brad brace

1/20/2009

MIGRANTS ADRIFT WITH POWERFUL QUAKES SEIZING KILINOCHCHI KINGDOM

A series of powerful earthquakes killed at least four people and injured
dozens more in remote eastern Indonesia, cutting power lines and destroying
buildings.

The loss of Kilinochchi, its capital, is a major blow to the Tamil Tiger
movement fighting for autonomy in the Sinhalese-dominated country. But the
army’s success in capturing the town does not mark the death of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Thailand’s new prime minister was under pressure to answer allegations that
hundreds of Burmese and Bangladeshi migrants were set adrift at sea with
little food and water by the armed forces.

One of the quakes — a 7.3-magnitude tremor — sent small tsunamis into
Japan’s southeastern coast, but there were no reports of damage there and
no tsunami in Indonesia’s impoverished Papua area.

Kilinochchi was the LTTE’s political headquarters, strung out on the main
tarmac road from Colombo to Jaffna. The government could always strike it
at will by air, as it did when aircraft bombed the offices of SP
Thamilselvan, the man with whom foreign diplomats as well as the government
had frequently negotiated.

Abhisit Vejjajiva met with officials from the country’s human rights
commission amid claims that up to 1,000 migrants, mostly from the Rohingya
ethnic minority from western Burma, were towed out to sea and abandoned on
boats without engines. At least 300 remain unaccounted for. Human rights
groups allege four migrants were thrown into the sea to encourage others to
climb aboard the vessels.

The first 7.6-magnitude quake struck on land about 85 miles (135
kilometers) from Manokwari, Papua, at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers),
the U.S. Geological Agency said. It was followed by 10 aftershocks.

By advancing into the town by land the army has forced any remaining LTTE
politicians to withdraw altogether. But the movement’s military HQ and its
logistical bases are hidden well to the east near its coastal stronghold of
Mullaitivu. The whereabouts of the Tiger’s ruthless leader, Velupillai
Prabhakaran, has never been clear.

Vejjajiva stressed the alleged abuse of the migrants ran counter to
government policy, and that the military had confirmed to him that it
respected all migrants.

At least four people died in Papua, and the airport runway nearest the
epicenter was cracked, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters.
Commercial flights to the area were canceled.

Seizing Kilinochchi was done at a fearful human cost. Comparisons with Gaza
are not amiss, down to the censorship that prevented journalists entering
the area while the fighting was underway. Several days of unopposed
airstrikes and artillery fire killed civilians as well as Tiger militants,
and forced tens of thousands of families to flee into the jungle en masse.
Hundreds of troops have died on both sides in the offensive, which has
taken months to reach its goal.

However, Thailand’s foreign ministry has launched an inquiry into the
damning allegations that the navy and the army had imprisoned and
mistreated the migrants on the southern Thai island of Koh Sai Daeng before
abandoning them to die in the Indian Ocean.

“I’ve instructed emergency steps be taken to help our brothers and to
restore power and other vital utilities,” he said without commenting on how
widespread the damage might be.

Among the dead was a 10-year-old girl whose head was crushed, said local
hospital director Hengky Tewu.

If the survivors’ tales prove correct the expulsions are a reversal of a
policy Thailand followed for years, allowing the impoverished and stateless
Muslim Rohingya to land on their way to Malaysia. Many were said to have
been turned over to human traffickers.

“We have our ambulances picking up two more,” he said. Another 19 patients
at the hospital were treated for broken bones, cuts, crushed fingers and
other injuries.

Like Gaza too, this is asymmetrical warfare and the Tigers were quick to
take the shine off the government’s victory by sending a suicide bomber
into the heart of Colombo to kill two airmen at the air force headquarters.
This has always been the Tiger tactic in extremis, and they will probably
revert to more of it in the aftermath of losing Kilinochchi.

Indian authorities on the Andaman Islands say they have rescued 446
refugees lately.

Papua police chief Maj. Gen. Bagus Ekodanto said he received reports that a
hotel and rice warehouse had been “destroyed,” but he did not know if
anyone had died. A search for possible victims was under way.

Several stories of the Mutiara Hotel in the main city Manokwari collapsed,
said Ina, a nurse at a navy hospital treating 20 quake patients. Like many
Indonesians she goes by a single name.

In one incident, the Thai navy allegedly set adrift an open-topped,
engineless barge loaded with 412 people. Those aboard had just four barrels
of water and two sacks of rice.

Meanwhile, the government hopes to move on to capturing the Elephant Pass,
the last Tiger bastion on the road to Jaffna. If it falls, this will make
it easier to re-supply the island’s second largest town, which at the
moment has to get its provisions by sea and air. The army boasts of seizing
the ultimate prize, Mullaitivu.

Electricity was cut off and people in the coastal city of 167,000 fled
their homes in the dark fearing a tsunami, said Hasim Rumatiga, a local
health official. The Indonesian Meteorology and Seismology Agency issued a
tsunami alert, but it was revoked within an hour after it was determined
the epicenter of the main quake was on land.

After they drifted at sea for 15 days, the Indian coastguard rescued 107
people near the Andaman Islands, where they are being held in camps. But up
to 300 are missing after they tried to swim ashore.

Capturing it would certainly weaken the Tigers severely. But guerrilla
movements have the capacity to go underground and reemerge, as long as they
remain popular in their own communities. The government calls the LTTE
terrorists, and they have been designated as such by the European Union.
But the EU also recognises that they speak for many, if not most, Sri
Lankan Tamils in denouncing the discrimination that Tamils suffer on the
multiethnic and multicultural island. The Tamil diaspora is unlikely to end
its funding for the Tigers any time soon.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said tsunamis of 4 inches (10 centimeters) to
16 inches (40 centimeters) in height splashed ashore in towns along the
coast. It also warned that bigger tsunamis were possible later.

In another incident just before new year, three overcrowded fishing boats
loaded with 580 Burmese migrants were intercepted off the Thai coast, but
were towed back out to sea after their engines had been removed, according
to minority rights group the Arakan Project.

The damage in Indonesia was still be being assessed.

Sri Lanka needs a just political settlement. There is no military solution.
Yesterday’s army success is producing a triumphalist mood in Colombo, and
President Mahinda Rajapakse, who already holds the portfolios of defence,
finance and nation-building, has just made himself minister of the media as
well – an apparent sign that he wants even tighter control over the
country’s reporters. Sinhalese politicians will be in no mood for
concessions for many months to come. Sri Lanka faces a grim new year.

