Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 841

MELANESIA:

1a) Free West Papua to open an office in Netherlands

Posted at 23:16 on 30 July, 2013 UTC

The Free West Papua Campaign is to open a new office in the Netherlands.

Earlier this year the Campaign, which is fronted by exiled West Papuan Independence leader Benny Wenda, opened an office in the British city of Oxford.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa voiced disappointment that the British government was unwilling to take steps against the office.

The Campaign’s Oditek Ap says the new office in the Hague will be opened on August 15th, the 51st anniversary of the New York Agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesia under which control of the former Dutch New Guinea was ceded.

“It is our task to inform the youth in the Netherlands about their own history, about our history, the West Papuan story, by opening an office so that people will know that there is an office where we can get more information about the situation in West Papua and about why the people in West Papua are struggling for freedom.”

Oditek Ap of the Free West papua Campaign

Radio New Zealand International

1b) Indonesia queries West’s Papua focus

Posted at 02:17 on 01 August, 2013 UTC

A senior Indonesia vice-presidential advisor has questioned why people in western countries focus on problems in West Papua while ignoring many other parts of Indonesia with problems.

The Deputy for Political Affairs to Vice President Boediono, Dewi Fortuna Anwar, says while there are issues of violence and undemocratic behaviour by the military in Papua region, it is not always the security forces who perpetrate abuses.

She says the government is doing its best to develop the Papua region, with an emphasis on improving the welfare of its citizens.

“A lot of problems have taken place in many parts of Indonesia. We are still struggling to consolidate our democracy, Our state institutions are still being reformed and we have to admit that we have problems of injustices or violence, sometimes police and military violence, in different parts of Indonesia. But I must say that people in New Zealand, Australia and in Europe have zoned in mostly on what is happening in Papua.”

Dewi Fortuna Anwar

Radio New Zealand International

1c) Violence in West Papua not just caused by military, says advisor

Posted at 23:54 on 31 July, 2013 UTC

A senior Indonesia vice-presidential advisor says ongoing violence in Papua region cannot be solely pinned on the security forces.

The UN Human rights Committee recently highlighted ongoing violence in Papua region and deplored the excessive use of force by security forces.

Referring to a high number of extra-judicial killings in Papua in the past two years, the Committee says violations are likely to continue with no effective mechanism available to hold the military accountable.

The Deputy for Political Affairs to Vice President Boediono, Dewi Fortuna Anwar says there are many different perpetrators of violence in Papua, and military have been among the victims.

“A lot of the victims are in fact not the result of state oppressions against Papuans. A lot of the conflicts in the past years have taken place due to local conflicts related to local elections for example.”

Dewi Fortuna Anwar says inter-tribal conflicts also account for violence in the region.

She says Jakarta is still concerned about undemocratic behaviour by the military.

Radio New Zealand International

2) Crime, corruption top problems list for PNG businesses
By Online Editor
09:01 am GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Crime and corruption are the two biggest impediments to business in Papua New Guinea, according to a new survey.

The Institute of National Affairs surveyed companies in all sectors across the country, and found crime is having the biggest negative impact on businesses.

Corruption came a close second as a major impediment to business with 28 per cent of firms saying they were ‘highly’ or ‘very highly’ affected.

Survey director Paul Barker says corruption has become more widespread over the past 20 years.

“In the past, it was just in a narrow area. Now it is in a broad spectrum of interrelationship with government agencies: so that can be with the police, customs, labour migration, supply and tenders board, environment and a range of things,” he said.

Barker says corruption is resulting in the people of PNG missing out on crucial services and in the public sector paying two or three times what they should to contractors.

He says the impact of crime may be even more significant, with investment and jobs being lost as a result.

“It is the cost of crime itself, which is substantial. It is the cost of mitigation and the high cost spent on security and it is the opportunity cost of crime; the fact that all sorts of businesses just never proceed because of the risk of crime,” Barker said.

A separate survey by Transparency International shows 76 per cent of Papua New Guineans think corruption in the public sector is a serious concern.

In the past year Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has boosted spending on law and order and increased recruitment into the police force.

Transparency International has welcomed  O’Neill’s anti-corruption strategy and his plans to set up an Independent Commission Against Corruption.

But Transparency’s PNG chairman Lawrence Stephens says more needs to be done to ensure the police, judiciary and other investigative arms of government have the resources to do their jobs.

“In addition to that, we need to ensure that every report that is presented to parliament has attention paid to it and that the reports that aren’t being presented to parliament start to be presented,” he said.

“Things like the Auditor-General’s report needs action to be taken on it.

“If the PM, and he does sound very definite that he wants to address these issues, if he is able to make sure people pay attention and take action on reports like these, then we’ll go a long way towards stamping out corruption.”

Stephens says people in Papua New Guinea want to to fight back against corruption, and that improvements in mobile phone technology is making that easier.

“People can record things that are taking place and more and more people are becoming aware that they are able to do this and then sharing that sort of information with others.

“We are hoping that it will spread from that. More people will say no, more people will object and more demands will be made on the official system to crackdown on those found to be guilty of corrupt actions.”.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

3) Parties in Vanuatu to hold talks on improving political stability

Posted at 23:54 on 31 July, 2013 UTC

A Vanuatu MP Ralph Regenvanu says a paper has been prepared ahead of the next parliamentary session later this month outlining a number of options to improve political integrity and stability.

The Minister of Lands says the Prime Minister Moana Carcasses will be calling for the attendance of all presidents of political parties represented in the current legislature to discuss proposals for reforming the political system.

Mr Regenvanu says agreement will need to be reached by all parties on what measures should be taken, which could include requiring political parties to register in accordance to specific criteria.

He says another option on the agenda is to give the party who wins the greatest number of seats the mandate to choose a prime minister, and cutting down on party hopping is a priority.

“If an MP wants to defect from a party they actually have to go back to bi-election because they were elected under a party ticket and have to give the voters the opportunity to decide whether they wish to elect them on a different party ticket.”

Ralph Regenvanu says if changes are agreed to by all parties, they would eventually have to take them to a referendum as it would require changes to the constitution.
Radio New Zealand International

4) Singapore Group Contracted For $350 Million Vanuatu Airport
PM touts direct flights, job opportunities, future infrastructure

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 31, 2013) – Work on Vanuatu’s new US$350 million (about 33 billion vatu) International Airport, along with remedial work on Baurfield Airport, and upgrading of Pekoa Aiport on Santo, plus improvement works on Norsup and Whitegrass airports, are set to begin following a signing agreement ceremony between the Vanuatu government and the Singapore group known as Vanuatu Trade Development Private Limited (VTDPL). The cost is twice the annual budget of Vanuatu.

Signing on behalf of the Vanuatu government on Saturday evening were the Prime Minister Moana Carcasses and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Natapei.

The Executive Director of the Singaporean ‘Vanuatu Trade Development Private Limited’ David Mak and General Manager Eric Ong signed on behalf of VTDPL Group.

Speaking during the signing ceremony Carcasses said this is a single major infrastructure project of this magnitude before and after Independence.

The prime minister said there will be direct flights into and out of Vanuatu without having to transit to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji or New Caledonia to other parts of the world.

“This is an answer to our people towards a major significant economic progress, and therefore awareness must reach the population of Vanuatu that everyone will be part of single most important economic infrastructure development of this magnitude.

“We understand that there are pros and cons from some people and quarters regarding the project but we proceed with it for the benefit of all,” Carcasses said.

He said a formal government statement will be issued about the project this week, however, he acknowledged the presence of the local media during the signing ceremony.

Prime Minister Carcasses also stressed the magnitude and extension of the project in creating job opportunities for the unemployed ni-Vanuatu people, more tourism industry infrastructure such as hotel, motels, restaurants, local food supplies and tourism and related activities when the new Vanuatu International airport is completed in 2016.

“This is a very ambiguous project of its magnitude and I want to congratulate the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Natapei, for leading the Government Task Force to being this major project to this signing agreement this evening,” Prime Minister Carcasses said.

The Singapore VTDPL Group Executive Director, Mak said in response to the prime minister that the construction company will begin shortly first with the survey of the new Vanuatu International Airport. Once this is completed, the actual construction work in building the new International Airport will begin and is estimated to be completed by 2016.

“Today the company is very proud to be awarded the project through the cooperation for the new international airport. Once completed Vanuatu will have direct connection with the rest of the world. We estimate there will be one million visitors –tourists annually and these 1 million tourists and visitors annually will need food, accommodation, transportation and cultural and other activities. It is the beginning of the new era to move Vanuatu economically into the future,” said the Singapore Group Executive Director David Mak.

He told Daily Post: “This project will create jobs for the people of Vanuatu even prior to the actual construction of the new Vanuatu International Airport. Vanuatu needs a catalyst to start shaking up the country’s economy and we believe that this project of the new international airport is that catalyst. We believe this is the biggest project in Vanuatu.

“Once completed the new international airport will take on the aircrafts of the size of 747 Boeing but with this type of aircraft being faded out, the new international airport will take on similar size of the aircraft; wide bodied aircraft that can make direct flights into and out of Vanuatu to other destination around the world that travel 10,000 to 13,000 kilometers.

