Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 851


1) Campaign to warn Papua police chief as head of KNPB held

Posted at 03:29 on 14 May, 2013 UTC

The international Free West Papua campaign is encouraging people to tell the Indonesian police chief of Papua the world is watching him closely.

As another deadly shooting was reported on the weekend in Wamena, four prominent pro-independence activists were detained after a rally yesterday, including the leader of the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, Victor Yeimo.

The Free West Papua campaign is telling police chief Tito Karnavia to respect international human rights.

West Papua Media Alerts is reporting three activists have been released but Mr Yeimo is still held and suffering severe wounds from rifle butts.

The Secretary of the Jayapura branch of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights, Paul Mambrasar, says Mr Yeimo has been on the police’s wanted list and it’s likely charges will be laid.

“There was a previous crackdown a few months ago against KNPB leaders, so we won’t be expecting him to be released today or very soon.”

Paul Mambrasar says the group went ahead with yesterday’s rally after police denied permission to hold it.

Radio New Zealand International

2) Australian academics ask Carr to demand action from Indonesia over Papua violence

Posted at 03:29 on 14 May, 2013 UTC

More than 30 academics in Australia have asked the Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr to petition Indonesia to take action against its security personnel.

The academics, who include five Indonesians, have written a letter to Mr Carr, calling him to respond to recent violence against Papuans.

Soldiers and police fired on a group preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Indonesia’s take over of the region on May the 1st.

Two men were killed instantly and another two died later in hospital.

Budi Hernawan, an Indonesian academic who lived in Jayapura for ten years, says Mr Carr should ask Jakarta to hold accountable all those involved in the abuse.

“The policy makers are behind the police action, so it is not only police brutality but it is state violence against Papuans. It is a unwritten policy from both the local governments and the National Government.”

Australian National University academic Budi Hernawan.

Radio New Zealand International

3) 30 workers reported trapped in Papua mine

Posted at 09:42 on 14 May, 2013 UTC

At least 30 workers have been trapped underground at Freeport McMoran’s Grasberg gold and copper mine in Indonesia’s Papua province.

Kompas reports that the workers are understood to have been trapped when the roof of the tunnel in the Big Gossan underground mine within the extensive Grasberg minerals district collapsed following a landslide.

The mine’s Emergency Response Team Group with the mining operation is attending the scene along with medic workers from Tembagapura Hospital and police.

Radio New Zealand International

4) 19 politicians fail to submit returns


A TOTAL of 19 Members of Parliament will be facing a leadership tribunal for failing to submit their annual returns.
Their names will be revealed to the public tomorrow.
The Register of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu said this in a telephone interview with the Post-Courier.
Dr Gelu said that currently the commission was finalising the list of MPs and was preparing to publish them in the media.
“The constitutional requirement clearly outlines the responsibility for all MPs to provide their annual returns, so that the people in their electorate will know that they are actually delivering the government services to the people that voted for them. I don’t think that you should come into parliament and then ignore a constitutional requirement to be transparent and accountable to the public office you’re holding,” he said.
Dr Gelu told the Post-Courier that there were three categories in which the MPs were going to be grouped. The first one is for all those that paid three months before the due date to submit their returns, the second is to hand in on the due date and the third and final is those that gave returns after the due date.
He refused to identify the MPs when asked for their identity “I can’t say or reveal anyone’s identity as yet but I must say that before the end of the week all the names of the 19 leaders will be made public so that the people in the electorate that voted them in can be made aware of the kind of leaders that they choose to represent them in parliament,” Dr Gelu said.
Meanwhile, four political parties will be decommissioned as a result of not endorsing any candidates in the last election.

5) PNG Agencies Allegedly Negligent In Reporting Finances
Budget planning hampered by lack of quality data: Tosali

By Elizabeth Miae

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 13, 2013) – Papua New Guinea’s government agencies and entities have not been submitting up-to-date data as required by the Department of Treasury to prepare budget estimates for the next financial year, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told last Friday.

The inquiry into the department’s annual budget estimates, budget processes and appropriation heard from Treasury Secretary Simon Tosali that the National Statistical Office (NSO) was one of the agencies that the department had problems getting information from.

“The (NSO) office is not in good shape to give quality data to assist us with planning for the budget,” Tosali said.

Committee chairman and Bogia MP John Hickey said the NSO was one of the most important agencies that should be providing Treasury with necessary information it needed to plan for the next budget.

Hickey said he would be speaking with National Planning Minister Charles Abel on what action he would be taking against NSO on the matter.

“The committee is very sympathetic to your department. Your department is given an honorable task of putting together a budget but you can only put together with the information you have,” he said. “The statistical office needs to provide data and it’s not been done year after year. It’s like we’re flying blind but we’re going to land at our destination.”

Hickey told Tosali that if departments were not providing data, their secretaries needed to be dealt with accordingly.

He also questioned Tosali on why the quarterly budget review reports for 2008 and 2009 were not submitted to the Department of Finance.

Tosali said one of their functions was to monitor how departments were implementing their budgets but the response had been poor.

“Whatever money is there, you have to execute it but you can’t get more,” he said.

The committee found from its research into the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs that local level governments (LLGs) have not been submitting their financial return reports dating back to 2004.

Hickey said that if the LLGs did that it would have a role in impacting on provincial governments and they would not report back to Treasury.

According to Tosali, the Department of Finance had district treasury officers on the ground to assist LLGs with the reports.

He said when reports were not submitted, the penalty would be to hold back warrants to release funds meant for service delivery but indirectly the ordinary people would be penalized.

“In most cases, the district treasuries do not give acquittals,” he said.

The National:

6) Top-down reconciliation labelled no good for Solomons

Posted at 09:42 on 14 May, 2013 UTC

The president of a Solomon Islands group representing the interests of people from Malaita province says to be successful reconciliation over the ethnic tensions must bring victims and offenders together.

The coment follows the leaking of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report into the deadly conflict, which ended with regional military intervention in 2003.

The prime minister has withheld the report from parliament since receiving it early last year and recently the Guadalcanal premier called for high level reconciliations to precede any publication.

