Want to find out more about Papua New Guinea? Try searching at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo and http://www.michie.net/png_faqs. The PNG Business and Tourism Directory located at http://www.pngbd.com is also an excellent place to look for PNG information.
For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.expedia.com and then click on the find a map option. Go to this link for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby. http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html
Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.
The Kokoda Track Foundation has been established in recognition of the assistance given to the Australian Diggers during the Pacific War from 1942 - 1945 by the people of PNG including the 'Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels' and the Koiari and Orokaivean people living along the Kokoda Track. The Foundation has a web site located at -- http://www.kokodatrackfoundation.org
Tree House Village -- http://www.treehouse.com.pg --For those who want a truly tropical style accommodation package then I suggest the exotic Tree House Village. The village is about 15 minute along the scenic Buluminski Highway from Kavieng in the New Ireland province. If anyone wants further details then please write to Tree House Village, PO Box 351, Kavieng, PNG. Phone +675 984 2666 / facsimile +675 984 2693 or email email@example.com
Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce -- http://www.pomcci.org.pg
PNG Institute of Directors -- http://www.id.org.pg/
Rotary Club of Boroko -- http://www.rotary.org.pg
Friends of Disabled Association -- http://www.foda.org.pg
The East New Britain Chamber of Commerce and East New Brisbane Tourism Bureau has a web site at --- http://www.eastnewbritain.com
http://www.pitic.org.au -- Pacific Island Trade and Investment Commission.
The PNG chapter of Transparency International has a web site located at -- http://www.transparencypng.org.pg.
Another good web site to visit is Ples Bilong PNG on the World Wide Web -- http://www.pngvillage.com.
Port Moresby Golf Club has a web site located at -- http://www.pomgolf.org.pg.
Visit Steve and Monica Parker's web site. They support Bible translation teams as members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and of SIL International -- http://wbtparker.apexwebsolutions.com/index.html -- Also visit SIL -- http://www.sil.org.pg and -- Aiyura Airstrip Repairs -- http://www.jaars.com/aviapubs/cr_aiyura.shtml
Statistics have revealed that there is one licenced gun for every 180 people in PNG. Of course that does not take into account the number of illegal guns in the country or the number held by police because a policeman on duty does not have a civilian licence to carry a gun. . The figures, from police records, reveal that there are over 27,000 civilian firearms licensed in the country. Of this 23,000 civilians had shotguns, 2000 were pistol holders and over 2500 had rifles. In addition to this it is widely believed a substantial amount of weapons, whether they be shotguns or automatic weapons, are illegally in the hands of PNG people around the country. It is also believed that weapons and ammunition are smuggled into the country and up into the highlands region on almost a daily basis.
A ban on firearm licences and the supply of ammunition is still in effect and will be maintained until further notice according to the Internal Security Minister.
Public Account Committee
The chairman of the Parliamentary Public Account Committee (PAC) has warned public service departments and statutory bodies that the PAC is keen to see that all public bodies submit annual reports and financial statements to the relevant Member of Parliament. This is as per section 63 of the Public Finances (Management) Act.
The price of petrol, diesel and kerosene has dropped. Aviation gas, however, has increased by 17.6 toea per litre making it K3.65 toea per litre. Petrol will now be K2.16 per litre, diesel K1.71 per litre and kerosene K1.43 per litre. These prices, including VAT/GST, are for the main centres of Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and Rabaul.
InterOil, a Canadian oil and gas company, aims to reduce the cost of petroleum products in PNG once its refinery comes on line later this year. Some of this will come from a decrease in transportation of costs around the country and no import duty on the refined products.
Port Moresby Police
The police in Port Moresby will now have access to bullet proof vests to help deal with criminals thanks to the Indonesian Embassy. The embassy gave 20 vests to police mobile unit at McGregor police barracks just outside Port Moresby.
A five-time escapee from Keravat Jail (East New Britain Province) has surrendered to police after being on the run.
An escapee from Bomana Jail just outside Port Moresby has been handed back to authorities by his father. The son escaped from minimum security recently.
Port Moresby Hospital
The Port Moresby General Hospital has received K7.9 million worth of medical supplies from World Vision Canada. The medicine arrived in a forty-foot and a 20-foot container. The supplies have been checked and verified by the Health Department.
Radio West New Britain
Radio West New Britain is off the air due to unpaid electricity bills totalling more than K28,000. The station will be off the air indefinitely until money can be found to pay the outstanding debt with PNG Power.
Okapa - Eastern Highlands
The police at Okapa in the Eastern Highlands Province now have a new vehicle valued at K96,000 to help assist in combating law and order problems in the area.
