Smol Melanesian na pasifik Nius Digest # 834
1) ANZ major sponsor for MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair
By Online Editor
5:45 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Fiji
ANZ has announced its support towards the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair as major sponsor for the upcoming regional event.
The MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair will be held from 5-7 August in Nadi, Fiji, with regional participation expected from MSG country leaders, senior trade officials, private sector representatives, regional organisations and civil society.
ANZ CEO Pacific and Fiji, Vishnu Mohan said ANZ’s sponsorship of FJ$30,000 (approx US$15,700) towards the event is in line with ANZ’s commitment to helping grow investment opportunities across the region.
“We are a bank that supports trade, investment and people flows across the Asia Pacific region, and I wish to thank the Government of Fiji and the MSG for allowing ANZ the privilege of this partnership.
Mohan added that ANZ continues to invest and grow across the Pacific.
“Our confidence and commitment to the region is demonstrated in the relocation of ANZ’s Pacific Headquarters from our global Headquarters in Melbourne to Suva – an extensive exercise which began late last year.”
ANZ’s investment in the Pacific is in an excess of AUD800m, as part of its strategy to build a super regional bank across our core markets in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific.
ANZ has a presence in 12 countries in the Pacific, employing some 2000 people of diverse nationalities, backgrounds and skills.
ANZ has a long history the region – over 130 years in Fiji, 102 years in PNG, 47 years in the Solomon Islands and 42 years in Vanuatu. ANZ opened its Representative Office in Nouméa, New Caledonia in March 2005.
2) Fiji to fly MSG flag at overseas missions
By Online Editor
5:58 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Fiji
Fiji plans to be the first Melanesian country to fly the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) flag in all its missions overseas.
This was confirmed to FBC News by the Director General of the MSG Secretariat Peter Forau.
Fiji’s Director Political Treaties Esala Nayasi said the decision was agreed to by MSG leaders at their summit in New Caledonia last month.
It’s understood, Fiji will take lead with other MSG countries to follow suit.
This move is to strengthen the group’s presence worldwide.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
3) New Indonesian law expected to hit NGOs strongly in West Papua
Posted at 06:03 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
Human Rights Watch has voiced alarm at the implications for West Papua from a new law in Indonesia giving the government wide powers to shut down NGOs.
The Law on Mass Organisations imposes a broad range of obligations and prohibitions on NGO activities, and severe limitations on freedom of expression and association.
Johnny Blades asked the deputy director of the Asia division of HRW, Phil Robertson, how the new law will impact in West Papua:
PHIL ROBERTSON: This is just going to hit the NGOs in Papua quite strongly because the way that these regulations have been brought out through this law, they are so broad and they are so big that the government of Indonesia can essentially go after anyone they want and make up the reason afterwards. It’s a very dangerous law, it’s one that isn’t necessary, and, frankly, it’s one that harks back to a past era of restrictions under President Suharto.
JOHNNY BLADES: The non-government groups, the few that are still in West Papua doing some, I guess, human rights work, you think about some of the churches, they look like they will probably be affected by this demand to adhere to respect for monotheism.
PR: Yes, that’s true. It’s laid out that the law requires for NGOs to adhere to a respect for monotheism regardless of their religious or secular orientation.
JB: They could end up in prison, some of these guys, it looks like.
PR: Yes, yes. This is basically constructing a very crude instrument that is going to allow the government of Indonesia to go after whoever it wants in civil society for whatever reason they want. I mean, it’s basically a blank cheque for government repression of NGO activity in Indonesia.
JB: What do you think is driving this? There had been some real reform, hadn’t there, across the rest of Indonesia, apart from West Papua. It seems like a bit of a retrograde step.
PR: Well, I think the Indonesian government has gotten credit where credit was perhaps not due, as being such a broad reformist government. It still contains very conservative army civil servant groups and also, of course, corrupt self-interested politicians. And these groups don’t like having NGOs snooping around. They don’t like having them going in and working with villagers or other persons who are being displaced from land or having their rights violated. And NGOs are seen as a pesky problem that get in the way with lead interests. So I think what we’re seeing is a bit of a counterstrike by these forces of conservatism and by those who benefit from a lack of transparent governance to try to muzzle their critics.
JB: Do you think the anti-Pancasila provisions kind of spell the end game for freedom of belief in West Papua, already, obviously, under strain?
PR: Well, it’s going to open people up to charges of going against Pancasila for a number of reasons. Of course, if it’s not a recognised religion, that would be against Pancasila. There really is a very, very broad law that is going to cause problems across the board for groups in Papua.
Radio New Zealand International
4) Solomons Prime Minister Faces Defamation Lawsuit
RIPEL Manager alleges comments made after failed deportation
By Assumpta Buchanan
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 19, 2013) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo is facing a defamation law-suit at the High Court.
General Manager of Russell Islands Plantation Estates Limited (RIPEL) John Whiteside is suing Mr Lilo, the Island Sun newspaper and four of its journalists, over comments published recently.
Mr Whiteside, a Fijian, filed the law suit after attempts by the government to deport him on June 9 failed.
He said in documents filed in the High Court that comments Mr Lilo made to the media about him, and reports Island Sun newspaper and its journalists published, defamed his character.
Mr Whiteside also disclosed in the papers he filed how he was “abducted” from his Heritage Park Hotel apartment by police and an Immigration officer and held in custody ready for deportation.
He said the incident occurred on June 9 at around 2.30am.
The documents said Mr Whiteside was then taken from the hotel and held in custody at the Rove police headquarters.
He was also kept in isolation and prohibited from contacting anyone.
The documents said despite a court order his lawyer obtained the same day that prevents the police and immigration from deporting and restraining him unlawfully, Immigration officer Chris Akosawa went ahead and attempted to deport him.
Mr Whiteside said in the law-suit during all these time, Mr Akosawa has told him he was acting directly on the orders from Prime Minister Lilo.
After the attempt to deport him failed, Mr Akosawa released Mr Whiteside back to his hotel apartment 9pm that day.
Mr Whiteside also said in the court papers that the Labour Division has turned down his application to renew his work permit.
The Solomon Star understands the law-suit was served on Mr Lilo, the Island Sun and its journalists on Tuesday.
5) Vanuatu seamen rescued off China
Posted at 04:05 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
Six ni-Vanuatu seamen have been rescued from two fishing vessels off the coast of China.
The men were part of the crews aiming to deliver the vessels for Chinese businessman, Mungui Xu, who is planning to set up a new fish processing plant in Luganville in Santo.
A Vanuatu ports official, Kembro Manderson, says the men are safe after their rescue by a helicopter operated by the Hong Kong Rescue Centre.
He says the company is sending the men home to their families soon.
Radio New Zealand International
6) Landowners Threaten To Derail Vanuatu Geothermal Project
Customary owners not included in fact-finding mission
By Glenda Shing
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 19, 2013) – The custom land claimants of Takara in North Efate have informed that they have put a complete stop to the project of the geothermal energy that is expected to begin shortly.
Three representatives of the two chiefs who claimed to be rightful custom land owners and the man who claims to be land owner, Chief Billy Kaltaluameraliu came to Daily Post to express their disappointment for not being part of the delegation to New Zealand on the geothermal “fact-finding mission”.
Announcing their stand on putting a stop to the project, the Chief and his team added that the reason for their decision was “simply because we, being the rightful custom landowners were not represented in the “fact-finding mission” to New Zealand.
According to the representatives of the two custom landowners, the people who followed the two ministers to New Zealand are “non-claimants, meaning they do not have any business to do with Takara land which the geothermal site is situated on”.
However according to Minister of Lands, also responsible for energy, Ralph Regenvanu, who led the delegation to New Zealand Sunday this week and returned Tuesday, Chief Kaltaluameraliu’s name was also included in the list, but he decided to stay.
“The New Zealand government has catered for ten people to be part of the trip to New Zealand, so the government ensured that there is a fair representation of government officials, a representative from URA, a representative from the Geothermal Task Force, Chief Representatives of North Efate and a representative of an occupier of the land.”
