Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 829

MELANESIA:

1) Australian PM arrives in PNG for talks
By Online Editor
11:36 am GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Papua New GuineaAustralian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has arrived in Papua New Guinea for talks on trade, how to tackle crime in the Pacific Island nation and the controversial Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island.

Rudd touched down at Port Moresby’s Jackson’s international airport and was greeted by Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, as well as the now familiar troupe of traditional PNG dancers.

“It’s wonderful to be back here in PNG,” he said, noting it was his second official trip as prime minister to Australia’s closest neighbour.

“I look forward to my discussions with Prime Minister O’Neill.

“I come here as a friend, a long standing friend, someone who believes in PNG’s future.”

High on the agenda on Sunday evening and Monday is PNG’s endemic law and order problems.

“That concerns me,” Rudd told reporters in Cairns on Sunday before he headed to PNG.

“I am going to be talking to him about what we can do to enhance our cooperation there.”

Last month four Chinese nationals were stabbed to death not far from the central business district in Port Moresby.

“One issue that can arise for discussion is what level of support Australia can give for deployment of police,” Pato told journalists in Port Moresby in Sunday.

“We’re looking to see what aid the Australian Federal Police can give.”

The Australian-run Manus Island refugee processing centre is also expected to be on the agenda.

PNG’s Supreme Court last week dismissed a constitutional challenge against the centre, and the UNHCR has heavily criticised the conditions at the site.

‘Manus Mess’ was the front page headline of PNG’s only Sunday paper, the Sunday Chronicle.

In a late addition to the trip, Mr Rudd brought Immigration Minister Tony Burke and Trade Minister Richard Marles with him to PNG.

Burke said he will discuss asylum seekers and the progress of construction of a permanent facility on Manus Island.

“This trip will allow me to get an update on the progress of developing the centre on Manus Island in advance of making a personal visit to Manus Island in a few weeks time,” he said in a statement.

Acknowledging the UNHCR report, Pato said he expects the facility to be discussed.

“We have a system that can address those issues and those are not issues that cannot be overcome,” Pato said.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

2) Solomons’ Opposition Leaders’ Silence Worries Some Allies
Sikua counters that opposition retains strength, will speak when needed

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 15, 2013) – Some members in the opposition group openly voiced concern over the silence mode taken by leader of opposition Dr Derek Sikua.

A spokesperson within the group who wanted his name withheld said Dr Sikua had been very vocal but has dropped dead silent now.

“Dr Sikua during his outbursts in the past said the opposition is an alternative Government and a Government watchdog, so where is the watchdog now, what happen?”

The source said there are a few issues that stunned the public that any opposition group would normally speak on, that were allowed to go unanswered.

The source said taking the silence attitude has brought about questions of integrity.

“Did we truly criticise the Government in the past we care for the country or merely a power struggle.

“There are issues such as government fail to raise alternate solutions to look into addressing the issues national referral hospital is facing.”

The source said there is possibility the NCRA Government may have silenced the leader of opposition.

When contacted, opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua said the opposition group maintains its strength amidst claims that government political influence is suppressing them from speaking out and be critical on issues affecting the country.

“As an alternative government, they have maintained their role as a watch dog on the ruling government.”

Asked why the opposition is so silent over issues that they were supposed to speak up on, he said all issues that the opposition have trumpeted in the past have transpired.

“Being silent is not an issue; infact what matters most is that the government of the day must perform as expected by the people of this nation.

He said there will be the right time for the opposition to expose some of the things that the National Government failed address.

“We are still keeping watch on the government and how it delivers its flagship policies.

“And we maintain our twenty-two members comprising of the opposition and the independent group.

Solomon Star

3) Vanuatu Speaker Rules No-Confidence Motion ‘Not In Order’
Boedoro says some signatures forged, other MPs not eligible to sign

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 15, 2013) – The Speaker of Parliament, Philip Boedoro, has ruled that the motion of no confidence in the Government of the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, filed by the Opposition and carried the signature of 28 Members of Parliament, was not in order.

At 4.30pm Thursday, Boedoro summoned the Leader of the Opposition, Ham Lini, and Opposition MPs Sato Kilman, Willie Jimmy and Charlot Salwai to his office to announce his decision on the motion the Opposition had deposited at 3.30pm Wednesday.

In a statement, the Speaker gave two reasons for his decision. One is that a number of signatures on the Motion were ‘forged’, in particular the signatures of the Minister of Justice and Community Services, Toara Daniel, and MPs John Amos, Arnold Prasad and James Jonas. The press release said all four men had also signed a statement in the presence of the Speaker at his office a few hours after the motion was deposited declaring their signatures were forged.

Secondly, the Speaker ruled that the suspension of the MP for Luganville Georges Wells and newly elected Member of Parliament for Tanna, Pascal Iauko, as “complimentary issues that affect the order of the motion.” Both men’s signatures were on the motion, the Speaker pointed out. Pascal Iauko won the by-election in May for the seat left vacant by the death of his father Harry Iauko, but he is still to take his Oath, which will happen when the House sits.

“Under the Oath Act, Section 8, only the Oath gives the legal standing of any decision taken by a national leader,” the Speaker stated.

“In the same manner, also the former Speaker of Parliament, George Wells, signed the motion, knowing that he was under suspension (motion 14 previously passed by Parliament suspending the former Speaker and prohibiting him from entering the Parliament premises),” the statement continued.

It says the Speaker manages every direction and order for all the Members of Parliament and deems it proper to fulfill the suspension before MP Wells can again participate in the national duties of the House.

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

4) Fiji’s Sodelpa party avoids deregistration

Posted at 04:07 on 15 July, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Sodelpa party has avoided deregistration after paying the money it apparently owed to the Fiji Sun newspaper.

Last week, three of the four Fiji political parties were sent a 14,000 US dollar bill from the newspaper through the registrar of political parties for publishing their party asset declarations in June.

Sodelpa’s general secretary, Pio Tabaiwalu, says the party has struggled to raise its share of the money over the weekend, but they managed to do it.

“We have very little in the bank, we’ve just started. We made an appeal to our members and yes, money’s coming in (laughs). So we’ll be able to meet the conditions we have to comply with.”

Pio Tabaiwalu says the regime should have put the publication rights out to tender instead of giving them to the Fiji Sun and he hopes to hear back about a complaint laid with the Commerce Commission within the next two weeks.

