Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 844

MELANESIA:

2) Indonesia must allow peaceful protests in Papua, stresses UN rights chief
By Online Editor
6:01 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, United States

The United Nations human rights chief today expressed concern over the recent crackdown on mass demonstrations in Papua, Indonesia this week and called on the Government to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for the violence.

“These latest incidents are unfortunate examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression and excessive use of force in Papua,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

“I urge the Government of Indonesia to allow peaceful protest and hold accountable those involved in abuses.”

On Tuesday, police reportedly shot and killed two protesters in the city of Sorong who were preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of Papua becoming a part of Indonesia. At least 20 protesters were arrested in the cities of Biak and Timika on 1 May. Many were arrested for raising pro-independence flags.

Pillay underlined the need for coherent policies and actions to address the underlying concerns and grievances of the local population in Papua. She said that since May 2012, her office has received 26 reports concerning alleged human rights violations, including 45 killings and cases of torture, many of which are linked to law enforcement officials.

“International human rights law requires the Government of Indonesia to conduct thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into the incidents of killings and torture and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Pillay said.

“There has not been sufficient transparency in addressing serious human rights violations in Papua,” she said, urging Indonesia to allow international journalists into Papua and to facilitate visits by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council.

As of March, at least 20 political prisoners remain in detention in Papua. During her visit to Indonesia in November, Pillay raised concerns over Papuan activists being imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression, and said she was disappointed by continued arrests.

Pillay encouraged the Governments to implement the recommendations put forward by the National Human Rights Commission, Komnas Ham, and the National Commission on Violence against Women, Komnas Perempuan, regarding freedom of expression, and emphasized the role of these institutions in protecting human rights in the country.

SOURCE” UN NEWS CENTRE/PACNEWS

3) Gillard to visit PNG
By Online Editor
6:16 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Australia

Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard will visit Papua New Guinea, a PNG government source told The National newspaper.
She is expected to arrive on Thursday and return on Saturday.

The Australian High Commission confirmed their trip but said more details would come from her office.

“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is expected to discuss the setting up of permanent processing facilities for asylum seekers with Gillard,” the source said.

“O’Neill is also expected to raise tough visa rules.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he has no plans to control the media and its freedom in Papua New Guinea

“I have no such intentions nor do I have such powers,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that he did not make any threats to cancel the broadcasting licence for EMTV.

“The media and free speech are important cornerstones of our democratic system.

“I always support and promote the use of the media to debate issues for public good.”

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated globally today with the theme, “Safe to Speak – Ensuring the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers…. PACNEWS

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

4) New Zealand army engineers to help build PNG road

Posted at 03:43 on 03 May, 2013 UTC

New Zealand army engineers are to help the Papua New Guinea Defence Force to build a new road connecting the coastal city of Madang with Mt Hagen in Western Highlands.

The PNGDF commander, Brigadier-General Francis Agwi, says he had sought New Zealand’s help during visits from New Zealand’s chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and the then chief of the Army, Major General Tim Keating, in 2011 and last year.

The Post Courier reports that as a result of these requests, a four-men team of New Zealand Army engineering and medical personnel visited the area last month and conducted a detailed analysis of the planned project.

The New Zealand defence advisor at the High Commission in Port Moresby, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Ang, told the paper there will be a series of deployments by specialist teams such as plant maintenance personnel, road project planners and plant operators.

The first personnel should on the ground at the end of August with further deployments to be staged at intervals throughout the project.

Radio New Zealand International

5)Police threaten sit-in-protest if new police chief is not appointed immediately

By Online Editor
6:13 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Solomon Islands

Police officers in Solomon Islands have threatened to stage a 14-day sit-in protest if the Government fails to appoint a new police commissioner within the next three months.

The threat comes as Police Commissioner John Lansley’s contract came to an abrupt end yesterday despite a demand from officers to have his tenure extended for another three months.

The Senior and Subordinate Police Officers Association (SPOA) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIP) want Lansley to remain as head for a further three months.

This is to ensure a proper hand-over to his successor, whom SPOA wants to be identified and appointed during the three month period.

On Wednesday night, Lansley received an email from the Prime Minister’s Office telling him his contract will not be extended and that he must leave the country as soon as possible.

He was farewelled by officers in a parade staged at Rove police headquarters Thursday.

Secretary of SPOA Inspector Maxwell Saelea said members of his association want Lansley’s contract to
be extended on a short term.

The Solomon Star understands this was communicated to the Police and Prison Service Commission (PPSC), which granted a three month extension.

However, the Wednesday night email came as a shock to those behind Lansley.

Saelea said their demand letter was communicated government late last month, which until yesterday, was yet to be acknowledged.

“Now that the Government has decided to end Lansley’s contract, we urged the Government to quickly appoint a new commissioner,” Saelea said.

“We don’t want acting capacity from deputy commissioner or assistant commissioners because the responsibility is often abused

“This is to avoid repetition of acting commissioner that often dragged on from one to two year period before a new commissioner is formally appointed.

“If the Government fails to appoint a new police commissioner within the next three months, we will stage a sit-in protest, which means not attending to crimes and other cases,” Saelea said.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

6) Solomons Moves To Protect AusAID Funds From Fraud
Procurement processes to be bolstered, public finance law amended

By Bradford Theonomi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 2, 2013) – The Solomon Islands government has signed an agreement yesterday that will ensure Australian aid here is protected from fraud.

Development Planning and Aid Coordination minister Connelly Sandakabatu signed the agreement with visiting director general of AusAid Peter Baxter.

Mr. Sandakabatu said the Government will do all it could to ensure there is no fraud or misuse of Australia’s aid money.

“The zero tolerance to fraud approach supports our goal to target corruption and development tactics to ensure that the government and public services are run fairly and transparently,” Mr. Sandakabatu said at the signing ceremony.

“Australia is our largest development partner and we do not take this assistance for granted.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure the aid program is used effectively to support the priorities of our National Development Strategy to benefit all Solomon Islanders.”

He said on that note, the Government is bringing in a range of reforms to prevent and address fraud with Australia’s support.

“This includes amending of the Public Finance Act and strengthening our procurement processes including internal audits within ministries.

“This is where we greatly value the works of the Auditor General and accountability agencies as very important agents in promoting accountability and transparency across the government,” Mr. Sandakabatu said.

Mr. Baxter said the zero approach to fraud will ensure aid funds get to where they are meant to be and help people overcome poverty.

“Both governments are committed to working together to guard against fraud and bring to account anyone who misuses Australian aid program funds,” he said.

“This ensures that every dollar spent under the partnership reaches the people who most needed it.”

Mr. Baxter reiterated that any fraud against the aid program is unacceptable.

“Fraud hurts the poorest members of the community and undermines confidence and effectiveness in our development partnership in Solomon Islands and Australia.”

He added Australia was encouraged by Mr. Sandakabatu’s leadership to take positive action to reduce fraud and corruption within the aid program.

He said Australia will continue to support Solomon Islands to enhance financial and audit systems to prevent fraud from occurring.

