NEWS (Melanesian/Pacific) 29 August 2012
1)Australian Mine long PNG i op ken
Ol ripot ikam long Papua New Guinea itok olsem bikpla Gold mine kampani blong Australia, Newcrest, istatim pinis ken ol wok blong en bihaenim ol toktok wantem ol lokal papa graon.
Oli bin pasim ol wok long min long Lihir mine bihaenim ol toktok kros wantem ol laen blong ples.
Newcrest Mine nau iwok long lukluk ken long ol tok oraet long wokbung wantem ol papa graon oa benefits package.
Sampla long ol despla benefit i karamapim wok blong kompenseisan, na tu wok blong kirapim ol wok kamap oa divelopman long halvim ol lokal pipal.Radio Australia
By Online Editor
4:23 pm GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Cook Islands
An Australia group advocating for the indigenous people of Papua says Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in the Cook Islands must discuss the worsening human rights situation in the Indonesian region.
Spokesperson for the Australian West Papua Association, Joe Collins, says with an ABC report detailing Australia’s links with the counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, the leaders should push for a fact finding mission to be sent there.
Collins said while Australia and possibly New Zealand will try and block discussion the security situation in Papua is the worst in the region and the island country leaders should push for it.
“Although they are smaller island states compared to Australia and New Zealand [he is hopeful] they will finally push Julia Gillard or Australia to do something about the issue. I mean they would have the support of the people of the region. The people of the region are very concerned about the human rights situation in West Papua. Unfortunately sometimes the government leaders are less keen on the issue.”.
By Online Editor
12:48 pm GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Fiji
The Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) this month made a significant investment in Fiji through the purchase of an iconic resort toget¬her with an 18-hole golf course.
The purchase of the Pearl South Pacific Resort for K34 million was made together with landowner company, Petroleum Resources Kutubu.
The Pearl South Pacific Resort includes the hotel business, a golf course and apartments from Pacific Harbour Enterprises Ltd.
It boasts nearly 200 acres and offers guests the majesty of a tropical island environment with uniquely-designed suites and exceptional service standards.
Located on the beachfront on what is Fiji’s longest white sandy beach, the resort is just 40 minutes drive from Suva and two hours drive from Nadi International Airport.
Speaking at the acquisition ceremony a fortnight back, Finance Minister James Marape said the investment was done to cement the existing business relations PNG had with Fiji.
“Investing in each other’s countries is perhaps one of the most encouraging signs for inter-regional trade in the Pacific Islands,” he said.
“As in PNG with the approaching liquefied natural gas project, the mineral resources boom has the potential to transform the investment climate in the Pacific Islands – from a traditional model of foreign direct investment driven from outside the region to one that is generated from within the region.
“This investment is a continuation of this development and one that PNG and Fiji can mutually benefit from.”
MRDC chairman Simon Tosali said it was MRDC’s job to advice landow¬ners to invest so they put the wealth from their resources to good use so that the benefits keep coming even when the oil and gas have gone.
PRK chairman John Kapi Natto said: “PRK owns the third largest share in Bank South Pacific, it acquired
50% of Hevilift and is now in a joint venture with MRDC through which it owns 50% of the Pearl South Pacific Resort.
“I am so proud and happy for what MRDC has done. It was not a mistake coming to Fiji.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
4)PNG Budget Shortfall Allegedly Due To Revenue Collection
Government to avoid ‘debt crisis’ by reorganizing budget
By Gorethy Kenneth
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Aug. 28, 2012) – The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government expects a K500 million [US$239.1 million] shortfall in the 2012 budget, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced over the weekend.
But this was not because the Government had overspent or had mismanaged the economy. It was, instead, due to the shortfall in revenues collected by the Government.
The Government now plans to address this shortfall by reorganizing the current budget allocation. It will reallocate unused funds from non-priority areas to priority areas to cater for the shortfall.
Prime Minister O’Neill said this in response to the Opposition Finance spokesman Joseph Lelang’s comments in the media recently that Papua New Guinea was on the brink of an economic precipice with high debts incurred during the 2012 elections, excessive domestic borrowing and falling revenues.
“I want to assure the people of Papua New Guinea that the Government has anticipated a K500 million shortfall in the 2012 budget due to low commodity prices on the world market; however we are prepared and have come up with strategies to rectify this problem,” Mr. O’Neill said. “One thing we are doing and are capable of is managing the economy of PNG.”
Mr. O’Neill also said the Government was living within its means and is very cautious about domestic borrowing. The Government intends to avoid any debt crisis that might destabilize the country’s economy.
“We plan to address this shortfall by reorganizing the current budget allocation,” Mr. O’Neill said. “As a responsible government, we are also mindful of the effects of borrowing additional capital to offset this shortfall. Therefore, we will not be borrowing. There will be a supplementary budget later this year to address this.
“Another option that the Government has is to use bonds issued by the Bank of PNG.
“I would also like to clarify the misinformation about rising national debt. Our sovereign debt now stands at K6 billion [US$2.9 billion], compared to some K10 billion [US$4.8 billion] 5-6 years ago. We have been slowly repaying the debt.
