Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 692

MELANESIA: (We have Atolls,Islands,Coastal,Central and Highlands (Upstairs!) with Snow cap mountains)

1) Kot i rausim PNG Education Minista

Updated 4 December 2012, 16:03 AEST

Sam Seke

National Court i disqualifaim Minista Paru Aihi long wanem em ibin peim moni long ol vota long ileksan.

Papua New Guinea National Court Education Minista Paru Aihi rausim longwanem em ibin braibim ol vota long national ileksan long June dispela yar.

Judge David Cannings rulim olsem Mr Aihi ino win long gutpela pasin long wanem em ibin peim bikpela moni long baimol vot.

Man husat i kam naba tu long Kairuku-Hiri electorate long Central Province, Peter Iso-aimo nau i bringim dispela keis agensim Mr Aihi.

Ilektoral Komisin bai makim taim we bai oli holim wanpela ikelsan gen long Kairuku-Hiri Electorate.

Mr Aihi i naba tu man husat kot ibin disqualifaim ileksan blongen.

Nabawan nau i Ezekiel Anisi, husat kot ibin rausim long wanem em i aninit long age em i save sanap long i save vot na nem blongen ino stap long electoral roll.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2012-12-04/kot-i-rausim-png-education-minista/1055916

2) Guyana trip by West Papuan could spark agitational efforts

Posted at 19:12 on 04 December, 2012 UTC

An MP in Guyana says his country is more focussed on the plight of Indonesia’s West Papuan people after a visit to the Carribean country by an exiled West Papuan tribal leader.

The trip coincided with a call by the former President of the UN Security Council, Guyana’s Rashleigh Jackson, for international support for West Papuan self-determination.

Johnny Blades reports:

The UK-based Benny Wenda is on a campaign to promote global awareness of the Papuan struggle for independence.

In Guyana he met with the country’s President, various parliamentarians and local communities.

He told Guyana’s Capitol News Network that the Carribean country has an historical link with the Papuans from when their region was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969.

“Guyana was one of the countries that support West Papuan independence in 1969 in the UN. Guyanese people support every people who are oppressed in other parts of the world so this is something that I am seeking help from people of Guyana and the Guyana government, so that’s why I’m here.”

Benny Wenda’s legal advisor is a UK attorney of Guyanese Heritage, Melinda Janki.

She says his visit was an eye opener for Guyanese:

“The interest here has just been amazing. The first reaction that Benny has had from people is: how come we did not know about this, how can we be hearing about the denial to the right of self-determination how can we be hearing about people benig locked up, political prisoners? The first response is really one of shock and then tremendous sympathy.”

While in town, Benny Wenda met with representatives from each of the major political parties.

One of the MPs who met with the West Papuan was Desmond Trotman from the APNU, or A Partnership for National Unity.

He says people were impressed by Mr Wenda’s sincerity and commitment to the West Papuan struggle.

“Well it has been on the radar for some time but since Benny has come here, we have become more focussed on the problems of the West Papuan people. He has been able to explain in a lot of detail the struggles that his people have been going through for quite some time. The people in Guyana have had a history of struggle against colonialists and the colonial empires and of course we will, as individuals and as a collective, we will be very committed to the struggle of the West Papuan people.”

Desmond Trotman says there’s a lot of agitating Guyana can do on the Papua issue.

This includes pushing within the United Nations on the need for action on supporting West Papuan self-determination.

3)Australia offers PNG health and education funding boost Radio New Zealand International

Updated 5 December 2012, 18:51 AEST

Liam Fox, PNG correspondent

Australia’s foreign minister has used a visit to PNG to announce funding for health and education projects.

Australia’s Foreign Minister has announced millions of dollars will be spent on health and education projects in Papua New Guinea.

During a visit to the country’s highlands, Senator Carr was given a warm welcome by scores of students waving Australian flags at the Notre Dame all-girls school outside Mt Hagen.

“You girls can do anything, armed with a good education,” he told the students.

The school has doubled its enrolments with support from AusAID’s Incentive Fund to build new classrooms and facilities.

Senator Carr announced Australia would contribute AUD$12m to the PNG government’s plan to provide free education.

At Mt Hagen’s hospital he said another $66m dollars would be spent on 1,400 nursing and midwifery scholarships.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2012-12-05/australia-offers-png-health-and-education-funding-boost/1056100

4) Bigger role for PNG under O’Neill: Carr

By Online Editor
09:23 am GMT+12, 05/12/2012, Papua New GuineaAustralian foreign Minister Bob Carr says Papua New Guinea is set to play a bigger role internationally under the government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Senator Carr is in PNG visiting health and education facilities in the nation’s western highlands, ahead of a joint PNG/Australian ministerial conference in Port Moresby on Thursday.

“I think all the messages the O’Neill government is sending are very, very positive and I think we’ll see a corresponding rise in the status of PNG,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“Certainly the message about political stability and rule of law is very reassuring.

“It’s an astonishing achievement for a country with this topographical diversity and this ethnic mix … to have pulled off a vast democratic election. If Papua New Guinea can do it, there’s no country in the world that can’t do it.”

For 10 months from August 2, 2011, PNG was mired in a political crisis over who was the country’s prime minister – the parliament-backed Peter O’Neill against the court-supported Sir Michael Somare.

Shortly after becoming foreign minister, Senator Carr drew the ire of some PNG politicians after he said Australia would organise sanctions against the Pacific nation if it cancelled the 2012 elections – an issue being hotly debated at the time.

Following the July/August vote, O’Neill was returned to the prime ministership and heads a coalition made up of 94 of PNG’s 111 MPs.

While in Mt Hagen, Senator Carr visited the Catholic run Notre Dame girls high school, set in the hills about half an hour’s drive – through roughly-cracked roads – from Mt Hagen town.

There Senator Carr was treated to a hero’s welcome by 350 of the school’s senior students, before being taken on a tour of the school’s facilities.

The Notre Dame school is one of four Catholic girls schools in PNG, where church groups provide roughly 50 per cent of education services.

“I come as a wantok (close friend) of Papua New Guinea,” he told the crowd.

“I look around here and I know in my bones that among you is a future prime minister of PNG.

“You girls can do anything armed with a good education.”

Earlier, the foreign minister visited the Mt Hagen general hospital, where he announced a $A66 million commitment to reducing child and maternal deaths in PNG.

The money will provide up to 1,400 nursing and midwifery scholarships, with the aim of passing skills to PNG health workers.

Five pregnant women die in PNG every day, and a woman in PNG is 80 times more likely to die with pregnancy complications than a woman in Australia.

Senator Carr said the scholarships would provide for 450 nurses and 500 midwives by 2013.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is also expected in PNG to visit Australia’s Manus Island asylum seeker detention centre.

Bowen and Senator Carr will join Trade Minister Craig Emerson and Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare at the ministerial forum on Thursday.

SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/PACNEWS

5) PM Invites Skilled Workers To Seek Employment In PNG
Restrictions on workers from Pacific may be relaxed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 4, 2012) – Papua New Guinea’s Peter O’Neill led Government is encouraging skilled workers from around the Pacific to take up opportunities in PNG.

