Blogs about PNG
All about the Kokoda Track and The Northern Beaches -- http://tinyurl.com/3e3uar
Jac and John's PNG Adventure -- http://tinyurl.com/3ex8vv
Nineteen years and counting in PNG -- http://nancysullivan.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/the-vicar-story.html
Blog entry from Kundiawa -- http://blogs.statravel.com/jrosenthal/blog/papua-new-guinea/kundiawa-mon-2-march/
Cockroaches still abound -- http://tinyurl.com/2zusho
Conference in Paradise -- http://rabauldailyphoto-jules.blogspot.com/2008/03/conference-in-paradise.html
20 Things you may (or may not) want to know about PNG -- http://tinyurl.com/2rqzex
Visit to Kumul Lodge -- http://pngtourismnews.blogspot.com/2008/02/visit-to-kumul-lodge.html
PNG in the News
Underwater wonders of PNG captured for the world to see on IMAX -- http://www.etravelblackboard.com/index.asp?id=74923&nav=13
Coffee with conscience -- http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/sundaystartimes/auckland/4417994a6497.html
Increasing Volcanic Activity Worldwide -- http://blog.2012planetx.com/archives/109
Sorcery killers at large -- http://www.thenational.com.pg/022908/nation_40.htm
The PNG Government has allocated 4 million US dollars for the development of cooperative groups in the country. -- http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=38379
Bill Jasper of InterOil, has welcomed the appointment of Bechtel Limited to spearhead construction of the multi-billion-kina Liquid Niugini Gas project in PNG -- http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=38381
HIV & TB
In PNG, hospital data suggests that half of all people with HIV die of Tuberculosis (TB). This is because HIV weakens the immune system making it easier for TB to get a hold. TB is curable by a strict drug regime and the new DOTS program of drugs and treatment supervision reduces time off work and improves treatment outcomes. Tuberculosis is the fourth highest cause of death in PNG and responsible for over 27% of hospital admissions.
Lae based Lutheran Shipping has had its services suspended over maritime safety issues raised by the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA). The Ships and Survey Inspection division of NMSA has grounded four of the company's eight ships. Lutheran Shipping's vessels grounded were MV Mamose Express, MV Maneba, MV Rita and the MV Umboi. The ships taken out of service were serving the local ports such as Buki, Maneba, Wasu, Sialum, and Siassi in Morobe, Madang, East Sepik, Sandaun, Manus and West New Britain provinces.
It has been alleged that the National Housing Corporation (NHC) has sold a block of flats in Gordons for K600,000, well under the estimated actual value. The Post Courier has reported that over 800 tenants occupy the flats.
Dominic Kaumu, the acting general manager, marketing for Air Niugini has said that passenger growth had increased from 18 to 20 per cent in the past 12 months and airfreight had gone up by 15 per cent. He also mentioned that Air Niugini was to get two more Dash 8 planes by the end of this month, one of which will be converted into a dedicated freighter plane.
By the end of March Air Niugini will operate a direct flight from Port Moresby to Sydney on Fridays and Sundays and Port Moresby to Brisbane on Saturdays and Mondays. He said that Air Niugini has arranged to lease an aircraft for the Sydney and Brisbane flights. This aircraft is similar to a F100 but will have 94 normal seats and 10 business class seats. He said by the end of March a second service to Manila and an extra service will also be operated between Daru and Kiunga.
Air Niugini, the National flag carrier says it is well on target to phase out the use of paper tickets by May this year. The deadline has been set by the International Air Transport Association. Air Niugini has been working towards the deadline since 2004 and is currently up to 82 per cent on e-ticket usage within the network. The airline can issue paperless tickets on all domestic routes except for the sectors POM to Tari and Mendi as they lack proper facilities.
Air Niugini has completed a total eight interline e-ticket agreements with other airlines including Emirates, Air Lanka, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Korean Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air and Continental Airlines.
NASFUND has announced its 2007 results reconfirming its position as the leader in superannuation in PNG. The Fund posted enormous gains in returns, assets, membership and contributing employers.
NASFUND has credited 37 percent interest to member's accounts, and confirmed that the transfer into individual member accounts occurred on the 15th of February. The audit results highlighted a growth in net assets of 45 percent and a return of 40 percent over the year. The Fund has allocated approximately a further 3 percent to reserves bringing total reserves to K79 million or 6 percent of the net asset value of the Fund.
University of Technology
Three more senior lecturers have quit the PNG University of Technology. Inside sources say that the university environment was no longer conducive to continue to work and that the lecturers could not work under the current senior management and council because they had lost confidence in them.
The Vice chancellor, Dr Misty Baloiloi, has assured students, parents and other stakeholders that most academic departments had sufficient fulltime staff, except for mining and applied science departments. He said part time staff would be used for the first semester.
Parents of students attending the University of Technology have vowed to hold the administration and its National Academic Staff Association (NASA) accountable for their children's lack of education.
See -- http://www.thenational.com.pg/030308/letter1.htm
A new fruit drying plant has been set up in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province. The plant, the first of its kind in the country, was established by locally owned company New Guinea Fruit Limited, as an initiative to encourage a sustainable economy for rural people. General manager Sally Watson said the company was focusing on developing products from locally grown fruits, such as fruit wines, jams, and juice.
The Wau Microbank (WMB) has opened its fifth branch in Bulolo, Morobe province. The branch is housed in a PNG Forest Product building that was renovated by WMB at a cost of K40,000. The WMB's first branch was opened in Wau in 2004, which was later replicated in Lae, Kainantu, Wewak and now Bulolo.
