NEWS (Melanesian/Pacific) 24/10/12 # 671

1) Ol PNG nes i tokaut long heve blong ol

Updated 23 October 2012, 17:54 AEST

Sam Seke

Ol nes long Papua New Guinea i tokaut long heve long sait long wok blong ol long “nurses symposium”.

Ol nes long Papua New Guinea i tokaut long planti kainkain heve oli gat long wokim wok blong ol halivim ol sik pipol long kantri.

Namel long ol wari blong ol nes nau em long risosis ino inap, pei na kondisen blong wok ino gutpela, na igat wari tu long sekuriti blong ol meri nes.

Oli tok, planti presa i save kamap long wanem populesen blong kantri i grou hariap tumas.

President blong PNG Nurses Association, Emi Kaptigau itok, ol toktok ia i kam aut long Symposium blong ol nes we i gohet long Port Moresby dispela wik.

Samting olsem 500 nes long olgeta hap long PNG we i makim nes blong gavman, ol sios na praivet sekta nau i stap long bung ia.

2)West Papua National Committee Rally Ends In Violence
Reports claim police injured, protesters arrested

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Oct. 24, 2012) – Five police officers, one journalist were injured and 11 protesters reportedly detained yesterday when Indonesian security authorities crushed a rally staged by West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at Manokwari, West Papua.

Violent scenes broadcast on Metro TV showed sustained gunshots and brutal attacks on protesters at the rally.

“The officers were still in hospital. The demonstrators threw stones at them. I don’t know whether anyone from KNPB was also injured,” said Manokwari police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Agustinus Supriyanto today, as quoted by

A reporter with Suara Papua, Oktovianus Pogau was also reportedly injured after being hit by the police.

Dozens of people under the KNPB banner staged a rally in front of the University of Papua, Manokwari, to show support for the meeting of the International Parliament of West Papua (IPWP) that discussed the ongoing struggle for the liberation of West Papua in London.

The peaceful rally reportedly turned chaotic after one of the demonstrators threw stones at people that took pictures from behind the horde of police.

The police responded by allegedly firing warning shots.

Shooting denied

Agustinus denied that the police opened fire at the demonstrators.

“If there were rumors about someone being shot, that’s not true,” said Agustinus. He also claimed no one was arrested.

But the Metro video shows sustained shots for several minutes and apparently wounded people on the ground.

Another report, however, says 11 protesters were detained in the rally.

The video also shows people being detained.

The committee’s chairman, Viktor Yeimo, said some of his people were arrested.

“This is unacceptable. We were just expressing our aspirations. I even heard that two of our men were shot,” he said.

Pacific Scoop
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]

 3)Indonesia police fired rubber bullets on rally, 8 hurt

By Online Editor
08:54 am GMT+12, 24/10/2012, Indonesia

Indonesian police fired rubber bullets on students at a pro-independence rally in the restive region of Papua on Tuesday, in clashes that injured at least eight protesters, witnesses said.

Hundreds of police were deployed as around 300 people gathered outside the University of Papua in Manokwari, and a clash broke out with students hurling stones at the officers, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Police then fired rubber bullets on the crowd and four demonstrators were hurt, the AFP reporter said, while another four were injured in clashes with officers.

The eight were taken to the local hospital but a doctor there indicated none of their injuries were serious.
Rally organisers, the youth secessionist West Papua National Committee (KNPB), also said four people were shot at the protest and taken to hospital.

Local reporter and activist Oktovianus Pogau said he was beaten badly by five policemen as he pulled out his wallet to present his press card.

“They punched me twice in the face and tried to strangle me. They hit other journalists and I saw at least two people get shot,” Pogau told AFP.

Manokwari police chief Agustinus Supriyanto declined to comment on the violence and would only say that the incident was being evaluated.

Police had rejected the students’ request to demonstrate outside the university and ordered the demonstration be shut down.

The demonstration was one of several in Papua Tuesday which were organised by the KNPB ahead of a meeting later in the day in London of international lawyers who are backing a Papuan independence referendum.

International watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the police action, saying the students had a right to protest.

“Police should stop the excessive use of violence in Papua. It should investigate officers who ordered the violence,” Jakarta-based HRW researcher Andreas Harsono said.

The protests were the first major pro-independence rallies since Indonesian police shot dead KNPB’s deputy chairman Mako Tabuni in June, which sparked a wave of anger that saw cars and homes set ablaze.

Papua — a vast, mineral-rich region in the east of Indonesia that shares an island with Papua New Guinea — has a mostly Melanesian population, ethnically different from most Indonesians.

Jakarta annexed the former Dutch colony in 1969 and has since faced a low-level insurgency.


4) Jakarta toughens take on dissenting Papuans, says church leader

Posted at 06:10 on 24 October, 2012 UTC

A church leader in the Indonesian region of Papua says Jakarta is taking a more aggressive approach to people peacefully protesting there.

The head of the West Papua Baptist Church, the Reverend Socrataz Sofyan Yoman, says as many as 20 people were injured when police fired rubber bullets during a pro-independence rally in Manokwari on Tuesday.

