Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 830
1) Indonesian foreign minister says he supports ‘greater access’ to Papua provinces
By Online Editor
3:35 pm GMT+12, 16/07/2013, IndonesiaIndonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says he supports journalists and non-government organisations having greater access to the country’s Papua and West Papua provinces.
Natalegawa has told the ABC’s Newsline the security situation in the provinces remains Indonesia’s “only concern”.
“Our concern is an issue of security and safety,” he said.
“There are elements in Papua who are keen to obtain international attention by bringing harm to international personalities including journalists.”
The Free Papua Movement has accused the Indonesian military of frequent human rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papua and West Papua provinces.
Natalegawa says foreign media assume the worst when covering such allegations.
“The assumption is always the worst, because they have not been able to obtain access, at least not as much as they would like,” he said.
“The assumption is that things are actually in a bad state when in fact it isn’t like that.”
He says Indonesia is not trying to stop the flow of information out the two provinces.
“We are going to work on this,” he said. “The data shows those who have applied on the whole have managed to have access, but if there are still cases that need to be looked at, then do let me know.”
“I think very much now the principle is, the idea is having greater access to the provinces.”.
2) MSG’s Support For Fiji Regime Criticized By Party
The UFDF, which comprises four political parties and the Council of Trade Unions, says once a democratically elected government is in place, Fiji’s MSG membership must be reviewed.
Until last month, Fiji’s regime held the MSG chair and it continues to enjoy strong support from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Johnny Blades reports:
PNG’s government recently announced it would provide over US$11 million to assist Fiji prepare for elections in 2014. This sum dwarfs election assistance packages from Australia and New Zealand, traditional partners who Fiji’s regime has been increasingly turning away from. While the Pacific Islands Forum suspended Fiji in 2009 over failed promises for holding elections, the MSG has given Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s regime considerable leeway. Fiji academic Dr. Brij Lal says the regime uses the reception it gets in the MSG for its own domestic propaganda purposes, especially in pitting Melanesia against Australia and New Zealand. He thinks MSG governments have little clue about what’s going on in Fiji.
“In many ways, what is happening in Fiji is a transgression of the very principles and values for which the MSG purports to stand: democracy, dialogue, discussion… But what is happening in Fiji is in complete contrast to those principles,” Lal said.PNG’s former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare epitomizes MSG support for Fiji’s regime. Sir Michael has urged MSG leaders to resist taking the moral high ground to criticize Fiji’s slow return to parliamentary democracy.
“I think let’s all work together to make sure that we have support. I’m sure that we will support each other in the region. When Fiji had their problems, we were there. Papua New Guinea is always there. And I can assure you, when we are a united people you can beat your enemy. Your enemy is people who feel that they govern you,” Somare said.
UFDF coordinator, Mick Beddoes, says Sir Michael’s stand is disappointing. Mr. Beddoes supports engagement by the international community with the Fiji regime but feels MSG members have failed to use their influence to bring about democratic change and only talk to the regime rather than other political players in Fiji.
“They have not engaged the regime, they have embraced it. And that’s where they’ve gone wrong. And until the MSG leaders wake up and realize that why they may feel what they’re doing for the moment suits their interests, they should be looking further afield when we do return to a democratic rule. And we will return to democracy. The future government of Fiji will definitely review its position as a member of the MSG because the MSG leaders have proven, in times of difficulty, they’re the first ones to abandon the country that’s in trouble,” Beddoes said.
The UFDF also objects to the MSG being the only international organization invited by Fiji’s regime to send an observer mission for next year’s planned election. The UFDF believes observers should be confined to the UN, the Commonwealth, the European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
3) Witness was not “treated” with kava by Wright
Posted on July 16, 2013
The trial in the Attorney General Ismael Kalsakau’s Port Vila Electoral Petition that has attracted nation -wide attention ended Saturday with a witness claiming he was not bought kava by Port Vila MP, Sports Minister Tony Wright.
“There was no kava. MP Wright did not give money to boys for kava after the meeting,” a witness produced by Wright’s counsel Ronald Warsal told Justice Robert Spears Saturday morning in the Supreme Court.
Union of Moderate Parties chairman in Seaside Tongoa, Mr Ivon Willie denied AG’s counsel Avock Gordon questions he was offered kava by the proposed UMP candidate in the 2012 Elections saying it “is not true and all a lie”.
And counsel Gordon said there were kava bars within the vicinity but when he questioned whether the UMP Seaside chairman had kava sometime that night Mr Willie said; “No. I was too tired.”
Port Vila MPs; Minister Wright, Prime Minister Moana Carcasses and Internal Affairs Minister Patrick Crowby are being accused of bribery and treating which are offences under section 45 and 46 respectively in the Representation of the People Act.
If AG’s counsel Gordon could produce evidence in Court the three leaders violated the provisions of the People’s Representation Act in Court there could be a likelihood the constituency of Port Vila would go to by-elections.
But in Court last Saturday when the last witness in the trial relating to the accusations of bribery and treating it seemed difficult to establish if Mr Willie illegally had kava with Minister Wright and UMP supporters six days before the National Elections.
However, Mr Gordon in Court managed to show from evidence of Electoral Officer registration assistant Irene Iakare that there is no checks and balances on the electoral cards issued by that Office.
For instance it was produced in Court that a woman named Georgina Kora obtained a “blue card” and a “red card” but all Mrs Iakare said in her defense was that the recipients of the cards were not being honest.
“The red cards could have been returned otherwise the person (who received the blue card) was being dishonest,” Iakare told the Court when counsel Gordon put it to her that how could the Electoral Office issue a “blue card” (for Efate voters) as well as “red card” ( for Port Vila voters) to the same person.http://www.dailypost.
4) Fiji political parties’ complaint addressed by Commission today
Posted at 23:08 on 15 July, 2013 UTC
Fiji’s Commerce Commission is expected to make a decision today on the official complaint of the three political parties regarding the advertising cost of the declaration of their assets and liabilities.
