Papua New Guinea

Landslide in Papua New Guinea kills 15 gold miners, children

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 January 2021

For tens of thousands of people, the desperate search for flecks of gold provides the only means of survival.

COVID-19 death toll continues climbing in the Pacific

By John Braddock, 12 December 2020

The ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across the Pacific is amplifying the existing public health crisis.

Papua New Guinea embroiled in ongoing political turmoil

By John Braddock, 28 November 2020

With a deepening economic and social disaster, the defection of MPs to the opposition has pitched the James Marape-led government into crisis.

COVID-19 takes hold in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 4 August 2020

A surge of new COVID-19 cases has been recorded in the past 14 days, threatening to overwhelm the impoverished country’s ill-equipped healthcare system.

Ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across Pacific Island states

By John Braddock, 23 July 2020

The global health and economic crisis is having a catastrophic impact on the fragile and impoverished former colonies across the Pacific.

Papua New Guinea: Ex-PM O’Neill charged with corruption

By John Braddock, 10 June 2020

The purported concern over corruption by PNG ruling circles is in response to deep popular hostility amid a rapidly escalating social and economic crisis.

Archives Australia suppresses documents detailing Papua New Guinea intervention

By John Braddock, 13 January 2020

The suppressed documents will contain further damning evidence of Canberra’s 1997 destabilisation operations in its former colony.

Bougainville votes for independence from Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 17 December 2019

Whatever the outcome, which is not assured, a tiny elite layer will enrich itself from mining profits while the broad population will continue to live in abject poverty.

Papua New Guinea: Voting under way in Bougainville independence referendum

By John Braddock, 6 December 2019

It is widely expected that most of 206,000 registered voters will cast ballots for independence, but the result remains subject to ratification by the PNG parliament.

Student protests in Indonesian Papua suppressed by police violence

By Owen Howell, 9 October 2019

As social tensions in the West Papua region continue to escalate, authorities are trying to conceal the true nature of the state violence used to quell protests.

Rising class tensions across Indonesia trigger West Papua protests

By Mike Head, 6 September 2019

Both the “pro-independence” protests and the Islamist-linked repression are driven by efforts to divert underlying and growing working class discontent.

Australia acts to retain sway over former colony Papua New Guinea

By James Cogan, 29 August 2019

PNG is on the frontline of the great power competition with China.

New prime minister installed in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 May 2019

The manoeuvring between rival political cliques to form government underscores the gulf that separates the country’s poverty-stricken masses and its corrupt and venal elites.

Papua New Guinea government faces no-confidence vote

By John Braddock, 9 May 2019

The wholesale defections from the government are the most significant in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s eight years in office.

Papua New Guinea: Thousands strike over extravagant APEC spending

By John Braddock, 7 November 2018

Workers in the impoverished Pacific island country held a one-day protest against the government’s purchase of 43 luxury cars for the APEC summit.

US envoy to Australia reveals joint bid to block Huawei in Papua New Guinea

By Mike Head, 8 October 2018

Sharing a land border with Indonesia, PNG is the most populous, strategically-located and resource-rich state in the southern Pacific.

Australian government planning to reopen strategic Papua New Guinea naval base

By Mike Head, 21 September 2018

The return of the Australian and US navies to Manus Island would be a significant preparation for a US-led war against China.

Bangladesh jute mill workers demonstrate; Paradip port workers strike in Orissa

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 August 2018

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Growing concern in Canberra over PNG links with China

By John Braddock, 25 June 2018

Claims of Chinese influence in Papua New Guinea are being ramped up ahead of November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Port Moresby.

State of emergency declared following unrest in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 23 June 2018

Deepening austerity following last year’s discredited election is fuelling unrest and an explosive situation across the impoverished country.

Papua New Guinea government plans to block access to Facebook

By John Braddock, 4 June 2018

The threatened month-long ban is part of a shift toward more authoritarian forms of rule, aimed at suppressing opposition to austerity measures and official corruption.

