Letters & Opinions

Welcome to the Letters & Opinions section. After reading them please don't forget to drop us comments on each of the opinions expressed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kapris treated differently from other escapees

THE techniques adopted by notorious criminal mastermind and three-time escapee from Bomana Correctional Institute's Maximum Security Prison, William Kapris, are somewhat similar to the work of the world's most wanted black notorious criminal and prison mastermind in the United States, "King Larry Hoover", who is known as a "Minister' in the Colorado Prison.

Larry Hoover, operates and masterminds many of the crimes in the cities of United States, from his prison cell, that are worth millions of dollars for him and his associates for the purpose of growth and development among his elite network that involves high profile people in the political and bureaucratic circles as well as members of the military or disciplinary forces who are involved in and execute his desired plans.

In our local scenario when we look at the work of William Kapris who is also known as a Minister operating in prison, he is not a high risk murderer or rapist that the people think he is.

But he is rather a high profile celebrity committing bigger crimes to rob enough money to share and feed the poor and the little and forgotten grass root people who have not been well looked after by the so called elected leaders. Those adopted and masterminded techniques have been seen as a successful strategy that is now employed by other high profile celebrities or sources in all levels. And as a prisoner he is only used as a "hitman", by people who are locked up with him in his maximum security unit cell block.

The stories are becoming clearer now to believe that the escape of William Kapris and other 11 hardcore prisoners from maximum security unit on the 12 January 2010 was not his intention to do so but it was the work of the high profile celebrities commanded by a civilian beautiful woman who pretended to be a human rights lawyer that forced themselves into this high security prison with the help of their counterparts, "uniformed" correctional officers, and conducted a perfect work of the day. Mr Kapris was well protected and without a single scratch during the time of the escape and even during the time of his recapture and return to the maximum security unit despite plans to split his.

The opposite action was taken on the mates of Kapris, John Siko Wel and James Pari Bomai as part of their bodies were split off with blood spilling all over their bodies and it looks like they will not escape again in the future.

For William Kapris Nanua his escapes also brought relief to the law and justice agencies as the government has spent millions of kina by police operations and investigations work, forced by the actions of the prisoner. Every time when Kapris escapes the government immediately comes in to assist the law enforcement agencies - police and correctional service with the purchasing of new vehicles and other operational resources, apart from the funding of the re-capture operations and investigations work.

Thank you Mr Kapris for your kind gesture every time you set foot out of Bomana maximum prison gate. Imagine if the government does the same to other more than 100 hardcore prisoners who escaped about the same period with Kapris, we can be rest assured that there will be more new vehicles more than enough to allocate to police and correctional service officers to assist in the daily duties.

The Police investigators who were conducting their interviews with William Kapris at the time were interrupted and did not complete their interview and were ordered that he be immediately taken to Bomana Prison.

And the Commissioner's intention to visit William Kapris Nanua in his prison cell was further interrupted by Attorney General and Justice Minister Dr. Allan Marat, former Police Commmissioner Peter Aigilo and his Correctional Service Counterpart, Acting Commissioner Henry Wavik when they visited Minister Kapris in his prison cell on Tuesday 9 February 2010 from 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm a day earlier than Mr. Baki's appointment date of Wednesday 10 February 2010, officially made to Henry Wavik to visit Mr. Kapris in his cell block.

The interest and intention for the high profile politicians and top law and order bureaucrats to visit and talk to prisoner Kapris at this time when his was trying to reveal and expose the names of high profile celebrities who may have some connections with him is more suspicious and could be an act of conspiracy to divert the course of justice in the whole bank robbery and escape cases.

The ordinary police, warders and citizens of this country need to know the reasons why these people are going into prison to visit Kapris when the government investigation team is already in Bomana Prison conducting the investigations into the whole issue.

Where is fairness in the law and justice system? If the leaders' actions is seen as not a fairness in the law and justice system then it's good to have the political leaders attending NEC meeting in Kimbe to make a decision and approve the return of the Australian ECP Police to come to PNG and conduct the investigation into William Kapris Nanua cases and other police work.

These gentlemen should be suspended from their offices and investigated by police immediately because their actions now affect the majority of prisoners in their effort and long wait for their power of mercy and parole releases. The parole release papers of rapist/politician James Yali in Boen CIS is only waiting for signatures of Marat and Wavik.

Is William Kapris Nanua next on their list for release? William Kapris Nanua has his own list a good number of high profile names to be released as well. So, don't interfere with the work of his 'release list.'

Give Defence a pay rise now!

I FULLY support the recent call for a 100 per cent pay rise for our servicemen and woman in light of the ever-rising cost of living. 

As apart from the special service loading and other military-related allowances to compensate for the exigencies of life in the military, the general wage scales of the PNGDF must be in parity with those of the police and CIS.

Our loyal, dedicated and committed troops in all three elements deserve a well-earned pay rise.  This has been outstanding for too long and defence hierarchy has no excuse for the delay.  There is no question about money shortage as the government is flush with cash.  The troops see and read about government ministers and senior beauracrats misuse public monies, so money is no object to give the troops a decent pay rise now. 

The military is very well informed of many state agencies that make a lot of noise in recent times have been given what they demand by the government.  If defence leaders had at some time back made the right representation to Waigani, a timely pay rise would have been forthcoming for our troops sooner. 

