Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 838


1a) UK Govt challenged over rights abuses in West Papua

Posted at 21:19 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

Members of the House of Lords held a debate about West Papua on Wednesday in which they raised serious concerns about the human rights situation and called on the British government to take a stronger stand.

Lord Harries, who initiated the debate, noted the alarming pattern of ongoing political arrests in the Indonesian province, citing evidence collected by the London-based human rights group TAPOL.

He also challenged the UK government about its funding of Special Detachment 88, the elite counter-terror squad which has allegedly been used in the arrest, torture and shooting of political activists in the Papua provinces.

He questioned whether the training provided by the UK and others was doing anything to improve the human rights record of the unit.

Lord Hannay called the Indonesian government’s policy of restricting access for foreign journalists and NGOs misguided, adding that where secrecy prevails, rumour and allegations flourish.

Lord Avebury suggested the situation in West Papua is almost certainly a lot worse because of the barriers to access.

Lord Harries criticised the Special Autonomy law as a total failure which fails to address the political aspiration of the Papuan people.

He called on the UK to request an inquiry into the Act of Free Choice and support an internationally-monitored referendum.

Lord Avebury noted the outstanding request of the Papuan people for self-determination, and called on the UK government to invite Indonesia’s President to visit the UK next year for the Scottish referendum on independence, to see how they deal with requests for self-determination.

Lord Hannay added the Indonesian government should demonstrate respect for the culture of Papuans, and that any attempt to homogenise or encourage migration into Papua will bring tensions.

The government response was given by the Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Baroness Warsi.

In responding to the concerns raised, Baroness Warsi noted the high level of concern about freedom of expression during the debate, and agreed that freedom of expression in West Papua is too often stifled.

She echoed statements of all those who spoke in the debate, that all those with a stake in Papua’s future need constructively to engage in peaceful dialogue.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International

1b) PNG needs stability, says O’Neill

By Online Editor
3:05 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has had more no-confidence votes over the past 40 years than any other country in the world, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

That experience, he told the FM100 Talkback Show on Wednesday, pointed to the urgent need for stability in the country if the Government was to perform.

“Political reforms that need to take place are important for the country’s stability,” O’Neill said.

“The country needs to be stabilised because so many changes at the political level bring about inability of government to perform – this is what we have experienced over the past 40 years.

“We have had more motions of no-confidence than any other country in the world. That just creates an environment of instability.”

O’Neill said people should not think that proposed constitutional changes were the work of a government trying to hold on to power.

“I don’t want people to think that we are trying to consolidate power,” he said.

“Power is vested by the people through their elected representatives in government, in parliament. People must have the final say. The final say is at the elections.

“After the elections, government must be given time and opportunity to perform what they’ve committed to the nation. As a government, we’re doing that now.”

Meanwhile, the Melanesian Solidarity group in Papua New Guinea has called on the Government to leave the Constitution alone.

General secretary Robert Mek said in Mt Hagen that the proposed amendment to the Constitution in Parliament to extend the no-confidence grace period was a bad decision by the Government.

Mek advised the Government to withdraw the bill which clearly demonstrated a dictatorial-type of leadership.

“Melsol is prepared to join other NGOs and stakeholders if there is nationwide protest to oppose the bill,” he said.

“We feel that the government is rushing the bill without any proper consultation.”

Mek said it was the second time the government was touching the same bill after extending the grace period earlier.

He said everyone should have a say and the government had to consult stakeholders, NGOs and other concerned parties.

“I’m proposing that this bill be introduced after the 2017 national election and not now as it is a rush and can harm the nation’s development.”.


2) New Caledonia Seeks Closer Relationship With Vanuatu
President Martin wants new private, public sector cooperation

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 25, 2013) – The President of the Government of New Caledonia, Harold Martin, told Daily Post in an interview at Le Lagoon Warwick hotel that he found the people of Vanuatu friendly.

He described the people of Vanuatu as “Our Brothers.”

The President of the New Caledonia Government was in Vanuatu with a high government delegation from Noumea for a one-day review meeting on the 2010-2014 Cooperation Agreement between France, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

The Agreement has, over the past years, assisted Vanuatu in the sectors of education, health and rural developments in Vanuatu.

In his speech at the start of the one-day meeting last Saturday, the New Caledonia head of government said he wants to see development assistance also in agriculture to facilitate Vanuatu to produce more agricultural products for New Caledonia because the Territory now depends largely on a number of imported agricultural products.

He cited an example in tomatoes which he told the meeting the price is high because of the high quality and the taste of the product from New Zealand.

He confirmed his satisfaction with the Cooperation Agreement outcome so far between France, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

“Cooperation Agreement signed in 1980 between France, New Caledonia and Vanuatu has achieved the objectives and also is the same with other countries in the Pacific region,” Martin said.

“The Cooperation Agreement reinforced in 1993 again between France, New Caledonia and Vanuatu and named ‘A Friendship Agreement’ because immediately after this France and New Caledonia signed similar agreement with other countries in the Pacific region.

“Today we want to bridge a more closer relationship with Vanuatu despite the fact that New Caledonia does not speak English and still not independent like Vanuatu, we can still narrow the gap and build a stronger relationship in financing and developing projects in different fields herein Vanuatu.

“I am very pleased and noted with gratitude today the positive support in these directions from the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu with their ministerial and government officials in today’s meeting,” the President of the Government of New Caledonia told Daily Post.

He said apart from development projects implemented in Vanuatu so far that include education, health, research and civil defense programs such as building hospitals and schools in Vanuatu, he wants to open up new and different kind of cooperation which he called “Closer Partnership” and that will encompass both the government and the private sector initiatives.

He confirmed his wishes to see more exchange of educational programs between Vanuatu and New Caledonia and other exchange programs that would be beneficial to both countries.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

3) Judge Throws Out Vanuatu Opposition’s Challenge
Parliament speaker ruled signatures on motion invalid

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 25, 2013) – 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 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:

4) Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 July 2013

Posted: July 26, 2013 | Author: bobmakin |

a) Constitutional case No. 3 of 2013 has been rejected by the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice upheld almost all of the objections of the Speaker of Parliament to the motion of no confidence in the government he had received. He did urge a review of the provision in Standing Orders for suspension of MPs from sittings, such as has happened with MP George Wells, but he felt that the lengthy period of up to a year denies constituents of electorates for such MPs their constitutional rights. However, Chief Justice Lunabek maintained that Wells still retained his status as an elected MP and that enabled him to support the motion. Evidence was produced that certain signatures to the motion were obtained improperly.

b) A final validation workshop on a National Environment Policy has been discussed by members of the Department of Environment Protection and Conservation (DEPC) along with stakeholders, although the identities of stakeholders were not disclosed in the Daily Post reporting of the news. It is to be hoped the policy might be able to be given out for public comment before it is forwarded to the Development Committee of Officials. We are all, really, stakeholders. We are, however, told the main priorities are waste disposal and lack of land use and management plans. The department also sees its own role to act as a real environment agency as lacking in certain respects. The general public will wish the department well in its endeavours.

c) Daily Post also environmentally reports 332 kg of rubbish being removed in the Big Blue harbour rubbish collection last Sunday. There will be further such dives, and they will continue to be appreciated.

