NEWS (Melanesian/Pacific) 18/10/12.

1) Papouasie: l’armée indonésienne intensifie ses raids

Posté à 18 October 2012, 16:24 AEST-Radio Australia

Caroline Lafargue

Les forces indonésiennes traquent jour et nuit les militants indépendantistes du KNPB, le Comité National de la Papouasie Occidentale. 

Et particulièrement ceux qui sont les auteurs d’un complot d’attentat à la bombe contre la Jayawijaya Regency, le siège du gouvernement de la province de Jayawijaya, dont la capitale est Wamena. D’après le correspondant de la radio néo-zélandaise internationale, Johnny Blades, les paramilitaires indonésiens du Détachement 88 et de la Brimob ont fait une descente hier à Wamena, dans les Hauts-Plateaux. Les habitants ont fui dans les villages environnants. Bilan : plusieurs membres du Comité National de la Papouasie Occidentale ont été arrêtés. Les chefs religieux locaux accusent l’armée indonésienne de créer des prétextes comme ce soi-disant complot d’attentat à la bombe pour mater les indépendantistes et leurs soutiens dans la population civile.

2) Indonesian Security ‘Cracking Down’ On Papua Activists

Human rights group fears increased intimidation, torture in province

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 17, 2012) – The British-based Indonesian human rights group, Tapol, says political activists and human rights defenders in West Papua are living in increasing fear as a result of an intensifying crackdown by Indonesian security forces.

It says on Tuesday student dormitories at the University of Cenderawasih were raided by Indonesian intelligence officers.

Tapol says they were attempting to arrest a member of a network of women human rights defenders, Fanny Kogoya, and other activists.

It says Jakarta has been increasingly targeting Papuan activists since the killing of the leader of the National Group for West Papua or the KNPB, Mako Tabuni, four months ago.

Tapol says it fears further acts of terror, intimidation, arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings against activists are imminent.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

3) Indonesia steps up Papua crackdown in Wamena

Posted at 04:33 on 18 October, 2012 UTC

There are reports of an intensifying sweep operation in Papua by Indonesia’s security forces in pursuit of pro-independence activists from the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB.

Security chiefs say they are searching for those behind an alleged bomb plot in Jayawijaya Regency.

Johnny Blades reports

“Security forces have been concentrating their raids on the Highlands town of Wamena. Emerging ground reports say that many residents have fled to the remote villages surrounding Wamena, pursued by military in combination with the counter-terror unit Detachment 88 and Brimob paramilitary officers. A number of KNPB activists are understood to have been arrested, and the situation around Wamena is described as tense. Local church leaders accuse the security forces of engineering conditions to justify eliminating Papuan civil resistance. This comes as Papuans plan to commemorate next week’s first anniversary of the Third Papuan People’s Congress when at least three Papuans were killed and many injured when security forces broke up the peaceful Jayapura gathering.”

Radio New Zealand International

4) PNG Police Officer, Officials Accused Of Fraud
Officials allegedly awarded undue entitlements to officer

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 17, 2012) – In Papua New Guinea, the manner in which a senior police officer, a police lawyer and the Solicitor General’s office allegedly conspired to defraud the State of K111,000 [US$52,627] of outstanding higher duty allowances (HAD) has raised eyebrows within the police hierarchy, including that of the current Police Commissioner, Tom Kulunga.

According to documents obtained by the Post-Courier, the plaintiff; in the proceedings “WS No. 472 of 2007: Patrick Billy Vs Commissioner of Police and the State,” at the Waigani National Court, is a police officer.

He claimed that he was not paid higher duty allowances (HDA) for a period of 12 years between 1999 and 2010. As the police commissioner refused to pay, he pursued the matter in the National Court.

A summary judgment was entered against the commissioner with damages to be assessed.

In the course of the proceedings, the court directed and ordered that the Commissioner pay all outstanding allowances due and owing.

