“Fear grips PNG’s Wewak amid reports of police violence”

December 14, 2013 at 3:48 am (Commentary, East Sepik Province, PNG, Wewak)

http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=81293


Fear grips PNG’s Wewak amid reports of police violence

Posted at 20:01 on 13 December, 2013 UTC

The East Sepik Council of Women in Papua New Guinea says the police in Wewak are very violent and the public are scared.

PNG’s acting police commissioner, Simon Kauba, has set up a high level investigation into the alleged rape at the weekend of a 19-year old girl, by Wewak-based policemen.

It will also look into the detention of a woman activist at the Wewak police station, who went there, with the girl’s family, to lodge an official complaint.

Norah Kapari from the East Sepik Council of Women says after an unrelated incident on Wednesday where a drunk soldier was severely beaten by police in the township, other soldiers stormed the police station in retaliation.

That sparked disorder and looting in the town but she says police have gained control again.

Norah Kapari says the people want the Commissioner of Police in PNG to come into the town and flush out the bad elements in the local police force.

“The police are very violent now they are not doing the proper work that they were trained to do so the people are scared of the police.”

Norah Kapari from the East Sepik Council of Women.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Keith,

I’ve heard that there was serious rioting in Wewak yesterday. You might have some sources to elaborate on this.

Regards,

David

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Great things in store for Angoram, and other parts, perhaps?

October 17, 2013 at 7:11 am (Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik Province, Michael Somare, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

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Sir Michael promises a lot – the big question is will anything eventuate? Only time will tell, but don’t hold your breath!

We should all have faith, hope and charity, but perhaps in this case hope will predominate. One can never tell what might happen!

However, now that the Father of the Nation has stepped foward we have no need to worry too much about comments by Phil Fitzpatrick, and others.

See: http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2013/10/the-scum-that-they-call-politicians-in-png.html

PNG politicians by in large don’t need to worry about the local health and education facilities in their own country, because if they or their families get sick they can always seek treatment overseas, and the appalling local education opportunities don’t really matter to them and their children as expensive schools and universities beckon in foreign parts!

As for saying anything in support of their Melanesian brothers and sisters in the Western part of New Guinea under the brutal genocidal rule of Indonesia; PNG politicians are usually found wanting!

The past Australian Colonial Administration can usually be blamed for all the present ills – I see no merit in this, but one could perhaps argue that post-colonial Australian relations and aid have done little to encourage better government in PNG.

Like the Ancient Mariner of old, Australia has made the whole island of New Guinea an albatross hanging around its neck!

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From the PNG Press!

October 3, 2013 at 5:05 am (Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik Province, Michael Somare, PNG, Press Freedom, Wewak)

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(Click on the above links to read these interesting items.)

Two pieces of news from The National Newspaper: One reader described the first as gobbledegook, and the second as a sick joke! .

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A tribute to the late Kevin Trueman by Peter Johnson

June 27, 2013 at 9:19 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, East Sepik District, East Sepik Province, expatriates, Kevin Trueman, Maprik, Papua New Guinea, Peter Johnson, Sepik River, Vanuatu, Wewak)

KEVIN WILLIAM PATRICK TRUEMAN

Long-time Pacific Islands Identity

(b. Winchester, England 20 September, 1944   d. Port Vila, Vanuatu 7 June, 2013)

 

Kevin Trueman whose sudden death at Port Vila, Vanuatu, the former New Hebrides Condominium, on the night of 7 June, 2013 surprised and shocked his family and multitude of friends around the South Pacific islands.

Kevin, of English and Irish parentage, was born in the ancient cathedral city of Winchester, Hampshire, England.   His family migrated to Australia whilst Kevin was still in his teens.   After several ordinary jobs he teemed up with Sava Maksic in kangaroo and crocodile hunting ventures.   They sold their crocodile skins to an Armenian reptile skin tanner, Arshak Catchatoor Galstaun, and in 1967 they came, as two young married couples to Angoram, where Galstaun was the new proprietor of England’s Hotel; the ladies managed the hotel and Kevin and Sava shot the Sepik crocodiles. Neither the job not the partnership lasted long, for Kevin was not by nature an employee…he was soon trading, shooting and artefact dealing on his own account travelling the Sepik River in the Heron, a small trawler he bought from  Nils Madsen.

