Leadership watchdog freezes DSIP funds

Papua New Guinea leadership watchdog, the Ombudsman Commission (OC), has frozen all DSIP funds in an effort to prevent them being used during the election period.

According to the Post Courier, Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick and Commissioner Richard Pagen said the move is to take effect immediately in order to prevent bribery and inducements during the election period – and will be lifted after the formation of a new government.

Ombudsman Dick said there has been ongoing public concern regarding the release and disbursement of public fund during the period leading up to the elections.
It has been an ongoing public concern that the period up to and inclusive of the national election to the parliament, serious concerns arise regarding the release, disbursement, transfer and receipt of public money purporting to be in the form of electoral (services improvement program) and constitutional grants (district and provincial support grants) funds and various development funds under Provincial S…

Turnbull looks forward to PNG products in Australian market

Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, during his recent visit to Port Moresby, has praised Papua New Guinea (PNG) chocolate brand Queen Emma and said he is looking forward to seeing it make an appearance in the Australian market, Post Courier (April 19) reports.

The chocolate is produced by Queen Emma Chocolate Company & Paradise Spices, and general manager Karina Makori said they were delighted by Turnbull’s positive comments.

Ms Makori said they are currently establishing and marketing themselves in the domestic market, but they are also exploring export opportunities.

…we are exploring opportunities to export into Australia and Europe as there has been interest from these areas.”  - Karina Makori, GM, Queen Emma Chocolate Company & Paradise Spices
She said they have sent out samples to several interested chocolate producers in other countries.

Queen Emma chocolates are made from locally sourced cocoa beans.

Lae Chamber of Commerce forecasts bright economic future

The Lae Chamber of Commerce (LCC) has forecasted optimistic economic conditions which will progressively improve this year, The National (April 19) reports.

According to LCC President Alan McLay, businesses in the nation’s second largest city were operating under difficult circumstances due to the lack of circulation of the Kina and shortage in foreign exchange. However, he forecasts that the economy would get back on track with the increase in commodity export prices.

We are quite optimistic. And there is a general feeling that commodity prices for the bulk of PNG exports will pick up toward the end of this year, which will bear well for the overall PNG economy. - Alan McLay - President, Lae Chamber of Commerce
McLay also said the chamber still believed Lae as the premium place to invest in the country for the appropriate businesses. He said investment continued to grow in spite of the tough economic times.
He said examples were the new tuna fishing and processing plant to be establi…

Manus deputy DA arrested and charged

Manus Province’s deputy District Administrator (DA), Mr Paso Pohei, has been arrested and charged with official corruption, The National (April 19) reports.

Mr Pohei, 55, was charged following investigations by the fraud squad. Acting Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Inspector David Yapu said the suspect was investigated and arrested following allegations of misuse of K100, 000 allocated by the National Government to support fisheries activities in the island province.

Inspector Yapu said other officers implicated in the misuse of public funds would also be arrested and charged accordingly.

Mr Pohei was released on K1000 bail and will appear before the Lorengau District Court for mention today.

Molesting PNG diplomat charged

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) diplomat who was arrested in Seoul, Korea in relation to sexual molestation charges has been charged accordingly by his departmental head, Loop PNG reports.

The 40 year old diplomat allegedly molested an inebriated woman who was lying at a parking lot at the city’s Iteawon Street.

The diplomat returned to the country earlier this year.

Meanwhile, news of the diplomat’s misbehavior has upset minister responsible Rimbik Pato. He said upon receipt of the reports, formal disciplinary charges under the Public Service have been served on the officer by his department head.

Pato said,

As required under this process, the officer has been given seven days to respond to the allegations.It is important that the officer is given fair opportunity to present his side of the story.
Minister Pato also said diplomats have been warned of zero tolerance toward improper behavior while serving in overseas missions.

Police call for social media users to fill void

Papua New Guinea’s Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, has called on social media users to become reliable sources of information in areas where there is no security presence during the elections, The National reports.

Commissioner Baki said Facebook users posting reliable information of undue and undesirable influences by people who would want to disturb the peace would be very much appreciated. He said:

Because my job is to ensure a safe and free election, I appeal to people to report accurately.
Baki also said social media had the potential to destroy the country with the type of information people were giving out. He appealed to social media commentators to report accurately and factually to give everyone the opportunity to know what is happening around the country.

So my appeal is for them to report accurately and factual reports so the every Papua New Guinean has an opportunity to know what is actually happening around the country.
He said those who were inciting fear on social medi…

PNG sprinter wins double in Australian championship

Toea Wisil takes out 100 and 200 meter gold Papua New Guinea’s sprint Queen Toea Wisil has won the double sprint at the Australian Athletics Championship in Sydney at the weekend. She clocked in 11.42 seconds to win the 100 meters and 23.76 to take the 200 meters.

The 28 year old Queensland based Jiwakan’s win confirms her place as one of the best female sprinters in the Oceania region.

Wisil etched out Australia’s Melissa Breen by 0.22 of a second at the 100m sprint to claim gold. However, her win has caused some upset at the meet.

According to The Canberra Times, Breen’s coach Matt Beckenham has questioned the rules of the championship after Breen’s claim to silver despite being technically the fastest Australian in the race.
Beckenham aired his displeasure on Twitter saying that while Wisil was a “deserving winner”, “the rules defy common sense.”
This rule must be reviewed so that people like @abbie_hurdles don't miss a medal they deserve. Acknowledge Int aths but not deprive …