But the Malaita Ma’asina Forum’s Charles Dausabea says he has been observing the reconciliations that have taken place and they don’t involve victims and offenders.

“When you have a – say you have a premier from Malaita province reconciling with the premier from Guadalcanal province, these two have never entered into any dispute so in my view they should be facilitating for the real victims and the real offenders to come together.”

Charles Dausabea says there is nothing stopping the prime minister from placing the report before the clerk of parliament before the next sitting in July.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Solomons benefits in Australian budget

Updated 14 May 2013, 21:30 AEST
By Canberra correspondent Karen Barlow

The Australian budget makes cuts to spending in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

But it offers more money to help the Solomon Islands govern itself after an Australian assistance mission withdraws this year.

Labor government Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed an $18 billion deficit when he delivered the budget for 2013-2014.

Delivering his sixth budget, Mr Swan promised Australia will be out of the red in two years time.

Huge pressure

He said challenging global economic conditions and a high Australian dollar have put huge pressure on the budget.

The Treasurer has made $43 billion in savings to send the budget to balance in two years and to a surplus a year later.

The budget focus is on delivering over a 10-year period the two key reforms: the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare, and the national school reforms.

Wayne Swan says he is not putting an axe to the economy.

Foreign aid targets, as forecast, have been delayed.

Savings worth $88 million over six years are being found in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs through reducing Canberra-based staff and closing the Budapest embassy.

Almost half a billion dollars is going towards the transition of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI.

Australian Defence personnel are still on track to pull out later this year.

But the new money will go to improve Solomon Islands’ governance and financial management.

8) Carr takes aim at Fiji over envoy impasse

By Online Editor
4:32 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2013, Australia

Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Fiji is “diminished” by its refusal to accept Australia’s new diplomatic envoy.

Australia and Fiji agreed last year to exchange high commissioners, signalling a thaw in a relationship that has been cool since Frank Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup.

Senator Carr subsequently appointed respected career diplomat Margaret Twomey to the role and hoped she would begin in February. But the process stalled as Fiji refused to approve Ms Twomey’s visa.

Six months after Senator Carr announced Twomey’s appointment, she is still waiting in Canberra for her posting to begin.

“If Fiji doesn’t want to receive an Australian high commissioner, that’s their loss,” Senator Carr said on Monday.

“We’ll have Margaret Twomey, a highly qualified and indeed distinguished diplomat, working on other things. Fiji is diminished by not having an Australian high commissioner there.”

Fiji kicked out Australia’s last high commissioner, James Batley, in 2009, accusing him of meddling in local politics.

When Senator Carr and and his Fijian counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met last year they agreed that restoring full ties would help ensure “open and effective” dialogue between the two nations.

Twomey is a senior officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and served most recently as Australia’s ambassador to Russia. She was previously ambassador to East Timor and deputy ambassador to Fiji.


9) Fiji regime denounces Canberra’s reaction to diplomat refusal

Posted at 09:42 on 14 May, 2013 UTC

The Fiji regime says recent comments by Australia’s Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, demonstrate Canberra’s prescriptive and high-handed approach to Fiji.

Australian media have reported Mr Carr as saying Fiji is diminished by its refusal to accept Australia’s new diplomatic envoy.

But in a statement, the acting Fiji Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says that is gratuitous and unwarranted.

He says Fiji is exercising its sovereign right over the approval of a nominee of another country for a diplomatic mission.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says Canberra expects Fiji to say yes to everything Australia proposes and he says it is disappointing the Australian government refuses to engage constructively.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Life of an indentured labourer

Avinesh Gopal
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FAKIRI Naicker regretted coming to Fiji as an indentured labourer.

He came to Fiji from India in search of a better life under the indenture system that was in place by the British Empire then.

But seeing how his fellow countrymen and women were being treated hurt him badly, according to stories he passed down to his children.

The other thing he regretted until his death was not being able to go back to India and track his family members down.

He came to Fiji from India under the indenture system, which is commonly known as girmit, in 1905 without telling his family.

Like him, there were others who came to Fiji quietly or reportedly after being tricked into the search for a better life under the British rule at that time.

While some of the more than 60,000 Indians who came to Fiji under girmit returned to India, the majority opted to stay behind.

It is said that the labourers could not pronounce “agreement” and the best they could do in their pronunciation of the foreign word was girmit.

Mr Naicker hailed from Changalputu in Madras, an area in the south of India where he worked as a delivery boy for a newspaper in 1903 and 1904.

During his term with the newspaper company, he heard that people were being recruited to work in Fiji.

Story has it that he met with the recruiting agents in India and quietly left for Fiji at the age of 20 years without telling his mother and an aunt. His father had died.

His eldest son, Ranga Sami Naicker, 81, said his father started his girmit in Rarawai, Ba and later went to Taveuni.

“From Taveuni, he moved to Lautoka where he started working for one Patrick Costello, who owned the Lautoka Hotel and the Metropolitan Hotel in Suva then,” he said.

“He worked as a gardener at the hotel and later married my mother, whose sister worked for a Colonial Sugar Refinery Company official then.

“In 1933, my father got a farm land here in Lovu (Lautoka) from the CSR and the Lovu Sangam School was also established that year.

“Farmers at that time gave authority to the CSR for the deduction of seven pounds from their cane payment for the running of the school.

“Actually, all South Indians had to give this contribution although cane payment was very low, with one pound a tonne being the lowest.

“But that one pound could bring one month’s food ration for a family of four as it was big money at that time.”

Mr Naicker, who was born in 1932, said apart from sugar cane, his father also planted rice, peas, and had livestock.

“From what I was told by my father, he didn’t go through much atrocity but he saw other labourers being mistreated.

“Seeing the treatment being dished out to his fellow countrymen, he regretted coming to Fiji. He also regretted coming here without telling his family.

“His aunt Lakshmi whom he named as next of kin in his migration pass and her children often wrote to him from India.

“But unfortunately, all contact and communication was cut off after World War II and this was another blow.”

Mr Naicker said his father regretted a lot when he could not contact his family in India after the war.

“He really wanted to go to India and meet them but he could not. He died on August 25, 1968 at the age of 85 years with regrets still in his heart.”