Two lovely daughters, Laena and Justine were born in Wewak, and Kevin’s restless enthusiasm saw him move to Wewak in about 1971 to take advantage of the booming coffee industry around the Maprik area.   Kevin put in 10 and 12 hour working days, and still had time for a hectic social life. He took virtual charge of building the Wewak Yacht Club, was for several years the Commodore, and  subsequently made a life member.

In 1976 he built a steel work-boat Elenjay and sailed her to Honiara and Port Vila, I was privileged to be a crew member on that adventurous voyage – the only other crew was a pot smouldering Kiwi hippy yachtie who neither of us knew! On arrival Kevin was jailed for a day for the illegal landing of an unnamed vessel flying no national flag. The prosecuting Harbour Master later became a good friend and helped Kevin to secure a coastal coxen’s ticket. Kevin succeeded in selling his boat, eventually coming back to New Guinea to buy and sell another after trading around the islands for a while.

An entrepreneur who saw the “big picture”, Kevin, around 1980 invested in an ocean-going freighter, the Bismarck Sea, later expanding with a second. He tramped between Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam, but a serious accident at Palau and difficulties with the waterside workers of evil memory, and “big line” competition caused the closure of this enterprise…he turned his thoughts and attention to the land; in 1983 he bought “Wetlands Station” near Augathella in western Queensland – my sons and I enjoyed a week of the Truemans’ wonderful hospitality there, shooting, eating and with my sons joining the girls at School of the Air lessons.

Around 1990 Kevin was asked to return to Wewak to manage a recovery of the troubled Sepik Producers Coffee Association, a native owned, but now badly run cooperative. He accepted this almost thankless task with the full backing of the then prime minister, Sir Michael Somare. He established a most capable  management team of Evelyn, Herman Baumann; Geoff Payne and Dieter Idzikowsky.  Kevin had an inclusive style which made his efforts popular with his New Guinean shareholders and customers, and after a campaign against the “rice and tin fish” Asian competition (as Kevin called it), the business started to boom. He expanded into wholesale and retail sales of hardware and whitegoods and commercial vehicle repair. Again wanting to be completely his own boss he eventually resigned and returned to Australia…but not for long!

Kevin and Evelyn accepted jobs in Honiara, BSIP with Kevin managing a large hardware business and Evelyn a soap factory…goodness! They settled down just in time to experience the horror of the unrest in the Solomons which eventually resulted in the establishment of the RAMSI peacekeeping force.

In 2006 Kevin made what was to be his last island relocation as he moved from the troubled Solomons back to Vanuatu and established himself as a respected businessman, restaurateur, and political commentator. A true Island Entrepreneur of the “old school,” Kevin will lie in Pango cemetery, Port Vila, a fitting last resting place to be fondly remembered as a generous, vital outgoing personality of warmth and almost boyish enthusiasm for the numerous projects and ventures he pursued.

Kevin, a loving husband and father leaves a widow, Evelyn Avis, daughters Laena, Justine, and Alexandra, four grand-children and an army of friends across much of Oceania.

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Floods along the Sepik River

May 23, 2013 at 7:24 am (Angoram, Chu Leong, East Sepik District, East Sepik Province, Fr Mihalic, Norm Liddle, Papua New Guinea, Peter Johnson, PNG Health, Sara David, Sepik floods, Vivien Liddle)

Floods

Recently I accessed Sara David’s blog: midwiferybeyondborders.wordpress.com

Sara is an Australian midwife, and she is doing wonderful work helping and training Sepik River women in all aspects of birthing and child care.

One of her main trainees is Vivien Liddle of Kambaramba Village. In the old days when I lived in Angoram I knew Vivien’s father, Norm.

Vivien managed to get in touch with Sara in Australia and tell her about a terrible flood they were having now in the Sepik River area. This reminded me of the 1973 floods as reported in the above article in the Post-Courier.

I can imagine the difficulties this would be creating for the people, particularly the young mothers.

A look at Sara David’s blog is strongly recommended.

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Oh, cry for PNG, a cherished land & people; some random thoughts!

May 4, 2013 at 6:50 am (Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, PNG Health, Wewak)

“War on Corruption or Crime”

By LUCAS KIAP

“The rest of the country has joined the bandwagon of the government and the opposition to declare war on crime in Papua New Guinea – in response to the recent surge in violent crimes across the country. Sadly, we have waited too long only to react after so many innocent and precious lives have been taken away prematurely by those who have no regard for human life nor understand their own existence in our human society. Nothing we say or do now will ever replace nor return those lives. Only time will tell if our (as usual) reactive measures by legislating and imposing tougher penalties will deter future offenders or not – the most server being the death penalty.”

