Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 870


1) FLNKS makes history and opens Pre-Summit Senior Officials Meeting in Poindimie New Caledonia

By Online Editor
12:47 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, New Caledonia

The in-coming Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group officially opened the Pre-Summit Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) at Poindimie, New Caledonia Thursday 13 June 2013.

A historical moment for Mickael Forrest the new incoming SOM Chair representing the FLNKS Political Bureau, as he takes up his new role as Chair of the SOM of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The SOM meeting which is exclusive only to delegates from the four member countries Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands Vanuatu and member FLNKS is being held from 13 to 14 June 2013. Participants arrived this week in New Caledonia to discuss key issues of common interests to the MSG membership including organizational issues of the MSG Secretariat.

Forrest confirmed that heads of delegations from the membership and senior officials will discuss for the first time the draft revised Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group which is the constitution of the grouping.

He said senior officials will also consider the EPG Report that will be presented for the first time to Leaders after the MSG Eminent Persons Group completed their consultations with key stakeholders around the region of Melanesia.

Forrest said under the Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group all issues to be presented to the Leaders’ Summit will firstly be presented to the SOM before further brought to the attention of Foreign Ministers of Melanesia before finally presented to the Leaders, the Prime Ministers from around the Melanesia independent states and the FLNKS an equal members within the MSG.

The new Chair of the MSG SOM said that he is also pleased to announce that the SOM will also consider a paper on the recommitment of MSG members towards the FLNKS. He also confirmed that among other common issues within the membership, the SOM will also deliberate on update reports on security, trade and preparations of the MSG for the Melanesia Games in 2014 in New Caledonia as well as the Melanesian Festival of Arts scheduled to be held in 2015 in Papua New Guinea.

Forrest said that Papua New Guinea has indicated in injecting K53 million (equivalent to over $25,000AUD) for the Festival.

He also confirmed that among the issues to be discussed by the SOM, he is also pleased to announce that for the first time in the history of struggle of the people of West Papua, the MSG SOM will discuss the application of West Papua for membership with the MSG.

Another key development for the organization to be considered by the SOM is the future association of the organization with partners both regionally and internationally. These partners have also been invited as special guests to this 19th MSG Leaders’ Summit and Senior Officials will be discussing the role of the MSG and its cooperation with these organizations.

Forrest said the FLNKS are very proud to host the MSG Senior Officials Meeting and look forward to a successful outcome of the meeting.

He said the outcomes of the Senior Officials Meeting will be presented as a report to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) later early next week.

2) Trade, extradition and West Papua on agenda for PNG-Indonesia talks
By Online Editor
1:03 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says trade, border issues and an extradition treaty will be on the agenda for this weekend’s trip to Indonesia.

O’Neill says the trip will mark a historic deepening of bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries.

He says trade will be a key focus, with a comprehensive partnership agreement covering economic links.

“We want to encourage further strengthening of the trade and investment opportunities between the two countries,” he said.

“[We want] to further develop the economic opportunities along the border area, and further strengthen the management of the border issues between the two countries.”

Border issues include people from Indonesia’s West Papua province seeking shelter in PNG, and ongoing reports of human rights abuses against pro-independence activists in West Papua.

O’Neill says PNG’s policy is that West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia, but he looks forward to discussing the border issues.

“We are encouraged by the invitation by the Indonesian Government, through the president, for the first time in its history asking Papua New Guinea to help in some of those issues in West Papua,” he said.

“We have taken up that invitation and we are going to positively discuss many of those issues…with the president and the Indonesian Government officials.”

O’Neill says PNG’s cabinet has agreed on an extradition treaty with Indonesia that will be discussed during the trip.

The discussion comes in the wake of the case Indonesian citizen, Joko Chandra, who fled to PNG and was made a citizen, despite it being illegal to hold dual citizenship.

O’Neill says he and Indonesia’s president have not discussed that specific case, which will be up to the courts to rule on.

“The ministerial committee’s decision is final – Joko remains a citizen of Papua New Guinea until the courts decide whether that citizenship is valid or not,” he said

“But of course if the president and the Indonesian officials bring up the issues, now the extradition issues are now going to be assigned between the two countries, we will process any of those issues, including this particular case in accordance with that treaty.”

Peter O’Neill said many ministers will be on hand to sign agreements and more than 100 business people will also join the delegation.


3) Police Break Up Student Rally At Papua University
Papua National Parliament leader arrested, released

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 13, 2013) – A journalist in Indonesia’s Papua province says yesterday’s student rally was forcibly broken up by police who are currently searching for the organizer.

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 organize 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 organizer Yason Ngelim, who is being harbored 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:

4) Freeport mine workers in Papua threaten to walk off job

Posted at 22:38 on 13 June, 2013 UTC

Trade union workers at the Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc mine in Indonesia’s Papua will stop work indefinitely from today if the company does not suspend those suspected of being at fault for a deadly tunnel collapse.

Freeport halted operations at the world’s second biggest copper mine in Papua last month, a day after a training area in a tunnel caved in, killing 28 people.

A separate accident at the Freeport McMoran-run mine two weeks ago killed a truck driver.

The firm declared force majeure on Wednesday to free itself from obligations to deliver copper concentrate from its Grasberg mine in Indonesia’s eastern most province.

Workers at the mine have been carrying out maintenance since the collapse.

In a letter sent to Freeport management on Monday, the union cited five company officials suspected of being responsible for the tunnel collapse accident.

Papua-based union official Virgo Solossa says those suspected have to be sent home while the investigation on the cause of the accident is still under way.

Meanwhile, Freeport Indonesia spokeswoman Daisy Primayanti said the company was in talks with the union.

Freeport employs about 24,000 workers, of which three-quarters belong to the union.

Radio New Zealand International

5) PNG sees steady stream of visits by foreign leaders
By Online Editor
1:00 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

A steady stream of foreign leaders and dignitaries has visited Papua New Guinea in the past 12 months.

They include England’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.

Several ministers and trade delegations from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Fiji have also visited the country during this period.

It is understood that the current political stability and economic boom in PNG are major contributing factors to increased number of visits by foreign leaders and dignitaries.

Just two days ago, Japanese Vice-Foreign Minister Minoru Kuichi visited PNG and met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Kuichi conveyed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s well wishes to the government and people of PNG.
O’Neill, in welcoming Kuichi, said that PNG-Japanese relations continued to be strengthened and enhanced and was anticipated to become even stronger in the future.

Their discussion focused on the people-to-people exchange under the Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) and the Kizuna Declaration, special visa arrangements to facilitate applications for diplomatic and official passport holders, economic and regional cooperation.

O’Neill told Kuichi: “Assistance from your government continues to mark remarkable and positive contributions to the economic and social development of PNG.

“The people of PNG continue to benefit from infrastructure, institutional building and agricultural developments provided by your government. This is very much appreciated by my government.

This has come about as a result of the role your government and investors have played consistently since the establishment of our diplomatic relationship in 1975.”

O’Neill also acknowledged the continued support and tireless work of the Japanese government through its various investors and organisations such as JICA.

He said he was grateful for the Japanese development assistance since independence but want the aid assistance to be aligned closely with the Government’s development programmes and priorities of health, education, infrastructure, law and order and business.

“We are also delighted with the investments by Japanese corporate citizens in many of our resource sectors.
The latest being in PNG’s first LNG project, which is set to commence late 2014,” O’Neill said.

On the regional front, he said: “PNG through the Pacific Islands Forum is constantly monitoring the political situation in Fiji to ensure Fiji implements its road map to return to parliamentary democracy by 2014.”

O’Neill also assured the vice-minister the Papua New Guinea Government would support Japan’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

6) PNG Local Government Nomination Period Extended
Candidates allowed more time to pay polling fees

By Shirlyn Belden and Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 13, 2013) – Nominations for the 2013 local level government (LLG) elections in Papua New Guinea have been extended by two days and will end tomorrow, Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen announced yesterday.

The extension would enable all candidates to pay their fees before the close of nominations at 4pm tomorrow.

Trawen made the announcement late yesterday afternoon in Port Moresby following concerns raised by election managers, candidates and voters.

Many candidates said the long Queen’s Birthday weekend did not give them enough time to be nominated and pay their nomination fees.

“The PNG Electoral Commission has received requests from election managers and returning officers, including potential candidates for this LLG election, to extend the nomination period until Friday.

“The time frame was affected by the Queen’s Birthday holiday on Monday where banks were closed and candidates were unable to pay their nomination fees.

“Other considerations included the geographical locations and remoteness of various LLGs for assistant returning officers to accept late nominations,” he said.

However, Trawen said this would not apply to the Motu-Koitabu and Angoram by-election as nominations in the areas went well since last Thursday.

Nominations for 2013 LLG elections were scheduled to close at 4pm yesterday.

Trawen said all dates and schedules for the LLG elections remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, director of election operations Margaret Vagi said yesterday that 10 provinces had received their rolls with the rest towards the end of the week and early next week.

The 10 were Milne Bay (June 1), Madang (June 2), Western Highlands (June 8), Jiwaka (June 8), Gulf (June 9), New Ireland (June 6), West New Britain (June 6), East New Britain (June 12), Morobe (June 12) and Western (June 12).

In Morobe, election stations in Lae Urban and Ahi Rural LLGs closed nominations at 4pm yesterday despite the extension.

Morobe assistant election manager Fredah Joses confirmed late yesterday that at two nomination venues in Lae – Lae City Council for the Lae Urban seats and Ahi local level government chamber at Malahang for Ahi Rural, ballot box numbers were being allocated to candidates.

One female candidate is contesting the Ahi president’s seat while four others have been nominated for four of the 17 ward council seats.

Electoral Commission officials said nominations in the two areas closed without any major incident.

In the Angoram Open by-election in East Sepik, 19 candidates have been nominated as of 4pm yesterday.

The seat was left vacant following the death of sitting MP Ludwig Schulze in March this year.

Schulze of the Pangu Pati unseated National Alliance strongman Arthur Somare in the national elections last year.

Former East Sepik provincial administrator Samson Torovi is among a list of high-profile candidates, including former University of PNG academic Dr. Kenneth Sumbuk.

