Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 827

Bonjour,

Hope you are all well.
Just a quick note:(House Keeping)
For all New Subscribers late 2012 and 2013 to Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest..Welkam,Bien Venue, Welcome,Ki Timomih Andah o! ,and Matoria! on board.
Smol Nius started 4 years ago for me, as a Melanesian Diaspora in Australia,No Televison Chanel or Radio Station covers Melanesia/Western Pacific Region so after a while I decided to share it with a few people and now over 5000+ readers and counting!
98% Melanesian readers from Government Departments (Ambasadors,Consulates etc),Private Sector,NGO’s,Students to Grass Roots.
1/2% Micronesian readers
1/2% Polynesian readers
1% Friends of Melanesia and the Pacific ( Academics,students etc) 

Feedback I get:
  • Smol Nius: is Educational and an Informative tool, interesting, I spoke to a few readers and they say they learn alot from Smol Nius about whats happening in other areas within Melanesia or the Pacific as a whole.
  • One question, I get asked often is? Why dont I put the heading of the story and the link to the website attached? the answer is with todays technology mobile phones, its easy to scroll down all the news, one by one rather than fiddling with attachments.
  • Last week I learned that Smol Nius comes in handy in place’s like Kiribati/Tarawa..where the computer is slow (expensive i an internet cafe), and there is not enough access to news papers like eg Australia! more remote,isolated Islands(Atolls),Coastal & Highlands in the Melanesia,Polynesia and Micronesia.Hope oneday soon the Pacific will be reading Smol Nius……easy access on their mobile phones that is! In the know of whats happening in the Region (Knowledge is POWER)
Last but not least I try to send everyone to the website http://www.voiceofmelanesia.com/

If you have any news to share,photos,documentory,community announcement,festivals,markets,custom story,funny comedian stories etc…please dont hesitate (No sem/fraet) to send them through.In any of the 1500+ Melanesian Indigenous languages of Western Pacific including the common languages- English,French,Bislama,Solomon Pijin,Tok Pisin PNG,Bahasa,Fiji Bau,Torres Creole etc to:

philippe@voiceofmelanesia.com

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Happy Reading!

Regards- Phil.

Melanesia:1) Solomons Government Pushing Controversial Development Funds Bill
Despite opposition, bill first on calendar as Parliament reconvenes

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 25, 2013) – The Government is pushing the controversial Constituency Development Funds Bill 2013 to parliament for debate despite mounting opposition.

Local pressure groups and non-government organisations want the bill delayed pending wider public consultation.

But the Government is not backing away, and had instead set down the bill as the first item in the order paper for parliament to debate when it resumes tomorrow.

Amongst other things, the Constituency Development Fund Bill will give MPs discretion over the use of constituency development funds.

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) is leading the charge, saying it will petition Speaker of Parliament Sir Allan Kemakeza to reject the bill.

Emerging pressure group Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) is also collecting signatures for a petition it plans to lodge against the bill.

But Kemakeza told the Sunday Star yesterday he hasn’t received any petitions yet.

“What I can tell you is the Constituency Development Funds Bill is the first item of government business in the order paper for Monday’s meeting,” he said.

In a statement issued last night, TSI calls on the public to come forward and sign a petition it is preparing.

“We are putting up a small tent at the Commonwealth Street where people can sign the petition.

“It will start around 11am, Sunday, 24 March 2013 (today),” the statement reads.

“We stand that, whatever model the government of the day comes up with to address poor service delivery to the rural populace, MPs must not personally handle public funds and that the Bill must be deferred for a wider consultation.

“To put more weigh in the petition we need you to sign. Come down to the Commonwealth Street and make your signature counts.

“To bring more awareness to the people about the petition, we also organising a radio talk back show on Sunday, 24 March 2013, at 2pm.

“TSI, along with FSII and Anti-corruption Network of Solomon Islands leaders, will host the show.”

But a spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said yesterday the petitions these groups are preparing won’t alter the government’s business for Monday’s parliament.

“Government business for Monday’s parliament is already set. The CDF bill will be introduced to parliament for debate,” the spokesman said.

“Groups have their rights to protest. But we need to draw the line. Parliament is the right place to make decisions.

“Anything that is done outside of parliament is unconstitutional,” the spokesman added.

The Bills and Legislation Committee confirmed at the hearing into the bill last week that the Government has the number to pass the bill despite public opposition.

Member of TSI and former chairman Bob Pollard told the Sunday Star yesterday their petitioning of parliament is provided for under parliament standing order 16.

This standing order stated a petition may be presented to parliament only by an MP.

Pollard said Aoke/Langalanga MP and Opposition member Mathew Wale will present the petition to parliament tomorrow.

Solomon Star

2) Solomon Islands government taking union to court over teacher strike

Posted at 01:51 on 25 March, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands government says it will take legal action against the National Teachers Association, or SINTA, over what it considers an illegal strike by teachers.

The strike was called last Friday because relevelling pay was not paid as promised.

The association’s President, Samson Faisi, says a strike is the only way for teachers to get their message across because the government hasn’t been listening to them for the past two months.

But the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Fred Rohorua, says the government has paid the teachers.

He says the government accepts no responsibiltiy for the strikes and the delay in payments is due to administrative errors.

He says SINTA’s actions are illegal.

“In the meantime government has decided that enough is enough, and we’re going to take legal action and see what happens afterwards. But that’s to be done by the attorney general chambers.”

Mr Rohorua is urging teachers to return to work for the sake of the children.

Radio New Zealand International

3) Moana Carcasses named new Vanuatu PM

Updated 25 March 2013, 11:46 AEST

Vanuatu’s parliament has elected the country’s former finance minister, Moana Carcasses, as Prime Minister.

Moana Carcasses named new Vanuatu PM (Credit: ABC)

Mr Carcasses replaces Sato Kilman who resigned from office last week before MPs could vote on a no confidence motion.

The Speaker then adjourned parliament for eight days, but the Opposition argued a Prime Minister must be elected immediately and succesfully persuaded the High Court to force MPs to sit.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Tony Wilson, editor of the Vanuatu Independent newspaper

WILSON: The Opposition has been plotting and planning for some weeks now to put together a motion of No Confidence and that part of their plan went like clockwork, except that the Speaker, George Wells, declined to let them have a vote. He simply closed Parliament. That led to a sort of few moments of uproar and then, the Opposition immediately said they’d challenge that in the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice, Vincent Lunabek, after many hours of deliberation finally came out in the early hours of Saturday morning and said that the MPs must go back to Parliament at 10am and do their job and vote for a new Prime Minister.

10am came and most of the MPs trooped into Parliament, but the Speaker, George Wells, hadn’t appeared and then it became obvious that the government of Sato Kilman was not happy and they were going to challenge the finding of the Chief Justice. So they wanted to put in an appeal in the Court and they wanted a stay of his order while the appeal was heard.

Again, more uproar around Parliament and the matter went back to Court. Chief Justice Lunabek said he’s not having any of that, we’re not listening to that at all, I’m ordering you to reconvene Parliament immediately. The Opposition then tried to get a Court order to have the Speaker, George Wells, arrested. In the end, that wasn’t necessary.

Finally, around lunchtime on Saturday, everyone went into Parliament, the Bells rang and they announced the nomination of Moana Carcasses for Prime Minister.

The minute they did that, the Government group got up and walked out of Parliament. So we then finally got a vote. Ironically, the Speaker who’d been the fly in the ointment, if you like, George Wells, he in the end voted for Moana and the vote was 34 MPs for and none against, because the others had left Parliament.

