Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 821


1) Fiji celebrates MSG silver jubilee next week
By Online Editor
10:20 am GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Fiji

Fiji will celebrate Melanesia Week from 18 – 22 March.

The celebrations will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) since its establishment in 1988.

The theme for the anniversary celebration is “25 years of Melanesian Solidarity and Growth” which also denotes the initials of MSG.

The official launch of the anniversary celebration was in Port Vila, Vanuatu in January and this will be followed by national celebrations in respective MSG capitals.

The culmination of the silver jubilee celebrations will be held in June 2013 to coincide with the 19th MSG Leaders Summit in Noumea, Caledonia.

To mark this significant event, Grand Chief Michael Somare a pioneer and founder of the MSG will be the chief guest at a three – day event to be convened at the University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus.

The planned activities will include cultural performances by USP students, public lectures, debates, Melanesia art & craft exhibition, traditional sport, documentaries on Melanesia and a fashion parade to showcase Melanesia fabric and style.

The second phase of the celebrations will be held over two days from  21 – 22 March at the Police Academy in Nasova and will feature displays of Fiji made products, food stalls and live displays by the Fiji Police Band.

Citizens of Fiji and the general public are requested to join in these celebrations, support MSG achievements and Fiji‘s leadership of the MSG’s by Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama as chairman.


2) West Papua i laik ful memba long MSG

Updated 13 March 2013, 17:24 AEST

Ol lidaman blong West Papua fridom muvmen i askim Vanuatu long halvim ol long kamap ful memba blong Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Bipo piksa blong ol West Papua i wokim protest agensim Indonesia (Credit: ABC licensed)
Odio: Benny Wenda wanpela activist blong West Papua i toktok long Port Vila

Wanpela long ol West Papua lida husat i stap long England, Benny Wenda itok pipol blong West Papua igat planti heve long sait long human rait na oli nidim sapot blong kisim Independence.

Mr Wenda itok Vanuatu  wanpela kantri we ibin stap strong long sapotim laik blong ol pipol long West Papua long kisim independence from Indonesia – na toktok aut long nogut pasin oli mekim long pipol blong West Papua.

Em i tokaut long dispela bihain long em i bungim ol chief blong Vanuatu long Port Vila nau ia em igo wakabaut longen.

Mr Wenda itok em i laik long gavman blong Vanuatu husat i memba long dispela MSG long askim ol memba kantri long larim West Papua i kamap ful memba blong dispela grup.

Em itok dispela bai halvim ol long dil wantaim ol isiu blong ol pipol blong West Papua.

3) PNG Rock Art under threat by mining exploration

Updated 12 March 2013, 18:27 AEST

Valuable Papua New Guinea rock art is under threat from mining exploration by a company associated with the Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau.

PNG Rock Art under threat by mining exploration (Credit: ABC)

The Rimbunan Hijau affilliate, called Pristine Number 18, has applied for an exploration licence in the Karawari region of East Sepik Province..

The area contains an enormous cave art system with stencils and images that may date back as much as 20,000 years.

Nancy Sullivan is an anthropologist who’s been working with the people of the region for seven years … and with organisations like the National Geographic Society and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Funds, to document the art.

Presenter: Jemima Garrett

Speaker: Nancy Sullivan, anthropologist

SULLIVAN: Those caves are probably the largest cave art system in the Southern hemisphere because there are 300 plus caves and maybe as many as 300 are decorated with stencils. And they are related to caves that have already been discovered and dated in Kalimantan, Borneo, and in Western Australia. So they are part of a larger swathe of migration handmarks that when people first came and populated Melanesia and down, of course, into Australasia, the migrations of the Melanesians, the first Papua New Guineans, the cultural heritage of the Karawari area, so much is at stake that we can’t even assess it at this stage because we are so early on in the project.

GARRETT: So just how much of the art have you been able to document so far, and how much more is there to be recorded?

SULLIVAN: We have about 150 caves recorded and documented and what we have been doing since 2007 with a group of Papua New Guinean ethnographers and archaeologists as well as some visiting scholars is to try to create a story about this, you know a history, of, of, piece together who might have been the first people to make these stencils but importantly who continued to make these stencils because there are people who still live in the caves now, and continue to stencil, or at least have until this past generation.

GARRETT: You say the people of the area don’t want exploration taking place on their land. Why?

SULLIVAN: Well they are breaking into gardening into gardening so they are becoming sedentary gardeners. We’ve encouraged them to plant cocoa and they have set up a village and stuff but they do not want intrusion from either neighbours or anyone from outside. They are very aware now of what it means for them not having land. as people who afre lower on the totem pole than anyone else in that whole area. They are a very small people. They are a limited group of people who are relatively under-resourced compared to their neighbours and certainly have had no government services, they know that they will be overwhelmed and exploited, not just by outsiders but by their neighbours. So they are extremely concerned that they not be intruded apon, that they will be allowed to develop their land as they want to and are content to live on it which is exactly what mining and logging, because Rimbunan Hijau, of course, is really a logging company, that has gotten into mining as a way of maintaining its health in this country because it has logged us all out. Now they are coming in tandem with gold mining exploration companies so they can take the logs out while the miners will take the gold. But that would, of course, devastate these people. They would have nowhere to go. They would have nowhere to go and no means this point they have had no education, no health services other than those that we have, most recently, been able to provide. They are a completely disenfranchised population.

GARRETT: You have made a plea to the international community to oppose the issuing of this exploration licence that Pristine Number 18 has applied for. How much support are you getting?

SULLIVAN: We have in the past week already gotten a lot of attention from mining organisations and activists overseas yet we know really that it is a matter of tweaking individual people at the Mineral Resources Authority and the Mining Ministry and Byron Chan, who is actually a very savvy young man who has taken the Minstership now and we want to make them aware of what is at stake. We don’t think they are aware of what is at stake. We don’t think that they are interested in destroying or embarrassing the country, at this point, by destroying one of its most important sites of cultural heritage. We just think they haven’t been made aware of it so we are trying to create as much noise as possible and (inaudible) apon them because it may only rest on the decision of one or two people.

GARRETT: How urgent is this issue?

SULLIVAN: It is extremely urgent because once you get an exploration company in there it is a slippery slope, you know, they will never come out. You know they will see what is there and never come out. And these people have been working so hard with us for the past seven years and we haven’t yet produced a book so there is no terra firma on which they can stand and say ‘this is us’ and defend themselves. We are alos applying for World Heritage listing so a lot is at stake. A lot is at stake. And it is urgent because a decision can be made, to go ahead or not, within the next 2 weeks.

GARRETT: As you say once companies have spent a lot of money on exploration, if they find something it is hard to stop development. Bougainville’s President, John Momis, has just drawn up draft legislation which would allow landowners to veto exploration on their land. Is that something that should be considered more broadly across Papua New Guinea?

SULLIVAN: Absolutely! Absolutely, because we learn from the Ramu Nickel case, for example, that one, know, it’s the proponents of investment that make things inevitable and rather than the right or wrong of the environmental impact assessment or social impact assessment, ultimately once somebody has invested enough to go for a licence, it is very hard to pull out.

4) Leadeship Commisioners sworn in Solomon Islands

By Online Editor
2:02 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Solomon Islands

Three new commissioners have been sworn-in at Government House in Honiara to take up their appointments with the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Johnson Saunana andWaeta Ben Tabusasi have been appointed Commissioners for the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) for the next two years while Waigna Tion has been re-appointed Commissioner for the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the next three years.

Also in February, the new Chairman of the Parliamentary Entitlements Committee (PEC) Johnson Siapu took his oath of office.

The process of engagement involves a recommendation by the Prime Minister to the Governor General who makes the formal appointment of the Commissioners.

5) Former Solomon Islands MP dies
By Online Editor
12:41 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Solomon Islands

A former  Member of  Solomon Islands Parliament for Central Honiara Constituency has died.

Nelson Ne’e was reported to have died after suffering a long illness.

The late Ne’e became a Member of Parliament after being elected into office during the 2006 elections.

Before becoming a member of parliament, he held top posts at the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA).

He was a Personnel Manager (SIEA), Administration Manager (SIEA), Deputy General Manager (SIEA), Public Service Commission and a Research & Policy Officer.

Born on the February 2, 1954 at his home village in Ambu, Malaita Province; he was regarded as a simple leader who has been loyal to his duty.

