Leader of PNG Party Belden Namah has expressed grave concern over a directive from acting Prime Minister Sam Abal for his arrest and detention before next month’s Supreme Court-directed session of Parliament.
Namah said he was reliably informed during the long Christmas weekend of the confidential executive directive for his arrest over the Border Rangers issue.
“The Border Rangers in Vanimo was merely set up to carry out similar functions of the City Rangers in Port Moresby – to keep the Vanimo town clean and prevent people from selling cheap smuggled goods form Papua province of Indonesia,” he said.
“This matter has been competently dealt with by appropriate state law-enforcing agencies in Vanimo and does not require political directives from the nation’s highest office for my arrest,”
Namah said he was reliably informed by government insiders that Abal was pressured by powerful political forces from with the government for his arrest.
“I’m told that Mr Abal has directed acting police commissioner Tony Wagambie and acting deputy commissioner operations, Fred Yakasa to arrest and detain me before the 11th January 2011 session of Parliament,” he said.
“I urge the Mr Abal to let common sense to prevail and not to compromise his position to be used by those who have vested interests, including heavily-implicated politicians and their cronies to do their dirty work.
“The perpetrators are merely using the Border Rangers issues to silence me because I know too much about the rotten and corrupt deals that they are involved in.
“Mr Abal should not listen to such people because now that I’m in the Opposition.
“I’m more determined to be critical and fight for accountable, transparent and good governance.”
Namah also said that the plot was aimed at silencing leaders and citizens who were critical of the current government’s dismal failure to address head-on the issue of corruption.
“It is a dangerous and very frightening plot devised by desperate politicians to cling onto power because they know that if the current government is ousted, they will be in serious trouble, including prosecution and imprisonment,” he said.
“I’m fully aware of this sinister plot to have me arrested, not because I’ve broken any law, breached the Leadership Code or the Constitution.
“It is not because I’m indifferent with the law.
“It is merely because I’ve been most vocal and critical on corruption that is evidently rampant in the current government.
“It is common knowledge that corruption in PNG has reached unprecedented levels, yet this government has miserably failed to address it head on, starting from its very own backyard.
“I’ve never tried to seek relief from the courts to prevent the Ombudsman Commission and the Public Prosecutor from performing their constitutional mandated duties.
“I do not go around ordering citizens to be kidnapped or assaulted. I don’t steal or use public funds to build expensive properties in PNG and abroad or acquire wealth.
“During my working life, I have fought to save thousands of Papua New Guinean lives as well as fought hard to ensure that forestry resource owners gained maximum benefit for their forest resources.
I will continue to fight for the rights of the over six million PNG citizens.
“I will not be silenced by the executive directives for my arrest and urge Mr Abal to allow common sense to rule over ill-conceived advice from those who have personal and hidden motives.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to reject the Deputy Speaker of Parliament’s application challenging the Supreme Court’s Order to recall Parliament is welcome news to all, and a clear sign that our judicial system still functions to protect the Constitution on behalf of the people.
We all know that the Deputy Speaker may have been pressured by the Speaker and the National Alliance Regime to once again play their game by challenging the judiciary’s decision, so as to cling onto power.
Now that the Prime Minister is being sidelined and the Speaker is now a/Governor General, the incumbent Regime will play the MPs down the ladder to protect its own interest .Thank God the Supreme Court corrected the situation regarding the Governor General as Parliament was unable to, as the Regime has been manipulating Parliament for eight solid years now.
It is a disgrace that when the Supreme Court made its clear ruling that procedures were not followed, the Deputy Speaker should then make a further defective application to Court. He should have known that the actual party to the application was the Parliament, which consists of all of us elected MPs and not just the National Alliance Party, which the Deputy Speaker is a member of.
The National Alliance Regime must know by now that Parliament belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea and can be recalled at short notice during emergencies or war, or in this situation, a vacancy in the post of the Governor General.
Now with no Prime Minister and with Parliament about to go into session with an acting speaker, the National Alliance Regime will skate on thin ice. We all know every Regime and every dog has its day and now their day has come to an end. National Alliance must accept this fact and succumb to the situation.
I am now reminding all good Members of Parliament that the Somare era has finished and that every right thinking MP should have a vision for this country that is different from the current disaster that National Alliance has provided. All MPs must work to achieve a better day for PNG. They are mandated by their constituents to represent them in Parliament, without fear or favour and they are needed now, more than ever, to act.
For this country to shift into another dimension, a generational change in the leadership is a must, so MPs now must not underestimate themselves or fear the old dogs anymore. They are leaders in their own right and must stand up now to make a change. This country seriously needs it.
