Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 828

MELANESIA:1) MSG support for regime described as unhelpful to Fiji

Posted at 23:15 on 11 July, 2013 UTC

An Australia-based Fiji academic Dr Brij Lal says that support for Fiji’s military regime in the Melanesian Spearhead Group is misguided.

The political grouping, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, has strongly criticised MSG support for Fiji’s regime.

It says the MSG has ignored the plight of Fiji’s population, which for nearly seven years has been deprived of its democratic rights.

Dr Lal says the MSG lacks understanding about Fiji.

Instead of its partisan approach to FIji, Dr Lal says the MSG should be listening to others in Fiji:

“Listening to the voices of people who do represent the people because they were duly elected to parliament and so on, listening to the voices of NGOs, trade unions and political parties and so on, I think that would better inform MSG’s approach to Fiji. But what they’re doing at the moment is, I think in the long run, counter-productive.”

An Australia-based Fiji academic, Dr Brij Lal.

Radio New Zealand International

2) O’Neill To Present Amendment Bill In PNG Parliament
Changes to ensure political stability, good governance: PM

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 11, 2013) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday gave notice in Parliament that he would present a bill to amend provisions of Papua New Guinea’s Constitution on the vote of no-confidence proposal.

The bill will now go before the Parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee before being tabled and debated in Parliament.

O’Neill said the Government would allow a “proper and sensible debate to continue” on the proposed legislation and would not use their numerical strength to gag debate and bulldoze the bill through Parliament.

He said the amendment was in the best interest of the nation and necessary for political stability, which he said had been lacking since Independence.

He added that it was not his intention to hang onto power as the amendment would ensure political stability and good governance by future governments.

However, the Opposition again warned that the proposed constitutional amendment would weaken parliamentary democracy.

Opposition MPs said the amendment would restrict the rights of the citizens represented through their MPs by placing hurdles to the conduct of the vote of confidence.

“You do not legislate on stability in government. You earn it and that simply defines democracy,” shadow attorney-general and justice minister Dr. Allan Marat told the house.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, constitutional lawyer Professor John Nonggorr also criticized of the proposed amendments. He says whenever a government attempts to change portions of the constitution that make it harder to remove a government from power, such a move is never in the interests of the people or the country.]

Outspoken Opposition and Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Tobias Kulang warned that the Government was tampering with the Constitution.

Kulang also called for a referendum on the proposed legislation with views of stakeholders such as the Law Reform Commission and the Constitutional Law Reform Committee.

He recommended that a second chamber or senate be established in Parliament to ensure checks and balances were carried out.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

3) PNG Ombudsman Commission challenged to test Govt’s move

By Online Editor
2:33 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The  Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission and the Law Reform Commission have been challenged to take out a Supreme Court Reference to determine the Constitutionality of the “extended 30 months grace period”.

Former acting Judge and Constitutional Lawyer Nemo Yalo made the call when giving his independent personal views on the questions of whether the amendment is Constitutional and what are the practical implications of this law?

Yalo in a statement said the proposed amendment would favour one MP and discriminates against the other 110 MPs.

“This is arguably contrary to Section 55 of the Constitution which says that every citizen (in this case, MPs) has equal rights under the Constitution to be elected Prime Minister. That is not to say that the nation should have more than one Prime Minister in every five-year Parliamentary term. The question should be left open as is the case in other democracies so that where a Prime Minister is weak, corrupt, unfit for the office or is tyrannical he should be held accountable in a timely manner rather than allow the law to insulate him from accountability and the principles of responsible government.”

In early 2013 the Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution effectively giving a government extended 30 months grace period from motions of no confidence being moved against it.

“What are the practical implications of this amendment granting extended grace period of 30 months to any government under our Constitution?

“Firstly, the practical effect of the extended grace period is that the law favours one person to be the Prime Minister for 30 months and an additional 12 months if the last 12 months grace period prior to the general election is included. That is a total of 42 months.”

Secondly, the law in favouring one MP (i.e. the Prime Minister), it restricts the other 110 MPs’ Constitutional right to be a Prime Minister and exercise public duties relating to that office in accordance with Section 50(1)(e) of the Constitution. This provision says that every citizen has a right “… to hold public office and to exercise public functions.

Thirdly, speaking of ‘restricting’ a Constitutional right, the law is settled in our jurisdiction. Some constitutional rights can be regulated but not restricted. That is, Parliament may pass laws to limit certain Constitutional rights and freedoms but not completely prohibit or remove it. The right to vote and to stand for public office and the right to occupy public office and exercise public duties associated with that public office under Section 50 of the Constitution are rights that cannot and must not be restricted.

“Fourthly, the same restriction placed by the extended grace period applies to the Parliament as the highest accountability mechanism under our Constitution. If within weeks or months after taking office, a Prime Minister proves to be weak and corrupt or his government mismanages public funds so much so that PNG is fast heading to bankruptcy he cannot be held accountable immediately. The Parliament simply has to wait for 30 months before attempting to keep him accountable. He is insulated from the principle of accountability and the principle of ‘responsible government’.”

Yalo concluded: “It seems it is difficult to legislate MPs’ behaviour and attitude. Let us not attempt to fix our leadership attitude by law and weaken the Constitution in the process. As the Supreme Court advised on July 7, 2010 in its ruling in relation to the Integrity Law what the MPs need is education and reorientation of their attitude and understanding of their roles and the purpose of political party system”.

SOURCE” POST COURIER/PACNEWS

4) Solomons Government To Be Sued Over Mining Issues
Gold Ridge landowners allege breach of royalty payment laws

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 11, 2013) – The Gold Ridge landowners council in the Solomon Islands has resolved in a meeting yesterday that they will take the government to court over a serious breach of the mines and minerals (Royalties) regulations 2011.

The mines and minerals (Royalties) regulations 2011 legalizes and governs the control of the fund, distribution of royalty and the payment of royalties.

But in what appears to be a total contempt of the regulations, the Permanent Secretary (PS) has admitted approving payments without adherence to the regulations or any other regulations for that matter as stipulated in Regulation 4 (4) of the Mines and Minerals (Royalties) Regulations 2011.

Asked which regulations or instructions he was using when raising payments, the financial controller of the ministry of mines said: “We raised all payments approved by the PS, a normal government process”.

But according to the permanent secretary, who is the accountable officer of the said ministry, he said everything is in a mess and only an audit can establish where things went wrong;

“I have signed the payments based on the accompanying supporting documentations that came with the payment vouchers. But I agree, only an audit can establish where things went wrong,” Rence Sore was quoted in the meeting yesterday.

A report presented by an officer from the financial management section of the ministry of finance and treasury about the actual payments made from the Gold Ridge landowners special trust account has sparked much frustrations and anger amongst members of the landowners council.

“Is this how the government treats us?” a disgruntled Titus, a member of the landowners council, questioned the government delegation during the meeting yesterday.

Subject to the provisions of these regulations and section 45(4) of the Act, the ministry responsible for finance shall administer the fund and any special account.

