Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 837

1a) PNG PM Peter O’Neill warns Coalition to stop misrepresenting foreign aid deal

By Online Editor
12:52 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has launched an extraordinary attack on the Coalition, accusing it of “misrepresenting” Australia’s foreign aid deals with his country.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop says Peter O’Neill has told the Coalition he is now in control of the aid money coming from Australia to his country.

It is likely aid funding to PNG will increase after it agreed to process and resettle refugees who come by boat to Australia.

O’Neill has accused the Opposition of misrepresenting a private briefing he gave them last week about the deal for political gain.

“I don’t particularly appreciate being misrepresented by others for their own political interests,” he told the ABC.

“I am disappointed with some of the debates put forward by some of the leaders in the Opposition in Australia, in particular statements I am alleged to have made to them.

“They are completely untrue.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has suggested the foreign aid money would not be spent responsibly and with accountability.

O’Neill is calling on the Opposition to show more respect in its dealings with his government.

“We are not going to put up with this kind of nonsense,” he said.

“We are helping resolving an Australian issue. Try and be respectful when we start talking about these issues.”

O’Neill says many of the projects involving Australian aid will also be partially funded by the PNG government.

“So I don’t see why we should be dragged into a debate that is now taking a new twist to represent individual interest and political interest in Australia,” he said.

He says no details have been released publicly on the amount of money the Australian Government has committed to in its new deal.

“There is no indication that we were boasting about the amounts of money that was paid,” he said.

“I think those details were politely not discussed and I think it’s unfair on them (Australian politicians) to try and drag us into the debate.

“We understand the elections are coming around the corner, but please let us debate on facts.”

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the Coalition has not disrespected PNG through its comments on foreign aid.

“I think the Coalition and all Australian politicians have been very respectful of the relationships we have with Papua New Guinea and other jurisdictions as well,” he said.

“But let me just say this, under the Coalition there will be no blank cheques from Australian taxpayers to any other country.”

Hockey has suggested the price tag for the Government’s policy to send all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to be processed and resettled in PNG could be billions of dollars.

Hockey says he assumes Australia will have to pay Centrelink and Medicare benefits for refugees who end up living there for the rest of their lives.

“I assume that is exactly what is going to happen,” he said.

“That’s why the Government hasn’t told us how much this is going to cost, because you are looking at billions, billions and billions of dollars for as far as you can see for basically setting up an Australian colony in Papua New Guinea.”

Former immigration minister Brendan O’Connor says the obligations owed to the refugees will be shared between Australia and PNG.

He has also rejected Mr Hockey’s assertions.

“If the [arrival of] vessels slowed then the hypothetical that’s been put forward by Joe Hockey doesn’t exist – that is, thousands of people over years going to be settled in PNG,” he said.

“I think this will see a cessation over time of vessels, which means the cohort we’re talking about is relatively small.”

The extraordinary broadside from the Papuan leader follows a subtle public criticism from Indonesia about the Coalition’s “turn back the boats” policy.

Indonesia’s president recently signed a communiqué calling on leaders to refrain from “unilateral action” that would undermine regional cooperation on people smuggling.
SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

1b) Civil Society Discuss Sustainable Peace(25/7/13)

In the past week, over 40 religious, private sector, and civil society leaders from around the Solomon Islands have participated a training course in peace building.

The training on Peacebuilding and Conflict Analysis focused on conflict analysis, the difference between conflict and violence; as well as strategies for peace interventions. It also gave the opportunity for participants to return to their communities to effectively address opportunities for peaceful resolution of conflicts.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Unity Reconciliation and Peace, Lennis Rukale encouraged participants to build on the collaboration they had created at the workshop. He also encouraged the participants to continue to work closely with the Ministry so that together they could construct sustainable peace.

Solomon Islands United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Akiko Suzaki said that peace was every body’s business.

“The objective of the training was to bring together a critical group of champions within the CSOs of Solomon Islands and to ensure an effective strategy for the management of peace initiatives is set in place that would help to prevent outbreaks of new violent conflict. Our partnership is crucial in promoting peace and security.”

The training was, co-facilitated by Paulo Bale, an independent consultant from Fiji and Francis Kairi from the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation, and Peace.

“Women are struggling to find livelihoods and everyone is crowded into one space, if we do training with people who work at the local level, people will shift their minds. People need the tools, skills and information to show them that life can be different and that they can make difference in their own lives and set new directions for their communities. Peacebuilding has the tools and skills to do that,” said Mr Kairi.

Martha Rurai, from the Malaita Council of Women said the tools presented at the workshop were helpful.

“The tools that I learnt to use at this training will be very helpful in my organisation’s dealing with domestic violence and will help us to move forward.”

“Our main aim is to bring about peace to the rural community and we are focusing on ways to do that. We are learning, ideas and strategies of how to encourage people to come up with peace. This thing is helping me in the planning process so that we will get the results we want. In addition, this workshop has helped me to understand that so that we dig down into the roots because unless we get the roots up, the problem will emerge again later,” said President of the Toabaita Council of Chiefs, David Dauta.

Clement Tavoria of Guadalcanal, who attended such training for the first time was very impressed.

“This is my first time to attend a peacebuilding workshop. I work for a major company that deals with oil and employs many people from different provinces with different cultures and backgrounds so when they come into the company and there can be problems. The training has given me hope,” he said .

The training was organized by the UNDP Solomon Islands Human Security project in partnership with the Development Sector Exchange (DSE), the Ministry of National Unity Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP) and with technical support from the Strengthening Capacities for Peace and Development (CPAD) project.

Source: UNDP, Solomon Islands

1c) Vanuatu opposition fails with motion challenge

Posted at 07:53 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu’s Supreme Court has thrown out an opposition constitutional application concerning their failure to have a motion of no confidence debated.

The speaker of parliament, Philip Boedoro, had refused the opposition request for an extra-ordinary session earlier this month, saying some signatures on the motion were invalid.

The chief justice Vincent Lunabek ruled Mr Boedoro was right to reject the opposition push after the signatures of four MPs were withdrawn from the motion.

The four MPs had told the court last week that their signatures were on the document but they had been supplied for other purposes and were not intended as part of a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister, Moana Carcasses.

Justice Lunabek has also ruled that the newly elected Tanna MP, Pascal Iauko, could not sign the request because he hadn’t been sworn in.

But he says the suspended Luganville MP, Georges Wells, was entitled to sign.

Radio New Zealand International

1d) Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 July 2013

Posted: July 25, 2013 | Author: bobmakin |

a) The press today is largely full of reports of Children’s Day. A principal gathering was the one organised for Freswota where the Independence celebrations also started. At Red Light all the children received gifts.

b) Kwila Limited, the developer of the artificial island in the Second Lagoon (Emten) has to pay a custom owner 16.5 million vatu for trespass, for loss of value on the custom owner’s property, for loss of mangroves and the fisheries resource for the custom owners. The judgement in the Supreme Court hearing turned against the claimant (Kwila Limited) who brought the action against the custom owner whose access to the lagoon was restricted by the island dumped across his foreshore and in the digging of a channel, reports Daily Post. The developer has since constructed many hotel units on the “island” without any approval as regards toilet effluent and other domestic waste and residents and custom owners of the land on the lagoon are concerned for the health of their environment. As an increasing number of mangroves are being removed from the coastline, the fish breeding ground for both lagoons is seriously threatened. The judgement in the case will be highly instructive for would-be foreshore developers and those seeking to remove mangroves. The judgement can be accessed at paclii.org and is entitled Kwila Ltd v Joseph [2013] VUSC 36; Civil Case 105 of 2010.

c) Eratap land owners have warned against illegal land selling in their area, Daily Post observes. [It should be noted that Eratap, like Erakor, is also a custom owner of parts of the Second Lagoon.] The families Kalwatong and Kalmermer have given notice to the purported Eratap landowners to refund any monies obtained for Eratap leases. This should be repaid before October, the article says, although no reason for that date is given. The reason given for the halt to such sales is said to be the Land Appeal Case currently before the Supreme Court which touches all land between the rivers Teouma and Renatabao.http://vanuatudaily.wordpress.com/

2) Fiji will no longer be dictated to by outside influence: Fiji PM Bainimarama

By Online Editor
10:16 am GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Fiji

Fijian Prime Minister Commodore  Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji is in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of international relations.

He made the statement while opening a three-day consultation in Suva involving Fiji’s heads of missions.

Bainimarama says the significant expansion of Fijian diplomacy in the past five years, has paved the way for the government.

“Fiji is becoming a cohesive, unified force that is truly independent. We are taking charge of our own destiny and carving out our own niche in the world.

We don’t see ourselves as beholden to anyone. We will act in our own interests, not the interests of those who attempt to impose their will on us. The days of us being dictated to by outsiders are over,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

Bainimarama informed the heads of missions what he would expect from them during the meeting.

“So now, I would like to pose a question to every one of you: how are your Missions contributing to the greater movement of reform, development and progress in Fiji now? What are the tangible results you are delivering to the Fijian people? Is there more you could be doing? Are there new markets to be developed? opportunities for new imports, or new exports? Are you doing enough to seek out investment that will grow our economy? What are ways to better advance our nation’s interests abroad?,” he asked Fijian diplomats.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

3) Fiji AG Slams Statement Made By Sugar Union Leader
Says strike during crushing season would damage industry

By Rachna Lal

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, July 24, 2013) – Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday slammed the head of the Sugar Industry General Workers Union, Felix Anthony.

Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum’s comments came in a statement regarding an industrial action threat by the union claiming unfair treatment of mill workers.

Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr. Anthony is putting his own personal interests ahead of the well-being of the workers he supposedly represents and more than 1,200 other sugar mill workers who do not even belong to his union.

“Any industrial action, especially in the middle of crushing season, is a shameless attempt to damage the sugar industry at a time when reform and hard work are showing concrete results in improving its financial health, reversing a long decline,” he said.

“This progress made possible the raise announced last week.

“These steps forward have also meant that sugar cane farmers are now paid more and paid sooner for their crops.”

Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum said the union boss has left no doubt that he looks down upon the hard working members of his union and others to whom the sugar industry is a way of life.

“He clearly thinks nothing of abusing his power in a vain attempt to survive at a time when his relevance in the Fijian economy has become questionable,” Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“He is misleading and irresponsible advice to union members only threatens to take them down with him.

“The union boss—in his desperate attempts to hang on – largely in the eyes of his meddling international labor allies –is actually taking part in a malicious effort to kill the Fijian tourism industry, threatening the jobs of thousands of Fijian workers.

“By attempting to disrupt Fiji’s trade relationship with the United State, his putting 15,000 Fijian jobs on the line.

“These are the antics of the old Fiji, and have no place in Fiji now.”

FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/

4) Fiji envoys prepare for 2014 elections

By Online Editor
3:29 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s ambassadors and high commissioners have assured the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that they are all geared up for the 2014 election.

Relaying this assurance yesterday was the Dean of Missions, Ambassador Winston Thompson at the opening of the Heads of Mission Consultation at Borron House.

He said at their various areas of work they had promoted and supported the changes put in place by the Government as the nation prepares for the election.

In his opening address, the Prime Minister told the Ambassadors about the developments in Fiji’s international position which matched developments underway at home – economic, social, environmental and political.

He said Government was finalising a new Constitution that addresses socio-economic rights for all Fijians.

“This includes the right to economic participation, the right to work and the right to a just minimum wage, as well as to such things as transportation and adequate food and water,” the Prime Minister said.

“Our new Constitution will introduce long overdue democratic principles– for the first time – an electoral system that removes the legal enforcement of ethnic voting, enshrines one person, one vote, one value and helps voters focus on the merits of the policies the respective political parties are offering.”