EWART: So where does that leave us now, because it sounds to me as though this is not going to be the end of the matter. It’s not going to be a case of Moana Carcasses can take over as Prime Minister and start putting his Cabinet together. I mean are we expecting more legal challenges for starters?

WILSON: No, I think that might be the end of it this time. 34 is quite a healthy number. You had to have a majority of 28 MPs, so 34 is healthy. I think they fired all their shots over the last few days and hopefully now, we’ll get what the people here crave and that’s some stable government.

EWART: So what we do have also coincidentally, is we have the first naturalised citizen to become Prime Minister and also the first Green to become Prime Minister of Vanuatu. So tell us a little bit about the new man and what he might bring to the leadership?

WILSON: He is from French Polynesia although he came to Vanuatu as a young boy and he’s to all intents and purposes as much Ni-Vanuatu as anyone else here. He grew up here. He’s a doer, he will get out there and things will happen. He’s an action man, he likes to be seen to be doing things. He will make things happen which in some areas is desperately needed in this country at the moment.

EWART: So would you be reasonably optimistic that he can hold the Government together, because, of course, this is the ongoing issue in Vanuatu. There have been so many votes of No Confidence and so many ructions in Parliament over the last few years. You pointed out the people crave stability. Do you seriously believe they might get it this time, at least for a year or two?

WILSON: Yeah, I think he’s got a good shot at it, to be honest. It’s a good group they’ve put together and there was some kingmakers behind them that were serious people in the business community and I think he’ll listen to them and hopefully, we might see a government that might last for a while. But I have to be cautious, because of the history of here.

EWART: And what of Sato Kilman, what will happen to him now? Will he just quietly sit on the backbenches there or might he try for the leadership again at some stage?

WILSON: Oh, he might have another shot at it again. Again, that’s the nature of politics in this country. But his statement actually when he resigned last week was quite statesmanlike and he said the people want a change and I accept that. It was an interesting statement, even though things were chaotic in the Parliament following his resignation. So perhaps he’s decided his time is up and he’ll leave it to someone else.

One of the problems with politics here in recent years is that you see the same faces recycled all the time as Prime Minister. So at least now with Moana we’ve got someone that’s new to the job and hopefully if he listens to some of the wiser heads that are advising him, we could see some changes. He’s certainly come out with a…, or the group has come out with a list of things that they want to do in their first 100 days in power and that list is not finalised or official, but it’s certainly been well received by people. Many of the things on it look quite promising and we’re talking about things like West Papua being put forward for the MSG – the Melanesian Spearhead Group – and Vanuatu having less of a connection with Indonesia – things that have been talked about right through the country in recent times. And other things in general terms with different government groups that have been seen to be not functioning to well, there’s going to be a review of some of these groups. All of these things will be very favourably received by the general populous.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacific/radio/program/pacific-beat/moana-carcasses-named-new-vanuatu-pm/1106450

4) New Vanuatu govermnent eyes expenditure cuts

Posted at 01:51 on 25 March, 2013 UTC

Cutting expenditure as part of moves to improve Vanuatu’s vexed financial position is a priority for the new government led by Moana Carcasses Kalosil.

The Greens’ leader was elected on Saturday to replace Sato Kilman, who resigned last Thursday, shortly before the opposition was to bring a vote of no confidence in him.

However, the new-look cabinet faces an unprecedented budget deficit, something the new Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu admits is a huge problem.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge to find out where we can save or cut down on spending and that’ll be the main priority actually, cutting down on unnecessary spending and trying to tighten up the way the government operates so that it uses the available money much more efficiently.”

Ralph Regenvanu

The new Finance Minister WIllie Jimmy says he wants to review the recently approved national budget and tomorrow he will seek assurances from heads of all public departments that they can achieve their budget targets.

Radio New Zealand International

5) Vanuatu MP to pursue legal case against ex-PM

Updated 24 March 2013, 21:44 AEST

Vanuatu’s Finance Minister has vowed to continue his legal challenge against Sato Kilman, who resigned as prime minister last week.

Mr Kilman resigned on Thursday just before the no-confidence motion was due to be debated in Parliament. (Credit: Reuters)

Vanuatu’s Finance Minister has vowed to continue his legal challenge against Sato Kilman, who resigned as prime minister last week.

Willie Jimmy argues Mr Kilman should not have been allowed to contest last year’s general election because of the alleged $13 million he owed the government.

Mr Jimmy’s petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court last month.

But the finance minister says he has not withdrawn the case, and “the hearing will take place.”

Mr Jimmy says the case was registered to go before the Court of Appeal even before Mr Kilman resigned from office on Thursday.

He says the legal action against Mr Kilman is based on his ineligibility as a candidate, and not as prime minister.

“All along I have been saying that my challenge was against the Electoral Commission and Mr Sato Kilman as a proposed candidate who contested the election in 2012.

“I separate the issue. The prime ministership status is not the matter for the court.”

Mr Jimmy says it was right for Mr Killman to stand down ahead of a no-confidence motion against him.

“I think that was the most honourable thing for him to do because in politics there had already been a shift in numbers.

“The shift of power is already imminent for the people of Vanuatu, so the most honourable thing for him to do is resign. I think if I was in the same position I would do the same.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-03-24/vanuatu-mp-to-pursue-legal-case-against-expm/1106224

6) Speaker’s decision unlawful: Court

Posted on March 25, 2013 – 9:33am | Category:

Politics

Parliament to elect new PM today
By
Thompson Marango

The speaker of Parliament’s decision to close the 1st Ordinary Session of 2013 has been found unlawful by the Chief Justice, Vincent Lunabek, who also ordered for the Parliament to sit 10 o’clock this morning to debate the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister, Sato Kilman and election of a new prime minister.

Parliament will proceed this morning after the court ruled in favour of the application filed by a simple majority of 28 Parliament Members (MPs).
The application was filed as a matter of urgency yesterday morning before the court after the Speaker; George Wells closed the 1st Ordinary sitting of Parliament on Thursday this week.

At that time this was made in reference to the fact that the Prime Minister who was facing a motion of no confidence had summited his resignation letter.
But as sought by the applicants (opposition), the court declared that the Speaker’s decision to close the 1st Ordinary Session of Parliament was in breach of the constitutional rights of the applicants.

The court also ordered that the Speaker reconvene the 1st Ordinary Season of Parliament in order to allow the motion against the Prime Minster to continue. This will also allow the immediate election of the next Prime Minister after Kilman submitted his resignation an hour before the set time for the agenda of the session which is the motion.

The third order was the set date for Parliament sitting which is 10am today.

According to the Chief Justice, the Speaker’s decision that the Parliament session has no other business to discuss due to the PM’s resignation is irrelevant as the resignation is an external matter that can’t be allowed to interfere with the procedures and processes of the parliament as stated in Article 42 of the Constitution.

http://www.dailypost.vu/content/speaker’s-decision-unlawful-court

7) Fiji coup chief Frank Bainimarama says he’ll run, and win

BY:ROWAN CALLICK, ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR
From:The Australian
March 23, 2013 12:00AM

FIJI’S military ruler, Frank Bainimarama, has confirmed he will run in elections next year, and has given the nation two weeks to respond to a new constitution.

Commodore Bainimarama, who seized power from Laisenia Qarase in December 2006, told reporters in Suva yesterday he believed he would win the poll.

“I am confident that I will win, if not I won’t be standing,” he said. “I will have to form a party, but I have not decided on who will stand with me.”

He has previously been coy about his intentions in the elections, the first since the coup.

He said earlier in a broadcast announcing the constitution – Fiji’s fourth since independence in 1970 – that he would consider submissions before “implementing” it by decree on April 12.

