P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 28 Jun 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 28 Jun 2001. A very special welcome is extended to any new readers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please e-mail them to giaman@png-gossip.com

Re: ListBot closure,

I am still investigating various solutions for the distribution of this newsletter. An account has been opened at yahoo.com which is actually the remnants of the elist.com empire. I am also experimenting with a perl script that will enable the list to be run on the PNG-Gossip.com server. Whatever solution I come up with the perl script appears to be the easiest for subscribers and would be a long-term solution. Thanks to Maurice Poulton and Scott Braiding for their help along with many other contributors.

Articles for this newsletter

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

Remember that this mailing list is mainly meant for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kina, which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth somewhere around 28 - 30 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.

If you are really keen on finding out what the Kina is worth a currency converter for most world currencies can be located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html

For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.expedia.com and then click on the find a map option. Go to this link for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby. http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html

Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.


A peaceful demonstration lasting many days by university students has turned nasty with four people having been killed and many more suffering from gun shots wounds inflicted by the police in the resulting riots in Port Moresby. The students were demonstration against various government measures including privatisation of government assets.

Many people are concerned that the government owned assets will be sold off to foreign enterprise and be lost to future generation of PNG children.

The demonstration dragged on for many days until the Prime Minister met with them and promised to answer some of the demands made in the petition.

I am just back from overseas and a drive home from work today has revealed most intersections to be littered with glass from broken windscreens and many roads barricaded off to stop motorists from heading into trouble spots. Having lived in Moresby for many years this sort of thing hardly raises an eyebrow but is still to be considered serious although the overseas press seem to pounce on things like this. As mentioned in one of the daily newspapers - at least the PNG crowd has the courtesy of emptying the beer containers before hurling it at players when referring to the cricketing incident in England.

Port Moresby General Hospital

The hospital, which is already short of staff, has been struggling as many of the staff are unable to get any sort of transport to attend work. The manager of the hospital has called for help from off duty nurses and doctors as well as arranging temporary accommodation on the hospital grounds for any staff members that can make it to work. It is believed that army doctors have stepped in to help ease the situation.

All non-emergency surgical procedures have been cancelled and the children's outpatient clinic has closed along with other clinics.

An outbreak of measles, killing four young patients, has also stretched the hospital resources. Many of the outpatient facilities have closed.

Police, who tried to tell student doctors and other medical students to leave the hospital, were told in no uncertain terms where they could go.


A curfew has been imposed in Port Moresby and is expected to run for up to two weeks. Air Niugini has said that it will reschedule some domestic flights to cater for the curfew. The curfew was rushed through and no curfew passes are available so people with a legitimate reason for being out on the streets after 7pm are advised to carry suitable identification with them until curfew passes can be obtained.

Defence Force

The commander of the defence force has reminded the soldiers to not join the rioters. The general public have also been warned not to try and solicit help from the soldiers.

Catholic Priest

A Religious Television Association priest was hauled out of his bus and his bus burnt. Many pieces of his television equipment were also lost in the incident.


Due to the present riots in Port Moresby a request has been made for parliament to be recalled.

Commission of Inquiry

Bill Skate has gone on Australian TV, from the safety of Brisbane, calling for the Prime Minister to step down until an enquiry can be made into what caused the riot. Many reports are saying that the police were seen to be trigger-happy.

Shopping Centres

Most shopping centres in trouble spots were closed in Port Moresby although two large supermarkets (Boroko Foodworld and Stop 'n Shop Waigani) remained open for trading. Trading was chaotic as people panic purchased. Other shops in quieter areas traded as normal.

International Education Agency

All International Schools were closed yesterday and should open today (28th) depending on the situation.

Police Commissioner

The police commissioner has been charged with contempt of court over the reinstatement of a police officer. He was ordered to reinstate another police officer by a court and he has failed to do this. The Commissioner has been ordered to stand down over the matter.

