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Why these PNG elections are taking us towards dictatorship

July 4, 2017 1 comment

Oro Governor Gary Juffa speaking at a campaign gathering … explaining the qualities to look for in national leadership.

Source: Gary Juffa | Pacific Media Centre

I suspect that these Papua New Guinea elections have been so deliberately set to fail, leaving much room for fraud and confusion, that we will be distracted from what is really going on – the establishment of a dictatorship.

Already Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has his own special police unit that flies around Papua New Guinea escorting him in his private airlines, he has a special army unit of 40 exclusively for his callout, he controls the media and Public Service.

And, it seems, the Police and Defence commands — and perhaps the judiciary … the signs and red flags are blinking bright red now…

Yet many people do not see it at all. We are inching closer towards dictatorship and the ensuing bloodshed and violence that must come from the hostility towards it. But like lemmings and sheep, we are led to that reality with little resistance at all. Is this the Papua New Guinea we all believed in once upon a time?

Last Wednesday in Oro province provided a demonstration of how much the PNG government is not for PNG. It was also a demonstration of how democracy should not work.

For instance, the majority — between a third and a half — of Popondetta Urban voting age citizens have not voted because the current common roll does not have their names. Many citizens claim they had made the effort to update their details and were still turned away.

Preliminary roll ‘okay’
Meanwhile, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has advised that the preliminary roll can be used. This means he indirectly agrees that the EC failed to effectively update the 2017 roll. This instruction was obviously not made known to Electoral Commission officials managing the polling at the Independence Oval on Wednesday.

Many people who had taken time out and had travelled to vote were turned away angry and anxious. This election was certainly costing them. They will have to come back for the last day, but the slowness will probably ensure that a large group will not have been processed by the end of the polling at 4pm.

This will mean that democracy certainly did not prevail in this instance. In fact, many will probably agree that come the end of these elections, democracy was hardly a reality everywhere in Papua New Guinea.

This should hardly be a surprise given that we have actually endured a covert dictatorship and hardly realised it.

Own effort
Meanwhile, not a few of the learned are saying that everyone should have made their own effort to ensure they were registered.

A true statement we all would like to agree with. I was tempted to think this way too. Then I thought of my people in rural PNG. My uncles and aunts who do not read or write and are at once the greatest selfless humans I know and, despite whatever people think, are equal shareholders of this great nation, Papua New Guinea.

They too deserve to vote. They too deserve to be informed. They too have the right to be given the opportunity to decide whether they want to update their details on the common role or not.

May I just say to all my learned friends making such statements as “it’s your fault if you are not on the roll; stop whinging”, that this would be true if the awareness programme had been been carried out sufficiently and it would be true in a society which is totally literate and where means of communication are available to all, a society that, say, had more then just 40 years or so as an independent nation of 1000 tribes with their own language groupings and cultural peculiarities.

Such statements are also spiteful about our people. Many of our people who live in rural PNG do not have access to the benefits of technology and modern services and goods that you may have had and may have now.

Our people, remember them? Well some of these are the people who will adore you and feed you and love you selflessly when or should you ever go home for a visit from time to time.

It would also be a safe statement to make if Papua New Guinea were governed by a government which allowed information access for all. A government that made funding available for provincial governments and relevant information dissemination entities like the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

Government by the people
Of course, that would have to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people …which this government clearly is not, if any of its decisions made in the last five years are anything to go by.

It is clear that the Electoral Commission failed. But the commission is not entirely to be blamed because, the buck stops at the top, and that’s the People’s National Congress (PNC) government of Peter O’Neill.

They have totally failed in the last five years to ensure that everyone was on the roll.

The awareness programme was an abysmal failure. Rural Papua New Guinea especially had virtually no knowledge of this. That’s 85 percent of PNG.

Adequately informed
Were our people adequately informed? They were not.

The Electoral Commission had five years to do this. It failed.

Just as it did with the K200 million national identity (NID) project. Deliberately too, it appears.

This government failed. Peter O’Neill failed

The 2017 Elections are looking very much like a failure.

