Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 865


Nouméa GMFL meeting AFP 20130607

C’est a Nouméa à partir du 19 juin que les Mélanésiens du Fer de Lance se réunissent. (Credit: AFP) (Noumea/New Caledonia)

1) FLNKS formally invites West Papua to attend MSG meeting

By Online Editor
4:06 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, New Caledonia

New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS Movement has officially invited West Papua to attend this month’s Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in Noumea.

At the summit, MSG leaders are expected to decide on a formal membership bid by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.

The FLNKS spokesperson, Victor Tutugoro, says they have also met the consul of Indonesia in Noumea about their position on West Papua.

The chairman of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, Pastor Alan Nafuki, says the invitation is an important step.

“I think this is one of the major steps in history of West Papua since 1961. And I think for myself it is the answer, the answer of our struggle together, the answer of the people of god who have been praying for many many years, over 50 years now, and we have at least achieved something and I am very so proud of that, Pastor Nafuki told Radio New Zealand International.

2) West Papua pro-independence group plans rally to mark MSG
By Online Editor
5:51 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, New Caledonia

The West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, says it will hold peaceful demonstrations on 18 June in the Indonesian province to mark the first time West Papua will attend the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting.

The MSG hosts, New Caledonia’s pro-independent FLNKS Movement, has officially invited West Papua to attend the summit in Noumea.

The general coordinator of the KNPB event, Assa Asso, says there will be simultaneous demonstrations in Manokwari, Sorong, Yahukimo, Wamena and other towns in the Indonesian province.

Many previous demonstrations and protests have been met with force by Indonesian troops, who accuse the protesters of being violent separatists.

On May 01, three demonstrators were killed in a peaceful protest to mark 50 years since Indonesia took control of the province.

Two weeks later, the chairman of the KNPB Victor Yeimo was arrested by police at a separate rally and remains detained.


3) Bob Carr: West Papuan Self-Determination A ‘Cruel Deceit’
Australian minister says advocates misleading indigenous Papuans

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 6, 2013) – Australia’s Foreign Minister has accused people who advocate self-determination rights for West Papuans of misleading the indigenous people of Indonesia’s Papua region.

Bob Carr made the comment during a Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee hearing on his government’s response to ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.

Insisting that Canberra regularly engages with Jakarta over issues of concern in West Papua, the Minister criticized international West Papuan solidarity groups.

“They are planting in the minds of people who actually live in the place the notion this campaign has some kind of international resonance and that is a cruel deceit by self-indulgent people safe in their own beds, safe in a democracy. A cruel deceit about the potential of a demand for secessionism.”

Bob Carr says Australia and the world recognize Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.

Radio New Zealand International:

4) Reshuffle expected in PNG Cabinet

By Online Editor
4:26 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is expected to announce a minor cabinet reshuffle to fill the vacancies created by the courts of disputed returns.

The election dispute has now claimed a number of Ministers including the latest being the Madang MP and Police Minister Nixon Duban, former Kairiku-Hiri MP and Education Minister Paru Aihi and former Higher Education Minister and Ijivitari MP David Aore.

Arore was forced to step-aside as Minister after police arrested and charged him on allegations of corruption.

Prime Minister O’Neill has now taken charge of the Police Ministry.

O’Neill’s Peoples National Congress (PNC) Party who went to the elections promising free education, free basic health care, infrastructure development and law and order are holding onto the key government priority ministries.

The PNC Party will continue to hold key priority portfolios of Health, Police, education, Works and Finance to deliver on its election promise.

Coalition partners are holding onto other economic ministries with Treasurer and THE Party leader Don Polye acting as Higher Education Minister in place of Arore.

Former Deputy Speaker PNC member Aida Ganasi who was also ousted by the election courts has been replaced by Samarai-Murua MP Gordon Wesley as Parliament deputy Speaker.

The Angoram Open seat remains vacant after the passing of late Member Ludwig Shulz.

The Post-Courier was reliably informed by government sources that a major reshuffle is expected in August.

“The Prime Minister will not rush into making changes for political convenience. He does it at his own time and after 12-months in office as Cabinet Ministers, he will assess their performance and make appropriate changes to better serve the country.”

The source said a number of Ministers will make way for others and the prerogative rest with the Prime Minister.


5) PNG Facing Big Legal Fees For 2012 ‘Political Impasse’
Transparency group decries ‘disturbing’ $16.6 million bill

By Alexander Rheeney

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 6, 2013) – Last year’s political impasse between the O’Neill and Somare governments will cost the State over K37 million [US$16.6 million] in legal fees.

Documents obtained by the Post-Courier show legal firms connected to the Attorney General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua and Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato will be the biggest beneficiaries of the payout.

Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers, which the Attorney General was a partner in, has submitted a bill of K14.1 million [US$6.3 million] while Mr. Pato’s Steeles Lawyers has lodged a claim of K12.5 million [US$5.6 million]. Another firm, Thomas & Co. Lawyers, submitted a claim for K10.2 million [US$4.6 million].

Copies of the documents were sent to Mr. Kua yesterday for his comment but he did not get back to the Post-Courier last night when the paper went to press. It is understood the Finance Minister James Marape will release a statement today on the matter.

But Lawrence Stephens, the chair of the PNG Chapter of Transparency International, last night decried the scale of the legal fees and questioned whether there should have been competitive tendering amongst firms to offer their services to the State.

“I am basically horrified by the enormity of the payments claimed by law firms. There is no indication of competitive tendering. It (payments) appears to be extremely suspicious and from our point of view disturbing,” he said.

A letter dated February 28, 2013 with the Ministry of Finance letterhead signed by first secretary Yauka A. Liria and addressed to the Finance Secretary Steven Gibson gave the approval for the payout in line with a court order.

Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers was to get K6 million and Thomas & Co. Lawyers K4 million [US$1.8 million] for legal services to the Government. However, the payments were amended a week later to K5 million [US$2.2 million] for Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers and the same amount to Thomas & Co. Lawyers, on the instructions of the Finance Department’s first assistant secretary (cash management & expenditure control division) Margaret Tenakanai in a letter dated March 7, 2013 to the acting assistant secretary (accounts payable branch) Mary Martin. The balance was to be paid at a later date, depending on the availability of funding. Signed and approved Department of Finance general expenses forms GE 00063256 and GE 00063257 confirm the payments were processed for Thomas & Co. Lawyers and Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers in March.

The payment of K3 million [US$1.3 million] to Steeles Lawyers as the first installment was processed via Department of Finance general expenses form GE 00064107, which was dated and signed on March 15, 2013.

The legal fees charged by the three firms and the payments are likely to trigger a public outcry and comes on the back of recent revelations in the National Parliament of controversial payments to another local law firm, Paul Paraka Lawyers.

However a Department of Finance letter dated March 18, 2013 from Margaret Tenakanai and addressed to Jacob Yafai, the caretaker secretary, shows there were other firms who also submitted their legal claims for settlement. These were Twivey Lawyers and Young & Williams who each submitted K2 million bills [US$899,386].

PNG Post-Courier:

6) ABG Urged Not To Compensate Aid For Alleged Sorcerers
Bougainville human rights group says custom is to assist freely

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 6, 2013) – The Bougainville Human Rights Committee has called on its government not to pay compensation to people who help victims of sorcery-related violence.

Committee chair Helen Hakena says claims worth more than US$125,000 have been lodged with the autonomous government of Bougainville by people who helped a victim in a recent case.

Ms. Hakena has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat there could be serious consequences if the government starts paying compensation.

“People would just stand by and watch while others are being killed or accused of sorcery without helping if they are not paid,” she said.

“They will just watch while their brothers and sisters or relatives are being killed.”

The Bougainville Human Rights Committee is calling on the government not to entertain the claims.

“That’s not Bougainville’s culture – in our culture we assist freely and do not ask for anything in return.”

Ms. Hakena says police have confirmed 40 sorcery-related deaths on the island in the past four years.

“The issue of women being victimized is becoming a big concern for us women leaders on Bougainville because women are unarmed, they cannot defend themselves,” she said.

“So men are targeting them, communities are targeting them, particularly older women.”

Radio Australia:

7) Research Shows Belief in Witchcraft Growing-
Friday, 7 June 2013 10:24 AM

Belief in sorcery and witchcraft is on the rise in the Pacific, experts warned Wednesday after a young woman accused of killing a boy with black magic was burnt alive in Papua New Guinea.

Lawrence Foana’ota, formerly the director of the Solomon Islands National Museum, said people were increasingly turning to witchcraft in the Melanesian country.

“The reason why it’s growing is because there is some kind of economic benefits people are receiving from these practices,” he told AFP before speaking at a conference in Canberra to tackle the issue.

Unless the problem was addressed quickly, especially amongst the young, “it might end up in the same situation as in Papua New Guinea where they are actually physically killing people”, he said.

The brutal killing in February in Papua New Guinea of a 20-year-old mother accused of witchcraft sparked international outrage.

The woman was stripped, bound and burned before a crowd of onlookers including schoolchildren.

In another attack in April, an elderly woman was beheaded after being accused of black magic.

The February murder helped push Papua New Guinea (PNG) to re-introduce the death penalty for violent crimes including sorcery, a move criticised by rights group Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Reverend Jack Urame, from the Melanesian Institute, said Christian organisations could do more to stamp out the widespread belief in sorcery in PNG, where many people do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune and death.

“There is an alarming comeback of the belief, and I believe there are several factors why the belief is coming back again,” Urame told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Because there is a generation gap, the Christian values is not being passed on to the next generation and so I think people are resorting back to the traditional belief as an answer to explain sickness and death.”

Australian National University academic Miranda Forsyth, co-convenor of the conference in Canberra, said the belief in sorcery and witchcraft was widespread in countries such as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

“These beliefs and practices impede economic development, because people are often afraid to be too successful because they are then accused of sorcery,” she said.

