Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 814a

Melanesia:

1) Call for a Melanesian jurisprudence in PNG legal system
By Online Editor
08:37 am GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

A law specialist in Papua New Guinea says the country should develop a legal system which utilises both custom law and modern law.

The idea of a so-called “Melanesian jurisprudence” is being touted by the Assistant Registrar of PNG’s National Court, David Gonol, who is a lawyer and author.

He says the authors of PNG’s constitution were wise to make provision in the document to develop the country’s own jurisprudence which they referred to as ’underlying law’.

PNG’s current legal system is derived from the English legal system.

But Gonol said that problems unique to PNG often demand a custom-based response which is why a Melanesian jurisprudence should be formulated using provisions of the Constitution.

“A body of law that is appreciating two different legal systems, bringing them together. So our courts are actually developing such principles to deal with very complex situations where sometimes customary law and modern law do not agree.”.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

2) Killings In West Papua Called ‘Serious Escalation Of Tensions’
President Yodhoyono commits to ‘welfare-based, not military’ solution

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 25, 2013) – A leading researcher on West Papua says last week’s fatal shootings in Puncack Jaya represent a serious escalation in tensions in Indonesia’s Papua region.

Eight Indonesian soldiers and four civillians were killed in two separate shooting incidents in the remote Highlands regency, for which military chiefs have blamed the separatist OPM Free West Papua Movement.

Following the shootings, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government would use a welfare-based approach rather than a military one to keep the peace in Papua.

But Jim Elmslie of Sydney University’s West Papua Project fears the violence will grow.

“The whole province of West Papua is highly militarised now which might well have helped to lead to this escalation in the conflict. Obviously, there are a lot more weapons floating around and more dark forces that are not under the government control or are conducting black operations. I think the President’s words probably don’t carry much weight in the jungles of West Papua,” said Jim Elmslie.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

3) PNG’s Grand Chief Sir Michael Reiterates Support For O’Neill Government
Ex-rivals share stage at Aitape district administration building opening

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 25, 2013) – The National Alliance will stand or fall with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare said in Aitape on Saturday.

A political statement oft heard before from many quarters, to be sure, but when it comes from Sir Michael and it directly refers to the man who just a year back ditched him unceremoniously from the highest political office, it does create a stir – as it did in Aitape.

The man, affectionately dubbed “father of the nation” explained: “Let bygones be bygones.

“We must work together for the good of the nation.”

The theme was picked up by O’Neill when his turn came: “We will not change all problems overnight but we believe we are on the way.

“We are putting resources back with the people, in the districts, the LLGs and the provinces.

“That is why stability of government is very important. Stability of government will mean stability of policies. Stability of policies will enable delivery of programmes and services.”

The prime minister exhorted public servants as well as every individual to take responsibility for their actions and take ownership of programmes and policies of government in order to develop.

“For the first time we are putting money into the districts,” he told the crowd. “We are giving K500,000 to each local level government.

“We are giving K10 million each year to districts.

“Aitape gets K10 million this year and every year for five years. That works out to about K50 million. On top of that we are giving K30 million to each province.

“We have rolled out the first K600 million in the past two weeks.

“We are paying your school fees and putting money back in your pocket but you must use that money wisely for your family’s welfare.

“This country can only change if you have pride in yourselves and take responsibility.

“Government did not ask you to make babies. You did it yourself. Nobody asked you to get married and raise a family. You did it yourself. Take pride and take responsibility.”

NA leader and Aitape-Lumi MP and Forest Minister Patrick Pruaitch had invited both Sir Michael and O’Neill to witness the opening of the district administration building and the launch of a rural electrification scheme in the district.

Pruaitch also endorsed Sir Michael’s commitment to work with the ruling party and called on public servants to be at their jobs in the districts and perform their tasks, now that government resources were directed to the provinces.

Pruaitch said: “Getting services directly to the rural areas is a move in the right direction. I ask public servants to get behind the government.

“You public servants of Nuku remain in Nuku. Those of Aitape must remain in Aitape. Those in Vanimo must remain in Vanimo.

“Your doors must always be open. Our people must have access to you.”

His comments were met with roars of approval from the public, a sure sign public servants have fallen out of favour with people.

The prime minister opened the Brere Awol building dedicated to a former provincial assembly member and launched the rural electrification scheme.