MPs must not play second fiddle but must be seen to take charge of the destiny of this country. The future rests in their hands and the next generation of leaders to come.
Our post independence leaders have done us proud but they must accept the fact that evolution of leaders needs to take place for the betterment of this country.
I think completely differently from the old guard and I believe strongly that most of my other colleague MPs are the same; we must insist therefore a generational change of leadership has to occur to take the country forward.
Attention MR Kevin Conrad and Miss Frederlca Bietta
As the recognized representative of landowners (Incorporated Land Groups) in PNG, I correspond to you as their Power of Attorney, and as their Program Director for Voluntary Carbon Projects, which have been established to cease logging and therefore preserve the rain forests for generations to come.
While the stance in Bali taken by you some years ago against USA aggression did promote and prop you up for your CV, it appears that your UNFCCC REDD+ strategy is at the expense of the people and landowners of PNG. PNG people do not support any part of this strategy.
The people of PNG have only ever heard procrastination and misleading information, while you use the PNG forests and biodiversity to collateralize yourself.
No landowner has ever seen a dollar (kina) from your supposed structures, actions and existence. The PNG ILG’s have now asked that you be formally audited to uncover and explain as to where and how any funds you have acquired in the name of PNG have been utilized, and how you are able to represent yourself as self-appointed Ambassadot and Special Envoy for Climate Change with no commission from the people or parliament of PNG.
The ILG’s also enquire as to what arrangements have been entered into with your so called ‘ fmanciers ‘ and if that arrangement includes any land of PNG being taken away from landowners.
It has been commented that you promise milliors in funding from other countries, yet these same countries have put PNG on the lowest priority. The UNFCCC now admits that it is unlikely to see anything from REDD or REDD+ until 2020, let alone a correct mechanism that is supported by all Nations.
Your most recent misrepresentation of PNG was in Cancun Mexico Cop16, where you attempted a massive land grab by trying to make out that ‘your’ Climate Compatible Development Plan is the correct path for PNG. Its inclusion of a so called REDD+ safeguard promoted by you which denies the Human and Environmental rights of PNG people, is unsound advice for them and has no future or compatibility to PNG Customary law. It has never been approved by the people or the parliament of PNG.
Attempted massive land grabs by foreign governments, forcing out the local landowners, and your plan to distribute supposed PNG revenue through the Colombian Business School have also never been authorized and will never be entertained by PNG people. In addition, PNG ILG’s do not authorised or allow Miss Frederica Bietta to negotiate for PNG as a Special Adviser in anyway or form.
I have through Nupan invested millions of dollars of personal funds over four years of constant management to develop, multiple voluntary carbon projects with landowners all over PNG, and that money has been spent in the villages, and with the people during consultation and creating ILG awareness, in preparing for the ILG’s to manage their own futures with their projects.
We have 30 projects on behalf of PNG people that can be implemented in the coming year, and another sixty that will flow from them, and the people do and have always supported myself and the VCS mechanism.
Personally I take affront and claim defamation by your media referral statements such as “Carbon Cowboy” applied to me, and your advice to the Government of PNG that the VCS being ‘risky’ is most certainly misleading, as currently the VCS is the only sound mechanism available to create a commercial revenue for forest protection. The VCS is a UNFCCC sanctioned Standards Organization, respected world-wide. You are attacking the very organization you supposedly represent!
Landowners have been working tirelessly with me and my group to understand and perform their roles for the present and future, and we have been creating a system that will enable the forests to\ be saved from logging now, with the revenue generated by carbon trading going to fund health, education, communication, transport, and infrastructure projects and progressive agriculture planning throughout PNG. PNG projects will provide employment for thousands of people, for 35 to 40 years until restructured. And 90% of all the revenue generated comes back under the control of the ILG’s and the people of PNG, not into someone’s private pocket.
On behalf of the thousands of landowners whom I represent, we instruct you to cease these misleading actions immediately that you indulge in by falsely claiming the UNFCCC is bringing money to the people, as to date it has not. It may bring money to yourself and your organization, and if and when it ever comes -it will be for you and those who support you in this fiction, not the landowners and the people of PNG
By Koke Pailepo
Kindly allow me space to express my views on Sir Arnold Amet’s comments relating to the court ruling on the unconstitutional re-appointment of Sir Paulias Matane as the GG. His comments were made during the government’s visit to the court ousted GG in Kokopo. “Shame on all parties involved in re-appointment of GG.”
