ONLY VILLAGE CONMEN, WAIGANI THIEVES & FOREIGN INVESTORS WANT THESE MINES, LNG PROJECTS,

ONLY VILLAGE CONMEN, WAIGANI THIEVES & FOREIGN INVESTORS WANT THESE MINES, LNG PROJECTS,

Comment extracted from ......
Comment extracted from ......

June 17th, 2010, 9:45 pm #1

Why should anyone have to SUFFER for the greater good [as Papua New Guineans are told to do everytime a new mine, logging project, or other resource development starts in PNG]. [This demand to give way for the greater good is stated] as if it is a given, a reality of life not worth challenging. "Suffering" is far worse than being inconvenienced or sacrificing as is more true in countries where people must give up their land for the greater good. In those countries, people are highly mobile, they mix, land is bought and sold readily. None of this is true in PNG.

The model being imposed on PNG by which some people (always villagers) must suffer so that others (nearly always towns people) can benefit has enough sad results in the so-called developed countries. The scenario fits our melanesian culture and traditions even less. When the people of Panguna lost their land, they suffered. They cannot just pick up and leave like Europeans are accustomed to doing. They either are yanked out of their ples, destroying their cultural roots as they are resettled elsewhere, or they remain in place and are thus exposed to all the horrors of seeing their land polluted if not destroyed.

In NO society should anyone have to suffer like this for the greater good. It is not a mark of being advanced or 'civilised' to allow such a conditiono. If the situation exists, then something is wrong and the rules of that society should change.

PNG has enough challenges with our own current cultural norms, such as domestic violence, to deal with without needing the additional, massive complications imposed by foreign resource developers.

Finally, let's put an end right now to the notion that "the people support these resource development projects" in PNG. No, it's not the people. It is a few conmen from the villages, often in combination with town wantoks who push the whole agenda. These people either want to escape village life or they longer depend upon the land and thus have lost respect for it. It is these two groups of landowners, both out for their personal financial gains rather than the betterment of their people in the village, who combine to lobby the majority of villagers to put up or shut up, sign the agreements and welcome the 'development'. Once the resource royalties start flowing in, it is these same individuals who invariably steal money meant for others in the community, shoot off to Moresby, and squander away all the wealth of the land, some of it non-renewable and never to be replaced, on wine, women and gambling in the Ela Beach, Crowne Plaza, or another of Moresby's hotels. They fritter away what is often an opportunity of eternity. The village people suffer. To what end?

Nothing of this common, sad scenario argues that we should fund Waigani's pockets with the wealth of the people as we do through mining, logging, even fisheries projects. If the government was using these funds in useful ways, at least their would be a counterargument. But it does not. The government wastes and squanders, paying attention to the towns but not the villages, offering everyone an illusion of health care (misdiagnoses are the norm) and a piss-poor government education that prepares no one very well for any kind of advocation (witness the government's invitation to Fijians, Bangladesh citizens, and Australians for fast-track jobs with the LNG project). Government workers rarely work, offices are empty. The whole ambiance is that of squandering money, spending as if there is no tomorrow. There is no motivation in Waigani to develop the nation except in the abstract. That attitude will never change until government workers become fearful of keeping their jobs, and the fat cats above them are replaced. Until then, let's not even entertain supporting that rotten to the core establishment. Instead, let's direct our efforts to empowering the village people so that they once more (as they once always did) bring their conmen wantoks back under control.

Last edited by 7milebeach on June 20th, 2010, 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Countryside
Countryside

June 18th, 2010, 12:18 am #2

It is quite obvious that the writer is frustrated (like many of us) on the inability of translating resource wealth to equate the delivery of services to our people. Yes, its been a hard lesson for our people. They have had to endure environment destruction, cultural degradation and the tragedies of social ills such as crime and AIDS. They have suffered from mismanagement of their chiefs squandering lifestyle. They have fought amongst themselves for the benefits and we know many have died in this tragedy.

But wantoks, this is the growing pain of development. You simply cannot avoid these costs; they are part of our progression. What is perhaps positive and this is where I have great divergence with the writer, is that his/her comments do lack appreciation on the positive developments landowners have done in the past 30 years. The MRDC that currently manages and assists 9 landowning companies have become one of the greatest success stories in PNG. Whats more amazing is that the MRDC and its companies are wholly owned and in most cases, operated by PNGns. Thats right, our people. From all the suffering the landowners have endured, their sons and daughters have prevailed in gaining higher degrees around the world to manage their resources.

These companies have acquired and invested in major service sectors of real estate, construction, banking, equities, aviation, health and education services, catering, insurance etc Their assets have been in positive growth for many years and they are indeed leading the diversification of our economy from natural resource based to a services economy. It is a resounding success in that many PNGns are benefiting from their ventures. Accountants, insurers, engineers, pilots doctors, chefs and many more are employed by them. The impressive fact is that that it is not only landowners but other PNGns as well.