Efforts to contact the National Federation and Labour parties have so far been unsuccessful.

Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA:

5) Am. Samoa Governor Calls For Unity From Cabinet
Lolo wants consistent testimony before Fono from ‘team’

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 14, 2013) – Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga expects all cabinet members to testify before the Fono during upcoming budget hearings as members of one team and with “one voice” without testimony that would contradict each other.

Lolo issued the verbal directive at last Thursday’s cabinet meeting as the Executive Branch is working to finalize the fiscal year 2014 budget document, which Samoa News understands should be completed tomorrow, before it’s submitted to the Fono.

During the cabinet meeting the governor didn’t say when the administration plans to send the final budget to the Fono, but he did say, “We’ll be going to the Fono in the next few weeks.”

“When you are called in to testify, make sure you testify according to the budget. We speak with one voice, we work with one voice, and we move with one voice,” said Lolo, who added that he does not want to be faced with an experience like the ASG Treasurer and the Office of Budget and Planning director giving contradicting testimony.

Additionally, a department director might testify in the Fono that their budget was submitted with a certain amount but was turned down by the Budget Office.

“You don’t do that. As long as you work under this administration, you come to us, you don’t go to the Fono,” he told directors. “But when you go directly to the Fono and do that, then we know you’re not part of the team.

“We like to work together as a team, and we’ll succeed as a team,” said Lolo, adding that any questions by directors regarding their budget should be directed to the Budget Office, Treasury and Commerce Department leaders – who are involved in the process.

During Lolo’s tenure as Senate President – several years ago, there were cabinet directors who appeared at hearings saying that they needed more money to cover their operations but were turned down by the Budget Office and the Governor’s Office at the time.

There were also directors who asked lawmakers to help with additional funding for their budgets because they could not go above the budget ceiling set by the Governor’s Office.

Lolo would tell these directors – during Fono budget hearings – that these are issues and requests directed to the Executive Branch and not the Fono.

For his first term as governor and first budget submission as chief executive, Lolo wants to prevent any contradicting testimony by directors or any unnecessary verbal requests given to the Fono during budget hearings.

Whether directors of the Lolo administration will comply with the governor’s directive is something that will only be known during budget hearings – which won’t be scheduled until the Fono receives the final FY 2014 budget.

The Samoa News: http://www.samoanews.com/

6) Hawaii foster care age law applauded

Posted at 04:06 on 15 July, 2013 UTC

A former foster youth in Hawaii says a law that will extend the voluntary foster care age from 18 to 21 will be like a second chance for many in the foster care system.

The bill was enacted earlier this month and will take effect in July 2014.

An advocate at the Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition, and former foster youth, Gerald Yutob, says unless youth go on to higher education, they generally have to leave their foster parents’ homes.

He says 18 is too young to be out on your own, because many are just transitioning out of high school, or working at minimum wage jobs, and need more time and support to plan for the future.

“This bill has really been a help to a lot of people because a lot of kids they make wrong decisions at 18, they don’t have the right guidance and to just have extra years in the system to just better themselves, it’s just fortunate for them to just have a great opportunity to use those years and take advantage to make positive choices out there in the real world.”

Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition advocate, Gerald Yutob.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Former attorney general takes action against Tonga government

Posted at 04:06 on 15 July, 2013 UTC

Tonga’s Supreme Court in Nuku’alofa will hear three causes of action filed by the fromer Attorney General, John Cauchi, in November.

Matangi Tonga reports Mr Cauchi is claiming close to 500,000 US dollars in special damages and relief for Breach of Contract, Repudiation of Contract and Constructive Dismissal.

He became Tonga’s first independent Attorney General when he was appointed in 2009 but resigned from the position less than a year later.

Radio New Zealand International

MICRONESIA:


8) Kuartei nominated as Minister of State in Palau
By Online Editor
4:34 pm GMT+12, 15/07/2013, PalauPalau President Tommy Remengesau Junior has nominated the island’s current Chief Negotiator for the Compact Review as the Minister of State.

Chief Negotiator Billy Kuartei, who also served as the President’s Chief of State in his first two terms as President and liaison officer between Palau and the U.S. Peace Corps among other official posts, has “developed significant leadership and diplomacy skills that will serve him well as State Minister,” said Remengesau.

While serving as the Chief Negotiator, Kuartei has led the Republic in the bi-annual Joint Committee Meeting with the U.S. as well as playing a key role in the upcoming Micronesian Presidents Summit, which in some ways, he has already assumed some responsibilities of the State Minister.

The President says that he can’t think anyone else better to represent Palau’s interests abroad than a man with such impeccable integrity and experience.

He hopes that the Senate will promptly consider Kuartei’s appointment.

With the appointment of the State Minister, the only Ministry that remains without a nominee is the Ministry of Education.

SOURCE: OTV/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN:

9a) PNG LNG moni bai kamapim wari

Updated 15 July 2013, 12:53 AEST
John Papik

Igat wari olsem moni em LNG Projek bai kamapim inap mekim PNG Moni Kina i strong na dispela bai ino gutpela tumas long ol bisnis.

Odio: Paul Barker Executive Direkta blong Institute of National Afeas long PNG itoktok wantem John Papik

Wantaim bikpela moni ikam long LNG Projek klostu bai kamap, igat ol tingting wari iwok long kamap nau olsem sampela ol indastri oa wok bisnis long Papua New Guinea bai bungim wari long bisnis blong ol.

Dispela em toktok blong executive dairekta blong Institute blong National Affairs long Papua New Guinea Paul Barker.

Mr Barker itok ol wari emi toktok long ol em taim LNG Projek i stat kamapim moni, dispela bai mekim PNG moni kina bai strongim value blong kina  na dispela ino gutpela long ol kaen bisnis olsem tourism,  wok didiman na ol arapela sevis provider.

Wok Didiman oa agrikalsa i bikpla wok tru long PNG we emi save helpim klostu olgeta pipal long ol rural eria blong kantri.

Paul Barker itok olsem gavman imas wuas gut olsem moni long LNG gas projek i strongim PNG kina, despla bai kamapim heve long ol pipal.

