Monday, November 19, 2007

Christina Kewa tackles tough PNG issues in new book

I caught up with Christina Kewa, one of my former journo students from University of PNG days, and her husband Andy and four children over the weekend. Both Andy and Christina have been on tough assignments in recent times - she producing a new book on the rough deal faced by women in PNG; he in the construction business in Afghanistan. Now they're enjoying life a little easier at sun-baked Ruakaka, near Whangarei. Christina's book, Being a Woman in Papua New Guinea: From Grass Skirts and Ashes to Education and Global Changes, was launched at Mt Hagen not so long ago. Reporting from the Highlands town for the Post-Courier, she came face-to-face with some horrendous moments. So as a journalist she wanted to put into print some of her observations in a bid to make things better. Her book confronts and challenges issues that are currently affecting women in PNG but - as she says - "the laws and society are doing nothing about it". She adds:
I challenge our denial to education, our freedom of speech, and the fears we have of being rejected raped, abused, killed and much more as women in Papua New Guinea. The book confronts the issues, and searches for solution avenues through government and the laws of PNG. The book does not aim to degrade the men in PNG, but aims to educate, inform, and position them all as loving, respectable and honourable.
Good luck with your book, Christina.
Incidentally, on a quick online search, I noticed this quirky story in the Whangarei Leader (and a photo by Christina) about the day a fishing crew caught a wild pig at sea!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coroner finds Balibo Five deliberately killed

The New South Wales state coroner's verdict over the deaths of the Balibo Five journalists is that Brian Peters was deliberately killed to prevent him from revealing Indonesian Special Forces had taken part in the attack on Balibo at the start of the invasion of East Timor in 1975. Deputy State Coroner Dorelle Pinch ruled:
Brian Raymond Peters, in the company of fellow journalists Gary James Cunningham, Malcolm Harvie Rennie, Gregory John Shackleton and Anthony John Stewart, collectively known as "the Balibo Five", died at Balibo in Timor-Leste on 16 October 1975 from wounds sustained when he was shot and/or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle, by members of the Indonesian Special Forces, including Christoforus da Silva and Captain Yunus Yosfiah on the orders of Captain Yosfiah, to prevent him for revelaing that Indonesian Special Forces had participated in the attack on Balibo. There is strong circumstantial evidence that those orders emanated from the Head of the Indonesian Special Forces, Major-General Benny Murdani to Colonel Kalbuadi, Special Forces Group Commander in Timor, and then to Captian Yosfiah.
Coroner Pinch also recommended that a 'national industry-wide Safety Code of Practice for journalists' should be developed in partnership with Australia's media organisations.
Pictured: The five who were murdered - Greg Shackleton (clockwise from top left), Tony Stewart, Greg Cunningham, Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters.

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