NEWS (Melanesian/Pacific) 27/8/12

2) A Great exposure documentory on West Papua – part 1 (one) on the Australia 7.30 report (ABC)  27/8/12.

For people in Australia/ Sydney…
Part 2 is on Tuesday 7.30pm ABC – Filmed by Under cover Australian Journalists.
VICTOR YEIMO is the man from West Papua to focus on at this moment in time re Politics.

1)Pacific Forum imas toktok long West Papua

Updated 27 August 2012, 13:40 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Pacific Islands Forum long despla wik long Cook Islands imas toktok long wari blong ol West Papuan pipal sopos oli gat laik long lukautim ol wok securiti long Pacific rijan.

Despla toktok ibin kam long Australian West Papua association husat itok olsem, Pacific Islands Forum isave pasim eye blong en long ol heve blong ol West Papua pipal.

Tokman blong despla association Joe Collins itok, ol heve em ol militari blong Indonesia isave mekim long ronim na bagarapim human rights blong ol Papua pipal, inap kapsaet igo long Pacific rijan.

Wanpla bikpla toktok em Pacific Forum bai toktok long en, em ol wok securiti long Pacific.Radio Australia.

2)Papouasie Occidentale: un Parfum de Liberté

Mis à jour 27 August 2012, 10:38 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Dimanche c’était la fin d’une semaine de campagne pour le droit à l’autodétermination de la Papouasie Occidentale, organisée dans les magasins australiens de la marque de cosmétique britannique Lush. 

West Papua campaign organised at the Lush shop in Melbourne on Swanston Street and all across the country.
La campagne des indépendantistes papous dans les magasins Lush, ici à Melbourne, a attiré l’attention des passants. (Lush)
«Femme 1Euh j’aimerais d’abord lire votre plaquette avant de signer quoi que ce soit parce que je ne regarde pas les infos, je lis pas le journal, je vis dans une bulle. 
Femme 2Je sais pas, c’est où, en Afrique? 
Ronny KareniNon la Papouasie Occidentale est à 250 kilomètres au nord de l’Australie. 
Femme 2C’est une région d’Australie?
R.K.: Vous avez entendu parler de la situation en papouasie Occidentale?
Jeune femmeNon je ne suis pas au courant de ce qui se passe dans le monde. 
R.K.: Lush a créé le parfum de la liberté, tous les profits tirés des ventes sont versé à notre organisation. 
Jeune femmeMmm ça sent très bon! 
HommeOui j’ai entendu ce qui se passe et je soutiens tous ceux qui luttent pour leur droit à l’autodétermination. Je ne vois pas pourquoi les Papous devraient vivre sous la botte des Indonésiens.»
Nous sommes sur Swanston Street, la rue principale de Melbourne, sur le pas de la porte du magasin Lush, une marque de cosmétiques britannique. En vitrine, le Morning Star, le drapeau indépendantiste des Papous d’Indonésie, et un petit stand tenu par un indépendantiste papou, Ronny Kareni, qui alpague les passants. Au fond de la boutique, Cate Hargraves, la gérante, invite ses clients à signer la pétition au Premier ministre australien lui demandant de défendre les Papous auprès du gouvernement indonésien.  Elle les asperge aussi du Parfum de la Liberté, dont tous les profits des ventes sont versés à l’organisation indépendantiste “Rise of the Morning Star”. La campagne pour la Papouasie Occidentale a aussi été organisée en Grande-Bretagne, en Irlande, aux Pays-Bas et en Nouvelle-Zélande. Cate Hargraves:
«Lush est une entreprise éthique, nous ne testons pas nos produits sur des animaux, nous n’utilisons que des ingrédients bios ou synthétiques non toxiques. Nous avons 850 magasins dans 50 pays, c’est un réseau idéal pour défendre de grandes causes comme le mariage gay, la défense des requins ou la lutte des Papous en Indonésie. Les gens nous disent souvent: en quoi ça concerne une marque de savons? Mais tout simplement parce que ce sont des causes qui touchent nos clients, nos employés, et là pour la Papouasie Occidentale, c’est le voisin direct de l’Australie donc ça concerne les Australiens. Nous pensons que nous pouvons ainsi, au minimum, sensibiliser les gens.»    
Ronny Kareni est l’un des représentants du “gouvernement fédéré de Papouasie Occidentale”, aussi appelé “gouvernement de transition”, qui a proclamé l’indépendance en octobre 2011 à l’occasion du 3ème Congrès National du Peuple. Le Président Forkorus Yaboisembutet son Premier ministre, Edison Waromi, ont aussitôt été condamnés à 3 ans de prison pour trahison. En exil à Melbourne, Ronny Kareni est aussi l’une des têtes pensantes de “Rise of the Morning Star”, l’organisation des Papous d’Australie qui promeut la cause indépendantiste papoue à travers des concerts, des expos, etc.:
«C’est la première fois qu’il y a une campagne pour la Papouasie Occidentale dans une chaîne de magasins, donc c’est super. Parce que les médias et les ONG étrangères sont interdits là-bas, ce qui fait que peu de personnes savent ce qui se passe en Papouasie Occidentale, et cette campagne chez Lush nous permet d’atteindre le grand public, beaucoup de jeunes, et des gens qui ne suivent pas l’actualité, les clients sont surtout des jeunes, donc c’est un public différent de celui que nous visons d’habitude, des gens qui sont déjà des militants, pour des causes sociales, environnementales, des droits de l’homme, ou des intellectuels, donc c’est un public déjà acquis en fait. Et à Rise of the Morning Star nous avons la même stratégie d’ouverture au grand public, nous donnons des concerts dans de grands festivals, et la musique n’a pas de frontière, elle touche directement le coeur des gens.» 
Depuis plusieurs mois les assassinats ciblant des Indonésiens et des Papous se sont multipliés. Les meurtres restent non élucidés. Et la tension monte en Papouasie Occidentale. Mardi dernier à Paniai la foule et les forces indonésiennes ont échangé des coups de feu. Un policier indonésien a été tué. Assassinat revendiqué par la branche armée de l’OPM, l’Organisation pour la Libération de la Papouasie. La police a aussitôt riposté en brûlant cinq maisons et torturant 15 civils, accuse l’OPM. «Il n’y a eu aucune torture, ni de maison incendiée, la police recherche les suspects dans le respect des procédures» a répliqué Anton Diance, le commissaire de police du district. On écoute la réaction de Ronny Kareni, de l’organisation Rise of the Morning Star:
«La branche armée de l’OPM n’a pas été très active depuis le début des années 2000. Mais récemment, il y a eu beaucoup d’assassinats dont on ne connaît pas les auteurs, mais les autorités indonésiennes accusent l’OPM, mais on n’en sait rien, nous réclamons une enquête indépendante. 
Caroline Lafargue: est-ce que vous condamnez ces violences?
Evidemment! Non seulement elles affaiblissent la crédibilité de notre mouvement, mais surtout, prendre une vie, c’est déjà une violation des droits de l’homme. Et puis il y a eu assez de sang versé depuis que les Papous se battent pour leur droit à l’autodétermination. Nous ne voulons pas qu’il y ait plus de morts. Nous voulons combattre pacifiquement, ouvrir un dialogue entre les exécutifs papou et indonésien, et parallèlement, je pense qu’il faut que l’OPM et même le gouvernement de transition se disciplinent. Quand quelqu’un se fait tirer dessus, il ne faut pas réagir par la vengeance.» Radio Australia.

