1) Film producers hope to screen Mister Pip in Bougainville

Posted at 22:54 on 29 July, 2012 UTC

A producer of the film Mister Pip says they will try to find a way to get it screened in Bougainville.

Mister Pip, based on the novel by Lloyd Jones, is set in 1991, during the decade-long civil war in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

The film has been selected to premiere in the prized Special Presentation section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

The producer Robin Scholes says screening it in Bougainville is a trickier issue.

“There aren’t cinemas in Bougainville, there isn’t electricity in most places. So, we will have to find a way to show the film on a screen, and we’re hoping to do that before the end of this year.”

Radio New Zealand International

2) Solomons well-prepared to move away from violence: prime minister

Posted at 01:13 on 30 July, 2012 UTC

The Solomon Islands prime minister says the country has made a good recovery from the ethnic tensions of a decade ago.

The government is being urged to press on with its constitutional reform programme in view of the possibility of a resurgence of violence if people’s concerns are not addressed.

But Gordon Darcy Lilo says the government is making solid progress with both constitutional and economic reforms.

“We cannot rule out the possibility of things not working out to the liking of the good size of the population of the country. But the progress that we have been making so far has shown some good signs that the country is well-prepared to move away from the kind of things that have been happening in the past.”

Gordon Darcy Lilo says the government has shown good management of the economy, evidenced by the economic growth of the past two years.

Radio New Zealand International

3)Solomon Islands police for attachment in Fiji

By Online Editor
10:11 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, Fiji

Solomon Islands High Commissioner Patterson Oti is in talks with Fiji Police commissioner Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua for the possibility of sending their officers for attachments with the Fiji Police Force.

Oti, in a Solomon Islands government statement said this arrangement is a good initiative for the purposes of capacity and institutional building prior to UN Peacekeeping Programs

During their meeting last week Oti and Brig-Gen Naivalurua discussed the potential for cooperation between the two countries’ police force and also touched on the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Framework of Policing and various other policing projects such as the Regional Police Academy, Form Police Unit and Police Cooperation at the multilateral level between MSG Member Countries.

The leaders noted that bilateral police collaboration remains a fundamental factor in ensuring greater police co-operation and it is hoped that venturing into bilateral agreements to maintain momentum of cooperation, is vital to keeping the police cooperation alive.

Oti will discuss further with relevant SIG authorities on this initiative as part of the High Commission’s program of promoting greater cooperation between Solomon Islands and Fiji.SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

4)Vanuatu opposition calls for PM’s resignation

Posted at 22:54 on 29 July, 2012 UTC

Vanuatu’s deputy opposition leader, Edward Natapei is calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Sato Kilman due to his silence over the arrest of a luxury yacht.

Police have searched the mega yacht, the Phocea, in Vila Harbour and found a substance in a plastic bag that they suspect to be opium which is a prohibited drug in Vanuatu.

The Phocea is reported to be owned by Anh Quan Saken, who Vanuatu wants to be the honorary consul to Vietnam.

The Daily Post says Anh Quan Saken also arrived on the yacht and tried to stop Customs, Immigration and Quarantine officials from carrying out their duties.

Mr Saken reportedly claimed there was no need to be check the boat because he was a diplomat and gave lots of money to Vanuatu government ministers.

According to the Vanuatu foreign ministry, Anh Quan Saken’s application’s for honorary consul is still with the government in Hanoi.

The Daily Post also reports Mr Natapei as saying that he is concerned that government ministers are reported to have boarded the vessels before customs cleared it.

Mr Natapei says if the Prime Minister fails to discipline his Ministers and those other individuals who were already implicated in other cases who were also arrested on the yacht then he should resign immediately.

Radio New Zealand International

5)Vanuatu Kava Exporter Calls On Government For Support
Says country’s quarantine system, laboratories need upgrades

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 27, 2012) – Veteran kava entrepreneur Charles Longwah has called on the Government to upgrade the country’s quarantine and laboratories.

“We have reiterated in the past 20 years the need to upgrade our quarantine and eight laboratory facilities in Vanuatu,” said Longwah.

“We cannot continue with unsafe exports and non acceptable international standards for kava export to Europe, Australia or elsewhere with multiple existing violations in the kava quality and varieties.

“The way we export our kava may result in blanket restrictions to all agricultural produce sooner or later or tighten restriction on our exports in the future.