He gave K2 million for the work of the district administration and announced that K5 million was in the budget for the development of the Aitape wharf.

Sir Michael met the prime minister with a guard of honour of combined police and Correctional Services.

On Saturday at Boram Airport, Pruaitch, at whose invitation the two had gone to Aitape, endorsed Sir Michael’s comments.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

4) China Gives PNG $2 Million In Military Aid
Funds to be spent on armored cars, troop carriers, uniforms

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 25, 2013) – Papua New Guinea’s Defence Minister, Fabian Pok, says a two-million US dollar military aid grant from China will be spent on armoured cars, troop carriers and uniforms.

The grant follows Dr Pok’s talks with his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie in Beijing last month and meetings there with exporters of military ware.

The visit comes as PNG plans a five fold increase in troops over the next decade.

Dr Pok says PNG will also ask China to help maintain swimming pools and gymnasiums at PNG’s military barracks.

“They want to be seen as not being too involved in our military issues here. China is also trying to export things like uniforms and armoured cars and all these things. So it’s also in the business interests of not the Chinese military but people who are building these things to market their products to countries like Papua New Guinea,” said Pok.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

5) Conference to address PNG sorcery woes

Posted at 01:55 on 25 February, 2013 UTC

A conference will be held in June to try to address the growing number of sorcery related incidents in Papua New Guinea.

It will be convened by an anthropologist at the National University of Australia, Dr Richard Eves, who says sorcery killings in PNG are becoming more public, attracting crowds in urban places, something that hasn’t occurred in the past.

Dr Eves says the conference in Canberra will pull together academics, NGOs and politicians, including a number from PNG.

“We’re really keen to do a number of things. Firstly, we want to map out a sort of research agenda on how to address this problem. We’re particularly keen to develop research that can actually develop culturally sensitive and culturally relevant interventions for how to address it as a social problem.”

Dr Richard Eves from the Australian National University in Canberra.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Former Guadalcanal Premier Regains Post
Panga wins snap election after Veke resignation

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 23, 2013) – Stephen Panga yesterday regained the premiership job he lost in the last Guadalcanal Provincial election after 11 of the 21 members put him back into power.

The snap election was held after former premier Anthony Veke resigned early this week amidst allegations of misuse of public funds.

In his victory speech, Mr Panga said he will continue on with the policy framework and plans of action of the Veke government, which he was part of.

“I intend to honour the policy framework and programme of action so that we continue with ongoing activities as well as build on the foundation put in place over the past two years.”

He said his executive will make changes only if absolutely necessary to ensure continuity and effectiveness in the province’s development efforts and service delivery.

Mr Panga said some of the priority issues his executive will focus on includes land issues on Guadalcanal, investment activities, bona fide demands of the Guadalcanal people, state government for Guadalcanal, reconciliation between his people, the national government and people of Malaita, pursue Doma township and USP fourth campus and address law and order issues in the province.

“My government intends to engage the national government to pursue the settlement of Lungga Land and to protect the customary land of Guadalcanal people.

“My executive will engage the national government and appropriate bodies to look at squatter settlements around Honiara and the customary land recordings to ensure security for both land owners and potential investors.

“My government will continue to promote investment activities and uphold existing agreements and ensure resource owners derive benefits and minimise negative environmental impact from the developments.

“We would work closely with the national government to seriously look into the bona fide demands of the Guadalcanal people …and pursue state government,” Mr Panga added

He finally said that he will ensure Law and He said his executive will pursue inter and intra reconciliation between the people of Guadalcanal as the first step.

Mr Panga’s only rival, former national MP Walton Naezon, collected 10 votes in the two-man contest.

Solomon Star

7) RAMSI withdrawal from Shortland border posts will create security vacuum
By Online Editor
1:52 pm GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Solomon Islands

The people of Shortland Islands of Solomon Islands says the planned withdrawal of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) from the border security posts there will create a security vacuum.

The Western Province islands share a common border with the Papua New Guinea Island of Bougainville.

The Maleai Village elder of Shortland Islands, Edward Kingmele said while RAMSI has restored law and order in Solomon Islands, the improvement is only window dressing in some areas.

He said the departure of RAMSI personnel from the border security posts, will likely cause divisions amongst the people of the three islands.

