help to further advance the process of peace and reconciliation.
PNGs new satellite internet system, which
will increase PNGs internet capacity by approximately 30 percent,
was officially opened on October 11.
The critical investment by Australia saw its Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, join PNGs Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rimbink Pato, yesterday for the event.
Payne said the new system will benefit Papua New Guineans by reducing barriers to learning, improving private sector capacity and fostering job creation in the long term.
In the near term, the project will boost connectivity for APEC meetings in Port Moresby in November, she stated.
This investment is an important component of Australias broader internet connectivity support that includes the Coral Sea Cable System, which will connect Port Moresby and Sydney by a new fibre optic cable scheduled for delivery by late 2019.
Australia and Papua New Guinea have committed to working closely together to support the development of PNGs information and communications technology sector over the next 15 to 20 years.
(Australias Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, right, watching a young Manus dancer in action)
Read more on PNG Technology site : PNG eHow
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