“It is to do with reorganizing and minimizing budget expenditure. We can maintain our budget,” Mr O’Neill said.
The Prime Minister said the Treasury Department has predicted a 9.9 percent growth in the economy in 2013. With major projects like the PNG Liquefied Natural Projects (LNG) coming on stream, the economic outlook is looking good.
“I would like to assure the private sector that there is no need for alarm as our economic outlook is alright,” he said. “This Government is serious about cutting down costs and ensuring services reach the majority of our people.”
Mr. O’Neill said one cost-cutting measure identified includes the trimming down of the excessive public service within the next five years, at both national and provincial levels.
“We will still maintain our budget, which is driven by our priority areas identified in the Medium Term Development Plan. These priority areas include improvement of transport infrastructure, health, education, addressing law and order, and growing the economy.
“Having said that, I want to again reassure the people of PNG and our investors that there is no need for alarm.”
The National: www.thenational.com.pg/
By Online Editor
09:26 am GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Papua New Guinea
Progress talks on reopening the Paguna Mine in Bougainville are going well and steady.
Country Manager for Rio Tinto PNG Ltd Mr Paul Coleman said Monday in Port Moresby.
He said they the company does not want to repeat mistakes from the past so they are very cautious about what they are doing.
“We want everyone to be involved,” Coleman said.
He said those to be involved in this process included all concerned stakeholders, the ex-combatants, Mekamui, the landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
He said that after all consultations with all stakeholders they would proceed with pre-feasibility studies on reopening the Paguna Mine.
He said the progress on reopening the mine has moved forward and steady and is heading in the right direction.
Coleman said from the feedback they are getting off their consultations, most Bougainvilleans including the Autonomous Bougainville Government are keen on reopening the mine.
He said they had a meeting with stakeholders in Bougainville recently and will have another soon.
He said majority of them saw that reopening the mine would help with economic development in Bougainville.
He said much has been said but there is still much work to do.
Coleman said they are very cautious with they are doing and they would like to bring all parties into the process.
He said it would cost the company around US$4-6 billion if they were to reopen the mine.
“There’s a lot of work to be done and we have made a lot of progress in the past months,” Coleman said.
“We want to get it right for the first time, so we don’t get anything from the past.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
6)Election Of Female MP Draws ‘Mixed Reactions’ In Solomons
Vika Lusibaea among few female representatives in Pacific region
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Aug. 28, 2012) – A prominent women’s leader in Solomon Islands says there has been a mixed reaction to the election of only the second woman MP in the country’s history and the current parliament’s sole woman representative.
Vika Lusibaea, who is from Fiji, achieved a substantial victory over her nine male rivals in the North Malaita by-election.
Mrs. Lusibaea is the wife of the former North Malaita MP Jimmy Lusibaea, who lost the seat after an unlawful wounding conviction.
Dr. Alice Pollard, who directs the West ‘Are’ Are Rokotanikeni or Women Coming Together Association, says some people are asking if Mrs. Lusibaea was successful because she is a foreigner.
“Or because she’s a woman and she can deliver or did she win because of the great support rendered to her by her husband and family and the whole constituents, you know people are still asking the question of how she did get in.”
The Hon. Vika Lusibaea is only the second women in Solomon Islands political history to enter the National Parliament. It was a big victory for Mrs. Lusibaea, who polled 2,802 votes ahead of the second candidate Fredrick Kwanairara with 901 votes.
A recent report showed that the Pacific Islands are still lagging in terms of women representatives in Parliament. The report also highlighted that on average Pacific Island countries still have one of the lowest rates of women political representation globally.
[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reports that Jimmy Lusibaea will not allow his wife to be interviewed by overseas media. Mr. Lusibaea says he trusts neither Radio New Zealand nor its Australian counterpart.]
7)Vanuatu Minister To Sue Media Over Phocea Incident
Education official cries foul over alleged defamation in local media
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 28, 2012) – Vanuatu’s Minister of Education, Marcelino Pepite, is threatening to sue local media, claiming he has been defamed over storieslinking him to the super yacht, Phocea.
There have been reports, including supporting photographs, showing Mr. Pepite was one of two ministers who boarded the yacht before it had received a customs clearance.
Most of the Phocea crew have since been convicted on immigration offences while police say they will continue investigations into the ministers who allegedly boarded the vessel illegally.
But Mr. Pepite says the stories carried by the Daily Post and Vanuatu Broadcasting are incorrect and politically motivated attempts to undermine him.
In response the Daily Post editor, Royson Willie, says their stories are based on the ongoing police investigation and they are not politically motivated.
Vanuatu Broadcasting editor, Olivia William, says their stories are also based on police reports.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
8) 896 Firearms Licenses Issued Since January 2012 In Vanuatu
Registration official says up-to-date records essential
By Jane Joshua
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Aug. 28, 2012) – Vanuatu’s historic national firearms census which opened for registration on January 16 netted Vt4,177,885 [US$45,239] government revenue.
Unfortunately the important exercise, which was announced by the Commissioner of Labour, then acting Director General in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Lionel Kaluat, Police Commissioner and Australian Police counterparts five days after the fatal shooting of the late Dick Eade, was short lived.
