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Sunday, 24 June

05:00

Uneasy calm returns to the highlands after a week of violence Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Landowners set fire to LNG assets
Huts and equipment torched at the LNG project - the damage is being assessed and at last report it wasn't certain when operations would recommence

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA Last week turned out to be one of those only too frequent turbulent periods in Papua New Guinea when you never know whats going to happen and, for long periods, who might be in charge.

First angry supporters of losing candidates in last year's contentious national elections set alight an Air Niugini aircraft and burned down court buildings and the governors residence in the Southern Highlands capital of Mendi.

The entire nation watched attentively as for some days prime minister Peter ONeill seemed to be reluctant to visit his troubled home area and use his authority to placate people whose aggression had reached boilover point. Fortunately in this incident there were no deaths recorded and just a few injuries.

ONeill eventually flew to Mendi, touching fingers with some of his people through the mesh of a safety fence before flying out to Beijing where the action was more benign but could ultimately turn out to be just as precarious for a stable south Pacific.

Then more violence erupted in neighbouring Hela Province where landowners protesting about the non-payment of gas royalties by the PNG government set fire to equipment and blockading and airstrip and roads leading to the major resource project operated by ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil said heavy equipment has been damaged at its Angore gas pipeline construction project and the impact of the equipment damage on the project's schedule of work was being assessed.

As the noted commentator Martyn Namorong put it: While PNG's prime minister is wined and dined in Beijing, landowners destroy ExxonMobil's PNG LNG assets in Hela Province. Shows how out of touch the ruling class are.

By now the PNG government had declared a state of emergency and begun to deploy the first of 440 Papua New Guinea Defence Force troops to the distressed region.

Their commander, Brigadier-General Gil...

03:39

The history-making first Air Niugini jet flight into Goroka Malum Nalu


History was made  in Goroka on Monday,June 4, 2018, as the first Air Niugini jet aircraft landed in Goroka after many years.

At just after 12.30pm, Air Niugini Flight P2-ANR, with Captain Francis Pohonhelan in the cockpit of the F70, flew down from the Bena mountains into the Goroka Valley to land on the brand-new runway.

It was just a test flight, with no passengers on board, as hundreds of excited people lined the perimeter fencing of the airport to welcome back jet flights.




Jet flights into Goroka stopped in 2005 due to the deteriorating condition of the runway.

Since then, Goroka has only been taking in smaller Air Niugini and PNG Air aircraft, especially the Dash-8.

A jubilant Pohonhelan, who used to fly F-28 jets into the town before,  said after the history-making flight that resumption of jet flights augured well for the economy of Goroka and Eastern Highlands.

National Airports Corporation programme-director for the Asian Development Bank-funded Civil Aviation Development Investment Programme (CADIP), Manua Kametan, was beaming as well.



National Airports Corporation chairman Reuben Aila was an elated man as he watched the jet land.

He said


Prime Minister Peter O'Neill flew in the next day on an F70 jet and opened the Goroka Airport.


...

02:01

A look at the new Goroka Airport Malum Nalu

The Government, through the Asian Development Bank (ADB)- funded Civil Aviation Development Improvement Programme (CADIP)has invested over K111 million into Goroka Airport since 2009, according to National Airports Corporation board chairman Reuben Aila.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill opened the K95.7 million Goroka Airport upgrade project on Tuesday June 5.

This together with other works since 2009 add up to more than K111 million.

"Goroka Airport benefitted from the successful delivery of another two Cadip projects between 2010 and 2017, whose combined value was approximately K15.8 million," Aila said.

"These two projects included the delivery of a state-of-the-art airport rescue and firefighting (Arff) from the United States to Goroka Airport under Cadip Tranche 2.

"This also included a support vehicle, operational and maintenance training for the Arff and technical staff, and other ongoing support at a total cost of approximately K4.8 million.

"The other project was the high-strength steel palisade security fence around the entire petimeter of the airport at a cost of approximately K11 million.

"This investment has delivered world-class airport facilities that meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) PNG cenrtification requirements, and allow the unrestricted operations of F100 and other similar capacity aircraft at Goroka Airport."

Current works included:

  • Main runway pavement strengthening;
  •  Extension of the main runway by 250m from 1650m to 1900m;
  • Runway strip widening to 150m;
  • Taxiway and apron strengthening and improvements;
  • Construction of the runway end safety area (Resa);
  • Resealing of the secondary runway;
  • General aviation apron and associated taxiway;
  • Application of pavement line markings;
  • Improvements to airside drainage systems; and
  • Installation of airfield lighting and precision approach path indicator (Papi) systems.

"The landside works included the construction of the new Goroka Airport Terminal building, construction of a new aircraft rescue and firefighting (Arff) station, a new powerhouse including the supply and installation of 2400kva generator sets, a new tractor shed with a tractor, slasher and trailer, and associated airport maintenance equipment," Aila said.

"A new airport control tower will also be constructed as part of this project.

"Construction will commence in Jun...

