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Showing posts from January, 2014

PM warns departments against international media and publishing companies

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The Prime Minister has warned public bodies to be careful when dealing with international media and publishing companies.

According a circular dated December 19, 2013, from the PM’s chief of staff, Isaac Lupari, the PM’s office is aware of agents and marketing representatives visiting public bodies to solicit interviews and policy material for publication.

The circular said Papua New Guinea (PNG) had become the latest target of international media organisations and publishers using agents to “lure unsuspecting Government Agencies and Officials in such scheme which is aimed at making easy money for their Companies/proprietors.”

It further stated that there were already 14 international media and publishing companies operating in the country, with more expected to arrive in the coming months, which has the PM concerned.

The circular also instructed all government agencies and officials to refrain from making any financial commitments until proper verification is conducted, and to conta…

Girls with parents, not handed over

Two girls who were allegedly used as payment in compensation in Jiwaka are still with their parents according to The National.

The girls, aged 13 and 15, were allegedly part of compensation payment to the relatives of a deceased teacher in Kol village. However, police investigation has revealed that although it was discussed, the girls are still with their families.

Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Supt Joseph Tondop, said initial compensation demands by relatives of the deceased was K50, 000 and 100 pigs. When that could not be met, the villagers discussed the possibility of using the girls a part of the payment.

Despite, Police being unable to investigate the death of the teacher, Tondop said perpetrators who committed the crime and planned to use the girls as compensation are known and would be arrested soon.

Unlucky 13 face death penalty

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13 unlucky inmates on death row could face the death penalty, according to reports in The National, which could be implemented this year.

Of the 13 inmates, 8 were convicted of piracy related crimes while the rest were convicted of murder.

According to Dr Eric Kwa, Constitutional Law Reform Commission Secretary, the government has opted to implement the death penalty this year. However, they are yet to sort out two things:
The method of execution, and;A proper facility for them. The methods which Cabinet will have to decide on include electrocution, lethal injection with deprivation of oxygen, lethal injection with anaesthetic, firing squad and the gallows.

Until May last year (2013), offences like treason, piracy and wilful murder attracted the death penalty. This has been extended to include sorcery related murders, aggravated rape and robbery.

The move comes despite opposition from Amnesty International which claims that there is no evidence to support the death penalty as a deter…

Australia to seek clarification on visa issue

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Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, will be seeking clarification on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government’s plan to ban visa on arrival for her citizens, according to The National.

PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, confirmed this week that the National Executive Council (NEC) had approved the move last week. He, however, denied it was discrimination against Australians.

O’Neil said Australians will have to get a visa before arrival except for those travelling by boat to ports like Kokopo or Tabubil.

He further added that PNG had the same arrangements with other countries and similar arrangements would be made with other world partners. He called it “reciprocal rights.”

Wantok Nius reported rumors on social media that the move could take effect as early as January 20. However, this did not eventuate and reports indicate it will come into force after the Chief Immigration Officer signs it.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) …

Union leader calls for politicizing of Police to stop

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“Leave politics to the politicians,” was the call made by a union leader in Papua New Guinea (PNG) following the recent events involving politicians and the Police force.

President of the PNG Banks & Financial Institutions Workers Union, Anton Sekum, made this call in a media release today.

Mr Sekum said the use of the Police by politicians as a means of “vilification of political enemies is deplorable.”

He said power crazed politicians were ripping the laws of the country apart.

Sekum also warned the business community to brace for the worst indicating political trends were indicative of a Police state in the making. He said:
“This developing trend is indicative of a police state in the making and is a serious threat to public safety and properties." Mr Sekum said no one is above the law and the police force must perform their constitutional duties without political influence.

He also called for the leaders and Police Commissioner to work within the dictates of the constitut…

Australian High Commission Media Release

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Open forum on Manus about Regional Resettlement Arrangement As part of the Australian Government’s ongoing community and business consultations on the Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RRA), a series of open forums will be held in Manus and Lae on 21 January. Consultations will also take place with presidents of PNG peak business bodies in Port Moresby on 22 January. Similar information sessions were held last year in Manus, Lae and Port Moresby.

