Papuan students demand referendum, raise Morning Star flags before State Palace| Jakarta Post


By Johnny Fernando |

The demands by Papuans for a referendum on self-determination spread to Jakarta on Wednesday, amid reports of civilian fatalities in Papua.

Hundreds of Papuan students took to the streets in Central Jakarta following similar protests in the highlands of Papua earlier this week.

The protesters marched from the Army headquarters to the State Palace, carrying banned Morning Star flags, a symbol of the Papuan independence movement.

“The students and the people of Papua have agreed to call for a referendum,” protest coordinator Ambrosius said during the rally.

In addition to a referendum, the protesters also called for the governors of Papua and West Papua to facilitate a return of Papuan students back to their provinces.

The students also demanded that the Information and Communications Ministry lift the government-imposed internet blackout that has been in place in the country’s easternmost provinces since last week.

When they reached the front of the State Palace, protesters burned tires and performed traditional Papuan dances while chanting. The crowd dispersed peacefully at around 5:30 p.m.

The protests came amid reports that civilians had been shot by security forces during an antiracism rally in Deiyai regency, Papua. Eyewitnesses said that six protesters were feared dead and at least three others were injured during the incident.

Authorities have confirmed that one soldier died and at least two policemen were injured in the incident, but have yet to confirm civilian casualties. (kmt/tru)



Why I joined Government| Allan Bird, East Sepik Governor

birdTo my beloved Sepik people, I make this explanation because I am accountable to you all.

When the events of 2011 came about, I was outspoken against it. Since 2011, the economic climate in PNG has continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate.

ESPG was particularly punished from 2011 – 2017 because of the position taken by Sir Michael Somare. Our grants were cut consistently by more than 80% during that period. This was unjust, uncalled for and vicious way to treat the Sepik people.

I stood against PNC and it’s vindictive and punitive practice and policies in 2017 and won elections on that basis. Over the past two years we fought the PNC government. During the VONC, we tried to depose PNC with the help of the Marape splinter group. We worked hard to remove PNC. Things didn’t work out well but we kept pushing.

After PMJM was installed, our fight with PNC seemed over except that they were still there working in the background.

When I was in the US, I received information of a possibility of another Parliamentary coup to remove Marape and elements within PNC and others were behind it. I objected strongly and said I would not be a part of such a move.

PNC and it’s leaders have now been ejected by PMJM to join the opposition.

When the opportunity to help the country arose for some of us to assist the government, we took it.

My fight was against PNC and it’s repressive policies. I have no argument with the Marape government unlike the O’Neil government.

In opposition we operate as a team, I am sad that we had to split up the team but I didn’t get elected for position or power. I got elected because I wanted to help Sepik and our country ultimately.

One of our MPs has the opportunity to help the country in Treasury, myself and others are in government to help him perform that role. Ultimately, if the country collapses we all pay the price. So if we have the opportunity to work with a good PM and save our country then I want to do that.

It wasn’t an easy thing to do to leave the opposition. My friends are there. But some of my friends are now in government and I want to support the new Treasurer so he can contribute to putting our nation back on track.

Finally, I will remain as Governor because we have much to do at home. We have the massive EU Grant Program and others that are earmarked for us. I want to protect those investments from those who want to derail the good works we intend to do at home.

PMJM wants us to build the economy of Sepik to support the country. His views are consistent with mine and I want to work with him for all our benefit.

Maulu tumas na God bless

Kashmir journalist continues to use Facebook, mobile phone to report from disputed region

Indra Michael Singh, Head of News,  Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (Left)  and Hashim Hakeem (Right) in Turkey. 

Hashim Hakeem is a video producer and mobile video journalism trainer. We met in Indonesia. He has a wicked sense of humor.  Hashim is the Indian side of  disputed Kashmir.   He has tried to get information out of the region through his video posts since arriving  in the region.  He sent this update a few days ago.



You can follow his video  updates here on Facebook.

Mine pollution at Basamuk Bay… We warned about it 10 years ago


Ten years ago, a small group of Papua New Guineans  made a decision to fight  the construction of  multibillion kina  mine Chinese owned nickel  mine  in the Madang province.

The reasons were simple:

  1. Land was going to be taken away from its traditional custodians in Kurumbukari in the Usino-Bundi electorate  and…
  2. the sea, a vital resource for the people’s survival,  was going to polluted by the dumping of tailings into the Basamuk Bay.

I cannot mention some of the names of those who were strongly opposed to this because I do not have their permission. But they remained dedicated and were determined to stop the destruction from happening years before I got involved in the campaign.

It is one part of my life I never regretted.

