Thursday, 31 October 2019

Dear Mr Gavman: Dont Let My Child Be Defined By The State Of My Country


Joys Eggins wrote an important note to our government of the day;

Dear Mr Gavman

See this pic? That's my daughter. She's going to the market with her papumeri.

She's a beautiful little girl, full of life. Em misis tumas.

She's going to inherit a country different from her papumeri'. It'll be the one we make today.

Like every parent, I want what's best for her. I pray I can give her that. As far as I can I will.

But that means a lot of keeping up.

I don't want her to be defined by the state of her country. To be of poor health because there's no medicine. To be poorly educated because the schools can't deliver. To be limited.

She's going to grow up and quickly learn it's even harder for some of her friends. It will be heartbreaking to meet that friend who went through hell.

You see, they're all going to have dreams of one day becoming somebody. Wai bai nogat!

Mr Gavman but there are thieves lurking in the dark! They think it's OK to take away their dreams. 😡 em ol sunk blo moni na pawa.

They'll steal their dreams and force them to keep up.

That's our everyday Mr Gavman. It doesn't have to be theirs.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

A TRUE BLUE KUMUL - Tribute to Late Thomas Pelika


A former senior journalist and political staff Elliot Raphael writes a hearthfelt tribute to Late Thomas Netato Pelika, Member for Menyamya and former Minister for Police.

Probably age, commitment to God Almighty and a simple change of heart that mellowed him.

But Thomas Pelika MP Menyamya was a 'hard nut to crack' in his hey days. I got to know Mr Pelika as a no nonsense boxer copper when he was the PSC for Kerowagi around 1977.

I was only 7. Pelika had a boxing club comprising mostly police personnel and he ensured special occassions in Kerowagi were celebrated with bouts of boxing feasts.

He used the code as his PR driver.

It was the first time I got introduced to him by my late dad Raphael Tingia. But as soon as I got to know him, he moved on.

Two decades later and I met up with him at Parliament - this time him as an MP and I as a reporter. Those who know him will attest.

He was a firebrand leader. He ensured he was heard.

He lasted two terms then hybernated for a decade and a half before re-emerging in 2017 as a third termer under Pangu.

This time he was calm, cool and collected. And I found the opportunity to meet up with him yet again.

I made sure I met him in person and retraced his hey days in my beloved Kerowagi.

We shared a good yarn over it. But again, as soon as we've gotten to reintroduce ourselves, he's gone.

Morobe has lost a leader. Only God knows how it feels. Rest In Eternal Peace, my leader my country man.

Friday, 25 October 2019

THE DECEITS AND LIES OF POLITICS (PART I)


AFTER THE 2017 NATIONAL GENERAL ELECTIONS

The tenth parliament that was convened after the 2017 National General Elections has unanimously voted for Peter O’Neill and his People’s National Congress Party (PNC) to be in government.

Certain politicians (both independents and party affiliated) switched camps and joined O’Neill and the government coalition. Some lured by huge sums of money (for personal gain), ministerial portfolios and some with the promise for development in their electorates.

PANGU Pati was one major political party to defect from the Opposition to join ranks in the then O’Neill-Abel government. Sam Basil was given the Communications and Energy ministerial portfolios, William Samb Bougainville Affairs and two others given vice-ministerial powers.

Basil justified his move to government in the name of development for his PANGU electorates, after spending more than 10years as an Opposition MP. Basil failed to disclose the price tag for each of his members that he allegedly sold to ‘enemy number one’ and brought along to the government side. That leaves a lot of criticisms for Basil and his PANGU team with the people of Morobe decried as being fooled by Basil.

The National Alliance (NA) party remained a major coalition in the Opposition together with PNG Party, Allegiance and others.

Opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch together with Bryan Kramer, Kerenga Kua, Allan Marat, Sir Mekere Morauta and others were vocal on many decisions and policies put forward by the then O’Neill-Abel government.

The 2018 APEC expenditure was one of the most controversial issues that saw the government spending more than K40million in an exorbitant Maserati deal and not a single Maserati was used during the summit.

Bryan Kramer raised numerous serious allegations against Peter O’Neill and several of his ministers at that time. One of which was O’Neill’s citizenship status and his legitimacy as the Prime Minister.

For more than two years O’Neill has blatantly lied on the floor of parliament that PNG’s economy was improving. In reality, hospitals, schools and government services were closing down due to no funding. Roads, bridges and infrastructures were deteriorating all over the country. All these did not reflect the government policies under the stewardship of PNC Party and its coalition partners.