3)Detained Papuan Activist Reportedly Denied Medical Treatment

Amnesty International express concern over treatment of Pakage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 26, 2012) – Amnesty International says former prisoner of conscience Yusak Pakage is being denied access to medical treatment while in police detention in Papua province, Indonesia.

It says he has reportedly been threatened with torture and has not had access to a lawyer since his arrest.

According to sources he is suffering from stomach pains and has not been able to eat.

Mr Pakage was arrested on the 23rd of July during the trial of Papuan political activist Buchtar Tabuni.

Police arrested Mr Pakage after they found a pen-knife in his bag.

He was later charged under Emergency Regulation 12/1951 for possession of a weapon, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

4)PNG Opposition Questions Rush Into Sea Bed Mining
Belden Namah calls decision ‘careless and reckless’

By Jason Gima Wuri

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 24, 2012) – The Opposition has declared that the O’Neill caretaker government rushed to approve the controversial sea bed mining in Papua New Guinea immediately after the 2012 general elections.

Opposition Leader Belden Namah with his opposition members in a press conference yesterday questioned the governments stand on sea bed mining.

“Was Papua New Guinea on Economic Life Support to warrant such a mad and reckless decision?

“We believe it is morally and ethically wrong and economically unnecessary. The government has by this careless and reckless decision neglected its duty to protect the livelihood of our people who are heavily dependent on land and marine resources.

“Our country has more than enough to mine on land yet this government is unduly determined to exhaust all mineral extraction avenues in one’s life time. This is a government blinded by economic wealth with no regard of future catastrophic consequences. “Is O’Neill blinded by economic wealth or by foreign influence? Why is PNG used as a ‘guinea pig’ on the first sea bed mining operation reported worldwide? Why aren’t these investors not practicing seabed mining in their own waters and yet prey on developing countries where corruption is deeply entrenched,” Mr Namah questioned.

Mr Namah said that the country had just concluded and signed a multi-billion kina LNG Project which no doubt would propel and sustain the economy of our country for the next 30-50 years, hence the government had to explain to the satisfaction of the people of PNG why it had rushed into approving this high risk seabed mining project. The controversial decision to approve sea bed mining in PNG is a demonstration of a careless and reckless government making decisions without constructive and meaningful debate by full cabinet or through proper debate on the floor of Parliament and or through wider consultation with relevant stakeholders.

“Our Opposition is well organised and structured than the government so we keep them in check,” Mr Namah said.

“The marine eco system will be destroyed. Was there thorough consultation with the Department of Environment and Conservation including line agencies like National Fisheries Authority, Research Institutes such as National Research Institute, even NGOs like World Wildlife Fund for impartial opinion on the adverse impacts of sea bed mining in PNG?

“In this opposition, we will stand against and fight to stop such projects.”

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

5)PNG’s National capital district wants army to help curb crime in Port Moresby

By Online Editor
3:40 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop is working on a submission to engage the defence force to help curb crime in the city.

Parkop said it was a new initiative he wanted to see in developing the city.

“I want to engage the defence force to help address crime in the city. I am now working on a submission that I want to put to the government to have the PNG Defence Force come in and support the police.

“I believe it would take only one battalion to help reduce crime in the city. The police have been doing their best but cannot perform almost everything because of a lack of capacity,” he said.

Parkop said he wanted the city to be a safe place for women, children and visitors, which was something people wanted and needed.

“Our people want a city where women can freely move around at night without been raped, or harassed.
“This is the kind of city they want and we must work hard to ensure we deliver,” he said.

Apart from strengthening numbers to keep law and order, Parkop said he intended to have more street lights installed.

He said many parts of the city needed lights to prevent criminal acts such as robbery, car thefts and hold ups.
“More people are buying vehicles and we have no choice but to build more roads.

“The economy of the country is growing, and so is the city, so we need to grow by building more roads,” Parkop said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

6)PNG govt warned of high debt

By Online Editor
12:15 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea government needs to rein in domestic borrowing if it is to avoid serious economic crisis similar to those experienced in 1994 and 1998, the opposition warned.

Shadow minister for finance and treasury Joseph Lelang told a news conference PNG was poised on the brink of an economic precipice, with similar high debts incurred during the 2012 elections, excessive domestic borrowing and falling revenues.

Lelang said domestic debt was already projected by the Treasury Department to rise to K6 billion this year, an increase of K900 million from last year.

Added to the government’s forecast budget deficit of K513.1 million, domestic debt would increase by K1.4 billion alone in just 2012, Lelang said.

This position coupled with the global economic turn and the resultant falling prices for PNG’s export commodities is an unsustainable and untenable position, he said.

He said already inflation had risen to 8.5%, higher than the 7.6% assumed in the 2012 budget.

Lelang predicts it is heading higher driven by private sector need to borrow from the banks to expand their businesses.

It is an attractive borrower’s market presently with high liquidity in the banks and low interest rates.
Lelang, who is immediate past secretary of planning and implementation, said foreign reserves had fallen by K451.6 million because of ongoing high imports by the PNG LNG Gas project for its construction phase and low commodity prices.

Strong domestic demand by the private sector and excessive government spending is also driving foreign reserves down.

Treasury Department has recently announced that total revenue has declined by K392.5 million with the largest fall recorded from income and profits tax from the mining and petroleum sectors and the dividend withholding tax.

“It is plain, clear and simple,” Lelang said.

“We must live within our means.

“Borrowing is not an option especially when this government has already created much debt in the last 12 months.”

Lelang said the opposition was raising this red flag because circumstances facing PNG today are similar to those facing the country in 1994 before the balance of payment crisis which saw the floating of the kina and its free fall; and the 1998 crisis when excessive domestic debt was incurred to support excessive spending in the 1997 elections and revenue was falling.

Both occasions warranted rescuing from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

7)Solomons Prime Minister Denies Reports Of Political Instability
Lilo defends plans to skip MSG, Forum meetings

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 26, 2012) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has denied any political instability within his Government.

Mr Lilo was responding to reports that certain ministers are planning to topple him in the upcoming sitting of parliament.

Reports claimed that some ministers have lost confidence in his leadership due to the number of allegations leveled against him in the media.

However, speaking to the media yesterday after his State visit to Canberra, Australia, Mr Lilo said there was no instability within his government.