Emi tok tu olsem gavman imas traem long iusim gut ol moni long LNG projek long stretim ol wok olsem rod, transpot emi ken helpim gut ol pipal.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

9b) Australia PM Kevin Rudd bai toktok long asailam sika na trade long PNG

Postim 15 July 2013, 10:15 AEST

Federal gavman blong Australia itok emi tru loa blong ol Asailam sika bai stap olsem bikpla toktok em Kevin Rudd bai toktok long en wantem wanwok blong en blong Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill.

Minista blong Imigreisan Tony Burke igo wantem  Mr Rudd  long tupla dei wokabaut blong ol igo long PNG we bai oli toktok long despla wari blong Asailam sika na tu refugi ditensan senta long Manus Island.

Long wik igo pinis laen blong United Nations Refugi Egensi ibin autim wanpla ripot emi bin tok olsem despla Manus ditensan senta ino gutpla ples we ol refugi pipal iken stap long en.

Mr Rudd ino bin tok sopos bai oli toktok long despla UN ripot taem emi bungim ol PNG lida.

Mr Rudd itok tu olsem PNG Praim Minista Peter O’Neill bai tokaut long wonem samting emi laik mekim, na Mr Rudd iet igat ol tingting blong en long ol heve blong ol asailam sika na kaen wok em Australia iwok long mekim long traem stretim despla heve.

Minista blong Trade blong Australia Mr Richard Marles istap tu long despla laen husat igo wantem Praim Minista Rudd igo long PNG.

Mr Rudd itok emi laik isuim despla wokabaut blong en long apim ol wokbung wantem Papua New Guinea long kamapim gut ol wok moni na trade namel long PNG na far north Queensland.radio australia.

BAHASA:

10) Tujuh nelayan PNG hilang di perairan Australia

Diperbaharui 15 July 2013, 12:31 AEST
Francis Tapim

Tujuh nelayan asal Papua Nugini (PNG) masih belum ditemukan setelah perahu mereka tenggelam di Selat Torres, wilayah perairan Australia.

Polisi negara bagian Queensland mengatakan pihaknya tidak mendapat pemberitahuan dari PNG hampir dua minggu setelah kejadian pada 30 Juni lalu.

Menurut polisi, kapal nelayan itu terbalik dan tiga orang berhasil berenang kembali ke PNG. Mereka kemudian melaporkan peristiwa ini kepada pihak berwenang.

Mereka mengatakan, tujuh rekannya masih hilang.

Polisi Queensland mengatakan, mereka tidak mengetahui tentang insiden itu sampai hari Jumat, dan segera melakukan pencarian laut dan udara.

Inspektur David Lacey mengatakan, terlalu banyak waktu yang terbuang.

“Informasi kami dari pusat koordinasi penyelamatan di Canberra mengindikasikan, perkiraan waktu para nelayan itu bisa bertahan sudah lewat, maka operasi pencarian dihentikan,” katanya.

Ia mengatakan, polisi Queensland belum memastikan identitas para nelayan tersebut.

Tokoh-tokoh masyarakat Selat Torres mengatakan, tujuh orang telah tewas dalam kecelakaan tragis dan tidak satu politisi pun yang peduli.

Mereka mengatakan, seandainya tujuh nelayan itu hilang di dekat Brisbane, Sydney atau Melbourne, hal itu pasti akan menjadi perhatian.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH:

11a) Quand le changement climatique menace la sécurité alimentaire

Mis à jour 15 July 2013, 8:44 AEST
Pierre Riant

Ce lien entre phénomènes météorologiques et risques de catastrophe a été abondamment discuté lors de la toute récente et première Table ronde à Fidji de la Plateforme du Pacifique pour la Gestion des risques de catastrophe et le changement climatique.

Nous en avons discuté avec Loti Yates, le directeur du Bureau national de la gestion des catastrophes aux îles Salomon. Nous lui avons demandé de nous donner un exemple pratique de cette relation entre changement climatique et catastrophe.

YATES : «  Prenons par exemple la sécurité alimentaire. Nous devons faire face à des évènements météo de plus en plus extrêmes et de plus en plus fréquents qui affectent les moyens de subsistance des populations. Et cela débouche sur des risques de pénurie alimentaire. Il y a donc un lien.
Récemment, des champs de taro ont été inondés dans les îles d’Otong Java, des îles à fleur d’océan aux Salomon.  Cette conséquence du changement climatique a entamé la capacité des communautés locales à se nourrir et les gens ont de plus en plus de difficultés à trouver à manger.

Ils dépendent en grande partie de plantes cultivées pour leurs tubercules. Il faut donc maintenant diversifier ces cultures pour cultiver des plantes moins vulnérables à l’eau de mer. Il faudrait peut-être aussi utiliser davantage les ressources marines pour gagner d’un côté ce que l’on perd de l’autre. C’est la raison pour laquelle l’adaptation au changement climatique est importante. »

Ce qui s’est passé à Otong Java, c’est que l’eau de mer a également envahi les lentilles d’eau douce de ces îles.

À part de laisser tomber la culture du Taro ou de moins en dépendre, quels sont les autres moyens d’adaptation au changement climatique ou d’atténuation au changement climatique ? La réponse de Loti Yates.

YATES : «  Dans nos petites communautés des îles, plusieurs moyens d’adaptation existent. Dans certains cas, des communautés pourraient être déplacées ailleurs. Le problème est que le processus est très long et très frustrant surtout avec notre système de propriété foncière et les arrangements que nous avons avec le gouvernement.

En fait, il faut commencer dès maintenant à prendre en considération tous les moyens d’adaptation et d’atténuation en travaillant directement avec le ministère du Secteur forestier et tous les autres services appropriés. En fait pour l’instant, nous pencher davantage sur des solutions d’adaptation pourrait être la meilleure résolution que nous puissions prendre. »

Il semblerait donc que les îles Salomon en sont au stade de la réflexion.

Pendant ce temps la plupart des experts scientifiques s’entendent pour dire que : les petits espaces insulaires sont particulièrement vulnérables aux changements climatiques, à la variabilité du climat et à l’élévation du niveau marin ; et que les effets adverses des changements climatiques et de l’élévation du niveau marin représentent des risques significatifs pour le développement durable de l’ensemble des petits États et territoires insulaires, alors que certaines petites îles de faible altitude sont même menacées de ne plus pouvoir supporter de peuplement, voire même de disparition.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

11b) De la maltraitance des personnes âgées aux îles Fidji

Posté à 15 July 2013, 8:51 AEST
Pierre Riant

À chaque jour son thème. Le 15 juin 2013 était celui de la Journée internationale de sensibilisation à la maltraitance des personnes âgées.

