NEWS ( Melanesia ) 25/10/12 # 672

 

1) PNG Oposisin itok Gavman i lukautim tasol long ol forena long sekuriti

Updated 25 October 2012, 18:54 AEST

Deputi Oposisin lida bilong Papua New Guinea, Sam Basil i tok Nesinol Gavman ino fea long ol sitisen blongen long taim em i kamap long lukautim sekuriti blong ol.

Sam Basil i tok taim em i kamap long rerem ol wok sekuriti bilong ol pipol na propeti bilong ol narapela kantri, em i hariap tumas long igo halvim ol.

Long ol pipol blong kantri, Deputi Oposisin Lida Sam Basil i tok, ol i wok long bungim ol kainkain trabel long ol kriminol.
Mr Basil i tok PNG Gavman nau i lusim tingting long ol vota, husait ibin putim ol long pawa na lukautim tasol ol pipol i kam long ol narapela kantri.

2) Ok Tedi mining keen to buy $5.3bn projectPosted 25 October 2012, 22:09 AEST

Directors of Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi Mining Limited say they are interested in buying a stake in Xstrata Copper’s $USD 5.3 billion Frieda River project.

With production due to start winding down at the Ok Tedi mine in the next few years, the company bearing its name is looking for new opportunities.

Managing Director, Nigel Parker, says Ok Tedi’s major shareholder, PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited, is very interested in the Frieda River project.

Since the Canadian company, Inmet Mining Corporation, sold out at the beginning of last year, Ok Tedi has been 100 per cent owned for the benefit of Papua New Guineans.

PNG’s Government has a 37 per cent stake in Ok Tedi, with PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited owning the rest.

Mr Parker says he would like to make a move as soon as possible but that depends on shareholder commitment.

“This is an extraordinarily valuable asset, we cannot let this asset die, otherwise the Papua New Guinean nation loses out,” Mr Parker told Radio Australia.

Talks with PNG’s Government are expected to start soon.

The Frieda River deposit is one of the largest undeveloped gold and copper deposits in the Asia Pacific.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2012-10-25/pngs-ok-tedi-mining-keen-to-buy-53bn-project/1036170

3) PM O’Neill to act on firearms in PNG

By Online Editor
09:07 am GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime  Minister Peter O’Neill has assured the people of Papua New Guinea that the government will act on recommendations of a public inquiry to outlaw firearms in the country.

O’Neill said this when responding to questions during Question Time in Parliament yesterday by Enga Governor Peter Ipatas about law and order problems and the use of illegal firearms.

Governor Ipatas said law and order had become a serious problem in the country and asked why Parliament should not outlaw guns in the country.

“What is the problem? Is it because we leaders want to keep guns? Is it to protect businessmen in this country? Who needs guns in this country?”

Ipatas said guns are a very big problem to society today.

“If we outlaw guns we will see a very big impact on the road to settling our people and bringing peace,” he said.

Prime Minister O’Neill in response thanked the Enga Governor for raising an important issue and also thanked the Member for Goroka, Bire Kimisopa who initiated and chaired the gun control inquiry and published its report when he was Minister for Internal Security some years ago.

“It was only last year when we tabled that report. That report was left outstanding for quite some time, and as a result many of the good recommendations from that report were never implemented,” O’Neill said.

The Prime Minister assured Governor Ipatas and Parliament that the committee’s report and recommendations are now with relevant agencies, particularly the Attorney-General’s Office.

“Those recommendations about legislative changes that are required to be introduced by government when the Attorney-General prepares all the necessary legislations. We will take it back to Parliament for consideration.”

O’Neill said the government is equally concerned about the illegal firearm build-up in the country.

The Prime Minister said even the police are running around with high powered firearms which should not be the case.

“They do not necessarily have to do that. I think a side-arm is just sufficient to deter illegal activities in the country, but running around with AK47s or AK49s on the main streets of Port Moresby and around the country indicates that we are a country at war,” Mr O’Neill said. I don’t think we are at war with our own people. It’s just an attitude issue. In many parts of our country people are in their tribal way of thinking in solving some of the issues in the communities.

“I am certain that some of the policies that this government is embarking on in educating our kids and young Papua New Guineans, bad attitudes will slowly change. It won’t change overnight. We are investing in the right development agendas in the country,” said O’Neill.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

4) PNG’s urged to take lead role: Foreign minister Pato

By Online Editor
2:43 pm GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

Papua New  Guinea has to show leadership the region in dealing with international and regional issues such as illegal human smuggling, resulting in asylum seekers, Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato told Parliament Wednesday.

Pato said PNG had not breached any international conventions regarding human rights issues in the arrangement with Australia to use Manus Island as a processing centre.

Pato was responding to questions from the Deputy Opposition leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil who said international human rights conventions were there with UNHCR and what was Papua New Guinea doing in addressing the 9000 West Papuans who were already in the country.