He said these reports were made up by the media.

He also explained why he was unable to attend the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Special Leaders Summit in Nadi, Fiji and the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum in Cook Islands.

“I have made it clear in Cabinet that I will not attend the MSG meeting in Fiji and this year’s Forum purely because I have some very important issues which I want to address before the parliament sitting starts,” Mr Lilo said.

“It is not about political threats as some people have mooted. No.

“It’s about me as the head of the Government taking a bold decision and showing seriousness on my path to address outstanding issues which I want the upcoming parliament to deliberate on,” the Prime Minister said.

Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga and a six member government delegation are currently attending the MSG and the Forum.

The Forum will start on August 27th and conclude August 31st.

Mr Lilo said one of the important tasks that he had given to the Deputy Prime Minister and his delegation to the Forum is to bid for the Forum Leaders’ Summit to be held in Honiara next year.

The Prime Minister said this is to coincide with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) 10th anniversary.

Meanwhile, PM Lilo said he will announce the date for the opening of the 9th Parliament when all arrangement is in place.

Solomon Star

8)Gold Ridge Mine Threatened With Legal Action Over River Damage
Solomons Downstream Association seeks $2 million compensation

By Carlos Aruafu and Denver Newter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 27, 2012) – The Metapona Downstream Association (MDA) in North Guadalcanal has threatened to seek legal action against the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) if their demand is not met within fourteen days.

The association is demanding $15million [US$2.03 million] dollar for damages to the river they allegedly claimed to have been caused by mining operation done by Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML).

To prove their demand the association organized a field visit for the media to the site over the weekend.

Some of the effects they raised were blockage to the downstream, damages to cocoa plants, food crops, damage to the natural habitant, water turned muddy and diversion of the water flow.

Head of the association and former Guadalcanal Premier Stephen Panga said they have issued the first 14 days notice which has already lapsed to the company to respond but there was no respond.

Because of that the former Premier said they will seek legal action against the company if their second notice of 14 days lapses.

He said if things do not go according to plan they will hire a law firm from Australia to represent them.

“At the moment we extend our 14 days notice to allow the company and the Ministry of Mines and Energy to discuss our issues.

“All documents to file a case against the company is at hand and if Gold Ridge Mining Company agrees to negotiate there must be a signed agreement which will also subject to the views of the people,” he said.

Mr Panga said the association is also looking at engaging a team from the Ministry of Environment to test soil samples to back their case should the company failed to comply with their claims.

He said the association has taken these actions because their surrounding communities have been affected for many years by the impacts of the mining operations done upstream.

Attempts to get comments from the company management over the weekend were not successful. However comments are being sought.

Meanwhile former minister of lands, survey and housing and Member of Parliament (MP) for North Guadalcanal Martin Sopaghe appealed to the GRML management to recognise the plight of the association and landowners.

He also supported the claim by Mr Panga that most of the agricultural crops close to the river have been affected.

“Most of the families now depended on water tanks and underground wells far from the river to fetch water,” he said.

He said because of the mining activities the communities living downstream are unable to use the river to wash and fish because of alleged contamination to the river.

Because of the increasing problem, Mr Sopaghe had earlier said the constituency will engage an environmental lawyer to help them fight for their rights.

He said his constituency will work hard in order to ensure their demands are met.

“We want our rights to be recognised and respected,” he said.

Solomon Star

9)PM Lilo wants Solomon Islands to host Forum Leaders Meeting next year

By Online Editor
3:43 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga is expected to lodge a bid for the country to host next year’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting.

Maelanga led the government delegation to this year’s Forum meeting in the Cook Islands, which starts Tuesday.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said he had delegated his deputy to lodge the bid.

“It has been 20 years ago since we played host to a Pacific Islands Forum meeting and we would be very much grateful to have it in the country next year,” Lilo says.

“We have done it with the Festival of Pacific Arts recently, and we should be certain to have the forum meeting in the country next year,” he added.

Lilo said if the bid is a successful, it will fall in line with RAMSI’s 10th anniversary celebrations next year.

Maelanga is being accompanied by five officials.

The Forum starts on 27 – 31 August .

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

10)Vanuatu government ministers may face charges in Phocea yacht affair

Posted at 06:32 on 27 August, 2012 UTC

The acting Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force, John Malon Taleo, says two government ministers may face charges in the Phocea yacht affair.

Police have already confirmed that two ministers in the coalition government of Prime Minister Sato Kilman were seen on board the luxury vessel before police raided the yacht last month.

Photographs have been published in local papers of the Minister of Education, Marcelino Pepite and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfred Carlot, on the yacht with the owner Pascal Anh Quan Saken before being cleared by customs.

A number of crew have been fined for immigration offences but the skipper remains on bail and the owner has fled the country.

The acting Commissioner says police will continue investigations over allegations surrounding the ministers at the end of the extra-ordinary session of parliament on Thursday.

Last week’s attempt was unsuccessful as MPs are covered by parliamentary immunity.

Radio New Zealand International

11)Vanuatu Minister Withdraws National Provident Fund Bill
Carcasses to wait for auditor’s report

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 26, 2012) – Vanuatu’s Minister of Finance Moana Carcasses Kalosil has finally decided to withdraw the bill for the amendment of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund act.

Mr Carcasses is the Minister responsible for the Fund.

The bill was among 21 government bills to be debated during the last extra-ordinary session last week.

Mr Carcasses told the local media he decided to withdraw the bill following the protest of fund members over the allegations of misuse of their monies, the politicisation and nepotism within the Vanuatu’s pension scheme.

He also says he decided to withdraw the bill because of the current investigations on the allegations by the Auditor General.

Mr Carcasses says the bill for the amendment can be re-tabled in next the parliament depending on the outcome of the auditor’s report.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the VNPF board, Simil Johnson, says the amendment of VPNF act was entirely initiated by the board and the management in March this year.

He says the amendment was designed to improve the administration efficiency of the fund’s management process and expand the range of authorized investments.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

12)Vanuatu Publisher Introducing International Lifestyle Magazine
Pacific Island Living to be available throughout region

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Aug. 24, 2012) – A Vanuatu based public relations and publishing business, Photogenic, is set to launch a new international magazine next month.

Tiffany Carroll says the new mag, Pacific Island Living will be the region’s first lifestyle magazine.

“We have secured a contract with Pasing IMM, the international media distribution company who will sell the magazine throughout the Pacific. It’s really exciting for Vanuatu,” Ms. Carroll said.

Pacific Island Living features articles of interest for those that live in the Pacific, or only dream of it.

“We know how lucky we are to live in the Pacific, especially in Vanuatu, however some things can be a little hard to get hold of. Every product featured in Pacific Island Living, from the latest fashion to beauty products, books and homeware is either available here, or available online,” Ms. Carroll said.