The others are Jawa Matui, Michael Yasso, John Alman, Timothy Yangmari, Abraham Alok Ponga, Salio Waipo, Moses Gawi Sakurai, John Gawi, Lazarus Kenni, Peter Sam, Charlie Andrews, Luke Gawi, Stephen Mombi, Jeffery Balok Liversidge, Patrick Tangitban Wolly, John Maiben and Leo Alfred Unumba.

The National:

7) Vanuatu PM maintains his majority is stable
By Online Editor
10:14 am GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Vanuatu

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.

Carcasses was able to gauge the support of most of the government MPs as they converged on Port Vila for its second caucus meeting.

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, he told Radio New Zealand International.

8) New Caledonia Congress probes sacking of top tax official

Posted at 01:47 on 14 June, 2013 UTC

New Caledonia’s Congress has decided to set up a commission of inquiry into this week’s sacking of the head of the tax administration, Stephanie Boiteux.

She was dismissed by the President, Harold Martin, for expressing her view during a committee meeting on tax reforms last month when she had been asked to be silent.

Mr Martin says she had to be disciplined for breaching rules pertaining to her role.

Ms Boiteux has taken her case to court.

The Congress has opened a probe on behest of the Caledonia Together Party, saying she had shown perfect integrity and a sense of the common interest.

The tax debate was part of the resolution of a 12-day general strike last month aimed at lowering the high cost of living.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Fiji Constitution to include economic participation: PM Bainimarama
By Online Editor
10:20 am GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s new constitution will include the right to economic participation, says Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

While opening the Lomaivuna High School telecentre Thursday, he said the inclusion of the right in the new constitution means that Government must do everything in its power to help people achieve a decent living for themselves and their families regardless of their occupation.

“These rights cannot be tampered with or weakened in any way. Because Fijians know that different governments have delivered very different results, especially for ordinary people,” Bainimarama said.

He further said the new constitution will guarantee and protect every person’s right including housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, adequate food, clean water, a just minimum wage, social security schemes, and education.

The constitution is likely to be ready by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, former leader of the dissolved Green Party Bernadette Rounds Ganilau will form a new party.

Speaking to FijiLive, Ganilau said the decision follows the dissolution of the Green Party last year.

“We were just so encouraged by the number of people who were disappointed at the dissolution of our former party.”

Ganilau said they enquired with the Elections Office regarding the party registration process.

“We have been informed that if we get all necessary requirements needed under the Political Party Registration Decree then we would have no problems forming a new party,” she said.

The party, Ganilau says has also begun registration process with the collection of signatures. “Once we get our 5000 we would be able to register with the Political Parties Registrar.

“This will take time to collect, and we are happy with the people who have come forward.

“We have also had a lot of interests from various former politicians; however we would not be able to release their names as yet.”

The dissolved Green Party was formed in 2008 by Ganilau.

10) Fiji lobbies in Bonn
By Online Editor
10:09 am GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Germany

The Fijian government is lobbying for the establishment of a mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will ensure the full implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation activities (REDD-Plus).

Conservator of Forests Samuela Lagataki, currently attending the UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, Germany, said they want the new proposed mechanism included in the new Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP).

“The (mechanism) should also be supported by adequate additional and predictable funding from various sources such as public, private, bilateral, multilateral and market based mechanisms.

REDD-Plus goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Fiji’s interests on the issue is followed closely in Bonn by Lagataki and Fiji’s Principal Timber Utilisation officer Semi Dranibaka under the umbrella Coalition of Rainforest Nations (CfRN), which also includes Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

All countries under the CfRN come under the Group of 77 and China, which is chaired by Fiji.

“In this regard Fiji has a strong voice with respect to REDD-Plus as it goes through the negotiating group of the CfRN and the G77 and China,” Lagataki said.


11) New Nauru President Announces Cabinet Members
Waqa will also hold other government portfolios

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 13, 2013) – 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.

Radio Australia:


12) New bill seeks to make Maori Roll first option
By Online Editor
12:52 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, New Zealand

The Maori Party has admitted a private member’s bill that would automatically put Maori voters on the Maori electoral roll could work in its favour in Parliament.

The Maori Party has entered the Electoral (Automatic Registration on Maori Electoral Roll) Amendment Bill into the ballot.

The bill will add a clause to the Electoral Act which will see all Maori automatically listed on the Maori Roll, unless they choose to opt off and be listed on the General Roll.

“The other element to the bill is that if a Maori person does not choose to identify whether they go on the Maori Roll or the General Roll, the default position is that they will be registered in a Maori electorate,” MP for Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell says.

He said many Maori do not go on any roll, so it will hopefully increase participation in politics.

“Tangata whenua have a right to strong political representation and participation and it’s time that the Government took responsibility for supporting Maori engagement in the political process,” he said.

The Maori Party admits more people on the Maori roll could work in its favour, but Flavell says they still have to go up against other parties to win certain seats.

Flavell said the party believes the current Electoral Act does not promote strong Maori representation in Parliament, and says the idea has received a lot of support from their constituency.

University of Otago Professor Andrew Geddis told Newstalk ZB that the Maori Party wants as many voters on the Maori roll as possible, as that would increase the number of Maori seats in Parliament.


13) Wok bisnis,salim igo bek na West Papua i hed toktok blong PNG-Indonesia miting

Postim 14 June 2013, 12:21 AEST
Liam Cochrane i raitim

Praim Minista blong Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill itok wok bisnis,ol wari blong boda-mak na tok orait blong salim pipol igo bek bai istap long hed toktok blong dispela wik wokabout blong em igo long Indonesia.

Mr O’Neill itok dispela wokabout blong em bai makim tru histori blong strongpela wok bung namel long ol kantri istap klostu long Papua New Guinea.

Emi tok wok bisnis oa trade bai kamap olsem bikpela samting ol bai lukluk long en wantaim insait long wanpela tok orait em bai karamapim ol wok bung long ol wok bisnis.

Emi tok oli laik strongim moa ol pasin blong wok bisnis na investment namel lng tupela kantri.

Mr O’Neill itok tu olsem oli laik kamapim moa ol rot blong kamapim moa ol bisnis arere long ol boda eria,na strong tu moa ol wok blong lukautim na wuas gut long ol samting iwok long kamap long boda mak blong tupela kantri.

Ol wari blong boda mak em i karamapim ol wari olsem ol pipol blong West Papua provins i ronawei ikam na painim ples long stap insait long PNG, na ol ripot iwok long kamap long ol heve blong human raits agensim ol lain i sapotim independent blong West Papua.

Mr O’Neill itok tingting blong PNG i olsem West Papua emi hap blong Indonesia, tasol emi gat bikpela tngting long toktok long ol heve iwok long kamap long boda mak blong tupela kantri

Emi tok oli bin hamamas long dispela askim ikam long Indonesia gavaman em President yet ibin tingting long en,na dispela ibin namba wan taim long histri stret long dispela kain askim Papua New Guinea ibin kisim long halivim sampela long ol dispela wari long West Papua.

Papua New Guinea ibin tok orait  long dispela askim na ol bai toktok gut long ol dispela samting…wantaim President  na ol offisel blong Idonesia gavaman.

Mr O;’Neill itok kabinet blong PNG ibin tok orait long dispela tok orait blong salim bek pipol wantaim Indonesia na ol bai toktok moa long en long dispela wokabout blong ol.

Ol dispela toktok ibin kamap bihainim keis blong Indonesia man, Joko Chandra,husait ibin ronawei long kantri blong em na igo insait long PNG  na kamap sitisen ,maski long emi no stret long loa long emi holim tupela sitisen.

Mr O’Neill itok em na Indonesia President ino bin toktok long dispela heve, na itok  dispela nau bai samting blong kot  long mekim tingting long en.

14) PNG sumatin i wari long bihain taim long Australia stadi blong ol

Updated 14 June 2013, 11:33 AEST

Ol Papua New Guinea sumatin, husait i stadi ananit long Technical & Vocational Education & Training Skills Scholarship Program i autim wari olsem, taim ol igo bek long kantri, ol i save painim hat long painim wok.

Odio: Michael Karupang, Mechanical Engineering sumatin long Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE, Townsvile, Queensland.
Odio: Jennifer Kianandi, Cordinator blong Technical & Vocational Education & Training Skills Scholarship Program wantaim Office of Higher Education long PNG
Long 2011, wanpela wokbung namel long Gavman blong Australia na Papua New Guinea i givim jans long planti Papua New Guinea man na meri long igo stadi long Cairns na Townsville long North Queensland.

Taim dispela agriment ibin kamap, planti pipol tru insait long kantri ibin aplai long planti blong ol i soim bikpela interest.

Ananit long Technical & Vocational Education & Training Skills Scholarship Program, PNG bai salim ol sumatin igo stadi long ol TAFE Institution long Australia long halvim wantaim bikpela namba blong sumatin i lusim skul na ino gat wok.

Stat blong nambawan treining grup, samting olsem 120 pipol ibin graduat wantaim Certificate 2 na igo bek long PNG. Sampela blong ol i kisim wok wantaim ol kampani.

Dispela i luk gud tru, tasol igat pinis sampela toktok wari we, igat sampela sumatin, husait i pinis na igo bek long kantri, i wok long painim hat long painim wok na ino gat sapot longen.

Michael Karupang, i wanpela sumatin i stadi long Mechanical Engineering. Em i hap blong 29 PNG sumatin i kisim treinin long dispela taim long Barrier Reef Institute of Tafe long Townsville, North Queensland.

Em i tok planti tokwin na ol stori i stap pinis long ples olsem na em igat bikpela wari. ino em tasol, ol arapela wan-skul tu.

Long Ofis blong Higher Education long Port Moresby, Cordinator blong TVETSSP, Technical & Vocational Education & Training Skills Scholarship Program, Jenniffer Kianandi i tok, tru long stat blong program long 2011, ibin igat planti tingting wari, tasol nao ol i stretim na ol i wok wantaim olgeta sumatin insait long dispela Scholarship Program.