Le directeur général du Conseil des services sociaux de l’archipel fidjien, Mohammed Hassan Khan, nous parle de cette maltraitance et des travaux de son conseil.

KHAN : « Nous avons aidé le ministère de la Sécurité sociale à mettre en place une politique relative au vieillissement. Une politique qui est maintenant en place depuis 2011. C’est un document officiel, c’est une loi.

L’année dernière, toujours avec le ministère de la Sécurité sociale, nous avons établi un Conseil national pour les personnes âgées.

Et puis le 15 juin dernier, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de sensibilisation à la maltraitance des personnes âgées, nous avons participé à une émission-débat à la radio et nous avons découvert que la plupart des plaintes des personnes âgées concernaient des abus à l’intérieur même de la famille du plaignant. Souvent de l’argent qui aurait été pris par les enfants et les enfants ne l’ont jamais rendu.

Il y avait aussi des plaintes de séquestration et beaucoup de cas de violence psychologique et physique. Et la plupart du temps, ce sont des voisins qui rapportent les faits que nous possédons. »

Et est-ce que l’on sait si cette maltraitance des personnes âgées est à la hausse et quelles sont les raisons derrière cette maltraitance ? Un éclatement de la famille ou de la famille élargie ? Est-ce que les enfants n’ont plus ou n’ont pas les moyens de s’occuper de leurs aînés ?

KHAN : « Oui, il a de ça, définitivement. Ce sont des raisons établies. Il y a beaucoup de cas où des personnes âgées sont abandonnées par leurs enfants qui sont partis pour tout un nombre de raisons. Il y a aussi et bien sûr des enfants qui veulent être autonomes et vivre leur vie et c’est la raison pour laquelle il y a une grande rupture de la famille élargie, un système que nous devrions défendre, éventuellement. »

Et la loi ? Que dit la loi dans tout cela ?

KHAN : « La loi sur le droit de la famille à Fidji permet aux parents d’entamer des poursuites judiciaires pour obtenir une aide financière de leurs enfants. Un loi similaire existe à Singapour  et peut-être dans beaucoup d’autres pays, mais je ne me souviens pas d’un seul cas où des parents ont traîné leurs enfants devant un tribunal. »

En Australie, les « baby-boomers » sont sur le chemin de la retraite et seront demain des personnes âgées ayant besoin d’assistance. Est-ce que la situation est identique aux îles Fidji ?

KHAN : «  Oui, c’est presque la même situation. Les « baby-boomers » atteignent les 70 ans et plus. Vous avez une situation où des gens de 60 ans font attention à  des parents qui ont 80 ans. Et vous avez, on appelle ça la « génération sandwich », des gens qui ont 40 et 50 ans qui font attention à leurs parents et grands-parents.

Chaque année, nous avons environ 3 000 personnes qui deviennent septuagénaires aux îles Fidji et ça c’est une énorme inquiétude et c’est ce que nous avons découvert la semaine dernière au Conseil national des personnes âgées. »http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

MEDIA/FILM+:

12a) Journalist Organization, AG To Jointly Draft Samoa Media Legislation
Collaboration agreed to in setting up Media Council

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, July 15, 2013) – The Journalists Association of Sāmoa (JAWS) and the Attorney Generals office, will collaborate in drafting legislation to establish a Media Council in Samoa.

The follows a meeting between the Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, the Executive Director of the Sāmoa Law Reform Commission and the Executive of the Journalists Association of Sāmoa at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Building Friday afternoon, 12th July 2013.

In a joint press statement after the meeting, “the parties have agreed that to ensure a draft law that reflects both concerns of the media and protection of the public, collaboration and cooperation is essential.

“The Attorney General’s Office, Law Reform Commission and JAWS have agreed to work together in developing a draft Bill,” the statement said.

“The draft is expected to cover establishment of a media council that can formalize the standards for accurate, balanced and fair reporting, adoption of a media code of practice and measures for compliance with the Code.

“Meetings are expected to continue between the parties within the coming weeks,” said the statement.

JAWS had earlier raised concerns over how the legislation will be perceived if it is drafted by the Attorney Generals office alone. This led to the collaboration after which a draft will be open to scrutiny by JAWS members and its own legal advice.

The Attorney General says the draft is made easier following wide consultation between the Law Reform Commission and JAWS and the report from those consultations will be the basis of the draft legislation.

Government has so far repealed the criminal libel law following an understanding with JAWS to set up a Media Council that will be regulated by the media.

Talamua: http://talamua.com/index.php

12b) New Caledonia journalists defy owners

Posted at 18:46 on 14 July, 2013 UTC

Journalists at New Caledonia’s only newspaper have voted for a motion of defiance, accusing the new owners of exerting undue pressure and resorting to personal attacks.

The journalists’ organisation, SDJ, has taken issue with the new owners for being urged to write a positive article about the territorial government’s president, Harold Martin.

He had accused the paper of being biased in reporting about the corruption charges he faces.

The paper owners say the Nouvelles caledoniennes had a front page headline on the issue which didn’t match the article.

This year’s sale of the paper to New Caledonia business interests has already prompted the resignation of the editor and six journalists.

Radio New Zealand International

HEALTH:

13a) SPC Director calls for more attention to spread of disease

Posted at 04:07 on 15 July, 2013 UTC

The Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says more attention should be given to diseases which have worse effects than climate change and disasters.

Dr Jimmie Rodgers says while the region is the most vulnerable in the world to disasters, the bigger killers are non-communicable diseases.

He says based on the current statistics, roughly one million Pacific people will die over the next ten years from NCDs like diabetes.

“Neither climate change nor natural disasters is going to kill one million Pacific islanders in ten years, NCDs will. And yet NCD doesn’t have any attention, or not much attention, so to the extent that you might say in a hundred years’ time, which is the forecast given to us under the IPCC on changes on climate change, potentially we’ll lose ten million people which is the current population of the Pacific.”

Dr Jimmie Rodgers.