Daily Post was informed the census was not completed after the Australian Federal Police were expelled from the country in May (it was funded through the Vanuatu Australia Police Project, 2012).
Nevertheless Police records revealed the following on Penama, Sanma, Malampa and Tafea provinces after registration opened on January 13 this year.
Overall, 896 new licenses were issued, with the highest in Penama, and 495 renewed, the highest figures from Sanma and Tafea.
In particular, in Penama the firearms team issued 372 new licenses and renewed 91 existing licenses totaling Vt1,562,125 [US$16,915] in revenue.
In Sanma while the areas of West Coast, Luganville town, Malo, Tutuba and Aore were not covered, 143 new licenses were issued, 171 licenses were renewed bringing in Vt1,059,750 [US$11,475].
In Tafea 77 new licenses were issued and 171 renewed at a total of Vt317,250 [US$3,435].
In Shefa (excluding Efate offshore islands and Vila town) 101 new licenses were issued and 9 renewed bringing in Vt371,250 [US$4,020] revenue and in Malampa 203 new licenses issued, 53 renewed with a total revenue of Vt864,000 [US$9,355].
Right at the beginning of the firearms census launching, Inspector Elvis Kalfau, officer in charge of the Vanuatu Police Firearms Registration Unit, emphasized the importance of this activity.
“The strength and quantity of firearms in each village, island and province must be updated,” he had told Daily Post. “We monitor the central firearm registry, but need accurate data in the database. Security-wise, criminal activities are on the rise so registration, renewal or transfer of any firearms must be recorded.”
A license, after meeting all the requirements can be obtained at Vt3,375 [US$36.55] (including value-added tax) and down for renewal (same amount) each year.
It would be in the best interest of the national firearms registry, the Government and people if the census exercise is revived and completed in the areas yet to be covered.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
9)Wamytan loses New Caledonia Congress presidency to Poadja
Posted at 01:54 on 29 August, 2012 UTC
Caledonia Together Party politician Gerard Poadja has been elected president of the New Caledonia Congress.
Mr Poadja gained 28 votes, the majority needed in the third round of voting in the annual election for the presidency of the 54 seat territorial legislature.
He was one of two loyalists facing incumbent president and pro-independence leader Roch Wamytan.
Simon Loueckhote of the Movement for Diversity withdrew after the second round of voting.
Mr Poadja says he wants to make the Congress more democratic and transparent.
He is the first northern province candidate to be elected to the presidency.http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=70553
10) Yash Ghai: New Constitution Will Not End Fiji’s ‘Coup Culture’
Commission chair says many submissions include desire to end coups
By Maciu Malo
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 28, 2012) – Constitution Commission chairman Professor Yash Ghai says the drawing up of a new constitution will not put a stop to the coup culture in Fiji.
He said the hunger for power and the ethnic element were major causes of coups in Fiji since 1987.
Prof. Ghai said that over the past three weeks many people had expressed their wish for an end to coups.
“Some people have said you should put up a constitution that will say there will be no coup, but that will not help,” he said. “If the military or anyone for that matter wants to move in then they can because of power and we cannot control them.
“We can try to do it but I don’t think if we include in the constitution there will be no coups. If the military wants to come, in such a predominance of force, then they can come in. We have to focus on the social condition or the critical condition under which coups become possible. The two driving forces of the two past coups is through politicians who have lost power.
[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, according to Attorney General Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum, Fiji’s governmentwill not make any submissions to the commission, which the state feels would be unnecessary as the commission is “set up to hear the voices of every citizen of the country.”]
“Secondly, there is the ethnic element. If one ethnic group feels they have lost out, they will try and get some military assistance and even business people may do so if the government policy doesn’t suit them.
“So, I think to help solve the problem we should have a constitution that responds to people’s needs and I think we can participate freely and fearlessly for this new constitution.
“I think this is the first constitution, if we get there, anyone can say it is the people’s constitution. We should consider the role of military, Fiji doesn’t need a huge military for self-defense but Fiji has got quite a worthy contribution to peacekeeping which is good.”
Prof. Ghai said the commission would spend two months meeting and receiving submissions from the people.
“Fiji has many resources and has potential and there is no reason why Fiji should not be richer,” he said.
Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
11)No need for an election
Wednesday, August 29, 2012-FijiTimes
HOLDING a general election will not solve Fiji’s social and political problems, says former National Federation Party member Rajendra James.
Mr James told the Constitution Commission in Lautoka on Monday the government administration was doing a good job addressing the people’s needs.
“Having another general election will not make any difference right now for us. There are more important things that need to be addressed than holding a general election,” said Mr James.
“What Fiji needs at the moment is good education standard, infrastructure improvement and that is what the current administration is doing very well.”
Mr James said there was nothing wrong with the administration and that they should not be changed.
“What is wrong with the current administration that has been looking after the affairs of Fiji for the past six to almost seven years?
“They have given us the Old is Gold concept by providing our elderly citizens with meal vouchers, shopping vouchers and public transport allowance.
“Schoolchildren are getting free bus fares and the Fiji Sugar Corporation is getting much-needed financial boost to help it get back on its feet.