Two of the boats reached the shore; one with 152 people aboard landed on
the Andaman Islands while another reached Aceh in Indonesia. One boat is
missing. Another boatload of 46 migrants arrived on Thailand’s southern
coast was seized by the military along with the occupants.

“My son’s head was wounded when a cabinet fell on him,” said Ferry Dau, a
father of two who said the walls in his house were cracked. “It was very
strong and scary. The power and phones went dead after the utility lines
fell down.”

A Thai court sentenced Mr. Nicolaides, an Australian, to three years in
jail for offending the monarchy, a criminal offense in the Kingdom of
Thailand. He had pleaded guilty, earning a sentence at the lower end of the
prescribed range for lèse-majesté.

Rahmat Priyono, a supervisor at the National Earthquake Center, said there
was no immediate information on casualties or damage. “But since the
epicenters were on land, they have a potential to cause significant
damage.”

The Rohingya are stateless and mostly have no rights in Burma, where they
are at the mercy of the military junta that curtails their movement while
using them as forced labor.

Quakes centered onshore pose little tsunami threat to Indonesia itself, but
those close to the coast can still churn up large waves emanating out to
other countries like Japan.

The crime was committed in a single paragraph in “Verisimilitude,” a 2005
novel set in Thailand that is salted with social commentary. At the
sentencing, the judge read out the offending section to the court, which
was packed with foreign reporters. The judge said the author had insulted
the king and crown prince in the passage.

Relief agency World Vision Indonesia was flying in 2,000 emergency
provision kits, including canned food, blankets and basic medical supplies,
said spokeswoman Katarina Hardono.

Papua is the Indonesian portion of New Guinea island, located about 1,830
miles (2,955 kilometers) east of the capital Jakarta. It is among the
nation’s least developed areas, and a low-level insurgency has simmered in
the resource-rich region for years. It is off limits to foreign reporters.

Indonesia straddles a chain of fault lines and volcanoes known as the
Pacific “Ring of Fire” and is prone to seismic activity. A huge quake off
western Indonesia caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed about
230,000 people, more than half of them on the western Indonesian island of
Sumatra.

1/14/2009

700 from Irian Jaya repatriated

Filed under: global islands,government,intra-national,irian jaya,png — admin @ 5:04 am

Human rights group says move a publicity stunt

More than 700 West Papuans living in Papua New Guinea are choosing to return home to the Indonesian side of the border despite claims they face human rights abuses.

The Indonesian Embassy in PNG’s capital Port Moresby next month will begin flying the West Papuans to Vanimo in Sandaun Province on PNG’s north-east coast, before driving them across the border to their former homes.

Hakim Abdul from the embassy said the voluntary repatriations were happening because conditions in West Papua had steadily improved since 2001.

“The Indonesian government has made West Papua a special province, there is more autonomy than ever before. It’s very different now,” he said.

“The West Papuans living in PNG have realised conditions are better there.

“It’s good news as they now want to go home after learning about life in West Papua from friends and family, even reading the internet.”

The Indonesian government would pay for the repatriation and was working with the PNG government on the issue, he said.

But Felix Meraudje from the West Papua National Congress based in Port Moresby said it was a publicity stunt.

“It’s publicity to show Indonesia is good,” Mr Meraudje said.

“They promise them a lot and give a little pocket money.

“These people who have chosen to go back are frustrated with the lack of results from the United Nations to place us outside of PNG.

“The reality for most West Papuans is not good, most are scared and can’t be West Papuan.”

Meraudje said 10,000 to 20,000 West Papuans who fled their homes on the Indonesian side because of persecution by authorities lived throughout PNG.

Hundreds had settled in a refugee camp near the border in PNG’s Southern Highlands region while a majority lived and worked in the country’s major centres.

West Papuans fled their province following alleged human rights abuses by Indonesian authorities and security forces.

Indonesia’s hardline security measures, including arrests of activists who try to fly the outlawed Morning Star flag, have helped quell the West Papua separatist movement.

12/15/2008

OLD TERROR WAVES HACKED AND SLAUGHTERED

Filed under: china,General,png,rampage,resource,usa — admin @ 8:37 am

Without a law banning export of toxic electronic waste in the United
States, there has been no way to know if old cell phones, computers or
televisions originating there didn’t end up in some poor village in the
developing world, where desperate people pull them apart by hand to recover
some of the valuable metals inside.

The Papua New Guinea jungle has given up one of its darkest secrets – the
systematic slaughter of every male baby born in two villages to prevent
future tribal clashes.

China is aggressively developing its power to wage cyber warfare and is now
in a position to delay or disrupt the deployment of America’s military
forces around the world, potentially giving it the upper hand in any
conflict.

Coordinated groups of gunmen shot and blasted their way through tourist
sites in the Indian financial center of Mumbai, killing at least 101 people
and wounding more than 200 while apparently targeting American and British
citizens for use as hostages.

Currently even when e-waste (electronic trash) goes to a “green” recycler,
the chances are high that toxic stuff from the developed world ended up in
a huge pile in the middle of some village.

By virtually wiping out the ‘male stock’, tribal women hope they can avoid
deadly bow-and-arrow wars between the villages in the future.

There has been an alarming increase in incidents of Chinese computer
attacks on the US government, defence companies and businesses. China now
has both the intent and capability to launch cyber attacks “anywhere in the
world at any time”.

The attackers swept through two luxury hotels favored by foreigners, the
Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi, firing automatic weapons, throwing
grenades and sending panicked guests scrambling for safety. Some guests
were trapped inside the hotels for hours, even as a series of explosions
set fire to the Taj hotel, a landmark along of Mumbai’s waterfront.

The U.S. generates an estimated three million tonnes of electronic waste,
such as cell phones and computers, each year. U.S. citizens bought some 30
million television sets this year and that number will be higher next year
as all U.S. TV networks switch to digital broadcasts Feb. 17.

‘Babies grow into men and men turn into warriors,’ said Rona Luke, a
village wife who is attending a special ‘peace and reconciliation’ meeting
in the mountain village of Goroka.

In 2007, about 5m computers in the US were the targets of 43,880 incidents
of malicious activity – a rise of almost a third on the previous year.

Although Mumbai has been the scene of several terrorist attacks in recent
years, experts said Wednesday’s assaults required a previously unseen
degree of reconnaissance and planning. The scale and synchronization of the
attacks pointed to the likely involvement of experienced commanders, some
said, suggesting possible foreign involvement.

‘It’s because of the terrible fights that have brought death and
destruction to our villages for the past 20 years that all the womenfolk
have agreed to have all new-born male babies killed,’ said Mrs Luke.

