Briefs, National

Parents urged to support kids
MILNE Bay administrator Henry Bailasi told families of graduating Grades 10 and 12 students at Hagita High School’s 41st graduation ceremony in Milne Bay province last week not to waste money on useless items but to take responsibility by providing for their children’s food, shelter and education as a priority and worthwhile investment. Those who would be pushed out of the formal education were encouraged to continue further studies through university centres and other colleges. “This country can afford to keep all its children in the education system. Papua New Guinea is an island of gold, floating on oil, surrounded by a sea of gas,” he said. Mr Bailasi referred to the experience of Sri Lanka where all children were educated to tertiary levels despite having a larger population of 20 million and a smaller land mass compared to that of Papua New Guinea. Parents had taken time and initiative and their own money to gather every year to maintain classrooms and dormitories without expecting help from government or churches.



Escapees spotted in Rigo
RESIDENTS from Giroea village in Rigo district yesterday spotted six alleged suspects from the recent Bomana breakout in Port Moresby. One of the residents said she was awaken at about 3am when she heard a knock on the door. Fearful because of information that had been circulating about the suspects, she immediately rang her uncles in nearby houses who came to her rescue. The uncles then alerted other villagers who then surrounded the suspects who had approached the house in the village. Five suspects, however, managed, to escape into the nearby bushes. One of them was not as fortunate when he was captured and allegedly severely beaten by the villagers. The villagers later handed him over to a police reservist in the village. National Capital District metropolitan commander Chief Supt Fred Yakasa said on Monday that he was yet to receive a report on the incident.



Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel dies
PAPUA New Guinea’s oldest ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel’ Solomon Mekoda Sawaraba has passed away in the early hours of last Thursday.  According to Papua New Guinean war historian MacLaren Jude Hiori, late Sawaraba was born in 1916 and was 93 years and eight months old when he passed. Mr Sawaraba, from Beposo village near Gona Anglican Mission station, Oro province, was married to Dorothy Gajina and had four children. He was buried at his village the next day. He was one of more than 80 Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels from Oro province whose names were being compiled to be sent to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby for the conferring of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Medal.  Mr Hiori added that there was a 35-page story on the recollections and experiences of the late Mr Sawaraba. 

Education office extension
THE Department of Education’s head office in Buka is undergoing an extension.  The K310,000 project funded by Governance & Implementation Fund (GIF) under the Division of Education and has invited two vocational schools from Bougainville namely St Gregory and Burunotui Vocational Training Centre to  extend their existing office building. Alex Singer, a development officer with HORIZONT3000 (Austrian Organisation for Development Co-operation)  attached to the vocational training section and the coordinator of the project, said that the extension was mainly due to the fact that the existing building lacked office space and a conference room. The aim of the project was not only the extension of the building but also to promote the potential of students in vocational schools to the government and the public throughout the region.


Police beefed up for festival
POLICE in Alotau, Milne Bay province, have been beefed up for this weekend’s Canoe and Kundu Festival that will be staged on Nov 6-8. Provincial police commander Snr Insp Lincoln Gerari said yesterday that police were prepared for the event and the force had been doubled from 36 to 69 to be deployed at the various festival locations. The additional manpower had been drawn from the auxiliary and reservist divisions.  Snr Insp Gerari said the town’s hotels and guest houses had all been fully booked as people started flocking into Alotau from neigbouring villages and provinces as well as two tourist liners. Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane and Australian High Commissioner Chris Moraitis are expected to attend the event.



Reservists see red
POLICE reservist and auxiliary staff in the National Capital District turned up in numbers at the Boroko police station yesterday to collect their promised allowance which they said, dated back several years. But they were disappointed only a few of them received allowances. Willie Kolua, the group’s representative, said they had received advice last Friday and on Monday that their allowances would be prepared by Tuesday. Mr Kolua said angry staff then demanded that all their allowance be returned and all be given at the same time. “This issue has been going on for far too long and we are  fed up,” Mr Kolua said.



Tribal fight in Wabag stopped
WABAG MP Sam Abal said yesterday that many ongoing tribal fights in his electorate have stopped following his campaign on “Lusim gan – holim spade”. Mr Abal, who is the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, said people who fled from their villages because of the clashes, were starting to move back and were cultivating their land. He said this was a positive indication and commended his people and leaders who had worked hard to restore peace and normalcy. He said the people of Maramuni would surrender their guns to the police on Dec 7. Mr Abal said his people had starting to cultivate their land.



Senior lawyer charged
SENIOR lawyer Zacchary Gelu, appeared before the Boroko District Court on Monday charged with failing to give evidence in the just-ended commission of inquiry into the Finance Department. This case was adjourned to tomorrow after a late start on cases being heard at the Boroko District Court. This would give  hislawyer time and the prosecution time to deliberate on the information to be presented. In another case, Sri Lankan Hundun Sinvanka Sudath Desilva appeared charged with an invalid entry pass. Desilva was also charged with unlawfully discharging a firearm and threatening to use the firearm. The case was adjourned to Jan 12 next year.



PNG Power apologises
PNG Power limited (PPL) assured Port Moresby businesses and residents yesterday that the city’s continuous power interruptions were over. PPL chief executive officer Toni Koiri said the problem was rectified yesterday afternoon. Mr Koiri said the power blackouts since Monday had been caused by technical faults on machines at Moitaka power station. He said these machines also tripped other power plants, resulting in continuous blackouts. He apologised to the power users for the inconvenience caused.