Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 21 September, 2000. I extend a very special welcome to any new readers who may have joined since the last newsletter.
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If you visit http://www.global.net.pg/atprojects/index.html you will find out all sorts of information on a Goroka-based Non Government Organisation, which works with communities, other Non Government Organisation's and the provincial government in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Its mission is to enable rural people to develop and use skills and technologies that give them more control over their lives and which contribute to the sustainable development of their communities.
Rob Dew's PNG Website is now located at http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Paradise/4163 and http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Paradise/4163/body_directory/body_directory.htm will let you add your name to a growing list of people interested in Papua New Guinea. This list is open to the whole world so you might be able to find a long lost friend.
If you want to have a look at some excellent pictures of PNG then take a trip to http://www.n-jcenter.com/97/dec/21/pngpics.htm these are by Sam Cranston.
If you have seen the Silver Jubilee bank notes and are interested in who made them then take a wander around http://www.rba.gov.au/poly/po_ind.html and view a few of the other pages. If you're lucky you might see a snippet of a PNG K2 note in amongst some of the overseas notes that are printed by Note Printing Australia Limited.
Yet another page about Papua New Guinea can be found at http://www.interknowledge.com/papua-newguinea/index.html
News Items / Gossip
Digital Mobile Network
I have received an unconfirmed report, from an anonymous contributor, that Cellnet have ditched Telrad, the suppliers of the yet to be activated GSM system, for another company called Nortel.
Not sure if the demise of the last General Manager has anything to do with this decision.
Wanted. Would any reader have photographs of, or a story about, the now defunct Wards Skyline drive-in in Port Moresby? Even you have a one line sentence about the drive-in then I'm sure Peter Berrett - email@example.com would be interested to hear from you. If anyone is interested in drive-ins especially in Victoria, Australia then take a trip to http://www.drive-insdownunder.com.au for further information.
The claims made by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), that arms meant for Sandline have landed on Bougainville, have been denied by the Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) and officials from the Australian High Commission.
It is claimed that the containers contained prefabricated buildings that would be used by the PMG.
Despite fears from the organising committee it would appear from all accounts that the Silver Jubilee celebrations were an outstanding success. It also looks as if the motorcar dealers around town made a killing with most of the official vehicles being brand new vehicles.
It is rumoured that some lucky people were able to buy duty free vehicles under the condition that they loaned them, for the weekend, to the Silver Jubilee celebration committee for use by the police and other groups.
Many of the workers in shops around Port Moresby dressed for the Silver Jubilee in traditional dress. For some of the unfortunates who had to stand at the back of the many crowded events this was their only chance to see anything remotely traditional.
A few people were annoyed that the 6:45pm advertised downtown firework display eventuated at 9pm after quite a few people had packed up and gone home. The other firework display at Sir John Guise stadium could virtually not be seen by the spectators located within the stadium due to the very bright floodlights being left on during the display.
Despite the many traditional dances performing around Port Moresby the Chinese Acrobats seemed to be the most popular attraction during the celebrations.
Students from Kusbau Primary School, Lutheran Day School, Urban Local Community School and Tusbab High School participated in three days of Silver Jubilee celebration at the Laiwaden oval in madang town.
It would seem that the entire population of Lae was crowded into the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium to view the provinces Silver Jubilee celebrations. Thousands of school children and youth took part in the celebrations along with traditional dancers and various women groups.
In Mount Hagen, the capital of the Western Highlands, more than 500 school students marched from Independence Hill to the Pope John Paul oval to join others in the celebrations.
Despite tension being high in the North Solomons province the Silver Jubilee celebrations were peaceful. The main celebrations were held on Buka Island at the Hutjena Oval. The highlight of the celebrations was the 18-team soccer competition.
20 Bougainvilleans have filed a class action suit, against Rio Tinto. They are claiming billions of dollars compensation for the massive environmental destruction caused by the Bougainville copper mine and also for assisting the PNG Government's military campaign on Bougainville. A spokesman for Rio Tinto has denied the claims.
National Court Judge, Timothy Hinchliffe has said that without proper education a nation could not be truly fully independent. He went on to say that by the year 2025 the literacy rate should be raised to 95 percent.
Professor John Waiko has said that the new direction for education was to more distant learning, utilising information and cyber technology. This, he said, world allow students to remain where they were and undertake studies. He said campus based education was too expensive.
Education - Grade 12
The Director General of the Office of Higher Education has said the bid to educate more people has meant that more people are now educated to a grade 12 level with little chance of them gaining a position at a tertiary institution.
Moran Oil Field
Oil production has resumed at Moran field after recent landslides, caused by heavy rainfall in the area, shutdown the pipeline. Approximately 18,750 barrels of oil were lost during the 30-day shutdown. This equates to around USD$616,000 at a price of USD$32.90 per barrel.
The Ok Tedi Mine Limited has donated K100,000 to the national food security program as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations.
The Price Controller has warned of an increase in the price of refined petroleum products by the end of this week. Petrol is currently K1.533 at the pumps per litre.
Lae Tax Officer
A tax officer from Lae has been convicted of stealing an amount in excess of K140,000 and will serve the next four years in jail. Two years will be taken off the sentence if the officer repays the money.
Despite a doubling in the bandwidth for international internet access from one megabit per second to two megabit per second on the 10th of August the internet does not appear to be running any faster. In fact I have been told that the bandwidth could be running at full capacity for almost 18 hours a day.
The providers of the Internet Gateway for Papua New Guinea hope to be able to improve this situation by installing a local cache in a bid to improve transfer rates for internet uses around the country. It is hoped that the cache can save up to 25 percent of the international bandwidth.