The Deputy Opposition leader said the military clashes in West Papua had forced the Indonesian citizens to take refuge in PNG without any refugee status.

Basil said PNG and Australia had supported the use of Manus Island as a base for asylum seekers processing centre.

He asked about the status of the 9000 refugees from Indonesia and whether they were in PNG under the provisions of the human rights convention.

Basil asked whether it was hypocritical for PNG to accommodate asylum seekers from Australia for processing in PNG when the Government had still to address the West Papuan refugee issue.

“Is this agreement to host the processing centre more about economic and financial gain?” he asked.

Basil asked whether the 9000 West Papuans who had lived here for so many years could be granted citizenship.

He also asked whether the asylum seekers in Manus processing centre who escaped would be joining the 9000 West Papuans awaiting their fate.

Foreign Affairs Minister Pato said PNG was a society that was based on the Rule of Law and a Constitution that compels the Government to work within the framework of international conventions and treaties.

“On the issue of whether we will or will not accommodate the West Papuans living in Papua New Guinea, we will look at it in the overall context of what policy we will have,” he said.

“But in relation to the Manus facility, that is a facility that we see as a regional issue.

“The issue of human trafficking and people smuggling is a matter of regional concern. Australia did not ask for it. PNG did not ask for it. But we are a regional leader as the big island State and that is why we want to exercise leadership on the issue of people trafficking and human smuggling.

“This is an opportunity to show compassion. When somebody is in need or someone is suffering, we have to support him.”

The Minister said Australia, as a traditional ally, and PNG must work together to address regional issues.

“People through corrupt means used these refugees for their own benefits and as a consequence the asylum seekers are the people who are in a need of help.” Pato said.

“We are saying, look we want to show leadership and this is an issue of regional concern and it is also an economic opportunity that presents a basis for some good delivery of services for the people of Manus Island. It is a win-win situation for both countries.’’

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

5) Foreign Minister: Djoko Tjandra Is A Citizen Of PNG
Governor Gary Juffa demands inquiry over citizenship

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 24, 2012) – Controversial Interpol fugitive Djoko Tjandra is a Papua New Guinea citizen.

This was confirmed by the former Foreign Affairs Minister Ano Pala and the current Minister Rimbink Pato during Question Time in Parliament yesterday.

Mr. Pala, who is now Minister for Transport, made the clarification when raising a Point of Order on a question raised by Oro Governor Gary Juffa who had directed a question to the Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Pato. He asked why Mr. Tjandra was granted a citizenship when he was wanted by Interpol and Indonesian authorities.

Governor Juffa said Mr. Tjandra is an international criminal fugitive who is wanted in relation to embezzlement of US$65 million in Indonesia.

“We have seen fit to grant him citizenship and now he is promoting a heinous and evil rice project seeking to create a monopoly, a project that has been tabled before the National Executive Council (NEC) three times and it has been rejected and it is about to be tabled yet again,” Mr. Juffa told Parliament.

“Can we have a review of the granting of citizenship to Djoko Tjandra (who is) wanted by Interpol and Indonesian authorities for allegedly embezzling US$65 million?

“Why are we accommodating this person? It is an embarrassment to our neighbors in the region and in fact the rest of the world. He should be immediately deported and handed over to Indonesian authorities to deal with him. We should not be entertaining criminals in this country,” he said.

Minister Pala then raised a Point of Order. “Djoko Tjandra is a citizen of this country and as a citizen, like all of you (here), he has the protection of the law, the protection of this Parliament and the protection of the privileges of this Parliament.”

He requested the Speaker to disallow the question but the Speaker refused his request.

Former Prime Minister, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare raised a supplementary question supporting Governor Juffa in tok pisin.

“Blong wanem yumi givim em citizen, question blong em why na yumi givim em citizen, displa man ya emi gat hevi long country blong em, why Foreign Minister na wokman blong em oli givim citizenship long em?”

Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato was very brief with his reply, saying the question had been answered partly by Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Minister Ano Pala.

“Here we are dealing with a legal issue concerning an individual. Where the law is concerned there are processes and procedures, but I don’t want to take over the job of the Attorney General and give you legal advice,” Mr. Pato said.

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

6) Moti affair dead issue: PNG Attorney General

By Online Editor
12:17 pm GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Papua New Guinea

The Moti saga is a dead issue and that the entire report has been rejected, Attorney-General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua said.

He told Parliament that the Commission of Inquiry into the Moti affair was instigated by the PNG Defence Force and therefore the report had been rejected.

However, he said that reports on the Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen had already been tabled and was now with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Some of the report’s recommendations have yet to be implemented.

He was responding to questions from Kiriwina-Goodenough MP Gordon Wesley who asked why recommendations from many commissions of Inquiry had never been implemented.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

7) AUTONOMOUS BOUGAINVILLE NEWS:

251012Bougainville Mourning
by Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville is mourning the death of one of its first National Parliamenterians who represented Bougainville in the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea in the pre independence era.

