Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 855a

http://www.voiceofmelanesia.com/

MELANESIA:

1) PNG’s Trade Minister keen for a common market in MSG nations

By Online Editor
09:58 am GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Trade Minister says he wants to see a common market established in the Melanesian Spearhead Group of nations before it is extended to the wider Pacific.

Richard Maru says he is against PNG being part of the PACER Plus scheme, which is strongly favoured by New Zealand and Australia, because the trade imbalance means there is no benefit for his country.

As well as PNG, the MSG group includes Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS of New Caledonia and Mr Maru says he wants to see trade among these states bedded down first.

He says this is already underway with duty free market access.

“Over the next few years all of us will be able to trade duty free goods with each other. Now this year we are also going down the path of looking at labour mobility among the MSG countries.

Lets get that working first. Once we have got it embedded down we should look at the trading of services. Once we have got that we will have some experience in running a trading bloc. After we have had an evaluation of that, I mean a couple of years down the track we could start looking at the whole of the Pacific,” Maru said.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

2) Solomon Islands PM Lilo visits MSG Secretariat in Port Vila

By Online Editor
3:34 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Vanuatu

The Director General and staff of the MSG Secretariat Tuesday this week blessed with a pleasant visit by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo during a brief stop-over in Port-Vila on his way to Sydney, Australia from Honiara.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo was travelling with a high-level delegation comprising his good wife, Solomon Islands Government Ministers, Premier of Guadalcanal, Chairman of Caucus, protocol and security officers.

The Director General, Peter Forau and his Secretariat staff were delighted to greet PM Lilo and his delegation with a flag-raising ceremony, a tour of the MSG Secretariat and refreshments before they headed back to the airport.  This is the first visit to the MSG Headquarters of a Solomon Islands Prime Minister, after former Prime Minister and current Leader of Opposition Hon Derrick Sikua visited the headquarters during the opening in May 2008.

PM Lilo in his remarks to DG Forau and his staff said that he was very happy to make this special visit to the Secretariat at short notice especially to see the vision of the founding fathers of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in motion.

He congratulated the staff and said he has noted many of the good activities being carried out by the Secretariat and other key MSG meetings such as the Senior Officials Meeting that have been published recently in the media.

PM Lilo said he is proud to have been part of the Special Leaders Summit that endorsed the setting up of the MSG Eminent Persons Group (EPG) who are currently in the Solomon Islands conducting their consultations with relevant institutions and stakeholders.  He said as part of his meeting with the EPG team he has requested that a way to strengthen the sovereignty of member states and the region he would like for the organization to re-visit issues surrounding trade.  “If we need to move away from free to fair trade then we should do that. Our strength will depend on how well we can do this,” said PM Lilo.

He said after 25 years he sees the group interacting more in making changes that will benefit member states.

He said where members lack in capacities, then members need to re-visit the whole structure and help members and sovereignties build on these weaknesses and present a fair trade option to strengthen the member states to achieve sovereign equality, one of the key pillars of the MSG vision.

PM Lilo said he wants MSG to enjoy fair trade for all members saying this can only be achieved with member states helping each other.

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands said on Friday last week Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea signed the agreement for the under-sea cabling which should raise the connectivity and linkages needed to support some of the key institutions that are to be engaged in fair trade.

Prime Minister Lilo said the MSG has the right architecture and the right geography to be able to move the region forward.

He called on the MSG Director General and the Staff of the Secretariat to ensure that MSG is relevant to the region and to keep the fire burning on the issue of self-determination of fellow Melanesians in the region.

Prime Minister Lilo informed the Secretariat of the recent successful championing by MSG member states such as Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea that saw the re-listing of the French Polynesia on to the Decolonization List at the United Nations General Assembly recently.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister said this solidarity by member states of the MSG in the United Nations General Assembly reflects the maturity and high level of cooperation in the region.

In concluding his brief but sharp message to the Secretariat, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo expressed his strong desire for the MSG to institute Meetings of the Speakers of MSG Parliaments and Chief Justices of MSG Member Courts, as he sees the relevance of these institutions as further strengthening the architectural set up of our organization.

In response to these remarks, the Director General of the MSG, Peter Forau said the MSG Secretariat has placed on record the calls made by the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.

He thanked Prime Minister Lilo for according time to visit the Secretariat during his stop over stay in Port Vila and congratulated him on Solomon Islands’ achievement in spearheading the plea of the indigenous people of French Polynesia to be successfully re-enlisted back into the UN Decolonization list.

SOURCE: MSG SECRETARIAT/PACNEWS

3) PNG PM threatens to shut down finance department

Updated 22 May 2013, 21:13 AEST
By PNG correspondent Liam Fox

PNG’s PM says he will shut down the country’s finance department if he has to while improper payment allegations are investigated.

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister says he will shut down the country’s finance department if he has to while allegations of improper payments are investigated.

Audio: Liam Fox reports for Pacific Beat (ABC News)

The opposition has alleged the department paid law firm Paul Paraka Lawyers more than $30 million without the proper approvals.

Prime minister Peter O’Neill has suspended the finance secretary and the deputy secretary while the allegations are investigated.

“I will go down as far as sacking the cleaner if I have to,” he said.

“If we have to shut down the finance department for one month or two months we will to get to the bottom of this.”

The law firm insists the payments were approved by the country’s former attorney-general.

Principal lawyer Paul Paraka says it is “premature to allege any impropriety… without all the parties being heard”.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

4) Confirmed Dead In Papua Freeport Mine Collapse
Spokesperson says hopes for more survivors ‘virtually nil’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 21, 2013) – 21 mine workers are now confirmed dead as rescue work continues at the Grasberg mine in the Indonesian province of Papua.

A tunnel collapse on Wednesday trapped 38 miners and ten were rescued.

The workers were attending safety training in classrooms at the time of the tunnel collapse.

Freeport McMoRan, the company which owns and operates the mine, says rescuers have pulled four more bodies out today to bring the total number of deceased to 21, while there are seven still unaccounted for.

The company says it is providing assistance to families of the victims, including food, accommodation and transportation.

A spokesperson for Freeport say due to debris and falling rocks blocking access, the response team faces difficulties reaching the remaining workers, and hopes for any further survivors are virtually nil.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