“They also impact on understandings of health as people are not inclined to seek medical assistance because they attribute illness to sorcery.

“They also lead to increased crime, because women or men who are accused of sorcery are attacked by the population who think that this is the only way to stop a misfortune that has fallen upon their community.”


8) TSI Concerned with Diversion of Agriculture Funds-Friday, 7 June 2013 9:35 AM

Transparency Solomon Islands is deeply concerned about a Government plan to take SBD$33 million Solomon Islands dollars from the Ministry of Agriculture budget and channel it through Members of Parliament, a move that has been widely criticized.

“The roles and responsibilities of government Ministries must be respected by the NCRA government,” the anti-corruption organization says.

“After constant failures to submit their plans for these and other constituency development funds, MPs have shown that they are unable or unwilling to spend the money in an open and accountable way.”

The SBD$33 million was allocated for the cocoa and coconut industry support programmes currently under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Transparency Solomon Islands believes that the Ministry is in a better position to deliver the programmes than politicians and says channeling funds through individual MPs allows room for corruption to thrive.

9) Concurrent Elections Suggested For Solomon Islands
Combined national, provincial polls would cut costs: premier

By Charley Piringi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 6, 2013) – A prominent provincial premier says national and provincial elections in the Solomon Islands should be held concurrently to save costs.

Choiseul premier Jackson Kiloe offered the suggestion as his province prepares to go to the polls in September.

“Would it make a lot of sense and save a lot of dollars if all the provincial elections (including Honiara city elections) and the national general elections are harmonized and held all at once?” he asked.

“Currently elections for these different levels of governments are governed under varying legislations and under different ministries and commissions. Why not make them all come under the Electoral Commission?

“If the laws do not allow this, why can’t we amend those laws? That is why we have a national Parliament,” he said.

Mr. Kiloe said the nation could save a whole heap of money and headache if it does that.

“We are so concerned about wise utilization of resources, yet here is a classic example of wasteful use of resources. Money saved from this could be used elsewhere in providing better services and infrastructures for our beloved people of this nation.

“Besides, if all elections are held all at once every four years, our people could be freed from electioneering and political campaigning that can be so deafening all year round. They only get a dose of it once every four years.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Provincial Government is conducting voter registrations for Choiseul and Western provinces this week.

Mr. Kiloe said this exercise would cost the national government thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

“The provincial elections being proposed for September would cost even more. While this is taking place preparations are now underway to commence the National Voters Registration for the National General elections next year.

“The registration process may commence as early as next month. This would cost the nation hundreds of millions of dollars.

“In the case of Choiseul and Western, even though the voters’ registration is currently being revised, it would not be used for the national elections, and a new one will have to be done. Millions of dollars will be spent again,” Mr. Kiloe said.

Solomon Star

10)  Regenvanu Responds To Vanuatu Land Lease Allegations
Argues removal of documents by minister does not breach law

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 6, 2013) – In the weekend issue of Daily Post, allegations were raised against Minister of Land, Ralph Regenvanu that he could be in breach of the Land Leases Act following the removal of registered files within the Land Records Office.

While the First Political Adviser John Salong initially responded to the allegations raised, the minister who is currently overseas has sent his response to the story.

Regenvanu stated: “When the Daily Post journalist called the Ministry of Lands to get my response to these allegations I was on an overseas trip. When I was informed that there was an allegation, I requested through my office that the journalist wait for my reply before publishing the story. This was not possible.

“I am still overseas now, but wish to provide this statement in response to the allegations contained in the article.

“I did indeed request that all the legal instruments related to the preferential grants of state land by former Minister Kalsakau be removed from the Lands Department and placed in my office.

“The concern raised about my action in doing this relates to the provision of section 109 (2b) of the Land Leases Act that ‘any person’ who ‘removes from the Land Records Office any register or any part of any register or any instrument or plan filed in the Land Records Office’ has ‘committed an offence.’ “The allegation is that I have breached this section of the law by my actions.

“As Department of Lands staff are well aware, the Minister of Lands regularly holds files in his office as part of the usual process of approving and dealing in land (leases, consents to transfer, consents to mortgage, etc).

“The Minister is required by the Land Leases Act to approve all land dealings – in fact the Minister’s signature is required to make these dealings fully lawful and the documents legal instruments.

“Therefore it is my understanding that the Minister of Lands is not a ‘person’ within the meaning of section 109 (2)(b) of the Land Leases Act.

“This section was written to prevent a ‘person’ – i.e. not the Minister – from removing files from the Land Records Office. If section 109 (2b) was supposed to apply to the Minister, it would not have been possible for any land dealings to be approved by the Minister in past years, as all files are physically removed from the Land Records Office and provided to the Minister in his office to sign.

“This is standard practice for the last 33 years. Nevertheless, although I am confident that the section does not apply to the Minister, I have now asked the State Law Office to provide written advice on this matter for clarification.

“The files that have been removed from the Lands Records Office are legal instruments (registered and unregistered) that were created through a process of ‘preferential grants’ of State Land to staff of the Department of Lands as well as to political and business associates of the former Minister Steven Kalsakau.

“These files are the subject of two current investigations, one by the Office of the Ombudsman and one by the Public Service Commission. I made a pragmatic decision to hold all of these legal instruments in my office to prevent any further dealings occurring in the instruments given that the legality of the process to issue them is currently under investigation.

“The powers of the Public Service Commission are detailed in the Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu (Article 60). The investigation team established by the Public Service Commission needs access to these legal instruments in order to complete their report.

“Although the Public Service Commission established their investigation team last year and although staff of the Land Records Office as public servants are required to provide the information requested by the team (in accordance with Part 34 of the Public Services Act), up until the last few weeks these staff have been obstructing the access of the investigation team to these files.

“As Minister of Lands I obtained these files to help facilitate the access of the Public Service Commission team to these important source documents and as a result the team is currently reviewing these instruments.

“I am also currently seeking advice from the State Law Office on a number of legal matters in relation to these lease instruments.

“Considering the ongoing investigations and the fact that I am seeking legal advice, I think it is prudent that the lease instruments are kept in my office for the time being, especially considering that staff of the Land Records Office are potentially implicated in the improper dealings being investigated.

“I hope this clarifies my position in relation to this matter. I sincerely hope that in the future the Daily Post will allow me to respond to these allegations before printing.

“To say that I have been in breach of the Land Leases Act is a serious matter and I am concerned that these allegations were printed without allowing time for my response,” Regenvanu said.

Daily Post would like to clarify here that we did called the minister’s mobile, it rang and no one answered and then a message was left on the mobile and the story was withheld that day.

The next day the journalist went to the ministry and was told that the minister had left the country on that day.

The journalist working on the story then approached the Director and Director General but could not get a comment before Mr. John Salong, who represented the minister, responded to the allegations raised.

At no time was Daily Post told of the minister’s instructions to the ministry for the journalist to wait for his reply.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

11) Vanuatu Called To Streamline Food Safety Laws
Commission reports lack of control on imported products

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 6, 2013) – European Commission experts have recommended Vanuatu tighten its laws to ensure better food safety.

Doctor Henry Temple says the current law on food safety is far too complicated and needs to be made simpler and more efficient.

He says in a study over the past six weeks, they have found a lack of control on imported foods, with businesses not complying with date and origin requirements.

Dr. Temple says while the law allows for prosecution of people for fraud or adulteration of food, this has never been applied.

“So in the Act, 1993 Act it is provided that when someone is cheating with food or poisoning people, he should be prosecuted and maybe sometimes go to jail. This never happened.”

The team also says poor quality foreign food is to blame for the surge in non-communicable diseases in Vanuatu.

Radio New Zealand International:

12) Fiji Government Not Monitoring Political Parties: AG
Registered parties reportedly ask state to stop monitoring

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 6, 2013) – Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has reiterated that government is not monitoring any political parties activities.

Three registered political parties namely the Fiji Labour Party (FLP), National Federation Party (NFP) and the Social Democratic Party (SODELPA) have recently been calling on the government to stop monitoring what they do.

Speaking to FijiLive, Sayed-Khaiyum said parties were free to do what they wanted and no government officials were monitoring their activities.

When asked if police officers were monitoring political activities, Sayed-Khaiyum said police officers like any other are also voters so if they were attending meetings it does not mean that they were there to monitor anything.

He said parties were free to hold their meetings and they should not be worried about anything as long as they are abiding by the law.

Meanwhile SODELPA will be meeting today to discuss their party operations, NFP will meet over the weekend while no word has been received on weather FLP will be having any meetings soon.



13) American Samoa push for US citizenship referendum
By Online Editor
4:23 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, American Samoa

American Samoa’s US Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, is to introduce legislation into Congress calling for a federally authorised referendum in American Samoa on the question of citizenship.

This comes as a federal district court in Washington D.C. considers a lawsuit which questions why American Samoans are not granted US citizenship.

The congressman says the suit could result in U.S. citizenship applying to everyone born in American Samoa, regardless of whether they want to become citizens.

Faleomavaega told local leaders they can no longer afford to do nothing.

He says his legislation will provide for a referendum in American Samoa, where all eligible voters decide whether they want to become U.S. citizens.



14) Kiribati spreads her wings to Taipei

By Online Editor
4:25 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Taiwan, Province of China

The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has spread her wings to Taipei with the opening of the Kiribati Embassy marking a significant step forward in the relations between Kiribati and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The opening of the Kiribati Embassy in Taipei last week, which coincided with the tenth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, signifies Kiribati’s second overseas diplomatic mission ever established and a first outside the Pacific.

