Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 826


1) Australian PM’s offer for Papua raises suspicion

By Online Editor
4:48 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Indonesia

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s commitment to help develop Indonesia’s easternmost region could instead lead to more abuses of Papuans, an activist warns.

Papua was among the three main issues discussed during the third Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders Meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Rudd at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Friday. The two other issues were people smuggling and economic cooperation in the beef and cattle sector.

“Given the trends of the series of cases in the past, we can see that almost all human rights cases in Papua were rooted in economic motivation. Corporations operating in Papua, particularly foreign ones, for instance, use soldiers for security, a measure that increases the chances of human rights abuses against locals,” the coordinator of rights group National Papua Solidarity (NAPAS), Zely Ariane, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

With Rudd standing beside him at a joint press conference after Friday’s meeting, Yudhoyono expressed concern over rampant “propaganda” spread by Papuan separatist activists in many countries who advocate independence by “exaggerating alleged human rights violations by Indonesian military and police”.

“I told the Australian prime minister that any Indonesian soldiers or police officers found to commit violations will definitely be punished or brought before a military tribunal,” Yudhoyono said. “But to be honest, in the recent past, those falling victims were Indonesian Military [TNI] personnel and police officers.”

In his speech at the conference, Rudd not only reiterated Australia’s recognition of Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua but also offered help to speed up development in Papua and West Papua provinces.

“I, as the prime minister of Australia, will do everything I can to support [Yudhoyono] in this direction.”

Issues concerning Papua were not expected to be broached by those attending the media conference. “According to information I received, it was Prime Minister Rudd who raised the issue,” presidential spokesman for foreign affairs Teuku Faizasyah told the Post.

Zely alleged that Rudd’s statement was a further indicator of the wish of Australia’s businesses to invest in Papua, particularly in the mining sector. “The door for foreign investors has been opened by the government via its MP3EI [Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development],” she said.

Foreign investment in Papua, she said, would not address the core problems in Papua. Massive projects would not only be prone to corruption but would also widen economic gaps and marginalize Papuans more, she added.

Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said that starting this year, the government would prioritize MP3EI projects in the eastern provinces, including Papua and West Papua.

“Projects in natural resources and energy will be boosted,” Hatta said. “But exploration projects must also contribute to the acceleration of local economies by establishing centers of growth around the projects,” he added, brushing-off Zely’s opinion.

Of the total MP3EI investment of Rp 545.76 trillion (US$55.12 billion) set for this year, almost a half or Rp 204.56 trillion will go to Papua, West Papua, Maluku and North Maluku provinces.

Issues surrounding Papua have always been politically sensitive for Indonesia, while to Australia, it is the long-unstoppable flow of asylum seekers that is at the heart of its domestic political interests.


2) PNG Immigration Authority introduces ‘C’ series passport

By Online Editor
4:47 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority (PNGICSA) has introduced a more secure machine-readable passport which incorporates photo-ghost imaging on the personal particulars’ page.

Chief immigration officer Mataio Rabura said PNG citizens applying for new passports since last month were being issued the new ‘C’ series passports.

“PNGICSA is moving closer to introducing a biometric e-passport that will incorporate personal bio-data and additional identifiers such as fingerprinting and iris information, embedded on a microchip to minimise the risk of PNG passports being used for fraudulent purposes,” he said.

Rabura said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had been engaged by PNGICSA to undertake an audit of its current passport-issuing systems and processes, and make recommendations on appropriate hardware and software that would enhance processing of applications and automated issuing of passports.

“ICAO will assist evaluate existing passport systems with a view to procuring a system offering the best security features and value for money to PNG,” he said.


3) Constitution changes for stability: PM O’Neill

By Online Editor
4:56 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The proposed constitutional amendment by the National Government is in the best interest of political stability, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said Monday.

In a statement, O’Neill said that had been done within existing laws that governed the country and “is within the responsibilities of Parliament as a legislative arm of Government”.

He said the Opposition had been circulating misleading information to people for their emotional and political well-being.

The Opposition has described the amendment as selfish and a bid to remain in power and to “remove the purpose of the Constitution that keeps the Parliament checks and balances for transparency, democracy and accountability of the Government”.

“These amendments are done in the best interest of the nation and for its continued political stability, something that has been lacking since independence,” O’Neill said.

“They do not eliminate the original intentions of the Constitution in any way, shape or form.

“The National Government proposed these changes because of continued damage that political instability causes to the development of the country and our people’s well being.

“Our people see the real lack of tangible development in terms of the quality of life.

“Our investors see lack of consistent government policies, which does not safeguard their investment.
“This is brought about by instability in government and public service machinery.”

O’Neill said the other reason for proposing the amendments was that the National Government “is the Government chosen directly by the people through the democratic ballots and therefore reflects the will of the majority”.

“Therefore, any change that may be proposed during the term of Parliament must be done in the interest of the people and the country.

“It is for that reason the change of a government duly elected by the people must be debated properly and supported by one-third of members of Parliament.

“This will avoid manipulation by individuals wishing to hijack the mandate of the people just because they have more money or scream and yell the loudest.

“This provision of the Constitution to reduce the number of sitting days from 63 to 40 days has not been complied by many parliament sittings in the past because of continuous lack of quorum.”

4) Apdet long Port Vila elektorol petisen mo Mosen blong Nogat Trast

Olgeta –
Port Vila elektorol petisen:
Long Mande long moning mi bin stap long Suprim Kot wetem ol narafala MP blong Port Vila blong witnisim opening blong kot kes blong elektorol petisen blong Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau agensem Elektorol Ofis blong ol 6 MP blong Port Vila. Kes i stap gohed long wik ia, ating maet bae i finis long wik ia be yumi no save stret. Bae yumi luk wanem jajmen we kot bae i mekem long petisen ia.

Mosen blong Nogat Trast:
I gat wan intaviu we mi mekem wetem Radio New Zealand International long saed blong toktok blong Lida blong Oposisen se i gat wan mosen blong nogat trast i stap naoia. Toktok blong mi i stap daon.
Ating hemia nomo fastaem.
Ta, .Minister Of Lands and MP- Ralph Regenvanu

Vanuatu Opposition to go ahead with no-confidence vote

Posted at 05:42 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu could be heading for another political upheaval as the opposition claims they have the numbers to force a vote of no-confidence in the government.
This isn’t the first time in their four-month rule that the opposition has made such a claim and the government says it doesn’t expect anything to come from it.
But no-confidence motions continue to cost Vanuatu money and some are calling for constitutional change.
Jamie Tahana reports:
The Opposition leader, Ham Lini, says he was reluctant to push for the motion and he is only doing it because it’s what the people of Vanuatu want.
“HAM LINI: It’s a call from the people of Vanuatu to do that because of the leadership. It’s not my wish, but it’s the wish of the people of Vanuatu to do that. At the moment we have the number 27 to call the parliament to have a vote of no-confidence.”
Mr Lini says the opposition needs 27 MP’s signatures, which they claim to have, in order to force a vote of no-confidence in parliament. But he says the opposition is awaiting a court decision on the Port Vila constituency dispute before deciding whether to proceed with it. Mr Lini says the issue can not wait until the next elections.
“HAM LINI: By that time a lot of things will have gone wrong. At the moment, government spending is too much. A change of government will help to control our finance.”
Lopez Adams, from Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu, says he doesn’t expect anything to come from this motion. Mr Adams says the opposition has failed in its last couple of attempts to roll the government. The government spokesperson, Ralph Regenvanu, says the government is rock-solid and if a no-confidence vote ever did come to fruition, they would survive.
“RALPH REGENVANU: The opposition can talk about it, but until a valid motion is deposited with the office of the speaker we have no way of knowing if it’s true or not. And as far as we know this government still has 33 MPs which is a clear majority – it’s almost two thirds of the members of parliament – and there’s nothing that shows to us that is otherwise.”
Mr Regenvanu says the opposition is trying to destabilise the coalition and cast doubt over government backbenchers in the hope they will defect to the opposition. But Lopez Adams says something needs to change. He says frequent motions are costing the country dearly. He says such moves are costly and use a lot of resources and they can’t happen as frequently as they do.
“LOPEZ ADAMS: It costs a lot of money for the government to take a motion of no-confidence to the parliament. It’s a lot of money, getting ministers out from the ministries and creating new ministries and reinstating people. And it’s just a lot of cost and a waste of time for development to go ahead. It’s not helping the country at all.”
Ralph Regenvanu says the government plans to begin constitutional talks in the hope of enacting changes to reduce the number of no-confidence motions in Parliament.
“RALPH REGENVANU: There definitely needs to be political reform, which will require a change in the constitution, which will require a referendum. And the current government is preparing to start that process to have a consultation with the presidents of all political parties on the proposed way forward in terms of political reform, and that meeting will happen in August.”
Lopez Adams says some constitutional change does need to change because all the no-confidence votes are diverting attention away from the real issues facing Vanuatu.
Radio New Zealand International

5) Experts To Assess Fiji Elections Capacities For 2014 Polls
Specialists’ efforts expected to be ‘apolitical,’ says AG

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 8, 2013) – Three election experts have arrived in the country to assess what Fiji’s Elections Office will need to successfully conduct the 2014 General Election and subsequent polls.

The group has commenced with what is officially being called a Gap Analysis/Needs Assessment.

The assessment will concentrate on capacity building in the Elections Office.

The team includes Carl Dundas who is a specialist from the Commonwealth, Melissa Thorpe who comes from the Elections Office of New Zealand and European Commission’s Etienne Claeye.

