Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 814b

Melanesia:

1) Solomon Islands to mark MSG silver jubilee in April
By Online Editor
3:48 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands will this year celebrate the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Silver Jubilee from April 22-26 in Honiara with a host of activities to mark the weeklong event.

The celebrations will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Melanesian Spearhead Group since its establishment in 1988. The theme for the anniversary celebration is “25 years of Melanesian Solidarity and Growth” which denotes the initials of MSG.

As part of national preparations towards the event, the Solomon Islands Government has mandated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade to spearhead the planning of the event by setting up a special committee to oversee activities and the overall programs for the celebration.

The Official launching of the anniversary celebration was done on the 28th of January this year in Port Vila, Vanuatu and will be followed by a series of national celebrations in the MSG members capitals’ from January to June when the main celebration will be held to coincide with the 19th MSG Leaders Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia.

The National Organising Committee is chaired by the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Bernard Bata’anisia and includes government officials from line ministries and representatives from the private sector.

The Committee is responsible to plan, organize and oversee the overall program for the national celebrations which includes different activities on different days including exhibition of products, information dissemination, and entertainment and art exhibitions.

The MSG is made up of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and FLNKS of New Caledonia. The Headquarters of the MSG is located in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

SOURCE: SIG/PACNEWS

2) West Papua hamamas long PM O’Neill

Updated 26 February 2013, 17:14 AEST

Ol West Papua lida i hamamas long Praim Minista blong PNG i toktok wantaim Indonesia long krae blong ol.

West Papua lida Dr John Ondowame i tok tenkyu long Praim Minista O’Neill (Credit: ABC)
Piksa: Map blong Papua hap blong Indonesia

Ol lida blong West Papua long Pacific rijan itok tenk yu long Praim Minista blong Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill bihaenim tingting blong en long bringim wari blong ol igo long gavman blong Indonesia.

Stat long taem PNG ibin kisim indipendans long Australia long 1975 ikam inap nau, ol gavman ino  save sapotim laik blong ol West Papua pipal long bruk lusim Indonesia.

Tasol Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ibin toktok wantem Indonesia long ol human rights blong ol West Papuan pipal.

Dr John Ondowame, wanpla West Papuan lida long Vanuatu i tokim Caroline Tiriman olsem pasin em Mr O’Neill ibin mekim emi wanpla gutpla pasin tru.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2013-02-26/west-papua-hamamas-long-pm-oneill/1093936

3) Proliferation of guns in Papua possible cause of latest violence

Posted at 22:40 on 25 February, 2013 UTC

A leading researcher on West Papua says last week’s fatal shootings in Puncack Jaya could be the result of the proliferation of guns in the troubled 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.

Jim Elmslie of Sydney University’s West Papua Project says it’s probably the most deadly attack on military in Papua since the mid-1990s and represents a serious escalation in tensions in the region.

He says the region is more militarised than ever before and that there are many weapons in circulation.

“There’s been long stories of people being able to buy weapons which originated in the military on the black market. And at stages, there have been well-grounded accusations that police or military have supplied weapons to Papuans to act on their behalf.”

Radio New Zealand International

4) Amnesty fears Indonesia tortures two Papuans

Posted at 06:08 on 26 February, 2013 UTC

Amnesty International says it fears that two men detained in Indonesia’s Papua province are being tortured.

The watch dog group says Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap are being detained at the Jayapura district police station.

It says police have allegedly tortured or otherwise ill-treated them and five other men while interrogating them about the whereabouts of two pro-independence activists.

Amnesty says the tortured men have not received medical treatment and have had no access to a lawyer since their arrests 11 days ago.

It says that a day later five of the men were released without charge but Mr Gobay and Mr Klembiap remain in police custody and are likely to be charged with possession of a sharp weapon under emergency regulations.

Radio New Zealand International

5) Indonesia Border Tensions Lead To PNG Troop Deployment
O’Neill aims protest note at Jakarta over military posts near border

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 25, 2013) – Papua New Guinea’s cabinet has ordered a US$2.5 million deployment of soldiers to patrol and protect the border with Indonesia.

It follows tension along the porous land border, such as skirmishes in West Sepik province between Indonesian military and PNG citizens.

Johnny Blades reports about the renewed focus on the Pacific Islands region’s only land border:

Papua New Guinea’s latest diplomatic move to ease problems at the border comes after a recent agreement with Indonesia to work more closely on economic development in the border region.

PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill recently met Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono to discuss co-operation in developing gas resources, hydro power and Indonesian assistance with building roads in PNG.

However Mr. O’Neill has now spoken out about continual harassment of PNG citizens by Indonesia’s military.

He has ordered the Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato to issue a protest note to Jakarta expressing the government’s concern about the construction of Indonesian military posts in the border area.

PNG’s Defence Minister, Dr. Fabian Pok played down any suggestion of breakdown in the relationship.

“We are trying to sort out all these issues diplomatically. We have a good relationship with our borders in Australia, Indonesia and Solomon Islands so we’re not increasing the force because of anything to do with the border. The border issues with Indonesia, we are going to handle it more diplomatically than any other way.”

A former head of PNG’s Defence Force, Major General Jerry Singirok, says recent incidents have exposed his country’s inability to adequately manage the border.

“But the relationship between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is cordial. The actions by a few elements of the Indonesian military does not really reflect a breakdown in our relationship with Indonesia.”

But he admits that the construction of an Indonesian military post on the PNG side is a serious infringement which requires diplomatic action.

“The Indonesian military post a few kilometers into PNG at the river called Torasi, which is south of the border, we believe it’s a serious international incident. And I think the government officials with the Defence Force have inspected the site and I’m sure they will take actions to remove the military posts.”

Reports of a military build-up in Indonesia’s Papua region remain a sensitive issue across the border, according to Octo Mote, a U.S.-based member of a group tasked with negotiating with Indonesia on behalf of West Papuans.

“In the border area with Papua New Guinea, the (Indonesian) military has also built up and that’s why the PNG government is very worried about it and already they’ve ordered the military deployment there. So this is the situation that the Indonesian government is really building up in order to get international recognition (of its purported campaign against terror in Papua region).”

The PNG government has plans to expand its military capacity from around 2,000 personnel to 10,000.

A lecturer in political science at the University of Goroka, Donald Gumbis, says the land border with Indonesia could be a factor in the expansion plans.

