Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 823
1) Lua sworn in as PNG Chief Ombudsman
By Online Editor
3:24 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
The new Chief Ombudsman for the Ombudsman Commission of PNG was sworn in by the Governor-General at Government House yesterday.
Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio officiated the swearing in ceremony for Rigo Lua.
Lua, 53, is from Kapari village, Abau district in Central and was the former chairman of the Public Services Commission.
The ceremony was attended by Lua’s family and members of his staff, including senior Ombudsman John Nero and former acting Chief Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari.
Sangetari congratulated Lua on his appointment and she thanked the ombudsman appointments committee for the opportunity she had to lead as acting chief ombudsman.
“I look forward to working with him (Lua),” Sangetari said.
Lua also thanked the appointments committee for having the confidence to appoint him.
A lawyer by profession, Lua said he had a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge to deliver to the Ombudsman Commission.
Lua, however, said that he would not announce his plans for the Ombudsman Commission before speaking with his two senior commissioners, Nero and Sangetari, and other senior staff.
Lua, in his address to the media, said: “We all know our country is growing into prosperity and so the Ombudsman Commission must rise up.
“There is a public perception that they (public) have a very high expectation of the Ombudsman Commission, especially to watch the conduct of leaders.
“The Ombudsman Commission must rise up to ensure wealth is not misappropriated but is used in accordance to laws of our country.” .
2) Constitution changes dangerous: PNG Opposition
By Online Editor
3:31 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
The proposed amendments to section 145 of the Constitution are very dangerous for the country and its democracy, the Pappua New Guinea Opposition said Tuesday.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in Lae during the People’s National Congress convention that several amendments would be introduced to “promote transparency in a vote of no-confidence against the government”.
The Opposition is now calling on O’Neill to withdraw his government’s proposed amendments to the Constitution affecting the sitting days of Parliament (Section 124) and a motion of no confidence in the prime minister (Section 145).
These particular sections were inserted in the Constitution after careful deliberation by the Constitutional Planning Committee to contain corruption and get rid of despots who wanted to hang on to power at all costs, Bulolo MP and Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil said.
To amend these sections would be a violation of an important tenant of the Constitution and democratic government, he said.
“The recommendations of the CPC need to be read again by the Prime Minister and all Members of Parliament as the reasons why certain provisions were incorporated into the Constitution,” he said.
Another Opposition spokesman, Tobias Kulang, said the government’s continuous tampering with the Constitution to entrench itself deeper in power “is serious cause for concern and a very dangerous move indeed”.
Kulang said after successfully moving the grace period from 18 months to 30 months, they now wanted to make it impossible for someone to move a vote of no-confidence by introducing this new law that would require an intended mover to secure the signatures of a third of MPs and to give a three months notice.
“The opposition is very concerned because this government is moving very quickly to remove key features of the Constitution that make democracy work in this country,” Kulang said.
“Apart from tampering with the Constitution, it has systematically weakened the opposition to such an extent that there is no opposition.”
He said a key institution such as the Ombudsman Commission was left unmanned for an extended period until the opposition raised the issue in the media.
“Altering the Constitution without proper national consensus through proper nationwide consultation and proper intellectual and genuine debate among the able and learned of the country is a blatant abuse of power and very dangerous for this young democracy.
“The nation must be concerned because we now have a situation where a majority of MPs have been reduced to fear of not accessing their development funds as the trend is now and they will not speak up against such critical issues.
“If the government of the day performs and the people are happy and satisfied, then it does not have to feel threatened and embark on such crazy things.” .
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
3) Vanuatu Mayor Unhappy With Reserved Seats Decision
Port Vila’s Olul says chiefs and youths now want seats, too
By Godwin Ligo
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 2, 2013) – Port Vila Mayor Reuben Olul, has strongly objected to the decision by Vanuatu’s national government to have certain reserved seats for women in the Port Vila Municipal Council.
Speaking to Daily Post, Olul said he understands that the Electoral Office has already prepared and presented the legal instruments to the State Law Office to be gazetted.
The mayor raised the concern because he said the chiefs and the youths have become aware of this and called on him to ask that they too (chiefs and youths) be granted reserved seats in the Port Vila Municipal Council.
“My understanding is that the legal instruments prepared by the Electoral Office for reserved seats for women are now with the State Law Office to be gazetted. Now the chiefs in Port Vila and the youths have been to see me and asking for the same favor.
“If the national government wants to move in this direction then it must take into consideration a number of legal and technical factors that would include; expanding the boundaries of the Municipal Council to include; (1) NTM and Black-Sands; (2) Beverly Hills; (3) Ex-Port Vila City College across to Teouma bridge or even Teoumaville; (4) Increase the number of Seats in the Port Vila Municipal Council to cater for the reserved seats not only for women but also for the chiefs and youths,” Mayor Olul said.He said the national government should have consulted with the municipality first before taking such a decision.
“It could become a precedent with the next group which is the churches also requesting a reserved seat as well as the business sector and the non-governmental organizations and others.
“I think the issue of women asking reserved seats in the Port Vila Municipal Council comes from a small minority group that does not represent the whole women in Port Vila. The classic example was during the 2012 parliamentary elections when a number of women stood in Port Vila but scored very low numbers while the ratio of eligible women and men voters are about the same in Port Vila today. I also think that the national government has allowed itself to be influenced by a small minority group of women with personal interest rather than the interest of the people living in Port Vila City,” Mayor Olul said.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
4) Academic: Fiji At ‘Critical Juncture’ Before Elections
Prasad urges teachers to foster democratic values in students
By Shailendra Singh
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, July 2, 2013) – Fiji is at a critical juncture in its history, with an opportunity to build an inclusive and a non-racist society, says a leading economist.
This opportunity can be realized by building solid foundations for democracy, says professor Biman Prasad.
The University of the South Pacific academic said that media organizations must be respected and supported, and the rule of law has to be respected if Fiji is to get out of its stalemate.
This is one of several calls Prasad has made over the years for greater media freedom and civil rights in Fiji, which has been under military rule since December 2006, when army commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, took power in Fiji’s fourth coup.
In this recent address to the Fiji Teachers’ Union in Suva, Prasad highlighted the importance of the right to expression.
He stated that this should start at the school level. Students need to be taught to enjoy their own rights and to respect others’ rights.
Fiji off track
Prasad’s presentation was titled The Status of Teachers in Fiji’s Emerging Democracy.
He said Fiji had lost its way since independence in 1970. Back then the emphasis was strength of diversity, harmony and a shared vision.
This was upended by the 1987 coups. A healthy annual average growth rate of about 5.5% was interrupted.
Since then, three more coups, and the trashing of two multiracial constitutions had seen the country “struggle” and “muddle” through a poor economy, with around two percent growth per annum.
Prasad noted that democracies are not built overnight, but even then constitutions are changed peacefully and progressively, rather than by force.
“Forced changes do not last,” he stated.
With elections scheduled for 2014, Prasad said that the country is at a critical juncture.
“These junctures always provide us an opportunity to make good or bad decisions,” he said.
Fiji has faced several critical junctures in the past. At every critical juncture, Fiji had gone back into a “vicious circle of instability and decline.”
Prasad said countries like Mauritius have spectacularly outperformed Fiji because they are stable. Around 87 percent of Mauritians own their own homes.
Medical, including heart surgery, is free. So is education, from pre-school to tertiary level. Fiji, meanwhile, has languished in poverty, and unemployment, with a declining quality of public service and an increasing loss of talent through migration.
