P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 16 Mar 2002

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 16 Mar 2002. A very special welcome is extended to any new readers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please e-mail them to giaman@png-gossip.com

Articles for this newsletter

To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- please e-mail your contribution to pngnews.queue@png-gossip.com

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 in this newsletter, is currently worth around 26 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. 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.

Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
gras = fur
gras = grass
gras bilong ai = eyebrow, eyelash
gras bilong dok = fur (of dog)
gras bilong pisin = feather
gras bilong sipsip = wool
gras nogut = weed(s)
gras usket, mausgras = beard
gras, gras bilong het = hair
graun = earth
graun = ground
graun = world
graun, graun malomalo, graun bilong wokim sospen = clay
katim gras = cut grass
katim gras = haircut


The PNGScape Komuniti Board For general discussions, notices by Papua New Guineans and friends of PNG, in PNG and from around the world is located at http://www.pngscape.com

Art-Pacific feature for February-March: Karumosa, a Kula canoe from the Trobriand Islands, PNG: photos and documentation of this lovely Kula canoe from the 1970's by Morris Young, an early influential private dealer in New Guinea art. http://www.art-pacific.com/artifact.htm

For information about Duchateau Islands, Budibudi Islands, Misima, Bagaman Island etc please visit http://members.ozemail.com.au/~sailaway/png.htm

For the latest news and information on diving in PNG

The 2001 Shoe Box Project For Papua New Guinea - http://home.freeuk.net/andycallow/shoebox.html. Not sure if this is still going but here is some info about what the shoe box project is all about.

What do we want in the shoebox?

The organisers are trying to get toys and games that will help PNG children learn and have fun, Things that will stimulate, interest and create a reaction, maybe the following list will help you. If you can't get it into a shoebox, another small box will do.

Suggested List:

  • Chalks
  • Crayons
  • Felt tips
  • Jigsaws (make them with big pieces and really easy, most of these children will never have seen a jigsaw before!)
  • Fuzzy felts
  • Building bricks
  • Footballs, ones that deflate!
  • Beach balls
  • Games that will help hand and eye coordination
  • Visit Early Years and look at the 2-6yrs sections.
  • Song tapes
  • Relaxing music on CD or tape.v
  • Books, (cartoon, picture and storybooks.)
  • Balloons
  • Visit the website for more information

    Bailey Bridges

    Here is an email from a regular reader who happens to be from the UK and is in response to the article in the last issue about PNG buying bailey bridges from the UK.

    When I was acting Works Manager for the Division of Works, Department of Central Province I negotiated with Hornibrooks for the purchase of 2 x Bailey Bridges for the old Hiratano Highway section klos tu long solwara just up from Hisiu.

    These bridges would come from New Zealand and were actually cheaper to buy than the ones which were being touted on the TV by the Morobe Provincial Works Division at the time.

    I am a Brit but why are we buying Bailey Bridges from the UK ? I would like to think because they are cheaper !

    Does anyone have any follow up on this?

    Oh, and no Dept Central did not buy them.

    Whatever happened to B.R.U.P? Are they still operating out of their cupboard in Dept Works at 4 Mile, Boroko?

    Thanks for those comments David

    Proof Reading - Typos

    As mentioned in the last issue of this newsletter - the easiest way to get the newsletter proofread is to pick on some other publication -- Here is a submission from another reader who is talking about an article in the last issue. (g020305.html)

    Speaking of typos... I think more people in PNG will be "affected" by HIV then reported. Maybe we mean "infected" here. One "infected" person will probably "affect" the lives of at least 10 related villagers, so the number of affected would be maybe 10x the infected range..... just a thought....
    (thanks Walter)

    New Ireland

    The New Ireland provincial executive council has stopped a provincial team from leaving Kavieng for Fiji. The trip would have cost the New Ireland Provincial Government K200,000 and was revoked by an urgent Provincial Executive Council decision.

    Five government officials and two Local Level Government presidents were ready to travel until the trip was cancelled five minutes before boarding the plane at Kavieng Airport.

    It was reported recently that the Oro Provincial Government put off a trip when the Ombudsman Commission questioned it and a team from the Central Provincial Government was delayed and then finally a much smaller delegation was sent to the Philippines, after questioning by the Ombudsman.

    Cruise Ships

    The luxurious tourist cruise ship, the Odyssey Clipper will visit PNG soon. It will stopover in Port Moresby before proceeding to Watts Island, Kitava and Iwa in Milne Bay, then to Rabaul, Tingwom and Tsoi (Mansava) Islands in New Ireland. The ship is scheduled to return to PNG in November when it is scheduled to visit one of the most remote parts of Milne bay province around November this year. The island of Budibudi is one of the eastern-most islands in the province of Milne Bay and usually receives very few visitors. It is located near Woodlark (Murua / Muyuw) Island. Rossel (Yela) Island is further east in Milne Bay.

    It is hoped that the arrival of this ship will help to dispel the damage that resulted after the cruise ship Silver Shadow cancelled their visit to PNG at the last minute recently.


    In Trobriand Island folklore it is said that that when a Trobriand Islander dies his or her spirit travels east to the Budibudi islands to wash before returning to make the final journey to Tuma island - the land of the dead. The Budibudi Islands are also known as the Lauchlan Islands.

    Moem Barracks

    Several soldiers and ex-soldiers have staged a mutiny at the PNG Defence Force's Moem Barracks in the East Sepik province. Two buildings have been burnt down as well as the armoury being broken into. The soldiers are said to be unhappy about the retrenchment exercise.

    One of the alleged ringleaders in the Moem mutiny was previously banished from the Waigani university of PNG campus over the privatisation street-demonstrations which saw several students shot by police.

    Defence intelligence sources said he was identified as one of the half-dozen prime movers of the Moem takeover. The University of PNG sacked him for his involvement in activities at the height of the University demonstrations.

    Three ex-soldiers have been identified as being amongst the 11 men named as the instigators of the Moem Barracks mutiny. It is believed that a total of 80 people are involved in the mutiny and some of the leaders are civilians disguised in military uniforms.

    High Tech Armouries

    A little bit too late but the Defence Force had announced just before the Moem Barracks attack that all armouries would have high tech security systems installed by the end of May. The commander of the force said that once the equipment was installed it would be difficult for anyone to break into any of the armouries around PNG and steal weapons.

    Eye in the Sky

    The police helicopter is airborne again after being missing for a very long time from the skies of Port Moresby. Terry, a reader of this newsletter, has said the following about the pilot. "... very professional pilot, keep up the good work Sam."

    Domestic Violence

    A report has shown that PNG has the second highest figures for violence against women in the world. If rape and sexual abuse is excluded from the report then 56.1 percent of women have been physically assaulted. The highest country listed in the report is Uganda which is only marginally ahead of PNG with a figure of 57 percent. Justice Catherine Davani has described the problem as a cancer destroying families.

    PNG Women

    Former prime minister Bill Skate has said that PNG needs men to work in partnership with women to turn the country around for the better.

    Beon Prison

    Prisoners at Beon Jail in Madang have successfully harvested rice grown as a trial project at the prison. It is anticipated that each prisoner will be given five kilograms of rice seed when they are released from prison.

    Consumer Watchdog

    A new entity called the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has been created to look after the rights of consumers. Present laws do not allow the existing Consumer Affairs Council (CAC) to prosecute shop owners and service providers when complaints have been registered in the past. The CAC will join up with the ICC.

    Leatherback Turtles

    An international initiative has started at the Kamiali Wildlife Management area in the Morobe province. A team of US scientists and local people have discovered that leatherback turtles from PNG may migrate across the pacific to the coast of North America. Three years ago the village development trust at Lababia village started a project to protect the turtles that go to the beach to lay eggs.

    PNG Gas

    The Australian Gas Light company has indicated that they will buy up to 1000 petajoules of gas from PNG for up to 20 years. The deal is expected to start in 2006. The gas will be supplied from the Hides and Kutubu gas fields and will be piped through to Moomba in Queensland Australia.

    Porebada Village

    After several attacks by rascals on villagers at Porebada the villagers have threatened to take the law into their own hands if the police do not help to solve the problem once and for all.

