Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 867

MELANESIA:

1a) MISS VANUATU 2013 CROWNED

Posted on June 11, 2013

By
Jonas Cullwick

Valerie Martinez has won the Miss Vanuatu 2013 title.
She was crowned Saturday night by the Minister for Tourism, Trade and Industries, Marcellino Pipite, after coming out in front of 9 other contestants after two nights of public display on the catwalk.

Martinez, from Tanna in Tafea Province, also swept up 3 of 7 other awards of the night.

The 23-year -old, who works for QBE Insurance and is studying for a degree in business and commerce, won the Best National Costume Award, the Best Swim Wear Award and the Miss Congeniality Award, which is for the highest vote received from her other contestants. Valerie Martinez, who will hold the Miss Vanuatu 2013 title for one year, was sponsored by Barrett and Partners. She also received a cash prize of Vt200,000 from the organizers of the contest – the National Tourism Office, and a return ticket Vila/Sydney/Vila courtesy of Air Vanuatu.

The runner-up in the contest is Jennifer Watson from Malekula and she received a cash prize of Vt100,000.

On top of her runner-up title, Watson also won 2 of the 7 other awards on offer that night – the Miss Talent Award and Miss Popularity. Of the two remaining awards of the night – Miss Personality went to Emily Bani and Best Evening Wear was won by Julina Bangga, both of them from Ambae.
During the two rounds of catwalk displays, the first last Monday night, the ten contestants went through programs designed to allow them to show their talents and personality, to show them in their national dress, and in swim wear and evening wear. Depending on the category of display, each of the ten contestants was judged on her pose, personality, walk, wear, the level of information she gave, confidence, clarity, attitude, and overall performance for points out of a total mark of 100 in each of the categories.

“For a long time, Vanuatu Tourism and Vanuatu have been trying to find a Vanuatu face that will represent the country overseas,” a reference to 8 years the previous holder of the Miss Vanuatu title Glenda Laban-Vatoko has held the crown, “but that face is found to night”, Minister for Tourism Pipite said that night.

The General Manager of the Vanuatu Tourism Office, Linda Kalpoi, expressed the elation of her staff and those of the Department and the Ministry for Tourism when the final winner was announced and crowned. She said the outcome was the result of a lot of hard work, and she thanked everyone involved including the organizers, the sponsors, the contestants and those who worked with them and the friends, families, and the public for their support.http://www.dailypost.vu/

1b) Deputy PM Natapei plays prominent role in Brussels

Posted on June 11, 2013

By
Len Garae

Natapei and Director General of Foreign Affairs, Johnny Koanapo (right) pose in front of flags of ACP member countries

The media representative in Brussels, Jean Baptiste Carlo, has reported Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Natapei as having played a prominent role throughout the ACP Council of Ministers Meeting and ACP-EU Council of Ministers Meeting respectively on June 4, 5, 6 and 7.

He was the Chairman of the Development Finance Committee of the Ministers of ACP Ministers’ Meeting during which he raised a number of important issues.
On Thursday June 6, Ministers of the ACP and EU met to analyse different issues connected to EDF 10 which is going to end in 2013 and the 11 EDF which is going to begin from next year 2014 until 2020.http://www.dailypost.vu/

1c) New National Archive Nearly Complete In Vanuatu
Chief librarian hopes construction will finish in September

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 10, 2013) – Final work on the roofing and indoor tasks including ceiling work, floor polishing, tiling, painting, and fitting of doors and windows on Vanuatu’s new National Library and National Archive Building in Port Vila are now in progress. The Daily Post had the opportunity to speak to the Chief Archivist, Anne Naupa, and the Chief Librarian, June Bela Norman and toured the new building under construction.

Anne Naupa expressed their excitement that the construction work was nearing completion and how they were looking forward to moving to the new complex because their spaces in the National Museum building were becoming too small to cater for the increasing need for the two services.

The building located in the compound of the Museum in front of Saralana Park, is a gift from the Government and the people of Australia to the people of Vanuatu to mark the 30th independence anniversary of their country in 2010.

Australia’s Governor General, Guentin Bryce was her country’s representative to the 30th Anniversary of Independence of Vanuatu on July 30, 2010. During that occasion the Governor General announced her country’s gift to Vanuatu and at a visit to the Museum, laid the foundation stone for the building.

Chief Archivist Naupa described the time it took from when they started the paper work in May, 2011 to the time construction work eventually started, as about 18 months of ‘a lot of paper work.’ She gratefully acknowledged young local talent, Stephen Molisa, whose original design was used to win funding of AU$3 million (Vt265.3 million, or US$2.8 million) by Australian aid for the project.

New Zealand architect, Walker Architects, won the final design for the building and Fletcher Construction (Vanuatu) Ltd. whose workers on the building, Anne Naupa was proud to highlight, are made up totally of ni-Vanuatu builders, won the tender to build the two-level complex. The construction work started in August 2012.

Naupa hoped the construction work will be completed in around September this year. She explained that the National Library will occupy the top level of the building while the National Archive will occupy the bottom floor. Both the Chief Librarian and the Chief Archivist are excited the new building will provide them with a lot of space to house the materials they each have virtually lying all over the floor in boxes because of lack of space in their current offices.

Chief Librarian June Bela Norman said the National Library is a reference library which currently has more than 22,000 books about Vanuatu and much of these items are just lying all over and stacked on top of each other because of limited space. But she explained the new complex will have space for all the books and will be able to accommodate 50 people at a time compared to only 10 at the present library.

The new building is designed so that all the nation’s library and archive materials are kept secure and safe and its main features include storage rooms, fire proof rooms and it will be pest-free.

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

2) Fiji Military Personnel Could Join UN Peacekeeper Mission
Pacific nation has offered to assist efforts in Golan Heights

By Jyoti Pratibha

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, June 10, 2013) – About 160 troops and medical staff of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) could soon boost embattled United Nations peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, international and local reports say.

It comes with Austria now withdrawing its peacekeepers, and Filipino and Indian peacekeepers injured during fighting between Syrian and rebel forces on the Heights.

Fiji has promised some replacement troops but these have not yet arrived, the AFP news agency reported from the United Nations in New York.

The Lebanese news blog Ya Libnan reported Fiji has said it will replace a Croatian contingent that has already pulled out because of escalating violence.

The RFMF has extensive experience in the area, originally through the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Currently Fijian troops are serving in the Sinai (monitoring the Israel-Egypt peace accord) and Iraq (as the United Nations guard contingent).

United Nations leaders held emergency talks to replace the 377 Austrian troops who make up more than a third of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), news agencies reported.

This observer force has since 1974 monitored a ceasefire and a demilitarized zone on the heights between Israel and Syria.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the United Nations Security Council, told reporters after the session in New York that the council is examining the possibility of changing the force’s mandate.

This would strengthen its abilities to function under the current regional climate.

Grant pointed out that UNDOF has approached India and the Philippines with requests to send additional troops; a similar request was made to Fiji.

A Russian offer to replace the Austrians was declined because the Russians were not allowed under the Israeli-Syrian peace agreement, the United Nations said.

United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told a closed emergency session of the Security Council last Friday night that Israel threatened to attack Syrian Army forces on the Golan Heights.

Assad tanks had moved into the demilitarized zone to fight Syrian rebels, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The tanks were with withdrawn after the United Nations force passed on an Israeli warning to the Syrian Army commanders.

RFMF Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga told Radio Fiji News discussions about the mission are ongoing with the United Nations.

He said a paper on the mission has been prepared for Cabinet’s consideration.

Colonel Tikoitoga says 162 troops and 11 medical staff have been training and their departure will depend on the Cabinet decision.

FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/

3) Over 5,000 More Voters Register For 2014 Fiji Elections
More than 500,000 citizens currently registered

By Nanise Loanakadavu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 10, 2013) – More than 5,000 Fijians registered to vote during the first week of phase three of electronic voter registration (EVR).

Government figures showed 5,648 registered in the first week adding to the 505,036 Fijians who registered during the previous phases.

Phase three of the EVR started strong last week, as Fijians traveled to registration centers across the country.

According to government figures, 745 cards were replaced and 380 people made corrections to their personal registration details. Ministry of Justice acting permanent secretary Mohammed Saneem said the first two phases of registration covered the vast majority of eligible Fijians.

“Our goal during this phase is to seek those Fijians who were missed out, paying particular attention to those areas of the country that had low registration figures after the first two phases,” Mr. Saneem said.

He reminded Fijians interested in registering during phase three to ensure they had a form of valid identification before going to register.

Valid identification includes birth certificate, passport, drivers license, Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) card, employment card (with photo ID), or social welfare card.

EVR teams will be stationed in locations around the country from Mondays to Saturdays and mobile registration teams will be going door to door on Sundays.

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

4) Fiji local officials sacked

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

The Fiji government has sacked two local administrators amid an investigation by Fiji’s anti-corruption agency, FICAC.

Fiji media report the special administrator for Nadi and Sigatoka, Aisea Tuidraki, has lost his job, as has the Chief Executive of the Nadi Town Council, Nemia Tagi.

The terminations were announced by the Attorney-General and Anti-Corruption Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

In a statement, he revealed both men had declined to cooperate fully with FICAC.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says charges have yet to be laid but he pointed to allegations of favouritism and not keeping proper records.

Radio New Zealand International

5) United Front in Fiji vows to carry on its fight

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Members of an umbrella political group in Fiji say there is still a role for a united opposition force despite the registration of four political parties.

At least three of the parties are committed to working together to get the country’s military-led regime out of power, preferably before the polls promised for September next year.