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Saturday, 23 June

20:34

UNICEF resumes its commitment of support to Hela Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, 22 JUNE 2018 - UNICEF is preparing to resume response and recovery support to earthquake affected communities in Hela after conflict and violence forced UNICEF, aid and relief workers, and other UN agencies to briefly relocate in April as a security precautionary measure.
Aid nurse with UNICEF, Martina screens two-year-old Shenildas arm for malnutrition at Tate village, Southern Highlands. UNICEF is supporting a child health program that has screened more than 8000 children for severe acute malnutrition. The programme is ongoing in two districts of Southern Highlands: Mendi-Munihu and Nipa-Kutubu, where 32 children have been identified and  are being treated.

Over 115,000 children under the age of 18 including some 32,000 under five years and close to 8,000 infants are expected to directly benefit from health, nutrition, education, child protection and water, sanitation and hygiene activities that UNICEF will support the Government to implement in Hela.

At a partnership review meeting held on June 8 with local partners - Catholic Diocese of Mendi, Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority, Caritas, Provincial Child and Family Welfare Services and the Provincial Education Department - UNICEF reiterated its commitment to fulfill its humanitarian obligations to the children of Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.
...

19:26

PNG Kumuls beats Fiji Bati 26-14 in rugby league test match Papua New Guinea Today

SYDNEY, Australia Winger Junior Rau scored two tries to lead Papua New Guinea to a 26-14 win over Fiji in a rugby league international on Saturday.

Despite giving up more than 500 games of National Rugby League experience to their rivals, Papua New Guinea led 26-4 at halftime and held on for the win.

With just six NRL players to Fijis 10, the Kumuls ran in four tries, with fullback Justin Olam scoring one and setting up another to complement Raus performance.

Samoa played Tonga in the second match later Saturday at the same Campbelltown Stadium in western Sydney.

Before the match, Andrew Fifita said he would play for Tonga for the rest of his career, foregoing tens of thousands of dollars if he had decided to play for Australia. Fifita was born in Sydney but has Tongan heritage.

Last year, Fifita played for Tonga at the Rugby League World Cup, when he was paid 500 Australian dollars ($372) per game. Local media said he could have made 20,000 Australian dollars ($14,880) per game if he had played for Australia. Source:  NZHerald

09:24

Asian Development Bank address at Goroka Airport opening Malum Nalu

Asian Development Bank Deputy Country Director Maria Theresa Villareal speaking at Goroka Airport opening on Tuesday, June 5, 2018




09:13

Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing speaking at Goroka Airport opening Malum Nalu

Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing  speaking at Goroka Airport opening on Tuesday, June 5, 2018


08:55

PNG Kumuls v Fiji Bati Pacific Test Match Live Updates Papua New Guinea Today

We will bring live updates of the Pacific Test Match between Papua New Guinea Kumuls and Fiji Bati this afternoon starting at 3:55 pm. We will use twitter feed to update the game.

Team Lineups for both teams.


Papua New Guinea v Fiji, Saturday 4pm at Campbelltown Stadium

Papua New Guinea: 1 Justin Olam, 2 Junior Rau, 3 Thompson Teteh, 4 Willie Minoga, 5 Richard Pandia, 6 Lachlan Lam, 7 Watson Boas, 8 Stanton Albert, 9 James Segeyaro (c), 10 Luke Page, 11 Rhyse Martin, 12 Nixon Putt, 13 Rod Griffin

Interchange: 14 Kurt Baptiste, 15 Rhadley Brawa, 16 Enock Maki, 17 Ase Boas

Reserve: 18 Nene Macdonald

Fiji: 1 Kevin Naiqama (c), 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Akuila Uate, 4 Tyrone Phillips, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Henry Raiwalui, 7 Jarryd Hayne, 8 Kane Evans, 9 Joe Lovodua, 10 Tui Kamikamica, 11 King Vuniyayawa, 12 Junior Salesi Fainga, 13 Jayson Bukuya

Interchange: 14 Eloni Vunakece, 15 Pio Seci, 16 Sitiveni Moceidreke, 17 Pio Sokobalavu.

Reserves: 18 Mikaele Ravalawa, 19 Junior Roqica


Live Update below. (Refresh the page every time to see the new update)

08:46

Australian company given green light to extract PNG coal "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Mayur MD, Paul Mulder with Gulf Provincial Governor, Chris Havieta, signing an agreement in 2017

Radio New Zealand | 22 June 2018

An Australian company has been granted an environmental permit to extract coal in Papua New Guineas Gulf Province.

Mayur Resources has been given the green light to proceed with an exploration licence, owned by the companys subsidiary in PNG, Waterford Ltd.

Its the first time that the Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA) has issued an environmental permit for coal bulk sampling in PNG to enable commercial grade shipments.

According to PNG Industry News, the conditions of the permit include the submission and implementation of a robust environmental management plan.

Managing director Paul Mulder said it was an exciting step in bringing PNG coal to the international mar...

08:23

Minister Marape appeals for Cease to threats, intimidation and Guns in Hela and SHP Papua New Guinea Today

Warlords with high-powered guns in Nipa, SHP. Photo supplied 
"Present issue they have is a K20 million claim for Angore township and another K12 million for their business development grant allocated in 2011"

I appeal to our citizens in Angore , Hides and Komo areas to cease the use of threats, intimidations and guns as a means of getting your grievances heard and settled.