It is quiet sad that an element of the military were compelled to petition their superiors at Defence headquarters in Murray Barracks.  This would not have occurred had top management fought hard for their troops to get a pay rise they need, but being denied for a long time.  It is no wonder the troop's patience ran out last week as reported by the media.     

Despite our troop's loyalty, long service and patience, they and their families throughout the defence community, have being failed by the system. The defence force needs a pay rise now and should bring it up on par with the police, whom have had a two pay rises under this government since 2007. 

The servicemen have been patience for far too long.  The ministry, department and PNGDF headquarters must get off their backside and demand that the men get what is due to them.  The defence council has collectively failed in their responsibility to make some much needed improvements to service conditions of the servicemen and women of our military in a timely manner. 

The PNGDF fulfills a very important national function to protect the nation, yet the government has failed to look after this once powerful organization since independence.  I call upon the prime minister and the government to give the PNGDF a well deserved pay rise. 

The money is not a big problem for the government.  It just spent over some K120 million on a useless
Falcon jet for just 12 people to fly around in, and a reported K8 million on an expensive climate-change conference in Copenhagen last year that has not brought any immediate changed benefits for PNG, with another useless meeting on again in Mexico this year.  

Reginald Renagi
Port Moresby

Claims by NGO group misleading and defamatory

YOUR article, "Madang NGO group challenges logging giant" (14/2/10), completely misrepresents both the Rimbunan Hijau Group and the current legal proceedings regarding the Middle Ramu Block 1 concession.
Logging operations at Middle Ramu are currently being wound down.

This follows a Supreme Court decision in November 2009, which found fault with the way the concession was allocated by the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA).  This decision overturned an earlier National Court decision that confirmed the action of PNGFA in awarding the concession to Rimbunan Hijau was correct.

The court did not find fault with the operations or conduct of Rimbunan Hijau, the current concession holder, nor has it "banned" logging within the concession.

The Supreme Court has ordered the PNGFA to re-evaluate the forestry development proposal lodged by Madang Timbers Limited during the original tender process.  If the Madang Timbers proposal is in order; Madang Timbers will undertake logging operations in the concession area in future.

Claims by the American-backed group 'Asples Madang' and Ecological Internet stating that landowners are opposed to logging in the concession are not correct.

As is common in PNG, various landowner factions will support the developer that comes closest to serving individual interests.

More than 100 incorporated landowner groups (ILGs) expressed their support for Rimbunan Hijau's operations in MRB1 in December 2009.

Claims by Ecological Internet that RH has bribed landowners, government officials and police are defamatory and without merit.

The story refers to a Greenpeace report that claims Rimbunan Hijau is engaged in illegal logging and human rights violations.  As has been demonstrated by a number of independent reports and audits, Rimbunan Hijau does not engage in illegal logging and its treatment of workers and communities is exemplary.

The story claims that a 'recent' report from the Department of Labour found fault with Rimbunan Hijau's operations is also without merit and defamatory.

The report in question was published in 2004.  It was commissioned externally by the Department of Labour, which rejected the report's claims after further investigation and subsequently did not publish the report.

We suggest that the Sunday Chronicle check its facts with local organizations and the subjects of its reporting rather than relying on the half-truths of foreign-based activists.

Axel Wilhelm
Manager- Corporate Policy and Affairs
Rimbinan Hijau Group

Yama has nothing to do with threats

WE write to air our views and concerns regarding recent media reports about PNG Law Society President Kerenga Kua, Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited Managing Director Dr John Mua and Peter Yama.

The media reported that Mr Kua and Dr Mua did not want to pay Mr Yama's company the money as ordered by the highest court of this land. Therefore Mr Yama is alleged to have placed K100,000 on the heads of the two to be killed.

Just by looking at the reports, the allegations of threats on the lives of these two high profile men are just rubbish, unfounded and childish. Why run away and make baseless statements when they can defend themselves?

From the layman's point of view, they would have saved millions by paying Yama Security Services the initial National Court Judgment Order of K3.8 million in an out of court settlement. But now the amount has doubled and would triple if it is continued to be delayed. Why should MVIL pay millions of kina to one person when thousands of Third Party Insurance claims of motor vehicle accidents are still pending?

The public will also question why police have been prevented from exercising their constitutional duty. Why obstruct the duty of the police?

We know that Mr Yama would never do such silly things like murdering somebody. We know that he is a God fearing man who has a heart for everyone mainly from the grassroots up. He has spent so much time in the courts fighting cases involving business and politics. He is a fighter who battles for legal justice. Whoever doubts Mr Yama's reputation and credibility is totally wrong because we the grassroots know that he is a straight shooter.

How could a man who has won a Supreme Court decision, threatens somebody? The law is on his side already and these claims of threats do not make sense.

Someone is playing delay tactic in releasing the money. If the bank has an outstanding loan by Mr Yama's company then let the bank claim it through normal court processes by filing new proceedings. That's the way to go.

Mr Yama, we admire you as a true leader who can speak for the voiceless grassroots people because we know you came up the hard way from a humble beginning.

Unemployed Youths
Lae City

Has license approval in order?

BANG, we did it again! Despite the existing ban on new logging licenses, a new license has recently been reissued to revive the massive Lolo TRP area in Cape Gloucester district, West New Britain province.

Perhaps the National Forest Authority (NFA) could tell Papua New Guinea how this became possible. NFA should also tell the country why everything about it has been kept "top secret" including the signing of the project agreement in Port Moresby. The usual media exposure expected for any major resource development had been excluded from this signing ceremony.

