Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 705

1) Vanuatu papa graon i stopim divelopa

Updated 18 January 2013, 15:30 AEST

Heve blong lisim graon igo hed long Vanuatu na nau ol papa graon i kros na putim kastom tambu long graon blong ol.

Foto blong rainbow long wanpla basis long Vanuatu (Credit: Reuters)
Odio: Chif Kalkot Kalotiti Mormor blong West Efate long Vanuatu itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Wanpla laen papa graon long Vanuatu i askim kot long stretim ol kros long graon blong ol em wanpla gavman minista ibin givim igo long wanpla bisniman long divelopim.

Long wik igo pinis ol despla papa graon blong Efate we Port Vila taon istap long en ibin putim ol lip blong tambuim despla bisnisman long go insaet long despla graon.

Long ol despla yia igo pinis planti heve iwok long kamap long kantri bihaenim ol faul pasin blong givim nating graon blong ol pipal igo long ol investas.

Chif Kalkot Kalotiti Mormor emi go pas long laen wan pisin blong en long despla kot keis.(Radio Australia)

2) More Than 2,000 Displaced By Floods In PNG Highlands

Kim River bursts banks, destroys Kum bridge

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 21, 2013) – More than 2,000 people living along the Kum River near Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, lost food gardens and domestic animals when the river burst its banks and flooded the area last Thursday night.

People from the Moge Komnuka and Kuipe clans, and those in settlements along the river, were affected.

The flood destroyed part of the Kum bridge as well.

Francis Kot, a member of the Komkui community, said people in the area had faced similar disasters for more than 20 years but the government had never extended a helping hand to them.

“The flood destroyed our food gardens and properties – starting from Warakum and towards Dobel,” Kot said.

“This is a terrible disaster and I appeal to the government, the national and provincial disaster offices to provide help because we are always left out when it comes to disaster relief support.”

Kot said the flooding hit them at about 10pm when most people were at home.

Many people left their homes that night.

The National:

3) Manam volcano continues to spew ash

By Online Editor
5:59 pm GMT+12, 18/01/2013, Papua New GuineaVolcanic ash is still being spewed out of the Manam volcano but no casualties have been reported.

While islanders are on the alert, local volcanologist Herman Tibong confirmed the southern crater was spewing ash clouds at 10-15 minute intervals with strong north-west winds carrying the ash to the south-eastern side of the island.

Villages on the south-eastern side of the island are Dugulava one, two, three and Warisi.

“The villagers there are okay. The ash cloud is being deposited between the villages,” he said.

Tibong said garden and water sources were not affected, with no major destruction.

The disaster office in Madang is slow to respond to emergency situations as it has been without a vehicle and funding since last year.

A source from the office said for the past five years, the office had been given a fixed budget of K100, 000 (US$48,000).

“When we talk about disasters, we are talking about someone’s life,” the source said.

Deputy director, Rudolf Mongallee confirmed that despite not being updated on the volcano’s status by Tibong, Mongallee said the Red Cross had last year given mosquito nets, water containers and other basic items to the islanders during the last eruption.

Former governor James Gau said he had earmarked K300, 000 (US$144,000) to the newly created Manam office for reconciliation and resettlement between the islanders and mainlanders at Bogia but did not know if that was being realised.


4) Virus Affecting Thousands In PNG’s East New Britain
Chikungunya ‘widespread,’ but no deaths reported

By Abigail Apina

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 17, 2013) – In Papua New Guinea, more than 3,000 people in eight local level governments in East New Britain are afflicted Chikungunya.

Provincial administrator Akuila Tubal confirmed this in Kokopo yesterday.

Chikungunya is a viral illness that is transferred by infected Aedes mosquitoes and is related to other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever. Symptoms are the sudden onset of fever, chills, nausea, severe headache, vomiting and joint pains.

Tubal said Chikungunya had spread to most wards since last October. The suspect is a human carrier. He said this pattern supported a viremic spread pattern among families as it was affecting a large number of people.