Prasad’s speech highlights that the question of democracy was critical. He said that the environment in which our children study can determine whether they become conformist or creative and productive.
“As Gandhi once said ‘democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. Under democracy individual liberty of opinion and action are jealously guarded.’”
Paying tribute to teachers, Prasad stated that they should be fairly compensated for their work.
He urged teachers to “encourage more democratic values amongst students.”
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre – email@example.com
5) I’s Asylum Exemptions To End In 2014
Officials concerned with ‘opening floodgates’ to applicants
By Haidee V. Eugenio
SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 3, 2013) – The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ exemption from accepting asylum applications will expire on Jan. 1, 2014, and this early, officials are wary about its negative impacts not only on the U.S. visa waiver program for Commonwealth-bound Chinese and Russian tourists but also on the courts and the population as a whole.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said yesterday that extending the CNMI’s exemption from accepting asylum applications “is going to require legislation” in the U.S. Congress.
This may be through a standalone bill or included in another bill that’s already moving.
“It’s a major issue that would require a lot of effort. It’s a serious issue. It’s going to be a huge undertaking,” he said in an interview after taking part in a joint leadership meeting with Gov. Eloy S. Inos and lawmakers on Capital Hill yesterday morning.
Sablan said that courts that handle asylum cases could be overwhelmed, and could impact “other programs that we have that are helping us,” referring to the existing U.S. visa waiver for Chinese and Russian tourists coming to the CNMI.
Prior to federalization of CNMI immigration, foreigners, mostly those from China, sought “refugee protection” or asylum in the CNMI.
Rep. Trenton Conner (Ind-Tinian), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign and Federal Relations, separately said yesterday that there is “more harm” than positive effects if the CNMI government will no longer be exempted from accepting asylum applicants.
“It could open the floodgates for asylum applicants,” Conner told Saipan Tribune.
He said the CNMI’s limited land would be an issue, considering that asylum seekers would need a place to stay.
“Two, we don’t know the types of individuals that will be seeking asylum. While the CNMI has a lot of foreigners, mostly [contract] workers, asylum seekers would be different. That is scary. There might be conflicts with the population here. Because of hardships, they might also compete with limited jobs here and deprive residents here of jobs they need,” he added.
In an April 8 letter, Sablan and Inos jointly asked U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano to extend the CNMI’s exemption from accepting asylum applications beyond Jan. 1, 2014, to deter tourists from claiming asylum when they are admitted to the islands as tourists under the visa waiver program.
The governor and the delegate said that, without a CNMI-specific element in the law, “there would be a significant risk that tourists from China, particularly, admitted under parole authority, would claim asylum.”
DHS has yet to formally respond to the request three months since that letter was sent.
At the time, Sablan and Inos hoped that the Obama administration would support any proposal that might be proposed in Congress to extend the CNMI’s exemption from receiving asylum applications beyond Jan. 1, 2014.
U.S. Public Law 110-229, which placed CNMI immigration under federal control, isolated the Commonwealth from the rest of the United States with respect to applications for asylum.
Section 702(j) of PL 110-229 expires on Jan. 1, 2014.
The CNMI’s tourism-based economy has tremendously benefited from the visa waiver program for Chinese and Russian tourists, and is thankful for such program. Lately, the CNMI has been lacking hotel rooms to accommodate an upswing in tourist arrivals.
However, the CNMI is also wary of the negative impacts should those who enter the CNMI through the visa waiver program start applying for asylum some five months from now.
“I hope not, I really hope not,” Sablan said yesterday, on whether asylum applicants could potentially halt the visa waiver program.
Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com
6) Kiribati’s Betio struggles to cope with growing population
By Online Editor
10:11 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Kiribati
The mayor of Betio, one of the most crowded parts of Kiribati, says his council’s resources can no longer meet the need of its growing population.
Romano Reo says people are arriving everyday from the outer islands and there’s nothing his staff can do to stop them.
The mayor says the council has set up a medical awareness centre to educate the public about health issues.
It is also proposing that everyone living on Betio pay a two dollar annual fee to the council to support its work.
And he says there is also a proposal to charge any new arrivals 20 dollars, which would be refundable if those visitors returned to their home islands.
Reo says unemployment in Betio is a growing problem and the council is working closely with government, NGOs and foreign agencies to address the issue.
One option is to send the unemployed back to their home islands or to develop the outer islands so people won’t travel to the urban areas for work.
7) Australia’s new aid minister refuses to comment on previous support for groups in West Papua
By Online Editor
10:22 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Australia
Australia’s new Minister for International Development Melissa Parke says she won’t canvass her previous support for groups involved in the West Papuan independence movement nor would she comment on how her appointment would be viewed in Indonesia.
Parke is now the minister responsible for the nation’s aid budget and Indonesia is the biggest recipient of bilateral aid from Australia.
In an interview with the ABC, Parke was asked if she was surprised at her appointment given sensitivity of the West Papuan issue for Indonesia.
“That is not an issue I am going to canvass,” she said.
Last year, Parke was one of the Labor MPs who defied a request from then trade minister Craig Emerson to boycott a meeting on the disputed province of West Papua.
The Australian Government supports Indonesia’s territorial integrity and its continued rule in the disputed province of West Papua.
Foreign minister Bob Carr has said there is little international support for West Papuan independence, and that separatist forces shouldn’t be encouraged.
At the National Press Club last week, Senator Carr said “independence for West Papua just won’t happen.”
Parke says her focus is instead on delivering Australian assistance to the region.
“My background in human rights is well-known,” Parke said.
“My focus is on the aid programme and we are doing fantastic things together with the Indonesian Government in education.
“We are building and renovating 2,000 junior secondary schools and training 300,000 principals.”
She says thousands of young Indonesians will be able to receive a mainstream, secular education and contribute to the economic capacity and governance of the region.
Parke is a previous United Nation human rights lawyer with a long record of involvement in human rights issues including concern for the treatment of asylum seekers.
On the current debate over asylum seekers, Parke says she will be working with the government as a member of the frontbench.
“What I think is the appropriate way forward is the one set forward by the Houston Panel that we really need to work on the basis of the regional framework,” she said.
“It is a regional problem, we are not going to solve it on our own.
“We have to solve it in cooperation with countries in our region.”
Parke says Papua New Guinea is a priority for Australian aid, as none of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are being met in the country.
“We know PNG is facing issues when it comes to gender inequality, domestic violence, when it comes to literacy and health,” she said.
“We know that women in PNG are more than 200 times more likely to die from pregnancy related conditions or childbirth and that just isn’t good enough.”
Midwife training is one aspect of Australia’s aid policy in PNG.
Parke believes there is much to do in the region.
“18 of Australia’s 20 closest neighbours are developing countries,” she said.
“Our whole region is a priority region.”.
SOURCE: ABC NEWS/PACNEWS
8) Tingting blong tambuim ol samting blong Indonesia ikamap long Vanuatu
Updated 3 July 2013, 12:00 AEST
Wanpela tingting blong ino ken baem ol products blong Indonesia em ol i salim long ol Vanuatu stoa nau i wok long kamap olsem wanpela protest no laikim tok aut blong Melsanesia Spearhead Group.
Odio: Siaman blong Vanuatu Free West Papua Association Pastor Alan Nafuki i tok dispela protes blong noken baim ol product blong Indonesia i wanpela wei long toksave long ol Pacific lida long surukim askim blong MSG membasip
Siaman blong Vanuatu Free West Papua Association Pastor Alan Nafuki i toktok wantaim Caroline Tiriman (Credit: ABC)
Wanpela tingting nau i wok long kamap long putim tambu long ol samting, em ol i mekim long Indonesia na ol i salim long ol stoa raun long Vanuatu, long ol pipol na Gavman ino ken baem.