He added that it will introduce an entirely new regime of accountability and transparency.

“In addition to your traditional diplomatic roles, it is up to each of you to develop new markets for Fijian products, to attract new investment to our shores, and to sell ‘Brand Fiji’ to the world.”.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA:

5) Former Senator James Underwood II Mourned On Guam
Helped to secure funds for airport, establish local EPA

By Frank Whitman

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, July 25, 2013) – Guam is in a state of mourning for former Sen. James H. Underwood II, who died yesterday following an illness. He served five terms as a member of the Guam Legislature, from 1975 through 1984.

During his tenure in the Guam Legislature, he authored legislation to establish the Guam Environmental Protection Agency and successfully secured a Duty Free Shoppers’ bond financing guarantee to build the Guam International Airport. He was also instrumental in the passage of legislation providing for the construction of sidewalks on San Vitores Road in Tumon. He was a delegate to the island’s Constitutional Convention in 1977.

“Jim was conscientious, hardworking and intelligent, what a great combination to help and have on your side during deliberations and for support,” said Al Ysrael, who served with Underwood as a member of the 13th Guam Legislature. “Jim was of the old school; he believed in hard work and being true to one’s principles and beliefs.”

Underwood also served in a number of top government positions in Republican and Democratic administrations.

Among the positions he held were director of the departments of Labor, Public Works, Public Health and Social Services, and Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities. He also headed the Guam Telephone Authority and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency. He was executive director of the Commission on Decolonization and general manager of the Guam Mass Transit Authority.

He was also an active supporter of a number of island civic organizations. Underwood was a member of the Young Men’s League of Guam and was a two-term past president of the Rotary Club of Guam. It was under his leadership that the club established a student exchange program with Karuizawa, Japan which has lasted more than four decades. He was a strong supporter of the Guam Women’s Club and the Youth Congress.

Devout

He was also a devout Catholic who was instrumental in the construction of the concrete cross on Mt. Humuyong Manglu, which is visited annually by hundreds of the faithful on Good Friday. Every year he narrated the Dec. 8 procession in honor of Santa Marian Kamalen and he continued a tradition of service during Christmas Midnight Mass.

“Jim, above all, was a loving father and husband,” said Philip Flores, former Republican Party chairman and friend of Underwood’s. “He and Ama just celebrated their 25th anniversary. And he was a friend. He was hardworking, honest, caring, and the ultimate gentleman. Guam’s loss, Heaven’s gain.”

He was the son of former Sen. Raymond F. Underwood and Ana E. T. Underwood who owned and operated Marianas Sales and Tendan Nene in Hagåtña.

He is survived by his wife, Lagrimas; his son, James H. Underwood III; and his sister, Rosemarie Underwood.

Underwood was a member of the University of Guam class of 1968 and served as treasurer of the UOG Alumni Association.

“Sen. Underwood’s work saw our island and her people through important moments in Guam’s history,” said the proclamation issued by acting Gov. Ray Tenorio. “His leadership set the pace for a robust economy that helped establish Guam’s place in the region and the world.”

Tenorio ordered the island’s flags be flown at half-staff in Underwood’s honor until the day of his interment.

Mass will be celebrated for Underwood on Tuesday at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica at 11 a.m.

Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com

AUSTRALIA:

6) AUSAID scoping work begins in Lae

By Online Editor
12:44 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Senior officials from AusAID and the Government of PNG travelled to Lae today to begin scoping work on two infrastructure projects that Prime Ministers Peter O’Neill and Kevin Rudd agreed to fast-track on 19 July.

The delegation, including AusAID health experts, started scoping work for the upgrade to Lae Hospital. The team met the hospital Board and inspected capital works requirements.

Tomorrow the officials and engineers will drive to Madang to conduct an assessment of capital works requirements for the upgrade to the Ramu Highway. This scoping work is being jointly conducted with the Department of Works.

Work is also underway to scope the development of the Lower Courts Complex in Port Moresby. Senior AusAID officers met with the Chief Magistrate on Monday to discuss a draft Terms of Reference for the project.

AusAID’s Head of Aid to PNG, Stuart Schaefer, said that the acceleration of work on these important projects was a demonstration of the strong partnership between Australia and PNG.
SOURCE: NBC PNG/PACNEWS

7) Australia will never fail Solomon Islands: Senator Carr

By Online Editor
12:53 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Solomon Islands

Australian Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr Wednesday reassured Solomon Islanders that Australia will never fail the Pacific island nation.

Senator Carr echoed the message after sealing an expanded development partnership deal with Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

“I would like to conclude with this message: As RAMSI transitions to basically policing role, Australia is committed to this nation in a longer term, we will never fail in our friendship towards Solomon Islands and its people.”

He said the expanded partnership deal formalises the vision both subscribe to, which includes working together to achieve improved development outcomes.

Lilo told the media after the signing, he had a “successful and fruitful” bilateral discussion with Senator Carr.

“We touched on issues of common interest to our two countries, during which Senator Carr reassured us of Australia’s commitment to development programs of the country.

“We signed the development partnership agreement which is an important one that will ensure we transition some main activities under RAMSI to bilateral programs between our countries.

“It’s built on mutual trust and respect and the obligation is on both sides.

“It will trigger quality engagement.”

Lilo said, “We must show good cause in ensuring good governance, our priorities are in our development budget, investment in economic infrastructure, promoting private sector investment, investment in quality health and education.

“It’s a successful talks and one that we will continue to be revised in the future.”

The Partnership is the basis of Australia’s aid relationship with the Solomon Islands.

The revised Partnership will now include assistance to justice services and public sector management, as well as support for the 2014 elections.

These additional priorities reflect the move of development programs under RAMSI to the Australian aid program, which took place on July 1, 2013.

The new partnership will continue to support the efforts to improve health, education and infrastructure.

Australia and Solomon Islands have set ambitious targets for the year ahead through the partnership. This includes working together to improve the quality of basic education, deliver more resources to provincial health posts and provide an additional 10,000 people in rural areas with access to safe water and basic sanitation.

Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination Connelly Sandakabatu and Australian Minister for International Development Melissa Parke witnessed the signing.

Meanwhile, Senator Bob Carr on Tuesday congratulated and praised members of the military element of RAMSI.

Senator Carr on arrival headed directly to the RAMSI base at Guadalcanal Beach Resort (GBR) to hand over certificates and medals to members of RAMSI’s Combine Task Force 635 (CTF).

“You have done a wonderful job in helping a friend,” he said.

He said the military component had worked alongside members of the PPF and RSIPF in a partnership that has seen a successful mission.

All CTF members received Australian Service Medals (ASM), an Australian military decoration in recognition of service in peacekeeping and non-warlike operations.

The military component since July 1 has ceased to function, allowing only the PPF to support the RSIPF.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN:

8a) PNG PM Peter O’Neill i wonim Australia Oposisan

Postim 25 July 2013, 10:05 AEST

By PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane, staff

Praim Minista blong Papua New Guinea i sutim pinis ol strongpla toktok egensim Coalition oposisan blong Australia long noken mekim ol giaman toktok long Australian Aid igo long PNG.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has taken a swipe at Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for misrepresenting the asylum seeker deal for his own political purposes. (Credit: ABC)

Julie Bishop husat isave sanap makim Oposisan long Foran Afeas itokim Coalition olsem Mr O’Neill nau i bosim olgeta moni oa Aid em Australia isave givim igo long Papua New Guinea.

I luk olsem Australia bai apim moni igo long PNG bihaen long PNG ibin tok oraet long kisim na prosesim olgeta asailam sika husat isave kamap long ol bot long Australia.

Mr O’Neill i sutim tok long Oposisan long emi no harim gut wanpla toktok emi bin givim igo long oposisan long wik igo pinis, we emi bin tok despla tok oraet bai kamapim planti gutpla samting.

Mr O’Neill ibin tokim ABC olsem emi no wanbel tru long harim olsem ol narapla laen iwok long mekim ol kaen kaen toktok blong helpim ol iet long wok politik.

Emi tok emi no hamamas wantem sampla toktok em ol memba blong oposisan long Australia iwok long mekim, na tu emi no bin mekim planti long ol despla toktok.

Ol bikpla toktok.

Australia bai apim Aid moni igo long PNG bihaenim despla nupla asailam polisi.
Oli no tokaut iet long olgeta tingting na toktok blong despla polisi.
PNG PM Peter O’Neill itok Australia Coalition ino harim gut ol toktok blong en long despla asailam polisi.
Emi askim strong Coalition long respektim na luksave gut long gavman blong en.
Joe Hockey itok Coalition i luksave na respektim PNG

Australia Oposisan lida Tony Abbott itoka olsem PNG bai no nap lukautim na iusim gut despla moni em Australia bai givim em.

Mr O’Neill na i askim Coalition long respektim gut gavman blong en taem emi mekim ol toktok wantem PNG Gavman.

Emi tok tu olsem Papua New Guinea ino laik sidaon tasol na kisim ol despla kaen toktok blong Coalition.

“I think those details were politely not discussed and I think it’s unfair on them (Australian politicians) to try and drag us into the debate.

“We understand the elections are coming around the corner, but please let us debate on facts.”

The PNG government has also made its displeasure known through its High Commission in Canberra.

PNG’s High Commissioner to Australia, Charles Lepani, has released a statement warning “Australian politicians to observe international protocols and courtesies when discussing relations with other friendly sovereign nations”.

He says Australian politicians should not “impugn the dignity of our leaders” who are assisting Australia with the complex issue of asylum seekers.

Coalition being ‘very respectful’, Hockey says

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the Coalition has not disrespected PNG through its comments on foreign aid.

“I think the Coalition and all Australian politicians have been very respectful of the relationships we have with Papua New Guinea and other jurisdictions as well,” he said.

“But let me just say this, under the Coalition there will be no blank cheques from Australian taxpayers to any other country.”

Mr Hockey has suggested the price tag for the Government’s policy to send all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to be processed and resettled in PNG could be billions of dollars.

Mr Hockey says he assumes Australia will have to pay Centrelink and Medicare benefits for refugees who end up living there for the rest of their lives.

“I assume that is exactly what is going to happen,” he said.

“That’s why the Government hasn’t told us how much this is going to cost, because you are looking at billions, billions and billions of dollars for as far as you can see for basically setting up an Australian colony in Papua New Guinea.”

Former immigration minister Brendan O’Connor says the obligations owed to the refugees will be shared between Australia and PNG.

He has also rejected Mr Hockey’s assertions.

“If the [arrival of] vessels slowed then the hypothetical that’s been put forward by Joe Hockey doesn’t exist – that is, thousands of people over years going to be settled in PNG,” he said.

“I think this will see a cessation over time of vessels, which means the cohort we’re talking about is relatively small.”

The extraordinary broadside from the Papuan leader follows a subtle public criticism from Indonesia about the Coalition’s “turn back the boats” policy.

Indonesia’s president recently signed a communiqué calling on leaders to refrain from “unilateral action” that would undermine regional cooperation on people smuggling. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

8b) Pacific Midia laen ino wanbel long Indonesia i stopim Papua niuspepa

Updated 25 July 2013, 11:02 AEST

Laen blong Pasifik  Pacific Freedom Forum itok despla tingting ino stret na emi i brukim tu Press Fridam long blong Indonesia

Odio: Titi Gabi, Chair bilong Pacific Freedom Forum, itoktok wantem Pius Bonjui

Titi Gabi, Chair bilong Pacific Freedom Forum, itoktok wantem Pius Bonjui (Credit: ABC)

Oli mekim despla toktok Wbihaen long ol polis blong  Indonesia i stopim wok blong salim  niupela magazine oa niuspepa  long West Papua.