“A typical example is we are host to the African snail but lack proper quarantine facilities to clean the container prior export.”

He recalled the kava crisis began in late 2000, when German and Swiss health authorities began restricting the sales of kava, containing food and medicinal products due to small number of cases of adverse reaction reportedly associated with those of kava (piper methysticum).

On June 14 2001, BfArM (The German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Services) became the first regulator authority to ban the sale of kava products, thereby effectively closing the huge German market.

Aside from Germany, France and Japan kava bans and recalls have more recently taken place in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore as well as voluntary recalls in other European countries.

Longwah said the Australian Ban project was a joint venture in NT police which has the responsibility to investigate any offence against the Act and the Department of Industries and Businesses that administrate the Act and is responsible for the issue and withdrawal of licences.

Because since 1998 large amounts of kava sold consequently involved large amount of monies and criminal activities through steal and ‘black marketing’ the samples to make profits.

He said the Forensic Science Centre then reexamined the contents using data obtained from chromatograms (visible records showing the result of separation of the components of a mixture during the identification process).

These tests confirmed the anecdotal evidence that kava was mixed with bread flour and cow milk powder.

“In many cases both diluents were present, but when these diluents are added in quantities of up to 20-50 with water it was almost impossible to visually detect their presence and chemical testing is necessary, in a similar way the presumptive and chemical testing is necessary,” he said.

“Similarly presumptive testing is conducted in the field for other types of drugs such as amphetamines, opiates, opium, cocaine, cannabis etc.”

And that, says Longwah, is the reason Australian imposed its ban in early 2004, says Longwah.

He said Vanuatu must go alone in kava export in the future without other Pacific islands.

“Whether we are in World Trade Organisation or the World Health Organisation says kava is safe, with all support kava conferences, the ACP meeting or any support internationally the consensus is we all wish the kava ban is lifted,” he said.

But again the 27 member states of the European Union must get approval from all independent European Associations of European doctors, pharmaceutical, chemistry etc.

And if a single assosociation rejected it the kava ban cannot be lifted, that is the power of one disapproval.

Meanwhile a diagnostic assessment of 60 pages will discuss with a quality Ltd, the Government and Private Sector meeting on July 26 (tomorrow) and 27 in Port Vila.

This is an important component to Trade, especially export trade.

“We ask the government to take this meeting seriously to upgrade national quarantine facilities to international standards otherwise the private sector will inevitably think twice before investing in agricultural export,” said Longwah.

“It is good news if the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) representative is coming but first you must pay what you owe UNIDO.

“The assistance from UNIDO was dormant since 1992; the government’s failure to pay the annual membership fee froze the assistance and capacity building for the Ni Vanuatu and private sector.

“Normally UNIDO makes available around US$400 million on development in small and big industries.

“Vanuatu has an outstanding of Vt10 million and is missing out on assistance which should have boost development for the Ni Vanuatu, Private Sector, improve the standard of living and create employment opportunities in the Vanuatu economy at large.”

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
Copyright © 2012 Trading Post Limited. All Rights Reserved


6)A freer New Caledonia market hard but necessary

Posted at 22:54 on 29 July, 2012 UTC

New Caledonia’s representative to New Zealand, Yves Lafoy says liberalising trade with New Zealand will be a hard but necessary step for the French territory.

The two governments announced plans for an agreement similar to the free trade deal between New Zealand and Australia during a visit by a New Zealand ministerial delegation to the territory last week

Mr Lafoy says New Caledonia hopes to get help from New Zealand in developing agriculture.

“Agriculture is a priority in New Zealand and we’re not advanced in that field in New Caledonia, because of the mining situation, we’re the fifth [biggest] nickel producer in the world, so, agriculture has a lot of potential here.”

Mr Lafoy is the first of five New Caledonian representatives to be posted around the region as part of the territory’s move to integrate with its neighbours.

Radio New Zealand International

7)Fiji’s Kububola heads to Sydney for talks

Posted at 22:54 on 29 July, 2012 UTC

Fiji’s foreign minister will today meet with his Australian and New Zealand counterparts in Sydney.

Ratu Inoke Kububola is expected to discuss Fiji’s progress towards democratic elections with Murray McCully and Australia’s Senator Bob Carr.

The trilateral meeting follows the visit to Fiji in early May of the Pacific Islands Forum’s Ministerial Contact Group and Mr McCully’s visit just over a week ago.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum three years ago after it failed to honour its 2007 promise to hold elections.