Mr. O’Neill says PNG wants to see an increase in the about 15,000 Australian citizens currently in the country over the next two years.

The Post Courier reports Mr. O’Neill saying PNG will also look at relaxing employment restrictions on Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

PNG needs skilled workers from around the region because of the pressure on its resources sector from developments such as the giant LNG project.

Mr. O’Neill says they also recognize a need to build better work ethics.

He says PNG needs help from Australia to have its citizens return as public servants, teachers, doctors and lecturers in the universities.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

6) PNG urged to manage its fish stocks: Monaco Prince

By Online Editor
3:05 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, Papua New GuineaPrince Albert II of Monaco has urged that Papua New Guinea try and manage its fish stocks wisely as part of conserving its rich biodiversity.

Prince Albert II is the founder of the Prince Albert II Foundation, one of whose principal domains includes safeguarding biodiversity.

With revelations by visiting scientists that the Madang Lagoon is no longer as pristine as it used to be 25 years ago, he had when asked for his comments on a way forward for the country, suggested a number of strategies including the management of the country’s fish stocks.

He said overfishing was an enormous problem being faced everywhere in the world.

He said he was not sure about the situation in the country, adding that the situation seemed “pretty healthy” but nonetheless urged that the country ensure that it did not put profit first.

“…you should not just allow boats to go out for the sake of profits and go out and deplete the fish stocks for the sake of the future generations. We must ensure we manage our stocks, as they are finite, wherever we are in the world,” he said.

He said the imposition of limits on the number of fishing vessels in and around the waters of PNG was another measure that could be pursued.

Prince Albert stated that the establishment of protective sites both in coastal and high seas in the world was another strategy that could be considered by the country for the sake of its rich biodiversity.

He said while some sea areas had been set aside but it was still way below the percentage of the 10 percent that had been pledged during the Nagoya Biodiversity Conference in Japan a few years ago.

He said the current level of protective areas both in coastal waters and high seas were hovering around the one to two percent mark.

Meanwhile, the prince had expressed great delight at being able to finally have the opportunity to visit PNG and also to see for himself the work being undertaken by the Papua Niugini Biodiversity expedition, which his foundation is helping to fund.

He said this visit was his first ever and one that had been made possible though the partnership that his foundation had established with the Museum of Natural History of Paris in France.
He said given the size and the goals of the expedition he considered it a privilege that his foundation could assist, especially as its findings stood to benefit not only this island nation but more so the larger global community.

“The comprehensive data base stands to be shared by all and I am extremely proud that the foundation has contributed 10 percent of the overall funding needed to carry out this important work,’” he said.

“I am extremely happy as it will be a significant program and study.

“PNG is a very unique and very rich country and it is indeed a privilege to have been able to come and visit even though the visit has been short.”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

7)PNG Women MPs Stance On Reserved Seats Disappoints
Greater presence in government touted by women’s council head

By Moua Omoa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 4, 2012) – Women’s groups in Papua New Guinea are disappointed with the three women parliamentarians for not supporting reserved seats in parliament.

National Capital District Women’s Council president Maria Andrew said that women’s unions and provincial women’s groups around the country were disappointed with the comments made by the female parliamentarians because they believed the MPs should be pushing for women’s rights in parliament.

She said it took three years to make the 22 reserved seats bill a reality and women all over the country worked hard, most times using their own resources to go on road shows and do awareness to change the mindset of people, especially men.

“With Sohe MP Delilah Gore’s suggestion to do away with the proposed 22 reserved seats and propose just four regional seats, it will take another four to six years of hard work because this will include redefining and checking regional boundaries and making other amendments,” Andrew said.

“The reserved seats bill gained support from prominent female leaders from abroad, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

“We would like to see our female MPs to consult with and work with the National Women’s Council to enhance the rights of our women and at the same take the lead for more female representation in parliament.”

Andrew said many women contested in the elections this year because and there was great awareness and it was through the women’s advocacy and movement for parliament representation that outlined women could represent their people and deliver quality leadership.

Andrew said the three women MPs were in parliament as a result of that movement and they should be thankful and give their support.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

8)Ok Tedi Mine Operations Expected To Continue In PNG
7 of 9 community groups support production for 11 more years

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 4, 2012) – Landowners in Papua New Guinea are expected to finalize their agreement to extend the life of the Ok Tedi mine by the end of this week.

The announcement was made by the Ok Tedi Mining Limited CEO at the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney.

Ok Tedi Mining Ltd CEO, Nigel Parker, says seven of the nine community umbrella groups affected by the mine have signed up to continue gold and copper production for 11 more years.

The remaining 2 groups, he says, are expected to sign this week.

“It has been an absolutely exhilarating process in the last three weeks,” he said.

“I have personally signed on the company’s behalf those agreements and the people are extraordinarily happy with Ok Tedi Mining Limited, with the continuation of the mine,” he said. “To be quite frank, it is quite inspirational.”

The community groups represent around 100,000 people downstream of the mine in the Fly River catchment in PNG’s Western Province.

Mr. Parker says recent calls by three MPS for the mine to close on health and environmental grounds appear at odds with the community views.

“The communities definitely wants the mine to continue, and are unequivocal about that,” he said.

“I am sure the elected politicians have the communities at heart, and if they do get reports coming through of unidentified medical issues I am sure they would react, and possibly that is why they are reacting so much.

“In fact, when that was all hitting the press we actually had the communities from those areas in Tabubil negotiating the mine continuation, and the general response was ‘Mi no save’ – ‘We are unaware of these sorts of issues of the ilk that were being publicized.'”

Mining reform

The Ok Tedi announcement came at the same conference where PNG Mining Minister, Byron Chan, elaborated on the O’Neill government’s plans to reform the mining industry.

The O’Neill government has been under pressure on a number of fronts to ensure more of the benefits of mining get down to the grassroots people, and has responded with a wide-ranging reform program.

Changes include moves to reduce the maximum size of exploration leases by half and to limit the number of licenses an individual can hold to 10.

Mr. Chan told the conference the PNG Government is determined to ensure landowners benefit from mining projects and to encourage downstream processing.

“We want to make sure people are committed, companies are committed, everyone is committed to the project and not just holding license and playing on the stock market,” he said.

“There are some companies that have been playing that game for far too long.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

9)World Vision in Bougainville develops basic education courses with community input

Posted at 03:45 on 05 December, 2012 UTC

The non governmental organisation, World Vision says two new centres providing basic education in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville should succeed, because of community buy in.

Educational services are seen as vital for Bougainville because it is still recovering from the shut down of services that occurred during and after the ten year long civil war.

World Vision’s project manager, Helen Teviri, says they will cater for children, and adults up to the age of about 25.

She says while other such schemes have failed on Bougainville, the community involvement is likely to be the critical factor in sustaining their Basic Education Improvement Plan.