5) B’ville church elder challenges mothers

By ROMULUS MASIU

A church elder in Bougainville has challenged women not to make a mockery of themselves by pressuring the government to pass the capital punishment Bill immediately.
Martin Pinitu said: “Mothers, you are very special people in God’s eyes. God made you to rear children, to mould them with love, hug them, spend time with them. Have constant communication with your children even if they are in high school or tertiary institutions. By doing this you are training up God fearing children, honest and law abiding citizens and future leaders of our country. “Mothers, the criminal that you are crying for the government to immediately crucify, whose son is it? Who gives you the right to take away other people’s lives?” Mr Pinitu questioned.
Recently vulnerable women groups, especially the very vocal group of mothers, have been crying over serious crimes such as rape and sorcery related killings. They have been calling on all sectors of the community, throughout the country, to rally behind them for the government to pass harsher punishment to rapists and killers of women.
Haus Krai’s have been set up and endless protest marches have been conducted right across the country and overseas.
According to Mr Pinitu, if the government switches on the green light, will it completely eradicate the problem or is it going to be just like pouring petrol on a fire that is already burning? “Where is the root cause of the problem? Who do we point fingers at? Was it the mothers’ or the government’s failure in performing their roles and responsibilities to address these issues at their tender age concerning our youths, and as a result we are now faced with these problems? Mr Pinitu questioned. “God had made man above the other creatures to reason things. Where is this wisdom that God had blessed each individual with? Who had planted the nasty fruit in our vineyard that had the nasty taste?”
Mr Pinitu believes that the country should go back and seriously identify where the root of the problem is and apply concerted effort in eradicating it. “Please mothers go back home and spend a good amount of time with the precious jewels God has blessed you with, because the master and you will be held to account for your household at judgment hour and you will be answerable to His questions”.
“Plant banana if you want to harvest banana. Christian parents rear Christian children and not wolves that’ll roam the streets and bite people. Please always spend time with God, then work. And never yell in the street as though your house is on fire when you harvest a bad fruit. Every answer is in the Bible”.
Mr Pinitu said government and the voted leaders weed out corruption at high places with the vested power the people of the electorate have entrusted upon them. He called upon his community to serve the leaders and not themselves because at the end of the day they’ll be held to account. “Don’t be a fool with the allurements and cares of this world. Invest wisely in Heaven by doing well to the poor: they are the apples of God’s eyes.”
Mr Pinitu added that more funding must be spent on Church run schools, institutions, programmes and colleges because money and riches are God’s. “Make funding available so that youths will have access to the funds to start small and medium development projects to keep them occupied. Spend more money on human resource training. Both genders must have an equal opportunity to acquire skills in various fields of learning”.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

6) Solomons PM Promises Response For Leaked TRC Report
Lilo: report will bring true healing and forgiveness in Solomons

By Bradford Theonomi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 22, 2013) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has made assurances to respond positively to the leaked Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) report that has now spiraled around the world.

He told the people of West Guadalcanal constituency during his visit to Tangarare, West Guadalcanal on Sunday.

The TRC report was unofficially released by Bishop Terry Brown who was then the editor of the report.

When releasing the report, Bishop Brown said the report is very accurate and comprehensive and gives proper recognition to the victims of the conflict whose stories should be heard.

“It is not good enough to forgive the perpetrators and forget the victims, which seems to be the approach of the Government.

“I feel strongly about this as I too lived through this period of Solomon Islands history and was a participant in the tragedy of those times. Scripture tells us, ‘The truth shall make you free.’

“I am convinced that the TRC Report, as an exercise in truth telling, painful as the recollection may sometimes be, will help bring about the lasting justice, peace, reconciliation and unity that Solomon Islands so badly needs.”

But Prime Minister Lilo said Bishop’s act was a stealing attitude.

“This is a stealing attitude; from a person who does not have fear over that report.”

Lilo said it was so sad even because it was done from the outside world rather than in the country.

But the government is and will look seriously into the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report sooner than later, he said.

“NCRA will not be defensive in this regard. It is the truth and nothing but the truth in the report that will surely bring true healing and forgiveness from the hearts of people in Solomon Islands.”

PM Lilo added that only then will this enable true recovery for the country and make way for development to prosper.

This will take some time which also requires equal reconciliation in all fronts where necessary and the government will ensure it will be done accordingly, he said.

“Let us embrace it and reflect on it as another stepping stone for the country and move forward.”

Solomon Star

7) 400-seater Ferry to service Vanuatu islands shortly

Posted on May 22, 2013 By Glenda Shing

Vanuatu Ferry is the name of a ferry that has a capacity of 300 passengers but is now refitted to 400 seats that is expected to arrive in the country shortly.

Originally known as Moorea Ferry, the passenger ship used to transport the people of Moorea Island and Tahiti in French Polynesia and this time, switched its destiny to serve the islands of Vanuatu.

Built in 1986 in Japan, Vanuatu Ferry has the capacity to carry 65 cars, 10 heavy load trucks, and 400 tons of freight. The Ferry boasts to provide services and facilities within its operations on board, including a restaurant, 240 m3 General store, 3 forklifts, front and rear loading doors, 10 and 20 feet containers, reefer containers(2° and – 25° C), 6m trailers & tractor, Heavy load bulldozer trailer and has a big dinghy.

Christian Cranois, Managing Director of Vanuatu Ferry operations confirmed to Daily Post that the 57.03m ferry carries a capacity of 699 gross tonnage and will have its main office in Port Vila, and will provide regular services to Tanna, Erromango, Epi, Malekula, Santo, Ambae, Pentecost and Ambrym, and of course to other islands apart from its routine schedule.

Managing Director Cranois is also proud to announce that the captain of Vanuatu Ferry will be from Vanuatu.

While the population of Vanuatu continues to increase, the demand for shipping industry is growing too. Shipping services to the islands of Vanuatu has been very poor, and being a long time issue that needed to be addressed by relevant authorities, so with the arrival of Vanuatu Ferry, it is definitely a plus for the locals.

These developments are part of the private sector’s efforts to modernize transportation service to support the locals and economic development of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Ferry is expected to be operational in Vanuatu waters in three months time. http://www.dailypost.vu/

8) 17 film makers in Namatan Short Film Festival

Posted on May 22, 2013

Competition to become a Namatan Short Film Festival finalist is heating up, after 17 emerging short film makers graduated from the Namatan training program.

The training program was held over five days at VBTC headquarters in Port Vila, attracting participants who came from as far away as Santo to learn more about short film making.

With help from Wan Smolbag’s Love Patrol cameraman Francis Wai, Further Arts’ Libby Gott and VBTC’s Stevenson Liu and Moses Cakau, participants learned about pre-production, advanced camera techniques and post-production editing programs.

“The training program has been invaluable for those taking part. Some of the trainees here are beginners. Some are enthusiastic amateurs, while others are veterans of the film and media industry, proving that no matter the level of experience, in this business there is always something new to learn,” Mr Wai said.

Over the course of the program, trainees were tasked with creating a new idea for a film and then developing that idea through storyboarding, writing scripts and using professional filming equipment to shoot each scene. Trainees then used professional editing programs to edit the short film to broadcast standards.

The training program paid particular attention to the pre-production phase, which trainer Moses Cakau believes is an integral part of the movie making process that is often overlooked. http://www.dailypost.vu/

9) 1093 submissions received on Fiji regime’s draft constitution

Posted at 03:35 on 22 May, 2013 UTC

The Fiji government says it has received about a thousand submissions on its draft constitution.

The government has been collating views on its draft which replaces that of the dumped Constitution Commmission document, based on more than 7,000 submissions.

The Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has reiterated the regime’s draft has listened to the people in relation to land rights following fears that the draft did not guarantee indigenous people’s rights.

Commodore Bainimarama told Radio Tarana the draft is being toughened up in that regard.

He says the new constitution is a massive job and the government is not prepared to cut corners.

“We are in the process of going through the submissions we’ve received on the draft constitution. I have been informed by our legal team that we have over 1093 submissions and there are quite a few ideas to consider.”