Pasifik  Pacific Freedom Forum itok  dispela i brukim press laws bilong Indonesia na i mekim strongpela toktok agensim despla kaen pasin em Polis blong Indonesian i mekim.

Indonesian Press Council i joinim Pacific Freedom Forum long mekim strongpela toktok agensim dispela pasin bilong polis long stopim wok blong salim igo aut ol niuspepa oa magazine  em oli kolim, Papua Pelita.

Despla emi nambawan taem oli statim despla niuspepa na ol bikpla stori long en i lukluk long wok blong OPM, laen emi save fait long fridam blong ol West papua pipal.

Long nambawan page, igat piksa blong Morngin Star Flag blong West Papua. Ol polis ino laik bai oli save salim despla niuspepa long West Papua tasol ol pipal long ol narapla hap long Indonesia iken baem despla niuspepa. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

8c) Solomon Islands imas tingting gut long fiuja bihain long RAMSI

Updated 25 July 2013, 16:26 AEST

Sam Seke

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo wantaim nabawan na nau Special Coordinator blong RAMSI i askim pipol blong Solomon Islands long tingting gutpela long fiuja blong kantri.

Odio: Prime Minister Lilo; Ramsi bos bipo Nick Warner na Ramsi bos nau ia Nicholas Coppel i toktok

Prime Minister Lilo; Ramsi bos bipo Nick Warner na Ramsi bos nau ia Nicholas Coppel i toktok (Credit: ABC)

Oli mekim dispela singaut long wanpela semina long Honiara tede we sampela yut lida na sumatin tu i go longen, blong lukluk long fiuja blong Solomon Islands bihain long dispela Regional Assistance Mission i lusim kantri.

Taim em i toktok long semina, nabawan bos blong Ramsi, Nick Warner itok, oli bin go pudaun long balus long Honiara long naba 24 long July, 2003  wantaim 1,700 soldjia na 300 polis ofisa.

Mr Warner itok long taim ia oli kamap long ples we igat planti korapsen, ikonomi i bagarap na planti still na kriminol lain i save raun wantaim gan.

Em itok em bai no lus tingting long lukim tu planti pipol ibin go bungim ol military na polis fos blong RAMSI taim oli kamap long Henderson Airpot.

Blong pinisim toktok blongen, nabawan Special Coordinator blong RAMSI Nick Warner itok – pipol long Solomon Islands i mas tingim ol gutpela wok we i kamap pinis, lainim long mistek na ino kem bagarapim ken ol gutpela wok i stap.

Na Prime Minister Gordorn Darcy Lilo i tokim ol pipol long semina olsem Solomon Islands i fesim yet planti ol kainkain challenge long development blongen.

Em i tok kantri i nidim risois long kamapim ikonomi blong kantri na em i askim ol landona long mekim investment long graun blong ol.

Prime Minister Lilo itok, Solomon Islands imas save gut olsem belkros na pait bai nonap bringim wanpela gutpela samting long kantri.

Special Coordinator blong RAMSI nau ia, Nicholas Coppel i tok semina em ino blong toktok long wanem samting RAMSI ibin wokim long insait tenpela yar igo.
Em blong lukluk long wanem samting blong mekim kantri i kamap gutpela insait long narapela ten pela yar ikam.

Mr Coppel itok em i save bai Solomon Islands i kamap wantaim ol gutpela tingting long fiuja blong kantri. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BAHASA:

9) Oposisi usul militer pimpin satgas anti penyelundup manusia

Diperbaharui 25 July 2013, 14:18 AEST

Koalisi Oposisi Australia mengumumkan rencana mengangkat seorang komandan militer, yang bertanggung-jawab mencegah penyelundupan manusia dan mengamankan perbatasan Australia.

Menurut usulan yang diberi nama Operasi Kedaulatan Perbatasan itu, seorang komandan militer akan ditunjuk oleh Panglima Pasukan Pertahanan Australia dan melapor kepada Menteri Imigrasi.

Pemimpin Oposisi Tony Abbot mengatakan, penyelundupan manusia adalah suatu ‘keadaan darurat nasional’.

Ia mengatakan, jika terpilih pemerintah Koalisi akan meminta Pasukan Pertahanan menunjuk seorang jenderal bintang tiga untuk memimpin satuan tugas gabungan menangani penyelundupan manusia dan perlindungan perbatasan.

Ia mengatakan, operasi akan dimulai dalam waktu 100 hari begitu Koalisi memimpin pemerintahan. Operasi rencananya akan melibatkan 12 badan yang terlibat langsung dalam pengamanan perbatasan.

“Ini termasuk situasi eksternal paling serius yang sudah lama kita hadapi,” kata Abbot kepada reporter di Brisbane, “Itulah mengapa kira perlu mempunyai seorang perwira senior untuk memimpin.”

Jurubicara oposisi bidang imigrasi Scott Morrison mengatakan, usul ini diajukan setelah pembahasan bertahun-tahun dengan tim penasehat senior pertahanan.

Mayjen (purn) Jim Molan adalah salah seorang penasehat yang menyusun kebijakan itu.

“Ini bukan operasi militer, ini operasi yang dipimpin oleh militer,” katanya.

Koalisi juga mengatakan akan merampungkan rincian rencananya untuk menolak kapal pencari suaka, dalam 100 hari pertama sejak mulai memerintah.

Perdana Menteri Kevin Rudd menepis kebijakan itu sebagai satu lagi slogan kaum oposisi.

Pengumuman Koalisi Oposisi itu dikeluarkan sehari setelah PM Papua Nugini, Peter O’Neill, mengeluarkan kecaman pedas menuduh oposisi Australia  ‘salah menafsirkan’ kesepakatan bantuan luar negeri Australia di negaranya.

Jurubicara urusan luar negeri oposisi, Julie Bishop, mengatakan, O’Neill mengakui ia kini menguasai dana bantuan Australia untuk negaranya.

Kemungkinan dana bantuan ke PNG akan ditingkatkan setelah negara itu setuju memroses dan memukimkan kembali pengungsi yang datang dengan kapal ke Australia.

Tony Abbot mengatakan, dana bantuan luar negeri itu tidak akan dimanfaatkan secara bertanggung-jawab.

Akibatnya, PM O’Neill minta oposisi Australia menunjukkan respek dalam berurusan dengan pemerintah PNG.

ABC/AAP

FRENCH:

10a) Australie: l’armée pour arrêter les bateaux

Posté à 25 July 2013, 15:35 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

L’opposition libérale australienne propose d’envoyer l’armée à la frontière entre les eaux australiennes, internationales et indonésiennes pour arrêter les bateaux de demandeurs d’asile, et surtout, les passeurs indonésiens.

Tony Abbott, le chef des Libéraux et candidat contre Kevin Rudd au poste de Premier ministre, propose un commandant spécifiquement affecté à cette tâche, qui serait nommé par le chef de l’État-major et répondrait directement au Premier ministre. Pour l’instant, les bateaux partent toujours vers les eaux australiennes, mais n’y parviennent pas toujours. Hier un autre bateau de demandeurs d’asile a coulé au large de Java, faisant 9 morts, selon un bilan provisoire. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

10b) Accident diplomatique entre Peter O’Neill et l’opposition australienne

Mis à jour 25 July 2013, 15:38 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Le Premier ministre papou n’a pas apprécié les accusations des Libéraux. Selon Julie Bishop en effet, c’est désormais le gouvernement papou lui-même qui gèrerait les 500 millions de dollars d’aide au développement donnée par l’Australie.

Peter O’Neill interrogé par Liam Cochrane, notre correspondant à Port-Moresby, hier soir: « ne mêlez pas la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée à vos opérations politiciennes en Australie. » (Credit: ABC)

Et non le gouvernement australien comme il se doit. La porte-parole de l’opposition chargée des relations internationales a fait un joli couac, ajoutant que c’était la récompense au gouvernement papou pour l’accueil des futurs demandeurs d’asile et réfugiés refusés par l’Australie. L’aide au développement de accordée par l’Australie va aussi probablement augmenter.

Le Premier ministre papou affirme que l’opposition australienne a totalement déformé les propos qu’il a tenus la semaine dernière lors d’une réunion informelle avec les Libéraux. Alors hier Peter O’Neill n’a pas mâché ses mots, appréciant peu d’être devenu un enjeu de la campagne électorale en Australie :

« Nous aidons l’Australie à résoudre son problème, et j’aimerais qu’on s’en souvienne. John Howard nous a demandé d’accueillir les demandeurs d’asile, nous l’avons aidé, ensuite Kevin Rudd a fermé le centre de rétention, et quand Julia Gillard nous a demandé de rouvrir le centre de rétention, nous l’avons fait, et maintenant Kevin Rudd et moi-même sommes d’accord pour augmenter le nombre de demandeurs d’asile en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Donc ce n’est pas une nouveauté, et je n’apprécie pas la manière dont cet accord est commenté. Je vais le dire une dernière fois très clairement : ne mêlez pas la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée à vos opérations politiciennes en Australie, il en va de notre intérêt national, et nous n’accepterons pas ce genre de sornettes. Nous aidons l’Australie, et nous exigeons du respect en retour. »

Vendredi dernier, Peter O’Neill a signé un accord avec Kevin Rudd aux termes desquels il s’engage à accueillir sur son sol les migrants rejetés par l’Australie, qu’ils soient demandeurs d’asile ou qu’ils aient déjà obtenu leur statut de réfugié. C’est en tout cas dans le texte de l’accord, mais c’est loin d’être clair pour le Premier ministre papou :

« Nous n’avons même pas encore commencé l’examen des demandes d’asile. D’autre part nous ne savons pas encore si nous allons recevoir des réfugiés dans notre centre de rétention. Donc il est vraiment prématuré de nous demander où nous allons construire de nouveaux centres de rétention, ou des villages pour accueillir les véritables réfugiés. Nous ferons en fonction du nombre de demandeurs d’asile que nous recevons à Manus. Le centre est en cours d’agrandissement, et nous travaillons de près avec le gouvernement australien. »

Hier mercredi, la chaîne australienne SBS diffusait l’interview exclusive d’un ancien gardien du centre de rétention de l’île de Manus. Rod St George affirme que les viols sont fréquents et que les gardiens ferment les yeux, ne prenant même pas la peine de placer les victimes et leurs violeurs dans des logements séparés. On écoute la réaction de Peter O’Neill hier au micro de Liam Cochrane, notre correspondant à Port-Moresby :

« Ces comportements concernent le centre de rétention en lui-même et n’a rien à voir avec les autorités papoues. J’ai demandé au gouvernement de la province de Manus de mener une enquête sur ces accusations, et selon les premiers éléments de l’enquête, il serait très surprenant que des viols aient eu lieu. Il pourrait bien y avoir un cas isolé, mais de mon point de vue l’ancien gardien porte des accusations vraiment très exagérées. Il a sur-réagi, et j’estime que les autorités australiennes doivent mener une enquête approfondie afin que nous connaissions enfin la vérité. »

Le ministre australien de l’Immigration Tony Burke s’est dit « horrifié » des accusations de Rod St George et a promis de se rendre lui-même au centre de rétention de Manus. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

10c) Australie: une conférence pour la sauvegarde des langues indigènes

Mis à jour 25 July 2013, 15:39 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

En Australie, seules 18 des 250 langues aborigènes sont encore parlées aujourd’hui.

La carte culturelle de la zone barngarla en Australie du Sud.