The National Executive Council, Forest Minister and the National Forest Board should also tell Papua New Guinea if they were involved, and if they did, on what basis was the approval made, especially against an existing ban. Or was it because it was only a renewal of an existing license? It is in the best interest of PNG, the resource owners and more so, for the sake of good governance and transparency, that the official version be registered.

I am one of those who will be affected by the project and I am very concerned. I and my Lolo people had seen and felt the pain of exploitive logging activities between 1989 and 1995. The project had given us nothing but an absolute destruction of our social livelihood and our environment.
From the millions of kina earned from the project, we were left with nothing except a destroyed people, rusting machine parts and accessories including vehicles, and a stretch of road and an airstrip that had long been overgrown with thick jungle.

Where had all the millions gone to? May be those very people that are now again at the helm of this project should know the answers. If they did not know directly, they should know one way or another because they were part of the landowner company.

Everything they attempted to do from the excessive wealth derived from the project doomed to failure. The agriculture efforts in cocoa development failed, the business development effort in wholesale ventures failed, the investment effort in real estate failed, the construction effort in roads and buildings failed, and so as everything else they tried to do.

What they were known for, at least one significant feature that survived, was excessive and lavish lifestyles they pursued that included reckless spending with booze topping the list, unnecessary leisure trips and travels around the country and the list was endless.

Unfortunately this started already when they were in Lae and then in Port Moresby to sign the second agreement recently. Several of them were refused to fly to Port Moresby because they were pissed to their eyeballs. While in Port Moresby, the whole time was spent on excessive booze up and parties. 

I challenge the executives of the landowner company to do it right for the people this time. Though they have deliberately kept out some elite landowners, "an act that bordered on nothing but pure greed and narcissism", Lolo is home and Lolo is where we all end up. Namir_sam@yahoo.com

Iau Lektatano Pou
Port Moresby

K10m DSIP not producing results

I am a concerned leader in Southern Highlands province. I would like to express my opinion and dissatisfaction over the District Improvement Support Grant of K10 million allocated for each district in the province.

The money was given by the National Government for basic services and needs for the people of SHP, yet I observed that nothing was done.

All the nine SHP MPs have been given the mandate to lead when they got elected but there has been no improvement in the province. The grant was not used in all the districts so where did the money go to? There have been some false accounting given on work been done but this appears to be only speculation.

MPs can fool village people but they cannot fool God. Every little move by all the nine MPs has been monitored. With the 2012 election approaching, it looks like some MPs are caught up in a rush hour.
Shame on those MPs who were doing last minute work which would not determine the future of SHP. I am a true leader talking on behalf of my grassroots people of SHP.

We have not seen much of Governor Anderson Agiru and his work.

John Mombulu Arikepo

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who will be the next Prime Minister?

RECENTLY the media raised interesting questions: "Who will be the next PM when the prime minister quits politics in 2011 before the 2012 National Elections; What will happen to the National Alliance Party or the current Government?

This is a subjective issue and you will get many different answers.  I will try to predict what may happen gauging from public perceptions and opinions of a coalition government's performance since the 2002 national elections.

So who will be the next PM?  This is easy in an ideal political world where the job will naturally go to the next senior MP after the prime minister in the ruling party's hierarchical 'chain of command'.  In this case, it should go to the deputy PM, Sir Puka Temu if the PM quits politics next year as speculated. 

This will not happen because we are not in an ideal political world.  There are many competing interests and shifting alliances within any coalition party government. 

First of all, the PM will not quit politics in 2011 and before the elections.  PM Somare is enjoying the feeling of power and controlling the destiny of some six million citizens that he would still has to extend his record breaking streak of being in politics until after the 2012 national elections.  

More so, no one believes this talk of leaving politics any more.  The people of PNG have heard it many times before, like prior to the 2012 and 2007 elections as predicted.  The PM did not quit politics as speculated by the media like this one.

On a hypothetical note, if the PM was to quit politics in 2011 due to some reason like ill-health, the NA party will most likely see splits in its senor ranks.  Some party members have openly shown that they do not prefer the deputy PM take the reins as they see themselves as the ideal choice for the top job.  A further outcome is that the NA party may not do too well in the 2012 polls without the stabilizing presence of its draw-card, the grand chief; the glue holding the NA party together.

With due respects to other NA party members, no one is eminently qualified with the required seniority, depth of public administration knowledge and experience; and political  maturity to succeed the PM Somare than the Deputy PM, Sir Puka Temu.  Sir Puka has the edge over all the NA party's regional deputies as none were effective departmental heads like him before entering politics. 

Apart from the deputy PM, there is another option that may seem a controversial outcome but not impossible.  This option could be another record breaker for the grand chief that will be unbeatable in both PNG and Commonwealth politics.  If PM Somare was really serious about elevating the status of PNG women in his twilight years of politics, he will give his job to the best performing MP in the coalition government: Dame Carol Kidu.  The Dame as an MP has no equal and her actions speak louder than words as she is well supported by a competent Secretary running an effective department compared to most of her peers.

This decisive action by Grand Chief Somare will be in full recognition for the tireless efforts of a lone woman MP (and one of PNG's best lawmakers in recent times).  This will upset the men in parliament but they will soon get over it to see that good governance, accountability, responsibility and 'sanity' returns to both parliament and government before the 2012 national elections.

