Archive for August, 2007

I’ve been selected to attend an International Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt from the 1st – 3rd September 2007. Wowwwww…… Egypt…… Moses in the Wilderness, Camels, Pyramids and mummies…. Mummiessss???  Ahhhhhhh!!

My trip started in the good ole Jackson’s Airport. I will fly to Singapore, to Bangkok, to Cairo and domestic to Sharm El Sheikh. On paper it looks simple enough, if I depart on Thursday afternoon; I should arrive in Sharm El Sheikh by Friday morning. Too simple in fact!

I figured that if I check-in early Jacksons it will save me tones of time…so I just that. Checking in at 10am while my flights at 3pm. I spend the remaining hours running around (that’s another story) and came back to the airport at 2pm. I saw a long line at the check-in and I was so pleased with my little plot. I though I was a hero….. I’ve beaten Air Niugini and the long lines…..Wooohoooo!!

Well, the celebration was short lived. Good old Air Niugini has come up on top number one again. They have delayed the flight for 4 hours. 4 hours!!!! What the….$%&&??? It seems Air Niugini had run out of aircraft and has loan one of the aircraft from Air Macau and with that delayed….I’m definitely missing my connection on Swiss International Airlines to Bangkok and will have to wait again for the next flight Friday.

So Air Niugini put me up for the night at this cheesy looking hotel called Hotel 81, Princess. And great Air Niugini has checked my baggage to Sharm El Sheikh and I am not seeing it again until I arrive in Egypt. So I am about to spend a night clothes less with Cheesy Princess. Ohhh….Hotel 81 has other family hotels; called Prince, King, and Queen and well…you get the picture. But I just don’t understand why they would stuck my in a Princess Hotel. I was thinking more of a King or a Prince Hotel!!

So I stayed a night in the Cheesy Princess and that was it…I didn’t want to stay in Singapore anymore….so my great mind formulated an idea that if I get up early on go to the airport, I just might be able to change my flight to an early one and get to spend some hours in Bangkok rather here in Singapore. So me, waking at 7am, checking out of Cheesy Princess and on my way to Changi Airport for a flight to Bangkok.

At Changi Airport…I was told that there is only one Swiss International flight to Bangkok a day….and that’s the same one at 9pm in the night. Arrrggghhh!!! You can imagine me seeing my great plan going up in smoke…I am about to spend a hopeless day at Changi. So I wonder up and down one end of Changi for the billionth time until 2:30pm when Swiss International Airlines opened for early check-in.

After checking in I was given a STAT Premier Lounge pass. Oh..My…!!! Yep!! A pass to the STAT Premier Lounger!! Thank you, Swiss International Airlines (I love You)…if that’s what you did. STAT Premier Lounge is a private Lounge for certain business class airlines only. It consists of free unlimited internet service, free massage parlor, shower rooms (towels provided), free drinks and food (eat all you like, self-serve), TV and PlayStation!! Woohooo!!!

I will just be another participant in this forum unlike other forums where I was a presented in some kind of chosen topic. Some of you may say…..why go all the way to Egypt when you won’t be presenter? Well, apart from fully paid round airfares and accommodations by the organizers, Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement, the forum will host very interesting topics.

 The theme of the forum is, The Power of Youth for Peace, Youth SPEAK we LISTEN!” and all the topics are revolved around Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Examples are: 1.Is the media Youth Friendly?, 2.Rules of Engagement; What it takes to Be Safe on the Net, 3.Social Entrepreneur for Peace,4.The Power of Youth in Promoting Peace, 5.New IT skills, New markets, A New Global Citizen and so much more. 

Now most of you will know that I’ve been trying my best to set-up a Youth Radio station. Well, another reason for attending is the possibility that I may make a connection or even find someone who may be interested in buying into the concept. But that’s all in my WISH LISTS!!!

 

 

Update – 3rd September 2007

Survarnabhumi International Airport looks like a great big tunnel from the outside but from the inside, it was a masterpiece. I was spell bounded by how big it was, but I guess there are few flaws in customer relations if you know what I mean.

Obviously, I missed my flight with Egypt Air to Cairo and Air Niugini in Singapore forgot to re-do all my bookings so when I turned up at 2:30 am to check in, they told me the flight is fully booked. Told me to come back and try again tomorrow. That means…another 24 hours waiting at the airport. Arggghhhhhh!!!!

I just gave up and decided to get back to POM, talked to a friend in Brisbane on chat  and he agreed to call Air Niugini to have me flown back to POM in the next available flight with Singapore Air and later with Air Niugini. Well, things go really complicated as Singapore cannot change my flight as my ticket was with Swiss Airways and it was an e-ticket.