Minister Regenvanu added that the government has considered the fact that there are a number of pending cases before the court on the declarations of the ownership of Takara land, “therefore, the government has tried as much as possible to include not only the representatives of landowners, but also occupiers of the land”.
The Minister of Lands confirmed that only nine people went to New Zealand, because the tenth person which is Chief Kaltaluameraliu decided to remain at his own will.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
7) Vanuatu Commission Completes Draft Of Land Reform White Paper
Reforms ‘to correct…deficiencies in…current land administration’
By Len Garae
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 19, 2013) – The Chairman of the Vaturisu Land Reform Commission Levi Tarosa and his six-member committee has finally completed the first draft white paper on land reform policy initiatives for the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate and has since handed over the draft document to the executive committee of the Vaturisu in May at a brief ceremony held at Epau Village in East Efate. The policy paper, called “The Vaturisu Design” is modeled around the general theme of the 2006 Land Summit on “Fair & Equitable Land Dealings” as well as Resolutions 7 and 8 of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs of 2011.
During the handing over of the draft Tarosa said Efate is the one island in Vanuatu that is most adversely affected by the introduced formal lease administration system with a relatively higher concentration of land alienation than any other island in the archipelago therefore it is only fair to say that Efate landowners are probably the best people to recommend the necessary changes or reform needed to correct the deficiencies in the current land administration system.
The Vaturisu Design document is modeled along five key principles which includes (1) Reduction of government ‘interference & influence’ over traditional or kastom land in rural Vanuatu (2) Strengthening and increasing the role and authority of customary land governance system and kastom institutions (3) Implement a new land administration system; including a proposed organizational re-structure of the Department of Lands to make the land administration system more efficient, transparent, equitable and fair for landowners and users of land (4) “Protect” the rights of indigenous landowners as well as “Promote” the socio-economic opportunities for indigenous landowners to participate effectively in the development of their kastom kraon and (5) Develop a new financial leasing system that will ensure that landowners have enough capital to compensate lessees for any improvements made on the leased land when their leases come to an end.
Tarosa confirmed that progress has been made in putting together a draft ‘white paper’ policy. The next task now is for VLRC to run consultation workshops on the draft proposals around the communities on Efate before it is presented to the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs and eventually to the Minister of Lands for the consideration of the Government of Vanuatu.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
8) Vanuatu foreign minister critical of Goiset
Posted at 01:54 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
Vanuatu’s foreign minister Edward Natapei says a law will have to be reviewed after the former roving ambassador to Russia and Eastern countries was sacked for not performing her duties.
Mr Natapei says the Foreign Service Act needs attention after Thi Tham Goiset failed to carry out the duties in accordance with the terms of her diplomatic mandate.
Mr Natapei said her actions were undiplomatic and disrespectful to those countries.
Mrs Goiset was also the ambassador to Malaysia and countries in the Middle East.
She took the Government to court for unfair dismissal but was unsuccessful.
Her contract reportedly gave her a 15 percent cut on any foreign funding she secured for Vanuatu.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International
9) Fiji AG Wants Full Time Professional Elections Office
Sayed-Khaiyum: Office should be ‘fully geared for elections all the time’
By Nanise Loanakadavu
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 22, 2013) – Fiji needs an elections office that is fully geared all the time, says Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
He said it was more critical now that elections would be held every four years as articulated in the draft constitution.
He said, it has never geared up to be a fully functioning office for the length of its turnover, “in the sense that we only focus on elections office come election time then everybody forgets about it”.
“There is no specific career path built in the elections office,” he said. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said if people looked at all good and credible elections offices throughout the world, they actually had career paths where people specialised on awareness campaign, voter education, voter registration, logistics and there were a lot of good, young educated people who could in fact fill in that position.
He said the experts who assessed Fiji’s elections capacity for the 2014 general elections would provide a report in the next two weeks.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the report would be on the entire elections office.
“We have said that we would like the elections to be held in one day so we will need to work on the logistical arrangements so that people need to ensure that there is transparency and credibility process.”
He said also in the past there had been add on recruitment — for example, once an election was over governments took away the computers, vehicles and the two-way radios.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said these sort of things should not happen because Fiji needed an elections office that was fully geared for elections all the time.
“As you know elections will now be held sooner rather than later, every four years or every three and a half years, that’s what the draft constitution provides.”
Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
10) Samoa Agrees To Support Trade And Development Facility
Aid-for-trade resources to be pooled for regional efforts
By Sophie Budvietas
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 21, 2013) – Samoa has signed on to help establish “the Trade and Development Facility” in a bid to pool Aid for Trade resources with other Pacific Islands.
Despite Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks being on hold with the European Union, the idea to establish the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility (the Facility) originated in the context of those negotiations in 2006.
A Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) spokesperson said Pacific EPA members considered that, if well designed, structured and implemented, a Facility could have a number of advantages as an institutional mechanism to address their Aid-for-Trade (AfT) requirements.
“The rationale for the creation of the Facility being to improve the delivery of aid to Pacific island countries in support of the AfT agenda,” the spokesperson said.
Tonga and Tuvalu also signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), joining Vanuatu and Kiribati who signed in May and June respectively.
While signing the MoU for Samoa, Deputy Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, thanked the governments of Tonga and Tuvalu for itheir commitment.
“The Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility seeks to provide regional traderelated assistance to the Pacific islands and invites development partners to contribute to the facility,” he said.
“I congratulate Tuvalu and Tonga for joining Samoa today in signing the MoU.
“The Facility is expected to play a vital role in assisting development partners in coordinating their Aid for Trade resources for the Pacific region.
“We look forward to the remaining Pacific ACP States to follow suit in signing the MoU in view of the importance of the Facility in securing Aid for Trade resources.”
Tonga’s signatory, Trade Minister Dr Viliami Uasike Latu, highlighted the importance of Aid for Trade for Pacific island economies.
“This MoU is expected to assist the Pacific islands in pooling their aid for trade resources and coordinating its utilisation in the implementation of regional aid for trade projects,” Dr Latu said.
“Tonga supports this initiative and looks forward to the Facility being operational.”
Tuvalu’s Permanaet Secretary for Trade, Tapugao Falefou said this MoU would assist Pacific economies to provide employment and improve the livelihood of people.
“The MoU provides the region with a great opportunity for coordinated partnership between all stakeholders in providing Aid for Trade,” he said.
“Co-ordinated efforts in trade facilitation, promotion and capacity building activities will enhance and maximise the benefits from the resources available to the Pacific region, and Tuvalu looks forward to benefiting from such arrangements.”
The PIFS spokesperson said the MoU provides for the establishment of a Council as the Facility’s main policy and decision-making organ and sets up the parameters for the eventual establishment, structure and operation of the Facility.
“The Facility also ensures Aid for Trade assistance is delivered in a transparent and effective manner,” they said.
“The types of activities and programmes that will be implemented through the Facility will be those that have been identified by Pacific Island Countries as their Aid for Trade priority needs.
“Regional projects as well as national projects with a regional impact will be considered for funding from the Facility.”
According to the PIFS website Aid for Trade refers to a subset of development assistance that aims to help developing countries address and overcome constraints to increased international trade in both goods and services.
“As such, Aid for Trade covers a range of activities that boost a country’s capacity to create and take advantage of expanded trade opportunities,” the website reads.
The MoU is now open for signing by other Pacific Island Countries, development partners, and regional and international organisations that wish to benefit from and support the Facility.
Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/
11) Tahiti Government Leaders Meet French Ministers
Flosse says relations good but frozen funds still not released
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 21, 2013) – The French Polynesian government leaders have met French ministers in Paris but failed in their attempts to get firm assurances for additional financial support.
The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, met the French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, who reportedly acknowledged the reforms adopted in Tahiti aimed at overcoming its deep economic crisis.
Mr Flosse has so far failed in his bid to secure a meeting with the President, Francois Hollande, but met the overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, with whom he also raised French Polynesia’s wish for an independence referendum to be held as soon as possible.
He said relations between France and French Polynesia have been better under the leadership of Mr Hollande than they were during the five-year term of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Mr Flosse says he has sought the freeing up of funds frozen by Mr Sarkozy for reasons never explained.