The new magazine is the brainchild of Ms. Carroll and Sydney power journalists Pat Ingram and Craig Osment. Pat was at the helm of Australian Consolidated Press for 20 years, as the publishing director of The Australian Woman’s Weekly, Harpers Bazaar, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, New Woman and Woman’s Day.

Mr Osment owns Australia’s biggest independent publishing company, Media21 in Sydney.

“It is fabulous to have the direction and guidance of Pat and Craig, not to mention our fabulous team of features writers and section editors,” Ms. Carroll said.

The magazine will be sold throughout the Pacific, and available free in Vanuatu.

“We’re also going to be on board every Our Airline (the airline of the Central Pacific) flight, which means our reach will be enormous,” she said.

Ms. Carroll and Mr. Ingram are no strangers to Vanuatu publishing, having published The Essential Vanuatu book in December last year as well as being the publishers of Air Vanuatu’s inflight magazine, Island Spirit.

“Our new magazine will complement Island Spirit nicely, being not only targeted to visitors to Vanuatu, but to those considering holidaying, buying or investing here. Its distribution will really help put Vanuatu on the map.”

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

13)Padarath is new Fiji Labour Party president

By Online Editor
09:07 am GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Fiji

Seasoned politician and former Minister for Women, Culture and Social Welfare, Lavenia Padarath was elected as the new president of Fiji Labour Party  Saturday in Nadi during the party’s annual conference which took place after a lapse of four years.

Padarath, a retired nurse was unanimously elected in the position which became vacant after the death of Jokapeci Koroi last year.

The party also elected David Eyre, Sachida Sharma and Monica Raghwan as vice presidents while Mahendra Chaudhry was re-elected as the party’s general secretary, Kini Maraiwai was elected as the assistant secretary.

FLP spokesperson and Suva lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry told FijiLive that more than 90 members from around the country attended the conference and discussed some key issues.

And on top of their agenda was the party’s submission to the Constitution Commission.“We are in the preparatory phase of getting input on FLP’s submission from all our branches around the country and within 4 weeks. Everything will be presented and finalised in our National Council Meeting after which the submissions will be forwarded to the Commission.”

The high cost of living, poverty, stagnant wages and issues affecting the livelihoods of ordinary Fiji citizens are some of the issues the party wishes to discuss in its submission.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

14)Fiji doctors voice ethical and logistical concerns over proposed euthanasia clinic

Posted at 06:32 on 27 August, 2012 UTC

The President of the Fiji Medical Association has poured cold water on the reported proposal of Exit Australia to open a euthanasia clinic in Fiji.

Dr James Fong says there are logistical issues to say nothing of the ethical problems with euthanasia.

Prominent Australian euthanasia campaigner Dr Phillip Nitschke has told Australian media he petitioned the interim Fiji government last year and received a positive response, requesting more information.

Fiji Village reports the Ministry of Information saying there are no plans for a euthanasia clinic and it was standard practice to respond to submissions by requesting further details.

Dr Fong says the Fiji Medical Association does not have an active policy on euthanasia due to a lack of demand for it within Fiji.

He says should a request from overseas be accepted, there would have to be extensive consultation between the government and the medical association.

“The logistics of the service is more of a concern for me, if someone wants to bring in this service. That would be the biggest concern, whether we as a medical system can support the setting up of such a service, let alone the ethical considerations that are behind the issue of euthanasia.”

President of the Fiji Medical Association Dr James Fong.

Radio New Zealand International

15)Fiji’s Engaging the Pacific calls for the region to block vote at the UN

Posted at 03:53 on 27 August, 2012 UTC

Pacific Island leaders meeting in Fiji last week have stressed the importance of having a united voice at the UN.

Representatives of 14 Pacific Island countries met in Nadi last week as part of the Fiji-led Engaging with the Pacific series of meetings.

The group including leaders of Fiji, Nauru, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, noted the challenges faced by Pacific small island developing states in addressing common interests through existing groupings.

In a communique, they also recognized the need to consider acting as a voting block at the United Nations.

The countries also want to strengthen partnerships among the small island developing states in the region through closer cooperation in areas of common interest.

Radio New Zealand International

16)Fiji Social Welfare Ministry To Focus On Beggars
Fiji police concerned with increasing number on the street

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 27, 2012) – The Ministry of Social Welfare will now work with police to curb what it says is an increase in the number of beggars and people asking for money in public places in the country.

And it has also urged families and village headmen to come forward and take their people back to their homes and villages.

Minister for Social Welfare, Dr Jiko Luveni said the number of beggars and people demanding money on the streets across Fiji had become a national issue of concern.

“We are working with the police to get them out of the streets but it is very difficult to contain them because they are mobile and when we take them out from one town they move to another,” she said.

Dr Luveni said the ministry was tracking all beggars in the country and following a survey last year, they were able to ascertain that almost all were welfare recipients.

The Fiji Police Force is also concerned with an increase in the number of people demanding money without having proper documents.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said in order for people to ask for assistance from the general public they need to have valid documents and permits.

“Some have permits but some use old ones or false documents to seek money from members of the public,” she said.

Police have also received recent reports from members of the public who have been victims of people using invalid permits for financial gains.

Dr Luveni said beggars and people in the country continue to beg because people are giving them the money.

“Through begging, beggars earn good money. What the ministry is providing is not enough for them to survive in urban areas,” she said.

She said her ministry had profiled some of the beggars and after doing that they found out that the beggars have families who can actually look after them.

“Most i-Taukei beggars have families in the villages. I urge the village headmen to come forward and take the beggars off the streets to their homes.”

She has also called for the community’s support to help the ministry remove beggars from the street and take them back to their families.

Dr Luveni revealed that begging in Fiji was very much linked to poverty.

Members of the public have been urged to demand for proper documents or permits from people who ask for money in towns or go house-to-house and report any suspicious matters to police.

People have also been urged to be careful and not to entertain such people when they come to their homes asking for money.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

17)Slatter to represent Fiji at South Pacific pageant

By Online Editor
3:39 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Fiji

Miss Hibiscus 2012, Drue Slatter will represent Fiji at the Miss South Pacific Pageant in American Samoa in December.

Hibiscus Events Group chairman Hirdesh Prasad confirmed this to the Fiji Times.

Prasad also revealed that there were plans to hold a Miss Fiji Pageant where queens from various pageants such as Hibiscus Festival, Friendly North Festival, Bula Festival and the Sugar Festival would compete to represent Fiji at the Miss South Pacific Pageant.

“The idea was put forward to municipal councils but some of them rejected it,” he said.

He said they would hold a meeting again with municipal councils next year to decide on the plans to organise a Miss Fiji Pageant.

“We need to have a constitution for this so it will take time before things eventuate,” he said.

Prasad said the Hibiscus Festival was the only festival that was recognised by the Miss South Pacific Pageant and as a result the winner would represent Fiji.

