Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 848

 

MELANESIA:

1) ‘Freedom flotilla’ will sail to West Papua

BY:JOEL MAGAREY
From:The Australian
August 15, 2013 12:00AM

AUSTRALIAN and West Papuan activists are set to sail to the disputed Indonesian territory of West Papua without permission.

The “peace mission” has united Aboriginal and Papuan activists in support of the West Papuan independence struggle and will see 15 sailors leave on Saturday in a “freedom flotilla” of two yachts headed for the town of Merauke.

Entry into Indonesian waters by the sailors without permission could lead to their arrest.

Although the sailors say they are still “communicating with Jakarta” in an attempt to get permission, they have been denied visas and permits by Indonesian consulates in Australia and some say they are prepared to “go all the way”.

They will be carrying “original nation passports” issued by Aboriginal supporters, with stamps issued by a Melbourne representative of the Federated Republic of West Papua, which regards itself as a government in exile.

Adding to the international sensitivity of the flotilla, at least one of the crew members, Amos Wainggai, is one of about 40 West Papuan refugees who arrived by canoe in Australia in 2006 and whose protection by Australia caused a row with Indonesia.

The flotilla plan grew out the identification by West Papuan refugees and Arabunna Aboriginal elder “Uncle” Kevin Buzzacott of “dreamtime stories that travel down from the north and go back up to the north”.

“We didn’t know about the trauma that was (being done) to them by the Indonesians,” Mr Buzzacott said from Cairns yesterday. “We have a responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters from across the water.”

Mr Buzzacott left his country of origin, Lake Eyre, in late July with a convoy of West Papuan and other activists, bringing “ceremonial water” to hand to West Papuan elders.

Flotilla spokeswoman Izzy Brown agreed the sailors were concerned about the possible response of Indonesian authorities.

She said the mission was peaceful and while safe passage had been requested, if it were not provided some sailors would “go all the way”.

West Papua was claimed by Indonesia after a UN-brokered “act of free choice” in 1969 widely considered to have been stage-managed by the Indonesian military.

The Indonesian embassy did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

2) New York Agreement a reminder of Papuans’ plight

Posted at 06:45 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

A member of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says that the 51st anniversary of the New York Agreement is a timely reminder that the international community has an obligation to address the issue of West Papua.

Across Indonesia’s Papua region, peaceful actions have been planned to protest against the signing of the New York Agreement on this day in 1962.

Under the US-brokered agreement, the former colony of Dutch New Guinea was effectively ceded to Indonesian control without consultations with West Papuans themselves.

The Coalition’s Paula Makabory says the recent move by the Melanesian Spearhead Group to seek action on the West Papuan self-determination issue hasn’t yet been followed by other Pacific countries.

“Including New Zealand and Australia because they all knew there is something wrong about the political history of West Papua. Referendum or review of Act of Free Choice or whatever you call it, the West Papuans still wait for the right things to be done in the right time with the right people.”

Paula Makabory of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation

Radio New Zealand International

3) Concerns for police response to banned planned West Papua demos

Posted at 06:34 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

There are concerns that planned demonstrations and cultural parades will go ahead in West Papua today despite a ban by Indonesian police.

In several towns and centres across Indonesia’s Papua region, peaceful protests are planned to protest against the signing of the New York Agreement on this day in 1962.

Under the agreement, the former Dutch New Guinea was effectively ceded to Indonesian control.

Demonstrations are also planned to show support for the opening of the Free West Papua Campaign office in the Netherlands.

However in some towns including Fak Fak, police have arrested West Papuans preparing for their cultural parades or demonstrations.

Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association says the arrests raise great concern that the security forces will use unnecessary force to crack down on peaceful parades.

Radio New Zealand International

4) PNG’s Tomscoll quits his party

Posted at 00:09 on 16 August, 2013 UTC

The Papua News Guinea agriculture and livestock minister Tommy Tomscoll has resigned as member of the People’s Democratic Movement Party.

Mr Tomscoll will be the first minister to resign from a party in the government coalition to join another coalition partner.

Sources close to the minister say he is likely to join the prime minister’s People’s National Congress Party.

The minister and member for Middle Ramu told the party secretary in a letter that he had given the matter long and careful consideration.

He was first elected to parliament under the People’s Democratic Movement banner in 1997.

Radio New Zealand International

5) PNG MP miffed about type of search by Australian immigration

Posted at 06:44 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

A Papua New Guinea MP claims he was searched and had his wallet and mobile phone confiscated by Australian immigration officials in Sydney last week.

The newspaper, The National, reports the MP, who asked not to be identified, as saying Australian Immigration authorities later connected the mobile phone to a computer.

He says he believes it was done to monitor his calls.

The MP says the search and confiscation happened after customs had identified him as a Papua New Guinea MP.

He says PNG should mete out the same treatment to Australians entering PNG.

Radio New Zealand International

6a) Rabaul Queen probe delay torments PNG families

Posted at 00:09 on 16 August, 2013 UTC

A women’s leader in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, Therese Jaintong, says the families of the victims in the Rabaul Queen disaster are going through agony as a result of the sinking and want to see the rule of law applied.

The ferry sank in February last year, claiming at least 141 lives, many of them from Bougainville.

Last year’s commission of inquiry found that the vessel was in an appalling state and its operator, Peter Sharp, was willing to compromise the safety of his passengers.

A police inquiry was belatedly launched and police said last March they were close to completing it, but there has been no word since.

Ms Jaintong says people want to see action taken.

“I am speaking on behalf of the women of Bougainville and the parents and the victims that they have gone through , and even my own relatives, my brother’s daughter, and we are all mourning. I can’t wait to see the outcome and see someone like Mr Sharp to justice. Justice is very important – it has to be taken care of by the law enforcement organisations.”

A women’s leader in the PNG province of Bougainville, Therese Jaintong

Radio New Zealand International

6b)Vanuatu daily news digest | 15 August 2013

by bobmakin

Nagriamel’s Jeff Joel Patunvanu continues to spearhead the opposition to issuing a promissory note for the airport concession agreement for 50 years to the Singapore company Vanuatu Trade Development Private Limited set up by executive director David Mak and general manager Eric Ong. “Nagriamel is urging the government to provide details of the agreement to the public, civil society and Members of Parliament both in Government and Opposition to read – and must understand the consequences of their votes in Parliament,” Patunvanu tells Daily Post today. He continued “the livelihood of the State is in their hands.” The project for a jumbo jet airport at Rentabau / Erouiti has never been the subject of public consultation. The first warnings came from the private media and MP Willie Jimmy and resulted in a press and public meeting a week ago after agreement with the foreign businessmen had been reached. This press conference was the only time the public and custom owners received any official notification of the Government’s far-reaching airport plan with privately found foreign investors which by-passes the normal tenders process. The chairman of the task force which set up the deal, Benjamin Shing, is quoted by Radio Vanuatu News as saying Vanuatu Trade Development Limited (not Vanuatu Trade Development Private Limited, prompting one to ask what is the difference between the two companies) has agreed to run the “additional business” inside the new international airport as a joint venture with the custom land owners and people of Vanuatu. Shing was said by VBTC to be clarifying the agreement. After the concession period of 50 years the airport would be managed by ni-Vanuatu again. Bauerfield is presently managed by ni-Vanuatu. Full details of this highly constructed enterprise just have to be made available to the stake-holders, the people of Vanuatu, by the government which claims it is committed to transparency.

Government would seem to have rewarded Benjamin Shing of the previous story, who is also the head of the Aid Coordination and Negotiation Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office, with board membership of the Reserve Bank. He replaces Tom Bayer, whom previous Justice Minister Salwai told Daily Post has a conflict of interest owing to his directorship of the European Investment Bank.