“Those people who were given the $86million responsibility to upgrade the four sugar mills are not talking right now. Where are they now?
Mr James urged the commission to put together a roadmap that would assist the government.
“The Constitution Commission has the powers to draw out a roadmap for Fiji but I still maintain Fiji does not need a general election at the moment,” he added.
12)Call for equal representation in parliament
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
THE women of Vitogo Village and surrounding settlements have called on the Constitution Commission to ensure there is equal representation of women and men in a new parliament.
Making submissions on behalf of the women of Vitogo yesterday, Adi Paulini Delai suggested that 50 per cent of the parliamentarians be women.
Adi Paulini said there needed to be a law that also allow women to be represented at all provincial and district councils and government departments.
She said this would be in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Ms Delai said the rights of minority groups must also be addressed by the commission.
She said the new constitution must protect the rights of the minority groups.
“We propose that the human rights of those who were born and live in Fiji be protected by the constitution,” Adi Paulini said.
Her submissions were well received by commission member Doctor Satendra Nandan who noted it was pleasing that women’s groups were coming forward with their submissions on equal rights. Dr Nandan said he was also pleased to hear submissions on the rights of the minorities.
Also making submissions yesterday was Radini vanua o Vitogo Adi Litiana Sovasova who proposed that the iTaukei be called Fijians.
Adi Litiana said the word Fijian had a history of reflecting the relationships that landowners had with their land, traditional fishing grounds and their resources.
“The word Fijian portrays our identity and it sets us apart from all of the countries in the world — it makes us unique,” Adi Litiana said.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=210391
13)Sea level woes
Wednesday, August 29, 2012- FijiTimes.
THE iTaukei Ministry has started working with villagers through provincial council offices to increase awareness about the effects of climate change. This follows reports of villages affected by rising sea level.
Deputy ministry CEO Colonel Apakuki Kurusiga said provincial council offices around the country had been working with villagers.
“It is very important that villagers know about climate change and its effects on the environment like rising sea level which has become quite visible in some villages,” he said.
“We are aware of villages being affected by climate change and it is a concern for all — it’s equally important for villagers to understand the effects of climate change. There is one village I know in which relocation has started, so we are working with villagers through provincial offices to take heed of signs of climate change.”
Col. Kurusiga said a committee to look after sustaining the environment would soon be formed with the first in the province of Macuata.
“We can already see the effects of climate change, so the committee that will be responsible for sustaining and preserving the environment will also work with villagers on this matter,” he said.
Col. Kurusiga said the formation of the committee would be spearheaded by the Macuata Provincial Council office.
He said the committee would include villagers as their views were important.
Divisional planning officer north Alipate Bolalevu confirmed reports of sea water entering village compounds have been received by his office and there was government assistance available through the Climate Change Project. But villagers would have to follow proper channels for assistance. “Reports of villages being affected by rising sea level in Vanua Levu have been discussed in district and provincial council meetings. We are aware of a few villages that are affected by climate change with rising sea level entering village compounds and the issue will be discussed again in upcoming district meetings to identify the villages,” Mr Bolalevu said.
“Work for the relocation of the first village in Vunidogoloa, Cakaudrove will start this week with delivery of building material to the new site. We hope the villagers can be relocated to the new village site before the end of this year.”
He said 30 houses would be built at the new village site.
The villagers, Mr Bolalevu said, provided timber for their new homes while government assisted with the levelling of the new site and other building material.
But he said there were procedures to be followed before government could assist with the relocation of villages.
“The villagers will inform government through district and provincial council meetings of the situation they face in their villages as a result of climate change. Then they will have to identify a new piece of land for relocation and liaise with the mataqali for consent. When that is done, the villagers together with the consent from the mataqali will inform their provincial council offices and then it will come to the Ministry of Provincial Development where assistance and other relocation details would be attended to.”
Mr Bolalevu said having villagers follow proper procedures was imperative to avoide unnecessary hiccups later.
* Editorial Comment: PAGE 8
By Online Editor
09:36 am GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Cook Islands
By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Rarotonga
Two controversial decisions will need to be undertaken by Pacific ACP Leaders when they meet in Rarotonga Tuesday.
One is the decision on Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Eminent Persons Group that will review the future management of the Pacific ACP affairs and the other is the need for a permanent solution to address Fiji’s concerns regarding its exclusion from PACP activities and meetings at the highest level. Fiji was excluded from participating at PACP meetings since 2009 when it was suspended from the Forum.
PACNEWS has learnt some members aren’t happy with the TOR, saying the proposed review has been ‘diluted’ and totally not in line with the issues raised by Papua New Guinea and Fiji in 2011 that led to the recommendation for a review of the future management of Pacific ACP issues.
Papua New Guinea had pushed through a paper at the PACP Trade Ministers Meeting, which among other things recommended an immediate transfer of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations and related Economic Development Fund (EDF) resources to the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) based in Port Vila, Vanuatu. This was done to restore the momentum of the EPA negotiations and ensure its timely and satisfactory conclusion.
