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Monday, 19 February

01:05

Milne Bay Islands Recovering from King tides now face food shortage Papua New Guinea Today

Disaster authorities in Milne Bay Province are organizing response to assess reports of food shortage situations on islands in the Samarai-Murua District after they were inundated with King Tides earlier this month.
Its been reported at least one man is missing at sea, two houses destroyed and food gardens devastated from the strong winds and tides in early February.
Ware ward disaster official Mark Laveapa tells NBC Milne Bay this week, the destruction was from effects of Tropical Cyclone Fehi that caused a state of emergency in neighboring Pacific Islands and in New Zealand at the start of February.
Ware Island reported 3-men sailing home from neighboring Basilaki Island saw their canoe capsize, two swam to shore the other went missing. He has still not been found.
On Anagusa Island, they report two houses were damaged by strong winds and most of these islands report their gardens have been destroyed by both strong winds and salt water tides.
Laveape says they had been making do with food from the the grounds not affected but that's in short supply now.
Disaster officials confirm they will make their way to the islands as soon as they can, to investigate and assess these reports for proper response.
Meantime, the local Milne Bay Red Cross branch is organizing a collection of help (wheelbarrow push) to go to islanders affected this Saturday, show them your support as best you can.
NBC/ Pics courtesy of Mark Laveape.

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Sunday, 18 February

16:29

In our best interests: Unitech council details reasons for Dr Schrams termination & says due process was followed Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Jean KekedoKEITH JACKSON

Download Public Statement by Unitech Council

PORT MORESBY  Jean Kekedo (pictured), the Acting Chancellor of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, this afternoon issued a statement on behalf of the Unitech Council on the termination of Vice-Chancellor Dr Albert Schram for alleged serious misconduct and breach of his employment contract.

Ms Kekedo said the Council made a unanimous decision last Thursday to terminate Dr Schrams contract with immediate effect, adding that the Council consisted of very learned people of standing in the society hence the decision was made after considering all the materials and following due process.

The statement said that on 19 January 2018, Council made a unanimous decision to charge Dr Schram with 21 allegations. As per the term of his contract of employment, Dr Schram was given seven working days to respond to the allegations. During the term of his suspension, he was allowed to access his office to prepare his reply although his powers as VC were suspended.

Council also suggested to Dr Schram to consider resigning quietly if he considered the allegations serious. He refused to do so. On 30 January 2018, Dr Schram submitted his response to the Council through the Registrar. The materials constituting the allegations and responses were forwarded to a private lawyer for an independent legal advice. The advice was furnished on time. Council reconvened on 15 February 2018 at 9:30am.

At this meeting, the Council reviewed the documents before it for some hours before seeking the advice of the independent lawyer. Dr Schram was then called in to add to his written response and clarify Council members issues.

The Council deliberated for another two hours before resolving to terminate Dr Schrams employment.

Todays statement (Download Public Statement by Unitech Council) said the main allegations sustained by the Council were:

...

10:07

China offers $1.3 million paanga relief fund to help Tonga recover from cyclone Gita Papua New Guinea Today

His Excellency Wang Baodong, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga meeting with Honorable Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo/Supplied
China is offering an initial relief fund of more than $1.3 million paanga to support Tonga following the ferocious winds of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

The offer was confirmed this morning after Prime Minster Akilisi Phiva met with His Excellency Wang Baodong, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga, a statement released to Kaniva News by the Chinese Embassy said.

The Chinese Government has provided US$500,000 of emergency humanitarian assistance by remittance to the Tongan Government.

The Red Cross Society of China pledged US$100,000 of emergency humanitarian assistance by remittance to the Red Cross Society of Tonga. The Chinese Embassy in Tonga has offered $40,000 Paanga by remittance for the relief work.

Furthermore, the Chinese side will continue to actively help the Tongan government and people fight against the disaster and rebuild the country according to the need of the Tongan side, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga said.

Prime Minister Phiva welcomed the Chinese assistance, the statement said.

Hon. Phiva was quoted as saying Tonga looks forward to Chinas participation in the post-disaster reconstruction of Tonga and is ready to keep communication with the Chinese side on the recovery effort.

Before the meeting, the embassy sent a message expressing its heartfelt condolences to those affected by the category 4 storm in Tonga.

Honorable Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China sent a message to Honorable Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tonga on February 13, extending heartfelt sympathy to the Government and people of Tonga, vowing that China is ready to provide emergency disaster relief assistance within its capacity, and believing that with the joint efforts of the Tongan government and people, Tonga will be able to overcome the disaster and rebuild the country.

source: Kaniva News :  Photo: His Excellency Wang Baodong, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga meeting with Honorable Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo/Supplied

10:03

Not quite last, but cross country placing still a victory for Tonga, says ski boss Papua New Guinea Today

Tongan Olympian Peter Taufatofua has successfully completed the 15km mens cross country freestyle competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Taufatofua came 114th in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.

He finished 23 minutes behind Swiss skier Dario Cologna, who took gold, but still ahead of four other competitors.

Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said his result was a success for Tonga.
It was never about what position he would finish, Grundman said.

Before the race Taufatofua told the BBC his ambitions were to finish before they turn the lights off and not ski into a tree.

Taufatofua said he did not expect to win gold, but hoped he would inspire others from the Pacific Islands to compete.

As Kaniva News reported earlier, he is only the second Tongan to compete in the Winter Olympics. Bruno Banani completed in the luge at Sochi.

He began training as a skier only a year ago, after competing in taekwondo at the Rio Games.

Earlier this week Taufatofua expressed sympathy for people in Tonga affected  by Cyclone Gita, which he described as devastating for the country.

The main points

Tongan Olympian Peter Taufatofua has successfully completed the 15km mens cross country freestyle competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Taufatofua came 114th in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.
Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said his result was a success for Tonga.

Source: Kaniva News

09:57

Morobe Students awaits scholarships Papua New Guinea Today


More than 1,200 tertiary students from Morobe Province are still out of school awaiting the Morobe Provincial Government GersonSolulu Scholarship.


The scholarship process is said to be finalized this week however many students are worried of them missing out on school registration.

Anthony Bok the president of Morobe Tertiary Students Union said two name list have been processed so far but had exceeded the provincial government budget.
He said the Provincial Government is yet to clarify how much money will be allocated for the scholarship and how many students would be in or out of the scholarship.

Furthermore, Morobe students at UPNG have been evicted from the school campus with many finding and renting accomodation around Port Moresby.

Also Levi Arof a parent whose son is yet to enter Don Bosco Technical College said Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu should walk his talk and have these students be at school on time.
Meanwhile Deputy Provincial Administrator Robin Bazzinuc, who is also a member of the Special Scholarship Committee set up by Governor Ginson Saonu, said the scholarship review process has just completed and students with qualified GPAs would be in class anytime sooner.

Mr Bazzinuc however stopped short of saying how and when the provincial government and administration will find several more millions of kina to cater for all students.

NBC News  : Pic: Morobe Students outside Morobe Provincial Administration.

09:55

Whooping Cough hits Morobe Papua New Guinea Today

A total of10 babies lost their lives while more than 142 are under treatment after an outbreak of whooping cough in the Burum Kuat Local level Government area in Finschaffen, Morobe Province.
According to the Morobe Provincial Health office, the outbreak of Pertussis disease or whooping cough was reported in Mindik, Wagezareng and Sopa Valley in the Finchaffen District of Morobe Province.
The pertussis desease has infected more than 59 babies and reports have stated that this babies were not being immunized.
Health Advisor Micha Yawing confirmed that this part of Finschaffen District was left without basic health services due to its remoteness.
Mr Yawing said Health workers have been deployed to the area to contain the disease despite few logistical hiccups.

This whooping cough outbreak in Finschhafen has also seen 59 infections being reported at Yus LLG area in neigbouring Kabwum District.

NBC News/PNG Today

06:00

My fight for my job: Unitech council is denying me due process Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Happier days
Happier days - Dr Schram after winning his first battle to remove him from Unitech in 2014. He now faces a new struggle over his academic credentials

ALBERT SCHRAM | Vice Chancellor, Papua New Guinea University of Technology

LAE To understand my predicament, people need to understand that allegations about my credentials reaching back to 2014 and 2015, and which were not an issue a year ago during my annual performance assessment, are the product of political infighting and nothing else.

The only ones who have treated me as a convicted criminal without giving me the benefit of the presumption of innocence are those who seem to have, for whatever reason, a personal interest in my removal.

With the gracious help of the press, I created an opportunity for the University Council to give me access to my personal file and provide me with a few more weeks to refute all the allegations in detail.

Regrettably, the Council seems impervious to any influence from outside: staff, press or students. All this has nothing to do with logic or the truth. The agenda was set in advance and seems to be driven by narrow personal interests.

My request to get an extension of time has been denied by Chancellor Jean Kekedo. I also received an email from Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Ora Renagi to stay away from the office and all my requests to the Registrar to get access were not answered.

My question to the Registrar of whether a recent copy of my certified doctorate were available was never answered.

My case is going to focus on the Registrar not submitting key evidence that I complied with Councils request upon contract renewal in 2015 to produce a certified copy of my degree.

At this time, I had immediately sent an email, with a copy to the Registrar and Deputy Vice Chancellor, to the renowned European University Institute and asked that certified copies be sent to Lae and Cairns.

When the copy arrived in Lae, I walked to the Registrar with the envelope and gave it to her. With this, for me, the matter of my credentials was finished after having to deal with a stream of s...

Saturday, 17 February

22:54

Lae City Dwellers miss out on home final but not out Papua New Guinea Today

OFC Champions League debutants Nalkutan used home ground to their advantage as an impressive second half performance saw them overcome the favoured Lae City Dwellers 4-1 to claim the top of Group A at Korman Stadium in Vanuatu yesterday.