The members of the Fishermen’s Association are expecting to receive their entitlements under their various contracts which have not been honoured going back to Condominium times and the South Pacific Fishing Company. They have been assured by the task force set up at the end of June that there will be a billion vatu in the trust account for the purpose by the end of the year, says Daily Post. The three groups involved are now fully united in their pursuit of their entitlements.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank have made clear that Vanuatu’s placement as a country engaged in business has fallen in East Asia and the Pacific. Vanuatu fell from 78th to 80th place in the 185 countries of the world this year, VBTC News reports. As for starting a business here, we rank 116th now, having dropped from 112th. We have also dropped as regards property registration, investor protection, contract enforcement and under just about every other category. It is hard to see why the government is going out of its way to bring in Asian investors who do not have the time for a stop-over in Australia.

The Ombudsman has recommended a Vanuatu commitment to a worker’s compensation code that would enable payment to civil servants who are seriously injured on the job. This follows the case of one public servant who has never worked again after an accident on Pentecost in 1986. It was a vehicle accident which caused his disability which required a medical evacuation and then his early retirement, but there was no compensation paid. The Ombudsman has recommended that the Public Service Commission as a good employer look into the matter of finding an appropriate compensation scheme for work-place injury or accident.

The business sector concerned with accommodation in Australia will soon be opened for a trial period to workers in the hospitality industry from Vanuatu. Similar to the seasonal workers’ fruit picking scheme, this scheme will let hotel workers hold employment in the accommodation industry for limited periods. The Australian Minister of Tourism, Gary Grey, told Vanuatu Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat of the good background the Vanuatu hospitality industry is reputed to have in Australia. The trial will take place in Western Australia.

Port Vila Municipality is requiring written council permission for the construction of houses. Freswota 4 area is of greatest concern and is a designated physical planning area.

The Chamber of Commerce is hosting the micro-finance trade show on the Seafront which starts today and runs for three days.

Enjoy the public holiday and good weather.

7) Fiji police to restrict opening hours of internet cafes

Posted at 00:09 on 16 August, 2013 UTC

The Fiji Police have moved to restrict the opening hours of internet cafes in the capital, Suva.

The Divisional Manager policing, Inspector Sanaila Biau, says action was taken after they received complaints about an increase in the number of youths and children flocking to the city to use the internet.

Inspector Biau says police are now working together with the Suva city council and town councils across the country to make internet cafes close at 9pm.

“Police are on the streets and we are entering all internet cafes and we must ensure all children are at school and not at the internet cafe.”

Inspector Sanaila Biau says the number of children in internet cafes has decreased.

He says a warning has also been issued for internet shop owners to adhere to provisions of their licenses and to operate within the allocated hours.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Fiji Labour leader dismissive of AG’s election talk

Posted at 06:44 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

The Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry says recent statements in the media by the attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, on fair elections are pointless as he is not part of a democratically elected government.

Mr Chaudhry says ruling at gun point has deprived the people of their rights.

He says the prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s decision to defer the elections promised for 2009 has made the regime very unpopular.

Mr Chaudhry says it is time to move Fiji towards a new constitutional election, which he says can only be possible if the regime stands aside for a caretaker government, which the people of Fiji can trust.

“They have been ruling at gunpoint, there is no democracy, people are deprived of their rights, human right, trade union right, political and stable rights, what is Mr Khaiyum talking about, they behave as if they are a democratically elected government. They are not.”

The Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

Radio New Zealand International

9) Former Nationals Applying For Citizenship, Returning To Fiji
Past citizens look to capitalize on investment, business opportunities

By Losalini Rasoqosoqo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, August 14, 2013) – More than 3,400 Fijians living abroad have applied for citizenship, the Fiji Immigration Department has confirmed.

These include former Fijian citizens who left the country after the 1987 and 2000 coups.

Applications have been received by the Immigration Department from 2009, since Government enacted the Dual/Multiple Citizenship Decree 23, 2009 on April 10.

Director Immigration Major Nemani Vuniwaqa told the Fiji Sun that a total of 3,461 applications from 2009 until June 30 have been approved after processing.

He said more are coming back to the country for investment and business purposes.

This is one of the reasons, he said, the Department was going to cut down the processing period.

“We want to create a safe business environment to attract investment which is the reason why we want to reduce the processing period,” Major Vuniwaqa said.

“All these former citizens applying for dual and multiple citizenship bring in revenue to the country which is a boost to the economy.”

The processing period usually takes six months but they have decreased it to three months.

Major Vuniwaqa said it would be further decreased to one month in the near future.

“More are complaining that the processing period is too long and once it is prolonged, it will keep them away from investing in Fiji,” he said.

“Once all the required documents are submitted, then processing will be fast. In doing that, it will regain the confidence of investors especially those of former citizens.”

Meanwhile, less application were received in 2011. Major Vuniwaqa attributed the lack of passports as the reason behind it.

FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/

10) Culture support

Torika Tokalau
Thursday, August 15, 2013

FIJI and China have strengthened their bilateral relations through cultural relations with an MOU signing on Monday.

On his inaugural visit to Fiji, the People’s Republic of China’s Minister for Culture Cai Wu met with his Fijian counterpart Filipe Bole in cementing the friendship between China and Fiji.

“The MOU is the framework with which we will operate for our cultural interaction between the two countries,” Mr Bole said.

“There are a lot of items in that MOU certainly sufficient enough to keep us busy. The whole idea behind the MOU is for cultural interaction for future.

“It is something that we hope to follow very quickly to try and get some of the actions that are envisaged in the MOU to be done.”

Mr Cai pledged to provide assistance to the Department of National Heritage, Culture and Arts in purchasing cultural equipment worth close to $1m.

“In the field of culture, we have done a lot of work in the past and I see a lot of potential in the future.

“China has always regarded Fiji as our best friend, best partner and brother among all the Pacific Island countries,” Mr Cai said.

“On the foundation of our bilateral friendship and goodwill relations, we will enhance our cultural connections and interactions in the future.

“Though China and Fiji have different national situations, we both boast cultural diversity. We treasure our precious traditions and culture.”

Mr Cai said Fiji and China had the common wish to preserve their cultural uniqueness, as well as protect their sovereignty and independence.

He was hopeful that Fijian and Chinese artists would have more opportunities to showcase their brilliant cultures in the two countries.

“We have also talked about establishing cultural centres in China and Fiji in the near future.

“We also have a lot of potential in the co-operation in the public cultural service centres for instance, the libraries and museums.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

POLYNESIA:

11) Social problems in Samoa target of new church and media project

Posted at 03:39 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

The Seventh Day Adventist church in Samoa has launched a new project to counter social problems, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, suicide, drug use, and teenage pregnancy.

The church’s development and relief agency programme aims to use local media to that end with a project called Open the Door.

Its director, Su’a Julia Wallwork, says there are communication barriers between Samoan parents and their children.

The director was reminded of cultural practices where most parents in rural villages often don’t want to talk about social issues with their children, especially not about sex abuse.

But Su’a says she hopes there will be a way to solve it to create a better understanding within the home.

The project promotes positive attitudes and behaviour within families.

Radio New Zealand International

12) Polynesian Leaders’ Group to meet in New Zealand
By Online Editor
6:56 pm GMT+12, 15/08/2013, New Zealand

Leaders of Polynesian countries under the banner of the Polynesian Leaders’ Group (PLG) will meet in Auckland, New Zealand on 30 August for their third annual get together..

The meeting precedes the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum Meeting in Majuro on September 3-6 September 2013.

Since its inception, the Leaders have met twice, hosted by Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in 2011 and Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna in Rarotonga last year.