“If the community can plan whatever programmes that they feel that the community would have in there, they can plan all that and they understand, the whole community understands the programmes and takes ownership of that and understands these things are to be met then I think that the sustainability of the project will be there.”

World Vision’s Helen Teviri.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Solomons rolls out new internet infrastructure

Posted 5 December 2012, 21:10 AEST

The Solomon Islands has undertaken its largest communications project ever, with a multimillion dollar revamp to its government internet network.

The Solomon Islands has undertaken its largest communications project ever, with a multimillion dollar revamp to its government internet network.

The Metro Area Network will link 26 government ministries with about 80 sites to facilitate communication between public servants.

Australian company CBO Telecommunications, which was awarded the $AU3.25 million contract, said the network will help the government improve efficiency and enable it to rollout new technology.

“The connection between civil servants is [currently] ad hoc at best. So this will give them real-time connectivity, allowing them to rollout consistent applications,” director Mark McGregor told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program.

Mr McGregor said the project, which will initially only include the capital Honiara, could lead to similar infrastructure projects around the country.

The installation is expected to be complete by March 2013, followed by a three-year maintenance and support agreement.

Sammie Wa’ahero, from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, said the network could be expanded to include the general population.

“We’ve taken into account the vast population out there in the provinces in designing this project. Very soon we’ll be having a submarine cable that’s coming in, so when the right infrastructure is there we believe people out in the provinces will benefit,” he said.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2012-12-05/solomons-rolls-out-new-internet-infrastructure/1056566

11)Solomons Official Under Scrutiny For Supporting Palestine

Ambassador allegedly did not consult government before vote

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 5, 2012) – The Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking answers from the country’s ambassador in New York, Collin Beck, why he voted insupport of Palestine as an observer United Nations member state.

Minister Clay Forau told the Solomon Star yesterday the country’s position before the voting took place last week was to support Israel.

“Mr. Beck did not consult us before voting in support for Palestine,” Mr. Forau said. “We have asked him to give us his explanation before informing the Israeli government. If his explanation is not convincing there’s a process in place to discipline our ambassador.”

The Solomon Star could not reach Mr. Beck for comments.

But explaining his decision in the social Facebook page Forum Solomon Islands International, Mr. Beck said the country recognizes Palestine’s right for self-determination as an independent state.

“We also recognize Israel’s right to live in peace with all its neighbors. I urge we look at the issue calmly and see humanity from a universal perspective.

“No one should see a set of population more superior than others. Palestine is Israel’s neighbor, we must recognize that reality.

“We as a country value our relationship with the UN. One of the primary roles of the UN is the maintenance of international peace and security,” Mr. Beck wrote.

He did not say whether he had consulted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Honiara before casting the country’s vote.

Israel is reportedly seeking explanation from the government over the issue.

Israel’s consul here Leliana Firisua was earlier quoted in the media as saying “it is truly a sad day regarding the friendship Solomon Islands share with Israel.”

Mr. Firisua said he was informed of the shocking news from their office in New York; however it was still unclear why Solomon Islands support Palestine and not Israel.

Solomon Islands joined hands with 137 to 9, with 41 abstentions of countries around the world to vote for UN’s recognition for Palestine at the UN as an “entity” to a “non-member observer state”.

In a historic session at the United Nations in New York last Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization.

Solomon Star

12)Vanuatu Speaker Rules Out No-Confidence Motion
Claims opposition did not follow correct procedures

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 4, 2012) – Vanuatu’s Parliamentary Speaker, George Wells, has ruled a motion for a vote of no confidence in the new Government is invalid.

Parliament was due to hold an extra-ordinary session this Friday to debate the motion.

But Mr. Wells says the opposition had not followed parliamentary procedures correctly when they deposited the motion against Prime Minister Sato Kilman last Friday.

He says it was left at the office of the clerk of parliament rather than in his office, while he was away at his Luganville constituency.

Mr. Wells also claims one of the 27 signatories has since withdrawn his support meaning the opposition lacks the simple majority of the 52 MPs to force an extra-ordinary sitting of parliament.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

13) 11 Officers Arrested Over Vanuatu Police Commissioner Dispute
Face allegations of mutiny, kidnapping and unlawful arrest

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 4, 2012) – 11 police officers were arrested early this morning in Vanuatu in the longstanding dispute over who is the country’s legitimate police commissioner.

The officers had already been suspended by the Police Service Commission and the acting Commissioner, Arthur Caulton.

Police chief of staff, Ron Tamtam, says officers made the arrests in the early hours of this morning.

They face allegations of mutiny, inciting mutiny, kidnapping and unlawful arrest after they had attempted to arrest Mr. Caulton and other two police senior officers.

Mr. Tamtam says the former commissioner, Joshua Bong, is also to be arrested as is the suspended commander of the Vanuatu Mobile Force, Aru Maralau and another four senior officers.

He said police officers had gone to the homes of the six officers but they were not there and are believed to be in hiding.

Mr. Tamtam has appealed to the public not to interfere in police operations.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

14) New Caledonia warns of vigilance in face of dengue outbreak

Posted at 01:29 on 05 December, 2012 UTC

The government in New Caledonia is warning people about an outbreak of dengue fever.

One hundred and twenty-seven cases of the dengue type-one virus were reported last month and there have been sixteen cases so far this month.

The government says most regions of the territory are affected by the outbreak and it has warned people to use insect repellent and to destroy possible mosquito larvae breeding sites at least once a week.

The authorities are advising people to be vigilant about seeking medical help as soon as they experience symptoms of dengue fever

Symptoms include chills, aches and high fever.

Radio New Zealand International

15) Six weeks for Fiji govt to appoint members of Constituent Assembly

By Online Editor
12:51 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, FijiFiji’s government has less than six weeks to appoint members of the Constituent Assembly before their first meeting next month.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Tuesday said the appointment would be made by the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama in due course.

“The members will be appointed in due course,” he said. In his 2013 Budget address, Commodore Bainimarama allocated $1million (US$560,000) for the work of the assembly.

Under the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree 2012 the Commission will formally present the draft constitution and the Explanatory Report to the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on the first week of next month before the Constituent Assembly holds its first meeting on the second week of the same month (January 2013).

The Decree also outlined that the work of the Constituent Assembly is to be completed at the latest by the end of the third week of March.

Under the Fiji Constitution Process (Constituent Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012, the draft Constitution will be considered by a Constituent Assembly in an inclusive and transparent process and that the assembly would consist of representative civil society groups and Fijian-registered organisation, including faith-based organisations, national organisations, political parties and government.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

16) Fiji Constituent Assembly Appointments Not Yet Made
Assembly tasked with reviewing draft constitution in January

By Nanise Loanakadavu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 5, 2012) – Fiji’s Government has less than six weeks to appoint members of the Constituent Assembly before their first meeting next month.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday said the appointment would be made by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in due course.

“The members will be appointed in due course,” he said. In his 2013 Budget address, Commodore Bainimarama allocated FJ$1 million [US$559,998] for the work of the assembly.