Located on the 12th floor of the Taipei World Trade Centre, the Kiribati Embassy was bustling last Friday when senior dignitaries from the Taiwan government including members of the diplomatic corps, friends of Kiribati from the Mackay Memorial Hospital, Ching Fu Shipbuilding, former officials who worked in the Taiwan embassy in Kiribati and the more than 30 Kiribati students studying in Taiwan witnessed the unveiling of the embassy’s plaque by President Anote Tong.

“The opening of our Embassy in Taipei is a clear demonstration of my Government’s strong commitment to the strong ties that bind our two nations together.” President Tong said.

Tong, who was in Taiwan last week for a state visit added that the establishment of the Kiribati Embassy in Taipei demonstrates the genuine desire to further deepen ties for the mutual benefit of the two nations and also a clear demonstration of support to the Republic of China (Taiwan) as an equal member of the international community.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, Shih reciprocated Tong’s remarks at the opening ceremony by expressing deep gratitude to the Kiribati government.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to the Government of Kiribati for the consistent and firm support for a meaningful participation in international organizations and activities including the World Health Assembly (WHA), United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and some fisheries organizations like the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).” Foreign Minister Shih said.

Former Secretary to Cabinet, Teekoa Iuta, who also formed part of President Tong’s delegation to the State visit to Taiwan, has been tasked by Government to represent Kiribati and head the Taipei mission as Ambassador.

The opening ceremony was concluded with a cocktail reception and a showcase of the Kiribati culture through dance performances by the Kiribati students studying in Taiwan and a short DVD clip produced specifically for the occasion.



15) Labor going down like the Titanic and Rudd won’t be coming back: MP
By Online Editor
5:15 pm GMT+12, 05/06/2013, Australia

– One of Kevin Rudd’s key supporters has likened the Labor Party’s electoral woes to the final moments of the Titanic.

The MP has denied there is any chance of a comeback by the former prime minister, and has attributed recent criticism of Julia Gillard to general “crankiness” within the party.

“It’s like the Titanic – we’re in the final scenes,” the backbencher told ABC News Online.

“Third class has realised the doors are locked and they’re not getting out. And first class are running around looking for a dress to put on.”

The MP told the ABC it was “too late” to consider a return to Rudd.

The speculation has been reignited by the latest round of disastrous polling for Labor showing the Coalition is set for an historic victory.

Earlier today, Rudd stoked the leadership embers by making a rare appearance at the doors of Parliament, where the media wait on sitting days to interview MPs.

He was swamped by reporters and turned to give a quick statement.

“I think it’s time everyone, and I mean everyone, just pull their heads in and got on with the business of ensuring that Tony Abbott does not become the next prime minister of the country,” he said.

Another of his key supporters, former whip Joel Fitzgibbon, has said there is no way the leadership issue could be revisited.

“We’re now 101, 102 days out from an election. We’ve got to get behind the leader and start selling our policies more effectively,” he told Fairfax media.

Yesterday Fitzgibbon mocked the scripted lines that media advisors hand to MPs, claiming he had the “manual” for how to respond to questions about the poor polling.

Labor stalwart Doug Cameron says MPs have the right to speak out on issues and says the Prime Minister should do the same.

“Why should I just take a view that some kid in the media department of some minister or the PMO [Prime Minister’s Office] is telling me what I should say? This is nonsense,” he said.

And he advised Julia Gillard to “be herself”.

“I think the Prime Minister should get rid some of these spin merchants that keep telling her what she’s got to do.

“Don’t read the nonsense you get every morning to tell you what your spin lines are.

“She is a talented, effective politician but she’s just got to be herself – she’s got to run the passion.

“I take a view on a range of issues and I take my views to the public,” he added.

Yesterday another long-time Labor MP, Laurie Ferguson, who maintains he is a “strong supporter” of the Prime Minister, told her she needed to better engage the electorate on the issue of border protection or “we are dead” in critical western Sydney seats.

Cabinet Minister Bill Shorten is keen to change the conversation.

“Labor voters want Labor MPs to stop fighting amongst themselves – to get on with the real issues,” he said.



16) Melanesia wok long daunim sorcery na sanguma pasin

Updated 6 June 2013, 16:21 AEST
Pius Bonjui

Director blong Melanesia Institute i tok igat nid long wokbung long daunim ol heve we i kam long pasin sanguma na puripuri long Papua New Guinea.

Odio: Reverend Jack Urame, Director bilong Melanesian Institute i toktok

Dispela conference long Sorcery na Witchcraft long ol Melanesian kantri we oli holim long Canberra, kapital blong Australia, bai em i lukluk long sampela rot blong daunim dispela heve.

Sorcery na witchcraft or pasin Sanguma na puripuri ibin kamap bikpela long Papua New Guinea – na oli kilim dai pinis sampela meri long oli sutim tok long oli wokim ol dispela pasin.

Reverend Jack Urame, Director bilong Melanesian Institute long Goroka long Eastern Highlands Province husat i stap tu long dispela miting itok, igat nid long wokbung long daunim dispela heve.

Reverend Urame itok, bihain long dispela conference long Canberra, Australia National University na Melanesian Institute bai ronim wanpela bung blong olgeta lida long gavman, ol komuniti, church na wanem kain lain long dil wantaim dispela heve.radioaustralia.

17) Bougainville gavaman noken baim kompensaisen

Updated 7 June 2013, 9:50 AEST
Pacific Beat.

Wanpela human Rait grup long Bougainville i askim strong gavaman long noken baim kompensaisen moni igo long pipol em oli givim halivim long ol pipol em oli kisim bagarap long sosari.

Sia meri blong komiti  Helen Hakena itok prais moni ol dispela pipol ibin askim em inap moa long 125 tausen America dolla oli putim pinis igo long autonmous gavaman blong Bougainville . Askim blong ol ibin bihainim wok oli bin mekim long halivim pipol em oli kisim bagarap long ol pait na trabel i kamap wantaim sosari ino long taim igo pinis.

Mrs Hakena i tokim  Pacific Beat progam blong Radio Australia bai igat sampela bikpela heve inap kamap sapos gavaman i stat long peim kompensaisen.

Emi tok pipol bai istap na lukluk tasol taim ol arapela pipol iwok long dai oa oli sutim tok long ol long kamapim sosari na inonap go na halivim ol sapos gavaman ino baim ol.

Audio: Helen Hakena i toktok long Pacific Beat.

Emi tok ol bai sanap na lukluk taim brata na sista blong ol oa narapela memba blong famili blong ol sampela lain i kilim ol.

Bougainville Human Rait Komiti i askim gavaman long noken luksave long dispela askim.

Emi tok dispela emi no pasin tumbuna blong Bougainville-emi tok long pasin tumbuna blong ol,oli save halivim nating na oli no save askim wanpela samting long bekim dispela.

Ms Hakena ibin tok  polis ibin stret olsem ibin gat foapela ten keises blong pipol idai long pasin blong sosari long island  long las foapela yar. igo pinis

Emi tok dispela wari blong ol meri isave kisim bagarap i kamap olsem bikpela wari blong ol women lida  long Bougainville long wanem ol meri, oli no save holim wanpela samting long wuas long ol, nonap  lukautim ol yet

“Olsem na ol man isave putim eye long ol,komuniti i putim eye long ol tu,na bikpela longen ol bikpela meri.


18) Lukisan seniman Aborigin dipamerkan diatap museum Paris

Diperbaharui 7 June 2013, 12:49 AEST

Sebuah karya seni oleh seorang seniman Aborigin terkemuka telah dipasang diatap sebuah museum di Paris sehingga dapat disaksikan oleh jutaan orang.

Seniman kontemporer dari Australia Barat, Lena Nyadbi, diminta untuk membuat sebuah lukisan khusus untuk teras atap dari Musée du quai Branly.

Ia lalu membuat sebuah lukisan hitam-putih yang dinamakan Dayiwul Lirlmim atau Barramundi Scales, terinspirasi oleh tanah kelahiran ibunya di Dayiwul Country.

Sebuah reproduksi besar dari lukisan tersebut, yang dibuat dengan cat yang digunakan untuk tanda-tanda lalu-lintas, kini terpampang di teras atap museum itu yang luasnya 700 meter persegi.

Instalasi itu dimaksudkan supaya terlihat dari beberapa tingkat yang berbeda di Menara Eiffel, yang dikunjungi oleh sekitar tujuh juta orang setiap tahun.

Lukisan itu bahkan dapat dilihat dari angkasa luar, berkat teknologi pemetaan satelit.

Versi besar lukisan Dayiwul Lirlmim itu 46 kali lebih besar dari aslinya, yang juga dipamerkan.

Lukisan itu menggunakan warna netral hitam-putih dan bercerita tentang seekor ikan barramundi.

Ikan itu luput dari penangkapan, tapi sisiknya rontok tersebar.

Menurut cerita itu, sisik-sisik itu menjadi Berlian Argyle dari daerah Kimberley yang terkenal itu.

Nyadbi adalah seorang seniman Gija dari daerah East Kimberley di Australia Barat.

Ia lahir di tahun 1936 dan mulai melukis di tahun 1998 setelah magang selama 10 tahun dibawah beberapa seniman Kimberley terkenal, termasuk Paddy Jaminji.

Catnya buatan tangan, menggunakan bahan ochre dan charcoal yang alami dari Gija, dan ia terkenal kaya dalam estetika.

The Musée du quai Branly didedikasikan pada seni dan budaya bumiputra Afrika, Asia, Oceania dan Amerika.

Karya Nyadbi sudah dipamerkan permanen di museum itu karena ia menciptakan suatu lukisan dinding Jimbirla and Gemerre yang menghiasi salah satu dinding luar, yang dapat dilihat dari Rue de l’Universite di Paris.

Karya dari tujuh seniman Aborigin Australia lainnya dipasang di langit-langit museum itu.



19) Les séparatistes de Papouasie occidentale apprécient l’invitation du Fer de Lance

Mis à jour 7 June 2013, 9:33 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est au Vanuatu que le pasteur Alan Nafuki s’est fait le porte-voix.