Hundreds of police were deployed as about 300 people gathered outside the University of Papua in Manokwari, and a clash broke out with students hurling stones at the officers.

An AFP reporter at the scene says eight people were taken to hospital but no one was seriously hurt.

The Reverend Yoman says the attack on what had been a protest timed to coincide with action being taken by MPs in Britain, shows a tougher stance is now being taken by Jakarta towards Papuans peacefully seeking peace and justice.

The Australian Greens have expressed serious concern after the latest violence.

Senator Richard Di Natale says Australia cannot continue to sit idly by while human rights are abused on its doorstep.

Radio New Zealand International

5) Aussie arrested for contempt


An Australian citizen who had allegedly evaded court orders and fled to Australia is now behind bars at the Boroko police cell after he was arrested by police at the Jacksons airport soon after his arrival yesterday afternoon.
Brain James Wyborn returned to Port Moresby upon his lawyer’s advice to comply with a warrant of arrest issued by the Waigani National Court against him a week ago.
Mr Wyborn was implicated in an alleged fraudulent land transfer case where he allegedly obtain a huge portion of land in Daru, Western Province through fraudulent means before selling it to certain companies including My Home Development Ltd and PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd for approximately K14 million.
According to court documents, the land described as portion 26 and 27 initially belonged to Mr Wyborn’s late father. The father died without leaving behind a will for any of his 10 children.
Mr Wyborn was the second born from the second marriage. It was alleged that Mr Wyborn illegally transferred the property to himself and expended his business interests without following proper process under the Land Registration Act.
This resulted in the recent arrest of a Daru Lands officer, Mr Rupert Tabua, by Police Fraud Squad and charged with official corruption and misappropriation.
Mr Tabua has been alleged to have played a key role in assisting Mr Wyborn in the fraudulent transfer of the land.
The elder brother of Mr Wyborn and other sibling found out about the alleged fraud and reported the matter, alleging that the process in which Mr Wyborn claimed ownership of the property was illegal and fraudulent because their late father did not leave any Will for the children before he died.
This prompted the Acting Public Curator to institute court proceedings against Mr Wyborn and his accomplice Norman Carl May and others following the complaint by Mr Wyborn’s elder brother and other family members.
The Public Curator is the official Trustee of deceased estates where the deceased person leaves no will.
During the court proceedings, Mr Wyborn failed to comply with certain orders of the court and a contempt of court proceeding was filed against him.
During the contempt proceedings, the court presided by National Court judge, Justice Bernard Sakora ordered Mr Wyborn to show up in the contempt proceedings and adhere to his charges but Mr Wyborn failed to turn up in court.
Only his co-accused, Mr Norman Carl May showed up in court during the contempt hearing. This prompted the court to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Wyborn.
Mr Wyborn allegedly fled to Australia and was in Australia when the warrant was issued. He returned to Port Moresby yesterday upon his lawyer’s advice and was arrested at the airport as per the warrant issued by the court.
He was picked up by Port Moresby police at the Jacksons airport yesterday and escorted to Boroko police cell where he was detained at around 2:30pm.
Conditions under the warrant restricted Mr Wyborn to obtain police bail but allowed him to make proper bail applications
at the National Court to obtain bail.
He is expected to appear in court today to adhere to his charges.

6) Massive fraud in PNG Parliament, senior members of parliament to face charges

By Online Editor
3:01 pm GMT+12, 23/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Speaker of Parliament Theo Zurenuoc said  Monday  a number of senior members of the parliament’s staff will face the music over what he described as massive abuse of public funds over the last 10 years.

Zurenuoc said in a media interview that a compliance audit into the operations of parliament is currently underway and an initial report shows cases of gross misuse of parliament funds and privileges.

“We have begun already and about to conclude a compliance audit. We have already stumbled upon a lot of issues, very sensitive, and I do not want to pre-empt the work of the audit team who are now into full swing and we will allow them to complete the audit,” Zurenuoc said.

“But I can give you a hint that a number of people will be facing some serious charges,” he said.

“There has been massive abuse of parliament funds, contracts have been (awarded) exorbitantly without any proper scrutiny whatsoever because the laws allow parliament to have its own Tenders Board so tenders are approved within parliament and privileges have been abused as well.”

“I MUST tell you that there is massive fraud in parliament.

“Many contracts are subject to review as well, but (according to) the contracts documents, the details are sketchy and we have to do a lot of digging to actually establish the details of the contracts.

The Speaker said the compliance audit is expected to be completed soon and will table a report to parliament about the gross abuse of funds.

The National Government has in the last two Budgets allocated funds to the tune of around K20 million (US$9 million) for Parliament to carry out major renovation work to improve the air-conditioning system, replace the generator set and the elevators and repair the toilets.

The funding was used without any progress and the O’Neill-Namah government, when in power last year, allocated additional funds for the maintenance of parliament which has now seen new elevators and the air-conditioning system upgraded.

