Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 816

1) Fiji polis i lukluk long Taliban wokbung

Updated 2 March 2013, 19:17 AEST

Polis long Fiji itok oli wokbung wantem Interpol long ol stori olsem sampla laen trabalman blong Fiji iwok long joinim ol laen blong taliban blong Pakistan.

Bosman blong Criminal investigation department Luke Rawalai itok sopos ol despla stroi i tru olsem ol Fiji pipal i joinim ol Taliban, oraet despla i brukim tru ol  counter-terrorist laws blong kantri na oli lukim olsem wanpla bikpla crime tru.

Samting olsem 5pla wik igo pinis, wanpla tokman blong ol Taliban long pakistan ibin tokim AFP news agency olsem sampla pipal blong Fiji ibin joinim grup blong ol long 2012.

Tasol laen blong Fiji Muslim League itok, oli save olsem sampla Muslim pipal blong Fiji ibin go long Pakistan long ol Islam skul, emi no save olsem ol despla pipal isave go blong go na joinim ol Taliban.

President blong League, Hafizud Dean Khan itok emi no save long as tingting blong Taliban long tok olsem ol Fiji Muslim pipal i joinim Taliban.


2) Kim Jong-un i laik long Obama i kolim em

Postim 4 March 2013, 12:00 AEST

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman itok lida blong North Korea Kim Jong-un ino laikim woa, tasol em i laik long US President Barack Obama i toktok wantaim em.

Mr Rodman em i wanpela US basketball “Hall of Famer” husat ibin winim NBA championships wantaim Chicago Bulls na long wanpela taim em ibin stap wantaim tu Madonna, em nau i wanpela long ol bikmen pipol blong Amerika husat ibin mit wantaim Mr Kim.

Mr Rodman ibin lukim wanpela basketball gem wantaim Mr Kim long last wik long Pyongyang.

Dispela visit blong Rodman na sampela memma blong Harlem Globetrotters ibin kamap long taim we igat heve i stap namel long United States na North Korea, bihain long North Korea i mekem sampela test long mun February we planti kantri long wol i koros longen.

Mr Rodman itok dispela lida blong North Korea i tokim em olsem em ino laikim long mekim woa….em itok em i laik long President Obama long kolim em long telefon.

Mr Rodman itok Kim Jong-un em i wanpela “very humble”, na tu em i wanpela “very strong,” man na em i laikim paua na em i laik long stap long kontrol.

Taim oli askim em long human rights record blong Kim, Rodman itok em ino wanpela diplomat.

Mr Rodman itok em ino toksore makim Mr Kim na em ino laikim ol samting nogut we Mr Kim ibin wokim…tasol em i tokim American television olsemlida blong North Korea ia i wanpela poro blongen nau.

Taim oli askim em long ol kainkain nogut samting we oli save wokim long ol kalabus man-meri long North Korea, Rodman itok oli save wokim wankain samting long Amerika.

Wanpela bikmen lain husat ibin go visit long North Korea we i inlkudim Google chairman Eric Schmidt na Bill Richardson, former US ambassador long United Nations, oli no bungim dispela lida blong North Korea.


3) PNG Bridge Collapse Cuts Off Highway Into Madang
Temporary bridge may be in place within a week

By Rosalyn Albaniel-Evara

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 1, 2013) – Access along the highway leading into and out of Madang has been severed following the collapse of the Surimam bridge near Ramu Sugar and is likely to be out for at least a month.

While authorities in the province have moved swiftly to try and restore normalcy along this vital road link, locals have warned of further catastrophe if the heavy rains and flooding continue in the inland area of the Nahurawa Local Level Government, in Madang’s Rai Coast District.

Former deputy premier and a leader from Barim village in Tauta- Marcus Kawo, said the heavy rains had resulted in a landslip and blockage of a gorge which had formed several dams in the inland area of Rai Coast District.

He said one of these dams burst on Wednesday night and following more rains flowed rapidly south sweeping with it many trees and boulders which had on the journey down collided with the 50 metre metal bridge resulting in its collapse.

He said several warnings had been issued prior to the collapse of the bridge but had been overlooked. He has since strongly urged government authorities to move swiftly to carry out an aerial survey to asses the dam build-up and take appropriate measures.