Last week, three of Fiji’s four political parties were sent a 14,000 US dollar bill from the newspaper through the registrar of political parties, Mohammed Saneem, for publishing their party asset declarations in June.
Yesterday was the deadline for the National Federation Party, the Social Democratic and Liberal Party and the Fiji Labour Party to pay for the publication costs.
SODELPA managed to raise funds over the weekend and paid its bill.
The National Federation Party President, Raman Pratap Singh said the NFP also paid for the publication of their declaration of assets and liabilities.
However Mr Singh said they are now awaiting the determination of the Commerce Commission.
Mr Singh has also written to the Registrar of Political Parties, saying that the Registrar’s argument that NFP did not object to the publication in the Fiji Sun is illogical.
Meanwhile the Fiji Labour Party is awaiting decision from the Commerce Commission in relation to their payment.
It has been confirmed that the Labour Party has been billed over 3,000 US dollars for the publication.
5) Sex scandal puts Tonga’s Democratic Party in the spotlight
By Online Editor
10:18 am GMT+12, 16/07/2013, TongaThe Leader of Tonga’s Democratic Party, ‘Akilisi Pohiva has launched an internal investigation into a claim that two of the Party’s members involved in a sex scandal.
The Party has not released the names of the two members and no disciplinary action reported.
The local Kele’a Newspaper said the duo have allegedly fathered children with two women respectively.
The report said such activity is a violation of the Democratic Party’s code of conduct and the memorandum of understanding signed by members since the Party was formally established in 2010.
Members have to behave with integrity and always to be seen as role models, it says.
Pohiva has always made it clear he would not tolerate seeing his colleagues failed to observe moral and professional behaviours while they are in the position to fight against any improprieties and corruptions made by government leaders.
The news came after the Party formally lodged a complaint with the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano over an allegation that his deputy Samiu Vaipulu was involved in a sexual misconduct with one of the government’s women CEOs during a cocktail party in Vava’u early this year.
The Prime Minister declined to take action saying the Party failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that his deputy committed such behaviour.
The Party previously warned that if the Prime Minister refused to take action on their complaint they would seek the king’s intervention.
Last year Pohiva became furious following a heated debate that broke out in Parliament between him and the deputy Prime Minister. Pohiva told the deputy to “shut his mouth” citing an accident that involved Vaipulu with a lover.
6a) PNG i lukluk long senisim Mama loa long vout ov no konfidans
Updated 16 July 2013, 12:40 AEST
Gavman blong Praim Minista Peter O’Neill, itok emi gat laik long mekim senis long sections 124 na 125 long Papua New Guinea Constitution oa mama loa.
Odio: Gary Juffa PNG Oro provinsal Gavana
Dispela i bilong givim gavman longpela taim winim 30 mun grace period long vote ov no konfidans long Praim Minista.
Dispela i bin mekim oposisen ino wanbel liklik na oli askim sapos Praim Minista i gat interest bilong kanri long lewa bilog em long mekim dispela senis.
Oli tok, em nau i gat bikpela namba bilong ol Memba bilong Palamen long sait bilong em na ino gat nid bilong mekim senis long tupela hap bilong mama lo.
Long stat blong despla yia Palaman ibin senisim na oraetim loa blong surikim taem we oli ken kamapim ovut ov no konfidans igo long wanpla ten eit mun-na despla i min olsem gavman isave gat taem blong kisim sapot long ol narapla memba blong larim gavman i ronim kantri.
Taem despla senis ibin kamap, Praim Minista O’Neill ibin tok olsem senis ino blong strongim paua blong en, tasol blong lukim olsem ol wok blong ronim kantri istap strong na wok blong lukautim ol pipal istap gut tu.
Gavana bilong Oro Provins igat ol tingting blong en iet long despla ol nupla senis em gavman iwok long mekim nau.http://www.radioaustralia.
Updated 16 July 2013, 10:50 AEST
Foran Minista blong Indonesia Marty Natalegawa itok emi sapotim tingting blong larim ol niusman-meri igo long Papua provins.
Vidio: Indonesian Foreign Minister opposes turning back asylum seeker boats
Mr Natalegawa itokim Newslineprogrem blong ABC olsem wanpla bikpla wari blong Indonesia gavman em ol wok sekiuriti oa wok lukaut long Papua provins.
Emi tok wari blong sekiuriti na sefti blong ol pipal em oli tingting tumas long en.
Emi tok tu olsem igat sampla laen long west Papua husat inap kamapim sampla trabal blong kisim bikpla luksave ikam long ol narapla kantri, na wanpla samting em oli ken iusim ol long kisim despla luksave em blong kamapim heve long ol niusman-meri oa journalists.
Laen blong Free Papua Movement iwok long sutim ol strongpla toktok egensim ol laen militari blong Indonesia olsem oli save paitim nogut na kilim ol pipal blong West Papua.
Mr Natalegawa itok ol niusman-meri blong ol narapla kantri isave ting na bilip olsem taem Indonesia ino save larim igo insaet long West papua olse ting olsem Indonesia i laik haitim ol nogutpla pasin oa human rights abuse long Papua provins.
Tasol Mr Natalegawa ol despla kaen tingting na toktok ino stret.
Long ol yiar 1960’s Indonesia ibin kisim nating West Papua aninit long wanpla vout em oli bin kolim long Act of Free Choice, tasol planti West Papua pipal itok oli no laik stap aninit long gavman blong Indonesia na oli laik bruk lusim Indonesia.
Long ol narapla samting olsem tingting blong tanim ol asailam sika bot igo bek long Indonesia, Mr Natalegawa itok emi no wanbel wantem despla kaen toktok.http://www.
Terbit 16 July 2013, 11:30 AEST
Menteri Luar Negeri Marty Natalegawa mengatakan, ia mendukung jurnalis diberi akses lebih besar ke Papua dan Papua Barat.