d) The Transparency Vanuatu election report for 2012 has been issued. It highlights various improprieties such as a failure to have an international observer team present, large scale proxy fraud and incorrect registered voter numbers. There were also unauthorised changes to polling station locations. Electronic copies of the report are available from Transparency Vanuatu: transparency

e) Minister of Internal Affairs Patrick Crowby Manarewo has been given a new responsibility to be concerned with the State Flag and Armorial Bearings Act. VBTC News said this comes about because various companies are misusing these emblems of state in the sale of their products. Those wishing to use the emblems must make application to the minister. There are fines which can be imposed for misuse. Crowby said three weeks will be given for the removal of such unlicensed items from stores or stickers from buses.

f) Air Vanuatu is hoping to have further discussion with Fiji Airways over that airline’s refusal to continue a code share arrangement for flights Port Vila / Nadi. Air Vanuatu CEO Joseph Laloyer had unsatisfactory talks with Fiji Airways last week. Fiji Airways only said it was discussing this and a range of issues with other airlines.

g) Prime Minister Carcasses is attending the tenth anniversary celebrations of RAMSI in Honiara. Vanuatu is a significant partner in the regional mission, and Police Commissioner Arthur Caulton is also attending.

h) Operation India Alpha will continue to provide extra security through the period leading to the Independence celebrations on Tuesday and immediately thereafter. It is intended to ensure law and order prevails throughout the celebrations and the general public is grateful.

i) Then there is to be a Mini Zion Festival in Port Vila on August 21, which will be in preparation for the main Zion Fest in October. Chairman Nigel Quai says in Daily Post the mini festival is to select the groups, from an ever increasing number, to participate in October.

5a) French PM hails New Caledonia advances

Posted at 03:37 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

The French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, says New Caledonia has seen immense progress since the unrest of the 1980s gave way to the Matignon Accords and then the Noumea Accord.

Speaking shortly after arriving in New Caledonia for a two-day visit, Mr Ayrault says the accords have provided firm principles to govern and to rebalance the territory.

He highlighted the construction of the Koniambo nickel plant in the mainly Kanak northern province as a political success of efforts to share the territory’s wealth and job opportunities.

However, he says, access to work is still uneven and the challenge remains to provide a perspective for the future.

Mr Ayrault underlined France’s commitment to the last phase of the Noumea Accord to help organise a self-determination referendum between 2014 and 2018.

The prime minister will visit the Koniambo plant and Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands before flying to Malaysia on Sunday.

Radio New Zealand International

5b)Fiji won’t accept Australian High Commissioner before poll

Posted at 21:19 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says his government will not accept a new Australian high commissioner until Australia stops trying to damage his country.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Auckland based Radio Tarana the Australian government does not treat Fiji or the other Melanesian countries with consideration and respect.

A year ago Fiji, Australia and New Zealand agreed to restore full diplomatic relations but none of the countries has yet appointed people to the top roles, made vacant after Fiji expelled Canberra and Wellington’s envoys.

Both countries then expelled the Fiji high commissioners in a tit for tat exercise.

Commodore Bainimarama says there will be a time when the relationship with Australia is properly restored and he predicts that will come with next year’s planned election.

“But I can tell you that if I win the election, we can rebuild the relationship but it won’t be the same relationship. It won’t be Fiji kowtowing to Canberra. We want a genuine partnership with genuine friends – governments that treat us as equals and with respect. We might be small but our vote at the UN has the same weight as Australia’s.”

Radio New Zealand International


6) Tahiti’s Flosse Renews Appeal Against Corruption Case
President’s previous bids have not been successful

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 25, 2013) – French Polynesia’s president, Gaston Flosse, has launched a fresh bid to have his appeal against a corruption conviction heard outside the territory.

In January, he was given a five-year prison sentence for corruption and fined US$110,000 for the corrupt deals involving French Polynesia’s OPT telecommunications company.

The case centered on a French advertising executive Hubert Haddad who paid about US$2 million in kickbacks over 12 years to Gaston Flosse and his political party to get public sector contracts.

A local newspaper says a bid last week to move the appeal case out of Tahiti was rejected.

Last year, he failed to have another corruption appeal case moved out of the territory and in February he was given a jail sentence and a fine.

That case is before France’s highest court and should he lose it, he would have to quit all political offices.

Radio New Zealand International:


7) Australia akiusim ol pipol smagla long giaman long PNG polisi blongen

Updated 26 July 2013, 10:48 AEST

Indonesia correspondent George Roberts, staff

Naba blong pipol husat ibin dai long laspela bot i kapsait long Indonesia i go antap long 13 na Home Affairs Minister blong Australia i sutim tok long ol pipol smagla long giaman long ol asylum seeker long niupela policy blong stopim ol bot long kam long Australia.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare itok ol pipol sagla i wok long giamanim ol asylum seeker long dispela  ‘PNG solution’ polisi blong Australia.

Mr Clare itok em i harim sampela ripot long ol pipol smagla i tok long tokim ol asylum seeker olsem oli mas go long bot long Australia nau, bifo nabawan balus i kisim pipol go long Manus Island.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ibin tokaut olsem olgeta asylum seeker we i kam long Australia long bot, bae oli salim go long PNG blong oli prosesim ol, na sapos em i tru oli refugee, em bai oli stap long PNG.

Ol Key point

Naba blong pipol husat i dai i kamap long 13
Minista Jason Clare itok ol pipol smagla i giamanim ol asylum seeker olsem oli bai no salim ol go long PNG
Oposisen long Indonesia itok oli no tokim ol long dispela PNG solution blong Australia
Defence Force chief blong Australia bipo igat narapela tingting long boda plan blong Coalition we military bai gopas longen

Dispela bot we i karim samting olsem 200 pipol ibin kapsait insait long bikpela solwara long south-west coast blong Java long Tunde apinun.

Namel long husat ibin dai em i sampela pikinini.

Namel long ol husait ibin dai i Baremithan Balamanaran husat igat 3 pela krismas, na em ibin go wantaim mama blongen long dispela bot.

Papa blong dispela pikinini, Naradasa Balamanaran blong Sri Lanka i tokim ABC olsem em ino save meri na pikinini blongen i go long dispela bot inap long meri ia i telefon longen na i tokim em bot i kapsait na pikinini i dai.

Balamanaran, ibin wol olsem wanpela leba long faktori sta long taim em i kam long Australia long 2009.


8) Julian Assange umumkan kandidat partai WikiLeaks

Terbit 25 July 2013, 18:20 AEST

Pendiri WikiLeaks Julian Assange telah mengumumkan kandidat dari partainya jelang Pemilu federal di Australia.

Assange mengumumkan nama nama kandidatnya secara online dari lokasi persembunyian di Kedutaan Besar Ekuador di London agar menghindari upaya ekstradisi ke Swedia.

Tujuh kandidat ditunjuk untuk kursi senator yang mewakili negara bagian Victoria, Western Australia dan New South Wales.

Para kandidat itu berprofesi sebagai akademisi, jurnalis dan aktivis HAM.

Assange mengincar kursi Senat di Victoria bersama dengan  Leslie Cannold, seorang ahli etika dan penulis dan Binoy Kampmark, seorang peneliti hukum, hubungan internasional dan sejarah.

Partai WikiLeaks menyebut seorang pengacara dan aktivis HAM Keliie Tranter mewakili negara bagian New South Wales berdampingan dengan Alison Broinowski seorang akademisi dan jurnalis.

