The Village welcome is a tradition at the Olympics and provides the opportunity for the Mayor of the Games Village to officially welcome each country to the village and for the flag of the country to be raised at the village.Mayor of the Rio 2016 Village, Brazilian basketball star and Olympic medallist, Janeth Arcain, greeted Team PNG along with the teams from Iceland, Luxembourg, Oman, Sierra Leone and South Sudan in what was the last of the Village welcome ceremonies.Team PNG was pleased to have joined them for the Welcome ceremony, Vice-Minister for Sports, Labi Amaiu, who had earlier spent the day at the Commonwealth Sports Ministers meeting ahead of the Games.After the raising of the PNG flag and the playing of the National Anthem, Chef de Mission, Emma Waiwai presented a gift on behalf of the team to the Mayor. The gift, a decorative carving of the Team PNG logo was custom made in PNG for the occasion. When handing over the gift to the Mayor, Waiwai shared the Team’s pleasure to be in Rio for the Games and the amazing hospitality shown to them in the village. The two also shared a light moment about their love of Basketball and former playing days.Waiwai then wrote a message on behalf of the Team on the Olympic Wall of Truce. The message joining the messages of the other 206 National Olympic Committees participating at the Games.The ceremony centered on a fervent performance from local dancers showcasing the traditions of Brasilian music and dance over its existence, culminating in a contemporary samba street party. Team PNG athlete Toea Wisil was first to join in the celebrations with the performance.Toea had arrived in Rio late the previous night along with coach Alison Fairweather. Also at the ceremony were Ryan Pini, Raymond Ovinou and the Taekwondo athletes, Samantha Kassman and Maxemillion Kassman.Samantha and Maxemillion had earlier that morning joined the team after arriving in the village for the first time.Also earlier in the day, Boxer Thadius Katua learned that he will be facing a Russian opponent in the under 60kg division in his bought on Sunday at 11:00am Rio time.Team PNG are now taking part in the Rio2016 Opening Ceremony where Flagbearer Ryan Pini will lead the team as it reveals its walkout uniforms. Picture courtesy of Ryan Pini facebook page: Team PNG ready for the Olympics opening ceremony
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed concern over the awarding of over $479 million in contracts by the Public Infrastructure Ministry via selective tendering process.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoJagdeo at a recent press briefing told the media that from January 4, 2019 to April 8, 2019, $479.9 million worth of contracts were doled out, with most of them being awarded through the selective tendering process or no tendering process.“This is unbelievable in three months and most of it is through selective tendering or no tendering and so we have looked at some of the companies that got the contracts. Some are, we checked the registry and we cannot find any documents incorporating them as a company or with a business registration. That is some of the people who got these contracts. Some who got multimillion-dollar contracts just have a business registration,” he stated.The Opposition Leader explained that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is in the process of securing the names of the persons to whom the trademarks of the businesses are registered to, adding that many of them were recently formed.“…most of these were newly formed, you have some fancy names too, like over $6 million to a company called A CREOLE RESTAURANT. Over $6 million, and this is for contracts in the Ministry of Public Works (Infrastructure), to do public works, one is a creole restaurant… I have some of the names here but I am not going to call the names now because we are checking now for these and you will see again a pattern there, friends and family, what we are seeing everywhere, and this is taking place in the regions, almost every region,” Jagdeo added.He also spoke about the recent action of the Regional Chairman of Region Nine (Uppe Takutu-Upper Essequibo), Bryan Allicock, who wrote to the Public Procurement Commission to point out that many projects in that region were being awarded without the requisite rules in such processes.“In the letter that he wrote them, said that approximately 60 projects were awarded and that only 18 were advertised and the rest came from selective tendering and a lot of these are to cronies, cronies and family. Another recent letter, one of the Toshaos in a village in South Central said that people went in, broke down the fence, and he doesn’t even know how a contract was awarded in his village. Some contract is awarded but you know the situation that people cannot go into Indigenous villages without permission etc, so that is taking place right across the country.”The Opposition Leader added that the PPP has been vocal about corrupt practices by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition Administration since it took office but that there seems to be an increase of such occurrences.