In signing the statement, both governments agree that:

Any suspected fraud within the Australian aid program in Solomon Islands will be thoroughly and comprehensively investigated with perpetrators prosecuted to the full extent of Solomon Islands laws
Solomon Islands investigative bodies will provide progress updates to AusAid on investigations within one month of receiving reports of suspected fraud.
Every effort is accorded by Solomon Islands authorities to recover any funds lost due to fraud or corruption
AusAid to help improve Solomon Islands procurement and financial systems to ensure that aid funds are disbursed effectively and efficiently, providing the greatest possible value for money towards improving the lives of people in Solomon Islands including the poorest
Australia will provide assistance to Solomon Islands agencies to fight corruption

Solomon Star

7) New Caledonia officials wait for Phocea despite tracking device being cut

By Online Editor
5:59 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, New Caledonia

Police and customs officials in New Caledonia are preparing for the arrival of the super yacht, the Phocea, which left Vanuatu yesterday after being detained for nearly ten months.

The vessel, which is currently rented by the controversial Vanuatu honorary consul Pascal Anh Quan Saken, entered the country’s waters without proper clearance last July.

Customs officials had detained the boat since then due to its lack of legitimate registration.

However Customs were this week directed by the government to clear the boat based on registration allegedly issued by the New York office of Vanuatu Maritime Services Limited.

Reports in Vanuatu indicate the Phocea is going to New Caledonia to be surveyed by maritime experts.

A French journalist who has been following the case of the Phocea, Christophe Gargiulo says that officials in Noumea are waiting for the boat.

“The French police and the French customs have been following the story since the beginning, and they’re a bit worried about the Saken personality and they are also a bit worried because a few hours ago the Phocea cut its tracking device so they don’t know where it is actually.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

8) Bainimarama signals Fiji constitution will beef up i Taukei land rights

Posted at 01:53 on 03 May, 2013 UTC

The Fiji regime leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama has signalled a change in the government’s draft constitution to better protect indigenous people’s land rights.

The government has been gathering feedback on the draft over the last month and many i-Taukei say the draft does not go far enough to protect their land.

There have been calls for land laws to be entrenched in the new constitution as they were in the abrogated 1997 document.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has told Radio Tarana feedback shows some i-Taukei are unhappy and they want stronger provisions despite protection offered under existing law and in the draft’s Bill of Rights.

“We’ve listened and we’re working on that. I can’t say anything more because we’re still working on the precise language. But rest assured land rights will be specifically guaranteed.”

Commodore Bainimarama says he hoped the constitution will be in place by June.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Fiji Government Approves 3 Political Parties’ Applications
Labour, National Federation, SODELPA officially active

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 2, 2013) – The Fiji Labour Party (FLP), National Federation Party (NFP) and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) are now registered and recognized under the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree.

In making the announcement, Political Parties Registrar Mohammed Saneem said as of today these parties would be able to operate, function, represent and hold themselves out to be political parties.

He said a liberal approach was taken in assessing the applications, and that although there were anomalies in all three parties’ membership lists, he was satisfied that each contained more than 5,000 valid signatures.

NFP applied with 7,574 member signatures, 189 of which were discounted as anomalies and now have 7,385. FLP applied with 8,456 member signatures, 284 of which were discounted as anomalies and now have 8,172. SODELPA applied for registration with 8,825 member signatures, 136 of which were discounted as anomalies and now have 8,689.

The parties now have 30 days to submit to the Registrar a written declaration giving details of all assets and expenditures including, all contributions, donations or pledges of contributions or donations, whether in cash or in kind, made or to be made to the initial assets of the political party.

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry welcomed the announcement saying they can now turn their focus to reviving and strengthening the party.

“We received our confirmation letter today from the Registrar and now we will be working on reviving our party as we have been in existence for 28 years now and we look forward to continuing our services to the people,” Chaudhry told FijiLive.

“Now that we have been registered, we hope that parties will be allowed freedom and given the space to do our work without any restrictions from government or anyone.”

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

10)Bainimarama not worried about competition
By Online Editor
5:56 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says he is not worried about competition from the three political parties ahead of the 2014 elections.

“It’s the choice of the people,” he said in an interview with New Zealand’s Radio Tarana a day after government endorsed and registered Fiji Labour Party (FLP) Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party.

Bainimarama said his government has done more and delivered better to the people compared to previous governments.

“I have already indicated that I will be standing for election as a head of party that we will form over the couple of months and we will be taking our ideas to the Fijian people and of course the three political parties will be taking theirs, it’s the choice of the people and I am not worried about that.

“We’ll be running on our record creating a level playing field and don’t forget that by the time we have election a constitution will be already in place, a constitution for equal citizenry and equal opportunity for everyone.”

He said the “old faces of politics are at it again, they were the same people who were at each other’s throat in the past and brought Fiji to its knees.”

“A few days ago they were harping about me preventing them from contesting for elections in fact that’s what they wanted to say to the world that this whole process was a sham but because they know that ending voting along racial lines has weaken them.

“They have to change as the new constitution will call for a new way of things and there will be no old politics, said Bainimarama.

Meanwhile, Fiji’s National Federation Party (NFP) has welcomed its registration, but insists there are provisions in the Political Party Registration Decree that needed to be reviewed.

Party leader Raman Pratap Singh said the registration was long overdue as they had fully complied with the registration decree before submitting all necessary documents.

“We condemn the requirement for applicants who are office holders to declare the assets and financial positions of spouses and children. That is totally unacceptable, especially more so for cases where the children are totally independent, are married, and settled either abroad or locally and have absolute no interest or link whatsoever to the party,” Singh said.

He said they also do not see why party office needed to be in each division around the country because logistical concerns would prevent members from physically accessing the offices.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

11)SODELPA to choose new leader
By Online Editor
6:11 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) is looking for a new leader, a day after being endorsed and registered as a political party.

Until a new leader is appointed, party executive Pio Tabaiwalu told FijiLive the executive board is being led by Ratu Jone Kubuabola.

The move to appoint a new leader comes as a result of the disband of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party as per the Political Party Decree which also disqualifies a person recently imprisoned for a term of six months and more to contest the 2014 elections and/or hold a position in a party.

“We will be having our General Assembly meeting soon in order for our members to choose their leader,” Tabaiwalu said.

“We are happy that we are now registered and are now able to operate as political party and we look forward to working and serving the people as we did in the past.

“We are now looking at having our branches setup in other divisions as required under the political parties’ decree.”

“We would also like to thank our members for their participants and we look forward to their support as without them we would not have been able to get registered.”

The party along with the Fiji Labour Party and National Federation Party were formally registered yesterday under the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree.

SODELPA applied for registration with 8,825 member signatures, 136 of which were discounted as anomalies.

The NFP applied with 7,574 member signatures, 189 of which were discounted as anomalies and the FLP applied with 8,456 member signatures, 284 of which were discounted as anomalies.

In making the announcement, Political Parties Registrar Mohammed Saneem said the parties now have 30 days to submit a written declaration giving details of all assets and expenditures including, all contributions, donations or pledges of contributions or donations, whether in cash or in kind, made or to be made to the initial assets of the political party.

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry also welcomed the announcement saying they will now focus efforts to reviving and strengthening the party. Now that we have been registered, we hope that parties will be allowed freedom and given the space to do our work without any restrictions from government or anyone, he said.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

12) CCF, Yabaki guilty
By Online Editor
5:55 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) has been found guilty of contempt of court by the High Court in Suva over an article they published in April, last year.

The article titled “Rule of Law Lost” was published in their April 2012 edition of Tutaka, the quarterly letter of the CCF.

In making his ruling, High Court Judge Justice Calanchini placed no travel restrictions on CCF chief executive Rev Yabaki.

