Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 845
1) MSG High Representative says PIDF, as champion of green growth, will remain relevant
By Matai Akauola
3:24 pm GMT+12, 08/08/2013, Fiji
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) High representative and former Fiji’s Foreign Minister Kaliopate Tavola says the setting up of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) will reconfigure regionalism in the Pacific.
Speaking to PACNEWS Ambassador Tavola said the new Forum will be critical in shaping issues that are dear to the interests of Pacific Island Countries.
“I’ve said on a number of occasions that the new forum is also reconfiguring regionalism and I think that is what is happening now,” Ambassador Tavola said.
Ambassador Tavola expressed his support for the new Forum saying it brings optimism to the people of the Pacific.
“Well I have been speaking in the past favorably about this new Forum and I will continue to do because I see its relevance in the Pacific. Now that it’s the champion of Green Growth in the Pacific I think that relevance has magnified somewhat.
“We have had a very good three day conference and we’ve talked about a lot of issues. We have created a lot of momentum in these three days. There is a lot commitment as you can see from the number of delegations and countries represented. There is support for the green growth objective because it’s linked to the sustainable development of the Pacific region. It’s just a matter of us taking it forward,” Ambassador Tavola told PACNEWS.
He said the framework to take Green Growth forward looks promising with the setting up of the secretariat in Fiji.
“I do understand there is a lot of interest in financial backing for the new secretariat. We have in place a framework to take green growth forward and I think it would be the responsibility of all those that attended to maintain the momentum going forward,” said Tavola.
Ambassador Tavola said the success of a new organisation such as the PIDF will depend on its relevance.
“The future of any organization depends on its relevance. This new forum is the champion for green growth.
“No doubt it is going to be very relevant as it will develop interest from within the region and outside the region. So it’s going to be relevant, he explained.
He is optimistic that PIDF is here to stay and its emergence will raise some serious questions about the relevance of the Pacific Islands Forum.
“It is interesting that you ask that question because we’ve just heard the submission of a report maybe partial report of the team that is reviewing the Pacific Plan, I thought the report was somewhat negative – very negative about the Forum and the way the Forum has been managed and the divide that seems to be taking place between the Forum and the final beneficiaries, its member countries.
“That to me raises the question of its relevance and if we can go back to what President Tong said if you do not demonstrate your relevance than you are probably writing your death certificate, said Ambassador Tavola…. PACNEWS
2) PNG-NZ bilateral ties strengthened
By ISAAC NICHOLAS in Wellington, New Zealand
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill and New Zealand counterpart John Key have reaffirmed the close relationship between both countries and established a framework to shape future cooperation.
Prime Minister O’Neill arrived on an Air Niugini Boeing 767 aircraft at the Military Terminal at Wellington International airport yesterday and proceeded straight to Parliament House.
Mr O’Neill was given an official welcome by the Maori traditional group and Guard of Honour before his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Key and his Cabinet Ministers.
The two Prime Ministers held a joint media conference noting a strong desire by both sides, as partners in the Pacific and Asia-Pacific region, to build on their existing strong relationship.
Both countries are committed to bringing a new depth to the bilateral relationship and to work together on regional and global issues.
PM O’Neil stated the intention to maintain and further develop bilateral cooperation in areas including renewable energy, agriculture and continued peace on Bougainville.
He also noted the potential for private sector engagement to support the development of Papua New Guinea’s infrastructure and build its economy.
Mr O’Neill said the two countries will work together in helping to build capacity and training especially in the Defence and Police forces.
PM O’Neill was accompanied by Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko, Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll, Delilah Gore, Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato and Western Province Governor Ati Wobiro.
Prime Minister Key said the talks between the two leaders focused on encouraging closer economic cooperation between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“Papua New Guinea is set to become New Zealand’s biggest trading partner in the Pacific and we have agreed to look at ways of encouraging further economic ties,” Mr Key said.
“There are extensive opportunities for New Zealand business, particularly around developing infrastructure to support Papua New Guinea’s rapid economic growth.”
Mr Key said the meeting yesterday was an excellent opportunity to hear Mr O’Neill’s views ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum next month and to take stock of the New Zealand Aid Program’s joint achievements in Papua New Guinea.
The two Prime Minister’s than witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Geothermal Energy Cooperation between Minister Pato and his counterpart Murray McCully to facilitate the exchange of expertise in this area.
Today PM O’Neill will be visiting Victoria University of Wellington to witness the signing of an agreement for an increase in the number of PNG students taking post-graduate studies in Wellington.
PM O’Neill is expected to also open the newly refurbished PNG High Commission building before flying into Auckland for business talks with the business community on Friday and then returns to Port Moresby on the weekend.http://www.
3) Mask saga in new twist
Secret society to slap a ‘vanga’ penalty on Minister Kondra
A SECRET ritualistic society in the East New Britain and New Ireland provinces is demanding an explanation from the Culture and Tourism Minister Boka Kondra for publicly displaying sacred masks.
Failure to give a proper explanation could see the Tumbuan society slapping the Minister with a “vanga”, an ancient penalty for breaching the society’s by-laws which would lead to a fine.
A picture of the Minister receiving two Tanga Island Tumbuan masks in Port Moresby appeared on the front page of the Post-Courier last Tuesday, triggering an angry response from the society and its 90,000 membership.
Kokopo-based society chairman John Robin told this newspaper yesterday that they wanted an explanation from Mr Kondra and Cletus Ngaffkin, a chief from the Taraiu-Waradan village in New Ireland and head of the Tanga group who arranged for the masks to be donated to the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby.
“If they do not come up with a good response, they will get a vanga from the society,” he said.
THE public displaying of the masks in the PNG capital is unlawful by society standards according to Mr Robin.
The decision by the Tanga Tumbuan chiefs to hand over the two masks to the Government-run museum also showed disrespect to the society, despite the Namatanai MP and Minister Byron Chan and chiefs in Namatanai taking them back.
The masks can only be displayed after it goes through a “taraiu, a men’s sacred place, after a complex ritual. Consequently, the items’ appearance in Port Moresby last week raised questions on whether they were put through the ritual before airlifted to the NCD.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his deputy Leo Dion have been asked to intervene.
Communal ownership of property means the two masks are owned by the community. The secrets of the society have also been kept for generations and respected by the people including women and children.
“We want them to respond to our complaint and we will be giving them a number of days to do so,” he said and added failure to respond could see Tumbuans in the two island provinces protest.
The fallout over the Tumbuan masks is not the first as the East New Britain provincial government some years ago got in trouble with the society when it arranged for Tumbuans to perform in Port Moresby. The ENBPG and some of the province’s leaders were penalized and later paid fines.http://www.postcourier.
4) Small independence group in Papua surrenders arms and allegiance
Posted at 03:27 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
An armed independence group in West Papua has laid down its weapons and pledged support to the Indonesian military.
The Jakarta Globe reports the Indonesian military has confirmed five members of the Free Papua Organisation, or OPM, were welcomed in an official ceremony with written and oral oaths of allegiance.
One of the members of the group is Engga Kiwo, a former leader of the Lanny Jaya chapter of the OPM.
Indonesia is currently preparing a Special Autonomy Plus law to allow the provinces of Papua and West Papua to negotiate with rebel groups such as the OPM when drafting their own local laws.
The President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who plans to visit the province this month, has promised to free all political prisoners in Papua under the autonomy plan.
The Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, has told the Jakarta Globe that leaders should listen to the wants of the local people if they are serious about helping improve Papua’s social issues.
Radio New Zealand International
5) Vanuatu opens Emergency Operation Centre
Posted at 03:27 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
The first ever National Emergency Operation Centre has been opened in Vanuatu.
The new centre cost more than 170,000 US dollars to establish and was jointly funded by the Japanese government, the World Bank, SOPAC and other institutions.
A Disaster Risk Management Specialist with the World Bank, Michael Bonte-Grapentin, says the operation centre will act as an information and coordination centre for government and non-government organisations during an emergency.