Radio New Zealand International

13b) WHO issues Fiji advisory on MERS corona virus
By Online Editor
4:32 pm GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Fiji

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the Fijian Ministry of Health in monitoring the deadly MERS corona virus in Saudi Arabia.

Showing similar symptoms to the SARS virus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has killed 45 people and infected 80 people in 9 different countries since April 2012.

It is not known however exactly how people become infected with the virus.

There’s concern that the MERS virus could spread further, with tens of millions of Muslims from around the world to gather in Mecca, Saudi Arabia this month for the Hajj, the biggest religious pilgrimage of Islam.

The WHO is advising Fijians planning to travel to Mecca or even to the Middle East to avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone who shows symptoms of illness, either coughing or sneezing, and to maintain good hand hygiene.

Other useful tips are to adhere to food safety and hygiene rules and avoid undercooked meats and raw fruits and vegetables unless they’re peeled.

The WHO says travellers to the Middle East who develop symptoms either during travel or after their return must seek medical attention and to share their history of travel.

The World Health Organisation also says that based on the information available, it does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.

Saudi Arabia has issued a series of rules to pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the Hajj that will ban the elderly and force others to wear respiratory masks to prevent the Mers coronavirus turning into an epidemic.

Sufferers contract a lung infection that causes fever, coughing and breathing difficulties, culminating in rapid kidney failure.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

13c) Leprosy detected in Kiribati
By Online Editor
4:37 pm GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Kiribati

Kiribati’s Leprosy Department has reported an increase in the number of people diagnosed with leprosy.

In Bikenibeu, at the end of May, 62 cases were reported, according to Radio Kiribati.

A month later, another 14 cases were detected, said the head of the Leprosy Department, Baraniko Eromanga.

“The 14 people are confirmed to have the leprosy virus and are now on medication, Eromanga told Radio Kiribati.

Of the new cases, nine are women and five men.

Baraniko said the 16 patients are now completely cured after they successfully completed their leprosy pills last month.

On the main island of Tarawa, the Ministry of Health is conducting house to house visits to identify people living with the disease.

Eromanga said a leprosy team has visited all the homes in the four main villages of Betio, Bairiki, Teaoraereke and Bikenibeu East.

The next villages to be visited by the Leprosy team are Bikenibeu West, Eita, Temaiku and Bonriki.

Eromanga said the health check program is an initiative of the department, which aims to minimize or completely erase leprosy from Kiribati.

SOURCE: RADIO KIRIBATI/PACNEWS

EDUCATION:

14) Australian scholarship centre opens in PNG

Posted at 04:07 on 15 July, 2013 UTC

The Australian Government has opened an information centre in Port Moresby to help Papua New Guinean’s seek tertiary study in Australia.

The centre was opened by the head of Ausaid, Stuart Schaefer and the Minister for Higher Education, David Arore.

EMTV reports Mr Schaefer as saying the centre, as well as scholarships already offered by Ausaid, will provide men and women with the skills and knowledge to drive change.

The scholarships are designed to help the PNG government in priority areas such as health, education, infrastructure and law and order.

Radio New Zealand International

15) Female encouraged for PM

Dawn Gibson
Monday, July 15, 2013

WITH more countries around the world voting in female prime ministers, Fiji’s women are also being encouraged to add a female face to the words “Prime Minister”.

Such a change will obviously be accompanied by numerous challenges, explained Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni, who said women were important agents of change.

“They have the ability to make effective leaders that serve the people as parliamentarians and should run for the elections next year,” Dr Luveni said.

“The challenge is that women need to believe in themselves that they can serve the country as the PM and then to be publicly involved in politics.”

Dr Luveni said voters would select their choice for PM based those who they believe worked towards meeting their needs.

“A woman that wants to be a PM needs to lead a political party, thus letting the country know of her intention and to campaign for support for her party.

“A woman always has to work harder than a man to prove herself in any field of work, including politics, and ensure that her merits are acknowledged by the people,” she said.

FWCC director Shamima Ali agreed, saying people are not used to seeing women in leadership positions at political and national levels.

“There’s this idea that men are better at it, even women believe that men make better leaders than themselves,” Ms Ali said last week in an interview with The Fiji Times.

“Women have to put up with a lot of sexual harassment, being put down and not being listened to within political parties, so it’s really difficult.

“For a lot of women, this can be very shameful but at the same time, women pose a threat to men and their leadership. For these many reasons, women will find it difficult, but I absolutely encourage them to run,” Ms Ali said.http://www.fijitimes.com/

16) Village bans women grog swipers

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, July 15, 2013

SOME villages in the district of Vaturova, Cakaudrove, continue to uphold the village law of banning women from drinking grog in the village.

At Baleyaganiga Village, women are not allowed to drink yaqona.

Village headman Jekope Matanamatua said the decision was made to help women wholly dedicate themselves towards the welfare of their families.

“The men will continue to play their part in looking after their families by providing the food and financially supporting their wives and children,” Mr Matanamatua said.

“The village law of not allowing women from drinking grog is not to discriminate them but to ensure that our children are looked after well by their mothers. It is the same too for the men who are tired every afternoon after returning from the farms.

“When the men come home, all we want is for our food to be ready and the house clean because most of the times we are tired and hungry when we return from farms.”

Mr Matanamatua said if women drank grog a lot at night, it could affect their home chores, including breakfast for their children.

For Seavaci Village, women can only drink grog in their own homes but not in the village hall.

“We don’t allow women to drink grog during village functions or at the hall but they can do so at their own homes,” said Motekai Soidroka, turaga ni yavusa Ravinivatu.

“Women can only drink grog when given the permission and when allowed, they can only drink grog in their homes.

“The decision was discussed in a village meeting many years ago and has been accepted by our women.”

Mr Soidroka said even if women were at the village functions, yaqona would only be given to men to consume.

“That has become a tradition in this village and is respected by all.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

17) Solomon Islands Teachers Strike For Third Time This Year
Government plea for time called ‘just making excuses’

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 15, 2013) – Teachers in Solomon Islands are on an indefinite strike for the third time this year over the government’s failure to adjust teachers’ pay.

Many teachers have not been paid under the new increment awards and the government says it needs to pass a supplementary budget before they can be paid.

Samson Faisi, president of the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association, has told Radio Australia’sPacific Beat the government is just making excuses.