The Miss South Pacific Pageant was established in 1987 by the government of Samoa as a regional event to recognise and promote the attributes, intelligence and talents of young Pacific women.

It gives recognition to young Pacific Island women and their contributions to regional affairs and their ability to advance in diverse fields.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

18)Fiji Labour Party to team up with SDL, UPP and NFP

By Online Editor
3:41 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Fiji

In its bid to push the country back to democratic rule, the Fiji Labour Party will join hands with the ousted ruling party the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL), National Federation Party (NFP) United People’s party (UPP) and National Farmers Union (NFU).

The party’s annual congress in Nadi on Saturday resolved that they will work hand in hand with the other parties to move the country forward and ensure there is democracy.

This was confirmed to FijiLive by FLP spokesperson and prominent Suva lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry.

“The fight for a democratic Fiji cannot be fought alone, so for the betterment of this country, we have to work with other political parties to accomplish this dream,” said Chaudhry.

“Some of the other issues discussed during the conference was the deteriorating state of the sugar industry, the shortage of medical supplies in public hospitals, withdrawal of welfare assistance from approximately 400 recipients, the adjournment of wage increases suggested by the Wages Council and the reduction in Fiji National Provident Fund pensions.”

“But topping the discussion was the retention of the1997 Constitution where FLP members were adamant that they did not need to write another constitution.”

“It was resolved undisputedly that the 1997 Constitution be retained and amended or added to where considered necessary by the Constitution Commission but the final decision about the new constitution should be left to the people.”

“The conference had also engendered some constructive debate on the credibility of the constitutional process as contrived under Decrees 57 and 58 based on the immunity provisions and the composition on the Constituent Assembly,” he concluded

Meanwhile, long serving member and former Minister for Women and Social Welfare, Lavenia Padarath was elected the new president of the party during the congress while Mahendra Pal Chaudhry retained the position of the general secretary.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

19)Former Fiji foreign minister says strong Pacific voice vital for region

By Online Editor
09:16 am GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Fiji

A former Fiji foreign minister says regionalism is still the way forward for the Pacific.

A draft copy of the New Zealand-funded review of the Forum Secretariat, says there is a perception among some member countries that particular staff of the Secretariat are not there to serve them, but to do bidding of two particular Forum countries.

That report is yet to be publicly released, but leaders are expected to discuss it at their meeting in the Cook Islands this week.

But Fiji’s pre-coup foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola, said a strong Pacific voice is vital for the region.

“I know there is a lot of unhappiness that has been expressed, but I still believe that even though there may be some deficiencies in the management of the Forum Secretariat, and the regionalism concept, I still believe in the way forward, as the regional way to go.”

New Zealand opposition Labour Party said New Zealand needs to be very careful about imposing its ideas on the rest of the Pacific Islands Forum countries.

The Labour party foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff, said it’s hard to know what has come out of New Zealand’s leadership, because Minister is not saying anything.

“I’ve got no doubt that we need to look for efficiency and effectiveness from the Forum. We put money up there, we want to know that that money is going to the people we really want to benefit. We don’t want it to be top-heavy, we do want it to be effective, we do want it to be focussed. But the success of this review will depend on how it’s been managed. And if it does look like it’s big brother imposing something on every other country, then there won’t be ownership of it, and it won’t work.”

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully was unavailable to comment.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS /PACNEWS

20)Pacific Leaders Reaffirm Support For Fiji Roadmap
Third Engaging with the Pacific Leaders meeting concludes

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 27, 2012) – The 14 leaders of Pacific countries present at the Third Engaging with the Pacific Leaders meeting have affirmed their support to Fiji’s roadmap to democracy and as a potential model for other regional countries.

In the meetings communiqué signed before the closing of the two-day discussions, leaders from Nauru, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Timor Leste, New Caledonia, Tonga, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and the Federated States of Micronesia noted Fiji’s road to democracy.

The delegates noted the progress on the implementation of the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress including the constitution consultation process and recognised the notable progress that had been achieved in the implementation of the solutions.

The delegates also noted the support shown by the international community for the constitution process and Fiji’s roadmap.

According to the communiqué, the leaders also reaffirmed their support towards the need for further substantive engagements between Fiji and other Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS).

They also discussed issues of common interests encompassing trade, security, sustainable development, good governance, commerce, environmental pollution, climate change, labour mobility and Fiji’s strategic framework for change.

While closing the meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the leaders agreed that more was needed to be done for the progress of PSIDS.

He said the meeting was both successful and rewarding.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

21)Australia Greens Decry Use Of Foreign Aid For Detention Centers
Plans to reopen centers in PNG, Nauru move ahead

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 27, 2012) – Australia’s Greens party has called on the government to scrap the idea of using part of its foreign aid budget to renovate asylum seeker processing centres in PNG and Nauru.

Australia is preparing to re-open immigration detention centres on Nauru and PNG’s Manus Island and passed new immigration laws last week, allowing for the processing of asylum seekers’ claims for refugee status, in the Pacific.

The federal government is yet to release funding details, but hasn’t ruled out using money from foreign aid.

Greens senator Lee Rhiannon says even if locals are employed to do the work, that’s not what Australia’s aid budget is for.

“Yes, there may be some jobs provided for running these sorts of detention centres, but it is certainly not what I believe Australians expect their aid budget to be spent on in low income countries,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Missing meals

Australia’s Immigration Department earlier said at least 100 asylum seekers are missing meals after being told they were at risk of being transferred to Nauru or Manus Island.

Immigration officials say the roughly seven hundred asylum seekers who’ve arrived since the Government announced its new policy two weeks ago have been told they could be sent offshore.

The information has been publicly available since then but being told directly has seen at least 100 asylum seekers missing a number of meals or not eating at all.

The Greens say it is evidence the asylum seekers are terrified of being indefinitely detained in Nauru.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan says he hasn’t been briefed about a hunger strike at Christmas Island but asylum seekers must understand they run the risk of being sent offshore if they get on a boat.

Sri Lanka detains boats

Sri Lankan officials say the country’s navy has detained 98 would-be asylum seekers and prevented them from travelling to Australia in two boats.

Navy officials say those onboard, including at least one woman, have been handed over to police.

It’s the biggest detection of would-be asylum seekers since the Australian Government passed its new immigration laws last week.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

22)Academic calls for young, innovative leaders as Forum review Pacific plan

By Online Editor
3:45 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Cook Islands

A New Zealand-based Fiji analyst and academic has called for young, innovative Pacific Islanders with imagination to be more involved in the region’s leadership.

Dr Steven Ratuva of the Centre for Pacific Studies at Auckland University told Pacific Scoop the problem was that the Pacific Islands Forum mostly “sought out old retired civil servants and people who have outlived their use-by-date” as heads of organisations to be leaders.