The case was filed by the Attorney General’s office which deemed that the article contained words and statements that offended and undermined the authorities of judiciary in Fiji.

The case has been adjourned to June 17.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA:

13) Tahiti Ruling Party May Launch Huge Investment Program
If party keeps power, VP says it will implement $400 million plan

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 2, 2013) – French Polynesia’s vice president, Antony Geros, says should his party keep power after the weekend election, it will launch a huge investment program.

Speaking during an election debate in Tahitian, Mr. Geros said the Union For Democracy would spend more than US$400 million on a range of projects to create employment.

He has also defended President Oscar Temaru’s decolonization bid at the United Nations, saying they are convinced that without all tools at their disposal, the country won’t be able to develop.

The party says once the territory is on the UN list, France will be subject to international scrutiny and obliged to assist.

In last month’s first round of the election of a new assembly, the pro-autonomy parties dominated, with the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse now favored to win an outright majority.

Both it and the A Tia Porinetia have campaigned for a boost in employment after years of economic decline

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

MICRONESIA:

14) Palau President Signs Minimum Wage Increase Into Law
Mandatory public service retirement after 30 years also eliminated

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, May 2, 2013) – In Palau, right after his first State of the Republic Address, President Tommy Remengesau Jr. signed into law two proposals that increase minimum wage from $2.50 per hour to $3.50 per hour and eliminate mandatory retirement of public service employees after 30 years of service.

Remengesau first signed RPPL No. 9-1 or the minimum wage law. This law, the first law enacted by the 9th Constitutional Government, raises the minimum wage to $2.75 (an increase of $0.25 from $2.50) effective October 1 this year. Every October 1 of each subsequent year, the minimum wage shall be increased by $0.25 until it reaches $3.50 by 2016.

The law does not apply to contracts in existence prior to October 1, 2013 but any contract made on or after that date must observe the applicable minimum wage in place at that time.

The increased minimum wage applies to local and foreign employees except those employed as farmers by a single employer, domestic helpers, caretaker, babysitters or house boys, student employees and non-government organization employees, and employees 20 years old or younger and hired on a probationary basis for a period not to exceed 90 days.

The president lauded members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) for working together to finally come up with a measure to increase the wages of the labor force in the country.

“The need for higher minimum wage for our people was clear, our lowest paid workers were struggling to survive and the employers were choosing foreign workers over Palauans because of the lower wages for foreigners,” the president stated.

Palauans and foreign workers have not seen a minimum wage increase since 1997.

The new minimum wage law also does not obligate the employers to provide for the employee’s travel, food, housing or other living expenses. In addition, an employer who provides living expenses may deduct the living expenses that are provided to the employees from the wages paid.

Remengesau expressed concern on this section of the law and looks forward to tracking the impact of this aspect of the law with the OEK.

“This leaves a significant amount of discretion to the employer about how to compensate foreign workers when living expenses are provided by the employer. I am concerned about how this will play out in practice because this discretion may allow the less scrupulous employers in the Republic to take advantage of some foreign workers by agreeing to “pay” minimum wage to the employee, only to turn around and then deduct the “reasonable living expenses” from the wages paid, as determined by the employer. It would be an unfortunate and unintended result if this results in foreign workers being exploited by unscrupulous employers,” the president said.

Despite the minor shortcoming he found on the new law, Remengesau said he is still pleased to sign it, hoping that this law will accomplish a great deal for Palauan people and establish foundation for more Palauan private sector employment.

The second proposal signed into law is the mandatory retirement at the age of 60 in RPPL No. 9-2.

The law eliminates mandatory retirement after 30 years of service effective January of 2014. All employees below 60 years old and with 30 years of service may retire no later than December 31, 2013 and receive full pension benefits to which they are entitled. After December 31 this year, no employee is entitled to pension benefits until reaching the age 60.

Exempted from the mandatory retirement at age 60 are those who receive specific exemptions from the board, justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the National Court.

The law does not allow a member to receive benefits under Pension Plan that is greater than $30,000 per year and to receive benefits under the plan during the time he or she is re-employed subsequent to retirement.

Remengesau said that the cap on benefits of $30,000 a year, the ban on “double-dipping” by employees who are receiving benefits and a government salary, and the prohibition on recalculating the benefit for those members who are re-employed after retirement years are steps that may be unpopular to some but are necessary to protect the future of public employees. The president commended the OEK for making these choices.

The president said he is also in favor of the portion of the law that imposes tax on remittances outside the country. The law states that an excise tax of four percent shall be assessed and collected monthly against each non-citizen who is remitting or transferring money out of the Republic. The tax will be collected by remittance companies and banks and transmitted to Finance on or before 15th day of each month. The Finance is then given 10 days to remit the remittances and money transfer tax to the Civil Service Pension Plan.

The president recommended minor amendments on the law but generally, he said the new law is commendable and anticipates that it will have a positive effect on the country.

Island Times: www.islandtimes.us

15) Proposed Farmers’ Market Signed Into Law On Guam
New facility would provide central point to distribute produce

By Frank Whitman

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, May 3, 2013) – Governor Eddie Calvo yesterday signed Bill 77-32 into law, providing the Farmer’s Cooperative Association of Guam Inc. with a 7-acre property in Dededo to build a farmers’ market.

The new law authorizes the association to enter into a leasehold mortgage to develop the property as a retail farmers’ market, dry and cold storage, feed and material supply, flea market stalls, a plant nursery, and other related facilities.

The Farmers’ Market Facility will provide Guam farmers a central distribution point to produce and distribute their produce. Funding for the project has been allocated from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenue Limited Obligation bond.

“As a farmer for the past 50 years, I know the challenges of farming – having to visit 100 different places just to sell your produce, it’s hard,” said Mariquita Taitague, director of the Department of Agriculture.

During a bill-signing ceremony at Adelup, Calvo acknowledged the new law’s author, Sen. Ben Pangelinan, and the collaborative efforts to provide the farmers and the community with a permanent facility to market Guam’s local produce.

“This is a move to help Guam’s farmers meet the demands for the local produce of grocery stores, restaurants and families,” Calvo said.

Emotion

Bill McDonald, president of the Farmer’s Co-op, was full of emotion and reminded those present: “This is a new beginning, but our work has just begun.”

McDonald said his group has begun meetings on the design of the facility and that the office of architect Andy Laguana will be heading the design team.

“The co-op wants to provide a marketing place for the farmer. Our goal is to make that farmer stay at his farm,” McDonald said. “We will take care of the marketing side of the process that they’ve been doing so that they don’t have to worry about where to sell.”

He said the co-op currently has 45 farmer members “and is growing.” The island has 350-plus farmers registered with the Department of Agriculture. “I’d be happy with 349 members,” he said.

In order to market at the new facility, farmers will need to be registered as farmers, and will have to be pesticide-certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. Farmers who don’t use pesticides will need to have that claim subject to verification. “There are requirements [to market at the facility] and those are to provide food safety,” he said.

He said the timing of the initiative is advantageous. “We want to be a key part of island sustainability and economic diversity,” he said. “We can be a key part of tourism. After our warm, sunny beaches, tourists’ desire is to taste local, exotic foods.”

Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com

FRANIS:

16)Augmentation de la violence contre les femmes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée

Mis à jour 3 May 2013, 10:12 AEST
Pierre Riant

Et les inquiétudes grandissent proportionnellement à cette augmentation.