“We are most concerned that the main reason for the convening of the TOR has not been completely and clearly presented, and yet has been considerably diluted by the inclusion of other issues that were not part of the initial mandate of the EPG,” according to one of the member country’s comments on the TOR.
The TOR that will go before PACP Leaders states here in Rarotonga seeks to examine the long term relationship between Pacific Island Countries, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping and the European Union (EU) and will make recommendations on the future institutional arrangement for engagement with the ACP and the EU.
It will consider the past and future relationship Pacific Island Countries with the European Union (EU) and the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement and also review the costs of membership to Smaller Island States. It will also look at current institutional arrangements for the management of PACP issues, including Pacific ACP Leaders meetings, representation to the EU including in Brussels and the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
It has been proposed to PACP Leaders that an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) comprised of three exemplary and distinguished persons from the Pacific ACP region be appointed to carry out the review, which is expected to begin in November this year.
The Forum Secretariat in Fiji will provide administrative and logistical support to the EPG.
“There was no record agreement by PACP Leaders that PIFS provide financial, logistical and administrative support for this work.
“Given the explicit stake that PIFS might have on the outcomes of the EPG assessment as the current incumbent body consented with managing the PACP affairs, the role of providing such support would be best assigned to a neutral organisation to minimize any conflict of interests, according to concerns raised by a member country.”
The PACP member country suggests the ACP Secretariat in Brussels could be the neutral organisation assigned with an oversight role, supported by an institution based in the Pacific region.
The TOR also requires a reflection group, consisting of the chair, the Secretary General and other individuals of relevant expertise to provide specialist advice to the Eminent Persons Group in the preparation of the final report.
“Setting up a special group to provide specialised advice will risk introducing partial influence to the findings, hence compromising the independence of the EPG and eventual recommendations, said the member country.
Members of the EPG will have extensive knowledge of Pacific ACP issues and have high standing in his/her own country and in the region, having served in high public offices and a well known record for expertise, high professionalism and moral authority.
On Fiji’s exclusion from PACP meetings, majority of the 14 member countries, except two have endorsed Fiji’s representation at all levels of PACP meetings and activities.
“Fiji is an important economic and political partner of the PACPs and therefore should be allowed to participate in all PACP activities and meetings;
‘Some PACPs recognised Fiji’s assertion that its rights as a full member of the PACP have been violated, while others expressed concerns over such assertion, PACNEWS has been told.
PACP Leaders at their meeting in 2011 considered recommendations from their trade ministers ‟to allow Fiji to participate in PACP meetings at all levels’ but could not reach a consensus on the issue.
By Online Editor
1:04 pm GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Fiji
Fiji is the only country in the Pacific region to have its high commission in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — or North Korea.
And North Korea has congratulated Fiji for its commitment and vision in developing this bilateral relationship.
Presenting his credentials to the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong Nam, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang City, Ambassador Commodore Esala Teleni said Fiji was grateful to the DPRK for accepting Fiji as a sovereign state.
Commodore Teleni said this development was an indication of goodwill to strengthen bilateral relations with DPRK.
DPRK is promoting relations of economic, social and political co-operation with different countries under the ideals of independence, peace and friendship — the cornerstone of DPRK’s foreign policy.
Kim said they were closely following developments in Fiji, most notably its recent admittance as a member of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) in 2011.
As a long-standing member of NAM, North Korea strongly supports Fiji’s membership and is looking forward to collaborate with Fiji in realising the principles and objectives of NAM.
Kim stressed that joint co-operation through increased high-level visits, dialogue and exchanges was inevitable for generating opportunities and strengthening bilateral relations between Fiji and DPRK.
Commodore Teleni, who is also ambassador to China, acknowledged the support, hospitality and genuine friendship accorded to him and his team during his short visit to North Korea.
He said Fiji was pursuing a path of transforming its strategic international relationship based on the principles of respect for independency, sovereignty, non-interference, peace and partnership.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
By Online Editor
12:51 pm GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Fiji
Air Pacific, Fiji’s International Airline has added a direct Suva – Port Vila service to its international network.
The non-stop, once-a-week direct service on Sundays between the capitals of Fiji and Vanuatu will be operated by the airline’s wholly owned subsidiary Pacific Sun using its forty-two seat ATR42-500 aircraft.
The move is in line with the airline’s commitment to catering for the demands of its customers. The new direct service provides reduced travel times for customers and increases the number of travel options between the two cities to three days a week.
“We heard the request from our customers loud and clear, and we’re delighted to now offer direct service between Suva and Port Vila,” said Dave Pflieger, CEO & Managing Director of Air Pacific.
“We’re confident our weekly direct service will be tremendously beneficial to regional students, academics, and of course the many regional and inter-government organisations who work in both countries.”
Air Pacific’s direct service is being celebrated with the introduction of great year-round return fares starting from FJD522 / VUV20500 all inclusive and available for purchase direct from the airline’s website, Reservations Centre, and various Sales Offices.
The return fare of F$522, which is available year-round, is 30% cheaper than two one-way fares. It includes a light meal, beverages, and a baggage allowance of 23 kg on board the 42-seater ATR aircraft. The first direct flight between the two capitals is scheduled for Sunday 16th September.
