Images from Lake Murray, Western Province

Above are pictures taken by my nephew Eddie on Lake Murray in the Western Province of PNG. Lake Murray is the largest lake in Papua New. Lake Murray is located in the Middle Fly District of Western Province. According to wikipedia the lake covers approximately 647 km²  and in the wet season increases to five times the size. It has a highly convoluted shoreline more than 2000 km long. The lake has been a source of nourishment for many of the local peoples. Freshwater sawfish have been caught in its shallow waters to feed the crocodilesfreshwater crocodile farming operation. Local tribes of around 5000 people own the lake and the surrounding one million hectares of forest. Also, a cryptid known as "Murray" purportedly lives, or used to live, in the lake. This creature was described as resembling a theropod dinosaur such as Tyrannosaurus.
In 2003, logging company Concord Pacific was forced out of the area by Greenpeace and other NGO's. 100,000 hectares of ancient forest was degraded by the logging along the Kiunga-Aiambak road.

"Continuous Improvement - A must to achieve a world class super for PNG workers,” says Nambawan Super

When the Mekere Government introduced the Superannuation General Provisions Act (the Act) in 2000, the umbrella legislation covering the operations of all super funds in Papua New Guinea, there was certainly no expectation that this law would be set in stone forever. 

Rather, as with all laws, the Government’s expectation would have been that as new industry, economic and market developments emerged over time, the Act would be reviewed and amended. Continuous improvement would be required to enhance the superannuation system and allow it to continue delivering appropriate benefits to members. 

The intention behind the original Act was to entrench prudent and responsible practices within the superannuation industry and other financial institutions, so as to protect the rights and entitlements of PNG workers. To this end a number of major reforms were introduced. 

Nambawan Super takes initiative to amend super act

A Task Force Committee is likely to be established to review the Superannuation General Provisions Act 2000, the umbrella legislation covering the operations of all super funds in Papua New Guinea.

The SGPA legislation was introduced by the Mekere Government over 10 years ago resulting in major reforms in the superannuation industry and other financial institutions.

Nambawan Super is in the forefront of lobbying to enact key changes to the Act to improve operational arrangements aiming to achieve more benefits for members especially in light of the economic boom expected from the PNG LNG projects.

30,000-year-old girl's pinkie points to PNG

Excavation works inside the Denisova cave, where archaeologists found part of a finger bone in 2008

By the CNN Wire
December 2010
(CNN) -- An overlooked female pinkie bone put in storage after it was discovered in a Siberian cave two years ago points to the existence of a previously unknown prehistoric human species, anthropologists say. And the lineage of that species may survive today in some people in Papua New Guinea and nearby islands, scientists say.

A report on the discovery of the finger was published in the December 23 edition of the scientific journal Nature. Anthropologists say the 30,000- to 50,000-year-old finger is evidence of a new population of hominids they call Denisovans. The name is derived from the southern Siberian cave in which the finger bone was found.

Geneticists say the finger probably belonged to a 6- or 7-year-old girl.
"The whole story is incredible. It's like a surprising Christmas present," said Carles Lalueza Fox, a Spanish paleontologist not involved in the research who was quoted in the online article.
The 3 billion-letter nuclear genome derived from the child's finger shows that the ice-age population of early humans was more diverse than previously thought. Also, a comparison of the genome to modern humans indicates that Melanesian inhabitants of Papua New Guinea and various South Pacific islands inherited as much as 5 percent of their DNA from Denisovans.
The genome research was conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

The Denisovans, the scientists say, were more closely related to Neanderthals than modern humans. The discovery in Siberia suggests they may have lived across a wide swath of Asia and are likely to have intermingled with the ancestors of modern humans who migrated eastward from Africa.

Cat ordered to court for jury duty

A pet cat has been ordered to report for jury duty, despite being "unable to speak and understand English".
If the matter was not resolved, Sal the cat would have to report to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston, United States, on March 23.

Owner Anna Esposito said she had told authorities that Sal could not speak or understand English. The cat's vet had even written a letter explaining that Sal was a "domestic short-haired neutered feline".
"Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last census form under pets, but there has clearly been a mix-up," Mrs Esposito said.
"When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What's he supposed to say - meow?"
Mrs Esposito said Sal was not suitable for jury duty because he could not understand English, one of the 10 statutory disqualifications preventing people from serving.

Her husband, Guy, said the summons for juror service was a surprise.
"I said, 'Sal, what's this?' I was shocked," Mr Esposito said.
"He likes to sit on my knee and watch crime shows with me but even so he's still under-qualified for jury duty if you ask me."
It is understood that Sal was inadvertently included on the juror list when paperwork was misread at the last census.

Towoomba floods

I spent 10 days in Towoomba visiting my cousin Maureen just before Christmas. It was a shopping stop for me as well as a goodwill visit to see Maureen who was not coming home to Popondetta for Christmas. Back in Port Moresby and watching the deluge and heavy rains on TV, I struggled to get her on the phone and email as the reception kept breaking. I even tried the Helpline being advertised on Channel 9. Eventually a text came through from her saying "situation is totally scary. I'm still indoors , at least for this week." A couple of days later she and a fellow PNGn had to go out in search of food. She said later, "just came back from Coles. Shelves are empty. Have to go elsewhere to check for food."  And later with much relief: "picked up noodles, rice and tinned fish. No milk. No frozen food. One loaf of bread only."   But there are so many people who are worse off than Maureen who have lost their homes and livelihood. Their resilience, I'm sure will instinctively drive them to rebuild. 

Ms Winnie Kiap, candidate for the next Governor General post

In 2007, I had the privilege of interviewing Ms Winnie Kiap, the Cabinet Secretary to the government of PNG. The below interview was published by Islands Business, the authoritative monthly magazine of the South Pacific. Ms Kiap is currently the only female candidate for the Governor General post to be appointed in 10 days.

" As custodian of state information and secrets she is the most powerful woman in Papua New Guinea. Yet she is a very private person. A pioneer in her field of expertise, Winnie Kiap has moved with ease into an enviable position of status and authority.

As Secretary to the National Executive Council of Papua New Guinea, she has the ear of the Prime Minister.

She is the first woman to have served in this office in PNG and one of only a handful in the Commonwealth. In anyone’s books, that position would yield the highest accolade. But she states, that is a privilege “no-one can put a price on”.

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