Launching their attacks after dark, the terrorists struck almost
simultaneously at the city’s domestic airport and a railway station and
sprayed gunfire at the Leopold Cafe, a restaurant popular with foreigners.
As many as 16 groups hit nine sites on the southern flank of this crowded
metropolis of 19 million.

It is estimated that 100 containers of e-waste arrive in Hong Kong every
day and are then smuggled into China. It’s all coming from the U.S. and
Canada; much of this activity is illegal in China. But it is a very big and
profitable industry so many officials in China and elsewhere are willing to
look the other way.

China’s ability to wage cyber warfare is now “so sophisticated that the US
may be unable to counteract or even detect the efforts”. Given the
dependence on the internet of key sectors of US public life, from the
federal government and military to water treatment, social security and the
electricity grid, a successful attack on these internet-connected networks
could paralyse the US.

Mumbai is South Asia’s financial hub and an entertainment capital, with
many of the glitzy targets symbolizing the new cosmopolitan face of the
world’s largest democracy. Several witnesses said the gunmen demanded to
see passports from cornered guests, separating American and British
tourists from the others. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said U.S.
officials were not aware of any American casualties but were still
checking.

‘The women have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing
misery to them.’ Tribal fighting in the region of Gimi, in the country’s
Eastern Highlands, has been going on since 1986, many of the clashes
arising over claims of sorcery.

There has been concern about Chinese computer espionage since 2002, when a
large-scale series of cyber intrusions was launched on US military and
government computer systems. In that attack, codenamed Titan Rain by the
US, the Chinese downloaded up to 20 terabytes of data — twice the amount
stored in the entire print collection of the Library of Congress.

In the chaos and confusion, it was difficult to confirm details or
determine the nationalities of hostages apparently being held on several
floors of the damaged hotels. India’s NDTV 24×7 news channel reported that
the gunmen were holding more than a dozen foreigners, including a Belgian
and an Indonesian.

The mountain of e-waste grows each day as new electronic devices are
created to drive an economy rooted in endless growth. And consider that 85
percent of e-waste goes in landfills or is incinerated locally,
contaminating the United States’ groundwater and air. Millions more
stockpiled computers, monitors and TV are sitting in basements, garages,
offices and homes.

The sensational claims recall the Biblical story of the Old Testament
pharaoh who ordered all midwives to kill Israelite baby boys because he
wanted to ensure there were never enough young men to fight in an army
against the Egyptians.

Much of the activity is likely to emanate from groups of hackers, but the
lines between private espionage and government-sponsored operations are
blurred. Some 250 hacker groups are tolerated, and may even be encouraged,
by Beijing to invade computer networks. Individual hackers are also being
trained in cyber operations at Chinese military bases. China is stealing
vast amounts of sensitive information from US computer networks.

Firefighters could be seen helping guests to safety, and some later reports
suggested that hostages at the Taj had been freed. Other reports said there
were attacks at two hospitals, a police station and the Mumbai office of an
ultra-Orthodox Jewish outreach group, Chabad Lubavitch.

A resident of Agibu village, Mrs Luke said she did not know how many male
babies were killed by being smothered, but it had happened to all males
over a 10 year period – and she suggested it was still happening. Choking
back tears she added: ‘It’s a terrible, unbearable crime, but the women had
to do it. ‘The women have really being forced into it as it’s the only
means available to them as women to bring an end to tribal fights.’

Beijing is investing huge resources in cyber and space missions because it
sees America’s computer networks and space assets as its “soft ribs and
strategic weaknesses”. The extent of its activities gives it the potential
to beat the US in military conflict.

Huge waves caused by king tides smashed into dozens of villages and towns
in northern Papua New Guinea, destroying homes and flooding businesses and
a hospital, local media reported.

10/15/2008

Tok Pisin = English

Filed under: global islands,language,png,solomon islands — admin @ 3:19 pm

wok = work / job
de bilong wok = workday
hatwok = work hard
man bilong wok = good worker
wanwok = fellow worker
wok kaikai = work for board and keep
wok long = busy (doing something)
wok sip = stevedore
wokim = build (something)
wokim glas i go antap = wind up a window
wokim gut = repair (vb)
wokim / paitim bret = knead bread
wokman = worker / workman
woksop = workshop
loia / loya / loman / saveman long lo = lawyer
tisa = teacher

10/14/2008

Blackbirding

Filed under: global islands,human rights,png,solomon islands,vanuatu — admin @ 7:33 am

Not many people know that the sweet sugar industry in Australia was founded on the sweat of men and women enticed or kidnapped from the islands of Melanesia.

Mr Leo, who called himself Joe Malayta (Malaita) to identify his roots, knew his history well.

He recalled that between 1863 and 1904 about 60,000 Melanesians were transported to the colony of Queensland , where they toiled to create the sugar plantations.

Some of these islanders moved there willingly on the promise of income, whilst others were kidnapped from their island homes.

Now married to Monica, of Vanuatu ancestry, the couple said the ancestors of the South Sea Islands community in Queensland were ‘recruited’ from various islands including the Solomon Islands , Vanuatu , and the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia and to a lesser extent, Papua New Guinea .

This form of human trafficking is historically known as ‘black birding’.

There are possibly up to 20,000 Melanesians, recognised as South Sea Islanders currently in Australia , who lived mostly in the North and Central Queensland region.

They were brought to Queensland , mostly to work in the sugar industry, on three-year contracts of indenture.

According to Leo, this labour trade in Melanesians (or Kanakas as they are often termed) involved at least around 62,000 contracts being entered into over a 41year period.

Once underway, some 8,000 indentured Melanesians on average were in Queensland at any one time, whether as first indentured, reengaged, or as time-expired workers.

For the most part they were regarded as unwelcomed guests – a necessary but ultimately dispensable evil – and the new century had barely commenced before they fell tainted of the White Australia Policy.

With the enactment of the Pacific Islanders Labourers Act of 1901 by the newly created Commonwealth of Australia, recruiting was to cease in 1904 and the majority of Kanakas were compulsorily deported between 1906 and 1908.

Since then the descendants of those who legally, or illegally, remained have lived on the fringes of White Australia as a discriminated minority, a forgotten people.

But the evil winds of discrimination has changed at the turn of the 21st century as Australian leaders begun to realise how terrible it was to treat another human being as a slave.

The Melanesian community was recognised by the Federal Government as a unique minority group in 1994 following a report on the community undertaken by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

On 7th September 2000, Queensland State Premier Peter Beattie pushed further and presented in the Queensland Legislative Assembly a formal Recognition Statement of the Australian South Sea Islander community.