Commodore Bainimarama says the government is still hoping to finalise the constitution next month.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Fiji PM promises tough action on trouble-makers

By Online Editor
09:59 am GMT+12, 23/05/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Prime Minister , Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says the government is not monitoring political activity but it is keeping an eye on anything that might provoke unrest.

He says the most important thing right now is to keep the peace, maintain stability and protect Fiji’s economy and jobs.

Commodore Bainimarama says Fiji’s security forces as in any country are keeping a watch and certain things will not be tolerated.

He told Radio Tarana politicians can say whatever they like as long as they don’t provoke unrest.

He says he won’t tolerate being accused of trying to steal their land or people saying Indo Fijians should be thrown out because in the Fiji context that is inciting violence.

“I’ve promised to be tough with anyone who causes trouble and I will be. That’s my solemn duty as prime minister to guarantee and protect the security of ordinary people and I take it very seriously.”

Commodore Bainimarama says trouble in the past, as in Suva in 2000 when shops were set alight, will never happen again.

SOURCE” RNZI/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA:

11) Samoa’s opposition considers move against Finance Minister’s new budget

Posted at 23:40 on 21 May, 2013 UTC

The Tautua Samoa opposition party is considering a political move against the Minister of Finance’s new budget to be tabled in Parliament next week.

The allegations of abuse of public assets and money raised by 19 ruling HRPP party MPs in a letter to the prime minister is the main reason behind the move.

The party says the Finance Minister Faumuina Tiatia Liuga should resign after mismanagement in his ministry.

Tautua Samoa’s leader, Palusalue Faapo II, says the Attorney General should consider investigating the allegations and file any charges against the minister.

He also did not reveal to reporters what action his party will take but he told local television a vote of no confidence against the minister’s budget may happen.

Radio New Zealand International

12) Paris asked to organise French Polynesia self-determination referendum

Posted at 03:35 on 22 May, 2013 UTC

The French high commissioner in Papeete says he will report to Paris the request by the new French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, for a referendum on the territory’s self-determination.

Jean-Pierre Laflaquiere has told local media that it is up to the French President, Francois Hollande, to comment on the issue.

Mr Flosse, who is an advocate for continuing the current autonomy arrangement with France, made the demand in response to last week’s UN decision to re-inscribe French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

He says he wants a referendum as soon as possible to remove the issue from politics.

After his election win two weeks ago, Mr Flosse’s party and French diplomats unsuccessfully tried to halt the UN process in New York.

Mr Flosse has also rejected the idea of restricting voting rights in the referendum to long-term residents.

Mr Temaru says the eligibility question needs to be discussed, adding that he would prefer to exclude people who arrived in the territory after 1966 when France began using the South Pacific to test its nuclear weapons.

Radio New Zealand International

MICRONESIA:

13) House Approves FY2013 National Budget Bill For Palau
Nearly all cuts formerly made by Senate restored

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, May 21, 2013) – Palau’s House yesterday passed on second reading the Fiscal Year 2013 National Budget bill, wherein most of the cuts that the Senate made earlier were reinstated.

The bill was approved unanimously on second reading by 13 delegates present during the session. Excused from the session were Del. Swenny Ongidobel, Del. Masasinge Arurang and Floor Leader Mario Gulibert.

The House Committee on Ways and Means, which reviewed the bill, stated in its committee report that amendments to the budget bill were made after taking into consideration the actual amounts spent by various government agencies per the 2nd Quarter Financial Reports.

Furthermore, the House removed non-appropriation items in the bill and focused only on budgetary items. The committee stated that the purpose of the budget bill is to finish out the FY 2013 so they only entertained budgetary items. Non-appropriation items, according the committee, should best be entertained as separate bills or as part of the FY 2014 budget bill.

Non-appropriation items include proposed tax on wages and salary, imposition of import tax and reprogramming authority.

As to the reinstated cuts, the House version restored the original budget proposed by the president for his office, the Office of the Vice President, offices under Ministry of Finance (particularly adding 20,000 to Office of the Minister), Ministry of State (only reducing Office of the Minister to $25,000 from $49,000 by the president and $45,000 by Senate and adding the appropriation of $75,000 for Southwest Islands Field Trips), Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs (particularly adding $5,000 to Bureau of Arts and Culture), Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Marine Law Enforcement, Bureau of Agriculture and Bureau of Labor and Human Resources.

For the Judicial Branch, the House increased their budget by $100,000.

In the Legislative Branch, the House maintained the budget cut for the Senate but rejected the cut for the House. The president proposed $1,808,000 for the House. The Senate cut it to $1,768,000. The House, in its version, increased it to $1,983,000. In addition, the House increased the budget for House Legal Counsel Office from $172,000 to $225,000. The proposed budget for Senate Legal Counsel Office is $172,000.

On State Block Grants, the House reinstated budgets for some states to the amount originally proposed by the president while some states got an increase. For instance, the original funding proposed for Aimeliik State was $270,000. The Senate increased it to $285,000. The House increased it further to $290,000.

Airai, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngaremlengui, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngiwal and Sonsorol also got increased grants in the House version as compared to the proposed funding by the president and the Senate. For Angaur and Peleliu, the House restored what was originally proposed. Funding for Angaur and Peleliu was increased in the Senate version.

The House also increased budget for National Postal Service and Palau Visitors Authority as compared to the president’s version and the Senate version.

On education assistance, the House restored the cut made by the Senate to Palau Community College to the funding proposed by the president. Palau Mission Academy, whose proposed funding was increased by Senate to $100,000 from $60,000, was increased only to $80,000 by the House. Ibobang High School was increased from the original proposal of $80,000 to $100,000.

For the Health Care Fund Contribution, the House proposed the sum of $100,000. The president originally proposed the sum of $400,000 while the Senate proposed the sum of $250,000.

The budget bill is up for third reading in today’s session. After passing third reading, it will be transmitted back to the Senate for the upper chamber to decide whether to pass amendments by the House or reject it, which will lead to the creation of a conference committee to iron out both houses’ differences.

Island Times: www.islandtimes.us

AUSTRALIA:

14) Australia Increases Development Aid To Fiji By 18 Percent
Fiji government welcomes pledge worth $56.9 million

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 21, 2013) – The Australian Government has announced that it will provide a record FJ$105.5 million (AU$58.2 million, or US$56.9 million) in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Fiji in the 2013-14 financial year.

The allocation is an 18 percent increase from the previous years allocation of FJ$89 million (AU$49.2 million or US$48.1 million).

The Fijian Government has welcomed the official development assistance which has increased over the years and thanked Australia for their support.

Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca said the government welcomed the focus on poverty eradication programs, education, elections and health which were priority areas of government.

“We hope that in due course, some of this ODA can be channeled through the government system to provide budgetary support for the other competing priorities of government. Currently, some of the assistance is channeled through NGOs,” Mr. Waqabaca said.

He said the assistance was nevertheless acknowledged.

Australia’s Counselor for Development Assistance in Fiji Joanne Choe says they were proud to announce that for the first time, the Australian Government would provide over FJ$100 million [US$54.3 million] in aid funding.

Ms. Choe said this demonstrated the Australian Government’s unwavering commitment to the people of Fiji.