“Vanuatu will need more hotels, restaurants, transport systems, local food and meat supplies, cultural activities, more investors and yes Singapore visitors and investors are waiting for the completion of the project,” the executive director told Daily Post in an interview.

[PIR editor’s note: Former Finance Minister and current Vanuatu Liberal Democratic Party leader Willie Jimmy has warned against the deal, reportedly producing documents showing the Singapore company lost an appeal case against the government of the Maldives for construction and repair at the Male Airport in 2012. That contract was reportedly worth more than $500 million dollars. Jimmy says the proposed investment is too big for Vanuatu, and airport developments must be made on a stage by stage basis.]

This is the first time that the Vanuatu Government has signed this type of project which the contractor will design, build and operate under the concession agreement signed Saturday evening for 50 years.

At the end of 50 years, the Singapore VTDL company will transfer the entire project to the Vanuatu Government free and to be owned by the Government and the people of Vanuatu. This means there is no loan involved on the part of the Vanuatu government.

This project is the first of its kind signed under the Act of parliament and both present and past governments as well as the past parliaments were involved in the various stages of its plans but was not implemented.

The ceremony was witnessed by Government Ministers, Senior Government Officials, MPs and political supporters.

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

5) Chiefly upper house mooted for Vanuatu

Posted at 23:16 on 30 July, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu’s first president, Ati Georges Sokomanu, says the country should have an upper house where the country’s chiefs could sit.

He has previously advocated a presidential system to try and solve the country’s political instability and is continuing to push for that.

Speaking as the country marked its 33rd anniversary of independence, he also says the chiefs should be more involved in the political process and this would help to combat the growing lawlessness in the community.

Mr Solomanu says the great council of chiefs has been established but it has no power and has to defer to the legislature.

“I think the only thing now is to slot them in and have a lower house and an upper house in parliament and let the chiefs play their part in the development of Vanuatu.”

Vanuatu’s first president, Ati Georges Sokomanu.

Radio New Zealand International

6a) Fiji PM says lying politicians will be exposed soon
By Online Editor
10:20 am GMT+12, 01/08/2013, Fiji

Politicians spreading lies about the draft constitution will be exposed as liars when Fiji’s new constitution is unveiled at the end of August.

This, according to Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama while speaking to the people of Navosa at the commissioning of an electricity grid extension from Vatubalavu to Keiyasi yesterday.

“I’ve been disappointed that some politicians have spread lies about the draft constitution,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

“They’ve been trying to persuade ordinary people that their rights and land ownership are no longer safe.

“I am here to tell you today that this is not the case and that these people will be exposed as liars when the final constitution is unveiled.”

Commodore Bainimarama said the new constitution would guarantee political, economic and social rights for every Fijian.

“For the first time, we are guaranteeing such things as the right to clean water, the right to adequate food and the right for everyone to make a living.

“And of course, as we have promised, every Fijian will have the same chance for the first time to get on in life through the equal opportunity provisions that are at the heart of our constitution.”.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

6b) Fiji regime dispels land ownership concerns

Posted at 02:17 on 01 August, 2013 UTC

The Fiji regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says it’s wrong to say under the new constitution land ownership is no longer safe.

According to the Fijilive website, Commodore Bainimarama has told people in Navosa that politicians have spread lies about the draft constitution.

He is quoted as saying these people will be exposed as liars when the final constitution is unveiled.

The regime is still finalising the document after collecting submissions which have not been made public.

It says the new constitution will be released this month.

Last year, it decreed that it be ready by late March, but in January it dumped the draft by the Constitution Commission and tasked its own legal team to produce a new draft.

Radio New Zealand International

6c) Fiji union complains to international body over intimidation

Posted at 23:16 on 30 July, 2013 UTC

The Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union has complained to international labour organisations about what it describes as intimidation during a ballot over possible strike action at the nation’s sugar mills.

It has written to the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Labour Organisation.

The union’s Secretary General, Felix Anthony, says his organisation has been unhappy about the level of pressure from the Fiji Sugar Corporation management.

“Which held meetings at work places to threaten workers not to take part in the vote and that they would be reported to the government if they took part in the vote. Apart from that, we had police and military personnel present in polling stations where voting was being conducted and in some cases even attempted to disturb the processes.”

Felix Anthony says no date has been set for any industrial action and he hopes the Fiji Sugar Corporation will agree to talks to resolve differences.

The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow, says the Confederation condemns what it calls extremely serious violations of the right to freedom of association.

She says the regime has shown nothing but contempt for the rule of law and the interests of its own citizens.

Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA:

7a)Tuvalu Parliament adjourned again before no confidence motion

Posted at 01:53 on 31 July, 2013 UTC

Tuvalu’s parliament has been adjourned by the speaker, Kamuta Latasi, before MPs could debate a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Willy Telavi.

After being ordered back to the House by the Governor General yesterday , MPs dealt with parliamentary business and were to hear private members’ motions today.

However, the parliamentary clerk has confirmed the speaker adjourned parliament until further notice at midday today.

It is not clear when the parliament will reconvene.

Opposition MPs have wanted to resume parliament for months and bring a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister, who lost his majority when an opposition candidate, Elisala Pita, won a by-election.

Mr Telavi had refused to hold the by-election until the High Court ordered the poll.

Radio New Zealand International

7b) American Samoa government to offer new jobs in new fiscal year

Posted at 23:14 on 30 July, 2013 UTC

More than 200 jobs will be offered by the American Samoa Government in the new fiscal year.

The Lolo-Lemanu Administration is seeking to fund 238 new positions in Fiscal Year 2014, which would increase the government workforce to 6,533.

The change, if approved by the Fono, reflects a 3.7 percent increase in the goverment workforce.

According to the Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal, 198 of the new positions will be contract employees and 40 will be career service appointments.

Radio New Zealand International

AUSTRALIA:

8) Vanuatu PM Calls On Australia To Apologize For Blackbirding
Islanders forcibly conscripted for sugar plantations in late 1800s

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 1, 2013) – The Prime Minister of Vanuatu has called on the Australian government to apologies for the treatment of people taken from his islands during the notorious era of ‘blackbirding.’

In an address to a group of descendants of South Sea Islanders, Vanuatu’s leader Moana Carcasses Kalosil said he wants an apology from Australia to recognize a “shameful” part of history.

Around 100 Australian South Sea Islanders are in Vanuatu this week to take part in commemorations for the 150th anniversary of the departure of the first blackbirding ship bound for Queensland.

Minister of Lands Ralph Reganvanu says in a forum to mark the commemorations, there was a feeling the Australian government should say sorry.

“(It’s) important for the Australian South Sea Islander community in Australia, in terms of recognition of their distinct history,” he said.

“The fact that when the deportation laws were passed in 1906, it is the only time in Australia’s history that parliament has passed laws specifically to get rid of a whole ethnic group out of the country.”

Mr. Reganvanu says an apology would also extend to the countries from which the blackbirders came from.

During the infamous blackbird trade from 1863 to 1904, Pacific Islanders were forcibly taken to work on Australia’s sugar plantations, a practice known as ‘blackbirding.’

It’s estimated that more than 30,000 of those forced workers’ descendants are living in Australia.

Hundreds of people turned out for a parade to recognize the Australian South Sea Islanders.

Mr. Reganvanu says the story of the blackbirded people is an important part of his country’s history.

“Thousands of Ni-Vanuatu went to Australia as part of that time. A number returned,” he said.

He says a number of historical legacies, established by returned blackbirded people, continue to be maintained today.

Mr. Reganvanu also says the Prime Minister discussed the opportunities the commemoration is providing for Vanuatu now “in terms of re-linking and finding a way forward on the issue.”

The increasing number of South Sea Islanders going to Vanuatu to rediscover their connections is creating a new dynamic in the relationship between Port Vila and Canberra.

Mr. Reganvanu says he hopes it will lead to a stronger relationship, including the growth of Australia’s modern-day seasonal worker scheme, which offers very different conditions.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

9) Election uncertainty casts cloud over Australia’s UN Security Council plans

Updated 1 August 2013, 9:21 AEST
By ABC Asia editor Catherine McGrath

Australia’s United Nations Security Council plans remain uncertain due to the pending federal election announcement.

Australia’s United Nations Security Council plans remain uncertain due to the pending federal election announcement, with questions over whether Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be able to attend a key meeting of world leaders in September.

Australia will begin its one-month tenure as president of the Security Council from September 1.

The president’s role traditionally gives countries a chance to shape agendas and push issues, but it is still not clear if Mr Rudd will fly to New York.

September also includes the UN’s Leader’s Week, when the world’s prime ministers and presidents visit to address the United Nations.

It is a double bonus in diplomacy terms, and it would be surprising if Mr Rudd did not want to be there.

The Prime Minister’s office says an announcement on travel arrangements will be made later “as is normal practice”.

Election call could hamstring foreign policy efforts

But if an election is called that could throw Australia’s diplomatic plans into disarray.