“Just making their efforts more effective and being able to efficiently, effectively communicate with getting the latest information. Making informed decisions about what to do in the case of an emergency. Where to send resources to and what information to provide to the general public.”
Michael Bonte-Grapentin says the centre is equipped with a meeting space, ten dual display computers, four LCD flat screen televisions, eight landline phones, an HF radio and other electronic communication equipment.
Radio New Zealand International
6) Wamytan elected New Caledonia Congress president
Posted at 03:27 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
New Caledonia’s Congress has elected a leading pro-independence politician, Roch Wamytan, as its president.
He was one of three candidates for the position, which he had held for one year until last August.
His election with 23 votes came in the third round of voting when he for a third time secured most votes but was short of a majority in the 54-member Congress.
The incumbent, Gerard Poadja, backed by the anti-independence Caledonia Together party, won 13 votes.
Simon Loueckhote, who had the support of the rival anti-independence parties, won 17 votes.
There has been acrimony within the anti-independence camp, with both sides blaming each other for Mr Wamytan’s success.
Radio New Zealand International
7) France Forgives Huge New Caledonia Debt From 1970s
$385 million debt related to mining industry underwriting
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2013) – The French government has decided to forgive New Caledonia a debt of US$385 million dating back to the 1970s.
This was disclosed by the French High Commission in Noumea and follows last month’s visit to the territory by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.
New Caledonia had contracted this debt through two protocols in 1975 and 1984, under which France underwrote the nickel price to ensure the territory had a minimum level of income from its mining sector.
The previous French provision was to arrange a repayment in line with the territory’s ability to pay.
The write-off has surprised observers, with one suggesting Mr. Ayrault wanted to follow in the footsteps of two of his predecessors, Michel Rocard and Lionel Jospin, who were signatories of the key autonomy accords of 1988 and 1998.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
8) Fiji says no diplomatic exchange due to continued campaign
Posted at 03:27 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says high level diplomatic exchanges between Fiji and New Zealand will not happen until after Fiji’s elections next year because New Zealand continues to campaign against Fiji.
The two governments, together with Australia, agreed in July last year to restore High Commissioners to each others capitals following tit for tat expulsions in 2009.
Last month, Fiji said Australia’s High Commissioner designate would not be allowed in until after the Fiji elections and Ratu Inoke says the same applies to New Zealand.
He says that’s because of some of the things New Zealand and Australia have done towards Fiji including their actions before the Suva-initiated Pacific Islands Development Forum.
“I think they continue to campaign against Fiji in different fora and we have been told from reliable sources even from some of the leaders they have been approached not to attend this meeting. They have told us that Canberra had asked them not to attend but they decided to attend and one of them said oh no I’ve got Fijian blood, I need to be in Fiji for this meeting.”
Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Radio New Zealand International
9) Search ends for survivors of French Polynesia shipping accident
Posted at 03:27 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
Search teams in the south of French Polynesia have abandoned attempts to find any more survivors of a shipping accident, which appears to have claimed eight lives.
A Chinese fishing boat, the Zhun Yang 26, with 14 people on board took on water in heavy seas and nine of them jumped into the sea, reportedly trying to get onto floats dropped by a rescue plane off Rapa.
Four drowned and another four are missing presumed dead, while one person was rescued suffering from hypothermia.
The remaining five were lifted off the stricken vessel by a helicopter and taken to Rapa.
The crew was made up of nine Chinese, three Indonesians and two Vietnamese.
The vessel was in transit between two fishing zones when the accident happened.
The exact cause of the disaster is not known but the area had experienced strong winds, which on Rapa ripped off roofs.
Radio New Zealand International
10) French nuclear tests ‘showered vast area of Polynesia with radioactivity’
By Online Editor
6:44 pm GMT+12, 07/08/2013, France
By Angelique Chrisafis in Paris for The Guardian
French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified Ministry of Defence documents which have angered veterans and civilians’ groups.
The papers, seen by the French paper Le Parisien, reportedly reveal that plutonium fallout hit the whole of French Polynesia, a much broader area than France had previously admitted. Tahiti, above, the most populated island, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation. The impact spread as far as the tourist island, Bora Bora.
Thousands of veterans, families and civilians still fighting for compensation over health issues have insisted France now reveals the full truth about the notorious tests whose impact was kept secret for decades.
From 1960 to 1996, France carried out 210 nuclear tests, 17 in the Algerian Sahara and 193 in French Polynesia in the South Pacific, symbolised by the images of a mushroom cloud over the Moruroa atoll.
For decades, France argued that the controlled explosions were clean. Jacques Chirac, the French president, controversially resumed nuclear atoll explosions in the South Pacific shortly after being elected in 1995.
Le Parisien said the documents “lifted the lid on one of the biggest secrets of the French army”. It said papers showed that on 17 July 1974, a test exposed Tahiti to 500 times the maximum allowed level of plutonium fallout.
Bruno Barillot, who has investigated the impacts of the nuclear tests for the Polynesian government, complained of the high levels of thyroid cancers and leukaemia in Polynesia.
He said the declassified documents revealed Tahiti had “literally been showered with plutonium for two days” during the Moruroa test; from the outset France knew the impact spread further than it publicly admitted.
But of the 2050 pages declassified, 114 remained blacked out.
Richard Oldham, a member of the Polynesia nuclear workers’ association Moruroa e Tatou, told Radio New Zealand International: “It’s the right for our future generations to know what has happened in this country.”
In 2006, a French medical research body found nuclear testing had caused an increase in cancer on the nearest inhabited islands. The French judiciary began investigating health implications.
It was not until 2010 that France acknowledged that there could be a compensation process for veterans and civilians. But that is complex and limited to a small geographical area and certain ailments.
About 150,000 veterans and civilians worked on, or were present during, nuclear tests, including 127,000 in Polynesia. But of 800 dossiers, only 11 people have received compensation.
Troops who worked on the tests have described a staggering lack of precaution for workers. During the Moruroa tests in French Polynesia in the late 1960s, one veteran described how he was stationed in shorts and a T-shirt on a boat only about 25 km from the explosion before having to sail immediately to the area of the vast mushroom cloud to examine the damage.
11) Mormon Church Head Office: No Ban On Samoan Language
PR officer says issue may have arisen from joining ‘palagi’ mission
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, August 7, 2013) – A claim that Mormons in Brisbane ban Samoan language from church services can’t be true.
“There is no policy in our church to ban any language from services,” said Tupuola George Hunter, Public Relations Officer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints or Mormons in Samoa.
Their head office in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, makes policy decisions and no language ban in services has been issued, Tupuola said.
He doesn’t believe lawyer Leulua’iali’i Olinda Woodroffe who told reporters that Mormons in Brisbane have banned the reading of the Samoan Bible or the use of Samoan in hymns and prayers.
Leulua’iali’i said she has been hired by Samoan Mormons in Brisbane to represent them in the matter.
“What she said on TV is wrong,” said Tupuola.
“I suspect that perhaps a Samoan stake mission was closed and it’s members have joined a palagi mission,” he said.
It has been a past practice of the church to close one stake mission in order to develop the others.
“Samoan community stake missions are very active and more functional than palagi missions, Tupuola said.
He is unaware the language issue has reached the Federal Court in Australia as Leulua’iali’i stated.
Several elderly Mormons were surprised to hear of events in Brisbane.
Sister Beth said if a mission is closed, it could only be that it has practiced things that are not in line with the Church’s teachings and principles.
“Banning language is not a church practice,” she said.
Tupuola is looking into the situation further.
12) NZ backs PNG bid to host 2018 APEC summit
Posted at 03:27 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
The New Zealand Prime Minister has expressed support for Papua New Guinea’s bid to host the APEC summit in 2018.
John Key had discussions in Wellington with his PNG counterpart Peter O’Neill who is on a two-day visit to New Zealand.
The two governments have agreed on ongoing New Zealand assistance in policing in PNG, as well as closer co-operation in trade and business opportunities as well as in the sectors of agriculture and renewable energy.
