Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 696


1)PNG blogger i winim 2012 korapsan midia awod

Updated 12 December 2012, 17:21 AEST

Martyn Namorong ino save isi long paitim toktok long ol heve na wari blong giraun na wei we, ol lida man i bagarapim wok promis na wokbung blong ol wantaim ol pipol blong ples. 

 Wanpela long ol pipol i save rait planti taim long saet blong korapsan long Papua New Guinea, Martyn Namorong i kisim wanpela bikpela awod long ol stori em i save raitim agensim korapsan.
Dispela luksave i kamap long laen blong United Nations na Transparency International long autim stori em i save raitim long intanet blogging.
Martyn Namorong i tokim Radio Australia, toktok blong husait i bosim ol minerals, giraun, ol risos, gender isu, wok politik wantaim ol politisen, bai pairap iet long  pablik bikos dispela em ol bikpela wari blong ol pipol blong ples.

2)PNG Gavana itok poligami imas stop.

Updated 12 December 2012, 8:18 AEST

Gavana blong  Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands, Julie Soso, itok emi gat laik long kamapim wanpla bill long Palaman blong stopim poligami oa pasin blong maritim planti meri.

 National niuspepa itok makim  Ms Soso, husat i stap olsem nambawan meri Gavana long kantri long wok olsem emi laikim bai oli kamapim despla loa long 2013.

Emi tok long taem blong tumbuna, oli save larim ol lida blong ol laen wan pisinin long maritim planti meri, tasol sampla man ino save bihaenim gut despla kastom.

Ms Soso itok tu olsem planti trabal na heve isave kamap long ol komiuniti long wonem ol man isave maritim planti meri.

Emi tok, kaen pasin blong maritim planti meri isave mekim na ol meri ino save bihaenim laik blong ol long mekim wonem samting oli laikim, olsem na oli mas stopim despla pasin.

Gavana Soso itok long despla taem planti yangpla meri isave kamap olsem namba tri oa namba foa meri blong ol man, long wonem ol despla yangpla meri i pua.


 3)PNG Malagan masks foto igo bek long ples

Postim 12 December 2012, 16:03 AEST

Oli bihaenim wanpla kaen wei we oli usim ol kamera blong salim ol foto long ol Malangan Masks igo bek long New Ireland province long Papua New Guinea oa “digital repatriation”.

Foto blong Malagan Mask (Credit: AFP)

Planti pipal ino save laikim despla kaen pasin, tasol oli usim nau blong salim ol piksa blong ol despla Masks igo bek long PNG.

Queensland University ibin kisim ol 3D piksa blong ol despla seremonial masks em sampla misinari na ol gavman wokman ibin kisim long New Ireland na bringim igo long Europe na tu ikam long Australia bifo iet.

Dr Graeme Were, blong Queensland University, iwok long wok wantem ol despla komiuniti long tenpla yia nau itokim Radio Australia olsem, despla planti pipal ino save laikim despla kaen pasin blong usim foto long salim ol despla samting igo bek long ol asples blong ol.

“Who wants to be given back a digital image if you’re making claims on the original artefact?”

Tasol Dr Were itok, ol pipal blong New Ireland i hamamas tasol long lukim ol foto blong ol masks long wonem oli no laikim ol despla masks tru tru long go bek long ples.

Queensland University ibin wokbung wantem ol pipal blong New Ireland na tupla man blong ples iet ibin go long  Brisbane long lukim na makim ol masks em oli bin fotoim ol.

4)Human smuggler caught in act

 By Online Editor

5:16 pm GMT+12, 12/12/2012, Papua New Guinea

 Members of the Taskforce “Rausim Alien” in Papua New Guinea have again cracked down on a human smuggling racket in Port Moresby and arrested six Bangladeshi men yesterday, reports the Post Courier.

The men have been illegally operating trade store businesses at Hanuabada village in Port Moresby under alleged fraudulent visas and work permits. Members of the Task Force made the arrests after obtaining intelligence about the human smuggling syndicate.

The ring leader previously came into the country on a tourist visa and overstayed his visa, according to records obtained by the taskforce.

The ring leader and five other Bangladeshi men were captured by the Transnational Crime Unit in 2009 and were ordered to leave the country. But the ring leader escaped at the Jacksons airport and went into hiding at Porebada village. He later got married to a local woman and established illegal trade store businesses in settlements in the city.