Le Conseil National des Femmes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée précise que cette aggravation de la situation est devenue évidente depuis le début de l’année 2013.

Le cas le plus récent étant l’enlèvement par un groupe d’hommes armés de deux femmes, Helen Rumbali et sa sœur Nikono ainsi que les deux filles adolescentes de Nikono. Nikono est ses filles seront libérées après plusieurs jours de cauchemar et Helen Rumbali finira décapitée.

Nous avons réussi à avoir en ligne Lily Tua, la secrétaire générale du Conseil National des Femmes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

TUA : « Nous avons contacté toutes les organisations de femmes pour qu’elles se rassemblent et condamnent l’augmentation des meurtres de femmes et de viols de femmes en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Ça augmente depuis le début de l’année et on se demande ce qui se passe. »

Et est-ce que c’est toujours la sorcellerie qui est au centre de ses violences à l’encontre des femmes. Le fait est que quand quelqu’un meurt dans un village, une femme est souvent accusée de l’avoir tué par la magie noire, mais cette magie noire est souvent l’occasion de régler ses comptes à la suite d’une dispute foncière, tribale ou familiale.

TUA : «  « Pour une raison ou pour une autre la violence associée à la sorcellerie a augmenté. On dirait que tout le monde parle de sorcellerie et que tout le monde s’accuse de sorcellerie. Quelqu’un dit du mal de quelqu’un d’autre puis des liens se forment et  on commence à parler de tuer une personne. »

La sorcellerie a toujours fait partie de la culture papoue, mais comme nous le dit Lily Tua jamais autant de meurtres n’ont été commis.

TUA : « Je sais que la sorcellerie fait partie de la culture, une culture très forte. Et en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, les gens vivent avec, mais on n’a jamais tué de personnes au rythme qu’on le fait cette année.
Les Papous croient en la sorcellerie et la magie noire, mais ça n’a jamais été comme ça avant. Maintenant tout le monde, et surtout les femmes, vit dans la peur. »

Et personne ne semble pouvoir expliquer cette augmentation du nombre de meurtres commis au nom de la sorcellerie. Toujours est-il que plusieurs appels ont été lancés pour le rétablissement de la peine de mort pour les violeurs. Est-ce que le Conseil National des Femmes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée soutient ces appels.

TUA : « Oui. Lors de notre dernière réunion, de fortes recommandations ont été soumises pour que nous adoptions une résolution à l’intention du gouvernement pour que l’on applique la loi. La peine de mort existe mais elle n’a jamais été appliquée. Et nous demandons au gouvernement l’application des lois. »

Et nous apprenons maintenant que le gouvernement de Peter O’Neill a décidé d’alourdir les sanctions pour tous les crimes violents et de mettre la peine capitale en application.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

17) La Thaïlande cherche des matières premières dans le Pacifique

Posté à 3 May 2013, 8:50 AEST
Pierre Riant

Ces matières premières se raréfient à travers le globe et le secteur industriel thaïlandais est en pleine croissance.

C’est donc vers le Pacifique que la Thaïlande se tourne nous seulement pour trouver des matières premières, mais pour mettre en place des partenariats commerciaux.

Maris Sangiampongsa, ambassadeur de Thaïlande pour le Vanuatu, la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, les îles Salomon et Fidji, a déclaré : «  Les liens commerciaux avec les nations océaniennes du Pacifique sont cruciaux pour l’avenir économique de notre nation. Nous sommes en phase de développement avec une croissance économique de 5% l’année dernière et nous avons besoin de matières premières.»

M. Kua précise que la question de ce traité est restée en suspends trop longtemps et qu’il est temps de la régler une bonne pour toute.

Et d’ajouter : « Nous n’avons pas les dispositions en place pour réguler, surveiller et contrôler certaines personnes et nous sommes donc piégés. Nous devons pouvoir contrôler ce qui se passe à nos frontières. »

Notons que des Mélanésiens de la province indonésienne de Papouasie occidentale trouvent souvent refuge en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

MEDIA+

18) Statement on World Press Freedom Day 2013 by PINA President, Moses Stevens
By Online Editor
6:09 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Fiji

Media development in the Pacific is progressing well in terms of infrastructure and human resources indicating or portraying the fact that there needs to be some good attention paid to the sector as a significant player or component in the whole concept of “good governance” in the region.

PINA has always maintained that media being the ‘traditional’ fourth estate in any democracy, has a significantly important role in nation building in any country; And that as such media needs to be rightfully given its place as one of the components in an open, transparent and accountable governance system.

This year we celebrate the theme “Safe to Speak” to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.

For this, PINA would like to call on the members of the Pacific media family to think beyond their line of duties and the work they do in gathering, compiling and disseminating information as the normal process of informing, educating and entertaining our societies, and think of the part of the people and how this year’s theme is relevant to them.

Do our people understand the role of the media? Do they know how to use the media? Do our leaders in our democratic island countries understand the role of the media and are they ready to accept it as a component of good governance?

“Safe to Speak” would be better understood or appreciated only when the above questions are addressed at all levels of our Pacific societies.

At this point PINA would like to call on all governments of the region to help establish, strengthen and empower their national media associations, through their appropriate ministries.

We need strong national media associations in the countries of the Pacific, with their own local and regional journalism code of ethics and self regulatory mechanisms to ensure professionalism among practitioners (mindful of our respective countries’ cultural, spiritual and moral values) and to avoid the industry being taken over by investors (who may not be media professionals) who would be more interested in the money making side of the industry.

This is crucial because the quest to make money often leads to misreporting and or misrepresentation of issues that then leads to governments stepping in, and in some instances causing unwarranted “unsafe” working environment for genuine and professional media practitioners and operators.

The Pacific needs a media free environment through and with which the people, at all levels and status within the society, are guaranteed their safety to speak and to express their views and opinions freely and without fear.

We have and continue to proclaim in our societies that Media Freedom is the people’s freedom. But we in the Pacific media and especially the local associations, have a lot yet to do in helping our people understand our work and responsibilities in being their eyes, their ears and their mouthpiece.

To our governments, we are their mirror in which they look to check on their leadership, and the successes and failures/weaknesses in their leadership. From a proactive view, this is important for the governments to be more transparent, accountable and honest to their electorates and the nation as a whole.

Therefore, PINA would like to call on all media companies and organizations to join their national media associations in making this year’s celebrations of WPFD the beginning of revisiting their national media bodies, and the need to re-unite in re-building their associations.

PINA also calls on all Pacific governments to take a more proactive approach toward their respective media industries in providing support toward establishing or strengthening their national media associations, through enhanced closer working relationship in exploiting and developing, and protecting their respective media sectors.

19) On World Press Freedom Day, UN officials issue call to protect journalists’ safety
By Online Editor
6:10 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, United States

United Nations officials today issued a call to action to ensure the safety of journalists in every country, echoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who declared; “When it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits”.

“Every day, freedom of expression faces new threats. Because they help ensure transparency and accountability in public affairs, journalists are frequent targets of violence,” said Secretary-General Ban and Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNSECO), in a joint message for World Press Freedom Day, observed each year on 3 May.

“Too many media workers also suffer from intimidation, threats and violence. Too many experience arbitrary detention and torture, often without legal recourse. We must show resolve in the face of such insecurity and injustice.”

The UN General Assembly designated 3 May as World Press Freedom Day in 1993. This year’s theme, “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”, seeks to rally global action to protect the safety of all journalists worldwide and to break the vicious circle of impunity for crimes committed against them.