A planned failure, perhaps … it has to be.

Sipping champagne
From the PNC government’s perspective, maybe they are chuckling and sipping champagne and congratulating each other on a job well done. Chaos provides opportunities for those who plan it to. Who knows?

Meanwhile in stark contrast, preparations for APEC seem to be going on very well. Surprise, surprise. Funding is abundantly available and preparatory meetings, plans, strategies and training and capacity testing efforts are well in progress. Not a few MPs whose companies will be involved in various services needed have already picked up hefty contracts.

So obviously the government can do a great job. If it suits them.

Ask yourself, is APEC more important then the democratic rights of a people to elect their leaders to represent their interests in Parliament?

This just shows how much the PNC government cares for its people. How much? In my measure, it was so weak and poor an effort, so pathetic, it was “zilch”.

Gary Juffa’s commentaries are frequently published by Asia Pacific Report with permission. This commentary is a combination of two of his latest pieces.

MPs laugh at health cuts

March 23, 2016 1 comment
transit facility

The Transit Medical Storage Facility in Oro is still waiting completion since 2013 despite spending of K600,000

Gary Juffa

Today I watched in absolute disgust as MPs giggled and laughed as Minister for Health made light humor at the fact that the GOVERNMENT had slashed funding for Church run health facilities to the tune of K50m.

– I had asked an explanation about the slash to our health services by the Government and could the Minister explain exactly how much and what programs exactly

Minister Malabag confirmed that the Government had cut K50m BUT only to the Churches run programs and ONLY the wages component.

BUT THE MOST REMOTE AREAS IN PNG WHERE MOST OF OUR PEOPLE LIVE ARE ONLY SERVICED BY CHURCHES! WHY DID THE GOVERNMENT LIE AND DECLARE THAT NO CUTS WOULD BE MADE TO EDUCATION AND HEALTH LAST YEAR AND THEN DO THIS!

– Furthermore I asked when the Transit Medical Storage Facility in Oro was to be completed since work had commenced in 2013 had not been finished. This was to be built to ensure timely delivery of drugs to our aidposts and hospitals and thus ensure we are best equipped to save lives. But the contract was never completed and yet K600,000 was paid to a contractor! Now this contract was dubiously given to a company namely Gini Construction owned by a male nurse that had ZERO experience and knowledge in building such infrastructure and had been illegally on the the Health payroll for 5 years until I took him off after I found out earlier this year. The work is substandard and remains unfinished! Drugs are not delivered in a timely manner and patients have to travel hours to Popondetta to get treatment.

The Minister acknowledged that the contractor was paid and the job incomplete! The Minister confirmed that CSTB awarded the contract! No surprise! The Minister confirmed the that the NDOH was now looking for money to complete the contract!

WHY WAS THIS CONTRACTOR ILLEGALLY ENGAGED!? WHY WAS HE PAID WHEN HE HAD NOT COMPLETED HIS JOB!? WHY HASNT HE BEEN ARRESTED AND LOCKED UP INCLUDING THE CSTB AND NDOH OFFICIAL WHOSE CORRUPT ACTIONS HAVE RESULTED IN MEDICAL RISKS AND POSSIBLE DEATHS OF OUR PEOPLE??! I WILL FIND OUT THESE PUBLIC SERVANTS NAMES AND HAVE THEM ARRESTED!

I also asked if the NDOH had built a lab to verify drugs imported and distributed by the contraversial Malaysian Company Borneo Pacific as the Government had promised to do since the company they were importing from China Pharmaceutical was cited for peddling counterfeit drugs by the WHO and NDOH had intentionally removed ISO Certification as a criteria to allow them to select Bormeo Pharmaceutical at an extra K20m more.

Minister admitted they had failed since to build such a lab.

Most MPs in Government giggled and laughed as the Health Minister joked about the matter in parliament during a supplementary question by Member for Lae Loujaya Kouja.

Our peoples health is no laughing matter. Especially when many in remote areas are struggling to come into towns to find help and wait hours and even days before treatment. Many vulnerable people such as babies and elderly are dying from treatable medical matters.

