Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 875

MELANESIA:


1) New Caledonia Congress signs new partnership agreement with the MSG
By Online Editor
10:17 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, New Caledonia

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Noumea in New Caledonia

The Congress of New Caledonia has  signed a new partnership agreement with the Melanesian Spearhead Group  (MSG) Secretariat to strengthen its work in regional co-operation and  integration within the sub-regional bloc.

The new partnership worth 25 million CFP (approx US$277,000) was  signed between the Vice President of Congress, Roc Wamytan, Victor  Tutugoro of the FLNKS and the Director General of the MSG, Peter Forau  in front of all the MSG Leaders.

Wamytan stood in for the President of Congress, Gerard Poadja who boycotted the signing because of the presence of the Fijian Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Under the Noumea Accord, the New Caledonia Congress is empowered to negotiate agreements with one or several island countries in the Pacific, as part of its integration process into its regional environment.

“The signing today marks the high level of autonomy that we enjoy under the Noumea Accord. It is a start of the process to integrate into our regional environment, especially the Melanesian Arc or the Melanesian Spearhead Group, said Wamytan.

Tutugoro said the new framework agreement will strengthen our ties with the Melanesian Spearhead Group, who will in turn assist the political process in New Caledonia.

The Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Peter Forau assured the  New Caledonia Congress the funds will be used deepen regional  co-operation amongst members and implement some of the Leaders  decision from their 19th Leaders Summit.

“We will also use the resources to build our capacity to establish linkages with international partners to promote the struggles of the people of Kanaky.
SOURCE: PACNEWS

2)FLNKS will need support of MSG to win provincial elections next year, Sir Michael
By Online Editor
10:05 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, New Caledonia

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Noumea, New Caledonia

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) must support the FLNKS to position itself to win provincial elections next year, says former Papua New Guinea Prime Minster, Sir Michael Somare.

“If we do not, then it will be a sad indictment on the MSG.

“MSG has that obligation, as a member, FLNKS is entitled to expect nothing less from other MSG members.

The result of the 2014 elections in New Caledonia will be crucial as it will determine, by a three-fifth majority whether to hold a national referendum to transfer the remaining powers (defence, foreign policy, police, courts and currency) to New Caledonia.

Since the Noumea Accord was signed in May 1998, there has been a gradual transfer of authority from Paris to Noumea.

A vote after 2014 to transfer these powers would mean the creation of an independent and sovereign nation.

“MSG owes it to the people of Kanaky to remain true to their commitment to defend and promote independence as the inalienable right of indigenous peoples of Melanesia as espoused in the Agreement establishing our organisation.

Sir Michael was invited as a guest of the MSG 25th anniversary celebrations, as a founding father of the organisation.
SOURCE: PACNEWS

3) Fiji Praised For Leading Melanesian Spearhead Group
FLNKS to continue where Bainimarama left off

By Maika Bolatiki

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, June 20, 2013) – The incoming chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group/Foreign Ministers has commended Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s leadership.

Caroline Machoro-Regnier, of New Caledonia’s Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), said work done by Fiji under Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s leadership is worth praising.

“I must commend Fiji’s leadership of the MSG in the way it has strengthened the solidarity within the region and internationally as well. I thank Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for his vision to put the MSG where it is today,” Ms. Machoro-Regnier said.

She said issues such as the strengthening of police, knowledge sharing and climate change has only been possible through Fiji’s leadership.

“Fiji has initiated a lot of institutional and regional issues pertaining to MSG countries and has increased the influence of Melanesia in the region,” Ms. Machoro-Regnier said. “Without Fiji, I think it would have taken longer to achieve what Melanesia has done.”

Ms. Machoro-Regnier has vowed to continue the good work done by Fiji in the best interest of the MSG.

“We (FLNKS) will continue the efforts, initiatives and projects that have begun and we will try our utmost best to strengthen the results already achieved by Fiji.”

Meanwhile the Prime Minister was the chief guest at the welcome ceremony for the MSG Leaders at the Customary Senate in Noumea.

FLNKS traditional leaders presented gifts and clothes including traditional wood carvings to MSG leaders to show appreciation for hosting the leader’s summit.

Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama thanked the traditional leaders of New Caledonia for keeping their traditions alive.

“This indicates to me that our rich Melanesian cultures and tradition has been sustained through generations and provides the cohesiveness that holds our people together,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

“It is both a privilege and an honor for me personally and I speak on behalf of all the delegates here today, that you have allowed us to share in your distinct and special Kanaky cultural heritage by according us this customary welcome.”

The Prime Minister said the culture and tradition of Melanesians is what sets it apart from the rest of the world.

Work he said was currently being undertaken by the MSG to protect and preserve traditional knowledge of Melanesia.

The MSG, the Prime Minister said, had developed initiatives under the treaty for the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of culture to put in place measures that would protect and conserve our cultures and traditions whether it be expressions through folklore, song and dance, knowledge, art or flora and fauna.

Commodore Bainimarama stressed the need to impart traditional knowledge to the younger generations in order for Melanesian cultures and traditions to thrive.

FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/

4) Fiji PM updates MSG Leaders on election progress
By Online Editor
2:11 pm GMT+12, 21/06/2013, New Caledonia

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has updated Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders on Fiji’s progress towards parliamentary democracy during a retreat as part of the 19th MSG Leaders Summit Thursday.

He said the Fijian people have been given the opportunity for a transparent and open dialogue process for the formulation of a new constitution in readiness for the 2014 national elections.

“The new constitution will amplify the voices and earnest wishes of the Fijian people and also provide a distillation of Fiji’s reform agenda that will lay the foundations for a progressive and sustainable Fiji,” PM Bainimarama said.

He said Fiji is currently at a crucial juncture in its 42 year history as an independent nation.

“We, as a nation, are enduring the most critical phase of our journey towards sustainable democracy,” PM Bainimarama added.

PM Bainimarama highlighted that a number of international and regional organisations including the UN, the Commonwealth, ACP and the Pacific Islands Forum, have recently carried out their own assessment of Fiji’s progress towards the 2014 Elections.

“These visits have taken note of the satisfactory progress Fiji is making and have also spotlighted areas where assistance can be rendered to ensure that the roadmap towards elections is effectively realized,” PM Bainimarama said.

Regarding the registration of political parties, the head of Government said the Political Parties Decree 2013 specified a modern and transparent process for registration and conduct of political parties.

“The Decree has also for the first time in Fiji introduced accountability and transparency with respect to the funding and accounts of political parties,” PM Bainimarama said.
SOURCE: MINFO/PACNEWS

5) PNG appoints new Ombudsman
By Online Editor
10:03 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Former Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Rigo Lua, is Papua New Guinea’s new Chief Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman Commission Appointment Committee, consisting the Prime Minister, Peter O’ Neil, Parliamentary Appointments Committee Chairman, representative from the Public Service Commission, and the Chief Justice met yesterday and made the appointment.

The Opposition leader did not attend but made his recommendations in writing which was accepted by the committee.

Prime Minister O’ Neill made the announcement at a media conference Thursday.
SOURCE: NBC PNG/PACNEWS

6) Solomon Islands gov’t launches network
By Online Editor
2:01 pm GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Solomon Islands

A new and exciting Information Communication Technology (ICT) networking project for the Government was launched in Honiara, Wednesday.