Regulations 4(1) stipulates: The ministry responsible for finance shall open and maintain a special account held by the Government in trust for the landowners and any other beneficiary, with the CBSI or any approved commercial bank in Solomon Islands for the receipts of moneys from the fund for the benefit of the landowners or other beneficiary. Schedule 1, (3) states that Guadalcanal provincial government is a beneficiary.

The regulations also specified that any royalty payment paid to the Guadalcanal provincial government at 20% shall only be expended on development projects approved by the minister of provincial government in consultation with the Guadalcanal provincial government.

However, the MOF document cited by Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) News showed that SB$3,704,602.53 [US$510,494] was paid to the Guadalcanal provincial government in cash between 13th February 2013 to 3rd May 2013.

This raises the question of whether the amount paid to the provincial government accounts for 20%. The regulations clearly stipulated that 80% shall be paid to the Gold Ridge landowners special trust account for and on behalf of the Gold Ridge landowners, whilst 20% shall be paid into the Guadalcanal provincial government special trust account and on behalf of the Guadalcanal provincial government.

“So why is the SB$3,704,602.53 paid from the landowners special trust account and not from their own special trust account? This only goes to show how arrogant the government is. Clearly, the NCRA government has breached the 2011 regulations. This is a serious breach and FSII supports a lawsuit against the government by Goldridge Landowners,” said chief executive officer of FSII,” Benjamin Afuga.

Mr. Afuga added: “This is just the tip of the ice-berg. Sooner or later more corrupt practices will be uncovered because people out there are sick and tired of corruption, therefore more and more people are willing and will come forward and reveal more”.

The report showed that payments are not done according to the spirit of the Mines and Minerals (Royalties) Regulations 2011.

In what appears to be a clear breach of the regulations, many of the payments are paid to the Guadalcanal provincial government, individuals and business enterprises.

The report also showed that a total payment of SB$2,369,645.05 [US$326,537] was paid to a leader of the Gaena’alu movement or commonly known as the Moro Movement.

On 14th September 2012, SB$2,079,815.56 [US$286,599] and SB$636,000.00 [US$87,640] were paid in cash to the leader of Gaena’alu movement and on 27th September 2012, a further SB$289,829.49 [US$39,938] was again paid to the same individual in cash.

Mr. Afuga added: “It is highly suspected that the handshake payment of SB$1 million [US$137,800] (in hard cash) made by the Prime Minister to the Gaena’alu movement at their headquarters at Komuvaolu village on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal in the same month last year was derived from the SB$2,369,645.05 unlawful payout from the landowners special trust account.”

In an earlier meeting between landowners and the government, the Attorney General, Mr. Billy Titiulu has made it very clear that the mines and minerals (Royalties) regulations 2011 is valid and therefore any payment outside of the regulations is illegal.

Both the MP for Central Guadalcanal Constituency and MPA for Malango Ward expressed dissatisfaction and anger at the manner the government has mishandled landowners’ royalty payments.

Hon. Peter Shannel Agovaka said: “The Gold Ridge Mining project and the only one in the country does not benefit us the people of Gold Ridge, no, not at all, so the best thing to do is close the mine, end of story.”

Hon. Agovaka further stated that someone is responsible for this mess and whoever that someone is; he or she must be answerable.

“Regulations 97 and 2011 are very clear, except that the 2011 regulations omitted certain Landowners benefits, including omission of Landowner representatives as signatories to the special Trust Account, Walton Naezon said.

In one of their earlier meetings, the government delegation has boldly stated that an invitation was made to the landowners council for submissions for the mines and minerals (Royalties) Regulations 2011.

But the landowners council strongly denied being invited to make any submissions for the 2011 regulations.

“But why you are doing payments outside of the 2011 regulations which you championed? This is ridiculous. Your actions are unbelievable and unjustifiable,” said Mr. Naezon.

Mr. Naezon added: “The landowners council and the people of Gold Ridge felt letdown by the government. Why, is it because our MP is not in the government?

“All payments paid from the special trust account are done outside of any regulations and this is a big mistake that amounts to a legal suit.”

A lawsuit against the government is imminent. “Yes we will sue the government for breaching the mines and minerals (Royalties) regulations 2011. We will seek legal advice and work together to defend our rights,” Mr. Naezon told FSII News after the meeting yesterday.

In the meantime, Naezon reminded the good people of Gold Ridge to remain calm and allow the law to take its course.
Solomon Star

5) Vanuatu no confidence motion thrown out
By Online Editor
2:35 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, Vanuatu

The Vanuatu speaker of parliament has rejected a motion of no confidence lodged earlier this week.

The Vanuatu Daily Digest reports that the motion seeking to oust the four-month-old administration of Moana Carcasses was thrown out because signatures had been taken from other documents.

It also says the by-election winner from Tanna was not sworn in yet and the former speaker was barred from parliamentary proceedings.

The opposition leader, Ham Lini, has told Radio Vanuatu that the government appears to be losing the country’s sovereignty.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

6) Honorary Vanuatu Diplomat Rejects Revoked Status
‘Surprised’ Saken says government never gave notification

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 11, 2013) – The Vanuatu honorary consul to Vietnam denies a claim by Vanuatu’s foreign minister, Edward Natapei, that the government has revoked his diplomatic status.

Pascal Ahn Quan Saken says he was surprised to learn about Mr. Natapei’s claim as well as a comment that the government was struggling to track him down.

Mr. Ahn Quan says he is working hard to create business opportunities for Vanuatu but has not received any clear indication from the Foreign Ministry about his status.

“I never received any warning, any letter that I had a bad conduct or that I did any wrongdoing. Actually, it’s the opposite because I met Honorable Minister Edward Natapei about three or four weeks ago at the embassy of Vanuatu in Belgium and he understood very well what was my job and what was my mission for Vanuatu.”

Pascal Ahn Quan Saken says he plans to resign as diplomat at the end of August.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

7) Fiji’s NFP risks deregistration over tendering row

Posted at 01:07 on 12 July, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s National Federation Party says it faces de-registration if it fails to pay 3,000 US dollars by Monday in a dispute with the registrar of political parties.

The Party’s President, Raman Singh, says through the registrar, Mohammed Saneem, the party was sent a bill from the Fiji Sun newspaper for publishing the party asset declarations in June.

Mr Singh says while the party accepts it has to pay for the asset declarations, it objects to the manner in which the registrar chose the Fiji Sun.

“The registrar chose this particular publication without calling for tenders or there being any competition within any other newspapers; so we felt it was in breach of the fair trading decree. So the complaint has been made to him and to the chair of the Commerce Commission who looks at situations like this.”

Raman Singh says the NFP is fundraising among its members to try and get the money required to stay registered.

Radio New Zealand International

MICRONESIA:

8) Micronesian Presidents Conclude Annual Summit
Palau’s Remengesau calls for unity with FSM, RMI

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, July 11, 2013) – The Micronesian Presidents’ Summit will (MPS) conclude today with the signing of a joint communiqué by the three presidents including President Remengesau of Palau, President Emmanuel Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and President Christopher Loeak of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).

The MPS is held annually for the leaders to discuss matters of common interest to the three nations such as health, climate change, energy, fisheries, Compact and etc.

