Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 844
1a) Concerns Raised Over Parliamentary Committee(6/8/13)
Solomon Islands local pressure group, the Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) says the Parliamentary Entitlements Committee (PEC)is “lazy and politicised” and must be removed.
Forum President Charles Dausabea was responding to the Committee’s rejection of a proposal to review PEC’s membership and disagreements on recent increases to entitlements for Members of Parliament.
Dausabea said the MMF had raised its concerns on the matter but the Committee said it won’t consider them because the Forum did not attach any economic report as supporting documents.
He said the Committee’s response indicates laziness as these reports are readily available on the Central Bank website.
The Malaita Masina Forum President said his group had also written to the Public Accounts Committee and the Leadership Code Commission on other issues but did not receive any formal responses.
He said it was useless setting up such mechanisms if they are not serving the public.
1b) Solomons’ Government Urged To Investigate Provincial Projects
Makira Ulawa premier says 6 projects terminated without reason
By Charley Piringi
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 6, 2013) – Makira Ulawa provincial premier has called on the national government of the Solomon Islands to investigate into the terminated projects approved for the province.
This call was made during the 30th anniversary of the province last Friday in his speech, to the Minster of fisheries, Honorable Alfred Ghiro who attended the second appointed day representing the minister of the provincial government.
Premier Weape said that, during the Gizo premiers conference, ministry of development planning and aid coordination revealed that 6 of the 2013 allocated projects for Makira Ulawa province have been terminated for unknown reason.
Thus he calls on the National government to investigate and explain to the province as to why the projects were terminated.
“While the provincial premiers are calling for adequately resourcing provinces, the ministry has revealed to the Makira Ulawa Provincial government that a total of six national development projects allocated to the province have been terminated this year 2013.
And my government is saddened by the termination of these six national development projects whatever the reasons.”
He called on the national government to investigate the termination of the following projects and explain why they have the projects terminated.
Malaulalo tourism project
Santa Ana Tourism project
Terminal Fence projects
Kirakira Disaster staff house
Kirakira MET Service office
He claimed that such a move is a total denial of the rights of his people who supposed to be benefiting from national projects.
“Makira Ulawa people have been denied the right to benefit from services that would be derived from these projects. People who are responsible for implementation of these national projects must be held accountable for mismanagement of public funds.
“A way forward to get these projects revisited for funding so as to get them properly implemented to completion must be ascertain”.
1c) Thousands Of Seniors Enrolled In Fiji Social Pension Scheme
Seniors benefiting from $1.7 million allocated to program
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, August 5, 2013) – A total of 5,738 senior citizens currently benefit from Fiji’s new Social Pension Scheme.
Ministry of Social Welfare Permanent Secretary Dr. Josefa Koroivueta said senior citizens in the maritime areas namely Kadavu, Lau, Lomaiviti, Rotuma have also been assisted with the monthly Social Pension Scheme.
“This is primarily done to ensure that there is an even distribution of the social pension scheme amongst the senior citizens in the urban areas and those in the rural and maritime areas,” he said.
So far, a total of 177 senior citizens have been assisted in the maritime areas.
Koroivueta said to qualify for the benefit a person must be 70 years and above and is not a recipient of superannuation like Fiji National Provident Fund, government pension, after care fund and is not receiving social welfare assistance through Poverty Benefit Scheme or Care and Protection Program.
“Those senior citizens who are eligible and are applying for the social pension scheme should submit their applications with their birth certificates and also provide their bank account numbers so that when applications are approved payments can be done immediately,” he said.
Application forms are available from divisional and district welfare offices and forms need to be certified by civil servant or community leader and submitted with two passport photos.
A total of FJ$3.24 million [US$1.7 million] was allocated in this year’s budget for the Social Pension Scheme.
2a) American Samoa senator Letuligasenoa Soli dies
Posted at 06:25 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
Another American Samoa senator has died, the third in the past two months.
80-year-old Letuligasenoa Soli died in the weekend at the home of one of his children in California.
Last month, Sua Matautia passed away in Honolulu and in June Mano Fa’agata passed died in Pago Pago.
All three were first-term senators.
Radio New Zealand International
2b) French Polynesia main port hit by strike
Posted at 03:18 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
A strike at the port of Papeete in French Polynesia has stopped containers from leaving the area.
Local radio says a vessel has arrived but no goods have been cleared by the stevedoring company or the port police in charge of customs.
Reports say the strike of the stevedores won’t end before the head of the port and the port police have settled their differences.
Radio New Zealand International
2c) Samoa’s Catholic Church Nearly $10 Million In Debt
Huge liabilities, little revenues render Archdiocese ‘insolvent’
By Sophie Budvietas
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, August 4, 2013) – The Catholic Archdiocese Samoa is WST$23.4 million [US$9.9 million] in debt – a debt leaving staff unpaid, creditors in the red and an unclear financial path forward for the Church.
The figure is from a copy of the Auditor’s Report dated 18 June 2013. Prepared by Public Accountant, Tupuola Oloiali’i Koki Tuala, the report was leaked to the Sunday Samoan.
The report indicates that after a “Review of Current Financial Position of the Archdiocese Samoa-Apia as at 18th June 2013,”Tupuola says the current financial position of the Archdiocese is “insolvent.”
“The going concern of the Archdiocese is greatly affected, because it can no longer meet its total debts of WST$23.4 million as at June 18, 2013 under the normal course of carrying out business with its creditors and financial institutions,” the report says.
“I have not audited the financial information provided for my review because of the limited time to carry out a full audit assessment.
“Including seeking independent external confirmations of all liabilities of the Archdiocese and examine all legal documents such as loan agreements, legal contracts, terms and conditions of credit facilities and; other legal documents.
“In addition, the financial statements as at May 31, 2013 had not been completed.
“The latest financial statements provided for my review is for the financial year as at December 31, 2011, which I received on 17th June 2013.”
The report provides a summary of key financial indicators which were used to determine the current financial position and going concern of the Archdiocese as at June 18, 2013.
Total liabilities as at 18 June 2013 are as follows:
Bank loans WST$9,390,799 [US$4 million]
Bank overdraft WST$1,271,547 [US$538,745]
Trade creditors WST$8,982,731 [US$3.8 million]
VAGST payable WST$2,007,525 [US$850,574]
Creditors paid by land WST$750,833 [US$]
That places the Church’s total liabilities at WST$23,424,718 [US$9.9 million].
In his report, Tupuola says the total current assets are estimated at WST$4.5 million [US$1.9 million], current liabilities are WST$12.0 million [US$5 million] which places the current debt ratio at 0.375:1 or 0.38:1.
A debt ratio is a calculation used by those in the finance sector to determine how much risk is associated with an organization or business, or in this case the Church.
It is calculated by dividing the total amount of liabilities, or debt, by how much the organization’s assets are worth, with the higher the ratio the greater the risk will be associated with the organization’s operations.
“The current ratio is way below the standard acceptable level of l:l, hence the acid test assessment will most likely produce a negative ratio,” Tupuola reports.
According to the report this has led banks, creditors, state owned enterprises such as Electric Power Corporation (EPC) and contractors to decline the Church their services.
“The commercial Banks currently used by the Archdiocese have declined further credit facilities for the Archdiocese,” the report states. “Most financial institutions in Samoa have refused further credit facilities for the Archdiocese, because of poor past performance and greater risks to the institutions.
“Creditors have also refused further credit arrangements for the Archdiocese for normal trading including utility suppliers such as Electric Power Corporation (EPC), Samoa Water Authority (SWA), and trade creditors.