O’Neill has always been known for running to the courts to seek refuge when confronted with a warrant of arrest. Numerous attempts by the opposition to put forward Motions on No Confidence against the Prime Minister were always shelved by the parliament seeking interpretation from the courts. O’Neill used the judiciary to define the roles of the legislative arm.

The events that unfolded before and during the weeks leading up the Vote of No Confidence (VoNC) in May 2019 have demonstrated how political parties and politicians in Papua New Guinea can change allegiance in their pursuit of power.

VoNC MAY 2019

James Marape the then Minister for Finance and a member of the ruling PNC party was the first to resign from the cabinet in April 2019. Marape claimed that the country’s economy was not improving and the books have been decorated to impress investors, the business community and the people of Papua New Guinea.

Marape moved out along with Hela Governor Philip Undialu, Southern Highlands’ William Powi and other Ministers including Defence Solan Mirisin and Health Dr Puka Temu.

The next major crack in the then government was created when O’Neill’s staunch supporter and PNC strongman Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas withdrew from the government. He brought with him Jiwaka Governor Dr William Tongamp and Attorney General Davis Steven who were members of his former Peoples Party (PP).

The Opposition at that time had four camps, but one major goal and that is to end the reign of Peter O’Neill and his ruling PNC party.

The original Opposition MPs had their camp at the Sanctuary Hotel, Marape at Laguna and Ipatas at Bluff Inn. Kerenga Kua and others decided to be based at Kua’s Dream Inn which is about a couple hundred meters from Marape’s Laguna camp.

The Laguna camp has been the central point of discussions and it is the main location at which government defectors are being received daily.

PANGU PATI POLITICS

For over some months, there have been an ongoing issue with the political leadership of PANGU Pati. Sam Basil who singlehandedly resurrected PANGU in 2014 went into the Goilala by-election in 2015 and William Samb was declared the first to win under Basil’s leadership.

Basil and Samb brought PANGU into the 2017 National General Elections and won 7 seats in Morobe, 2 in Madang and 1 in Central.
1. Hon. Sam Basil – Bulolo
2. Hon Thomas Pelika – Menyamya
3. Hon. Kennedy Wenge – Nawaeb
4. Hon. Kobby Bomareo – Tewai Siassi
5. Hon. Renbo Paita – Finschafen
6. Hon. Koni Iguan – Markham
7. Hon. Ginson Saonu – Morobe Governor
8. Hon. Bryan Kramer – Madang
9. Hon. Chris Yer Nangoi – Sumkar
10. Hon. William Samb - Goilala

Leading up to the formation of government, more MPs joined PANGU Pati.

The new MPs that joined PANGU were;
1. Hon. John Rosso – Lae
2. Hon. Lekwa Gure – Rigo
3. Hon. Robert Agarobe – Central Governor
4. Hon. Henry Amuli – Sohe
5. Hon. Sir Mekere Morauta – Moresby North-West
6. Hon. Dr Lino Tomo – Wabag
7. Hon. Peter Sapia – Raikost

PANGU Pati was then the second biggest coalition partner in the Opposition with 17 members. It was also a major player in debating policies with the government.

A couple of months in the Opposition and information have been leaked within the party caucus that Basil will moving over to the government. Three new members of the party disputed the proposed move and remained with the Opposition.

These MPs were;
1. Hon. Bryan Kramer
2. Hon. Sir Mekere Morauta
3. Hon. Dr Lino Tom

Those that followed Basil over to the government were used as scapegoats. Only Basil and Samb were given ministerial portfolios.

Hence, the issue on political leadership of PANGU was again brought up by the party executives Morris Tovebae and Patrick Pundao. Both have been making allegations of misuse of party funds against Basil and have been going in and out of court to have Basil removed as party leader. However, PANGU’s parliamentary wing have always unanimously voted for Basil and Samb to be party leaders.

Pundao and Tovebae have been alleged to have solicited monies from intending candidates in 2017 with the promise of endorsing them under PANGU Pati. Unfortunately, all of them were not approved by the then leader Sam Basil.

Basil cited that both Pundao and Tovebae have done little or nothing for PANGU Pati into the 2017 NGE and numerous requests for party conventions were always turned down by these executives.