The French Polynesian delegation has included its new advisor, Brigitte Girardin, who was the overseas territories minister in the era of Jacques Chirac.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
12) Marshall Islander to lead the new Pacific mayors network
Posted at 06:03 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
A new Pacific regional mayors network, linked to Commonwealth countries, has appointed a Marshall Islands mayor to lead the organisation.
The president of the Marshall Islands Mayors Association, James Matayoshi, has been elected president of the newly established Pacific Island Local Government Associations Network, or PILGAN.
PILGAN has a secretariat based in Fiji, that is connected to the Commonwealth Local Forum.
James Matayoshi, the five-term mayor of nuclear test-affected Rongelap, spoke to Leilani Momoisea about what kind of voice the network will have, and what doors his appointment will open for the Marshall Islands.
JAMES MATAYOSHI: It’s going to be a voice for all the island countries, mayors association and provinces, councils, to learn from one another as well as serve the interests here in the Pacific, because you look at upper-level organisations like the United Nations and all big donors like the European Union, we’re small compared to other competitors in terms of accessing grand opportunities and those kinds of support. Particularly, we have our own unique issues that we address in the small island countries, such as climate change, food security, et cetera.
LEILANI MOMOISEA: And what does it mean for the Marshall Islands, having you head this organisation? What doors is it going to open specifically for the Marshall Islands, do you think?
JM: Well, we normally deal directly with the United States government, but in this instance we were very fortunate that the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, which deals with Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand, the European Union, to be a part [of that]. So it’s really an opportunity for us to participate with our other South Pacific island countries to address issues of mutual interest to all of us.
LM: Is the Marshall Islands sometimes overlooked because of its close relationship with the United States? It’s sometimes overlooked by these other nations?
JM: I believe so. And this is the contrast we would like to work on to ensure we are recognised as not just part of the direct relationship with the Pacific countries, but as a whole, joining the rest of the Pacific Island brothers’ countries and their association, to be served as a block so we have a stronger voice in addressing our issues here.
Radio New Zealand International
13) FSM proposes a regional airline
By Online Editor
5:32 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Micronesia, Federated States of
The President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Emanuel Mori presented a proposal to set up a regional airline to the recent Micronesian Presidents’ Summit.
Moving forward with the proposal, the FSM transmitted two air service agreements to establish approved direct air links between Palau, the FSM and the Marshall Islands.
The proposed Fly Micronesia airline will reportedly need $6 million in start-up capital, reports Oceania TV.
During the MPS meeting, the leaders discussed the Air Service Agreement, where the FSM proposed majority ownership of the airline and sought Palau and RMI’s partnership.
According to information from visit-micronesia.fm, United Airlines is the only airline currently servicing all four states of the FSM from Hawaii or Guam.
Palau and RMI Presidents noted FSM’s proposal for the regional airline during the leaders meeting in Palau.
SOURCE: OCEANIA TV/PACNEWS
14) Guam Celebrates 69th Anniversary Of Liberation Day
Parades honor day the American military landed on Guam
By Frank Whitman
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, July 22, 2013) – Liberation Day – the celebration of the 21st of July 69 years ago when the American military landed on Guam to end two and a half years of brutal occupation by Japanese forces during World War II – has become a celebration of the island, its people and its heritage, and a day to honor those who suffered, sacrificed and died during that dark period of the island’s history. Like celebrations of similar days of national celebration elsewhere, Liberation Day festivities have special meaning for participants.
Yesterday, as usual, thousands of island residents and visitors lined the parade route from the Governor’s Complex at Adelup to the grandstand just past Skinner Plaza. Many who had reserved spots spent Saturday putting up canopies, preparing food and then spending the night to keep an eye on their site.
The parade was successful thanks to the hard work of the Mayors’ Council of Guam and countless others who built floats, cleaned up along the parade route before and after the event, organized recycling bins, and maintained order. A fireworks show entertained those in Hagåtña on Saturday night and another was provided in the Liberation Carnival in Tiyan on Sunday night.
And while residents have come to expect rain as part of the Liberation Day tradition, yesterday’s parade took place under blue skies, though the temperature made the route uncomfortable at times.
Marching in the parade this year, as he has done for the past 32 years, was Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Santos of the Guam Army National Guard’s 1224th Engineer Company. Santos is the last active member of the Guard from the original group 32 years ago. “On July 21, 1981 there were 32 of us swearing in right in front of this grand stand,” he said. “Gov. Paul Calvo was our governor at the time, and 30 years later I re-enlisted into the Guam National Guard.”
Santos was deployed to Afghanistan for 18 months and to Arizona twice to participate in the construction of the border fence. He said being in the Liberation Day Parade is an honor.
“[When I first joined] I never thought I’d still be here,” he said. “I enjoy it and I challenge everybody in the Guam Guard to stay in as long as I did.” He said he intends to stay in until he is forced out by age – on March 31, 2017.
The parade was a not-common-enough family get-together for Larry Cruz, his wife Elaine, son Jeff and daughter Lauren. Larry Cruz is a civilian Navy employee who grew up in Barrigada but took federal employment elsewhere during the Navy downsizing of the 1990s. He currently works and lives in Okinawa. Elaine, also a Navy employee, was on Guam after recently relocating to a job in Italy, and Jeff, who has lived in San Diego since the 1990s, had extended a visit so he would be on island for yesterday’s celebration.
Larry Cruz had arrived Saturday afternoon and is to return to Okinawa today. “I was in Okinawa and I was watching a DVD of a Jesse and Ruby concert,” he said. “It made me think so much of the island. I knew that my son was here and I thought, ‘Even if it’s just for the weekend, I want to be here with family.'”
The family – Larry Cruz’s brothers, sisters and cousins – had a canopy on the parade route as they have done as long as he can remember, and several of the relatives had spent the previous night there. “We’re second and third cousins, but we’re still so close,” he said “It’s just a good feeling – having family here – and these guys do this every year.”
Alyssa Duenas, 23, also has personal tradition associated with the Liberation Day Parade since it falls on her birthday. “We try to come down here every year,” she said. “My sister is here visiting, so this year we decided to do it big. … It’s been on and off over the years, but we always have a sign [on our canopy] so people will know.”
She remembers being told that the festivities were being held in her honor. “They tricked me,” she laughed, “They even told me the fireworks and the whole island coming out was to celebrate my birthday.”
The Aguon-Crisostomo family’s spot on the beach side of the route was particularly well-decorated with coconuts, leaves and other adornments, including a Guam Seal quilt made especially for the occasion. “We come to the parade every year, but this is the first year we got our own spot,” said Abby Aguon Cruz. “It’s hard to get a spot by lining up [at the Department of Parks and Recreation to reserve a spot]. So we got a spot and we decorated.”
While the quilt took a week to complete, the rest of the work was started the day before. “We had plans [to put up more items],” Cruz said. “But by 2 this morning, we were just tired. It was hard work, but this is for family.”
A group of visiting students from Osaka Business Frontier High School enjoyed their first Liberation Day Parade. They are participants in the University of Guam’s English Adventure Program, in which they stay with local families, study English, and take part in business internships during their stay. The parade was a good opportunity for the students to experience a different aspect of culture and life on the island, said Carlos Taitano, program outreach coordinator. “The timing couldn’t have been better,” he said.
Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com
15) Planti handrat pipal i mas long Brisbane egensim PNG asailam tingting
Postim 22 July 2013, 11:29 AEST
Ibin gat wanpla mas ikamap long Brisbane na Adelaide hia long Australia egensim tingting blong gavman blong Australia long salim ol asailam sika igo long Papua New Guinea.
Aninit long despla nupla loa em Praim Minista Kevin Rudd ibin tokaut long en long Fraide, ol asailam sika husat ikamap long ol bot long Christmas island, bai oli salim oli go stret long Papua New Guinea we oli ken stap olsem sopos oli painim olsem oli refugi tru tru.
Ol despla protesta ibin autim ol bikpla na strongpla tingting no laik long despla ples na oli tok bai oli no nap stopim ol despla tingting nolaik blong ol maski sopos emi go long longpla taem.