The three are charged with identified the capacity needs of Fiji’s Elections Office which will assist countries and development agencies best identify how they can contribute to the election process.

The Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum welcomed the three experts to Fiji and said the Bainimarama government is treating the Elections Office as totally apolitical in its quest to ensure that the 2014 parliamentary elections are fair, transparent and have complete credibility.

He also expects the assessment and all development partners to be apolitical and work in the best interests of the country and sustained parliamentary democracy.

Saiyad-Khaiyum said government was intent on building capacity in the Elections Office not only for next year’s poll but subsequent elections.

“From now on, we will be holding elections every four years and they can actually be called every three and a half years. This means creating an Elections Office that has a permanent staff trained to a high level and capable of delivering elections held to the highest international standards,” he said.

The Attorney General said that previous elections had been hampered by a lack of expertise on the part of those charged with conducting them.

“We need to establish proper career paths within the Elections Office to ensure that we not only attract the best people but keep them,” he added.

Last week, the Attorney General chaired the inaugural meeting of a Coordinating Committee made up of representatives of countries with which Fiji has diplomatic relations to begin the process of discussing Fiji’s election needs.

“For the first time, the Government is considering the idea of having the election conducted in one day instead of over a week. This will obviously involve the Elections Office in a far more demanding logistics exercise than it has been traditionally prepared for,” he concluded.


6) Fiji hints at further delay of constitution release

Posted at 05:54 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

Fiji has again hinted at a further delay of its constitution, saying it will depend on when the translations of the text are done.

The Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the constitution will put in place a code of conduct and an office of accountability and transparency.

The new constitution is to replace the 1997 document, which the regime dumped four years ago.

The new constitution was to be in place in March but Mr Sayed-Khaiyum now says it could be ready next month.

“We hope to have that done fairly soon; we have targetted the month of August. But as you may have seen we have also taken the approach that we need to translate the draft constitution into the vernaculars after taking into account some of the submissions we’ve received. So that will be distributed to the population in he vernacular also before the presidet assents to it.”

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Radio New Zealand International

7a) Fiji says Australia and NZ need to get beyond politics

By Online Editor
10:50 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Attorney General and minister for elections says Australia and New Zealand’s aid towards the democratic elections next year needs to be apolitical.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says he has been told by Australia and New Zealand officials that the government needs to help build a credible political opposition in Fiji prior to the elections.

But he says many other countries have pledged donations for elections without those demands, which he says are too political.

Sayed Khaiyum says the coverage of the recent United States million dollar donation is overrated, considering PNG has given US$11 million and many other countries are helping as well.

He says the funding should be apolitical.

“This is not their job, it’s not their responsibility nor is it their business. We don’t tell you what sort of opposition you need to have nor should Australia, nor do we tell Australia. So what we have said and made is emphatically clear to them is their assistance to the elections office needs to have apolitical approach. The elections office needs to be a apolitical institution.”.

Meanwhile, three elections experts are in Fiji to conduct a gap analysis/needs assessment as part of government’s preparations for the 2014 general election.

The study will determine what the Elections Office needs to successfully conduct the 2014 general election and polls.

The team includes commonwealth specialist Carl Dundas, Melissa Thorpe of the Elections Office of New Zealand and Etienne Claeye of the European Commission.

They are charged with identifying the capacity needs of Fiji’s Elections Office which will assist countries and development agencies to identify how they can contribute to the election process.

In welcoming the team, Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he expected their assessment and the elections process to be free of political pressures.

“The Bainimarama Government is treating the Elections Office as totally apolitical in our quest to ensure that the 2014 parliamentary elections are fair, transparent and have complete credibility.

“We also expect that this assessment and all development partners will also be apolitical, which is in the best interest of the country and sustained parliamentary democracy,” he said.

He said the government was committed to building a capable Elections Office not only for the coming elections but all subsequent ones as well.

Sayed-Khaiyum said previous elections were affected by a lack of expertise on the part of those charged with conducting them.

“We need to establish proper career paths within the Elections Office to ensure that we not only attract the best people but keep them,” he said.


7b) US policy on Fiji a work in progress says US regional expert

Posted at 05:42 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

A senior adviser on the region for a Washington-based think tank says the United States’ foreign policy on Fiji is still a work in progress.

Ernest Bower of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies says Washington is trying to figure out the most effective role it could play alongside New Zealand and Australia. He spoke to Sally Round.

ERNEST BOWER: It is impossible for me to sit here and tell you, as I’m not a member of the US government, what the US position precisely is on Fiji. And I think some of that may be strategic ambiguity. Personally, my view is that we need to be more engaged. I think, to be honest with you, we’re trying to sort out what’s the most effective American role vis-a-vis roles others are playing. So Australia feels like it’s playing the bad boy, the bad cop on this one. New Zealand seems to be trying to play the slightly less bad cop, or good cop. And the question is where do we fit in there to help be effective? And I think the answer is that’s a work in progress.

SALLY ROUND: Why is it taking so long? The coup was 2006 and we’re heading towards elections. People are questioning why the US has seemed almost reluctant to become involved.

EB: I think the United States wants to get it right. They will always stand on the side of democracy, so where there’s a coup or where there’s a clear violation of democratic values, there’s no question where the Americans stand on that – we want to see an election, a free and fair election that would put a government in place that is legal and would be chosen by the people of Fiji. So there’s no doubt about that. I think the question is more at a practical policy level – how can you be effective in encouraging that outcome? As Americans look around Asia, I think there’s a compelling case that you can make that governance and democracy is going pretty darn well. From Myanmar to recent elections in Malaysia, Indonesia has already made the turn. Even in Vietnam, there’s more participation by voters and more influence, even on the Communist party. So I think the trends are going in the right direction. We know from experience that weighing in in a heavy-handed way doesn’t always help the situation. And I think, to be quite honest with you, if we thought that weighing in strongly in Fiji would result in a free and fair election, we’d do it.

SR: Is the US government watching the process towards elections next year closely?

EB: Yes. We’ve got really good leaders in our state department, who are are assigned to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, that are watching this very closely. Our eyes aren’t closed. Could we be more effective? Perhaps. Do we know how? We don’t. So I think if we figured that out, we would.

Radio New Zealand International

8) East Timor push for Commonwealth membership

By Online Editor
4:49 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Australia

East Timor President Taur Matan Ruak is on his first official visit to Australia since he won last year’s election.

One item on his agenda in Australia has been East Timor’s push to become part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The former Portuguese colony is preparing to lodge its candidacy for Commonwealth membership and wants Australia’s support.

Taur Matan Ruak’s first stop in Australia was Darwin, where he met the Northern Territory Administrator and raised the idea of Commonwealth membership.

East Timor Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres is travelling with Taur Matan Ruak and says it’s an idea that’s been considered in East Timor for some time.

“The president has informed… many foreign dignitaries that we will be presenting our candidacy to membership of Commonwealth. So the president is seeking the support also from Australia,” he said.

“That’s an issue that has been pursued since the first constitutional government and the president in the last visit, just a few weeks ago to New Zealand, announced it publicly.

“So we will, very soon, we will write a letter to Commonwealth Secretariat to present our candidacy.”

Jose Luis Guterres says the benefits for East Timor include being part of a group of countries that share common values of democracy and human rights.

“Timor Leste is one of the countries in the world which has been… a strong supporter of human rights and democracy, so we believe that is a great forum for us also,” he said.

In December last year Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said it could be possible for East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, to gain Commonwealth membership.

“I think this is something very worthy of the consideration of Timor Leste,” he said.

“Bear in mind that Rwanda, without a British heritage, is now an active member of the Commonwealth. Mozambique, out of a Lusophone community is a member of the Commonwealth.”

Carr said membership of the Commonwealth would not conflict with East Timor’s other international alliances nor with its push to join ASEAN.

He also said there would be many benefits for East Timor.

“They’d be joining an international forum where the votes and the views of a small island state count as much as the vote and the views of India or Nigeria or the United Kingdom,” Carr said.

Taur Matan Ruak is due to meet Australia’s Governor-General Quentin Bryce today, after informal meetings with former Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston and Phillip Ruddock.

He met with Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Monday in Canberra and will fly home to East Timor on Wednesday morning.

Jose Luis Guterres said he and Taur Matan Ruak would be discussing other issues while in Australia, but he declined to comment on the dispute over the development of the Greater Sunrise gas field.

East Timor and Australia are going to arbitration over the dispute.



9a)Tonga Welcomes Donation Of Chinese Aircraft
Deputy PM says talks to procure more plans underway

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 8, 2013) – Tonga’s Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano, receives the MA60 aircraft from the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, (PRC) HE Wang Donghua, Fua’amotu, 6 July 2013.

Tonga’s government celebrated the gift of a new MA60 aircraft from China at a handover ceremony attended by King Tupou VI at Tongatapu’s Fua’amotu Domestic Airport on Saturday July 6.

“The aircraft is safe,” said Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu, who sought the aircraft from China.

In an emotional speech he said that it was the first of its type in the region but, “It is sad that the United States even New Zealand have not accepted this aircraft.”

“It has Bretton Whitney engines, its avionics are Honeywell and other famous brands with avionics on aircraft. This is a brand new aircraft donated by the People’s Republic of China. The cost of the aircraft is about US$15 million and the cost of parts to sustain service is between US$13-14 million. In Tongan dollars, this grant from the PRC is over 50 million pa’anga [US$26.8 million] and it’s, what we say, a grant and we have nothing to pay back.