Natalegawa mengatakan kepada Newsline ABC, situasi keamanan di kedua provinsi itu adalah ‘satu-satunya keprihatinan’ di Indonesia.
“Keprihatinan kami adalah issue keamanan dan safety,” katanya.
“Ada unsur-unsur di Papua yang ingin mendapat perhatian internasional dengan menyerang kalangan internasional termasuk jurnalis.”
Gerakan Papua Merdeka menuduh TNI sering melakukan pelanggaran HAM di Papua dan Papua Barat.
Natalegawa mengatakan, media asing berasumsi yang terburuk pada waktu meliput tuduhan seperti itu.
“Asumsinya selalu yang terburuk, karena mereka tidak diberi akses, atau tidak sebesar yang mereka inginkan,” katanya.
“Asumsinya adalah bahwa keadaannya benar-benar buruk padahal tidak demikian.”
Ia mengatakan, Indonesia tidak sedang berusaha mencegah arus informasi keluar dari dua provinsi itu.
“Kami akan berusaha,” katanya. “Menurut data, mereka yang meminta ijin umumnya berhasil mendapatkan akses, tapi jika masih ada kasus-kasus yang perlu diperiksa, beritahukan kepada saya.”
“Prinsipnya sekarang adalah memberi akses lebih besar ke dua provinsi itu.”http://www.
8a) Kevin Rudd en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée
Mis à jour 16 July 2013, 9:08 AEST
Les demandeurs d’asile et les relations commerciales entre les deux pays sont au centre de cette visite de 2 jours du Premier ministre australien.
L’État de droit est aussi une question incontournable. Quelques heures avant l’arrivée du Premier ministre australien le dimanche 14 juillet, 30 militaires papous armés de machettes, de barres de fer et d’armes à feu ont attaqué des étudiants à l’hôpital général de Port Moresby, la capitale.
Les militaires voulaient se venger d’une altercation précédente avec les étudiants en question. Les soldats ont cassé les portes de l’hôpital, des coups de feu ont été tirés et un étudiant en médecine dentaire a été sérieusement blessé.
Simon Kauba, l’adjoint au chef des forces de police, a qualifié cette attaque d’inacceptable et a promis que les fautifs seraient punis.
Lors d’une conférence de presse conjointe avec son homologue papou, Kevin Rudd a annoncé l’envoi de 50 policiers australiens avant la fin de l’année pour aider les forces de la police locale à faire respecter l’État de droit. Une décision bien accueillie par le Premier ministre papou, Peter O’Neill.
O’NEILL : « C’est un bon départ, un bon départ dans le sens où nous avons besoin de reconstruire la capacité des forces de police de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Nous sommes tous au courant des défis que nous avons ici et je pense que l’aide d’un personnel expérimenté et bien entraîné sur le terrain fera sans nul doute la différence en matière de maintien de l’État de droit dans nos villes et notre pays. »
Kevin Rudd et Peter O’Neill ont ainsi indiqué leur intention de prendre en considération les recommandations d’un récent rapport critique des Nations Unies sur les conditions de détention dans le centre de détention pour demandeurs d’asile du gouvernement australien sur l’île de Manus en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Les deux hommes se sont entendus pour continuer à travailler afin de trouver une solution régionale au problème des passeurs de demandeurs d’asile.
Pour le Premier le Premier australien, il faut : « Une réponse régionale commune pour réduire le fléau du trafic des êtres humains.
M. Rudd est accompagné par son ministre du Commerce, Richard Marles, l’ancien secrétaire d’État aux Affaires du Pacifique, qui restera sur place pour des discussions supplémentaires en matière de commerce avec en toile de fond, le projet d’exploitation de gaz naturel liquéfié de plusieurs milliards de dollars en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.http://www.
Mis à jour 16 July 2013, 8:56 AEST
L’ambassadeur de France a tenu à féliciter le gouvernement de Franck Bainimarama, le Premier ministre fidjien.
Lors d’un discours prononcé le vendredi 12 juillet à l’occasion des célébrations de la fête nationale française du 14 juillet, l’ambassadeur de France, Gilles Montagnier, a indiqué que même s’il n’est pas du ressort du représentant d’une nation étrangère de s’ingérer dans la politique intérieure d’un pays ami, la France est satisfaite des actions prises par l’actuel gouvernement pour organiser des élections libres et transparentes en 2014.
Des élections, selon M. Montagnier, qui reposent sur un principe reconnu par toutes les démocraties : une personne, une voix.
M. Montagnier a également souligné le manque de considération affiché par une minorité à propos de la Polynésie française, une minorité qui s’ingère dans les affaires intérieures de la France.
À ce propos, Gilles Montagnier a salué le gouvernement fidjien pour son attitude équilibrée quand il est question des affaires politiques intérieures de la France.
Posted on July 16, 2013
The Ministry of Health is now experiencing its worst nightmare ever.
The recent ousting of the Mr Aru as DG and the appointment of his successor Mr Santus Wari is a slap on the health sector and the people of Vanuatu whom we serve. The caliber for which these two people are able to run the health sector is nowhere near to each other, a clinician verses an administrator with masters.
This brings into question the ability of the current health minister or the prime minister and their advices their ability to make precise decisions.
The people of Vanuatu have the right to know that one of the setbacks to basic health services delivery in the country is the continuous poor government decisions to appoint and remove DGs of health. Veteran Director General or the most wanted DG Mr Mark Bebe did not last in the ministry of health, now it is Mr Howard Aru. These are two of those experts, qualified with good intentions and are fit to run one of these biggest ministries in the country. They never last or at least served half their terms in office.
It is obvious now that these politicians have their own agendas and it is nothing more than meeting the demand of their cronies. Sad to say but this is the only reason why of all ministries, health is not moving forward as is expected.
Mr Wari, failed UMP candidate for Luganville in the last general election, newly appointed DG for health. Since minister Vohor took office, you gave up the work you are paid to do to serve the people of the Northern Province and was so close to the minister since then, I think you have achieved the only reason you sacrificed the people of north for… whatever your motives are in leading health be mindful, when God is not on your side you will not win.