In 2011, in the course of the campaign,  we produced one of several documentaries  warning of the destruction that was about to happen.  We hoped that in the process, people would be educated and would make the right decision and stop the dumping of tailings or the  construction of the processing facility.

While filming the documentary UPROOTED,  we travelled to Kumumbukari,  where old  Benny Mangua, a chief in his own right and  chief custodian of the land wept because he was going to lose his land forever.

Months earlier, he was told by the Chinese company workers that their village was going to be removed because it was going to become the mine site.  They gave him K500  as a resettlement payment.

Months later, his sons  were evicted from their village by police.  Benny Mangua, didn’t survival long after that. He passed on, a broken man separated from his land.  His family was told not to plant food on land that was later turned into a dumping area for the mine.

His son Peter Peter continued to resist attempts by police and  the company to remove him. One morning, armed police, acting in the interests of  the Chinese mine management,  broke down his house and forced him off his land.

He died  about two years later.

In Basamuk, on the coast,  they built a  nickel refinery.  Landowners went to court  to stop  the company from dumping waste into the bay.  Some were threatened.  The court case was unsuccessful.

Government officials  peddled a narrative  that the waste was “safe” and that it wouldn’t affect the sea.  During a presentation in Madang,  we walked in uninvited and asked the Chinese developers  what they meant when they said the “waste is safe.”  Their response was that the system they used was of international standard.


Members of landowner companies said the people wanted and needed development and that we were stopping their “progress.”  In their ignorance, they listened to the line pushed by the Chinese developer that America was behind it and that we were supporting “an American (Western) agenda.”

In then end, the court ruled in favor of the company.

Today, people complain about the waste disposal in  the one beautiful Basamuk Bay.  The water is red from the waste disposal.  Some of the  older men who selfishly supported the mine and the refinery  are dead.

Their children are living with the destruction they allowed.


West Papuan protests continue | By Febriana Ferdaus on Al Jazeera

Jakarta, Indonesia – Large demonstrations in Indonesia’s West Papua region have turned violent as thousands of protesters, angered by alleged police abuse against ethnic Papuan students, burned public facilities and blocked roads.

In West Papua province’s capital of Manokwari, protesters burned the parliamentary building and local stores, according to police and images obtained by Al Jazeera.

A building previously occupied by West Papua Provincial Governor Dominggus Mandacan was also burned, Indonesia’s national police spokesman, Dedi Prasetyo, told Al Jazeera.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. The demonstrations are still ongoing.

“For now, we are still focusing on collecting the data on the casualties and trying to calm down the masses,” he told Al Jazeera.

Images obtained by Al Jazeera showed the demonstrators, including many young students, waving the “Morning Star” flag, which is seen as a symbol of self-rule by Papuans.

“We are not white and red, we are morning star,” the protesters shouted, in reference to the Indonesian flag and the Papuan banner. Individuals carrying the banned flag could face arrest and imprisonment of up to 15 years.

There are also demonstrations reported in the city of Jayapura, the capital and largest city of Papua, the country’s easternmost province. Hundreds of people riding their motorbikes were seen joining the protest.

Al Jazeera also received reports that angry protesters forcibly took down the Indonesian flag outside the office of Papua Provincial Governor Lukas Enembe.

Indonesia’s West Papua region is divided into two provinces, West Papua and Papua.

Hausples takes important steps to review its website moderation policy

Hausples Press Release 5.8.19Firstly, let me say that as a company and an as an individual, I abhor racism in any form and it is certainly not my intention to foster it. Hausples in no way condones properties that are marketed solely to any race or ethnicity.

As a company, Hausples has always prided itself on being a free resource for the public with the aim of growing PNG’s real estate sector to benefit all Papua New Guineans. Consequently, it’s free for anyone to list a property for sale and rent on the Hausples website, similarly, it is free to attend any of our expos and events.

We have actively chosen to keep costs low to ensure everyone can engage in the property market. As a result of our low-cost structure and high usage of the Hausples website (with more than 3,000 properties listed at any given time), we do not currently have the resources moderate every individual property that is marketed.

When we became aware of the property you mentioned we immediately removed it from Hausples – within 24 hours of if being posted.

Moving forward we will review our moderation processes and seek to apply more oversight before properties are made live.  With respect to our marketing in general, we market properties across the whole spectrum of buyers and renters; from luxury homes to affordable housing, and from serviced apartments suiting corporates, to long term rentals. It has never been our intention to segregate our audience based on race, but rather we market based on need: first home buyers, luxury buyers, affordable rentals, corporate rentals.

Mathew Care is CEO and founder of Hausples.  This statement was released on August 5th. 