Well, miracles do happen and somehow I was able to get the next flight to Cairo after waiting for 24 hours. My arrival in Cairo was very smooth. They didn’t have the fancy tunnel that you walk through but just like our domestic arrival out onto. Actually, you didn’t have to walk, there was a pickup bus waiting to swish us away to Egypt land.

Immigration was another hassle. My battered old passport was not good enough for them. I guess the recent bombing for Sharm El Shiekh is still fresh in their minds. I was able to slide pass in Australia, Singapore and Thailand but in Egypt, they wouldn’t let me.

They seem to find a fault and so after scrutinizing it with 5 others, they call me over and interrogated me for another 20 minutes. Now, I found it so hilarious that I can’t help a cheeky smile on ma face. It was so bad……they were dead serious and me in the verge of uncontrorable laughter. The only thing that was holding me back, is that someone might punch me in the face if I holla out in laughter.

They supervisor was no help also, but fortunately, there was a guy who is meeting me in the airport. He came, saw my predicament and took my passport off the immigrations and whisked me away to a waiting vehicle towards the domestic terminal.

Late also at the domestic…but with my invitation letter, I was given first preference and on the express liner to Sharm El Shiekh.

  

 

The 8th International Conference on Aids in Asia and the Pacific came to an end on the 23rd of August 2007. The conference hosts skills building workshops, planetary sessions and discussions on Aids in the Asia Pacific Region.

While there was 19 plenary speakers one only slot was allocated to youths to raise their issues. This raised the concerns that young people are still being neglected and forgotten. Most people speak about issues of Aids, yet not many are doing anything to help the young people. The closing remark by Ari Laksman, a youth, during the 8th ICCAP summaries the ignorance of leaders and academics about youth and thier issues.

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*ICAAP YOUTH STATEMENT, August 23, 2007*
Delivered at the Closing Ceremony by Ari Yuda Laksmana
Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the youth who participated in the youth forum, I would like to make a statement.

I would like to ask young people in the room who participated in the Youth Forum of the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific to please stand, and remain standing during my remarks.

To the rest of you who are seated, I have a question for you. What is it like to live in a world without AIDS? All the people standing were born after the pandemic. We do not know a world without AIDS.

We are already responding in our own ways to HIV/AIDS. We are running programs, educating peers, pushing for social change and uniting in this fight around the world.

The value of our response has to be recognized as necessary, and mainstreamed.
We strongly urge you to begin viewing us as equal partners in the response to HIV/AIDS and to move beyond the rhetoric of youth participation by funding youth-led initiatives, engaging in true youth-adult partnerships and meaningfully involving young people in policy that affects our lives.

Therefore, we have laid out concrete steps to be taken to ensure the next
ICAAP, held in my country of Indonesia, builds on the process started here over the next two years and beyond.

We call upon those present here today to work with us to achieve the following in the next two years in Bali:

1. More than double the number of youth participants;
2. Include youth voices by providing space for a youth representative at the opening and closing ceremonies, ensuring a platform for youth to address all congress delegates. Future congresses should include representation for young people, including young people living with HIV/AIDS, in the different segments of the congress programme to provide for the youth perspectives on the different issues;
3. Develop a separate scholarship selection process for young people that address problems that youth face when applying to conference of this nature;
4. Provide support for a youth committee comprised of members from the previous ICAAP youth forums to create a clear process of coordination, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and hand-over of the Youth Forum;
5. Facilitate the meeting of youth at the Congress with high-level decision makers to advocate for youth-specific policy and to seek funding for their work;
6. Have a two-day youth pre-conference to discuss youth-issues of the region, network efficiently and adequately prepare youth to get the most out of ICAAP.
7. Technically and financially support the creation of a regional network of youth-run organizations working with youth.

Look around this room; what does that tell you about youth participation in this congress? Despite the fact that we comprise over half of all new infections, from the 19 plenary speakers at ICAAP, only “ONE” was a young person talking about youth issues.

For all the youth issues in the region and around the world, we had “ONE” chance to meaningfully address the entire congress had me speaking to you right now.

We were given only “ONE” day before the Congress to discuss, deliberate and strategize on all youth issues in all the countries that were represented here.

We stand firmly united against being tokenized on panels, relegated to abstract sessions and poster presentations, and denied funding to carry out our initiatives.

We hope that at the next ICAAP, we will not have to stand before you raising the same issues we are forced to raise again and again. We all know we need a great deal of CHANGE in the way we respond to AIDS in our region.

Many people think SOMEONE is doing something about the needs and concerns of youth and youth involvement; I did too until I saw the reality.

Constructive ways to ensure the momentum and successes of the previous 3 ICAAP youth forums in Melbourne, Kobe and now Colombo are sustained and expanded upon have already been raised with key conference organizers.

