Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 850

MELANESIA:

1) Indonesian Police crack down on Jayapura demonstration

Posted at 06:36 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

There are unconfirmed reports that four people have been arrested and a number injured by security forces breaking up a pro-independence rally in the Papuan city of Jayapura that had been banned by Indonesian police.

Among those arrested is the chairman of the West Papua National Committee, Victor Yeimo, and Manggaprouw Marten from the West Papuan activists National Authority.

According to the Suara Papua website, police charged at protestors on several occasions, beating them with batons.

The rally was planned to protest a crackdown by security forces on demonstrations that were held across the Papua region two weeks ago to mark the 50th anniversary of the transferral of the former Dutch New Guinea to Indonesia.

At least three protestors were killed by police and up to 20 arrested during the May 1st demonstrations.

Radio New Zealand International

2) Vanuatu PM Sacks Finance Minister Willie Jimmy
Jimmy denies efforts to form ‘third block’ are threat to Carcasses

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 13, 2013) – Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses Kalosil has sacked the Finance Minister, veteran politician Willie Jimmy.

He will be replaced in Cabinet by the former Justice Minister, Maki Simelum, who in turn will be replaced by Tanna MP, Silas Yatan.

Mr Jimmy told Radio Australia he was sacked because some members of his executive committee wanted to form a third block within the government.

“The Prime Minister alleged that some members of my executive are negotiating with the independent groupings within the government caucus that will form the third bloc.”

He said right now there are two main blocs in government and the intention behind forming a third block was to make sure Mr Carcasses had the numbers to maintain government.

“But [the PM] looked at it the other way … and had been under pressure by [other parties] to have me removed at the earliest opportunity possible.”

Following his sacking from Cabinet, Mr Jimmy said he will consider his options.

“If there is an opportunity available within any groupings, whether it be from the opposition or … the present government, I will always be willing to undertake any challenge and serve in any? /the? Government, if the opportunity permits.”

Mr Jimmy also said the sacking has placed a great strain on his long-term friendship with Prime Minister Carcasses.

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

3) New push to register voters in Fiji

Posted at 01:47 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

The government in Fiji is making another push to register voters before the elections it has promised for next year.

Teams from the Elections Office will visit areas next month where numbers signing up in two earlier registration drives were low.

The areas targeted in June’s campaign are Naitasiri, Rewa, Ba and Macuata.

The government last year introduced an electronic voter registration system.

More than half a million voters have registered to vote so far.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Fiji police monitoring political activity: opposition

Updated 13 May 2013, 19:21 AEST

A political party in Fiji says a newspaper report about alleged police and army monitoring of political activity is correct.

In the Fiji Sun newspaper on Friday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu hinted that police had mounted a joint operation with the military to monitor political activities.

The warning comes after interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama expressed concerns that there were some former politicians and civil servants allegedly spreading “lies” about the security of iTaukei land.

A senior Fiji police officer has told Radio Australia on Monday the newspaper story was incorrect.

Audio: iTaukei land claims proving effective: SODELPA (ABC News)

But the Fiji Sun is standing by the report, saying they have had no complaints about it.

Dr Tupeni Baba, the spokesman for SODELPA (the former SDL party) has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the story was correct.

“And I think there has been some kind of intimidation from the police and probably from higher up,” he said.

“About our attempt to explain fully why they are wrong, why the government is actually selling lies to the people of Fiji that certain things in the draft constitution are not true – particularly in relation to the protection of indigenous Fijian land.”

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary of Information, Sharon Smith-Johns, has issued a statement in response to questions about the alleged police monitoring of political activity.

Ms Smith-Johns says there are no longer any impediments to political statements in Fiji, nor restrictions on political meetings.

She says all registered parties are free to meet, organise themselves and put their policies to the nation, and that the media is also free to cover the government’s activities.

All three former political parties – Labour, the National Federation Party and SODELPA – have been registered to contest the 2014 election.

POLYNESIA:

5) American Secretary Of The Navy Visits Tonga
Mabus reaffirms U.S. commitment to Pacific region

By Linny Folau

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 10, 2013) – The United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said security and stability in the Pacific is important to the United States, reflected in an ongoing strong commitment that would see them put more emphasis and more of their assets into the region.

