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 Post subject: Beached Ship of State?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:26 am 
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Location: Cooranbong, NSW
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There is an interesting observation of PM Michael Somare in Time's Golden Anniversary edition (November 9). It reads:

"When Papua New Guinea won its independence in 1975, Somare, the son of a policeman turned trader, became its first Prime Minister. A tenacious and canny operator, Somare has led at regular intervals ever since, proof both of his dedication---and of his country's sad lack of progress."

Is the Chief the captain of a ship of state that has run aground, and did he help to put it there?

Just wondering

Laurie M

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:09 am 
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You can read an earlier post of 28 October in the Political Satire stream where I mentioned the Konematalik High School, which only opened for its first classes in Feb 2009.

It had been prematurely rushed through by Sir J’s NIP Assembly and many of its buildings are not of permanent materials.

Yesterday I received a letter from Lavongai, which I quote verbatim:
“Kone is the first secondary high school in New Hanover. Even though it is the first there is no Maths or Science teacher to teach; there is also break & enter; the teachers miss classes whenever they feel like it; the school is not registered and the land has not yet been settled by two disputing clans in the area.
A local person has asked Mr Chan (Governor) to close down the school since it has not been meeting parents, students and the Education requirements. Mr Chan went on air; not quite happy with the spokesman.”

Of course elsewhere in the sub-district island we had all Grade 1-6 Community Schools expanding themselves to allow all Year 7 & year 8 students to continue their education. Wow! That’s really great! Yes, but sadly in most schools no new classrooms were built with no dedicated - Science, Woodwork, Mechanical, Home Economics and libraries.
One night in 2008 I was sitting with my two grandchildren, both Yr 7 and saw they were trying to draw simple scientific apparatus for their homework. They had never seen nor had hands-on experience of a Bunsen burner, beaker, pipette etc.etc. I managed to find some examples in some old books that had survived the white ants, so that they were able to complete their assignment of these mysterious pieces of equipment. That’s when I gained an insight into the sheer political trick, which rural kids have had foist on them by The Chief and his ilk over recent years. Honestly I felt like crying to realise how my own flesh and blood were being deprived of even a basic education.
Of course for the UNO statistic book PNG now ‘has more children in fulltime education upto Year 8 than in any time previously.’ Wonderful say the outside world!
Arthur


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 Post subject: You Wonder Why
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:33 am 
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I noted that in a National report 16 Oct 2009 ‘Govt set to disband riots probe’ - Jamie Maxtone-Graham MP, the Chairman of the anti-Asian Riots investigation inquiry was declared by a parliamentary caucus (When? and who were they???) to be:
“No longer fit to chair the panel.”

Jamie’s response the next day was to say: “It took 4 months to get any funds for the investigation; Parliament is a rubber stamp for the executive; Govt doesn’t want to be checked on; Parliament is dead!” He also said that he wanted to complete the report and deliver it to parliament.

The newspaper went on to tell us that a new inquiry panel is to be created that will not be open to the press and the first witness will be the reporter who fabricated the 16000 illegal Filipinos story in Post Courier on 16th Oct. Turned out only about 2850 are illegal, according to a Philippine embassy spokes person. How does an embassy know there are so many illegals? And then do nothing about it?

Perhaps another reason may have been the earlier news of Jamie, Powes Parkop MP and Bonie Kondra MP launching the PNG Charter of the IPWP (International Parliamentarians for West Papua). There was a large picture of the three of them and a report of their saying “West Papua’s Melanesian brothers and sisters in PNG cannot remain silent on the issue any more.”

That release cast a shadow on the article released on same day of a bilateral meeting held at the APEC meeting in Singapore between Somare and Indonesian President. An Indonesian presidential Spokesman Mr Djalal said, “Sir Michael reaffirmed that the current status of Papua was final as part of the unitary state of Indonesia. Also the other National news next day, 17th Oct., of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visiting PNG in February.

The Post Courier reported on 17th Oct. that in London Benny Wenda a spokesman for Koteka Tribal Assembly a West Papuan independence group, reiterated the plea for self-determination that all UNO members had accepted 40 years ago as being genuine and their basic human right but who have failed to live up to that declaration ever since.

