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Your support helps empower people with the facts they need to live happy, secure lives. A basic introduction to human rights, this booklet outlines their development through history, up to the present day. About Us. What Are Human Rights? Augustine Brian center and members of the Papua New Guinea indigenous population after receiving a Youth for Human Rights seminar in their remote village. The Story of Human Rights booklet. First Name. Last Name. Email Address. The rest of the province is still banking on the hope that the province will return to normalcy. In the meantime, Mendi is still facing petty crime.

Tari is constantly being tormented by armed thugs. Despite police presence, lawlessness continues on the peripheries, though in Ialibu, Kagua, Erave, and Pangia the law and order challenges are less. Public servants are fearful for their lives, and people have migrated to Port Moresby and elsewhere in the country. The Southern Highlands Province has moved from an unknown province to an important source of revenue for the country. In the early s successive governments placed emphasis on the discovery of oil and gas.

Along with this came the opening up of new roads to wealth and influence, as well as social disharmony. The eastern end of the province1 has better road access to neighbouring Western Highlands Province, has enjoyed better health and government services, and has greater business opportunities. Lawlessness, anarchy and a general deterioration of government services have occurred more in the central and western ends of the province, which include Mendi and Nipa, where there have been roadblocks and tribal feuds, and Tari, which has been characterised by vandalism and lack of respect for law and order.

This paper will provide an overview of the province, seek to establish the causes of the present unrest, and examine what needs to be done to resolve the problems. However, it is not easy to find quick solutions. It was not until the mids, however, that exploratory patrols visited the Southern Highlands and opened it to the world. Clarke notes that the first school in the province was established at Lake Kubutu in , some eighteen years after first patrols entered the area.

Schools were subsequently established at Mendi, Tari and Ialibu, and thence the more remote parts of the province. It was not until that the first secondary school in the province was established.

Conflict and Resource Development

As the Southern Highlands was a slow starter, prominent Southern Highlanders travelled elsewhere for their education. Other prominent Southern Highlanders were educated in the Western Highlands. Little by little, development came to the province under the colonial administration. According to Terry Boyce, who was a commanding officer of the unit and provincial works manager, the army was often asked to mediate disputes quoted in Marjen The army engineers did an excellent job; at one stage, Southern Highlands was said to have the best Works department in the entire country.

Early leadership Respect and esteem was accorded to traditional leaders, who established their reputations by giving pigs or other valuables in exchanges with other tribes Wiessner and Tumu Crocombe Chapter 11 expounds on the concept of the Melanesian leader, arguing that political power was achieved through skills in production, organisational politics and war also see Chao Melanesian bigmen plan productive activities, mobilise the resources of the group, and create wider groupings, at least temporarily, for inter-group cooperation through ceremonial events.

When the colonial administration introduced the positions of luluai and tultul,2 the traditional leaders were a natural choice. They assisted the administration, especially in its efforts to understand custom and tradition.

On the basis of his experience as a kiap and the respect he commanded, he represented the province from With Neville at the helm, and with a group of seasoned traditional leaders, including Paiele Elo Koroba-Kopiago , Momei Pangial Mendi and Tegi Ebial Nipa-Kutubu , the province was making steady progress towards its ultimate goal of electing more local leaders.

Matiabe Yuwi was involved with the Constitutional Planning Committee, while the rest were involved in parliamentary committees. Yano Belo Kagua-Erave subsequently joined them, and was made a government minister soon after. She was awed by their patience and willingness to understand the ways of the white man. Dinnen also gives credit to these leaders, noting that the election marked the beginning of the opening of the state to local participation. It also marked the emergence of indigenous politicians as a significant new category of power broker, linking local power structures to economic institutions of the state.

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The election of former diplomat and high school teacher, Wiwa Korowi, who defeated Ron Neville in the provincial seat in the elections, was a major turnaround. Korowi, who had been a diplomat in Nigeria and Asia, was called on by Southern Highlanders to play a key role. During this time he was successful in bringing the Pauanda and the Tari hydro power plants to the province. He upgraded health centres to hospitals and connected districts by telephone. Korowi also travelled extensively around the province, educating people about the changes taking place.

Korowi lost the elections but was re-elected in , defeating Francis Pusal. He remained in parliament for four years, resigning in to successfully contest for the office of governor general. At the provincial level, outspoken Tari leader Andrew Andaija was elected interim premier of Southern Highlands. His interim cabinet contained seasoned provincial politicians. However, Andaija died in a plane crash in ; he was replaced by Tegi Ebial from Nipa.

His experience in the House of Assembly helped him run the province. Ebial was defeated in by Yaungtine Koromba, who was premier until Koromba played a key role during his time, signing on behalf of the provincial government its agreement to participate in the Kutubu Oil and Hides Gas projects. Albert Mokai, an Arts graduate from the University of Papua New Guinea UPNG , was elected premier in , however his tenure was short-lived: the Southern Highlands provincial government was suspended and an administrator was appointed. When the suspension was lifted in , Francis Awesa, a former provincial secretary, was elected premier.

Awesa was relegated to deputy governor while regional MP Dick Mune who had replaced Wiwa Korowi in a by-election in became governor.


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Disagreements between Mune and Awesa saw the latter sacked as deputy governor. The transition from traditional leaders to younger and more educated ones started in the mid s. But despite the growing political maturity, Southern Highlands still lagged behind neighbouring Western Highlands and the other highlands provinces. Scores of labourers were hired by rich Western Highlands coffee and tea entrepreneurs to work on their plantations.

Despite the discovery of oil, opportunities were restricted and Southern Highlanders found themselves increasingly marginalised and were prompted to seek opportunities elsewhere. Many of these labourers are still living on plantations, despite the collapse of coffee and tea estates, because they have access to better lives and services.

Provincial and local level government reforms There is no doubt that the reforms vigorously advocated by the PPP-Pangu-led government in have been a failure. Acceptance of the new system came slowly, and the way the governors were able to position themselves was damaging.

He sacked Francis Awesa as deputy governor and the member for Koroba-Kopiago, Herowa Agiwa, was elected by the assembly to replace him.

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Awesa maintains that he is still not aware of the reasons for his premature departure from politics personal interview Mune was a big-spending governor, who bought Land Cruisers for his council presidents and rewarded those who were aligned with him. There was talk that funds were starting to disappear. Under Mune, access to funds, materials and services that were previously restricted was freed up.

Bogus invoices and other claims were forwarded to the provincial government. People of the Southern Highlands woke up to the fact that funds were available to those aligned with the ruling regime. Crowds of people started congregating around the Mune camp, and people from all parts of the province looked to him as the man with the money.

Council presidents became powerful in their constituencies. Cash flowed into the peripheries, and people saw Mune was a true leader. He was, in many respects: he had several wives and concubines, he was a village leader and a very powerful orator, and, above all, he was a grass-roots-oriented person and people found it easy to deal with him.

Robert Tawa, Ialibu Basin local level government president, echoed this sentiment, asserting that Mune did not care how much he gave, as long as it served a greater number of Southern Highlanders personal interviews, During the election campaign, Dick Mune held a rally at the Nipa station.

Hundreds of supporters from around the province showed up to express their support.

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They gave cash and verbal pledges, and spoke of a new style of leadership that had dawned on the province. They urged voters to grant Dick Mune a second term. Sir Julius in particular asked supporters to vote for Mune for a second term so that the PPP legacy could continue.