I feel the leader’s statement should not go unchallenged given the unconstitutional appointment of the GG by parliament.
It is a shame for a very well learned senior statesman and former chief justice to come out and blame the unconstitutional process of re-appointing the GG as based on poor advice.
If so the question begs, what happened to the leader’s personal reasoning given his lengthy experience with parliamentary procedures? Was it thrown out the window so he could hide behind poor advice? Sir Amet’s grounds that the government’s blunder in bulldozing the unconstitutional reappointment as based on poor advise is very shallow with out substance.
Regardless of what Sir Arnold says to cover up this constitutional blunder one sure fact is that Sir Paulias Matane’s reputation and credibility has been tarnished and believe me all Papua New Guinea knows that.
The government is now hell bent to amend their deliberate unconstitutional mistake on the floor of parliament by paying Sir Paulias apologetic visits and adamantly pushing for his re-nomination. But let me remind Sir Arnold that this will not fix Sir Paulias Matane’s reputation and credibility that was tarnished by government’s unconstitutional acts fuelled by greed for power.
Furthermore, Sir Arnold Amet cannot denounce or brush aside insinuations from the public. You do not have to be rocket scientist to understand the constitution and the constitutional procedures followed to re-appoint a GG. The procedure is very clear yet the government chose not to follow it and he for one who is very well versed with the laws of the land including the constitution did not even stand up to point out that the appointment was constitutionally flawed.
Can Sir Arnold Amet tell PNG: Would the honourable parliament have honestly admitted the mistake with the re-election of Sir Paulias Matane and have the re-appointment undone without a court challenge? I doubt it and so applaud the Morobe provincial government leadership for boldly challenging in court the constitutionality of the GG’s election.
The government has seasoned leaders in the likes of the Prime Minister and the Speaker and even Sir Paulias Matane himself who could have known better the constitutional procedures to appoint a GG and yet find it fit to blame poor advice.
The prime minister being in politics for over 35 years would know by heart what the appointment procedures are. And Sir Paulais Matane to uphold his personal integrity and that of the vice regal office should have exercised some caution given his experience in public life when his appointment was openly opposed by the hoard PNG public.
To me it seems the government including Sir Paulias Matane, the Speaker and all other parties deliberately ignored the constitutional process hoping that it would be swept under the carpet like the many cases of national interest.
As such all of them are equally guilty of breaching the constitution. Nobody can claim innocence of their actions on the floor of parliament during the appointment of the GG earlier this year.
Papua New Guinea’s acting Governor General, Michael Ogio, has a history of dubious involvement in controversial illegal logging deals and is not a fit and proper person for the role as Head of State.
As Forest Minister, Michael Ogio, frequently ignored the law to grant illegal access to vast areas of Papua New Guinea forests to some of its most notorious logging companies. He also handed the loggers unlawful tax concessions and defied the law and proper process to protect their interests.
As revealed by PNG Forest Watch back in 2002, Ogio’s ‘trail of shame’ includes:
- Granting an unlawful 10-year extension of the huge Wawoi Guavi Timber Permit to Rimbunan Hijau against the advice of the Forest Authority and in defiance of the National Forest Board
- Giving three unlawful tax exemptions for the illegal Kiunga Aiambak logging project operated by Concord Pacific
- Giving three Ministerial Directives to the National Forest Board to ignore proper procedures and unlawfully award the Josephstaal logging concession in Madang Province
- Issuing an unlawful Timber Authority (TA 1-08) for a huge Timber Authority in Western Province against the advice of five Government Departments
- Taking no action against the Forest Authority Managing Director, Thomas Nen, for allowing illegal logging in Pondo and Tuwapu
As Forest Minister Ogio also refused to comply with the Morauta government’s attempts at forest reform and consistently breached government policy to favour his logging friends.
Ogio breached the government’s Forestry Action Plan to allow logging in Inland Pomio, Pondo and Lak; breached the government’s Moratorium on new logging concessions; and consistently tried to manipulate the position of Managing Director of the Forest Authority – making 6 different appointments to the position between January and April 2002.
Michael Ogio was dumped from Parliament in the 2002 National election, after 15 years as an MP, but returned five-years later. He is currently Minister for Education.
THE PNG Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC) has called for the resignation of speaker and clerk of parliament over the embarrassment in Sir Paulias Matane’s re-election as governor-general in June.
PNGTUC president Michael Malabag was responding to the Supreme Court ruling that declared the GG election null and void.
“Jeffery Nape and Don Pandan are responsible for this fiasco and it is high time they uphold and protect the integrity of parliament, otherwise, ship out.”
