Category Archives: Awareness

NEC approves 5yr extension for registration of land groups

 
October 20, 2017 
Source: The National
 
 
THE National Executive Council (NEC) has approved a five-year extension for the registration of Integrated Land Groups(ILGs).
 
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko told The National that it would be welcomed by the business community, especially in the agriculture sector, resources sectors and industries.
 
The extension is expected to give time to landowners to clearly identify their land.
 
The deadline lapsed in February.
 
“NEC has approved for the five-year extension for the ILGs to be identified and certified as requested by the industry and business houses, especially the New Britain Oil Palm, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, Oil Search and the big companies that deal with landowners in their developments and activities,” he said.
 
“Whether it’s agriculture, mining or development, whatever the area is, the ILGs can now be properly and correctly identified.”
 
Tkatchenko said a lot of ILGs had still not been clearly identified when the deadline lapsed eight months ago.
 
“Customary landowners and ownership of this ILGs have not been properly identified,” he said.
 
“So there was a request for the business side of things and for our big corporate companies that deal with customary land and landowners in our country.”
 
Tkatchenko said it was part of the 100-day plan that Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel had put forward.
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Abel Briefs World Bank and IMF on Next Moves to Advance PNG’s Submarine Internet Cable and Discussed Concessional Funding for Restructuring Debt

 

22 October 2017
Source: Office Of The Prime Minister

Engagement with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, that will stimulate positive economic development in the face of global challenges, has been advanced at meetings in Washington D.C. by the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Hon. Charles Abel MP.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Abel said the new submarine fibre optic communications cable project, that will deliver cheaper and faster Internet, and the provision of concessional financing for the restructuring of existing debt, will deliver positive economy stimulus for the economy.

 

“Papua New Guinea has a close working relationship with the World Bank and IMF, and the benefits of this engagement will become even more obvious to our people with the delivery of cheaper and faster Internet.

 

“Working with the World Bank, and also our partners in Australia, the new submarine communications cable will deliver greater Internet access for Papua New Guineans.

 

“The new communications cable will make the Internet we received on our computers and smart phones much faster, and with the increased supply we will see Internet data prices fall.

 

“Increased access to the Internet is essential if we are to advance Papua New Guinea’s economy and improve service delivery.

 

“The submarine cable has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, and now we are moving ahead so that it will be in place ahead of the APEC Summit.

 

“The time given to our country by the World Bank and IMF executive for meetings in Washington was tremendous.

 

“I took the opportunity to remind them of the particular circumstances of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific small island states.

 

“I said PNG has globally significant natural assets to build a new, responsible, sustainable economy that brings inclusive development to its people but also can support climate change mitigation globally.

 

“We are confronted with our immediate development challenges and are also on the frontline of the effects of climate change.”

 

The Deputy Prime Minister said discussions with the World Bank on restructuring existing debt with concessional funding will further simplify debt that has been established over recent decades, and reduce servicing costs.

 

“Papua New Guinea has never defaulted on a debt payment, and this is respected by global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

 

“We are in talks with the World Bank and IMF so that we can bring together a number of scattered debts and consolidate these under a single debt facility at a much more favourable interest rate.

 

“Debt consolidation will save public funds and retire outstanding loans quicker than had previously been possible.”

 

Deputy Prime Minister Abel was accompanied by Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, and the Governor for the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Loi Bakani.

 

As well as the main Plenary Sessions of the World Bank Meeting, the DPM participated on 3 panels, including a panel with the World Bank CEO, and the Finance Ministers for Indonesia and Serbia, on Asia and the Growing Middle Class and Inclusive Development.

 

The DPM also had 15 meetings including separate meetings with CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Gregorieva, Asia Pacific Director, Victoria Kwakwa, and Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison.

Works Minister: Opening of Missing Road Links, Government’s Priority

Source: EmTV Online

Tucked under rugged ranges between Gulf and Eastern Highlands is Menyamya, one of the least developed districts in the country.

 

 

However, this under developed district is rich with fertile soil renowned for producing one of the country’s best organic coffee.

 

 

“We produce some the best organic coffee in the country, but we don’t have roads to transport them to nearest markets in Lae or Goroka,” a local said.

 

 

Like many isolated rural communities, road access remains a barrier to development and for Menyamya, it has been a barrier for their economic progress and access to basic services.

 

 

In the last 5 years the O’Neill-led Government has prioritised the opening of missing road links.

 

 

On Tuesday, Works Minister, Michael Nali, told the people of Menyamya that the Government will allocate funding from a K3 billion Asian Development Bank loan in order to open missing links in the district.

 

 

“There are many road links in the district, once we open the trans-highway between Gulf and Morobe, Menyamya will be open to the rest of the country as well,” Minister Nali said.

 

 

The K3 billion funding from ADB will be put to reconstruct the entire Highlands Highway, Nadzab to Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen.

 

Death Row Inmates Denied Full Protection Of The Law

Source: Post-Courier

 

 

The Court, presided over by Justice David Cannings, in a 53 page judgment and report of the Inquiry, concluded that all prisoners sentenced to death in PNG are being denied the full protection of the law, contrary to the Constitution of the country.

 
And he has ordered a stay of any execution of prisoners who have been sentenced to death until their rights under the constitution are fully complied with.