At the opening of the summit, Remengesau spoke of challenges that all three island nations similarly face and which he looks forward to addressing collectively – climate change, protection of the environment and ability as isolated islands in the Pacific to connect with a quickly evolving world.

As to climate change, Remengesau said that this issue is getting worse. Recently, super full moon resulted in abnormally high tides that caused serious problems along Palau’s shorelines. Remengesau believes that the problem was much worse in some low-lying regions.

The president is aware of the fact that several households were significantly affected by the so-called abnormal high tides. “The abnormally high tide brought by the super full moon may eventually become the new normal for our countries as climate change continues to cause the sea level rise. As the abnormal becomes the new normal, our nations must find ways to work together to combat climate change,” Remengesau said.

Although the island nations such as FSM, Palau and RMI contribute little to the problem of climate change, Remengesau said these nations are the first to feel its effects.

“Our biggest challenge is that we must band together and do what we can to persuade those nations that are the greatest contributors to climate change to address the problem,” Remengesau said.

Remengesau also calls for unity with FSM and RMI in protecting the environment. He expressed belief that the health of the environment is directly related to the health of the economy.

Remengesau looks into strengthening marine surveillance capabilities by utilizing new technology. For Palau, the president already announced earlier that he is working on getting support from non-government organizations for the use of drones to monitor Palau’s exclusive economic zone.

On the challenge with connecting to the rest of the world, Remengesau urged that they continue to learn and seek ways to improve shipping, aviation and telecommunications.

“As individual nations, we are each dependent, strong, and capable of addressing these issues on our own. But together united as the unified nations of Micronesia, we can accomplish much more – together we can turn these challenges into opportunities for our nations and for our people,” Remengesau said.

In their respective speeches during the opening of the summit, Mori and Loeak expressed support of what Remengsau wants to accomplish for the Micronesian nations.

Island Times: www.islandtimes.us

AUSTRALIA:

9) Farmers losing out as miners lure skilled labourers with better wages

Updated 12 July 2013, 12:23 AEST
By rural and regional reporter Peter Lewis

Farmers say they are sick and tired of investing time and money training skilled labourers only to lose them to the mining industry.

Farmers say they are sick and tired of investing time and money training skilled labourers only to lose them to the mining industry.

The unprecedented growth of the Australian coal industry has created an enormous demand for skilled labour, and farmers are losing out.

Mark Ogge from the Canberra-based independent think-tank The Australia Institute says over the next decade coal production is tipped to double.

That growth will have the unintended consequence of workers being gouged from other sectors – particularly those already employed in rural and regional areas.

“We recently studied the anticipated economic impact of Waratah Coal’s huge China First project in Queensland and found that it would likely cost 3,000 jobs in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism,” Mr Ogge said.

Mr Ogge says part of the problem is that state governments have all approved a massive expansion of mining and other resource projects in a relatively short space of time.

“Most countries overseas tend to put more planning into the approval process and stagger the projects out so they don’t have such a disruptive influence on other parts of the job market,” he said.

Farms effectively a training ground for mining industry

Ian Carter, who runs a farm in northern New South Wales, says his operation is effectively a training ground for the mining industry.

He says it takes at least six months to get new farm workers up to speed.

“Forget the old hayseed stuff, farming’s quite technical these days,” Mr Carter said.

“All our tractors are auto-steer, guided by GPS, all the implements they pull are computer-controlled, and we yield-map our crops during harvest.”

The Carter family is among the most efficient in the country for growing crops on its 2,500 hectare property, Connemara, at Quirindi – a mix of oilseeds, cereals, legumes and cotton.

And while they can cope with the vagaries of the weather and commodity prices, they say losing trained staff to the mining industry is a setback few small businesses can continually absorb.

Recently they lost two long-serving employees.

“They all say when they leave [that] they love working here and they really learnt a lot, and I say “Gee whiz, I know you learned a lot – we spent a lot of time teaching you a lot and now you are using those skills to go and get a job somewhere else,” Ian Carter said.

Traditionally companies like ours in rural centres needed to have cheaper manufacturing costs – cheaper wages, cheaper housing and cheaper living standards – to offset the cost of getting our products to market.

Farmer Michael Broekman

The Carter family are not alone.

Michael Broekman, the boss of one of the oldest manufacturing companies in Gunnedah – Namoi Valley Bricks – says it is difficult to compete with the salaries offered by mining companies.

“Traditionally companies like ours in rural centres needed to have cheaper manufacturing costs – cheaper wages, cheaper housing and cheaper living standards – to offset the cost of getting our products to market,” he said.

“But mining companies out-compete us for labour now and we need to look at alternatives such as mechanising some of the work previously done by younger, less experienced employees.”

“That will obviously affect our ability to bring the youth of our community to a work standard that makes them ready to move on to bigger and better things. So without small manufacturers like us, that part of the employment cycle will be broken.”

Up the road one of the country’s largest farm machinery dealers, Cornishs, is grappling with its own severe labour issue as well.

Group sales manager Jason Woods says the company’s service division struggles to retain third and fourth-year apprentices because of big offers from the mines.

“To train one of these guys you are looking at six figure numbers … probably $250,000 for the four years and you really need to get a return on that the following two or three years to get that money back,” he said.

He says some of the other dealers have just taken the view that they will no longer put on apprentices for that reason because they cannot keep absorbing that cost.

Like the farmer, and the brick-maker, Mr Woods says existing local employers can only really offer a range of lifestyle inducements including vehicles, phones and more flexible working hours.

“But when it comes to the money offered by the mines – we just simply can’t match them.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

TOK PISIN:

10) Praim Minista Kevin Rudd bai visitim PNG

Updated 12 July 2013, 11:47 AEST

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd blong Australia bai visitim Papua New Guinea long dispela Sande na Mande blong toktok wantaim PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Dispela wokabaut go long PNG i kamap sampela de tasol bihain em i kamap praime minister gen.

Em itok em i impotant long em i go toktok wantaim Peter  O’Neill. Em itok em i laik long yiusim liklik taim em i gat long toktok wantaim ol lida long region na em i toktok pinis wantaim lida blong East Timor sampela de igo.

Mr Rudd i mekim wok poroman wantaim ol patna long regin olsem prioriti blongen bihain em i kamap prime minister long mun igo pinis.

Mr Rudd itok em i bungim tu presidentblong Indonesia na em i taim spendim sampela taim tu wantail prime minister O’Neill blong PNG.

Liam Cochrane blong ABC long Port Moresby i ripot olsem Prime Minister O’Neill itok dispela visit i soim trutru dispela strong poroman pasin namel Australia na PNG.

Mr O’Neill itok bai oli toktok long aid programs, trade, investment, na bai em i mitim ol ki memba blong kabinet.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

11) Edukeisin long skul na ol papa mama bai halvim long daunim ol yangpla gel igat bel

Updated 11 July 2013, 18:26 AEST

UN i tok ol imas iusim planti long ol program, em igat ol yut i hap longen long daunim bikpela namba blong ol yangpla gel igat bel. Dispela heve ino save long wanpela kantri tasol, em i raun long wol.Tasol dispela ol program na skul curriculum imas igo long ples na haus we, ol papa mama imas skulim ol pipol long lukautim ol gut.