A bureaucracy in pre-election caretaker mode has fewer opportunities to deliver key diplomatic objectives. It would leave Australia’s diplomatic mission in New York without necessary government back-up to drive its message.

Australia has not sat on the US Security Council for almost 30 years.

Australia became a non-permanent member of the Security Council in January and is chairing sanctions committees on Taliban, Al Qaeda and Iran.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr says Australia has an important role to play.

“These appointments are a reflection of our high standing among Security Council members,” Senator Carr said.

“We’re seen as having the commitment and resources to deliver effective oversight of international sanctions regimes which are critical to Middle East and global security.”

Australia also has what is known in the UN as “pen holder” responsibility on Afghanistan, meaning Australia will draft agreements the Security Council reaches when it examines UN involvement after foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

Mr Rudd drove the UN’s campaign and launched Australia’s attempt to gain the Security Council seat.

At the time there was criticism from the Federal Opposition that it was too expensive, and Australia entered the race too late.

Now it appears Australia is doing well on the Security Council and enhancing its international reputation.

Australia a ‘heavy lifter’ in second tier of Security Council

Professor Ramesh Thakur, from the Australian National University, was an assistant secretary general at the UN and advised the Australian and New Zealand governments on security and foreign policy.

“We have proven that we have the capability,” Professor Thakur said.

“We are amongst the ‘heavy lifters’ outside of the five [Security Council] permanent members, along with Pakistan and Korea.

“We are the three countries doing most of the serious work.”

Former Liberal Party senator Russell Trood is the president of the United Nations Association of Australia and was an envoy appointed by the Federal Government to campaign internationally on Australia’s behalf during the bid process.

“The Security Council is the pre-eminent body for trying to resolve peace and security issues in the international system,” Dr Trood said.

“I think it is important for countries like Australia to try and make a contribution to the international efforts being made in that regard.

“It is early on in our term, but I certainly think it has been worthwhile.”

Former prime minister Julia Gillard had nominated “Women in Conflict” as a key theme Australia wanted to promote during its presidency, but it is not clear if the new PM plans to stick to that message.

Other issues Australia is interested in include governance in the UN and the role of the International Criminal Court.

Dr Trood said it was important Australia used the presidency to maximise Australia’s input.

“That essentially means to be able to draw onto the Security Council agenda issues which are of particular interest to Australia and on which we think there can be some movement in the international community,” he said.

“If the federal election is going to interfere with our capacity to do that, then it is deeply regrettable.”

Can Australia break the deadlock over Syria in the Security Council?

In taking its seat at the Security Council, Australia joins the world’s diplomatic powerhouse.

The five permanent members – China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States – hold veto power over decisions.

But the Council also includes 10 non-permanent members.

The permanent members are often divided and currently are split over the issue of Syria. Russia and China have used the veto power three times to block resolutions on Syria.

Currently the five are divided even over the parameters of a proposed Syrian peace conference.

In the past week the Security Council has met Syrian opposition leaders, and afterwards was still in disagreement about the benefits of the meeting.

Despite the setbacks, UK ambassador Sir Mark Lyall Grant was remaining upbeat.

“I think members of the Security Council will have been encouraged by the commitment shown by the [Syrian] opposition. It remains to be seen whether the regime is equally committed,” he said.

But Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin was urging caution, saying: “One should not be carried away too much, because clearly there are still some obstacles to be overcome.”

But while peace talks on Syria are looking no closer, Australia can and is having an impact on this difficult issue, according to Professor Thakur.

He points to the fact that Australia recently used its power as a member of the Security Council to call what is known in the UN as an “Arria Formula” meeting on Syria.

An Arria Formula meeting allows members to organise dialogue outside of formal processes and to invite other speakers and interested groups.

“[Australia’s] ambassador Garry Quinlan did that in respect to the issue of this year: Syria. He asked a couple of members of the Human Rights Council investigation to come and present their points of view,” Professor Thakur said.

“The fact that Australia convened this and they got a briefing from these people speaks very well again to the authentic voice that Australia brings to the most pressing issues.”

In a statement on Syria to the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Quinlan reflected on the international community’s inability to find a solution.

“We are witnessing war crimes and crimes against humanity. There are crimes on all sides but we note…. most have been perpetrated by pro-government forces,” he said.

“The impact on Syria’s neighbours is destructive and untenable. In Lebanon one in four of the population are now Syrian.

“The international community must do more to alleviate the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation.”

Refugee concerns could breach UN charters

Australia has achieved diplomatic benefits from its role on the United Nations Security Council, but concern about Australian policies from the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR cannot be ignored when examining the country’s status as a global nation.

International law expert from the Australian National University, Professor Penelope Mathew believes Australian policies on asylum are in breach of our international obligations under various UN charters.

“It is clear that we are not in the good books with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), one of the key humanitarian organisations,” she said.

“They have been very critical of the various iterations of the Pacific solution and very critical of this latest move the regional resettlement arrangement with Papua New Guinea. So it is clear our reputation has taken something of a hit.

“I suspect that other countries still look at our participation in things like peacekeeping and other ways of supporting humanitarian efforts such as aid – financial donations to the UNHCR for example – and see us as a good international citizen.

“But perhaps on this one issue of asylum seekers there is a bit of a disjuncture.”

It is a criticism Australian politicians have been prepared to live with.

This week the United States handed its monthly presidency duties over to Argentina. In four weeks’ time it will be Australia’s turn.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

TOK PISIN:

10a) Ol Bishop blong PNG Highlands Rijon i wari long pasin socery

Updated 31 July 2013, 13:01 AEST
John Papik

Ol Catholic Bishop long ol Highlands region insait long PNG i autim wari long ol heve long sorcery bilip iwok long kamapim planti heve

Odio: Bishop Dennis Young blong Catholic Diocess long Mout Hagen itoktok

Bishop Denis Young bilong Catholic Diocess long Mount Hagen itok wanpela Catholic Bishop Wokshop long ino long taim igo pinis ibin tokaut long despela.

Em itok ol bishop long Highlands region i autim wari olsem pasin blong bilip long sorcery istap strong yet long region.

Olsem na  bishop i raitim pinis ol pas igo long olgeta lotu bilong ol insait long olgeta hap bilong Highlands i tokaut long long despela wari na sutim bel bilong ol lotu bilong ol nau long winim despela pasin nogut skilim pipol long bihainim pasin Christ ibin soim .

Long stat blong dispela yiar  Papua New Guinea ibin  bungim planti toktok long pipol  idai long ol pasin blong sorcery.

Long dispela tasol na lukim planti tausen pipol long Papua New Guinea na Australia na ol narapela kantri long wol isoim tingting sapot blong ol long ol trabel agensim ol meri long Papua New Guinea na haus Krai blong ol.

Na nau dispela wari long sampela hap blong Highlands ino pinis tru yet.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BAHASA:

11)Transfer pertama pencari suaka ke PNG ditunda

Diperbaharui 31 July 2013, 13:21 AEST
By political reporter Simon Cullen, staff

Kementerian Imigrasi Australia menyatakan proses transfer pertama pencari suaka ke Papua Nugini (PNG) telah ditunda akibat cuaca yang tidak bersahabat.

Pengiriman pencari suaka ke PNG tersebut merupakan bagian dari kebijakan proteksi batas negara yang dijalankan Partai Buruh yang berkuasa di Australia saat ini.

Sejak pemerintah menyatakan pencari suaka yang tiba di Australia dengan menggunakan perahu, akan ditransfer ke PNG dan ditempatkan di sana bila dianggap sebagai pengungsi, lebih dari 1.300 orang telah tiba.

Rombongan pencari suaka pertama direncanakan tiba di pusat detensi Pulau Manus pagi ini (31/7), namun seorang juru bicara Departemen Imigrasi menyatakan rombongan tersebut belum meninggalkan Christmas Island.

Ia menyatakan saat ini persiapan tengah dilakukan agar rombongan tersebut dapat ditransfer secepat mungkin.

“Untuk tahap awal, yang dikirim ke pusat detensi hanyalah pencari suaka lelaki yang belum menikah,” kata Menteri Imigrasi Tony Burke.

“Saat ini fasilitas di Manus menurut saya belum siap untuk menerima keluarga,” ucapnya. “Oleh karena itu saat ini saya hanya nyaman dengan pengiriman lelaki dewasa yang belum menikah.”

Ditambahkan, “Keluarga seharusnya tidak ditempatkan di kawasan yang sama dengan laki-laki dewasa yang belum menikah. Kelompok-kelompok yang berbeda satu sama lain perlu dipisahkan dan saya ingin memiliki kapasitas untuk melakukan hal tersebut.”

“Saya ingin menaikkan standar hingga ke titik di mana lebih banyak [pencari suaka] dapat dikirim ke sana, dan saya percaya bahwa itu tidak akan makan waktu lama,” lanjut Burke.

Menurut Partai Greens, perempuan dan anak-anak seharusnya tidak ditahan di PNG, karena mereka tidak akan dapat mengkonsumsi pengobatan anti-malaria dengan aman.