The Recognition Statement recognises Australian South Sea Islanders as a distinct cultural group acknowledging past injustices as well as significant contributions to the social, cultural and economic development of Queensland .

In that document, the Queensland Government acknowledged that the South Sea Islanders were brought to Australia as a source of cheap labour for Queensland ’s primary industries.

It acknowledged that “many people were tricked into coming; others were kidnapped or “blackbirded”.

Men, women and children were forced to work long hours at exhausting manual work for low or no wages while living in very poor conditions. Many were treated like “slaves”.

Poor working and living conditions contributed to the death of many islanders in those years.

The policy further acknowledged that “in the early 1880s, the death rate among South Sea Islanders was five times higher than the comparable European population”.

The Queensland Government then, immediately instructed its departments and other agencies to act on this commitment through their policies, programmes and services.

Leo and Matt Nagas, Melanesians of Vanuatu ancestry agreed that the Recognition by the Federal and State Governments is a huge break through for their status as Australian citizens of Melanesian origin.

“The recognition has slowly but surely shifted the injustices that we’ve been through over the last 100 years and we trust that our children and grand children will equally excel from here,” the gentlemen said.

Today, individual Australian South Sea Islanders have excelled in politics, government, religion, sports, art, business, health and education.

They have also served the nation as members of the defence force in times of peace and war.

The recognition continues to trickle down in the hearts of many Australians as hundreds of Melanesians gathered in Bundaberg last week to participate in a weeklong International Prayer and Cultural Festival.

Calling themselves “Spiritual Slaves”, around 200 young men and women from SSEC in Solomon Islands re-enacted the Christianisation of Melanesians and the arrival of the gospel in Solomon Islands .

Among many who witnessed the drama is Federal MP Paul Neville who acknowledged the unique spirituality of Melanesians which started in the cane fields of Queensland .

Australian South Sea Islanders’ unique spirituality, identity and cultural heritage enrich Queensland ’s culturally diverse society.

For more than a century their culture, history and contribution to Queensland have been ignored and denied.

Sharing similar sentiments, Rockhamton City Mayor, Brad Carter said his Regional Council is committed to ensure that present and future generations of South Sea Islanders have equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to the economic, social, political and cultural life of the State.

“I will ensure that Queensland becomes one of the most accommodating places in the world for people of different backgrounds and cultures including South Sea Islanders,”

Showing its obligation to recognise South Sea Islanders, the Queensland Government in 2001 has made a commitment to address areas of need identified by the community.

The Australian South Sea Islander Community Foundation is a partnership between the Queensland government and the corporate sector to create a permanent legacy to provide university scholarships for South Sea Islanders tertiary students.

Scholarships are awarded annually to the value of $5000 per year for full-time and $2500 for part-time students.

There are no more Melanesians in cane fields as many have moved up the socio-economic strata engaging in reasonably paid jobs and equal opportunities just like any other Australian citizen.

“Gone are the days when we were treated like plants and animals. I just want to thank God for that change,” said Mr Nagas.

Today, many Islanders through their own initiative created a substantial relinking with their families in Vanuatu , Solomon Islands , and Papua New Guinea .

Mr Leo has travelled to Vanuatu on four occasions with his wife and this has been made possible by improvements in having access to disposable incomes that can be spent on overseas holidays.

He said the process of relinking two sides of families separated for 60 years is both exciting and puzzling.

As a third generation Aussie Melanesian, Mr Leo and his grown up children own properties in Rockhamton and today he is still tracing his Solomon Islands roots.

He hopes that one day he will set foot on the land of his ancestors to give back the sweat and blood spilled on the cane fields of Queensland .

10/11/2008

ILLEGAL LOGGING ALARMING

Filed under: global islands,png,resource,solomon islands — admin @ 3:49 am

Landowners take companies to court

THE PARADISE FORESTS OF INDONESIA, PAPUA New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are falling at an alarming rate. Every year 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the logging of natural and ancient forests. Illegal and destructive logging in PNG is fuelling global warming which is melting icecaps, contributing to the drowning of Pacific Islands Countries and low-lying areas in PNG. PNG’s forests can either help fight climate change if left standing or put the foot on the accelerator of global warming if the destructive and illegal logging continues. In fact by protecting its forests from logging PNG could make hundreds of millions of dollars from carbon financing. But, as a University of Papua New Guinea report points out: “PNG’s forests could make a significant contribution to global efforts to combat climate change. “However, the current state of forest management and lack of effective governance means that PNG is a long way from being able to meaningfully participate in the carbon economy.” The World Bank estimates that up to 70 percent of logging in PNG is illegal. Greenpeace believes the figure is as high as 90 percent due to the fact that many timber licences are obtained without the proper prior and informed consent of landowners. “The PNG Government must put in place a moratorium on the allocation of any new logging concessions or extensions and conduct a review of all existing concessions. Any concession found to be in breach of the laws must be revoked. There should also be an immediate investigation into serious allegations of corruption between politicians and logging companies,” said Sam Moko, forest campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. “Landowners are suffering while US$40 million allegedly sits in a Singapore bank account of a senior government minister from a logging company.”

Revelations: New revelations that K100 million have gone missing from the PNG National Forest Authority is further evidence that the governance surrounding forestry is out of control. In April this year, the current Forest Minister, Belden Namah, said, “I have noticed a lot of corruption going on within the forestry department. Most [forest] officers are not supporting the landowners with their issues and are not promoting government laws and policies that are already in place to penalise the logging companies”. Currently, there are 15 cases where landowners are taking logging companies to court for breaching forestry laws. Greenpeace crew from the ship Esperanza have visited remote areas of Papua New Guinea’s Gulf and Western Provinces during September to document what is going on. We found there were many social and environmental problems caused by industrial logging, as well breaches of the PNG Logging Code of Practice by logging companies. Local people tell of total disrespect from the company towards them. Examples of this include the destruction of sacred sites, lack of promised development, withholding royalty payments, logging too close to villages and endangering the food supply. Infrastructure like roads, airstrips and ports are rudimentary for the benefit of the logging operation and usually falls into disrepair once a company moves on. The schools and medical facilities do not have materials, equipment or medicines. The logging industry is involved in a deception where exploitation masquerades as development. The industry also makes over-inflated claims about the numbers of people it employs and its contribution to rural development. Foreigners do most of the skilled work, while PNG nationals are paid a pittance for dangerous work, usually done with no safety equipment.
Payslips obtained by Greenpeace from two Rimbunan Hijau (RH) concessions—Vailala and Wawoi Guavi—show workers working long hours for very little pay. Many camp workers are brought in from other areas and have no local fishing or hunting rights so must buy goods at inflated prices from the company’s canteen, the only store in the area. One fortnightly payslip showed a worker being paid K185.25 for 114 hours of work. After costs for food were deducted, he took home K5.
Forestry workers are trapped in a debt cycle with logging companies and have no option but to continue working. Ken Karere, from Vailala, an RH concession, told Greenpeace, “The workload it’s very big…You have no food. You have to go back to the store and buy food on credit and their prices are very high. All is recorded. So once I get paid, all that money goes towards the credit and you’re only left with maybe K10, K15. You have to survive on that for another two weeks but after one day that money’s finished. How are people supposed to invest in their and their family’s future on this type of wage? This is not gainful employment that benefits PNG’s future, this is induced indebtedness verging on slavery,” Moko said. “These people work incredibly hard and are still well below the poverty line. They don’t even have enough money to pay to leave the area.” The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) in a diagnostic report released last year stated: “It is believed that the narrow focus of the PNG Forests Authority on exploitation of the forest resource for the primary financial benefit of the national government presents a conflict of interest which colours decisions made by the government at all levels.”