The three-hour flight will operate weekly departing Suva on Sundays at 9:30am and arriving in Port Vila at 11.30am. It will depart Port Vila on its return journey to Suva on Sundays at 12.15pm, arriving in Suva at 4:05pm. Other international connections are from Nadi.
SOURCE: AIR PACIFIC /PACNEWS
17)Groups Rally Against Seabed Mining At Pacific Forum Meeting
Moratorium on mining proposed until effects are better understood
By Rachel Reeves
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Aug. 28, 2012) – A petition bearing more than 8,000 signatures is being circulated among Forum participants this week as part of a regional effort to arrest seabed mining projects in the Pacific.
A coalition of non-government organizations, which includes the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) and Act Now! PNG, is here on Rarotonga to raise awareness about deep seabed mining in the Pacific, taking advantage of the opportunity to reach leaders from around the region who are gathering for the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum.
Their petition is based on a legal opinion from U.S.-based Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (eLAW) that the “precautionary principle” – the theory that if an action or policy is suspected of being harmful to the public or environment and there is no scientific consensus, those people or groups taking the action have a responsibility to prove it is not – applies to seabed mining in the Pacific.
The opinion concludes: “There is great uncertainty whether undersea ecosystems, especially vent features that have been created over thousands of years, can withstand the damage and destruction caused by deep seabed mining.
“In accordance with the precautionary principle, Pacific Island nations should follow the example set by Australia’s northern territory and institute a moratorium on deep seabed mining. The risks and uncertainties of seabed mining are too great to allow mining activities to proceed with the expectation that the damage can be reversed.”
PANG coordinator Maureen Penjuli convened a press conference with Pacific media today to talk about the petition and publicly launch the eLAW legal opinion.
She is alarmed at the pace of a Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) deep sea minerals project – which is providing technical assistance to the 15 Pacific-African, Caribbean Pacific states, of which the Cook Islands is one – as she says it is proceeding too quickly for her coalition to be able to raise ample regional awareness of its petition in time.
That’s why she considers it paramount to be present at this week’s Forum.
Penjuli today launched eLAW’s 10-page legal opinion, which does not condemn mining activity, but supports a moratorium until gaps in the research and science around deep seabed mining have been filled.
At present Tonga, Nauru and the Cook Islands are pursuing exploratory mining programs, and a Korean company is reportedly in the process of procuring a license to mine in Fiji’s seabed.
Canadian company Nautilus Minerals plans to mining 50 kilometers off the coast New Britain island in Papua New Guinea, where communities are rallying to protest against the political processes that led to the licensing of the project and mining in general.
The area being marked off for exploration of mining potential in the region is twice the size of the combined land mass of all Pacific nations.
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre – [email protected]
18)Tonga, Cooks Airlines Consider Renewed Flights To Niue
Discussions focus on connecting islands ‘across the Pacific’
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 28, 2012) – Efforts are underway to revive regional air services between Niue, the Cook Islands and Tonga.
Niue is currently served by a weekly Air New Zealand flight from Auckland, but Air Rarotonga and the Tongan domestic airline Chathams have told the Niue Business Roundtable they are interested in providing additional services.
The Roundtable’s Mark Cross says they have had a positive response from the Pacific Island Private Sector Organization and the South Pacific Tourism Organization and hope that the New Zealand aid program can also assist.
He says it is just at the discussion stage at this point but there is interest on the island.
“It is not just about Niue, it is more about the region and trying to tie in all the islands right across the Pacific, for the purposes of tourism, business collaboration, sport and cultural interaction. So it is not just about trying to get east-west flights into Niue. It is about trying to link the whole of Polynesia up, from east to west.”
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
19)Guam Lawmakers Approve Construction Of New Museum
Some officials question appropriateness of proposed site
By Zita Y. Taitano
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Aug. 29, 2012) – Bill 454-31, the Guam museum bill, was thoroughly discussed on the session floor yesterday morning and passed by a vote of 11 to 4.
Voting against the bill were Speaker Judi Won Pat and Sens. Ben Pangelinan, Adolpho Palacios and Sam Mabini.
The measure, which seeks to build a new museum on Skinner Plaza in Hagåtña, was introduced by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz at the request of Gov. Eddie Calvo.
Cruz knows there has been a lot of controversy about the proposed location for the museum but stressed that having the facility in central Hagåtña is a viable option.
“I know the previous administration had been working very hard on putting the museum/education facility up by Fort Apugan. And in fact there were even talks of turning Government House into a museum since the current first family is not living there,” he said.
Cruz said he is aware of the concerns about parking and engineering problems at Ft. Apugan, including the desecration of Santa Agueda.
According to a presentation by the Guam Museum Foundation during the bill’s public hearing, only 20 percent of the plaza would be used to build the future facility between the Hagåtña Post Office and the original Guam Legislature building.
Although the measure received favorable testimony from a majority of the senators, some like Sen. Pangelinan expressed their disappointment with the location.
Pangelinan is in support of having a museum and commended Cruz’s measure which would finally the use the dollars generated from the tourist industry to build the structure. But he is questioning the proposed location for the museum.