During a two-day visit to Tonga on May 9-10, Secretary Mabus meeting the press today at the Tonga Defence Headquarters, said the United States’ commitment to the Pacific region is strong, enduring and will continue.

He said President Barack Obama had announced a little over a year ago their new defence strategy in which they are going to “rebalance” to the Pacific.

“For the navy that means by the end of this decade 60 percent of our fleet will be in the Pacific consisting of our newest and most capable ships. The U.S Marine have rotational presence in Australia and we are going to have both rotational and permanent residence of marines in Guam and Hawaii. We are a Pacific nation and this is where we see so much of our future economics, and the pathway that America will take involves its relationship with the Pacific,” he said.

Security

Secretary Mabus said regional security and stability is important to everyone and the Pacific represents such a large part of the trade that goes between America and the rest of the world.

“The significance is that we learn from our interaction here in the Pacific but it is also a recognition of how much of our future is dependent on our relationship with the region. The US Navy never left the Pacific but we are putting more emphasis and even more of our assets to the region,” he said.

Tonga

He commended on Tonga’s good relationship with the U.S., which goes far beyond Tonga’s military contribution to Afghanistan, and before that, Iraq. “Tonga’s military contribution has been very professional, of well trained military and we are deeply appreciative of that,” he said.

“President Obama had said Tonga is one the U.S.A.’s most important and enduring relationships not only in the Pacific but in the world. I hope that my visit to Tonga underscores the importance we place on our relationship. Tonga has also received high level visits from the U.S and I think these visits are indicative of how much importance and weight we put on this relationship,” he said.

Secretary Mabus also announced they are bringing back to Tonga the Pacific Partnership from June 12-22.

He said the mission will be led the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor and will conduct training, medical, veterinarian and construction work with the Tongan people in terms of schools and clinics. Its the third time Tonga hosts the partnership but the eighth time the partnership is held overall.

“This would be good cooperation between the militaries and between Americans and Tongans,” he said.

Secretary Mabus who is the leader of the United States Navy and Marine Corps is responsible for an annual budget of over $170 billion and for almost 900,000 people, left Tonga this afternoon on a trip that includes Singapore and Afghanistan.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

MICRONESIA:

6) Kiribati stakeholders seek more from regionalism

Posted at 06:36 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

Kiribati stakeholders involved in the Pacific Plan review have questioned how well served they and other smaller island states are by the Plan and regional institutions.

The team reviewing the Pacific Plan, which aims to foster regional co-operation, consulted in Kiribati last week.

It met politicians, senior government officials, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Kiribati Association of NGOs, as well as the country’s bilateral and multilateral development partners.

A statement from the Forum Secretariat says the stakeholders impressed on the review team the difficulties that Kiribati experiences in connecting with economic opportunity in the region

It says there is a desire in Kiribati to be an equal partner with those in the wider Pacific community.

Radio New Zealand International

AUSTRELIA:

7) Gillard treaty opens new era

By ALEXANDER RHEENEY

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Julia Gillard has returned to Australia leaving behind a new treaty to boost relations with Papua New Guinea and more support for the police and the PNG Defence Force.
But calls by her PNG colleague Peter O’Neill for Papua New Guineans to be given a “fair go” by Australia’s strict visa application process would have made a lasting impression on the Australian head of government, according to observers.
Ms Gillard and Mr O’Neill signed a Joint Partnership Declaration at the State Function Room in the PNG National Parliament on Friday.
The two leaders also announced more Australian support for the Royal PNG Constabulary’s modernisation and reform program, as well as the boosting of defence links between the two countries via a new Defence Co-operation Arrangement.
But it was the Australian visa application process for Papua New Guineans that irked Mr O’Neill, compelling him to bluntly tell his Australian colleague it was regrettable PNG was not amongst 40 countries that were benefitting from Australia’s ETA (electronic travel authority) visa system.
“Regrettably, your closest neighbour and your best friend is not one of the 40 countries! I believe the time has come for our governments to look beyond the colonial period and the recent past and look to a future based on maturity and responsibility in this area, among others,” Mr O’Neill said at the State dinner he hosted for Ms Gillard.
“Our (PNG) people find the existing visa arrangements frustrating and some regard them as insulting – particularly those who were formerly Australian citizens and have long term links with your country and your people,” he said.
But Ms Gillard in response said Australia was moving away from the ETA to an online visa system that would enable applicants to lodge their applications online as well as create multiple entry visas for frequent travelers.
The new visa regime should be in place by mid-2013 though the number of people being granted Australian visas had increased by more than 20 per cent, she added.
The increase in incidences of violence against women in PNG also came under the spotlight with Ms Gillard announcing the Pacific Women in Business Initiative, which would set up a mentoring program to assist women break into management positions and tackle gender violence.
The bid to tackle PNG’s law and order problems, which Mr O’Neill admitted was “a threat to the liberty and safety” of Papua New Guineans, visitors and investors, was given a boost with the Australian PM announcing the start of Phase III of the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership.
Funding would be provided under this program to recruit Australian or foreign police officers to occupy key positions within the RPNGC and enable the deployment of additional Australian Federal Police support to the constabulary.
Ms Gillard returned to Australia on Saturday.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