Zurenuoc said there is a lot more work to be done and his role as the new Speaker is to restore the integrity of Parliament.

The Speaker was very frank when opening the 9th Parliamentary Committee Chairs Workshop at the State function Room.

“Let me be frank in informing you that during the last 10 years, our parliament has not delivered to the expectations of our people,” he said.


7) Preliminary 2011 PNG Census Reveals Population Of 7.1 Million

Highlands region most populated, men outnumber women nationally

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 22, 2012) – The 2011 census preliminary figures show that the total population of Papua New Guinea has reached 7.1 million, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO).

This is from an average annual growth rate of 2.8% in the past 11 years.

Of the 7,059,653 people, there are more males (3.7 million) than females (3.4 million).

The census also shows that there were 1.4 million families in the country when the census was taken last year.

On the distribution of the population, the highlands region is the most populated with 43% of the people living there.

Next is Mamose which has 25% of the population, southern with 18% and islands with 14%.

Of the provinces, Morobe is the most populated with 646,876 people living there. Next is Eastern Highlands with 582,159 and Southern Highlands with 515,511.

The least populated province is Manus with 50,321 and Gulf, which has a population of 121,128.

Last year, the largest number of visitors (73,306) arrived from Australia, followed by the Philippines with 13,812. Visitors arriving from New Zealand and the United States of America numbered 8,529 and 7,573 respectively.

Of the visitor arrivals in 2011, the NSO said 64,000 came for business, 44,675 came for employment, 25,672 for holiday and 6,614 to visit relatives.

The census show that Port Moresby is the most populated municipality followed by Lae, Goroka, Madang and Rabaul.

On the value of imports, the biggest came from Australia followed by Singapore, China, Malaysia and Japan.

The NSO observed World Statistics Day last Saturday.

The National:

8) Taro and mushroom potential exploited

By Online Editor
2:43 pm GMT+12, 23/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Southern region agricultural officers and farmers in Papua New Guinea will meet in Alotau this week to discuss the potential of taro and mushroom as new industries.

More than 50 participants from the five Southern region provinces and government agencies are expected for the two-day workshop starting tomorrow.

The workshop, organised by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), will discuss issues relating to the production and development of taro and mushroom.

This includes presentation on pest and diseases of taro, land use and sustainability, post-harvest handling and marketing, food safety standards, extension and others.

DAL’s science and technology branch is facilitating the two-day workshop, which will include presentations from the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA), Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA), National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), and DAL itself.

The outcomes from the workshop will form the basis for project proposals on development of taro industry and the introduction of mushroom as a viable crop in the region.

Mushroom is a potential protein supplement, which can be grown at the backyard.

DAL officers, who will be presenting the papers, will help the farmers to grow mushrooms with necessary training.

Agricultural advisers, senior agricultural officers and farmers from Western province, Gulf, Central, Oro and Milne Bay will participate in the workshop

This would be capped with a field visit to the Bubuleta station where the provincial administration is promoting taro and other food crops.


9) Alarms raised in Panguna

THERE are foreigners already engaged in alluvial mining in the vicinity of Panguna Mine.
And already it is raising eyebrows not only for villagers and other former combatants but leaders alike.
Sam Akoitai, speaking as former Mining Minister and a leader from Central Bougainville, also a former rebel hardliner has called on the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to come out clearly and explain to the people of Bougainville and PNG what law these foreigners are using and if they have complied with PNG foreign laws to enter into business — especially in Panguna.
Mr Akoitai raised these serious concerns yesterday as he knows the sensitivity of the Panguna Mine issue, particularly when the situation is still very much tense.
He called on ABG leaders both provincial and national MPs to seriously address this issue of foreigners — especially Americans, Africans, Australians and others — who are engaged in alluvial mining in Panguna when the mining issues have not been addressed in full.
Mr Akoitai also raised the alarm bells for both governments to be extra cautious because the issues at hand — given that more than 20,000 lives were lost due to the Panguna issue — had not been resolved.
“I am calling on the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to explain whether outsiders or foreigners who are engaged in mining activities have come through the proper channels, through Foreign Affairs, Labour and Employment or have work visas and work permits,” Mr Akoitai said.
“I am specifically cautious because the situation is still very sensitive and all the leaders both in ABG and National Government must take heed and address it head on.
“These people are not only doing business in mining but also scrap metal industry.”

10) Nine defect from Solomons government ahead of motion of no confidence

Posted at 07:46 on 24 October, 2012 UTC

Nine members of the Solomon Islands government of Gordon Darcy Lilo have moved to the Opposition’s ranks ahead of an expected motion for a vote of no confidence this Friday.

The nine include former prime minister and minister for planning and aid co-ordination, Snyder Rini, and the environment minister, John Moffat Fugui, along with seven backbenchers.

However our correspondent, Koroi Hawkins, says at least three more members would need to leave government for the opposition to have a chance of removing Mr Lilo.

He says the opposition appears confident this will happen.