He has also warned the travelling public to take precautionary measures while travelling the Madang Highway.

Locals living along the affected area, mostly workers from the Ramu Agri-Limited close by the Surimam Bridge had reported hearing a loud noise coming from the river.

They said the river level as a result of the dam bursting had caused the levels to rise well above the banks to about 20 metres.

They said the fast flowing and murky waters had swept with it large trees and boulders which when flowing down had knocked against the bridge and caused it to give way.

He said at the time there were PMV’s, trucks and cars travelling, but fortunately none had been crossing the bridge when in collapsed.

However, workers had reported that soon after the catastrophe several trucks with containers travelling from Madang to Lae became stranded and were ransacked by opportunists.

Authorities from the province including Madang Deputy Governor Bob Wati, officials from the Provincial and National Works wasted no time in travelling into the area to assess the damage.

Usino Bundi MP Anton Yagama, who called in from Port Moresby yesterday, said he had had an urgent audience with the Prime Minister Peter O’Neil and Finance Minister soon after the disaster.

Mr Yagama said several senior officials from the National Department of Works were instructed to travel to Lae then onto Ramu Sugar to assess the situation.

He said he had also requested that a bailey bridge be constructed to reopen access along the highway.

Mr Wati had yesterday issued instructions for two excavators to be moved to the site at both ends of the highway.

It is understood the machinery is already on site and work is expected to commence today at 7am to build the foundation for the bailey bridge to be put in place.

Works officials said they are confident the bridge should be in place by next week.

Meanwhile two young men said to be betelnut buyers from the Highlands are reportedly dead after attempting to cross the very fast flowing river with their bags of buai.

Hundreds of commuters, including betel nut sellers anxious to get their wares to their destinations were seen further downsteam from the Surimam Bridge loading their bags of buai on inflated vehicle tyre tubes and floating down the turbulent rivers.

For the villagers and locals, it was an opportune time to make some quick money ferrying cargo.

Some sold food and drinks, while others used tubes to ferry cargo. Others had made their way down to the river as early as seven to put in place a foot bridge which they later revealed they would charge the people for crossing over on.

PNG Post-Courier:

4) Online media important to PNG: 
By Online Editor
08:34 am GMT+12, 01/03/2013, Papua New Guinea

The winner of a PNG media anti-corruption award says online media has the potential to inform and mobilise PNG’s people.

The winner of a Papua New Guinea media anti-corruption award says online media has the potential to inform and mobilise people in PNG.

Blogger, Martyn Namorong, won the overall prize at the 2012 Excellence in Anti-Corruption Reporting Media Awards in PNG.

Namorong says that because social media in Papua New Guinea is quite new, there’s still a lack of understanding about how it could be influential.

“Those of us who are willing to speak out, particularly online… have the spotlight on them such that people react more quickly,” he said.

He is in Australia on a two-week study tour to meet with investigative journalists and community groups involved in fighting corruption.

Namorong won the media award for an investigative series into the hearings of the Commission of Inquiry into Agriculture Business Leases in the East Sepik Province of PNG.

He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program that no mainstream media was covering the inquiry.
“I was the only person reporting on the investigation,” Namarong said.

“What I saw was just typical of what’s happened everywhere, where agriculture were pretty much just taken in order for companies not to follow what would be normal forestry regulations.”

United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, David McLachlan-Karr, told local media after the awards that Namarong demonstrated excellent investigative journalism and research skills in his reports.

“Martyn provided three compelling reports that put the reader at the heart of the story,” McLachlan-Karr said.

“He revealed corrupt practice at the community level, and raised awareness of the impacts of corruption over an extended period of time.”

The Excellence in Anti-Corruption Reporting Media Awards encourage individual journalists in PNG to report, expose and combat corruption.


5) Ambassador: West Papua ‘Integral Part Of Indonesia’
Says Papua leaders should have asked before applying to MSG

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 28, 2013) – Indonesian Ambassador to Vanuatu, Nadjir Riphat Kesoema, has said West Papuan Leaders should have asked for permission from Jakarta first if they wanted to apply for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

This is because Indonesia has been granted Observer Status at MSG and West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia.