According to the records and documents obtained, the State (third defendant) lawyer at that time, who happens to be the current Sweep Investigations Team Task Force chairman Mr. Sam Koim, in his capacity as then principal legal officer with the Solicitor General’s Office last year, the plaintiff’s lawyer (named) and the police lawyer, Senior Constable Clement Havak discussed the matter and resolved to pay a sum of K111,000. The trio resolved to arrange a consent order which was signed off on 23 June 2011.

Thereafter, then Commissioner of Police Anthony Wagambie was advised of the consent order, so he directed then Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Administration, and current Commissioner, Mr. Kulunga to investigate.

According to the investigations, it was revealed that the plaintiff’s entitlements had been paid as and when due, and there was nothing outstanding in his favor. The police lawyer acting for the first defendant entered into a Consent Order without consulting the Police Commissioner or the Police Human Resource Division.

For Sam Koim’s part in the entry of Consent Order, it was remarked that Sam Koim may have acted based on the advice from the first defendant’s lawyer.

Nonetheless, he was referred to the Solicitors General’s Office for a separate investigation, but there was no investigation report from the Solicitor General’s Office on Mr. Koim’s part in this Consent Order.

Police sources said accordingly, all three of them may be arrested and charged.

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

5) Health authorities in Vanimo monitor rare disease

By Online Editor
3:37 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Health authorities in West Sepik province, are keeping a close surveillance, on the rare malarial disease, called Chickungunya.

This disease, has reportedly affected about 1,000 people in the Vanimo Urban Local Level Government area since the end of April this year.

The Provincial Administration has directed the provincial health authorities to come up with preventative and control measures.

A committee, headed by the Director Rural Health, Desak Drorit has been holding meetings to explore ways to prevent further spread of this disease by day biting mosquitoes.

The disease was detected by the Institute of Medical Research in Goroka after clinical staff at the Vanimo General Hospital reported patients suffering from severe joint pain, headache, nausea and vomiting.

All communities including government department and private businesses have been urged to assist where possible to prevent further spread of this rare disease.

No deaths have been reported. The disease has been reported in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe.

SOURCE: NBC/PACNEWS

6) Review of autonomy process overdue, says PM O’Neill

By Online Editor
1:10 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the review of Bougainville’s autonomy process is overdue and must be conducted in a timely manner if future autonomy arrangements are to work successfully.

He told the joint supervisory body meeting in Kokopo Wednesday: “We see the need and support the call by Autonomous Region of Bougainville President John Momis on work we are carrying out jointly to attain full autonomy.

“The national government supports that it is well and truly overdue and we have a lot of work ahead of us because of some serious constitutional issues that need to be resolved.

“The meet will endorse a submission to ensure that work on the review of the autonomy process is conducted in a timely manner.

“This work is critical as it underpins the challenges of making autonomy arrangements work successfully and will also inform us of preparations of referendum that is due between 2015 and 2020.”

He assured Momis that the region would again be featured prominently in the 2013 budget.

O’Neill said the first batch of the national government’s commitment of K100 million (US$48 milllion) was with the ABG.

“Let us now work together in making sure this money is spent well to improve lives of people and making sure we commit funds to rebuilding vital facilities on Bougainville,” he said.

“We need to exercise prudence in the management of these funds and ensure that relevant public investment programme guidelines are followed in compliance with Public Management Act.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

7) Let us avoid more trouble: Bougainville President Momis

By Online Editor
1:05 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Autonomous Region of Bougainville President John Momis has warned that the government must meet the people’s high expectations to avoid any trouble.

“The expectations of the people of Bougainville are very high,” he said during the opening of the joint supervisory body (JSB) meeting in Kokopo Wednesday.

“The situation is still very fragile and if we (ABG government and national government) do not play our roles properly, we run the risk of social disorder.”

The supervisory body comprises of members of the ABG and national government.

Momis said the full cooperation of the national government was vital to focus on the work of the JSB in relation to bilateral autonomy arrangements.

“Assisting Bougainville should be among the core focus of each and every departmental state authority in Waigani,” he said.