ExxonMobil gas project a disaster for Papua New Guinea’s people

By John Braddock, 4 May 2018

The country’s impoverished population would have been better off by almost every measure of economic welfare without the LNG project.

Rising anger over aid delays in Papua New Guinea’s catastrophic quake disaster

By John Roberts, 12 March 2018

The humanitarian crisis resulting from the earthquake exposes the inadequate response of the PNG and Australian governments.

Emergency declared after earthquake devastates Papua New Guinea

By Mike Head, 3 March 2018

More than 50 people are feared dead and anger is mounting over the lack of government assistance.

Australian government supports brutal assault on Manus Island refugees

By Max Newman, 27 November 2017

Turnbull’s government openly backed the violent eviction from the Australian-controlled detention camp, as part of its message to asylum seekers globally.

Papua New Guinea government deploys troops to quell opposition

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2017

The government is expanding the military and police presence in the Highlands region to crackdown on opposition to an election that was dominated by accusations of fraud.

Papua New Guinea prime minister re-installed

By John Braddock, 3 August 2017

O’Neill has been returned to office with a reduced majority following an election marked by widespread fraud and attacks on democratic rights.

After the Papua New Guinea election: The way forward for the working class and rural poor

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 July 2017

The election has underscored the utter contempt of the O’Neill government and the opposition parties alike for the basic democratic and social rights of working people.

Deepening political crisis around Papua New Guinea elections

By John Braddock, 18 July 2017

The electoral watchdog’s resignation is further evidence that Prime Minister O’Neill’s government is trying to cling to power through fraud.

“Chaos” surrounds Papua New Guinea election outcome

By John Braddock, 10 July 2017

The turmoil is an expression of the explosive social tensions produced by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s government during the past two years.

Social crisis looms over Papua New Guinea election

By John Braddock, 23 June 2017

The poll takes place amid widespread hostility to the political establishment.

Massacre of 17 prison escapees highlights deep social crisis in Papua New Guinea

By John Harris, 23 May 2017

State repression in PNG is aimed, not only at protecting the corrupt local ruling elite, but also Australian and US corporate interests.

Australian PM accused of interfering in Papua New Guinea election

By John Braddock, 12 April 2017

Turnbull’s trip was undoubtedly motivated by concern over Australia’s commercial and strategic interests.

Papua New Guinea government intensifies military operations at ExxonMobil plant

By John Braddock, 7 April 2017

The police and military operation against villagers living near the ExxonMobil plant is aimed at suppressing increasingly explosive social unrest.

Australia to bankroll 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 10 February 2017

Security and defence analysts claim that if the summit is jeopardised, China will take advantage at the expense of Canberra and Washington.

Shots fired in clash between Papua New Guinea police and military

By John Braddock, 9 January 2017

Ongoing conflicts between police and soldiers highlight the explosive social antagonisms in PNG, which are being fuelled by a deepening economic crisis.

Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil gas project

By John Braddock, 19 December 2016

The multi-million dollar gas project is run by ExxonMobil, whose ex-CEO Rex Tillerson has been nominated as the next US secretary of state.

Papua New Guinea budget further undermines living standards

By John Braddock, 9 November 2016

Following a swathe of cutbacks in 2016, next year’s budget further slashes spending on public health, education, infrastructure and transport.

Papua New Guinea: Air Niugini sacks pilots over protest action

By John Braddock, 28 September 2016

Responsibility for the dismissal of the pilots rests with the trade unions, which claimed that individual protests would pressure the government to make concessions.

Papua New Guinea nurses union calls off nationwide strike

By John Braddock, 15 September 2016

The Papua New Guinea Nurses Association is now collaborating with the government to enforce ongoing attacks on the health system.

Protest leaders barred from University of Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 10 September 2016

The victimisation of eight students is part of the O’Neill government’s suppression of opposition to austerity measures.

Papua New Guinean landowners end blockade of major gas project

By John Braddock, 25 August 2016

Protesting traditional landowners, claiming millions of dollars in unpaid royalties, disrupted vital LNG supplies.