Moratorium: If the PNG Government is interested in participating in the International Carbon Market they must demonstrate a genuine commitment to saving the forests of PNG by introducing a moratorium on the allocation of all new and proposed logging concessions and extensions. This must be done to improve Papua New Guinea’s reputation as a forest manager and address the key forest carbon issues of ‘permanence’ and ‘additionality’ before they can be taken seriously for REDD financial incentives. PNG must be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity and willingness to monitor and enforce forest protection, the ability to monitor and independently verify emission reductions, and establish national carbon accounting, before engaging with the international community on carbon financing initiatives. PNG must also move to develop a legal and regulatory framework for carbon trading and financing and/or Payment of Ecosystem Services that ensures protection of the rights of the customary landowners as well as requiring multi-stakeholder governance and the development of national forest carbon standards.

10/8/2008

PNG tribes and refugees

Refugees from the West Papua who are currently living in Papua New Guinea have expressed that they wish to settle in Vanuatu, instead of PNG.

As reported by PNG’s The National, the refugees who were evicted from Eight-Mile, National Capital District, last year, said ‘they wanted to leave for a third country despite the reluctance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to resettle them’.

‘Leader of the West Papuan displaced refugees Freddy Waromi said there were 148 people from 25 families living under makeshift tents and tarpaulins, with only one water tap and a dug pit toilet’ and that the “Vanuatu council of chiefs has indicated to adopt us as Melanesian brothers and sisters, but the only problem is that Vanuatu is not a signatory to the UN refugee charter”.

West Papua is under Indonesian rule and many had fled over the border to PNG during the times of unrest.

‘According to Mr Waromi, the UNHCR granted them refugee status in 1980 and the PNG Government had also earlier granted them permissive residential status, but now both parties wanted to repatriate the refugees back to West Papua’.

According to the report, ‘ABC news reported that the UNHCR would not resettle the West Papuan refugees living in PNG in Vanuatu’ and UNHCR regional representative in Canberra, Richard Towle, ‘said the West Papuans had been campaigning to the UNHCR to be resettled in Vanuatu but their plea had been rejected’.

He stated that from their point of view, “resettlement is really a last resort for the most deserving on the basis of protection needs” and that they did not think “that this group falls within that category” and that ‘the PNG Government would rather see the refugees return home across the border to the Indonesian-governed Papua’.

But Mr. Waromi stated that “UNHCR wanted us to go back to West Papua but the sad fact is that we will be dead when we go back. UNHCR arranged for some of our Melanesian brothers to go back to East Awin in 2001 and none of those who got repatriated are alive today; they are all dead.”

PNG hill tribes negotiate peace deal

In Papua New Guinea, at least 30 warring hill tribes from the Southern Highlands have agreed to lay down their arms and cease generations of fighting in what’s being described as the regions first peace agreement. The so-called Tari District peace deal has taken 5 years to negotiate through a series of peace building activities organised by a team of local and international volunteers lead by a former Philippines born nun now living in Australia.

Sri Lankan refugees duped by HK traffickers

Hong Kong-based agents are charging US$11,800 to smuggle Sri Lankan refugees to Papua New Guinea, the Post-Courier reported.

The newspaper, quoting unnamed PNG intelligence service officers, says the human smuggling operators are charging $31,600 for refugees who want to go on to Australia. These smuggling groups are reportedly using agents in PNG.

“But it still looks like they came into PNG to have easy access somehow to Australia because they would not have had an easy way out if they had gone straight to Australia from wherever they came from.

“But in any case, coming to PNG, especially from a dangerous grouping, is a threat to the national security of this country in itself,” the intelligence officers said.

10/5/2008

Tok Pisin = English

Filed under: global islands,language,png,solomon islands — admin @ 2:55 pm

haus / long haus = home
haus = building / house / hut
haus bilong king = palace
haus bilong pisin = nest
haus bilong tumbuna pasin = museum
haus bilong wasim klos = laundry
haus kuk / hauskuk / kisen = kitchen
haus lain = long house (Highlands)
haus lotu = temple / church
haus lotu bilong ol mahomet = mosque
haus luluai bilong longwe ples = embassy
haus moni = bank
haus marasin = pharmacy
haus marit = married quarters
haus pamuk = brothel
haus pater = monastery

9/30/2008

Murder Capitals of the World

Filed under: General,png,rampage,usa — admin @ 5:20 am

Caracas, Venezuela
Population: 3.2 million
Murder rate: 130 per 100,000 residents (official)
What’s happening: The capital of Chávez country, Caracas has become far more dangerous in recent years than any South American city, even beating out the once notorious Bogotá. What’s worse, the city’s official homicide statistics likely fall short of the mark because they omit prison-related murders as well as deaths that the state never gets around to properly “categorizing.” The numbers also don’t count those who died while “resisting arrest,” suggesting that Caracas’s cops—already known for their brutality against student protesters—might be cooking the books. Many have pointed the finger at El Presidente, whose government has failed to tackle the country’s rising rates of violent crime. In fact, since Chávez took over in 1998, Venezuela’s official homicide rate has climbed 67 percent—mostly due to increased drug and gang violence. Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, who recently resigned as interior minister, claimed in July that homicide has dropped 27 percent since January—but experts say he’s just playing with numbers. As for Caracas, some speculate that its murder rate is closer to 160 per 100,000.