The late Grand Chief SIR DONATUS MOLA died at his home last Saturday.

He was aged 88.

The late SIR DONATUS MOLA is survived by his wife and 13children and 48grand children.

He became the member for North Bougainville in the national parliament in 1965 and continued until 1978.

The late DONATUS MOLA also served as the national minister for Health,Education,Commerce and the Public Service during his time as the national member.

He was a strong catholic who was instrumental in localizing of priests in the catholic church.

The late Sir Donatus Mola was a life member of Sir Julius Chan’s PEOPLES PROGRESS PARTY.

He was knighted in 2005 for his service to the community.

Since the first House of Assembly, the North Bougainville seat was held by five national members starting with DONATUS MOLA,SAM TULO,JAMES TOGEL,MICHAEL OGIO and LAUTA ATOI.

A state funeral is being organized for the late Grand chief starting with a requiem mass at the HAHELA Catholic church tomorrow Friday morning.

He will be laid to rest at his MANGOANA village in the Haku area on Saturday.

NEW DAWN FM wishes to send its condolences to the family and friends of the late Donatus Mola.

251012NEW DIVISION
By Aloysius Laukai

The newly appointed ABG minister for Tourism. ROSE PIHEI says that the ministry for tourism has no division to start with and since her appointment she has been working around the clock to create the division.

She was also speaking at the Bana technical meeting this morning.

She said that tourism was a big revenue earner for the region and needs to be strenghtened by creating a division that would spearhead and promote activities in the region.

She said that they have appointed a CEO and two staff that would start up the division.

The minister also stressed the need for other divisions to address outstanding issues that are inter connected like the veterans affairs which is working on weapons issues and Law and order issues.

She said that she wanted the tourism division get the same attention as mining as they would create mass employment for the general population.

251012Linkages Missing
by Aloysius Laukai in Bana

The acting Deputy Administrator Operations,PAUL KEBORI has acknowledged missing links between the Administration headquaters and its districts.

Speaking at the Bana meeting this morning, MR.KEBORI said that since his appointment as the Acting Administrator Operations he has come to realize that many districts were operating in isolation from other districts and including the Administration headquaters in Buka.

He said that without any linkages between these districts it is difficult to monitor the activities of the districts.

MR KEBORI said that the idea of committee system used by Siwai district which is addressing development issues in collaboration with UNDP and other stakeholders is one system that can be studied and possibly implemmented in other districts.

Meanwhile. The acting Deputy Administrator Operation also raised his dissappointment over the non attendance of other senior Bougainville Administration officers who were invited to speak at this meeting.

He said these were some attitudes by staff of the administration that continues to dissappoint efforts by the administration to move Bougainville forward.

The meeting will end tomorrow afternoon.

251012cordinate resource
by Aloysius Laukai in Bana

The south Bougainville UNDP representative,PETER SIUNAI says that there has been no proper cordination mechanisms of resources thus resulting in slow or no progress at all in the districts.

Speaking at the opening ceremony. MR.SIUNAI said that the UNDP was prepared to support the admimistration to strengthen its capacity to develop its officers who can in turn develop the nation.

He said in Siwai they have tested a system that is a committee system covering issues and cordinates activities on development and other issues affecting the district.

He said that development proposals are then submitted to the Authorities for funding and this was working well.

MR.SIUNAI says if it isvworking in Siwai it can also work in other districts.

The Siwai team will present item on this tomorrow.

251012SOUTH COMMISSIONER NEEDED
By Aloysius Laukai

The acting Executive Manager for BANA District David Rumbali is calling for the immediate appointment of the Commissioner for South Bougainville to cordinate activities in the South Bougainville.

He said that since the former commissioner(now regional member) left the post the districts have distanced themselves from each other.

This he said has led to dis integration of activities in the districts.

Mr Rumbali was speaking at the opening ceremony of the South Bougainville Technical meeting this morning.

He said it has taken a while for the Bougainville administration to appoint a replacement to this position.

251012BANA MEET OPENS
By Aloysius Laukai in Bana

The South Bougainville District Development and Cordination Technical meeting was officially opened this morning by the newly appointed ABG minister for Tourism ROSE PIHEI in Bana.

The meeting is being attended by Executive Managers and staff from four districts in South Bougainville.TOROKINA,BUIN,SIWAI and the host district BANA.
With participants representing NGO’s operating in the districts.In her opening remarks, minister PIHEI highlighted difficulties ABG ministers were facing working with their Division’s CEO’s.

MRS PIHEI said that because the CEO’s were directly under the Chief Administrator some were not responding to Minister’s instructions.

She was talking on autonomy implementation at all levels starting from the ABG down to its administration at the headquaters down to the districts.

She welcomed the organizers of this meeting which will change the the way the administration in the districts can plan for their districts.