After his father’s death, he went to England, taking his father’s ashes with him. Mr Naicker kept his father’s ashes with him for more than 10 years and then took it to India where he scattered it in the Ganges River at Banaras.

He said they had promised his father before his death that his ashes would be scattered in the Ganges River.

After scattering the ashes in the river in 1981, he went to Madras with the hope to locate his father’s family.

“I tried my best to find out but there’s no more settlement there. Instead a school has been built at the site where my father used to live.”

Mr Naicker and some of his siblings still live on the land that his father had acquired in Lovu, outside Lautoka City.

They have 22 years of the 30-year lease for the agricultural land left.

Like Fakiri Naicker’s children, the offspring of other girmitiyas (indentured labourers) are still toiling hard on sugar cane farms in the Western and Northern parts of the country.

While some have moved on in search of other sources of income, there are others who are carrying on with what their forefathers were good at.

Many of the descendants of indentured labourers have kept their religion, culture and tradition very much alive in the land their ancestors adopted as home.

And today, they are proud to call Fiji their home.


11) Indigenous adoption push prompts Stolen Generation fears

Updated 14 May 2013, 14:27 AEST
By Alyssa Betts

Some Aboriginal advocates say they are “absolutely horrified” by a Northern Territory Government proposal to put Aboriginal children up for adoption if they are victims of extreme neglect.

Chief Minister Adam Giles has advocated the plan for the adoption of Indigenous children on a case-by-case basis.

Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner backs the plan, saying children are often moved from one foster carer to the next without giving them the chance of living with an adoptive family.

“It’s a frustrating thing when you see parents who will never have the capacity to care for a child … for a whole range of reasons, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, all of that,” he said.

He says he has seen first-hand the concerns that stop authorities from removing a child from a family due to fears about creating another Stolen Generation.

“We seem to think it’s okay to put that child into foster care, time after time, after time, after time,” he said.

“There are decent, loving people out there who want to adopt, who will raise that child in a loving environment.

“I think it’s a terrible blight on our society that there are these sacred cows that we can’t go near.”

It’s a frustrating thing when you see parents who will never have the capacity to care for a child … for a whole range of reasons, alcohol abuse, domestic violence

Dave Tollner

Mr Tollner says he believes only one Indigenous child has been adopted in the Territory in the last decade but he admits the Territory Government will have to tread carefully with its plan.

But the Northern Territory Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation say they are horrified by the plan.

“Where [there is] absolutely no other option, there is room for adoption,” spokeswoman Vicki Lee Knowles said.

“[But] within an Aboriginal family because the loss of culture, land and language has a long-term impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of those children who are removed.”

Ms Knowles says long-term harm is caused by Aboriginal children being removed from their families.

“Absolutely horrified that an Indigenous chief minister should start to have this conversation publicly in the way that he has and I think he’s misinformed about the consequences of the impacts of removing those children,” she said.

Territory Children’s Commissioner Howard Bath says child protection in the Territory is at crisis point, but only a very small number of families would want to put their children up for adoption.

He says there needs to be an improvement in the services offered to Indigenous families.

“Why aren’t we supporting families? Why aren’t we providing the intense support for families so that the natural parents are given the skills and motivation to be able to look after and protect their own kids?” he asked.

12) Hike in costs for 457 visas

Updated 14 May 2013, 21:37 AEST
Edwina Farley and Anna Vidot

Australia’s Federal Government will increase the cost of applying for a 457 visa from $455 to $900.

13) Australia increases foreign aid spending

Posted at 03:29 on 14 May, 2013 UTC

The Australian government is to increase its foreign aid spending by more than half a billion US dollars, taking it to nearly six billion dollars.

The Australian foreign minister, Bob Carr, says Australia remains committed to supporting the Millennium Development Goals and will target malnutrition among women and children in the Asia-Pacific, universal education and maternal and child health.

Mr Carr says it will take Australia’s aid spend to 0.37 of a percent of gross national income, but he says the government’s previous commitment to reach 0.5 of a percent will not now be reached in 2015.

He says this figure is to be pushed out one year because the government’s revenue is not as high as expected and it cannot borrow to provide overseas development assistance.

Radio New Zealand International


14) The rise of China in the South Pacific
By Online Editor
3:49 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2013, Australia

By Michael Brissenden

While Australian and US officials are still given the South Pacific’s floral welcomes, it’s clear that China is now the region’s most valued guest, writes Michael Brissenden.

According to one well-placed Australian official, “the Yanks are worried” about China’s growing economic engagement in the South Pacific – a region that for the most part has until fairly recently been firmly in what would be called America’s and certainly Australia’s sphere of influence.

Australians are growing a bit concerned as well. In the week leading up to the release of the latest Defence white paper, Defence Minister Stephen Smith convened a meeting of regional South Pacific defence ministers in Tonga. It was the first time an Australian Defence minister had made an official visit to Tonga, and he sent a signal that Australia was back in the region.

The draw-down in Afghanistan now gives us the option, he argued, to shift our attention back to our “own backyard” – or, to use the word of the moment when it comes to aspirational geopolitical shifts, it has allowed us to “pivot” back to the South Pacific.

And it’s clear that one of the biggest and most significant challenges that has occurred in the backyard in recent years has been the rise of China.

When it comes to defence and security in our region, China is always part of the discussion. The 2013 Defence white paper attempted to soften the rhetoric and adopt a far more conciliatory tone towards China than the 2009 white paper issued under Kevin Rudd. That one characterised China as a threat.

“The pace, scope and structure of China’s military modernisation have the potential to give its neighbours cause for concern,” it said.

By contrast, the 2013 white paper insists that “the government does not approach China as an adversary”.

Privately though Australian political and military figures do express concern about the pace and scale of China’s interest in the region.

These days in the South Pacific, ministers from Australia, New Zealand or the United States still get given the colourful shirts and the traditional floral welcome reserved for important guests, but when it comes to the really big occasions, it’s clear that China is now the region’s most valued VIP.

When the king of Tonga died last year he was in Hong Kong. New Zealand offered to fly the body home but the Chinese had already arranged a special charter flight. The Chinese president sent a special envoy to the funeral and the Chinese delegation took up the most prominent places in the front rows of guest seating.