“Building Contractors are not willing to commit to any further projects until past accounts are fully paid and proper settlement of future contracts are set before commencement of any projects.
“Building suppliers have also refused credit facilities for the Archdiocese, because of the non-payment of past accounts.
“Creditors and suppliers of goods and services are also demanding strict terms of settlement of accounts such as cash payments only and/or payment by land; and some have already considering legal actions against the Archdiocese.”
Beyond this, the debt created by the Church means that staff have not been paid for several months with a total of WST$225,045 [US$95,350] and other deductions of WST$35,493 [US$15,038].
“Statutory payments for NPF, PAYE and ACC are not updated and outstanding amounts are as follows: NPF WST$104,579 [US$44,309], PAYE WST$427,525 [US$1871,139] and ACC WST$44,968 [US$19,052],” according to the report.
This brings the amount to a total of WST$577,072 [US$244,501].
According to the report the Church’s cash flow for the period from July to December this year will only generate cash receipts of WST$350,780 [US$148,623].
“Which will only cover 19% of total payments of WST$1,843,350 [US$781,014] resulting in a shortfall of WST$1,492,570 [US$632,391],” the report reads.
“The shortfall will need to be funded from other internal alternative funding or the Archdiocese will continue relying on creditors and bank credit facilities, which are very costly and currently limited opportunities under the current environment.
“In addition, there are no cash receipts available for payment of creditors and loans of WST$23.4 million or any surplus funds for capital expenditures, emergencies and contingent liabilities.”
Tupuola estimates the Archdiocese requires WST$310,000 [US$131,345] per month or at least WST$3.7 million [US$1.6 million] annually for the general operation and administration of the Archdiocese.
“The level of cash receipts from all income sources of the Archdiocese is very low and is the main problem why the level of debt is very high,” he says in the report.
“Because the income is not sufficient to meet all expected operational expenses, financial cost; and capital expenditures.
“Auditor’s finding is that the Archdiocese is unable to meets its current debts of WST$23.4 million in the short and long term period.
“The Archdiocese needs to take immediate action to resolve the current poor financial position and put in place measures to avoid repetition of the same problem in the future.”
Tupuola says in the report at the time of this review, it was confirmed to him that two projects have been put on hold due to lack of funds and/or are in progress, but delayed because of funding problems.
“The new Church at Malololelei estimated cost is WST$600,000 [US$254,216] approved to be funded from credit facility at Blue Bird Lumber and Hardware Limited,” he says.
“The project is to be completed by October 2013, because of an international conference by the Devine Mercy group.
“Other development projects and capital expenditures are now on hold and will only be considered if funding is available.
“In view of the current poor financial position of the Archdiocese it is highly recommended that all capital expenditures and infrastructure projects be ceased immediately until funding is available and guaranteed.
“Furthermore, that the any new project will not affect the current cash flow commitments now proposed and the project will be sustainable in the long term and will not place the Archdiocese at risk of additional debts and increase operational cost.”
Tupuola strongly advises the Church’s management to carry out a full organizational review of the Archdiocese in the next two months.
“The finding of this review must be implemented immediately once approved by the Finance Committee.
“The outcome of the organizational review will determine the human resource requirements and viability of each division as well as their functions, objectives, set targets and results of the Archdiocese.
“The Finance Committee must determine the way forward for each division of the Archdiocese, set realistic budgets, monitor outcomes and be achieve in implementing necessary changes that will produce positive results for the long term future of the Archdiocese.”
In regards to the Finance Committee, the Auditor reports that it has not been active for a number of years and therefore the resolutions of the Annual General Meeting in 2008 have not been adopted, completed and implemented by Management.
“The absence of the Finance Committee in fulfilling its mandatory role under the Code of Canon Law means that the Archdiocese is not complying with the requirements stipulated in the Code of Canon Law concerning the management of the financial affairs of the Archdiocese.
“The Finance Committee is responsible for the management of all financial affairs of the Archdiocese including completion of annual budgets and annual audited accounts for each financial year.
“I strongly recommend the appointment of the Finance Committee immediately in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Canon Law, The Archdiocese must comply and adhere to all the requirements of the Code of Canon Law as a matter of priority.
“The Finance Committee must now take control of the proposed plans for the re-structuring of the Archdiocese and complete all set tasks in the next six months as well as implementation of the auditor’s recommendations and resolutions of the Senate.
“The recommendations of the Finance Committee for the next six months must be respected, effective immediately, and action by all staff, management, and everyone involved in the implementation process.”
Tupuola says failure to adhere to the necessary proposed changes immediately will have disastrous results, irreparable consequences;
“And may well place the Archdiocese in possible bankruptcy process that will have major irreversible damages in the future,” he says.
“The future of the Archdiocese depends on the collective action of everyone concern in the next six months.”
Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/
3a) Solomon Bougainville boda wari
Updated 6 August 2013, 12:29 AEST
Nogat gutpela wok wuas long Bougainville.na Solomon Islands boda istap yet olsem bikpela wari
Boda mak namel long autonomous rijon blong Bougainville na Solomon Islands istap yet olsem bikpela wari we nogat gutpela wok wuas isave kamap long en.
Olsem na wari long bringim hait ol gans, drags na pipol istap olsem bikpela wari long autonomous rijon.
Dispela em toktok blong Executive Manager blong Buin distrik John Itanu. Em itok emi taim nau long ol autoroti i lukluk na stretim dispela wari
long boda namel long tupela kantri.
John Itanu itok long lukluk blong en na pipol long South Bougainvile emi no gutpela long ol kain kain samting nogut olsem ol gans na drag pipol isave bring hait ikam insait long Bougainville.
Em tok gutpela long lain olsem Bougainville Boda Autoroti imas stap insait moa long wok blong ol long lukautim dispela boda eria namel long Bougainville na Solomon Islands.
Narapela wari tu em polis long South Bougainville ino planti long halivim ol offisa blong Kastom na Boda autoroti long mekim wok blong ol.
Sot long ol haus blong ol polisman istap long mekim wok blong ol em bikpela wari blong ol polisman long South Bougainville.
Dispela toktok blong Andrew William Chief Inspekta blong South Bougainville em distrik hed kota blong em long Buin.http://www.
Odio: Chief Inspekta Andrew William blong Buin Polis na toktok tu ibin kam long John Itanu Executive Manager blong Buin.
3b) Klaod Nasara katun blong lanim Climate Change
Updated 5 August 2013, 16:47 AEST
Vanuatu i lonsim niupela wei blong lanim sait long Climate Change na nau long redi long taim blong disasta.
Odio: Acting Manager blong Vanuatu Climate Sevis, Philip Malsale i toktok
Long tunait (Monday August 05) oli lonsim wanpela katun oli kolim Klaod Nasara long sait long climate change na wok redi blong disaster long Port Vila long Vanuatu.
Acting Manager blong Vanuatu Climate Sevis, Philip Malsale itok Klaod Nasara em i niupela katun piksa long sait long sait long climate change na hau blong redi long taim blong disasta.
Mr Malsale itok Vanuatu Meteorology na Geohazards Department ofis nau i lonsim dispela tok Bislama katun piksa long tunait.
Em itok ol Red Cross na Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science na Adaptation Planning Program nau i wok-bung long kamapim dispela katun trening.
Secretariat blong Pacific Community tu i involv long projek we i karamapim tu ol arapela kantri long Pacific.