The taskforce found that the ring leader had managed to use ghost company names and submitted fraudulent documents to the Labour and Immigration Department with the intent to obtain work and entry permits to bring unskilled Bangladeshi nationals into the country.

According to IPA records, the company, Mahmud Group of Companies was supposed to be operating in the Gordon Industrial area and based on that official record, work permits and visas were issued to the company.

The work permits and visas were instead used to bring unskilled Bangladeshi nationals into the country to work in trade stores in settlements in the city.

The ring leader was captured at the Jacksons airport by taskforce members last Tuesday when he went to pick up two Bangladeshi nationals who arrived on a Singapore flight.

The taskforce members arrested all three and later conducted surveillance around Hanuabada village and arrested three others. They were all taken in for questioning yesterday at the Immigration office and later brought to the Boroko police cells where they were locked up.

Taskforce coordinator John Bria said the professional human smuggling syndicate has been operating from a network between Bangladesh, Singapore and Port Moresby.

“This is a professional human smuggling syndicate which submits falsified information to obtain entry permits purposely (for foreigners) to enter the country and venture into the underworld to operate illegal and disgusting businesses,” Bria said.

He said more investigations would be carried out to clamp down on organised human smuggling syndicates.

“This is a very serious issue concerning national security and we will continue to conduct surveillance operations around the country to crack down on such organised crime syndicates,” Bria said.

The Taskforce “Rausim Alien” team comprises of PNG Immigration as the lead agency and Police department’s composite unit of the Criminal Investigation Department and intelligence personnel from NCD and Central command.


5)Solomons Teachers Threaten Mass Boycott Over Unpaid Fares

Educators disappointed in allegedly annual non-payment

By Douglas Marau

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 12, 2012) – More than 600 teachers are threatening to boycott the 2013 academic year if the Solomon Islands government and Honiara City Council (HCC) fail to provide their sea fare allowances.

Disgruntled teachers from all the HCC schools yesterday protested in front of the council office demanding that their sea fare stipends be settled immediately.

The angry teachers even threatened to tear down the HCC office saying they have always been victims of “rich people” stealing from them.

“We sweat our guts out and sacrifice our time to be in class everyday to help educate our future generations and in return this is how the government and the HCC are treating us,” a teacher from St. John said in front of the HCC office yesterday.

“It shows the government and the HCC has no respect for us and they do not value our hard work,” the teacher said.

Another teacher said they have been going through the same problem every year and it was time the government think seriously of addressing this problem.

“What if we all plan to boycott the academic year next year? Who is to be blamed?”

Solomon Islands National Teachers Association (SINTA) general secretary Johnley Hatimoana told Solomon Star yesterday the teachers were really disappointed because this problem happens every year.

“Our teachers are disappointed and we will make sure we get what we are supposed to get,” Mr. Hatimoana said.

He said HCC must take the blame because they fail to meet their obligation.

It is understood under an agreement signed between the government, HCC and SINTA; the government has to pay 50 percent of the teachers’ sea fares and the HCC was supposed to pay the other 50 percent.

Therefore, the government and the HCC should pay SB$691,000 [US$93,354] each which should total up to about SB$1.3 million [US$175,630].

However, Mr. Hatimoana said only the government had settled their part whilst the HCC has not injected any money.

He said this only adds to the problem that they were informed that only SB$658,430 [US$88,953] of the money given by the government was available with more than SB$30,000 [US$4,053] missing.

“We want answers and we want this issue to be resolved and not to be repeated again next year,” he said.

Solomon Star

6)Solomons pass biggest budget in country’s history

Posted at 05:55 on 12 December, 2012 UTC

The Solomon Islands finance minister says next year’s 480 million US dollar budget is the biggest in the country’s history.

Rick Hou says health and education account for almost 300 million dollars worth of recurrent funding but the government’s main development focus is the rural sector.

Mr Hou says the decline of the logging industry, an economic mainstay for the past 20 years, presents the government with serious revenue challenges.

“There are other sectors other than forestry that we need to ensure they start growing, namely agriculture, fisheries and other productive sectors.”

Rick Hou says the budget, which he presented for its second reading in parliament this week, is fully financed through government domestic revenue as well as budget support from donor partners.

It will be debated next week and receive a third reading by December the 21st.

Radio New Zealand International


 7)Vanuatu capital pays respect to late Iauko

Posted at 05:55 on 12 December, 2012 UTC

The Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, has come to a virtual standstill as people pay their respects to the late minister, Harry Iauko.