Sally Round reports:

SALLY ROUND: The United Front for a Democratic Fiji met in Nadi at the weekend and a spokesman Mick Beddoes says it has resolved to continue its work, widen its membership and accelerate activity. Politicians from three political parties and unionists are among members of the group set up to oppose the regime’s new constitution and counter the regime leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama who has announced he’ll run for election. The group says it is committed to having a caretaker government installed before then and Mr Beddoes says the Front’s Roadmap to Democracy will be released within a fortnight.

MICK BEDDOES: It’s been six years since any political activity of any kind has been going on in the country so there’s a lot of groundwork to be done getting back into the organisational strengths that all of the parties individually and collectively will have. And in the meantime the members are clear the key to our success is retaining the unity of the group and we’re also expanding the group to include NGOs and youth groups so that we can all work together as an effective opposition.

SALLY ROUND: The president of Fiji’s National Federation Party says the NFP, the Social Democratic Liberal Party, or Sodelpa, and Labour won 95 percent of the vote at the last election. Raman Singh says the party’s political strategy is focused on the united front for now and it could effectively amount to a coalition force fighting the next polls.

RAMAN SINGH: At the moment, with the way we are working, it could amount to to that, but we have decided to make decisions as we go along. When the constitution is promulgated we’ll have a look at the constitution, whatever the conditions, and the electoral elect will come in later. So as we go along, we’ll make decisions on the united front. It will be a coalition before the election.

SALLY ROUND: While Mick Beddoes says there is a lot of interest from NGOs in joining up, Raman Singh admits some challenges in getting grassroots support.

RAMAN SINGH: At the moment they are not coming out in great numbers. I think there is a lot of support for the UFDF, but for reasons of fear and all that they are not coming out. But it’s one of those things if we keep on working, the numbers come out as we go along. I suppose when people realise that we are a strong force with a big following they will become fearless.

SALLY ROUND: Dr Tupeni Baba of Sodelpa says the removal of the regime before elections is the front’s primary goal but it has a Plan B.

TUPENI BABA: We are envisaging as the situation develops further that we will be able to have a common platform and a common manifesto if it comes to the election so that we can crowd out the regime.

SALLY ROUND: Dr Baba says it’s a question of adapting political strategy as the regime reveals more of its plans. Meanwhile Fiji’s newest political party, the People’s Democratic Party, which was borne out of dissatisfaction with Labour, has yet to decide whether it will join the United Front. Its interim president, Adi Qoro, says the party agrees with its principles and will discuss whether to join at upcoming meetings.

Radio New Zealand International

MICRONESIA:

6) Guam hails cashflow model as answer to recent solvency

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Guam’s government is hailing the introduction of a cashflow model as one of the main reasons it has been able to clear the territory’s US$300 million short-term deficit.

The director of communications for the government says about $230 million worth of people’s tax refunds have been paid and the deficit retired through being turned into long-term debt.

Troy Torres says the government used its operating budget to pay the remainder of the deficit, which was also largely people’s tax refunds.

He says pay and hiring freezes across the public sector are some of the measures that have been used to control government spending.

Mr Torres told Annell Husband future budgets should remain in the black for the foreseeable future.

TROY TORRES: When we came to office in the fiscal year 2011, the first thing we did was establish a cashflow model which we discovered hadn’t existed in the government before we came to office. And we thought that was a common-sense thing to do. We need to know how much money is coming in and how much cash is going out. That really helped to make wise spending decisions. And then, right after that, we suspended what’s known as the Hay Plan, which is a study conducted which gave about $13 million in pay raises throughout the government of Guam. After we developed a cashflow projection we saw that the government could not, at the time, sustain the pay increases at the time. Then a series of decisions that led to a massive curb of spending happened, which included a freeze on salary increments, a hiring freeze, except for critical positions, attrition went through the roof, there were several employees who retired or resigned, and most of those positions were not filled, which was a substantial savings. But I think, by far, what helped to retire the deficit was the financing of the deficit in the fiscal year 2012, when we turned the short-term accumulative deficit into long-term debt. So by the end of fiscal year 2012, the first surplus in 20 years was recorded.

ANNELL HUSBAND: And can you tell me why the government was not operating before with a cashflow model?

TT: That’s a great question. We don’t know.

AH: So, now, will pay increases be considered again, and will there be more people hired, or will you be sticking with what you’re doing at the moment so as not to incur another short-term deficit?

TT: It’s sort of a combination of both. We’re not turning the spigot on full-blast with hiring. We’re still being conservative with the GovGuam workforce, in that we’re allowing for the hiring of teachers, nurses, doctors – critical positions or positions that are needed for the core function of an agency.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Baron Waqa elected Nauru president

Posted at 05:45 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Nauru has a new president, Baron Waqa.

The veteran MP and a former government minister was elected by Nauru’s new parliament at its first sitting today.

A former finance minister Roland Kun was also nominated for the presidency but Mr Waqa won the vote 13 to five.

Mr Waqa first entered parliament in 2003.

A former president and speaker in the last parliament, Ludwig Scotty, was re-elected speaker and a new MP Ranin Akua was elected unopposed to be deputy speaker.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Palau Senator Jailed For Violating Terms Of Probation
Baules originally sentenced for assault, disturbing the peace

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, June 10, 2013) – Associate Justice Lourdes Materne yesterday sentenced Palau Sen. Hokkons Baules to 30 days imprisonment for violation of his probation under a criminal case wherein he was earlier convicted of and sentenced.

Baules will begin serving the prison term on June 22.

Baules had served 90 days in jail last year for the case in which he was sentenced for seven counts of assault and battery and one count of disturbing the peace (Criminal Case No. 11-122). After his release on September 9, 2012, he was placed on probation for two years and 9 months, with conditions that he must obey all laws of the Republic and that he shall not have any contact with the plaintiffs.

However, Baules violated his probation when he had contact with one of the plaintiffs a day after his release. This led to the extension of his probation to three years and three months.

After the incident with one of the plaintiffs that happened at Shangri-la Massage and Spa, Baules was again involved in an incident at Did ra Ngmatel (Midtown Mobil) in October of last year.

Baules was attacked by a patient of the Bureau of Behavioral Health (BBH). The senator reacted and hit the aggressor, identified as Kenheart Andrew, with a chair.

The incident with the BBH patient resulted in the charging of Baules by the Attorney General with one count each of Aggravated Assault, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon and Assault and Battery (Criminal Case No. 12-100).

On May 2 this year, Materne read out the verdict on the assault case against Baules. The senator was found guilty of one count of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

In the sentencing yesterday, Paramount Chief Reklai Raphael Ngirmang and former president Kuniwo Nakamura were present to give support to Baules.

High Chief Reklai took the witness stand to say something about the defendant and state his request to the judge.

High Chief Reklai expressed his respect for the court and requested the judge not to impose jail time for Baules, whom he described to be an elder and is someone that the family relies on.

High Chief Reklai said he knows that Baules have been convicted of many things. He asked that the senator be sentenced only with hefty fines or many hours of community service instead of jail time.

Baules, before the judge issued the sentence, was given the time to speak and said that he truly respects the court. He said that he will have no objection to what the court decides on the cause.

Baules repeatedly apologized to the plaintiff and his family and to the people of the Republic, adding that he takes responsibility for his actions.

On the other hand, Assistant Attorney General Weiru Wang, who represented the Republic, asked the court to sentence Baules to 120 days in prison, impose $500 fine, require the senator to undergo anger management, pay restitution for Kenheart Andrew’s hospital bills and write letter of apology in the recent assault case (Criminal Case No. 12-100).

As to the violation of probation in earlier case (Criminal Case No. 11-122), Wang asked the court to let Baules serve the remaining period of the suspended sentence. Baules in the previous case was sentenced to three years imprisonment, all suspended, except for 90 days in jail. He was placed on probation for the remainder of the suspended sentence.

Materne, in issuing the sentence, said that the court found that Baules was not the initial aggressor. She said that it was not disputed that the plaintiff attacked Baules first. She said that it was not disputed also that the plaintiff has mental illness.

Materne said that the court found Baules guilty of one count of Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon because he fought back and hit the plaintiff with a chair even if the latter was already on the floor.

Materne said the court believes that the defendant (Baules) never meant to violate his probation.

In relation to the Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon guilty verdict, Materne sentenced Baules to pay $500 fine, restitution for hospital bills of the plaintiff, write letter of apology and to undergo anger management. The maximum penalty for assault and battery with dangerous weapon is five years imprisonment. Materne suspended imprisonment and instead placed Baules on probation for five years.

In relation to the violation of probation under Criminal Case No. 11-122, Materne sentenced Baules to 30 days in prison. The court allowed “work release” condition for Baules.

Baules’ counsel, Siegfried Nakamura, asked the court to allow his client to begin serving the sentence on June 22, which the court approved.

Island Times: www.islandtimes.us

9) Guam Attorney General’s Office Asks For Bigger Budget
AG says even minimal increase would be welcome

By Louella Losinio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, June 11, 2013) – Ideally, Guam’s Attorney General’s Office (AGO) wants a budget of $17 million for fiscal year 2014, an increase of about $7 million from last year’s $10.8 million AGO budget.

But during yesterday’s budget hearing, Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas told senators frankly that his office would be happy with even just a “minimal” hike as long as it’s an increase over the previous fiscal year’s budget.

Rapadas said the AGO’s budget request is modest and looks at the reality today but also looks forward to the future in terms of what the AGO needs to sustain their burdening caseloads in all of the AGO’s divisions.

“At a minimum, we look to return to our 2012 levels. Remember that all the chief deputies and the division deputies have each expressed a need for more personnel,” Rapadas said.

During the budget hearing, Rapadas gave a rundown of figures corresponding to the amount of cases the AGO handled this year and in prior years.

“In 2011, we had 2,027 cases filed, 1,900 last year, and this year 800-plus cases have already been filed as of Friday. So we are probably going to get close to the 2,000 mark again,” he said.