She said the increased aid flows deliver on the Australian Government’s promise to double the size of AusAID’s bilateral budget to Fiji over two years.

“Managed from the Australian High Commission by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Australia’s aid program is focused on reducing poverty and improving basic health and education services in Fiji.

“AusAID is helping the poorest children to attend school more regularly and working to see more babies growing safely through their early years. We are also helping to promote food security and increase incomes for poor families. With this increased allocation, we will be able to improve the lives of tens of thousands more people and to reach every province of Fiji.”

She said Australia also remained committed to supporting credible steps towards democratic elections, building on the provision of FJ$4.79 million (AU$2.65 million, or US$2.6 million) for electronic voter registration, constitution development and civic education in 2012.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

TOK PISIN:

15) Niupela Solomon Islands Museum blong lukautim kalsa

Updated 22 May 2013, 12:38 AEST
Paulus Kombo

Solomon Islands Ministry blong Culture na Tourism i tingting long wokim proper Museum blong kantri.

Solomon Islands i likautim kalsa blonbgem
Odio: John Wasi, Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary bilong Ministry bilong Culture na Tourism i toktok

Ministry bilong  Culture na Tourism long Solomon Island i tingting long wokim wanpela niupela MUSEUM, we em i ken soim ol olpela samting bilong tubuna.

John Wasi, Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary bilong Ministry bilong Culture na Tourism i tok oli laikim wokim proper Muesum long kantri bikos em
mportant long go wantaem Culture na Toursim wok blong kantri.

Tu em i tok long Pacific region na raon long wol, culture em important tumas long laif oa sindaon blong pipal, bikos em i go wantaem tu identity blong region  oa we oli kam longen.

John Wasi i tok em i important olsem long niupela Mesium blong kantri long preservim oa holim ol historic wok na stori oa item blong bifo bifo long wanem
kain wei pipal i bin sindao n na kain olsem long soim history.

Long last wik, Solomon Islands minista blong Culture na Toursim, Samuel Maneoali i bin tokaut long despela plen long International Museum Day. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRANIS:

16) Îles Salomon : un bébé sauvé in-extremis

Posté à 23 May 2013, 8:40 AEST
Pierre Riant

Bébé qui revient de loin et même de sous la terre puisque le nourrisson a été enterré par sa mère après sa naissance et aurait été sauvé quelques heures plus tard.

Le Solomon Star précise que le bébé est né mardi vers 6h30 du matin, l’heure où Frank Misi a décidé de faire quelques achats.

Lui et un ami ont découvert des gouttes de sang en se rendant aux magasins : « J’étais curieux et j’ai voulu savoir où elles allaient nous mener », a-t-déclaré.

Ils ont découvert un trou qui de toute évidence venait d’être rebouché et sur lequel un vieux pneu avait été placé. Le pneu a été enlevé et Frank Misi s’est mis à creuser avec une pelle et a fini par découvrir la main du nourrisson. : une fille toujours en vie qui a tout de suite été transportée à l’hôpital.

Elle pèse 2,5 kg et elle est en bonne santé. La mère présumée de l’enfant a été interpellée par la police.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

17) Australie : abattage de 10 000 chevaux dans le Territoire du nord

Posté à 23 May 2013, 8:30 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le Central Land Council a commencé les opérations d’abattage dans la région de Tempe Downs à environ 300 kilomètres au sud-ouest d’Alice Springs.

4 hélicoptères transportant des tireurs d’élite vont sillonner cette région jusqu’au mois de juin.

Un avertissement de santé publique et de sécurité a également été lancé pour tenir les visiteurs à l’écart de la zone ciblée.

Tempe Downs est une ancienne propriété d’élevage d’environ 1 000 kilomètres carrés qui est maintenant entre les mains d’un Fonds fiduciaire foncier aborigène : Urrampinyi Iltjitajarri.

Pour justifier l’abattage, le Central Land Council a diffusé des images de chevaux sauvages morts près d’un point d’eau asséchés dans les terres rouges du désert : la terrible conséquence d’une population de chevaux hors de contrôle, estiment les autorités.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

PASIFIK:


18) Situation for Pacific people in NZ unlikely to affect migration: academic

By Online Editor
09:51 am GMT+12, 23/05/2013, New Zealand

A Wellington-based academic says she doubts a report highlighting poverty among Pacific people in New Zealand will have any effect on migration to the country.

On Monday, the Salvation Army report said Pacific people have the highest unemployment, the lowest incomes and a widening income gap that could mean they’re left behind when the economy recovers from the global recession.

But a senior lecturer in Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, Teresia Teaiwa, says people don’t always think of these kinds of things when they choose to migrate.

“One of the things we need to understand is that the choice to migrate is not always a rational one. People migrate with hope and aspirations, not with certitude.”

Teaiwa says the report does show the number of Pacific students enrolled in tertiary education is booming, and she hopes this will help improve the outlook, with more Pasifika people getting high-paying jobs.

SOURCE” RNZI/PACNEWS

BUSINESS:

19) Business in PNG costly

By Online Editor
4:46 pm GMT+12, 21/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Operating a business in Papua New Guinea is a costly exercise but is worth the investment as the country experiences a stable economy and government.

David Conn, the chief executive officer of Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce said this at the New Zealand Papua New Guinea Business Council 20th anniversary trade mission in Port Moresby yesterday. “The growing inflation, high rental fees, access to skilled labor, the expectations of local staff and partners are some of the challenges that new foreign businesses face,” he said.

However, he pointed out that with the boom in the mining sector, especially with the LNG, PNG is set to have a significant growth in its economy.

“The US$19 billion PNG LNG project is the largest project that Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest oil and gas operator, has undertaken as project operator. It also involved the largest ever project loan raised worldwide for any oil or gas project and this is an event that certainly puts PNG on the world financial map,” he said.

Conn further stated that PNG was confident of delivering the first gas by 2014.

He also told participants that while there were many more benefits to come from the LNG project, other potential projects worth investing in included the Interoil LNG project in Gulf, Talisman Energy’s project in Western province and the Purari Hydro Scheme.

Apart from the economic stability that the country is currently facing, Mr Conn pointed out that the Government has also been doing well.

He said the Government is investing heavily to boost investor confidence. “Some of the projects that the Government is investing heavily into is the restructure of the Highlands Highway with a loan from China and the Asian Development Bank’s announcement of a 10 year airport development program,” he added.

He further stressed that there are many opportunities for New Zealand businesses in the country. The opportunities include supply and servicing, labor recruitment, training, transportation, property development, catering and telecommunications.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

20) Job opportunities for Fiji nurses and teachers in PNG

By Online Editor
4:49 pm GMT+12, 21/05/2013, Fiji

There’s good news for those in the nursing and teaching profession.

The Papua New Guinea government has recently lifted a ban on foreign nurses and teachers, allowing locals to apply for positions there.

PNG Minister for Trade Richard Maru says they are already in discussions with Fiji to address the skills shortage.

“We think there are a lot of opportunities for our folks within the Islands to come and work in PNG rather than us going to Asia or Australia and New Zealand we are looking to the islands to come and fill a lot of opportunities that are available.”

