Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 858


1) Celebrating 25 years of MSG Solidarity & charting the way forward
By Online Editor
10:04 am GMT+12, 28/05/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Government of Papua New Guinea will play host to two of the three most important events on the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Calendar for 2013.

This week, the Government is celebrating the organization’s Silver Jubilee in a series of celebrations in MSG capitals since the celebrations were launched in January 2013 in Port Vila, Vanuatu, where the MSG Secretariat headquarters is based.

PNG also welcomes the visit early this week by the MSG Eminent Persons Group (EPG) who will be undertaking consultations with various stakeholders to review the organization’s performance as well as to develop a vision for the future. The EPG is led by Ambassador Kaliopate Tavola of Fiji and other members include:Roch Wamytan, first Vice President of Congress of New Caledonia; Manasseh Sogovare, former Prime Minister and current Member of Parliament of Solomon Islands; Joe Natuman, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current Member of Parliament of Vanuatu; and Leonard Louma, former Acting Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Relations Advisor to former Prime Minister,Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare of Papua New Guinea.

Since the launching of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in Vanuatu early this year, members of the MSG – Fiji and Solomon Islands organized similar celebrations in March whilst Vanuatu celebrated the event early this month. After PNG hosts the Celebrations this week from 30 May – 1 June, the FLNKS of New Caledonia will host the final celebrations next month when they will also host the 3rd most important event on the MSG calendar for 2013, the 19th MSG Leaders’ Summit. The Government has invited  Roch Wamytan as Chief Guest, a prominent Kanak Leader and currently one of two vice-Presidents of the Congress of New Caledonia.  The theme of the silver jubilee celebrations is: Celebrating 25 years of MSG Solidarity and Growth.

PNG is celebrating the silver jubilee with a series of events which include cultural performances, a Melanesian market, Canoe racing, Panel Discussions, School quiz competition and a fashion parade.

The EPG has been visiting MSG capitals since April to gauge the views of Leaders, the Government’s, Members of Parliament, Departmental Heads, Chiefs, statutory bodies, the private sector, civil society, academia, development partners and other relevant stakeholders. Recently in Vanuatu, the Chairman of the EPG, Ambassador Tavola presented a progress of the EPG team’s work to the MSG Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Vanuatu.  Next month, the EPG is also expected to deliver their final report to the MSG Leaders through the Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM), which should chart the future direction of the MSG.

On Monday, the EPG met Departmental Heads, PNG Business Council and Manufacturers Council of PNG.They will meet other relevant stakeholders throughout the week and will also participate in the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

On behalf of the MSG EPG, Ambassador Tavola said the team was excited to be in PNG at the same time the Silver Jubilee celebrations are being held as the future of the MSG or any organization cannot be determined unless we take stock of our past and current performance(s) to measure our successes and failures.  ‘Only then, will the membership be able to re-prioritize and decide on the way forward,’ added Ambassador Tavola.

On behalf of the Director General and staff of the MSG Secretariat, the acting Deputy Director General, Mr Peni Sikvou who is also accompanying the EPG, expressed the organization’s deep appreciation to the Government of Papua New Guinea for their continued commitment to the MSG – evident in the excellent programmes they have prepared for the EPG as well as for the Silver Jubilee celebrations. He added that the Secretariat was proud and indeed privileged to be part of these events in Papua New Guinea with its rich cultural heritage, diverse culture; and the most vibrant democratic system and robust economy in the region.

2) Indonesia denies reports of massacre in Papua province

Posted at 08:36 on 28 May, 2013 UTC

The Indonesian embassy in New Zealand has dismissed claims there has been a mass killing in the remote province of Papua.

Last week a report emerged from the KNPB, or National Committee for West Papua, that up to 41 people had gone missing in the remote area of Tingginambut, which is reportedly controlled by Indonesian Kopassus troops.

Human rights groups, as well as the West Papua Media Alerts group, say up to 18 names have been confirmed of people whose mutilated bodies were found in ditches and in bags and sacks.

It is the same area where eight Kopassus troops were killed by guerilla fighters earlier this year.

Achmad Gozali, the Minister-Counsellor at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington says the reports are untrue.

“That is a baseless accusation and of course we categorically deny the quote unquote reported killing. They just want to discredit the Indonesian government.”

Achmad Gozali.

Radio New Zealand International

3) West Papua Leaders Reject Clemency Proposal From Indonesia
Prisoners say ‘the whole of Papua should be released’ from colonization

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 28, 2013) – Jailed West Papuan leaders have reportedly rejected the Indonesian President’s promise to free all Papuan political prisoners.

In a statement signed by 30 political prisoners in Abepura Prison, the inmates say they do not need to be released, but that rather the whole of Papua should be released from the colonisation of Indonesia.

The signatures include long-serving Filep Karma as well as West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, leader Victor Yeimo who was arrested and detained earlier this month.

He was arrested with four others during a peaceful demonstration to mark the 50th anniversary of Indonesia’s takeover of the province.

At least three protestors were killed by police and up to 20 arrested.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised last week to free all Papuan political prisoners, as part of the government’s planned so-called special autonomy plus programme.

There are estimated to be up to 50 Papuan political prisoners jailed for taking part in rallies and raising the banned Morning Star flag.

Radio New Zealand International:

4) PNG parliament moves to re-establish death penalty

Updated 28 May 2013, 22:16 AEST
PNG correspondent Liam Fox, staff

Several crimes are now punishable by death in Papua New Guinea after the country’s parliament has moved to re-establish capital punishment.

Crimes now punishable by death include murder, aggravated rape and robbery after PNG’s parliament passed several amendments to the country’s Criminal Code.

The amendments include several options for execution, including hanging, lethal injection, firing squad, electrocution and suffocation.

PNG has long had the death penalty but not the means to carry it out.

Jail sentences for several other crimes were also lengthened, including life sentences for kidnapping, ransom and large-scale misappropriation.

Parliament also repealed the Sorcery Act, which critics said legitimised so-called sorcery killings.

PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill has thanked women’s groups, churches and community groups who “demanded tough action to end the appalling criminal abuse of our women”.

“The measures Parliament has passed, and the other steps we are taking, will ensure that reducing criminal attacks on our women gets the priority and attention it deserves,” Mr O’Neill said in a statement.

Prime minister O’Neill had promised to implement the death penalty and lengthen jail sentences after a spate of horrific murders and gang-rapes in the country.

5) PNG Earmarks $120 Million For Police Modernization Program
Salary increases, new recruits, capital improvements planned

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 27, 2013) – The PNG government has approved K276 million for the police modernisation programme for 2013-2015.

This money is separate from the police annual recurrent budget, according to Commissioner Tom Kulunga.

Speaking to a parade at the opening of the Commissioner’s Conference in Lae, Morobe, Kulunga told high-ranking officials of the constabulary that the funding is a landmark decision by the government towards improving policing.

“For this year a total of K53 million has been given to us,” Kulunga said.

He said the money had already been allocated for a number of key projects that included:

480 new recruits (K6.8 million)
Housing for new recruits (K3 million)
Increase in salary (K7.5 million)
Bomana Civil Works (K8.3 million)
Capital Works (K5 million)
Lae training cells (K3.5 million)
Forensic and fingerprint office (K3.1 million)
Boroko police station cells (K1.1 million); and
Renovation of provincial police cells (K3 million).

Kulunga said the police modernisation programme launched last month should not be seen as a headquarters only programme but must be rolled out to other provinces as well.

The commissioner reiterated that discipline among members was still a problem.

He said the objectives of the modernisation programme could not be achieved unless officers changed their attitude and behaviour towards their duties.

“There needs to be greater supervision and control of our policemen and women than what we have at present,” Kulunga said.

He said, while the management was trying its best to address the different needs of the officers throughout the country, the officers must also perform their duties professionally.

The National:

Monday, 27 May 2013 11:35 AM

6) PSC Promotes Gender Mainstreaming Awareness among Permanent Secretaries

The Solomon Islands Public Service Commission, in partnership with the Ministry for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), convened the first ever government-wide gender training for all permanent secretaries in the Solomon Islands government on Friday.

The workshop was supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Speaking during the training, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Eliam Tangirongo said it is important that Permanent Secretaries lead by example with good behaviors in order to make any credible changes because they hold such important positions in the Solomon Islands government.

“We need to lead by example. Solomon Islands has a bright future; the Public Service of Solomon Islands has a bright future. We need to build on this and not lose hope. We have the power to change any discriminatory attitudes but this change must start with us,” Mr Tangirongo said.

In 2012, the Solomon Islands government included a specific performance indicator on gender mainstreaming in the annual performance appraisal for all permanent secretaries.

In her welcome remarks, Permanent Secretary for MWYCFA Ethel Sigimanu said, “gender mainstreaming within our respective ministries is our responsibility. For a long time, the Solomon Islands government has undertaken a “women in development” approach to empowering women. However, our national gender equality policy 2010–2015 moves beyond this – it addresses attitudes, structures and organizational behavior”.

She added, “The national gender equality policy is a whole of government policy, not a Ministry for Women policy, and I need the support of my peers in making this policy work for all men, women and children of the Solomon Islands”.

Jerry Manele, Permanent Secretary for Development Planning and Aid Coordination, also emphasized that this was a critical and timely workshop; especially preparation begins for the Mid-term Development Plan (MDTP) of the Solomon Islands Government overall Development Strategy.

“We are now in the process of consulting with line ministries to include their respective priorities and we encourage all the ministries to use the MTDP as an opportunity to integrate gender. In addressing gender mainstreaming in the ministry, our plan is to undertake a holistic approach to ensure the sustainability of gender mainstreaming.

“Therefore we would need to discuss how gender is integrated into national priorities, and how we can ensure gender is included in project planning and appraisals,’ he added.

Mr Tangirongo said the workshop is very timely because the PSC is approaching its mid-term review for all permanent secretaries.

“I know many [permanent secretaries] have been asking what exactly you need to do with this new key performance area – this is a long-term and continuous effort by all of us”.

“We see this workshop as an opportunity to understand why it is important for us to do this work, how we can support gender mainstreaming within our own respective ministries. We also use this time to better understand our commitments under CEDAW and how we can support the Ministry for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs,’ said Tangirongo, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women – to which Solomon Islands is party.

“As heads of ministries, we need to change any discriminatory beliefs we might have. In Solomon Islands, we have a culture of “follow the leader” – if we continue any discriminatory practices towards women, our subordinates will follow us – so we need to deal with this,” Mr Tangirongo said.

The specific indicators in the permanent secretaries’ performance appraisals include: having a gender implementation strategy in ministry corporate plans, the appointment of a gender focal point, gender sensitizing the recruitment processes, developing gender profiles of the sector, collecting and disseminating sex disaggregated data, and developing a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment in the public service.

Press Release, GCU

7) Vanuatu Chief Appeals To Government Not To Sell Customary Land
Prime waterfront land in Port Vila must be reserved for his people

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 27, 2013) – A paramount chief in Vanuatu has appealed to the government not to sell a prime piece of land on the waterfront of Port Vila, saying it has to be reserved for his people.

Chief Mantoi Kalsakau III of Ifira says his ancestors have allowed their custom lands to be used to build Port Vila, but he has appealed to the government to respect his people and not sell the land to foreign investors, as his people must own the plot of land.

Chief Kalsakau made the appeal while welcoming the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the government, the Port Vila Municipal Council and Shefa Province to allow a working group to prepare for the Port Vila Beautification project to start in August of this year.

The biggest beautification project in Vanuatu’s capital is to be funded jointly by the governments of New Zealand and Australia.

Radio New Zealand International:

8) New Caledonia’s Djaiwe ineligible for three years

Posted at 02:30 on 28 May, 2013 UTC

France’s constitutional council has rejected the campaign accounts of a leading New Caledonian politician and declared him ineligible for public office for three years.

