Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 683
1) Ol Pacific meri igat bikpla wok blong peace
Ol meri blong Pacific rijan imas kisim planti moa save long peacebuilding long wonem oli igat bikpla wok blong kamapim peace long ol communiti.
Despla toktok ibin kam long wanpla lida meri blong Bougainville long PNG, bihaenim askim blong Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding long 16pla meri blong Pacific long go skul long Eastern Mennonite University Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding long America.
Fopla meri blong Pacific istap nau long despla Universiti we oli wok long kisim treining. Wanpla long ol despla meri em blong Solomon Islands.
Helen Hakena, director blong Leitana Nehan Development agensi long Bougainville itok despla peace buidling treining i gutpla tru.
2)Major shift in Budget
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THE 2013 Budget that will be handed down by Treasury Minister Don Polye tomorrow will see a major shift of the resource envelope to give “financial autonomy” to districts and provinces but prudent management and accountability issues remain a major concern.
The Governors that gathered at the annual Governors Conference at March Girls Resort at Gaire village outside Port Moresby last week highlighted accountability issues that must be addressed immediately by the National Government.
This is one of 15 resolutions the Governors passed after the two-day conference.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when opening the conference last Thursday assured all the 22 Governors that the 2013 Budget will now centre and contain significant development funding for the Provincial Governments, which represents a major change in the allocation of funding.
The governors acknowledge and appreciate the National Government’s intention to strengthen Provincial and Local Level Governments to deliver basic services, and requested the need to improve Inter-government financing as fundamental to development.
The governors resolved and recommended that the National Government release provincial grants on a timely basis and also on a quarterly basis with 40 percent in the first quarter, 30 percent in the second quarter, 20 percent in the third quarter and 10 percent in the final quarter.
The governors said although they supported District Services Improvement Program (DSIP), they expressed concern about prudent management and use of these funds, because in many cases there were no tangible results to show for the use of these public funds.
The governors resolved that laws, systems and processes that govern the use of the funds be reviewed and amended and proposed amendments to ensure that:
– Joint district Planning & Budget Priorities Committees formulate District Development Plans upon which the DSIP funds are to be used;
– DSIP funds support the implementation of Development Plans and submit annual plans and budgets to the PEC and Provincial Administrators for inclusion in the provincial budget;
– All Capital Goods acquired under DSIP must have an inventory submitted to the Provincial Administration and included in the assets register;
– All vehicle and earth-moving equipment acquired under DSIP must carry government “Z” plates and be driven by blue or red Government license holders and vehicle or equipment be parked in pools recognised by the Provincial Administration;
– DSIP funds must be released from National Treasury to the District Treasury and reflected in the provincial budget;
– District Development Plans must incorporate the priorities presented by the Ward Development Committee (WDC) which have been endorsed by the LLG in the district; and
– Regular Audits must be conducted on the use of public funds.
The Governors Conference noted the proposed amendments to the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments and resolved that a specific meeting be organised by Department of Provincial Affairs to discuss the details of the proposal.
3)Four mothers die daily in PNG due to child birth problems
FOUR mothers die daily in PNG through complications in pregnancy and child birth, it has been revealed.
And the best way to reduce or prevent these deaths from occurring is for mothers to go for family planning to stop and or plan future pregnancies.
Dr Jeffrey Tore, an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar at the Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital said this while speaking live on radio about safe motherhood during an “outside broadcast” show on Radio Western Highlands last Wednesday.
The radio shows which was the first of its kind on ‘safe motherhood’ was sponsored by UNICEF and held for two hours around midday at Banz town in Jiwaka Province.
Representatives on the panel for the outside broadcast included Dr. Tore and his colleague, Dr. Justin Yanga from Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital and Sr. Jenny Walep, District Health Officer for North Waghi, all representing the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority.
The others included the Acting Provincial Administrator for Jiwaka Province, Mr. Tokana Hasavi and representatives from Susu Mamas, Marie Stopes and the Provincial Aids Council.
Dr. Tore told a huge crowd that mothers’ chances of dying started from the time they became pregnant to the time they went into labor and six weeks after delivery but if they did not get pregnant, they would not die from such complications.
He said some of these maternal deaths could be avoided if the mothers went for supervised delivery at a health facility or if they did not have too many babies, or if they did not have babies one after the other.
Dr. Justin Yanga said if married couples did not want to have any more babies, they should see him so that he could stop the woman from getting pregnant.
He said every time a mother became pregnant, her chances of dying increased and he urged both husbands and wives to go for family planning and raise a good size family without giving much burden to the mother.
Dr. Yanga said family planning was a free service provided by the public health system in the country and PNGans should utilize this to the fullest to have a healthy family, resulting in a healthy community.
Jiwaka’s acting Provincial Administrator, Mr. Tokana Hasavi said health and education were his administration’s top priorities and he would ensure their run-down facilities were maintained starting next year.
Mr. Hasavi said he had met with his public servants and advised them to “connect with the people” and find out exactly what was needed so that necessary services could start to flow to them.
He also thanked the Western Highlands Provincial Administration and the Provincial Health Authority for their continued support in the areas of administration and health and added that such support would continue to be needed until such time Jiwaka was able to manage its own affairs.
4)O’Neill Promises More Than $1 Billion Towards PNG Infrastructure
Record budget to be released on Tuesday
By Jeffrey Elapa
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 16, 2012) – Between K2 billion and K3 billion [US$ 0.95 – 1.43 billion] of the 2013 Budget will go towards improvement of infrastructure, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said yesterday.
Addressing the provincial governors’ conference at the March Girls Resort outside Port Moresby.
O’Neill said the government was committed to improving infrastructure such as road network, bridges, telecommunication, and education and health facilities.
