Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 869
Media ownership in Fiji constricting media freedom
What should journalists do?
By Professor WADAN NARSEY
Since 2009, the Fiji regime’s decrees, public stance and prosecutions of media owners, publishers and editors, have effectively prevented the media from being a “watch-dog” on government. Some media organisations are now largely propaganda arms for the regime.
[Read the first part of this article at this link for my take on the current performance of the mediahere]
But it is unfortunate that some critics are targeting journalists, who are minor cogs in the media machine.
The reality is that journalists are totally under the control of editors and publishers, who in turn are ultimately controlled by the media owners.
The real weakness in Fiji’s media industry currently is that Fiji’s media owners are not “dedicated independent media companies”, but corporate entities with much wider business interests which are far more valuable to the media owners than their profits from their media assets.
This is exacerbated by the reality that the media owners’ other investments are extremely vulnerable to discretionary government policies, which can cause greater financial harm than the media profits are worth.
There is therefore every financial incentive for Fiji’s media owners to ensure that their media organisations do not get on the wrong side of the regime by being independent and critical as a “watchdog” function requires.
To ensure a strong and independent media, Fiji’s media ownership must be divested to dedicated media operators, and not held by Fiji’s corporate giants.
THE PRINT MEDIA: The Fiji Times and the Fiji Sun
The two major print outlets are The Fiji Times and the Fiji Sun.
The latter is a blatant propaganda arm of the military regime, while the former now practices self-censorship.
The Fiji Times
The Fiji Times, once owned by the Murdoch empire, was recently acquired by the Motibhai Group of Companies, because of a regime decree requiring local ownership.
The regime has been penalising The Fiji Times by denying it advertising revenue amounting to more than a million dollars a year, all now diverted to the Fiji Sun.
A Fiji Times editor and publisher have been hauled into court and faced heavy penalties over what many would see as minor infringements.
Since 2009, its senior writers have been reluctant to take articles from me, or even reply to emails.
The leading director of Fiji Times Limited, multi-millionaire Motibhai Patel, was recently found guilty of corruption and jailed over a relatively minor matter involving a government corporation of which he was board chairman.
Motibhai Patel is currently in Australia for medical treatment and a bench warrant has been issued for him to return to Fiji to face additional charges of abuse of office arising out of the same chairmanship of the Government corporation, Post Fiji Limited.
Motibhai Patel also has a much larger financial interest in the form of duty-free outlets at Nadi Airport, leased from Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) which is under the direct control of the regime.
Once enjoying a complete monopoly, Motibhai recently began to face competition through the entry of another local company (Tappoo) which also happens to have large business deals with the Fiji National Provident Fund, the largest financial institution in Fiji and also under the direct control of the regime.
All airport leases were recently dissolved by decree (not challengeable in court) and reallocations of airport retail outlet space are pending.
Any further reduction of space for Motibhai Patel (which may occur purely with the commercial objective of increasing government revenue) has the potential to significantly reduce Motibhai’s profits by amounts which are far greater than the profits from The Fiji Times.
There is therefore every financial incentive for the current owners, publisher and editor of The Fiji Times to minimise newspaper content critical of the regime.
The Fiji Sun
The Fiji Sun is owned by the CJ Patel family, a large corporate player in the Fiji economy with major importing and franchising interests involving many international brands.
CJ Patel recently purchased the monopoly Rewa Dairy company, concurrently with the receipt of substantial discriminatory tariff assistance from the regime, thereby raising the price of milk and milk products.
CJ Patel’s financial controller (a Sri Lankan) serves the regime on a wide range of influential government boards (often as the chair), as for instance the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).
The FNPF, with the support of regime decrees, has rammed through massive reductions to existing pensions, with an already existing legal challenge being thrown out of court (although under the ill-fated Ghai draft constitution, such challenges would have been re-allowed).
The Fiji Sun owners have many financial incentives (including a monopoly on government advertising) to be totally supportive of the regime while censoring opposite views, as it has blatantly done for the last four years.
The Fiji Sun will not print most articles by me questioning regime policies while freely printing pro-regime articles, some of which have attacked me, without my being given the right of reply.
TELEVISION AND RADIO
There are three television stations of which the larger two will be discussed here – Fiji Television Ltd, and the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, which started off as a radio station, recently also acquiring a television license.
Fiji Television Limited
The historically dominant Fiji Television was originally owned by Fijian provincial councils (Yasana Holdings) and other private shareholders including the local business mogul Hari Punja.
Punja has a wide variety of business interests in Fiji (and the wider Pacific), many vulnerable to discretionary government policies or tariffs and other measures, with potential costs far outweighing any profits from Fiji TV.
Once negatively perceived by the regime, Fiji TV faces the trauma of having its license currently renewed on a six-monthly basis, arguably a blatant policy of intimidation.
Its management and senior staff have felt intimidated by the regime and it now practices self-censorship on many programs which previously would have been called good “investigative journalism”.
Fiji TV management has told me that to protect their employees’ jobs, I was persona non-grata on many programmes which used to previously seek my contribution as an economist.
For instance, they will not run special programmes which previously performed the valuable task of publicising the results and policy implications of several Fiji Bureau of Statistics reports which I have authored over the last three years.
Fiji TV has now been purchased by Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL), a Fiji conglomerate also controlled by the regime.
FHL also has wide commercial interests which are far more valuable than profits from Fiji TV, and many of which also depend on government’s discretionary policy such as duty protection (for example cement).
Fijian Holdings Limited also will not want to jeopardise any of its substantial commercial interests in the Fiji economy, by taking the risk of annoying the Fiji government through any kind of genuine watchdog role.
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
The FBC, which has trilingual radio stations (Fijian, Hindi, English), has recently ventured into television, and is totally under the control of the military regime.
The CEO is the brother of the regime’s Attorney-General, and was appointed after the regime sacked the previous CEO for no apparent reason.
In the absence of publicly available financial statements, it may be surmised that FBC only survives because of large subsidies from government advertising, ultimately paid for by tax-payers.
The FBC TV and radio stations are totally pro-regime and give very little prominence to opposition views.
Neither the FBC radio stations nor the FBC television station have over the last three years sought my views on any economic matter, which they used to do routinely before media censorship began in 2009.
All these media organisations have virtually stopped the kinds of critical analysis of the military regime or news items, they regularly and responsibly carried before the 2009 abrogation of the 1997 Constitution.
This is a problem not just for Fiji but internationally.
MEDIA OWNERSHIP AND MEDIA INDEPENDENCE INTERNATIONALLY
An excellent study by Michelle Foster, Calling the Shots: how media ownership affects the independence of the news media. A Report to the Center for International Media Assistance. November 27, 2012, covers similar issues, and is available here.
Following a study of four diverse countries (US, China, Serbia and Honduras), Foster concluded that, “Who owns the media and its infrastructure and who controls its sources of capital and revenue are crucial for any media system” with possibly “adverse consequences for the ability of citizens and communities to hold their governments accountable”.
Foster concluded that while governments’ control of media markets can bring about greater transparency and diversity (quoting directly):
“yet the entire system can also be designed to limit independent reporting:
Regulators can allocate the broadcast spectrum in ways that lack transparency.
Government agencies can use political criteria for issuing media licenses.
Cross-ownership restrictions can prevent independent voices from gaining traction.
Government agencies can direct advertising budgets as rewards and punishments.
State organs can transform public service media into ruling-party mouthpieces.
State news agencies can simultaneously access tax-free government funding while competing against independent media for advertising revenue.”
These findings are extremely relevant for the current state of affairs in the Fiji media industry.
In addition, Fiji editors and journalists also face all kinds of intimidation by the military regime, resulting in many resignations and even deportation from the country.
WHERE ART THOU, MEDIA AUTHORITY OF FIJI AND PROFESSOR SUBRAMANI?
Fiji is in the throes of developing codes of ethics for non-existent parliamentarians, political parties and leaders.
The Fiji media situation cries out for the Media Authority of Fiji (Chairman Professor Subramani) to develop a code of ethics for media owners and publishers.
Yet, despite three years of controversy over media censorship, Professor Subramani is not to be seen or heard.
Subramani certainly has not come to the defence of the vulnerable journalists and editors who have been at the mercy of the regime, and who are being made scapegoats for the failings of the media owners.
Media ownership should be a central item on the agenda, with media owners restricted from other substantial business interests in the economy.
There are also other crucial policy matters which need to be clarified and guidelines established.
Another issue is whether government-owned media organisations should have an automatic monopoly over the delivery of public services which private media companies could also deliver.
There is a clear need for competitive bidding for the delivery of “not-for-profit” services to the public.
Professor Subramani shows no signs that he takes his responsibilities seriously.
WHAT OF PUBLIC OPINION?
In the frequent calls for the journalists to be more critical and proactive, it is completely forgotten that the media serves the public, which should also be held accountable.
If the media is good as a watchdog and is fair and objective, the major beneficiaries are the public whose interests are safeguarded, leading to an improvement in public interests all round.
If the media fails to be honest, fair and critical of government and other dominant players in the economy and society, then the result can be gross misuse of tax-payers funds, destruction of the environment, miscarriage of justice against vulnerable and weak citizens of society and a host of other social ills, such as excessive pre-occupation with social trivia such as entertainment and sports. These are indeed some of the sad results we are seeing in Fiji today.
So the sixty four thousand dollar question is: what are the public doing about their loss of human right to media freedom?
THE PUBLIC ARE DOING NOTHING.
Do the Fiji public deserve what they get?
There is little point in blaming the poor journalists.
WHERE TO FOR JOURNALISTS?
Journalists are in no position to insist that their stories be published as is.
Editors will change them, or even reject them totally.
What journalists need to do therefore is to keep a record of all the stories they write, the dates they submit to the editors, and the story that appears or does not appear.
Some day media censorship will end and our society will return to practicing their human right to freedom of expression.
As part of our attempt to understand this period in Fiji’s sad history, there will also be studies of the nature and frequency of media censorship during this time.
The records maintained by journalists and principled editors will be an invaluable part of the history from which our future generations can learn.