Thats according to Minister for Finance and local MP for Tari Pori in a press statement today.

He made these comments in light of the blockage and looting that is taking place on the fringes of Angore and Hides gas fields this week.

I know the present issue they have is a K20 million claim for Angore township and another K12 million for their business development grant allocated in 2011, which is presently locked in court by the doing of one of their own tribesmen.

Our people must restrain from threats and intimidations, and if genuine issues remain outstanding then civilized dialogue is the way to go for us now and into the future.

He added that whilst there might be some elements of genuineness in those issues raised, the continual manner in the use of unlawful means to secure attention is repulsive in the face of many issues our Government must handle not only for Hela and SHP but the entire country.

The ONeill Abel government is not far from you LOs, in fact on record we are the most fulfilling government in the history of our nation to the flight of many of our landowner issues not only in Oil and Gas areas but mining as well in terms delivering to outstanding commitments and also new ONeill government signature policies like greater free carry equity empowerments.

For Hela and SHP, our gas and oil fields been producing since 1990, yet only after 2012 are we seeing serious signs of development happening or about to happen.

Has Tari ever seen a sealed road? No, but it started to happen after 2012 and from what I am told the Halimbu sealing to Nogoli was to see its first laying of bitumen yesterday but the uprisings of Angore forced its closure again. This project was awarded in 2015, but lawlessness continues to hamper work.

I appeal to our local leaders of youths, clans, and PDLs as well as leaders...

04:00

China wants to align Belt & Road with PNG development Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Peter O'Neill and Li Keqiang
Peter O'Neill and Li Keqiang

HU YONGQI | China Daily

BEIJING Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Papua New Guinea counterpart Peter O'Neill oversaw the signing of multiple agreements on Thursday that boost cooperation under Chinas Belt and Road Initiative and in other areas.

China's relations with PNG have made steady progress and can be a good example for its ties with other Pacific island countries, said Premier Li.

Prime Minister O'Neill's visit is seen as an important high-level exchange, as among Pacific island countries PNG has the largest population and land territory and is seen to have significant regional impact.

Li said China especially appreciates PNGs support of the One-China policy and its choice to develop in line with its unique national circumstances.

China would like to better align the Belt and Road initiative with PNG's development strategies and create more opportunities to boost cooperation in fields such as trade, energy, infrastructure and industrial production capacity, Li said.

He said China will support PNG in hosting this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting in Port Moresby.

O'Neill said the two countries have maintained strong momentum with bilateral cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

He reiterated that PNG would like to work with China to boost trade, investments and large projects, and extended gratitude for China's support of APEC.

Today ONeill heads to Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

03:00

Love Suicide Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

SuicideJIMMY AWAGL

CHUAVE - As the hanging fog cleared from the cliff wall of Sikewake, a rooster crowed at the dawn and I arose slowly from the cane bed and edged towards the fireplace to warm my numb body.

As I began to feel alive an ugly shriek reverberated through the mens house. I hurried towards the door and peeped out.

A ghostly figure swayed back and forth. The shriek subsided.

I put my palm on my eyes and rubbed them. I glanced for a second time to confirm whether the noise came from the hanging figure. If it had, it had stopped.

It came from elsewhere. Not from the dark shadow swinging back and forth. I rushed towards the rain tree. The shadow hung from a huge branch like a tree possum.

As I drew closer, the suns first rays transformed the shadow into a shape of more beauty, like a fallen angel in the mist.

It was a corpse, a young woman, a thick twine encircling her neck, the tongue hanging out like a tie.

I burst into a wail and cried for help. Young boys from the village raced towards me and I pointed at the hanging corpse.

Then two muscular villagers began to untie the twine, lowering the corpse to the ground before carrying it to the mens house where it was wrapped in an old laplap.

Later a temporary coffin was manufactured and the corpse placed inside and sealed off.

That night there was a hauskarai and the next day, before the sun painted its yellow flame, she was buried beside her lover. He who had died in a car accident just two weeks before.

It was a love suicide. There is something especially tragic about a love suicide.

Friday, 22 June

19:13

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill opens Goroka Airport Malum Nalu

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's full speech when opening Goroka Airport on Tuesday, June 5, 2018


19:02

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on the new Goroka Airport Malum Nalu

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, who has a very strong and personal relationship with Goroka, tells me what the new Goroka Airport means to him after opening it on Tuesday, June 5, 2018:


14:53

Mal 'Kela' Smith on the new Goroka Airport Malum Nalu

The legend Mal 'Kela' Smith, who has been flying in and out of Goroka since 1969, talks to me about what the new airport means to him.



He remembers his old mate, Dennis Buchanan of Talair fame, pioneer Sir Danny Leahy, and the old-timers who built Goroka.

14:26

New Goroka Airport to boost agriculture and tourism, says MP Malum Nalu

Goroka MP Henry Ame says agriculture and tourism are set to boom in his town and Eastern Highlands following the opening of the new airport there.



The airport was opened on Tuesday, June 5, by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

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