Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 704

1) PNG Gumine MP lus long kot

Updated 17 January 2013, 17:13 AEST

John Papik

National kot  long Papau New Guinea i rausim ileksen win blong nupela memba blong Gumine Lukas Dekena long 2012 ileksen.

National Kot long Papua New Guinea itok win bilong memba bilong Gumine elektoret long Simbu provinse, Lukas Dekena long 2012 nesenel eleksen, ”i void o ino stret, long wanem eleksen process ino ron stret na orderim imas gat wanpela bye-eleksen imas kamap long dispela seat.

Dispela i min olsem man husat ibin win, Lucas Dekena ino moa member taim kot itok ol toktok we man i ron second na wanpela olpela  candidate Nick Kuman olsem, planti man meri ino vote bikos sampela laen ihijackim ol ballot bokis na pepa na haitim na pulapim long wanpela kendid\et tasol, i true.

Kot i winim dispela disisen long Waigani Nesenel Kot long Pot Mosbi.

Bihain long dispela  disisen blong kot  Nick Kuman itokim  niusman  Firmin Nanol, em i amamas stret..

2) Britain keen on greater trade links with PNG

By Online Editor
1:27 pm GMT+12, 17/01/2013, Papua New Guinea

The British Government is keen on developing and maintaining a greater trade relationship with Papua New Guinea from the existing one.

The Permanent Under-Secretary of State and Head of the Diplomatic Services Simon Fraser told Post-Courier in Port Moresby.

Fraser said this is the first time someone from a higher post as his from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to visit PNG and that was a signal of their commitment to this relationship.

His message is to build on the existing economic trade link between the two countries and developing it to a greater United Kingdom/PNG trade.

PNG has a long foreign relationship with the UK where both countries share Queen Elizabeth as their head of state. PNG established its foreign relationship with UK in 1975 after it gained independence.

Fraser said UK’s area of interest of economic trade between PNG would be at port development, shipping, agriculture and the energy sector because of the huge development with the multi-billion kina LNG Project.

Fraser was on a three-day visit to Port Moresby from Sunday up until Tuesday.

He said he was impressed by the openness and friendliness of the people here.

He was also impressed to see a beautiful country blessed with many natural resources.

Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to PNG, Jackie Barson said PNG and Britain had a strong economic trade and they would like to see that continue to grow.

She said the volume of trade between the two countries is at £600 million in exports from PNG.

The exports from PNG mainly included palm oil and tuna while PNG mostly imported manufactured goods from Britain.

Barsen said the trade side between the two countries seemed to be growing and they wanted to increase that. She said PNG had moved up to be among the top export countries to UK.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

3) Fighting Reported At Border Between PNG And Indonesia
Sandaun villagers claim access to traditional lands blocked

By Haiveta Kivia

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 16, 2013) – An altercation along the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border between disgruntled Sandaun villagers and Indonesian soldiers is increasing tension between the two neighbors.

Reports reaching the Post- Courier say villagers from Wutung in PNG’s West Sepik Province tried to forcefully lower the Indonesia flag at the popular Bartas market, but were stopped by armed Indonesian soldiers.

The same group then proceeded to the mouth of Taimi River, where a lighthouse was constructed on the Indonesia side of the border and tried to burn it down, but they were also stopped by the armed Indonesian soldiers.

The burning of a sovereign nation’s flag is an offence in some countries and the Wutung villagers were nearly shot at, however Indonesian soldiers recognized them as traditional landowners and restrained them.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Waigani was unable to comment on the incident and a telephone message left for the department’s acting Secretary Lucy Bogari to call us was not returned.

But the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby has confirmed it is aware of the situation but will not comment further as the incident is currently been investigated by their government.

A police officer at the Vanimo Police Station confirmed the incident at the international border and added that Government authorities were monitoring and trying to stabilize the situation.

It is not known what triggered the incident but a Wutung villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said her people have had issues with the current location of the border. Most of the villagers’ land, which includes their gardens and hunting grounds, is allegedly on the Indonesian side of the border.

“Bartas (market) is on our traditional land but we don’t benefit from all the business activities that take place there but the Indonesians do,” she said.

The villager added that the area from the Bartas Trading Post to Taimi River is all Wutung land. The traditional boundary with the Indonesian villages of Skow One, Skow Two and Skow Three is the Taimi River.

“The Skows are traditionally our people, we speak the same language and have the same culture but they are Indonesians and we are Papua New Guineans,” she said.

She said the border check point was previously at Taimi River but was moved further into PNG’s side of the border when Bartas was built.

“That is an issue that the PNG Government needs to seriously resolve for their good and everyone. The border needs to be pushed back to Taimi River,” she added.

A ban allegedly imposed by Indonesia on traditional border-crossers also appears to be a contributing factor as the villagers complained that they could not go to their gardens.

“Now only PNG-Indonesian passport holders are crossing the no man’s land but not the traditional border crossers. But we need to move freely to our gardens and we cannot be restricted,” said one villager, who did not want to be identified.

The location of the Bartas market, which hundreds of Papua New Guineans frequent every year, also appears to be a point of contention. According to international law the 10-kilometer buffer zone between the Indonesian and PNG border should be free of infrastructure. However, observers have noted that the Indonesian border post and the Bartas market were built within the buffer zone.