Cape Town, South Africa
Population: 3.5 million
Murder rate: 62 per 100,000 inhabitants
What’s happening: A European bastion in the heart of turbulent South Africa, picturesque Cape Town nonetheless has the country’s highest murder rate. The city’s homicides usually take place in suburban townships rather than in the more upscale urban areas where tourists visit. According to the South African Police Service, most of the Cape Town area’s violent crimes happen between people who know one another, including a horrific case last year in which four males doused a female friend in gasoline and lit her on fire. Occurring just outside city limits, the incident apparently happened after the assailants had taken hard drugs, the use of which has risen along with Cape Town’s violent crime rate. The whopping 12.7 percent rise in the city’s murder rate from 2006 to 2007 certainly has local politicians worried, especially as South Africa prepares to host the 2010 World Cup. The government has hired more police officers to prepare for the tournament, which could help cut crime in soccer-fan hot spots. But until better efforts are made to police Cape Town’s poverty-stricken townships, it’s unlikely that the murder rate—an average of 5.9 per day—will see any major drop.

New Orleans, United States
Population: 220,614 to 312,000 (2007); estimates vary due to displacement of people after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Murder rate: Estimates range from 67 (New Orleans Police Department) to 95 (Federal Bureau of Investigation) per 100,000
What’s happening: With its grinding poverty, an inadequate school system, a prevalence of public housing, and a high incarceration rate, the Big Easy has long been plagued with a high rate of violent crime. Katrina didn’t help. Since the hurricane struck in 2005, drug dealers have been fighting over a smaller group of users, leading to many killings. On just one four-block stretch of Josephine Street, in the city center, four people were murdered in 2007 and 15 people shot, including a double homicide on Christmas day. A precise murder rate is hard to pinpoint because the population is swelling quickly, approaching its pre-Katrina numbers. Whether you use New Orleans’s own figures or the FBI’s, however, the city remains the most deadly in the United States, easily surpassing Detroit and Baltimore with 46 and 45 murders per 100,000 people, respectively.

Moscow, Russia
Population: 10.4 million
Murder rate: 9.6 per 100,000 (estimate)
What’s happening: Moscow’s murder rate is nothing compared with that of Caracas or Cape Town, but the city still ranks way above other major European capitals. London, Paris, Rome, and Madrid, for instance, all had rates below 2 murders per 100,000 in 2006. The Russian capital’s homicide rate is down 15 percent this year from last, but the recent surge in hate crimes—including the deadly beating of a Tajik carpenter by a gang of youths on Valentine’s Day—suggests that the lull might be temporary. Sixty ethnically motivated killings have already happened this year, part of a sixfold increase in hate crimes committed in the city during 2007. Several of the murders have been attributed to ultranationalist skinhead groups like the “Spas,” who killed 11 people in a 2006 bombing of a multiethnic market in northern Moscow. The Russian government has finally stepped up to combat the problem, assisting migrant groups and cracking down on street gangs. Still, the continued rise in extremist attacks is worrisome. And along with migrants, journalists and other high-profile people in Moscow might also want to be a little wary in Russia—62 contract murders took place in the country in 2005, according to official statistics.

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Population: 254,200 (2000 census)
Murder rate: 54 per 100,000 (2004 official figure)
What’s happening: The capital of island country Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby might seem like a surprising addition to this list. But its high violent crime rates, along with high levels of police corruption and gang activity, helped earn the city the dubious title of “worst city” in a 2004 Economist Intelligence Unit survey. With gangs called “raskols” controlling the city centers and unemployment rates hovering around 80 percent, it’s easy to see how Port Moresby beat out the 130 other survey contenders. Port Moresby’s police don’t seem to be helping the crime situation—last November, five officers were charged with offenses ranging from murder to rape. And in August, the city’s police barracks were put on a three-month curfew due to a recent slew of bank heists reportedly planned inside the stations by officers and their co-conspirators. Rising tensions between Chinese migrants and native Papua New Guineans are also cause for alarm, as are reports of increased activity of organized Chinese crime syndicates.

NZ official: Melanesian states still suffering

Corruption, disease and poverty threaten the futures of Melanesian countries that are home to 85 percent of Pacific Islands people, a top New Zealand official said Tuesday.

The populations of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are rising at a pace that is outstripping economic growth, Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban said at the opening of a symposium on Melanesia in the New Zealand capital, Wellington.

The countries also suffer from youth unemployment, law-and-order “problems,” and adverse effects of global warming, Laban said. All these conditions together represent a “toxic mix” undermining growth and stability in these countries, she said.

“In combination, these factors pose clear and present danger to the ability of states in the region to provide for their people and ensure national viability,” Laban said at the event, sponsored by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

HIV, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are a brake on the region’s potential, while education trends are also troubling, she said.

Four years of communal fighting in the Solomon Islands have left education services “in tatters,” with only 70 percent of children able to access limited education, Laban said.

“To be blunt, corruption seems endemic and undermines governance at almost every turn,” she said.

Melanesian countries play a major role in the Pacific tuna fishery, currently worth around US$3 billion a year. But overfishing of a number of tuna species means reductions in catches are urgently required to preserve the industry’s sustainability, she said.

Laban praised Melanesian countries New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands for maintaining a unified front in pressuring Fiji’s military government to honor its pledge to hold elections by March 2009.

Melanesian leaders last month joined other Pacific Islands’ Forum states in expressing disappointment at Fiji’s delays in restoring a democratic government.

NZ official: Melanesian states still suffering

Corruption, disease and poverty threaten the futures of Melanesian countries that are home to 85 percent of Pacific Islands people, a top New Zealand official said Tuesday.

The populations of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are rising at a pace that is outstripping economic growth, Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban said at the opening of a symposium on Melanesia in the New Zealand capital, Wellington.

The countries also suffer from youth unemployment, law-and-order “problems,” and adverse effects of global warming, Laban said. All these conditions together represent a “toxic mix” undermining growth and stability in these countries, she said.

“In combination, these factors pose clear and present danger to the ability of states in the region to provide for their people and ensure national viability,” Laban said at the event, sponsored by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

HIV, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are a brake on the region’s potential, while education trends are also troubling, she said.

Four years of communal fighting in the Solomon Islands have left education services “in tatters,” with only 70 percent of children able to access limited education, Laban said.

“To be blunt, corruption seems endemic and undermines governance at almost every turn,” she said.

Melanesian countries play a major role in the Pacific tuna fishery, currently worth around US$3 billion a year. But overfishing of a number of tuna species means reductions in catches are urgently required to preserve the industry’s sustainability, she said.

Laban praised Melanesian countries New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands for maintaining a unified front in pressuring Fiji’s military government to honor its pledge to hold elections by March 2009.