Pasta Alan Nafuki, Siaman blong Vanuatu Free West Papua Association i mekim despla bikpla askim bihaenim tingting blong Melanesian Spearhead Group long noken larim Free West Papua muvman i joinim Melanesian Spearhead Group inap long narapla sikispla mun.
Miting blong MSG em oli bin holim long New Caledonia long June ibin tok olsem bai oli weit pastem inap wanpla laen blong ol igo mekim lukluk raon igo long Indonesia na bihain, oli ken lukluk sopos Free West Papua muvman inap joinim MSG.
West Papua istap olsem wanpela Observer Status long MSG tasol Pasta Nafuki i tok em bai hat nogut tru long aplikeisin blong ol i winim iau blong Melanesian Spearhead Group long kamap memma tru tru.http://www.radioaustralia.net.
9a) Menteri baru Australia tolak komentari kemerdekaan Papua
Diperbaharui 3 July 2013, 12:18 AEST
By Asia editor Catherine McGrath
Menteri baru Australia bidang bantuan internasional tidak bersedia mengomentari dukungannya di masa lalu bagi kelompok-kelompok yang mengadvokasi kemerdekaan Papua.
Portfolio Menteri Pembangunan Internasional Australia yang baru, Melissa Parke, meliputi antara lain tanggungjawab anggaran bantuan Australia, dan Indonesia merupakan penerima bantuan bilateral terbesar dari Australia.
Dalam wawancara dengan ABC, Parke ditanya apakah ia kaget dengan penunjukkannya mengingat sensitifnya masalah kemerdekaan Papua bagi Indonesia.
“Saya tidak akan membahas persoalan Itu,” katanya.
Tahun lalu Melissa Parke termasuk diantara segelintir anggota parlemen dari Partai Buruh yang tidak mengindahkan peringatan Menteri Perdagangan Craig Emerson untuk memboikot suatu event yang mempromosikan perlindungan hak asasi manusia di Papua.
Pemerintah Australia mendukung kesatuan wilayah Indonesia dan berlanjutnya pemerintahan Indonesia di provinsi Papua.
Menlu Bob Carr sudah mengatakan tidak banyak dukungan internasional bagi kemerdekaan Papua, dan kekuatan separatis hendaknya tidak diberikan dorongan.
Dalam National Press Club minggu lalu, Menlu Carr mengatakan, “kemerdekaan bagi Papua Barat tidak akan terjadi.”
Melissa Parke mengatakan, sebaliknya fokusnya adalah pemberian bantuan Australia bagi kawasan.
“Latarbelakang saya di bidang HAM sudah banyak diketahui,” kata Parke.
“Fokus saya adalah pada program bantuan dan sekarang ini sudah banyak yang dilakukan Australia bekerjasama dengan pemerintah Indonesia, misalnya dalam bidang pendidikan.”
“Kami membangun dan merenovasi 2.000 sekolah lanjutan pertama dan melatih 300.000 orang kepala sekolah.”
Kata Parke, ribuan orang muda Indonesia akan bisa menikmati pendidikan umum dan berkontribusi pada perekonomian dan pemerintahan di kawasan.
Melissa Parke sebelumnya adalah ahli hukum PBB dengan rekor panjang keterlibatan dalam berbagai issue HAM, diantaranya menyangkut perlakuan atas para pencari suaka.
Mengenai perdebatan sekarang ini menyangkut pencari suaka, Parke mengatakan perlu untuk mengambil tindakan yang didasarkan pada kerangka kerja regional.
“Ini masalah regional, kita tidak akan bisa menyelesaikannya sendirian. Kita perlu bekerjasama dengan negara-negara di kawasan untuk menyelesaikannya.”
Parke mengatakan, Papua New Guinea merupakan prioritas bagi bantuan Australia, mengingat bahwa belum ada Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) yang sudah dipenuhi di negara itu.
“Kita tahu PNG menghadapi masalah yang menyangkut kesetaraan gender, kekerasan dalam rumahtangga, kemampuan baca tulis dan kesehatan,” katanya.
“Kita tahu bahwa perempuan di PNG lebih dari 200 kali lebih besar kemungkinannya meninggal akibat kondisi yang berkaitan dengan kehamilan dan melahirkan.”
Pelatihan dukun beranak merupakan salah satu aspek dalam kebijakan bantuan Australia di PNG.
Parke berpendapat banyak yang perlu dilakukan di kawasan.
“18 dari 20 negara tetangga terdekat Australia adalah negara sedang berkembang,” katanya.
“Seluruh kawasan ini merupakan wilayah prioritas.”
9b) Korban Gempa Aceh Bertambah
Diperbaharui 3 July 2013, 15:48 AEST
Angka korban jiwa akibat gempa di Aceh dilaporkan telah mencapai 22 orang, dimana ratusan orang cedera dan puluhan lagi dikuatirkan terperangkap di bawah reruntuhan.
Gempa berkekuatan 6.1 skala Richter itu mengguncang wilayah di Kabupaten Bener Meriah, provinsi Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, pada kedalaman 10 kilometer, memicu sejumlah tanah longsor.
Sebelumnya dilaporkan rumah-rumah di beberapa desa dikabarkan rata oleh gempa dan enam orang lagi dilaporkan tewas.
Keenam korban adalah anak-anak yang sedang mengaji di mesjid sewaktu mesjid tersebut ambruk, mengakibatkan 14 anak lainnya terperangkap di dalamnya.
Subhan Sahara, kepala Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah setempat mengatakan petugas penyelamat masih terus berusaha menyelamatkan 14 anak tersebut sampai Selasa malam (2/7)
“Tim petugas penyelamat kami kesulitan mengevakuasi 14 anak yang masih terjebak di dalam reruntuhan,” katanya.
“Saya harap mereka bisa ditemukan hidup-hidup, tapi kemungkinannya sangat kecil.”
Polisi dan tentara telah ditugaskan untuk memimpin operasi penyelamatan di Aceh.
Sebagian upaya penyelamatan dihentikan tadi malam karena gelap, tidak memadainya peralatan dan kuatir akan terjadi gempa lagi.
Di desa Suka Makmur, tanah longsor menimbun sebuah perkebunan kopi, menewaskan seorang pria yang sedang bekerja di kebun bersama isterinya.
Menurut Fauzi dari badan nasional penanggulangan bencana, empat orang meninggal di rumahsakit akibat cedera yang diderita dalam gempa.
Para saksimata mengatakan, orang-orang berlarian panik keluar gedung di provinsi Banda Aceh, sewaktu gempa mengguncang rumah-rumah selama kira-kira satu menit.
10a) La torture: une question oubliée dans le Pacifique
Posté à 3 July 2013, 7:55 AEST
Seulement quatre pays de la région ont signé la Convention contre la torture des Nations Unies: L’Australie, la Nouvelle-Zélande, le Vanuatu et Nauru.
Palau a signé cette Convention mais ne l’a pas encore ratifiée.
L’Organisation mondiale déplore cette situation et Nancy Robinson, représentante régionale du Bureau des droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies rappelle que des cas de torture ont été récemment signalés en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et à Fidji.
ROBINSON: « Il y a eu des exemples de bonnes pratiques dans certaines nations océaniennes du Pacifique. En 2010 par exemple, la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée a invité le Rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies sur la torture et a par la suite pris des initiatives positives. Notamment la mise en place d’un organisme indépendant chargé d’enquêter sur la mort d’un étudiant en détention en 2011. Une affaire où 4 policiers étaient impliqués.