The document assures the president, prime minister, ministers, all soldiers, police, prison officers, judges and public servants of “absolute and unconditional immunity, irrevocably granted”, from prosecution or liability for anything they have done since the 2006 coup.

The only non-political officeholder exempted from the requirement to retire at 55 is the commander of the army. Commodore Bainimarama turns 59 on April 27.

The new constitution gives the army “the overall responsibility to ensure at all times the security, defence and wellbeing of Fiji and all its residents”, underlining its status as the country’s only remaining institution with authority.

Commodore Bainimarama said he had abandoned his pledge to have the constitution considered by a constituent assembly, “because of a lack of commitment by the political parties to register under the requirements of the law”.

Thus, he said, “you, my fellow Fijians, you will be the new constituent assembly”.

A decree earlier this year gave political parties four weeks to fulfil a series of onerous obligations to entitle them to registration. Only three of the 17 parties were able to complete their applications and they are all now subject to prolonged examination by the government, which has indicated that at least one may not be approved.

The constitution provides for a single-chamber parliament of 45 members to be elected for four years. But it accords “executive authority” to the president, who is to be chosen by parliament. Candidates for election must be “ordinarily resident” in Fiji for two years before nomination.

This rules out the prospect of Fijians who have been forced into exile or chose to leave during the period of military rule returning for the election, to be held by September next year.

“The idea,” Commodore Bainimarama said, “is to attract good quality and honest politicians who will be paid accordingly and who won’t be corrupt.”

The lists of rights and freedoms in the new constitution are hedged by numerous conditions.

Freedom of expression, for example, is reined in by no fewer than eight caveats, and does not cover “insurrection against the constitution” just published.

The right to freedom of assembly has three exceptions, freedom of association has eight.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fiji-coup-chief-frank-bainimarama-says-hell-run-and-win/story-e6frg6so-1226603760461

8) Bainimarama being courted for leadership of Fiji’s National Youth Party

Posted at 01:51 on 25 March, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s budding National Youth Party has asked the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama to be its leader and fight the 2014 election.

Commodore Bainimarama announced on Friday he would stand and win, and he said he did not yet have a party.

A spokesman for the group, Nayagodamu Korovou, says the group is new to the political arena and needs an established leader.

He says the current government has done much to combat corruption and develop Fiji and the group wants to work with it.

Mr Korovou says the group wrote to the Prime Minister some time ago but it has yet to receive a reply.

“If he wants to come into our party and be part of this new move for Fiji to develop our youth, and we know that he also believes in that, we open our doors and we welcome him to come and also join this party.”

Mr Korovou says the group is hoping to apply for registration this week and has more than 4,000 members signed up so far.

5,000 are required under the Political Parties Decree.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Proposed party claims Fiji government constricting party registrations

Posted at 01:51 on 25 March, 2013 UTC

A member of Fiji’s proposed SODELPA party says the prime minister’s office is trying to sabotage the registration of political parties.

There is still no word on which proposed parties, if any, have been successfully registered under the regime’s political parties decree, more than a month after applications to re-register were lodged.

Dr Tupeni Baba says the government wants to delay the political parties’ registration and is using what he calls political guises to do so.

“(It is) A major orchestration by the government emanating from the prime minister’s office, using government communications and so forth, sabotaging the political parties, making submissions to the registrar about the political parties. It has been done to the Federation party, it has been done to the Labour party. It is now being done also to the proposed SODELPA.”

Dr Tupeni Baba says the government has made excuses not to convene the Constituent Assembly because it doesn’t want one and he says there was no support for the Assembly anyway.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Multi-ethnic political parties desired according to Fiji survey

Posted at 18:13 on 24 March, 2013 UTC

One of the researchers into national identity in Fiji says most of the 300 people surveyed support the idea of multi-ethnic political parties.

The Reverend James Bhagwan while there is some resistance to using the term Fijian for everybody as it has been decreed, most of those surveyed say the time is right for a common identity for both native and indo Fijians.

He says multi-racial political representation is one of the survey’s key recommendations.

“One person one vote, Not based on any ethnic lines. People now acknowledge that for what ever political parties do run in the next election, really it is very important that they are inclusive of all ethnic groups. And that is something that we see is a major step forward in the changing perception of things in Fiji.”

Reverend Bhagwan says educating the population about each other’s cultural values is an urgent challenge.

Radio New Zealand International

Polynesia:

11)  Tonga lacks funds to pay parliament staff fully

Posted at 01:51 on 25 March, 2013 UTC

The Speaker of Tonga’s Parliament, Lord Fakafanua, says parliamentary staff cannot be fully paid because it has overspent its budget by seven percent.

The Matangi Tonga website reports the House’s budget allocation of two and a quarter million US dollars became a topic for discussion after Lord Nuku reported staff were unhappy with their pay.

Unplanned drains on the parliamentary budget include the medical expenses for MP Uliti Uata, who was hospitalised with a stroke nine months ago.

As well, the government has agreed to keep paying the parliamentary salary of Lord Lasike, who lost his seat after being convicted of illegally possessing ammunition.

That conviction was overturned on appeal.

The website reports another major expense has been the Parliamentary Select Committee investigation into how funds for the rebuilding of Nuku’alofa were spent.

Radio New Zealand International

12) Wallis And Futuna Elect Independent For French National Assembly
Polutele wins by-election after Verge declared ineligible

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 24, 2013) – Voters in Wallis and Futuna have chosen an independent, Napoli Polutele, as their representative in the French National Assembly after last year’s election was annulled.

In the run-off, the 48-year-old history teacher, who had the backing of the local UMP chapter, won just under 38 percent of the vote, beating the Socialist candidate Mikaele Kulimoetoke.

In third place is Lauriane Verge, who was the territory’s first woman to stand.

She was a candidate trying to succeed her husband, whose win last year was nullified in a constitutional court ruling in January over irregularities in his campaign account.

David Verge was subsequently declared ineligible for a year.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

Australia:

13) Conjecture begins as PM considers new frontbench

Updated 25 March 2013, 14:37 AEST

Julia Gillard is preparing to reveal the make-up of her new frontbench, with Mike Kelly and Jason Clare tipped for promotion and Anthony Albanese staring down calls for him to fall on his sword.

Julia Gillard is preparing to reveal the make-up of her new frontbench, with Mike Kelly and Jason Clare tipped for promotion and Anthony Albanese staring down calls for him to fall on his sword.

The Prime Minister has to replace three Cabinet ministers and fill two other frontbench gaps left by some of Kevin Rudd’s supporters following last week’s failed leadership coup.

The reshuffle is expected to be announced before lunchtime today.

Audio: Listen to AM’s report on the reshuffle (AM)

Ms Gillard needs to appoint new ministers into resources, tourism, tertiary education, science and research, local government and the arts.

We asked our readers who they would like to see promoted to Cabinet. Read their comments.

She also needs a fresh representative for the regional development portfolio, a task that involves delicate negotiations with the independent MPs in the lower house.

It is not clear whether any existing ministers will be moved to a new portfolio.

But Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says those in line for a promotion could include Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare, junior frontbenchers Sharon Bird and Mike Kelly, and backbenchers Andrew Leigh and Gai Brodtmann.

Education Minister Peter Garrett says the Cabinet reshuffle will help foster unity within the Labor caucus.

“Ongoing discipline and loyalty are essential to us delivering the reforms in Government which are so important for all Australians,” he said.

“The Prime Minister will make those decisions about the make-up of the Cabinet.