Partai baru tersebut mengungkapkan jika nantinya bakal terpilih akan meminta kebijakan baru partai Buruh terkait pencari suaka di Papua Nugini transparan dan orang orang yang ditahan di pusat detensi imigrasi tidak lebih dari 45 hari.

Semantara kebijakan partainya akan berfokus pada kebebasan pers dan perubahan iklim.


9) Papouasie: les autorités indonésiennes interdisent un nouveau magazine

Mis à jour 26 July 2013, 11:23 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

À la une de ce nouveau magazine: le drapeau indépendantiste papou, le Morning Star – en français: étoile du matin.

Le drapeau indépendantiste papou en une du magazine Papua Pelita, une provocation qui n’a pas plu aux autorités indonésiennes.

À peine sorti dans les kiosques papous, Papua Pelita est interdit. 2000 copies de ce nouveau magazine en indonésien avaient déjà été distribuées quand la police a saisi les exemplaires.

Le magazine a en effet consacré une grande partie de ce premier numéro au bureau de l’OPM, le mouvement de libération de la Papouasie occidentale, en Angleterre. Et le drapeau indépendantiste papou trône en plein milieu de la une. Or quiconque brandit ce drapeau en Papouasie est passible de prison.

Titi Gabi est la présidente du Pacific Freedom Forum, une ONG qui défend la liberté de la presse dans la région Pacifique et en Papouasie :

« Oui nous pensons que ce drapeau, c’est la raison pour laquelle la police a suspendu manu militari la distribution du magazine. Mais ce n’est pas une raison pour être brutal, les autorités doivent d’abord s’assoir autour d’une table avec le directeur de la rédaction et voir si le contenu du magazine pose problème. Autrement s’ils saisissent sans préavis, on ne peut que chercher à deviner ce qui déplaît aux autorités indonésiennes. Ils doivent respecter avant toute chose la liberté d’expression, et parler aux directeurs du magazine, mais ils n’ont pas fait ça, ils ont tout de suite fermé le magazine, ce n’est pas juste. Donc oui, comme le Conseil Indonésien de la Presse, nous condamnons cette fermeture. Et nous réitérons notre appel au gouvernement indonésien : autorisez la liberté d’expression ! »

Titi Gabi, au micro de Pius Bonjui, sur Radio Australie.

La police indonésienne a justifié la saisie par la nécessité de vérifier d’abord que le magazine ne soutient pas le mouvement indépendantiste papou. Mais selon le Conseil Indonésien de la Presse, ce n’est pas une raison suffisante pour suspendre a priori la vente du magazine. « Si la police n’approuve pas le contenu d’un magazine, elle peut se tourner vers le Conseil de la Presse », rappelle Imam Wahdyudi, un porte-parole de l’organisme.

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

Mis à jour 25 July 2013, 19:41 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.

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 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. 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 étroitement 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 quand même 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. »

Hier 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.


11) Papua journalists report police pressure on independence groups

Posted at 03:37 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

A newspaper chief editor in West Papua says journalists in the region are pressured by police and government not to publish material about West Papuan pro-independence groups.

Victor Mambor of the Tabloid Jubi newspaper, says it’s not uncommon for media outlets in West Papua to be called or visited by police for special meetings about issues of publishing.

Mr Mambor, who is also the chairman of the Papua branch of the Indonesian Independent Journalists Alliance, says police don’t even have to tell newsrooms not to report about groups such as the KNPB.

“They just come to the office, take a picture and you know, it makes the journalists… in West Papua they have a fear of the police to write. Most of the newspapers in West Papua they have (been) directed by the government to stop publishing KNPB activities.”

Victor Mambor says the visits by police reflect a lack of understanding about the role of media.

Radio New Zealand International

12)Former Samoa Media Association President Refutes PM
Autagavaia: newspaper did not support media council

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 25, 2013) – The former President of the Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa (JAWS), Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia has refuted a claim by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in relation to the history of the discussion to establish a Media Council in Samoa.

In a press release issued by the Office of the Press Secretariat last Wednesday, Tuilaepa was quoted as saying the Media Council was an initiative by the media.

“In fact, it was the media themselves who raised and pushed the issue of setting up a media council to Government some years ago,” Tuilaepa said. “They even brought in a media expert from England to present a report and negotiate with Government in setting up a media council a few years ago.

“Even people like [Savea] Sano Malifa – who is now making some nonsensical noise – was behind the idea of a media council back then when his then employee at the Samoa Observer, Tipi Autagavai,a was President of the Samoa journalists association.”

Asked for a comment, Autagavaia said the Prime Minister’s claim is not correct.

“Yes I was an employee of the Samoa Observer at the time and I was also the President of the organization but it doesn’t mean that it (Media Council) was supported by the Samoa Observer,” Autagavaia explained.

“I was doing my job in my capacity as President of JAWS (to establish a council).

I didn’t do it for the Observer, any particular media, or the government media. It was for the whole media.

“Savea knew about the project at the time but didn’t show any sign of supporting it because he has his own rights and opinion of what he thinks is appropriate for him.”

The “media expert from England” in question was consultant Ian Beales. He was engaged by The Thomson Foundation of the U.K. in a partnership with JAWS to look at whether Samoa needed a self-regulatory Media Council.

Asked for a comment, Savea said, “All I know is that when the matter was discussed, when Ian Beales was here to find out if Samoa needed a Media Council, we objected.”

He explained, “We have enough laws to keep the media in line. Two of those laws are the law of Criminal Libel and the Printers and Publishers Act.

“I put it to Mr. Beales that if he could get the government to repeal those laws, then that would be a good enough reason for a Media Council to be set up.”

Furthermore, Savea pointed out that “we understand that the law of Criminal Libel has been repealed but the government has still not made up its mind about the law of Printers and Publishers Act and for that reason, our objection on the Media Council remains.”

When the issue of the media council was revisited in 2009, Savea’s position remained.

According to Autagavaia, the Media Council was the second phase of a JAWS project during his tenure. The first phase was setting up a Code of Practice.

“The media council is for the improvement and betterment of the media in the country,” he explains. “The media should also follow and uphold principles of good governance like transparency and being accountable.

“If we make mistakes, we have to front up to our mistakes and discontinue from making mistakes… the industry is growing and we must have a body like this.”

According to Autagavaia, when the initiative was first discussed in 2004, there were many different views on it.

He said Prime Minister Tuilaepa supported it when JAWS sought his view.

Autagavaia said in 2004, Ian Beales of the Thomson Foundation in Britain offered to fund the media council.

But setting up a Media Council had its own challenges.

One of them was the election of members.

There was discussion, he said, on the possibility of having a retired judge, a member of the clergy whom at the time was to be the late Rev. Elder Oka Fauolo.

There was also a discussion about including a representative of the community, a representative from village council and the media.

Electing a media representative was a sore point, he said. “The reason why the media can’t elect the members is because we don’t trust each other; we turn our backs to each other,” he said.

Lastly, Autagavaia said funding was one of the most challenging issues. Asking the Government for funding was not part of the plan since that would allow the Government to dictate the terms to the Council.

A freelance journalist today, Autagavaia said he still supports the establishment of a Media Council.

“The media stakeholders should come together and put in money to fund the media council,” he said. “No one from the government should interfere in the council, it should stay away from any politics and be independent.”

And the definition of the word “media” is very important.

“When we talk about the media, we’re not just talking about radio, TV and newspapers. We’re talking about everyone including the movie makers, theatres, filmmakers, production crews and so forth.”