“They have heard from some of the members of parliament that are on the government side that there is a belief that Gordon Darcy Lilo is running things to suit himself and the people close to him as opposed to suiting what they believe should be the national interest. So that’s the general statement that they’ve put out there but they’ve been hammering away at the Prime Minister for months now, trying to discredit him in various areas.”

Koroi Hawkins

Radio New Zealand International

11) Solomons Students Upset By Unreleased Government Funds
Education ministry says funds dependent on finance ministry

By Jeremy Inifiri

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 24, 2012) – Frustrated students of the Solomon Islands College of Higher of Education (SICHE) are running out of patience as the academic year nears completion.

They still have not received allowances for the second semester which should cater for course materials and other school related expenses.

SICHE Student President Timothy Amasia said students will continue to pressure the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) until they are paid their allowances.

“We are tired of their empty promises. We only have three weeks of school left before the 2012 academic year concludes, and yet we are still to receive our allowances,” Mr. Amasia said.

He said the allowances were supposed to meet students’ educational needs.

“But it seems the Government is making it a Christmas allowance. This is not fair because government sponsored students studying overseas were always paid their allowance on time while we were normally ignored.”

A spokesperson from the MEHRD yesterday confirmed that the listing is already up and that the money is yet to be raised by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

“It will have to depend on Finance and Treasury, if they raise the payment then students will receive their allowances, if not then students would have to wait,” he said.

He also clarified that overseas students are always prioritized adding that those at home would always have the means to survive as they reside in the country.

[PIR editor’s note: Earlier, the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association threatened to strike over unpaid grants, claiming the lack of funding jeopardized school operations, and failure to provide the money would mean stopping classes on October 15. After meeting with Prime Minister Darcy Lilo, however, the strike was called off.]

Solomon Star

12) Solomon MPs resign ahead of no-confidence vote

Posted 24 October 2012, 8:30 AEST

Several Solomon Island government backbenchers have reportedly left the coalition to side with the Opposition ahead of a no-confidence motion against the country’s prime minister.

Local media reports say seven MPs have handed their resignations to Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

Initial reports suggested Enivornment Minister Moffat Fugui had been fired but he has told local media he chose to resign earlier this week

Connelly Sandakabatu, has replaced Snyder Rini, who was sacked from his role as Minister for Planning.

The resignations are another blow to the Prime Minister, who faces a motion of no-confidence on Friday.

Correspondent Koroi Hawkins has told Pacific Beat the defections from the government make it hard to say which way the vote will go.

“The government reckons it’s stable, it doesn’t need the two minister who’ve left and the seven back benchers who’ve also gone across to the other side,” he said.

“I’m sure there’ll be very, very heated lobbying going on in terms of pulling people across each side but on Friday we’ll see who has the most numbers.”

13) Solomons Government Lawyers Threaten Mass Resignation
Ministry of justice yet to provide ‘satisfactory conclusion’ to claims

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 23, 2012) –Lawyers employed in the Solomon Islands justice sector including office of the director of public prosecutions (DPP), public solicitors office, attorney generals chambers, law reform commission are calling on the ministry of justice and government to deal seriously with their claims on conditions of service and come up with definite solutions.

On August 3 2012, the lawyers represented by the government lawyers association (GLA) issued a 3-months resignation notice to the public service commission.

This notice was also copied to ministry of justice, secretary to Cabinet, ministry of public service and other relevant authorities.

Amongst their list of demands were that the ministry of justice:

  • Engage a Technical Assistant (TA) to work on scheme of service for lawyers.
  • Ensure the upgrading of all lawyers employed in the 4 Justice Agencies to correctly align them with their posts in the MJLA 2011 establishment register and consider the issue of minimum entry requirement for lawyers in public service;
  • Review entitlements under a existing 2007 agreement

The lawyers acknowledged and welcomed the Ministry of Justice’s recent recruiting of a Technical Assistant (made possible though the RAMSI Law and Justice Program) to address longstanding concerns for the development of a scheme of service, but say the ministry is still yet to provide satisfactory conclusion to the other remaining claims above.

As a result of the notice, administration both at agency and ministerial level have taken steps to implement the changes.

Unfortunately, there are several lawyers still awaiting realignment.

The ministry of public service had upgraded the posts of all legal officers employed under the ministry of justice and legal affairs in 2011.

This change was reflected in the ministry of justice 2011 Establishment Register and the ministry of public service following enquiries from GLA confirmed on August 2011 it had directed justice and its agencies to facilitate the upgrading exercise and align the incumbents with their posts and respective levels as stipulated in its 2011 establishment register.

At the time when these changes came into effect the incumbents were occupying the posts. The lawyers thus requested that steps be taken to correctly reflect this, unfortunately this has not happened yet.

The lawyers said public servants, departments and ministries are responsible for implementing government policy – in this case improved terms and conditions of service and the re-grading of legal posts.

The lack of serious action and proper dialogue over the years to address these concerns has contributed to their decision to take decisive action in August 2012.

Law and Order is the third pillar of the RAMSI /SIG Partnership Framework.