The RRA is already delivering many economic opportunities for Manusians and other PNG companies and employees. The Australian High Commission publishes facts about the economic benefits resulting from the RRA at www.png.embassy.gov.au.

The Manus and Lae open forums will highlight the opportunities for local and national business involvement in the implementation of the RRA.

The separate consultation with PNG peak business bodies in Port Moresby is an opportunity for dialogue and information sharing to further strengthen understanding of the…

Police investigate girls used in compensation

Police are investigating the claim that two girls were used as payment in a compensation to relatives of a deceased teacher, according to The National.

Western Highlands (WH) Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Supt Joseph Tondop, said the team would go to the villages involved and investigate the matter.

Supt Tondop condemned the act saying he would get to bottom of it and if confirmed, those involved would face the law.

Meanwhile, two women’s groups have decried the clans’ actions saying it amounted to human trafficking.

Scholar Kakas, President of the National Council of Women (NCW) said using the girls as compensation was nothing short of human trafficking and a breach of human rights. She also said this was not the first time for such an incident.

Kakas said:
“Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time human trafficking has been seen in Jiwaka.” She called on the people, government and women leaders to take a stand against the issue and stop human trafficking once and for all.

+Philm…

PM cleared by investigation team

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Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, has been cleared by Task Force Sweep (TFS) of any involvement into the alleged fraudulent payment to Paraka Lawyers, reports The National.

It is alleged that the payments of K71.8 million was made on directions from the PM though a letter to then Finance Secretary, Steven Gibson, directing him to make payments to the law firm. However, TSF chairman, +Sam Koim, said their investigations have concluded that the letter was fraudulent.

Koim also said, from the investigation team's professional judgement and assessment, they cannot pursue the PM's alleged involvement into the purported fraud by Paraka lawyers. However, his cabinet ministers are not.

TFS found the Finance Minister, James Marape, and Treasurer, Don Polye, making reference to the letter without officially verifying its authenticity.

Mr Koim said:
“A stark difference between the alleged letter by O’Neil and the two ministers’ various correspondences is that both ministers claim to have had…

Girls used as compensation payment in teacher’s death

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Young girls have been used a compensation payments in Jiwaka, according to reports in The National, and a human rights lawyer has condemned this.

Two girls, allegedly 13 and 15 years of age, were handed over to the Kui villagers by people from Menginpol as compensation over the death of a teacher.

A human rights lawyer based in Mt Hagen, +Danny Gonol, is calling for the police to investigate and arrest those who made the decision to use the girls as payment.

The two girls were given away to the relatives of the deceased for marriage, and while it is unclear whether they consented to this, both girls are underage.

Mr Gonol said the girls’ dignity and rights should have been protected and it is a “breach of human rights at its worst.” He said:
“I condemn the community leaders who made the decision to use the two innocent girls as payment.” Gonol also described the practice of using people as payments as “totally wrong” and a new thing to the Highlands region.

He called for the police to…

PNG Forest Authority unaware of illegal harvesting and export of Massoia bark

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The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) is unaware of any illegal harvesting or export of the Massoia bark in the country as alleged by an academic. This was the word from Managing Director, Mr Kanawi Pouru.

Mr Pouru made this remark in response to allegations by Dr Topul Rali from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) that Asians were illegally harvesting and exporting bark from the Massoia tree.

He said:
“PNGFA is not aware of this and we ask Dr Topul Rali to come to us, the government’s only regulatory forest authority in the country, with any information he may have so that we can investigate this matter further.”
Education News PNG reports Dr Rali calling for the authority to “penalise foreigners illegally harvesting and exporting the Massoia bark”.

He said foreigners were buying the bark at K3 per kg from locals in the Kubuna and Baidoku areas of the Central province.