Finally, I predict PM Somare is not yet ready to quit politics in 2011 and before the 2012 national elections.  There are still many outstanding political reforms left by former PM, Sir Mekere that this government has yet to progress and this is no time to be quitting politics.

Reginald Renagi
Port Moresby  

Agwi's move must be applauded

AS A patriotic citizen of this country, I was surprised when reading new PNGDF commander Brigadier -General Francis Agwi's desire to rectify the force's performance to meet the growing demand placed on it in the fact of this nation being faced with many controversial security issues.

Agwi is contemplating on the fact that the PNGDF is a national instrument that plays a crucial role in serving and protecting the sovereignty of this country, and is wasting no time in taking diagnostic measures to remedy the loopholes PNGDF has in its functionality.  I laud him for taking this bold step in quickly acting to solve outstanding matters as well as focusing on fine-tuning the force to meet future demands preemptively.

I was quite amazed when I read the news of Agwi advocating against family violence and polygamy with the PNGDF circles.  It is quite moving that he has pledged never to tolerate, as as such, come hard on soldiers who practice polygamy and involve in family violence.

Applauding the good precedent set by Agwi, one thing I want the new commander to prioritise is increase the current 2,000 defence force personnel to 5,000 as proposed in the medium term military plan, by convincing the government for funding.  This would beef up security at the borders and seas where smuggling of illegal products is rampant and foreigners illegally entering our shores. 

A logical government will consider that what it spends on training 2,000 - 3,000 military personnel in a space of two to three years is far less than what it is losing in tax revenue through smuggling of goods into the country and our resources out of the country.

As such, with the support of the Government, Agwi must embark on increasing the PNGDF.
With Agwi, the PNDDF's prospect of being a sound and robust force is brighter.

Komson Nick Kome
Hohola, NCD

PNG water should be processed in PNG

AN ARTICLE  written by Abbie Collaco which appeared in Sunday Chronicle on January 17, drew my attention. 

He highlighted the call by Mr Jei Wai, who called on the National Executive Council to reject the submission being processed by the Deputy Prime Minister, to allow an Australian company to pipe water from Lai River to Mendi  to Cairns Australia for processing.

Whether the submission has already been prepared or still in the process I am unable to ascertain. But the fact is I totally agree with Mr Jei Wai that PNG water should not be piped to Australia, but be processed here in Papua New Guinea.

Needless to say it will create jobs for Papua New Guineans, boost our exchange rate and value of PNG kina and bring a trail of other benefits to PNG.

Water, like land and human resource is the source of life and survival for the people of Hela and Papua New Guinea.

North Queensland has some beautiful rivers and streams capable to supply water to the inhabitants of Australia. I can understand if Australia is like Sahara desert, then surely the end justifies the means. For the pipeline to run parallel to the oil and gas lines would create suspicion about what is really being piped.
Technology is so complicated this at this day and age that anything can be camouflaged.

The only huge project that Australia established here in PNG is the Panguna Mine. The project unfortunately was short circuited due to reasons known to the landowners and the Australian company and PNG Government.

I suggest, the Government of PNG calls for tenders for a local company, and help find the company to set up a processing plant and produce water locally in PNG.

If the local company cannot secure funding then they can go into joint venture with the overseas company to process our water.

Eda Ranu is doing quite well in PNG or Port Moresby to be more specific. We have the best water in Port Moresby. One can drink straight from the tap.

There are many water sources in PNG that are still to be tapped. People drink straight from the stream and fountain so why pipe to Australia?

Water Lilly
Port Moresby

Powes Parkop for Prime Minister

PAPUA New Guinea a country blessed with all the riches that you could ever name from the mountains to the costal islands, it is surely a paradise.

Unfortunately, these riches are not reflected on all the citizens of this great country and the paradise is not so because we have been ripped off and denied our birth rights by a minority pack of leaders who are selfish, greedy and evil.

In the light of this God has come to the aid of this nation through the incredible and humble leadership of this great governor of NCD -Hon. Powes Parkop.

In just two years one cannot believe the amount of work he has done through new initiatives and projects that he has done in NCD. He has even taken up the task to carry out district improvements in all the three NCD open electorates leaving their respective members with virtually nothing to work or rather revealing their inefficiencies and lack of basic services delivery woes.

I wonder what Moresby will be like at the end of his term in 2012. From the current scenario I am foreseeing significant changes with new infrastructural developments, beautification and remodelling of the city to be the pearl of the Pacific which will definitely have a direct positive attitude change on everyone.

This clearly shows that he's a leader who's got the heart for his people. He's got all the attributes that defines a perfect leader, hence he stands tall above the pack, his actions are louder than his words and his words are full of wisdom and understanding, he walks and lives a normal life like the rest of us, he is the light at the end of the dark tunnel and answer to all the political corruption that has taken away what is right fully for the simple people of this land.

There's a dawn of a new era and let God be glorified for giving us Powes Parkop; he is the answer to all our leadership problems that our nation is currently facing. He is the man capable of rescuing us with his strong, honest, prudent and transparent leadership. He can maximise the huge returns of the LNG projects to make a difference in everyone's life, not just few politicians and their cronies.

God has already given him the mandate and now he has gained the support and mandate of all Papua New Guineans across all sectors and walks of life.  He is the man to lead this nation to the next generation and beyond and is truly Prime Ministerial material.