According to UNESCO, more than 600 journalists have been killed in the past decade, many while reporting in non-conflict situations. Impunity is also widespread as nine out of 10 cases of killings of journalists go unpunished.

Ban and Bokova emphasized that press freedom “does not happen automatically,” but requires the creation of a safe environment for dialogue, where they can execute their jobs without fear of reprisal.

They also noted that action must encompass both traditional media as well as digital mediums, where news is increasingly produced and consumed.

“Bloggers, citizen reporters and social media producers, as well as their sources, face increasing threats to their safety,” they said. “In addition to physical dangers, they are being targeted with psychological and emotional violence through cyber-attacks, data breaches, intimidation, undue surveillance and invasions of privacy.

“Such assaults not only limit the right to freedom of expression and threaten the safety of online journalists and their sources – they undermine the ability of all people to benefit from a free and open Internet.”

Ban and Bokova reiterated the UN’s strong commitment to coordinate action, raise awareness and support countries in upholding international principles and developing legislation for freedom of expression and information according to the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

“As we mark World Press Freedom Day, let us pledge to do our utmost to enable all journalists in all media to do their jobs,” Ban said in New York at an event organized by UNESCO and the Department of Public Information on journalists’ safety. “When it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits.

SOURCE: UN NEWS CENTRE/PACNEWS

20) Pacific media groups agree to establish a Pacific Media Ombudsman

Posted at 22:59 on 03 May, 2013 UTC

Pacific Media organisations meeting in Solomon Islands recently agreed to establish a Pacific Media Ombudsman by World Press Freedom Day 2014.

Pacific journalists were in the Solomons capital Honiara for World Press Freedom Day 2013.

The founding members of the Pacific Media Ombudsman mechanism are the Cook Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The regional media networks who attended, the Pacific Islands News Association, and the Pasifika Media Association, offered their support in principle.

The delegates agreed that media standards, ethics and conduct protocols at a national and regional level require effective enforcement.

The independent Pacific regional media complaints process will provide a step forward in addressing gaps and challenges at national levels.

A taskforce has been established to set up a Pacific Media Ombudsman system over the next six months, and be operational by May next year.

Radio New Zealand International

21) Fiji media laws need to go before election: Chaudhry

Posted at 22:59 on 03 May, 2013 UTC

The leader of the Fiji Labour Party says political parties will be at a serious disadvantage if the government does not lift restrictions on the media.

On Thursday the regime announced that the Labour Party, the National Federation Party and the renamed SDL Party, or SODELPA, had been successfully registered under its Political Parties Decree and are now allowed to operate legally.

But Mahendra Chaudhry says the government’s restrictions on local media need to go, especially with the regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, announcing he will run in next year’s election.

He says the current media decree unfairly favours Commodore Bainimarama.

“The media is not free and they are kind of coerced into just reporting the regime’s propaganda. It will not be a level playing field for political parties and we will be operating at a disadvantage.”

Mahendra Chaudhry says he hopes the government will see how vital press freedom is to democracy and remove its decree so that next year’s elections are free and fair.

Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS/TRADE+

22) PNG invests high in Solomon Is

PAPUA New Guinea investments are currently third highest in Solomon Islands, after Australia and Hong Kong.
And the country’s investment in Solomon Islands is creating an environment conducive for investor confidence, which has been a high priority for both Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands governments.
This was revealed during the 3rd round of bilateral negotiations on the Investment Promotion Protection Agreement (IPPA) in Honiara, Solomon Islands, between leading countries like Australia, Hong Kong and other Pacific island nations.
Senior officials from PNG and Solomon Islands concluded that at the 3rd round of bilateral negotiations on the IPPA meeting in Honiara, yesterday.
The PNG delegation was led by its Acting High Commissioner in Solomon Islands, Joyce Bundu, and included officials from the PNG Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Internal Revenue Commission, Department of Commerce and Industry and the Papua New Guinea Investment Authority, while Solomon Islands delegation was led by the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Bernard Bataánisia, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade, Foreign Investment Division and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
The IPPA provides a mechanism for the promotion, advancement and at the same time, protection of each other’s investments in their respective countries.
The IPPA has been on the bilateral agenda for PNG and Solomon Islands since 2005.
After its initial proposal, progress was stalled for some time until it was brought back on the agenda in 2012.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

23) ‘Focus on investment’

Felix Chaudhary
Sunday, May 05, 2013

Ba businessman Jay Dayal, right, lights a ceremonial diya at the World Hindu Economic Forum in Nadi as Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma, left, and Indian High Commissioner Vinod Kumar, second left, looks on. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

TRADE between India and Fiji and trade between India and the Pacific region has not been significant and growth in this area is not expected to happen quickly or significantly.

This was the comment made by the Indian High Commissioner Vinod Kumar while addressing participants at the World Hindu Economic Forum Pacific meet in Nadi yesterday

He said a shift in focus to investment could provide the stimulus needed to facilitate economic growth in Fiji and the region.

“Over the years trade between India and Fiji had revolved around $20million-$30million,” he said.

“Actual trade would be more because some goods do not come directly from India but through other countries like Singapore or via Australia — like pharmaceuticals and medicines.

“We need to focus more on investment and I would encourage business leaders from Fiji to look at the possibility of enticing investment from India which would be mutually beneficial for both countries.”

Mr Kumar said a measure that would encourage more investment from India would soon be established.

“One of the areas that could be useful in attracting investment is the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.

“I am happy to say that the negotiations for the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement have concluded and we expect to sign the agreement this year.”

The forum, which was held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, was organised to bring Fijians of Indian descent together to share business experiences and expertise with their peers and those that had an interest in business.

It ended yesterday afternoon.

http://www.fijitimes.com/

24) 18,000 object

By Alexander Rheeney

OVER 18,000 villagers in the Oro Province have objected to an Australian mining company getting a two-year extension to their permit to explore for gold in their 360,000 hectare area.
Their objection is contained in a letter dated April 26, 2013 which Partners With Melanesia have written to the Mineral Resources Authority. Australian Stock Exchange-listed Goldminex Ltd has applied to the authority to give a two-year extension for Tenement ELA 1547, which the NGO alleges covers the proposed biodiversity-rich Managalas conservation area.
PWM executive director Kenn Mondiai wrote in his letter to the MRA acting managing director that his organisation has done conservation and rainforest protection work in Managalas since 1983-84 and the plateau has been recommended to the Minister for Environment and Conservation to declare it a conservation area.
“The 152 clan for Managalas plateau have since 1983 stood firm that they do not want any mining, logging or oil palm expansion into the plateau and this call is again re-emphasized here by PWM on behalf of the people of Managalas Development Foundation and the 152 clans that have agreed to have the area protected under the Conservation Areas Act of 1978,” wrote Mr Mondiai.
Oro Governor Gary Juffa said he supported the objection by the villagers because resource project proponents continue to bypass them and provincial governments, resulting in investors pushing their interests.
“In the past, efforts to gauge the landowners’ views and concerns were very obscure efforts. Warden’s hearings were held without genuine landowners, without the provincial government present and merely to facilitate the intentions of the investor.
“In many instances, the investors used this as an opportunity to hike up their share values with purported findings and activities,” he said in an email to the
Post-Courier.
In a warning to potential investors keen on checking out Oro Province, the Governor said any attempts to bypass the provincial government will be considered “trespassing”.
“Any effort to circumvent the provincial government will be taken as trespassing. In regards to this matter, I am keen to determine a path for Oro whereby all activities must be endorsed by my office and must consider the environment, the peoples’ future and its social impact,” he added.
Attempts to contact the Melbourne office of Goldminex Ltd were unsuccessful, however the MRA confirmed it was aware of the objection filed by the PWM on behalf of the Managalas 152 clans.
“There is a process set out in the Mining Act 1992 for the renewal of exploration tenements and the consideration of objections.
“The relevant parties in that process are aware of the matters to which you refer and the issues will be considered and determined in due course in accordance with the Act,” said Roger Gunson, the MRA’s executive manager (regulatory operations division).
The Managalas plateau is one of PNG’s few remaining areas untouched by logging and oil palm activities and is a natural habitat for the rare Queen Alexandria Birdwing Butterfly, the world’s largest butterfly and is home to several species of frogs and tree kangaroos identified in biodiversity surveys.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