There was no mention of the US$6 billion loan to be raised from China, which O’Neill earlier said was needed for the deteriorating infrastructure in the country.
Although the budget, to be delivered on Tuesday, is expected to be much higher than this year’s K10.4 billion [US$4.95 billion], the prime minister said for the first time, it would empower governors and the open members to focus on improving their districts and provinces.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion, who is the chairman of the governors’ conference, said the government would be committing K2 billion to development grants for provincial governments, where governors would have a lot of money to cater for their development agendas.
O’Neill said the provinces would be getting direct funding through the budget but it would come with strict guidelines to improve the government’s development agendas such as education, health, law and order, infrastructure and small to medium enterprises.
He said the country had missed many opportunities over the years with good economic growth but, this government was committed to improving districts and provinces where the bigger population was based.
O’Neill said there would be a small deficit in the budget, but strategies were in place to address it. It was unlikely to have great repercussions on the economy and development of the country.
He also revealed that the economy was likely to drag when the PNG LNG construction phase scaled down before the export of gas.
He said the construction of the project had added 3% to the 9% increase in the GDP but that would decrease and affect the economy and many people would lose jobs. However, the onus was on the provincial and national governments to focus and plan long-term sustainable programmes, with emphasis on infrastructure.
The issue of autonomy for Bougainville would be considered but not before considering how it has progressed, O’Neill said.
The National: www.thenational.com.pg/
5)PNG PM Seeks Better Information About Sea Mining Operation
Nautilus Minerals suspends construction after information request
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 16, 2012) – The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea says his government wants to be fully satisfied on core issues such as environmental impact before it participates in the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project.
The developer of the project planned for PNG’s Bismarck Sea has decided to terminate construction amid a dispute with the government over costs of up to 80 million US dollars.
The Canadian company Nautilus Minerals planned to mine gold and copper in the seabed, the first such deep sea mining operation in the world.
Peter O’Neill says he regrets that Nautilus has had to freeze its plans.
But he says data that PNG has sought about the project has not been forthcoming.
“We are trying to expend public funds so we need to be comforted. We’ve indicated that we want to participate in this project, including issues like intellectual property rights and issues of that nature need to be resolved properly before we make the final investments,” said O’Neill.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
By Online Editor
12:38 pm GMT+12, 19/11/2012, Papua New Guinea
Nautilus Minerals’ move to withhold the Solwara 1 project is good news for the people and the environment, National Research Institute Research fellow Nalau Bingeding said last Friday.
Bingeding said the department of environment and conservation, as the country’s environmental regulator, should now engage a consultant to do a proper research into the deep sea mining project.
“A lot of people in that area depend on the sea and the marine life for their livelihood and, therefore, it has to be scientifically proven that the project will not affect them,” he said.
“I haven’t sighted an environmental impact statement from Nautilus Minerals and I don’t know if it has been tho-roughly screened under the Environmental Act, if that was done, then scientists working on it will prove that it is worth it.”
Bingeding is concerned that if the project gets underway, the marine life and the way the people have used their marine environment will be affected.
“From a scientific view the digging up of the ocean floor for minerals is going to create a great impact,” he said.
“The ocean is acidic and this is likely to cause a chemical reaction that will defuse the ocean water column and kill the algae on the reefs leading to coral bleaching, which means the reefs turn white and they die.
“This has not happened anywhere in the world,” Bingeding said.
He said the government and mining companies must ensure that any project they undertook should be done in a social, economic and environmentally sustainable manner.
“We have 10 large scale mines and not one of them has improved or developed the lives of the people, they are still poor, so who is to say that deep sea mining will change anything?” he asked.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
7)SIR KINA BONA IS NEW PRESIDENT OF PNG LAW SOCIETY
By PNG Law Society Media Unit
SIR Kina Bona is the new President of the Papua New Guinea Law Society. Sir Kina was elected in a by-election held recently.
His election follows the resignations of former President Kerenga Kua and Council member Davis Steven, who are now Members of Parliament and ministers in the current O’Neill-government.
Sir Kina’s career in the public service has spanned the history of Papua New Guinea since Independence.
Sir Kina has been committed to the strengthening of the legal, political and constitutional apparatus which holds together the framework of service to the people.
Sir Kina has in the past 30 years gained a broad and deep knowledge of the laws and Constitution of Papua New Guinea both in the Department of Justice and in the Office of the Public Prosecutor, as well as his more recent experience in the Department of Foreign Affairs and in private law practice and recently as the Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Commission.
Sir Kina has advised a wide range of government bodies and government institutions in all areas of the laws of Papua New Guinea, especially the Criminal Code and the Leadership Code, the Financial Management regulations and controls as well as the Constitution and the Organic Laws.
Throughout his career in the Justice Sector he has conducted training programs with the Royal PNG Constabulary as well as the Legal Training Institute.
He has also worked closely with the Ombudsman Commissioners in relation to successful prosecutions of Leadership Code matters as well as advice in the investigation of leaders.
Meanwhile, the vacancy left by Mr Steven has also been filled by senior lawyer Vincent Mirupasi. He is currently the Principal of Mirupasi lawyers. He started his firm in 2001.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20121119/mohome.htm
8) AUTONOMOUS BOUGAINVILLE NIUS : Dawnfm
By Aloysius LaukaiThe remaining Bougainville team members who travelled on the second chartered boat MV BOUGAINVILLE ATOLLS arrived early this morning at 1.30am.According to the General Manager for tthe Team Bougainville,WILLIE MASIU, the team disembarked at 3am.
He expressed in Kuanua language Saying and I quote “RABAUL ITUT MULAI” which means that the sleepy town of Rabaul is alive again as participants for the games start arriving into East New Britain province from all over PAPUA NEW GUINEA.
MR.MASIU said that it seems that Bougainville has arrived with the largest contingent totaling 540 in total and only the host province East New Britain will field in more.