We will do all in our power and effort to ensure that a clear structure for planning, implementing and handing over the future ICAAP youth forums and programs is actioned and supported in full partnership with ALL ICAAP stakeholders. We hope that you’ll make it to the table; we will be there, waiting for you.

It is our hope that one day when we ask the youth of the room to rise, they will be the ones who have known a world without AIDS.

See you in Bali.

*Statement composed by youth from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India,
Australia, PNG, Japan and from the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS*

History Created

Posted: August 15, 2007 in Citizenship, Information, Politics


Papua New Guinea has created history when the National Alliance Party lead by it’s party leader Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare was elected as the eight Prime Minister for Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea has never had a Prime Minister who served the full term and also to return from the election victorious to form the new government. With the re-election of Chief Sir Michael Somare, it is leading the country towards a new direction.

Political stability has been created and that will translate into so many tangible benefits for the country. Hopefully, we could also create stability within the Ministries and the former Ministers taking back their ministrial folios. Political stability is the roadmap for investor confidence, it creates confidence within the economy and that gives a positive outlook of Papua New Guinea.

Politics plays an important part of the economy, as it decides for the people who best we should use the resources and skills we have in Papua New Guinea together with the advance in technology. Prime Minister when annoucing his Care-taker Government says he is “determine to accelerate the process of bridging the infrstructure gap in the next 5 years’, this is a sign of a committed leader and are sure that Grand Chief Somare will keep his word.

He has already proven that he wants competition within the Mobile Communication which sees Digicel, GreenCo and B’Mobile all having a carrier license. Despite so many critics, Papua New Guinea has had a very successful elections and continuation of the Government.
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NATIONAL ALLIANCE PARTYSTATEMENT ON BECOMING PRIME MINISTER, 13TH AUGUST 2007

Mr Speaker, Members of the Eighth National Parliament.First of all, I congratulate every member for being elected to the 8th National Parliament.

And Mr Speaker, I congratulate you in your election as Speaker for another term.

On behalf of the National Alliance Party and its coalition partners, I humbly accept the decision of the people’s representatives to be Prime Minister again.

The National Alliance Party wishes to thank the people of Papua New Guinea for their confidence in mandating the Party under the law to continue to govern. The country needs stability and continuity to progress. The mandate we now collectively have is founded on the people’s desire for certainty.

The Party went to election and won a total of 27 seats at the poll. And since the return of the writs, 14 Independent Members of Parliament have joined the Party. As the Parliament meets for the first time today, the National Alliance Party has 41 members out of the 109-member Parliament. And out of the 20 provinces in the country, 19 have Members of Parliament who are members of the National Alliance Party.

Mr Speaker, our people have spoken. The National Alliance Party translated the mandate from the people by signing the Warangoi Agreement individually with 12 political parties. And together 13 political parties signed the Warangoi Coalition Accord on Friday 10th August 2007. The Party also recognizes 3 other political parties and has secured understanding with them. Two parties will merge with two coalition partners. And one has committed itself to support the government.

Mr Speaker, over the past 5 years we have experienced what would happen when we work together in the interest of our country. Papua New Guinea experienced economic growth that is unprecedented. This experience will be used to achieve even greater heights over the next 5 years.

Mr Speaker, this coalition government was formed in East New Britain. All four electorates in the East New Britain Province were involved in its formation. Members of Parliament and their support teams were accommodated in the Kokopo, Rabaul, Gazelle and Pomio electorates. The individual Agreements were signed in Kokopo Town in the Kokopo electorate. And the Collective Agreement was signed in Warangoi in the Pomio Electorate.

Mr Speaker, this is an example of what could happen if we link our provinces with needed infrastructures. Inspired by this, I am determined to accelerate the process of bridging the infrastructure gap in our country over the next 5 years.

Mr Speaker, this is the second time that National Alliance had received the invitation to form government. On receiving the invitation to form government from the Governor General this time, the National Alliance Party further extended the invitation to its coalition partners. Today I am happy to once again lead this large but manageable coalition government. It is made up of seasoned leaders and fresh, energetic, young and articulate leaders. We will not only lead and govern but we will also prepare leaders for tomorrow.

This coalition government will use the next five years to build on our collective achievements to move our country forward. Every citizen, investor and genuine friend is part of our development team.

We will work with all Members of Parliament to deliver services to our people.
We will guard the sovereignty of our country.
We will help all our neighbours wherever we can.
We will use what the world offers to benefit our people and our country.
We will do all these and more with the help of our people and our friends.