Odio: Acting Chairman blong Teaching Service Commission PNG, Baran Sori

United Nations i tok kaen isu olsem imas kamap long eria we, em i bihainim kastom na pasin blong ples long skulim ol yut, ol yangpla boi na gel long save gut long lukautim ol. Na tu, long skulim ol olsem ol igat planti yar i stap pastaem long ol iken marit, beibi na femili.

Samting olsem 16 million gel, ananit long 18 krismas i save karim pikinini long wan wan yar raun long wol. United Nations Population Fund oa UNFPA i tok moa long 3-million long yangpla gel i save rausim bel oa ‘abortion’, bihainim ol sevis em ino ino kisim tok orait blong ol medikol dokta.

Dr Annette Sachs Robertson, UNFPA Pacific dairekta i tokim Radio Australia Pacific Beat displa pasin tasol i stopim planti tausen ol yangpla gel i kamap long taem stret olsem ol bikpela na ol igat bel na beibi.

Long Papua New Guinea, sex edukeisin i stap insait long curriculum blong Education sistim insaet long kantri.

Baran Sori, Ekting Siaman blong Teaching Service Commission i tok ol papa mama imas kisim moa ‘responsibility.’

Em i tok, tru skul sistim na ol tisa iken advaisim ol yanpla long sex edukeisin tasol em i ‘natural’ samting we, ol yangpla bai igat boi fren na gel frens stap.

“Mipela ken toktok, na toktok na toktok, samting em i stap long pikinini. Olsem na ol papa mama imas mekim moa long lukautim pikinini blong ol, igo nap pikinini i kamap self reliant oa indipendent,” Baran Sori i tok.

Long wankain taim, em i tok sampela skul igat ol understanding olsem ol pikinini meri iken go bek long skul na pinisim edukeisin blong ol.

“Taim mi bin principal long wanpela National Hai Skul, mi bin alowim sampela gels long go karem beibi na bihain kam bek long skul, mi no lukim samting rong long dispela,” em ibin tok.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BAHASA:

12) Kevin Rudd isyaratkan pengakuan konstitusi hak adat

Terbit 10 July 2013, 19:48 AEST
By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths

Perdana Menteri Australia, Kevin Rudd menggunakan peringatan 50 tahun petisi hak ulayat suku Aborigin hari ini (10/7), Yirrkala untuk mendorong pengakuan pribumi.

Kervin Rudd mengatakan dia akan mendorong pengakuan penduduk asli Australia ke dalam konstitusi jika nanti terpilih kembali dalam pemilu.

Perdebatan soal pengakuan pribumi sengaja dihidupkan lagi dalam peringatan setengah abad petisi hak ulayat Yirrkala yang membuka jalan bagi gerakan hak-hak tanah adat.

Rudd, saat mengunjungi Arhhem Land untuk mengadiri peringatan Yirrkala mengatakan dia ingin berkerja sama dengan oposisi untuk menyepakati pertanyaan yang layak kepada pemilih.

“Kami berkomitmen sekarang untuk menggelar pengakuan konstitusional untuk penduduk asli  Australia dan kami ingin semuanya lancar,” ujar Rudd.

“Sejarah referendum Australia adalah bahwa jika Anda tidak mendapatkan dukungan bipartisan mereka akan diturunkan.”

“Jadi saya ingin memastikan hal itu terjadi dan bahwa kita mendapat dukungan bipartisan dan masyarakat sesegera mungkin.”

“Saya ingin hal ini kelar pada Parlemen Australia berikutnya, Itu sebabnya saya  inginmelihat dan i sangat ingin mencapai konsesnsus bipartisan secepat mungkin.”

Kelompok oposisi telah menjanjikan konsultasi pengajuan naskah amandemen konstitusi  terjadi dalam waktu 12 bulan pertama di kantor.

Tapi Rudd mengatakan pemimpin oposisi Tony Abbott harus bertindak lebih cepat lagi.

“Tentukan sikapmu segera, beritahu kami apa yang sebenarnya Anda inginkan secara rinci tertulis, dan mari kita menyelesaikannya,” kata Perdana Menteri.

“Terus terang bola ada dipihaknya. Itulah yang sebenarnya.”

Abbott mengatakan Perdana Menteri sedang mencoba untuk mempolitisir masalah ini.

“Saya pikir ini bisa menjadi terdefinisi, momen pemersatu bagi negara kita dan saya ingin ini untuk terus maju,” kata Pemimpin Oposisi.

“Masalahnya saat ini, bahwa Pemerintah telah menempatkan seluruh proses di atas es.

“Saya tidak ingin mempolitisir. Saya terkejut bahwa Rudd sedang mencoba untuk melakukan itu.Radio Australia.

FRENCH:

13) Papouasie Occidentale: amputé contre son gré

Mis à jour 12 July 2013, 10:13 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Danny Kogoya affirme avoir été amputé de sa jambe droite contre son gré par les militaires indonésiens. Le témoignage exclusif de l’indépendantiste papou a été diffusé hier sur l’ABC.

Notre reporter, Liam Cochrane, s’est rendu au Camp Victoria, en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, à la frontière avec l’Indonésie, où se cachent et s’entraînent quelques dizaines d’indépendantistes. Danny Kogoya a été arrêté début septembre 2012 au quartier général de l’OPM avec des dizaines d’autres indépendantistes, lors d’une descente des forces indonésiennes. Quand il a tenté de s’enfuir, la police lui a tiré une balle dans le mollet droit. Mais Danny Kogoya affirme qu’il s’est fait tirer dessus alors qu’il se rendait aux forces indonésiennes, puis qu’il a été amputé en prison, contre son gré. Libéré il y a peu, il s’est réfugié au Camp Victoria en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

« J’ai donné ma jambe pour l’indépendance. Je demande l’indépendance, je demande à ce que la Papouasie Occidentale fasse sécession de la République indonésienne. »

Danny Kogoya se présente comme le commandant de district du mouvement de libération de la Papouasie Occidentale, l’OPM. Mais le chef de l’Armée de Libération Nationale de la Papouasie Occidentale, la branche armée de l’OPM, le major-général Teryanus Satto, ne l’entend pas de cette oreille. Dans un communiqué du 9 février 2013, il a déclaré que Danny Kogoya ne faisait pas partie de l’Armée de Libération Nationale de la Papouasie Occidentale, et qu’il avait déshonoré le combat des indépendantistes en se rendant aux Indonésiens l’année dernière. « Il a trahi notre cause », a déclaré le major-général Satto.