Journalism has as much a part to play in the history of our people as any other academic discipline such as history, politics or economics.
Journalism may be the most important given its centrality in informing public opinion, which is the cornerstone of any true democracy.
[This article was first prepared as Dr Narsey’s speech as chief guest of the USP Journalism Students Association to celebrate UNESCO World Press Freedom Day. He was removed from the program under instruction from USP management].http://
1) Beatings at student demo in Indonesia’s Papua province
Posted at 03:39 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
A journalist in Indonesia’s Papua province says yesterday’s student rally was forcibly broken up by police who are currently searching for the organiser.
Police started dispersing the 50 rallying students at Cendrawasih University in Waena when they blocked the entrance.
The police also violently arrested the leader of the Papua National Parliament, Buchtar Tabuni.
Alex Perrottet reports.
“Aprila Wayar, a journalist for Tabloid Jubi, was present at the rally and says four to five police officers stopped a car and dragged Buchtar Tabuni out, hit him repeatedly and stomped on him. Supporters say he has bruises on his head and back from rifle butts. They then took him to the police station for questioning, asking whether he helped organise the demonstration. Students had raised the banned pro-independence Morning Star flag. Aprila says police then released Mr Tabuni and are now searching for the student organiser Yason Ngelim, who is being harboured by a human rights group. She says there are now many police around Jayapura. The demonstration follows Monday’s peaceful rally in support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in New Caledonia next week, which will consider the West Papuan application for membership.”
Radio New Zealand International
2) PNG Opposition Concerned By Chief Ombudsman Vacancy
MP Kulang says government taking too long to resolve issues
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 12, 2013) – The Opposition has raised serious concerns over the long delay in the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman for Papua New Guinea.
Opposition MP and Member for Kundiawa-Gembogl Tobias Kulang said in a statement yesterday the long delay in the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman and a large number of very senior and junior officers in the Ombudsman Commission (OC) who have come, or are coming, off contract, is a major cause for concern for Papua New Guinea.
Mr. Kulang made the statement upon learning that PNG’s premier ‘watchdog’ — the OC — is in a chaotic situation and is ‘sinking.’
It has been revealed that the last time the OC was able to conduct its business was more than one year ago in March 2012.
Since then, the OC has been inundated with all sorts of problems, including the illness and passing of the Chief Ombudsman, the late Chronox Manek, the referral of Ombudsman John Nero to the Public Prosecutor for alleged leadership offences, the passing of the Counsel to the Commission, Gregory Emilio, followed by that of the Secretary to the Commission Gabe Hekoi.
It is also understood that the Director for Leadership, Mathew Damaru, has also resigned out of this frustrating situation at the OC.
Mr. Kulang said the position of the Chief Ombudsman was left vacant in April 2012 when the former Chief Ombudsman fell sick while Ombudsman, John Nero is awaiting a tribunal to be set up by the Ombudsman Commission Appointment Committee.
“Effectively speaking, Acting Chief Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari is the only Ombudsman left out of the three required, inclusive of the Chief Ombudsman, to conduct the business of the Commission. ”
Mr. Kulang said it has also been revealed that the positions of OC Counsel, Secretary, and Director Leadership are all vacant at this stage, and some of the senior managers and directors are also said to be off contract. Yet, there is no quorum, or there is not likely to be one, to look into filling in these vital vacancies.
“Why is the Prime Minister, as the chairman of the Ombudsman Appointment Committee, taking too long to resolve these critical issues at the Commission?” Mr. Kulang asked.
“Is this some deliberate move to disable the operations of this peoples’ watchdog?
“There are some critical actions taken by the current government like the 30 months extension (to votes of no confidence) that requires the Commission to seek and test its constitutionality through the Supreme Court and this level of procrastination is denying the people their right to be served effectively through this important office,” Mr. Kulang said.
“It is also understood that there are many serious leadership cases affecting current senior leaders in government pending with the Commission, and as well as the delay in addressing the serious issues affecting the Commission, which could be a direct plot to hinder efforts by the Commission to progress these cases.
“The OC is tasked with an important role to oversee the operations of the Leadership Code and at a time when we have a heavy concentration of numbers on the government side and a lot of development funds going directly into the hands of individual leaders, it is important to ensure that such important institution that guide leaders to do right must be empowered fully to perform their roles effectively,” Mr. Kulang said.
PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
3) PM hails outgoing Malaysian envoy
THURSDAY, 13 JUNE 2013 04:35
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has commended the outgoing Malaysian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Datin Seri (Madame) Blanche Olbery, for advancing the two countries’ relationship during her tenure as ambassador to Honiara.
Mr Lilo met with Madame Olbery yesterday in her last assignment to Honiara during which he praised her for the huge strives that the two countries have made in the past three years.
Madame Olbery pointed to the opening of Solomon Islands mission in Malaysia as one of the biggest achievements during her time as the high commissioner.
Seasoned diplomat and former politician Victor Ngele has recently taken up his posting in Kuala Lumber as Solomon Islands’ High Commissioner to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, during the meeting Prime Minister Lilo had also expressed the interest of his Government in further deepening its relationship with Malaysia especially on the trade front.
Mr Lilo said Solomon Islands has been a host to many Malaysian companies and he is seeking reciprocity from Kuala Lumber.
Meanwhile, Madame Olbery said that one area of potential cooperation between the two countries is in the tertiary sector.
Mr Lilo said he would request Malaysia to consider assisting the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) with experts, especially with lecturers.http://www.
4) Kalpokas and Vurobaravu eyed to head mission in Fiji
Posted on June 13, 2013
The government is eyeing former Prime Minister and diplomat, Donald Kalpokas, and former head of the United Nations Economic and Social Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Nikenike Vurobaravu for the diplomatic position of Vanuatu High Commissioner to Fiji.
Government is expected to finalize the appointment next month.
Fiji as one of our closest neighbor with only over an hour flight away from Port Vila has been without a High Commissioner since the country opened an office here in 2011. It comes as a surprise that with the majority of Vanuatu students studying here in Fiji – which has now become an important trading partner for Vanuatu under the Melanesian Spearhead Group – that the government cannot commit enough resources to run the Chancery as a full High Commission with the services that are expected of such a high office.
The fact that there is a trade imbalance between Fiji and Vanuatu is that Fiji has diplomatic representatives with their government’s full mandate to negotiate and open up new trade and services opportunities with Vanuatu. Vanuatu on the other hand does not have a full office presence to be able to aggressively negotiate and find markets for Vanuatu products here in Fiji.
Fijian export producers and distributors can do a lot to help indigenous business and provide competition on retail goods but without a trade coordinator based at the office here in Suva, only Asian supermarkets and retail and wholesalers in Port Vila are tapping the market here in Fiji. When they import goods, they inflate and fix prices so that the consumer ends up paying much more than the food item is really worth.
There is a need through the ni-Vanuatu Business sector of the department of Trades to organize cooperatives that can import Fiji made products so that the retail price the consumer pays is a true value of the products.
These are some of the issues, Vanuatu’s first High Commissioner to Fiji must be able to address.
Both candidates are Vanua’aku Pati nominees with years of experience serving Vanuatu locally as civil servants, politicians, government leaders and diplomatically in the regional and international arena.
Nikenike Vurobaravu has a long and decorated record diplomatically, serving as Vanuatu’s first roving ambassador during the nation’s formative years under Prime Minister Fr. Walter Lini. He also headed the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) until he was called by his country to coordinate the Comprehensive Reform Program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He is qualified with tons of experience that can help boost trade with Fiji and be able to exploit the centrality of Fiji in terms of air traffic links to increase and open new potential markets in Asia. He was also one of the technical people behind the birth of the concept to establish a Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Donald Kalpokas is also qualified as one of the longest serving leaders in Vanuatu. He was recently retired from his diplomatic post at the United Nation in New York and has served on many occasions as a government minister, a deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister on several occasions. He is a founding member of the independence movement and a faithful servant of the nation. However, he has reached retirement age and this could be a factor in the final selection.
However, the premature termination of his contract as Vanuatu’s ambassador to the United Nations by former Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Carlot may also play in his favor. The government must pay the remainder of his contract. But with the current shortage of liquidity in the government treasury, it may be wise to negotiate an agreement where he serves the remainder of his contract here in Fiji.
The diplomatic office is currently manned by a second Charge D’Affaire Richard Olul after Wilson Kanam was recalled after his one year contract expired last year.
Vanuatu established diplomatic relations with Fiji in 1980.http://www.dailypost.vu/
5) Vanuatu PM maintains his majority is stable
Posted at 03:38 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister says his government has a stable majority in the 52-seat parliament despite claims by the opposition that the coalition lacks unity.
Moana Carcasses Kalosil has fended off opposition suggestions that members of his government are toying with the idea of defecting to topple him.
Mr Carcasses was able to gauge the support of most of the government MPs as they converged on Port Vila for its second caucus meeting yesterday.
Ahead of today’s meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister says the team is unified and working well together.
“Yesterday we have 29 members of parliament present, including ministers, because at the moment there are four of them that are overseas. My support at the moment is at 33 members of parliament.”
Moana Carcasses Kalosil
Radio New Zealand International
6) Vanuatu PM dismisses opposition’s Saken claims
Posted at 01:45 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister has dismissed a claim by the opposition that his government is reluctant to revoke the diplomatic passport of Pascal Ahn Quan Saken because of close links to him.
The foreign minister, Edward Natapei, has embarked on a wholesale review of the diplomatic sector to purge diplomatic passport appointments approved outside proper procedure.
Mr Natapei previously singled out Mr Saken’s appointment, however he is still travelling as the Honorary Consul to Vietnam.
Moana Carcasses Kalosil, who says the review of the appointments is ongoing, has rejected the opposition suggestion that the government is being assisted by Mr Saken.
“It’s funny that the opposition is saying that because they were very protective of some of the persons that were appointed by themselves actually. I never appointed these people. But what we will do is if some of these gentlemen or ladies are willing to represent Vanuatu, then they need to show what will be the benefit for Vanuatu – in investing here or doing partnerships, we want to be transparent about it, and then we can consider reappointing them.”