Tubal said unlike the Chikungunya outbreak in West Sepik, which was confined to one area, the outbreak in East New Britain had been widespread, affecting many wards in the Gazelle Peninsula area within a short period.

“Fortunately, there is no fatality recorded,” he said. However, he expressed concern that the Department of Health had delayed technical support for this emergency.

Tubal said a medical response coordination team was assembled last November and had conducted preliminary investigations.

Blood samples were collected and tested at the Nonga Base Hospital which ruled out rheumatic fever.

Tubal said 17 blood specimens were collected from case presentations that tested negative for malaria and were sent to the Institute of Medical Research for further laboratory tests and confirmation of the disease type.

He said two tests were carried out on the specimens for dengue fever and Chikungunya and the results released to the provincial administration yesterday showed that 13 blood specimens were positive for Chikungunya fever while four were negative for both fevers.

He said the four negatives showed they were from case presentations that were already treated and cured.

The National:

5) Solomons Province ‘Struggling’ In Cyclone Freda’s Aftermath
Makira-Ulawa facing critical food, water, housing issues

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Jan. 17, 2013) – Makira-Ulawa Province in the Solomon Islands is still recovering from the effects of tropical cyclone Freda. Although the category-two storm did not make landfall, the torrential downpour caused massive flooding and damaged critical infrastructures.

Bridges and roads, crucial to farmers, were damaged and repair work seems unlikely, at least within the next few months.

The national disaster management office (NDMO) reported that cyclone Freda also damaged “key sectors such as food gardens, cocoa and banana plantations, community water-supply including dams, communications, classrooms and dwelling houses.”

The report says communities are struggling to recover from the effects of the flash floods that hit the province prior to TC Freda, which devastated parts of the province some six months ago. It says the effects of the flash floods, and the response by relevant authorities, may not have been as timely and effective as it should be.

The NDMO report says there are opportunities to intervene and not only restore the livelihoods of the affected population but also to ensure “that response, intervention and preparedness are better coordinated.”

NDMO says for now what is crucial is the repair of important infrastructures to ensure that economic activities continue.

Solomon Times

6) New Airport Plans To Be Discussed With Vanuatu Landowners
Deputy PM touts advantages of existing infrastructure in Efate

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 17, 2013) – In Vanuatu, the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs has mandated its president, Chief Andrew Kalpoilep and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Jimmy Meameadola, hold talks with landowners including investors –especially in South Efate – about the importance of building a bigger and longer international airport to cater for bigger aircraft including 747s and 767s.

Shefa Secretary General Michel Kalworai called an urgent meeting with the Vaturisu this week in line with an urgent directive from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Tourism, Ham Lini, for the authorities of Efate to consider allowing for one more international airport to be built here.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the advantage Efate has over other islands and Provinces is that it has the necessary infrastructure in place including the Ring Road round the island. “The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs is excited over the directive saying such a major project would also mean employment opportunities for school leavers as well as more opportunities for investors in the hospitality industry,” SG Kalworai says.

The country’s biggest tourist market is Australia and takes approximately three hours and fifteen minutes to fly from Sydney to Port Vila.

If Koreans are willing to fund such a project, it is because they also see a Korean tourist market in Vanuatu so it would be a possibility for direct flights from Seoul to touch down in Port Vila.

The same would go for Chinese tourists for whom the biggest challenge is language. By flying direct from China to Port Vila would also ease transit problems.

So far all Korean and Chinese visitors to Vanuatu fly through Australia, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Meanwhile reliable sources claim brothers and prominent investors Dinh Van Than and Dominique Dinh have invested heavily at Blue Water and White Sands Country Club with the possibility in mind that an international airport might be built in the vicinity.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

7) Amid Phocea mystery, PNG PM denies meeting Vanuatu diplomats

Posted at 02:27 on 21 January, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill denies that he met two Vanuatu diplomatic passport holders who flew in to Port Moresby without proper customs clearance.