The PNG government will undertake a survey to determine how many jobs are available before advertising the positions.

Maru was part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Ministers meeting held in Nadi yesterday.

SOURCE: FBC/PACNEWS

21) Country not ready for casino, says PNG PM

By Online Editor
09:22 am GMT+12, 21/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has told Parliament that the country was not ready to introduce casinos and his government would not allow them to operate here.

He also revealed that the proposed casino and hotel development at 4-Mile was condemned because it failed to meet building standards.

National Capital District Governor PowesParkop had asked O’Neill  about the status of the casino and why Gobe landowners’ investment  government plans on the project had been abandoned.

O’Neill said PNG was not ready to allow casinos to operate where people were struggling to support their families.

He said there was also no law governing casinos in the country.

He said public servants would most probably be the ones gambling and it would affect their families.

O’Neill said the National Gaming Control Board would terminate the licences of pokies operators not meeting required standards.

He said new shareholders in the 4-Mile casino and hotel building would come up with their own structure to meet the required building standard.

He said he was impressed with landowners investing in hotels and other businesses.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

22) Kava exports to boost economy

By Online Editor
09:53 am GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s economy will be boosted if kava exports are opened up for pharmaceutical or medical purposes.

And the benefits of such exports will flow down not only to the kava or yaqona farmers but to many communities.

Fiji Kava Council chairman Rupeni Koroi made the comments while welcoming the findings of a clinical trial on kava carried out by the University of Melbourne.

“If the findings are taken on board by the Australian authorities, then there will be a big market for kava and the demand will also increase,” he said.

“Kava farmers want overseas market and they always ask the council when would the markets open up to export their product.

“If the market opens up, then we will have to continue supplying in order to meet the demand overseas.

“As such, the council believes that kava farmers in the country need the assistance of relevant authorities to plant more kava and increase production.”

Koroi attended a European Union-funded meeting in Vanuatu last year to discuss ways of improving the kava industry and the product itself.

He said the council was working closely with Secretariat of the Pacific Community to improve the quality of kava being planted in the country.

“In Fiji, there are 12 varieties of kava planted but there are 82 varieties of kava in Vanuatu.

“But you can’t drink some of the kava that is produced in Vanuatu because if you do, then you have to rest completely for two or three days.”

Koroi also said there was a need to have one name for kava in Fiji, saying it had different names in different places where it was planted.

“We need to improve the quality of kava that is produced in Fiji and we also have to clarify the kava lactones, which is something that pharmaceutical companies look at when buying kava.

“Kava is just like food now and we need to work with the agricultural authorities to boost production and improve quality.

“The council believes that the kava industry can beat the sugar industry if it is given support by the authorities concerned.”

Koroi thanked the University of Melbourne for carrying out the research on kava, saying a group from Australia also met with him about two months ago to discuss the kava issue.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

23) PNG pulls plug on joint venture talks with NZ

By Online Editor
3:39 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s trade minister says he is no longer interested in discussing joint ventures with New Zealand businesses.

Richard Maru visited New Zealand last October and expressed a desire to have New Zealand companies invest in dairy and sheep meat farming and geothermal power production.

He said at the time he wanted to establish joint ventures to create opportunities and wealth in PNG’s rural heartland.

But Maru says no New Zealand company got in touch and he is now looking elsewhere.

“We came to New Zealand we tell you we would like to get some sort of provision to start a dairy industry, there is no interest from New Zealand. You want us to continue to be a market for yourselves. You don’t want to help us build capacity so we can stop importing your dairy products see. That’s the problem. Those days are past. We will not accept this nonsense anymore.”

Maru earlier this week said PNG should pull out of the PACER Plus plan for a Pacific common market because it favoured New Zealand and Australia at the expense of the island countries.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

24) Palau moves forward with plans to ban commercial fishing

By Online Editor
12:42 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Palau

Palau is moving forward with plans to ban all foreign commercial fishing in its exclusive economic zone.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau Junior on Friday created a Marine Sanctuary Study Group tasked to determine the overall economic impact of imposing a ban on commercial fishing.

The group will also explore options that could help offset economic loss caused by the ban.

The President says Palau does not receive sufficient compensation from tuna sales, considering its high and increasing value in the market.

President Remengesau explained the ban would make Palau a large marine sanctuary and his administration’s vision is for an area that is so well protected that Palau will become the world’s largest marine sanctuary.

The President says the study undertaken by the Group is needed to ensure that the ban can be done in an enforceable, effective and economically viable way.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

25) Palau Moves Closer To Banning All Commercial Fishing
Special group formed to determine impacts of proposed ban

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 21, 2013) – Palau is moving forward with plans to ban all foreign commercial fishing in its exclusive economic zone.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau Junior on Friday created a Marine Sanctuary Study Group tasked to determine the overall economic impact of imposing a ban on commercial fishing.

The group will also explore options that could help offset economic loss caused by the ban.

The President says Palau does not receive sufficient compensation from tuna sales, considering its high and increasing value in the market.

President Remengesau explained the ban would make Palau a large marine sanctuary and his administration’s vision is for an area that is so well protected that Palau will become the world’s largest marine sanctuary.

The President says the study undertaken by the Group is needed to ensure that the ban can be done in an enforceable, effective and economically viable way.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

HEALTH:

26) Protesting PNG nurses still provide care at Goroka hospital

Posted at 03:34 on 22 May, 2013 UTC

The head of the Eastern Highlands branch of the Papua New Guinea Nurses Association says staff are still providing critical care services at Goroka Base Hospital, despite the withdrawal of some services as a protest.

Lanson Hinanu says in February nurses and doctors called for the hospital board to confront staff shortages and a lack of critical material, such as blood products.

He says nothing has happenend and this has meant patients have to go to other provinces for hospital care or go without.

Mr Hinanu says since Tuesday protesting staff members have been vetting prospective patients at the hospital’s gates and turning away those that are not critical.

“We don’t want to miss out any patients who really want to get help from us, but our focus is not to penalise the patient, it is for the management to come and see us and see OK this is what we can do to help the patients. And of course the public and patients are in support because a lot of them have lost loved ones moving out to the other hospital.”

Radio New Zealand International

27) AusAID Funds New Oxygen Plants For Vanuatu Hospitals
Program will provide units, training for hospital staff

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 21, 2013) – “The purchase and installation of new oxygen plants for our two main hospitals is a vital asset for the people of Vanuatu,” said acting Minister for Health Tony Wright after signing the contract on Friday 17 May 2013.

Following approvals through Council of Ministers for the award of contract on Thursday 16th May, the Ministry of Health signed the 50 million vatu [US$530,786] contract with HK Logistics Pty Limited for the procurement, installation and commissioning of the plants.

“As, the main development partner of Vanuatu, saving lives is our priority. The two new oxygen plants will contribute to reach that goal,” said Belynda McNaughton, AusAID First Secretary.

The Australian Aid funded project was initially formulated in 2011 following the failure of the oxygen plant at Vila Central Hospital, a system which had been in place since the late 1970s.

The project will also provide training on maintenance and operation for three Ministry of Health staff in both Australia and Vanuatu to ensure that plants can be operated safely and faults can be quickly identified and addressed.