“To conclude, to address the root cause of crime in the country, corruption must be equally treated as a worst crime against the State and her people. It has been and is still responsible for most of the social problems in the country which eventually leads to worst crimes. Therefore, whatever penalties applied to murders, rapists, drug edicts, and alcoholics, state criminals or white collar criminals whoever they are must also be treated in the same manner.” See:

http://www.pngblogs.com/2013/05/war-on-corruption-or-crime.html#disqus_threadsopa.typepad.com

In this piece Lucas Kiap writes with a lot of sense. Corruption in PNG is a real problem, and it leads directly to bad government at all levels. For anyone who visits PNG the truth of this is obvious: dirty towns with appalling government services, disparity between the elites and the ordinary people, escalating crime, and in the rural areas an almost total government neglect of villager needs. This, I think, was pointed out in almost the same words by Allan Patience, an internationally recognised scholar, some years ago, and if anything things are worse today!

According to the United Nations Human Development Index, PNG is one of the most poorly governed states in the Third World.
You only have to go to some villages in the Sepik River area to realise how little government attention they get. Hospitals that were major providers of health services, like the Angoram Hospital, in colonial times, are now little better than aid posts. I don’t think a proper census has been conducted in rural areas for years, and perhaps not even in the towns. Most informed people in the country suspect that the population is actually a million more than is officially stated.

For some of my further reflections see:

https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/last-tuesday-i-returned-from-png/#comments

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Norm Liddle, an engaging and likeable character!

February 23, 2013 at 5:31 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Biography, East Sepik District, East Sepik Province, Kainantu, Mining, Norm Liddle, PNG, Sepik River)

The remains of Norm Liddle's saw mill in Angoram

The remains of Norm Liddle’s saw mill in Angoram

In the course of our lives we all meet a number of people – some readily forgettable and others we might just remember. But there are a select few we can never forget. In this category I would put Norm Liddle!

Norm was that type of Australian, particularly a Queenslander, who I’m afraid to say are now pretty thin on the ground – a man with a wide and varied experience of life and readily adaptable to whatever circumstances he found himself in – whether it was the Australian outback, cutting timber, fixing machinery, serving in the RAAF and the AIF, and living along the Sepik River and the Highlands of PNG; he took it all in his stride. Truly a character!

I first met Norm in 1966 in Angoram. At this time he was living in what was known as the Ex-Service Camp in the far extremities of the town boundaries on the banks of the river. It was there that he had the beginnings of a saw mill.

He arrived in Angoram in 1963. His first interest was to ascertain the timber potential in areas near the Keram River. His junior partner in business at the time was Jeff Liversidge – a man who is still living in Wewak, and is well-known as a sculptor.

A friend of mine once described Norm: ‘as an accomplished musician, skilled taxidermist, reptile hunter, ex-serviceman in both the army and the air force, and pioneer forestry surveyor.’

I well remember Norm in the Angoram Club giving us a rendition on his accordion of Rolf Harris’s The Court of King Caractacus. I must also admit, that on some rare occasions the members hoped that Norm would be like the ladies of the harem of the Court of King Caractacus and just pass by! But seriously we all enjoyed his playing.

Norm was a man that could and would speak with authority on most subjects. In many ways he had an encyclopaedic mind – his facts were not always correct, but in discussions he had few equals. On one occasion he engaged a Spanish speaker in the correct pronunciation of the word, President – Norm insisted that it was El Presidento, the Spanish speaker said it was, El Presidente – I’m afraid the Spanish speaker was correct!

Norm fitted in with the prevailing atmosphere, and the life of Angoram. Some who were less than friendly towards him may have described him as bone lazy. But all credit to Norm, he did survive, even if at times he may have appeared to be only subsisting!

He would make himself available to the odd tourist around the town, and this brought in the odd dollar. One young American woman whom Norm had helped with arranging transport and hiring canoes, showed her gratitude by sending him a packet of marijuana seeds from the States. This was at a time when New Guinea was blissfully ignorant about the drug. Norm planted the seeds near his setup on the river bank and they grew like wildfire. Some said that for a year or so Norm kept himself pretty well stoned! I was told that he was careful not to let the locals know anything about the plant and what it was doing for him.