8) Matson Shipping Introduces New Brisbane-Honiara Route
Speeding vessel cuts shipping time by more than half

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, May 10, 2013) – It’s like a shopping mall of the high seas, an Aladdin’s cave of treasures and most of all a wave of new opportunities for the Solomon Islands.

Matson’s latest ship the Imua arrived in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday night laden with fresh produce, affordable new consumer goods and much needed supplies for businesses all over town.

From major industrial freezers to boxes of crisp broccoli, plumbing and building materials and even spare parts for cars, the ship delivered on it’s promise to be a direct link to Australia.

International shipping company Matson has joined forces with local industry leaders Silentworld to deliver a cargo service from Brisbane, delivering goods at lightening speed.

The Imua travels from Brisbane in just four days as compared to other shipping services that can take more than a week and a half.

Silentworld will then distribute goods throughout the provinces, removing confusing shipping handovers and meaning customers will only deal with one shipping contract.

She will arrive in Honiara and Noro every 21 days before travelling on to Nauru providing a reliable and regular supply of goods.

The new shipping route was launched during a function at Breakwater Café on Tuesday night, attended by local business leaders and the Deputy Prime Minister Mannasseh Maelanga.

The name, Imua, is Hawaiian and translates as ‘Moving Forward’ and that’s exactly what she can bring to the Solomon Islands.

Not only does it open up the variety of products that can be delivered straight to our shelves from Brisbane, it also brings new opportunities for Solomon Islands businesses, offering possibilities of bilateral trading through a direct cargo route to all the provinces and onwards to other Pacific nations.

Matson has been operating in the Pacific for the last 130 years, from the humble beginnings of just one boat, they now have a huge network right across the region from Hawaii to Guam, China to Australia and Honiara to Nauru.

Matson also has a regular ship coming from New Zealand via Fiji, Vanuatu to Honiara as well as Tahiti, Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Wallis and Fortuna, Tarawa and Majuro.

With a pristine environmental record and dedicated company policies to care for the environment, the Solomon Islands welcome Matson to our seas.

Solomon Times

9) Australia PM’s Visit To PNG Results In Closer Security Ties
Gillard deflects calls for easier visa process for PNG visitors

By Alexander Rheeney

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 13, 2013) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has returned to Australia leaving behind a new treaty to boost relations with Papua New Guinea and more support for the police and the PNG Defence Force.

But calls by her PNG colleague Peter O’Neill for Papua New Guineans to be given a “fair go” by Australia’s strict visa application process would have made a lasting impression on the Australian head of government, according to observers.

Ms Gillard and Mr O’Neill signed a Joint Partnership Declaration at the State Function Room in the PNG National Parliament on Friday.

The two leaders also announced more Australian support for the Royal PNG Constabulary’s modernisation and reform program, as well as the boosting of defence links between the two countries via a new Defence Co-operation Arrangement.

But it was the Australian visa application process for Papua New Guineans that irked Mr O’Neill, compelling him to bluntly tell his Australian colleague it was regrettable PNG was not amongst 40 countries that were benefitting from Australia’s ETA (electronic travel authority) visa system.

“Regrettably, your closest neighbour and your best friend is not one of the 40 countries! I believe the time has come for our governments to look beyond the colonial period and the recent past and look to a future based on maturity and responsibility in this area, among others,” Mr O’Neill said at the State dinner he hosted for Ms Gillard.