“I have full confidence in existing ministers and ministers that she’ll choose.”

Defence Minister Stephen Smith agrees the make-up of the Cabinet is entirely for the Prime Minister to decide.

“I’m continuing to focus on what I am doing in Defence but I expect very early next week we’ll know [what] the allocation of portfolios by the Prime Minister is,” he said.

Amid the new Cabinet speculation, Leader of the House Anthony Albanese says he will not bow to internal pressure to resign.

Mr Albanese, who is also the Transport Minister, denied being a key supporter of the plan to overthrow Ms Gillard.

He says he maintains the confidence of the Prime Minister.

“I believe it is certainly in the Labor Party’s interest collectively that I continue to do the job that I’ve done both as a minister and particularly as Leader of the House,” he told Sky News.

Meanwhile, the Manager of Opposition Business, Christopher Pyne, says he has received text messages from within the Labor caucus about another attempt to reinstall Mr Rudd in June.

He told the ABC’s Insiders program he does not think Mr Rudd’s promise to stay away from the Labor leadership is genuine.

“I don’t believe his statement from last week any more than I believe any of the other statements,” he said.

“I am still getting text messages from supporters of him in the caucus telling me they plan to remove Julia Gillard in 71 days.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacific/2013-03-24/conjecture-begins-as-pm-considers-new-frontbench/1106248

New Zealand:

14) NZ foreign minister defends spending on Fiji constitutional commission

Posted at 22:53 on 24 March, 2013 UTC

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, has defended giving Fiji hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund a Constitution Commission, whose work was dumped by the regime.

In January, the Fiji president rejected its draft constitution, saying Fiji had to break with its past and ensure that unelected people no longer make decisions for the general public.

All printed copies were confiscated and the galley proofs burnt in front of the head of the Commission.

Mr McCully says this doesn’t amount to misspending money.

“I don’t think it’s money down the drain. I think that the constitutional commission process had an unfortunate end to it in the way in which the report was dealt with. But the exercise which involved a lot of community consultation was a good one.”

Radio New Zealand International

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully

Pacific:

15) Pacific Energy Summit Opens In Auckland
Island nations seek funding for renewable energy projects

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 24, 2013) – The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says he expects several hundred million dollars will be offered by aid donors at this week’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland.

Pacific countries, donors and developers are being brought together in an attempt to get the region producing up to half its energy needs from renewable sources within three years.

Mr McCully says the summit, jointly hosted by the European Union, grew out of the Pacific Islands Forum summit held in New Zealand in 2011.

He anticipates major commitments from donors and says the dollars justify themselves.

“Across the region about 10 percent of the GDP of the Pacific nations goes in purchasing diesel for the purpose of generating electricity. Around 25 percent of the import bills of the Pacific countries, on average, is the importation of diesel for electricity generation. That is the economic cost – add to it the fact that many countries then subsidise electricity.”

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

World:

16) Papers link uni to army

BEIJING: Researchers at one of China’s top universities collaborated with a Chinese army unit accused of carrying out hacking attacks on the United States, academic papers published online show.
The elite Shanghai Jiaotong University conducted network security research with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398, the co-authored papers accessed by AFP Sunday reveal.
A US security company said last month that the army unit, also based in China’s commercial hub Shanghai, was behind serial hacking attacks on US firms, sparking a war of words between the two powers.
Last week US President Barack Obama raised cybersecurity with China’s new President Xi Jinping. China has denied that it engages in hacking and claims its military is a victim of cyberattacks mostly originating in the US.
Several researchers at Shanghai Jiaotong’s School of Information Security Engineering (SISE) published research with members of Unit 61938, with projects dating back to 2007, the papers easily accessed online show.
Subjects of the joint research include the design of an “intrusion monitoring system” for computer networks and ways to evaluate “attack graphs”, which show how an adversary can break into a computer system.
None of the papers described plans to carry out cyberattacks on foreign targets.
The university was not immediately available for comment on Sunday. Xue Zhi, a co-author of one of the papers and SISE’s vice-president, is the developer of China’s leading “cyber-penetration attack platform”, according to the university’s website.
Shanghai Jiaotong University is one of China’s flagship educational institutions, and has attracted members of China’s business and political elite, with former President Jiang Zemin amongst its alumni.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20130325/mohome.htm

Tok Pisin:

17) Ol papa graun long Lihir i pait

Updated 25 March 2013, 14:26 AEST
Peter Jonah

Kros long namel long tupela laen wan pisin i kamapim pait na bagarapim ol haus long Lihir Island New Ireland Provins PNG

Simon Kauba deputi Polis Komisina Operaisen i toktok wantaim Peter Jonah (Credit: ABC)

Planti haus blong pipal i bagarap long kros long graon namel long tupela laen-wanpisn oa clan long Lihir  island long New Ireland provins.

Pait namel long ol i bin kamap bihaenim tingting blong kot long wanpela laen i mas kirap lusim graon na olsem pait i bin kamap.

Wanpela special laen polisman i bin go insait  na long sampela ripot ibin kamap olsem  planti bagarap i bin kamap long ol samting blong pipal.

Tasol Deputy Polis Komisona, Simon Kauba i tokim Peter Jonah polis i bin go insaet long bihaenim tingtig blong kot  na mekim wanpela laen villis oa klan i mas lusim graon.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2013-03-25/ol-papa-graun-long-lihir-i-pait/1106624

Franis:

18) Richard Marles quitte le Pacifique avec regret

Mis à jour 25 March 2013, 8:49 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le secrétaire d’État aux Affaires des îles du Pacifique a démissionné de son poste.

Richard Marles: “J’aime le Pacifique et j’ai adoré faire ce travail. ” (Credit: ABC)

Tout remonte au jeudi 21 mars. Cela fait des semaines que des députés du Parti travailliste au pouvoir remettent en question la capacité de la Première ministre australienne à remporter les élections de septembre prochain. Julia Gillard est au plus bas dans les sondages et Kevin Rudd, l’ancien Premier ministre, est au plus haut.

À force de pression, les députés sont appelés à un vote de confiance.  Mais 10 minutes avant ce vote, Kevin Rudd annonce à la grande déception de ses partisans sous le choc qu’il ne serait pas candidat au poste de Premier ministre.

Résultat, personne ne s’est présenté contre Julian Guillard réélue sans opposition. Richard Marles, dans le camp de Kevin Rudd, a annoncé sa démission le soir même tout en continuant à offrir son appui à Mme Gillard.

Voici ce que nous a confié cet homme respecté dans la région qui a passé des années à tisser des relations dans le Pacifique.

MARLES : « Et bien premièrement,  laissez-moi vous dire à vous et à votre audience dans le Pacifique, c’est que j’aime le Pacifique et j’ai adoré faire ce travail. Je crois que c’est le plus grand honneur de ma vie professionnelle.
Le Pacifique est une région vitale dans le monde, c’est unique et on ne rencontre nulle part ailleurs ce mode de vie du Pacifique.
C’est aussi un endroit avec beaucoup de défis et beaucoup de menaces. L’Australie est vraiment un composant majeur du Pacifique et je pense que nous avons un rôle énorme à jouer et c’est important pour nous de le faire avec une grande sensibilité et de travailler avec dévouement avec les populations du Pacifique.
J’ai essayé de faire de mon mieux et ce sera aux autres de dire si j’ai réussi à le faire. »

Les réactions à la démission de Richard Marles n’ont pas tardé. Notamment celle de Lawrence Stephens, le Président de Transparency International en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

STEPHENS : « Ce n’est qu’occasionnellement que vous avez un homme politique australien avec une telle passion pour le Pacifique. Ça été intéressant de voir Richard Marles venir ici pour écouter ce qui se passait et trouver les moyens à mettre en œuvre pour que l’Australie fournisse une assistance au Pacifique. C’est donc décevant de voir quelqu’un comme ça obligé de démissionner.
J’ai aussi l’impression que Richard à développé des relations étroites et d’amitiés avec des dirigeants du Pacifique. Je pense aussi que les gens ont beaucoup apprécié l’intérêt qu’il a montré pour la région. »

Richard Marles a occupé  le poste de Secrétaire d’État aux Affaires des îles du Pacifique entre novembre 2007 et mars 2013.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-03-25/richard-marles-quitte-le-pacifique-avec-regret/1106384

19) Festival des Arts et de la Culture de Mélanésie

Posté à 25 March 2013, 9:07 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée qui en sera l’hôte l’année prochaine.

