Author Archives: PNGdailynews

Acting Provincial Administrator Appointed in Southern Highlands – Tasked to Focus on Restoring Public Administration Structure

The National Executive Council has appointed Thomas Eluh as Acting Provincial Administrator for Southern Highlands Province.

In making the announcement, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said strong and capable leadership is required to overcome a number of challenges that have emerged in the region.

A distinguished officer of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, Mr Eluh, has been tasked to engage with community leaders to restructure the public service system and restore public confidence in provincial administration.

“As an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Eluh has demonstrated sound judgement and effective leadership,” the Prime Minister said.

“He has wide experience in the public sector, particularly in the Highlands.

“During the course of the recent elections, the Southern Highlands Province experienced a more peaceful polling period than has been seen in many years.

“However, this has since been undermined and this is not acceptable.

“Effective governance must be restored so that people in the province can continue to grow their businesses, and go about their everyday lives without inconvenience.

“The ongoing growth and development of Southern Highlands Province is more important than the ambition of a selfish few individuals.”

PM O’Neill said as Acting Provincial Administrator, Joseph Eluh will work closely with Provincial Police Commander, Joseph Tondop, to improve public order.

“I call on all community leaders in the Southern Highlands to work with Mr Eluh and PPC Tondop to strengthen public administration in the province.

“We all have to work together if we are to see the Southern Highlands Province reach its true potential.

“There is enormous opportunity for small business, particularly in agriculture, in the Southern Highlands.

“The natural attractions of the region are also very inviting for tourists to visit the province.

“With effective leadership we will see these opportunities continue to increase, and with this appointment, we are taking a very big step in the right direction.”

Mr Eluh’s appointment is for a period of three months, during which time he will restore governance structure and systems, ahead of the full-time appointment of a permanent Provincial Administrator.

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Culture Restored

Post Courier

Many aspects of the reformist project by the former Speaker of Parliament Theo Zurenouc should not be part of the restoration exercise as ordered by the National.
This includes the proposed unity pole to be introduced in the grand hall of the National Parliament.

The inclusion of the proposed unity pole would be unconstitutional because it represents the views of a sectarian group of evangelical Christians
This was highlighted yesterday by the founding father of the nation Sir Michael Somare when commending the Speaker of Parliament Job Pomat for taking action in compliance with an outstanding National Court order issued last year for the restoration of cultural decorations.

The matter became controversial in 2013 when former Speaker Theo Zurenuoc declared the cultural decorations evil and ordered their removal to cleanse the House from unclean spirits.

It sparked a legal challenge resulting in the court ruling which Parliament failed to comply in restoring the artifacts within six months of the decision.
On realization of the oversight Mr Pomat a week ago ordered actions to comply with the court orders to avoid Parliament being slapped with contempt of court charges.
Sir Michael hailed the actions of the Speaker saying the intention of the Constitution was to maintain the diversity of the nation’s cultural heritage.

He said as such the ruling does not cover retaining the additions including the unity pole.
He said fresh legal proceedings will have to be sought to retain them.
“The Court has ruled that this sectarian interest group of Christian evangelicals cannot impose their views on the freedom of thought, religion and conscience on the rest of Papua New Guinea. They would have to initiate a fresh legal proceeding to introduce the unity pole into the National Parliament,” Sir Michael said.

“The current Speaker has made a good decision to honour and comply with the decision of the National Court. However it must be made clear that the decision of the National Court does not mean aspects of the reformist project initiated by the Speaker will become part of the restoration work.

“When we wrote our Constitution, we consulted our people widely. We opened the preamble to our Constitution by acknowledging the worthy customs of our ancestors the source of identity and intellectual strength.
“When we built the National Parliament in the 1980s, we wanted it to be a monumental statement that captures the diversity of our cultural heritage.

“The design of the building reflected a process of us coming together as a nation of many and diverse cultures. We did this so that our children and their children will know where we came from and from there determine where we are to go.”

The former Director of the National Museum, Dr Andrew Moutu and the Grand Chief , challenged the actions of the Speaker in Court. In May 2016, the National Court ruled in favour of the two plaintiffs citing breaches to the National Cultural Property (Preservation) Act and the freedom of thought, religion and conscience enshrined in the Constitution.

The presiding judge, Justice David Cannings, issued several court orders including the restoration of the cultural decorations within 6 months of the decision. An appeal by the Solicitor General on behalf of the former Speaker was pursued with the Supreme Court. However, the appeal was thrown out of Court for want of prosecution.

 

http://postcourier.com.pg/culture-restored/

Govt Invites Middle East Investments

The Government has welcomed the United Arab Emirates to be active participants in projects in PNG.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Rimbink Pato extended the invitation when arriving in Dubai on Tuesday.

Pato said he would be discussing with UAE what they would like to do in PNG, with particular interest in technology and renewable energy.

“The International Renewable Energy Agency is based in UAE and we are keen for it to assist with a review of our renewable energy options.

“We want to find what would best suit PNG, whether it is one or more of the options such as hydro, solar, biomass, windmills, thermal and waves.

“The expertise that UAE has in desalination and sewage management is also of great interest to PNG.”

 

http://www.looppng.com/business/govt-invites-middle-east-investments-68146

No Fees For NID Rollout: Adviser

There are no fees charged for the national identification (NID) services rollout in Morobe Province

This was revealed by Morobe province program adviser for Community Development Kiun Kimbing yesterday.

Mr Kimbing said as per the directives from National Civil and Identity Registry (NCIR), there wil be no fees charged or should be charged on clients wanting to access NID services.