Kingmele said Shortlanders appreciate the presence of RAMSI personnel because they have markedly improved security there and they would be sad to see them leave.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

8) Vanuatu Government Helps Acquire Green Spaces In Port Vila
Lands Ministry enters assistance agreement with City Council

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 25, 2013) – The Minister of Land, James Bule, has signed an agreement with the Lord Mayor of Port Vila, Reuben Olul, for the Government to help the City Council acquire land for green spaces for the capital. The agreement in three parts was signed Friday on one of the green spaces directly above Air Vanuatu and National Bank of Vanuatu buildings.

The first part of the agreement requires the Government to acquire and transfer 13 plots of land located in the city to the Municipal Council of Port Vila to protect, develop and manage as green spaces for the residents and visitors. These 13 sites had first been identified by the Municipal Council, which then requested the assistance of the Minister of Land to have them transferred to the Council.

The second part of the agreement requires the Director and staff of the Department of Land to negotiate, source funding, acquire and transfer these plots of land to the Municipal Council. The third part of the agreement requires the Director of Lands and his staff to work with sponsors for funding support and transfer of these pieces of land. These plots of land such as that above the Air Vanuatu and NBV Buildings held by Government as state land will just be transferred by the Government to the Municipal Council.

The13 parcels of land, all with titles, spread from Switi in the northern part of the city to Simbolo Red Light, Freswota, Tassariki Estate to the Ex-Mandela Park at Nambtu in the south.

“This is a great day for the future development and the residents of the city as we will be working in cooperation with the Municipal Council to secure these sites for the Council to develop and maintain as green spaces for population of Port Vila.

“We have heard recently that the population of Port Vila is now 60,000. Tourist arrivals are also increasing at a tremendous rate. How do we cater for this increase? We have the resources, we have the land, so we need to work together to ensure the citizens of Port Vila enjoy clean air, clean environment, and Port Vila can maintain its position as one of the beautiful capitals of the South Pacific,” Minister Bule said.

He called on the Council to work together with the Ministry to also source funding from sponsors and stakeholders to secure these plots of land. He also congratulated Lord Mayor Olul and his Council for their vision and their commitment to seeing that the capital of the country develops with the best interest of the people in mind.

Lord Mayor Olul agreed the day was an “historic occasion” for Port Vila. Speaking after the signing ceremony, he expressed his profound appreciation to Minister James Bule whom he said “despite not being a Member of Parliament for Port Vila he had the heart and the willingness to assist the Council and the people of the city”.

“Today we have witnessed a major achievement for Port Vila City, because now the Council will now be working together with the Ministry of Lands to acquire land for green spaces for the capital,” he said.

Explaining the conditions stipulated in the agreement, Director General of the Ministry of Lands Joe Ligo said that once these plots of land are acquired and transferred to the Municipal Council, they can never be on-sold.

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

9a) Vanuatu Lini commemoration hears anti-colonialism message

Posted at 01:56 on 25 February, 2013 UTC

The son of Vanuatu’s founding father, Walter Lini, has called for the country to re-adopt a nationalistic spirit to help free all Pacific territories from colonial bonds.

Speaking at the Lini Day Celebrations at the Tagabe Anglican Church in Port Vila, Charles Lini said his father was proud to be free from colonial bondage and he urged the people of Vanuatu to live up to that spirit.

And he reminded people that Father Lini had said Vanuatu would not be free until all the island territories in the Pacific, especially East Timor, West Papua, Tahiti and New Caledonia, were free of colonial rule.

Charles Lini’s address was directed at the the Kilman Government which has welcomed closer links with Indonesia despite strong support locally for West Papuan self-determination.

Radio New Zealand International

9b) Third consecutive budget deficit soars to Vt20 billion

Posted on February 25, 2013 – 10:08am |
By

Jonas Cullwick

For the first time since Independence nearly 33 years ago, the Vanuatu Government’s operating budget this year will reach Vt20 billion, or approximately $200 million.

The budget deficit has existed over three consecutive years, according to information from reliable sources in government.

The increase will mean the Government’s budget is set to go up by 25% over the 2012 budget of Vt16 billion approved by Parliament.

The 52-member Parliament has been called by the Speaker, George Andrew Wells, to meet in its First Ordinary Session for 2013 from March 08 through 22, to discuss the Appropriates Bill (2013) No. of 2013 which is Government’s budget estimates for the year.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Charlot Salwai, has expressed serious concerns about the general expenditure levels of the Government, which meant that since 2010 to last year, government’s budgets have all ended in deficits.