Mr Key says PNG is increasingly taking a leadership role in the region.
“It’s not just a Pacific nation. It sits on the border between Asia and the Pacific. And so while PNG is a fellow member of the Pacific Islands Forum, it’s also the only Pacific Islands country to be a member of APEC. We are keen to work with PNG to get the most out of its APEC membership.”
John Key says he and Peter O’Neill discussed a number of Pacific regional issues including the mutual desire for a return to democracy in Fiji.
Radio New Zealand International
13a) PNG i wari long ol gan isave isi long igo insait long kantri
Postim 8 August 2013, 13:17 AEST
Wok sekuriti blong PNG inap bagarap taim igat ol illegal gans igo insait long kantri.
Pasin blong bringim hait ol gans na ol katress long Papua New Guinea istap yet olsem bikpela samting nau na dispela i kamapim bikpela wari long wok sekuriti.
Dispela em toktok blong Polis daireta blong Kriminal Investigaisen Chief Superintendent Donald Yamasombi,taim emi givim toktok blong em igo long Lae distrik kot.
Tupela man blong narapela kantri ibin bungim ol sas long stap insait long ol wok blong bringim hait ol “high power” gan na katress igo insait long PNG na polis ibin arrestim tupela.
Superintendent Yamasombi itok wok painim blong polis na kastoms igo long dispela heve ibin igo inap sampela taim pinis na oli bin nap painim olsem ibin gat planti samting isave igo na ikam insait long kantri.
Na long ol kain high pawa gan olsem Chief Superintendent Yamasombi itok Papua New Guinea inogat fektori long wokim ol kain gan olsem na oli save olsem sampela lain oa pipol imas bringim hait ikam insait long kantri.
Wok waus long ol boda blong Papua New Guinea wantaim ol narapela kantri ino save strong long wanem ino gat inap moni long igat pipol iwok long ol boda eria olsem Bougainville na Solomon Islands,Manus na Vanimo na long Daru inogat polis na ami istap long putim eye long ol dispela boda eria.http://www.
13b) Vanuatu igo pas long Klaod Nasara cartoon vidio long Climate Change
Postim 7 August 2013, 12:08 AEST
Ol saintis, Red Cross na Gavman blong Vanuatu na Australia i kamapim ol nupla wei nao blong toksave long ol pipol long taem blong El Nino na La Nina.
Klaod Nasara igat planti stori, pisin, ol pipol long wanpla vilis na raun blong ol kilaut.
Piksa: Ol biknem pipol i halvim wantaim kamap blong Klaod Nasara
Vidio: Ol stori long displa vidio cartoon ino blong ol skul laen tasol, em long olgeta pipol long vilis na taun tu.
Odio: Philip Malsale i tok vidio cartoon i blong halvim pipol i save gut long El Nino na La Nina
Displa wokbung i sanisim wei we em i isi long ol skul pikinini na ol man meri long ples long save gut long sanis long ren na win wantaim tu long ol wok redi ol i mas mekim sapos wanpla disasta i kamap.
Klaod Nasara cartoon vidio i stori blong wanpla pisin parrot, husait i save laikim tru reggae musik, wantaim tu, ol poro kilaut blongen, wanpla liklik vilis na ol pipol blongen na hao, ol i laenim wei blong lukautim ples na gaden kaikai long taim blong El Nino na La Nina.
Vanuatu i save bungim bikpla taem stret long taem blong bikpla drai taim na bikpla ren.
Philip Malsale, Acting Manager blong Climate Services Vanuatu Meteorology na Geohazards Department i tok cartoon vidio i bringim ol ‘character’ olsem wanpla pisin long pulim interest blong ol pipol na musik long stori long wanpla bikpla isu blong Cliamte Change.
“Mipela traim long kamap wantaim kaenkaen musik long makim El Nino na La Nina na taem em sens igo long Kiribati musik, em i min Klaod Nasara i muv igo long Kiribati. Taem musik i sens igo long kastom dram musik blong Vanuatu, em i min Klaod Nasara i muv klostu long Vanautu, em i bringim La Nina.”
Mipla laik tok tenkyu long Red Cross, Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program blong Australia Gavman, wantaim tu, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, Vanuatu Meteorology na Geo-hazards Department na SPC-Geohazards Climate Change Program.http://www.
14a) Pertemuan negara-negara kepulauan Pasifik diwarnai tuduhan terhadap Australia
Terbit 8 August 2013, 12:33 AEST
Akhir dari pertemuan perdana Pacific Islands Development Forum diwarnai tuduhan bahwa Australia dan New Zealand berusaha menyabotase pertemuan tersebut.
Perdana Menteri Papua Nugini Peter O’Neill tidak menghadiri pertemuan di Nadi, Fiji. (Credit: AFP)
Forum ini merupakan perwujudan gagasan dari pimpinan militer Fiji, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.
Beberapa tokoh pemimpin regional melihat bahwa forum tersebut adalah usaha untuk mengalahkan Pacific Islands Forum, yang telah menskors Fiji sementara.
Salah satu yang tidak hadir dalam pertemuan yang dilangsungkan di Nadi, Fiji, ini adalah Perdana Menteri Papua, Peter O’Neill.
Ada tuduhan bahwa Perdana Menteri Timor Leste, Xanana Gusmao, ditekan oleh Menteri Pertahanan Australia, Stephen Smith, agar tidak menghadiri pertemuan ini, namun pada akhirnya Gusmao tetap hadir dan memberi sambutan.
Samisoni Pareti, yang berada di Nadi untuk Radio Australia, berkata bahwa muncul pertanyaan-pertanyaan tentang pemilihan waktu untuk perjalanan O’Neill.
“Saat Commodore Bainimarama mengunjungi Papua Nugini, ada kepastian dari O’Neill bahwa Ia akan datang secara pribadi, namun nyatanya saat Fiji menggelar forum ini, O’Neill harus mengadakan kunjugan kenegaraan resmi ke New Zealand, dan ini dibicarakan di Nadi. Apakah perjalanan ini telah diatur sebelumnya, ataukah ini usaha New Zealand untuk mengacaukan usaha Bainimarama untuk membuat tandingan bagi Pacific Islands Forum?”
Pihak lain yang tidak hadir adalah Perdana Menteri Samoa, Tuilaepa Saiele, yang mengatakan bahwa tidak ada gunanya menghadiri acara tersebut. Ia tidak setuju bahwa forum ciptaan Commodore Bainimarama ini akan dapat menggantikan Pacific Islands Forum.
Menurut Sailele, Fiji diskorsing dari forum Pacific Islands Forum dikarenakan ulah mereka sendiri.
“Fiji memutuskan untuk menjadi sebuah pemerintahan diktator. Itu adalah keputusan yang dibuat sendiri oleh mereka yang telah merebut kekuasaan. Fiji akan diterima kembali saat sudah menjalankan pemerintahan yang demokratis dan memiliki parlemen yang anggotanya dipilih secara demokratis.”
Tuilaepa berkata bahwa Ia tidak setuju dengan anggapan bahwa Pacific Islands Forum adalah sebuah kelompok eksklusif yang mencampuri urusan negara lain.
Namun, Perdana Menteri Kiribati, Anote Tong, berkata bahwa saat ini adalah saat yang tepat untuk berhubungan dengan Fiji, dan Ia berkata bahwa tuduhan mengenai keeksklusifan Pacific Islands Forum mungkin ada benarnya. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
14b) Australia klaim kebijakan barunya halangi pencari suaka di Indonesia
Terbit 7 August 2013, 18:40 AEST
By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths
Menteri Imigrasi Australia Tony Burke mengungkapkan para pencari suaka yang kini tertahan di Indonesia telah berubah pikiran terkait resiko berlayar menuju Australia.
