Mr Namah – who’s saying what? (An open letter to the Opposition Leader of PNG)

4033280-3x2-940x627Dear Mr Namah,
My father often used to say when I’d interrupt him:

“When I talk to the organ-grinder, I don’t expect the monkey to reply.”

Using this metaphor, PNG would be forgiven if they were getting confused as to who is who in your relationship (alleged) with Sonja Barry Ramoi.

I say “alleged” because while she is busy publicly giving the impression that the Opposition Leader of Papua New Guinea does not sneeze without her say so, you have been especially quiet about her.

All this from a man who the Prime Minister has stated has nothing to offer PNG but his big mouth – and NOW you’re quiet?

Anyway, Ramoi is often seen to write: “I will be advising him…” this – or “I told him to do…” that.  Which is all well and good because whoever has given you advice, it’s been spectacularly unsuccessful.

Can you count your MPs on the fingers of one hand yet?

Continue reading Mr Namah – who’s saying what? (An open letter to the Opposition Leader of PNG)

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Anjo and Ramoi: Not prepared and not there.

By PNG Echo

imagesThe defamation case by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon Peter O’Neill against Noel Anjo Kolao and Sonja Barry Ramoi in the Waigani courts today (24 April) was adjourned to 20 May for special fixture hearing of interim orders.

The judge deemed that the defence lawyers did not have their case ready and, as such, were ill-prepared to continue.

Ramoi - AWOL
Ramoi – AWOL

The order restraining Anjo and Ramoi from making any defamatory remarks against the Prime Minister was to remain in force.

Only Anjo appeared in person, resplendently attired in shiny silver – Ramoi was absent, notwithstanding that the court had ordered her attendance.

Anjo in the embrace of the Opposition Leader, Belden Namah
Anjo in the embrace of the Opposition Leader, Belden Namah

An irritated judge lambasted lawyers for the the defence and advised the need for Anjo to be counselled on the meaning of ‘defamation’ particularly on the need for comment to be based on facts.

Asking for clarification on what Anjo was claiming was a factual statement in his alleged defamatory comments, Anjo’s lawyer replied to the judge that they weren’t true.

Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, Lawyer for the Prime Minister
Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, Lawyer for the Prime Minister

Counsel for the defence has also filed a motion seeking to remove opposing counsel Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr for the Prime Minister.

Although citing a ‘conflict of interest’ due to Nonggorr’s alleged critical statements of Sonja Barry Ramoi, the interest presents more like a ‘confluence’ than a ‘conflict’ (both the PM and Counsel have a similar interest). This will also be argued on 20 May at Waigani.

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The Opposition: A way forward

By PNG Echo.

The coup government before Namah was left out in the cold
The coup government before Namah was left out in the cold

Apropos to the recent article penned by the Opposition Leader Belden Namah, it’s not useful to merely list the perceived wrongs of the government – most PNGeans would have their own opinions on those matters and be well aware of them.

PNGeans are looking for leadership.  The opposition is in no position to provide it.  It’s time for positive change

Seven things to consider.

1.The Opposition has been rendered impotent (admitted that in the article.)  There is little they can do to oppose any governmental excesses.  In other words, PNG, you’re on your own.

2. Whatever you think of the political strategy used to produce that impotence is neither here nor there.  The reality remains; as also pointed out in Namah’s article.

3.  It was Tokaut Tokstret (Ganjiki D Wayne of Sharp Talk) who once observed that in an organization, people who leave are usually disgruntled with the leader.

4. Namah has failed to attract any MPs to the opposition (except Tiensten – now in prison for corrupt activities, not a desirable fact when your fighting on an ‘anti-corruption platform).

5. On the other hand, Namah and has lost many MPs.  Consider: when he was Opposition Leader, prior to the August 2011 coup, he had the support of over 25 MPs – now he can count them on the fingers of one hand.  Once again, the reasons, fair or foul, don’t matter – it’s the reality that counts.

6. Namah’s political situation has gone from bad to worse – with the already set precedent, why would it be expected that the rot won’t continue?

7. If we look at global politics, leaders who fail are replaced.  Namah ,in any other context, say Australian, would have been replaced as Opposition Leader after the 2012 elections.

In Summary:

With the precedents set, there is no other way for the Opposition to gain efficacy other than to sack the leader and replace him with someone more credible and creditable.

In politics, numbers count – and the only thing that Namah has contributed to Opposition numbers is to their alarming depletion.  This has left PNG vulnerable.

Faith and loyalty is a fine thing, but Mr Namah, without his elevated National position, will still have the businesses he started ‘from his own back yard’.  He will still travel in private planes and bet more in a couple of days at international gambling tables than most PNGeans will earn in a lifetime – whereas, under his leadership of the Opposition, PNG can expect no Opposition at all.