“There are a lot of options that they can do instead of just waiting for the parliament to pass whatever supplementary budget the Minister of Education may have brought up to the parliament for approval,” Mr Faisi said.”We have withdrawn our participation with the government on the 26th of June this year,” he said.

Mr Faisi says the indefinite strike is affecting the education system in the country.

“They have to shift all exams to November this year but if the strike continues, I don’t know when will all the schools be able to hold the exams,” he said.

“If the government is serious about the education of the kids, it just has to address teachers’ issues because students are only victims for weeks.

“Teachers have been victims of this government and successive governments for the past 15-20 years for the same issue,” Mr Faisi said.

He says teachers involved in the strikes are currently facing threats from the government.

“They ask all educational authorities to take note of those teachers who are taking part in this strike,” Mr Faisi said.

“They expect their salaries to be deducted.”

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, the Solomon Star reported that “The Registrar General’s office of the Government has warned the Solomon Islands Teachers Association (SINTA) of a possible deregistration of the association if SINTA continues to not abide by its constitution.” The registrar claims that SINTA President Samson Faisi is a “terminated teacher” and thus ineligible to hold office in the Association. The registrar’s interpretation of SINTA’s constitution is disputed by Faisi.]

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

RELIGION/CULT ETC:

18) PNG Parliament Calls For Religious Freedom Consultations
Nationwide discussions to consider banning non-Christian faiths

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 15, 2013) – Parliament has passed a motion to carry out a nationwide consultation on the question of religious freedom and whether to ban faiths that are non-Christian.

Hela Governor Anderson Agiru moved the motion during grievance debate last Friday that was unanimously supported by both sides of the house.

The motion which was carried on the floor of parliament now means that the Minister for Community Development and the Constitutional Review Commission set up a bi-partisan team, to consult the people of Papua New Guinea with a view to determine whether or not we have a freedom of religion in this country or we adopt and strengthen and reaffirm the spirit and intent of the constitution of Papua New Guinea which basically states in the preambles that we are a country or sovereign nation under God.

Mr Agiru, during a statement before moving the motion, said the national pledge in the constitution specifically and unequivocally states that Papua New Guinea shall be a Christian country.

He said the Constitutional Development Committee Report of 1974 chapter 2 articles 19 and 21talks about religion and in religion they referred to the beliefs or custom in our traditions of 850 nations that make up Papua New Guinea.

Mr Agiru said the committee traveled worldwide to Africa, Europe, Asia, America and they saw all kinds of faith and they realised intentionally at that time that the country shall be a Christian country and it shall be a country under God.

“The question of whether we allow other kinds of faiths to be introduced in Papua New Guinea is the question and that question now needs to be asked.

“For me when they say it’s a Christian country it says God Trinity. That is what I believe in and that is what the constitution is promoting so in the end I want to see if the people of PNG, the Churches and everyone agree that all forms of other religions which are not Christian must be banned from Papua New Guinea.” Governor Agiru said.

“That is the argument I am trying to propose. Because it will be bipartisan, I am proposing that the member for Kundiawa-Gembogl Tobias Kulang be part of the team that the Minister for Community Development, Constitutional Review Commission to carry out this important constitutional question before it is too late.”

“We are a very rich country and yet we still have beggars and hungry people on the street. People are dying every where. I think it is time we bring this country under God.”

“The time is right for us in this ninth Parliament o write a new chapter in the national book. We cannot be people who write footnotes and simple sentences. The constitution of the country has been delivered to us and we now have to take it to the next level.”
PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

BUSINESS/TRADE+:

19) Bougainville compensation demand queried by BCL

Posted at 20:32 on 14 July, 2013 UTC

A group of minority shareholders in Bougainville Copper Ltd says it doesn’t want compensation to be paid as a condition to the re-opening of the Panguna mine.

There is significant support in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province for the mine to re-open and boost the economy, but Bougainvilleans expect the company to pay for rehabilitation and compensation first.

The head of the European shareholders of BCL, Axel Sturm, says they would oppose cash compensation being paid to individuals but would back investment in rebuilding the province’s infrastructure.

“That may be hospitals, schools, roads or whatever, but not in the form of money to single persons who then go away from Bougainville – that we will not back. We are backing everything which is for the benefit of Bougainville, but not for the benefit of single persons on Bougainville.”

Axel Sturm of the European shareholders of BCL

Radio New Zealand International

LAW&ORDER:

20) Australian police officers to aid PNG

Updated 15 July 2013, 14:56 AEST
Liam Cochrane from Port Moresby

50 Australian police officers will be sent to Papua New Guinea by the end of the year to help PNG with law and order problems.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made the announcement at a joint press conference with PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The announcement follows a day after armed soldiers attacked people at the Port Moresby General Hospital hours before Kevin Rudd arrived in the capital for talks with his counterpart.

Both prime ministers also said they would consider the recommendations of a UN report critical of the Manus Island detention centre for asylum seekers.

They have both committed to continuing towards original solution towards people smuggling.

Mr Rudd said infrastructure projects, including work on a highway, will be brought forward by a year and trade minister Richard Marles will be staying on in PNG for further work on trade deals.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

21) New Vanuatu Justice Minister Opposes Death Penalty
Daniel prefers strengthening enforcement of existing laws

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 12, 2013) – The Minister of Justice and Community Services, Toara Daniel, has said that he is opposed to any death penalty law for Vanuatu.

He said he was opposed to the whole idea of the death penalty for serious offenders in the country.

Speaking during a briefing in the offices of the Department of Correctional Services in Port Vila Wednesday morning, the new Minister of Justice and Community Services pointed out that a death penalty law would totally contravene the Constitution of the country.

“Our constitution speaks about respect for our custom and culture – our Melanesian values, respect for Christian principles and faith in God, and respect for the rule of law,” Minister Daniel highlighted.

He said the country should not be talking about killing, but it should be looking at the laws of the country and strengthening the enforcement and compliance mechanisms for the laws.

“We have laws against drinking in public places and against smoking in public places, for example, but we find people still break these laws and we do nothing to make sure these laws are fully adhered to.

“We hear that the recent increase in violent crimes resulting in the loss of innocent lives, are due to young people smoking marijuana, but nothing much seems to be done to stop this behavior,” the Minister of Justice and Community Services said.

Daniel said the country’s answer to dealing with these issues, in his view, is not the death penalty but increased enforcement and compliance for the laws of the country.