He appealed to the chief secretary through the prime minister to ensure that the engagement of senior officials at Waigani in this process was encouraged and mandated.

“This is a part of the evolutionary process in the arrangements of the Bougainville peace agreement,” he added.

Momis said the recent march and the petition presented by ex-combatants was an example of this heightened expectation.

He said the group could very well have been misguided in their actions and demonstrated lack of understanding that could lead to autonomy but rightly or wrongly their expectations were high.

Meanwhile, Momis was encouraged by the national government’s renewed emphasis on Bougainville.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

8) Solomon Islands ‘Parliament Week’ Disappoints Public
Questions about MPs’ conduct as leaders go unanswered

By George Atkin

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 18, 2012) – The week-long Parliament Week in Honiara had failed to explain whether or not there are regulations that govern the conduct of Members of Parliament in the Solomon Islands.

And people who had attended the week long Parliament Week had complained they were not given the opportunity to ask the very fundamental question of how MPs should behave as national leaders.

They told this reporter that organizers of the Parliament week who work in Parliament probably had purposely discouraged such questions from being raised because the MPs should be answerable to themselves.

Not many of them attended.

But at the closing ceremony, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo commended the organizers of the Parliament week for doing a job well done, adding the week had taught people a lot of things about the roles and functions of parliamentarians, the offices and officers who executed them.

He said the roles and functions ensure the National Parliament, the highest institution in the land, remains functional all year round.

Attendants were told Parliament is the office of Members of Parliament who make regulations and legislations and decide the future destiny of Solomon Islands.

The lamented missing element was the fundamental question of how MPs as national leaders (public figures) should conduct themselves morally and socially, politically and religiously and accountable and transparently.

The week-long event was an opportunity to openly discuss how MPs should conduct themselves as national leaders (public figures) because they are expected to behave respectably at all time.

It can be assumed the organizers did not want to get the MPs to come under scrutiny although discussions would not have been based on individual holders but rather on the title MP.

One political enthusiast summed it up by saying there are three state institutions that govern the conduct of politicians and other holders of public offices.

These are the Ombudsman Office, the Leadership Commission and the Auditor General’s office.

But he said often these offices only concentrate on investigating leaders allegedly accused o misusing public funds.

And the question of misconduct in office, he said does not include drunkenness, gambling and womanizing by public figures because they are private matters.

But recent cases in British, Italian and Australian Parliaments over allegations of misconduct in office by MPs who had indulged in extricating relationships said otherwise.

After all, Solomon Islands had adopted the British Parliamentary system when it established the National Parliament on independence in 1978.

Solomon Star

9) Solomons People’s Survey shows people fear return of killings and guns

Posted at 03:18 on 18 October, 2012 UTC

A national survey in Solomon Islands shows people are frightened of a return of killings and the appearance of guns in the community.

The finding supports the same assertion by the Solomon Islands Christian Association, following the gunshot injury of a logger in north-east Guadalcanal.

The 2011 People’s Survey conducted by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands canvasses the perceptions of about five thousand people of economic conditions, governance and law and order.

More than half of the respondents from the provinces of Choiseul, Western, Isabel, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Temotu and the city of Honiara say they are not satisfied with the help received from the police.

Most people say that is because the police do not do anything to help, with the only other reason given that police are too slow to respond.

Women and youth say they are reluctant to report crimes to the police because they fear them.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Charges Against Phocea Captain Dropped In Vanuatu Court
Counts relate to documents linked to owner, not skipper

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 17, 2012) – Prosecution has withdrawn 2 counts from charges against Phocea Skipper, Richard Bob Malaise during the Preliminary Inquiry of the case Public Prosecutor vs. Malaise and others.

After Preliminary Inquiry yesterday, Senior Magistrate Rita Naviti stood her ground and scheduled the case to Tuesday next week for plea as she refuses to take into account the fact that two of the defendants, caretaker Ministers of Education and Internal Affairs, are on busy political campaign schedule for election.