The Secretary to Cabinet and head of Public Service, Mr. James Remobatu who is himself a lawyer and former permanent secretary for justice is well aware and well versed with the issues.

The Lawyers said “we want the ministry and government to deal with the issues and provide us with definite results. We are fed up dealing with the same issues year after year, it takes up a lot of our time to sort out these grievances.”

Some such as upgrading and minimum entry requirements are administrative matters which should not take years to resolve. We want them resolved before Nov 3.

The lawyers’ notice of resignation will lapse on November 3 and still remains in place. They are also considering downscaling or withdrawing their services soon.

Solomon Star

14) Solomon Islands Cabinet Reshuffles Ministers Before Vote
Ahead of no-confidence vote, 3 ministers shifted, 2 sworn in

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 23, 2012) – The Solomon Islands Government has reshuffled three ministers and appointed two backbenchers yesterday in a move to regain its solidarity ahead of the planned motion of no confidence this Friday.

This came after Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo sacked minister for development and aid coordination, Snyder Rini and minister for environment, climate change, disaster management and meteorology, Moffat Fugui over the weekend.

The five ministers took their oath before the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui at Government House.

As part of the internal changes, former minister for agriculture and livestock, Connelly Sandakabatu has replaced Rini.

While former minister for public service Bradley Tovosia took over from Mr. Fugui.

Former minister for police and national security, David Tome is now the new minister for agriculture.

While backbencher Christopher Laore took up the portfolio of the minister for police and national security.

Another backbencher Stanley Sofu came in for the public service portfolio.

Deputy Prime Minister, Manasseh Maelanga said this was part of any Government to reshuffle ministers and this was the first one for this year.

Solomon Star

15) Pacific model of conflict resolution seen as option for Solomon Islands

By Online Editor
3:44 pm GMT+12, 24/10/2012, New Zealand

An academic and lecturer of Pacific studies says a Pacific model of conflict resolution could have been adopted by Solomon Islands during its ethnic tensions instead of a South African model.

Dr David Gegeo made the comment during a conference on democracy in the Pacific last week.

The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission based on the South African model was established three years ago to investigate the cause of the ethnic violence in the country between 1997 and 2003.

Dr Gegeo said Pacific countries have various strategies for conflict resolution and says they could merge to develop a single Pacific model that Solomon Islands could have adopted during the ethnic tensions.

“It would be a model based on indigenous knowledge and the ways that Solomon Island communities or cultures solve problems in the past, because it’s there. I mean these people have been on the face of this earth for 60,000 years and they must have had some kind of way of solving problems.”

Dr Gegeo says dialogue is one form of conflict resolution practised in the Pacific.


16) I resigned says Fugui, seven government backbenchers join Solomons Opposition

By Online Editor
08:58 am GMT+12, 24/10/2012, Solomon Island

Former Solomon Islands environment minister, Moffat Fugui says he resigned before the Prime Minister sacked him Monday.

But Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said he sacked Fugui and Planning Minister Snyder Rini because they had aligned themselves with the Opposition.

However, Fugui said he tendered his resignation to Government House on Monday morning before he received the termination letter from the Prime Minister in the afternoon.

“I resigned because since March 8 this year, I was without a permanent secretary (PS),” Fugui said.

“I can’t run a ministry without a PS,” he said.

He said he first submitted a nomination for a PS, which he said the Public Service Commission endorsed but was rejected by the Prime Minister.

“I gave another nomination for a woman candidate in accordance with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

But he said up until today, nothing was done.

Sacked Planning Minister Rini had accepted the decision, despite uncertainty over his termination.

He said he had never aligned himself or stayed in contact with the Opposition camp as claimed.

“I am not sure where they get that information from,” he said.

Rini however accepted the termination saying “he (PM) is the boss”.

As part of the internal changes, former Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Connelly Sandakabatu replaced Rini.

Former Minister for Public Service Bradley Tovosia had replaced Fugui.

The removal of the two ministers came in the wake of the no-confidence motion against Lilo submitted by the Opposition to parliament last Thursday.

The motion of no-confidence is gaining momentum with the resignation of a Government Minister and seven backbenchers.

Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua announced this following the resignation of the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Meteorology, John Moffat Fugui.  Seven backbenchers also submitted their resignations to the Prime Minister on Monday.

The Opposition said the resignation of Fugui, MP for Central Honiara Constituency impacted significantly on the proposed motion of no-confidence.

Dr Sikua said these MPs have openly declared that they can no longer work with the current NCRA Government of Prime Minister Lilo as it is merely concerned about advancing his own interests at the expense of the nation.


17) Vanuatu Copra Farmers’ Exports Worth $280,022
Export to Philippines weighed more than 575 tons

By Jane Joshua

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 23, 2012) – Copra farmers on Malekula netted in over Vt26 million [US$280,022] revenue from Vanuatu Cocoa & Copra Exporter’s (VCCE) direct Copra Export to Philippines since the first direct export in September.

This week saw the second direct export in less than two months, as farmers are proving they can produce the supply to meet the demand.