Danny Kogoya persiste et signe. Il se dit à la tête d’une armée de 7000 réservistes et 200 combattants. Une armée nécessairement fantoche, avec des arcs, des machettes, quelques fusils, mais pas de balles, comme en témoigne Augustus, impérial, avec son bandeau de plumes sur le front, ses lunettes et son foulard-cravate:

« Je veux me battre contre les Indonésiens, mais je n’ai rien, pas d’équipement. »

En juin, la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et l’Indonésie ont signé un traité d’extradition, qui, selon l’opposition papoue, sera utilisé principalement pour renvoyer en Indonésie les indépendantistes papous réfugiés en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Une accusation rejetée par le Premier ministre papou. Peter O’Neill assure que le traité d’extradition concerne les criminels, et non les militants politiques. Il ne se prononce pas sur les militants politiques qui sont aussi des criminels. Mais c’est un débat marginal, selon Danny Kogoya :

« Je pense que c’est un problème qui concerne l’Indonésie et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. C’est leur problème, pas celui de la Papouasie Occidentale. Nous continuerons à combattre jusqu’à ce que nous obtenions l’indépendance. »

Peter O’Neill a rappelé cette semaine la position de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée : la Papouasie Occidentale fait partie intégrante de l’Indonésie, et son gouvernement ne veut pas entendre parler d’indépendance.

Danny Kogoya, lui, bat le rappel de tous les chefs indépendantistes en exil, en particulier Jacob Prai, qui est en Suède, et John Ondawame au Vanuatu, à qui il demande de rejoindre immédiatement le Camp Victoria en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

14) PNG: des policiers braqueurs créent le scandale

Posté à 12 July 2013, 13:08 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Mercredi, 5 officiers en uniforme et deux Chinois ont été mis en examen pour le braquage à main armée d’un supermarché de Malalaua, dans la province du Golfe, sur la côte sud du pays.

Ça s’est passé samedi. Les policiers étaient en uniforme. Mais le vice-commissaire général de la police papoue, affirme que les journalistes papous ont été fort mal renseignés. Simon Kauba :

« Il s’agit de trois gardes mobiles, et de deux autres gardiens de la paix, qui sont montés de Port-Moresby sur la demande d’un homme d’affaires chinois qui voulait régler ses comptes avec le gérant du supermarché, mais on ne connaît pas le détail de leur querelle. Or ces policiers n’ont pas demandé l’autorisation de leur hiérarchie, qui n’était pas au courant. Ils ont présenté un mandat au gérant du supermarché et lui ont confisqué de l’argent liquide et un certains nombre de produits. Et puis la police locale a été alertée parce que les policiers de Port-Moresby menaçaient le gérant du supermarché avec leurs armes. »

Des policiers venus de la capitale, et commandés par un civil étranger. On comprend que l’affaire fasse grand bruit, d’autant que ce n’est pas la première du genre. Et évidemment, les salaires très bas et irrégulièrement versés jouent un grand rôle dans ces comportements déviants des policiers.

« Oui nous avons besoin de changer la mentalité des policiers. Nous menons un programme de sensibilisation conjoint entre la police fédérale australienne et la police papoue. Pour améliorer l’image de la police, aussi. Donc c’est juste une question de temps. »

En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, les bœuf-carotte n’existent pas. Certains appellent à la création d’un tel service. Mais la police elle-même n’est pas très enthousiaste:

« Non nous n’avons pas besoin de créer une police des polices. De toute façon ce genre d’affaires sont grossies par les médias, ou alors les personnes qui accusent la police sont des déçus de la police et ils n’hésitent pas à se retourner contre nous si nous faisons des choses illégales, ou alors ils ont eux-mêmes fait des choses illégales et essaient de rejeter la faute sur nous. »

Il y a quelques jours, Michael Somare, ancien Premier ministre redevenu simple gouverneur du Sepik de l’Est, affirmait que la situation était désespérée dans sa province et l’insécurité maximale. Un point de vue que Simon Kauba ne partage pas :

«Non je ne pense pas qu’il y ait une crise de la sécurité ici, regardez ce qui se passe à Sydney ou à Brisbane par exemple, il y a des crimes qui sont perpétrés quotidiennement qui ne sont pas moins violents que ceux qui sont perpétrés à Port-Moresby ou à Lae.»

Simon Kauba répondait à Timothy Pope, sur Radio Australie. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

WORLD:

15) US “very disappointed” with China’s handling of Edward Snowden case

Updated 12 July 2013, 9:17 AEST

The United States has told China it is “very disappointed” that Beijing did not hand over US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden when he fled to Hong Kong.

The United States has told China it is “very disappointed” that Beijing did not hand over US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden when he fled to Hong Kong.

In a joint press appearance after two days of annual talks, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said that the two countries’ presidents agreed at a summit last month at the California resort of Sunnylands to work closely.

“That is why we were very disappointed with how the authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong handled the Snowden case, which undermined our effort to build the trust needed to manage difficult issues,” he said.

“We have made clear that the handling of this case was not consistent with the spirit of Sunnylands.”

Mr Snowden, a former government contractor, fled the United States for Hong Kong after revealing details of pervasive US intelligence surveillance of the Internet.

The United States sought his extradition to face charges.

Mr Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong, a territory of China that enjoys a large amount of autonomy, for Russia.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi defended decisions on Mr Snowden, whose allegations of US snooping in Chinese Internet networks have caused a stir in Beijing.

“The central government of China has always respected the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government’s handling of cases in accordance with the law,” he said.

Hong Kong “handled the Snowden case in accordance with the law and its approach is beyond reproach,” he said.

Mr Snowden remains in limbo, believed to be stranded at Moscow’s international airport, as he seeks a way to a country that will offer him asylum.

Venezuela’s foreign minister says Mr Snowden has yet to reply to an offer of asylum by his country.

Elias Jaua says the government has had no contact with Mr Snowden.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered “humanitarian asylum” to Snowden last week and said Monday that it was up to the fugitive to decide if and when he wants to fly to Caracas.

ABC/Wires

MEDIA/FILM+:


16) JAWS does not want AG to draft media law
By Online Editor
12:37 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, SamoaThe umbrella organisation for media, Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa, wants an independent lawyer to draft law to establish a media council, instead of the Attorney General.

This will be one of the issues JAWS’s executive intends to raise with Attorney General Aumua Ming Leung Wai when they meet today.

It follows a notice issued by the Attorney General dated 04 July to inform the media that he will draft legislation to establish a council to regulate media behaviour.

In a letter to the Attorney General dated 10 July JAWS president Uale Papali’i Taimalelagi says, this could be seen as the Government forcing its agenda on  the media industry.

“The fear is that this could appear to be the Government dictating the processes and procedures that will govern and unduly restrict our freedoms as the Fourth Estate,” Taimalelagi says.

“We ask that our independent lawyer draft the legislation in question as this would provide an impartial and balanced approach to the law that will regulate our industry,” he says.
SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS

BUSINESS/TRADE/SPONSORS+:

17) EU Suspends Trade Negotiations With Pacific Nations
Pacific, EU disagree over management of fisheries

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 11, 2013) – The European Union has suspended the latest round of trade negotiations with Pacific ACP States (PACPS) on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

On Friday last week, July 5 in Brussels saw the conclusion of another round of trade negotiations between PACPS and the EU on the EPA amidst serious divergences over a number of contentious issues, including the EU’s request to introduce significant changes in PACPS’ national laws dealing with the management of fisheries resources.