It found that Jean-Pierre Djaiwe of the pro-independence FLNKS Movement failed to give a proper account of gifts he received during last year’s campaign for a seat in the French National Assembly.

This means Mr Djaiwe, who is the vice-president of the northern province, won’t be able to stand in next year’s teritorial election.

Mr Djaiwe was narrowly defeated by Philippe Gomes, who is the leader of teh anti-independence Caledonia Together Party.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Unions declare ‘free and fair’ election deadline for Fiji

By Online Editor
10:17 am GMT+12, 28/05/2013, Australia

International trade unions are giving Fiji’s government until September to prove the country’s elections next year will be free and fair.

Unions in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States say they will pressure their governments not to fund the polls if evidence of “free and fair” polls is not provided.

Ged Kearney, Australian Council of Trade Unions president, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat Fiji’s government wants the financial backing of Australia and New Zealand so it can claim the vote is legitimate.

“By supporting that process, we believe that our governments are giving a legitimacy to those elections that it does not deserve,” she said.

“All the indications show that these elections will not be fair, they won’t be free definitely in terms of democratic processes.”

Kearney says the unions are asking governments to withdraw all financial and in-kind support for the elections.

“We expect that there will be support from the electoral commission for the elections, education, money for training,” she said.

“But we think that support should not even be offered until the regime can show they are committed to free and fair elections.



10) Ousted Tonga Attorney General Files Suit Over Dismissal
Cauchi, first ‘independent AG’ claims employment contract breached

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 27, 2013) – John Cauchi, Tonga’s former Attorney General, has filed three Causes of Action against the Government of Tonga with the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court claiming over AUD$500,000 in special damages and relief for Breach of Contract, Repudiation of Contract and Constructive Dismissal.

The claim for relief by the Australian Cauchi, who was Tonga’s first independent Attorney General, was filed with the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court in Chambers on Friday, 24 May, and was adjourned to June 28.

Cauchi signed a Contract of Employment with the Government of Tonga on 26 May 2009 and was appointed as Attorney General of Tonga for a three-years term starting on 26 May 2009.

However, he announced his resignation as Tonga’s Attorney General on 30 April 2010.

It is understood that the Chief Justice Hon. Michael Scott adjourned the matter to June 28 for another Chambers meeting. Cauchi, as plaintiff, was represented by local counsel Petunia Tupou, while Sione Sisifa of the Crown acted for the respondent, the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga.


In the first Cause of Action on breach of contract the plaintiff is claiming relief including special damages of TOP$56,252.33, interest at 10 percent per annum from 30 April 2010 until date of judgment, as well as general damages of TOP$50,000 and costs.

The second and additional Cause of Action was for the Repudiation of Contract and claiming for relief of AUD$458,000 plus 10%, for 22 months salaries from April 2010 to May 2012, as well as general damages of TOP$50,000 and costs.

The plaintiff’s third alternative Cause of Action was for Constructive dismissal, claiming for relief of TOP$458,000 for salaries from April 2010 to May 2012 plus 10% from April 2010 until the date of judgment, and TOP$50,000 for General Damage.

Matangi Tonga Magazine:

11) Temaru proposes Federated States of Polynesia

Posted at 02:32 on 28 May, 2013 UTC

French Polynesia’s pro-independence opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, has proposed redefining the territory as the Federated States of Polynesia as what he calls a new political vision.

The territory, which France defines as a country within the republic, is made up of five archipelagos, the most populous being the Society Islands with the capital, Papeete.

His proposal comes as the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation is about to meet in Ecuador to also discuss the recent vote in New York reinscribing French Polynesia on the list of territories to be decolonised.

Mr Temaru has also proposed renaming the territory as Maohi Nui.

The UN decision has angered the new French Polynesian government, which has asked Paris to hold an independence referendum as soon as possible to remove the self-determination issued from the political debate.

Radio New Zealand International


12) Nauru calls emergency for early elections

By Online Editor
10:19 am GMT+12, 28/05/2013, Nauru

A state of emergency has been declared on the tiny Pacific island nation that hosts an Australian immigration detention centre.

Nauru was expected to hold an election on June 22, after its 18-member parliament was dissolved last week following months of political instability.

However President Sprent Dabwido has declared a state of emergency that would bring the election forward.

In an address to the nation on Monday, President Dabwido said the main reason for his declaration was the economic security of the remote island nation was threatened.

Under a state of emergency presidential powers are required to release treasury funds for departmental use and overseas medical referrals as well as to purchase food supplies for the hospital, he said.

The second reason for his declaration was to bring forward the election to June 8 in order to avoid an overlap with budgetary processes.

Nauru has a population of less than 10,000 people.

The Gillard government re-established a Howard government-era asylum seeker detention centre there last year.



Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:37 AM

13) 12 New Australian Volunteers Arrive in Solomon Islands

Twelve new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin their placements with government ministries, non-government organisations and community groups.

The volunteers, funded under AusAID’s Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, will use their skills and expertise to build and develop their host organisation in Solomon Islands to help improve the lives of Solomon Islanders.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson said around 60 Australian volunteers are placed in Solomon Islands every year.

“The volunteers make a great contribution to local organisations through the transfer of their knowledge and skills, but also play a big role in helping tackle poverty in Solomon Islands,” Mr Anderson said.

“I know the volunteers learn as much from their host organisation as the training and skills they share with local counterparts, so there are mutual benefits for everyone.”

Mr Anderson said that through their participation in work, sport and community, the volunteers also promote links and friendships.

“There are currently 47 volunteers now working in Solomon Islands and more will arrive throughout the year. They immerse themselves in local activities and take time to learn and appreciate Solomon Islands culture and way of life.”

Mr Anderson said the volunteer program in Solomon Islands is in addition to Australia’s annual SBD$780 million (A$104.1 million) provided through the Solomon Islands – Australia Partnership for Development.