Acting Prime Minister Walter Folotalu officially launched the project at the Paul Tovua Complex in the presence of Finance Minister Rick Hou, senior government officials, RAMSI advisors and representatives from diplomatic missions.

Called the “SIG-Connect”, Minister Hou described the project as a milestone achievement for the NCRA Government and the Ministry of Finance, which is leading the project.

“It is a very proud moment and great privilege indeed to mark such a very important chapter of our nation-building.

“I congratulate and commend all those who were involved in one way or the other on this great achievement,” Minister Hou said.

In late 2010, the Ministry of Finance ICT Support Unit made a submission for Government support to build a secure private Government network covering all ministries in Honiara which then, has received full and unreserved Government support.

With funding and Technical Advisory support from AusAID, work on the project initially known as the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) Project commenced in November 2012.

That was under a Joint-Venture arrangement between an experienced international company CBO Ltd, and a local firm, Satellite Solutions.

The SIG Connect Network, as it is now known, was successfully completed at the end of May this year and entails a roll-out of IT services right across the Government.

It has the potential to lift communication efficiency and cost-effectiveness across the Public Services sector.

This system will be able to deliver a consistent set of ICT services across all 85 Government offices in Honiara.

Until now access to IT services and the internet are a luxury enjoyed only by a few selected government ministries.

Now, for the first time all Government officers can have their own official SIG e-mail address; have access to the internet; store and share work with each other electronically; and be assured of a virus–free IT environment.

With the completion of this project, SIG will now expand the delivery of core IT services and communicate cost-effectively across the rest of Government.

“This will bring the entire public sector into the modern era of IT and communications.

“It is expected that as a result of this roll-out, it will help to ensure better and efficient services to the SI public,” Minister Hou said.

The new network will enhance the operation of a number of existing and new ICT systems in Government which include the ASYCUDA, which is a Customs System that will allow Customs officials to track imports and exports electronically, at both the Honiara main sea port as well at the Henderson Airport.

The second system is known as the AURION which is a roll-out information system for all chief administration officers to manage their respective establishments, leave requests, and track down overtime and payroll spending against Budget effectively;

The third system is the AX – ROLL-OUT, which is a system that ensures authorised SIG personnel to track down their departmental expenditure against Budget.

In due course this will issue purchase requisitions electronically and authorised officers will be able to ascertain, at a glance, where their procurement requests are within SIG payment process.

The fourth system is the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing system – a project which the Ministry of Finance and RSI Police Force have collaborated on new and vehicle licensing system for the nation.

This system will allow IRD officers to record information on vehicles and photos of all licensed drivers electronically, which can be accessed by the Police in their routine inspections.

With this the Police can instantly ascertain the status of drivers’ and vehicles’ licenses.

The fifth system is the Whole of Government E-mail system – where all SIG staff will receive an official SIG e-mail account, which they can securely access from anywhere in the world.

Minister Hou also assured all Government departments and the general public, that his Ministry will ensure ICT Infrastructure is built to and maintain to a platform that provides the capability and further strengthens improved public services and economic performance.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STRA/PACNEWS

7) Fiji politicians concerned regime may dump 2014 elections

Posted at 03:46 on 21 June, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Union For Democracy Front says there is genuine concern that elections promised for next year won’t be held.

The group, which represents many of those who were removed from office in the 2006 military coup, says the regime is delaying the electoral process by delaying the constitution.

A member of the group, the National Federation Party’s Raman Singh, says the date for the constitution’s release has been put back constantly by the regime.

“The main reason for that doubt is the fact that the date for the promulgation of the constitution has been extended from June to July and now we believe it’s in September so we feel that does not give enough time to do all the other preliminary work to have the election. That’s where the doubt rises from.”

Raman Singh says he cannot say whether he believes the constitution is being deliberately withheld.

The statement says the regime leaders, Commodore Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, have sensed that the regime has very little, if any, support.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Fiji’s NFP confident with its financial declaration

Posted at 03:41 on 21 June, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s National Federation Party says it’s not concerned about any inconsistencies being found in its assets declaration to the Registrar of Political parties.

The Registrar, Mohammed Saneem, yesterday released the financial records of officials and applicants of three registered political parties saying he will now verify the declarations.

Under a regime decree, parties were obliged to submit financial details of their members and executives, as well as of their spouses and children by June 7th.

However, Fiji Village reports many officials and applicants have not revealed their sources of income, with some saying they don’t know their adult children’s affairs.

The NFP’s Raman Singh says that as far as he’s concerned, everybody in his party has shown what is required under the decree and the registrar won’t have a problem with his party’s application.

“We are not concerned about that. I think everybody has disclosed whatever is there. I don’t think the registrar would go on a witch-hunt, the purpose of declaring the assets now is to see if there is any sudden increase after a period of time.”

The National Federation Party President, Raman Singh.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Fiji Political Parties Release Financial Records To Regime
Some officials to keep records private, risk fines and jail time

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 20, 2013) – Fiji’s Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem, has released financial records of officials and applicants of three registered political parties and says he will now verify the declarations.

Under a regime decree, parties were obliged to submit financial details of their members and executives, as well as of their spouses and children by June 7th.

However, Fiji Village reports many officials and applicants have not revealed their sources of income, with some saying they don’t know their adult children’s affairs.

Mr. Saneem has so far declined to say if adult children are subject to the decree.

According to the decree, any person who fails to comply with the requirements could face a US$27,000 fine or up 10 year in prison, or both.

The Labour Party’s general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry, has declared assets of about US$2 million.

The regime leaders have kept their assets secret and also refuse to say how big their taxpayer-funded salaries are.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

10) Solomon Islands invite Commodore Bainimarama as special guest for Independence Day celebrations
By Online Editor
10:21 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, New Caledonia

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Noumea in New Caledonia

Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has been invited as a special guest of Solomon Islands early next month to celebrate the country’s 35th independence anniversary.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo confirmed to PACNEWS in Noumea that an invitation has been conveyed to Fiji to be part of the celebrations.

The independence celebration comes two weeks before Solomon Islands  will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission  to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

PM Lilo said Commodore Bainimarama will be in Honiara from 7-8 July  with a contingent of military, police and the brass band to join  Solomon Islanders in reflecting their 35 years of independence.

“It’s a week of reflection, talking on certain issues and sharing some  ideas on how we can build a strong society moving forward, said PM Lilo.

While Fiji was one of the contributing countries to RAMSI, beginning  in 2003, it hasn’t been invited to the 10th anniversary celebrations  of the existence of the regional peacekeeping force because it is  suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum.

PM Lilo denied inviting Fiji two weeks earlier was intentional to  upstage the Pacific Islands Forum celebrations to mark the 10th  anniversary of RAMSI.

“Let’s not make a fuss of the division that is happening within the  region but we need to promote better regional integration.

“Despite the timing, you will still have everybody having the benefit of the space to be able to say thank you to a well recognised force.  We also have to share the fact that we are all members of the Pacific  family, said PM Lilo.