Pacific island economies hit by global slump

By John Braddock, 17 August 2016

Led by falling commodity prices and sharp declines in the Pacific’s largest economies, growth across the region will fall sharply in 2016.

Papua New Guinea government survives no-confidence motion

By John Braddock, 23 July 2016

With protests and strikes set to continue, yesterday’s parliamentary vote will not end the country’s political crisis.

Doctors strike against Papua New Guinea government

By John Braddock, 19 July 2016

Ahead of a parliamentary no-confidence motion on Friday, doctors have joined pilots, maritime workers and energy workers in anti-government protests.

Papua New Guinea government faces strikes, no-confidence motion

By John Braddock, 16 July 2016

The country’s Supreme Court ordered a one-week delay before the vote of no-confidence, giving the opposition time to gather support to bring down the government.

PNG government inquiry to witch-hunt students for campus unrest

By John Braddock, 2 July 2016

The government’s curfews are a warning of the punitive agenda behind its Commission of Inquiry.

Papua New Guinea student leaders invoke “reconciliation” to shut down protests

By John Braddock, 25 June 2016

The SRC’s perspective—limited calls for the prime minister’s removal—has brought the protest movement, at this point, to a dead-end.

The way forward after the PNG police shootings

By Peter Symonds, 20 June 2016

The struggle in Papua New Guinea for basic democratic rights and against austerity and war can be based only on the fight for socialist internationalism.

Papua New Guinea student protests continue

By John Braddock, 16 June 2016

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea defied a court order and instructions from the university administration by refusing to return to classes.

Behind the shooting of Papua New Guinea student protesters

By Peter Symonds, 14 June 2016

The latest crisis in PNG is a harbinger of the worsening social and economic crisis and sharpening geo-political tensions wracking countries throughout the Pacific region.

Papua New Guinea authorities clamp down on student protests

By John Braddock, 13 June 2016

Opposition politicians are using the corruption scandal in a bid to bring down the government but are just as committed to austerity measures.

Widening unrest in Papua New Guinea following police shooting of student protesters

By John Braddock, 11 June 2016

Behind the protests over allegations of corruption lies an immense social crisis caused by the collapse of the economy.

Papua New Guinea police shoot protesting students, killing four

By John Braddock, 8 June 2016

About 2,000 students and staff are currently being held by police at the University of Technology in Lae, the country’s second largest city.

University of Papua New Guinea closed down over student protests

By John Braddock, 27 May 2016

Police were called in to suppress month-long protests by students over Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s refusal to step down from office.

Papua New Guinea government ejects Australian “advisors”

By Patrick Kelly, 8 January 2016

The decision marks a setback for Australian imperialist interests in its resource-rich former colony.

Japan’s PM visits Papua New Guinea to promote militarist agenda

By Will Morrow, 16 July 2014

China was not publicly mentioned during Abe’s visit, but commentators said the trip was a signal to Beijing.

Australian inquiry whitewashes PNG refugee camp crackdown

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 May 2014

An official report into the death of an Iranian asylum-seeker and the serious injury of others in the Manus Island camp exonerates the Australian government and its agencies.

More evidence about atrocity at Australian-run refugee camp

By Mike Head, 27 February 2014

The government is intending to whitewash the assault on refugees, while exploiting the death and injuries to deter asylum seekers from trying to reach Australia.

Australian government prepares cover-up of refugee detention camp atrocity

By Patrick O’Connor, 22 February 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has effectively welcomed the killing of a 23-year-old refugee as a “deterrent” to others thinking about seeking asylum in Australia.

Refugees killed and maimed in Australian detention camp on Manus Island

By Mark Church, 19 February 2014

The horrific incident underscores the barbarism of the “border protection” regime defended by the entire Australian political establishment.

Opposition in Papua New Guinea to Australian refugee pact

By Alex Messenger, 9 August 2013

Refugees cannot be genuinely protected and settled in PNG, given the extraordinary levels of poverty that beset most of the country’s people.