“I am happy to announce the pilots who delivered the aircraft here are U.S. pilots licensed and registered in the U.S.,” Hon. Vaipulu said.

The Tongan government as the owner of the aircraft has to insure it and, “we have a few things to do before we start the service to our people.”

Hon. Vaipulu said he dreamed of acquiring more planes. “Currently, there are talks, negotiations on getting two more Y12 aircraft to service the Niuas and ‘Eua and also to help Tonga Defence Service on surveillance of our waters… and I am sure Tonga would use jets domestically in the very near future.”

Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaiplulu, Deputy Prime Minister. Fua’amotu, 6 July 2013.

New high

The Ambassador of China to Tonga HE Mr. Wang Donghua said that the early arrival of the MA60 aircraft on July 4 coincided with the celebration of the official birthday of King Tupou VI. In handing over the new aircraft to Tonga’s Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano, he said it was, “a new opportunity to bring our friendly relationship and cooperation to a new high.”

“Today is a historic day in Tonga’s civil aviation history, because from now on Tonga can operate its own domestic airline using its own aircraft, and today is also a very important day for the bilateral relations… as the MA60 aircraft symbolizes a new fruit yielded by the cooperation of mutual benefit between our two countries.”

He said the aircraft was initially expected to arrive on November 2, 2013, for the celebration of the 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Tonga, but the need for the aircraft had become urgent.

“Considering the need on ground, the Chinese side made a special earlier delivery,” he said. “The aircraft will soon be put into operation and Chinese experts and technicians will work closely with Tongans.”

The ambassador spoke of a potential for job creation and profit generation in other countries from Chinese mobility. “Chinese tourists travelling overseas will reach 100 million by 2015,” he said.

“Chinese enterprises are seeking trade and investment opportunities in other countries. For instance, some Chinese business people came to Tonga in the first half of this year to explore areas of common interest…Now many countries hae started to eye the growing market in China and the opportunities China is creating for the rest of the world. …Tonga has its own unique resources and holds great potential for development in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and tourism, among others,” he said.

Mr. Zhang Guangjian, Vice-chairman AVIC International, said that in December 2011 the Deputy Prime Minister Vaipulu had visited China to experience the aircraft for himself and had expressed strong interest and willing to introduce MA 60 to Tonga.

“We will send a pilot instructor to Tonga to assist Real Tonga and a field service team to provide parts and consultancy,” he said.

The aircraft will be operated by a recently formed airline Real Tonga on Tonga’s domestic inter-island service.

The King went on a short flight with VIPs at the launching.

Matangi Tonga Magazine:

9b) Tonga loses NZ aid over use of suspect Chinese aircraft

Updated 9 July 2013, 20:03 AEST
Brendan Arrow for Pacific Beat

The New Zealand Government is suspending millions of dollars in tourism aid to Tonga over concerns about the safety of its domestic airline service.

Over the past weekend, Tonga was gifted a Chinese-made Xian MA60 for its domestic Real Tonga airline by China.

But it is an aircraft with one of the world’s worst safety records, as New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully pointed out to TVNZ.

“There are real concerns about a plane that has been imported in the last few days.” he said.

It prompted New Zealand to suspend tourism funding to Tonga, and may lead to a travel warning being placed on the Government’s website.

“Until all of the safety certification is undertaken to a high standard we have got things on hold,” the foreign minister said.

Since 2009, MA60 aircraft have been involved in 11 incidents, including three of them in the last two months.

Last month, Myanmar grounded its MA60 planes for safety checks after two crash landings.

Most of the crashes were caused by technical or system failures.

The Tongan Government is promising the new plane will not be allowed to fly until it meets international aviation standards.

However, the chair of the New Zealand Tongan Advisory Council, Melino Maka, told Radio Australia’sPacific Beat program getting that approval could take some time.

“Given that the US, New Zealand and Britain are actually not giving certification to this type of plane because of the history, I’m struggling to see how Tonga can obtain certification of this type of plane,” he said.

It was first announced that Tonga would be receiving the Xian MA60 at the start of the year when the government revealed it was introducing a Chinese-run service.

This service saw the New Zealand-run company Chathams Pacific pull out of Tonga’s domestic airline market.

Chathams Pacific officials said they could not compete against a subsidised service, especially in such a small market.

Mr Maka says safety fears are already having an impact on New Zealand’s large Tongan community.

“I know that some members of our Tongan community wanted to visit relatives but when they hear about the planes saga they cancelled,” he said.

“The long term impact on Tonga is its tourism, it’s going to be quite devastating.

“It’s high stakes, and while everybody at government level are trying to hold their position, it is the businesses and the locals who are the losers.”

A second MA60 aircraft is expected to arrive in Tonga by the end of the year.


10) CNMI Lands Department: Options Open For Pagan
Secretary says a number of activities can be accommodated

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 9, 2013) – Despite competing “interests” on the use of Pagan in the Northern Marianas that includes that of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Public Lands (DPL) said yesterday it has not received a single application from any entity whether to develop eco-tourism, geothermal energy production, pozzolan mining, or any economic development activity on this part of the Northern Islands.

“Options are still open for Pagan,” acting DPL secretary Pete A. Tenorio told Saipan Tribune.

He said “portions of it could be used for eco-tourism, others for pozzolan mining, for military use, for socio-economic interests because of people wanting to go back to Pagan and live there. There are different types of activities that can be accommodated.”

The CNMI government has been finding ways to generate revenue to prolong the NMI Retirement Fund’s lifespan and sustain other public services. Two years ago, former governor Benigno R. Fitial offered to lease some Northern Islands to Chinese investors but there have been no takers.

Succeeding interests included mining pozzolan on Pagan by a group of Japanese investors in exchange for the island receiving tons of debris from the March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan. This didn’t pan out mainly over environmental safety concerns.

Pozzolan, volcanic ash spewed on Pagan, is used as an additive to make cement.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced early this year its plans to use Pagan, along with Tinian, for live-fire training. However, at this stage, the plan is met with opposition from CNMI residents.

As of yesterday, Gov. Eloy S. Inos has yet to request President Barack Obama for Covenant Section 902 talks between the CNMI and the United States on DoD’s planned use of Pagan, federal control of local immigration and a host of other issues.

Vlad Melnik, general manager of Volcano Tours Travel, said he and business partners have held off their plans to develop eco-tours on Pagan until they get a clearer picture of what the U.S. military intends to do on Pagan and what the CNMI government would allow them to do on the island.

Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan) reiterated yesterday that after numerous discussions, the government has yet to decide whether to reinstate JG Sablan’s permit to mine pozzolan on Pagan, seven years after a government lawsuit that he said “has not done anything to contribute to the economy.”

With millions worth of pozzolan on Pagan that could be forever lost once the U.S. military uses the island for live-fire training, the Senate—by adopting a resolution that Torres authored—asked the governor and DPL to reinstate JG Sablan Rock Quarry Inc.’s pozzolan commercial mining permit on Pagan.

Tenorio said yesterday that DPL and the administration are still reviewing the matter.

“There’s benefit-cost ratio that needs to be reviewed. If we want to plan something, we need to plan it right. We could combine projects to maximize the use of public lands. There are military interests, commercial interests, and socio-economic interests. Each of will take a lot of planning,” Tenorio said.

Torres said numerous studies have been done on pozzolan deposits on Pagan, all the while the government’s financial problems are piling up.

“Whether it’s 200 million or 20 million metric tons of pozzolan on Pagan, the government will be earning revenue by way of business gross revenue and royalty fees,” Torres said.

He added that it is in government hands to allow revenue-generation from pozzolan mining on Pagan, by withdrawing the lawsuit against JG Sablan, reinstating its mining permit, and requesting agencies such as the Division of Environmental Quality, Division of Fish and Wildlife, and Coastal Resources Management to aid JG Sablan for it to start mining pozzolan on the island.

JG Sablan Rock Quarry Inc. was the holder of a commercial mining permit issued on Sept. 8, 1995, by the Marianas Public Land Corp., now DPL. That permit was for the mining and extraction of pozzolan on Pagan.

DPL terminated the commercial mining permit on May 3, 2006. After six years of litigation, the CNMI Supreme Court upheld on March 30, 2012, the termination of JG Sablan’s mining permit.

Torres said pozzolan mining on Pagan could be an alternative to legalizing casino gambling on Saipan, which he said had already been rejected twice by Saipan voters.

Public hearings

Meanwhile, three Senate committees will be holding a joint public hearing on House Bill 18-45, House Draft 7, legalizing casino gaming on Saipan, as well as HB 18-51, HD4 allowing electronic gaming at hotels.

The public hearing on Tinian will be held on July 19 at 6pm at Tinian Elementary School.

There are three public hearings planned for Saipan but as of yesterday, only one has been confirmed—on July 23, 6pm, at Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School. The Rota public hearing schedule will be announced later.

These three Senate panels joining forces are the committees on Resources and Economic Development Programs, Fiscal Affairs, and Judiciary, Government and Law.

Meanwhile, the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee will also hold a public hearing on HB 18-46, House Draft 1, to allow members of the Defined Contribution Plan to withdraw their account balance without terminating employment.

It will be held on July 11, Thursday, 6pm, at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.

Saipan Tribune


11) Australia i holim nambawan Citizens Tribunal long ol heve insait long West Papua

Updated 9 July 2013, 17:21 AEST
Kenya Kala

Sydney University ibin hostim nambawan Citizens Tribunal bung long ol trabol na kilim dai long Biak Island long Indonesia Province blong Papua.