Norm was a great advocate for a number of local people in the courts, and was instrumental in getting many off after representing and giving legal advice to them – indeed a man of many parts!

His interesting and varied life came to an end in Kainantu in 1986. It was there that, I believe, he thought he was onto a sure thing having found a gold mine that he figured would yield great returns.

Sometime prior to this his personal life took a very happy turn for the better. He met Monika, a woman from Kambaramba, and they became partners. Monika subsequently gave birth to Vivian, their daughter. Norm by all reports was so proud of Vivian.

What else can I say about Norm, he was a character, but a very likeable one, a human man with more virtues than vices!

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/komuniti-monthly-newsletter-angoram-community-centre/

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Photos from recent PNG visit

February 16, 2013 at 5:07 am (Angoram, East Sepik Province, Wewak)

Ralf Stuttgen

Ralf Stuttgen

Wewak rubbish

Wewak rubbish

Eyesore as you drive into Wewek!

Eyesore as you drive into Wewek!

Beirney Ambroic & Otto(PMV driver & assistant)

Beirney Ambroic & Otto
(PMV driver & assistant)

Tang Mow frozen goods

Tang Mow frozen goods

Wewak main St

Wewak main St

Sir Hugo

Sir Hugo

Rhonda

Rhonda

On the way to Angoram

On the way to Angoram

Joseph

Joseph

Thomas Arop

Thomas Arop

Church at Boram

Church at Boram

Rubbish

Rubbish

Daniel Gurem

Daniel Gurem

Angoram Market

Angoram Market

Mongniol Primary Schoo

Mongniol Primary School

Dave & Councillor Sengi

Dave & Councillor Sengi

Rubbish dump, Wewak

Rubbish dump, Wewak

Raphael Maimba

Raphael Maimba

John Talai & family

John Talai & family

Peter & Brandon Johnson

Peter & Brandon Johnson

Peter Ettu,Dave Wall,Peter Sap

Peter Ettu,Dave Wall,Peter Sap

Sanam Kabasse & Dave Wall

Sanam Kabasse & Dave Wall

Peter Johnson & Ralf Stuttgen

Peter Johnson & Ralf Stuttgen

Conrad Jamb & X-Ray staff, Wewak Hospital

Conrad Jamb & X-Ray staff, Wewak Hospital

Wewak Hospital

Wewak Hospital

Wewak Hospital

Wewak Hospital

Tang Mow Store

Tang Mow Store

Litter around Wewak 1

Litter around Wewak 1

Litter 2

Litter 2

Litter 3

Litter 3

Wewak

Wewak

School near Wewak rubbish dump

School near Wewak rubbish dump

Jim Pasquarelli

Jim Pasquarelli

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Last Tuesday I returned from PNG!

February 4, 2013 at 5:50 am (Angoram, East Sepik Province, PNG Health, Wewak)

Sorry state of Wewak

The National, 30/01/2013                                     Perhaps Gabriel Fito’s description of me as a veteran doctor is over generous!

Stories and pictures will be shortly posted, but for the present I’m suffering from the deadly kus!

I’ve just returned from a month in the Sepik. My many friends there realise what a terrible mess the country is in! The common call I heard in Angoram was, expressed in various Pidgin phrases, but all meaning that the country has gone to the dogs,and when is Australia coming back?

The greatest disservice Australia did to PNG was granting independence in 1975.

Matthias Toliman, Tei Abal, Pita Simogen, and Michael Somare’s father, Ludwig, could all say from the grave, ‘we told you so!’

When I get over the kus mi kisim, I want to write about what the Sepiks really think about the so-called colonial time, and their present ‘elites’, who have largely presided over the demise of government services, and enriched themselves and their families – they can go overseas for medical treatment and educate their children in prestigious institutions abroad.

It’s about time Australia recognises the near chaos in its neighbour, and forget about places like Afghanistan!

Excuse me for going on,and my comment might be immaterial as appropriate to Anthony Radford’s book, but the colonial period compared with the present PNG situation was utopian!

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Somewhere in ……

December 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm (Angoram, Commentary, David Wall, East Sepik Province, Frank Clune, Goya Henry, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River, Wewak)

The Diggers of the First World War had an address: Somewhere in France. Frank Clune & Goya Henry had an address: Somewhere in New Guinea. My address for the next few weeks will be: Somewhere in the Sepik. Email contact: tokples32@gmail.com

https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/interesting-inscription-on-somewhere-in-new-guinea/

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