Basil was in talks with executives from Melanesian Alliance (MA) Party to be given the leadership after it’s political leader Joseph Yopiyopi resigned and joined the ruling PNC party.

In May 2019, PANGU Pati members convened at the tenth floor of MRDC Haus in Downtown Port Moresby. At around 5pm a motion was put forward for massive resignation by all members of PANGU excluding Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu who wished to remain with PANGU.

It was a heartbreaking moment, a pioneer political party in PNG with a short history after being resurrected is about to be dismantled over differences between its political leader and executives.

The next day, members convened again at the same location, called a press conference and announced their official resignation from PANGU. The events that followed after the announcement paved way for a new government to be formed in the next couple of weeks.

The eight (8) MPs that joined MA were;
1. Sam Basil
2. Koni Iguan
3. Thomas Pelika
4. Lekwa Gure
5. Kennedy Wenge
6. Peter Sapia
7. Chris Yer Nangoi
8. Pogio Ghate

PANGU SEAL 6

Six (6) members of the PANGU Pati after announcing their resignation went straight to the Laguna Hotel where they were received by James Marape and his team.

The 6 members were;
1. John Rosso
2. Robert Agarobe
3. Renbo Paita
4. Kobby Bomareo
5. William Samb
6. Henry Amuli

They were joined there by Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu who has assumed the party leadership being the only remaining MP who hasn’t tendered a resignation.

Were their resignations null and void? Yes, there are still members of PANGU Pati and the resignations were verbally announced and letters were not presented to the party leaders and executives.

The six MPs were in there to lure the big fish and PANGU leadership would be a suitable bait to give a fresh start to a new government.

Discussions were ongoing between Marape and the PANGU team.

Finally, James Marape agreed and joined PANGU Pati together with 14 of his government defectors.

In Part (II), we will look at the events that transpired in the weeks leading up to the actual day of VoNC. We will look at what the discussion was like behind the curtains of Laguna, the text messages, group whatsapp messages and the failed Angoram Maneuver that somewhat unveiled the plots to destroy the Laguna camp.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

MARAPE: Young Leaders Must Rise Up


For over a month, I've been closely following one of Papua New Guinea's vibrant and young political leader in James Marape.

After 7 years of serving as a minister under Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's cabinet, Marape calls it quit on April 11th 2019.

His resignation as PNG's Finance Minister came as a surprise for many of his supporters. He fragmented the ruling Peoples National Congress (PNC) party and lured a good number of government MP's and ministers to the Opposition.

Papua New Guineans were anticipating a Vote of No Confidence in PM O'Neill and Marape's defection gave hope for a new government comprising young and vibrant leaders.

He was nominated as the Opposition's choice for alternate Prime Minister and later joined the oldest political party in PNG - PANGU Pati.

After a week, he resigned as the alternate PM nominee and invited MPs and political party leaders from the government to join opposition.

He was selfless in his decisions and made sure a change in the country's political leadership is imminent.

Marape was charismatic and his humility attracted more MPs to cross over.

His words following today's parliament session speaks alot about a young vibrant leader who has alot to offer for this great nation.

"Today was eventful, may I thank the original 24 at Laguna plus 4 others who joined later to have cast your trust on me, in a democratic process I requested at Laguna for the alternate PM , I collected 28 of the 67 leaders vote on offer.

I may not gain the nomination for PM now but I gain 28 great PNG leader men as my compatriots for the cause of truly making PNG the “richest black Christian nation” on earth. Together we will work our share for PNG into the future.

I will loose no sleep if I ever don’t be PM in my life but I want a government that put’s national interest ahead of personal and corporate interest, a government that respects landowners, all 89 districts, all 22provinces and builds our local business women and men and collect greater wealth from our resources and distributes to all corners of PNG.

To my supporters and both virtual and actual friends, my family and people of Hela , we owe it to the supporters and families of 28 other leaders who stood with me. Thankyou all for your never ending faith in the cause you requested me to take for our country.

It has never been about me but us here in Laguna, I never stepped down as FM on 11/4/2019 to be PM and I am frankly happy that I am not the PM nominee.

May a better road for PNG be found in our deliberations hence forth and I look forward to freely contributing better policies for the country , especially in areas of resource laws I feel is relevant to prop up our economy!

To the younger generation, let no older men tell you, you can’t do any thing or fight for your rights, I just showed that it can be done, you can lose a battle in between but get up, so you don’t lose the war."