Il y a aussi le chef des forces de police qui a adopté une politique de tolérance zéro pour la violence. Mais nous savons aussi que les brutalités policières sont fréquentes en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.
Au début du mois de juin, des policiers ont été mis en examen pour avoir brutalisé une soixantaine d’hommes [et couper les tendons d’Achille de certains]. Deux policiers sont en examen et c’est une bonne chose. »
Il y a eu aussi la fameuse vidéo des tortionnaires fidjiens. Deux hommes, deux détenus fugitifs, passés à tabac avec un bâton de bois et une barre de fer, sur des parties du corps soigneusement choisies, notamment les jambes et les chevilles. Un chien prêt à mordre, que son maître laisse approcher à quelques millimètres du visage d’une des victimes. Voilà ce que montre cette vidéo de 9 minutes qui s’est propagée sur Internet au début du mois de mars 2013.
À ma connaissance, il n’y aurait toujours pas eu d’enquête sur cet incident.
Il se trouve que parfois dans la région, certains citent des différences culturelles pour expliquer certains agissements et disent : nos normes sont peut-être différentes ici que dans les pays occidentaux et nous sommes peut-être un peu plus ‘physiques’.
La réponse de Nancy Robinson.
ROBINSON : « Il faut réitérer que la Communauté des Nations doit se conformer à la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme adoptée en 1948 après les atrocités de la seconde guerre mondiale et que les 193 pays membres de cette communauté l’on signée cette Déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme.
Les droits de l’Homme ne sont pas négociables et l’article 5 dit : NUL ÊTRE HUMAIN NE SERA SOUMIS À LA TORTURE, NI À DES PEINES OU TRAITEMENTS CRUELS, INHUMAINS OU DÈGRADANTS.
La région du monde d’où vous venez n’a donc aucune importance. Les droits de l’Homme sont des normes que toutes les nations du monde doivent mettre en pratique. »
10b) aree, le crâne qui éclipse James Cook
Mis à jour 3 July 2013, 8:07 AEST
C’est une enquête de police qui tourne au polar historique. Il s’agit du crâne d’un homme blanc, découvert en novembre 2011 près de Taree, une bourgade située à 300 kilomètres au nord de Sydney, en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud.
Taree, qui habitait ce crâne découvert en 2011, serait mort entre 1660 et 1670, soit un siècle avant l’arrivée du Capitaine Cook sur la côte est de l’Australie.
La police s’attendait à ce que les analyses identifient la victime d’un meurtre sordide. Mais la datation au carbone 14 a donné des résultats déroutants.
Le crâne, désormais baptisé Taree, a passé ces derniers mois dans les mains expertes de Stewart Fallon. Pour le faire parler, le directeur du laboratoire de datation carbone de l’ANU de l’Université Nationale Australienne a prélevé le collagène d’un os, et l’émail d’une dent, qui n’ont manifestement pas la même horloge. Les résultats ont été publiés la semaine dernière.
Le collagène de l’os révèle que Taree avait entre 28 et 65 ans, qu’il est né autour de 1650, et mort entre 1660 et 1700.
Mais, explique Stewart Fallon, l’émail de la dent ne dit pas la même chose : il y a ainsi une chance sur cinq que ce crâne soit celui d’un homme né entre 1780 et 1790, et mort entre 1805 et 1810.
Or les dates comptent. En Australie, les archéologues et historiens ont toujours cru que le capitaine anglais James Cook était le premier Blanc à avoir mis le pied sur la côte est du pays, en 1770 à Botany Bay, aujourd’hui Sydney – et c’est le Hollandais Willem Janszoon qui a foulé le premier le continent australien, sur la côte ouest, en 1606.
La communauté scientifique a pris un coup sur la tête, car il y a désormais quatre chances sur cinq que Taree ait précédé le grand explorateur anglais dans la marche de l’histoire. Qui était-il, qu’est-il venu faire en Australie ? Le mystère est épais.
Tellement épais que des voix discordantes s’élèvent. Pour Adam Ford, le crâne de Taree est suspect. Il a en effet été retrouvé en parfait état, signe, selon l’archéologue anglo-australien, qu’il faisait vraisemblablement partie d’un cabinet de curiosités du XIXème siècle. A l’époque la collection de crânes et autres squelettes était à la mode. Ce qui signifierait donc que Taree était déjà sous forme de squelette quand il a traversé la planète, dans les bagages de quelque riche collectionneur.
Un autre facteur vient affaiblir un peu la thèse de Taree, premier explorateur blanc connu de l’Australie de l’Est : le lieu même de sa découverte, bien loin des côtes nord et ouest de l’Australie, où l’on a retrouvé les preuves archéologiques des toutes premières interactions entre les Aborigènes et les marchands hollandais, puis portugais, javanais et chinois.
En attendant de raconter son histoire, Taree a été déclaré vestige national. Il passera entre les mains de nombreux scientifiques. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
11) US Govt to provide US$1M for 2014 elections
By Online Editor
10:40 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Fiji
The US government is ready to provide conditional assistance amounting to US$1 million to Fiji for the preparation of the 2014 elections.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the US embassy Jefferey Robertson said the US has decided to do this after they were invited to be part of the discussions in the Elections Assistance Coordinating Committee chaired by Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Robertson said they are also supporting capacity building in the post elections phases especially for resolving disputes and training newly elected representatives to help them improve their understanding of government’s responsibilities.
He said the conditions are not new for any democratic elections.
Meanwhile, the Government of Indonesia is willing to assist Fiji in the 2014 elections by providing training to the staff from the Attorney General’s Office in Indonesia.
Indonesian Ambassador to Fiji, Chandra Salim said the Government of Indonesia has been assisting Fiji since late 2010.
Ambassador Salim said he has proposed to the Minister of Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about sending people for training.
SOURCE: LEGEND FM/ FIJI VILLAGE
12) Split the Pacific from Asia health delegate urges
By Online Editor
3:29 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Samoa
-The Pacific must go it alone to improve health.
In an address at the 10th Pacific Health Ministers in Samoa, Niue’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Tauveve O’Love Jacobsen, let it be known she no longer wants to see the Asia/Pacific any longer.
“Why are we forever being bundled in geographically with Asia,” Jacobsen said.
She said Asia has it’s own civilization and the Pacific should stand on its own.
“Pacific people need to establish ourselves in such a way where we can utilise the expertise and intelligence of our own Pacific people.”
The Pacific knows its own problems and how best to solve them, not others, said Jacobsen.
As a former Minister of Health of Niue, she was one of the signatories of the Yanuca Island Declaration on Health in the Pacific 1995.
She has seen the slow progress of implementing the vision set down 18 years ago, which included the improvement of ways to combat disease.
“It’s time we look at our own people as an asset and resource and value our people for what they have learnt and their achievement.”
“Yes we do need the people from the outside, to supplement and help us to rise above it all, but right now it’s coming from the top going down and nothing from the bottom going up.”
Implementation of the 1995 objectives has taken far too long because there has been too much to focus on.
Just leave everything else and focus on women and health and NCDs will be reduced, Her Excellency said.
“Educate women and you are educating the world,” she said.
“There is a definite need for pacific leaders to refocus themselves and push a little harder.”
Jacobsen called for the Forum Secretariat and the South Pacific Commission (SPC) need to merge in order to address such issues as NCDs.
SPC Director –General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers believes that that will never happen.