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

 4) UN, PNG to sign deals for West Papuan refugees

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR)and PNG government will today sign agreements at gateway Hotel to provide ongoing services and support to West Papuan refugees living in Western Province.
The UNHCR in a statement yesterday said that there are some 8,000 refugees living at Iowara-East Awin in border settlements and in urban areas of Western Province, most of whom had fled neighbouring Indonesia in the mid-1980s.
UNHCR’s partnership with the refugees over the last 28 years has provided a basis for their protection and reintegration, and UNHCR has – alongside the PNG Government — helped to provide essential support such as improving roads, access to jobs, education and healthcare.
The report said UNHCR had to transit out of Iowara-East Awin and downsize its operation in PNG as of the start of 2013. This move is prompted by the need to respond to an unprecedented number of global displacement crises — notably in Africa and the Middle East .
Ahead of the formal signing in Port Moresby on 17 January, UNHCR officials visited Iowara-East Awin and Kiunga from 11-14 January, the culmination of an intensive year of providing targeted services and capacity building ahead of its transition.
UNHCR is confident that the agreement signed with the PNG Government will ensure that the concerted efforts toward sustainability and decent livelihoods can be maintained at East Awin.
The report said while UNHCR will no longer have a role in delivering services or programmes, it will continue in an advocacy and monitoring role on behalf of the refugees in Western Province, as well as the small number of refugees and asylum-seekers in other locations in the country.
The full lists of signatories to the agreements that will be signed today are the Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs on behalf of the National Government, the Fly River Provincial Government, the Catholic Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, refugee representatives and UNHCR.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20130117/thhome.htm

5) Bougainville News:

170113MOMIS WARNS FOREIGN RETAILERS
By Aloysius Laukai
 
ABG President, DR. JOHN MOMIS today warned foreign business operators on Bougainville to follow the Bougainville Investment policy guideline that states that Bougainville wants to see NO STAND ALONE Foreign Business.
 
He told NEW DAWN FM this morning that all retailing business in the region were restricted for locals only.
 
President MOMIS said that the ABG was working on the Investment policy that would be enacted at the March session of the ABG Parliament and any operators who do not adhere to the instructions would be asked to leave.
 
He said that Bougainville wants to see credible investors to partner with credible locals to operate wholesale companies, Supermarkets and other highly technical operations instead of retailing which are restricted Businesses to Bougainville.
 
He said Bougainville wants level playground were locals can compete and do not want big foreign companies to come and manipulate and kill small operators.
 
President Momis said that all investors must come through the Division of Commerce and Trade who screen all applications for Trade and Investments on Bougainville.
 
He said that the Bougainville Investment Guideline booklet has Businesses that are only restricted to locals and all operators must follow this policy.
 
On the question of some Chinese Businessmen claiming that they were invited by the President, DR. MOMIS said that he wants all foreign investors to see Bougainville’s Investment climate and stick to the Investment Policy and not to go into restricted only for locals.
 
President MOMIS also commented on some foreigners operating retail shops because the Bougainville Constitution clearly states that if you are married to a Bougainvillean you are an automatic citizen.
 
He said that this sections needs to be qualified by living on the island for some years before starting any business in the region.
President Momis said that Bougainville wants to see locals be given the opportunity to go into business and does not want to see what has happened in other areas in Papua New Guinea where foreigners have completely taken over at everything leaving the locals as bystanders.
 
DR. MOMIS says that even when the Panguna mine is opened, BCL or any developer would be asked to concentrate on mining and leave all other spin off businesses to the locals.
 
He said plans are also underway to make sure that Bougainville raise their own meat.chicken, fish and fruits and vegetables for sale to the company when the operation starts.
 
The President said that this is what he has been fighting for over the years to empower the grassroots to be participants in all developments in Papua New Guinea.
160113PATAKU ON AWARENESS
By Aloysius Laukai
 
The ABG member for Ramu constituency, THOMAS PATAKU last week commended the ABG President, DR.JOHN MOMIS for going to the people and explaining the work of the ABG which he said was needed badly by the people.
 
MR. PATAKU was speaking at the meeting in Buin last Saturday.
 
He said the people of Bougainville need to know how and what their government was doing and the awareness in Buin was welcomed.
 
The member said the people need to know the good and also the difficulties the ABG was facing in the process of implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement so that they can appreciate and work with their government.
 
He said that the Government needs to cover more areas with these awareness’s as Bougainville must educate its citizens to prepare for the coming referendum.
 
MR. PATAKU said that visiting the people was one sure way of connecting with the people of Bougainville.
 

160113DISASTER OFFICE IS BEING EQUIPED

160113DISASTER OFFICE IS BEING EQUIPED
By Aloysius Laukai

The Bougainville Disaster and Emergency office is being equipped with latest communication equipments so that they can communicate with the most vulnerable communities in the outer islands of Bougainville.

The Coordinator for the Disaster Office on Bougainville, FRANKLYN LESSI made this known to New Dawn FM after a group of technicians returned from the Caterets island over the weekend.

MR. LESSI said that the PNG National Disaster and Emergency office is installing eight vsats throughout the Autonomous Region to help with these communication equipments.

He said that these systems would be located at Education and Health and Primary Industry facilities throughout the region to make communications easier between the communities and these organizations.

MR. LESSI said that in the past communication with these locations were very difficult as making relaying reliable information of natural disasters and other activities needs to be communicated quickly to save lives.

160113 CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS By

160113 CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS
By Aloysius Laukai

The Coordinator for Disaster and Emergency services on Bougainville, FRANKLYN LESSI says that his group would be carrying out Bougainville-wide awareness on climate change in the coming weeks.

He told New Dawn FM that many people are not aware of the need to take precautionary measures as the change in climate was creating a lot of problems to the world today.

MR. LESSI said he recently returned from a climate change workshop in Fiji and is planning to run several awareness programs throughout the region.

He said that the people need to understand the change in weather patterns and the rise in sea level which was affecting our islands.

MR. LESSI said that is why his office is installing communication equipments in these islands so that they can quickly any natural disasters affecting them out there.

150113 MOMIS ON REFERENDUM
By Aloysius Laukai
 
ABG President DR. JOHN MOMIS has warned Bougainvilleans to make sure that they accept the outcome of the referendum what ever it may be when the vote is taken on a date to be set by the current house.
 
He was speaking at the Buin market in South Bougainville last Saturday.
 
DR. MOMIS said that the people must make sure Bougainville is ready for the referendum when the time comes.
 
He said that Bougainvilleans are privileged of this unique opportunity to decide their future however they are required to clear other outstanding issues to get a good result that will be accepted by all.
 