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna, who is also Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum, will host the third Polynesian Leaders’ Group Meeting in Auckland, facilitated by the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Polynesian Leaders Group is an international governmental cooperation group bringing together independent or self-governing territories in Polynesia and through this Group collectively seeks ways to safeguard the future of Polynesian people, cultures, traditions and that these values and are honored and protected.

The PLG Meetings has provided a platform for dialogue and cooperation on regional issues of sustainable economic prosperity, observation of democratic values and independence to working together in the wide ranges of fields from education, transport, trade and investment to environmental conservation and climate change mitigation for the Polynesian states.

The third meeting will continue to discuss ways in which the member states can strengthen the PLG – particularly it holds a lot of promise in developing cooperative relations to each member states benefit as Polynesians – both bilaterally and sub-regionally.

PLG comprises of the eight founding members – Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa, French Polynesia and Tokelau.

The third PLG is expected to revive the Polynesian pride and heritage in the New Zealand Maori communities of Maori Iwi and the Office of the Hawaiian Affairs to engage their representatives in this year’s meeting.

Tonga will be represented by Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano, who will lead a delegation consisting of senior officials from Government.

All leaders attending the third Polynesian Leaders Group will travel together to Majuro, Marshall Islands on a chartered flight courtesy of the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key.

SOURCE: MIC/PACNEWS

13) Tonga’s High-Speed Internet Goes Live Next Week
Fibre optic cable designed to handle 320 megabits per second

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 14, 2013) – Tonga’s high speed internet goes live on Wednesday, August 21, with the commissioning by King Tupou VI of the project at the Tonga Cable Ltd. station in Sopu.

Demonstrating the spectacular speed directly off the new fibre optic cable today, Robert Bolouri the Managing Director of Tonga Cable, said that the Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) was the only internet service provider that had signed up for the fibre optic cable at the moment.

Robert said that the fibre optic cable is a major leap forward for Tonga.

“We have about 620 megabits per second available right now to sell and only a portion of that is sold to TCC. There is room for immediate expansion and the cable itself is designed for 320 gigabits per second, but we are only using and have lit 10 gigabits right now, because that is a huge amount and more than sufficient for our needs in Tonga,” he said.

“This is the speed you are going to get from here but what speed are customers going to get at the other end depends on the service providers and the amount of capacity that they subscribe to, it’s up them.

“We have a huge amount of capacity available and I don’t know what packages TCC will offer but it will give customers close to the similar connection speed we have here.”

He hoped Tonga’s other commercial internet provider Digicel would come around, as they had not signed the agreement. There are only four to five licensed internet providers in Tonga, he said.

The system has already been tested through TCC’s service before rollout of the commercial service next week.

“Tonga Cable took over the cable system from the contractor on 31 July 2013 and we are now managing and controlling it and so far there has been no problem. The system has become very stable and is running well,” he said.

The fibre optic cable will connect Tonga’s internet traffic to Fiji and onward to a hub in Sydney at Equinix data centre.

Robert said the high speed internet will definitely create jobs and provide better access for the tourism sector, for example, in online bookings. “Everybody will benefit and we will have lot of benefits economically,” he said.

Price control

He said with pricing, Tonga Cable must get approval from the Minister of Communication. At the start of its operation Tonga Cable Ltd. will be running at a loss.

“Increasing the demand for the high speed internet in Tonga is critical to Tonga Cable’s success and we are actually banking on it. We are offering an initial price below our costs but we hope that by offering lower price to service providers they will provide it at a lower price to users, which will hopefully result in further penetration of the internet and the demand will grow,” he said.

The project, which finished one day ahead of schedule on July 30, cost a total of around US$25 million.

He said the initial budget was US$32 million, with $6.6 million committed by TCC and $26.4 million provided by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

“Overall, the project has gone very smoothly and nicely done and we hope the public makes use of it and we hope the service providers provide the service that the public expects,” he said.

The Tonga Cable building was constructed with solid concrete to withstand tropical storms. The equipment is stored on the top floor in case of flooding and sealed in a temperature controlled room with a back-up generator in case of power failure. The system is constantly monitored in a separate room by TCL.

Tonga Cable Ltd. became a Public Enterprise on 10 May 2013, with TCC holding close to 20 percent and 80 percent by Government.

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

AUSTRALIA:

14) South Sea Islanders Remember 150 Years Of ‘Blackbirding’
Australia allegedly owes millions to islanders’ descendents

By Catherine Graue

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 14, 2013) – Calls have been made for the Australian and Queensland Governments to officially apologise to the descendants of South Sea Islanders who were victims of the ‘blackbirding’ trade that brought them to Australia to work on plantations in the late 19th Century.

The calls come as various events are being held to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship in Queensland on August 14, 1863.

The descendents of some of those who were ‘blackbirded’ took part in a re-enactment at Ormiston House, which is part of a former bay-side plantation that is the birthplace of sugar in Queensland.

The first ship, the Don Juan, arrived in Moreton Bay with 64 young men from islands in Vanuatu who had been brought to work on cotton plantations.

An Australian South Sea Islander, Colin Terare, says events such as the re-enactment are an important way to remind Australians of their history.

“The majority of Australians I don’t think are aware that there was slavery here,” Mr. Terare said.

“My great grandfather was not asked politely. He was stolen. I’ve actually been to the very spot where he’s been stolen from.”

Second-class citizens

Clive Moore, professor of Pacific and Australian History at the University of Queensland, says that while some indentured workers came willingly, others were blackbirded.

“Historians would say that probably 10 to 15 percent would fit into the category of being totally illegally brought to Australia,” he said.

“But there’s undoubtedly coercion, kidnapping (and) violence involved, the percentage of it you can debate.”

Professor Moore says that some 30 percent of those brought to Australia later died because they lacked immunity to many of the diseases common to the European community, while those that survived were treated as second-class citizens.

“There was no other immigrant group brought to Australia that was partially kidnapped, that died in such large numbers, and then was treated in a racially inferior way,” he said.

Professor Moore points to recent evidence he has found that shows the Queensland and Commonwealth governments owe the families of blackbirded Pacific islanders close to $38 million, mostly from deceased estates.

Descendants believe that morally and politically the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth has to make some restitution for stolen wages of deceased islanders, and many of the 40,000 South Sea Islanders living in Australia are also pushing for a formal apology for their ancestors’ treatment.

Vanuatu’s prime minister, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, has also called for an apology but stopped short of calling for compensation.

The Vanuatu lands minister, Ralph Regenvanu, says compensation is unnecessary, but they are pushing for the Australian Government to make it easier for its citizens to once again work in Australia under the Pacific Workers Scheme.

“We’re not talking about compensation, we’re talking about allowing people to work in Australia and right a wrong from history,” he said.

“It would be away to reconnect families that have been broken, it would facilitate a cultural exchange.

“And at the same time, it would help bridge a gap of disadvantage in terms of Vanuatu’s development.”

Blackbirding education

In Vanuatu, the 150th anniversary has sparked interest especially among young people, many of whom are only now discovering what their forbears endured.

Critics blame their lack of knowledge on a failure to prioritise the event in the national school curriculum.

But the Vanuatu Government is now putting the dark chapter of the country’s history back on the education agenda.

Charley Robert, Vanuatu’s principal education officer, says they are currently undertaking a massive overhaul of the national school curriculum which, more than 30 years after gaining independence, is still heavily influenced by its former colonial masters England and France.

“The curriculum reform is now entirely home grown,” he said.

“All of the concepts and all of philosophies, for any of subjects, must originate from our country.

“It’s a way of respecting our principals, our sovereignty and our independence.”

The new syllabus is still in its draft stage, but there are high hopes it can start being rolled out in 2015.

Local history will play an important part, but so too will the Creole language, Bislama, which came about as a result of the blackbirding trade.

