Finance Minister, James 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
It was an exponential learning curve.
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.
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.
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:
PUBLIC THANK YOU TO SUSAN MERRELL.
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!
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..
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.
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.