“The deployment is probably part of the exercise but as I understand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia have a Treaty of Mutual Respect, Friendship and Cooperation which was signed in 1986 and that still stands and any border arrangements or any kind of build-up will be seen contrary to each other’s opinion. But if there have been border skirmishes, I think our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade along with the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby, as far as I know, they’ve handled those issues.”

Aside from military deployments, traditional border crossing remains part of daily life in this region.

Rules on the PNG side that border crossers need official clearance haven’t been enforced.

As for the thousands of West Papuans refugees still in PNG, unwilling to return to Indonesia, the fee of 10,000 kina, or about US$5,000 per person for PNG citizenship is too expensive.

In Western Province alone, there are 8,000 refugees, most of whom fled Indonesia in the mid-1980s.

Sister Maureen Sexton works for Catholic Health Services in Western Province’s North Fly district, alongside the UNHCR, to provide access to health and education for West Papuan refugees.

“For us the big thing is that these children have access to education and they have access to health. Because they fall within the Catholic diocese, they have the same access to health that any other PNG national has. There is the movement of people who have connections and land on the other side. Now from my point of view, I haven’t heard in our area that there’s any excessive or different type of response from the Indonesian side. But it is heavily patrolled and heavily monitored by them.”

PNG’s opposition leader Belden Namah has complained to parliament that the Indonesian side is much better serviced and is luring PNG citizens to move there.

The defense minister Dr. Pok says the government has asked Australia for help to develop the border.

“The failure on our part is not to develop our border areas, in a holistic approach. We have to set up schools and clinics and we have not done that and we realize that this is a failure on the part of the PNG government.”

However the PNG government appears keen to stop skirmishes between Indonesian military and traditional villagers in the border area.

It presents a new challenge for the Treaty of Mutual Respect, Friendship and Cooperation PNG has with Indonesia.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

6) Polygamy assessment sought in PNG Supreme Court

Posted at 00:35 on 26 February, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s Constitutional and Law Reform Commission wants the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of polygamy to better protect the rights of women and children.

The commission first made a submission to the Supreme Court on polygamy in 2009.

Its secretary, Dr Eric Kwa, says many people believe that polygamy falls under custom marriage.

But Dr Kwa says while the practice is traditional in some areas such as the Highlands, it is becoming more common in other parts of the country.

“The people who engage in polygamous relationships, the men I can notice that, it is custom and so its allowed under the current law. We are saying that yes, but maybe it violates maybe the women’s rights, or even the children’s rights, to access their parent, particularly for the children. And for women, it’s enslaving the woman.”

PNG Constitutional and Law Reform Commission secretary, Dr Eric Kwa.

Radio New Zealand International

7) PNG Lands Department Called To Shed ‘Corrupt’ Label
Department taking steps to eliminate fraud, collect unpaid rents

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 25, 2013) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill wants to see Papua New Guinea government’s Lands department and its agencies shed the tag “most corrupt” and become a top performer by the end of the year.

And the department has set itself a target of collecting more than K300 million [US$144.8 million] in outstanding land rentals this year, with Port Moresby and Lae owing the department about K50 million [US$24.1 million] each.

These developments followed a meeting last Friday with the top heads of the Lands department and its agencies, together with Minister Benny Allen and Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc.

The meeting follows the Implementation Summit held recently at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby to kick-start the 2013 implementation year.

The Prime Minister already met heads of Works and Transport departments and their line agencies two weeks ago.

He met with top heads from the Civil Aviation Authority and Air Services Limited last Thursday.

These meetings with departments and line agencies will be held quarterly in order for the government to keep track of the progress of key projects identified for implementation by each of the departments, provincial governments and State-owned corporations.

“There is a certain perception out there that the Lands department is very corrupt. Let’s turn that around. You are an important player in our efforts to grow the economy and to give confidence to the business community. I have total confidence in your Minister and the leadership he is providing will help turn the department into a top performer,” Mr. O’Neill said.

Lands secretary Kila Pat said their key highlights for this year would be to move into their new office premises in the coming weeks, roll out their computerized land registration system and collect more than K300 million in outstanding land rentals throughout the country.

Treasury has allocated the department K2.4 million [US$1.2 million] to buy furniture and other office necessities for their new office, which they will move into next month. They will also be allocated K3 million [US$1.4 million] to roll out the computerized land registration system by mid-year.

This system will eliminate fraud in land registration, such as the issue of duplicate titles over the same portion of land, a practice that has plagued the department for many years.

The department will also begin a vigorous effort to collect outstanding land rates totaling some K300 million.

Secretary Pat said their efforts were hampered by lack of funds.

In response, the Prime Minister said the department should retain a portion of the rentals and rates they collect to carry out this exercise, so lack of funds will no longer be an excuse.

“Set up a trust account and retain 50% of the rates you collect to use in this exercise. But make sure you remit to consolidated revenue the targets set in the budget,” the Prime Minister said.

Secretary Pat said the department is owed K50 million in rates in NCD. The same amount is owed by the city of Lae. In the long term, the department and the government will work towards paying over K250 million [US$120.6 million] owed to landowners for use of their traditional land.

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

8) PNG farmers see cash in capsicums
By Online Editor
4:40 pm GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea farmers are being encouraged to turn to more lucrative crops, as a national economic boom largely bypasses the rural sector.

While large parts of the world have been wallowing in the economic doldrums, PNG is experiencing an unprecedented boom. But the good times have not spread to rural and remote areas.

There, most people live and survive as subsistence farmers.

But an Australian-funded trial hopes to help them cash in on the boom by supplying the growing demand for fruit and vegetables the growers may not have attempted before.

Foreign investment in mining has helped fuel a decade of strong economic growth in the country. The cranes that dot the Port Moresby skyline are testament to the good times.

But just 40 kilometres away, in the villages dotted among the rolling hills of the Sogeri plateau, there is little evidence of the economic boom.

Farmers are hoping to earn some real money by taking part in a trial to grow what they consider to be foreign crops.

Village leader Simon Iabana says: “We also want changes in our lives like in the city but it’s hard to get money or things like that.”

To generate some income, his people grow ginger and sell it at the markets in the capital.

But farmers are hoping to earn some real money by taking part in a trial to grow what they consider to be foreign crops. They are getting ready to plant broccoli, capsicums and tomatoes.

“We want this project here because we want to learn more,” Iabana says.

It will be their second crop – the first perished but researchers are learning from the villagers’ experiences.

Philmah Seta-Waken, of the National Agricultural Research Institute said: “Some things we’ve learnt, like I learnt that pH (measure of hydrogen) isn’t good here, so we teach the farmers how to help their soil in terms of composting, manuring. We don’t have to go high-tech or anything, at their level.”

There are six trial sites at three different altitudes funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Down in the lowlands researchers will be growing tomatoes, capsicums and French beans, using different farming systems.

Back in Port Moresby people, pay a premium for imported fruit and vegies.

But the supermarkets would prefer to sell locally grown produce.

SOURCE:RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

9) Vanuatu Exploring Expanded Permanent Residency Program
Minister says program ‘open door to big-scale investors’

By Jane Joshua

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 25, 2013) – The Vanuatu Government is now exploring the possibility of establishing a Permanent Resident (PR) program similar to the Hong Kong Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (HKCIES) in Asia and Europe.

Minister responsible for Immigration and Labour, Toara Daniel, revealed this when responding to the much publicized Hong Kong PR program.

This came under public scrutiny after Daily Post informed of minister Daniel’s retrospective Orderexempting participants under this program from Labour Permit requirements in a bid to lure them to invest in Vanuatu-a highly lucrative package which the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC), Labour department, Internal Affairs and finally the minister himself have taken pains to point out.

“The PR program is a government initiative approved by the Council of Ministers to grant permanent resident visas to large scale investors on mainland China who apply for Hong Kong resident visas under the HKCIES,” he said.

“Under HKCIES imposed conditions Vanuatu provides the applicants with a Vanuatu offshore company, a Vanuatu permanent resident and a Vanuatu Labour Working Permit exemption.

“The system in place is the outcome of a collective decision from the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA), VFSC, Immigration, Foreign Affairs and Labour.

“It is a transparent system ensuring control and efficiency in the process of acquiring a PR visa and the transfer of funds to the Vanuatu government treasury.”

He said it is normal for questions to be raised about new programs like the HKCIES but the Opposition should not try and create an unjustified saga over it, adding the granting of the Labour Working Permit Exemption did not begin under Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s government and this is the reason why no recent investor in Vanuatu requires a labor working permit.

“The PR program is an open door to a category of big scale investors who, should they decide to invest in Vanuatu will create jobs and competitions which will improve the quality, reduce the prices of our products and raise the consumer’s purchasing power,” stated Minister Daniel.

In responding to why labor work permit exemption is granted when there is supposedly ‘too little chance’ for these investors to invest in Vanuatu he reminded one should not forget other countries are competing with Vanuatu on the HKCIES thus Vanuatu must offer an attractive package as charging more than what is currently charged may influence the investors to apply for visa from other countries.

He said these investors are multimillionaires and billionaires and should they wish to invest in Vanuatu one day they may do so as high value investors, not employees.

Minister Daniel reiterated the importance of knowing the conditions offered to the VFSC registered offshore investors includes: a clean police record, a net asset of 10 million Hong Kong dollars (the equivalent of Vt117million) and upon approval invest in Hong Kong a designated financial product of value not less than the above figure for seven subsequent years.

The Vanuatu interests behind this project, he said, is (I) a boost in government revenue and (II) migration of big scale investors who will invest in Vanuatu’s social and economic development.

He acknowledged PM Kilman for establishing the PR program in HK during his prime ministership so the government can now see the huge increase in its revenue.

While he was not specific the minister also alleged under past governments a Chinese individual was delegated the right to sell Vanuatu resident visas to mainland Chinese investors but the process not transparent and the money never reach government coffers.

He stressed the current initiative is legal and in line with the government’s foreign investment, fiscal and economic policies and that all legal instruments on ministerial orders or regulation amendments are drafted by State Law after assessment of direct effects and potential consequences.

Had the relevant Government authorities involved, in particular Labour, Immigration and VFSC take a proactive approach in communicating to the public and media on developments in the HKCIES many unnecessary questions would have been put to rest and accusations and speculations avoided.

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

10) Fiji’s ex-PM calls for end to Australian sanctions, Australian union committed to supporting Fiji unions
By Online Editor
09:24 am GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Fiji

A former prime minister of Fiji has called for immediate lifting of Australian sanctions on the country, saying diplomatic relations between the nations have “never been as bad as it is”.

Sitiveni Rabuka, who led the 1987 coups and later served as Fiji’s elected prime minister from 1992 to 1999, warned that the longer Australia isolates Fiji, the more difficult it will be to restore relations.

Rabuka told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that other world powers, particularly China, were moving into the vacuum created by Australia’s absence.

“We have a lot of Chinese influence in the Pacific now,” he said.

“Everything we are selling to the European Union and our neighbours, we can sell to China.

“Maybe we will get the same things in return, different brand.”

Australia imposed sanctions on Fiji in 2006 and has vowed to keep them in place until democracy is restored.

Rabuka said sanctions should be lifted, “democracy or not”.

“Australia trades and has relationships with some doubtful democracies around the world so I do not think that Fiji, small Fiji, we are just a small player in international affairs and we need to take whatever crumbs we can get and move on,” he said.

“We just want stability and that stability can be under pure democracy or impure democracy.

“Fiji is still a very friendly nation to Australia. The leaders may not be as friendly as the people but they are a minority.”

Rabuka will be speaking at an international defence and security dialogue in Sydney on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, an Australian trade union official says his members remain committed to helping their counterparts in Fiji in the lead-up to the nation’s elections.

Australian Workers Union South Australian branch secretary Wayne Hanson has told Radio Australia’s Pacific BeatFiji union officials are spied on, assaulted and denied their rights.

“Those codes of behaviour that are currently in effect in Fiji are unacceptable to, not only people in Fiji, but also people in Australia,” he said.

Hanson moved a motion in support of Fiji trade unions at the AWU conference last week, which was passed.

He said the AWU conference heard directly about the situation from a Fijian union leader.

Hanson describes the move to ban Fiji’s trade union officials from political parties as “disgraceful” but says the AWU is “by no means” supporting a political movement in Fiji by taking this stance.

“What we want to see is the Fijian regime honour their commitment to return the Fijian system to a democracy by 2014,” he said.

Fiji is scheduled to hold its general elections in 2014.

