By all accounts Christmas was peaceful around PNG. Even the ongoing tribal fight in and around Mendi stopped for Christmas Day.
People occupying state land in Lae will soon be evicted from their homes after the Provincial Administrator had eviction notices served on the illegal occupants.
The MV Morimer Trader capsized off the coast of Finschhafen with a cargo in excess of K1 million whilst on its way to Buka on Christmas Day.
The executive chairman of the Privatisation Commission Ben Micah has filed a writ of summons in the National Court claiming K5 million against the Post Courier for defamation. Mr. Micah claims that the Post Courier article claiming that he was "bankrupt" had tarnished his reputation, both locally and internationally and he would seek every avenue possible to clear his name and seek redress.
Motor Vehicle Insurance
The Motor Vehicles Insurance Ltd (MVIL) increased vehicle insurance rates last week.Some examples of the rate of increase are:
- Sedans - K187.50 to K291.05
- Station wagons - K187.50 to K291.05
- Trucks - K453.13 to K703.36
- PMVs - K453.13 to K703.36
- Taxis - K265.63 to K412.32
- Motorcycles - K133.00 to K206.44
- Trailers - K78.13 to K121.27
Highlands Resource Centre
The Japanese government is helping to fund a resource centre facility for women of the Western Highlands province to the value of K310,000. The facility would consist of a large conference room, three small meeting rooms and office space. Six hostel-type rooms will also be built from the funds to accommodate council members attending meetings, seminars or workshops.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved loans to the value of almost K140 million for the Papua New Guinea Forestry and Conservation Project. The project will help to maximize both the level and long-term sustainability of revenue flowing to landholders and the Government from forest management and also protect local and national environmental values.
More than 100 teachers with their families mainly from the coastal areas and teaching in the five Highlands provinces are stuck in the mountains because they could not get their fare entitlements. Of the 140 teachers stranded, 50 were from the New Guinea Islands, 60 from the Mamose region and 30 were from the Southern region. It has also been reported that teachers in the Western Highlands Province have not received their leave entitlements from 1998 to this year.
The death toll in Mendi is now at least 36, but could be more. Tribes are not revealing the exact number of deaths over the two weeks of tribal warfare in the capital of the Southern Highlands. The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mendi, Steven Reichert, said it was a new and fearful record in tribal fights in the Highlands region where a lot of lives had been lost within a very short period.
It has been reported that the dog pound, run by the NCDC, has very little medicine for the animals under their care and they do not have money to purchase any more once this lot runs out. Workers have not been paid on time and frequently have to borrow money at high black market interest rates to survive until their pay turns up. It has also been reported that the animals are being fed food condemned as unfit for human consumption.
63 arrests were made during the Christmas period in New Ireland for offences ranging from black-marketing to drunk and disorderly and traffic infringements. New Ireland, however, was generally peaceful during Christmas and this is attributed to a special police operation over the festive season.
The New Year's Eve fireworks normally held at Ela Beach look like they will not go ahead this year unless a sponsor is found. For the last three years, the National Capital District Commission had been the main sponsor with Coca Cola (97/98) and Rothmans (95/96) sponsoring previous years.
Gulf High Schools
It has been reported by a concerned education official that except for the Catholic mission-run Bema High School in the Gulf highlands, students at the province's other high schools have performed well below the national average in the past 15 years. The situation had deteriorated seriously in the past two years.
On legal advice the Police in National Capital District and Central Province will not enforce the controversial liquor ban imposed by the Liquor Licensing Commission over the festive season.
The police, however, will be out after any bottle shops operating outside their licensing hours as well as black markets.
The troubles at City Hall continue with the counsel for the State, John Nonggorr, telling the court that a "fraudulent" court order was obtained from the court and used as a genuine order of the court to take control of the National Capital District Commission recently, and asked the court to probe the matter and take appropriate action.
The Port Moresby Diocese of the Anglican Church in PNG is expecting their new Bishop to be consecrated in February.
The Bishop elect, Peter Fox, served 5 years as the parish priest at Gerehu in the early 80's.
The initial public offering for shares in the Endeavour Properties Limited did not meet the minimum level for subscriptions so all money subscribed will be returned.
Missionary and newspaper editor Father Frank Mihalic died on the 8th of December in USA. He was responsible for the Jacaranda dictionary and grammar of Melanesian Pidgin. He also translated the PNG Constitution in Pidgin.
The PNG Defence Force hopes to have its own satellite communications system this year (2002). It is hoped that the system will reduce the communications costs of the Defence Force from K1.1 million down to K500,000. The first phase will link Port Moresby, Lae, Manus and Wewak in April.
The Defence Force soldiers on Bougainville will be forced to withdraw from this year (2002) due to a lack of funds to keep them there.
Justices Hinchcliffe and Sheehan have both recently renewed their contracts to be judges of the national and supreme courts.
The 79 bed, partially equipped hospital that has sat on a hill close to the Port Moresby Hospital unoccupied for over a year is now up for sale as part of the privatisation process. All enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank of South Pacific
The new Bank of South Pacific branch in Boroko is set to open in the New Year. The Automatic Teller Machines are already in operation and the Prime Minister has already officially opened the building. http://www.bsp.com.pg
- Bank of Papua New Guinea - - http://www.bankpng.gov.pg
- Bank of South Pacific - http://www.bsp.com.pg
- Credit Corporation -- http://www.creditcorporation.com.pg
- Fincorp - - http://www.fincorp.com.pg
- Kina Securities -- http://www.kina.com.pg
- Public Officers Superannuation Fund -- http://www.posf.com.pg
- ANZ Bank -- http://www.anz.com/png
Airlink have introduced new flights to Manus from Madang, Wewak and Kavieng as well as increased services to Tari. http://www.airlink.com.pg
- Air Niugini -- http://www.airniugini.com.pg
- AirLink -- http://www.airlink.com.pg
- Balus Program -- http://www.balus.gov.pg
- Bill Purcell's site -- http://www.powerup.com.au/~billpurc/aviation.htm
- Flight Schedules -- http://www.pngbd.com/flights.php
- MBA Airlines of PNG -- http://www.apng.com
- Unofficial Balus Register -- http://www.michie.net/balus
For those interested in aviation, apart from visiting the above sites paying a visit to http://aviation-safety.net/database/country/P2.shtml might prove to be interesting. Air Niugini rates a couple of mentions.
Airport codes: http://aerotransport.free.fr/Countries/p44432.html
A study by Australian Aid has indicated that PNG is teetering on the brink of economic and social collapse. The report states that the standard of living and basic services are in decline as jobs are evaporating and the population continues to expand.
The price of betelnut has risen to K1 per nut in some cases. This is seen as a result of some sellers not bothering to come to the city over the festive season.
Important Note: - Once again I stress that all people reading this newsletter must remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.
Satellite Image -- http://www.cnn.com/WEATHER/Australia/satellite_image.html
PNG Weather Sites
The weather in PNG has been considerably wetter than usual. For those interested weather details for around PNG can be obtained from the following weather sites. (http://www wunderground.com and http://weather.yahoo.com)
PNG media related sites
- Post Courier Newspaper -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg
- The National Online Newspaper-- http://www.thenational.com.pg
- 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
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