The EU could not agree to the PACPS’ request to continue negotiations in September 2013, and asked for a period of reflection to consult their stakeholders. The EU expressed strong disappointment towards the PACPS’ position that any issue concerning the management of fisheries resources should only be dealt with in the competent forums, i.e. the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The EU’s request to use the EPA to address PACPS’ fisheries management appears motivated by the fact that previous attempts to debate the issue in the WCPFC did not produce any positive results for the EU.

In addition to the disagreement on fisheries issues, a number of additional topics were identified which could not be solved at technical level. These include three major redlines advocated by Vanuatu’s delegation: The request of Vanuatu to obtain special and differential treatment in terms of tariff liberalization due to its unique fiscal circumstances, the significant role played by import duties in terms of tax revenues – Vanuatu requests to liberalize 70% of its tariff lines instead of 80% as requested by the EU; The request of Vanuatu to formally introduce the possibility of using the EPA to discuss and solve market access issues for Kava – as requested by MSG leaders in their last meeting in new Caledonia; The request of Vanuatu to eliminate any binding reference to tax issues from the EPA, in particular any obligation in terms of Tax Information and Exchange Agreements going beyond OECD’s commitments.

With negotiations facing a major deadlock, PACPS will now have to report to their Leaders as to possibility of delivering on the 2012 mandate to conclude EPA negotiations by the end of 2013, a mandate which now seems very difficult to achieve unless major shift is observed in the EU’s position.

The Vanuatu delegation in Brussels was led by Marokon Alilee, Director General, Ministry of Tourism,Trade, Commerce, and Ni-Vanuatu Business, and included Sumbue Antas, Director of the Department of External Trade, and Andrea Giacomelli, Senior Trade Adviser.

EPA negotiations started in 2004 with the objective of introducing a WTO-compliant system trade preference that could substitute the old trade preferences granted by the EU to ACP States.

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

18) PM Suspends Funding To PNG Resource Project Areas

O’Neill claims millions have been mismanaged

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 11, 2013) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has given instructions to suspend funding to Papua New Guinea resource project areas until a full audit is carried out on millions of kina spent over the years with nothing to show on the ground.

Landowners and the provincial governments of Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf, Central and Western province will be affected by this decision to freeze Infrastructure Development Grants (IDG), Business Development Grants (BDG) and Ministerial Commitment funds under the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement (UBSA) and License-Based Benefit Sharing Agreement (LBSA).

For Western Province the Prime Minister during Question Time in Parliament yesterday ordered a freeze on the Trust Account from Ok Tedi to landowners and the provincial government until a complete review of the trust structure is sorted out.

The Prime Minister has now created an ad hoc committee that has him as chairman, with Governors from the affected provinces and developer ExxonMobil as members’ for the management of IDG, BDG and Ministerial Commitment.

In a letter dated July 5, 2013 to economic Ministers William Duma, Don Polye, Charles Abel, James Marape and Richard Maru, he informed them of the decision.

“As we are fully aware the Infrastructure Development Grants (IDG), Business Development Grant and Ministerial Commitment funds under the UBSA and LBSA have not be utilized properly for their intended purposes since their inception. These funds in millions of Kina have been totally mismanaged and misapplied resulting in a lack of services and tangible development in the project areas.

“Quite frankly there is no evidence on the ground for the use of these funds. The people who trusted us to bring service and development for the use of their resources have been either forgotten or denied their rightful benefits.

“This is a sad state of affairs which we must address urgently so that future funds are protected and genuinely used for bringing development to our people,” the Prime Minister said.

“You will recall my earlier directive for a full scale audit and to date I have yet to be informed on the progress or outcome of this audit, if it has been already done.

This was necessary to establish how IDG/BDG/Ministerial funds were used, projects delivered and what remedies or measures the Government can take to ensure proper utilization of these funds amid public concerns.”

“Whilst this audit is pending, it is important that we take some corrective measures so that undisbursed funds for 2013 and any future funds are managed properly and high impact projects are funded and delivered to the project areas.”

“Consistent with the understanding I had reached with a number of key Ministers, an ad hoc committee has been established comprising four governors, representatives from the developer and myself as chairman. The ad hoc committee will now oversee the management and administration of these funds until a proper structured process is put in place after the completion of the audit investigation.”

He stated that this effectively meant the functions and responsibilities of the current administrative structure including decision-making process for the disbursement of funds would be performed by the ad hoc committee.

“In the meantime, no IDG/BDG/Ministerial funds are to be disbursed or released without the vetting and approval of the ad hoc committee.”

“I trust you will fully understand the rationale for this temporary management approach and ensure all necessary technical and logistical support is rendered to the ad hoc committee to carry out its responsibilities.”

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

19) Cruise tourism can bud in PNG

By Online Editor
2:22 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Cruise Tourism is an emerging market with tremendous potential in Papua New Guinea given its pristine islands and atolls.

It has a lot of potential particularly in terms of direct cash and other benefits to the people in remote and far flung islands which are only accessible by boat.

It is one of the sectors identified for development under the National Tourism Master Plan according to a statement released by the Tourism Promotion Authority.

It is evident with the allocation of K10 million by the National Government recently for the expansion of the Alotau Wharf to cater for large cruise ships.

There has also been another funding support of K2 million by the Member for Kiriwina to develop two world class jetties at Kaibola and Kitava.

With further funding support from national government, both jetties should cost about K8 million to complete according to the statement.

The cruise developments of jetties in Milne Bay are to cater for the arrival of Carnival Cruises’ Pacific Dawn in November 2013, bringing in 2500 tourists.

A lot of work has already been done by the Tourism Promotion Authority to develop this sector with the support of the National Government and major stakeholders such as PNG Ports.

However, much more work still needs to be done to market and promote PNG as a cruise tourism destination around the world.

TPA has express gratitude to the generous support from the National Gaming Control Board.

The Authority will be developing a Cruise Tourism DVD for marketing and promotional purposes in the near future.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

20) Travel Air to service Bougainville

By Online Editor
2:23 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Travel Air , a 100% nationally owned airline company operating under the trademark of Mangi Lo Ples will soon be operating in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Sales and Marketing Manager of Travel Air, Jim Winfrey and Ground Operations General Manager John Eri recently held discussions with the ABG Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation Carolus Ketsimur and a representative from the Office of the ABG President, for the airline to start its operations in the region.

Winfrey said their main purpose is to provide a service of choice to customers at a low cost, which will also benefit the customers in terms of the low fares being offered.

If we secure a space with the Airports Corporation, then we will operate as soon as possible in the region and we are also looking at having flights three days a week, said Mr Winfrey.

He added that whether it was a private or business or church trip the company will be offering discounts of 30%, 50% and the lowest of 75%.
Mangi Lo Ples currently services Port Moresby, Lae, Hoskins, Rabaul, Mount Hagen, Wewak and Madang and is now looking towards including Bougainville and Vanimo.

Mangi lo Ples operates a fleet of four Fokker 50 aircrafts with a seating capacity of 50 passengers.
SOURCE” POST COURIER/PACNEWS

21) PNG mining taxes drop by 53%

By Online Editor
2:25 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Taxes collected from the mining and petroleum sector in Papua New Guinea dropped a whopping 53 per cent and it will fall further because of the dropping gold price on the World Markets.