Under the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree 2012 the Commission will formally present the draft constitution and the Explanatory Report to the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on the first week of next month before the Constituent Assembly holds its first meeting on the second week of the same month (January 2013).

The Decree also outlined that the work of the Constituent Assembly is to be completed at the latest by the end of the third week of March.

Under the Fiji Constitution Process (Constituent Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012, the draft Constitution will be considered by a Constituent Assembly in an inclusive and transparent process and that the assembly would consist of representative civil society groups and Fijian-registered organization, including faith-based organizations, national organizations, political parties and government.

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

17)Fiji’s former PM Qarase bail application denied, Chaudry’s stay application refused

By Online Editor
3:10 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, FijiThe bail application of Fiji’s former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was denied by the Court of Appeal in Suva today.

With his bail application Qarase’s lawyer Tupou Draunidalo submitted her client’s medical report as proof of his ailing health and cited treatment meted out to him in prison which she argued was detrimental to her client’s health.

In the bail application, she also argued that Qarase should be in a suitable environment preferably an infirmary given his health condition.

However Justice of Appeal Suresh Chandra said the appeal though arguable does not reach the threshold of being highly likely to succeed, the matters referring to the period of the sentence likely to be served up to the hearing of the appeal and the conditions of health of the appellant do not take the application any further.

He said other matters urged on behalf of the appellant regarding the treatment meted out to him in the prison relate to administrative issues and the prison authorities should seriously consider the age of the appellant and his health condition in placing him in a suitable environment while he is serving his sentence.

FICAC lawyer, Vinsent Perera told the court the appellant had filed additional grounds of appeal subsequently of which he had not had adequate notice and objected to such grounds being considered when the appeal is heard.

In response Chandra said he would leave it to the full court to consider accepting such additional grounds if they deserve any merit.

Qarase’s appeal against his prison term is expected to be heard February, 2013 at the Court of Appeal.

He applied for bail for a 12-month jail sentence handed down August after he was found guilty of six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharge of duty with respect to a property in which he has a private interest while he held the FHL executive post.

Qarase while employed as director of Fijian Holdings Limited between 1992 and 2000 and as Financial Advisor of the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs, in abuse of the authority of his office, did arbitrary acts.

He applied in the name of Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited, Mavana Investments Limited and a family owned company named Q-Ten Investments Limited for the issuance and allotment of Class A shares in Fijian Holdings Limited.

Meanwhile, a stay application made by suspended prominent Fiji lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry was refused by the Independent Legal Service Commission.

The application was made after Chaudhry was suspended from practice until March 2017, that he be reprimanded in public, to pay $1000 (US$570) to the Commission and allowed to stay in practice for 21 days in order to wind up his affairs and to undertake a five hour legal ethics training before re-certification.

Chaudhry had asked that these orders be stayed pending appeal and awaiting sentence.

In his oral submissions Chaudhry said he has a family and retinue of staffs to support with mortgage repayments. He also submitted that his personal life and the lives of his staff would be affected if he was not permitted to remain in practice.

In response, the Chief Registrar submitted that the grounds raised by Chaudhry had not been raised at mitigation and that his refusal to appreciate the nature of his wrong doing is itself evidence that he is unfit to practice law.

Commissioner Paul Madigan said the grounds of appeal that attack the tribunal did not carry much weight and Chaudhry’s personal misfortune and that of his staff is a situation to be faced by any practitioner in default by the regulators.

He then ruled that there are no exceptional circumstances to stay the decision.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA:

18)Samoa Facing Critical Water Shortage
Rainfall recorded well below average amounts

By Niccola Hazelman-Siona

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Dec. 4, 2012) – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) has some disheartening news concerning the growing problem with Samoa’s water supply.

In an interview with Assistant CEO of the Water Resource Division of MNRE, Suluimalo Amataga Penaia relayed the bad news.

MNRE is the ministry in charge of protecting Samoa’s natural resources one of which is Lake Lanoto’o.

“The latest rainfall data we have for the Lanoto’o area which feeds the Fuluasou River is well below average (i.e. 40%). This translates to a critical situation as reflected in the current low flows and dry-up status of our rivers in the northern part of Upolu.”

Suluimalo said the rest of the country “also received below average rainfall for the last three months with the exception of part of Safata and Lefaga which receive average rainfall.”

“This information reflects very well the current critical status of our rivers as they depend very much only on rainfall to replenish our reserves or recharge areas that feeds them.

“The watershed at Malololelei that the ministry is progressing in its conservation and protection program starts with the eastern branch of the Fuluasou River which sources the water supply intake for the Fuluasou water treatment plant.

“The Malololei reserve is being protected from further degradation from being cleared for settlements,” said Suluimalo.

[PIR editor’s note: Last month, the Samoa Water Authority called on residents to conserve water, citing poor rainfall and high usage at the Fuluasou water catchment.]

Because the Malololelei is a reserve, meaning forests Suluimalo said that “the government through the ministry plans to continue negotiations with owners of other critical areas to be reserved for our water resources.”

All in all, Suluimalo put it very bluntly: “Basically our water situation is very critical as we experience the looming climate change impacts.”

MNRE is asking for the people’s assistance and support in “protecting our watershed/catchment areas to capture and store as much rain as we can possibly receive throughout the year.”

“At the end of the day, water availability is initially a function of climate, through rainfall; climate is changing with patterns presenting less rainfall or a lot of rainfall within a short period.”

“In order to capture and store all the scarce water that is rained as well as the heavy downpours, the catchment needs to be healthy and function to regulate the flow of rivers and the rate of infiltration into the soil.”

“Landowners should protect part of their lands included inside the water catchments.”

A big portion of the land at Malololelei is owned by the Catholic Church and government intervened when these lands we put up for sale because of its importance as a water reserve.

“Government interferes when owners do not make that commitment, and then take the land to protect the catchments as our water reserves.”

“The water catchment reserve is our natural storage of water captured from rainfall hence it is very important to our water supply and other water needs.”

“If we alter our catchment reserves through development and farming modifications by clearing trees, etc that contributes to land degradation and so we can also expect our catchments to produce less water.”

The key to our water problems aside from rain according to MNRE are the plants and trees.

“Trees are very important for our water reserves; they provide canopies to reduce water losses through evaporation. They improve the water storage capacity of the soil by enhancing the soil “sponge function” thus prolong soil saturation and stream flows.”

“They minimize soil erosion and flood flows during heavy rain thus improve on water quality, and lots of other benefits from trees like carbon sinks to combat climate change impacts.”

At the moment the MNRE Water Resource Division is responsible for developing watershed/catchment management plans for individual critical catchments, including Fuluasou, by characterizing their current environmental status for identification of problems/issues and their impacts to our water resources and the environment.

Solutions are then formulated to minimize the impacts of these problems through enforcement of effective management and mitigation actions.

These actions can be part of village by-laws which include removal of livestock from critical areas, reforestation of degraded and deserted areas, the use of chemicals, etc.

Village by-laws have also been developed and approved for some catchments as management tools to be enforced by communities in partnership with government ministries.