Despite a unanimous call by the people of Vanuatu through the Vanuatu Free West Papua Movement for the people of West Papua to be given their independence, Indonesian Ambassador to Vanuatu, Nadjir Riphat Kesoema, says West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia as per the UN “Act of Free Choice” (AFC) of 1969 in which 1,025 men voted for West Papua to remain with Indonesia.

When asked to clarify the 44-year old position by West Papuan Leaders that the AFC was nothing other than a set up by the Indonesian military and the 1025 men were handpicked by the military to vote in favor of West Papua remaining with Indonesia, the Ambassador answered with words to the effect that it was an UN initiated exercise and that it “concluded” that part of the process over 40 years ago.

Asked his views on the latest allegation by West Papuan Leaders that the recent killings of eight Indonesian soldiers was deliberately set up by the Indonesian military by giving the weapons to Melanesians to carry out the killings to allow them to put the blame on the West Papuan freedom fighters, the Ambassador denied the claim saying such a claim is absurd as the people of Indonesia are peace loving people and want to live in peace.

They cannot plan to kill each other.

He said Indonesia is also home to 4 million Melanesians from West Papua and Maluku and they are striving to live side by side, with each other, to partner to develop their country.

But according to West Papua Information Kit, the Act of Free Choice was the title of an Indonesian military presentation during 1969 to promote an Indonesian claim to West Papua. This was two years after General Suharto sold the Freeport Corporation a 30-year mining license of the colony.

The Indonesian commander General Sarwo Edhi Wibowo reportedly selected 1025 men who were told to vote for Indonesia against independence.

The West Papua Kit says the AFC was not a referendum because referendum means “the right to approve or reject by popular vote a measure passed upon by a legislature. The population (of West Papua) was not allowed to vote.

“The AFC was not an act of self-determination. The United Nations specifies the function of self-determination in Principles 6 to 9 of the UN General Assembly Resolution 1541.

“The AFC was not endorsed as being legitimate by the United Nations. The United Nations in its statement Resolution 2504 only said that something being called the ‘Act of Free Choice’ took place.

“The United Nations Resolution 2504 did not endorse an Indonesian claim to the colony of West Papua.”Vanuatu Daily Post.

6) Indonesian military in large sweep to hunt down Papuan guerillas

Posted at 04:25 on 01 March, 2013 UTC

Indonesian soldiers have reportedly infiltrated villages in the region of Papua province’s Puncak Jaya regency where eight soldiers and four civilians were shot dead last week.

West Papua Media reports that the military has launched a large sweep operation involving more than 1,000 soldiers in the hunt for members of the West Papua National Liberation Army, which has claimed responsibility for the fatal attacks

Reports from local church, human rights and other sources in the area indicate hundreds of soldiers are occupying villages in Sinak, Gurage, Mulia and Tingginambut.

There are fears of a major humanitarian disaster unfolding with the reports of the destruction of food gardens and livestock by soldiers.

Human rights workers say local people are terrified of the military and have fled to the bush.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Bougainville referendum to be held: President Momis

By Online Editor
3:23 pm GMT+12, 01/03/2013, Papua New Guinea

Bougainville will still be having the referendum to decide its political future as stipulated under the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), that’s the assurance from the ABG President Chief Dr John Momis.

Speaking during the official opening of the Second Regional Forum on Panguna Negotiations held in Buka early this week, Momis said the referendum process would still take place, even if Bougainville did not fully achieve the three pillars stipulated under the Bougainville Constitution.

The Bougainville Constitution stipulates that the three pillars that need to be addressed before referendum can take place include weapons disposal, fiscal self-reliance and good governance.

“If we do not remove the weapons, we are not self-reliance, and if we do not achieve good governance…referendum will happen,” Momis said.

The president said the onus was now on Bougainvilleans to prepare and achieve the identified outcomes that would enable the referendum process to take. He said it was important for Bougainvilleans to grasp this unique opportunity which had come about following amendments being done on the PNG Constitutions.

This amendment was made to allow Bougainville to have the referendum between 10-15 years following the establishment of the ABG.

Momis then stressed that failure to achieve the referendum would bring great shame on Bougainvilleans, not only in the eyes of PNG but the rest of the world.

According to Section 191 Subsection (7) of the Bougainville Constitution, the referendum should take place not earlier than 10 years and not more than 15 years after the election of the first Bougainville Government.

Since the ABG was formed in 2005, by law the referendum should be held between 2015 – 2020.