In countries across the South Pacific, Chinese money is pouring into infrastructure and construction projects.

In Tonga, the Chinese have built roads, invested in telecommunications, and just completed a huge wharf that can accommodate cruise liners and container ships. The investment infrastructure has also built influence.

Locals like Pesi Fonua, the editor of the Tongan online newspaper Matangi Tonga, say they are already seeing the Chinese calling the shots.

“Whatever they want they can [now] negotiate or take,” he says. And Tonga, he says, has also so far been unable to really capitalise on the infrastructure investments. “The wharf is there but we only [have] a few cruise ships coming in.”

Tonga doesn’t yet have the five-star accommodation most of the cruise ship passengers expect and the aging hotels are almost all empty. I met Pesi in the bar of the Dateline hotel in the Tongan capitol Nuku’alofa. “That’ll be the best place to do an interview,”  he says. “At least it will be quiet there.”

He was not wrong. Apart from us the bar was empty. So were most of the hotels rooms.

Chinese money has certainly helped pour a lot of concrete but it’s been a mixed blessing and as a result Tonga is now in debt distress. Chinese ‘soft loans’ now account for 60 per cent of its external debt and 40 per cent of its GDP.

China’s growing economic power is undermining some of the old assumptions about regional security. As Stephen Smith said during his Tonga visit, “We’re seeing changes in our part of the world, deep significant changes [in] economic weight and as a consequence of that strategic and military weight.”

Pacific analysts like Jenny Hayward-Jones from the Lowy Institute agree that China’s influence is increasing and perhaps confusing the strategic environment. But it is not yet true to say that China is seeking to replace Australia or the United States in the region, although “it is certainly an interesting new element for the region to consider”.

Other highly placed regional political sources though say they believe China’s long-term strategy is to use its economic leverage for greater political influence. In the longer term, China will be able to say they don’t quite like the idea of the US building that new military base or any other bit of military infrastructure.

Many of the island nations that have borrowed are also hoping that China might one day agree to forgive the debt, but repayments are now falling due all over the South Pacific and budget deficits are growing. It’s clear to everyone involved that China is likely to have significant leverage and influence here for many years to come.

Michael Brissenden is the ABC’s national defence correspondent


15) Pacific ACP to conclude EPA by end of 2013
By Online Editor
7:52 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2013, Fiji

By Pita Ligaiula

Trade officials from  Pacific ACP countries are meeting in Fiji this week to finalise a way forward on the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement(EPA)with the European Union(EU) by the end of 2013.

PACP Trade officials chair and Fiji’s permanent secretary for trade, Shaheen Ali said the Nadi meeting is the last session for the region to progress EPA negotiations.

“The region has made good progress. We are looking at our negotiating mandates, the various options that we can pursue at the next negotiating session with the EU in June. Trade officials are fully prepared to ensure that all the outstanding issues in the proposed EPA are covered, Ali told PACNEWS.

Ali said fisheries remains one of the contentious issues that need to be resolved before the PACP can conclude an EPA with EU.

“In terms of progress, there have been good progress but there are some key contentious issues that are yet to be resolved. Fisheries are one of our key demands for Pacific ACP countries. It is one of our key interests as it has a lot of potential, if negotiated well.

He said the mandate from Leaders is to conclude negotiations by the end of this year.

“Initially the Leaders had mandated that we conclude by 2012. But that was not possible because there are two sides to negotiation and there were a numbers of issues that were still outstanding. What the Pacific side was committed to was negotiating in good faith and trying to conclude negotiations with the EU by the end of 2013.

“There is no deadline but the EU has announced market access regulation for countries that have not signed or initialed an interim agreement. Countries with market access regulations could end in October or will end in October 2014. That has put some time frame for us to be working towards. We need a comprehensive partnership agreement to be concluded well in advance to allow for Pacific ACP states and also the EU to complete the ratification procedures to ensure that the agreement is in play before October 2014,” said Ali

He assured that PACP countries have fall back options if they fail to conclude EPA.

“Well, there are various options available to the Pacific ACP Countries. Say for example, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) would have access to Everything But Arms (EBA), developing countries of the region have access to the Generalised Systems of Preferences (GSP and GSP+) which is higher because of the strict conditions pertaining to the GSP+. Fiji and PNG have an interim economic partnership agreement which is also opened to all the PACP countries.

“The objective here is to have as many options opened to us as possible so that we can decide the best options we want to forge with EU.

“We must keep in mind that this agreement is for a whole lifetime, it’s not a short term agreement, and it’s for the whole generation after us. We need to ensure that we have careful consideration on our fallback option even if we commit to the agreement that is on the table. We need to ensure that it is in our interest, said Ali.



16) PNG i redi long Haus Krai Dei

Updated 14 May 2013, 14:33 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol pipal long Papua New Guinea iwok long redi nau long holim bikpla bung blong makim Haus Krai dei tumora.

Tede ol meri na pipal blong Papua New Guinea i statim nambawan hap long bikpla bung na mas long planti hap blong kantri long soim tingting nolaik long violence agensim ol meri.

Bikpla mas bai kamap tumora, na ol PNG pipal long elevenpla kantri long Wold wantem tu Australia bai holim wankaen mas olsem despla PNG.

Sampla Non gavman organisation blong Australia i sapotim ol mas em bai kamap long sampla siti long Australia.

Esther Igo wanpla memba blong Women Arise PNG na meri husat igo pas long redi-im despla bikpla dei blong mekim ol awenes oa toksave long wari blong vailans egensim ol meri itok, taem i kamap pinis blong olgeta pipal wantem gavman long wokbung long stopim despla pasin nogut.

Wanpla Palaman Memba na Gavana blong Oro provins Gary Juffa itok tu olsem, gavman imas kamapim ol loa blong givim strongpla mekim save long ol pipal husat isave rapim na kilim ol meri na pikinini.

17/18) Vanuatu Media Association i miting wantaem Praim Minista

Updated 14 May 2013, 17:34 AEST

Media Association blong Vanuatu i holim pinis miting wantaem Praim minista Moana Carcasses Kalosil long heve bihaen long oli bin rausim wanpela sinia niusman long wok blongem.