During his term as Member of Parliament, he was the Chair for the Government Caucus from May 2006 to 13 December 2007, and holds a ministerial portfolio as the Minister for Home Affairs from May to June 2006 and from 5 to 22 December 2007.


6) Nyus i kam long MP Ralph Regenvanu mo Pati

Olgeta –
Las wiken long Etas 2 impoten event blong Pati i bin hapen.

Long Satede namba 9 Maj, wan faonda blong NCA Pati mo kandidet blong NCA long konstituensi blong Port Vila long 2012 jenerol eleksen, Johnson Iawan, i mekem kastom blong kam joenem GJP wetem majoriti blong ol sapota blong hem.  Long 2012 jenerol eleksen long Port Vila Johnson Iawan i winim 421 vot mo kam namba 12 aot long ol 49 kandidet we oli kontest long Port Vila.
Foto mo pres rilis long English i stap long

Afta long Sande namba 10 Maj, GJP eksekutiv o sab-komiti long Etas i bon.

Ta, Ralph

PS: Yestede Oposisen i depositim wan Mosen blong Nogat Trast agensem Praem Minista. Nyus blong hem i stap long:

7) PM Kilman attempts to find solution to political instability in Vanuatu
By Online Editor
2:03 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Sato Kilman Livtunvanu has revealed he has written to other political party leaders to address the issue of political instability.

While responding to the Head of State’s message in Parliament House last week, PM Kilman said the initiative called on political leaders to discuss a way forward to address the current political situation faced by the nation, where political parties are divided between the opposition and government. Recently MP’s have switched sides for political gains.

An example, Radio Vanuatu reported was the presence on both sides of the House of members from the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP). Some UMP members of parliament have joined government.

Recent political affiliation saw a Peoples Progressive Party MP switching sides to team up with Natatok, while four opposition MPs defected to the government side, a fortnight ago, a move described by political commentators as fragile to either sides of the house in securing a solid number.

Prime Minister Kilman admitted that only one political party leader responded to his call, again a move seen as poor response to the good for politics in Vanuatu. It is unclear whether the Prime Minister’s initiative still stands and for how much longer.


8) Vanuatu opposition MP shocked at defections, minister says Kilman is safe as PM
By Online Editor
10:23 am GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Vanuatu

A Vanuatu MP Willie Jimmy says he is shocked by the latest defections of fellow opposition members to the coalition government of Sato Kilman.

Six members of the opposition, including three members of the Union of Moderate Parties, joined the government in the past week.

Jimmy said with no more ministerial portfolios appearing to be available, he was unsure what lured the defectors.

“I was shocked to learn about the move to join the government side and I’m not really sure and I don’t understand why they moved to government side. I don’t see any reason unless you have something really, really good to join the government side.”

Jimmy said he was aware of speculation that a government backbencher is lobbying to become Prime Minister.

The leader of the Greens, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, looms as the most powerful government member outside cabinet.

However Jimmy said in his view ni-Vanuatu would be reluctant to have a naturalised citizen as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, a  minister in Vanuatu’s coalition government of Sato Kilman said the cabinet remains loyal to the Prime Minister.

Despite having his parliamentary majority boosted by the defection of six opposition MPs during the last week, PM Kilman said he was aware of rumours that a government backbencher is lobbying to become the prime minister.

The minister of ni-Vanuatu Business, Marcellino Pepite said Kilman’s position is not under threat.

“We elected him again for the second time last November as Prime Minister And we are in the government so we are sticking with the same Prime Minister. When you are a government minister you have to be loyal to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is doing a good job.”

While refusing to speculate on who the government backbencher vying for the top job might be, Pepite said Vanuatu politics is full of would-be prime ministers.


9) Motion of no-confidence in Vanuatu Government lodged
By Online Editor
12:46 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s opposition has deposited a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister Sato Kilman with the Office of the Speaker of Parliament.

The opposition says the motion was signed by 16 of the 51 active members of parliament.

If the speaker rules the motion is in order, it is expected to be debated next Tuesday.

The Kilman coalition government claims to have 33 MPs following the defection of six members of the opposition in the past week.


10) No development with previous constitutions, govt: Fiji PM
By Online Editor
4:49 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has said that previous Constitutions and governments have not been effective in addressing people’s needs.

He said that unlike previous governments, “we keep our promises. We deliver” adding that the previous Constitutions, although having provisions to cater for development in all parts of Fiji made no progress.

Bainimarama made the comments while opening the newly-upgraded Rabi Health Centre today.

“And this is especially appreciated by people in the North, many of whom have felt badly neglected in the past.

“In previous constitutions, we had the so-called entrenched provisions – the Rabi Island Act, the Rotuma Island Act and so on but there was no tangible progress, no development. What we are determined to do is give them the things they need to empower them – better access to telecommunications, better access to affordable higher education, access to legal aid services, skills training for our young people and better and affordable housing.”

He said unlike his predecessors the work done by his government has been recognised and acknowledged.

“People have been saying to me in various parts of Fiji that why have an election at all next year? We’re happy with things the way they are,” Bainimarama said.

He further said that his government is building a new Fiji based on equality for everyone and a country where children grow up with same opportunities.

“Our program is on track. We know where we’re heading and it’s towards building a better Fiji for everyone.”.


11) Fiji govt argues that State cannot entertain Fiji Labour Party proposed challenge
By Online Editor
10:15 am GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Attorney General’s Office has argued in the High Court that the court cannot accept or entertain the legal challenge filed against the Registration of Political Parties Decree by the proposed Fiji Labour Party.

The matter is being heard by Justice Anjala Wati.

Lawyer for the proposed Labour Party, Anand Singh has made submissions that part of the decree breaches international conventions like the United Nations Convention on Human Rights and the Trade Union Convention.

Singh said they are not challenging the powers vested in the President, or the government of the day, but parts of the decree that he says are inconsistent.

He said his client is not saying that the whole decree is invalid but they want some matters addressed.

However, Acting Solicitor General, Sharvada Sharma said this case cannot proceed as the court is established under the Administration of Justice Decree.

The decree states that no court shall have the jurisdiction to accept, hear, determine, or in any other way entertain, any challenges whatsoever including any application for judicial review by any person to the validity or legality of any decrees made by the President from April 10th 2009 and any decrees as made by the President.

Sharma said these decrees cannot be challenged as they are law whether it is interim or permanent.

Justice Wati will rule at 2.15pm Friday on whether the case should proceed in court.

Meanwhile, a new acting Chief Registrar was sworn in by Fiji President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

Sri Lankan citizen, Yohan Liyanage has extensive experience in law  having represented as a state counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Colombo.

He graduated from the Sri Lankan Law College in 2003 before taking up post of a state prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Department conducting prosecutions at the Magistrates Courts of Sri Lanka.

He then took up office at a state counsel in 2005 and conducted prosecutions involving both civil and criminal cases.

He has worked in many parts of Sri Lanka namely Gampaha, Colombo, Anuradhapura, Panadura, Rathnapura and Kurunegala.


12) Fiji Authorities Mum Over Alleged Sacking Of Officers
Corrections announces plans to tighten security in facilities

By Indrani Krishna

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 12, 2013) – Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) has sent home “two” officers over video footage that showed two handcuffed men being assaulted.

FCS in their statement said the men were sent home as a result of video footage.

The statement however did not specify the number of officers sent home. But in a report from Radio New Zealand, an unnamed corrections spokesperson confirmed two were sent home.

The nine-minute video, released on the internet, showed a handcuffed man being assaulted in the back of a pick-up truck while another was being set upon by a dog.

Some other officers involved in the September 2012 breakout from Naboro have also been taken to task.

FCS spokesperson Ana Tamani did not elaborate on details saying “it was an internal matter.”

Meanwhile, FCS has stepped up measures against the smuggling of contraband to its facilities, among them, restricted visitation to inmates.

Tamani said that one inmate will be allowed only three visitors from immediate family members on a fortnightly basis.

“It must be understood however that inmates can use telephones to contact their families upon request, and under the supervision of an officer,” Tamani said.

She further added that those who breach this are stripped of their privileges.

Meanwhile, a special search team has been formed for Suva and Lautoka to specifically conduct searches on inmates, officers and program providers that enter any Corrections institution.

“Our searches are continuous to ensure the safety and security of the inmates themselves and the public at large,” Tamani added.

The FCS has also purchased metal detectors to assist in its work.