The Minister for infrastructure and Public Utilities, and MP for Tanna, Mr Iauko was rushed to Northern Provincial Hospital on Tuesday morning from a hotel in Luganville and was pronounced dead a short time later.

A spokesman from the office of the Prime Minister Sato Kilman says Mr Iauko’s death is believed to have stemmed from complications of pneumonia

Our correspondent, Len Garae, says his body has been lying in state at Parliament this morning, and the Head of State was the first to pay respects.

“The whole country is shocked by the sudden death, and when the body was coming down, being driven from the airport, to his home in the Nambatu area, even though it was heading towards eight o’clock at night, the streets were packed with people standing quietly to show their last respects.”

Len Garae says the body will now be flown to Tanna, and it is understood it will be accompanied by the Prime Minister, Sato Kilman.

Radio New Zealand International

 8)PACP Leaders fail to attend ACP Heads of State and Government meeting in Malabo

By Online Editor
4:59 pm GMT+12, 13/12/2012, Equatorial Guinea

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union has expressed disappointment that none of the Pacific ACP Leaders will attend this week Summit of Africa, Caribbean, Pacific Head of State and Government meetings in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo.

The meeting this week will determine the future existence of the group, at the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020.

The Leaders are expected to decide whether ACP will stay together in solidarity or divided because of the emergence of changes that the global economy has brought about to the ACP.

“In the next two days, ACP Leaders are going to converge here in Malabo to decide once and for all on the   future grouping of ACP,” Ambassador Roy said.

He expressed disappointment that majority of the Pacific ACP leaders are unable to attend the Summit.

“ I would say that most of us are disappointed but also we have to take into account the fact December is a very  busy for island states where our parliamentarians  meet on budget and this requires the presence of our minister and other senior ministers.

But overall I think I’m disappointed apart from the deputy PM of PNG arriving, the Pacific is solely represented by Ministers and mostly ambassadors are sitting on the bench. I don’t think that is a good reflection particularly when you have colleges from Caribbean and Africa represented either by their Presidents or Prime Ministers. I think the Pacific needs to do well in ACP meeting and conferences if we are to be given the level of respect and dignity required by the Africans and Caribbean to the Pacific,” Ambassador Roy told PACNEWS.

“I think it’s only fair that we need to scale up our representation and participation in these important meetings, he said.

Ambassador Roy said it’s a golden opportunity for Pacific Leaders to voice their concerns in the international fora.

“The Pacific must be able to take its own place in these kind of meetings. After all it’s all through these meetings like the summit that the Pacific can be able have a strong voice to reflect the aspiration of the regions itself.

“The ACP Group is the only geopolitical group that has a very strong cohesive nature. We need to strengthen our voice inside the ACP to be able to take ACP  to another level  which would also bring substantial benefit to  ACP grouping in particular, said Ambassador Roy.


 9)Constitutional Commission chair clarifies leaked report

By Online Editor
5:04 pm GMT+12, 13/12/2012, Fiji

The Chairman of Fiji’s Constitution Commission, Professor Yash Ghai says people shouldn’t regard preliminary proposals for the constitution as final.

In a statement, Ghai says it’s inaccurate to claim that a document with the preliminary proposals is a “leak”.

Australian and New Zealand media have reported the so-called leaked document.

Ghai clarified the document was circulated for a meeting with leading local experts and public servants on some preliminary proposals for the constitution.

He added the purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on the proposals as well as listen, more generally, to their views.

According to Ghai in advance of the meeting all participants were emailed a memorandum with the title, Fiji’s Constitution: A Consultation Document, and hard copies were provided at the meeting.

Ghai said while the document was meant for consultation they didn’t expect participants to circulate it and
wasn’t necessarily meant to be confidential.

The Commission is now completing its work, including the Draft Constitution and the Explanatory Report.

The final recommendations will be those which the Commission will hand over to the President on 20 December

Meanwhile, the Constitution Commission does not want the new document to be the one to end all constitutions.

During the launch of the Citizen’s Constitutional Forum Limited (CCF) documentary, commission chairman Prof Yash Ghai said future generations should also have an opportunity to plan their own constitutions.

“But we do hope that our constitution, if adopted by the Constituent Assembly, will last a little bit longer than the previous constitutions of Fiji,” he said.

“I don’t want our constitution to be the one to end all constitutions.”