With the rising cost of oxygen gas supplies to the Ministry of Health each year, the implementation of two new oxygen plants will provide some breathing space for the 2014 budget and future budgets to come. The ministry stands to save around 20 million vatu [US$212,314] per year once the plants are established, freeing up recurrent budget monies to be reallocated towards maintenance and other essential services.

The oxygen plants will be commissioned in April 2014, the same month as the JICA funded out-patient department at Vila Central Hospital will be completed, ensuring that medical gases can be provided directly to the new facilities.

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

EDUCATION:


28) American Samoan students ask for sex education in classrooms

Posted at 03:34 on 22 May, 2013 UTC

A group of senior high school students in American Samoa have told lawmakers they believe sex education should be taught in the classrooms to help reduce the territory’s high rate of teen pregnancy.

But representatives Lemanu Talo and Talaimatai Elisara Su’a, who are both former teachers, say there is already a health class that teaches students about the reproductive system.

They say any specific class for sex education would have to be taught by teachers who are certified to teach such a course.

Talaimatai Elisara Su’a says he doesn’t believe the classroom is the best place for teenagers to learn about sex.

“It’s a very sensitive issue. It’s a great concern about teaching sex education but the best way that could teach sex education. Basically we should start from the home with the family, and even including ministers and the DOE.”

American Samoan representative Talaimatai Elisara Su’a.

Radio New Zealand International

29) Guam To Shuffle Principals In Half Of Public Schools
Early announcement hoped to give time for smooth transition

By Louella Losinio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, May 22, 2013) – Half of Guam’s public schools will have new principals when the new school year opens this August.

Guam Department of Education (GODE) Superintendent Jon Fernandez released his assignments of school administrators for School Year 2013-2014 with more than 20 of GDOE’s 40 public schools having new school administrators.

Fernandez said the department took several factors into consideration, including choosing the right administrators to move each school forward.

GDOE, in particular, took note of each administrator’s experience, the number of years spent at a particular site, strengths and weaknesses, teacher and parent feedback, school improvement progress, and school challenges.

Earlier this year, administrators were informed that reassignments were a possibility, especially for those administrators with five or more years at their school.

During the last 10 months, Fernandez had the opportunity to visit schools and gather feedback from parents, teachers and school officials, during which he got a good picture of what each school needs to move forward as well as the type of leadership that would benefit each school.

“I take a lot of factors into consideration and there are a number of them. What I wanted to do is choose administrators who can move the school forward. That really would involve administrators working with the teachers to implement the curriculum and see progress,” Fernandez said in an interview with Variety.

Smooth transition

Reassignments are usually announced in the week or two before the school year starts. But this early announcement, Fernandez stressed, would give administrators enough time to work together on a smooth transition that will help all schools prepare for the school year.

The new assignments will take effect July 1 to give the administrators enough time to move into their new schools. With the earlier announcement, the school administrators have six weeks to close out their work at their current school and six weeks to transition into their new assignments.

Before releasing the list, Fernandez also met one-on-one with the principals and assistant principals to explain the process and discuss GDOE’s priorities.

Although the assignments had been finalized, Fernandez stressed the department will continue to monitor and revisit the progress of the administrators at each school.

Guide

Erika Cruz, deputy superintendent of Educational Support and Community Learning, will manage the overall transition and has developed a transition checklist that will serve as a guide.

“This is the first time we have made assignments this far in advance of the school year and met with each principal and assistant principal to discuss their roles,” Cruz said. “It’s a process that our administrators appreciate and an opportunity for the superintendent to discuss his priorities for each school. We look forward to a smooth transition.”

In addition, Fernandez said in the coming weeks he will be sitting down with the principals to look at priorities such as school accreditation and program timelines.

“I am confident in the school leaders that will be in place at each of our schools this coming school year,” Fernandez said. “Instead of pulling names out of a hat to make assignments, I took time to reflect on my visits to schools and my conversations with administrators, teachers, parents and students before making any decision about the teams to help each school move forward. I want to make sure that every school is positioned to succeed next year.”

“Change is hard,” Fernandez added. “But change can be good if it helps us to refocus our energies, use our experiences to solve new problems, and remind us that we are responsible, as GDOE school leaders, to help all of our public school students on Guam and not just the ones at our current school. I know my administrators are up to the challenge.”

Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com

LAW&ORDER:

30) Border drug trade a concern in PNG

By Online Editor
12:41 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Police believe there is a drug syndicate operating between Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of Jayapura.

West Sepik provincial police commander Supt Robert Gesa said hundreds of kilogrammes of marijuana were being traded by PNG citizens at Wutung village, the traditional border crossing.

The drugs could also be ferried across by boat from Vanimo to Jayapura. Police cannot do anything about it because they do not have any patrol boats. He said a police boat bought for the province was still sitting at the police headquarters in Konedobu, National Capital District.

He said marijuana was being traded for firearms, cash and pornographic material.

In an incident a fortnight ago, two Wutung men were shot at by Indonesian soldiers in their side of the border.

“One of them was shot and wounded but they both managed to cross over and we picked them up, took the injured to the hospital and detained them at the police station for questioning.

“No charges have been laid because of lack of evidence so police released both men. But we are keeping a close eye on this syndicate,” Gesa said.

He said the two men had crossed the border pretending to go to their garden at the back of the Batas Trade Centre. They sold an undisclosed amount of marijuana to three Indonesians.

“At the completion of the transaction, the two returned home but the three Indonesians were arrested by the military.

“They then ordered the three men to call their two PNG friends to meet them the next day at the border where they would give some gifts to them,” he said.

Gesa said the two men arrived and upon seeing the Indonesian soldiers, ran back towards the PNG side. One was shot and wounded.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

31) High-Profile CNMI Lawyer Allegedly Preyed On Client
Ramon K. Quichocho’s professional conduct called into question

By Ferdie de la Torre

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, May 22, 2013) – An expert witness retained in a racketeering lawsuit against Northern Marianas attorney Ramon K. Quichocho has stated that Quichocho not only committed ethical transgressions but likely even criminal acts.

Benjamin M. Abrams, an assistant attorney general at the Guam Office of the Attorney General, said the facts strongly suggest that Quichocho took unfair and unethical advantage of a client, Jung Ja Kim, by sexually victimizing her while she was on depression medication, thwarting her recovery, in an act of moral turpitude, and violative of the American Bar Association’s Disciplinary Rules.

[PIR editor’s note: Quichocho was recently nominated for the position of a Superior Court judge by Lieutenant Governor Jude U. Hofschneider, a nomination also supported by Governor Eloy S. Inos. His nomination drew concerns which lead to an evaluation by the NMI Bar Association. That evaluation, conducted by surveying Bar members, found Quichocho deficient, scoring low on professional competence, judicial temperament, service to law, and integrity. He was rated as not meeting even the minimal standards of performance for a judicial nominee. Quichocho has since called the evaluation “unfair.”]

Saipan Tribune emailed Quichocho for comments but he has not been responding.

Abrams filed his expert opinion in federal court on Friday.

