CALLS FOR INQUIRY AFTER PNG BARRACKS BURNING ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Sept. - ABC News)---There has been a call for a commission of inquiry into the burning down of a military barracks in Papua New Guinea.

The barracks were destroyed during PNG's 25th independence anniversary celebrations.

Soldiers returning to Moem Barracks near Wewak after taking part in an Independence Day ceremony became angry when they found their mess had closed and no food was available.

They targeted the nearby officer's mess, where an official Independence Day Ball was under way.

A visiting Indonesian military delegation escaped unharmed, but substantial damage has been done to the barracks.

Local MP Sir Michael Somare has called for a commission of inquiry.

The soldiers at Moem have previously raised grievances about food and living conditions.

Breakdowns of military discipline in PNG are often linked to failures to properly feed and accommodate soldiers.

For additional reports from ABC Australia News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/ABC News Online.

 

SOLDIERS BURN ARMY HEADQUARTERS DURING PNG'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 18, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The Papua New Guinea Defense Force says soldiers celebrated PNG's 25th anniversary of independence by getting drunk and burning down the headquarters of a regiment at Wewak in the country's northwest.

The incident happened at 2 Pacific Islands Regiment on Saturday night.

PNG Defense Force acting commander Brigadier-General Carl Malpo flew to Wewak in the government's executive jet, the Kumul, to restore order at Moem Barracks.

Regional MP and founding PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has called for a commission of inquiry into the incident.

Drunken vandalism erupted among 2PIR soldiers as they returned to barracks after taking part in the flag-lowering ceremony in the town of Wewak to commemorate PNG's Silver Jubilee of Independence.

Reports suggested that the soldiers became angry when they found their mess had closed. They then targeted the officers' mess, where the province's Independence Anniversary Ball was getting under way.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA MARKS THE SILVER JUBILEE BY SEEKING A NATIONAL DRESS

By Helen Rei

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 18, 2000 - The Independent/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea has never really had a traditional dress as an identity and plans are under way to develop a standard design that will resemble Papua New Guinea.

A committee, the Toana Day Committee, made up of representatives from the Papua New Guinea Girl Guides Association (PNGGGA) and the Young Women¹s Christian Association (YWCA), are preparing for a PNG Toana Night on September 29 during which various designs will be presented.

It is an initiative of the two groups in conjunction with the National Parliament Speaker’s office. The event is also part of the Independence Day celebrations and will promote the real identity of PNG through a dress code.

The word Toana is from the Motu language of Central Province. It means style or fashion.

Chairperson of the committee, Kila Amini, said the committee is requesting people to design what they think is a PNG Toana, which will then be paraded in Parliament House on the evening of September 29 starting at 6:00 p.m.

A panel of judges will make a selection. Changes then are expected to be made until the committee comes up with the proper dress.

She said the purpose of the event is to celebrate 25 years of independence and to find some form of dress that is unique to PNG. PNG has a flag and other items of identity, she added, but a dress code is one that is appropriate and still needs to be introduced.

"At one time there was a Toana Day every Friday, during which school children were encouraged to wear their traditional dress just on that day.

"We would like to find something which is unique to PNG, and men and women who think of a form of dressing that will be appropriate for a national dress are encouraged to enter (on) Toana night," Mrs. Amini said.

The committee is encouraging PNG leaders to fully participate in the project so that, with approval from the National Events Council (NEC), it will become an annual event.

Mrs. Amini said they have already received approval from the Speaker of Parliament, Bernard Narokobi, and the National Events Council to have the event staged in Parliament.

She said they are inviting business houses, women’s groups and individuals to participate.

"There are lots of women who have some form of business going on with fashion and design and this would be their opportunity to produce what they think is the best suitable design for PNG as an identity," Mrs. Amini said.

She said anyone who wishes to participate in the event is welcome as long as they provide a dressing which they think will resemble PNG.

She said the YWCA and the PNGGGA have been trying to promote this event for the last 25 years and they hope that it will get under way this year.

"There is no traditional identity.

"We do not realize how important it is until we travel overseas on a sporting, business, or training trip and we see the representatives of other nations displaying their traditional identities.

"It will take a while before we come up with the proper one identifying PNG. However, we are just giving it a try," Mrs. Amini said.

For additional reports from The Independent, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Independent (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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