Hela Province

Hela Gimbu thanks Somare

HGB chairman Damien Arabagali thanked the country’s first prime minister and wished him good health in his retirement from politics.      

Arabagali in a media conference this morning also paid tribute to Lady Veronica and the people of East Sepik for supporting Sir Michael in his 49 years in politics.  

He said the National Alliance Party headed by Sir Michael who was then prime minister kept the parties commitment gaining new provinces for Hela and Jiwaka.

New sports infrastructure for Hela School

Operator of the PNG LNG Project, ExxonMobil PNG Limited, handed over the improved basketball court in February to Juni Primary School.

In partnership with the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG), ExxonMobil PNG initiated a youth empowerment program that incorporates both life-skills training and Olympic values awareness, using basketball as the medium.

Massive arms surrender in Hela

The weapons included sixty homemade and ten factory made guns that were brought over as the amnesty period nears its deadline.

Two key warring tribal groups, from the Maia tribe in Emberali ward, took the lead and handed over their weapons in what was termed a ‘breakthrough for peace’ in the province.

Hela Governor Francis Potape, who was present with his provincial assembly members, said he will pursue the matter to ensure that a permanent police barracks is stationed at Komo to look after its gas area.

Security call-out to protect LNG project

Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari said the LNG project is a major contributor to the country’s economy. 

The call-out was a result of reports of a dramatic decline in general law and order in the province in the past 12 months.

Continuous tribal fights involving high-powered weapons have threatened the LNG project, including the lives of people who work in different project sites in the province.

Lupari said if the project is affected, it will seriously damage the country in terms of employment, revenues and PNG’s reputation internationally.

PNGDF, Police leave for Hela

They will join an advance team from the Highlands region, already on ground, to bring the total number of security personnel to 300.

The operation was approved by the Government based on the Security Risk Assessment Report from the Police Commissioner and will commence on Monday, January 9.

The report identified Hela as high risk due to heavy presence of unlicensed firearms, many of which are high-powered.

Quiet New Year in Hela

Provincial Police Commander, Superintendent Michael Welly, said: “Hela had a peaceful new year celebration, apart from a few drunkards seen on the road.”

The province is also waiting for the arrival of the deployed troops, as was announced by the government recently.

Welly understands that funds may have caused the delay, but he believes that they will come to his aid.

"We have already a mobile unit (MS 11) that was deployed and (is) assisting us doing normal policing,” Welly stated.

“They have so far helped us with some arrests.”

Governors offer option for landowners

Hela Governor, Francis Potape, and Southern Highlands Governor, William Powi, said this on TVWAN’s ‘Nau’ Program last night.

Both Governors said as the duly elected leaders of their respective provinces, they could sign on behalf of the unidentified leaders given the looming deadline on December 31.

They said they will hold the unidentified landowners portion of the 4.27 per cent interest in a trust until the Government completes the vetting process.

NEC approves call-out for PNGDF in Hela Province

“These problems have the potential to impact on the upcoming election as well as the operation of important projects in the area.

“Cabinet has approved a call-out the PNGDF to support Police to conduct security operations in Hela Province.

“Police will have full powers to ensure law and order and to deal with people who seek to cause trouble.

“This includes the immediate arrest of people seeking to initiate violent acts or make threats against Government officials or projects in the province.

Hela landowners apologise to Marus following attack

Marus was part of convey of delegates that was attacked along the Komo road while traveling from Tari to Komo on November 21.

The convoy of vehicles was on the way to Kopalu and on to Nogoli after crossing the Timalia River when the incident happened.

Logs were pulled across the front and rear of the convoy and men armed with guns fired at the convoy.

When shots were fired, the convoy turned around and drove back to Tari however during the open fire, a leader from Tari was killed and a policeman received gun wounds.

Hela students unite to change province

In what is considered to be the longest convention, the event will integrate education, culture and religion aimed to raise awareness in all aspects of life.

The association, made up of Hela students from various tertiary institutions in the country, are putting a unified effort to changing their province.

President Clement Wangiano says the purpose and main goal is to enhance the gospel to change Hela for the better.

Association patron, Mark Akipe, says the aim is to impact a change in the mindset of the people.