“The Pacific leaders should consider young, innovative Pacific Islanders to run this and other Pacific organisations because the Forum has a lot to offer but it has to rethink how it has got to do it.

“They need innovation and imagination to be able to do that,” he said.

The Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, said in Rarotonga at the weekend that the Pacific Plan was set to be reviewed to enable its continued relevance to member countries in the current global development landscape.

“Despite significant progress and achievements by respective countries made under the Pacific Plan in 2011 and 2012, major challenges remain and continue to confront the region,” Tuiloma told a Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) /Forum regional media workshop.

The challenges included fluctuations and instability in the global economy, climate change and achieving the Pacific regional millennium development goals, he said.

Dr Ratuva sees the review of the Pacific Plan as essential as it will facilitate the need to reform – especially with many challenges and tensions within the Forum and member countries.

“The leadership of the Forum should be able to sustain the durability of patience and independence to be able to make judgements and communicate well with Forum members and to create the space for engagement,” Dr Ratuva said.

“There should be a kind of proactive constant engagement all the time rather than the Forum existing independently on its own and routinely doing things.”

SOURCE: PACIFIC SCOOP/PACNEWS

23)Polynesian Leaders Group meet in Rarotonga ahead of the Pacific Leaders Forum

By Online Editor
09:21 am GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Cook Islands

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

The newly formed Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) met for the second time in Cook Islands Saturday to discuss ways to co-operate with each other at the sub-regional level.

Comprising Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, American Samoa, French Polynesia/Tahiti and Tokelau, Leaders met at Rarotonga’s Muri Beach Resort ahead of this week’s Pacific Forum Leaders meeting, to formalise among other things the proposed plan to set up a secretariat for the new group.

“This year we have stepped up the level of work by the PLG and we have tasked a group of officials to work on recommendations to the Group, said Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, whose office in Apia has been co-ordinating the work of the interim Secretariat since the first meeting in November last year.

When questioned on where the Secretariat will be based, the incoming chair of PLG and Prime Minister of Cook Islands, Henry Puna said, ‘the issue of where the Secretariat will be located is subject to on-going discussions.’

The Cooks PM also clarified the role of the new group, which he hopes will become a recognised sub-regional grouping within the Pacific Islands Forum.

“It should be noted that PLG was not set up to compete with other groupings within the Forum. We are finding that within the triangle of Polynesia that there are certain issues that are peculiar to us can be dealt with at the sub-regional level.

“It’s also fair to share that the smaller you are the greater the need to be aligned with a grouping. It is a reality of the world that the voices of small countries are difficult to be heard, if at all. I am sure that there is a need for a small group such as PLG that small nations like ours can identify with because of our common heritage and with whom we share a lot of common issues and challenges, said Prime Minister Puna.

The Cook Islands leader said since the inception of PLG last year, his country has benefited from a shipping arrangement with Samoa to service people in the northern group.

“This is one of the outcomes of this new grouping and is something that we want to strengthen and enhance for the future.

The only other recognised sub-regional group within the Pacific Islands Forum is the seven-member Smaller Island States (SIS), made up of Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu.

Reporting on the progress made by the PLG, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said discussions in Rarotonga have focused on key areas of collaboration, in compliance with the Pacific Plan.

“We have noted very carefully the major issues in the Pacific Plan and we will focus on areas that are of particular importance to the PLG. As you know in the Pacific Plan there are wider issues to deal with in the areas of climate change, fisheries, ICT and infrastructure development.

“Right now one of our challenges is in ICT development. It is the only way that will eliminate our isolation. ICT has great contribution to telemedicine, distant education, development of tourism, commerce and tourism and shipping. We are strong proponents of the marine cable that was supposed to be funded by France to improve cable connection between Tahiti Nui and New Caledonia. That plan has not proceeded.

“There was another proposal for the Pacific cable from New Zealand, up to the north, which would cover Samoa and Tonga. As of 01 August, that plan also failed. Now we are moving to another alternative connection of marine cable between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. These are one of the examples of projects that are so important to the development of the group, said Prime Minister Tuilaepa.

Another immediate area of concern for the newly formed group is renewable energy.

“There are a host of problems, especially in dealing with funding the technology involved. There is also the complex issue of fixing price between the producer of solar energy and the distributor which is often a government corporation, explained the Samoan leader.

Endorsing the views of the Samoan PM, his Cook Islands counterpart said there is now a greater need to work together in a core group of like-minded nations to deal with issues of common interest.

“The geographical proximities of our countries makes it sensible that they be working together on issues such as ICT because virtually the cables run past countries within the group, for example Niue, will be very close to any cabling between Samoa and Tonga. And off course the Cook Islands is also seriously looking at options for us to be connected to cable. In that sense when you look at the geographical proximity of the countries, it makes sense that those issues be addressed at sub-regional level than the Pacific wide level approach, said Prime Minister Puna.

Delegations from Rapa Nui (Easter Islands) and representatives of the 56 ‘iwi’ Maori tribes, who met with PLG Leaders, have expressed interests to join the new group.

“We provide opportunity for these groups to be members of our group. We also had the Hawaiian community applying for membership. The iwi gave us a long presentation which illustrated their vast experience in managing the affairs for 56 tribes. We are looking at that kind of experience which would be extremely valuable in the development of our PLG Group, said Tuilaepa.

The meeting in Apia last year agreed that a state, territory or indigenous Polynesian population may be invited to become a member or an observer by consensus decision of the founding members.

SOURCE: PACNEWS

24)Samoa mayor sacked in land row

By Online Editor
3:32 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Samoa

A bitter court case involving a parcel of land destined to be the site of a new hospital has resumed in Samoa.

The issue has seen the mayor of Satapuala village – 40 minutes from the capital of Apia – sacked.

Senior bureaucrat Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara signed the certificate approving the mayor’s dismissal.

She is chief executive of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Leituala Kuiniselani told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the mayor had objected to plans to develop land for the hospital.

He had thus had failed in a requirement to facilitate government developments at a village level, she said.
The mayor, Ga Sakaria, says he was not warned of his abrupt dismissal.

Last week villagers put up a roadblock to protest against the government allegedly ignoring their land grievances.

The mayor said the dismissal decision was personal and Satapuala does not recognise the government’s decision.

He has reportedly threatened to sue for unfair dismissal if he does not get a satisfactory answer about his sacking.

Critics say he failed in his duty by not pushing through the hospital plans.

But other landholders were to lose property in the planned development, and now want their land back.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

25)Marshall Islands nuclear test survivor dies in Majuro

By Online Editor
12:21 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Marshall Islands

A survivor of nuclear fallout from a Pacific hydrogen bomb test, who traveled the globe to speak out about health problems she and fellow fallout victims suffered, has died in Majuro at age 66.

Lijon Eknilang, one of 82 Rongelap Islanders who were engulfed by a snowstorm of radioactive fallout from the March 1, 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, was an icon among the fallout-exposed community in the Marshall Islands for her international advocacy on behalf of nuclear test victims.

