2011 in review

December 31, 2011 at 11:40 pm (Commentary)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The “Dear leader” visited the Sepik (?)

December 22, 2011 at 2:30 am (Commentary, Kim Jong-il, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Source: Wikipedia photo

It’s almost an established fact that Chairman Mao visited the Sepik in the 1960s, and when I was in the area in 2009, I heard of a remarkable story of another famous visitor. None other than Kim Jong-il was said to have made a brief stopover some years previously. I must say that the details of this supposed visit were somewhat vague, and I was only given hints of the Dear Leader’s stay. Apparently, all those who entertained the great man were more or less sworn to secrecy.

It seemed to be that he arrived by submarine, and was landed at Kopar at the mouth of the Sepik River, and was collected by an out-board motor canoe, and taken upriver, and hence to Korogopa Village on the Keram River to meet the Honourable William Eichhorn MBE, a former member of the House of Assembly, and speaker of the East Sepik Provincial Government. When I met up with Bill, as he was known, there were intimations in the vaguest of terms of an illustrious visitor to the area. Unfortunately clarification of the visit is now difficult as Bill has since died, and of course, as the world knows the Dear Leader has passed on. Perhaps we might be able to learn more from his successor, Kim Jong-un, the Brilliant Comrade.

My readers may well ask, what was the purpose of Kim’s visit to the Sepik? As far as I can ascertain it was to discuss with the Bill the possibility of supplying North Korea with Sago from the Sepik to feed the starving North Koreans.

William Batak, from Kekten Village, an old out-board canoe driver of mine when I worked for Malaria Service, told me this year when I was in Wewak, that years previously he had bringim pinis bikpela Kongkong man long Korogopa, mi kisim long maus bilong wara Sepik.  In essence what he said was that he collected an important Chinese man (To William, Kim would have appeared to be Chinese.) at the mouth of the Sepik River and took him to Korogopa Village.

It would have been very interesting to have been a fly on the wall during the discussions between Bill and Kim.

As far as I can work out the Dear Leader only stayed one night at Korogopa, and also he was unaccompanied by any other Koreans.

In my 2009 visit to Korogopa Bill told me he had many photos that he would show me at some future date. Did he have snaps of Kim Jong-il?

I’m tempted to write to the Brilliant Comrade for any information he may have about his father’s visit.

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The chronicles of politics in Papua New Guinea

December 16, 2011 at 6:21 am (Black Mischief, Commentary, Papua New Guinea)

It’s probably not politically correct to suggest it, but what wonders Evelyn Waugh would do with the present situation in Papua New Guinea if he were still alive – Black Mischief No 2. The drama and intrigue are all there.We have knights of the realm, Sir Michael Somare, Sir Michael Ogio and Sir Salamo Injia with many honourable members of parliament,  and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, or is he PM? Maybe Somare is.

Church leaders have called for calm and for O’Neill and Somare to form a grand coalition in a spirit of good will at Christmas. There seems to be little hope of this happening.

Evelyn Waugh’s characters  in Black Mischief would perhaps have their parallels in present-day PNG – the protagonists in real life maybe have a Basil Seal advising them, and there could be sinister persons in PNG planning a coup d’etat. I’ll leave it to the reader as to whom the senile uncle Achon might be in the events in today’s PNG. As far as I know, no one is planning a Birth Control Parade in Port Moresby as was the case in the novel. But if Sir Michael was to suddenly die, would the United Nations step in and make PNG a Trust Territory once again as the League of Nations did by declaring Azania a Mandate of the League in Waugh’s novel?

In a more serious tone, O’Neill moving additional police into Port Moresby to take over government buildings could be seen as rather dictatorial.

The Governor General, Sir Michael Ogio, or is he still GG? He is the meat in the sandwich as he does not have reserve powers like the GG has in Australia. He can’t directly remove either O’Neill or Somare. The other aspiring GG, Jeffrey Nape, is the Speaker of the House. Oh what a mess!

Please come back, Evelyn and write another novel!

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Sydney Morning Herald 14/12/2011

December 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm (Commentary, Corruption in PNG, Papua New Guinea, PNG)

PNG imploding

Since Papua New Guinea’s independence a gaggle of corrupt and inept  politicians have created a basket case of the country (”PNG court reinstates  Somare as PM”, December 13). The present turbulent judicial/political situation  with the reinstatement of Somare as Prime Minister has all the elements that  could lead to the final disintegration of the country into a classical failed  state. I only hope Australia has formulated plans for an intervention  strategy.
David Wall  Newtown

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