Prof Ghai said there was universal condemnation of coups and they were asked repeatedly to make a “coup-proof” constitution.

He said it was a big responsibility to receive such an outpouring of views through the consultation process and the commission hoped that it would do justice to their aspirations.

Prof Ghai said the commission found Fiji as a deeply-fragmented society, deeply divided society, full of anxiety and not able to perhaps cope with the rapid changes that had taken place in the past 20 to 30 years.

He said this was a picture of a country, society and community with a phase of great transformation and great changes taking place.

“It is a big challenge for us to give people sense of all things that are at work, how one can reconcile highly valued traditional principles with change and how we could build a nation out of very diverse communities who are always over suspicious of the others.

“It is a hope and indeed an expectation that when people of Fiji read our constitution they will see something of themselves in that constitution,” he said.

Prof Ghai said the framework for decision-making in this particular case was composed of four elements which were: The principles in the decree popularly known as the non-negotiable principles; The views of the people; Past experience in Fiji of constitutions, what has worked and what has not worked; and Their expertise in this area in arriving at the recommendations.


 10)Draft Fiji Constitutional Commission Report Leaked

Report includes term limits for PM, ‘ceremonial’ presidency

By Bruce Hill

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 11, 2012) – Fiji could soon have a largely ceremonial president, to be chosen by a new body known as the Assembly of Fiji.

That’s one recommendation included in a leaked report from Fiji’s Constitution Commission.

The draft copy of the recommendations is to be officially handed to President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau before Christmas, but copies are now available on several blogs.

The leaked document proposes the same number of seats for Fiji’s parliament, a term reduced to four years and no senate.

It says the Prime Minister should be limited to two terms.

Fiji has been run by an interim government for six years and democratic elections aren’t due until 2014.

The commission has proposed one vote for either an individual or a party, with 71 MPs to represent the four existing electorates.

The report also suggests a review of land laws and measures to address poverty and corruption.

Dr. Brij Lal, an academic who co-authored Fiji’s 1997 Constitution, has seen the recommendations.

“As I read the document, the President will be elected by an assembly of Fiji which will include the President, Prime Minister and representatives from a hundred or so organizations in the country, NGOs and so on,” he said.

“On paper it looks good, but I think that it’s problematic in the sense that it sets up a rival centre of power if you will”

He says there are some good initiatives in the recommendations.

“Moving away from a system of racial representation, I think that’s a good thing,” he said.

“The term of parliament has been reduced to four years which is not necessarily a bad thing.”

However, Dr. Lal says many questions still need to be answered.

“The document [will be] translated into a constitution, how that is ratified, what provisions of the draft are significantly altered to accommodate the demands of the military, these are questions that we will have to address at a later date.”

Radio Australia:

11)Fiji’s new notes and coins have been launched

By Online Editor
5:14 pm GMT+12, 12/12/2012, Fiji

The new look currency features a number of flora and fauna – most of which are endemic to Fiji and are on the list of endangered species.

The $5 note features the ‘Kulawai’ or Red Throated Parakeet in place of the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The $10 note carried a picture of a ‘Beli’ a rare fish found only in Fiji.

The Fiji Petrel – one of the rarest and most elusive birds feature on the $20 note.

Fiji’s famous ‘Tagimoucia’ shows up on the $50 and the $100 features the ‘Nanai’ – a Cicada which only emerges once every eight years.

The 2007 design series on the back of all the notes have been retained.

For the coins, the 5 cent coin carries a picture of the Bi-colored Rabbit Fish known as ‘Nugaroro’.

The Fiji Flying Fox or ‘Beka Mirimiri’ shows up on the 10 cent coin while the 20 cent coins has the ‘Kaka‘ or the Kadavu Shining Parrot.

The 50 cent coin carries the picture of a Humphead Parrotfish or Varivoce’.

One the $1 coin, a Vokai or Banded Iguana replaces the Queen’s head and the newly introduced $2 coin carries the ‘Ga ni Vatu’ or the Peregrine Falcon while the back for the coin has a Tanoa which previously appeared on the 1 cent coin.

The new currency begins circulation on January 2.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new banknotes and coins this morning, Fiji’s President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said currency is another form of a nations’ identity.

He said the more appealing and relevant the designs on our currency are to our national appeal, the more our currency portrays our nation.

He added that while there’s a little sadness because the new banknotes and coins no longer feature the portrait of Queen Elizabeth the Second, the change is necessary.