Radio New Zealand International
7) New Party Will Not Join United Front For Democratic Fiji
Spokesman: Front leaders have made little difference in 20 years
By Rosi Doviverata
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, June 12, 2013) – The newly-registered, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will not be part of the United Front for a Democratic Fiji.
Party spokesman Nirmal Singh said: “We will not consider at this time joining the United Front.
“There are leaders in the United Front who have been around for the past twenty years and they have not been able to make any difference for this country.
“All we have seen in the past twenty years is political chaos and disunity among people.”
Mr. Singh said Fiji needs a new direction and this can only be provided by a new slate of political leaders.
“PDP is determined to create a new political order and usher in a new generation of younger leaders so they can move the country.”
The United Front for a Democratic Fiji is an umbrella organization that coordinates for three registered parties, the Fiji Labour Party, National Federation Party, the Social Democratic Liberal Party plus the Fiji Council of Trade Unions.
United Front spokesperson Mick Beddoes said while he is not aware of any approach from PDP they welcome their participation in the United Front.
“I am not aware of any formal approach at this time. However in the coming days and weeks I hope to have an informal talanoa with some of the officials of the PDP and we’ll see where that leads.”
Mr. Beddoes said a base criteria is being developed by a sub-committee if new parties or organizations wish to join.
“Once completed, any intending new members will simply need to agree to the set of criteria.”
Founders of the Front were in Nadi last weekend to discuss a broad range of issues.
The meeting was attended by Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, Monica Rhagwan and Lavenia Padarath. Dr. Tupeni Baba, Ratu Jone Kubuabola and Mick Beddoes of SODELPA. Raman Singh of the National Federation Party, and Attar Singh of the Fiji Congress of Trade Unions.
Mr. Beddoes said a roadmap to democracy is being prepared.
“Members will contribute to the plan and other organizations with similar objectives to join the Front while the plan is being developed, will obviously be invited to give their input to it.
“For those who join later, I don’t think they will have too much trouble with our plan as it is based on an ‘inclusive’ approach.”
Mr. Beddoes believes that members of the Front are the last ‘legally’ elected representatives of the people, therefore their plan will have more legitimacy and credibility.
“Secondly our plan will involve the full participation of the people in the development of a constitution broadly acceptable to our people through a planned referendum and thirdly we will look to the establishment of a caretaker government to handle the constitutional process and prepare the country for general elections, independent of any political party or regime.”
8) NAM links growing for Fiji
By Online Editor
3:01 pm GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Fiji
Fiji is growing closer to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) compared to its historical links to the Commonwealth.
This was the reply by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation when asked by a Russian journalist whether he considered Fiji closer to the Non-Aligned Movement or the Commonwealth?
Elaborating on his reply to Pavel Vanichkin of ITAR-TASS news agency Ratu Inoke said membership in the NAM had provided Fiji with the opportunity to engage with its new non-traditional partners.
“Fiji’s concomitance with NAM further supports Fiji’s Look North Policy which involves developing relationships with countries outside the Southern Pacific sphere,” Ratu Inoke said.
Ratu Inoke said NAM provided a form of protection some other forums lacked.
“It ensure that the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries in their struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and racism.
“Therefore I would say that in terms of forging closer relationship with its non-traditional partners, Fiji is closer to NAM in this context.”
The other question posed by the Russian news agency was – What were Fiji’s priorities and interests on a global scale?
In response to this, Ratu Inoke said Fiji’s priorities and main interests on the global scale were aligned to its national goals.
Fiji had developed a structured dossier called the Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development as well as Fiji’s Look North Policy.
He said Fiji aimed to enhance its global integration and international relations with its existing partners as well as developing new alliances with its new countries under its Look North Policy.
Ratu Inoke said Fiji aimed to ensure that its economic development, socio-cultural development and overall social development was improved. As such Fiji’s priorities at the global scale included:
*Providing effective and efficient leadership in the United Nation for the G77 plus China Group;
*Providing effective leadership and support to all UN development initiatives especially the following fields: Peacekeeping; Climate Change and Adaptation; Deep Sea Mining under UNCLOS etc;
*Striving to be an independent sovereign state and working hard to uphold the Charter of the UN and seek to establish diplomatic relations with all UN member countries.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
9) China contributes money to Fiji-led regional body
Posted at 03:39 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
China has given Fiji funds towards the first meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum to be held in Nadi in August.
The Forum succeeds the Engaging with the Pacific meetings set up by Fiji following its suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum.
Representatives of 14 Pacific Island countries came together last year at Suva’s invitation, including the leaders of Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.
The Fiji Sun reports China has given about 100,000 US dollars towards this year’s gathering, billed by Fiji as a summit to demonstrate its spirit of genuine interest and partnership in the overall Pacific community.
Almost half a million US dollars has also been pledged by Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
The paper says Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has rejected claims the PIDF is an alternative to the Pacific Islands Forum.
He says it addresses social, economic and development issues, which are inadequately addressed by existing bodies.
Radio New Zealand International
10) Paris asked to deny Bainimamara visa for New Caledonia
Posted at 03:39 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
A leading New Caledonian politician has asked France to refuse a visa to the Fiji regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who is due in Noumea next week for the summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
The request was made by one of the territory’s members of the French National Assembly and former president, Philippe Gomes, in a letter to the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius.
However since early February, Commodore Bainimarama has been to France twice to look at the new planes the national airline has bought.
The MSG meeting’s host, Victor Tutugoro, says as far as he knows, the visa has been granted.
Denouncing the military dictatorship in Fiji, Mr Gomes says the democratic process there has broken down.
After objections by Mr Gomes a year ago, Commodore Bainimarama called off his planned visit to New Caledonia on short notice, with the MSG saying the environment was not conducive for a mission.
Radio New Zealand International
11) Tonga needs to make more of export potential – former finance minister
Posted at 00:25 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
A former Tonga finance minister, Sunia Fili, who is now with the opposition, says the country has got to make more of its export potential to try and turn the economy around.
Tonga’s economy is stagnant, with predictions of growth of half of one percent this year.
The government’s budget, which goes to the legislature in the new session starting today, is five percent bigger than last year and strongly dependent on overseas aid.
Finance minister Lisiate ’Akolo is putting in money to try and stimulate the private sector but Mr Fili says the government must do more.
“I see this budget here, they do not give any direct funds to help the fisheries increase the export of fish. Always this. So the cry to marketing our produce, agricultural produce, does not work.”
Radio New Zealand International
12) Samoa church plans bank
Posted at 01:45 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
Samoa’s Congregational Christian Church is planning to establish a loan and commercial banking firm in Samoa.
Savalinews reports the venture was one of the main issues discussed during the church’s annual conference at Malua.
The general secretary, the Reverend Dr Iutisone Salevao, says the church has four million US dollars to fund the bank’s launch and church leaders are looking to add up to two million dollars to the venture.
The Reverend Salevao says it is a long-term project that will take up to four years to become fully operational.
He says the loan and banking service will be for church members only.
Radio New Zealand International
13) Nauru president confirms new cabinet
Updated 13 June 2013, 13:21 AEST
Nauru’s new President Baron Waqa has announced a six member cabinet for the country’s government after elections over the weekend.
As well as holding the presidency, Mr Waqa will be minister for the public service, foreign affairs and trade, climate change and police and emergency services.
The five other members of cabinet include political veterans David Adeang, Valdon Dowiyogo and Shodlog Bernicke.
Charmaine Scotty, the second female Nauru member of parliament since independence, is minister for home affairs, education, youth and land management.
First time member of parliament Aaron Cook will join cabinet as minister for commerce, industry and environment and two other portfolios.
Mr Waqa was elected president with the support of 13 of the country’s 19 members of parliament following national elections over the weekend.
His election follows a constitutional crisis in the country which left the country’s parliament divided.
There were a record number of candidates in the election, with 68 people contesting the 19 seats in eight districts.
Nauru is the world’s smallest republic, with less than 10,000 citizens, and is home to an Australian asylum seeker processing centre.http://www.
14) No Reply From EU To Pacific Economic Deal Ultimatum
Pacific nations ‘disappointed’ as fishing issues linger
By Jemima Garrett
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 12, 2013) – Pacific trade ministers have still had no reply to their threat to pull out of long-running negotiations with Europe for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Earlier this week, Islands Business magazine obtained a copy of a letter sent to European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht by the Pacific’s lead spokesperson on the Economic Partnership Agreement talks, Tonga’s Minister for Commerce, Dr. Viliame Uasike Latu.
In the letter, Dr. Latu said Pacific trade ministers are alarmed at proposals being made by Europe and deeply concerned about Europe’s treatment of the region.
He told the Commissioner Gucht that if no tangible progress is made before the Pacific Islands leaders meeting in September, the negotiations for a much sought-after Agreement are likely to be terminated.
“All the member countries are very disappointed with the European Union, especially the failure to respond to some of the outstanding issues that the Pacific trade ministers have raised in the past ten years,” Dr. Latu told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.
“As a member country, we think we have been mistreated by the EC, especially when it comes to fisheries issues.”
The Pacific is home to more than half the world’s tuna and European fishing boats are keen to be granted access to the region’s waters.
Minister Latu has accused Europe of pursing its own interests and trying to turn the Economic Partnership Agreement into a Fisheries Treaty which would rewrite Pacific laws and undermine countries’ sovereignty.
In 2009, PNG broke with its neighbors to sign an interim Economic Partnership Agreement.
It gives fish caught in PNG waters duty free and quota free access to the European market – a provision PNG is using to build itself into a global tuna power.
The Pacific wants to be able to send its fish to PNG to be processed and to have similar access to European markets but Tatafu Moeaki, CEO of Tonga’s Department of Commerce and one of the key negotiators, says that is now looking unlikely.
“What the Pacific want to safeguard is what was granted [in] the interim agreement, where both Fiji and PNG have signed,” he said.
“Their revised position [is] they are already back-tracking from that, from what was already granted, because the interim was meant to a stepping stone for the comprehensive agreement.”