PNGFA banned the harvest and export of the Massoia tree on May 31, 2012. Anyone caught breaking the ban…

Namah fights for suspended cops

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Opposition leader, Belden Namah, is taking Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga, Deputy PC Simon Kauba and Prime Minister Peter O’Neil to court over the suspension of four police officers who were involved in the Warrant of Arrests for the PM and his ministers.

Mr Namah filed court documents yesterday to stop the suspensions through his lawyer Alois Jerewai.

The Police were represented by their director of legal services Nicholas Miviri while Tiffany Twivey appeared for O’Neil.

PC Kulunga had announced the suspension of the four officers involved in obtaining a Warrant of Arrest for the PM, Finance Minister and Treasurer last week. However, the warrants were rule defective by Magistrate Lawrence Kangwia as the legislation used to obtained them was repealed back in 2000.

No more Visa on Arrival for Australian visitors

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Australians entering Papua New Guinea (PNG) will no longer enjoy the luxury of getting Visas on Arrival, according to unconfirmed reports on Facebook.

According to posts on the social media site, this could take effect as soon as Monday.

The move comes after Canberra did nothing to relax visa restrictions on Papua New Guineans trying to visit Australia.
Last November, Prime Minister Peter O’Neil, said they were thinking of taking this action if Canberra did not reciprocate the treatment given by PNG to her citizens.

The news was welcomed by PNG’s Facebook community with members commenting “about time” and “music to my ears.”

While Australians have enjoyed the luxury of getting Visa on Arrival to PNG, PNG citizens are forced to fill in lengthy visa applications and are required to lodge them at least a month in advance for an Australian visa.

Some have also welcomed the change saying it will give enough time for authorities to properly screen Australian visitors to the country.

Someo…

Ombudsman Nero dies, fight erupts

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One of the country’s top Ombudsman, John Nero, died in his village in Eastern Highlands on the early hours of Saturday.

The late Nero joined the Ombudsman Commission in 1995 as a senior investigator with the Leadership Division and was promoted to team leader 4 years later and then to Deputy Director in 2002. He was appointed an Ombudsman in 2005 which remained until his untimely passing.

The cause of his death is unknown; however, reports indicate that fighting has erupted between his relatives. According to The National, late Nero’s paternal uncles attacked his mother’s relatives soon after the news of his death came out.

Mr Nero’s death and the fighting were also confirmed by EH provincial police commander, Superintendent John Kale, who said 10 houses were burnt and properties were destroyed. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.

Police units from Goroka have been deployed to assist local police and the situation is tense. However, Kale noted that they were closely monitoring …

Tariff increase for electricity on hold

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Consumers will not be paying for the 5.9% increased tariff this quarter following directives from the Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister, Ben Micah, reports The National.

This news was made public by PNG Power Ltd (PPL) CEO, John Tangit, yesterday. He said in a letter dated January 11, Minister Micah directed the company not to implement tariffs that were approved by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC).

Instead, the government, as a shareholder, would inject a promised K10 million capital into the company for maintenance and upgrades, which according to Tangit is more than the expected revenue from the new tariff. He said:
“This is more than the expected revenue from ICCC approved tariff increase.” Mr Tangit also said this is the first time for the government to inject money into the company and apologised to consumers what he claims as “misrepresentation of information” in the media regarding the issue.

PPL came under heavy criticism from consumer…

Pair arrested over threats to NCD Governor

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A man and a woman in Port Moresby found out the hard way that the anonymity of technology cannot protect them from the long arm of the law, The National reports, as they were arrested and charged for making threats to the National Capital District (NCD) Governor, Powes Parkop.

The pair allegedly from Chimbu was arrested at 9 Mile outside Port Moresby last Saturday and charged under the Telecommunications Act. They were later released on K1000 bail each and await their court appearance.

NCD Metropolitan Superintendent, Andy Bawa, indicated that intelligence suggested more people were involved. He said:

“Besides these two suspects brought into custody any others who are still at large will be brought in and dealt accordingly.”
Governor Parkop had received death threats via a text message over the total ban of betelnut in city.