Tasol Mr Malsale itok dispela Kalod Nasara em long Bislama na em blong Vanuatu tasol.radio australia
4) Kepulauan Solomon tolak ikut solusi pencari suaka Australia
Diperbaharui 6 August 2013, 16:23 AEST
Koresponden Pasifik Campbell Cooney
Perdana Menteri Kepulauan Solomon Gordon Darcy Lilo menegaskan kepada ABC, ia tidak tertarik untuk menjadi bagian dari Solusi Pasifik yang baru dari Pemerintah Australia untuk pemrosesan dan pemukiman kembali pencari suaka.
Lilo mengatakan, status kepemilikan tanah yang rumit di negaranya dan rasa komunitas yang kuat menyusul ketegangan antaretnik selama bertahun-tahun menyebabkannya tidak tertarik untuk menjadi bagian dari rencana Australia.
Ditambahkannya, pencari suaka tidak ingin datang ke negaranya. Mereka ingin pergi ke Australia.
Lilo mengatakan, ia dihubungi oleh diplomat-diplomat atas nama Perdana Menteri Kevin Rudd dan secara tidak resmi menanyakan apakah ia bersedia mempertimbangkan pemrosesan dan pemukiman kembali pencari suaka.radio australia
5) C’est prouvé, la chaleur augmente la violence
Posté à 6 August 2013, 15:47 AEST
Quand la canicule frappe Brisbane, les maris frappent encore plus fort. Une étude australo-américaine est sortie hier, qui prouve le lien entre temps extrême et violences.
Quand la sécheresse assoiffe l’Inde, les violences domestiques sont plus fréquentes et plus… violentes. Quand le thermomètre grimpe aux États-Unis, il y a recrudescence d’agressions, de viols et de meurtres.
Ce sont des choses que l’on sait tous, intuitivement, mais qui ont été prouvées, statistiques à l’appui, dans une étude publiée hier par deux scientifiques australiens, sous la direction du Professeur Solomon Hsiang à l’Université de Californie.
Ils se sont également penchés sur les conséquences de l’arrivée d’El Nino dans le Pacifique, qui apporte un temps sec et chaud, après un épisode de La Nina, qui s’accompagne d’humidité et de fraîcheur. Sous l’influence d’El Nino, la moyenne des guerres civiles sous les tropiques passe du simple au double. Comme quoi le changement climatique a une influence sur la paix dans le monde. radio australia,
6a) Fiji pushes for alternative to Pacific Islands Forum
Updated 6 August 2013, 17:32 AEST
Samisoni Pareti in Nadi
Fiji’s interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, has told the inaugural gathering of the Pacific Islands Development Forum that it will represent all stakeholders in the Pacific community.
Fiji’s interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, has told the inaugural gathering of the Pacific Islands Development Forum that it will represent all stakeholders in the Pacific community.
The body is being put forward by Fiji as an alternative to the Pacific Islands Forum, which Commodore Bainimarama said no longer represents the interests and needs of the region.
“Why do we need a new body, a new framework of cooperation? Because the existing regional structure for the past four decades – the Pacific Islands Forum – is for governments only and has also come to be dominated only by a few,” he said, in a thinly veiled swipe at regional powers Australia and New Zealand.
Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum in 2009 after the coup-installed military government failed to hold elections.
Audio: PIDF will never replace Forum: Tuilaepa Sailele (ABC News)
Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that Fiji’s exclusion from the Forum is entirely of its making.
“Fiji decided to become a dictatorship: it’s their own decision by the present usurpers of power,” he said.
“Fiji would be welcomed back once it reinstates a democratic government and a democratically-elected parliament.”
Mr Sailele says Samoa is not attending the PIDF because the summit is duplicating activities already ‘adequately covered’ by the Forum and other institutions.
Australia and New Zealand are among 25 observers at the three-day meeting in Nadi, which is being attended by leaders and ministers from 14 Pacific nations.
The gathering will cover a number of themes, from regional co-operation to building green economies.
“We want to stand up as Pacific Islanders and with one voice send a clear message to the world at large; that Pacific-SIDS (Small Island Developing States) are vulnerable and face unique sustainable development challenges”, Mr Bainimarama told delegates.
Several others have already addressed the meeting, including the chief executive officer of Fiji Water, Rokoseru Nabalarua, and the head of the World Wildlife Fund in the South Pacific, Kesaia Tabunakawai.http://www.
6b) Mixed views of fledgling Fiji-led Forum
Posted at 06:25 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
A Pacific Islands youth leader hopes a Fiji-led development forum is not just another talking shop.
He is among observers at the Pacific Islands Development Forum underway in Nadi.
Sally Round reports from Fiji.
“The Forum is billed as a gathering where country leaders, civil society and business people come together as equal partners, working towards sustainable development and the green economy. Pacific Youth Council representative, Manasa Vatanitawake, says such ideas have been floating around before and success will be measured by their take up at grass roots level. The Archbishop of New Zealand and Polynesia, Dr Winston Halapua, says the Forum is a healthy move. He says some are on fire about the meeting but others have doubts because of the political background to the gathering which was set up in response to Fiji’s exclusion from the Pacific Islands Forum. On the fringes, some participants say a more informal style of meeting would be more appropriate for the Pacific Island countries represented.”
News Content © Radio New Zealand International
6c) Solomons reiterates call for Fiji to rejoin Forum
Posted at 06:25 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says the time is right for the Pacific Islands Forum to lift Fiji’s suspension from the bloc.
Speaking in Fiji, Mr Lilo said Fiji was one of the founding members and he sees no reason why Fiji should be left out.
He says the Pacific Islands Forum can only work if it engages with Fiji more positively.
Last year, Mr Lilo stayed away from the Forum summit but suggested Solomon Islands would lobby on Fiji’s behalf for its readmission.
Fiji was suspended in 2009 after its leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, reneged on a 2007 promise to Forum leaders that he would cede power to an elected government in 2009.
Since then, he has abrogated the constitution but promised to hold next year.
Radio New Zealand International
6d) PIDF is much broader and inclusive: President Tong
By Matai Akauola
6:08 pm GMT+12, 06/08/2013, Fiji
Kiribati’s President Anote Tong has praised Fiji’s foresight to convene the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) that is ‘broader and inclusive’ of all sectors of the community.
Speaking to PACNEWS in an exclusive interview, President Tong said the PIDF was a space where the region discussed issues that are relevant and important to them.
“I think it’s healthy to have different forums where we can discuss issues. The PIDF is a little different because it has a much broader scope and more inclusive in the kind of people involved particularly the inclusion of the private sector and the civil society. This is healthy for us as political leaders – to hear from the other sectors of the community.
“We are supposed to represent the people but sometimes we tend to make decisions in total absence of their views. We get this advice from our officials but this feedback must come directly from the public, private sector and civil society. Hearing it directly from these sectors of the community is very good indeed, President Tong told PACNEWS.
Whilst some political commentators are assuming that the PIDF is seen as a successor to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), President Tong disagrees.
“No, I think life is a dynamic process. What is relevant today may not be relevant tomorrow but I think the relevance of any organisation and its success is really its relevance.
“Whatever organisation that is relevant, will never disappear. It will always be there. But I think what is important is that all organisations must serve the needs of the people. When we move away from that, we become irrelevant and it’s time to be replaced like any institution,” President Tong explained.
6e) Pacific Plan Review team share findings with PPAC
By Matai Akauola
6:10 pm GMT+12, 06/08/2013, Fiji
After consulting over a thousand Pacific citizens and stakeholders, the Eminent Person Group (EPG) that reviewed the Pacific Plan has presented some of its findings to the Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC) in Suva today.