25) Shell tipped to take stake in InterOil’s Papua New Guinea LNG project
By Online Editor
6:18 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Of the three oil and gas majors understood to be vying for a share of US-listed junior InterOil’s Gulf LNG project in Papua New Guinea, Shell is being tipped by some industry insiders as the bidder most likely to succeed.

The PNG government approved InterOil’s plans to develop the 3.8 million mt/year Gulf LNG project in November last year but has required that the company bring in a partner with a track record operating similar projects. At the same time the government said state-owned resources company Petromin would take a 50% stake in the onshore Elk and Antelope gas fields that will feed the LNG project.

Shell’s perceived advantage over rivals ExxonMobil and Total centres on its existing relationship with the PNG government and the strategic alliance it signed with Petromin in August 2011. Since then, PNG Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma has repeatedly pointed to Shell as a potential stakeholder in the InterOil project.

The Shell-Petromin deal included a joint technical study of PNG’s major hydrocarbon basins to evaluate exploration opportunities that the two companies could pursue together.

Shell’s overall appeal as a partner for the PNG government may also be strengthened by its ownership of emerging floating LNG technology. In addition to stranded offshore resources, Petromin has in the past eyed the option of using an FLNG facility as an alternative to onshore liquefaction to monetize small-scale gas discoveries in PNG’s Foreland Basin, host to the Elk and Antelope fields.

Shell is the operator of Prelude, which became the world’s first FLNG project to reach a final investment decision when it was approved by the company in May 2011. The massive Prelude FLNG facility is currently being built in South Korea and is expected to be deployed to its position off Western Australia and start operations around 2017.

SOURCE: THE BARREL/PACNEWS

26) Thailand Looks To Pacific For Industrial Raw Materials
Ambassador says trade links may be critical for economy

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 2, 2013) – Thailand is trying to build business links and trade pacts with Pacific Island nations to feed its growing industrial sector with raw materials and energy.

The Pacific region is becoming more important as raw materials around the world become scarce and Asia develops as the engine room of the world economy.

In April, Britain announced plans to renew relations with the Pacific and China has also been spending big in the region to gain influence.

Maris Sangiampongsa is Thailand’s Ambassador for Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

He says trade links to Pacific nations are potentially critical for the future of his nation’s economy.

“We need raw materials and energy because Thailand is now in the developing stage,” he said.

“We have a very good position in terms of manufacturing structure good skill level. But we are now looking outside the country for raw materials and energy.”

Mr. Sangiapongsa says in the past year Thailand’s economy has grown by 5%.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently returned from a trip to Papua New Guinea – which has a rich source of raw materials – to discuss increased trade to keep that growth going.

Mr. Sangiampongsa says Vanuatu is also a good source of future trade and cooperation that could benefit both nations.

“The first is agriculture, which includes fisheries and forestry. Especially tuna in Vanuatu,” he said.

In order to secure the trade of raw materials Thailand is offering expertise to help Pacific nations develop their own industries and increase factory capacity.

“We are not in the stage to take advantage of a small country. But the Government of Thailand is aiming to give a lot of technical assistance to countries like Vanuatu in order to work together to the benefit of both countries,” Sangiapongsa said.

Thailand however is a late developer when compared to other Asian economies.

Economic powerhouses such as China, South Korea and Japan have already made inroads in the Pacific.

And European nations like France and Britain also have firm and long held trade and cultural links to the region.

“But we believe that we have some kind of advantage.” Mr. Sangiapongsa said. “We have cheap labor to produce cheaper products from Thailand to help us penetrate the market.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

27) Bougainville Needs Cleanup Before Mining Resumes: Expert
Dr. Mudd says environmental damage should be addressed

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 2, 2013) – Scientists say mining group Rio Tinto will have to improve its environmental record if it plans to reopen its mine on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

In the 1980s development of the mine sparked a decade-long civil war which left more than 10,000 people dead.

But now the Bougainville government is looking for new development opportunities.

A study by Rio subsidiary Bougainville Copper says the mine is economically viable and could be reopened in as few as six years.

A mining expert, Gavin Mudd, told Radio Australia there is a lot of damage on Bougainville that needs cleaning up before new mining can take place.

Dr. Mudd is a senior lecturer in environmental engineering at Monash University and chairman of the Minerals Policy Institute.

He said work was needed to alleviate the effect of acid mine drainage, where minerals left lying on the ground reacted with rainwater to produce sulfuric acid, with devastating effects.

The academic said guesswork put the cost of a clean-up at AU$1 billion [US$784 million] or more. “But that cost at the moment is being borne by the local environment and the community. Their gardens are gone, their water quality is severely impacted.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

LAW&ORDER:

28) Local will lead the force

FRIDAY, 03 MAY 2013 08:57
GOVERNMENT will appoint a local to lead the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

Police minister Chris Laore revealed this yesterday as he announced the end of Police Commissioner John Lansley’s contract.

Mr Laora said the Government decided not to renew Mr Lansley’s contract.

While thanking the English man for his service, Mr Laore said it is time that Solomon Islanders are given the opportunity to manage and lead the RSIPF.

“I thank Mr Lansley for the many good things he has done for the RSIPF and the nation as a whole,” Mr Laore said.

“Throughout his 12-months in the country, Mr Lansley has helped restructure the RSIPF, made it become more effective as far as its operations, management and even its reputation through the eyes of the media to the public.

“Also I thank Mr Lansley for his leadership of the RSIPF in providing policing, resulting in the country hosting three very big successful events namely; Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA), Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate and also the Oceania Nations Cup – earning both the RSIPF and the nation lots of praise internationally,” Mr Laore said.

But he said the time is now right for a Solomon Islander to lead the force.

“I believe it is time for Solomon Islands to allow one of its own to lead the force.

“For too long we have recieved assistance from RAMSI, the PPF and also others who have come in to lead the RSIPF.

“However, now it is our time,” Mr Laore said.

Reports reaching this paper stated that late Wednesday night, Mr Lansley received a phone call with instructions from the government that his contract will not be extended and that he be required to leave the country immediately.

By Jeremy Inifiri

http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

29) Bishop Terry hits back

SATURDAY, 04 MAY 2013 09:42

Mr Panga (R) accused Bishop Terry (L) of acting illegally

Know the facts before you reconcile

TRUE reconciliation can only happen when people know the facts of the issue, an Anglican bishop says.