PNG Kina

The Kina has remained around the 30 US cents mark with the Bank of PNG buying in to try and keep it at this level. Commercial banks are selling the Kina at around the 29 US cent mark.

Big Rooster

The Big Rooster chicken outlet at Gerehu has been burnt to the ground and other Big Rooster outlets at Shell Manu Autoport and Koki have been looted. A trade store at six-mile has also been torched.


The government has been ordered to pay compensation to the value of approximately K2.37 million for damage done to villages by police.

Divine Word

The Divine Word University is now able to offer a Masters Degree for the first time. The Lutheran Nursing School have also combined with Divine Word University.

Airways Hotel

Four chefs from the Airways Hotel in Port Moresby are heading off to commence on phase two of their training course at the Cairns Technical and Further Education Institute.


Mushroom growing is reaching new levels in the Lufa area. Mushrooms sold in PNG are bringing in more money per kilogram than coffee. Much more money can be gained if the mushrooms are prepared locally for sale to overseas countries.

Climatic Changes

The changes in the climate have again been mentioned especially when talking about the lower lying areas of PNG and other South Pacific countries.


An international golf tournament is supposed to start on the 28th of June but with all the problems in Port Moresby it unsure whether this will start on time. Prize money worth approximately K70,000 is up for grabs.


The privatisation exercise is grinding to a halt. Air Niugini was readied for sale; a few takers came and looked but then left without making a successful bid. The Pacific Finance Group of companies was supposed to be the first readied for sale but this has been delayed firstly with the liquidation of one of their companies (Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited) and now the litigation by a former staff member of the PNG Banking Corporation claiming over K1 million for wrongful dismissal has virtually stopped the sale.

Privatisation progress for Telikom and Elcom appears to be no better. Any takers on which government body will actually be the first one readied for sale and actually sold?


Rain in Lae is starting to give Lae back the title of "Pothole City". Moresby has held the title for probably over a year now.

Lae Court

Lae District Court has not been able to conduct trials due to the fact that they have run out of stationary. The court simply does not have any paper to write on.

A senior magistrate in Lae has been accused of accepting bribes in a murder case that he is currently hearing. It appears that the accusation is a ploy by relatives of the accused to have the case dropped.


An international golf tournament is supposed to start on the 28th of June but with all the problems in Port Moresby it unsure whether this will start on time. Prize money worth approximately K70,000 is up for grabs.

Illegal Mining

An expatriate man has been charged with illegal mining in the Madang Province. The man had also taught locals on the use of gold dredging equipment.

Sir Pita Lus

The "old man" of PNG politics has said that he will firstly contest the leadership of his beloved Pangu Pati and then the Prime Ministership. Sir Peter has spent the last 38 years in politics and says he has a master plan to return the country back to a profitable state.

US Peace Corps

A damming report on PNG, by the US Peace Corps, has angered US based PNG tourist operators that say that the report does not fully represent the situation in PNG. The Peace Corps volunteers are most wanted in the areas where the most troubles are. Going into any trouble spot without expecting trouble is very na´ve. Of course, the report has gained credence by the present tense situation in the National Capital.


Staff of the PNG Banking Corporation are back to work after striking over many claims. Two of the major claims are payment of outstanding monies to the Public Officers Superannuation Fund and backdated Consumer Price Index payments.

Civil Aviation

The Minister for Civil Aviation has averted a possibly crippling strike by promising to take a submission of claims to parliament.

West New Britain

The incidence of Malaria and Pneumonia are rising in West New Britain Province. The provincial health authorities are finding it difficult to contain the disease due to a lack of money.

Australian Army

The following article has been submitted by Rick Warnett

See these pages -- http://www.geocities.com/araluen_99 for a very interesting, illustrated (but long) story of the Australian Army's small ships divisions and operations they conducted in Australia, PNG, Vietnam and other places. I am still reading -- there is lots to go !

What started me off was a report in the cairns Post of a nuclear bomb test in the north of Cape York near Iron Range. It wasn't, just 50 tons of TNT on top of a 42-metre tower. The explosion was about Sept 1962 and remained classified for many years.