“MNRE thru the water sector implementing agencies (MOH, MWTI, MWSCD, LTA, SWA) are enforcing sanitation strategies/activities to safeguard our water quality and to minimize pollution to our water sources through improving sanitation and wastewater management and monitoring.”

“MNRE is urging all other sectors to actively play their role in our integrated water resource management approach (IWRM) where everyone has a responsibility to water management.”

“We not only need to ensure that our watershed areas are well protected, land degradation and water pollution are minimized, but also the water produced from these sites are not abused but wisely used for our necessity instead.”

“One of the simplest roles our people can assist with is to reduce water demands from our catchments is to conserve water.”

“There have been river cleaning programs in past years, also signboards erected at reserves and rivers asking the public to refrain from using rivers and streams as dumping grounds. SWA & MNRE are both implementing agencies of the Water Sector. MNRE deals with water resources management issues and SWA with water supply services issues.”

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

19)Preparations begin for Niue Arts and Culture Festival in 2013

By Online Editor
11:33 am GMT+12, 04/12/2012, Niue

The biannual Niue Arts and Culture Festival will be held in Niue 20 April – 26 April 2013.

Niue Tourism is working with the organizers to ensure that groups and individuals wanting to attend can make arrangements easily.

The 2013 Theme is “Traditional Knowledge Binds Us.”

The following is key information you will need to secure your place at the festival.

Organisers say group seats are being held. These will be sold on the first in first serve basis.

A non-refundable $100 deposit is required by 14th December 2012 with final portion being payable by the 15th February 2013 for those interested in attending the arts and culture festival.

SOURCEl PACNEWS

MICRONESIA:


20) 2010 Census: More Asians than Pacific Islands in CNMI

By Online Editor
3:03 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, Northern Mariana IslandsThere are more residents of Asian descent than Pacific Islanders according to the 2010 CNMI Demographic Profile Summary File, Census of Population and Housing.

Of the 53,883 total population registered during the 2010 Census, 18,800 were Pacific Islanders while Asians numbered 26,908.

The report also showed that there were 55 African Americans, 54 Hispanic/Latinos, 1,117 Caucasians, 117 belonging to other ethnic groups, and 6,932 from two or more ethnic origins.

Of the 18,800 in total Pacific Islanders or Native Hawaiians residing in the Northern Marianas as of 2010, there were 2,461, Carolinians; 12,902, Chamorros 1,242, Chuukese 37, Kosraean 68, Marshallese 1,169, Palauan 425, Pohnpeian 228, Yapese and 268 Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders.

Meanwhile, Filipinos were the majority among Asians with a total population of 19,017.

They were followed by Chinese nationals (excluding Taiwanese), 3,659; Koreans, 2,253; Japanese, 795; Bangladeshis, 501; Thais, 266; Nepalese, 227; other Asians, 190.

As to their distributions in the islands, of the 18,800 Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, 16,210 resided on Saipan; 1,222 on Tinian; and 1,368 on Rota.

Of the 16,210 Pacific Islanders or Native Hawaiians residing on Saipan, the majority or 5,716 lived in District 1; 3,718 in District 3; 3,677 in District 5; 1,626 in District 2; and 1,473 in District 4.

Carolinians, on the other hand, were mostly concentrated in District 3 where 846 of the total 2,461 registered in the 2010 Census lived; 674, District 1; 201, District 2; 224, District 4; and 501, District 5.

In 2010, there were 12,902 Chamorros in the CNMI: 10,411 on Saipan; 1,183 on Tinian and 1,308 on Rota.
On Saipan, a majority of the Chamorros or 3,737 resided in District 1; 1,011, District 2; 1,996, District 3; 973, District 4; and 2,694, District 5.

Most of the Chuukese in the CNMI at the time of the census were living on Saipan, 1,225 out of the total 1,242.
A Majority of them lived in District 1 (467) and District 3 (432).

1,128 of the 1,169 total Palauans in the CNMI in 2010 lived on Saipan, with a majority of them or 444 in District 1.
As for Asian residents, Filipinos comprised 70.67 percent of the total Asian population in 2010 and 35.29 percent of the total CNMI population.

There were 19,017 Filipinos in the CNMI in 2010, 17,285 were on Saipan; 950 on Tinian; and 782 on Rota.
5,151 or 29.80 percent of the total Filipinos on Saipan resided in District 1; 2,863 or 16.56 percent, District 2; 6,758 or 39.09 percent, District 3; 1,047 or 6.05 percent, District 4 and 1,466 or 8.48 percent, District 5.

Last week, the CNMI government through Press Secretary Angel Demapan welcomed the release of the report.
Demapan said Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos, in conjunction with US Census Bureau and through the Department of Commerce, were pleased to report on the 2010 CNMI Demographic Profile Summary File, Census of Population and Housing.

The recent report showed data including population subjects such as age, children born (fertility), citizenship status, class of worker, disability status, earnings in 2009, educational attainment, employment status and subsistence activity, ethnic origin or race, family type, foreign-born status, grandparents as caregivers, group quarters population, health insurance coverage status, housing type and relationship, income in 2009, industry, journey to work (commuting), language spoken at home and frequency of language usage, marital status, nativity, occupation, parents’ place of birth, place of birth, place of work, poverty status in 2009, reason for moving, remittances sent abroad in 2009, residence in 2009 (migration), school enrollment, service-connected disability status and ratings, sex, travel time to work, veterans status, vocational training, work experience, and year of entry.

Demapan said these summary data are part of the information extracted from the concluded US Census 2010.

“This release is significant compared to previous releases which are on general population, housing count or selected characteristics at general geographic levels. This release has many more levels that reflect down to the village level. It has a vast array of 121 demographic, social, and economic tabulated tables,” he said in the release.

As to the report’s significance, Demapan stated that this benefits the CNMI “in many ways since not only NMI but all data users can now see important tabulations of poverty statistics present in the Commonwealth, as well as the distribution of sex and age of the population, the breakdown of ethnicities, average size of households, median incomes of households and individuals, school enrollment and attainment and a host of other interesting characteristics as stated above.”.
SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS

FRANIS:

21)Vanuatu : une motion de censure bloquée par le président du Parlement

Mis à jour 5 December 2012, 8:53 AEST

Pierre Riant

La motion a été déposée à l’encontre du Premier ministre Sato Kilman vendredi dernier. Soit un peu plus d’un mois après la réélection de M. Kilman aux dernières élections.

L’opposition affirme avoir le soutien de 28 députés sur les 52 que compte le Parlement après que 4 parlementaires aient décidé de changer de camp.

Des chiffres qui n’ont pas ému George Wells, le Président du Parlement et partisan du Premier ministre,  qui lundi 3 décembre a déclaré la motion irrecevable.

L’opposition a décidé de saisir la justice.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2012-12-05/vanuatu-une-motion-de-censure-bloquée-par-le-président-du-parlement/1056126

Nouveaux cas de séropositivité aux îles Salomon

Posté à 5 December 2012, 9:00 AEST

Pierre Riant

Après 30 nouveaux cas détectés à Fidji au cours du premier semestre 2012 et 4 nouveaux cas au Vanuatu, c’est aux îles Salomon que 3 nouveaux cas de séropositivité ont maintenant été signalés.