Autagavaia said the time has come for the media in Samoa to come together.

“I have a strong feeling that if the media doesn’t agree and come together in terms of this Media Council, the government will step in and make it happen,” he said.

“But let’s come together, let’s do it and see what will happen.”

Autagavaia said the beginning wouldn’t be perfect but “that’s life.”

Samoa Observer:

13) Nauru opposition upset at censorship

Posted at 04:02 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

A Nauru opposition MP, Mathew Batsiua, says he is appalled that the government is stopping local state media from broadcasting an interview with him.

Mr Batsiua says last Wednesday he was interviewed by Nauru Media on the opposition’s views about the riot last week and its aftermath.

He says it covered issues such as the government’s sudden suspension of the police commissioner, the way in which the reservists were called out in what he believes was a panicked response by government.

“Much to my dismay I was informed later that night that the media had received instructions from the acting president, David Adeang, not to show the interview that night. So I have since written to Mr Adeang to appeal to his better sense if they can allow the interview to be show on Nauru media.”

Mathew Batsiua says the censorship is a disturbing trend with the new government taking a unilateral action to shut opposition viewpoints out of the media.

Radio New Zealand International

14) Broadcast handbook

Dawn Gibson
Friday, July 26, 2013

Members of Femlink Pacific during the launch of the Femlink guide to community radio at the Fiji Club yesterday. Picture ATU RASEA

A handbook aimed at introducing training and being a reference guide for community radio producers and broadcasters was launched in Suva.

The handbook, the second of its kind, has gained praise from the international community as well as locals.

“Your work is fundamental in the quest for women rights, peace and security within Fiji and the Pacific,” said International Women’s Development Agency executive director Joanna Hayter.

“The immense value that community radio brings to debate and discussion on the airwaves should never be underestimated,” Ms Hayter said.

One of Femlink Pacific’s radio correspondents Litiana Bolea said the handbook would help her job as a correspondent.

“I speak to a lot of women about their problems and so this handbook will provide guidelines for me while I do this,” Mrs Bolea said.

The handbook offers guidance on monthly deadlines, outlines the responsibilities of a community media producer, as well as provide tips and ideas for local and rural broadcasts. It was officially launched at the Fiji Club.


15) Student alleges corruption by Solomons teachers

Posted at 03:37 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

A former Solomon Islands high school student says the wantok system is stopping him and many of his peers from completing their schooling.

Wantokism or favouring one’s relatives is a prominent feature of Solomon Islands culture and something the government and the Regional Assistance Mission to the country have been trying to curb in the workplace.

Max Sterry Sabu, who comes from Isabel province, says he is a top student who worked hard to pass his final form six exams last November.

But he says when it came to checking his results, his name was not on the list and he has never found out how well he did.

“The problem is that the teachers always help their own people, because actually the teachers are always wantok business with the students, they always help their own people. Maybe they think that they don’t want some people to take some more jobs.”

Max Sterry Sabu says visiting ministry of education officers told his school that the teachers’ practice of only letting certain people proceed to form seven or the final year of high school is rife throughout Solomon Islands.

Radio New Zealand International

16) Solomons Education Ministry doing best to meet teachers’ relevelling dues

Posted at 03:37 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

The Ministry of Education in Solomon Islands says it is doing its best to meet the remaining relevelling dues owed to teachers.

Teachers across the country have been on strike for the past two weeks and are refusing to return to work until the government completes all relevelling payments owed to them.

The Permanent Secretary of Education Dr Fred Rohorua says as promised, the government met the first payment deadline to 21 educational authorities yesterday and it hopes to pay the remaining eight authorities by August the eighth.

“We are working extremely hard and we hope to be able to prepare a cabinet paper next week for them to approve the money due to teachers, so that it’s paid in the next fortnight.”

Dr Fred Rohorua says the government is committed to paying the teachers their salaries and says those who are striking have been robbing the children of the country.

Radio New Zealand International

17) Laws Prevent Guam Schools From Using Free Internet Access
3 public schools campaigned for free access, now ‘disappointed’

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 26, 2013) – Legal and bureaucratic snags have left three Guam public schools unable to receive a year’s worth of free Internet, which those schools’ students, parents and faculty had campaigned for in an island-wide contest.

The Guam Department of Education (DOE) stated it couldn’t accept GTA’s free Internet prizes because local procurement law forbids DOE from receiving them from a business that sells products or services to DOE.

The three public schools — Simon Sanchez High, Untalan Middle and Benavente Middle School — would have received online speeds of up to 50 megabits per second for the coming school year, scheduled to begin in August. That would have been enough to provide Internet access to possibly 500 students and staff at each school, based on a benchmark set by the State Educational Technology Directors Association for kindergarten through 12th grade schools.

GTA stated yesterday Guam DOE “has declined acceptance of (free Internet and Wi-Fi) services and upgrades to any of the public schools.”

No foundation

There’s another Guam law that would have allowed for such donations to be accepted through a foundation, DOE acknowledged.

Guam Public Law 30-8 was enacted in April 2009, requiring Guam DOE to establish the Foundation for Public Education. The law states the foundation’s purpose “is to accept private gifts, donations, endowments, services-in-kind, grants and other money which may be offered in support of (the Guam Department of Education).”

The foundation has yet to be established, according to DOE.

DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said he recently learned about the law allowing for a foundation to receive donations on behalf of DOE, so he wants the foundation established as soon as possible.


At Simon Sanchez High School, word that its campus won’t receive its prize of free Internet for a year was received with disappointment.

Rebecca Duenas, an assistant principal, said the school’s participation in GTA’s contest started when a school faculty member heard about it, which then led to teachers, staff, students, family and friends of the school to spend time getting the school enough support to win second place. Duenas said she was one of those who spent late-night hours helping the school win the contest.

The school’s Internet service is very slow, especially when students use a mobile computer lab that allows about 30 students at a time to use laptops, she said.

The prospect of free and faster Internet that potentially would have benefitted more students prompted the Simon Sanchez High School community to enter the contest. Duenas said she felt let down when she heard yesterday the school won’t get free and faster Internet after all.

“It would have really helped our school; we do rely on a lot of information over the Internet,” Duenas said.

She said when the school hosted a senatorial election debate, the online coverage of the debate experienced delays because of the slow connection.

She said the organizer should have clarified first if public schools are allowed to receive the prize before allowing them to enter.

Offer declined

Fernandez, in a July 16 letter to GTA, stated he appreciates the opportunity GTA offered through its free Internet contest on Facebook.

“However, offering or receiving free Internet service from GTA, which is currently a contractor for (Guam DOE), appears to violate prohibitions set out in Guam’s procurement law,” Fernandez wrote.

Fernandez said it’s unfortunate for students to have their expectations raised.

“We should have caught this before the competition commenced,” the superintendent said.


Andrew Gayle, GTA chief operating officer, in a statement said “before the summer break, our company gave students, faculty, staff, and family members the opportunity to rally for their schools to win free Internet and Wi-Fi.

“The contest was launched in response to the public outcry over the insufficient Internet service currently in our schools,” Gayle said.

“Though it was our intent to assist in this way, we were disappointed to hear that DOE is unable to accept it. As a result, we are happy to extend this great opportunity to the top three private schools to garner votes in our contest.”