Menteri Imigrasi Tony Burke telah menegaskan bahwa setiap pencari suaka yang tiba di Australia dengan perahu tidak boleh bermukin di Australia. (Credit: AAP)
Para pencari suaka itu, menurut Burke bahkan telah menagih kembali uang yang mereka bayarkan ke para pelaku penyelundup manusia.
Informasi itu diperoleh Burke dari intelijen yang membuktikan bahwa kebijakan membuat permukiman oleh partai Buruh buat para pencari suaka telah berhasil.
“Tidak ada keraguan bahwa pesannya tersampaikan,” terang Burke setelah kembali dari kunjungan ke Papua Nugini untuk menyempurnakan kesepakatan pencari suaka.
Seperti diketahui kebijakan baru Australia di bawah pemerintahan Perdana Menteri Kevin Rudd mengumumkan para pencari suaka yang ditemukan menggunakan kapal menuju Australia akan dikirimkan ke Papua Nugini kendati sudah mendapat status pengungsi.
Namun demikian, juru bicara kubu oposisi soal imigrasi, Scot Morrison menyebutkan kesepakatan itu tidak akan mencegah para pencari suaka itu kembali lagi ke Australia.
“Secara khusus, anda tidak akan menemukan apa pun terkait mereka yang ditemukan bukan sebagai pengungsi dalam hal batakan dari mereka yang dikirim kembali ke Australia,” sergah Morrison.
Kesepakatan yang mirip bersama Nauru.
Tony Burke mengatakan kebijakan baru Australia telah menghalangi beberapa pencari suaka, tapi dia tidak menyebutkan berapa banyak yang mengurungkan niat untuk melanjutkan misinya ke Australia.
“Untuk semua yang telah diupayakan pada masa lalu dengan penyelundup manusia, menjadi jelas bahwa satu-satunya cara untuk mempengaruhi mereka adalah menghalangi pengguna jasa mereka,” katanya.
“Pengaturan pemukiman kawasan juga menghalangi usaha dari penyelundup manusia dan informasi yang keluar menunjukkan bahwa sekarang, kita masih pada tahap awal menghalangi para penggina jasanya,” lanjut Burke.http://www.
15a) Australie: des saisonniers du Pacifique dans les hôtels
Mis à jour 7 August 2013, 16:32 AEST
Vendredi le gouvernement a annoncé que le dispositif s’étendait désormais aussi à l’hôtellerie en Australie Occidentale.
Depuis le 1er juillet 2012, les saisonniers du Pacifique peuvent travailler dans les champs de coton en Australie. Et désormais, ils investissent les hôtels en Australie Occidentale.
Le programme des travailleurs saisonniers du Pacifique a démarré en 2008 dans le secteur horticole, la cueillette de fruits. Depuis juillet 2012, les secteurs de l’aquaculture, de la production de coton et de canne à sucre peuvent eux aussi recruter des saisonniers du Pacifique.
Et désormais l’hôtellerie d’Australie Occidentale pourra elle aussi faire appel à des insulaires du Pacifique. Concrètement, les employeurs de cet État peuvent recruter des saisonniers dans des emplois peu qualifiés comme serveurs, petites mains en cuisines, hommes ou femmes de ménage, pour une durée comprise entre 14 semaines et six mois.
Michael Fryszer, le coordinateur de Connect Group, l’une des sept sociétés de recrutement qui ont l’agrément du gouvernement australien pour sélectionner les saisonniers au Timor Leste et dans les huit pays du Pacifique concernés par le programme:
« C’est une bonne nouvelle, mais cela ne signifie pas automatiquement que plus de travailleurs saisonniers du Pacifique vont être accueillis en Australie. Le programme existe depuis des années, et pourtant le nombre de saisonniers du Pacifique reste très bas. Le programme s’étend à un nouveau secteur, mais les vannes ne vont pas s’ouvrir d’un coup. Il va d’abord falloir que l’essai convainque le secteur de l’hôtellerie pour qu’elle offre plus de places aux saisonniers du Pacifique. »
En juillet dernier, l’Australie avait offert 2500 visas pour les saisonniers du Pacifique. En réalité, seuls 1623 ont été pourvus, et pourtant les insulaires du Pacifique sont motivés.
C’est plutôt du côté australien que le dispositif coince. Les employeurs ne parviennent pas à grouper leurs demandes de travailleurs, ce qui rend très difficile le travail des recruteurs, mais surtout, le programme est critiqué pour ses lourdeurs administratives. La Nouvelle-Zélande, elle, fait venir entre 7000 et 8000 travailleurs saisonniers du Pacifique chaque année.
Alfred Yapai est Vanuatais, il a réussi à franchir les obstacles administratifs pour se faire embaucher dans une exploitation d’arbres fruitiers en Australie Occidentale.
« Je suis très heureux de mon expérience comme saisonnier en Australie Occidentale. J’ai appris beaucoup sur le travail agricole, et particulièrement sur la taille des arbres fruitiers, la cueillette aussi, j’ai beaucoup d’expérience, donc quand d’autres saisonniers arrivent du Pacifique, je peux les former sans problème. Nous venons de petits pays insulaires du Pacifique, qui sont très pauvres. Donc ce programme nous aide beaucoup. »
L’extension du programme à l’hôtellerie va permettre à plus de femmes du Pacifique de profiter du programme:
« C’est une excellente idée pour aider les petits pays insulaires du Pacifique. Dans l’agriculture, il y a beaucoup d’emplois pour des femmes, la cueillette des fruits par exemple, mais il y a aussi beaucoup d’emplois qui sont trop durs physiquement pour elles, donc l’hôtellerie est une bonne alternative. »
Alfred Yapai, l’un des 1623 travailleurs saisonniers qui ont obtenu un visa pour l’Australie en juillet dernier, répondait à Indira Moala sur Radio Australie.http://www.radioaustralia.net.
15b) Ce n’est pas un concurrent du Forum des Îles du Pacifique
Posté à 7 August 2013, 16:15 AEST
Selon Anote Tong, le Forum du développement régional initié par Franck Bainimarama, qui a débuté lundi à Suva, n’est pas fait pour détrôner l’institution suprême du Pacifique.
Le Président de Kiribati est l’un des six chefs d’État de la région à avoir fait le déplacement à Fidji. En tout, 25 pays sont représentés, que ce soit par des politiques, des ONG ou des chefs d’entreprises. Parmi eux : la Russie, la Chine, le Koweït ou encore les Émirats Arabes Unis.
Reste que c’est un secret de Polichinelle, ce Forum du développement régional est la réponse de Franck Bainimarama à la suspension de Fidji du Forum des Îles du Pacifique depuis 2009.
Interrogé hier sur la radio néo-zélandaise internationale, Anote Tong a estimé que Fidji devait être consulté sur les questions qui concernent toute la région, en particulier sur le changement climatique. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
16a) Pacific churches revive call for nuclear-free Pacific
Posted at 03:28 on 08 August, 2013 UTC
The Pacific Conference of Churches says regional leaders must urgently revive calls for a nuclear-free Pacific.
The PCC call comes amid revelations by the Japanese government that radioactive waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean for two years.
The PCC’s general secretary, the Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says Pacific churches have for nearly four decades consistently called for a nuclear-free Pacific and they renew this call today.
He says Japan has a moral responsibility to keep the region informed of what is happening with the waste and what is being done to contain the seepage.
The Reverend Pihaatae, who is from French Polynesia, draws parallels with the French territory’s failure to properly deal with the impact of nuclear tests there.
“That issue has not been really been taken seriously by our local government, but the impacts and the damage that the nuclear waste will do upon our people in the Pacific, because it is leaking and it will be spreading all over our ocean.”
The Reverend Francois Pihaatae of the Pacific Conference of Churches
Radio New Zealand International
16b) Inaugural meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum ends with allegations of sabotage
Updated 8 August 2013, 11:31 AEST
The inaugural meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum ends amid controversy with allegations of sabotage.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill didn’t attend the Nadi summit (Credit: AFP)
The inaugural meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum has ended amid some controversy with allegations that Australia and New Zealand tried to sabotage the event.