In a statement from his office, Ratu Inoke says he welcomes the opportunity for the meeting, to continue the constructive dialogue process with Fiji’s nearest developed neighbours and apprise them of the progress being made towards constitutional reforms and democratic elections.

He says Fiji is not preoccupied with the questions of whether or not to be re-admitted to the Pacific Islands Forum or whether Fiji deserves the removal of sanctions.

Ratu Inoke says the government and people of Fiji will not be beholden to any carrot-and-stick approach, nor distracted by debates such as whether or not Fiji has met the criteria for re-admittance to the Forum.

Radio New Zealand International


8)Australia, New Zealand Meet Fiji To Assess Democratic Progress
Sydney meeting part of Forum Ministerial Contact Group

By Ropate Valemei

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 30, 2012) – Australia and New Zealand will hold talks with Fiji today to assess the country’s progress towards democracy.

Australian senator Bob Carr and New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully will meet with their counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Sydney, as part of the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group.

Radio Australia reports they are expected to discuss efforts to return to democracy and preparations for elections in 2014.

Slow progress on these issues contributed to the decision to suspend Fiji from the 16-nation group in May 2009.

New Zealand and Australia have both imposed travel and economic sanctions against members of Fiji government.

Senator Carr told Radio Australia ahead of today’s talks he does not believe Fiji should be allowed back into the Pacific Islands Forum just yet.

He said they will make a decision on lifting sanctions when it is clear the commitment to democracy is irreversible.

[PIR editor’s note: The Australian Council of Trade Union has said Carr “must get a commitment from Fiji that it will reinstate human rights in its transition to democracy.”]

Senator Carr last met Fijian officials in May of this year, when he praised the government for its ‘positive progress’ towards holding elections.

This meeting in Sydney today will enable New Zealand and Australia to get an update.

Senator Carr says that depending on the outcome of Monday’s meeting, the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group may decide to visit Fiji again, but said there were no immediate plans to lift sanctions against Fiji.

Meanwhile, Kubuabola in a government statement has welcomed the opportunity to continue constructive dialogue process with Australia and New Zealand to inform them of the progress being made towards Constitutional reforms and democratic elections.

He said Fiji remains steadfastly committed to seeking sustainable democracy though a self-determined and inclusive process.

Kubuabola said the Government and people of Fiji will not be beholden to any carrot-and-stick approach, nor distracted by debates such as whether or not Fiji has met the criteria for re-admittance to the Forum.

He said such discussions are not conducive towards constructive dialogue.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

9)Fiji’s ousted PM Qarase found guilty of corruption, judgment tomorrow

By Online Editor
4:53 pm GMT+12, 30/07/2012, Fiji

Fiji’s ousted Prime Minister and former director of Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) Laisenia Qarase was found guilty of all nine charges by the assessors in the High Court in Suva this afternoon and a judgement will be delivered tomorrow (31 July).

Qarase was charged with six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharge of duty with respect to a property in which he has a private interest.

It is alleged Qarase between 1992 to 2000 while employed as a director of Fijian Holdings Limited, Financial Advisor of the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs, in abuse of the authority of his office, did arbitrary acts.

He is alleged to have applied in the name of Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited, Mavana Investments Limited and a family owned company named Q-Ten Investments Limited for the issuance and allotment of Class A shares in Fijian Holdings Limited.


10)’Stability vital’ for Fiji

By Online Editor
10:17 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, Fiji

Political stability and certainty are vital for our economic progress, says University of the South Pacific’s Professor Biman Prasad.

Prof Prasad said political stability was important for economic prosperity.

“Political stability in my view is one of the missing links in our prosperity and one that we have to understand is the cause of a lot of economic problems.

“If there is one lesson we should now learn as we move towards the formulation of the new constitution, that is, political stability and certainty is vital for our economic progress.”

Prasad made the comments last week at the Citizens Constitutional Forum organised seminar on “Bringing Fiji together — Addressing Inclusivity in Constitution Making”.

“If one were to take stock of the progress we have made in the last 25 years, there will not be much to show,” he said.

“In the 1970s the average growth was 5.5 per cent, in the 1980s it was 1.9 per cent, in the 1990s it was 3 per cent, in 2000s were reduced to 0.8 per cent and in the last five it has been less than 1 per cent.

“The economy grew at 2.1 per cent in 2011 after two consecutive years of contraction.

