Smol Melanesian Na pasifik Nius Digest # 684

1) Pacific i bungim wari long Transnational Crime

Updated 21 November 2012, 14:48 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Transnational Crime oa pasin blong bringim hait ol pipal, drugs, na guns long Pacific rijan nau iwok long go antap.

Ol Criminal laen blong ol narapla kantri nau iwok usim ol Pacific kantri olsem ol ples oa biris blong bringim ol despla samting ikam long Australia na New Zealand.

Long wik igo pinis, ol Law enforcement ofisas blong Australia, Tonga, Cook Islands na America ibin wokbung na painim $116millian dola blong drugs long wanpla seiling bot blong South America emi bin kapsaet long solwara klostu long Tonga.

Long stat blong despla mun ol polis long Papua New Guinea ibin arestim tupla man blong Asia na wanpla man blong PNG long traem bringim hait ol drugs ikam long Europe.

Tasol nau ol  ailan kantri i statim pinis ol wokbung blong daonim ol despla pasin.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2012-11-21/pacific-i-bungim-wari-long-transnational-crime/1049650

2) PNG Female MPs Voice Opposition To Reserved Seats Bill
Parliamentarians say women should win votes on their own

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 20, 2012) – Papua New Guinea’s three female MPs are threatening to withdraw their allegiance to the government if the bill on 22 reserved seats for women in parliament is brought up again by parliamentarians.

Sohe MP and Vice-Minister for Treasury Delilah Gore delivered the bombshell in Goroka last week.

Gore said she, Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso and Lae MP and Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Loujaya Toni were opposed to the bill and had agreed in principle to withdraw from the government in the event the bill was brought up by any MP in government.

Soso and Gore are members of the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party headed by Kandep MP and Treasury Minister Don Polye and Toni is the sole member and parliamentary leader of the People’s Indigenous Party.

Gore called on all the women in PNG to win votes like they did and to show women were strong.

She said it was shameful for women to pressure MPs in parliament to push for the bill and that they should win votes on their own accord to show that women were capable.

Gore pointed out that she and her two female colleagues had proven that politics in PNG was no longer a man’s domain. She said if the three of them could do it, any woman could too.

She named former female MPs such as Dame Josephine Abaijah, Nahau Rooney, Dame Carol Kidu and former Morobe premier Enny Moiatz as examples of what women were capable of achieving.

[PIR editor’s note: In response, Dame Kidu has called for other forms of affirmative action to be implemented if the reserved seats bill is not passed. Dame Kidu added that three female MPs “are not enough,” and she questioned whether or not the current women MPs would have been chosen had there not been so much debate over reserved spots for women in parliament.]

She said the trend of politics during election was changing and women were beginning to be respected.

Jiwaka-based lawyer and businessman Harry Kapal asked Gore if the election of the three women might have rendered the bill as being a dead issue.

Gore strongly argued that there were no free handouts such as the 22 reserved seats and that political democracy would be undermined if parliament reserved seats.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

3)Three female MPs in PNG threaten to withdraw from govt

By Online Editor
12:48 pm GMT+12, 20/11/2012, Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea’s three female MPs are threatening to withdraw their allegiance to the government if the bill on 22 reserved seats for women in parliament is brought up again by parliamentarians.

Sohe MP and Vice-Minister for Treasury Delilah Gore delivered the bombshell in Goroka last week.

Gore said she, Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso and Lae MP and Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Loujaya Toni were opposed to the bill and had agreed in principle to withdraw from the government in the event the bill was brought up by any MP in government.

Soso and Gore are members of the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party headed by Kandep MP and Treasury Minister Don Polye and Toni is the sole member and parliamentary leader of the People’s Indigenous Party.

Gore called on all the women in PNG to win votes like they did and to show women were strong.

She said it was shameful for women to pressure MPs in parliament to push for the bill and that they should win votes on their own accord to show that women were capable.

Gore pointed out that she and her two female colleagues had proven that politics in PNG was no longer a man’s domain.

She said if the three of them could do it, any woman could too.

She named former female MPs such as Dame Josephine Abaijah, Nahau Rooney, Dame Carol Kidu and former Morobe premier Enny Moiatz as examples of what women were capable of achieving.

She said the trend of politics during election was changing and women were beginning to be respected.