“Our (PNG) people find the existing visa arrangements frustrating and some regard them as insulting – particularly those who were formerly Australian citizens and have long term links with your country and your people,” he said.

But Ms Gillard in response said Australia was moving away from the ETA to an online visa system that would enable applicants to lodge their applications online as well as create multiple entry visas for frequent travelers.

The new visa regime should be in place by mid-2013 though the number of people being granted Australian visas had increased by more than 20 per cent, she added.

The increase in incidences of violence against women in PNG also came under the spotlight with Ms Gillard announcing the Pacific Women in Business Initiative, which would set up a mentoring program to assist women break into management positions and tackle gender violence.

The bid to tackle PNG’s law and order problems, which Mr O’Neill admitted was “a threat to the liberty and safety” of Papua New Guineans, visitors and investors, was given a boost with the Australian PM announcing the start of Phase III of the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership.

Funding would be provided under this program to recruit Australian or foreign police officers to occupy key positions within the RPNGC and enable the deployment of additional Australian Federal Police support to the constabulary.

Ms Gillard returned to Australia on Saturday.

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

TOK PISIN:

10) Australian PM Julia Gillard i pinisim raon igo long PNG

Postim 13 May 2013, 14:14 AEST
By PNG correspondent Liam Fox

Praim Minista Gillard i pinisim tupla dei raon blong en igo long  Papua New Guinea, nambawan raon blong wanpla Australian PM bihaen long faifpla yia.

Ms Gillard ibin mekim lastpla raon blong en igo long Bomana War Cemetery arasaet long biktaon Port Moresby.

Oli bin planim klostu samting olsem 3,500 ol Australian pipal long despla ples matmat, na despla namba i winim namba long ol narapla ples matmat long  Commonwealth.

Praim Minista Gillard ibin putim wanpla bikpla karamap Flower long matmat, na bihaen emi bin go lukim matmat blong tripla soljia, na wanpla long ol em blong wanpla nurse Sister Marie Craig, husat i wanpla meri tasol em oli bin planim long despla matmat.

Ms Gillard ibin tok olsem emi bin hamamas olsem emi bin gat taem long go lukim Bomana War semeteri.

“I’ve come here to PNG to commemorate our past and to build for our future,”

“I’m very pleased I had the opportunity today to come and pay my respects and the respects of the Australian nation to those who sacrificed so much for the freedom that we enjoy today.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

11) Vanuatu turis loa na oda

Updated 13 May 2013, 17:00 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Vanuatu polis i statim ol bikpla wok long bringim bek loa na oda long Port Vila bris.

Noel Faonalave Chiaman blong Vanuatu Tourism Ofis i toktok (Credit: ABC)

Chiaman blong Vanuatu Tourism Ofis Noel Faonalave i toktok long heve ol turist i save bungim taim oli kamap na laik kisim ol taxi long Vanuatu

Mr.Faonalave i tok Polis long Vanuatu nau istatim ol wok lukaut long bikpla biris long Port Vila long bringim bek loa na oda.

Despla strongpla wok lukaut i blong stopimn kain pasin blong sampla taxi driava isave singaut na fosim ol turis long go insaet long ol taxi blong ol.

Moa long 100 ol bikpla Cruise Ship isave go stop long Vanuatu long wan wan yia na despla isave mekim panti taxi draiva isave resis long karim ol turis.

Vanuatu turisam ofis itok oli wari long despla kaen pasin, olsem na oli askim polis long helpim long daonim despla pasin.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRANIS:

12) Un effort de l’Australie pour la délivrance des visas aux Papous

Posté à 13 May 2013, 8:39 AEST
Pierre Riant

Une question incontournable à laquelle Julia Gillard a dû faire face lors de sa visite en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

La première ministre australienne est arrivée jeudi dernier à Port Moresby pour une visite de trois jours. Et cette question de visa a tout de suite fait surface lors d’un dîner d’État en l’honneur de Julia Gillard.
Peter O’Neill, le Premier ministre papou, a indiqué que les conditions très strictes associées à la délivrance des visas pour les citoyens de son pays frôlaient l’insulte.