Comment les sauvegarder, ce sera le vaste sujet discuté aujourd’hui au cours d’une conférence internationale à Adelaïde, la capitale de l’Australie du Sud. Guil’ad Zuckermann est professeur de linguistique et de langues menacées d’extinction à l’Université d’Adelaïde :

« L’Australie est le pays de la chance par bien des aspects, mais en ce qui concerne les langues, ici le linguicide a été terrible, nous sommes l’un des pays les moins chanceux du monde. »

Le professeur Zuclermann mène en ce moment un programme de sauvetage de la langue barngala, anciennement parlée par les Aborigènes de l’est de la péninsule d’Eyre, en Australie du Sud. Il utilise l’unique dictionnaire barngarla-anglais, rédigé par un missionnaire allemand luthérien dans les années 1840. Et il est épaulé par Stephen Atkinson, un ancien de la communauté barngarla :
« Ma mère parlait la langue couramment, mais elle a été emmenée dans une mission. Quand elle en est sortie, elle ne parlait plus un mot de barngala. Donc pour moi c’est un grand honneur de pouvoir aider à ressusciter notre langue. »

L’entreprise du professeur Zuckermann et de Stephen Atkinson n’a rien d’une opération poussiéreuse. La langue doit s’adapter à notre époque et servir aux jeunes barngarla.

« Nous sommes en fait en train de créer de nouveaux mots de barngala aussi, par exemple, « gabbiwah » pour « ordinateur », ou « eribeyanu » pour « internet ». Donc non seulement nous ressuscitons le barngala, mais en plus nous l’actualisons. »

Stephen Atkinson, au micro de Caroline Winter sur Radio Australie. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

10d) L’Australie cherche d’autres pays du Pacifique pour accueillir ses migrants

Posté à 24 July 2013, 12:02 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Bob Carr était en visite aux Îles Salomon hier pour les cérémonies officielles du retrait de la RAMSI, la force d’interposition régionale envoyée éteindre la guerre civile en 2003. En marge, il a évoqué les recherches de l’Australie.

Le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères porte un regard plein de fierté sur ces 10 années de présence de la RAMSI :

« Permettez moi de citer quelques unes des réussites de la RAMSI. Elle a confisqué 4000 armes à feu et 300 000 cartouches, réconcilié entre elles des milices qui se combattaient pendant la guerre. Le monde entier étudie le bilan de la RAMSI, c’est un exemple en matière de pacification. »

Aux Îles Salomon, certaines voix s’élèvent pour exprimer la peur de tous : qu’une fois les militaires de la RAMSI auront le dos tourné, les violences reprennent entre Malaitans et habitants de Guadalcanal.

« C’est l’une des raisons de mon déplacement aux Îles Salomon, je veux lever ces inquiétudes et rappeler que l’Australie reste engagée aux côtés des Salomonais. Nous ne les abandonnons pas. Et puis des policiers australiens restent en poste dans le pays. Ces quatre prochaines années, ils formeront des policiers salomonais et resteront donc en réserve, mais seront là au cas où des émeutes éclatent, comme celles qui ont eu lieu en 2006. »

Hier à Honiara, le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères a aussi évoqué le placement des demandeurs d’asile et réfugiés dans d’autres pays du Pacifique. Car les centres de rétention de Nauru et de l’île de Manus, en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, sont déjà proches de la saturation. Bob Carr a rencontré le Premier ministre salomonais Gordon Darcy Lilo, mais affirme ne pas réclamer directement l’aide des Îles Salomon.

« Si la conversation vient sur ce sujet, je suis prêt à expliquer pourquoi l’Australie a conclu un accord avec la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et pourquoi Peter O’Neill, le Premier ministre papou, a décidé de dire oui. Mais je ne suis pas là pour présenter un projet aux Îles Salomon, ni pour tenter de tordre le bras à qui que ce soit pour placer nos demandeurs d’asile. Les autres dirigeants du Pacifique peuvent voir que l’accord entre l’Australie et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée portant sur l’accueil des migrants bénéficie aux deux pays, et aide à réguler l’immigration en la rendant plus humaine. Si d’autres pays du Pacifique voient la valeur de ce que nous sommes en train de faire, particulièrement parce qu’ils participent à des conférences internationales sur l’impact du trafic des êtres humains, eh bien nous sommes évidemment prêts à leur parler de ce que nous faisons. »

Bob Carr a refusé de donner un calendrier pour l’ouverture de nouveaux centres de rétention dans d’autres pays du Pacifique.

« Vous anticipez trop, vous anticipez trop par rapport à où nous en sommes aujourd’hui. Je m’en tiens à la réponse que je viens de vous donner. »

Le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères, au micro de Peter Lloyd sur l’ABC. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

PASIFIK:

11) Pacific territories’ priorities in CAPAC meeting with Obama

By Online Editor
12:46 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, United States

Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) joined members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in a meeting with President Barack Obama at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss concerns and legislative priorities.

Bordallo, who serves as vice chair of the caucus, raised the importance of S. 1237, the Omnibus Territories Act of 2013, and asked for the Obama administration’s support of the bill as it moves through the legislative process. The bill contains many provisions important to Guam, including the text of the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, and she thanked the President for his support for this provision to finally resolve war claims for the people of Guam.

Bordallo also encouraged the President to urge the Department of Homeland Security to come to a favorable decision on a China visa waiver for Guam. She stressed its importance to Guam’s tourism industry and the need for DHS to come to a decision before a leadership transition at DHS.

CAPAC chair Judy Chu and other members raised their concerns over the lack of presidential appointments for Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and discussed immigration, language access in the Affordable Care Act and Native Hawaiian recognition.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with President Obama to personally address the importance of the Omnibus Territories Act,” said Bordallo.

“I thanked the President for his leadership on issues important to our Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, and I requested the administration’s support for this important bill.

“Among its many provisions, the bill will finally resolve war claims for our island’s man’amko by incorporating the full text of H.R 44 into section 12. It will also help to strengthen our economies and ensure energy efficiency by requiring a team of experts to address the energy needs of the territories and requiring the GAO to report forecast revenues and expenditures in order to improve these forecasts.”

“The Omnibus Territories Act is an important step forward in addressing the unique challenges facing the Pacific Island territories and the Freely Associated States, and I will work with my colleagues and the administration to answer any questions regarding this bill and respond to concerns that may arise. I also appreciate the administration’s continued focus on expanding Guam and CNMI’s tourism markets. President Obama announced the expansion of parole authority for Russian visitors to Guam and I hope his continued focus on this issue will enable expansion to the Chinese market, said Bordallo.

SOURCE: SAIPAN TRIBUNE/PACNEWS

WORLD:

12) Poster campaign to find Nazis

A poster campaign has launched in Germany aimed at tracking down the last surviving Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice.
Some 2,000 posters showing the entrance to the Nazi Auschwitz death camp and asking people to come forward with information have been displayed in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.
The US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center offers rewards for useful information.
It estimates there to be 60 people alive in Germany fit to stand trial.
Some are suspected of having served as guards at Nazi death camps or being members of death squads responsible for mass killings, particularly early on in the war.
“Unfortunately, very few people who committed the crimes had to pay for them,” leading international Nazi hunter and the centre’s Jerusalem branch director, Efraim Zuroff, said.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS

MEDIA/FILM+:

13a) Police confiscate copies of new magazine in Papua

Posted 25 July 2013, 16:55 AEST

The Pacific Freedom Forum has condemned the confiscation of a magazine by police in Indonesia’s Papua province.

Audio: Titi Gabi speaks to Radio Australia (ABC News)

The Pacific Freedom Forum has condemned the confiscation of a magazine by police in Indonesia’s Papua province.

Local police have reportedly taken six copies of the new Papua Pelita magazine from the publication’s head office for inspection.

The first edition has the symbol of the Free Papua Movement on its cover, which is banned in the province.

But police say their actions are not an attempt to ban the magazine.

Titi Gabi, chair of the Pacific Freedom Forum, has told Radio Australia her organisation supports Indonesia’s press council in criticising the move.

“We stand together with our colleagues in Indonesia condemning this,” she said.

“(We are) calling on the Indonesian government to use available means to voice their complaints and to allow freedom of expression.”

Ms Gabi says Indonesia has very firm laws supporting freedom of speech.

“Indonesia has got to be seen to be promoting that and living by that,” Ms Gabi told Radio Australia.

“It’s a vital right, freedom of expression and access to information, access to information and the freedom to express yourself.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

13b) Tonga radio stations warned against school rivalry talkback

Posted at 03:19 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

The government in Tonga is warning radio stations against using a violent school rivalry as a topic for talk-back shows.

A former Tonga College student, Taniela Halahuni, has a skull fracture and is in a critical condition after last week’s attack by 147 students and ex-students from rival school Tupou College.

A teacher from Tupou College, and another man, both in their forties, were arrested on Tuesday and charged with offences related to criminal damage.

The police deputy commissioner of operations, Unga Fa’aoa, says this is more than a law enforcement issue.

He says it is a national crisis and everyone should be responsible and come forward if they have information.

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Information, Paula Ma’u, says his department has put radio stations on alert.

“To refrain from using the topic for their talk back shows, because the police have indicated where the comments made by the people, it may escalate things to a worse situation and they police told us maybe it’s heightening tensions.”

Paula Ma’u says things are starting to calm down now, and the government and churches are working with the schools involved.

Radio New Zealand International

HEALTH:

14a) Torres Strait islands report more TB cases from PNG

Updated 25 July 2013, 16:18 AEST

There’s growing concern among people in Australia’s northern islands that the region could be the gateway for new strains of tuberculosis to enter the country.

Torres Strait islands report more TB cases from PNG (Credit: ABC)

Local authorities in the Torres Strait are calling for more help to stop the spread of tuberculosis into Australia from Papua New Guinea.

Health officials say asylum seekers are adding to the health threat because it’s believed about six have been treated for TB in Torres Strait hospitals in the past six months.

Torres Strait Islander councillors say they’re trying to close the border themselves to reduce the risk by restricting who can come ashore.

Stephanie Smail reports.

Presenter: Stephanie Smail

Speaker: Torres Strait regional Mayor Tom Gela, Local health service chief executive, Simone Kolaric,

Queensland’s Health Minister Lawrence Springborg……http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

14b)Australia Commits to Treating Avoidable Blindness (25/7/13)

Australia’s Minister for International Development Melissa Parke has announced that Australia will help support 8,000 operations to restore the sight of people in the Pacific, including Solomon Islands.

“This is an area where Australian aid is making a real difference to people’s lives and to the prosperity and wellbeing of communities in our region,” Minister Parke said.

The procedures will be delivered through the third phase of the Pacific Regional Blindness Prevention Program – a partnership with the New Zealand Aid Programme and Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand.

The program will provide immediate and important benefits to those who suffer blindness, as well as long-term social and economic gains for Pacific countries.

“In developing countries, the economic benefits of eliminating avoidable blindness and visual impairment outweigh the costs by a factor of four to one,” Minister Parke said.

Australia has committed A$2.5 million over the next three years for the avoidable blindness program. This will allow more than 30,000 patient consultations and 8,000 sight-restoring operations to take place across the Pacific.

Fifty-six nurses and 16 community health workers will also be trained in eye care through the Fiji-based Pacific Eye Institute.

Solomon Islanders make up the largest number of students and graduates from the Pacific Eye Institute. Four ophthalmologists and 19 eye nurses have already been trained, and two more nurses are set to graduate this year.

As a result, more than 500 sight-restoring surgeries are expected to be performed in Solomon Islands during 2013.

“In addition to restoring vision and changing individual lives, there are important social benefits that come from these surgeries,” Ms Parke said.