The new volunteers and their Solomon Islands placements are:

Rachel Louttit – Policy Development Officer, TVET Division, Ministry of Education

Kirsten Crombie – Policy Development Officer, Literacy Association Solomon Islands

Alexander De Barros Santos – Resources Mobilisation Officer, Coalition for Education Solomon Islands

Thomas Hilton – Special Education Officer, Red Cross Special Development Centre

Liz Reece – Organisational Development & Training Mentor, Small Business Enterprise Centre

Sonja Janson – Registrar, Ministry of Health & Medical Services

Katrina Moore – Legal Officer, Public Solicitors Office

Jake Ward – Water Technician Support Officer, Adventist Development Relief Agency

Meg Edmonds – Waste Water Management Support Officer, Solomon Water

Catherine Bailey – Human Resources Development Officer, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

Ian O’Reilly – NGO Strategy and Organisational Development Mentor, Development Services Exchange (DSE)

Marc Fitcher – Events Management Officer, Western Province Government.

Press Release, Australian High Commission Office, Honiara

14) Australian worker programme fails to attract Pacific workers

Posted at 02:32 on 28 May, 2013 UTC

An evaluation of Australia’s pilot Pacific Seasonal Worker Scheme shows it has been far less successful than a similar programme in New Zealand.

The report, by the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre, shows only about 1,000 workers a year have been to Australia compared to about 8,000 who go to New Zealand.

The centre’s director, Stephen Howes, says Australia’s scheme is being held back by red tape, high agent fees and a lack of commitment to the scheme by the government.

But he says the biggest challenge is another long-running scheme that make backpackers cheaper to hire than Pacific migrants.

“There were complaints from industry about a labour shortage. At that time the government wasn’t prepared to introduce a seasonal worker programme and so it reformed the backpacker scheme. Normally, you come under a backpacker visa for a year, but the government said that if you come for a year and you work for three months on a farm you can stay for a second year and I think by the time that seasonal worker programme got off the ground it had been undermined by this reform.”

Stephen Howes says there is support for the scheme in Australia, but it should be promoted more vigorously.

Radio New Zealand International


15) Maori tattoo doesn’t cut it at Air NZ

By Online Editor
10:09 am GMT+12, 28/05/2013, New Zealand

Claire Nathan says she had her dreams of being an air hostess dashed after Air New Zealand turned her away because of her ta moko.

Nathan applied for her dream job in January, but last month, the national flag carrier terminated an interview when she declared the traditional Maori motif on her lower arm.

Last night, she told Maori TV show Native Affairs how the interview initially went well, until it came to filling out a form that asked if she had any visible tattoos.

“I thought, ‘This is interesting. I wonder why they are asking me that. Maybe it’s because they want to know if I have a ta moko.’

“I thought that they would be quite proud to have someone with a ta moko working and representing New Zealand. [But it’s] not the case. [It] was the total opposite.”

Nathan said she was told tattoos that could not be covered by the uniform were unacceptable.

“I said straight away, ‘This is a ta moko.’ She [the interviewer] said, ‘You can’t even cover that up’ and that ‘we will have to stop this interview.’

“I was totally shocked and just couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

She said it was a double standard from an airline whose logo is a koru.

Heavily tattooed singer Gin Wigmore has appeared in Air NZ ads, as have numerous inked All Blacks.

Nathan said she never thought her ta moko – depicting her heritage and her two children – would limit her career choices.

Air New Zealand said last night that tattoos were seen as “frightening or intimidating” in many cultures.

“Naturally we want all of our customers to feel comfortable and happy … and this has been a key driver of our grooming standard which, like many other international airlines, prevents customer-facing staff from having visible tattoos.”

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples called the airline’s policy a “contradiction”.

“It’s ironic when you think the airline has carried the koru in their logo for these many years,” he said. “It’s a bit of a contradiction that they have taken this stance on moko.

“Ta moko is part of … our New Zealand culture, and our national airline who use the koru motif in their brand should respect our art form.”

The Human Rights Commission says “a person of Maori descent may not be denied employment, entry to premises, or declined service because they wear moko visibly….



16) Solomon Islands na Australia as peles i wokbung

Updated 28 May 2013, 16:32 AEST
Sam Seke

Ol as peles blong Torres Strait Islands blong Australia na Arnavon Conservatioin Community long Solomon Islands i laik long dispela wokbung namel long tupela aninit long World Indigenous Network imas noken stop.

Klinpela solwara long wanpela ailan long Solomon islands (Nature Conservancy photo)
Odio: John Pita blong Nature Conservancy Solomon Islands i toktok long wokbung wantaim Torres Strait pipol blong Australia

Tupela indigenous community ia i mekim dispela toktok long joint presentesen blong tupela long dispela World Indigenous Network bung we i gohet nau ia long Darwin long Northern Territory.

John Pita blong Nature Conservancy Solomon Islands husat i makim ol lain blong Arnavon Community itok, tupela grup wantaim i toktok long hau oli manejim risosis blong ol, sait long kalsa blong ol na ol isiu blong moni na bisnis.

Mr Pita itok wanpela samting oli toktok strong longen nau i hau ol pipol long peles i save stap gut na kisim moni taim oli no save yusim risosis blong ol long ol conservation oa peles oli protektim oa tabuim.

Em itok tupela pipol blong Torres Islands na Arnavon i laik long dispela wokbung namel lomg tupela na i askim halvim blong Australia na ol arapela oganisesen long halvim ol long dispela.

17) PNGDF nogat ol samting blong lukautim solwara

Updated 28 May 2013, 18:07 AEST

Wanpela bikman blong Papua New Guinea Defence Force itok kantri i nogat “capability” blong lukautim bikpela hap solwara blong kantri.

Odio: Captain Tom Ur, Chief of Staff blong PNG Defence Force i toktok

Chief of Staff blong PNG Defence Force Tom Ur itok em i tru ol illegal fishing boat i save stap insait long solwara blong PNG blong stilim ol fish blong kantri.