They have also ventured into providing technical assistance to other landowning companies in other resource projects. Some landowners in the forestry sectors have consulted MRDC on investment management and have signed JV agreements with some of their construction and catering companies. They have also actively negotiated major contracts in the LNG project. Most notably, the acquisition of Heavy Lift to operate cargo to Komo and other sites.

They are indeed leaders of intra investment in PNG and they are far more aggressive and ambitious than international investors. They are a growth sector and its only fair they are recognized for their contribution to PNG.

I know its hard for many of us to fathom landowners been intelligent because we all maintain a stereotype perspective of their Stone Age lifestyle who are vulnerable and displaced in their own land. But guys, they are fast becoming our Wall Street hawks and theyre doing this with so much drive and ambition.
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Countryside
Countryside

June 18th, 2010, 12:20 am #3

Why should anyone have to SUFFER for the greater good [as Papua New Guineans are told to do everytime a new mine, logging project, or other resource development starts in PNG]. [This demand to give way for the greater good is stated] as if it is a given, a reality of life not worth challenging. "Suffering" is far worse than being inconvenienced or sacrificing as is more true in countries where people must give up their land for the greater good. In those countries, people are highly mobile, they mix, land is bought and sold readily. None of this is true in PNG.

The model being imposed on PNG by which some people (always villagers) must suffer so that others (nearly always towns people) can benefit has enough sad results in the so-called developed countries. The scenario fits our melanesian culture and traditions even less. When the people of Panguna lost their land, they suffered. They cannot just pick up and leave like Europeans are accustomed to doing. They either are yanked out of their ples, destroying their cultural roots as they are resettled elsewhere, or they remain in place and are thus exposed to all the horrors of seeing their land polluted if not destroyed.

In NO society should anyone have to suffer like this for the greater good. It is not a mark of being advanced or 'civilised' to allow such a conditiono. If the situation exists, then something is wrong and the rules of that society should change.

PNG has enough challenges with our own current cultural norms, such as domestic violence, to deal with without needing the additional, massive complications imposed by foreign resource developers.

Finally, let's put an end right now to the notion that "the people support these resource development projects" in PNG. No, it's not the people. It is a few conmen from the villages, often in combination with town wantoks who push the whole agenda. These people either want to escape village life or they longer depend upon the land and thus have lost respect for it. It is these two groups of landowners, both out for their personal financial gains rather than the betterment of their people in the village, who combine to lobby the majority of villagers to put up or shut up, sign the agreements and welcome the 'development'. Once the resource royalties start flowing in, it is these same individuals who invariably steal money meant for others in the community, shoot off to Moresby, and squander away all the wealth of the land, some of it non-renewable and never to be replaced, on wine, women and gambling in the Ela Beach, Crowne Plaza, or another of Moresby's hotels. They fritter away what is often an opportunity of eternity. The village people suffer. To what end?

Nothing of this common, sad scenario argues that we should fund Waigani's pockets with the wealth of the people as we do through mining, logging, even fisheries projects. If the government was using these funds in useful ways, at least their would be a counterargument. But it does not. The government wastes and squanders, paying attention to the towns but not the villages, offering everyone an illusion of health care (misdiagnoses are the norm) and a piss-poor government education that prepares no one very well for any kind of advocation (witness the government's invitation to Fijians, Bangladesh citizens, and Australians for fast-track jobs with the LNG project). Government workers rarely work, offices are empty. The whole ambiance is that of squandering money, spending as if there is no tomorrow. There is no motivation in Waigani to develop the nation except in the abstract. That attitude will never change until government workers become fearful of keeping their jobs, and the fat cats above them are replaced. Until then, let's not even entertain supporting that rotten to the core establishment. Instead, let's direct our efforts to empowering the village people so that they once more (as they once always did) bring their conmen wantoks back under control.
It is quite obvious that the writer is frustrated (like many of us) on the inability of translating resource wealth to equate the delivery of services to our people. Yes, its been a hard lesson for our people. They have had to endure environment destruction, cultural degradation and the tragedies of social ills such as crime and AIDS. They have suffered from mismanagement of their chiefs squandering lifestyle. They have fought amongst themselves for the benefits and we know many have died in this tragedy.

But wantoks, this is the growing pain of development. You simply cannot avoid these costs; they are part of our progression. What is perhaps positive and this is where I have great divergence with the writer, is that his/her comments do lack appreciation on the positive developments landowners have done in the past 30 years. The MRDC that currently manages and assists 9 landowning companies have become one of the greatest success stories in PNG. Whats more amazing is that the MRDC and its companies are wholly owned and in most cases, operated by PNGns. Thats right, our people. From all the suffering the landowners have endured, their sons and daughters have prevailed in gaining higher degrees around the world to manage their resources.

