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Monday, 19 February


How SABLs are disrupting communities and creating conflict Act Now! blogs

Source: Scott Waide, My Land, My Country

Chief William Ape Hawa is a straight shooter and a wise old fella who presents me with a shell necklace used as the local currency during important ceremonies. He apologizes for not giving me the gift the day before when I arrived at his Tavolo village on the border of East and West New Britain.

When new visitors come, he says in Tok Pisin, We give them a tanget headdress. That tells you that you shouldnt be afraid or shy. It means you are welcome.

Then before you go, we give you the necklace which means, go in peace.

Chief William speaks with a lot of wisdom and understanding spiced with wicked, truthful humor. He talks a bit about life and marriage of the young and then our conversation leads on to the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) issued by the Government.

Tavolo is in the Melkoi LLG area of Pomio District, East New Britain. For the people here, the term Special Agriculture Business Lease triggers a lot of anger.

What kind of laws do we have? says Chief William. They tell us that our land is part of a SABL and we had no part in that decision!

Like many other SABL areas, other people signed on their behalf.

The Tavolo people who number about 600 own 18 thousand hectares of land. They have no intention of giving up the pristine rainforest over to the Malaysian company that intends to log their land and plant oil palm.

But Chief William and his people are under immense pressure to surrender their land.

There is oil palm development in neighbouring West New Britain. In the next local level government area which includes the district headquarters of Palmalmal, large areas of customary land have been logged out. Landownership is now being disputed in court. Much of trouble has come about because of agreements that were hastily signed.

Over the past 20 years, the people of Tavolo developed a conservation area over the 18 thousand hectares of land. The government recognised this. The decision has come with its benefits. Fish numbers have been replenished, bird species have become more visible and food is plentiful.

But now they are battling a decision that overrides theirs to keep their conservation area.

They wanted to build a road into our land and we said: NO, says Peter Kikeleng, the Ward Councillor who only found about the oil palm development plan for his land during an LLG council meeting at Palmalmal.

There was only one copy of the document being pa...


How the elite profit while a nation suffers their incompetence PNGexposed Blog

Port Moresby, a city where the elite profit while the rest suffer the consequences of their incompetence

Imagine a company that is in debt, heavily in debt and still racking up more losses.

Imagine a company that in 2016 alone lost over K354 million.

Imagine a company where the total liabilities exceed the total assets by more than K218 million.

Imagine that this is a company set up by the government to manage a nations interests in its abundant mineral resources.

Now imagine no more and say hello to Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, formerly Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.

The two numbers above are from Kumul Minerals Holdings latest Annual Return, which is for the 2016 financial year.

How could a company that,...


Abuses in Foreign Missions PNGBLOGS

The PM recently instituted an Audit into the operations of one of the Foreign Missions allegedly for disposing of state property without complying with due processes as stipulated under the Financial Management Act (FMA), Public Service Management Act (PSMA) and the Foreign Service Manual of Operations and other related guidelines.

This disposition and the subsequent audit carried out, as they say is Only the tip of the iceberg. Whilst waiting for the outcome of the audit, let us scrutinize some of the conduct of our Foreign Missions and its Officers at Post. The PNG Embassy in Manila Philippines will be in the uppermost list in official corrupt practices, abuse and mismanagement, especially of funds, allocated and funds generated through its Consular Services i.e. visa and Immigration services fees etc.

From the Ambassador down to all staff, each has a fair share of misuse and abuse. The Ambassador and his staff have no regard for the existence of the FMA & PSMA and the need to report to FA on its operations. Because the Ambassador is abusing his official position of trust, all officers want to have a fair share in this malpractice. It is alleged that a former officer of the Embassy has abused more than K500, 000.00 while serving there.

The Officer is alleged to have used the money for his/her over-aged children school fees and another extravagant lifestyle. The officer has since resigned or absconded from duties after returning from Manila. This officer is yet to be arrested and prosecuted, so far nothing has been done about this. Another female officer from the same Embassy has also used more than K100, 000.00 from the Embassy to purchase a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). A case of outright abuse.

When FA knew about this she was given a Letter of Return, however, this officer blackmailed the Foreign Affairs Secretary with her response by giving the notice to expose his alleged abuses of public funds whilst in Manila for personal business. In her letter, she has explicitly detailed all phone records of calls/SMS and directions given by the Secretary.

If she was to come back, the letter would have made headlines in all dailies and electronic media outlets. The letter was ccd (Copies circulated) to Chief Secretary, Ombudsmen Commission, National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate. However, it is doubtful that this letter ever made it past Secretary Foreign Affairs.


Feminist Participatory Action Research and the localisation agenda Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

Those of us in the development sector often talk about doing ourselves out of a job; it was even the vision of USAID Administrator Mark Green in terms of the objective of foreign assistance. However, the sticking point is that we may not really know how to achieve that ultimate end goal, and it also seems that very little that we do are steps towards achieving that goal.

In the humanitarian sector, there has been a lot of talk recently about the localisation agenda that emerged through the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) process. There, at least, there are some agreed-upon processes, a movement even, that if implemented will lead closer to the local ownership and control of the process of development. You may be mistaken to think that the localisation agenda is all about the funds, and that has been the focus and sticking point in many discussions, justified by the report that in 2016 less than 2% of the annual global spend on humanitarian action went directly to national actors (by 2020 this should be 25%). However, localisation also has a political agenda it is also about shifting power relations and bringing decision-making down to a local level.

As the humanitarian sector starts to embrace (or at least discuss) localisation, questions should also be raised about the localisation agenda for development work. If the humanitarian localisation agenda is implemented after the crisis or disaster is addressed by local and national organisations, do we then expect to take that power away in the implementation of post-disaster development projects?

Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) is an approach that presents strong potential for pointing us in the right direction. FPAR builds on research methods developed as Participatory Action Research (PAR) but integrates feminist perspectives and processes. With a deliberate focus on gender as an analytic category in order to strengthen participatory approaches to research, it ensures that the participation of women is not subsumed under that of the community. Therefore, FPAR ensures gender issues are included and localises research, and the programs it informs, in a way that a lot of current development practice does not.

FPAR is not like other research methodologies that see communities and women as subjects to be studied and researched they are not passive, but an integral part of the research process. The purpose of doing FPAR is to change systems and structures towards  the improvement of the lives of marginalised women, and the process emphasises local knowledge and understanding of the context.

To assist in beginning the movement towards locali...

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