Very concerned health advocator. http://www.dailypost.vu/
10) Animal-Transmitted Disease Reported In Solomon Islands
By Denver Newter
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 16, 2013) – An animal disease known as Rickettsia Felis which is connected to cat-fleas has been suspected in Santa Cruz, Temotu province, in the Solomon Islands. The disease can cause a high fever.
Speaking to the Solomon Star in Lata last week a World Health Organization (WHO) technical officer Mathew Shortus said there are patients who have been suspected of acquiring the disease.
Mr. Shortus who worked with the WHO in Honiara and ministry of health and medical services said blood samples from animals around the villages situated close to Lata station have been collected and sent over to France for analysis.
But he said they suspect the presence of disease.
“In our reports this disease is only present in Santa Cruz and not elsewhere around Solomon Islands,” Mr. Shortus said.
Last week Mr. Shortus and an animal/insect expert from the Philippines kicked off a weeklong investigation on Rickettsia felis in Lata station and surrounding villages in Santa Cruz to get more details about this suspected disease.
The two experts visited villages around Santa Cruz and killed rats, cats and other animals to collect blood samples from animals to send overseas for verification.
Mr. Shortus said the investigation was carried out due as more people develop high fever.
He said although a lot of these people have undergone malaria tests their results turned negative.
“So we suspect they have may this disease,” he said.
Mr. Shortus said the disease is being spread by unclean animals which lived along with the humans inside their homes and around them.
The WHO officer therefore urged people in Santa Cruz to clean their homes and surrounding and avoid keeping animals which are unclean to avoid such disease.
The province in February was hit by an earthquake and tsunami disaster and is currently going through recovery stage.
Attempts to get the permanent secretary of the ministry of health and medical services (MHMS) Dr. Lester Ross yesterday to verify this suspected disease were unsuccessful.
According to medical records the first human infection with Rickettsia felis was in 1994 from a cat flea and showed signs that were similar to the symptoms of murine typhus.
11) Australia to boost PNG health sector
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced yesterday that the Australian Government will increase support for health and hospitals in Papua New Guinea to help save lives.
12) CNMI Called To Release Compact Funds For Education
SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 16, 2013) – The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ education officials want the Inos administration to release the supplemental compact impact funds earmarked for education so that school repairs could start soon this summer.
This compact impact fund totals $375,000 and the Public School System (PSS) plans to use the money for a number of projects that will help schools prepare for the opening of the new school year in two months.
In a joint letter to Gov. Eloy S. Inos, Board of Education chair Herman T. Guerrero and Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D., described the summer period as the perfect time to undertake the many repairs needed in schools.
“This summer we are doing the work to combine Gregorio T. Camacho (GTC) Elementary School and Tanapag Elementary School into a consolidated K-5 school at GTC. We are also transforming Tanapag into a middle school serving students grades 6, 7, and 8 from As Matuis, San Roque, Tanapag, [Capital] Hill, Navy Hill, Puerto Rico and Garapan,” the two said in their letter.
They said the merger and reconfiguration of these schools will help alleviate the overcrowding at Hopwood Junior High School and will create a middle school in the northern sector of Saipan.
The board has yet to actually decide on the planned merger but it is expected to make the decision before the start of the new school year.
“We need the supplemental compact impact funds for the many repairs required to prepare these two schools for their new student populations as GTC will increase from 212 to 374 students and Tanapag will serve between 260 and 310 students,” according to Sablan.
Based on the spending plan prepared by PSS, $100,000 will be used for urgently needed renovations and repairs at schools.
Another $158,000 will be used to pay IT&E for school telecommunication costs and $60,000 will be used to print educational materials.
A total of $57,000 will be used to partially pay the Retirement Fund for the employer share of PSS.
Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com
13) Vanuatu Retail Business License Applications Stopped
By Jane Joshua
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 15, 2013) – All new and variation applications in Vanuatu’s Wholesale and Retail Sector have been temporarily stopped as of July 4, 2013.
“There are 400 wholesale/retail outlets which fall under the D2 category in Vanuatu,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) Smith Tebu told Daily Post.
“This provides employment to over 1,000 locals and 200-plus foreigners who work in these businesses. This is the overall D2 Business license, encompassing tourism businesses, Chinese shops and other business licenses which fall in this category.
“When it comes to specifications, there are 200 wholesale/retail shops, these are dominated by Chinese. Chinese dominated 49% of wholesale/retail investments since 1998.
“The Wholesale/retail investments provide employment to 500 plus locals and more than 50 foreigners, indicating they contributed 18% to the overall employment in Vanuatu.
“The Services sector is the major contributing sector to the overall economy where tourism is the major sector.
”But in terms of employment, the wholesale and retail sector on its own provides more employment to the people than the tourism sector.”
Meanwhile the temporary hold was issued through the Ministerial Policy Directive by Prime Minister Moana Carcasses as Acting Minister of Trades and Tourism, through the VIPA Board and VIPA Authority, levying a temporary hold on investments until the new National Investment Law is approved by the Parliament and the Reserved Investment List is fully reviewed in the upcoming Parliament session.
[PIR editor’s note: Carcasses explained that his decision was to allow indigenous Vanuatu citizens more opportunities to access the retail sector as business owners, although he did not elaborate further.]
VIPA has hailed the ministerial directive as ‘timely’ and says amendments to review the investment law have been accomplished by VIPA with the assistance of World Bank via the International Finance Corporation.
Once passed in Parliament it would mandate VIPA to review its existing Reserve Investment List.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
14) Australia looking to up trade
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
AUSTRALIA is committed to increasing the current level of trade and investment with Papua New Guinea from AUSD7 billion up to a new level in future, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said yesterday.
15) Gooding: Ramu nickel project in full swing
The Ramu nickel cobalt project is progressing through ramp up and is producing at a maximum rate of about 40%, Highlands Pacific managing director John Gooding says.