EPG Chair, Sir Mekere Morauta said the messages his team received ‘have been remarkably consistent – citizens voices are not being heard by political elite and regionalism has lost its political direction.’
“It became clear to me at an early stage of this review that the solution lies in re-establishing a robust political process around regionalism, as opposed to – simply – refreshing a list of Pacific Plan priorities.
“But my earnest view, having listened to so many Pacific citizens and their leaders these last few months, is that the Forum and its Secretariat – as the peak political body of the Pacific – has a hugely important role to play, now and into the future. But it must adapt, just as any forward-looking, learning, organisation must adapt.
Sir Mekere said that adaptation is at the heart of the team’s conclusions.
“It is not, I am afraid, simply a matter of tweaking the Plan, or of devising a better reporting system. It is a matter of reaffirming the role of politics in Pacific development and how political choices are prosecuted through the region’s peak political body.
He said the EPG’s firm conclusion is that the Pacific Plan should not be seen as a sort of ‘regional development plan’, trying in vain to capture and deal with everything that everybody thinks is important in the Pacific.
“Rather, it should be seen as a framework for advancing the political principle of regionalism through robust, inclusive, processes of political dialogue, the expression of political values about regionalism and sovereignty, and the decisive implementation of key, game-changing, drivers of regional economic integration.
The EPG agrees that the region is at a crossroads: the social, economic and political context for regionalism is quite different to the period when the Pacific Plan was framed, and choices have to be made about how the region responds to that changing context.
“We see a region that is more vulnerable than it used to be, and one that is becoming more, not less, dependent on forces and factors (and I don’t just mean aid) beyond the region.
“How the region deals with modernity – including its many socially, economically and politically challenging facets – while holding true to its deep-rooted social and cultural values is not yet resolved, said Sir Mekere.
“Yet we hear – loudly – from citizens and politicians alike that the right political conversations are not being heard about these things. That the region is stumbling into the future, rather than confidently striding forwards certain of where it wants to go.
A worry, the EPG gathered during its conversation was that region is ‘allowing some of its members to fall behind to an alarming extent – sometimes through the region’s own actions and inaction.’
“New forms of poverty and inequality are emerging in the Pacific, which should not sit within this proud region’s – or anybody else’s – limits of tolerance.
In short, the EPG said ‘regionalism has lost its political direction, and it became clear to me at an early
stage of this review that the solution lies in re-establishing a robust political process around regionalism.’
“The institutions – the ‘rules of the game’ – are wrong, or perhaps have gradually been weakened by, on one hand, governance structures that don’t ensure the right outcomes, and on the other hand incentives – usually financing incentives – that serve to shape the agenda more than does the exercise of political values and choice, said Sir Mekere.
Findings of the EPG review of the Pacific Plan will go before Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Majuro, Marshall Islands next month.
7a) US closes embassies
WASHINGTON: The United States said on Sunday that 19 of its embassies and consulates in the Mideast and Africa would be closed through August 10 over terror fears.
The list includes 15 that were closed on Sunday, as well as four additional posts. Certain other missions were to reopen Monday, the State Department said.
“This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki in a statement.
At least 25 US embassies and consular offices had initially been ordered closed Sunday in response to a terror threat, a move lawmakers said was prompted by intercepts of high-ranking Al-Qaeda operatives signaling a major attack.
In Washington, briefed members of Congress called the intelligence reporting among the most serious they’ve seen in recent years.
Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC’s “This Week” that Al-Qaeda’s “operatives are in place.”
He said the United States knows this “because we’ve received information that high level people from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are talking about a major attack.”
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul, called the threat “probably one of the most specific and credible” he had seen since 9/11.
An attack appeared to be “imminent,” possibly timed to coincide with the last night of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, he added.
The diplomatic posts to be closed through Saturday included those in: Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis.
The new closures are located in Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius. The outposts that are reopening are located in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mauritania and Algeria.
The status of US diplomatic missions in Israel — closed Sunday amid the security fears — was not immediately clear, with no mention of them in the State Department statement.
Security was especially tight in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Sunday where Britain, France and
Germany also shuttered their embassies in the wake of the US warning. — AFP
7b) Samoan PM denies interference in media council plans
By Matai Akauola
5:48 pm GMT+12, 06/08/2013, Samoa
Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has rejected claims that his government is interfering with a proposed media council.
Last year the Samoa Law Reform Commission recommended a two-year period for the media to establish its own organisation to regulate the conduct of its members.
The Samoan Government says it is attempting to push through the regulatory body as soon as possible to address ongoing concerns about poor standards and ethics among media professionals.
But Opposition leader Palusalue Fa’apo II says Samoa is getting closer to the situation in Fiji, where freedom of speech is limited.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the government is simply taking action after years of delay.
“The Opposition is unaware of the real issues,” he said.
“I think the Opposition has been led astray by various subjective comments from the editor of the Observer newspaper which is the most outspoken on the issue.
“In fact, we had some discussions about 10 years ago with consultants who were arranging to look into the formation of a council. And we all agreed that such a body should be formed.
“Ten years have disappeared and nothing has happened – this is largely due to the very disorganised media in Samoa, said PM Tuilaepa…. PACNEWS
SOURCE: ABC NEWS/ PACNEWS
8a) Samoa opens new narcotics laboratory
Posted at 03:18 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
A new narcotics laboratory has been established in Samoa.
The lab can only test for marijuana but the Prime Minister says the government hopes to upgrade it to enable the testing of other hard drugs such as methamphetamine.
Talamua online reports that the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa is running the lab and serves as an independent asupport service to the police and the courts in narcotic cases.
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the government will fund the research organisation in the current financial year to allow it to buy a gas chromatography and a mass spectrometry to identify and quantify hard narcotics.
Two scientists will be trained overseas in the testing of marijuana.
Radio New Zealand International
8b) End senseless deaths
By Online Editor
3:26 pm GMT+12, 06/08/2013, Fiji
An Op-Ed from UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office, www.pacific.unfpa.org
At the Maternity Ward of the Tungaru Central Hospital on Tarawa, in Kiribati, patients, health workers and nurses mingle freely with day-old babies the centre of attention; the older women fussing over them during visiting hours.
In the midst of these activities, staff nurse Makite Etekiera quietly goes about her work, the relative tranquility she’s enjoying is abruptly cut short by a group of midwives conducting an emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC) needs assessment survey.
Makite responds to their questions, based on two years of being stationed at the obstetric ward; she has 13 years of nursing under her belt and is also a midwifery graduate from the Kiribati Nursing School.
That was a month ago when a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) team was in Kiribati for a training of midwives to conduct a national survey; the group has now started going out to the islands conducting a comprehensive EmONC survey.
This week however, Makite is with another seven nurses from the region for the annual Sexual and Reproductive Health Management Training Programme (SRHMTP), a four-month study stint at the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in Tamavua.
While the countries’ ministries of health select participants, it is the individuals who decide whether they will do it or not – leaving their families and for most of them, their children, in order to up-skill themselves.
“I came here to study sexual and reproductive health management in order to help my country, serve my people, especially the mothers and babies, during ante-natal and post-natal periods,” Makite said.
The UNFPA has been working with governments across the region to address sexual and reproductive health-related issues (apart from other areas in gender equality and reproductive rights, the population and development dynamics and sexual and reproductive health).
The sexual and reproductive health management training that the regional nurses are participating in is one of the many activities that hopes to upskill health workers so the population can receive better health care and services.
The SRHMTP adds to and complements the nurses’ clinical knowledge on sexual and reproductive health issues, but more importantly, the course includes socio-economic dynamics which links the nurses’ work to issues people grapple with on a daily basis.