He voiced his concern while opening a workshop for senior ministerial and departmental officials and those of other government agencies last week and called to find ways and means to improve government revenue.

Minister Salwai highlighted his concerns to the meeting stressing that the government’s obvious inability to exercise expenditure control has meant that government was now breaking its own law on prudent financial management, which is the Public Finance and Economic Management Act No. 6 of 1998.

The Act requires, under Part 4 titled Fiscal Responsibility and its subsequent Financial Regulation, that government must not operate budget deficits for three consecutive years.

In his address, the Minister of Finance strongly appealed to both civil servants and political leaders in government to exercise prudent fiscal responsibility when it comes to spending of public money.

Each group blames the other for the state of government’s budget.

Politicians say civil servants are sometimes slow in carrying out ministerial instructions.

While civil servants, government’s technicians are often times concerned about ministerial decisions that result in unwarranted spending that places additional pressures on government finance and its service delivery commitments.

There have been numerous incidents of the latter in recent years. But the public wants both parties to work together and to exercise responsible decisions and be good managers of taxpayers’ money.

“At the start of the year, government sets the budget approved by parliament.

“But decisions that place additional burdens on the budget have caused the figures to end up in deficit at the end of the year.

“That’s what’s been happening, and it would be good for the leaders of government to exercise sound and responsible financial decisions all the time,” a reliable source stressed.

http://www.dailypost.vu/content/third-consecutive-budget-deficit-soars-vt20-billion

10) Major split in New Caledonia anti-independence party
By Online Editor
08:42 am GMT+12, 25/02/2013, New Caledonia

There has been a major split within New Caledonia’s once dominant anti-independence party.

The leader of the Rassemblement-UMP, Pierre Frogier, has suspended his deputy, Gael Yanno, and the party’s acting secretary general, Sonia Backes, who is also the territorial government’s official spokesperson.

In a letter to them now made public, Mr Frogier accuses the two of purporting to refresh the party but feels their political line is so conservative that they are taking the party back 25 years.

The Rassmblement-UMP is the successor party of the RPCR, which signed the 1998 Noumea Accord.

In the lead-up to the 2004 election it suffered a major setback, which was repeated in the last election, and last year it lost the territory’s two seats in the French National Assembly to the rival anti-independence Caledonia Together Party.

French attempts to reunite the increasingly fractured anti-independence camp have been unsuccessful.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

11) Heavy Rains Cut Water Supply To 10,000 In Ba, Fiji
Temporary bridge closed, wash out threatened

By Maciu Malo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 25, 2013) – About 10,000 people in Ba are concerned that the continuous rain in the west could further halt the movement of people and vehicles.

Their concerns follow the flooding experienced in the west late last week that also flooded the temporary Moto Bridge that was closed for 24 hours.

Ba advisory councillor Viam Pillay said about 30 villages and settlements used this bridge daily. He said water supply to those residents was also stopped after the pipe burst.

“This is the fourth time that we have been faced with such a disaster,” said Mr Pillay.

“The temporary Moto Bridge is still flooded though this after being closed for 24 hours starting on Saturday,” he said.

“To make the matter worse, the main water pipe that supplies water to more than 10,000 people has been broken by the strong currents.

“We are worried that the continuous rain in the mountains could wash away the temporary bridge.”

When a team from The Fiji Times visited the site yesterday, Water Authority of Fiji officers were repairing the pipe.

The officers also cleared debris that caused flooding on the bridge.

Mr Pillay said schoolchildren could be worst affected if rain continued.

“We have more than 400 students that cross this bridge daily and we are concerned that the flood could prevent them from attending school.

“But by midday today (yesterday), four-wheel vehicles have managed to cross the flooded bridge.

“With the current weather outlook, it seems we will be having more rain in the afternoon and this could again halt the movements of vehicles and people across the bridge.”

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

12) Fiji unions defy rules to set up political party
By Online Editor
08:45 am GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s trade unions intend to defy new government regulations and set up a political party.

Fiji Council of Trade Unions (FCTU) general secretary Felix Anthony has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the government appears to not want any opposition at the elections scheduled for 2014.

“Clearly what we see now is the regime is hell-bent on ensuring it remains in power at any cost,” he said.

