Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 815

1) PNG land lease holda bikpela dinau

Updated 27 February 2013, 12:06 AEST
Ruth Maino

Ol lease holda blong gavman land long Papua New Guinea i gat bikpela dinau long land rates.

Papua New Guinea Lands Department itok insait long tripela wik igo pinis, ol lease holder blong gavman land long National Capital District i ouim inap long 50 milion Kina long gavman.

Secretary blong Lands Dipartment Kila Pat itok dispela i soim bikpela wok i stap long kolektim planti moni we ol lease holda long kantri i ouim gavman .

Em itok dipartment blong em nau i gat wanpela niupela program we bai halvim ol long stretim planti long ol heve we i mekim depatment ino wok gutpela tumas long bipo.

Mr Pat i tok dispela sistem em ol i kolim long Fully Automated titleing System.

Minista bilong Lands bai lonsim dispela progrem long mun Oktoba bilong dispela yia na ol i bai stat long iusim.

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2) Calls for Australia to refocus policy on Melanesia
By Online Editor
08:16 am GMT+12, 27/02/2013, Australia

There have been calls for Australia to refocus its defence and security attention on our closest neighbours in Melanesia.

Professor Richard Herr from Fiji University’s Centre for International and Regional Affairs says Australia has “lost the plot” with regard to international security.

He said Australia should pay more attention to Melanesia and allow Fiji back into crucial bodies like the Pacific Islands Forum.

“Regional associations that exclude Australia have grown in prominence, and worryingly I believe, from the point of view of Australia,” he said.

Professor Herr spoke at the Royal United Services Institute’s International Defence and Security Dialogue in Sydney.

He said unless Australia embraces a “two-region” approach to the Pacific Islands, which would look at Melanesia and the Pacific as two separate regions, Australia’s strategic priorities will be difficult to meet.

Fiji’s Former Prime Minister and first coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka also spoke at the event and again called for immediate lifting of Australian sanctions on the country.

Rabuka says the Pacific, particularly Fiji, are beginning to look to “new friends”.

“Australia must realise that the longer the isolation, the more difficult the restoration,” he said.

“And while you have been shielding yourself behind the wall of political correctness, the new players in the Pacific have been using the time settling in.”.


3) Former PM Demands Vanuatu Refuse Indonesia ‘Gift’
Ambassador gifted police uniforms during credential presentation

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 26, 2013) – Vanuatu opposition MP and former prime minister Barack Sope has demanded the country’s government refuse to accept a gift of police uniforms from Indonesia’s government.

The gift was made by Indonesia’s new ambassador to Vanuatu, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, as he presented his credentials to President Iolu Johnson Abil.

Vanuatu has long been a refuge for many from the Indonesian Province of West Papua.

Mr. Sope told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the gift is an effort by Indonesia to exert influence and change the Ni-Van position on the Province.

“A lot of blood has been shed in West Papua and it’s the military of Indonesia that does it,” he said.

“How can Indonesia help Melanesians in Vanuatu and other places when they’re also killing them – killing Melanesians in West Papua. We cannot accept that.

“They have to sort out the human rights situation, they have to sort out the colonial situation in West Papua, which they haven’t, they refuse to.

“What we’re doing in Vanuatu is hypocritical. We say one thing and we do others.”

Radio Australia:

4a) Indonesia’s ambassador to Vanuatu describes West Papua as very unlawful
By Online Editor
11:48 am GMT+12, 27/02/2013, Vanuatu

Indonesia’s new ambassador to Vanuatu has described West Papua as very unlawful and that his country is determined to bring calm there.

Nadjip Riphat Kesoema fielded questions about West Papua from Vanuatu journalists at a press conference after he had presented his credentials to Vanuatu’s President, Iolu Johnson Abil on Tuesday.

Nadjip said he is deeply saddened by the latest violence in Papua, with Eight Indonesian soldiers and four civilians killed in two separate shooting incidents in the Highlands last week.

Military chiefs have blamed the OPM Free West Papua Movement but some international commentators say elements of Indonesia’s military may have engineered the killings.

Nadjip said this is absurd.

“How could you say that and how the accusation could be directed toward the Indonesian people? We are people of peace, we do not want to kill our people. And even in some incidents that the allegation is directed towards the Indonesian police and army: I think it’s not true.”

“Democratisation should be accompanied by rule of law. Right now, many demonstrations has ended with violence because they just try to calm down the demonstration but then the demonstration becoming wild.”

Nadjip Riphat Kesoema has indicated he is open to the idea of West Papuans being incorporated into the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).


