Want to find out more about Papua New Guinea? Try searching at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo and http://www.michie.net/png_faqs. The PNG Business and Tourism Directory located at http://www.pngbd.com is also an excellent place to look for PNG information.
For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.google.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.
PNG Bank -- http://www.bankpng.gov.pg
PNG Coins -- http://www.bankpng.gov.pg/kinatoea/coins/index.htm
PNG Notes -- http://www.bankpng.gov.pg/kinatoea/notes/index.htm
PNG Commemorative Coins -- http://www.bankpng.gov.pg/kinatoea/comm/index.htm
PNG Currency pictures -- http://www.giervalk.bravepages.com/PNG/pgn.html
Traditional Money -- http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/monibagi.html and http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/monitabu.html
If you really want to find out what the PNG Kina is worth on the world market then you can find a currency converter for most world currencies located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html - another currency converter, with a local flavour, is located at Papua New Guinea Business and Tourism Directory http://www.pngbd.com. PNGBD also has a good on-line schedule of passenger aircraft in PNG.
PNG Stamps -- http://www.interests.com/philately/papua_new_guinea_1997.htm
German Pacific Network
I would like you to include two links on your gossip website. The first is our German Pacific Network -- http://www.pazifik-Infostelle.org, -- the second is the Bavarian Partner Church to the ELC-PNG. http://www.Missionswerk-Bayern.de . The Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Bavaria.
Em tasol, kind regards from Julia in Neuendettelsau/Germany
The Milne Bay Tourism website can be found at -- http://www.milnebaytourism.gov.pg
Discover in Milne Bay the charm and beauty of a peace loving people blessed in abundance with natural environment of pristine waters and varied landforms, unique flora and fauna, vibrant cultures and living traditions.
Do forget the Papua New Guinea Tourism and Business Directory located at http://www.pngbd.com.
It has been estimated that only one third of Papua New Guinea's identified mineral resources have been mined and two thirds remain untouched. Out of the main mineral resources --
gold -- two million tonnes of ore, have been mined with four million tonnes still untouched.
silver -- three million tonnes mined with four million tonnes untouched.
copper -- five million tonnes mined with 15 million untouched.
A man has allegedly tried to forge gold-exporting documents worth over $US2o million at Lihir. The man has appeared briefly before the Lihir District Court and the senior magistrate has transferred his case to the Waigani Committal Court for hearing.
Former Prime Minister and Governor of Western Highlands, Paias Wingti, has survived an election petition. filed by former Governor Father Robert Lak. Mr Wingti has been an MP from 1977 to 1997 and now from 2002.
For the second day in a row it looks as if Port Moresby is going to be a wet, drizzly, grey, overcast day. The weather bureau forecasters believe this type of weather will continue for the next few days. It is thought that this will then be the end of the wet season until the end of the year.
Infrastructure developments are being hindered in Enga Province due to province-wide law and order problems such as tribal warfare where sophisticated modern weapons are used. These problems are a threat to the delivery of health, education and other social services to the people of Enga.
Rugby Engan Style
Here is an article written by Reinier Jessuran who is or was based in Porgera teaching children at the international school. It has been published here before but newer readers may not have had a chance to read it. (IEA Schools -- http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/skul.html)
Wild Times at the Footy! (this article is located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/engan_rugby.html) © Copyright of the article remains with the author Reinier Jessuran.
Rugby league resembles a tribal fight in these parts of PNG. Today I had the pleasure of playing my first match on the hollow turf (most precisely shin deep mud) of the Payam Rocks' home ground. The visiting time were The Station Eagles, players from a collection of villages some 5 KM from Payam. One would assume that the players and spectators from both teams would be good friends since they live in close proximity of each other. This proved not to be the case!
Just how I came to playing a game of rugby league eventuated after I met the husband of Kaspina, one of the teachers at Porgera International School. His name is Jonathan and he just so happened to be coach of the mighty Payam Rocks. This team is named after the huge cliff (perhaps it really is a large rock) that towers over the town of Payam. Often the mascot name of a team personifies their personality. Certainly the players of The Rocks are a tough and sturdy collection of muscular individuals. Anyway, I mentioned to Jonathan that I enjoy rugby and have coached at various levels back in Australia. The next moment I found myself accepting an invitation to play in a semi-final match against The Eagles.