The President said that Weapons Disposal and Good Governance were issues that the people must address to see a good outcome of the referendum.
 
He said although Good Governance and Weapons disposal would not stop the conduct of the referendum,it could create doubt on the result making it difficult for the National government to rectify the result.
 
The ABG President called on all Bougainvilleans to make sure they are fully aware that they own the peace process and have no outsider to blame if the referendum fails.
150113 HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG WINDS
By Aloysius Laukai in Buka
 
Bougainville has been experiencing heavy rains and strong winds since last Sunday.
 
And tonight just after TEN PM strong winds have increased with rains but it seems it could increase further tonight.
We are just monitoring the situation and will report any changes to the weather.
150113speaker call for members
By Aloysius Laukai
 
The ABG speaker for the House of Representatives, ANDREW MIRIKI this week called on the ABG members to operate their constituency offices from their electorates this starting this year.
 
In his first news release this year, 2013, MR MIRIKI said that the ABG members must work together, take ownership of the peace process and drive it forward this year.
 
The Speaker said that a lot of the ABG members have dropped their focus on the peace process and are relying heavily on the Bougainville Administration to carry this responsibility whilst they prefer to be involved in projects and programs aimed at delivering services to the people.
 
The Speaker said that he wants this trend reversed this year to allow the administration to perform its primary role of providing goods and services to our people.
 
MR. MIRIKI said that he strongly believes the leaders must now concentrate on the reconciliation process, establish peace and security on the ground and prepare for the referendum in 2015.
 
The Speaker said that for this to work, the members must be physically on the ground with their people personally directing activities on the ground.
 
New Dawn FM yesterday released a report from the people of Buin calling on their ABG members to go home and visit their people instead of living in Buka.
 
150113ABG VICE PRESIDENT’S CAR COMMANDEERED
By Aloysius Laukai
 
 
The ABG vice President’s official vehicle has been commandeered by another group of disgruntled home guards, this time from the Hahalis village on Buka island.
 
This was also announced by the Buka Police Station Commander SGT EMMART TSIMES this afternoon.
 
SGT TSIMES told New Dawn FM that the car was stopped at a road block and is now parked at the Hahalis village.
 
He said that a team of government officials including Buka Police have already met the group and had the first round of discussion but the car will remain until a amicable solution is reached between the two parties concerned.
 
New Dawn FM understands the earlier incident involving the Hagogohe home guards were paid ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINA out of their own area project funds.
 
Also there was a further argument themselves on how they should distribute these funds.

6) Solomons Landowners Oppose Nickel Mining Operations
Choiseul residents say value of land outweighs ‘quick money’

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Jan. 16, 2013) – Land-owning tribes in south-eastern parts of Choiseul have lodged a petition to the Solomon Islands’ ministry of mines and energy opposing the proposed nickel mining operation by Sumitomo mining group.

The landowners are concerned that mining will permanently destroy the fragile ecosystem including its many river systems and traditionally significant hunting and fishing grounds.

They say any economic benefits would be insignificant compared to the destruction of the environment.

The petition was initiated after a series of forums and educational awareness held in Boeboe village on Choiseul and again in Honiara during the festive season.

Chief David Hakezama of Kamaboe tribe and Chief Helson Pitakaji of Zeleboe tribe, whose portion of lands have been found to have the most nickel, have both signed the petition.

One of the tribal members of Kamaboe says that land is more important than quick money.

“Our identity as a people and tribe, our livelihood, our pride, our history, they are all tied to the land,” he said. “So we will lose much more than the land, we will lose a big part of ourselves.”

The demand for nickel, and other raw materials, is being fuelled by high demand from China. Experts say that the demand from China will remain at least for the next 5-10 years.

They also say that, generally, the market price for raw materials will continue to rise, and might level off in the next 5 years. Such high demand gives multinational companies high incentives to do exploration and, should the deposits are good, full mining operation.

Sources within the ministry of mines and energy say there is a huge increase in applicants keen to do exploration.

“And this is in all the provinces, we have good deposits, but mining companies often prefer the latest data, that is why there are a number of prospecting taking place,” he said.

He also says there is a number of landowning groups opposed to mining despite some of the benefits that come with it.

“We have had a lot of petitions sent directly to the minister opposing prospecting or mining, so while there is certainly increased interest landowners do not seem too keen.”

Solomon Times

7)Appointment Of Vanuatu Parliament Secretary Denounced
Opposition leader: MP’s new position ‘duplicates responsibilities’

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 16, 2013) –Leader Edward Natapei says the Opposition sees the appointment of MP Moana Carcasses as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister as another new ministry and unjustified.

He said the appointment by Prime Minister Kilman raises a number of questions.

“One of the concerns that the Opposition has is that the Government already has in place a Department of Strategic Management whose role is to negotiate and facilitate donor partnership programs.

“The appointment of Moana Carcasses will only duplicate responsibilities and is not necessary,” Natapei expressed.

The Leader of the Opposition also questions how this appointment will be made as normally only the Public Service Commission can make such an appointment and furthermore he questioned where will the funds come from for the position.

“The Opposition also sees this appointment as undermining the responsibility of the Minister of Foreign Affairs if the role of the new position is to include diplomatic status and to assists the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in negotiating overseas aid projects.

“This is clearly another duplicating and un-necessary responsibility,” Natapei stressed.

He also said creating such a new ministerial post is contradicting the Prime Minister’s decision in that he has just abolished the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development and now creating another ministry on top of the Civil Aviation Ministry which is costly for the government and questions where the budget for this will come from.

“As far as dealing with back log of administrative and technical issues and a trouble shooter as being part of the responsibilities of this post, the government already has qualified administrators such as the Director Generals and the Directors, Advisors and Managers to handle the backlog issues facing the government.

“The Opposition sees this as purely creating a job for an MP to keep the Government intact,” the Opposition Leader Natapei told Daily Post yesterday.

At this stage Article 40 (2) of the Constitution of Vanuatu only allows for 13 ministries.