Rapadas also referred the senators to the oversight hearing held several months ago, during which he stressed that his office critically needs assistance in handling its “overwhelming” caseload to restore confidence in the legal system. The assistance AGO needs includes an increase in the number of prosecutors.

Responding to an inquiry directed by Speaker Judith Won Pat on the number of prosecutors required to assist the AGO in tackling its caseload, Rapadas answered around 24 or 25, based on his previous experience working in the field.

Rapadas also testified that his office is overburdened because of the inordinate amount of work the AGO tackles with almost 10,000 cases being handled by only 16 line prosecutors and 10 advocates working with clients.

Difficulties

Sen. Ben Pangelinan, who heads the Legislature’s budget committee, warned there may be difficulties in allocating resources to the various GovGuam departments and agencies this year since only $267 million can be divided among several departments and agencies.

Aside from the AGO, other agencies looking for appropriations include the Guam Department of Education (GDOE), Guam Commission on Educator Certification, the University of Guam, the Guam Community College, the Legislature itself, the Unified Judiciary, the Public Defenders Services Corporation, the Mayors’ Council of Guam, the Office of Public Accountability, and the Guam Visitors’ Bureau.

“After budgeting for the executive branch, the governor then subtracted from the proposed revenue the amount that he reserved for the executive branch, and those under his control. The balance of that revenue was to be divided among the different departments and agencies,” Pangelinan said.

The total budget request by GDOE alone for FY2014 is already around $267 million, according to Pangelinan. If the department receives its proposed budget appropriation, he warned there may be no revenues left over to fund any of the other operations.

“If we were to prorate the budget based upon the executive branch, the general fund request for FY2014 for the AGO would amount to approximately $10.3 million, which is a decrease of 5 percent from the appropriated amount of $10.8 in last year’s budget for the AGO,” Pangelinan said.

“That sets the parameters of what we are going to discuss this morning,” Pangelinan added.

Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com

AUSTRALIA:

10) Australia Pledges $10 Million For Tonga Primary Schools
Funding to support teaching environment, basic education

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 10, 2013) – Tonga’s primary schools will be the target of new aid from Australia, which has pledged US$10 million over the next three years.

Tonga’s minister of education and training, Dr. ’Ana Taufe’ulungaki, says the funding will help give children access not only to basic education but also to a learning environment that helps teachers and students to achieve strong results.

The minister for finance and national planning, Lisiate ’Aloveita ’Akolo, joined Dr. Taufe’ulungaki as well as the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Brett Aldam, for the signing of the agreement.

The finance minister says it is essential that Tonga continues to upgrade the quality of education to ensure students have the skills to meet the demands of a growing and changing economy.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

NEW ZEALAND:

11) More Samoans Applying For Work In New Zealand
Auckland construction, Christchurch rebuilding may boost jobs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 10, 2013) – Tough economic times are not putting off the number of people in Samoa looking for a new start in New Zealand, with three thousand more people than last year registering their interest under the annual quota scheme.

Immigration New Zealand’s Pacific regional manager says this year almost 18,000 people applied under the scheme, which is limited to 1,100 places.

Alan Barry says over the past couple of years the quota has not been met.

This year the electronic ballot system has pre-selected just over one-thousand three-hundred people to help make up any shortfall when the quota is decided.

“In good, strong economic times, then the quotas are hit relatively easily compared to when the economy isn’t so strong because the job offer is the key to a successful quota application.”

Alan Barry says it’s possible that rebuilding work in Christchurch and new construction projects in Auckland will increase the number of jobs available to prospective migrants from Samoa.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

TOK PISIN:

12) West Papua bai go long MSG Lida Summit

Updated 11 June 2013, 15:38 AEST

Hilaire Bule

FLNKS gavman blong ol Kanak as peles pipol long New Caledonia i singautim ol West Papua long go long bung blong ol MSG lida.

Wanpela lida blong ol West Papua fridom activist itok FLNKS i givim ofisel tok orait long oli atendim dispela Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit long New Caledonia next wik.

Andy Ayamiseba husat i beis long Vanuatu itok, invitesen blong West Papua i atendim naba 19 MSG Summit ia i wanpela bikpela step long stragel blong ol West Papua pipol.

Mr Ayamiseba itok dispela tok orait blong FLNKS em blong ol West Papua Coalition yet, na bai oli no go aninit long nem blong Vanuatu o narapela memba blong MSG.

Long ol yar we igo pinis, West Papua i save go long MSG miting olsen hap blong Vanuatu delegesen blong traim long kamap memba blong Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Em itok sapos West Papua i kamap memba blong MSG, em bai minim olsem em i kamapim moa yet muv blong ol long kisim sapot blong ol arapela kantri long wol.

Wanpela long ol deleget blong West Papua we bai go long MSG summit ia em i Barack Sope, wanpela praim minista blong Vanuatu bipo husat i stap olsem advaisa blong West Papua Coalition. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BAHASA:

13) Tim Australia usahakan basmi penyakit anak di Timor Leste

Diperbaharui 11 June 2013, 15:39 AEST

Sara Everingham

Tim peneliti dari University of Sydney berharap akan memberantas dua penyakit parasit yang marak di kalangan anak-anak di Timor Leste.

Program Universitas Sydney itu bertujuan memberantas filariasis dan cacing tambang.

Pakar penyakit-penyakit menular, Profesor Peter McMinn, mengatakan fokus pertamanya adalah pada parasit yang dapat dibasmi.

“Filariasis, penyakit yang menyebabkan elephantiasis atau kaki gajah, yakni pembengkakan anggota badan yang kronis, dan cacing tambang,” katanya.

“Kedua penyakit ini adalah parasit yang dapat disembuhkan dengan pengobatan.”

Profesor McMinn mengatakan, keduanya dikenal sebagai penyakit tropis yang terabaikan, namun ia mengatakan, dampaknya terhadap anak-anak cukup  serius.

“Yang pasti dalam kasus filariasis, itu adalah salah satu penyebab utama cacat tubuh di seluruh dunia,” katanya.

“Demikian pula dengan cacing tambang. Cacing itu menyedot darah dan makanan, sehingga penderita menjadi kekurangan gizi dan juga menyebabkan anemia.”

“Dan dampak utama infeksi kronis cacing tambang adalah si anak menjadi sangat kurus dan menderita anemia dan seringkali tidak dapat berkonsentrasi di sekolah.”

Duta Besar Timor Leste untuk Australia, Abel Guterres, pernah mengalaminya.

“Saya beruntung berhasil sembuh, tapi banyak orang lain yang menderita dampak yang sangat serius,” katanya.

Program Universitas dari kota Sydney itu bertujuan membasmi penyakit dengan memberi rakyat Timor Leste pengobatan anti parasit selama lima tahun.

Profesor McMinn mengatakan, program itu perlu mencapai setidaknya 80 persen populasi.

Para petugas kesehatan Timor Leste direncanakan akan diberi latihan untuk melaksanakan program tersebut.

Lukisan bersejarah dilelang untuk pengumpulan dana

Sementara itu, sebuah lukisan dengan nilai sejarah dilelang untuk mengumpulkan dana yang akan membantu pelaksanaan program kesehatan tersebut. Prakarsa itu didukung oleh WHO dan beberapa perusahaan farmasi, dan Rotary Club Sydney yang membantu melelang benda-benda yang disumbangkan oleh mantan presiden Timor Leste, Jose Ramos-Horta.

Salah satu benda yang dilelang adalah lukisan karya Xanana Gusmao.

Dubes Timor Leste, Abel Guterres, mengatakan, lukisan itu mempunyai sejarah yang menarik.

“Perdana Menteri kami, Xanana Gusmao, yang waktu itu pemimpin perlawanan dan berada di penjara di Jakarta, membuat lukisan ini untuk temannya, Jose Ramos-Horta, yang sedang merayakan ulangtahun,” katanya.

“Ia juga melukisnya di dalam penjara dan kemudian lukisan itu diselundupkan keluar penjara dan sampai ke New York.”

Profesor McMinn mengatakan lukisan Xanana Gusmao itu mempunyai nilai sejarah yang signifikan.

“Lukisan itu menggambarkan sebuah rumah tradisional Timor Leste,” katanya.

“Dan di baliknya tertulis ucapan dari Xanana Gusmao kepada Jose Ramos-Horta pada hari ulangtahunnya, yang juga mendesaknya untuk terus berjuang bagi kemerdekaan Timor Timur.”

Setelah pelelangan berakhir, lukisan tersebut akan dikembalikan ke Dili untuk dipamerkan di museum perlawanan nasional Timor Timur. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH:

14) Immigration: des consultants qui n’ont rien de professionnel

Posté à 11 June 2013, 8:26 AEST

Pierre Riant

Et qui ont pour proie des Océaniens du Pacifique en situation irrégulière. Nous sommes en Nouvelle-Zélande.

L’un de ces consultants sans scrupules ne peut plus exercer suite à une décision du Tribunal disciplinaire des services de l’Immigration néo-zélandais.

« Trop peu, trop tard », estime Richard Small, un avocat de renommée et spécialiste de l’Immigration.

SMALL : « Il y avait déjà un organisme pour ces individus qui n’ont rien de professionnel avant l’adoption de la Loi de 2007 sur les permis des consultants en immigration. En fait, on leur avait donné un an, entre mai 2008 et 2009, pour fermer boutique. Certains l’ont fait  et d’autres sont entrés dans la clandestinité. »

Le Tribunal disciplinaire des services de l’Immigration a récemment entendu le cas d’un de ces présumés consultants qui avait empoché l’argent d’une femme en difficulté alors qu’il n’avait jamais eu l’intention de la défendre ni de faire appel contre l’ordre d’expulsion dont elle faisait l’objet.