Tasol em itok defence force i nogat ol patrol boat na balus blong lukautim gutpela solwara blong kantri.

Captain Tom Ur itok defence white we oli wok long wok longen nau ia nau toktok long ol improvmen we ol bai wokim long sait long defens blong kantri.

PNG Defens minista Fabian Pok long Frade last wik i bin tokim PNG media long plen blong baem PNG Defens fos long baem sampela ol balus, na patrol bot.


18) PNG : Début des consultations sur la réouverture de la mine de Panguna

Posté à 28 May 2013, 8:32 AEST
Pierre Riant

Des centaines de propriétaires fonciers ont convergé hier vers la ville d’Arawa pour toute une série de consultations avec le gouvernement autonome de Bougainville.

La mine de Panguna, le grand enjeu de Bougainville. (Credit: ABC)

Cette mine exploitée par Rio Tinto à travers sa filiale Bougainville Cooper, est à l’origine d’une guerre civile sanglante entre 1989 et 1997.

Cela fait maintenant plus de 12 ans que la mine a fermé ses portes et c’est la première fois que les propriétaires fonciers coutumiers participent aux consultations.

La guerre civile a fait plus de 10 000 morts et la mine d’or et de cuivre a laissé de profondes cicatrices au sein de la population.  D’un autre côté, la réouverture de cette mine semble au centre de l’essor économique de la région autonome de Bougainville.

19) Le Koweït et les Émirats Arabes Unis s’impliquent dans le Pacifique

Posté à 28 May 2013, 8:43 AEST
Pierre Riant

Ces deux États ont décidé d’aider Fidji en débloquant 800 000 dollars qui permettront au gouvernement fidjien d’organiser la réunion inaugurale du Forum de développement des îles du Pacifique prévue en août prochain.

Le ministre des Affaires étrangères fidjiens, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, a félicité les deux gouvernements pour cette enveloppe qui permettra de renforcer la coopération sud-sud.

Les petites îles du Pacifique, a souligné Ratu Inoke, peuvent compter sur deux nouveaux amis.


20) Project begins to restore Fiji’s historic video footage

Posted at 01:37 on 28 May, 2013 UTC

The Fiji government has announced a major restoration and digitisation project to restore historic video footage in the national archives.

It is hoped the project will save irreplaceable footage of Fiji’s colonial past, sporting achievements and cultural events dating back to the early 1940s.

The Ministry of Information’s Permanent Secretary, Sharon Smith-Johns, has told FBC News the plan is to eventually have the videos posted online so they can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

But she adds that past governments haven’t focussed on Fiji’s culture and heritage and some of the footage cannot be saved.

Ms Smith-Johns says the project will cost about half a million US dollars.

Radio New Zealand International

21) Rarotonga hopes challenge makes it Hollywood of the South Pacific
By Online Editor
10:12 am GMT+12, 28/05/2013, Cook Islands

Rarotonga is positioning itself to become “Cookiwood” thanks to an international film challenge organised by an Auckland film-maker, which has inspired interest from some of Britain and Hollywood’s top movie producers.

“Film Raro is primarily about cultural heritage – enabling Cook Islanders to see and hear themselves through digital media, preserving their own unique cultural identity,” said Film Raro executive producer Stan Wolfgramm, of Cook Islands descent, and best known for creating TVNZ teen show Pacific Beat Street.

Crews from New Zealand, Britain, the US and Australia landed in Rarotonga two weeks ago for the inaugural challenge. They turned the small South Pacific island into a giant movie set, transforming short film scripts in to commercial films over just 10 days.

During the weekend, about 3500 locals turned up to two world premiere screenings at the Rarotonga National Stadium. A huge inflatable screen was flown in from China, and a rugby league final and netball semifinal were postponed to enable the public to attend.

Among the Film Raro heavy hitters were American brothers Rob and Web Stone, best known for producing Gone in 60 Seconds, and The Conspirator. Four team members arrived in Rarotonga for a “reccie” six weeks ago but Web never left.

“He spent those intervening weeks basically going around the island meeting everyone, and sorting what he needed for his film, even securing the use of a clipper ship in the harbour,” Wolfgramm said.

The US team’s film, Offshore Pirate, was the crowd favourite – a light-hearted “coming home” story that in 20 minutes showed off most of the islands’ assets including beaches and resorts, diving, rugby, black pearl farming, canoes and traditional songs and war dances – culminating in a Hollywood-style car chase involving a scooter and local police.

Rob Stone said making the film was a life-changing experience and he hoped it would inspire interest from other film producers scouting for exotic locations and an up-skilled, film-friendly environment.

Forty locals have been trained in film production during a three-night- a-week course run by Wolfgramm in association with the local Ministry of Education, and the actors had completed an acting course.

The economic potential of Film Raro also drew interest from the British Council cultural relations agency, which helped to fund a team of four award-winning film-makers from England to the challenge.

The council said the economic potential of Film Raro was huge, and future support would partly depend on the involvement of Cook Islands Tourism which had not contributed financially to this year’s event, but which has just announced a multi-million dollar boost in Government funding.

“We relied very much on the goodwill of locals, and quite a few volunteers from New Zealand and that’s not a sustainable model,” said Wolfgramm.

Rarotonga’s exotic locations, close proximity, shared currency and language made it the obvious choice for New Zealand film location interests to pilot a Pacific hub.

Wolfgramm’s company, Drum Productions, signed a memorandum of understanding with Film NZ in August last year, which will help cut customs and immigration red tape. The potential for the Cook Islands to adopt New Zealand-style tax exemptions is next on the table.


22) Media Freedom In Samoa ‘Under Threat’ By Hostile Police
Ministry refusing to answer questions ‘face-to-face’

By Niccola Hazelman-Siona

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 28, 2013) – Some police officers are leading a new hostility towards media, spreading through to the rest of government.