In previous years, public schools were among recipients of thousands of dollars of prizes from GTA in another contest involving a roundup of old phone books for recycling, Pacific Daily News files show.

Others awarded

After Guam DOE declined the free Internet, GTA decided to give free Internet to Santa Barbara, St. Francis and St. Anthony Catholic Schools for the upcoming school year.

In addition to providing free Internet with Wi-Fi, the company will also fund the initial construction costs — up to $10,000 — for each of the winning schools, including infrastructure and equipment, according to GTA.

If Guam DOE does establish a foundation that allows public schools to receive free Internet, GTA’s offer is open, said Dan Tydingco, an executive vice president at GTA.

Months earlier, GTA challenged the selection of a competitor, Pacific Data Systems, to provide Internet to island public schools.

The DOE superintendent said he’s not happy with the current Internet speed and capacity at schools. Another agency chose DOE’s Internet service provider.

Fernandez added he has made his expectation known to the vendor that speed and capacity for Internet connection at schools should significantly improve by the early part of the new school year.

“I’ve been very clear about my expectations,” Fernandez said.

In May, the Pacific Daily News reported that documents show Guam’s 40 public schools receive slower Internet speed and limited capacity for online learning compared to what they are supposed to receive under a 5-year agreement with contractor Pacific Data Systems.

The speed was so slow the federal government had declined to reimburse Guam for the Internet connection cost, documents showed. GTA had requested an audit of the contract.

Pacific Daily News:


18) Virgin Australia’s Fiji services renewed

By Online Editor
3:02 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Australia

The International Air Services Commission (IASC) has renewed Virgin Australia’s unrestricted capacity on the Fiji route.

The airline applied for renewed capacity earlier this month.

Less than two weeks later, the Commission said in a report it would permit the airline to continue flying services between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and authorised points in Fiji.

Additionally, the IASC granted Virgin Australia renewed allocating on 180 seats per week on the Solomon Islands route.


19) Fiji-US trade robust

Nanise Loanakadavu
Friday, July 26, 2013

THE relationship between Fiji and the US will return to normal once the general elections take place next year, says Winston Thompson Fiji’s ambassador to the US.

But he said trade had been robust throughout the period and they had witnessed a lot.

Mr Thompson, who is in the country for the Fiji heads of missions consultations, said the US was one of Fiji’s major markets particularly with tuna and Fiji Water.

He said Fiji Water was a premium water in the US market and was popular because people there said it was worth whatever price they paid.

“Our relations have been good. It has been like that for the past six years,” Mr Thompson said.

“We have elections next year and when that happens and with America’s own rules of engaging with different countries around the world, we will get back to normality in our relationship.”

20) Increasing demand extends seaweed cultivation

Luke Rawalai
Friday, July 26, 2013

THE high demand for seaweed from Asian markets such as China has spurred the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests to extend the development of seaweed farming in the Northern Division.

China has a demand for 300 metric tonnes of local seaweed a month.

Senior fisheries officer Northern Joji Vakawaletabua said Fiji could benefit a lot from the cultivation of seaweeds.

Mr Vakawaletabua said the department planned to build more seaweed nurseries around the Northern Division and increase production to 250 metric tonnes next year.

“We have Indonesian specialists that we are currently touring with, including our permanent secretary Inoke Wainiqolo and we are visiting these seaweed farms and nurseries to see how far they have developed,” he said.

“We already have seaweed farms in Nagigi, Nacavanadi, Lakeba, Mali and we are looking into developing farms in Dromuninuku, Tacilevu, Nakobo, Kavewa, Druadrua, Navunievu and Tavulomo.

“We are trying to spread the cultivation of this commodity into the three provinces in the North so that it becomes a source of income-generation for our local coastal communities out here.”

Mr Vakawaletabua said they were currently farming two introduced species known as the Cotonnii and the Equimer Cotonnii species.

“They survive well in our waters and this is another reason for our coastal residents to delve into the industry and make use of the opportunities of investment that its cultivation would bring them.

“We are currently developing as many nurseries as we can and we are ensuring that those interested in the cultivation of seaweed do not run out of seaweed plants.”

21) Pacific Sun new acquisition to boost domestic and regional travel and trade

By Online Editor
12:41 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Fiji

Pacific Sun, Fiji Airways’ regional subsidiary has today announced that it will lease an ATR 72-600 aircraft, to add to its fleet of two ATR 42-500 and three DHC Havilland Twin Otter aircraft. Pacific Sun has signed a formal Letter of Intent (LOI) for this leased aircraft with Singapore-based aircraft leasing company Avation PLC.

Pending the signing of the formal contract, the brand new ATR 72-600 is expected to arrive in Fiji in April 2014. The aircraft would be acquired on an operating lease for 12 years and funded without the need for any external financing. Pacific Sun intends to use the new aircraft on its domestic and regional (Pacific Islands) routes, which it operates on behalf of Fiji Airways.

Nalin Patel, Pacific Sun’s Chairman said the intent to acquire an additional, larger aircraft stems from the airline’s confidence in the growth of domestic and regional travel.

“Pacific Sun provides an invaluable link between Fiji’s main and outer islands, as well as between Fiji and its Pacific neighbours, Patel said. “With the growth in domestic and regional traffic experienced in the past years and a restructure of Pacific Sun’s operations under the leadership of General Manager Shaenaz Voss now complete, the time is now right for the airline to expand its fleet. This will provide a boost to travel between Fiji’s larger domestic ports (Nadi, Suva and Labasa), as well as encourage further travel and trade between Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.”

Voss says the decision to acquire the larger ATR 72-600 aircraft, which can carry 68 passengers was done after a careful and independent assessment of Pacific Sun’s route network and the traffic it carried year round.

“What this acquisition will allow us to do is match demand with the right capacity. Due to its size, our new ATR will operate between Fiji’s larger ports – Nadi, Suva and Labasa, and from Fiji to other Pacific island destinations, so naturally we will increase frequency of flights between to our Regional Ports. While we look forward to announcing what our schedules will look like, we can safely say that the increased capacity and frequency will allow us to offer more convenient services with even better connectivity opportunities with Fiji Airways’ international schedules.”

Pacific Sun’s ATR pilots will undergo a ‘difference’ course and will be certified to operate both ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft types when the new aircraft joins the fleet.

“While we have the required number of pilots to operate the new ATR 72 once it’s inducted into the fleet, we will also promote from within our existing national pilot complement”.

Aubrey Swift, Fiji Airways Acting CEO says the new aircraft acquisition is the start of further investment the parent company will make in Pacific Sun.

“Now that Fiji Airways has been launched and all continues to go well for the national carrier, the Board and Fiji Airways’ Management now turn the focus to our regional subsidiary. As part of the Fiji Airways revitalisation and turnaround, Pacific Sun has already undergone operational restructuring. The work going on now is fleet and network optimisation to ensure that Pacific Sun adds valuable capacity to the domestic and regional markets.” .


22) Newcrest notes increased production at PNG’s Lihir

Posted at 23:35 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

Increased plant capacity at its Lihir gold mining operations in Papua New Guinea has helped Newcrest Mining Ltd significantly boost production this year.

In its latest quarterly report, Newcrest has announced its overall production performance for the June 2013 quarter represents a 25% increase in gold production and a 20% increase in copper production over the March quarter.

At Lihir, gold production was 17% higher in the second than in the first quarter.