“The two bodies do work closely together and when discussing NCDs, we take the conclusions from the Ministers to the Forum who takes it to the leaders of various countries, before coming back to us,” Dr. Rodgers said.
The Forum Secretariat is the premiere political organisation while SPC is the technical and scientific organisation, he said.
The difference is SPC memberships covers the non-political independent territories and their technical work covers more countries than the Forum does.
SOURCEl TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS
Long semesta 2 2013, bae mi givim skolaship blong 2 defren program long USP :
1. Foundation program
2. “Seconde Chance” program blong ol francophone.
Ol Aplikesen Fom blong ol skolaship blong tufala program ia i stap naoia long SASS Ofis long USP Emalus Campus – yu save pikimap long we.
Spos no, emailem mi, bae mi save sendem long yu.
Dedlaen blong save putum aplikesen hemi Fraede 12 Julae 2013.
Bae komiti i givimaot ol skolaship ia bes long 2 kraeteria:
1. gudfala marks blong studen
2. faenansol nid blong famli.
Mane blong fandem skolaship ia i kamaot long MP Alokesen blong mi.
Ta, Vanuatu Minister Of Lands-MP Ralph Regenvanu
13b) 70 students thrown out
By LAWRENCIA PIRPIR
THE Minister for Higher Education has been called to fast track and come down hard on the inhuman treatment of more than 70 male students from the Kokopo Business College in East New Britain who were thrown out onto the streets to fend for themselves due to a drunken brawl that was started by two students last Thursday night.
This call was made by the Ombudsman Commission’s New Guinea Islands Regional Manager Anthony Champanien, who lives near the KBC campus, and who intervened to house more than 40 young men from other provinces he felt sorry for after finding them hanging around outside the College gate after 6pm last Friday after the principal, Gabriel Pamel, ordered them to leave campus by 4pm that day and to live outside for two weeks.
Mr Champanien said he has now run short of funds to take care of the students and approached the Principal yesterday for help, given all the young men were from outside ENB and were on the HECAS government scholarship. But the principal maintained that they stay out for two weeks till the administration settled the issue.
He said instead of reporting the matter to police, he opted to use alternate dispute resolution and was waiting for the KBC warden and matron to go to his residence to discuss the issue.
Mr Champanien has also urged the young men to respect the government and not take matters into their own hands.
Meanwhile, the young men unanimously agreed and told this paper that Principal Pamel directed security guards to throw out the first and second year boarding students and many of them heard him shouting at them “em ino skul bilong yupla” (this is not your school)!
More than 40 students from other provinces who did not wish to be named agreed and told this paper that this was not the first time the Principal had said these remarks and often they felt there was discrimination against “waira” (people from outside East New Britain) students instigated by the principal and certain members of the staff.
The students expressed that their learning environment was not a nation building atmosphere and questioned why the principal and staff of KBC treat them like they do not belong at the college when many students from ENB go to other tertiary institutions in other provinces and were not subjected to discrimination.
The Post-Courier visit to where the students were staying found they had all their belongings and were sleeping under Mr Champanien’s house just opposite the KBC fence and the dormitory that has now had its doors boarded up to prevent them from entering. Two security guards were sitting in their laundry area guarding the empty dormitory.
Attempts to talk to Principal Pamel to get comments were unsuccessful. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
14) Fiji Sugar To Expand Into Ethanol, Power Production
Recommendation to diversify came from industry reform plan
By Reginald Chandar
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 2, 2013) – Fiji’s sugar industry will soon diversify its operations and will get into ethanol production and power generation business.
Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary Manasa Vaniqi said the diversification is part of the recent reforms undertaken by the industry.
Vaniqi said ethanol fuel can be made from sugar cane which can be used to replace the use of gasoline in vehicles while processing cane bagasse produces biogas which can be used to generate electricity.
“We have been producing raw sugar alone for more than a hundred years and it is about time we diversify into other bi-products like making ethanol and creating power from cane biogases,” Vaniqi said.
He said the recommendation to diversify into byproducts came about as result of reforms in the Fiji Sugar Industry also known as the 2013-2017 Sugar Cane Industry Strategic Action Plan replacing the New Zealand-based Deloitte Report.
“Through diversifying into other cane byproducts, we will not be relying solely on sugar,” he added.
Vaniqi highlighted that the ministry has already undertaken awareness on plans for the production of fuel from sugarcane byproducts in the sugar cane belt of Fiji.
“Awareness programs on the issues have been conducted in Rakiraki, Ba, Lautoka and Nadroga where farmers were explained about ethanol production and producing power biogas which will be sold to the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA),” Vaniqi said.
15) RSE power lights Lamen
Posted on July 3, 2013 –
Travel along the coast of Lamen Island on Epi and you will be misled into believing Unelco has extended its power to that sleepy island too, as it is literally lit up with bright lights every night.
Acting Director General of Provincial Affairs and Commissioner of Labour, Lionel Kaluat, has confirmed that each home is lit by solar power as each house is owned by a couple that has joined the RSE scheme in New Zealand.
The Acting DG was invited by a group of women during the COM Meeting at Rovo Bay last week, to accompany them to their island to see for himself the positive effect of working under the regional scheme.
“I am excited after seeing with my own eyes and hearing the messages of gratitude from the women who are themselves regular travellers to New Zealand to help their husbands to work to earn more money to improve the standard of living for their families and community on the island and Epi,” the Acting DG said on his return from the island last week.
While the women’s husbands are still away in New Zealand, he said each couple’s trust in each other and commitment to work is bearing fruits in abundance for their families and the International Labour Organisation is sitting up to take notice of the success story.
Lamen Islander and prominent leader, Valia Makin, thanked New Zealand High Commissioner Bill Dobbie and Prime Minister Moana Carcasses during the COM Meeting at Rovo Bay last week, for the joint agreement which came into effect in 2006 to allow ni Vanuatu workers to travel to work in New Zealand.
She said it has and continues to create wonders for Lamen and Epi as a whole.
Most probably Epi Island sends the largest number of workers to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employment Scheme because all a visitor needs to do is either walk or cruise by truck along the road only to see bright solar lights that split the darkness here and there along the road from Valesdir to Rovo Bay on that side of the island. http://www.dailypost.vu/
16) Lolo Slams Unauthorized Am. Samoa State Vehicle Use
Employees repeatedly violating policy may be terminated
By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 1, 2013) – Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has threatened to terminate American Samoa government employees who continue to violate the government vehicle policy in place since the new administration took office. In the latest memorandum issued last week on this matter, the governor noted that directors will be held personally responsible for any reported violation.
This matter was also brought up during the Cabinet meeting held last week Friday, headed by Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, who’s acting Governor, while the governor is off island. The cabinet meeting was held at the Tauese Sunia Ocean Center.
Street Marshal Alu Fa’amasino told Samoa News that the abuse continues on a daily basis, where government employees are continuing to take American Samoa Government (ASG) vehicles home — unauthorized.
The governor noted in his memorandum that since receiving reports of impounded vehicles, no director has extended him the courtesy to comply with said provision of the General memorandum stating that when a government vehicle is impounded, the Director must discuss with the Governor or Lt. Governor the reason their employee took the vehicle home, without the proper authorization.
According to the governor’s memo, “it is disconcerting that our efforts to containing the abuse of government vehicles after hours is not getting through to some of you, evidenced by the continued receipt of reports from the Road Marshal and of cars being impounded.”
Also in this memorandum, Governor Lolo tasked Human Resources Director Le’i Sonny Thompson to take personnel actions against employees who are caught driving the government cars in violation of the issued of the policy.