Mr. Moeaki says another key Pacific demand is to extend the generous provisions allowed for PNG tuna to other species such as sword fish and crustaceans.
Pacific Trade Ministers are so disappointed with Europe’s failure respond to their requests that they are ready to take the extraordinary step of walking away from the talks.
Dr. Latu says the threat is not an idle one.
“All the neighboring countries are serious about pulling out. We have been trying for a long time. Ten years is a long time for us and we are serious about that.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
15) Christian Outreach Church senta blong halivim ol yangpela
Updated 13 June 2013, 14:12 AEST
Christian Outreach Church long Australia na Papua New Guinea i wokbung long halivim ol yangpela long PNG.
Go to website to listen Odio: Pastor John Garu blong Christian Outreach Church long Lae i toktok
Christian Outreach Church long Australia i wok long halivim church long Lae long Morobe Province long reisim moni blong halivim ol yangpela long komuniti.
As tingting longen em long Christian Outreach Church long Lae igat wanpela Youth Development na Rehabilitation Centre blong halivimol yangpela drop aut long skul na ol husat igat heve.
Pastor John Garu blong Christian Outreach Church long Lae itok, dispela senta bai skulim ol yangpela long bihainim strepela pasin na ino bihainim ol kriminal pasin we i bagarapim lo na oda long kantri.
Pastor Garu itok senta bai halvim to ol yanpela meri we i viktim blong nogut pasin olsem reip na ol arapela kainkain heve ol kisim long vailans agensim ol veri.
Blong halivin long bildim dispela senta, Church long Australia bai salim go 18 pela baisikal raida long mun ikam blong halivim long reisim moni.
Pastor Garu itok bai oli statim long Wewak long East Sepik na i ron igo long Angoram long Wara Sepik, na bai oli go long bot long Bogia long Madang, na bai oli go long Madang taun na i go olgeta long Lae.
Em itok bai oli gat polis escot na ol lokal memba blong Church i halvim ol tu.http://www.radioaustralia.
16) PNG saintist long NARI i redi long taim nongut long kantri
Updated 13 June 2013, 12:58 AEST
Ol saintist blong NARI, National Agriculture Reseach Institute long Morobe Province blong Papua New Guinea, i wok long wanpela kain rais blong Africa, em pipol blong kantri i ken planim blong ol long kaikai, long taim nongut.
Go to website to listen – Odio: Dr Peter Gendua, Research Ofisa long NARi, PNG
Ol save man meri blong NARI, National Agriculture Research Institute long Bubia long Morobe Province i kamap wantaim wanpela nupela kain rais em inap long ol pipol iken planim long ol taim nongut, olsem bikpela ren na hat san.
Ol i kolim dispela raise, NERICA, na i kam long Africa. NERICA, i min New Rice for Africa.
Long 1997, bikpela san na nogat ren long kantri i bin kamapim bikpela sot long kaikai. Dispela iet i kirapim ol saintist laen long lukluk long ol narapela wei we, ol pipol i ken planim rais long kain taim nongut na kaikaim.
Dr Peter Gendua, wanpela long ol saintist long Bubia, arasait long Lae siti i tok, ol i kisim NERICA rais longwanem ol i painim dispela kaen rais i gutpela long dispela ol taim nongut.
Dr Gendua i tokim Radio Australia dispela rais iken gro maski em i hatpela san oa igat planti gras oa ‘weed’ na em bai sanap strong iet.http://www.radioaustralia.
17) Lebih dari 10 juta anak-anak adalah pekerja rumah tangga: ILO
Diperbaharui 13 June 2013, 9:00 AEST
Organisasi Buruh Internasional (ILO) mengatakan setidaknya 10.5 juta anak-anak di dunia, kebanyakan perempuan, adalah pekerja rumah tangga.
Direktur ILO yang khusus menangani program global untuk menghapuskan buruh anak, Constance Thomas, mengatakan upaya internasional untuk menghentikan eksploitasi belum berhasil membasmi kegiatan tersebut sepenuhnya.
“Kondisi kebanyakan anak-anak pekerja rumah tangga tidak hanya merupakan pelanggaran serius terhadap hak anak, tapi tetap menjadi tantangan dalam pencapaian kebanyakan tujuan-tujuan pembangunan internasional dan nasional,” katanya.
Hampir tiga perempat anak-anak pekerja rumah tangga ini adalah perempuan, 6.5 juta diantaranya berumur antara 5 dan 14 tahun, menurut laporan ILO yang diterbitkan untuk memperingati Hari Anti Pekerja Anak Sedunia pada tanggal 12 Juni.
ILO mengatakan anak-anak sering dipekerjakan di rumah orang ketiga atau majikan, melaksanakan tugas seperti membersihkan rumah, menyetrika, memasak, berkebun, menimba air, menjaga anak-anak lain dan orang tua.
Rentan terhadap kekerasan fisik, psikologi dan seksual ketika bekerja, anak-anak ini seringkali terisolasi dari keluarga mereka, jarang terlihat di tempat umum, dan menjadi sangat bergantung terhadap majikan mereka.
ILO mengatakan anak-anak ini juga beresiko dipaksa melacurkan diri.
“Kita butuh kerangka hukum yang kuat untuk secara jelas mengidentifikasi, mencegah dan membasmi pekerja anak domestik, dan menyediakan kondisi kerja yang layak ketika mereka secara legal sudah cukup umur untuk bekerja,” kata Thomas.
Anak-anak pekerja rumah tangga tidak diakui sebagai suatu bentuk buruh anak di banyak negara karena hubungan kerja yang kabur dengan keluarga-keluarga majikan mereka, laporan itu mengatakan.
ILO mengatakan anak-anak tersebut tidak dianggap sebagai pekerja dan, sementara mereka tinggal dengan keluarga majikan, tidak diperlakukan sebagai anggota keluarga.
Anak-anak pekerja rumah tangga ini mewakili sekitar lima persen jumlah anak-anak yang bekerja dibawah usia 17 tahun di seluruh dunia, menurut ILO.
Lebih dari 20 juta orang, kebanyakan perempuan, dipekerjakan di rumah di kawasan Asia Pasifik, lebih dari 3 persen dari jumlah total pekerja yang dibayar.
Puluhan ribu pekerja rumah tangga wanita bermigrasi dari negara-negara seperti Indonesia, Filipina dan Srilangka.
Laporan tersebut mengatakan kemiskinan adalah penyebab utama eksploitasi buruh anak dan di beberapa tempat, terutama di Asia Selatan, anak-anak sering bekerja di rumah untuk membayar hutang keluarga.
18a)Franck Bainimarama fustige la BBC et le gouvernement britannique
Posté à 13 June 2013, 8:34 AEST
C’est l’histoire d’un député britannique, maintenant déshonoré, qui s’est fait piéger par des journalistes.
Ce député, très connu au Royaume uni, a dû démissionner du Parti conservateur pour ne pas plonger les Conservateurs dans l’embarras.
Patrick Mercer s’est fait piéger par des reporters du Daily Telegraph et de l’émission ‘Panorama’, de la BBC. Les reporters se sont fait passer pour des lobbyistes représentant une société fidjienne bidon : Alistair Andrews Communications, et ont réussi à filmer le député à son insu.
Le député britannique a signé un faux contrat de plusieurs milliers de dollars par mois et par lequel il s’engage à convaincre le Parlement anglais de réintégrer Fidji dans l’organisation du Commonwealth.
Patrick Mercer a ensuite effectivement mené campagne et aurait même déposé une motion parlementaire pour que les îles Fidji soient réadmises au sein du Commonwealth.
Daniel Fogo, reporter de l’émission ‘Panorama’, s’est déplacé aux Îles Fidji pour en savoir plus et j’ai pensé intéressant de vous diffuser les réactions de quelqu’un extérieur à la région du Pacifique qui arrive aux îles Fidji et de ce que dit ce quelqu’un à ses téléspectateurs britanniques.
FOGO : « L’accueil ici est très amical et les spectacles assez vivants. Mais pour une destination internationale c’est aussi assez calme. En fait, je ne me souviens pas avoir eu tant de plages pour moi.
Mais il y a une bonne raison à cela. La junte militaire qui dirige Fidji et ses terribles atteintes aux droits de l’Homme.
L’armée est au pouvoir depuis qu’elle a renversé le gouvernement démocratique en 2006. Le chef de l’armée, Franck Bainimarama, est devenu Premier ministre et en conséquence Fidji a été suspendu du Commonwealth.
J’ai vu le bon côté de Fidji, le côté que voient les touristes, mais qu’en est-il du côté obscur ? J’arrive à Lautoka, la capitale du sucre et c’est là que je vais rencontrer le dirigeant de la centrale syndicale qui va me raconter une histoire différente sur les temps modernes à Fidji. »
Daniel Fogo, reporter de l’émission ‘Panorama’. Pendant ce temps, Frank Bainimarama est en Nouvelle-Zélande et s’indigne sur les ondes de Radio Tarana à Auckland.
BAINIMARAMA : « Le gouvernement britannique a attaqué Fidji quand nous nous sommes retrouvés dans ce piège des médias. On connaît tous l’histoire : un député britannique accepte de l’argent pour poser des questions au Parlement. Il s’est fait piégé et a payé le prix. Malheureusement, la fausse société de communications représentait des hommes d’affaires fidjiens qui voulaient soi-disant que Fidji réintègre le Commonwealth, des hommes d’affaires même pas des représentants gouvernementaux.
Et nous, nous sommes retrouvés là-dedans sans avoir rien demandé à personne. Je suis content que les médias aient montré la corruption, mais je ne suis pas content que Fidji ait été traîné dans la boue.
Un ministre du gouvernement britannique n’a fait que salir Fidji en ignorant les faits : le manque de démocratie, les droits de l’Homme etc.
Pour l’amour du ciel, nous avons des élections l’année prochaine avec un million d’électeurs inscrits et tous les grands partis politiques en lice. C’est ça la démocratie et pas un mot là-dessus de la part de ce ministre qui ignore tout de la vraie situation à Fidji. Toute cette affaire a été décevante et injuste. »http://www.radioaustralia.