So I wonder if the reality is that The Chief was upset by the publicity Jamie and his mates had achieved for the Melenesians of West Papua and merely wanted to pay him back for upstaging his APEC meeting with Pres. S. B. Y.

It is always ironic to me that when one sees a map of Kalimantan (Borneo Island) you see Indnesia doesn’t control all of the island which is twice as large as W Papau but divided as below:
Kalimantan 547891 sq km has 12 million Asian people
Malaysian - Sarawak 125000 sq km has 2.5 million Asian people.
Malaysian - Sabah 76000 sq km has 3.4 million Asian people.
Brunei has 5765 sq km has 400000 Asian people
Compare
West Papua 420540 sq km and 2.6 million Melenesian people.

Why does Indonesia allow its own island of Kalmantan to be sub-divided into control by three Asian nations while dismissing the 40 years claim by the very ethnically different Melenesians of West Papua their freedom?

Politics is such good fun!

Arthur


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:35 am 
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Post Courier 23/11/09. A sad story from the Gulf, where billions of litres of oil have been sent on its merry way for many years now.
article read:
[GULF Province nurses and ancillary staff are crying foul over working conditions at the Kerema Hospital in the past 16 years.

It has come to a stage where we can no longer tolerate any more working under serious health hazardous conditions. The facilities currently in existence are being used to provide curative health service and do not resemble the standard hospital but a rural health centre,” she said.

The Kerema General hospital was closed in 1993 by the then Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health Dr Isaac Ake due to the dilapidated conditions of the hospital.

“The situation is so appalling that the wards are often congested with all kinds of diseases, posing great danger in cross infection from patients to the guardians, staff and even patients to patients. This is simply due to the poor physical structure of the buildings with inadequate spacing, polluted air and not conducive enough to meet a requirement of the occupational health and safety standard,’’

“It is evident that the hospital is surrounded by large water ponds due to poor drainage and the hospital buildings have become breeding grounds for the mosquitoes,’’

PEA president Michael Malabag supported the union saying that he had met Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc last Friday who had assured him that the Government will be sending a rapid response unit team to go to the Kerema headquarters, assess the situation and will take some immediate measures to address the issue.]

Oh by the way, Nurses association Gulf branch president Elvis Pyrikah said they had been serving outpatients out of a tent since the hospital was condemned 16 years ago.

Now that’s government in action.
Arthur


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 Post subject: Kerema Hospital
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:57 am 
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Arthur, you need to understand the use of the old art of dialectic. Fact finding tours and investigations actually equal expensive and money wasting 'jollies' for the boys. These are the same people who should have known what was going on well before the left on their taxpayer funded holiday and have no real idea what they can actually do to fix the problem anyway. Still, perhaps the team might want to collect a six pack or two or present a cheque with one hand and then ask for it back after the photos have been taken. This happened with a previuous handout elsewhere in Papua.

It's good thing I've not become cynical in my old age.

For some reason I'm reminded of Maggie Thatcher who, like her or loath her, was able to use her brain. During the siege of the Iranian Embassy in London she was asked 'Do you want to go and see what's happening'? Her response was something the SAS actually on the spot would have prayed for and went something like "I imagine a Prime Minister is the last person people on the spot need at the moment!".

On the other hand, maybe Empty Somare should now go to Kerema for his check ups? Singapore and Cairns must be rather boring by now anyway?


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 Post subject: Down in the mouth
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:17 am 
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Thanks Paul for the short lesson.
Is today’s National article on the dearth of dentists in PNG an example of dialectic philosophy or just evidence of the expensive ‘junket-ism’ you mentioned in your post?

Surprisingly after ceasing to train dentists since 1988 the nations now has only 17 dentists!

To assist this tiny team who daily try to stem the oral decay of a nation and have a possible quota of 353000 patients each, the government has given them not just an adviser but a Principal Adviser of Oral Health. This suggests to a mere mortal that somewhere there is a Deputy Principal Adviser; and he or she must control at least a few run-of-the-drill Ordinary Advisers.