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

8)Carvings to showcase Melanesian origins and solidarity at MSG Secretariat headquarters

Posted on January 17, 2013 – 10:38am | Vanuatu Daily Post

Carver hard at work at the Vanuatu Kaljoral Senta in December, 2012. (Inset) The completed sculptures today.

These fine tall sculptures- the product of renowned carvers from Fiji, Kanaky-New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea (PNG sculpture on its way) will be erected and unveiled at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) 25th Silver Jubilee in Port Vila on January 28.

Speaking to the media recently, officer in charge and Chairman for the MSG Silver Jubilee Organizing and Planning Committee, Jean Pierre Nirua, said the three meter tall sculptures representing the five Melanesian countries will stand tall to mark the anniversary.

In December 2012 prominent carvers from Fiji, Kanaky, Solomons and Vanuatu attended a two week “artists in residence” at the Vanuatu Kaljoral Senta.

This, an initiative of the MSG Secretariat enabled Kanaky carvers such as Jen Philippe Tijbaou, Joseph Sihaze and Edmond Hace to share their knowledge and techniques in wood carvings with their Solomons wantok Norman Haikiu, Fiji’s Paul Ligairi and Vanuatu’s Philemon Jimmy.

The “artists in residence week” initiative is an implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement on Cultural Cooperation within MSG signed by MSG Ministers of Culture in the last Pacific Arts Festival in Honiara, Solomons.

Melanesian Heritage with its unique cultures, traditions, customs and values is the first common interest MSG countries commit themselves to under the Agree Principles of Cooperation.

“The respect of our cultural heritage translated into the Melanesian Arts Festival which is now hosted by almost every countries,” said Mr Nirua.

9)Volunteer service for PNG and Timor Leste

By Online Editor
1:32 pm GMT+12, 17/01/2013, Fiji

Government officials in Papua New Guinea and East Timor will be briefed on the Fiji Volunteer Service and the benefits it can provide in assisting the development efforts of the two countries.

The Permanent Secretary for the Public Service Parmesh Chand said the opportunity to promote the volunteer service in Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste was an indication of the relevance and sustainability of the programme.

“Government officials from PNG and Timor Leste had shown interest in the programme in 2012 when they came for the Engaging with the Pacific Leaders Meeting that was held at the Westin International Hotel in Denarau.”

As part of the presentation to the respective governments, officials were informed of the terms and conditions, entitlements for volunteers, latest dispatch of volunteers to the region and the number of Pacific island countries who have expressed interest in engaging Fiji volunteers.

Chand said the concept of volunteering under the Fiji Volunteer Services was all about nation-building and participating in programmes in society that would bring about civic pride and patriotism on the part of individuals who are involved.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

10)Fiji Labour Party Leader Slams New Decree’s Requirements
Mahendra Chaudhry says new rules make re-registration difficult

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 16, 2013) – The Political Party Decree 2013 is a calculated attempt by government to stifle all forms of effective opposition in the lead up to the elections, says Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

Chaudhry said the unreasonable time limit set to satisfy the various onerous requirements for the re-registration of current political parties is designed to prevent them from re-registering.

“Regardless of these draconian impositions, the Fiji Labour Party will continue to play its part and serve its constituents as it has done since its founding in 1985,” he said.

“The decree must be denounced as yet another assault on the political and civil rights of our people. The prohibition on trade union officials from taking up office in a political party is to be condemned as a further suppression of the rights of the workers.”

He said the most punitive requirement of all is the stipulation that existing parties must register within 28 days from Friday 18th January or face being rendered illegal.

“The requirement to obtain 5,000 signatures from the people in all parts of Fiji within a short period and to pay FJ$5,500 [US$2,821] as registration fee [makes] it patently difficult for existing parties to re-register.”

He added that FLP has from day one doubted the sincerity of government in moving Fiji towards genuine democracy and the rule of law and recent developments have reinforced their view that government is solely driven by the desire to entrench its power.

The Political Party (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosure Declaration) Decree 2013 which comes into effect on Friday is still yet to be released officially although Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum discussed its contents in a press conference yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, Fiji Trades Union Congress leader Felix Anthony hopes his organization can successfully register their own political party despite the new regulations, expressing optimism that there may be changes to the decree. Anthony also said the new party would be completely separate from Labour, adding the FLP “moved away from being multi-racial and has been taken over by one man,” alluding to Chaudhry. Chaudhry, in turn, says that the trade union currently possesses the “weakest” leadership it has ever known.]

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

11)New draft constitution solid: Fiji AG

By Online Editor
2:10 pm GMT+12, 17/01/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s new draft constitution which is being amended by the government’s legal team is one that will be enduring and not need amendments within three, five or 10 years.

Confirming this on Wednesday this week, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the draft constitution would be something that was appropriate for Fiji’s future.

“The government legal team is working on the draft constitution.

“It will be ready in time for the deadline that was set by Prime Minister.

“It needs to be ready before the Constituent Assembly sits and that will be in February,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said the government’s position was that it needed to put in place a constitution that was drafted based on the principles highlighted by the President and that was what the legal team was working towards.

“We will put a constitution that enshrines those values and principles as the president said that it’s not the time for political point scoring whether internally internationally, or regionally,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said it was essential to focus on the job of ensuring that Fiji had the fundamental principles of democracy enshrined in the constitution.

“I think it is also critical to ensure we have a smooth transition to parliamentary democracy.”

“The process in Fiji is lot bigger than any individual.

“We are focused on putting up a new draft; there is a lot of work to do to elections,” Sayed-Khaiyum said

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

12)Carr concerned about latest Fiji setback, UN Chief presses Fiji leader on constitution

By Online Editor
2:09 pm GMT+12, 17/01/2013, Australia

Australia says it has serious concerns about Fiji’s plan to restrict union leaders and other public officers from founding political parties.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says the latest decree from the military regime led by Frank Bainimarama, which is set to take effect later this week, is unacceptable.

“The government joins with Australian trade union leaders in raising serious concerns with these proposals,” Senator Carr said in a statement on Wednesday.