O’NEILL : « Nos citoyens pensent que les dispositions actuelles concernant les visas sont très frustrantes et certains les considèrent insultantes.
Mme la Première ministre, je sais que les citoyens d’environ 40 pays ont accès à ce qui est appelé le visa EPA qui leur permet de se rendre plus rapidement en Australie. Malheureusement, votre plus proche voisin, votre meilleur ami, n’est pas l’un des 40 pays sur la liste. »

Au nombre des dispositions prévues pour la délivrance de visa, les ressortissants de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée doivent fournir une longue liste de contacts en Australie et des relevés d’identité bancaires.
Julia Gillard a répondu qu’un système de demande et de délivrance de visas en ligne sera bientôt disponible.

L’objectif est de réduire les longues files d’attente que doivent endurer les ressortissants papous qui attendent devant le Haut-commissariat australien de la capitale Port Moresby pour déposer leur demande de visa.

Un effort donc de l’Australie puisque ce système devrait permettre aux Papous qui ont un ordinateur d’obtenir un visa en ligne immédiatement. Ceux qui n’ont pas accès à l’Internet pourront aller chez des agents de voyage accrédités et demander leur visa en achetant leur billet.

Mais pas question, ont indiqué les autorités australiennes, de prendre un avion pour l’Australie et de demander un visa une fois arrivé sur place.

Dans le domaine des relations bilatérales, l’important programme d’aide du gouvernement australien à la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, dans les 500 millions de dollars par an, a dominé les discussions.

Peter O’Neill” a indiqué que cette aide était vivement appréciée, mais qu’elle devrait s’aligner davantage sur les priorités de développement de son gouvernement.

O’NEILL : « Surtout dans les infrastructures pour promouvoir réellement le développement économique régional et relancer la productivité. »

Des déclarations très directes de la part du chef du gouvernement papou qui souhaite que son pays joue un plus grand rôle dans le Pacifique. Réaction de Julia Gillard qui approuve.

GILLARD : «  Ici, l’Australie voit un pays en mesure de résoudre pacifiquement ses différences politiques, un pays qui fait preuve de leadership dans la région et qui encourage le rétablissement de la démocratie à Fidji tout en combattant le trafic des êtres humains. »

La Première ministre australienne a aussi souligné certains problèmes auxquels la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée doit faire face.

GILLARD : «  L’insécurité, l’insécurité des femmes surtout, qui doivent endurer des niveaux inacceptables de violence. La santé avec des taux de mortalité maternelle on ne peut plus inquiétant. Et le développement où la lenteur des progrès pour atteindre les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement est inacceptable. »http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

13) État de catastrophe naturelle aux îles Marshall

Mis à jour 13 May 2013, 8:52 AEST
Pierre Riant

Pas une goutte de pluie depuis trois mois.

La décision de déclarer cet État de catastrophe naturelle a été en fin de semaine dernière après qu’une équipe d’évaluation des Nations Unies ait indiqué que 10 000 personnes environ sont touchées par une sécheresse extrême dans le nord du pays.

Cette équipe onusienne souligne un manque d’eau potable et la dégradation des jardins vivriers. Inquiétude également à propos d’une éventuelle propagation d’affections et de maladies.

Phillip Muller, le ministre des Affaires étrangères, s’inquiète : pas une goutte de pluie depuis 3 mois, nous a-t-il déclaré, et les services météorologiques n’envisagent pas de précipitation avant le mois de septembre.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

14) Étude sur la mortalité infantile et maternelle en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée

Posté à 13 May 2013, 9:05 AEST
Pierre Riant

Au centre de cette étude, la question suivante : en comparaison des mères australiennes, pourquoi les mères papoues risquent 80 fois plus de mourir en donnant naissance à leurs enfants ?

L’Institut australien Burnet a entamé une programme de recherche échelonné sur 5 ans pour tenter de répondre à cette question.

Le directeur de cet Institut, le professeur Brendan Crabb, précise également que 5 000 nouveaux nés meurent  pendant les 24 heures qui suivent leur naissance et 10 000 enfants  périssent avant leur cinquième anniversaire.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BAHASA:

15) Australia ingin pulihkan perdagangan ternak dengan Indonesia

Diperbaharui 13 May 2013, 9:44 AEST

Menteri Pertanian negara bagian Queensland, Australia timur-laut, mengatakan, ia bertekad akan memulihkan perdagangan ternak dengan Indonesia minggu ini.

