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Pacific leaders declare climate crisis, demand end to coal

PNG’s donated APEC vehicles given to state agencies, NGOs and churches

By Simon Keslep in Port Moresby

The 166 donated vehicles used during last year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Papua New Guinea have been distributed to government institutions, non-governmental organisations and churches.

They were handed over by the Department of Finance in Port Moresby last Friday.

Present to officially handover vehicle keys to recipients was Minister for Finance and Rural Development Charles Abel and Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan.

The vehicles were donated to the Papua New Guinea government by the governments of China and Japan.

“As part of the process of disposing of assets acquired for APEC, we are starting with the vehicles given, they are of high value. The disposal will not only include vehicles but all assets that were purchased by the APEC authority,” said Dr Ngangan.

– Partner –

“It has taken us a long time but the process that we going through are done transparently so to account for all assets purchased.”

Dr Ngangan said all these was submitted to the Finance Minister and then to the attention of the National Procurement Commission for endorsement of disposal of donated assets.

Public assets
He said the process of disposal follows under the Procurement Act and the Public Finance Management Act complies with disposal requirements.

“The Department of Finance is the department responsible for the disposal of public assets and we have now taken ownership of all assets purchased by the APEC Authority.

The next process will include the state-purchased assets which is about 321 in total,” he said.

“After that we will provide a full report and submit to our Finance Minister, and to the National Executive Council, National Procurement Commission board and other oversight agencies like Ombudsman Commission and to everyone including the general public.”

Simon Keslep is a PNG Post-Courier journalist.

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via IFTTT July 31, 2019 at 11:57AM

Post-referendum options raised in New Caledonia

Region’s ministers endorse major strategies

PNG PM vows to improve his citizens’ access to Australian visas

West Papua – the Next East Timor

Pacific foreign ministers meeting in Fiji Friday

The foreign ministers of Pacific Island Forum nations meet in Fiji on Friday to consider key issues ahead of next month’s leaders’ summit in Tuvalu.

New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said it is an important opportunity to deepen partnerships within the Pacific family.

He said this will include strengthening Pacific regionalism, responding to climate change, advancing the Boe Declaration on regional security, and fisheries and oceans issues.

Mr Peters said his government is committed to advancing security, well-being, prosperity and resilience in its Pacific neighbourhood.

Source: RNZ

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via IFTTT July 24, 2019 at 07:03PM

Home Loan Offer for K150.000 in Port Moresby


Port Moresby’s latest home ownership scheme is offering a home loan of K150,000, with low repayment interest rate designed for low to middle income earners.

This is being offered by the National Capital District Commission in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation, an offshoot of World Bank.

The affordable housing project followed a signing agreement between the National Capital Distinct Governor Powes Parkop and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Nadi, Fiji, on Wednesday.
Under the project, potential home owners in the low to middle income category can get the loan at lower repayment rates.

Mr Parkop announced the arrangement after returning from the Pacific Urban Forum in Fiji yesterday.

He said providing decent and affordable housing for residents in Port Moresby is always a challenge and the partnership with IFC paves the way to provide affordable housing.

Mr Parkop said everybody in both the public and private sectors are under pressure as a result of lack of affordable housing that is why there is a huge growth in unplanned settlements in Port Moresby because workers can’t afford the high cost of real estate or rental accommodation.

He said buying a house is a dream for everyone so residents are forced into settlements in and around the perimeters of the city.

“High prices and a severe lack of affordable housing are now preventing many Port Moresby residents from moving out of informal settlements and buying their own homes.

“Through this pilot project, IFC will help us open up the market for green, climate –resilient and affordable housing by drawing on the resources and expertise of the private sector,” he said.

Mr Parkop said in the last 10 years they have made a lot of progress in the city, building infrastructure, sporting facilities, improving services, improving the social condition of the city, providing opportunities, and growing businesses but still faced with the major challenge of affordable housing.

“We can’t rest, I can’t rest as the governor of our capital city until and unless we take on these big challenges that we have left in the too hard basket,” he said.

“Nobody has been able to come up with a solution up until now so we have on my priority list to upgrade settlement to suburb, to upgrade also and recognise the Motuan and Koitabu villages but affordable housing has always been in our priorities, we just don’t know how to deliver it.”

The pilot project will be taking shape at Saraga in Six Mile, which will target both low and middle income earners through a mix of single family unit dwelling and affordable flats.

-PC Online

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via IFTTT July 26, 2019 at 07:16AM

Bougainville conflict veterans prepare for referendum

Veterans from both sides of the conflict in Bougainville are meeting to develop a united path ahead of the referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.

In meetings last week in Arawa and Panguna, the various groups reached consensus on issues such as law and order and the containment and disposal of weapons.

These are both key matters to be settled to meet the conditions for the vote to be held.

New Dawn FM reported that a combined reconciliation was now underway from which a joint statement would be issued on behalf of all veterans.

The conflict, a 10-year civil war thought to have claimed 20,000 lives, ended with a peace process in 1997 and a peace agreement signed in 2001 that established the referendum.

The veterans have also been discussing ways to spark Bougainville’s economic recovery.


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via IFTTT July 22, 2019 at 10:54PM

Bougainville veterans prepare for major summit

Two summits involving veterans of the Bougainville civil war are being held ahead of a bigger event next week.