These companies have acquired and invested in major service sectors of real estate, construction, banking, equities, aviation, health and education services, catering, insurance etc Their assets have been in positive growth for many years and they are indeed leading the diversification of our economy from natural resource based to a services economy. It is a resounding success in that many PNGns are benefiting from their ventures. Accountants, insurers, engineers, pilots doctors, chefs and many more are employed by them. The impressive fact is that that it is not only landowners but other PNGns as well.

They have also ventured into providing technical assistance to other landowning companies in other resource projects. Some landowners in the forestry sectors have consulted MRDC on investment management and have signed JV agreements with some of their construction and catering companies. They have also actively negotiated major contracts in the LNG project. Most notably, the acquisition of Heavy Lift to operate cargo to Komo and other sites.

They are indeed leaders of intra investment in PNG and they are far more aggressive and ambitious than international investors. They are a growth sector and its only fair they are recognized for their contribution to PNG.

I know its hard for many of us to fathom landowners been intelligent because we all maintain a stereotype perspective of their Stone Age lifestyle who are vulnerable and displaced in their own land. But guys, they are fast becoming our Wall Street hawks and theyre doing this with so much drive and ambition.
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pngbased
pngbased

June 19th, 2010, 8:22 am #4

Countryside I agree with you. Many dreamers (usually the ones who live a fat and content life overseas!) like to pontificate how PNGeans struggling with poor access to govt services and development in PNG that we should protect our environment from the "rape and pillage" by overseas companies.

It is a clear fact after 35 years of independence that if not for the mines and the oil projects, many parts of our country would still be poorly developed. The rise of Western Province, Bougainvillean and Engan educated elites can be clearly tracked to the contribution that mining projects made on those provinces. The explosion of Engan lawyers, doctors, and other white collar workers is traced to Peter Ipatas' free education policy of the 1990s which was paid for out of the Engan Childrens Trust were the Porgeran royalties were going to. Same for the Bougainville Copper Foundation's Bougainville scholarships during the 1990s and the 2000s. The Chevron and Oilsearch education projects did the same, keeping schools open in impacted areas.

The mining and oil projects have also paid for schools, health posts, hospitals, roads, power projects, and other community infrastructure in all areas where they operate in. Some of their facilities are the best in the country, despite the remote location of these projects.

The truth is that PNG is very lucky for the resource projects we have. It speeds up the development pace for the provinces that are lucky enough to host the project. The National Government's challenge is to spread the wealth to the other provinces.

And no, it is not village conman who support these projects. Everybody in the village supports a resource project in their area. Its only when it comes time to distribute a benefit that disagreements arise, and people withdraw their support until changes are made that satisfies their desired participation. Everybody in the village realises that a mining or petroleum project gives their children a chance for a better education, better healthcare and a better standard of living for their families than if they had no project. It is the pontificators, who have never spent a day in the village, or who have gotten accustomed to their fat, western lifestyles who come out and make stupid statements like this - do they actually think that Papua New Guineans, if given a choice between a better life for their families, would actually choose to remain poor with no access to services?
Last edited by pomix on June 20th, 2010, 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Am disappointed in you two
Am disappointed in you two

June 20th, 2010, 2:34 am #5

Do you truly have no sympathy or empathy for the literally thousands of people in and around those mines who have suffered physically and mentally because of the mines? Are you so distanced from your Christian teachings that you consider this 'collateral damage' that is necessary for the sake of those in our towns and cities who obviously get the most benefit out of these mines?

If so, then shame on you. Shame, shame, shame. Any Christian who understands the teachings of Jesus Christ would never look on even one human being as nothing more than 'collateral damage'. Nor would they excuse human tragedies as being necessary in the name of development. Finally, anyone with a gram of sense in their head would realise that without a clean, healthy environment, one cannot live a good life. Yet there you two are, basically saying that those who have suffered need to suffer so that others can prosper.

Again, for shame.
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Countryside
Countryside

June 20th, 2010, 11:24 pm #6

My friend, the price of development is unfortunately a price. Every country in the world has had to make these changes. Even when the missionaries came to PNG, vast changes occur and although many were positive, some decimated the social and cultural systems that held our people together. Credit to our forefathers, they began investing in shifting their values so that faith, education, progress, employment and development must be our destiny as these tools will assist us in managing our future.

The men and women that run these landowner companies are very gifted and talented in running the affairs of their peoples wealth. They are also men and women of God and the few I have met, cannot stop raising his name for the wisdom the lord has given them to bring prosperity to their people. You see, conflict resolutions are led by these men and we have seen age old tribal fights stopped so that progress can come. Funding of scholarships, churches, health and water supply ventures are taking place. My fellow scaper also went further to identify other project sites where these development shave occurred.