Senator Carr last week refrained from criticising Bainimarama – who seized power in a 2006 coup – over his decision to reject a new draft constitution, which was intended to pave the way for long-awaited 2014 elections.

Senator Carr said there were areas of the draft that could “reasonably be objected to”.

“This restriction on the nature of political parties, however, cannot be justified,” he said.

“Vibrant political parties are a vital part of a democracy.”

Senator Carr said Australia’s travel and financial sanctions against Fiji would remain in place until conditions had been met for a genuine democratic transition.

His comments came as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanded that Fiji’s military rulers restore “legitimate” government and adopt a democratic constitution.

Ban met with the Pacific country’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup, on the sidelines of ceremonies to mark Fiji becoming head of the Group of 77 developing states.

Bainimarama has promised to hold elections in 2014 after a new constitution is adopted but this month rejected a draft version prepared by an academic panel and said his government would draw up its own version.

“The secretary general emphasised the need for Fiji to restore legitimate government and constitutional order as soon as possible,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

“He reiterated his expectation that the process leading to the adoption of a new constitution in Fiji will be transparent, participatory and democratic, in line with internationally recognised principles,” the spokesman added.

Though Bainimarama has rejected a draft version drawn up by a panel led by Kenyan academic Yash Ghai, he has still committed to finishing a new version by September 2014 so elections can be held.

Fiji is taking over the G77 group for one year.

The group is now made up of 131 countries, including China, which make up the biggest bloc of developing countries at the UN.

Ban and the Fiji prime minister also discussed sustainable development, UN development goals and a looming summit of small island states.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

13)Carr to brief UK foreign secretary on Fiji

Updated 17 January 2013, 18:42 AEST

Australia’s foreign minister says he will raise the issue of Fiji’s draft constitution when he meets with UK foreign secretary on Friday.

Australia’s foreign minister says he will raise the issue of Fiji’s draft constitution when he meets with UK foreign secretary, William Hague, on Friday.

Fiji’s interim government last week rejected the country’s draft constitution, which was drawn up by a committee headed by Professor Yash Ghai.

Senator Bob Carr said he would express Australia’s “disappointment” at the way the recommended constitution was approached by Fiji’s interim government.

“We think vibrant political parties are one part of democracy, they’re part of the package,” he said.

Mr Carr said Australia had a “strong stance”, and reiterated the sanctions placed on Fiji by Australia’s government, including a ban on financial dealings by Australians with Fijian interim government ministers.

“We just want to send a message though, to the interim government of Fiji: ‘Look, nothing would make us happier than to be able to peel back those sanctions,” he said.

He said he hoped the interim government would “please show attention to the democratic aspirations” of its people and country as Fiji approaches elections in 2014.

Fiji’s interim prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, last week announced that the constitution would be ready for release by March.

On Monday, Mr Carr said he understood why interim government objected to some sections of the draft, saying it had the potential to foster ethnic divisions in the country.

New Zealand and Samoa have been highly critical of the Fijian interim government’s decision to reject the draft constitution.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-01-17/carr-to-brief-uk-foreign-secretary-on-fiji/1074890

14)Chathams Airline To End Local Flights In Tonga

Australia’s foreign minister says he will raise the issue of Fiji’s draft constitution when he meets with UK foreign secretary, William Hague, on Friday.

Fiji’s interim government last week rejected the country’s draft constitution, which was drawn up by a committee headed by Professor Yash Ghai.

Senator Bob Carr said he would express Australia’s “disappointment” at the way the recommended constitution was approached by Fiji’s interim government.

“We think vibrant political parties are one part of democracy, they’re part of the package,” he said.

Mr Carr said Australia had a “strong stance”, and reiterated the sanctions placed on Fiji by Australia’s government, including a ban on financial dealings by Australians with Fijian interim government ministers.

“We just want to send a message though, to the interim government of Fiji: ‘Look, nothing would make us happier than to be able to peel back those sanctions,” he said.

He said he hoped the interim government would “please show attention to the democratic aspirations” of its people and country as Fiji approaches elections in 2014.

Fiji’s interim prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, last week announced that the constitution would be ready for release by March.

On Monday, Mr Carr said he understood why interim government objected to some sections of the draft, saying it had the potential to foster ethnic divisions in the country.

New Zealand and Samoa have been highly critical of the Fijian interim government’s decision to reject the draft constitution.

CEO cites government-subsidized competition

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan .16, 2013) – Tonga’s sole domestic inter-islands airline, the Chathams Pacific will discontinue its scheduled air services in Tonga on Saturday 3 March 2013, after less than five years operation, due to a loss of business confidence, after the Tonga government moved to procure aircraft from China.

Craig Emeny, the CEO of Chathams Pacific Airlines has told Tonga’s Prime Minister: “I have now lost business confidence in Tonga due to the government’s attitude towards my airline, and I won’t continue providing the domestic air services.”

He made the statement in a letter to the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano earlier this month, pointing out that the government’s decision to sponsor air service competition by giving a donated aircraft from China to an airline that had yet to be established, would make Chathams Pacific operation unsustainable in the future.

He wrote that early in 2012 they found out that the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Civil Aviation Division (CAD) were: “heavily involved with procuring Chinese aircraft and facilitating a competitor to operate in competition to my airline.

“We advised the Minister and the Director of our concerns regarding the Director being involved in commercial activities. It is not an acceptable or a healthy situation where the CAD is involved with introducing aircraft to compete with an existing airline.”

In the letter Craig expressed his disappointment with a change in the mood of government officials today, compared to when they were invited in 2007 to set up an airline in Tonga because of the failure of another national airline at that time to provide a reliable service for the whole of Tonga, including ‘Eua and the Niuas.

He expressed his frustration over not getting any response from the Prime Minister’s office for his request to discuss their concerns, “and the poor relationship with the Civil Aviation Division has also motivated my decision to withdraw.”