Annette Sete: Chinese counterfeits killing local fashion industry

ASPapua New Guineans in the creative industries MSMEs and SMEs will never win against cheap Chinese copies unless and until the government tightens up on some of the laws safe guarding our industries.

Chinese imitations of local designs, fake or counterfeit products will continue to flood our markets.

week my total of Chinese copies reached eight. Six of those we attempted to fight them but high lawyer costs obviously meant we can’t afford to do all.

I read with interest and even frustrations as Papua New Guineans call for protection of our rights. Intellectual property office can advise on your rights but ‘yu yet nid lo go fight dis.’ They can register our trade marks, but that’s about it. Police obviously cannot raid shops without a copy of a lawyer’s  letter (which you have to pay for) and you need to prove you own the designs. (Remember Copyright is automatic).

Lawyers fees will mean you prioritize cases or you drop fighting Chinese shops and move on. If you fight Chinese shops – you struggle to find who actually owns the shop. The Chinese watching over the cash register at the shop is NOT the owner. Almost all of them don’t speak English, and some claimed to not know who their bosses are. (Would love to check their work permits and Visas!)

Then there are those Chinese that looked genuine but are extreme capitalists that would do anything to make money including copying you and fight it in court (because they can afford to).

So here’s my proposal:

Is there a lawyer or law firm out there who wished to take up the challenge of representing me? I’m looking for a litigation lawyer. I can’t pay you upfront but I’d be happy to discuss the cases with you to see if they are worth the fight.
The aim is to win at least a case that we can highlight our copyright infringements and teach these Chinese or any others for that matter that they can’t just continue to copy!

If you win the case; you get your fees paid and we split the settlement 60/40. I’ll take the 40 percent! The aim is to raise awareness and end the current nightmare of Chinese copies in fabrics, shirts etc – with no regard for intellectual property rights! No regard for our people for that matter.

That’s my fight to #takebackpng

Annette Sete, is a Papua New Guinean journalist and fashion designer. 

Opinion: Pascoe Kase’s admission of health system failure, 10 years overdue

Pascoe Kase (Post Courier)

For the last five years, I have been repeating the same story: ‘We have a crisis in the health system.”

The rest of the country can see it.  The people  who are victims of the medicine shortages all over the country keep speaking out  about it.  Health workers have cried while being interviewed because they simply can’t save lives.

And we’re not talking about the expensive cancer treatment and operations families have to pay for.  It’s the basics that are lacking.  Antibiotics, malaria drugs, family planning drugs and consumables.  The clinics don’t have them. Or even if they have them, the supplies are not enough for their catchment areas.

Personally, I have emailed the Health Secretary, Pascoe Kase, on the  cancer unit in Lae, the ill-treatment of the late Dr. John Niblet and the medicine shortages. I have called and sent text messages.

No reply.

I found that the only way  get the  (former) government’s attention was to produce a series of live videos on Facebook berating the Health Minister and the ‘higher ups’ until the issue got discussed on the floor of Parliament.

It took a change of government before  health workers truly felt free to openly discuss the medicine shortages.  When the new PM, James Marape, travelled to Lae on his second visit, he came with the  Health Minister, Elias Kapavore, and  Secretary Kase.

We put the question of medicine shortages to him yet again. The Health Secretary was indeed quick to defend saying the medicine shortage was a “broad” assumption and that the problem was with the area medical stores. He went on further to state that a lot of the blame lay with staff at the clinics.

I said: “You have to go to the clinics and talk to staff because the information you are giving me here is wrong.”  (I have the video).  It turned into a tense exchange which we later had to cut short.

After more than five years, Secretary Kase is now “admitting” that there are problems.  I could say ‘better late than never.’  But…No.  We wanted that admission earlier. We wanted an acknowledgment of the problem and it is almost 10 years overdue.

Senior doctors Like Sam Yokopua, Ludwig Nanawar and Alex Peawi have all threatened to resign over the unresolved problems that continue to hurt their patients.  Dr. Sam Yokopua, has become something of a fundraiser, going out of his way to ask the public for support for medicines and consumables because, the system is not supporting him.

Things need to change. Those in power need to realize that the people pay their salaries and the people want answers.




Wewak airport’s small pieces of history

Along with the 50,000 years of rich cultural history, East Sepik, also contains gems from its recent history.

In the Wewak airport terminal, I never paid attention to the details. But behind the check in counter, is an old Air Niugini logo from the 80s. The red kumul and the black text prominent proudly announcing the ‘National Airline of Papua New Guinea.’

On one side of the wall, is another piece of independence history. The terminal marked PNG’s 10 years as a politically independent nation.

I do hope the East Sepik Provincial Government will take these pieces and pu them in a safe place when they do decide to upgrade the terminal.