Melanesian leaders last month joined other Pacific Islands’ Forum states in expressing disappointment at Fiji’s delays in restoring a democratic government.

9/29/2008

Small Island States and Global Challenges

Filed under: cuba,global islands,png,resource,solomon islands,tuvalu,vanuatu — admin @ 4:32 pm

In the era of neoliberal globalization, the large centers of World power, headed by the United States and Europe, often forget the needs and problems of the small island states, whose physical existence is threatened by phenomenons for which they are not responsible.

These small and vulnerable islands, from the Caribbean or South Pacific for example, are seriously threatened by global challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, and problems of development, scarce energy resources or food crises.

It is no secret that these groups of States suffer from geographic isolation, communications and transportation problems.

Even between themselves they are separated by thousands of kilometers, making contacts difficult.

But without a doubt, the main challenge for these small territories are climate changes, as they are more susceptible to suffering the consequences derived from global warming, among them the alarming rise of sea level.

Archipelagos like Kiribati and Tuvalu run the risk of disappearing in the near future if the pace of the rise of sea level continues.

Cuba is also not exempt from these dangers, like the recent devastation inflicted by two hurricanes.

This is why it is necessary for an exchange of information and cooperation among the group of small nations to help each other in facing the challenges of nature and the environment.

On the other hand, Cuba, lacking financial resources and economically blockaded by the US government, has international recognition for its vocation to internationalism and solidarity not to contribute leftovers, but shares what it has, mainly its well prepared human capital encouraged throughout the last 50 years.

An example of these fraternal ties is the creation of a School of Medicine in the western province of Pinar del Rio for the training of 400 students from the South Pacific, of which 64 have already enrolled (25 from the Solomon Islands, 20 from Kiribati, 2 from Nauru and 17 from Vanuatu).

Also, Cuban medical brigades are offering their services in Kiribati, the Solomon and Vanuatu Islands, through the General Health Program, while details are being ironed out for the implementation of health cooperation with Tuvalu, Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

An exemplary cooperation, which is a clear revelation, without conditions and on an equal basis.

9/21/2008

Papua New Guinea Urged by Human Rights Group to Check Police Abuses

Filed under: global islands,png,police — admin @ 4:55 am

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a Washington based group, has called for Papua New Guinea police officers to be held accountable for use of torture and sexual assault. HRW has written a letter to the government addressing their concerns.

HRW’s letter is based on information from its reports in 2004 and 2005 that show “regular police torture, rape, and use excessive force against children; police commonly committing acts of sexual violence, including against female sex workers, and men and boys suspected of homosexual conduct; police harassing persons found carrying condoms, which undermines efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS; police routinely detaining children with adults in police lock-ups; and police rarely being punished for these acts.” According to HRW, these actions violate Papua New Guinea laws and regulations and also breach international standards, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The most applicable sections of the ICCPR are Articles 7 and 10 which prohibit the use of torture and require that detainees be treated with respect.

HRW spokesperson Zama Coursen-Neff has said it is important to focus on both short and long term measures to address the abuse of powers by police officers. She has also called on Internal Security Minister Sani Rambi and Police Commissioner Gari Baki to charge any member of the police force who used excessive force while on duty. Ms. Coursen-Neff thinks actions should be pursued against the officers both administratively and criminally.

HRW has also, however, commended Papua New Guinea in its recent steps towards guaranteeing respect for fundamental human rights with its accession to international conventions, including the above-mentioned ICCPR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Ms. Coursen-Neff has said, “The current Police Commissioner is beginning to speak openly about human rights and talk about the need to clean up the police force. And the Ombudsman Commission is actually now involved in some of the more serious cases, however this has simply not translated into an expectation among police that if they beat up children, if they rape girls, if they steal things from street vendors, then they’re going to be prosecuted.”

HRW is an independent, nongovernmental organization that started in 1978 and tracks progress in over 70 countries throughout the world.

9/16/2008

Tok Pisin = English

tok baksait = gossip about
tok bilas = ridicule
tok bilong bipo yet = fable / myth
tok bilong ol tumbuna = tradition of ancestors
tok bokis = secret language / parable
tok grisim = flatter
tok gude = greet
tok gumi = tall tale
tok hait = secret
tok insait = conscience
tok pait = controversy
tok ples = local language
tok tru = speak the truth / truth
toktok = talk / conversation
tokautim sin / confess
tokim = tell
toksave = advertisement / information / explain
tok save long = explain
toktok long = talk about
toktok wantaim = converse with
tokwin = rumour

8/28/2008

WWII body found hanging from tree in New Guinea

Filed under: global islands,png — admin @ 4:39 am

New Guinean authorities, with the help of the Australian, US and Japanese governments, are investigating the discovery of what is thought to be the skeleton of a World War II pilot.

Bush walkers discovered the skeleton hanging from a jungle canopy halfway along the 96 kilometre historic Kokoda Track, a World War II path which was used for troop movements during the battle.

The man who discovered the skeleton said it was swinging in a tree, caught up in a seat harness and was covered with moss.

The suspected remains of a WWII airman discovered in a jungle region of Papua New Guinea have turned out to be the moss-covered branches of a tree.

Hikers on the country’s Kokoda Trail found what appeared to be the remains of a parachutist tangled in wires and dangling in a tree two weeks ago.

The Australian military sent a team to investigate the “body” only to discover it was a branch tangled in vines.

An Australian Defence Force (ADF) statement said that although the location of the find was below a flight path commonly used by Allied aircraft during WWII sorties, the “remains” were in fact a moss-covered branch.

Adrift at Sea

Filed under: burma,global islands,png — admin @ 4:36 am

Tual has become an ‘Island of the Damned’ for the runaway Burmese fishermen
Hundreds of “undocumented” Burmese fishermen – perhaps up to 2,000 men – have been abandoned on the remote Indonesian island of Tual, west of Papua New Guinea.

Compelled by poverty to leave their military-ruled homeland for “illegal” work in the Thai fishing fleet, the seafarers have escaped brutal working conditions and even murder on the high seas.

Some have been on Tual so long that they have married local women and have families.

Others, say reliable sources, have gone feral, scavenging the island’s forested interior and clearing smallholdings to feed themselves.

Forgotten by the world, for Burmese fishermen Tual has become an “Island of the Damned”.

8/24/2008

Economic, social crises loom over Islands

Filed under: fiji,General,global islands,png,solomon islands,vanuatu — admin @ 5:36 am

South Pacific island nations have armies of unemployed and underemployed people who will turn to violence if its economic, social and political problems are not dealt with, a report by a Sydney-based think-tank said.