Various opinions are expressed as to the reason; one was to see how a mini-nuke would work at killing off Vietcong in a rainforest. The results appeared to be rather poor. I have gathered US forces did the test and Australian Engineers were only used to build the tower and transport the hardware.

A similar conventional explosive test was done in the USA with 1000+ tons of TNT years before the first A bomb was exploded.

Interesting history........


Airport Police

The police at Jackson's airport have been working hard lately. Recently hey have apprehended several people in separate incidents involving marijuana shipments from the highlands. They have also confiscated a high powered hunting rifle being brought to Port Moresby from Western Province.


A detective of the Royal PNG Constabulary has been convicted of misappropriating K7124 from the Police Department.

Police have killed a man in an early morning shootout with criminals during a high-speed car chase around the streets of Port Moresby.


It has been promulgated that in the last elections some seats received more votes than there were eligible electors taking into account that a large percentage of any population is children.

The Electoral office is appealing to all eligible votes to register for the 2002 elections.

Many political parties are busy opening offices in the provinces in preparedness of the 2002 elections.


Datec - http://www.datec.com.pg, have been caught running an advertisement in the local press advertising a 20% reduction in your internet bill valid for the month of May except the advert was in the June press!

Internet Service Providers

Computer Companies in PNG


A Mt Hagen resident judge, speaking at a function for the PNG Institute of Accountants, has given the view that if men with more than one wife were held accountable for the killing of one wife by another wife then perhaps the men would look after their woman better and make sure this sort of thing does not happen.

Many women believe that the husband should serve half the sentence dished out to their wife in such cases.

Rugby League

The French Rooster have come and gone. The PNG Kumuls suffered a loss and a win during the two game competition.


The Governor of Gulf Province has signed the necessary papers to create a new high school at Baimuru. This will make the sixth high school for the province.

Fishing Boats

Illegal boats continue to be sighted in PNG waters. Recently 12 fishing boats and 3 logging boats were spotted by an aerial check by an Australian Surveillance aircraft.

The captains of two Indonesian fishing boats found illegally in PNG waters have been fined a total of K150,000. They have been given three weeks to pay the fine or they will be jailed for up to four years.

The amount of marine resources being lost to illegal fishing boats must be enormous an estimated US$150.000 per load is simply allowed to sail out of PNG waters in every illegal fishing boat.

Nasty Fish

Here is a bit more on the fish lurking in the Sepik River.
Piaractus brachypomus
(Cuvier 1817, Ge:255 Colossoma brachypomum, Bi:92 Colossoma brachypomum, B2:328, AxB:95 Colossoma brachypomum, ABE:320 Colossoma brachypomum, TF:139 9/94, TF:20 8/98) Myletes Brachypomus, Reganina bidens, Myletes edulis, Myletes bidens, Colossoma bidens ?, Colossoma canterai, Colossoma mitrei, Colossoma mesopotamicus "Gamitana" "Giant Pacu" "Black Pacu" `Siberner Pacu`

This information has been found at http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5808

Interesting Website

Jodam Allingam - born in PNG and now located in USA has a website at http://lesartistgalleria.com - No traditional art here but well worth a look.


Toba Motors have advertised a Mitsubishi K77 TY 2.8 litre 4 x 4 single cab utility for K42,950 plus VAT, on road coasts and freight if applicable. Email:info_stcauto@steamships.com.pg

PNG Financial Sites

  • Bank of PNG -- http://www.bankpng.com.pg
  • Bank of South Pacific -- http://www.bsp.com.pg
  • Currency Conversions -- http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html
  • Currency Conversions -- http://www.pngbd.com/finance
  • Finance Corporation -- http://www.fincorp.com.pg
  • Public Officers Superannuation Fund -- http://www.posf.com.pg

  • PNG media related sites

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    Created 28 Jun 2001
    Updated 6 Sep 2007
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