Entre 1994 et décembre 2011, 17 cas ont été confirmés aux Salomon; 6 hommes et 11 femmes. 7 sont décédés et 10 toujours en vie.

Selon les services de santé, la plupart des salomonais ne passent pas de test de dépistage et le chiffre de 17 cas est nettement en-dessous de la réalité. Les experts indiquent que des centaines de cas de séropositivité existent probablement aux Salomon qui, selon les services de santé, sont assises sur une bombe à retardement.

Climate Change/Typhoon/Cyclone/Disasters etc: 

22)Fifth day of searching in Fiji for four missing at sea

Posted at 01:29 on 05 December, 2012 UTC

Fiji police and navy are into their fifth day of searching for four men missing from a motorboat east of the main island Viti Levu.

The men, including Public Works Department employees, were among a group of seven who left Levuka for Batiki Island on Saturday.

Two men managed to get to shore and are recovering in Levuka Hospital after the open fibreglass boat they were in hit rough seas.

The vessel’s captain was rescued at sea.

A police spokesperson says searchers have shifted their focus towards the area off the east coast of Viti Levu.

Radio New Zealand International

23) Pacific youth leaders look at lessons learned from living through disasters

Posted at 03:45 on 05 December, 2012 UTC

Youth leaders from around the Pacific have been sharing their experiences and the lessons learnt by living through natural disasters.

They are taking part in this week’s Power Shift Pacific: Looking Beyond Disaster – Youth Forum and will develop action plans on how to strengthen community resilience to disasters.

Micah Fuhiniu’s coastal home on Niue was completely demolished when Cyclone Heta hit in 2004.

She says it was chaos and there were no plans put in place before, during or after the cyclone.

Micah Fuhiniu says she intends to take back plans that can help her community be more prepared, because leaving things to the last minute did not work for Niue in 2004

“For families, arrange things. So let’s say if somethings gonna happen, meet up here. I mean, just the basics, because that’s what we are lacking up there. We are lacking even the basics. We need more community leaders to come up, get together and teach the people OK, this is what happens, you should do this and this and this, not just wing it.”

Youth leader from Niue, Micah Fuhiniu.

Radio New Zealand International

24) Villagers struggle as oil spill destroys food source

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Asakaia Balawa shows the effect caused by the oil spill at the Waiqanake shoreline. Picture: ATU RASEA+ Enlarge this image

Asakaia Balawa shows the effect caused by the oil spill at the Waiqanake shoreline. Picture: ATU RASEA

IT will not be such a merry Christmas for locals of Waiqanake Village after damage caused by a recent oil spill affected one of their main food sources.

Concerned villager and chairperson of the qoliqoli, or fishing grounds, Asakaia Balawa told this newspaper the amount of small fish, crabs and food sources had depleted over the course of the year and it was not getting any better.

“Our lands and sea were much healthier before this especially our mangroves, but now they’re being poisoned by the oil,” Mr Balawa said.

He said at this time of the year in particular-the numbers of small fish and crabs were quite high. “But this year, we have noticed that there is hardly any fish around,” he explained.

Efforts to get a response from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) proved futile.

The qoliqoli is made up of 22 fish traps which are monitored by Mr Balawa.

The fish caught in the traps are used to feed the villagers within the settlement and are sometimes sold to make money for the village.

“This has been difficult to do because we have found that many of the fish have been poisoned or our traps just ruined from all the oil soaked up in them,” he said.

Not only have the food sources been affected, but the surrounding mangroves covering the settlements of Muaivuso, Nabaka and Namakala have also shown signs of substantial reduction. The World Wide Fund for Nature South Pacific (WWF South Pacific) said the situation caused much harm to the environment both directly and indirectly.

“The effects of oil spills on marine wildlife is direct through either ingestion of oil particles, absorption (through their skin) and inhalation … indirect effects of oil spills cause further changes in wildlife behaviour, sometimes forcing them to search longer and further for new sources of food in uncontaminated waters,” explained WWF South Pacific’s communications manager, Patricia Mallam.

25)Palau Declares State Of Emergency In Wake Of Typhoon Typhoon/Cyclone etc:
Despite significant damages, no loss of life reported yet

 

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 4, 2012) – President Toribiong yesterday declared the State of Emergency after typhoon Bopha hit Palau and severely destroyed houses near the coasts in Ngiwal, Ngaraard, Melekeok and southwest islands including Peleliu and Angaur.

Some 350 people from Ngaraard, Ngiwal and Melekeok are staying at the Capitol as typhoon destroyed their houses. Bank of Guam yesterday brought $1,000 worth of food and water at the temporary typhoon shelter.

Melekeok Del. Lentcer Basilius disclosed that at least 10 houses in Melekeok were severely damaged. In addition, there is no water and no power.

As of this writing, the National Emergency Committee (NEC) is still assessing damages caused by typhoon Bopha in Peleliu and Angaur.

The NEC team, together with Angaur Gov. Maria Gates Meltel, went via helicopter yesterday afternoon to the southwest islands to assess the situation there after the typhoon as well as to bring supplies for the residents.

Reports reaching Island Times said six houses in Angaur are no longer livable after being hit by the typhoon. In Peleliu, there were reportedly several houses also that were severely damaged. The roads in Angaur and Peleliu were reportedly covered with fallen trees and other debris.

Toribiong met with local leaders including High Chief Reklai Raphael Ngirmang, High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons, Vice President Kerai Mariur, Senate President Mlib Tmetuchl, Senate Vice President Kathy Kesolei, House Vice Speaker Alexander Merep prior to the declaration of the State of Emergency yesterday morning. Toribiong said the leaders backed him in declaring the State of Emergency.

“While thankfully there was no reported loss of life, the winds and storm surge accompanying typhoon Bopha completely destroyed several residences and significantly damaged many others, causing scores of people to be rendered homeless for the foreseeable future,” the president stated in his declaration.

Toribiong said that in some areas, the storm surge pushed ocean water several hundred feet inland, cutting and destroying some roads and covering other with several feet of coral rock and sand. He said crops were also damaged, having been blown down or as a result of their being inundated by ocean water.

Photos shared by OTV to Island Times showed severely damaged houses in Ngiwal, Ngeklau and Melekeok, some were even moved to the middle of the road.

As the wind began to get stronger Sunday evening, power lines throughout Palau went off.

After the typhoon left Palau’s area of responsibility, the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) said their personnel are working hard to restore power back to normal. Power in Koror was restored yesterday. For Babeldaob states, power remains off as of this writing.

National Weather Service Staff Meteorologist Kikuko Mochimaru yesterday said that typhoon Bopha had changed track from what was forecasted earlier.

Mochimaru said that earlier, the center of the typhoon was expected to hit northern part of Palau. Later on it was forecasted to hit the center of Babeldaob. Then it moved toward the south.