Kim retained Abrams to provide expert trial testimony in connection with Kim’s racketeering lawsuit against Quichocho. The lawsuit is set for trial this November in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

Abrams has over 43 years of professional experience practicing as an attorney specializing in litigation, in both civil and criminal matters, including international arbitration. He said his expert witness report is intended solely for the purpose of litigation in Kim’s case.

Quichocho’s counsel, Michael Dotts, also filed in federal court on Friday a July 27, 2012, expert report of former police detective and now Rep. Chris D. Leon Guerrero.

Leon Guerrero, then owner of LG Private Investigation Services, stated that it is his opinion that Kim was using a series of corporate entities that she in fact controlled to hide assets from her former husband and the Division of Revenue and Tax.

Leon Guerrero also stated that Kim was using other individuals to accomplish the same purposes of concealing corporate entities.

In his expert witness report, Abrams said the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.8(j) prohibits a lawyer from having sex with his client, whether it was consensual or not.

Abrams conceded that the sex issue may ultimately result in a jury resolving any conflicting testimony of the parties, as Quichocho could deny that anything sexual ever happened between him and his client.

“Yet repeated travels together, sharing hotel rooms and their extensive e-mail chat are persuasive circumstances which should easily make the difference,” said Abrams, citing an exhibit in Kim’s separate complaint against Quichocho filed in October 2009 in federal court.

Abrams said that Quichocho claims that the Hyatt Hotel in Guam had only one room available to justify his sleeping with Kim, but hotel records showed room availability.

Quichocho also denied advising Kim to enter a commercial lease agreement with him but, according to Abrams, Quichocho’s law office itself produced the lease document.

In summarizing his opinion, Abrams said the documentation such as corporate records, executed agreements, sales receipts, etc., irresistibly suggest ethical transgressions by Quichocho.

“In my professional opinion, [Quichocho’s] conduct toward [Kim] was decidedly unethical in numerous transactions and pervasive of their personal relationship,” he said.

Abrams said he arrived at this conclusion based on the fact that even by giving Quichocho the benefit of the doubt, he appeared to take unfair advantage of his client in repeated transactions where there was an obvious conflict of interests and a long series of sexual improprieties.

This conclusion, he said, is supported by evidence that Quichocho would invite Kim to enter a business transaction with him, such as a lease or setting up a company, then prevail upon her to contribute capital and assets, only to bill her for creating the commercial structure and then require her to perform sexual favors while Kim was being treated with medication to relieve severe emotional depression.

Abrams said that Quichocho arbitrarily billed Kim for $40,000, despite the lack of any underlying fee agreement or substantiation, which is a violation of his professional ethics.

Abrams said MRPC Rule 1.8(a) also prohibits a lawyer from entering a business transaction with a client.

Abrams said to evaluate whether Quichocho created a conflict of interests with Kim, he (Abrams) had mainly to consider a commercial lease agreement dated Oct. 30, 2007, between Quichocho and Kim’s company.

If it is established that Quichocho drafted the commercial lease agreement, and it appears that he did, this only compounds the violation if he charged Kim a fee for doing so, Abrams said.

Equally obvious, he said, is the conflict of interest violation by Quichocho in entering a residential lease with Kim’s company, dated March 19, 2008.

In April 2008, Abrams said, Quichocho sold Kim a “shell” company, Tan Dingo LLC, which he continued to own and control.

Abrams said for Quichocho to have sold Kim a company, inducing her to buy it on the assurance that she would own and control the entity, never registering her as a controlling shareholder/member/officer and retaining such ownership and control in himself, and his wife, “is both a conflict of interests and, worse yet, sheer fraud.”

Abrams said based on his analysis and facts, Quichocho “almost certainly turned a blind eye to his fiduciary obligations to Kim, and the rules against conflicting interests, sexual relations with a client, deception and deceit.”

“Attorney Quichocho appears to have become emboldened with his initial success in deceiving his client and became solely motivated by singular greed to the abject exclusion of ethical, moral, or fiduciary concerns,” he added.

Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com

CLIMATE CHANGE & ENVIROMENT:

32) Three-quarters of Asia-Pacific nations ‘lack water security’

By Online Editor
3:32 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Thailand

About 75 per cent of emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region suffer from low levels of water security, with millions still living without safe water supplies and sanitation facilities, according to a study published last week.

The Asian Water Development Outlook 2013, prepared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia Pacific Water Forum, showed that out of the 49 countries surveyed, 37 are facing serious water crises.

The study blamed rising populations, urbanisation, lack of governmental investmentand outdated policies and institutions, among other factors, for failing to provide communities with adequate sanitation services and access to safe, piped water.

Bindu Lohani, ADB’s vice-president for knowledge management and sustainable development, says he finds it “alarming” that such water insecurity exists in the region despite it being home to some of the fastest growing and mosttechnologically advanced economies in the world.

Sylvia Inciong, ADB’s external relations officer, says that even strong economies like Japan, Singapore and South Korea have failed to reach a water secure stage. Only Australia and New Zealand are considered to have effective systems for water resource management, she says.

Among the indicators used in the study are household, economic, urban, and environmental water security; as well as resilience to water-related disasters.

“The region needs US$59 billion in investments for water supply and US$71 billion for improved sanitation,” the study says. It also urges water to be used more productively — through the recycling of “used water”, for example — and for governments to adopt a corporate-style governance to improve services for urban and wastewater management.

While South-East Asia fares better than South Asia, which Lohani cites as the worst performing region in Asia, if the three best performing countries — Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore — are removed from the equation, South-East Asia would also score poorly, the study says.

Cambodia, the country with the lowest score in the region with a score of only 1.60 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest), suffers from a severe lack of water security. Other countries with low scores include Timor Leste (1.8), Indonesia (2.6), Laos (2.6), Myanmar (2.2), the Philippines (2.2), Thailand (2.2) and Vietnam (1.8).

The Pacific island states are also doing poorly with Kiribati (1.2), Nauru (1.6) and Tuvalu (1.6) showing poor performances on almost all indices.

“Many Pacific islands suffer from a lack of access to safe piped water and decent sanitation and are highly vulnerable to increasingly severe natural disasters,” the ADB said during the launch.

The ADB study emphasises that “there are no one-size-fits-all solutions across the region”. Instead, the appropriate solutions for each country will reflect the country’s resource endowment, economic development, culture, and chosen development path, it says.

“As the national water security assessments in [the report] demonstrate, there is an urgent need to strengthen the capacity for integrated planning and management nationally as well as in river basins and cities,” says the study.

Countries capable of overcoming the challenges and become water secure “are in a better position for sustainable economic growth,” Arriens says.

SOURCE: SciDev.Net/ THOMPSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/PACNEWS

33) Solomons Tsunami Refugees Return To Coastal Home
Temotu premier says returning people have nowhere else to go

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 21, 2013) – Residents of Santa Cruz island in the Solomon Islands province hit by earthquakes and a tsunami in February have been forced to return to their flattened coastal settlement.

At least 10 people were killed and thousands displaced after a magnitude eight quake generated waves that smashed through seaside villages of Temotu province, destroying homes and infrastructure.

Temotu’s premier, Father Charles Brown Beu, says about 600 people have had to return to the coast because there is nowhere else for them to live.