“The carers of the blind and partially blind, for instance, are mostly women and girls. Following a sight-restoring procedure, the carers also become liberated to go to school or out to work.”

Ms Parke is in Honiara, Solomon Islands for the 10th anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). It is her first overseas visit as Australia’s newly appointed Minister for International Development.

Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

14c) Concern at push for drug company patents in Pacific trade deal

Posted at 05:32 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

The medical non-government organisation, Medicins Sans Frontieres, says it fears the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal could push the cost of drugs to prohibitive levels.

The trade deal, which is being negotiated this week in Malaysia, could include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan.

Drugs are key to combatting rampant diseases such as tuberculosis, but the public affairs manager, at the NGO’s Australian office, Jon Edwards, told Don Wiseman the US is keen to extend the patent coverage of large drug multi nationals as part of the deal.

JON EDWARDS: If we take what has been actually leaked – the negotiating position of the United States trade representatives as being current – and we don’t know, because the important thing to know about these allegations is they are conducted behind closed doors. But what we do know from those leaked negotiating positions of the US is that the US is very keen on extending the ability for big pharmaceutical companies, many of which, of course, are US companies, extend their patent coverage of the medicine that they produce in a range of different ways which will have a long-term effect of making prices of medicines higher and therefore reducing the access, particularly in the developing world where, obviously, the purchasing power is very much slower for patients to get those life-saving medicines.

DON WISEMAN: How likely is it that a push like this is going to succeed, do you think?

JE: There’s obviously a lot more in a trade agreement than simply access to medicines issues, and there are a lot of competing incentives for countries to sign up to a free trade agreement of this sort. So we do know that these kinds of clauses have been included in other free trade agreements negotiated with the US, so it’s a very real concern that it will find its way into the Trans Pacific Partnership. The US has concluded free trade agreements, for example, with the Central American countries and a United Nations development programme report has estimated that the price of drugs for HIV treatment in Costa Rica are set to rise by 50% as a result of Costa Rica signing on to that free trade agreement. Similarly, Jordan and the Middle East signed a free trade agreement with the US and drug prices have been noted to have risen by 20% following the signing of that agreement. So we can see in other cases, in other free trade agreements, countries have signed on knowing that this could be the case and, in fact, we’re seeing this happening in the case of Jordan at least, so we need to be… Everyone who is concerned about access to medicines and public health impacts needs to be vigilant.

DW: Are you endeavouring to talk directly with the countries involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations?

JE: MSF, along with a range of other interested parties from civil society and those advocating in the interests of public health and the patients have been attending the negotiations and have been in contact with governments who are party to those negotiations. Just last week, the newest round of negotiations have been underway in Malaysia, and they conclude at the end of this week. Medicins Sans Frontieres International have written to the heads of state and health ministers of all the 11 countries that are part of this negotiation, including New Zealand, urging them to push back on any attempt to extend the intellectual property rights and patent monopolies that drug companies are pushing for through the US trade representatives’ negotiating position in order to preserve access to medicines and the public health outcomes that come from that.

Radio New Zealand International

EDUCATION:

15) $299K Grant To Help Pacific Islanders Understand Their Own Language

By Online Editor
3:22 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Guam

A team from the University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) will spend nearly US$300,000 of U.S. taxpayer money to study a rare language spoken by just 45,000 people in the Mariana Islands, which include the North Mariana Islands in Micronesia, a United States commonwealth, and Guam, a U.S. territory located in the northwestern Pacific.

“Chamorro is spoken by 45,000 people in the Mariana Islands, which are part of the U.S. and its possessions. It is currently in the early stages of language endangerment,” according to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) grant abstract.

Chamorro is considered a language of the Austronesian people, the term given for a broader family of languages and peoples on islands all throughout Oceania and Eastern Asia. Researchers say “the experimental protocols developed can be extended to research on other languages not spoken in highly industrialized societies.”

“Past studies of language comprehension have been limited to ‘major’ world languages (English, other European languages, Chinese, Japanese) and college-age students. This severely underrepresents the diversity of the world’s languages and populations, and could potentially lead to scientific conclusions that are distorted or incomplete,” according to the abstract.

The research team, led by Dr Matthew Wagers, a pyscholinguist at UCSC, “will undertake experimental studies that build on special linguistic features of Chamorro to uncover how Chamorro speakers comprehend their language in real time.”

According to the abstract, residents of three of the islands of all ages and levels of education will be recruited for the study. That translates to about US$6.65 per person in grant money to train “several young Chamorros” in the “goals and methods of the research.” They will also “help administer the studies.”

The abstract cites unique facts about Chamorro, such as the fact that the verb comes before the subject in their sentences; “verb agreement differentiates questions from non-questions; and sentence structure is affected by animacy (whether a noun is alive, dead, or a non-living entity).”

The research will also expose Pacific Islanders to “scientific research, and in so doing, will affirm the unique contributions that a language can make to the scientific understanding of human cognition.”

Awarded on February 5, the $299,231 grant is slated to run through September 2016.

An NSF spokeswoman said that there has not been any feedback from the project since it was only awarded in April, but described the work of the NSF’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences division on the whole as having “led to discoveries that have both enhanced fundamental knowledge and provided value to the American people.”

She also said that all NSF proposals are subject to “the same gold standard, merit review process to review all proposals submitted to the agency.”

“This method ensures that all proposals submitted are reviewed in a fair, competitive, transparent, and in-depth manner by a peer-review panel of scientific experts in the relevant field(s). Every proposal is reviewed against two merit review criteria:  the intellectual merit of the proposal and the broader impacts of the project.”.
SOURCE: CNSNEWS.COM/PACNEWS

BUSINESS/TRADE+:

16) Credible investors needed in Bougainville

By Online Editor
3:17 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Credible investors who have the heart to bring technological developments, changes and services should be allowed into Bougainville to conduct their businesses.

This advice was recently made by the former ABG Vice President and Minister for Commerce in the First House of Representatives, Joseph Watawi.

At the same time he discouraged those with self-interests to be considered for invitation and approval because instead of helping, they will only be robbing the people.

Watawi has always been very vocal on this issue after seeing that most of the trade stores in Buka town have now been taken over by Chinese businessmen and women.

“We must not invite the Chinese to come and run trade stores. This kind of activity sort of takes away the business activity from the indigenous people.

“They should come and invest in things that are highly technical in nature. At the same time they should pass on the knowledge and skills to the indigenous people,”  Watawi said.

Watawi also called on the government and people to support investors that have already started establishing their businesses in Bougainville.

He said one of them is the Indian-owned copra company, Pristine 101 Ltd which will soon be opening its copra mill in Buka town.

“…investors like Pristine 101 Ltd investing in Bougainville on industries like this help in many dimension.
“It creates employment for the people, increase the tax revenue for the government that’s why it’s healthy.
“This is the kind of business investors who should be investing in Bougainville.

“We as the government for Bougainville must invite and attract more investors to come into Bougainville so that we establish more industries that will create more employment for the people. And at the same time it will increase the tax base.

“Than only when the tax base is increased then we are able to achieve fiscal self-reliance in this timeframe.”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

17) K8.2b spent on PNG businesses

By Online Editor
12:42 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The K43.75 billion ($US19 billion) PNG LNG Project has achieved another milestone in the first quarter of this year with the 15,000th Papua New Guinean entrepreneur benefiting from the Enterprise Centre’s workshops, use of workstations, business meetings or provision of information.

The Centre has also provided the equivalent of more than 7100 training days and over 880 advisory and mentoring days to PNG businesses.

The Enterprise Centre plays an important role in connecting projectors with Papua New Guinean suppliers, particularly Landowner Companies (Lancos), for both construction and commissioning-related activities.
During this quarter, the project spent K227.6 million ($US106.4million) with Lancos.

This brings the total project spend-to-date with Lancos to more than K1.7 billion ($US790million).
Other Papua New Guinean businesses are also being used for support services, such as equipment hire and camp rental.

Together, these additional services and Lanco services brought the total in-country spend to more than K8.2 billion ($US3.8 billion) for the multi-billion oil and gas project to date.

Meanwhile, long queues for customers in the banks will now become a thing of the past with the newly-passed National Payment System Bill 2013.

The Bill will allow for the establishment of the electronic national payment system in Papua New Guinea.

Treasurer Don Polye said: “It will facilitate important steps in our country’s transition to the 21st century using the latest technology. The implementation of electronic inter-banking fund transfer and real time gross settlement is a major leap forward for the country and will bring many advantages to all sectors of the economy,” Treasurer Don Polye said.

He told Parliament that it would reduce systematic risks within the banking system and it will also streamline the funds transfer process making it more reliable and efficient, citing, for instance, importers would soon be able to transfer payments to customs in real time and thereby uplift their cargo from the wharves much more quickly than is currently the case.

“The bill not only will allow tax payments electronically which will increase efficiency and reduce fraud but will also benefit public servants who will be paid through a more streamlines process by the Department of Finance.

“The bank will accommodate the state-of-the-art banking system, a fundamental step in facilitating PNG’s transition to a modern, efficient economy. Through this initiative, Bank of PNG and the commercials will transform PNG’s bank system equivalent to that of developed countries like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore,” he told Parliament.

The bill will facilitate greater use of electronic banking and reduce fraud by improving electronic payment facilities.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

18) Bribery a major concern in polls

By RAMCY WAMA

BRIBERY and selling ballot papers is seen as common in most polling places in the Highlands region.
An educated member of the elite in Western Highlands Province, Joseph Tepra, described a “vote” as a highly valued commodity that could be sold, commanding a high price.
Mr Tepra said there are seasons for everything, and when it comes to election period, the “vote” is becoming a high priced commodity that candidates with money buy in order for them to be in the race.
He said the selling and buying of votes has become a trade between the candidates and voters.
Mr Tepra said candidates come with money and voters organised themselves in groups expecting money from the candidates
when he or she comes to visit them.
“This is corruption at its best. The culture of buying and selling of votes does not help the leader to represent the people’s interest but it’s the money that comes into play.
“How will we elect a genuine leader who will represent the interest of the people,” he asked.
Meanwhile, polling in the Highlands regions is now into its second week, as most polling places were disrupted by supporters trying to take control over the polling booths. Some supporters were going around with cash to bribe people caught with other supporters and put up a fight.
The polling was scheduled by the Electoral Commission for all LLG elections throughout the country for one week but the highlands region continues this week.
Many people in the region claimed that the LLG election is expensive compared to the national election in 2012; some claim this election is one of the worst in history in terms of corruption.
Mr Tepra said almost all the LLG president candidates spend more money during the campaign and some even went into polling booths to buy votes two and three.
Mr Tepra said candidates and supporters with cash, buying votes at polling places, had not been experienced in the national election. It is seen as a new trend that developed in society now.
“This practice of selling ballot papers happened right in front of officials and voters in some polling places.
“Most polling areas are affected because supporters and candidates argue in the process of paying money to buy votes – right in the polling booths,” Mr Tepra said.
He said he has witnessed for the first time youths grabbing ballot papers from the officials and selling to supporters of other candidates.
Dei District Deputy Administrator Raphael Koldop said most polling in the district was affected because of supporters trying to influence voters with money to vote for their candidates of choice.
Mr Koldop said polling in the district started last week but due to such practices and other related problems polling was delayed.
He said polling in the district, the province and in the region will continue this week and will finish on Thursday (today).
Mr Koldop said the polling was peaceful throughout the district and the rest of the provinces in the region. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

19) Australian Federal police to mentor local police

By Online Editor
3:23 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Fifty well trained and experienced Federal police from Australia will be in Papua New Guinea to mentor local police.