The new body is the brainchild of Fiji’s military leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and it’s being viewed by some regional leaders as an attempt to undermine the role of the long established Pacific Islands Forum from which Fiji is suspended.
Now there are claims that East Timor’s Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, was pressured by Australia’s Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, not to attend.
In the end Mr Gusmao did go to Nadi and delivered a key note address.
But one regional leader who didn’t turn up was Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.
He was otherwise engaged on a visit to New Zealand, but Samisoni Pareti, who was in Nadi for Radio Australia, says questions have been raised about the timing of Mr O’Neill’s trip.
“When Commodore Bainimarama visited Papua New Guinea there was an assurance from Mr O’Neill that he would be attending personally, but it so happens that on the week that Fiji hosted the forum, Mr O’Neill had to take a state visit to New Zealand, and that was talked about in Nadi. Was the trip pre-arranged or was it an attempt by New Zealand to wreak havoc on Bainimarama’s efforts to set up a rival to the Pacific Islands Forum? ”
Another absentee was Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, who says he could see no point in being there, and he’s dismissed the idea that Commodore Bainimarama’s creation will ever replace the Pacific Islands Forum.
“All it does is to redo what is already adequately covered by the forum and other institutions within our region. Therefore we cannot see the need to attend.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa has rejected an assertion from Fiji’s interim leader that the Pacific Islands Forum is an exclusive club which interferes in the affairs of other nations.
Fiji remains suspended from the forum, a situation which Prime Minister Tuilaepa says is entirely of the military regime’s own making.
Photo: Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele. (Wikipedia)
“Fiji decided to become a dictatorship. It’s their own decision by the present usurpers of power. Fiji will be welcomed back once it reinstates a democratic government and democratically elected parliament.”
In contrast the Prime Minister of Kiribati says the time to engage with Fiji is now.
Anote Tong did attend the summit in Nadi, and he says those who accuse the established Pacific Islands Forum of being an exclusive club may have a point.
“In the Forum we are so shielded away from the rest of society, we’re a club of our own in retreat and away from the questions of people like yourselves (journalists) demanding answers. But I think as politicians we should always be accountable, not only at the national level, but also at the regional level, ”
“We understand the political situation (in Fiji) but I’ve always personally believed we should at all times continue with the engagement. Now I think it’s gathering more momentum and I’m very happy to see it culminating in this Pacific Islands Development Forum and involving a whole lot of other countries, including new countries that have not participated in the past,” Prime Minister Tong said.
On the question of the new body’s place in the region, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo doesn’t accept the view of his Samoan counterpart.
Mr Darcy Lilo has told Pacific Beat he believes there is room for the old forum, and the new one.
Photo: Gordon Darcy Lilo says he believes there is room for the old forum, and the new one. (AFP, file photo)
“The Pacific Islands Development Forum is a discussion forum, it’s addressing development issues facing the countries and it’s geared up towards sharing ideas, approaches, experiences, as to how countries can adopt and grow to sustain the natural environment but encourage more social and economic development for their people. The Pacific Islands Forum is a leaders’ forum, the leaders themselves make their own agenda, and there are rules and processes and procedures that govern the way leaders meet and decide on issues.”
If the new body is to have a long term future, then the question of funding will have to be resolved, a point raised by the delegates from Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia during the talks in Nadi.
But Samisoni Pareti says as Fiji is the driving force behind the new organisation, the assumption is that it will take on the financial burden, although there was no clear response to the delegates’ concerns.
“There’s a new body being set up and they from their position were worried about the financial implications. There was no mention of who’s going to fund the next summit, which will be next year, and it was just understood by everybody that Fij will be hosting the secretariat, and Fiji will be paying for the maintenance of that secretariat.”
Commodore Bainimarama, has offered to host the secretariat in Suva, a move that would appear to put it in direct opposition to the Pacific Islands Forum, which already has its head office in the same city.
He told the Nadi summit the new secretariat will operate on a less is more and more for less basis.
And in another veiled attack on the Pacific Islands Forum, Commodore Bainimarama said the Development Forum’s secretariat won’t need expensive facilities or what he calls an army of overpaid officials producing top-down solutions.
16c) Claims Australia and New Zealand tried to undermine PIDF: Fiji Official
By Online Editor
6:57 pm GMT+12, 07/08/2013, Fiji
Diplomatic sources in Fiji confirm that Australia and New Zealand tried to undermine Fiji’s efforts to host the first ever Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) this week.
This was confirmed to PACNEWS by a senior Fijian diplomat.
The PIDF inaugural mission is to bring together leaders of government, industry and non-governmental organization from all 23 islands in the Pacific to address through the green economy the most pressing development facing the Pacific over the next decade and beyond.
The meeting is an empowering platform for the people in the Pacific to handle challenges and influence the direction of their own lives through the green economy.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the diplomat said Canberra tried to stop Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao from attending PIDF after finding out that he was invited as a guest speaker. Wellington, on the other hand timed its invitation for a bilateral visit to New Zealand for Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to coincide with the PIDF meeting in Fiji.
The claims comes as Fiji will announce today the setting up of a new PIDF Secretariat, a move seen as a threat to the Pacific Islands Forum that will further isolate Australia and New Zealand from dictating its terms to the region.
PIDF chair and Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama told delegates at a welcome reception Tuesday night that he will make an exciting announcement about the future of PIDF today.
“I’m sure you will all agree with me the last couple of days have been a wonderful experience. We forge new contacts and friendships that will help us all in our quest for a solution to our development challenges.
“And I’ve been gratified that the positive feedback I’ve been receiving across the board. Tomorrow (Wed) I will be making an exciting announcement about the future of PIDF,” Commodore Bainimarama told delegates
Today, delegates will consider the governance structure, funding strategy, work program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Development Forum
PACNEWS has been reliably informed that Fiji has already identified a property in Fiji’s main capital Suva to house the PIDF Secretariat.
It’s been suggested the PIDF Secretariat to be independent from Fiji’s foreign ministry.
Political observers PACNEWS spoke to said the PIDF is a well organised Forum and is widely represented by many foreign governments who are serious in engaging with Fiji and support PIDF.
16d) Anote Tong Urges Continued Engagement With Fiji
Kiribati president shares Bainimarama’s opinion of PIF
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 7, 2013) – The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, says he chose to attend the inaugural meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) because it is important to maintain an engagement with Fiji.
The new body is being driven by Fiji’s interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who has accused the existing Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) of failing to represent regional interests.
Some Pacific leaders, notably Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, have declined to attend the gathering in Nadi because they say it’s designed to undermine the established organization.
But Mr. Tong says the new grouping can make an important contribution to regional relations.
He says he understands the sensitivities of the political situation in Fiji, which remains under military rule, but he personally believes engagement should be maintained at all times.
“Now I think it’s gathering more momentum and I’m very happy to see it culminating in this Pacific Islands Development Forum and involving a whole lot of other countries, including new countries that have not participated in the past.” Mr. Tong said.
Mr. Tong says those, including Commodore Bainimarama, who have accused the Pacific Islands Forum of being too exclusive, may have a point.
“In the Forum we are so shielded away from the rest of society, we’re a club of our own in retreat and away from the questions of journalists, demanding answers,” Mr. Tong said. “But I think as politicians we should always be accountable, not only at the national level, but also at the regional level.”
Samisoni Pareti who is in Nadi for Radio Australia says Fiji has offered to host the secretariat of the new organization in Suva.
He says Commodore Bainimarama has pledged that it will be very different from that of the Pacific Islands Forum, which has its headquarters in the same city.
Fiji’s military leader says it will operate on the basis of less is more, and more for less, and in another veiled attack on the established Pacific Islands Forum, he said the new secretariat won’t need expensive facilities and an army of overpaid officials.
Fiji is currently suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum.
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
17) Japanese PM orders help to stem flow of radioactive water into Pacific from Fukushima
Posted 8 August 2013, 7:41 AEST
Japan’s government will step in to manage the Fukushima clean-up after it was revealed that about 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water a day was leaking into the ocean.