He said that Bougainville was confident of doing well at this year’s PNG Grassroots games.
NEW DAWN FM understands that Bougainville came fourth at the Lae and Goroka games and came sixth at the more recent Port Moresby games.
From the Hospital tonthe boat stop.
by Aloysius LaukaiBougainville’s longest serving matron who died at the Buka Hospital last week will be laid to rest at her Kugumaru village in Buin South Bougainville this weekend.Matron Florence Kanau served as a public servant in the Papua New Guinea public service since she graduated in 1968 at the then PAPUAN MEDICAL COLLEGE.
Her coffin arrived this morning from Port Moresby and her body was brought to the Sohano Mass centre for the requiem mass.
Her body will overnight at her Sohano island home tonight and will be brought to Buin tomorrow morning.
She will stay for two nights in Buin and will be laid to rest at Kugumaru village.
pictured are fellow nurses marching with the body from the Buka Hospital to the Boat stop.
By Aloysius LaukaiYou may call it the LAST FRONTIER, Yes the KUNUA District will be connected to the entire world starting next week thanks to the private Mobile Phone company, DIGICEL.This was revealed by the research officer for the Local Level Government and Communications division SAMUEL TORORIA this afternoon.
MR TORORIA said that the launching was to be have occured today, !5th November however this did not eventuate as the contracter was required to complete the final touches to the tower.
MR TORORIA whilst thanking DIGICEL for making it possible by building a Tower for Kunua said that this was a relief for the people of KUNUA who have being disconnected to the world since independence.
He said with the communication problem addressed the district would now focus on developing the road network in the district.
NEW DAWN FM understands that the ABG and the Kunua district administration would be happy with this development as they have been struggling to open up communications to the district for a long time.
Digicel network will now cover the West Coast of Bougainville as Digicel as lately built three additional towers in Togarau, Wakunai, the Kunua district and the TOROKINA district which was commissioned last week.
151112ONE BOAT ARRIVES
By Aloysius Laukai
Only one ship carrying team Bougainville contingent arrived in Rabaul today.
General Manager for Team Bougainville,WILLIE MASIU told New Dawn FM from Rabaul at 5pm this afternoon that Solomon islands Chartered Boat, MV DAY STAR arrived this afternoon whilst the MV BOUGAINVILLE ATOLLS is expected into Rabaul later tonight.
MR.MASIU said that those who arrived in RABAUL have already settled at Malaguna where they will be staying during the entire games.
He also stated that the visitors briefly visited some areas within East New Britain province this afternoon.
New Dawn FM will be providing daily updates of the games starting next week Monday.
by Aloysius LaukaiThe first 400 athletes from Bougainville are leaving for Rabaul tonight aboard a Solomon Island passenger boat MV DAY STAR.
The boat will make several runs in Bougainville whilst waiting for the ten day games in Rabaul.The remaining 140 will travel on MV BOUGAINVILLE ATOLLS tomorrow.
According to the Captain SAMUEL SULUKA they will be travelliing on ten knots meaning they will reach Rabaul tomorrow morning.
Normally in Solomons the Day star runs between Auki and Honiara.
FIVE new Australian Volunteers have arrived to begin their placements with government ministries and sport associations.
The new volunteers will take up positions with Solomon Islands Water Authority, Solomon Islands Cricket Association, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Solomon Islands AFL Association and Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.
The volunteers, funded under AusAID’s Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, will use their skills and expertise to build and develop their host organisation in Solomon Islands to help improve the lives of Solomon Islanders.
Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson said around 60 Australian volunteers are placed in Solomon Islands every year.
“The volunteers make a great contribution to local organisations through the transfer of their knowledge and skills, but also playa big role in helping fight poverty in Solomon Islands,” Mr Anderson said.
“Through their participation in work, sport and community, they also promote links and friendships. They immerse themselves in local activities and take time to learn and appreciate Solomon Islands culture and way of life.”
“I know that the volunteers learn as much from their host organisation as the training and skills they share with local counterparts, so there are mutual benefits for everyone.”
Mr Anderson said the AVID program places skilled Australians for up to two years in developing countries throughout the Asia Pacific region.
The program is additional support given to Solomon Islands on top of Australia’s annual SBD$937 million (A$125 million) aid program.
The new volunteers and their Solomon Islands placements are:
Louis Downing – Water Monitoring and Laboratory Development Officer, Solomon Water
Ryan Lucas – Cricket Development Officer, Solomon Islands Cricket Association
D’anne Ladzinski – Provincial Finance Development Officer, Ministry of Health and Medical Services
Michael Cormack – AFL Development Officer, Solomon Islands AFL Association
Bronwyn Kosman – Student Information System Development Officer, Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.
He told parliament that people who want to venture into banking business must understand the role CBSI played before get into such business.
“Banking business is a serious business because the bank takes people’s money and run their business on daily basis so the bank has to ensure that there is sound management of people’s money.
“These are important areas that people who want to start their own banks need to consider.”
Mr Hou told Parliament other areas that CBSI would look into is the composition of members and in particular their qualifications and capacity to start banking service.
He said only CBSI can guarantee licence to any newly formed banks if they meet certain requirements.
Parliament will resume today 9:30am.
Its understood Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MFF) had been proposing to start its own bank since the new executive came into power.
By Elliot Dawea
Miss SIVB Stephanie Prince waves to the crowd after being crowned the 2012 Miss Solomon winner.
Stephanie Prince was crowned the new Miss Solomon yesterday morning.
She took the crown after a grueling five hour talent show at Honiara Hotel.Stephanie, who was fielded by Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, was earlier crowned 2012 Miss Charity on Thursday after raising $142,525 for her charity, Red Cross Special School.