Les autorités ont maintenant approuvé une allocation de 24 millions de dollars pour mener à bien ce festival qui se déroulera sous le thème : “Célébration de la diversité culturelle.”

L’évènement aura lieu en juillet 2014 à Port Moresby, la capitale.

Le Festival des Arts et de la Culture de Mélanésie a débuté en 1998 aux îles Salomon, pour rejoindre le Vanuatu en 2002, Fidji en 2006 et la Nouvelle-Calédonie en 2010.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-03-25/festival-des-arts-et-de-la-culture-de-mélanésie/1106404

20) Frank Bainimarama se présente aux élections de 2014

Posté à 25 March 2013, 9:02 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est la première fois que le Premier ministre fidjien par intérim et architecte du coup d’État militaire de 2006, confirme son intention de se présenter à ces élections.

Il s’agit des premieres élections depuis 2006. Cette consultation se déroulera dans le cadre de la nouvelle Constitution élaborée et rédigée par l’administration issue du putsh.
Et le Contre-amiral Bainimarama de déclarer : « J’ai confiance en ma victoire sinon, je ne présenterais pas. »

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-03-25/frank-bainimarama-se-présente-aux-élections-de-2014/1106398

Business:

21) Samoa Air to charge passengers by weight

Updated 25 March 2013, 11:45 AEST

A new air link between Samoa and American Samoa is due to open tomorrow, with the inaugural flight from Maota airport to Pago Pago.

Air Samoa to charge passengers by weight (Credit: ABC)

Take-off will be a week later than planned, after Samoa Air held discussions with the government and agreed to a short delay.

It’s the latest development for an airline which back in January took the radical decision to start charging its passengers based on their weight.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Chris Langton, Samoa Air’s Chief Executive

22) Japan assured

By ISAAC NICHOLAS

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has assured Japanese investors that PNG is now becoming a safe, attractive destination for Japanese corporate sector to invest and do business.
Mr O’Neill led a small but powerful delegation comprising four cabinet Ministers including Charles Abel, William Duma, Richard Maru and Ben Micah for official state visit at the invitation of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Prime Minister and his Ministers held discussions with the business people and corporate organizations before holding a one-one discussion with Japanese Prime Minister Abe at the Diet (Japan’s Parliament.” Mr O’Neill went with the message that Papua New Guinea remains politically stable and peaceful and encouraged Japanese entrepreneurs to remain engaged with PNG.
The two Prime Ministers during the meeting acknowledged the value attached to the Japan-PNG relationship, discussed issues of mutual interest to PNG and Japan at the bilateral, regional and global; levels.
ON the bilateral level, discussions were centred around how the already existing mutually beneficial and constructive relations could be expanded in the areas of trade, investment, economic, technical and development cooperation as well as reciprocal visa arrangements.
Prime Minister Abe conveyed the Government and people of Japan’s gratitude to the Government and people of PNG for the funding assistance of K10 million for the relief efforts towards the 2011 Great East Japan twin earthquakes and tsunami.
Mr O’Neill in response conveyed PNG’s heartfelt sympathies to the victims and communities in Japan affected by these natural disasters.
Both Prime Ministers agreed that the two countries highly value the deepening relations as trusted development partners as witnessed by increased level of two-way trade, investment flows and development cooperation.
Both Mr O’Neill and Abe recognised that trade and investment between the two countries remained the key to enhancing further economic relations.
Both leaders agreed for both governments to formalise outstanding bilateral arrangements such as Double Tax Treaty and the Technical Cooperation Agreement to provide the necessary enabling and legal basis to conduct the fast expanding bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation.
The two leaders talked about the LNG project and the increasing number of Japanese companies involved or interested in the project.
Prime Minister O’Neill and Prime Minister Abe talked about people to people exchange, economic cooperation, cooperation in the Pacific, the Pacific Islands Forum, regional security issues and climate change.
Prime Minister O’Neill extended an invitation to his counterpart to visit Papua New Guinea which he accepted and will travel to PNG sometime next year.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20130325/mohome.htm

23) OK Tedi will stay in PNG, says PM

BY:EOIN BLACKWELL, AAP PAPUA NEW GUINEA CORRESPONDENT

From:AAP

March 24, 2013 7:35PM

THE government of Papua New Guinea is still considering extending the mining lease for OK Tedi Mining Ltd under a new management structure, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

Mr O’Neill said last week’s media reports quoting him as saying the lease would not be extended when it expired at the end of 2013 were wrong.

“There is no divorce with OK Tedi. OK Tedi is in PNG and we will continue our engagement with them,” he told reporters in Port Moresby on Sunday.

“I said the partnership between the owners of OK Tedi – that is the PNG government and the PNGSDP (PNG Sustainable Development Project) – that partnership will not continue,” Mr O’Neill said.

The PNGSDP, which owns 63.4 per cent of OK Tedi, and is worth $1.4 billion, was set up by mining giant BHP when it withdrew from the project in 2002 after it reported the mine was responsible for causing major environmental damage.

“By 1st January 2014, if the mine life’s extended, OK Tedi mine will be managed under a new structure,” Mr O’Neill said.

He said the government would only consider extending the lease after consultation with the people and government of Western Province, where the mine is located in the Star Mountains.

PNG’s National and Western Province provincial governments jointly own a 36.6 per cent share in the mine.

Mr O’Neill has previously criticised the PNGSDP as being run by BHP via remote control.

“BHP divorced us long ago, we simply didn’t realise that,” he said on Sunday.

“It’s time for them to move on, that’s precisely what this government is doing.”

Late last year Mr O’Neill ordered economist and former PNGSDP chairman Ross Garnaut be banned from PNG after the latter implied the government would not spend the PNGSDP money wisely.

In November former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta took on the chairmanship of PNGSDP.

Mr O’Neill has just returned from a three-day trip to Japan where he held talks with Prime minister Shinzo Abe and promoted PNG to investors.

Japan is a major importer of Liquefied Natural Gas and PNG’s behemoth, $16 billion, Exxon Mobil lead gas project is expected to go online in 2014.

On Sunday evening Mr O’Neill is expected to greet Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is making an official trip to Port Moresby.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/ok-tedi-will-stay-in-png-says-pm/story-fn3dxix6-1226604520720

24) Gas Project Pumped Billions Into PNG Economy, Created 21,000 Jobs
Report highlights benefits of massive LNG development

By Paeope Ovasuru

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 25, 2013) – The PNG LNG project has spent K6.65 billion [US$3.1 billion] and 21,220 Papua New Guineans have joined the workforce.

This is according to the fourth quarter environmental and social report for 2012.

Papua New Guinean businesses remain prominent in the provision of goods and services across all project areas with land owner companies being the main focus of supplier development.