Ratu Epeli said it was now time to move forward as we strive to create our own identity synonymous to what Fiji is all about, its people, its resources and its national heritage.



 11)PNG : la Gouverneure veut interdire la polygamie

Posté à 13 December 2012, 8:42 AEST

Pierre Riant

Julie Soso envisage de présenter un projet de loi pour interdire cette pratique.

 La première femme à occuper le poste de Gouverneur en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée ne perd pas de temps et désire que cette interdiction soit mise en vigueur dès 2013.
Julie Soso estime que l’on a fait un usage abusif de la coutume qui permet à un chef coutumier de marier plus d’une femme : « De nos jours, n’importe quel homme peut avoir plus d’une femme et cela créé des problèmes dans notre société. La polygamie ne permet pas à la femme de prendre ses propres décisions, cette pratique est obsolète », a-t-elle soulignée dans un communiqué.
La pauvreté est parfois à l’origine de cette polygamie, notamment quand des jeunes filles abandonnent l’école et se réfugient auprès d’un homme marié pour devenir la seconde ou la troisième épouse.

 12) 700 000 enfants papous n’ont pas été à l’école cette année

Posté à 13 December 2012, 8:38 AEST

Pierre Riant

700 000 enfants pour une population de plus de 7 millions d’habitants.

 Bart Philemon, ancien député de la circonscription de Lae, souligne dans les pages du Post Courier,que cela signifie que 50% des enfants en âge d’aller à l’école n’ont pas la chance d’apprendre à lire ou à écrire pour éventuellement contribuer au développement de la nation.
Cela signifie aussi que de 2 à 3 millions de Papous d’une population de plus de 7 millions d’habitants sont analphabètes.
Une situation que Bart Philemon déplore 37 après l’indépendance du pays.



13)Indonesia-Australia tingkatkan respon kapal tenggelam

Diperbaharui 12 December 2012, 9:47 AEST

Indonesia dan Australia telah menyepakati suatu persetujuan untuk membantu mempercepat respon terhadap kapal-kapal pencari suaka yang tenggelam.

 Dengan persetujuan itu, Indonesia akan lebih mampu melacak kapak-kapal yang tenggelam, berkomunikasi dengan satelit dan mengatur operasi bantuan.
Ketidak-mampuan Indonesia bergerak cepat dalam merespon kapal pencari suaka yang tenggelam telah menimbulkan keprihatinan.
Australia juga meminta ijin mendarat bagi pesawat SAR-nya di Indonesia untuk mengisi bahan bakar.
Persetujuan itu akan ditandatangani pada bulan Februari dan rincian teknisnya akan dibahas pada pertemuan berikut.

14)Negara-negara Asia Timur unggul dalam pendidikan

Diperbaharui 12 December 2012, 12:22 AEST

Sebuah laporan internasional menunjukkan, pelajar di negara-negara kecil yang kaya di Asia Timur paling unggul di dunia dalam matematik, science dan kemampuan membaca, sedangkan Australia tertinggal di belakang.

Tes global menunjukkan, Singapura, Korea Selatan, Hong Kong, Taiwan dan Jepang paling unggul dalam matematika kelas 4 dan kelas 8.

Dalam science, Singapura dan Korea Selatan yang paling top untuk kedua kelas itu.

International Association for Evaluation of Education Achievement mengatakan, sampai kelas 8, negara-negara Asia Timur lebih maju dari negara-negara di dunia lainnya dengan perbedaan yang menyolok.

Sementara itu Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) menyebut Hong Kong dan Singapura termasuk di antara negara-negara paling maju dalam reading comprehension kelas 4.

Di seluruh dunia, dari 45 negara yang berpartisipasi, hanya 12 negara mempunyai prestasi rata-rata dibawah poin 500 PIRLS, dan di hampir semua negara anak perempuan meraih prestasi lebih baik dalam membaca dibandingkan anak laki-laki.

Australia menduduki ranking ke-27 dalam membaca, dengan angka serupa dengan yang dicatat oleh Selandia Baru, Polandia dan Lithuania.

Dalam matematika, studi itu mengungkapkan, hasilnya belum membaik untuk pelajar Australia sejak 1995.

Menteri Pendidikan Australia, Peter Gareth, mengakui, hasil itu merupakan suatu peringatan dan bukti lebih jelas bahwa perubahan nasional atas sistem pendidikan sangat dibutuhkan.