City’s major hospital issues access cards, restricts visitors

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Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) major referral hospital is now issuing access cards in an effort to curb overcrowding and congestion, PNG Edge reports.

The restrictions are being implemented by international security firm, Black Swan, who have been contracted to provide security at the hospital. However, this has not gone down well with relatives and friends of patients.

A frustrated woman who was bringing home cooked food to her sick relative during lunchtime yesterday was refused entry by security personnel. She said:

“How do they expect me to have an access card when the patient guardian is the only one issued with one?”
According to one of the security guards, each patient is entitled to one guardian for 24 hours and one visitor only during visitation time.

The visitation pass was an issue brought up by nurses during a sit-in protest late last year. The hospital CEO has also defended the policy saying it will control overcrowding by visitors and at the same time give mor…

Commissioner suspends 4 cops over warrant of arrest

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Police Commissioner, Tom Kulunga, has suspended four officers with pay over the warrant of arrest for the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Treasurer, says the Goilala District Development Forum blog.

The four, Detective Inspector, Joel Simatab, Detective Sergeant, Michael Dukur, Detective Senior Constable, Robert Ewail and First Constable, Thaddeus Yangawi, are members of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Division.

Their suspension is in relation to the bench warrant arrest of the PM and the two ministers which allegedly interfered with ongoing investigation into the K71.8 million fraud case against Paraka Lawyers. However, PC Kulunga said the Police hierarchy is acting on the matter without fear or favor.

The Commissioner has also directed Police personnel who are not directly involved in the Paraka case not to interfere and allow Task Force Sweep to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, a task force has been established to investigate the matter pertaining to the issuance of …

Electricity woes will continue despite tariff and pay rise for PPL management

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Electricity consumers can expect more outages and service disruption despite a 5.9% tariff increase and the management of PNG Power Ltd (PPL) awarding themselves a massive 40% raise last October.

The increased tariff, which took effect on January 1, has drawn criticism from the public. However, in a public statement, PPL CEO John Tangit said that consumers should not expect any major improvement in their services, adding that the upgrades would take time to implement.

He said the increased tariff is the company’s strategy to raise internal revenue to fund projects to improve performance of the existing assets. He also put some blame on fuel prices saying:

“Or if fuel costs came down significantly, say 2008 levels, PPL would not need to increase tariffs by this much.”
However, despite the high operating costs the company is facing, PPL management managed to give themselves a pat on the back with a 40% pay hike in October 2013, reported the Midweek Chronicle.

The rise was kept under wra…

PM and ministers could be in Court again

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The Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Treasurer other ministers could be in Court again for another matter. This time for alleged discrimination over the disbursement of district funds.

Bulolo MP Sam Basil announced that he would be taking the Government to court over discriminatory handling of DSIP funds. He said:
For the benefit of the people of Bulolo District who had paid the prize for the role I have played as Deputy Opposition Leader to defend the people of PNG, I am taking the Government to court and I name James Marape, Don Polye, Charles Abel, Peter O’Neill, Ken Ngangan, Dairy Vele, Juliana Kubak, Paul Sai, Manezupe Zurenouc and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea as first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth respondents. Mr Basil said his people have suffered setbacks in the delivery of basic services as a direct result of discriminatory and politically motivated delay tactics employed by the Government.

The Opposition MP said Jerewai Lawyers…

Warrant of Arrest for trio struck out by Court

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The Waigani District Court has struck out the Warrant of Arrests for the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Treasurer, the Post Courier reports, however, refused to throw out the entire complaint against them.

Principal Magistrate Lawrence Kangwia made the ruling saying the Police was free to reapply for fresh warrants against the three politicians.

Mr Kangwia ruled that the warrants were not valid because the legislation they relied on was repealed in 2000, but said due process was followed in the way they were obtained.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga, has issued a directive for Police personnel to stay clear of the matter relating to payments to Paraka lawyers.