Jiwaka-based lawyer and businessman Harry Kapal asked Gore if the election of the three women might have rendered the bill as being a dead issue.

Gore strongly argued that there were no free handouts such as the 22 reserved seats and that political democracy would be undermined if parliament reserved seats.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

4)PNG inflation set to rise by 4 percent in 2013

By Online Editor
12:25 pm GMT+12, 21/11/2012, Papua New GuineaInflation is expected to increase to 8% next year before falling back to 6% in 2014, Treasury Minister Don Polye said.

He told Parliament while tabling the 2013 budget that despite inflation, the economy would be stable and continue to grow.

Polye outlined the trend of the rate of goods and services in the country and said a sustainable rate of 5% could be achieved over the medium term.

“The inflation outcome is expected to move to 8% in 2013 before falling to 6% in 2014 and be maintained at 5% over the medium term,” he said.

“There are also potential upsides including the continuing potential for further development of the mineral sector.

“With the PNG LNG project we would expect it to have a positive impact on the real growth rates.”

He said the inflation outcome was 8% in 2011 then to 4.1% this year.

The low 2012 inflation projection was reflective of the low March and June quarter inflation outcomes, the kina apreciation against other currencies, the tariff reduction programme and the impact of the tuition
fee-free education.

However these downward drivers on inflation would not be present in 2013. So inflation was expected to move back to 8% as in 2011.

Polye outlined possible risks the country could face which include:

*    Potential disruption to the global economic recovery impacting on PNG’s trade and Government revenue;
*    Potential disruption to the progress of the PNG LNG project;
*    Potential disruption to the existing agriculture, mining and petroleum production;
*    Increasing inflation in light of capacity constraints; and
*    Loss of fiscal discipline gi¬ven high expenditure pressures after the election.

He said the real economic status of the country had been strong in 2011 and 2012, growing by 11% and 9% respectively.

Polye told Parliament that in 2013, the nominal growth was predicted to be 8.9% which was a tremendous increase from 2012.

However he said growth was likely to slow down to 4% before rebounding to 5.5% in 2014 and more in 2015 when the PNG LNG project would commence.

Meanwhile, the 2013 budget is bold and it is innovative, says the National Research Institute (NRI) director Dr Thomas Webster.

“It is bold in the change that politicians are taking responsibility for it.

“If the budget fails to deliver they can go to the polls and let the people judge. That is heartening to us,” Webster said.

Webster added that deficit budgeting and the move to give the provinces and districts responsibility for their funding and make them accountable was a step in the right direction.

“For a long time we have been saying there is a two-speed economy – one in Port Moresby and another one in the pro¬vinces. With this shift the two would be merged into one.”

He said the growth forecast over the next few years of 4% was conservative and he expected growth in excess of the amount of money being spent to grow the economy.

Webster’s only concern is implementation.

“If the implementation goes right, then growth and opportunities are great. My only concern is that we will see these outcomes if we implement the budget right.

“I am hoping to see better management in terms of cash flow and procurement.”

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

5)2013 PNG Budget Features $238.5 Million Stimulus Package
$38.2 million to be used for small-, medium-enterprises in PNG

By Frank Senge Kolma

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 20, 2012) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last night unveiled an exclusive stimulus package for PNG businesses which he projected will create 500,000 new businesses and two million jobs by 2050.

The 2013 Budget, which would be handed down today, would contain the first K80 million [US$38.2 million] out of a K500 million [US$238.5 million] stimulus package to empower the small-medium enterprises sector.

O’Neill announced the small and medium enterprises stimulus package last night to a packed house at the Dynasty Restaurant in Port Moresby. Among others, the package would:

  • Provide citizens with access to cheaper and affordable credit;
  • Prevent foreigners from taking over businesses reserved for PNG citizens;
  • Reintroduce the successful “stret pasin business scheme” with 100% funding support from government;
  • Make it easier and cheaper for PNG companies to register and trade;
  • Introduce a range of tax and other incentives and concessions for PNG-owned companies starting in 2013; and
  • Identify, train and develop more citizens to take up business as employment options to assist the government create more employment opportunities.

The prime minister said interest rate at the National Development Bank (NDB) would be lowered from highs of 22% to 6% as part of the package.

A foreign investment review board would consider all foreign businesses wanting to set up in the country and only those approved by the board would be allowed to register to carry on business in the country.

Of the K80 million parked in the NDB next year, no less than one-third of this amount would be reserved for aspiring women entrepreneurs to access.

“After 37 years of independence, only 10% of the formal economy is owned and controlled by our citizens while 90% is controlled by outsiders,” the prime minister said.

“This means that more than two million people, who could be gainfully engaged or owning a small-medium enterprise in our formal sector, find themselves missing out.”

He said the government had not provided opportunities for the people’s full and productive engagement in becoming owners and beneficiaries and that his government was committed to reversing this trend.

Sir Nagora Bogan, chair of the PNG Indigenous Business Council, said “this is a special night for PNG entrepreneurs.”

“The stimulus package is a paradigm shift, to empower our people to become masters of their own destiny. It is businesses that will transform this country, and this is just the tonic, the platform we need,” Sir Nagora said.

The package initiative emanated from the Alotau Accord, which had now become the government’s socio-economic blueprint, and from the Kokopo Indigenous Business Summit.

The package would comprise a small part of the 2013 Budget which Treasurer Don Polye is expected to hand down at 2pm today.

O’Neill reiterated earlier pronouncements that the budget would be in the deficit.

“We will go into a small deficit,” he said. “There’s nothing to panic about. It will be an innovative budget and it will be people-focused.”

He said much of the money would be frontloaded to the provinces and districts for essential development projects under strict guidelines.

No less than K3 billion [US$1.4 billion] had been promised for infrastructure projects right across the country and in the provinces.

O’Neill received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech last night.

Traditionally, after the budget is handed down, parliament would be adjourned for seven days in order to give the opposition the opportunity to reply before debate and eventual passage of the budget.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

6)Solomons Government To Fund Eco-Tourism On Guadalcanal
Global eco-tourism reportedly nets $25 billion annually

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Nov. 20, 2012) – The Solomon Islands Government is funding Eco-tourism projects in South and Central Guadalcanal.

The resource owners of Vatukulau Ward in South Guadalcanal and Vulolo Ward in Central Guadalcanal will seek to transform the untouched forests of Popomanseu and Makara Komburu in South Guadalcanal and Suta in Central Guadalcanal into eco-tourism destinations.

The projects, which began in September this year, will be jointly implemented in three phases for three years with a funding assistance of SBD$560,000 [US$75,656] per year for each project.

The International Eco-tourism Society has defined Eco-tourism as the “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.”

“Eco-tourism is a sizable market, and in developing a policy in tourism it is important to consider these important facts,” said a person familiar with the industry.

“In recent times, 23 percent of travel agents have booked environmentally friendly or green travel options,” he said.

“Also, in a recent survey, consumers demand for responsible travel was at 58 percent, with most of these travelers raising concerns about global warming…13 percent were interested in buying carbon offsets.”

He says that when one considers the fact that consumer spending by this market segment is at US$25 billion annually, it would be important to get the policy right.

“This is not the first time we have adopted this policy, what we need to do is get the ‘policy mix’ right…we need to be competitive as a destination.”

Solomon Times

7)Unreleased Solomons Truth And Reconciliation Report Queried
Forum calls on government to release commission findings

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 21, 2012) – Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) questions the Government why it has not release the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

FSII chief executive officer Ben Afuga said TRC was established as part of the healing process therefore it must not be shoved away from the public.

Mr. Afuga said TRC had already submitted the report to the Prime Minister who must release it to the public in compliance with the TRC Act 2008.

“Part VI of the TRC Act 2008 clarifies the reports and recommendations. It states that; 16 (1) the Commission shall submit a report of its work to the Prime Minister at the end of its operations.

“(2) The report shall state the findings of the Commission and shall make recommendations concerning the reforms and other measures, whether legal, political, administrative or otherwise, needed to adhere to the object of the commission, namely the object of providing an impartial historical record, preventing repetition of the violations or abuses suffered, addressing impunity, responding to the need of victims and promoting, healing and reconciliation.

“17 (1) The Prime Minister on receiving the report of the commission, shall cause it to be laid before parliament and the report to be available to the public.

“(2) The Government shall as far as practicable implement the recommendations of the report.

“(3) The Government shall upon the release of the report of the commission appoint a person or group to monitor implementation of the recommendations of the commission and provide necessary resources to facilitate implementation.

“(4) The person or body appointed pursuant to subsection (3), shall submit quarterly reports to the cabinet summarizing the steps that have been taken towards implementation of the recommendations of the commission.

He said the onus is on the Prime Minister as stipulated by Section 16(1) and 17(1).

He said the report is long overdue and must be released as soon as practicable.

FSII CEO said during their earlier inquiry at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Special secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Philip Tagini said “due to some sensitive materials contained in the report, the PM … will establish a special committee to look at the report first before parliament will deliberate on the report.”

“However, FSII warns that the PM and the special Committee must not override the powers of the TRC Act. The report must be tabled in whole, regardless of the sensitive materials referred to by the SSPM. The truth hurts; therefore everyone must be prepared to face the truth. This country needs to move forward, therefore the truth must be revealed. No more, no less,” Mr. Afuga said.

On the same issue, FSSI said a question about the TRC report was included in Monday’s order paper.

“The MP for Aoke/Langalanga was supposed to ask the question, however he was not present when the parliament session begun in the morning. Whilst praising the MP for Aoke/Langalanga for raising this important question, the FSII is disappointed that the question was never asked because the MP was absent.”

Mr. Afuga stressed that so many victims of the tensions have been waiting patiently for the report.

“As highlighted by the former Chairman of the TRC, Fr. Sam Ata, the report contains stories of Solomon Islanders who sought to establish their humanity and dignity and also seeks to give a clear picture of the gross human rights violation of the past ethnic tension.”

FSII said donors have poured in millions of dollars for TRC to carry out its work; therefore the report must not be shelved but made public for everyone to read it.

“FSII hope that the PM takes a proactive decision to release the report as soon as possible.”

“The Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII), a registered NGO representing wide spectral of people, form States men to the grassroots, from the great learned children of Solomon Islands to the upcoming ones, from all genders and all races and from the outspoken to the silent majority hopes that the PM takes a proactive decision to release the report as soon as possible.”

Solomon Star

8)Women Candidates To Discuss Vanuatu Elections Losses
Leaders plan talks to discuss political roadmap for women

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 20, 2012) – All women candidates who did not make it to parliament in Vanuatu’s 2012 general election will converge in Port Vila on November 29 which is Unity Day to review why none of the 17 women who stood in the recent elections never made it to the national parliament.

The five candidates that contested in the Port Vila constituency have already liaised with other women candidates in the rural constituencies to come together, review and look at the political strategies and platform that will enable fair Vanuatu women representation in parliament. Candidates in rural constituencies have agreed to be in Port Vila on November 29 to be part of the discussions.

In the meantime, Daily Post understands that the five failed women candidates in the Port Vila constituency which includes; Hilda Lini, Wendy Himford, Maryan Bani, Jenny Ligo and Letty Kaltonga have had series of discussions already including plans for the November 29 dialogue with other women candidates from 16 other constituencies in Vanuatu.

In a meeting in Port Vila earlier last week, the five women who contested in the Port Vila constituency revealed that one of the options that they are considering is to file only one female candidate in Port Vila if the failed candidate’s court petitions on civil, constitutional and criminal activities during the recent elections is won by the 32 failed candidates in Port Vila.

The women politicians will also be inviting leaders from all sectors of the Vanuatu community to be present and give their views on political strategies and platform that will enable fair representation of women candidates to become MPs.

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

9)Jimmy claims election of new Vanuatu PM illegal

Posted at 03:27 on 21 November, 2012 UTC

The president of the Liberal Democratic Party in Vanuatu, Willie Jimmy, is continuing his push to have the election of prime minister, Sato Kilman, declared unlawful.

Mr Kilman’s name, along with Mr Jimmy’s, was left off the initial list of candidates for the election, ostensibly because of outstanding debts.

Mr Kilman reportedly owed rent to the government but he disputed that and no payment was made and he was allowed to stand.

Mr Jimmy faced a similar situation and settled a bill of just under 500 US dollars before he could be added to the candidates’ list.

Mr Jimmy says he has the backing of several of the opposition parties in his push to get the matter to court.

He says a ruling against Mr Kilman would most likely lead to a change of government.

Radio New Zealand International

10)Northern Vanuatu to get heavy rain

Posted at 02:38 on 21 November, 2012 UTC

The Vanuatu Meterological Service says a tropical depression is heading towards its northern provinces and it’s concerned the system may develop into a tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours.

A forecaster David Gibson says Torba and Penama are likely to receive at least 100 millimeters of rain and gale force winds if the tropical depression stays on its current course.

He says a marine warning has also been issued to vessels travelling between northern Vanuatu islands to seek safe harbour.

“At the moment it’s still a tropical depression. The chances of it becoming a cyclone within the next 24 to 48 hours is moderate.”

David Gibson says clouds from the system are also covering the southern provinces of Solomon Islands and they too can expect heavy rain and high winds. He says it’s still too early to tell if the potential cyclone will hit Fiji.

Radio New Zealand International

11)Cyclone alert

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A TROPICAL disturbance located between Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is moving slowly towards Fiji and is expected to turn into a cyclone.

This was confirmed by Department of Meteorology director Alipate Waqaicelua yesterday.

In a statement, Mr Waqaicelua said the weather band was expected to affect the Fiji group within 24 to 48 hours.

“We have experienced the changes in weather patterns from what we have gone through for the last six months but, yes, that is what was expected,” Mr Waqaicelua said.

He said they expected the trough of low pressure, which was moving slowly from the north east to north west of the Fiji group, to turn into a cyclone.

The weather office stated that on many occasions Fiji would anticipate weather patterns to approach the group from the north east and north west within six months during this season from November to April.

The Nadi weather office has identified a zone where weather patterns are developed and it is in the northern part of Fiji which is now known as the Pacific Convergence Zone.

This is where bands of clouds, rain and cyclones meet and move on from there.

Meanwhile, people have been advised to take heed of these tropical disturbance alerts and prepare well by taking precautionary measures.

Provincial Development and Disaster Management acting permanent secretary Filipe Alivereti has been engaged in talks with commissioners from the four divisions and advised them of the impending weather situation.

The National Disaster Management Office is on alert and awaiting further advise from the Fiji Meteorological Services.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=217767

12)Gold cards awarded to 35 companies

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Staff of the Gold Card Service Centre with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after the launch at Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority complex at Nasese in Suva yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA+ Enlarge this image

Staff of the Gold Card Service Centre with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after the launch at Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority complex at Nasese in Suva yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama rewarded 35 companies through the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority Gold Card Premium program at Nasese in Suva yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of the program and the program’s revamped website, Commodore Bainimarama said the Gold Card premium was part of the government’s bigger plan.

The first group of 35 Gold Card holders was mainly the large multinationals and big local companies.

“Gold Card Premium Services are part of our bigger plan to recognise and reward people who have paid taxes and duties honestly and on time,” he said at the launch.

The Gold Card Premium Services Program is in recognition of entities and individuals who have a consistent history of excellent compliance in both customs and taxation.

FRCA chief executive officer Jitoko Tikolevu said the gold cards that were distributed were not just gold cards but were meaningful in terms of the services they had provided.

The initiative was a partnership between FRCA and certain government agencies, which included the Immigration Department, Airports Fiji Limited, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Land Transport Authority and Fiji Airways

Some of the benefits of being a gold card member include priority services and personal baggage duty free allowance of up to $2000 at international arrivals counters, priority services for passports and permits at the Immigration Department and baggage collection and escort services by Airports Fiji Limited.

Mr Tikolevu added that other benefits also included express lane and priority services for all inspection and clearance services at Biosecurity Authority of Fiji; express lane for all LTA services and priority check in at the Tabua Club Counter whenever the member was flying on the national airline, Fiji Airways.

“We are committed to that in terms of the services we have provided were really delivered,” Mr Tikolevu said.

He said it was critical that if they wanted to continue to enjoy, they should maintain the level of compliance.

The Gold Card premium has been handled by dedicated FRCA appointed staff for the last six weeks.

Apart from the 35 companies that have been awarded with the gold cards an additional 36 companies will be identified by FRCA by the end of this year.


13)Fiji’s Prime Minister in PNG for PACP talks

By Online Editor
12:34 pm GMT+12, 21/11/2012, Papua New Guinea Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has arrived in Papua New Guinea for the special meeting of the Pacific ACP Leaders today.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato and Fiji’s High Commissioner to PNG, Romanu Tikotikoca was at the Jackson International airport to meet Commodore Bainimarama and his officials, who arrived on board a chartered flight.

Prime Minister Bainimarama was welcomed at a traditional ceremony by members of the Fijian Community living in Papua New Guinea. Guests at the event included members of Fiji’s diplomatic community, expatriates living in PNG as well as families and friends.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for the welcoming ceremony and called on all Fijians living in PNG to work closely with each other.

“It certainly an honor to be here in PNG amongst you, amongst friends”, the Prime Minister said.

Accompanying the Prime Minister are the Minister for Labour Jone Usamate, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister for Primary Industries Inia Seruiratu and other senior government officials.

Other PACP leaders that have arrived in Port Moresby include President of Marshall Islands, Christopher Loeak, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Willy Telavi, President of the Federated State of Micronesia, Manny Mori, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

Bainimarama will join other leaders of the Pacific ACP nations today to discuss amongst others, Fiji’s participation in PACP meeting. Fiji was suspended in 2009 following its coup.

The leaders will also be updated on the PACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiation, status report on Multilateral Fisheries Treaty Negotiation with the United States, and the report on the submarine cable connectivity for the Pacific Islands countries.
SOURCE: NBC/MINFO/PACNEWS

14)3000 job openings for Namosi mine

By Online Editor
12:26 pm GMT+12, 21/11/2012, FijiAbout 2000 construction jobs and 1000 operational jobs with flow-on increase in spending are expected to be generated once the proposed Namosi mining project gets the nod.

The project according to the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) will be a great opportunity for government revenue from taxes and minerals extraction royalties.

NJV country manager Greg Morris said they were optimistic that the project would attract not only landowners but government given the five-year timeframe to conduct the project exploration under the Special Prospecting License (SPL 1420) including exploration project studies and Waisoi Project Environmental Impact Assessment.

Morris said the project would also create an opportunity in community development, education and training program.

“Investment and training in institutions will also be created through this project,” Morris said.

He said local infrastructure projects would be guaranteed under this mining project.

Speaking during a tour of the site Tuesday, Morris said he would hire as many locals as possible particularly landowners of Namosi and that would contribute to the improvement of their livelihood.

However, he said these would not be possible unless government approved the projects.

“If the project is unsuccessful all our infrastructure will be removed and all our operation will be stopped, but our agreement with the mataqali will remain,” he said.

Meanwhile, an economical viable resource has been identified at the Waisoi Mining Project study in Namosi which is expected to benefit not only the people of Namosi but the nation as a whole.

The Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) is now looking at how to develop the project in an environmentally, socially acceptable manner that will not have any disturbance to the land and the people of Namosi.

According to NJV geologist Prashant Chand, more than 200 grams sample of high grade core was sent to Australia early this year where the final detail analysis was done which indicated that Waisoi had a viable project that would deliver a good return for the nation.

NJV country manager, Greg Morris said they were still in the pre-feasibility and geotechnical environmental study process which was expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

Morris said at this exploration stage, they were trying to determine whether they could fully operate a mining project at Waisoi, Wainavadu, Waivaka corridor, Waibamu and Waimanu.

He said they would match the environmental impact studies in progress with their project designed by theengineers of NJV and landowners raised their geometric concerns of the project and its impact. Despite the fractured relationship between NJV and the Tikina Namosi Landowner Committee (TNLC), Morris said their duty was to provide information on how the project would be operated, built and managed so that landowners could make informed decisions.

“We have recently engaged with a community relations officer to allow us to directly communicate with the landowners and share the information and at the same time listen to what they are saying,” Morris said.

“We will then adequately reflect their concerns in the projects.”

He said they had established good working relations with the landowners and the committee over the past six months.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

15)Sugar refugees swelling Fiji’s poor in squatter settlements

Posted at 03:27 on 21 November, 2012 UTC

A consultant with a non-governmental organisation working with poor people in Fiji says the decline of the sugar cane industry has drastically increased the population of the country’s squatter settlements.

Father Kevin Barr’s comment follows the National Farmers Union’s accusation that the military government has pushed the industry into steep decline, which is depopulating areas traditionally associated with sugar such as Labasa.