Le Pasteur Nafuki est le président de l’Association pour la libération de la Papouasie occidentale, une province indonésienne,  s’est déclaré enchanté par l’invitation du FLNKS (Front de libération national kanak socialiste) au sommet du Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance (GMFL)  prévu à partir du 19 juin à Nouméa.

Cette invitation, souligne le pasteur Nafuki, est l’aboutissement d’années de lutte : « Et maintenant nous avons un résultat avec le GMFL en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Je pense que c’est une étape majeure dans l’Histoire de la Papouasie occidentale  depuis 1961. »

Notons qu’il n’est pas dit que les autorités indonésiennes permettront à une délégation de Papouasie occidentale à se rendre à Nouméa.

20) Vanuatu: le Parlement se féminise

Posté à 7 June 2013, 9:23 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le gouvernement s’est prononcé pour un quota de 30% de représentation des femmes au Parlement.

Concrètement, cela signifie que le Parlement pourrait adopter dès le moins d’août prochain une loi qui garantira qu’un certain nombre de sièges soit réservé aux femmes.

Beaucoup de chemin reste à parcourir pour parvenir à la parité des sexes, mais dans une région où la représentation féminine parlementaire compte parmi les plus basses du monde, c’est un pas en avant.

Jenny Ligo, présidente de la Coalition pour l’Équité de genre au Parlement, souligne que les femmes se battent pour la parité depuis une trentaine d’années.

LIGO : «  Le processus est un peu long, mais nous, femmes et dirigeantes, nous apprécions la décision du Conseil des ministres et nous avons hâte de la voir publiée au journal officiel pour qu’elle devienne loi et qu’elle soit appliquée.

C’est ce que nous voulions du gouvernement et maintenant qu’il a commencé, nous voulons que ça aboutisse.

Je suis donc très contente. J’ai appelé le ministère de la Condition féminine pour savoir si un forum peut être organisé pour expliquer aux femmes tout le processus ; quels sont les critères pour obtenir une représentation féminine aux niveaux des autorités provinciales ou municipales et au Parlement. Il y a des questions dont il faut débattre sur le terrain. »

Jenny Ligo insiste sur le besoin d’expliquer clairement aux femmes comment ce système de sièges réservés aux femmes va fonctionner. Toutes les femmes ne sont pas en faveur du système en question et estiment que toute candidate doit être élue sur son mérite.

Toutefois, 17 femmes se sont présentées aux dernières élections au Vanuatu, dont Jenny Ligo, et aucune n’a été élue.

Toujours est-il que pour éviter toute confusion, insiste Jenny Ligo, le système de représentations féminine parlementaire doit être expliqué clairement aux Vanuataises.

LIGO : « Je ne veux pas que les femmes commencent à se disputer pour savoir qui va avoir ce siège et qui va avoir l’autre. Les critères doivent donc être bien spécifiques. Je ne veux pas de disputes entre femmes à propos de la distribution des sièges.
Les femmes doivent comprendre le processus et l’accepter pour que nous parvenions à le mettre en application et à le concrétiser sans qu’il y ait de ratés. »


21) Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi wants to run for president

Updated 6 June 2013, 19:10 AEST

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has declared her intention to run for president in the 2015 elections.

Addressing the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in the capital Naypyidaw, the Nobel Peace laureate appealed for the amendment of the military-drafted constitution which prevents her from leading the country.

“I want to run for president and I’m quite frank about it,” the veteran democracy activist told delegates.

“If I pretended that I didn’t want to be president I wouldn’t be honest.”

The current constitution blocks anyone whose spouses or children are overseas citizens from being appointed by parliament for the top job.

Ms Suu Kyi’s two sons with her late husband Michael Aris are British and the clause is widely believed to be targeted at the Nobel laureate.

I want to run for president and I’m quite frank about it. If I pretended that I didn’t want to be president I wouldn’t be honest.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Changing certain parts of the text requires the support of more than 75 per cent of the members of the fledgling parliament.

Ms Suu Kyi noted that one-quarter of parliamentary members are unelected military officials.

“This constitution is said by experts to be the most difficult constitution in the world to amend. So we must start by amending the requirements for amendments,” she said.

Progress and lifting of Western sanctions

President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government has surprised the world since coming to power two years ago with dramatic political and economic changes that have led to the lifting of most Western sanctions.

Hundreds of political prisoners have been freed, Ms Suu Kyi has been welcomed into a new parliament and tentative ceasefires have been reached in the country’s multiple ethnic civil wars.

Ms Suu Kyi, who was herself locked up by the former junta for a total of 15 years, remains hugely popular in Myanmar and her National League for Democracy party is widely expected to win the elections if they are free and fair.

The opposition leader called for all of the Myanmar people to be included in the reform process, warning that otherwise the changes could be jeopardised.

“If the people feel that they’re included in this reform process then it will not be reversible – or at least it will not be easily reversible,” she said.

“But if there are too many people who feel excluded then the dangers of a reversal of the situation would be very great.”


22) France says territories to play strategic role for Paris

Posted at 02:05 on 07 June, 2013 UTC

The French overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has given a policy speech, saying each of the territories plays a particular role for France’s strategic interests.

In the speech reported in Tahiti, the minister says Paris will assist the territories in integrating in the regional environment to foster co-operation with the European Union.

Mr Lurel says the territories play a role in the change of energy production, as a hub for experiments to boost French know-how and to help with health care delivery.

He also says the territories need to be integrated in their respective region to help with France’s delivery of aid.

France has three territories in the Pacific, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, and French Polynesia, which alone gets about two billion US dollars in transfers from France a year.

Last month, the United Nations defied France and reinscribed French Polynesia on the decolonisation list.

Radio New Zealand International


23) Media watchdog says Nauru must protect freedom of speech

Posted at 19:27 on 06 June, 2013 UTC

A Pacific media watchdog says the Nauru government must allow the Nauru Broadcasting Service to fully report politics leading up to Saturday’s general elections.

The chair of the Pacific Freedom Forum, Titi Gabi, says an uninformed democracy is no kind of democracy at all.

She asks how are voters to make informed decisions on issues if they cannot access independent information to make their own judgment

Last week, the caretaker president Sprent Dabwido declared a state of emergency leading into the poll, including restrictions on media.

He says he is not stopping politicians being interviewed by the local government-owned media, but is stopping them getting an unfair advantage.

But a former finance minister, Roland Kun, says that is not the reality.

“The reality on ground is that media has not been able to interview anyone.”

Roland Kun.

The Pacific Freedom Forum says the incoming government must put in place protections for freedom of speech, as guaranteed under the constitution, and by international agreement.

Radio New Zealand International


24) NMI Education Board Extends Teacher Certification Deadline
Certification deficiencies must be addressed within one year

By Moneth Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, June 7, 2013) – Public school teachers in the Northern Mariana Islands who fear losing their jobs next school year can now heave a sigh of relief after the Board of Education yesterday approved a one-year extension for them to complete their certification requirements.

The proposal was endorsed yesterday by Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D., to the three-member fiscal and personnel affairs committee, which unanimously approved the recommendation. The full board is expected fully ratify the decision at its next regular meeting.

Nearly 200 staff of the CNMI Public School System (PSS)-mostly classroom teachers-were issued 90-day non-renewal notices following a determination that they are non-compliant with the board’s certification and licensure policy. Most of the recipients were notified that their contracts will expire on Aug. 13 and that they will only be renewed if all requirements are met.

The one-year extension kicks in from the date the 90-day notices were received.

During yesterday’s panel deliberation, member Marylou Ada and board chair Herman T. Guerrero emphasized that the extension will not exceed one year and teachers must show good faith in completing the requirements.

Besides this extension, Guerrero’s committee also waived the “teaching practice or practicum” required under the Basic II requirements for teachers.

A memorandum of understanding between the commissioner and affected teachers, according to Guerrero, must also be initiated to ensure that there is a target timeline and action plan for the teachers to work on in collaboration with the PSS.

Guerrero cited prior experiences where many teachers only enrolled in required classes at the beginning but later dropped out, resulting in failure to comply with the certification and licensure policy.

“If they can do it in less than 90 days, then they should do it. The timeline should be achievable [for the teacher] because we don’t want to drag it for one year. That’s not realistic,” according to Guerrero.

Board member Tanya King said the teachers’ progress in meeting the requirements must also be tracked and monitored.

King expressed hope that the courses these teachers need to take are in the Northern Marianas College’s curriculum and are all available for PSS teachers.

Sablan said the human resource office is also putting together certification courses this summer to assist affected teachers.

The Board of Education has five different types of certifications: basic 1, basic II, specialized, standard with endorsement, and professional. Of these five certifications, three are renewable while two are non-renewable certificates.

PSS earlier disclosed that 176 employees were issued the non-renewal notices, 54 of which cover non-renewable certificates.

Based on the 90-day notices, affected employees are given until Aug. 13 to obtain, complete, or renew their required licenses and certificates or they will be let go.

Saipan Tribune


25) Samoa’s opposition leader says Chinese demands are “ridiculous”

Posted 7 June 2013, 10:05 AEST

Samoan leaders have expressed disbelief over the demands of a Chinese company hoping to invest in the nation.

Among its conditions, the Beijing Investment Management Company says it wants a land lease for 160 years, tax exemptions, and the right to bring in 30,000 of its own workers.

Palusalue Faapo II, the leader of the opposition in Samoa, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat these requests are “ridiculous”.

“I think these Chinese business people think that Samoa is so desperate for investors that they come up with these ridiculous requests and exemption from all the taxes and also in terms of employment they’re thinking that Samoa can be easily exploited,” Mr Faapo said.

“I believe that the government shouldn’t give these Chinese people any positive response to their request, especially when they bring in their own employees, bring in their own building materials and so forth.”