Charter offer

Noel Gillespie, the General Manager of Chathams Pacific and Air Chatham told Matangi Tonga today that he met the Acting Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure, and the Minister for Finance yesterday, Tuesday, 15 January and outlined their position.

He said that Chathams Pacific had offered a charter service, to run an interim inter-islands air service until the new inter-islands airline comes into operation in mid-June.

Noel said there was no firm response from the two Ministers, and a decision on their offer would be made when the Prime Minister returned to Tonga in the weekend.

Noel said the only way now that might change their mind and stay on in Tonga would be for government to issue Chathams with a “SOE- State Owned Enterprise” notification.

Domestic air service

Meanwhile, the Acting Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu told Matangi Tonga Online this afternoon, that a 52-seat aircraft would arrive from China in April, two months earlier than was initially anticipated, and the aircraft would service the outer islands of Tonga.

He said that a new airline company had not been formed but the management of the new 52-seater aircraft would be tendered out.

He did not think that the domestic air-service would be disrupted after Chathams Pacific discontinued their operation in Tonga, on 2 March. He said that a local company Palu Aviation had stepped in and would service the outer islands with a leased 17-seat aircraft from Vanuatu.

“This aircraft is expected to arrive in Tonga on February 25 and will start operation on March 4,” explained the Acting Prime Minister.

Chathams Pacific commenced operations in the Kingdom Of Tonga in April 2008 and have a fleet of six aircraft servicing six ports (‘Eua, Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou). The aircraft include a fully restored Vintage DC3 to a classic era 50 seat Convair 580 as well as more modern aircraft. According to its website, Chathams Pacific have an engineering unit based in Tongatapu and also rotate the Convair 580 and Metroliner to its New Zealand base for scheduled heavy maintenance.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

15)Un incident à la frontière entre la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et l’Indonésie

Posté à 17 January 2013, 16:27 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

L’accrochage a opposé des villageois à des soldats indonésiens dans la province du Sepik Occidental, à la frontière avec la Papouasie indonésienne, à l’extrême nord de l’île de Nouvelle-Guinée, au bord de la Mer de Bismarck.

D’après le quotidien papou « Post-Courier », ces habitants de Wutung ont tenté d’incendier un phare indonésien et de baisser le drapeau indonésien qui flottait sur le marché de Bartas. Mais les Indonésiens les ont expulsés manu militari.
Ce marché est situé dans la zone tampon de 10 kilomètres qui sépare l’Indonésie de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, et dans laquelle, selon le droit international, aucune infrastructure ne doit être construite.
Mais le marché de Bartas, créé par les Indonésiens, est en plein milieu de cette zone tampon, où les Indonésiens ont aussi établi leurs postes frontières.
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-01-17/un-incident-à-la-frontière-entre-la-papouasie-nouvelleguinée-et-lindonésie/1074908

16)Fidji: «nous allons droit vers un système de parti unique»

Mis à jour 17 January 2013, 16:35 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Franck Bainimarama a déclenché une tempête. Mardi son gouvernement a pris un décret renouvelant les règles d’enregistrement des partis politiques.

Il entrera en vigueur dès demain vendredi. Et il interdit, entre autres, à tout syndicaliste ou fonctionnaire de créer un parti politique. Cette mesure intervient après l’annonce ce week-end par Felix Anthony, le chef du Congrès fidjien des Syndicats, de la création de son propre parti politique… qui donc ne verra pas le jour.
Le nouveau décret plafonne aussi à 5400 dollars australiens le financement des partis par les entreprises, les étrangers, les ONG et les particuliers. Quant aux 16 partis déjà existants, ils doivent renouveler leur enregistrement auprès des autorités.
Le régime leur a donné 28 jours pour trouver 5000 adhérents, donc 5000 Fidjiens suffisamment riches pour payer une adhésion. Alors que jusqu’à présent, les partis politiques ne devaient justifier que de 180 adhérents.
Pour Mahendra Chaudhry, le chef du parti travailliste d’opposition, ce décret signe l’arrêt de mort des partis politiques à Fidji:
«Nous aurons beaucoup de mal à renouveler notre enregistrement. Pour la bonne et simple raison que depuis six ans la vie politique a été très encadrée, très limitée à Fidji. Et nous devons faire revivre notre parti et ses permanences à travers tout le pays pour trouver des adhérents. Or ça prend du temps tout ça. Et le régime ne nous accorde que 4 semaines, ce qui nous met sous pression.» 
Par comparaison, si on adaptait le décret fidjien en Australie, chaque parti australien devrait trouver 130 000 adhérents pour obtenir son enregistrement officiel. Un chiffre inatteignable. On écoute la réaction de Julie Bishop, la porte-parole de l’opposition australienne sur les affaires étrangères :
«Nous sommes profondément inquiets. La population fidjienne représente seulement un vingtième de la population australienne, et le régime exige de chaque parti qu’il réunisse 10 foix plus d’adhérents que ce que demande la commission électorale aux partis australiens. En Australie il faut remplir certaines conditions pour créer un parti politique, mais à Fidji, le régime ne doit pas poser des conditions si injustes et déraisonnables qu’il empêche les partis de contribuer à l’avenir du pays. Fidji compte moins d’un million d’habitants, alors réclamer 5000 adhérents par parti, c’est vraiment placer la barre trop haut. J’espère que le Contre-Amiral Bainimarama s’en rendra compte et révisera les conditions d’enregistrement des partis politiques. Il faut encourager le plus possible de Fidjiens à participer au retour à la démocratie, au lieu de créer toujours plus d’obstacles.» 
Le Ministre australien des Affaires étrangères Bob Carr a rencontré la semaine dernière son homologue fidjien Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. Ils ont discuté du retour de Fidji à la démocratie, promis par Franck Bainimarama en 2014 avec l’organisation d’élections. Mais Bob Carr a precise que l’Australie ne lèverait ses sanctions à l’encontre du régime fidjien que lorsque la démocratie sera concrètement rétablie.
De son côté, l’opposant Mahendra Chaudhry doute même du maintien des élections en 2014 :
«C’est un calcul politique, le but c’est d’éliminer toute forme d’opposition dans la perspective des élections annoncées pour 2014. Le but du régime est de rendre quasi impossible la survie des partis, pour remporter les élections de 2014 et se maintenir au pouvoir. J’irais même plus loin : je ne suis pas certain que les élections soient maintenus en 2014, le régime a peur de les perdre. Donc on va vers un système de parti unique.» 
Mahendra Chaudhry, au micro de Bruce Hill sur Radio Australie. Et cette accusation d’instauration d’un système de parti unique n’a pas plu à la secrétaire permanente à l’information, Sharon Smith-Jones. Une accusation « ridicule, qui ne mérite pas de réponse».
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-01-17/fidji-«nous-allons-droit-vers-un-système-de-parti-unique»/1074900