I urge everyone including the politicians, civil servants and the rest of us with the nation at heart to support Mr. Parkop to be the next PM.

Let's look forward to 2012, Mr. Parkop you have my support whatever it takes. May you be the Prime Minister of this great land in the near future.

Powes Parkop Admirer.
Mt Hagen.

Country Party sets record straight

IN RECENT weeks, there have been many instances of party executives exercising or abusing various powers under their constitution and the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.

The Country Party wishes to state that it does no solicits K500 as membership fee nor does it have a Party Secretary named Paul Mamito.  Further, Paul Mamito is not a financial member of PNG Country Party.
Should any person be interested in joining Country Party, it can contact the Party Leader, Hon. Jamie Maxtone-Graham or Secretary Wilson Ortegge.

For confirmation, the party officials are;
1. Party  Leader - Hon. Jamie Maxtone - Graham,  (72007799)
2. Deputy Leader - Hon. Jim Nomane, MP
3. President - Sir Sinake Giregire, CSM, CBE
4. Deputy President - Nelson Duwabare, (71254765)
5. Secretary General - Wilson Thompson, (71148524)
6. Treasure - Nigel Lai, (72827928)

The PNG Country Party regrets that persons are impersonating party officials. This should be discouraged and the general public is advised to verify facts with the office of the Registrar of Political Parties or with genuine party officials.

Finally PNG Country Party is against corruption, bribery and other means and will not commit to such tally of outsiders and will not entertain any such members or officiates.

Wilson Thompson Ortege, Secretary General
Nelson Duwabane, Deputy President

OHE should take charge of selections

OHE was supposed to be the one in ensuring the education system at the tertiary level is its paramount responsibility to ensure every passing student gets educated properly but sadly that hasn't been the case to date.

Minister Ogio appeared on all media outlets to say that 29 tertiary institutions are responsible for the selection of students from Grade 12 using the former 1.6 and current 2.25 GPA as the yardstick while OHE only facilitates.

That's pathetic so to speak. No wonder the current selection system has let many top students end up becoming drug addicts and criminals on the streets and back in the villages.

How do I know that? Simple but OHE failed to see that when the GPA cut off point is 2.25 then regardless of who scored straight As or Bs, the representatives from various 29 institutions choose who they allow to continue regardless of who scores what grade so long as you pass the GPA.

Then that can be the safest mechanism for a selection committee to choose who he/she wants so long as you know them besides some lunch money under the table for them. So the poor students who got straight As misses out if he/she doesn't know anybody in the selection panel and allows only the system to get him/her selected. The very excuse the committee will use in the 2.25 GPA being the guide in the selection process.

As Dr William Tagis said on the media last week, they look at 2.25 cut off mark and are not bothered by the As or Bs. That enables wantokism and nepotism to thrive using that selection method.

The selection of the 29 different tertiary Institutions become very powerful and can easily do two things using the 2.25 GPA as the safe guard. 1, the selection committee of a particular institution can be bribed if you know them. 2, If a committee is from a particular place and if the students are known to them then can easily put them in the situation so long as they have 2.25 or near GPA.

When I was a student I had to bribe my way in even though my GPA requirement was above the cutoff point so if they deny that, it will haunt them for rest of their lives.

So you see, if you don't know anybody from the institution you applied, don't depend on the grades but work hard to pay some lunch money to the committee from the institution you applied for.

I want to urge minister Ogio to abolish the current selection system and direct OHE take full responsibility in the selection process by ensuring every top student get priority then followed by others.

Categorize them in order of top GPA cut off point of the GPA then divide them amongst the 29 institutions and ensure everyone is educated. Better still,  the top students should be the focal point of Government as they will be the top think tank for this country when we elders phase out.

If the current system of selection method remains, we will see more drug pushers and prostitutes on the street.
Why and who are these people? They are the straight As students who were pushed out by the education system when they had done their level best to score As and Bs and they are hurt psychologically and to avoid their miseries push drugs and so on.

And those students who are coming later will not want to perform seeing that As and Bs cannot give them a free ticket to higher learning institutions. Who would want to sweat and toil when the system will fail them.

Hare Igini
Doma Peaks, Hela Province   

Rickson, a true achiever

I am very pleased to see another very talented young professional boxer Rickson Yamo’s potential being identified by big name Australian boxing promoters like Peter Maniatis and Angelo Di Carlo.

It’s quite rare for Papua New Guineans like him to be given such opportunities to showcase their talents to reputable promoters at the international level.

Rickson’s achievement is good news for other young boxers and PNG. Young Rickson is a very high profile national boxer who has huge potential to excel.

Congratulations Rickson. Your invitation to participate in those lead up fights in Melbourne in April is a golden opportunity. Keep excelling and do it for PNG

Malcom Barney Paijako
Port Moresby

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Setting a new Defence agenda

SINCE Francis Agwi became the new commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) last December, I paid him a courtesy call to find out what the general’s agenda is for the PNGDF in 2010 and beyond.

The impression I got was positive.  I felt satisfied that several key aspects of defence and security I had been promoting in the media in recent times appeared as salient points in the command’s recent media ‘statement to the nation’.

Judging from this, the rest of this year promises to be an interesting period for the PNGDF; we can expect a new defence capability plan by the year’s end.  While his statement foreshadowed some new policy developments in the near future from what I gathered, General Agwi is quiet serious for the PNGDF to do its job well in his ‘back to basics’ approach of conducting future defence business.