15)Fiji Residents Urged To Prepare For Tropical Cyclone
Cyclone expected to swing back towards Fiji in days

By Avinesh Gopal and Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 12, 2012) – Fiji needs to be prepared and ready now.

The warning was sounded by the Fiji Meteorological Services director Alipate Waqaicelua yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Waqaicelua sounded the warning as a tropical depression (TD 04F) moved away from Fiji but is expected to head back towards us later this week.

Police have also warned mariners to seriously take heed of weather advisories.

The law enforcers have also warned parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children.

The tropical depression’s centre was located about 320 kilometers north-northeast of Labasa at 4pm yesterday.

“It is moving towards the east, away from Fiji, at nine knots,” said Mr. Waqaicelua.

“The depression is intensifying and has a moderate probability of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours, but high in the next 48 hours.

“At this stage, TD O4F is anticipated to continue tracking eastwards to Samoa as a tropical depression, where during Thursday or Friday, turn back towards Fiji.”

Mr. Waqaicelua said global numerical weather guidance products were agreeing on this system re-curving as a tropical cyclone and to directly impact Fiji from Sunday, December 16. “Subsequently, Fiji needs to be prepared and ready, now,” he said.

The heavy rain warning that was in force for the Northern Division and Northern Lau was cancelled yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Waqaicelua said fine weather should return to the country apart from trade showers and a few afternoon or evening thunderstorms about the interior and Western parts of the main islands.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro yesterday pleaded with mariners to “please take the weather advisories seriously.”

Ms. Naisoro said it has been noted that people often defy these warnings and go out to sea with some trips ending tragically.

“Mariners must realize that they are putting their own lives and the lives of others in danger if they decide to go out to sea despite the weather advisories,” she said.

She also requested parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children, in light of the heavy rain and flash-flood warning issued by the Nadi weather office.

“This is a time when they usually venture outdoors and have a tendency to play in flooded waters.

“However, there are hidden threats which could result in tragic incidents which is why supervision during this time is vital.

“It is advisable to keep listening to the radio for further weather updates and please let’s work together to try and avoid any tragic incidents from occurring,” said Ms. Naisoro.

Fiji Times Online:

16)Cyclone Evan causes disaster in Samoa

Posted at 04:06 on 13 December, 2012 UTC

Samoa has issued a disaster declaration after assessing initial damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

The storm with its sustained winds of 90 kilometres an hour, and gusts to 130 kilometres per hour has brought heavy rain and storm surges of up to three metres.

Cyclone Evan is expected to move back west and affect Tonga and Fiji.

Jenny Meyer reports.

The Samoa Disaster Management Office says at this stage it can cope with the clean-up out of existing funds and does not need international assistance.

A spokesperson, Filamena Nelson says the main problems are fallen trees with many obstructing roads and bringing power lines down cutting electricity.

She says some homes have been damaged by the trees but there are no reports of deaths or injuries.

“Our Deputy Prime Minister just signed a Declaration of Disaster which is made under our Disaster and Emergency Management Act 2007 and this is effective for forty eight hours. The extension of that will very much depend on the situation.”

Filamena Nelson says the whole of Samoa has been affected by high winds and surface flooding.

The terminal at Faleolo airport has suffered some damage but the runway is intact.

Air New Zealand says its Auckland-Apia flight this morning was cancelled and weather permitting, a special charter flight is planned for Friday to accommodate disrupted passengers.

Our correspondent in American Samoa, Monica Miller says the streets of Pago Pago are quiet and people are anxious as they wait to see if the cyclone will hit the Territory as predicted.

“The town is emptying out as people head home. The American Samoa Government has closed down. A lot of companies are also closed, the banks are closed, the Post Office is closed. Starkist Samoa has now also, this is the biggest employer with two thousand emplyees has just now announced that they have closed for today and tomorrow.”

Fiji’s Meteorological Service says Cyclone Evan may well become more intense as it turns towards Tonga and Fiji.

The Director of the Met Service Alipate Waqaicelua says Tonga’s northern islands, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou, are being warned of damaging gale force winds within the next two days.

He says Fiji may be directly affected on Sunday.

“The land mass of Samoa has interfered with the intensity and its structure so it might appear it had weakened but we expect this cyclone to retain a category two or even intensify further as it turns toward the west and heads towards Tonga and Fiji.”

Alipate Waqaicelua says high and damaging sea swells are a feature of the cyclone and marine warnings are in place.