PACNEWS understands PM Bainimarama will be accompanied by a group of 100 military and police personnel for the Independence Day celebrations in Solomon Islands. The Fijian military and police will hold a joint parade in Honiara to mark the 35 years of independence.
SOURCE: PACNEWS

11) Fiji Methodist Church says ‘no’ to politics

By Online Editor
2:06 pm GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Fiji

-Fiji’s Methodist Church says it will not align itself to any political party as the nation prepares for the 2014 General Elections.

This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the church general secretary, Reverend Tevita Nawadra.

He said the church had a new way forward and politics was not part of it like it was before.

“The priority of the church now is to develop the spiritual life of its members,” Reverend Nawadra said.

“All church circuits have been directed to stay away from politics and concentrate on church activities.”

As for its church members, Reverend Nawadra said they had the right to join any political party and the church would not stop them from exercising their rights.

For church ministers who wanted to contest the 2014 elections, he said they were allowed to exercise their rights, but would have to resign from all their pastoral duties.

He said ministers would have to re-apply to join the church if they lost the elections.

Reverend Nawadra also clarified that while the church would be apolitical, they would make comments on some political decisions that affect the church.

Commenting on the church relationship with the Government, Reverend Nawadra said it was very good.

“We will like to maintain this good relationship.”

He admitted that in the past the church was heavily politicised by some of its senior ministers.

Meanwhile,there will be no choir competition and church fundraising held this year during the Methodist Church conference, a church official has confirmed.

Reverend Nawadra said they have received an official confirmation from the Fiji Police Force of its decision.

That decision meant that the church has the green light to hold the conference for four days only.

Reverend Nawadra said the Centenary Church in Suva would accommodate the delegates at the conference ruling out the use of Furnival Park as practised in previous years.

Fiji Sun also understands that the church leaders will meet today to discuss the decision made by the Fiji Police Force.

A release yesterday by the Police indicated that the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua, met Reverend Nawadra on Wednesday to discuss the request by the church concerning the annual meet.

The release by Brigadier-General Naivalurua confirmed the decision to stage the annual conference for four days, and ruled out the inclusion of the choir competition and fundraising.

The annual conference will now be held at the Centenary Church in Suva from  26 – 29 August.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA:

12) Nauru Court’s Asylum Seeker Decision ‘Regrettable’
Amnesty: government responsible for prompt processing

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 20, 2013) – Human rights group Amnesty International says it is “regrettable” Nauru’s Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge against Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on the island.

Lawyers for six detainees argued the long-term and indefinite detention of asylum seekers at Australia’s regional processing centre on Nauru was unconstitutional.

Judge John von Doussa QC handed down his decision on Tuesday, finding the groups’ detention did not violate Nauru’s domestic laws.

The court found that while the asylum seekers were “detained” on Nauru, which was contested by Nauru’s government, this detention did not contravene local law.

Amnesty International Researcher Kate Schuetze has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the ruling has left open the possibility of a challenge on the basis of an unreasonable delay in processing asylum seekers or resettling refugees once assessed.

“In the future we may see that if they’re held there too long in those restrictive conditions, the court then may determine that form of lengthy and restrictive detention is against Nauru law,” Ms. Schuetze said.

“There are responsibilities on the Nauru government following the decision to make sure they meet those standards under their own domestic laws and promptly process the asylum seekers who are detained there.”

Ms. Schuetze says Amnesty will continue to urge the Australian government to abandon offshore processing and encourage Nauru’s government to meet its responsibilities to asylum seekers sent to the processing centre.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

AUSTRALIA:


13) Australian foreign workers bill put off another week

By Online Editor
09:50 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Australia

Australia’s federal government’s crackdown on skilled migration visas appears to be on shaky ground after independent MP Rob Oakeshott said he won’t support the legislation.

During heated debate on the bill in parliament on Thursday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott explosively likened Prime Minister Julia Gillard to anti-immigrant One Nation founder and one-time senator Pauline Hanson.

Abbott said Labor’s legislation was divisive and accused Gillard of using it for base political purposes.

“We saw a member of this parliament set out to make perfectly decent Australians feel like strangers in their own country,” he told the lower house.

“It’s an embarrassment.”

Labor claims there’s been widespread rorting of the 457 skilled worker visa scheme at the expense of Australian jobs.

Its legislation requires employers to conduct labour market testing and only hire foreign workers if no Australian worker is available.

Abbott said the government should be tackling the problem of asylum seeker boat arrivals.

“Instead, they have decided to raise a false problem,” he said.

“They can’t get tough on illegal arrivals by boat, so they have decided to get tough on legal arrivals by plane.”

Oakeshott won’t support the legislative changes, saying authorities should make full use of existing sanctions and penalties to crackdown on any abuses of the 457 visa system.

“We don’t need new law. We need need existing law to be acted upon,” he told parliament.

The NSW MP also called for relevant agencies to show “backbone” in pursuing bosses suspected of breaching the system.

“Let’s send the dogs onto those that are breaking the laws,” he said.

However, fellow cross-bench MP Craig Thomson said he would support the legislation, while criticising the tone of the parliamentary debate.

“It’s quite extraordinary that this parliament is at such a state that we see political points on both sides being made, rather than looking at what is the legislation, what are the real issues here and what are the solutions to it,” he said.

“This is not ground-breaking legislation but it’s important legislation.”

The other key independent MPs – Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter and Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt – are expect to vote in favour of the bill.

But the positions of NSW independent Tony Windsor and former Liberal Peter Slipper remain unclear.

Debate on the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 was adjourned until next week.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN:

14) Ol Asylum seeker femili i lusim Manus Island senta

Updated 21 June 2013, 10:55 AEST

Sampela asylum seeker femili i lusim pinis dispela Manus Island ditensen senta blong Australia na ABC i lukim dispela olsem em i wanpela muv blong pinis long kalabusim ol femili long Manus.

Wanpela grup blong 70 pela pipol we i inkludim ol singel man, oli flaim igo long Christmas Island pinis.

ABC i save olsem gavman blong Australia i tingim olsem em ino gutpela long kipim ol femili long Manus Island senta.

Ol singel man ia oli autim ol na bai oli bringim go long Manus sampela arepela asylum seeker ananit long wanpela niupela polisi blong muvim ol asylum seeker igo long wanpela narapela senta.

Gavman i kamapim dispela sistim aninit long “No advantage” polisi we bai lukim moa pipol igo long Manus Island.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BAHASA:

15) Papua Nugini dan Indonesia tandatangan persetujuan layanan udara

Diperbaharui 21 June 2013, 12:40 AEST

Persetujuan baru antara Papua Nugini dan Indonesia mengenai layanan udara yang menyusul kunjungan Perdana Menteri PNG Peter O’Neill ke Jakarta minggu ini diperkirakan akan menguntungkan Kepulauan Solomon dan Fiji.

Ketua Kamar Dagang dan Industri Papua Nugini, John Leahy, mengatakan kepada Radio Australia, hubungan udara langsung yang diusulkan itu tidak hanya bermanfaat bagi Papua Nugini dan Indonesia.

“Idenya dalah mereka akan menggunakan pesawat 737 dan terbang dari Nadi melalui Honiara, Moresby dan kemudian terus ke Bali,” katannya.