PNG LNG has three pillars in their national content programs says William Senior, the national content advisor.

The pillars are; workforce development, supplier development, strategic community investment. He said under the supplier development pillar, PNG LNG aims to maximize participation in the project, build capacity and sustainability for local businesses, set global standards for locals and enable local business to be globally competitive and attractive.

Under this pillar, PNG LNG established the Institute of Business and Banking Management (IBBM) Enterprise Centre. Under this enterprise centre, there are over 1500 local businesses registered, said Johnson Pundari, the manager for the IBBM Enterprise Centre.

He explained that the enterprise centre provides communications for the local business and capacity building. “We run workshops for entrepreneurs and also have a database where we provide business for the suppliers and the developer,” said Mr Pundari.

He added that the enterprise centre acts as an avenue where the registered companies can find business within that network.

The enterprise centre offers business training, business advisory services and financial advisory for small to medium enterprises which are nationally owned.

So far, there are 56 land owner companies that are active participants within the enterprise centre’s network.

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

Health:


25) TB is a killer but it is curable
By NELLIE SETEPANO

WHILE the World Tuberculosis (TB) day was celebrated yesterday (Sunday 24 March) by partners in the fight against TB, two children stood out at the country’s biggest referral hospital to show they were cured of TB.
Jacklyn Dominic, six was referred from Rimbunan Hijau’s Kamusi clinic in Western province to Port Moresby General Hospital last year. According to father Dominic, Jacklyn was partially blind and crippled. She was medically diagnosed with TB meningitis, which affected her brain and crippled parts of her body.
She was found to have large amount of fluid in her brain. Dominic and wife Jelami never gave up hope that their daughter will be cured because they were told that TB is curable.
Tuberculous (TB) meningitis occurs when tuberculosis bacteria (Myobacterium tuberculosis) invade the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
The infection usually begins elsewhere in the body, usually in the lungs, and then travels through the bloodstream to the meninges where small abscesses (called microtubercles) are formed. When these abscesses burst, TB meningitis is the result. TB meningitis is most common in children aged 0 – 4 years.
“Fourteen other children died at ward 2D while we were here,” Dominic said at PMGH last Friday. We never backed away from the medication. I felt so sad, that Jacklyn had to take medication daily but it was for her good. She would give up at times but my wife and I would force her to take them. We began to see the results as she started improving, even the second scan showed very less liquid in her brain after some time.”
Jacklyn gained her sight and her crippled body slowly begun to heal. Jacklyn is on an eight month-medication and is discharged from the hospital.
Young Christopher was referred from Mt Hagen hospital. Like Jacklyn, Christopher’s parents did not know what was wrong with him until after the scan showed fluids in his brain. He was later diagnosed with TB meningitis,
Christopher moves on a wheel chair but has improved over time. His mother is thankful for the physiotherapy, apart from medication that has worked wonders for her son.
The two children were among TB patients, guardians and health workers and friends that observed the international day, two days earlier at PMGH.
The testimonies by the two children’s parents have a simple message that TB is a killer but can be cured.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20130325/mohome.htm

Education:

26) Students helpedBy GRACE TIDEN

Over K80,000 worth of cheques was distributed to tertiary institutions in East New Britain Province by Member for Rai Coast James Gau as part of his district’s education subsidy program.
The MP arrived in the province last Friday and was able to visit and talk to Rai Coast students studying in various institutions in ENB as well as releasing the cheques to the school administrations.
Since Friday, he has visited the PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment, Sonoma Adventist College and Kabaleo Teachers College.
He said a total of K1.2 million was made available under the Rai Coast District Services Improvement Program funds to subsidise Rai Coast students’ tuition fees around the country.
Around 75 percent of a student’s tuition fee will be paid by the district while the remaining 25 percent will be met by the parents.
Mr Gau said the district’s number one priority was education and investing in human resource.
Speaking in Kokopo yesterday, he said Rai Coast District in Madang Province was one of the least developed districts in the country.
“I feel that the only way forward is through education,” he said, adding that the program of subsidising tuition fees for Rai Coast students would be done every year.
Mr Gau added that in a way, they were assisting students who could not afford to pay their fees and it was also a relief for most parents who would now have to pay 25 percent only.
Students would help in the development of the district after they had graduated, he said.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20130325/mohome.htm

27) School Based Management team on Epi

Posted on March 25, 2013 – 10:21am |

By
Jonas Cullwick

The full team of the Ministry of Education’s School Based Management (SBM) Unit of 11 people is this week on Epi meeting with the island’s schools authorities and community leaders. The team’s visit follows the rollout of the SBM program with the signing last week of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the President of Shefa, Atavimarata Edward George and the Director General of the Ministry of Education, Jessie Dick for the program to begin in the province.

Shefa is the first of the six provinces for the program to be carried out where officers of the SBM unit will visit all the primary schools and communities in the islands to help with improving the schools’ accountability and management capacity. This in turn will help the schools provide quality education for school children.

Under this partnership with Shefa signed last week, the school-based management team is speaking at five venues on Epi to school administration and teaching staff, school committees and community leaders about this new concept and its target aim which is the delivery of quality education.
Speaking at the launching of the program and establishment of closer working relationship between the two parties last week, the President of Shefa said his council fully supports the program, and the council will be mobilizing communities, schools, and community-based organizations in the province to support this partnership.

The Director General of Education explained that the SBM is an activity that will significantly impact on the administration of schools and thereby help them to provide quality education. He also pointed out that the school-based management program is merely enforcing the new decentralization policy of the government such as in the reporting regime. The Manager of the School Based Management Unit, Abel Nako, described this new policy direction as the “schools upwards to ministry” concept, which is replacing the old system of “ministry downwards to schools”.

After the visit on Epi, the SBM team will return to Port Vila before going to Tongoa and Emae to carry out consultations and discussions with schools authorities and communities on the two islands.http://www.dailypost.vu/content/school-based-management-team-epi

Law&Order:

28) Solomons Chinese community targets online racism

Posted 25 March 2013, 12:01 AEST

The Chinese Solomon Islands Association says it is becoming increasingly concerned about anti-Chinese sentiment in the country following an increase in the number of racist comments being posted on social media.

The Chinese Solomon Islands Association says it is becoming increasingly concerned about anti-Chinese sentiment in the country following an increase in the number of racist comments being posted on social media.

On Tuesday the association will hold a meeting with the administrators of the Forum Solomon Islands Facebook page to discuss their grievances.

President of the Solomon Islands Chinese Association, Matthew Quan, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that the whole Chinese community was being blamed for problems caused by a few.

“When something happens it seems that… the Chinese are grouped as one… bad group of people who seem to take advantage of themselves because they seem to have the money and they run the businesses in the Solomon Islands,” he said.

“I think that’s very unfair.”

Mr Quan says there is a division in the Solomon Islands Chinese community.

“Some people are taking advantage of the situation who don’t know the ethical way of doing things in the Solomon Islands and the moral way of doing things,” he said.

“And for whatever reason some people of the Solomon Islands people have also taken advantage of that as well, and to us that’s very unfair.”

Audio: Matthew Quan speaks to Pacific Beat (ABC News)

Mr Quan said although some comments may be valid, they should be directed to the government and higher levels first.

“It’s something that I think really needs to be stopped now,” he said.

“People do have to report these incidences to their members, to the higher authorities to stop, you know, all this kind of corruption that takes place.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacific/2013-03-25/solomons-chinese-community-targets-online-racism/1106534

29) Final peace-keeping force deployed to Solomons (Melanesia)

Posted 24 March 2013, 17:19 AEST

The Australian Defence Force has sent its final planned deployment of peace-keeping soldiers to the Solomon Islands.