She will represent the country at next month’s Miss South Pacific Beauty Pageant in American Samoa.
Speaking after her crowning, Stephanie said she was honoured to win the 2012 Miss Solomon Islands Beauty Pageant.
She thanked the organisers and paid tribute to her fellow contestants.
Miss Solomon Airline’s Veronica Iro was the first runner-up.
Stephanie is of Guadalcanal and West Indies parentage.
12) Split National Unity Party Emerges As Vanuatu ‘Kingmaker’
NUP President, VP pledge support for different coalition partners
By Ricky Binihi
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 16, 2012) – The kingmaker in a politically fragmented Parliament with no political parties securing enough votes with their partners to elect a Prime Minister could be caretaker Deputy Prime Minister, Ham Lini’s National United Party.
NUP President Lini signed a solidarity agreement with caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s Alliance Group some days after the Electoral Commission announced the 52 Elected Members of the Parliament.
And NUP’s Vice President Caretaker Sports Minister Morkin Stevens Iatika put pen to paper in another solidarity promise to run Vanuatu’s next government with the Vanua’aku Pati President Edward Natapei, the Union of Moderate Parties President Rialuth Serge Vohor and their political allies.
After that signing the President of VP Natapei has apologized to the DPM Ham Lini for booting it out when VP held the government.
But the Daily Post has found out from negotiators that NUP will not make a decision on which political groupings NUP will pledge their support with until late afternoon Wednesday.
The signing by the President and Vice President with the different foes in electing a Prime Minister had caused the NUP to be “united” again in a kava ceremony on Tuesday evening.
At that time the NUP mandated of its negotiators to meet separately with the Natapei camp and Kilman’s government.
“When they find out what is best for NUP as a political party then a decision will be taken which side NUP would join,” a source close to one of the negotiators told the Daily Post.
That decision was supposed to be reached yesterday evening.
Meanwhile caretaker Prime Minister Kilman claims he has an upper hand in the formation of government because the 2012 Election voted back him back and 10 of his Council of Minister members. The parties in his coalition won all the seats back including a couple more, like the Nagriamel in Santo and NATATOK in Paama constituency.
Only former Agriculture Minister James Nwango and Health Minister Willie Ruben Abel lost their respective seats.
The Daily Post has however been told that the Natapei/Vohor Group has 29 MPs and if the NUP of Deputy Prime Minister Lini attaches four of its MPs to the VP/UMP group they would have 33 MPs o combat corruption and elect a Prime Minister next week.
Normally once each of the side vying to have the numbers elect a Prime Minister secure the required number of MPs (26+1 or more) will “lock” their MPs in a camp and await the Parliament to open its doors.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
13)Sato Kilman back in charge as Vanuatu PM
By Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney
The newly-elected Vanuatu Parliament has given the country’s top political job back to Sato Kilman.
Vanuatu’s Parliament has elected Sato Kilman as prime minister, three weeks after the country held its general election.
Mr Kilman’s Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) won only six of the 52 parliamentary seats but has managed to stitch together a loose, multiparty coalition.
No fewer than 16 political parties are represented in the house, and there was uncertainty right up until Parliament met on Monday as to which team might emerge with the winning number.
The vote indicates at least one of those parties, the Union of Moderates, has already split.
The largest party, the Vanua’aku Party, led by Edward Natapei, won eight seats and as late as yesterday it appeared he may have been putting together a winning coalition.
The first vote when Parliament met was to choose the Speaker. One of Sato Kilman’s own PPP MPs, the caretaker Internal Affairs Minister, George Wells, won 29 votes to 23.
That margin – 29 to 23 – was repeated when the vote for Prime Minister was held, allowing Mr Kilman to remain the country’s Prime Minister.
14)Fillon preferred UMP candidate in New Caledonia
Posted at 01:40 on 19 November, 2012 UTC
The New Caledonia chapter of France’s opposition UMP Party has endorsed the candidacy of Francois Fillon to become the party leader following this year’s election loss of Nicolas Sarkozy.
The former prime minister’s challenger is Jean-Francois Cope, who has been the party’s secretary-general.
55 percent of New Caledonia’s UMP supporters back Mr Fillon while in Wallis and Futuna, the party is overwhelmingly behind Mr Cope’s leadership bid.
However, a survey within the party in France shows that 64 percent favour Mr Sarkozy as presidential candidate in 2017.
Radio New Zealand International
15)Goa chosen as Caledonian Union party president
Posted at 01:40 on 19 November, 2012 UTC
One of New Caledonia’s main parties has elected a new party president to replace Charles Pidjot who died in Vanuatu last September.
The congress of the pro-independence Caledonian Union chose 59-year-old Daniel Goa as its new head, giving him 114 votes against the 80 cast for Pierre Chanel Tutugoro.
The outcome is seen as an endorsement of the party’s recent policy of realignment with part of the anti-independence side.
The party has been in a loose coalition with the Rassemblement-UMP, the Future Together Party and the Labour Party.
It has been the dominant alliance in the collegial government
Radio New Zealand International
16)Bainimarama Decries ‘Skewed System,’ Promises Reform
Fiji economy impeded, only privileged few benefit: PM
By Reginald Chandar
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 18, 2012) – The Fijian government will not hesitate to review structures and relations that have been an impediment to economic growth, says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards in Sigatoka last night, Bainimarama said these impediments have fostered corruption, created an uneven playing field, cronyism and a jaundiced system.
He said the FNPF reform is one such initiative which despite being criticised by some economists and those who benefited from a skewered system managed to get international recognition and an award to FNPF as a leading superannuation fund.
Bainimarama said similarly, the Essential Industries Decree creates a rational approach to labour relations in identified critical economic sectors.