He said an investigation was being conducted by Task Force Sweep, led by Sam Koim, and therefore no investigation or arrests would be carried out by members of the Police except those attached to the investigation team.

Mario will be in Port Moresby for one night show

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Grammy nominated R&B singer-songwriter Mario Barrett aka Mario will be in Port Moresby next Friday (January 17) along with fellow American DJ as part of his “Soul Truth” tour.

Mario, 27, released his debut album, Mario, in 2002 at the age of 15. However, his 2005 hit single, Let Me Love You, made him a star, topping the charts for 9 consecutive weeks.

The singer-songwriter is also an accomplished actor starring in the 2006 dance themed Step Up and opposite Academy Award winner Hillary Swank in Freedom Writers in 2007.

Mario will fly in from the United States for a one night only show at the Cosmopolitan at Vision City.

Tickets to the show went on sale on Tuesday with prices starting with the Early Bird at K75, General at K100, VIP at K150 and the Platinum at K250.

Manus to host delegation from multinational company

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The island province of Manus will play host to representatives from the Dubai based Awal Impex Internation (Holdings Ltd) Company who will arrive there on Sunday, The National reports.

Manus MP, Ronnie Knight, said the delegation would be exploring investment opportunities if the province is turned into a free trade zone.

He said the multinational company planned to establish major port facilities for customs and quarantine checks on vessels importing goods into the country, and their investment in basic services would be in the million kina region.

The delegation is expected to visit Mokoreng, Salamei and former logging port, N’drahukei in the Pobuma LLG.

Mr Knight said locals had indicated support for the company’s plans. He said the main concept behind building a major wharf facility was that cargo brought in from Asia, Pacific and Northern Australia would be checked on Manus before continuing to Lae or Port Moresby.

Common Seal introduced for #PNG PM

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All signed communiqué coming from the Prime Minister (PM) of Papua New Guinea (PNG) or his office in 2014 will and should include a common seal.

This was made public in a circular from Chief of Staff, Isaac Lupari, published in December 2013 and reprinted in The National today.

According to Lupari, any letters from the PM without the Common Seal should not be entertained or accepted, and should be referred back to PM’s office or the Police.

The introduction of the Common Seal came about as a result of prevalent forgeries and falsification using the PM’s signature including the infamous Paraka saga.

PM to set up new task force

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neil will set up a new task force to investigate what has been described as apparent collaboration between Opposition leader Belden Namah and rogue members of the disciplined forces in an attempt to undermine the legitimate government.

Mr O’Neil said the task force would be setup by Police Commissioner, Tom Kulunga, to investigate how the “Warrant of Arrest and Court Order was obtained outside of the normal lawful process.”

He also added that the investigation would be conducted independently and “without political interference.”
However, Mr Namah and the magistrate who issued the warrants have come out to say that the orders are legal and due process was followed.

Meanwhile, Namah is also claiming that the PM has just appointed one of his Ialibu tribesmen, Colonel Gilbert Toropo, as Commander of the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) in reaction to the Warrant of Arrest issue.

Toropo is reportedly the first Papua New Guinean to receive Green Beret training in the Unite…

Public servants get 7.5% pay rise

Public servants all around Papua New Guinea (PNG) are delighted to find their packets were a bit thicker this year.

According to a copy of a circular obtain by Wantok Nius, the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) and the Public Employees’ Assocation (PEA) had reached a three year Industrial Agreement starting 2014.

The agreement allows a 7.5% increment in the base salary which consists of a 6% across the board, and an “additional increase of 1.5% of the average base salary to recognise ongoing increase in productivity.”

The pay increase took effect on January 1 and public servants got their first pay for the year on Wednesday (January 8).

Protocols were followed, according to Magistrate

The Magistrate who issued the Warrant of Arrest for the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Treasurer claims there was no break in protocol, The National reports.

Waigani Grade 5 Court Magistrate, Cosmas Bidar, in a text message to The National, confirmed the authenticity of the documents. This follows the claim by an officer from the Prime Minister’s Office speculating that the warrant was “defective.”