When formally opening the beginning of the training programme, UNFPA Pacific Director and Representative a.i Dr Annette Sachs Robertson urged the participants to develop a new sense of consciousness and a renewed social conscience; Dr Annette encouraged participants to look at their roles relative to the bigger picture of healthy societies whose youth reach their full potential because unintended pregnancy for example did not terminate their studies.
“One maternal death is one maternal death too many, it has to be absolutely avoided,” Dr Annette told the class of 2013. “In each of your countries, you need to do something about ensuring that there is adequate comprehensive emergency obstetric care for the women that give birth and that there are adequate reproductive health services – that is why you are here.”
Dr Annette discussed the 20th anniversary and the rights enshrined in the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) document and the targets of its Programme of Action; she reminded students that the region presently had an unprecedented largest number of young people, comprising one fifth of the region’s total population.
“In the Pacific, it is these young people that we must particularly commit to in our areas of work,” Dr Annette said.
“Our vision and commitment is ground in certain core values and principles that are embedded in the ICPD Programme of Action: that every person has the right to sexual and reproductive health, every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person has the education and services to grow up healthy, and every young girl is treated with dignity and respect, and violence against women should and can end.”
Samoa’s Enesini Timoti Milikini, 26, is the only male nurse in the 14th class of the SRHMTP. Acknowledging that sexually-transmitted infections have become an issue of concern in Samoa, Milikini is looking forward to the family planning component that includes training on the utilization of certain contraceptives that most regulations in the region only allow doctor to administer.
Tonga’s Ebiline Tai who is based in Vaiola Hospital (Nukualofa) gladly accepted her selection because it was “really related to what I’m doing in Tonga as a community nurse”. “I work through the community and I deal with everyone especially the teenagers, the single mums, and the parents and students … I’m looking forward to learning more,” Tai said.
Cook Islands nurse Rosie Tenari who is part of the Ministry of Health outreach team staff anticipates the “extra knowledge” she would gain from the course; she is particularly concerned with health concerns of teenagers.
“Very young people are coming in for family planning but they’re under the age of 16 and they may need their parents’ consent; however, they are too shy to approach their parents so I think that puts me in a place where I can advocate for the patient as well and for this young people,” Tenari said.
The UNFPA Pacific-supported training programme has seen 276 graduates; the course includes non-clinical units like the principles of health promotion; reproductive health commodity; health information system; epidemiology; and health management systems.
Programme Coordinator Alumita Bulicokocoko says the programme which started in 1999 addressed the the life-cycle of a woman; she believes the programme’s holistic approach is what makes it a successful one.
Bulicokocoko was referring to the Fiji Ministry of Health’s decision to train 34 nurses from the Western and Northern Division in 2010 and 2011, apart from this UNFPA-supported regional programme.
“We also trying to look at our attitudes as medical people especially as nurses trying to look at what do we do what can we do and where to from here … (the students) look at their values, attitudes and they look at human rights,” Bulicokocoko said.
“We think that we are training middle-level managers so that when they go back, they are also equipped with leadership qualities and management issues so that they could go back and lead, and educate and advocate and also give services to the their populations in their countries, Bulicokocoko said.
9a) Allowances delayed for region’s Vanuatu students
Posted at 06:25 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
Vanuatu students around the Pacific will not get their allowances on time this month because the government is short of money.
The principal scholarship officer, Glenden Ilaisa, has confirmed there will be a delay because the fund for the scholarship students has been exhausted.
He says the Council of Ministers has already endorsed another two million US dollars for the fund but parliament is yet to approve it.
An extra-ordinary session of parliament is planned for the week after next.
Meanwhile, Mr Ilaisa says his office has written to the universities asking that they maintain services for the students until a supplementary payment is approved.
He says they have also asked parents to support their children during this period.
Last year, the Vanuatu government owed money to various universities and this delayed the students return at the beginning of this year.
Radio New Zealand International
9b) Solomons’ Students In PNG Threaten To Boycott Classes
Government has one week to release outstanding allowances
By Charley Piringi
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 6, 2013) – Government-funded Solomon Islands students, studying at the University of the Papua New Guinea’s (UPNG) Waigani campus, have given the government seven days to settle their outstanding allowances or they will protest and boycott classes.
A statement from the Solomon Islands students association (SISA) in Waigani yesterday said failure by the government will result in the students staging a protest.
The ultimatum was issued on Monday and will lapse in seven days time which is next week.
The students’ president Jack To’ofilu, on Monday in a statement reiterated his appeal to the Government once and for all to settle the students’ allowance issue within seven days.
He said the seven day’s notice is being issued as of today (yesterday) after the students have been waiting long enough for their allowances.
The students are now in week seven of lectures without any financial support from their sponsor.
“This letter serves as an ultimatum to the Solomon Islands Government to seriously and immediately settle our students’ allowances within seven (7) days as of today, (Monday 5th August 2013).”
“Failure to do so will result in students taking another step further regarding the issue by staging a protest and strike action.”
The letter was also sent to the National Training Unit (NTU) within the ministry of education.
The president said the delay has been so long with conflicting responses from both the ministry of finance and education.
NTU earlier said that they have made submission to the finance ministry for payments to be raised.
But in response the ministry of finance said NTU had advised them not to issue any payments until the students’ academic results are released, something NTU denied.
President To’ofilu said that such issues are things government should priorities and have it immediately addressed.
“This long allowance delay has badly affected our learning. This is a serious matter that needs to be immediately addressed because students have been affected for the last six weeks.
“The government should not ignore our calls as it has an obligation to settle it in due process.”
NTU director Selu Maezama when contacted on Monday to explain the issue said that the first payment was raised for students in PNG before those students in Fiji.
He then questioned what went wrong that resulted in the delay and confusion.
“I was wondering what’s gone wrong that resulted in the UPNG students being unable to receive the payments. They were the first ones we have prepared and made their payments and they should have no problem by now.”
He said he only received an email on Monday from the ministry of finance querying if the government will meet UPNG allowance or not.
“This was the misunderstanding between us, and in my response I told them that, yes, it was the government that is responsible to meet all these.
“The ministry of finance should have been aware of this and querying us creates misunderstanding between us. I’m just wondering now because we have cleared our part,” Mr. Maezama added.
Deputy Accountant General Marilyn Kodoleke could not be reached for comments as she was at the Parliament due to the debate of the Public Financial Management Bill 2013.
Meanwhile government funded students at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji are reportedly facing the same allowance dilemma.
On SISA forum USP Fiji online on Monday, one of the students Whitlam Saeni uploaded a video showing the extent of problem facing the students due to the delay by the government in settling the students’ final allowance payment.
The Government paid part of their (USP) allowances at the start of the semester but that was not enough for the students, it was revealed.
Their problem worsened on Monday when they came together to share the little food they have.
They described it as ‘they have come to a dead end’.
Mr. Saeni said, that was the only thing the students can do because of the situation.
The USP SISA president could not be reached for comments.
10a) Vodafone pull out
Differences with BeMobile and Fijian telco sees contract ripped up
By Alexander Rheeney
VODAFONE Fiji Limited has pulled out of Papua New Guinea, just four months after agreeing to manage the country’s second mobile phone carrier BeMobile.
The withdrawal of the Fijian subsidiary of the global telecommunications company dashes hopes by PNG mobile phone users for another carrier to directly compete with Irish-owned Digicel (PNG) Ltd and reduce phone and data rates.