Pour quelles raisons, une personne en situation irrégulière se tourne vers des escrocs qui promettent des visas ?

SMALL : « Nous, nous ramassons tous les jours les pots cassés. Notre personnel, 3 Tongiens et un Samoan à temps partiel, passe tout son temps avec les victimes de mauvais conseils. Et il y a trois raisons. La première :  de fausses informations qui circulent et disent que c’est possible de venir en Nouvelle-Zélande si vous cherchez une meilleure vie. Traduction : si vous êtes un réfugié économique. Je peux vous dire que cette porte est fermée depuis 15 ans, même pour les plus méritants.

La seconde raison : c’est le désespoir. Ces gens ont vu tellement de conseillers et de consultants qu’ils ne savent plus à qui faire confiance et ils sont désespérés. Ce désespoir les conduit vers des consultants sans permis, des consultants sans éthique et croyez-moi, il y en a encore.

Et la troisième raison est à mon avis la plus forte, c’est que ces personnes n’ont rien à gagner à retourner d’où elles viennent. Le retour, c’est la stagnation. Les économies du Pacifique se portent proportionnellement moins bien que les économies d’Australie et de Nouvelle-Zélande et maintenant nous avons en Nouvelle-Zélande des politiques qui ne prennent pas en compte les circonstances humanitaires pour ceux qui ne respectent pas la durée de leur visa.

Toutes ces circonstances les conduisent dans les bras de ces consultants. » http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

PASIFIK:

15) NGOs urge review team to make Pacific Plan more ‘inclusive’

Updated 11 June 2013, 16:14 AEST

Jemima Garrett

Pacific non-government organisations have told the Pacific Plan Review Team the region’s policy architecture needs to be made more open and inclusive.

Former Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta is undertaking a review of the Pacific Plan, the blueprint for greater regional co-operation. (Credit: Reuters)

Pacific non-government organisations have told the Pacific Plan Review Team that the region’s policy architecture needs to be made more open and inclusive if the Pacific Plan is to survive.

The Pacific Plan, an initiative of Pacific leaders through the Pacific Islands Forum, is meant to be the blueprint for greater regional co-operation and integration.

Emele Duituturaga from the Pacific Island Association of Non-Government Organisations says there are questions over its effectiveness.

“It needs to be prioritised and particularly the architecture and the mechanisms around it need to be opened up and made more inclusive in order for it to stay,” she has told Pacific Beat.

NGOs also want a seat on key regional bodies, such as the Pacific Plan Advisory Committee, and direct access to leaders at their annual summit.

Papua New Guinea’s Former Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, is currently undertaking a wide-ranging review of the Pacific Plan, visiting all 14 of the Forum’s member nations to hear their views.

His report and refreshed Plan will go to the leaders when they meet in the Marshall Islands in September. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

MEDIA/FILM+:

16a) Pacific Islands Media Association ‘Redefining’ Itself
Low attendance, lack of committee interest at last general meeting

By Michael Sergel

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, June 10, 2013) – The recent Samoa Language Week demonstrated that more and more Samoan stories are being told from a Samoan perspective.

However, there are still many stories that go unreported, and the organization set up to promote a Pacific presence in the New Zealand media faces an uncertain future.

The Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) was forced to reconsider its own viability at its annual general meeting in April, due to a lack of interest in committee positions and a low attendance from its 90 members.

Outgoing secretary Sandra Kailahi, one of the founders of PIMA, told the meeting that a new committee would have to step forward if the organization was to continue to exist.

That interim committee has been formed, and chair Will ‘Ilolahia has asked members to give PIMA “one more go” at being an effective Pacific representation in the media industry.

“We are in the process of redefining what PIMA is as an organization, and to look to see where the organization can best add value to those in the industry and community,” he says.

The organization’s journalism scholarships, established in partnership with the sponsors, AUT University, have drawn more people into the study of Pacific journalism, and annual networking conferences have provided Pacific journalism students and professionals with an opportunity to network and share knowledge.

Because the organization lacks resourcing and volunteers, it will focus on holding annual conferences, looking for new members, seeking funding from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, and being a liaison with other media organizations.

There are also some issues that ‘Ilolahia would like the organization to pursue – around the two not always complementary aims of supporting Pacific journalists, and promoting Pacific-specific media organizations.

“Some of the Pacific Island media are underpaying their own staff, or expecting their staff to do it for the sake of representing the Pacific,” he says.

Pacific Scoop
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre – pmc@aut.ac.nz

HEALTH:

16b)Family Support Centre, special

By Maureen Gerawa

FAMILY Support Centre at the Port Moresby General Hospital is a special place for victims of violence, including sexually abused children.
The building, put up with funds from the United Nations Children’s Fund, and opened in 2004 has specifications that is hoped will be taken into account if a new one is built in its replacement.
Hospital staff made these comments in reference to hospital board chairman Sir Theophilus George Constantino’s announcement on Monday, that FSC would be torn down to make way for an expansion of the pharmacy department. This is to cater for a mini medical store that will hold a much bigger stock that will last for four to six months than it currently does.
Not all staff were for the idea when informed on Monday, especially when they were not consulted, and there was no building design or something in writing that the staff said would give a guarantee that FSC would be rebuilt somewhere. “It cost about K250,000 (to be built) and another K50,000 for beds, etc. It took a long time for the hospital to give us this space. If it goes, there is no guarantee that we will have one,’’ they said.
On Monday’s visit, the FSC staff were also told that they would be moving to the old Blood Bank building, which has been condemned, and the blood service moved to the pathology department. On Tuesday, when Sir Theophilus visited again, he had assured that the old blood bank would be done up to cater for FSC.
In the meantime, they would be housed at the inservice while the inservice (located near the main entrance to the hospital) would be temporarily moved to Laloki Mental Health facilities outside Port Moresby.
“We’ve got to prepare this place. We have inpatients – mothers and children affected by domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse. We keep them from the perpetrators before they are referred to safe houses. In this type of rush, we just don’t know how it will work out,’’ the hospital staff said.
FSC caters for victims of violence, and therefore the building had been designed to protect both the FSC staff and victims of violence.
The inservice building where the FSC will be housed temporarily is largely an open classroom, which is not built for the type of services provided by FSC and which includes rooms for confidentiality and counselling.
Hospital management had confirmed that the hospital was undergoing many changes as the board plans to renovate most parts of the hospital, including the wards. However, they were not aware of the plan to remove FSC, as well as the plan to move FSC staff to inservice.
Meanwhile, along with FSC removal will be the relocation of social medical services, medical records and physiotherapy department.
Hospital staff say the new blood bank, physiotherapy department and a new unit, renal dialysis, will be built near the entrance to the hospital, but the hospital management could not confirm this, saying “renovations will go ahead’’ and then the relocation will follow and that this will be done with minimal disturbance to patient care.
The hospital staff have also commented that they supported the renovation program, but this needed to come with preparation plans that would allow the staff to move with consideration of the welfare of patients that access the services.
“We are not a private company, but a service organisation. We need to prepare because we are not moving just a desk but we have in-patients,’’ they said.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

EDUCATION:

17a) Prefects to play bigger role in addressing Tongan school violence

Posted at 05:09 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Beefing up the role of prefects is being seen as a solution to a problem of violence in schools in Tonga.

Siale Ilolahia, from the Tonga National Leadership Development Forum, says prefects are often under-utilised and the forum is holding workshops to provide prefects with the skills to work with their schools to enact positive change.

Ms Ilolahia says the programme aims to provide prefects with the ability to successfully lead and address issues such as violence.

She says the programme has heard that prefects don’t often have much say in what goes on in their schools, even though they have a number of solutions to problems.

“I think it’s just facilitating the process and bringing them together to facilitate a process where they could develop themselves, rather than us coming with the standard go out and do it this way. And so what has come out is that they want to have a clear, structured way of making the voice of the school, through them, heard.”

Siale Ilolahia says the prefects will be the future leaders of Tonga and it makes sense to foster their leadership abilities while they’re young.

Radio New Zealand International

17b)Students secure

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

SCHOOL principals do not have the authority to expel any student, says North education officer Satya Shandil.

Responding to concerns of some Taveuni parents regarding the future of their children who walked out in protest from their boarding dormitories at the Niusawa Methodist High School last week, Mr Shandil said the school principal had no power to expel students.

Mr Shandil said however, the school management board had powers to lay rules that withdrew privileges of boarding students.

“These rules are all focused on bettering the students’ academic performance in school,” he said.

“Children need to be motivated towards their school work and if the management sees that extra-curricular activities as such needed to be eliminated, they have the power to do so.

“School principals can also recommend students for boarding in school dormitories or otherwise for reasons known to him.”

Mr Shandil said the move by the school management at the Niusawa Methodist High School was mainly for the purpose of bettering the school’s academic achievements.

“This does not necessarily mean that the physical education classes have been omitted from classes in the school.