He said the law enforcement arms of the Government should do their part to make people respect and keep the laws of the country, adding that the police must do patrols around Port Vila city so that they are seen by the public as enforcers of the laws.

“In New Zealand, Australia and even in Fiji, we hear the police patrol everywhere to ensure law and order is maintained, but in Vanuatu we do not see the police anywhere much even though they request vehicles and we give them these resources,” the Minister of Justice added.

Toara Daniel said as the new Minister of Justice and Community Services he was stating his view on the question of the death penalty as deterrence to murders after various differing views were expressed in the media in recent days.

Following the recent spate of horrendous killings – one of a young mother at Etas who was 8 months pregnant and another young woman found floating in a river on Aneityum, and last weekend the murder of a man from Ambae at Ohlen in Port Vila, the subject of how to stop such senseless killings remerged including the death penalty.

The former Minister of Justice and Community Services, Silas Yatan, warned last week before he was replaced by the current Minister that Government could be forced to consider the death penalty if such heinous murders continued. Members of the public also expressed their views through the media on the subject, with some for the idea while others said the country was yet ready for such a law.

On Tuesday, the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs was reported favoring the death penalty.

No doubt this debate will continue, but like the new minister for justice and community Services others want the country to do something about strengthening law enforcement and compliance.

Yesterday, Minister Toara Daniel, accompanied by the Ministry’s Director General, Mark Bebe, First Political Advisor, Giles Daniel, and other staff members made a visit to the Department of Correctional Services in Port Vila where he met the Director Johnny Marango and his staff. The minister was briefed about the roles and operations of the department during which he made his statement on the death penalty debate.

Later, Minister Daniel and his delegation were taken on a visit to the various correctional centers in the capital. They visited the high risk, medium risk, low risk, no risk and the women’s centers where the minister saw how the detainees lived and he shook hands and spoke to them encouraging them to pray and to know that their families from Torres to Aneityum are always thinking and praying for them.

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

22) New Caledonia prison munity quelled

Posted at 04:06 on 15 July, 2013 UTC

About 100 police in New Caledonia have used rubber bullets and tear gas to quell a mutiny at the Camp Est prison.

The unrest began when 86 inmates refused to return to their cells in protest against the poor conditons at the jail, which has more than twice the number of inmates than the prison was built for.

They set fire to the library and climbed onto the prison roof before they were repelled by the security forces.

Last year, there were two mutinies at the prison which local politicians have described as the worst French-run prison anywhere.

Six inmates are reported to be held in cells of 11 square meters.

A mission sent by the French justice minister deemed the conditions as unacceptable and Paris announced plans to extend the jail by 2016 but the city of Noumea has refused to issue a building permit.

Radio New Zealand International

23) 14 logging company accounts closed in Solomon Islands

Posted at 00:04 on 13 July, 2013 UTC

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands has confirmed that 14 logging company accounts held by commercial banks in the country have been closed.

However the bank says it cannot comment on what prompted the closure of the accounts.

Contrary to a previous report, the Central Bank has clarified that it is not investigating the matter as the accounts were held by either Westpac Banking Coporation, ANZ or Bank South Pacific.

A spokesperson for the Central Bank, Raynick Aquillah, says it has advised the logging companies behind the terminated accounts to stop exporting.

“They have no accounts to receive the export proceeds of logging exports. So the ministry and the Central Bank advised them not to continue export because if they continue to export then the payments for these log export proceeds will come into the country.”

Raynick Aquillah says some of the logging accounts have been closed since November.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickam says a forestry industry source has told her there were concerns regarding how the logging companies behind the closed accounts were operating or whether they were licensed.

Radio New Zealand International

24) Fijians perceive high level of corruption

Posted at 18:46 on 14 July, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s chapter of the corruption watchdog Transparency International says a survey shows many Fijians think businesses, government officials and political parties are corrupt.

TI Fiji was reporting the local findings from the just released Global Corruption Barometer.

Don Wiseman has more:

“The survey involved 1,000 Fijians with 55 percent saying businesses and the private sector are the most corrupt, while half the respondents said political parties were most corrupt. A large number thought public officials were the worst offenders, while others pointed the finger at the police, judges or parliament. A significant portion also found that the education system, NGOs, religious bodies, media, medical health services, and the military were corrupt. TI Fiji’s chairman, Apisalome Tudreu, says the information is not unexpected but the challenge is to determine just what people mean by corruption. He says Fiji has legislation targetting corruption, is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, has its own Independent Commission against Corruption but must take the Global Corruption Barometer information seriously.”

Radio New Zealand International

25) Senior US navy officer expects China to soon be part of regional war games
By Online Editor
11:33 am GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Australia

The head of the powerful US Seventh Fleet says he believes it will not be long before Australia and the US join with China for three-way naval exercises in the Pacific.

The comments from Vice Admiral Scott Swift come at the start of one of the biggest joint Australian-US military exercises, known as Talisman Sabre.

Vice Admiral Swift sailed in to Sydney Harbour today on board the USS Blue Ridge to command the training activity.

Talisman Sabre is a biannual military exercise but it has gained even more significance as the Obama administration continues its so-called pivot to the Asia-Pacific.

Vice Admiral Swift says this refocus should not be seen as simply as an effort to contain China’s regional ambitions.

He says it will not be long before China is included in the regional war games and three-way exercises including US, Australia and China are likely.

“Absolutely, it’s a foregone conclusion. The question is when it occurs and I think it will occur much sooner than anyone is predicting,” he said.

Talisman Sabre kicks off tomorrow when a total of 27,000 US and Australian troops will be involved in various military exercise throughout the Pacific over the next two weeks.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

26) Soldiers attack students in PNG

By Online Editor
11:34 am GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

A dental student has been seriously injured when a group of more than 30 soldiers armed with bush knives, iron bars and firearms attacked students at the Port Morseby General Hospital.

Papua New Guinea police have condemned the attack, which happened at about 1pm local time, and say it is a likely retaliation for an earlier incident.

The incident happened just hours before Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd flew into Port Moresby to hold discussions on PNG’s widespread law- and-order problems with his counterpart Peter O’Neill.

“This is totally uncalled for and unacceptable behaviour by members of a disciplined organisation,” Acting Police Commissioner Simon Kauba said in a statement on Sunday.