Wanpla bikpla laen pipal tru ibin bung arasaet long Haus Palaman long Adelaide pastem oli bin mas igo long Rundle Mall.
Paul Coats itok laen blong Adelaide Refugee Action Group itok promis pinis long go hed wantem ol strongpla tingting nolaik blong ol.
Emi tok despla tingting blong Federal Gavman em wanpla rabis tingting stret.
Aninit long despla Plen.
Nogat wanpla long ol Asailam sika husat ikam long ol bot bai stap long Australia
Bai oli salim ol igo long Manus Island oa igo long ol narapla hap long PNG we oli ken lukluk oa prosesim askim blong ol
Bai oli putim ol refugi tru tru long PNG
Bai oli larim despla tok oraet inap long wanpla yia.
Bai oli nap makim namba long hamas asailam sika istap long olgeta long PNG.
Bai oli mekim Manus ditensan senta igo bikpla blong emi kisim 3,000 pipal lusim 600 emi save kisim nau.
Australia Oposisan igat wari long saed blong Loa long despla tok oraet wantem PNG.
Oli tok despla tok oraet wantem Papua New Guinea igat sampla wari long Loa na tu emi no nap stopim tru tru ol pipal husat ino refiugi long noken kam bek long Australia.
Tokman blong Coalition imigreisan Scott Morrison itok despla tok oraet em PNG na Australia i sainim pinis ino bihaenim stret loa blong tupla kantri wantem.
16) Pencari suaka bakal hadapi reaksi tak bersahabat di Papua Nugini
Diperbaharui 22 July 2013, 14:33 AEST
Warga Papua Nugini memperingatkan pemerintah Australia, kebijakan baru memukimkan pencari suaka akan menciptakan suasana tidak bersahabat dan menambah masalah di PNG.
Para politisi lokal mengatakan, para pengungsi yang dimukimkan kembali mungkin akan menghadapi reaksi tidak bersahabat dari penduduk lokal. Mereka juga mempertanyakan bagaimana rencana ini akan dibiayai.
Perdana Menteri Australia Kevin Rudd mengatakan, kebijakan mengirim pencari suaka ke PNG memenuhi ‘kewajiban hukum dan belas kasih’ Australia.
Website Deplu Australia sendiri memperingatkan, siapapun yang pergi ke PNG sebaiknya berhati-hati, mengingat tingginya tingkat kejahatan serius seperti kekerasan dan perkosaan, tingginya angka HIV/AIDS, wabah kolera dan buruknya fasilitas kesehatan.
Mantan pemimpin oposisi PNG Dame Carol Kidu mengatakan, sudah terlalu banyak orang yang tergusur di negaranya. “Kami sendiri menghadapi banyak masalah. Dan bagi saya, rencana ini mungkin malah menambah masalah,” jelasnya.
Gubernur Provinsi Oro, Gary Zuffa, mengatakan kepada ABC keputusan untuk memukimkan pengungsi di PNG mungkin dapat menimbulkan perpecahan.
“Kalau Australia yang membiayai program itu, maka ini akan menciptakan rasa iri dari penduduk lokal. Sebab para pengungsi itu pasti akan diberi uang untuk memulai bisnis baru, memulai hidup baru,” tegas Gubernur Gary Zuffa.
Anggota parlemen Australia Andrew Wilkie juga mencela kebijakan pemerintah dan memperingatkan, PNG pun tidak dapat mengurus rakyatnya sendiri.
Sementara itu Menteri Imigrasi Australia Tony Burke menegaskan, para pencari suaka yang dikirim ke PNG mungkin akan berada di pusat detensi untuk waktu tidak tertentu, jika mereka terbukti bukan pengungsi sejati.
Tony Burke mengatakan ada tiga opsi, yaitu mereka tetap berada di pusat detensi, kedua mereka kembali ke negara asal dan ketiga mereka dimukimkan di negara lain dimana mereka memperoleh hak untuk menetap.
17) Immigration: « politique cruelle » ou solution nécessaire?
Mis à jour 22 July 2013, 16:44 AEST
L’Australie vibre encore du séisme politique créé par la nouvelle politique de l’immigration de Kevin Rudd. Les migrants dont la demande d’asile a été rejetée auront le choix entre vivre en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et retourner dans leur pays.
Articles: Manifestation aujourd’hui à Sydney des opposants à la relocation permanente des migrants en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, mesure phare de la nouvelle politique de l’immigration de Kevin Rudd. (AFP/ Saeed Khan))
« Ce que je peux vous garantir, c’est que quiconque arrive chez nous ne sera pas accepté en Australie. C’est irresponsable de prétendre qu’on peut contrôler l’arrivée illégale des bateaux de passeurs indonésiens dans les eaux australiennes, mais une chose est sûre : la résidence permanente en Australie, ce produit que les passeurs vendent aux demandeurs d’asile n’est plus disponible. »
C’était le ministre australien de l’Immigration Tony Burke. Il enchaîne les interventions dans les médias pour expliquer la nouvelle politique de l’immigration annoncée par Kevin Rudd vendredi. Il envisage le maintien en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée des migrants dont la demande d’asile a échoué. Ils pourraient y vivre toute leur vie, à moins qu’ils ne retournent dans leur pays. La capacité du centre de rétention de l’île de Manus passera ainsi de 200 à 3000 places. Et le gouvernement australien cherche d’autres endroits dans le pays pour y construire d’autres centres.
Lors de sa visite en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée la semaine dernière, Kevin Rudd a signé un accord bilatéral sur la gestion des migrants avec son homologue Peter O’Neill. Le ministre de l’Immigration, Tony Burke, en explique les détails :
« N’oublions pas que si la demande d’asile n’est pas justifiée, alors ces migrants ne sont pas des réfugiés. Dans ce cas, ces migrants ne peuvent pas peur justifiée de retourner dans leur pays, il n’y a pas de raison. Le document signé entre les Premiers ministres australien et papou prévoit trois options : soit les migrants restent en détention ; soit ils retournent dans leur pays ; soit ils partent pour un pays tiers qui leur accorde la résidence. Ils n’auront pas le droit de résider en Australie, mais ils ont toujours le choix entre ces trois options. »
Une « politique cruelle » selon le porte-parole de l’opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, mais qui peut décourager les demandeurs d’asile à tenter la traversée vers l’Australie. Le député libéral affirme aussi que cet accord bilatéral n’a pas force juridique contraignante, contrairement à ce que dit le gouvernement.
D’autre part, les migrants ne peuvent pas toujours rentrer dans leur pays, même si ce n’est pas dangereux. Ainsi, l’Iran refuse l’entrée sur le territoire à ses ressortissants qui sont partis demander l’asile ailleurs et rentrent bredouille. Or le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères Bob Carr a déclaré il y a peu que 100% des demandeurs iraniens d’asile en Australie sont en réalité des réfugiés économiques. Cela signifierait donc qu’ils seraient condamnés à passer toute leur vie dans un centre de rétention en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. La réponse de Tony Burke :
« C’est possible. Mais pour les autres, si le statut de réfugié leur a été refusé par l’Australie, c’est qu’ils n’ont aucune peur à avoir à retourner dans leur pays. Ce serait bizarre quand même que des migrants préfèrent rester dans un centre de rétention en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée plutôt que de rentrer dans un pays où ils ne risquent rien. »
Pour le député indépendant Andrew Wilkie, cette nouvelle politique est «barbare ». Les autorités papoues n’auraient pas les moyens d’accueillir des milliers de migrants, car, dit-il, elles ne sont déjà pas capables de s’occuper de leurs propres citoyens et « le pays est encore largement tribal ».
De son côté, Ian Rintoul, du Collectif pour l’Action en faveur des Réfugiés, une ONG de défense des demandeurs d’asile, prévient que la situation deviendra rapidement explosive dans ces centres papous. Ce qui s’est passé ce week-end au centre de rétention de Nauru (une émeute et un grand incendie), ce n’est selon lui qu’un avant-goût de ce qui pourrait se passer en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.
837 demandeurs d’asile sont arrivés dans les eaux australiennes la semaine passée, ce qui porte à 15000 le total des arrivées depuis le début de l’année.http://www.radioaustralia.net.
18a) Asylum seekers to receive hostile reception in PNG: local governor
By Online Editor
6:04 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guineans are warning the Australian Federal Government that its new asylum seeker plan will create hostility and add to problems in the developing country.
Local politicians have questioned how the plan will be financed, and say resettled refugees may face hostility from locals.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the plan to send asylum seekers to PNG fulfils Australia’s “legal and compassionate obligations”, but the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own website details a litany of social problems in the country.
It says anyone travelling to PNG should exercise a high degree of caution, warning of high levels of serious crime including violent assault and rape, as well of high rates of HIV/AIDS, endemic levels of cholera, and poor health facilities.
PNG’s former opposition leader Dame Carol Kidu says the country already has too many displaced people.
“We have not heard the technical details being developed I’m sure by the bureaucrats of exactly how this going to operate,” she said.
“But you know, we’re a developing country. We don’t have the developed systems like Australia.
“We are facing many problems ourselves, and to me I think it could be an increased problem.
“It’s called the PNG solution but I think it’s more of an Australia solution.”
The governor of Oro province, Gary Zuffa, has told 702 ABC Sydney the decision to settle refugees in Papua New Guinea could be very divisive.
“Who’s going to finance that re-settlement? I’m assuming that Australia is,” he said.
“If Australia is going to finance that re-settlement, then that’s going to create a bit of hostility from the local population because these people will be given funds to start a new business, start a new life.
“You know this is going to raise some questions in these economies as well.”
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has also hit out at the Government’s policy, warning that PNG cannot fully look after its own people.
“I think this is more about the politics of an election than about the humanitarian crisis we have on our borders,” he said.
The Opposition continued its attack on the Federal Government’s two-page deal with Papua New Guinea.
“The trouble is this particular deal is unravelling before our very eyes,” Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told reporters in Melbourne.
“It is not legally binding and it doesn’t say what Rudd says it said.
“It doesn’t say that everyone who comes to Australia illegally by boat will go to PNG. It doesn’t say that no-one who goes to PNG will ever come to Australia. Rudd is being misleading to the point of dishonesty, said Abbott.
SOURCE: ABC NEWS/PACNEWS
18b) New deal for refugees
. .‘the people smugglers’ guarantee is worthless’ . .
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
PAPUA New Guinea has signed a new deal that will see the dumping of all asylum seekers on Manus Island and freeing Australia in dealing with boat people in the future.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in a media statement late yesterday said PNG will benefit significantly from the agreement that will see the Australian government deliver a comprehensive package of direct assistance from Australia, the value of which will run into hundreds of millions of kina and will benefit the whole nation.
The plan, which Mr Rudd jointly announced with Prime Minister O’Neill in Brisbane, has been backed by an advertising campaign in both Australia and the region telling asylum seekers that “the people smugglers’ guarantee is worthless” and warning them that they are “buying a ticket to another country”.
The deal: Key points
* Asylum seekers who arrive by boat will never be settled in Australia
* They will be sent to Manus Island or elsewhere in PNG for assessment
* Genuine refugees will be resettled in PNG;
* The agreement will be in place for at least the next 12 months;
* There will be no cap on the number of refugees to be settled in PNG;
* Manus Island detention centre to be expanded to house 3,000, up from its original capacity of 600.
Mr Rudd has also released a video address with a stern message for people smugglers.
“Your business model is over,” he said. “People who come by boat now have no prospect of being resettled in Australia. The rules have changed.”
Mr Rudd says the new deal, which could face legal challenges, may not stop people coming to Australia in boats.
Prime Minister O’Neill said he is proud of the agreement negotiated in helping PNG’s closest neighbor and friend in an area it needs significant assistance in — reducing the level of people smuggling.
He said the agreement will deliver substantial, long term benefits for PNG as a whole, and not just provinces which will have regional detention and assessment centres.
“This is a major achievement. It is something every Prime Minister in the past has wanted to achieve. I am proud to have delivered it via the agreement I signed in Brisbane on Friday.”
“I want to stress that processing and resettlement arrangements will take place under Papua New Guinea laws, and the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, to which PNG is a signatory.”
Those found to have genuine refugee status will be resettled in PNG and other participating countries in our region. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
18c) PNG to benefit from direct assistance from Australia
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THE new deal between PNG and Australia will deliver a comprehensive package of direct assistance from Australia, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said yesterday.
“The agreement with the Australian Government will deliver Papua New Guinea a comprehensive package of direct assistance from Australia, the value of which will run into hundreds of millions of kina, and will benefit the whole nation.”
He said the overall economic benefits would come through the expenditure of hundreds of millions of kina – funded by the Australian Government – on the enlarged regional processing centre on Manus, and on other centres elsewhere in PNG if they were needed.
“There will be significant ongoing spending in the management and operation of detention centres – such as staff, food, services and infrastructure.”
“My Government will work closely with the Australian Government to ensure maximum opportunities for local businesses, contractors and suppliers to participate in the construction and servicing of the new Manus centre, and any additional centres that are built.”
He said the most important aspect of the new agreement with Australia was that for the first time since Independence, Australia’s development assistance program with Papua New Guinea – worth close to K1 billion a year – would be aligned with the Government’s own national policy and program priorities.
Mr O’Neill said there were additional specific benefits that would flow from the agreement – and many would start flowing in a matter of weeks.
He outlined the key benefits, including funding of the redevelopment and upgrading of UPNG and UNITECH as recommended by the Garnaut/Namaliu Report. This will be an ongoing, multi-million kina project; funding of a new and modern base hospital for Lae on a 50/50 funding basis with the national government. and so on.
The funding will include the most modern equipment, and additional medical and nursing staffing;
* Funding of the major upgrading of the Lae-Madang highway;
* Funding of the construction of the new Lower Courts Complex in Port Moresby;
* Support for the government’s law and order program through the provision of 50 police, funded by Australia, to be in Port Moresby and Lae by the end of the year; and
* An dditional capacity building assistance in health, the CIS and public service.
Mr O’Neill said in addition to these national benefits, there will be early specific benefits for the province and people of Manus. He said the Lombrum Naval base will be upgraded, roads in the province will be significantly improved, there will be new health centres and schools provided, and the Momote airport will be upgraded. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
18d) MP: How do we benefit?
By Online Editor
6:02 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s Opposition Whip, Tobias Kulang says he is shocked that a major foreign policy with immense socio-political and economic implications on the local economy, has again been shoved down PNG’s throat without much scrutiny.
“I would have expected the prime minister of the country, Peter O’Neill, to inform parliament of Australia’s decision to ‘dump’ more asylum seekers on our land, and for parliament to debate the pros and cons of this major Australian policy,” the Kundiawa-Gembogl MP said in a statement yesterday.
“I am aghast that this basic courtesy has been trampled on.”
The refugee resettlement arrangement, signed by O’Neill and Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, was revealed at a press conference last Friday in Brisbane.
Under the arrangement, asylum seekers coming in by boat will immediately be sent to Manus Island or elsewhere in Papua New Guinea for resettlement.
“This major Australian policy has provoked more questions than answers, and again puts both countries on the international spotlight.
“For Australia, it raises the question of a reputable country running away from its international obligations while for PNG, it’s become a dumping ground for Australia’s inadequacies,” Kulang said.
“Australia, in 1954, signed the (UN) Refugees Convention committing to protect people who come to its shores, and not exposing them to further risks elsewhere.
“Has Australia abdicated from this responsibility?”
“I also cannot recall PNG having in place any specific domestic policy to accommodate resettlement of asylum seekers.
“I am convinced we are far less equipped to handle the situation at this stage, especially to respond and to accommodate these asylum seekers. Australia must also come out and explain what and how it plans to assist PNG manage this affair.
“Last year alone, almost 16,000 people reached Australian shores, representing a mere 0.03% of total worldwide refugees. Is that too much for Australia?
“Last Friday’s agreement did not come with any specifics as to how Papua New Guinea would benefit.
“The only clue left behind was that the detention centre in Manus would be expanded to cater for 3,000 people from the current 600-holding capacity.
“If anything, what about the benefit streams to Manus islanders?
“What about the nation at large? What do we stand to gain out of this new arrangement?
“Also of national importance, if we are to resettle them in Papua New Guinea, then there are serious religious considerations to make.
“Most of these asylum seekers are Muslims, and are we, as Christians, ready or resilient enough to accommodate an influx of their numbers, or for any other religion or faith, for that matter?
“I believe we have not addressed many outstanding issues with our refugee brothers and sisters from the other side of the PNG/Indonesia border.
“The UNHR office here has, over the years, made representation to the government to sort these issues out but to no avail and so the best I can describe this latest government gimmick is hypocrisy at its best.
18e) 125 asylum seekers charged over Nauru riot which caused $60m worth of damage
By Online Editor
5:37 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Nauru
The ABC understands 125 asylum seekers have been charged over a riot at the Nauru detention centre which caused $60 million worth of damage.
Emergency equipment and medical supplies are being flown to Nauru as hundreds of asylum seekers are without accommodation after burning the facilities down on Friday night.
Those involved have now been charged with offences including affray, riot and larceny.
Immigration Minister Tony Burke is also threatening to refuse or cancel the visas of those found to be responsible.
Nauruan officials say 80 per cent of the detention centre’s buildings were destroyed and nearly all of the 540 asylum seekers housed on the island were involved in the riot.
The riot began as a peaceful protest on Friday over the slow processing of claims.
But a security guard, who does not want to be named, says protesters took over the centre, gained access to a kitchen and armed themselves with knives and steel bars.
Buildings were burned to the ground, including accommodation blocks, the health centre and the dining room.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman says temporary accommodation is being set up to house the asylum seekers at the site where a new permanent detention facility is being built.
The department says the riot is not related to the Federal Government’s announcement that Australia will no longer accept asylum seekers who arrive by boat.
SOURCE: ABC NEWS/PACNEWS
18f) Threats seen in controversial refugee deal signed by Australia and PNG
Posted at 06:10 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
The executive director of Papua New Guinea’s Institute of National Affairs says the new refugee arrangement with Australia could exacerbate problems PNG already faces with overseas arrivals.
The comment from Paul Barker comes after PNG and Australia agreed that all boat people reaching Australia who are subsequently found to be genuine refugees will be resettled in PNG.
Mr Barker says there are understood to be many thousands of foreigners in PNG having entered illegally from places like China.
He says a lot of these people have taken up business activities which are meant to be restricted for locals.
“That is controversial and so suddenly the idea that a load more people will be arriving on the scene does cause controversey and some angst, especially when you consider concerns related to the very different cultural and religious backgrounds that many of the people coming under the refugee arrangements would have and how well they would fit in”
Radio New Zealand International
18g) Australia plan violates UN Refugee Convention, says law lecturer
Posted at 06:03 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
A Monash University law lecturer says Australia’s plan to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea is a clear violation of the United Nations Refugee Convention.
Azadeh Dastyari says the plan will punish asylum seekers who should be Australia’s responsibility.
Ms Dastyari says refugees may not get the socio and economic rights granted to them through the Convention in Papua New Guinea – such as the right to housing, education and health care.
She says status determination of refugees is also inferior in PNG, which may mean people that deserve protection are sent back to harm.
She says asylum seekers are being punished for their mode of arrival.
“You can’t punish a refugee for their mode of arrival. The convention says it doesn’t matter how a refugee comes into your country and what we are doing in Australia is saying that people come by boat will have less of rights by being sent to PNG by people coming by plane who will continue to be processed in Australia.”
Ms Dastyari says asylum seekers will also be mandatorily detained for protracted periods in PNG – which could be in contravention of human rights law.
Radio New Zealand International
18h) Vietnamese asylum seekers sent home by Australia
Posted at 06:03 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
A group of Vietnamese asylum seekers sent by Australia to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea have been returned to Vietnam by Australian immigration officials.
Australia’s Immigration Department says it sent them home for what it says is the group’s failure to engage Canberra’s protection obligations.
The move comes as Australia announced tough new conditions would be imposed on any asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat.
It announced last week that such people would be transferred to PNG, where they would be settled if they are recognised as refugees.
The new policy rules out any chance of settlement in Australia.
The Australian government says the rules have now changed and paying a people smuggler is not a ticket to Australia.
Radio New Zealand International
19) First vaccine against dengue in final trial
Posted at 06:03 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
The first vaccine against dengue could be on the market by the end of the year.
The French pharmaceutical group Sanofi Pasteur says while it is awaiting the vaccine’s approval, its laboratory plans to produces 100 million doses a year.
This week, its representatives will be in New Caledonia, one to Pacific Island countries mostly affected by the mosquito-borne disease.
Dominique Baudon is the director of the Pasteur Research Center in Noumea.
He told Daphne Gastaldi why this vaccine could be revolutionary for up to 10 million people affected each year.
DOMINIQUE BAUDON: It’s a very important news for New Caledonia because, here, dengue is a very big public health problem. Currently, we have a dengue epidemic since the end of 2012, with more than 10,000 cases. If we obtain such a vaccine, it will be a great progress for us. I think it’s a revolution because we worked many years to get such a vaccine. And it was very difficult to obtain a vaccine for all types of virus. There are four types of virus.
DAPHNE GASTALDI: Have you got more details about this vaccine?
DOMINIQUE BAUDON: According to the scientific revue The Lancet , in 2000, this candidate vaccine showed it was effective against three types of the virus – the Types 1, 3 and 4. Currently, there is another study in Africa and in Asia. If this study confirms the effectiveness of this vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur plans to supply 100 million doses a year before 2015. They say they are very optimistic and to save time, the manufacturing of the vaccine has been already launched even before they obtain the authorisation to launch it on the market. It’s a bet. So I think that will be confirmed.
DAPHNE GASTALDI: As the director of the Research Center, you will meet soon the representatives of this French pharmacological group. What do you expect of them?
DOMINIQUE BAUDON: We would like they confirm the results of the last study implemented in Africa and in Asia, so they confirm the vaccine is effective, okay? Secondly, we want to know what is the price of the vaccine ? How many doses do we have to give ? What is the age of the population that could benefit of this vaccine ? It’s really the first vaccine against dengue and it’s a great hope in the fight against this disease.
Radio New Zealand International
20) Top Positions At American Samoa Hospital To Be Eliminated
LBJ Board says budget challenges forced decision to abolish jobs
By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 19, 2013) – As a result of the Hospital Board’s six-month assessment of the LBJ Tropical Medical Center, six top positions have been abolished due to budget impacts, according to an LBJ board member who wishes not to be named.
The six hospital positions being eliminated include Chief Operating Officer/Vice President of Professional Services; Director/President of Nursing; Vice President/Human Resources Director; Quality Assurance Director; Vice President of Plant Services/Chief Engineer and Director of Care Services.
According to the board member, after their evaluation of the hospital the board discovered that these positions that are impacting the budget had not been properly advertised; yet these positions were created, along with their salaries and this is why the board is calling upon the hospital for a restructuring of manpower.
“We studied the hospital for six to seven months and there were a lot of financial problems, personnel problems, hiring problems and compensation problems,” said the board member.
“In essence, we’re trying to make things right at the hospital, in terms of hospital procedures in the hiring and compensation practices. When we looked at it, there was no clear documentation of things being done the right way. These positions were not advertised and we are trying to make thing right and to make the system, fair, just and equitable — so what the board looks at is… accountability… that’s our job, to ensure in our oversight role as stewards of public money that expenditures of the hospital are appropriate.
“We are now implementing the changes that need to happen to put the hospital back on the right course, so that we can develop a more financially stable hospital,” said the board member.
According to the board member, these positions with significantly high salaries were created during the last administration. The first phase to the long term financial stability of LBJ is changing polices to re-structure the financial reality of our community in the hospital budget, the board member said.
“When people hear the word vice president or president… they are like ‘whoa’. We are trying to make this hospital a family-friendly hospital. Also, these positions are usually found in big hospitals, but not for a small community hospital.”
The board member told Samoa News that those with the positions that have been eliminated will be given first preference for jobs, but they have to apply like anyone else and the job they are applying for is not guaranteed to them.
“Positions will now be advertised within the hospital and to the public and we the board are looking for the most qualified people. Those impacted will get first preference and they are good people, however we have to do this the right way. The new administration is looking at turning the hospital around and this must be done the right way, because other problems we have are that Doctors and Nurses are either overpaid or underpaid and we’re currently in the process of fixing these difficult issues.
Samoa News obtained a copy of the letter sent to one of the top officials whose position was eliminated, which was signed by the hospital’s CEO, Joseph Davis-Fleming. According to the letter, due to the hospital’s continued and pervasive financial difficulties, the hospital board has been forced to take drastic actions, including mandating a reorganization of hospital operations to ensure future visibility of the only hospital in American Samoa.
“This reorganization requires elimination of your current position,” says the letter.
“Due to the reduction in both local and federal funding sources and our inability to provide sufficient funding to allow for furlough, this notice is considered a reduction in force notice pursuant to section 11.0454 of the LBJ Tropical Medical Center Personnel Policy Manual. The required fifteen days of termination notice begins July 13, 2013 and will end on July 27, 2013 for employees who have completed their probationary period and are not considered part time or per diem,” says the letter.
The hospital CEO in his letter, which is dated July 12, 2013, stated that being consistent with LBJ personnel policies, those impacted will be entitled to a payment of unused annual leave and 50% of sick time above 239 accumulated hours on the effective date of the reduction in force. “LBJ will not withhold any voluntary payroll deduction on final paychecks issued to the employee,” said the CEO.
The CEO further stated that as a result of a board mandated reorganization, those impacted will have the option of applying for newly defined management or other vacant positions and will be considered, if qualified. “Additionally, you may be offered an acting director position in a new restricted department on a temporary basis until the vacancy for that position has been filled by either you, should you wish to be considered and are selected as the most qualified candidate for this post, or by another candidate determined to be more qualified.”
“You also have the right to resign/retire before the end of the 15-days termination notice period and refuse any offer to extend your employment with the LBJ Tropical Medical Center under a different position or status and still receive your final salary and benefits payment as outlined in our policies and procedures manual.”
CC’d on the letter were the Hospital Board of Directors Chair, Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young, as well as the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Akapusi Ledua and Chief Financial Officer, Leilua Stevenson.
The Samoa News: http://www.samoanews.com/
21) Solomons undersea miner says any mining is years away
Posted at 06:10 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
The mining company searching for deep sea minerals in Temotu Province of Solomon Islands
says it is prioritising safety of the marine environment in its exploration work.
Australia-based Bluewater Metals was granted a licence last year to search for gold in sites around Temotu.
Greenpeace has found the potential impact of deep sea mining is not properly understood and Temotu people concerned about the environmental impact of deep sea mining are calling for more consultations before it proceeds.
However Bluewater’s co-founder Timothy McConachy says that they’re only exploring at this stage and that mining, if it goes ahead, is years away.
“We’re learning as we go and hence the baby step, cautious approach that we’re taking. We want to be open and transparent. It’s a learning curve that everyone’s on and by taking the baby step approach, we actually learn as we go but overall I think we’re fairly knowledgable.”
Radio New Zealand International
22) Number of reported sexual violence cases in Fiji is on the rise
Posted at 06:03 on 22 July, 2013 UTC
The number of reported sexual violence cases in Fiji is increasing, and women and child advocates say the worrying trend of perpetrators getting younger is also on the rise.
The Fiji police say close to 3,000 sexual violence cases were reported last year.
Advocates say that while much has improved over the years in terms of community and police support, there is still much more that needs to be done.
Leilani Momoisea reports:
The Fiji Child Abuse and Sexual offences unit says the 2,980 offences reported to the police last year include rape, sexual assault and the defilement of persons under the age of 16. The Fiji police were unable to make comment, but the unit’s national co-ordinator, Detective Inspector Salaseini Vakatuturagani, told Fiji Village that in most cases the perpetrators are known to the victims.
“SALASEINI VAKATUTURAGANI: In the urban areas, there’s an increase of sexual offences. These are the ones that are reported but we really cannot tell the ones that are hidden under the carpet. Major victims, the categories are under the age of 16, rape is top, and second highest is indecent (Inaudible) of person, that is increasing right now.”
The director of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali, says a lot has improved over the years, for example, there is more awareness and support in the community and the Police Sexual Offences Unit does an excellent job most of the time. She says 30 years ago, only 5 percent of people reported sexual crimes, and this has risen to about 10 percent now. But she says it’s likely the other 90 percent of sexual violence survivors don’t report the assault, because of the attitudes of both the community and the police.
“SHAMIMA ALI: Women are blamed for being raped – it’s their fault. Those myths are still around. Then also there is a lot of problems with law enforcement, the attitudes with the service providers, with law enforcement attitudes, with our courts, even though we have some of the best laws. While things have changed, we still have those problems.”
Shamima Ali says she recently had a case where a young girl reported her rape to police, but they later lost her statement. The creative director of Womens Action for Change, Peni Moore, says there is also great concern that over the last couple of months, there have been cases with perpetrators as young as 12, 14 and 16 years old.
“PENI MOORE: There’s been cases recently of young perpetrators and we believe that it’s got to have some reflection on the availability of pornography via internet and other modes of modern communication.”
Peni Moore says the problem is not unique to Fiji, and it would be helpful to hear how other countries are educating their young people when it comes to technology and pornography. She says while police statistics show urban cases are on the increase, it’s likely rural crimes are going unreported because rural victims don’t always have the same access to support.
“PENI MOORE: By that I mean they don’t have the same access to police, they may be in a more isolated area. For example, in a family, the man goes out to work. If another man comes to the property and speaks with her, next thing there’ll be saying, ’Oh, she’s having an affair with that man’. If that man happened to come in and rape her, she would have great difficulty in proving that she wasn’t having an affair with him.”
Shamima Ali says the communities that are most likely to provide proper support for sexual violence survivors, are the ones where there is the most awareness and understanding of the problem. But she says it’s important the right prevention messages are coming from the right people. Womens Actions for Change says it works with the police to ensure they are better equipped to listen and believe children, when young people come to them to report sexual abuse. The Fiji police say it is doing community awareness programmes in many parts of the country.
Radio New Zealand International
23) No arrest despite Interpol warning over dealer
By Online Editor
5:49 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, New Zealand
Police say they did not have sufficient information toarrest one of the world’s most wanted drug dealers while he lived in New Zealand.
A 17-day window was given to police last year to nab Chen Guoming, 48, who was subject to an Interpol Red Notice alert – but he left the country freely.
Chen was eventually arrested earlier this month in Fiji, in a combined effort between police there and a Chinese Ministry of Public Security operation.
New Zealand police who recognised Chen’s particular facial features had tipped off Chinese authorities.
He was the mastermind behind a massive methamphetamine operation busted in Suva, Fiji – in 2006 – where enough material to make $700 Million worth of meth was found.
Arrests were made in Fiji, Hong Kong and Malaysia but Chen disappeared.
Authorities in several countries said he had multiple identities and may have been able to move in and out of New Zealand for years, unchallenged.
Immigration New Zealand confirmed it now knows Chen arrived here in August 2008 under a fake name and was sprung after applying for New Zealand residency last August under an assumed identity.
Immigration would not discuss the issue further referring inquiries to police. Police Minister Ann Tolley declined comment saying it was an operational issue.
Police spokesperson Grant Ogilvie said they were contacted by Immigration on August 21last year regarding a residency application by Chen who was subject to an Interpol Red Notice.
On the Interpol website Red Notices are their highest alert available for persons “wanted by national jurisdictions for prosecution… Interpol’s role is to assist the national police forces in identifying and locating… with a view to their arrest”.
Ogilvie said a Red Notice was not sufficient under New Zealand law for a person to be arrested – that would require a warrant from a New Zealand court.
