by ROBERT LENTON PARER
PNG Police Commissioner Garry Baki and Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill have gone too far this time. Some say they have been conned, but in reality they have conned the people of PNG. Illegally given away a PGK7-Million to foreign mercenaries.
How crazy as Australian Federal Police in 2005 were thrown out of PNG as the Supreme Court found it was unconstitutional to give police powers to anyone who was not part of PNG Police Force.
The people of PNG thank Daniel for exposing this conman Hillman. When are the Post Courier and The National going to wake up and do their job.?
I met Daniel Kumbon and his wife when they came to Brisbane last year for the Brisbane Writers Festival. What a sound and delightful couple.
Daniel wrote on Keith Jackosn's PNG Attitude blog on 18th May 2017 the following:
By Daniel Kumbon - "Peter Halliman and the ‘cannibal’ fund-raising tour of 1991."
IN September 1991, while visiting the United States, I refused to meet Pastor Peter Halliman in Cleveland, Ohio, after a damaging article appeared in a major American newspaper.He was with Ekere Embago, an illiterate pastor from Koroba in the Southern Highlands, and they were speaking to church congregations from the east to the west coasts appealing for funds to do more missionary work in the jungles of Papua New Guinea which, they claimed, were still inhabited by missionary eating cannibal tribes.
They appeared to be very successful in using the media, calling press conferences in major cities and towns to draw attention to their cause.
Many years on, I wonder if Halliman was a soldier or a pastor. Or if he left missionary work to establish the Lawrence Aviation and Security Group, the employer of the six mercenaries who over the last few days have caused so much consternation in Port Moresby.
According to Papua New Guinea’s police commissioner Gari Baki, Halliman’s firm LAS is an American based company that offers high-end security solutions to global customers, including the United States government. It is staffed by former American military and police personnel.
“I was approached by the president of the company, Mr Peter Halliman, around July last year. He was offering his company’s services to the RPNGC,” Baki said.“Mr Halliman is an American citizen but he was born in Bulolo in 1961 and grew up in the Lake Kopiago-Koroba area of the Hela Province. His parents were Baptist missionaries.
“As the commissioner of police and commander of the APEC 2018 joint task force, I have been concerned at our response capability should we be faced with serious security threats such as a hostage situation for instance.
“I invited Laurence Aviation and Security Group to come to PNG in February this year to do a presentation for the senior police hierarchy on what they can offer to the RPNGC in terms of training.”
Back on 14 September 1991, I had refused to meet Pastor Peter Halliman in Cleveland because I did not like an article concerning cannibalism he had published in the local newspaper.
I felt his story damaged PNG’s reputation as a tourist destination and I felt personally hurt because I was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow on attachment to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the newspaper that had published the story.
Did my fellow journalists see me as a cannibal, I wondered.The other night, 26 years later, I saw his face on EMTV news as principal of Lawrence Aviation and Security Group.
Halliman baptises a congregation member. This was the same Pastor Peter Halliman who had told a press conference in Cleveland that Papua New Guineans still practised cannibalism - and that he had visited cannibalistic tribes on several occasions in the hope of converting them to Christianity.
At that time, he was quoted as saying: “They say human meat is better tasting than any other. Mostly they kill their enemies and eat them. They use skulls to decorate their houses. Other tribes are careful about going to their areas.”
Two months before that article, I had read another shocking Halliman story in Weekly World News. It was about a brave missionary and his family of four who had been eaten alive by “wild eyed Tuarie tribesman as soon as they arrived at the tribal camp in the steamy jungles of New Guinea.”
I just couldn’t believe that an honest missionary could tell the American public that Papua New Guineans were still living in the stone-age and practising cannibalism. Halliman was born in PNG and had worked for eight years as a Baptist pastor before going to America to raise funds.Of course, he could have made clear that certain tribes practised cannibalism in olden times. But these practices had been outlawed by the Australian colonial administration and implemented by the kiaps and through the hard work of early missionaries.
My 300,000 Engan tribesman never practised cannibalism. Nor did Ekere Embago’s Huli people. We are the Huli-Opone people of the central highlands - a proud people, culturally linked to a common ancestor.
I’m sure Embago wouldn’t have discussed cannibalism with American journalists because he didn’t know anything about it. He couldn’t have understood what Halliman told journalists as he spoke only Tok Pisin and his own local Huli language.Embago was upset when eventually I got to tell him how he was like a circus animal exhibited to congregations right across America in order to collect money. Anyway, at the time, I didn’t get to see him or Peter Halliman because their story in the Plain Dealer had hurt me so much.
I had wanted to meet my fellow countryman as I was homesick after being away from PNG for three months but, over the phone, I refused to do that, explaining I was very upset.“You sound so harsh,” a Christian lady told me. “Peter loves your country. He showed us some good pictures.”
“But the country depends on tourism, and visitors could be scared away,” I replied.Now Peter Halliman’s armed security personnel have alarmed Port Moresby residents giving credence to last year’s disclosures by PNG Blogs that a private security operation was functioning in the country with the support of the O’Neill government.
I don’t think Gari Baki knows what he is doing or who he is dealing with. How can he take Halliman at face value?
I believe police commissioner Gari Baki was conned. He should suspend these mercenary operations and, as Sir Mekere Morauta has said, allow an independent investigation into this sinister security deal on the eve of PNG’s national elections next month.
Comments on PNG Attitude blog
It will be interesting to see how they get the money out of the country - or how it was shifted to them if it has already gone.This cannot be done without bank involvement. No-one else can get money out without a tax clearance and I bet this outfit did not have it.
Posted by: Will Self |18 May 2017 at 12:25 PM.
I hope the US embassy will get the K 7 million they conned out of the police and give it back to the police department. Posted by: Barbara Short | 18 May 2017 at 11:10 AM
Thank you, Daniel. This article needs to go on the front pages of 'Post Courier' and 'The National' in tomorrow's editions.Posted by: Arnold Mundua | 18 May 2017 at 10:33 AM
If I was in charge of the PNG News here is what I would write......NEWS - Some American con artists have just conducted a clever Sting in PNG. They conned the Head of Police into thinking they were some great police experts that needed to be hired to train the PNG police for the APEC conference next year.
The man behind it is a crazy so-called Baptist missionary type- I would call him a real con artist. He grew up in PNG and he knows the state of the country but he could see the Head of Police .. a fine old gentlemen, could be easily conned.They seem to have got away with K7-million. My advice would be - Throw them into jail! ..
Posted by: Barbara Short | 18 May 2017 at 09:09 AM
Thank you Daniel Kumbon for exposing these American con artists who seem to have got away with K7 million which could have been well spent on protecting the elections or police housing.Poor Police Commissioner Gari Baki. Obviously time he retired.
Posted by: Barbara Short | 18 May 2017 at 08:40 AM
Thank you so very much Daniel.Posted by: Rob Parer | 18 May 2017 at 09:30.
Source: FB - I used to live in Papua New Guinea (PNG) group.