Moses Stevens, deputi president blong Media Association blong Vanuatu itoktok (Credit: ABC)

Moses Stevens, emi deputi president blong Media Association blong Vanuatu na tu emi President blong Pacific Islands News Association i tok i nogat wanpela komplein i bin kamap na polis i bin arestim Gratien Tiona.

Polis ibin pulim kalabusim Gratien Tiona long wonem emi bin putim wanpla toktok egensim gavman long intanet long wik igo pinis.

Oli bin sutim tok long Mr Gratien Tiona, long putim wanpla toktok long Facebook oa internet olsem emi bin pray long wanpla balus emi bin wok long karim ol Vanuatu Council of Ministers long pudaon na bagarap.

Mr Stevens i tok gavman ino bin wanbel tru wantem despla toktok blong Mr Gratien, olsem na polis ibin pulim kalabusim em.


19) PNG: une journée spéciale contre les violences faites aux femmes

Posté à 14 May 2013, 13:16 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Viols, tabassages, assassinats, accusations de sorcellerie, voilà le lot sinon quotidien, du moins fréquent des femmes papoues.

Le Haus Krai Day débute ce soir avec une veillée de prières à Port-Moresby. Haus Krai, en tok pisin, le pidgin papou, désigne un lieu collectif où l’on pleure un mort. Des événements seront aussi organisés en Australie et aux États-Unis. Ce Haus Krai pour les femmes prend une résonance toute particulière car il intervient après une série de meurtres atroces, dont la décapitation d’une femme, et l’immolation d’une autre, toutes les deux accusées de sorcellerie. Il y a eu aussi le viol collectif d’une universitaire américaine le mois dernier. «Nous ne sommes pas seulement les responsables de ces violences, nous en sommes aussi victimes», a indiqué le révérend Stephen Leach, de la Sojourners Mission.

20) Australie: l’aide au développement, victime d’un budget en berne

Mis à jour 14 May 2013, 14:33 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

C’est l’événement politique de l’année, avec les élections de septembre. Ce soir le Ministre du Trésor Wayne Swan prononcera son discours sur le budget de l’année à venir et au-delà. L’aide au développement augmentera moins que prévu.

L’économie australienne donne des signes de ralentissement, principalement à cause du dollar fort, qui pèse lourdement sur les exportations des industries locales. En parallèle, les exportations de minerais, en particulier vers la Chine, continuent, mais les prix des matières premières fluctuent, là encore, les bénéfices sont moins élevés que prévu. En tout le manque à gagner pour l’État australien par rapport à l’an dernier se monte à 17 milliards de dollars.

Et en Australie, quand l’économie va moins bien, le premier poste qui subit des coupes franches, c’est l’aide au développement. Bob Carr, le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères:

« En clair, nous allons augmenter notre budget d’aide au développement, mais pas dans les proportions que nous souhaitions, car notre économie est en flottement.»

L’Australie s’est engage à consacrer 0.5% de son PNB à l’aide au développement d’ici 2015. Cet objectif est repoussé à 2017-2018. En 2013-2014, le budget d’aide au développement augmentera de 9.6%, soit 500 millions supplémentaires, pour atteindre 5.7 milliards de dollars. Une augmentation moins importante justifiée par l’afflux en Australie d’immigrés clandestins. Plus de 120 bateaux ont atteint les eaux australiennes en 2013, transportant plus de 8000 demandeurs d’asile. Bob Carr:

«Aider les demandeurs d’asile ici, c’est exactement la même chose que d’aider les réfugiés dans des camps à l’étranger, en leur distribuant des couvertures, de la nourriture, en prenant soin de leurs enfants, de leur donner un hébergement d’urgence, des soins médicaux, etc. Le principe reste le même, d’ailleurs les normes de l’OCDE, qui gouvernent nos nations, comptent l’aide aux immigrés clandestins comme un des postes du budget d’aide au développement.»

La décision du gouvernement fait souffler un vent d’indignation dans les rangs des ONG australiennes. On écoute Marc Purcell, du Conseil Australien pour le Développement International, la fédération des ONG spécialisées dans l’aide au développement en Australie :

« Nous sommes déçus de voir que le gouvernement a détourné 375 millions de dollars qui devaient être affectés à l’aide au développement. En six mois, le gouvernement a retiré en tout 750 millions de dollars du budget d’aide au développement. En d’autres termes, en l’espace d’un an, l’Australie est devenue la principale bénéficiaire de sa propre aide au développement.»

Les ONG et les Verts accusent la Première ministre Julia Gillard d’avoir rompu une promesse de campagne. Même son de cloche dans l’opposition libérale. Julie Bishop est sa porte-parole sur les affaires étrangères:

« L’idée que le gouvernement puisse piller l’aide au développement à hauteur de 375 millions de dollars, pour financer l’accueil des demandeurs d’asile, est scandaleuse. D’autant que les bateaux de clandestins continuent d’arriver, c’est totalement grotesque d’entendre les Travaillistes nous assurer qu’ils seront capables de diminuer les coûts de l’examen des demandes d’asile, alors qu’ils sont obligés de piller le budget de l’aide au développement pour y arriver !»

Julie Bishop, au micro de Karen Barlow, notre correspondante à Canberra. Les deux tiers du budget d’aide au développement de l’Australie sont consacrés à l’Asie-Pacifique. Seuls les programmes d’aide à la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et à Nauru ne seront pas concernés par cette augmentation moins importante du budget.


21) Vanuatu to receive teachers from Fiji

Posted on May 14, 2013 –

Jonas Cullwick

Vanuatu will soon receive 15 school teachers from Fiji as part of an agreement from talks between the leaders of the two neighboring countries last week.

Speaking after his return from attending the UN G77 summit in Fiji, Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, said that aside from the meeting which the Fiji leader chaired, he was able to meet with the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama.

He said one of the areas he discussed with the Fijian leader and received his agreement is the development of Vanuatu’s human resources.

“Fiji has a lot of retired school teachers and the Prime Minister has agreed to help Vanuatu with school teachers. Another area also that Fiji can assist with is capacity building in the Vanuatu Police Force,” Prime Minister Carcasses said.