Other ministries are now also demanding that news media supply questions by email straight out refusing face-to-face interviews.

These developments directly contradict government claims towards transparency and accountability, including those made by the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi recently told Radio New Zealand International we have the “safest and the freest media in the Pacific.”

His comments follow a recent assault against a Samoan Observer journalist photographing a truck accident, and threats made against her and two female colleagues. According to the journalists, police shrugged off their requests for help.

RNZI reporter Alex Perrottet said that while the Prime Minister had not heard about the accident, he did give a glowing report of the safety of media personnel in Samoa, despite the attack.

Tuilaepa claimed he spoke with journalists two or three times a week and got on very well with all media, unlike the leaders of other Pacific nations.

Last Friday, police conducting a drug raid at Toleafoa market told a radio reporter to stop taking photos of them.

During the raid a fellow officer grabbed a mobile off a young boy and threw it on the ground, smashing it. At the time, the boy was using it to take photos of the raid as it was taking place.

A common law principle is that any member of public can take photos from any public place.

However, this does not seem to be understood by police.

Last month Tuilaepa warned the Ministry of Police about speaking to the media saying there are “strategies” journalists use to “attack” the ministry.

“I advise you to prepare written press releases for all matters where the police are asked and stay away from interviews,” he said, in a letter leaked to this newspaper,” he said at the time.

“A press release is how you can control comments being printed in newspapers.”

Up until then, police maintained close relations with media, holding weekly press conferences where journalists could get reliable information on-the-record.

They also responded readily to phone calls, with Commissioner Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo popular among reporters for his open attitude.

At the time Samoa Observer Editor Mata’afa Keni Lesa wrote in an editorial “we seem to be going backwards.”

“To be brutally frank, the idea that the police will now only communicate with the media through a press release is a step backwards in terms of transparency and open communication,” he wrote.

“We say this because we’ve been here before and we’ve seen how ineffective it was.

“For a while, we thought the Police have finally come of age.

“Press releases do little to promote media freedom. Why? Well, they are censored pieces of information designed to ‘hide the truth’ from the very people who should know what is happening.”

The Police response to the Tuilaepa letter of advice is raising questions about the independence of police from political interference.

Meanwhile, Tuilaepa seems to be avoiding Samoa Observer journalists.

Telephone calls to Tuilaepa’s office last week for an interview have been met with replies from his secretary such as “I’ll call you back, because he is very busy.”

However, colleagues from other media organisations confirm they are still able to make appointments and get to see the prime minister.

Earlier this month, minister of Communication and Information Technology Tuisuga Letaua Sofara Aveau assured media of government’s support for press freedom.

During celebration of World Press Freedom Day, Tuisuga said that “objective and fair criticism” creates an environment where government and the people can work together to solve a number of “issues.”

Since Tuilaepa’s “advice” on how to respond to media questions, many government ministries have also started asking for emailed questions instead of interviews.

Tuilaepa was not able to be reached for comment at press time.

Samoa Observer:


Monday, 27 May 2013 10:22 AM

23) Trade Surplus Recorded for April

Provisional trade in goods balance for April 2013 registered a surplus of SBD$25 Million dollars from a revised deficit of SBD$108 million dollars in the previous month.

According to the Central Bank’s Monthly Economic Bulletin for April 2013, the positive outcome was due to a recovery in exports that nearly doubled to SBD$309 million dollars combined with a 4 percent decline in imports to SBD$284 million dollars.

It states, the surge in export was driven by all major export commodities except for fish and sawn timber which fell by 6 percent to SBD$20 million dollars and 1 percent to SBD$7 million dollars respectively during the month.

The CBSI bulletin says this was a direct result of lower export volumes recorded for the two commodities as well as low international prices.

Other export commodities have also jumped to SBD$12 million from SBD$2 million in the previous month. This is due primarily to export shipments of beche-de-mer which comprised 72 percent of the total other exports category during the month.

The drop in total imports for the month was due to decline in imported fuel, food and basic manufactures.

CBSI bulletin for the month of April 2013 showed that fuel dropped by 16 percent to 74 million, basic manufactures down by 18 percent to 34 million and food by 16 percent to 63 million.

Meanwhile, imports on machineries and transport equipment slightly increased by 4% to SBD$84 million, chemicals by 26% to SBD$31 million, beverages and tobacco SBD$7 million from SBD$4 million, and miscellaneous items up to $20 million from SBD$12 million the previous month.

24) ExxonMobil Begins Talks To Further Develop PNG Gas Reserves
InterOil is potential partner on Elk, Antelope reservoirs in Gulf Province

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 27, 2013) – The developer of PNG LNG, ExxonMobil, is in exclusive talks with InterOil as a potential partner to develop its Elk and Antelope gas reservoirs in Gulf.

Should the negotiations bear fruit, Gulf gas will be provide additional trains to the PNG LNG project, expand the Port Moresby processing plant and extend the project life from current 30 years to beyond 50 years.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last Friday announced to Parliament the decision by InterOil to start talks with ExxonMobil.

“This is an important announcement for the development of these assets, and I’m certain all stakeholders will welcome this,” O’Neill said in a statement yesterday.

“As a stakeholder, the government is pleased that InterOil and its partners are taking the next significant step towards the development of our vast natural gas resource.

“When the full potential of the gas reservoirs in the Gulf province are realised, PNG will have in place a stable revenue flow from these resources for the next 30 to 50 years,” O’Neill said.

InterOil announced last Friday that it had entered into an “exclusive negotiations” with ExxonMobil to develop the Elk and Antelope fields.

O’Neill told Parliament the exclusive negotiations would run for 60 days after which a decision was expected on whether or not a deal was reached would be announced.

InterOil advised the prime minister of the steps it was taking before it advised the market (stock exchange) last Friday (PNG time).

The prime minister told a gathering last Friday evening that the potential entry of ExxonMobil to those assets in Gulf could significantly lift production at the PNG LNG processing facility outside Port Moresby.