“The second loading on board the Pacific Guardian in Malekula has just been completed,” VCCE’s Managing Director Sethy Lui told Daily Post yesterday.

“Loading commenced on Monday morning and was completed prior Wednesday lunch time.

“The tonnage of copra loaded from Litzlitz on the second shipment was 575.100 metric tons- 172.820 metric tons more from the first shipment.

“But the value of the second shipment was Vt12,725,318 million [US$137,052], a drop compare to the Vt13,470,863 [US$145,082] from the first shipment of 402 tons.

“The decrease in the value despite the high tonnage is a result of the price drop on the world market.”

In highlighting the province’s accomplishments through its business entrepreneurs and farmers on MALAMPA Day, provincial president Robsen Aison, had specifically mentioned VCCE’s new direct copra export initiative.

“Through VCCE’s good buying price and historical establishment on our doorstep we have reached new heights, in the first shipment it bought Vt13,470,863 of copra from rural farmers,” he said, adding MALAMPA’S development in Stevedoring requires a policy to guide upcoming development which can inject good revenue into the provincial treasury.

MALAMPA, one of Vanuatu’s biggest provinces has a population of 30,000 of which approximately 10,000 live on Port Vila and Luganville.

This year the ministerial instruction for audit of the province’s books cost the provincial heads and councilors dearly-a five month suspension, nevertheless compared to other suspended provinces they were the first to be reinstated.

Defying this challenge the province maintained a reserve of Vt20 million [US$215,401] with high hopes for a boost by the next elected provincial council.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

18) New Caledonia independence referendum unlikely soon, says academic

Posted at 02:33 on 24 October, 2012 UTC

A professor of anthropology and Pacific studies says it is his guess people in New Caledonia will want to delay the referendum on independence.

A referendum is due between 2014 and 2018 under the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy, which provides for a phased and irreversible transfer of power from Paris.

Serge Tcherkezoff has told a conference on democracy in the Pacific people in New Caledonia fear the impact of having clear-cut winners and losers.

He says they want more time to work out the detail surrounding a common destiny, the basis for the accord.

“I have the feeling that idea of building a common destiny is already difficult enough. They feel it is not the time to suddenly be divided in two blocs … who wants to stay in France, who wants to be independent.”

Professor Tcherkezoff says there are legal avenues to have the referendum indefinitely postponed.

Radio New Zealand International

19) New Caledonia government again at risk of demise

Posted at 06:10 on 24 October, 2012 UTC

The Caledonia Together Party has signalled it is poised to bring down the collegial government led by Harold Martin – the fourth time in less than two years.

It says a new executive has to be put in place to stop the territory from sliding deeper into crisis.

The Party’s leader Philippe Gomes says its success in the French legislative election in June has not been reflected in any New Caledonian institution and the goverment’s policies of late have been disastrous.

Last year, Caledonia Together brought down the administration three times within a month until Paris urgently changed the electoral law to stop the serial resignations by giving any new government an 18-month grace period.

This means that in early November, a single minister’s resignation will again be enough to bring down the collegial government.

Caledonia Together is now exploring how it can realign the parties to form a new government.”

Radio New Zealand International

20) Fiji’s electronic voting will create chaos: Dr Narsey

By Online Editor
3:46 pm GMT+12, 24/10/2012, Fij

Fiji’s economist and former politician, Dr Wadan Narsey believes electronic voting during the 2014 General Elections will create chaos.

Speaking during the Constitution Commission’s seminar on Electoral Reforms Tuesday at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus, Dr Narsey said there is no guarantee that somebody will not interfere with vote counts in the electronic voting system.

“The voting paper is there so you can count it and keep it as a record for accountability,” he said

“Fiji’s rural voters, irrespective of which ever ethnic group they belong to, will not be able to go to the electronic voting booths and press buttons on screens with alphabets or numbers.”

“Even some graduates can’t do that, so think about the elderly citizens of Fiji who are not even able to withdraw money from ATM machines.”

He also spoke on the benefits of proportional representation as a method of ensuring equality of all votes- Multi Racial and Gender Equality.

However, this was also part of Dr Narsey’s submission to the Constitution Commission stating that it was fine to have electronic voter registration system but not electronic voting system in 2014.

Meanwhile, the panel of experts which included Kare Vollan, Father David Arms and Dr Narsey discussed their experiences of alternative voting systems which is intended to establish a fair system of voting so that the interests and wishes of the people of Fiji can be represented through free, fair and honest elections.

Vollan who is an expert and advisor on Electoral Reform spoke on system of proportional representation while Father Arms discussed electoral proposals contained in the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.


21) Rotumans Call To Be Recognized In New Fiji Constitution
Representative calls for representation in parliament

By Nanise Loanakadavu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 23, 2012) – Chiefs and the Rotuma Council want their people to be expressly acknowledged as an indigenous people of Fiji under the new Constitution.

In their submissions to the commission, the council said the rights, aspirations and interests of all Rotumans should be recognized in the new constitution.