18b) Ouverture de la plus grande conserverie de thon du Pacifique Sud
Posté à 13 June 2013, 8:47 AEST
Cette conserverie – Majestics Seefood – est une coentreprise avec la Thaïlande et deux sociétés Philippines.
C’est lundi, dans la ville industrielle de Lae, que le Premier ministre de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, Peter O’Neill, a procédé à l’ouverture de cette conserverie qui, selon lui, devrait créer 7 000 emplois sur le long terme.
La Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée a bien l’intention de devenir un acteur mondial dans l’industrie de transformation du poisson.
La Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée veut détrôner la Thaïlande, considérée comme le numéro un mondial dans la transformation de thonidés, et utilise sa franchise de droits en Europe comme d’une carotte pour attirer les investissements.
18% des prises mondiales de thon s’effectuent en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et le Premier ministre insiste pour que chaque poisson soit traité sur la terre ferme de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.http://www.
20) Vanuatu launches cervical cancer vaccination campaign
Posted at 03:38 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
Health authorities in Vanuatu have launched a cervical cancer vaccination campaign.
It will cover more than 3,000 girls who are 12 years old.
The programme, which comes after a screening exercise on Efate in 2008, will be extended over five years from next week.
The national coordinator of public health in Vanuatu, Apisai Tokon, says the vaccine offers the greatest protection for girls at the age of 12.
Radio New Zealand International
21) Parents assured after Philippines rumours
Posted on June 13, 2013
Vice President of the Vanuatu Scholarship Students Association in Philippines, Kabrini Dick, has refuted rumours of threat to Vanuatu students studying in institutions in the Philippines.
The rumours came after the sudden death of two students recently and the late Vanuatu Honorary Consul to Philippines, Sampson Ngwele.
Daily Post understands that due to the rumors some parents have delayed sending their children back for the next academic semester.
Mr Dick, who was in Philippines when the three unfortunate incidents happened, said the parents could be assured that “the last three deaths happened as they have been formally reported.
“There are over 100 students studying in the Philippines and I can assure all parents that there is nothing of such as the rumours going around that there is a team assigned by directors of other institutions to kill Vanuatu students.”
He said Filipinos are very kind and friendly people and like anywhere else in the world they (as locals) will only react if they are insulted.
“Sometimes in the residential areas they even invite us to join them whenever they are having an occasion such as feasts. They are very good people who just love meeting new people and making friends.”
Meanwhile, Daily Post understands some of the Vanuatu students are not yet back in Philippines for the next semester although registration is about to close.
Some students had to convince their parents to let them return.
The Vice President of the Vanuatu Scholarship Students Association in Philippines also added that the students also have the responsibility to concentrate on their studies as the priority purpose for them being sent there in the first place.
“Of course there are city bright light attractions and alcohol is also cheap but as students we are not there for such practices and hope parents do advise their children not to get caught in unnecessary activities.
“On behalf of the Vanuatu students I would like to assure all parents that here in the Philippines is ok but it is always wise to keep in contact with your child as a concerned parent to keep her or him in track and your support in talking and encouraging him or her will boost his or her morale in order to stay safe and do well in his or her studies.”http://www.dailypost.
22) Fiji customs find fake university certificates
Posted at 01:45 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
The Fiji Customs Authority has seized 41 counterfeit certificates for one of the country’s universities at the border.
Fiji Village reports that a package was detained when customs officials became suspicious about the authenticity of the certificates.
Customs says the prepaid certificates were for an English language course and were destined to a local address.
Officials at the University concerned have confirmed that the certificates are counterfeit.
Radio New Zealand International
23) Lumped together data masks struggles among diverse Asian-American and Pacific Islander groups
By Online Editor
2:57 pm GMT+12, 13/06/2013, United States
Taken together on paper, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders appear to be a high-achieving bunch with few of the challenges faced by other racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. when it comes to education.
Break these populations down into their many ethnic groups, however, and stark disparities emerge.
For example, between 2006 and 2010, about three-quarters of Taiwanese-Americans and more than half of Korean-Americans aged 25 and older had earned bachelor’s degrees, but only 10 percent of Samoans and 12 percent of Laotian-Americans in that same age range had done so — large gaps that frequently go unseen.
Asian-American and Pacific Islander professionals spent two days in Washington last week puzzling over these types of disparities, and how schools and educational institutions can best deal with them. Some groups are so small in number that gathering data on them can inadvertently violate the privacy of specific children and their families, said Don Yu, special adviser to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Last year, the Education Department sent out a request for ideas on how to best tease out and collect data on the many Asian-American and Pacific Islander ethnicities, as well as information on what is already being done in some states, cities and school districts. Those ideas were discussed during the meeting.
Asian-Americans are often very visible academically, such as the spelling bee champion whose family emigrated from India, the class valedictorian of Japanese descent or the Chinese-American champion at the science fair. But such successes mask the academic woes of others, such as Cambodians and Native Hawaiians, said Kiran Ahuja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Unlike blacks and Hispanics who often emphasize success stories within their communities to dispel stereotypes, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders find they must draw attention to the less-successful among them to move beyond the “model minority” myth so struggling groups can get the help they need, said Robert Teranishi, an associate professor at New York University.
“Of course we take a lot of pride in the success of individuals in the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community, but what we try to emphasize is we do a disservice not looking at the full breadth of circumstances and the different experiences of all these individuals,” Ahuja said.
At the crux of the problem is how data on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are collected and kept. The Census Bureau collects information on more than two dozen specific Asian cultures. The Education Department separated Asian-Americans from Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians for data collection in 2007 — a move many communities feel still didn’t go far enough, Ahuja said.
The demand for more specific data has intensified as the growth in the number of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders has outpaced that of the U.S. population in general.
24) Vanuatu Agriculture College Council Chair Investigated
Chairman allegedly overspent funds on transportation
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 12, 2013) – The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Fisheries and BioSecurity, David Tosul, has told the Vanuatu Agriculture College Council (VACC) to carry out further investigations on the suspension of the College Chairperson.
The minister’s order came following a report he asked from the current VAC Chief Executive Officer, Neil Netaf, about the performance of the chairperson. The second VACC meeting this year held last Friday heard about this order when he stressed in his speech the need to address urgent issues about Agriculture College.
The First Political Adviser, Derek French, who accompanied the Minister to the meeting, told Daily Post, Chairperson William Nasak was suspended as a member of VACC the day before the meeting following the report of the CEO.
According to the CEO’s Report there are issues that he was involved in that needed attention. He has committed the college into an expensive exercise by selecting a barge which cost over 2.4 million vatu [US$25,117] to transport the college bus to Luganville which at best should have cost Vt140,000 [US$1,465].
“The Ombudsman confirmed they have written to the chairperson asking him to respond on why and on what grounds was the former Human Resource Officer (Jansen Moli, who was the former Minister’s brother) recruited. He failed to respond.
“The chairperson has on three occasions requested funds from the college for the former minister- a total of Vt250,000 [US$2,616]. The college was promised this would be reimbursed but nothing has been done up to now.”
Minister Tosul announced to the council he has given his First Political Advisor, Derek French, the ministerial appointment as council member and Interim Chairman of VACC until he is satisfied the investigation is complete.
At the end of his speech, Minister Tosul encouraged PA French to collaborate with the board members to make sure the future plans of the college are accomplished and that the college properly satisfies the farmers.
The council is the body responsible for promoting, linking and actively engaging students in the development of the agriculture sector as well as identifying funds and projects that drive the visions and aspirations of the college towards the future.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
25) Vanuatu keeps its tax haven secrecy provisions: what else?
Posted on June 13, 2013
Tax havens worldwide have been under discussion by many media in this and other countries of recent date as the world bodies of rich countries, the G8 and the G20 for example, look at how their interests are being to some degree compromised (they might say) by tax havens.
As recently as April, the G20 (central bank governors and finance ministers of the major economies) was calling for a coordinated effort to stop international tax evasion and calling on governments worldwide to share bank data.
The American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act makes Americans and companies from anywhere in the world meet very particular financial disclosure rules, and then data is passed to home governments. (Notice that not much attention is paid to the state of Delaware in the US, a tax haven in its own right.) (Notice, too, the media attention this week over sharing of lists of phone numbers by authorities worldwide. And then there was the much discussed alleged black listing of Vanuatu by France: not true.)
For the G8 summit next month in Northern Ireland, the British PM David Cameron has written to the leaders of Britain’s offshore tax havens, stressing the need to “get our own houses in order” as his move to try and stop the avoidance of tax paying by his own nationals. Cameron said he hoped the G8 would “knock down the walls of company secrecy” to reveal who really owns and controls what firms.
Take note that British PM David Cameron was addressing the political leaders of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the isle of Man, all of them British colonies or within the UK.
“I have made fighting the scourge of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance a priority for the G8 summit,” he told these leaders of essentially British places, just one month before their meeting.
“With one month to go, this is the critical moment to get our own houses in order.” He was calling on overseas dependencies and territories of which many have little choice in the matter. The brotherhood of these “nations” will compel their obedience. Note how they are mostly small tropical islands.
The British Empire rather disintegrated after the Second World War. Britain found it increasingly difficult to afford its empire, even though in many ways it had won the war (WWII). Decolonisation was also a condition of the Lend-Lease Act of 1941 in which the United States loaned Britain money and weapons and food over a period of years. Also the US was sympathetic to countries which wanted to be freed from rule by Britain. So to avoid being locked into struggles with nationalists, Britain started giving up its dependencies, but it did not go exactly to plan and then there was trouble in Southern Rhodesia and Malaya, the pound had to be devalued and Britain was forced to abandon any military presence “east of Suez.” When the UK entered the European Community in 1973, it no longer owned an empire.