The Australian Defence Force has sent its final planned deployment of peace-keeping soldiers to the Solomon Islands.

Around 100 Australian and Tongan troops were farewelled by family and friends in Melbourne this afternoon.

The Australian-led peace-keeping operation began almost 10 years ago after violence broke out in the Pacific nation.

Major Robert Blackwood says the mission has been a success and Australia’s involvement could be wound down in the near future.

“There hasn’t been a large need in the past few years for the military to be called out,” he said.

“If they don’t need our assistance anymore, then maybe it is time to draw down from the commitment.

“But that’s really a government decision to announce… when the Australian military commitment will be withdrawn.

“We’re certainly going over there past the 30th of June this year and looking forward to the deployment.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-03-24/final-peacekeeping-force-deployed-to-solomons/1106240

30) US, Australia Conduct Security Training Exercise In Samoa
Effort aimed at coordinating response to port security threats 

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, March 23, 2013) – Officers from the United States Coast Guard as well as Australia’s Department of Transport were in Apia this week.

They conducted a joint port security training and a table top exercise with local government and maritime security stakeholders.

Present at the training were 39 Samoan participants, representing the Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure, Samoa Ports Authority, the Ministry of Police, Samoa Shipping Corporation, and the Fire and Emergency Services Association.

The training and exercise presented a unique opportunity for the various agencies, working with the U.S. and Australian governments, to coordinate potential responses to port security threats in the South Pacific region.

The training focused on helping Samoa strengthen its sector wide incident response capabilities and improving coordination with neighbouring governments.

The event culminated in an incident response exercise that included joint collaboration with U.S. port officials in neighbouring American Samoa.

“We were very pleased with the opportunity to share this experience with the Port of Pago Pago,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Chad Berbert, “the connections between the two Samoas are significant and this exercise was a chance to strengthen security cooperation between both our countries to ensure continued success in the movement of both passengers and goods between the islands.”

At the close of the exercise U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Liaison Officer Adam Olson summed things up by saying, “It is critical that all countries work together as the port security of one country is largely dependent on the security of surrounding countries. It has been a pleasure to work with MWTI and SPA as they understand this concept and I commend them on their high port security standards.”

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

31) Analyst: North Korea Threat Against Guam ‘Can’t Be Shrugged Off’
Local officials reassure residents of preparedness (Micronesia)

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, March 25, 2013) – An international policy analyst said North Korea has a potent force that can’t be shrugged off by the United States, but local officials assured Guam residents the government has a well-placed contingency plan in case of an attack.

“They have a medium range ballistic missile force that is deployed right now – meaning it’s operational – that has a range of about 1,000 miles and so they can hit anything within 1,000 miles,” Victor Cha, senior advisor and analyst for the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview with CNN on Friday.

Cha said the United States must take seriously Pyongyang’s threats on the Pacific, noting that North Korea is developing other missiles that can go as far as 4,000 to 6,000 miles or even farther.

“They are clearly building toward a capability where they can try to threaten every part of the United States where we may have forces or where our allies are around the world,” Cha told CNN.

“We don’t know about their targeting capability, but they certainly have the range to do that,” he added.

The North Korean army on Thursday threatened a possible attack on U.S. military bases in Japan and Guam, in response to the use of nuclear-armed B-52 bombers in joint military drills with South Korea.

“The U.S. should not forget that the Andersen base … as well as naval bases at Japan’s main island and Okinawa, are all within the range of our precision target assets,” a spokesman for the North’s supreme army command said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

Missile tests

“I certainly think that recent sets of missile tests in December and the nuclear test in February – in which they appeared to have advanced their programs – created enough of a concern that I think we are taking it more seriously,” Cha said.

Last week, the Pentagon announced its intent to move 14 new missile defense interceptors.

Such planned deployment “is a sign that we are taking this [threat] quite seriously and I think we should,” Cha said.

On the home front, local officials assured island residents that Guam is well-prepared to handle a nuclear threat, in terms of defense and response.

In a public message last Friday, Gov. Eddie Calvo called on residents to “calm our anxieties,” saying there is a “remote chance of a successful attack on Guam.”

The governor pointed out that Guam Homeland Security has had disaster simulations and has practiced exercises involving radioactive fallout and mass casualties.

Calvo referred to TOPOFF 4, a national exercise Guam participated in 2007, which provided real-life simulation of terrorist attacks.

Dee Cruz, spokesperson of GHS, said there will be training in May to prepare responders from various organizations in responding to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

Calvo urged residents to remain calm during this time of uncertainty.

“We can’t get into upheaval every time North Korea makes a threat, because it happens often, and because its military capabilities are decades behind our nation’s,” the governor said.

Worried

Despite these reassurances, however, some residents are skeptical. “The military is telling Guam almost exactly what they told the Territory of Hawaii in the fall of 1941,” said a retired naval officer who lives on Guam.

“It makes me uneasy,” said Barrigada resident Carl Reyes. “Even if a threat is made by a crazy person, you still have to take it seriously.”

Despite the concerns, others maintain a stoic attitude. “Whatever happens, happens. Life is too short to worry about things like that,” said a Yigo resident, who requested not to be named.

Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com

Sports:

32)Aussie Rules working on its multicultural appeal

Updated 25 March 2013, 11:47 AEST

The Australian Football League is making an effort to attract players from more diverse backgrounds.

Aussie Rules working on its multicultural appeal (Credit: ABC)

As part of that, they’ve selected a number of footballers from Asia, Africa and the Pacific to be ‘Multicultural Ambassadors’.

David Rodan is Fijian-born and he’s been working with the Melbourne Football Club to help mentor young players.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: David Rodan, AFL footballer and Multicultural Ambassador


RODAN:
 We are multicultural ambassadors, they have multicultural ambassadors in pretty much every state, so there’s a player in every state that is in charge of that. There’s 10 or 11 that we have all up. Obviously some vast different backgrounds and pretty much what we aim to do by the AFL is to I guess come up with programs that get the community, get kids predominantly involved in, through football, use that as a vehicle to get kids together and then from that, eventually feel a bit more comfortable in the society and also in the community. So we’re also talking about new arrivals and making them feel a bit more I guess and their families a bit more confident within the society. So because we’re pretty lucky that football’s pretty dominant and in sport, it’s a great tool to get I guess skills together. Yesterday, we had the Unity Cup. There’s a few kids that couldn’t speak great English, but it’s funny how if you put a sport in front of them or put a ball in front of them, how well they communicate with that. So it’s a great way to people together, especially here in Australia with football being so dominant.

EWART:
 You mentioned the Unity Cup and as I understand it, that was an AFL nine-a-side competition, players in the late teens from 15 to 18 taking part, Muslim background, Jewish, African, Indigenous. It must have been a great tournament?

RODAN: It was, it was fantastic. Yeah, obviously being the ambassador for that I went past and saw a lot of these kids get involved and you had a vast range of skill level, which is fantastic. You had some kids that have already played, but then you had some other kids as well, that I think they hadn’t seen a football in yeah, in, probably only a few weeks ago. So it’s great to see them adapt to the sport and also come together and when I’m walking around and they came up for a chat all throughout the day and they seemed really enthusiastic and wanting to take part. So hopefully through this, a lot of kids will want to continue to play football and we can sort of then align them to a local football club and through that, they can feel a bit more comfortable and confident within the community. Because I know especially when, yeah it’s pretty much my story when I came from Fiji, I a pretty active kid and we went and Dad wanted to get me into sport and I obviously background being Fijian, rugby was first priority, but there was no rugby here at the time, so put me in football and through that Mum and Dad got involved in the community and involved in the football club. I think Dad was goal umpire on a number of occasions and Mum goal scorer and all that sort of stuff. So and from that, yeah, they felt sort of connected a little bit to the community and made friends and it was a lot easier for them to adapt.