Namun Burke mengatakan tidak akan mengecualikan kategori pencari suaka tertentu dalam menjalani detensi di PNG, karena pengecualian tersebut akan dimanfaatkan oleh penyelundup manusia.

“Contohnya, bila saya mengecualikan kelompok anak-anak berusia tertentu, sekitar dua minggu kemudian…kita akan melihat kapal-kapal mengangkut anak-anak dalam kelompok usia tersebut didorong melalui Samudera Hindia,” ucapnya.

Burke menegaskan para lelaki yang akan dikirim ke Pulau Manus harus menyelesaikan proses pemeriksaan kesehatan terlebih dahulu.

Hari Selasa lalu, pihak oposisi di Australia menyatakan mereka akan membangun kota tenda yang dapat menampung sekitar 2.000 pencari suaka di Nauru bila memenangkan pemilihan umum.

Namun rencana ini dikritisi oleh pemerintah setelah dikabarkan bahwa juru bicara oposisi Scott Morrison mengumumkan rencana tersebut di tengah perjalanan yang didanai oleh sebuah perusahaan logistik Toll Holdings, yang menjual tenda.

Wakil Perdana Menteri Anthony Albanese menyatakan terdapat potensi konflik kepentingan, namun Morrison bersikeras ia terbuka mengenai perjalanan tersebut.

Pimpinan Partai Greens Christine Milne mengatakan kedua pihak, yaitu Labor dan Coalition, tengah berlomba dalam kekejaman.

Dalam program ABC Lateline, Milne mengatakan “Barbarisme sepertinya memenangkan suara di Australia.”

Menurutnya, penduduk Australia harusnya lebih berbelas kasih.

“Menurut saya, orang-orang saat ini tengah bingung. Saya fikir banyak orang dibujuk bahwa (barbarisme) ini adalah cara untuk menyelamatkan nyawa,” ucap Milne.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

WORLD:


12) Globalisation extends crime groups’ reach
By Online Editor
12:49 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Australia

Globalised organised crime is pushing hard into Australia and New Zealand, stretching the ability of law agencies to keep pace with syndicates now also threatening national security.

The latest report on organised crime by the Australian Crime Commission says that in the past two years the threat has become “more pervasive, more powerful and more complex”.

Its reach is such that syndicates can manipulate legitimate markets.

Worldwide, organised crime rakes in more than A$870 billion a year. In Australia the annual cost is estimated at A$15 billion. “That’s bigger than the gross domestic product of Indonesia,” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said yesterday. “If organised crime was a country it would be in the G20””

Major international syndicates all appear on the top 20 criminal target lists of Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Britain and Canada. “The results were telling,” Clare said. “We are all targeting the same people.”

The report says the internet and new technologies have allowed syndicates to embrace globalisation.

“The internet enables global virtual networking and social interaction between criminals, and has enabled the establishment of ‘virtual marketplaces’ for illegal and illicit goods such as drugs, firearms, identification documents and child exploitation material,” the report says.

While maintaining traditional staples such as violence and drugs, the syndicates’ operations have mushroomed into far more sophisticated forms of fraud, corruption and marketing. The narcotics trade has moved into the 21st century, expanding from drugs such as speed, cannabis, cocaine and heroin to a rapidly expanding range of new products.

In Europe a record 73 new substances were uncovered last year, joining a list of more than 250 monitored by the European Union’s narcotics early warning system.

The internet has cut out the middleman, instead using “virtual intermediaries” to enable users to order drugs over the internet. Individual online entrepreneurs have joined traditional crime groups as major players.

The report says organised crime is now an unprecedented part of Australia’s everyday life.

More Australians are being defrauded in investment scams, credit card and bank account data are being stolen through online attacks or at ATM or point-of-sale machines, and drugs are being produced in suburban laboratories. Organised crime has also diversified into legitimate businesses to launder money, cloaked by complex business structures.

Internationally, powerful organised crime groups have strategically bought businesses to gain sufficient market share to enable them to manipulate the prices of goods and services.

Using massive drug profits, they turned the global financial crisis to advantage by providing sufficient liquid capital to save banks from collapse and lent cash to struggling businesses at extortionate rates.

They bought or took over failing companies for well below market value – gaining interests in crucial economic sectors – and amassed substantial real estate at bargain prices. “The financial crisis has given transnational organised crime groups the opportunity to use their existing illicit funds to buy power and influence,” the report says.

Because of the relative strength of its economy Australia is likely to attract laundered money through investments in local businesses, the stock market, and real estate. Further expansion is likely through the evolution of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, which is traded anonymously online and falls below the horizon of anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism agencies.

Organised crime is also moving into cyberspace through “darknets” – protected hidden networks of webpages, forums and auction sites, which often harbour trading in illicit commodities, including child pornography, illicit drugs and firearms, stolen credit card and identity data, and hacking techniques.

Syndicates are further using malware to tap new illicit profits from crimes such as identity theft. The commission also expects them to increase efforts to corrupt officials to gain access to secure information and documents. Other expanding fields for organised crime include theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, and investment, securities, sharemarket, superannuation and tax frauds.
SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

MEDIA/FILM+:

13) Smith-Johns: Media plays an important role

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

AS Fiji moves towards the general elections in 2014, the media will play an important role in helping build and shape the nation.

These were the words of Information Ministry permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns during the opening of a two-day workshop on strengthening the relationship between the force and media at the Police Academy in Nasova, Suva, yesterday.

Ms Smith-Johns told about 100 senior police officers gathered at the workshop that communication and media played a vital role in the democratic process of any nation, including Fiji.

“I am encouraged that the purpose of this workshop is to strengthen the flow of information to the public and that the Fiji Police Force recognise the importance of your job in this process,” Ms Smith-Johns said.

She said the traditional role of the media had always been to ensure that checks and balances were in place.

“In the context of government and in this case, you the police, their role is to report what you deliver, making sure that you work within the guidelines, and ensure your actions reflect what the Fiji Police Force aspires to carry out, that is, to serve the people of our nation.”

Ms Smith-Johns told the officers that the workshop was an opportunity to build their capabilities and to learn new methods and trends in the media sector.

“It will look at how you can strengthen and channel the flow of information from the police force, to the media and ultimately to the public. This method produces consistency, accountability and above all, transparency when communicating your message.

“My message is clear. We can no longer view the media in traditional terms.

“We are now in a position where our every action is closely monitored and scrutinised by the public, where the talanoa session is now online, reaching millions of people in the global village. Never has there been a time in history where information has passed so quickly and without our control.”

The two-day workshop ends today.http://www.fijitimes.com/

HEALTH:

14) Hospital to cut cost

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

THE Labasa Divisional Hospital spends $10,237.94 on fruits and vegetables every month, which is an increase of $1297.74, compared to the monthly $8940.20 bill for the same in 2009.

And as part of efforts to reduce the ration expenditure, the need to establish a well maintained and well secured hospital backyard garden is necessary.

Ministry of Health spokesman Shalvin Deo said this was part of the hospital’s business plan, which was also in line with the ministry’s corporate and the national NCD strategic plan.

And if all goes according plan, Mr Deo said the projected savings for the hospital was estimated to be $156,222.80 annually.

“The NCD stepwise survey in 2002 revealed that about 67 per cent of men and women do not even have one serving of fruit and vegetable in one day,” Mr Deo said.

“We would like to relapse this trend and practically provide fruits and vegetables on customers’ plate at all meal times, so that they can visualise the amount of fruits and vegetables they need in a day.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

BUSINESS/TRADE/BANKING+:


15a)PNG latest country to launch online business register

Posted at 20:23 on 31 July, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea is the latest Pacific country to launch a new online business register to help small businesses.

The Investment Promotion Authority launched the online tool on Tuesday, which has been developed with the help of the International Finance Corporation and the New Zealand aid programme.

The tool will help small businesses in remote islands register without having to travel to Port Moresby and lodge paperwork, which can take weeks or even months.

The acting Managing Director of IPA, Clarence Hoot, says there are still challenges such as accessing internet in remote areas.

“The coverage is slowly increasing with the introduction of Digicel, we are now currently on 3G, so for instance if I can give you an example, we have the Bank South Pacific using tablets and going into the rural areas to open bank accounts. By any means that could be the same technology that we could be looking at in the future.”

Clarence Hoot says business owners can use internet cafes, but the IPA is also planning to send representatives regularly to help them use the online tool.
Radio New Zealand International

15b) Air Niugini welcomes first retrofit aircraft

By Online Editor
4:16 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Air Niugini took delivery of its first retrofit aircraft (P2-PXW) in Port Moresby on Monday representing the most modernized fleet and offering a whole new travel experience.

The retrofitting of the Boeing aircraft ensures a much higher standard and comfort for customers travelling on Air Niugini Bird Of Paradise services.

Changes and improvements have been made to the aircraft’s interior cabin, the seating arrangement and the in-flight entertainment system.