13) Fiji Labour Party’s Injunction Opposed By Solicitor-General
Party challenging new rules imposed by political party decree

By Fonua Talei

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, March 12, 2013) – The acting Solicitor-General, Sharvada Sharma, submitted in the High Court in Suva yesterday that interim injunction summons filed by the proposed Fiji Labour Party is unlawful, illegal and misconceived.

Mr. Sharma submitted the summons which seeks an injunction against the State, can only be granted in judicial review proceedings.

He said the court did not have the jurisdiction to hear any challenge to decrees made by the President from April 10, 2009 onwards and to strike down the Political Parties decree.

The court heard the summons, which was filed in the High Court civil registry on February 26, 2013 was served to the respondents on March 7.

Mr. Sharma mentioned that there was no evidence shown that the Registrar of Political Parties had taken steps to deregister the proposed Fiji Labour Party.

However, deregistration occurs solely by virtue of the operation of the decree itself.

He said Section 4 of the Political Parties Registration Decree provided for re-registration of existing political parties, however in the event an existing party does not apply, then it shall be deemed to be de-registered.

Citing affidavits of former parliamentarian, Lavinia Padarath, Mr. Sharma submitted that provisions of the political parties decree requiring declaration of assets may amount to an infringement of their right to privacy.

Counsel for the plaintiff, Anand Singh, highlighted that certain provisions of the political parties decree were inconsistent and it violated international conventions thus it needed to be struck down.

He said they were not challenging the decree, per se, however they were only challenging certain provisions in the decree.

Justice Anjala Wati will deliver her ruling on Friday afternoon whether the matter can be pursued further or not.



14) Cooks PM rules out snap election

By Online Editor
3:54 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna has brushed off opposition calls for a snap election as a bizarre stunt.

Opposition leader Wilkie Rasmussen claims there are fundamental problems with the government, with discontent among public servants and wants an election called in the next six months.

But the Prime Minister says the move smacks of desperation and denies there are any ruptures within the public service.

He says there is no concern over national budgetary matters or cashflow and the election is scheduled towards the end of 2014.



15) Nauru President Announces Parliament Dissolution
Other politicians joining forces to contest speaker’s order

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 12, 2013) – A group of Nauru politicians led by a former cabinet minister Kieren Keke has mounted further Supreme Court action over the adjournment and subsequent dissolution of parliament by the speaker.

A government spokesperson, Rod Henshaw, says the Chief Justice, Geoffrey Eames QC, is to hear the challengers’ case this afternoon.

In the meantime, however, the country’s president has urged people to vote wisely in the coming election.

Annell Husband reports.

“In a national address last night the president Sprent Dabwido announced both the dissolution of Nauru’s 20th parliament and the new election date – April the 6th. He spoke in support of the dissolution, saying he was handing back to the people the opportunity to choose parliamentarians who could take the country forward. He said governmental priorities are the constitution and the development and growth of the economy. He told people to choose carefully new MPs capable of working to move the country forward in terms of both priorities, which he described as equally important. He said that was something neither of the two governments with which he has worked have been able to manage.”

Radio New Zealand International:

New Zealand:

16) NZ Parliament condemns Fiji brutality

By Online Editor
10:21 am GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Fiji

New Zealand Parliament has condemned the torture of Fijian detainees and urged the Fijian Government to find those responsible.

Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman Phil Goff moved a motion in the House today to condemn the beating of two Fijians, which was shown in a video posted on the internet and blamed on the Fijian military by human rights groups.

It was passed by the House without dissent.

Goff called on the Fijian government to publicly condemn the use of torture to hold people to account, and demanded that the country’s leaders follow the United Nations guidelines on torture and civil rights.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, who was not in the House Tuesday, has not spoken publicly about the video. But Prime Minister John Key has described it as “alarming”’ and said McCully would raise it with his Fijian counterpart.

The Fijian men who were beaten were initially thought to have escaped from prison last year. Fijian police ruled this out but did not confirm their identities.

Goff said the video recording brought to light a pattern of behaviour by Fijian security forces towards detainess which Amnesty International and Fijian nations had said was commonplace.

“When security forces put themselves above the law it puts all citizens at risk. This includes those who express opposition to the actions of the military government in suppressing other human rights such as freedom of speech, a free press and the right to elect and change a government.

“New Zealanders want to see Fiji re-join the Pacific community of nations as a country that practices democracy and respects the rights of its own people.”

He said if the regime condoned security forces’ brutal activities it diminished confidence that Fiji could restore democracy, and tarnished its image as a country where people felt comfortable visiting.

PM Key has said New Zealand was concerned about Fiji’s promise of an election in 2014 after the interim government override many of the recommendations made by an independent Constitutional Commission.

The brutal, nine-minute-long video posted online last week shows one man handcuffed in the back of a ute being beaten with rods, while another man is on the ground being tugged at by a dog.

Human rights groups have accused the Fiji military of carrying out the assaults on the men, and the Fiji police say they are investigating.



17) PNG: Nouveau rapport sur la prostitution infantile

Posté à 13 March 2013, 9:09 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est une évaluation sur l’ampleur du travail des enfants dans le pays en général et dans la capitale, Port Moresby, en particulier, qui a souligné une prostitution infantile omniprésente

Le coordinateur national de l’Organisation International du Travail (OIT), Richard Samuel, indique que cette évaluation a pris en compte l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants des rues à travers la capitale.

Plus de 200 enfants ont été entendus et la plupart de ces enfants sont en fait la principale source de revenus de leur famille. Certains sont vendus, affirme Richard Samuel au quotidien, The National, d’autres sont contraints de se prostituer.

Selon l’OIT, les enfants commencent par ramasser des boîtes de boisson et des bouteilles pour gagner de l’argent, deviennent ensuite pickpockets ou se livrent à la prostitution.

Le gouvernement papou, avec l’aide de l’OIT, a institué deux conventions pour mieux protéger les droits des enfants en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

18) La vidéo des tortionnaires fidjiens continue de soulever l’indignation

Posté à 13 March 2013, 8:50 AEST
Pierre Riant

L’ONU appelle maintenant à une enquête impartiale.

Un acte de torture qui cible les parties fragiles des jambes. [Lateline] (Credit: ABC)

Dans un communiqué publié lundi, le Haut-commissaire aux Droits de l’Homme de l’ONU a condamné cette vidéo mise en ligne la semaine dernière sur Internet montrant des membres des forces de sécurité fidjiennes en train de torturer deux hommes : un fugitif appréhendé et l’ami qui l’avait caché.

Nous avons pu joindre Rupert Colville de la Commission des Droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies.

COLVILLE : « À la base, c’est clairement un acte de torture et inhumain. On voit ces deux hommes totalement sans défense et tous les deux menottés. L’un est allongé à l’arrière d’un pickup, complètement impuissant, et on l’agresse à répétition avec toutes sortes d’armes : un tuyau en caoutchouc dur, une barre de fer, un bâton qui ressemble à une espèce de marteau. La scène est vraiment odieuse car vous voyez des gens qui se concentrent sur les parties les plus douloureuses des jambes, comme les chevilles et autres endroits que l’on frappe avec une barre ou un marteau.
C’est un effort délibéré pour infliger de la douleur et c’est totalement inacceptable. Aucune autorité ne devrait agir de la sorte. »

Une enquête a donc été ouverte et la police a indiqué que son travail sera d’établir les faits. L’ONU désire davantage.

COLVILLE : « Et bien je pense que c’est clair que quelque chose de terrible est en train de se passer dans cette vidéo. Les visages des gens sont visibles, la plaque d’immatriculation du véhicule est visible. Il ne devrait y avoir aucun problème à établir les faits. À savoir des personnes qui frappent des prisonniers sans défense. Nous espérons donc que la police fidjienne livrera très rapidement ses conclusions et il est difficile d’imaginer qu’il n’y aura pas de poursuites judiciaires dans ce cas précis. »

La semaine dernière, le Premier ministre par intérim, Frank Bainimarama, a  affirmé qu’il soutiendrait les officiers impliqués dans cette vidéo. Il estime qu’ils n’ont fait que leur devoir, et qu’ils « faisaient en sorte que les citoyens fidjiens dorment sur leurs deux oreilles ». L’homme fort de l’archipel faisait référence au danger que représente un évadé en cavale.