The meeting will end tomorrow Friday

241012District Organize
by Aloysius Laukai in Bana

South Bougainville region is gearing up for a two day meeting titled District level development and cordination technical meeting.

This meeting is the first of its kind and aims to gauge the views of the districts on issues concerning development in the region.

The meeting is organized by the Autonomous Bougainville Government administration and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
According to the program for tommorrow,more than 50participants will be attending the meeting which includes personells from UNDP,other NGO,s like Care International, Bougainville Health Program, OXFAM. MSF and Executive Managers and officers from Buin, Siwai and Bana districts.

Minister for Culture and Tourism, Rose Pihei and Acting Deputy Administrator Operation, PAUL KEBORI arrived tonight in Bana for tommorrow’s meeting.

For the first time the people of Bana are hosting this meeting which includes providing accomodation for the visiting participants.

191012MOMIS SATISFIED
By Aloysius Laukai

ABG President Chief JOHN MOMIS is happy at the outcome of the JSB meeting held in Rabaul this week.
Chief Momis described the meeting as the best JSB meeting the region has had since 2005.
He was speaking to reporters in Buka this morning.
President MOMIS raised many issues discussed at the JSB which among others starts with the setting up of the Bougainville Public Service which will go with the Public Finance Management Act to manage Bougainville’s funds.
He said that the ABG was also working on mining Policy that they hope to pass through the parliament in December or at the March session.
The President also announced a special committee on reopening of the Panguna mine which will be headed by RAYMOND MASONO the former Deputy Administrator Policy.
On the ONE HUNDRED MILLION KINA allocated by the National Government, Chief Momis said that this year’s funds have been appropriated by the ABG however next year’s funds will specifically for High Impact Projects.
On the issue of Businesses by foreigners, the President said that once laws have been enacted no outsider would be allowed to operate canteens and stores that are only for Bougainvilleans.
On the question of foreigners marrying Bougainvilleans to operate businesses, President Momis says that this law was currently being reviewed.

191012IMPACTS RURAL AREAS
By Aloysius Laukai
Meanwhile, Tracy Tann the Development Specialist and team leader for AusAid on Bougainville also commented at the ceremony.
Mrs Tracy Tann said that SPSN was one project that was creating impacts in the rural communities of Papua New Guinea.
She said that in 2010 AusAid projects in PNG were reviewed which saw increased funding for Health and Education sector.
She also said that in the next two years AusAid intends to spend over FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS in programs like the Strongim Pipol Strongim Netion for small and big grants to support the development of communities who in turn can develop the nation of Papua New Guinea.
Those first five groups from Central and South Bougainville to benefit this round are as follows, Turumino Clan Group from Borepuru village in Buin .
They will benefit from a Water and Sanitation project totaling SIXTY SEVEN THOUSAND KINA.
ROROVANA 1 Catholic women’s group in Central Bougainville will also benefit from a water supply project costing FIFTY SEVEN THOSAND KINA.
RABAULU Primary School in Siwai will get funds totaling SEVENTY SEVEN THOUSAND KINA for the maintenance of School facilities.
St. Joseph’s NAVIBI Primary School in Central Bougainville will get funds to totaling SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND KINA to construct new school facility.
AND BALBI GRAINS AND VEGETABLE Group in Wakunai will get SEVENTY EIGHT THOUSAND kina for agricultural activities including marketing fruits and vegetables.
Ends

8) Solomons MPs Side With Opposition Before No-Confidence Vote
PM Lilo ‘confident’ in support from coalition allies

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 24, 2012) – 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 Environment 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 in Parliament on Friday.

Opposition leader, Derek Sikua, says the leadership spill is gaining momentum and five backbenchers have joined the Opposition’s side.

Mr. Lilo says he’s confident he has the numbers to withstand the motion of no confidence.

He told Radio Australia he has 28 votes – two more than needed – and the no confidence motion will fail.

“This will be the third motion that will be staged by the Opposition against me,” he said. “The two being withdrawn and this will be the third one and it will be ended up the same fate.”

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 ministers 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.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

9) Academic Favors ‘Pacific’ Peacemaking Model For Solomons
Model would be based on indigenous knowledge

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 24, 2012) – 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 says 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. David Gegeo says dialogue is one form of conflict resolution practiced in the Pacific.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

10) Vanuatu Urged To Focus On Improving Food Security
Agricultural co-ops, rural food supplies discussed

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 24, 2012) – Vanuatu government agencies have zoned in on improving food security to avoid hunger on the importance of Food Security status in Vanuatu to the eradication of poverty and hunger.

This was highlighted on World Food Day (WFD), Tuesday October 16 under the theme, “Agricultural Cooperatives – key to feeding the world”, singling out support and investing in cooperatives, producer organizations and other rural institutions as a means of critical support to farmers.

Cooperatives and producer organizations can catalyst the development of small producers skills, provide them with needed information and knowledge, and help them innovate and adapt to changing markets because group purchasing and marketing empower farmers to gain market power and get better prices on necessities like seeds and fertilizers.