Australian think tank proposes military base on PNG’s Manus Island

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 July 2013

The proposal to reopen Australia’s post-World War II naval and air base is another indication of rapidly escalating geo-strategic tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australian PM presses for closer military, police ties with Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 13 May 2013

The new arrangements are aimed at aligning PNG more closely with the US-led strategic confrontation with China.

Australian mining giant ramps up pressure on PNG

By Mike Head, 21 January 2013

The PNG prime minister accused BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, of having a “colonial era mentality”.

Papua New Guinea PM pledges fealty to Australian government, mining investors

By Patrick O’Connor, 6 December 2012

As well as emphasising the centrality of PNG’s relations with Canberra and Washington, O’Neill used his Australian trip to curry favour with the mining giants.

Papua New Guinea: Rival ex-prime ministers unite in bid to form new government

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 July 2012

Michael Somare and Peter O’Neil spent the previous 12 months locked in a bitter power struggle that split the military, police force and state apparatus.

Voting period extended in Papua New Guinea election

By Mike Head, 10 July 2012

The disruptions have cast doubt on the hopes of the de facto prime minister, and his backers in Canberra and Washington, that the elections would end months of political instability.

Further political turmoil in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 2 June 2012

The illegal Australian-backed government has engaged in further desperate manoeuvres and authoritarian measures to remain in office.

Papua New Guinean government arrests chief justice

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 May 2012

The attempted prosecution of the chief justice on sedition charges is in retaliation for the Supreme Court’s recent confirmation that the O’Neill government remains in power illegally.

Papua New Guinea government attempts to postpone election

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 April 2012

Thousands of people protested yesterday in the capital Port Moresby against the government’s bid to delay national elections scheduled for June.

Papua New Guinea government moves against judiciary

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 March 2012

The O’Neill government is attempting to consolidate power by suppressing its opponents within the judiciary.

Over 100 feared dead in Papua New Guinea ferry disaster

By Oliver Campbell, 4 February 2012

Lax safety standards and overcrowding appear to have contributed to the loss of life.

Papua New Guinea: Dozens dead and missing in landslide

By Oliver Campbell, 28 January 2012

Local residents said blasting related to Exxon-Mobil’s nearby liquefied natural gas project may have contributed to the disaster.

Military mutiny in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 January 2012

The unresolved constitutional crisis reflects the intensifying rivalry between the US and China that is fuelling instability throughout the Asia-Pacific.

PNG constitutional crisis: O’Neill consolidates as PM

By Zac Hambides, 21 December 2011

O’Neill now has the support of the state apparatus, including the military and police, and the governor general, in addition to his parliamentary majority.

PNG crisis eases as Australia hints at military intervention

By Zac Hambides, 17 December 2011

Canberra’s preoccupation with the events in PNG is driven by deep concerns about growing Chinese involvement in what it has regarded as “its backyard.”

Papua New Guinea locked in constitutional crisis

By Zac Hambides, 15 December 2011

The impasse in Port Moresby reflects the political volatility being created throughout the Asia-Pacific region by the Washington’s aggressive drive to counter Chinese influence.

Constitutional crisis erupts in Papua New Guinea

By Mike Head, 19 November 2011

Somare, Peter O’Neill, PNG, Gillard, mining, gas, nickel, China, Obama, United States

Papuan miners extend two-month strike

By Mike Head, 17 November 2011

Despite an Indonesian government-backed police ultimatum, the 8,000 striking miners are continuing to man the blockades that have brought production to a halt since September 15.

Papua New Guinea riots expose mounting social tensions

By Will Morrow, 16 November 2011

The violence is an expression of the extreme poverty that wracks the former Australian colony.

Australia to shut northern TB clinics

By John Mackay, 29 September 2011

The planned closures have been strongly condemned by Australian health professionals and the World Health Organisation who fear that it will lead to an increase in multi-drug resistant or MDR-TB, already prevalent in PNG.