Menteri John McVeigh telah berangkat ke Indonesia bersama Menteri Industri Primer Wilayah Utara Australia dengan harapan akan menjalin hubungan perdagangan baru dengan Indonesia setelah ekspor ternak dihentikan sementara di tahun 2011.

John McVeigh mengatakan industri ternak mengalami kesulitan dan harus dilakukan sesuatu segera.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

MEDIA:

16) Vanuatu PM Plans Police Complaint Over ‘Seditious’ Comments
Carcasses considers letting media deal with journalist Tiona

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 13, 2013) – Prime Minister Moana Carcasses says he is prepared to have the media in the country deal with the matter regarding journalist Gratien Tiona.

He made the comment in a press conference with the local and overseas media in his office Friday morning.

Last week police arrested Tiona and detained him overnight over comments he made on Facebook which are reported to be seditious.

Speaking Friday morning Carcasses again confirmed he will make an official complaint to the police against Tiona over comments he made in the Facebook group forum Yumi Toktok Straight (straight talk) stating that he prayed the plane carrying the cabinet and government officials from the Torba Council of Ministers meeting crashed.

He added however that he had been discussing the seriousness of the matter with some ministers and senior government officials and also the possibility of having the media deal with the journalist.

The prime minister said he was ready to meet with authorities of the local media to discuss handing the matter to them if they can adequately deal with the issue.

He has requested the Government’s Public Relations Officer, Letty Williams, to organize a meeting with the President of the Media Association of Vanuatu, Evelyne Toa, the President of the Pacific Islands News Association, Moses Stevens – a staff of Capitol FM107 and the Vanuatu Times newspaper, and the Publisher of the Daily Post newspaper, who last week attended a meeting in the Solomon Islands together with Stevens.

At this meeting it was agreed to have a Media Ombudsman for the region whose responsibility will include dealing with issues such as the one with veteran journalist Gratien Tiona.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

EDUCATION:

17) NZ architecture student hopes to change the fale

Posted at 22:51 on 12 May, 2013 UTC

A New Zealand architecture student is hoping to use modern technology to change the way traditional Samoan homes, or fale, are built.

Carinnya Feaunati, is graduting from Victoria University in Wellington this week with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies.

She says fales are often built using materials that don’t function well in natural disasters and, for her masters degree, she plans to research ways to incorporate technology in a traditional way.

“That modern thinking of using modern materials like steel and stronger use of timber, so that we can still appreciate our history and architecture, but it’s a better outlook for the future.”

Carinnya Feaunati says she hopes her research will be noticed by officials in Samoa and that it can make a positive difference to her people.

Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS:

18) Flower farmers call for support

By Elizabeth Sasere

The President of the Papua New Guinea Cut-Flower Association – Mary Saun has called on the national government to support floriculture in PNG.
Mrs Saun said local farmers had greater potential and the need to expand these potentials lie within emphasis placed by the government.
She was speaking during the closing of a five-day long flower show at the Moresby Arts theatre in Port Moresby last Friday.
The 5th National Capital District Flower Show with its theme ‘Grow local — sell global’ is an annual event that was first established in 2009 and aimed at establishing network and sharing of ideas on floriculture, promoting quality and quantity of flowers through training in terms of marketing and promoting capacity building.
“People from all walks of life are tapping into this industry and the government must offer support in any way possible to enhance the capabilities of farmers to advance and be successful and participate meaningfully in this industry,” Mrs Saun said.
She also called for opportunities to be given to local growers to participate in fresh cut-flower arrangements and indoor pot plants hire in any events that are staged locally.
“For this industry to move forward — local farmers must be involved to motivate them and boost their morals because they are the backbone of this industry.”
Mrs Saun encouraged flower growers to conduct mini survey to identify potential buyers for marketing purposes and continue to take the challenge and participate in the next show that always coincides with Mothers’ Day in 2014.
According to the Managing Director of Investment Promotion Authority — Ivan Pomaleu — floriculture industry is one of the fastest growing industry around the globe.
“I don’t see it as a womens’ activity, but as business and I urge you to participate in this emerging industry,” Mr Pomaleu said.
The show was judged on categories including – Pot plants presentation, Fresh cut-flower arrangements, fresh cut flower, dry flower arrangement, foliage, uniforms, first time participation and best stall set-up.
Seven provinces traveled to Port Moresby to take part in the show with first timer Manus Floriculture eventually walking away with 9 awards and to top it all off – the prestige farmer of the year award.
It was worth the effort for Manus who travelled in with 14 largest cooler esky and two rubbish bins containing all the materials despite an excess cost of K2454.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

