Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 706
1) Planti ol hap graun long Solomon istap long han blong ol autsait pipol
Bikpela wari long Solomon Islands nau em long planti ol hap graun long Honiara city istap nau long han blong ol autsait pipol.
Bikpela wari long Solomon Islands nau em long planti ol hap graun long Honiara city istap nau long han blong ol autsait pipol.
Dispela long wanem ol wokman na meri long Lands Department na Housing long kantri ino mekim gut wok blong ol.
Long toktok blong en long dispela wari, olpela Praim Minista na spika blong Solomon Islands, Sir Peter Kenilorea ibin tok emi laik
Lukim planti ol wokman na meri long dispela tupela department imas pinis long wok blong ol.
Bikpela wari blong en em ol offisa long dispela tupela departmet iwok long iusim pawa blong ol long salim nating ol hap graun igo long ol pipol blong Asia na ol araplea autsait pipol.
Tede Sir Peter i stori moa long dispela wari blong em igo long John Papik.
MSG Secretariat – The Officer-in-Charge of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat and Chairman for the MSG Silver Jubilee Organizing and Planning Committee, Jean Pierre Nirua is pleased to announce that the official launching of the MSG Silver Jubilee celebrations throughout Melanesia will be held in Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu on the 28th January 2013.
Nirua confirmed that the launching ceremony to mark 25 years of Melanesian solidarity and growth will be officiated by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Honorable Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu, and added that this particular Grand Launching Ceremony will mark the beginning of the celebrations throughout Melanesia.
The Chairman of the MSG Silver Jubilee Organizing and Planning Committee expressed his satisfaction that the Committee for the special event that comprises of officials of the Vanuatu Government and other key stakeholders have planned to stage a memorable launching at the Independence Park.
Nirua explained that as part of the regional celebration program MSG members such as the FLNKS grouping of Kanaky, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will also from February to June 2013 be hosting their one-week Melanesia celebrations.
He said this is an initiative by the organizing committee and endorsed by the Leaders Summit in 2012 to enable all members to celebrate this Silver Jubilee in their respective countries.
The Chairman of the MSG Silver Jubilee Organizing and Planning Committee is also pleased to further announce that Papua New Guinea will hold their Melanesia Week in February, Vanuatu in March, Solomon Islands in April, Fiji in May and the people of Kanaky in June 2013 when Leaders Summit is scheduled to be hosted by FLNKS.
He said Vanuatu who is the host country of the Secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Port Vila, Vanuatu will host their Melanesia Week in March on the anniversary date of the birth of the MSG which falls on the 14 March 2013.
“This will mark 25 years of the signing of the Principles of Cooperation between Independent States of Melanesia, the first agreement to give birth to the idea of strengthening Melanesian solidarity and cooperation,” said Nirua.
Nirua was also able to confirm and reveal that as part of the launching ceremony in Vanuatu a symposium under the theme “Leaders’ Toktok-Tales from Our Founders and Pioneers” is being organized for founding leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and current leaders of the MSG to share their perspectives on various key topics in Melanesia to highlight the history and future of Melanesian cooperation that began 25 years ago on 14 March 1988.
“This is an exciting time for our people and our leaders as the symposium will give opportunity to leaders of Melanesia to share with the people of Melanesia the vision and ideas that gave birth to the strong relationship and relations enjoyed by MSG member countries,” said Nirua. He said this will also give opportunity to leaders to share their perspectives on issues that are of common interest to the people and Governments of Melanesia.
He further added that the launching ceremony will also see the official release of MSG souvenirs and memorabilia to mark 25 years of Melanesian Solidarity and Growth, the unveiling of the Melanesian carving by member country carvers and a public luncheon for all. “This is a day to remember for the people of Melanesia so we will invite our Leaders, MSG pioneers and founders and our friends of Melanesia near and far to join us in marking this special day not just to remember the hard work of our Leaders, Senior officials and Governments but also to continue to embrace and enjoy our solidarity and cooperation for the many more years to come,” said Nirua.
The Officer-in-Charge of the MSG Secretariat confirmed that the official program will soon be circulated to all member countries, Governments and the people of Melanesia.
3)Indigenous Business Program Launched In PNG
$525.4 million package to assist PNG-owned businesses
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 21, 2013) – A new business organization has been launched in Papua New Guinea to advocate for the needs of indigenous business-people.
The Indigenous Business Council has received a stimulus package of AU$500 million [US$525.4 million] to train and encourage indigenous Papua New Guinea to begin formal sector businesses.
While hundreds of thousands of indigenous Papua New Guineans work in the informal sector – which includes market stalls – 90 percent of formal sector businesses are owned by foreigners.
Indigenous Business council secretary, Sarah Haoda Todd, says since independence indigenous business-people “have been in slumber.”
“Lots of business opportunities have come and passed us by,” Ms. Todd told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.
“Traditionally we are socially responsible people. We take care of all the other social obligations and it’s important to have finances in our homes these days.”
Ms. Todd says her organization has been very successful in negotiations with the O’Neill government.
She says the beginning of her own business career was difficult, with the loan application for her cleaning business being rejected three times by a bank before being approved.
Fifteen years later, the business now employs over 300 staff.