Passengers in business class now have spacious leg room and seats where they can now sleep with ease, comfort and in privacy. Inseat screens have been installed in both the business and economy class seats for all passengers, offering movies in early genre, premier classics, family classics, TV documentaries, games, music and other applications. P2-PXW has a total of 188 seats, 28 business and 160 economy class seats.

Air Niugini is committed to upgrading all aircraft interior and will be rolling out the retrofit program across its international Boeing fleet to ensure the same standard is maintained through out all its fleet.
Air Niugini cabin crew have been specially trained to use the facilities on board the retrofit aircraft. The retrofitting program will also lift Air Niugini and Papua New Guinea standards in air travel and they are pleased to take the lead as the national airline in doing so.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

15c) Bishop: PACER Plus negotiations need new start

By Online Editor
10:11 am GMT+12, 01/08/2013, Australia

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations seem not to have advanced and in fact have stalled, says Australia’s deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop.

“I think that the PACER Plus negotiations need fresh thinking, a new start,” Bishop said at the Australia-Fiji Business Council forum dinner in Brisbane on Monday.

“What may be required is for some bigger economies in the region, namely Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, PNG to conclude bilateral or, if we could do it quadrilateral, free trade agreements — a high quality agreement that would bind us together, and that other countries in the Pacific can then see the benefit of a free trade agreement and can opt in to such an agreement.

“They would then have the ownership of the reform process that will be needed. They would have ownership of the pace at which they would join such an agreement.”

Bishop said instead of leaving PACER Plus to languish, it needed an injection and the major economies, including Fiji, must be at the forefront of ensuring trade liberalisation continued in the Pacific.

She made the comment as she revealed trade policy plans of a coalition government should it be elected this year.

Bishop said foreign policy under that administration would be marked by an unmistakable focus on Australia’s region — the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

“This is our neighbourhood. This is where we need to focus our attention as a government.

“The coalition will describe our foreign and trade policy an exercise in ‘economic diplomacy’. We will align all of our agencies and all of our departments across governments in pursuit of our strategic goals through economic diplomacy.

“In the area of trade, that means we commit to a network of bilateral and free trade agreements to liberalise trade in our region. I know of no better way of lifting countries out of poverty than through economic liberalisation through trade and through private sector investment, and that is what we will encourage, country by country.”.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

16) Fiji Could Be ‘South Pacific’s Singapore’: Sayed-Khaiyum
AG urges collaboration to improve Fiji’s economic position

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 31, 2013) – Fiji can be made the ‘Singapore of the South Pacific’ if workers joined management and the government to improve productivity and overall living standards, says Public Enterprises Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking at the launch of the new public-private partnership agreement between the Fiji Ports Corporation and the Aitken Spence company of Sri Lanka in Suva today, Sayed-Khaiyum raised the specter of Fiji being ‘a new Singapore’ if a collaborative effort is made to improve the country’s overall economic position.

“In the late 1960’s, Singapore used to look up to Fiji as a role model. We now look to Singapore as somewhere that is highly unachievable but we can also do it”, he said.

Under the agreement, Aitken Spence is taking over the management of the FPC subsidiary, Ports Terminal Limited, to introduce global best practice at the nation’s main ports in Suva and Lautoka.

Sayed-Khaiyum urged workers at the ports to see the partnership as the dawn of a new era in which they could personally contribute to making Fiji’s ports more efficient and improve their own conditions and skills set.

Aitken Spence aims to create more jobs by making the ports more efficient and increasing the volume of trade through Fiji with larger ships and quicker turnaround times.

At present, international shipping companies are either bypassing Fiji because of slow turnaround times or charging heavy levies and surcharges that are passed on to every Fijian consumer.

The Attorney General said a better performance on the wharves would lead to the removal of these extra costs and every Fijian would benefit through lower prices for imported goods.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to position Fiji in a practical sense as a truly geographical hub in the South Pacific. We are also positioning ourselves as an exporting country, whether it is for agricultural products or manufactured goods. We will be able to make our exports a lot more attractive because of the reduction of shipping costs and the increase in volume,” he said.
Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

17) Solomon Islands PM urged to establish local bank

By Online Editor
12:50 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Solomon Islands

The Malaita Ma’asina Forum has urged the Solomon Islands Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to establish a bank for the country.

The group made the call amidst moves the three commercials banks have taken not to do business with logging companies.

Latest results suggest the commercial banks will close counts held by logging companies as of December this year.

This action was taken as pressure from the proponents of the green economy mounts.

Forum president Charles Dausabea said it is only right that Solomon Islands start its own bank.

He claims what Prime Minister Lilo said in parliament by blaming commercial banks for their action is nothing but lame excuse.

“We see his outrageous reaction to the issue as a show of how desperate he is, in keeping the truth,” he said.

“The PM knows the issue of loggers with the bank but he tends to turn a blind eye and is trying to hide the truth.

“His statements only belittle his character,” Dausabea said.

He said some politicians benefit more from loggers compared to landowners who received only 10 per cent in royalty payments.

Dausabea said the right reaction to this issue is for Lilo and his finance minister to establish a bank for the country.

“Current commercial banks operate to please their bosses overseas thus we have little say in their decisions.”

Dausabea said whilst they welcome the initiative taken by the Finance minister to introduce a new bill to permit the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to issue an interim license to carry out limited banking service, Government establishing its own bank would be more meaningful.

“We know well the commercial banks are here to serve their own foreign interest. Our way forward is to start our own bank.”

Forum general secretary Charles Ashley said Mr Lilo and Mr Hou must do the right thing by starting the country’s own bank.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

18) Qantas to raise fares blaming higher fuel costs and fall in Aussie dollar

By Online Editor
08:56 am GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Australia

Qantas will increase fuel surcharges on its international routes and raise base fares across its domestic network, blaming higher fuel costs and a fall in the value of the Australian dollar.

The airline said fares across its domestic network – including those routes flown by regional subsidiary QantasLink – would increase by between 2 and 3 per cent.

While the rise in fuel surcharges will vary from route to route, Qantas said economy passengers faced an average increase of AUD$20 on a one-way international flight.

The increases will apply to tickets issued in Australia from August 14.

The surcharges on a one-way economy ticket to Europe will increase by AUD$25 to AUD$255, while those on business and first-class fares will rise by AUD$65 to AUD$445.

Qantas said the real cost of Singapore jet fuel in Australian dollars had “increased significantly” since it last raised fuel surcharges in April last year.

The airline buys its fuel in US dollars.

“While we use a range of tools to mitigate the impact of fuel costs – including fuel surcharges, price increases and hedging – the Qantas Group is still under-recovering the cost of past fuel price increases,” it said.

The latest changes come a month after Qantas moved to align fees with its alliance partner Emirates, in an effort to close a loophole that had enabled frequent flyers to avoid paying hundreds of dollars.

While it resulted in Emirates raising fuel surcharges, Qantas lowered its fees by about 30 per cent in order to match its partner.

The increases in surcharges announced late on Tuesday to the travel industry will apply across the two airlines’ joint network, which includes flights to Europe, Asia, North Africa and New Zealand.

Qantas’s budget offshoot, Jetstar, is also reviewing its fees but has yet to make a decision about whether to increase them.

Fuel surcharges are mostly an expensive irritant for frequent-flyer members.

Qantas cannot raise the total cost of a ticket considerably higher than its rivals because it would make it uncompetitive. But it can try to recoup the cost of fuel by imposing fuel surcharges on passengers who are using frequent-flyer points to pay for their fare.

Qantas has almost 9 million frequent-flyer members.
SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

19) Trade Pasifika 2014 promises the best
By Online Editor
12:47 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Fiji

Trade Pasifika 2014 will boast an array of the best of Pacific agriculture, aquaculture as well as tourism products.

The trade expo offers businesses the opportunity to explore trade needs for their development and growth.

It will also encourage long lasting business relationships says Trade Pasifika 2014 Ambassador, Kaliopate Tavola.

“TP2014 will feature our individual island economies, each distinctively portraying their countries export potential and investment opportunities.”

Pacific chief trade adviser, Dr Edwini Kessie has urged private sector stakeholders to use this opportunity to take advantage of trade agreements negotiated by regional governments.

“Without the active involvement of the private sectors, trade agreements will remain on paper and it would serve no useful purpose, so I think TP2014 plays an indispensable role in the sense that it brings together the private sectors.”

Trade Pasifika will be held from the second to the fourth of April in Suva next year and will focus on securing large number of buyers both regionally and internationally.

The expo will showcase suppliers and producers of highly valued Pacific products – made for niche markets.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

20) Lawyer questions magistrate’s decision

WEDNESDAY, 31 JULY 2013 08:49
LAWYER for Asian businessman Xu Qiang says the decision of Honiara Magistrate Jim Seuika to adjourn his client’s case from Monday to August 12 is a gross injustice to his client.

David Lidimani of Rano & Company questioned why the magistrate had to adjourn the case to August 12 when the prosecution already withdrew the case.

“I belief the magistrate missed the point that regardless of the dates we have, the prosecution can still withdraw the case at anytime,” Mr Lidimani said.