Bishop Terry Brown was responding to accusations Guadalcanal premier Stephen Panga levelled at him over his decision to release the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

Mr Panga accused Bishop Terry of acting illegally, adding the report should be released after reconciliation is held between Malaita and Guadalcanal.

But Bishop Terry said via email:

“It would be even worse to do reconciliation first and have all the facts come out later. That would reopen wounds and destroy the reconciliation that has taken place

“As the TRC Report was the one mandated document to provide the facts (the truth), the sooner it is in the public forum, the better.

“I have great respect for Stephen Panga and I do not want to engage in a public debate with him.

“I don’t quite know what he means by “there [are] issues [that] need to be settled” before the report is released.

“It seems to me that there are so many unknown facts that the TRC Report brings to light, that need to come to light, before true reconciliation is possible between Malaita, Guadalcanal and the national government.”

He added that the Report documents the failure of the “top down” or “high level” reconciliation process.

“A ‘bottom up’ process requires the people to know the facts and the TRC Report provides them.”

A former bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Malaita, Bishop Terry was the editor of the report.

He released the report online from his home country of Canada, where he now lives.

He said on previous occasions, he has requested the Government to release the report through parliament, but that was not done.

Bishop Terry also said he initiated discussion on social media network to get the public to pressure the government to release the report, but that too has not produced any results.

He said he decided to release the report after much prayer and reflection and was prepared to take personal responsibility for his decision.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo had held on to the report since February last year, citing sensitivity issues.

While the releasing of the report was unprocedural, most Solomon Islanders welcomed Bishop Terry’s decision, and instead urged the Government to act on the recommendations.

By Elliot Dawea

http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

30)Crime trend worry police

Nanise Loanakadavu
Sunday, May 05, 2013

FIJI recorded the highest in terms of human trafficking, drug smuggling and illegal smuggling of goods in the region.

This was revealed by the Fiji Transnational Crime Unit leader Savenaca Tuivaga yesterday.

He said the set up of the unit was a pilot project initiated by former police commissioner Andrew Hughes which was also the first in the region.

“Now the Transnational Crime Unit has 17 units in 13 countries in the region,” Mr Tuivaga said.

He said the unit was not a political one but rather a policing unit which was funded by the Australia Federation Police (AFP).

He said the equipment received from AFP assisted their operations because at the end of the day, if Fiji did not stop drugs and contraband goods that came through Fiji, they would end up in Australia and New Zealand.

“That is why they pump a lot of money into this operation,” he said.

Mr Tuivaga said before the establishment of the unit, goods and drugs were smuggled into Fiji and yachts sailed in and out of the country undetected.

This resulted in an increase in human trafficking.

He said before it was trafficking of Chinese women, but the latest case was the trafficking of locals involving Fiji citizens.

“That is a major problem,” he said.

He said crimes reported in Fiji nowadays did not happen before, like cyber crimes and the latest one on pornographic pictures of women uploaded on the internet.

http://www.fijitimes.com/

31)Task force onto Chinese immigrants

Nanise Loanakadavu
Sunday, May 05, 2013

THE Fiji Transnational Crime Unit will start monitoring the movement of Chinese immigrants in the country, its leader, Savenaca Tuivaga said yesterday.

This comes after the unit, consisting of officers from the Fiji Police Force, Department of Immigration and Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, noted an increase in sophisticated crimes in Fiji by this minority.

Mr Tuivaga said that since the establishment of their task force, they have realised that when there were Chinese immigrants around, people would expect prostitution and the smuggling of people and money laundering.

“There are a lot of Chinese in town and with this MOU with the three relevant authorities, we will be able to monitor their movements,” he said.

Mr Tuivaga said they would only act upon reports and indicators if they knew these illegal activities were happening.

Mr Tuivaga said in the last 10 to 15 years, there were not many of these crimes committed in Fiji.

He said they had done similar operations with Immigration before.

However, he said, they would also take into consideration government’s reform policy on economic reform.

“We can’t stop people from coming into the country, but once we identify people who are causing these problems, we will profile them and if they are a threat, we will ship them out.”

He said they had also noticed the increasing number of Chinese immigrants buying properties.

He said they would try and ascertain their source of funds because buying of real estate by such immigrants was a major concern.

He said they also had officers who would focus on financial investigations.

Chinese Association of Fiji president, Jenny Seeto, last night said they would respect government’s decision to investigate because people should comply with the law.

However, she said, to point out one particular ethnic group was incorrect.

“It’s not just one ethnic group. Recent cases in Fiji have shown that other ethnic groups are involved. I don’t have any evidence of the cases brought to the unit, but if they have the evidence, then they should investigate,” she said.

Mrs Seeto said the Chinese in Fiji had been here for a long time, they were hard working and law abiding.

She said they had good investors and visitors and they support that everyone should be law abiding citizens.

“I applaud the government in taking this step to encourage a safe and prosperous Fiji, and for us, whatever the law is, it must be followed,” she said.

http://www.fijitimes.com/

CLIMATE CHANGE & ENVIROMENT:

32) Flooding In PNG Washes Away Bridges In Enga Province
Swollen rivers also damage houses, food gardens, coffee trees

By Philip Kepson

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 2, 2013) – Thousands of people in Papua New Guinea’s Enga were stranded yesterday when several key bridges were washed away by floods.

Seriously affected were students, ranging from secondary, high, primary and elementary schools from Sari, Kamas, Sakarip, Kiwi and nearby villages including Kopen Secondary School in Wabag.

They were forced to remain on one side of Lai River that flows in the middle of the valley as it flooded.

Ambum, Tale and Lagaip rivers in Kompiam-Ambum, Wapenamanda and Laiagam also caused devastation with washing away of houses, stores, piggeries, poultry, food gardens, and coffee trees worth thousands of kina.

The Kiwi, Kaekin-Amusa, Tale and Talyokos-Pompabus bridges were among those washed away while many were said to be on the verge of collapse.

It was also reported that landslides in Wapenamanda, Wabag, Kandep, Kompiam, Porgera-Paela due to two weeks of continuous rain.

Provincial disaster and emergency committee chairman and provincial administrator Dr Samson Amean, provincial police commander acting Supt Philip Welia and provincial civil works director Charles Bannah took an aerial tour of the province to inspect the damages.

An assessment report on damages will be prepared and submitted to Governor Peter Ipatas and other government agencies for deliberation and possible assistance in the next two days.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

EDUCATION:

33) Solomons Government Assures Students’ Fees Will Be Paid
Overseas students at UPNG have threatened to drop classes

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 2, 2013) – The Solomon Islands government is assuring students on government scholarships at the University of Papua New Guinea that their registration fees will be paid tomorrow.

The assurance follows a report in the Solomon Star newspaper that the students have threatened to withdraw from school if the government fails to pay off their registration fees.

More than 100 students say they will take the action tomorrow after receiving warning letters from the university’s vice chancellor but the High Commissioner to PNG, William Haomae, says he has been in contact with the government.

“Especially the ministry of education in Honiara since late last week and all of this week and we have been assured by the ministry of education in Honiara that the students’ registration fees will be paid by tomorrow.”

Solomon Islands students in Papua New Guinea have complained in previous years of allowances not being paid but William Haomae says the non-payment of fees is a new issue.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

HEALTH:

34) Dengue death toll in Solomon Islands now at five

Posted at 22:59 on 03 May, 2013 UTC

Health authorities in Solomon Islands say the death toll from dengue fever has risen to five.

All deaths occurred in the capital, Honiara.