Naviti said the court will follow the Judiciary’s schedule and not politician’s time to proceed with the case which has been prolonged since July this year.

There are a total of 11 separate charges filed against the 7 defendants of the case which mainly concern around the legality to the entry of mega yacht, Phocea owned by nominated Vanuatu Honorary Consul to Vietnam, Saken Pascal.

But counts 12 and 13 were solely submitted against the mega yacht skipper, Malaise. The two charges were laid according to the Maritime Act CAP 131 section 47 (3b), Count 12 “Uttering, Producing or Making a Document Containing False Information” and Count 13 “Making use of Document Containing False Information.”

The two counts were dropped against the Skipper after his defense counsel successfully argued that there is no declaration of document made by his client. After a short adjournment, the Prosecution side finally withdrew the two counts after it was revealed that declaration of document, which is normally done by vessel captains, was done by the Phocea’s owner, Saken Pascal.

Meanwhile it was the seriousness of the two counts that could have warranted the case to be shifted to the Supreme Court but now that they have been dismissed the 11 remaining charges will be heard by the Magistrate Court.

While setting date for plea, proposals were made by defense counsels of the two caretaker ministers to bring the plea forward or adjourn to after elections but were turned down by the Senior Magistrate.

The case is scheduled for Tuesday next week for plea and likely to be adjourned further for sentencing or trial pending the outcome of the pleas.

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

11) New Caledonia’s Kanaks disadvantaged

By Online Editor
3:44 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, New Caledonia

Despite New Caledonia having one of the largest economies in the Pacific region, inequality persists between the indigenous Kanaks and the rest of the population.

An assistant professor of Economics at the University of New Caledonia, Catherine Ris, used data from recent censuses to determine the status of the indigenous population and the extent to which it differs from other New Caledonians.

She told Pacific Beat the benefits from New Caledonia’s booming nickel industry have not been equally shared with huge disparities in income, educational qualifications and employment.

“One of the reasons for that is that school achievement really differs across ethnicities,” she said.

Only three per cent of Kanaks graduate from higher education, compared to 23 per cent of the rest of the population while unemployment among young indigenous Kanaks stands at 38 per cent – four times greater than for the rest of the population.

“This disparity in school achievements also implies of course disparities in access to employment, labour market outcome and income distribution,” she said

Non-Kanak people also benefit from having better social networks and more information when it comes to applying for jobs.

“Another reason is there are very few Kanak people in managerial or higher positions in the labour market so there is no really representation for young Kanak people to say I can do that, I can reach that position,” she said.

But Ris said the scope of inequality has greatly decreased compared to 20 years ago.

“With time, people get more and more qualified and I guess will need time to get access to the labour market,” she said.

Ris says it may be difficult to get her research noticed in New Caledonia, where ethnicity is a touchy subject.

“It’s still very sensitive,” she said.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

12) New Caledonia President’s Flag Comments Slammed
President alleges Caledonia Together ‘wants to cause trouble’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 17, 2012) – The Caledonia Together Party says the President Harold Martin has become the first New Caledonian leader to attack a political party at an international forum.

The party issued a statement after Mr. Martin told the UN Decolonization Committee in New York last week that the Caledonia Together Party’s electoral success was based on its stance on what flag should be used.

It says the President has alleged that it wanted to create trouble because it calls for New Caledonia to choose only one flag.

The Caledonia Together Party says his address should have been used to speak on behalf of the entire collegial government, leaving internal issues aside.

It says an honorable politician represent his country with dignity and doesn’t besmirch its name.

The Caledonia Together Party says it wonders whether Mr. Martin spoke on behalf of his own party or on behalf of those politicians who lost out in this year’s election success to the Caledonia Together Party.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

13) Fiji military to quiz fund misuse

By Online Editor
3:33 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Fiji

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) has ordered a full board of inquiry on allegations of embezzlement involving funds in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the RFMF chief of staff, Brigadier-General Mohammed Aziz.

“I can confirm to you that a full board of inquiry will now look into the embezzlement of the military funds,” Brigadier-General Aziz said.