 
The Court which commenced the proceedings on its own initiative, styled as an inquiry into human rights of prisoners sentenced to death, was to, identify which prisoners have been sentenced to death, identify what human rights they have and whether those rights are being afforded to them and examine the role of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy.

 

 
Five respondents, who are senior office-holders in the criminal justice system, assisted the Court in its inquiry, they were the Principal Legal Adviser and Attorney-General, the Public Solicitor, the Public Prosecutor, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service and the Registrar of the National Court and Supreme Court.

 
Justice Cannings in his judgment discussed 10 questions which included the Courts jurisdiction to conduct the inquiry, the procedures used, What offences attract the death penalty? What is the method of execution of a person sentenced to death? Who has been sentenced to death? What human rights do prisoners sentenced to death have? What is the role of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy? What is the present status of those on death row? Are the human rights of prisoners sentenced to death being afforded to them? and what declarations or orders should the court make?

 
The most serious concern raised in the judgment by Justice Cannings is the absence of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy which the court found to have become defunct and accordingly made a declaration to that effect. “There has been a failure over an extended period on the part of the National Government, in particular the National Executive Council, to comply with the duty to facilitate appointments of members of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy and to provide it with staff and facilities. The Committee has become defunct. This leaves all prisoners on death row with no effective opportunity to invoke their right to the full protection of the law by applying for the exercise of the power of mercy.”

 
“This has created a gap in the criminal justice system. It involves a breach of the Constitution and an infringement of human rights which must be remedied as a matter of priority.”

 
Other matters of concern raised are the apparent failure of the Correctional Service to ensure that prisoners sentenced to death are given special care and treatment in accordance with Section 105 of the Correctional Service Regulation and the lengthy delays in implementation of the death penalty.

 
The court ordered that the National Executive Council shall, by January 1, 2018, facilitate appointments of members of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy and ensure that all arrangements are made, staff and facilities are provided and steps are taken to enable and facilitate, as far as may reasonably be, the proper and convenient performance of its functions and that there shall be no execution of any prisoner who has been sentenced to death, irrespective of whether his appeal and review rights have been exhausted.

Wereh: Road to be redesigned, reconstructed

 
October 20, 2017
Source: The National
 
By LUKE KAMA
 
WORKS Secretary David Wereh has clarified that the Chimbu section of the Highlands Highway, from Chuave to Munde at the border of Western Highlands, will be redesigned and reconstructed using advanced engineering technologies.
 
During a tour of the highway with Works Minister Michael Nali from Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands to Lae on Monday, Wereh highlighted that the Chimbu section was the worst part of the highway that experienced a lot of problems.
 
“This is the section that experiences a lot of problems of landslips and landslides; there are waterlogged areas that need advanced engineering designs and under the K3billion Asian Development Bank-funded project to rehabilitate the highway, we want to address these issues once and for all.
 
“Chimbu will be a separate section that will consume up to almost one third of the K3billion and we will be controlling water, far away from the roads, right up to the water sources.
 
“It will be a design and construction project to which advanced engineering technology will be applied to construct and once construction is completed, it will solve these issues of water coming onto the road and destroying the tar, creating potholes, the drainage, landslide or landslips will stop.
 
“We will do it properly and appropriately and I am appealing to the people of Chimbu to accept developments and stop unnecessary claims,” Wereh said.
 
He said Chimbu was renowned for claims and that practice must be stopped in order for change and developments to take place.
 
“I can say in the last Highlands Highway rehabilitation project, Chimbu has consumed and burned up a lot of money through claims for compensation.
 
“We need to stop that.” 
-Post-Courier-

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/

Review into rental market

Source: Loop PNG

By: Cedric Patjole

 

The Independent Consumer & Competition Commission (ICCC) will carry out a comprehensive review of the rental market in the country.

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said he has tasked the commission to carry out the review in a bid to fully understand the factors causing high rental costs.

 

Abel said while the government’s initiative to make housing more affordable though is First Home Ownership Scheme is still ongoing, there are still many who rely on rental accommodation.

 

Accompanied by his Vice Minister for Treasury, Win Daki, Abel visited the ICCC yesterday as part of a routine stopover at various government institutions.

 

During their visit, the Deputy Prime Minister, announced the inclusion of the rental markets review, among existing reviews the commission is undertaking.

 

Abel said the rental market may need intervention, however, that will be decided once the review is completed and presented to the government.

 

“Many of us rely on rental to put a roof over our heads and our families. And in a general sense we want to allow free market activity. But I think in selected areas maybe for interim arrangement we can come up with Government intervention.

 

“So in the first instance we have to have the correct facts and figures, and the ICCC I’ve asked the Commissioner to look at the rental markets starting in Port Moresby, and is it reasonable? Is the private sector imposing upon us and the citizens within the housing market rates that are at a fair profit margin? Or are they unfairly imposing rental costs on our citizens which transfer value unfairly to elements of the private sector,” he said.

 

Through his visit Abel also wanted to know about the status of the commission.

 

He also announced that his Vice Minister would directly be responsible for the affairs of the ICCC.

 

ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said once they receive the Terms of Reference from the Government they will begin the review.

 

The review will begin in Port Moresby.

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