Japan’s government will step in to manage the Fukushima clean-up after it was revealed about 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water a day was leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled nuclear plant.
Tatsuya Shinkawa, a director in the Nuclear Accident Response Office of Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry, says the government believes that the “highly” contaminated water has been leaking for more than two years.
However, he says, it is unclear how long the water has been leaking at the current rate.
Calling the leak an “urgent issue”, prime minister Shinzo Abe has ordered the government to step and help with the clean-up at the plant, located 220 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, which was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
In the weeks after the disaster, the government allowed the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), to dump tens of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific in an emergency move.
However, the escalation of the crisis raises the risk of an even longer and more expensive clean-up, already forecast to take more than 40 years and cost $11 billion.
The leak is known to be coming from the area between the crippled reactors and the ocean, where TEPCO has sought to block the flow of contaminated water by chemically hardening the soil.
However, it is not immediately clear how much of a threat the radioactive water poses.
TEPCO earlier this year found fish contaminated with high levels of radiation inside a port at the plant.
Audio: Tepco slammed over handling of leak (PM)
Tetsu Nozaki, the chairman of the Fukushima Fisheries Federation says he has only heard of the latest estimates of the magnitude of the seepage from media reports.
“If the water was indeed leaking out at 300 tonnes a day for more than two years, the radiation readings should be far worse,” Mr Nozaki said.
“Either way, we have asked TEPCO to stop leaking contaminated water into the ocean.”
Environmental group Greenpeace, noting that TEPCO “anxiously hid the leaks”, has urged Japan to seek international expertise.
“Greenpeace calls for the Japanese authorities to do all in their power to solve this situation, and that includes increased transparency … and getting international expertise in to help find solutions,” Dr Rianne Teule of Greenpeace International said in an emailed statement.
TEPCO fails to stem flow
The latest estimates on the size of the leak is an acknowledgement that TEPCO had yet to come to grips with the scale of the catastrophe.
Local fishermen and independent researchers have long suspected a leak of radioactive water, although TEPCO only recently admitted to it, more than two years after the worst nuclear accident since Russia’s 1986 Chernobyl incident.
TEPCO’s inability to stem the flow of contaminated water has earned it a rare rebuke from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority.
The company has also been criticised for its failure to prepare for the tsunami and earthquake, for a confused response to the disaster and for covering up shortcomings.
TEPCO pumps out about 400 tonnes a day of groundwater flowing from the hills above the nuclear plant into the basements of the destroyed buildings of the plant, which mixes with highly irradiated water used to cool the fuel that melted down in three reactors.
Engineers are trying to prevent groundwater from reaching the plant by building a “bypass”, but recent spikes of radioactive elements in sea water have prompted the utility to reverse denials and acknowledge that tainted water is reaching the sea.
18) Nauru Media Gagged On Refugee Resettlement Matters
Government: opposition’s concerns would confuse populace
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2013) – For the second time in two weeks, the Nauru state media has been stopped from covering opposition criticism of government policies – this time the conflicting reports on plans to house refugees on the island.
At the weekend, the Nauru president, Baron Waqa, signed an agreement with Australia’s Kevin Rudd tosettle refugees on the island.
The government says allowing the opposition to raise concerns about the deal would confuse the populace.
But the opposition’s Mathew Batsiua says since the announcement, confusion has reigned supreme and that’s entirely down to the government.
“That is because the government has had mixed messages, mixed responses to the public about exactly what the deal will entail, will involve. So we are as confused as everyone else and this [the opposition view] will not add to the confusion, this is trying to get answers from the government so everybody can be aware exactly what they have signed up to because, quite frankly, it looks like the government themselves don’t know what they have signed up to,” Batsiua said.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
19) Dengue Outbreak Straining Health Services In FSM
Authorities report 875 cases suspected, 132 confirmed
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2013) – The department of health in the Federated States of Micronesia says an outbreak of dengue fever in the state of Kosrae is straining health services.
The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak began last September when a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized with the mosquito-borne virus.
A spokesperson from the Kosrae Department of Health, Dr. Carolee Masao, says from September to the end of June, a total of 875 suspected cases have been recorded and from that figure, 132 people have tested positive.
She says doctors have been warned to look out for people with symptoms of dengue fever.
“It’s a matter of still continuing our surveillance and getting those people. But serious? It’s quite serious because it’s straining, because when we have a lot of cases, it really strains away our resources.”
Dr. Carolee Masao says the health department has also been raising awareness about the dengue virus and advising the public to destroy potential mosquito breeding grounds.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
20a) Solomons’ Students In Fiji Also Facing Allowance Issues
Student body president: ‘students have no money to survive on’
By Charley Piringi
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 7, 2013) – Solomon Islands Government-sponsored students studying at the Laucala’s University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji are threatening to boycott classes if their allowances are not settled immediately.
The students in a resolution passed early this week agreed to take the course of action if nothing is done by this week.
Samson Korai, the USP-based Solomon Islands students association (SISA) president confirmed the proposed move to the paper yesterday.
This comes a day after UPNG students issued a seven days ultimatum to the government.
In an interview with Mr. Korai, he described the situation as getting out of control.
“As a person responsible for the students here at Laucala campus I can rightfully say that the situation is beyond our control.
“We are without money to survive on; no food, no text books and some students are being forced out of their flats by landlords due to non-payment of their rental.
“These things really affected us both physically and academically. We want the government to take this seriously and step up to solve it as soon as possible.
“We cannot continue with this any longer, we want this to be resolve so that we can focus on our studies. We have met and came up with some resolutions to take if the government fails to pay up our allowances by this week.”
The president said the situation is getting worst each day.
On Monday the students have to share the little food they have as some of the students have gone without food.
“The only thing is to share the little foods we have, to keep us alive.
“Instead of struggling for our education, our situation here was different; we have to struggle for foods, what should be readily available.”
One of the students Whitlam Saeni acknowledged the wantok system helped the students to depend on each other and survive.
“Currently we are only depending on each other for survival.”
Reports from Suva yesterday said the students are in desperate situation.
A second year BSC student Nicholas Suava said, it is really difficult to attend class without any text book, especially science courses which required text and lab books for tutorial purposes.
Ronn Hobbes an arts student revealed that, attending of classes without or less balance food is so academically challenging.
He added that many students are currently skipping normal meals because of this financial constrained being faced.
“It is a really sad thing to attend class with an empty stomach,” Hobbes said.
About half of the Solomon Islands students who rent of campus are chased or demanded by their land lords to pay their overdue rental cost.
A third year student Jerad Ritoa said, some of us who are renting off campus are being treated shamefully from our land lords to pay our rental dues on time.
Explaining the situation yesterday permanent secretary (PS) of the ministry of education Dr. Fred Rohorua said the ministry has nothing to do with the issue and its delay.
He said the ministry has done its part by raising the payments already.
“Up to now, I have no updates on that as we have already raised the payments. Whatever comments from NTU is final.
“We are only waiting for the ministry of finance to inform us whether the payments were released or not.”
PS Rohorua also stated that one issue the country is facing is financial problems.
Permanent secretary of the ministry of finance Shadrach Fanega when contacted referred the Solomon Star to the Deputy Accountant General Marilyn Kodoleke.
But when contacted, Mrs. Kodoleke refused to comment, referring the Solomon Star back to Mr. Fanega.
When contacted again late yesterday reports from the ministry of finance said the PS was in a meeting with NTU officials to discuss the issue.
20b) Guam Parents Concerned With Tuberculosis Test Shortage
Territory reportedly has higher TB rates compared to rest of US
By Dance Aoki
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, August 8, 2013) – Hundreds of parents and children formed a line that stretched from the center court of the Micronesia Mall out the front doors for yesterday’s immunization outreach organized by Guam’s Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Among them was Aileen Meno, of Yigo, who brought four of her children to get their immunization shots updated. She, like other parents at yesterday’s outreach event, said she’s concerned that the shortage of tuberculosis (TB) screenings could mean one kid with TB slips through and causes an outbreak.