The meetings come as the region continues preparations for the vote on independence from Papua New Guinea in October.

The Me’ekamui faction of the former separatist group is meeting in Panguna with other veterans meeting in Arawa.

New Dawn FM said the ABG member for Kokoda and chairman of the Central Bougainville members forum, Rodney Osioco, told the Me’ekamui the time for fighting is over and it’s time to complete the unfinished business of removing all weapons in preparation for the referendum.

Both groups will be brought together next week with the aim that a joint resolution on weapons disposal.

Source: RNZ

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via IFTTT July 19, 2019 at 10:57PM

UK High Commissioner Arrives

By Dan McGarry

Vanuatu rolled out a unique welcome yesterday to Karen Bell, the newly-arrived High Commissioner to Vanuatu. The first ever all-woman honour guard to welcome a foreign dignitary paraded for Ms Bell on the State House lawn. As God Save the Queen played again for the first time in nearly 15 years, a twin rank of new recruits stood to attention with bayonets fixed on their FAMAS assault rifles.

In his welcome address, President Obed Tallis delivered a wide-ranging appreciation of the contributions that the United Kingdom has made over the years, and called for support in numerous key activities.

Perhaps the most pointed request was for support on getting West Papua placed on the decolonisation list. ULMWP leader Benny Wenda was recently given the freedom of the city in Oxford, an honour that was followed by accusations by the Indonesian embassy to the UK that Mr Wenda had “advocated and perpetuated violence”, according to the BBC.

He rejected the claim as baseless.

Benny Wenda claimed political asylum in the UK in 2002.

The ceremony was capped with a toast of fresh coconut, through a bamboo straw, as President Tallis demonstrated how Vanuatu has found natural ways to replace plastics and other toxic waste.

Ms Bell and her staff will share accommodations with the New Zealand High Commission.

The Daily Post will provide more insight and analysis of the British mission in Vanuatu in the coming days.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

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via IFTTT July 24, 2019 at 07:33PM

Constitutional amendment requires referendum

The Court of Appeal has upheld the Chief Justice’s decision that any amendments to the Constitution regarding the Parliamentary Secretaries (PS) needed a referendum.

While handing down the judgment yesterday, the Court of Appeal rejected the argument presented by the Speaker in this matter that the amendment did not affect the fundamental status of the parliamentary system.

On the contrary, it was clear that changing the ratio of ministers to members was regarding the parliamentary system, and so the amending Act required a national referendum before it could be valid.

The Court of Appeal said the Bill also affects the ratio of those members who may exercise the executive functions of government, by a significant increase in them.

The court viewed that the argument presented on behalf of the Speaker is to have emphasized the composition of the Council of Ministers. The bill does not change the composition of the Council of Ministers, but in important respects it (1) creates a new category of persons called ‘parliamentary secretaries’ who may be appointed under the heading of the executive in Chapter 7 of the constitution; (2) Provides for parliamentary secretaries to be assigned “responsibilities for the conduct of government”; and (3) extends the possible number of MPs who may be responsible for the conduct of government beyond the number presently provided for in the Constitution.

By providing for additional PS of up to two-thirds of the number of ministers will permit up to eight PS. In turn, that means it provides for up to 21 MP who may be assigned “responsibilities for the conduct of government”, in addition to the PM.

Chapter 7 of the Constitution was clearly and carefully drawn to limit the number of ministers to not more than one quarter of the members of Parliament: The Council of Ministers- that is the PM and Ministers (Article 40)- is then only a relatively small proportion of all the MP. They are to have the “responsibilities for the conduct of government”. Presently the number is 14 including the PM

Therefore, not only the Bill relates to the parliamentary system as prescribed by the Constitution, but it directly does so by providing for the PM to move the “responsibilities for the conduct of government” to MPs other than to the ministers.

The court said that the direct identity of language in the Bill indicates that the responsibilities of government may be assigned by the PM to the ministers or to one or more PS.

“That obvious answer is supported by the text of the Bill, the executive power of the people of the republic is “the conduct of government”, subject of course to the parliament itself.

“So much is clear by the express words in Article 42 (2) of the Constitution.

“The Prime Minister is to assign the “responsibilities for the conduct of government” to the ministers.

“The Bill says that a PS is also to have “responsibilities for the conduct of government” as assigned by the Prime Minister.”

It was accepted by Counsel for the Speaker that the Bill, by reason of its content, had to be in Chapter 7 of the Constitution, under ‘The Executive’. It could not go sensibly into any other chapter of the constitution. It could not go, for example, into chapter 9- ‘The Public Service’ -because it did not provide for the PS to be appointed to the public service with the security of tenure system such a position carries.

The Speaker through his counsel accepted that the ‘parliamentary system’ as prescribed by the Constitution includes both the establishment of the Legislature and the establishment of the Executive.

“We have carefully considered that contention, including the refinements and nuances with which it was developed in argument.

“We do so, on the basis that the ‘parliamentary system’ must include all the processes of electing the MPs and then electing the PM and the appointment of those who can, and do, exercise the executive functions of government.

“We do not accept that the argument by the speaker is correct.

“As our introduction notes, we have come to the firm conclusion that the Bill is ‘regarding the parliamentary system’ of the Republic.