In his address on behalf of the Director of Agriculture Livo Moli, the representative told farmers and stakeholders who celebrated this year’s event at PENAMA’s headquarters on Saratamata, Ambae that Vanuatu has yet to seriously experience poverty and hunger compared to other developing countries like Africa and Asia but it is very important that it prepares itself to combat hunger.

“Climate change and natural disasters [are] becoming a very serious contributing factor in Vanuatu and other Pacific countries, affecting food security and creating challenge for ni-Vanuatus to cope and adapted to the climatic changes in the near future,” he stressed.

“For us to become successful in reducing hunger we must join hands and work together to ensure there is sufficient food supply to meet our high population demand. We all have to understand that every one of us have different responsibilities on improving food security within our communities.”

“The Department of Agriculture as a stakeholder prioritizes a close working relationship with the Vanuatu Agriculture Research Technical Center on producing collection of climatic resilient crops and short term crops and distribute to farmers’ cooperatives.

“Another committed role for the department is to reorganize farmers group and working together with them to produce more and develop a system where farmers can sell their products at the farm gate and or centralized based market to a local buyer.”

He said small scale farmers are expected to provide much of the extra food needed to feed our communities.

“Supporting and investing in cooperatives, producer organizations and other rural institutions is viewed as critical to supporting those farmers,” he added.

“We should focus on promoting our local crops in terms of producing more economically viable and short term crops like cassava, sweet potato and rice to enhance food security production in a more manageable manner ensuring a healthy wealthy Vanuatu; as stipulate in the Vanuatu Priority Action Agenda.”

With Vanuatu’s increasing population it is predicted that by 2015 food security will become an increasingly critical issue for the Vanuatu Government.

Statistical reports indicate that in 2010 Vanuatu imported over 11,000 tons of rice annually and it is increasing every year.

Many commercialized countries like Australia, China, Japan, and United States are developing strategies on controlling export of food crops like rice, maize and wheat to other countries just only to satisfy and meet their population demand on food.

WFD in the capital saw the heads of the Department of Cooperative, Department of Industry, Public Health Department and the Department of Agriculture as panelists on national Radio to advocate the importance of Food security.

WFD activities included farmers displaying their experience and traditional knowledge and skills on producing and increasing food crop production, poster displays, booklets and theme focused awareness talks.

The event is an ideal platform to share experiences, create good working relationships in terms of information sharing, communication network, strengthening cooperative work plans on food security and engaging farmers to understand their role on improving food production to address food security.

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

11) Alleged Nepotism In Vanuatu Provident Fund Investigated
General manager recruited past coworkers to high positions

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 24, 2012) – Investigations have begun into allegations the General Manager of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund’s (VNPF) appointed her work colleagues at to senior management positions at VNPF.

The Auditor General John Path told Daily Post yesterday the investigation may obviously not be restricted to the affairs of the current management but also investigate VNPF investments done by previous Directors of the VNPF Board.

Mr. Path said this after he announced in a press statement the Council of Ministers has approved a tender by Ernst & Young (Australia) to undertake the investigation at the National Provident Fund.

The independent investigation into the concerns surrounding the VNPF is now underway, Mr. Path said.

The final contract with the chartered firm has been signed by the Minister and the audit has commenced.

There was escalating pressure in August from VNPF members over nepotism claims that GM Anniva Tarilongi recruited her wantoks that were sacked from Telecom Vanuatu and appointed a dismissed Telecom staff VNPF Human Resource Manager, while four others were made VNPF senior managers.

The Daily Post understands the General Manager is appointed by the Board but any senior managers are appointed by the VNPF GM in consultation with the VNPF Board. GM Tarilongi and the managers were suspended by the VNPF Board as a result of the public pressure because it had the potential to develop into civil unrest like in 1998.

On August 20 the Auditor General announced that a foreign company will undertake the auditing of the VNPF but it was not until two months after when Mr. Path announced Ernst & Young (Australia) as the investigators of VNPF.

“Over the last week and the coming weeks the Office of the Auditor-General has and will be liaising with Ernst & Young and the VNPF to collate information required to carry out the audit and sent to the auditors to begin their planning and analysis. It’s anticipated that the audit will be finalized by the end of November,” Mr. Path said.

The final investigation report will be submitted to the Minister of Finance and the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee as required by the Expenditure Review and Audit Act.

The Office of the Auditor General requests the members of the Fund to be patient while the investigation is on.

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

12) Party splits yield record number of Vanuatu election candidates

By Online Editor
2:45 pm GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Electoral Commission says the record number of candidates contesting next week’s election can be partly attributed to the fragmentation of major political parties.

348 candidates, including 65 independents, are officially listed to contest the 52 electorates.

There are also an unprecedented 32 political parties fielding candidates.

Three of the largest political groupings in Vanuatu, the Vanua’aku Pati, the Union of Moderate Parties and the Vanuatu Republican Party, have all experienced major splits this year.