“It is part of the national school curriculum and it will continue to be observed in all schools.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

BUSINESS/TRADE+:

18a) Tycoons on business trip

A PRIVATE jet flew in from Hong Kong over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend destined for Buka, Autonomous Regions of Bougainville, with business tycoons from China and the United States.
The N388AJ, an American registered plane but Chinese owned Gulf Stream IV, based out of Hong Kong and operated by Asia Jet arrived in Port Moresby just before lunch on Saturday for refuelling and clearance by the Air Niugini agents at Jackson’s international airport.
The jet carrying nine passengers, three Americans and six Chinese (named) flew to Buka on Sunday on the invitation of the Autonomous Government and were met by ABG President Dr John Momis at the Buka airport.
The Post-Courier was at Jackson’s to interview the passengers and the crew members. According to the manifest obtained the oldest person onboard was born in 1961 and the youngest travelling with the group was born in 1993. Reason for their travel to Buka, according to the instruments with the airport authorities in Port Moresby, was to officially meet with ABG leaders and talk about business opportunities and investment in the region.
But the paper was also told by one of the travelling passengers that they were travelling there on the invitation of the ABG, specifically President Dr Momis and that they had a series of business issues to discuss with the newly established government on multi-million kina high impact projects in the region.
The group has pledged to help the Catholic Diocese of Bougainville to build a cathedral after their meeting with Bishop Bernard Unabali, the bishop of Bougainville.
It is also understood the group had signed some agreements with the ABG when the group travelled to China some years back for major projects implementation in the region. They leave PNG today.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

18b) Panguna agrees

Landowners reach agreement to re-open giant gold-copper mine
By ROMULUS MASIU
in Arawa

AFTER 24 years, the leaders, landowners and people of Panguna mine in Bougainville have reached some sort of agreement and are ready to sit down, talk and negotiate for the re-opening of the defunct giant copper-gold mine.
Landowner discontent over equitable distribution and sharing of Panguna mine benefits led to PNG’s first serious Bougainville Crisis in May 1989 that went on for about 10 years.
It left about 20,000 dead, including men, women and children, as well as PNG soldiers, policemen and correctional officers.
According to reports from Panguna, the landowners are now ready to kick-start dialogue and negotiations with all the stakeholders, including the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) led by President Fr John Momis, the PNG Government and BCL for the re-opening of the copper-gold mine.
Its is yet to be confirmed how widespread this consensus for negotiations fore the re-opening of the mine is, but it appears that Panguna landowners are now speaking the same language as pro-ABG veterans and ex-combatants
of Ishael Toroama and his group.
But one thing is certain – they want all outstanding issues to be sorted out, including bel kol or compensation payments, customary obligations for blood shed and lives lost during the 10 year crisis from May 1989 to August 2011 when the final peace agreement was signed in Arawa when Sir Julius Chan was Prime Minister.
What is coming out of Panguna is good news for everybody, especially for Dr Momis and the people of Bougainville who need money to develop the province as it moves forward to the scheduled referendum in 2015 when the people will have a say in determining their political destiny.
It also comes at a time when about 10 Chinese and US businessmen who are now in Buka for talks with Dr Momis for possible investment in Bougainville.
The Panguna landowners have elected Lawrence Daveona as chairman of the Special Mining Lease Association, one of six associations that make up the Umbrella Panguna Landowners Association. Mr Daveona automatically becomes chairman of the umbrella association.
The umbrella association has not been registered and Mr Daveona has undertaken to do have it registered as a matter of priority.
The full executive of the umbrella association is chairman Mr Daveona, deputy chairman Richard Avero, treasurer Tony Tapakau and secretary Dennis Nasia.
The association executive met yesterday (Monday) and resolved that they will be the sole representative of their people in any talks with ABG, the national government, BCL and any other interested investor.
Chairman Daveona, who comes from the same village of Guava as late Francis Ona who instigated the 10 year crisis, thanked the landowners for electing him chairman and told them he will make the re-opening of the mine his priority.
“I will fight for what is best for the landowners and for all the people of North, Central and South Bougainville, especially those who died and suffered during the Bougainville Crisis,” he said.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

18c) PNG invests in Samoa

By Matai Akauola
6:18 pm GMT+12, 11/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

More Papua New Guinean investments are happening outside its shores, with the latest being a ground breaking ceremony over the weekend to build a five star resort on the Taumeasina Island just off the Samoan capital of Apia.

Enga Governor Peter Ipatas led a delegation on behalf of Prime Minister Peter O’Neil, to meet Samoan Prime Minsiter Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi to mark the start of work on the project.

The hotel will be built by the Lamana Group and its partners NASFUND and the Mineral Resources Development MRDC.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony Governor Ipatas praised the stability of the government and economy of Samoa and thanked the government and people of Samoa adding that this has provided the right climate for investment.

Ipatas said the economy of Samoa has remained strong under Prime Minister Tuilaepa since 1998 and investors look for such stability when making big investment decisions.

Ipatas said the economy of PNG expects to double in 2015 onwards and such growth and stable government has allowed PNG companies and financial institutions to prosper.

The Enga governor said that is why Prime Minister Peter O’Neil has encouragaed PNG companies and institutions to not only expand at home but look beyond our borders to invest.

SOURCE: NBC PNG/ PACNEWS

19) Vanuatu Copra Buyers Urged To Pay Prices Set By State
Minister concerned some companies buying well under standard

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 10, 2013) – Companies dealing in copra in Vanuatu have been warned to buy copra at the official prices set by Government through the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board (VCMB) or risk losing their licenses.

Announcing the Government’s position, the Minister for Commerce and Tourism, Marcellino Pipite, said he was giving the copra buyers three months, starting on Monday to show that they will abide by the prices for the commodity set by the VCMB or face having their licenses revoked.

He said the two copra prices currently applicable to the buyers to abide by are Vt30,000 [US$315] per ton for the certain designated ‘pickup’ points throughout the islands of the country and Vt35,000 [US$367] per ton for NISCOL wharf in Luganville, Santo and Ifira wharf in Port Vila.

“It is imperatively important that buyers who are pursuing this line of business must adhere to these instructions,” he warned.

The minister said he was concerned that after the VCMB increased the prices for copra, certain buyers were not complying with the decision and were even buying at as low as Vt11,000 [US$115] and Vt15,000 [US$157] a ton. Hence, this decision had to be taken to ensure the official prices are maintained at all times.

The companies that have been issued licenses by the VCMB to buy copra in the country are Agribag, VCE, VCCE, VCPL, COPV and Carpenters.

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

20) Samoa PM Dismisses Alleged Tourism Industry Crisis
Tuilaepa: operators not doing enough to boost industry

By Niccola Hazelman-Siona and Jason Brown

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 10, 2013) – Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has brushed off recent claims that Samoa’s tourism industry is in “crisis,” putting the controversy down to industry “tricks.”

Tuilaepa said that he did not know where the claims stem from and that the problem was the industry members are “fighting among themselves.”

“I think it has something to do with the industry wanting more tourists to come to Samoa and the government has been doing everything to make that happen.

“Everything the government has done with regards to tourism is catered towards bringing more tourists to Samoa,” he told media during a Thursday press conference.

“The government built airports, the government has also helped boost individual hotels through various promotions, government has allowed for machines used to build these hotels to be brought into duty free, those are just some of the ways government is helping the tourism industry.”

Tuilaepa said that the tourism operators have become too reliant on government.

“All that’s left now is for the hoteliers, resort owners, tourism providers to do some work themselves. Government has done all it can and it’s about time they did their part.”

“The easier part of this whole tourism thing is the part that these people play. The tourists are already here, now it’s their turn to keep these tourists happy and wanting to come back.”

Tuilaepa gave out some advice to tourism operators.

“The simplest way to do that is through competitiveness,” he said.

“The hotel packages that each hotel offers, the service provided should match if not go beyond what the people are paying for which means the employees have to brush up on their skills and customer service. The food has to be top notch and all other things associated with tourism have to be of the very highest of standards. That is what should be done.

“So you see I don’t know what crisis these people are talking about when they themselves have the means to fix the so-called crisis they are facing.”

As far as Tuilaepa is concerned, there is no crisis and tourism operators are not doing their part to boost the industry.

“What seems to be happening is that not only do they want government to build all these things to help them out, they also want government to bring in the people to fill up their hotels and that is not the government’s job that is their job so to me, there is no crisis.”

“They probably want government to put heaps of money into their hands so they can spend it doing their tricks and government does not do tricks.”

He did not address the main industry concern, relating to marketing and promotion overseas.

Much of the Samoa Tourism Authority budget goes on staff, said to be around 58 workers.

Despite that, operators complain about a lack of education at local levels.

One operator recalls complaints from tourists being charged to access beach facilities down a road only to find the facility closed when they get there.

“The chiefs sitting at the top of the road playing cards need to be educated that overseas visitors may be richer than them but they’ve paid thousands of dollars to get here and deserve to be well treated,” she told a recent crisis meeting.

Meantime, concerns continue about the accuracy of statistical information surrounding the tourism industry.

According to the World Bank, tourism earned Samoa a profit of US$25,200,000 in 2010, or more than $60 million in today’s tala, from about 130,000 visitors, which the bank refers to as “tourists.”

This is up from about 100,000 visitors in 2004.

Total tourism earnings in 2010 were said to be US$103,400,000.

More recent Central Bank of Samoa figures appear to show significant growth since then.

Over a 12 month period, between March 2012 and January 2013, CBS estimates that tourism receipts were $317.7 million tala, or about US$136.6 million, a rise of around 33% or a third.

This averages out to a double digit growth rate of 11% per annum – one of the region’s highest, if not the world.

By comparison, the latest CBS report, for March 2013, reports a 10.4% drop in all visitors when compared to last year.

“When compared to March 2012, this month’s tourism earnings was 7.9 percent lower, which pushed total tourism proceeds in the first nine months of 2012/2013 down by 0.6 percent to $234.2 million from $235.6 million in the same period of 2011/12.”

These drops may be more due to a one-off bump from the well-attended 50th anniversary celebrations than industry shrinkage.

However official statistics have long been hotly disputed by industry members, who claim that Government is miscounting Samoans visiting from overseas as tourists.

Government has not released detailed occupancy figures for tourism accommodation and, in one case, blacked out a graph giving those figures.

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

21) Solomon Islands government challenged on farmers’ funds

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands government has come under criticism for the way it distributes funds to farmers.