“This personnel infraction is to be incorporated in the employee’s official personnel file,” the governor stated.
He continued, “If repeated violation is perpetuated, the employee is subject to termination based on existing personnel rules and regulations.”
The governor further stated: “The Director is to personally petition the release of the vehicle with a face-to-face meeting with me (Governor) or the Lieutenant Governor during my absence from territory.”
During the cabinet meeting discussion on the continued ASG vehicle abuse, Commissioner of Public Safety William Bill Haleck suggested ASG should consider penalizing an employee who continues to violate the policy. “For first timers, they should be given a warning, and when caught the second time they should be suspended on leave without pay for several days, and for the third time they should be terminated.”
Lt. Governor noted that he will take the suggestion into consideration and let the governor know.
According to the first memorandum issued earlier this year on this matter, the governor stated stringent rules for authorization of use of ASG vehicles after hours, which included a director demonstrating a ‘life or death’ threat necessitating the use of the vehicle after hours.
When authorized, the memo said, the “vehicle will not be used for personal or family transportation to church service, shopping, or any other activity that is not related to the purpose for which the vehicle was permitted for 24 hours authorization.”
Lolo said for directors and acting directors, they “are authorized to take the assigned vehicles home to be used for official government business only and not for personal transportation of spouses, children, or family members.”
A list of the authorized 24-hour vehicles was to be sent to the DPS for enforcement with instructions to impound any government vehicle seen on the highway without the proper authorization permit, the memo noted.
Last month, HR Director, issued a follow up letter to Directors of Departments and Agencies on the governor reemphasizing the government vehicle policy in place.
Le’i in his letter quotes ASAC Chapter 04, Section 4.0707, Government Property, which includes the rules applied to all government-owned or government-leased motor vehicles and other self-propelled equipment. He further stated that “these four sub-sections of the regulation reference the most common and repetitive violation of the code as reported by the general public and proven by our personal assessment.”
The Samoa News: http://www.samoanews.com/
17) Call for customary land law
By HAIVETA KIVIA
PAPUA New Guineas unwritten customary laws must be also considered when dealing with alienation of customary land, its registration and title.
Dr Onne Rageau, a specialist medical officer and a traditional landowner, from Central province said the latest development in regard to integrated land group, registration and titles of alienated customary land is very good.
Dr Eric Kwa, the Secretary of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission had stated in National Development Forum that 18 000 land groups registered in PNG will be deregistered and a five year moratorium will be placed to allow for re-organising and registration of the ILGs.
Dr Kwa also stated that customary land sold to outside ownership for business and other purposes since 2009 are also illegal.
He stated that from now on customary land can only be leased and not sold, and the titles of such land will remain with the customary land owners and not the State.
He also stated that certain laws like in the ILG Act like the inclusion of two women in the ILG board or executive and the written clan resolutions are also aimed at weeding out corruption.
The State, through the Lands Department and in particularly the Survey General will survey the land, record the registration and keep the record.
Dr Rageau applauded the efforts of Dr Kwa and his commission.
But he added that ILG law needs to be further strengthened using the customary laws.
He said registration of the alienated land must be spelt out precisely and clearly, so there is no confusing regarding titles
He added that the National Government and Constitutional and Law Reform Commission can go one better by also addressing the law on resource ownership issue.
This law is one of the hotly contested issues and is a fire that burns in the bellies of landowners on major resource and project areas right throughout PNG.
The current law on resource ownership states that anything resources that are six feet under the earth belongs to the State and the landowners only get compensated for destruction to their bush, hunting grounds, trees and gardens.
Dr Rageau who is member of the PNG Customary Law Foundation, like so many other Papua New Guineans, says that the resources must also belong to the landowners.
He said according to all the PNG customary laws, the indigenous people own the 97 per cent of land in PNG and that must be also translate to resource ownership.
He said the foundation is quite pleased with the outcome but there is still need to address some of the issues and the foundation will be holding a two-day seminar at the Public Administration Institute from July 26-27.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
18) Killings may lead to death penalty law: Minister
Posted on July 3, 2013
Minister Yatan has warned that brutal murders may force death penalty law
Senseless killings such as the brutal murder of a young pregnant woman at Etas outside of Port Vila last Saturday morning must stop or it could lead the Government to institute a death penalty, the Minister of Justice and Community Services Silas Yatan has warned.
Minister Yatan issued the warning while commenting on the murder of the 21-year-old woman who was 8 months pregnant by her live-in lover before he left Monday morning to hold discussions on the matter with the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs on Tanna.
The young couple involved in the case came from Whitesand, the same area of Tanna as Minister Yatan.
He expressed grave concern at such taking of the life of another human being.
He said this could have a negative bearing on the development of the country, which he said has enjoyed a high level of assistance from donor partners, as Vanuatu has ratified a number of UN conventions on human rights including CEDAW.
The Minister for Justice and Community Services warned that if this kind of attitude increased, the Government could be forced to consider enacting a law on the death penalty such as that in PNG, so as to stem this type of behavior.
He appealed to the parents, the chiefs and the church leaders to work to stop such senseless behavior and attitude.
He said women are human beings, not animals and they should at all times be treated with dignity and respect.http://www.dailypost.vu/
19) Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister continues on with diplomatic passport review
By Online Editor
10:25 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Vanuatu
Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Edward Natapei says his ministry is still trying to ascertain all the people who are travelling internationally using Vanuatu diplomatic passports.
Natapei is undertaking a process of reviewing diplomatic passport appointments made outside of proper procedure.
He earlier indicated that as many as 70 of the 99 overseas representatives could lose their jobs.
Natapei says that so far 12 appointments have been revoked amid the ongoing process of checking each appointment individually.
“Some of whom are not actually on our records so we have to do some work to try and find out there with our diplomatic passports.Some of the diplomatic passports were signed and issued by former ministers and therefore the department does not have records of all the diplomatic passports.We’re still in the process of trying to find out who is out there.”.
20) Fiji troops to return rebels within UN zone to Syria
By Online Editor
10:37 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Fiji
Fijian troops based in the Golan Heights face a mammoth task of trying to convince Syrian rebels, who have occupied the UN zone, to return to Syria and return their weapons.
Fiji Military Forces, Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says everything will depend on how our soldiers handle the situation on the ground.
He says the spill–over from Syria to the UN zone at the border has concerned Israel and armed rebels occupying the area have given reason to Syria to use weapons at their discretion to try and subdue them.
Tikoitoga adds Fijian troops have been tasked to get back all the territory under the rebels, return them to Syria and clear the UN zone.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:
21) News Release
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Climate Change Adaptation Workshop Targets Rural Fiji
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific’s Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD), organized a workshop on addressing and sustaining adaptation to climate change in rural communities through gender inclusive sustainable development on 24–28 June in Daku Village, Fiji.
The workshop brought together 12 local communities that are project sites for the PACE-SD Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) project funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Workshop participants shared ideas, experiences and best practices in climate change adaptation and worked to incorporate a gender perspective into ongoing adaptation activities.
In his opening speech, Esala Nayasi, Director of the Political and Treaties Division of the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said that gender is a guiding pillar of Fiji’s climate change policy and emphasized that women can be an agent for change.
He added, ‘It is important that we value and include our women, our mothers and young people in our communities when we try and make decisions towards coping with the impacts of climate change.
‘In the villages, our mothers search for food and know when to harvest. When changes takes place because of climate change, our women also try their best to cope with the changes to ensure that there is food. This is just one of the many critical roles our women have in our communities.’