This must be true because at the week long junket in the upmarket Lae International Hotel we are told that instead of 18 persons there are in fact ‘30 Dental Professionals from around the country’ attending the conference.
Obviously in their offices they do not have access to phone nor Internet, which they could have used instead of expensively flying to Lae and being lodged in this expensive hotel. When I was there in 2007, on a Coffee Connections tab, I think a glass of coke was about K5 but perhaps that was because there was a slice of lemon hanging on the rim. And we all know a muli ain’t cheap.
I would suggest that the cost for the seven-day mouthing will be atleast K50000 or more if the island reps have to do the KVG-RAB-POM-LAE route that ANG had in 2008

I must mention Taskul’s dentistry. Set up way back in 70s and staffed by husband and wife team until very recently. It had all the electrical fittings but there was no budget to run wiring into the room even if Taskul power was working, which it wasn’t for most days over the past 30 years. The dentist chair had obviously been a job lot from the days of Laurel & Hardy in a Hollywood western where I seem to recall the comics making me laugh when I was a kid. If you sat in and then leant back in the normal submissive patient mode you did a back somersault as the seat had no support to the back of the chair. The only corrective work Clement the dentist could only do was pull them out as they were doing in rural USA when Oliver was born in the late 19th century.

When I eventually hit Wales in 1999 after 39 years of PNG my dentists said, “Open please Mr Williams.” Then he gasped and exclaimed, “Where the hell have you been?” It took many weeks to get the remains of my once proud ivories into an acceptable condition.

Let’s hope the Chief’s vision for 2050 will include restarting the training of dentists; adequate equipment and supplies. If not as Stanley Holloway once said in his monologue, ‘Magana Karta’ –
“They all gnashed their teeth and them that had no teeth gnashed their gums!”

Arthur


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:20 am 
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It was good to read the report in P Courier (25 Nov 09) that the National Cultural Commission is commencing a pilot Cultural Mapping project in Malalaua.
For all concerned environmentalists this must be a welcome start on something, which plenty of us have been asking for many years. Whilst a member of the Lokal Envaironmen Faundesen (LEF) from 1991-1999 it was one of the tools we discussed and attempted to provide Lavongai with such a map which would be put together with the help of all citizens of our island but especially the aged ones who are dying out too soon for many to record their community’s cultural history and indeed their experiences of the arrival of full-time occupation by the whiteman since 1930’s including their personal experiences during WW2.
Sadly very few of the LEF membership wanted to spend time and effort in carrying out the task in their own village areas. So a collection would have made a start in the compilation of a written history of Lavongai Island.
Such a map would have been of benefit to future social scientists, historians etc. But I think that environmentally it is an essential tool with which to control reckless logging, mining or other exploitation of resources in any given area. You are able to exclude culturally important sites from the depravations of such industries and it is possible that if there are plenty it may even suggest to the project planners that it is not worthwhile proceeding if the company has to excise so many parts of the planned project area. As well under the Forest Act (1991 I think) the Dept of forestry had to make a national forest inventory before any further permits were issued. Needless to say the Government’s plan – never happened.
This cultural mapping is already a legal requirement in Australia, witness the original miners at Tabar Islands Group, Simberi Mining Corporation, who carried such investigations in South Australia in 2007/8 at the Mt Sarah & Mt Narlee sites where Aboriginal Work Clearance Surveys were carried out by approved consultants and representatives for the local Native Title Holders in accordance with the regulations. Out of twelve possible working areas only one site was not yet cleared for further exploration at Mt. Sarah because it was considered to be within areas of cultural significance or an area of mythological significance.
Surely all this sort of activity should have ben completed before the current massive resources sell off was allowed to begin. Once again the Captain for the good ship MV PNG has failed his people.
While I was on Lavongai in 2008 Gabriel Mandi a founder member of LEF showed me the excellent work he had done for the Patiagaga ward area with nearly every cultural site clearly named and located and a brief description of the type of site; some very interesting stories. I was sorry to have to leave him but did advise him to contact some kindred environmentally spirits in Kavieng.
Anyway I hope that the Nat. Cultural Commission can push ahead with the pilot project and then get down to a full national project. When Gabriel’s work could be a useful starter for Lavongai.
Lavongai tapasuk
Arthur


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:11 am 
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When the Lihir Island gold mine was being considered, I recall the initial hype about the benefits for Kavieng, which reports in the press and on NBC had created, it all faded into merely a very small office near the golf club, with the main office in Port Moresby. Today’s Focus article in Post Courier 25 Nov 2009 is trying to give a balance to the similar hype that the LNG projects are causing.