Sources within the telecommunications industry told the Post-Courier yesterday that the plug was pulled due to ongoing differences between BeMobile and Vodafone over the use of a contractor to roll out the joint-venture’s new infrastructure.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill confirmed the split yesterday when asked by this newspaper at a media conference to confirm the report, saying governance issues relating to a contractor could not be resolved.
“Yes as you know we have signed an MOU with the Fiji National Provident Fund for them to become partners with the state, through IPBC, in developing the BeMobile network in the country. Unfortunately, let me say this, the negotiations have been difficult in the sense that there were management issues about some contractual obligations that we as a country felt needed to be negotiated properly because of governance issues. Unfortunately those issues were not able to be resolved,” he said.
“We have an issue with a contractor who has got issues with government in Papua New Guinea and that contractor needs to be cleared properly before it conducts further business in this country. We have an existing contract with that contractor.
“At present it is going through some legal issues, both here and in Singapore. Those governance issues need to be resolved properly.”
The FNPF has been advised of the PNG Government’s decision not to proceed with the joint-venture through the office of the Fijian Prime Minister according to Mr O’Neill.
Vodafone’s premature exit from PNG’s growing telecommunications market opens the door for potential investors, however the PM has indicated that the job to resurrect BeMobile’s fortunes will now go back to the IPBC and the State-owned Telikom PNG Limited.
When pressed by reporters to give more details on the contractor at the centre of the disagreement, Mr O’Neill said he did not want to expose to State to potential litigation and would rather leave it to the lawyers to sort out.
The Fiji National Provident Fund has a 40 per cent stake in the joint-venture with the State-owned Independent Public Business Corporation retaining 51 per cent.
The other nine percent is held by other smaller shareholders including the PNG Sustainable Development Program, Nambawan Super, Nasfund and GEMS (PNG) Ltd.
10b) Cruise liners a good opportunity for Pacific with right preparation
Posted at 05:42 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
Cruise liner tourism is still booming and more companies from around the world are looking to the Pacific islands.
Industry representatives say the drive for more remote and exotic locations is a new opportunity for Pacific economies.
But there’s disagreement about how ready some countries are for more arrivals.
Alex Perrottet reports:
Cruise liners are setting out around the world and taking more and more tourists to exotic locations. The CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Ilisoni Vuidreketi, says companies in Miami are telling him they are on their way.
“ILSONI VUIDREKETI: The islands do have the competitive edge to others. These cruise liners are looking for new destinations, new exotic destinations that have not been visited before, so that’s where the Pacific islands countries do offer that competitive edge.”
But Mr Vuidreketi says he is sending out a clear message that countries need to improve the infrastructure at their ports and be ready with transport and activities.
“ILSONI VUIDREKETI: We right now are not fully prepared so the message is, this is the segment that we cannot ignore, this is the segment that we have to look forward and to take advantage of the opportunities of this segment we need to be well prepared for that.”
But the president of the Samoa Hotels Association, Tuala Oli Ah Him, says he is concerned the comments from Mr Vuidreketi imply they are not ready for the tourists they have been working so hard to lure.
“TUALA OLI AH HIM: Samoa is ready. We are ready for anything. We are ready to take on cruise ships, we are ready to take on a 747. Even though we don’t have a proper bus timetable system we do have transport, and we’ve been doing it for the last decades. Every cruise ship that comes here we are able to cater for them.”
Tuala says the huge investment in the upgrade of the wharf in Samoa is one sign the government is switched on. Local media in Samoa has questioned how much a turnoff the Tourism Development Act might be, as it includes jail terms for offenders who publish false information that may tend to harm the tourism industry. But Samoa’s attorney general, Ming Leung Wai, says the law is like plenty of others that set up statutory authorities and serves to protect the industry that is so vital to the country.
“MING LEUNG WAI: There is no intention by the government of Samoa or the Tourism Authority to stop people from expressing any bad experiences that they have. But the way the matter has been reported by some of the media personnel is totally biased and not true.”
Tuala Oli Ah Him also supports the Act.
“TUALA OLI AH HIM: If anybody’s going to start badmouthing or trying to sabotage the country they should be punished. We’re only a small country and we rely on our tourism. That’s our livelihood. We need to put a stop to that and I fully support the act.”
Mr Vuidreketi says small islands have the edge with this boom, as even those without infrastructure can attract the ships, which anchor remotely and send short-stay visitors by boat. But he says the on-shore experience must be optimal and destination awareness should be marketed effectively to cruise ship businesses.
Radio New Zealand International
10c) Varivao in Fiji to Promote Products(6/8/13)
Solomon Islands coffee producers, Varivao Holding Ltd is one of the forty companies within the Region currently in Fiji to promote their products and services at the annual Melanesian Spearhead Group road show.
The company’s general manager, Dudley Longmei said this was the first time his company was part of the regional exhibition.
He said the trade show would also enhance trade agreements between MSG countries. “This is our first time here and we hope to promote our product and make new business deals with other corporate bodies within the region,” Mr Longmei said.
The trade show is aimed at providing opportunities for businesses to showcase their products to potential buyers and investors.
Attorney-General and Minister for Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the businesses were from Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
“This trade show is very important because it allows these businesses to showcase their opportunities and potential that exists within the MSG trade group,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“It also provides investment opportunities that we can take advantage of or be part of.”
11a) New Zealand police offers assistance
By Alexander Rheeney
NEW Zealand has offered to support the O’Neill Government’s plans to rejuvenate the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary through a police cooperation program.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said this yesterday at a media conference in Port Moresby before leaving for New Zealand today.
The proposed police cooperation program, agriculture and PNG-New Zealand trade is on the agenda when the PM meets with his counterpart John Key in Wellington. “While I am there, of course I will be meeting the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key, have meetings with him about regional cooperation and of course global cooperation that our two countries are involved in. We will also talk about issues about police cooperation between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. They are interested in helping us there,” said Mr O’Neill.
The two-day visit will also see the PM hold meetings with the New Zealand Opposition Leader and meet with New Zealand business representatives.
The PNG High Commission in Wellington will also be opened during Mr O’Neill’s visit following its closure in 2011 after the New Zealand capital was hit by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that caused widespread damage and claimed lives.
According to the PM the earthquake damaged the High Commission so it had to be rebuilt and will now be reopened for business.
“I am going to New Zealand for two days to basically open the embassy that was affected by the earthquakes in Wellington. We had to rebuild the embassy there. Now it is available for opening.”
When asked by the Post-Courier on when a high commissioner will be permanently appointed to New Zealand, Mr O’Neill said the issue will be resolved after the Government appointed a new secretary for the Foreign Affairs Department.
“We have an acting high commissioner there at present. But what we will do is when we have our secretary for foreign affairs position confirmed, then of course we will resolve that issue of the permanent appointment of high commissioner to New Zealand,” he said.
11b) War victims group in PNG demands PM take action
Posted at 06:25 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
A lobby group in Papua New Guinea that claims it represents hundreds of thousands of war victims says the Prime Minister must take action to help them claim compensation.
The Chairman of the PNG Redress Association, Gabriel Laku, has been seeking billions of US dollars from the International Military Tribunal since the 1990s.
He says last week 2,000 people marched in Lae and he has called on the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to meet his group and other politicians in Morobe at the end of the month.
He says PNG was used by both sides in the Second World War, and Australians, Americans and the Japanese are guilty of war crimes.
“My people were caught in the cross-fire. Cannibalism, calculated torture, killed, killed after sex, forced labourers, lost ordinances. Lost ordinance is one that is blowing up people here.”