“It should not, therefore, be assented to by the President unless and until it has been supported in a national referendum.”

Source: The Vanuatu Daily Post

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via IFTTT July 24, 2019 at 02:26PM

Freedom advocators urge Indonesia to grant self-determination to Moluccas

MIS: Many Melanesian Leaders Trapped into Malay-Indos Game (Woman & Money)

What West Papuans know is more than what other Melanesians know about Indonesia

West Papuans are the best Melanesians on this planet Earth to explain all about “who” Indonesia is and what it is doing today across the globe. West Papuans have been focusing more in Indonesia, spending more time watching and analyzing what Indonesia is, what it does an how it carries out its mission on this planet Earth.

However, what is happening today is not according to this reality. Many Melanesian leaders from Papua New Guinea to Fiji are considering themselves know more than those Melanesians in West Papua.

Melanesian Intelligence Services (MIS) Reports

By trusting their own judgement, which are still so poor about who is Indonesia, they have signed many agreements, and they have made many deals that make these Melanesian leaders become uneasy to speak loudly and honest about themselves, their dignity and their integrity in relation to their own “selves” being sacrificed in West Papua.

They become so “individualistic” and so blinding with the money and women that have been offered by Indonesia, very cheaply and very easily.

The Melanesian Intelligence Services (MIS) received a report today that there have been some Indonesian women operating across Melanesia, all the way from Raja Ampat in West Papua to Fiji (Nadi and Suva), as well as in Port Numbay (West Papua), Port Moresby (PNG), Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Port Vila (Vanuatu).

Now the question is “how do they come in?”

The first thing they bring in is “business deals”. First, they will sponsor international organisations, or international companies. Then they will come to you bringing with the these offers, and asking you to sign the agreements with those other companies and organisations outside.

They will than make everything seems easy for you to get the cooperation. They company or NGOs abroad will make it easy for these Melanesian leaders, ordinary MPs, or governors or ministers in Melanesia, all are targeted.

The MIS Director says:

They will mostly send women! Again, they will send woman! Their job is first of all to distract your attention, and secondly to easily agree with he offers that she brings. They know how Melanesians would react to and treat women from Asia. Indeed. They will “smile”, yes big SMILE. MIS calls this “a lion smile“, not a human smile. “A lion smile” is a kind of big smile that is starving and ready to eat up your identity and dignity as a Melanesian.

Now, what they have done today is they have managed to get married with so many Melanesians MPs in Papua Barat and Papua Provinces in West Papua, and in many provinces in Papua New Guinea, some in the Solomon Islands, many in Fiji and a number of women in Vanuatu.

MIS Director also reported

Most of these women will use Malaysian Passports. They will also use passports from Brunei, Nepal and the Philippines. Some will use Thai Passports. They are also equipped with very basic skills in yoga or what Indonesia calls “Senam”. They will be fluent in English, and they will promote their skill as a way into investment and promoting international NGOs.

They will also promote issues that will finally destroy Melanesian way of life and paradigm. They will tell you that the Melanesian Way of Thinking, behaving and living is bad, and you have to change. What does it mean? It means you have to change become Malayo-Indos.

If you start thinking all things that we have in Melanesia, including your self-image and self-confidence as a Melanesian leader as bad, less, missing something, that means your self-image is starting to shake. Then be sure, you are no longer a proper Melanesian leader. You become puppet of someone else.

Remember, being a Melanesian is not just by skin and hair, it is more important by the way you think, you speak, you relate to yourself and your world and by the way you act.

These Indonesian women are more prepared to do anything and everything, primarily starting with very seriously taking care of yourself as a leader and as a husband, which, unfortunately we have to be honest, most Melanesian women neglect to do. Most of our Melanesian women are focused on bearing children and looking after them. Full stop! What about their husbands? Most of the time, Melanesian husbands are neglected and most of the time refused to talk, to go around together and to do many things together. They are busy with their children and their won families.

Malayo-Indos women do the opposite. They set aside their children their families and their own interests. They put what their husbands wants and needs at first and more important than their own. They say “Good bye Daddy!” when you leave home. And they quickly come out to the door, welcome you and say, “Welcome back Daddy!” when you return home. They check your suits, ties and shoes, how you look and how you feel before you leave the house. In other words, they make you “their big and grown up babies”. And of course, this is all men wants and needs.

The purpose of their mission is only ONE: to stop you from thinking a lot, do things and campaigning for a Free and Independent West Papua.

They are telling all key Melanesian leaders that security and economic development in Melanesia is more important than to think and talk about Free West Papua.

They say that it is better we keep Melanesia away from western influences and promote more Asian influences because Asians and Melanesians are closer geographically and socio-culturally.

Indonesia Already Allocated USD$4,279,387.8203 for this opeartion

They have spared USD$4,279,387.8203, that is Indonesian IDR60,000,000,000.00 as reported in many Indonesian local and national media. One of them is TabloidJubi of West Papua. This report by Tabloid Jubi West Papua says from the 13 nation-states in the pacific, there are 7 nation-states that support West Papua campaign for self-determination.

The first thing they bring in is “business deals”. They have spared USD$4,279,387.8203, that is Indonesian IDR60,000,000,000.00 as reported in many Indonesian local and national media. One of them is TabloidJubi of West Papua. This report by Tabloid Jubi West Papua says from the 13 nation-states in the pacific, there are 7 nation-states that support West Papua campaign for self-determination.