Mr Faapo says he believes Samoa is not in the position to lease customary lands to the Chinese investors.

“I believe if they’re going to build a casino and hotels they want the best located lands, like on the beaches and so forth” he said.

“These lands are all the customary lands and I’m sure that the people will look at it that it will be tied down for 160 years and they will give them more when they request for further extension of the period of leasing it.

“Samoa won’t be able to easily lease these lands to these Chinese people.”

The company also wants the Samoan government to issue a permit to manage a gambling business and admit 30,000 Chinese workers for no less than three years without taxes.

Mr Faapo says the government should perform background checks on investors before considering their proposals.

“It is our duty to ensure that these people are genuine, their credibility and also their background to ensure that these Chinese are good people,” he said.

26) PNG tourism focuses on adventure destination brand

Posted at 02:05 on 07 June, 2013 UTC

The head of Papua New Guinea’s Tourism Promotion Authority says the local industry is focussed on making the country a major adventure tourism destination.

Peter Vincent says PNG is trying to forge a tourism brand distinct from traditional beach resort-based tourism destinations in the Pacific region.

He says PNG has a lot more to offer and the tourism industry is concentrating on the adventure tourism market.

“You’re not going to see that focus change. I think we probably want to develop that as a niche activity. The numbers may not be great but in terms of returns, our returns are much, much higher because the people that we want to see come to PNG are the people that have higher disposable income, at the higher end of the market, not the four-dayers, three-dayers – we’re not interested in that segment of the market.”

Peter Vincent says about 75,000 tourists visited PNG last year.

Radio New Zealand International

27) Fiji Labour leader blames regime for sugar industry woes

Posted at 02:05 on 07 June, 2013 UTC

The Secretary-General of the Fiji Labour Party, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the current government has overseen the worst performance of the sugar industry on record.

Mr Chaudhry says sugar production has fallen from more than 300,000 tonnes in 2006, to 150,000 tonnes last year as a result of Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s de-unionisation of the sugar industry.

Mr Chaudhry says the military government has lost the country millions of dollars worth of donor funding and the industry is on its knees.

“When the sugar reforms were brought in the EU approved a programme for Fiji which would have assisted the growers to the tune of something like 400 million dollars. And now because of negative political developments, because of the takeover and Bainimarama’s refusal to conduct elections in 2009 as promised, this funding was suspended.”

Mahendra Chaudhry.

This week, at a meeting of the International Sugar Council in Nadi, Commodore Bainimarama blamed his predecessors for the problems, saying his government was sparing no effort to revitalise the industry.

He said land that is fallow is being replanted and that Fiji is on the right path to increasing production and diversifying the sugar industry.

Radio New Zealand International

28) Boost for PNG-Qld tie
By Online Editor
4:12 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Australia

A taskforce to drive government cooperation and investment opportunities between Queensland and Papua New Guinea met for the first time in Brisbane yesterday.

The Queensland-Papua New Guinea Government Exchange Task force gathered to enhance collaboration between the two governments in areas including trade, investment, law and order and public administration.

Premier Campbell Newman said the task force was established after he signed a memorandum of understanding regarding business and government cooperation with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during his visit to the country in May.

“The signing of the MoU paves the way for greater collaboration between the two governments that will see significant benefits on both sides,” Newman said.

“There is enormous potential for Queensland businesses to capitalise on trade and investment opportunities, particularly with PNG’s burgeoning resources industry.

“PNG will gain expert training and support from the Queensland government to boost its public services delivery, providing a better lifestyle for its communities.”

Member for Cairns and Taskforce Chair Gavin King said a range of initiatives will be considered as part of the program, but the initial focus would be on law and order and health.

“The two priority projects are the exchanging of 150 police officers and our assistance with the construction of a hospital in Daru,” King said.

“While the task force only met for the first time today, our goal is to have the police exchange program up and running before the end of the year.

“The costs associated with the police exchange programme will be met by the Papua New Guinea Government.

“The two governments have also agreed to pursue opportunities in trade investment, road planning, major event planning and local government capacity building.”

Membership of the Queensland-Papua New Guinea Government Exchange Task force includes Member for Cairns Gavin King, Member for Cook David Kempton, Member for Barron River Michael Trout, Member for Thuringowa Sam Cox and Member for Townsville John Hathaway….

29) Air Pacific looks into renewing Pacific Sun fleet
By Online Editor
5:44 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Fiji

Air Pacific will look at renewing and expanding the fleet of its subsidiary, Pacific Sun, after it completes the renewal of its wide body fleet in November.

Our national airline, soon to be flying as Fiji Airways, received its second Airbus A330 last month with the last one due in November.

Air Pacific acting chief executive, Aubrey Swift, informed the Centre for Aviation on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association annual general meeting on these plans.

The meeting is being held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Swift said Air Pacific plans to replace the two ATR 42s and three de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters operated by Pacific Sun.

He has indicated the carrier may opt for ATR 42-600s and ATR 72-600s.

Swift highlighted the ATR 72-600s would be used to replace the Boeing 737s on thin low frequency short-haul routes.

Air Pacific currently operates four Boeing 737s, two brand new Airbus A330s and two Boeing 747-400s.

Once the airline will receive the third Airbus A330 in November, it will then retire its Boeing 747-400 fleet.


30) PNG State Called To Pay Fair Price For Ok Tedi Mine
Prominent blogger says shares worth nearly $1.1 billion

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 6, 2013) – There are concerns Papua New Guineans may not get their fair share from the government takeover of the Ok Tedi mine.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has vowed to take over the Ok Tedi mine by assuming control of the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP), a charitable trust and Ok Tedi’s biggest shareholder.

PNGSDP Chairman Sir Mekere Morauta has admitted PNG’s government is unlikely to pay the full price for the mine.

Prominent PNG blogger Martyn Namorong has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat he believes this would amount to expropriation.

“My main concern relates to whether the PNG government is willing to pay for PNGSDP shares, which are estimated to be worth about US$1.1 billion,” he said.

“If the state is not willing to give the people of Western Province their 1.1 billion dollars worth of shares, then the state is essentially stealing from the people of Western Province.”

Mr. Namorong is calling on the PNG government to pay the market price and to maintain PNGSDP’s strong environmental record.

Radio Australia:


News Release

Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Suva, Fiji

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

31) European Union Supporting PNG Aquaculture Farming

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community is working through the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) Project to support aquaculture farmer networks in the region. The latest one is the Sirinumu cluster in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

This cluster currently has five active farmers who specialize in the cage culture method of farming tilapia in the Sirinumu Dam.

Between 18 and 24 May,the IACT aquaculture team was with the Sirinumu tilapia farmers to assess their production and marketing systems.

‘We are working with Sirinumu tilapia farmers to identify what their strengths and weaknesses are and where they need assistance. This approach helps us to work directly with farmers, who are a key part of the supply chain,’ said Avinash Singh, IACT Aquaculture Officer.

The Sirinumu cluster’s lead farmer, Jonah Bobogi, acts as the nucleus of the group, supplying tilapia fingerlings, cage materials and poultry feed to smaller farmers, like Wahia Tom and Chalie Kore, who find that being part of the cluster is very beneficial.

Both farmers said that they do not have to be concerned about the cost of getting the feed to the farm or finding good markets for their harvested tilapia, as these tasks are taken care of by the cluster lead farmer.

‘In order to assist smaller farmers have a larger impact, groups of farmers are assisted by IACT to establish ways in which they can pool resources and work collaboratively to meet the market demand,’ said Singh.

During the visit, the IACT team found that the difficulties faced by the Sirinumu tilapia farmers were the inconsistent supply and poor quality of fish feed being used, and the cage material being of poor quality and so not lasting long.

From their initial assessments, Singh says that IACT will be looking to assist the Sirinumu cluster in the following ways:

evaluate and facilitate options to overcome feed supply constraints;
provide proper record keeping booklets and training manuals;
assist farmers to identify better quality sources of feed and cage materials, that are ultra-violet protected and have a longer lifespan;
assist farmers to identify sources of solar-powered water pumps to improve hatchery ponds; and
build capacity on improved tilapia farming techniques.

While demand for tilapia in PNG and many other Pacific countries is currently high, Singh says that demand varies, based on peoples’ preferences, price and availability of other fish species for consumption.

He explained that using cages to farm tilapia has low infrastructure requirements, which can lead to good production in large water bodies such as lakes and dams.

‘If this business model is operated well, then it can be profitable as an income generating opportunity,’ added Singh.

The Sirinumu farmers group is the third cluster that IACT is assisting. The two other clusters are in Fiji.


32) EPA used by the EU to drive its mercantilist interests, says PACPs

By Online Editor
6:18 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Belgium

By Pita Ligaiula in Brussels

An updated report provided to the ACP Council of Ministers Meeting on the State of Play on Economic Pacific Agreement (EPA) for the Pacific says the PACP region’s commitment to the negotiations has not been matched by the European Union (EU) who seems unwilling to seriously engage with PACPS.

“It seems that on the EU’s side, the EPA is used as an instrument to drive its mercantilist interests rather than being a tool for development for PACP,e.g, its intransigement position on export taxes is dictated by the EU’s raw material initiative policy of 2008,” a report obtained by PACNEWS stated.

It’s says the issue of additional adjustment assistance has featured prominently in the negotiations.

The paper says the Pacific – EU iEPA does not have a development chapter and all 14 PACPS have continued to negotiate on development cooperation in the context of the comprehensive EPA.

PACPs argued that they will be undertaking commitments in the EPA and the EU must provide legally binding, additional financial resources to cover the costs of EPA adjustments.

It says the EU has agreed to include reference to the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy, the Aid for Trade Matrix and the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility (PRTDF) in the EPA and these are the key instruments that will be used to mobilise additional Aid for Trade resources to the region.