Gabriel Laku says PNG was a crucial theatre of the war and should have been represented at the International Military Tribunal in 1946 and 1947 in Tokyo.
Radio New Zealand International
12) PNG Urged To Act On Findings Of 2004 Police Report
Australian police in PNG must do as local cops do: former chief
By Todagia Kelola
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 5, 2013) – Any future Australian Enhanced Cooperation Package (ECP) or the deployment of Australian Assisting Police (AAP) must and should capture the findings of Papua New Guinea’s 2004 Police Review Report.
The Police Review Report of 2004 in the views of every member of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) is the blue print of the direction the RPNGC should progress to fulfill its constitutional obligations, something no Government has given consideration to in the last nine years.
That’s from former Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, who has urged the government and the current police management to seriously consider and also to implement the recommendations of an ECP review committee if there are plans to involve Australian police assistance similar to the previous ECP arrangement.
The Supreme Court in May of 2005 had ruled that the Enhanced Cooperation program between Papua New Guinea and Australia Act of 2004 was inconsistent with the Constitution and was therefore null and void.
Mr. Baki said the ECP Review team, after studying the Supreme Court decision, have resolved that if this ECP/AFP program is going to be different from the first, then any Australian Federal Police personnel coming in for this proposed ECP/AFP program, must first and foremost accept the fact that he or she will be appointed consistent to section 4 of the Police Force Act, and invoking section (16) of the same Act, Vesting of Powers of Members of the Force, they will be fully fledged members of the RPNGC, to perform their duties.
“They must be prepared to serve in outer provinces of PNG, live in the barracks, wear the same blue uniforms, drive the same vehicles used, eat in the same mess, sleep in the jungle if required, walk and talk the same language, work in the same offices, understand the PNG customs and traditions, served under the one police commissioner, and conform to the same disciplinary process.
“There has to be an avenue to have an exchange program between the RPNGC, and AFP to further enhance this assistance support program which will reflect the true spirit of the aid support for it to be successful,” Mr. Baki said.
He was also critical of the Police Modernization Program and said “The RPNGC must be strategic in its thinking regarding the Modernization Program.
“Going back to the basics or buying new police vehicles, changing the color of the uniforms, do not reflect modernization.
“We must have a complete shift in the mindset of every policeman/woman to accept that change. A total change in their attitude, behavior, demeanor, work ethics, professional conduct, public perception, education, and training,” the former police commissioner said.
“Most importantly, the program must be supported by an enhanced operational setting to have a world class forensic capability, information and technological change, ability to deal with cyber crime, drug trafficking, human smuggling, terrorism, intelligence networking, and policing methods of a totally new and modern era and dimension.”
He said the force has been continuously berated with criticism and the failure to contain law and order in the country, adding that the police force’s current state of effectiveness remains a serious issue and concern which the government of Papua New Guinea must address as a responsible government for the good of the police organization.
“There should be no hard and fast rules made just to suit the deployment of AFP officers for this ECP/AFP aid program. Any deployment must and has to be done consistent with the Police Force Act. ECP comes and goes, but the RPNGC will remain,” he said.
PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
13a) Australia transfers more asylum seekers to PNG camp
Posted at 06:25 on 06 August, 2013 UTC
Australias Department of Immigration and Citizenship has flown another group of asylum seekers to its detention camp on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
The 39 men, mostly Iranians, are in the third group to be moved to Manus under Australia’s revised agreement with PNG to take all would be refugees arriving by boat.
It takes the numbers on Manus to more than 100.
The department has reiterated that there is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred to PNG and says there will be regular transfers from Christmas Island.
This comes as the PNG government says it will renegotiate the refugee resettlement plan with Australia if it has trouble managing large numbers of asylum seekers.
The Australian immigration minister, Tony Burke, has flagged a major expansion of detention places on PNG.
But the PNG prime minister, Peter O’Neill, has said if asylum seeker numbers increase, they will sit down with Australian officials and go through it.
He also says it is stated in the agreement that it will be reviewed after a year.
Radio New Zealand International
13b) Solomons PM rejects Australia’s asylum seeker request
Updated 6 August 2013, 16:24 AEST
The prime minister of Solomon Islands says his country is not interested in being part of the Australian Government’s ‘Pacific Solution’ for asylum seekers.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says it’s clear asylum seekers don’t want to come to his country. (Credit: AFP)
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has confirmed his country is not interested in being part of the Australian Government’s new ‘Pacific Solution’ for processing and resettling asylum seekers.
The leaders of Papua New Guinea and Nauru have recently signed agreements with Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to resettle some asylum seekers found to be refugees.
But Mr Lilo says his country’s complicated land ownership status, and strong sense of community following years of ethnic tension means he wasn’t prepared to part of Australia’s plans.
“We have just come out of the situation that we’ve gone through and it’s quite risky for our country to just accept the proposal as it is,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.
Audio: Solomons PM Gordon Darcy Lilo speaks to Geraldine Coutts (ABC News)
Mr Lilo added that asylum seekers don’t want to come to his country.
“We have to respect the choice of asylum seekers, and the choices that these people have made is that they want to come to Australia.”
He says an informal request was made by diplomats on behalf of Mr Rudd.
“The prime minister sent the message; basically whether or not Solomon Islands is prepared to be part of the Pacific Solution.
“We basically said no, it’s a proposal that cannot be considered at this point in time.”http://www.
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:
14) Australia’s Asylum Ad Campaign Could Cost $26.7 Million
International advertising may reportedly cost $6.2 million
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, August 3, 2013) – The controversial advertising campaign warning people off seeking asylum in Australia by boat will cost up to AU$30 million [US$26.7 million] just for the domestic campaign, with an additional AU$7 million [US$6.2 million] being sought to spread the message overseas, reports the Guardian Australia.
About 40 men – all single men – have arrived on Manus Island as the first asylum seekers to be taken to Papua New Guinea under the new Rudd government policy, the Brisbane Times reports.
If you come by boat
On Nauru, a third asylum seeker camp will be built as the Labor government attempts to further ramp up its so-called Pacific Solution.
The Melbourne Age reports that the Nauru government is finalizing an agreement with local landowners for the location for the new camp and expects to make an announcement in the coming days.
On Friday the Auditor-General, Ian McPhee, revealed details of the “by boat, no visa” campaign costs in a letter to the independent senator Nick Xenophon, responding to Xenophon’s complaint about the use of an “extreme urgency” clause to bypass normal approval regulations and access funds for government advertising.
The letter detailed that recent ads in newspapers were part of a domestic campaign with a “notional budget” of up to AU$30 million.
International advertising by Customs and Border Protection had been given just AU$2 million [US$1.8 million] so far, taken from already available funds. They have asked for another AU$5 million [US$4.4 million] for a third phase of advertising.
The domestic campaign “by boat, no visa” was to target Afghani, Iraqi, Pakistani, Iranian and Vietnamese communities within Australia to allow the message to spread to international communities, the letter stated.
The Australian public was considered a “secondary target audience” as “friends and influences of the primary target audiences”.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Diac) told Guardian Australia that about AU$2.6 million [US$2.3 million] had been spent on the domestic advertising campaign before 27 July, with a further AU$1.07 million [US$952,225] booked for 28 July until today inclusive.
Xenophon told Sky News “this whole campaign stinks”.
“I don’t want us to end up with the best democracy money can buy. But compounding that is a situation where taxpayers’ money is being used effectively for party-political ads. It’s a cheap way of doing the party’s ads,” he said.