Indonesian Defense and Security Minister Gen. Wiranto says the money is allocated for the following purposes:

  1. The first is promoting “Good Profile” of Papua Land with the amount of IDR 20,000,000,000.00
  2. Improve cooperation between Indonesia and the South Pacific IDR 15,000,000,000.00
  3. Cooperation among International Organisations in the South Pacific IDR 15,000,000,000.00
  4. Security Management in Border between Australia and South Pacific DIR 5,000,000,000.00
  5. Imporiving Intelligence Cooperation between Australia and the South Pacific IDR 5,000,000,000.00

The Last Question Would be?

Questioning ourselves, each one of us, particularly we, Members of Parliament, Politicians, Ministers, and Governors across Melanesia:

  1. Am I one of those victims that MIS is talking about?
  2. Am I serving for my Melanesia-hood, or for Asia-hood?
  3. Am I sacrificing my Melanesian race for the interest of my personal biological and economic benefits?
  4. Am I a curse or a blessing for my Melanesia-hood?

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via IFTTT July 24, 2019 at 01:57PM

Scoping Study on National Human Rights Institution

The Ministry of Justice and Community Services Director General, Dorosday Kenneth this week invited and welcomed the MSG Secretariat, SPC RRRT and the Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institution (APF) to conduct a scoping study on the feasibility, desirability and options for establishing a Paris Principle compliant national human rights institution.

The Scoping Team comprises Dr Jayshree Mangubhai and Ms. Donna Pune-Narai, SPC’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), Ms. Rosslyn Noonan, former Chief Commissioner of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and consultant with the Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institution and Mr. Romulo Nayacalevu, Program Manager Governance and Legal Affairs of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat.

In welcoming the participation and involvement of the MSG Secretariat, the Director General Ambassador Amena Yauvoli said that the MSG was delighted to be part of this undertaking.

“The steps taken by the Vanuatu Government to consider the options and benefits of establishing its own home-grown institution on human rights is a commendable and progressive achievement of which the Secretariat is pleased to support through our participation in the Scoping Team.”

“Human Rights is a pillar of good governance as encapsulated in our Leaders vision in the MSG 2038 Prosperity for All Plan. Strengthening good governance through stronger structures and institutions including on human rights contributes to solidary and unity within the sub-region” Ambassador Yauvoli adds.

The Consultation which continues this week has seen the team receive positive feedback and support for the establishment of such an institution.

MSG Secretariat’s Romulo Nayacalevu said the consultation this week is about speaking to a range of stakeholders including government ministers, departments, civil society groups, the Malvatumauri and the Council of Churches among others on their views of whether the government should establish a human rights institution. “It is important to note that the Study is not for us to tell the government on what it should do as it concerns a National Human Rights Institution.

“That decision rests solely and is a prerogative of the Government. Our study is merely to inform the Government on feasibilities, options and desirability of such an institution. The Scoping report will be presented back to the Ministry of Justice and Community Services of which will then be guided by Government’s internal processes.”

“Subject to being compliant with international standards in the Paris Principles, there are various kinds of human rights institutions. This includes stand-alone commissions as in Fiji and hybrid models which includes the Ombudsman’s offices being given a dual and broader mandate to deal with both maladministration and human rights as in the case of Samoa and Tuvalu. Each country decides their own institutional structure depending on resources, expertise and other practicalities.” Romulo adds.

In the Pacific, Fiji, Samoa and Tuvalu now have national human rights institutions while similar scoping studies have been requested by Governments and carried out in Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Nauru, Cook Islands and Tuvalu.

The Scoping Study concludes today.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

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via IFTTT July 20, 2019 at 02:32AM

Protest at Indonesian trade show in Auckland

Advocates for West Papua in New Zealand are protesting a major Pacific trade show put on by Indonesia.

About a dozen people including New Zealand MP Marama Davidson have gathered in Auckland to oppose the Pacific Exposition.

The event, which brings together dozens of government officials, is the latest effort by Indonesia to win support in the Pacific and to open trade links in the region.

But protestor and former MP Catherine Delahunty said it was an insult to the people of West Papua.

“We’re here today because the Indonesian government have set up this so-called Pacific Exposition to justify their non-existent Pacific status-hood,” Ms Delahunty said.

“They’re trying to justify what they’re doing in West Papua by a diplomacy move that makes them part of the Pacific but in actual fact they are bad neighbours to the country of West Papua,”

she said.

“They’re trying to justify what they’re doing in West Papua by a diplomacy move that makes them part of the Pacific but in actual fact they are bad neighbours to the country of West Papua,”

she said.

Source: RNZ International

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via IFTTT July 12, 2019 at 01:48PM

PNG Police Commissioner Post: Tokura, Baki to meet

July 10, 2019 The National, By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK

ACTING Police Commissioner Francis Tokura wants to sit down with Gari Baki to discuss the recent changing of the guard in the constabulary involving the two of them and others.

“We are career police officers and we must not have any ill-feelings regarding the National Executive Council (NEC) decision,” he told The National last weekend.

“I’m planning to see Baki this week about all these latest appointments.”
He said he heard that he had been appointed acting police commissioner for three months but was yet to see the gazettal notice on that.