Two of her children will be attending Simon Sanchez High School. Last school year, there were at least three reported incidences of TB at the Yigo school. She said the government needs to figure out a solution that strengthens the safety net against an outbreak.
“The government should take care of it,” she said. “I know they can.”
The concern that the health of students, teachers and, in turn, the families they return to is jeopardized by the shortage of purified protein derivative, or PPD, solution used in tuberculin skin testing, was a common thread among parents and guardians interviewed yesterday.
It’s not entirely clear how the mix-up occurred — Public Health, General Services Agency (GSA) and the vendor contracted to deliver the solution have different explanations. What is clear is that the initial order for 200, 50-dosage vials of PPD never got to Public Health. GSA officials now are working with another vendor in the hopes of getting enough of the solution to meet the back-to-school rush.
Department of Education (DOE) Deputy Superintendent Robb Malay said the public schools are requiring only the students who are new to the school system to get tested for TB.
New students who aren’t tested for TB may be denied access to DOE schools.
However, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, D-Dededo, recently introduced Bill 164, which would authorize the governor to temporarily waive the requirement in law for increments of up to 90 days.
Cause for concern
Jana Mendiola, of Dededo, accompanied her niece to get an HPV immunization during the outreach.
Mendiola said her niece has tested negative for TB in previous screenings, but she was worried about children who needed to be tested but weren’t due to the shortage.
“If they don’t get the shots, we can’t determine if there will be an outbreak,” she said.
Mendiola also is a teacher at D.L. Perez Elementary School and said that, if there is an outbreak, teachers and staff would be affected along with the students.
“I think there needs to be a concentration on health, it needs to be addressed right,” she said.
Public Health officials have said that Guam has a high rate of tuberculosis compared to other U.S. territories or states. A World Health Organization report that looked at the estimated incidences of TB in different countries in 2008, 2009 and 2010, noted that Guam has 63 incidences for every 100,000 people. The United States has four incidences for the same population.
Lawrence Breton, of Dededo, said his son Xavier Cruz will be starting kindergarten at Liguan Elementary School this year. Yesterday, he received immunizations for chicken pox, tetanus, hepatitis A, polio and measles, but wasn’t screened for TB.
Breton said the government should be responsible for ensuring there are enough supplies to screen students.
“Every year we do this,” he said. “They should’ve known… They should be well-prepared.”
Pepper Wood, a father from Dededo, brought two of his kids to the mall to get immunized. He was very concerned that they wouldn’t be screened for TB.
“It’s a precaution for other students,” Wood said. “Not knowing if my child has it, it’s possible my whole family is affected.”
After getting their shots, he said he’d be taking the family to J.M. Guerrero Elementary School to find out where to get a TB test.
Malay said that parents with concerns about the law and the tuberculosis screenings should call their school.
“If you need to get a TB screening and you’re not sure where to go, call where you get your primary healthcare. See if they have it and how much it costs,” Malay advised.
Malay has said that the tests are available at private clinics, but about 1,900 of school system’s new students rely on Public Health’s free screenings because their families can’t afford it.
The costs of a PPD screening range from about $20 to $60 without insurance.
Express Care Health and Skin Center in the Agana Shopping Center currently is out of PPD tests, but they usually charge $25 for uninsured patients, according to clinic staff.
FHP Clinic in Tamuning charges uninsured patients $20 for a screening of tuberculosis once an appointment is scheduled, according to Joanne Guasque at the FHP medical appointment desk.
The Seventh-day Adventist Clinic in Tamuning charges $65 to uninsured patients for the initial screening and the reading of the test two days later, according to the immunization department at the clinic.
Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com
20c) PNG University Students Cry Foul Over Exclusion
Vice chancellor: exclusion not related to earlier student protests
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2013) – The acting vice chancellor at Papua New Guinea’s University of Goroka says media reports that up to 400 students have been excluded from the institution are wrong.
Student groups are claiming the students have been targeted because of their involvement in protests at the university earlier this year.
In April, students presented a 51-point ultimatum to the university that included demands the vice chancellor resign.
That has not happened, but the acting vice chancellor, Dr. James Yoko, says they are working through the other concerns with the students.
And he says claims the excluded students included the former protesters are wrong.
“There were 100 students who did not do well in the final assessment or the end of the semester one assessment, and the normal practice is that they are excluded for a semester or two semesters, depending on the number of fails that the students have received. So that information which was reported is inaccurate.”
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
21a) Deep sea mining to transform Cook Islands’ economy?
By Matai Akauola
3:22 pm GMT+12, 08/08/2013, Cook Islands
Deep sea mining has the potential to transform the economy of the Cook Islands, an official of the South Pacific country says.
A report in the British newspaper The Guardian Monday cites a geological survey by Imperial College marine geochemist David Cronan estimating the 772,204-square-mile exclusive economic zone of the Cook Islands contains 10 billion tons of manganese nodules rich in manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt and rare earth minerals typically used in electronics.
With a population of 14,000 and an annual per-capita income estimated by the United Nations at just $12,200, mining the minerals “has the potential to basically transform our economy hugely, significantly with just the value of the resources sitting on the sea floor,” Mark Brown, the Cook Islands’ finance minister, told The Guardian.
“We still have a jump to make the move from developing nation status to a developed nation status,” Brown said of the archipelago of 15 small islands between New Zealand and Hawaii.
“The seabed mining industry provides that potential for us.”
While mining is not likely to begin for five years, Brown said talks are under way with major mining companies and other nations regarding licensing deals, with the first tenders due to be granted before June 2014.
The Cook Islands would expect “stakes in (mining) companies for free” in return for their “rights to exploit our resources,” he said.
“We are here to meet the new players,” Brown said last week at the Deep Sea Mining Summit in London.
But environmentalists are concerned about the environmental risks of extracting the minerals.
Richard Page, an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace International, in a blog post at the start of the London summit, noted deep sea vents, aside from their mineral content, are also home to “unique communities of creatures” whose genetic properties could have medicinal applications.
“If seabed mining is allowed to go ahead without a comprehensive system of environmental protection in place we may be destroying species forever before they have even been scientifically described,” Page wrote.
The Cook Islands’ seabed minerals commissioner, however, argues environmental precautions have been taken to preserve its pristine beaches.
“The good, clean, green beaches are not something we want to harm just for the sake of mineral wealth,” Commissioner Paul Lynch told The Guardian, noting his country has “the only legislation in the world dedicated to deep water minerals.”
The legislation is aimed at protecting the environment and would turn half of the Cook Islands’ waters into a marine park, Lynch said.
SOURCE: UPI/ PACNEWS
21b) Fiji Recognized For Improvements To IT Sector
Island nation ranked 88 out of 150 by international forum
By Repeka Nasiko
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 7, 2013) – Fiji has been recognized as making the third largest improvement in information and communications technology (ICT) in a rating of 150 countries in the world.
This was revealed by Attorney-General and Minister for Telecommunications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while opening the 6th Asia Pacific Telecommunity Policy and Regulation Forum for the Pacific in Nadi yesterday.
“Fiji’s performance in delivering ICT services and infrastructure to its citizens has been ranked amongst the world’s most dynamic by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU),” he said.
“In the ITU’s annual review of the delivery of ICT infrastructure and services to the populations of more than 150 countries, Fiji was given special recognition. Fiji tied for the third largest improvement of any country, moving up five places to 88th.”
He said the ITU attributed Fiji’s high ranking to strong growth in mobile broadband penetration, extension of 3G coverage, the development of Fiji’s and the Pacific’s first national broadband plan.
He added the recognition was also a result of Fiji’s commitment to making internet access affordable and the expansion of e-Government services.
“We have liberalized the telecommunications market and introduced actual competition in Fiji for the first time.
“This has driven up access to mobile services and made mobile connectivity affordable.”