“The PACP region is currently finalizing these three instruments, with Vanuatu being the first PACP to sign the Memorandum of Understanding establishing the PRTDF. The Aid for Trade Matrix will be finalised in June and the updated Pacific AfT Strategy will finalised in August 2013,” the updated paper said.

The paper says the fisheries sector is one of the few sectors that have the potential to contribute to sustainable economic growth and development for most PACPs and this is the main reason why PACP included fisheries in the EPA negotiation.

It says a key request by PACPs is improved Rules of Origin for fresh, chilled, and frozen fish. PACP argue that improved rules of origin can provide development benefits to PACPs and contribute to their regional integration.

“The main concerns from the EU in the fisheries negotiation include EU access to PACP fisheries resources and PACP conservation and management measures. PACP are at the final stages of the EPA negotiations and the fisheries issues remain an outstanding issue but are key to concluding the negotiations.

The other key outstanding and contentious issues include export taxes, circulation of goods, most favoured nation clause, infant industry, non- execution clause, good governance in the tax area, tax exceptions clauses,” the paper stated.

The paper says the EU is also introducing new issues such as Geographical Indication and Trade and Sustainable development.

At last month Pacific Trade Ministers meeting held in Fiji, the Pacific PACP Ministers expressed disappointment that despite the significant work undertaken by the PACPs in 2011 and 2012, the EC is slow in providing formal feedback on PACP proposal which will further delay the negotiation.

They directed that the PACPs complete the necessary work to conclude negotiations on EPA before the end of 2013. They noted while the EU’s decision to amend Market Access Regulation 1528/2007 will directly affect Fiji, it also puts further pressure on some PACPS to either join iEPA or PACPS to conclude negotiations on comprehensive  EPA by 2013 without satisfactorily addressing the contentious issues.

PACPs will meet the European Commission (EC) for a Technical Working Group (TWG) on fisheries on 24 – 28 June and a joint TWG on 01 – 05 July in Brussels.


33) Island states most likely to get reduced funding from 11 EDF
By Online Editor
6:14 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Belgium

By Pita Ligaiula in Brussels

Island states in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) are likely to lose out from the €30.32 billion under EDF -11 funding from the European Union(EU).

The startling revelation was made by Mauritius Permanent representatives to the European Union, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul.

Ambassador Jagdish said the EDF 11 is going to be implemented on the guidelines of what has been issued by the EU that is the ‘Agenda for Change.’

Europe’s new overseas aid policy, the Agenda for Change, is aimed at focusing assistance to the 48 least-developed countries, nearly all of them sub-Saharan Africa.

The Agenda for Change is also seen as complementing the EU’s support for a successor to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, eight poverty-fighting targets that expire in 2015.

Ambassador Jagdish said there is fear the plan will leave some needy people in emerging countries helpless.

“In the Agenda for Change, the EU is trying to focus aid where it is most needed. So with that, the result will be that countries which are known as Middle Income Countries, they are likely to suffer and they are likely to see their aid allocation reduced substantially.

“We all are afraid and apprehensive of what the EU can do under its new Agenda for Change policy. Its not only Fiji and Mauritius but also a large number of Caribbean countries that are in the Middle Income Countries, so they are the ones that are likely to get reduced amount of assistance,” Ambassador Jagdish told PACNEWS.

The EU has been telling us these countries will not get direct budget support but what they will get is funding under the regional envelope, under the thematic envelope and they will also get loans. But we still have to see the modalities, he said.

Ambassador Jagdish argued that the Middle Income countries should not be penalized as a result of their success.

“We are still trying to have discussion with EU side to ensure that countries which are been doing well are not penalized as a result of their success, thanks to their efforts that they have made, thanks to the sacrifices that they have made over the years, that they have been able to reach a level where they are now.

Just by becoming middle income countries they should not be penalized,” he emphasized.

There is also fear that EU nations, struggling with their own economic and fiscal challenges, will scale back their commitments to do more for the world’s poor.

“We have pointed out to the European Union that there is a big danger of being caught in what we called a middle income country trap. It is a trap because once you get in that category it becomes very difficult to move to the next stage of becoming full developed countries.

There is a need for Accompanying measures to continue until such time the middle income countries can become more developed. Once they become more developed they can also share the burden with the EU to help other countries which are in a lesser favourable situation,” Ambassador Jagdish explained.

The draft decision on EDF-11 will be considered and adopted by the ACP – EU Joint Council meeting later this week in Brussels.


34) Oil firm gets a permit

By Online Editor
3:49 pm GMT+12, 05/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Department of Environment and Conservation has finally approved and granted an Environmental Permit to Horizon Oil Limited to develop the Stanley Gas Project in the Western Province.

The permit was signed Tuesday by the Minister for Environment and Conservation John Pundari, witnessed by Horizon Oil representatives at the DEC office in Port Moresby.

Pundari said he had given approval after receiving the recommendation from the environment council in accordance with section 58 of the Environmental Act 2000.

“One of the Permit Conditions for the Horizon Oil (Papua) Limited is to develop and implement a Biodiversity Offset Program (BOP) consistent with applicable regulations, which includes a biodiversity offset plan,’’ he said.

“The BOP is a new initiative being developed by the department and will be applied as a permit condition to all new permit holders whose development activities may result in biodiversity loss to our natural resource.’’

The aim of the BOP is to ensure resource developers contribute to protect biodiversity to offset project impacts to biodiversity.

Biodiversity Offset Program is the only way forward for conservation of our biodiversity and contributes back to the environment which will also have significant role in combating climate change.

Papua New Guinea is a unique country in the world with the world’s third richest biodiversity in a global land mass of less than one percent.

The chief company representative Kelvin Bramley said the company was pleased to have received Ministerial Approval in Principle for the Stanley Gas Project which represents an important milestone in the regulatory approval process.

“We have offered our support to the Minister for this important Bio-Diversity Offset Policy initiative and we look forward to working closely with the Department and other relevant industry groups.

“And to establish a suitable framework in which to implement this policy for our collective interest,” he said.

Bramley said approval of the Stanley project development licence application was formally lodged in August 2012, will allow Horizon Oil and its co-venturers to commence construction and development drilling on the Stanley field.

“This will provide opportunities for the people and landowner service companies in Western Province,” he added.
Condensate derived from the Stanley gas field operations is expected to be sold to the Napa Napa refinery, with the high diesel yielding condensate enhancing PNG’s energy independence.

Natural gas produced from the Stanley gas field will be made available to third parties, including Ok Tedi Mining Limited, to generate power for regional mining operations.



35) Djoko’s ‘dual’ deal
By Online Editor
3:53 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Controversial Indonesian fugitive in Papua New Guinea, DJoko Tjandra, also known as Joe Chan, is a dual citizen holding both Indonesian and Papua New Guinean passports.

He travels with documents that state he is a citizen of Indonesia with a Papua New Guinean passport and citizenship certificate. This was revealed by PNG government authorities who deal with foreign and immigration issues.

This is the reason why the fugitive and PNG citizen is still moving freely in and out of PNG, Singapore, Malaysia and many other Asian countries with a PNG passport and in his private jet conducting business within these countries.

Joe Chan, as he is known in PNG, arrived in the country from Singapore last Saturday (June 1) on a Gulfstream private jet N8989N which is currently parked at the old Port Moresby international/domestic airport.

Airport authorities told the Post-Courier that Air Niugini clearing agents handled the arrival of the aircraft carrying Joe Chan (Djoko) and four crew members despite a “no-notice” given to other airport operations for procedural checks at the airport offices.

Chan was met by a Government Minister and several other leaders at the Jackson’s international airport upon arrival last Saturday.

In his papers, the manifest to the Airport authorities, stated that a Joe Chan – with PNG Passport but Indonesian citizen came in from Singapore with four crew members who were met by Government leaders at the Jacksons airport VIP lounge on Saturday.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill ordered Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato to cancel Tjandra’s PNG passport in January this year.

The order came from a notice by Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc with also an announcement of an investigation to be carried out by the Attorney-General’s office.

And following the decision the Indonesian Government sent formal requests for the fugitive to be handed over but because of no extradition treaty between the two countries, they both opted to place it on a roundtable discussion at the highest level.

This will now happen according to the Indonesian Attorney-General Darmono when Prime Minister O’Neill goes to Indonesia on the June 15 to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Minister who met the fugitive at the airport on arrival refused to respond to questions put to him by the Post-Courier early this week.

Immigration Office also refused to comment on the matter as they claimed the issue was sensitive, therefore no response was forthcoming.

Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato could not be reached for comment but his office advised that Indonesia had no extradition treaty with PNG and they were still negotiating on the matter.


36) Woman arrested for alleged visa scam
By Online Editor
5:49 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, American Samoa

Detectives with the American Samoa Criminal Investigation Division arrested a visa agent, Nofo Te’o Utu on two charges of stealing, in what appears to be a scam on two male travelers in need of U.S. visas.

The stealing charges are both class C felonies punishable by imprisonment up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime up to $20,000 — or both fine and imprisonment.

Utu, who’s being held on bail of $10,000 made her initial appearance in the District Court, represented by Fiti Sunia, while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale.

According to the government’s case on March 2013, “IT” and his wife, upon learning that defendant was an individual Visa Agent, went to her residence and asked for her help in applying for a United States Visa through the U.S. Embassy in Apia, Samoa.

It’s alleged Utu told the couple that they needed to pay $100 for the processing fee, $150 for the visa application request, $160 for fingerprinting and $150 for IT’s airfare to Samoa.

Court report says IT paid $560 to defendant in March 2013, where defendant informed IT that she had processed all paperwork and to ready for his appointment in Apia.

It’s alleged the day before IT was scheduled to fly to Apia the defendant called IT, telling him that he would not fly to Apia but instead, defendant would be the one to represent IT and other applicants at the U.S. Embassy in Apia and answer questions on their behalf.