COLVILLE : « Peut-être qu’il n’avait pas encore vu la vidéo. Mais il est clair que ces images représentent une  violation du droit international. La torture est contraire au droit international en toutes circonstances et à tout moment. Et il faut bien dire sans ambiguïtés qu’il s’agit de torture et c’est ce que montre la vidéo. C’est totalement contraire au droit international. Alors si des gens qui torturent sont filmés en flagrant délit, il ne devrait pas y avoir d’échappatoires pour eux. »

L’ONU réclame donc la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête impartiale. Toutefois, on peut se demander quel type de pression la Commission des droits de l’Homme peut exercer sur une administration issue d’un coup d’État militaire.

COLVILLE : « L’opinion internationale fait toujours de l’effet et je suis certain que nous ne sommes pas les seuls à nous plaindre auprès du gouvernement fidjien.  Si les autorités au pouvoir sont prises en flagrant délit et ne font rien ; ce n’est pas vraiment bon pour leur crédibilité. J’espère qu’ils vont faire quelque chose. C’est très important d’arrêter de tels actes et le meilleur moyen de mettre un terme à ce type d’activités, c’est de punir les personnes responsables. »

Les deux officiers ont depuis été limogés pour cause d’indignité mais pour l’ONU les tortionnaires devraient être traduits en justice. C’est ce que réclament également les parents de l’une des victimes.éo-des-tortionnaires-fidjiens-continue-de-soulever-lindignation/1100706


19) Facility hoped to curb Rabi growing TB cases: Fiji PM
By Online Editor
4:45 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Fiji

The people of Rabi will no longer need to leave their homes for TB treatment in Suva and Labasa following the opening of their refurbished health centre by Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama today.

And with the facility recognized as a Directly Observed Treatment Short course center or DOTS, means that people in Rabi can readily access TB services for free.

The centre boasts its own x-ray machine, new equipment to conduct sputum and blood tests, refurbished 10-bed ward, all aimed to help doctors diagnose TB quicker and reduce the number of deaths that occur from TB or other diseases because of delayed diagnosis.

In his address during the opening of the centre, Bainimarama said the incidence of TB on the island is 22 times higher than the national average. – 513 TB cases per 100,000 people compared with 23 cases per 100,000 in the rest of Fiji.

“Indeed, our experts warn us that if TB is not controlled, the disease has the potential to wipe out the population here in just a few years.

“Of course, prevention is better than cure and I also urge the Rabi Council of Elders and the people of Rabi to work with the Health Centre and other government agencies to promote healthier lifestyles on the part of our people.

“As I’ve told other gatherings on this tour, we can all eat less and exercise more. We can eat better foods – more fresh fish, fruit and green vegetables. We can drink less alcohol and yaqona. And we all need to give up smoking.”

Bainimarama acknowledged the partnership between the Fiji Government and the private sector and “those who’ve made this project possible.”

“It’s been led by the Grant Management Unit of Global Fund based at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Suva. Not only has Global Fund carried out the refurbishment. It has provided a 7 foot fiberglass outboard sea ambulance, a Suzuki motorcycle, five new beds and a new 50-panel solar system. It’s also funding overseas training in TB treatment for one of our medical officers.

“At the same time, the Rotary Club of Taveuni has donated a new incubator for new- born babies and an ultrasound machine. This is a wonderful partnership and I want to thank you all.”

The opening of the Rabi centre is part of Bainimarama’s tour of the North Division.


20) State of emergency declared at Honiara hospital

By Online Editor
12:42 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Solomon Islands

Health authorities in Solomon Islands have declared a state of emergency Tuesday, as the dengue fever outbreak takes its toll.

A doctor at the National Referral Hospital said the dengue fever outbreak has stressed the National Referral Hospital.

“It is getting really tense here,” the doctor said.

He said the declaration was made yesterday in light of the mounting stress which stretched the hospital’s manpower and resources.

“So far, there was one death from dengue fever, but there are more patients who developed relentless symptoms of the fever such as declining blood strength.

“The hospital’s outpatient is being stretched.”

He said during the declaration, authorities agreed that no doctors and top health officials must travel overseas.

“They are asked to remain in the country to deal with the emergency.

“A plan is being set to divide the city into zones to help deal with the issue.

“A major clean-up is scheduled that all Honiara residents should come out in force to take part in.”

Permanent Secretary Dr Lester Ross initially said the major cleanup campaign was scheduled for 20 March.

The current number of those detected with dengue fever stands at 170 but the number was said to be increasing.

Acedes Aegypti (female mosquito) that carries and transfers the dengue virus, breed in stagnant waters, especially in rubbish dumps, cans and coconut shells.

The mosquito often bites from 6:00am to 6:00pm and normally stays indoors.

The infection can be acquired through a single mosquito bite.


Law & Order:

21) Greens party call on Australia to condemn Fiji torture

Updated 13 March 2013, 20:49 AEST

The Australian Greens say Australia should join the United Nations and New Zealand in taking a stronger stand on the beating and torture of prisoners in Fiji.

The Australian Greens say Australia should join the United Nations and New Zealand in taking a stronger stand on the beating and torture of prisoners in Fiji.

Greens Leader, Christine Milne, says she will move a motion in the Australian Senate seeking condemnation of a video showing Fijian security personnel beating escaped detainees.

“It is no use going to these Asia Pacific Meetings and standing up talking about the role of Australia as a leader in the region if we won’t stand up for the very basic human rights that everybody deserves,” she said.

Ms Milne says Australia’s silence on the the beating and torture of prisoners in Fiji is unacceptable.

“My question is Australia, where are you? What is your position on that? What is our position on Fiji?” she said.

She says the Australian Greens support the motion passed in New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday calling on Fiji’s interim government to publicly condemn the use of torture and uphold human rights conventions.

“I really call on Minister Carr to start coming out and taking a much stronger stand on human rights in the region,” she said.

“I think the New Zealand Parliament have shown the way here.”

The graphic footage posted on YouTube shows one handcuffed man being savagely beaten with batons and metal bars and another being set upon by a dog as the animal’s handler encourages it.

Video: Greens urge Canberra to act on beaten Fiji prisoner case (ABC News)

Motion passed

New Zealand’s parliament passed a motion on Tuesday condemning the beating and torture of detainees in Fiji in response to violence depicted in a video showing two men being brutally beaten.

The motion was introduced by Opposition party foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff, and was passed unopposed.

Mr Goff told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the motion calls on Fiji’s interim government to publicly condemn the use of torture, hold to account those responsible and uphold international conventions protecting civil and political rights and opposing torture.

“It couldn’t be a clearer message from the New Zealand parliament,” he said.

“This a collective expression by all New Zealand parliamentarians, from right across the political spectrum.”

On Tuesday Fiji’s prisons department said three prison wardens had been sacked over the video.

Fiji Prisons and Corrections Service spokeswoman, Ana Tudrau Tamani, declined to provide further details, saying a police investigation was underway.

Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama said he will stand by police and security personnel implicated in the video because they are working to protect Fijians.

“We cannot discard them just because they’ve done their duty in looking after the security of this nation and making sure we sleep peacefully at night,” he said.

22) Former British colonies urged to scrap anti-homosexuality laws

By Online Editor
12:39 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Australia

A global campaign is underway to persuade former British colonies to scrap any remaining laws making homosexuality illegal.

The campaign coincides with the signing by Queen Elizabeth of a new Commonwealth Charter calling for an end to all forms of discrimination.

Homosexuality remains illegal in more than 40 former British colonies under colonial-era laws.

Andre Banks, Executive Director of All Out, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program, while the charter doesn’t specifically mention gay rights, it’s a step in the right direction.

“We certainly haven’t gotten all the way there,” he said.

“The Commonwealth has taken a strong stance that discrimination on any grounds is unacceptable, and that means that the 41 countries still criminalise same-sex relationships need to bring their constitutions and bring their laws into compliance with that.”

Section 377, as it is known in many Commonwealth countries, is a law outlawing homosexuality and remains from the time when the Commonwealth countries were British colonies.

Banks says he hopes moves to scrap those laws will also help to overcome cultural prejudices in the more conservative former colonies.

“What we often see is that the work of changing policy and changing culture don’t often happen separately – they happen together,” he said.

“By thinking about changing some of these laws…we start a conversation nationally that allows us to think about where we are on these issues.”.


23) Family Protection Bill Under Public Review In Tonga
Special protection orders, consequences for abuse defined

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 12, 2013) – A landmark Family Protection Bill is set to be introduced to Tonga’s Parliament soon and is currently undergoing public consultations.

The Bill was initiated by the Women’s Affairs Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with its stated intention of ensuring the protection of all persons who experience domestic violence.

