Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 862

MELANESIA:

1) Indonesian Energy Minister Tells Freeport Not To Reopen Papua Mine
Grasberg accident still under investigation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 3, 2013) – Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister says Freeport McMoRan must obtain his permission before re-opening the Grasberg mine in Papua.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Jero Wacik has told the company that underground mining is not yet allowed and they are waiting for the result of the investigation prompted by last month’s deadly tunnel collapse.

A union representing 18,000 of the more than 24,000 workers at the mine says its members will not return to work until investigations into the accident are complete.

A union spokesman Virgo Solossa says the decision is in line with Freeport policy to halt operations following accidents while probes were still ongoing.

The company said last week that it had already re-started operations on Tuesday.

The president director of Freeport Indonesia Rozik Soetjipto says the decision is the company’s whether the government gives permission or not.

On Friday, another accident at the mine killed a truck driver.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

2) Political influenced probed

By Online Editor
2:25 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands acting Deputy Police Commissioner says he is struggling to identify political influence within the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

Selwyn Rotu was responding to frequent allegations in the media that the RSIPF has been infiltrated and influenced by political leaders.

Rotu said the Police Act gives the Commissioner of Police the mandate to ensure that the administration and operation of the RSIPF is free from political influence.

The senior police officer acknowledged that no one is above the law and every one must act within the laws of the country.

It is against the law for any politician to interfere with the RSIPF and influence its normal procedure, warned Rotu.

He urged the public to provide evidence if they know of political leaders who have influenced the work of RSIPF so that the organisation can conduct internal investigations and ensure the force is free from political interference or any other outside influences.

SOURCE: SIBC/PACNEWS

3) Vanuatu Lands Minister Allegedly Breaches Land Leases Act
Regenvanu reportedly illegally moves lease records

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 3, 2013) – The Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, has reportedly ordered the removal of all registered files within the Land Records Office in Port Vila of all lease titles purportedly granted by the previous Lands Minister, Steven Kalsakau, in 2012, and that these files were now stored in the Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Lands.

However, the First Political Advisor of the Ministry of Lands, John Salong, on behalf of the minister who is on overseas travel, has strongly denied any files were removed from the Land Records Office.

The Daily Post received reports that on Tuesday morning, May 28, Minister Regenvanu instructed the Acting Director of Lands, Paul Gambetta to carry out the order.

But Gambetta said it was not an instruction but a “request” from the Minister.

He would not comment further but referred the Daily Post to the Acting Director General of the Ministry of Lands, Jean-Marc Pierre. Despite several attempts to reach the Acting DG for comment, he could not be reached.

But clearly, if the action did take place even if on the “instruction” or “request” of Minister Ralph Regenvanu, he would be in breach of Part II Section 2 and Section 109 of the Land Leases Act, according concerns raised.

This is because, Part II Section 2 of the Land Leases Act clearly states that only the Lands Records Office within the Department of Lands is the place to keep files and not the minister’s office.

Consecutively, Section 109 under the Offence of the Land Leases Act clearly states that: (1) Any person who knowingly misleads or deceives any person authorized by or under this Act to require information in respect of any registered interest shall be guilty of an office and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year or to a fine not exceeding Vt100,000 or both; (2) Any person who – (a) Fraudulently issues or makes or fraudulently procures the issue or making of any document relating to a registered interest, or any erasure or alteration in any document as aforesaid or (b) Removes from the Lands Records Office any register or any part of any register or any instrument, (c) causes any defacement, obliteration, mutilation or unauthorized entry or alteration to be made on or in any register or filed instrument, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction for a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding Vt300,000 or both.

Under the circumstances, the sources who asked not to be identified say the Minister should have used provisions under the law – Section 19 of the Land Leases Act, which provides an avenue for any person including the Minister himself to pay relevant fees as prescribed in the Act to allow him to search any files within the Lands Records.

The sources said Minister Ralph Regenvanu may have his own political interest rather than fulfilling his duties to protect the legal interest of registered proprietors of all registered leases as mandated under the Act. They also believe the Minister of Lands’ action may have been the result of advice from his Australian political legal advisor, Siophan McDonald, who is understood to be currently doing a PHD on customary land issues in Vanuatu through the Australian National University.

The sources pointed out that it was also important to note that the Lands Leases Act did not grant any powers to the Minister of Lands nor the Director of Lands to remove any registered files within the Lands Registry, unless under specific direction by the Supreme Court. Therefore, it is asserted that the

However, First Political Advisor Salong strongly disputed the assertions made by our sources and said it was obvious those behind the release of the information were “acting to protect incriminating information against them.”

He rejected the reports the minister had registered land leases files removed from the Lands Records Office and kept in his office, calling it “absurd”.

“The Minister didn’t have to do that, he just requested the Acting Director of Lands to second an officer of the Department of Lands to work under the Ministry, whose task it is to compile and report to the Minister of Lands information relating to certain registered land leases files,” Salong explained.

He reiterated that what Regenvanu was doing was acting on the decision of the Council of Ministers last month directing him to sort out outstanding issues to do with the sale of public land and green spaces in both Port Vila and Luganville, dating back to the Council of Ministers decision of 2010 which put a stop to the sale of such land.

“In the government, there are two major revenue-raising departments. They are the Department of Customs and the Department of Lands. The Department of Customs has systems in place that make its money-raising activities very transparent and accountable. However, the Lands Department is very secretive and those in the Department use the law to hide their ‘illegal’ activities,” First Political Advisor Salong alleged.

“Why would some green spaces and public land be sold to public servants for not more than Vt300,000 when the rest of us pay for Vt1.5 million, Vt2 million or Vt3 million for the same sized plots,” he asked, adding that those were the sorts of issues the minister wanted to investigate and stop.

Mr Salong also defended the engagement by the Ministry of Ms McDonald as someone who has wide experience working with Australian Aboriginal communities and she has played some important roles in assisting with the drafting of Vanuatu land legislations in the past.

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

4) New Caledonia’s Kanak Union Dismisses Price Freeze Agreement
Says ‘problems lie in the economic imbalance’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 2, 2013) – New Caledonia’s mainly Kanak USTKE union has dismissed the price freeze and the cut in the costs of some consumer products.

The deal was reached among unions, employers and government a week ago after a 12-day general strike in protest against the high cost of living.

Walter Zweifel reports.

“The Kanak union was the only main labour organisation to stay away from the protests, which culminated in most petrol stations running out of fuel a week ago. The USTKE group says the protest was a sham that was organised by interests favouring the ambitions of the Caledonia Together Party. It says the list of a goods approved for a 10 percent price cut has no tangible effect. It says the real problems lie in the economic imbalance, employment issues for locals and pay structures.”

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

5) New political party welcomes registration

By Online Editor
2:28 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Fiji

The newest political party in Fiji has welcomed its registration.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) becomes the fourth political party legally registered to contest next year’s general elections in Fiji.

Party Interim General Secretary, Poseci Bune, said, “This is a very positive development. Establishing a new party is not a small thing. We have worked hard in difficult circumstances to bring the Party to this stage and to comply with the many requirements of the Political Parties Decree. We can proudly assert that our constitution is perhaps the only one that is fully transparent and accountable to the people”.

PDP has been formed by former politicians who say they are committed to democracy, the rule of law, a free media and good governance.

“It strongly believes in the freedom and equality of all individuals founded on the core values of human rights and dignity (including the rights of workers, women, youth and other marginalized groups), non-discrimination and social and economic justice, said a party statement.

“We pride ourselves as an inclusive truly multiracial Party with its roots in the workers’ movement.

“Now that we are registered we look forward to operating freely throughout the country, building our membership, and preparing for what we hope will be free and fair elections. We will be officially launching the Party in the next few months. We are confident of being the Party of the future”, Bune said.

The other duly registered parties are the Fiji Labour Party (FLP), National Federation Party (NFP) and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

SOURCE: PACNEWS

6) Bainimarama questions UK stand on Fiji

By Online Editor
4:41 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has responded to the British governments’ stand on Fiji, based on discussions in the British parliament in recent months.

Over the weekend, UK media reported that politician, Patrick Mercer had raised numerous questions about Fiji and called for the return of the Pacific island nation to the Commonwealth of Nations.

MP Patrick Mercer however is now being investigated for allegations that he may have broken parliamentary rules in lobbying for Fiji.

Despite this, Bainimarama says it’s disappointing that there has been little recognition from Fiji’s former colonial ruler of the changes and progress to establish a modern, progressive state.

The Prime Minister adds the uninformed attitudes of the British Government and media appear to be still coloured by the patronising attitudes of the past, completely neglecting the changes underway in Fiji today.

British Foreign Minister, Hugo Swire told the British parliament that in view of the seriousness of the human rights situation, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has included Fiji as a ‘country of concern’ in its Annual Report on Human Rights for both 2011 and 2012.

He also said the UK was encouraging the European Union to pursue a dialogue on criteria for EU election observers and that in view of the lack of democratic progress, EU development assistance to Fiji remains suspended.

According to Swire, the British government is working closely with partners Australia and New Zealand.

Bainimarama says their views on Fiji are ignorant of steps taken by Fiji towards democracy.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA:

7) Samoa Government Tables Budget For 2013-14
Minister says budget focuses on ‘Rebuilding Our Economy’

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 2, 2013) – With Samoa gearing up to celebrate 51st anniversary of independence today, the government set course for the next 12 months tabling the 2013/2014 budget yesterday.

Finance Minister Faumuina Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga addressed parliament on Thursday when he commended the budget to the House.

He said the budget has been framed along the theme ‘Rebuilding our Economy’.

“This is the reality of today’s global economy that despite the economic challenges we face every day, we have to rebuild and move on,” the House heard.

“Against this backdrop, government will continue to build economic resilience through the realignment of its policies to underpin macroeconomic stability.

“This budget provides the means for stimulating economic activity through increased funding towards capital development.”

He told members that on the revenue side, the government needs to look at revenue measures that will not only realise their revenue objectives, but at the same time does not impose hardship on the community and business development.

“These are some of the challenges foe 2013/2014,” the Minister said.

“What is clear though is that the implementation will not be an easy task for us all.

“It may require sacrifices on both the weak and the strong and I call on your support as we strive to put our economy back to pre-cyclone growth levels.”

He said the statement on the Forward Estimates for the budget 2013/2014, and two forward years, focuses on key areas.

“It provides an analysis of the economic impact of the interaction of the budget and forward estimates of revenues and expenses on the rest of the economy,” he said.

“It summarizes the budget year’s allocations and forward estimates expenditures proposed by the government for each ministry to meet planned key priorities, as well as the estimated receipts by each of these ministries.

“(And it) provides a reconciliation of the differences between estimates of total revenues and total expenses.”

The Minister said the government budget has been significantly constrained by the level of revenue collected over the past years and without major tax policy changes government spending at existing levels is not sustainable in the medium term.

“Therefore, to address revenue constraints, government has continued to reduce its recurrent spending and resorted to borrowings on concessionary terms to finance its development program,” he said.

“For the Forward Estimates period, the overall cash deficit is estimated at $80.8 million for the year 2013/2014 however will reduce to a $69 million deficit in 2014/2015 due to the winding down of the cyclone recovery program.

“The third year shows further improvements to the overall deficit as government expenditure falls again.”

Faumuina said the revenue side reflects an increase in total ordinary receipts for 2013/2014 due to improved compliance before it falls slightly in the two forward years.

“The external grants substantial increase in 2013/2014 reflects an increase in direct budget support funds expected from the World Bank and our development partners namely the European Union, and the Australian and New Zealand governments for financing sector programs.

“I would like on behalf of the Government and the people of Samoa, to express our sincere gratitude to our development partners for their generosity and continuous support during our time of need.

“To the people of Samoa, we thank you for your support and may God continue to bless you as we prepare to celebrate our 51st Independence Anniversary.”

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

MICRONESIA:

8) 68 Candidates To Contest Nauru Elections
19 seats up for grabs, all prominent politicians on list

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 3, 2013) – 68 candidates have been nominated to contest this Saturday’s election to fill the 19 seats in the Nauru parliament.

Nominations closed on Saturday, with nominees given until Wednesday to withdraw.

After that the final list will be made public.

All the prominent names in Nauru politics in recent years are on the list.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

9) CNMI Public Lands Department Supports 99 Year Leases
Extension from current 25-40 years good for investors

By Junhan B. Todeno

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 3, 2013) – The Department of Public Lands is in favor of House Legislative Initiative 18-5 which will increase the maximum term of public land leases to 99 years.

The proposed constitutional amendment will give investors more security and a sense of stability in their investments, according to DPL acting Secretary Pete A. Tenorio.

The comments of Tenorio were read by Ramon S. Dela Cruz of DPL during the recent public hearing conducted by the House committee on Natural Resources led by its chairman Rep. Anthony Benavente.

At present, the term of public land leases for more than five hectares is 25 years, with an additional 15 years subject to the Legislature’s approval.

Tenorio said extending the lease terms on public land to 99 years will allow legitimate investors to bring in more money to the CNMI.

“Having a 40-year lease term is not a significant amount of time to develop an investment plan,” he said.

On the other hand, he added that 99-year lease terms will be more practical for investors, which will lead to greater development and economic growth in the CNMI.

“Greater development and economic growth will be beneficial for all CNMI residents, as it will allow for more jobs and more local revenue,” he said.

Tenorio said the extension of leases will boost the economic development of the CNMI by allowing investors more time to earn a return on their investments.

The present 25-year lease term plus a 15 year extension makes it difficult to attract potential investors, but H.L.I. 18-5 will solve that problem, he said.

A legislative initiative must be passed by the three-fourths of the members of each house present and voting. It doesn’t need the governor’s approval but it must be ratified by voters.

Tenorio noted the land lease policy of the Republic of Palau, saying that since 2007, its government increased its previous limited 50-year leases on public land and now leases its public lands to foreign individuals or businesses for up to 50 years with renewal terms of up to an additional 49 years for a maximum total of 99 years.

He also mentioned the Federated States of Micronesia which presently allows lease terms such as the Kosrae law that provides for a 55-year lease renewable for an additional 55 years; in Chuuk for up to 99 years; Pohnpei for 55 years renewable up to 99 years; Yap no more than 100 years, and the FSM national government itself, up to 99 years.

In the CNMI, Tenorio said several businesses that are leasing public lands are nearing the end of their 40-year maximum lease term.

Among them are Hyatt Regency Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa and Kanoa Resort.

He said extending the term of public land leases to 99 years will generate renewed development interest in the commonwealth among investors.

“It will also enable the government to have a much longer-term reliance on the income generated from large land leases or prime land leases such as hotels,” he said.

He said longer leasehold term will encourage lending by investment and financial institutions to finance major projects that will then create jobs and stimulate other economic activity.

“DPL fully supports H.L.I, 18-05 so long as there is absolute assurance that there will be no eventual freehold transfer at a later date, vis-à-vis, a change in the law,” he said.

He urged the House and Senate to pass H.L.I. 18-5 so that it will be placed on the ballot for voters’ ratification in the 2014 general elections.

But Ramon B. Camacho, chairman of the Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council, expressed strong opposition to the extension of land leases.

“This will deter investors from investing in private land and opt for government lands instead, thereby increasing the probability of corruption in public office,” he added.

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

AUSTRALIA:

10) Yothu Yindi frontman Yunupingu dies aged 56

Updated 3 June 2013, 15:19 AEST

Yothu Yindi lead singer Yunupingu has died overnight at his home in the Northern Territory. The former Australian of the Year, who was 56 years old, died at his home in Yirrkala in Eastern Arnhem Land. Yunupingu brought his local people, the Yolngu people, and Indigenous issues to the national stage with his musical career. He co-founded Yothu Yindi in 1986, and was the band’s lead singer and most prominent personality.

Yothu Yindi lead singer Yunupingu has died overnight at his home in the Northern Territory.

The former Australian of the Year, who was 56, died at his home in Yirrkala in Eastern Arnhem Land.

He had been fighting kidney disease for several years.

Yunupingu brought his local people, the Yolngu people, and Indigenous issues to a national stage with his musical career.

He co-founded Yothu Yindi in 1986, and was the band’s lead singer and most prominent personality.

He broke records throughout his life, becoming the first Indigenous Australian from Arnhem Land to gain a university degree.

M Yunupingu

The first Indigenous Australian from Arnhem Land to gain a university degree
Co-founded Yothu Yindi in 1986
Became Australia’s first Aboriginal principal in 1990
Named Australian of the Year in 1992 for his role in building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2012
Yothu Yindi won eight ARIA music awards, including Song of the Year for Treaty
The band released six major albums, from 1988 to 2000
Died aged 56 at his home in Yirrkala, NT, after fighting kidney disease for several years

In 1990 he also made history when he took over as head of the Yirrkala Community School, making him Australia’s first Aboriginal principal.

He was named 1992 Australian of the Year for his work as a musician and educator and his work in building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

He leaves behind a wife and six daughters.

His nephew, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who was born blind, also became an award-winning musician in his own right.

His first album Gurrumul won accolades and rose up the ARIA charts after its release in 2008.

Biographer Robert Hillman says M Yunupingu had a great sense of mission about his people.

“Music played an important part in the life of the Yolngu people all together. They are very musical people,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

“It was part of [his] vision that music could become a political agent in making the broad mainstream Australia more aware of the rich Indigenous culture of his people.”

Mr Hillman says Yunupingu became a legend in Australia’s music history, and will be remembered for bringing Indigenous issues to a larger stage.

“He was one of the generation of Indigenous Australians who saw a different way ahead, and what they brought to the consciousness of Australia is going to be valued forever,” he said.

“[Yunupingu] himself is a giant amongst his people and a legendary figure in Australian music.”

Yothu Yindi was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame last December.

Yothu Yindi has won eight ARIA awards, including Song of the Year in 1992 for Treaty, and Best Indigenous Release for Tribal Voice.

The band released six albums, starting with Homeland Movement in 1988 and finishing with Garma in 2000.

The founder of the National Indigenous Music Awards, Gavin Jones, says Yunupingu left a firm stamp on the music, Australian and Aboriginal communities.

“He was juggling a very important place culturally in his community, being an Australian ambassador, an Australian of the Year,” he said.

“He was the centrepiece to an internationally acclaimed rock band and also a community education leader.”

Music world remembers ‘incredible man’

Music industry personality Molly Meldrum says he met Yunupingu many times and admired him.

“He was highly intelligent as well and he always treated everyone the same,” he said.

“He was always open, he would somehow bring light into the room wherever he went.

“He was just an incredible man.”

Australian music entrepreneur Michael Gudinski signed Yothu Yindi for their first album, well before Treaty came out.

He says Treaty remains a great iconic Australian song.

“I think a lot of people were very ignorant. I think a lot of people got on to it initially just because of the incredible dance beat and the whole vibe of it,” he said.

“But I think a lot of intelligent people a lot of people found a lot more meaning than just a dance track and really listened to the amazing lyrical content.”

Music specialist and biographer Aaron Corn says apart from his music, Yunupingu will also be remembered for his role in education.

“His wonderful music and the legacy of Yothu Yindi the band is something that Dr Yunupingu will be remembered for by most people around the world and most Australians, but the thing that I think should also be remembered for he was a great intellectual … he was a great teacher and pedagogue,” he said.

Garrett, Gillard, Snowdon, Wyatt, Abbott all pay tribute

Education Minister Peter Garrett, who was friends with Yunupingu and worked with him in his role as lead singer with Midnight Oil, paid tribute on Twitter this morning.

Can’t believe he’s gone, my dear friend. A path breaker and leader. A shining light for his people. Rest in peace Mr Yunupingu.

— Peter Garrett AM MP (@PGarrettMP) June 2, 2013

Mr Garrett helped to induct Yunupingu into the ARIA Hall of Fame last year and says he first met him with Midnight Oil in the early 80s.

“To be truthful about it I think we’re still in a bit of shock about it here in Canberra,” he said.

“He was a very dear friend. He was an outstanding leader. He was a highly successful musician, if you consider what Yothu Yindi achieved, and he’s gone too young.”

Video: Garrett pays tribute to Yunupingu (ABC News)

A statement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s office describes Yunupingu as a “uniquely talented musician, a passionate advocate for Aboriginal people and a truly great friend”.

“He will be remembered for his tremendous musical achievements … he will also be remembered as a great educational leader and a champion for the Yolngu people,” it said.

“He leaves a great body of work to inspire us and we will need all of that inspiration, for so much work remains undone.”

Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon says apart from his music legacy, Yunupingu was a great educator and health advocate.

He says he only saw Yunupingu at a renal workshop he had organised last month in Nhulunbuy.

“He was present at it for the whole day. He was hopeful of being well enough at some point to have a transplant, sadly that was not to be,” he said.

During a tribute in Parliament, Indigenous MP Ken Wyatt, highlighted Yunupingu’s education work.

“Mr Yunupingu worked first as a teacher and then as an Aboriginal principal in the Northern Territory,” he said.

“This began an incredible journey to increase awareness about Aboriginal Australians and bring all Australians closer together in a combined vision for our nation’s future – a vision that continued until death and I hope will continue in Australia’s collective consciousness far into the future.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says Yunupingu was “a great leader of his people”.

“He was obviously a significant cultural leader figure to the wider Australian community as well as amongst Aboriginal people,” he said.

“It’s tragic that he’s gone and I guess it’s very sad that he’s gone at such an early age – but this is one of the real problems in modern Australia. Too many Aboriginal people die too young.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

11) First Fijian beauty for Aussie pageant

Torika Tokalau
Monday, June 03, 2013

Veniana Natekuru, one of three finalists from NSW State for the Miss World Australia. Picture: SUPPLIED
Veniana Natekuru, one of three finalists from NSW State for the Miss World Australia. Picture: SUPPLIED

WHILE Fiji crowned its Miss World Fiji on Saturday night, another Fijian is competing in the Miss World Australia pageant.

Veniana Liku Natekuru, 24, is the first Fijian to compete in the Miss World Australia competition.

The former Jasper Williams High School student is one of three Miss World Australia New South Wales State finalists.

“I have been told by the board of directors that I am the first Fijian to be in this competition which is an honour,” Ms Natekuru said yesterday.

“I’m just a normal young girl from Ra grabbing opportunities that God has blessed me with. I am far from perfect; coming from a God-fearing nation, I can only say that with God nothing is impossible.”

Ms Natekuru, who hails from Nanukuloa, Saivou, Ra, and has maternal links to Nausori, Nalawa in Ra, grew up in Fiji. Her family moved to New Zealand in 2003 after her mum, Alumita Natekuru, was offered a nursing job.

They then moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2006 so she and her younger brother Waisake Natekuru pursue better education opportunities.

She is studying at the University of Notre Dame, undertaking two degrees in nursing and psychology as well as a diploma in small business management.

“Losing my dad in 2005 has taught me a great deal. My life wasn’t and hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, I’ve seen first-hand what it’s like to struggle through my mother.

“Being a coloured young woman competing in a pageant of this scale is truly challenging but I have come to learn that you will persevere and succeed if you choose to turn whatever mishaps and negativity that comes your way into something positive.”

In December, 2012 she received an email from the director of pageants for Miss World Australia informing her that she had been spotted through her modelling agency and that she qualified as a preliminary finalist for NSW.

She accepted the offer to compete because she wanted to use the platform to help those less fortunate than herself and be a role model to all Pacific Island girls. “Life is about taking risks, don’t be afraid to chase your dreams and don’t stop until you land somewhere that delivers you the greatest amount of happiness.”

Ms Natekuru has chosen Variety, a children’s charity as her campaigning charity and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation as her outreach campaign.

“It’s been an amazing experience to see that even in a first world country there are people who need help with literacy skills and I believe that as an Australian everyone should enjoy the same education, employment and societal opportunities.”

The winner for the Miss World Australia New South Wales State will be announced on July 14.http://www.fijitimes.com/

PASIFIK:

12) France Remains Committed To Strategic Presence In Pacific
Budget cuts see shift from French Polynesia to New Caledonia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 3, 2013) – The French defence minister says the Asia-Pacific region remains a strategic challenge for France.

Jean-Yves Le Drian says France has intensified its politico-military cooperation in the region despite budget difficulties.

Speaking to the Security Forum Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, he says France can not turn away, whatever the constraints of geography, the impact of fiscal restraint or false assumptions about the exclusive economic dimension that would take the Euro-Asian relationship.

Mr Le Drian says France also intends to approach the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

For budgetary reasons, France has scaled down its military presence in French Polynesia and concentrated operations in New Caledonia.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

FRENCH:

13) Naissance d’un nouveau parti politique aux îles Fidji

Posté à 3 June 2013, 8:44 AEST

Pierre Riant

Le Parti démocratique populaire s’est dûment enregistré auprès des autorités.

Le 4ème parti à le faire depuis le décret du Premier ministre par Intérim, Frank Bainimarama imposant toutes une série de conditions aux formations politiques qui désirent s’inscrire sur le registre des partis politiques. Au nombre des conditions : 5 000 adhérents payants.

Ce décret interdit également aux fonctionnaires et aux syndicalistes de créer une formation politique. Et il se trouve que ce nouveau Parti démocratique populaire (PDP) semble étroitement associé à la grande centrale syndicale fidjienne.

Nirmal Singh, porte-parole du PDP, affirme que son parti n’est pas sponsorisé par les syndicats : « Ce parti n’est pas fondé sur les syndicats mais défendra fortement les droits des travailleurs, des défavorisés, des femmes et de la jeune génération. » http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

14) Les Îles Salomon applaudies pour leur initiative anti-tabac

Posté à 3 June 2013, 8:41 AEST

Pierre Riant

L’archipel a marqué la Journée mondiale sans tabac du 31 mai dernier en annonçant l’interdiction de la vente de cigarettes à l’unité.

Interdiction également de fumer dans des lieux publics, notamment les écoles, les restaurants et les bureaux administratifs du gouvernement.

Colin Bell, de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, indique que ces restrictions, notamment l’interdiction de vendre des cigarettes à l’unité, font que le tabac deviendra inabordable pour de nombreux fumeurs tout en limitant l’accès au tabac des jeunes fumeurs.

Colin Bell affirme que le tabac est responsable de 70% des décès dans la région du Pacifique. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

15) Les Vanuataises victimes du cancer du col de l’utérus

Posté à 3 June 2013, 8:37 AEST

Pierre Riant

Le Professeur Ian Frazer se penche depuis 5 ans sur un programme de vaccination au Vanuatu.

Les recherches de ce professeur ont conduit au développement d’un vaccin contre le VPH qui protège contre le cancer du col de l’utérus même si la protection n’est pas complète.

Les fonds initiaux pour le programme de vaccination et de dépistage au Vanuatu sont épuisés et le gouvernement cherche un donateur pour permettre à ce programme de continuer.

Ian Frazer nous parle de la situation au Vanuatu.

FRAZER : «  Nous n’avons pas de chiffres exacts et ça pose un problème. Mais nous savons que selon notre étude menée parmi des femmes apparemment en bonne santé il y a 2 ans, qu’une femme sur 100 qui marchaient dans les rues du Vanuatu était atteinte du cancer du col de l’utérus. Et c’est là le seuil limite à travers le monde en terme de problèmes associés au cancer du col de l’utérus. »

Mais pourquoi ce taux élevé au Vanuatu?

FRAZER : « Nous savons que le cancer est causé par une infection virale, par le Papillomavirus et le Papillomavirus Humain (VPH) est courant au Vanuatu, comme il l’est partout ailleurs où nous avons regardé.
Donc, nous ne comprenons pas pourquoi tant de femmes du Vanuatu qui ont le virus finissent par avoir plus souvent le cancer que dans de nombreux autres pays.
Ce que nous savons, c’est que beaucoup de pays ont des programmes de détection avec des tests PAP, des frottis vaginaux et cela réduit l’incidence du cancer parce que ce test détecte l’infection et permet son traitement.
Au Vanuatu, nous n’avons pas été en mesure de mettre en place un système de dépistage systématique. Nous avons toutefois développé un système de détection lancé par le gouvernement du Vanuatu. »

Et comment se fait-il qu’un système de dépistage systématique n’ait pas été mis en place ?

FRAZER : « C’est une question de technologie. Pour gérer un système de dépistage, vous avez besoin du soutien des services de pathologie, vous avez besoin d’archiver les résultats à l’échelle nationale pour être certain que tout le monde a passé un test et vous devez avoir la capacité de traiter l’infection pour tenter d’endiguer le cancer du col de l’utérus
La bonne nouvelle est que c’est plus facile maintenant de faire un test de détection ; vous n’avez plus besoin de toutes les technologies associées aux tests PAP, aux frottis vaginaux. C’est un dépistage du virus lui-même et nous essayons de trouver un accord pour que nous puissions mettre en place un programme ici pour que le Vanuatu ait accès à ce test de dépistage. » http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

EDUCATION:

16) Acclaimed Pacific writer, ex-Speaker, Tietjens recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

By Online Editor
2:38 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, New Zealand

One of Pacific literature’s most influential figures, a former Speaker of Parliament, and New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens are among those recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list announced today.

Emeritus professor of English, Albert Wendt, has been given the highest honour in this year’s list.

He joins the elite club of just 20 living New Zealanders to be appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ).

The University of Auckland professor is one of Pacific literature’s leading figures, known for his award-winning writing. He received the honour for his services to the country.

Among four knighthoods awarded is Lockwood Smith, the former Speaker who is now High Commissioner in London, for his services to Parliament.

He joins Gordon Tietjens, who has also been made a Sir for his services to rugby.

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Robert Chambers, has been appointed a knighthood posthumously following his sudden death two weeks ago. Approval for the appointment had already been received from the Queen before his death.

His wife Deborah said it was “of some comfort” that Sir Robert knew of the honour before his death.

Maori activist Nganeko Minhinnick has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her services to Maori and conservation.

Dame Minhinnick is the Kaitiaki of Ngati Te Ata, acting as the key iwi contact, and is Secretary of Tahuna Marae Trustees. She is known for her tireless efforts across multiple conservation and public health campaigns.

Former All Black Bryan Williams, who already has an MBE, has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his services to rugby.

John McDermott, a ONE News journalist for more than 44 years, has been awarded The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), for his services to reporting. McDermott covered more than 3000 news stories, mostly for the Otago and Southland regions, during his time as a reporter with TVNZ.

“McDermott is regarded for his accurate, fair and balanced journalistic style,” the Cabinet Office said.

SOURCE: TVNZ/PACNEWS

BUSINESS:

17) LNG to power mining

By Online Editor
2:13 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Natural gas from the Stanley gas field will generate power for regional mining operations and rural electrification in Papua New Guinea’s Western province, Horizon Oil says.

Horizon made the revelation in Port Moresby last week following the approval of the Stanley project development licence application by Environment and Conservation Minister John Pundari.

“We are very pleased to have received ministerial approval in Principle for the Stanley Gas Project which represents an important milestone in the regulatory approval process.

Condensate from the Stanley gas field is expected to be sold to the Napanapa refinery, with the high diesel yielding condensate enhancing PNG’s energy independence.

Conversion by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) to gas-fired power, displacing expensive diesel-fired generators could bring about estimated savings in energy costs to Ok Tedi of about A$1 billion (K2.1 billion) over 20 years…. PACNEWS
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

18) More movies will be shot in locations in Fiji this year

By Online Editor
2:16 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Fiji

Film Fiji acting chief executive Florence Swamy has told FBC News they have a production schedule for the next several months.

Swamy said announcements on the actual commencement of the productions will be made in due course.

She further revealed that film makers from other parts of the world have also shown interest in producing movies shot from Fiji.

“There are a number of films that will be made here not just from India but from other jurisdictions as well and when the time gets near for those films to actually start shooting the productions themselves will making those announcements.”

Fiji’s locations have impressed many international producers and have hosted many international actors and actresses in recent years….
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

19) Australian Government signals 457 visa changes to crack down on rule breakers

By Online Editor
2:18 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Australia

Australia’s Immigration Minister foreshadows changes to foreign worker visas that will make it easier to penalise breaches of the rules.

The Government says not all bosses are looking to employ Australian workers first. The Federal Opposition says it is open to changes, but has accused the Government of using overblown rhetoric when discussing foreign workers.

Australia’s Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor has foreshadowed changes to the foreign worker visa scheme that will make it easier to penalise breaches of the rules.

O’Connor has previously suggested there have been 10,000 cases of 457 visas being rorted, although he later said that was just an estimate.

The Australian Government is expected to announce new measures this week to ensure businesses are employing local workers before bringing in overseas staff.

O’Connor says not all bosses are looking to employ local workers first.

“The penalties are in place, but they’ve rarely been imposed because there has been an inability to compare what is happening as opposed to what’s written on the application form,” he said.

O’Connor says there are other ways to provide labour to sectors of Australia’s economy.

“The holidaymaker visa and student visa are also important ways to provide labour to certain regions and to certain sectors,” he said.

“The 457 visa scheme, the temporary skilled scheme, is an essential part of those initiatives, but it must be one that maintains integrity.

“It has to be a scheme that genuinely responds to shortages in our economy and genuinely delivers on real jobs that are needed.”

Federal Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek says it is a real problem that some employers are looking offshore.

“If there are Australians available to do this work, then taking shortcuts and getting a compliant workforce from overseas that can be deported, sacked quickly if they become troublesome, is not something that any Australian government should support,” she told Channel Ten.

The Federal Opposition’s Immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, says he is open to further changes, but has accused the Government of engaging in overblown rhetoric on the issue of foreign workers.

“We’ll have a look at what measures the Government puts to the Parliament this week and we’ll keep an open mind on those,” he said.

“We’re not opposed to commonsense reforms and house-keeping of this important program, but we’re just not going to buy in to this Government’s vilification and abuse of those who come on 457s and skilled migrants.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

20) Bougainville President says new passenger ship is part-owned by Government

By Online Editor
2:50 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville has confirmed the island will soon have its very own passenger ship for services to and from PNG.

Dr John Momis made the comments while defending the Bougainville government against accusations regarding its work with outside investors.

New Dawn reports the accusations claim the proposed new passenger vessel will be owned by PNG businessman Sir Henry Chow.

Dr Momis says the ship will come under the joint partnership of the government and Sir Henry.

He says both his government and Sir Henry put in US$3 million each, meeting the cost of the new US$6 million vessel which is currently still under construction in China.

Dr Momis says other memorandum’s of understanding signed by the Bougainville delegation that visited China in 2010 have no legal or financial implications on the government, but through them Bougainvi

lle can seek assistance and guidance in developing industries to boost its economy….
SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

21) PNG offers cattle exports lifeline

By Online Editor
2:52 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Australia

Australian cattle could be sent to Papua New Guinea within the month in a bid to ease pressure on graziers crippled by drought and an Indonesia live exports ban.

The Cairns Post understands PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will write to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott within days to seeksupport foran export trade.

PNG could take up to 15,000 head of cattle before the end of June, with the capacity for more than 100,000 animals exported over coming years.

Half the animals would be used for breeding and half for slaughter.

The Federal Government last night confirmed it was working with the cattle industry to get the plan off the ground but government sources said a one month time frame would be “optimistic”.

The Coalition also yesterday told graziers it would support an establishment of live exports to Papua New Guinea should it win government at the September election.

Australian representatives involved in brokering the deal with PNG were in Port Moresby yesterday meeting with government officials.

PNG’s deputy prime minister Leo Dion told the Cairns Chamber of Commerce: “We are 200 per cent behind this”.

It is understood Prime Minister O’Neill in his letter to Ms Gillard will offer the use of 10,000 hectares of state-owned land to accommodate the cattle imports.

Two private investors are interested in purchasing the cattle. However, under the proposal the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments would be involved in improving facilities and ensuring exporters adhered to the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System designed to prevent the mistreatment of animals.

One grazier involved in establishing the trade said yesterday: “I would expect it to be up and running in a month”.

“They could take 15,000 head of cattle tomorrow and it has the potential upper limit for more than 100,000 head a year,” the grazier said.

“There are 40,000 beef producers in northern Australian and it would help the whole lot of them. It would be a lifeline.”

News of the plan came as graziers from northern Queensland descended on Canberra for crisis talks with politicians, bureaucrats and the Indonesian ambassador to Australia, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, over the industry’s future.

One of those farmers in Canberra yesterday, Barry Hughes, said graziers were battling a “perfect storm” scenario of drought, a high dollar and falling prices that had plunged the industry into crisis.

He said the Federal Government’s decision in 2011 to ban live cattle exports to Indonesia, after footage emerged showing cattle being mistreated in abattoirs, had been the catalyst for the “crisis”.

“Never before has there been a situation like this in the north Australian beef industry where so many negatives have come together at the one point at the one time,” Mr Hughes said.

More than 100,000 cattle would not survive unless a solution was brokered soon, he said.

A spokesman for Ms Gillard said once a letter from Prime Minister O’Neill had been received “we will consider it and respond in due course…..

SOURCE: CAIRNS POST/PACNEWS

22) New Zealand IRD joins offshore tax crackdown

By Online Editor
4:27 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has joined an international crackdown on the use of overseas shell companies and trusts to evade tax.

Tax authorities from Australia, Britain and the United States announced last month they had obtained and were sharing 400 gigabytes of data relating to companies and trusts formed in Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Cook Islands.

Raju Budhia, group manager of compliance for IRD, confirmed New Zealand had piggy-backed on to the effort and a request for access to the treasure-trove of company and financial information had been granted.

“Inland Revenue is working closely with our major tax treaty partners, in particular Australia, regarding any New Zealand residents who use offshore havens to evade paying tax,” he said.

Media reports indicate the cache of information from the normally secret tax havens includes 260 gigabytes leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and used to write a series of stories about how individuals and companies, including some New Zealanders, use overseas structures.

The release of the ICIJ data to tax officials had been a point of contention for the investigative journalism group, and it is unclear how it exactly ended up with tax officials in London, Washington and Canberra.

George Osbourne, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, said at the time the tripartite effort was announced: “The message is simple: if you evade tax, we’re coming after you.”

Budhia said: “Any New Zealand taxpayer that uses a tax haven to cheat on their taxes does so at considerable risk. Regardless of the legal protections supposedly offered by havens, there can never be an absolute guarantee of anonymity.”

The scope of the IRD’s investigation would also capture advisers, such as lawyers and accountants, who actively manage or promote schemes designed to rort the tax system through the use of overseas structures.

“Assisting people to enter illegal arrangements may result in penalties or even prosecution,” Budhia said.

“We warn taxpayers to be aware of any offshore arrangement involving secrecy and concealment. Arrangements involving disguised ownership, hidden income, or anonymous accounts need to be treated with great caution.”

A similar focus in the United Kingdom has thrown the spotlight on to more than 200 advisers who are now being investigated by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Budhia said the trove of data was vast and it was too early to say how many tax-dodging New Zealand companies and individuals had been identified.

“While we cannot comment on individual customers, we are interested in obtaining any data that helps us determine what transactions and structures may involve New Zealand or New Zealand tax residents,” he said.

SOURCE: FAIRFAX NZ/PACNEWS

23) Polye: PNG Experiencing Strong Economic Growth

By Online Editor
4:30 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Treasury Minister Don Polye says macroeconomic stability is the cornerstone that has resulted in strong economic growth.

But he warned that if line departments fail to achieve the intended returns from investments, the situation could reverse.

Polye told participants at the Joint Treasury and Bank of PNG Monetary and Fiscal Policy Conference that macroeconomic stability is important as it increases economic growth. This means jobs for citizens and increased tax revenue for the government to use on basic services and infrastructure.

The conference was well attended by representatives from commercial banks, donor partners and experts from the Bank of PNG led by Governor Loi Bakani. Others included the Reserve Bank of Australia and its Treasury.

Polye warned that if the government fails to achieve returns intended through investments, the country could experience the downside.

In the last decade, PNG has experienced an increased growth rate supported by strong fiscal policies and debt management strategy.

The message at the conference was clear that the government can only achieve growth if it spends money in enabling areas specified in the Medium Term Development Strategy.

The introduced Multi- Year Budgeting by the government is one of the ways in place to ensure line departments spend well.

SOURCE: EMTV NEWS/PACNEWS

24) Contraband tobacco bad for economy

By Online Editor
4:32 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea loses millions of kina annually from the booming illegal tobacco industry, British American Tobacco Papua New Guinea (BAT PNG) says.

BAT PNG said that a big amount in potential tax revenue is being lost by the PNG government, while businesses are losing big sales due the availability of cheap, smuggled tobacco products.

BAT PNG said it wanted to work with the government to combat this.

General Manager Michael Penrose said: “Collaboration with the government is a way of defending PNG against the criminal cigarette trade.”

Strengthening border control is an important area to focus on as criminals try to smuggle in cigarettes illegally imported from Indonesia and other parts of Asia.

“If organised crime gangs from Asia continue to rob PNG of substantial amount in potential revenue, then mapping out a plan to reduce trading of illegal tobacco control is something we would like to do together with the government.”

The import of the contraband makes it easier for young people to buy illegal cigarettes because they are sold for nearly half the price in some cases.

“People operating legitimate local businesses are trying to make living selling legal cigarettes but other stores are selling cheaper illegal alternatives,” Penrose said.

He added: “There is no better time to than the present to highlight how the tobacco industry could assist to stamp out a problem which impacts businesses, citizens and government.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

25) Heavy Fishing May Lead To Tuna Fishery Closure In Pacific
PNA fishing day limit could be reached in October in RMI

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, May 6, 2013) – Heavy tuna fishing during the first five months of the year could force closure of lucrative fishing grounds in the western and central Pacific by late 2013, a leading fisheries official predicted Friday.

The eight-member Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or PNA, which control waters where 70 percent of the Pacific’s skipjack tuna is caught, have set a limit on days for fishing in 2013.

PNA limits fishing days to manage the resource sustainably and maintain the price of tuna on the world market.

Based on fishing trends during the first part of this year, Marshall Islands fisheries Director Glen Joseph predicts, “PNA will likely be out of fishing days by October. Some parties will have to close their EEZs (exclusive economic zones).”

It won’t be the first time — in 2011, the Solomon Islands closed its lucrative ocean zone to fishing when it ran out of days, and only reopened after purchasing additional days from other PNA members. PNA manages the skipjack industry through a “vessel day scheme,” which divides the days among the members. By agreement, when one country reaches its limit it is supposed to close its fishing grounds unless it trades for extra days from another PNA country.

The relatively new scheme worked in 2011, with several PNA members trading days to both maintain fishing and the limit set on fishing days. Last year, however, Kiribati broke from the pack to sell days beyond its limit. Kiribati received a slap on the wrist at PNA’s annual meeting in April, where all eight members — including Kiribati — signed an agreement recommitting all members to abide by fishing limits.

Pressure from American, Asian and European fishing fleets for fishing days will be intense.

But, said Joseph, if commercial fishermen use up their allotted days in the first six-to-eight months of the year, there may be no fishing days left and the boats will have to halt fishing.

“It is the nature of the situation,” Joseph said. “We’ve agreed to apply limits and we have to maintain these limits — not only for the integrity of the VDS, but also for the compliance that is expected of us in the region and by the international community.”

He confirmed that decisions about opening and closing fishing zones is “a sovereign issue for each island. But we have to meet the agreed-to requirements.”

PNA is comprised of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu. The PNA area accounts for 50 percent of the world’s skipjack tuna catch, giving PNA leverage it has used over the past three years to nearly triple the fishing day-fees paid by distant water fishing nations for access to the region.

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

LAW&ORDER+:

26) France vows military commitment to Asia-Pacific

Posted at 02:47 on 03 June, 2013 UTC

The French defence minister says the Asia-Pacific region remains a strategic challenge for France.

Jean-Yves Le Drian says France has intensified its politico-military cooperation in the region despite budget difficulties.

Speaking to the Security Forum Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, he says France can not turn away, whatever the constraints of geography, the impact of fiscal restraint or false assumptions about the exclusive economic dimension that would take the Euro-Asian relationship.

Mr Le Drian says France also intends to approach the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

For budgetary reasons, France has scaled down its military presence in French Polynesia and concentrated operations in New Caledonia.

Radio New Zealand International

27) PNG-NZ army exercise underway

By Online Editor
2:58 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

The first joint military exercise between the New Zealand and PNG defence forces is underway in Lae, Morobe.

The 10-day exercise which started Tuesday last week involves 88 PNGDF personnel and a New Zealand special forces team of 62 soldiers.

Called Operation Tropic Wing, the exercise also includes members of the Port Moresby-based long range reconnaissance unit, two PNGDF naval vessels, small amphibious crafts, Iroquois helicopters and a New Zealand Hercules aircraft.

Lae area military commander Colonel Peter Aimos said the exercise included troop movements by foot, low-level flying activities by the Hercules and parachute drops.

While most activities will involve the use of blank ammunition rounds, there will also be a four-day live fire exercise within a 5km radius northeast of Igam barracks starting today.

Aimos said all participants would be wearing PNG and New Zealand camouflaged uniforms and carrying combat equipment, smoke generators and thunder flashes.

Tropic Wing will also be conducted in the wider Lae area including Huon Gulf, Lae Port and Voco Point, Narasora, Malahang, Situm, Nadzab, Markham Bridge and Busu River areas.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

28) Bougainville Police To Detain, Question Chinese Workers At Panguna
Locals question who gave authority for foreigners to come to mine site

By Romulus Masiu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 3, 2013) – Central Bougainville police and ex-combatants will move into Panguna today to pick up 16 Chinese nationals in the mine area.

They will be brought to Arawa Police Station for questioning and screening of their work documents.

Central Bougainville Police Commander Inspector Herman Birengka gave this undertaking yesterday when the Post-Courier asked him how the Chinese ended up in the blocked off, controversial mining area.

Police and ex-combatants will make the move as tension is brewing now from locals who are questioning those in authority how foreigners can just walk into Panguna under the eyes of authorities on the ground, including the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Bougainville Police Service.

Locals, especially ex-combatants, took a swipe at Immigration officials in Port Moresby over the arrival of the 16 Chinese nationals.

The 16 Chinese – three of them interpreters – will have all their work permits, passports and visas thoroughly screened and checked at the Arawa Police Station to see if they are genuine.

If they are found to be illegally here, they will be locked up at the Arawa Police Station cells, Insp Birengka told the Post-Courier.

According to police intelligence, the Chinese have been recruited by a group of Americans (company named) based at Panguna to come over and ‘help’ out in their operations.

By today police should have a clear indication whether the group is involved in the gold business or scrap metal operations at the Panguna mine site.

The group arrived last week from Port Moresby through Buka and then to Arawa where they went to Panguna.

Insp Birengka believes the Chinese have been recruited and employed by the Americans based in Panguna.

“Right now we have two groups of nationals up in Panguna – the Americans and the Chinese. This is a very serious issue on the ground as the legitimate authority on the ground, including ABG through its Bougainville Police Service does not have a fair idea on the arrival of these people,” Insp Birengka said.

When quizzed if locals are masterminding the influx of the foreigners, Insp Birengka could not confirm this, but he said this was possible.

He warned that local organisations must go through the right channels and proper processes as stipulated under the Bougainville Constitution instead of doing things on their own.

“They must report to the legitimate authorities instead of coming into the region on their own will.”

Inspector Birengka is also appealing to locals or any organisation wanting to bring in foreigners for whatever reasons that they must alert authorities on the ground, especially ABG and its police.

Central Bougainville Veterans Association spokesperson Junior Dake when giving a briefing on the presence of the 16 Chinese to former combatants in Buin, said the Chinese if processed and found to be illegally in Bougainville, will be locked up at the Arawa Police Station.

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

29) Australian Socialists Decry Planned ‘Militarisation Of South Pacific’
Defence White Paper says Pacific ‘theatre….of confrontation with Beijing’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 3, 2013) – Australia’s Socialist Equality Party condemns the Labor government’s plans to step up the militarisation of the South Pacific, as revealed in its Defence White Paper this month, and warns workers and young people in Australia and the region that a new round of predatory interventions is being prepared.

The White Paper, the policy document that outlines Canberra’s current strategic and military agenda, underscores the extent to which Australian imperialism is committed to Washington’s so-called “pivot” to East Asia and the Pacific. The Obama administration is provocatively encircling and preparing for war against China in a bid to maintain Washington’s strategic domination over the entire region.

One little noted aspect of the new White Paper is its focus on preparing for stepped up Australian military activity in the South Pacific.

The region has emerged as an important theatre in the US-Australian campaign of confrontation with Beijing. US imperialism aims to ensure that the entire Pacific Ocean remains an “American lake”, as it was characterised in the aftermath of World War II.

Washington’s junior allies in Australia and New Zealand are being delegated responsibility for shutting out rival powers from developing ties with states in Melanesia and Polynesia. Australian imperialism is completely dependent on US backing for its own predatory operations in the region, and has lent support to US-led military aggression throughout the world in order to secure that backing.

The 2013 White Paper defines Canberra’s most important strategic interest, after maintaining the military defence of Australia, as establishing a “secure” South Pacific and East Timor. “Australia seeks to ensure that our neighbourhood does not become a source of threat to Australia and that no major power with hostile intentions establishes bases in our immediate neighbourhood from which it could project force against us,” the document declares.

This potential “major power” is, unsurprisingly, not identified anywhere in the document, but China is the main target.

As it has done in Latin America, Africa, and other regions, Beijing has actively promoted economic, diplomatic, and military relations in the South Pacific.

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

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & CLIMATE CHANGE+:

30a) Minister attends the first Asia-Pacific meeting for enhanced energy security

Posted on June 3, 2013 – 4:16pm

Vladivostok, Russian Federation (Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) – Asia-Pacific countries begin a four-day United Nations conference today on regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy in Vladivostok, Russian Federation.

The Minister responsible for Climate Change and Energy, Thomas Lakin, has represented the government of Vanuatu in the first ever Asia-Pacific region-wide intergovernmental ministerial meeting on energy convened by the United Nations.

The meeting was organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), with the support of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF).

High-level participants attending APEF from 35 countries including Vanuatu and across the diverse Asia-Pacific region, including heads of government and ministers are expected to adopt the APEF Ministerial Declaration and Plan of Action on regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy, with both regional-level and sub-regional-level activities for implementation.

A heavy reliance on fossil fuels makes the region particularly vulnerable to the fluctuations of international energy market prices. Recurring shocks of oil price volatility, financial and economic crises have not only exacerbated issues in energy, food and water, but have also partially reversed social and economic development gains and made the task of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) even more challenging.

Recognizing this, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2014-2024 as the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All to mobilize action on the global initiative led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Outcomes from APEF will play an important role in defining Asia and the Pacific’s participation and leadership in achieving the goals of the upcoming Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.

To fully capture perspectives on energy security within Asia and the Pacific, and to support consensus-building toward a regional energy strategy, ESCAP initiated five sub-regional consultation meetings in Bangkok, Delhi, Incheon, Moscow and Nadi, an Expert Group Meeting and Regional Preparatory Meeting which enabled a thorough and engaging intergovernmental process.

To realize enhanced energy security and the future we want in Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP is drawing attention to seven focus areas including access to energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy and environment, energy economics, trade and investment, and connectivity.

In addition to the official segments, there is a Business Forum on the third day where business leaders discussed innovation, technology development and partnerships with government officials, along with some civil society representatives.

Other government delegates to this meeting are Joe Iautu – First Political Adviser to the minister and Jesse Benjamin – Climate Change Mitigation Scientific officer with the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department.http://www.dailypost.vu/

30b) Rain delays Vanuatu government’s Epi meeting

Posted at 02:47 on 03 June, 2013 UTC

The Vanuatu government has postponed a planned Council of Ministers meeting on Epi Island by three weeks because of constant rain.

A government public relations officer, Letty Kaltonga, says the government wants fine weather to settle in before the meeting.

The new practice to host such government meetings in the provinces has been criticised by the opposition as a waste of public funds.

A former finance minister, Willie Jimmy, says it’s an allowance earning exercise for government officials more than anything else.

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:


31) British and Irish Lions touch down in Perth ahead of tour Down Under

By Online Editor
3:14 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Australia

British and Irish Lions touch down in Perth ahead of tour Down Under

The Lions take on the Wallabies in a three-Test series beginning on June 22 at Lang Park in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne (Docklands, June 29) and Sydney (Homebush, July 6).

But Warren Gatland’s touring party will first face the Australian Super Rugby franchises and a combined New South Wales-Queensland Country outfit.

The Lions’ first encounter will be a tune-up against the struggling Western Force at Subiaco Oval on Wednesday night.

It is expected to be a lopsided affair after the Lions thrashed the Barbarians 59-8 on Saturday night in Hong Kong to kickstart their tour.

They came through the one-sided Barbarians rout with no major injuries and captain Sam Warburton is hoping to be fit for Wednesday.

The Welsh flanker missed the game in Hong Kong on Saturday with a knee problem but team doctor James Robson said he was “progressing well”.

The Lions have not won a Test series since 1997 when they beat the Springboks in South Africa.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is scheduled to finalise his squad on June 11.

SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

32) Bonus win in the wet

By Online Editor
3:16 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Fiji

The Akapusi Qera-captained Flying Fijians ran in four tries as they completed an impressive 22-8 win against Japan in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup match at Churchill Park, Lautoka, yesterday.

And it was veteran winger Sireli Bobo who provided the spark as he ran from the 22 metre line before trading passes with right winger Adriu Delai to score in the corner in the first minute.

The veteran winger was in devastating form-showing blistering pace despite the heavy underfoot conditions. Bobo came close to score another try after the half-time siren but was unluckily caught near the 22 metre line by Japanese fullback Ayumu Goromaru.

Halftime: Fiji 5 Japan 0.

The visitors came back firing in the second half but a nasty injury to hardworking flanker Michael Leitch in the 47th minute proved costly.

It was in the same minutes Japan registered their first point via a penalty to Goromaru.

Numerous attacks by the visitors were quashed by steely defence with the bulky midfield partnership of second Five-eighth Leone Tabuarua and Nemani Nadolo thwarting the threatening Japan’s backline moves.

Japan was caught napping and was duly punished by Bobo who ran approximately 50ms before offloading to lock Api Naikatini to score in the 49th minute.

The game was won when a quick tap and some dazzling steps by Nikola Matawalu who replaced fullback Simeli Konirefedi saw winger Aisea Natoga dashed for the third in the 70th minute-the conversion was unsuccessful.

But Japan showed guts and determination with a try to replacement winger Kenki Fukuoka with a successful conversion by Goromaru.

Some creative play in the backline saw centre Nemani

Nadolo scoring the fourth try in the corner to seal the game in injury time.

The conversation by debutant Jiuta Lutumailagi who replaced Setareki Koroilagilagi in the 33rd minute sailed wide.

Flying Fijians captain Akapusi Qera said he can’t ask for more from his troops-even the heavy downpour was not a hindrance.

I can’t ask for more: Qera

“We prepared well-the rain was not an excuse- we were ready for it. It was a great game and we manage to encounter their plan and I thank the boys for the great performance.

I thank God for the strength, power and mentality I can’t ask for more.”

Qera who makes Japan’s life hell at the breakdown said they are looking forward to the next game against Canada.

He didn’t mince a word when he said their plan was to win all games including the much anticipated games against the Classing All Blacks.

“There were some mistakes and we will work on it on our way to Canada. Our scrumaging works well in the whole 80 minutes and we are going to push on,” Qera added.

Fijians physical:Japan

Japans captain Takashi Kikutani on the other hand praised the Flying Fijians for the good game.

Speaking through an interpreter, Kikutani said they learned a lot from the game against Tonga but they failed to contain the physicality of the Flying Fijians.

“We wanted to contain the game but could not beat up the physicality of the Fijian so we are really disappointed. We were prepared for Fiji but we gave away very easy mistakes and they capitalised on that and that was what we need to rectify,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

33) Naiteqe steps down

By Online Editor
3:19 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Fiji

National sevens selectors said they were not consulted before the announcement of the 21-member Fiji squad to the Rugby World Cup 7s.

This was revealed by Fiji Rugby Union National Academy programs manager Franck Boivert.

Some selectors said they were surprised to hear names of players they had not considered announced after the Marist 7s Cup final last Saturday.

Naitasiri coach Sailosi Naiteqe Sr quit as a selector after the announcement, saying he was disappointed that coach Alivereti Dere did not consider their views.

Former Suva coach Kalisito Tunaulu, one of the nine selectors, said he was surprised.

“We had decided on one 21-member list and was surprised when I heard the names,” he said.

“Some names that were announced were not in the list which we discussed.”

Naiteqe said it was better to let Dere do as he wished.

“When I saw that Dere could not work with us, I thought it was better to step down and let him do the job because when the team loses, we the selectors get the blame. When the team wins it is otherwise, he gets all the credit. It is better to let him do the job and let him answer for whatever happens,” he said.

Boivert said Dere had the final say on the team. “I’m afraid they (selectors) were not consulted,” Boivert added.

Dere could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Former reps Jope Tuikabe and Ro Alifereti Doviverata said they had to accept the coach’s decision.

“Nothing can be done now. Let’s just support the team. He (Dere) has the final say,” Doviverata said.

Tuikabe said they had little time to prepare before the World Cup.

“We still have some days to train the players but let’s support the team,” Tuikabe said when contacted yesterday.

Red Rock mentor Lote Rasiga said he could not comment on the matter as he was not present during the Marist tournament
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

34) Savou: Include Burotu

By Online Editor
3:21 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, Fiji

Block busting forward Seremaia Burotu deserves to be in the Fiji team to the Rugby World Cup 7s in Moscow.

That is the view of former national 7s coach Josateki Savou following Burotu’s exclusion from the 21-member squad that was named last Saturday.

Savou said Burotu proved his worth after being named the player of the tournament along with Levani Botia at the Marist tournament.

He said Burotu was a complete player and should be given a chance to compete for the final 12-member team.

“Burotu has everything, he has the speed, strength, can attack the defenders from out wide, he can draw the defenders and offload, he is a complete player,” Savou said.

“I just can’t understand why he was not selected in the team. I believe everyone knows his calibre, he has been around sometime before going to France.”

Savou, who was the assistant coach during the 2005 RWC 7s victory in Hong Kong, said Burotu would complete the puzzle of the squad.

“I think they should reconsider him or review the selection again within these two weeks.”

Former Suva coach Kalisito Tunaulu’s only hope is that head coach Alivereti Dere review his list before naming his final 12 players to Moscow.

He said Dere was given two weeks by the International Rugby Board to submit his final team.

“I believe something can still be done. Some players deserve to be in the team and I hope that Dere will review the names again,” Tunaulu said.

Dere’s phone was diverted when contacted yesterday.

Savou said he would prefer Watisoni Votu, Setefano Cakau, Levani Botia, Waisea Nayacalevu, Joji Ragamate, Ilai Tinai, Metuisela Talebula, Timoci Matanavou, Alipate Raitini, Samisoni Viriviri and Leone Nakarawa if Burotu was not re-considered to be in the final 12 to Moscow at the end of the month.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

35) Festival of Champions on horizon

By Online Editor
3:28 pm GMT+12, 03/06/2013, French Polynesia

Tahiti are on a high after earning a 3-1 victory over U de Chile’s U-20 team in a friendly international match as the Toa Aito approach the climax of their preparations on the road to the Confederations Cup in Brazil 2013.

Arriving in Chile via Easter Island the 23 man squad were greeted by freezing temperatures combined with rain – a shock to their systems after leaving the sunny beaches of home.

Following a trip of close to ten hours recuperation was key so following a quiet night in the side took a walk around the neighbourhood in the morning before getting into their first training on South American soil in the afternoon.

Fifteen minutes of light jogging was followed by forty minutes of various technical exercises all completed under a clear blue sky with the Andes at one end of the pitch.

This morning it was back to the business of preparing for the Confederations Cup, and after a rather disastrous FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign the side is pleased to be back on a winning path.

Lorenzo Tehau, Teaonui Tehau and Samuel Hnanyine all found the net to earn a win for the team against their young opponents – all of whom dream of a professional career.

Every player from coach Eddy Etaeta’s squad had a run during the match, except for Stephane Faatiarau who is nursing an injury, with the three keepers playing 30 minutes each between the posts.

Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta says during their preparations the side has focused on three factors – athleticism or fitness, tactics and mentality.

“However we are not in denial. We are very conscious that eight to ten weeks of professional training is not going to match ten years of professionalism that separates us from national teams like Spain or Uruguay,” Etaeta says.

Despite having a former professional in captain Nicolas Vallar, as well as the services of professional striker Marama Vahirua, Etaeta says there are no stars in the Toa Aito team.

“We don’t have any key players. We have always put the spotlight on the bigger picture, the state of mind and being a group. For me, the star is the whole team,” he says.

With the competition on the horizon the side now have a chance to prove themselves on the world stage, and while they are aware of their limitations and the challenge that faces them Etaeta says they have set goals for what they would like to achieve in Brazil.

“Try not to concede any goals in a half will already be an impressive performance. But above all, to score a goal will be a huge sporting exploit in my view,” he says.

“I want to represent our Pacific region with pride in the company of my team. We are here to bring honour to amateur football in the world of massive world class stars and money.”.

SOURCE: OFC/PACNEWS

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