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

Fiji Council of Trade Unions general secretary Felix Anthony says he is still planning to set up a political party in defiance of the coup installed military government’s rules.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

11) Commonwealth monitor political developments in Fiji
By Online Editor
5:02 pm GMT+12, 25/02/2013, United Kingdom

The Commonwealth says it continues to monitor closely developments in Fiji, including those in relation to the registration of political parties and the development of a new constitution.

Spokesperson Richard Uku said: “Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma notes with concern recent decrees issued by the Government of Fiji, and wishes to emphasise the importance to the Commonwealth of inclusive, independent and credible constitutional and electoral processes, conducted in accordance with fundamental Commonwealth values.

In relation to elections, it is essential that political parties are able to freely participate under fair, consistent and agreed rules and on a level playing field. It is equally important that the electoral process be conducted by an independent election management body,” Uku said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General reaffirms the Commonwealth’s desire to welcome Fiji back into the Commonwealth family, upon the restoration of civilian constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and full respect for human rights, in keeping with Commonwealth values.

Mr Sharma reiterates the Commonwealth’s readiness to provide support to Fiji toward these ends,” he said.

SOURCE: COMSEC/PACNEWS

12) No plans for pay TV: FBC
By Online Editor
4:44 pm GMT+12, 25/02/2013, Fiji

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation says, it has no plans to open a pay TV service.

FBC Chief Executive Officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says, it’s not on the company’s list of priorities right now.

The FBC CEO was responding to amendments made to the Media Industry Development Decree – that any company wanting to set up cable TV or pay services, must have a joint venture or partnership with a State owned media organisation.

The decree stipulates that the state owned media organization must hold fifteen percent of the joint venture or partnership.

“Everyone at FBC has been working hard to endure we become the number one radio/TV broadcaster in the country and we have achieved it…and we continue to work hard to maintain that position so because of that no one at FBC has got the time to think of getting into the paid service. It’s all very recent and has taken up our time, consuming and ensures everyone is busy. So a pay service issue something far from our minds at the moment”

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation launched its free to air TV services just over a year ago…and its CEO says there is still room to grow this arm of business.

As for pay TV…he said it’s only a possibility for the future.

For now, Sayed-Khaiyum says, people should continue to make the best of FBC TV – and all that it has to offer.

SOURCE: FBC/PACNEWS

13) Fiji rank 15th on risk list
By Online Editor
3:57 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Fiji

Fiji  has been ranked 15th among those countries most at risk to environmental disasters following the occurrence of two major floods and the tropical cyclone in the west last year.

According to the United Nations World Risk Report 2012, Fiji had a 13.6 per cent chance of a natural disaster occurring each year.

The study, carried out by the United Nations University, points out the link between environmental degradation and natural disasters.

The study showed that “as the WRR 2012 points out, it has been well established that, for example, agribusiness increases soil erosion, and that the loss of mangroves and wetlands alongside rivers remove natural protection against flooding.

“The risk of landslides is also increased by heavy precipitation, deforestation and farming on steep slopes.”

For this reason, AusAID acting counsellor Tim Gill, said poverty and disaster affected people’s lives and are more than just sad stories.

“Good development practice is not just about having systems in place but as practitioners we should be investing in development programs that consider the multi-facet nature that natural hazards have on the lives of people and communities,” he said.

“While Tropical Cyclone Evan showed us the extent of desperation felt by people, it also demonstrated the huge resilience of Fiji’s people and communities. This is something we need to harness and ensure we are investing in disaster risk reduction before a disaster event occurs.”

While attending a round table discussion in Lautoka recently, Gill highlighted the effectiveness of Australia’s TC Evan assistance to Fiji and lessons learnt as a means of informing future disaster co-ordination and response efforts.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

14) Sex exploitation in Fiji on the rise
By Online Editor
1:48 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Fiji

Younger children are being introduced to prostitution and stakeholders have revealed that withdrawing those already sexually exploited for commercial purposes has been a difficult process — for various reasons.

The revelation prompted discussion on the magnitude of the problem and saw participants at a Child Labour Forum in progress in Cuvu, Sigatoka, seek clarity on the role and responsibilities of agencies involved in the monitoring, policing and enforcement of laws covering child labour.

Save the Children Fiji, which was involved in a 2010 survey on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) had established in its interview of 109 children that some children started sex work as early as 10 years.

In its latest brief to the International Labour Organisation organised forum, the SCF said “withdrawal strategy was very challenging.” Expanding on the issue, ILO national project co-ordinator Marie Fatiaki, said withdrawing children from CSEC was difficult “even though we have identified where they are”.

“They are not removed. To date there has been no prosecution of those using children in commercial sex. There are hardly any safe houses, the one that we know is already full, so what are the alternatives for these children?”

Fatiaki also revealed she was engaged in a smaller research on children in traffic and information filtering in showed younger children were being targeted.

She said the European Union-funded Tackling Child Labour through Education project (TACKLE) was aimed at reducing poverty by providing equitable access to education and skills development to the most disadvantaged section of society.

Participants agreed the project, which started in 2008, enabled networking between agencies, the establishment of the first Child Labour Unit at the Ministry of Labour, improved knowledge of child labour and brought attention to the importance of prevention work and the importance of keeping children in school.

According to SCF, earlier case studies and research enabled participants to identify the risks and vulnerability factors — allowing the use of knowledge to identify children at risk of dropping out of school.

Through a preventative based approach Fatiaki reported that 50 children were withdrawn from CSEC.

“Faced with many challenges, the implementing agency was able to identify children for preventative and withdrawal from CSEC and develop child-care plans which have included providing these children with ongoing counselling support, and participate in life-skills training,” she said.

“In Suva, children targeted for prevention and withdrawal received literacy, numeracy and life skills training as part of a four-week bridging program.

“Children targeted for withdrawals were taken for STI clinic visits and counselling sessions with peer mentors co-ordinated.”

She said under this initiative, 50 teachers and Ministry of Education staff were also trained on child protection and child labour issues and school-based child protection policies were developed.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

Polynesia:


15) Tonga and Development Partners to host Pacific Leaders Energy Summit
By Online Editor
3:46 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Tonga

The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga and its development partners will be hosting the Pacific Leaders Energy Summit, PLES, in Nuku’alofa on 21 – 22 March, 2013.

The topic of energy has become one of global importance. With increasing concern for the effects of climate change on the environment, and decreasing hydrocarbon resources, developed countries are facing the task of migrating existing energy infrastructure and systems to renewable sources and processes.

For the developing nations, the challenge is to adopt cleaner and more sustainable energy systems right from the start. But for many of our neighbours in the Pacific, the challenge is much more than a consideration of which energy option to take. It is much more critical than that. For at stake is the very question of survival and continuation of peoples, and their existence as sovereign entities and viable communities on their own homelands and territories.

And so the Pacific region presents the global community with what appears to be a spectrum of extremes, played out against the backdrop of a prolonged worldwide economic recession, and the steady rising tide, encroaching on our receding coastlines and diminishing lands. It is thus with heightened sense of urgency that Pacific Islands are compelled to search for models of energy development that are consistent with the needs of the individual countries as well as that of the region.

The Pacific Leaders Energy Summit is a timely intervention amidst the chatter and crosstalk of the energy market place, and will help to bring clarity and focus as we search for models and blueprints to guide us on the way forward. Although there have been many successful models in the Pacific Islands, there have also been models that did not work out for various reasons, resulting in a lack of progress in the development in the energy sector in some of our countries. The Pacific Leaders Energy Summit will allow Tonga to share its model known as the Tonga Energy Road Map 2010-2020 (TERM) from the perspective of the Government as well as from the perspective of the Development Partners working on the TERM.

The energy road map paradigm, as adopted in the Tongan context, TERM, is an effective prism with which to conceive a pathway towards energy independence and sustainability. At the international level, the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, has launched REMAP2030, IRENA’s Global Renewable Energy Road Map project which “explores different pathways and action items required to achieve the aspirational target of doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix as defined under the UN Secretary-General Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative”. It is not impossible that such a global road map will be made up of national and regional tapestries, woven with the assistance and active participation of the leaders and peoples of the Pacific.

The Pacific Leaders Energy Summit is not an isolated event, but it is one that is contributory to, and in alignment with, the United Nation’s declaration of 2014-2024 as the “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”. The declaration was adopted unanimously in 2012 by the UN’s 193 member states, which includes the Pacific Islands States, in a world commitment to achieve sustainable energy for all its citizens. The link between energy and economic development points to the potential for leveraging progress in the energy sector to address the social problems that we all face in our island region.

The second day of the Summit will focus on Regionalism and how best the Pacific Islands can work with the Development Partners involved in energy. Delegations are encouraged to discuss problems and share success stories. Pacific Leaders will also be able to discuss (in a closed session) at a high level, possible regional initiatives that can be further developed through the CROP agencies.

The energy sector provides a point of symbiotic convergence between the interests and concerns of the Pacific countries and the development partner community. It is due to the contribution of the development partners that energy projects have been implemented in the region, and will continue to be implemented in the days ahead. As befits the movement towards renewable energy as an international trend, Tonga as the host of the Summit, appreciates all those who want to help from all the corners of the globe.

His Majesty’s Government and the people of Tonga look forward to welcoming all the Development Partners and Pacific Leaders to the Pacific Leaders Energy Summit on the 21 – 22 March, 2013.

SOURCE: PLES/PACNEWS

16) Bulk of diabetics in Samoa are undetected
By Online Editor
1:41 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Samoa

A doctor at the dialysis unit believes the bulk of diabetics in Samoa remain undetected.

“We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea, who works at the unit at Samoa National Kidney Foundation (SNKF).

As it is, patients who now undergo dialysis at SNKF increase annually.

“We’ve hit 70, as of today,” said the Chief Executive Officer, Mulipola Roger Hazelman.

That’s the number of what Mulipola described as “permanent patients,” or recipients of dialysis daily.

New patients recorded in the last financial year, July 2011- June 2012, stood at 31.

When it started in 2005, the dialysis unit treated six patients.

But it was always assumed amongst health workers staff many more diabetics remained undetected in the country.

With their staff of 44 working in two shifts, they manage with the increased work load, said Mulipola.

A dialysis unit was established in Savai’i Island two years ago to save patients the travel.

It now has three patients, a fourth having passed away.

SNKF urges the public to come in for checks because early detection is vital for treatment.

SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS

Micronesia:

17) Kiribati Students Call For More State Scholarships
Lack of funds led to qualified students losing out

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (The Kiribati Independent, Feb. 25, 2013) – Around two hundred Kiribati students were not offered scholarship this year because there aren’t enough funds for them.

In a letter written to the President and copied to Kiribati Independent, the signatories requested Anote Tong and his cabinet ministers to increase the number of scholarship awards to cater to the growing number of eligible students.

The Kiribati government is only sponsoring 50 students to further studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP) campus in Suva, and another 40 at the USP centre in Tarawa, the letter says.

The students say they were all qualified and meet the criteria but government doesn’t have the budget to pay for their school fees and stipends.

Government hasn’t responded to the students’ letter.

The Kiribati Independent

18) Marshall Islands climate change now presents security risk

By Online Editor
1:52 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Marshall Islands

Rising ocean levels have created an urgent security situation in the Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands.

Best known as a stepping stone of the U.S. during the Pacific campaigns of World War II, the country home to more than 50,000 inhabitants now faces inundation at the hands of a more elusive foe: climate change.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Tony deBrum, a special representative of the country’s president, pressed the Security Council to take up the cause of nations like the Marshall Islands given the way climate change has evolved into a matter of international peace and security.

deBrum described how erosion caused by ocean water is now uncovering dangerous vestiges of the country’s past. Unexploded ordnances have been surfacing across the southern reaches of the nation in recent years, effectively creating minefields in areas long considered safe.

So too, fortnightly tidal patterns have resulted in consistent phases of flooding. The country’s roads are frequently covered in water, while crop damage and contamination of drinking water supplies have become a regular concern.

The United States pledged last year to assist island nations with the removal of unexploded munitions, but that matter is among the country’s least thorny struggles.

By contrast, handling what many see as the necessary repatriation of the islands soon-to-be-displaced inhabitants is a considerably more difficult issue.

The compelling personal narratives of those affected in low-lying Pacific Islands have stirred some attention at climate conferences through the years, but the Marshall Islands and others have repeatedly had the forum for their grievances moved out of the spotlight, including at the most recent meeting of the U.N.’s “Arria Formula” Security Council group last week.

SOURCE: TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE/PACNEWS

Franis: 

19) Prolongation de l’espérance de vie en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée

Posté à 26 February 2013, 9:14 AEST
Pierre Riant

La longévité moyenne des habitants dans ce pays était de 45 ans il y a 10 ans.