The legal objective of the bill is to put in place an Act that will provide for a series of new laws, initiatives and to employ a group of counselors to assist victims and complainants of domestic violence.

One of the proposed laws is the granting of a “Protection Order” to a complainant. A Protection Order would place restrictions on the respondent (the accused). According to the proposed bill, a person who “breaches the protection order commits domestic violence.”

Some of the standard conditions of the protection order state that the respondent must not threaten, abuse or economically deprive the complainant. The Protection Order may also include the custody of children.

Some of the initiatives proposed include the introduction of public awareness programs with the approval of the Prime Minister, and conducting education programs about family violence.

The bill also proposes the appointment of registered counselors who will assist the courts and the complainants and victims of domestic violence.

Penalties and liabilities include a conviction, six months imprisonment and a fine of TOP$250 [US$142] (first offence), 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine of TOP$1,000 [US$570] (second offence), 3 years imprisonment and a fine of TOP$5,000 [US$2,850].

Radio Australia:

24) Government Sponsored Students under Investigation in Fiji

Two Solomon Islands Government sponsored students at the University of the South Pacific have been arrested on Sunday 10th March 2013, and are currently held in custody over the stabbing of a Fijian youth with a beer bottle.

The incident had forced the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E. Patterson Oti promising to deal with the matter seriously.

It occurred just a week after Mr Oti had an audience with all SIG funded students at USP on 3rd March explaining to them the purpose of their scholarship awards, and as guests of the Government and People of Fiji, students must respect the laws of the host country.

The High Commissioner and the mission staff also convened a similar meeting with Solomon Islands Students at the Fiji National University on 10th March, 2013.

The High Commission office was informed of the incident by the Fiji Police yesterday.

However, since it is a criminal case, both students are now under criminal investigation by the Fiji Police Force.

The High Commission is currently in touch with relevant authorities in Solomon Islands to discuss the matter further.

The number of students studying in Fiji this year has increased immensely and the mission has taken time to meet with students to talk on the importance of respecting the conditions for their scholarship awards and not to involve with incidents that could amount to tarnishing the image of Solomon Islands in Fiji and the region.

Press Release, Government Communications Unit ( solomontimes )

25) Solomons Presents Successful Approaches Against Violence

World Vision’s faith-based approach for tackling violence against women in the Solomon Islands was showcased at the 57 UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York last week.

Representatives from World Vision Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands Government, a Solomon Islands faith leader, together with Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia, Penny Williams, Australian Global Ambassador for Women and Girls and Kiran Bhatia, UNFPA Regional Gender Advisor, presented the Channels of Hope approach that engages faith leaders, churches and communities and uses the bible to change people’s perceptions and treatment of women.

World Vision Solomon Islands Gender Coordinator Koisau Sade introduced the WV Gender Based Violence Project in the Solomon Islands and provided an overview of the Channels of Hope model during a discussion panel held on Thursday.

“In the Solomon Islands, where two in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner, the Channels of Hope approach is improving gender equality and reducing violence against women and girls,” said Koisau.

Vaela Devesi, from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs also spoke on the situation of violence against women and girls in the Solomon Islands and the strong support the Solomon Islands government is giving to address these issues through policy, legislation and multi-stakeholder responses like World Vision’s Channels of Hope.

Fred Sikini a Seventh Day Adventist faith leader from the Sun Valley community in the Solomon Islands, also spoke about the impact that the project has had on his own life and the changes that he has seen in his community as a result.

The meeting was also attended by Colin Beck, the Solomon Islands Ambassador to the UN. Ambassador Beck publically praised the panel for the great job they did explaining the problem of GBV in Solomon Islands. “Gender based violence is a real problem in our country. I am so pleased to see three Solomon Islanders from government, World Vision and the church explaining to the world how together they are successfully dealing with these issues in my country”, Ambassador Beck said.

World Vision is currently implementing the Channels of Hope approach through a project called Community Vision for Change that works in five communities in the Solomon Islands’ capital city of Honiara including Burns Creek, Sun Valley, Lord Howe, White River and Fulisango. World Vision is also commencing the Channels of Hope program with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in Honiara currently and working on expanding the approach to the provinces.

Dr Andrew Catford, County Director of World Vision Solomon Islands, was pleased with the reactions to the approach at the CSW meetings. “We have been very pleased with the high level of interest in the Channels of Hope approach and our work in Solomon Islands by United Nations staff, government representatives, donors and NGO’s. There was much interest in the lessons we have from the approach and its applicability in other country and faith contexts”, Dr Catford said.

World Vision’s presentation at 57th UN CSW in New York was cosponsored by the UN Population Fund, the Australian Government, the Solomon Islands Government and World Vision.

Source: Press Release, World Vision, Honiara


26) Mi harem se

Posted on March 11, 2013 – 10:29am | Category:


o Mi harem se Great definition of Foreign Aid relevant to Vanuatu. Foreign Aid is money from the poor people living in a rich country given to the rich people living in a poor country. According to a letter from Mrs Goiset to the PM, Vanuatu has reportedly received US$100 million concession through her help. What the hell is US$100 million going to be spent on and at what concessionary interest rate? Lucky she isn’t demanding 15% commission on US$100 million at this stage as vt150 million would be a nice little commission based on her agreement with government to get 15% of any funds she secures. Silip! ( vanuatu Daily Post)

27) Philippine government removes Saipan from ‘restricted markets’ list
By Online Editor
10:03 am GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Northern Mariana Islands ( Micronesia)

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has removed Saipan from the list of “restricted markets,” which usually includes war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Saipan inclusion has made it more difficult for Filipino guest workers vacationing in the Philippines to get travel clearance from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

“This situation has been recently resolved through a POEA memorandum circular effective this week,”  according to POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac whose email was circulated among Filipinos on island yesterday.

The removal of Saipan from the list was based on a recent Department of Foreign Affairs advisory, he said.
In a phone interview yesterday, Philippine Consul General to Guam Bayani V. Mangibin said they had yet to confirm the POEA advisory because the information was not directed to his office.

However, he said they were told that such an advisory would come from POEA.

Mangibin reiterated that the Department of Foreign Affairs did not “ban” Filipino workers from working on Saipan, and that the island’s inclusion on the restricted list aimed to ensure that Filipino workers were protected.

28) Forau Addresses NZ-Pacific Business Council

The Solomon Islands Government is inviting New Zealand Businesses to consider investing in Solomon Islands in view of the country’s huge investment opportunities and ongoing improvement in the law and order situation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Honorable Clay Forau Soalaoi made the invitation when addressing the New Zealand-Pacific Business Council meeting in Auckland last Friday.

Mr Forau told the Council that the country has lots to offer in terms of investments in the areas of fisheries, agriculture and commercial farming, tourism, mining and other sectors and that they should consider investing in Solomon Islands.

He added that law and order has stabilized and that the country has once again enjoyed peace and stability.

He further stated that the Government sees foreign investment as important for the country’s economic development and therefore welcome potential New Zealand businesses to consider investing in Solomon Islands, and at the same time, consider partnering in joint venture schemes with local businesses in the country.

“Our investment policies have been revised and streamlined to ensure that applications for investment can be processed quickly and attended to without much delay. This is to ensure that the investors are assisted along the process to ensure their applications are facilitated without much delay,” Minister Forau said.

President of the New Zealand Pacific Business Council, Mr Chris Freer, thanked Minister Forau for the address and stated that his Council looks forward to working closely with the Solomon Islands Government in forging closer trade and investment links.

The Business Forum was organized by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade along with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the New Zealand Pacific Business Council.

The Business Forum luncheon was attended by over twenty top New Zealand Companies and Executives.

Foreign Minister Forau, accompanied by the Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade, Mr Bernard Bata’anisia, is currently in Auckland winding up their official visit to New Zealand.

Foreign Minister Forau has been holding high level meetings with New Zealand Government Leaders and senior officials in Queenstown, Nelson, Wellington, Napier and Auckland.

He is return back to the country later in the week.

Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit

Religion/Cult +

29) New pope: The candidates

By Online Editor
3:46 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Italy

Cardinals Angelo Scola of Milan and Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo are the two most often-mentioned frontrunners in the conclave to elect the next Roman Catholic pope that opens early tomorrow.

But about a dozen names of “papabile” (possible popes) are circulating among Vatican watchers in Rome.

The 115 cardinals can turn to other candidates if the favourites fail to build momentum towards the necessary two-thirds majority, or 77 votes.

Identifying trends is difficult because there are no declared candidates and electors are sworn to secrecy about their preparations for the conclave and what happens inside the Sistine Chapel while they vote.

A strong candidate could win a large minority of votes in the first voting round on Tuesday afternoon

But if he fails to build on it in subsequent voting rounds – two each in morning and afternoon sessions – the cardinals could look elsewhere.

Here are the dozen most frequently mentioned names:


– Angelo Scola (Italy, 71) is archbishop of Milan, a springboard to the papacy, and the leading Italian candidate. An expert on moral theology, Pope Benedict moved him there from Venice – another papal launching pad – in 2011 in what some saw as a sign of approval. Scola was long close to the conservative Italian Catholic group Communion and Liberation, which Benedict also favoured, but has kept his distance in recent years. He is familiar with Islam as head of a centre for Muslim-Christian understanding, with wide contacts abroad. His dense intellectual oratory could put off cardinals seeking a charismatic preacher.

– Odilo Scherer (Brazil, 63) is the leading candidate from Latin America, where 42 percent of the world’s Catholics live. Archbishop of Sao Paulo, the biggest diocese in the country, he is conservative there but would rank as a moderate elsewhere. His German family roots and stint working in the Vatican Curia give him important links to Europe, the largest voting bloc. Italian media say he enjoys support among Curia cardinals opposed to Scola. He is known for a sense of humour and tweets regularly. The rapid growth of Protestant churches in Brazil that woo away Catholics could count against him.

– Marc Ouellet (Canada, 68) is the Vatican’s top staff director, as head of the Congregation for Bishops. An academic theologian of the Ratzinger school, he once said becoming pope “would be a nightmare”. Well-connected within the Curia, the Vatican bureaucracy, he also has ties to Latin America from teaching there and now heading a Vatican commission on the region. Factors against him include his rough time as archbishop of Quebec, where his conservative views clashed with the very secular society there and he left apologising for any hurt he had caused. His bland speaking style is another drawback.

– Sean O’Malley (USA, 68) is the “clean hands” candidate if cardinals make settling the sexual abuse crisis a top priority. Appointed in 2003 to Boston, the third diocese in a row where he was called in to clean up after sexual abuse crises, he sold off Church properties to pay damages. He also shut down little-used churches despite strong protests, a sign of management mettle despite his humble appearance in the brown habit of his Capuchian Franciscan order. Conclaves have long been wary of picking a “superpower pope” from the U.S. but his calm authority and Franciscan humility have eased many of these concerns.


– Timothy Dolan (USA, 63), archbishop of New York and head of the U.S. bishops, has made his Church a conclave player like never before. His humour and dynamism impress many in the Vatican, where both are often missing, and attract cardinals who want a strong manager and a charismatic preacher. His fans say Dolan would bring stricter American management to the Curia and a renewed self-confidence in standing up for orthodox Church teachings like opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. His detractors find him too informal, “too American,” and fear he might use too stiff a broom to clean out the Curia.

– Leonardo Sandri (Argentina, 69) is a “transatlantic” born to Italian parents in Buenos Aires who rose to hold the third-highest Vatican post as chief of staff in 2000-2007. A “safe pair of hands”, he is often seen as an ideal Secretary of State, or deputy to the pope, rather than pontiff. He has no pastoral experience and his Curia job overseeing Eastern Rite churches is not a power position in Rome. He recently said women should be given more leadership positions in the Church. One drawback could be that he is identified with John Paul’s papacy, when sexual abuse cases were swept under the carpet.

– Luis Tagle (Philippines, 55) has a charisma often compared to that of the late Pope John Paul. Now archbishop of Manila, he cultivated close ties to Pope Benedict while working with him on a Vatican theologians commission, and his rapid rise to cardinal is seen as strong support from the now retired pope for him. Tagle has impressed other prelates by preaching at major Catholic meetings in recent years. Filipinos tell many stories of his humility, openness and generosity. But he only became a cardinal last November and conclaves are often wary of picking young men who could have very long reigns.

– Peter Erdo (Hungary, 60) ranks as a prime compromise option if the conclave’s European majority fails to elect an Italian and fears letting the papacy go overseas. Two terms as head of a European bishops council and strong links with African church leaders signal Erdo’s wide contacts. A canon lawyer by training and conservative in his views, he has also been a pioneer in the New Evangelisation drive to revive the Catholic faith, a priority mentioned by many cardinals in pre-conclave debates. On the minus side, he is not a dynamic preacher and has only an average record for management in his own archdiocese.

– Christoph Schoenborn (Austria, 68) is a former student of Pope Benedict who became Vienna archbishop after a sexual abuse scandal. A gifted polyglot preacher and editor of the Church’s catechism, he was seen as “papabile” in the 2005 conclave but also too young at the time. He has openly criticised the Vatican’s slow handling of abuse cases and supported cautious reforms, including more respect for gays in the Church. That could dent his support among some cardinals, as could an active dissent movement by some Austrian priests that he has chosen to talk with rather than discipline strictly.


– Peter Turkson (Ghana, 64) is the top African candidate. Head of the Vatican justice and peace bureau, he is spokesman for the church’s social conscience and backs world financial reform. The prospect of an “Obama moment” with the first pope from sub-Saharan Africa fascinates many Catholics, but Turkson faces formidable obstacles. He is seen as campaigning too openly for the post, breaking a strong Vatican taboo, and critics say his financial reform plan was naive. He upset many bishops by showing a sensational anti-Muslim video at a recent Vatican synod, raising doubts about his diplomacy and views on Islam.

– Joao Braz de Aviz (Brazil, 65), the former archbishop of Brasilia, brought fresh air to the Vatican department for religious congregations when he took over in 2011 and eased some strains created by his more dogmatic predecessor. He backs the support for the poor in Latin America’s liberation theology, but not its leftist political activism. When he was made a cardinal last year, he said it was time for a non-European pope and his passport could help if the conclave needs a compromise candidate. He has kept a low profile in Rome and has not stood out as a dynamic preacher or energetic manager.

-Gianfranco Ravasi (Italy, 70) is Vatican culture minister and Bible expert who represents the Church to the worlds of art, science, culture and even to atheists. A brilliant preacher and writer, quoting everyone from Aristotle to Amy Winehouse, he is seen as a possible Italian alternative to Scola. Pope Benedict asked him to preach at Curia Lenten exercises this year, a sign of his approval. But the now retired pope has also discreetly criticised Ravasi’s meetings with atheists as ineffective and his profile seems out of step with the preacher-manager that cardinals say they want to replace the theologian Benedict.


Enviromental/Climate Chance:

30) Mi harem se

Posted on March 11, 2013 – 10:29am | Category:


o Mi harem se Mi harem se Ambrym volcano is heavily contributing to pollution that effects climate change. The volcano has been cited in scientific papers (HYPERLINK “″ as being one of the biggest sources in the world for sulphur and halogen gasses into the atmosphere. It releases 2TG annually of Sulphur Dioxide, a toxic pungent gas that converts into compounds that seriously affect climate change and sunlight radiation into the troposphere around Vanuatu. Silip!(Vanuatu Daily Post)

31) USAID Launches Pacific-Focused Climate Change Projects
Agency’s Pacific mission to provide funds for 5 years

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 12, 2013) – The United States government’s Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a series of climate change projects in the Pacific.

USAID has been preparing projects on the ground in twelve countries over the last year, with the aim of complementing existing aid programs backed by Australia, New Zealand and others.

USAID’s mission director for the Pacific Islands, Gloria Steele, said as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP), USAID will work with coastal communities in a range of areas.

“To help identify mostly small infrastructure that would need assistance to make them more climate resilient, and working in disaster preparation, prevention and response,” she told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“Finally working with the policy-makers, who make sure that policies incorporate measures that will make communities be more climate-resistant.”

Ms. Steele said all of the projects will be done in partnership with the communities, NGOs and the private sector.

“We realize that climate change is a major issue and so we have been providing significant funding in this area all over the world,” she said.

She said the projects will be supported by USAID for five years, with reviews at the halfway point.

“We review midpoint to see whether there is continuing need for assistance or for the program, whether changes need to be made or whether we have accomplished what we need to accomplish.”

“So it’s difficult to tell at this point what’s going to happen beyond the five years that we have planned.”

Ms. Steele said CCAP is working in twelve countries, although not all of the projects are run in all of the twelve countries.