He added that the adjournment of the case to August 12 was an injustice to his client since the prosecution already withdrew the case.

“My client is subject to a very strict and harsh bail conditions and what is the reason for sticking to the strict and hash conditions for another two weeks when the prosecution already withdraws the case.

“This is not right according to our laws and is a clear injustice to my client,” Mr Lidimani stressed.

He added that this is wrong according to law when the prosecution and the defence already agree to vacate and abandoned the pre-trial conference that was set for August 12 and yet the magistrate still decided that this pre-trial date still stands.

Mr Lidimani said they will apply for an urgent listing as was also agreed to by the prosecution for the pre-trial of Xu Qiang for his case of charge for money laundering.

He said the grounds to list the matter as soon as possible are:

No evidence on the documents on money laundering charge

Prosecution has done  its assessment and also agreed to withdraw the money laundering due to lack of evidence

Client is subject to strict and hash bail conditions, therefore what is the reason for sticking to the hash and strict bail conditions when the charge has already been withdrawn by the prosecution.http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

By Daniel Namosuaia

21) Chan: PNG in ‘fools paradise’

By ISAAC NICHOLAS

PAPUA New Guinea today is in “Fools Paradise’, former Prime Minister and New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan said yesterday.
Sir Julius who was one of the founding fathers of the nation said this during the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee inquiry into Telkom PNG at Parliament House yesterday.
He said 30 years ago communication was so effective that a District Commissioner was using VHF (very high frequency) radio to communicate with the kiaps or district administrators to get situation reports on the ground at the patrol posts.
He said the VHF radio was functioning very well during the early years of the country’s independence to this modern age of communication technology.
“Communication today (in rural areas) is worse than 30 years ago. We now have better skills, more money and better technology. All the problems today is because of poor communication.
“Before, the district commissioners get situation reports on law and order issues, land issues and others to help maintain control over the situation on the ground.”
Sir Julius said the use of simple communication technology such as the VHF radio in the early years of independence helped maintain a lot of law and order and development issues.
He said with the skilled people, space age communication technology and more money available than ever before the country cannot get the communication as well as other basic services to the rural people of the country.
“But today we are in fools paradise,” Sir Julius said.
Sir Julius who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee stated this when posing some questions to the Telikom (PNG) management team who were summoned to appear at the Inquiry into the break down in communications in the rural areas of PNG.
He asked the Telikom management what had happened to VHF radio communication network and whether Telikom with the assistance of satellite communication can link the rural areas of the country.
Telikom (PNG) chief executive officer Charles Litau in reply agreed that a lot of the old communication systems had been allowed to deteriorate over the years.
He gave his assurance that Telikom would start rehabilitating some of the old receiver and transmitter sites back into operation.
He also gave his undertaking that Telikom would look at all the high tech communications system available including satellite for effective communication network in the future.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

22) Ballot boxes hijacked

By JINA AMBA

Nine ballot boxes for the Wapenamanda LLG President seat were hijacked by supporters of one of the candidates.
About 7000 ballot papers in total were marked for the particular candidate by his supporters skewing the vote and denying actual voters across nine council wards their chance of choosing their preferred leader.
The incident occurred a week ago and nearly triggered a tribal clash among voters.
Intending council president candidate Peter Sambai on behalf of the 10 candidates including the incumbent president Nick Kayok reported the matter to police and requested for the ballot boxes not to be counted and new polling to take place.
Mr Sambai said it occurred during the early hours of Saturday morning and most people didn’t see or know what happened.
He said these areas include Tupukosros, Aipanda, Kaiamanda, Tombes, Yuk, Yalis 1, Yalis 2, Takaepos and Wapenamanda station.
He said all the intending council presidents have come together and compiled a report which will be handed over to the police in Enga Province tomorrow.
“We appeal to the Electoral Commission plus other bodies in charge to disqualify these ballot boxes because people didn’t vote according to their choices,” said Mr Sambai.
He said if the counting proceeds it will result in the wrong leader being voted in as President.
Mr Sambai has also urged the police to do further investigate this serious problem which will affect many people from those areas.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

23) Graft affects business
Survey finds many firms affected by corruption

By Alexander Rheeney

BUSINESSES in Papua New Guinea have put down corruption as one of the biggest impediments to their operation, a new survey by the Institute of National Affairs has revealed. The survey, which was co-funded by AusAID, Asian Development Bank and the INA, collected views from 150 businesses throughout PNG between May and December last year. A draft of the survey findings was published recently by the Port Moresby-based INA.
One of the key findings of the survey was the impact that corruption had on businesses with 28 per cent of the respondents saying they were “highly” or “very highly affected” by official corruption, whilst another 28 per cent indicated they were “fairly affected”. The frequency of what the survey categorised as “irregular payments” to officials (in order to get things done) was also highlighted with respondents’ feedback showing that 30 per cent concluded the practice “always” occurred while 13 per cent suggested it occurred “frequently”.
The survey findings confirm growing concerns within the private sector at the extent of corruption within PNG’s bureaucracy and the impact it was having on businesses generally, despite attempts by successive governments to minimise and eventually eradicate it through anti-corruption reforms and institutional strengthening programs.
Speaking to the Post-Courier last night, INA executive director Paul Barker said businesses put down corruption and law and order as the biggest obstacles to their operations in PNG. “It (corruption) is seen as the second major hindrance and widely impacting the respondents and some institutions like the Lands Department (were) highlighted as particularly frustrating a lot of the respondents,” he said.
The survey findings should also compel the Government to implement their anti-corruption policies as well as act on the findings and recommendations of the various inquiries according to the INA executive director.
“We haven’t seen any evidence of policy reforms in Lands, we haven’t seen the reforms actually happening with respect to management, we haven’t seen the SABL inquiry report come out and obviously the Finance Inquiry and these sorts of things. There is a lot that people are aware of and it does substantially affect business.”
In a bid to capture as much data as possible, the INA also distributed Mandarin-versions of the survey, confirming the changing dynamics of the PNG business sector with Chinese entrepreneurs playing an increasing role in commerce and trade.
The independence of the CSTB also came under scrutiny during the survey’s data collection phase with Mr Barker revealing that businesses were worried that others were getting “unfair advantage” when it came to tendering for publicly-funded projects.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

24) Marijuana deals increase in North B’ville

By WINTERFORD TOREAS

POLICE in the Tinputz District of North Bougainville have revealed that there has been an increase in the cultivation and selling of marijuana in the area.
District Rural Police Station commander, Constable Charlie Kean said some youths from villages situated in the mountainous areas had been cultivating the drug and selling it to those living near the main Buka-Arawa highway to earn for living.
Const Kean said they had also discovered that youths from Buka and other districts in the region had been going to Tinputz to get marijuana to sell back in their villages.
He said last week they came across one of the youths from Buka who was carrying a bag containing ten large marijuana packages.
“Upon seeing us, he threw the bag and dashed off into the bush. Inside the bag we found ten large packages of marijuana,” Const Kean said.
Const Kean said the identity of the youth was known to the police and they were confident of arresting and charging him for possession of marijuana in the next couple of days.
Mr Kean added: “My biggest concern is that youths from Buka are now coming to the district and taking the marijuana back to Buka. This is not a good sign and must be discouraged.”
“Be warned that if you are caught, you will be arrested, charged and sent to jail,” Const Kean warned.
Mr Kean is also calling on those involved in the cultivation, trading and consumption of marijuana in the district to refrain from taking part in these criminal activities.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

25) SI leaders urged to address unrest

Solomon Islands leaders are urged to address the underlying causes of the civil unrest that brought Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands(RAMSI) to our shores.
East Choiseul MP made the call when speaking on a special motion to thank RAMSI in parliament last Thursday.
Sogavare said RAMSI has achieved its mission and is now leaving.
“Now is our responsibility as leaders to address the underlying causes of the ethnic tension,” he told parliamentarians.
“It is our responsibility as national leaders to find lasting solutions to address the fundamental issues that triggered the social unrest.
“There are important reports that detail issues that beg leaders’ attention particularly, the April 2006 riot report, review of RAMSI, and TRC report.
“Issues contain in the reports none of them has been addressed by the successive governments and the current government.
“It’s time we national leaders rethink how we lead this nation. We cannot by-pass these issues and think Solomon Islands will enjoy lasting peace.”
Sogavare said there is possibility of a future crisis if pending issues are not addressed.
“We cannot expect RAMSI to solve them because they are our own problems and RAMSI is not mandated to deal with them under the Bekitawa Declaration.”
Sogavare paid tribute to the regional mission, saying Solomon Islands would not enjoy the normalcy it now enjoys had it not for RAMSI.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

26) Island sees boom in Chinese babies

Pregnant women from mainland China are fueling a baby boom on the little-known U.S. Pacific Island of Saipan after a clampdown on birth tourism by the Hong Kong government.
Many pregnant women, mostly from China and South Korea, have been arriving as tourists on the island, which is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), in recent months.
“There has been an increase in the numbers of Chinese tourists arriving in Saipan,” said an employee who answered the phone at the Canton Hotel in Saipan, which caters mostly to tour groups and individuals from China.
“Quite a lot of mainland Chinese women are coming here to give birth,” she said. “There are several flights a week from the Chinese mainland.”
The government of Hong Kong limited the number of mainlanders who can give birth in the city to 34,000 in 2012 following public anger over what was seen as an increasing number of mainland mothers taking advantage of the health and educational benefits that come with citizenship for their babies.
Now, Chinese nationals are flocking to Saipan, which they need no visa to enter as tourists, to give birth on the island to children who can automatically become U.S. citizens regardless of the nationality of their parents.Via http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

REFUGEE:

27) O’Neill Opens Up About Asylum Deal Aid Packages For PNG
Millions to be spent upgrading national infrastructure

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 31, 2013) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday revealed the rationale and some of the financial packages accompanying the asylum seekers resettlement deal signed on July 19.