“I will have to go to police headquarters to see if there is a gazettal notice about my appointment.”

Police Minister Bryan Kramer last Friday had instructed Baki to vacate the police commissioner’s office because his contract had expired in May. Also to leave with Baki are his two deputies, assistant commissioners Raphael Huafolo (administration) and Jim Andrews (operations) whose contracts had expired.

Replacing them are assistant commissioners Joanne Clarkson (administration) and Peter Guinness (operations).

It could not be confirmed yesterday whether Tokura, who was in charge of the Bougainville Police Service and Baki had already met in Port Moresby.

Both men could not be contacted for a comment yesterday.

Kramer said Tokura had told him earlier that he would be meeting Baki at the police headquarters in Port Moresby.

“Tokura has advised me to move in yesterday (Monday) and meet with Baki,” he said.

Kramer said yesterday he had not received any information that the two had met.

Baki said last Sunday he would obtain a restraining order from the court to stop his removal.

He did not respond yesterday to questions sent to him on that issue.

Kramer said he had not received any such order from the court as of yesterday.

He invited anyone wishing to lodge a complaint over the appointment of Tokura as acting commissioner, plus Clarkson and Guinness as his deputies, to do so.

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via IFTTT July 11, 2019 at 06:55AM

More time needed to verify referendum roll, says official

July 10, 2019The NationalMain Stories, The National PNG

THE Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) needs some time to satisfactorily verify the referendum roll, says chairman Bertie Ahern.
He said in Arawa, Central Bougainville yesterday that any extension would not go past 2019.

Ahern said if the PNG and Autonomous Bougainville governments needed a successful referendum for Bougainville, they should decide on an extension to verify the roll.

The decision will come from the Joint Supervisory Body.

The BRC may need an extra six weeks to complete everything. The extension is for the verification of the referendum roll.

“We have been under considerable pressure in the last number of weeks,” Ahern said.

“I’ve made this point that I need some time. I can tell you this will be finished in 2019. And our decision will be made.

“But to do it the way people are asking me, I need time.”

Ahern said a contributing factor was the out-of-country registration and polling which was not initially in the plan.

“We were asked to do (enrol) people outside Bougainville, which was never my intention,” he said.

“But we were asked to do that in recent weeks. That’s going very well with Bougainvilleans happy with that. But it takes time.”

Commissioner Patrick Nisira said acting President Raymond Masono had written to Prime Minister James Marape to convene a special JSB meeting to discuss the extension issue to allow the verification of the roll.

It is not due to other factors such as weapons disposal.

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via IFTTT July 11, 2019 at 06:52AM

Sale of Vanuatu Passport Degrading: Sokomanu

Vanuatu’s first President and one of the founding fathers of political Independence, Ati George Sokomanu, is calling on the Vanuatu Government to stop the sale of the Vanuatu Passport under its Citizenship Program.

“It is lowering our dignity as Ni-Vanuatu and Melanesian people,” a very concerned Mr Sokomanu told the Daily Post.

“It is degrading, it is totally unacceptable and non-negotiable in any way you can think. We the people of Vanuatu cannot accept this.”

Mr Sokomanu became the first President of the Republic of Vanuatu on July 30, 1980. He stressed the country won its political Independence from Britain and France through political struggle and sheer determination.

“The sale of Vanuatu green passports is removing the value of our identity and who we are the Ni-Vans in our own land,” he said.

He added he is speaking for and on behalf of the founding fathers of Vanuatu’s political independence who are gone and those who still remain today.

“None of us who fought for our political independence ever dreamed that one day we will be sitting back and watch our national identity our green passports go on sale on foreign soils,” Mr Sokomanu said.

“It was not our dream, it was not our hope for making money, it was never meant to be for sale. It must be stopped. Not in the name of budget constraints and if you want to raise more revenue for the country, look elsewhere but do not sale our national identity.

“This is our God-given identity should not be exploited and sold for money. No money in the world can buy our national identity, so stop the sale of Vanuatu passports.”

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

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via IFTTT July 09, 2019 at 03:52PM

Chief calls for custom governance system implementation

A prominent Maewo chief is calling for the implementation of the customs governance system in the country.

Chief Moliaute Jonah Toakanase said it is time for everyone to unite together to achieve their economic rights and benefits.

Chief Toakanase made the statement in regards to the economic status of the country, asking what some of the individual benefits Vanuatu has achieved to enhance its wellbeing, livelihood and wealth are after 38 years of Independence.

He urged all 52 Members of Parliament in Vanuatu to work together and address this longstanding matter which is enslaving the people from the original ideology and philosophy of independence and economic struggle.

He emphasized that so far, community investment is good however individual investment remains a major challenge.

Chief Toakanase said foreign economic policy adapted in Vanuatu has resulted in the people facing the challenge of gaining individual economy benefits, rights and wealth.

“We are slaves under our current governing system,” he said. “With the current system, we have faced a rapid increase in our cost of living where minimum wages are low, VAT increases and transportation rates are high including all business investment strategies.

He said for too long there has been talk about economy plans but the people are still slaves of their own governing system as it is not originally “ours”.

Chief Toakanase referred back to 1979 when the Nagriamel movement President back then, late Jimmy Stevens had opted to use the custom governance system but was turned down after he refused to sign a memorandum leading to the signing of the Constitution.