Spokesman from the Tonga Disaster Office says an official is meeting a committee up north to help with preparations of the cyclone’s approach, where up to a thousand people could be affected.

Radio New Zealand International



17)Viral infections rife in PNG’s East New Britain

Posted at 04:06 on 13 December, 2012 UTC

A medical research team in Papua New Guinea is investigating the cause of viral infections affecting hundreds of people in East New Britain.

The Post Courier reports the East New Britain Provincial Health Advisor, Nicholas Larme, as saying the outbreak is not malaria but the symptoms are similar and include high fever, vomiting, rashes, and joint and muscle aches.

The paper says hundreds of people have been going to health centres and hospitals in recent weeks complaining of these symptoms.

Mr Larme says some of the victims have been bed-ridden and needed assistance from family to get to the medical centres, but he says there have been no deaths.

Meanwhile, moves are underway to improve the availability of health services by bringing experienced workers out of retirement, extending the operating hours of the hospitals and stocking up on medical supplies.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International



18)Pacific countries owes millions to ACP secretariat

By Online Editor
4:58 pm GMT+12, 13/12/2012, Equatorial Guinea

It has been revealed that five countries in the Pacific owe millions of dollars to in membership fees to the ACP Secretariat.

The issue was raised at this week’s ACP Ministerial meeting in Malabo.

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to Brussels Roy Mickey Joy confirmed to PACNEWS that the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Republic of Marshall Islands, Palau and Niue owe outstanding fees to the ACP Secretariat for the last 10 years.

He said it’s a contractual obligation under the Cotonou Agreement that these countries must clear their dues.

“It does not look good to the Pacific ACP Group as a region and it also does not look well for Pacific delegation coming to these kinds of meetings. One of the important issues that have been discussed by the Ministers is the issue of budget for 2012 – 2014.

“2013 – 2015 is an important period because prior to 2015 ACP should be able to complete our third revision of the Cotonou Agreement. The ACP Secretariat is struggling to balance it resources and programming in terms of the budget,” he said.

Ambassador Roy said the ACP Secretary General Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas when attended the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Cook Islands this year, last year in New Zealand and 2010 in Vanuatu, the message he took to the Leaders of the Pacific was very clear.

“The Pacific countries that have not paid have been asked to do so. It is an obligatory commitment under the Cotonou Agreement and as signatories of the Cotonou these countries must pay up their dues. If this issue is not resolved, it could be one of the contributing factors that will force the ACP to dispense off the Pacific from participating in the ACP Group.

“So it’s essential that countries that owe money to the Secretariat in terms of outstanding dues must make additional commitment to pay up their due as soon as possible so that the Pacific is in the good books when it comes to sitting around the table and talking to mutual friends in a cohesive group of ACP,” said Ambassador Roy said.


19)Netball PNG benefits from Nourse input

By Online Editor
4:48 pm GMT+12, 11/12/2012, Papua New Guinea

PNG Netball Federation are looking to greater outcomes after a successful training camp conducted by former Australian international player Lauren Nourse at the weekend.

A total of 45 squad members took part in the two-day camp in Port Moresby. Participants from Lae, Kiunga, Alotau, Motu- Koita West, Lagatoi, Kairuku-Hiri, Aroma, Port Moresby and Brisbane went through fitness, footwork, ball drills, strength and conditioning and match play.

Nourse, who was assisted by fitness trainer Dustyn Brown at the camp, said she was excited by the players’ potential and talent.

“I wasn’t really expecting much from them. All I wanted to do was teach them all the great experiences and skills I’ve had while playing for the Australian Diamonds and getting to share that with these girls who are so passionate about netball is a great achievement,” she said.

“It’s so amazing to see how some of them are so naturally talented, enthusiastic and so energetic.”

The participants said they were privileged to have learnt skills training from an international player of Nourse’s reputation. “She has taught us so much in such little time, quality stuff. We hope we will better our skills from what we’ve learnt and put in to practice, truly inspiring,” squad member Laura Logona said.

Netball federation president Julienne Leka-Maliaki was pleased with the success of the camp and thanked Nourse and Brown for the training. She highlighted the importance of the development programme saying it was an exciting direction PNG Netball Federation had taken to develop future netball representatives.

“So much raw potential has been identified and through programmes like this, we are able to develop them with pace for senior level which is the Pepes.”

“We are happy with what we have achieved and hope for more in the next few years,” Leka-Maliaki said.