“For instance the mango project right now is focused only on Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” she said.

But she said USAID hopes that most of the projects will cover Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Micronesia.

Ms. Steele said USAID hopes to add more countries to the program in the future.

32) Researchers discuss impacts of climate change

Radio Australia:

By Online Editor
10:13 am GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Fiji

Researches from around the region met  Tuesday  to discuss ways on tackling climate change and improve research skills to determine the impacts of climate change.

Speaking at the Pacific Europe Network for Science and Technology (PACE NET) stakeholders’ conference the Minister for Local Government and Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua said Pacific Island states were vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

“Natural hazards such as cyclones and floods are occurring at quite a frequent rate in the region, an example is the recent Tropical Cyclone Evan and major floods we faced last year,” the minister said.

Colonel Saumatua highlighted that due to the impacts of climate change problems began to emerge such as communicable diseases, inundation of sea water into fresh water supply and poor sanitation.

The PACE NET project is aimed to strengthen regional and international co-operation in science and technology research for development in the Pacific region.

The European Union and the University of the South Pacific will be supporting this initiative through the implementation of policies to control climate change issues.

Meanwhile, EU’s Ambassador to the Fiji, Andrew Jacobs encouraged researchers from the region to develop better policies because climate change is becoming a serious issue in the Pacific.

“These forums will allow researchers to deliberate on climate change issues and implement future actions  on how to deal with climate change,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs commended Government for its continuous support towards addressing climate change at national and local government levels.


33) Regional exchanges: Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction

By Online Editor
1:53 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, New Caledonia

Regional exchanges on the topic of disaster risk reduction in the French Pacific territories will take  place at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Headquarters from 8 to 12 March.

This event has been organised by French Polynesia’s Department of Defence and Civil Protection with the help of SPC and its Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC).

Made possible by European funding, these exchanges are designed to involve the French Pacific territories in discussions on tsunami risks and allow them to exchange their experiences in that area. The participants will include disaster manager from New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna, along with a representative of the French Ministry of Overseas Departments and Territories. The disaster management approach taken in the English-speaking world, particularly the New Zealand model, will be presented.

Outside speakers, most notably from IRD (French Institute of Research for Development), SHOM (French Ministry of Defence’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service) and French Polynesia’s LDG Geophysical Laboratory, will share their expertise and viewpoints on tsunami risk management and the improvements that need to be made in that area.

For further information, please contact: Jean-Noël Royer, SPC Assistant Communications Officer: :, tel. (direct line) 26 01 71



34) Across border for education
By Online Editor
12:32 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Papua New Guinea

A lack of tertiary institutions and vocational training schools for Papua New Guineans living in border regions has forced students to seek education in Indonesia.

According to former PNG defence attache to Jakarta, Col Tokam Kanene, students from South Fly, Western, have been attending the Sotar Agricultural Vocational School on the Indonesian side of the border since 2005 without proper documentation from both governments.

Kanene told The National that there was a traditional border arrangement in place for villagers to hunt and fish in the nearby areas and waters but PNG children had gone to the extreme of getting educated in Indonesia.

“Eighteen out of 150 PNG students have successfully graduated from the three-year programme and three students have moved on for further studies at the tertiary institutes in Merauke,” he said.

Merauke, west of South Fly, is considered to be the eastern most city in Papua province, Indonesia.
It is located next to the Maro River.

“One of the these is Ken Kerry from Gwaku village in Suki, Morehead sub district.

“Kerry is doing his third year at the Musamus State University at Merauke.

“The PNG government has failed to bring very basic services to its people and especially the PNG children’s right to education,” Kanene said.

He added that the Indonesian government allowed PNG students to study in their country out of humanitarian assistance.

Sotar Vocational School is a boarding school that specialises in animal husbandry and farming and is connected to Merauke by road.

Sotar is located next to the PNG/Indonesia border marker number 13 opposite the PNG town of Weam in the South Fly district.

Indonesian government services at Sotar include customs, quarantine, a sub-district office, police station, rural health centre, mobile phone service, a military post and a vocational school.

“In September 2011, a joint PNG/Indonesia verification team travelled to Sotar to verify a report that PNG citizens were attending Sotar,” Kanene reported.


35) PNG Students Protest Unitech Vice Chancellor’s Deportation
Boycotters demand return of embattled Dr. Schram

By Junior Ukaha

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 12, 2013) – Classes at Papua New Guinea’s University of Technology (Unitech) in Lae, Morobe, were suspended indefinitely yesterday after its 3,000 students decided to hold a protest to demand the return of deported former vice chancellor Dr. Albert Schram.

The students boycotted classes after learning that Schram was deported to Brisbane, Australia, by immigration officials last Saturday after arriving on an Air Niugini flight at the Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby.

The students gathered in front of the university’s administration building in their provincial groups with placards and shouted “No Schram, no school.”

They demanded that the man who had instigated key changes to the troubled university be returned to the country and reinstated to his former position.

The students then presented a petition to their acting vice-chancellor Prof. John Pumwa to deliver to the government.

The petition called for:

Schram’s return to the country and for his reinstatement as the university’s VC within 48 hours,
Schram to answer to allegations against him regarding his academic credentials,
Students to only return to classes upon Schram’s arrival on campus.

Students’ representative council president Livingston Hosea, on behalf of the boycotting students, gave the Immigration department 48 hours to bring Schram back to the country.

“We won’t attend classes. We will sit here until Schram is brought here,” Hosea said.

“It took us three weeks of diplomatic negotiations but it has brought us to nothing. After 48 hours if nothing happens, the lion and the president will come out.”

Hosea said Schram had a valid work visa and his contract with Unitech was never terminated.

He questioned why Schram was deported from the country twice.

Hosea said when Prime Minister Peter O’Neill visited the university on Jan 14, he assured them that Schram would only be “sidelined with full pay” pending an investigation into the university’s management by a special government team headed by retired judge Mark Sevua.

“Schram was never terminated by the university. He was sidelined with full pay,” Pumwa said after receiving the petition. There was no directive from his employer, Unitech, to deport him. Albert (Schram) should be here to answer to his allegations. I don’t know why they put a stop to his entry into the country.”

Pumwa commended the students for a peaceful boycott but urged them not to venture out of the campus premises during the boycott.

The National:


36) First Centre of Excellence launches

By Online Editor
2:09 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s first Centre of Excellence has been launched to huge fanfare at the Amicale Football Field with 15 local coaches and more than 100 young footballers taking part.

The programme, along with the Development Centres, aims to bridge the gap between the Just Play Programme and Grassroots activities and the National Academy, providing a development pathway for young players aged 10-15 years old.

The Development Centre combines both boys and girls aged 10-12 years old while at the Centre of Excellence, boys and girls between 13 and 15 years old are separated.

The two programmes provide the opportunity for committed and motivated children to attend regular, structured and effective training sessions.

“We take pride in being one of the first federations in Oceania to kick-start this important football programme to further develop the game in the country, particularly for children under 15,” VFF CEO Albert Manaroto says.

“With the present popularity of football in the country, this program will definitely help us sustain football development and we are thankful to Oceania Football Confederation for their help in implementing it.

“I take this opportunity on behalf of the Vanuatu Football Federation to thank all the sponsors especially Oceania Football Confederation, TVL who have been our biggest sponsor for the past five years, and also Wilco hardware and the Port Vila Football Association.”

There will be nine football development centres in eight football associations in Vanuatu with more than 50 coaches and over 300 young footballers expected to become involved in the programme over the next three years.

The Vanuatu government, through the Department of Youth and Sport and Sports Council, will also be providing support to the programme.


37) Solomon Sharks in Fiji for Oceania Meet

Last week, the Solomon Islands AFL team, Solomon Sharks, departed for Fiji to compete in the 2012 AFL Oceania Cup.

Nine young footballers plus AFL Solomons Job Vulita, with the support of key sponsor QBE Insurance (Head office in Honiara) the Solomon Sharks have been able to expand their representation this year after the success last year of Jave Sarere and Francis Ramo when they competed in an AFL combined team.

This year, the Solomons players will play for the “Solomons All Stars” in the Oceania Cup in Suva against teams from Tonga, Nauru, Fiji and Vanuatu.

In order to be selected for this year’s competition, players were chosen following their performances throughout the regular Solomon Island AFL season and the one off match between the National Team versus the Barbarians.