Bidar did not elaborate further, however, a police prosecutor said the matter was in its preliminary stages and the issue of the warrant was a normal process, and would be executed after minor disparities were rectified in court.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister James Marape, is claiming that the court process and police protocols were abused to obtain the Warrant of Arrests for PM Peter O’Neil, Treasurer Don Polye and himself.

He claims the warrants were issued by a committal court magistrate at the insistence and submission of detective constable who had no bearing on the Paraka case. H…

#PNG Opposition leader calls for transparency

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Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) outspoken Opposition leader, Belden Namah, is now calling for the mainstream media to be transparent, in a press release yesterday.

Mr Namah expressed disappointment and concern regarding the way the media seems to be controlled with emphasis on how press release and media from the Opposition gets scrutinized and censored.

He used the failure of both national television services’ in broadcasting his news conference regarding the Warrant of Arrest against the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Treasurer as an example.

According to Mr Namah, a TV crew from Kundu2 told him that they had received a call from Mr Daniel Karimbao from the PM’s Office advising that the “Warrant of Arrests were defective.” He also gathers that the same advice would have been passed on the EMTV.

Reports of the advice to the media from the PM’s Office has not gone down well, with one social media commentator questioning why the Prime Minister and his ministers had to get a stay order …

Malum Nalu: Task Force Sweep on investigations into Paul Parak...

Malum Nalu: Task Force Sweep on investigations into Paul Parak...: By SAM KOIM  Chairman                  Task Force Sweep This is the Task-Force Sweep’s position on the progress of investigations...

Temporary stay order issued against arrest of trio

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A temporary stay order has been issued on the Warrant of Arrest against Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Prime Minister Peter O’Neil, Finance Minister James Marape and Treasurer Don Polye at the Waigani Committal Court today by Grade 5 Magistrate, Lawrence Kangwia.

The order was placed after hearing an urgent application filed by the trio’s lawyer and will be effective until the matter returns to court next Thursday.

Lawyer representing the Opposition, Aloise Jerewai said:
"Papua New Guineans must seriously question why the Police Commissioner; the Task Force Sweep Team; and generally all members of the Police Force have failed, disobeyed, and refused to execute the order of the Court albeit the Arrest Warrants for the arrests of Prime Minister O'Neill, and Ministers James Marape and Don Polye for their part in the alleged illegal payments of public funds to P Paraka amounting to k71.8 million. The disobedience in executing the Arrest Warrants is among the signs of Despotic Governmen…

#NCD Governor threatened over betelnut ban

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National Capital District (NCD) Governor, Powes Parkop, has received death threats over the total ban on betelnut (buai) in the city which came into effect on January 1 and was enforced on January 8 - after a 7 day grace period.

The threat, sent from a mobile phone, warned the Governor that betelnut suppliers from Mekeo and Kerema had hired the sender, Paul, to kill him (Governor). The message also asked how the Governor wanted to die and warned that a Papuan Black (metaphor for black magic) would bite him any time.

Governor Parkop, however, said the threats would not deter him from prosecuting the ban. He added that the Police are aware of the threat and with the help of Digicel, will track down and arrest the perpetrators.

Police are proving 24 hour security for Governor Parkop and his family.

Meanwhile a community leader from Tokarara, James Ivarature, has criticized the ban saying the unemployed residents of the city will become the biggest losers.

Mr Ivarature warned that there …

#PNG Opposition leader claims warrant of arrest out for the PM & Ministers, gives deadline to Police

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It has been revealed that a warrant of arrest is out for Prime Minister (PM), Peter O’Neil, Finance Minister James Marape, and Treasurer Don Polye, by outspoken Opposition leader Belden Namah.

The Goilala District Development Forum blog reports that Mr Namah shelved his decision to stay away from mainstream media and held a press conference yesterday afternoon due to the magnitude and serious gravity of the issue.