EWART: 
So plainly that there is a very important social role that you and your fellow ambassadors here are playing on behalf of the AFL. But allied to that, you’re also working as a talent mentor. So I guess along the way, you’re looking out for kids that could potentially be playing alongside you maybe in the AFL in a year or two’s time?

RODAN: Well definitely, yeah. We’re trying to just break those barriers that obviously especially in Australian life, it can be pretty hard if you’re from a different background and all this stuff as well. We’re creating some pretty good AFL has some great programs set up, but like you said, there’s a bit of talent as well that’s come about and yesterday, looking at some of the skill levels, pretty impressive. So hopefully, hopefully in the next few years, we can see yeah, some of the different background in the AFL ranks hopefully. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacific/radio/program/pacific-beat/aussie-rules-working-on-its-multicultural-appeal/1106470

33) AFL Season warms up

By FRANKLIN KOLMA

AFL

THE SECOND week of matches in the AFLPNG BSP Preseason Cup concluded on Saturday, with all games proving more than competitive.
University Tigers continued their dominance in their pool and will go into next Saturday’s pre-season Grand final firm favourites. The Tigers easily accounted for new club Taurama Suns, but were pushed all the way by the improving Grafitti Kaboni.
In the other pool Hitron Bomana Cats prevailed, but only after being pushed all the way by both the Bombers and the Magpies.
All teams are still in preparation mode for the 2013 season, but early season form points to the Tigers and Cats being the teams to beat. With no easy beats and new clubs bound to improve over the next month the 2013 AFLPNG BSP Cup appears to be wide open.
With a full day of AFL action next Saturday, all roads lead to Murray Barracks for what promises to be an exciting day of football.
In other Pool A games, Lamana Dockers 7.5.47 defeated Digicel Gordons Kokofas 4.10.34, fast playing Moniplus Taurama Suns 3.2.20 defeated Lamana Dockers 2.2.14, Moore Printing University Tigers 8.14.68 defeated Moniplus Taurama Suns 3.2.20, outstanding play by Moore Printing University Tigers 9.10.64 proved too much for Grafitti Kaboni 6.2.38 and
Digicel Gordons Kokofas 9.6.60 triumphed over Grafitti Koboni 3.2.20
As the ladder stands for Pool A: Moore Printing University Tigers are on 16, Moniplus Taurama Suns on 12, Lamana Dockers on 8 and Digicel Gordons Kokofas and Grafitti Koboni on nil.
On the Pool B ladder: Hitron Bomana Cats 16, City Pharmacy Gerehu Magpies 12, Kenmore Central Bombers 4, Kwila Gulf Giants and SP Defence Hawks on zero.
There is expected to be a change in venue of the games during the next few weeks due to there being a need for renovations and improvements of the field for Hekari United’s soccer match gainst OFC clubs.
The announcement of which field will be used will be given later on in the week.
Clubs are advised to keep a sharp eye out for the announcement in the papers as the management of the competition will not be responsible. for forfeits.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20130325/mohome.htm

34) Fiji claim Hong Kong title with dramatic comeback

By Online Editor
02:34 am GMT+12, 25/03/2013, Hong Kong

Fiji have defended their Hong Kong Sevens title in the most dramatic way – coming back from a half time deficit of 19-0 against Wales to claim a famous 26-19 victory.

Osea Kolinisau came on as a second half substitute and turned the course of the game with two quickfire tries. He added a third late on to seal a comeback that had looked highly unlikely after a first half in which Wales had made all the running and Fiji a raft of unforced errors.

Cory Allen was Wales’ standout player in the first half, using a combination of bulk, pace and sleight of hand more commonly associated with the Fijians as he scored two tries and had a large hand in another.

But after the break Fiji, inspired by Kolinisau, were a completely different proposition as they forced Wales into errors and took advantage with some lethal finishing.

New Zealand claim third and valuable series points

Rocky Khan and Sherwin Stowers both scored two tries as New Zealand outclassed a tired Kenya outfit 36-5 in the third place playoff. In doing so, New Zealand gained 17 valuable HSBC Sevens World Series points to remain well clear at the top of the standings on 113 points. Fiji are second, 25 points behind New Zealand, with Samoa, Plate winners in Hong Kong, a further four points back.

Portugal, USA and Spain currently occupy positions 12-15 in the season’s standings. The teams in those positions come the London Sevens will battle it out with Hong Kong, Russia, Georgia, Tonga and Zimbabwe for three core team spots in next season’s HSBC Sevens World Series.

Route to the Cup final

Earlier on the last day, Fiji had overcome Australia in the Cup quarter final 29-5 before coming from 14-0 behind to beat Series leaders New Zealand 33-14 in the Cup semi. Wales defeated Canada 28-14 in their Cup quarter, before securing a place in their first-ever Cup final with a 19-0 defeat of Kenya.

Ryan’s side win the Bowl

England ended a disappointing campaign with a Bowl title by beating Hong Kong 42-7, the same score they beat France by earlier to book their place in the semis where they defeat South Africa.

Hong Kong delighted the home support and pulled off a shock 7-5 Bowl quarter final over Argentina, before beating USA in the semis.

In the Shield, Julien Candelon scored the winning try for France as they beat Argentina.

Earlier on the last day, Russia, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia all kept alive their hopes of gaining core team status for next season. Zimbabwe went on to win the final, beating Tonga 22-19 to head to London with momentum.

The quartet won their quarter-final matches in the Series pre-qualifier early on day three in Hong Kong to secure their places in the promotion / relegation play-off finale at the final round of the Series, the Marriott London Sevens on 11-12 May.

Rugby World Cup Sevens hosts Russia were impressive in beating Uruguay, Zimbabwe were made to work hard before overcoming Brazil, Tonga edged Tunisia and Georgia proved too strong for next week’s Tokyo Sevens hosts, Japan.

In London the four nations will play off for three available core team places on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series with Asian champions Hong Kong and the core teams ranked 13th, 14th and 15th after round 8, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens.

“We’ve worked hard for this tournament. We realise the importance of it because it is a qualifier for London,” said Russia coach, Alexander Alekseenko.

“Unfortunately we have six players in our national team who are injured so we were a bit concerned coming into the tournament. However, the new guys played really well with the older players remaining. Overall I’m really pleased.

“The preparations for the Rugby World Cup Sevens will begin for us from tomorrow. We are really looking forward to this tournament and each Sevens World Series tournament is a stepping stone for us towards this historic event for Russian rugby.”.

source IRB/PACNEWS

35) New Caledonia seek improvement for must-win clash

Posted at 22:53 on 24 March, 2013 UTC

New Caledonia coach Matthieu Delcroix says his team must do better in Monday’s Oceania Under 20 football clash against New Zealand, or else their World Cup hopes will be over.

The territory lost 3-2 against host nation Fiji at the weekend in their only match of the Championship so far, while the Young All Whites have are equal top after wins over Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Matthieu Delcroix says his team will need to back their passing game against the strong New Zealand defence.

“I know that our players will be ready for this match and will give everything to do a good result and what we achieved is more than do a good performance to justify the good possession we do against Fiji, but the result not follow.”

Cellar dwellars Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea will also meet on Monday, with both teams still chasing their first win.

Radio New Zealand International

 

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