GAOL BREAK

This is the face of Papua New Guinea’s most wanted man:

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His name is William Kapris. He escaped with two cronies on Tuesday week and has been the target of a massive man hunt ever since. He was imprisoned for bank robbery and is facing murder charges for the death of another inmate in January. He is considered armed and dangerous.

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Apparently, the three criminals walked out of the front door of the prison. Kapris was serving a 30-year gaol sentence for his crimes prior to those committed whilst incarcerated. This was the third time that he has escaped from prison. Apparently, there were have been 96 prison escapees so far this year. If I were ever to be wrongly accused of a crime in this country and sent to prison, the good news is that it’s not difficult to get out.

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The escape has been the talk of the town and with each passing day, new developments unfolded in the real-life criminal drama. It was revealed that a female prison officer aided the three escapees by providing them with guns and mobile telephones.

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Then on Wednesday, the police caught up with one of the three – Michael Warangu and shot him dead, as they tend to.
In case you don’t believe it, here is a picture of his dead body. The papers here would never drop the F-Bomb, but they have no issue with showing corpses on the front page.

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I haven’t heard much over the weekend, but I believe that the two living fugitives remain at large.

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Law and order remains a key theme in the media at the moment. Police corruption continues to draw attention, which is great as in many countries it would never be mentioned in the papers.

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Carjackings in Port Moresby are on the rise. I was speaking to a visitor from London last week and  I caught myself saying, “I’m not sure what I’ll do when it happens to me”.

“When”, not “If”.

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At least, I’m not alone in thinking that something needs to be done. The illustrious leader of my homeland, Julia Gillard visited recently and talked up the possibility of increasing aid to the law enforcement sector. A step in the right direction for sure, and a pleasant surprise from my least-favourite Australian leader of all time. It’s embarrassing. She speaks like an angry woman berating her husband for spending too long at the pub instead of cleaning up around the trailer park.

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The other big news item this week is the “National Haus Krai” – essentially a ‘day of mourning’ designed to bring attention to the problem of violence against women in this country.

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There have been protest marches around the country. Oddly, there has been some controversy and some women are opposed to the movement on the grounds that it won’t help anything. Personally, I think it’s a wonderful sign that women are taking to the streets and let the world know that they aren’t going to take it any more. It’s Feminism in action.

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There have been some emotional scenes as the PM became involved an offered an apology, as did some individuals for their role in domestic violence.

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The government recently floated the idea of expanding the death penalty, which is active here for murder and other crimes, and they have consistently opposed moves to eliminate the death penalty over recent years. In a newspaper poll this week, 83.5% of respondents said that they supported the death penalty for rapists – a strong indication that people are fed up with the violence.
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There are many frightening elements to life in PNG, but I saw the most terrifying yet on the street this week. This group of boys – the oldest of whom would only be 10 or so years old – were street preaching.

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This chap was especially charismatic and drew a sizable congregation of listeners. He was speaking Pidgin English so rapidly that I literally couldn’t understand a word of it, so I was unmoved by the message. I asked the guy next to me for a translation and he said that he was preaching about the end of the world. Kids that age should be worried about the end of their level on their Playstation game, not the end of the world. Apparently, kids like this are unleashed on the public when the schools have infrastructure problems like the toilets not working because the water supply is out.

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In other news, we had a costume party at my place last night. Preparations took place throughout the days leading up to the party. Yesterday, as I was trying to get everything ready for the party, I discovered that the guard dogs offered their own little contribution – right on the pathway leading into the house. One more thing to take care of before the guests arrived.

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The party was a big success. We had about 40 guests and a good time was had by all.

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Jenga is so much more fun when the loser has to down a shot.

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I went as a soldier – pictures to follow. I was DJ and I received lots of compliments on my music selection. It was mostly top 40 stuff with some classics thrown in. We’re planning some more parties throughout the year to coincide with upcoming events on the calendar, including Halloween.

I woke up this morning with the hangover from hell and walked into the living room to discover that it looked like a scene from “Animal House”. The door was open and the air conditioner had been left on all night – attempting to cool the entire nation of Papua New Guinea. But it was a fun party.

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The newspapers include these cute pictures that children have drawn and sent in. This one tells the tale of how the boy had a great day out with his father. The father shot a wild pig with a bow and arrow and then they ate it. We’ve all done that from time to time.

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This car caught my eye. Papua New Guineans love to pimp their ride, and for some reason the Transformers feature heavily in the artistic interpretation.

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Under the category of “Weird Stuff I See at the Mall”, here is a notice banning weapons in the supermarket – a ban that I wholeheartedly support.

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I was wondering where all the illegal taxis obtained their taxi lights until I saw this pile of them at the auto parts store. IMG_8732

I don’t know why, but this merchandise for the local Rugby League competition surprised me. I guess it’s because everything is so haphazard here, and yet they managed to do a kick-ass job of promoting sporting merchandise. Maybe we could convince these guys to take a crack at the healthcare sector.

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This is my favourite product in the auto section – the “Bamboo Charcoal Fancy Bag” in the shape of a monkey. It soaks up all the odours in one’s car, apparently.

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Melamine serving ware. Sure, melamine kills babies in China, but we can still make serving ware out of it, can’t we?

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The “Wantok” system is essentially a family-level version of Communism by which the wealth of one member of the family must be shared amongst all members. Here, the Wantok concept is being used to promote a rewards card.

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I ate at a pizza place called “Yellow Captain” the other day after seeing a movie. I think it’s a bit rough to call the Captain’s courage into question publicly like that.

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Crabs are usually served with the sauce on the outside of the shell here.

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Of course, the Kapris story was not the only headline this week. This picture of an oddly-shaped yam also made the news. Frankly, I thought the man holding the yam was a little oddly-shaped himself but that story didn’t make the paper.

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My buddy Oke planted a little piece of basil that came from the supermarket about two months ago. Now we have fresh basil any time we need it. The soil here is incredibly fertile.

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I had to go looking for a file this week at work. It took me a while to find it.

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In the process I discovered that someone has been enjoying the filing room a little too much.

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This is where old photocopiers go when they die.

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This is Jeff, a little boy from my neighbourhood. He is adorable.

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