It was with a certain amount of ease that Britain could escape from those very own rich dependent territories which also owned a thriving local mining venture or those possessing alienated plantations offering employment to many, such as the Lever Brothers ventures in the South Pacific. Fiji also had, and still has, sugar. But many small tropical island states had no obvious sources of mineral or agricultural wealth. Vanuatu, the then New Hebrides, was one such. For these barely developed places the tax haven, already pioneered in the Caribbean, seemed a good idea, bringing money in from overseas investors or their companies, simply wanting registration and/or residence (for which they paid a fee) in a tropical paradise. The only local tax could be a sales tax such as a GST, or VAT (only introduced after Independence here), and the new resident identities were able to avoid the tax of their own original countries on their businesses there.
One of the most spectacular tax haven successes was the British Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. It became a British overseas territory in 1962. Financial services were encouraged because people “can’t just live off bananas,” as one comment had it. In 2008, Cayman Islands was the fourth largest financial centre in the world.
However, a huge global business has since evolved worldwide, advising companies on how to minimise their tax liability by making use of such locations. Tax havens are competing with each other. And the very rich countries see these places as a real threat to their own economies.
And then there is the argument of bodies such as Oxfam. The British overseas territories’ tax havens hold 4 trillion pounds, depriving governments worldwide of one hundred billion pounds in revenue, says Oxfam. Emma Seery, Oxfam’s development finance head states: “These figures put the UK at the centre of a global tax system that is a colossal betrayal of people here (South America) and in the poorest countries who are struggling to get by, and put the government (of the UK) on the side of the privileged few. If they want to get on the right side of this debate, now is the time to take action. Britain’s credibility is on the line; talking tough on tax, whilst continuing to usher a third of the world’s wealth into UK tax havens, risks making a mockery of David Cameron’s leadership of the G8 summit in June.”
Emma Seery speaks of Cameron continuing to tour the world “making promises to clamp down on tax havens, but so far they’ve done absolutely nothing to make tax deals work for poor countries”.
They, the British, invented the modern tax haven. Now they are ‘moving the goal posts’.
So where do the small Independent tropical island states with no obvious sources of mineral or huge agricultural wealth now stand? Many people of and in Vanuatu would dearly like to know. They have inherited the British tax haven model. It hasn’t given their governments great wealth. Well, in May 2008 the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission’s (VFSC’s) George Andrews was quoted by The Australian newspaper at the time Mr Rob Agius was arrested.
The Australian quoted the Commissioner:
“The Vanuatu Government will scrap its secretive company law provisions within months as part of a legal overhaul aimed at abolishing the Pacific Nation’s reputation as an international tax haven.”
The VFSC said the country would replace its company law secrecy provisions – which allow for the creation of companies with hidden owners and undisclosed cash deposits – by the end of the year.
“Our aim is to get genuine investors in and try to steer crooks out of Vanuatu,” Mr Andrews told The Australian.
“We’ve been associated with this stigma for a long time and we now aim to get away from being a tax haven. We want to develop into some form of financial hub getting away from this financial secrecy business.”
He intimated to The Australian that Section 125 of the Vanuatu International Companies Act, about secrecy, would be removed by the end of the year .
It’s still on the law books, five years later.
There’s nothing about this dropping the tax haven on the 100 Day List. So do we remain a tax haven, come what may? It is time the new Vanuatu Government told us all about this.http://www.dailypost.vu/
26) Plans for 100pc mobile coverage in Fiji
By Online Editor
2:54 pm GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Fiji
Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has revealed that the government is working towards 100 per cent mobile coverage in Fiji by giving subsidies to companies that provide services in remote and rural areas.
“We are bringing 4G to Fiji, which will deliver super fast internet directly to people’s smart phone,” Commodore Bainimarama said during the opening of a telecentre at Lomary Secondary School on Monday.
“We have liberalised the industry and introduced genuine competition for the first time making phone calls and texts cheaper.”
He said service delivery was important to government, not just to promise better access to things like electricity, clean water, affordable housing, education and transport to the people but to deliver it.
“Under a new constitution, many of these things won’t only be services dependent upon one government’s policy or another but rights accorded to every Fijian no matter what.
“For the first time, the constitution will include permanent rights to housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, adequate food, clean water, a just minimum wage, social security scheme, health and sanitation.”
He said for ordinary Fijians, nothing was more important than having those rights protected in the new constitution.
“For my government, nothing is more important than making sure these rights are upheld and these needs are provided for.”.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
27) Air Niugini opens up Cairns, Rabaul, route
By Online Editor
10:08 am GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Papua New Guinea
In its effort to further promote tourism in Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini has opened up a new direct service between Cairns, Rabaul and Cairns on a trial basis.
The inaugural service commenced on Thursday May 30, 2013 with the scheduled services operating every Monday and Friday.
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Simon Foo said it is a direct service and is a small step inline with the National Government’s directive for the airline and partner agencies to work together to further enhance tourism into Papua New Guinea.
Foo said: “After almost forty years of operation, Air Niugini has not only built up its own reputation, but has been supportive in promoting Papua New Guinea as a tourist destination.
“The new Cairns/Rabaul/Cairns route is focused on just doing that, bringing in more tourists to Rabaul and PNG.”
Since the flights operate every Monday and Friday, it offers tourists the choice to either stay for the weekend in Rabaul or even the whole week, depending on what they are looking for.
Foo concluded that Air Niugini is committed as ever to the continuous development of tourism in Papua New Guinea and that the airline will continue to work in partnership with Tourism Promotion Authority and other stake holders in the promotion of Papua New Guinea through the opening of this route.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
28) PNG Energy Minister casts doubt on possible Exxon deal with InterOil
Posted at 03:39 on 13 June, 2013 UTC
Papua New Guinea’s Petroleum and Energy Minister has cast doubt on the viability of Exxon Mobil teaming up with the Canadian company InterOil to develop natural-gas fields in Gulf Province.
InterOil says it’s in exclusive discussions with the American oil and gas giant to develop the Elk and Antelope fields it has licences for.
Exxon already leads a 19 billion US dollar LNG project in PNG due to come on stream next year.
The Minister, William Duma, says the government has not received any formal advice from Interoil about an arrangement with Exxon.
He says if and when they get such advice, the arrangement and related issues of competition will need to be carefully examined.
“As a country there is some concern that it may not be a wise thing to allow one major energy company to dominate the industry in the country. There has already been some concerns expressed by some influential sections of the community so we are also mindful of that.”
Radio New Zealand International
29) Renewables growth shifts to developing nations
By Online Editor
2:55 pm GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Fiji
Renewable energy investments are shifting to developing nations as countries from Morocco to Chile pursue power sources that wean them off fossil fuel imports, two studies promoted by the United Nations said.
China’s $US67 billion of investment in wind, solar and other renewable projects led developing nations to $US112 billion of spending in 2012, according to an e-mailed statement today from the UN and other groups involved in the studies. That compares with $US132 billion of expenditure in the industrialised world.
The gap on renewables spending between richer and developing countries shrank to 18 per cent last year from 250 per cent in 2007, marking a “dramatic change” in investment patterns, the statement said. Two-thirds of the 138 nations that now have clean-energy targets are in the developing world.
“The uptake of renewable energies continues worldwide as countries, companies and communities seize the linkages between low-carbon green economies and a future of energy access and security,” UN Environment Program Executive Director Achim Steiner said in the statement. “More and more countries are set to take the renewable energy stage,” he said, citing “the logic and the rationale of embracing a green development path.”
UNEP and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management worked with Bloomberg New Energy Finance to produce one of today’s reports, while REN21, an association of scientists, governments and international organisations, wrote the other.
Total global investment in renewables fell to $US244 billion in 2012 from $US279 billion in 2011, due in part to a drop in the cost of solar and wind technologies, according to the reports. Solar photovoltaic installations rose to a record 30.5 gigawatts. Wind also hit a new annual record, with 48.4 gigawatts put in place.
The biggest regional surge in investment was in the Middle East and Africa, where spending grew 228 per cent to $US12 billion in 2012, according to the statement. The U.S., which led the world in 2011, fell behind China, with investment dipping 34 per cent to $US36 billion.
In Germany, spending fell 35 per cent to $US20 billion. In Japan it surged 73 per cent to $US16 billion as the government introduced subsidies for wind, solar and geothermal power following the earthquake in 2011 that closed most of the nation’s nuclear reactors.
“It is encouraging that renewable energy investment has exceeded $US200 billion for the third successive year, that emerging economies are playing a larger and larger part, and that the cost-competitiveness of solar and wind power is improving all the time,” said New Energy Finance Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich. “What remains daunting is that the world has hardly scratched the surface. CO2 emissions are still on a firm upward.”.
30a) Scam nets millions
Unsuspecting elite citizens lose thousands to global crime.
ABOUT eight Papua New Guinean elites have fallen victim to international money laundering scams, losing almost K1 million.
Among these leaders is a former Minister and Member of Parliament, a former top cop who was so traumatised he felt sick and died and several former Government Departmental heads who lost money to alleged businessmen and corporations in Nigeria, United Kingdom and the Philippines. A Papua New Guinean who migrated to Australia with her husband 15 years ago but divorced also fell victim to what she called a “love scam” where she lost $20,000 to someone she met online and who promised to marry her over a five-year period.
These elites (named) either transferred money through MoneyGram or Western Union and have wired money which included about K250,000 from a female elite who wired this amount in exchange of Pound 13 million for winning a lottery, a former MP and Minister K120,000 ( for a housing money transfer), K50,000 to assist a person who claimed was stuck in a war zone and couldn’t take her father’s $US 90 million parked in a trust account, K30,000 and K10,000 for stock trade in the United Kingdom.
The top cop (now deceased) who lost part of his 42 years of savings of K60,000 to a scammer in the United Kingdom who said he had won a yahoo $5 million lottery and a known businessman who lost K100,000 to a man in Philippines who claimed would send to him two heavy equipment machineries to use in the Highlands Highway roads. One of these network international scammers, according to a former departmental head, charged a one per cent fee on transactions through middlemen known as exchangers, who converted real currency into virtual funds and then back into cash.
“This is what they do. In my case, where me and my wife were in contact with this supposedly young girl who claimed she was in trouble and kept in a war zone in Syria and was living with a church pastor and needed her father’s lifetime savings of $US90 million parked in a trust account. She told us her father was a mining CEO when he was murdered. She made it so real as she would call us and we were in contact.