    Central Province

    A fight which saw houses and other property destroyed by fire, has erupted between two clans in Central province. It is not known what caused the fight.

    Morobe Province

    The Morobe province has committed a further K400,000 to update the Common Roll for the coming elections. It has also allocated K500,000 to help the police mobile squad during the same elections. The provincial government has also give the mobile squad uniforms and promised to buy them a vehicle to patrol the roads of Wau, Bulolo and Menyamya.

    Asylum Seekers

    The Catholic Bishop of Kavieng, Ambrose Kiapseni, has declared the shunting of asylum seekers to PNG as immoral. He said that all such "boat people" caught on the seas heading for Australia should go to Australia.


    The Government has come up with another scheme which proposes to sell government houses to citizens. It is hoped that current tenants of houses may soon know where they stand with regard to the transfer of ownership. The National Housing Commission and the Lands and Physical Planning Department have signed an agreement to formally set up an Executive Level Committee to identify and propose appropriate solutions and mechanisms to deal with any issues that may pose a problem to sell off scheme.

    Unfortunately over the years many similar schemes have not been completed.

    Food Security

    A mission from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations recently visited Port Moresby for three days and held talks with government officials specifically on issues relating to food security.

    Bougainville Petition

    The Bougainvilleans have petitioned the Papua New Guinea Government over its opposition to their case in the United States courts against the mining giant, Rio Tinto. About 200 people conducted a peaceful march in Buka on Thursday and presented the petition to Bougainville Governor John Momis.

    The Bougainvillean suit against Rio Tinto alleges that CRA's gold and copper mine at Panguna, in central Bougainville, was responsible for genocide and environmental damage. CRA became part of Rio Tinto more than two years ago. CRA operated the Bougainville Copper Limited mine from early 1970 until it was shut down in 1988 amidst the growing Bougainville secessionist war which began over environmental damage from the mine.

    Marine Species

    The James Cook University in Townsville, Australia has documented findings of new and different species of marine life found in the waters of New Britain but not found in the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

    Copra Board

    Unaudited reports from the Copra Marketing Board (CMB) indicated that the Board lost more than K14 million in 2000, and only K3.6 million in 2001. Unnecessary selling, handling, finance and administration, board members costs and other expenses contributed to the downfall in 2000.

    Despite the improvements to date, the CMB continues to face cash flow difficulties this year.

    Madang Health Radio

    Peter Barter has once again urged the provincial government and local governments to take the issue of health radios seriously. Since they were installed the Melanesian Foundation and Peter Barter have carried out the only maintenance.

    Fuel Prices

    The Price Controller has approved a five toea per litre reduction in kerosene and aviation gasoline but made car and bus drivers dig deeper into their pockets by increasing the price of petrol and diesel by two toea extra per litre of petrol and 4.2 toea per litre for diesel.

    The price for various products in port Moresby, Lae, Madang and Rabaul should now be -

    Eastern Highlands Province

    Villagers of Ereharoka village in the Eastern Highlands Province now have electricity and will not have to use kerosene lamps any more. The village is only 5 kilometres west of the township of Goroka.


    Sir Mekere, in his meeting with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Alan Kemakesa at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting held in Australia, strongly pointed out that the only way we can have Pacific Island countries turn to trade globally is to have free trade in the region, particularly within the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

    Sopas Hospital

    After a long delay the Sopas hospital has been reopened in the Enga province. As reported here the hospital was closed in November 2000 due to security problems. The caretaker administrator of the hospital, Gibson Pawape, has said that there has been no vandalism and no destruction of property by the surrounding tribes.

    A Seventh Day Church elder in the Enga Province has questioned why the Sopas Adventist Hospital was sold to the Enga Provincial Government.

    Torres Strait Islands

    A collapse of services in PNG is having a devastating effect on Australia's Torres Strait Islanders. Desperate villagers from PNG are making canoe trips across the short stretch of water to island outposts in Australia for things like hospital services. Australian Immigration Department figures show movement of people across the Torres Strait border separating Australia from Papua New Guinea reached almost 40,000 people in 2001.

    PNG media related sites

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    Created 16 Mar 2002
    Updated 16 Mar 2002

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