This now means that Bougainville only has between two to seven years left before the referendum is held.


8) Solomon Islands Hospital ‘Inundated’ With Dengue Patients
400 confirmed cases in Honiara since last month

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Feb. 28, 2013) – The outpatient section at the national referral hospital in the Solomon Islands is now inundated with cases of dengue fever.

Health authorities are now alerting those in Honiara of an outbreak of dengue fever, which has so far amounted to well over 400 confirmed cases since January 2013. There are also well over 800 suspected cases.

“The truth is we are simply overwhelmed, there are not enough beds, even for the most seriously ill…we have had to put extra beds outside the outpatient,” said one of the nurses spoken to.

The ministry of health indicated that there is now a general spread throughout Honiara and the wider Guadalcanal regions.

Symptoms of dengue include cold-like symptoms as well as sudden onset of fever, headache, joint pains and rash.

Health authorities are urging those that display such symptoms to undergo tests.

“What we fear is that many victims will not seek medical treatment, confusing dengue symptoms with those of a common cold,” said Dr. Levi.

The ministry of health is taking the necessary precautions to avoid an epidemic. “We urgently need resources to ensure that we respond effectively to this outbreak.”

They call on the public to be vigilant, cautioning people to “be careful with standing water tanks where there may be mosquitoes that generate the dengue virus.”

“People should also empty out anything that stores water, particularly during this rainy season, so empty out coconut shells, plastic bottles or anything that will help the mosquitoes breed further.”

The virus’ incubation period is generally three to 14 days.

Solomon Times

9) Solomon Islands Gela constituency has a new MP

By Online Editor
10:47 am GMT+12, 04/03/2013, Solomon Islands

The Gela constituency in the Central Islands Province has elected a new Member of Parliament following a successful by-election last Wednesday.

He is Johnley Tekiou Hatimoana who polled a total of 2,193 votes ahead of closest rival, Bartholomew Parapolo who polled a total of 1033 votes.

Formally announcing the result on Friday, Governor General Sir Frank Kabui congratulated Hatimoana for his successful victory and wished him well for the next one and half years as Member of Parliament for the people of Gela.

Hatimoana dedicated his victory to the people of Gela for having the trust and confidence in him to represent them in parliament.

“This victory is the people’s victory. I dedicate this victory to the people of Gela and thank them for putting their trust in me to represent them in parliament,” he said immediately after his victory.

The Gela by-election becomes necessary following the imprisonment of former MP Mark Kemakeza for embezzling constituency funds.

Kemakeza, who has since been released from prison, did not re-contest. Ten candidates contested the Gela by-election.


10) Most want PM Bainimarama to lead after 2014: Consultations
By Online Editor
10:50 am GMT+12, 04/03/2013, Fiji

Most people want Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Frank  Bainimarama, to continue leading the country after the 2014 elections, consultations in the greater Suva area show.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun Strategic Framework for Change Co-ordinating Office representative, Kisoko Cagituevei, said this particular group wanted the Prime Minister to form a party, contest the 2014 election and continue leadership.

This was after Co-ordinating Office, since the end of January, conducted more than 140 consultations in the Lami to Nasinu corridor.

They were accompanied by representatives of municipalities, the Water Authority of Fiji, the Public Rental Board, the Police, and various Government departments.

The Co-ordinating Office continues with its public relations consultations and awareness within the Suva peri-urban communities. It is accompanied by other stakeholders following the first phase of consultations for the same sector for the Lami and Nasinu areas.

Cagituevei said a common point raised in meetings in these areas is the ability of the present leadership to stop corruption in Government.

Cagituevei said the people told the team from the Co-ordinating office they were happy with the excellent services provided by the current Government.

Many said that before they were only visited by politicians when the nation was preparing for an election and a lot of promises were made just for their votes.

Cagituevei said most people were still waiting for what was promised to them by those politicians.

He told them they should be expecting some more people to visit them especially when the nation was preparing for another election in 2014.

“We have advised them not to be easily swayed by these people and they should be firm on what they believe in,” Cagituevei said.

The Co-ordinating office, under the Office of the Prime Minister, is responsible for promoting and marketing Government plans and initiatives through the eleven pillars of the People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.

These consultations are a testament to Government’s commitment to addressing core issues faced by the people every day.

