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Friday, 12 October


The Presumption of Innocence "IndyWatch Feed"

I have a friend in Papua New Guinea named Monica Paulus who was accused of casting sorcery spells because a person died in her village. Her neighbors almost murdered her until she fled the region. Now she works to save other women falsely accused of sorcery who are targets of torture and killing. This is a window into the mob violence Western civilization crawled slowly out of through the establishment of principles like the presumption of innocence.

To millions of Americans, Brett Kavanaugh seems just as guilty as Monica seemed to her accusers. They sincerely believe, because the power groupthink has over the human mind, that Kavanaugh has all the signs of their suspected profile of an abuser of women: rich, white, elite Catholic school attendee, conservative, and nominated by Donald Trump. Millions of people have repeated this so often that it feels deeply true. Plus, there were accusations!

Monicas accusers believed she fit the profile of a witch. Once the first accusation was levied, it was easy for others to believe it was true. From an outside vantage, charges of deadly sorcery seem absurd to third-party observers. But in Monicas culture, belief in the power of sorcery to kill children and cause calamity has been universal for millenia. Though recent infections of Christianity have shaken it, sorcery is still a fact of life.

Personhood has been a hard-fought prize of Western civilization. The idea that an individual person has a right to their own life and liberty regardless of the passions of the collective is a relatively new and fragile gain for humanity. For most of history, the individual person accused by a crowd or community had no ability to escape its all-consuming wrath.

Humans without Christ-rooted protection for the individual quickly descend into very dangerous, unthinking crowds.

In the book of Genesis, Potiphars wife accused her Hebrew servant Joseph of trying to rape her when, in fact, she tried to seduce him. Joseph was thrown into prison for this false accusation without any need for corroboration except the cloak she had ripped from him.

Believe Our Women! was the slogan organizers used during Jim Crow against black men falsely accused of sexual violence. The justice crowds felt as sure about their scapegoats guilt as new partisan crowds do about their conservative targets. To mobs, a persons wealth or poverty or race is sufficient reason to ignore their humanity and cast shame.

Even popular cinema reflects a healthy suspicion of collective accusations. In the film Edward Scissorhands, Edward was falsely accused by a woman of sexual assault after spurning her advances in a barber shop. Her tears led to an angry mob destroying the life of an innocent one.




Waghi Mek Plantations Limited was by far the single biggest Coffee Exporter between 1976-1989 when it ceased operations due to landowner disputes. It spans 11 plantations form North Waghi into South Waghi in the Jiwaka Province. The company is owned by North Waghi LLG (37.5%), South Waghi LLG (37.5%) and Hunter Richard Hagon (25%). There have been many attempts to revive the plantations to no avail.

During the National Alliance led government, Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare allocated K2 Million to Waghi Mek Plantations for rehabilitation exercise but disappeared in the swamps of Waghi Valley. A clever move led a Wilfred Gurika and Waldam Association received the K2 million, registered a Company called Waghi Mek Plantations Holdings and laughed all the way to the bank.

This year, Hon. Richard Maru has committed K20 for the rehabilitation of Waghi Mek Plantations Limited. Jiwaka Provincial Government (JPG) does not own any shares in the company nor is a party to any willing and dealings of the company, quickly seizes the opportunity and convenes a meeting without the consent or participation of the rightful shareholders and directors of the company and appoints a Paul Tumun to the Managing Director. Mr....


Fortnightly links: new data on global poverty, tsunami in Indonesia, the Albanian miracle, and more Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

ODIs Soumya Chattopadhyay looks at new data on global poverty. Poverty is still falling, but not as fast as previously.

Jasper Cooper has a fascinating looking discussion paper based on a recent impact evaluation of a community policing project in Bougainville. A central finding: As police enforce a more equal rule of law, and empower women, men seek to preserve their advantage by increasing their reliance on local chiefs.

Why did al-Qaeda succeed in some countries and fail in others? Why did it adopt different approaches in different parts of Middle-East? In this podcast on the Lawfare blog, academics Aaron Y. Zelin and Barak Mendelsohn discuss recent research on the terrorist groups strategies and the barriers it has faced.

