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Posts Tagged ‘Peter O’Neill’

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 693 days and counting…

May 18, 2015 Leave a comment

693

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

px-logo land grabbing

SABL_billboard

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 686 days and counting…

May 11, 2015 1 comment

686

There has still been NO ACTION to cancel the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging in Papua New Guinea.

It is now 686 days since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

O’Neill has REPEATEDLY STATED the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill told Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

But, WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 686 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Crucially he has failed to take any action to remove the corrupt public servants responsible for the land grab or distance himself from the politicians, including key Minister’s, complicit in the illegal deals and who are now blocking any positive action to revoke the leases and stop the logging.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

The embarrassing tale of the King James Bible present to PNG: Fraud, Corruption, Hypocrisy, Cargo Cultism, and amusement

May 8, 2015 18 comments

By Anonymous and via Nineteen Years and Counting

The gift of the supposed 1st edition 1st imprint of the 1611 King James Bible to Papua New Guinea is an amazing piece of drama.  It wraps and presents in a single, digestible story all the craziness, hypocrisy and corruption that characterises PNG today.

THE FRAUD

Deceiving the people about what this Bible present represented was perpetrated largely by PNG Parliamentary speaker Theo Zurenuoc, who is so immersed in his magical cargo cult dream world that even having the whole world laugh at him wouldn’t cause him to pause and reflect. Zurenuoc’s fraud was four-fold:

The Fraud:  The Bible was not delivered by any American government party in Indiana.  Instead the event was an exchange between churches at the small

The Fraud: The Bible was not delivered by any American government party in Indiana. Instead the event was an exchange between churches at the small “Interchurch Holiness Convention” of fundamentalists in Dayton, Ohio

1. An American government gift?   Zurenouc originally said that the gift was coming from either the national government of the United States or the state government of Indiana.  Neither proved true.  No one who participated on this sightseeing trip has provided even one piece of evidence of American government involvement in the Bible gift nor its presentation.  The American Embassy in Port Moresby refuses to comment on the whole affair.

2. Donated and picked up in the USA State of Indiana?  The Bible was not received in Indiana by the Government of Papua New Guinea, but in another state altogether by PNG fundamentalist church leaders. The event occurred as one session during a meeting of the Interchurch Holiness Convention, which is solely comprised of fundamentalist Christians and took place in Dayton, Ohio.  This is well established by photos and accompanying captions that have appeared on the internet, as well as on the website of the group that presented the Bible.

3. A unified welcome for the Bible?   The major churches of PNG, including Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran, were silent about the gift when it arrived in PNG.  However, the Catholic church was outraged by the earlier destruction to parliament building traditional art carvings that Speaker Zurenuoc led in late 2013 as Step 1 of the process to ‘rid parliament building of evil spirits’.  The new Bible is Step 2 of the process.  The whole affair was led by the fundamentalist Christian sect called the PNG Bible Church which interprets the Bible in a very different way from the mainstream Protestant and Catholic churches. Only on 1 May did the Catholic Bishops finally acknowledge the Bible donation, showing dismay that Zurenuoc and others “often appear to use ‘Bible’ and ‘Word of God’ interchangeably, meaning that Zurenuoc was promoting an object as being the word of God rather than as witness to the word of God, as befits the reality of numerous Bible translations over the millenia and endless interpretations of what the words in the Bible say.

4. A rare, priceless gift to PNG of great significance?

The moment it got into PNG hands, the supposedly 'priceless' Bible was carried around like a common book, touched directly by people's fingers.   To treat a

The moment it got into PNG hands, the supposedly ‘priceless’ Bible was carried around like a common book, touched directly by people’s fingers. To treat a “priceless antique” in this way might be considered the height of blasphemy by knowledgeable Christians. The Bible now has its home in the humid tropics in a country that can’t even provide proper temperature and humidity control to protect its priceless cultural treasures in the PNG National Museum & Art Gallery. Fare thee well, priceless antique!

First, Zurenuoc said it was one of a kind, then he said it was 1 in 3 known copies, then he said it was 1 in 5 known copies, a statistic that PM Peter O’Neill repeated.  The story changed constantly.   PM Peter O’Neill stated that it was a “priceless antique”.  It was also reported as “known to be the best and most well preserved [copy]”.  You would never believe it, witnessing the relatively careless way the Bible was carried once it came into PNG hands.  Anyone who truly respected a priceless ancient book would never allow it to be exposed to air, much less handle it and parade it out in the open.  Zurenuoc’s ignorance and arrogance allowed all these violations to occur.  In the bigger picture, the Bible donation event was so insignificant that it wasn’t reported at all in the American media.  In fact, American scholar Donald Blake, in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation, flatly denounced Zurenuoc’s assessment of the Bible’s rarity, stating that there he has documented at least 169 known copies of the 1st edition King James Bible, and suspects there are as many as 680 in existence, most of which would be damaged, with pages missing.  Expert Blake estimated the value of the rarer 1st imprint Bible to be no more than USD $95,000, or about K280,000.

THE CORRUPTION

Unionist John Paska and the Post Courier now both say that the trip to get the Bible cost taxpayers K693,041,far more than the Bible’s estimated K280,000 worth.  Funding this junket with taxpayers’ money amounts to misappropriation for several reasons.

First, the government and the public was deceived by Speaker Zurenuoc that this was a government-to-government transaction and probably did so to escape misappropriation charges.  But the reality is that this was a fundamentalist Christian church-to-fundamentalist Christian church transaction that Speaker Zurenuoc only played a witnessing role in, driven by the Speaker’s personal religious beliefs.

Second, despite a party of 4 MPs taking off for the event, all photos posted on the internet that show the Bible transfer in Dayton, Ohio, shows only Speaker Zurenuoc present.  Missing in Action seem to be Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, Lae MP Loujaya Kousa, and Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Tobias Kulang.  None have come out in the media and stated what they did on this trip to justify the cost of sending them.  It is intriguing that MP Loujaya Kousa is not mentioned in Union leader John Paska’s submission to the Ombudsman Commission, even though she was originally included in the travel list and posted a remark on Facebook in a way that implies she was present at the handover.

Zurenuoc himself is silent about the MPs activities or any justification for sending a government party of at least 5 individuals for a private church trip at taxpayers expense.  Neither the Americans states of Indiana nor of Ohio would be considered top priorities of important places for a parliamentary delegation to visit to achieve anything significant.  This has all the appearances of being a sightseeing excursion for all but Zurenuoc, although undoubtedly many ‘great accomplishments’ will suddenly be revealed by Kulang, Powi, and Kousa if ever an investigation takes place.

james bible 3

THE HYPOCRISY 

A number of Christians in the social media either declined to respond to the allegations of misappropriation that this trip involved or have stated that it was okay that this trip be funded with taxpayers money.

This is a small example of a longer, bigger trend in a country that states itself to be Christian, but radiates to the world one example after another of hypocrisy against the Bible’s guiding words. Christian country PNG of today has few Christians displaying vocal outrage against either recent witch burnings nor violence against women generally.

For years, Christian churches and their congregations have hardly protested about blatent high level government corruption and stealing. Several Christians on the social media actually felt it was okay to use government funds for this recent even only because it involved a Bible, and ignored the lies and deceptions that surrounded the event.

This highlights a disturbing trend in PNG not to learn from mistakes that today’s advanced nations went through when  religion and governance were allowed to mix with each other, but to repeat the mistakes. It also displays for all to see the hypocrisy some PNG Christians have at understanding that the 10 Commandments do not only apply to “certain situations” and that anything involving the Bible is exempt from following God’s Word.

THE CARGO CULTISM

Primitive cargo cult mentality in PNG is alive and well. The mentality has its origins in not understanding how things work and assuming that only the proper rituals would lead to the wished for results.   Cargo cult mentality persists today in PNG because we’re content at our status as a poorly educated society.  This means that as a people we are largely ignorant of global realities and of how science and technology discover truths about the universe and it working.   People like Zurenuoc are products as well as promoters of this ignorance. Zurenuoc’s organised ritual to welcome the Bible, added to his pronouncements of this one Bible’s magic to change the nation is Biblical cargo cultism.