In his media statement, General Agwi shares his thoughts with the public of a “new PNGDF” and the “way forward.”  He assured the government, PNGDF and the people of PNG that “the force is in good hands” and that its loyalty to the constitution of PNG remains unquestionable.  This is a positive bold statement to set his new agenda for the PNGDF.

General Agwi takes a different approach from his predecessor with regard to the defence reforms.  As commander, he is not waiting for a 2030 vision, but wants to see things happen within the next decade.  He plans to speed up the reforms so objectives are achieved in “… a short time frame”, and outlines his command strategy of rebuilding the PNGDF.

The commander plans to rebuild the PNGDF on a “4 R Strategy: Re-consolidation, Re-construction, Re-development and Re-evaluation.

This strategy sets General Agwi’s agenda on what will be his force development focus.  Agwi also plans to review PNGDF roles and functions to closely align it with the government’s vision 2050.  He further wants the new roles and functions to focus around: national security, international relations, resource protection and nation building.

A new force build up plan will be needed as since reducing to a 2,000 manpower ceiling, the PNGDF roles and functions have not fundamentally changed.  People issues will also pre-occupy Commander Agwi by taking personal responsibility for some pressing issues that demands immediate attention.

In the next ten years, the PNGDF must reconstruct itself with a new mission in compliance with government guidance.  In this time, outstanding issues of new capability development will be addressed through retraining and re-skilling of personnel, buying equipment and introducing new technology through a ten (10) year development plan.   This will enhance government policy guidance, future budgets and procurement.

In future, defence will have to decide whether to train for war against an “invisible enemy” or focus on defending PNG’s sovereignty, people and rich natural resources.

The PNGDF needs to also measure its own success and steady growth through a process of self-evaluation.  It is important that this be done through annual reviews, auditing and inspections for transparency and accountability of action.

General Agwi writes a new chapter for the PNGDF by continuing the reforms started in 2002 with a different strategy.  If past trends are any indications to go by, this writer believes the new commander seems serious about getting the PNGDF back ‘on track’.  He hopes to do it by speeding things up a bit and reviewing its roles; added with realistic missions, budget and government support in future. 

Reginald Renagi
Port Moresby

Questions on workings of judiciary

THE last bastion of hope for the people of Papua New Guinea, the judiciary system, is allegedly not working as it should be.

This is my view after keenly following some cases in our higher court where people who have sworn an oath to uphold the law and protect our judiciary are now allegedly abusing that process.

One classic example would be the matter on Peter Yama versus the Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited. A layman would understand that the Supreme Court has spoken in that there was a breach of contract. But officers of the court took it further and asked the Supreme Court to review their decision on the basis that they had slipped. Again the same bench revisited the matter and ruled that they did not slip and that their earlier decision stands, which Mr Yama is to be paid.

Now the officers have again defied the orders and paid these monies to an agent. But the most outrages action by the officers was to get a stay order effectively interfering with a constitutional role of the police force by stopping them to arrest certain senior officials and lawyers after a complaint was laid by Mr Yama, exercising his democratic right to file a complaint of a criminal nature by these men.

Police too have their own processes and procedures in determining whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a suspect and once they think they have enough then it is their constitutional duty to arrest these persons. All these were not considered.

Where are we going? I have been a staunch believer of our judiciary system for many years but now I am having doubts about the whole system.

Bush Lawyer
Port Moresby

Wigman picture is a blessing in disguise for Hela tourism

I WROTE a letter to Sunday Chronicle to tell Hela Gimbu chairman that instead of going to the USA to seek an apology from an unknown graphic designer who cut and pasted the face of Obama on the face of Paya Kaganalu, he should study and think of creating something positive out of that photo for the tourism potential.

He felt offended and took it too personally and argued without reasoning what I posed to him.  I do not have a personal vendetta against him but as a Hela intellectual, I felt stupid about his proposal to seek an apology from an unknown graphic artists in the US. 

You may have received an email that he would apologise but does that do any good to Hela and the wig man culture?

That's what I call a simple publicity stunt by some glory seekers to make a living from it.   After the man apologises, he will not kill a buffalo from the Kansas prairie and give you a hind leg to take back for Hela people.  Instead he will only run to every media outlet describing some Huli wig men of New Guinea demanding an apology for just a picture.

Mind you Damien, Obama and the world gets this kind of cartoons almost every day so let's get civilized and not create a negative fuss for Hela but rather plan and see how we can lure tourists to our soil using that picture.

The world has changed to being electronic so let's work something good for Hela and the country, not getting to fussy about every insignificant issue and remain with that backward attitude.

Damien should learn not to be driven by his personal ego but be purpose-driven while holding that important Hela office and learn to listen to advice coming in various shapes, sizes and forms such as viewpoints in the press.  That's healthy food for thought.

Lastly, never curse people as it will always come back to you and shorten your life.

Tigili Hare Igini Lare
Doma Peaks, Hela

  • The matter is now closed -Editor

Parkop is not involved in Gordons Touch Competition

THE COMMENTARY in the Sunday Chronicle issue of the 24th January 2010 made unfounded claims that the Gordons Touch Competition is being supported by NCD Governor, Powes Parkop.