SAVING LIVES IS ANY GOVERNMENTS FUNDAMENTAL ROLE ….BUT THIS GOVERNMENT FINDS THE DEPLORABLE HEALTH SITUATION IN OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLES MISERY A LAUGHING MATTER…

Preparing for War… A CALL TO ARMS

December 26, 2015 6 comments

Gary Juffa

Today we are besieged. The so called elites in power who do the bidding of the pirates that control our resources are fast selling PNG off, neither protecting nor promoting PNG interests.

Just walk into any business and ask yourself how is PNG protected here? A few genuine businesses and investors struggle while a many are merely here as vultures to take what they can while they can.

Just reflect on all decisions made regarding resource development and ask yourself, how has PNG being protected or promoted here? Not a single decision has been made with the people of PNGs interests at heart. Zero, zilch, none.

Go to the nearest Police and Army barracks. These are our badges of sovereignty, they lie in shambles, rotting, dilapidated and sad. They tell our story of National Security.

The public service is no longer a machine that delivers goods and services for PNG, many a good public servant has been shut out, removed and even attacked. The civil service is now an evil service and public servants are fast being replaced by public serpents.

Justice is now only affordable to those who can pay for it. Law is for those who can take it into their own hands.

That is our reality.

Next year on, our efforts to fight for a PNG worth saving must not be confined to social media chats, discussions at buai markets or during coffee and tea sessions, they must actually culminate in physical action.

I myself have prepared for this, I hope other Papua New Guineans who care about their country and its future will do the same.

I am hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Time and time again, I have found that in PNG during times when we need to rise up and fight, sadly, courage is very much lacking and overshadowed by apathy.

By our very inaction, we are allowing ourselves as a people to be led to the slaughter. A terrible and sad situation we find ourselves in today as we stare into a bleak future where we are marginalized and no longer own our land, are no longer in control of our resources and are but spectators in a future designed for others by others.

This is NOT the PNG I want for my children. I am sure it is NOT the PNG you want for your children either.

Today, it is a PNG where elected leaders and a public service machinery work against their people, instead of protecting our interests they are busy selling of our resources to hostile forces for 30 pieces of silver.

How did we arrive here?

How is it that just about every State organ created and designed for the very reason to protect and promote PNG interests have turned against its people? Brutalizing our people, selling off our land and doing so with careless abandon and an almost arrogant impunity?

How is it that a PNG with so much hope and promise has instead became a land of lawlessness and lost opportunities?

How is it that our systems of education and health have deteriorated so bad that we have come to accept that we are now intentionally managed to be a population of weak, unhealthy, unintelligent and pacified zombies allowing ourselves to be herded and moved here and there by ruthless pirates and their puppet MPs?

Today, our resources, our jobs and our opportunities are not guaranteed.Our voices of dissent and protest and concern are brushed aside and we are instead told to be happy, we are encouraged to sing praises as infrastructure, often low quality at inflated prices are built with monies borrowed at outrageous interest rates that we and our future generations are expected to pay back.

Many of our people have fallen, mesmerized by the bright lights of false promises, and raise their voices and sing praises without realizing the bitter price our future generations will be paying.

Even what is wrong and unethical and immoral we have come to accept and expect and now are promoting but telling ourselves “as long as there is something being done”. What is being done is your country and your people are being sold lock, stock and barrel to powerful forces that do not care about you and your children and want only your resources and the profits they can make at your expense.

Yes, whenever we raise concern about the state of PNG, we are labelled doom and gloom prophets. But these are NOT prophesies, these are but realities.

Meanwhile, those in power move to shut voices of dissent, manipulate the media to churn out propaganda to divert the attention of masses, rule and divide with money and weaken systems of good governance and render them useless.

2017 is WAR. It is NOW or NEVER. RISE or FALL.

It is a war you and I must fight to SAVE PNG. No one else will do this for us. Our so called friends and neighbors are busy with their own problems and besides their vision of what we must be is NOT what we should accept as it is but a mere fraction of what we can be.