17)Australie: les Aborigènes ont des gènes venus d’Inde

Mis à jour 17 January 2013, 16:39 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

D’où viennent les Aborigènes, comment ont-ils vécu pendant 40 000 ans. On sait peu de choses sur ces questions. Mais des chercheurs de l’Institut allemand Max Planck d’Anthropologie évolutionniste viennent de faire une découverte capitale.

Boys painted with white ochre ready for a ceremony near Maningrida. (David Hancock/Australian Geographic)

De jeunes Aborigènes peints à l’ocre blanche pour une cérémonie, Maningrida, Territoire du Nord. (David Hancock/Australian Geographic)
Ils ont détecté l’apparition de gènes indiens chez les Aborigènes il y a 4000 ans. On écoute Mark Stoneking, de l’Institut Max Planck:
«Il peut soit s’agir de populations qui ont migré, physiquement, de l’Inde à l’Australie, soit de populations qui ont transmis leur patrimoine génétique à leurs voisins, qui eux-mêmes ont eu des contacts avec leurs voisins et ainsi de suite jusqu’à atteindre l’Australie.» 
C’est de la même époque, il y a quatre mille ans également, que date le fossile de dingo le plus ancien. Et toujours à la même époque que la chasse et la cueillette, ainsi que la façon de préparer la nourriture ont évolué.  Mark Stoneking :
«La date à laquelle nous voyons apparaître des gènes indiens coïncide avec l’apparition des microlithes, c’est-à-dire de petits outils de pierre taillée, et l’arrivée de ces gènes indiens coïncide également avec l’apparition des premiers dingos. Donc devant cette conjonction d’éléments on peut légitimement se demander si ces événements sont liés.» 
Les gènes venus d’Inde, le dingo, les microlithes… tout cela apparaît en même temps que la domination et l’expansion géographique d’une langue aborigène et de la culture qui y est attachée. Ce qui fait dire à Alan Cooper, professeur au Centre de recherches sur l’ADN ancien de l’Université d’Adelaïde, que les migrations venues d’Inde ont aussi joué un rôle dans le développement des cultures aborigènes.
«Cette langue semble être apparue relativement récemment en Australie, peut-être il y a 5000 ans. Mais nous n’avons aucune idée de comment elle est arrivée, comment elle a progressivement remplacé des langues plus anciennes. Mais clairement, il y a 4000 ou 5000 ans, c’était une époque tumultueuse dans l’histoire australienne.» 
Et si le monde est si ignorant de l’histoire des peuples aborigènes, c’est lié à la colonisation, qui n’a pas laissé que de bons souvenirs, estime Mark Stoneking, dont l’équipe a eu du mal à convaincre des Aborigènes de se prêter au séquençage génétique.
«Les Australiens ont été d’entrée méfiants quant à l’objectif de nos recherches, et ce qu’elles pourraient révéler. Il faut dire qu’ils se souviennent de la façon dont ils ont été traités par les colons européens dès le départ.» 
Et ce traumatisme expliquerait l’ignorance profonde des scientifiques sur l’histoire des Aborigènes.
«Nous savons tellement peu de choses sur l’histoire de l’homme en Australie, alors qu’il s’agit là sûrement de l’occupation humaine la plus ancienne au monde. C’est une des histoires de l’humanité les plus riches et les plus difficiles à comprendre. Et aujourd’hui encore nous ne savons toujours quasiment rien sur ces populations, comme le montre cette dernière étude.» 
Alan Cooper, professeur au Centre de recherches sur l’ADN ancien de l’Université d’Adelaïde, répondait à Anna Mc Donald sur l’ABC. L’étude de l’équipe de l’Institut allemand Max Planck paraîtra prochainement dans la prestigieuse revue scientifique américaine « Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ».
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-01-17/australie-les-aborigènes-ont-des-gènes-venus-dinde/1074906

18)Kumuls hooker confident of representing PNG at RLWC

By Online Editor
2:21 pm GMT+12, 17/01/2013, Papua New Guinea

Kumul’s hooker Charlie Wabo is confident of securing his place in the team for the rugby league World Cup in England in September.

And Wabo, a member of the PNG Residents XIII, is looking forward to proving that he is worthy of the Kumuls’ No. 9 jersey when the home-grown team take on NRL heavyweight South Sydney next month in Sydney, Australia.

Wabo told The National that while he was aware of mounting pressure from overseas-based players such as Paul Aiton and James Segeyaro, he did not feel threatened but would focus on his performance at the Redfern match.

He said being a true competitor, he would not let Aiton and Segeyaro or any other high profile players get his way of retaining the Kumuls jumper.

He will get the opportunity to prove himself when the Residents team play in the Cabramatta Nines tournament in Sydney on Feb 2 followed by the match against the Rabbitohs at Redfern on Feb 9.

Wabo views the Sydney match as a crucial test of his ability and capability to perform at the highest level and he aims to convince coach Adrian Lam and the national selectors that he is the preferred Kumuls rake.
“The overseas players have begun preparations to raise their fitness level and we the PNG-based players should do the same,” he said.