4b) West Papua wants Vanuatu protest to Indonesia

Posted on February 27, 2013 – 9:39am |

Ricky Binihi

Members of the West Papua National Liberation (l-r) Dr John Ondawame, Octo Vianus Mote and Andy Ayamiseba

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation is calling on the Prime Minister of Vanuatu Sato Kilman to send a Protest Note to the Indonesian government over the killings of Melanesians in West Papua and the recent alleged separatist killing of eight Indonesians.

“Jakarta is paying West Papuans to kill Indonesians so that Indonesia can justify the military buildup in West Papua to commit genocide on Melanesians,” the outspoken member of the WPNCL and head of the West Papua Mission Andy Ayamiseba told the Daily Post.

Daily Post conducted the interview with members of the WPNCL on the same day the Indonesian Ambassador had a press conference in Port Vila.

Visiting head of the West Papua Mission in New York, Octo Vianus Mote, said Indonesia wanted something to “trigger” the huge onslaught on the Melanesian people and Jakarta orchestrated that “trigger” Thursday last week.

As a result of the incident the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neall has had his Foreign Affairs Minister send a Protest Note to Jakarta and has reportedly increased the number of PNG security forces on the border between PNG and West Papua.

After the killing in West Papua of Indonesians allegedly by separatists the Ambassador of Indonesia visits Vanuatu to strengthen the Development Corporation Agreement Jakarta and Port Vila signed in 2012.

“Vanuatu must be alerted and not be bribed. It’s a bribery agreement so that Vanuatu could not talk out against the killings of Melanesians in West Papua,” Mr Ayamiseba said.

Mr Mote said in American Samoa where they have a senator who is very vocal internationally on the West Papua issue Jakarta wants to establish a Development Corporation Agreement with them. To silence them, Mr Mote said.

The Vice Chairman of the National Coalition for Liberation Dr John Ondawame who described the so called Indonesian development as “money politics from West Papua sources” says they are looking forward to when West Papua will be granted full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

A decision will be made on West Papua’s MSG status in June.

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5) Australia warned to stay out of Bougainville affairs
By Online Editor
3:06 pm GMT+12, 27/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Sam Kaona has warned Australia not to meddle in Bougainville affairs.

He said the first policy draft on mining in Bougainville was no different from the colonial policy that caused the crisis.

“The Australians have taken control of mining policy in Buka and the first policy draft by ABG legal unit headed by Tony Regan is no different from the previous policy,” Kaona, who is chairman of the recently formed Bougainville Resources Owners Representative Council, said.

He added that the proposed policy, sponsored by AusAID and drafted by Regan, risked Bougainville’s first constitutional crisis.

“Since the constitution is the supreme law of Bougainville, section 23 of the Bougainville constitution, which restores ownership of resources on Bougainville to the customary landowners, is the only option that is constitutionally legal.

“So any attempt to impose any other resource ownership system would be invalid and ineffective – they are risking a constitutional crisis.”

Resources rights activist Simon Ekanda shared similar sentiments.

“Bougainville mining policy does not belong to Regan, BCL (Bougainville Copper Ltd) or the Australians, it belongs to the resource owners and the people of Bougainville.

“This is to be a Bougainville mining policy written by Bougainvilleans in Bougainville for the Bougainville resource owners and people.

“Section 23 of the Bougainville constitution returning the resource ownership to the customary landowners is to be the foundation of that policy.

“Let me be absolutely clear – there will be no compromise on this.

“The Panguna landowners must determine that their interests will be best served by securing a special mining lease over their resource and then to entertain qualified mining companies with the view to putting Panguna back into production.

He also cautioned ABG President John Momis to be careful with the new mining policy.

“Both PNG and Bougainvilleans have died and it is unwise if Momis allows colonial administrators to rewrite Bougainville mining laws.”.


6) Solomon Islands Health authorities step up measures to tackle dengue outbreak
By Online Editor
2:49 pm GMT+12, 27/02/2013, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Health authorities in collaboration with the World health Organization (WHO) are working closely on strategic plans to prevent any increase of dengue fever in the country.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) earlier this week has recorded up to 223 suspected cases in Honiara alone.

The increase has forced health authorities to issue a dengue alert calling on members of the public to keep their homes and surroundings clean to destroy mosquito breeding sites.

World Health Organization (WHO) consultant entomologist Dr Chang Moh Seng said the public must alerted on this outbreak.

Dr Seng said the mosquito that carries dengue virus (Aedes) normally bites late afternoon and early in the mornings.

“The virus can only be controlled if communities agreed to working together to remove or clean up breeding sites and apply insecticides where they breed,” Dr Seng said.

Meanwhile, the Head of Surveillance Unit in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Alison Sio said they are working closely with WHO on strategic plans to curb the increase of dengue cases.

The Ministry is sending staff to Malaita and Western provinces this week to check on the situations there.

The cases recorded so far are only for Honiara where surveillance has been carried out.