With their agreement, the first group of 15 teachers from Fiji will come to teach in Vanuatu schools.

This agreement revives a relationship that existed between the two Melanesian countries during the Condominium days with the British Government services and the Presbyterian church of Vanuatu. During that era Fijian teachers, carpenters, and other skilled tradesmen came to work in the then New Hebrides.

Since 2011, Solomon Islands nurses are serving in the health service of the country, filling shortage in nursing staff and helping deliver most needed health care to some of the remotest areas of the islands such as Big Bay Bush in Santo.

22) Vanuatu State-Sponsored Students Urged To Study Hard
Minister says course failures will lead to loss of scholarships

By Glenda Shing

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 13, 2013) – Minister of Education Bob Loughman has delivered a strong warning to Vanuatu’s government-sponsored students to ensure to perform well in their courses this semester to avoid having their scholarships being terminated.

In a letter addressed to parents, guardians and the students, with the power vested on him, Minister Loughman said, “Any students who fail any units/courses that they are currently enrolled in from first semester 2013, will be subject to review of the student’s performance and considered to be recalled back to Vanuatu immediately and have his/ her award terminated.”

The minister also stated in the letter that his decision will be enforced from the first semester of 2013, and will remain in force, until the Ministry is again within the Vanuatu Government Scholarship appropriated budget.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, upon meeting with Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, sponsored students studying in Fiji expressed concerns that their allowances were being released late unnecessarily, leading students to feel government support was not genuine.]

This call was made by the minister because the ministry is already facing s shortfall in its 2013 appropriate budget to meet its commitment of the 64% increase of scholarship awardees in 2012/13, that were approved by the ministry without considering its financial implications.

Minister Loughman admitted that already that is a “breach of the Public Finance & Economic Act and the Financial Regulations of the Republic of Vanuatu.”

The Government of Vanuatu through the Planning Long Acting Short (PLAS) and Priority Action Agenda (PAA) has the responsibility to ensure that all children in Vanuatu have access to all levels of education, from Pre0school education through to Tertiary education.

The Government, through the Ministry of Education, is committed to implement this priority within its appropriate budget, and maintain a balanced resource allocation between all levels of education.

Out of the Vt24 billion [US$258 million] budget for 2013 tabled in March, Education was allocated the bulk of the budget with an amount of Vt6,345,586,651 [US68.2 million].

Vanuatu Daily Post:


23) Coral export

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FIJI exports 56,152kg of live corals with an annual quota of 807,601kg of live rock last year.

And this industry injected $25million (0.41 per cent of the gross domestic product) into the country.

Department of Fisheries principal research officer Aisake Batibasaga said soft coral exported in 2012 was 33,083 kilograms (or pieces) and live ornamental fish was 238,865 pieces or individual fish.

“The other aquarium products that are currently exported from Fiji include invertebrate species such as feather stars, star-fish species, gastropods (live shells such as cones, cerithrids, mitrids, cypraeid, cymetids, terebrids, strombus, tritons, etc) and bivalves (largely include giant clams (tridachnids) and other bivalve species including oysters, cockles and mussels),” said Mr Batibasaga.

He said this industry did not contribute to the tourism industry but may in a way compete with each other.

However, he said it had to be regulated proactively so that the companies were honest and accountable, and do business in a sustainable way.

“Not just one-sided, where they just focus largely on making more money and profits, and other concerns ‘thrown out of the window’.”

He said the main challenge was to do things sustainably.

“Sustainable development is making use of the resources now and getting the benefits, and you do it in such a way so that you do not compromise the needs and aspirations of future generations.”

Mr Batibasaga is also a member of Fiji’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora Scientific Council which regulates the harvest of Aquarium Trade Commodities in Fiji.

“This is the major focus of government and the Fiji CITES Management Authority and Science Committee now that whatever trade that is undertaken must be environmentally and socially acceptable and sustainable in the short and longterm.”

He said the council had identified the threat and the department of environment and fisheries had collectively facilitated the reduction of the live rock quota since 2008.

“Four of the companies depend heavily on live rock export as their major source of income hence, the reduction in export quotas may have reduced their export potentials.”

During a national workshop for the industry in February 2009, he added a number of resolutions were made.

“One of the proposed way forward for the traders was to take up alternative sources of export commodities, which was for operators to go into mariculture or farming of live rocks or even take up live coral export. Of the four exporting companies, Walt Smith International (Fiji) Ltd is already exporting around 7-10 per cent of the cultured live rock since 2007.”

He said the rest of the three smaller companies depended entirely on wild stock harvest.

The major concern for the reduction in export quota was to protect food security as the coastal population was heavily dependent on coral reef resources for food and income.

USP Institute of Applied Science Environment Unit senior scientific officer Semisi Meo said Fiji had about 400 species of coral.

Mr Meo said it was important in Fijian culture in terms of security and economic stability and added it was a great attraction for the tourism industry.

Mr Batibasaga said Industry stakeholders needed to understand that intact, healthy reef systems were important for food security, livelihood security, aesthetic attractions for tourism potentials and values.

He said economic resilience would be dependent on healthy productive reef systems, and land-based resources, which should thus support tourism potentials.

He added the last thing anyone wanted was a dead, bare and unproductive reef system.

24) India needs PNG – envoy
By Online Editor
4:04 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

India requires the support of small growing countries like Papua New Guinea to further develop its nation and people.

Indian High Commissioner to PNG, Ajah Gondane said this when he visited Vanimo town recently.

He told a meeting of local business operators that India needs a lot of development materials from Papua New Guinea including vital resources like fuel energy and natural gas.

Doctor Gondane said India needs many of Papua New Guinea’s natural resources to build towns and cities to meet the housing demands of growing population of one point three billion people.

He highlighted one major needs was timber resources from PNG to construct homes for families and other commercial needs.

Currently the Indian government spends millions of dollars in importing timber products from other nations.


25) Residents Reject Renewed Phosphate Mining In Tuamotus
Inconsistencies between project plans, landowner briefings cited

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 13, 2013) – Plans to revive phosphate mining in French Polynesia appear to have come to a halt.

