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March 18 2005 at 8:03 PM

MORE than 10,000 people greeted the Electoral Boundaries Commission in Tari on Tuesday, waving placards and chanting “we want Hela province”.
As soon as the EBC team led by lawyer Philip Ame took up their seats on the stage at the Andaija Oval, the marchers composed of men, women and children surrounded them with a clear message that they want a province of their own.
One placard in bold letters read: “We want Hela province! Give us Hela province!”
Another read: “Hela 300,000 people demand Hela province — Hela had been waiting patiently for 30 years — 1974-2004.”
“Enough is Enough — No Hela province — No PNG Gas Pipeline to Queensland — Urgently report to National Parliament.”
Outspoken Tari town mayor George Tagobe told the boundaries commission the people of Hela would not tolerate one more team from the National Government on study mission for a separate province, adding that there were enough studies and submissions done for Hela region to be declared a separate province and the people are frustrated at the long delay.
Mr Tagobe said the people of Hela are not crying for a separate province just because of the oil, gas, copper and other natural resources that are located in the region.
He said these resources are the properties of the National Government and would be shared equally with all the other provinces in the country.
He said that the call for the separate Hela province was first mentioned way-back in 1974 and long before the resources were discovered in the region.
Pioneer Koroba Kopiago MP Andrew Wabiria first called for a separate Hela province from the SHP when he put forward a motion on the floor of the House of Assembly in 1974.
Mr Tagobe warned the boundaries commission that the Hela people would not seat back and allow the PNG to Queensland Gas Pipeline project to go ahead if they do not get their province by the year 2007.
“There would be bloodshed and the young generations of Hela are prepared to die for their gas if Hela province is not declared by 2007,” Mr Tagobe said to the applause and cheers of the crowd.
He added that the people of Hela would boycott the 2007 National Elections if Hela province is not granted by the National Government before 2007.
Mr Tagobe told the boundaries commission that the Hela people are not negotiating for any new electorates, adding that once their cry for a separate province is granted, others would fall in line.
Team lader for the commission Philip Ame told the people that he agreed with their plight and cry for a separate province, adding it was a long overdue issue.
He said his commission was formed to gauze public views and opinions, adding he was impressed and would forward a special submission for the Hela province when the team compiles its final reports after all the tours are completed. Public servants from the region also gave their views.

(The National 18/03/05)

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Guru Yula, (Port Moresby )

Governor treads on dangerous grounds

March 18 2005, 11:34 PM 

GOVERNOR Hami Yawari has belittled himself by meddling with Hela province issue which is bigger than him. While we respect his opinion, it is sad to see him trying to push the rock that he cannot possibility lift.
He is against 300,000 Hela people. He is against the ruling National Alliance Party policy and majority of Southern Highlands people who are sympathetic with Hela people and their proposed Hela province. And in fact he is creating social and industry instability.
Hela means leave it alone or let it be, and untouchable. Therefore if Governor Yawari continues to touch the Hela issue he will be cursed and his resources development, his SHP and his people will be cursed. Therefore there is need for a united front condemnation of Hami Yawari and tell him to get out of the path of the Hela tsunami.
Hela province does not affect Governor Yawari in anyway - not his political leadership, his Kutubu Oil, SHP people, his K179 million provincial budget or even his Foi people of Kutubu. Only the Fasu people of Kutubu want to be part of Hela province, and only developed resources in Hela will be Moran and Hides projects will be part of the new province.
Mr Yawari should support a Hela province to make SHP a manageable size with the downsizing of huge population and geographical area. The national grants will be doubled to deliver services to the people.
It brings social, political and industry stability, equitable distribution of goods and services. Hela has qualifications to claim a separate province status, it has 300,000-plus population, and a huge geographic area.
Hela province will bring stability and unity in SHP and Hela. The stiff competition for top political and administrative powers between Hela and other ethnical groups in the province will cease.
I hope Governor Yawari will be humbled by these words and concentrate on improving his leadership and plans to manage proceeds from Kutubu, as well as live among his people, know and deal with their problems.
Fix your back yard before pointing your nose into somebody's affairs.

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James Pijape, (Tari, Southern Highlands prov)

Hell-bent on own province

March 18 2005, 11:42 PM 

WHETHER Governor Yawari likes it or not, it is the avowed aim of Hela elite and 300,000-plus Hela will fight like a tiger to get what we want (The National, Jan 10).
So as long as Hela people live on this planet earth the fight for new province will go on.
I want to make this absolutely clear that in fact Mr Yawari doesn't know the Hela people, their grievances and wishes. He is saying all these nasty things because he has a puppet government without clear objectives to weed out law and order problems in his province.
If any authorities apart from Mr Yawari do not intervene soon enough, I predict that Hela region will become another Bougainville.
And the issue about separate Hela province is majority wish. Therefore, it is my appeal to all levels of government as well as investors to properly handle this issue. And if possible please go to Hela and have a close talk with the people.