Hulukumaiya

Sunday, 26 May 2019

MASIU: BOUGAINVILLEANS WONT FORGET SANDLINE CRISIS


Deputy Opposition Leader, and Shadow Inter-government and Bougainville
Relations Minister, the Member for South Bougainville Honourable Timothy Masiu says the people of Bougainville are closely watching developments relating to the purported appointment of Sir Julius Chan as Prime Minister by Peter O’Neill.

“With all due respect to Sir Julius as a founding father of this nation, the Sandline Affair, a defining moment in the history of Papua New Guinea,  which resulted in his resignation as Prime Minister has not yet been forgotten by not just the people of Bougainville, but also the many Papua New Guineans that took the streets to protest against the involvement of foreign mercenaries in ending the Bougainville crisis.”

The team leading the country at the time also included the former
Deputy Prime Minister, and current Governor of Gulf Honourable Chris
Haivetta.

“For those of you who may have forgotten the details, or who may have been too young to remember, or who may have a more watered down recollection, let me remind you on behalf of the people of Bougainville of the events of March 1997.”

After failed attempts to both negotiate a peace deal and also defeat the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, the Chan-Haivetta Government turned to Sandline International, a company led by a retired Scots Guards Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer, as both Australia and New Zealand had refused to assist.

Sandline specialised in providing arms,
equipment, and contractors to participate in conflicts. At the heart
of the conflict was control over CRA’s Panguna Mine.

When the Sandline Affair was leaked in the Australian media by the Australian Newspaper there was a public uproar. The news quickly broke in PNG.

PNGDF soldiers were approached by members of a local NGO called Melanesian Solidarity who wanted to consolidate a military and civil society protest against the Chan-Haivetta decision to engage Sandline.

Chan was forced to resign as Prime Minister after operation “Rausim
Kwick” which was planned by the then Commander of the PNG Defence Force Jerry Singirok and commanded by Major Walter Enuma, and began
on the evening of the 16th of March 1997.

In twenty-four hours they
had arrested and disarmed the mercenaries.

On the 17th of March Singirok gave Chan, Haivetta  and Defence Minister Mathias Ijape 48 hours to resign. Chan responded by refusing to resign and instead sacked Singirok.

The NGO’s began nation wide strikes in support of General Singirok. Singirok accepted his termination and urged the
rank and file to support his replacement. He denied that he had sought to take power in any sort of Coup.

During this period the Governor General, Sir Wiwa Korowi took out a
full page ad accusing the Government of widespread corruption.

Protests continued to grow, and despite the potential for Defence /
Police clashes, the army observed great discipline under the watchful
eye of Major Enuma.

Chan was forced to cancel the Sandline deal and announce an inquiry –
Singirok and Enuma had achieved their most important goal, however
they continued to demand Chan, Haivetta, and Ijapes resignations.

On the 21st of March all Sandline personnel were withdrawn from PNG. Only Tim Spicer remained to give evidence.

After immense public pressure Chan sacked both Haivetta and Ijape and resigned himself on the 26th
of March.

The following year a peace deal was negotiated in Bougainville.

“Too often here in PNG we suffer from a short memory in relation to issues of national significance such as this.

I urge those members of Parliament who continue to support the O’Neill regime camped at the Crown Hotel to think carefully and follow your conscience before any vote takes place on the floor of Parliament.

Only on the floor of Parliament can a Prime Minister be selected.

In a race to secure access to a commodity, copper, during the Sandline Affair the leaders of the day, Chan and Haivetta were willing to sacrifice the safety and security of the innocent men, women and children of Bougainville and the integrity of processes of government and state institutions.

This is not the type of leadership Papua New Guinea needs today as our
natural resources have grown ten fold.

We must think of our people in
Hela, Southern Highlands, Western Province, Gulf, Central, Enga, Madang, Morobe, New Ireland and now Sepik.

Our people need leadership
that will protect their interests with a collective approach towards managing national assets in the national interest.”


HON TIMOTHY MASIU MP
Deputy Opposition Leader & Member for South Bougainville

Monday, 20 May 2019

We Sacrificed Our People to Remove Peter O'Neill



I write this with much respect for a good friend and political leader whom I have looked upon and believed in to be the saviour for modern day politics in Papua New Guinea.

I have known Sam Basil as a very hardworking and down to earth politician who walked the lenght and breadth of Bulolo and its neighbouring districts.