“It is only a matter of time before the growing army of unemployed and underemployed turns from restless to violent,” said a new report on the South Pacific released on Thursday, adding that the region’s poor economic development lags similar island nations like those in the Caribbean.

The report by the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney said two million Pacific island men, or four out of five, were unemployed in towns or villages.

“These islanders are bored and frustrated. Unemployment and underemployment are at the core of the Pacific’s ‘arc of instability,’ ” it said.

The South Pacific has some of the world’s smallest and poorest countries, with economies reliant upon tourism, logging, royalties from fishing and foreign aid. The island nations of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji have all suffered coups, military rebellions and civil unrest, and have been labelled an “arc of instability” by Pacific analysts.

The report titled The Bipolar Pacific”said the South Pacific was divided into nations which are developing and those failing to even supply running water and electricity in homes. Those floundering islands included Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, while those developing were the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa and Tonga.

“Without employment-led growth, crime and corruption will worsen. Port Moresby (the capital of Papua New Guinea) has become one of the most violent cities in the world,” it said.

“With major criminal interests now operating in the region, the Pacific is developing its comparative advantage as a location for international criminal activities such as people-smuggling, drug production, and arms trafficking,” the report noted.

The danger was that about 80 per cent of the South Pacific’s population was found in the failing group of islands, where employment was rare and living standards were not rising, it said.

8/15/2008

Police hunt living-dinosaur on island

Filed under: global islands,png,wildlife — admin @ 10:35 am

March 12 2004

Port Moresby – Authorities in Papua New Guinea ordered police to search part of a remote island after locals told of seeing a giant dinosaur-like creature roaming the area, local media reported Friday.

Villagers on the island of New Britain this week reported seeing a three-metre tall, grey-coloured beast with a head like a dog and a tail like a crocodile, The National newspaper recounted.

Christine Samei told reporters she saw the “dinosaur” early on Wednesday in a marsh just outside the provincial capital Kokopo on the eastern end of New Britain.

“I heard the people talking about it and went there to see for myself. Its very huge and ugly looking animal,” Samei said.

A local ward councillor, Michael Tarawana, told the newspaper that villagers said the creature had been sighted by women on several occasions and had reportedly eaten three dogs.

On Thursday, six police officers armed with M-16 assault rifles and villagers carrying bush knives searched the marsh new Tinganavudu village but found no trace of the creature, The National said. The search was confirmed by government officials in the capital, Port Moresby.

The police officer who led Thursday’s hunt, Sergeant Leuth Nidung, said a new search involving 30 officers would be organised to do a more thorough sweep of the area.

He urged villagers in the meantime to remain alert and take extra care when walking to their gardens or the sea, the newspaper said.

Black magic and other superstitions are common in many parts of PNG’s predominantly village-based society.

Linearity

Filed under: General,global islands,ideology,png,trobriand islands — admin @ 4:12 am

The Trobriand Islands are an archipelago of coral atolls off the eastern coast of New Guinea. Most of the population lives on the main island of Kiriwina. The people of the area are mostly subsistence horticulturalists who live in traditional settlements. The social structure is based on matrilineal clans who control land and resources. People participate in the regional circuit of exchange of shells called kula, sailing to visit trade partners on sea-going canoes.

Although an understanding of reproduction and modern medicine is widespread in Trobriand Society, their traditional beliefs have been remarkably resilient, and the idea that in order to become pregnant women must be infused with spirits from the nearby island of Tuma, where people’s spirits go after they die, is still a part of the Trobriand worldview. In the past, many held this traditional belief because the yam, a major food of the island, included chemicals whose effects are contraceptive, so the practical link between sex and pregnancy was not evident.

Particularly interesting and unique to the Trobriand Islands are the linguistic aspect of the indigenous language, Kilivila. In such a linguistic system, the concept of linear progress of time, geometric shapes, and even conventional methods of description are lost altogether or altered. In the example of a specific indigenous yam, when the yam moves from a state of sprouting to ripeness to over ripeness, the name for each object in a specific state changes entirely. This is because the description of the object at different states of development are perceived as wholly different objects. Ripeness is considered a defining ingredient and thus once it becomes over ripe, it is a new object altogether. The same perception pertains to time and geometric shapes.

Our arrangement of history is mainly linear. My great grandfather read by kerosene lamp, my grandfather studied by gaslight, my father read by an electric light, and I study by fluorescent lighting. To us, this is linearity. This is the meaningful sequence.

To the Trobriander, linearity in history is abominable, a denial of all good, since it would imply not only the presence of change, but also that change increases the good. But to the Trobriander value lies in sameness, in repeated pattern, in the incorporation of all time within the same point. What is good in life is exact identity with all past experience and all mythical experience. There is no boundary between past Trobriand existence and the present. It can be indicated that an action is completed, but this does not mean that the action is past.

Where we would say “Many years ago” and use the past tense, the Trobriander will say, “In my father’s childhood” and use non temporal verbs. They place the event situationally, not temporally. Past, present, and future are presented linguistically as the same, are present in existence, and sameness with what we call the past and with myth represents value to the Trobriander.

Where we see a developmental line, the Trobriander sees a point, sometimes increasing in value. Where we find pleasure and satisfaction in moving away from that point, in change as variety or progress, the Trobriander finds it in the repetition of the known, in maintaining the point, or what we call monotony. Esthetic validity, dignity, and value come to them not through arrangement into a linear line, but rather in the undisturbed events within the original, nonlineal order.

The only history which has meaning for the Trobriander is that which evokes the value of the point, or which in the repetition increases the value of the point. For example, every occasion in which a kula object participates becomes an ingredient of its being and increases its value. All these occasions are enumerated with great satisfaction, but the linear course of the traveling kula object is not important.

8/12/2008

Civil discontent growing over alleged PNG corruption

Filed under: General,global islands,government,png — admin @ 4:11 am

A Papua New Guinea corruption watchdog has warned that civil discontent over alleged government corruption is growing.

The group say there could be a violent public backlash because of the ever increasing number of corrupt dealings in the Government.

Transparency International’s PNG boss Mike Manning says the breakdown of law and order is getting worse.

“We don’t have any answers immediately as to how we fix a single part of the breakdown of the system of law and order and the breakdown of the systems which would control corruption,” he said.

“But we do know that we’re reading about them day after day after day and that they’re getting worse.”

Transparency International PNG has also criticised government agencies like the Ombudsman Commission for not following through with investigations into leadership issues.

Failed State definition:

A state could be said to “succeed” if it maintains, a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within its borders. When this is broken (e.g., through the dominant presence of warlords, militias, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes dubious, and the state becomes a failed state.

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