“At the moment we are building two trains (or processing units) at the processing site for gas from the Hela and Southern Highlands provinces. The revenue from the export of LNG from these two trains would double the size of our economy (GDP).

“If the talks are successful and ExxonMobil gains access to gas from Elk and Antelope, we will certainly add one, possible two, more trains, and our GDP would triple in size.

“This means PNG will have a stable revenue flow from its gas resources for the next 50 years or so.”

He said with global LNG demand estimated by market experts to rise to 500 tonnes a year by 2025, his government had worked hard to ensure PNG benefits fully by promoting PNG as a stable supplier of natural gas in a stable political environment with a robustly growing economy.

He recently travelled to China and Japan, where PNG gas’ big buyers are located, to meet heads of governments there and held talks with investors seeking to enter and develop PNG’s vast natural resources potential.

He is planning to travel to Indonesia next month and later to South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

“I’m pleased that oil and gas global majors like ExxonMobil and Total see PNG as a stable supplier of energy (gas) to the world market.

” Their long term investment here is proof of that.

“As a government, we will continue to provide a stable political climate, a fair tax regime, and sound development policies so that our people fully benefit from the development of these resources,” he said.

The National:


25) Vanuatu National Summit on climate and agricultural resilience

Posted on May 28, 2013

The Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD), the National Advisory Board on Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction (NAB), the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), and the SPC-GIZ Climate Change Vanuatu Programme have jointly hosted a comprehensive programme on practical adaptation strategies to climate and climate change in Vanuatu, with a specific focus on building agricultural resilience through sharing weather and climate information.

Over 100 government extension officers from all areas of Vanuatu have been meeting in Lenakel, Tanna, for a 5-day Agro-meteorology Summit and a Climate Field School.

Vanuatu’s climate is changing, and being prepared for and adaptable to the consequences of climate variability is a Government priority. The Government of Vanuatu and SPC-GIZ Climate Change Vanuatu Programme have hosted two previous Agro-meteorology Summits in 2011 and 2012 to discuss and share techniques on adaptation and preparedness. Following the success of those summits, there was a call for even more hands-on and practical training on adaptation strategies, and on development of written and audiovisual materials that can be used in extension work by government and non-government agencies.

The 2013 Agro-meteorology Summit has brought together extension officers from the land based sectors (Agriculture, Forestry and Environment) and key farmers, to learn from Agro-meteorology experts and share ideas on important agro-meteorology products such as seasonal forecasts, crop advisories, and ENSO guidance handbooks. Over 5 days, the Summit and Climate Field School has provided a series of practical activities, designed to:

• Train officers to better understand the concepts of climate variability/El Nino Southern Oscillation and agro-meteorology
• Identify agro-meteorology products and services useful to Vanuatu stakeholders
• Review how agro-meteorological and climate and climate change advisory products are being shared with all sections of society (commercial and traditional) and how to improve this
• Practice climate change adaptation options for different crops, trees and animals
• Update Traditional Cropping calendars from each Province and integrate them with meteorological information
• Recall specific climate impacts events in Vanuatu’s recent history
• Prioritize needs around specific adaptation technologies.

Equally important, this conference will assist Vanuatu in meeting its international climate and climate change obligations, specifically those under the World Meteorological Organization. The Summit has provided an opportunity to undertake activities agreed to under the Global Framework for Climate Services, which Vanuatu is participating in.

The Agro-meteorology Summit and Climate Field School was implemented through funding provided by the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance funding and funding provided through the SPC-GIZ Vanuatu Climate Change Program. The Summit and Field School have continued the valuable work Vanuatu is undertaking to build resilience of our nation’s agriculture and food gardens.

26) Heavy Rain Leaves Roads In Fiji’s Western Division Underwater
Lautoka City heavily affected

By Repeka Nasiko

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 28, 2013) – Heavy rainfall was experienced over the Western Division yesterday affecting businesses, schools and transportation in some parts of the region.

According to the weather office, the slow moving trough of low pressure that lay towards the west of the group had caused downpours over most parts of the division with Lautoka City and the outer islands affected the most.

Roads in Saru, Vuda and Lovu were inundated with floodwaters while authorities ensured that major routes were accessed by traffic.

Lautoka City Council special administrator Praveen Bala said floodwaters were to be experienced.

However, he said major access routes were still accessible.

[PIR editor’s note: Fijilive reported that some of the roads have since reopened as the water recedes.]

In a statement, the Fiji Roads Authority revealed it would be tough travelling for people in the Sugar City because of the adverse weather conditions.

The FRA stated that because of this, some roads may be impassable and would also halt road construction work until the water recedes.

Authority CEO Neil Cook confirmed that affected areas included Dhanus Rd, Saru Bridge (St Thomas), Saru Back Road, Lautoka Depot at Queens Rd, Navutu Flats and Dravuni St.

He said all those sites were being monitored by FRA maintenance contractors Higgins.

Roadworks would commence in those areas once water receded.

Meanwhile, Mr Cook said high rainfall could be expected over the next 24 to 48 hours and drivers should take extreme care and not attempt flooded crossings.

Fiji Times Online:

27) Plans Set To Relocate Solomon Islanders Threatened By Sea Level Rise
Lord Howe, Sikaiana islanders to move to mainland Malaita

By Denver Newter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 28, 2013) – People of Malaita Outter Islands (MOI) in Sikaiana and Lord Howe will be relocated to two sites on the main land of Malaita.

This was confirmed by the Malaita provincial premier Edwin Suibaea in an exclusive interview with the Solomon Star in Auki yesterday.

Mr Suibaea said the proposed sites which have been identified to host the people from these two atolls are Afio in Small Malaita and Airahu sea-front in Central Kwara’ae.

The premier said provincial government has allocated Afio to host the Sikaiana people while Lord Howe people will relocate to Airahu.

Mr Suibaea confirmed that the province has already agreed on this relocation proposal and are anticipating the national government will step in to speed up this proposed plan to relocate the people from these two atolls as soon as possible who are currently facing imminent threats from rising sea level.