“The Bainimarama government can be given credit for articulating the creation of inclusive economic and political institutions and that is an important transformation that could be achieved through our new constitution.”

Prof Prasad said in the past five years, the government had reformed various aspects of the economic institutions which could be considered inclusive and would be beneficial in the long run.

He said these include dismantling monopolies and reforming institutions to allow for broader participation.

“The attempt by the government to address the land issue through the Land Bank is commendable and more serious thinking would require us to look at further to ensure that land ownership and tenure becomes an inclusive economic institution in Fiji.”

Prasad said a lot of empirical evidence shows that political instability and coups were a major cause of economic decline in many countries and Fiji was no exception.

“The new constitution must address and include provisions which create and preserve inclusive political and economic institutions,” he said.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said it was apparent that Fiji’s lack of political stability since 1987, even before that, had been precipitated by the lack of a fundamental State apparatus and legal framework to address issues of communality, to remove statutes that created division and statutes that disallowed national support to socio-economic and political advancements.

Sayed-Khaiyum said the non-negotiable advancements put in place by the Prime Minister addressed the co-fundamentals of political stability and economic prosperity.

He said this included a common and equal citizenry, one person one vote one value, addressing systemic corruption, having merit based appointments and promotions, removing cronyism and nepotism.


11)Drop in Hepatitis B rates across Western Pacific

By Online Editor
1:00 pm GMT+12, 30/07/2012, Philippines

Western Pacific region records significant cut in hepatitis B rates among children

Hepatitis B is the most common liver infection in the world.

The Western Pacific region accounts for more than 160 million – or half – of the world’s cases, and was the first of the six UN World Health Organisation regions to set a deadline for reducing infection rates through vaccination.

It is now working to get infection rates in children to less than 1 per cent.

WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo says the cut is a significant achievement in public health.

In the Western Pacific Region, hepatitis C infects more than 60 million people, but there is still no vaccine.

“Given the high endemicity of hepatitis viruses in the Region—especially hepatitis B and C—we need to deliver focused, concerted actions, including prevention, screening and treatment of those already infected,” Dr Shin said.

12)Families caught in immigration scam

By Online Editor
10:14 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, New Zealand

Authorities are being urged to give the victims of a Tongan immigration scam assurances they will not be on the next flight out of New Zealand if they come forward with information.

Labour is mooting the idea of ‘sanction-free days’ for people to receive advice from Immigration New Zealand, without being deported.

Spokeswoman Darien Fenton says the victims are afraid and upset.

“There’s many, many families affected by this, and they’re devastated by the fact that they’ve been scammed by some of their own.”

Fenton said people caught up in immigration scams are normally innocent victims.

She says the victims are simply afraid of being put on the next flight back to Tonga.

13)Unions fighting stop-gap visa measure

  • by: Natasha Bita, Consumer editor
  • From: The Australian
  • July 28, 2012 12:00AM

UNIONS are fighting Immigration Department plans to let hotels and restaurants “import” thousands of foreign workers as waiters, bartenders and managers, under a new visa arrangement to plug labour shortages.

Employers have told the departmental review that Australians cannot or will not do the work, and are pushing to expand the skilled visa program to include housekeepers, kitchen hands and drivers to fill a national shortfall of 35,800 staff.


14)London Olympics still has hurdles

By Online Editor
11:40 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, United Kingdom

By Matai Akauola in London

Three days into the London Olympics and team officials and media are still facing a lot of problems getting around to the venues.

The police and military are more flexible and understanding than private security hired by the London Olympics Organising Committee.

Team officials and media have commented on the hassle they have to go through to get to their final destination.

Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) Secretary General Ricardo Blas has been frustrated with their allocated driver which had caused a lot of anxiety for him and Team Guam.
Tuvalu’s Chef de Mission Viliame Sekifu says even some Asian Chef de Missions have struggled to get around “and sometimes we just move together”.

Several media personnel also think that Beijing 2008 was better organised although English was a second language.

Compliments of ONOC, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth and Sports ‘Promoting Healthy Islands Through Sport’

15)Tulo misses out, but improves ranking

By Online Editor
11:37 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, United Kingdom

Fiji‘s top weightlifter, Manueli Tulo finished 13th in the men’s 56kg class final standings at the London Olympics.