The warrants were issued after Mr Namah laid a complaint with police regarding the trio's involvement in the Paraka Lawyers saga. It is alleged that they facilitated the release and fraudulent payment of the K71.8 million to the law firm.

Mr Namah also took the opportunity to speak out against the Police Commissioner and Police’s failure to execute the warrants. He said investigation revealed Prima Facie and arrest warrants were properly issued by the Waigani Grade 5 Court on November 23 last year. However, they were never executed.

He also issued 72 hour deadline to th…

Expat's allegations of assault against #PNG Attorney General

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Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Attorney General and Justice Minister, Kerenge Kua, is alleged to have assaulted and threatened an expat manager in October last year, according to reports in The National.

It is alleged that Mr Kua assaulted Collin Hunter; an electrical manager with Aisi-Bishman Contractors. The incident happened at a property owned by the minister in Gabaka Street, Gordon.

According to Mr Hunter, he went to the property to investigate an assault claim by one of his guards when he met Kua, with 12 security guards. He said:
"I was trying to greet him when he started shouting that I had wrecked his property and he punched me in the face." "I attempted to reason with him and explain my side of the issue while he continued to punch me in between yelling accusations that I was a con man and cheated him." Mr Hunter said he managed to run out of the property gate and drove straight to the Boroko Police Station where he reported the matter. He also said despite th…

2014 TESAS Awards List for Continuing Students

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The 2014 Tertiary Education Student Assistance Scheme (TESAS) Award list is out and can be downloaded by interested parties by clicking on this link or from the Office of Higher Education's website www.ohe.gov.pg
The list published contains the name of continuing students only and excludes those from the University of Goroka and Kokopo Business College. According to the acting Assistant Director of the Student Support and Scholarships (SSS) branch, Mr Miti Peai, both institutions failed to send their results within the time-frame to compile a list for publication.

However, he said their results would be added once it was in and a complete list would be published at a later date. In an email to this reporter, he said:
UOG and Kokopo Business College students are not in the list because the institutions did not send the results within the timeframe OHE requested them to do so.  We can include them later once the results come in. Meanwhile, anxious parents and students are already l…

Drunk PNC member kills youth while driving

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A member of the People’ National Congress (PNC) party and close associate of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, is alleged to have killed a teen in Lae while driving under the influence of alcohol, says the Namarong Report.

It is alleged that, Garrette Kissing, an associate of PM O’Neil and a member of the PNC party while driving under the influence of alcohol caused the death of a teenager and seriously injuring another. However, PNG Exposed states that Police in Morobe are too scared to act against him.
One traffic officer is reported to have said Garrette Kissing can’t be arrested because em “bikman tumas.” Meanwhile, Inspector David Terry of the Police Media unit responded on social media stating that his colleagues’ actions were “outrageously stupid and the suspect should have been arrested and detained immediately.”

It is also alleged that Kissing is a relative of Community Development Minister, Loujaya Kouza, and called local media to stop them from reporting the issue.

Indonesia wants an explanation on wanted fugitive, Djoko Tjandra

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The Indonesian government is now seeking an official explanation regarding wanted fugitive Djoko Tjandra who travelling the world using a Papua New Guinean passport under the alias Joe Chan.

The Post Courier reports that the Indonesian government will write a letter seeking the explanation on this issue from the PNG government this month.

This comes after Tjandra was refused entry into Japan late last year, and Japanese authorities alerting the Indonesian government.

According to reports the system recognized his face and rejected his passport, visa application and immigration papers at Narita Airport.

Indonesia’s attorney general, Bambang Darmono, will write to his PNG counterpart, Kerenge Kua, and it is understood that Kua is likely to take up this matter with Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, before the end of the month.

Indonesia fugitive, Djoko Tjandra, is wanted for embezzling more than US$62 million and currently has dual citizenship in PNG under the alias Joe Chan; which is cause…

Mine in East New Britain closes

The closure of the Wild Dog Mine in the Baining area of East New Britain (ENB) has been announced by governor, Ereman ToBaining, The National reports.