As a long time resident of Gordons, I would like to clarify a few misleading quotes from the commentary.
Firstly for the writer to depict his headline in bold "Parkop Cup games transforming youths at Jabiru Drive" is an insult to the hardworking, under resourced, sports loving executives of Gordons Touch Competition headed by Mr William Yogomin. For the record GTRL is the oldest touch footy off season competition in NCD.

It started in 1980 by well respected people like the current PEA President Mr Michael Malabag, Levao Mai, David Silovo, Paul Kotni and Nelson Moide to name a few. The idea back then was to engage youths in worthwhile activities and at the same time keep the boys fit to play for the then Air Niugini Rugby League Club in the PRL Competition. GTR has produced players such as Jack Harry, Nelson Moide, David Mune, Michael Marum, Aquila Emil, Ben Uru, Tuksy Karu and soccer legend Steven Mune and also current AFL youngster Donald Barry. The competition had taught them not only to excel in their chosen sport, but to be better people in their family, community and country.

In its 30 years of existence, the GTR has always been self-reliant. It has gone through its mandatory rough periods, like being dormant in between these years due to community related law and order problems. But like in the true spirit of its first inhabitants who graced the grassy Gordons Estate in the early 1960's, GTR has stood the test of time and rose through the sheer hard work of people like the Yogomin brothers and their predecessors.

They have drummed the message to the clubs to change their mind set and attitudes and be self reliant, law abiding, sports loving citizens in an compact multi-lingual community like Gordons and Erima. Transformation has already began with clubs exchanging weekends footy balls for spades, forks, grass knives and wheelbarrows on weekdays, cleaning their respective streets, fixing roads and trimming grass in the self help projects to raise funds. Petty crimes at shop fronts, drunken brawls and harassment of women and children have dropped since the competition started in late November 2009. Change starts from within and the residents of Gordons, especially young men, mothers and young women are leading the way through the Touch association headed by Mr. William Yogomin.

They have already set up the Gordons Kokofas AFL club participating in the POM rules competition and moves are underway to enter a team in the PRL competition in the not too distant future.

Finally Gordons Touch is here to stay and if the writer truly resides in Gordons, he is welcome to spend his Sunday afternoons with the executives of the association and be thoroughly informed on the struggles they face instead of giving free mileage to politicians who are here today and gone tomorrow.

Iamutu Kere
Gordons, NCD

Member for Mendi on Shopping Spree is a Childhood Dream Reality

Definitely when Pr, Isaac Joseph was growing up, he loves building sand castle on the banks of Wara Mendi. He builds a couple and pretends to sell them to his friends using leaves as the medium of trade. He also collects SP bottle caps from his dad’s beer shop affix them to a piece of wood and drove them into his sand castles.

Obviously, years leading up to his election he was supported by regular church goers who gave for the Love of God. ‘He who holds the key unlocks the door’ who knew what Pr. Isaac Joseph was made of.

His current status as Member for Mendi has drastically changed his lifestyle. Well we only get castles in mediaeval England and other European states but we do have hundred thousand kina worth of properties in Port Moresby and in just over a period of two years since taking office the member has bought himself a number of properties in Port Moresby and in Mendi.

He also took his experience in driving a wooden toy to one made of steel costing thousands of kina. From that period he has bought six different cars and the latest is a Toyota Camry (Altis) costing almost K100, 000.00 of tax payers’ money. To put the icing on the cake he has find himself a fiancĂ© maybe half his age and daughter of another Southern Highlands MP, and prominent businessman.

Never in any given Parliament session he has asked or spoke for the people of Mendi. But played cheap media politics by taking reporters around to write biased and one sided reports. If you roam around with him in his car, he will only boast about his two hours boxing training at Holiday Inn and how fit he is in terms of physical features. He loves fashion thus, his wardrobe holds clothes valuing between K100 and K200.

He has promised the people of Mendi during his various ground breaking ceremonies but they all remain mere promises. Because he operates in his cars in Port Moresby his office at the parliament house is collecting dust and cobweb has started to build up. I don’t know what he is good at. Maybe Governor Anderson Agiru is not mentoring him good enough. Pr. Isaac Joseph is one of the dumbest MP, Mendi electorate has ever had.

Michael Nali was similar but because of his part in the National politics that surged him to the second highest post in PNG politics, he received no criticisms.  However, he also went on a similar shopping spree like the current MP, Pr. Isaac Joseph. If a former MP is trying to return to politics you must be man enough to come out publicly through the media by telling the silent majority of your achievements.

Therefore, I would like to appeal to the eligible voters of Mendi not to cast your votes to people who failed us to put their interest before ours.

Thank you

Mone Paiknoai Sam

Betelnut vendors are here to stay

THE CHAPTER on the sale of buai (betel nut) in public places has folded once again in Port Moresby.  The vendors are again victorious and are back to their usual buai selling spots and it is business as usual.

The heavy arm tactics to clamp down and frighten buai sellers did not work.  This is the only source of income and survival for the unemployed grassroots, most of these people are immigrants from other provinces, mostly from the Highlands region.

The only way to stop these informal activities is to send them back to their provinces, put them on the dole or allow them to continue vending with some strict control measures.   The first and second measures may be very expensive but the last may work.

The buai spitting and littering is not done by the sellers but buyers.  The buyers are the ones that litter the place when they chew the nut.  However, the buai sellers are providing lime as their business incentive.  The city authorities must also take note that this informal vending has also drastically reduced pick pocketing and other petty crimes in the city.