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre –firstname.lastname@example.org
15) Proposed US Pacific Coral Management Raises Concerns
Enforcement issues cited amidst call to list corals as endangered
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 5, 2013) – The US Pacific Islands are concerned a mainland US environmental group’s proposed list of endangered coral species can impact the islands’ ability to manage its resources.
The Center for Biological Diversity has proposed a list of 66 reef building corals under the Endangered Species Act.
Dr. Takiora Ingram, the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Partnership secretariat, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat 59 of the coral species listed under the act are found in the Pacific and that involves management issues.
“There’s a big issue there about how this is going to be done, who’s going to be responsible for managing this,” Dr. Ingram said.
“What kind of enforcements are going to be available and where is the money going to come from to advance all of these big management issues.”
Dr. Ingram says an alternative solution to protecting the corals should instead be sought after, given climate change affecting the environment.
“The real issues are global warming, climate change and their impact… these are the greatest threats to corals,” Dr. Ingram said.
“Managing things like poor land use, cause of sedimentation, nutrients and toxin run off into the ocean…We need to be addressing those issues in addition to managing corals more effectively.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
16a) Kaltak forms deadly strike force for the Blues
By Matai Akauola
5:10 pm GMT+12, 06/08/2013, Fiji
Oceania Football Confederation 2011 under-20 golden boot winner Jean Kaltak will form a deadly combination with Nigerian striker Nelson Oladiji for Lautoka during the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants which starts in Labasa this Saturday.
Kaltak from Vanuatu comes in as a timely replacement for another Nigerian Ali Anthony who has applied for a transfer to Navua.
The 18-year-old has been part of Vanuatu’s development program having represented the nation at the U17, U23 and also the senior level.
He made his international debut for the Vanuatu senior team soon after the U20 success and has since scored nine goals in eight appearances.
Kaltak was part of Hekari United’s 2011 Oceania Champions League campaign.
Joining Kaltak in the Design Engineering Blues squad is fellow countryman Niko Jack.
Lautoka Football Association president Shalendra Prasad said making a return to the district were Ilaitia Tuilau and Semesa Doidoi.
He said the water cuts experienced in the city prevented the team from marching into camp last weekend.
“Our Fiji under-20 goalkeeper Senirusi Bokini has withdrawn his application seeking a transfer to Nadi,” Prasad said.
“He has been named in our final 22-member squad. Jone Nailogi has applied for a move to Nadi. We will not stop any player who wants to move to another district provided they fulfil their obligations.
“The Nigerian striker Ali wants to move to Navua but he first has to sort out his issues with the Immigration Department because he came here on our invitation.
“It is good to have a young and capable player like Jean join the team.
“He has a lot of class and will play a vital role in our attack.”
Lautoka last won the BOG title back in 1985.
Jone Sorolo, Noa Vukica, Zibraaz Sahib, Ilaitia Tuilau, Dave Radrigai, Krishneel Dutt, Praneel Naidu, Isikeli Jeke Keli, Jean Kaltak, Nelson Oladiji, Niko Jack, Edward Justin, Semesa Doidoi, Mitieli Namuka, Jone Kaloutani, Jone Vonu Junior, Muni Arvindra Naidu, Alvin Avinesh, Joape Mundre, Avneel Kumar, Senirusi Bokini, Gerard Voi.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/ PACNEWS
16b) Golf interest grows in Kiribati
By Matai Akauola
5:04 pm GMT+12, 06/08/2013, Kiribati
It may sound strange but there’s a golf club and course that is being established recently in the country.
The Butaritari Golf Club has been established on the island of Butaritari with its members who are mainly government civil servants, teachers, and some people from Temanokunuea village.
Founder of the Golf club Fakaofo Sione told Radio Kiribati News the club members are currently using a soccer field at the Vaticano village as it is covered completely with green grass.
Fakaofo says there’s a lot of interest in the sport from people on the island.
SOURCE: RADIO KIRIBATI/ PACNEWS
16c) FIFA to shoot soccer
By ROSALYN ALBANIEL-EVARA
A TELEVISION crew from Europe will be in the country this week to film a documentary on the development of women’s football in Madang.
Consequently the Madang Soccer Association will stage a Women and Girls Football Festival this Friday to coincide with the shooting according to MSA executives Hillary Pangai (ordinary member) and Charles Romo (General Secretary and n Officer).
Romo said the film crew would be visiting PNG at the request of the Federation International Football Association.
He said the documentary was being filmed as FIFA was wanted more knowledge on where the code was in the country and the kind of development programs that were in place, especially for girls and women.
He said the documentary would then assist it (FIFA) with its future plans so that it could then help PNGFA take the code to the next level in the country.
Romo said FIFA had checked with PNGFA for a suitable association to participate in this exercise and Madang was chosen, one of the reasons being that it has one of the best development programs in place.
Romo said MSA was honored to be picked and the association had its current president Siegfried Beschel to thank for his vision in getting these programs in place and making the juniors the focus of the programs.
“Previously we didn’t have these kinds of programs in place to develop our juniors. However, we now do thanks to the president and his current team of executives and I am pleased to say it is paying dividends.
“Another area which we have turned our focus to and are reaping rewards for is the coaches’ development program. This has been in place for the last two years and I am proud to has also had a huge impact in the level of the games being played in the province,” he said.
Romo said Madang was especially honoured to be selected as the venue and participants of this documentary as the code has grown immensely among girls and women in the province.
He said this statistic was confirmed by the number of girls and women’s teams now affiliated to the club, which he said now stands at 16 (from 12 last season). The level of skills and talent has seen the juniors come out on top in recent national events including the U17 and U20 championships played in Lae recently. Romo said the preparations towards this event were on track as the MSA was looking forward to play host to the European visitors. Due to the short notice only about 20 teams from the town area alone would be participating. She said the festival would kick off at 9 am and end at 3pm. The women and girls of Madang would not only participate in Matches but also showcase their individual skills in drills including penalty kicks, dribbling, ball and target passing. She said the festival will also be fun-filled and she appealed Madang residents to attend.
Hillary has thanked FIFA and PNGFA for the honour adding the women and girls of Madang were excited and looking forward to the festival and the film crew’s arrival.
16d) Kung Peng Women’s team seek sponsors
By Jina Amba
The Kung Peng Womens’ Rugby team in Western Highlands Province has carried the name of WHP around the country and is asking interested women in WHP to take part in the rugby league competition in the city.
Kung Peng head coach Johnny Gigs said currently there is no women’s rugby team existing in the province and he has urged the Provincial Government, Members of Parliament and other business houses to help fund the women’s rugby games in the province.
He said the Kung Peng’s are trying to run women’s rugby competition within the city. Mr Gigs said interested women were asked to attend a meeting last week but only a few turned up because of the LLG election disturbance and they postponed the meeting to the following week.
“We will conduct town competition and next year women will have inter- city games,” said Mr Gigs.
Captain of Kung Peng Sibora Rutty said men’s’ rugby teams in WHP are always supported and funded by the MP and business houses but women’s teams are not funded. She added that in other provinces women are taking part in rugby league competition because they are getting support from their MPs and the business houses.
Ms Rutty said sports will help women to be fit and healthy and also it will keep women busy and stay out of other unnecessary activities like drinking beer and go to parties which results in the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
She said, from the games played in the city competition, the best player from each team will be selected to play in women’s rugby league tournament that would be held in Goroka in September.
Ms Rutty has urged interested women to register their team by contacting her on 73923981 or Mr Johnny Gigs on 70209118. She also said those who want to help fund the women’s rugby games can contact them as well.