Mr Speaker, I now announce the formation of the caretaker government. Members of the Caretaker Government are:

1. Hon Gabriel Kapris – Transport and Civil Aviation, Defence and Fisheries
2. Hon William Duma – Petroleum and Energy, Environment and Conservation, and Justice and Attorney General
3. Hon Andrew Kumbakor – Education, Housing & Urban Development, & Inter Government Relations
4. Hon Peter O’Neill – Trade and Industry & Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology
5. Hon Michael Ogio – Correctional Services, Community Development, Health & Mining
6. Hon Don PombPolye – Works, Public Services, Culture and Tourism,
7. Hon Puka Temu – Lands and Physical Planning, Education, Labour and Industrial Relations & Internal Security
8. Hon Patrick Pruaitch – Treasury & Finance & Forestry
9. Hon Paul Tiensten – Agriculture & Livestock, Foreign Affairs and Immigration & Bougainville Affairs
10. Hon Arthur Somare – National Planning & Rural Development & Public Enterprise, Communication & Development Corporation
I will be Prime Minister.

The Warangoi Agreement and the Warangoi Coalition Accord will form the basis upon which the Cabinet will be constituted over the next few days.

Thank you Mr Speaker.

M T SOMARE
Parliamentary Leader – National Alliance Party

Before I start this discussion I would like to say that I fully support the idea of “Mobile Competition” in Papua New Guinea. There is so much potential in mobile communications especially the potential of “wireless broadband” in which mobile carriers could tap into so that no longer should I go to an internet café and discussion issues on scape but I can stay at home at do that also or even while drinking a martini on an imaginary boat that I possess.

Heni Goro gave a very interesting analysis (No such thing as open competition) in the Sunday Chronicles and Heni could not have done a better job as I was still trying to rearrange my thoughts. Please be mindful that the Grand Chief is a very patriotic person and will not be influenced by those outside of Papua New Guinea.

That being said, all competition including the mobile competition needs to take place within a solid policy framework which the Government as the protector of people must set in place. The ICT policy was set-up to protect the natural resource of the people of Papua New Guineans. So what is the so-called natural resource? The natural resource was the scarce AIRSPACE that Papua New Guinea owns.

International laws allows for AIRSPACE boundaries for every country including Papua New Guinea. The same can be said for Papua New Guinea’s sea boundaries which are covered under the International laws. The AIRSPACE and sea boundaries are the only natural scarce resources left where millions of kina can be generated with a solid policy framework for Papua New Guinea. We must be very careful on how our AIRSPACE is being used. Very soon Papua New Guinea will start to think about having its own satellite and move away from depending on Optus.

According to Sunday Chronicles commentary by Heni Goro, “The Net-co, Serv-Co model is the only option available – towards a monopolized regime structured to encourage competition”. I believe that was the message that the Grand Chief was giving out but people where too emotional to rationalize this. Papua New Guinea must control is natural resources and as such Common Carrier is a scarce resource.” It is the nerve center of whole telecommunication operation and only the State can have control over it, not outsiders……”

So where does it leave Digicel, GreenCom, and ServCo who are now access seekers under ICT policy that was passed? They can still operate in Papua New Guinea but it must be under the amended ICT policy which ICCC was instructed to issue to them in the NEC Decision 188/2007. I believe it is in the best interest of Digicel to stop these lawsuits and accept the NEC Decision 188/2007 as the Government is hell bent on protecting its scarce natural resource.

RHAIN Davis went to Manchester in pursuit of his dream. Yesterday he was the toast of all England.

The nine-year-old Australian boy came to the attention of soccer giant Manchester United after his grandfather sent the club DVD footage of him.

The Sun newspaper already thinks highly of his prospects, promoting him to the front page, his story read by 10 million people.

The story was then detailed inside Britain’s biggest selling newspaper on pages normally reserved for serious news – pages four and five.

“Wonder kid Rhain Davis was signed by Manchester United after stunned scouts viewed a DVD featuring his mesmerising skills,” it said.

By the fifth paragraph, however, the Poms had already begun the groundwork to claim him as their own.

“And the good news is that he could one day play for England as he has a UK passport through his mother’s side,” it said.

The extraordinary treatment from The Sun is unprecedented for a boy so young.

The front page lead hailed Rhain as a new Wayne Rooney, revealing his skills have been posted on YouTube and claiming they had already been seen by more than three million people.


The video footage uploaded shows Rhain has already perfected the samba-style stepover, popularised by Man United superstar Christiano Ronaldo, as well as displaying a tight control of the ball almost unheard of in a player so young.

Rhain’s talents have also spread to clubs beyond Manchester United.

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There is a pool of talent in amongst young Papua New Guineans throughout the country. Consider Marcus Bai as example or Toea Wisil to be another one. They were discovered in the rural areas and not in the main city of Port Moresby. If only we can get scouts out to the remote areas and watch these kids play…..you’d be amazed how many of them make it in the big league.