The PNG Customs Commissioner has confirmed the private jet that arrived last Thursday did not breach any customs laws and was cleared to depart last night.

The jet was carrying Pascal Anh Saken, the owner of the super yacht Phocea which has been detained in Vanuatu since last July when it was seized on suspicion of passport fraud and drugs trading.

But Mr O’Neill says reports in PNG media that he and members of his government personally met Mr Saken are just rumour.

“Nobody is authorised to meet the people who were under investigation so I’ll be very surprised if any minister or anybody other than the public servants who are carrying out the investigation met with the subjects.”

Peter O’Neill has confirmed that the transit of Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot through Port Moresby coincided with that of the private jet’s.

Mr Carlot’s passport was detained along with that of Anh Saken and Charles Henry Saken detained while officials investigated the private jet and its passengers.

Mr Carlot has now returned to Vanuatu.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Fiji sends out invitations to the global community to participate in preparations for 2014 elections

By Online Editor
6:34 pm GMT+12, 18/01/2013, Fiji

The Fiji Government has sent out invitations to the global community to participate in preparations for the 2014 general election.

An invitation letter to that effect was sent to heads of all diplomatic missions in Fiji by the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, laying out a timetable for election preparations and inviting them to take part.

A year ago, Fiji also invited other countries to participate in the successful Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) that continues in 2013.

The letter has also been sent to a range of multilateral agencies such as the United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, the International Labour Organisation and the Pacific Forum, said a government press release.

The Attorney-General says the Bainimarama Government has allocated $11.4 million (US$6.4 million) in the 2013 Budget for election preparations, including voter registration within Fiji and abroad, the recruitment of key personnel and the purchase of election materials such as ballot boxes.

He sets out several areas in which the global community can participate. The immediate priorities are planning the administration and logistics for the election, assessing the technical requirements of holding the poll and funding such things as the printing of ballot papers and voter lists.

In the second quarter of 2013 – the AG adds – Fiji invites participation to draft the rules and regulations for the election and also begin a program of civil education and awareness to educate Fijians on the new electoral system.

At the beginning of the third quarter of this year, the supply of election materials will commence. Expressions of Interest were advertised in Fiji last weekend for qualified companies to supply a range of items and advertisements are also being commissioned by Fiji’s diplomatic missions abroad.

“These preparations are for the first parliamentary elections ever conducted on the basis of one person, one vote, one value. We have a lot of ground to cover and we need the best possible preparations now to ensure a transparent process and state of preparedness. We need proper systems to guard against fraud and protect the integrity of the new parliament,” the Attorney-General added.


9) New Fiji Political Party Decree ‘Unreasonable’: SDL Leader
Tupeni Baba denounces updated rules for party registration

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 17, 2013) – Fiji’s Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party says that some requirements in the new Political Party Registration Decree 2013 are vindictive and unreasonable.

SDL senior executive Dr. Tupeni Baba said they expected government to be reasonable in setting the requirements for political parties and at a difficult time like this they should be more facilitative and helpful.

Baba said government has imposed a very unrealistic registration fee of FJ$5005 per party, which is unprecedented as this is to come out of the voluntary contributions of ordinary people within a short period of 28 days and is out of line with the depressed economic conditions of the country.

The former deputy Prime Minister said the 5,000 membership needed for a party is also a very tough requirement as up to now parties have not been allowed to meet freely let alone having these meetings throughout the country.

He said the requirement for trade union officials to form new parties in particular is restrictive particularly at this time and government could be more facilitative and recognize the right of workers to set up political parties to promote and safeguard their interests.

He also said SDL finds it curious that the re-registration of existing parties have to be in English beside their symbols and they take this to mean that a Fijian name like ‘Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua’ (SDL) will not meet the requirement.

He added that Fijian is one of the three official languages of Fiji and is spoken by the overwhelming majority of the people and hopes that this requirement is not an error on the part of government as it really traverses beyond the bounds of common sense.