Wanpela meri husait ino bin dai long Biak protest bung, i hap blong vidio witnes em ol i soim long West Papua Project long Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies long Sydney University. (Credit: Audience Submitted)
15 yar igo pinis long July 6 1998, ol soljia blong Indonesia ibin banisim wanpela protest bung insait long Papua Provins blong Biak na stat sut long ol, bihain long ol ino harim toktok blong ol.

Planti pipol ibin dai, planti moa i kisim bagarap long bodi.

Ripot i kam long ol pipol i lukim dispela birua, ol ‘survivor’ i tok, ol soljia ibin banisim ol pipol na sut igo long ol nating nating. Ol witnes tu i tok, sampela blong ol, ol sojia ibin kisim ol long bot, karem ol igo long bik si na dampim ol long dai.

Dispela ol stori olsem ibin kamap ken insait long nambawan Tribunal long West Papua Project long Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies long Sydney University long wikend.

Rex Rumakiek blong West Papua National Coalition for Liberation long Australia i tok, taim risalt blong Tribunal bai ino salim ol pipol igo kalabus, ol i hamamas long stat blong wanpela Tribunal olsem.

Em i tokim Radio Australia, longwanem long planti yar, ino gat wanpela samting i kamap, maski singaut blong planti ol Human Rights Group long igo mekim wanpela wok painim aut long rait blong ol asples pipol long hap.

Dispela Biak Citizens Tribunal i nambawan na histri we sampela biknem Jaj, Scholar na ol Loia laen ibin paitim toktok na kik-statim ol toktok blong wanem tru ibin kamap, na tu long harim ol heve blong human raits long West Papua.


12) Industri ikan raksasa Asia ancam kehidupan nelayan di Pasifik

Terbit 9 July 2013, 16:34 AEST

Pakar Perikanan Pasifik mengatakan negara-negara di kawasan perlu  menyeimbangkan pemenuhan kebutuhan ikan tuna di Pasifik untuk pasar asing dan lokal.

Sekretariat Komunitas Pasifik (SPC) mengatakan nelayan lokal di Pasifik mengeluhkan keberadaan perusahaan penangkapan ikan besar dari Asia seperti Jepang, Korea, Cina dan Taiwan yang mengganggu usaha penangkapan ikan berskala kecil warga Pasifik.

Kepala Progam Pengawasan Ketersediaan Ikan SPC, Dr. Shelton Harley, mengatakan persaingan antara industri perikanan raksasa dan nelayan lokal terus meningkat seiring dengan semakin sedikitnya jumlah ikan tuna di Pasifik.

“Jumlah ikan semakin terbatas, kapal-kapal ini bersaing mendapatkan ikan di area  yang sama,” kata Dr Harley.

Untuk mengatasi hal ini, Harley menilai Komisi Perikanan di Barat Tengah Pasifik perlu memikirkan upaya untuk memenuhi kebutuhan ikan di negara-negara kepulauan kecil.

“Komisi di tingkat kawasan bertanggung jawab untuk memastikan ketersediaan ikan yang cukup di perairan bagi nelayan-nelayan kecil di negara mereka,” katanya lagi.

Upaya  menyeimbangkan kebutuhan nelayan ikan lokal dan asing seperti ini diakui SPC memang tugas yang berat. Karena anggaran di sektor perikanan biasanya diutamakan untuk kegiatan penting yang  mendasar seperti pendidikan dan jaminan kesehatan, yang biasanya  menyedot banyak anggaran pemerintah. Di waktu yang bersamaan ada nelayan kecil yang harus menghidupi anak dan keluarganya juga yang perlu dipertimbangkan.  Di daerah pedesaan, nelayan-nelayan kecil ini biasanya masih bisa memenuhi kebutuhan protein sehari-hari melalui komunitasnya.

Salah satu masalah yang dihadapi  perikanan global saat ini   menurut Dr. Harley adalah perlunya upaya menyediakan subsidi bagi nelayan kecil, yang memungkinkan mereka tetap melaut untuk menangkap ikan ketika jumlah ikan di perairan di sekitar mereka sudah semakin sedikit.

“Tidak ada yang mau bangkrut,  jadi kita harus tetap memiliki ikan yang cukup disekitar kita untuk menjaga hasil tangkapan ikan tetap banyak. Tapi itu membutuhkan banyak uang, dan jika tidak memiliki dana  untuk membiayai aktifitas perikanan maka sudah pasti nelayan kecil tidak dapat menangkap ikan dalam jumlah banyak untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup mereka.”

Menurut Harley sangat tidak praktis melarang industri perikanan besar di kawasan karena  keberadaan mereka sudah pasti memberikan banyak uang.

Satu hal yang bisa dilakukan menurut Harley adalah  ide negara-negara di kawasan membuat semacam zona pengecualian. Yang intinya setiap negara memiliki daerah kritis di sekitar tempat pemukiman nelayan yang tidak boleh didekati oleh kapal perikanan tangkap besar  dari jarak 25 – 60 mil dari daratan.


13a) PNG: inauguration d’un service pour les tuberculeux

Posté à 9 July 2013, 15:31 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Hier Matt Thistlethwaite a ouvert un service spécial dédié aux tuberculeux à l’hôpital général de Daru, la capitale de la province Ouest.

Le Secrétaire parlementaire chargé du Pacifique a remis au directeur de l’hôpital un service sophistiqué – 22 lits dans six salles de précaution aériennes, ainsi que 16 lits pour des tuberculeux en rémission.

Daru est située à la frontière avec l’Australie. Le gouvernement australien craint depuis des années que la tuberculose papoue ne contamine l’Australie.

L’année dernière, Canberra a supprimé son financement aux services de santé du Queensland. L’enveloppe était destinée aux tuberculeux papous venus se faire soigner en Australie.

En échange, l’Australie s’est engagée à équiper les services de santé sur place, en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Outre ce service hospitalier à Daru, l’aide parviendra sous d’autres formes ces prochains mois: la formation des personnels de santé papous, de l’équipement médical, des médicaments, etc.

13b) Australie: 6% de chômage d’ici la fin 2013

Mis à jour 9 July 2013, 15:43 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

L’économie est en berne. Entendons-nous, il ne s’agit pas d’un marasme à l’européenne. Mais le boom minier marque le pas en Australie Occidentale.

Articles: En Australie Occidentale, le boom minier marque le pas. Et c’est toute l’Australie qui ralentit – un peu.
Le chômage pourrait ainsi atteindre 6% en moyenne d’ici la fin de l’année, ce qui inquiète les économistes. Les chiffres officiels du chômage paraîtront ce jeudi. Le nombre d’offres d’emplois en ligne et dans les journaux a encore baissé en juin, pour le quatrième mois consécutif, de 1.8% en moyenne, et particulièrement en Australie Occidentale, où elles ont baissé de moitié. C’est d’autant plus frappant que l’État était jusqu’à présent la locomotive de l’économie australienne. Le nombre de postes proposés est juste au-dessus du niveau de 2009, en pleine crise financière mondiale.

Quand le secteur minier va moins bien, c’est tout le reste qui chute. Brian Redican est économiste au Macquarie Group, une société de services bancaires multinationale :

« L’incroyable demande dans le secteur minier en Australie Occidentale ces cinq dernières années a suscité un très grand boom, pas seulement dans le secteur minier, mais aussi dans le BTP, ça a aussi relancé la consommation. Maintenant que le boom minier est passé, il y aura moins de travail, moins de revenus pour l’Australie Occidentale et cela aura forcément un impact sur la consommation. »

La banque centrale australienne a baissé régulièrement les taux d’intérêts depuis fin 2011. Aujourd’hui il est à 2.75%, le seuil le plus bas dans l’histoire du pays.
Le crédit est donc peu cher. Mais pour Bill Mitchell, professeur d’économie à l’Université Charles Darwin, les ménages et les entreprises restent très prudents, deux ans après l’amorce de la baisse des taux d’intérêt :

«Tous les indicateurs montrent que l’emploi va continuer à chuter, à moins que le gouvernement fasse quelque chose pour le secteur privé. Car pour l’instant le secteur privé n’est pas prêt à se lancer dans de gros investissements, vu que les ménages n’ont qu’un seul objectif en tête : éponger leurs dettes.»

En baissant ses taux d’intérêt, la banque centrale australienne vise en particulier le secteur du BTP. Brian Redican :

«Pour rééquilibrer l’économie australienne, il faudrait construire plus, parce que le BTP est un secteur qui emploie beaucoup de main d’œuvre. Et les anciens mineurs peuvent facilement se reconvertir dans le BTP, ils ont des qualifications voisines.»

Mais l’économiste Bill Mitchell est très circonspect sur les vertus de la relance du BTP.

«Les ménages ne sont pas enclins en ce moment à s’endetter plus. Ils essaient de rembourser leurs dettes, qui sont très élevées. Donc des taux d’intérêt bas peuvent ranimer un peu le secteur du BTP. Mais de toute façon je ne pense pas que cela soit suffisant, ni souhaitable, de créer une bulle immobilière, qui empêcherait beaucoup de ménages d’accéder à la propriété.»

Le professeur Mitchell demande au gouvernement d’arrêter sa politique d’austérité – il traque en effet les économies dans tous ses ministères. Le conseil de l’économiste : investir dans la construction de logements sociaux.


14) Expert Calls For Balance Between Pacific, Foreign Fishers
Competition between local, Asian operators on the rise

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 8, 2013) – A Pacific fisheries expert says the region needs to find a balance between foreign and local demands for Pacific tuna.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) says local fishermen have made complaints that industrialized fishing companies, from Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan, are putting pressure on smaller operations carried out by Pacific Islanders.