Father Barr, who works with the People’s Community Network, says there has definitely been a huge increase over the past few years in the number of people, largely from Labasa, moving to Suva to live in squatter settlements.

He says it is a long-standing problem related to land leases.

“Some of those who had the leases, those who owned the farms, possibly had enough finance to move to the city or even migrate overseas. But it’s particularly a lot of the cane cutters, a lot of the poorer families, who had nowhere to go, and so they’ve come into the cities, to swell the ranks of the squatter settlements.”

Father Kevin says many of the cane cutters struggle to find work in the cities.

Radio New Zealand International

16)New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro volcano has erupted, sending a column of ash high into the atmosphere.

New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro volcano has erupted, sending a column of ash high into the atmosphere.

The official GNS Science monitoring service issued a potential threat alert after the eruption at the North Island volcano, which became active in August this year after lying dormant for more than a century.

Witnesses said the eruption at the Te Maari Craters sent a plume of ash two kilometres high into the sky.

“It was pretty spectacular. All of a sudden a towering black plume just began erupting very quickly, skyrocketing up,” local resident Clint Green told Radio New Zealand.

“At first I didn’t believe what I was seeing.”

New Zealand press reports said between 30 and 50 bushwalkers were being evacuated from the Tongariro Crossing track.

No casualties were reported.

The aviation colour code has been changed to Red, meaning flights could be disrupted.

Air New Zealand said it did not expect disruptions, but it was closely monitoring the situation.

New Zealand’s Civil Defence has urged people living nearby to stay indoors and close all windows if ash starts falling.

17)Crime syndicates target Islands

By Online Editor
12:35 pm GMT+12, 21/11/2012, New ZealandSouth Pacific islands are being targeted by crime syndicates as bases from which to smuggle drugs and guns to New Zealand and Australia.

Methamphetamine is mass manufactured on isolated islands by Asian underworld figures, then shipped to remote spots on the New Zealand coast to be distributed by gang networks, according to a police intelligence analyst.

This threat is expected to grow over the next three years and is a shift away from the common method of drug trafficking by Asian organised crime.

Past investigations have shown that large amounts of Contac NT, a Chinese cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, have been smuggled into New Zealand by numerous tactics.

The pseudoephedrine has then been “cooked” into the Class A drug methamphetamine for supply around the country.

The profit margins are high but Asian crime figures believe more money can be made by directly importing P into New Zealand, analysis by Mark Herrick has found. Herrick, an intelligence officer who recently left the police for a job in private security, wrote that the Pacific Islands were vulnerable to bribery, had weak financial systems and had borders that were difficult to patrol.

“The corruption of key officials would be a major factor facilitating methamphetamine manufacture on isolated islands,” he said in his report.

“By using pre-established relationships with New Zealand gangs, Chinese groups would use New Zealand methamphetamine cooks to manufacture product in the South Pacific region then transport it to New Zealand in a number of small- to medium-sized vessels for distribution.”

He anonymously interviewed the leader of an Asian crime syndicate who was using shipping routes from China to New Zealand, via South Pacific ports, to transport Contac NT.

The drug lord said he would make more money from directly importing methamphetamine but didn’t want to take the risk in China or New Zealand.

But he described how he could continue to bribe officials to ensure he could cook P on deserted islands with little risk. All the materials and equipment could be transported through his current shipping routes and P “cooks” could be flown from New Zealand. “Once manufactured, I will pay fishermen to transport the drugs in large amounts to New Zealand … through my connections with New Zealand gangs I will be able to arrange for isolated locations to drop off the drugs.”

Herrick’s analysis said this probability was an “extreme danger” which needed greater co-operation between South Pacific, Australian and New Zealand law enforcement agencies to combat.

“From a New Zealand perspective, an increase of Customs activity specifically in relation to small- or medium-sized vessels from the South Pacific would also reduce impacts,” he said in his report.

Customs officials rejected Official Information Act requests on the subject.

A “super lab” with enough chemicals to make 1000kg of methamphetamine was discovered in Fiji in 2004. The drugs were destined for New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States.

There have been no other large busts since then, but Herrick wrote it was more likely the labs had yet to be found rather than that they did not exist.