Bravo was the largest of the 67 nuclear weapons tests that the United States conducted in the Marshall Islands from 1946 to 1958. In an ironic twist of fate, Eknilang’s birthday was March 1.

She died at Majuro Hospital earlier in the week following a brief illness.

A former councilwoman for Rongelap, Eknilang was eight years old when the Bravo hydrogen bomb was tested at Bikini, spewing radioactive ash onto unsuspecting islanders at Rongelap and other islands more than 100 miles downwind. Most of the Rongelap islanders suffered from severe radiation burns on their necks, backs, arms and feet, and many had their hair fall out as a result of the exposure.

Later in life, after her and other islanders’ health problems multiplied — including a rash of thyroid tumors and cancers — Eknilang began advocating for Rongelap nuclear test survivors, becoming well-known internationally. She spoke at conferences and went on speaking tours in Europe, the United States and Japan to raise people’s awareness about health problems Rongelap Islanders experienced as a result of their fallout exposure. She put a spotlight on the birth problems — ranging from miscarriages to “jelly fish-like” babies — Rongelap women have reported experiencing since the 1954 test.

Eknilang was one of the motivators of the Rongelap people’s self-evacuation from Rongelap to Mejatto Island in Kwajalein Atoll in 1985 onboard the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior that a few weeks later was bombed and sunk in New Zealand by French government secret agents.

“People were getting sick and frequently being sent off for medical treatment,” she said in a 2005 interview about the underlying motivation for Rongelap people leaving their island. In an article on the 20th anniversary of the resettlement, she said the entire community was in agreement that Rongelap Atoll was contaminated and they had to evacuate before more people got sick.

“We were worried for the safety of our children,” she said. “Our main goal to move was to get the U.S. to clean Rongelap.”

Majuro resident Bill Graham, who for 21 years worked as the public advocate for a Nuclear Claims Tribunal in Majuro that provided compensation to nuclear test victims, recalled a 1999 trip to Rongelap, Ailinginae, and Rongerik atolls that included Eknilang, a dozen or so members of those communities and the independent scientific and land valuation experts who were working on the Rongelap nuclear test property damage claim.

“Lijon was obviously excited at returning to her ancestral homelands and recalled various special items which each of several different islands had traditionally provided,” said Graham. “Many of those ‘treasures,’ as she called them, were still there to be found when the group went ashore at those islands and she took great delight at again being in what she referred to as her ‘playground.’

“But there was a very serious side to Lijon as well,” Graham said, “especially when she described the many hardships and suffering that the people experienced as a consequence of the nuclear testing program. She was a powerful spokesperson for the Rongelap people and her courage in being willing to share personal health issues helped other women to come out publicly as well.”

Subsequent to the Rongelap people’s departure from their home atoll in 1985, the U.S. government funded independent scientific studies that confirmed the need for a nuclear cleanup, and the U.S. Congress later appropriated a US$45 million Rongelap Resettlement Trust Fund. The question of a return to Rongelap remains controversial, as US funds have provided for cleaning up only one of the more than 60 islands in Rongelap’s necklace of coral islands.

SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS

26)Australia and Tonga qualify for RWC Sevens

By Online Editor
10:47 am GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Australia

Australia and Tonga have become the latest nations to qualify for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow after safely negotiating the Oceania regional qualifier in Sydney on the weekend.

They will join the region’s automatic qualifiers New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa in Russia from 28-30 June next year.

The Australians delighted the home crowd by beating defending champions Samoa 12-7 in the Oceania Sevens final at North Sydney Oval on Sunday, while Tonga finished third after a tight battle with the Cook Islands.

It was a tense, physical final that went right down to the last seconds. Samoa scored first through a converted Robert Lilomaiava try after an attack that started in their own half.

But Australia struck back through the tournament’s top try scorer Pama Fou to make it 7-5 after a break by captain Ed Jenkins. Australia continued to enjoy possession and pressed but Samoa held them out and held their slender lead at the break.

With tensions mounting Samoa’s Talaga Alofipo received a yellow card early in the second half for a high tackle and while Australia pressed they could not take advantage in his absence. Then, with Samoa back to full strength Allan Faalavaau broke from his own half in centre field to score under the posts and it was 12-7 to the home team.

Further pressure then saw Australia lose possession near the Samoa line and the champions headed down field with pace and numbers. It looked as though Falenui Iosi was set to score the winning try but  a last ditch tackle around the ankles by Will Miller cut the Samoan down and Australia hung on to win.

Jenkins was delighted with the victory. “The first objective was to beat Tonga in the semi-final and qualify for next year’s World Cup Sevens. The win over Samoa to win the Oceania title is the icing on the cake. It was incredibly close but playing Samoa is always hard and it could have gone either way.

“It was great to be playing at home and it was good preparation for the Gold Coast Sevens that is coming up in October. Like Samoa we had some debutants today and they have now got some excellent experience of top level Sevens under their belt.”

Samoa coach Faamaoni Lalomilo said: “I am really proud of my boys. We left our senior players at home as we had already qualified for the World Cup Sevens next year. I wanted to see how the young players went against some of the top teams in Sevens such as Australia and they showed they have what it takes.

“It was a trial of sorts for them. We have the HSBC Sevens World Series coming up plus the World Cup next year and we wanted to build depth in the squad. A lot of young players put their hands up today which is just what we wanted.”

There was also all to play for in the third place play-off with Oceania’s other Rugby World Cup Sevens place up for grabs.

Cook Islands and Tonga played out an intense first half with both sides having their chances before the Cooks’ broke the deficit through Justin Marsters and then Sailosi Nagi to give them a 10-0 half time lead.

Tonga, however, replied in the first minute of the second half with a converted try and then added another from Sonatane Takulua to give them a 14-10 lead.

The momentum was now with Tonga and when Siosiua  Ma’afu scored it looked all over at 19-10. However, Tiakina Manga scored and converted for the Cooks to make it to make it 19-17 to set up a tense last minute, but Tonga deservedly held on for the victory.

Tonga captain Sione Vaiomounga was happy with his team. “We were bad on the first day. We were not prepared to do the work. We took too much for granted but the boys dug deep and we earned a spot at the Rugby World Cup Sevens which is what we wanted. The key was less mistakes and more physicality at the tackle.”

Cook Islands coach Ramsey Tomokino said: “We had our opportunities, many of them, but just couldn’t convert the pressure which is disappointing. We also had to play without our captain Koiahu who suffered concussion in the semi final against Samoa. Top level Sevens is all about taking chances and we didn’t.”

Defending champions Samoa were a class above Cook Islands in the first semi final, jumping to a 12-0 lead after just two minutes which grew to 26-0 by half time. Cook Islands had no answer to a ruthless Samoa but scored a consolation try through Sailosi Nagi. However, the Samoan 52-5 victory was marred by injury to speedster Lio Lolo who would miss the final.