15) Indonesia dan Papua Nugini bicarakan perdagangan, ekstradisi dan Papua Barat

Diperbaharui 14 June 2013, 11:50 AEST
Liam Cochrane di Port Moresby

Perdana Menteri Papua Nugini Peter O’Neill mengatakan, perdagangan, masalah-masalah perbatasan dan perjanjian ekstradisi akan masuk dalam agenda kunjungannya ke Indonesia akhir pekan ini.

O’Neill mengatakan, kunjungan ini menandakan hubungan bilateral yang semakin erat antara kedua negara bertetangga.

Ia mengatakan perdagangan akan menjadi fokus utama dengan suatu persetujuan kemitraan komprehensif mengenai hubungan ekonomi.

“Kami ingin mendorong kesempatan perdagangan dan investasi yang lebih besar antara kedua negara,” katanya.

“Kami ingin mengembangkan kesempatan ekonomi di sepanjang daerah perbatasan dan memperkuat penanganan masalah-masalah perbatasan antara kedua negara.”

Yang menjadi masalah perbatasan adalah warga Papua Barat yang mengungsi ke PNG dan laporan-laporan tentang pelanggaran HAM terhadap para aktivis pro-kemerdekaan Papua Barat.

O’Neill mengatakan, kebijakan PNG adalah bahwa Papua Barat sebagai bagian integral dari Indonesia, tapi ia ingin membahas masalah-masalah perbatasan.

“Kami berbesar hati oleh undangan dari pemerintah Indonesia, melalui Presiden, yang untuk pertama-kalinya dalam sejarah meminta Papua Nugini membantu menyelesaikan masalah-masalah di Papua Barat,” katanya.

“Kami menerima undangan itu dan kami akan membahas secara positif masalah-masalah tersebut dengan Presiden dan para pejabat pemerintah Indonesia.”

O’Neill mengatakan, kabinet PNG telah menyetujui sebuah perjanjian ekstradisi dengan Indonesia yang akan dibahas dalam kunjungan itu.

Pembahasan mengenai persetujuan ekstradisi itu menyusul kasus Joko Chandra yang lari ke PNG dan menjadi warganegara PNG.

O’Neill mengatakan dirinya dan Presiden SBY belum membahas kasus ini.

“Keputusan komisi tingkat menteri sudah final – Joko tetap sebagai warganegara Papua Nugini sampai pengadilan memutuskan apakah kewarganegaraannya sah atau tidak,” katanya.

Peter O’Neill mengatakan para menteri siap menandatangani persetujuan dan lebih dari 100 pengusaha juga akan ikut dalam delegasi itu.


16) La Coalition nationale de libération de la Papouasie occidentale à Nouméa

Mis à jour 14 June 2013, 8:36 AEST
Pierre Riant

Cette coalition sera présente à Nouméa la semaine prochaine à l’occasion du sommet du Fer de Lance.

La Papouasie occidentale est une province indonésienne qui lutte depuis plus de 50 ans pour son indépendance. C’est le FLNKS de Nouvelle-Calédonie qui a invitée cette coalition à ce 19ème sommet des dirigeants du Groupe Mélanésien Fer de lance (GMFL) qui sera présidé par Victor Tutugoro du FLNKS.

C’est au Vanuatu que nous avons parlé à Andy Ayamiseba, lobbyiste de la Coalition nationale pour la libération de la Papouasie occidentale (CNLPO) qui participera pour la première fois à titre d’entité indépendante.

AYAMISEBA : « C’est la première fois que nous sommes invités en tant qu’entité indépendante par le pays hôte du Fer de Lance. Dans le passé,  le Vanuatu nous a toujours inclus dans sa délégation pour que nous puissions faire du lobby pour devenir membre. Mais cette fois, je peux vous dire que nous sommes une entité indépendante invitée directement par le pays hôte du Fer de Lance. »

Une délégation de 5 personnes dont le Vice-président de la CNLPO, Otto Ondawame. Du temps a été accordé à cette délégation pour qu’elle puisse demander officiellement aux délégués son intégration au Fer de Lance. Une demande a d’ores et déjà été fournie au secrétariat du Fer de Lance à Port Vila.

AYAMISEBA : « Je me sens très heureux parce que quand vous plantez quelque chose dans le jardin vous attendez de pouvoir la récolter. Nous avons planté ici au Vanuatu et nous commençons à voir le fruit.
Et cela va élever le statut de notre lutte en ayant le soutien de notre région immédiate. Et la communauté internationale sera obligée de reconnaitre les faits : elle dira, oui, c’est vrai, la Papouasie occidentale bénéficie du soutien de la région immédiate où elle se trouve. »

Des propos recueillis par Hilaire Bule.

17) L’exploitation des abysses inquiète les églises vanuataises

Posté à 14 June 2013, 8:27 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le Vanuatu a accueilli cette semaine le troisième atelier de travail régional sur l’exploitation des grands fonds marins.

L’ancien président du Conseil des églises chrétiennes de l’archipel, le pasteur Alan Nafuki, y a participé. Il nous a confié ce qu’il pensait de cette exploitation du plancher de l’océan.

NAFUKI : « Les églises du Vanuatu mais aussi du Pacifique Sud sont très inquiètes de cette exploitation des grands fonds. Nous avons exprimé notre opposition à cette idée d’exploitation minière dans plusieurs conférences.
Mais je vous le dit et je m’exprime au nom du Conseil des églises chrétiennes du Vanuatu, les églises sont très inquiètes par cette exploitation minière des grands fonds. »

Des licences d’exploration auraient déjà été attribuées par le gouvernement à des sociétés étrangères…  Les explications du pasteur Nafuki.

NAFUKI : « Pour être franc, les églises et la population du Vanuatu ne savaient rien sur cette histoire de gouvernement qui a signé avec des sociétés étrangères à propos de l’exploitation des grands fonds. Nous ne le savions pas. Et puis ce matin, à l’atelier de travail, j’ai entendu le ministre des Terres, l’honorable Ralph Regenvanu, dire que des tas d’accords ont été signés et concernent les eaux du Vanuatu. C’est la première fois que j’entends parler de ça. »

Après cet atelier de travail, que va faire le Conseil des églises chrétiennes du Vanuatu. La réponse du pasteur Nafuki.

NAFUKI : « Je pense que c’est une bonne question et je vais dire au gouvernement qu’il devrait écouter le peuple. Après cet atelier, les gens auront des choses à dire sur cette mer que l’on donne à d’autres gens et à d’autres sociétés. Nous avons besoin de savoir en premier et notre avis doit être pris en considération avant de commencer quoi que ce soit de cette exploitation minière des grands fonds. »

Mais c’est la dissémination de l’information sur l’impact environnemental de l’exploitation des grands fonds qui tracasse le plus Alan Nafuki.

NAFUKI : « Oui, après avoir examiné le rapport, notamment sur l’impact de l’exploitation des grands fonds, je m’aperçois qu’on ne sait rien de cet impact. Il faut qu’on nous dise ce qu’il va se passer quand on va exploiter notre océan. Les gens de la mer, comme je dis, dépendent de cette mer pour vivre et c’est pareil avec les forêts. Nous avons besoin de savoir et besoin d’être entendu avant de faire quoi que ce soit. »

Depuis le gouvernement du Vanuatu a réagi: l’exploration minière des grands fonds marins ne sera pas autorisés dans ses eaux territoriales tant qu’un impact en profondeur sur l’environnement n’aura pas été effectué et tant qu’il n’y aura pas toute une série de vastes consultations avec le public et la société civile.


18) Radio NZ names Fairfax boss as new CEO

By Online Editor
10:03 am GMT+12, 14/06/2013, New Zealand

Radio NZ has head-hunted Fairfax Media editorial boss Paul Thompson to shake up its operations, amid assurances it will remain commercial free.

Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss yesterday would not comment on Thompson’s appointment as chief executive and editor- in-chief at Radio NZ, saying that was a matter for the board.

But it is being seen inside the state broadcaster as a move to introduce changes that outgoing chief executive Peter Cavanagh had resisted.

Cavanagh had been RNZ chief executive for 10 years. In RNZ’s annual report for 2011/2012 his remuneration was in the NZD$340,000-$350,000 range.

Thompson said commercialisation – long feared by the state broadcaster’s loyal listeners – was not part of his thinking as the new boss.

“That’s not up for discussion,” he said. Being a state-funded public broadcaster “is the absolute essence” of RNZ.

“I’m certainly not going there to turn a commercial-free world on its head. It is a commercial-free state-funded broadcaster. It’s not changing.”

Foss said RNZ was facing the same challenges as all media organisations, with strong competition for “eyes and ears”.

There was no change of policy on sponsorship as an additional income source alongside state funding.

“Always open to suggestions from the board, from RNZ if they wanted to raise those.”

There were other opportunities across the internet and around the new website.

RNZ had seen no increases in funding in recent years.

But Radio NZ chairman Richard Griffin said that would have to change.

“Obviously as the minister says, we have got to keep looking for every opportunity we can. We’re so far behind other public broadcasters in terms of funding that we have to look for every opportunity, and Foss has been very forthright in his enthusiasm for our doing so.”

He had not expected more cash in the May 16 Budget, but more funding would be needed in future.

“It’s self-evident we are going to have to have more funding if we want to keep up the same level of services we have been doing for the last five years.”

Griffin said there was no plan for sponsorship.

The only new funding stream was a proposal to run Parliament’s television channel.

There were no plans for a single newsroom involving TVNZ.

“It’s not something I will be presenting a new chief executive with,” Griffin said.

Changes would be Thompson’s call. “We are always looking for innovation. He brings with him extraordinary experience on multi-level media.

“The whole technology Paul has been donkey-deep in in Fairfax for a number of years is where we are going too.”

At Fairfax, Thompson has for six years overseen the country’s biggest stable of newspapers, including The Dominion Post, the website Stuff and a range of specialist magazines.

He is a former editor of The Press and the Nelson Mail, spending 18 years at Fairfax after starting as a reporter on the Waikato Times.

He did not see his lack of radio experience as a problem. His strengths were in management and editorial, he said.

“Radio is different but you’ve got to remember that my role has been purely around the editorial, and the audience, and the stories and the journalism,” he said.

“Great content for Kiwis . . . that’s very much what I’m taking into the new position.”

Thompson, who leaves Fairfax in three months, said the company was in good shape editorially “and will remain in great hands”.

19) Tonga Newspaper Fined For Defaming PM, Other Leaders
Letter to editor alleged officials could not be touched by law

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 14, 2013) – A letter writer to the Kele’a and the newspaper, along with its publisher and editor, were ordered to pay a total of TOP$249,442 [US$138,425] in damages and costs in a civil defamation case that was brought by the Tongan Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano and six Cabinet Ministers.

On 12 June, Police Magistrate Paula Tatafu found the defendants guilty of defaming the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers, when on 29 October 2012 a letter to the editor, written by Solomone Palu, was allowed by the editor, Mateni Tapueluelu and to be published by the publisher, Laucala Tapueluelu in the Kele’a newspaper.

The four defendants were Solomone Palu, the letter writer, Laucala Tapueluelu the publisher, Mateni Tapueluelu the editor, and the Kele’a publication.

The plaintiffs claiming defamation were the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano; Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu; Minister of Commerce, Tourism and Labour, Dr. Viliami Latu; the Minister for Revenue, Hon. Fe’ao Vakata; the Minister for Education and Training, Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki; the Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forests and Fisheries, Hon. Sangster Saulala; and the Minister of Justice, Hon. Clive Edwards.

‘Akilisi Pohiva acted as counsel for Solomone Palu; and Sione ‘Etika was counsel for the Kele’a newspaper and its publisher and editor.

Hon. Clive Edwards represented himself, the Prime Minister and the five other Cabinet Ministers.

The court was told that the letter alluded to how some were blessed by the fact the law would not touch them. It referred to a decision to pay out TOP$34 million [US$18.9 million] of government money and stated it was wrong. It also referred that if the wrongdoing had been committed by People’s Representatives they would have already been taken to court.

Not named

Police Magistrate Paula Tatafu in his decision of 12 June stated that the plaintiffs were not named in the letter, but there were references to the Prime Minister, his ministers and government leaders. The Police Magistrate interpreted that to mean “the Prime Minister and the six Cabinet Ministers,” the plaintiffs.

Attempts by the defendants’ counsel to use Fair Comment and Qualified Privilege as a defense were rejected by the Police Magistrate.

Each of the four defendants were ordered to pay TOP$5,000 [US$2,775] each to each of the seven plaintiffs, and also to pay the costs of legal fees for each of the plaintiffs, ranging from TOP$3,762 to TOP$4,001 [US$2,087 to US$2,220].

Legal fees

The legal fees for six Cabinet Ministers, who were represented by the Minister of Justice himself, Hon. Clive Edwards, amounted to a total of TOP$27,356.90 [US$15,181].

In addition to that, the Magistrate awarded the Minister of Justice TOP$37,452 [US$20,783] (being for damage TOP$20,000 [US$11,098] and costs of TOP$17,452 [US$9,684] for representing himself).

Mateni Tapueluelu, the Kele’a editor, said that they had launched an appeal against the decision.

Matangi Tonga Magazine:


20) Inmates To Get Vocational Training At Solomons University
Training hoped to help inmates reintegrate after release

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 14, 2013) – Solomon Islands National University (SINU) will conduct vocational training for inmates throughout the country.

This followed the signing of a vocational training agreement between SINU and the Correctional Services of Solomon Islands (CSSI), yesterday.

The agreement commits the School of Technology and Maritime studies, Institute of Technology of the university to deliver vocational trainings to inmates in Correctional Services facilities throughout the country.

SINU Vice Chancellor Dr. Glynn Galo thanked the Commissioner of CSSI Francis Haisoma for choosing the university to be its partner in this “very noble undertaking.”

Dr. Galo said that the signing of the agreement will allow the Institute of Technology and the Correctional Services to continue to deliver trainings for inmates in the facilities.

“This commitment made by SINU to provide vocational training for inmates will run until August 2015,” a statement SINU issued said.

“As part of its role to deliver education and training to people of Solomon Islands, the National University will work with stakeholders such as the CSSI and others to deliver training to our people when and where it is needed,” the statement said.

In his reply, Mr. Haisoma thanked Dr. Galo for accepting the request for SINU to delivery training for its inmates.

He said that the training they receive will help inmates to integrate back into the communities when they leave the correctional facilities.

He also said that training programs such as the one signed yesterday is part of the rehabilitation program provided for inmates.

“I am pleased to see the SINU supporting the Correctional Services on this very important program,” Mr. Haisoma said.

He added the National University has been providing training for inmates in Rove and Tetere correction facilities in past.

The signing of the agreement consolidates the commitments each stakeholder has in the process of rehabilitating inmates through training.

In addition to providing trainings for the CSSI, the University also conducted vocational trainings to many communities throughout the country.

Vocational areas covered in the training program are small engines service, repair and maintenance, welding, basic plumbing and Joinery skills.
Solomon Star


21) New procedure fighting type 1 diabetes

By Online Editor
12:53 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Australia

Australian doctors say they have perfected a procedure which stops life-threatening complications in patients with type 1 diabetes.

They have found that transplanting human pancreas cells can stop patients passing out without warning.

The procedure has meant many people have been able to give up using insulin completely.

Sydney woman Ruth Cummock lived for years with the fear that she might pass out because of complications she suffered from type 1 diabetes.

After a transplant at Westmead Hospital her attacks are gone and she no longer requires insulin.

“It gave me a lot more independence. It means I can do what I want when I like,” Cummock said.

Doctors at the hospital took donated human pancreas cells and infused them into Cummock’s liver.

Seventeen other patients have had the same treatment.

“We took a group of patients that had failed normal therapy, had the worst diabetic control, and gave them the best diabetic control, which was a huge advance,” Professor Philip O’Connell said.

Professor O’Connell says 60 per cent of patients were able to go off insulin completely.

“The majority of people who got off insulin stayed off insulin for more than two years,” he said.

“But even if they do require to go back on insulin they still have good control of their blood glucose and don’t have hypoglycaemic episodes.”

He says the procedure has been life-changing for the patients.

“At best they were socially isolated, at worst they were at risk of death… so now they don’t have the hypoglycaemic episodes,” he said.

“They’ve been able to lead a much more outgoing life, they’ve been able to do things they couldn’t do before.


22) Cook Islands To Reopen Nursing School By October
Administrator says school looking to fill vacancies

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 13, 2013) – The Cook Islands will reopen its nursing school with an improved course offering a higher qualification for nurses.

The nursing school closed in 2008 to identify and review the gaps within its curriculum.

Now with promised government funding and with help from the Auckland University of Technology in curriculum development, the school hopes to reopen in October.

Earlier this year the World Health Organization had agreed to procure text books and equipment for the school.

Chief of Nursing Ngakiri Teaea says they are now in the process of filling vacancies for a principal, lecturers and a librarian.

The school is expected to start with 12 students in its first year.

Over the past few years, trainee nurses had to go to New Zealand to complete their course.

Ms. Teaea says some 20 contract workers from other Pacific islands had to be employed to fill in for the shortage in nursing staff.

She says that did pose some problems, especially for the elderly who had language difficulties trying to converse with the contract workers.

The re-opening of the school will improve healthcare by addressing staffing issues, improve frontline services and support nursing shortages

Radio Australia:


23) Nautilus defends validity of Vanuatu mining licences

By Online Editor
10:05 am GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Vanuatu

A mining company licensed to explore Vanuatu seabeds is confident its licences are valid, despite revelations that dozens were issued without proper consultation.

The recently installed Lands Minister, Ralph Regenvanu, revealed this week that 148 licenses have been issued over the past five years.

He says the licences were never approved by the Council of Ministers or Parliament, but only by previous Land Ministers.

But the Vice President of Exploration at Nautilus Minerals, Jonathan Lowe, says the company has no doubt its licences are valid.

“Nautilus is confident about the Vanuatu authorities following due process with respect to our applications. Obviously I can’t speak to those of our competitors or what the minister does or doesn’t know about his new portfolio.”

Lowe says Nautilus submitted renewals for the applications two weeks ago, and that departmental authorities in Vanuatu were accommodating and aware of what the due process was.

Regenvanu says only one of the licences was gazetted and is now seeking legal advice about the rest.


24) Solomon Islands Government told to defer Mineral Resources Authority bill
By Online Editor
12:50 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Government is urged to defer the proposed Mineral Resources Authority Bill, which it plans to table in the November parliament sitting this year.

Representatives of a three-day consultation forum made the call at the end of the consultation process in Honiara yesterday.

Former Temotu premier Johnson Levela said it’s too early to pass the bill.

“The Government must first look at the implication the bill may cause to the proposed federal system of government the country plans to adopt,”  Levela said.

“We want the government to relook at the draft and align it to other acts that are already established to ensure there are no future repercussions.

“It’s a good bill but the government must be cautious because it might bring negative implications on other laws relating to resources.”

Speaking on behalf of the landowners, former Central Guadalcanal MP Walter Naezon said the bill cannot be passed in its current form because it was drafted without landowner consultation.

He said the three-day consultation which ended yesterday was insufficient because the majority of landowners and community leaders were not part of it.

“I appeal to the government to take heed of the position of landowners, that we reject this bill in its current form” he said.

The draft bill was said to have been modelled on a similar Act in Papua New Guinea.

Geologists and mining companies said the country has a lot to learn from the PNG experience.

“It took Papua New Guinea seven years before it enacted its Mineral Resources Authority Bill,” local geologist Cromwell Qopoto said.

“As such, we also need some more years before we could establish our own Mineral Resources Authority.

“We cannot compare Solomon Islands with Papua New Guinea because they have millions of mineral deposits and more mining operations.

“We currently have only Gold Ridge. This is an area the government need to take note of.”

Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Moses Garu said the views expressed were taken on board and the Government will consider what steps to take.

25) Samoa Government Budget Allegedly Ignores Private Sector
Analyst says state plans to increase fees for businesses

By Sophie Budvietas

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 12, 2013) – The private sector might be regarded as the engine of economic growth but you wouldn’t know it looking at this year’s budget, announced by Samoa’s Minister of Finance, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, last month.

As a matter of fact, the government has left local businesses in the cold through its failure to make private businesses an expenditure priority this financial year.

The concern was highlighted during the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s monthly meeting held on Monday. Members heard the 2013-2014 budget did not list the sector as one of its spending priorities.

The Chamber’s Policy Analyst, Osana Liki, pointed out that the theme of the budget was “Rebuilding Our Economy.”

Yet, according to the Faumuina’s budget speech, the key expenditure priorities are: cyclone recovery, education, health agriculture, infrastructure, telecommunications, tourism, Small Island Developing States Conference (SIDS) 2014 and a cost of living adjustment.

“You will notice that private sector development isn’t one of the key priorities for this year,” she told members. “But let’s hope there’s room for private sector development next year.

“In relation to its (the budget’s) distribution as we all know, Samoa will play host to the SIDS conference in 2014 as well as the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015.

“So we know that these two events will drive the pattern of government spending for the next three years.”

Ms. Liki also discussed revenue raising measures – of which the private sector will be a main contributor – despite not being consulted by the Finance Ministry prior to its decision.

Ms. Liki said although the Finance Ministry held off on a tax hike, government service fees were increased.

“There will be no increase in VAGST but the government is looking at reviewing non tax revenue,” she said. “Or should I say they have already done the review of non-tax revenue without consulting the private sector.

“The government has already done a pilot study for eight ministries and SOEs (State Owned Enterprises). Now non-tax revenues are fees and charges different from taxes collected by the ministry of revenue.

“These are fees charged for services that the ministries offer as well as SOEs. We have asked the Minister of Finance to meet with the private sector so that we can get more information on this review.”

By increasing the service fees the government hopes to collect more than $5 million tala [US$2.1 million].

“Government is proposing to review the fees and charges for eight pilot Ministries and SOEs to reflect the true cost of providing that service,” Faumuina told Members of Parliament during his budget address.

“It must be noted that careful consideration was given to ensure that the new fees and charges would have minimal effect on the public and businesses and that access to essential services is not restricted for everyone.

“The proposed adjustments to non-tax revenues for the pilot ministries will apply from 1st July 2013 and is estimated to collect an additional $5.3 million tala [US$2,2 million] for Government.”

Ms. Liki said she hoped the Chamber would hear back from the Finance Ministry soon so they could receive clarification on the increases and what they mean for Chamber members.

Samoa Observer:


26) Fiji regime again refuses to disclose its pay

Posted at 01:47 on 14 June, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has again refused to disclose his income after the leaders of three political parties called on the regime leaders to explain what they describe as their outrageous salaries.

The parties say according to reports on the internet, the Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, receives more than 700,000 US dollars a year.

The reports claim Mr Sayed-Khaiyum gets just over half a million, which is slightly more than the pay of the US president.

Under the regime’s Political Parties decree, politicians aspiring to be elected to office have had to declare their finances, including those of their spouses and children, although the regime is yet to clarify if that includes adult children.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has told Fijivillage that it is a major concern that unverified information is being used by the parties.

Earlier this year, he said he would make his income public in July.

Radio New Zealand International

27) Solomons police arrest seven for Chinese businessman’s kidnap

Posted at 01:47 on 14 June, 2013 UTC

Solomon Islands police are reported to have arrested seven people in the capital Honiara for kidnapping a Chinese businessman on a public bus and demanding he pay them an undisclosed ransom.

The Solomon Star reports that the victim was heading for the town centre when he was blocked from getting off the bus and driven around a range of locations while his captors made him contact his shop to organise handover details.

The paper cites a police report stating the man was threatened with screw drivers and forced to arrange for a large sum of money to be collected from his business in return for his release.

The report states the man escaped from the bus when it developed a flat tyre and had to stop for a repair.

It says he was picked up by a public vehicle when he was seen running along the Kakabona road strangely.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry has condemned the kidnapping and hopes to hold a meeting with the Chinese Business Association to address that body’s concerns.

The acting provincial police commander for Honiara city, Superintendent Mostein Mangau, says assistance from the public helped the police make the arrests.

Radio New Zealand International

28) ‘Two Strikes’ Criminal Bill Criticized On Guam
Bill would see repeat offenders sentenced to life

By Louella Losinio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, June 14, 2013) – Bill 107, or the “two strikes and you’re out” bill, drew sharp criticism during its public hearing yesterday on Guam as opponents of the measure pointed out its possible economic and social impact once enacted.

Bill 107, introduced by Sen. Brant McCreadie, seeks to introduce a habitual offender statute into current law which sets a mandatory life sentence for those who have been previously convicted of any violent or aggravated felony, not committed on the same occasion and separated by intervening arrests.

If the bill becomes law, the habitual offender statute recommends that sentencing not be suspended, nor shall the offender be eligible for probation or parole.

“We are aware of the logistical and financial burdens that this will place on our government, in particular the Department of Corrections,” McCreadie said. However, the senator said he won’t let such issues dissuade him from passing legislation that will protect the people.

Richard Dirkx, an attorney with the Public Defender Service Corporation, criticized the bill for its “meat cleaver” approach, which will cast a wide net that “will bring in the small fish.”

“Under this bill, a teenager who makes two threatening phone calls to his school will get the same sentence as someone who detonates a bomb at the center court of the Micronesia Mall…. On her second offense, a mother who shoplifts a bottle of baby formula or spanks her child inappropriately will get the same sentence as a home invader armed with a shotgun,” he said.

He said “throwing a hundred little fish in jail in the hope that it will prevent one shark from biting somebody” is the wrong answer.

‘Little fish’

In particular, two groups of “little fish” will be swept up by the net, according to Dirkx.

These groups include the mentally ill who, over the course of their lifetime, get a number of repeat offenses.

“We bring them into court and we even have a mental health court handling this now. They plead guilty because they do not get the benefit of any of the mental health statutes. They are put on probation [and] go back to their family. You are going to [imprison them for life] without the possibility of parole,” Dirkx said.

Soldiers returning to Guam with post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD, are another group.

“I’ve seen dozens of these returning soldiers who come to court because of PTSD and they get convicted. Right now, judges can look case-by-case and can do what is appropriate – work with mental health or with the Veterans Administration and design something to help them out. But the victims are an integral part of this,” he said.

Atty. Randy Cunliffe concurred with Dirkx’s testimony. He said there are a number of ways that people can go to jail for a long time if the bill is passed.

“First-degree criminal sexual conduct is up to life in prison. If a kid is 16 years old and he has sex with a 13-year-old, he can be put to prison for life. The court and the Attorney General’s Office say this is not what the law intended. But if the government can prove their case, then that defendant is going to jail for life,” Cunliffe said.

Cunliffe also pointed out the possible economic impact of the bill, saying the courts are backed up and the system is going to cost millions of dollars.

“One of the requirements of legislation is to determine what the financial impact is. And I dare say, no one can tell you what the impact of this would be but it would be in the millions of dollars and it’s not going to benefit many of the people,” he added.

Bipartisan support

Since the measure has been introduced, it has gained bipartisan support at the Legislature due to the sharp increase in violent and serious crimes, which are committed again and again by persons previously convicted of other serious crimes. Co-sponsoring the bill are Sens. Michael San Nicolas, Dennis Rodriguez Jr., Tina Muña-Barnes, Anthony Ada, and Michael Limtiaco.

Habitual offenders, according to the bill, have shown that rehabilitation for these criminals is not an option. As such, it is in the people’s best interest for habitual offenders to be incarcerated for a significant period of time.

For the penalties to apply, judgment for the aggravated or violent felony that comprises the prior conviction should have been entered within 15 years of the conviction for the current offense. However, time spent in custody or on probation for an offense or while the person is an absconder shall not be excluded from the calculation of the 15 years.

“Our community and the island as a whole cannot afford to let violent offenders continue to reoffend. These criminals have been given multiple chances to rehabilitate. When do we say – as a community, as lawyers, as different branches of the government – that enough is enough,” McCreadie said.

Sigh of relief

Corina Fejeran, of Random Women’s Rally, said the “two strikes” bill is definitely a step in the right direction but may not be as effective if all parts of the law work for the benefit of the victim.

“Compared to the other states that have a ‘three strikes’ ruling, it is comforting to know that two strikes give victims and the community a little sigh of relief but does not entirely make our community safer,” she said.

Fejeran also quoted a 2007 report of the Department of Corrections, wherein a psychologist mentioned that 50 percent of convicted criminals fall back to their former state of criminal behavior.

“If the ‘two strikes’ bill is passed, I still worry about the first strike and the possible plea bargains that take place because ultimately, in the end, it is the judges, juries and attorneys who decide the sanctions of these criminals,” Fejeran said.

Stiffer punishments, she added, has to take place for serious crimes. But it should not have to take the occurrence of a second crime to make a difference. She said violent crimes during the first offense is just as serious and should not be taken lightly.

She also asked the senators to go back to the drawing board and discuss the laws that affect the security of the people. “Go back and ask yourself, “If I was a victim, what would I want?’”

Marianas Variety Guam:

29) Samoa Airline ready to offer XL class
By Online Editor
4:51 pm GMT+12, 13/06/2013, American Samoa

Samoa Air to introduce armrest-free seats and access ramps as popularity soars.

The world’s first airline to charge people according to their weight is set to introduce an “executive row”, with extra space and no armrests, to cater for bigger passengers.

Samoa’s domestic airline Samoa Air made headlines this year when it introduced a pay-by-weight fare system.

Despite claims that it’s discriminating, the airline’s popularity has risen among tourists and locals travelling to and from American Samoa, and between Samoa’s two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i.

Chief executive Chris Langton told the Herald the airline was in the process of installing a special seating place for bigger passengers.

“We’re in the process of changing the space between the seats. What we’ve done is created what we call the executive row, where they’ve got an extra 14 inches (35cm) between the seats. There’s also a ramp so people have easier access. They’ve got added space as there’s no [arm] rest between the seats. It’s basically like a two- or three-person sofa,” he said.

Rates range from 1 tala (54c) a kg – for combined weight of traveller and baggage – on the airline’s shortest domestic route, to 3.8 tala ($2.07) a kg for travel from Samoa to neighbouring American Samoa.

Langton said bookings for flights had doubled, with about 50 bookings coming through each day.

The airline had received more inquiries from around the world and the company’s website had received 190 million hits.

The fare system had been particularly popular with heavier people, who now understood that paying a little bit extra meant a better seat. “They don’t mind paying for their weight. The thing that they never had before was that comfort.”

Local woman Leilani Curry, who grew up in Hamilton but now works in Apia, travelled with the airline with a “tall and very skinny” friend.

“My fare was much bigger than hers. But I was looked after. I never felt like I was being discriminated against because of my weight.”

Having to pay more had motivated her to start exercising and she has lost 4kg since April.

Samoa Air now hopes to become an international carrier, flying to other Pacific islands as well as New Zealand and Australia.

The pay-by-weight fare system would not be applied to these flights.



30) Emission setbacks add to climate summit pressure
By Online Editor
12:44 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Germany

United Nations talks on reforms to emissions-market rules stalled this week after members rejected a proposal to reconsider the body’s decision-making rules, putting additional pressure on a climate summit in November.

The loss of two weeks’ negotiating time means that items that were due to be discussed in Bonn from June 3 through June 14 may now be revisited at the UN’s annual climate conference in Warsaw at the end of the year, adding to an already-packed agenda that may not be fully addressed, according to a project developers’ group.

“Countries have between now and the beginning of the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw to unblock the situation so that relevant decisions can be taken at the meeting,” Tomasz Chruszczow, chairman of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation, or SBI, said June 11 in a UN statement. “It is essential that the time is used for discussions at the highest political level on how to resolve the issue so that this body can take forward its important work.”

The SBI, one of three tracks of negotiations taking place in Bonn, had been due to discuss a variety of issues including a review of the rules governing UN carbon offset projects and proposals to address loss and damages resulting from the effects of climate change.

‘Procedural violations’

The request to discuss rules of procedure came after last year’s climate summit in Doha was brought to a close over the objections of Russia and Ukraine. The countries opposed a decision restricting their ability to sell surplus Kyoto permits in the eight years to 2020. Oleg Shamonov, Russia’s chief climate negotiator, said he was “highly disappointed in both the procedural violations and the conduct of business,” in an interview at the end of the December climate talks.

Despite appeals from the U.S., the European Union, China and India, the three countries refused to accept a compromise solution, and Chruszczow closed the session June 11. Talks will resume under Polish guidance in Warsaw Nov. 22.

“I see my role as a guardian of the process, and not a Roman emperor who gives a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to decide who to slay,” Chruszczow said yesterday in an interview in Bonn. “This is the attitude the Polish presidency will have; nobody in the Polish presidency will replace the rule of law with the rule of force.”

Time loss

The loss of two weeks’ negotiating time may mean that a review of UN offset market rules may not be completed by the end of the year, said Gareth Phillips, chairman of the Project Developers’ Forum, a group representing investors and developers of clean energy projects that generate carbon credits.

“We’ve lost a massive amount of time,” Phillips said today in an interview in Bonn. “Parties were already in two minds over whether they could complete the review of the CDM in Warsaw, so now it looks very unlikely we can conclude the work by then.”

The delay may give emerging market mechanisms being discussed valuable time to advance and gain exposure, threatening the future flow of funds to the Clean Development Mechanism, Phillips said.

“It’s bad news for the CDM, as it gives other new mechanisms time to get established and increases the likelihood that buying parties will look at these mechanisms before the CDM,” he said.

Record low

Prices for UN offsets plunged as much as 99 percent from their peak in July 2008 to an April 17 record low of 20 euro cents on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Credits for December were unchanged at 46 cents at 3:01 p.m. today.

The suspension of one of the three negotiating strands in Bonn is unlikely to affect wider talks aimed at crafting a global agreement on climate action by 2015, according to Ruth Davis, political director of Greenpeace U.K.

“You really can’t expect there to be a negotiation at the seriousness of this one, which is about transforming the whole global energy economy, without there being hurdles and obstacles,” she said today in an interview in Bonn.

The collapse of the talks led one of the key participants in the negotiations over the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 to call for Chruszczow to resign.

In an open letter dated June 11, Raul Estrada-Oyuela, a retired Argentinian diplomat who led the final negotiations over the Protocol in Japan more than 15 years ago, said the “frustration of an important political meeting” would have a “political cost.”

Serious issue

Speaking by phone from Buenos Aires yesterday, Estrada- Oyuela said the halt of the talks was a serious issue. Chruszczow declined to comment on the letter when contacted today through his spokeswoman Lidia Wojtal.

The UNFCCC drafted a set of rules in 1995 governing its processes, including decision-making, that haven’t been formally adopted at any meeting since then. The draft rules call for decisions to be taken by consensus which, Estrada-Oyuela said, is binding on the UNFCCC, not on member states.

“Consensus is not defined in writing,” he said. “It’s a legal opinion drawn up for the legal services of the UN.”

The abrupt end to the discussions in Bonn this week reflected “business as usual,” Chruszczow said yesterday.

“We have the rules of procedure, they’re not perfect, they’re not fully agreed, but they’re being applied,” he said. “If consensus is to be the rule then we have to respect our own decisions, otherwise we are just taking everything back to the Middle Ages.”…

31) Rising seas lap at Kiribati’s future

By Online Editor
10:18 am GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Kiribati

The ocean laps against a protective seawall outside the maternity ward at Kiribati’s Nawerewere Hospital, marshalling itself for another assault with the next king tide.

Inside, a basic clinic is crowded with young mothers and newborn babies, the latest additions to a population boom that has risen as relentlessly as the sea in a deeply Christian outpost where family planning is still viewed with scepticism.

It is a boom that threatens to overwhelm the tiny atoll of South Tarawa as quickly as the rising seas. Some 50,000 people, about half of Kiribati’s total population, are already crammed onto a sand and coral strip measuring 16 square kilometres.

“Climate change is a definite long-term threat to Kiribati, there’s no doubt whatsoever about that,” says Simon Donner, a climate scientist at the University of British Columbia who has been visiting South Tarawa since 2005.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s the biggest problem right now … Any first-time visitor to Tarawa is not struck by the impacts of sea level rise, they’re struck by how crowded it is.”

Low-lying South Pacific island nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, about halfway between northeast Australia and Hawaii, have long been the cause celebre for climate change and rising sea levels.

Straddling the equator and spread over 3.5 million sq km of otherwise empty ocean, Kiribati’s 32 atolls and one raised coral island have an average height above sea level of just two metres.

Studies show surrounding sea levels rising at about 2.9 mm a year, well above the global average of 1 – 2 mm a year.

Kiribati President Anote Tong has grimly predicted his country will likely become uninhabitable in 30-60 years because of inundation and contamination of its fresh water supplies.

While climate change poses a serious longer-term threat, many people, including Tong, recognise that breakneck population growth is a more immediate problem. South Tarawa’ population density of more than 3,000 per sq km is comparable to Los Angeles or parts of London – without the high rises.

The government fears South Tarawa’s population could double to more than 100,000 by 2030 unless the birth rate and internal migration slows.

Rudimentary huts of little more than timber sleeping platforms and palm thatch roofs line a single dusty road running the length of the atoll. Dotted among them are pig pens, chicken coops, overcrowded grave sites and the blasted relics from one of the bloodiest battles of World War Two.

Bwabwa Oten, Kiribati’s director of hospital services, says current annual population growth in Kiribati is close to 6 percent, with overcrowding a major contributor to disease and an infant mortality rate among the highest in the region.

The church plays an integral role in the South Pacific and efforts to limit birth rates have run into resistance. Large families are also traditional in the region, which has one of the world’s highest rates of teen pregnancy.

Describing the population surge as “a menace”, Tong has called on churches to help curb growth by allowing their members to use birth control.

“Religion is incredibly powerful in the Pacific and there is quite an overt suspicion that, when we are talking about family planning, it in fact means family stopping,” said Bronwyn Hale of New Zealand-based Family Planning International, which is working to promote sexual and reproductive health in Kiribati.

Progress is being made, with clinic visitor numbers up and a growing acceptance of the threat of over-population.

“Right now, population is the major issue, the number one issue we should face,” said Peter Itibita, a member of the Mormon Church in South Tarawa.

Many health problems also stem from a lack of clean water as rising salinity and pollution affect underground water, with diarrhoea outbreaks caused by contamination from human and animal waste and other pollutants.

Nawerewere Hospital also has problems, with new mothers spilling from overcrowded wards onto verandas and into corridors.

“Sometimes with the new babies, we don’t have the water to wash them,” says Rina Tabi, a maternity ward nurse.

Plans are underway for solar-powered energy and desalination plants but the cost of building and maintaining them is a challenge for cash-strapped Kiribati, which relies on aid and royalties from foreign fishing fleets.

The complexities of sea level change are becoming more apparent and there is little doubt that nations like Kiribati will be among the most affected. But it is equally clear that vulnerable states like Kiribati are responsible for less than 0.1 percent of global emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

According to the United Nations, population growth in the Pacific has consistently exceeded all other regions except Africa for the past 30 years and is likely to remain higher than the global average for the next 40-50 years, even though barely 10 million people are dotted across the world’s biggest ocean.

There is also a history of concern about Pacific over-crowding, with dire predictions of population growth outstripping food production dating back to the 1960s.

Barry Coates, executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, said populations of fragile atolls had long-developed resilience in dealing with resource shortages, cyclones and other periodic climatic events.

“But what is happening now is that the pressures of population growth and climate change are overwhelming the traditional coping mechanisms,” Coates said.

The Kiribati government has also been looking at radical options for feeding and housing its people, including negotiating to buy land on nearby Fiji.

Larger Pacific neighbours New Zealand and Australia are likely to play a big role if large-scale migration is needed, and Western governments are under pressure to create a new refugee category for those fleeing the effects of climate change. A test case from Kiribati was rejected in New Zealand in 2012 and changes to international law will likely be needed.


32) Palau Government Declares 13 Separate Protected Areas
Three other sites’ nominations still under review

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, June 13, 2013) – A total of 13 sites from 13 states have been officially declared protected areas by Palau’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.

According to the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office, the declared protected areas from 13 states are as follows: Ngardok Lake Reserve in Melekeok (May 2007); Ebiil Channel in Ngarchelong (June 2008); Oseleksol in Ngiwal (September 2008); Mesekelat Waterfalls in Ngchesar State (October 2008); Helen Reef in Hatohobei (January 2010); Ongedechuul System of Conservation Areas (June 2010); Ngerderar Watershed Reserve in Aimeliik (August 2011); Kerradel Conservation Network in Ngaraard (September 2011); Ngeruangel Marine Reserve in Kayangel (November 2011); Medal Ngediull Conservation Area in Airai (February 2013); Ngerukeuid and Ngerumekaol in Koror’s Southern Lagoon (February 2013); Teluleu Conservation Area in Peleliu (May 2013); and Ngermeskang Bird Sanctuary in Ngaremlengui (May 2013).

Nominated sites in Angaur, Sonsorol and Ngatpang for declaration as protected areas are still being looked into.

PAN Office Manager King Sam said that the application for the declaration of Angaur Conservation Area is being reviewed for completion, Ngatpang is still working on the management plan for Ngatpang Conservation Area while Sonsorol’s application for the declaration of Fanna: Important Bird Area is on hold because a private property is located in the site.

PAN sites with approved management plans are funded through Green Fee of $30 per head paid by departing visitors to Palau.

The law implementing the collection of fees went into effect in 2010 and since then has been growing each year with the corresponding number of visitors to Palau.

The 13 protected areas also contribute to Palau’s share of the Micronesia Challenge’s goal of conserving 30% of near shore coastal waters and 20% of forest land by 2020.

The PAN Office is providing assistance monitoring the conservation sites based on the state’s management plan. The PAN office facilitates support services to the state so they can achieve goals in the implementation of the management plan.

Island Times:

33) Red Cross Launches On-Site Drought Aid In Marshall Islands
About 6,400 people reportedly affected by sever lack of rain

By Giff Johnson

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 14, 2013) – The International Federation of the Red Cross, or IFRC, program has launched a significant drought relief effort in the Marshall Islands and expects to have relief officials on site for six months despite the fact that this western Pacific nation does not have a national Red Cross Society.

The international agency’s response was described as “unorthodox” because the Marshall Islands is “one of the few countries in the world with no Red Cross Society,” said Australian Red Cross official Peter McArdle, who is here assisting relief efforts. There is a push by a volunteer group locally, led by Dr. Alex Pinano, to establish a Red Cross organization in the country. This volunteer group, together with the Marshall Islands government, requested Red Cross assistance for the drought, producing the international agency’s quick response.

As the Red Cross delivers aid, numerous other donors are assisting, including Australia, which earlier this week added $385,000 to the $100,000 it donated last month. President Christopher Loeak has officially requested President Barack Obama to declare the drought a “disaster,” which would trigger provisions of the U.S.-Marshall Islands Compact of Free Association providing a greater response from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The IFRC, New Zealand Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, and Kiribati Red Cross Society are working together to provide assistance to the Marshalls where about 6,400 people on 15 atolls are suffering as a result of six months with virtually no rain.

McArdle joined with local officials and a representative from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination program to visit Wotje Atoll to survey the island and install a reverse-osmosis water-making unit last week. He was on isolated Ujae Atoll earlier this week to set up another water-maker to provide a small amount of drinking water to the population estimated at about 400.

McArdle said Red Cross is partnering with the Marshall Islands government to deliver immediate drought assistance to several of the affected northern islands, including installation of reverse-osmosis units and the provision of water, food and other relief as needed.

Once the immediate issue of water and food is resolved over the next few weeks, then the Red Cross will move into its “recovery and preparedness phase,” he said. “We will work with the communities to identify needs and work out responses.”

McArdle explained that he is on the Red Cross staff here for the immediate response phase, and additional Red Cross representatives will come in at a later point to carry on drought relief efforts.

He indicated that for the long term, the RO units are not the solution because of the challenge of obtaining parts and ongoing maintenance in remote locations. He said low-tech solutions such as solar distillation to produce potable fresh water and improving water-storage capacity are key to surviving future droughts.

Marianas Variety:

34a) Climate Threats in the Pacific: Rising to the challenge   Invitation to forum 

When: Monday 24 June, 2013,         Time: 7:30-9pm

Where: St. Andrew’s House, Red Cross Offices, Level 4, 464 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Admission is free, donations are welcome. Light refreshments will be provided
Booking registration: Amelia Anthony <[email protected]>

The Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP), with the help of the Australian Red Cross and Oxfam Australia, is hosting our second public workshop for 2013, a Side Event to the 2013 National Climate Change Adaptation Research Fund (NCCCARF) Adaptation Conference.
The Workshop will focus on the challenges – social, financial and environmental – of effective adaptation in Pacific Island nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu.

The event will feature speakers from the NCCARF conference including Mr. Robert Kay from Adaptive Futures Australia, Mr. David Dodman, from the International Institute for the Environment and Development (iied) as well as Dr Simon Bradshaw from Oxfam Australia and Ms. Habiba Gitay from the World Bank Institute. The evening will be chaired by Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang, the Pacific Outreach Officer at PCP.

b) A chance to glimpse a little of PCP’s May forum                                        youtube

This youtube shows the last couple of minutes of Maria Tiimon’s presentation and the beginning of Meredith Burgmann’s

c) Can you help please?                                                                                 Request to Sydney partners

Millie and Maria would be very grateful for any help you can give them in putting on the important event on 24 June. I will be on holidays. As you know everything needs to be done at once at these events and willing hands are a wonderful help. Some of the jobs that may need doing include: helping set up, welcoming people, organising refreshments, selling resources, packing up, cleaning up, I.T. etc.  If you would like to be involved please contact Millie or Maria at the Edmund Rice Centre on 02 87624200 on a Monday or Thursday or email<[email protected]>

d) Maria joins Pacific Islanders at UN Indigenous Prep Conference in Norway        report

Maria along with other Pacific Islanders such as Maina Talia from Tuvalu and  Mikaele Maivave from Tokelau was invited to attend the Preparatory Conference on human rights for Indigenous People this week and has sent regular reports as well as reporting on facebook about the hard work, the frustrations and difficulties as well as the successes the Pacific Island delegates have had. Here is a copy of her last report:

Good evening in Norway time Wednesday.
The conference is coming to the end and there are still a lot of discussion and debating on the wording and terms. These are the main issues that were brought up in the plenary meetings: rights of the indigenous people for their lands, territories, water, ocean, women, youth, climate change and so many more. They are hoping to have a final draft of the outcome tonight. This afternoon I was interviewed by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation on the issue of climate change in low lying islands in the Pacific. Their website is they are working for the SAMI government. So It is going to be shown the tv in Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
As a team with the Tuvaluan delegation I think we did well and stand out for the issue of climate change. Very exhausting honestly, we the Participants haven’t really slept with this day light season. There is no night here, day light the whole time. Most of the Pacific Islanders are still shocked with the day light. The weather is also just like Sydney, freezing cold and yet it’s summer.
Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang

e) Please complain about ending of AusAID’s Volunteer Fund                      Petition 

Since I returned from meeting with the Tuvalu Climate Action Network (TuCAN) in Tuvalu the Pacific Calling Partnership has been endeavoring to respond to requests TuCAN made to us. E.G. we organised funding to send two Tuvaluans to the UN climate change conference in Doha in November/December 2013 as part of PCP’s delegation;  we found out as much as we could about why a TuCAN submission for funding for a community grant to AusAID failed and put together some useful advice for them on what AusAID looks for in its funding submissions; in all lobbying, workshops, talks, or contact with the media we make it clear that Tuvaluans do not want to leave their home and want urgent help to adapt so they can stay; we continue to press for more labour mobility and education opportunities so they can prepare for relocation and we are developing stronger links with the aid and development NGOs so we can dialogue about some of the frustrations that small island nations experience.
We have also spent many frustrating hours trying to find an Australian Volunteer Agency that will consider sending a much requested volunteer to work with TuCAN. Every direction we turned in trying to find an appropriate volunteer organisation met with the response that it was not possible because of AUSAID policy until we spoke to PALMS. Now we find that AusAID’s Pilot Volunteer Fund has been cut so that now even PALMS will not be able to deliver a volunteer to Tuvalu. This is most disappointing.

Please sign the petition and appeal to your friends and family via email or facebook.

f) Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji                                  collaborative meeting coming up

This year’s Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR), linking Pacific governments, community organisations, donors and development partners will be meeting in Nadi Fiji in July. The roundtable is an opportunity to share ideas on climate change and co-ordinate support of Pacific Island Countries and Territories’ efforts on climate adaptation and mitigation. The theme of this year’s gathering, from 3-5 July, is “Building Resilience to Climate Change through Collaboration”
The PCCR program is now available, together with details of how to apply for registration, on the Pacific Climate Change Portal at:

g) Canary isle shows climate change is real        Sydney Morning Herald article – Peter Hartcher

‘The delegation of parliamentarians from four tropical Pacific Islands nations braved the Canberra cold last week, and that wasn’t the only climate shock they suffered. They watched the impressive intellectual exchange of question time in the House of Representatives on Wednesday and then moved on. But almost as soon as they left, Parliament started to debate a motion on whether the science of man-made climate change was real. This came as a bit of a jolt to the legislator visiting from Kiribati, a country of about 100,000 people on 33 small, low-lying islands strung along 5000 kilometres of the equator.

“Climate change is real in our places,” Rimeta Beniamina, a government MP and vice-chairman of his parliament’s climate change committee, told me, expressing surprise at what was going on in the chamber a few metres away.’
Read more:

h) Solomon Islanders living on atolls to move to Malaita                            Relocation news

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 28, 2013) – People of Malaita Outter Islands (MOI) in Sikaiana and Lord Howe will be relocated to two sites on the main land of Malaita. This was confirmed by the Malaita provincial premier Edwin Suibaea. Mr Suibaea confirmed that the province has already agreed on this relocation proposal and are anticipating the national government will step in to speed up this proposed plan to relocate the people from these two atolls as soon as possible who are currently facing imminent threats from rising sea level.

He said the province is very concern about the future of the MOI people and wants to relocate them from the atolls to the main land. The premier said with the people are going through changes to their land as a result of climate change and rising sea level and it would be unsafe for them to continue settle on the atolls. “I would also follow up on this issue with the national governments so that they can possibly help us relocate the people quickly out from the atolls,” he said.
By Denver Newter

i) Tuvalu Demonstration Project improves water security                                Report

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Pacific ‘Implementing Sustainable Water Resources and Wastewater Management in Pacific Island Countries’ (IWRM) project has issued a progress snapshot on Tuvalu, reporting overall improvements in wastewater management and sanitation. The goal of the project was to demonstrate how better sanitation technology and practices contribute to the protection of water resources, marine biodiversity, livelihood and food security.

The Tuvalu GEF Snapshot reports on progress in drought management, removal of sewage pollution across Funafuti, reduction of freshwater use for sanitation purposes, stakeholder engagement in water governance, and increased access to safe drinking water.
The Snapshot highlights the installation of 40 compost toilets that reduced 5% in groundwater pollution and improved access to sanitation of around 280 people. The project also facilitated the development of a national water and sanitation policy framework, which will improve monitoring

j) New Pacific facebook page                                                                International action opportunity

For those of you on Facebook, you might like to connect to a new page “Pacific research”, which will have links to reports, news, features and images of the Pacific islands region.
Please ‘like’ the Pacific research page to grow the audience:

k) Kiribati Designates Coastal Wetland                                                                  Conservation News 

1 May 2013: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) has reported that the Government of Kiribati has acceded to the Convention, becoming its 166th contracting party. The coastal wetland No’oto-North Tarawa was designated as its first Ramsar site. The 1,033-hectare No’oto-North Tarawa wetland contains a range of relatively pristine and healthy coastal ecosystems which are significant and representative for the biogeographic region. These include lagoons, coral reefs, intertidal mudflats and mangroves that support a high biodiversity and are rich in resources – including a wide variety of finfish, turtles, crustaceans, seaweed and other plants.

The site is a also important breeding area for marine species of conservation importance such as the endangered Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) which nests and forages at the site and the vulnerable giant clam (Tridacna gigas). Four species of mangroves are dominant: Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Lumnitzera racemosa and Sonneratia alba. Human activities at the site consist of small-scale agricultural gardens, domesticated livestock breeding (pigs and chickens), small-scale coconut plantations, fishing and reef gleaning for both commercial and subsistence. The conservation ethic of the local people remains strong in the site, with the local community using traditional methods to manage their marine resources on a sustainable basis. Their management is based on an extensive knowledge of fish, fishing technology, and the sea.

l) Many Strong Voices Develops Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Project           New methodology

May 2013: Many Strong Voices (MSV) is developing a project on ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to climate change, which is a priority area for MSV in 2013. The aim of this project is to reduce vulnerability to climate change by supporting an EbA methodology that integrates scientific and local/traditional knowledge.  Case studies will be carried out in communities in Belize and Seychelles. Work carried out to date includes field visits in both countries to meet with potential partners and assess local conditions. This  project seeks to formalize a methodology that combines evidence-based, scientific data with community knowledge and experiences, and empower communities to make informed choices on how to reduce vulnerability to climate change.

MSV was launched in 2005 to bring together the people of the Arctic and small island developing States (SIDS) to confront the challenge of climate change, as they share characteristics of vulnerability and resilience, and both of their environments are sensitive to the impacts of climate change. MSV helps bring coastal communities in these regions together to take collaborative action on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the local, national and international levels, and to share their stories and experiences with the world.

read more:

m) Fully funded opportunity for developing State ocean professionals research fellowship

The United Nations – The Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Programme is a fully funded research Fellowship for developing State ocean professionals. The main objective of the Fellowship is to provide advanced research and training in the field of ocean affairs and the law of the sea, and related disciplines, to government officials and other professionals from developing States.Successful candidates will undertake their research/studies in two back-to-back phases: the first, lasting three months, with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), UN Office of Legal Affairs; and the second, lasting six months, with a participating academic host institution. Fellowship application deadline is 15 September, and candidates should forward their applications directly to DOALOS. Additional information, including the application package, detailed  application instructions, and a list of participating host institutions, is available on the Fellowship website:

Credit: Jill Finnane Eco-Justice Program Coordinator

Edmund Rice Centre 15 Henley Rd Flemington – PO Box 2219 Homebush West 2140

Ph: 02 8762 4200


35) PNG Kumuls get huge boost
By Online Editor
1:10 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Team Kumuls has had a massive boost to its five-year development programme after national airline Air Niugini contributed K1 million to the cause.

The money will be used specifically in terms of airfares for the team and officials to destinations within the region as well as other parts of the world – a Kumul supporters deal was also a part of the sponsorship.

The sponsorship makes Air Niugini a major sponsor of the programme and endorses the Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam-led programme that aims to bolster the code and develop it to a standard where international performance will improve and high quality players are produced.

Air Niugini deputy chairman Sir Fredrich Reiher said the sponsorship showed that rugby league was indeed the national sport and had the back of the Government and major businesses in the country.

Meanwhile, Kumul coach Adrian Lam says Team Kumuls Camp 3 has seen a marked improvement in the players.

“We’ve cut the squad down to 22 for this camp and seen great improvement in them,” Lam said.

“The boys have trained exceptionally well this week, they’ve been outstanding and we’re happy with them,” Lam said yesterday.

The Kumul great added that there were still a good number of players that were not included in the current camp but were being monitored nonetheless and the onus was on them to improve.
“The boys know what they have to do.

“We’ve given the players certain directives on what to improve on them what we expect.

“We’ve given players goals to reach and if they haven’t reached those goals then we’ve left them out and told them that they need to lift if they want to go to the next level,” he said.

Members of the Kumuls Camp are in a high performance environment where every aspect of their fitness has been monitored with targets to achieve in strength and power as well as skin fold measurements (fat content on the body).

Other targets to reach are aerobic fitness with a global positioning system used to keep track of a player’s progress or lack of it.

Lam added that game tactics and “game smartness” was also a factor in a players development and all players were expected to learn and make imporvements to their game, with regular assessments to keep them on track to becoming more professional in their approach and to make the most of their natural talent.

“In high performance training and preparation we are aiming to improve the player in all aspects. But the player must make the effort not just in camp but when they go back to their clubs,” Lam said.

36) 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.

37) US Eagles prepare for physical Pacific Nations Cup test against Tonga
By Online Editor
1:13 pm GMT+12, 14/06/2013, Canada

The US Eagles will be prepared for an extremely physical challenge when they play Tonga in a Pacific Nations Cup match in Carson City, California on Friday night, although the islanders will be without three key players who have been suspended for foul play.

Tonga lost to Canada in Ontario last Saturday, 36-27, having played some of the match with 12 men against 15. The full-back David Halaifonua was subsequently banned for six weeks by the International Rugby Board, for a high shoulder charge on the Canada winger Matt Evans; prop Eddie ‘Aholelei was suspended until 12 July, for punching the flanker Jebb Sinclair; and the centre Siale Piutau was banned for three weeks for punching the hooker Ray Barkwill.

The Eagles – particularly in the form of their tough-tackling blindside flanker, Samu Manoa (who is of, in rugby terms, distinguished Tongan heritage) – are not averse to a touch of physicality themselves, but the game will nonetheless be played under something of a media spotlight, after the Tonga coach complained of unfair treatment from IRB officials on and off the pitch.

After the Canada game, Mana Otai said Pacific island teams were unfairly penalised for physical play. “I couldn’t really see why [the yellow cards were issued],” he said. “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 [including Fiji, who are the Eagles’ opponents in Tokyo on 19 June], were singled out, he said: “Absolutely. It’s a perception a lot of times.”

Canada’s coach, the former New Zealand full-back Kieran Crowley, said the IRB suspensions were justified. “I don’t know how you could say they were legal tackles,” he 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] 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.”

The Eagles had a taste of that philosophy in their 15-12 defeat by Ireland on Saturday night – which attracted a US-record crowd of 20,181 to the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The home team lost their captain, Todd Clever, for 10 crucial second-half minutes, after he was adjudged to have made a dangerous tackle on Devin Toner. However, the Manoa tackle on Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony shown below was legal, and coach Mike Tolkin must instil in his men the need to follow suit, while following through correctly, against the Tongans.

Tolkin sees the Pacific Nations Cup as a chance to develop players, husbanding his resources in a busy summer that culminates in two World Cup qualifiers against the Canadians. “It would be great to win the Pacific Nations,” he says, as “frankly, we haven’t won anything since the [1924] Olympics. But Canada is going to be huge and that’s what we’re building towards.”

With that in mind, as well as the looming trip to Tokyo to face Fiji and Japan in the remaining PNC matches, he has picked a team of mixed experience. A callow side having lost their opener, 16-9 to Canada in Edmonton in May, overseas professionals like Clever and Scott Lavalla start – Manoa, however, is rested, having had an arduous season with Northampton Saints.

Tonga and the USA have met five times, the Eagles winning only the first game, in San Francisco in 1999, and Tonga winning a meeting at the 2007 World Cup in France. The two teams’ last game, in North Wales in November 2012, produced a 22-13 victory for the ‘Ikale Tahi – the nickname means “Sea Eagles”, although the crest on Tonga’s shirts carries the (not supposedly ironic) image of a dove. Tonga went on that month to defeat Scotland in Aberdeen, their first victory over a major European country in Europe. They beat France, the eventual runners-up, at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

The Eagles’ game (which kicks off at 7.30pm PT, live on Universal Sports) will be part of a double-header at the Home Depot Center, after the US Women’s Eagles have kicked off against France at 5pm PT. The women’s summer series is level after the Eagles won the first match 13-10 and lost the second 27-25. Both matches were played at Oxnard College.


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