Trade union officials in Fiji have been banned from political parties, in a move the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says is “an affront to democratic principles”.

Anthony says the FCTU is still planning to set up a political party in defiance of the government’s rules.

He said he expects one or two party members will be arrested but that this will mean “a new start to the struggle”.

“Make no mistake, by putting a few people in jail it will not mean the end of the fight,” he said.

The Australian Workers Union last week passed a resolution in support of trade union and political rights in Fiji, something Anthony has welcomed.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has described the conditions imposed on Fiji’s political parties as “onerous” and unjustified, saying they threaten to undermine confidence in next year’s elections.

Meanwhile, the members of the public are invited to make submissions or objections with regards to an application for registrations of a political party that has been advertised.

Registrar for political parties Mere Vuniwaqa told FijiLive one of the applications was already published last week and the public can start submitting their submissions or objections.

Vuniwaqa said their office received three applications before the deadline ended on February 14 and she has up till the end of the month to publish all the application in order for the public to see.

Under the new Political Parties Registration decree if the Registrar receives any objections or submissions made against the proposed political party’s application the Registrar will the submit a copy of the response to the proposed party members where they be then given seven days to respond.

The Registrar is also required by law to publish in a gazette or in the media a copy of the response from the proposed political party for public’s view.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/ FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

13) Call for sex registry in Fiji: Minister
By Online Editor
08:40 am GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Fiji

The Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni says having a sex offender’s registry for Fiji will address the root cause of all sex related crimes against women and girls in the country.

She said such a registry would have records of sexual offenders, making it easy to conduct targeted intervention programs to realistically address the causes of such behaviour in offenders.

She said the registry would be important provided the Fiji Police Force and the courts had all the information of offenders.

“Since we have all the records, it would be very important and good for any organisation to come up with the registry,” Dr Luveni said.

She said offenders could be identified, tracked and educated. Dr Luveni said with the increase in physical abuse and sexual violence in Fiji, every effort should be made by all citizens to end crimes against women and girls.

“This will only happen if we all stand up and take responsibility,” she said.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali said a sex offender’s registry would violate human rights.

Ali said it would not solve anything because people would be harassed and victimised as they could be identified through the registry.

Meanwhile, the President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau encouraged students to learn more about HIV/AIDS this week in the Central Division because the division recorded 70 per cent of new cases last year.

Ratu Epeli said HIV/AIDS education should begin at home and that it should start with parents.

Students were encouraged to communicate openly with their parents to effectively understand about HIV/AIDS.

“Your parents have the responsibility to teach you the facts of life and how HIV/AIDS is very much a factor in our society,” Ratu Epeli said.

He said for the past 30 years HIV/AIDS had become part of society and people should act to eradicate this disease.

“We can still fight this deadly disease if we combine efforts with families, communities and society,” he said.

“Stigmatisation and discrimination among people living with the disease remains a global concern and one that Fiji is strongly addressing.

“We need more advocacy programs with families and health centres should provide more awareness to communities and to reach out to those in the outer islands.”

Dilkusha Methodist High School principal Mereoni Motieliu urged the Education Ministry to strengthen the awareness programs on HIV/AIDS in the school curriculum.

“Talking about HIV/AIDS is still a sensitive issue at our homes because of traditional taboo, however, we need to change our perspective towards this issue because the younger generation are victims,” she said.

Motieliu reiterated the president’s statements and encouraged parents to talk with their children and become advocates at home and in their own society.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

Polynesia:

14) Pacific Church Leaders Support Self-Determination For Tahiti
Pacific Conference of Churches calls on Forum Leaders to do the same

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 25, 2013) –Pacific church leaders say it’s time for the region to support moves towards independence by the indigenous people of Tahiti, or Maohi Nui.

A proposal to endorse the re-inscription of Tahiti on the United Nations Decolonization Committee’s list will be on the agenda at the Pacific Conference of Churches’ annual general assembly in Solomon Islands this week, despite opposition from France, New Zealand and Australia.

PCC acting general secretary and Tahiti native, Reverend Francois Pihaate, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program that it was time Pacific Island Forum Leaders showed their support for the move.

“They should not try to ‘play it safe’ by dodging the real issue and trying to cover up by inscribing words of encouragement – this brushes aside the human rights struggles of the people of Maohi Nui,” Reverend Pihaatae said.