“These two sites have been identified by past successive governments and now we are working on implementing this proposal.”

He said the province is very concern about the future of the MOI people and wants to relocate them from the atolls to the main land.

The premier said with the people are going through changes to their land as a result of climate change and rising sea level and it would be unsafe for them to continue settle on the atolls.

“It would not be safe for them to stay there any longer and the province is taking serious steps to discuss the matter with national government.”

The premier said he would be discussing this issue further with the ministry of environment and climate change about the impact of climate change on these two atoll.

“I would also follow up on this issue with the national governments so that they can possibly help us relocate the people quickly out from the atolls,” he said.

Solomon Star


28) Counselling via text messages

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CLOSE to 14,000 people have subscribed to Vodafone’s mWomen service, a platform dedicated to addressing sexual abuse and violence against women and children.

This was revealed by Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation executive Ambalika Kutty.

Vodafone’s new service gives victims of domestic violence and rape access to information and counselling via a text message to 636.

Speaking at a symposium hosted by the foundation in Nadi on Saturday, Ms Kutty said the gender breakdown of the subscribers was surprising.

“Of the 13,800 subscribers, 65 per cent are men and 35 per cent are women,” she said.

“This is an amazing statistic when you consider that the initiative was launched in March this year.

“Subscribing to the service is free but the cost of access to counselling or information is 50 cents which is a very small price to pay for advice from professional lawyers and counsellors.”

Ms Kutty said there was a 24-hour response time once queries were texted in.

“It depends on which of the panel of lawyers and counsellors are available but victims can expect a very swift response within the 24-hour window.”

Counsellors and lawyers who volunteered to offer their services on the mWomen platform underwent training conducted by Goodwill Ambassador for Women in Fiji, Nazhat Shameem, in Nadi last week.

Ms Kutty said the funds collected from the use of the mWomen platform could go towards the building of a refuge for victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

29) PNG parliament passes tough new measures against crime

Posted at 08:36 on 28 May, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s parliament has passed a string of law changes enacting tough new sentences designed to counter violent crime.

Under new amendments, the death penalty, which has been dormant in PNG since the 1950s, has been reactivated and is to be enforced for crimes including murder, aggravated rape, pack rape, or where the victim is a child under 10 years of age.

The parliament also passed laws allowing for five types of execution – hanging, lethal injection, medical death by deprivation of oxygen, firing squad and electrocution.

The method of execution is to be determined by the cabinet.

The parliament also repealed the controversial 1971 Sorcery Act, meaning those convicted of killing accused “sorcerers” will be sentenced to death.

Kidnapping will carry a prison term of 50 years without remission or parole, while kidnapping for ransom carries life imprisonment without parole.

Theft of money between 5 million kina and 9.99 kina million (or 4.4 million US dollars) will attract 50 years without parole.

Theft of money or property worth 10 million kina or more will be punished with life imprisonment.

The office of the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told AAP tougher drug penalties, alcohol licensing rules and stricter penalties for home brew have been temporarily deferred.

Two weeks ago, Peter O’Neill apologised to women in PNG for the high levels of sexual and domestic violence they experienced and pledged to pass the stricter penalties – penalties he described as “draconian.”

Radio New Zealand International

30) Hundreds Participate In PNG ‘Walk Against Corruption’
Transparency International PNG organized annual event

By Elizabeth Miae

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 27, 2013) – The Ombudsman Commission has urged all citizens to report and break the cycle of corruption in society.

This was the main message from Acting Chief Ombudsman Commissioner Phoebe Sangetari when addressing participants at the Jack Pidik Park at 5-Mile for the annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption in Port Moresby yesterday.

The walk was facilitated by Transparency International (PNG).

Sangetari told participants not to turn a blind eye on corrupt practices anymore.

“Report corruption, for too long we have turned our backs on corruption. You can be the part of the solution to break the cycle or be part of the cycle.”

“You as an individual must make a change and everyone else would want to follow you. Your behaviour and attitude will affect the others around you.”

She encouraged individuals to be role models in the communities by being the change.

“You be the beacon of hope and together we can fight corruption and do more than just take part in this walk.”

She said the first and most important step to take against corruption was to say no and to act on what each individual believed in a transparent society.

The second step she pointed out was for individuals to respect and enforce the laws that were in place.

“PNG is filled with laws yet we take shortcuts and we don’t follow them. This disease is eating all the fabrics of society and affecting every walk of life.”

“The fight against corruption should not be left to TIPNG, Ombudsman Commission and the police, it’s everyone’s business.”

TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens stressed that corruption has caused disharmony in society and prevented basic services from being delivered.

“PNG wants to say no and I hope we will continue to say no (to corruption),” he said.

More than 350 people took part in the annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption in Port Moresby yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Another 500+ people participated in the first Walk of Corruption conducted in Lae.]

The Transparency International (PNG) led walk was into its seventh year this year with the theme “Be the Change!” which calls for individuals to be the change in their communities.

The purpose of the walk was to create awareness of corruption, provide citizens an opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to corruption and raise funds for the Siaguru Endowment Fund (SEF).

The SEF is a back stream of funds which would ensure the future operations of TIPNG in the event that donors cease their support towards the institution.

The Jack Pidik Park at 5Mile was filled with various teams from government departments, schools, civil society organizations, business houses and families all in their uniforms and carried banners with anti corruption messages.

The walk began after six thirty in the morning led by acting Chief Ombudsman Commissioner Phoebe Sangetari and TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens followed by teams chanting their war cries to weed out corruption.

The walk began at the park, then through Boroko Drive, past Kaubebe Street, to Lahara Avenue then out to the Hubert Murray Highway and back to the starting point.

The event was also held in Kokopo, Kimbe, Madang, Alotau, Lihir, Kavieng and Lae on Saturday and yesterday of which more than 6, 000 people participated.
The National:

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