It is in this regard that people are encouraged to attend these forums to not only listen to but more importantly, to air their concerns and enable everyone to work together for a better Fiji for all.



11) Nauru MP could bring legal challenge over parliamentary adjournment
By Online Editor
10:56 am GMT+12, 04/03/2013, Nauru

Nauru’s former President, Marcus Stephen, has challenged the way the Speaker, Ludwig Scotty, adjourned Parliament last Friday.

Scotty read a letter from President Sprent Dabwido detailing his wish to dissolve parliament.

This will take effect this Friday unless there is a successful resolution to vote the government out before then.

Scotty was also highly critical of the behaviour of MPs and said the House was in a shambles and he was embarrassed.

He then adjourned the House indefinitely.

But Stephen, who was dumped from Cabinet last month, says this move was unconstitutional because it denied MPs the opportunity to challenge the dissolution.

He said the outcome may have been the same but the Speaker was determining the matter rather than the elected members.

Stephen has indicated there could be a challenge when the Supreme Court sits for the first time this year, this week.



12) Épidémie de dengue aux îles Salomon

Posté à 4 March 2013, 8:35 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le gouvernement et l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS) font ensemble campagne pour tenter de maîtriser cette épidémie

Les services de santé ont révélé une vive augmentation du nombre de cas signalés : 233 dans la capitale Honiara.

L’OMS tente de sensibiliser la population aux mesures préventives qui sont de rigueur pour faire reculer cette maladie transmise par des moustiques ; notamment la destruction des gîtes larvaires avec l’élimination de toutes les eaux stagnantes qu’elles soient dans des noix de coco tombées au sol ou dans des gouttières et autres récipients.épidémie-de-dengue-aux-îles-salomon/1096194

13) Richard Tuheiava: ” On se souviendra de certains votes.”

Posté à 4 March 2013, 8:21 AEST
Pierre Riant

Oscar Temaru, le Président de la Polynésie, rentrera de New York cette semaine. Il fait campagne pour la réinscription de la Polynésie française sur la liste de l’ONU des Territoires non-autonomes à décoloniser.

Le comité des 24, comité de l’ONU pour la décolonisation, devrait annoncer une date de passage du texte de demande de réinscription de la Polynésie française sur la liste des États à décoloniser, d’ici vendredi 8 mars. C’est ce qu’affirme en tout cas l’UPLD, coalition des indépendantistes, sur le site de Tahiti News.

Le sénateur PS de Polynésie Richard Tuheiava, principal meneur de cette campagne, affirme avoir gagné le soutien d’une centaine de pays, principalement des non alignés. Mais une chose semble déjà sûre, les indépendantistes polynésiens auront beaucoup de mal à obtenir le vote de ses puissants voisins, l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande.

Deux pays qui avaient pourtant voté en faveur de la réinscription de la Nouvelle-Calédonie sur la liste des Etats à décoloniser en 1986. Mais à l’époque, la France menait encore des essais nucléaires dans le Pacifique, à la grande indignation de l’Australie et de la Nouvelle-Zélande. Nous sommes en 2013 et la situation a bien changé. On écoute le sénateur Richard Tuheiava au micro de Caroline Lafargue :

TUHEIAVA: « Je fais quand même un appel particulier à l’Australie et à la Nouvelle-Zélande, pour dire que la cohérence du vote c’est quelque chose d’important. C’est vrai que le monde a changé. Quand on a voté pour la réinscription de la Calédonie en 1986, on peut s’estimer un peu délié de faire la même chose pour la Polynésie en 2013. C’est vrai qu’on sent bien une affinité particulière entre l’Australie, la Nouvelle-Zélande et le groupe Europe au sein des Nations-Unies. C’est d’ailleurs le groupe Europe de l’Est qui a sponsorisé l’Australie pour être membre non permanent du Conseil de Sécurité, et non pas le groupe Asie-Pacifique, c’est quand même quelque chose à noter, la France faisant partie du groupe européen évidemment. Ce sont des choses qui n’échappent pas, même aux Polynésiens. »