The normally self-reliant jail is facing a food shortage. The shortage is so great that the jail had to pull out of the recent PNG Silver Jubilee celebrations. The jail has three tonnes of rice recently harvested rice but the equipment to mill the rice broke down last week.
A lack of water at Keravat National High may force the school to close down. Students and staff are forced to use the nearby Keravat river for washing their clothes and themselves.
Miss PNG Quest
Miss Baimuru, Sally Taudevin is the youngest ever to enter the Miss PNG Quest. Sally was born on January 12, 1983.
Miss Securimax, Suzie Tongia is the only entrant who has openly spoken out to try and increase the awareness of AIDS / HIV in PNG as well as trying to raise funds for the needy.
A tender / advert, placed by the Privatisation Committee, has appeared in the press asking for "Tenders for Strategic Advice and Project Management Assistance in relation to the Privatisation of Air Niugini". One of the options is a "partial trade sale" of the airline. Maybe this is what the Qantas rumours have been all about?
Rugby League Rumours
Following on from my start of the month rumour of a top Australian Rugby League man visiting PNG the Post Courier "The Drum" column has hinted that a top man will be in Moresby on the 13th of October as a guest speaker for the Kumul corporate lunch. Now to see if my "name" was correct.
AusAID has called for tenders for the construction of three small offices, four houses and renovation of offices and houses in various areas of the country for PNG Agricultural Quarantine Services.
AusAID has also called for tenders to construct new buildings and refurbishment of existing buildings for the Royal PNG Constabulary at various locations around PNG.
World Food Day
The 16th of October is World Food Day and despite having starving prisoners PNG will celebrate the day.
The liquidator of the Money Rain fast money pyramid scheme has recommended that the Fraud Squad investigate the various directors of the company. He went on to say that there does not exist any legitimate scheme that can produce the returns claimed by the directors of the scheme.
Approximate Exchange Rates
- AUD - 0.66
- USD - 0.35
- EUR - 0.42
- ATS - 5.84
- BEF - 17.02
- CAD - 0.54
- DKK - 3.17
- FRF - 2.78
- DEM - 0.83
- HKD - 2.83
- INR - 16.49
- IEP - 0.33
- ITL - 817
- JPY - 38.47
- NLG - 0.94
- NZD - 0.87
- NOK - 3.39
- PHP - 16.23
- SGD - 0.63
- ZAR - 2.62
- ESP - 70.6
- SEK - 3.55
- CHF - 0.64
- THB - 14.96
- GBP - 0.26
The PNG Olympic team, consisting of five athletes and possibly seven team officials, was briefly seen on international TV during the opening ceremony.
Despite being out of the Olympic competition, after first round eliminations, the three youngsters of the team have been encouraged to observe how the other remaining athletes prepare for competition as much as possible.
Ann Mooney and Mowen Boino are yet to compete. Ann will run in the 400m heats on Friday and Mowen in the heats of the 400m hurdles on Saturday
East New Britain Soccer
The revival of soccer in East New Britain province is being hampered by a lack of support by the business community and other sports.
United has become the number one soccer club in East New Britain after defeating South Coast 1 - 0 in the recently held grand final.
Naluge Guy has successfully defended her North Queensland squash title for a second year.
Japanese Structural Adjustment Program
The Japanese have reconfirmed an offer of US$50 million stating that the basic agreement had already been signed and that all other arrangements were on track provided the funds were used to promote economic reforms.
The annual SKAL ball is on again on the 29th of September at the Parkroyal. SKAL is an international organisation representing all branches of the travel and tourism industry.
To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- please e-mail your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember that this mailing list is mainly meant for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kina, which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth somewhere around 35 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.
If you are really keen on finding out what the Kina is worth a currency converter for most world currencies can be located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html
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.
Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.
Visit the PNG section of the World Wide Web Virtual Library at the following URL http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/PNG/Index.htm from there you will find a whole heap of information on Papua New Guinea.
Talking about diving here is a bonus for all readers of this mailing list. It is an article submitted by DIVErsion Dive Travel and Training. See the bottom for details on how to contact them and read the article and find out how to look at the pictures.
Just an excerpt from our diver's newsletter. We took some pictures, when we went to Rabaul in 1999. This might interest your subscribers:
RABAUL, Papua New Guinea, - five years after the volcano eruption
In March 1999, Claudia and I went down memory lane to one of South Pacific most beautiful harbours. At least that's how we remembered it. In '94 we saw the amazing pictures of the eruption on TV and we had heard that part of the old Rabaul had been destroyed with life returning to normal.
So now it was time for us have a look.
The mixture of tropical lushness which takes over a barren moonscape is a very interesting and rare sight. We took a lot of pictures and also got pictures from Bev and Brian Martin who are running the KAIVUNA RESORT.
Have a look at http://diversionOZ.com/rabpic.htm
Peter Hughes' Star Dancer does do regular seven day trips from here and the KAIVUNA RESORT HOTEL can organise diving through the Kulau Lodge and sightseeing tours to the volcanoes for you. It's definitely worth a side-trip.
Visit DIVErsion Dive Travel & Training's website at - http://www.diversionOZ.com
Take advantage of their local knowledge of Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands
Whilst over in the New Britain area please take a look at http://www.snille.com. This site has wonderful photographs of Rabaul after the volcanic eruption.
If you want to see what sort of things we get thrown at us via our television sets then pay a visit to http://www.hitron.com.pg for a full list of most of the television stations available in PNG
If a friend has given or sent you a copy of this newsletter and you would like to keep receiving free copies then please visit http://www.michie.net/news/index.html for instructions on how to join the list.