It comes after Newcrest last month announced an asset write-down of nearly 6 billion US dollars with a primary focus on the company’s PNG mining operations at Lihir and in Hidden Valley.

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill voiced concern at the write-down, offering assistance to safeguard Newcrest’s investment.
Radio New Zealand International

23) Chinese company allowed to sell fish to local retailers in Cook Islands

By Online Editor
3:01 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Cook Islands

Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board (BTIB) has given a Chinese company, Huanan Fisheries Limited the green light to see frozen fish to two local retailers.

BTIB chief executive officer, Terry Rangi said the deal with Hainan will be for a three month trial.

Rangi told Cook Islands Herald the company license was only for export and transhipment of their catch, not the supply to the local market.

The Board considered submissions from both retailers wanting to buy fish stock from Huanan Ltd and members of the fishing industry concerned at the effect this will have on their businesses.

BTIB will for the next three months monitor whether the sale of frozen fish from Huanan will have adverse effects on local fresh fish sales predominantly serviced by local fishermen.

The Board anticipates that while retailers will add their own margins, it expects that lower prices for fish will make it easier and more attractive for consumers to buy.



24) Former Bougainville Military Commanders Reconcile
Toroama, Pipiro, Uma to work for future of Bougainville

By Romulus Masiu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 25, 2013) – 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 (ABG) 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 [US$4.3 billion] compensation from BCL before the mine can be opened.

PNG Post-Courier:

25) B’ville’s glitch


FAILED money scam operator and renowned con-man Noah Musingku and his U-Vistract has been described as an ‘obstacle’ to the peace process and Bougainville’s aspiration to referendum for independence.
This was echoed by several leaders and ex-combatants in Panguna during the reconciliation of three factional leaders, Ishmael Toroama, Chris Uma and Moses Pipiro.
Former BRA commander for Buin in South Bougainville Thomas Tarii led the onslaught, saying U-Vistract is another obstacle and it’s about time the ABG addresses the issue as more Bougainvilleans are being fooled by this con-man Musingku. Mr Tarii, who has once tried to flush out the U-Vistract organisation in Tonu, Siwai, said people like Musingku and his failed money scam must be dealt with by authorities.
Mr Tarii said while he was trying his best to set the foundation for unification amongst ex-combatants and the people of Buin and South Bougainville, people like Musingku and his money scam were becoming an obstacle to the process.
He said unification was the key for peace on Bougainville, adding that unification amongst Bougainvilleans was not just a thing of today but it had been in our minds and hearts ever since we started fighting the war.
“It is people like Musingku who brainwash ordinary illiterate Bougainvilleans to have negative thoughts and minds about respect for authorities and the purpose of our struggle, and why we fought this war.”
Mr Tarii said only through unity and reconciliation would we be eligible to go into referendum and achieve ultimate independence for Bougainville.
“Let’s not curse the referendum of Bougainville because unification and unity is the key to our political journey.”
ABG vice president Patrick Nisira also challenged Bougainvilleans not to practice cultism and a free-money mentality.
“Bougainville will be built and developed on pure hard work and sweat and not on free handouts, free millions. No plane or ship will carry millions of kina to our shores. We’ve learnt to work hard from our ancestors, parents and from the Holy Bible teachings.”
James Onato, another former BRA commander from Kieta, Central Bougainville, blamed organisations like U-Vistract for misleading innocent Bougainvilleans.
He said the late Francis Ona met his fate after he listened to Musingku and his failed money scheme U-Vistract –which promised goods and money coming from vessels and planes. If he had not listened to Musingku, he would be alive today and be with us. He had come right down – lowered himself to the level of the failed money scheme after being conned by Musingku.

26) Kapris exposes shortcomings

By Staff Reporters

THE death of notorious criminal William Kapris has closed a chapter in the annals of Papua New Guinea’s law and order challenges.
His capture and shooting on Monday by members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary left many questions unanswered on his alleged connections to the PNG political elite and exposed the shortcomings of successive government’s ability to keep dangerous prisoners behind bars and away from the community.
Kapris’ date of birth could not be ascertained with family and friends putting it at December 15th 1980, though the convict in a 2008 police video interview which later got posted on YouTube says he was born on May 22nd 1979 in the West New Britain Province.
His exploits as a criminal go back to 1997 when he was charged by police for shooting a policeman as well as the gang rape of a young girl at a primary school. The litany of crimes covers a 16-year period and includes the Metal Refinery robbery in 2007, where an unspecified number of gold bars were stolen and the robbery of the Bank South Pacific’s Madang and Kerema branches.
His West New Britain-based family yesterday appealed to the RPNGC hierarchy to release his body so they could bury him. Denying that the family had benefited from his crimes and misdeeds, the family said they paid the price for Kapris’ crimes over the years when they were abused by police and had their home burnt in 2001.
Ol kilim em, em orait em dai pinis, tasol why na ol smeshim bun blong em na bodi blong em gat planti hole tumas (they killed him, that’s okay he is dead but why did they smash his bones and why is his body riddled with holes),” said his sister Sharon.
Another close relative, Joseph Kumasi, said the family wanted the Government to carry out a coronial inquest to ascertain the cause of death as they believe Kapris was tortured and then murdered. Close inspection of the body revealed knife and bullet wounds to the legs, he added.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Wednesday expressed sympathy with the convicted felon’s family but did not indicate whether his Government will commission an inquiry into the shooting, which ended a three-month manhunt by a joint RPNGC and Correctional Service team. The operation has reportedly cost the Government over K4 million.
His escape with two accomplices from the Bomana maximum security facility outside Port Moresby in May this year led to widespread condemnation of the CS administration and calls for the sacking of current commissioner Martin Balthazar. The management of PNG’s prison system also came under scrutiny with revelations of illegal activities being condoned in jails such as sex between jail wardens and convicts.
Kapris last year admitted having sex with a female jail warden on 15 occasions within Bomana’s welfare rehabilitation office.


27) Fiji critical of new Australian asylum seeker policy

Posted at 04:02 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is strongly critical of Australia’s new plan for dealing with would be refugees trying to reach the country by boat.

Australia announced a week ago that all such asylum seekers would be sent to Papua New Guinea and if they got refugee status they would stay there, or in a third country, but never admitted to Australia.

Commodore Bainimarama told Auckland based Radio Tarana that across Melanesia many are uneasy about the plan.

He says he the people who put the asylum seekers on unsafe boats and cause the deaths of many are evil, but he says the Australian government created the market in the first place.

“What do they do, they say let’s dump these people in Melanesia. It doesn’t matter that these people don’t know anything about Melanesia, let’s just send them there. I am not going to criticise my Melanesian brothers in Papua New Guinea but as someone who has chaired the Melanesian Spearhead Group I think a lot of Melanesians are pretty uncomfortable about what has happened.”

The Fiji regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama

Radio New Zealand International

28) UNHCR ‘troubled’ by PNG solution

By Online Editor
3:14 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Australia

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has issued a scathing assessment of the Rudd government’s plans to send all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to PNG.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced the deal last Friday, under which PNG would process asylum seekers who come to Australia and resettle those found to be refugees.’

While PNG’s cabinet was told that the Manus Island detention centre could eventually house 3000 asylum seekers, Rudd stressed it would be open-ended.

A week after the announcement, the UNHCR issued a statement saying it was “troubled” by the current arrangements on Manus Island, and saying Labor’s proposal raised “very significant policy, legal and operational challenges”.

“UNHCR is troubled by the current absence of adequate protection standards and safeguards for asylum seekers and refugees in Papua New Guinea (PNG).  Australia’s Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RRA) with the Government of PNG raises serious, and so far unanswered, protection questions,” the agency said.

“UNHCR’s assessment, based on recent visits to PNG, is that there are currently significant shortcomings in the legal framework for receiving and processing asylum-seekers from Australia. These include a lack of national capacity and expertise in processing, and poor physical conditions within open-ended, mandatory and arbitrary detention settings.

“While UNHCR understands that a number of these issues are being addressed, it is concerned at the prospect of further transfers taking place under the new RRA in the absence of appropriate protection guarantees and to what will remain temporary facilities on Manus Island for the foreseeable future.”’

The agency also said asylum seekers sent to PNG would face “formidable challenges” integrating to PNG life.

“From UNHCR’s first-hand experience in supporting Melanesian and non-Melanesian refugees for nearly 30 years, it is clear that sustainable integration of non-Melanesian refugees in the socio-economic and cultural life of PNG will raise formidable challenges and protection questions.”

It said it shared the government’s concerns about the risks to life associated with dangerous sea journeys, “as a principle, UNHCR always advocates for countries to grant protection within their own territory, regardless of how they have arrived”.

In other developments, the ABC has reported that Indonesian politicians are unhappy about not being consulted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd before he announced his “hardline” deal to resettle asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea.

“The first thing that your country or the Prime Minister should contact is the minister of foreign affairs,” said Tantowi Yahya, a member of Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Commission.

“And I’ve spoken with the minister a day after the announcement; he said he doesn’t know anything about it.”

Tony Abbott’s military-led response to combat people smuggling is misguided policy and will change nothing, according to the chief of Australia’s defence force under John Howard.

“I can’t see it making any difference at all,” said retired Admiral Chris Barrie when asked on ABC radio about the Opposition Leader’s determination to appoint a three star military commander to “stop the boats”.

Admiral Barrie’s comments come as Labor and the Coalition continue to fight over which party will be toughest on border protection and who is most qualified to deter people smugglers.

Immigration Minister Tony Burke declared on Thursday that conditions on Manus Island are more than adequate and vowed to increase capacity to cover a surge in boat arrivals since the Prime Minister announced his Papua New Guinea solution.

Nine boats have arrived since the policy was announced, the latest on Tuesday carrying almost 100 asylum seekers, bringing to more than 700 the number of people waiting on Christmas Island to be transferred to PNG.

The political squabbling over Rudd’s asylum seeker policy has also heightened tensions with O’Neill, who criticised Abbott and Coalition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop over comments they made regarding aid to the country.

Abbott’s policy, which brands border protection a ”national emergency” and suggests a military-led taskforce to attack the problem, risks politicising the military, Rear Admiral Barrie said on Friday morning.

“[Asylum seekers] are not our enemy,” he said.

“They’re not attacking Australia . . . Defence is to deal with our enemies but Customs, policing and all the rest of it deal with people on internal security matters.



29) Anger at Air NZ foreign pilot push

By Online Editor
09:52 am GMT+12, 26/07/2013, New Zealand

The aviation community is angry Air New Zealand is looking offshore for its pilots.

A submission has been made by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the company to add “aeroplane pilot” on the Government’s skill shortage list, making it easier to hire foreign pilots.

However, Phil Hooker, chief instructor at Bayflight International in Tauranga, says many qualified pilots dream of working for the airline.

“The country has got many eligible pilots right now who are trying to get into Air New Zealand who are forced to go overseas.

“There’s a saying in New Zealand that it’s easier to get into Nasa than into Air New Zealand.”

A survey by the New Zealand Airline Pilots Association and the General Aviation Advocacy Group is gathering data to refute the national carrier’s claims of a shortage.

30a) Locals biggest fish threat in Fiji : Dr Veitayaki

By Online Editor
12:35 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Fiji

A Fiji-based academic has called for the implementation of a more effective marine resource management in the country.

University of the South Pacific’s head of the School of Marine Studies, Dr Joeli Veitayaki said this was particularly vital since science has proved that our marine resources are continuing to dwindle at an alarming rate.

He said evidence of this development could be seen in the fact that commercial fishing fleets are travelling further out to sea in order to fish.

“Fisherman are spending longer periods of time out at sea and are investing in more expensive equipments to track and follow schools of fish,” Dr Veitayaki said.

He made the comments during a lecture organised by non-government marine conservation organisation Sea Web in Suva yesterday.

Dr Veitayaki said there had been strategies like implementing marine management areas or marine protected areas in certain places around the country.

“Putting in place a marine protected area is to ensure that we have a recovery space for surrounding marine areas but is not the only solution.”

He also said the biggest threats to our marine resources are locals.

“We need to go out and educate local communities,” he said. “We need an integrated approach to sustain our marine resources.”

Dr Veitayaki said this was vital so our sources of food are sustained.



30b) Solomon Islands Football Federation investigated

By Online Editor
10:58 am GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands National Sports Council has initiated investigations into the Solomon Islands Football Federation’s administration.

The football federation was alleged to have had some questionable administrative issues causing a lot of complaints from affiliated sporting federations around the country.

Confirming the investigations to SIBC News Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Council, David Firisua says the SIFF executive has been served its notice Tuesday this week.

He says the letter requires that the national sports council be provided with the SIFF constitution, agenda and minutes of the congress meeting held on 21 June this year and the federation’s financial records.

Firisua says the council will also convene a public consultation after it received the required documents from SIFF.

He says the council has decided to take this action to improve the status of sporting federations in the country, especially soccer.

30c) Oceania sides book semi-final match ups at OFC Futsal Championship Invitational

By Online Editor
10:56 am GMT+12, 26/07/2013, Fiji

Oceania sides Tahiti and New Zealand will face off against their Asian counterparts Malaysia and Australia respectively in tomorrow’s semi-finals while defending champions Solomon Islands have crashed out of the top four.

The third day of action started with two sides, Vanuatu and NZ Invitational, going out in search of their first wins and the chance to head into the placing play-offs on a high. It was Vanuatu who earned that boost with a 7-4 triumph, although the Invitational team will have been buoyed at finally finding the net for their first goals of the tournament.

Pakoa Rakom led the way for Vanuatu with a hat-trick while captain Ben Hungai set a good example for his troops with a brace. Dudley Dominique and Jacky John were also on target while four different scorers – Matthew Edridge, Charl Compaan, Jan Fischer and Stephen Ashby-Peckham – struck for NZ Invitational.

Defeated coach Simon Mead was relieved to finally get on the scoreboard and felt his team is showing patches of promise but needs to put in a more complete performance.

“At international level you have to be able to put it together for 40 minutes or so,” he said. “We scored some goals and, technically and tactically, we can compete with them but we showed a bit of inexperience and leaked some goals. This tournament is the first international experience for many of our players and they have put a lot of heart into it but at international level sometimes that’s not enough.”

Vanuatu counterpart Louis Dominique is in a similar boat in that he has a young side under his wing and is using this week mainly to inject some experience into the group.

“We came here to get some exposure so I think we have achieved well so far,” he said. “I’m very happy with the way the boys played today and it’s good to get a win. We had the same game plan we used against Australia but we made less mistakes than yesterday and that’s why we won.”

The clash of the winless sides was swiftly followed by an unbeaten match up as Australia and Tahiti went head-to-head in the second game of the afternoon. Both came into today with perfect records after posting two wins from two and something therefore had to give.

Tahiti had clearly formulated a game plan of sitting deep to frustrate the Australians and try to hit them on the break and that tactic worked for the opening period as a match entered half-time scoreless for the first time in the tournament. But Australia’s dominance of the possession stakes was always likely to prove telling at some point and the Aito Arii’s resistance was finally broken when captain Matana Bea turned a Wade Giovenali cross into his own net. Adam Cooper then slotted home a pass from skipper Toby Seeto to continue the Futsalroos’ victorious march.

“Tahiti were very organised and they set up well in defence so it was difficult for us,” Seeto said. “From the limited knowledge we had we expected them to sit deep so we had a game plan to try to get round them but all credit to them, they’re a good team. We’re happy with the three points and now we can move onto the semi-final tomorrow.”

Tahiti coach Heitapu Hunter was pleased his side made the most of facing a team that competed against some of the best futsal outfits on the planet at last November’s World Cup.

“I’m really proud of how the boys performed because for us to play Australia is a pleasure,” he said. “It was fantastic to prove that we are able to compete with a team at that level. But we stayed at the back for too long and I think we probably respected them a bit too much. When we came here our goal was to play both of the Asian teams so we’re really happy to now be playing Malaysia in the semi-finals.”

New Zealand needed a result against New Caledonia if they were to have any hope of making it into the semi-finals and with the Francophone side winless so far the odds were in the Kiwis’ favour.

Daniel Burns opened the floodgates for the Futsal Whites less than two minutes into the half before adding one more for his brace. New Caledonia responded through Malik Paulet and captain Yvan Pourouoro’s double but their case wasn’t helped when Dylan Manickum’s shot was deflected in for an own goal. Manickum managed to get on the board twice as he leapt ahead in the Golden Boot race, while teammates Marvin Eakins and Jakub Sinkora also scored to give the Futsal Whites a 7-2 victory.

New Zealand coach Scott Gilligan said his side’s nervousness showed in the first half as they knew their chance of advancing rested in their own hands.

“Tonight we were sloppy. They were really nervous to start with and the second half was a bit better, we played with a bit more composure. The first half we started to panic but I think that’s the monkey off the back for them and they’ll be ready for the semi-final now.”

For New Caledonia co-coaches Steeve Laigle and William Bret, a third consecutive defeat is tough to take but the chance to play some quality sides outweighs that disappointment.

“I am very proud of the players,” Bret said. “We were faced with the tournament’s three best teams and I think we did what we could with what we had and they can’t be faulted for that.”

In the final match of the evening, Solomon Islands needed to win by at least five goals against the already qualified Malaysians if they hoped to progress to the semi-finals. However fortune did not favour the Kurukuru, who have struggled to show the form that got them to the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup, with Samuel Osifelo opening the scoring for Malaysia with an own goal.

Whilst they showed flashes of brilliance, the Solomon Islands struggled to find the target despite getting off a number of decent shots, netting just once through Micah Lea’alafa. Malaysia on the other hand had little trouble making their way past keeper Anthony Talo with Khairul Mohd Bahrin scoring a brace and Asmie Zahari one for a 4-1 win.

Malaysia technical director Marcelo Serpa Coelho said his side defended well and controlled the ball which aided them when it came to the crunch.

“The Solomon Islands are a good team and have some good players who are skilled in one-on-one situations,” Serpa Coelho said. “Tahiti defend deeply and like to hit on the break so we will have to be aware of that. We will need to be organised well in attack and not allow them to counter attack us.”

Kurukuru coach Dickson Kadau said his side lacked concentration at times which didn’t help their cause on the court.

“Some of the decisions didn’t go our way and that caused us to lose some of our concentration,” Kadau says. “We need to be more tactically aware in the next match and to improve our mental strength, we need to focus on this. We have a lot of respect for Vanuatu because they have a lot of ability. We are looking forward to playing them because they are our neighbours so that always makes it a bit more special.”

Today’s matches will see New Caledonia and NZ Invitational play for 7th/8th position at 1pm while defending champions Solomon Islands will encounter Vanuatu in the play-off for 5th/6th place at 3pm. In the first semi-final Malaysia will face Tahiti at 5pm before Australia and New Zealand line-up for the fourth time in a week in the second semi-final at 8pm.

30d) Vanuatu win three straight at World Cricket League 6

Posted at 23:35 on 25 July, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu have won their third straight match at the World Cricket League 6 tournament in Jersey, with a sharp effort in the field laying the platform for a five wicket win over Kuwait.

The winless Arabians made a strong start, racing through to 47 without loss inside seven overs before Patrick Matautaava’s first wicket triggered a collapse.

From there the wickets began to fall regularly with man of the match Nalin Nipiko bagging four and spinner Jelany Chilia three wickets for four runs in two and a half overs as Kuwait were dismissed for 107, a total Vanuatu overhauled with more than 23 overs to spare.

Head coach Peter Wooden says the 21 year old Chilia continues to impress.

“He’s been working with the Australian Under 19 team on a talented athlete scholarship, accelerated scholarship. His progression over the past 12 months has been incredible and I think he’s certainly been noticed by Cricket Australia for his talents and he’s continuing his good work here. He’s such a good thinker of the game and he loves the game and just wants to learn. When you combine all those three things it makes you a very good cricketer.”

In the other matches, Nigeria thrashed Bahrain by eight wickets while hosts Jersey also had an eight wicket win against Argentina.
Radio New Zealand International

30e)European tour proving invaluable for Tahiti Beach Soccer team

Posted at 21:19 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

The Tahiti beach soccer team is approaching the end of a marathon tour of Europe as they continue to fine-tune their preparations for September’s World Cup in Papeete.

The Tiki Toa have spent the past few months in the Northern Hemisphere, chalking up a number of major victories against the likes of Austria and European League Champions Switzerland.

Their coach, Angelo Schirinzi, says the experience has been invaluable for his players.

“We went to Croatia for a tournament, we won in Austria for a tournament, we were in Estonia and we win a tournament in Estonia. Now the team is here – the players are playing in the Swiss league in several teams. This is important for having experience in this new sport. It’s a win-win situation for the Federation because players can improve here in Europe, they have a lot of experience, they can play a lot of matches and the team will improve.”

The Tiki Toa squad will fly back to Tahiti early next month to continue their preparations at home before the World Cup kicks off on September the 18th.
Radio New Zealand International

30f) Vanuatu and Solomons to meet in rugby league match in Australia

Posted at 20:55 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

The Vanuatu Rugby League will face Solomon Islands in a rugby league test match in Mackay, Queensland this October.

The game is being staged in Australia to commemorate the Australian South Sea Islander 150 Year anniversary of people from Vanuatu and Solomons being removed from the Islands and resettled throughout Queensland.

Many commemorations have taken place in Australia to mark the significance of the 150 year anniversary and the game between Vanuatu and Solomons, which will also be the first time the 2 sides have met in international competition, will further highlight the strong ties of the Island nations.

Mackay is regarded as the biggest population of Australian South Sea Islanders and it is hoped that the game will attract more than 3,000 people.

Commenting on the game, Vanuatu Rugby League President Tom Carlo says this is a great opportunity for the Vanuatu national team to play against Solomons in Australia.
Radio New Zealand International

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