When I transacted three times money to the value of K50,000 in two years she never contacted us again,” one of the victims said.
“The scammers ask you to deposit a cheque for them, and then wire money back to them.
The scam is that the cheque is fake, but I never realised this until my husband and I argued over the funds transfer as he found several receipts for a transfer thinking it was real that I had won the lottery.
I played lotto internationally so when this came I did not think it was fake or a scam,” another victim said.
The former MP, on the other hand, advised that one of the scammers called him direct and told him that a luxurious house with five bedrooms upstairs and three downstairs, which could cost more than millions in PNG, was only going for K120,000 and immediately the materials could be shipped and two carpenters dispatched with it.
The leader, when he was still a sitting MP, sent the money straight away and three years later is still waiting for the house to arrive.
The Post-Courier contacted the police who advised that PNG did not have specific legislations on that and it was the first of its kind that leaders or ordinary Papua New Guineans were being conned.
They confirmed some people had approached the police to assist but because of the mechanism and lack of resources could not further assist.http://www.postcourier.
30b) Yu Tok……………Honesty, hardwork better ‘investments’
IF EIGHT highly educated Papua New Guineans can fall victim to international scams and lose close to K1 million in dodgy investments then what hope do ordinary citizens have against fraudsters?
In a country with a literacy rate of about 40 per cent and possessing a cultural and linguistic diversity that can be mindboggling, Papua New Guineans will always remain vulnerable to international scam artists looking for any and every opportunity to con someone.
The revelations in today’s edition of a former government minister and MP, an ex-policeman and former departmental heads investing between $10,000 and $120,000 in fictitious projects confirms that Papua New Guineans continue to turn a blind eye to warnings from financial sector regulators such as the Bank of Papua New Guinea despite the risks.
In the late 1990s PNG became overwhelmed with the presence of pyramid schemes Money Rain, Windfall, Bonanza and U-Vistract which promised 100 per cent returns per month and up to 1000 per cent in a 12-months calendar year. Thousands of Papua New Guineans invested in these schemes with the early investors capitalising on funding availability and walking out with huge payouts, eventually forcing the illegal entities to collapse and their small-time investors leaving without any returns from their investments. The BPNG moved quickly to shut down their services and investigate their proponents.
Fast forward 13-years later and Papua New Guineans continue to find themselves at the wrong end of their investment choices and decisions and thousands of PNG Kina poorer.
Lottery scams seem to be a favourite for these Papua New Guineans with the fraudsters asking for fees to be paid before they can release the monies won. One former PNG top bureaucrat wired K250,000 in order to get the lottery organisers to release a £13 million grand prize. Another one sent K60,000 to a fraudster in the United Kingdom in order to claim a $5 million lottery.
However, the risks associated with investing in international scams can be reduced if Papua New Guineans carefully look for common characteristics that show it is a scam. Some features to watch out for include names such as the “Spanish El Gordo” or “UK National Lottery”, the use of private email addresses such as @yahoo or @hotmail and a warning that the prizes will expire if not claimed soon (unless and until a processing fee is paid). And to guard against losing your hard-earned cash it is recommended that Papua New Guineans do not give their personal banking details (including credit card information) or respond to the correspondence.
Protecting Papua New Guineans against international scam artists will be a challenge for our law enforcement agencies, which are already stretched allocating resources and attending to appeals for assistance from crime-hit citizens. But Papua New Guineans can help themselves and others by looking out for common features of scams received via letters, emails, telephone calls and text messages. Living a good life grounded in the belief financial reward can only come froma life of honesty and hard work is essential and an effective guard against making dodgy investments for short-term gain.http://www.postcourier.
31) SHP-Gulf road thrives as major drug route
By HAIVETA KIVIA
THE access road from Moro in Southern Highands to Kopi and Kikori in Gulf Province is now a major drug trafficking route.
And, Gulf Provicial Police Commander Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari wants that route plugged.
Mr Gerari will be asking for assistance from the Police Headquarters in Konedobu and the political leaders of Gulf Province in Governor Havila Kavo and the Member for Kikori and Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations Mark Maipakai to mount an on-going operation in the area.
But, that route is not the only major concern, drug runners from the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and Morobe Province also use the World War 2 famous Bulldog Track from Bulolo District in Morobe province into Malalaua in Gulf province.
Reliable information obtained by Post-Courier also states that some traffickers also access drugs from Menyamya and Aseki in Morobe province and just walk over the ranges into Kaintiba and onto the Trans Island Highway to Port Moresby.
Mr Gerari talked to Post-Courier from Kikori where, he is currently touring that part of Gulf province to inspect police establishment, and also holding talks with logging and petroleum companies operating in the area on their engagement of police personnel.
“These companies are engaging police personnel without my consent and I am making it clear that I am in charge and permission must be sought from me,” he said,
“But my biggest concern is drug trafficking using the Moro to Kikori access road used by petroleum companies operating in the area.”
He said drug was being brought down this road from the Highlands region especially from Southern Highlands into Gulf Province and further up to Port Moresby undetected because of the lack of adequate police presence in the area.
He said the complex river system from Kikori to Baimuru also made detection hard and he woukld be requseting Police Headquarters to base a Water Police unit in Kirkori to be assited by a section of a Mobile Squad on rotational basis.
“I will also request additional manpower,” he said.
Police manpower right throughout the country is a very big concern and how soon Police Headquarters can respond to Mr Gerari initial reuqest is to be seen but he stated he would be presenting a report to Governor Kavo and Mr Maipakai to fund the operation.
“It is a big concern to me and the commuities in Gulf as a whole because the drugs are making their way into villages and it is destroyng the fabrics of the socities and the political leaders need to respond postively,” he added.
He said to help heal and restore communities in Gulf, the drugs must be stopped before they reach the province.http://www.
32) 36 MPs Accused Of Misconduct In Solomon Islands
Along with secretaries, MPs failed to declare finances
By Daniel Namosuaia
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 12, 2013) – In the Solomon Islands, 36 Members of Parliament and 17 Permanent Secretaries are facing misconduct in office charges.
This was over their failures to declare their financial affairs to the Leadership Code Commission (LCC).
LCC chairman Emmanuel Kouhota said with vast improvements to their Register of Interests Monitoring System, it is easy to detect leaders who disregard what the law requires of them.
He said amongst the 36 MPs are 21 ministers in the current government.
“It is the duty of government leaders and public servants to comply with what the LCC Act and the Constitution placed on them,” Mr. Kouhota said.
“In fact leaders should be role models and comply with what the law requires of them.”
Mr. Kouhota said the Commission will continue to charge and penalize leaders who fail to declare their financial affairs to his office.
“Leaders are therefore reminded to be mindful of their duties and obligations placed on them by the Constitution and the Leadership Code Act.
“If they are found guilty, a maximum penalty of SB$5,000 [US$686] is applicable as specified under the LCC Act,” he said.
Mr. Kouhota said the Commission also charged the MP for Small Malaita and Finance Minister Rick Hou following allegations of misconduct in office for placing himself in the position where he could have a conflict of interest.
This was after he approved and recommended SB$280,000 [US$38,444] of his constituency’s tourism funds to Afio Lodge, which was owned by his wife.
It was unclear if Prime Minister Lilo was among the 36 MPs since the Commission did not want to release the names.
However, the leaders were given 60 days to make written responses to the commission for charges laid against them.
“After the 60-day period, the commission will make its decision on the responses we received,” Mr. Kouhota said.
CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:
33) Julia Gillard and Arnold Schwarzenegger join forces on climate change
Updated 13 June 2013, 11:27 AEST
Julia Gillard and Arnold Schwarzenegger have written a joint opinion piece to urge global action on climate change.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have written a joint opinion piece to urge global action on climate change.
Ms Gillard will meet the Hollywood star in Perth today.
The opinion piece, published in News Limited newspapers, stresses that the two regions are not alone in acting on climate change, and says that by the end of the year more than 1 billion people will be living in a state or country where a price on carbon is in place.
“California and Australia have a lot in common – climate change threatens our fragile environments and aggravates serious bushfires, droughts and floods, which put our important agricultural industries at risk,” they write.
“Because of these similar challenges, even though we are leaders from different sides of the political spectrum, we strongly agree on two fundamental ideas – that taking action on climate change can no longer be delayed and that such actions can succeed beyond partisan politics.
“By the end of 2013, more than a billion people will be living in a state or country where a price on carbon pollution is in place, demonstrating that we are not alone.
“What the Industrial Revolution and the Information Technology Revolution have shown is that the people in regions which lead these transformations prosper the most and the soonest. It is the same with the Clean Energy Revolution.”
Gillard addressed sexism issue during fundraiser last night
Video: Ben Elton quizzes Julia Gillard (ABC News)
Last night Ms Gillard appeared alongside British comedian Ben Elton at a Perth fundraiser which had to be moved from a Fremantle school after a political row blew up over the use of school premises for political purposes.
During a Q and A session with Elton, she said she did not think the nation would be exposed to as much commentary about her gender.
“Some things have happened to me in terms of commentary about appearance and about gender – that won’t happen in the same way for the next woman who does this job and will happen less for the woman after that,” Ms Gillard said.
The PM’s comments came after a day dominated by a bitter row over a menu which included crude and offensive references to Ms Gillard’s body and was produced for a Liberal fundraiser attended by Mal Brough and Joe Hockey.
The owner of the Brisbane restaurant which hosted the fundraiser says it was a “mock” menu he created as a light-hearted joke and it was not given out on the night.http://www.
34a) Guam gets key posts in FIFA committees
By Online Editor
11:01 am GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Guam
Guam continues to increase its presence with key posts in new FIFA committees, according to a news release from the Guam Football Association.
Richard Lai, president of Guam Football Association, was voted as the Asian Football Confederation representative in FIFA’s Audit and Compliance committee.
The committee “has been established with the typical supervisory role of an audit committee and the additional responsibilities of a compliance program, as well as compensation and benefits,” the FIFA website states.