I see all the usual political gimmicks moving again. Its the time for politics. “Its just a game” say the usual conmen, middlemen and puppets and muppets.

A game where people die…our people.

So scan all the political parties you admire, subscribe to and enthusiastically embrace and promote and sing for and drink beer for and tell your inlaws about proudly…and in quiet moments….in the still of a PNG night when you can only hear is TRUTH…ask yourselves…ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR PNG? Most are merely pandering the same old mediocre statements that have kept them in power either contributing directly or indirectly to where PNG is now…

I may fight this battle alone, I don’t have the riches and backing of powerful financial pirates that they do, but I believe in a PNG owned by Papua New Guineans…I have a few loyal friends and family…they love this country too

Choose your leaders carefully, ask yourself, since we are at war, are they the person you want by your side fighting for you, will they be at the forefront of our battle fighting with energy and patriotic passion to save our people, our land and our future or will they be whisked away by the pirates that control our resources and are sucking the very life out of our nation while we sit and watch silently?

Yes, many are NOT your leaders, they are THEIR leaders….fighting NOT for you and what is yours but for what their MASTERS have paid for.

So rise up and fight for PNG if you believe that it is a PNG worth saving. Just saying that this is true and liking this page is NOT enough, live every moment as if it is your last and remember the faces of your children and ask yourself, WHERE WILL THEY BE TOMORROW IF I FAIL THEM TODAY?

WE MUST FIGHT!

If we don’t, we have firmly helped the boot of the oppressor be placed on the neck of our children and we have folded our arms and shut our mouths and blindfolded our eyes and crossed our legs and sold out…

I am preparing for war. I will fight every which way to save my people, our land and our future, I believe you can choose that too…I may go down alone but I go down knowing I did not merely give up or watch like a coward, I fought.

Gary Juffa the real hero stopping illegal logging

December 14, 2015 Leave a comment

juffa

The Prime Minister may have been making a song and dance in the media about getting tough on illegal logging – but the real hero is Oro Governor Gary Juffa

Despite O’Neill’s promises he has done nothing to stop the illegal logging operations ripping through PNG forests and has done nothing to cancel the unlawful SABL leases.

That record stands in stark contrast to the proactive stance taken by Gary Juffa. In 2014 Juffa backed the Collingwood Bay landowners with financial, legal and moral support in their court battle against the illegal SABL lease over their land. As a result the lease was declared null and void and subsequently cancelled.

Now Juffa has added a stop work notice against the logging operations of Yema Gaiapa Developers Limited and Viva Success Limited to his record on fighting illegal logging.

The stop work notice was not the result of the Prime Ministers efforts neither did it come about through the effective working of the PNG Forest Authority or the National Forest Board. The victory was the result of unrelenting pressure from the Oro Governor and his refusal to take no for an answer.

Mr Juffa on hearing of the announcement was quick to say:

“Justice prevails finally prevails….We now wish to pursue a civil case to recover damages. The firms have been trespassing and unlawfully logging for decades and I have been adamant that they must stop.

“In fact, if they were not dealt with by the National Government we had earmarked them for removal early next year by force”

One wonders why the Governors of East and West New Britain, East and West Sepik and New Ireland to not show a similar resolve to protect and defend their people in the face of illegal logging and land grabbing…

Criminals running logging firms in PNG

July 24, 2015 3 comments

gary juffa

ANDREW ALPHONSE in the Post Courier

LOGGING companies in this country are run and owned by ‘foreign criminals Mafias’ who have no regard for the laws of this sovereign nation.

Oro Governor Garry Juffa said this during a press conference early Wednesday morning. He later raised the same during Question Time in Parliament.

Governor Juffa said foreign logging companies are hell-bent to exploit our virgin forests without any compliance to the rules and laws governing timber operations in the country.

He said with their no-care attitude, they also use our very own police force against fellow citizens of this country. Governor Juffa said this after policemen engaged by a Malaysian logging company in Oro last week assaulted, arrested and locked up 17 local landowners who protested over illegal logging of their customary forest.