The Bible was paraded around Moresby and a red carpet reception as if it were either a person or a magic object.  It was lifted to idol worship status by promoting that it had exceptional power, above and beyond other Bibles.

Eda Ranu CEO Henry Mokono stated that the mere presence of the Bible “would make a difference in the long run” to straighten out all the social issues PNG was facing.  Speaker Zurenuoc stated that the mere presence of the Bible in parliament would “elevate the standard of leadership.”  Carrying out a ritual (the idol worship-style procession) in the expectation of cargo (the doing away with evil in parliament) fits the definition of classic cargo cultism.

THE SIDE ENTERTAINMENT

Dr Gene Hood, the fundamentalist Christian who donated the Bible, died the day after it was transferred into conspicuously careless PNG hands (what magical explanations could we come up to explain that coincidence?!).  Dr Hood was misrepresented by his PNG supporters as a billionaire media magnate.  In reality, he wasn’t even a millionaire and lived in a simple house at 216 S 17th Ave, Beech Grove, INDIANA 46107.  He owned a handful of radio stations under his company Pilgrim Communications, Inc., established with the idea of using radio to spread fundamentalist gospel.  Yet, he and son Randy, also a Pilgrim Communication principal, weren’t so committed to spreading the Good News that they said “no” to leasing one of their stations, KREL-AM to a group that proceeded to unveil its new programming schedule as KHIG(H), America’s first radio station to devote all its programming to promoting marijuana use.  This surprising news came out in April, just before the Bible donation, an unexpected development that’s not all that surprising, considering that so much was hidden from the people of Papua New Guinea about the Bible story to begin with.

The PNG government’s always-present commitment to non-transparency expressed itself once again in the King James Bible donation.  Zurenuoc and company bears the blame not only for early errors in figuring out what the Bible donation was all about.  However, Zurenuoc also gets all the credit for motivating a legion of volunteer internet investigators to dig out and expose the lies, deceptions, and other unpleasant facts surrounding this tale.

Trip to retrieve PNG bible from US cost more than king’s ransom

May 5, 2015 4 comments
Cover of King James Bible

Cover of King James Bible

The Australian

The Papua New Guinea government has funded a visit to the US last week led by parliamentary Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc, with five other MPs and 30 ­pastors, to receive a bible printed in 1611 that had been bequeathed to the country by an evangelist who died aged 77 in Indiana.

Their travel costs considerably exceeded the up to $95,000 value of the bible — whose translation was authorised by King James I of England and VI of Scotland, and which is one of a few hundred original copies that survive.

READ MORE ON THIS STORY
The Strange and Mysterious Case of the Donated King James I Bible To Papua New Guinea
When Will We Finally End the Tricks and Deceptions of MPs Like Zurenuoc and Kouza?

Mr Zurenuoc claimed the copy he brought back to PNG from the family of Gene Hood, a Nazarene Church pastor who operated and hosted gospel radio stations and missionary programs, is one of only five, and is “the best and most well preserved”.

The return of the bible party to Port Moresby’s Jackson’s Airport was acclaimed by a rapturous crowd of about 20,000 people.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill formally received the bible, carried through the crowd on its wooden case, from Mr ­Zurenuoc on a stage specially built for the ceremony.

Mr O’Neill said the new ­“national treasure … adds to the sense of significance as we ­define our nation” as it ­approach­ed the 40th anniversary of its ­independence.

The bible will be housed in the parliament building, but details have not yet been announced.

Mr Zurenuoc was accused of Taliban-style cultural terrorism, when 18 months ago he launched a “cleansing exercise” to destroy the parliament’s traditional ­carvings and totem poles, which took three years by specially commissioned artists to produce — but which he viewed as pagan and demonic. He ordered these massive hardwood carvings, including an ornate lintel, which showcased the country’s diverse traditional skills, to be chopped up and burned.