Dr. Shelton Harley, head of the SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Program’s Stock Assessment and Modelling Group, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat there has been increased competition between foreign industrial fisheries and local fisherman for fewer tuna fish.

“At the end of the day there’s a finite number of fish,” Dr. Harley said. “These boats are competing in a way for the same stock.”

Dr. Harley says the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission needs to take into account the needs of small island developing states.

“The Commission on a regional level has the responsibility to ensure there’s enough fish in the water so there’s enough to go around,” he said.

Dr. Harley says balancing the demands from local and foreign fishermen is a difficult task.

“Money from fisheries is used for critical things like education and health care, provides considerable money for the government,” he said.

“At the same time you’ve got these small-scale fishermen…who have got a family to take care of. In some of the rural areas (they) will be providing significant protein to their communities around them.”

Dr. Harley says one of the problems fisheries are facing globally is providing subsidies for fishermen, which allow them to go fishing when there is less fish around.

“Nobody wants to go out of business so you need to have plenty of fish in the water to keep your catch rates up,” he said.

“But if you’re getting extra money, if you’re not paying the full cost of your fishing activity then obviously you don’t need to catch as much fish to make money.”

He says it would be impractical to ban industrial fishing in the region as it brings in money, but countries can set limits for industrial operations.

“One of the really important things that’s going on around the region is the idea of an exclusion zone,” Dr. Harley said.

“Essentially you’ve got a critical area where people are living and you say industrial fishing you can’t come any closer than 25 or 60 miles within land.”

Radio Australia:


15) Samoa AG Issues Letter On Creation Of Media Council
Journalists’ association says one year still left to act

By Alan Ah Mu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, July 8, 2013) – The Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa (JAWS) didn’t receive a letter sent out by Samoa’s Attorney General saying he had been instructed to draft legislation to set up a media council. JAWS represents the majority of media outlets in the country.

Today, JAWS’s executive met to discuss Attorney General Aumua Leung Wai’s correspondence and decided to send him a letter to clarify matters, because Aumua’s “NOTICE TO LOCAL MEDIA” dated 4 July was also sent to only six media which JAWS is concerned about.

JAWS initiated the establishment of a media council 10 years ago.

It engaged the services of Ian Beals, a consultant with the Thomson Foundation in England, to draft Samoa’s media code of practice.

The Thomson Foundation is the world’s longest established international media development organization, with a 50-year history of training journalists in ethical standards and quality reporting.

Since then JAWS has held three consultation meetings with Samoa Law Commission (SLC) to identify the media’s position on a regulated media council.

On that there were three choices: Government regulated, self-regulated or government/media regulated.

Media opted for a self-regulated council and submissions by JAWS and individuals were presented to SLC on this.

SLC presented the final draft to Government and JAWS.

The draft submitted recommendations which included a two year time frame for JAWS to establish a media council or Government would do so.

“It has now been over a year and still no movement to establish a media council,” said Aumua in his correspondence.

But JAWS President Uale Papali’i Taimalelagi said “One year is up and we still have another year to go.”

JAWS believe they are still within the timeframe of the time given.

As for the media council issue, it has been one of the most discussed issues every time JAWS Executive meets.



16) Vanuatu Recalls State-Sponsored Students In Philippines
Education minister: students will be assigned to Pacific schools

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 8, 2013) – The Government of Vanuatu is to repatriate all Government-sponsored students studying in the Philippines.

In a circular addressed to parents, guardians, the public and students studying in the Philippines, the Minister of Education, Bob Loughman, announced that all Vanuatu Government sponsored students will be repatriated out from all institutions they are at in the Philippines.

He said in the last two to three years, Vanuatu students in the Philippines continued to face adverse incidents from petty cases to more serious ones in recent times. He said these cases ranged from offenses, crimes, and deaths compared to other Vanuatu Government-sponsored students in our region. Lougman said academic results are also of grave concern.

“Therefore, as the minister responsible for education, and by virtue of power vested in me as minister, I take this occasion to inform all parents, guardians, public and all students currently on Vanuatu Government sponsorship and studying in various institutions in the Philippines, that all Vanuatu Government sponsored students will be repatriated out from all institutions they are at in the Philippines to various institutions in the region – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and New Caledonia, once they meet the admission criteria,” the Minister said.

He acknowledged the direction which parents and individual guardians undertook ownership of the responsibility to send their children to study in the Philippines saying “it has been very impressive.” He said it underscored the value of education to the people of this country as an important contributor to economic development, improved living standards, and it provides better employment opportunities.

In 2011, the Ministry of Education through the National Education Council and the Vanuatu Scholarship Unit also participated to encourage continued training in the Philippines by awarding scholarships to some students. Today, the total number of Vanuatu Government sponsored students is 57. This is an increase of 31 % from 2011 when there were around 27 students.

This increase shows that the Vanuatu Government continues to support the training of Vanuatu citizens in the Philippines, until the students continued to face the challenges that have led the government to take the decision it has now taken, Minister Lougman added.

Vanuatu Daily Post:


17) Bougainville aims to capture adventure travel market

Posted at 05:42 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

The head of the Culture and Tourism division in the Autonomous Bougainville Government believes the Papua New Guinea province will become one of the must-see destinations for adventure travellers in the future.

It’s been 16 years since Bougainville came out of a civil war and the acting CEO of Culture and Tourism, Lawrence Belleh, says there’s still a lack of basic infrastructure.

But Mr Belleh says the industry is starting to focus on small-scale ecotourism ventures like caving and diving aimed at intrepid travellers.

He told Bridget Tunnicliffe that people with an interest in military history will also find something in Bougainville.

LAWRENCE BELLEH: The Numa Numa Track is a trail which was used by the allied forces and the Japanese during the war and it has a lot of war relics along the track. And we are also looking at ways of how we can get people to come back to Bougainville to see what their relatives during the war have been through. We had Japanese bunkers and a lot of war relics that are still on ground that we are developing. But with our services coming back to Bougainville and business activities coming back, there are so many things that are now being done to try and set up institutions to support arts and culture. We are intending to do three cultural centres in the three regions and we are also looking at two tourism bureaus.

BRIDGET TUNNICLIFFE: Are you expecting or have you already received government funding to be able to put these ideas in place?

LB: Not at this point in time. We only have a recurrent which the government has given us of $70,000. But hopefully in 2014 let’s hope that the autonomous government will rescue us and help us out, so that we can do more.

BT: What kind of travellers are you trying to attract?

LB: Going to the places where transport is quite difficult here in the autonomous region, especially with coming out again from the 10-year conflict that we’ve had. So the target group of people will be the ones that are young, they are fit. Because in Bougainville, the tourism here is still raw, especially with the environment. Much of the environment is still in place. We are looking at looking at marketing Bougainville as a raw ecotourism type of destination. The political environment in Bougainville is conditioned to make people come into the region. It’s the media, a lot of times, that’s disturbing the situation here in Bougainville, whereby people are saying that we’re still fighting and so on. But, you know, we have come out of that, and I think Papua New Guinea Bougainville is one of the best destinations. The law and order situation is quite good.

BT: Do you think there is huge potential there for tourism to become an industry in Bougainville?

Radio New Zealand International

LB: The rawness here, in terms of the tourism potential that we have is massive. I know that Bougainville is one of the destinations that people will be looking for in the near future, and starting now we can develop the industry and make sure it’s one of the biggest in Papua New Guinea.

18) IMF to provide technical assistance to PNG

By Online Editor
1:33 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The International Monetary Fund is providing technical assistance to PNG to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the establishment of Kumul Holdings.

Technical officers from the office of the IMF paid a courtesy visit to the country and spoke with respective Government Ministers on how to go about the Sovereign Wealth Fund and what they require from the government to establish the fund.

IMF spokesman, Michael Pappaioannou said their visit is to get a general perspective from the Government and Ministers on how to go about establishing the fund.

“We have started discussions from Monday morning. Excellent cooperation as always with government authorities and we are grateful. We had a meeting with the implementation secretariat and met with the Minister of State Enterprises and others as well,”Pappaioannou said.

He said: “We are focusing on two issues; the government structure and the investment management of the Sovereign Wealth Fund.”

Pappaioannou said the report is going to give a general perspective of what their findings are. He said they will leave behind a report – what are the international practices – what is the bench mark basically.

“Based on our findings and what are the best practises, we are also going to provide some recommendations, advice, what we think that is profitable, based on the international experience as it needs also to be followed.

“The report that we would develop will focus on the frame work, as this is the organic law and all the developments that we have seen and the other three sections.

“The final one; governance structure, investment management and capacity building, what are needed in order to have an efficient implementation of what is there and also how we can operate SWF efficiently.

“Because we are looking at it from the perspective of having a self-sustained SWF eventually, offcourse there are stages, but this is what we would like also to target on, to focus on.

“From the discussions that we have had, we have a pretty good understanding on where we stand.


19) More Chinese arrive in Bougainville

By Online Editor
4:41 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Chinese businessman responsible for bringing the first group of Chinese to work in the lucrative scrap metal business in the former Panguna mining township in Central Bougainville has returned with the second group of Asians.

Managing Director of Wang Enterprises Limited, Zhen-Yu Wang or Bill Wang as he is commonly known, arrived with another 19 Chinese men in Buka on Friday.

Upon arrival on an Air Niugini flight from Port Moresby, the group was taken to the Buka police station where their travel documents were scanned before they were allowed to travel to Panguna.