The boys have been training hard three to four times a week for the past few weeks in preparation for the Oceania Cup, with the first match being held on the 12th of December. Standout players from the Oceania Cup will be selected to represent a combined Pacific AFL team.

According to National Coach, Job Vulita, ‘the boys should go well as they have been training hard for the competition’. Job says that he is keen to see the performances of Captain Francis Ramo and Sam Bua as they have been standouts on the training track and had dominate seasons in the local competition and appear eager to lift their games to the next level against stronger opposition. Francis is a fleet footed rover who reads the ball extremely well and has outstanding endurance while Sam is a wingman and takes a strong contested mark.

AFL Development Officer, Michael Cormack has gone along to a few of the trainings and has been very impressed by the level of standard and commitment of the Sharks.

Michael says ‘the boys are extremely talented and have great ball handling skills. They are precise with their targets and extremely quick, which will make them a formidable opposition’.

Michael believes the experience of the boys being able to compete in Fiji will be invaluable.

‘There has been a few lads from Pacific countries not just breaking into the AFL but starting to really dominate games. Guys like Nick Natanui, Alipate Carlile and David Rodan are all stars of the AFL competition’ according to Michael.

Thanks to QBE Insurance and with the commitment of the boys, hopefully a future Solomon Islands AFL star will be unearthed next week at the Oceania Cup.

38) Rugby League Kicks off this Saturday

Honiara based rugby clubs are asked to register quickly for this Saturday’s Rugby 7s Knockout Tournament.

HRUA with SIRUF will host a 7s tournament this Saturday at the Panatina Rugby Field to start the rugby season for 2013. The 15s rugby championship will follow on next Saturday the 23rd of March.

HRUA Executives have asked all clubs that would like to participate in this tournament to please settle 2013 Affiliation and Registrations as soon as possible.

A HRUA club meeting last Thursday the 7th of March at coconut café has confirmed the calendar of Events for 2013, all clubs are reminded of the important dates discussed.

Only the first 10 teams to register with $300.00 will be considered for this Saturday knockout 7s championship. Fixtures and ground rules will be released later this week.

FORU representatives will be present during this event to observe the tournament.

Interested clubs are advised to contact Morris (7495049), Freddy (7495090) or Maepeza (7500352 or 8632348) for further information. (solomontimes)

39) Fiji Warriors win again in round three of PRC
By Online Editor
12:55 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2013, Australia

Fiji Warriors prevented a clean sweep by Australian teams in round three of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2013 on Tuesday, the defending champions battling to a 27-22 win over Rebel Rising in Melbourne.

The other matches saw Tonga A lose 32-18 to the Australian Rugby Union’s Sydney based National Academy, Samoa A go down 34-11 to the Emirates Western Force A team and PRC debutants Junior Japan overwhelmed 76-26 by the Brisbane based National Academy.

This means that as the three Pacific Island teams head off to New Zealand for matches against the country’s five Super Rugby development teams, only Fiji Warriors and Samoa A have tasted victory on Australian soil.

Samoa A were unable to make it back-to-back wins in 2013, having edged Sydney Academy 33-24 last time out, after conceding four tries to the Western Force’s development team in the first match of a PRC double header at Ballymore in Brisbane.

The Australian side led only 10-6 after the first quarter with scrum half Chris Eaton scoring the only try and full back James So’oialo keeping Samoa A in touch with two penalties. Second row Rory Walton increased that lead with a 35th minute try to send the Australians in leading 17-6.

Within two minutes of the restart hooker Ben Whittaker had crossed for his side’s third try , but any thoughts of the match turning into a one-sided affair proved unfounded as it was more than 20 minutes before the Western Force A team scored a fourth try through Ed Stubbs.

Tough start for Junior Japan

A fifth quickly followed through replacement Richard Hardwicks, but it was Samoa A who had the final say in the match with replacement Oneone Faafou scoring with less than a minute remaining on the clock.

The Junior Japan side is a mix of University students, Top League players and a handful of High School students and they found live difficult against the Brisbane Academy, conceding 12 tries in the second match at Ballymore.

Fly half Jake McIntyre opened the scoring with a third minute try, but Junior Japan hit back almost immediately through wing Takaaki Nakzuru and took the lead when Takuya Yamasawa added the conversion.

The Brisbane Academy, though, ran in six further tries before half-time through Scott Malolua, Jamie Taulagi (2), Alex Toolis and Mitch Felsman (2) with Yamasawa converting his own try for Junior Japan in between.

Samu Kerevi added his name to the scoreboard early in the second half and in the final quarter replacement Harry Parker claimed a hat-trick and Felsman crossed for his third try. Junior Japan did manage to secure a try bonus point with Takumi Mikami and Yamasawa touching down.

Junior Japan will stay on in Australia to face Reds College XV on Monday and then Sydney Academy on 23 March, the Australian series is over for the three Pacific Island teams as they cross the Tasman for the New Zealand series of the key IRB development tournament.

The opening round in New Zealand on Monday will see the Fiji Warriors tackle the Highlanders Development XV at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, Tonga A meet the Hurricanes Development XV in Wellington and Samoa A face the Blues Development XV at Waitemata Park in west Auckland.


40) Nagusa gets Fiji 7s captaincy nod
By Online Editor
2:12 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Fiji

Nadroga’s Nemani Nagusa has been named to captain the Digicel Fiji 7s team announced today by coach Alifereti Dere for the upcoming Hong Kong and Japan tournaments.

Ilai Tinai and Nagusa are the survivors of last year`s Happy Valley winning side. To make their 7s Series debut are Sakiusa Gavidi, Donasio Ratubuli and Emosi Mulevoro.

Nadroga scrumhalf Gavidi and Suva fly-half Mulevoro are favourites for the playmaker’s role in place of Joji Ragamate. Making their return to the 7s fold are Osea Kolinisau who also gets the assistant skipper’s role and Leone Nakarawa.

The notable exclusion from the previous leg is Manasa Nayagi. Fiji 7s are drawn in Pool D with Canada, Spain and hosts Hong Kong. The tournament will be held on 22-24 March.

The Japan tournament follows a week later. Fiji 7s 12-member team are: Forwards: Nemani Nagusa(c), Jasa Veremalua, Ulaiasi Lawavou, Leone Nakarawa, Jone Vota Backs: Ilai Tinai, Emosi Mulevoro, Osea Kolinisau(vc), Benito Masilevu, Samisoni Viriviri, Donasio Ratubuli, Sakiusa Gavidi…


41) Uate hat-trick for Knights slays Tigers
By Online Editor
2:11 pm GMT+12, 12/03/2013, Australia

An impressive Newcastle opened their 2013 NRL season in style as they crushed the Wests Tigers in Monday’s NRL encounter at Ausgrid Stadium.

A hat-trick of tries from NSW winger Akuila Uate and two apiece from Dane Gagai and James McManus sealed the 42-10 win to make it a first game to forget for new Tigers coach Mick Potter.

The visitors actually started brightly and opened the scoring after five minutes when Adam Blair powered over from close range.

But it proved to be their only high point in an abject display as the Knights ripped them apart in a sizzling 50-minute period that saw them score seven tries.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed by the 21,935 crowd at Ausgrid Stadium for tragic Tiger Mosese Fotuaika, who passed away recently, and it appeared to inspire Potter’s side early in the game.

However, the Knights, inspired by Uate and two former Brisbane Broncos in Darius Boyd and Gagai, took control to effectively seal the victory before halftime.

Ex-NSW winger McManus dived over in the 10th minute after hauling in a fine cut-out pass from Boyd and the Queensland star looked to have increased the advantage only to spill the ball as he crossed the line.

But that proved to be a minor aberration when Uate, fresh from signing a new four-year deal, started and finished the move for the second four-pointer.

The Blues star caught the ball on his own 10-metre line, shrugged off three feeble tackles as he raced 50 metres and was then on hand to pick out Gagai’s pass to go over in the right corner.

Gagai then scored two quickfire tries with skipper Kurt Gidley kicking four goals to open up a 24-6 lead at the break.

The second stanza followed a similar pattern with the Knights dominating as the Tigers fell apart, giving up two more Uate tries within nine minutes of the restart.

McManus added his second just before the hour-mark when he outjumped the diminutive Matt Utai and grabbed Jarrod Mullen’s kick with Gidley’s conversion bringing up the 40-point mark.

Tim Moltzen stretched to score on the siren to give the Tigers a late consolation.

The Knights’ promising start was tempered by an wrist injury to Mullen, who went off midway in the second period.


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