PNG Trade Union Congress general secretary John Paska led criticism of the Speaker’s actions then and last week.

“I value antiquity and like others welcome the arrival of this bible and its placement in parliament,” Mr Paska said.

But he said he parted company “from those who advocate religiosity as a panacea”.

The core issues, he said, “are about good governance, abuse of power, and the fundamental constitutional tenet of freedom of religion and individual rights to worship in whatever religion or denomination”.

The Post-Courier newspaper hosted a lively debate in its pages on the issue. “In the past, those who opposed God were stoned to death, and Paska should be happy that PNG is a democratic country, so he will never face that consequence,” wrote Isaac Seeto of ­Hohola.

The PNG Catholic Bishops’ Conference stated that plans to “enthrone” the bible in parliament provided a good opportunity to ­reflect on the real meaning of “Word of God,” which has been present in “the heart language” of Papua New Guineans for more than a century.

And PNG Anglican Archbishop Clyde Igara expressed ­concern that only a single group, the PNG Bible Church, was involved in the episode — about which the country’s mainstream churches were kept in the dark.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 679 days and counting..

May 4, 2015 1 comment

679

px-logo land grabbing

 

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

Paraka again evading exposure and justice

May 1, 2015 1 comment

PNG court prevents tabling of Paraka report

Source: Radio New Zealand

Papua New Guinea’s National Court has issued an order to prevent a Commission of Inquiry report into payments made to legal firms by the state, from being tabled in parliament.

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, announced the inquiry last year, a day after an arrest warrant was served on him in relation to his alleged involvement in illegal payments to a law firm headed by Paul Paraka.

Our correspondent, Todagia Kelola, says the report by former judge Warwick Andrews is understood to have been completed, but the Fly River Provincial Executive Council went to court to seek a judicial review, arguing unfair treatment.

“That report was given to the Prime Minister to be tabled by him on the floor of parliament. Now the Fly River Provincial Government was aggrieved by that and went to the National Court seeking a judicial review on the COI’s report.”


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Namah alleges fraudulent payment of K71.8 million to Paul Paraka Lawyers
The Paraka Scams: Read the archives; Download the report


Court stops lawyer payments report

Source: Samuel Raitano / Post Courier

THE National Court had prevented Prime Minister Peter O’Neill from tabling the commission of inquiry (COI) report on the payments to lawyers and law firms by the State.

The stay order was successfully sought by the Fly River provincial executive council.

The COI was carried out by judge Warwick Andrew following issues taken to court over monies paid to law firms by the State which were claimed to have been dubious in nature.

The Fly River provincial executive council, led by the governor and district administrator, had asked the court to stop the report from being tabled as they wanted a judicial review by the court of law on its findings and recommendations.

Acting Judge Leka Nablu when handing down the decision said the plaintiff had relied on four grounds and one ultimate ground.

The ruling yesterday was in the PEC’s favour because it was claimed that the plaintiff (PEC) was not informed that there would be adverse findings made against it.

Justice Nablu said it was found that there was an arguable case and if the tabling was allowed to proceed there would be irreparable damages done to the plaintiff’s reputation if the court, in its judicial review, found that the contents of the report were not that correct.

Also if the judicial review found that the matter taken before it was improper it would not affect the Prime Minister to have delayed the tabling of the report.

In order to maintain the status quo, the tabling of the report was temporarily stopped until the judicial review was settled.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 672 days and counting…

April 27, 2015 Leave a comment

672

There has still been NO ACTION to cancel the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging in Papua New Guinea.

It is now 672 days since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

O’Neill has REPEATEDLY STATED the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill told Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

But, WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 672 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Crucially he has failed to take any action to remove the corrupt public servants responsible for the land grab or distance himself from the politicians, including key Minister’s, complicit in the illegal deals and who are now blocking any positive action to revoke the leases and stop the logging.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

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