More recently, authorities have raided several yachts in the South Pacific with hundreds of millions of dollars of cocaine stashed on board. One, a yacht from South America, was found grounded on a Tongan atoll on Friday with 200kg of cocaine and a dead body on board.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

18)Aung San Suu Kyi becomes UNAIDS ambassador

By Online Editor
12:30 pm GMT+12, 21/11/2012, SwitzerlandMyanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has been appointed an ambassador of the UN’s programme on HIV and AIDS and has been tasked with fighting discrimination against people living with the disease, the agency said Tuesday.

“It is a great honour to be chosen as a champion for people who live on the fringes of society and struggle every day to maintain their dignity and basic human rights,” the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said in a statement.

“I would like to be the voice of the voiceless,” she added.

UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe said the agency was honoured she had accepted the task.

“From small villages to big cities, from Africa to Asia, people are talking about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi…. She is inspirational,” he said in the statement.

Suu Kyi, who has been named UNAIDS Global Advocate for Zero Discrimination, will work to “eliminate stigma and discrimination”, which she fears can “create an environment of fear that prevents people from accessing life-saving HIV services,” the agency said.

“It is important that everyone who suspects they may be at risk seeks an HIV test and knows their HIV status early, so they can prevent new infections and can access life-saving treatment when needed,” she said.

SOURCE: AFP/PACNEWS

19)Vanuatu: le nouveau gouvernement pourrait être renversé d’ici Noël

Mis à jour 21 November 2012, 11:11 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

L’opposition a juré de faire chuter le gouvernement de Sato Kilman, élu lundi par le Parlement.

Une pléthore de partis, 16 en tout, et 4 indépendants, se partagent 52 sièges, ce qui rend le maintien d’une coalition gouvernementale extrêmement difficile. D’autant que le propre parti de Sato Kilman ne dispose que de six sièges au Parlement.
Dans les rangs de l’opposition, il y a Ralph Regenvanu, réélu député, et dont le parti pour la Terre et la Justice, a réalisé un très bon score lors de ces élections. Il se dit profondément déçu de voir un nième gouvernement Kilman à la tête du pays. Il aurait souhaité un renouvellement du personnel politique au Vanuatu.  Et compte bien combattre le gouvernement Kilman. Ralph Regenvanu, au micro de Campbell Cooney sur Radio Australie :
«Nous les députés démarrons un séminaire d’intégration dès aujourd’hui, les députés fraîchement élus comme ceux qui ont été réélus. Si l’opposition décide de déposer une motion de censure, elle devra le faire avant le 20 décembre, ce qui veut dire concrètement que l’opposition doit s’y atteler ces deux prochaines semaines pour déposer la motion à temps. Après on verra ce qui se passe. Mais je pense que cette motion est plus que probable.»  
De son côté, le rédacteur en chef de l’Indépendant du Vanuatu, Tony Wilson, note les talents de négociateurs de Sato Kilman en qui il voit un homme de consensus. Mais lui aussi regrette que la vieille génération n’ait pas laissé place à de nouveaux hommes politiques. Le nouveau gouvernement est en effet constitué de vétérans de la vie politique vanuataise. Tony Wilson :
«L’une des raisons à cela est que le pays est terriblement isolé en terme de moyens de communication. Les gens qui vivent dans les îles éloignées n’ont pas la radio, pas de moyen de communication, et ne peuvent donc pas savoir ce que leurs députés font ou ne font pas au Parlement. A chaque campagne électorale, ces députés retournent dans leurs circonscriptions isolées, la plupart du temps, c’est bien la seule fois qu’ils s’y rendent d’ailleurs, pour la campagne électorale, et après ils restent à Port-Vila. Donc ils arrivent, ils promettent des machettes, des panneaux solaires, les gens sont ravis et reconnaissants. C’est de notoriété publique, l’année dernière il manquait la moitié du budget nécessaire pour que le pays continue de tourner. Et on a assisté à des choses surréalistes, comme, par exemple, il y a six semaines, notre quotidien a diffusé une annonce du Ministère de l’Education expliquant aux Vanuatais qu’il n’avait plus un sou. On a même hésité à publier cet encart, car on craignait que le ministère n’ait pas les moyens de nous payer !» 
C’était Tony Wilson, le rédacteur en chef du quotidien l’Indépendant du Vanuatu.

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