According to Mr Wang, these second group of Chinese which included one translator, had traveled all the way from their country to work in the scrap metal business and nothing else.

He said they came to Bougainville to help the people and not to make profits.

“We’ve come here not for money but to help the people. I wanted to help the people that’s why I brought them. We will be here for only six months then we will pack up and leave,”Wang said.

“(But) my policy is for all people to benefit, and not just one person. If I see that only one person is benefiting then I will pack-up and leave,” added  Wang.

Wang said these men were brought in because they had the expertise to work in upper heights, a thing the locals are not capable of doing.

He said if the locals were familiar with heights than he would not have bothered bringing these Chinese to Bougainville. He however said they will be training the locals so upon completion of their six months stay, the locals would then be able to continue on with the scrap metal business.

When asked if his company would be paying taxes to the ABG,  Wang said this will not be possible at the moment following all the recent treatments accorded to him and his men by the government.

Wang however said any discussions concerning this issue should be addressed to the Me’ekamui Government of Unity as they are responsible for inviting him to do business in the Panguna area.

Wang also clarified misleading reports saying his company was mainly involved in construction projects and not mining, as thought by many.

THERE has been rumbling discontent building up over Chinese businessmen in Bougainville’s capital, Buka town; and some fear it may come to a head.

The armed hold-up of a local Chinese store, along with other incidents involving theft from other Chinese retailers, are being seen by some in the community as a sign that locals are fed up with the Asians who own retail outlets in Buka town.

The Chinese have been marrying Bougainvilleans and setting up small trading stores.

Local business people are saying that due to the way the Chinese conduct trade, there is not as
much money around town as there had been previously.

Consequently, they say, retail businesses in Buka town are seeing diminishing returns.

“That’s what a lot of businesses are facing here in Buka,” a business community representative told the Post-Courier.

“What we see is the Chinese are getting their stock direct from suppliers in China.”

This means money is not being spent in the community. On top of this, the Chinese are said to remit a large portion of their profits back home – again reducing the amount of cash money circulating locally.

The business representative said local businessmen had asked to go into partnerships with the Chinese but the Chinese say they are not able to.

“We have evidence they are refusing to go into partnerships,” he said.

All this is breeding resentment amongst local Bougainvilleans. Recently, Asians married to locals were warned to go away from Arawa, Central Bougainville, by locals when they attempted to set up stores in the town.

Anti-Asian sentiment in PNG is nothing new. In 2009 and 2010, Port Moresby and the Highlands saw large-scale riots against Chinese business people, with significant destruction of property and looting.

Buka police have warned people against targeting Asians and taking the law into their own hands. They stressed that those with grievances against the Chinese must contact police and “not resort to illegal activities”.


20) Vanuatu Signs New Air Services Agreement With Australia
New arrangement expected to boost tourism industry: minister

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 8, 2013) – Australia and Vanuatu have renewed their commitment to strengthen cooperation on air services by signing a new bilateral agreement this week.

The Air Services Agreement provides an updated legal framework for the operation of flights between Australia and Vanuatu.

Under the Agreement, airlines may increase services between the two countries, which will result in the further development of tourism, business and people-to-people links.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Edward Natapei believes the renegotiation of the Agreement is another milestone for air services in Vanuatu.

“The new Air Service Agreement will no doubt strengthen air links and expand air services between the two countries, which for us is seen as a major step forward for air services in Vanuatu and the tourism industry” Mr. Natapei said.

Australia is Vanuatu’s largest source of tourists with more than 152,000 people travelling by air between Australia and Vanuatu in 2012, a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer believes the Agreement could help boost tourist numbers and assist Vanuatu in developing its tourism industry.

“This Agreement sets in place measures to improve and strengthen air services cooperation between Australia and Vanuatu which will have positive flow-on effects for the tourism industry” said Mr. Bruer.

When it has been ratified, the Agreement will replace the existing Agreement signed in 1993, creating legal certainty for airlines in both countries.

Vanuatu Daily Post:


21) Bougainville seeks NZ/Australian help to train its police

Posted at 05:54 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is considering approaching New Zealand and Australia to help with training its police.

Presently Bougainville’s police are trained by the PNG national constabulary but the Bougainville president, John Momis, says this training doesn’t meet the province’s needs.

Mr Momis revealed this when explaining his government’s plans to set up a private security firm to assist the police in maintaining law and order.

“The police is difficult because the training they get from Port Moresby is not suitable for the Bougainville situation. In fact we are talking with the New Zealand and Australia governments to run courses for the police here on Bougainville.”

John Momis.

New Zealand has for many years been helping Bougainville establish policing at the community level.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Ambae man killing prompts Vanuatu march

Posted at 03:21 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

An estimated 500 people from Ambae in Vanuatu have marched through the streets of Port Vila, carrying the coffin of a man killed in an attack at the weekend.

The group is also demanding compensation be paid.

While police have not released any details of the killing, sources say the victim was attacked with an axe after asking his next door neighbour to keep the noise down.

The chairman of the National Council of Chiefs, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe, says unity does not just happen, but people have to make it happen.

Radio New Zealand International

23) Solomons PM’s Recent Visits To Provinces Criticized
MMF president claims MP’s ship contracted for travel

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 6, 2013) – President of Malaita Masina Forum (MMF) Charles Dausabea has described Solomon Island Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo’s recent trips to the provinces as “dubious.”

Mr. Dausabea said during the PM’s trip to the Malaita Outer Islands and to Manaoba in North Malaita, parliamentarian Steve Abana’s boat MV Maetalua also accompanied the delegation.

“Now, his trip to the Shortland Islands also tags the ship along,” Mr. Dausabea said.

He said MMF want to inform people they discovered some huge payments made to the shipping company.

“Such moves are not right because it’s not fair to other shipping operators.”

Mr. Dausabea said the Government has a process, particularly the tender process to allow other shipping operators to apply.

“But for the Prime Minister to handpick the MP for East Fataleka Steve Abana’s ship, [this] has raised more concerns within the shipping operator’s circles.

“We were informed that Mr. Abana’s ship trip to Malaita outer islands cost some $300,000.00 [US$41,340] and such amounts would likely be spent on the trip to Shortland Islands.

He said MMF applauds the PM’s trips to the rural areas through the country, but that he must explain clearly why another MPs ship was used to accompany the delegation.

“Such action brings into question the government’s continuous trumpeted transparency and accountability, making it a total hypocrisy.”

Solomon star contacted the office of the Prime Minister yesterday but they declined to comment.

A spokesperson only said Mr. Abana is Lilo’s political rival.

Solomon Star

24) Armed Youth Allegedly Used At Bougainville Palm Oil Project

President Momis claims allegations ‘completely misleading’

By Alexander Rheeney

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 8, 2013) – An Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG)-supported oil palm project has come under fire for allegedly engaging armed youth.

Former Bougainville politician and Torokina landowner Sam Akoitai has lashed out at the ABG-sanctioned Torokina Oil Palm Project, alleging that the project proponent Hakau Investments Limited had employed armed youths to work as security guards.

“They should not be engaging armed youth to accompany Hakau Investments officers do feasibility studies for the project.

“It is wrong for the ABG and the company concerned to get into this when the ABG should have other priorities to focus on,” he said.

“The decision by the ABG to go ahead with the project and to allocate funding to the project proponent is also illegal as it was done without the approval of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

“The allocation and use of K13 million [US$5.6 million] on the project by the ABG is also illegal as a motion was passed by the House of Representatives for a full investigation into the oil palm project.”

However, the ABG President Chief John Momis in response denied the oil palm project had engaged armed youth to provide security for the company to do feasibility studies, saying it was false and a potential standoff was averted when ex-combatants intervened.

“The report alleging armed men providing security for Hakau surveyors was completely misleading and untrue.

“The truth was that there was a group of seven men with arms who had been seen around a chief’s residence and out of concern for his security other armed youths provided their support to their chief.

“The ex-combatants immediately intervened and disarmed the seven youths and told them to go home,” he said in response to queries from the Post-Courier.

Mr. Momis also used the opportunity to defend the project, describing it as the first which met all the necessary requirements including rural appraisal, soil analysis, social mapping, boundary sketch plan, social impact study and a forestry data survey.

On the allegations by Mr. Akoitai that the actions of the ABG breached an inquiry ordered by the AROB House of Representatives, the ABG president said the inquiry was to ask Bougainvilleans if they supported the project.

The charge that ABG spent K13 million on the project was also false, added Mr. Momis as his government has only spent K9 million [US$3.9 million] to date.

PNG Post-Courier:


25) Rising seas flooding homes in Solomons’ Malaita

Posted at 09:48 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

Efforts are underway to relocate about five thousand people affected by rising sea levels on outlying islands in the Solomon Islands province of Malaita.

The province’s deputy premier says the homes of people on the flat islands of Pelau, Luaniua and Sikaiana are being flooded by high tides and seas, which are also contaminating their water supplies and taro crops.

Alick Mae’aba says the provincial government is looking to move those affected to two sites, one near the provincial capital Auki and the other near Afio, in South Malaita.

“The current siutation at the moment now is that we set up a taskforce and this taskfroce will do a study on how to come up with a pgramme that will getr that detailed information of what it will cost the government to make the relocation package.”

Malaita’s deputy premier, Alick Mae’aba.

Radio New Zealand International

26) Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu share practical experiences on CC and DRM integration

By Online Editor
1:58 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi

Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu shared their experiences with integration of climate change (CC) and disaster risk management (DRM) practices at the High Level Dialogue session in Nadi today.