He said five military personnel from the pay section were allegedly involved.

The five suspects were in military custody from September during investigations.

The five are on suspension without pay, he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Steven Ratuva at the University of Auckland is a researcher into military-civil relations and says this is not the first time the military has unearthed corruption from within its own pay office.

He said he is not surprised this has occurred again and it’s important for the military to be consistent and clean up corruption in its own ranks, according to its own publicised campaign.

Dr Ratuva says the military as well as the government in general need to be more transparent, particularly with regard to salaries and accounting.

“We are really not sure the extent to which that is happening, and not only within the military but in the Government generally. Because the books are not very much open to the public and I think it’s important that the public has access to open books of the Government and the military as well since the taxpayers are the ones who are paying for them.”.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/ RNZI/PACNEWS

14) Nine top Fiji police at centre of corruption probe

Posted at 04:33 on 18 October, 2012 UTC

Nine police officers under investigation in Fiji for alleged corruption have been formally interdicted, meaning they can’t interfere with investigations or speak to any witnesses.

A Police Spokesperson, Ana Naisoro, has told FBC News that a special task force investigating the officers has been told to speed up its work.

The high ranking policemen were suspended three weeks ago after allegations of corruption surfaced.

No details of the alleged offences have been released.

The implicated officers are on reduced pay.

Radio New Zealand International

15) Amend ’97 law

By Online Editor
1:08 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Fiji

Parts of the 1997 Constitution were excellent but they clearly need amendment.

This is the view of Dr Shaista Shameem who presented submissions to the Constitution Commission.

Dr Shameem, a former director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission, said parts of the 1997 Constitution did not make sense in the general scheme of things which caused tension between the Bill of Rights provisions and governance clauses.

“In 1997 good governance, transparency, accountability and good administration were not considered to be human rights issues, but now they are incorporated into international law. The new constitution should reflect that shift in constitutional law towards post-modernity,” she said.

“The 1997 Constitution is amenable to amendment because that document itself makes it possible to do so (the 1997 Constitution was an amendment of the 1990 Constitution), and also because amending it is the only possible method for making important changes in the body politic of Fiji, particularly if significant interest groups still speak favourably of it.”

Dr Shameem proposed that the amendments to the 1997 Constitution include emphasis on the social contract principle by defining rights, duties and responsibilities of both the State and the people from the Bill of Rights perspective; the Bill of Rights expanded to include duties of the people to each other as well as to the State and government; equal representation in Parliament, and responsibility of the public service and all arms and branches of the State, as well as the judiciary.

Meanwhile, all rights stipulated in the 1997 Constitution should be upheld as they correspond to the rights expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is the belief of the School Management Association of Fiji in its written submission to the Constitution Commission on Monday.

It said the rights constitute freedom of speech, freedom of religion and conscience, freedom to meet and join organisations, and right to life. The association said the rights in the 1997 Constitution also include the right not to be imprisoned (except for committing a crime) or to be enslaved or tortured.

Also, it said, they include the right to own property and not to have it unfairly taken away by anyone including the government; right to a fair trial if accused of a crime; and right to privacy.

“It is generally understood that with rights comes responsibilities,” the association said in its submission.

The association said the rights must also recognise, safeguard and protect the rights of minorities and the rights of the migrant people duly enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It said Convention on the Rights of the Child should be treated in the context of the declared rights of the family.

“Clear articulation on the limitations of rights must be provided.

“Constitution must re-organise the need for education on this matter as of critical importance towards national harmony and nation building.”.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

16) Health authorities concerned by spread of TB in Fiji

By Online Editor
3:43 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Fiji

Although much of Pacific is winning the fight against tuberculosis, Fiji is struggling.

The World Health Organisation’s Global Tuberculosis Report says since efforts were stepped up 17 years ago, 20 million lives have been saved worldwide.

But the body says there is a real risk of losing momentum in the battle to keep TB under control.

Dr Mario Raviglione, from Stop TB, told Pacific Beat the situation in Fiji is a concern and that instability in a country can often determine health outcomes.