Transparency Solomon Islands says instead of allocating the US$4.6 million of its Cocoa and Coconut support funds through its own channels, it is sending it to each constituency through MPs.

It says given that last year only four MPs gave an account of their spending, the scheme gives rise to corruption and leaves farmers vulnerable.

Alex Perrottet reports:

ALEX PERROTTET: The Solomon Islands Agriculture Ministry has allocated the funds to farmers, but the transparency watchdog is worried they won’t see the money. Instead of administering the project funds through its 180 officers nationwide, the ministry has decided to channel it through MPs. Daniel Fenua, an executive officer at Transparency Solomon Islands, says that makes little sense when the officers are the ones dealing with farmers.

“DANIEL FENUA: We’ve got some complaints out there from the public, the farmers out there that some of the money they applied for through the agriculture, they didn’t receive on those projects. Now if they give it through the constituencies more problems will be happening unless they have a mechanism in place.”

ALEX PERROTTET: But the minister disagrees. David Tome says the insinuations of corruption have no meat and the system is secure.

“DAVID TOME: That’s incorrect. The statement they say is incorrect. It is not budgeted through the MPs, but through the constituency. And we have a mechanism in place to disburse to the farmers. I am convinced that the money will be received by the farmers. That will be administered by my ministry.”

ALEX PERROTTET: The director of the Solomon Islands Development Trust, Manedika Longden, says he doesn’t know of any farmers that have complained, but it’s important they be dealt with more directly and have more consultation with officials.

“MANEDIKA LONGDEN: The presence of the field officers needs to be, to put more effort to the villages. They need to do more visits, more training programmes, more information sharing to clear out the doubts.”

ALEX PERROTTET: He says the success of the project will depend on the accountability of the members of parliament and the Constituent Development Officers. But Mr Fenua says these officers and the MPs are the only ones required to sign cheques and there is very little scrutiny. He says after last year’s project, only four MPs submitted their accounts.

“DANIEL FENUA: Just look at these two signatories. There will be no transparency in it, and it opens up more room for corruption to happen because only the two of them will sign.”

ALEX PERROTTET: Manedika Longden says before development can happen, the farmers themselves need to be empowered with information.

“MANEDIKA LONGDEN: Villagers need to be informed earlier, earlier, in advance and be given this information in advance before all this development takes place. And we have been talking about this information sharing for three decades. It’s about empowerment comes first before development – that is the bottom line.”

ALEX PERROTTET: The minister, David Tome, says the funds will be shown clearly through published annual records.

Radio New Zealand International

LAW&ORDER:

22)Special interview room for victims

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

VICTIMS of domestic violence and sex abuse crimes will no longer be interviewed in charge rooms.

This was the message from the Fiji Police Force director operations, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tudravu.

Speaking to The Fiji Times, he said special rooms had been set up at all stations around the country to ensure that confidentiality of victims’ identity were protected.

“They will no longer be dealt with in the charge room,” he said.

“We have a separate room where we handle enquiries of this nature and the environment is such that they feel comfortable and safe and able to relate what had happened to them.”

ACP Tudravu said the force was working on expanding the Sexual Offences Unit and also mandating training to ensure that all officers within the unit were adequately trained.

“We are currently working hard to get our sexual offence unit to be fully trained in counselling and in being more professional when dealing with victims of rape or sexual violence.

“This is not limited to major centres, we are expanding our Sexual Offences Unit and pushing forward our personnel to district level.”

ACP Tudravu was responding to comments made by former High Court judge, Nazhat Shameem at a workshop in Nadi where she highlighted a need for gender training for all police officers who were tasked with dealing with domestic violence and sex abuse cases.http://www.fijitimes.com/

23) New Caledonia fraud probe over removal charges

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

A probe has been opened in New Caledonia into alleged fraud by removal companies overcharging the French defence ministry.

The allegations are that the bills for the removal costs of French police and military personnel were frequently inflated.

In return, it is claimed, the companies offered the military personnel rental cars, tablet computers and railway tickets.

Local media reports say several companies are being investigated for hundreds of such cases.

The probe was launched after a complaint by a removal company which went out of business while refusing to strike such deals.

Radio New Zealand International

24) PNG police hike bounty in hunt for Kapris

Posted at 05:45 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Police in Papua New Guinea have offered an additional 45,000 US dollars in bounty for information leading to the recapture of notorious bank robber William Kapris and his accomplice Raphael Walimini.

Last month, the Correctional Services offered a tenth of the sum but the month-long search for the two escapees has remained unsuccessful.

The Deputy Police Commissioner, Simon Kauba, says the additional incentive is necessary as it will hopefully encourage people to divulge information that may lead to their arrest.

Police say they have some leads and are working around the clock to find the two fugitives.

Last week, police arrested and charged a man for harbouring Kapris.

Radio New Zealand International

25) Drug trade tactics

By Matai Akauola
6:10 pm GMT+12, 11/06/2013, Fiji

New Zealand Customs Services has detected few cases where parcels passed from Nadi International Airport contained drugs.

Pacific Security for New Zealand Customs Services policy analyst Andrew Walker said there was a recent case when a couple had arrived from Nadi when they were picked up at Auckland airport with a brown bag of kava.

He said inside the brown bag was Pseudoephedrine drugs.

“This couple had been given the package by a stranger in Fiji to carry through,” Walker said

“It was interesting because they were quite unaware of what they were carrying. It was big surprise for them.”

With countries tightening their border security, drug trafficking, he said had also become more creative as they tried to smuggle drugs across borders.

“In New Zealand, he said people had tried to smuggle drugs from Fiji by hiding them in packages of kava.

“In Samoa, attempts were made to conceal drugs by hiding them in tins of tomatoes.

“In Papua New Guinea, drugs destined for the country were hidden in machines.”

Walker said tablets of cocaine had also washed up on beaches in Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, French Polynesia and Marshall Islands.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority CEO Jitoko Tikolevu said placing a value on illicit markets was difficult.

But he said the estimates generated by specialist organisations showed that the drugs trade was greater in value than most other criminal commodities.

While drug detection statistics in the Pacific were on the rise, Tikolevu said the true level of criminal activity and subsequent threats in the region could not be definitively determined.

However, he said there was evidence that the region was being used for the production, storage and transhipment of illicit drugs…. PACNEWS

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/ PACNEWS

26) Solomon Islands Police Probe Alleged Information Leak
Officers may have compromised special operation

By Alfred Sasako

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 10, 2013) – Six police officers, including a superintendent, are under internal investigation after details of a special operation were leaked to criminals, Solomon Islands police sources have confirmed.

Police were forced to dissolve the 19-man special squad for the operation the next day after they have been told the criminals on outstanding arrest warrants for more than two years were tipped off and had fled the scene, the sources said.

The squad comprised officers from Honiara, Auki and Atori.

The sources said the squad was assembled in Auki two Sundays ago, waiting to leave for East Fataleka early the next morning after reports of repeated disturbances at Gounamanu where an Australian company is developing a pilot project on the much-talked about Auluta Basin Palm Oil project.

But before the squad left Auki, orders were received from Police headquarters in Honiara that the operations should not be launched until the head of the operations had met with businessman and logger Andrew Loboi and his nephew, Joseph Adler.

Both men were on their way to Auki from Honiara.

“The order surprised everyone,” said one officer who wished to remain anonymous.

It has now been established that the order was from a superintendent, who along with the five other officers, are now under police internal investigation.

It has also been established that the five officers consist of three from the Prime Minister’s Personal Protection Unit and two from Auki.

They were allegedly handpicked by Mr. Loboi to supervise the illegal removal of machines and equipment belonging to the Australian company, Evita Solomon Ltd.

“It’s a very serious offence if it’s found they went on the trip without proper authorization.

“Worse if they were mixing with criminals whose arrest warrants have been outstanding for more than two years without apprehending the culprits,” the source said.

“We made no bones about this, police have failed in this operation because of the order from police Headquarters,” a senior officer said.

“It really is sad that we are engaged in sabotage against ourselves because of association some of our people have with individuals with questionable characters.

“However, I am pleased to confirm that the six police officers are now being investigated,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, a man was rushed to Kilu’ufi hospital on Thursday after he was allegedly hacked with an axe on Wednesday night.

This followed an altercation which broke out among Mr. Loboi’s men.

Reports from Gounamanu suggest the man sustained serious wounds to the head from the blow. His condition is unknown.

Solomon Star

27) Legal Team Argues To Release Nauru Asylum Seekers
Guards allegedly warned to open facilities on short notice

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 10, 2013) – An Australian legal team is in Nauru arguing for the immediate release of asylum seekers detained in an Australian-run centre in the island nation.

Melbourne barrister and human rights advocate, Julian Burnside QC, is leading the team.

Mr. Burnside is filing a case in Nauruan courts on behalf of detained asylums seekers.

Experts say if he’s successful, all asylum seekers in the detention centre may need to be freed.

Sydney human rights lawyer, George Newhouse, is involved with the case and says some guards at detention centers have been told to prepare for the centers to be opened at short notice.

“What we’ve heard over the past 24 hours is that the detention centre is to be opened up,” he said.

A spokesman for the immigration department did not answer questions relating to a potential opening of the centre.

He said the Nauru government decides operational procedures at the centre.

There are claims the detention centre is illegal under Nauruan law.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

28) More Than $2 Million In Fake Goods Seized In CNMI
Customs director says bust a warning to smugglers

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, June 11, 2013) – Over 12,000 fake Burberry and Polo Ralph Lauren shirts that would have sold for some $2.178 million had they been genuine, along with rolls of clothing labels, raw garment, cutters, illegal cigarettes and liquors, were discovered and seized by Northern Marianas customs and quarantine inspectors in May inside a 40-foot container from mainland China. Authorities, however, are faced with bigger questions.