The reality is revealed in the item by Dr Thomas Webster & his co-writer Linda Duncan who clearly advise us that PNG will NOT receive any revenue directly from the project until 2014. No ken wari, bihain taim bai ikam! (Every politician’s favourite theme motto) Anyway they go on to say there will be additional revenue from personal & corporate income tax. Can the Internal Revenue claw-back income tax for the salaries which, will be paid to the 6000+ employees we are told to expect to work on the project, if their salaries are paid direct into overseas banks?

More positively they say how the government predicts increased economic activity in the retail & wholesale sectors. That’s when I think back to my couple of years on Lihir and seeing the overseas container ships regular runs from NZ to Lihir mine wharf, no berthage or harbour dues, when they delivered 95% of all the food required for the mine. Then came the regular fuel runs by one of the ‘7-Sisters’ oil company’s vessels delivering fuel direct to mine facilities with once again no harbour fees. These missed fees would have been enough, the Kavieng Harbour Master told me, to have paid for redevelopment of Kavieng’s main wharf and all the other smaller wharves around the province with some cash left over too.

I felt sorry for the wholesalers and retailers of Kavieng and Namatanai who virtually got nothing out of the huge hundreds of million project in the province. Of course Rimbunan Hijau were in from the start with a large supermarket at Lihir. Its profits there, destined for repatriation. Aswell as Best-Buy (STC owned~possibly) which itself got into problems and may have since closed; there was a locally owned attempt to run one in competition to RH but seemed to me that they didn’t have the capital base to compete with that of the ‘Caterpillar of the forest’ - so they sold mostly beer and closed down a few times while I was working there.

I am sure it is the same with all PNG’s huge projects and the LNG deal will be the same. Wouldn’t it have been better to have addressed these issues before the event? Boosting apprenticeships to supply skilled workers; assistance with organising retail outlets and wholesalers rather than let RH or someone similar from getting their feet in the trough again; vegetable projects; rice projects etc etc; all of which should be up and running before a start update for the project is imposed on Exxon rather than them give the government a deadline of Dec 1st to sign up to. When the nation is ready the project then can start! It’s almost as if the bean-counters of these multinationals are telling their Directors, ‘Let’s get in, make mint and then get out, before they tighten up their environment and commercial laws. The margins must be extra large, otherwise why would anyone want to mine in Guinea, Congo, Nigeria or any other corrupt, often violent or even war torn land.

Daily you read of the conditions of townships around the resource giants’ lairs where conditions are disgraceful considering how their multi-billion company neighbours, aided by the careless, incompetent, badly funded and often corrupt host government departments, are trashing the areas mineral or timber resource as rapidly as they can. Today you can read of Ialibu’s plea for something to be done to improve the conditions of life there. Earlier in the month we had eyewitness accounts from rural Wabo, Nomad, Garaina, Bamu and even PNG’s second city is screaming for help with its power and potholes, proper equipment for cancer treatment.

Dig it! Shift it! Mint it!…move out!
Arthur


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:30 am 
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Oh Brothers – I have written several posts recently touching on the exploitation of PNG resources and questioning the benefits these projects have brought to the nations poor citizens. Read today’s article in the National, whose title I have used above, which succinctly puts several of my points into a neat all in one report. Will ministers and/or PM read this editorial in the newspaper owned by friends at RH. Atleast will The Grand Chief when he gets back from Tobago?

This month I have noted 116 news reports in the two PNG dailies; all describing some of the antics in what today’s (27/11/09) editorial writes is the ‘stampede’ to get #1 LNG project up and running, but reminds us ‘that after the dusts settles it is too late!’

Do the PM and his caucus really care for the nation he helped launch into the world’s political & economic oceans? I liken his answer to reporters asking if PNG people were poor, “No! They have their gardens!” to Marie Antoinette’s, “Let them eat cake!”