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James Pijape (Boroko)


March 18 2005, 11:49 PM 

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 15) – I wonder how the immediate landowners living at the foot of Mount Gigira, the remote rural areas such as Nogoli, Handamanda, Juni/Julupalu, Palapala, Pupa Uli and Hanimu, are getting their long-term benefits from the giant Hides gas project.

The benefits in terms of business spin offs, education, health services and other valuable infrastructure.

How well off they must be is always a question people ask when they hear of these places being the host community of the gas project. However, it will be a total surprise to someone who goes there for a visit because hardly and definitely he cannot see any form of development initiative taken place in those isolated areas.

Once again, it is with regret and some sadness that I see none of this infrastructure has reached the real landowners of the project when in fact they deserve the best out of their precious God-given resources.

What is left for them to enjoy now is that on a fortnightly basis, the landowners (chiefs) are normally invited to a common BBQ place at a river side with their families to eat lamb flaps and get drunk - people other than the genuine landowners get the fattest portion of what has been ripped off their own hands. This has been an on going benefit the chiefs have been enjoying for the past 15 years.

Since inception of the project, British Petroleum (BP) as a developer and PNG Government as beneficiary had no vision to leave behind a better future of the community around the project area. No important strategies have been in place to improve living standards of the landowners.

Oil Search Ltd being another developer, when it took over British Petroleum operation in 2001, made no significant change to provide an ongoing support for wider community-based training programs ranging from health and nutrition through to small business development in the entire Hela region.

The developers all throughout the period of operation placed little emphasis on education as one strategy to improve living standards of the people. Over and above is the fact that the so-called Hides sponsorship scheme is proven ineffective and biased in its student selection process.

There are intolerant people in the scheme practicing nepotism that resulted in many landowner students not successful in their applications. This year many landowner students' applications were rejected leaving a considerable number of them stranded on the streets.

With the recent change of Hides student selection committee integrated to Kutubu, the Hides Sponsorship Scheme can no longer plays a significant role in supporting the landowner students. It has been arranged in such a way as to benefit only a few selected groups of people who are not landowner students.

Although entire community places great importance on education as one strategy to improve living standards, Oil Search Ltd has never supported this aim. What future then will be left behind for the immediate landowners, surrounding communities and Hela region to enjoy if the project closes?

The very people who are now known as chiefs, other gas districts and the people of Hela are owners of this important resource (gas) and yet it is sad to see that they are given only the crumbs on their own table.

Hence, with the much talked about Queensland gas pipeline project is just around the corner, the 300,000 people of Hela, including landowners of the project area, want to see fairness in terms of better education services, community health initiatives and other vital infrastructure taking place in their region.

Above all, it is their absolute desire that the much talked about new Hela province proposal must be approved involving all levels of government before 2007 because they have a strong conviction that without having this issue fixed they won't allow this important project to go ahead.

They first need to have a separate province of their own so that they can have a controlling mechanism in place over Hela finances as well as handle issues affecting Hela.

I am calling upon appropriate parties including developers of the project not to down play this issue but handle seriously before it gets out of hand.

The hot kaukau should not be on Yawari's plate because he is smaller than the hot kaukau (The National, Feb 10). The hot kaukau is now on Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's plate and it's up to his conscience whether or not he takes it seriously.

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Re: Hell-bent on own province

April 21 2005, 7:42 PM 

I am agree with your idea because Hela people never look after the properties of the state. Many things gone missing, buildings burnt and lives are in fear so how are you going to manage bigger things? When are you going to change your boasting attitude?
Getting Hela province is big thing and everyone of us are proud of it, my question is are you going to manage the state properties when you get Hela province?

I am not pinpointing to people of Koroba, Komo, Margarima and Lake Kopiago but to Tari Town.


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Re: Hell-bent on own province

April 21 2005, 7:44 PM 


This message has been edited by 7milebeach on Apr 22, 2005 11:14 AM

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Re: Hell-bent on own province

April 21 2005, 7:45 PM 


This message has been edited by 7milebeach on Apr 22, 2005 11:13 AM

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Re: Hell-bent on own province

April 21 2005, 7:46 PM 


This message has been edited by 7milebeach on Apr 22, 2005 11:16 AM

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Re: Hell-bent on own province

October 19 2009, 1:02 AM 

Looks like the bitch is going out of control again with her censorship!

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SHP-HELA very serious.

August 17 2005, 4:33 PM 

The People of Southern Highlands have lived peacefully over the decades and their long lasting ties have alway being the indentity of SHP.

However, in the recent past some politically motivated,power hungry & ego-centered people creatd the mentality of concentration campaign where they focused at the political supotters which led to the ignorance of other benefectors.

Seperation of Hela from the rest of SHP will only add fuel to the ethinical tensions especially interms of resource location and interrelationship for people along the boarder.