Customs director Joe Mafnas, in a news briefing yesterday morning, said there may be small-scale underground garment manufacturing on Saipan, with the presence of global brand clothing with “Made in Northern Mariana Islands” labels sold on the island-including at flea markets-when the last of the garment factories closed in 2009.

This is coupled with the recent discovery of clothing labels, raw garment, and cutters smuggled from mainland China to Saipan.

The discovery of these undeclared, illegal, and fake items, he said, should serve as a lesson to other smugglers.

Mafnas said an individual who is supposed to be the owner of the shipped items was arrested on Friday and was scheduled to appear in court yesterday.

The man was later identified as Qing Liang Ming, owner of Ming Li Corp.

Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson said the investigation on the matter is ongoing, adding that smuggling of items into the CNMI is not something that will be taken lightly.

“Any time someone smuggles something into the Commonwealth, it’s lost revenue for everyone in the Commonwealth and it’s something we take very seriously,” Larson said.

Also in the news briefing were Customs seaport branch manager Greg Sablan, Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Arnold Palacios, and DLNR quarantine supervisor Tina Camacho.

Mafnas said a 40-ft container arrived on Saipan on May 19. Three days later, Customs put the container on hold for 100 percent inspection. Customs and quarantine inspected the container on May 28.

Large items such as eight freezers were placed near the opening of the container, making it hard to get to the inner part where the undeclared, counterfeit and illegal items were discovered. Little spaces in the container, Mafnas said, were filled with small items such as toys.

Mafnas said there were 2,012 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes found. They were not only undeclared but were also not supposed to be sold in the CNMI as its packaging states.

The retail value of the cigarettes is $55 per carton, for total retail value of $110,660.

Customs and quarantine also discovered 666 cartons of undeclared and illegal Chinese brand cigarettes with a street value of $20 per carton or a total of $13,320.

“The smuggler would have profited, tax free some $124,000 from the cigarettes alone. If the cigarettes are legit, the total excise and beautification tax would have amounted to $55,883,” Mafnas said.

Government inspectors also found 84 cases of undeclared and illegal Chinese liquors. If they were legit, excise, and beautification taxes would have been $3,400.

Counterfeit luxury brands

Customs and quarantine inspectors also discovered 6,063 pieces of Polo Ralph Lauren polo shirts.

Mafnas said the “street value” is estimated at $30 a piece or $181,890 for 6,063.

Had they been genuine products, they would retail at legitimate shops such as DFS for $98 or a total of $594,174.

Also found were 5,978 pieces of Burberry shirts. Customs said the estimated “street value” is $30 a piece or $179,340 for everything.

However, if they were genuine Burberry shirts, the estimate retail price at legitimate shops is $265 per piece or a total of $1.584 million for 5,978 shirts.

Enforcement

Larson, during the news briefing, commended Customs staff and employees for “putting their heart into what they do.”

“A lot of times it’s reported there’s no enforcement. But there is enforcement. We try to use what we can and make the best of what we have. We really try to keep the playing field equal for all. We have all these legitimate businesses [that] are doing their part, paying their taxes, following the laws and regulations. And any time someone comes in and does something like this they cheat and make it harder for people who do the right thing,” she said.

The Finance secretary said there would be stronger enforcement.

“I hope that we don’t see too many instances like this but people who do try to come in, it will be a lot more difficult to come in and try to commit fraud in the Commonwealth. We are going to make it as hard as possible for all of them,” Larson added.

Mafnas, who was appointed back to Customs in March as acting director before becoming director once again in April, said, “Like any other smuggler, they would deny that they know what’s in there,” when asked about the owner’s reaction when the undeclared items were discovered.

“On top of that, it’s fraud because [they have] ‘Made in the Northern Mariana Islands USA’ label. and we know there are no garment factories here,” he said.

There may be more to the issue than the confiscation of undeclared and illegal items.

“With this interception, I think there is, maybe not a big one but you know I’m not going to say there’s none,” when asked whether Customs thinks there is underground garment manufacturing on the island.

When asked whether the Polo Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and other luxury brands being sold at the flea market in Susupe every Saturday, for example, are real or fake, Mafnas said, “I have to say it’s counterfeit. I mean the only place where you can find genuine right now is Duty Free.”

He said he could not comment further on the fact that these items sold at flea markets in Susupe every Saturday have not been confiscated.

“There’s no doubt those came in through somewhere, ports of entry. I’m not at liberty to talk about that. I wasn’t here, but from here on, we are going to be more vigilant in ensuring that nothing like this passes through Customs,” he said.

Depending on the court’s decision, Mafnas said Customs is ready to incinerate or destroy the confiscated items.

Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION,ENVIROMENT+:

29) Vanuatu promised wide consultation on seabed mining licenses

Posted at 05:45 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu’s Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, says there will be wide consultation before any more seabed mining licenses are issued in Vanuatu.

Mr Regenvanu says he was disconcerted to learn the government has issued 145 offshore mining exploration and prospecting licenses over the past five years.

He says another three licenses have been issued for oil exploration.

The minister, who was opening a regional training session on the social impacts of seabed mining, says the licenses were issued without any proper rules or understanding of the issue.

He says the licenses had approval only from the Minister of Lands at the time not the Council of Ministers, nor Parliament.

Mr Regenvanu says almost all the licenses were issued to two companies, Bismarck Mining Corporation and Nautilus Minerals.

Radio New Zealand International

30a) Vanuatu Church Authorities Oppose Deep Sea Mining
National council expresses solidarity with women’s group

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 10, 2013) – The Vanuatu Council of Churches has joined the Vanuatu National Council of Women in expressing concerns over deep sea mining.

The Council of Women told the minister of lands, Ralph Regenvanu and the prime minister, Moana Carcasses Kalosil in a letter last week that women don’t want deep sea mining around Vanuatu as the country already faces environmental problems, natural disasters.

An executive member of the Council of Churches, Pastor Alan Nafuki, who is participating in a regional workshop on deep sea mining this week, says they are also against it.

He says he is surprised the government has granted licenses to foreign companies without informing the local people.

“We need to be told about what would happen if they mine our sea. I mean the sea is our livelihood. We need to know and we need to have a say in this before anything is done.”

Alan Nafuki says there are other ways to generate income rather than deep sea mining.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

JOBS+

 30b) Wok i Kik 424 > Vanuatu Jobs


Credit : Etha Kaltapas

Vanuatu – Job Alert 10-Jun-13
Blong moa infomesen long ol vakensi we i stap anda go long website ia
http://www.wokikik.com
Sendem aplikeisen blong yu i go stret long employer nomo!
.
4185 Student Service Co-ordinator
Vanuatu Institute of Technology
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 21-Jun-13
.
4184 Training and Curriculum Development Officer (Bilingual)
Vanuatu Institute of Technology
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 21-Jun-13
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4183 Executive Secretary & Audiovisual Officer
Vanuatu Institute of Technology
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 21-Jun-13
.
4182 Senior Registration Officer
The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 29-Jun-13
.
4181 Legal Officer (Liquidation)
The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 01-Jul-13
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4180 Secretary General
Department of Local Authorities
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 28-Jun-13
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4179 Principal Electoral Officer
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Source: Daily Post (Weekender) 08-Jun-13 Due: 24-Jun-13
.
4178 Agricultural Advisor & Services Technician
Employer Name Not Given
Source: Daily Post 07-Jun-13 Due:
.
4177 Assistant Manager/Riding Instructor
Employer Name Not Given
Source: Daily Post 07-Jun-13 Due:
.
4176 Disaster Risk Reduction Officer
Vanuatu Red Cross Society
Source: Direct from Employer 06-Jun-13 Due: 17-Jun-13
for more details on these jobs please go to –
www.wokikik.com

SPORTS:

31a) Top Seed Tackle Classic Conditions for Round 3 of the Volcom Fiji Pro

By Matai Akauola
5:23 pm GMT+12, 11/06/2013, Fiji

The Volcom Fiji Pro resumed this morning with Round 3 in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) waves at the primary venue of Cloudbreak.

Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Volcom Fiji Pro is a crucial event for the world’s best surfers as they hunt for Dream Tour requalification and the highly-coveted ASP World Title.

Sebastian Zietz (HAW) stole the heat win from Kai Otton (HAW) in the last 30 seconds of the their 30 minute encounter thanks to a long winding tube-ride that was timed to perfection. The young Hawaiian ASP WCT rookie looks right home in these conditions and will be a dark horse draw for the event’s top seeds as the event moves into the final days.

Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 4, survived a scare against Australian event wildcard Mitchel Coleborn (AUS). Slater picked off multiple waves, but uncharacteristically fell off keep leaving the door open for Coleborn. The young Sunshine Coast surfer fought back, and even posted the highest wave score of the heat – 7.43 out of a possible 10 – but was unable to find a decent second scoring ride to fill his two wave total. Slater, who has won this event three times in the past advanced into the next Round.

Mick Fanning (AUS), two-time ASP World Champion eliminated the Volcom Fiji Pro’s last remaining Brazilian surfer, Heitor Alves (BRA) in Round 3 this morning. Fanning muscled his way through multiple tubes and unloaded a series of his signature speed turns to easily win the heat 11.66 (out of a possible 20) to 5.67.

SOURCE: VOLCOM/ PACNEWS

31b) Experience, youth hold WC Sevens hopes

By Matai Akauola
5:21 pm GMT+12, 11/06/2013, New Zealand

Sevens supremo Sir Gordon Tietjens has warned his troops that winning the World Cup will be a completely different proposition to success on the IRB world circuit.

The New Zealand team for Moscow later this month was unveiled in Auckland Monday, with only three members – DJ Forbes, Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula – returning from the last tournament in Dubai four years ago, where the Kiwis could manage no better than fifth place.