This will also have an effect on the National Budget which this year is a Deficit Budget estimated at K2-3 billion but will likely balloon to K7 billion or K8 billion by the end of the year.

IRC collected K5.853 billion in direct taxes last year compared to K6.1 billion in 2011 which is a drop of five percent.

Treasurer Don Polye presented the IRC Annual Reports of 2010, 2011 and 2012 in Parliament on Wednesday stating the lateness of the reports were due to the National General Election, last year and the political impasse in 2011.

The overall tax collection, stated by Treasure Don Polye, according to the Internal Revenue Commission’s Annual Reports from 2010, 2011 and 2012, was on the rise.

But actual tax earnings in PNG actually dropped by five percent from 2011 to 2012 but was saved by the increased Goods and Services Tax (GST) which rose from K560 million in 2011 to K1 billion last year.
The biggest drop in tax collection was experienced in the Mining and Petroleum tax which dropped by a massive 53 percent and is set to drop further for this year’s collection.

The industry paid K2,073,533 billion in taxes in 2011 but that fell to K981,087 million last year and it will plummet further this year because of the dropping Gold price on the World Markets.

Dividend Withholding Tax also took a big dive, dropping by 39 per cent from K290,708 million down to K176,495 million.

The fall has been contributing to what the IRC terms as sale of shares of a large resource project from a private company to the State.

IRC did not mention the name of the mining company.

That company’s Dividend Withholding Tax is now directly paid to the State as dividend.

Individual Income Tax continues to be higher earner for the IRC with K2,645,116 billion because of the increased formal direct employment with the construction phase of the LNG project.

But high level of tax will only be sustained through the construction phase and will drop as the construction phase is now winding down in the project and jobs will be lost. Corporate Income Tax rose by 27 per cent from K1,373,092 in 2011 to K1,740,503 last year and Interest Withholding Tax jumped from K40 million to K67 million.

Most direct taxes rose but they were pegged back by falling taxes in the mining and petroleum sector and it will have a drastic effect on our 2014 National Budget.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

22) Pacific islanders most likely to fight corruption: watchdog

Updated 12 July 2013, 11:59 AEST

A global transparency index has found people in the Pacific are the most likely in the world to fight corruption.

Transparency International has interviewed 114,000 people in 107 countries for their Global Corruption Barometer report released this week, including 1,000 Fijians.

Glen Raynor, head of the watchdog’s Pacific Regional Work, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat almost all Fijians interviewed said they were willing to get involved in fighting corruption.

“One of the things that really stands out for the Pacific… is just the number of people that believe they can make a difference,” Mr Raynor said.

Audio: Glen Raynor speaks to Pacific Beat (ABC News)

The report found 97 per cent of Fijians interviewed would report corruption, while 99 per cent would be willing to get involved in fighting corruption.

“Fiji was one of the highest in terms of ordinary people making a difference,” Mr Raynor said.

“In PNG and Vanuatu 93 per cent of respondents believed they could make a difference, and 89 per cent in Solomon Islands,” he said.

Mr Raynor says this includes people who are willing to report corruption to appropriate authorities, sign a petition or support an anti-corruption NGO.

He says the most common forms of corruption involve “buying of influence”.

“For instance… our chapters in the Pacific are reporting abuse of the scholarship programs,” he said.

“Where there’s scholarships available for people to go off and say study in Australia, where a little bit of money changes hands and the most deserving person does not end up with the scholarship.”

Fiji’s private sector was the industry viewed as the most corrupt by 55 per cent of Fijians surveyed, with political parties a close second according to 50 per cent.

Medical and health services also received a poor score as 28 per cent of Fijians believed there was corruption within that sector.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

23) New Caledonia takes youth crime prevention lessons from NZ

Posted at 23:15 on 11 July, 2013 UTC

A visit to New Zealand by a group from New Caledonia wishing to learn about youth crime prevention has found that developing strategies to engage with different cultures is an effective tool.

Jean-Yves Lemenant, one of four delegates from the Southern Province, works as a youth advisor and says youth offending is on the rise.

Mr Lemenant says the idea of community in New Caledonia doesn’t exist as a political programme so they don’t have policies to cater to the native or Polynesian populations.

The delegation were welcomed by a haka on their visit to a youth justice residence this week and Mr Lemenant says New Zealand police do a good job of engaging with the community and working with different cultures.

“We saw that there was sort of a unique view from the kids we saw there, to the educators, to the director. There is a unity of view and a very deep respect of the local culture and that’s what seems very important for us.”

The youth advisor for the Southern Province Jean-Yves Lemenant.

Radio New Zealand International

24) Five PNG policemen arrested and charge with robbery

Posted at 01:07 on 12 July, 2013 UTC

Five Papua New Guinea policemen have been arrested and charged with robbing a business in Gulf province.

The newspaper, The National, says the five were arrested along with two Chinese nationals.

Two Criminal Investigations Division officers allegedly involved in the robbery are on the run.

The provincial commander, Lincoln Gerari, says this kind of police behaviour must be stopped, describing it as corruption carried out in broad daylight.

Radio New Zealand International

25) Corruption getting worse in Solomon Islands

By Online Editor
12:34 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2013, Solomon Islands

Corruption in Solomon Islands is far from over and is getting worse over the past years, an international survey has found.

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) yesterday launched the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, which revealed that more than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in Solomon Islands over the last two years.

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) 2013 is a Transparency International survey of more than 114,000 people and was conducted in 107 countries. 500 Solomon Islanders were surveyed for this year’s GCB.

The survey also found that almost 90% of Solomon Islanders surveyed said that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Speaking at the launch in response to the survey result TSI’s executive officer, Daniel Fenua said the survey results calls for a united stand to fight corruption in the country.

“The survey shows that most people are ready and willing to stand up against corruption and it sends a strong message to the Government that the people want them to do more to curb corruption,” Mr Fenua said.

Fifty-nine per cent of respondents to the survey said they believe that Government’s efforts to curb corruption have been ineffective.

Following a global trend, the survey also points to growing levels of bribery in Solomon Islands.

Of those who have had contact with public officials or government agencies in the last year, 34% said they have paid a bribe.

Almost half of all people surveyed said that they have been asked to pay a bribe in the last 12 months, though many said they refused.

“The results in relation to bribery are a real concern.  It is important to remind all Solomon Islanders that even small payments to speed up access to services, often called facilitating payments or petty corruption, create an environment where personal integrity is stripped away and more harmful forms of corruption can thrive,”  Fenua said.

According to the GCB Survey, allegations of bribery are most common against state institutions such as the police, the lands department and registry and permit services.

However, the Corruption Barometer has found that people in the Pacific Islands rank among the highest in the world when it comes to willingness to take action against corruption.

Eighty-nine per cent of those surveyed said that they believe ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption in Solomon Islands.

That’s compared with 97% in Fiji, 93% in PNG and 93% in Vanuatu.

Meanwhile 88% of Solomon Islanders surveyed say they would be prepared to report corruption.