The financial packages include a K740 million (AU$320 million, or US$291.2 million) rebuilding of Angau Memorial Hospital, a K500 million [US$214 million] rebuilding of tertiary educational infrastructure around the country, K300 million [US$128.4 million] upgrade of the Ramu highway and K100 million [US$42.8 million] for a separate district court complex.

He told academics, students and members of the public at the University of PNG’s lecture theatre that some of the projects would be funded jointly, while others would be funded out of Australia’s aid program.

He said had signed the deal also because Australia has always been there in difficult times for PNG and it was time to return the favor, that it was time to shoulder more responsibilities in the region and to address the long term problem of human smuggling which he predicted would increase unless tackled early.

But education was, as expected, the main thrust of his address on the theme “Investment in Higher Education, key to our future” to open the Vice Chancellor’s public lecture series which will run during this academic year at UPNG.

O’Neill said the Government’s plan was to reform university facilities and capacities to cater for the increase in demand for tertiary education each year.

He said the amount would be provided every year for five years.

“The incentive is above the normal budgetary allocations to tertiary institutions each year. It will be supported by funding from the Australian government as agreed to under the asylum seeker deal signed recently.

“There is a huge investment program, especially for the universities in the country,” O’Neill said. “And that is why our government is deliberately working with development partners to have the important facilities. And I think we have to start building those facilities now and not later.”

He also spoke on several national issues such as the asylum seeker deal, the proposed amendment to the Constitution and the death penalty.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

28) ‘No more refugees!’
By Online Editor
4:22 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

A Bougainville leader is condemning the national government for bringing in refugees to Papua New Guinea.

Francisca Semoso told the Post-Courier in a telephone interview from Buka Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville that the national security of the country is at stake when refugees are processed at the Lombrum Naval Base in Manus province.

“Australians can deal with their refugee issues. Why are they using PNG as a dumping ground of refugees?
“Australia is a continent; it has a big landmass; the refugees can settle there,” Ms Semoso said.

She urged the Australian government to deal with its own refugee issues.

She said the PNG government must focus on internal issues affecting the quality of life of the squatter settlers in PNG rather than focusing on the international issues of refugees.

“Are we talking about money or the national security of PNG?”Semoso asked.

“Before we look at the refugees, we need to deal with our own internal issues. We need to help our people living in squatter settlements.”

She said the Manus islanders and their leaders need to rise up and oppose the government’s decision to bring refugees to the island.

“It’s a decision that should be made by the people of Manus. Why are they so quiet about this?” Ms Semoso asked.

She said land, politics and religion must be taken into consideration when allowing genuine refugees to settle.

“Many people are coming under the status of refugees. What’s the guarantee for them not to cause any problems in PNG?

“Why is everyone quiet about this?” she asked.

Semoso said it was an excuse to say PNG is a Christian country to accept refugees to be processed at Lombrum Naval Base.

“That’s totally uncalled for.

“If we start accepting refugees.

“It will never stop!”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

29) Tony Burke says first asylum seeker transfer to Manus Island sends warning to people smugglers

Updated 1 August 2013, 11:12 AEST
By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths

The Federal Government is using the arrival of the first asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea, under its new offshore settlement policy, to send a stern warning to people smugglers and their potential customers. A group of predominantly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers from the Christmas Island detention centre arrived on PNG’s Manus Island this morning. Immigration Minister Tony Burke says it shows the Government is “serious” about its policy not to resettle asylum seekers in Australia.

The Federal Government is using the arrival of the first asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea, under its new offshore settlement policy, to send a stern warning to people smugglers and their potential customers.

A group of predominantly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers from the Christmas Island detention centre arrived on PNG’s Manus Island about 7.45am (AEST).

Immigration Minister Tony Burke says it shows the Government is “serious” about its policy not to resettle asylum seekers in Australia.

“As of now there are the first 40 people in Papua New Guinea who are realising that the people smugglers no longer have a product to sell,” he said.

“That the promise of living and working in Australia, which is sold by people smugglers before they push people onto the high seas, is no longer a product available.”

Under the Federal Government’s new policy, PNG will process asylum seekers arriving by boat and resettle refugees with financial support from Australia.

People smugglers no longer have a product to sell. There is no point getting on a boat anymore.

Immigration Minister Tony Burke

Mr Burke says the facilities on Manus Island are being expanded and will soon be able to accommodate family groups.

“More places will be provided as more places are required,” he said.

“As many people as test our resolve on this will find that the rules for each and every one of them are the same – that anyone who arrives by boat without a visa won’t be settled in Australia.

“People smugglers no longer have a product to sell.

“There is no point getting on a boat anymore.”

Mr Burke says the temporary centre will be expanded to 2,000 places from its current capacity of 500. The proposed permanent centre will also be built for 1,000 people instead of the previously planned 600.

More than 1,300 people have arrived in Australia since the Government announced all asylum seekers arriving by boat would be transferred to PNG and resettled there if found to be refugees.

The first transfer comes as PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill outlined the costs of major projects Australia has agreed to fund as part of the deal.

Australia has agreed to fund several major infrastructure projects in the country, including upgrades to a hospital, a highway, a university and the country’s courts.

Mr O’Neill said the costs of the projects would exceed $750 million, with Australia paying almost $500 million of the

This morning’s group of asylum seekers were expected to arrive on the the island yesterday, but their flight was postponed due to bad weather.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/


CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT;

30a) South Pacific Predicted To Experience More Intense Storms
However, PACCSAP says cyclones to be less frequent

By Asenati Taugasolo Semu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, July 31, 2013) – The proportion of the most intense storms is projected to increase in the South West Pacific this century.

Countries in this part of the Pacific include Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Niue, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

This was information from the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Planning Program(PACCSAP) Regional Program Manager, Shin Furuno.

Furuno said it is the opposite in the northern Pacific basin where the proportion of weaker storms are projected to increase.

Countries in that part of the region are Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Marshall Islands.

Furuno was a participant at the Joint Meeting 2013 of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable, held in Nadi, Fiji this month.

PACCSAP engages with 15 Pacific countries and regional stakeholders to build their capacity to apply results discovered and build the climate science knowledge base.

It aims to help fill gaps by examining past climate trends and variability and providing regional and national climate projections.

It assists small islands in the Pacific which are facing serious and immediate challenges from climate change.

Furuno said the Pacific Climate Change Science Program, which preceded PACCSAP, projected that the proportion of the most intense storms will increase in the South West Pacific.

“However tropical cyclone frequency is likely to decrease in the South Pacific region over the 21st century,” he said.

He said there may be less cyclones overall, but more of them will be very intense.

“PACCSAP is working to update these projections to include the latest climate models results.”

Findings are scheduled to be released in September.

Furuno said with all the negative factors that climate change brings, everyone has a role to play to reduce the risk posed by climate change.

“Climate change can exacerbate other development issues such as population pressures, reduced food and water security, and erosion caused by land clearing, mangrove cutting and sand mining.

“Though national governments need to take coordinated action to reduce the risk posed by a changing climate, individuals and community groups also have an important role.”

Traditional knowledge such as gardening practices, protection of fish populations and mangroves can often reduce the risk of climate change impact to the population.

Furuno said PACCSAP aims to improve scientific understanding of climate change in the Pacific, increase awareness of climate science, impacts and adaptation options and help countries improve adaptation planning to build resilience to climate change impacts.

He also revealed some of the projects assisted by PACCSAP which include

capturing high resolution elevation data (LiDAR) of vulnerable coastlines in Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. LiDAR data improves the accuracy of inundation modeling and our ability to understand current and future risk to infrastructure and communities.

The project is also provides hardware, software and training to build capacity within the country governments to use, manage and store data.

The potential costs of future cyclones in the Pacific is being assessed by integrating catastrophe-loss models developed by the Pacific Catastrophe and Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) with Geoscience Australia’s Tropical Cyclone Wind Risk Model.

Using the latest climate models, the project found that financial loss for the Pacific region from cyclones is projected to increase.

Country-specific information will soon be released.

Talamua: http://talamua.com/index.php

30b) Fiji shopkeeper proposes novel Nadi flood plan

Posted at 23:14 on 30 July, 2013 UTC

A shopkeeper in Fiji says he has invested in an elaborate mechanism to save his stock from flooding, and is advising others to do the same.