As part the SPC Gender Equity in Climate Change Adaptation and Low Carbon Development project funded by the Government of Germany, the SPC Energy Programme prepared a toolkit to incorporate a gender perspective into energy and climate change community-based adaptation projects.
The main outcome of the workshop was the formulation of a sustainable development plan for each community that addresses gender issues on a continuing basis, even after the completion of the ECCA project. The workshop also provided an opportunity to undertake a peer review of the draft gender toolkit, ensuring that the toolkit incorporates a practical approach in integrating a gender perspective into sustainable climate change adaptation activities in rural communities, such as the PACE-SD community adaptation projects across Fiji.
22) UN Disaster Risk Reduction Representative Visits Tonga
Wahlström: natural disasters costly for Pacific economies
By Linny Folau
NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 2, 2013) – People living in the Pacific region should be concerned over the threat of natural disasters, because its geographic location is vulnerable to increasing intensity in cyclones, as well as earthquakes, said Margareta Wahlström, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, who is visiting Tonga.
“Take a look at your environment, learn more about early warning signals and take them seriously,” she said.
During two-days in Nuku’alofa, July 1-2, the high level UN representative said that another concern is that the losses caused by a disaster detracts from the economic development of a country.
“It costs your government every time to pay to restore roads, buildings or schools, and detracts funds from what could have been used for an alternative positive purpose,” she said.
“Ordinary citizens should be concerned because you live in an environment where you can anticipate there would be another cyclone or earthquake and you can lose your personal belongings, or your production like a farmer loses his harvest. In addition, very few people have insurance or any financial buffer let alone the risk of losing healthcare and education time if schools are closed, or you even lose a member of your family,” she said.
She said everyone should look at this as something that affects the society that we are a part of. We should worry about what we should do to mitigate its impact.
Ms. Wahlström said the Pacific is very conscious of the risks associated with the adverse impact of climate change and associated natural disasters.
“The challenge for the region is the economic basis because economies cannot be very diversified because your islands are small and you have seen people going away to find other incomes, which reduces the talent pool in the islands to tackle some of the potential economic development issues,” she said.
While it was clear that small islands had limitations, she believed collaboration and learning from each other’s experiences was critical.
“We are trying to stimulate in every way the acceleration of countries learning laterally. For climate change, there are resources to be drawn down and countries are planning and collecting evidence-based data for preparedness and disaster relief, and I believe through collaboration we can achieve a lot,” she said.
The UN Special Representative noted that the Pacific also had its partners.
“Some are not really part of the Pacific but are constantly present, while others are neighbors such as New Zealand and Australia, who are very important for disaster response, and I know there is collaboration with Japan – a country that understands natural disasters very well. It’s a bit of work to keep partners together but if you have a clear national plan it helps to ask specifically on what is good for you,” she said.
The UN does not specifically have a plan to assess the impact of people living in low-lying areas in the Pacific region.
“The way the UN works is that we have UN Development Assistance Frameworks, where the UN aligns its priorities for effort with government priorities. We are present in the Pacific and the impact of climate change and natural disaster is one of our priority areas that we align with governments.
“Do I think whether that’s specific enough and high priority enough? Not yet. I think it must have a much higher priority in order to get all the support for economic development, stability and sustainability,” she said.
Ms. Wahlström who met Tonga’s Prime Minister and other stakeholders said issues raised revolved around Tonga’s vulnerability and exposure due to the nature of the island, the proximity of seismic risk, the Tonga Trench and the regularity of cyclones.
“I believe there is a very high degree of awareness and anxiety about these threats to your economy and the way of living for your people. I had a chance to congratulate the government and the people that have worked on Tonga’s National Plan, which integrates the risks generated by the combination of the environmental damage, climate change disasters and the lack of resilience economic basis.”
She said the main issue she got from everyone was public education because typically when there is an acute emergency everyone is interested and then they go on with their life.
“Tonga is trying to build a system that is on alert all the time, so that individual citizens will be responsible for preparedness. The other aspect that was not so explicit, but I heard, is that Tonga is working on how to mainstream climate disaster risk into all sectors of society. It is not just a responsibility of the national emergency system but a responsibility of everyone from agriculture, health, education, planning and information,” she said.
“The awareness level is high but it is the action that counts and what happens next. The major challenge is how to quickly get the understanding fully enforced into the society so it could become more resilient, better informed and thinks long term,” she said.
Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/
23) Sea level rise affects village
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
THE effects of climate change have become evident in some parts of Tailevu.
People living near Nukumasia beach at Kiuva-i-Ra in Bau, Tailevu said they felt the effects of climate change every day.
Kiuva-i-Ra Village spokesman Seremaia Waqainabete said villagers noticed the rise in the sea level about five years ago.
“The shoreline was about 30 metres away at most places from where it is right now,” he said.
“When I was a small boy, I remember playing under the trees near the beach. But the trees have gone now and the sea has taken over the place.”
Mr Waqainabete said there was a white sandy beach at Kiuva Point once but it was no more.
He said the marine life in the area were also affected.
“We were once famous for seafood as we could get everything and of a reasonable size before but we can’t get that catch now.
“During my school days, I only used to take cassava from home and pick some seafood on the beach for lunch. But you can’t get anything on the beach like that now.”
He said there were other factors that contributed to the shoreline in Kiuva-i-Ra extending about 30 metres from its original spot.
“It will hurt me if we are made to move from here to some other place at one time or another because of the rising sea level,” he said.
Commissioner Central Lieutenant Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou said the villagers should follow the proper channel through the bose ni tikina to voice their concerns.
“We see the priority areas when it comes through the tikina meetings and then it is put to the government for budget,” he said last night. http://www.fijitimes.com/
24) UNDP gives US$12m for biodiversity
By Online Editor
1:24 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
The United Nations Development Program-Global Environment Fund (UNDP-GEF) will aid Papua New Guinea (PNG) with U$D12 million to protect its biodiversity.
Minister for Environment and Conservation John Pundari revealed this last Thursday at the Lae International Hotel.
UNDP-GEF supports countries in unleashing the economic potential of protected area systems and mainstreaming biodiversity management into economic activities. Minister Pundari said the Government will create a Biodiversity Trust Fund (BTF) to protect the biodiversity of the country’s environment.
“BTF will have a structured process, and it will be accountable and transparent,” he said. He added that the Government wanted to pool all the resources together using the BTF.
Pundari said the UNDP-GEF will fund the YUS Conservation Area in Morobe Province, Tonda Wildlife Management Area in Western Province, Varirata National Park in Central Province and Managalas Plateau Wildlife Management Conservation Area in Northern Province.
He urged the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to properly implement their conservation programs.
“We have studies after studies of our biodiversity, but there is no tangible results and reality to protect our biodiversity and help biodiversity owners,” Minister Pundari said.
He said PNG was blessed with a great biodiversity in the world.
“We need to conserve well, protect well, and advertise it well. It’s our billion kina industry, it’s more than the LNG Project” Minister Pundari said.
He reiterated that protecting the country‘s biodiversity could generate the revenues for PNG.
“We are running after gold, gas and oil (and) we must do it properly. We need to compensate the loss of our unique biodiversity,” Minister Pundari said.
He revealed that he had signed the first approval in principle for a resource developer in Western Province to include a biodiversity offset plan in its development.
“I will be serious with the SABLs (Special Agriculture and Business Lease), after the Commission of Enquiry.