“I have spoken to our local players in Port Moresby to train together to maintain our fitness and levels of skills.”
Wabo said fellow Resident players Josiah Abavu, Richard Kambo, Larsen Marabe and Junior Eliab had begun training with the Port Moresby Vipers team under head coach Shane Morris while waiting to go into the Residents’ training camp.

“This is a great opportunity to train under Morris as he is a certified Australian coach and we will gain extra motivation and bonding from his training sessions,” he said.

Wabo thanked the Southern Region Nines team management for allowing their coaches and trainers to assist in training them.

Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea Residents XIII can breathe a little easier after South Sydney’s NRL rookie of 2012, Adam Reynolds, was selected in the NRL All Stars side.

The dynamic halfback was one of the main reasons for the Rabbitohs’ surge to the finals last year and his importance to the side was highlighted by their first round exit in the playoffs after the 22-year-old lasted only 10 minutes against Manly.

He and teammates Greg Inglis and Nathan Peats are the only Bunnies picked for the All Stars clash on Feb 9.
That means other Rabbitohs big names Sam Burgess, Nathan Merritt and Isaac Luke are sure to turn out for the “Return to Redfern” match on the same date.

Reynolds’ meteoric rise in the No.7 jersey had many pundits predicting his potential as an Origin answer for the Blues halfback role and with his first representative match in 2013 he will get a chance to carry his outstanding form into the new season.

Reynolds’ likely replacement could be 2013 squad member Luke Kreary, 20, who has yet to play a senior game for the Bunnies.

Other options are Toyota Cup U20 players Brad Wall and Will Patterson, both of whom are more running halves than organisers.

With the absence of their number one organiser, playmaker and goal kicker, coach Michael Maguire is likely to hand the kicking and directing responsibility to five-eighth John Sutton and hooker Luke.

Sutton and Luke have played against PNG for the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII and New Zealand respectively.

Although Souths would normally struggle in a regular season match without their ace half, their impressive set of forwards led by Burgess, Luke, Michael Croker, Roy Asotasi and Ben Te’o have a decided edge in quality and experience over the likes of  Rodney Pora, Glen Nami, Charlie Wabo and company.

But if the Residents XIII forwards can match their opposition, the contest could well come down to which set of haves control the match better.

Sutton and, possibly, Kreary, are likely to face Dion Aiye and Israel Eliab.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS


19)HK 7s welcomes 28-teams for first time

By Online Editor
2:32 pm GMT+12, 17/01/2013, Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) has announced the 28 participating international teams that will take part in the world-renowned Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens in March.

2013 marks the first time in the 38-year history of the Hong Kong Sevens that 28 teams have been hosted, up from the current 24-team format which was first adopted in 1984.

The 2013 Hong Kong Sevens will again host two side-by-side competitions, a 16-team HSBC Sevens World Series (HSBC SWS) competition for the 15 core teams on the Series plus Hong Kong, winners of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series in 2012, and a 12-team pre-qualification tournament for promotion to HSBC SWS core team status in 2014.

Trevor Gregory, Chairman of the HKRFU commented on today’s announcement saying, “The HKRFU and the Hong Kong rugby community look forward to hosting the biggest and best ever Hong Kong Sevens in 2013. The decision to host the pre-qualification tournament alongside the HSBC Sevens World Series competition continues to reinforce Hong Kong’s unique role as the host of the world’s largest and most international rugby sevens competition.”

The 16 teams participating in the core competition are Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Portugal, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, United States, Wales and Hong Kong.

Reinforcing Hong Kong’s unique position as the largest and most international HSBC SWS event, the remaining 12 competing teams in the pre-qualification tournament hail from all over the world with two teams from each of the IRB’s geographic regions. Tonga and the Cook Islands will bolster the Hong Kong Seven’s traditional Pacific Island presence, while Georgia and Russia represent Europe’s hopes for HSBC SWS qualification.

Zimbabwe and Tunisia will add to the African contingent next March while Mexico and Jamaica will both mark a return to the Hong Kong Sevens from the North American region. Closer to home, the Hong Kong Sevens continues its role as the showcase event for Asian rugby with the region’s second and third-ranked sevens teams, Japan and Chinese Taipei rounding out the regional participants.

Two additional teams from South America will be decided after regional competitions in late February to complete the 12-team field.

The top four teams from the pre-qualifier will join Hong Kong and the three bottom-placed HSBC SWS teams in an eight-team competition at the London Sevens in May to decide promotion to the 2014 Series.

Three legs of the 2013 HSBC SWS have been held to date (Australia, Dubai and South Africa), each being won by a different nation as Fiji took first honours in Australia, Samoa won in Dubai and New Zealand claimed the title in South Africa. Upcoming tournaments prior to Hong Kong will be held in New Zealand and the USA.

The HSBC SWS standings point to the continued parity and increasing competitiveness in world sevens.

New Zealand are in first with 60 points followed by this year’s surprise package France in second place on 46 points. Fiji are third with 44 points, followed by South Africa on 41 points. Samoa is in fifth place with 39 points.

Kenya, Argentina, Wales, Portugal and Australia round out the top ten. Perennial sevens power England have had a slow start to their season and currently lie in an uncharacteristic 13th place.

England who have won four titles in Hong Kong will be hoping to set their ship to rights in front of their supportive audiences at the Hong Kong Stadium.

The Tournament Draw for the participating teams will be held in Hong Kong on Thursday, February 21, after the completion of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas.

The Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013 expects to welcome a total of 120,000 spectators over the three day-event, reaffirming the strong local and international demand that has made Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Sevens one of the world’s leading rugby destinations. To better accommodate increasing local and international demand, the HKRFU is distributing tickets by public ballot for the 2013 tournament for the first time in tournament history.

The final 4,000 tickets remaining in the 40,000-seat capacity stadium will be drawn by ballot on Thursday, February 7, ensuring another sold-out Sevens in 2013.

Organised by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and co-title sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways and HSBC, the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will be held from Friday, March 22, to Sunday, March 24, at the iconic Hong Kong Stadium.

SOURCE: KHRFU/PACNEWS

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