“Now we’re saying let’s plot the museum down in the middle of Hagåtña because it’s going to fit with this grand plan and grand scheme of things, but what is that? I’ve never even seen a picture of that, much less anything solid on it. I think it’s premature for us in my opinion to say we’re going to put it at Skinner Plaza because it’s part of this grand scheme. I don’t support putting it at Skinner Plaza,” Pangelinan said.
He also said if the museum is built there, it would crowd out the last free space in the capital.
Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com
20)Media has important role in Pacific trade
The media in the Pacific island countries has an important role to play in the development of trade in the region.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Director of Economic Governance Programme, Mr Shiu Raj told senior journalists who attended the Pacific Islands News Association – Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Regional Media Workshop in Rarotonga, 24-25 August that the media can “assist in enhancing business’ understanding of the current trade negotiations, processes and opportunities.”
“The media can create opportunities for businesses to provide input into the negotiations and facilitation of trade by way of sharing lessons from their current experiences,” Mr Raj told the journalists.
Mr Raj added, “The media can assist by regularly reviewing the extent to which the region is engaging to implement the trade Agreements. Such reviews would stimulate discussions on the utility of trade agreements, and will help in the review of specific provisions of the agreement.”
Current trade negotiations which countries in the region are involved in include the Pacific Islands Trade Agreement (PICTA) Trade in Services, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union and negotiations amongst the Forum island countries and Australia and New Zealand in the context of PACER Plus.
“But we already have a number of regional, sub-regional and bilateral trade related agreements in place which needs to be implemented with increased vigour so that businesses and the people at large can see real benefits of such engagements,” Mr Raj said.
Mr Raj told the Media Workshop that the next negotiating session of the EPA negotiations with the EU is expected to be in the first week of October this year and Pacific ACP States are in the process of finalising their submissions to the European Commission (EC).
“A number of contentious issues remain unresolved and flexibility is being sought on the EU’s part. On its part, the Pacific region also intends to show some flexibility so that negotiations can conclude soon,” said Mr Raj.
In the case of PACER Plus negotiations, Mr Raj said there is good progress so far on the common priority issues including Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, and Technical Barriers to Trade through the inter-sessional meetings. Further engagement at the technical level on Regional Labour Mobility and development assistance focusing on physical infrastructure for trade, trade development and promotion and other issues will be facilitated.
PACP Leaders will discuss further engagement under PICTA, the conclusion of the PICTA Trade in Services Protocol and its implementation, and negotiations on the temporary movement of natural persons. The role of media in facilitating dialogue on key issues between the private sector, government and other non-state actors should not be ignored. Specialised journalism in core trade issues would benefit the Pacific media,” Mr Raj added.
“The Forum Secretariat support Forum island countries in the development of their National Trade Policy Frameworks capacity building at the national levels.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20120829/wehome.htm
21)Trade, climate on agenda for Pacific leaders talks
Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has arrived in Cook Islands to join Pacific Island leaders for discussions on trade, climate change and ocean protection at the Pacific Islands Forum.
Julia Gillard will use her trip to announce a major aid initiative designed to improve gender equity by increasing female participation in politics.
The Pacific has extremely low female representation in its Parliaments and high levels of domestic violence.
Ms Gillard will also try to finalise plans for offshore processing centres with Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Nauru is insisting that asylum seekers be dealt with quickly and says they could be sent to Australia if their application is successful.
Ms Gillard says there’s no contradiction between the two positions.
“I think we’re on the same page,” she said.
“Our intention is for people to be processed to then wait the same amount of time that they would had they not got on the boat, and then to obviously be resettled as quickly as possible.”
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will fly in for post-forum discussions later this week.
Some Pacific leaders have interpreted that as a sign that America wants to increase its participation in the region and counter Chinese influence.Radio Australia
22)Cours d’abstinence sexuelle de l’Église catholique fidjienne
Le sexe est un sujet dont on ne discute pas souvent autour de la table familiale.
Mais l’Église catholique vient de conclure une conférence de 3 jours à Suva pour parler d’abstinence sexuelle chez les jeunes et convaincre des parents de parler ouvertement de sexualité avec leurs enfants.
Nous en avons parlé avec Walter Schu, un prêtre catholique qui nous parle d’amour.
SCHU : « Jean-Paul II faisait la distinction entre trois niveaux d’amour. Le premier niveau d’amour entre un homme et une femme, c’est l’attirance naturelle qui forme la base d’une relation.
De cette base vient l’amour en tant qu’émotion et qui permet de rapproche plus étroitement deux personnes l’une de l’autre. Ce désir d’être avec l’autre qui est si normal quand deux personnes tombent amoureuses.
Puis il y a l’amour vrai qui est encore plus profond, a dit Jean Paul II. Et l’essence de l’amour vrai c’est le don de soi à l’être aimé sans conditions.
Et c’est dans ce contexte que nous parlons avec les jeunes. Et nous leur disons que quand vous vous donnez à quelqu’un sans conditions, vous promettez que c’est pour la vie. »
Est-ce que ce message passe au 21ème siècle ? Le fait est que les jeunes ont des relations sexuelles et qu’il faudrait peut-être leur expliquer comment faire pour éviter les grossesses précoces par exemple.