Lai also is part of the AFC’s executive committee and its chairman of both the Finance and Futsal & Beach Soccer committees.
He’s also a part of the AFC Financial Assistance Program Committee and the 2015 Asian Cup Organizing Committee.
Locally, Lai is the Guam Football Association’s president and chairman of the Men’s Committee.
Also confirmed during the FIFA Congress was the division of the Ethics Committee into two chambers — the investigatory and adjudicatory chambers. Guam’s Chief Justice Robert Torres was confirmed as a member of FIFA’s Ethics Committee’s investigatory chamber, the news release stated.
The investigatory chamber is chaired by the United States’ Michael Garcia, with Switzerland’s Cornel Borbely as deputy chairman.
Torres joins Jorge Ivan Palacio of Colombia, Ahmed Ould Abderrahmane of Mauritania, Nik Davidson of New Zealand, Vanessa Allard of Trinidad and Tobago and Noel Le Graet of France.
Torres also is part of the AFC Legal Committee.
Guam attorney F. Randall Cunliffe was confirmed as one of two AFC representatives in FIFA’s Appeal Committee.
The other was the United Arab Emirates’ Abdul Rahman Lootah.
Other members include Ahmad of Madagascar and Tourqui Salim of Comoros, Victor Garza of Mexico and Oliver Smith of Turks and Caicos Islands, Laureano Gonzalez of Venezuela and Bolivia’s Edgar Pena, Dan Kakaraya of Papua New Guinea, Samuel Ram of Fiji, Leo Windtner of Austria and Faroe Islands’ Christian Andreasen.
Cunliffe also is the chairman of the AFC Appeals Committee.
SOURCE: GUAM PACIFIC DAILY NEWS/PACNEWS
34b) Fiji celebrates victory, beat Classic All Blacks in centenary game
By Online Editor
11:11 am GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Fiji
The Flying Fijians gave their fans 100 reasons to smile as they defeated the Classic All Blacks in the Fiji Rugby Union centennial match at the ANZ Stadium in Suva last night.
The jam-packed crowd at the stadium celebrated with joy following the hard fought 33-14 win over a team which had former All Blacks greats playing.
Head coach Inoke Male said the players were inspired by the achievements of former Fiji rugby heroes which spurred the morale of the team.
Down 6-14 at the half-time, the Akapusi Qera-skippered side ensured that the Fiji rugby fans went home satisfied with the final outcome following a mesmerising performance in the second spell.
“This was a very special occasion for us. This match marked the 100 years of rugby in Fiji and I thank the boys for this win,” Male said.
“There was some individual play in the latter stages of the opening half which saw Classic All Blacks score points but I’m happy with the way we performed in the second half.
“This is for the fans and people of Fiji and to all those who have contributed to the success of Fiji rugby in the past 100 years.”
Classic All Blacks skipper Justin Marshall saluted the Flying Fijians for playing “intelligent” rugby.
“In the second half, the Fijians changed the game-plan; we didn’t expect them to kick the ball that much, their set piece was really good and also their scrum,” Marshall who is now a rugby commentator said.
“They turned a lot of balls and played good intelligent rugby.
“The stadium is amazing and the people they love rugby, they not only supported the centenary but they also supported Fijian rugby which looks to be on a real rise.”
Fiji scored all its three tries in the second half to Nemani Nadolo, Malakai Ravulo and Setefano Somoca.
Classic All Blacks only try was scored by former Highlanders and All Blacks flanker Adam Thomson.
Fiji 33 (Nemani Nadolo, Malakai Ravulo, Setefano Somoca tries; Seremaia Bai 3 conversions, 4 penalties).
Classic All Blacks 14 (Adam Thomson try; Orene Ai’i 3 penalties).
Flying Fijians – Setefano Somoca, Viliame Veikoso, Campese Maafu, Api Ratuniarawa, Wame Lewaravu, Netani Talei, Akapusi Qera( c), Masi Matadigo, Nikola Matawalu, Jiuta Lutumailagi, Napolioni Nalaga, Seremaia Bai ( vc), Nemani Nadolo, Sireli Bobo, Timoci Naqusa, Tuapate Talemaitoga, Manasa Saulo, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Api Naikatini, Malakai Ravulo, Nemia Kenatale, Simeli Koniferedi, Aisea Natoga
Classic All Blacks – Ben Suisala, AJ Woonton, Nick Barrett, Jason Rutledge, Joe Ward, Jay Williams, Bradley Mika, Jack Whetton, William Whetton, Adam Thomson, Chris Masoe, Jerry Collins, Rodney So’oialo, Justin Marshall (c), Kevin Senio, Orene Ai’I, Murray Williams,Sam Tuitupoou, Derek Carpenter, Josevata Rokocoko, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Rupen Caucaunibuca, Gavin Williams.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
34c) Future of Rugby World Cup Sevens confirmed
By Online Editor
11:04 am GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Ireland
The International Rugby Board today announced that, following consultation with Member Unions and major stakeholders, the popular Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament will be retained and integrated into the Olympic Games cycle.
The decision to integrate the event within the middle of the Olympic cycle will provide a key high performance pathway for teams around the world, ensuring optimum competitiveness at the Olympic Games.
With 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing at the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, RWC Sevens 2013 currently includes 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams, thus providing vital world-class competition for a greater number of players.
RWC Sevens also provides opportunities to more cities to host a major international Rugby event, showcasing the Game to a global audience and driving interest and participation.
In order for the quadrennial tournament to be integrated into the Olympic cycle in the most effective manner, the next event following RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow will take place in 2018.
This will ensure an Olympic Games or RWC Sevens will take place every two years and allow RWC Sevens to be used as a key springboard for our Unions towards the Games.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “RWC Sevens provides an opportunity for a large number of nations to compete at a high level. Like all Olympic sports, we believe that a world championship event will increase competitiveness, interest and participation, slotting into the multi-sport Games cycle and enhancing Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games and the sport as a whole.”
“Moscow 2013 is a reflection of the truly global reach of our sport and the event is on track to be a wonderful success. With unprecedented interest in hosting Rugby Sevens events, spurred on by inclusion in the Olympic Games, I am sure we can anticipate a keenly contested tender process for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.”
From June 28-30, the 2013 edition of the record-breaking event takes place at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which will see the finest Rugby Sevens players on the planet showcase their skills ahead of the Rio Olympic Games in three years’ time.
These are exciting times for Rugby Sevens, which has been a catalyst for Rugby’s growth into new territories since the IOC decision in 2009 and a spearhead for the sport become a truly global sport. The 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series enjoyed yet another record year, while the debut IRB Women’s Sevens World Series captured the imagination, giving the best women’s Sevens players a a highly-competitive, structured and global platform to showcase their talent.
Details of the tender process for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will be announced in due course after the Moscow event.
34d) Three Tongans suspended, out of Pacific Nations Cup
By Online Editor
11:07 am GMT+12, 13/06/2013, Canada
Tonga backs David Halaifonua and Siale Piutau and prop Edmund `Aholelei will miss the rest of the Pacific Nations Cup after being suspended for foul play in the loss to Canada last weekend.
All three will miss the test against the United States in Carson on Friday, and against Fiji in Tokyo on June 23.
They were suspended by an International Rugby Board judiciary after the 36-27 loss to Canada on Saturday in Kingston, Ontario.
Halaifonua, who contested his charge, was banned for six weeks until July 21 for a high shoulder charge on winger Matt Evans that caused Evans to be taken off on a stretcher. Halaifonua will also be unavailable for the Sevens World Cup in Moscow this month.
`Aholelei pleaded guilty to punching flanker Jebb Sinclair, for which he was sent off in the first half. `Aholelei was suspended to July 12, including a Melbourne Rebels’ Super Rugby game that day.
Piutau was banned for three weeks to June 30 after pleading guilty to punching hooker Ray Barkwill.
After the match, Tonga coach Mana Otai claimed Pacific Island teams were being unfairly penalized for their physical play.
“I couldn’t really see why (the yellow cards were issued),” Otai said after reviewing tape of the incidents. “It’s almost like, these days you know, when a black man is tackling harder than the other, it seems to be the way.”
Asked if Pacific Island teams were being singled out, he said: “Absolutely. It’s a perception a lot of times.”
Days after, Canada coach Kieran Crowley was still dismayed at the comments, and said the IRB penalties were justified.
“I don’t know how you could say they were legal tackles,” Crowley said. “I thought the definition of a tackle was you had to use your arms for a start. It’s pretty clear when you have a look at those incidents that they deserved (the sanctions) what they got.
“This is about the third or fourth time I’ve heard it, the racist sort of things. You’ve got to play within the laws of the game. And if you don’t play within the laws of the game, you get dealt with.”
Crowley said Evans, who was concussed, was a doubt for the match against Ireland on Saturday in Toronto.
34e) Samoa make single change
By Online Editor
11:03 am GMT+12, 13/06/2013, South Africa
Stade Francais prop Sakaria Taulafo is the only change to the Samoa starting lineup to face Italy in Saturday’s test in Nelspruit, Samoa Rugby Union said on Wednesday.
Coach Stephen Betham has kept faith with the majority of the side that defeated Scotland 27-17 in Durban last weekend.
Taulafo, who moved to France from London Wasps last month, takes over in the front row from Logovii Mulipola with the latter dropping to the bench.
There are three more changes among the replacements, Clermont hooker Ti’i Paulo takes over from Manu Leiataua, Japan-based lock Kane Thompson comes in for Faatiga Lemalu and uncapped Castres loose forward Piula Faasalele replaces Alafoti Faosiliva.
Prop Sam Aiono has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with an ankle injury and has been replaced by Bordeaux front row Benjamin Sa for the four-team mini-series also involving South Africa.
Samoa:15 James Sooialo, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Paul Williams (captain), 12 John Leota, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusiata Pisi, 9 Jeremy Sua, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Daniel Leo, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Wayne Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo
Substitutes: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Logovii Mulipola, 18 James Johnston, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Brando Vaaulu, 22 Seilala Mapusua, 23 Piula Faasalele.
SOURCE: SPORTS 24/PACNEWS