Mr Basil was a no nonsense leader, he was widely adored and respected by his people. He was a champion and was PNG's favorite son fighting corruption from the Opposition for more than 9 years.

I got convictions and inspirations from Mr Basil to declare 'friends to all and enemy to one corrupted Peter O'Neill' up till now.

Basil has sacrificed Bulolo and his people from the Opposition for 9years to fight against PMPO.

Regardless of where he stands, Basil was wholeheartedly returned to parliament by a massive 20,000 votes margin to his next rival. He will make it again in 2022, but his party members will be facing a stiff challenge.

In the last two months, my once trusted corruption fighter and political hero has put on a new skin. He has been imseperable from the person he campaigned against during the 2017 National General Elections.

He was shifted from the Communications ministry to Finance prior to the May 7th parliament session and now being moved to National Planning in light of a possible Vote of No Confidence (VONC) against PM O'Neill.

Basil when he was the Communications minister decided for the registration of SIM cards to be carried out leading up the 2018 APEC Summit for security reasons. The SIM registration process failed miserably and the deadline was extended until now they are still registering.

Fake people are still operating on social media, scams and cybercrimes are still ongoing and people still have access to multipla SIM cards.

Theres is no control of Facebook and other social media sites. Fake news have taken over social media platforms by storm.

So basically, Mr Basil and his team's effort to end cyberbullying and cybercrime and to control the use of social media by urging users to register their SIM cards did not work out.

In light of the VONC, Basil was appointed as Finance Minister by O'Neill in a bid to keep Basil and his former PANGU Pati team. He only held that ministry for two weeks.

Now Basil is being moved to National Planning and Monitoring Ministry. Why cant the government give him a steady ministry to take charge of? Isn't PMPO not trusting him?

I haven't seen another political leader and government minister being widely criticised apart from the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Sam Basil has truly withstand all criticisms and has grown thick skin through and through over the last two years.

Today, I know Basil is reading this post and he himself knows the struggle we've been through from the Opposition side to oust Peter O'Neill.

Sam, you know your conscience is right. You cannot continue to sit next to O'Neill and get criticised. You have to stand up and keep your word.

#ForABetterPNG

Sunday, 19 May 2019

AGAROBE: DOING IT THE CENTRAL WAY



CENTRAL Province Governor Robert Agarobe says his people have been cheated and lied upon by the government with no tangible benefits towards improving the livelihood of people in rural communities.

“We (Central) completely lost the right to have an identity as a province,” says Governor Agarobe when speaking at a rally hosted by Koiari leaders at Lake Sirinumu on Sunday.

“We lost our ancient fishing and hunting grounds for white men to alter the flow of Laloki River to generate electricity and water supply for Port Moresby city. We have lost almost 90 per cent of land through urbanisation in Port Moresby for national interest as well as interests for corrupt individuals.”

Governor Agarobe also pointed out that Central’s land boundaries with the National Capital District have been constantly changed to facilitate further encroachment in the likes of the Motukea Port and the Konebada Petroleum Park.

“The first LNG pipeline and plant on our land is another big time loss. And yet we are not a party to the terms and conditions of the second and third LNG Projects in the pipeline. We have lost a lot and we will continue to lose if nothing drastic is done to change this trend”

He says the fanfare of the Bautama Central City and the Provincial Hospital are political lies and it’s all about dangling a carrot to master political convenience for other people.

“Since I was elected into Parliament, I used the mandate of you my people of Central province to restore the identity and destiny of the province. I am looking at what kind of change we will bring to the province in twenty to fifty years from now.”

In June 2018 Governor Agarobe presented a petition to Parliament for Port Moresby city to come under Central province so that a fair amount of revenue is given back to the host province.

However, he says the game of sabotaging, denying and suppressing the constitutional mandate of elected leaders is a direct attack on the people that voted them and democracy.

The Opposition MP says Central province has a strategic direction captured in a white paper policy document and alignments and restructures are progressing at this stage.

He further stated that sustainability of the policies and plans in government depends entirely on Political Will.

“For us in Central Province, I find that we will not go anywhere with our grand vision and plans under the current O’Neill government.”

Governor Agarobe also reaffirms his stance with the Alternate Government for the upcoming Vote of No Confidence.

“I moved from Government to the Opposition without fear or favour in the best interest of the people of Central province. I will exercise in full the power of you my people of Central to change the O'Neill Government in the coming VONC.”