The chairman of the Commission, John Taleo said it’s had a big impact in constituencies like Port Vila where a record 48 candidates are vying for six seats.

“The reason why the number has increased rapidly is because the splits of the parties. That is why there is a lot independent candidates and also the other newly formed parties which have really been appearing because of a lot of splits in the parties.”.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

13) New Caledonians May Delay Independence Referendum
Residents look to building ‘common destiny’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 24, 2012) – 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: www.rnzi.com

14) Economist Criticizes Electronic Voting For 2014 Fiji Elections
Wadan Narsey favors accountability of paper ballots

By Indrani Krishna

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 24, 2012) – 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 last night 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 are 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 People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

15) Fiji opposition weakened by China backing regime, says expert

By Online Editor
09:06 am GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Fij

An expert on China’s foreign policy and presence in the Pacific, Dr Anne-Marie Brady, says China’s support for the present Fiji regime of Commodore Frank Bainimarama has undermined his opposition.

She told a conference on democracy in the Pacific that China has given the regime strong and explicit practical and moral support since the 2006 coup.

She says voices in opposition to the regime like the Methodist Church, the Great Council of Chiefs, political parties and parts of the media would have made more of a comeback if it were not for China’s support.

“Bainimarama is able to show the Fiji people, look we’re not alone. We have the support of a very important state. I think it strengthened his hand at being able to push forward other changes in Fiji politics.”

She said China’s funding of infrastructure projects out of the range of traditional donors has given the regime added legitimacy, but she says this is not a deliberate strategy..

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

16) Commission hires Ratu Joni

Tevita Vuibau
Thursday, October 25, 2012-Fiji Times.

FORMER Vice President of Fiji Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi has become the latest local to be hired as a consultant by the Constitution Commission.

This was confirmed yesterday by commission executive secretary Keshwa Reddy saying Ratu Joni was hired for short-term consultancy work.

Ratu Joni had presented a submission to the constitution commission for the Kubuna Confederacy covering issues from indigenous rights to the declaration of Fiji as a Christian nation.

Mr Reddy said although Ratu Joni had already made a submission to the commission, as a consultant, his views would still be analysed.

“The views of the consultant are important but it does not necessarily mean that the commission will accept it,” Mr Reddy said

“If Ratu Joni has a view, what makes one think that we cannot change that whilst engaging him.

“This is positive thinking,” he said.

He said Ratu Joni was hired as a consultant not only because of his esteemed legal prowess, but also because as a high chief in his own right, he provided valuable insight into iTaukei affairs.

“The commission views a general opinion of the people of Fiji.

“And of course what is best in the national interest is what the commission looks at,” Mr Reddy said.

“We look at every individual as a contributor to the process, no discrimination whatsoever,” he said.

Mr Reddy said Ratu Joni contributed a lot to the constitution in terms of writing papers and the commission felt it was only right to compensate him for his time.

17) Viti for all Fijians

Nanise Loanakadavu
Thursday, October 25, 2012-Fiji Times

THE structure of the government should recognise the importance of the family, tokatoka, mataqali, yavusa and vanua.

Jone Vave of Sawana Village in Vanuabalavu said this in a submission to the Constitution Commission.

Mr Vave said the new constitution should ensure Fijians, regardless of gender, were empowered to order their own lives and provide for themselves and their families.

He proposed that a system integrating all races into the vanua structure should be adopted to including all ethnic communities in Fiji.

He said all Fijians must feel they were part of the new nation ‘Viti’.

The constitution, he said, should ensure ‘Viti’ recognised that environmental sustainability was part of the global economic and social wellbeing.

“Exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water and fisheries shall be strictly prohibited to ensure those who depend on natural resources for their livelihood are not disadvantaged in any way,” Mr Vave said.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and have the basic right to attend school,” said Mr Vave

18) Australian universities wiped out by 2025

By Online Editor
08:56 am GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Australia

New technologies, increased competition and flat-lining government funding will force universities to fundamentally reinvent themselves in the decade ahead, Ernst & Young’s University of the Future report has found.

“There’s not a single Australian university than can survive to 2025 with its current business model,” says report author Justin Bokor, Executive Director in Ernst & Young’s Education practice.”

“We’ve seen fundamental structural changes to industries including media, retail and entertainment in recent years – higher education is next.

The study, based on 6 months of research into the changes occurring in the international university system, found that Australian universities currently employ more support staff than academics.

All but one of the 15 universities included in the research had more back-office staff than academic staff

Four universities reported having 50 per cent or more support staff than academics, and more than half the total has at least 20 per cent more back-office staff.

“At a minimum, universities will need to get much leaner, both in terms of the way they run the back-office, and in use of assets,” said Bokor.

“Given increased market forces including the switch to a demand-driven model in the domestic market and increased global competition in the international student market together with tight government funding, universities with these types of support structures will struggle to see out the next ten years.”