My comment is really trying to inform colleagues that PNGns are taking the lead in changing the landscape of commerce and investment and we are doing it with the absolute confidence of lifting our people out of poverty.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

June 21st, 2010, 2:51 am #7

Read something about the country of Bhutan, they were just in the news recently because of a big Asian forum in their country. They have always refused to make those kinds of changes you say are essential for development and I suspect they aren't the only country like that either. Even Cuba refuses to make those kind of changes and while the western world is always bad-mouthing Cuba, no one can argue against their high achieving education and health, which are the very foundations of development.

Read something that challenges your brain instead of only the things that reinforce your pre-conceived notions. You're thinking inside the box, just repeating the same story that those who come to help PNG (and actually exploit us) are always saying. In so doing, you sound like the perfect coconut!

Try to be a true Papua New Guinean instead.
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Countryside
Countryside

June 21st, 2010, 4:54 am #8

Social changes can only be effectuated by growth. Whether the catalyst is State run initiatives (Cubas health and biotech services) or private sector growth (US), the options are indeed limitless. We can certainly learn from what other countries have done. My comment is this, as an observer, the entrepreneurial culture deployed by PNG landowners is calculative, aggressive and highly dependent on prudent risk analysis models. They have deployed their skills in the commercial and business scene and as far as I can observe, these investments have a high yielding growth.
Ok, so the message is the same crap IMF,IFC,WB and any other aid and investment partner makes. But they have all missed the plot in the areas of truly believing PNGns are capable of making such investment decisions and actually stimulating growth in them. It has worked, and it has worked efficiently.

The point Im trying to hone in is that we are in effectively creating our own PNG private sector. Where capital venturing is raised and the prospective borrower invests either acquiring or merging the companies.
Why is this an important area of consideration? Well we are changing the face of business practices. Its not just about money, its also about empowering our people. Community Service Obligation models, training programmes, corporate structures etc applied are well resourced and have strategic outcomes. OK, these approaches are obviously unheard of in the corporate world but for the first time, PNGns are running the show and making these entities grow.

If this is the future of PNG corporate sector, well it looks brighter than ever. Its not waiting for government, its not waiting for donor agencies, its not waiting for multinational companies, its doing its own stuff and all the while, making PNG grow. So if that isnt progress and if thats thinking inside the box, well tell me what is the alternative???

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Anonymous
Anonymous

June 21st, 2010, 11:27 am #9

And if through the process of this business development, it destroys some peoples lives, yu tink wanem? Em i orait? Is that just something you feel must happen, that some peoples lives are destroyed in the process.

Have you ever been to Panguna and thought about what if that was your land, done without your permission?
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Countryside
Countryside

June 21st, 2010, 10:25 pm #10

I lived in Bougainville for 11 years and left when the unfortunate crisis escalated. Fond memories of Arawa, Kieta, Buin and indeed Panguna as well. I remain passionate about my birth place and was part of a team that facilitated the passage of all the legal arrangements to be passed so that the ABG may progress to a referendum on their future. Therefore, I do appreciate Bougainville in its entirety.

In engaging in this process and having so much passion for the island, I have learnt dearly that the choice of development cannot be scientifically deduced or everyone can be satisfied. So the choice is truly up to the people and if they reject the notion of developing natural resources on their land than that is their choice. We have a legal process that facilitates this process.

It is without a doubt that the Bougainville Copper Mine was our prototype for natural resource development in our country. From a policy and legal apparatus dealing with multinational companies, government and landowners to the financial system of managing the project, we were getting big lessons on development. Unfortunately, social and environmental problems was also part of the education.

It is profoundly tragic what has happened in our beloved island and yes, development of the copper mine was a major reason for it. Lessons have been learnt at least I think by PNGns and reforms in the natural resources sector have come about. Robust stakeholder consultative mechanisms in the oil, gas and mining sectors are present as well as corporate entities to manage future funds and investments for landowners.

These systems all have one thing in common, natural resources cannot be developed until exhaustive work is done to satisfy the regulatory requirements. From social assessments, environmental studies to economic benefits. These are were PNGns should be fighting the fight. In these studies and analysis down at the initial stage. Negotiate the contents of the studies and vigorously pursue the appropriate models of development.

I truly dont submit to the notion that our people are suffering because of a takerover or expropriation of their land. Mipla stap, and we will assist in the fight for issues you want preserved and heard. If you dont want development of the resource than by all means get an order to stop development. The courts are littered with injunctions on development works.

But please, if those of our people that have taken the step to develop their resource and are reaping the benefits of it, lets learn from them and use it as a prototype to enhance our people.
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