Commentary on The Conversation asks whether a better tsunami warning system could have saved lives in Indonesia.

Have you heard about the Albanian miracle? Ricardo Hausmann argues on Project Syndicate that its unfolding right before our eyes thanks to a savvy grab bag approach to economic reform. (Its worth reading the comments under the article for some skepticism too, though.)

Also on Project Syndicate, the UNDPs regional gender adviser for Eastern Europe and Central Asia on how making women part of the planning process can guard against reproducing gender bias in disaster mitigation and recovery.

The post Fortnightly links: new data on global poverty, tsunami in Indonesia, the Albanian miracle, and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


Joint recruitment in New Zealand. Why not in Australia? Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

Joint ATRs are good for employers who get to share some of the costs, like half the return airfares, and theyre good for workers because they get [a] longer time in New Zealand to earn more money James Dalmar, Operations Manager for Immigration NZs Wellington area office.

In 2009, the joint Approval to Recruit (ATR) system was made available for employers in New Zealands Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, allowing them to share Pacific workers across different crops and regions. This significant change has led to an overall increase in the number of RSE workers employed and has provided smaller enterprises in New Zealands horticulture and viticulture industries with the opportunity to participate in the RSE scheme.

Prior to the joint ATR system, a single approved employer was responsible for the recruitment and transport costs for their RSE workers as well as providing guaranteed hours of work.[i]  For smaller enterprises, these costs and minimum guarantees of work made participation in the scheme difficult, particularly as employers without work were not allowed to place their RSE workers in other temporary employment (though, out of concern for their workers, there had been a few cases of employers illegally placing workers in other employment). With the joint ATR system, smaller approved employers are able to work with other employers to share workers and the associated costs over the season, ensuring guaranteed hours of work are met, and extending workers periods of employment. The system is increasingly popular with employers as their enterprises expand and they require workers at different times, and for different tasks, throughout the season. By 2017, there were over 2,000 workers employed on joint ATRs across the country.

Approved employers submit joint ATRs together to Immigration New Zealand, specifying the number of workers and periods of work on both ATRs. RSE workers enter into individual employment contracts with each employer. Costs of recruitment and transport of RSE workers to and from New Zealand are generally shared by the employers, and each employer is responsible for the workers pastoral care during the employment period. Once approved, workers are allocated to the employer who requires their labour first. Joint ATRs have to fit into both nation...

Wednesday, 23 May


Edith Babul: A Plantation That Started With Ten Indian Guava Seeds "IndyWatch Feed"

By Scott Waide | #Inspirational #Papua New Guineans

Twenty years ago, Edith Babuls, young son, collected the seeds of a rather exotic Indian Guava fruit he found smashed on a road.

It was, at the time, a seemingly tiny deed done by a child for his mum. But over two decades, those seeds became a plantation of Indian guava trees whose fruits are now sold in Lae City.

He found the seeds and said, mum likes this fruit and he brought back about 100 seeds, said Edith Babul. From those seeds, 10 survived and those are among the trees we have now.

While Edith loved Indian guava, she didnt know the cultivation methods that would work efficiently.

At first it was all trial and error. I didnt know and I planted the seeds. It took a while.

In 2000, Edith harvested the first fruits from the initial 10 trees she had planted. She sold over 100 fruits and made K300.

Because I was still working, I told my husband and children that the demand for this fruit was good and that we had to carefully manage the trees.

It wasnt all easy. Some of the trees died and fruits were left to rot or succumbed to pest and disease.

As we walked through the guava plantation, Edith spots a large fruit. She pulls down the branch and picks a fruit which is bigger than her hand. Its fruits like this that have made her quite popular within agriculture circles.

Try it, she says, as we cut open the huge fruit. The guava is soft, delicious and far less acidic than smaller local varieties. Guava cultivation has become an art for Edith Babul.

She gives a lecture on insect management as we walk through the grove.

Never cut all the grass. When insect populations pick up in in June and July, you have to give them something to eat. Let them start with the grass first. If you remove all the grass, they will eat your fruits and leaves.


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