The study showed that a number of universities that had previously felt secure in their market share are now finding themselves confronted by losses in share of 5-10 per cent.

The report recommended that universities needed to streamline their business models, concentrating resources on a niche range of world leading programs, and targeting specific groups such as international students or school leavers.

The report also showed that universities would need to build significantly deeper relationships with industry over the next 10 years, begin commercialising more research and focus more on integrated work experience programs.

It is also recommended that universities form partnerships with media companies and global technology providers to change the way education and knowledge is accessed and delivered locally and across the planet.

SOURCE: 7 NEWS/PACNEWS

19) Des experts en démocratie pour les îles du Pacifique

Mis à jour 24 October 2012, 8:57 AEST-Radio Australia.

Pierre Riant

Des experts issus d’un nouvel institut : le Centre Macmillan Brown à l’Université de Canterbury en Nouvelle-Zélande.

L’exportation de la démocratie par des pays occidentaux dans des cultures non-occidentales d’Afrique, d’Asie ou du Pacifique n’a pas toujours donné les résultats escomptés.

Est-ce que ce nouvel institut saura prendre en compte certaines traditions et sensibilités culturelles du Pacifique ? Nous avons abordé la question avec le directeur de l’institut, Malakai Koloamatangi.

KOLOAMATANGI : « Le message est clair. Les gens doivent trouver le moyen d’adopter et d’adapter la démocratie en fonction des conditions locales. Tout le monde est d’accord pour dire que des principes universels existent, comme les droits de l’Homme, la liberté d’expression, l’obligation de rendre des comptes, la transparence etc. Mais tout cela doit être transposé avec les traditions culturelles en toile de fond.

Bien sûr certains pays vont se servir de ces principes et le meilleur exemple est le coup d’État de Fidji en 1987 où les Nationalistes ont tenté de justifier le coup en invoquant les droits des peuples indigènes et ainsi de suite.
Seulement, avec un peu de bon sens, nous ne pouvons pas l’accepter. Dans ce cas,  l’idée serait davantage de donner aux Fidjiens un peu de temps et d’espace pour qu’ils décident comment ils entendent naviguer sur leur bateau, leur ‘waka’ vers l’avenir. 
»

Il y aurait donc de l’espace pour manœuvrer dans les démocraties du Pacifique, mais il y a aussi des limites à ne pas franchir et ces limites se situent autour des questions humanitaires. La réponse de Malakai Koloamatangi.

KOLOAMATANGI : « Je reviens aux principes acceptés. Certains disent que ce sont des trucs d’Occidentaux et ce genre de choses, mais il y a des principes que partagent tous les êtres humains, qu’ils soient en Afrique, dans le Pacifique, la Caraïbe ou en Uruguay… Tout le monde comprend que l’on ne peut pas retirer les droits d’une personne à un procès équitable, par exemple, ou que l’on n’a pas le droit d’empêcher quelqu’un de parler. Ces principes sont les limites à ne pas franchir et si on les franchit, ce n’est plus une démocratie. »

Question ambigüe que cette démocratie dans une région où par exemple  les droits sont souvent plus collectifs qu’individuels et où la culture est parfois utiliser pour expliquer un comportement qui risque de contrevenir aux principes de la démocratie. L’égalité des genres à Tonga est un concept différent de l’égalité des genres à New York ou à Paris. Mais pour Malakai Koloamatangi tout peut être résolu avec un peu de bon sens et de respect.

20) Kurukuru stun hosts in Thai thriller

By Online Editor
10:11 am GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Solomon Islands

The Kurukuru’s characteristic ‘never say die’ attitude once again came to the fore as they twice came from behind to claim their first win outside Oceania in a historic 4-3 defeat of 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup hosts Thailand

From start to finish the Kurukuru refused to be broken and were rewarded for their persistency against the 11th ranked side in a match played as part of the All Star Futsal Festival, which also features Australia, Panama and Egypt.

Currently sitting at 46 in the world rankings, the Kurukuru had only a handful of friendlies before arriving in Thailand making the win all the more gratifying for the players and team management.

“This is a very important victory for the Kurukuru and for Solomon Islands. Finally we have managed to win outside our region and in the lead up to World Cup it is great for the boys to be reminded what it feels like to win,” head coach Dickson Kadau says.

“The hard work exerted in the last year and in the training camp in Spain is paying off and we are very happy to be on the right side of the score line. Thailand are a very strong side and today they played well but we believed that we could win and we worked hard to get it.”

Winning goal scorer Samuel Osifelo displayed some brilliant individual skills to collect a double in the game but credits the entire team’s efforts for the win.

“I feel happy to have done my part in scoring today but overall it is the work of all the players in the team. We communicated well and had confidence in each other and we have our tour in Spain to thank for this,” Osifelo says.