He said the maximum rate or nameplate capacity of the Ramu NiCo project is 31,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,300 tonnes of cobalt contained in a hydroxide product.
Highlands Pacific holds multiple commodity assets in Papua New Guinea including the Frieda copper project and the Ramu nickel project.
If developed, Frieda will become PNG’s largest copper project where Highlands has a stake of 18.18%.
Its partner is Xstrata, which free carried through Highlands for US$270 million (K598.67 million).
The resource there is estimated to be around 2.8 billion tonnes for 13 million tonnes copper and 20 million ounces gold.
Highlands Pacific also has an 8.56% interest in the US$1.5 billion (K3.3 billion) Ramu nickel cobalt project.
Gooding told The National in Port Moresby last week that “Frieda River work continues on the project … however, the new merged entity Glencore Xstrata has recently stated that they will not develop greenfields’ projects at present and are seeking interested parties for both the Frieda River project and the Tampakan project in the Philippines.
“At the Star Mountains project, some field work continue while drilling has ceased for a period, with expectations that the previous good results obtained in this new porphyry province would enable drilling to be recommenced in the future.
“Unfortunately the resource markets are suffering at present and most mining and exploration organisations have to review how they are doing things.
“But the industry is cyclic and we shouldn’t forget that,” he added.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
16) Dispute halts rice farming in Solomon Islands
Land dispute has hampered government plans to revive large-scale rice farming on the Guadalcanal plains.
Commercial rice-farming by Brewers Solomons Association (BSA) on the plains stopped in 1986 after cyclone Namu hit the area.
Senior officer of the ministry of agriculture and livestock said they want to revive rice farming there but land dispute is putting things on hold.
He says they’ve already moved in there to lay the ground work after consultations with landowners.
“But this could not continue due to land disputes that arise when we moved in there to start the project,” Officer said.
He said reviving large scale rice production is the only solution to cutting our annual huge import bill on rice.
The ministry had already entered into a joint agreement with landowners to redevelop the land.
“The plan is for the ministry to provide the necessary equipment and other support services while the landowners do the farming,” he said.
Guadalcanal premier Stephen Panga said he was aware of the plan to revive large-scale rice farming there but this could not eventuate due to land dispute.
Panga said his executive would definitely support a project of this size.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
17) Wabag MP Challenges 1977 PNG Tribal Fighting Law
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 15, 2013) – Thousands of lives killed and properties worth millions of kina go up in smoke in tribal fights because of loopholes created by Papua New Guinea’s national government.
The Member for Wabag, Robert Ganim, calls on the government to amend Group Fights Act 1977 to cure the loopholes in the Act so properties developed through hard means and lives are protected from tribal fights.
Mr. Ganim expressed this concern during question time in parliament last Friday.
He said in order for the court to proceed and have teeth to deal with matters brought forth under the Act the provincial government must first meet and declare the area a “fighting zone.”
Mr. Ganim said since 1977 following the adoption of the Inter-Group Fighting Act, thousands of lives had been lost and properties worth millions of kina had been destroyed (especially in the highlands region where tribal fights are rife).
“The growing focus on law and order especially in the highlands region has become a major policy challenge for decision-makers since early 1970s. The Inter-group Fighting Act of 1977 has been one of these laws that were introduced in that respect. Yet it is one of the least enforced laws in the country since that time on, all at the expense of tribal fighting which is still a common occurrence in the highlands to date,” he explained.
Mr. Ganim said on March 25th 2013, You Tube (internet) posted a story by Media Niugini or EMTV that Wabag District Court dismissed a matter brought forth by Wabag Police who had apprehended and charged 49 men for fighting.
“The 49 men were from two clans fighting against another clan in Wabag resulting in deaths and destruction of properties. The presiding Magistrate dismissed the case that set the 49 men to walk out free from his court room because he could not establish from the Wabag Police a ‘Fighting Zone’ declaration or by Enga Provincial Government as the issuing authority,” he said.
Mr. Ganim asked the Minster for Justice and Attorney General and the Minster for Police and Internal Security to direct the Constitutional Law Reform Commission to re-visit the Act and commission an investigation with multi-partisan approach and wide terms of reference.
He urged the government to act swiftly to fix the loopholes in the Act so that it can empower police force not only to intervene in a tribal fight situation but also with powers to prosecute in the court of Law.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Kerenga Kua, agreed that tribal fights was an issue of concern and it would take him sometime to look into the Act.
Mr. Kua said the government would take appropriate action if there is a need to amend the Act.
PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
18) Vanuatu Commission ‘Alarmed’ By Citizenship Fast-Tracking
By Bob Makin
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 15, 2013) – The recently appointed Vanuatu Citizenship Commission, headed by Father Ephraim Matthias, has been alarmed by the discoveries it has made concerning misuse of the provisions for citizenship.
The Commission is anxious to restore this award of the State of Vanuatu to its former distinction. The court and press records of citizenship being “fast-tracked” for certain individuals not entitled to it have been a subject of great concern to Commissioners.
The Commission is determined to ensure all its decisions are completely transparent, as required by President Abbil, and it hopes to meet soon with the newly appointed Commission of Inquiry into the earlier sales of passports.
A recent news item carried by Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) referred to the holders of Vanuatu passports, and Foreign Minister Natapei was interviewed. He revealed that there are foreign nationals who have been issued with green Vanuatu passports who have never been in the country and he pointed out that every application for citizenship needs ten years of residence to be legal.
In the matter of the sailing vessel, Phocea, for example, there were two persons issued with Vanuatu citizenship who had only been in the country a matter of days and certainly not ten years.
RNZI also had a question for Minister Natapei concerning diplomatic passports. Natapei revealed that only 12 of the alleged 99 overseas passports had been revoked. RNZI spoke of Pascal Anh Quan Saken and asked whether his diplomatic status had been revoked. Natapei answered: “Yes, it has been revoked, so we are still following up on the passport to see if we can get it back from him. We have not been able to talk to him and organize the return of documents he has.”