“Hopefully because of the government backing and the availability of finances we just want to make sure that people… have some insight on what the difficulties and impediments might be in business,” Ms. Todd says.
“I just went in there blindly but actually learnt some of these things along the way.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
4) Nearly 40-thousand affected by flooding in PNG Highlands
Posted at 21:11 on 23 January, 2013 UTC
Devastating flooding in the Papua New Guinea provinces of Western Highlands and Jiwaka this month has ruined food crops and gardens, damaged homes and wiped out livestock.
The Waghi River rose and burst its banks after days of continuous rain.
A Post Courier journalist Johnny Poiya estimates the flood has affected close to 40-thousand people, and cost hundreds of thousands of kina in damage.
Mr Poiya says many locals are trying their best to cope, particularly with sourcing food, as they wait for the government to act.
“Two big crops, (like) cocoa or banana gone everything. Once the flood waters covers these food crops they get damaged now. I mean they are trying to go back to their normal life now. They are still waiting for government help.”
Johnny Poiya says disaster provincial officials have assessed the damage, but are yet to act.
He says aid organisations are distributing some food and other emergency supplies in the interim.
Radio New Zealand International
5)Volcanic Eruption Leads To Cancelled Flights In PNG
Mt. Tavurvur activity interrupts flights in East New Britain
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 22, 2013) – Air Niugini has suspended all its flights to Tokua Airport in Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain due to ash and vapor blowing in from the Mt. Tavurvur volcano.
The airline’s corporate affairs division said in a statement that the suspension came into effect yesterday and would continue for an indefinite period.
Ash and vapor emissions have continued for the past two days from Mt. Tavurvur volcano.
The Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) could not provide a report yesterday but the emissions were seen and experienced by residents in the province.
Low to loud roaring and rumbling noises were heard last Sunday night when the volcano erupted but none of the spectacular spewing was seen.
Reports later said ash was sent into the air about 500 meters high.
The ash clouds above the crater were blown east and east-southeast.
RVO noted on Sunday that because the activity occurred during the northwest monsoon, it was possible for high altitude ash emissions, with high ash to perhaps affect Tokua Airport.
Air Niugini said: “All operations to Tokua Airport have been temporarily suspended due to a change in wind direction, blowing volcanic ash to fall in the aerodrome and surrounding areas.”
It said while PX 252 and PX 253 did fly to Rabaul and Buka yesterday, another flight, PX296, flew to Kavieng and returned to Port Moresby.
“The Rabaul sector was cancelled. The airspace over Tokua Airport will be monitored on a daily basis and any decision to resume flights will depend on the prevailing winds dispersing volcanic emission away from the aerodrome.”
The airline advised passengers who have been ticketed to travel to Rabaul to check with their nearest Air Niugini sales office to revalidate the tickets without penalties.
The National: www.thenational.com.pg/
By Online Editor
6:31 pm GMT+12, 22/01/2013, Papua New GuineaVanuatu’s Foreign Minister Albert Carlot and his team, including two diplomats were in Papua New Guinea last week to pay a courtesy business call on the new United States Ambassador Walter North.
The explanation came from Papua New Guinea’s acting Foreign Affairs secretary Ambassador Lucy Bogari who was asked about why the alleged controversial private jet trip landed in Port Moresby and did not fly to Vanuatu.
“The reason why they came, according to the diplomatic note that we received from the Vanuatu mission in Brussels via our mission, was that they were coming here to meet with the Foreign Minister for Vanuatu who was here in PNG for some meetings that they had arranged with the US Embassy in Port Moresby,” Bogari said.
“The US Embassy is also responsible for the Vanuatu Government. It’s concurrently accredited to the Vanuatu Government so they had some business to do with the US Embassy,” she told the Post-Courier.
The Post-Courier, with the help of Vanuatu Daily Post, contacted the Vanuatu Government. Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s officials relayed a message that they were not aware of the visit by Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot to Papua New Guinea.
They advised the Post-Courier that the Prime Minister of Vanuatu will make a full statement today.
Investigations by the newspaper revealed that a letter from Papua New Guinea’s diplomatic mission in Brussels, on January 11 advised flight details carrying Vanuatu’s diplomats all the way from Mali.
A Kapi Maro, from the PNG office in Brussels, wrote a letter on January 11, 2013 and sent it to Samuel Pulup, Director-General PST – Division.
Maro advised that the office received a request from the Vanuatu office in Brussels, detailing the travel arrangements of two diplomats and for the office to check and approve the request for the Sekan brothers who travelled on UN diplomatic passports issued in Vanuatu.
Their visit was from January 17-20. No further information was given, according to a brief obtained by the Post-Courier.
This is where the trip all began. On Thursday, January 17, the private plane, call-sign NIIIVM, with the two Sekan brothers, three crew members, including a female and the pilot, travelled 22 hours to get to Port Moresby’s Jackson’s international airport, landing at 8:15pm.
According to information supplied to the Post-Courier, the plane belongs to the International Jet Club Limited, a UK-based company, but the flight originated in Dallas, then over Cape Verde to Mali, then Gan in Maldives and finally to Port Moresby.
The Post-Courier was alerted an hour after the plane landed – basically because the Airport Operation crew (Customs and Immigration) were caught off guard. They had packed and were about to leave when the plane landed and taxied to the parking bay.
According to information supplied by Jackson’s airport operation personnel, one body guard and the advance team arrived on Wednesday from Hong Kong on a commercial flight.
Vanuatu Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot and the Foreign Affairs Secretary arrived on Thursday morning via Brisbane. On the same flight with them were PNG’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato and State-owned Enterprise Minister Ben Micah.
The plane arrived on Thursday night. And on Friday morning two more Vanuatu officials arrived in Port Moresby.
The crew members stayed at Airways Hotel while the two passengers – the Sekan brothers – joined the Vanuatu Foreign Affairs team at Holiday Inn.
Airport operations officials told the Post-Courier on Friday morning that police were already alerted about the mystery plane by their intelligence sources.
Police picked up everyone on board the plane for interviews that took place all day on Friday.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
7) ‘A blatant lie’
O’Neill: My govt did not invite mystery plane here
By STAFF REPORTERS
UNDER siege Vanuatu Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot yesterday said he and his delegation flew into Port Moresby last week at the invitation of the O’Neill government.
However, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told a press conference at Morauta Haus yesterday afternoon that Mr Carlot’s statement was “a blatant lie” as his government did not invite any anyone from neighbouring Pacific Island countries to visit Port Moresby.
The strong rebuttal from the head of the PNG government capped a tense weekend following revelations by the local media that a British-registered Boeing 737 landed unannounced at the Jackson’s International Airport last Thursday.
Flanked by top bureaucrats Lucy Bogari (Foreign Affairs), Joseph Kintau (National Airports Corporation), Captain Ted Paki (PNG Air Services Ltd), Ray Paul (PNG Customs), Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga and Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc, Mr O’Neill said he was satisfied independent investigations by the separate state agencies cleared the aircraft and its passengers of any wrongdoing.
He also defended his ministers – State Enterprise Minister Ben Micah and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato – who were seen with Mr Carlot and cited by a confidential brief prepared by Mr Kulunga saying their sighting with the Vanuatu Foreign Minister did not mean they were involved in illegal activities.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah has called for the duo’s sacking from Mr O’Neill’s cabinet, prompting Mr Micah to charge that the Vanimo Green MP lied.
“I have lost my respect for the alternate Prime Minister for telling a lie and reducing himself to a liar on the street. He should come up with something better to get me sacked as Minister” said the Kavieng MP.
Amidst the name calling between the PNG politicians, government documents including emails sighted by the Post-Courier confirmed that airport authorities Customs, Immigration and Quarantine and National Airports Corporation did not get documentation advising of the plane’s arrival until after its touchdown at the Jackson’s International Airport.
Documents also shows that the PNG Embassy in Brussels advised headquarters in a letter dated January 11, 2013 of the aircraft’s arrival. It is not known why the department did not facilitate the plane’s documentation until the eleventh hour. The documentation including correspondence with the UK-based International JetClub Limited, the owner of the aircraft, was also copied to Air Niugini’s International Terminal Manager.
Despite the obvious lapses in the ability of the various state agencies to respond effectively to the incident, Mr O’Neill said he was happy with the overall response and his government is working to improve on that.http://www.postcourier.
8)PNG a haven for transnational criminals: Juffa
ORO Governor Gary Juffa says the unannounced arrival of a Boeing 737 and its passengers confirmed his fears that Papua New Guinea was becoming a haven for transnational criminals.
The outspoken MP warned in October last year that failure by the O’Neill government to arrest and deport Interpol-wanted Indonesian fugitive Djoko Tjandra would make the country attractive to people with similar background. “The recent events in regards to a visit paid by a few interesting characters reminds me of a piece
“I had written in October 2012. In that piece I proposed that PNG is fast becoming a haven for transnational criminals. My post was in direct reference to Djoko Tjandra, international fugitive and Indonesian citizen who was granted PNG citizenship under dubious circumstances when he fled Indonesia,” he posted recently on Sharp Talk, PNG’s eminent Facebook discussion group.
A chartered Boeing 737 aircraft flew into Port Moresby last Thursday and caught PNG officials off-guard as they were not given advanced notification. The plane’s two sole passengers, who were later discovered to be Vanuatu diplomat brothers Vu Anh Quan Saken and Charles Henry Saken, also aroused suspicions leading to their detention and questioning by officials.
According to a Royal PNG Constabulary Brief prepared for the Police Minister, the two diplomats were the subject of investigations by international law enforcement agencies.
The arrival of the aircraft and its passengers compelled the Oro governor to warn that PNG could become home to more people who were on the run from the law in their own countries.
“The current situation is now a confirmation of my concerns, that PNG will be seen as an easy haven for transnational criminals who may wish to launder their activities and present themselves to the rest of the world as legitimate investors.”http://www.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo yesterday met with the visiting Fiji’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during which both leaders discussed issues of common interest to the two Melanesian countries.
Mr Lilo took the opportunity to express his delight after being told by Mr Kabuabola of Fiji’s commitment to have its election next year.According to the Fiji foreign minister his country is committed to holding the election in August/September 2014.
At the bilateral level, Mr Lilo was informed of Fiji’s interest to engage Solomon Islands doctors after their graduation in Cuba.
Fiji currently needs 100 doctors to fill places within its hospitals and other health facilities.
Both leaders also discussed MSG issues in particular the planned MSG Leaders’ Summit to be held in New Caledonia in June.(Solomon Star)
10)Solomons-PNG Border Security Issues Raise Concerns
Shortland Islands leaders claim logging equipment stolen
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 21, 2013) – There has been a call by Solomon Islanders living along the sea border with Papua New Guinea to review security.
Leaders in the Shortland Islands want consultations with the Regional Assistance Mission RAMSI, the Solomon Islands police and the international police after reported transgressions in the area.
Reports say a group believed to have crossed from PNG’s Bougainville entered a logging camp in one of the islands and left with logging equipment.
The Shortland people were badly affected during the Bougainville crisis of the 1990s when members of the rebel Bougainville Revolutionary Army and soldiers of the PNG Defence Force fought battles on their soil and shores.
An elder has told our correspondent that Shortland people still recollect the frightening experiences of those days.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
11) MBA study opportunity for Vanuatu
The University of the South Pacific (USP) Emalus Campus is preparing to run a second course program on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) for interested people in Port Vila and Vanuatu.
A visiting Senior Fellow (MBA) from USP Laucala Campus in Fiji, Mesake Nawari, has been in Port Vila last week to promote the program with the Emalus Campus in Port Vila.
The second MBA program begins in the middle of May 2013 and ends in April 2015. It is a two year program which is tailored to suit men and women who either work or run their own business but are interested to take up the Master of Business Administration Program here at the Emalus Campus in Port Vila.
There are six units to complete in 12 months and a total of twelve units to complete the entire program at the end of two years and graduation.
“The program is specially tailored to be flexible for Pacific Islanders who are either working and or run their own businesses but can do it on a part time evening basis.
“Professors will be drawn from different countries within and outside the Pacific region that will come to Vanuatu to run and supervise the program,” Nawari explained.
He proudly explained that there is a number of Ni-Vanuatu who graduated from the program (MVA) and are now holding senior positions in leading government and private institutions as well NGO organizations.
On the question of age criteria,Mesake Narawan cited an example where a 67-year-old Pacific Islander embarked on an MBA program, completed it and graduated with Master of Business Administration and advanced himself in a high employment position making a wealthy living from the program.
“A recent progressive survey in the Pacific has shown that after completing an MBA Program, 66% of those graduating become leaders or hold senior positions in the government, the private sector and NGOs organizations,” said Nawari.
Information on the MBA Emalus Campus program that starts in May this year can be obtained from Emalus Campus Manager, Reuben Bakeo, at the USP Emalus Campus in Port Vila.http://www.dailypost.vu/
12)Vanuatu Ports Director believes suspension was politically motivated
Posted at 20:52 on 21 January, 2013 UTC
The suspended Director of Ports and Harbours in Vanuatu says his suspension was politically motivated.
The government, through the Public Service Commission, suspended the Director, Morris Kaloran, last Friday.
The official reason for his suspension remains unclear but Mr Kaloran believes it is based on his refusal to release the mega-yacht, the Phocea, from detention in Port Vila harbour against the government’s wishes.
“Well, they give me some reasons but I think it’s only a cover-up. The reasons that were given to me for suspension, there is no ground for it. But the suspension was, I believe, politically motivated.”
Morris Kaloran says that despite his suspension, the yacht’s registration and crew documentation remain out of order and therefore the owner of the vessel has a case to answer.
He says the Phocea is not legally registered to any state.
The Malta Shipping Registry has confirmed that provisional Maltese registration for the Phocea obtained last year without proof of ownership and other registration requirements, was cancelled last week.
Radio New Zealand International
13) Vanuatu To Crack Down On Fake Seasonal Work Agents
Labour officer calls on public to report individuals collecting money
By Len Garae
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 22, 2013) – The Office of the Employment Services Unit in Vanuatu has sent out an urgent public appeal for anyone who knows the names of individuals who collect money to send workers to work under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme in New Zealand and Seasonal Worker Programme in Australia to report them to the Employment Services Unit on telephone number 29937.
Senior Labour Officer of ESU Tarisu Kailes says it is unlawful for anyone to pay any money to anyone claiming to be a licensee or agent for anyone wanting to work under the RSE Scheme in New Zealand or SWP in Australia.
The Seasonal Employment Act No.23 of 2007 lays out the procedure under which a person can apply to work either in New Zealand or Australia. “The Act defines the process to abide by if a person wants to become a seasonal employment work agent and it specifically says it is illegal for the person to collect money from those applicants applying to work in either New Zealand or Australia”, the Senior Labour Officer says.
“Come to the ESU Office on the top floor of Vila Mall to find who the registered agents for the RSE and SWP are that have been approved of by the Commissioner of Labour in order to apply through the relevant agent for either New Zealand or Australia”.
The ESU Officer says in the Policy that has been signed between Vanuatu and Australia, there are conditions that both farmers and contractors in Australia have to meet in order to allow them to recruit workers from Vanuatu. “In the same way applicants from Vanuatu must qualify through the relevant criteria to go to work under the SWP in Australia,” Kailes says.
Not all farmers in Australia can recruit workers from Vanuatu. Those that do are approved of by the Government of Australia.
If a farmer wants to become a recruiter, he or she must apply to the Australian Government to become an Australian Approved Employer (AAE). Only AAEs can recruit workers from Vanuatu to work under the SWP.
Every AAE must complete an Australian Government required Labour Testing Requirement to confirm that no Australian can be employed in the area of work in order to recruit workers from the Pacific Island Nations.
There are two main criteria that all applicants must comply with. One is that the applicant must be between 21 and 45 years old and the other is that if a worker has worked under the RSE in New Zealand, he or she must wait for three years before applying to work under the SWP in Australia.
The ESU Office calls on members of the public as well as applicants to report those individuals who capitalise on the RSE and SWP to defraud those wishing to work in New Zealand and Australia for quick cash.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
By Online Editor
2:48 pm GMT+12, 23/01/2013, Fiji
Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama is still yet to confirm whether he will contest the 2014 General Election or not.
Bainimarama in an interview with Sky News in March last year had stated that he was still considering his options, however he told FijiLive today that he has not made a decision yet about standing in the election.
“My priority right now is to move Fiji forward and to see that the constitutional process is completed,” he said.
“I cannot comment on elections because I have to ensure that things are in order so our country can return to democracy.”
Under the new political party registration decree 2013 the Prime Minister is allowed to contest elections however as the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Bainimarama will have to resign from his post before applying to be an applicant or a member of a party.
Meanwhile, the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree will be a major obstacle in ensuring genuinely free and fair elections in Fiji if it is to remain in place, says the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum.
Forum chief executive Reverend Akuila Yabaki reiterates that the government cannot act against the principles of democracy, by promulgating the “Political Party Decree” as it is wholly an issue for the new constitution to determine through the next phase of the constitution making process.
He said commitment to article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which calls for people to participate in government should not be limited, restricted or defined undemocratically.
“This is not a sustainable approach as people will only take ownership in the process if they are truly allowed to participate.”
“The views of the people were rather extensively expressed during the public consultations on the drafting of the constitution and many stated the loss of confidence and faith in politicians and political parties, however, the government should not impose limitations to the rights of political parties through such a decree,” said Rev Yabaki.
“The decree as it stands, is unjustified and will deny the citizens of Fiji their right to be represented in a general election by persons or parties of their choice. It would leave a huge vacuum in Fiji’s current political climate and deter others, potential leaders, from standing in the 2014 planned elections.”
Rev Yabaki said while many aspects of the decree are aimed at bringing about accountability amongst the political parties, it is not in line with aspirations and norms of nation building as it targets and marginalizes certain groups and individuals from exercising their right to take part in the government and free and fair elections.
Attorney General and Elections Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while announcing the new decree last Tuesday stated that the new requirements under the decree will bring about transparency and accountability.
The Political Parties Decree is currently in effect and all existing political parties have until the 14th of February to re-register.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS
By Online Editor
6:26 pm GMT+12, 22/01/2013, Fiji
Fiji could receive new navy vessels from China.
They would replace the ageing navy boats which have been servicing and guarding Fiji waters for decades.
Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama revealed this after meeting Major-General Qian Lihua, Chief of the Foreign Affairs Office in China’s Ministry of Defence in Suva Monday.
Major-General Qian and his delegation were accorded full Fijian traditional ceremonies of welcome at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks (QEB) in Nabua.
Commodore Bainimarama said the visit was part of their annual defence co-operation briefing.
“We discuss areas of co-operation, training and development,” he said.
Major-General Qian also assured in his short speech after the ceremony that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China would help and support the RFMF.
He made a tour of the RFMF facilities, including the Engineers Corps, the Forces Training Group in Nasinu and the Fiji Navy.
“The inspection will allow them to see areas they can further assist us,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“We have discussed a few areas and where they can help like machinery, which we will use for more rehabilitation and regional development.
“We are also looking at replacing our navy boats and also possible help in improving our band,”
This latest development will also result in increased assistance in the form of vehicles, uniforms, other equipment as well as training opportunities for defence personnel.
Major-General Qian was accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Huang Yong to the QEB.
China’s partnership and bilateral relations with Fiji were strengthened following the so-called smart sanctions imposed by Australia and New Zealand in 2007. The Prime Minister and RFMF Commander has acknowledged the willing Chinese support.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
16)Fiji’s regime says mainstream faith-based groups invited to join CA
Posted at 20:52 on 21 January, 2013 UTC
The Fiji interim government says mainstream faith-based organisations including Christians, Catholics and Methodists will be invited to join the Constituent Assembly to approve the constitution.
The regime is processing applications for the Constituent Assembly and reviewing eligible candidates with the aim of announcing members by early next month.
Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua says it will invite parties that have successfully registered under its new political party decree as well as faith-based groups.
“We have not decided on anyone but I think we will invite the Catholics, we’ll invite the Methodists, you know the major one, assemblies of God, and other members of the Fiji conference of churches and the assemblies of Christian churches. Those are the main ones. So invitations will be extended to them too.”
Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua says the regime is considering the application of the women’s umbrella body, Federation of Fijian Women, as well as other civil society organisations.
Radio New Zealand International
17)Fiji Party Names In English To Prevent Discrimination: AG
Sayed-Khaiyum says ‘linguistic exclusivity’ will not be allowed
By Felix Chaudhary
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 22, 2013) – In Fiji, political party names have to be registered in English to eliminate linguistic exclusivity and discrimination.
This was the explanation given by the Attorney-General and Minister for Electoral Reform, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to the requirement for parties to register names in English under the Political Parties Registration Decree 2013.
Political parties must register their names in English but could translate the name if they wished to do so, he said.
“There is no discrimination that takes place on the basis of ethnicity or linguistic differences. English is the accepted medium of communication in terms of business and government transactions and the medium of teaching in schools also.
“Therefore, by having the name in English, you are essentially saying that the party does not discriminate on the basis of linguistic exclusivity or ethnicity,” he said.
Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum said comments by existing political parties that all three languages should be treated equally exposed that parties were not open to all ethnicities, something that would not be entertained under the new decree.
“If you look at the code of conduct for what political parties must do, they must not discriminate. By starting off with a name that is linguistically exclusive, you are already being discriminatory. The idea is that you have political parties that can appeal to anybody.
“There is of course nothing stopping a political party (translated) into a vernacular but the registered political party name must be in English,” the A-G said.
[PIR editor’s note: Despite initial protests over the requirement, the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) Party has announced it will change its name to adhere to the new provisions, according to senior party official Pio Tabaiwalu. He says the party will try to formulate a name as close to possible to its current acronym.]
“Some political parties are saying that all three languages must be treated equally. By having the name registered in English does not mean the party is not being treated unequally. Political parties need to have national appeal.
“In the day and age where you have votes purely on a communal basis and have names based on ethnicity, no country in the world that is democratically stable and has a sustained economy has discrimination on that basis. Parties have to be open to anybody.”
Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
18)Tongan Seasonal Workers Need Full Insurance Policies
Recent death raises questions over paying to repatriate remains
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 21, 2013) – A liaison officer supporting Tongan workers and employers in New Zealand on the Recognized Seasonal Employer scheme is calling for a more comprehensive insurance policy in the event of death.
Sefita Haouli says an RSE worker from Tonga recently died in New Zealand, but there was uncertainty and stress as to who would pay for the body’s repatriation to Tonga.
He says in this case, the family was lucky that the insurance company paid, despite the cause of death still being investigated.
Mr. Haouli says the incident highlights the current policy falls short.
“Pre-existing conditions could well be unknown to him or to her. And only in the event of a death will that be known, and of course by then, our view is it could well be too late to argue as to who will be responsible for meeting the cost of the deceased for repatriation. And that’s an issue we are moving now to address.”
Sefita Haouli says the next step is to meet with all stakeholders and the insurance company and discuss how to improve the policy and the possible cost of premiums for doing so.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
19)Unpredictable Cyclone Systems Lurking In Pacific
Cyclone Garry headed towards Cook Islands, French Polynesia
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 23, 2013) – Samoa has escaped a threat from cyclone Garry, but other potential cyclonic systems are brewing for the Pacific region.
Cyclone Garry has been downgraded as it moves toward French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.
But forecasters say it may intensify again – towards category four – as it reaches the Cooks in about 24 hours.
Overnight Garry became a category one cyclone – lowered from category two. But observers warn it is unpredictable.
Samoa was on high alert, with the storm hitting a month after cyclone Evan ravaged the country and severely damaged the capital, Apia. High winds have also been battering American Samoa.
Earlier, Mulipola Titimaea, from Samoa’s National Disaster Management Office, told Radio Australia’sPacific Beat the system was unpredictable.
Mr. Titimaea said it was similar to last month’s devastating cyclone Evan “in character and formation, so we’ve learnt from that it’s unpredictable.”
The forecaster said: “If you compare it with (tropical cyclone) Evan… Evan was predicted to move south-west, but it moved north-east.”
Garry was a very small system. “Some forecasters and scientists call them ‘black swan’ because it’s hard to pick up the intensity from the radar centre.”
Mr. Titimaea said there was another depression to the east but it is very weak. “There’s also an interesting one to the west (by Vanuatu and Solomon Islands) which could be forming again where the depression of Garry formed.
“It’s a very busy season for us Pacific forecasters.”
Two hundred school students in Fiji will take classes in temporary shelters for at least a month after damage caused by cyclone Evan.
Schools reopened this week for the first time since cyclone Evan hit in December, causing an estimated US$43 million in damages.
Manasa Tagicakibau, director of Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office, says the rebuilding of school buildings damaged by Evan continues, so temporary shelters have been erected.
“We have had 14 schools that were badly damaged, and these were the schools that we’ve erected temporary shelters for,” the director said.
“Apart from those 134 schools, other schools were badly damaged which the school children can still use the buildings while repair work carries on.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
20)Guam Residents Warned Over Dangerous Ocean Conditions
Authorities estimate fifteen-foot waves, high winds
By Brett Kelman
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 22, 2013) – The worst of gale-force winds, high surf and hazardous seas should have passed Guam by today, but potentially dangerous conditions will linger until tomorrow.
The National Weather Service issued a high-surf advisory and a small craft advisory that are expected to last until 6 a.m., Wednesday.
The advisories mean that swimmers and boaters should be wary of powerful waves, and consider avoiding the water altogether, according to the Weather Service.
However, conditions were more severe yesterday, when the Weather Service issued three separate weather warnings. A warning is more serious than an advisory.
“Even in the typhoons, I’ve never seen it get like this,” said Father George Maddock, who has lived on Guam since 1965. He stood on a shoreline in Asan yesterday afternoon, watching waves crash against the rocks, spraying seawater high overhead.
Maddock said he had spotted the surf from the St. Fidelis Friary in Agana Heights, so he drove to Asan Beach park for a closer look. So did dozens of other residents, who swung by the national park to watch the waves roll in during high tide.
“It’s pretty spectacular watching them crash on the rocks,” said Erin Wigman, who stood under a palm tree, holding her 3-year-old son, Josiah. She said the boy wanted to watch a kite boarder, who dared to carve between the waves off the coast.
The Weather Service yesterday issued a gale wind warning, a high surf warning and a hazardous seas warning — all of which are expected to remain in effect until 5 a.m. today.
This rough weather can all be traced back to a large cold front, which stretches halfway across the Pacific Ocean, said meteorologist Derek Williams.
“A large low-pressure area formed off of Japan, and that gets things spinning,” Williams said. “Usually, with a mid-latitude system… it will bring down that colder air, and the stronger the low-pressure system, the stronger the winds, so the greater the chance of it coming down here.”
The gale warning means frequent gusts of 40 to 55 mph. Winds like that can create difficult conditions for small boats or large vehicles, the Weather Service states.
The hazardous seas warning means that meteorologists expected waves of at least 15 feet or larger. Recreational boaters were advised not to leave the port, and commercial vessels were told to prepare for rough seas.
Finally, the high surf warning stated that “dangerous, battering waves” would pound local shorelines, creating “very dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents,” according to the Weather Service.
The impact of these waves was most visible at the Asan Beach portion of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.
In recent days, the waves have reached into the parking lot at the beach park, shoving and rolling the heavy concrete parking barriers. The waves left sand, rocks and other debris littering the sidewalks and asphalt.
The waves uprooted the barriers on either Thursday night or Friday morning, said Jennifer Stocker, an amateur photographer from Santa Rita.
Stocker said she has visited Asan Beach several times in recent days to photograph crashing waves. She first noticed the powerful surf on Thursday, then saw the parking lot in shambles on Friday. Yesterday, Stocker was at the beach again, snapping more photos.
“I’ve never seen waves like these here on Guam,” said Stocker, who has lived on the island for three years.
According to a video released by War in the Pacific park, flooding in the parking lot is an annual issue for the Asan Beach park because this “low-lying, north-facing” shoreline is “especially vulnerable to ocean over-wash.”
The rough weather also may have contributed to a distressed swimmer in Tumon. The swimmer was rescued by staff at the Hotel Nikko Guam.
Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com
21) De l’eau dans le gaz entre la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et le Vanuatu
Le Premier ministre papou, Peter O’Neill, a accusé le ministre des Affaires étrangères du Vanuatu, Alfred Carlot, de mentir effrontément
Résumé de la situation : tout a commencé par l’atterrissage de nuit, le jeudi 17 janvier, d’un mystérieux Boeing à l’aéroport international de Port Moresby, capitale de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Un vol non autorisé. Tout le personnel de l’immigration était alors rentré à la maison.
À bord de l’appareil, deux hommes d’origine vietnamienne, Vu Anh Quan Saken et Charles Henry Saken, munis de passeports diplomatiques du Vanuatu qui désiraient rencontrer Alfred Carlot, déjà en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée sur invitation dit-il, du gouvernement papou.
Ces deux hommes sont arrivés à bord d’un jet privé appartenant au British International Jet Club.
Lucy Bogari, Vice-secrétaire d’État aux Affaires étrangères du gouvernement papou, précise que M. Carlot était en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée pour des entretiens officiels avec le nouvel ambassadeur des États-Unis pour la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et le Vanuatu, Walter North.
Lucy Bogary tient à souligner que M. Carlot n’était pas en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée sur invitation du gouvernement papou.
L’ambassade des États-Unis à Port Moresby a depuis précisé qu’il n’y avait eu aucun entretien entre M. North et M. Carlot.
Les services d’immigration ont été pris de court par l’arrivée du mystérieux appareil et ont interrogé les membres d’équipage et les passagers, dont les deux frères vietnamiens ; Vu Anh Quan Saken et Charles Henry Saken. Le but étant de déterminer si des infractions aux lois sur l’immigration avaient été commises.
Après enquête, aucune infraction n’a été découverte et l’avion a été autorisé à s’envoler vers Singapour avec l’équipage et les passagers.
Peter O’Neill, Premier ministre de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, s’explique.
O’NEILL : « Le personnel des douanes et de l’immigration ont fait leur travail comme d’habitude. Une vérification complète de l’appareil et des marchandises a été effectuée et il n’y avait aucune substance illégale.
Les passagers de l’avion possédaient tous des passeports légitimes du pays d’où ils venaient. La police a aussi menée une enquête après toutes les allégations véhiculées sur les réseaux sociaux et par l’opposition. Aucune infraction aux lois de notre pays n’a été trouvée et l’avion et les passagers ont donc quitté notre pays. »
Notre correspondant Firmin Nanol, a fait remarquer au Premier ministre papou que le ministre des Affaires étrangères du Vanuatu a affirmé avoir été invité à Port Moresby par le gouvernement de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée ?
O’NEILL : « Et bien je pense que c’est un pur mensonge. Je n’ai jamais invité qui que ce soit ici et si un communiqué dit le contraire, je peux vous dire que ce n’est pas vrai. Vous pouvez me croire, il n’y a pas eu d’invitation. En tant que pays voisin, des passagers sont ici en transit avant d’aller à Honiara, à Port Vila ou à Suva et ils utilisent nos services aériens, ça c’est normal. Mais il n’y a pas eu d’invitation de la part de notre gouvernement. »
Pendant ce temps au Vanuatu, le bureau du Premier ministre, Sato Kilman, a indiqué ne pas être au courant de la visite du ministre des Affaires étrangères en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.
By Online Editor
6:15 pm GMT+12, 22/01/2013, Papua New GuineaChampion club Hekari United FC have acquired the services of top Vanuatu defender Brian Kaltak to bolster their National Soccer League (NSL) and O-League campaigns this season.
Kaltak will join a host of international players, including Solomon Islander Joachim Waroi, formerly of Amicale FC in Vanuatu, Fijian trio Taniela Waqa, Pita Bolaitoga and Maciu Dunadamu, as well as local stars Kema Jack, David Muta, Koriak Upaiga, Wira Wama, Ericson Komeng and Raymond Gunemba.
Hekari chairman John Kapi Natto told The National that the club was happy and excited about their latest acquisition.
“I am very excited that Brian has finally accepted our offer verbally to sign up with Hekari for the 2013 season,” he said.
“We have monitored him very closely after we trialed younger brother Jean Kaltak in PNG last season and we are just waiting for Jean to turn 19 before he joins Brian here.
Kaltak, who played for Erakor Golden Star FC last season, turned down an offer from Amicale to join the reigning NSL premiers. He is expected to arrive in Port Moresby next week and begin training for the season kick-off on Feb 2.
Golden Star team manager Donald Wanemut confirmed the local club decided to release the star defender to join Hekari after a lot of discussion.
“While both Amicale and Hekari have in effect made similar offers for Brian, Hekari agreed to lend a player to assist Erakor during the Vanuatu’s National Super League and that is why we accepted their offer,” Wanemut said
Golden Star have established a cordial relationship with the PNG champions where in the last season, Jean was invited to join the club.
However, the he was unable to play in the region’s prestigious tournament due to technical issues relating to his age.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
By Online Editor
6:13 pm GMT+12, 22/01/2013, FijiMosese Saunivanua and Emosi Mulevoro will join the Digicel Fiji 7s team in Las Vegas, says Timoci Wainiqolo.
The Digicel Fiji 7s assistant coach says the duo will not make the make the trip to Wellington because of the travel sanctions imposed by New Zealand on the members of the Fiji Military Forces.
Wainiqolo was responding to media reports that the two have been dropped from the national team.
The two naval officers were part of the 16-member squad that was named after the Uprising Fiji
“They will be in the non-travelling reserves for the Wellington trip,” Wainiqolo said.
“If an injury occurs to one of the players in Wellington then one of them will join the team in Las Vegas.”
Wainiqolo said they are yet to receive a medical report on Joji Ragamate’s injury.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
24)Amical i saenem wan Golden Boot Winner blong Austrila
Peter Drager we hemi stap plei blong Ipswich Knights, wan fes divisen klab blong Queensland hemi niufala saening blong olgeta Vanuatu jampion, Amicale FC.
Vaes President blong klab i konfemem saening blong niufala straeka long yestede moning afta we oli bin stap toktok wetem pleia ia sins las yia finis.
Drager we ol famili blong hem i kamaot long Germany mo oli stap naoia long Australia, bambae hemi bringim ‘fire power’ i kam long Amicale, afta we i lukim Amicale hemi bin stragel plante long dipatmen ia long sisen ia.
Drager, we hemi gat 23 yia, hemi stap long top fom long karia blong hem naoia. Hemi manej blong karem Golden Boot long 2010/2011 sisen mo long las sisen, afta we i lukim hemi bin skorem 22 poen aot long 21 maj we hemi bin plei long hem.
Ino hemia nomo onli awod we Drager hemi winim, hem bin winim long semtaem las sisen, Player’s Player of the Year Award.
Queensland Times hemi ripotem se Drager hemi denjares tumas taem hemi stap insaed long fil wetem everi bol hemi kasem long fored blong gol maot mo hemi shud karem Player of the Year las sisen tu be i lukim foma ‘team mate’ blong hem nao hemi winim awod ia.
Leong i talem se Drager oli stap faenolaesem ol pepa wok blong hem bitwin Vanuatu Futbol Federesen mo Futbol Federesen Australia.
Hemia hemi sekon, Australian impot pleia we Amicale i karem i kam blong joenem tim, afta we i lukim foma Australia U17 pleia Scott Canon hemi bin kam joenem Amicale las sisen.http://www.dailypost.vu/