He said he had contacted PNG Defence Force officials, and that Military Police and National Capital District police are now investigating the incident.

“I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms and will ensure that it is thoroughly investigated and those responsible will face the full force of the law,” Kauba said.

Driving a Toyota flattop, the soldiers broke down the gates of the hospital and began their assault. At least six gun shots were fired during the attack.

The soldiers allege they were attacked by the students during a dispute over the use of an ATM at the hospital on Friday night.

Police were called on Saturday to talk down the soldiers and students after they converged on the hospital grounds.

“We advised the soldiers to lay a formal complaint so that the attackers can be identified and arrested,” Kauba said.

Kauba said it was unfortunate when soldiers attack the very people they have sworn to protect and defend.

Last month four Chinese nationals were stabbed to death not far from the central business district in Port Moresby. In early June a rogue group of police officers slashed the Achilles tendons of 70 men in a revenge attack over an earlier fight. Mr Rudd told reporters in Cairns on Sunday law and order in PNG concerned him.

“I am going to be talking to (Mr O’Neill) about what we can do to enhance our cooperation there.” Australia has already agreed to enhance police training, while Mr O’Neill has entered talks with Queensland for an exchange of 150 police. Bond University criminologist Terry Goldsworthy this week poured cold water on the Queensland plan.

“They have the massive policing task of G20, they’ve just gotten rid of 25 per cent of the state’s most senior officers in the restructure and they’re sending officers to PNG,” he told Queensland’s Courier Mail on Saturday. “I think it’s going to be a real challenge.”.
SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

27) Kiribati facing challenges in educating on climate change and disasters

Posted at 18:46 on 14 July, 2013 UTC

The Kiribati education ministry says there are many problems obstructing climate change and disaster education.

A curriculum development officer Teeta Kabiriera says there are no experts to work with curriculum writers so that resources can be developed on climate change information.

He also says teachers are lacking and aren’t equipped to teach these topics.

Mr Kabiriera says there is a development plan but the curriculum at the teachers college should be improved.

He told the joint climate change and disaster risk meeting in Fiji that the teachers college focuses only on numeracy and literacy.

“We don’t have enough resources to help the students of Kiribati to learn about climate change and DRM. Teachers and lecturers we find difficulties to teach. So I think it is really a matter of urgency that we need to build capacity of tutoring to our teachers and lecturers.”

Teeta Kabiriera says poor conditions in classrooms are another barrier to proper education.

Radio New Zealand International

28) New Caledonia rain damage assessed at US$11m

Posted at 18:46 on 14 July, 2013 UTC

The authorities in New Caledonia have assessed the damage caused by record rainfall at the beginning of the month at 11 million US dollars.

Some townships on the main island’s east coast received up to 700 millimetres of rain in one day, causing substantial losses to agriculture in areas already hit by the aftermath of Cyclone Frida in January.

Flooding in Thio has also been blamed on the silting of the local river as a result of decades of mining.

People angry at losing their homes have been assured that dredging work will now be done.

Reports from Yate say fish died in the bay, presumably because the water lost too much salinity.
Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:


29a) Flying Fijians to face Cook Islands in RWC qualifier
By Online Editor
4:18 pm GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Papua New GuineaThe Cook Islands are one win away from securing a place at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England after defeating Papua New Guinea 37-31 to claim the 2013 Oceania Cup.

The Cook Islands, who have never appeared at a World Cup, will now play Fiji next year for a place at the sport’s showpiece event.

The winner of that match will qualify as Oceania One and will join Australia, hosts England, Wales and the Play-off winner in Pool A.

In front of a capacity crowd of just over 7,000 in Port Moresby, the Cooks delivered a composed performance in a thrilling match to come back from 12-3 down late in the first half to go into the interval with a 12-15 lead thanks to two quick tries from Jacob Masters and Ioane Ioane.

The second half was no less dramatic and despite the Cook Islands racing into a 29-12 lead with a quarter of the match to go, four tries in the final quarter from the home side, including a fine score from Butler Morris in the final minute, meant that the Cook Islands’ passage was not secure until the referee blew for full time.

SOURCE: ESPN/PACNEWS

30) Fiji hockey teams improve world ranking
By Online Editor
4:19 pm GMT+12, 15/07/2013, Fiji

Fiji Hockey president Dr Robin Mitchell is delighted with the latest world hockey rankings released by International Hockey Federation.

The Fiji Women have climbed eight places and Fiji Men’s Hockey team rose from 71 to 55th in the world..
The updated rankings were released following Round 3 of the FIH Hockey World League matches which were played last month (June).

“Fiji Hockey was surprised at the big jump in our international ranking but very proud of this achievement which was the result of the hard work put in over the past years by our High Performance Unit, our National teams and their coaching and management support staff.

“We were very supportive of the introduction of the new FIH World Hockey League which was launched in 2012 as it gave teams ranked above the top 20 in the world, a better competitive pathway to improve our international ranking in the world playing against teams of standard that were not too far beyond where we thought we should be ranked.

In Oceania, Australia and New Zealand are consistently ranked in the top 6 countries in the world which makes it difficult for smaller countries like Fiji to progress in international competition.

“As a result of our experience in hosting World Series round 1 in December 2012 and participating in Round 2 in New Delhi in February 2013, Fiji has applied for and has been confirmed as a host for the 2014 FIH World League round 1 tentatively scheduled for July 2014.

“This is the first stage of the qualifying competition for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.”
The Fiji Women’s team are ranked equal 51 with Nigeria, and have moved above Hong Kong, Bermuda, Venezuela, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Egypt and Paraguay.

Other Oceania countries ranking sees New Zealand women at 3, Australia 6, Samoa 60, Papua New Guinea 61 and Vanuatu 63.

In the Men’s rankings, Fiji has moved above Greece to 56, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Morocco, Georgia, Cyprus, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Nigeria, Brunei, Jamaica, Denmark, Panama and Guatemala.

Australia is the top Oceania country and is ranked 2 in the World, New Zealand at 5, Papua New Guinea 69, Samoa 72 and Vanuatu 74.

Both Australia and New Zealand have qualified for the finals of the 2014 World Cup which will be held in the Netherland in 2014 following their recent participation in the FIH Hockey World Series Round 3”.

SOURCE: PACNEWS

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