“For too long Maohi Nui has been fighting for her freedom and it’s time we, as a Pacific family, stand up with a united voice to offer our support.”

A delegation from the World Council of Churches will visit the French-held territory in April for talks with authorities, churches and the people to listen to views on self-determination.

The council will also send a delegation to the PCC general assembly.

When the UN was founded in 1945, one of its first initiatives was to engage in a proper decolonisation process, establishing a list of territories yet to be decolonised.

French Polynesia, of which Tahiti is the economic and political centre, was included on the list.

France succeeded in having French Polynesia withdrawn from the list two years later.

The PPC proposal comes after Tuvalu, Nauru and Solomon Islands recently agreed to back a move for French Polynesia to be relisted on the UN decolonisation list.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

15) First Airplane For Real Tonga Airline To Be Delivered This Week
17 seater Y-12 aircraft coming from Vanuatu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 24, 2013) – The first of two 17 seater Y-12 aircrafts leased by Real Tonga airline from Vanuatu is expected to arrive in Tonga this week to start servicing the outer islands in March.

Tonga’s current sole domestic carrier Chathams Pacific of New Zealand will discontinue its services on Saturday, March 2.

The Chief Executive Officer of Real Tonga, Tevita Palu, says a second 17-seater Y-12 aircraft is was expected to arrive on March 28 to start service on April 1.

He says the company has announced its airfares and schedule but will revise them in April when the second aircraft arrives.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

Micronesia:

16) Marshalls High School Integrates Climate Change Into Program
Traditional knowledge of environment brought into curriculum

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, Feb. 21, 2013) – Marshall Islands High School (MIHS) science department recently concluded a SPREP-funded project to integrate climate change studies within local education programs. A new high luminosity projector and portable panoramic white screen, provided by RMI’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), will allow teachers and students to fully utilize the textbook and multimedia materials, according to MIHS vice principal of academic affairs Tokasa Vitayaki.

In addition to the equipment, the concluded climate education project provided a comprehensive needs assessment of the MIHS science curriculum, teaching materials, and instructional capacities. The assessment, led by Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) consultant and former science specialist to the Ministry of Education Juanita Rilometo, found “a need to bring in local traditional knowledge, skills, and values into the curriculum,” and furthermore that “active involvement of local participants needs to be strengthened, with the local teachers in Marshallese studies taking the lead.”

This early insight into the needs of science education in the RMI, plus a shortage of teachers at MIHS during Spring 2012 and Fall 2012 semesters, prompted the coordinator for the project Mark Stege to conduct classroom trials with a new approach to teaching 9th grade Earth Science.

“Instead of the regular 50 minute class period,” explains Stege, “each class was an hour and a half long because we were experimenting with a combined Earth Science and Marshallese Language Arts or MLA format which allowed us more time to take science instruction outdoors for laboratory activities.”

Stege continues, “we spent a lot of time practicing Marshallese writing skills as a bridge to becoming better writers of English, and we adopted an indigenous perspective of the world as ae, loñ, kein or ocean, sky and land to deepen student comprehension of oceanography, meteorology/astronomy, and geology subject matter as the foundations of environmental and climate science.”

According to Vitayaki, “the 9th grade students who underwent these trials are very fortunate. It’s been wonderful knowing we have friends out there who have been very supportive of the school.”

The EPA project also prompted an MOE training workshop on taking science instruction outdoors for educators from MIHS, Assumption, Jaluit High School, Northern Islands High School, Majuro Middle School, and Mejatto Elementary School. In the case of the participants from Assumption, the training helped inform the development of climate science education activities on Bikirin Islet for incoming 9th grade students conducted this past summer in collaboration with the Enemanit-Latuma Extended Family Association (ELEFA).

Public Service Commission’s Chairperson Marie Maddison, who is a member of ELEFA, was part of a committee to help write the $20,000 grant proposal for this project following the SPREP Roundtable on Climate Change held in Majuro in 2008.

Yokwe: http://www.yokwe.net/

17) Marshall on track to hosting Pacific Islands Forum

Posted at 01:49 on 25 February, 2013 UTC

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum says preparations in the Marshall Islands for this year’s leaders’ summit are moving forward on schedule.

Tuiloma Neroni Slade, who spent four days in Majuro last week, says the secretariat is pleased with arrangements.

About 400 delegates are expected at the meetings but there are less than 200 hotel rooms.