The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced this in a radio FM 100’s talk back show said the policemen would be coming next Thursday and be in the country assisting PNG police for short period of time.

“While they are here, they will train and mentor our police men and women because some are young with no experience.”

O’Neill said more than thirty police personnel would be selected from National Capital District while others would be coming from Lae, Morobe province.

“There are about 36 policemen and women selected from National Capital District while other 16 to 17 police personnel will be coming from Lae,” the Prime Minister said.

According to his Talk back show, the skills and knowledge acquired from this training would promote best moral value in the police force.

O’Neill said that this was one of the government‘s strategies to address law and order issues in the country.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

20) BRA reconcile

Factions bury 17 years of differences to bring stability

By ROMULUS MASIU

IN AN historic occasion, three key former Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) Commanders put aside their differences to reconcile in the interest of Bougainville after 17 years of hostility.
The three are ex-BRA kingpin Ishmael Toroama, Moses Pipiro from the Me’ekamui Unity Government and Chris Uma from the original Me’ekamui faction.
They were followers of late revolutionary leader Francis Ona who ignited the 10-year Bougainville Civil War in protest against the Panguna copper mine operated by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).
The reconciliation has opened up a new and positive chapter for Bougainville’s future.
The split between the three came in 1996 at Roreinang Mission when BRA strongman Joseph Kabui, later to become the first Autonomous Bougainville Government President, led a team to the negotiation table with the Papua New Guinea Government to find a non-military solution to the war.
The move was vehemently opposed by late Francis Ona who refused to negotiate. The result was the establishment of the Me’ekamui Government.
PIPIRO then broke away from the original Me’ekamui commanded by Mr Uma and formed the Me’ekamui Unity Government with Philip Miriori. Mr Toroama maintained a pro-ABG stance.
The split resulted in numerous altercations which continued until recently and potentially threatened the peace process.
With yesterday’s reconciliation, this is now a thing of the past and a step forward for Bougainville’s peace process.
The historic event saw a customary ritual performed to signify peace and unity among the three warlords.
They signed a Memorandum of Agreement to work hand in hand for the future of Bougainville.
The ceremony was witnessed by ABG Vice President Patrick Nisira and ministers, United Nations representatives and other donor agencies.
“I stand united with you today,” Mr Pipiro said.
“This is the way forward for all of us. We must be united.”
Mr Uma said unification is the only way forward.
He thanked all former fighters and assured the people of Bougainville this reconciliation will bear fruit in the near future.
Whilst the reconciliation bodes well for the Panguna Mine re-opening, the three said the re-opening of the mine must be sanctioned by the people of Bougainville and not by them as individuals.
Mr Toroama reminded the people of Bougainville that the reconciliation does not guarantee the Panguna Mine will be opened, however said it will give safe passage to people or investors “who want to come and explore our beautiful island”.
And Mr Pipiro stood by his stated claim of K10 billion compensation from BCL before the mine can be opened. http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

21) Fiji PM says Corrections must adhere to international standards

Posted at 05:32 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

The Fiji regime leader, Commodore Frank Baimimarama, says the Corrections Service must adhere and uphold international standards and best practices.

The prime minister made the comment at the opening of a new remand and detention centre.

The comment comes after he defended last year’s videotaped abuse of recaptured remand prisoners.

Neither the police’s nor the regime’s investigation into the beating has been completed, but Commodore Bainimarama said he would stand by the police officers or anyone else who would be named.

At the opening of the remand centre, he said a bottom line is a commitment that all Fijians’ human dignity remains intact.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Men Accused Of Prostitution In Solomons Acquitted
Judge rules no evidence of ‘what actually happened’

By Assumpta Buchanan

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 24, 2013) – Two men accused of recruiting prostitutes from China to service wealthy Asian men visiting the Solomon Islands are now free.

This was after the presiding magistrate found they have no case to answer to all the charges against them and have them acquitted.

Lawyers representing the two men have submitted a no case to answer at the close of the prosecution case.

The trial took place in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court commencing in July 2011 before former acting deputy chief magistrate Emma Garo.

Magistrate Garo in her ruling in relation to the joint charges against both accused said there is no evidence of what actually happened in the hotel room between the girls and the men.

“The girls were seen accompanying Asian men to the Heritage Park Hotel.

“Large sums of monies were found in the girls’ room and a ledger purporting to be the record of the transactions of payment for sex from the girls written in Chinese characters, which both defendants denied, went missing from the Police Station and could not be located.

“None of the girls alleged to have been involved in the prostitution has been called to give evidence,” Magistrate Garo said.

She said; “Nor was statements obtained by the Police from the girls tendered to court.

“No explanation was given by the prosecution for this failure and this must result in a flaw in the case presented by the prosecution.”

Chun and Luo were both jointly charged with four counts each of aiding prostitution and one count each of living on earnings of prostitution.

The court also found no evidence against Chun for the two counts of obtaining permit by false or misleading application and one count of permitting a brothel.

There was no evidence found on the charge of receiving in relation to the accused Luo.

Police alleged the two men committed the offences between October 1, and February 2, 2010 at their Panatina residence in Honiara labeled as the “Blue House.”

Light Lawyers represented the two accused while Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions represented the Crown.

The Crown has until tomorrow to appeal the case.

Solomon Star

23) New Korovou Detention Facility Opened In Fiji
Nation long overdue for remand center like this: PM

By Maika Bolatiki

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, July 24, 2013) – The Fiji Government is resolving overcrowding in our corrections centres.

This became a reality after the Prime Minister yesterday opened Fiji’s new state-of-the-art Remand/Detention Centre at Korovou, Suva.

And according to the Prime Minister the new remand centre represents one of the Government’s major capital projects.

However, he adds that the new centre is not cause for celebrations just yet, as he had been informed that for the past six months the number of remand inmates has hovered around the four hundred and thirty mark, which is double the capacity of this new facility.

“While this new detention centre is a huge step in the right direction, it alone does not fix all the challenges we face in our prisons system.”

He says it relieves some of the burden of overcrowding and allows for the separation of remand prisoners from convicted criminals, but there is more work yet to be done.

“Fiji has been long overdue for such a facility – to house certain individuals who have been arrested or charged with a crime, but who have not been convicted,” the Prime Minister said.

“Our old facilities simply weren’t up to scratch. It’s no secret that there is severe over-crowding at corrections institutions in the country and that this issue has called for action.”

The Prime Minister said many think about the prisons system only in terms of national security.

However, for the Government, ensuring the safety of Fijians is one of its main priorities, and something it takes very seriously.

Now that overcrowding is resolved another international requirement is to make sure that remand prisoners are not mixed with convicted ones.

“The legal concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is a cornerstone of our legal system, and is something that should be reflected in our prisons systems.”

Government, he said, must provide adequate remand facilities that are separate from our prisons.

“The bottom line is a commitment to ensuring that all Fijians’ human dignity remains intact.”

FJ$11.6 million remand centre

This new facility, according to Commodore Bainimarama, is a huge step in the right direction. “This new FJ$11.6 million [US$6.2 million] Remand Centre, which took 18 months to complete, will uphold the highest international standards.”

This centre is located closer to the courts, which means that those with ongoing trials can be transported to their hearings more easily and securely than in the past.

The Prime Minister is encouraged that there are now regular consultations between the judiciary, the Fijian Police Force and the Fijian Corrections Service and this has resulted in a more efficient system that ensures remand cases can be processed speedily, and are not delayed unduly or unnecessarily.

He reminded those at the opening ceremony that they must never forget that they are dealing with people, many of whom will return to their families and communities.

“Our aim is not only to punish, but to help these people become responsible citizens for the betterment of Fiji.”

Fiji’s Yellow Ribbon program

The Prime Minister praised the Yellow Ribbon program.

He said it had drastically reduced the number of Fijians who return to prison after serving their first sentence. “It’s all about giving people a second chance, and I’m very proud to say this program is producing results.”

Rehabilitation

According to the Commodore Bainimarama, one of the most important missions of the Corrections Service is rehabilitation – designed to increase the successful re-integration of inmates back into society. This includes hands-on training and work experience.

He said he was very happy to hear that the Corrections Service had been encouraging some of the inmates’ artistic talents, who are now achieving commercial success.

Thanks to those involved

The Prime Minister thanked all those who had been involved in this project, including the Ministries of Social Welfare and Health for making this site available for development.

FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/

24) No corruption in Solomons says PM

Posted at 17:19 on 24 July, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands prime minister has dismissed claims that corruption in government and the police persists, despite concentrated efforts to eliminate it.

Gordon Darcy Lilo’s comment comes as Solomon Islands marks a decade since the Regional Assistance Mission or RAMSI was deployed to subdue a civil conflict that killed 200 people and forced up to 30-thousand others from their homes.

Much has been made of the work RAMSI has put into reforming the machinery of government over the past 10 years but a recent survey by Transparency International found that one in three public servants had sought a bribe in exchange for a service.

However Mr Lilo says there is no corruption in either the government or the police.

“Solomon Islands is a Christian country, you must understand that. We are very strong Christian country. And for people to over-exaggerate you know occurrences of dishonesty within our own society, that’s kind of an explosive kind of a claim.”

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International

25) First RAMSI head calls on Solomon Islanders to guide mission’s next phase

By Online Editor
12:59 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Solomon Islands

By Evan Wasuka in Honiara

The first head of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Nick Warner has called on Solomon Islanders to take responsibility in shaping the future of their country, as the mission marked its 10th anniversary in Honiara.

Speaking at a public seminar, ‘Looking beyond RAMSI – Solomon Islanders’ perspective on their future’, Warner urged Solomon Islanders to be in the driver’s seat.

“As RAMSI moves into its latest and perhaps final phase, Solomon Islanders have an increasing responsibility to shape the future of your nation wisely.

“It is neither my fervent hope that in the months and years ahead, the lessons of the past will not be forgotten nor the good work that all us achieved be squandered.

“So that the deployment of RAMSI will always remain that crucial turning point in this nation’s history which 10 years and a day ago, we pledged it to be.”

As RAMSI’s first special coordinator, Warner led the mission’s contingent to the Solomon Islands, which arrived in Honiara on 24 July 2003.

He said the two key achievements that set the ground work for RAMSI’s success in the Solomon Islands were the early surrender of arms and the arrest of Guadalcanal militant leader Harold Keke.

“This task was virtually all achieved in the first few months of deployment. A firearms amnesty was declared shortly after we arrived. Nearly 4000 weapons were surrendered and destroyed in this period; a success-rate which when compared with the size of the country’s population at the time, to my knowledge, is yet to be beaten anywhere else in the world.”

He attributed the success of the surrender of arms to RAMSI’s partnership with the National Peace Council.
The other major success Warner said was the arrest of militant leader, Keke, who was terrorising the people of the Weathercoast and whose presence gave rival militants the excuse to carry arms and to threaten and intimidate Solomon Islanders.

“The arrest of Keke and the subsequent arrests of militants from all sides of the conflict that flowed from it was the key that unlocked this nation from the rampant criminal activity and corruption that was being committed under the guise of the ethnic tension.”
Looking back on 10-years of RAMSI, Warner said the immense support Solomon Islanders gave RAMSI was the secret to the mission’s success.

“Everything accomplished over the past decade are the achievements of all those good and brave Solomon Islanders who reached out to us from day one, to join hands with us and support us in the ambitious task of changing the course of your nation’s history, of getting it back on track, so that all of you could forward with hope and confidence, said Warner.

SOURCE: PACNEWS

26) Real test of RAMSI is what Solomons does now

Posted at 03:19 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands prime minister says it is up to ordinary people to make sure the country does not slide back into more civil conflict.