“The white men were speaking English but our ancestors, especially those working on the farms, couldn’t understand it,” Chief David Fadanumata from the Vanuatu Indigenous Descendents Association explained.

It then spread throughout the Pacific as islanders were forcibly deported under Australia’s White Policy in the early 20th Century.

Despite being one of Vanuatu’s three official languages, Bislama has been banned from the country’s classrooms.

But in a major policy shift, and a pointed acknowledgement of its significance in the country’s make-up today, Vanuatu now wants schools promoting the language, especially in special ‘custom classes.’

“It would be introduced in the context that’s suitable for the activity,” Mr. Robert said.

“Like carving the canoe… or weaving the mat or a bag, (that) will be conducted in mother tongue.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

15 August 2013

NSW Parliament Recognises Australia’s History of Slavery

Today the NSW Legislative Assembly supported a motion put forward by Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney recognising Australia’s past inhumane treatment of Australian South Sea Islanders and requesting action to remove disadvantage for descendants.

“The plight of the Pacific Islanders on indenture contracts is not well known in the community. It is a shameful part of our history that needs to be publicly acknowledged with government action to reduce disadvantage among descendants,” Mr Greenwich said.

“Most people don’t know that Australia has a history of slavery, which began 150 years ago and involved the blackbirding of 50,000 people from Pacific Islands to work on sugar cane fields in Queensland on 62,000 indenture contracts.

“Islanders were kidnapped, coerced and subject to contracts they could not have understood and that were designed to keep them in servitude,” Mr Greenwich said.

“Arriving here their lack of immunity to common diseases meant many died, resulting in massive mortality rates – exceptionally higher than their European counterparts.

“Although 74 out of 1,000 Pacific Islanders died in the prime of their life – compared to 9 to 10 in 1,000 for their European counterparts – Australian governments shamefully continued the program for over 40 years,” Mr Greenwich said.

“When the White Australia Policy was introduced, Pacific Islanders were forced to leave the country despite building families and communities and sometimes not knowing where they came from. The policy legitimised already widespread racism and prejudice against Islanders,” Mr Greenwich said.

“Australian South Sea Islander Recognition Day is on 25 August and Parliament used the opportunity to reflect on the past and talk about moving forward for the 40,000 descendants living in Australia, whose social and economic disadvantage is equivalent to Aboriginal Australians,” Mr Greenwich said.

“While being defined as a distinct disadvantaged ethnic group, there are no specific programs and services for Australian South Sea Islanders nor are there official figures on how many descendants there are in Australia.

“Debate was thoughtful, sensitive and informed and has strong symbolic importance to Australian South Sea Islanders,” Mr Greenwich said.

“In the lead-up to debate, I welcome the Minister’s commitment to work with the national representative body for Australian South Sea Islanders and I hope the motion will help build community esteem and a positive future,” Mr Greenwich concluded.

The national body for Australian South Sea Islanders has thanked Alex Greenwich MP and all members of Parliament who supported the motion for what was a historic moment for the 40,000 plus Australian South Sea Islanders descendants.

For further information contact Alex Greenwich MP on 93603053 and  Emelda Davis, President of the national body for Australian South Sea Islanders 0416 300 946 (Media Marie Geissler 0416 285 727).

Below: Member of the South Sea Islanders community with Mr Greenwich, Linda Burney, and Guy Zangari

http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/16) Ceremony for unmarked graves of South Sea Islanders.Listen to program:
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3826927.htmJohn Taylor reported this story on Friday, August 16, 2013 08:20:00

ALTERNATE WMA VERSION | MP3 DOWNLOAD

TONY EASTLEY: This afternoon outside the Queensland sugar city of
Bundaberg, a very special ceremony will be held at more than two dozen
unmarked graves.

They’re the resting places of South Sea Islanders brought, tricked or
simply kidnapped to Queensland in a cheap labour program that began
150 years ago.

Many of the men, women and children who arrived in Queensland were
treated like slaves and when they died, they were simply forgotten.
However on Sunnyside Plantation today they will be remembered, as John
Taylor reports.

JOHN TAYLOR: There are no obvious signs apart from a couple of markers
that what I’m looking at on this property just outside of Bundaberg is
an unmarked grave site – the final resting place of 29 South Sea
Islanders, including a child.

The remains were confirmed by ground penetrating radar last year and
the area has recently been heritage-listed. And it’s on the property
of former federal MP Brian Courtice.

Now Brian, these graves, you can see them just from your home’s
verandah. How do feel about that?

BRIAN COURTICE: Well, it’s unique. It happened, it’s a part of
history. And it’s important to dedicate this ground and it was
important to heritage-list the site because these people were worked
to death, they died in a foreign land a long way from their families.
And it’s my intention to make sure that the grave sites are looked
after and protected for as long as our family owns Sunnyside.

JOHN TAYLOR: Now it is a dark chapter in Queensland’s history, that
150 years ago about 62,000, 63,000-odd South Sea Islanders were
brought to Queensland as cheap labour to work in the agricultural
industries, often in brutal conditions, sometimes kidnapped or tricked
as indentured labourers to work in the emerging agricultural
industries.

Do you have any idea what life was like for the people that are buried
near your home?

BRIAN COURTICE: It was totally brutal. And the owner of this property
was convicted of assaulting South Sea Islanders here. He was convicted
of starving them. And that makes it all the more important that we
preserve this site.

These people were treated appallingly and 15,000 died out of 63,000 in
Queensland and the rest of them are buried in unmarked graves. So at
least this is one place where respect has been given to these people.
And today is going to be quite emotional with the ceremony because
it’s a culmination of 133 years before they’ve been given the respect
they deserve.

JOHN TAYLOR: You are an American history buff. Do you see
similarities, if you like, between the treatment of slaves in America
and what happened to South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland?

BRIAN COURTICE: Absolutely. The American slaves were treated much
better than the South Sea Islanders, mainly because they were
purchased and were of value whereas the South Sea Islanders were
brought here for virtually nothing. Most of them were never paid the
pittance they were supposed to be paid. And when they died, as did 29
here, they were simply replaced.

So they were worse off than the slaves in the United States, far worse off.

TONY EASTLEY: Sunnyside plantation owner Brian Courtice speaking to
reporter John Taylor outside Bundaberg.

MORE TO ADD? ALERT US


Emelda Davis

ONYX Management Group
M: (61.2) 0416 300 946
PO Box 117, Pyrmont, Sydney NSW, Australia 2009
NEW ZEALAND:

17) New Zealand Law Society critical of Fiji contempt ruling

Posted at 06:45 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

The New Zealand Law Society has added its voice to criticism of the latest contempt ruling in Fiji.

The High Court in Fiji has fined the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum and given a suspended jail sentence to its head, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, for republishing the findings of a British legal report, which says the independence of Fiji’s judiciary was in doubt.

Austin Forbes QC of the New Zealand Law Society says it sees the moves by the Fijian government to pursue this matter as evidence of a continued erosion of the rule of law.

The Society says the sentences imposed on a non-political Suva organisation are a serious restriction on the right to free speech.

The Law Society Charity in London says the sentence is cleverly being used to silence the Reverend Yabaki in the lead-up to the election promised for next year.

Radio New Zealand International

TOK PISIN:

18) Oli arestim energy regulator chief long Indonesia

Postim 15 August 2013, 9:30 AEST
Indonesia correspondent Helen Brown

Lain i save wok agensim korapsen long Indonesia i arestim wanpela top gavman ofisel long taim em i bin wok long kisim bikpela namba bilong braib.

gfx_AN_IndonCorrupt2_1508_0.jpg (Credit: ABC)
Vidio: Indonesian anti-graft agency arrests energy regulator chief

Dispela anti-graft body oli kolim KPK ibin arestim Rudi Rubiandini, Siaman bilong SKK Migas, na tok oli ibin arestim em long em i stap long kisim bikpela mak bilong gris moni or bribe.