Aruj Devia from Devia Bookshop and Stationery in Nadi has put counters and cash registers on wheels so they can be rolled out into a cage and lifted up to the floor above by a hoist.

The March floods last year came at night and he couldn’t get to his store in time to lift more than one load, but saving 15 per cent of his stock was more than anyone else could save.

Nadi floods every two to three years and last year there were two major floods.

There is now a proper warning system in place with sirens, speakers and mobile phone texts, but Mr Devia says shopkeepers can also try his method of saving stock.

“It’s a flood zone, Nadi town, so they should develop something close to this. I’m advising them to do something similar because they can save their stock as well. Because no business in their good mind would like to lose stock every time there’s a flood.”

Nadi shopkeeper, Aruj Devia.

Radio New Zealand International

30c) Vanuatu climate minister says more work needed with landowners

Posted at 23:16 on 30 July, 2013 UTC

The Minister of Climate Change in Vanuatu says more discussion with landowners is needed when considering major sustainable development projects.

The department was created earlier this year after the new Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil came to power.

The Minister, Thomas Laken, says a lack of staff is one of the main challenges he faces.

The Minister says he will be recruiting soon, but a bigger issue is making sure landowners are part of the discussions when new projects are proposed.

“At this point in time we are having a lot of problems with the land issues. With the donor partners coming in to support we have to make very clear the projects that are coming, with the landowners.”

Vanuatu’s Minister of Climate Change, Thomas Laken.

The lands minister Ralph Regenvanu recently visited New Zealand with landowners from Takara to find out more about a geothermal land project proposal for North Efate.

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:

30d) Tahiti footballer fails doping test in Brazil

Posted at 02:17 on 01 August, 2013 UTC

The football governing body FIFA says a Tahiti player failed a doping test at the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

FIFA did not identify the player or details of the violation.

The player’s sample was taken after Tahiti lost 8-0 to Uruguay in June.

FIFA says the player has been provisionally suspended for 30 days.

FIFA said the player and the Tahitian Football Association have two weeks to collect evidence and submit a statement to the governing body.

Radio New Zealand International

30e) Tonga School Rugby Finals To Be Held Without Crowds
Only select individuals allowed to watch games

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 30, 2013) – The finals of the Tongatapu Secondary Schools Rugby are going ahead quietly this week at the Teufaiva Stadium in Tonga, but without the crowds of spectators who are not allowed to attend, in order to prevent any school fights.

The finals for Grade 3 and 4 were held today, July 30 and the finals of Grade 2 and the 1st XV will be held on Thursday, August 1.

The Tongatapu Secondary School Principals Committee announced today that the finals would be divided and held on two-days and only selected individuals, including the players’ parents and media, would be allowed to attend the games.

The committee stated that Tupou College, a finalist for both Grade 1 and Grade 5 had decided to cede the win to Tonga Side School in Grade 1 and ‘Apifo’ou College in Grade 2, and not to play the finals this year.

Tense

The Assistant Deputy Police Commissioner Soakai Motu’apuaka said the Police were happy with the committee’s decision.

“Given the tense situation at the moment following the student attack at the home in Tofoa this is the best way to deal with the finals under the circumstances,” he said.

Tonga College and Liahona will play in the final of the 1st XV grade, on Thursday.

[PIR editor’s note: Weeks ago, students and former students of Tupou College attacked a house and 2 Tonga College students, ultimately resulting in 147 being arrested. 150 individuals have since beencharged in court.]

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

30f) Bougainville rugby boost
By Online Editor
1:04 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) Rugby Football Union was given a K100, 000 boost from the PNG Sports Foundation’s Enhancement program to fund its Pacific in Union (PiU) program for school children in the region.

The presentation by Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko to the Governor and Bougainville Rugby Union patron Joe Lera and the president Peter Tsiamalili Jnr was held at a small ceremony on Thursday.

Governor Lera and Tsiamalili Jnr extended their gratitude to the Government in particular through the Minister for Sports and Pacific Games for the commitment into the youths and children of Bougainville through Rugby Union.

“AROB Rugby is affiliated to the PNGRFU and has managed its affairs over the past five years and one of their key priorities is to use rugby as a medium to address social and youth issues on the island,” Tsiamalili said.

He said the PiU program will be a gateway to aid in child and youth development and ensure that rugby traits of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect are embedded into the children and youths.
“The youths of Bougainville make up 60 per sent of the population,” he added.

“Already we have a proud role model in Hebert Tseraha who has come through the ranks in rugby on Bougainville and is a current PNG Pukpuk 7s and 15s representative,” he said.

Tseraha successfully completed his primary education at Hahela, secondary school in Hutzena and is currently at the University of Technology in Lae while at the same time excelling in rugby.

“Hubert is the end product of what this program aims to achieve,” Tsiamalili said.

The PiU program has been officially endorsed by the Bougainville Education Department CEO Bruno Babato and will see it incorporated in the curriculum.

The funding will cover sports teachers’ induction workshops, rugby kits and printing of resource material manuals for the schools. There will be three primary schools and two high schools taking part to begin with.

Tseraha with former Pukpuk greats Carl Hoot and Paul Joseph will facilitate the AROB PIU program in schools inassociation with the Black Orchid rugby players and the six affiliated clubs on Bougainville.

The PIU program is a success in schools in NCD with the Port Moresby Grammar School holding its second annual festival at the Monier Rugby Park to mark the end of its program for the year last week.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

30g) Roy out of BOG

Rashneel Kumar
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

+ Enlarge this image

Roy Krishna will not be available to play for Labasa during the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants tournament. Picture: Zimbio

ROY Krishna has opted to play for the Waitakere City side and will miss Labasa’s Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants campaign.

The lethal finisher signed a mid-season contract with the New Zealand-based club to play in their winter league competition.

Waitakere City has reached the semi-finals of the Chatham Cup, a trophy that is prized by every club in New Zealand.

“When Roy had finished playing O League for Waitakere United he then signed mid-season with two other Waitakere United players for Waitakere City Football Club,” Rex Dawkins, the Waitakere City Football Club manager, told Fiji FA media.

“Unfortunately if Roy transfers to Labasa he will not be able to transfer back to Waitakere City and play in the domestic competitions for the remainder of the season.

“Roy will travel to Fiji on August 26 and spend time with his family in Labasa and on his way back to New Zealand he will hold school coaching clinics sponsored by V&B (Vuksich and Borich Ltd) in Nadi and possibly Lautoka on September 9 and 10.”

Labasa Football Association president Rayaz Khan confirmed to Times Sport that Krishna had declined to play for the Babasiga Lions.

However, he said they had secured the release of some of their highly-sought players for the BOG which will start with the opening round of competition at Subrail Park in Labasa on August 10 and 11.

Taniela Waqa and Pita Bolaitoga, along with Papua New Guinean David Muta and Koriak Upaiga, are set to feature for Labasa.

Khan said Muta and Upaiga would join the team on Friday.

Labasa is grouped with Lautoka, Navua and Rewa in the BOG.http://www.fijitimes.com/

30h) Wallabies coach keeping an eye on Speight

AAP
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Update: 11:01AM WALLABIES coach Ewen McKenzie admits he’s keeping an eye on when Brumbies winger Henry Speight will become eligible for the Wallabies.

Unfortunately for Fijian-born Speight, playing for Waikato in New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship (NPC) means he likely won’t be able to play for the Wallabies until the spring tour of Europe kicking off in November.

The 25-year-old flyer has been Australia’s highest Super Rugby try-scorer over the past two seasons.

His power fend on Bulls halfback Francois Hougaard helped him beat three defenders before flick passing to fullback Jesse Mogg to open the try-scoring in the Brumbies’ shock 26-23 semi-final victory over the Bulls on Sunday morning.

While he will likely miss the entire Rugby Championship, McKenzie said Speight was doing everything he could to book a spot on the Wallabies’ spring tour.

“I’m well aware of his form. He’s had an outstanding year,” McKenzie said.

“If he’s only available for one Rugby Championship game that makes it complicated (to join the current squad). But there’s a five game tour at the end of the year and he’s eligible around that time.

“I’m waiting to know (the date) and I’ll make decisions accordingly.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

30i) Wallis and Futuna ready for Pacific Mini Games
By Online Editor
1:01 pm GMT+12, 31/07/2013, Fiji

108 athletes from Fiji will converge to the French Territory of Wallis and Futuna at the end of next month for the Pacific Mini Games.

Team Fiji Chef de Mission Alini Sovu says despite the country being one of the smallest in the region, they have been assured that all venues and facilities are ready.

Sovu says Wallis and Futuna maybe small but organizers are doing well.

“Apparently when they bid to host the games, they were comfortable in hosting the eight sports. Yes, the venues are ready. When we had our Chef de Mission meeting last year, all the venues were well underway.

The Pacific Mini Games start on September 2nd and ends on September 11th. During this time, 22 countries will compete in eight different sports.
SOURCE: FBC SPORTS/PACNEWS

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