Lae City Dwellers coach Peter Gunemba was unhappy his side wouldnt be offering their supporters a home match for the quarter final, but said the most important thing was qualifying, which they did.

We were supposed to play our best but something went wrong, he said.

We were thinking we would play better in the second half, even though in the first they raided our defence a few times. I know we can play better but I think they went in and went to sleep.

The goal went in and the boys just lost concentration and they need to be on all the time at this level.

Gunemba said the mind-set switches to the quarter final now and making sure the side is as prepared as possible.

Nalkutan coach Moise Poida praise his side for the outstanding performance and said executing was near perfect.

The top two teams in Group A, the fans who trickled into Korman Stadium knew they would be in for a tight match, and for the first 45 minutes they were.

Both sides had chances, although the home side appeared to enjoy much more possession, and were inseparable going into the break.

However Nalkutan came out of the sheds much more prepared for the second half and almost caught Lae sleeping as Azariah Soromon netted just two minutes after the restart.

A second came in the 58th minute followed a minute later by substitute Richard Manurikis well placed strike.

Lae City Dwellers answered back through Nigel Dabinyaba who latched onto a great pass before chipping it into the net. Soromon rounded out his hat-trick and put the game to bed in the 90th minute to send the crowd into frenzy.

After a fairly even first half where both sides enjoyed chances in a high-pace, test of strength and stamina, Poida said the instructions at the break were clear.

We analysed the first half and changed a bit the way we played. We had to take them behind the back so the combinations in the final third were really important.

We managed to get it right in the second half pretty quickly, and that early goal gave us confidence and put them under a lot of pressure.

Nalkutan will now host a home quarter-final while Lae City Dwellers will await the official draw on 5 March to learn where they will be heading...

16:30

Father pledges second walk to Canberra to support Manus Island refugees "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Father pledges second walk to Canberra to support Manus Island refugeesCompelled by human rights and a desire to teach his son valuable life lessons, Adam Richards will make his second trek from Sydney to Canberra to raise awareness to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. Story by Chris Mordd Richards. read now...

08:30

On the trail of the missing PNG fisheries observers Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Fishing monitoringKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA The other day I tweeted an alarming story that had been raised in the Papua New Guinea parliament by East Sepik Governor Alan Bird.

The latest observer lost was James Numbaru, an employee of PNG's National Fisheries Authority, who went missing in mysterious circumstances in the sea near Nauru last year, Radio New Zealand had reported.

My tweet read: In recent years 18 official #PNG fisheries observers have disappeared from foreign fishing vessels. Eighteen! Their job is to look out for illegalities. Only now has the matter been raised in the PNG parliament.

Well this brief note had a big reaction: so far it has reached more than 5,000 people and triggered over 160 interactions with readers.

This morning Ive received an email from Philip Flipper Brown, a Hawaii-based American Fisheries Observer whose beat is North Central Pacific.

Aloha, wrote Flipper. I read a retweet from you about the disappearance of 18 PNG fisheries observers.

The Association for Professional Observers is very interested in keeping track of such things, and I am trying to track down the source of your statistic or where I might find any records of these deaths.

We only have records of six deaths(thats what it means when someone disappears at sea) - all good well-intentioned people trying to make a living and protect our resources.

Anything you could do to point me in the right direction would be appreciated .

Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing accounts for at least 14% and up to 30% of the total world seafood catch, so we are up against a huge financial interest that will kill an observer with impunity.

If four mailmen were to disappear the reaction would be immediate. Any help would be appreciated.

Ive sent on Flippers request to Radio New Zealand, but any assistance readers are able to offer will be taken up by Flipper and his colleagues to help keep the Pacific safe for fisheries observers and environmentally secure.

You can email Flipper here [flipper184@hotmail.com] or respond through the Comments link below.

07:44

The trials of Professor Schram: Beyond facts, logic or truth Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

KEITH JACKSON

Albert Schram
Professor Albert Schram

NOOSA It was a brief response from Albert Schram that I received last night: Thank you for your support. This has gone beyond facts, logic or truth.

Now, as regular readers of PNG Attitude will know, Professor Schram is vice-chancellor of the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

In 2013, as he tried to revitalise an ailing institution, Schram was booted out of the country because hed discovered a nest of vipers in his own institution and in PNGs higher education sector.

But sanity eventually prevailed and in 2014, to the delight of Unitech staff and students, he was allowed to return to PNG and to his post.

He received the homecoming of a hero.

And now, as his institution rebuilds and begins to make real progress, it is all happening again.

I must admit I dont fully understand the background to the most recent moves against Dr Schram. But here, in his own words, is what he says just happened and why.

The reasons stated in the forum for my dismissal were:

1 - Failure to present credentials. This is untrue. I presented the proof to the Registrar who destroyed it.

2 - Travelling six months a year. This is true. Two months leave and four months travel. Ive done that each year since 2014 to restore the reputation of Unitech. And why was this not an issue at my performance review of 26 August 2016?

...

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