He said mobile coverage including 3G now extends to 95 per cent of the country.
Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
22) Female cop bashed by hubby
By JOHNNY POIYA
AN international award winning female police officer and mother of five was bashed up by her policeman husband last week in Mt Hagen.
While the police force is taking a strong stand against wife bashing, rouge officers and brutality, Sergeant Susan Mondiai, the younger sister of Momase Divisional Police Commander Nema Mondiai, received serious facial wounds, allegedly for the third time she has been hit on her face by her husband, who is also a senior police officer.
Segeant Mondia who is in charge of the Community Policing section claimed that in 2001, her husband broke her hand, and the same hand was broken again while it was still in the healing process.
In 2006, she said an assault left her with a deep cut on the forehead – the imprints of the stiches are still visible.
Mondiai received a prestigous Asia Pacific award in Excellence in Policing in 2010 from the Australian Council of Women and Policing after beating 200 other nominees.
Her award presentation hit the front page of the Australian Magazine ‘Women and Policing’ in 2011.
“I have been vocal on domestic violence in the media and in public gatherings, advising victims. I’ve forgiven him for too long. Now I have to stand on my teachings,” the officer said.
“My father was a police officer with the rank of Sergeant; my big brother is the ACP Mamose; and my younger brother is a constable in Goroka. My family has a heart to enforce law and order and look after our people,” the officer who hails from Water Bung in Daulo, Eastern Highlands province, said.
Mondiai said the recent assault occurred following an argument over some family matters and misunderstandings.
An angry Provincial Police Commander Martin Lakari yesterday arrested and charged Inspector Jacob Kamiak for assault.
Superintendent Lakari said: “There is a zero tolerance in place for police officers to assault their wives or anybody for that matter. They are not above the law. Kamiak is a senior officer and it’s a disgrace to the police department.”
The victim’s brother Nema Mondiai on Tuesday warned all policemen in the Momase area that abuse of authority and brutality would not be tolerated.http://www.
23a) NZ’s Key says his Govt would consider taking refugees from Manus
By Matai Akauola
3:19 pm GMT+12, 08/08/2013, New Zealand
New Zealand’s Prime Minister says his country would consider taking refugees processed through Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, but only as part of its United Nations quota.
Australia has an agreement with Papua New Guinea to send any asylum seekers to the Manus Island detention centre.
If found to be genuine, the refugees will be settled in PNG or another country but not in Australia, as part of the federal government’s policy to deter boat people.
During a visit by PNG’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, John Key was asked whether New Zealand would consider taking any refugees.
Key said that would be possible, but they would be included in this country’s UN quota rather than the 150 refugees New Zealand already has agreed to take from Australia.
“Of the 600, technically speaking, if the UN came along and said, we’ve got some people here and we want to recommend them to New Zealand, like they came out of Sudan or anywhere else, technically they could be part of that 600, said Prime Minister Key.
SOURCE: RNZI/ PACNEWS
23b) Indonesian Asylum Seekers Allegedly Reconsidering Australia
Tony Burke: new immigration policies deterring asylum seekers
By Emma Griffiths
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 7, 2013) – Asylum seekers in Indonesia are changing their minds about taking the risky trip to Australia and asking people smugglers for their money back, according to Australian Immigration Minister Tony Burke.
Mr. Burke says the fresh intelligence information is proof that Labor’s new offshore resettlement policy for asylum seekers is working.
“We have widespread examples on the ground, in Indonesia, of people asking for their money back from people smugglers,” he said. “There is no doubt that the message is getting through.”
Under the Australian Government’s new policy, announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd nearly three weeks ago, asylum seekers who arrive by boat will be processed in Papua New Guinea and resettled there if found to be refugees.
A similar arrangement has since been struck with Nauru.
Mr. Burke says the policy is already deterring some asylum seekers, but could not say exactly how many had decided not to go ahead with the journey.
“For everything that’s been attempted in the past, with people smugglers, it’s become clear that the only way to affect them is to take their product away and to take their customers away,” he said.
“The regional resettlement arrangements take the product away from people smugglers and the information getting out shows that now we’re at the beginnings of their customers being taken away from them as well.”
‘Significant number’ of asylum seekers applying to return home: Burke
Mr. Burke said a “significant number” of asylum seekers who had already been transferred to PNG’s Manus Island processing centre are applying to return to their home countries.
“We now have a significant number of the people who have been transferred to Manus Island in meetings with the International Organization for Migration, the IOM, organizing their transfers back home,” he said.
“In each of the instances of those interviews so far they have been people who do not have papers with them so those returns won’t be able to be immediate but they are a very significant number of people now who are having those meetings with the IOM to organize their return back home.”
The Immigration Minister has just returned from PNG where the agreement over offshore settlement was finalized yesterday.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the agreement will not prevent asylum seekers being returned to Australia.
“You will not find any bar on sending anyone back to Australia,” he said.
“In particular, you will not find anything in there regarding those found not to be refugees in terms of any restriction of them being sent back to Australia. There is no such restriction.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
23c) PNG To Devise Laws To Enable Refugee Resettlement
Foreign minister says new visa class will ensure recognition
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 7, 2013) – Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister says his government intends to pass legislation setting up a new visa class so refugees can live in the country.
Both PNG and Nauru have recently signed agreements with the Federal Government, which will seerefugees who come by boat to Australia resettled in the Pacific nations.
The Opposition has ridiculed the Nauru deal because it has emerged the island nation does not have a permanent residency visa class.
Furthermore, the MP representing Manus Island, Ronnie Knight, last month predicted no refugees would be resettled in PNG because of its strict citizenship rules.
But PNG’s foreign minister, Rimbink Pato, says the deal his country has struck will involve legislation ensuring refugees can live there.
“Once they are determined under PNG law that they are genuine refugees then there will be legislation passed, which will ensure that they are recognized or they’re given a different class of visa under our law,” he said.
“So I can say to you that the process and the terms are well and truly working.”
The PNG government has signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Australia formalizing the deal to send all asylum seekers to Manus Island.
Australian Immigration Minister Tony Burke was in Port Moresby to witness Mr. Pato sign the document late yesterday afternoon.
Mr. Burke says there can be no doubt about the desire of both country’s to tackle people smuggling.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has expressed concern over Papua New Guinea’s laws prohibiting homosexuality.
Homosexual asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat will be resettled in PNG despite facing prison under local laws.
Senator Carr says the laws conflict with contemporary Australian values.
“I am concerned about… what we see as a grotesquely outdated, legal position applying in PNG,” he said.
“I understand – and I know this is little comfort – but there have been few if any charges laid or persecutions made under laws prohibiting homosexual activity in PNG.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT:
24) Reggae-loving parrot joins Vanuatu’s climate change fight
Posted 8 August 2013, 11:54 AEST
A reggae-obsessed parrot has been enlisted to help raise awareness of climate change in Vanuatu.
Cloud Nasara is an animation project designed to raise awareness of the science and impacts of El Niño and La Niña in Vanuatu.
It tells the story of a cloud meeting place above the Pacific, and its interactions with a small island village.
Philip Malsale from the climate change team at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geoscience Department has told Pacific Beat the animation bridges the gap between scientists and non-scientists.
“The main aim of the animation project is to fill this gap and bring stronger linkage between climate science…and thereby enhance preparedness, adaptation and the actions vitals at the community level,” he said.
“Basically that’s the main aim of the animation – to bridge the gap between climate science and what actions communities should take.”
The video is available in Bislama, English and French, with the English version voiced by former Vanuatu prime minister Edward Natapei.
Mr Malsale says it follows another animation, featuring a crab, which was designed as an education tool for the whole Pacific.
“We believe that with this kind of tool, where people can see what’s happening…people can relate themselves to what’s really happening in the science and what’s happening that affects their living,” he said.
“There’s quite some interest from other Pacific Island countries where they want these to be translated into their own language…so probably in the future there will be more animations like this to help people understand better climate change in the Pacific Island countries.”http://www.
25) 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