Anyway read it for your selves, if you haven’t already done so at http://www.thenational.com.pg/?q=node/3360

Arthur

ps Tok win tasol long Cardiff, ples kol na rein emi pundaun bigpela, ‘Oz bai I lus tudei Apinun!’ I for one am not holding my breath.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Sorry about that 33-12 scoreline, Arthur. Put it down to injuries.

Have a cold one to wash away the sorrows. Or is the beer also warm in Wales?

Commiserations

Laurie M :(

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 Post subject: The Alternative Govt.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:06 am 
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Hi
Was looking at the reply by Bart Philemon to the budget.
It was in P Courier25 Nov. and something seemed strange. Look at his figures.
Bart tells us how "In 2002, we spent K898.9 million on public service salaries representing 35.4 per cent of the total recurrent budget; while we spent K616.7 million on goods and services.”

In 2008, we spent K1.588 billion was spent on public service salaries and wages, while K1.49 billion went on goods and services.

Thus in six years, the wages had doubled at the expense of goods and services to the people."

ACTUALLY: Wages increased 76% & Goods/Services increased 141%

Arthur

ps 1 Is anyone having problems with getting P Courier and or National on Inet? Haven't been able to read it for three days.

ps 2 Rugby - Mea Culpa


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 Post subject: Gremlins?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:40 am 
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Hi Arthur,

I understand you are not alone in being unable to access PNG newspapers on line.

I wonder if the recent instance where a hacker got into the server of The National and ruined the on line service has happened again. Will check with my contacts.

Cheers mate,

Paul


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 Post subject: Beached ship of State
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:46 am 
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In the meantime, this weeks "TIME" has a leading article on the Chinese exploitation of PNG.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:54 am 
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Thanks Robert,

very interesting article.

The Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere of the 20th Century seems to have been reinvented with not surprisingly the same results for those who do not share in the benefits but only in providing them.

If the bush knives are indeed being sharpened and the level of frustration is clearly rising, it is only a matter of time before the pot boils over.

What will Australia's position be if there is open rebellion? If PNG cannot control it's own people who are conducting tribal wars in the Highlands, what might happen when the Chinese in PNG are attacked? If the Chinese feel their nationals are threatened, would they be 'invited' to send troops to protect their citizens and investments? If that happened, what would Australia's position be? What if China wished to establish a permanent military presence in PNG?

I wonder what a fly on the wall might have overheard when the Chinese heir apparent met with PNG and Australian Prime Ministers recently? Of course the Ozzie fly would have had to speak Mandarin.

See the article from Time Magazine (on line)