Coached by Victor Hermans and backed by a fully packed stadium Thailand looked sharp and broke the deadlock after four minutes with a strike from Jeerawat Sornwichian. That lead was extended in the 10th minute when Kritsada Wongkaev beat the Kurukuru defence to give the home side a 2-0 lead.

However, the Kurukuru were back in the contest a minute later when Samuel Osifelo scored his first of the game and his second of the pre-World Cup tour.

Captain Elliot Ragomo levelled proceedings with his first goal of the tour in the 13th minute leaving the game tied at 2-2 for the half-time break.

The second half saw both teams open strongly but Thailand had the slight upper hand with some very good attempts finding only the woodwork. However, their hard work paid off in the 33rd minute when Sornwichian scored from distance and it was 3-2 to Thailand.

The Kurukuru’s foul count increased under sustained pressure from Thailand but, fortunately for the tourists, none of the penalties were converted.

In the dying minutes of the match the Solomon Islanders were rewarded handsomely when Micah Lea’alafa got in on the goal scoring action through a powerfully taken free kick in the 39th minute.

Once again, the teams were level but neither side was willing to finish with a draw.

Thailand repeatedly pushed hard into Kurukuru territory in an attempt to get in front but this attacking style eventually cost them the game.

With only seconds left to play Thailand found themselves exposed when an attack was cut short by Osifelo who stole the ball halfway down the court to, dancing past two Thai defenders before slotting the ball home for the winner.

The Kurukuru have less than day’s rest before they play their second friendly match in Thailand. They will take on Australia as the All Star Futsal Festival continues in Thailand.

SOURCE: OFC/PACNEWS

21) Fiji team named for November tour

By Online Editor
10:12 am GMT+12, 25/10/2012, Fiji

Flying Fijians head coach Inoke Male, while naming the final 30-member national squad Wednesday, said Fiji’s opponents during the upcoming Northern Tour should not underestimate the ability of the local players.

Male named 16 local players and 14 overseas-based reps for the four-match tour to Europe next month.
Fiji will play England on November 10, Gloucester on November 13, Ireland A on November 17 and Georgia on November 24 during the tour.

Nadroga reps Setefano Somoca, Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Seremaia Naureure, Sekonaia Kalou, Iliesa Ratuva, Nemani Nagusa, Jonetani Ralulu and Simeli Koniferedi forced their way into the team.

The rest of the local players are from Suva, Tailevu and Lautoka.

Returning is former skipper Deacon Manu who is the top favourite to lead the team after the exclusion of Netani Talei who was being eyed to captain the side.

Other notable inclusions are former Fiji sevens stars Metuisela Talebula, Nikola Matawalu, Vereniki Goneva and Waisea Nayacalevu who are plying their trade overseas.

Makutu, New Zealand-based Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Western Force utility back Samu Wara and Suva inside centre Josaia Lotawa are set to make their Test debut during the tour.

“The local players may have less international exposure but I’m confident that they will do well despite lack of experience playing internationally,” Male said.

“We are confident with this bunch of young and unknown players as we are trying to rebuild the team and work towards lifting our standard in the IRB (International Rugby Board) rankings.”

With tickets for Fiji’s opening tour match against England at Twickenham Stadium sold out, Male said the team had a lot to play for.

Playing in front of 82,000 people, the former Flying Fijian said they had a lot to work on in the remaining days to get the team in perfect shape for the tour.

“I have been to similar tour before but as the head coach, this will be my first trip and I’m looking forward to it,” Male said.
“We are going there with confidence that we will do well during the tour.”

Flying Fijian: Setefano Somoca (Nadroga), Deacon Manu (llanelli Scarlet, Wales), Ratu Penijamini Makutu (Nadroga), Manasa Saulo (Suva), Seremaia Naureure (Nadroga), Viliame Veikoso (Suva), Tuapati Talemaitoga (Southland, NZ), Leone Nakarawa (Tailevu), Apisai Naikatini (Japan), Sekonaia Kalou (Nadroga), Apisalome Ratuniyarawa (North Harbour, NZ), Iliesa Ratuva (Nadroga), Malakai Volau (Suva), Malakai Ravulo (North Harbour, NZ), Jone Qovu (Racing Metro 92, France), Jovili Domolailai (Pau, France), Nemani Nagusa (Nadroga), Nikola Matawalu (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Nemia Kenatale (Southland, NZ), Metuisela Talebula (Union Bordeaux Begles, France), Jonetani Ralulu (Nadroga), Josh Matavesi (Worcester Warriors, England), Kelemedi Bola (Lautoka), Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers, England), Josaia Lotawa (Suva), Ravai Fatiaki (Worcester Warriors, England), Samu Wara (Western Force, Australia), Watisoni Votu (Lautoka), Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francis, France), Simeli Koniferedi (Nadroga)

Non Travelling Reserves: Vesi Rarawa, Campese Ma’afu, Waqabaca Kotobalavu, Sireli Naqelevuki, Aisea Natoga.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

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