RNZI: “Isn’t there just a process whereby other countries’ borders are notified?”
Natapei: “Yes. We have sent out information to that effect, so if he travels using a Vanuatu passport he will be asked to return the passport.”
The holders of illegal passports of any kind will be the subject of the Commission of Inquiry announced on Monday and headed by Mr. Kiel Loughman. They are to be especially concerned with the sale of passports. Names of politicians and non-politicians involved in trafficking in passports are intended to be released by this Commission.
The Citizenship Commission was pleased to learn of the appointment of the Inquiry into passport sales and is making efforts to meet at the earliest opportunity and discuss matters of mutual concern.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
19) Fiji army and police bands help Solomons police tackle crime
Posted at 01:47 on 16 July, 2013 UTC
Fiji’s military and police bands have been helping police in Solomon Islands tackle community crime in the capital, Honiara.
The bands were part of a Fiji contingent of 200 who accompanied the prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama in his visit to mark the country’s 35th independence anniversary.
The Guadalcanal police commander says alcohol-related crime is a serious problem and especially bad among young people, many of whom are unemployed.
David Diosi says the director of community policing and the Honiara city police commander came up with an idea of how the force could use the bands to raise community awareness around the issue.
“What they’ve come up with is for them just to perform and attract a crowd in some of these renowned locations for big communities and then we are the ones who actually do the talking.”
David Diosi says the Fiji soldiers and police also did other volunteer work, such as cleaning up rubbish.
Radio New Zealand International
20) 50 Aussie cops bound for PNG
FIFTY Australian Federal police personnel will be deployed to PNG by the end of the year to assist with capacity building in PNG police to address law and order problems in the country.
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:
21) Reganvanu leads fact finding mission to NZ
Posted on July 16, 2013
A ten-member delegation led by Minister for Lands Ralph Regenvanu which includes the Minister for Climate Change, Thomas Laken left on a weeklong fact finding mission to the geothermal sites in the North Island of New Zealand yesterday afternoon.
The delegation also include the DG for Lands Mark Bebe and DG for Climate Change Jotham Napat as well as custom landowner representatives in connection to the Takara Geothermal Energy Project in North Efate by Kuth Energy of Australia.
According to its itinerary, the delegation was expected to have dinner with two New Zealand senior Government Ministers last night, followed by visits on Tuesday onward to geothermal sites and meetings with energy representatives and Maori custom landowners where the geothermal stations are located all in North Island.
While the Minister for Lands is returning tomorrow, the rest of the delegation will continue to travel all the way to Wellington to conclude the mission with meeting New Zealand Government Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives in Wellington towards the end of the week, before returning to the country over the weekend.
The two Ministers wish to thank the New Zealand Government for funding the trip and facilitating the programme.http://www.
22) Climate, NCDs on island list
CLIMATE change and the ever-increasing concerns over non-communicable diseases in the Pacific have made it into the final outcomes document put together by regional leaders of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States.
The outcomes of the PSIDS meeting held over four days in Nadi last week will be presented at a second SIDS meeting in Barbados next month.
PNG’s permanent representative to the UN and chair of the PSIDS, Ambassador Robert Aisi, said delegates from across the region were able to achieve a lot of commonalities and prepare themselves for the regional meet in Barbados.
“One of the critical issues that continue to affect the Pacific is the effects and impacts of climate change and I believe strongly that the document reflects the concerns of the Pacific,” Mr Aisi said.
“It highlights the fact that oceans are a big part of our lives and that it should be a major part of our concerns.
“Climate change is important because if the adverse effect which many of our countries are feeling is going to be exacerbated, we will not have sustainable development as a result.
“Other issues are NCDs like diabetes and cancer which again have been reflected in the document.”
Acknowledging the comprehensive document, the special representative of the Secretary General for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said the group provided practical strategies to overcome challenges.
“You have addressed a range of sustainable development challenges including the impact of climate change and the high level of non-communicable diseases in the region and sustainable energy,” he said.
“You have also provided practical strategies to overcome these challenges including through mutual accountable partnerships, conservation of the environment and the strengthening of the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.”
He said the UN would remain committed to its continued support for developing small island nations.
Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli said the final document would be tabled this Friday once everything was finalised.
“We want to give our members one week to look over the draft document and if they want to make any changes they can inform us of the changes and that will go on for another week.
“We should be able to have the final document by Friday.”http://www.fijitimes.
Bogia Coconut Syndrome (BCS), a disease that has killed thousands of coconut palms in Madang, may be responsible for the destruction of betel nut trees, the Cocoa Coconut Institute (CCI) and National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) warned two months ago.
They said that symptoms were also showing in major food crops.
The warning, which was sounded in an exclusive report in The National in May, may not have been heeded by political leaders resulting in a lot of “misinformation”, a well-placed source said at the weekend.
Madang Governor Jim Kas raised the issue in parliament last Thursday when he said betel nut palms were being affected by a new disease that could affect the livelihood of citizens who depended on the cash crop.
Kas blamed the cocoa pod borer, which has decimated the once-thriving cocoa industry in East New Britain, for destroying betel nut trees in the Markham Valley of Morobe.
NAQIA is understood to be preparing a status report for Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll in relation to the governor’s concern.
CCI’s officer-in-charge of its Stewart research station Alfred Kembu said BCS, caused by an unknown micro organism, was spreading from villages in Bogia through to Sumkar and Madang town after having laying to waste a trail of dead coconut trees.
Kembu said the disease was also wreaking havoc on betelnut, banana and sago trees as well as other local food crops such as taro and yams.
He added that it could also attack the research station’s prized gene bank of coconut trees from all over PNG and the South Pacific region.
Symptoms show when strong coconut trees suddenly wilt and die in the space of just three months, and when the first case was reported several years ago, it was initially thought that the tree had been struck by lightning until proven otherwise when other trees started showing the same symptoms.