He also mentioned an exchange of notes which took place between the United Kingdom, the Northern Ireland and the government of France on the Independence of Vanuatu. He elaborated that the exchange note saw the name Sovereign economic state of New Hebrides changed to the Sovereign state of New Hebrides.

The chief said custom governance system is the way forward to address the economy challenges faced within the country.

He is calling to the John Frum and Kapiel movement in the southern region, Natatok movement in the central region and the Nagriamel movement to unite and work together in the custom ideology, philosophy and doctrines to create political stability in 2020 and carry Vanuatu forward to realise its economic promise land after 38 years of walking around the wilderness of political slavery.

He said through unity, the visions of the late Jimmy Stevens can be implemented. He recited a famous Vanuatu proverb, saying the people are already standing on the back of the turtle but they are still searching for foreign turtles such as Australia and New Zealand.

Chief Toakanase is appealing for an immediate review to address the economic challenges faced by the people of Vanuatu.

Source: Daily Post Vanuatu

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via IFTTT July 08, 2019 at 03:47PM

Row over top post


POLICE Minister Bryan Kramer, on legal advice from State lawyers, has instructed Gari Baki to vacate the police commissioner’s office as his contract had expired in May.

He has appointed Deputy Commissioner Francis Tokura, currently the Bougainville Police Service commander, to be the acting police commissioner.
Tokura will be assisted by assistant police commissioners Joanne Clarkson (administration) and Peter Guinness (operations).

Kramer said Baki’s contract had expired on May 7 thus “he was illegally in office” as there had been no gazettal notice authorising him to act in the position.

“I got the advice from the Attorney-General’s office (last) Thursday and that made me instruct him to leave the office (last) Friday,” he said.
He informed Baki in writing.

“My letter to him was based on the advice I got from the Attorney-General’s office. The advice was that there was no existing appointment (to let Baki continue as commissioner),” Kramer said.

“Former Police Minister Jelta Wong never extended his (contract in an) acting position. Baki himself told me that the National Executive Council had never reappointed him. He made reference to some gazette notice which I’m not aware of.”

Kramer also welcomed Baki’s plan to take the matter to court.

“Even he goes to court, that would not put him back in the office,” he said.
“He is over the (retirement) age and he is no longer a member of the force.”
Kramer said the terms for deputy police commissioners Raphael Huafolo (administration) and Jim Andrews (operations) expired on July 4.

“He (Baki) himself issued the notice that both his deputies’ contracts have expired.”

Meanwhile, Baki plans to take the matter to court.

“The reason for my decision is because as far as the senior police leadership and I are concerned, due and established processes for appointments were not followed by Police Minister Bryan Kramer (in the appointments of Tokura, Guinness and Clarkson),” Baki said.

“At the outset, let me state for the record that this action is not intended in any way to discredit the three officers who have been appointed in acting capacities.

“They are experienced police officers who are more than qualified to occupy these offices.

This action is taken to protect them as well as the other senior officers of the constabulary.”

Baki questioned why the Government did not appoint Tokura, Clarkson and Guinness to substantive positions instead of in acting capacities.

“All appointments whether temporary or substantive shall be made by the Head of State, acting with and in accordance with the advice of the National Executive Council given after consultation with the Public Service Commission and any appropriate Permanent Parliament Committee, which in this case is the Permanent Parliament Appointments Committee,” he said.

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via IFTTT July 08, 2019 at 03:38PM

Kramer condemns Baki


POLICE Minister Bryan Kramer, pictured, has accused Police Commissioner Gari Baki of protecting “corrupt politicians” by sitting on their files and not investigating them in the past four years.

He was responding to Baki’s statement yesterday that he had the files of 40 MPs on both sides of the House to investigate.

Kramer said: “He has been sitting on the files and protecting corrupt politicians. And now he wants to investigate them.

Where was he all these years? He has those files all this time. In fact there were more complaints against MPs during his time in office and he has been interfering with and frustrating investigations. He had four years to do that.”

Kramer said Baki should have delegated the investigations of the MPs to other qualified senior officers.

“There are other police officers who can investigate these MPs for alleged fraud or alleged official corruption,” he said.

He said investigation into the 40 MPs “will still proceed”.

Kramer also defended Francis Tokura’s appointment as acting Police Commissioner “in the best interest of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea”.

“His appointment was on merit and to provide stability for a peaceful outcome during the referendum,” he said.

Baki however claimed that the change in police leadership was to “protect those in power”.

“We have investigation files on some 40 MPs in Government and Opposition,” he said.

“This includes a good number of ministers in cabinet. Will the Government give us the support and cooperation to prosecute these cases?.” He said the constabulary was only as good as political masters.

“The issue is political will, determination, genuine desire to fight corruption and support for the constabulary,” Baki said.

He said he and his two deputy police commissioners were preparing to exit the police service.

“We are not fighting to hold onto office. But we want to see the police force and officers protected. We want to see the police force free from political manipulation and interference.”

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via IFTTT July 08, 2019 at 03:35PM

Officers told to serve Constitution, not Govt


POLICE officers must serve the Constitution and not the Government, says Police Minister Bryan Kramer.