“Ini membuka kesempatan bagi para penumpang dari negara-negara pulau di Pasifik lainnya untuk melakukan perjalanan melalui Port Moresby dan terus ke Bali.”

Booming sektor minyak dan gas di sepanjang perbatasan Indonesia dan Papua Nugini juga dibahas dalam kunjungan Perdana Menteri O’Neill ke Jakarta.

“Pembahasan akan terus berjalan dan kedua pemerintah berkomitmen untuk memfasilitasi sektor swasta dengan cara yang kooperatif,” kata John Leahy.

Sekitar 80 pengusaha Papua Nugini menyertai Perdana Menteri O’Neill dalam kunjungan itu.

Ini adalah kunjungan kenegaraan pertama ke Indonesia oleh seorang pemimpin PNG dan misi bisnis besar pertama dalam selama lebih dari 20 tahun terakhir.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH:

16) Prostitution infantile à Port Moresby

Posté à 21 June 2013, 8:22 AEST
Pierre Riant

L’organisation caritative World Vision Australia accuse : la cherté de la vie dans la capitale de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée force des mineurs à se prostituer.

“Certains de ces enfants ont faim et nous avons besoin de répondre à ce type de problème.”

Le quotidien le Post-Courier parlent d’une augmentation de 30% du nombre de mineurs et de jeunes filles qui se prostituent au cours de ces dernières années.

Curt Von Boguslawski, directeur national de World Vision Australia, indique qu’il est difficile de mettre un chiffre exact, mais que la prostitution a certes augmenté.

BOGUSLAWSKI : « Oui, certainement. Des informations montrent que des enfants sont marginalisés en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et tout spécialement en milieu urbain. On ne peut pas le contester et il faut vraiment s’attaquer au problème. Je dirais aussi que la maltraitance des enfants et les sévices sexuels sur enfant sont aussi à la hausse. Mais il faut faire attention avec les chiffres. »

Une idée sur les raisons de cette augmentation ?

BOGUSLAWSKI : « Les raisons classiques bien sûr : l’exode rural, le coût de la vie dans des centres urbains comme Port Moresby, le manque d’emplois chez les jeunes, chez les adultes aussi… tous des facteurs qui conduisent à ce type d’activités. »

Et que peut-on faire pour faire reculer la prostitution, notamment la prostitution infantile ?

BOGUSLAWSKI : « On peut faire beaucoup de choses, à commencer par la famille. Donner de l’espoir aux familles qui vivent dans des campements en périphérie de Port Moresby. Dans le centre-ville aussi, il y a des zones d’habitation non officielle, des squatteurs qui vivent dans la précarité.
Notre organisation se penche donc sur les besoins de ces gens et cela commence par leur donner de l’espoir en travaillant avec eux pour identifier leurs besoins de base et faire pression en haut lieu. »

Autre question : que fait la police ?

BOGUSLAWSKI : « Il y certainement des lois qui protègent les enfants mais c’est l’application de ces lois qui fait défaut. Il faut aussi que les parents rendent des comptes. Nombreux sont ceux qui ne savent pas ce que leurs enfants font et nous devons nous attaquer à ce problème aussi. »

Et bien comment font-ils justement ces enfants ? Est-ce qu’ils vont à l’école pendant la journée et se prostituent la nuit ou sont-ils totalement dysfonctionnels ?

BOGUSLAWSKI : « C’est difficile à dire exactement. Certains sont totalement marginalisés, ne vont plus à l’école et n’ont personne pour prendre soin d’eux. On les voit errer à travers Port Moresby ou à des carrefours où ils tentent de gagner une kina. C’est vraiment une situation déplorable quand on n’a personne pour s’occuper de soi. Certains de ces enfants ont faim et nous avons besoin de répondre à ce type de problème. »http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

WORLD:


17) Senate immigration deal would double number of U.S. border agents

By Online Editor
2:02 pm GMT+12, 21/06/2013, United States

Thousands of federal agents with high-tech surveillance devices would be dispatched to the U.S.-Mexican border under a deal unveiled on Thursday aimed at winning more Republican support for an immigration bill in the Democratic-led U.S. Senate.

Senate budget hawks questioned the costs and benefits of the extra security, but their concerns were overshadowed by the deal’s main goal: to win votes for a sweeping revision of U.S. immigration law that will open a pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The Senate could vote sometime next week to pass the bill. While there is little doubt that a majority of the 100-member Senate is prepared to vote yes, backers are hoping for 70 or more votes to help propel the measure through the more skeptical Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

“I don’t know if it’s totally well spent,” said Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, an important backer of the legislation, referring to the high cost of the border security deal, estimated at up to $50 billion over 10 years. “I think it’s important that we do this to give people confidence that we have border security, so in that respect it’s well spent.”

A leading conservative voice quickly embraced the deal.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American lawmaker from Florida who helped craft the bipartisan bill as part of a “Gang of Eight” in the Senate, said the deal was a “dramatic improvement in border security” during an interview on Fox News.

Rubio, touted as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, had hinged his full support on improvements in border security. His endorsement is seen as crucial to winning conservative backing for the biggest changes in U.S. immigration law in a generation.

The proposal, which could be formally offered as an amendment to the sprawling immigration bill as early as Thursday, would double the overall number of U.S. border patrol agents, according to senior Senate Democratic aides.

That would mean assigning 21,000 new officers to the southwestern border in an attempt to shut down future illegal crossings by foreigners.

“I am now confident … that the Senate will pass a strong, bipartisan immigration reform bill and that it will ultimately reach the desk of the president for his signature,” Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York said.

The immigration bill, which is supported by President Barack Obama, currently calls for adding 3,500 Customs and Border Protection officers by 2017.

Besides doubling the number of border agents, the deal also calls for completing the construction of 700 miles of border fencing or walls, Senate aides said. About 650 miles have been built in one form or another, though some portions will have to be upgraded.

At an estimated price tag of around $40 billion to $50 billon, the amendment, if passed, would represent a potentially massive investment of federal resources in securing the border at a time when conservatives are complaining bitterly about government outlays.

As originally written, the legislation called for about $6 billion in new border security spending.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, an aggressive critic of the bill, mocked the deal even though he has been calling for tougher border enforcement. He noted that it was drafted after congressional analysts estimated the bill would trim illegal immigration by just 25 percent.

“The bill gets in trouble on the floor and they scurry around to get an amendment to throw 20,000 agents … somewhere on the border in the future, we promise.” Sessions said, adding that such promises have been made in the past but not honored.

Sessions and other conservatives have pushed for delaying any pathway to citizenship for 11 million people until the government virtually eliminates illegal border crossings.

But a majority of the Senate repeatedly has repelled such attempts. On Thursday, it voted 54-43 to kill an amendment by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican, which would have delayed permanent legal status for the 11 million currently undocumented immigrants until the government met strict border enforcement goals.

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Senate’s immigration bill would save the federal government nearly $900 billion over 20 years as illegal immigrants became legal, taxpaying residents.

A Democratic aide said those projected savings gave senators the leeway to craft such an expensive border security amendment.

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican who has promised to consider an immigration bill this year, told reporters that the CBO deficit-reduction estimates, if “anywhere close to being accurate, would be a real boon for the country.”

While the legislation authorizes the beefed-up security programs, it would be up to Congress in the future to appropriate the funding.

A Senate aide said that the newly legalized residents would not get “green cards” allowing permanent resident status until the border security measures were in place. Gaining permanent resident status would take 10 years under the bill, giving the federal government the time to deploy the added border officers and equipment.

Besides the additional agents and fencing, the measure also calls for employing large amounts of unmanned drones, radars and other surveillance devices to catch or deter illegal crossings.

But the plan brought a harsh reaction from at least one civil liberties and human rights group.

Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, said the huge buildup in agents, surveillance hardware and fencing “is expensive and extreme.”

In a telephone interview with Reuters, he expressed fears that adding so many more armed officers would compound problems already being experienced involving fatal shootings on either side of the border.

“The current force on the U.S.-Mexico border is already excessive. What makes matters worse is that there are no checks and balances” on border patrol activities, Ramirez said

SOURCE: REUTERS/PACNEWS

HEALTH:

18) Guam Hospital’s Debt Amnesty Program Nets Little Money
Few take advantage of paying bills reduced by 50 percent

By Michelle Conerly

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 21, 2013) – Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) Authority’s ongoing amnesty-discount program has barely made a dent in an estimated $123 million in unpaid bills for uninsured patients.

The two-month program, which allows self-pay patients to settle their old bills for half of what they owe, ends Monday.

As of May 31, only $239,000 of the balance owed had been collected through the amnesty program, leaving more than $122 million that still needs to be collected.

It’s a debt that has accumulated for a decade, and the hospital’s former chief financial officer in 2011 said the chances of collecting that money are slim.

Alan Ulrich, the hospital’s current chief financial officer, Wednesday said he’s cautiously optimistic the entire balance will be paid.

“Any collections of these overdue balances will be positive for the hospital to meet its cash-flow requirements,” Ulrich said.

The amnesty ends at 5 p.m. Monday. Collection agencies within 60 days will be asked to pursue the outstanding balances, but Ulrich said the hospital would prefer to work with patients and guarantors directly.

Ulrich said the hospital plans to take several steps to stem the problem of non-paying patients in the future.

He said the hospital will: provide paperwork to patients, clearly detailing their responsibility to pay their bills; have better follow-ups on collections after patients are discharged; and offer a discount incentive program for patients who pay their bills in full within 30 days.

He said the hospital has been encouraging patients, if eligible, to enroll in insurance programs that can help pay for medical bills.

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

BUSINESS,TRADE+:


19) West Papua the Crown Jewel of Tourism Industry

By Online Editor
09:48 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Indonesia

Far away from the madding crowd, a treasure that’s been a secret for decades, the glorious marine life of West Papua now has become the crown jewel of Indonesia tourism industry.

If you told someone that you have been to Raja Ampat — whose name is now synonymous with the ultimate tropical getaway — people will be excited to hear details about it. West Papua, however, still hides magnificent marine and culture attractions waiting to be discovered.

Though accommodation is very limited, the many islands in one of the youngest provinces in Indonesia, is indeed a sailable paradise.

With less than a million population, West Papua only has several cities in its region. Manokwari, the province’s capital, might be small in size, but it offers plenty of choices for places to stay and perfect starting point for your journey to Cendrawasih Bay.

Fakfak, which means the peel or outer layer of a nutmeg in local dialect, is a sleepy coastal town built by the Dutch and home to several major oil companies. It has unforgettable picturesque panorama towards Seram Sea.

Bintuni, a small city by the sea, is famous for giant crabs and bird watching. And Sorong, a city easternmost of Papua, is famous for being as the main gate to the province’s main attraction, the Raja Ampat Islands.

Batanta, Misool, Salawati and Waigeo are four biggest islands in the archipelago of hundreds of islands and islets that is known as Raja Ampat. As the largest national marine parks in the country which is remotely located in the eastern part of Indonesia, Raja Ampat has diverse reef systems and a dazzling setting that was hailed by Newsweek magazine as one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2006.

The natural riches of the Coral Triangle, as the area is widely known, had attracted the famous French reality show “Survivor” to shoot some of their series here. Some people could stay at the ultra-exclusive Misool Eco Resort, but live-aboard boats are definitely the best way to explore many of Raja Ampat’s spectacles.

It is not the end of Raja Ampat’s beauty yet, there is more to discover in West Papua. You can enjoy the company of the largest fish in Cendrawasih Bay. Cendrawasih Bay, which is out of Manokwari, has more than 500 species of coral and almost 1,000 species of fish which is one of the only places in the world where you can see whale sharks all year round.

A couple times, lucky folks can enjoy a swim with four or more of these friendly gargantuan fish. To top that, beautiful fishes, corals and nudibranch with different colors, shapes and sizes are easily spotted almost everywhere in the area that is also rich with World War II underwater relics. If diving is not your thing, snorkeling is just as impressive as most of the natural riches are just meters away from the sea surface. The area is so vast that one week is not enough to cover all the important sites here.

There are more natural treasures of West Papua that waits to be discovered such as the idyllic Triton Bay near Kaimana where you can find wild turtles nesting and Arfak Mountains which is great for bird watching — all the way to the beautiful beaches that stretch along Rumberpon Island’s coastline.

Beside nature, the province also has interesting cultural activities. For example, the Doreri tribe near Manokwari has a unique ceremony called Mansorandak to welcome their brothers or sisters who have been away for a long time. While its neighboring tribe, Arfak, has a legacy of eco-friendly architecture

SOURCE: JAKARTA GLOBE/PACNEWS

20) Indonesia State Enterprises Eye Opportunities In PNG
Telecom, electric energy, airline routes under consideration

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 20, 2013) – Indonesian state-owned enterprises (SOE) are looking east to Papua New Guinea in great numbers to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the Pacific nation.

Among the SOEs expanding their reach to PNG are energy company Pertamina, telecommunications provider Telekomunikasi Indonesia, electricity supplier Perusahaan Listrik Negara and airline Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda recently announced plans to open a route connecting Port Moresby and Bali, while Pertamina and Telkom on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with their PNG counterparts in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Pertamina and PNG National Petroleum Company signed an agreement to explore oil and gas opportunities together.

“It will give us access to PNG’s seismic information,” said Afdal Bahaudin, Pertamina’s director of investment planning and risk management.

The MOU will allow PNPC to learn about the operation and development of liquefied natural gas projects, chairman Frank Kramer said.

“Indonesia has over 30 years of experience in the operation of LNG plants,” he said.

Badak NGL operates East Kalimantan’s Bontang LNG plant, Indonesia’s oldest.

“Exxonmobil is currently developing an LNG plant in PNG which would be the country’s first,” Mr. Kramer said, adding that the Pacific country holds some 25 trillion cubic feet in natural gas reserves.

Telkom signed its MOU with state-owned TelikomPNG.

Arief Yahya, president director of Telkom, said the Bandung-based company has agreed to extend its fiber optics network from the Indonesian province of Papua to PNG.

“The scheme of cooperation still needs to be discussed further, but basically we will build the infrastructure, for which we will receive a fee,” he said.

Telkom is keen to enter the mobile-phone market in PNG, where only half of the country’s 7 million population use mobile phones.

Telkom is currently building a fiber optic network in Indonesia’s Papua that will cost some Rp 700 billion [US$70.5 million], Arief said.

On the electricity front, PLN president director Nur Pamudji said the company will soon export electricity to areas in PNG near the Indonesian border. He said the amount would be “not much, only 2 megawatts,” and was an effort to seek friendship rather than revenue.

State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said PNG recorded robust recent growth in gross domestic product, encouraging the expansion of Indonesian SOEs. “Their GDP growth was about 9 percent,” he added.

PNG’s economy last year stood at K16.9 billion [US$7.7 billion], following a five-year annual compound growth rate of 7.3 percent. With GDP per capita at K2,532 [US1,069$], the average person engages in significantly less economic activity than their counterpart in Indonesia, where GDP per capita stood at K4,666 [US$2,121].

PNG has recently undergone some political instability following claims on government leadership positions by rival candidates. The country is a significant recipient of foreign aid.

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

LAW&ORDER:

21) Conviction of former Solomons MP welcomed by Transparency

Posted at 03:46 on 21 June, 2013 UTC

The conviction of a former Solomon Islands MP for corruption has been welcomed by civil society groups.

Japhet Waipora received a prison sentence of 21 months after he was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court this week.

Magistrate Leonard Maina ruled Waipora misused 21,000 US dollars allocated to his constituency in 2007 and 2008, and said he had brought disgrace upon the Parliament.

Daniel Fenua from Transparency Solomon Islands says the case sends a strong message to all MPs.

“This amount of money is just nothing to the MPs, but the fact remains that this is public money and he used it for his own personal purposes. I think the sentence, from our perspective, this is really good what the court has done.”

Daniel Fenua says he still has concerns many MPs are not accountable and the new Constituency Development Funds Act only entrenches further opportunities for corruption.

Waipora has lodged an appeal and has been released on bail pending the result of the appeal.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Illegal Miners Reported At Solomons’ Gold Ridge
Company concerned for safety, disruption to operations

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 20, 2013) – Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) says illegal miners have been moving into their mining lease, disrupting their operations in the Solomon Islands.

General manager Stean Barrie said counts of up to 150 illegal miners are moving in and around the pits daily.

“An increase of illegal gold panning at Gold Ridge is raising fears for the safety of illegal miners,” Mr. Barries said yesterday.

“At the same time, it is having a damaging impact on productivity at the mine and the amount of royalties due to landowners and the Solomon Islands Government (SIG).”

He said these illegal miners have been moving into the mining lease over the last four months, putting themselves at risk of harm, stealing gold from the Mining Lease and reducing royalty payments.

“We are concerned for the well being of everybody on the mine site and we feel that it is only a matter of time before an illegal miner is seriously injured or possibly even killed,” Mr. Barrie said.

“Mine sites are potentially dangerous areas with hazards such as heavy machinery and blasting. There are families with women and children in active mining areas whom we do not wish to put in danger,” he added.

“Furthermore, the disruption to our operations has an immediately negative impact on productivity, which in turn lowers the amount of royalties, export duties and taxes that GRML pays to the Solomon Island Government. Illegal miners do not contribute to the community.”

Mr. Barrie said due to illegal mining the company estimates as much as SB$150,000 [US$20,580] a month is lost in royalties to landowners and the SIG.

“GRML’s economic contribution goes towards developing the Solomon Islands and particularly Guadalcanal, supporting clinics, schools and roads.

“Illegal miners are effectively stealing from local communities,” Mr. Barrie said.

According to the Mines and Minerals Act, mineral rights belong to the state, not an individual.

Guadalcanal Provincial Police Commander David Diosi said the actions of these people are illegal.

“The message from the Police is clear: Unauthorized entry is illegal and offenders will be charged. According to Solomon Island Penal Code, illegal miners may face up to five years imprisonment for stealing gold,” Mr. Diosi said.

“With offenses related to illegal panning, culprits will be handed over to the police and they will be prosecuted,” he warned.

It’s believed those involved are villagers surrounding the mining lease at Gold Ridge.

Solomon Star

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:


23) Seed diversity crucial to Pacific food security

By Online Editor
2:57 pm GMT+12, 19/06/2013, Australia

A group which promotes food security is calling for Pacific countries to better manage and protect the seeds of staple crops.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust says crops like taro, coconut and sweet potato are estimated to provide up to 40% of the dietary needs of some communities around the region.

Executive Director Marie Haga says diversity is needed to ensure crops can adapt to disease and other threats.

“Take coconuts – we actually produce more than 50 million coconuts every year,” she said.

“Coconut right now is facing great challenges – it is threatened by old and new diseases, probably because of the effect of climate change in coastal areas.

“Obviously then coconut producers need new options and the option for them lies in diversity, in new varieties of coconuts.”

The Trust supports the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located 1,300 kilometres above the Arctic Circle.

Haga says more cooperation is needed between countries when it comes to diversity.

“That is why it is so important that we have a global system with diversity in different places over the world,” she said.

“[Then] we can help each other out to find the traits that are needed for combating whatever trouble we have in a specific area.”.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

24) NGO Opposes New Caledonia Coal Power Plant
Petition against plant reportedly has over 6,700 signatures

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 20, 2013) –Non-governmental organization Together for the Planet, or EPLP, is today delivering a petition to New Caledonia’s government opposing a planned coal-fuelled power plant in Noumea.

The recently announced plant of the SLN nickel company is poised to increase New Caledonia’s already high carbon emission rate.

The World Wildlife Fund says the territory’s CO2 emissions will rise almost treble to 36.8 tons per capita a year due to the development of new mining and metal extraction projects.

EPLP’s Martine Cornaille says SLN is pushing through its plans without consulting the local community.

“Our goal was to show to the government and industrialists that people do not want an additional coal plant inside here in Noumea. Within two months now, we have had more than 6,700 signatures from civilians, from people in society that refuse to have a coal plant here,” Cornaille said.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

25) Residents Petition Against Vanuatu Fish Processing Plant
Project allegedly endorsed without consulting community

By Harrison Selmen

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 20, 2013) – The Fisheries Department in Luganville has revealed that the proposed fish processing plant in Luganville received endorsement by the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA).

Daily Post has a copy of the approval document by VIPA.

The sudden knowledge of such a project in the town vicinity of Luganville caught many residents by surprise as there was no consultation with the community in the area for the fish processing plant.

This resulted in the call for residents to sign a petition that says not to the establishment of the fish processing plant.

Already nearly 100 people have signed the petition.

Daily Post witnessed an agent for the company who was in Luganville to advertise positions the company would offer.

The people who signed the “say no to the establishment of the fish processing plant” included newly elected Mayor of Luganville town under the Greens Confederation, Morris Emboi and one councilor.

Meanwhile, there have been mixed reactions to a recent letter published in Daily Post.

Some people want the plant to be established for its benefits that include jobs, fishing boats offloading in Vanuatu and cheap source of protein.

They said the location should not be disputed as it is in the industrial zone next to a timber factory and beef factory.

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

26) Samoa Meteorological Warning Capabilities Boosted
Japan contributes $8.9 million to improving systems

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, June 20, 2013) – Samoa’s Meteorology Division is now armed with better equipment to gather information about the weather thanks to Japan.

Funded under Japan’s Grand Aid Programme (JGAP) weather forecasting and warning systems were opened yesterday in a brief ceremony at Met headquarters at Mulinu’u.

“Improving the weather forecasting system and meteorological warning facilities is something we have always dreamed to happen,” said head of Meteorology, Moefa’auo Ausetalia Titimaea.

Improving these facilities started in March 2010 when Japan and Samoa signed an agreement on a WST$21 million [US$8.9 million] upgrade project.

“This program includes the establishment of nine automatic weather observation stations for the collection of surface observation data and six data communication repeaters spread across the Samoan islands of Upolu, Savaii and Manono, ” said Ambassador Yasuaki Nogawa.

“It also includes the installation of a wind profiler, which is a first in the South Pacific region, a solar power back-up system, and an integrated data system for accumulating, analyzing and sending meteorological data from a newly constructed building here at the Meteorology Division Head Office,” His Excellency said.

Also included in the project is an “aviation weather observation systems at the runway and data communications systems,” he said.

Ambassador Nagowa said there’s specialized equipment and a sea level sensor for monitoring storm surges created by tropical cyclones and tsunamis.

“Weather information will automatically be collected from all the sites and sent to the main site here, before being disseminated and stored at the World Meteorological Centre, based in Melbourne, Australia,” he said.

Ambassador Nagowa said technical cooperation which is currently underway by Japanese experts to train Meteorology Division staff to most effectively utilize these improved facilities is currently underway.

The system also enables the Meteorology Division to collect real time data from around the world including Japan’s Multifunctional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) and the Global Telecommunication System (GTS).

Moefa’auo said with these new facilities, “our office here can contribute to the world’s Meteorological office by sending data’s collected in this territory.”

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi agrees with Ambassador Nagowa that many natural disasters have hit Samoa, with Cyclone Evan last December one of the worst since cyclones Ofa and Val.

Tuilaepa acknowledged Japan’s assistance which greatly improved preparation against Cyclone Evan.

“When Samoa was placed under a cyclone watch, I understand that this program was very useful in the preparations for Evan which included warnings for people to board up their homes, “said Ambassador Nagowa.

“The detection of unusual climate trends is also crucial to pursuing environmental sustainability, disaster risk reduction and developing plans to mitigate climate change impacts in Samoa,” he said.

Talamua: http://talamua.com/index.php

SPORTS:


27a) The bigger, the better: PNG Pepes

By Online Editor
10:59 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

The search is on. The Pepes want taller, bigger players to make a real impact on the world stage.

Papua New Guinea Netball Federation pre­sident Julienne Leka-Maliaki stressed height and size would be key factors in qualifying for the 2015 World Championships in Sydney, Australia.

Leka-Maliaki said qualification for the second best Pacific Island side for the 2015 World Championships must come with hard work.

“Height was a telling factor at the recent Pacific Netball Series (PNS) in Samoa,” she said.

“Our height advantage in the shooting ring was a bonus for us and through our talent identification programme, we are working on filling in all departments with height and size, in preparation towards the 2014 PNS,” Lea-Maliaki said.

Riding off the Pacific MMI Pepes historic achievement recently in Samoa where they finished second behind Fiji, Netball PNG has set their sights on maintaining that momentum but that will come with sweat and hard work.

Leka-Maliaki said the PMMI Pepes would have to finish first or second next year in the Cook Islands to qualify for the world tournament.

But she is bubbling with confidence, saying following their recent performance, she believed they could do it.

“The Pepes have set a good benchmark from their recent tournament and there is hope that we can be able to accomplish that,” Leka-Maliaki said.

“Just like any other Pacific nation, we would like to make it to the World Netball Championships, now is a good opportunity for PNG to have a feel of this international meet.

The last time PNG took part at this championship was in 1992 in New Zealand where the Pepes finished 26th on the world ranking.

The 2014 PNS in Cook Islands will be the qualifiers for the 2015 World Netball Championships in Sydney.

Leka-Maliaki said the federation was working hard at harnessing its players so they could send the strongest team to next year’s PNS.

“There is still a lot of improvement to be done. Certainly there is potential but a lot of hard work ahead. We need to get our feet back on the ground,” she said.

“Obviously, Cook Islands, Samoa and Fiji will be sending stronger teams and we must make sure that we are well prepared for them.

“It is purely hard work that will give good results.”

Leka-Maliaki thanked naming rights sponsor Pacific MMI for their continued support.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

27b) Fiji and Japan aim for crucial rankings gains

By Online Editor
11:07 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Japan

A key battle for ranking gains takes place this weekend in the Pacific Nations Cup, where Fiji, USA, Japan, Canada and Tonga are all in action.

While Japan’s momentous first-ever win over Wales last week improved their rating points but not their actual position, two wins in the PNC would take the Brave Blossoms up one place to 14th in the IRB World Rankings, depending on other results.

With success over Canada already achieved midweek, on Sunday Japan play USA, who have their own chance to make headway despite a midweek defeat to Fiji.

With fewer than 1.5 ranking points separating Canada, Fiji and Japan at the start of the week, there was ample scope for a reshuffle in the standings. Victory for the Eagles in Tokyo could see the Americans rise one place to 16th.

Rankings climb

Scotland play Italy this weekend and, depending on other results, victory over the Azzurri would see them get back up to ninth while an Italian win would see Sergio Parisse’s men climb to 10th.

A first-ever win for Samoa over South Africa would see them rise two places to fifth, while a Springboks win would leave Samoa unchanged and slightly improve their points total.

Defeat for Tonga against Fiji would drop them two places to 12th and in turn lift Italy (currently 12th) and Scotland (11th) each by one place. A Tongan victory, on the other hand, would consolidate their 10th place with an increased ranking total.

Victory for Fiji could nudge Canada out of 13th place in the world.

Having racked up impressive wins against USA, Fiji and Tonga recently, the Canadians’ good form has stalled with defeats by the touring Irish side last week and Japan in the week.

Staying put

The All Blacks and France will stay in first and fifth place regardless of the outcome of the third Test between the sides in New Plymouth on Saturday, though victory for Les Bleus would increase their rating points total by two.

Further down the table, Uganda host Kenya in Kampala on Saturday for the second leg of their annual Elgon Cup fixture.

Victory for holders Uganda would not change their world No.37 ranking, but would demote Kenya by one place to 41st in the world, in turn allowing Switzerland to rise one place without playing a match

SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

27c) Tahiti unbowed by Spanish blowout
By Online Editor
11:09 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, Brazil

Spain won by a landslide, as expected, but tiny Tahiti emerged with their reputations enhanced and their dignity intact despite their 0-10 loss to the world and European champions at the Confederations Cup.

Fernando Torres scored four times and missed a penalty, David Villa hit three, David Silva two and Juan Mata one, as Spain scored double figures for the third time in their history.

The outcome of one of the most unlikely matches to take place in a senior FIFA competition was never in doubt and even Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta said before the game his side’s chances of winning were “quite impossible”.

Despite the Group B hammering, Tahiti played some attractive attacking football against a second-string Spain side that still contained some of the biggest names in European soccer, including Sergio Ramos and Pepe Reina.

“Often, inferior teams look to break up the game and get aggressive, they play without spirit or hope,” said Torres, after the record Confederations Cup victory.

“Standards aside, Tahiti showed a great example of how to go about playing football.”

“We have tried to show them respect in every sense. We tried to play well, to play simple football and to score goals, and these goals will be important for the next stage.”

Tahiti’s first meeting with European opposition was more of an occasion than a match in many respects and the fans created a superb atmosphere in the newly refurbished Maracana, the venue for next year’s World Cup final.

They cheered every Tahiti pass and tackle, and roundly booed Spain.

Two of the loudest cheers were for two fine saves made by 20-year-old Tahiti goalkeeper Mikael Roche midway through the second half, with his side already 0-7 down.

The first goal arrived after only five minutes, when Torres scored in the huge gap that Roche left between himself and the near post.

Tahiti, who lost 1-6 to Nigeria first up and next face Uruguay on Monday, kept Spain at bay for the next 26 minutes and weaved some neat passing moves together, with Teheivarii Ludivon providing some of the best distribution for his side.

But they were unable to make any real impact on the Spanish defence, apart from a fine angled shot from Ricky Aitamai just before halftime.

By then, Spain were already well in control and leading 4-0, with Silva, Torres and Villa all finding the target in an eight-minute spell.

But despite Spain’s obvious superiority against the Oceania champions, who are ranked 138th in the world, the amateurs from the South Pacific never stopped trying to play football to the delight of the 71,000-plus crowd.

Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla even earned himself a booking for a clumsy challenge in the first half, which ended with the crowd cheering Tahiti off.

Spain flexed their muscles after the break, with Villa adding two more and Torres one in the first 15 minutes of the second half, before Mata made it eight when he worked a one-two with David Silva and got a lucky deflection.

Torres then missed a penalty after 78 minutes, prompting a huge cheer from the crowd, but got his fourth goal and Spain’s ninth a minute later when he rounded Roche to score.

Silva made it double figures in the 89th minute, after another move that slit open the Tahiti defence.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, whose side beat Uruguay in their opener and next play Nigeria on Sunday, said: “We played a good game, we took it seriously and our superiority was evident.

“I don’t think the stadium were against Spain. I think it was more to do with things beyond the stadium.

“We have seen in the previous game,and in the street, everyone has shown us great affection.”

Protests about the cost of living and the cost of the World Cup have rocked Brazil in recent days.

SOURCE: REUTERS/PACNEWS

27d) Sevens players commit to Keep Rugby Clean

By Online Editor
11:01 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, South Africa

The twin pillars of testing and education will again be to the fore in Moscow as the world’s top Sevens players commit to Keep Rugby Clean at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.

A comprehensive testing programme is in place for the tournament, which runs from June 28-30 at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital. As well as in-competition testing, players will also be subject to urine and blood tests out of competition from the time they land in the country.

The IRB has highlighted its commitment to the promotion of drug-free Rugby with the appointment of the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to deliver the rigorous testing programme in Moscow. All samples collected will be sent for analysis at the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in the city.

A total of 1,102 tests were conducted on Sevens players through RWC Sevens qualifying tournaments, the HSBC Sevens World Series and out of competition over the past 18 months. These tests yielded a total of nine violations.

But testing is only one side of the battle against performance-enhancing drugs in Rugby. Education is key and all participating teams received the anti-doping handbooks (translated into 10 languages) prior their departure to the tournament.

All anti-doping educational resources are available on www.keeprugbyclean.com. The e-learning programme, which was launched on June 13, is an extensive tool that allows players, coaches and team management to learn about the dangers and consequences of doping.

From Tuesday to Thursday next week, there will be an Anti-Doping Outreach station located in the team hotel. Players and other team personnel will be encouraged to visit the station where anti-doping information and advice will be provided.

The IRB’s Keep Rugby Clean campaign has the backing of a number of ambassadors, including British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, Argentina’s Felipe Contepomi, Australia flanker David Pocock, Carla Hohepa from New Zealand, Heather Moyse of Canada and South Africa Sevens star Cecil Afrika.

Indeed, Afrika will be a key member of the South Africa team taking part in Moscow. He said: “The Keep Rugby Clean campaign is an easy one for me to support as I live my life and play my Rugby by that motto. I accepted the role as an ambassador to the campaign because I believe that my lifestyle is living proof of that and that it hopefully can motivate others to do the same.”

“I would recommend the IRB’s efforts to educate players on the importance of anti-doping and would urge the players to take notice of and attend these workshops. The argument that someone did not know will never be an excuse when it comes to doping. As a potential or current professional Rugby player, you should make sure what the dangers and pitfalls are when it comes to the use of substances and supplements. My advice would be that if you are unsure about the legality of something, don’t take it.”

IRB Anti-Doping Manager for Testing and Education, Ilaria Baudo, said: “Rugby Sevens demonstrates all that is good about our sport – athleticism, skill, power and camaraderie – and it also espouses the Game’s core values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline. And that includes remaining clean.”

“Players need to understand the dangers and consequences of doping, the pitfalls concerning nutritional supplement use and how to maintain a healthy and clean approach to sports nutrition. Our Keep Rugby Clean initiative helps promote those values.”

SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

27e) Scotland name strong squad for RWC in Moscow

By Online Editor
11:03 am GMT+12, 21/06/2013, United Kingdom

Scotland Sevens head coach Stephen Gemmell has joined his Pool B counterpart Paul Treu in naming his players for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow at the end of the month, and has gone one further in already narrowing down to his final squad of 12.

Jim Thompson, who currently plays full-back for London Scottish and was involved in last weekend’s FIRA-AER tournament in Lyon, makes the squad while the remaining 11 are full-time Scotland Sevens players.

Colin Gregor captains the team at his third World Cup, with Scotland’s top try scorer Andrew Turnbull will also make his third outing. Scott Riddell, Colin Shaw and Thompson will be playing their second.

“We’ve selected an experienced squad with the majority of the players contracted to the Sevens programme. We have also brought in Jim who will give us an extra option at ten,”said Gemmell.

“We have gone for six forwards and six backs, with Chris Dean, able to operate in both positions.”

“As always it is a huge honour to represent my country and an even greater honour to be captain at a Rugby World Cup 7s,” said Gregor.

“We go into this competition having secured our core status in the HSBC Sevens World Series, so now it’s time to go out a give a reflection of ourselves in a World Cup.”

Scotland will start in Pool B against Japan with further group matches against hosts Russia and South Africa.

Scotland squad: Scott Riddell (Scotland 7s), Michael Fedo (Scotland 7s), Struan Dewar (Scotland 7s), Alex Glashan (Scotland 7s EDP), Colin Gregor (captain) (Scotland 7s), Chris Dean (Scotland 7s EDP), Andrew Turnbull (Scotland 7s), Colin Shaw (Scotland 7s), Jim Thompson (London Scottish), Michael Maltman (Scotland 7s), Mark Robertson (Scotland 7s) and James Johnstone (Scotland 7s).

SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

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