Sharp tensions in Indonesian Papua following failure of “peace conference”

By John Roberts, 10 September 2011

The lack of agreement between Jakarta and Papuan organisations was quickly underscored by a spate of violence and protest rallies in Jayapura and other towns.

Australian government to reopen PNG refugee detention centre

By Will Morrow, 20 August 2011

The detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea was part of the previous Coalition government’s infamous “Pacific Solution” in which refugees languished for years.

Australian High Court prepares to hear Julian Moti appeal

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 July 2011

The High Court will next week hear the appeal of the former Solomon Islands attorney general, who has waged a five year battle against the Australian government’s attempt to prosecute him on what he alleges are “politically motivated” statutory rape allegations.

Cholera outbreak kills dozens in Papua New Guinea

By Zac Hambides, 27 November 2010

The main concern of the Australian government has been to close its borders with PNG, while providing minimal aid to the people of its former colonial possession.

Cholera outbreak kills dozens in Papua New Guinea

By Zac Hambides, 27 November 2010

The main concern of the Australian government has been to close its borders with PNG, while providing minimal aid to the people of its former colonial possession.

Papua New Guinea report highlights illegality of Moti arrest

By Patrick O’Connor, 13 March 2010

The report is further confirmation of the provocative character of the witch-hunt waged by the Australian government against the international and constitutional lawyer.

New Zealand university administration calls police on protestors

By the Victoria University of Wellington ISSE, 16 November 2009

In a blatant attack on democratic rights, two former university students were arrested when they attempted to deliver a petition to the administration of Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) in New Zealand on October 21.

Australia-Sri Lanka deal for joint crackdown on Tamil asylum seekers

By Richard Phillips, 13 November 2009

By reaching a deal with Colombo—that is, with the regime responsible for the oppression of Tamils—the Australian Labor government is legitimising its police state measures and nullifying the basic right of all people to seek asylum under international law.

Trial by media in Australian terrorism case

By Mike Head, 13 November 2009

Despite objections by defence lawyers, highly-prejudicial and untested prosecution evidence was released to the media in Australia’s latest large-scale terrorist trial.

Australian Pabloites prepare NPA-style dissolution

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2009

The Democratic Socialist Perspective will dissolve itself into the ailing Socialist Alliance electoral front in January 2010. Modelled closely on France’s New Anti-capitalist Party, the DSP is making a pitch for allies in official bourgeois politics, above all the Greens.

Australia’s “rock solid” banks: the financial crisis one year on

By Alex Messenger, 11 November 2009

The corporate press claims that the Australian financial system has survived the global financial crisis because of good regulation and sound banking practice. In truth, Australian banks only survived because of unprecedented government intervention.

Australia: Julian Moti defence closing submission outlines “oppressive and unfair” prosecution

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 November 2009

Defence counsel for former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti issued its closing submission to the Queensland Supreme Court on Friday.

Tamil asylum-seekers reject Australian government demands

By Richard Phillips, 9 November 2009

The Rudd government is intensifying its pressure on 78 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking to disembark and enter Indonesian immigration detention centers.

Fiji expels Australian and New Zealand diplomats

By Frank Gaglioti, 7 November 2009

Tensions between Fiji and the two regional powers, Australia and New Zealand, intensified further this week after Suva expelled two top diplomats for interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Unanswered questions over Australian offshore oil spill

By Mike Head, 7 November 2009

Throughout the oil spill crisis, the Rudd government has been preoccupied with protecting the image and profits of the multi-billion dollar offshore drilling industry.

Australia: Qantas aircraft engineers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 7 November 2009

About 190 professional engineers at Qantas voted by 98 percent to take industrial action after seven months of negotiations for a new work agreement failed to resolve issues over pay and working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2009

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Julian Moti case: Enormous sums paid by Australian police to alleged victim’s family

By Patrick O’Connor, 6 November 2009

Hearings over the past two days have been dominated by two key issues—Australian complicity with lawyer Julian Moti’s allegedly unlawful removal from the Solomons in December 2007, and the staggering amounts of money paid to members of the alleged victim’s family.