“All NID applications, registrations and engagement of staff to provide NID services should be free,” he said.

He explained that for mobile kits registration to be conducted for a company or group, there should be an agreement established between those clients and the NCIR, which is then signed by NCIR registrar general and his officers in Port Moresby.

Based on the agreement, Mr. Kimbing said officers in the province will act on the directives given from the NCIR office.

“NID officers in the province are not supposed to go out doing group registration without approval from the NCIR,” he said.

Mr Kimbing urged clients who paid for NID services or witnessed an NID officer charging fees on clients, must report the officer involved to his office so they can deal with that officer concern.

He said all NID papers and processes are free.

“If you witness, experience or know any such officer, do report because that officer is already committing an offence without proper dialogue, agreement and discussion with his/her superiors,” Mr. Kimbing concludes.

http://postcourier.com.pg/no-fees-nid-rollout-adviser/

Stop Police Brutality

BY MICHAEL ARNOLD

There will not be any deviation to the major principle of “zero tolerance” in regards to brutality by the Police Force.

This was emphasised yesterday by the office of the Police Commissioner Gari Baki, following this week’s one-day crippling strike by PMV bus owners and operators following the alleged brutalising of a crew member and driver in Port Moresby on Monday.

Baki’s office said the matter will be decisively dealt with in all seriousness and those responsible will be brought to justice.

The majority of Port Moresby city’s public transport commuters were caught by surprise at the sudden strike which saw workers, students, emergency and shift workers turning up late to work or school.

Schools were badly disrupted forcing anxious and worried parents to urgently make alternative arrangements for their children with most missing out on classes.

Businesses were also placed on high alert in case the situation turned nasty to uncontrolled rioting and looting as experienced in the past.

Foreign citizens and embassies were also put on high alert for the same reason.

Police reports claim that a route 17 operator had parked in the middle of the road, causing a traffic jam which resulted in him being assaulted by police officers.

The PMV operator was later hospitalised the same day raising questions on the retaliatory action taken by police which is already becoming a common occurrence in PNG.

In light of the incident, Police Commissioner Gari Baki still maintains a zero tolerance policy on police brutality and that the recent case will be dealt with accordingly.

The RPNGC hierarchy has openly condemned the incident, stating that force should only be used “when necessary.”

Examples of which include cases where an offender displays “resistance” or “retaliates” against an officer or in cases when an officer’s life is endangered.

Furthermore, in such cases where force is warranted, then it should be applied within “reasonable parameters.”

However, given the recent public backlash against police regarding the case, the RPNG also acknowledges the unique challenges that PNG police officers face in many parts of the country. Especially when dealing with repeat and persistent offenders.

“The PNG public can sometimes be very violent and you have persistent and repeat offenders, but we, as officers of the law need to rise above it,” said RPNGC director media, chief superintendent Dominic Kakas.The RPNGC maintains that it has a disciplinary system in order, but that system needs to be reinforced at all operational levels.”We have a good disciplinary system in place and it is now up to commanders down the line to enforce standards of discipline within the ranks,” Mr Kakas said.Investigations into the recent assault by police officers are ongoing and the suspects are likely to also face criminal charges.

http://postcourier.com.pg/stop-police-brutality/

Applications open for Australia Awards Scholarship

Applications are now open for Papua New Guinea citizens to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship.

Australia Awards Papua New Guinea is receiving applications for scholarships to commence study in Australia in 2019. Development priorities are aligned with the Government of Papua New Guinea, and the program is seeking candidates who can demonstrate an effective contribution upon their return.

This intake is targeting experienced professionals with a vision to drive change in the health, education, governance, law and justice, transport and infrastructure, agriculture or social support sectors.

Information sessions will be held in Port Moresby and throughout provincial locations in October, November and December 2017.

Previous awardees have made invaluable contributions to the advancement of Papua New Guinea and Ms Suzanne Edgecombe, Counsellor (Education) at the Australian High Commission, is confident that successful applicants for the 2019 intake will return from their experience with the tools to become equally great leaders in their fields.

“The Australian Government is working in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea to help build development capacity within the country’s working professionals,” she said.

“Australian Awards alumni are active agents of change and contribute wonderfully to the development of Papua New Guinea.”

The prestigious scholarships have been offered for over 50 years as a key part of the Australian Government’s commitment to partnering with the Government of Papua New Guinea to drive positive outcomes for the country.

Women, people living with a disability and residents of regional provinces are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications will close on 28 February 2018.

Picture:(Graduate Certificate in International Trade and Graduate Certificate in International Relations course participants during a visit to the Australian Parliament House in July. L-R: Frederick Tamarua, International Trade, Jena Kuliniasi, International Relations, Nerida Kwarara, International Trade, and Londe Kalit, International Relations)

Source:

http://www.looppng.com/png-news/applications-open-australia-awards-scholarship-67646

PNG Needs Better System For Landowner Benefits

BY MICHAEL ARNOLD

As one of the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) operators and in the country, Oil Search Limited has raised grave concerns of the need for a better system to manage landowner benefits.

Oil Search managing director, Peter Botten, said at a press conference yesterday that landowner benefits, including royalties and development levies for those within the PNG LNG project area had been accruing since 2014 and to date amounted to over a billion dollars.

Mr Botten said that some of the equity revenues were already flowing in to the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) Limited and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL).

However, he stressed that there needed to be a better system of benefit management and disbursement to ensure that landowners were getting their fair share.

 

http://postcourier.com.pg/png-needs-better-system-landowner-benefits/

 

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