This is a huge leap from his 17th ranking heading into the competition. Tulo attempted a big personal best of 110kg, but could only lift 105kg in the snatch event and 128kg in the clean & jerk lift failing at 132kg twice. This was below his personal best of 137kg.

This is the equal third best finish by any Fiji athlete at any Olympics. While a personal best alluded Tulo, a total of 233kg was still a respectable lift, his Olympics’ section manager Atma Maharaj said.

“The 13th placing is a sweet result given the years of commitment, sacrifices and effort that Tulo have made to his 4 year campaign,” Maharaj said.

“Manueli Tulo, says that he will now return to Levuka and work on fixing his knee, while helping Joe Vueti and Peni Tawai build up the cadre of young lifters; before he decides on his next steps for Rio 2016.

“Tulo was very appreciative of the support that he has received over the years and would like to specially thank the Government, FASANOC, Olympic Solidarity and ONOC, Weightlifting Fiji, Paul & Lily Coffa, Oceania Weightlifting Institute, WF Sponsors and all the fans all around Fiji

He particularly likes to thank his parents and family for their faith and support they have given him to continue his campaign.”

Tulo, currently ranked number one in the Oceania and also the Commonwealth had been training in London, under the watchful eyes of high performance coach Paul Coffa and national coach Joe Vueti.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s Om Yun- Chol won the gold medal ahead of hot favourite Wu Jingbiao of China.

Om recorded a combined total of 293kg thanks to 125kg in the snatch and an Olympic record of 168kg in the clean and jerk — a lift that saw him become only the fifth man in history to lift three times his bodyweight.

Wu claimed silver with 289kg (133, 156), with Azerbaijan’s Valentin Hristov taking bronze on 286kg.


16)Guam swimmer does personal best amid Pacific Olympic appearances

By Online Editor
11:36 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, United Kingdom

 Guam’s Pilar Shimizu has swum a personal best time in the women’s 100m breaststroke heats on day three of the London Olympics.

The 16 year old finished second in the opening heat in a time of 1.15.76, an accomplishment she rated almost as impressive as getting past her pre-race jitters.

“It was such a relief to finally swim after almost a year of training. I was very pleased with my race – I had planned to go 1.15 and I did it. I think the biggest thing that I got out of this was overcoming my nervousness, because I’ve never been so nervous before, and I think I used that to my advantage.”

Fiji’s Matelita Buadromo was third in the same heat in a time of 1.16.33, but both were well off the semi final pace.

Meanwhile on day two in the pool, Tonga’s Amini Fonua won his 100m breaststroke heat but still wasn’t fast enough to advance to the semi finals.

Fonua had been hoping to swim under a minute and two seconds but managed 1.03.65, which, while enough to win the opening heat, was slower than every time in the other five heats.

In Judo, Papua New Guinea’s Raymond Ovinou lost his opening bout against Armenia’s Armen Nazaryan in the men’s under 66kg class.

PNG Chef de Mission Syd Yates says things had started well for the 27 year old.

“He had the Armenian in a hold first up and I think he surprised the Armenian. All of a sudden his grip slipped a bit and the Armenian got him so quickly and threw Raymond on his back, and once you get thrown on your back in judo you’re out, so the fight was over pretty quickly but I think it would have been good if Raymond could have lasted a bit longer because I think he could have gave a fair account of himself.”…


17)Solomon judoka delighted with debut win

By Online Editor
11:42 am GMT+12, 30/07/2012, United Kingdom

By Matai Akauola in London

Solomon Islands first time Olympian -Tony Lamo is a man on a mission.

The London 2012 Games is over for him after a victory and a loss in the 60 kg judo competition.

“My competition is good, I fight against one of the guys from Africa from MOZ, I don’t know which country, but I won my first fight and lost in my second fight against France and he’s ranked sixth in the world in judo.

“This is my first Olympics and I’m very excited like it’s my first Olympics and I won my first fight it has forced me that I can keep on carry on and work on my skills, ”said a delighted Lamo who was relaxing at the Oceania internet room in the Games Village.

His dream is to promote judo in his soccer loving country.

“I want to develop the sport in my country.

“I hope my NOC or my federation can help me,” said Lamo who’s eyeing the Grand Slam in Tokyo, Japan and a world championship competition in Samoa.

But for now, the 28 year old from Malaita will enjoy his time here in London with friends now that his competition’s over.

Compliments of ONOC, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth and Sports ‘Promoting Healthy Islands Through Sport’



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