A leadership Tribunal has found the Auditor General, Mark Wani, guilty of 33 counts of misconduct in office. The announcement comes only five days before Mr Wani's appointment expires.
The PNG Value Added Tax (VAT) has been replaced by a Goods and Services TAX (GST) as from the 1st of January. However the first tax returns are not due until the 21st of February. The last returns for VAT are due on the 21st of January.
Ryan Pini, swimming for PNG, has won gold at the Queensland State championships in the 50-metre backstroke event. Pini also gave Australian Geoff Huegill a run for his money finishing a hundredth of a second behind him in the 100-metre butterfly to gain a sliver medal.
It has been alleged that until recently the water used by the Iarowari High School, Sogeri National High School, Sogeri Health Clinic, and the Police Station had not been treated for 10 years. The water was tested last year when students at the schools became sick. The tests found the water to be slightly contaminated and all residents were informed to boil the water before using it. The water is now being treated.
Cancer in PNG
Up to 10,000 Papua New Guineans die every year as a result of cancer. The only radiation machine at Lae's Angau General Hospital, which did all the radiation therapy for cancer patients in the country, broke down four years ago and has not been replaced. To make matters worse the country's last and only oncologist (cancer specialist) had left in 1998 and the Health Department is still unable to find a replacement.
A peace ceremony has been held in Goroka between two clans of Bena people in the Eastern Highlands. The two clans and various sub-clans have been fighting for over seven-years. The clans signed an agreement to lay down weapons and return to peace.
Pacific Mobile has announced a new web site and domain. It is located at -- http://www.pacificmobile.com.pg. The website contains information about how to get connected to the mobile network, products and services, job opportunities, Internet Service Providers, Frequently Asked Questions etc. Pacific Mobile is a subsidiary of PNG Telikom -- http://www.telikompng.com.pg
After 15 years of neglect lighthouses in PNG have finally been allocated some funding for repair and maintenance courtesy of a K100 million loan from the Asian Development Bank. The 160 lighthouses around the country have been neglected for many years and lighthouses in the Milne Bay and Oro provinces have been targeted as the first phase for repair commencing this year. Phase two of the project will commence in 2005 covering the New Guinea Islands region.
The fate of who is going to be the next Governor General of PNG is in the hands of the National Court at Waigani. Sir Pato Kakaraya was scheduled to be sworn in as the Governor General on the 20th of this month (Jan 2004) but the move has been blocked by the courts due to an application by one of the other candidates because of a concern over the parliamentary process used to elect Sir Pato. The election by Parliament of Sir Pato has been endorsed by the Queen but he is now restrained from taking the oath of office until the court deals with the matter.
The Eastern Highlands Provincial Government has announced that it now has a five-year plan to help guide the province. The plan is geared to addressing the deteriorating road conditions, law and order problems, education, health, agriculture, livestock and administrative capacity building.
The National Superannuation Fund (NasFund) has announced an audited profit of K55.3 million after tax for 2003. This is a 65 percent increase over the results for 2002. This makes the Nasfund one of the fastest growing financial institutions in the country with a growth rate of 37 percent per year.
POM International High School
Are students of Port Moresby International School being victimised? It would appear so if admissions to the Universities in PNG can be taken as a guide. Recent newspaper advertisements indicate that if you send your child to POM International High then your child has no chance of being admitted to a University in PNG. Is this true? Complaints have also been received from the Mount Hagen Secondary School. A student of the Hagen school was not offered a position at the university of PNG despite being the dux and having a clean record. A similar incident happened to the dux of the school in 2000.
Genuine visitors to PNG from China have recently come up against a brick wall with all access to the country barred briefly. An officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs has been suspended pending a further investigation. Several high level Chinese citizens from the petroleum and energy sector willing to invest millions of Kina in PNG were caught up in the fiasco and refused entry. The knee jerk move was intended to stop some of the perceived illegal entry into PNG by nationals of China. All that the temporary ban managed to do was cause severe embarrassment to the Foreign Affairs Minister and Secretary.
Chinese government officials in Moresby are having more than visa difficulties. A group of Chinese officials, not associated with the petroleum officials mentioned above, became stuck in the Prime Minister's private lift at Morauta Haus when they were on their way to a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Joshua Kalinoe. The officials were released from the lift after waiting 20 minutes for mechanics to rescue them.
It has been announced that only four cruise ships will visit PNG this year. One of the ships will be the Queen Elizabeth II on what is believed to be its last cruise will call into PNG waters. The other ships will be the World Discover, Sea Brown Spirit and the Clipper Odyssey. In previous years up to 10 cruise ships would visit PNG a year. The major problem stopping cruise ships from visiting PNG is the simple fact that PNG does not have the infrastructure to cater for large ships.
The Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae has been promised a shipment of medical equipment by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The hospital is now organising to ship the equipment with other medical supplies from Port Moresby. The Church has already donated equipment to Port Moresby General. (Angau is PNG's second largest hospital coming second to Port Moresby General Hospital).
Tari Post Office
The Post Office in Tari has been closed for two weeks following an armed gang assaulted the manager and stole K400 in cash and K200 worth of stamps. The Post Office has been a target of criminals after the police mobile squad withdrew three weeks ago. The Post Master is waiting direction from Port Moresby whether to re-open the office or close it permanently.
Several PNG based websites sustained a hack attack by C4 Red Eye today. It is unknown at this stage how many were actually attacked but Shane McLeod from the Australian ABC said there were several that he knew of including Air Niugini's main website at -- http://www.airniugini.com.pg
If you are attempting to get to any of these websites then be warned that they may not be available for a while while the damage is undone and the FREE BSD Unix system patched.
- several servers for treasury.gov.pg
Australian School Site
For any PNG readers who attended school in Australia there is a website that will help reunite you with your classmates and even enemies. It is located at http://www.schoolfriends.com.au. The site is growing on a daily basis and I was surprised at how many people I knew from the various schools that I attended. Some of the information is available free of charge and other information as you dig deeper will require a membership fee.
It is believed that arsonists set fire to the disused Pineapple Building at Waigani recently. Two fires were lit in piles of old paper located on the first and fifth floors of the historic Marea Haus. Fire fighters managed to put out the fires although the first fire truck that arrived did not have a ladder to enable fire-fighters to reach the fifth floor and then a water valve opened up and gushed water from a tank that proved hard to control. A second fire engine arrived equipped with a cherry picker and was able to hose down the flames saving the derelict structure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the land area of the provinces in PNG?
- National Capital and Central,29940 sq kms
- Oro Province,19827 sq kms
- Milne Bay Province,14000 sq kms
- Morobe Province,34,500 sq kms
- Madang Province,28000 sq kms
- Eastern Highlands,11706 sq kms
- Simbu Province,8476 sq kms
- Western Highlands,8288 sq kms
- Southern Highlands,25988 sq kms
- East Sepik,43000 sq kms
- West Sepik (Sandaun),36000 sq kms
- East New Britain,15500 sq kms
- West New Britain,21000 sq kms
- New Ireland,9500 sq kms
- Manus Province,2100 sq kms
- North Solomons Province,9400 sq kms
- Enga Province,10790 sq kms
- Western and Gulf Province, 135,000 sq kms
A policeman stationed at Goroka has been suspended following an incident where a vehicle was driven into a signboard and then hit a tree. Angry bystanders set fire to the vehicle after the incident. It has been alleged that the hire vehicle was used illegally by the policeman.
Forest Investment Seminar
The fourth annual Forest Investment Seminar will be held on the 17th of March at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Port Moresby. Conference fees for PNG Forest Industries Association members will be K90 and K110 for non members.
The grace period for a newly elected government against a vote of no confidence is currently set to 18 months and the present government is rapidly coming to the end of its 18 month period. The current Prime Minister, Sir Michaela Somare, has been attempting to get this increased to 36 months. The vote for the change has failed twice so far. Another vote is due shortly with the usual political lobbying on both sides declaring that they have the necessary votes to either defeat the motion or to carry it. It will be interesting to see who has the numbers and who benefits from the lobbying the most.
Sir Michael Somare's son, Arthur, has stepped aside to allow his father to give a ministry to the recently elected Abau MP, Dr Puka Temu. Dr Temu was sworn in as the new State Enterprises and Information Minister with Madang Open MP and former Tourism and Culture Minister, Alois Kingsley, taking on the vacant Fisheries portfolio after the sacking of Andrew Baing for abstaining from voting for the Government's amendment to increase the its grace period to 36 months.
- Post Courier Newspaper -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg
- The National Online Newspaper-- http://www.thenational.com.pg
- TreeHouse Productions -- http://www.treehouse.com.pg/treehouse__productions.htm
- PNG FM 100 -- http://www.tiare.net.pg/fm100/
- PNG Tok Pisin Network-- http://www.tokpisin.net
- Chin H Meen (Music) -- http://www.chmsupersound.com
- EM TV (Television) -- http://www.emtv.com.pg
- Hitron (Cable TV) -- http://www.hitron.com.pg
- Pacific View Multimedia http://www.pvm.com.pg
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Some of the ways of saying "that's all" are courtesy of Liz and her friends at the University of Technology in Lae. http://www.unitech.ac.pg
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