A government decision has been made public, rejecting the bid by an Australian company to explore the viability of starting up mining on the atoll of Makatea in the Tuamotu archipelago.

The company, Avenir Makatea, said it believed that there might possibly remain sufficient phosphate in the old mining areas to allow a feasible mining program.

The atoll was heavily mined from the late 19th century until 1966.

Tahiti-Infos says the local population was against the resumption of mining amid inconsistencies between the outline of the project and the information given to the landowners.

Radio New Zealand International:


26/27)  Pacific plant could treat anxiety
MONDAY, 13 MAY 2013

The plant could offer a natural alternative to drugs that treat chronic anxiety.

Image: Juliet Parker/Shutterstock

A world-first completed clinical study by an Australian team has found Kava, a medicinal South Pacific plant, significantly reduced the symptoms of people suffering anxiety.

The study, led by the University of Melbourne and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, revealed Kava could be an alternative treatment to pharmaceutical products for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorders (GAD)

Lead researcher, Dr Jerome Sarris from Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, said GAD is a complex condition that significantly affected people’s day-today lives. Existing medications have a modest clinical effect and new effective options were needed for patients with anxiety.

“Based on previous work we have recognised that plant based medicines may be a viable treatment for patients with chronic anxiety.  In this study we’ve been able to show that Kava offers a potential natural alternative for the treatment of chronic clinical anxiety. Unlike some other options it has less risk of dependency and less potential for side effects,” he said.

The study also found that people’s genetic differences (polymorphisms) of certain neurobiological mechanisms called GABA transporters, may modify their response to Kava.

“If this finding is replicated, it may pave the way for simple genetic tests to determine which people may be likely to have a beneficial anxiety-reducing effect from taking Kava,” Dr Sarris said.

During the eight-week study, 75 patients with clinically diagnosed Generalised Anxiety Disorder were given Kava or placebo, and anxiety levels were regularly assessed.

Results showed a significant reduction in anxiety for the Kava group compared to the placebo group at the end of the study.

In participants diagnosed with moderate to severe GAD, Kava had an even greater effect in reducing anxiety. Following the completion of the controlled phase, 26 per cent of the Kava group were classified as in remission from their symptoms compared to six per cent of the placebo group.

Participants in the Kava group were given tablets twice per day consisting of water-soluble extracted Kava (peeled rootstock) for a total dose of 120mg of kavalactones for the first three-week controlled phase.  In cases of non-response this was increased to a double-dose twice per day for the second three-week controlled phase. Participants in the placebo group took matching dummy tablets in the same manner.

Kava was also well tolerated. Results showed no significant differences across the two groups for liver function which had previously been a concern for Kava’s medicinal use.  In addition there were no considerable adverse reactions that could be attributed to Kava and no difference in withdrawal or addiction between the groups.

An additional novel finding of the study, recently published in Phytotherapy Research was that Kava increased women’s sex drive compared to those in the placebo group, believed to be due to the reduction of anxiety, rather than any aphrodisiac effect.

Future studies confirming the genetic relationship to therapeutic response, and any libido-improving effects from Kava is now required. Dr Sarris said these significant findings are of importance to sufferers of anxiety and to the South Pacific region which relies on Kava as a major export.

The study was funded by the NHMRC and Integria Healthcare who manufacture MediHerb and Thompson’s Kava products.

28) Cancer deaths worry society

Maciu Malo
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

THREE women have died from cancer over the past two weeks in the Western Division.

This was confirmed by the office of the Fiji Cancer Society western branch yesterday.

Committee member Milika Marshall said the three deaths in a short span of time raised serious concerns. And in an effort to combat the sickness, Mrs Marshall said a medical team had been deployed to villages in the West screening women for cancer.

“We have to make this move because most women are suffering silently from cancer,” she said.

“The death of the three women has raised serious concerns and we are encouraging women to be screened and have an early treatment.

“We have visited villages in Lautoka educating them on cancer, at the same time carrying out screening processes.

“The centre also respects the privacy of people but we urge all women to be treated early.”

Mrs Marshall said about 80 women had been referred for checking at the Lautoka Hospital after the village awareness campaigns.

“It is sad to see that many women, especially in village settings haven’t been checked or screened for cancer.

“From our findings, we have also identified 32 children suffering from leukaemia.

“We are calling on mothers not to be ashamed. We are also encouraging mothers not to depend mainly on traditional herbal for cure.”

About 100 women die from cancer each year.

A medical team is expected to be at Nawaka Village, Nadi, today.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Cancer Society western branch had appointed its new set of office bearers.

During its AGM, the centre selected Margaret Rounds as president, Beverley McElrath and Mrs Marshall as vice presidents, Pitila Thompson as the secretary, and Cornelia Terry as the treasurer.


29) Rising sea level a threat

Maciu Malo
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

THE rise in sea level caused by climate change is set to affect about 20 villages in the Ra province.

Roko tui Ra Sakiusa Karavaki said villagers had been warned against building their homes near the shoreline.

“The issue of rising sea level was raised by villagers living near the coast on many occasions as they are concerned about their safety and investment,” said Mr Karavaki.

“In some of the villages, sea level has eaten away some of the dry land. This has also prompted the construction of sea wall and planting of mangroves.”

Navolau villager Sireli Naivava had told an earlier district council meeting that the rise in sea level had damaged the village sea wall and there was fear that homes would suffer the same fate soon.

“We have nowhere else to move as we are surrounded by mountains and sea on all sides of the village. The old sea wall in the village is broken and we are really concerned about our safety.”

Mr Karavaki said villagers had been educated on resilience and evacuation steps should a disaster strike.

30) Red Cross Anticipates ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ In RMI
Combination of water shortage, crop failures a ‘double-whammy’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 13, 2013) – The Red Cross in New Zealand says the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) 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 liter 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 liters 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:


31) PNG ‘Haus Krai’ Movement Gains Support Abroad
UK, Japan, Rome and others to hold public protests

By Nellie Setepano

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 13, 2013) – The nationwide protest in the form of a ‘haus krai’ (house of mourning) to advocate against the unacceptably high rate of violence against women in Papua New Guinea has received global support.