Betel nut and sago palms, as well as food crops, are now wilting and dying likewise.
“In this regard, food security is a big concern for our people in these three areas,” Kembu said.
“It is very serious. We initially knew that it was confined to coconuts and bananas, but now, it has gone on to betel nut, sago, and various other food crops.
“This is supposed to be a disease of palm trees, but unfortunately for us in PNG, it’s jumping from palms to crops.
“The fact that it is jumping from palms to tree crops makes it more dangerous.
“It’s a big problem that the government will need to support.”
CCI is working with NAQIA, Madang division of agriculture and livestock, Ramu Agri Industries, and Oil Palm Industry Association, and a K700,000 checkpoint had been set up at Tapo in Bogia.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
24) NZ-led plan for world’s largest marine reserve stalls
A New Zealand-led plan to create the largest marine reserve in the world in Antarctica has stalled after two countries questioned the legal basis of the proposal.
Delegations from 25 countries have gathered for a special meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany, to consider the proposal for a 2.27 million sq km reserve in the Ross Sea.
The plan, which was developed with the US, needed approval from all member countries of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to go ahead.
The negotiations take place behind closed doors. But in a rare move, commission officials spoke publicly about the obstacles to getting a consensus on the proposal.
Commission chairman Terje Lobach said Russia and Ukraine had questioned whether the members had the legal right to set up marine protected areas (MPAs) in Antarctic waters.
He believed the legal dispute could be resolved, and said that many lawyers in the negotiations confirmed the commission had the mandate to create reserves in the high seas.
Russia and Ukraine also wanted the MPA to be smaller, to have a 50-year limit, and to allow more access to fisheries.
Lobach said that New Zealand and USA were considering these problems and suggested that they could make changes to the proposal.
Environment group Pew Charitable Trusts accused Russia and Ukraine of scuppering the talks.
Spokeswoman Andrea Kavanagh said: “One wonders if Russia’s efforts are a stalling tactic designed to bring negotiations to a halt.”
In the scientific talks which preceded the negotiations, countries debated until 5am on Sunday about the proposed reserve.
Russia’s opposition prompted an open letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin signed by high profile environmentalists including director James Cameron and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
The letter urged Russia – a founding commission member – to play a leadership role in helping the MPA to get over the line.
Negotiations were expected to finish tomorrow morning.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNWS
Posted at 01:47 on 16 July, 2013 UTC
A humanitarian aid mission is underway in Kiribati to improve infrastructure, in order to free up the country’s resources for disaster preparedness.
The Pacific Partnership undertakes regular missions in the Pacific and Asia area to build up understanding, and nations’ capacities to deal with natural disaster.
New Zealand is taking the lead for the first time on the Pacific Partnership for the missions to Kiribati and Solomon Islands.
The Deputy Mission Commander, Captain Tony Millar of the Royal New Zealand Navy, says they are focussing on building school infrastructure and renovating the so-called Friendship bridge.
He says any area they can improve allows Kiribati to use its very scarce resources for other things.
“We’re also doing quite a bit of subject matter expert education and transferrance of knowledge, particularly in the nursing front, and first aid. So anywhere we can help the resources of the host nation manage their resilience, we will do that. If it means helping them out in one area that allows them to concentrate or focus on another, we’ll certainly look at that.”
Captain Tony Millar says they will also assist in the disposal of live ammunition left after the Second World War Battle of Tarawa.
Radio New Zealand International
26) Youths voice their concerns
TWENTY-NINE young people from the Pacific made themselves heard at the recent Pacific Small Islands Developing States meeting in Nadi, voicing concerns over youth involvement in development.
The youths from 11 Pacific countries including Fiji addressed the high-level meeting at the Radisson Blu Resort on Denarau last week.
Representing the 29 youths, Elenoa Kaisau spoke on youths as partners in sustainable small island development.
“We have gathered to articulate the future we want — an inclusive, peaceful and healthy Pacific of young and future generations of Pacific Islanders,” said Ms Kaisau.
“These issues allow access to a quality education, youth employment, health and climate change.
“To effectively address them, we need a solid foundation of good governance and freedom of information, creating an enabling and inclusive environment, free from crime, violence and discrimination that provide equal opportunities for all.”
Ms Kaisau said the 29 young people wanted Pacific governments to foster strong partnerships with stakeholders.
They also wanted to adhere to a human rights approach to achieve sustainable development goals.
“This approach should be inclusive of young people with disabilities, rural and outer island youth, young people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, young women and young men.”
The youth advocate stressed issues such as education, employment, health and climate change.http://www.fijitimes.
27) Sprinters fail drug test
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell confirmed yesterday that he had failed a drugs test.
Jamaican star Powell was the second leading sprinter to fail a dope test following America’s former world champion Tyson Gay.
“I will confirm that a sample I gave at the national trials in June has returned ‘adverse findings’,” said the 30-year-old Powell in a statement released on Twitter.
“The substance oxilofrine was found, which is considered by the authorities to be a banned stimulant.
“I want to be clear … that I have never knowingly or wilfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules. I am not now nor have I ever been a cheat.”
Jamaican teammate Sherone Simpson also tested positive for banned stimulants, according to their agent.
Paul Doyle told AP yesterday that they tested positive for oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships.http://www.
28) Tafea, Yatel, mo Amicale oli win las wiken
Posted on July 16, 2013 – 10:14am | Category:
Jampion klap, Tafea FC hem i wan long ol trifala Premia klap we oli rikotem ol win long ol fes maj blong olgeta from Wilco Independence Kap, las Satede long Port Vila Minisipol Statium.
Nomata we i kat bigfala even blong Kiwanis Hos Res to i bin tekem ples long las wiken, ol fans blong futbol oli stil kamaot fulap blong luk ol maj blo las Satede we Yatel FC mo Amicale FC to i bin kamaot olsem tufala narafala wina.