The dialogue provided an opportunity for key decision makers from Pacific Island Countries and Territories to discuss benefits and challenges of adopting a joint CC and DRM approach in their respective countries.

Moderated by the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk, Margareta Wahlstrom, discussions focused on successful practical implementation of policies at the national level.

Tonga’s deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu said his government has committed TOP$6 million for emergency purposes in times of natural disaster.

This is a contingency fund that is used to immediately deal with any case of natural disaster.

“However, government is not Santa Claus. We are encouraging our communities to prepare themselves and their families first before government help comes in.

“In Tonga, we are encouraging government and community partnership. This is crucial in dealing with climate change and disaster risk reduction, said Vaipulu.

The Tongan Government has turned to private sector partnership to enhance its means of communicating disaster warnings to the community.

“Some of our key contact points in villages run out of credit on their mobile phones and have difficulties contacting us during disasters. What we have done is worked out a deal with Digicel in Tonga where in the event of an emergency, their numbers are activated for the purposes of reporting the disaster, said Minister Vaipulu.

In Vanuatu, the government has mainstreamed climate change and disaster reduction into its national policy.

Minister Thomas Laken, who is responsible for Environment, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management, told the High Level Dialogue, the Pacific nation is piloting the integrated approach on the island of Epi in the Shefa Province.

“On the island, people will need to relocate inland as a result of the impact of climate change ad in the event of a natural disaster. The airport on the island is built on the coast and will need to be relocated inland also because sea water inundation.

Minister Laken said Vanuatu will need assistance of donors to support national efforts in reducing disaster risks and the impact of climate change.

He agreed with the deputy Prime Minister of Tonga that while development partners are an important stakeholder in the integrated approach, ‘They must supplement national efforts and not tell us what we need to do. We must decide what we want to do,’ said Minister Laken.

Cook Islands Finance Minister Brown shared best practices now implemented by his government is strengthening its public financing system to increase ensure climate financing flows through.

“This is part of our approach to build donor confidence in our financing and budgetary processes. We did this because we found that we were not accessing climate finances.

To deal with the issue at the regional level, the just concluded ADB finance ministers meeting in Tonga, agreed to set up taskforce to look at ways of improving our financial systems because of the stringent requirements of accessing climate financing.

“We have difficulties accessing these funds because of the different requirements at the bilateral, regional and multilateral level. These funds are not getting into the country for project activities.

“This is where we will need the support of regional organisations, who can use their networks and relationships with development partners to access these funding mechanisms, said Minister Brown.

The role of political leadership in supporting the development of the new regional integrated strategy and its implementation at the regional, national and community level is critical to its success.

The High Level Dialogue was intended to provide decision makers an insight into they can lead and support national integration of CC and DRM.


27) Climate change and disasters, the Pacific‘s biggest sustainable development challenges

By Online Editor
10:55 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi

Climate change and disasters are the two most biggest sustainable development challenges for the Pacific region.

In the Pacific, there have been positive progress in dealing with these development challenges, said Sefanaia Nawadra, the director Environmental Monitoring & Governance (EMG) Division for the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Nawadra said governments have made commitments to strengthen development effectiveness through peer reviews, citing the Cairns Compact as the best example of that commitment.

“There is also commitment to merge climate change and disaster risk management, said Nawadra.

At the highest level, sustainable development and climate change are managed by central government. There is also an increase in government pledges to shift to renewable energy and significant commitments to ocean conservation.

While the Pacific region has progressed in dealing with these two issues in some integrated way, the reality remains that they are dependent on overseas aid for their national development priorities.

“The proportion of contribution of ODA to GNI has generally increased in Pacific Islands Countries. With this, there are the challenges of donor harmonization, aid effectiveness, and aid dependency which are very difficult to manage, said Nawadra.

“More than two thirds Pacific Island Developing States, 10 percent of their gross national income (GNI) comes from overseas development assistance (ODA) while three PSIDS rely on 40 percent of ODA for their GNI.

“At the same time, there is a greater dependency on fossil fuel in the Pacific. Human capacity is significantly limiting. Coupled with NCD crisis, migration of skilled workers, youth bulge in population are realities in the Pacific.”

Pacific Leaders have called for the rationalisation and integration of many of the parallel processes that collectively set the global agenda.  These are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expire in 2015 and the Rio+20 proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Many of our small island countries struggle to deal with the multitude of international agreements, policy commitments and related implementation and reporting requirements.

For the Pacific, the third global conference for Small Island Developing States conference in Samoa in 2014 will help distill Pacific priorities for the new Post 2015 agenda

“But we should also include missing targets in the post-2015 agenda, said Nawadra.

The SIDS Conference hosted by Samoa in 2014 will be convened from 01-05 September next year.


28) More than a joint meeting

By Online Editor
10:45 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

The Pacific Island region once again showed its seriousness in addressing climate change and disasters.

Monday, the 8th of July, 2013, marked the historical opening of the first Joint Meeting of the 2013 Platform For Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable at the Sofitel Resort in Nadi, Fiji.

Climate change experts within the region and abroad say this is the first globally, for any region in the world to actually develop an integrated approach to deal with disaster risks and climate change challenges.

To those, who have contributed to the staging of this meeting, it is more than just the global first, the 2013 Platform for disaster risk management and Pacific climate change roundtable in fact, signifies the success of many years of hard work by Pacific island countries with support from big countries within the region, stakeholders and partners to reach such a milestone in climate change responses within the region.

This was further emphasised by the Director General of the Secretariat of the South Pacific Community, SPC, Jimmie Rodgers this morning at the official opening of the four day meeting.

“This first joint session of the Pacific Climate Change roundtable and the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Platform brings together experts from the many sectors to begin a journey that will ultimately result in the Pacific Islands region setting the pace for such action globally,” Rodgers said.

He said such opportunities for PICs to engage in dialogue and to collectively influence agenda for change does not come often, thus the 2013 Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has been seen as the opportune time to achieve this.

“The important thing is to bring our resources together with one common purpose and that is; what is the best way to integrate our approach to climate change and disaster risk management, so that collectively, from all parties we have one team that can position our region to move forward, we cannot miss this opportunity,” Rodgers added.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji..


29) UK supports regional climate change measures

By Online Editor
1:52 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

As Pacific leaders continue to lobby developed countries to assist the region in climate change mitigation programmes and to reduce their carbon emission, the United Kingdom has shown its strong support for the region.

Already the United Kingdom has committed $US75 million to assist the Pacific with mitigation which is made available to multilateral organisations and partners.

The United Kingdom has committed 2.9 billion pounds to an international climate fund, half of which is spent on adaptation.

The United Kingdom is also working with Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, NAMA, to assist the region to manage the impacts of climate change.

The UK government is also planning to assist and train climate negotiators from the region to negotiate at the global front especially at the UNFCCC meetings.

Domestically, U.K has set an ambitious target of reducing its carbon emissions by as much as 80 percent by 2050.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.


30) American Samoa to avoid fish extinction

By Online Editor
1:56 pm GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

Coral bleaching and fish extinction are some of the issues on American Samoa’s agenda.

This was revealed by American Samoa’s Head of the National Meteorology Services, Leilua Mase Akapo in an interview today.

“Global warming has caused widespread coral bleaching in the territory,” he said.

Many villages in American Samoa, according to Leilua, are involved in marine biodiversity conservation projects that prohibit fishing in selected areas for a period of two years.

“These are efforts by our government and the community to preserve and replenish the coral reefs and avoid fish extinction in the future.

“There have been some very positive outcomes with these projects and the villages are very happy with it.”

He said they have a coral monitoring conservation strategy put in place to save their coral reefs.

Leilua is a representative of the territory at the Joint Meeting of the 2013 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management & Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji this week.

I’m beginning to see the many positive aspects of this meeting that could benefit American Samoa like other Pacific countries,” said Leilua.

“Many of our people in the territory do not understand about the many issues that are being discussed at these regional meetings.

“I’m interested in the process of the roadmap discussed this week and I will see if there is anything in there that could benefit our territory. I will return to American Samoa and give an update of the meeting to see if we can fit into any of these processes.”

Leilua was referring to the integrated strategy process that combines functions of the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change.

Leilua said he was fortunate to be here because many people in American Samoa do not understand what goes on in these meetings.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.


31) Pacific governments tell donors not to dictate terms

Posted at 05:54 on 09 July, 2013 UTC

Pacific Islands government ministers meeting in Fiji have told donors not to dictate terms when offering funds.

The deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, Samiu Vaipulu, has told climate change and disaster risk experts and donor partners that they should not assume they know more than governments do about their people.

Vanuatu’s Minister for Planning and Climate Change Adaptation, Thomas Laken agreed, and told donors to let Vanuatu decide what it needed.

Mr Vaipulu says Pacific nations will not be led to make changes which would make generations suffer.

He says Tonga needs the help of regional organisations, but they must work with the government.

“Sometimes regional organisations or donor partners come and tell us what to do. If we ask you this, all you have to do is tell us is ’yes or no’. That’s it. That’s how we’ve got to work together with regional organisations. We know our own people better than regional and donor partners.”

Samiu Vaipulu.

Radio New Zealand International


32a) One dead after riot sparked by machete attack at PNG rugby league game

Posted 9 July 2013, 19:12 AEST

One person is dead and many were left seriously injured after a riot at a rugby league match in Papua New Guinea that was sparked when a drunken spectator attacked a security guard with a machete.

One person is dead and many were left seriously injured after a riot at a rugby league match in Papua New Guinea that was sparked when a drunken spectator attacked a security guard with a machete.