The government claims IT and his wife stated that when defendant left and then came back from Apia, she told them that IT’s visa will arrive in two weeks time and more than two weeks passed without a visa confirmation.

Police say Utu is alleged to have promised U.S visa to another man but did not fulfil her promise.

CID Detectives spoke to Utu on May 21, 2013 where she said that the appointments had been set for the two male individuals. Police asked defendant about the fees that she charged the victims, and it is alleged that she admitted she had been overcharging the two males.

“Defendant stated that she had over-charged the victims and used the money for personal purposes. She also stated she used the money given for their airfares and was willing to pay them back in a timely manner.”

“Defendant further stated that she had provided them (victims) with false information regarding their visas and wanted to apologize to them for doing it,” say court filings.

Police spoke to Noue, of the U.S. Embassy in Apia, Samoa, who confirmed that they had received visa applications for the two American Samoan men. He said all visa applicants must attend an interview at the U.S Embassy in person, and that there is no policy that allows a sponsor to appear on the applicant’s behalf for this requirement.


37) Funds stolen in ‘advances’
By Online Editor
6:00 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Government funds appear to be siphoned off to public servants using the system known as advances, reports The National in PNG.

Much of this abuse occurs through the payment of travel allowances judging from what the Auditor-General has reported into one department’s advances management for the years 2009 and 2010.

The auditor-general reported to Parliament that audit review on advances for the Department of Agriculture and Livestock for those years revealed a number of issues.

The department paid out 730 advances totalling K1.82 million (US$814,000) in 2009 but all these advances were not recorded and not acquitted by advance holders.

Out of the total advances, 445 were paid out totalling K872, 997 (approx US$390,000) in 2009 but none were acquitted. There were 57 salary advances totalling K141, 663 (US$63,350) paid to officers but these were also never acquitted. In addition the auditor-general noted that 75 officers were paid two or more advances totalling K1, 094, 236 (US$489,290) while their first advances were still outstanding.

Fifty three officers with outstanding advances were issued additional advances totalling K417, 905 (US$186,910), the auditor-general reported.

The auditor-general concluded to Parliament that this important department which responsibility was to promote agriculture development among others was having significant problems with account keeping which would impact its ability to deliver.

38) PNG Opposition’s Namah ‘Welcomes’ Alleged Fraud Probe
Denies monies for road project were used inappropriately

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 6, 2013) – Opposition leader Belden Namah has welcomed investigations into how the K9.9 million [US$4.4 million] of Log Export Development Levy funds from the Vanimo Timber Rights Purchase (TRP) blocks 1-6 project area in Bewani that has been obtained and spent.

Mr. Namah has accused the O’Neill-Dion government of orchestrating the police Fraud Squad investigation into the K9.9 million, describing the action as “cheap politics and highly malicious” and intended to silence him from exposing corruption in government.

The Opposition leader said just as the mineral and hydrocarbon development area landowners are entitled to memorandum of agreement (MOA) funds or development levies, forest landowners where logging projects are taking place are also entitled to funds under the Forest Export Levy.

He said the monies in question, accordingly, are designated and allocated for infrastructure development within the Vanimo TRP, blocks 1-6 project area in Bewani.

“I must state categorically that the funds were lawfully applied for that purpose. The funds were used to seal the road between Vanimo secondary school and Krisa village by a contractor who was lawfully awarded the contract through normal procurement processes,” Mr. Namah said.

He said the screening process in awarding the contract is as follows:

The JDP&BPC endorsed the project to be funded.
It is then submitted to the Provincial Supply and Tenders Board (PSTB).
The PSTB after their consideration and approval then submits the same to the Trust Committee which comprises of the Managing Director for Forest, Secretary for Finance and Secretary for National Planning in Port Moresby for further screening and approval.

“The Trust Committee does the final screening before it is put through the normal Central Supply and Tenders process,” Mr. Namah said.

“I can confirm that the project for which the K9.9 million was expended went through the required process and I am dumb founded as to why I get the front page coverage (in the National newspaper) over funds which I had no personal control over.

“The funds were lawfully applied through the due processes and for the intended purpose which is infrastructure development within the Timber Project Area.

“This is cheap politics and highly malicious. This is the action of a government desperately intent on silencing me from exposing corruption at every level of government.

“I will not be intimidated and I will fight on for the silent, ignorant, suppressed, oppressed and exploited people of this country.

“I hope the Fraud Squad has the case all wrapped up to send me to jail. I must caution the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to be professional and neutral in the discharge of their constitutional functions and responsibilities.

“The people of Papua New Guinea, and especially my people in Vanimo Green District, have the right to know the truth – that I as an open MP for Vanimo Green electorate, sealed 12 kilometers of road for K9.9 million using their Log Export Development Levy compared to K57 million [US$25.6 million] in public monies awarded to Hebou Construction using section 61 approval of the Finance Management Act to seal only 800 meters of road between Erima Bridge and Port Moresby Business College in the 5 Mile area in Port Moresby.”

The contract was awarded in 2013 when Peter O’Neill was the PM and Don Polye was the Finance and Treasury Minister.

“This is what the Ombudsman Commission, the Task Force Sweep Team and the Police Fraud Squad should be investigating,” Mr. Namah said.

“I must now invite all these anti-corruption agencies to step up the fight to clear this lovely nation of ours from the cancer of corruption.”

PNG Post-Courier:


39) Marshalls drought destroys food, raises tensions
By Online Editor
4:18 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Marshall Islands

A drought crisis in the Marshall Islands is creating tensions between villages forced to share dwindling water supplies.

More than 5,000 people in the north of Marshall Islands have limited access to clean and safe drinking water, proper sanitation and nutritious food.

The only water available for drinking, cooking and hygiene is being made by reverse osmosis water purifying machines flown into the northern atolls by aid groups.

National water advisor to the Marshall’s government Tom Vance has told Pacific Beat the drought is causing some villagers to relocate to be closer to water.

“In some of the villages where the wells have become so salty, the people have migrated to the areas where there’s been just one (Reverse Osmosis) machine and it’s caused a lot of social tension,” he said.

“They are from different villages and…people like to stay on their own islands and when the northern villages population goes to the southern villages, it does create problems because they don’t really have places to stay and it’s just not their home land.

“So at present, that’s what we’re trying to deal with – we’re trying to keep everybody in their own villages.”

Vance says some islands, such as Enewetak and Utirik, are struggling with food supplies, having not received significant rainfall in almost a year,.

He says Enewetak has completely run out of food, while the drought is also affecting food supplies on Ujae, Lae, Wotho, Namu, Ailuk, Mejit, Likiep and Maloelap.

“All of these islands have been affected by this drought where its actually affected them to the extent where their freshwater lands has started to deteriorate and the well water has become so salty that the breadfruit trees and a lot of the crops have started to die off.

“So it’s a situation where it will take time to replenish, so even when the rains start it will probably be about a year before there can be much progress seen as far as the local food supply goes,

“So it’s a very dire situation for the people living on the islands.”

An opinion piece written by Marshalls Minister for Foreign Affairs Phillip Muller says this humanitarian crisis is climate induced.

Neville Koop, Meteorology and Climatology Adviser with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), says Muller made some valid points.

“Countries like the Marshall Islands that suffer these sorts of droughts really don’t have a Plan B – there’s really nothing else for them to do,” he said.

“Large countries like Australia and New Zealand in the region, if a particular natural disaster occurs, there’s normally enough of the rest of the country operating at a normal capacity to cover up the shortage or whatever the problem is.

“This is an unusual event, there are probably links in this to changes in the climate in the region, and we just hope that rain starts soon to relieve the appalling conditions in parts of the Marshalls, Koop said.



40a) PNG Rugby League to focus on grassroots

Posted at 22:09 on 06 June, 2013 UTC

The new chairperson of the Papua New Guinea Rugby League Federation says he wants to focus on improving the game at the grassroots level.

Don Fox was elected chair of the new board at last week’s AGM in Lae, the first in four years following a period of infighting and court battles.

He says supporting the Kumuls on their path to the Rugby League World Cup is the new board’s immediate priority but they’re also keen to invest in the next wave of talent.

“Get the kids off the street and onto the footy fields playing football, kicking footballs, doing whatever kids do these days. If we can then move from the grassroots into the middle class areas what we want to do is bring back our inter-zone championships this year, and that will happen. We’re moving in the right direction – we’ve got the best people looking after the top-end of our players and we can look after the middle and the bottom end of it.”

Radio New Zealand International

40b) Baby Flying Fijians thumped
By Online Editor
4:49 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, France

The Baby Flying Fijians have gone down 59-6 to New Zealand in their opening match of the Junior World Cup in France this morning.

Fiji’s only points came via the boots of halfback Emori Waqa in the first half.

However, the major down for the Viliame Gadolo-coached side was the lack of discipline.

Fiji lost Sevenaia Galala and Viliame Rarasea to red cards in the match, while Nasoni Kunavore, Sunia Tamani and Timilai Rokoduru were all shown yellow cards.

Fiji’s next game is against Ireland on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Irish upset Australia 19-15, while in other results, England beat France 30-6 and South Africa thrashed USA 97-0.

Wales beat Samoa 42-3 and Argentina were 44-13 winners over Scotland


40c) Flying Fijians beaten by Canada in Pacific Nation Cup

By Online Editor
4:55 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Canada

The Flying Fijians rugby side is now placed second in the Pacific Nations Cup after their 20-18 loss to Canada this morning.

Fiji managed to grab a bonus point for losing within seven points and is two points behind leaders Canada.

This was Canada’s second win in the competition after having beaten the United States in its opening match.

Fiji has one win after beating Japan 22-8 last weekend and in its latest match managed tries to skipper Akapusi Qera and centre Nemani Nadolo.