About midnight Sunday, Mochimaru said the eye of the typhoon was located south of Angaur. The National Weather Service however cannot provide the measure of the wind at the center of the typhoon. But at the same time in Koror, the blast of wind according to Mochimaru was recorded at 71 miles per hour.

Island Times: www.islandtimes.us

26)10,000 farmers get crop assistance as Vanuatu prepares for natural disasters

By Online Editor
3:00 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, VanuatuThe World Bank Board today approved a US$5.58 million Global Environment Facility grant for Vanuatu to boost the resilience of communities to the impact of climate change and natural disasters and help secure people’s access to food and water.

The project combines plans to reduce the risk of natural disasters with policies that address climate change and climate variability. The project will provide up to 10,000 farmers with better crop production technologies and more resilient food crop varieties. About 6000 residents of 120 rural communities will receive safe drinking water with the installation of 300 rainwater catchment and storage systems. Around 35 different communities of between 4000 and 6000 residents will benefit from disaster risk management programs, while more timely and accurate predictions of natural disasters will benefit up to 10,000 people.

“Hundreds of Vanuatu communities will be better prepared to weather the sort of devastation that natural disasters and climate change can have on their livelihoods,” said Jotham Napat, Director of the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geohazard Department.

“Vanuatu is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters in the world,” World Bank Country Director Ulrich Zachau said. “Implementation of this GEF funded project can make a difference for thousands of families.”

“Climate change is likely to affect every sector in Vanuatu, but agriculture is especially susceptible to weather changes,” said Robert de Raeve, Chargé d’Affaires, European Union delegation to Vanuatu. “This sort of assistance will ensure communities that rely on agriculture become as resilient as possible to the effects of climate change and natural disasters.”

Vanuatu already experiences the consequences of climate variability and change – rising sea levels, increasingly extreme weather patterns, and changes to agricultural productivity and water availability. These challenges are likely to intensify in the future, and coupled with a high frequency of natural disasters, put extreme pressure on the livelihoods of remote subsistence farmers throughout Vanuatu. The remoteness from government assistance makes relief efforts difficult, putting significant pressure on food and water security. The project aims to address these fundamental challenges.

The Global Environment Facility is joined by the Government of Vanuatu, the European Union and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery in financing the US$11.52 million project.

The Vanuatu Meteorological and Geohazard Department will manage the project.
SOURCE: WORLD BANK/PACNEWS

27)Beijing vows more aid for climate change

By Online Editor
3:13 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, QatarChina will increase its investment and the number of programs to expand South-South Cooperation by helping other developing countries tackle climate-change challenges, a leading official said at a UN conference on Tuesday in Qatar.

In the next two years, China has plans to train another 2,000 officials and technicians for other developing countries, in addition to the 380 from 87 developing countries who have already been trained, said Xie Zhenhua, the country’s top climate-change official and head of the China delegation.

He said the training will focus mainly on adaptation to climate change, technology transfer and areas related to the development of renewable energy.

This year, China has signed memorandums of understanding with more than 10 countries on delivery of goods to address climate change, sending more than 500,000 energy-saving lamps and 10,000 low-carbon air conditioners.

Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said China is playing a very important role in South-South Cooperation, in particular for tackling climate change and promoting sustainable development.

Clark was speaking at the China Pavilion in the Qatar National Convention Center.

China is a great developing country that is willing to take global responsibility, she said, quoting a speech made by Premier Wen Jiabao during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June.

Clark also highlighted the pledge made by Wen in Brazil that China will spend more than US$31 million in the next three years to help small island countries, least-developed countries and African countries to tackle climate change.

China is experiencing more frequent and intense natural disasters from the effects of climate change. In 2010, a drought in Southwest China affected more than 51 million people, and floods last year affected 36 million.

Xie said China, as a developing country with a large population, has received help from many international organizations and developed and developing countries in poverty reduction and environmental protection, and is willing to share experiences with other developing countries to fight climate change.

He said that during his visits to Ethiopia, Grenada, Fiji and Samoa in recent years, he saw with his own eyes how much those countries have been enduring because of climate change, and he sympathized with their suffering.

“Developing countries not only need financial and technology support from developed countries as required by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but also need to support each other,” he said.

Grenada was the first country to receive climate-change support goods from China.

SOURCE: XINHUA/PACNEWS

SPORTS:

28) Let’s make a bid for Rugby League World Cup 2017: PNG

By Online Editor
3:19 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea has been urged to consider bidding to host a pool for the Rugby League World Cup in 2017.
International Rugby League Federation media manager Tas Bateri said they had spoken to Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko to consider the idea.

The matches would most likely be staged in Port Moresby.

A bid by PNGRFL would need to meet organiser’s requirements in the quality of venues, including seating capacity and security, television coverage and revenue.

To date, Port Moresby’s Lloyd Robson Oval has hosted the annual Prime Minister’s fixture as well as the 2009 Pacific Cup which was the last major event but it would need a significant uplift worth millions of kina to be considered.

Other possible venues in the city are the Sir John Guise main stadium and the Sir Hubert Murray stadium.

The World Cup games will be hosted by Australia with New Zealand as the co-hosts.

Depending on the success of next year’s tournament 16 teams are expected to participate in four pools.

In July, 2010, at the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) meeting in Singapore, the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) made their intentions clear about co-hosting the tournament in 2017.

On Oct 29 the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) released their five-year strategic plan which included the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The Australian’s confirmed that they would co-host the 2017 tournament with their neighbours New Zealand.

The ARLC also stated that they would be aiming to make the 2017 RLWC the best World Cup ever staged.

The participating nations will possibly be split up into four groups of four. With New Zealand co-host with Australia more than likely two groups will play in New Zealand while the other two groups play in Australia.

He said the PNG Kumuls teams was busy in training preparations and would take part in the event that will be hosted by England and Wales with matches also to be held in France and Ireland in October next year.

He said to cement a spot in the World Cup next year, the Kumuls will be playing against one of Australia’s oldest clubs – South Sydney Club in February.

“Plans are in place and the South Sydney Club has put in its calendar for Feb 9 and it will be an important day as South Sydney is also the club that has a rich history with 20 premierships.

“With that type of profile you do not want to knock back and it will be a wonderful opportunity for Kumuls to play against South Sydney to cement a spot in the World Cup at the end of 2013.”

Bateri said all venues and teams have been confirmed and less than one year before the tournament kicks off, all teams will arrive in Manchester on Oct 19.

“Kumuls will be in a pretty hard pool. They will be in the same pool as the New Zealand World Cup champions with also France and Samoa, so they need to finish in the top 3 of that pool to be in the rest of the quarter finals.”

He said New Zealand being champions would probably start off as favorites of the pool but then the other two spots for three more teams were going to be difficult.

The Kumuls will play France then New Zealand and finish the pool by playing Samoa.

He said the French team would host New Zealand and Samoa back in France so that would give them a bit of an advantage in the head to head clash.

