Saturday, May 8, 2010


Port Moresby television, network` Kundu 2' broadcast a “movie marathon” recently to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, with several screenings of the movie, ``Balibo'', which tells the story of how the Indonesian army executed five Australian newsmen attempting to report their invasion of East Timor in 1975.

The movie, banned last year in Indonesia, was introduced live in Port Moresby by the Media Council’s special guest, Paul Stewart, himself a long-time journalist, the younger brother of one of the murdered Balibo Five and lead singer of Australian/East Timorese rock band The Dili All-Stars.

``I met many Papuan New Guineans who expressed solidarity with the families of he Balibo five,'' said Stewart. ``Young journalist s at a conference on media freedom even stood in silence for a minute in honor of the fallen newsmen who many regard as media freedom champions. ``I was also asked to write and perform a song about media freedom with leading PNG singer-songwriter George Telek a true legend in his homeland and who regularly yours the world. He is like the Bob Dylan of PNG.''

Each night throughout the week, Kundu 2 broadcast movies and documentaries, including several by the celebrated Australian investigative journalist, John Pilger, which illustrated the theme that the freedom of the media is a vital element of the universal human right of freedom of speech.

In addition, Kundu 2 covered all Media Freedom Week activities for regular news and current affairs programs, and for some special programs during the week.

“This is saturation coverage -- by the end of the week, media freedom will be well on the way to being a household phrase with the idea being cemented into people’s concepts of democracy. If we can achieve that, and reinforce and build on it in succeeding years, we will be fulfilling one of the Council’s key goals,” a spokesman for the PNFG Media Council.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Balibo Fort lease

Damien, Rae, Rob Hudson and Ricardo Krauskopf recently visited Balibo following the signing of a 15+15 year lease on the Portuguese fort in Balibo, with the intention of developing visitor accommodation there. For years, people have visited balibo, but have had nowhere to stay. It is hoped that the Fort accommodation will address that need, as well as attract weekenders from Dili and tourists increasingly visiting Timor-Leste to the west of the country, where accommodation is still sadly in short and ordinary supply.

The proposal to develop the Fort house and surrounds was initiated by the Friends of Balibo and subsequently taken up by the Balibo House Trust, with the support of the Victorian government.

Initial plans for the accommodation have been drawn up and it is hoped that final plans can be completed within the next few months. Construction is estimated to take up to a year, providing some work for Balibo locals.

Redevelopment of the Balibo kindergarten is also in the planning stages, with funding having been raised for that project. In other works, it is hoped that the proposed Uma Media (Media House) project for Balibo will be able to progress later this year, providing Balibo with a radio station broadcasting to the district.