See also: Multi-agency report confirms police working for Rimbunan Hijau brutalize communities in SABL areas

Governor Juffa said the particular logging firm is illegal conducting logging at the Yamagapa area bordering Morobe and Oro which is not in their licensed area of logging as permitted by the National Forest Authority (NFA).

He said several times when landowners protested over these illegal logging in their area, the company uses police who employ heavy- handed tactics like beating and locking them up including dishing out inhuman treatments. Governor Juffa said policemen, state agencies in Oro like FNA officers and other line agencies are turning a blind -eye to the situation and as frustration is building up, the worst is imminent as landowners are already fed- up and willing to take law into their own lands.

See also: No more PNG police at logging sites

Governor Juffa demanded the NFA to immediately revoke the license of this company and have them deported adding that logging has being in operation in Oro for nearly 20 years but there is no economic return for the landowners and the provincial governments. He said all that is left is over 100 hectares of barren land not even reforested.

“I say even is enough and under my watch and leadership, I will stop all illegal logging in Oro,” Governor Juffa said.

In Parliament on Wednesday, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuresia said that he is aware of the logging incident and has advised his office to give the company a show- cause notice to explain.

He said officers have also being sent to investigate the allegations and a report of their findings would be made available to Governor Juffa soon.

Ijivitari MP, David Arore, defames Justice Ambeng Kandakasi on Facebook

November 6, 2014 5 comments

arore fb juffa

Ijivitari MP, David Arore, has publicly defamed national court judge, Justice Ambeng Kandakasi on Facebook accusing him of corruption, partiality and an unhealthy alliance with Oro Governor, Gary Juffa prior to yesterday’s court decision.  

In multiple posts on the social network, David Arore, used his personal account to post photographs that purport to show a meeting between Justice Kandakasi and Governor Juffa prior to yesterday’s decision which awarded a stay order in favor of Juffa.

On the initial post yesterday, the ijiviari MP wrote:

“…Photo’s of judge Kandakasi and Gary Juffa  before hearing of Oro Prov. Vote of no confidence case…Where is justice?”  

Arore also questioned Justice Kandakasi’s credibility as a judge and accused him of allowing his personal relationship to influence his decision.

In another one of the posts Arore wrote:  

“…Arore  demands new judge in Oro vote of no confidence case after  Justice Kandakasi is seen here wining and dining with Gary Juffa…”  

It is however understood that the photographs were from a previous meeting of various high profile movers and shakers where Justice Kandakasi and Governor Juffa were invited.    

Last month, the Ijivitari MP and the Minister for Community Development, Delilah Gore, led a group of seven council presidents who broke into the provincial assembly building in Popondetta and announced that Arore was now governor.  

Juffa then sought clarification from the national court which saw the handing down of a restraining order against David Arore yesterday. Justice Kandakasi has not yet responded to the allegations.

arore fb

Arore tries to cover up for Delilah Gore

November 5, 2014 2 comments
David Arore

Arore trying to get Gore off the hook

Ijivitari MP, David Arore, has come out publicly in defense of Community Development Minister, Delilah Gore, saying Gore was not involved in the purported vote of no confidence motion again Oro’s legitimate governor, Gary Juffa. Speaking to the Post Courier, Arore described the take over as “straight Oro politics.”

This is however contrary to glaring evidence in the form of payment records of K17,000 to the Grand Papua Hotel  in Port Moresby where seven local level government presidents were accommodated.

Delilah Gore

Gore has yet to come clean about misusing Department funds

Despite efforts to distance Gore from the unrecognized vote in Popondetta, the  Gore has continued to prove that she cannot be trusted. In a news conference last week, the Minister lied about the K17,000 payment saying she had no knowledge of the payment despite the evidence at hand.

Gore also paid, using ministerial funds, for the Southern Region police taskforce to be present in Popondetta during the  protest  that saw the usurping of  the governor’s post.

It is now understood the Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, has summoned the Community Development Secretary, Anna Solomon, to explain why she assisted the Minister in lying during a public news conference last week.