He told the 28 cadet officers including six females to be commissioned during a parade at Bomana, Port Moresby last Friday that the Government did not create the positions of police officers.

“The position is created in the Constitution and it is the constitution you should serve,” he said.

He said the Government wanted to improve discipline and command in the constabulary “by depoliticising (it) so that officers can do their job provided under the constitution”.

“I have observed many commissioners and senior officers talking about serving the Government. A police officer is to serve the constitution (which) serves the 8.5 million people of Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“It is the constitution that you will serve.”

He planned to stop political interference into the functions of the constabulary.

“During our term in Government, that practice will change.”

Kramer pointed out that most people were more afraid of the police than criminals.

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via IFTTT July 08, 2019 at 03:31PM

Government planning to improve police force

THE Government is working on a policy submission to improve and modernise the police force through merit-based appointments and through an upgraded two-year diplomat police training programme.

Prime Minister James Marape said during question time in Parliament that Police Minister Bryan Kramer was now working on two important policy submissions to change the way the police force had been operating in the country.

Marape said they would bring a submission to allow police personnel to undergo two years of fulltime police training and not the routine six months.
He said there would also be performance-based appointments to the constabulary’s rank and file and it would start from the top.

Marape said the commissioner, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and officers down the line would be selected through an advertisement and selection process.

“The minister will advertise all the positions and people will apply and get appointed,” he said.

The Prime Minister was responding to questions without notice from East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, who wanted to know what plans the Government had to address the increase in violence (both domestic violence and in general) that was a leading cases of admissions and referrals in hospitals throughout the country.

Bird, who was the former East Sepik health authority chairman said the Boram hospital and other hospitals throughout the country including the Port Moresby General Hospital, treated a high number of violence-related cases daily.

He said many of the injured had wounds inflicted by the use bush knives, grass knives and even catapults.

Bird said if the issue of violence was not addressed then it would become a serious issue in the country, and wanted the Government to undertake a bipartisan approach although Parliament had passed the law to increase penalty for such offences, but nothing had been done to date and police could not even address violence.

Marape said there was nothing wrong with the laws as there are good laws in place ,but the enforcement of the laws was a major problem.

He said he always stressed the need for men to take more responsibility and to protect women.

“The issue is common and prevalent. Laws have been passed and I appeal to every police man and women to bring those perpetrators.

Source: The national png

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via IFTTT July 05, 2019 at 01:19PM

MSG Secretariat Advance Team Prepare for DF Meeting with PNG Government

West Papuan Liberation Movement applies for full MSG membership

Pacific Forum countries urged to follow up on West Papua

A West Papuan human rights defender has called for more Pacific islands countries to speak up internationally about human rights abuses in her homeland.

Rosa Moiwend, who has been visiting New Zealand this week, said it was important that Pacific Islands Forum countries advanced this issue to reflect widespread, grassroots concern for West Papua in the region.

At the 2015 Pacific Forum summit, leaders agreed to push for a fact-finding mission to Papua.

Indonesia is yet to allow such a mission to visit, but Ms Moiwend said forum members must follow this up.

“Because otherwise it’s just lip service from the forum,” she said.

“Members of the Pacific Islands Forum are also UN members, so we need more and more Pacific Island countries to speak about the human rights situation in West Papua.”

According to Ms Moiwend, while several small Pacific countries have raised Papua at the UN, bigger countries such as Australia and New Zealand should support them.


Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s infrastructure development drive in Papua is proving traumatic for remote indigenous communities, Ms Moiwend said.

Its centre-piece is the Trans-Papua Road project which is being built through some of Papua’s most remote terrain.

The project is also at the heart of heightened conflict in Papua’s Highlands since the West Papua Liberation Army massacred at least 16 road construction workers last December.

While conceding that opening up access to Papua through the project had its benefits, Ms Moiwend said it also brought outsiders and development that local Papuans were not prepared for.

“It will also open a space for more and more military and police posts along the road, because of the security reason that they will say.

“And it’s actually threatened people’s lives because for West Papuans people are traumatic with the presence of the military.”

Ms Moiwend’s family are customary landowners in Merauke in Papua’s south where rapid oil palm and agri-business development is underway.

“Customary land is actually affected by these big projects – food project and oil palm plantation,” Ms Moiwend explained, adding that indigenous communities had little say in the development

“I think government needs to discuss with the people. You can’t just come and (start) plotting the land and then invite the investor to come and invest their money because people rely on our land.

“The land is the source of our food. So if they want to replace with something else, then how can they provide food for our people?”


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via IFTTT June 26, 2019 at 10:58AM

Tari celebrates its leader’s election as PNG prime minister

West Papua rebels unite to form new army

Armed rebel groups in Indonesia’s West Papua have reportedly united to form a new army under a single command.

A release from the office of the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, says it’s the first time the three major factions have come under a single arm.

Under the This ‘Vanimo Border Declaration’, the Liberation Movement is taking political leadership of the new grouping, formed today and dubbed the West Papua Army.

Mr Wenda says they are ready to take over Papua and are calling for international and domestic support.

“We welcome any assistance in helping us achieve our liberation. Indonesia cannot stigmatise us as separatists or criminals any more, we are a legitimate unified military and political state-in-waiting,”

he said in a statement.

The new force includes the West Papua Liberation Army, which is fighting a bloody war with state forces in Nduga regency.