The Kumuls will be competing against 13 other teams that will contest the tournament- Australia, England, New Zealand, Samoa, Wales, Fiji, France, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Cook Islands, Italy and Unites States.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

29) PNG Games end in style, East New Britain top tally

By Online Editor
11:46 am GMT+12, 04/12/2012, Papua New Guinea Games  chairman and former parliamentarian Sir Rabbie Namaliu has called on the national government to plan for proper sporting facilities for provinces that will host future PNG Games.

He said this during the closing ceremony of the 5th PNG Games in Kokopo on Friday following the two-week sporting spectacle, which was initially marred by financial and organisational problems.

Despite the setbacks, Sir Rabbie told the huge crowd at the Kokopo Sports Ground that East New Britain were proud to have hosted the games.

“I hope you have all enjoyed your participation and stay in the province notwithstanding the rain, power blackouts and some teething problems that we had to deal with in the initial stages of the games,” Sir Rabbie said.

He added that sporting facilities built for the games would enable provinces to pursue sports development and growth.

“It is only fair for only a few provinces to have good sporting facilities and not others and it certainly will not create a level playing field and it is not the best and most effective way of identifying talents in the provinces,” Sir Rabbie said.

He also suggested the following:

* Games should not be held in an election year as resources would be diverted from adequate preparations of provincial teams

* Games should be fixed for the middle of the year during the school break to minimise disruption to schools

* Bidding process should allow the host province more than two years to prepare for the Games.

Sir Rabbie thanked all provincial teams that took part in the games as well as the officials, volunteers, institutions and communities that hosted teams.

He also commended ENB Governor Ereman ToBaining for supporting the games with K500,000.

Meanwhile, hosts East New Britain have been declared overall winners of 5th PNG Games which ended last Friday in Kokopo.

Despite tying with the National Capital District on 39 gold medals, the hosts’ superior silver medal count  of 51  to NCD’s 21 enabled them to finish on top.

PNG Games council member Idris Kumbruwah confirmed after the NCD were declared the winners at Friday’s closing ceremony.

Kumbruwah said the results had not been fully completed when NCD were named the winners and the decision to change the tally was made after all scorecards were finalised.

“The tally room got the information that they needed to finalise the tally,” Kumbruwah said.

“After going through all the scorecards and the categories of competition thoroughly, there were two entries that were not made in kickboxing,” the National Sports director said

He said the two entries were the 69-71kg and 72-74kg divisions, where ENB fighters did not fight due to the withdrawal of their Bougainvillean opponents, which Kumbruwah said should have been awarded to ENB kick boxers.

In international competitions, a medal is awarded to the competitor who present in a forfeiture.

It is not known why the AROB fighters were unable to compete.

NCD were declared winners at the closing ceremony with 39 gold, 21 silver and 35 bronze medals for a total of 95 medals followed by the hosts with 37 gold, 51 silver and 35 bronze medals. The additional gold medals took the host team to equal 39 gold with NCD but ahead with a total medal tally of 125.

The change to the tally and the declaration of the overall winners have been slammed by NCD Governor Powes Parkop, who also described East New Britain’s inclusion of “elite” track athletes as an abuse of the PNG Games charter and spirit of the games.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop was fuming over the awarding of two additional gold medals to East New Britain who he claimed had breached the games rules.

ENB were given the two gold medals in kicking boxing to draw level with NCD on the gold medal tally but put them ahead on the total medal tally.

Locked on 35 gold apiece going into the kickboxing competition on Friday, NCD picked up four gold to ENB’s two to finish with 39 gold, two ahead of the home team.

However, it is believed the director of the National Sports Institute and founder of the PNG Games concept, Edris Kumbruwah, later awarded two more gold medals to ENB as their finals opponents from Bougainville had withdrawn from the competition on the final day for unspecified reasons.

The two additional gold put ENB on 39 gold, 51 silver and 35 bronze medals, giving them the edge over NCD with 39 gold, 21 silver and 35 bronze medals.
Parkop asked why this was not announced by the tournament director Stanley Nandex at the end of the kickboxing competition on Friday.

He also slammed games athletics officials and the PNG Sports Foundation for allowing national and international athletes to compete in individual events.

The governor said ENB and Morobe were the main culprits as they won a bulk of their gold medals in athletics by fielding “elite’’ athletes.

Parkop said under the games charter, elite athletes were allowed only to compete in the relay and not individual events.

“We only had Nelson Stone and we used him in the relay,’’ Parkop said.

“Stone would have won the sprint treble (100m, 200m, 400m) and we would have been clear winners in the end. But we were honest, we did not want to cheat.

“ENB breached the rules of the games. That’s how they won 16 gold medals in athletics. All the gold medals won by their elite athletes should be stripped, we will see where they will be placed.”

“If not then they have made a mockery of the games charter and the athletics officials and PNGFOC should be ashamed for allowing this to happen.

“The charter is clear, everyone else followed the rules. They didn’t.”.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

30) Flying Fijians in pool of death

By Online Editor
3:21 pm GMT+12, 05/12/2012, FijiThe Flying Fijians 15s rugby team has been drawn in a pool of death at the 2015 Rugby World Cup if they overcome Papua New Guinea in the Oceania qualifying round.

Fiji faces Wales, a repechage winner, two-time champions Australia and home team England in Pool A if it beats PNG in the qualifiers in 2014.

And despite being drawn in a tough pool after a dismal performance at the 2011 RWC and the recent northern hemisphere tour, national coaching director Franck Boivert says Fiji needs to field two strong teams at the 2015 event taking into account short recovery period and the fact that we are facing three top teams.

He said Fiji could still match Australia, Wales and England if possession was well utilised. He said recovery would be vital in between games especially after playing teams such as England, Wales or Australia.

“We also should remember that we will have less recovery time in between games. We will also have two strong line-ups because of the short recovery time and also the top three teams may beat each other and that would open up opportunities for Fiji who could qualify even after losing one or two games.”

Flying Fijians head coach Inoke Male said they needed to put in extra work.

“This is a pool of death and the toughest pool in the world cup and we have to put in extra work in our preparations for the qualifier going forward to the world cup,” Male said.

“We have to look at our qualifying rounds first before we tackle the world cup.”

Boivert remained optimistic that Fiji could match the three top teams in 2015.

“But seriously, we could match these three top teams (England, Wales and Australia) if we get our fair share of balls in these games and win the one on one in defence,” he said.

“Next, if we want to have a chance to compete against these teams in this pool then we need to improve dramatically our scrum play and individual defence. Without drastic improvements in these two fundamental weaknesses, there is no way Fiji can compete,” Boivert said.

He said Fiji needed to beat PNG to qualify. He added PNG should not be underestimated as its sevens team almost beat Fiji during the Pacific Games semi-finals in New Caledonia last year.

Meanwhile, Pacific Island neighbours Samoa has been drawn in Pool B with South Africa, Scotland, Asia One and Americas Two qualifiers while Tonga faces Argentina, defending champion New Zealand, Europe One and Africa One qualifiers in Pool C.

Pool Draws
Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceania 1, Repechage winner
Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2
Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1
Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

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