“This willingness to report corruption is mirrored in the recent RAMSI People’s Survey 2013. What we need to see now, is those who say that they would report corruption actually go ahead and do it,” Fenua said.

“Anyone who wants to report corruption or wants to know more should drop in to TSI’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre. Our ALAC lawyers provide free legal advice to anyone with a legal matter relating to corruption.”

TSI said the report highlights the urgent need for strengthening Solomon Islands accountability institutions, particularly the Leadership Code Commission (LCC).

The report also recommends reforms such as the publication of all MPs assets and financial interests, the publication of all information relating to the spending of constituency development funds and the establishment of a public register of donations and contributions to political candidates and political parties.

“The people of Solomon Islands continue to call for more transparency and accountability from our leaders. It’s time for the government to start listening to these calls and take some serious steps to curb corruption in our country”, Fenua said.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:


26) Many positive lessons learnt from Joint Platform meeting on Disaster Risk and Climate Change

By Online Editor
10:40 am GMT+12, 12/07/2013, FijiBy Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi

Organisers of the first ever Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji have described the meeting as an ‘amazing’ experience bringing the two communities together to find common grounds to work together for the benefit of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

Mosese Sikivou, the Manager Community Risk programme said member countries were very supportive of the proposed Roadmap process that paves the way for a regional strategy on DRM and Climate Change (CC) by the end of 2014.

“I think the countries are very supportive of this because this is a regional initiative that builds on what they already have at the national level. They have the leadership and ownership to carry it through.

“They want the regional architecture to provide a better enabling environment to allow them to integrate better. This meeting is part of a process that started two years ago. It is significant because it is the first time that climate and disaster communities have come together, said Sikivou.

Dr Netauta Pelesikoti, the director of climate change division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment echoed the sentiments of Sikivou saying a lot of work needs to be done moving forward.

“A clear message came from Pacific Island Countries and Territories that they want to be involved in the process. Many of them have volunteered to be included in the steering committee and technical working groups that will carry forward the consultations and the drafting.

“The topics that we heard this week provided some insights on the priority areas that can be looked at in the proposed strategy. Today we discussed vulnerable groups and the need to mainstream gender considerations, said Dr Pelesikoti.

At the same time, the joint meeting highlighted synergies between different stakeholders and the role they can play in the Roadmap process and the development of the proposed regional strategy.

“We are talking about a lot more significant penetration and tangible results at the community level and that is something we hope, as we move forward will form the core of the umbrella strategy that we hope to achieve.

Sikivou said the concerns of vulnerable groups will also be incorporated into discussions now being shaped for the regional strategy.

“We are hoping that they will get a visible profile and become a significant focus of the work that we do. The message that came from the session this morning is that they have a lot to contribute in building resilient communities.

“We need to reorient our thinking and not look at them as a vulnerable group but how they can contribute to building resilient communities. If we do that, then we can adopt a ‘whole of country’ approach, said Sikivou.

Dr Pelesikoti of SPREP agrees that vulnerable groups are an important component of the integrated regional strategy.

“It has been raised and they must be included. They are an important group in our society. One of the reasons why they are more vulnerable than others is because they need special attention and assistance, said Dr Pelesikoti.

Another emerging group is the private sector, said Sikivou.

“We are trying to organise a meeting for the private sector before the end of this year and a separate one for civil society as well. If we are able to get these stakeholders together in dedicated groups, we may be able to draw out some key messages.

Both Sikivou and Dr Pelesikoti agree the Joint National Action Plan (JNAPs) on DRM and CC that exists in 13 of the 14 Pacific Island Countries and Territories shows commitment and political will at the national level to move forward with the regional integration proposal.

“Many countries have developed their JNAPS but there is a need for the sectors to take priority and integrate them into their sector action plan.  We need to move away from the thinking that CC and DRM are confined to only some sectors. There needs to be national mechanisms to take regional policies down to provinces, outer islands and communities.

“This week, we have seen political leadership shown by the deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, the acting Prime Minister of Fiji, Minister of Finance of Vanuatu and the Minister of Environment from Vanuatu. There is a commitment from decision makers that they see  climate change and disaster risk management are key development issue that need to be addressed if governments want to have sustainable development, said Dr Pelesikoti.

If the regional strategy is endorsed by Pacific Leaders in August 2014, the Pacific will be the first region in the world with an integrated plan to tackle disaster risk and climate change.

“We need to be grounded, keep our feet firmly on the ground and just get on and do the work. Our success as a region should be demonstrated by our work and not by what we are saying.

“One of the things that worked for us is that a lot of what we do amongst ourselves as Pacific Islanders is built on the strong foundation of mutual respect and trust. I am optimistic that if we continue to use this as the mainstay for our discussions, we can achieve greater things for our people, said Sikivou

The joint meeting has brought SPC and SPREP close together, said Sikivou.

“We’ve always had a strong relationship. This integration agenda going back to 2009 has just brought us much closer together. We were set up to address different things but we are mutually complementary, said Sikivou.

A meeting of the Steering committee will be held in August to discuss outcomes of the Nadi meeting.
SOURCE: PACNEWS

SPORTS:

27a) Australia i helpim Solomon Islands Kriket

Updated 11 July 2013, 17:09 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Pilai kriket nau iwok long resis long kisim planti yangpla pipal blong Solomon Islands long go insaet long despla kaen sport.

Odio: Ryan Lucas Cricket development ofisa long Solomon Islands itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Bikpla sport em klostu olgeta pipal long Solomon Islands isave laikim tumas em long Football oa soccer.

Tasol gavman blong Australia igat laik long apim save blong kriket long Solomon Islands.

Long despla taem kriket istap olsem bikpla sport long ol kantri olsem Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu Fiji na tu long Samoa.

Pastem long Solomon Islands ibin kisim indipendans long 1978, kriket ibin stap olsem bikpla spot tasol soccer oa football ibin kisim ples blong en.

Nau wanpla yangpla sumatin blong  Monash University hia long Melbourne nau istap long  Solomon Islands long helpim long strongim kriket olsem wanpla spot.

Ryan Lucas iwok long hap aninit long Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program – wanpla wok blong gavman blong Australia long helpim ol diveloping kantri.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

27b) Cooks claim underdog tag for Oceania Cup rugby final

Posted at 23:15 on 11 July, 2013 UTC

The Cook Islands have claimed the underdog tag ahead of Saturday’s Oceania Cup rugby decider against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

Both teams are unbeaten going into the final round of matches, following victories over Tahiti and the Solomon Islands.

The winner will advance to a home and away playoff against Fiji next year for a spot at Rugby World Cup 2015.

The Cook Islands team manager, Cam Kilgour, says the team still hasn’t hit their straps.

“We’re only really playing 30 minutes of good rugby at the moment – I think probably still getting used to the heat. The side’s coming together well but every game has been really tough and this weekends game with the crowd advantage to PNG, and again the heat factor, I think they go into the final favourite and that’s sort of what we’re putting our focus in – just clicking and getting our basics right, and playing for our country and the Cook Island people around the world.”

Tahiti and the Solomon Islands will square off in the other game on Saturday, with both teams still seeking their first win.

Radio New Zealand International

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *