There is something going on in PNG. You can feel it. The corrupt government of Michael Somare is being called out at all levels of society - from the political Opposition which you expect, to they grassroots which you don't expect. Young Papua New Guineans are standing up asking questions which need to be asked and in Madang just two weeks ago took to the streets - challenging the PM, the Attorney General and the Police who told them they could not march. The protest march was against the new Environmental Act which came about because of the notorious Chinese STATE OWNED Ramu Nickel Mine which proposes to dump over 100 million tonnes of waste into the local bay. Landowners who has been complaining about this dumping FOR OVER A DECADE are now organized both on the ground and in the court room where they have successfully been able to halt the mine from continuing through a court injunction.
Yet through all this something is beginning to smell - and while this is of no great surprise they need to be called out on it. One of the two PNG dailies - The National - is mis-reporting news and its becoming more and more obvious. As everyone knows the National is owned by the Malaysian owned Rimbunan Hijau, the actual owners of Papua New Guinea who have been having their way in PNG for over 20 years now. For all intent and purposes they ran PNG for years. They are now in competition with, yet cooperating with the Chinese.
Over the years everyone is aware of the bias of the National on logging issues and more recently their playing down the Asian influence in PNG. This comes as no secret to anyone. However in recent weeks it should be pointed out that TWO stories which came from the National and serves the interests of those they support must be challenged.
After the orderly and peaceful protest against the Environmental Laws in Madang - the National CHOSE to report on Page 1 of their newspaper that government authorities were meeting and prepared to arrest the organizers of the protest. The story was NOT picked up by the other daily -the Post Courier. Rumors were flying early that the story was untrue and fabricated by the National. Attempts to verify this story from government sources failed. Two days ago one high ranking government official who asked not to be identified said "it was never going to happen. It was an attempt by the government to frighten other areas of the country so they wouldn't take to the streets like Madang." He went on to say the government collaborated with the National to put out the false story.
Now the National has chosen another lie for purposes only they or perhaps you the reader will understand. Prime Minister Micheal Somare was in Madang recently meeting with one of the Plaintiffs in the Court Case against the Chinese Government owned Ramu Nickel Mine. During that meeting the Chief doing business like he always has and pushed by his Chinese masters offered the plaintiffs a K40 million deal to the plaintiff and his people in exchange for dropping the court case. The National chose to run the story saying and "out of court settlement will probably be reached". Oh really? Yet that same day the plaintiff reported to the other news media that was a lie - and it was being misreported. To the plaintiff we would say it was more than misreported it was RH protecting its interest and those of their Asian cronies.
And did you all notice how the article about RH intimidating the news media (ie: Post Courier) was conveniently NOT reported in the National, yet picked up by all other media. The National in line with the National Alliance and Pangu do not seem to understand what's going on.They don't see it or don't want to believe the change which is in the air. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. For one thing BE CAREFUL - (more than usual that is) what you read in the National. They have shown VERY CLEARLY ONCE AGAIN - they will say anything to protect their interests - and those interests are not in the interest of the majority of Papua New Guineans. Wake up RH - the old days are over.