Pre-match preparations involve lighting a smoke fire. This signifies to the other team a "declaration of hostilities". The Rocks consisted of a squad of about 20 players, some of whom wore rugby boots, whilst other ran around in old shoes and the brave ran out in bare feet. All players wore a collection of old shorts and jerseys in various states of decay. The only exception was myself who just so happened to be wearing brand new boots, much to the admiration of the observing crowd. Stretching is not a big part of the warm up routine, rather energy is spent giving and listening to long speeches. This by all accounts is deemed a more appropriate means of preparing for a rugby match. I lost count after about the 15th speech was given, although several of them notably mentioned "the white fella from down-under".
As The Rocks ran out onto the ground (wrong term - pig pen), I became the first outsider to play for the team. After match reports indicate that when spectators observed a white man playing rugby, they notified many of their friends to come out of their nearby abodes. In all about 3000 spectators turned out to observe the match. By the time I had reached the centre of the ground I was already covered in mud up to my shins. The Eagle players were somewhat surprised to discover that their opposition had resorted to importing players, although I suspect my small frame did not strike fear into these warriors!
Play did not start for another 15 minutes because it was time for the referee to give a long speech about the rules of the game and the spirit he expected it to be played. Much of his dialogue stressed that he did not want any spectators questioning his decisions. I particularly admired his headwear, being a dirty footy sock!
So The Eagles eventually got around to kicking off the ball to formally start the game. The ground was surrounded by spectators from both sides, most dressed in the usual rags and old apparel worn by most locals. A small number of spectators had painted their faces with various tribal markings. The next 40 minutes were a personal struggle of heaving my feet out of the mud. I made a couple of tackles bringing shrieks of laughter and cheers from the spectators. Overall my contribution was minimal. By half time the score was 0-0, although both teams continually threw the ball around as if playing a game of sevens. The handling skills and particularly the hard running of most players was most impressive.
Half time signified the end of my contribution and the start of another 15 minutes of speeches.
Events started to warm up after The Eagles scored an excellent try after 5 minutes of the commencement of the second half. To this point of play the game had been played in excellent spirit and without any nasty violent play.
At about the 10-minute interval one of The Eagle players tackled a Rock player around the sternum. To the referee's naked eye it was a fair tackle, but not to several of The Rocks' spectators who demanded a penalty be given. The referee refused to award a penalty and this firstly led to several flying mounds of mud being lobbed at the unfortunate referee. Some of these mud balls hit Eagle players who ran towards the offending spectators. Within a few seconds literally most of the viewing spectators for both teams had left their perches and charged like a light horse brigade towards to spot where the referee had stood just a few seconds ago. At this point I charged in the opposite direction taking two escorts with me to offer protection if required. What happened next were numerous fights breaking out, before The Eagle players and many of their spectators reminded themselves that they were in the heartland of enemy territory. Within a blink of my eye I observed The Eagle delegation sprinting up a big hill and down a long road chased by about a thousand local Payam residents including many students at my school. The police fired several rounds from their guns, not to scare anyone I suspect, but to signify that the real action of the afternoon had commenced!
By all accounts The Eagles were chased and fought for approximately 4 KM along the road leading to the gold mine before the Payam crew decided to call it a day. The good news is that there will be a replay of the match next week, so everybody will have a chance to have some more fun!
So this was my introduction of rugby league, Engan style.
Heavy rains has rendered the Highlands Highway impassable in places. The Road Transport Association reports that there have been landslips at three locations along the highway. At Kassam Pass on the border of Morobe and Eastern Highlands, villagers have been able to partially clear the debris and earth from a landslide and they are now charging motorists before allowing them to pass through.
Highlands Highway Funding
The Asian Development Bank may drop funding for the Highlands Highway following a decision by the PNG Govt to sack Dr Anthony Lewis from the National Fisheries Authority (NFA). The PNG Govt is supposed to have a merit-based appointment process but in this case the job of Managing Director of the NFA was not advertised and no shortlist of candidates was prepared.
Air Niugini has announced that under the airline national cadet pilot training scheme six new PNG cadet pilots have begun an induction course with the airline. The six were selected from 2000 applicants and after a thorough assessment of academic ability and potential displayed to become pilots.
Air Niugini has announced that it will be replacing its existing F28 1000 series aircraft with turbo prop aircraft and that the slightly bigger F28 4000 series fleet will be replaced with something else for the lucrative Port Moresby Cairns route.
Air Niugini claims that the Civil Aviation Authority in PNG does not have the necessary people to carry out licenced testing of the Air Niugini Boeing 767. The airline has also said that the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was unlikely to accept Air Niugini's registration of the B767 plane for a PNG licence until the PNG CAA demonstrated an ability to survey PNG operators to its satisfaction. This would mean that the 767 would not be allowed to fly to and from Australia if registered in PNG.
The Boeing 767 failed to travel to Singapore the other night because Air Niugini could not find enough cabin crew willing to crew the flight. Are they all afraid of SARS? The PNG department of Health has finally produced a handout on the illness but has no money to produce more than a handful.
Palm Oil Refinery
The $US9 million Kumbango Palm Oil Refinery in Kimbe, West New Britain has been officially opened. A majority of the oil refined is intended for export.
Go kart racing is back in Port Moresby after an absence of many years. The karts are now going around a track at the Defence Force Air Transport Squadron located on the other side of Jackson's airport to the general aviation.
Port Moresby Power
Residents of Port Moresby once again have suffered power disruptions over the weekend. The disruptions are believed to have been due to the failure of insulators on the main transmission line into Moresby. The insulators don't stand up too well to sharp shooting thugs.
The Education Department has begun to distribute grants to schools. Cheques have been distributed to most primary schools' bank accounts. Over 7000 cheques have been raised and printed by the Department of Education.
Tari - Southern Highlands
The Saint Joseph's Catholic High School in Tari has been committed a huge K11 million for renovation and expansion by the Australian Government through the PNG Incentive funding. The Australian Government will also fund the upgrading of the Mendi airport with a commitment of K4 million.
Southern Highland Ballots
During the supplementary elections in the Southern Highlands later this month armed guards will protect the ballot boxes. This is part of the plan by the Electoral Commission to avoid the violence and cheating that played havoc during the 2002 national elections in the province.
A family in Lae have recently unearthed a whopping 80kg monster yam from their backyard.
Ryan Pini has shattered four PNG swimming records at the recent 2003 Telstra Australian Swimming championships held at the Aquatic Centre, Sydney. Pini being a guest swimmers, was not eligible for the finals so he was not able to swim against the best in the Australian competition although he did good enough times to get into the finals.
Preparation is underway in Lae for the National Open Karate Championships scheduled for the 12th of April at the Sir Ignatius Kilage indoor stadium. From this tournament fifteen participants will be selected for the South Pacific Games in Fiji and four fighters for the 38th European Championships in Germany.
A health worker in Central Province has been found to be in possession of unlicensed police-issued weapons. A police raid at Barakau village found a police issue shot gun, one .38 pistol, one gas grenade, three gas cylinders and one rubber bullet. It is hoped that will investigate internally to find out how police issued ammunition has ended up in the wrong hands.
A group of men who gang raped a lady and held her as a sex slave for a week are now living in fear that they have contracted HIV/AIDS from her. The lady wrote a letter to one of the culprits saying she had HIV. The culprit went for a test and has found that he has HIV. The other men, some of them married men, are now waiting for their results.
The second draft of Bougainville constitution law is ready and has been presented to the island's Joint Assembly of leaders in Buka.
PNG Defence Force
The Defence Force will be officially farewelled before the soldiers leave the province of Bougainville. The Defence Force soldiers have now completed their withdrawal operations taking down tents and packing up. The Defence Force came to Bougainville more than 15 years ago at the peak of the Bougainville conflict and have been on the island ever since.
The acting head of the Tourism Promotion Authority, Erigere Singin, has said the tourism industry in PNG currently caters for the high yield, low volume market. i.e. they come in small numbers but are very high spenders. There has been a 15 percent increase in tourists coming from the United States in 2002 despite the terrorist attack of September 11 the previous year. PNG receives about 50,000 visitors a year.
PNG currently produces two percent of the total world exports of crude palm oil. The growth in the PNG palm-oil industry since 1980 had averaged over 11 per cent a year, making it the country's leading agricultural export.