Misau Fatiaki, who submitted on behalf of the council, said there should be constitutional arrangements under which all matters relating to or affecting the lands and seas of Rotumans are approved by the council.

“That our uniqueness be reflected in the allocation of representation to both houses of parliament,” Mr. Fatiaki said.

The council also proposed the establishment of a court system on Rotuma.

Mr. Fatiaki expressed the council’s views on the 1997 Constitution, saying some provisions in it were worthy of consideration.

These include:

  • Fiji’s unique history and the great deeds of their forefathers, particularly in their embracing the Judeo-Christian God as the God of the country;
  • The role of the Great Council of Chiefs in blessing the constitution in “their abundant wisdom,” that Fiji is a sovereign democratic State and that the constitution is the supreme law of the State;
  • Those entrusted with the government must recognize the importance of applying the spirit of the constitution rather than glibly applying imperial concepts applicable in other democratic societies; and
  • The Bill of Rights.

Mr. Fatiaki said the chiefs did not agree with Section 38 (2) (a) of the 1997 Constitution, that the provision on sexual orientation was inconsistent with the Preamble and one that would nurture undesirable, unnatural and immoral practices.

Fiji Times Online:

22) Fiji Landowners To Benefit From Lower Land Trust Fees
2013 fees to be reduced by five percent by year’s end

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 23, 2012) – A planned reduction in iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) administrative fees will see landowners around Fiji pocket more than FJ$800,000 [US$447,177].

The reduction, effective from next year, was announced by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during the TLTB Strategic Corporate Planning Workshop at the Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa in Sigatoka yesterday.

Under the new reduction, administrative fees charged by TLTB will be cut by a full five percent.

“Today I can announce the administrative fees charged by TLTB will be reduced by 2.5 percent effective January 1, 2013,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

“It is expected that these will be reduced a further 2.5 percent later in the year, equaling an effective five percent in 2013.

“This will mean more lease money in the hands of all landowners,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki said the move was a positive one for them and also good news for the landowners.

He said while the new reductions would see TLTB forego more than FJ$800,000 in revenue, the board remained confident in its ability to operate without the funds.

“We have been considering the reduction for quite a while but we have also looked at the implications because the board is self-funded, it is not funded by the government,” Mr. Qetaki said.

“We are quite confident because we have improved our services, the efficiencies and all that, and we look at our income from the past four years and we are confident that we can live with that.”

Mr. Qetaki said the TLTB would now need to work harder and be more efficient and effective in their delivery of services.

Fiji Times Online:

23) 26,000 Fiji Civil Servants To Be Paid Based On Performance
Bainimarama says ambitious workers will reap benefits

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 22, 2012) – About 26,000 civil servants in Fiji will be assessed on their individual performance and paid accordingly from next year.

This was revealed by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during the Service Excellence Awards night at the Novotel Convention Centre on Friday.

Commodore Bainimarama said the better civil servants perform, the more money they would receive.

“This is one of the basic reforms of all to reward individual effort and encourage initiative and innovation,” he said.

Commodore Bainimarama said the government was freeing its smart workers from being grouped with their less ambitious peers and giving them opportunity to excel and reap the benefits.

He highlighted that at the beginning of this year, civil servants received a 3 percent pay rise while doctors and nurses got an additional 3 percent to recognize the special work they do and police officers received a 9 percent pay rise incorporating the job evaluation exercise.

Commodore Bainimarama said his government was also fortunate to have assistance from outside Fiji to raise the country’s overall standards.

“No country in the Asia -Pacific region inspires us more than Singapore. Singapore is the way Fiji aspires to be, the way Fiji will be if Fijians work hard as Singaporeans do to make it happen.”

He added that his government was implementing best practices and standards and had shown the world that Fiji could and would progress.

Fiji Times Online:

24) Fiji Union Leaders Accuse Government Of Interference
Claim meeting over worker issues stopped by police

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 22, 2012) – The Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) has raised concern on authorities disrupting trade union work in the country despite assurances from government that they will be no interference.

On Friday, police stopped a meeting between FTUC and the Pacific Fishing Company Limited regarding issues faced by workers at the Pacific Fishing Company (PAFCO) board room in Levuka.

FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony said in a statement that their meeting was disrupted after police officers marched in and said they were under orders from Suva to stop the discussions.

“We were then informed that the meeting will only continue provided the police officers were present during the discussions between the PAFCO chief executive Bhan Singh, human resource manager Etueni Caucau, line managers, PAFCO employees union executives and FTUC executives,” he said.

“The FTUC refused such an unreasonable demand.”

Mr. Anthony said they strongly condemn the action taken by police and seek an explanation on the legitimacy of their behavior and demanded that the names of those from Suva who ordered such actions be revealed.

However, in a statement at the weekend, the Fiji Police Force said the meeting was cancelled because of miscommunication and it regretted any inconvenience caused.

Fiji Police Force’s chief operations officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu, said officers in Levuka acted on a report lodged in Suva regarding the meeting.