“Unreasonable and unrealistic labour relations do not help workers. The do not help employers, they do not help investment and they do not help families. In fact, they hurt them all as only a privileged few benefit from a skewered system whose long term objective is to protect those privileges,” said the Prime Minister.
He went to say that Air Pacific (soon to be Fiji Airways) was saved because his government made the appropriate decisions which included the application of the Essential Industries Decree to Air Pacific.
“Now our national airline has made a remarkable turnaround. Instead of closing down or cutting jobs as many airlines throughout the world have done, Air Pacific/Fiji Airways is buying a new aircraft.”
“It is rebranding and can add more routes. This will create more jobs for Fijians and will expand our ability to bring more tourists to our shores. All of this will lead to more growth in our economy. All of this has been done without a single job lost or exploitation of its workers.”
He concluded by urging all citizens of the country to back the export sector as it not only promotes and sells Fijian made products and services but also keeps the nation’s foreign reserves healthy.
17)Fiji invites ILO mission to return after ordering it out of country
Posted at 03:38 on 19 November, 2012 UTC
The Fiji interim government has written to the International Labour Organisation inviting its Direct Contacts Mission back to the country.
The Contacts Mission was mandated by the ILO to verify claims by trade unions of a lack of freedom of association.
A delegation to Fiji in September was told to abandon its meetings with the unions and to leave the country.
The director of the ILO office in Suva David Lamotte says the government contacted the ILO’s director-general this morning to invite the mission back in April next year, though they want it earlier.
“The earlier the better, before March, because the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association, they meet again in March next year and one would hope that they would have some positive information in front of them that they could deliberate on. Which I want to stress the purpose of the Contact Mission. The Contacts Mission is not here to make judgement. That’s not our final scope is to collect information.”
Director of the ILO office in Suva, David Lamotte.
Radio New Zealand International
18)ILO slams Fiji for trade union abuses
A UN agency has ranked Fiji among the worst five countries for workers’ rights in a survey of 32 countries.
A UN agency has ranked Fiji among the worst five countries for workers’ rights in a survey of 32 countries.
The International Labour Organisation named Fiji alongside Cambodia, Ethiopia, Argentina and Peru as being one of “the most serious and urgent cases regarding freedom of association”.
Fiji was criticised for blocking an ILO investigation into allegations made by local trade unions of assault and harassment against union leaders and members.
The ILO has called on the Fiji authorities to let their investigator back into the country and to undertake independent investigations “without delay”.
David Lamotte, director of the ILO’s Pacific office in Suva, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program he was disappointed to see Fiji ranked so low.
“The government had agreed to have the direct contact mission come and to investigate and to actually determine the facts of the case,” he said.
19)Fiji union group appalled at more 1,000 low paid road workers losing jobs
Posted at 03:46 on 19 November, 2012 UTC
The Fiji Trades Union Congress says the interim government should rethink its decision to make more than a thousand road workers redundant.
The regime announced last week that the jobs at the Fiji Roads Authority would go in a shake up with foreign contractors taking over.
But it says the redundant workers can apply for employment with the new contractors.
The FTUC says it is a devastating blow for the workers and their families.
It says given recent revelations that 9,000 graduates from last year are still to find work, the unemployed road workers do not stand a chance.
The FTUC says Fiji has an unelected government contracting out work to a foreign owned company without following any rules of transparency and accountability.
Radio New Zealand International
20) UN exit to hit East Timor
HUNDREDS of East Timorese will be forced to find new jobs when the United Nations withdraws from the country at the end of this year.
900 East Timorese directly employed by the UN peacekeeping mission will be out of work, as will a further 1300 security guards employed by a private firm contracted by the UN.
Acting Chief of Staff for the UN mission, Gary Grey, says while the impact will be noticeable, the UN has been preparing staff for the transition.
“More than 90 per cent of our staff have taken part of this program we have called National Staff Certification where we have offered a number of training courses in all kinds of areas, like information and technology, translation and interpretation, administration, even creating small businesses,” he told Radio Australia.
Grey says professional staff will have “very little problem” gaining employment with NGO’s or embassies, but lesser-skilled staff may face a more difficult time.
Small businesses are also likely to be affected.
Dili Beach Hotel owner, Michael McGovern, says 50 percent of his business comes from the United Nations.
“I expect 2013 to be extremely hard, very very hard,” he said.
The United Nations peacekeepers first withdrew from East Timor in 2005, but in 2006 the country descended into violence, and the Australian military and UN returned.
21) Revival Of Witchcraft In Tonga Concerns Authorities
Police investigate incidents of ‘calling up the devil’
NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Taimi Online, Nov. 15, 2012) – In Tongan it is called “Uiui Tevolo”, translated as “calling up the dead” or more literally “calling up the devil.”
It is a practice that has been known in Tonga from time immemorial, but in the past two centuries, it has been regarded as something of pagan origin, and seriously frowned on by churches and Christians in general.
However, in recent weeks there has been a sort of revival of this practice among some villagers in Tongatapu, and even church people have been involved.
It is so serious that last week; the police were called on to investigate this latest phenomenon in the kingdom’s social intercourse.
This practice, which is a form of witchcraft, has been used to defame relatives and “enemies” of the practitioners.
Wizard boards, cards, palm reading, etc. have been forms used to communicate voices from the nether world.
Practitioners boast of being able to move objects by some form of mental telepathy.
Voices, alleged to be “from the grave” are heard and communicated by the practitioners.
And to defame families and other villagers who may have been on the fall-out with practitioners, they have used information that alleges crimes of incest, thievery, adultery, etc.
An increasing number of people have made complaints to the police for damages to their reputation by false information supposedly gotten when “calling up the dead.”
What is also disturbing to many church leaders is that some of those lured by this witchcraft practice are church elders.
A police officer told Taimi Online that he has been involved with other officers in trying to bring reconciliation to villagers who have been damaged by the “calling up the devil” practice.