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 87,00.html


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 Post subject: MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING’
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:57 am 
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I echo the P Courier (Fri. 4th Dec 09) letter writer ‘Landowner-Hides’ who tells the Govt. not to force landowners to sign the LBBSA. An agreement is evidence of mutual understanding about some issue. There have been several newspaper reports of ‘leaders’ telling disgruntled landowners. “OK we shall put your slice of the benefits into a [safe] trust account, to be distributed when the problems you are raising have been solved: obviously they mean some time in the future, meanwhile we will press on with implementing the project. Surely that is a contradiction of a basic attribute of an agreement and must mean any purported Agreement is illegal.
One of the major ‘stake holders’ (hate that cheap phrase) is the government that is on record as misusing the income from the exploitation of the nation’s natural, particularly mineral, resources. It is therefore vitally important that the landowners of the areas impacted by LNG or any other development are provided with adequate opportunities of settling unsolved current distribution of royalties, compensation and court orders – BEFORE any new project is begun in their areas.
To Exxon, Somare, and other interested parties, especially outside PNG, the strong vocal demands of landowners expressed in noisy disrupted meetings and sometimes with violence, may appear to be the cries of greedy, lazy tribespeople trying to get on the ‘gravy train’, ‘feather their nest’, ‘get their hands in the trough’ etc etc but landowners must be listened to!
There are far too many nations in this world, which have rode roughshod over the indigenous rights of their people and where vast swathes of native land has been alienated by a few educated elites and their descendants who now treat the poor of the countries as peasants or slave labour for past and sadly now current exploitation that affords those elites with vast wealth.
PNG has vast wealth and it lies on or under the land of 80-90% of its people through customary land tenure. Therefore respect them and their needs, wishes and yes demands or go elsewhere!
The land ownership of PNG is a hindrance to the western capitalist model of development but as any worthy businessman knows a problem is there to be solved. For my past 40 years of association with this beautiful nation there have been several attempts to try and solve it. In my westernised immaturity on such matters I even got a mention in my early days with the first ‘Land’ enquiry, when I gave my take on the topic. Ever since that
I have been in a learning mode.
The current trend in land matters came to the fore in the sudden surprising gazettal in 2008 of three blocks of Central Lavongai for ‘Commercial & Agricultural development’. To the vast majority of this matrilineal organised tribe made up of 12 clans it had been a secretive move. Elites had spent time incorporating land groups; sometimes without the knowledge of any clan members who they knew or suspected would have opposed such incorporation. It is forbidden by law for any ILG (Incorporated Land Group) to involve itself in commercial activities. To do that they must form a Management Company that will then deal commercially with any would be developers in the individual or as in Lavongai’s case several land group area.
You will also note how the land gazetted was to be for Commercial or Agricultural use (for 99 years). The areas in Lavongai are still rich in natural rainforest and to make any development would lead to felling of these valuable trees. But cunningly as an agricultural lease it would circumvent the laws of Forestry and of course could mean clear felling, which is illegal, of every tree in the area, without supervision by skilled and supposedly impartial forestry officers.
An added insult to the now defacto landless Lavongais living in the three areas is that in the gazettal it stated that there would be no Land rental during the term of the agreement. No ‘Benefit Sharing Agreements’ yet for these suddenly impoverished rural people. In other words they and the State would not receive any monetary input for the agreement and the rule of contract once was that ‘There must be consideration’ for it to be legally binding.
The traditional land tenure system of PNG had been superseded by an educated elite – for the next 99 years, atleast.
Sadly this is not only a problem for my children and grandchildren who were never consulted about the now ‘done deal’ and they come from the huge Hornbill (tok ples - Benge-benge or pidgin - Kokomo) clan which has land rights in most areas of the island sub-district; but it is repeated all over PNG. You weekly see some mention of a Management Company going ahead with deals for massive rural development projects. Several are for cassava or tapioc bio-fuel projects. One will transport the cassava to an overseas factory for refining ‘until viability’ has been established to build a factory in PNG.
You may recall the thankfully aborted but attempted commercial alienation of a huge area of the Milne Bay island of Woodlark (80000 hectares) for an immense agricultural project, tremendously impacting on the 6000 people of the beautiful island. The company, Malaysian Agriculture Sprit Group Vitroplant would allegedly clear 70 per cent of the island’s forest into oil palm plantations (P Courier 19/06/09) or read more detailed story by Jeremy Hance at http://news.mongabay.com/2007/1213-woodlark.html.
P Courier also reported (28/05/09) on Limawo Holdings Ltd joint venture project with WADL (Wewak Agricultural Development Ltd.) in East Sepik that took over nine years to get going and involved 56 Incorporated Land Groups. It will involve 56 major oil palm plantations and would be bigger than WNBritain’s mere 6 plantations. It however does mention Benefit Sharing for the participating ILGs. (I recall the fighting and ill feeling that sprung from the similar Bait Royalty payments sharing that hit New Ireland in the late 70s) PNG’s new oil palm projects ignore the policy of the Oil Palm producers not to allow membership of the worldwide Oil Palm Growers Association that is said to exclude oil palm product from any newly cut rainforests. The unmentioned directors or owners of Limawo, WADL and/or elite in the Sepik, of which the Somare family is one, must know something the public do not.
I mention all this because the collective readership of exkiap must have brains enough to seriously consider the
so-called land-problem that I prefer to call land-opportunity and how traditional land tenure could be incorporated into a viable system whereby landowners could directly participate in the economic use of their clan lands, if they wished.
I leave you with one related question to kick off with:
Why did the new legislation not allow Incorporated Land Groups to deal directly in commercial activity?
Samting bilong graun
Arthur


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