He said parliament had become a circus over the years under the leadership of Sinasina-Yongamul MP, Jeffrey Nape.
Malabag said the people of PNG had lost faith in the legislative arm of government and “nobody in his right mind can deny that fact”.
I am absolutely amazed that the former attorney-general and minister for justice and the secretary provided legal opinion on the election of the governor-general which was misleading in the first place as confirmed by the Supreme Court to be null and void.
Was the legal opinion simply to affirm the actions taken by government and most importantly by the actions of the speaker in confirming the re-appointment of Sir Paulias as GG for the second term?
The very people who came out publicly to support the actions of parliament should bow their heads in shame and resign if they have any dignity left.
Malabag said it was embarrassing because parliament had made a mockery of the position of the governor-general, the Queen’s representative.
What an embarrassment in the Commonwealth when due process was not complied with and yet was defended strongly by the very guardians of the legal system within the executive arm of government.
Sir Paulias is a person beyond reproach, a statesman of the highest degree and for parliament to treat this election process with total contempt is a complete mockery to a person of his standing.
If the government had the numbers which was plainly obvious on the floor of parliament that day, why did they not simply comply with constitutional requirements.
Sir Paulias has my undivided support and that of the trade union movement and I sincerely hope that common sense will prevail in the next sitting of parliament as directed by the Supreme Court
While the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Michael Somare, has finally been forced to step aside to face a Leadership Tribunal over disclosure of his assets – a charge he has been fighting to avoid through the courts for the last two years – there is still no word on what has happened to the recommendations of a Defence Force Board of Inquiry that the PM be charged for offences under the Constitution, Leadership Code and Criminal Code.
The Defence Force Board of Inquiry was headed by Supreme Court judge Justice Gibbs Salika.
The Inquiry found that Michael Somare issued the direction for the clandestine smuggling of Julian Moti out of PNG where he was in custody awaiting an extradidition hearing to face child sex charges.
The Defence Force Board of Inquiry recommended Michael Somare:
- be charged for violating the Constitution under section 22 and be punished under section 23 (which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years).
- be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission and charged under the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.
- be investigated by the police with a view to charges under section 136 of the Criminal Code for perverting the course of justice; section 128 of the Criminal Code for conspiracy to defeat justice; section 212 of the Criminal Code and the Commission of Inquiry Act for perjury
You can download the full Defence Force Board Inquiry report here.
The PNG Exposed blog is pleased to bring you the full Defence Force Board of Inquiry Report into the escape from custody and clandestine flight to the Solomon Islands of Julian Moti.
The downloadable pdf file is 3 mb in size – so please check your connection speed before attempting to download.
Although the Board Inquiry was completed in 2007 none of the recommendations for further action against those implicated, including Prime Minister Michael Somare, have ever been actioned.
The Inquiry, headed by Supreme Court judge, Justice Gibbs Salika, recommended action against Michael Somare from breaching the Constitution, Leadership Code and the Criminal Code.
THIS could be one of the saddest and darkest moments of Sir Paulias Matane’s somewhat colourful and stellar career in the public office then and now. It didn’t have to take a complicated legal interpretation for Sir Paulias to see that the decision made to reappoint him was flawed. Learned men, professionals in law, from within the floors of Parliament and without had commented on the issue.
Conscience would tell him that something was not right. The best he could have done at that time was not to accept the reappointment until the issue was properly debated and settled within the norms of law.
The court’s decision for him to step aside is very shameful, as a person, a leader in his Tolai community, a respected statesman (among the last), a champion of transparency and Christianity, and above all as a husband, father, grandfather. I think time has caught up with him. He could no longer hide behind the guise of transparency and Christianity. He has been stretched enough he can’t stretch any more.
Time and time again, writers to both dailies have noted the greed and hunger for power that drove politicians to the point of not heeding to the plight of the little people and especially the letters of the laws. And I think the now former GG is no exception. Look at what had just transpired in the recent past. The appointment of Paul Tienstin as the Acting GG is just one of them while the Speaker and Chief Justice were available. Flying of his secretary to his village to execute the signing of documents to effect the appointments while he was on leave is just another.
Technically, he is not the ‘GG’ and cannot assume duties while on leave. That applies to all offices, both private and government. The GG should have known better. Yes, he may not have been directly involved.
As the Head of State he could have resolved so many corrupt practices that were going on under his rimmed eyes but he let it go. My conclusion is this; Sir Paulias Matane is nothing but one of Sir Michael Somare’s, rather NA’s greater syndicate. He just happen to meet his fate today.