The Opposition has expressed concern over the National Government setting up costly inquiries and not acting on the findings and recommendations of such probes. Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta challenged Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to be firm and to allow the announced Department of Finance probe to be carried out independently and on completion, fully implement the recommendations.
Worsening road conditions and security concerns have meant that companies who depend on the Highlands Highway are being hard hit with loses especially when transporting goods from the highlands to Lae for shipment to other ports.
PNG Power Billing
PNG Power, PNG's only supplier of electricity, has engaged utility billing specialist Talgentra to upgrade its billing and customer management system to Gentrack Velocity.
see -- http://www.cio.com.au/index.php/id;835520139
Gentrack is a leading billing and customer management solution developed for energy and water utility companies around the world. -- http://www.talgentra.com
Where is the Kokoda Track?
Soc Kienzle says the section of the Kokoda Track that is currently under the threat of being mined is not part of the track that was used during the Second World War (WWII). Soc is drawing on the knowledge of his father Bert who helped to map the Kokoda Track and lived in the area for at least eight years before the War.
Want to know more about Soc? see -- http://kompletekokoda.com.au/your-historian.html -- and also -- http://tinyurl.com/36pnux
Disputed Kokoda Track section not used by diggers: expert -- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/04/2179691.htm?section=justin
Aussie Prime Minister
The Kokoda Track issue is likely to lead the discussions between the Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd and Sir Michael Somare when they meet in Port Moresby today (Thursday 6th March).
The Aussie PM will pay a courtesy call on Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane before meeting Sir Michael. Mr Rudd will also pay a courtesy call on the PNG Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta.
See -- http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/s2176619.htm
PNG Internal Security Minister, Sani Rambi, says he wants Australian police redeployed in the Pacific nation to tackle law and order issues, but on PNG's terms. -- http://tinyurl.com/32hskh
Also -- http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=29&ContentID=61426
Coffee Export Ban Lifted
A coffee export ban has been lifted after the PNG Coffee growers' federation (PNGCGF) took the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to court over the ban imposed by the CIC on the PNGCGF. The PNGCGF chairman, Mr Jon Yogiyo, has expressed his satisfaction over the court order which would allow them to do normal business and export tonnes of green beans from last year and early this year that would have otherwise gone to waste.
"CIC's action amount to abuse of powers. The action of CIC chief executive officer Ricky Mitio was aimed at driving PNGCGF out of business for the benefit of a few exporters," Mr Yogiyo said.
CIC have applied to have the decision set aside.
The price of coffee, occasionally referred to as "green gold", peaked at a record high a few days ago, causing frenzy and excitement amongst coffee industry stakeholders in the country. See -- http://www.thenational.com.pg/022808/biz1.htm
A Baptist Pastor has been accused of Raping a 13-Year-Old and will face court charges.
See -- http://www.aboms.com/archives/007400.html -- and -- http://tinyurl.com/2hjqqt
A woman accused of sorcery, who was hung from a tree, gave birth to her baby while struggling to free herself. The woman and her baby girl, her third child, were doing well in the Mt Hagen Hospital after hiding for two weeks.
See -- http://lundimontag.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-if-they-hadnt-denied-it.html
Mobile Phone Interconnect
How is this going? Limited connectivity has been reported but nothing to write home about. It is believed there may be a problem where SMS messages sent from Digicel are not being delivered to Telikom customers.
see -- http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2008/03/01/mobile-interconnection-deferred-yet-again
see also -- Digicel Faces Loss of International Gateway in PNG -- http://www.cellular-news.com/story/29660.php
Four West Papuans have been acquitted of murdering a PNG magistrate. See -- http://tinyurl.com/yucbv2
280 elementary teachers in Morobe province have been unpaid allowances for all of last year. The K62.00 fortnightly allowance was not paid simply because the teachers summary and duty resumption forms for 2007, along with other documents needed by the Teachers Services Commission and the PNG Education Institute to register them on the payroll are still sitting in a tray at the Morobe provincial education office.
PNG Defence Force
The PNG Defence Force
(PNGDF) has 60 new recruits to fill its rank and file. The new recruits are part of the first batch of recruits after nearly nine years since the force conducted any recruitment and are the initial stage of the reform programme. The reform has been assisted by the Australian defence force that has been cooperating with the PNGDF over the last 30 years with funding.
Bishop Brothers Engineering Ltd has officially opened its new K6 million showroom and warehouse to cater for the booming mining and other industries in Lae.
International Women's Day on March 8, 2008
Kokoda Reunion Dinner: Parliament House, Melbourne - Friday 28 March 2008
March -- Canadian Indian chief to visit Eastern Highlands to start cultural exchange programme.
Coffee Festival, Goroka, Eastern Highlands -- May
Australia PNG Trade Expo - 4th to 6th of May
2008 Sepik Ironman -- Queen's birthday weekend (8th of June)
40th anniversary of the PNG Institute of Medical Research - between the 18th and 22nd of June 2008 in Goroka
Tolai Warwagira Cultural Festival - July 9 - 15 2008 - Rabaul, East New Britain
14th National Mask Festival - July 16 - 19 2008 - Rabaul, East New Britain
PNG Tourism Expo -- September
Hiri Moale Festival -- September
PNG Independence Day Celebrations -- 16th September
Medical Symposium -- September 2008
Morobe Show -- 18th and 19th of October -- the Show is held on the weekend closest to the full moon in the month of October each year in Lae, Morobe Province.
Milne Bay Canoe Festival -- always held during the first weekend in November.
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