As Southern Highlanders we have to assess the possible aftermath should SHP be devided. Futhermore, in our presentation of views and statments we have to look at both pros and cons.

Remember, we SHP have PNG on the World map.

The government with it governing and decision making jurisdiction should handle the issues as so fragile because if worse come to worse.. am sorry but the ditch is too deep that our recovery wiii take ages.


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Dream on...

March 19 2005, 3:15 PM 

I hope it never eventuates.....

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April 20 2005, 7:26 AM 

Please Hela people lets just face reality here. The country is facing enough problems as it is and the last thing we need is another 'Bouganville' syndrome.
For once I think Hami is saying something right although he is a dumb idiot.
Dont get too excited cos it will never happen. Bunch of greedy individuals thinking about themselves..Whatever happened to 'One country, One People'!


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Re: Puhlease

April 20 2005, 9:10 AM 

300,000 people, that's a load of crap. That's too many. Chekim figures gut before making such outlandish claims

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Fed Up

April 21 2005, 1:58 PM 

They can have their province and start from the stone ages. The province is too big anyway. Quite frankly I dont understand what the fuss is about. The Helas should be part of Enga than Souths a long time ago. We have nothing in common except the rich natural resouces.

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Re: Dream on...

April 22 2005, 4:18 PM 

Hela people should behave themselves before they get Hela Province. How can they manage the province if they continue to burn down government properties?

Hela Provice is not benefical for everyone but those selfish, hungry power and Tari themselves. Their will be nepotism in terms of position alocations.

Hela province is good for only Tari basin, not for all conrners of the province.


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August 15 2005, 4:44 PM 

How on earth Hela or Tari wantoks are calling for a seperate province when they cannot manage themselves under the current arrangement like civilised kanakas.

Please put your house in order and STOP destroying down state properties - hausik, schools, bridges and terrosising the public servants. Unless you live and behave like human beings the govt will consider your request.

Otherwise the so called Hela province will be disaster and liability to PNG when there is clonic anarchy in you back yard. Also you terrorise PNGs wherever you move around in mobs.


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April 22 2005, 12:07 AM 

I am not going to object to any comments in this forum but, in view of obtaining Hela Province thanks to the Natural resources, one should keep in mind that some things do come to an end and gas or oil is one of them.

I am not saying that the idea to get Hela Province was never mentioned at the start but, quite frankly, it won't solve the current problems in Tari and those areas.
I disagree with people about Helas as reckless nor am I denying anything because, if you are a Papua New Guinean, you are lying to your teeth.

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April 24 2005, 10:57 PM 

If you asked me what I think about the people of hela claiming their own province, it makes me think about, well seriously nothing. It wouldn't hurt me a bit.

I mean, whats the point? Well, one might say, there are lot of Taris around. Damn right! I couldn't disagree! You walk down the row of shanty arrays of houses at Erima or patches at Hohola, it never crosses my mind, Taris are always there.
I am from Mendi but my mates introduce me as "man mendi-tari". Thats a wild generalisation but, nonetheless it makes sense.

They reckon there were a lot of good things that might come out of it. Then, I assume there must have been a lot of experimentation, research, and practicallities about a successful regime that must have be done somewhere.

Bougainville has just come out of a bitter love affair with the state and is still recuperating. Nah, mate! Tari is no way near Bougainville. Thats right, Taris show aggression to prove their point!

All that will be left is a fattening pig at the central offices in Port Moresby after the mindless, helpless and poor are wiped out.

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April 25 2005, 7:27 PM 

This Hela province issue might take another decade to materialise when;
1. laws and order is a pending issue
2. attitude and respect for neighbours/state properties are seriously improved
3. the many Hela leaders with different manifesto are yet to come to a common ground.
4. squandering of public and resource(s) monies remain a skeptic.
5. possible wealth competition and corruption (among leaders) remain a fear/threat.
6. the ineffective mendi public service structure ripple a bad precedent

On a bigger platform these statutory bodies will have a say on the call for a separate province, not just NEC passing a colossal judgement;

1. Electoral Boundaries Commission
2. Inter-governments Ministry
3. Lands department
4. Treasury
5. Public services Ministry
6. Public Services Commission
7. Mining/Petrolium
8. and probably the Police department.

First of all, PNG wants this particular area/electorate/zone to demonstrate (atleast for a while - till 2007) that you are capable of receiving a separate province. If the above points do not show any sign of improvement and you still barking on the side (thru media) for a quick province, this will not satisfy the NEC and it might take you another 10 years for a Hela Province.

To those Helas, patience is the staying power, demonstrate an undivided visible will-power to the nation and your determination and struggle can culminate with a great Hela Province.


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Hela Province first

August 15 2005, 5:05 PM 


this is PNG...Who the hell gives the damn about NEC and protocal issues,.. when politics is in motion, your useful considerations will be water under the bridge...

Hella province first and we'll sort out these minor issues later

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