“Following consultations with the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua, we instructed our officers to allow the meeting to continue as the case had nothing to do with the meeting that was being held,” ACP Tudravu said.

He confirmed the meeting continued shortly after.

However, FTUC president Daniel Urai maintained the meeting stopped after police interference and did not continue.

Fiji Times Online:

25) Gap in skills training for Pacific youth

By Online Editor
08:52 am GMT+12, 24/10/2012, Fiji

Collaboration between Pacific Island governments and non-governmental organisations is being suggested as one of the ways to help young people find employment.

A global report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on youth skills highlights the importance of second chance programmes for students who drop out of school.

The officer in charge at the UNESCO Pacific office said there are too few secondary school places for the number of Pacific students finishing primary school, something she attributes in part to a lack of government funding.

Susan Vize said by students in rural areas particularly need more opportunities for training, something governments struggle to afford.

“Like you have to provide for the teacher’s salary and the transport and where’s the teacher going to live and all of these sorts of things and that’s quite difficult to maintain in a tight budgetary situation. But also I think NGOs are often better at working at that community level, small-scale etc than government is.”.


26) Tuqiri eyes World Cup spot with Fiji

By Online Editor
4:47 pm GMT+12, 24/10/2012, Fiji

Former Australia dual international Lote Tuqiri is hoping to make his swansong on the global stage with Fiji at next year’s Rugby League World Cup, the team’s assistant coach Joe Rabele said today.

Rabele said Tuqiri was among half a dozen current and former players from Australia’s National Rugby League that the Pacific islanders hoped to field at the World Cup in Britain that starts in October next year.

The group includes retired Queensland great Petero Civoniceva, Melbourne Storm’s Sisa Waqa, brothers Wes and Kevin Naiqama and Parramatta Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne.

Rabele said Tuqiri, 33, the highest profile player of the group, wanted to make a final appearance for the country of his birth as he approaches the end of a career in which he represented Australia in both rugby union and rugby league.

“He wants to finish with Fiji and, at this age, with the injuries he has encountered, he will not be selected to play for Australia,” Rabele told AFP.

“Lote will bring a lot of experience and will lift the morale of the team.”

Hayne, just 24, still has a chance to add to his six Test caps for Australia.

Rabele said Hayne wanted to play fullback but said saw little chance of dislodging Australian incumbent Billy Slater from his favoured position so was looking at switching allegiances to Fiji.
“Like any Fijian player he likes to play where he feels relaxed and easy. Jarryd feels relaxed at fullback and he is more dangerous at fullback than on the wing,” Rabele said.

Hayne played for Fiji at the 2008 World Cup, where the team made the semi-finals.

The Fijians have been drawn in a tough group that includes Australia, England and Ireland at the 2013 event.


27) New Caledonia government pledges support for PYASC

By Online Editor
09:55 am GMT+12, 24/10/2012, New Caledonia

A major step in the organisational process for the second Pacific Youth and Sports Conference (PYASC) has taken place with the signing of a partnership agreement between OFC and the Government of New Caledonia.

New Caledonia Head of State Harold Martin put pen to paper on the deal Monday and was joined at the ceremony by Minister for Youth and Sports Jean-Claude Briault, as well as several representatives from OFC, including President David Chung, General Secretary Tai Nicholas and Head of Social Responsibility and International Relations Franck Castillo, who also acts as the PYASC chief executive.

The next edition of the PYASC will be held in Noumea in December 2013 and is being organised and staged in a joint effort by OFC, the New Caledonia government and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), an inter-governmental organisation based in Noumea that works towards improving the lives of Pacific Island people.

The freshly-penned agreement pledges the financial support of the New Caledonia government to the tune of 35 million XPF (approx. 470,000 NZD) and means the necessary planning, which is already well underway, can continue over the coming months.

“We are pleased that the New Caledonia government has agreed to show its support for the PYASC and are looking forward to working closely with both them and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to ensure the event is successfully staged,” President Chung says.

“There are many issues that are affecting our youth today. Non-communicable diseases have reached epidemic proportions in the Pacific and school dropouts and illiteracy continue to rise, while more can be done to recognise women and the disabled in our communities. The PYASC will play a key role in using the medium of sport as a tool to tackle the issues facing our youth in the Pacific and improve their lives.”

The PYASC brings together participants aged 16 to 25 years old from 25 different Pacific countries and provides the chance to discuss sport for development, as well as fostering relationships between youth organisations, sporting bodies, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and other partners.

The ultimate goal of the conference is to improve the lives of young people in the Pacific through sport.

The inaugural edition of the PYASC took place in March 2010 in Manukau, New Zealand, and resulted in the granting of funds to 14 projects that have since been implemented across the Pacific, the progress of which will be presented at the second conference.

The second edition has been penciled in for December 2 to 7 of next year and will be held at the Cultural and Sport Centre of Paita while the 1,000 participants will be accommodated at the University of New Caledonia campus.

The 2013 PYASC will be organised around three central themes – health, education and capacity building, and social inclusion.


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