Meanwhile Attorney General and Minister for Election Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said if political parties are truly applicable to the whole of the country, then they must have people supporting them nationwide, and it would not be a problem to register 5,000 people.

Sayed-Khaiyum said if there was no divisional demarcation then they would be able to get this number in Suva alone.

He also said trade unionists are not restricted to contest elections but they have to resign from their post in order to contest.

[PIR editor’s note: Baba joins other political leaders who have expressed concerns and criticism over the decree. Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry claims it is an attempt to stifle any effective opposition leading up to the 2014 elections. Attar Singh, the general secretary of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions, alleges the true purpose of the decree is to effectively eliminate all existing political parties. General Secretary for the National Federation Party Pramod Rae claims that complete party compliance with the decree’s requirements is unlikely, citing particularly the cost of opening party offices in each division. Meanwhile, Sayed-Khaiyum has reminded trade union leaders that, in the event that current Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama intended to contest the elections, he would be required to give up his military post.]


10) Five nations to be insured against natural disaster

By Online Editor
4:56 pm GMT+12, 21/01/2013, Australia

The Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu plan to be better protected against natural disasters after a pilot catastrophe risk insurance program was launched in Sydney to provide their governments with immediate funding if a major natural disaster occurs.

Pacific Island countries are some of the most vulnerable in the world to natural hazards, which can cause millions of dollars of damage, and threaten the lives of tens of thousands of people. Eight Pacific nations sit among the world’s top twenty countries with the highest annual losses, on average, from disasters as a proportion of GDP.

Japan, the World Bank and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have teamed up with Pacific island nations to launch the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot. It will test whether a risk transfer arrangement modeled on an insurance plan can help Pacific island nation’s deal with the immediate financial effects of natural disasters.

The pilot relies on state-of-the-art financial risk modeling techniques and is the first ever Pacific scheme to use parametric triggers, linking immediate post-disaster insurance payouts to specific hazard events.  This joint effort will allow Pacific island nations to access earthquake and tropical cyclone catastrophe coverage from reinsurance companies at an attractive price.

“We know all too well the financial impacts of natural disasters and are fortunate to have post-disaster assistance from donor countries,” said Lisiate ‘Akolo, Minister for Finance and National Planning in Tonga. “This project will allow us to better respond immediately to phenomena like tropical cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis.”

“This program offers immediate emergency funding in the aftermath of a major disaster and will help stabilize the Pacific Islands’ economies so their efforts to respond to an emergency situation can be maximized,” said Japan’s Ministry of Finance. “Japan’s participation in this program is in line with our commitment in mainstreaming disaster risk management at the Sendai Dialogue.”

“The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot is the first of its kind in the Pacific. This is an excellent opportunity to see whether insurance might work for Pacific island countries and to explore options for financing disaster responses in the future,” said Dr. Russell Howorth, Director of the SPC Applied Geosciences and Technology Division.

“Governments’ access to emergency funding will help them quickly respond to the needs of their affected people,” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for the Pacific. “It is especially important for vulnerable countries like those in the Pacific, which must frequently deal with natural disasters.”

The World Bank will act as an intermediary between the Pacific Island nations and a group of insurance companies selected through a competitive bidding process – Sompo Japan Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance and Swiss Re. AIR Worldwide provides the underlying risk modeling for the transaction.

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot is part of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), a joint initiative of the World Bank, SPC, and the Asian Development Bank with financial support from the Government of Japan, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union.  PCRAFI, launched in 2007, aims to provide the Pacific island nations with disaster risk assessment and financing tools for enhanced disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

Contact: Sydney: Laura Keenan (612) 9235-6547, <>
Tokyo: Tomoko Hirai, +81 (03) 3597-6665, <

11) Fiji government accuses parties of clutching at straws to avoid decree

Posted at 00:15 on 21 January, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s interim government says the country’s four major political parties are clutching at straws in a desperate bid to avoid complying with a new decree.

The decree, regulating political parties, sees them have to sign up 5000 members by the middle of next month, and bans unionists from joining parties.

The four political parties and the Council of Trade Unions, under the name United Front for a Democratic Fiji, have issued a joint statement called on the Prime Minister and the Attorney General to disclose their incomes and assets to the nation.

In its second statement since that call, the government says it does not and will not engage in political bickering.

It says further laws are being developed to ensure greater standards of accountability and transparency.

The government says previous governments which have consisted of or were supported by the members of the UFDF, have failed to do so.

It says the statement by the UFDF demonstrates how they relish and thrive in political bickering without having a principled approach.

Radio New Zealand International

12) Bracing for cyclone, American Samoa closes port

Posted at 02:27 on 21 January, 2013 UTC

The US Coast Guard has closed the port of Pago Pago in American Samoa as the territory braces for a tropical depression whcih is north of Samoa.

A statement says the depression is expected to be named cyclone Garry and make landfall tomorrow afternoon.

Commercial vessels have been advised that they are prohibited from entering the port of Tutuila without the express permission of the captain of the port.

A safety zone has been established at all coastal inlets.

Pleasure craft are prohibited from operating seaward of the boundary line and are advised to seek safe havens.

Commercial vessels and ocean going barges greater than 200 gross tons that have not received authorisation from the captain of the port to remain in port must depart immediately.

Vessels bound for the port of Pago Pago are advised to seek an alternative destination

Radio New Zealand International

13) Samoa tops immigration fraud list

By Online Editor
5:08 pm GMT+12, 21/01/2013, New Zealand

Samoa tops the list of countries with citizens who have committed immigration fraud in New Zealand.

22 people from the Pacific nation have been convicted in the past 10 years of using fake immigration documents. That’s 15 per cent of the 145 successful prosecutions.

India was second on the list with 13 convictions, followed by Somalia and New Zealand with 11 convictions each, then Fiji with eight.

The figures, released under the Official Information Act, show just one conviction against citizens from far-flung countries such as Tuvalu, Ghana and Bulgaria.

Of the 145 convictions, 128 were for “false documentation,” where an individual uses fake papers to obtain a passport, the bio page or photo in a passport has been swapped, or the passport is a complete forgery.

17 convictions were for “falsely obtained genuine documentation” where the passport is genuine but has been obtained by fraud.

However, Immigration New Zealand did not say how many of the 145 immigration fraudsters had been deported. The acting general manager of intelligence, risk and integrity, Peter Elms, said the information was too difficult to obtain as it would require a detailed search through each of the 145 cases.

Elms said Immigration NZ received 70 allegations of fraud each month. The longest sentence for an immigration fraud conviction was two years and nine months, given to Sahra Ismail in 2011. Ismail came here in 2002 as a Somali refugee and was later granted New Zealand citizenship. But she travelled to New Zealand on false names and documents, as she was already a refugee and citizen of Holland.

She had lived there for up to 12 years but efforts to have Ismail’s family join her were thwarted by Dutch authorities. Ismail successfully applied in 2004 to have seven family members join her as refugees.

The cost savings from preventing fraudulent secondary migration – where a principal applicant acquires residence and helps other family members in – are significant. “It has been estimated that on average each refugee fraud conservatively costs the Department of Labour $28, 550,” a 2010 report said.


14) Les partis politiques fidjiens lancent un recours collectif

Mis à jour 21 January 2013, 9:15 AEST

Pierre Riant

C’est le tout nouveau décret sur les règles d’enregistrement des formations politique qui est à l’origine de cette action conjointe en justice.

Ces nouvelles règles demandent à tous partis politiques de trouver 5 000 adhérents cotisants pour prétendre à s’enregistrer auprès des autorités. Jusqu’à présent les formations politiques ne devaient justifier que de 180 membres payants.
Ce décret qui est entré en vigueur la semaine dernière interdit à tout syndicaliste et fonctionnaire de l’État de créer un parti alors que la Centrale syndicale fidjienne vient d’annoncer son intention de créer un mouvement politique en collaboration avec la société civile.
L’avocat Rajendra Chaudhry nous a confié qu’il irait représenter devant la justice toutes les formations politiques de l’archipel pour tenter de convaincre un tribunal de déclarer cette loi nulle et non avenue : « C’est une énorme atteinte aux droits civiques et ce nombre de 5 000 [adhérents] et totalement déraisonnable. »
Les petites formations risquent de disparaître.(Radio Australia)

15) La téléphonie mobile au service de la diaspora du Pacifique

Posté à 21 January 2013, 9:02 AEST

Pierre Riant

De nombreuses familles du Pacifique dépendent des envois de fonds de l’étranger pour survivre, envoyer leurs enfants à l’école ou améliorer le quotidien.

Le portable pour transférer des fonds de l’étranger plus facilement et à moindre coût. (Credit: ABC)

Une nouvelle application sur le web permet avec un portable de transférer des fonds de l’étranger plus facilement et à moindre coût dans certaines nations océaniennes du Pacifique.
Les Tongiens, les Samoans et les Fidjiens qui vivent et travaillent en Australie sont en mesure d’utiliser cette application de la société de télécommunications Digicel pour effectuer des virements mais aussi pour payer des factures, des frais de scolarité par exemple, dans leur pays d’origine.
Digicel nous a aussi affirmé que la compétitivité entre les banques et les sociétés de téléphonie mobile fait que les frais associés aux envois de fonds vont encore baisser à l’avenir.
Nous avons parlé à Darren McLean, Directeur commercial régional pour le Pacifique chez Digicel.
MCLEAN : « Ils commencent par s’inscrire en ligne. Ils vont sur le site web et s’inscrivent gratuitement. Ensuite c’est aussi simple que de télécharger une application depuis itunes et la mettre dans vote smartphone. Après il y a une petite manip pour coupler l’application avec le téléphone, c’est une mesure de sécurité. Et c’est aussi simple que ça. Vraiment. »
L’utilisateur de cette application peut donc se servir de son téléphone portable ou de sa tablette comme il utilise son ordinateur pour utiliser des services bancaires par Internet…
MCLEAN : « Exactement, c’est très similaire, en fait les transactions se font de la même façon. Le service fonctionne ainsi : Vous envoyer de l’argent dans un compte bancaire mobile Digicel depuis votre propre compte bancaire. Après autorisation de la banque votre téléphone est associé avec un autre portable du pays destinataire, portable du père, de la mère ou d’un fils et ensuite nous sommes en mesure d’effectuer ce transfert sur ce téléphone à Tonga à Fidji ou au Samoa.
Avec des grandes banques comme la Commonwealth en Australie, ça ne prend que quelques minutes et le destinataire reçoit un message qui indique le nom de l’expéditeur et le montant de la somme envoyée.
Personne d’autres ne fait ça et c’est la raison pour laquelle nous sommes fiers de ce service.
Particularité : des accords sont en cours et le Samoan ou le Tongien d’Australie pourra directement payé des factures lui-même, des frais de scolarité par exemple. On va donc un peu plus loin que le simple transfert de fonds.
MCLEAN : « « Nous avons lancé ce service à Tonga et nous allons le faire dans d’autres marchés très rapidement. Vous pouvez envoyer des fonds directement à l’école au nom de vos enfants ou d’un membre de la famille. Vous pouvez saisir dans l’application le nom de l’enfant, en quelle année il est, le nom de l’école… On ne peut pas faire plus simple et l’école reçoit l’argent. »
Dans certains cas, l’Océanien qui vit en Australie doit payer jusqu’à 25 dollars pour envoyer 50 dollars. Avec cette nouvelle application les transferts ne seraient que de 4 dollars….(Radio Australia)

16) Obama diambil sumpahnya pada upacara kecil di Gedung Putih

Diperbaharui 21 January 2013, 11:26 AEST

Presiden Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama, telah diambil sumpahnya untuk masa jabatan kedua di Gedung Putih pada sebuah upacara kecil.


Obama ketika mengucapkan sumpah jabatannya.

Pada pagi hari Obama menghadiri kebaktian di gereja dan meletakkan karangan bunga di Taman Pemakaman Nasional Arlington sebelum diambil sumpahnya.

Didampingi keluarganya di Blue Room di Gedung Putih, Obama meletakkan tangannya diatas Alkitab keluarga dan mengucapkan sumpah 35 kata yang dibacakan dengan keras oleh Hakim Agung John Roberts.

Wakil Presiden Joe Biden sebelumnya diambil sumpahnya untuk masa jabatan kedua.

Upacara tersebut, yang disiarkan langsung di televisi, dilakukan karena Konstitusi Amerika menetapkan bahwa presiden dilantik pada tanggal 20 Januari.

Panitia memilih untuk mengadakan upacara kecil pada tanggal 20 Januari dan kemudian menyelenggarakan upacara resmi hari berikutnya.

Sekitar 800,000 orang diperkirakan akan berada di Capitol untuk menyaksikan pelantikan dan parade sepanjang Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dengan demikian, Obama akan diambil sumpahnya empat kali, dua untuk setiap masa jabatan, sama dengan Franklin Roosevelt, yang menjalani empat masa jabatan.

Pengambilan sumpah Obama yang kedua dianggap perlu di tahun 2009 ketika Hakim Roberts melakukan kesalahan pada sumpah yang pertama.

Kali ini Hakim Roberts membacakan sumpah dengan hati-hati dari sebuah kartu dan tidak terjadi kesalahan lagi.

Obama memenangkan masa jabatan kedua pada tanggal 6 November dengan mengalahkan capres Partai Republik, Mitt Romney, setelah kampanye yang sengit.

Kegembiraan tidak terlalu meluap menjelang pelantikan kedua Obama, tapi ia mendapat dukungan pada kebaktian di Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church di Washington dimana ia dan Michelle bertepuk tangan dan bergoyang mengikuti irama musik greja.

Biden sebelumnya diambil sumpahnya oleh Hakim Mahkamah Agung, Sonia Sotomayor.

Obama dan Biden kemudian bersama-masa meletakkan karangan bunga di Tomb of the Unknowns di Arlington National Cemetery, mengenang mereka yang tewas dalam pertempuran.

Keluarga Biden, bersama kira-kira 120 tamu dan beberapa reporter, menyaksikan upacara kecil pengambilan sumpahnya di kediamannya.

Biden menggunakan sebuah Alkitab dengan salib di kulit mukanya yang telah menjadi milik keluarga sejak 1893.(Radio Australia)

17) It’s a gag order

By Online Editor
4:52 pm GMT+12, 21/01/2013, Papua New Guine

Resident Kumuls and their coaches have been gagged by the interim Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League board.

In a directive, the interim board has stopped all statements to the media from any personnel on its roster, including Residents XIII players and coaches.

Interim board member representing Southern region Mairi Gwaibo confirmed when approached by The National for comments with regard to Saturday’s board meeting.

“We did a press ban, only the chairman (Don Fox) does the press releases, so I can’t say anything about the meeting,” Gwaibo said.

“It is only proper to allow Fox to make the announcement.”

But Fox was unable to comment.

“You’ve caught me at a bad time so call me tomorrow morning,” Fox said.

The ban was put in place apparently to restrict statements to pre-empt preparations for the World Cup by the Kumuls.

The blanket ban comes after players and officials spoke to the (The National) media last on their hopes, aspirations and determination on donning for the national colours for the game against NRL club South Sydney and the World Cup in England. Those statements infuriated the board, while it works towards setting its course.

It is believed speculation by this newspaper on the number of overseas-based players to be included in the World Cup squad led to the ban. A formal announcement and confirmation regarding the team schedule and the Kumuls World Cup staff particularly will be made after the clash against the Rabbitohs.

“I think its … some people might not be giving out factual information about all the arrangements for South Sydney,” Gwaibo said.

“No-one is supposed to talk about the World Cup, they shouldn’t go ahead and talk about the international players.”

The Residents Kumuls side will go into camp on Sunday, with coach Adrian Lam expected in the country two days earlier. The side will go through their first fitness session and will camp in Port Moresby before leaving for the Cabramatta 9s in Sydney.

That tournament will be used as the team’s warm-up for the Return to Redfern spectacle against the Rabbitohs on Feb 9.


18) Rising stars in Fiji rugby Sevens squad

By Online Editor
4:50 pm GMT+12, 21/01/2013, Fiji

The Digicel Fiji Sevens side is set to unleash some new stars in the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series next month.

This after the national team head coach Alifereti Dere named nine new players in the 16-member squad after the Uprising Fiji International 7s tournament finals at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

They include Jone Vota, Mosese Saunivanua, Jasa Veremalua, Peni Ravai, Joshua Tuiova, Sakuisa Gavidi, Manasa Naiyagi, Emosi Mulevoro and Benito Eremasi.

Dere retained core players Setefano Cakau, Joji Ragamate and Ilai Tinai while Ulaiyasi Lawavou, Nemani Nagusa, Manueli Laqai and Samisoni Viriviri are making a comeback.

A surprise exclusion from the team was Osea Kolinisau.

“These players were chosen by the national team selectors based on the performance during the training and the Uprising 7s,” Dere said.

“The final 12-member team will be named on Wednesday (next week).”

The former Fiji 7s skipper used the Uprising 7s to hunt for the best players for the Wellington and Las Vegas 7s tournaments.

He guided the FMF Fiji Warriors team while his assistant Timoci Wainiqolo, who is tipped to take the team to New Zealand, was in charge of the Digicel Fiji Barbarians side.

The Barbarians defeated Warriors 31-12 in the Cup final to become the new Uprising 7s champions.
Fiji is pooled with Portugal, Australia and Scotland in the Wellington 7s to be played on February 1 and 2.
16-member squad:

Forwards: Ulaiyasi Lawavou, Setefano Cakau, Nemani Nagusa, Manueli Laqai, Jone Vota, Mosese Saunivanua, Jasa Veremalua and Peni Ravai. Backs: Joji Ragamate, Ilai Tinai, Samisoni Viriviri, Josua Tuiova, Sakiusa Gavidi, Manasa Nayagi, Emosi Mulevoro and Benito Eremasi.


19) Cook Islands ready for action

By Online Editor
4:48 pm GMT+12, 21/01/2013, Cook Islands

Coaching staff of the Cook Islands U-17 squad have revealed an 18-strong line up who will represent the country at the OFC U-17 Championship Preliminary in Samoa from the 22-26.

For the past three months, players from around Rarotonga, Mangaia, Atiu and Mauke have been hard at work with intense training sessions in preparation for the tournament.

The Cook Islands side will face American Samoa, Tonga and host Samoa with the winner proceeding to the OFC U-17 Championship.

Taking charge of the team is former national player Tuka Tisam, who will be assisted by Paul Van Eijk.

Tisam is eager for his side to earn the opportunity to come face-to-face with some of the Pacific footballing heavyweights at the OFC U-17 Championship, which is set to take place in Vanuatu in April.

“It is our aim to see that we progress through to the second stage of the OFC U-17 Championship,” Tisam says. “But for now we will concentrate on this tournament.”

One week prior to departure, the team were joined by overseas players from New Zealand and Australia, where they spent a week together in a training camp working out the kinks of each player to better suit the team.

“We will need to bring our A-game in Samoa, the weather conditions will no doubt play a part during the tournament and we will work hard to keep our players focused,” Tisam says.

Prior to their departure the U-17 squad and management team were hosted at a luncheon with Cook Islands Football Association president Lee Harmon and vice president Jake Numanga at Tamarind House.

The team is scheduled to depart for Samoa via New Zealand today, three days before the championship kicks off.


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