Also joining the united front are the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army.


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via IFTTT July 01, 2019 at 10:37AM

West Papuan forces unite in historic moment on path to independence

WEST PAPUAN military factions have united under the political leadership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), in a historic declaration announced today.

The Vanimo Border Declaration, which sees three groups come together as the West Papuan Army, was hailed as a major step toward West Papua’s bid to become an independent nation state.

The ULMWP, formed in 2014, is leading the struggle for the independence of West Papua. It comprises the two westernmost peninsulas of the island of New Guinea, which were annexed by Indonesia in 1969.

This followed a “fake referendum” where a handpicked group of 1,022 Papuans were coerced into ratifying the Indonesian occupation through the so-called Act of Free Choice.

Earlier this year the Indonesian army was accused of human rights violations against the people of West Papua. These include the use of chemical weapons as part of a major offensive to crush the independence movement.

Over 500,000 people are believed to have been killed since Indonesian forces moved in to West Papua in 1969.

ULMWP spokesman Benny Wenda welcomed the signing of the declaration and said it showed the rest of the world that the people are “ready to form an independent West Papua.”

“The international community can now see without a doubt that we are ready to take over our country. We welcome any assistance in helping us achieve our liberation. Indonesia cannot stigmatise us as separatists or criminals any more. We are a legitimate unified military and political state-in-waiting.

“I’m calling for my people abroad, in Indonesia, and particularly inside West Papua, to support this declaration and unite,” he said.


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via IFTTT July 03, 2019 at 09:13AM

West Papuan independence group says it is ‘ready to take over country’

Three rebel armies fighting for liberation from Indonesia join forces under movement headed by exiled leader Benny Wenda

Helen Davidson

Three rebel West Papuan armies have joined forces under the control of the independence movement, led by exiled leader Benny Wenda, who says they are now “ready to take over our country”.

It comes as Indonesian authorities increase efforts in their search for five soldiers and nine crew from a military resupply helicopter which went missing on Friday.

West Papua, which shares an island with Papua New Guinea, has been under Indonesian control since 1969 and is in the grip of a long-running independence conflict.

The armed groups unified last month under the command of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) – the umbrella organisation for three independence groups.

“Politically and militarily we are united now. The international community can now see without a doubt that we are ready to take over our country,” said Wenda, the chair of the ULMWP.

“Indonesia cannot stigmatise us as separatists or criminals any more, we are a legitimate unified military and political state-in-waiting.”

The groups include the TPNPB, which attacked a construction site in December, reportedly killing 17 Indonesians.

The incident sparked a military crackdown in the region,claiming dozens of lives on both sides.

Shortly after the attack Wenda told the Guardian he could not stop the TPNPB, but called for calm.

Bobby Anderson, Papua researcher and fellow at Chiang Mai University’s School of Public Policy, cautioned that the rebel groups had previously announced unifications which had amounted to nothing.

“This declaration of a unified command might just be the ULMWP trying to grab some of the momentum from the Nduga actions,” said Anderson.

“We won’t know if it’s real until we see coordinated armed actions both in Nduga and beyond, that will demonstrate that the ULMWP declaration is a reality.

“I personally have my doubts. These [armed separatist] factions abound with ‘generals’ who don’t tend to take orders. They operate within limited commands in discrete areas.”

However Anderson said having the leadership of Wenda might make the difference, and an “unprecedented” unified command would see increased bloodshed.

“He managed to cobble together the ULMWP from civilian representatives of the disparate Papua independence groups and that it’s held this long is impressive.”

The unification marks another new development in the long-running conflict, just days after it was revealed West Papuan children have been drawn into the fighting.

TPNPB has acknowledged the presence of teenage and adolescent boys among its ranks, the Associated Pressreported last month.

The use of children as soldiers is a war crime under international law.

Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman said it was a sign the conflict was far more serious than the rest of the world acknowledged.

“West Papua needs urgent international intervention, because child soldiers are themselves victims,” she said.

“The Indonesian government’s security approach has created an intractable conflict by brutalising generation after generation of West Papuans.”

Reports of military and rebel violence in the region have continued through this year, including claims of the Indonesian armed forcesallegedly using white phosphorus, and rebel attacks on soldiers, something Jakarta denies.


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via IFTTT July 02, 2019 at 09:20AM

Support for West Papua cause always important to Vanuatu

The plight of West Papuans as Melanesian citizens is an important issue that Vanuatu must continue to support.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Ralph Regenvanu, made this clear in his keynote address yesterday to all Vanuatu’s Heads of Missions (HOM) who are currently in the capital for the 3-day 8th HOM meeting.

“The human rights violation and marginalization of Melanesian West Papuans is not a secret and we must continue to advocate for appropriate international attention to this situation,”

he said.

“The incredible show of Pacific Island solidarity is a landmark moment in the West Papuan struggle for self-determination.”

The minister reflected that when he attended the 49th Forum Leaders Meeting in Nauru with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, new priority regional policies were adopted by Leaders.

These include regional security, climate change and disaster resilience, fisheries and oceans, childhood obesity and non-communicable diseases, and West Papua.

It is anticipated that these issues will also form the basis for discussions at this year’s Forum.

Source: VDP

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via IFTTT July 02, 2019 at 09:17AM