The other semi final was a much tighter and physical affair with Australia edging Tonga two tries to one in the first half to lead 12-7 at the break. Fou then scored his second try shortly after the break to extend the Australian lead to 17-7. Australia then scored a final try through Wallaby Luke Morahan to secure a 24-7 victory and a place at RWC Sevens 2013.

Samoa opened day two with a comfortable 10-try, 62-0 quarter final win over Solomon Islands. Samoan squad depth and strike power was reflected in nine different try scorers to show they were determined to defend their Oceania title. Australia also qualified comfortably for the semi finals with a 55-0 win over Tahiti with Pama Fou scoring four tries.

The two key games in the quarter finals were Papua New Guinea versus Tonga and Cook Islands versus American Samoa to see who would progress to challenge for tournament honours and RWC Sevens qualification.

Tonga, disappointing on day one, was too strong for PNG who were denied any possession and opportunities in the first half. Tonga led 17-0 at half time after scoring three tries, two to Vaiomounga, but PNG stormed back to 17-15 with three unanswered second half tries. With time running out PNG threw everything at Tonga but time ran out for them.
Tonga coach and former Test player Manu Vunipola said: “Everything was on the line in that game. We had to win it to keep our World Cup qualification dream alive. We were poor on day one and talked about it overnight. Today we were hungry and far more focused and aggressive.”

The Cook Islands opened the scoring against American Samoa in a highly anticipated quarter final that became a very tight affair in the first half. The Cook Islanders, superbly led by captain Koiatu Koiatu, scored the only try and led 5-0.

After the break the Cooks Islands’ greater experience and strong defence proved too much for American Samoa, who had been the surprise package of day one with wins over Tonga and Solomon Islands, and the Cooks went on to score a further two converted tries for a 19-0 win.

SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

27)Draw reveals Solomon Islands’ path to glory

By Online Editor
10:45 am GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Thailand

Fans around the world were eagerly awaiting the draw for the FIFA Futsal World Cup, which took place on Friday in Bangkok and featured guests like FIFA Executive Committee member Manilal Fernando and Local Organising Committee Chairman Suwat Lipatapallop.

Suttipong Tatpithakkul was the host of the ceremony, while the official draw was carried out by Jaime Yarza, FIFA’s Senior Manager of Futsal and Beach Soccer Competitions. Helping him were Thai boxer Somluck Kamsing, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and former Thai football international Kiatisuk ‘Zico’ Senamuang, as well as Natpimol Natthayalack and Warudthaya Wongchayapon, who finished first and third respectively at the Miss Universe Thailand 2012 competition.

This is the seventh hosting of the event and 24 countries are involved this time around, split into six groups. Hosts Thailand are in Group A and will be hoping to overcome Costa Rica, Ukraine and Paraguay to make it through to the Round of 16.

Reigning FIFA Futsal World Cup winners Brazil were the first team drawn in Group C and will face experienced opponents from three different continents in the shape of Japan, Libya and Portugal. Spain, who on paper are the team most likely to dent the South American title-holder’s chances of a repeat performance, find themselves in Group B alongside Iran, Panama and Morocco.

Group D looks to be the most balanced of the six, with Argentina, Mexico, Italy and Australia all having the potential to make it through to the knockout stages.

The tournament begins on November 1 with the final being held in Bangkok on November 18. The Thai capital has three matchday venues, while Nakhon Ratchasima will also be hosting games.

The 24 participating teams were drawn in six groups of four, with the top two from each group going through to the Round of 16 along with the four best third-placed teams.

Group A: Thailand, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Paraguay
Group B: Spain, Iran, Panama, Morocco
Group C: Brazil, Japan, Libya, Portugal
Group D: Argentina, Mexico, Italy, Australia
Group E: Egypt, Serbia, Czech Republic, Kuwait
Group F: Russia, Solomon Islands, Guatemala, Colombia

The draw was almost complete when it was realised that two South American teams had been drawn together in Group C, which was not allowed as per the draw regulations. Therefore, after a short break, the final four teams were re-drawn, ensuring that the only group with more than one team from the same continent – due to seven qualifiers coming from Europe – is Group E, which features Czech Republic and Serbia.

After the dust had settled, Thailand coach Vic Hermans gave his reaction to the draw, expressing confidence in his side’s ability to reach the knockout stage

“Of course I’m confident,” he said. “When you look at Ukraine, Paraguay and Costa Rica, the first reaction is, ‘That’s tough’. But we have a good young team and we beat Iran at the AFC Championship in Dubai which was not expected of us. Based on our performances there, I’m 100 per cent confident we can progress to the second round.”…

SOURCE: OFC/PACNEWS

28)Roy scores winner for Fiji against Play Fair Brazil

By Online Editor
10:44 am GMT+12, 27/08/2012, Fiji

Roy Krishna’s 31st minute strike was enough to hand Fiji a historic 1-0 victory over the touring Play Fair Brazil team to tie the two match Vodafone series one-all at Govind Park in Ba on Saturday.

Krishna shocked the visitors with a low pile driver in the first half.

Fiji goalkeeper Ratu Jone Gasaubalavu starred in the fixture making many fine saves.

Play Fair Brazil captain and 1994 FIFA World Cup winning team member Paulo Sergio Silvestre do Nascimento tried had to get the equaliser in the second spell but could not get the ball past Ratu Jone.

Fiji shut the visitors out with their stringent defensive pattern. The man-to-man marking by the home team proved to be the difference at the end.

A poor turnout was recorded at Govind Park with only several hundred people turning up for the fixture.

The result will go down in Fiji soccer’s history books as the first win over a South American team on home soil.
Fiji Football Association vice president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy said they played better football than the first match on Thursday.

He said the boys were really passionate about donning the white jumper and lifted themselves.

Reddy said they were on track in their build up towards the 2015 Pacific Games.

“The team was more structured from Thursday,” Reddy said.

“It was an aggressive match. This is a very young national squad and it is a positive result as we head into the preparations for the next phase of international commitments.”

“The door to the national side remains open but players will have to prove themselves.”

Play Fair Brazil team manager Marcos Grava Vasaconcelos said the results did not matter.

He said their aim was to showcase high standard of football.

“A win and a loss is not important but I think the people here have seen a high level football game,” Vasaconcelos said.
“I must congratulate the Fiji side for a great match. We felt like playing against Uruguay. Fiji was very solid in defence. Carlos is doing a good job.

“The Fiji team is very young and if they keep playing together than they could have a bright future. These players could get attachments with clubs in Brazil.

“Today they knew that it was a match of their lives. It was a unique opportunity to play with their hearts.
“When they scored the goal they went back to half of the pitch and defended. We tried hard to break the defence but could not do that.”

On Thursday Play Fair Brazil beat Fiji 2-1 at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

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