ToBaining said the province does not need the mine and the government would focus more on developing agriculture.

He said the provincial government would try to revive and improve the cocoa and copra industry. Already, K5 million has been allocated to the cocoa rehabilitation program.

The governor said there is a need to improve cocoa production since it has been around for years. He also predicted that cocoa prices would make a comeback in 2016 after the full rollout of the rehabilitation programs.

New Ireland conducts voluntary repatriation of settlers

The New Ireland (NI) provincial government is conducting a voluntary repatriation exercise for settlers who have lived there for more than a decade, according to The National.

The first batch comprising of 148 people from the highlands provinces arrived in Lae on Tuesday where they would be transported back to their respective provinces.

David Yaplin, who assisted with the repatriation exercise, said this was the first batch of three of settlers to leave the province.

He said those from coastal provinces would make up the other two batches.

The repatriation exercise is voluntary.

Morobe governor starts year with sackings

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Morobe governor, Kelly Naru, has started the year 2014 with the sacking of 19 employees in his office because they were either incompetent or inefficient, says The National.

Governor Naru said he wanted to start the New Year on a clean slate and new qualified and competent officers should help him govern the country’s largest province for the next four years.

Naru added that 2013 was good year for the province with equal distribution of development funds and services to the districts. However, he admitted that there were areas that still needed improvement.

He said it was unfortunate that there was some negative publicity in the media, in particular, the suspension of the micro credit scheme which resulted in the destruction of government properties.

Meanwhile, a group of youths in Lae are still waiting for a promised payment of K100, 000 for their development program, claims their patron.

Thomas Agiru, patron of the Ward One Youth Association (WOYA) claims they were promised funding …

Betelnut ban to be enforced on January 8

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Two days after the public service resumes on January 6 a complete ban will be enforced on betelnut or buai in the National Capital District (NCD).

This will see the supply and trade of nut being stopped from entering the city and hefty fines will be imposed on those who do not comply starting January 8, according to The National.

Ironically, in a public notice today, the NCD Commission advised the public that the ban would take effect on January 1 with penalties going to up to K10, 000 for violations on any commercial airline or ship, K1000 on PMVs and dinghies while a K300 fine for anyone trying to bring in the banned nut in a private vehicle.

The onus is also placed on operators as the fines will be imposed against the carrier and not the actual smuggler.

Shop owners are also in the spotlight with a K10, 000 fines if they allow vendors to sell betelnut within their premises.

Police raid night club on New Year’s

Police in Port Moresby conducted a raid on a well-known night club on New Year’s in Gordon,Post Courierreports.

The Armani club at Gordon was raided by police on the early hours of January 1 after failing to comply with certain restrictions. The raid resulted in 200 cartons of beer confiscated.

According to operation commander chief inspector Ndranou Perou, the Chinese owned nightclub had been warned on several occasions not to sell alcohol after its liquor trading license was revoked but the owners have ignored the directions and continue to secretly operate.

Perou said it is very disappointing and annoying when organisations do not comply with the laws. He added that police would get tough on organisations that do not comply with laws and authorities that were established.

Police were compelled to carry out the raid after they approached intoxicated partygoers that congregated outside the club.

PNG welcomes New Year with 5.9% increase in electricity tariffs

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Papua New Guineans welcomed 2014 with a 5.9% increase in electricity tariffs effective January 1, reports The National.

John Tangit, chief executive officer (CEO) of PNG Power Ltd, in a statement, said the increase is approved by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) and is based on the fluctuations in fuel prices, consumer price index and exchange rates over the last 12 months.

Electricity consumers will now pay PGK0.86 more for domestic use. According to the old rate K14.54 will get you 19 units, however, the new rate will cost K15.42 for the same amount.

Tangit said the company does not rely on the government budgetary system and tariffs would enable acceptable returns on “assets to fund new capital works and provide electricity to the majority of the population.”