South Pacific Games
The National Government has approved a K1.5 million grant to help send PNG sportsmen and women to the South Pacific Games in Fiji in June.
The Front Runners running clubs in Sydney and Canberra, Australia have donated a boot-load of good, second-hand shoes to some of Port Moresby's best roadrunners that often struggle to get decent quality running shoes. The most consistent runners in the city, those with the most finishes in the 11 meets held in 2003, were given the almost new shoes.
It is not surprising that a report has said that girls have fewer opportunities in acquiring education in PNG. A five-year plan by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in PNG is focusing on accelerating girls' education. PNG in the world selected by UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy to focus its programs on promoting girls' education because many girls are denied this right.
It is estimated that there are about 15,000 foreigners living in PNG who have entered the country illegally since Independence in 1975. Officers from the Foreign Affairs Department have reported that some of these people were arrested when found but allowed to go because the department did not have the money to send them back to where they belonged and there is no place to keep them.
Mt Hagen Health Services
A proposal has been presented to the provincial executive council to amalgamate the provincial health division with the Mount Hagen General Hospital. This is because the artificial distinction in the provision of services by the National Government and the provincial government should be done away with. Under the present structure, the Mt Hagen General Hospital comes under the National Health Department while the rural health services are co-ordinated by the provincial health division.
UPNG Open Day
The University of PNG will revive the spirit of opening up to the public to market its programs. Public criticism over the years regarding infrastructure, discipline and program developments has prompted the university management to come up with the idea to improve the school's reputation by having an open day. The University will be held on May 3 during the university's term break.
The mayor of Lae City, Boyamo Sali, has called on authorities in Lae to look into overcrowding in schools.
Landowners of Madang caused headaches for the township recently by shutting down the town's water supply. The action was in protest of the delay in evicting illegal settlers from the town. Schools have had to suspend classes while residents have had to use tank, sea or bore water for their needs.
The US State Department's latest human rights report has said that PNG has serious human rights problems. The report went on to say that human rights in three Pacific states, Papua New Guinea, Solomons and Tonga, were declining sharply with random killings and detentions taking place in the first two and an inability to change the government in the third.
A suspect in the recent pack rape of a nurse has been arrested at the Port Moresby suburb of Erima. A Task force team near the Erima mini market arrested the 20-year-old man from Tapini, Central Province. The suspect has been charged with abduction, armed robbery and pack rape. The pack rape incident involved 15 men who preyed on the nurses at Waigani when their bus broke down during heavy rain.
Junior Grammar School
The Port Moresby Grammar School has reached yet another milestone this time it is with the opening of its junior grammar school. The new junior school has welcomed its first group of 120 grade-one intakes - the first in the 10-year operation of the school.
A herd of cattle has been loaded on to a ship in Lae bound for the Philippines. This is the third shipment of live cattle exports numbering 1100 fattened animals by Trukai Farms. Two shipments last year numbered more than 2500 cattle.
The enquiry into the sale of the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC) to the Bank South Pacific has heard that the letter from the boss of the Bank of PNG to Westpac bank may not have been proper. The letter basically told the Westpac Bank not to tender for the sale of the PNGBC!
Exploding Boat Anchor
A man trying to make a boat anchor out of a World War II bomb has blown himself up. The man was attempting to punch a hole through the bottom of the bomb to he could tie his anchor rope to it.
- Post Courier Newspaper -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg
- The National Online Newspaper-- http://www.thenational.com.pg
- PNG Tok Pisin Network-- http://www.tokpisin.net
- Chin H Meen (Music) -- http://www.chmsupersound.com
- EM TV (Television) -- http://www.emtv.com.pg
- Hitron (Cable TV) -- http://www.hitron.com.pg
- Pacific View Multimedia -- http://www.pvm.com.pg
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.pnggossip.com/news/index.html for instructions on how to join the list.
Articles for this Newsletter
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In Tok Pisin - em tasol
For other ways of saying the end please pay a visit to http://pnggossip.com/emtasol
Some of the ways of saying "that's all" are courtesy of Liz and her friends at the University of Technology in Lae. -- http://www.unitech.ac.pg
If you can add to this list then please click here.