Gordon Darcy Lilo made the comment during celebrations yesterday marking the 10th anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands or RAMSI, as well as the downsizing of the military operation to policing-only.

RAMSI was the result of repeated requests by the Solomon Islands government for international help to subdue unrest that claimed the lives of 200 people and inflicted tremendous suffering on thousands over a period of five years.

Annell Husband reports from the capital, Honiara.

It’s a far cry from the same day a decade ago when hundreds of soldiers and police swooped into Honiara to restore law and order. The troops have gone home and today it’s only a demonstration of Solomon Islands’ own capability to maintain its stability. The police response team, 32 men and women, are an impressive-looking bunch as they jog from the parade ground in dark grey body armour that wouldn’t be out of place on the set of a Terminator movie. One of them, Kerry Sireheti, explains the team’s been training in public order management for the past two years.

KERRY SIREHETI: Last year we did level two and then this year we did level three. [So what does level three involve?] Level three is where it involves less lethal weapons. [Less lethal?] Less lethal. [OK, and such as?] Such as hand-held munitions, beanbag rounds, stun and flash, smokes…so it’s not lethal.

RAMSI is touted as an exemplary form of regional co-operation, with the participation of all countries that belong to the Pacific Islands Forum, which sanctioned the intervention. Several Pacific Islands leaders attended the official anniversary ceremony at the national sports stadium, where a police band and two platoons of police officers on parade endured a three-hour stand in searing heat. Steven Bakap, from Temotu province – about a three-day boat ride from Honiara – describes it as a very important day.

STEVEN BAKAP: I think it’s a celebration day for Solomon Islands, after the ethnic tension. It’s already 10 years ago when the RAMSI arrived and they rescued Solomon Islands, yeah.

Australia has been the main contributor to the mission, spending more than two billion US dollars on the operation over the decade. The foreign minister Bob Carr says it’s money well-spent.

BOB CARR: From an Australian or New Zealand perspective it is incalculably important that peace order and good government prevails in this archipelago of 1000 islands.

The mission has cost New Zealand more than 111 million US dollars but the bilateral aid spend over the decade almost quadruples that amount. The government is committed to continuing its work with the Royal Solomon Islands Police for another four years and the prime minister John Key says there’ll be no rush to shorten that.

JOHN KEY: The police contribution here is about 17 people. They are doing a combination of things but primarily training. And I think we wouldn’t want to rush that process if that meant that they felt that their police force either didn’t have the numbers or hadn’t been fully trained to the level that they would want.

Much is made of RAMSI’s work in strengthening the machinery of government, including watchdog institutions such as the Leadership Code Commission. The Solomon Islands prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says claims of ongoing corruption in government are exaggerated.

GORDON DARCY LILO: Solomon Islands is a Christian country, you must understand that. We are very strong Christian country. And for people to over-exaggerate you know occurrences of dishonesty within our own society, that’s kind of an explosive kind of a claim.

Gordon Darcy Lilo says the real test of RAMSI will be what Solomon Islands does now – whether the nation will hold together or crumble again into individual microcosms.

My plea to all of you is that please bring back the confidence so that we can once again ensure that this country is safe for our people, will you leap to your order? I want you to leap to that order.

Radio New Zealand International

REFUGEE+:

27) West Irian refugees separate issue: PM O’Neill

By Online Editor
12:50 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea National Executive Council (NEC) has approved to exempt West Papuans from paying K10,000 (US$4, 300) as required when applying for Papua New Guinea citizenship.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on his arrival from Brisbane on Monday told a media conference that the West Papuan refugees are a separate issue that is covered under the current arrangement between PNG and Indonesia.

The Prime Minister made it clear to queries raised about the PNG government’s capacity to resettle refugees in the country after signing an expanded resettlement agreement between Australia to hold asylum seekers and boat people for processing.

“The West Irian issue is a separate issue.”

“Those that need to be processed are always welcome to live across the border as they have done for some time under our current arrangement with the Indonesian government.”

“As part of that decision cabinet has taken a very deliberate decision that for those who have been here for over 8 years, we will exempt the fee of K10, 000 that is required to apply for citizenship and we welcome them to apply — and if they do-we will process them as citizens of our country.”

“This is a new initiative that this government is taking,” O’Neill said.

The Prime Minister said Papua New Guinea like all other Pacific Island countries has got issues with illegal immigrants and the country’s move towards establishing a regional processing center was conducive to addressing the issue for the region as a whole.

“Of course we took advantage of the issues which are before us and negotiated these outcomes with the Australian government.

“I think it is very good for the country that we show some compassion.”

“We show some humanitarian sympathy to many of the suffering genuine refugees.

“This is why we have agreed to fast tracking the construction of the permanent facilities in Manus and I believe that in the long term it will of great benefit to the region and the Papua New Guinea, he said.”

Prime Minister O’Neill said the current capacity of facilities on the ground in Manus can take 600 but this is being upgraded and expanded to take in more – at least to 3000 as per the projected arrangement.

“We are hoping this will stop the non-genuine refugee and asylum seekers coming into our region and of course if they are genuine refugees we will process them accordingly.”….

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

28) PNG hits out at critics of boatpeople deal

By Online Editor
10:04 am GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has delivered an apparent diplomatic slap to Tony Abbott, warning Australian politicians not to “impugn” its leaders over the PNG solution.

In a statement sent to the media today, PNG High Commissioner Charles Lepani said PNG leaders should not be criticised when they were trying to help Australia deal with its asylum-seeker problem.

“The High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Australia today warned Australian politicians to observe international protocols and courtesies when discussing relations with other friendly sovereign nations and not impugn the dignity of our leaders who are attempting to assist Australia in this very complex regional and international issue of asylum-seekers,” he said.

It’s understood the criticism relates to  Abbott’s suggestion yesterday that Australian aid would be wasted under new rules giving PNG a greater say in spending priorities.

“Australian aid should never be a free gift to a foreign government,” the Opposition Leader said yesterday.

“Our aid should be spent on an accountable basis, on a careful prudent basis. It has got to go to exactly the right recipients. That is why we should manage our aid program rather than simply give cash to a foreign government.”

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said the Coalition’s argument was with Rudd, not Papua New Guinea.

“I can understand PNG may feel uncomfortable about Kevin Rudd dragging them into the middle of a deeply contentious domestic political debate,” she told The Australian.

“However our concerns are with Kevin Rudd, who failed to mention any change to Australia’s $500 million PNG aid program (when he made the PNG solution announcement) last Friday.

“Nor is there any mention of the change in the agreement.”

She said Rudd must reveal the full details of his agreement with PNG, including new oversight arrangements for foreign aid, the full list of infrastructure projects to be funded, and details of additional aid funding.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill this week declared he had achieved a “realignment” of Australia’s $500m aid program under his deal with Kevin Rudd to process and settle asylum-seekers for Australia.

He said his government “will now set all the priorities” under which Australian aid money would be spent in PNG.

Labor confirmed PNG had won a greater say over the spending of Australian aid, but said Australia retained ultimate control over the program.

“The PNG government has been seeking greater input into priorities for the expenditure of Australian aid and the agreements sealed last week will facilitate that,” the spokesman said.

“Australia retains normal control over the spending of its aid money in Papua New Guinea.

“Any distribution of aid will need to meet our government’s accountability requirements and be effective and efficient.”

PNG is not afraid of voicing diplomatic concerns with Australia, expressing its anger at Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s threat last year to impose sanctions on the former colony.

PNG called in Australia’s acting high commissioner in March 2012 after Senator Carr vowed, after two days in the job, to “condemn and isolate” PNG should elections be delayed there.

Senator Carr subsequently backed away from the comments.

Earlier yesterday Rudd accused Abbott of trying to “derail” the Papua New Guinea plan to send all future boatpeople to PNG.

Abbott has described the policy as an unaccountable “cash splash” for PNG, that won’t stop the boats.

The Prime Minister says Abbott’s stance is undermining the policy by muddying the message to the people-smugglers.

“Partisan politics aimed to frankly derail the regional resettlement agreement is just an appalling approach to the responsibilities of the highest office of this land,” Rudd said.

SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/PACNEWS

29) Manus Island prepares for influx of asylum seekers

By Online Editor
12:47 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

A group of asylum seekers have been flown out of Manus Island to make way for the Australian government’s PNG asylum seeker deal.

Around 70 asylum seekers were driven in two buses from the processing centre to the Manus Island airport.

As they waited to board a large jet, many waved to journalists.

A PNG immigration official says they were all single men from Iraq and Iran.

The official says they were being flown to Australia but did not know their exact destination.

The Australian government has said it will remove all the asylum seekers currently detained on Manus island to make way for those who have arrived in Australia since the start of the PNG asylum seeker deal last Friday.

Australia’s immigration minister Tony Burke is expected to visit the processing centre Thursday.

SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

30)mAid grants for detention facilities abuse of power – Australia’s Greens

Posted at 19:37 on 24 July, 2013 UTC

The Australian Green party says the government’s plan to use foreign aid grants to settle asylum seekers in Pacific countries is an abuse of power.

The immigration spokeswoman, Sarah Hanson-Young, says there are reports the Labor government may use Australia’s foreign aid contribution to Solomon Islands to win a similar deal to what it set up with Papua New Guinea.

PNG and Australia signed a regional settlement arrangement last Friday, which says boat people found to be refugees will be resettled in PNG.

Ms Hanson-Young says the government has already slashed Australia’s aid budget to pay for detention facilities in PNG’s Manus Island and Nauru.

She says she is worried the PNG deal will be paid for by the Australian aid budget.

“Reports from the Foreign Minister here in Australia, Bob Carr, that they are also considering setting up a detention camp in Solomon Islands is every more worrying – that Australia’s aid budget is going to be inherently linked with infliciting more cruelty on refugees with a litany of detention camps across the Pacific.”

The Greens’ immigration spokeswoman, Sarah Hanson-Young.

Radio New Zealand International

31) Australia eyes Solomons for asylum seeker detention

Posted at 17:19 on 24 July, 2013 UTC

The Australian government is poised for discussions with the government of Solomon Islands on bringing that country into its offshore processing system for refugees.

A new agreement between the prime ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea to resettle asylum seekers has been widely criticised, with academics saying it violates the UN Refugee Convention.

In the early 2000s when Australia first began processing its asylum seekers abroad, it initially approached a large number of Pacific countries, including Kiribati and Tuvalu.

The Australian foreign minister, Bob Carr, who is in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara for the celebration of a decade of the Regional Assistance Mission, says he arrived ready to discuss the matter.

“If Solomons wanted to raise it and the Prime Minister didn’t raise it but he said himself that it was something that could be talked about in the future. (Asked if they’ll be talking about it:) Well, if they see an advantage in it and if we think it’s appropriate at the time.”

News Content © Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION&ENVIROMENT:

32) Fukushima operator TEPCO knew radioactive water was leaking into Pacific a month before going public

Updated 25 July 2013, 8:13 AEST

By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy

It has been revealed that the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant knew about leaks of radioactive groundwater into the ocean a month before it publicly disclosed the problem.

It has been revealed that the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant knew about leaks of radioactive groundwater into the ocean a month before it publicly disclosed the problem.

Japan’s nuclear watchdog has rebuked The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for its slack response to the leaks.

TEPCO admitted earlier this week that contaminated groundwater from the crippled Fukushima plant was leaching into the Pacific Ocean.

Audio: Tepco slammed over handling of leak (PM)

It has now been revealed that the plant operator knew about the problem a month ago, but despite that TEPCO continued to downplay any threat of radioactive run-off reaching the ocean.