22)Samoa Women In Business Wins International Media Award
Media officer recognized for coverage of agricultural conference
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Nov. 16, 2012) – Women in Business media officer Faumuina Tafuna’i has won an international journalism award for her coverage of an agricultural conference in Ethiopia.
After winning a regional media competition run by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Faumuina went on to take first place honours over other regional winners from Africa and the Caribbean.
Judge Maria Protz said Faumuina’s story on emerging mobile services for smallholder farmers was impressive and more like four stories combined into one. The first place prize was Euro1000, as well as another Euro1000 for winning the regional award.
Thanking CTA for the opportunity and recognition of her work, Faumuina said receiving the award was both humbling and gratifying.
“Winning the award was an important goal for me because I knew it would raise the profile of Women in Business, Samoa and the Pacific on the international farming stage.
“Even in the writing of my story, I made many contacts that I know will be able to assist Samoa in the future. I am enormously thankful for all the people who gave me their time and thoughts.”
Second place went to Inoussa Maiga from Burkina Faso and third place went to Line Renée Anaba from Cameroon.
The award was presented at the closing ceremony of Making the Connections – a conference that brought together 500 private sector representatives, government officials, farming organisations, civil societies, academics and donors from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations.
The conference theme was how best to include smallholder farmers in value chains in a way that transformed them into entrepreneurs.
Women in Business executive director Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i said the international award represented another quality milestone for the organisation, which would only bring positive benefits for farmers in the country.
“The spin-offs from this international award will be many for our Samoan farmers because it shows the rest of the world that we are serious and committed to agriculture and commerce.”
Women in Business production manager Stephen Hazelman also attended the conference as a presenter at the Value chains and capacity building: more homework is still needed session.
There it was recognized that agricultural value chains require specific production, post-harvest and supply chain management skills as well as multidisciplinary knowledge. These skills and knowledge are rarely included in the capacity-building programme for farmers, traders and small-and-medium agro-processors. Nor do they feature at higher education institutes and as a result ACP value chains are not able to compete at a global level.
As a result, the session recommended competitive collaboration among different capacity building stakeholders; centre training schemes on value addition across the entire value chain; build capacities in community engagement and unleash existing skills already available among chain stakeholders; develop agribusiness incubators within universities; and encourage the mobility of teachers and students between universities with agribusiness courses.
Hazelman also represented the Pacific countries to make final remarks at the closing session.
Also present at the conference was Nonu Samoa CEO Garry Vui.
Other Pacific regional representatives included: Agribusiness specialist Tim Martyn and Information and communications assistant Vinesh Prasad from Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Kokosiga project managers Livai Tora and Kyle Stice, Dr Charles Eaton from Contract Farming Systems and Debbie David from South Sea Orchids all from Fiji; and Elizabeth Isu Rava from the Oil Palm Industry Corporation in Papua New Guinea.
23) Investigation Launched Into Alleged American Samoa Election Fraud
Individual alleged to have voted twice
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 18, 2012) – An investigation into suspected election fraud in the November 6th general elections in American Samoa has been launched.
The probe is being carried out by the Office for Territorial and Office Of Territorial And International Criminal Intelligence And Drug Enforcement.
The investigation centres around an individual who apparently voted twice in the general elections.
The case was brought to attention by the Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
24)Fatal plane crash on Saipan
Posted at 03:46 on 19 November, 2012 UTC
One person is dead and five others are injured after a light aircraft crashed at an airport in the Northern Marianas.
The pilot of the Star Marianas turboprop aircraft is in a critical condition.
Our correspondent in Saipan Mark Rabago says the crash happened about 6 this morning as the plane was landing at the island’s domestic airport after making the ten minute flight from Tinian.
He says Tinian is a popular casino destination for tourists from Asia
“It’s a domestic flight from Tinian to Saipan and it is the kind of service that tourists use, going to Tinian where the casino is, going to Saipan and Tinan and back to Saipan”
Our correspondent in CNMI Mark Rabago
Radio New Zealand International
25)Marianas Has Advantage As U.S. Military Pivots Toward Pacific
Military Contracting Forum told CNMI in good position to benefit
By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor
SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Nov. 19, 2012) – As the U.S. military pivots toward the Pacific, the Marianas have a geographic advantage in terms of hosting the forward deployed forces.
Citing the difficulties relating to having U.S. military bases on foreign soil, Joint Region Marianas Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas Commander and U.S. Defense Representative for Micronesia Rear Admiral Payne said, “It is going to be more challenging for us to maintain those kinds of stations.”
During the Tinian Chamber of Commerce’s U.S. Military Contracting Forum at the Tinain Dynasty Hotel & Casino last Friday, Payne said, “If we have a bunch of forces forward in the Pacific, we need places to refuel, re-arm, rest, relax and sustain; we need places that are not foreign bases, that are on US territory. So the Marianas comes to mind.”
Although there are as yet no concrete plans as to exactly how this shift of forces toward the Pacific will play out, Payne assured the attending business people that the Marianas has a definite advantage.
Payne predicts that, with guidance coming from President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, “there are a lot of forces coming to the Pacific.”
He said they are bringing in forces to the Pacific and they need places, preferably U.S. territories, where they can train and conduct exercises.
He noted that to date, the Northern Marianas has hosted several exercises including Operation Geiger Fury in May, Operation Tempest Wind and the the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s certification exercise in September.
“It has been a while since you have seen that kind of activity on Tinian,” he said.
Payne also shared the feedback from the military personnel who participated in those exercises held on Tinian.
“If you talk to any of them, they will tell you that they were great training opportunities. It is a great place to come, work, and hone their skills.”
He reiterated the military’s view that they would like to pursue a “symbiotic” relationship with the community.
Through cooperative relationships between the military and the community, “working together, building trust and transparency, we can all benefit as we go through these next few years.”
He praised the forum organized by the Tinian Chamber of Commerce as critical to creating a “cooperative, engaged dialogue between the military and the community.”
As he talked about the withdrawal of forces in the Middle East, and where the military intends to be in the next 10-20 years, Payne said the shift has come to the Pacific.
“This is the area where there will be the most opportunities, the most challenges in maintaining global stability, global trade and global economic development,” he said.
As U.S. forces pivot to the Pacific, Payne said that from the Navy perspective, “We are going to bring 60 percent of our ships to the Pacific.”
This is a shift from the traditional 50-50 allocation of forces.
Along with this shift to the Pacific, Payne said they are planning to do “a lot of other things.”
He added, “We are talking about putting about 250 Marines down in Australia and eventually growing that to 2,500.”
They will also deploy some ships to Singapore in the spring of next year, and this may involve an aircraft carrier.
“What does that mean to the Marianas? We are going to have all these forces out here. We are going to be forward deployed.”
Payne asked the local community for its support.
“Tell us what you can do, help us help you to provide the things that we need,” he added.
He said the military wants to make sure that whatever it does in the CNMI will benefit both the local community and the armed forces.
Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com
26)Conservation Partnership To Help Protect Pacific’s Native Birds
Invasive species removal target of collective effort
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 18, 2012) – Two conservation organisations are teaming up to try to curb the threat to native birds and biodiversity throughout the Pacific region.
Island Conservation, a California based organisation has signed an agreement with BirdLife International’s Pacific office to help protect native biodiversity of Pacific Islands.
Rats, feral cats and mongoose are among introduced species responsible for the decline and extinction of a number of Pacific Island birds and other wildlife.
The regional Director for BirdLife International, Don Stewart, says Island Conservation brings considerable experience to the cause.
“They have concentration on this one mission to get rid of introduced invasive species on islands, they are very focussed on that and they have considerable resources both in expertise and financially. It was the obvious thing to do for both organisations to get together.”
Don Stewart says from next year the two organisations will work on a number of joint work programmes in the Pacific.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
27)Australia Police Praise Tonga, Cook Islands After Drug Find
Cocaine haul, dead body discovered on wrecked yacht
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 18, 2012) – The Australian Federal Police say the co-operation from Tongan and Cook Islands police was crucial to a huge cocaine find on a reef off a remote uninhabited island in Tonga’s Vava’u group.
The wreck of the yacht, which also contained a man’s badly decomposed body, was carrying 200 kilogrammes of cocaine, worth an estimated 120 million US dollars.
The AFP’s Assistant Commissioner for Serious and Organised Crime, David Sharpe, says through the trans national crime units spread across the Pacific they have located four vessels carrying cocaine and bound for Australia over the past 2 years.
[PIR editor’s note: The AFP said the shipment of cocaine had been monitored since it’s departure from the South American country of Ecuador.]
Assistant Commissioner Sharpe says from those 4 they have now seized just over one ton of cocaine.
“I can say that the significant point about this one is that while the cocaine was destined for the Australian market it certainly didn’t stop the fact of Tonga and the Cook Islands providing an extensive capability, investigative capability to assist us, and our message is that our global reach in law enforcement is far and wide.”
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
28)Carton jaune pour Vanuatu et Fidji
Les 2 pays figurent sur la liste des paradis mondiaux de la pêche illégale, publiée jeudi par la Commission Européenne.
Aux côtés du Vanuatu et de Fidji, il y a le Belize, le Cambodge, Panama, le Sri Lanka, le Togo et la Guinée. Mais la Commission n’ira pas jusqu’à prendre des sanctions contre ces pays, mais elle les prévient : elle pourrait très bien interdire la vente d’équipements de pêche à ces pays. En d’autres termes, ce n’est pas une liste noire, mais le carton jaune n’est pas à prendre à la légère. «Nous voulons rester partenaires de ces pays, mais en même temps nous voulons faire savoir que l’Union Européenne ne tolère pas la pêche illégale, car elle diminue les stocks de poisson et menace les villages de pêcheurs», a résumé la Commissaire européenne aux affaires maritimes, Maria Damanaki. Les 8 pays sur la sellette doivent maintenant répondre à la Commission et prendre des mesures. L’Europe est le plus grand importateur de poisson au monde. Un poisson sur cinq est pêché illégalement dans le monde.
29)L’Indonésie ne renforce pas sa surveillance à la frontière
C’était le principal message de la rencontre entre le Président indonésien Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono et le Premier ministre papou Peter O’Neill jeudi à Bali.
Cela fait des années que la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée accueille des indépendantistes mélanésiens de la province indonésienne limitrophe, la Papouasie. Et le gouvernement indonésien ne le voit pas du meilleur œil. Mais il affirme qu’il n’a pas pour autant renforcé sa surveillance à la frontière. Peter O’Neill a dit qu’il avait eu une conversation franche avec Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono et qu’il avait pu lui dire ses inquiétudes concernant les rumeurs très insistantes de violations des droits de l’homme perpétrées par les forces indonésiennes en Papouasie.
30)Sato Kilman, nouveau Premier ministre du Vanuatu
Le chef du Parti du Progrès du Peuple a battu son rival et autre ancien Premier ministre Edward Natapei d’une courte tête, 29 à 23 voix.
Et c’est George Wells qui devient Speaker du Parlement. Les Vanuatais ont élu leurs nouveaux députés il y a trois semaines. 16 partis se partagent 52 sièges, c’est un nombre record qui rend la création d’une coalition gouvernementale d’autant plus difficile.
Le Parlement était divisé en deux groupes.
D’un côté. le Premier ministre par intérim Sato Kilman et son vice-Premier ministre Ham Lini, avec le soutien de députés issus du Parti Uni National, de la Réunion des Mouvements pour le Changement, du Mouvement Nagriamel Custom et du Parti National du Vanuatu.
De l’autre, l’ancien Premier ministre Edward Natapei et son Parti Vanu’aku.
Au milieu de ces deux factions, des candidats vaincus aux elections, dénoncent des irrégularités dans les élections – corruption et soudoiement. Ce groupe-là s’apprête à porter plainte et espère que la justice va ordonner de nouvelles élections dans les circonscriptions concernées.
31)Fiji-Samoa RWC2015 grouping likely
By Online Editor
2:58 pm GMT+12, 19/11/2012, Samoa
Fiji was grouped with Samoa in the last World Cup in New Zealand, losing 7-27 in their Eden Park clash.
They could meet again in England in three years time, thanks to Samoa’s impressive win over Wales in Cardiff yesterday which has seen them jump to ninth from 10th in the provisional IRB World Rankings table.
The Samoans face France while Fiji take on Georgia in their final November Northern Hemisphere Tests next Sunday.
Latest provisional IRB World Rankings – top 12 1 NZL 92.91 2 RSA 86.05 3 AUS 85.94 4 FRA 84.99 5 ENG 81.96 6 ARG 79.89 7 IRE 79.04 8 WAL 78.95 9 SAM 78.79 10 SCO 77.42 11 ITA 76.61 12 TGA 74.51
As they stand, the Pool Allocation Draw seeding on 3 December would be:
Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
Band 2: England, Argentina, Ireland, Wales Band
3: Samoa, Scotland, Italy, Tonga Band
4: Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1, Americas 1
Band 5: Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Repechage winner.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS
By Online Editor
3:02 pm GMT+12, 19/11/2012, Papua New Guinea
Kokopo, East New Britain, is ready to deliver the 5th Papua New Guinea Games (Nov 19-30) starting with the opening ceremony today.
The spirit of the games is certainly in the air and evidence of that was written all over the town and nearby villages with everyone – children, mothers, fathers and the elderly – all in the Games mood.
Such is the hype, excitement and passion for the games that local residents have been seen putting up flags on their rooftops, on their fences and vehicles.
The locals have supported other provinces.
Kokopo has seen an influx of athletes, officials, supporters and media personnel, resulting in the town’s population doubling.
Guest house owners, local eateries, market vendors, bus drivers, tucker shop owners and supermarkets are cashing in Games souvenirs from provincial flags to T-shirts are selling out on road side markets, shops and supermarkets.
Even resorts, lodges and guests houses, hotels in and around Kokopo are reportedly fully booked rooms available. Kokopo will be tested in its capacity to handle some 8,000 athletes and officials including visitors from all over country. Security will also be tested and the police have the challenging task of keeping the peace and ensuring a safe PNG Games.
Host Organising Committee chairman Sir Rabbie Namaliu has expressed faith in his committees who have done a commendable job getting the games ready on time.
The opening ceremony opens today at 6am with a big bang starting with musical entertainment from some of the East New Britain’s most popular artists.
Former rugby league star Terry Longbut and NBC’s new personality Anne Sapias will be in charge of the eight-hour opening ceremony which will feature appearance by provincial teams, contemporary dances performances by Natiding Arts troupe and the releasing of colored balloons signifying the opening the games.
To top off the day’s activities a huge fireworks display will light up the Kokopo Sports Grounds at 7pm signaling the start of the two-week event.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will deliver the keynote address and declaration of the 5th PNG Games and sporting facilities late in the afternoon.
Other dignitaries at the opening will be East New Britain Governor and Kokopo MP EremanToBaining and Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.
National Games Committee chairperson Iamo Launa will lead the Games oath.
HOC Sports Coordinator Samu Sasama confirmed in an interview Sunday all of the sporting venues were ready with just a few adding their finishing touches.
“The venues are all ready. It’s just a few things like the basketball courts that needs only markings other than that everything is ready,” Sasamu said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
33)PNG defeats Aust Legends
By Gregory Avira DWU Journalism student
A third quarter field goal from Tuksy Karu handed the PNG Legends a one point victory over the Australian Legends in the Ela Motors Legends of League match yesterday.
Both teams put up strong performances throughout the match but it was the PNG Legends who held on to win 45-44 with Karu’s field goal proving to be the deciding factor.
National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) PNG Legends were first to register points on the score board with a try to winger David Gomia after a great pass from Stanley Gene.
Gomia’s opposite number Kerry Boustead hit back with a try for the Nambawan Trophy Limited (NWTL) Australian Legends two minutes later levelling the score at six all after the conversion from Julien O’Neil was successful.
The lead was constantly changing with both sides putting on great set plays which kept the crowd cheering on for their favourite league idols.
The PNG Legends held on to their nerves and managed to go into the first quarter break with a 14-12 point lead.
Matt Geyer determined to get his team back on the front foot scored early in the second quarter after winning a scrum which saw the Australians regain the lead at 16-14.
The Australians seemed more dominant over the Kumul greats until a superb solo kick and chase from five eight Stanley Gene saw him taking back the lead for his team at 18-16.
Both teams continued exchanging the lead until late in the third quarter when Karu, weighing out his options decided to take a field goal from the 20 meter line which proved to be valuable as PNG led the Australians 33-32 into the break.
The PNG Legends managed to hold off a late surge by the Australian greats to pull off a victory with a 45-44 full time score.
NGCB PNG Legends captain Adrian Lam, said after the match that he was happy with the win but most importantly, he was grateful to all the former players for accepting the offer to play.
Lam said that the initiative was great for rugby league in the country and he thanked the sponsors for backing it.
Lam also took the opportunity to announce that a former Kumuls association would be established in the near future.