7) SLN mine in New Caledonia vandalised

Posted at 03:22 on 27 February, 2013 UTC

New Caledonia’s SLN mining company says a complaint has been lodged with police after its mining site in Thio was vandalised on Sunday.

SLN says nobody was injured in the incident but says installations were set on fire and trucks damaged.

It puts the damage at 1.3 million US dollars.

Police are now investigating.

It is not known what prompted the disturbance.

Despite the damage, work has resumed at the mining site, which is on the main island’s eastern coast.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Solar power planned for Tonga’s outer islands

Posted at 01:06 on 27 February, 2013 UTC

Tonga hopes all homes in the outer islands will soon have solar power units.

This comes as the country prepares to host the Pacific Leaders’ Energy Summit from March the 21st, when the Tonga Energy Road Map, or TERM, will be held up as a possible blueprint for other countries to follow.

Last year, a huge solar farm was opened on Tongatapu, and another one is planned on the island and one also on Vava’u.

One of the organisers of the summit and the director of TERM, Inoke Vala, says the Japanese aid agency, JICA, has been installing what are called home alone solar units in homes on the country’s remote islands.

“Currently there is about 520 units of ’home alone’ stand alone units installed. So we want to have access up to 100 percent in the small islands.”

Inoke Vala.

The Tonga summit is followed by a similar meeting in New Zealand that is to co-hosted by the European Union.

That meeting aims to find new investment in renewable energy generation in the region.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Grogne chez les utilisateurs de portables dans le Pacifique

Posté à 27 February 2013, 10:22 AEST
Pierre Riant

Virgin Mobile a annoncé une augmentation des tarifs des appels internationaux dans 20 pays à partir du 28 février.

À partir de cette date, les clients de Virgin Mobile devraient payer leurs appels 12 fois plus cher dans certaines régions du Pacifique. Au nombre des nations océaniennes les plus affectées : la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, les îles Salomon, les îles Cook, Tokelau et Nauru où un appel à l’étranger pourrait être facturé jusqu’à 25 dollars la minute.

Lydia Sper a signé un forfait avec Virgin pour rester en contact avec son fiancé aux îles Fidji. Nous lui avons parlé.

SPER : « Et subitement, je reçois un mail de Virgin Mobile me disant que les tarifs des appels internationaux vont augmenter le 28 février. J’ai regardé et ces appels vont passer à 6 dollars la minute. J’ai été choquée par cette augmentation de 300% et je me suis que je pourrais appeler mon fiancé une heure par mois en fait. »

De nombreux clients de Virgin se sont plaints et ont laissé des messages sur le site de cette société. Un client indique que son épouse a signé avec Virgin pour rester en contact avec sa famille en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée à raison de 2,80 dollars la minute et que les appels seront facturés 25 dollars la minute après le 28 février.

Un autre affirme que les appels de sa femme sur l’île de Norfolk vont augmenter de 1 250% par minute.

Le président d’une association tongienne de Nouvelle-Zélande souligne que les appels téléphoniques sont la principale source de contact pour les Océaniens qui vivent en Australie et en Nouvelle-Zélande qui désirent maintenir des relations avec leurs amis et la famille.

MAKA : « Nous ne sommes pas de ceux qui écrivent des lettres. C’est une époque moderne et nous sommes meilleurs avec les télécommunications quand il s’agit de parler à ceux que l’on aime et nous pouvons vraiment ressentir si ça va bien ou si ça ne va pas en termes de relations avec la famille. »

Un communique de Virgin indique que ces augmentations des tarifs est due à la conjoncture, aux taux de change et aux régulations gouvernementales.

Michael de Percy, professeur en sciences politiques à l’Université de Canberra indique que le coût du maintien des infrastructures est probablement à l’origine de cette hausse des tarifs des appels internationaux.

DE PERCY : « D’après ce que je comprends, Virgin est l’un de quelques fournisseurs qui fournit un crédit international dans leurs packages et je pense que c’est un problème régional. Si vous regardez les destinations les plus populaires des appels, vous verrez souvent que les prix ont en fait descendu mais le Pacifique ne compte pas parmi les destinations les plus populaires. Il faut des investissements substantiels et des infrastructures pour ce que je présume être un retour minium en termes de volume des télécommunications internationales. Je crois que c’est la principale raison derrière ce problème spécifique. »

Ces augmentations des tarifs des appels internationaux vont en tous les cas convaincre des clients d’aller voir la concurrence. Comme Lydia Sper et son fiancé fidjien.

SPER : « Quelqu’un m’a parlé d’une puce que l’on peut acheter pour appeler Fidji à raison de 19 centimes la minute. Je vais donc prendre un autre fournisseur, acheter une autre puce à 19 centimes la minute ce qui est mieux que 6 dollars. »

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