My proposal here may not be the best solution of may not be conducive to many but may shed some light.  Instead of the city authorities using heavy handed tactics, the must work alongside these people.  All vendors operating in public places apart from the informal markets must register with NCDC annually and carry identification cards.  They must provide proper tables to display their wares. 

They must keep the areas where they are conducting vending neat and tidy at all times.  They must not provide lime as an incentive and the buyers provide their own lime. 

City rangers are to be allocated at these venues to constantly carry out awareness and educate both the vendors and buyers on littering.  Any vendor who does not abide by these rules must be penalized by forfeiting their registration.  And NCDC must diligently remove rubbish.

I believe this may be the only solution to the problem.

Gordons Market Observer

Cabinet reshuffle is welcome news

I AM happy to read that there will be a Cabinet reshuffle.  The Prime Minister should replace the Minister for Justice and Attorney General because he has made the Department of Justice into a legal joke. 

The name of the Department sounds good but there is little to show for it.

The bosses of the Department just dress smart, drive new cars at the tax payers' expense and play pokies at places like the Yacht Club and are never at work.

I am an ex-serviceman who is frustrated at the service we get from the department.  Our matter is with the Solicitor General's office.  But the Solicitor General never attends to us and never goes to court.  He will make appointments and then he will not be available.  What is the department paying him for?
But he was appointed by the Attorney General.  This is the same lawyer that Cabinet directed the Attorney General to terminate.  The department terminated him but the Attorney General brought him back. 

Meanwhile, our case is still there.

The Attorney General has nothing better to do and is wasting his time on Hitelai Polume.  She already resigned so leave her alone.  She is a good person and although she was threatened by some of our members, sh continued to do her job.  The Solicitor General and the lawyer now handling our matter are just slack and always look for excuses.

Maybe it is time Cabinet also appointed the Solicitor General and State Solicitor.  At the moment these people act like they are above over creator in heaven.

One very good reason to replace the Attorney General is because he does not seem to care about the PNG LNG project.  There are too many court cases and injunctions.  I wrote a letter questioning whether InterOil had certified their gas, then I read the papers and the Attorney General, who is acting Governor General, is pictured happily witnessing the agreement for InterOil.

The people of Gulf stand to benefit from the proposed InterOil project but if people like the Attorney General do not do their job properly or do not care then we the little people pay the price for it.  Is the Attorney General advising the Cabinet on this?

There is no Gulf MP who is a lawyer so my dear Prime Minister, you can appoint someone else as Minister for Justice and Attorney General.

Koivi Akia
Port Moresby

Ex-PNGDF servicemen's patience running thin

I am in total support of the letter of ex-Lieutenant Joe Bapi dated 31st January 2010 regarding the frustration that the ex servicemen of the PNGDF are facing at the moment about their outstanding court case battle and out of count settlements for their lousy entitlements.

It’s very frightening to see such letter from a frustrated young ex Lieutenant with combat experiences who have being witnessing the very slow and prolong process and procedures that our Court systems and Attorney Genera are taken in sorting their respective matter.

It is seen clearly here that the concerned ex-Servicemen have different groups pending court cases and out of court settlements. Some of their cases have being deliberated already and are subjected to pay out, some are held and some are awaiting the so called WAIGANI LANGUAGE or WAIGANI WAYS.

PNG must do something in regards to the call of the Ex-Servicemen. They said that the Government and its agencies/authorities have prolong their cases and a lot of their comrades in arms have died without serving the fruitation of their dreadful struggles and some are scared now that they might be next should the situation remains same.

One thing that scares me off is that the majorities of the ex-Servicemen now on the streets are young and can be dangerous to the Government of the day and the Nation at large. I can see and tell from my relations (Ex-Servicemen) attitude and habits have changed and are now regrouping daily to discuss their next cause of action.

The Government must now speed up and address their problem quickly. We have seen a lot of corruption in the Government circles regarding millions of kina that negative action is taken by the Government to solve and yet ignoring the PNGDF ex-servicemen’s case will definitely provoke the whole situation that surely will put the whole country into disaster. Please address our good loyal and honest ex-servicemen of the PNGDF quickly for the sake of the innocent people of this great Nation.

Luke Aisi

We want to see action now on housing

MP Peter O'Neil's outburst in the daily papers about the recommendations put forward by the ICCC is not warranted.

He needs to shut up and act now. If Peter O'Neil doesn't know, he needs to be reminded that the housing issue in PNG  has already reached emergency situation. It serves nobody any purpose in bickering and using worn out politics anymore.

Please, cut all the hot air and crap on housing and let PNG for once see action first.
We're intelligent enough to give credit where it's due when all things are said and done.

Let 2010 be the government's year of real action please.

By, the way, I am suggesting to Mr O'Neil  (and his government)  to  set the money and land aside, take their hands off  and, entrust  the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG  (CBCPNG) to take over the Housing Tendering, Supervision and Project Management in PNG.

We've reached emergency situation in this matter already. So it's only fitting that an organisation such as CBCPNG that is concerned with the welfare and quality of life for the citizens of this country takes on a role like this. We trust them to do a better job than politicians.

Basic housing prices is beyond K500 per week for an average worker in  Port Moresby. It is clearly unaffordable.
And don't you think such a basic understanding like this is not a valid reason to adopt a radical shift in thinking like what I am suggesting here, Mr. O'Neil and NA?

Patriotic Nationalist
Port Moresby