So who’s telling the truth? DSIP funds again

By PNG Echo

Hon Samuel Basil wants Bulolo's DSIP funds
Hon Samuel Basil wants Bulolo’s DSIP funds and he wants them NOW
James Marape says he has them - subject to budgetary constraints
James Marape says he already has them – subject to budgetary constraints









Finance MinisterJames Marape, has denied the claims of Sam Basil that Wau/Bulolo is being discriminated against in the distribution of DSIP funds (along with the electorates of all Opposition MPs) because of political affiliations. ( (Post Courier 28 February 2014)

Just last night on social media, Sam Basil claimed that he had received only K3million of DSIP funding with a second payment of K3 million being inaccessible because it was deposited in the wrong account.

There has also been an ‘urgent’ appeal to the Supreme Court, lodged by the Opposition, to halt payment of 2014 DSIP monies.  It will be heard on March 14.

Marape made this offer to Basil:

Continue reading So who’s telling the truth? DSIP funds again

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The Blame Game: DSIP Funds

 District Services Improvement Program (DSIP): is it an effective means of devolved funding to better reach the people or is it a members’ personal slush fund? Is DSIP funding (or the withholding of it) a way for the executive government to reward or penalise Members of Parliament at whim – and does it become a handy scapegoat for penalised MPs who haven’t delivered nor were ever going to? PNG Echo explores these questions.

Hon Samuel Basil wants Bulolo's DSIP funds
Hon Samuel Basil wants Bulolo’s DSIP funds

An urgent application to the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea has been lodged by Belden Namah (and/or the Opposition) and will be heard on March 14.

The application seeks to halt the mooted release of 2014 DSIP funds by the Minister of Finance James Marape, until the completed payment of 2013 funds owing to all MPs, especially Opposition Members.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Sam Basil announced that while all Government Minsters were paid in full by November 2103 (K10million), Members of the Opposition have received only K6 million paid in two batches – the first K3million in June 2013 and the second tranche of K3million in January 2014. (The second K3 million Basil claims has not reached opposition MPs because it was deposited in the wrong account)

It is not known (by this writer) when the remainder (K4million) is due to be paid or if it will be.

The Opposition is livid; they want what they consider their due.

Continue reading The Blame Game: DSIP Funds

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Wewak police charged with rape: Kudos to O’Neill

By PNG Echo.

Wewak Police Commander, Sakawar Kasieng and three of his officers have been charged with the rape of a teenage girl that occurred during a police raid of a village at Dagua.

An arrest was effected in an early morning raid by  the Police Mobile Squad deployed from Port Moresby, according to PNG Edge. 

The four police officers, including Commander Kasieng, were up before the Wewak court for mention yesterday on charges of rape, unlawful wounding and arson.  The four are reported to be  at the Kreer Heights police station lock up and have been denied bail.


A National disgrace
A National disgrace

What’s most shocking about the incident from which the charges arise, is the alleged enthusiastic involvement of the Wewak Police Commander Sakawar Kasieng

Commander Kasieng (remember that name)  not only led his men in the raid but also acted as a role model for their behaviour as he raped the young girl giving tacit approval for them to do so too.

Continue reading Wewak police charged with rape: Kudos to O’Neill

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Tuberculosis in PNG: Of myths and misconceptions

Late in 2012, I was an invited fellow of the National Press Foundation of Washington to the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung diseases’ (the Union) annual conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Union, is one of the world’s peak bodies in the fight against Tuberculosis (TB) along with the ‘Stop TB Partnership’ (a part of the World Health Organization -WHO).  It is these two organizations that largely inform the Government of PNG’s health initiatives, policies and strategies surrounding TB.  It was the Union that developed the Direct Observation Treatment – short course (DOTS) that is now administered by World Vision in many countries, including Papua New Guinea.

By PNG Echo

19 journalists and health reporters in Kuala Lumpur to learn about Tuberculosis
19 journalists and health reporters in Kuala Lumpur to learn about Tuberculosis

It was an exponential learning curve.

Professor Lee Reichman
Professor Lee Reichman

Nineteen journalists from TB ravaged countries such as India, China, Malawi, Uganda, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa, were intensively tutored at a specially convened pre-conference by such luminaries as Professor Lee Reichman, Founding Executive Director of the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute and keynote speaker at the conference and Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary, Stop TB Partnership as well as many other notables. I was one of the 19.

Dr Lucica Ditiu

The crux of what I learned should be understood by every PNGean because the incidence of TB in PNG is high (430 per 100,000 of population – 72 times higher than Australia) with an increase of 42% over the preceding 10 years.

Much of what was imparted I had not known previously.

Continue reading Tuberculosis in PNG: Of myths and misconceptions

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…and so the storyteller becomes the story

Nice writing Carmella Gware of the Post Courier.  Bravo to the editor of the Post Courier, Alexander Rheeney for having the guts to publish.  Who says PNG media is a puppet of politicians?

Post Courier Profile

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The rage within

By PNG Echo

Just one of 800
Just one of 800

It is not only the 800 languages or the ecological diversity that makes PNG unique (although that too): it is also the rage of young PNG men, manifest and misdirected in extreme forms of physical and verbal violence.

And it’s not just me that’s noticed.

Journalist, Jo Chandler, in an article she wrote following the public burning alive of Kepari Leniata in 2013 said:

Continue reading The rage within

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Jo-Sapphire Kiris wrote in facebook site ‘Sharp Talk’

Many a times I don’t agree with you. Today I salute you! Though you may not have known her [Schola kakas] the way I have, you have captured a part of her well in your tribute to her published in todays Post Courier at page 37. I was around at the time of the vote on the Equality & Participation Bill and your description of her at that moment and of the moment was well described. You have described and as you aptly put it, “This is just one incident in the life and career of a fighter for women’s rights in Papua New Guinea.”
“Women’s Rights have never been a popular cause in PNG, yet Schola Kakas was its willing champion” (Susan Merrell, 2014).
Tenk yu tru, Susa Susan Merrell!
(Josepha Kiris)
Thank you for your kind words, Josepha.  It was my pleasure to have shared my story and I send my heartfelt condolences to all those who knew and loved her.  Vale Schola – RIP dear lady..
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…then the crowd watched as they burned her alive.

By PNG Echo

It’s funny what gets etched into memory and what gets forgotten – I remember that today, February 6, is the birthday of the now adult twin boys of my childhood friend, whom I have not seen for decades.

They watched as she burned
They watched as she burned

Today is also the anniversary of the brutal slaying of Kepari Leniata – and I had forgotten.

Yet it was just one short year ago that this young mother, from Papua New Guinea was accused of witchcraft and publicly burned alive.

How she suffered is unimaginable.

After many hours of torture, with the perpetrators committing unspeakable acts of sexual violence on the young woman, she was tethered by her hands and her feet to planks of wood and carried to a public place where she was thrown on a rubbish tip and set alight.

It happened in the Western Highlands town of Mt. Hagen.

The assembled public watched.  They did nothing.  No one lifted a finger to help, even though some spectators with ringside seats were purportedly police officers.

All this they captured on the cameras of their smart phones.

How could they?

Continue reading …then the crowd watched as they burned her alive.

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