I will not want to entertain SABLs that will bring down our environment holistically. They should look at developing out grasslands first,” Minister Pundari said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
25) Scope Of French Polynesia Nuclear Fallout Revealed
Tests affected more area than atolls listed by military
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 2, 2013) – Declassified French documents show that the fallout from the nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia was far greater than previously admitted by Paris.
Following the release of more than 2,000 documents about the atmospheric tests of 1966-1974, the test veterans group says the French authorities measured a plutonium concentration in Tahiti of 500 times the safety limit.
Tahiti is about 1,400 kilometers from Moruroa but under current French law it’s outside the zone where compensation claims for poor health can be lodged.
The documents, which include 114 blank pages, confirm that the fallout from the tests affected all areas and not only the 21 atolls, which the French military had listed so far.
The documents also reveal that a total of 26 navy vessels were contaminated.
The Moruroa e tatou test veterans group has called on France to let it know the full truth about the tests’ impact.
The latest batch of documents was released on a court order amid a warning by the veterans that they would be taking France to the European Human Rights Court.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
26a) Rugby flag flies high
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
CELEBRATIONS of Fiji’s centennial year of rugby continues despite our national sevens loss in Moscow ending up with the bronze medal.
The greater victory is that Fijian rugby sevens talent has been internationally recognised with four Fijian players featuring prominently in the New Zealand All Blacks Melrose Cup win.
Our sevens prowess has been acknowledged by the world’s best sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens by using the Fijian rugby flair as the main ingredient in his winning formula.
Every Fijian sevens rugby fan out there should definitely be proud of the achievements in Moscow over the weekend and our centennial year should be celebrated in vigour and jubilation to reflect the achievements we have made so far.
Despite losing to New Zealand the way the boys rose from the ashes of a pool game loss to Wales to end the unbeaten run of pre-tournament favourites South Africa in the quarter-finals perhaps did Tietjens’ men a favour.
Wily fox Tietjens rested Tomasi Cama in the first two days and he came out firing for the Kiwis in the business end of the tournament.
South Africa was the team to beat in this tournament and they had everything going for them until they met the Flying Fijian tackles.
Kenya’s high hopes of improving their standard was buried in the Moscow quagmire as the Fijians released pent-up fury in their tackles in the bronze medal play-off.
The hapless Kenyans were badly rattled and got thrashed in the end.
We lost to New Zealand because we let them win.
We did not have the same urgency, competitive inspiration we had against Paul Treu’s men.
The flying tackles we saw against the Africans were missing against New Zealand because they did not make us angry enough to want to beat them badly and it was a psychological advantage.
The late BBC commentator Bill McLaren once described the Fijian tackles as “Fijians sailing into their tackles like men possessed’.
The Kiwis know our mental set up and having four Fijians in the Kiwi side and the praise and compliments made by Tietjens massages our ego and mellows our competitive spirit.
Unforeseen circumstances like the lightning storm that temporarily suspended the game and other factors may have contributed to Fiji’s frustrations but as a sporting nation we should give the Kiwis what is due to them and that is our accolades.
Masterminded by Tomasi Cama the Kiwis were the better team of the day and their consistency over the years gave them the edge.
With the meager funds available to our rugby and the millions spent on other national teams like South Africa, England and New Zealand our boys did us proud and they deserve a big homecoming reception when they return.
We have nothing else to prove in world sevens as we had won the title twice before and New Zealand only became the second team to do so with the Moscow win.
What we should be focusing on now is the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and how we could win our first Olympic Games medal.
Alivereti Dere’s gallant men did more than what critics expected of them. They stood toe to toe with the best in the game and gave as much as they received.
Trainer Tomasi Cama’s heart tearing halftime pep talk in the quarter-final of ‘Nanumi Viti’ will continue to echo in the minds of our national reps in generations to come.
To Dere, Cama and the boys we give them our congratulations and like everything else in life we win some we lose some, we are not superman, but we rise and live to fight again another day.
The essence of survival is not in failing to fall, but rising after the fall.
The Olympics is just three years from now. Let’s learn everything we can from the Moscow loss and use it to better our rugby for the next 100 years. http://www.fijitimes.com/
26b) Forget Moscow, focus on Rio
By Online Editor
11:28 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Fiji
Start planning for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in Brazil rather than criticising the Digicel Fiji 7s coach Alifereti Dere and the players, says fitness guru Epeli Lagiloa.
Speaking to SUNsports yesterday Lagiloa said the 2013 Rugby World Cup 7s is now water under the bridge.
“Now is the time to forget about what had happened in Moscow and we should start planning for the Olympic Games,” Lagiloa said.
“We need to take a holistic approach towards 2016 and only then we will be able achieve something.”
Lagiloa said it is time people should change their mindset towards the sport and try to achieve something positive.
“We have spoken and given advice all along. I’m not surprised at all.
“What now? Do we have to blame the weather or the players? That’s all water under the bridge.”
He also pointed out that Dere is not a bad coach even after failing to win the Melrose Cup.
“Dere is not a bad coach and Gordon Tietjens is a good coach- both of them are perfect in their own ways but it is the way we approach things and from now on we need to have a realistic approach.”.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
26c) Host city to mark two years to Pacific Games
By Online Editor
11:30 am GMT+12, 03/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
Exactly two years from tomorrow Port Moresby will host the 15th Pacific Games.
The Pacific Games Host Organising Committee’s head of marketing Ken Siminji said yesterday that activities including street parades and floats would take place to officially mark the day.
“Thursday July 4 2013 will be exactly two years away from openning ceremony,” Ken Siminji said.
The HOC and the NCD will use the event to commence awareness.
“We are working with NCD on a range of initiatives to keep the city residents informed and aware of what’s required of them and especially National Capital District Commission as hosts.”
Floats representing the three electorates will start at the Boroko roundabout and to the Jack Pidik Park where other celebrations will be taking place.
The formal programme will begin at 11.10am.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
26d) Ashes: Graham Gooch surprised at Australia wanting to pick Fawad Ahmed
Updated 3 July 2013, 7:33 AEST
England great Graham Gooch is surprised Australia is prepared to pick Pakistan-born Fawad Ahmed.
Leg-spinner Ahmed, 31, a former refugee, had his bid for Australian citizenship accepted on Tuesday, making him eligible to play in the forthcoming Ashes Test series in England.
“It’s certainly not been their preferred modus operandi in the past, but if someone has qualified to live in the country and gets all the stamps in their passport, a naturalised Australian, he becomes just another opponent,” former England captain Gooch told the BBC.
“We’ll obviously have tabs on him to see what he does and how he performs because if he does make an appearance in the series we need to be aware of that.
“I wouldn’t pass judgement on it, but it’s not a route that they have gone down before.”
Australians have generally prided themselves on fielding only ‘home-grown’ players for their national side.
Large sections of their media have been scornful of England’s tendency to pick South Africa-born batsmen such as Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Nick Compton, wicket-keeper Matt Prior and retired former captain Andrew Strauss, even if the latter two in fact learnt their cricket in England. Ahmed played for Australia A in England last month and national selector John Inverarity has indicated he will be considered as an addition to Australia’s Ashes squad.
The bowler returned from England in June after the Australian Government moved amendments to the Citizenship Act through the upper house of parliament to help fast-track Ahmed’s application.
Australia will begin its bid to regain the Ashes when the first of a five-match series starts in Nottingham on July 10.
At present off-break bowler Nathan Lyon is the leading specialist spinner in an Australia squad boosted to 18 by the inclusion of leg-spinning all-rounder Steven Smith as cover for captain Michael Clarke, while left-armer Ashton Agar is with the tourists until at least the second Test as a “development player”.