19) New Caledonia Proposes Lowering Fuel Prices
High cost of living results in union threats of general strike

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 13, 2013) – Reports from New Caledonia say a political party has proposed measures to cut the high cost of living as the union movement is poised to launch a general strike.

According to local media, the Caledonia Together Party, which is led by Philippe Gomes, wants to lower fuel prices.

It has also proposed that an employment scheme for unskilled young people should be put in place, under which the French state pays 75 percent of the wages.

The party has also proposed a one-off bonus payment for private sector employees who earn less than two and a half times the minimum wage.

Two years ago, 25,000 people took to the streets in unprecedented territory-wide action to push for economic reforms, but the unions say since then the government has failed to implement measures that have been agreed upon.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

LAW&ORDER:

20) Plan to fight drugs

Maciu Malo
Monday, May 13, 2013

GOVERNMENT departments will hold a three-day roadshow at Keiyasi Government Station in Navosa from today.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the roadshow would be an ideal opportunity to address the marijuana cultivation in the highlands.

He said the uprooting of 290 marijuana plants published in this newspaper last month had prompted police to take a serious stand in the fight against drug cultivation.

“Navosa is well known for marijuana cultivation and we are using this roadshow to educate the highlanders on the impacts caused by marijuana,” said Insp Sokomuri.

“All government departments will also be represented as this is also a golden opportunity for the people of Navosa to bring up various issues and problems faced in the highlands.”

A team from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption is among the government departments that will participate at the roadshow.

FICAC manager relations and corruption prevention Niko Bukarau said the roadshow provided them an opportunity to make people in Keiyasi aware of their roles and functions.

He said citizens could contribute by simply staying away from corrupt activities.http://www.fijitimes.com/

21) International hand suspected in Solomons police chief’s exit

Posted at 06:36 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

The president of a Solomon Islands group representing the interests of people from Malaita province says the sudden departure of the former police commissioner John Lansley appears to have been orchestrated by outside interests.

The Englishman’s contract expired at the start of the month after only a year in the job despite the Police and Prison Service Commission reportedly granting him a three-month extension to enable a handover to his successor.

Malaita Ma’asina Forum’s Charles Dausabea says the job of police commissioner is too important and sensitive for it to have been handled as if it were just another casual role.

“You cannot tell the public that you have given him three months and then suddenly you email him in the evening and tell him that he has to pack up and go because you won’t renew his contract and those things signal that there are certain influences and support behind his move so that that area can be given to somebody else.”

Charles Dausabea says the way John Lansley’s departure has been handled is similar to the departure of another former police commissioner from England, William Morell.

Radio New Zealand International

22) PNG Military To Investigate Papua Border Shooting
Indonesian nations reportedly fired upon by PNGDF

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 13, 2013) – The Papua New Guinea Defence Force will investigate an alleged shooting involving Indonesian nationals on the PNG border.

The Jakarta Post reports Indonesia’s honorary consul, Jahar Gultom, as saying he has been assured by the PNG Defence Force that an investigation will be conducted into last Wednesday’s incident.

The newspaper reports that 18 year old Edward Aritahanu and two others were travelling across the border in a boat from Jayapura to visit family in Lido.

Mr Aritahanu tried to flee when asked by the PNG military what he was carrying on his boat.

The military then opened fire, injuring Mr Aritahanu’s leg.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

23) 5 Fijian Overstayers Nabbed In Australian Immigration Raid
Illegal workers may face deportation back to Fiji

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 10, 2013) – Five Fijians were among people nabbed by Immigration Australia in a raid on homes in New South Wales.

They were part of 27 illegal workers and visa over-stayers caught living in Morriset and San Remo.