Fes maj hem i bin stap bitwin ol niu kama blong premia afta we oli bin lus las 3 yia, Yatel FC mo Tupuji Imere FC. Hem i fes gem blong Yatel long premia be oli mekem bifala upset long Tupuji taem oli kam blong winim maj ia long wan sko blong 1-0. Poen blong Yatel ia i kam tru long wan penalti long seken haf blong gem we yangfala U17 straeka blong Vanuatu, Frank Ruben nao i skorem afta we straiking patna blong hem, Alex Saniel i bin foltaon insaed long penalty box blong Tupuji FC. Win blong Yatel i pruvum se nomata we hem i fulap long ol yangfala, mo hem i niu bageken long premia, hem i save kompit bakegen wetem ol top tim blong Lik.
Amicale FC i bin fesem Ifira Black Bird FC long seken maj mo oli winim olgeta long wan sko blong 3-0. Nomata we ol foma premia lik jampion ia oli misim seves blong fulap long olgeta ovasi plea blong olgeta, oli bin sko 2 taem long fes haf mo wan mo poen long seken haf. Fes poen blong Amicale i kam tru long veteran straika, blong olgeta Fenedy Masaufakalo long 19 minit blong gem. Long 43 minit blong gem onli impot plea we i stap wetem Amicale las wiken, Nelson Sale i bin makem namba 3 poen blong olgeta mo sko i stap long 2-0 long feiva blong Amicale kasem en blong fes haf. Long seken haf veteran straeka, Derek Malas nao i bin silim fes win blong tim wetem wan gol blong hem 5 minit bifo gem i finis. Ol yangfala blong Ifira oli bin mekem ol atempt truaot long gem be oli no bin manej blong skorem eni poem nomata we kol kipa blong Amicale i bin ko aotsaed long sekem haf from injuri. From we i nogat resef kipa, nasonal midfilda Robert Yalu i bin go insaed olsem kipa kasem en blongmaj.
Long las maj blong dei jampion premia klap, Tafea FC i rekotem fes win blong hem to long tunamen ia taem i kam blong winim Erakor Golden Star long wan klos sko blong 2-0. Tugeta tim i bin displeim gudfala futbol truaot long gem be Tafea nao i brekem difens blong Erakor fastaem long 50 minit blong gem mekem Iamak Ignias i skorem fes poen blong Tafea. Seken poen. John Lan nao i muvum sko blong olgeta i ko antap long 2-0 long namba 75 minit. Nomata we oli stap lus long 2-0 finis long seken haf, Erakor Golden Sta i no kivup mo kontiniu blong faet kasem taem oli jenisim sko i ko long 2-1. Sko blong Erakor ia sabsitiut, tru lon g fes-taj blong hem taem hem i go inside long 87 minit.
Folem ol aotkam blong ol gem blong las wiken, Amicale FC mo Shepherds United FC oli stap serem namba wan posisen long Pool A wetem 3 poen long tugeta tim. Long Pool B, ol jampion, Tafea FC mo Yatel FC oli stap serem posisen long top blong tebol.http://www.dailypost.vu/
29) 17 die in boxing match stampede in Indonesia’s Papua Province
Seventeen spectators were crushed to death at a boxing match in remote eastern Indonesia after supporters of the loser started a riot, according to police.
“Seventeen people died in the crush, 12 of whom were women, and another 38 were injured and have been hospitalised for treatment,” Papua provincial police spokesman I Gede Sumerta Jaya told AFP.
Around 1,500 people had watched the local championship match late Sunday night at a stadium in the town of Nabire when supporters angered by the outcome began throwing chairs.
“Everyone else made a quick dash for the exit in fear the violence would get out of control, and dozens of people were trampled on,” Jaya said.
A witness, who did not want to be named, was quoted by news website Detik.com as saying: “There are five gates to the stadium, but only two were in operation during the match.
“So I just ran to the one closest to me.”
In 2011, two people were killed in a stampede when thousands of fans jammed a Jakarta stadium for the Southeast Asian Games football final between the home nation and rival Malaysia.
In February 2008, 10 young people were trampled or crushed to death as hundreds of music fans tried to force their way out of a rock concert in the city of Bandung.
In September the same year, at least 21 people were killed in a stampede in East Java as they crowded an alley to receive a cash handout for Ramadan.
30a) Flying Fijians coach wary of Cook Islands
Flying Fijians coach Inoke Male is wary of the Cook Islands team which the national side will play in the Oceania qualification for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Cook Islands defeated Papua New Guinea 39-31 in the Oceania Cup final over the weekend to seal a place in the qualifier.
Male said they would field the best possible team for the qualifiers next year.
He said the Pacific Nations Cup win had set a good platform for the side ahead of this two-leg playoff.
Male said their aim next year was to book a place in the RWC that would be held in England.
“They will be trying their best to upset Fiji. They have players who are playing in New Zealand competitions,” he said.
“We will try to field our best possible team and start contacting players especially the overseas-based for the end of year and 2014 tours.”
The winner of the Oceania qualifier will get its place in Pool A together with hosts England, Australia and Wales in the 2015 RWC.
Mary Opeloge grabbed gold in the women’s seniors 75kg division at the Oceania champs in Brisbane and gold in the South Pacific seniors in the same division.
“And to top it up she broke all Oceania senior records in the snatch, clean and jerk and total in the 75kg division,” coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said.
In the 69kg women’s seniors in both the Oceania and South Pacific champs Vanessa Lui scored a double for Samoa as well.
Tuaopepe said Lui faced tougher competition but unleashed a personal-best total to grab her double gold.
In the men’s Samoa struck gold twice too via Bob Pesaleli in the 77kg seniors and To’afitu Perive in the 85kg men’s seniors’ division.
Last week at the Oceania Faitamai Faitamai in his first international competition won gold topping the juniors’ category in the men’s 62kg division.
Samoa also won the men’s seniors 62kg division through Nevo Ioane.
30c) Madang claim title
Madang are champions of the Niugini Tablebirds Youth Football tournament which ended at the National Sports Institute in Goroka on Friday.