Our correpondent says local apartment owners are refurbishing their units and putting up new ones in anticipation of the demand for accommodation during the summit.

The meeting dates have tentatively been scheduled for September the 2nd to the 6th and Mr Slade says this should be confirmed later this week.

By tradition the host identifies the theme for the meeting and the Marshall Islands government is expected to focus on climate change.

Radio New Zealand International

Franis:

18) Tendances suicidaires chez les jeunes Océaniens de Nouvelle-Zélande

Posté à 25 February 2013, 8:38 AEST
Pierre Riant

Un vif sentiment d’inquiétude prévaut au sein de la diaspora du Pacifique.

“La communauté océanienne de Nouvelle-Zélande doit relever la tête et faire face au problème.” (Credit: ABC)

Une inquiétude suscitée par la révélation du suicide d’un enfant de moins de 9 ans en 2011.

Les experts de la santé réclament maintenant un changement d’attitude et demandent que la communauté océanienne de Nouvelle-Zélande arrête de faire la politique de l’autruche et qu’elle doit relever la tête pour faire face au problème.

Nous avons tenté de définir avec Jemaima Tiatia, attachée de recherche à l’Université d’Auckland, les raisons à l’origine des tendances suicidaires chez les jeunes Océaniens.

TIATIA : « Une discipline corporelle très stricte, les abus sexuels, les abus psychologiques, le manque d’amour, de communication et de soutien sont des facteurs de suicide chez les jeunes. Il y a aussi l’intimidation et les brimades sur l’Internet qui sont à la hausse et qui sont un facteur contributeur. »

Les taux de suicide sont à la hausse, la situation s’aggrave. Est-ce que le problème est  suffisamment pris en considération ?

TIATIA : « Pas du tout et j’ai toujours demandé s’il fallait attendre l’arrivée du corbillard pour réagir, pour en parler et c’est maintenant qu’il faut en parler. J’ai réalisé à travers mes travaux que c’est au gens du Pacifique qu’il faut parler car c’est un sujet tellement tabou qu’il décourage les familles et les jeunes à rechercher de l’aide. »

Est-ce à dire donc que de nombreux jeunes ne savent pas où trouver de l’aide, ne savent pas quelle direction choisir ?

TIATIA : « Effectivement, il y a une certaine confusion et puis on attend beaucoup des jeunes. Nos familles viennent [en Nouvelle-Zélande] avec le rêve que leurs enfants deviennent des neurochirurgiens ou des grands joueurs de rugby à 15 et parfois tous ses attentes font beaucoup de pression sur nos jeunes quand ils n’y arrivent pas. »

Pour Jemaima Tiatia, il faut dès à présent encourager le dialogue entre la communauté océanienne et les enfants et les jeunes de cette communauté afin qu’ils puissent s’exprimer et mettre sur la table leurs idées sombres.

Dans le cas contraire…

TIATIA : « Les suicides continueront d’augmenter, c’est ma plus grande crainte et ça augmentera parce que les gens ne veulent pas écouter ou refusent de faire quoi que ce soit. Je sais que c’est cliché, mais ces jeunes sont notre avenir et ils meurent parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas discuter de quelque chose qui est jugé inapproprié. »

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-02-25/tendances-suicidaires-chez-les-jeunes-océaniens-de-nouvellezélande/1092950

Sports:


19) Soccer’s shame: PNG Opposition leader

By Online Editor
1:59 pm GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

25 FEBRUARY 2013 PORT MORESBY ( THE NATIONAL) — The  country’s soccer fraternity must condemn the treatment of John Kapi Natto,  Papua New Guinea Opposition leader Belden Namah says.

Namah said the unceremonious removal of Kapi Natto as a member of the FIFA World Club executive committee must be condemned in the strongest possible terms as it was a shame.

Kapi Natto was removed on the advice on PNG Football Association president David Chung who nominated Telikom National Soccer League board chairman Isaac Lupari, a person with no soccer background, to replace him.

He said the man from Waroi village, Kutubu, Southern Highlands, was “heaven sent” for the growth and development of soccer in the country.

“Soccer was stagnant and a less popular sport until Kapi Natto and his wife Vonnie, took the bold and selfless step of investing their time and private money into the development of the game,” Namah said.

“Today, soccer is played at the semi-professional level and is as popular as rugby league.

“The Kapi Nattos played a huge part in the introduction of the National Soccer League (NSL).

“They influenced the growth of the semi-professional game by securing his tribal Southern Highlands and Hela businessmen to franchise teams for the make-up of the NSL.

“I believe more than 70% of the franchises or teams are owned by Southern Highlands and Hela businessmen or businesses.

“Kapi Natto (pictured) has provided unmatched leadership in achieving greater heights in professional sports.

“He has turned his Hekari team into the most successful franchise in the NSL, earning the right to enter the Oceania Confederation championships, O-League, and the prestigious soccer FIFA World Club championships.”

Namah questioned why the Prime Minister’s chief-of-staff, Isaac Lupari, was named to take over from Kapi Natto.

“What has Lupari done for soccer or is it because he works with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and therefore is a convenient conduit to access O’Neill by some despots in soccer?”

Namah said he was saddened by “this gross unjust and un-Papua New Guinean and un-Melanesian action by people who obviously have no heart and regard for the sweat and effort of extraordinary people such as the Kapi Nattos.

“I urge all those who have influenced this sad event as well as those who participated in removing John Kapi Natto to reconsider their positions and action and re-appoint Kapi Natto to his former post, chairman of NSL or appoint him to the position of president of Papua New Guinea Soccer Association in future,” he said

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

20) Official Match Ball unveiled in Tahiti

By Online Editor
1:58 pm GMT+12, 25/02/2013, French Polynesia

The Official Match Ball for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 has been unveiled by adidas.

FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and adidas joined forces on Saturday to present the adidas Cafusa at a ceremony in Papeete, the city set to host the tournament between 18 and 28 September this year.

The adidas Cafusa is a specially adapted version of the Official Match Ball for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, a model which made its debut at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012. Based on the same design, the adidas Cafusa is notable for its vibrant colours and excellent touch, not to mention various technical features specifically engineered for beach soccer.

The latest innovation from adidas was revealed with appropriate fanfare too, as a full day of colourful events helped lift the curtain and heighten anticipation ahead of the September showcase. With the presentation ceremony open to the public, a large crowd were treated to a wonderful spectacle rich in Polynesian flair and steeped in local culture.

Particularly captivating were the Tahitian chants accompanied by traditional instruments and dances choreographed to illustrate the history and identity of the island, after which FIFA Ambassador Christian Karembeu took to the stage to present the adidas Cafusa.

“The ball has been perfectly adapted to meet the most demanding technical needs of this discipline’s players and to make itself more visible on sand pitches across the planet,” explained the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ winner, addressing an audience filled with high-profile figures.

The former Real Madrid player also underlined the excellent relationship that has formed between the LOC and the city of Papeete, and in particular its Mayor, Michel Buillard. “On behalf of the President of FIFA, Joseph S. Blatter, I thank you and all of your colleagues, elected officials and city employees.”

With half the population of French Polynesia under 25 years of age, the youth were always going to be a main theme of the celebration, and 120 local youngsters got to take part in a friendly beach soccer tournament.

On the sidelines, the sizeable crowd also got to enjoy a 5-4 victory for the national beach soccer team, the Tiki Toa, in an exhibition match against France, the first nation to win the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup at the 2005 edition in Rio de Janeiro.

Following on from the launch of the official logo on 18 September last year, the festive and well-attended ceremony – concluded by an official dinner held by the Mayor Buillard – constituted another important step in the run-up to the tournament.

SOURCE: OFC/PACNEWS

21) Vanuatu South-Sea Invitational lose first tour match

Posted at 22:54 on 24 February, 2013 UTC

The Vanuatu South-Sea Invitational team battled to a 28-14 defeat against the Central Capras in the opening match of their Australian tour in Rockhampton at the weekend.

Vanuatu-South Sea opened the scoring in the 18th minute through a try to Jayden VeaVea and trailed 12-10 at halftime.

Front rower Herbie Henderson put the visitors back in-front 14-12 early in the second spell, before the home team came back with three unanswered tries in the 54th, 57th and 59th minutes to take the match.

Captain James Wood says they matched it with the Capras for the majority of the match and, considering the team hasn’t been together a week and that some players are only in their first few games of Rugby League, the result was very encouraging.

He says all the local based Vanuatu players in the squad are only going to get better and better as they get more experience and continue to learn.

Radio New Zealand International

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