Contacté par Radio Australie, le ministère australien des affaires étrangères nie tout accord officieux passé avec la France en échange de son élection au Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU. Et il réaffirme  « que l’Australie soutient le principe du droit à l’auto-détermination de la Polynésie Française », précisant que l’Australie et les autres membres du Forum des Iles du Pacifique se pencheront sur la question de l’auto-détermination polynésienne au prochain sommet dans le courant de l’année. Des déclarations qui ne convainquent pas Richard Tuheiava. Le sénateur indépendantiste s’en prend d’ailleurs aussi à la Nouvelle-Zélande :

TUHEIAVA: « Il y a une discussion en cours sur la présidence de l’Organisation Mondiale du Commerce dont la Nouvelle-Zélande serait friande. Et évidemment quand on a son siège basé à Paris, c’est quand même mieux d’avoir le soutien du pays-host. »

Pourtant le pays qui héberge le siège de l’Organisation Mondiale du Commerce, n’est pas la France, mais bien la Suisse.

De son côté, le ministère néo-zélandais des affaires étrangères est bien plus mesuré que les diplomates australiens. Il se borne à préciser « qu’il étudiera les points de vue de toutes les parties impliquées dans cette question ». Les Néo-Zélandais appellent aussi de leurs vœux, « un dialogue constructif entre la France et la Polynésie française. »

Mais ces prises de position officielles de l’Australie et de la Nouvelle-Zélande ne valent pas grande chose pour le sénateur Richard Tuheiava :

TUHEIAVA: « Nous avons une zone économique exclusive de 5 millions de kilomètres carrés, et on sait quel rôle on a à jouer si un jour nous devenions indépendants. On se souviendra de certains votes. »

Oscar Temaru, le Président de la Polynésie française rentrera dans le courant de la semaine de New York. Il devrait s’exprimer sur le bilan de son voyage le samedi 9 mars à l’occasion d’une marche organisée par l’UPLD au sujet des essais nucléaires.


14) U.S. Set To Launch Climate Change Adaptation Project
5-year plan to build resilience of coastal communities

By Avinesh Gopal

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 4, 2013) – A major climate change project for the Pacific Islands is expected to be launched in the country tomorrow by the United States Agency for International Development.

Through the five-year implementation of the Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP), USAID will help build the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities in the Pacific region. This will be to withstand more intense and frequent weather events and ecosystem degradation in the short term, and sea level rise in the long term.

According to a USAID/Pacific Islands brief on the project, USAID will support district and community level climate change interventions in 12 Pacific Island nations through C-CAP.

The countries are Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

In about 90 communities across the region, USAID will help to strengthen community resilience to climate change impacts.

Fiji Times Online:

15) Pacific Churches’ Meeting Underway In Solomons
Leaders told to look within cultures for governance approaches

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 1, 2013) – Pacific governments will hear a call for island leaders to review forms of governance and development in the region at an assembly of church leaders in Honiara beginning today.

The Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General Assembly will be told that corruption, bad political leadership and poverty have continued to rise in the Pacific over the past two decades.

“It’s important that the regional leaders know that there are mechanisms which exist within the different cultures that allow for good governance practices,’’ said PCC Programme Coordinator Aisake Casimira.

“Often we take the Australian, New Zealand or US view of governance and the economy or leadership. Those options are not necessarily the best in our Pacific situation.”

A project paper will be submitted to the assembly calling on leaders to implement a five-year programme which will identify best practice concepts in leadership, governance and development.

“There are a lot of proposals for mining. Fisheries and logging in the region and these are linked to the Western belief that these will lead to economic development,” Mr Casimira said.

“This concept of development must be weighed against environmental impact, social changes or ills, rising cost of living, changing values. Our leaders need to look at development in this light.”

It is expected that the general assembly – which will take place at the St Barnabas Anglican Cathedral from Friday until March 10 – will pass a resolution calling on regional governments to review their thinking on leadership and development.

Churches throughout the Pacific will then undertake joint and separate programmes to educate and empower leaders and members of the community.

Close to 200 people are in Honiara for the assembly with a delegation from Maohi Nui (Tahiti) arriving yesterday.

Pre-assembly workshops specifically for women and young people begin today.

Solomon Star

16) Pacific Plan Lacks Backing By Committed Leaders: Researcher
Ex-Forum Advisor says effort ‘hijacked by regional bureaucrats’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 3, 2013) – A former economic advisor to the Pacific Islands Forum says the regional agency’s much vaunted Pacific Plan will continue to be a failure until it receives committed backing from leaders in the island countries.