Lakes Mail reports that according to an Australian immigration citizenship spokesman there were 16 men and 11 women were found to be unlawful during the operation, 17 from China, five from Fiji and one each from the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Taiwan.

“Of this group, 21 people were detained and transferred to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, where they will be removed from Australia at the earliest opportunity.

Another six from the group located were granted bridging visas with strict conditions,” the spokesman said.

The report did not say whether the Fijians were taken to the detention centre or were granted bridging visas.

Investigations into the circumstances of the employment of the workers are continuing.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

24) Tonga criminal clearance probe awaiting overseas information

Posted at 01:47 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

Tonga’s police commissioner Grant O’Fee says an investigation into the wiping of ciminal records is taking longer than expected because he is waiting for the results of overseas enquiries.

Police and the solicitor general launched investigations in February after it was revealed that over a ten-year period to 2011, 172 peoplehad their records cleared by police officers.

Most of the cases involved people with minor convictions wanting to apply for visas to New Zealand and Australia.

Mr O’Fee says because of inadequate record-keeping in Tonga he has had to go back to the United States, Australia and New Zealand to find out who issued the clearances.

“That’s just taking those authorities understandably quite a while to locate those documents and until I’ve got those documents I can’t make a really clear decision on just who authorised these so-called clearances to be sent out.”

Grant O’Fee says once he has that information he will be in a position to decide on a course of disciplinary action.

Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE & ENVIROMENT:

25) 49 villages in Western to get water

By KOLOPU WAIMA

Safe and reliable water supply will be built in 49 South Fly villages in Western Province, with funding handed over in Kiunga last Thursday for phase two of PNG sustainable development program’s CMCA water supply project.
More than 38,000 people will get access to water supply, in addition to 20,000 people in 29 villages covered so far in phase one of the project.
The K15 million phase two project was being funded, 90 per cent by PNGSDP Ltd and 10 per cent by the three South Fly Community Mine Continuation Agreement Trusts for Manawete, Kiwaba, and Dubi.
“Access to safe and reliable water supply has long been a problem in South Fly,” PNGSDP Chief Executive Officer David Sode said during the cheque signing ceremony at Fly River Country Club last Thursday. “That became tragically apparent during the cholera outbreak along the river in 2010. Many people became ill and some died, because of this water borne-disease,” he said.
“PNGSDP and the trusts are aiming to a significant reduction in illness and infection caused by unsafe water supply. In particular, we are looking for a reduction in infant mortality rates,” he said.
The project involves installing rainwater harvesting systems on one building in each village, connected to four 9000 litre water tanks. If villages do not have a suitable building, one will be built.
Mr Sode said that the project which is expected to be completed in 12 months is being managed and supported by the OK Tedi Fly River Development Program. OTFRDP will train villagers how to maintain the harvesting system and basic tools and requirement will be provided. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

26) Humanitarian crisis looms in drought-stricken Marshall Islands

Posted at 06:36 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

The Red Cross in New Zealand says the Marshall Islands is facing a potential humanitarian crisis as water supplies have been gradually depleted.

Last week the Marshall Islands declared a state of national disaster due to an extended drought.

The Red Cross says current assessments by the government indicate between 3,700 and 5,000 people are severely affected by the drought, and another 11,000 people are affected by crop loss.

It’s International Operations manager, Glenn Rose, says some families are surviving on less than one litre of water per person per day.

“We’ve got a combination of water shortage plus crop failure so what that creates is people becoming food insecure, so you end up with a double-whammy, similar to what happened in Tuvalu two years ago. The priority is to get certainly the women and children and the elderly enough water to live on, the minimum is about 4 litres a day per person. Hopefully it will rain and that will sort the crops out in the short term.”

Glenn Rose says the team will be there for two weeks with desalination units to provide portable drinking water to the most affected communities.

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:

 27) Suva win Fiji Games

Posted at 01:47 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

Suva has won the 68th edition of the Fiji Games, finishing with more than three times the number of medals of their nearest rivals.

The Fiji capital capped their victory by winning gold in the final event, Billiards and Snooker, on Sunday, to finish with 68 gold, 74 silver and 52 bronze medals.

Levuka was next best with 20 golds in their haul of 43 medals, while Nausori won 18 golds in their total of 52.

Radio New Zealand International

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