Namah has had too much loyalty for too long – he’s grossly underperformed, been politically outmanoeuvred at every turn.  PNG deserves better.

It’s time to ‘Rausim.”

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Namah defeated

By PNG Echo

4033280-3x2-940x627Belden Namah, leader of the Parliamentary Opposition in Papua New Guinea has conceded defeat.

Politically, the Opposition is a spent force as Namah admits:

Your Parliamentary Opposition has done all it can within its means… Our numbers cannot make any difference on the Floor of Parliament…There is nothing further the Opposition can do…

But that’s not right.

There is one significant thing, in fact, that the opposition can still do – sack the leader and replace him with a more attractive alternative.

In any other political context this ineffectual leader would have been replaced a long time ago.

However, Mr Namah refuses to fall on his sword for the sake of Papua New Guinea depriving the country of a potentially vigorous and effective opposition.

No Mr. Namah, you have not done all you can do, you’ve not even done the least.

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Court documents: Prime Minister O’Neill sues for defamation

The Prime Minster wasn’t bluffing.

WS 278 OF 2014- COURT ORDER pg. 1-2WS 278 OF 2014- COURT ORDER pg. 2-2WS 278 OF 2014- COURT ORDER pg. 3-2

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Polye: Courts will not overrule PM

Is there too much overlapping and duplication of processes in the operation of the State of PNG?  Does the latest court challenge of former Treasurer Don Polye highlight the excesses? Asks PNG Echo

Former Treasurer. Don Polye
Former Treasurer. Don Polye

Yesterday (April 8) in the National Courts at Waigani, Justice Kandakasi declined to make an order re-instating Mr Polye as Treasurer pending a review of the correctness of the grounds for his dismissal.

Justice Kandakasi reminded Mr Polye that he was a judge and not the Prime Minister where the prerogative lay.

In another submission, which also crossed over legal boundaries and jurisdictions, Mr Napu lawyer for Mr Polye, sought a restraining order on the K3 billion loan that was obtained to buy Oil Search shares pending proceedings to establish the legality of the loan.

While Oil Search lawyers called for an adjournment because of the lack of notice emanating from Mr Polye’s lawyer, lawyers for the state argued that, as the Ombudsman’s Commission (OC) was looking into the case, if a ruling had to be made then it should be that the persons named in that inquiry should be directed to comply with the order until it was lifted or until there were further directives of the courts.

Justice Kandakasi so ordered.

The case was adjourned until 6 May when the learned judge expected that the state would have filed affidavits establishing the loans legality

Lawyer Tiffany Twivey -Nonggorr, acting for the State, said information establishing the legality of the processes had already been collated for the OC and she expected that they would have the necessary affidavits filed by 30 April in readiness.

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Courts gag Sonja Barry Ramoi and Noel Anjo Kolao

By PNG Echo

Sonja Barry Ramoi - court gag
Sonja Barry Ramoi – court gag

Lawyers for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill have today obtained interlocutory orders from Waigani National Court (ex parte) preventing Sonja Barry Ramoi and Noel Anjo Kolao publishing anything defamatory against the Prime Minister (including on the internet or social media fora) until a defamation case can be heard.

This follows the filing of 16 separate defamation charges against the duo by the Prime Minister in the National Court on 2 April.

Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, Lawyer for the Prime Minister
Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, Lawyer for the Prime Minister

Today’s decision was handed down by Justice Kandakasi and a date of 24 April was set when the matter will return to court.

Judge Kandaskasi ordered that both Kolao and Ramoi should attend in person – not just their lawyers and has suggested that lawyers for the Prime Minister should use Facebook as well as the ordinary means to serve them both

Lawyer Tiffany Twivey- Nonggorr, for the Prime Minister has contacted both and asked them to advise when and where they can be served.

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Autism: Only rich parents need apply



Autism Awareness Day (April 2) is a time to reflect on the advances in treating this disease but it is also a time to reflect on how far there is still to go in making treatment universally affordable.
Writes Susan Merrell



Continue reading Autism: Only rich parents need apply

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Manus: What price national pride?

By Susan Merrell  (edited and re-published)

The bilateral PNG solution to Australia’s refugee problem is wrong on so many levels, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is becoming, along with the asylum seekers, just collateral damage in a cynical political manoeuvre – where ‘the end justifies the means’ is the cynical catchcry even as people die.

aus8_manning-phiddian_6But whereas the asylum seekers have their global advocates, not much has been written from the perspective of PNG.  Back in July 2013, I looked at this…

…from the point of view of the independent nation/state of Papua New Guinea

And he sold our reputation...
And he sold our reputation…


And he sold our reputation,
on the proceeds he will dine.
In a land of golden plenty
where just the dregs are mine.
(With apologies to) Idris Davies


Continue reading Manus: What price national pride?

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