The Solomon Star reports the number of cases has jumped by 560 to more than three thousand seven hundred.

The paper quotes the head of the dengue fever taskforce Dr Tenneth Dalipanda who says the number of cases is continuing to increase but there has been a reduction in the number of people hospitalised with dengue.

The paper reports nearly 90 percent of cases are in the capital.

Health teams from New Zealand and Australia have been helping with the outbreak of the mosquito-borne viral disease at the National Referral Hospital.

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:


35) Road to Moscow
By Matai Akauola
6:37 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, Fiji

International teams will compete at the 37th Marist Sevens tournament in Suva, the organisers announced.

During the official launch of the Fiji Bitter-sponsored tournament yesterday, Marist Rugby Club president Lawrence Tikaram confirmed that four international teams would be part of the event. He said the Digicel Fiji sevens team would also grace the two-day tournament at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala, Suva on May 31 and June 1.

“We have confirmed the full national teams of Japan, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia are coming to this tournament,” he said. “Clubs from PNG and Samoa are also coming. The Fiji team will also be taking part.”

He said games would be played under floodlights on day one.

“On Friday some games will be played in the night, just to make some teams feel the atmosphere of playing under the floodlights at the new ANZ stadium.”

Tikaram said this year’s event marked the Road to Moscow. He said Fiji Rugby Union’s chief executive officer Manasa Baravilala has given the green light for the announcement of the Fiji team to the RWC in Moscow after the tournament.

“This is the message from the FRU’s Manasa Baravilala that we will announce the team to the world cup straight after the tournament and also there will be one international referee coming to officiate,” Tikaram said.

Paradise Beverages Fiji general manager Tony Scanlan said they were proud to continue the partnership with Marist.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/ PACNEWS

36) Samoa target second place finish
By Matai Akauola
6:35 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2013, United Kingdom
Samoa are eying second-place on this year’s World Sevens series as they look to finish the season strongly leading into the World Cup in Moscow.

The Pacific giants have failed to make a cup final appearance since winning in Dubai five months ago but welcome back the experienced heads of Mikaele Pesamino and Tom Iosefo for this weekend’s tournament in Glasgow.

Captain Afa Aiono says since the end of the Japan leg five weeks ago, the team has been working hard to fix basic errors in training, which have proved costly in tournaments.

He says while the overall series title may be out of reach they’re still a good shot at overhauling South Africa and Fiji into second place.

“We’ve got a very tough pool – South Africa we have to take them out on day one to have an easy path up to the quarter finals. If we can do well will make it to the final.”

Also in Samoa’s pool are Kenya and Canada, while Fiji are drawn alongside Australia, Argentina and Spain.

SOURCE: IRB/ PACNEWS

37) Australia’s Papadatos leads PNG Golf Open

Posted at 20:14 on 03 May, 2013 UTC

Australia’s Dimitrios Papadatos leads the Papua New Guinea Golf Open, after shooting a 11 under par 68 on day two at the Port Moresby Golf Club.

New Zealander Pieter Zwart is in second place, while defending champion Heath Spargo is well back following a three over 65.

Radio New Zealand International

38) England up next

By RODNEY DUTHIE
Sunday, May 05, 2013

Setefano Cakau charges upfield against Argentina in pool play early this morning (Fiji time). Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Update: 11:54AM FIJI faces England in the Cup quarter-finals of the Scotland 7s in Glasgow tonight.

A try each to Samisoni Viriviri, Emosi Mulevoro and Jasa Veremalua saw Fiji pip Australia 19-17 and remain undefeated from the pool stages.

In other semi-final matches, South Africa takes on the US, Wales faces Canada and New Zealand comes up against Argentina.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is one win away from retaining the IRB Sevens World Series title.

Cup quarter-finals (Fiji time)

10.58pm, South Africa vs US

11.20, Fiji vs England

11.42, Wales vs Canada

12.04am, New Zealand vs Argentina

http://www.fijitimes.com/

39) Ba’s new star Issa

Manoj Kumar
Sunday, May 05, 2013

Ba striker Sanni Issa takes on the Hekari United defence during their OFC clash in Ba last month. Picture: JAI PRASAD

THE Men in Black have free-scoring Sanni Issa. The opposition has a player who made his debut for Barcelona alongside Lionel Messi.

Spaniard Manel Exposito, who will line up for Auckland City against Ba in this afternoon’s first leg O League semi-final in New Zealand, came through the Barcelona academy with Messi. And Exposito remembers November 16, 2003 very well. That was the day he and Messi made their Barcelona first team debut against Porto in Portugal, a game they lost 0-2 to the Jose Mourinho-coached opposition. Exposito was 22 and Messi 16. The Argentine wizard went on to impress coach Frank Rijkaard enroute to becoming the world’s finest footballer but it didn’t turn out that well for Exposito following injuries.

“I still remember my Barcelona debut so clearly – November 16 – it was an incredible moment,” Exposito told ESPN in a recent interview.

“It was on the very same day Messi made his debut and obviously our careers have gone in very different directions. He is A big star now and you could see, even when he was only 16, that he was always one step up from everyone. He played only 15 minutes in that match against Porto and had maybe three chances to score, while I was on for 75 minutes and had zero chances! There’s the difference.”

Exposito and Issa will be the men to watch today.

Issa has bonded in well as teammate with Malakai Tiwa – building up good rapport, understanding and combination upfront for Ba.

This afternoon though Nigerian Issa striker will have to shoulder a lot more attacking responsibility with Tiwa, together with Laisenia Raura.

Issa, Ba’s top scorer in the competition with eight strikes from five outings, would have loved to have hardworking Tiwa alongside him but the Men in Black feel they could still do the job in the 3pm kick-off.

“Malakai Tiwa and Laisenia Raura will be out for us but Avinesh Swamy will be back and we have other capable players,” Ba manager Iliyaz Khan said.

“We will be playing away from home but that should not make much difference as we have already played away matches in the group stages and won. We know Auckland are a good side but we have a game plan to meet them.”

It’s the competition’s top scorers against the meanest defence. Early last month when City played at Kiwitea Street, home of today’s venue, they ran New Caledonian side Mont-Dore ragged 12-2 with Adam Dickinson and Takuya Iwata both getting hat-tricks. They have scored 19 goals from six matches, three more than Ba but the Fijians have managed better at the back with only four goals conceded compared to City’s eight.

City’s Spanish coach Ramon Tribuliete has an array of talent to choose from – his countrymen Exposito, Pedro Garcia and Gustavo Souto, who is in doubt with injury, Welshman Chris Bale, Argentinian Emiliano Tade, Englishmen Dickinson and Darren White, Japanese Iwata, Croatian Mario Bilen and Papua New Guinean David Browne besides several top Kiwis including All White Ivan Vicelich.

Ba, having being drawn in the weaker of the two group stage pools, will need to be at their defensive best and clinical in front of goal to give themselves a good chance in the return leg at home as they have yet to face quality opposition like City and Waitakere United.

In the other first leg semi-final this afternoon, Roy Krishna returns from suspension for United against Samu Kautoga and Amicale FC in Vanuatu. Kautoga, Fiji FACT and Inter-district Championship winner with Suva last year, will most likely be handed the role of marking the free-scoring Siberian from Labasa as Maciu Tuilau is out suspended.

The Ba-City match will be live on FBC TV with coverage beginning at 2.50pm.http://www.fijitimes.com/

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