Elle est désormais de 55 ans et la direction du Pacific International Hospital (PIH) entend bien la prolonger jusqu’à  65 ans au cours de ces 5 prochaines années.

Une information révélée par le Post Courier à l’occasion du lancement des Lifestyle Clinics (Cliniques du mode de vie) du PIH : une première en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

Ces cliniques ciblent les personnes qui ne font pas d’exercices physiques et qui ont de mauvaises habitudes alimentaires. En clair, un mode de vie associé à de nombreux problèmes de santé comme le diabète, l’arthrite ou l’hypertension.

Pour attirer le plus grand nombre de personnes, ces Cliniques du mode de vie donneront des cours tous les vendredis entre 17 heures et 19 heures, c’est-à-dire après les heures de travail.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-02-26/prolongation-de-lespérance-de-vie-en-papouasie-nouvelleguinée/1093598

20) L’éventualité d’un registre pour délinquants sexuels arrive aux îles Fidji

Posté à 26 February 2013, 8:59 AEST
Pierre Riant

Après le Samoa, c’est au tour de Fidji d’envisager le suivi des délinquants sexuels.

Si la Commission juridique du Samoa appelle à la prudence et tente de déterminer si un tel registre est compatible avec la culture locale, aux îles Fidji les réactions sont mitigées.

Jiko Luveni, ministre de la Condition féminine est totalement pour : «  Ce registre permettra d’identifier les délinquants, de les suivre, de les éduquer et de fournir d’importantes informations à la police. »

Pour Jiko Luveni, ce registre traite des raisons profondes associées aux infractions à caractère sexuel.

Ce n’est pas l’avis de Shamima Ali, la directrice du Centre de crise pour femmes des îles Fidji.

ALI : « Je ne dirai pas que je suis totalement opposée, mais j’ai quand même travaillé dans ce domaine pendant près de 30 ans et je n’ai jamais vu l’efficacité d’un tel registre à travers le monde. Et d’un point de vue humanitaire, il n’y a pas eu de discussions sur le sujet. Je suis convaincue que Fidji a besoin d’être consulté et de discuter davantage au lieu d’annoncer des solutions à court terme.
C’est un moyen rapide de répondre à une situation au lieu d’en parler et de voir si une telle solution a marché quelque part ailleurs. D’après ce que je sais, ça ne marche pas. »

C’est le 1er mars prochain que s’ouvrira à Fidji le procès de Raikadroka, 23 ans, originaire de Suva, et Mohammed Sheefaz Jameer Sagaitu, 24 ans, originaire de Rotuma.

Ils sont accusés de proxénétisme familial aggravé et aurait livré à la prostitution deux jeunes filles de 16 et 17 ans, ainsi qu’une femme de 20 ans, entre mai et décembre 2012.
Deux hommes qui pourraient donc se retrouver un jour dans ce registre pour délinquants sexuels.

Des hommes jeunes que ce registre pourrait détruire. C’est ce que pense Shamima Ali.

ALI : « L’autre chose est qu’il y a une tendance à Fidji et que nos délinquants sont de plus en plus jeunes. Et s’ils sont inscrits dans ce registre, ça va peut-être ruiner leur vie.  Nous pensons qu’il vaut mieux les rééduquer. Nous  devons avant tout nous asseoir autour d’une table et chercher des solutions et surtout apprendre de la part de ceux qui sont impliqués dans ce domaine depuis très longtemps. »

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-02-26/léventualité-dun-registre-pour-délinquants-sexuels-arrive-aux-îles-fidji/1093584

Pacific:


21) Pacific Church leaders to discuss environmental impacts on mining

By Online Editor
09:20 am GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Solomon Islands

Regional church leaders will address the need for legislation to protect communities from the environmental effects of mining, logging and other extractive industries this week.

A report to the Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, will outline the need for a concerted effort by regional organizations to ensure that islanders do not suffer from mining and logging.

Recent studies show that communities in Bougainville continue to suffer from skin diseases and respiratory illnesses more than two decades after copper mines closed.

The PCC General Assembly will hear suggestions for national churches – especially in Fiji and Papua New Guinea – increase their efforts to ensure that landowners are fully aware of the impacts of mining and logging.

Recent work by the PCC on behalf of its 34 church groups has involved creating partnerships with regional and international environmental groups with common interests in the area of extractive industry.

General Secretary Revered Francois Pihaatae said this move was taken after the conference’s 9th General Assembly at Kananafou in American Samoa.

“In the Christian context we believe that God has given us – the landowners – stewardship of the earth and its resources,” Rev Pihaatae said.

“Therefore we need to make decisions on the use of these resources in a way which ensures that the earth is cared for and not misused or abused.

“Our people need to have all possible information on these industries to allow them to make constructive and informed decisions on mining – whether land or sea-based – and logging.”

Rev Pihaatae said it was important to note that not all Pacific communities were united in their stand on extractive industries including recent moves to introduce seabed mining.

“In the case of seabed mining there is already a framework drawn up at regional level but as yet there are no programmes to educate the people on the effects of such an industry nor are there national laws or policies,” he said.

“This is one of the issues the regional churches will look at before addressing extractive industries.”.

SOURCE: PACIFIC CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES/PACNEWS

22) Interpol chief visits Pacific region

Posted at 03:14 on 25 February, 2013 UTC

The Secretary General of Interpol is visiting the Pacific island region for the first time as part of efforts to boost international police co-operation and capacity against crimes such as drug and human trafficking.

Ronald Noble was in Papua New Guinea last week and will this week visit Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tonga and Fiji.

In PNG, Mr Noble had discussions with Police Minister Nixon Duban about boosting collaboration between the country and Interpol’s global network, and extending Interpol’s tools and services to frontline police.

Mr Duban emphasised the need for Interpol to install its passport screening system at the country’s largest international airport in Port Moresby.

During his Pacific trip, Mr Noble is highlighting the role of a new Interpol hub due to open in Singapore next year, which will look to help countries fight cybercrime and build capacity.

Radio New Zealand International

Education:


23a) Ministry of Education School Based Management program strengthens ties with Media

Posted on February 19, 2013 – 10:44am

Roy Obed, Director of Education signed on Tuesday 12th February, 2013, an agreement between the School Based Management (SBM) program and the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) for a period of 12 months, valued at Vatu590,000. Services to be provided by VBTC under this contract include weekly airing of School Based Management programs and airing of three television programs to be produced jointly by the SBM team and VBTC. Mr. Obed expressed his gratitude to the SBM team (under the leadership of Mr. Abel Nako) for the initiative and welcomed the involvement of VBTC in such an important process. Mr. Obed added, “ …edukesen blong ol pikinini blong yumi hemi paramount mo yumi everiwan, including Ministry blong Edukesen, ol development partners, ol provincial authorities, ol local communities, ol committees blong wan wan skul, ol parents, mo ol narafala stakeholders olsem media I mas wok tugeta blong mekem sua se ol stret mesej blong development blong edukesen hemi stap ko aot oltaem blong help blong divelopem sekta yia…”.

Mrs. Mildred Izono who represented VBTC at the signing expressed VBTC’s gratitude to the Ministry of Education for the opportunity and looked forward to working with the SBM team.

School Based Management (SBM) is part of the current Vanuatu Education Sector Program (VESP) which runs from 2013 to 2017 and focuses mainly on Improving Education Quality; Facilitating Equitable Access to Education For All people, and; ensuring that Education System is well managed at all levels.

SBM is financially and technically supported by AusAID, NZAID, and UNICEF.http://www.dailypost.vu/content/ministry-education-school-based-management-program-strengthens-ties-media

23b) USP launches its new Strategic Plan 2013-2018
By Online Editor
1:29 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Fiji

The University of the South Pacific launched its new Strategic Plan for 2013-2018. The six-year Plan was launched by the USP Chancellor, Ulu-o-Tokelau, His Excellency Aliki Faipule Kerisiano Kalolo, at the University’s Laucala Campus in Suva on 25 February, 2013.

The new Strategic Plan was approved by the USP Council in its last meeting in November last year. It builds on the successes of the previous Strategic Plan 2010-2012, taking forward its six priority areas – Learning and Teaching; Student Support; Research and Internationalization; Regional and Community Engagement; Our People; and Governance, Management, Leadership, and Continuous Improvement – and adding another, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Under the new Plan, the University will focus on its people, quality, regional campuses, postgraduate studies, research, global leadership in areas such as Pacific Arts, Climate Change and Oceans, entrepreneurialism, and being a regional exemplar.

Describing it as an inclusive blueprint for expansion and improvement leading to USP’s 50th anniversary in 2018, the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra pointed out that a key element in the success of any Strategic Plan is the process by which it is conceived and developed.

He stated that the new Strategic Plan was developed in consultation with member countries and stakeholders, including staff, students, development partners and regional agencies.

“This Plan is therefore very consultative and inclusive, and this should make it a successful one because of its sense of ownership and inclusion,” he added.

Given the success of the previous Strategic Plan, Professor Chandra said there was an opportunity to think bigger, be more ambitious and innovative that resulted in the new Plan to have a stronger, more unifying vision that relates closely to the needs and aspirations of the region.

The over-riding theme of the new Strategic Plan 2013-2018 is transforming USP from good to excellent. The University is expected to spend around $241 million on implementing the new Plan.

“Being good is not good enough in a highly competitive, open, and knowledge-intensive world. We need to lift our vision and stretch our performance, and obtain global recognition in selected fields and a reputation of competence and excellence in everything we do,” explained the Vice-Chancellor.

Moving forward, Professor Chandra is confident that the University will be able to achieve its vision of excellence, greater regionality, greater and more impactful research, and greater entrepreneurship that has been outlined in the new Plan.

In introducing the Chief Guest,. Aliki Kalolo, the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council, Ikbal Jannif, thanked him for his strong support to the University. Jannif also acknowledged Fiji, as one of the member countries for hosting USP’s headquarters. He said that Fiji, together with other member countries of USP, have collectively supported the University for over four decades.

Speaking at the launch, Aliki Kalolo said, “I am excited and confident in the fact that this Plan will grow excellence across this institution, creating by 2018, a university that produces the right type of highly skilled graduates for this region, a university that provides an excellent foundation for leadership, a university that identifies and then creatively addresses development challenges, and a university of which we all can be genuinely proud.”

The USP Chancellor stated that the new Strategic Plan is a robust, well-thought out and realistic blueprint for expansion and improvement, which will contribute to USP’s on-going success.

By 2018, USP is expected to grow in size of about a projected 33,000 students, many of whom will be at the postgraduate level. The University will have more member countries and will boast of regional campuses that are as high-quality, modern, and well-equipped as its flagship campus at Laucala, Suva.

“The Strategic Plan 2013-2018 calls for a strengthening of the regional identity of the University, and for substantial improvements to the regional campuses. Better facilities and more services at the regional campuses will support increased enrolments, and will improve both the student experience and learning outcomes. We will also be able to hold more significant events and meetings at the regional campuses. They will become a visible and active part of USP,” Aliki Kalolo said.

Those present were told that at the operational level, the new Strategic Plan will further unite the University’s diverse and numerous workforce behind a common goal of excellence as an institution by 2018, whereas at the institutional level, it will enhance institutional accountability, as members and development partners understand exactly how their funds will be used in the short-term and to which long-term purposes they contribute.

In launching the document, H.E. Aliki Kalolo reiterated that the new Strategic Plan is not only USP’s plan for growth and development for the next six years, but it has important ramifications for all of USP’s member countries.

“Its success will be shared and felt throughout the region, in better qualified and prepared human resources, in more readily applicable research, and in increased useful dialogue on regional issues and policy-making,” he further stated.

The launch was attended by the President of the Republic of Fiji, H.E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, members of the diplomatic corps, heads and representatives of CROP agencies and international organizations, senior government officials, school principals, members of the USP Council and the University’s Senior Management Team, staff members, media and other guests.

For all media queries please contact: Ashley Gopal on 3232 039 or email: gopal_a@usp.ac.fj Development, Marketing and Communications Office at the University of the South Pacific.

SOURCE: USP/PACNEWS

24) Broadband access can help bridge educational divides, empower students – UN report
By Online Editor
1:27 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, United States

Broadband connectivity has the potential to transform education by giving teachers and students access to learning resources and technologies that will allow them to improve their skills in the context of a globalized economy, according to a United Nations report released today.

The report, Technology, Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda, argues that access to high-speed technologies over fixed and mobile platforms can help students acquire the digital skills required to participate in the global economy and contribute to ensure their employability once they finish their studies.

“The ability of broadband to improve and enhance education, as well as students’ experience of education, is undisputed,” said the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Hamadoun Touré, adding that online access widens education and employment prospects for students all over the world.

“A student in a developing country can now access the library of a prestigious university anywhere in the world; an unemployed person can retrain and improve their job prospects in other fields; teachers can gain inspiration and advice from the resources and experiences of others. With each of these achievements, the online world brings about another real-world victory for education, dialogue, and better understanding between peoples.”

According to ITU estimates, the digital divide remains deep despite rapid technological advances. At the end of 2012, there were nearly 2.5 billion people using the Internet. However, only a quarter of these people are located in the developing world. There are also severe disparities in the cost of broadband, which in some 17 countries still represents more than the average person’s monthly salary.

The report, released by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development during the World Summit on the Information Society +10 in Paris, emphasizes the importance of broadband access as a way to accelerate the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) pertaining education, which aims to achieve universal primary education for boys and girls by the year 2015.

“Much progress has been made to reach the 2015 education goals – but many countries are still not on track,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, said at the opening session of the Summit. “In this respect, the digital divide continues to be a development divide. The ongoing mobile and internet revolutions provide all countries, especially developing and least developed ones, with unprecedented opportunities.”

The report found that in developed countries, about 93 per cent of 15 year olds have access to the Internet at school, with a ratio of eight student per computer. In contrast, only 3 per cent of schools have Internet access in Kenya, and the ratio of computers is one for every 150 schoolchildren in most African countries.

The report calls on policymakers to boost efforts that ensure equitable access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) for all their citizens, especially women and girls and marginalized groups. It also encourages governments to provide incentives to support the adoption of ICTs and include digital skills as part of their public education programmes.

In addition, the report calls for supporting the creation of online educational applications and services in local content and local languages, which is many times missing from established hardware. Developing countries should also look to establish partnerships with developed countries to close the digital divide.

Set up by the ITU and UNESCO in 2010, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development aims to boost the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and believes that expanding broadband access in every country is key to accelerating progress towards the achieving all MDGs.

SOURCE: UN NEWS CENTRE/PACNEWS

Sports: 
25) Fiji Warriors ready for Pacific Rugby Cup
By Online Editor
4:10 pm GMT+12, 26/02/2013, Fiji

Flying Fijians coach Inoke Male is impressed with the commitment shown by players in the Fiji Warriors team preparing for the 2013 Pacific Rugby Cup (PRC).

The PRC competition starts this Friday.

Male stated earlier no players would be paid allowance during the PRC which would run for over a month.

He said lack of sponsors had been one of their major problems and the International Rugby Board was not giving allowances like in previous years for the preparation.

Male said the onus was on the players to show their pride for the country.

“The commitment has been good and the boys received the news in good faith,” the former Flying Fijian said.

“It may affect our preparation but as we already mentioned the biggest pay-cheque is when the door opens for them for a contract overseas and also the Flying Fijians in June but its the development that matters most.”

The Fiji Warriors, which is also the defending champion, plays its first match against the Junior Waratahs in Sydney this Friday.

The team leaves the country tomorrow with the hope of yet another successful PRC campaign.

“Preparation has been going well this last two weeks and boys are responding well. Our major concern is the players getting adapted quickly to the environment since we’re having only a day before we play the Waratahs and this is the first trip for most of our boys,” Male said.

“We have been playing the Waratahs since 2007 and last year was the first time we beat them.

“It’s more important to perform at the best of our ability and to start the tour on a high note.”

Male has made only one change in the 30-member squad which sees injured Mosese Taga replaced by Penaia Naweilulu.

“For families and loved ones, please do encourage your boys as this is an opportunity not to be missed and pray for them,” Male added.

Fiji Warriors – Joeli Veitayaki, Jone Lesi, Leroy Atalifo, Apisai Vatubuli, Leong Koong, Seru Cakobau, Jale Sassen,,Semi Keli, Matai Ucutabua,,Aminio Nakicobula, Nathan Hughes, Apisai Domolailai, Inoke Tuisese, Kolinio Naselekale, Esira Vueti, Eremasi Radrodro, Ron Katonivere, Henry Seniloli, Aisea Luveniyali, Kolinio Vunaki, Ratunaisa Vatuiranuku, Aporosa Duana, Peni Koroyawa, Joseva Kunawave, Jo Brown, Apisai Nawaqaliva, Penaia Naweilulu, Isoa Donaldson, Lea Matayavusa, Aisea Natoga; Non-Travelling Reserves – Apete Salawaqavuka, Josefa Biu, Tikilica Vuibau.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

Music:

Hi Everyone, if you are in Sydney or any parts of NSW/Australia & free friday night 8/3/13 come on down to Parramatta for this special event.
For more information just send me an email an I will forward to MC Trey.


26) MC Trey ‘Light’ single launch highlighting Domestic Violence
 By Thelma Trey Thomas

Thelma Trey Thomas(Invited You)

Friday, March 8, 2013

6:00pm

Aria-nominee MC Trey announces the release of her new single + video, ‘Light’ – a hip-hop track about Domestic Violence, feat. 26th Letter and Jae Tee. 6pm-9pm

Performances by:

+ Swarmy
+ Izzy and the Profit
+ Lynette Smith
+ Soul Benefits
+ Phreaze
+ The Commission
+ Bdon & Mizi
+ Imprint Crew
+ Susan Rose
+ Illisavani Cava
+ Majik Honey
+ EMRE2k
+ Aruna
+ Fiona B
+ FYI Meke Crew

and many more…

*International Women’s Day* and an opportunity for all to celebrate and reflect on issues that affect women.

“Late last year, I received news about the death of a young Fijian woman, stabbed to death by her husband as her child lay close by. This tragedy played on my mind. I thought of all the countless acts of Domestic Violence, which go on behind closed doors. People rarely speak I wanted to speak. I contacted two younger MCs whom I work with, Jae Tee and The 26th Letter about producing a track. We met up and
discussed the direction of the track. We decided on three perspectives, the abusers, the female victims and the children,” said MC Trey.

She hopes that this song will instigate conversations and positive actions in regards to Domestic Violence and relationships. Support services on the night include ICE, SWSRAC, SWYPE, SWMACC, FYI and SVSG.

‘ A beautifully melodic, yet haunting Hip Hop dose of reality’

Light single is available on iTunes from March 8, 2013

Food and Refreshments available.
International Women’s Day Merchandise for sale.

Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE)
8 Victoria Road, Parramatta, New South Wales
View Map · Get Directions

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