“The information supplied by the Chinese authorities as part of the Red Notice was not sufficient to seek a warrant to arrest from the New Zealand courts for Mr Chen,” he said.
He said with the residency application Police assisted Immigration on an investigation into his identity “including liaison with Chinese authorities”.
Chen left New Zealand on September 7 and it was “not until some time after he left” that it was proven he was on a false identity.
“Until that point New Zealand Police had no grounds to seek an arrest warrant…. There is no suggestion that Chen was involved in drug activities while he was in New Zealand.”
Police were “quite satisfied” that they had dealt with the matter appropriately. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who has labelled Auckland as a “sin city” hide out for criminals, was surprised by the police response saying there were two ways for authorities to view Red Notices.
“One is turn a blind eye, or second, go and get a warrant,” he said.
“I think it’s the former and it is a bit alarming.”
Peters was foreign minister at the time of the 2006 drug bust in Suva.
He recalled growing concern among authorities across the Pacific about what might have been going on in the transnational crime area in the South Pacific.Had it been any other Pacific nation than Fiji a lot more attention would have gone into it, Peters added.
Chen is not the first red-flagged Chinese citizen to get into New Zealand.
Last year a political scandal broke out around Chinese millionaire Bill Liu, who came to New Zealand while wanted in China on fraud allegations.
He was granted citizenship in 2008 by then minister Shane Jones, despite advice from Department of Internal Affairs that he failed the good character test.
SOURCE: STUFF NZ/PACNEWS
24) PM Key to be in Honiara for RAMSI annivesary
By Online Editor
6:00 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Solomon Islands
New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key will be one of the high level guests in Honiara this week for the tenth anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Prime Minister Key will lead a delegation of New Zealand Ministers and Members of Parliament to the Solomon Islands, as well as New Zealand Defence Force and Police representatives who have been involved in RAMSI operations over the last decade.
“The strength of the New Zealand delegation signifies the importance of our RAMSI contribution to the Solomon Islands. New Zealand will continue to support the mission as it transitions from a military and police mission to a police-only mission,” said PM Key.
RAMSI deployed in 2003 at the invitation of the Solomon Islands Government following a five year destabilising period of civil disorder.
RAMSI has markedly reduced violence and aided in increasing delivery of government services to the public.
SOURCE: SOLOMON TIMES/PACNEWS
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:
25) Wellington earthquake: Workers told to stay away
By Online Editor
5:35 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, New Zealand
Wellington City Council is now advising workers to stay clear of the central city for the rest of the day while inspectors continue to assess buildings for earthquake damage.
Earlier, the council had urged workers not to return until noon, however at a press conference this morning, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said these inspections were taking longer than first thought.
More than 100 aftershocks have been recorded since the biggest of a swarm of earthquakes struck in the Cook Strait at 5.09pm yesterday, including a spate of tremors reaching between 4.5 and 4.9 in magnitude struck the middle of the country about 3.15am today.
GNS Science has said there was a chance of an aftershock measuring 6 in magnitude in the next week.
Four people were injured during the 20 second-long tremor.
Inspections are continuing around the capital after the long shake, which blew out windows, cracked concrete and caused buildings to sway.
Ms Wade-Brown said building inspectors were making visual assessments of CBD buildings as well as more detailed inspections of council buildings but she said it was up to individual business owners to ensure the safety of their properties.
The faultline causing earthquakes in Cook Strait has a history of producing “swarms” of quakes, but none that have been devastating in the hundreds of years since records began.
The earthquakes that shook Wellington three times on Friday and twice yesterday – the highest at magnitude 6.5 last night – and the following aftershocks resulted from the squeezing of the city in the boundary between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.
Director of Earthquake Engineering at Beca, Dr Richard Sharpe said he did not expect yesterday’s earthquakes to have much effect on buildings, but predicted it would provoke engineering checks.
“In general New Zealand is very resilient to this type of earthquake. This type of shaking occurring in other countries with very brittle buildings might have caused a lot more mayhem than today,” Sharpe said.
Victoria University professor of geophysics Euan Smith said the interface between the overlying Australian and underlying Pacific plates was a significant fault.
“Its potential is that it could have big earthquakes,” Smith said.
“We have no historical record and no recent, unequivocal geological record of a big earthquake for many hundreds of years, so we simply don’t know how often really big earthquakes may happen on this structure.”
Professor Smith said residents should be “sensibly concerned” because a severe earthquake was completely unpredictable.
However, he said the latest seismic activity was similar to a swarm of smaller earthquakes which struck Wellington in January 1950.
Those 30 earthquakes were above magnitude 3 and also occurred in Cook Strait, about 50km northwest of the current epicentre.
“They could go on as the 1950 swarm did for a month. Or they could be all over, though I think that’s very unlikely.”
Yesterday there were more than five aftershocks, with one measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale before the magnitude 6.5 hit shortly after 5pm.
“We’re having a succession of breaks of little patches on the same fault.”
Professor Smith said a large earthquake could not be ruled out because earthquakes were unpredictable.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS
26) Migration not a priority yet: Kiribati
By Online Editor
5:51 pm GMT+12, 22/07/2013, Kiribati
The planned purchase of land in Fiji by the government of Kiribati does not mean the whole population of the island nation will migrate to Fiji.
That’s the clarification by the Kiribati High Commissioner to Fiji, Reteta Rimon.
Six thousand acres of land is being surveyed in the northern island of Vanua Levu and the purchase is close to being finalised.
The land, in Savusavu, belongs to the Anglican Church of Fiji and is being sought by the Kiribati government as rising sea levels continue to threaten their livelihood.
According to the Kiribati High Commissioner here in Fiji, migrating to Fiji isn’t their priority, at least not for now!
“One of the issues, maybe immediate one would be to develop the land in agriculture production and other economic activities. Off course I wouldn’t want to pre-empt government’s decision because nothing is being finalised yet, High Commissioner Rimon told FBC News.
Speaking about the effects of climate change back home wasn’t easy for Reteta Rimon, but she agrees that eventually, the rising sea levels will force them out of their land, and Fiji could become home to some.
“In the long term, when our land is no longer inhabitable, those who have the means and wish to move, perhaps there’s somewhere they could go to, but of course my government will be talking to the Fijian government. We’re not going to just have a lot of people coming over to settle as reported by the media.”
According to Rimon, the feedback from the Fijian government has been very positive, at the same time praising the support shown towards the people of Kiribati.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
27) Tonga Rugby Tournament Postponed After Large Fight
147 students arrested, two boys in hospital
NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 19, 2013) – Student violence last night, that saw two boys admitted to Vaiola Hospital [one reportedly in critical condition] and the arrest of 147 boys, has forced the postponement of the finals of the Tongatapu Secondary School Rugby Tournament that were scheduled for today.
Two Tonga College boys are in Vaiola Hospital with injuries sustained in an alleged attack by Tupou College students last night at a home in Tofoa. Police have arrested 147 boys who remain in police custody for interrogation.
The Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Soakai Motu‘apuaka told Matangi Tonga Online this morning that the decision to postpone the finals for all rugby grades today was due to the escalating fights between students.
He said around midnight last night it was alleged that a group of Tupou College students went and smashed a home at Tofoa with rocks, and the two Tonga College students who sustained injuries including head injuries, were now in the hospital. The home was occupied by a Tonga High School teacher and a few Tonga College students.
“The two injured boys are reported to be in a stable condition but we have in police custody at the Nuku’alofa Central Police station 147 students from Tupou College whom we are interrogating today. We had to pull out our policemen from the Mu‘a and Nukunuku Police stations to help deal with the matter,” he said.
Following the incident, he said that police contacted the Secondary School Rugby Committee and asked them to consider postponing the rugby finals today. The postponement was confirmed by the Committee President Fr. ‘Aisake Vaisima of ‘Apifo‘ou College this morning.
He said the finals will still be held, but police would meet again with the committee to decide whether it is best to have one final per rugby grade a day.
The Acting Deputy Police Commissioner believed that finding a solution to the fighting between school students needs a holistic approach.
Tonga College is an all boys Government school, while Tupou College is an all boys boarding school of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.
Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/