Flyhalf Setareki Koroilagilagi managed two penalties and a conversion.

The Flying Fijians arrive back this weekend and march into camp at Pacific Harbor before playing the Classic All Blacks on Wednesday at the ANZ Stadium at 6pm.

The next PNC match is against USA on June 19.


40d) Oceania represented on FIFA Judicial bodies
By Online Editor
4:32 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, New Zealand

The judicial bodies of football’s governing body FIFA have earned an injection of Pacific flavour following the election of several OFC member association representatives.

The judicial bodies of FIFA are the Disciplinary Committee, the Appeal Committee and the Ethics Committee and the responsibilities and function of these bodies are stipulated in the FIFA Disciplinary Code and the FIFA Code of Ethics .

Fédération Calédonienne de Football President Edmond Bowen and Tonga Football Association President Lord Ve’ehala have been elected to the Disciplinary Committee alongside Norman George of the Cook Islands. This committee is tasked with enforcing infringements of the rules in FIFA regulations, determines the sanctions incurred, and regulates the organisation and function of the bodies responsible for taking decisions and the procedures to be followed before these bodies.

Nik Davidson of New Zealand has joined the Investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee while Jack Kariko of Papua New Guinea has been elected to the Adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.

When there is a breach to the FIFA Code of Conduct the Ethics Committee, often drawing on precedents and principles already established by sports doctrine and jurisprudence, make recommendations for appropriate sanctions.

Dan Kakaraya of Papua New Guinea was elected along with Samuel Ram of Fiji to the Appeal Committee while Fiji Football Association President Rajesh Patel has joined the Audit and Compliance Committee.


40e) Lions kick off tour with strong win over Force in Perth

By Online Editor
4:39 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Australia

– The British and Irish Lions have put in an impressive display, scoring nine tries to defeat the Western Force 69-17, in the opening match of the DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour in Perth tonight (last night) in front of a vocal crowd of 35,103.

The Lions were on the board early with a penalty goal to Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny after just two minutes.

After 11 minutes Irish flyhalf Jonny Sexton, then dummied and shimmied through the Force defence after a sustained period attack to score the 2013 Lion’s first try on Australian soil. Halfpenny converted to put the Lions out 10-0.

Some spirited attack and strong defence saw the Force dominate the next twenty minutes giving up many kickable penalty shots. In the end captain Matt Hodgson pointed to the post with Brett Sheehan making no mistake to bring the score back to 10-3 on the 30-minute mark.

But the Lions hit back straight away with veteran captain Brian O’Driscoll showing a spritely turn of speed to outpace the Force defence and touch down in the left corner. Halfpenny added a magnificent conversion from the corner confirming he’d brought his kicking boots on tour.

Lanky English flanker Tom Croft crossed for another try wide out after the siren, which Halfpenny again converted, to give the Lions a commanding 27-3 half time lead.

The only disappointing moment for the Lions in the first half was a serious looking injury to Irish prop Cian Healy which saw him stretchered from the field.

The best of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales continued where they left off straight after half time with Irish No.8 Jamie Heaslip finishing off a try he initiated himself with a surging break from half way. Halfpenny was again accurate with the conversion.

The Force then broke through with a try to No.8 Richard Brown in the 43rd minute, which was converted by Sheehan.

But the Lions hit back immediately with fast ball movement resulting in English prop Mako Vunipola, who was on for Healy, crashing over in the right hand corner. Halfpenny was again successful with the extras, making it seven from seven on the night.

Force centre Ed Stubbs was shown a yellow card in the 58th minute for slowing the ball down and the Lions immediately made their numerical advantage count with Irish winger Tommy Bowe scoring in the right hand corner. Again Halfpenny was immaculate with the conversion.

Replacement Lachlan McCaffrey forced his way over for the hosts in the 63rd minute to bring it back to 48-17, with Sheehan landing the conversion.

But as they had done all night, the Lions struck back instantly with wrecking ball English centre Manu Tuialgi breaking through before feeding a neat inside to captain O’Driscoll who went under the posts to score his second.

Replacement flyhalf Owen Farrell scored a minute later with Halfpenny landing both conversions from straight in front.

Giant Welsh lock Alun Wyn-Jones got an early mark on 71 minutes, yellow carded for slowing the ball down.

But it didn’t slow down the Lions with Sean O’Brien completing an excellent game by setting up replacement English lock Geoff Parling for a try. Halfpenny completed a perfect night with his ninth conversion for a haul of 24 points.

The Lions now move on to Brisbane where they play the Queensland Reds, and Quade Cooper, on Saturday night.

DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour

British and Irish Lions 69 (Brian O’Driscoll 2, Jamie Heaslip, Tom Croft, Jonny Sexton, Mako Vunipola, Tommy Bowe, Owen Farrell, Geoff Parling tries; Leigh Halfpenny 9 conversions, 2 penalty goals) defeated Western Force 17 (Lachlan McCaffrey, Richard Brown tries; Brett Sheehan penalty goal, 2 conversions) at Patersons Stadium, Perth. (Half Time: Lions 27-3) (Crowd: 35,103).

40f) Qld not on mission impossible in Origin 2

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

Fullback Billy Slater says Queensland face a big challenge to level the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium with NSW heading north high on confidence after their 14-6 opening game win on Wednesday night.

“It will be a big challenge but certainly not an impossible one,” said the Melbourne Storm custodian.

Slater conceded NSW clearly outplayed and out-enthused the Maroons in the first half, an area coach Mal Meninga and Queensland’s selectors will address before the return game on June 26 which is already a sell-out.

“It’s always tough to lose an Origin,” said Slater.

“They got the jump on us in the first half, came up with a few tries and put us on the back foot.

Slater’s opposite Jarryd Hayne continued to show what a wonderful talent he is, scoring the Blues’ opening try off an inside play that Slater runs better than any player.

“Nobody’s got any copyright on that move,” said Slater.

“He (Hayne) was a big part of why they went well. He brought the ball back strong, got their sets off to a good start and added a bit of spark when they got into the attacking zone.”

Asked if Queensland would forget NSW captain Paul Gallen hanging a couple of punches on Maroon forward Nate Myles which triggered a brawl just before halftime, Slater said: “we won’t forget anything” – especially the feeling we’re experiencing after the loss …”

He defended a decision to play North Queensland five-eighth Johnathan Thurston who clearly gambled on carrying a groin injury into the clash which restricted his play-making abilities.

“(We backed him) One hundred per cent. He’s the best half in the world and you always want him on your side,” he said.

“I don’t think he was on his own out there.”

Slater said Queensland didn’t do anything well.

“We didn’t get forward, we didn’t play straight and the guys off the ball didn’t do enough to support the ball carrier,” he said.

“All that snowballs into poor attack.”

Queensland selectors will most likely look at injecting some aggression into the forwards with Brisbane prop Ben Hannant returning from a calf injury this weekend and Josh Papalii, who was their 18th man for game one, likely to come into contention for game two.

History shows the winner of game one has gone on to take the series 23 times from 29.

While Slater said Queensland would have the crowd behind them at Suncorp, they would need to improve dramatically on their first 40 minutes on Wednesday night to save the series.


40g) Loss a learning curve for Tahiti

By Online Editor
4:36 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Brazil

Tahiti have been presented with their first real challenge ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil as they found themselves without a response to the seven goals netted by the Chile U-20 this morning (NZT).

The local side are preparing for a major tournament of their own with the FIFA U-20 World Cup kicking off in Turkey on 21 June and came out firing against the Toa Aito who had tasted victory in their two previous matches in Chile.

However the U-20 side were a class above with the coach Eddy Etaeta admitting it was a very heavy defeat against a high level side.

“This is high level football and we got a taste of that reality here. During this match we saw players who were too naïve, too respectful of their opposition,” Etaeta says.

“We did not have the mentality of competitors tonight. After all the work on tactics, technique, fitness and athleticism, for me football is above all the mentality. We have to take the mind into account, to be in the best state of mind and to bridge the gap between us and them.”

Etaeta says now, if the side looks ahead to the Confederations Cup, they must focus on their state of mind, unite and work towards the same goal.

“We are here to bring honour to our region, to football in the Pacifc. We are here to represent to our best ability, our country and our flag. We decided to be amongst the greats, so we must behave like we are one of the greats.”

While there remains several points to work on within his own team, Etaeta says credit must be attributed to the U-20 Chile side which he found very impressive.

“They took us seriously and were incredibly rigorous from the beginning to the end. They could have lifted their foot off the pedal at two or three to nil, but no. On the contrary, they continued to apply pressure. We have to take their state of mind as an example, there is nothing to lose.

“Don’t forget, these are the champions of the U-20s of South America. They are going on to represent South America at the U-20 World Cup. In my opinion, from what I saw, they will make a strong impression.”

Tahiti will return to Santiago before heading on to Brazil and the Confederations Cup on Thursday, 6 June (local time).

The FIFA Confederations Cup runs from 15-21 June in Brazil. The Toa Aito play Nigeria on the 17 June at Bela Horizonte before heading to Rio De Janeiro for an encounter with World and European champions Spain on 20 June. Their final group match is in Recife against Uruguay on 23 June..


40h) Samoas netballers stunned by PNG at Pacific Series
By Online Editor
4:46 pm GMT+12, 06/06/2013, Samoa

Fiji are poised to win a fourth straight Pacific Netball Series crown after Samoa were stunned by Papua New Guinea in Apia on Wednesday night.

Coming off a first round loss to Fiji, the Pepes muscled up on defence, forcing Samoa into a number of errors.

The visitors led at the end of every quarter and despite easing off in the final period still ran out comfortable 56-48 winners.

Meanwhile a big third quarter inspired the Fiji Pearls to a 60-41 win over the Cook Islands.



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