KPK i tok ol ibin bhainim dispela hen-ova bilong #US400,000 long moni stret na niupela lakseri motobaik ikam long man i makim wanpela praivet kampani igo long haus bilong Mr Rubiandini.

Oli tok oli ibin givim dispela motobaik igo long Mr Rubiandini sampela haua pastaim long arest bilong em.

Ol ibin arestim tu tupela narepal namel long ol man oli sutim tok long em long bringim dispela gris moni.

Mausman bilong KPK, John Budi, i tok klia igo long midia long oporesen oli bin mekim pastaim long arest.

Em i tok ol i bin kisim infomesen ikam long ol pipal olsem bai gat bung bilong givim na kisim dispela gris moni.

Mr Budi i tok KPK ibin bihainim dispela infomesen na nau i mekim investigesen.

Long bekim bek, SKK Migas i tok em bai go het long oporet na bai ino gat heve igo long ol wok bilong en.

SKK Migas i lukautim  exploration na production bilong Oli na Gas risoses bilong Indonesia na ol  investigetas i tok dispela gris moni i gat link wantaim ol wok bilong en.

Indonesia i wok long pait agensim korapsen na pipal i kirap nogut long arest bilong man husat ol ibin bilip i stopim korapsen long  SKK Migas.Radio Australia

FRENCH:

19a) Lien entre consommation du kava et changement climatique

Posté à 16 August 2013, 8:41 AEST
Pierre Riant

À Fidji, Leone Limaevu, de l’Université du Pacifique Sud, estime qu’une consommation excessive de kava empêche les villageois de  faire des efforts de nature à atténuer le changement climatique.

Une accusation portée à l’occasion du 2ème Sommet national sur le changement climatique à Nadi.

Et d’ajouter : « Quand il est temps de se lever et de travailler à des projets de lutte contre le changement climatique, les hommes ont déjà bu trop de kava et dans certains villages, les femmes travaillent aux champs pendant que les hommes se reposent au village. »

Ces commentaires ont été accueillis par des salves d’applaudissements de la part des participants.Radio Australia

19b)Délit d’infraction culturelle pour Nike

Posté à 15 August 2013, 8:41 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le géant américain spécialisé dans les chaussures, les vêtements et le matériel de sport est accusé de proposer une nouvelle gamme d’imprimés pour femmes inspirée par des  tatouages traditionnels samoans réservés aux hommes.

Nike propose des tatouages pour hommes sur des brassières pour femmes. (Credit: ABC)

Les  collants et brassières pour femmes montrent par exemple un tatouage coutumier appelé le ‘pe’a’ strictement réservé aux hommes.

Ce nouveau design de Nike a suscité des centaines de commentaires sur des blogs du Pacifique à travers le monde qui dénoncent la vulgarisation de ce tatouage honorifique parfois considéré comme étant sacré.

Un faux pas culturel pour certains, une exploitation honteuse de la culture pour d’autres.

Nike n’a pas répondu pour l’instant à tous ces commentaires et souligne sur son site : « Inspiré par les tatouages du Sud-ouest du Pacifique (Fidji, Samoa et Nouvelle-Zélande), cet imprimé noir et blanc est idéal pour l’été. Les motifs réalisés à la main célèbrent les histoires et cultures de l’Océanie. Disponible dès aujourd’hui. »Radio Australia.

19c) Bougainville: un accord « nul et non avenu »

Mis à jour 14 August 2013, 14:51 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Un accord a été signé secrètement entre les propriétaires coutumiers de la mine de Panguna la compagnie minière chinoise Beijing Aerospace Great Wall Mineral Investment. Le Président de Bougainville, John Momis, est furieux.

« Il n’a aucune valeur juridique. Il est nul et non avenu en ce qui nous concerne. Nous le jetterons à la poubelle. »

C’est ainsi que le Président de Bougainville qualifie l’accord entre Beijing Aerospace Great Wall Mineral Investment et les propriétaires coutumiers de la mine de Panguna.

La mine est en jachère depuis la guerre civile entre Bougainville et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, qui s’est terminée en 1997. Le partage des royalties entre les propriétaires coutumiers et l’État papou a été l’un des facteurs déclenchants du conflit.

La compagnie minière chinoise s’engage à traiter les déchets miniers, et ce faisant, elle gagne le droit d’être impliquée dans les négociations sur la réouverture de la mine. Beijing Aerospace Great Wall Mineral Investment est donc en bonne place sur la liste des repreneurs éventuels. Pour l’instant la mine d’or, de cuivre et d’argent appartient toujours à Bougainville Copper Limited, une filiale du géant minier australo-britannique Rio Tinto.

Quoi qu’il en soit, l’arrivée de la compagnie minière chinoise a provoqué la fureur du Président du gouvernement autonome de Bougainville, John Momis :

« C’est Jimmy Miringtoro, le ministre de la communication, qui est député de la région centre de Bougainville, qui a fait venir cette compagnie chinoise, sans même avoir la courtoisie de prévenir mon gouvernement. Nous n’avons rien contre les investisseurs étrangers, nous les encourageons à venir investir chez nous parce que nous avons besoin de faire tourner notre économie, mais que le ministre, et le Président des Propriétaires Coutumiers de Panguna, Lawrence Daveona, contournent complètement le comité de codécision que nous avons mis en place, cela prouve que leur engagement n’est pas sincère. »

Depuis trois ans, le gouvernement de John Momis travaille à l’élaboration d’un processus de consultation qui inclut les quatre principaux acteurs de la mine de Panguna. Processus absolument pas respecté par les propriétaires coutumiers et Beijing Aerospace Great Wall Mineral Investment :

« Ils ont contourné le mécanisme mis en place entre les propriétaires coutumiers, Bougainville Copper, le gouvernement de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et le gouvernement autonome de Bougainville pour prendre des décisions collégiales sur la réouverture de la mine de Panguna. Car chacun sait que cette mine a créé beaucoup de souffrances. Nous avons finalement mis en place un mécanisme qui intègre tous les acteurs, y compris les anciens combattants, dans le processus de décision. Donc cette annonce a surpris beaucoup de monde parce qu’elle ne respecte pas les standards internationaux. »

Actuellement, l’État papou transfère progressivement la compétence sur l’exploitation  minière au gouvernement de Bougainville. Et John Momis n’a pas l’intention de donner une part du gâteau à la compagnie minière chinoise :

« Je n’ai pas besoin de leur parler. Nous sommes en discussion avec Bougainville Copper, et l’accord avec Bougainville Copper stipule que la mine de Panguna appartient à Bougainville Copper. »

John Momis, le Président de Bougainville, répondait à Jemima Garrett sur Radio Australie. Radio Australia

WORLD:

20) New species of ‘teddy bear’ carnivore discovered in cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia

Updated 16 August 2013, 10:24 AEST
by North America correspondent Jane Cowan and wires

A long-tailed, orange-furred carnivore from South America has been identified by US researchers as the first new mammal discovered in the Americas in 35 years.

A long-tailed, orange-furred carnivore from South America has been identified by US researchers as the first new mammal discovered in the Americas in 35 years.

The raccoon-sized creature is called an olinguito and lives in the trees in the Andean mountain forests of Ecuador and Colombia.

While the olinguito is new to science, with an official name of Bassaricyon neblina, for more than a century it has been mistaken for its larger close cousin, the olingo.

One olinguito misclassified as an olingo even made a tour of US zoos in the 1960s and 1970s, dying in 1976 at the Bronx Zoo without ever breeding.

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That was no surprise to the Smithsonian scientist who first twigged to the differences between the olingo and olinguito 10 years ago.

Audio: Listen to Keith Breene’s AM story (AM)

“She wasn’t being picky, it just wasn’t the same species,” Kristofer Helgen, the curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, said.

“It looks a little bit like a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat,” he added.

“The cloud forests of the Andes are a world unto themselves, filled with many species found nowhere else, many of them threatened or endangered.

“We hope that the olinguito can serve as an ambassador species for the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia, to bring the world’s attention to these critical habitats.”

Dr Helgen’s investigation into the olinguito began when he was looking at stuffed specimens in Chicago’s Field Museum.

“I pulled out a drawer … and said ‘wow,'” he recalled of his first view of a long-dead 20th century specimen which had been identified as an olingo. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen before.”

Dr Helgen said the teeth and skull of the specimen were much different from those of an olingo, which is larger and has more prominent ears than the olinguito.

He said he could have published this finding in a scientific journal then, but in the interest of being thorough, he sought out colleagues to confirm the existence of the new species in its natural habitat.

Olinguitos are considered carnivores, even though they eat mostly fruit, Dr Helgen said.

These creatures have teeth that look fully capable of eating meat, he added. They have thick, woolly fur that is brighter than that of the more drab-coloured olingos, and have wide, round eyes and tiny claws to help them cling to branches.

Olinguitos grow to about 75 centimetres, weighing just under a kilogram.

Males and females are about the same size, and females raise a single baby at a time, the scientists said.

Dr Helgen and his fellow researchers estimate that 42 per cent of historic olinguito habitat has already been converted to agriculture or urban areas.

There are four sub-species of the olinguito, and it is not being classified as endangered.

Experts believe there must be many thousands of them, possibly extending into Venezuela and Peru.

Genetic analysis at the National Zoo in Washington verified Dr Helgen’s initial theory.

The research has been published in the peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.

ABC/wires

MEDIA/FILM+:

21) Air Tahiti Nui sings film festival partnership

Posted at 00:09 on 16 August, 2013 UTC

Air Tahiti Nui has signed a cooperation deal with the organisers of the annual Pacific Documentary Film Festival, also known as FIFO.

As part of the deal, the French Polynesian airline has been designated the festival’s official carrier.

The airline will in return offer an in-flight channel for travellers to be able see the documentaries.

The contract is for a year but can be renewed.

Radio New Zealand International

EDUCATION:

22) Solomons copy Fiji’s uni model

Daniel Naidu
Friday, August 16, 2013

FIJI National University and the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) have signed a memorandum of understanding which hopes to enhance both institutions.

FNU vice-chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand said the signing would provide new educational opportunities for both institutions.

FNU director of Planning and Development Michael Gregory said SINU had been established in a similar model to FNU as both were mixed institutions with both technical and higher education. He said the two universities could offer many things in partnership.

He added a similar collaboration had been arranged with the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) earlier this week.

“What we’re going to be doing is linking with very similar institutions to us, and working in partnership with them to help the development of the Pacific more broadly. We are not a university but we do have a regional ethos,” Mr Gregory said.

SINU pro-chancellor Sir Nathaniel Maena said the signing was an historic moment.

“We are here for this moment to write history with the signing of an MOU between the two universities which should wrap up our hope and aspirations as a new university in the region,” he said.

The MOU is a five-year arrangement which, among other things, will see the exchange of students, joint research projects, exchange of academic materials and the exchange of visiting research scholars.http://www.fijitimes.com/

23) Landmark education agreement between PNG and Victoria University

Posted at 06:34 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Victoria University of Wellington to promote educational co-operation and training in New Zealand of Papua New Guineans.

The MOU was signed at Victoria last week in a ceremony attended by the visiting PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who says the agreement will help his country’s key development goals.

The agreement promotes educational co-operation and will enable greater numbers of PNG students to undertake doctoral degree studies at Victoria.

Johnny Blades reports:

This is the latest Pasifika initiative from a University with a Pacific community numbering close to 900, where 30 undergraduate Pasifika courses, ranging from language, history and art to legal and migration studies are on offer. Victoria’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh, says Victoria has implemented a Pasifika student success plan which sets ambitious targets in the next three years..

PAT WALSH: This includes lifting the number of Pasifika students enrolled in all faculties, and seeing more Pasifika students successfully complete their courses and gain the qualification they’re seeking. We have already seen substantial success. Our Pasifika enrolments have almost doubled in the last decade.

PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says it’s through initiatives like the agreement with Victoria that the bilateral relationship between the two countries is strengthening. Half of PNG’s estimated 7 million population is under the age of 25, and Mr O’Neill says co-operation with Victoria supports his government’s core goal of enabling unprecedented access to education for young generations.

PETER O’NEILL: We have just recently announced a massive financial package to rebuild many of our own tertiary institutions, including the major universities in the country, and, of course, we are rebuilding many of the infrastructures as part of our investment in the infrastructure programme in the country. So I think over the next few years, with the introduction of a compulsory education for our young kids in their elementary schools to Year 12, which will become compulsory by next year. I think education will drive the evolution and the development of our country through the millennium development goals that we have set.

Luamanuvao Winnie Laban was centrally involved in establishing the new agreement and other Pasifika initiatives at Victoria through her role as Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika. Earlier this year, she went to PNG, visiting universities and meeting with key educational leaders and she saw how tertiary exchanges can benefit both countries.

LUAMANUVAO WINNIE LABAN: PNG is also a very ancient country, in terms of its history and its diversity of cultures and languages. It has over 800 languages. It’s 7.25 million. 50% of its population are under 25. But what I actually saw over there is that people are working very, very hard to address education in the most creative sense because this fast-growing population is also going to be a very rich player in terms of the region and the world. They’re quite keen to diversify and also internationalise beyond countries like Australia. New Zealand is very much seen as part of the region. They’re seen as kin and family. So there’s lots of historical connections with that.

She says PNG is keen to build the capacity of its future leaders, including in the tertiary and public sectors, exposing them to a country which demonstrates accountability and transparency.

LUAMANUVAO WINNIE LABAN: What better way to do it than signing an MOU and bringing them over here, sending our people over there to really build that capacity. So focusing on PhDs, but one can be lateral thinking – innovative ways of building capacity.

PhD student Vergil Narokobi from PNG’s East Sepik province is the President of Victoria’s PNG and Melanesia Students Association. He says the agreement provides a strong foundation to explore areas of mutual benefit.

VERGIL NAROKOBI: New Zealand is a comparably small nation amongst the developed world, but it is justifiably proud of many areas of its social landscape. We can experience this through common values, such as a vibrant democracy, free press, a dynamic relationship with the first peoples, respect for diversity, part of the Commonwealth, and of course our common waters, the great Pacific Ocean. An agreement that enlarges our relationship. Of course, in trade, Papua New Guinea comes here not only as recipients, but also to offer the people of Aotearoa the ancient wisdom of our people.

The cultural performances at the Victoria signing ceremony featured an array of Pasifika performances, encompassing Polynesian and Melanesian regions. They underlined the sense that this MOU is not just a recognition of PNG’s growing role in the region, but also of New Zealand’s role as a Pacific country and the importance of strengthening links with all Pacific cultures.

Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS/TRADE+:

24) Marshalls atoll launches coconut oil processing

Posted at 21:08 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

A remote atoll in the Marshall Islands has launched virgin coconut oil processing, with the aim of shipping drums of oil to sell to the Majuro-based copra processing plant.

700 people on Namdrik Atoll get paid immediately for bringing coconuts to the processing facility instead of waiting months for payments for making copra.

Senator Mattlan Zackhras says with the new process, islanders just have to husk the nuts and bring them to the processor on Namdrik.

As a result of the development, the Namdrik Copra Cooperative is looking at how to generate money from the copra cake left from processing the coconuts, and looking to turn the shells into charcoal.

One coconut equals eight cents, 100 coconuts is $8.

Radio New Zealand International

25) Air Niugini offers 40 percent dicount to mark 40th annivesary

By Matai Akauola
3:25 pm GMT+12, 15/08/2013, Papua New Guinea
Air Niugini will be giving 40, 000 discounted seats to customers to commemorate its 40th anniversary on November 1.

Customers will only pay 40 percent of the normal fare on all domestic routes.

The offer starts today, but bookings have to be between the 01 September and the 01 December.

Air Niugini has been serving the people of Papua New Guinea for close to 40 years.

In the lead up to its birthday on 01 November, the airline has decided to give something back to its customers; 40,000 seats on a reduced fare price of only 40 percent of the normal fare.

Air Niugini CEO Simon Foo made the announcement Wednesday.

“We are putting on the market 40, 000 seats to be sold at 40 percent of the airfare…we expect that to be taken up in the next three months leading up to the 1st of December,” announced Simon Foo.

“We will be open with the rules on it and we will apply the fare which has been in existence for some time.”

Air Niugini will also be giving away 40 tickets during a draw in November.

Long serving staff of Air Niugini will also be recognized. One long serving staff is Gima Ravu who has been with Air Niugini for 40 years.

“I started with Air Niugini on the 13 of November, 1973; that’s two weeks after Air Niugini’s inception,” says Gima Ravu.

Other events to be held during the anniversary celebrations in November include an open day at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby.

SOURCE: EMTV NEWS/ PACNEWS

26) PNG Allegedly Losing Billions From Mining Sector
Enga governor cites lack of industry policies, proper regulation

By Johnny Poiya

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 14, 2013) – Papua New Guinea has been losing billions of kina in mineral resources due to lack of strong policies and capacity to properly monitor and regulate the industry.

Enga Governor and host to the world class Porgera Gold Mine Peter Ipatas in his keynote address to stakeholders during the Mineral Policy and Legislation Division’s regional consultation program in Mt. Hagen yesterday said developers were exploiting the mineral sector without any good benefits going back to the country and its people.

He said there was a serious lack of policy direction in the sector, which consequently resulted in a serious lack of socio-economic development.

“The general public’s perception is that the country’s mineral resources are being exploited unjustly without fair reward and compensation to the local communities and landowners on whose land these resources are located. The government’s mining policy is being driven by Industry and Investor interests rather than PNG’s interest resulting in the ‘’theft’’ of our mineral resources,” Mr. Ipatas said.

Singling out Enga’s experience with Porgera Gold mine, Mr Ipatas said though the mine extracted 17.88 million ounces of gold, earning a total of K19.58 billion [US$8.3 billion] during the project life from 1990 to 2012, his province still lacked a proper hospital, jail, and good infrastructure.

“During that time, the Enga Provincial Government received about K204million in Royalties, Special Support Grants (SSG) and IDP. This is about 1 percent of the total earnings of the mine. About K52 million [US$22 million] is SSG are still outstanding to the Enga Provincial Government.

“The Porgera landowners, on the other hand have received about K410 million [US$173.7 million] as compensation, royalties, SSGs, and other areas. This amounts to about 2 percent of the total earnings of the mine,” Mr. Ipatas said.

He said it was important to question whether the total of 3 percent of the earnings was equitable distribution to the landowners and the Enga Provincial Government.

Porgera was estimated to mine 8.98 million ounces of gold with a total earning of K3.143 billion [US$1.33 billion] during the period of mine life from 1990 to 2012, but it produced and earned more than six times than the estimates and its life extended to 2023.

Mr. Ipatas said despite mine expansion beyond the original development plans and estimates, there was no review of the Porgera mine’s MDC or MoAs to reflect the change from the original development plan. Vice Minister for Mining Wera Mori said any policy changes that would come after the consultation programs around the region would be done in the interest of the country.

Mt. Hagen hosts the highlands regions leg of the Department’s regional forums for the review of mineral policy and legislation and development of new mining sector policies.

The Mamose forum will be held in Lae on Friday, then the New Guinea Islands forum is on next Monday and Southern region in Port Moresby on Friday next week.

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

LAW&ORDER:

27) Lawyer: Case Against Fiji Citizen’s Forum A Clever Tactic
CCF effectively prevented from speaking out before elections: Dodd

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 14, 2013) – A British lawyer at the centre of the Fiji government’s latest contempt of court win says the sentence shows the light touch of oppression.

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) published a summary of Nigel Dodds’ critical report on Fiji’s legal system resulting in a fine for the prominent Fiji NGO and its chief, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki.

The Reverend Yabaki also received a three-month jail sentence suspended for one year.

Mr. Dodds says the sentence is a clever one.

“Superficially that is quite an attractive sentence given that there is a conviction. What it does is to prevent Reverend Yabaki and CCF from effectively speaking out on civil society issues for the next twelve months. This of course takes us up to the projected dates of the election.”

Nigel Dodds says the sentence has the effect of imperiling a major commentator of impeccable reputation should he continue to add to debate on issues facing Fiji.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT;

28) 640 of Fiji’s communities vulnerable to climate change

Posted at 06:44 on 15 August, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s government has identified more than 640 communities in the country which are vulnerable to climate change.

The Fiji Sun reports about 20 percent have active climate change projects.

The government’s Climate Change Unit says of 51 vulnerable communities in Vanua Levu only one does not have a project underway.

It says of Viti Levu’s 462 vulnerable communities, 71 are working on mitigation efforts.

The unit is working with the Ministry of I Taukei Affairs to identify which communities need urgent assistance.

Radio New Zealand International

29) Climate Change Funds Critical for Pacific Islands
By Matai Akauola
3:30 pm GMT+12, 15/08/2013, Fiji
Forum Economic Ministers have stressed the critical and urgent need for financing to effectively respond to climate change.

Forum Members have called for strengthening access to, and management of, climate change finance describing this as critical for vulnerable Forum Island Countries. In the Action Plan following the 2013 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, the Ministers emphasised the need for tangible outcomes with climate change financing over the next year.

The Ministers reiterated previous Communiqués of Forum Leaders identifying climate change as the greatest threat to livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific. The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, said climate change finance will remain an important issue for the region.

“The Ministers agreed that all stakeholders should work together to demystify and simplify the complexities of climate change financing,” the Secretary General said.

“They also stressed that Forum Island Countries want to use their own national systems to disburse climate change funds wherever possible.”

The meeting discussed the ‘Pacific Climate Change Finance Assessment: Nauru Case Study’. The Forum Secretariat developed the case study following a request from Nauru for assistance to improve their understanding of how to access and manage climate change financing.

“This case study provides a comprehensive assessment of the dimensions of climate change financing and implementation within Nauru’s particular development context and the strength of the country’s national systems,” Slade said.

As part of the Nauru study, the Secretariat developed the ‘Pacific Climate Change Finance Assessment Framework’, distributed at the Pacific Climate Change Financing Workshop in June, and at the Pacific Plan Action Committee annual meeting.

Forum Members welcomed the development of a holistic framework strengthening Forum Island Countries’ ability to make informed decisions about climate change finance access and management.

They requested that development partners support the development of tailored national solutions for targeting the most appropriate sources for accessing and effectively managing climate change finance. These solutions could include direct budget support, extra budgetary funds, special funds, national and regional trust funds and project finance.

Forum Members also received an update about the climate change financing efforts coordinated by the Forum Secretariat working with regional and international stakeholders. These stakeholders include the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP), in particular the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.

SOURCE: PIFS/ PACNEWS

CULTURAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS+:

30a) Seaqaqa Festival a community affair

Salaseini Moceiwai
Friday, August 16, 2013

IT might not have the glitz and glamour of bigger festivals such as the Festival of the Friendly North.

But the Seaqaqa Festival is certainly a community affair.

With about 4000 people from all walks of life attending the festival’s grand opening on Wednesday night, the cold breeze did not deter their spirits to be part of the event.

Hundreds of children waited in queues, braving the cold and shivering in anticipation while they waited for their turn on the Ferris wheels and other amusement rides. s

During the first night, stall owners reaped the benefits of the huge turnout with record sales and smiles.

Festival co-ordinator Mohammed Aruf Khan said the four-day event was basically organised to raise more funds for the construction of a double-storey building in the school premises.

He said their aim was to provide a well-structured facility to help the students of Seaqaqa in their studies.

“We have decided to organise the festival after a lapse of five years because this is another way of getting more money for our project,” Mr Khan said.

“We are so happy about the large turnout here on the first night of the carnival and this is a clear indication of how people in this district are fully supporting the education of their children.

“We hope that the crowd increases each night because this carnival is for a worthy cause. The proposed project will benefit our children.”

Mr Khan said they aimed to raise about $100,000.

The theme on Wednesday night was iTaukei night and the chief guest was the Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.

The festival ends tomorrow night.http://www.fijitimes.com/

30b) Dance show

Tevita Vuibau
Friday, August 16, 2013

Students of Dilkusha Methodist High School last night. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

STUDENTS from 10 schools rocked the stage at the Vodafone Arena at last night’s Tadra Kahani ‘Dream Story’ stage show.

This year’s instalment of the dance, music and light spectacular played host to nine secondary schools including Lomary Secondary School, Dilkusha Methodist High School and John Wesley College competing for the overall winner of the senior division.

Last year’s junior division winner, International Primary School Suva, also made a guest appearance.

Each school at last night’s show championed issues important to them, ranging from human trafficking, gambling to financial literacy.

The schools were judged on criterias that included concept and creativity, musical selection and stage presentation.FIJITIMES.

SPORT/COMPS+:

31a) Vanuatu culinary team bound for New Zealand

Posted on August 12, 2013

Those who excel in the workplace travel to represent their country too.It seems that it’s not only Vanuatu’s sportsmen and women who are heading overseas to compete in their chosen disciplines.

This time next week, five of Vanuatu’s best chefs will be flying to Auckland, New Zealand, to compete in classes at the New Zealand Culinary Competition, the New Zealand equivalent of Vanuatu’s Annual Salon Culinaire – the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show which is held in Port Vila every October. The Vanuatu Chefs & Food Handlers Association selected its five team members from the many chefs who participated in 2012’s show.

The team members are: Bill Leonardo of the Holiday Inn, Mayline Roy of Chantilly’s on the Bay, Roslyn George of Iririki, and Rueben George and Chris Bulememe, both of Coconut Palms.

All have been busy fundraising to generate enough money for them to travel and compete. The team cooked the ANZAC Day breakfast this year at Warwick Le Lagon and also hosted a six-course dinner at the HTLTC’s Nambanga Restaurant training facility.

The team, along with Team Manager Mr David Holliday, Executive Chef of Air Vanuatu Catering, was most recently seen donating their time catering to the Kiwanis Tent at the Annual Kiwanis Charity Race Day as a joint fundraiser.
Preparations for their individual competitions have been going on for the last month and when the team travels their menus will be ready, their knives will be sharp and their uniforms pressed, as they will represent Vanuatu and compete in a Masterchef-style timed competition against some of New Zealand’s best Chefs.

President of the Vanuatu Chefs Association, Sarah Kymbrekos, herself a New Zealander has, together with Australian Team Manager, David, worked closely with the five team members over the year to develop their skills and prepare them for this event.

Although unable to accompany them to New Zealand, Kymbrekos says, “The team has worked very hard and they should be very proud of themselves. Here are five individuals who take pride in the work they do and they will represent Vanuatu doing it. Well done to all of the team, I wish them the very best of luck!”

The team leaves Port Vila next Saturday for Auckland. You can see their progress on the Vanuatu Chefs Association Facebook page.www.facebook.com/VanuatuChefsAndFoodHandlersAssocation

http://www.dailypost.vu/content/

31b) Wisil, Copeland finish down the field in Moscow

Posted at 00:09 on 16 August, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’ Toea Wisil has finished down the field in the women’s 200m heats at the World Athletics Champs in Moscow.

The 25 year old crossed the line in 24.23 seconds, more than half a second outside her personal best.

Meanwhile Fiji’s Leslie Copeland finished last in the men’s javelin with a best throw of 72.30 metres.

Radio New Zealand International

31c) Tonga excited by blockbuster November rugby schedule

Posted at 00:09 on 16 August, 2013 UTC

The Tonga Rugby Union says its schedule in the upcoming November test window is a reward for some impressive results over the past 12 months.

The ’Ikale Tahi will take on Six Nations champions Wales and World Cup rivals France later this year, as well as playing a first ever international in Romania.

The Tonga Rugby Union’s High Performance Manager, Peter Harding, says beating Scotland last year and a strong showing in the Pacific Nations Cup shows the ’Ikale Tahi are a team on the rise.

He says if they can build on those efforts in November more top matches will come.

“Look at Wales – they had ten players in the Lions squad and they were good so they’re a world class team. France are a bit of a sleeping giant at the moment – they didn’t do good in the Six Nations – but they’re going to be good this Autumn. If we go well this one then we build towards 2014 with some more good test matches and another good schedule, and if we do play these good games our guys get to test themselves against the best teams in the world. It gives them confidence and they have the physical and technical ability to go futher so we need to play well in these games towards 2015”

Radio New Zealand International

31d) Pukpuks in training

By Matai Akauola
1:51 pm GMT+12, 15/08/2013, Papua New Guinea
The South Pacific Export Pukpuks 7’s team is currently training in Canberra, Australia in preparation for the upcoming Mini Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna next month have showed positive signs while in training with the ACT Brumbies.

The Wallis and Futuna tournament is a significant event for the boys as it has been sanction as a qualifier for the Wellington sevens. They have been hard at training in Canberra for the past two weeks and are already showing improvements in areas where they lack.

As part of their preparations, the Pukpuks under the watchful eyes of Brumbies coaches Laurie Fisher and Wallaby great Stephen Larkham took on a powerful ACT Brumbies 7’s outfit including flying super star Henry Speight in a series of controlled games where the Brumbies won four tries to two.

With a focus on getting stronger and faster, there were very pleasing elements in these training games where the Pukpuks showed so much improvement.

“The PNG boys scored a couple of good tries which showed some good improvement in acceleration and change of direction, but the overall pleasing thing was that they were able to hold the Brumbies out in the second lot of seven minutes” said Brumbies Rugby Academy Manager Nick Leah.

“They are good learners and the talent on show from these boys is something you can’t teach”. Leah added.The boys are also improving in other areas including their strength and are toning up well according to Brumbies Strength and Conditioning Coach Darren Clunn.

“The boys are training very hard and picking up all the technical work very quickly especially the strength and conditioning work in the Gym” he said.

“They are going really well, the skin folds (fat test) are going down, the lean muscle mass is going up. “

They have around about another 30 % of improvement that they will get out of this program in the next four weeks” an excited Clunn further added.

Coach Warren Jennings is especially pleased with the boys improvements in the tackle contest.

“In terms of rugby preparation it is pleasing to see the improvements in the tackle contest. We have been focusing on the tackle area and the breakdowns to help retain possession.” He said.

The boys are also preparing for the Oceania Tournament that will be held in Fiji in October and will look to learn all they can and improve in all areas of rugby in the next four weeks….PACNEWS

SOURCE: POST COURIER/ PACNEWS

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