Mutiny that saved PNG: Singirok’s new book

RAE KATAHA SMART – posted on PNG Attitude Blog

A Matter of Conscience: Operation Rausim Kwik by Major-General Jerry Singirok, Partridge Publishing, Singapore, February 2022, 636 pages. Available from Amazon: hardcover $100, paperback $72.95 or email Rae Smart here for more information

TEWANTIN QLD – At last the book by Major-General Jerry Singirok on the Bougainville conflict and the Sandline Affair, ‘Operation Rausim Kwik’, has just been released.

Written from the unique perspective of former Army commander Singirok, the book is a no holds barred account of a mutiny.

It tells the story of Singirok’s bold response when Sandline mercenaries, engaged by the government of then prime minister Sir Julius Chan who was intent on winning the civil war in Bougainville, were stopped in their tracks, potentially saving thousands of lives.

Singirok had just been sacked and everyone was jumpy when his bodyguard, Corporal Allen, pulled a pistol on a soldier who arrived unexpectedly at Murray Barracks. He said he just wanted food (Andrew Meares)

Singirok tells the story leading up to this event and relates what happened when, as defence force commander in 1997, he defied Chan’s orders, and successfully acted to stop the Sandline mercenaries.

Singirok was dismissed and faced a number of inquiries, one of which reinstated him in 1998.

But, dissatisfied, the government called another inquiry and he was dismissed again in 2000 facing a number of charges including sedition.

In March 2004, he was cleared of all charges except sedition, and his military career was over.

More recently, Singirok has been outspoken against Australian intervention in the Pacific, particularly the deployment of forces to the Solomon Islands.

He has accused Australia of imperialism and also suggested that Papua New Guinea risks becoming a failed state.

As you might expect, his book is well written, revelatory and a real page-turner.

The book also covers other aspects of Singirok’s life, including what influenced as a youth and a young man.

As PNG topples on the edge of a disaster, Singirok briefs his troops

It describes his career as a professional soldier in the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, and what happened when, after the drama of the Sandline Affair, he had to reconstruct his life.

I’m assisting Major-General Singirok pro bono as what he’s written is more than a book to have on your shelf, it’s a real lesson in life.

He has arranged to have a limited number of the first editions in Australia. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can also email me here.

Published by Ples Singsing

Ples Singsing is envisioned to be a new platform for Papua Niuginian expressions of creativity, ingenuity and originality in art and culture. We deliberately highlight these two very broad themes as they can encompass the diverse subjects, from technology, medicine and architecture to linguistics, music, fishing, gardening et cetera. Papua Niuginian ways of thinking, living, believing, communicating, dying and so on can cover the gamut of academic, journalistic or opinionated writing and we believe that unless we give ourselves a platform to talk about and discuss these things in an open, free and non-exclusively academic space that they may remain the fodder for academics, journalists and other types of writers alone. New social media platforms have given every individual a personal space to share their feelings and ideas openly, sometimes without immediate censure. The Ples Singsing writer’s blog would like to provide another more structured platform for Papua Niuginian expressions in written, visual and audio formats while also providing some regulation of the type and content of materials to be shared publicly.

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