“We can speculate about other factors that could be important such as the fact that many of these islands are developing and developing fast and that means sometimes more diabetes and when you have more diabetes, you have an increased risk of tuberculosis,” he said.

The WHO report also said while the incidence of TB has gone up in Fiji, treatment rates have decreased.

“More cases are developing in the societies and the communities but the system is incapable in a way of treating the patient properly so you start seeing a decrease in the cure rate,” said Dr Raviglione.

He says competence, commitment and money is needed to help stop the spread of the TB in the Pacific and across the world.

“TB needs investment like with any control of a particular disease that is out of control in particular parts of the world,” he said.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

17) Constitutional Commission Denies Fiji Youth Group Excluded
Commission says group did not make appointment prior to hearing

By Torika Tokalau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 17, 2012) – In Fiji, everyone who made an appointment to make their submission to the constitutional commission was allocated time to speak.

This was the word following claims by a youth group that it was not given a chance to make its submission despite showing up prepared.

The Young Women’s Group had turned up at the Great Council of Chiefs complex in Nasese on Saturday afternoon to make its submission.

Members of the group turned up in numbers with colorful banners, placards and T-shirts that voiced their messages.

Roshika Deo, the group’s coordinator claimed they were refused to make their oral submission, adding the commission had told them they did not have time to accommodate them.

She said this was unfair as other groups and political parties which presented their submissions over the weekend were given extra time to present.

Constitution member Professor Christina Murray, who chaired Saturday’s hearing said the group failed to make an appointment, only showing up and asking to take 10 minutes of some other group’s slot.

“We would have been able to make arrangements had they made an appointment like everyone else,” Prof. Murray said. “We had a very full timetable. There were a lot of groups and people lined up.

“While I was chairing the hearing, I received a note that the Young Women’s Group will use up the last 10 minutes of another group’s (Youth Assembly of the Fiji Islands) slot.

“I agreed if YAFI agreed to give the Young Women’s Group 10 minutes of the 30 minutes that was allocated to them to make their submissions,” she said.

She added during YAFI’s submission, she interrupted them when they had 10 minutes remaining and reminded them of their agreement with the Young Women’s Group. “YAFI was adamant they wanted to complete their presentation,” she said.

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

18) Fiji Cancels Water Bills For More Than 25,000 Customers
Prime minister says ‘families of Fiji come first’

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 17, 2012) – More than twenty five thousand Fijian households, businesses, schools and places of worship will from today benefit from a government decision to waive the debts owed to the Water Authority of Fiji for years of unpaid water and sewerage bills.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the waiver ceremony this morning in Suva highlighted government’s commitment towards assisting families around the country in managing financial obligations.

“Nothing is more important to my Government than helping ordinary Fijians provide for themselves and their families. And one of the best ways we can do that is to relieve the cost of living pressures on ordinary people. We will never forget that it is the families of Fiji who come first,” he said.

Water bills incurred by customers have accumulated for various reasons, one of which includes leaky taps, pipes and cisterns.

This saw total losses of FJ$6.3 million [US$3.5 million] from plumbing leakages. Bainimarama said that while today’s development addresses the issue of water debts, it will look at educating the public on how faulty pipes can also lead to unpaid water bills.

“So this is not only about forgiving debt. We are embarking on a public education campaign to get people to fix their faulty pipes so they don’t get big bills in the first place.”

“My Government is responding to an issue that we can all relate to. Many of these customers simply could not afford to pay their outstanding bills because they were so high. The arrears had built up over many years. Settling them was beyond their means. And we all know the distress that this causes so many ordinary families,” he added.

More than a hundred thousand Fijians across the country will benefit from today’s debt waiver.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

19) Tonga Democratic Party May Seek PM’s Impeachment
Reviewing legal possibility of forcing leader to step down

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 17, 2012) – The Democratic Party in Tonga is still considering a further challenge against the government after an attempted vote of no confidence failed last week.