Wales won the title in a boilover and have boasted that crown through the ensuing years, despite their average performances from one week to the next.

“There is something very special about the Cup, which only comes around once every four years and playing in a country we have yet to visit as a team is also pretty exciting,” said Tietjens.

“On the Sevens World Series circuit this year, we have tested a group of young, exciting players, so it’s really pleasing to included a number of them in the team.

A World Cup is something completely different, so they know they are in for a real test.

“The good thing is we have a core of players in DJ, Junior and Lote, who know well the pressure-cooker environment of a World Cup, so that will certanily help the younger players cop with the challenges in Moscow.”

“We really want to do well over there, as we haven’t won the Cup since 2001. This is also the last World Cup before the Olympics, so Moscow is also going to be very valuable in terms of our planning to ensure we are in the best possible shape for Rio in 2016.”

The team is Kurt Baker (Taranaki), Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Scott Curry (Manawatu), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau), Bryce Heem (Tasman), Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Waisake Naholo (Taranaki), Lote Raikabula (Wellington), David Raikuna (North Harbour), Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau).

Only Naholo has played Super Rugby – the powerful Taranaki winger started for the Blues against the Highlanders last week.

SOURCE: TNVZ/ PACNEWS

31c) Classic ABs excited to face home team

By Matai Akauola
5:19 pm GMT+12, 11/06/2013, Fiji

Classic All Blacks vice-captain Jerry Collins believes the visitors would put on something special against the Flying Fijians to mark Fiji Rugby Union’s centennial celebration at the ANZ Stadium in Suva tomorrow.

Collins who earned 48 Test caps for New Zealand said despite not spending much time together as a team, they were excited about facing the national side.

He said the inclusion of Rupeni Caucau, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Joe Rokocoko had boosted their side.

“As a rugby player it is an honour to be part of such an occasion,” the 32-year-old said.

“It is a great opportunity to play here against Fiji in their centennial year. The Classic All Blacks are excited. We haven’t had much time together but I’m sure we will put something together worthy for the occasion.

“It is pleasant to have the team that we have got.

“We are grateful to the Fiji Rugby Union for putting this game on. In saying that, we are playing against the national side.

“It will pretty be a Test match affair with a full house. It is good to have three Fijians in the team. They have played in New Zealand for many years. Rupeni has come back from injury. If we get the Rupeni of old then it will be very exciting. It is also good to see Siti and Joe back as well.”

The Classic All Blacks played touch rugby with the Yavusania Village club team in Nadi yesterday.

The villagers turned up in numbers to cheer on the two teams.

Collins said it was a great opportunity to be at the village for development purposes.

“This is where we all started from back in the suburbs. Majority of the boys are from there. It is nice to have the opportunity to get back down to such areas for development purposes, said Collins….PACNEWS

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/ PACNEWS

31d) Tonga coach accuses IRB officials of racism

By Matai Akauola
5:11 pm GMT+12, 11/06/2013, Tonga

Tonga’s head coach Mana Otai has made allegations that IRB officials have been singling out Pacific Islander players – because they’re black.

Following Tonga’s Pacific Nations Cup loss to Canada, where they suffered from a lack of discipline throughout the game – resulting in a red card and two yellow cards.

Otai told the Canadian Press that he thought his players were unfairly victimized due to the colour of their skin.

“I had a look at both. I couldn’t really see why (the yellow cards were issued). It’s almost like, these days you know, when a black man is tackling harder than the other, it seems to be the way.”

Otai believes Tongan players have had to deal with this on-going stereotype.

“And I think some of the foreigners that are involved in our team now are starting to see that. It’s just hard to battle or fight that stereotype, I guess. But I’m not taking away the fact that at times we do, I guess, make mistakes in terms of tackling — if I’m talking in general. But in today’s game, I couldn’t justify the two yellow cards.”

Prop Edmund Aholelei was shown a red card after continuing a fight and backs Sione Piukala and Tevita Halaifonua were both shown yellow cards for dangerous tackles.

One resulting in Canadian winger Matt Evans being stretchered off the field.

Canada’s coach and former All Black, Kieran Crowley said his team were ‘walking wounded’ after dealing with Tonga’s physical play.

“It was a physical game, we’ve got a few boys walking around pretty wounded in there and we’ve got to keep an eye on a couple of them, said Crowley.

SOURCE: YAHOO NEWS/ PACNEWS

31e)Rupeni Caucaunibuca keen to impress Fiji selectors

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

Fiji rugby legend Rupeni Caucaunibuca says he’s got a point to prove in Wednesday’s Centennial Match between the Classic All Blacks and Flying Fijians.

The 33 year old last played in Fiji in 2010 and hasn’t played a professional match since undergoing knee surgery in two years ago.

He will play for Northland in this year’s New Zealand provincial competition and told Vinnie Wylie he’s also keen to impress the Fiji selectors.

RUPENI CAUCANIBUCA: I’m very proud of the people who choose me to be part of classical collection and I’m looking forward to playing. And I want to show the people in Fiji how good I am. And I’m still good.

VINNIE WYLIE: Do you think you can still get back to that best that everyone remembers you from – seven, eight, nine years ago?

RC: Yes. I’m confident for what I have to achieve. I was 104 at that time, but now I’m 107. So it’s good to be back in New Zealand and work hard with a friend of mine who used to look after me. And I’m very happy.

VW: So do you feel like you’ve still got something to prove?

RC: Another two or three kilos more, I think I will be the same as when I started to play rugby in New Zealand.

VW: Do you feel like you have something to prove to rugby fans, that you can still be as good as you were?

RC: I think some people are talking about that and talking about my past, ’cause I’m very heavy, I can’t even play. But now I don’t have to speak back. Now I think the only thing I have to do, I have to show them in the field the real Rupeni

VW: What are you reflections on your test career when you look back at your games for Fiji?

RC: At the moment it’s a big thing for me to go there and show the Fiji Rugby Union that I’m still keen to play for them if they feel I’m good enough to play for them. But the first thing, for me, I have to play well for the Classic All Blacks.

VW: And you’re saying that you would love to be a part of that team again if the chance came up?

RC: If I get the chance. If they think that I’m good enough.

VW: And do you keep in touch with friends and people from the Fiji Rugby Union in terms of what’s going on up there?

RC: No.

VW: Fiji, if they want you, would they know that you’re available?

RC: It depends. The most important thing for me is to go out there and show myself that I’m keen to play. And I want to play well for the ITM Cup for Northland, and I want to show them I’m still keen to play for them.

VW: So do you think you can make it through to the next World Cup? Would that be a target for you, potentially, long-term?

RC: Yes.

VW: And how is your knee now?

RC: Now my knee is 150%.

VW: And, Rupeni, if you had a message for rugby fans in New Zealand and rugby fans in Fiji as they celebrate 100 years and think about you possibly playing for their country again, what would you say to rugby fans around the world?

RC: I want them to come down to Fiji and watch the games because I know I’m going to play for the Classic All Blacks but I’m still Fijian-born. And I’m very proud of being a part of the Classic All Blacks playing against Fiji, but always Fijian.

Radio New Zealand International

31f) Call in Fiji for more support for sportswomen

Posted at 05:44 on 11 June, 2013 UTC

There is a call by advocates for gender equality and womens rights in Fiji for more support for sportswomen.

Concerns about the disparity between the treatment of sportsmen and sportswomen were recently raised by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, or DIVA, during a Central Chiefs Women’s Rugby Club event.

Beverley Tse has more:

BEVERLEY TSE: During the event, representatives from the two non-government organisations spoke about the difficult journey that sportswomen endure, but encouraged the public not to let the disparity hinder the push for gender equality and to get behind women in sports. The co-ordinator of DIVA, Shirley Tagi, says it is harder for women to get sponsorship than men, and women also have to work hard to fundraise and garner support.

SHIRLEY TAGI: How can they get to attain great heights in sport if there’s no support, as well? So it’s a Catch 22. So you need to build from below and a small group of women in Fiji you know are trying to do this but with no funds. So that’s what we’re doing – we’re supporting them.

BEVERLEY TSE: The operations manager of the Fiji Rugby Union, Vilikesa Rinavuaka, says it’s a fact there is a disparity between sports men and women and says traditionally sport is dominated by men. He says things are slowly changing in Fiji.

VILIKESA RINAVUKA: We’ve got a women’s sevens team now competing in the world cup in Moscow and we have a very strong netball team and we have done for several years. But in terms of attracting the sponsorship dollar, it’s been very difficult for women and always has, which is a sad thing because there are many talented women out there and they need to be able to showcase their talent and be able to compete with the best women around the world.

BEVERLEY TSE: Vilikesa Rinavuaka says some mindsets and attitudes need to change towards women’s involvement in sport.

VILIKESA RINAVUKA: We have talented women, but the remarks they get when they run onto the field can be very discouraging. So we have to continually encourage, get away from that sort of mind where it’s just an event to comment on or laugh at and stuff. It’s got to be a whole shift away from that sort of thinking.

BEVERLEY TSE: The head of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee says sportswomen need to perform well if they want greater support. Lorraine Mar says women find it particularly difficult to get the kind of support men do in male dominated sports like rugby and football.

LORRAINE MAR: I think it’s a chicken and egg situation where women need to perform well or as well as the men. Say, in terms of rugby, if we look at rugby in Fiji in particular, men’s rugby, is, on the international stage, performed very well and therefore gets the media publicity all the time.

BEVERLEY TSE: Lorraine Mar says despite the disparity there are efforts, including those from the Fiji Olympic body, to encourage women to get involved in sport.

Radio New Zealand International

Philippe Saibir Pako -Tenen
e: phillipe@voiceofmelanesia.com
w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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