From Yangoru in East Sepik to the shores of New Ireland, in chapels and parks, candles will be lit, prayers and tributes will be made to commemorate the thousands of PNG women, mothers, sisters, aunties, grandmothers and daughters who have been attacked, maimed or killed through domestic violence, sexual crimes such as rape or physical injuries sustained through sorcery-related accusations.

‘Haus Krai’ is a symbolic proactive action by PNG women to commemorate the lives of women and children brutally killed or attacked through general violence which has received international support.

Papua New Guineans, including students and friends and anyone associated with PNG, including nine countries, are gearing up in support of the ‘Haus Krai’, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, May 14 and 15.

In PNG, 19 provinces have confirmed for public ‘Haus Krai’ events, with activities planned for the two days.

Countries that have confirmed their support for this PNG initiative and will stage public protests include Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, US, Ireland, Fiji and Japan, Philippines and Rome (Italy).

Yesterday, women spear heading the ‘Haus Krai’ with the National Council of Women (NCW) president Scholar Kakas, met in the nation’s capital to tell the nation that enough was enough, and has given the council backing for the protest.

Men and young people, including musicians and churches have come forward to join in the great mourning against the general violence perpetrated against humanity.

NCW has given its support and is backing a great coalition of women’s groups, NGOs, church groups, charity organizations, unions, business houses and local groups led by Women Arise PNG to stage a different type of protest. The biggest ‘Haus Krai’ will be staged in Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium. Women Arise PNG is anticipating thousands to flock the stadium. Security has been guaranteed for those gathering in Port Moresby.

“We will use the national ‘Haus Krai’ to alert the government about its moral and constitutional responsibilities in taking serious actions to guarantee and tackle the issue,” Women Arise coordinator Esther Igo said.

Meanwhile, NCW president Mrs. Kakas said she is aware of a lot of public criticisms labeled against the protest but has called for support.

“While we respect your rights to views and opinions we call for all to come together.”

Program co-coordinator Esther Igo said Women Arise PNG is not an organization but a movement that is here for a good cause and urged the public to attend this important event in their respective provinces.

PNG Post-Courier:


32) Stadium to host big matches

Arin Kumar
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ANZ’s Vishnu Mohan presents Fiji Sports Council chairman Peter Mazey with the cheque at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

GOOD news for Suva rugby and soccer fans.

They can now watch their teams play at the upgraded ANZ Stadium and they don’t have to wait any longer.

Fiji Sports Council (FSC) chief executive officer (CEO) Litiana Loabuka confirmed the Suva Rugby Union and the Fiji Football Association have booked the stadium for this weekend.

“The Suva and Nadroga rugby teams will be the first two teams to play on the new ground at the ANZ Stadium in a Digicel Cup match this Saturday,” she said.

“The Fiji Football Association has also confirmed they will host a double-header at the grounds on Sunday.”

At 1pm Rewa and Navua get the honour of being the first two soccer teams to grace the pitch in the National Football League match followed by the match between Suva and Jack’s Nadi.

“I can’t wait to watch a soccer match on this field, it’s been a long time since I saw soccer here,” Loabuka said.

Meanwhile, major sponsors of the stadium, ANZ and FSC signed the Naming Rights Agreement yesterday. FSC chairman Peter Mazey said the stadium would have busy schedule for the rest of the year.

“Bookings to hire the venue have begun to fly in,” he said.

ANZ chief executive officer Pacific and Fiji Vishnu Mohan said they were honoured to have played a part in the stadium’s upgrade.

“Our announcement of a three-year sponsorship of $879,750 for the stadiums naming rights will help build on the country’s international reputation and bring additional benefits given the global reach of the ANZ brand,” he said.

“The ANZ Stadium will enhance Fiji’s ability to bid for and host regional and international sporting events.

“This will develop sports tourism.”

The quarterly cheque of $73,312.50 was given to FSC yesterday.

33) Pacific players selected in sevens ’Dream Team’

Posted at 23:21 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

Two Pacific players have been selected in the Sevens World Series ’Dream Team’ for 2012/13, following the final tournament in London at the weekend.

Samoa’s Afa Aiono and Fiji’s Joji Ragamate were named alongside two New Zealanders, a South African, a Kenyan and an Englishman.

The side was selected by the regular television broadcast commentators for the sevens circuit.

Radio New Zealand International

34) Tonga U20s eying return to top tier

Posted at 23:21 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

Tonga coach Fe’ao Vunipola says the country’s Under 20s team should be competing with the top rugby nations.

The Kingdom are leave for Chile shortly where they will be vying with seven other teams for the Junior World Rugby Trophy, and with it promotion to the Junior World Championship.

Tonga finished third at the same tournament last year and Fe’ao Vunipola says they need to get back to the elite level and be competing against the likes of New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji.

“We all know where we should be. I think we have the talent in Tonga, the local boys can compete I believe. When we played in Samoa last year -the Oceania Under 19s – I think we did really well, we competed with Samoa. It will all depend on how we perform in the tournament but we’re doing everything we can to get the boys in tip-top shape to compete and to acheve and to be successful.”

Tonga will face Canada, Uruguay and Japan in pool play in Chile.

Radio New Zealand International

35) Standard of play in O-League rising

Posted at 23:21 on 13 May, 2013 UTC

Ba football President Rishikendra Kumar says there has been a definite step-up in overall quality in this year’s Oceania Champions League football competition.

The Fijian champions were knocked out 7-1 on aggregate by Auckland City in the semi finals, having gone through the group phase unbeaten.

While their playoff run has come to an end, Rishikendra Kumar says they’ve learnt a lot.

“Auckland City, Waitakere United and Hekari – they have won O-League in the past and they have rubbed shoulders with professional players and they have got the exposure and they have brought in that exposure into the Champions League. Each time we play a team with professional players we learn and then our players and our district players and other district players they do learn from us as well. It’s all gaining as each time we play and things have really changed from last year to this year – it was very competitive level of Oceania League 2013.”

Defending champions Auckland City will meet cross-town rivals Waitakere United in Sunday’s O-League final, who eliminated Vanuatu’s Amicale FC in the semis.

Radio New Zealand International

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *