Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 876


1) MSG can access EDF11 funds, thanks to amendments to Cotonou Agreement – Ambassador Joy

By Online Editor
1:52 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Fiji

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is ‘slowly gaining visibility and recognition in Europe,’ said the head of the Pacific group of Ambassadors in Brussels.

Addressing MSG Leaders in Noumea last week, Ambassador Joy said the sub-regional bloc needs to take its rightful place in the international arena and align itself with strong and influential groups and organisation in Europe and Africa.

Vanuatu and other Pacific countries with diplomatic representations in Brussels have been promoting MSG interests with the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and the European Union (EU).

A recent breakthrough that will directly benefit the MSG is the amendment to the Cotonou Agreement to include other regional organisations to access financial assistance from the EU.

“Recently Vanuatu chaired the meeting of the ACP-EU  Development Finance Cooperation Committee on Finance in Brussels that approved amendments to Annex 3 & 4 of the Cotonou Agreement which allows organisations like the MSG to be able to access funds from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

“This amendment means an extension to other regional organisations to be able to participate in the 11th programming of the EDF financial process, Ambassador Roy told PACNEWS.

The Vanuatu diplomat said the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila needs to liase with the ACP Secretariat to sort out the formula on how it can participate effectively to access funds for its projects.

“This is a huge departure from the normal processes of the EDF funding process, said Ambassador Joy.

He said when MSG participated at the National Authorising Officers( NAO) meeting , it gave the ACP an important opportunity to recognise the role of MSG. Institutions like the Indian Ocean  Community in the Indian Ocean participate fully and they have their own place in the negotiating table when it comes to financing. It was high time that the MSG is given an equal place at the table to put forward what it has in terms of resource management, on terms of technical assistance, said Ambassador Joy.

Negotiation on the multiannual financial framework kicks in at the end of August in Brussels. The six year EDF11 process, worth Euro 31 billion 586 million, starts on 01 January 2014

“How the funds are going to be accorded priority depends on regional and national priorities. For MSG we have to work through our own national governments. Now the MSG and the Forum have been accorded equal opportunity to be able to access additional funds for their development aspirations, said Ambassador Joy.

This development in Brussels is in line with the new enhanced way forward for the Melanesian sub-regional bloc as it reaches out both regionally and globally to secure its place in regional and global affairs.

In their communiqué, MSG Leaders agreed that members maintain a strong push for the EDF11 funds to be channeled through sub-regions or ‘regional integration’ organisations.

Leaders also endorsed that climate change and regional economic integration become the two focal sectors for EDF11 programming.

“MSG Leaders urged the Secretariat and officials to finalise the MSG Strategy for EDF11 and ask PNG and Fiji to complete arrangements for the setting up of the PACP Secretariat in Port Moresby.

2) Organization Disappointed In Vanuatu’s Compromise On Papua
Oceania Decolonization Committee called deferral ‘not acceptable’

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 21, 2013) – ‘Oceania Decolonization Committee’ (ODC) president Shem Rarua said Vanuatu leaders compromising the nation’s stand on West Papua with the rest of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) members at the19th MSG Leaders’ Summit is “disappointing”.

He told Daily Post yesterday that while the MSG functions as a Group, the individual member countries have their own stand when it comes to such issues as the West Papua struggle for political freedom from Indonesia.

“To comprise Vanuatu’s position on West Papua issue with other Melanesian members is not acceptable,” he said.

“Many promises were already made to the West Papuan leaders by the Vanuatu leaders to grant them membership over the past few months.

“How can the Vanuatu Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs compromise the West Papua issue at this MSG summit which should have allowed full membership to the West Papua?” Rarua questioned.

“The Prime Minister and the Minister Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu have heard, seen and read more than enough of the brutality, killings and murdering of the West Papuan Melanesians reported in local, regional and international media every day as well as from the West Papuan leaders and people themselves.

“Then here we are Prime Minister Moana Carcasses and Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Natapei, have compromised and agreed with other Melanesian countries to visit Jakarta, Indonesia and West Papua for the proof, when you see the proof in all media outlets and even the Human Rights Organizations and the leaders of West Papua themselves every day.”

[PIR editor’s note: Radio Australia reported that Foreign Minister Natapei said “…his country strongly backed the bid to have it discussed at this meeting, but was outnumbered. ‘We have to comply with the majority,’ he said.”]

“I wish to remind the two Vanuatu leaders at the MSG of what one of the founding fathers of this nation, the late Father Walter Lini said , ‘Vanuatu cannot be fully independent until all colonized people of Oceania and elsewhere are politically free’.

“I want the people of Vanuatu to know that the Vanuatu Government (leaders) does not support our stand for West Papua Call to be freed from the Indonesian military control.

“The ODC two fundamental principles are clear which are; ‘No Dialogue and No Referendum to be discussed with Indonesia’ by anybody.

“Even the Vanuatu Parliament unanimously approved West Papua issue to be taken up with the UN Decolonization Committee but all past and today’s government leaders have failed to fulfill this wish of the people of Vanuatu for West Papuan Melanesians,” the concerned ODC president said.

“The ODC was registered in 2009 and liaises closely with the West Papua National Consensus Leadership (NCL) working towards the political Independence for the West Papuan people.

“We were pleased to note earlier responses from the Vanuatu Government leaders when the West Papuan freedom campaigners visited Vanuatu.

“They promised the West Papuan leaders to have West Papua obtain full MSG membership in this Noumea summit. It has now turned out all differently, a lie to the Melanesians of West Papua.

“I could not sleep last night because Vanuatu Leaders betrayed our West Papua Melanesian brothers and sisters,” Rarua said.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

3) West Papua Will Haunt MSG: Somare Tells Summit
Foresees MSG as venue for dialogue between Indonesia, Papua

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 24, 2013) – The issue of West Papua will continue to test the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s commitment to defend and promote independence as the inalienable right of indigenous people of Melanesia and promote their human rights, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare says.

In his keynote address to the Melanesian Spearhead Group silver jubilee celebration in New Caledonia last week, Sir Michael said there was strong and growing support among the MSG people for West Papua’s membership to MSG and its aspirations for self-determination.

“Obviously, the Papua New Guinea Government’s position on this issue will very much weigh on MSG’s considerations in terms of how it deals with West Papua,” Sir Michael said.

“For me personally, I believe that MSG should actively make representations to Indonesia to address the human rights abuses in West Papua.

“The MSG must involve West Papua in some of MSG’s cultural events, sporting activities and technical skills exchanges.

“West Papua, after all, has a significant Melanesian community.

“But should the MSG leaders decide on granting West Papua ‘membership’, in one form or another, it should be done only on the basis that it is a Melanesian community and not because MSG countries recognise West Papua as a sovereign, independent state,” he said.

He said if a decision was made for West Papua to be a ‘member’ of MSG, it was not hard to imagine this serving as a venue for both Indonesia and West Papua to have dialogue and regularly brief MSG countries of developments in West Papua.

Sir Michael, who was invited to attend the MSG celebration, said it sounded perfunctory but he was truly honoured because he noted from the invitation letter that he was regarded as a founding father of MSG.

“A great recognition, for which I am thankful,” Sir Michael said.

“While I, indeed, signed the agreement formally establishing the MSG, the honour of conceiving this organisation rests with the late Fr Walter Lini, Paias Wingti and Ezekiel Alebua.

“Both Wingti and Alebua, who are still with us today, would have been equally worthy guests.

“As we search to find areas of common interest to pursue our quest for more enhanced co-operation and deeper integration, we must ensure that our national resources and energies are not wasted.

The National:

4) MSG Leaders Sign Three Treaties, Strengthen Organization
Treatment of Children; Police Cooperation; Foreign Judgments agreed to

By Nanise Loanakadavu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 24, 2013) – Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders have signed three treaties that will further strengthen the sub-regional organisation.

The documents, signed following the conclusion of the 19th Leaders Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia, are: Treaty on the Custody and Maintenance of Children; Treaty on Reciprocal Enforcement on Foreign Judgments; and Memorandum of Agreement on Police Co-operation.

A statement from the government said the leaders also launched the Revised Draft Trade Agreement negotiations, the MSG Humanitarian, Emergency and Response Co-ordination Centre, the MSG Department of Peacekeeping and the MSG Silver Jubilee Scholarship in memory of one of its founding fathers, Father Walter Lini.

Outgoing MSG chairman Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said a department of peacekeeping operations had been established at the MSG Secretariat to help establish a MSG Peacekeeping Unit for peacekeeping missions.

He said meaningful steps had been made towards the full implementation of the MSG Trade Agreement with the ongoing removal of tariffs for trade between member nations.

“The MSG Skills Movement Scheme will now provide for the free movement of skilled personnel within the region,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

He added that for the past two years notable achievements had been made in the areas of customs co-operation, bio-security, fisheries, and culture preservation.

Fiji Times Online:

5) PNG deputy PM Dion backs Indonesia, Kanaks

By Online Editor
4:21 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, New Caledonia

Papua New Guinea recognises West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion says.

But Dion supported the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), a militant socialist pro-independence alliance of political parties in New Caledonia fighting for independence from France,
Speaking at the Melanesian Solidarity Group (MSG) Leaders’ Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia, last Friday, Dion reiterated what Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had said in Indonesia earlier last week.

MSG leaders noted that a roadmap in relation to the application by West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL) for membership should be based on clear and achievable timelines.

They acknowledged that the human rights violations needed to be highlighted and noted that to progress the WPNCL’s application, it was important to continually engage with Indonesia.

They agreed to establish a process of dialogue and consultation with Indonesia.

They noted and welcomed the invitation from Indonesia to invite a foreign ministers’ mission to be led by Fiji and that confirmation on the timing of the mission was being awaited.

The outcomes of the WPNCL’s application would be subject to the report of the FMM mission.

“There are issues for discussions will constitute part of the meeting agendas that have implications on sovereignty and therefore, with the indulgence of my colleague prime ministers, it is important that we tread the issues with wisdom to arrive at a gainful conclusion,” Dion said.

“In that regard, on the issue of new membership, PNG maintains its position by recognising West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia under the Treaty of Mutual Respect, Friendship and Cooperation signed between Indonesia and PNG.”

Dion said the MSG had achieved much over the past 25 years since its inception in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.

He commended the eminent persons group (EPG) for putting together the MSG Vision that would guide it for another 25 years.

“I believe many important issues have been captured in the report of the EPG reflecting the wishes and desires of the people of Melanesia,” he said.

“The MSG Vision is a key master strategy that will pave the way forward in terms of guiding MSG on to achieving the key principles of why MSG was established 25 years ago in Papua New Guinea.

“The vision must be achievable, relevant and applicable to MSG countries to implement.”

Dion congratulated the FLNKS in taking up the role of the chair of MSG this year and for the next two years.

“The FLNKS is at the juncture of a very significant milestone of the Noumea Accord – that is the path leading up to the referendum of the people of New Caledonia scheduled for 2014,” he said.


6) MSG promises technical assistance to assist FLNKS prepare for 2014 elections

By Online Editor
1:50 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, New Caledonia

New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS movement will receive technical assistance from the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as it prepares for national elections next year.

At the end of their two day meeting in Noumea last week, MSG Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to support the FLNKS cause for eventual self-determination.

“Leaders reaffirmed that the MSG must stay committed to the FLNKS cause for self determination and welcomed the proposed Declaration as the express commitment of the MSG, said the communiqué issued by Leaders after their Retreat on Escapade Island, just off Noumea.

Papua New Guinea informed the meeting that it will support the people of Kanaky through the extension of bilateral assistance.

To confirm their commitment, Leaders signed a Declaration on MSG commitment to FLNKS’ cause for independence Friday at the end of their two day meeting.

The Eminent Persons Group suggests that MSG Leaders consider appropriate forms of assistance to the FLNKS in the lead up to national elections in 2014. This assistance can include financial assistance, attachment of personnel to the FLNKS Bureau for capacity building, provision of observers during the election and other technical assistance.

“All efforts are to be directed at achieving the ultimate political goal of full independence for the FLNKS.

“In the event that FLNKS does not get a clear pathway to full independence after the referendum provided for in the Noumea Accord, then MSG should stand ready to consult with and offer advice to the FLNKS Bureau and the FLNKS Congress members on the way forward for FLNKS and the country, said  the EPG report.

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.

“FLNKS will be keen to learn from the experiences of countries like Niue and Cook Islands who have special relationship with New Zealand with some competences shared, and also from the experiences of Micronesian countries under the compact arrangement with the United States of America.

In an impassioned plea to MSG Leaders, Vice President of the New Caledonia Congress and a strong advocate for independence, Roc Wamytan urged Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to help the people of Kanaky attain full emancipation and integrate fully into the Melanesian family of nations.

“Don’t deny the natural bonds that we share. New Caledonia is not a European country. We are Melanesians. We have strong ties with Vanuatu, we have families there. We are close to PNG as we all originated from Papua. We need to build on these ties, said Wamytan.

MSG Leaders have noted a proposed visit to New Caledonia by the United Nations in late 2013 or in 2014.


7) Decolonisation and self-determination to the forefront at MSG summit

Posted at 05:47 on 24 June, 2013 UTC

Issues of decolonisation and self-determination took centre stage at the just-completed 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit in New Caledonia.

For the summit’s hosts and incoming chair of the MSG, New Caledonia’s FLNKS movement, the gathering was a strong endorsement of their preparation for possible independence from France.

However for the West Papuans of Indonesia, their bid to join the MSG and further their own struggle for self-determination, the summit was not all that they had hoped for.

Johnny Blades reports from Noumea:

The theme of Melanesian solidarity is central to all MSG summits. Much is made of how the group was set up to break the shackles of colonialism and support freedom for all Melanesian people. But beneath the celebrations, disquiet lurks over the long-running struggle for self-determination of the West Papuans of Indonesia’s heavily militarised eastern region. A formal bid for MSG membership by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, whose leadership has lived in exile for many years, was the most anticipated discussion item at this summit. Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Moana Carcasses told the plenary session that the MSG must support the cause because continued denial of self-determination for West Papuans is unacceptable.

“MOANA CARCASSES: We are aware of the human rights violation and atrocities being committed against West Papuans in their motherland. And so, therefore, I’m calling for an end to the abuse of human rights. We move that any continuation or abuse of human rights should be immediately brought to the attention of the international communities. Never let our desire for freedom be extinguished by the power of money.”

Among the five members of the MSG, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and the FLNKS were in support of the West Papuan membership bid. But Papua New Guinea and Fiji – two countries who have in recent months forged closer ties with Indonesia – were uncomfortable with it. Earlier, the issue was debated at length by senior officials, with the leaders ultimately declaring that a decision on the West Papua application would be deferred until after a MSG mission had visited Indonesia to discuss West Papua more closely with Jakarta some time this year. PNG’s deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion – at the summit on behalf of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who had opted to make a state visit to Jakarta with a huge business delegation instead – made clear that his country fully supports Indonesia’s territorial control of West Papua.

“LEO DION: I think the main thing that this conference has made is to the MSG members to be invited by the Indonesian government to go and dialogue with them. And I think that’s our greatest step forward.”

The secretary-general of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation was disappointed that the membership application had been deferred. But Rex Rumakiek is encouraged that there seems to be some movement on the issue.

“REX REMAKIEK: Finally, our issue has been taken up by the Melanesian Spearhead Group, ’cause we have been trying for a long time. The very interesting thing here is that since they are now recognising, visually recognising the issue, and, collectively, they want to do something about. That’s the most important thing.”

However he is weary of delay tactics by opponents of West Papuan self-determination and says the mission to Indonesia could be open to manipulation.

“REX REMAKIEK: It’s better to make it an decision now than wasting their time to go over there. ’Cause you won’t see anything new. Most likely, they’ll make sure that your mission fails to get whatever you want to see.”

But the incoming chairman of the MSG – the FLNKS’s Victor Tutugoro – insists the ministerial mission to Indonesia will proceed with eyes wide open.

“VICTOR TUTUGORO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Yeah, we know what’s happening there. We see the actualities. We are conscious that maybe through this visit they will show us something else. We will see regarding our own decision, for the FLNKS.”

“JOHNNY BLADES: Wouldn’t giving them membership now be the most help to them?”

“VICTOR TUTUGORO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We cannot break the MSG cohesion. This issue can break the cohesion of the MSG.”

Meanwhile, MSG Leaders declared commitment and direct assistance to the FLNKS’ independence cause. For the veteran FLNKS leader and former MSG chair, Roch Wamytan, assuming the chairmanship now is very important for New Caledonia’s Kanaks as they enter the final phase of the Noumea Accord which provides for a possible referendum on independence between next year and 2018.

“ROCH WAMYTAN: We are in the process, in the process of the Noumea Accord’s emancipation and decolonisation process. And I think it’s very important, as well, to be supported by the MSG for us to achieve our independence in the few years coming.”

There are few stauncher supporters of decolonisation in the Pacific than French Polynesia’s Oscar Temaru. A special guest at the MSG summit, Mr Temaru recently lost the Presidency of French Polynesia to the pro-France veteran leader Gaston Flosse, but the same week he succeeded in getting French Polynesia re-inscribed on the UN Decolonisation list.

“OSCAR TEMARU: We lost that battle, but I think we won the war – the goal of our fight for 35 years. We got our country back on the list, and I can see a new blood, a new force, in our struggle for the sovereignty of our country in the future.”

MSG countries were instrumental in lobbying support for French Polynesia’s reinscription. But the issue of West Papua remains a sensitive one in the MSG. Fiji’s Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, was centrally involved in Indonesia gaining observer status in the MSG two years ago and now with securing an invitation for the MSG to visit:

“RATU INOKE KUBUABOLA: Yeah. We need to recognise the fact that our administrative power is Indonesia. And we need to work with Indonesia, with Jakarta.”

But many in the MSG framework, such as Roch Wamytan, don’t agree with the Leaders’ direction on this issue.

“ROCH WAMYTAN: The opportunity to obtain a status of full member, it will be a good thing for West Papua. But we know Papua New Guinea and Fiji, they are not really on this process.”

For the West Papuan activist Paula Makabory, MSG leaders have West Papuan lives in their hands:

“PAULA MAKABORY: If the Melanesian leaders decided something just to appease Indonesian governments because of the relationships, in this state they are choosing to kill their own brothers and sisters in West Papua under Indonesian occupation. So they will create more human rights violence in West Papua. We have been facing the questions of genocide in West Papua.”

The MSG has grown in cohesion in recent years, becoming the Pacific islands region’s most powerful political and economic bloc. However that cohesion may face its biggest test from the creeping divisions over the West Papua issue.

Radio New Zealand International

8) MSG sees itself as a serious player in regional and global affairs in the next 25 years – EPG report

By Online Editor
10:29 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Fiji

PACNEWS Exclusive

In the next 25 years, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) sees itself as a serious player in regional and global affairs.

To do that, the five member sub-regional group will reach out to co-operate and integrate with other Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and Territories and share its wealth and resources in the interest of regional cohesion.

This is one of the pillars of the strategy identified by the MSG Eminent Person’s Group, led by Kaliopate Tavola.

“MSG should target to reach out and extend development and technical assistance to the rest of PICs and territories, said the EPG report obtained exclusively by PACNEWS.

Papua New Guinea, Tavola, said is already taking the lead in implementing this strategy.

“PNG extending overseas development assistance not only to MSG members but also beyond to include Tonga and Niue and we see a lot more prospects of that because we are optimistic of MSG as a group. It will grow because of the resources that we have and we now see new determination emerging. PNG will take leadership not only in the region but beyond as well, Tavola told PACNEWS in Noumea.

This is a new development paradigm shift in the Pacific, according to the EPG report.

“PNG is essentially extending overseas development assistance (ODA) on a south-south basis. To this end, the EPG has heard that PNG will formalise a development assistance programme soon.

Two mechanisms established by the MSG that hold much promise in sharing the benefits of MSG resources include the Skills Movement Scheme (SMS) and the Humanitarian and Emergency Response Framework (HERF).

These two programmes can extend MGS’s outreach through capacity building and direct humanitarian and emergency responses in time of need.

The Skills Movement Scheme can be expanded to mobilise skills that are needed in PICs struggling with capacity building. HERF has the potential to reach out in conflict situations and in times of natural disaster to offer emergency relief and rehabilitation services.

“It is envisaged that once the MSG demonstrates its ability to participate in these areas, there would be increased support for the group and can translate to increased flows of assistance to the MSG.

“This is the kind of strategic alliance that the MSG has to target in the future, said the EPG report.

The Tavola-led Eminent Persons Group urged the MSG countries ‘not to sit back but double and triple its efforts in getting its backyard sorted and energetically approach and negotiate these strategic alliances.’

At the same time, the MSG must ‘work with and through the various regional organisations in the Pacific, including the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

“We already have a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). There are now discussions going on to have partnerships with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“What we are trying to do is to increase the benefits for us and extend it to other Pacific Island Countries. By working through CROP agencies, we can increase the benefits to us and we can also direct some assistance to them to help them with their institutional strengthening. Working with CROP including the Forum is very much a pillar of our strategy going forward, Tavola told PACNEWS.

MSG Leaders adopted recommendations of the EPG and tasked the Secretariat to develop an implementation plan and a communication strategy for the report.

The EPG comprised Tavola as head of the team, representing Fiji, Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands, Joe Natuman of Vanuatu, Roc Wamytan representing the FLNKS and Leonard Louma of Papua New Guinea.


9) Formation of PIDF has reconfigured Pacific regionalism, EPG report

By Online Editor
10:26 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Fiji

PACNEWS Exclusive

The Eminent Persons Group engaged by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to charter a new forward for the sub-regional organisations admits the establishment of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has reconfigured Pacific regionalism.

“To some extent, such development advances a sub-regional approach that has it natural niche in the regional scheme of things, regardless of the landscape of the region, said the EPG report obtained exclusively by PACNEWS.

While the EPG is mindful of the perception that its formation is perceived to be encroaching onto the Pacific Islands Forum’s turf, it says ‘PIDF offers MSG the best strategic advantages in the long term.’

PIDF replaces the Engaging with the Pacific meeting, an initiative by Fiji to convene a meeting of Pacific Island Countries to advance regional unity and solidarity on issues that are paramount to Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS). It was formed in 2010 after Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum.

“PIDF presents the golden opportunity for PSIDS to speak with the same voice and unity of purpose on global issues that are confronting humanity today.

“Furthermore, PIDF will connect directly to the PSIDS in the United Nations who are recognised as a sub-region with Asia in the UN system, said the Eminent Person’s Group.

Currently, PSIDS representatives in New York do not work to any collective mandate.

“PIDF is going to fill this void, according to the Tavola-led EPG report.

The proposed Forum was suggested by Pacific Leaders that attended last year’s Engaging with the Pacific meeting in Fiji. Its first inaugural meeting is expected to be convened in Fiji in August this year.

The EPG team highlighted that PIDF is already linked to PSIDS green growth policies. “Such issue-oriented division of labour may just present a solution for the region.”

“PIDF’s possible reference is to address issues and specific projects of global dimension and the rest to remain with the Pacific Islands Forum, suggests the EPG report.

Given the development of PIDF, the group suggests that Pacific Islands Forum bring back to its agenda the implementation of its Regional Institutional Framework (RIF), an exercise in 2000 to streamline the work of the organisation.


10) FSII condemns Solomon Islands PM’s declaration on West Papua

By Online Editor
4:17 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Solomon Islands

Forum Solomon Islands international – FSII has expressed disappointment over the declaration by Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Darcy Lilo over on the West Papua issue during the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting last week.

In a statement Redley Raramo president of forum Solomon Islands international – FSII said the PM should be blasted for compromising the lives of our Melanesian brothers in West Papua in his declaration in the MSG meeting to undermine the West Papua agenda.

“It is inhuman to neglect humanity for the sake of a mere political structure. His statement in the media is totally irresponsible that ‘whilst he realized the atrocities against West Papua indigenous people, he continue to uphold and support the evil regime in Jakarta.

“The decision is absurd in the sense that human lives are not worth than the political structure and legitimacy.”

The statement said the political decision is a curse for Solomon Islands and this portrays the continuous arrogance of a so called people oriented government and leadership.

“Politics and economics is sweeping humanity out the backdoor and it is surprising that PM Lilo and his government see fitting to indulge by declaring a political assassin against the people of West Papua.

“The decision is an indicator that this government cares less about human lives than their political propagandas and agendas.”

Raramo said playing political card games at the expense of human lives is a treason and Solomon Islanders should hit Lilo and his government the hardest for offering a hand to slain the people of West Papua.

“Mind you, the blood of West Papuans are crying in our hands for that grave decision and SI will reap the consequence.

“On behalf of the FSII, I condemned the decision in the strongest terms for compromising humanity for politics/economics in particular the issue pertaining to freedom for West Papuans from the Indonesian government,” the statement by FSII president said


11) Border Economic Zones will solve land issues

By Online Editor
4:14 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says that land issues along the PNG-Indonesian International Border will be seriously looked into and solved by the Border Economic Zones.

O’Neill made this undertaking after his return from a two-day State Visit to Indonesia with some of his Government Ministers, top bureaucrats, businessmen and women including members from Papua New guinea Chamber of Commerce and landowner companies involved in resource industries.

O’Neill said land issues from Western Province right up to West Sepik along the border with Indonesia will be discussed as PNG discusses Border Economic Zones with our nearest neighbour.

His statement was supported by the Minister for State and Public Enterprises Ben Micah that when the Border Economic zones are set up land issues will be discussed and identified so that Papua New Guineans don’t miss out.

The Post-Courier asked the PM about the land issue because from Merauke to Jayapura on the Indonesian side of the border and from Daru to Wutung on the Papua New Guinea side, indigenous Papua New Guineans and West Papuans are struggling for ownership. And on top of that, they are struggling for basic government services such as health and education.

The PM and Minister Micah did not disclose the finer details on how land issues are to be solved but stated generally that they will be looked into once border economic zones are discussed with our neighbor.

One PNG village that is greatly affected by the International Border is Wutung village in the Vanimo-Green electorate of the West Sepik Province, of which Opposition Leader Belden Namah is the political head.

Eighty per cent of arable land belonging to the Wutung people is on the Indonesian side of the border and they have been pressing past and present PNG governments to address their plight, but to no avail.

The border was set by our colonial administrators- Australia and Holland for West Papua at 41 degrees east of the latitude, but due consideration was not taken as to what land the Wutung’s owned and where it ended.

The discussions on Border Economic Zones may alleviate these people’s plight as suggested by Micah.

He said land owning issues will be discussed and Indonesia currently has a trading post called the Batas (Border) Market on Wutung land across the border.


12) Grasberg Mine In Papua Given Green Light To Reopen
Lack of work caused unrest among local people

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 23, 2013) – The Indonesian government has given the green light to mining company Freeport to recommence operations at the world’s biggest copper and gold mine in the remote province of Papua.

The mine has been forced to halt operations since a tunnel collapse on May 14 killed 28 people.

Last week a group of 70 locals attacked property and rioted at the site, amid claims that people were starving as a result of not having any work.

The government’s special investigation team is still working on its report into the cause of the collapse and Freeport says it is fully cooperating.

Permission has been granted to begin milling and open pit operations but not yet for underground operations.

The President Director of Freeport Indonesia Rozik Soetjipto says he continues to mourn the loss of life and renewed his commitment to making facilities safe.

Radio New Zealand International:

13) Indonesian diplomat says Jakarta’s policy benefitting Papuans

Posted at 05:47 on 24 June, 2013 UTC

Indonesia’s Ambassador to Colombia says West Papuans are playing a central role in the development of their region.

Michael Menufandu, who is a West Papuan, was part of the Indonesian delegation to last week’s Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in Noumea.

He and others from Jakarta oppose the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation’s application to join the MSG.

Mr Menufandu says the coalition has been exiled from Papua for too long to know what is happening there.

He says West Papuan hopes for independence are not realistic.

“Papua is a part of Indonesia and you know, all the leaders – provincial leaders and local leaders – 98 percent of them are indigenous people of Papua. They have the right to hold positions. There are ministers. ambassadors, commanders from Papua.”

Michael Menufandu says reports about human rights abuses in Papua are exaggerated.

Radio New Zealand International

14) SODELPA sets up new branches, Party grateful for former leader’s support

By Online Editor
10:23 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Fiji

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has been visiting its old branches since its registration on May 3 this year.

This was highlighted by party president Ro Teimumu Kepa during a general assembly last week in Suva.

Ro Teimumu said the party had also set up new branches under the SODELPA structure.

“In this task we face some restrictions and the purpose of this special meeting of the national assembly is to provide greater flexibility in some of the provisions which have been set perhaps too rigidly,” Ro Teimumu said.

“In parts we have provided greater flexibility in the provisions of membership of the management board which runs the day to day operations of the party and its working committee called the national executive committee.”

She said a full list of members for the management board had been approved which would enable the board to function right away given the urgency of the party to be in full flight for the impending general elections in September 2014.

“It is also proposed that the management board is to appoint a selection committee for the party leader.

“The selection committee is expected to consult widely and recommend a suitable candidate for final approval by the general assembly which will recommend a name for approval by the general assembly.

“This will be the first party leader for SODELPA in what is expected to be one of the most difficult general elections in the 26 years since 1987.”

Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Liberal Party’s newly appointed president Ro Teimumu Kepa has highlighted that the party is content with former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s continuous support towards the party.

During the party’s first general assembly, she said they were grateful for Mr Qarase’s willingness to be involved as a member of SODELPA.

“But the restrictions of the Political Parties Decree make him ineligible for holding an official position in the party,” Ro Teimumu said.

“His willingness to be involved as an ordinary member apart from his advice on some issues will be invaluable, for that I am grateful.”

She said the party was determined to forge a strong, united and multiracial Fiji and also intended to pursue dialogue and negotiation to achieve peaceful solutions for Fiji’s challenges.

She said despite difficult times, SODELPA had been able to do what was required for the task to serve the best interests of the people.



15) Samoa Parliament Unanimously Approves Women’s Reserve Seat Bill
Constitutional Amendment guarantees at least 5 women in Parliament

By Alan Ah Mu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, June 22, 2013) – From the next general elections at least five seats in Parliament will be occupied by women.

Passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2013 this morning made that law.

“It’s a new dawn for women,” Speaker of Parliament, La’auli Leuatea Fosi said.

An outbreak of clapping by MPs greeted passage of the bill.

None of the 44 MPs present in Parliament voted against it.

Opposition party Tautua Samoa Party joined Government to make the amendment law.

It reserves 10 percent of the seats in Parliament for women electoral candidates.

With 49 seats in Parliament this works out to five seats guaranteed for women, to start on the polling day of the next general election.

Under a flexible formula if no woman is elected to Parliament at the next elections, five women candidates who get the highest number of votes will occupy the allocated seats in Parliament.

In such a situation the number of seats in Parliament will be increased to 54 seats.

If less than five women win seats in general elections candidates who secured the most votes will fill the allocated seats.

But if five women candidates win seats in elections, the formula won’t be used – the number of seats in Parliament stays at 49.

If the seat of an elected woman MP becomes vacant, and a man wins the seat in a subsequent by-election, a woman candidate in that by-election with the most votes becomes an MP to ensure the five seats remain occupied.

If there is no woman candidate runs in that by-election a woman MP is chosen from the results of the last by-election or general election.

If two or more women candidates get equal votes the winner will be decided by a lot before the Electoral Commissioner in the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives and at least two police officers.

No two women candidates from the same constituency may become an MP unless no other women candidate exists to make up the prescribed number of women MPs.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said since Independence the most number of women MPs in a Parliament was four – achieved in the previous term.

After the last general election in 2011, the number dropped to two.

The world has changed and mothers have achieved advanced expertise gifted them by God which should be used to benefit the country, Tuilaepa said.



16) Askim long Ni-Vanuatu yut i wok long Australia

Updated 24 June 2013, 15:26 AEST

Tupela yangpela man blong Vanuatu i laikim gavman blong Australia long larim ol Ni-Vanuatu i kam wok long turisam indastri long Australia.

Odio: Daniel Arnabat na Franco Tawi blong Vanuatu i toktok

Daniel Arnabat na Franco Tawi husat ibin wok bifo long ol bikpla international turis bot itok bai gutpla sapos Australia inap kamapim ol turis woka scheme, wankaen wok olsem dispela Pacific Seasonal Workers scheme.

Long yia 2006 Australia ibin statim ol bikpla skul em oli kolim Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) long skulim ol Pacific pipal long planti kaen kaen wok, wantem tu wok long turis indastri.

Wanpla long ol despla skul istap long Vanuatu, tasol Daniel Arnabat na Franco Tawi itok planti long ol sumatin husat i pinisim skul long ol despla skul ino save painim wok.

Em nau na tupela yangpela man ia itok i mobeta gavman blong Australia i larim ol Ni-Vanuatu yut husat igat trening long sait long hospitality long kam wok long Australia.

17) South Pacific Bank bai open ken long kapital bilong Gulf provins

Updated 24 June 2013, 13:07 AEST

Pius Bonjui

Ol sevis bilong Bank of South Pacific ibin stop olgeta bihain long bikpela Bank Robbery klostu  fopela yar igo pinis.

(Credit: ABC)

Odio: Menising darekta bilonbg Public Relatons na Communication Barnabas Pondros bilong Bank bilong South Pacific

(Credit: ABC)

Ol sevis bilong Bank of South Pacific ibin stop olgeta bihain long bikpela Bank Robbery klostu  fopela yar igo pinis.

Long dispela taim bilong roberi  BSP ibin lusim planti moni na long dispela tasol em ibin pasim bank senis long Kerema kapital bilong provins na tu long ol rural eria bilong provins.

Nau bihnainim planti ol toktok namel long benk na provinsel gavana Havila Kavo na Administrator, Marc Avai, BSP benk sevis bai go bek na stat wok long klostu long pinis bilong dispela yar.

Long toktok bilong em  Manger bilong Public Relations na Communications bilong BSP Barnabas Orere Pondros i tok klia long risen bilong BSP igo bek long bringim sevis bilong em igo long Gulf Provins.


18) Survey: 33 persen warga Australia tidak percaya Indonesia sebagai demokrasi

Diperbaharui 24 June 2013, 10:26 AEST

Editor ABC Asia Catherine McGrath

Sebuah jajak pendapat atas sekitar seribu orang di Australia menujukkan bahwa warga Australia memiliki rasa hangat atas Inggris Raya, Jerman dan Amerika Serikat, tapi menilai perasaan mereka atas Cina dan Indonesia tidak terlalu hangat.

Survey yang diadakan oleh lembaga thinktank Lowy Institute for International Policy untuk laporan tahun 2013 mengenai sikap warga Australia atas negara dan kebijakan asing menemukan bahwa kebanyakan responden menunjukkan penurunan tingkat kepercayaan mereka atas Cina dan Indonesia tapi mendukung hubungan ekonomi antara Australia dengan kedua negara tersebut.

48 persen mengatakan bahwa hubungan dengan Amerika Serikat adalah yang paling penting, sedangkan 37 persen percaya hubungan dengan Cina sangat penting.

Enam puluh satu persen percaya bahwa Cina akan melampaui Amerika Serikat sebagai negara adidaya utama di dunia, dan 12 persen mengatakan Cina sudah berhasil meraih hal ini.

Survey itu menemukan 41 persen responden percaya bahwa Cina akan menjadi ancaman militer bagi Australia dalam 20 tahun ke depan.

Direktur Eksekutif Lowy Institute, Dr Michael Fullilove mengatakan perasaan warga Australia atas Cina ini sebagai sesuatu yang signifikan.

“Warga Australia memiliki perasaan yang bercampur mengenai Cina. Beberapa positif, yang lainnya tidak terlalu positif,” katanya.

“Warga Australia secra keseluruhan mendukung pembangunan hubungan dengan Amerika Serikat dan menduduki hubungan Australia dengan AS di atas hubungan Australia dengan Cina.

“Mereka memiliki kecurigaan atas Cina tapi menyadari kepentingan negara tersebut untuk masa depan ekonomi Australia.”

Dalam peringkat perasaan warga Australia atas 19 negara, Cina menduduki posisi nomor 14. Inggris Raya, Jerman, Amerika Serikat, Singapura dan Jepang menduduki peringkat teratas sedangkan Indonesia, Israel, Myanmar Iran dan Korea Utara di peringkat terbawah.

Australia ‘ambivalen’ mengenai Indonesia

Dalam perasaan mereka atas Indonesia, warga Australia yang menjadi responden mengindikasikan perasaan yang bercampur.

Diminta untuk menilai tingkat ‘kehangatan’ dari 0 hingga 100 derajat (0 berarti perasaan yang dingin dan 100 perasaan yang hangat), mereka memberi penilaian atas perasaan atas Indonesia dengan rata-rata 53.

Penulis laporan, Alex Oliver, mengatakan hasil mengenai Indonesia ini menunjukkan tren yang stabil.

“Jajak pendapat ini menyoroti pandangan yang ambivalen atas Indonesia,” katanya.

Dia juga mengatakan warga Australia tampak tidak memiliki pengetahuan yang mendalam tentang Indonesia.

Jajak pendapat itu menunjukkan hanya 33 persen responden mengetahui bahwa Indonesia adalah sebuah negara demokratis.

Dr Fullilove mengatakan sangat mengejutkan bahwa hanya sebagian kecil responden mengetahui bahwa Indonesia adalah negara yang berdasarkan demokrasi

“Tampak bahwa warga Australia belum menyerap berbagai perubahan yang telah terjadi di Indonesia, di mana banyak perubahan tersebut adalah perubahan baik,” katanya.

Jajak pendapat itu menunjukkan perasaan atas Papua Nugini dan Fiji menurun sebanyak empat poin.

Selain itu, dalam kebijakan luar negeri Australia, kebanyakan responden percaya bahwa pihak koalisi oposisi mampu memiliki kebijakan luar negeri yang lebih baik dalam bidang ekonomi, investasi, pencari suaka, aliansi dengan Amerika Serikat dan keamanan nasional.


19) La tuberculose pharmaco-résistante fait pression

Posté à 24 June 2013, 8:52 AEST

Pierre Riant

L’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) indique que 15 000 cas de tuberculose sont recensés chaque année en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée : 15 000 cas et plus de 3 500 morts.

Cette tuberculose qui résiste aux médicaments est un lourd fardeau pour des services de santé sans guère de ressources.
Les explications de Suman Majumbar du Royal Hospital de Melbourne.

MAJUMBAR : « C’est un problème car les outils que nous avons pour prévenir, diagnostiquer et soigner ne permettent pas de maîtriser la maladie. »

60% des cas de tuberculose à l’échelle mondiale se trouvent dans la région Asie – Pacifique et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et l’un des pays les plus touchés.
Et pour couronner le tout, la tuberculose résiste aux deux principaux médicaments antituberculeux.

Résultat : les hôpitaux et cliniques du pays sont débordés. Pour les patients, trouver un traitement est déjà un véritable parcours du combattant. Et quand ils le trouvent, ils doivent suivre un traitement toxique pendant 2 ans au lieu de 6 mois pour les cas standards de tuberculose.

MAJUMBAR : « C’est une épreuve éreintante avec des médicaments aux effets secondaires éprouvants. Des injections tous les jours pendant des mois et parfois les effets secondaires sont insoutenables : nausée, vomissement, diarrhée et parfois une psychose et ce qui inquiétant, des pertes auditives permanentes. »

Joe Chandler est une journaliste indépendante est l’une des 12 000 personnes atteintes de tuberculose en Australie. La plupart contracte la tuberculose à l’étranger. En 2011, elle a décidé de visiter des hôpitaux des hôpitaux et des zones d’habitation informelle de la Province Ouest de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée pour une série d’articles sur la tuberculose. Voici ce qu’elle nous a confié.

CHANDLER : « Les services de soin étaient en piteux état, pas beaucoup de ventilation et extrêmement surpeuplés. Il n’y avait pas de médicaments disponibles et les gens étaient déprimés et gravement malades. »

Situation plus que difficile donc en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. L’actuel Premier ministre, Peter O’Neill, a reconnu l’urgence du problème et a promis de s’y attaquer.

20) Grande exposition d’art fidjien en Angleterre

Posté à 24 June 2013, 8:57 AEST

Pierre Riant

Une exposition qui retrace une histoire.

Les visiteurs du Musée d’archéologie et d’anthropologie pourront découvrir des motifs ornementaux en os de baleine ou des figurines en bois qui témoignent des relations entre les chefs coutumiers fidjiens et les gouverneurs britanniques à la fin du 19ème siècle.

Une collection importante puisque le premier conservateur de ce Musée avait réussi à convaincre le gouverneur de l’époque à Fidji, en 1883, de donner au Musée tout les objets collectés par des fonctionnaires du gouvernement.


21) Fiji TV applies for extension of license

By Online Editor
4:08 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Fiji

Fiji Television Limited’s six months broadcast license is coming to an end on Sunday and the board has applied for the extension of their license.

Chairman Padam Lala said the formal application has been sent to the government and they are waiting for a reply.

Lala said the final decision on the period of extension will be made by the government.

In a letter dated 13th December 2012 to Fiji TV, Communications Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum stated that the extension will be “until further notice of any additional terms and conditions, including spectrum allocation, that may be prescribed, Fiji TV Limited shall continue to broadcast under the terms and conditions contained in the existing license for the extended period”.

Meanwhile, major restructuring is expected to take place at Fiji Television Limited.

Lala said the restructuring will take place within the management level but they first need to have a plan.

He also said that the restructuring will not affect the current workers at Fiji TV.


22) Samoa Speaker Threatens To Ban Media From Parliament
Samoa Observer newspaper accused of misrepresentation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 23, 2013) – Threats to ban the media from Parliament have escalated, as the speaker of the house accused a newspaper of misrepresentation.

The Samoa Observer reports the speaker La’auli Leuatea Polata’ivao attacked a report of an angry exchange between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and deputy Tautua Samoa Party leader, A’eau Peniamina Leavai.

Tuilaepa had accused A’eau of being drunk in Parliament and the member responded by calling the Prime Minister a stupid old man.

The exchange was reported and the speaker could not say where the article was inaccurate. The Weekend Observer had a recording of the Radio broadcast.

La’auli threatened action against the paper, with an ordinance that provides for 6 months imprisonment and fines for publishing offences.

He said the media should only use officially approved transcripts from the parliamentary Hansard section, but the media says requests for copies of Hansard have been turned down.

Radio New Zealand International:

23) Pacific media freedom critical of Samoa’s media treatment

Posted at 03:44 on 24 June, 2013 UTC

A regional media freedom group says Samoa’s reputation of good governance is at risk because of Parliament’s treatment of the media.

The Pacific Freedom Forum responded to the speaker La’auli Leuatea Polata’ivao who has threatened prison sentences and fines for media if they abuse their privilege of reporting on Parliament.

He said media should only refer to official hansard, but media say repeated requests for access to hansard are not answered.

The PFF’s co-chair, Monica Miller, says freedom of speech is a fundamental right and the speaker’s comments betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the necessary separation of powers between parliament, government, courts and the press.

The speaker’s threats were in reaction to the publication of a heated exchange in Parliament between the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the deputy Tautua Samoa Party leader, A’eau Peniamina Leavai.

Radio New Zealand International


24) Index tweaks won’t hurt New Caledonians, says top banker

By Online Editor
4:05 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, New Caledonia

The Director of the Overseas Central Bank of New Caledonia says families will not suffer a reduced standard of living with the gradual winding down of indexed salaries.

Thierry Beltrand has echoed comments earlier this month by the visiting governor of the Bank of France, Christian Noyer, calling for more competition and lower public sector wages to help fight the high cost of living in New Caledonia.

Beltrand agrees that the reduction of indexation of public service salaries, which are almost double those in mainland France, is imperative.

“Salaries must lower and costs will lower but you always keep your level of life. He never said: just cut the indexation and the prices stay here. No. Everybody must agree with this. But it’s a very long-term process.”.


25) ‘Fijian Crafted’ will empower citizens: Ali

By Online Editor
4:07 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Fiji

The launch of the Fijian Crafted brand, is focused on empowering Fijian citizens said Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Saheen Ali.

He highlighted this as the ministry took to the streets on Friday to launch the brand as part of the Government’s brand of Fiji Made-Buy Fijian campaign since 2011.

“It is focused on empowering our citizens, especially the grassroots, and providing them with an avenue for income generation,” Ali said.

“Our artisans and crafters form part of the micro, small and medium enterprises sector, which contributes approximately 10 per cent towards the Fijian economy.

But the exact contribution of this segment has not been fully captured in the national statistics.

And in doing so the campaign and the launch of the “Fijian Crafted” logo will provide the platform for crafters to be mainstreamed and share in Fiji’s economic growth, he said.

“Fijian Crafted is a brand that identifies and benchmarks Fijian quality, standards, skilled craftsmanship,” he said.

“The logo differentiates our authentic Fijian crafts and contemporary pieces from handicraft made in other countries.”

The brand represents authentic Fijian crafts, made by Fijian crafters with Fijian materials.

The brand would enable our small and micro entrepreneurs to benefit from the tourism market he added.

“For the first time, visitors to our shores will be able to identify authentic Fijian made arts and crafts by looking for the Fijian Crafted logo before purchase

“The success of the Fijian Crafted brand is dependent on the support from all stakeholders, especially from the private sector and Fijian public at large.

These areas can be from construction sector and interior designers could once again revive the authentic Fijian motif in their designs and construction he added.


26) Digicel Group posts US$1.2b trading profit

By Online Editor
1:39 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

Digicel Group recorded US$1.2 billion (K2.6 billion) in trading profit for its March 2013 year end, 11% higher than the previous year.

The company, which operates in 30 markets throughout the Americas and the South Pacific, reported revenues of US$2.78 billion (K6 billion), or 8% more year-on-year.

Digicel described its performance as “strong” with subscribers up 1% to 12.9 million across Digicel Group’s 30 markets worldwide.

Revenue growth was driven by Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

Group chief executive officer Colm Delves said last Thursday: “We are very pleased with the continued growth we are seeing across our markets and with the customer response to the roll-out of our 4G networks.

“We will continue to focus on growing our information and communication technologies-business solutions portfolio and on driving data usage across our customer base.”

Digicel indicated that its final quarter contributed US$318 million of the US$1.2 billion in its trading profit or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Data and value-added services revenues stood at 23% of service revenues – up from 20 % for the prior year quarter.

Key achievements in the period included:

* Launching of 4G services in select markets;
*Completion of the integration of the Voila business and network in Haiti; and
*Growth of ICT/business solutions revenues



27) Gov’t orders arrest of vehicles

Posted on June 24, 2013


Jonas Cullwick

Acting Prime Minister Ralph Regenvanu in the Prime Minister’s chair

The Acting PrimeMinister, Ralph Regenvanu, has instructed the Commissioner of Police to arrest all official black vehicles donated by the People’s Republic of China that are being driven by various officials except those driven by the ministers.

The instruction follows the Acting Prime Minister’s earlier instruction to all Ministers, Director Generals (DGs), and First Political Advisers (1st PAs) that all such vehicles were to be returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by 4.30pm yesterday for re-allocation.

And it was aimed to implement a Council of Ministers decision made recently.

At the same time, Regenvanu has ordered the Commissioner of Police to repossess a Pajero G1 black official vehicle that was shipped to Malekula by the former Prime Minister, Sato Kilman and which continues to remain at his residence to date.

The same order goes for an RV-registered official vehicle that was shipped to Santo by the former Speaker of Parliament, George Wells and which continues to remain at his residence to date.

The orders are part of a series of instructions issued by Acting Prime Minister Regenvanu Wednesday (June 19) in relations to abuse of government vehicles, to implement decisions made by the Council of Ministers and the Ministerial Budget Committee.

He said the instructions are aimed at reducing government spending on vehicles and cut down on the abuse of the black vehicles donated by the Chinese government for use at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in 2010 and the ACP-EU meeting in 2012.

28) Flesh trade in PNG

By Online Editor
4:18 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Papua New Guinea

The vulnerability to human trafficking of “Mosko Girls” – young girls who are employed in nightclubs to provide companionship to male patrons and sell an alcoholic drink called Mosko – emerged as a new trend in cities in Papua New Guinea last year, a United States government report says.

“Teenagers, particularly underage girls, are employed in nightclubs as hostesses, dancers and bartenders,” the report, released last week, said.

The US State Department said in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released last Wednesday that while child labour was outlawed in Papua New Guinea, it is estimated that 19% of its labour force was composed of underage workers.

The report labelled PNG as “a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour”.

It said women and children in PNG were subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude while the men were subjected to forced labour in logging and mining camps.

There were reports of internal trafficking involving children, including girls from tribal areas as young as five, being subjected to commercial sexual exploitation or forced labour by members of their immediate family or tribe.

“Tribal leaders sometimes trade with each other the exploitative labour and service of girls and women for guns and political advantage,” the report said.

“Traditional customs in PNG permit parents to sell their daughters into forced marriages – often to wealthy men and politicians – to settle debts, leaving them vulnerable to forced domestic service.

“In more urban areas, some children from poorer families are prostituted by parents or sold to brothels.

“Asian crime rings, foreign logging companies and foreign business people arrange for some foreign women to voluntarily enter PNG with fraudulently issued tourist or business visas. Subsequent to their arrival, many of the women, from countries including Malaysia, Thailand, China and the Philippines, are turned over to traffickers who transport them to logging and mining camps, fisheries, and entertainment sites, and then exploit them in forced prostitution and domestic servitude,” the report said.

It said the PNG Government did not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and was not making significant efforts to do so.

It recommends that PNG enact legislation that prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking; investigate, prosecute and punish offenders, including officials who facilitate or directly benefit from trafficking; develop and institute a formal procedure to identify victims; train law enforcement officers to proactively identify victims and refer them to protective services; ensure victims are not arrested, deported or punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; work with NGOs and international organisations to increase protective services to victims; increase collaboration with civil society, religious and tribal leaders to raise awareness and reduce demand for forced labour and commercial sex acts.

Describing the report as a “clear and honest assessment”, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “The end of legal slavery in the United States and around the world has not meant the end of slavery.”.


29) Solomons’ Premiers Told RAMSI Police To Remain
Police to stay for 4 more years to assist local counterparts

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 24, 2013) – RAMSI’s Participating Police Force will remain to help their local counterparts when the regional assistance mission winds down next month, provincial premiers were told.

Special coordinator Nicholas Coppel highlighted this when he addressed the premiers’ conference in Gizo, last Wednesday.

Coppel said RAMSI’s military component will leave around July-August 2013, but the police will remain for another four years.

“The Participating Police Force will retain its armed capability to back up the RSIPF where needed and as requested,” the RAMSI chief added.

He said over the next four years RAMSI will continue to provide training and support to the RSIPF especially in leadership development, public order management, logistics, human resources and administration.

Coppel also said RAMSI now has the confidence on the RSIPF to take over and lead the force.

“Public support is important for local police to carry out their duties more effectively and efficiently.”

The RAMSI chief said most members of the RSIPF have undergone specialised training in public order management and crowd control.

He said on the issue of police rearmament, it is a matter for the Solomon Islands Government to decide on, not RAMSI.

“RAMSI is ready to assist with the development of rules and regulations, as well as training, if the government decides to reintroduce some limited use of firearms to the police.”

Premiers who spoke during the session said the RAMSI transition is an important process and Solomon Islanders must prepare to take control of their country.

Solomon Star


30) Logging impacts Solomon Islands World Heritage site

Posted at 05:47 on 24 June, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands World Heritage area of East Rennell has been inscribed on a list of endangered sites by UNESCO because of the effect of logging on the island’s ecosystem.

East Rennell is the world’s largest raised coral atoll and UNESCO says its dense forest canopy is considered to be a natural laboratory for scientific study.

Jamie Tahana reports:

The deputy head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which brought East Rennell to the attention of the World Heritage Committee, says the heritage area faces a number of significant threats. Peter Shadies says the most concerning is the threat of logging on West Rennell, which is having an effect on the east side – the World Heritage area. He says when the IUCN sent a mission to East Rennell in October, they found many concerning things.

“PETER SHADIE: The mission report gave us a fairly serious assessment of impact from logging – logging which is happening on West Rennell which is seriously interrupting biodiversity. There’s also concern about the arrival of rats and other invasive species. There’s concerns, also, about climate change and salination and overfishing of the resource.”

Peter Shadie says being on the heritage in danger list is a positive thing, which will awaken people to the danger East Rennell is in and hopefully bring some much needed help.

“PETER SHADIE: Not a black mark, but an opportunity to focus attention on these places. We want to find constructive solutions and I think that there’s been a number of examples around the world where we’ve been able to work through the danger listing process to get sites back in shape and get them off the danger list.”

The UNESCO special projects manager, Marc Patry, says Rennell is a small island and any problems on the west side will also have an effect on the sensitive east side. He says the full impact is unclear and the committee has asked the Solomon Islands government to provide an impact assessment.

“MARC PATRY: We have relatively little information on what kind of logging’s taking place, the extent of it and how it’s being done and until those questions are answered it’s pretty difficult to say how serious this issue is. If they log 10 hectares and that will be it then perhaps it’s not so serious. If they have plans to log 90 percent of the island, then that’s a big deal and we need to know what that impact will be.”

Marc Patry says the multi-governmental committee will be reviewing the situation on East Rennell annually to make sure it improves enough to move off the danger list, or it faces losing its World Heritage status.

“MARC PATRY: Being a World Heritage area is like being allowed into an exclusive club. If you get in, that’s great, you’ve met the standard. But once you’re in you have to keep those standards. If you can’t keep those standards of behaviour, then you get kicked out of the club. So it’s entirely feasible that if the entire west side of the island is logged, or even if parts of it are logged, but by doing so it undermines the value of the eastern side of the island then it’s not unfeasible that the site will be removed from the list of World Heritage.”

Frank Wickham is the acting permanent secretary of the environment ministry. He says the government is taking East Rennall seriously and is already in discussions with donors to try and get the resources to support the island. He says the ministry is working out a management plan for logging on Rennell Island so that it can be done sustainably with little effect on the eastern area. He says the community on Rennall Island is key to solving the issue.

“FRANK WICKHAM: It’s customary land and leadership at the community level is going to be crucial in this stage now where they’re having all these activities right at the border of the site and we do understand that it’s now a big concern for the commission and we’re trying our best to see how we can strengthen the commitment at the community level and also the government.”

Frank Wickham says the situation on East Rennell is already starting to improve since the environment ministry took over management from the Ministry of Education.

Radio New Zealand International

31) Scientist hails turbo taxonomy in PNG as forest disappears

Posted at 05:47 on 24 June, 2013 UTC

A new method of naming species is proving increasingly valuable in Papua New Guinea as more and more of the country’s primary rainforest gives way to development.

A German biologist specialising in weevils says traditionally taxonomy is quite tedious work, with only 10 to 20 species able to be named in a year.

But Alexander Riedel says turbo taxonomy, as it is known, makes it possible to name 100 of the flightless species within the same period.

He says as farming and the extractive industries take over land in PNG, weevils are particularly vulnerable to extinction, which has always occurred naturally.

“But the unfortunate situation now is that it is happening much faster than it would occur naturally. I would say that extinction is maybe a thousand times accelerated.”

Alexander Riedel says once a species has been named scientists are making the information available online so it can be used by conservationists.

Radio New Zealand International

32) UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Approves $1 Million For RMI Drought
Grant to help government implement drought response plans

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, June 21, 2013) – In response to the drought disaster in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, approved a rapid response grant of US$1 million on June 18, 2013. This grant, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will assist the Government in its response efforts as outlined in the Government’s $4.7 million Immediate- and Near-term Drought Response Plan.

Managed by IOM, the grant is to be implemented within six months with a strong focus on logistical support, water, sanitation and hygiene needs in accordance with the RMI Drought Response Plan. Mr. Ostby announced, “In addition to other valuable contributions, the CERF grant will help fund immediate and critical needs outlined by the Government, however, let this drought serve as a reminder to us all that we must continue to work toward more resilient Pacific community in the recovery phase to follow”.

The Response Plan calls for large scale deployment of air and sea assets with immediate relief supplies, such as water and food, to the affected northern atolls in order to meet minimum humanitarian standards. Other activities include increasing rain water catchment capacity, deployment and servicing of desalination units, re-planting crops, improved health surveillance and outreach, and repair of water supply systems.

Following persistently low rainfall during the dry season, the Marshall Islands Government declared a state of emergency for the northern atolls of the Republic on 19 April. On 7 May, the Marshall Islands Government declared an elevated state of drought disaster, as the situation worsened. A UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team with members flown in from Fiji, Japan, Sweden, and Thailand was deployed for over three weeks to support the national Emergency Operations Center in Majuro. Early support was provided by USAID and IOM followed by contributions from ADB, AusAID, JICA, NZAID, Red Cross movement, OCHA, UNICEF and WHO.

The humanitarian needs for the 6,384 people living on the affected islands and atolls remain urgent. The most pressing needs are for access to safe water and the growing need for food. The drought conditions have depleted water tanks and made groundwater unsuitable for human consumption due to high salinity. In addition, the drought has damaged or destroyed local food crops, including breadfruit and banana, and populations are relying on fish, crabs, and other coastal food resources.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), dry weather will continue for the next few weeks. A few brief trade-wind showers will develop at times.


33) American Samoa to start US$2M geothermal drilling in 2014

By Online Editor
10:20 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, American Samoa

American Samoa will begin drilling for geothermal energy next year as part of a US$2.3 million project to reduce its dependence on diesel, the head of the territory’s energy office said.

Director Timothy Jones said the American Samoa Renewable Energy Committee agreed this week to an action plan that calls for aggressive goals toward energy independence, including geothermal on the territory’s main island of Tutuila.

“These goals are aggressive, but achievable,” said Jones, who is also the chairman of the committee.

Jones said his office expects to be drilling its first test wells next year. The project calls for three 6,000-foot test holes to search for heat and steam. The group is seeking federal funding through grants available for renewable energy projects.



34a) Fiji beat Tonga to win Pacific Nations Cup

By Online Editor
11:47 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Japan

Fiji won the Pacific Nations Cup for the first time with a 34-21 victory over Tonga on the final day of the five-team tournament.

Fiji, runners-up three times since the inaugural 2006 tournament, finished with three wins, one defeat and 16 points. Canada were second on 13 points and Tonga third on 10.

Tonga took an early 11-0 lead at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo with scrum-half Thomas Palu slotting two penalties and right wing Fraser Anderson scoring a try near the left corner in the fifth minute.

Fiji left wing Sireli Bobo hit back with a solo try in the 23rd minute and Seremaia Bai converted to reduce the deficit to four points.

After Palu missed two penalty attempts for Tonga, Fiji finally got in front in the 33rd minute when wing Napolioni Nalaga received a pass from Saula Radidi near the right corner. Bai made it 14-11 with the conversion.

Palu made it 14-14 at half-time with his fourth successful shot at goal though he struck the left upright when awarded a chance to regain the lead with another penalty early in the second half.

Fiji threatened the Tongan goal line several times and their efforts were rewarded by Bai’s penalty in the 55th minute for a 17-14 lead.

In the 62nd minute, centre Nemani Nadolo completed a passing play for a try near the post with Bai converting it to stretch the lead to 24-14.

Nalaga scored his second try five minutes later, again converted by Bai, and at 31-14 Fiji had breathing space added to by a further Bai penalty.

Tonga gained some consolation when prop Taione Vea scored a converted try shortly before the end.


34b)Tahiti loses again at Confed Cup as Uruguay wins 8-0

By Online Editor
11:44 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Brazil

Brazilian fans again screamed and cheered for Tahiti every step of the way, even as Uruguay pumped in goal after goal to beat the South Pacific islanders 8-0 Sunday and reach the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.

Abel Hernandez scored a first-half hat trick and added a penalty in the second half, while Luis Suarez scored two and Diego Perez and Nicolas Lodeiro added the others. But Tahiti goalkeeper Gilbert Meriel stopped it from getting worse by saving a penalty from Andres Scotti in the 50th minute.

One minute later, Scotti was sent off with a second yellow card.

Hernandez’s first goal, a header which came 1 minute, 19 seconds into the match at the Arena Pernambuco, is the fastest to be scored in the history of the World Cup warm-up tournament, according to FIFA.

“Fortunately for us, what had to happen, happened,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said.

Hernandez added a second goal in the 24th, and Perez tapped in the third after his header had hit the post in the 27th. Hernandez made it 4-0 in first-half injury time. In the second half, Lodeiro scored in the 61st, Hernanzdez’s penalty came in the 67th and Suarez added the seventh in the 82nd and the final goal in the 90th.

The Uruguayans, who started without strikers Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani and Suarez, will play Brazil in the semifinals on Wednesday in Belo Horizonte.

Tahiti, a team of mostly amateurs which drew boisterous support from the local Brazilian fans for the third straight match, was outscored 24-1 at the tournament.

But when the match ended, the Tahitian substitutes walked out onto the field carrying Brazilian flags, drawing another massive round of cheers.

When they unfurled a large green-and-white banner with “Obrigado Brasil,” or “Thank You Brazil,” on it, the cheers resumed.

“We’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the love shown to us by the Brazilian public. They’ve supported us to the end,” Tahiti forward Steevy Chong Hue said. “And we’d like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

Tahiti even managed to create a few chances against Uruguay, perhaps the best when Marama Vahirua, the team’s only professional football player, shot at Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Silva in the 34th for an easy save.

“My players really played with their souls, with all their hearts. This is what was important for us,” Tahiti coach Eddie Etaeta said. “At the end of the game today, they made a point of thanking the Brazilian public … This is what we will take back with us from Brazil.

Earlier in the half, Tahiti defender Teheivarii Ludivion was given a yellow card in the eighth minute for bringing down Matias Aguirregaray, the first caution the team received at the tournament. He was sent off for a second yellow in the 59th.

The Tahitians, who qualified for the tournament by winning the Oceania Nations Cup, have been adopted by the Brazilian public.

Completely outplayed in previous loses to Nigeria and Spain, the plucky islanders still play an attractive, attack-minded football despite the huge gap in ability with the other teams in the group.

Meriel, who dived to his left to stop Scotti’s penalty and then scrambled to control the loose ball, was the third different goalkeeper to start for Tahiti in the team’s three matches at the competition.

Xavier Samin played in the 6-1 loss to Nigeria in the opening match last Monday, and Mikael Roche was in goal for the 10-0 drubbing against Spain on Thursday.


34c)Battered Boks beat Samoa 56 – 23

By Online Editor
11:43 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, South Africa

Bryan Habana took his Test try total to 50 on Saturday as South Africa defeated a 14-man Samoa side 56-23 at a chilly Loftus Versfeld to win the four-nation tournament final.

The right-wing scored a try in each half as the Springboks overcame a slow start to lead 32-9 at half-time and the red carding of Samoa left-wing Alesana Tuilagi for a stiff arm tackle on the hour mark ended the game as a contest.

However, Habana saw his hopes of a hat-trick dashed 10 minutes from the final whistle when he deliberately knocked on as Samoa threatened to score and spent the rest of the match in the sin bin.

Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn had a couple of early penalty chances and after planting the first between the posts, the other drifted just left.

Fullback James So’oialo levelled with his first kick at goal and Samoa were unlucky not to go ahead when a brilliant break by flyhalf Tusi Pisi was thwarted by a try-saving tackle from scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar.

Another So’oialo penalty nudged the Pacific islanders in front only for the Springboks to hit back soon after with Habana claiming the first of four first-half tries.

South Africa kicked two penalties to the corner, won the resulting lineouts and when the ball sped along the line, fullback Willie le Roux was up to send Habana over far out.

Steyn, playing on his home ground, converted and also added the extra points after flank Francois Louw touched down as Samoa proved helpless when South Africa launched one of their most potent weapons – the driving maul.

The loss of centre Johnny Leota with concussion and tighthead prop Logovi’i Mulipola to the sin bin did not help the visitors’ cause and the home side took advantage.

Steyn landed a penalty, but failed to convert a try by centre JJ Engelbrecht, who shrugged off several less-than-convincing tackles to touch down for his second try of the tournament.

So’oialo slotted a third penalty off a rare visit to the green-and-gold half, but South Africa struck again with left-wing Bjorn Basson going over in the corner and Steyn converted for a 23-point half-time advantage.

Samoa entered the second half desperate for points and got them within seven minutes when good ball retention off a tap penalty allowed lock Filo Paulo to go over and So’oialo converted.

The fullback had a let-off soon after when, with the crowd baying for a yellow card, he got away with a warning from the French referee for using his hands in an “indecent manner” when grabbing hooker Adriaan Strauss.

“Off, off, off” chanted the crowd within minutes as Springboks skipper Jean de Villiers was the victim of a dangerous tackle by giant Tuilagi, who was red carded after the referee consulted the television match official.

Worse was to follow for the islanders as South Africa won a lineout, set up a maul, and Pienaar darted for the line before sending Habana over in the corner Tuilagi should have been guarding.

A man down on the field and 37-6 down on the scoreboard with a quarter of the Test to go, Samoa knew the game was up and Steyn, Louw and replacement prop Trevor Nyakane added tries, two of which substitute Patrick Lambie converted.

A crumb of comfort for the demoralised Samoans was a try off a clever lineout manoeuvre from substitute forward Junior Poluleuligaga, which skipper and centre Paul Williams converted.


34d) Smith called up as Wallabies sweat on skipper

By Online Editor
11:41 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, Australia

The Wallabies have called up veteran flanker George Smith plus backs Ben Tapuai and Jesse Mogg to bolster a side decimated by injury during Australia’s loss to the British and Irish Lions 23 – 21 in Brisbane on Saturday.

Reds centre Ben Tapuai has been called up to the Wallabies squad to bolster a back line decimated by injury during Australia’s loss to the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Wallabies are also in danger of losing their captain James Horwill over a stamping charge, with the Queensland second rower due to face a judicial hearing into the matter in Melbourne on Sunday night.

Video footage appears to show Horwill raking his right foot over the head of Lions lock Alun-Wyn Jones in the third minute of the bruising first Test at Suncorp Stadium. Jones stayed on the field until he was replaced in the 71st minute.

Lions coach Warren Gatland said the second rower required “a couple of stitches” to his eye at full time.
“The feeling from us is that it needed to be referred to the citing commissioner to have a look at it and make a decision,’’ Gatland said.

“I played in the days when rucking was allowed and I’ve still got the scars that bear witness to some decent ruckings that I had, but the head for me was sacrosanct, you stayed away from it. It’s up to the citing commissioner now for that to be looked at and for a decision to be made.”

Tapuai’s inclusion appears to signal the loss of centres Pat McCabe and Christian Lealiifano for the second Test in Melbourne, although both were undergoing scans on Sunday before the Wallabies made a final ruling. The Queensland midfielder toured with the Wallabies through Europe on their four-Test spring tour last November.

Mogg, an outstanding fullback for the Brumbies for the past two seasons, was considered unlucky to miss out on a spot in the 31-man squad. His left boot and strategic kicking game will be valuable to the Wallabies if Lealiifano is ruled out.

Smith is not a certainty to start in the second Test. He is back running after the knee injury he sustained in the Brumbies’ loss to the Waratahs last month but will be monitored throughout the week before his availability is decided.

A game plan months in the making was ripped to shreds within 45 seconds of play starting at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Brumbies playmaker Christian Lealiifano was the Wallabies first-choice goal kicker. When he went down in a tackle on British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies so did the Wallabies fortunes.

The team’s next best options with the boot, five-eighth James O’Connor and replacement fullback Kurtley Beale missed a combined 14 points during the course of the match.

“We could have won that game, it was right on a platter for us at the end,” O’Connor said. “I’m not putting any pressure on Kurtley at all, he came on and made such a huge difference … It wasn’t the best surface at all, but you can’t put it on that. I don’t want to make excuses myself, I slipped up and didn’t have the best game off the boot.”

Lealiifano’s concussion was only the start of the carnage. Before the half was out fullback Berrick Barnes was stretchered off with a head knock, Pat McCabe appeared to injure his neck in the 47th minute and Adam Ashley-Cooper played the final few minutes of the match with what appeared to be a busted shoulder.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said he had not seen anything like the concentration of injuries in one game before.

“It’s very frustrating, I’m proud of the effort the boys put in but it was a trying circumstance and to put themselves in the position to be able to win the game was a good effort,” Deans said.

“But we didn’t so we go to Melbourne now, having to win.”

The sight of McCabe in a neck brace and Ashley-Cooper in a sling under the stands post-match was sobering.

The Wallabies will wait for full medical reports on each player before making decisions about calling in replacements.

But Beale’s elevation to the starting line up now seems necessary, with Barnes, McCabe and Ashley-Cooper in serious doubt for the second Test and concussion protocols governing Lealiifano’s path from here.

“It would appear that there will be a need for some change … but let’s hope it is not as grave as it appeared in the first instance,” Deans said.

He may well ponder the selection of O’Connor at five-eighth in Melbourne, conceding the Rebels back had a “difficult night” in the chief playmaking role.

“The [injury] disruptions didn’t help but I guess he was at the heart of working our way into a position where we could win the game, so you’ve probably got to give him credit for that, under the circumstance,” he said.

34e) England crowned JWC 2013 champions

By Online Editor
11:40 am GMT+12, 24/06/2013, France

An impressive second half display saw England finally crowned IRB Junior World Championship winners after beating Wales 23-15 in the final at the packed out Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, in north west France, on Sunday.

England had been the favourites going into the match, but they found themselves 15-3 down at half-time against a Welsh side determined not to suffer more heartbreak against their rivals after losing the Six Nations title decider to them in March.

Full back Jack Nowell started the recovery with a try in the 58th minute and as momentum continued to build for England there was no way back for the Welsh with a further try from Sam Hill and the boot of Henry Slade securing the win and the title.

Wales had earlier ensured the locals in the crowd were immediately in their corner by emerging for the warm-up at the Stade de la Rabine with the Breton flag, acknowledging the Celtic connection of the Brittany region of France.

It was England, though, who made the better start in the first few minutes of the final and had the chance to take the lead only for fly half Henry Slade to miss his first kick of the knockout stages, pulling his penalty wide.

Two minutes later another piece of brilliance from fly half Sam Davies resulted in the opening try for wing Ashley Evans in the right corner, the same outcome in the dying minutes of the semi-final against South Africa that secured their place in a first JWC final.

First his blind pass saw Wales attack to within a metre of the England try-line and then when the ball came back to Davies, he kicked cross-field straight into the arms of the waiting Evans, who merely had to dive over the line for the opening try.

Slade and Davies exchanged penalties before Wales scored their second try, the pressure applied on the England attack resulting in prop Alec Hepburn’s pass falling nicely into Evans’ hands and there was no stopping the wing with the Welsh replacements diving on him in celebration at the 15-3 lead.

Momentum change

They were fortunate not to concede a try minutes later after a great break from Ben Howard, the wing slicing through an advancing Welsh defence only to be stopped by Jordan Williams and the ball to go forward as he tried to find his supporting players.

England thought they had cut the deficit on the stroke of half-time when second row Tom Price touched down, but referee Mike Fraser went to the TMO after a report from his assistant and the try was disallowed for an offence at the preceding ruck with Dominic Barrow sin-binned  for use of the knee.

The score remained that way for nearly the hour mark despite some promising attacks for both sides, Davies missing with a drop goal attempt in the 49th minute to increase Wales’ advantage over their traditional rivals before their opponents were returned to 15 men.

England had a second try ruled out with replacement prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi adjudged to have been held and then crawled his way over the line, but they finally got their try when half backs Rhodri Williams and Davies failed to stop full back Jack Nowell.

Slade added the conversion and as momentum began to swing in England’s favour and Davies uncharacteristically put it out on the full from just outside his own 22, they earned another kickable penalty, only for the fly half to pull it badly across the posts.

It mattered little though as a missed kick for touch from Williams was instantly punished with England working it quickly down field before centre Sam Hill charged through the defence and, despite three players trying to stop him, dotted the ball down.

Slade’s conversion gave England the lead for the first time, 17-15, and they continued to pile the pressure on the Welsh in an attempt to ensure they weren’t to be denied the title at the fourth attempt after three final losses to New Zealand in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

The Welsh continued to battle bravely in their bid to record a first ever win over England at Under 20 level, but were unable to truly stem the white tide and two more penalties from Slade ensured that his side were the ones jumping for joy at the final whistle.


England captain Jack Clifford: “Amazing, I have never felt anything like it before, awesome feeling and very humbling. The support we had and the way the guys played was just fantastic. We had to pull together and it was all about heart then, we had one man down and 12 points down, it was all about the heart and putting in 150 per cent. It was all about playing with tempo and going round the corner and out-work them. I think after maybe our second try that maybe we had it, but there was no point where I thought we really had it definitely, all credit to Wales they are a great team and they really took it to us.

“It’s an awesome feeling and a highlight of my career so far. I said that when winning the Six Nations but this really is. I don’t think there’s a better way to sign off as we have just won the World Cup. Everyone is so happy and I think the boys are just going to enjoy this moment.”

Wales fly half and IRB Junior Player of the Year 2013 Sam Davies: “It is an honour (to be named IRB Junior Player of the Year), just to see the names of the other people that have had it before me, it makes it extra special. I’m gutted with the result today but this is a bonus picking up this award. Hopefully, I can pick up where I left off and crack on with pre-season and look to get into the first team with the Ospreys.

Wales captain Ellis Jenkins: “It’s tough you know the second time this season that we have come unstuck against England but I’m extremely proud of the boys and what we have achieved in this tournament. We have come a long way as players, as a team and as friends.

We had the opportunity but unfortunately we didn’t make the most of it. Take nothing away from England and have shown several times this season why they are Six Nations and world champions and credit to them they are deserved winners.

“At the moment it does not feel like that but I suppose after there will be a lot of fond memories. We have made history being the first Welsh side to get to the final but I suppose that makes it a lot harder to take. The smallest margins make the biggest difference so to get to the final and not make the most of it is tough to take.” .



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