“So much raw potential has been identified and through programmes like these, we are able to develop them with pace for senior level which is the Pepes.”

She added that much emphasis had been put into junior development to prepare elite netballers for the 2015 Pacific Games.

The federation president major sponsor, Pacific MMI Insurance, for its continued financial assistance to the sport.


 20)Fiji Women remain unbeaten

By Matai Akauola
2:59 pm GMT+12, 12/12/2012, Fiji

Fiji Women remain unbeaten in this competition. In Wednesday’s top match the host nation celebrated a 3-1 win after penalties against Australia Country.

The encounter started delayed due to a power cut which disallowed the sprinklers from working. However the volunteers and officials worked hard to water the pitch manually using buckets and hose pipes.
Australia had a great start with their first penalty corner coming in the second minute but it hit the post. However, Caitlin Rosser scored the opening goal a few minutes later when she fired the ball into the top corner of the Fiji net.
Afterwards Fiji was close to equalising when Asinate Blake almost scored but she missed to tip the ball in at a penalty corner. Australia Country was the better side in the first half creating many opportunities but failing to convert them. They could have been leading by a higher margin.
Instead, Fiji equalised out of the blue when Ateca Fatufago deflected a shot from Camellia Tikiosuva into the Australian goal. After Fiji’s equalising goal, local support got rowdier and started pushing them on. However, the match went into halftime with a tied result.
Australia also started great in the second half but the Fiji goalie, Susana Mudunatagi kept them from scoring with a few terrific saves. Australia Country had more ball possession in the second half but Fiji was still able to keep them out of the circle.
When Australia’s Sophie Rodda was sent off with a yellow card because she interrupted the run of play, Fiji’s Rita Hicks had a chance of scoring the winning goal for Fiji. Despite being shorthanded, Australia Country’s Jordan Hill missed a great opportunity.
Fiji’s keeper Mudunatagi did a fabulous job in the last few minutes saving Fiji the shootout where she was the match winner for her team.
“It was the first time for us to do the 8 seconds. My coach told me I should believe in myself and do it for my country,” Mudunatagi said.
Australia’s Rosser was disappointed. “The game is always unpredictable when you’re playing really good players, it can always tip either way. Yea, we had our moments but we couldn’t score. It’s a shame to come down to the shootout at the end but that’s the way the game goes. You win some, lose some, it makes you stronger.”
21) Vanuatu chasing U-17 success

By Online Editor
4:54 pm GMT+12, 11/12/2012, Vanuatu

The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup will kick-off in the United Arab Emirates next October and the Vanuatu Football Federation wants its young footballers to be there.

National U-17 head coach Etienne Mermer has been working with players at the VFF academy in Teouma since last year with the goal of dominating the OFC U-17 Championship, which will be held in their backyard of Santo in April next year.

The winner of the regional event then goes on to claim Oceania’s spot in the FIFA tournament.

While a daunting task for the young coach, also acting manager of the academy, it is a chance to give back to the youth in his native country.

Currently participating in the first ever OFC B Licence coaching course at the OFC Academy in Auckland, Mermer says getting the players to a standard where they can compete against the likes of New Zealand and Tahiti is becoming easier with time.

“I started with my boys last year and it is already much easier to work with them because they have improved their basic technique,” Mermer says.

“Back in the islands most of the boys don’t even have a ball to kick around, whereas at the academy we are training regularly and they are constantly building their technical skills.”

Mermer says he is getting a lot out of the B Licence course, which is being run by OFC head of coach education Didier Chambaron and UEFA technical instructor and English FA coach education manager Steve Rutter.

“Staff at the Vanuatu federation have never been involved in a course quite like this before,” he says.

“It’s a good chance to get something for our football back home that will improve our players and coaches. I believe it will do good things for us because we are young and need more experience.

“With Didier and the others believing in us it makes it seem even more possible that we can do something better for our country.”

He says everything he has learnt so far has built on his previous knowledge of the game and coaching – and then some.

“In the beginning it was difficult for me because being a former player and then going on to coach is totally different. You have to start with the basics and build from there.

“Through the courses being offered by OFC – the D Licence, C Licence and now B Licence – we can see how we need to change things in order to be successful.

Mermer says his preparations for April include readying his players both mentally and physically.

“The tournament is at home in Vanuatu so we will have the home crowd advantage and we will use that in our preparations,” he says.



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