SCHU : « Jean-Paul II parle du langage du corps et qu’il y a certaines actions que nous faisons qui ont une signification intérieure et personnelle. Quelque chose d’aussi simple qu’un baiser dans le langage du corps montre de l’amour, de l’affection, de la confiance…
Et Jean-Paul II a dit que le langage du corps est le dénominateur commun dans les relations sexuelles entre mari et femme et qu’il représente le don total de soi, l’un à l’autre.
Par conséquent tout cela peut se faire uniquement si deux personnes se sont donné l’une à l’autre pour la vie.
Et je peux vous dire que les jeunes recherchent vraiment cet amour qui dure et répondent bien à ce message.
C’est incroyable comme ils ont vraiment bien répondu à ce message pendant deux jours et de voir leurs réaction en découvrant l’amour vrai. »
Walter Schu, un prêtre catholique à l’occasion de la récente conférence de l’Église catholique sur l’abstinence sexuelle à Suva, capitale des îles Fidji.Radio Australia
23) 2015 Pacific Games logo launched in PNG
By Online Editor
10:47 am GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Papua New GuineaThe Papua New Guinea 2015 XV Pacific Games logo was unveiled in Port Moresby on Saturday by Minister for Sports and 2015 Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko.
A spectacular ceremony was held at the Ela Beach featuring fireworks to mark the country’s readiness to host this event despite running behind schedule in the preparations.
Tkatchenko however said he is confident of delivering at the Games in July 2015.
The logo depicts the lagatoi sails, the traditional sailing craft of the Motuan coast of Papua New Guinea, sailing over the Pacific Games Council Logo.
The dominant yellow lagatoi sail represents the host city Port Moresby with the Pacific island represented by the red and green sails.
The black circle and the shape of the sails reflect the people of Papua New Guinea welcoming the visiting the visiting athletes with open arms.
The tattoo pattern on the lagatoi sail is a traditional Motuan pattern.
The Motuans are the tradition people of Port Moresby with the lagatoi used on the Hiri Trade between them and the Gulf people to exchange pots for sago.
The logo was designed by Manus man Ian Kialli who works as a media co-ordinator with the International Education Agency (IEA).
Kialli won the logo competition from hundreds of applications since the launching of the competition two months ago. Kialli also won himself a cash prize of K7500.
The father of two said he was proud to be designer of a significant event being hosted by PNG adding he was also happy to contribute to this biggest sporting event in the Pacific region.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACENWS
By Online Editor
10:42 am GMT+12, 29/08/2012, Solomon IslandsA host of debutants are looking forward to getting a taste of senior international football for the first time after the finalisation of the Solomon Islands squad for the opening of the Stage 3 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
Solympics goalkeeper Samson Koti has made the cut along with fellow U-23 defenders Emmanuel Poila and Willie Lamani while also joining the team for the first time are midfielders Leonard Rokoto and Paul Hiri.
But the most eye-catching name in the group is that of former Waitakere United striker Gagame Feni, one of the hottest properties in the country after returning from New Zealand to star in Solomon Warriors double-winning triumph.
Rokoto is delighted to be involved and can’t wait to wear the colours of his country.
“It is everything that I have dreamed of,” says Rokoto, who was a member of Solomon squad that finished runners-up at the 2011 OFC U-20 Championship.
“All I want is the opportunity to play for my national team and I am really look forward to the experience.”
In a clear attempt to balance maturity with the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the younger players, the selectors have come up with a team that is split almost half-in-half in terms of the newcomers and seasoned campaigners. The regulars are led by captain Henry Fa’arodo and Seni Ngava, who both have a wealth of experience under their belts.
Notable omissions from the OFC Nations Cup squad are goalkeepers Felix Ray Jnr and Shadrack Ramoni while James Naka has also been left out. Naka has been replaced by Ian Paia, who debuted for the Bonitos at the Pacific Games last year.
Many fans have already expressed their displeasure at the overlooking of Solomon Warriors captain Judd Molea but coach Jacob Moli says there is unlikely to ever be a consensus amongst the public as to which players should be involved. He is calling on the Bonitos’ fanatical supporters to look beyond Molea’s omission and get behind the team.
“I want the public to know that the panel has done its best in finalising this squad,” Moli says.
“Please support this team because it belongs to the country. We made our considerations collectively and have made the best choices regarding our top players.”
Moli has, however, left the door open for those not involved and says they should not give up hope of playing for their country.
“We dealt with a lot of talent in the selection process and, unfortunately, some have had to be left out. My message to those players is to know that opportunities lie ahead and when the chance comes you must work hard to get your spot in the national team.”
While the majority of the squad members are locally-based, several key stars are yet to jet in from their overseas clubs. Benjamin Totori, who is with A-League outfit the Wellington Phoenix on a pre-season tour, is not expected back until September 4 while Amicale defender Nelson Sale is still in Vanuatu but will return to Honiara this week.
Solomon Islands will open their FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign against Tahiti at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara on September 7. This match will be swiftly followed by an away clash against New Zealand on September 11.