The Party put forward the motion for the prime minister Lord Tu’ivakano and his cabinet to step down, saying the government had lost the backing of the people and misappropriated funds.

It was rejected by a 13-11 majority but Sunia Fili, who resigned from cabinet in June to back the Democratic Party’s vote of no confidence, says they are considering their next move.

He says that could include impeachment – the process for bringing charges against the government to determine whether its members can be forcibly removed from office.

“We still are asking questions and collect more information for legality of those allegations that we are taking the government to so we may continue on to impeachment.”

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

20) Nine to 12 cyclone expected this season

Posted at 04:33 on 18 October, 2012 UTC

Weather forecasters in the Southwest Pacific say the region can expect nine to 12 named cyclones in the season which runs from November through to April next year.

The average is for 10 tropical cyclones through this period.

The met services say there will be near average or slightly above average conditions for most countries with increased activity in the late season near Tonga and Niue.

They say all communities should remain vigilant with the prospect that at least one severe tropical cyclone – at Category 3 or higher – could occur anywhere in the southwest Pacific during the season.

Radio New Zealand International

21) Fiji 7s reshuffle

By Online Editor

1:20 pm GMT+12, 18/10/2012, Fiji

Hardworking Digicel Sevens captain Lepani Botia has been retained in a squad named by Fiji 7s head coach Alifereti Dere to prepare for next leg of the 2012/2013 IRB Sevens World Series.

Botia is one of four players from the victorious Gold Coast 7s winning team last weekend who has been named to start preparations for the next two tournaments.

The other three players are halfback Joji Raqamate, first-five Ilai Tinai and flying Namosi lad Alipate Raitini.
Dere had confirmed they would select a new team to represent Fiji to the next leg of the series.

Dere said at Nadi International Airport when the national team returned from Australia on Monday that while there were some injury worries they would monitor the recovery of the players.

He added that there was also a possibility they could send a new team to the next leg of the series.

And yesterday the Nadi man released the names of 34 players who will be competing for a place in the 12-member team to travel to Dubai and the South Africa 7s in Port Elizabeth in December.

Dere said the team had achieved its goal at the Gold Coast. The former national sevens skipper said they wanted to start on a high note and aim to finish in the top three.

“It is a good start to the sevens world series and this has set the platform for our target to win the series,” Dere told reporters.

Fiji finished second to arch rivals New Zealand in the last series (2011/2012).

Apart from Botia, Tinai, Ragamate and Ratini also recalled into the training squad is Timoci Vakadranu who was one of the four players dropped from the 16-member squad before the Gold Coast trip.

Also recalled is Sikeli Vuruna who has been in impressive form for his Suva team in the Farebrother Sullivan trophy competition.

Dere has also named hard running Naitasiri backs Nacani Wakaya and John Stewart along with nippy Nadroga halfback Sakiusa Gavidi and lanky Suva wing Vilikesa Sokiveta in his new squad.
Fiji leads the IRB Series with 22 points, followed by New Zealand on 19, South Africa on 17, Kenya on 15 and Argentina on 13.

And after successfully defending the Gold Coast 7s title it’s back to the drawing board for our local 7s heroes and the coaching staff as they prepare for Dubai on November 30.

The following players have been requested to attend the fitness test next Wednesday.

The fitness test will be held at the HPU Gym in Suva and will begin at 9am.

G. Tube, I. Naiubi, I. Tukere, T. Vuadreu, S. Dawai, S. Levula, A. Simolo, S.Cakau, S. Lutu, S. Vuruna, P. Vaciloa, A. Natoga, N. Wakaya, J. Stewart, V. Sokiveta, J. Tagitagi, J. Baleidawa, PT. Nawavu, K. Taliga, W. Nagusu, S. Bale, S. Gavidi, M. Bula, J. Tuwai, I. Lenoa, W. Varani, J. Lotawa, T. Rawaqa, Marika K, L. Botia, J. Raqamate, I. Tinai, A. Raitini, Timoci Vakadranu.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

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