The Plan for greater regional co-operation is now under review amid concerns that it has not achieved the gains promised when it was launched eight years ago.

Dr Roman Grynberg, who is now a senior research fellow at the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, was involved in the initial stages of writing the Plan.

He says it is a worthwhile initiative that was hijacked by regional bureaucrats and lacked a champion among the island leaders.

“As is so often the case with the Forum they nod agreement but they don’t go home and implement and that is exactly what happened. There was really no groundswell of opinion from the islands that said we need to do this.”

Radio New Zealand International:


17) USP lifts fees to help fund upgrades

Posted at 22:38 on 03 March, 2013 UTC

The Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific says a five percent increase in student fees will help fund its plans to upgrade the USP.

The USP has announced a 135 million US dollar strategic plan for the next six years, to upgrade and develop new facilities across all campuses, hire more professors and boost its reputation for research and Pacific studies.

Rajesh Chandra says a five percent increase in fees introduced this year will help fund the strategic plan.

“Over four years we have had a lot of inflation averaging around 20 percent. And so this increase is related to everthing. It’s a partial recovery from inflation cost, it’s a reflection of the need to improve quality at the university and it will support our plans.”

Rajesh Chandra says the higher fees is unlikely to deter students from attending the USP and says early indications show an 11 percent increase in enrolments compared with last year.

Radio New Zealand International

18) USP Kiribati campus first to be upgraded

Posted at 23:11 on 03 March, 2013 UTC

The head of the University of the South Pacific says Kiribati will be the first to benefit from an upgrade to tertiary education planned for the region over the next six years.

Vice Chancellor, Rajesh Chandra, says the USP’s new strategic plan has a budget of 135 million US dollars.

He says the development of regional campuses is a major focus of the plan.

He says new university buildings are proposed for Solomon Islands and Marshall Islands, and the Tongan campus will be extended.

He says a rebuild of the USP’s facility in Kiribati is the first part of the project to boost access to higher education.

“The first one will be the construction, the beginning of the construction of the replacement campus in Kiribati. It’ll be knocked down and a three level building will replace the current building.”

Rajesh Chandra says a five percent increase in fees introduced this year will help fund the strategic plan.

Radio New Zealand International


19) Lote Tuqiri’s future in doubt following second round of bicep surgery

By Online Editor
10:02 am GMT+12, 01/03/2013, Australia

All Lote Tuqiri wanted from this season was to go out on his own terms.

But even that simple wish now appears a long shot after the veteran Tigers winger was forced to undergo a second bout of arm surgery that will keep him sidelined for up to four months.

Tuqiri was given the devastating news last week, when scans revealed the bicep he tore in last year’s round 18 clash against Canterbury had not healed properly.

The 33-year-old went under the knife on Tuesday and Tigers coach Mick Potter last night said he would need a fortnight’s recovery before another long journey back can begin.

“It’s definitely three months and from there it depends on how the injury heals,” Potter said.

“It’s very disappointing for him. We all thought he was recovering well and he was started to do some drills with light contact. Then we did some scans last week and it wasn’t the news we were looking for. The injury hasn’t healed properly, so they took the rod out and replaced it.”

Arm injuries have destroyed Tuqiri’s past two seasons, with a broken forearm putting him out of action for most of 2011. Not wanting to retire in the casualty ward he successfully pushed for a one-year extension.

However, it’s still not certain whether the contract has been registered and Tigers boss Stephen Humphreys did not return calls last night.
Turning 34 in September, the dual international now faces the shattering prospect of not making it back to first grade. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph last month, Tuqiri repeatedly expressed a desire to remain injury-free in 2013.

“I’ve had a bit of bad luck over the past couple of years,” he said.
“I want to go out on my terms rather than limp out on my career with a career-ending injury.

“Touch wood I can play injury free and be an integral part of this team.”

In a statement, he expressed a desire to return this season.”I have to accept reality,” Tuqiri said. “I will work hard on my rehab and hope to make a contribution later in the year.”

Tuqiri’s setback completes a difficult off-season for the Tigers, who’ve also lost props Matt Groat and James Gavet to foot injuries. Aaron Woods is also racing to be fit for next Monday’s round one clash against Newcastle.


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