TEPCO’s inability to stem the flow of contaminated water has earned it a rare rebuke from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority.

About 400 tonnes of groundwater flows into the plant every day and becomes contaminated.

The head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority believes contamination of the sea has been continuing since the explosions at Fukushima following the 2011 tsunami.

TEPCO had previously failed to confirm the ground water leakage, more than two years after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, triggering fuel meltdowns and causing radiation leakage, food contamination and mass evacuations.

Masayuki Ono, TEPCO’s general manager, told a news conference this week: “We would like to offer our deep apology for causing grave worries for many people, especially for people in Fukushima.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/

33) Fiji’s new flood warning and evacuation plan spelled out

Posted at 05:32 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

The chairman of the Nadi Basin Catchment Committee says the new flood warning plan for Nadi does everything possible to ensure there will be no future loss of life.

Bryan Watson says his committee began working after the devastating 2009 floods, but there were still problems last year in getting warnings to residents when floods hit in January and March.

He says the new system features mobile phone messages, sirens and speaker systems.

Bryan Watson spoke to Alex Perrottet in Nadi.

BRYAN WATSON: The warnings before were somewhat delayed because the technicalities of what was transpiring were not clearly put out to the public. Now with the floodgates just in with the extra six gauges on the Nadi River, their telemetry is by digicel phone, it’s an instant telemetry thereby the Weather Department, Meteorology, and Water Authority, which are now combined in regards to hydrology, they then have the capacity to read the situation and to how long before major flooding hits the rural area of Nadi. In the last disaster we had no loss of life which was a good thing and even though not all of these systems were up and running at the time.

Alex Perrottet: That was in March last year?

BW: March last year but the thing was that the system then did not have the sophistication of the modelling that was needed. In other words it transpired from 10 o’clock at night till five in the morning so therefore it is now far more sophisticated.

AP: In terms of the levels, what gets triggered?

BW: There’s about possibly the three main stages; there is the actual flow of water coming down the volume of the river, it will reach a high level under the bridge here in Nadi which means it won’t break the banks; then it comes to within a metre of breaking the banks, the warnings will go out. And also too the warnings will go out with the Meteorology Department aware of the potential amount of water coming down the valley. So they will be able to say ’this is a major flood and it’s going to happen or the rain has stopped in the upper catchment and it’s going to flood but I don’t think it will be that dangerous’ so it will give them a greater scope of modelling and warning in regards to it.

AP: And then the sirens?

BW: The sirens are activated by three very responsible people who are involved in the disaster planning. Again the level of the sirens is once it’s that one metre below the bridge and about to break the banks, there will be a warning siren. Then there’s a second stage siren which means that there’s going to be a major flood, and the third siren is to say there is a clearance, there’s no more flood coming.

AP: So the third siren is it’s safe to return if you’ve already left?

BW: Yeah, but also too there’s an audible speaker giving the messages in Fijian, Hindustani and English. All three languages are used on the speaker systems.

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:

34a) Kumul Camp players honed to be ‘smart warriors’

By Online Editor
1:09 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Homegrown players must fit the bill if they want to make Team Kumul for October’s World Cup in England.

Gone are the days when players could make the Kumuls solely on the off one or two  stand out performances – under the new Team Kumul banner consistency and quality of performance are invaluable traits.

The Kumul coaching staff under Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam have set stringent requirements under a “smart warrior” programme to produce better players.

The ‘smart warrior’ must be of a certain height, weight, speed, fitness level and be able to be educated to play better football if they are to be considered Kumul material. “It’s not only about being able to tackle and run the ball, the player must be able to work within the confines set to improve his game to be a smarter player,” Lam said.

“If the player cannot minimise mistakes, not know what is right and wrong then he does not fit the bill and therefore will not be considered,” he said.

“The Digicel Cup player has improved over the years and with Camp 4 we are still educating the player and doing a lot on video editing to break down the players’ specific roles,” Lam said.

That information on the player allows Kumul management to direct the individual to make effective changes to his playing style which should then improve the team’s performance.

“The camps have been good so far, as it has allowed the management to see who is doing the extra work and showing a marked improvement since Camp 1,” he said.

Lam said national selectors have been doing their part to include four new players and bring back Esau Siune after missing Camp 3.

“It basically comes down to the players commitment and discipline. Those players dropped did not reach the targets set for them,” he added.

In regards to the possible versus probable match on Sept 22, Lam confirmed that a further 12 players would be added to the current crop to have at least 18 players for each team.

“This will see Segeyaro (James), Costigan (Neville), Aiton (Paul), Parker (Jessie Joe), Yere (Menzie) and a few others that will be invited to come and be part of the final selection process,” Lam said.

Lam said once the team is finalized for the Prime Minister’s XIII match on Sept 29, they can wind down their preparations to work on the structure of their game plan with at least one lead-up match possibly against Scotland.

Meanwhile, there will be no origin type trial to select the Prime Minister’s XIII team to play the visiting Australian Kangaroos this year.

All players, oversees and home-grown, will now mix to form a possible versus probable clash on Sept 22 to select the Prime Minister’s XIII team for their annual clash this time in a new venue, the Kalabond Oval in Kokopo, East New Britain province.

This is unlike the past where oversees based players played a one-off match with the Digicel Cup selected talent to finalise selections.

Team Kumul general manager Mathew Natusch yesterday confirmed the new move will allow for local and overseas talent a chance to rub shoulders early and possibly forge working combinations.

Natusch said this following the start of Camp Four which got underway on Monday in Port Moresby.

“The management is now working to confirm the final camp to bring in the larger pool of players that have been monitored in early September to identify two teams to play the possible versus probable match,” he added.

National selectors will now be looking to finalise their lists over the next month to coincide with the overseas component.

He also confirmed that the national selectors are also in camp.

Natusch also confirmed that there is a rule on players playing in lowly country or district competitions as well.

He said most players targeted are either playing in the Australian National Rugby League or England’s Super League.

He also confirmed that following the Prime Minister’s XIII match in Kokopo, selectors would announce the Kumuls for the World Cup.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

34b) Asian sides continue dominance at OFC Futsal Championship Invitational

By Online Editor
1:14 pm GMT+12, 25/07/2013, New Zealand

Asian representatives Australia and Malaysia continued to underline their quality with important wins while Solomon Islands returned to form and Tahiti kept up their unbeaten record in an intriguing second day of the OFC Futsal Championship Invitational.

Wednesday’s results mean Australia, Malaysia and Tahiti have now all booked their place in the semi-finals while New Zealand’s Futsal Whites and the Solomon Islands will fight it out for the remaining spot.

The day started off in redeeming fashion for defending champions Solomon Islands, who swept a spirited New Caledonia outfit aside 7-4 to remind their rivals that they are still likely to be a title threat in this tournament. The Kurukuru had seen their pride dented the day before when an inspired New Zealand posted a memorable 7-3 victory and were in great need of a confidence-boosting result.

While not yet back to their best, they did record the win they so desperately needed thanks a pair of braces, from Samuel Osifelo and captain Elliot Ragomo, and further goals to Coleman Makau, Jeffery Bule and Micah Lea’alafa. New Caledonia skipper Yvan Pourouoro joined his Solomon counterpart in striking twice while Thierry Waima and Eric Saihuliwa also found the target but it was not enough for Les Cagous to avoid posting their second successive defeat.

Kurukuru coach Dickson Kadau was relieved to have gotten some points on the board and, after coming to Auckland on the back of some far-from-adequate preparations, feels his side will get stronger as the tournament progresses.

“We’re happier with the performance, it was a big change from yesterday and we were much more organised. Our game plan was just to be patient and take our chances when they came and we managed to implement that,” he said. “We improved a lot defensively from the New Zealand game.”

New Caledonia co-coach Steeve Laigle felt a lack of concentration let Les Cagous down.

“It’s a young team and for more than half this is their first international experience, so they are discovering what it’s like at this level,” he said. “It’s difficult for the players but I think tomorrow they will represent themselves well against New Zealand.”

New Caledonia’s francophone cousins, Tahiti, have enjoyed far better fortunes so far and are yet to be beaten after recording another win today. But they were made to work hard for their 2-0 success over a determined NZ Invitational side, who may well have taken something from the game if they were able to find a sharper edge in front of goal.

Mana Faarahia and Gaby Kavera provided the goals as the Aito Arii continued their victorious march but, despite boasting a perfect record so far, Tahiti coach Heitapu Hunter will feel there is more to come from his men, who were installed as pre-tournament dark horses for the title by many.

“I think we were very strong in defence and weren’t too troubled,” Hunter said. “But as per usual we weren’t able to score the goal that could kill the match. We missed a lot of opportunities to score but New Zealand were also difficult to break down.”

NZ Invitational coach Simon Mead believed there was still much to be taken from the game in spite of the loss.

“We’re here to learn and we’ve got much bigger goals ahead of us,” he said. “There’s just that little bit of experience lacking and it showed on the final pass.”

Australia appear to still be the side to beat another notching another large win, 6-1 over Vanuatu, but this victory was far from as straightforward as yesterday’s 9-0 dismantling of NZ Invitational. The young Vanuatu side put in very strong display as they searched for their first win of the tournament and were behind by just one Daniel Fogarty goal at the break.

Vanuatu had really taken the game to their more illustrious rivals in the first half and created a host of chances but could not find a way past Australia’s well-performed custodian Angelo Konstantinou. The Futsalroos’ class began to tell in the second period however as Fogarty went on to notch a four-goal haul and was joined in finally cracking the Vanuatu defence by Mark Symington and Adam Cooper. Vanuatu’s consolation came from Albert Tho.

“It was always going to be a difficult match for us because Australia are such a good side – they have recently participated in the World Cup so are the favourites for this tournament,” Vanuatu coach Louis Dominique said. “We had a game plan to press them into their half in the first half but unfortunately in the second half we made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t take our chances. But we are very happy with the first-half performance and I must congratulate the boys for that.”

Despite the heavy nature of the scoreline, Australia coach Steve Knight was impressed with the ability of the Vanuatu side.

“They’re certainly a lot quicker than we are and their technique is very good,” he said. “I think Vanuatu are probably on a par with the likes of Thailand in terms of agility and speed, which certainly helps in this game. So if they were a little bit better organised they’d certainly pose a big threat to countries like us.”

The last match of the evening brought New Zealand’s Futsal Whites – still on a high after their marvelous result against Solomon Islands – up against Malaysia but they couldn’t match their well-drilled opponents and fell to a 7-1 humbling. Khairul Mohd Bahrin, who struck twice, Shamsul Zamri, Nizam Mohd Ali, Abu Hasan, Firdaus Ambiah and Fawzal Mohamad all found the net while New Zealand’s lone goal was hit home by Dylan Manickum, his sixth of the tournament.

“AFC is a standard above OFC and it showed tonight,” Futsal Whites coach Scott Gilligan said. “We didn’t have the intensity we did last night and paid the price. The next match is now very important, it’s a must win for us.”

Malaysia technical advisor Marcelo Serpa Coelho felt his side’s ruthlessness in front of goal proved the difference.

“New Zealand played well but they couldn’t get the ball in,” he said. “There are days when the ball goes in and days when it doesn’t but we were lucky today with scoring.”

The OFC Futsal Championship Invitational continues at The Trusts Arena in Auckland, today with Vanuatu meeting NZ Invitational at 2pm before Australia take on Tahiti at 4pm. New Zealand and New Caledonia then clash at 6pm prior to Malaysia and Solomon Islands facing off at 8pm.

SOURCE: OFC/PACNEWS

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