The game between the Lae Snax Tigers and the Enga Mioks in the central town of Wabag was almost over when the spectator attacked the security guard, according to police.

The attack sparked a riot between spectators that sent people running for their lives.

At least one team vehicle was torched but the players were escorted safely to another town.

Rugby league officials had to be flown out by helicopter after the main highway was closed.

Event organisers have placed an indefinite ban on games being held in Wabag and asked other venues to be on high alert as the season heads to the finals.

32b)FORU final round to have William Webb Ellis Cup

By Online Editor
11:43 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Rugby World Cup also known as the William Webb Ellis Cup is coming to Port Moresby this Friday.

PNG Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) president Richard Sapias said yesterday the purpose of bringing the Cup was because the winner of the Oceania Cup currently played in Port Moresby between PNG, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Tahiti would be vying for a chance to play Fiji in next year’s Rugby World Cup qualifier.

“The New Zealand RFU gave the okay to showcase the actual Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks won in 2011 after they defeated France 8-7 in New Zealand,” Sapias said.

“The trophy will be brought in by the Federation of Oceania Rugby Union (FORU) general manager Will Glenwright on Friday. It will be on display at the Lloyd Robson Oval on Saturday when the final round of the Oceania Cup matches will be played and a winner is decided.”

He said the Cup would be under strict security. The William Webb Ellis Cup is named after William Webb Ellis from the Rugby school pupil in England and according to popular myth, invented rugby by picking up the ball during a football game.

The Webb Ellis Cup stands 38cm high and is silver gilded in gold, and supported by two cast scroll handles, one with the head of a satyr, and the other a head of a nymph.

Meanwhile,the Monier PNG Pukpuks have to open up with all guns blazing to gain the ascendancy in Game 2 of the FORU Cup regional rugby championships against Tahiti at the Lloyd Robson Oval today.

The Pukpuks after their lack-luster effort against the Solomon Islands will be hungry to put on a better performance today.

While there are no confirmation as to changes to the Pukpuks, national coach Allan Manning could give  flanker Leme Tole a run on the side of the scrum while second five-eighth Ralph Susuve should focus on shoring up the area just off the ruck and playmaker Robert Bulumaris off the bench.

For Tahiti they will struggle in general play, but will trouble the Pukpuks if forwards Loic Grosbras, Ronald Natua, Martin Taeae, Noel Teihoarii, Clyde Mauahiti, Kaena Timo, Marc Richmond and skipper Tunui Anaania can control the pace of the game.

PNG are expected to win and again their sevens quartet of Tisa Kautu, Henry Liliket, Hubert Tseraha and Albert Levi will be looked on to score tries.

In the earlier match at 1pm, the Solomon Islands Hunters have their backs to the wall and must beat the Cook Islands to have any chance of winning the cup.

The Cook Islands are on equal first with five points along with the Pukpuks but are ahead on points differential, with the Hunters in third with one and Tahiti yet to register.

Cook Islands will face another pack that can claim parity with theirs in terms of size but the battle of the playmakers could be the telling factor in this match.

Hunters skipper Corey Chapman and his hulking backrow of Fredson Puketehua, and the Delaiverata brothers Ilisoni and Ross will certainly test the Cooks in the middle.

Unless the Hunters have resolved their attacking options out wide, the latter will run over them.


32c) PNG qualify for U19 World Cup

By Online Editor
11:45 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Australia

The PNG Garamuts (92) have qualified for the U19 World Cup in Dubai next year after beating Vanuatu (47) by 45 runs yesterday.

A dominant bowling performance from the Hebou-sponsored side was enough to secure victoryat the John Blanck Oval in Maroochydore, Queensland.

Arriving from the bouncy wickets of Darwin, the PNG side were slow to adjust to the conditions, as Vanuatu skipper Nalin Nipiko and medium pacer Worek Tastuki continued their trend of making early breakthroughs.
PNG were reeling at 56/8, and a big upset appeared to be on the cards.

But Hiri Hiri and Kabua Vagi Morea combined for a 33-run, ninth wicket partnership to take the score to 89/8.
PNG were eventually dismissed for eight shy of a 100 leaving Vanuatu with a chase of 93 for victory. The game was in the balance with Vanuatu on 21/2 by lunch.

Vagi Morea grabbed a double after lunch snaring Joshua Rasu and Clement Tommy in one over.

Callum Blake edged one behind soon after for nought, as Sakavai Gebai’s superb line and length constantly tested the technique of Vanuatu’s batsmen.

Nipiko consolidated somewhat with Apo Stephen for a 17-run partnership.

Gebai removed Stephen and from there Vanuatu capitulated from 43/5 to be all out for 47.

Garamuts Captain Dogodo Bau was was particularly pleased with the effort in the field and with the ball.
“It’s a pleasure to win the game, we worked really hard. When we were batting we were struggling a  bit, then our bowlers did the job. I’m so proud of the boys, I almost cried,” Bau said.

Final at John Blanck Oval: PNG – 92 all out, 36.4 overs (K. Vagi Morea 16, A. Stephen 3/29, Callum Blake 2/11, W. Tastuki 2/21) Vanuatu – 47 all out, 27.4 overs (K. Vagi Morea 4/20, S. Gebai 3/8). PNG won by 45 runs.


32d) More exposure for Rugby League in the region

By Online Editor
11:47 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Fiji

The Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation is looking at introducing two competitions in the South Pacific to give more international competition to local players.

Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) chairperson Charles Carlson was in the country to meet Fiji National Rugby League officials and get an update on Fiji’s development in the sport.

He said he had been impressed with what he had seen and he would like to see it go even further.

But Carlson added there would be no further development if only a handful of local players were picked for the national side which was dominated by overseas-based players.

“What we need is a pathway to improve the calibre of our local players to match international standard and one way to achieve this is through a regional competition,” he said.

“We are thinking of including a Pacific Cup and under-18 competitions that is strictly restricted to local players so that we can give them international exposure and also expose them to scouts of overseas clubs.”

He said the APRLC was looking at including the two competitions in their strategic plan for the next four years in the lead up to the next Rugby League World Cup.

“Hopefully, we can start next year and have the five major playing nations, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

“Later we are looking at growing the sport in countries like the Solomon Islands and American Samoa so that they can be included in it too.”

Carlson who is also the president of the Cook Islands Rugby League said he was impressed by how the management at FNRL was running the competition at grassroots level.

“I have seen that the popularity of the games has increased a lot and the shift from union to league has been massive.

“Also the failure of some other nations is that they only concentrate on their national team but not grassroots.

“But that is not the case here in Fiji, the grassroots development is very good and thanks to the good management at the FNRL the resources are being equally used to grow the sport in all districts of Fiji.”.


32e) Deans sacked, McKenzie takes Wallabies reins

By Online Editor
11:51 am GMT+12, 09/07/2013, Australia

Ewen McKenzie will coach the Wallabies to the 2015 Rugby World Cup after the Australian Rugby Union released Robbie Deans from his two-year contract six months early.

It is understood the departing Reds coach, who steered the Queensland side to a Super Rugby title in 2011, will be named as Deans’ successor as early as Tuesday.

McKenzie saw off a powerful challenge from Brumbies coach Jake White, who was considered a strong favourite for the position just a few weeks ago. White coached the Springboks to World Cup victory in 2007 and was responsible for leading a revival of the Brumbies. But after Deans’ 5½-year tenure, the clamour for an Australian to get the job was great.

McKenzie’s success at the Reds – since winning in 2011, the side has made the Super Rugby finals two years in a row – was also at the core of a push for his appointment.

Deans’ fate was sealed when the Wallabies lost 41-16 in the series decider against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday. He met with ARU chief executive Bill Pulver in Sydney on Monday and was informed of his fate, after appearing resigned to it after the disappointing Test match.

The 53-year-old was appointed after the 2007 World Cup and retained on a two-year contract after the 2011 tournament, where Australia fell to the All Blacks in the semi-finals. Deans, a Christchurch-raised former All Black who enjoyed unprecedented success as coach of the Crusaders, took the Wallabies from fifth spot in the world rankings to a sustained peak of second, before an injury-marred season last year dropped them to third.

Under Deans, the Wallabies won the 2011 Tri Nations but never won the coveted Bledisloe Cup, which New Zealand has held since 2003.

McKenzie announced in March his intention to leave the Reds and pursue a national coaching role, saying at the time: ”Anyone who knows me understands I have strong coaching ambitions and, after spending nine years coaching at a Super Rugby level, I’m excited about pursuing a different role either here or overseas.”

A Melbourne-raised former town planner, he turned to rugby seriously after moving to Sydney and joining Randwick rugby club, where he played with Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, among others.

McKenzie, a prop, played in the 1991 World Cup-winning Wallabies side in a playing career that spanned 51 Tests. He was an assistant Wallabies coach under Rod Macqueen and Eddie Jones before moving to the Waratahs in 2004, guiding NSW to two Super Rugby finals, in 2005 and 2008. After being controversially sacked by the Waratahs, he moved to France and coached Stade Francais, before joining the Reds in late 2009.

His appointment could pave the way for the return of controversial former Test five-eighth Quade Cooper, whose Wallabies career appeared to be over while Deans was in the job. Cooper played no part in the three-Test Lions series, only starting at No.10 for the Reds in their Lions tour match.

McKenzie has been a staunch supporter of his playmaker and might be expected to extend that support to Test selection. But he faces an uphill battle preparing the Wallabies for the Bledisloe Cup series and Rugby Championship, from August 17.


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