“They really are not comfortable, I understand that, even I’m not comfortable with it myself. But we’re banking on this situation that the tsunami doesn’t come back in a number of years and so on. I don’t know how true this would be but that’s what the experts have told us and we’re banking on their advice.”

Father Beu says a government pledge to find alternative land for the refugees has not materialized.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

SPORT:

34) Fiji 7s best named

By Online Editor
1:11 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Fiji

Nine overseas-based players have been named in the Digicel Fiji sevens 30-member squad for the Rugby World Cup (RWC) 7s which will be held in Moscow, Russia next month.

Coach Alivereti Dere and his selectors have also included the players that featured for the national side in the 2012/13 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series along with Naitasiri wing Sunia Kubu and Nadroga rover Ratu Meli Kurinisau as the newcomers.

France-based Seremaia Burotu, Joeli Lutumailagi, Timoci Matanavou, Metuisela Talebula and Waisea Nayacalevu, England-based Watisoni Votu and Vereniki Goneva, Scotland-based Nikola Matawalu and Australia-based Alipate Ratini are the overseas-based players in contention for a spot in the team.

The team will join a three-day camp at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua today.

Fiji Rugby Union is expected to field two teams at the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament next weekend before finalising the team for the world cup which will be held from June 28 to 30.

Meanwhile the newly-elected FRU board has given its full support to the national 7s management.

Board chairman Filimone Waqabaca said their support towards the preparation was that they were not making any “drastic changes” to the team at this stage.

He said they believed in the coach and his staff and were hoping for them to do well at the world cup.

“We are too close, just a month away from the world cup.

“All that we can do from the board side is to show them our support that we are not making any hasty changes,” Waqabaca said.

“They have won tournaments where they wanted to and likewise did not perform well when the mind seemed not there but this is world cup and I think a lot is required of this team going into this tournament.”

30 Member 2013 Rugby World Squad: Jasa Veremalua, Ulaiasi Lawavou, Lepani Botia, Jone Vota, Setefano Cakau, Nemani Nagusa, Mosese Saunivanua, Sakuisa Gavidi, Ilai Tinani, Emosi Mulevoro, Osea Kolinisau, Samisoni Viriviri, Leone Nakarawa, Donasio Ratubuli, Joji Ragamate, Vilitati Sokiveta, Manasa Nayagi, Manueli Laqai, Vucago Bainitabua, Ratu Meli Kurinisau, Sunia Kubu, Alipate Ratini, Watisoni Votu (France), Seremaia Burotu (France), Joeli Lutumailagi (France), Timoci Matanavou (France), Vereniki Goneva (England), Nikola Matawalu (Scotland), Metuisela Talebula (France), Waisea Nayacalevu (France).

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

35) New faces in PNG sevens squad

By Online Editor
1:07 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

Three Madang Mad Gauns players have finally broken into the SP Export Lager PNG Sevens team.

Consistent performances at local tournaments over the last three years have finally paid-off for Toby Toally, Donald Kais and now Port Moresby-based Mara Katam.

PNG is preparing to participate in one of Fiji’s strongest tournaments, the 37th Fiji Bitter Marists Sevens on May 31 to June 1 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

The trio will finally get the chance to prove their worth to sevens coach Warren Jennings.

They have been named in a newly stitched outfit that also welcomes the return of former sevens international’s in Abau’s Kojo Ware and Roland Namo.

Rising star Ezra Kautu has also wedged his way into team.

The other Madang player named is PNG Under-20 representative Arnold Lange, who has been named as a shadow player.

This is the last throw of the dice for Jennings, who needs a positive performance leading-up to their Oceania Cup campaign.

With PNG being omitted from the IRB World Series legs in Adelaide and Wellington, it is important for the team to do well at the Oceania Cup slated for Fiji.

While the road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janerio looks to be out of reach on current for there is still a glimmer of hope if Jennings can put the right mix of players together.

PNG 7s team: Douglas Guise, Gairo Varo, Donald Kais, Roland Namo, Esra Kautu, Tisa Kautu, Hubert Tsereha, Henry Liliket, Albert Levi Jnr, Toby Toally, Mara Katam, Kojo Ware.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

36) MRDC back PNG netball

By Online Editor
1:03 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Netball Federation received a cheque of K20, 000 yesterday from Mineral Resource Development Corporation (MRDC) to further local netball development.

The cheque was presented at MRDC’s main office in Port Moresby by General Manager of Client and Administration Services Imbi Tagune to a small group of netball representative players and managers. MRDC shirts were also given to the small netball fraternity present to mark the day.

Tagune told the media that MRDC was happy to add the netball code to its list of funded sporting codes.

“We have backed PNG’s champion soccer team Hekari United, we recently broke into rugby and now to put our weight behind netball through this sponsorship only furthers MRDC’s aim to help the country through community recreational development,” said an enthusiastic Tagune.

Speaking on behalf of the PNG NF was its President Julienne Leka-Maliaki who thanked MRDC upon receiving the cheque stating that PNG netball was on the rise with a real shot at making it big in the international arena.

“The support only furthers our cause and strengthens our resolve to focus on developing our young players, especially the Under 21 team that has players already playing in the Pepes team due to their remarkable skill.

“Our Pepes team is foremost of course but we are putting a strong emphasis on developing our next set of players. That is why we are soliciting funds that we hope will reach K200,000 to enable PNG netball to send a team to Glasgow in August for this year’s World netball series,” said Leka.

Also at the presentation was Under 21 Manageress Kori Toua who announced that the Under 21 final selection would be held during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (June 8, 9 and 10).

Toua also announced that there would be a Mixed netball K500 paten mini tournament held this Sunday at the Rita Flynn courts and asked all interested persons to contact her on 73334852 or email: ktoua@deloitte.com.pg for further information.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

37) Australian Olympian in Solomons basketball program

By Online Editor
1:06 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2013, Solomon Islands

An Australian former Olympian is in Solomon Islands to help encourage the country’s young people to play basketball.

Former Opal Annie La Fleur is in Honiara participating in a range of development activities, including visiting local schools to promote healthy lifestyles through basketball, and working with the country’s national players and clubs.

She says she’ll also hold talks on upgrading local basketball facilities.

La Fleur has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat a big priority of her visit is to boost foundational skills in basketball among the Solomons junior teams.

“Basic skills is very important and I think basic fundamentals is something that’s lacking and needs to start at grassroots levels and that’s with the juniors. From there, they’ll progress to the national teams,” she said.

She has also identified a similar need to develop fundamental skills in Vanuatu when she visited the island last week.

“They’ve got a lot of competitions happening in Port Vila…[but] basic fundamentals are lacking.”

La Fleur’s visit is part of the Oceania Basketball Federation program, and follows an AusAID development workshop that took place in Australia in April.

“Part of the follow up to the workshop is for me to travel to the Islands that the development officers are in, just to see what they’ve actually implemented into their programs from the workshop,” La Fleur said.

“I want to do as much as I can. I’m not sure when I’ll be back into Honiara so I want to get as much done as possible.”

She will return to the Pacific region in July to visit Fiji, Kiribati and Samoa.

La Fleur won silver representing Australia as a basketball player in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

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