Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 849

MELANESIA:

1) Free West Papua Campaign Opens Office In The Hague
Coordinator says effort will be on education Dutch on colonial history


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 19, 2013) – The Free West Papua Campaign has opened its office in the Hague, in the Netherlands.

The office was opened on the 51st anniversary of the New York Agreement under which the former Dutch New Guinea was ceded to Indonesia.

The campaign’s coordinator in the Netherlands, Oridek Ap, says the aim of the office is to provide information regarding the situation in Indonesia’s Papua region and why his organisation thinks West Papuans need to be independent.

Mr Ap says successive Dutch governments have tried to erase the history of Dutch New Guinea from the national conscience, and that the new office will seek to educate younger generations about what is an important part of their country’s history and a major international issue.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

2) Indonesia poised to intercept West Papua freedom flotilla

Posted at 22:13 on 18 August, 2013 UTC

The Indonesian Military has been ordered to prepare to intercept the journey of two boats carrying pro-West Papua activists from Australia.

The Jakarta Post reports the Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto says he has asked the Navy and Air Force to standby for their arrival.

The minister says he has talked with the Australian ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty, making it clear no nation should allow its soil to be used as a departure point for the movement of a group aimed at disturbing another nation’s sovereignty.

The two boats set sail from Cairns on Saturday headed for Papua New Guinea, from where they hope to make the trip to Merauke, the easternmost city in the Papua province.

The group, which consists of about 50 activists, says it is aiming to build global solidarity and highlight the abuses of human rights on an international stage.

Radio New Zealand International

3) Vanuatu PM Says West Papua Issue Trumps Relations With Indonesia
Caracasses says violence ‘needs to be stopped’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 18, 2013) – The Prime Minister of Vanuatu says he will push forward to try and solve problems in West Papua, even at the risk of cooling relations with Indonesia.

Moana Carcasses says he is absolutely concerned about the plight of the West Papuans and the violence there needs to be stopped.

Vanuatu’s stance on West Papua has strengthened since Mr Carcasses came to power in March.

He says he is sure West Papua will be a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in the near future.

“We support fully the West Papua issues. I went to the MSG to try and get them membership. Because what is happening in West Papua, the atrocities happening there, I think as leader it’s important we have to put a stop on that. The Indonesian Government, we don’t have any problem with them. The problem we have is the West Papua issues. And if you say it will cool down our relationship, well so be it, I don’t have a problem with that.”

Moana Carcasses says he is sending a fact-finding team to West Papua soon to look at human rights issues.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

4) PNG PM Says Last 12 Years Of Growth Were ‘Wasted’
O’Neill commits to funding priority projects that help communities

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 19, 2013) – The past 12 years of plenty in Papua New Guinea have been wasted and must never be repeated, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

He told hundreds of people attending the 127th anniversary of the United Church last Friday at Maopa village on the Aroma Coast, Central, that the economy had been growing very fast but this did not translate into tangible benefits.

[PIR editor’s note: O’Neill was also reported to have lashed out at public servants who have been “unproductive since independence at the expense of the people.” Those who have been ‘milking the system’ are now resisting changes his government wants to implement, O’Neill said.]

“Over the last 12 years, the economy has been growing at 6 to 8%.

“We have recorded K7 billion to K8 billion in surpluses, meaning that we have collected more money than we budgeted for,” he said.

“The problem is that we have spent this money on priorities that did not really help the community. We’ve wasted the last 12 years of growth.

“Over the next five to 10 years, our economy will continue to grow and will bring in bigger revenue … we must never repeat the mistakes that we have done.”

As a remedial measure, the Government will be looking into funding for specific projects over the next three to four years.

“The government must commit to the people on specific projects such as free education, free health, bringing up our police force, bringing up our roads and bridges throughout the country.

“We commit our government to these problems over the next four, five years, so that people are aware of it, our public servants are aware of it, our leaders know the specific programmes that we have.

“I can tell you that the government is not going to change its roles over the next four, five years.

“We want to be judged in 2017 on our performance, please remember this.

“If we do not change this country over the next four years, we do not deserve to hold the positions that we hold, do not vote for us.”

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

5) Policeman in Bougainville says people don’t want the mine

Posted at 18:50 on 18 August, 2013 UTC

A policeman in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says he thinks the Panguna mine will not be reopened for another 20 years and says the people don’t want it.

Constable Reginald Sogen, who is a coordinator of the training programme run by New Zealand for the community auxiliary police, says there are many problems in the area, which need to be solved first.

He says police face issues of armed robberies and domestic violence, fuelled by drugs and alcohol, and there must be peace before the mine opens.

He says Bougainville can rely on other industries such as agriculture, which don’t require such a large investment.

Constable Sogen says the people need to be educated first and many people are still illiterate.

“The people here they don’t want the mine to be opened, the landowners. There are weapons here, and also the whole people here, they don’t want the mine to be reopened. Many deaths have occurred during the crisis and when you talk peace, we want peace. Do not put the mine in, cause it only creates anger.”

Constable Reginald Sogen.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Solomons PM Required To Undergo Body Search At Australia Airport
Lilo questions search, forced into standoff with Brisbane security

By Susan Merrell

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 19, 2013) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo was asked to undergo an explosive body search by Australian Security Officers at Brisbane Airport, last Saturday, according to an eyewitness.

Prime Minister Lilo is said to have had a ‘stand-off’ with security officers involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP) when he refused the search.

“They told the Prime Minister that even Rudd and the Australian Governor-General must go through the same process- which is rubbish,” said the eyewitness.

Sir Trevor Garland, Honorary Consul-General of the Solomon Islands in Sydney confirmed that the Solomon Islands’ PM is exempt from such searches.

“So, what went wrong,” asked Sir Trevor?

“The Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister is afforded close personal protection by the Australian security agencies while in Brisbane,” Sir Trevor remarked. “They must have known who he was.”

This latest airport stand-off recalls a similar incident in 2005 where Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was asked to remove his shoes at the same airport. It prompted an insulted Sir Michael to suspend Australia’s Aid program in protest.

This latest incident comes just days after a news article published in Papua New Guinea’s National newspaper reported an unnamed PNG Member of Parliament having his phone and wallet confiscated and the contents of his phone downloaded by immigration officials at Sydney airport.

The unnamed MP claims that this was after he was identified as a member of the parliament of PNG.

Solomon Star

7) Investors Can Now ‘Buy’ Vanuatu Citizenship For $10,000
Immigration regulations amended to attract foreign investment

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 19, 2013) – Foreign investors will not have to wait 10 years to be Vanuatu citizens because now they can buy it just for US$10,000 (Vt963, 567 according to yesterday’s exchange rate). Minister of Internal Affairs Patrick Crowby amended the Immigration Visa Regulation Order No.180 of 2011 on Tuesday, August 13 and introduced the Road Map of the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP).

Crowby consequently alluded the potential for mutual benefit to be derived from implementing plans to attract foreign capital investment in exchange for the right to be granted residence and/or citizenship. This resulted in the adoption of the CIIP. This was gazetted as, “Immigration Visa Regulation (Amendment) Order No.115 of 2013” under the Immigration Act No.17 of 2010 on August 14, 2013.

Under Vanuatu laws previously a foreigner may only apply for Vanuatu citizenship after residing in Vanuatu for 10 years.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that police have recently arrested several government officials on illegally granting citizenship. Police Chief Inspector George Toomey said “the suspects have been selling Vanuatu citizenship at a low price and ignored the law that requires ten years’ residence for a foreigner to become a citizen.”]

With the adoption of the CIIP, that has been published in the Official Gazette on August 14, investors that comply with the conditions of the plan may enjoy the exclusive privilege of being granted citizenship following a significantly reduced period of residence.

Upon application and compliance with the CIIP criteria and completion of diligence investigation an investor applicant, his/her spouse and dependents under 21 years of age will be granted the right to enter and reside in Vanuatu for seven years (renewability subject to CIIP compliance conditions and fees).

And the right to be granted citizenship of Vanuatu on (I) acquiring and complying with the conditions of a CIIP residence permit for two years from its grant; and (II) to be granted citizenship of Vanuatu upon holding and complying with the conditions of a CIIP residence permit for nine months.

To qualify for the above benefits the applicant must invest US$260,000 (payable by installments), pay: (I) US$20,000 marketing fee to the Vanuatu Registry Services Ltd (II) pay US$5,000 for residence permit (III) pay US$3,000 processing fee to the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC), (IV) US$2,000 processing fee to the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) and (V) US$10,000 for Vanuatu citizenship.

In addition to the expedient fee, residence, Vanuatu International Company inclusion, oath of allegiance and installment payments; the Application of Investment is (a) Government Bonds-25% of the seven-year-zero coupon bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and (b) Bank Deposit-25% of the investment sum will be deposited with either the National Bank of Vanuatu or Vantu Bank Ltd for seven years from the date of the granting of residence permit.

At this stage Daily Post is not aware where Vantu Bank Ltd is located.

While the category of citizenship granted to applicants is full citizenship, not economic citizenship or any other category different from that enjoyed by the native-born citizens, there are limitations to the privileges of citizenship which may not be exercised until the new citizen has been ordinarily resident in Vanuatu for 10 years.

Privileges hinged on the 10 years residence are: the right to vote, the right to stand for election in the Vanuatu government, the right to work for public service, the right to serve the Vanuatu Police Force, the right to Vanuatu diplomat or consular protection when in any other country of which the citizen is a national and the right for a child born outside Vanuatu to inherit Vanuatu citizenship.

The timetable of the Vanuatu Government in terms of implementation is to: (I) Gazette any necessary instrument to Immigration Visa Regulation (Amendment) Order No.128 of 2012 and the International Companies Order No.142 of 2012 by July 15, 2013 (II) Implement acceptance of applications commencing August 15, 2013 (III) Amend Constitution to permit Vanuatu citizens to be, become and remain citizens of other countries and nationalities by December 31,2013 and (IV) enact other necessary amendments to the Citizenship Act, the Passports Act, the Immigration Act and other consequential statutory provisions by December 31,2013.

Meanwhile the Government appointed the Vanuatu Registry Services Ltd (VRS) as its exclusive distributor in November, 2012.

The Board of Directors of CIIF comprises of VRS representatives, the managers of the CIIP marketing team representing investors and the Vanuatu government. CIIF will issue a prospectus for the placement of its preferences shares to be registered with VFSC.

Accordingly Minister Crowby, amended the Immigration Visa Regulation Order No.180 of 2011.

Under the stipulated schedule subclauses of the said Act, 12 (4A), (4B) and (4C) were repealed and substituted.

The first (4A) if a foreigner under the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP), who wishes to benefit from the Road Map as set out in schedule 2, the criteria are the applicant must:

Establish a Vanuatu International Company with a paid up capital not less than US$260,000, which the applicant is the registered and beneficial owner of not less than 50% of the equity and whose share of the equity has a value not less than US$260,000.
Deposit not less than US$100,000 (in his/her company’s name and account) in a Vanuatu Financial Institution, part investment and part fees.
Satisfy the Vanuatu Foreign Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) and the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) of the legitimacy of the source of the deposited funds.
Satisfy the Principal Immigration Officer (PIO) he/she has no criminal record.
Have submitted a letter (s) to the VFSC to: (I) pay the remaining installments required by the Road Map; and (II) not to withdraw or seek to withdraw any of his or her or the company’s deposited funds from Vanuatu for seven years from the granting of the visa.

The development comes on the heels of the Vanuatu Government’s biggest infrastructure bid since independence-the much documented new international airport vision.

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

8a) Arrests in Vanuatu over dubious citizenship approvals

By Online Editor
5:13 pm GMT+12, 19/08/2013, Vanuatu

Police in Vanuatu have arrested several people in connection with the alleged illegal granting of citizenship.

Among those arrested are a former chairman of the Citizenship Commission and former MP, Jack Eric, and a former secretary of the Commission, Eloi Leye.

They were released on bail to appear in the Magistrates Court.

Chief Inspector, George Toomey, has declined to give details but says those investigated include politicians, leaders and public servants.

He said the suspects have been selling Vanuatu citizenship at a low price and ignored the law that requires ten years’ residence for a foreigner to become a citizen.

Sources close to the citizenship office and police say it has became a tradition that a month before general elections, politicians collect applications forms from the citizenship office in order to receive sponsorship for their political campaign.

Some of the foreigners, mainly from Asia, reportedly received their certificate in less than a month after their arrival in the country.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

8b)Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 August 2013

by bobmakin

At short notice, the annual Toktok of the tourism industry, essentially tourism’s trade show, which should have taken place 27 – 30 August, is now re-scheduled to 12 – 15 November according to the Vanuatu Tourism Office. The Boeing 737-800 will not be available during the original dates owing to a servicing commitment in September.

Two important events which haven’t changed dates and have started today: the sitting of Parliament and the Cultural Centre’s workshop for field workers on Customary Governance. It was to be the first parliamentary sitting for Pascal Iauko of Tanna, sworn-in this morning. My attendance in the the Customary Governance workshop will cause some reporting delays in this blog this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Natapei has re-iterated his support for a new airport at Rentabau according to an interview with Radio New Zealand International. This is in answer to a claim by Airports Vanuatu Limited that there was never consultation over the new plan. AVL Manager Kevin Abel said he and his staff were never aware of any such plan, according to today’s Radio Vanuatu News. However, the Deputy Prime Minister told RNZI that the plan had been in the pipeline for over six years “and it wasnot easy to find investors. If Vanuatu doesn’t act now, it is facing a time bomb,” he allegedly said. Natapei also indicated that unless the airport project is implemented, Vanuatu will not achieve any significant development for the next 25 years.

Eleven suspects attacked police on duty and their vehicle at Bladiniere, Sunday early morning. There was a phone call following noisy music. Police went to the scene. Two were injured. 11 suspects were to be before the court today.

Two suspects in the matter of citizenship sales, one a civil servants and a former MP, and a woman citizenship staff member and her partner are facing prosecution for the sale for cheaply priced citizenship documentation. They must report to police weekly until their trial..

bobmakin | August 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Categories: The News, Digested |

9) Fiji’s Beddoes says Forum relevant but new rules on coups needed

Posted at 03:46 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s main grouping of political parties says the Pacific Islands Forum needs a set of rules to deal with coup-makers.

A spokesman for the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, Mick Beddoes, says the Forum is still relevant but the lack of a regional response to the overthrow of Fiji’s elected government is what has caused it many problems.

He says each country is dealing with Fiji’s coup leaders in a way that protects their own interests.

Mr Beddoes says anyone accepting a job with a regime that has overthrown a democratically elected government should face treason charges back in their home country.

“They should not be allowed to come in and work in support of an unelected government. We should have all countries stopping the movement of any members of the regime in or out of the country. We should have a total ban on activities with the affected country and so on and so forth.”

Mick Beddoes says such an automatic reponse would have avoided the finger-pointing that has gone on in the case of Fiji.

Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA:

10) Pitcairn diaspora to be gauged on resettling island

Posted at 03:45 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

Far-flung Pitcairn Islanders are about to be surveyed about what made them leave the isolated territory and what would make them return.

The British government wants to see Pitcairn’s population increase from its present 50-odd to 80 by 2016, with a long-term goal of making its aid-dependent territory sustainable.

The Deputy Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, Kevin Lynch, says there could be several thousand Pitcairn Islanders now living in New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Britain and the United States.

He says the study aims to find out what might attract them to resettle on Pitcairn and help grow the economy.

“And also if they’ve got thoughts on why they might not settle back. One of the obvious things is the remoteness of Pitcairn and to see what we can do to develop some opportunities. We can’t do anything about the remoteness but maybe the accessibility to the island.”

Kevin Lynch says consultants will also be recruited to conduct a socio-economic survey of Pitcairn to find out the opportunities and pinch-points in its economy.

Radio New Zealand International

11) Tongan Artifacts To Be Auctioned In England
Methodist minister’s family put items up for sale

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 18, 2013) – A valuable collection of preserved Tongan artefacts, including five war clubs, a priest’s staff and a kali or a headrest, dating back to the 1800’s, are to be auctioned in England at the end of this month.

Matangi Tonga reports that the combined value of the artefacts has been put at up to 177 thousand US dollars.

The artefacts belong to the family of the Reverend John Thomas, one of the first Methodist missionaries in Tonga.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

12) Agreement Reached To End Papeete Port Strike
2,000 containers backed up after 17-day stoppage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 18, 2013) – An agreement has been reached in French Polynesia to end a 17-day port strike in Papeete.

Reports say about 2,000 containers have been stacked in port but they should gradually be cleared from today once details of the strike settlement have been worked through.

The stoppage centred on demands to improve security after a number of fatal work accidents in recent years.

Tahiti-infos says however there are divergent interpretations of the accord, with the union saying its members will be paid in full for the days they were on strikes.

The port management and the government say this is not the case.

The strike is said to have caused more than two million US dollars a day in losses to the local economy.

Business leaders have gone to court in a bid to coerce the French High Commission to intervene.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

MICRONESIA:

13) CNMI lawmaker says Fund settlement deal unconstitutional

Posted at 01:45 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

A lawmaker in the Northern Marianas says the tentatively approved agreement the Inos administration entered into with beneficiaries of the CNMI Retirement Fund is unconstitutional.

Janet Maratita says the agreement to commit the Commonwealth to pay millions of dollars for an indefinite period without regard to anticipated revenues is, at best, unconstitutional and illegal.

She said Governor Eloy Inos is constitutionally and statutorily mandated to submit to the Legislature a proposed annual balanced budget that describes the CNMI’s anticipated revenues and recommended expenditures.

Ms Maratita also says it is a breach of the governor’s fiduciary duty to agree to cut retirees’ pension by 25 percent without a corresponding cut from the CNMI budget.

The governor earlier said that without the settlement deal that guarantees minimum pension payment, the Fund would cease to exist much faster than earlier anticipated.

Restoration of the deferred 25-percent pension will depend on the availability of funds that the Legislature will appropriate based on new revenue-generating measures and an improved economy.

Radio New Zealand International

AUSTRALIA:

14) FREE FORUM TO CALL FOR RECOGNITION OF SOUTH SEA ISLANDERS

MEDIA RELEASE for Sydney University

‘Sydney Ideas’ panel to be held on 20 August 2013

The University of Sydney will next week co-host a Sydney Ideas forum calling for formal recognition of Australia’s South Sea Island people.

Australian South Sea Islanders were brought to Australia from Vanuatu, Solomon and surrounding islands under the infamous ‘Blackbirding’

scheme which lasted from 1863 until 1906. Under the scheme an estimated 60,000 thousand islanders worked as indentured labourers for the sugar cane, pastoral and maritime industries. Many have called ‘Blackbirding’ a new form of slavery.

In 1901 the Commonwealth – as part of its White Australia Policy – passed the Pacific Island Labourers Act, intended to deport South Sea Islanders to their country of origin. After an outcry, 1,500 were allowed to stay in Australia while another 1,000 people hid in the bush for a few years, resulting in what today is a culturally distinct population of about 40,000 people.

Next week’s The Call for Recognition of the Australian South Sea Islander Peoples: A Human Rights issue for a ‘Forgotten People’ will bring together historians, community members, politicians and other interested parties to discuss the need to acknowledge these people as a distinct group. It will be opened by Eddie Koiki Mabo’s widow Bonita, patron of the event’s co-host the national Australian Association of South Sea Islanders Port Jackson (ASSI.PJ).

“Often Australian South Sea Islanders are confused with modern migrants from Melanesian countries,” says one of the forum’s coordinators Matt Poll, an ASSI.PJ member and curator of the University’s indigenous collection at its Macleay Museum.

“Some have been here for six generations, often existing on the fringes of society. Restitution issues, such as unpaid wages from the Queensland government, dual citizenship and reunification with families remain unresolved.”

“Consequently, many ASSI’s suffer the same disadvantages as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and remain marginalised.”

Lobbying by the ASSI community has resulted in some recognition: after a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report the ASSI community in 1994 were recognised by the Commonwealth as a disadvantaged ethnic group.  However, subsequent political momentum has floundered as supportive politicians such as Prime Minister Paul Keating and NSW Premier Bob Carr left office.

Panel member Alex Greenwich MP will urge the NSW Parliament for a debate and motion to recognise the NSW ASSI community this Thursday,

15 August.

“We are calling on the Commonwealth to remind it of its commitment to our community, made in 1994, for the rightful recognition of our forefathers and our future generations,” says ASSI.PJ President Emelda Davis.

Next week’s forum is one of a host of events marking the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Blackbirding. Renowned ASSI historian Professor Clive Moore, human rights activist and former journalist Jeff McMullen, community member Shireen Malamoo, and Queensland representatives Marcia Eves from Australian South Sea Islander Heritage organisation Mackay Inc. and Professor Gracelyn Smallwood Of James Cook University will be among those who will discuss the need to give the ASSI people recognition.

NSW Parliament on the 15th August has recognised Australian South Sea Islanders in a motion put forward for debate by Independent Minister for Sydney Alex Greenwich who will participate as apart of the panel.

This free forum will highlight a largely forgotten yet culturally important era of Australia’s history and address the human rights of this small, but important, group of Australians. It is co-presented by the Macleay Museum, the ASSI national representative body and the Australian Association for Pacific Studies.

Event details:

What: 
                     The Call for Recognition of the Australian

South Sea Islander Peoples: A Human Rights issue

When:                     Law School Foyer, Eastern Avenue, The

University of Sydney

When:                     Tuesday 20 August 2013, 6-7.30pm

Cost:                         Free, but registration is necessary.

Click here to register.

Contact:                02 9351 2943 or sydney.ideas@sydney.edu.au

Media contact: Jocelyn Prasad, 02 91141382 or

Emelda Davis – President, Interim National Body for Australian South Sea Islanders.
(Port Jackson) Ltd – branch

ONYX Management Group.

M: (61.2) 0416 300 946

PO Box 117, Pyrmont, Sydney NSW, Australia 2009

@: onyxmanagementgroup@gmail.com

15) Solomons PM Appeals For Equal Rights For Descendants Of South Sea Islanders
Lilo speaks at Australian event recognizing ‘blackbirding’ 150 years ago

By Susan Merrell

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 19, 2013) – Solomons Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has appealed to Australia to give equal rights and opportunities to the descendants of the south sea islanders.

On the same note, the Prime Minister has also appealed to the descendants of the south sea islanders at Bundaberg, Queensland to ‘forgive’ the traders who brought their forefathers as slaves 150 years ago.

Speaking to a gathering organized by descendants of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea, Mr Lilo said while it was sorrowful to learn about the story of what happened 150 years ago; our Melanesia people must be encouraged to forgive.

‘I am appealing on behalf of my people and the descendants that Australia must grant equal participation to the lost Melanesian generation,” he said.

“I would like to also appeal that we forgive and forget what happened to our people 150 years ago and move forward.”

The Prime Minister was speaking at an event held in Bundaberg over the weekend.

Mr Lilo was speaking along the lines from the gospel of Luke 23:34 in which Jesus echoed during his last minutes on the cross ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they were doing.’

“We have come 150 years and I think it is time we must forgive those who have done wrong to our Melanesian forefathers,” he said.

Mr Lilo said it would not be easy but as children of God, it was the right thing to do.

“We have to move on for the sake of our children’s children,” he said.

Mr Lilo’s message has received praise from Chiefs and elders of participating Melanesian countries.

One of the chief’s from Vanuatu said Prime Minister Lilo’s message was the way forward for this generation.

Descendants of the south sea islanders who flocked in to attend the ceremony shed tears when Prime Minister Lilo gave his speech; appealing for forgiveness and equal participation.

Solomon Star

NEW ZEALAND:

16) NZ Foreign Minister Opens Western Solomons Runway
Munda airport upgrades funded by New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 15, 2013) – The New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has opened the new Munda runway and the Noro-Munda road in the Western Province of Solomon Islands.

New Zealand has contributed 20 million US dollars to the airport expansion which it is hoped will help boost tourism opportunities in the western part of the country.

Mr McCully says the next stage of the project will see the runway upgraded to international alternate status, allowing it to become a back-up runway.

He says this will benefit airlines servicing Honiara as it will reduce the amount of fuel they need to carry in case of an emergency.

[PIR editor’s note: The Solomon Times reported that a Landowner group is upset and “are threatening to close the airport over what they claim as being left out of negotiations for the national infrastructure on their land.”]

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

FRENCH:

17) Violence contre les femmes : toujours un fléau dans le Pacifique

Posté à 19 August 2013, 8:56 AEST

Pierre Riant

26 représentantes de 6 nations océaniennes du Pacifique se sont réunies la semaine dernière dans la capitale fidjienne de Suva. Une réunion menée sous l’égide des Nations Unies.

L’objectif est de travailler à l’élaboration de nouvelles stratégies pour combattre la violence à l’égard des femmes. Ce taux de violence serait toujours parmi les plus élevés de la planète.

Des études présentées à la réunion de Suva montrent que 60% des femmes des pays représentées à cet atelier de travail sont victimes de violence.radio australia.

18) Fidji : les eaux montent, 34 villages déménagent

Posté à 19 August 2013, 8:39 AEST

Pierre Riant

Les populations de 34 villages côtiers identifiés par les autorités fidjiennes vont être contraintes de quitter les côtes au cours de ces prochaines années.

Le gouvernement estime que d’ici 5 à 10 ans, ces villages ne seront plus vivables et qu’ils sont trop vulnérables à la montée du niveau des eaux, conséquences du réchauffement climatique.

L’un de ces villages dans la province de Bua a déjà été délocalisé et le village de Tavea devrait bientôt subir le même sort.

Veresa Ceguadrau est un spécialiste du changement climatique dans la province de Bua.

CEGUADRAU : « En ce moment, les effets du changement climatique sont évidents et ont été ressentis lors des marées hautes et des cyclones. L’eau et les débris allaient directement dans le village et endommageait les maisons. Il n’y avait donc pas d’autres options que de déménager surtout à cause des marées. L’eau arrivait jusqu’au pas de porte. Il fallait donc les mettre en lieu sûr parce que dans 2 ou 3 ans ça risque d’être désastreux. »

Est-ce à dire que la situation n’a pas toujours été comme ça et que cette  situation actuelle est due au changement climatique. La réponse de Veresa Ceguadrau.

CEGADRAU : « Il y a eu beaucoup de pertes le long des côtes et notamment beaucoup d’arbres qui poussaient au bord de l’eau. L’environnement est vulnérable à ces changements et la seule option reste la délocalisation. »

Avec plus de 14 000 habitants sur plus de 1 000 kilomètres carrés, la province de Bua, à l’ouest Vanua Levu, compte parmi les provinces les moins peuplées de l’archipel.
Selon Veresa Cegadrau, de nombreux villages sont affectés, non seulement dans les îles de cette province mais sur la grande terre de la province où la grande île principale de la province.

La délocalisation a déjà commencé avec un village, qu’elle sera la prochaine étape ?

CEGADRAU : « Nous n’avons encore rien entendu de la part du gouvernement mais nous cherchons aussi une assistance ailleurs. Nous sommes en train de préparer un dossier que nous proposerons à plusieurs gouvernements pour qu’ils nous aident à délocaliser les villageois. Nous avons déjà identifié des zones de l’île principale où ils pourraient s’établir. Ce qui impliquerait de 200 à 300 personnes. »

En attendant certains villages connaîtraient déjà quelques problèmes d’alimentation.

CEGADRAU : « Étant donné l’avancée massive de l’eau de mer dans la terre, certaines cultures ne poussent plus aussi bien. Nous avons reçu des provisions de la part d’autres villages de l’île  et pour certains c’est suffisant car c’est une culture de subsistance, ils ne font pas d’agriculture commerciale pour le moment dans ces îles. »

Veresa Ceguadrau : spécialiste du changement climatique dans la province de Bua.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

PASIFIK:

19) Fiji Foreign Minister Questions NZ Claim Of Being ‘Relatives’ Of Pacific
Kubuabola says Australia, NZ don’t ‘share development aspirations’

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, August 18, 2013) – Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says Australia and New Zealand cannot consider themselves “relative” because they do not share the development aspirations of the Pacific.

Responding to New Zealand Prime Minister Murray McCully’s comments, PACNEWS reports that Kubuabola said a relative in the Pacific context implies a bond, a connection of culture and trust, a connection with respect and a connection of being equal partners in the region.

“If Australia and New Zealand really consider themselves to be a “relative” or a “part’ of the Pacific, then why is it that the Pacific Islanders are still required to obtain a visa to enter Australia and New Zealand?.

“If Australia and New Zealand are really a part of the Pacific, then why is it that in the international arena for instance in the United Nations, Australia and New Zealand are not with the Pacific grouping but under another umbrella group of countries when it comes to consultative discussions.” Kubuabola said that if Australia and New Zealand were really relatives of the Pacific, then they would have consulted the Pacific at large on their Asylum Seeker Policy without trying to dump the solution in the Melanesia Group.

“Now then McCully how do you define the term relative, is it one who is your close neighbor and is selfish or is it one who has an altruistic outlook.

I say it’s the latter.” Kubuabola further said to be considered relatives, Australia and New Zealand need to start going beyond geographical boundaries and share in the development hopes of Pacific Island countries.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

WORLD:

20) UNESCAP concerned over lack of birth certificates in Asia-Pacific

Updated 19 August 2013, 8:27 AEST

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific says worldwide 220 million children under five don’t have their births registered.

The United Nations says it’s concerned as many as two out of every five births each year goes unregistered.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific says worldwide 220 million children under five don’t have their births registered.

UNESCAP’s Haishan Fu has told Pacific Beat reducing that figure is important for both parents and governments.

“Registering a birth is not just about the rights of the individual, but its also the basic function and responsibilities of governments,” she said.

“It’s really the basis for efficient public administration and good governance – the mere act of registration of the birth not only confers the rights and legal identity to the individual, but also leaves in the administration the record which forms the basis of the very critical vital statistics for the government to understand the population…so they can design the right public policy.

UNESCAP says in the Asia-Pacific region only 40 per cent of births are registered.

In parts of South Asia, as few as one in three births are registered, while in Vanuatu, the figure falls as low as 26 per cent.

Ms Fu says while registration is a legal requirement, there are a lot of reasons why it’s still not happening.

“Whether people are aware of this legal requirement, whether the government provides the services easily enough for people to access,” she said.

“Also public awareness of parents – whether they understand the importance of having this birth certificate for their children down the road in their lives.

“[There are also] geographic barriers…and economic implications – often registering the births requires a fee and also there are hidden costs [where] parents have to go and forego work.”

UNESCAP is calling for the registration of births to be made a development issue.

Ms Fu says the lack of a birth certificate can see people trapped in their own villages, unable to obtain a drivers license or a passport for travel.

“Without birth registration the individuals themselves are denied opportunities and basic rights to access school services, health services; to be able to vote or open bank accounts; to participate in formal economic activities.

“At the same time, [they] run the higher risk of being exploited and trafficked.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

EDUCATION:

21) Tokelau schools to be reviewed by New Zealand team(Polynesia)

Posted at 03:45 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

Tokelau’s government will know in a few weeks whether the territory’s three schools are up to scratch, following a review by a team from New Zealand’s Education Review Office.

The team of six heads to Tokelau later this week in order to assess the quality of education at schools on each of the territory’s three atolls.

The head of the team, Violet Tu’uga Stevenson, says the Tokelau government requested the review of the schools, which cater for students from early childhood to year 11.

“So we’re going over there to have a look at what’s happening between early childhood and Year 11. We’re looking at the curriculum, we’re looking at the quality of teaching, we’re looking at the resourcing and the leadership there.”

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson says the team will also find out how many students continue their education beyond Year 11.

Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS/TRADE+:

22) Workers’ productivity must be raised to save Samoan companies – PM

Posted at 01:45 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

The Samoan Prime Minister says for companies in Samoa to remain successful, their employees must be highly productive and raise their level of performance.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was speaking in American Samoa over the weekend when he attended the 50th anniversary of StarKist Samoa cannery where the majority of the workforce is from Samoa.

Tuilaepa says Yazaki Samoa, which processes automotive components for export, has been in operation in Apia for a number of years and employs hundreds of workers in the low income bracket.

But he says the future of these companies is never certain, especially in these times of economic instability and uncertainty.

“Employees at all levels and management must and need to work co-operatively together to raise the level of performance in order to guarantee a certain future for them and their families, and by extension, their countries.”

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Radio New Zealand International

23) American Samoa marks 50th anniversary of tuna cannery, territory’s shift to modern economy

By Online Editor
4:57 pm GMT+12, 19/08/2013, American Samoa

American Samoa is celebrating the 50th birthday of a tuna cannery that Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga says marked the U.S. territory’s “shift to a modern economy.”

Pittsburgh-based StarKist Co. opened the cannery in 1963. At the time, most people in American Samoa lived off the land by fishing and farming.

Today, StarKist Samoa — which was bought by South Korea’s Dongwon Industries in 2008 — employs nearly half of the territory’s private sector workforce.

It exports 6,000 containers of cargo annually to the U.S. and 500 containers to Australia and Southeast Asia.

“StarKist Samoa has become the single largest producing tuna cannery in the world,” said Moliga.

Dongwon Chairman Jaechul Kim, StarKist CEO Sam Hwi Lee and other top Dongwan and StarKist officials traveled to American Samoa for the celebration, which will include singing by cannery workers and traditional dance.

The governor told the delegation in a meeting last week that he’s working with American Samoa’s delegate to Congress to prevent the territory’s minimum wage from rising to match the rate for the rest of the United States.

The minimum wage in American Samoa varies from $4.18 to $5.59 per hour, depending on the industry.

A 2007 law instituted annual 50-cents increases until the rate matched the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Implementation of this law was frozen, however, until 2015.

The territory’s other cannery, Chicken of the Sea, cited the law when it closed in 2009, costing the jobs of more than 2,000 employees. StarKist cited the law when it decided to lay off 800 workers the following year.

The governor’s executive assistant, Iulogologo J. Pereira, said the Moliga was working to address the issue now and was not waiting until the moratorium expires in two years.

Moliga has asked territorial Department of Commerce officials to gather data to support his position that the federal minimum wage shouldn’t be applied in American Samoa, Pereira said.

Chicken of the Sea has since been taken over by Tri Marine International, of Bellevue, Washington, which plans to start construction at the plant later this year.

SOURCE: AP/PACNEWS

24) Samoa Exporters Prepare Taro Exports To The U.S.
Growers want the opportunity to ship more

By Iliā L. Likou

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, August 18, 2013) – Two containers of talo [taro] are being loaded for America – and the exporters want more.

More than 15 commercial farmers brought in crops this week for export to America, said Tanu To’omata, a senior Agriculture Officer.

“We already set the time and day for shipping talo to America for all the farmers that contacted us,” he said. “They have to be on time and they were told the amount in kilos that they had to came up with.”

Mr. To’omata confirmed they buy 20 kilos of talo for ST$41 [US$17.37].

Wednesday is the last day for the current shipment.

Figures from the central bank show a small but still significant export total from the 12 months to April 2013 of ST$749,000 [US$317,346].

At Aele last Thursday afternoon, two farmers were enthusiastic about the export opportunity.

Exporter Mrs. Lisa Kamu said there was “overwhelming” feedback to their first shipment.

“Our first container got a lot of demand from those in America and we want to ship more.”

“It gives a great opportunity to every farmer to export their harvest.”

“They are getting good rewards, rather than standing in the sun the whole day and getting nearly nothing.”

Exporting also encourages farmer, Felise Vito of Lotopa.

“I get very good money – it’s worth the pain of working day and night at the plantation.”

“This is my second time sending taro to America and I was really happy with it.”

How do the export prices compare to local markets?

A rough estimate by Samoa Observer would be from the Fugalei market where farmers get ST$20 tala [US$8.47] for a bag of about seven taro, between five to seven kilos.

However, while the price may be slightly higher locally, sales are not guaranteed.

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

25) Researchers Say PNG Oil Palm Is A ‘Cover’ For Illegal Logging
Landowners who feel victimized by special leases, unsurprised

By Alexander Rheeney

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 19, 2013) – Developers are using oil palm as a cover for logging in Papua New Guinea, say Australian-based researchers.

The new research by the James Cook University’s Dr Paul Nelson and Jennifer Gabriel in a paper titled “Oil palm and deforestation in Papua New Guinea” was published recently in Conservation Letters, the journal of the Society of Conservation Biology.

Its findings will not surprise Papua New Guinean landowners who have been victimised in recent years by the Government’s Special Agriculture and Business Lease (SABL), which saw large tracts of their land given away to developers under controversial 99-year leases, often without their informed consent.

Oil palm is the commodity of choice for the developers but conservationists have charged that it is a guise for logging.

Studying 36 oil palm proposals planned for close to 1 million hectares of land in PNG, Dr Nelson said they expect only five plantations covering 181,700 to eventuate and little of the land targeted for the development will be converted to agricultural use.

“Logging in Papua New Guinea is a major driver of deforestation, not oil palm plantations. We studied 36 oil palm proposals with plantings planned for 984,000 hectares but we expect that only five plantations covering 181,700 hectares might eventuate.

The most likely scenario in years to come is large-scale clearing and extraction of time with little of the land being converted into sustainable agricultural production,” he said in a statement.

In what could be a chilling message to Papua New Guinean landowners already caught up in the SABL saga, the JCA-based researcher further alleged that most developers were “clearing forest with no intention of cultivating palm oil” as it enabled them to bypass restrictions on logging within the country.

Institute of National Affairs (INA) executive director Paul Barker agreed when asked to comment on the report by the Post-Courier, saying developers used the SABL policy to “circumvent” the requirements of the Forestry Act, which would have ensured the sustainable management and harvesting of timber and landowner forest management agreements with the PNG Forest Authority.

“The failure by the developers to factor in costs to cater for oil palm mills and nurseries which are normally associated with the establishment of oil palm plantations confirmed that they were not genuine,” Mr Barker added.

“You can tell most of the schemes aren’t genuine as they don’t plan and budget properly for the costs of expensive oil palm mills etc.

“And often set up small and inadequate nurseries and then have no mill ready when the oil palm is ready for harvest,” he said.

Public outcry compelled then acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to set up a commission of inquiry into the SABL with the O’Neill Government taking it on board upon entering office last year.

However, to date a final report is yet to be handed over with PM Peter O’Neill describing the inquiry’s performance as “disappointing” in March this year.

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

26) Project To Improve Inter-Island Shipping In Vanuatu Launched
New Zealand, ADB support initiative expand shipping to remote islands

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 19, 2013) – The Vanuatu Inter-Island Shipping Support Project was launched jointly Friday by the Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, the visiting New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, and Asian Development Bank’s Pacific Department Director General, Xianbin Yao, at a ceremony at South Paray Bay in Port Vila.

The Vanuatu Inter-Island Shipping Support Project is a joint initiative between New Zealand, the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Vanuatu and it will improve domestic port facilities and expand shipping services to remote islands of Vanuatu.

Speaking at the occasion, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister McCully announced that New Zealand is contributing $NZ17-million [US$13.8 million] towards the project to improve shipping services and port facilities in Vanuatu.

He said he was glad to represent the Government of New Zealand at the occasion of the launching of the project as “shipping services are a lifeline in the Pacific, connecting communities, moving goods to market and supporting the tourism industry”. He said New Zealand is pleased to be working with ADB and Vanuatu to deliver this major upgrade of the interisland shipping services.

“This project is all about reconnecting people in rural and remote areas to health and education services and markets in other parts of Vanuatu and the region,” said ADB Pacific Department DG Xianbin Yao, who participated in the launch ceremony. “It is modeled on the success of similar projects in Fiji, Papua New and Solomon Islands,” he added.

Prime Minister Carcasses said the Inter-Island Shipping Project which will include the development of South Para Bay with wharf and port facilities “is one significant development as the main sea link domestic port on which the livelihood of the rest of over 80 inhabited outer islands of the archipelago will largely hinge”.

“The Government and the people of Vanuatu sincerely appreciate and applaud the Government of New Zealand through you, Honorable Minister McCully, for taking the lead in the financing of this project,” The Prime Minister said.

“To the Director General of the Pacific Department of the ADB Xianbin, we are extremely appreciative of your continuing support towards the infrastructure development endeavors of this country,” he added.

The Inter-Island Shipping Support Project is being implemented over five years, starting in 2014 and will finance a new interisland terminal at South Paray Bay in Port Vila and construct new jetties on the islands of Malekula, Ambae, Tanna and Pentecost. The project will also rehabilitate several jetties in remote areas of Vanuatu.

The new terminal in Port Vila will provide sufficient berths to handle the growing volume of vessels, as well as separate transit facilities for men, women and the disabled.

The franchise shipping component of the project will enable private sector ship operators to provide services to commercially unviable destinations in remote parts of Vanuatu. It aims to spur rural development and promote the growth of rural productivity.

The project is expected to cost around $US26.8-million, with the New Zealand Government providing a grant of $NZ17-million ($US12.6), ADB providing a loan of almost $US11-million from its concessional Asian Development Fund, and the Government of Vanuatu contributing $US3.4-million.

Witnessing the ceremony was Chief Mantoi Kalsakau III paramount chief of the traditional land owners of Ifira Wharf and South Paray Bay, the 40-strong delegation accompanying the NZ Foreign Minister, Leader of the Opposition Ham Lini, Vanuatu Government Ministers and senior officials and members of the diplomatic corp.

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

LAW&ORDER:

27) Samoa quarantine officer jailed over possession of imported drug

Posted at 18:49 on 18 August, 2013 UTC

A quarantine officer in Samoa, Junior Patau, has been jailed for three years and eight months after he was found guilty in an assessor trial a month ago.

The former officer was charged by the police after customs officers who were on duty at the Faleolo International airport in December last year found contraband of methamphetamine drug in a luggage the defendant had claimed.

During the trial, the police said the luggage came on unaccompanied and the defendant was at the airport to uplift it.

Radio New Zealand International

28) Guadalcanal Premier Returns Apology To Malaita Over Tensions
Stephen Panga pours out heart over ethnic unrest

By Charley Piringi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 16, 2013) – Guadalcanal premier Stephen Panga poured his heart out as he apologised to the people of Malaita over the recent ethnic unrest.

Mr Panga was one of the guest speakers at Malaita’s 30th second appointed day celebrations in Auki, Thursday.

“On behalf of the government and people of Guadalcanal, I wish to sincerely apologise to Malaitan families and individuals for the pain, traumas, and other negative consequences you have gone through during the ethnic unrest,” Mr Panga told the large Malaitan crowd.

“I sincerely apologise to the women and children who were caught in between and became victims directly or indirectly.

“I am really sorry.

“I ask that you forgive us,” he added.

Malaita premier Edwin Suibaea had earlier offered similar apology to the people of Guadalcanal when he spoke at the province’s second appointed celebrations last month at Doma.

Mr Panga reminded the Auki crowd that the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita are one.

“We are all Solomon Islanders. Our shared cultural and traditional values will continue to hold respect for each other.”

Mr Panga said the unfortunate situation that happened between the people of Malaita and Guadalcanal is something that we could not believe.

“It is one we stand to regret.

“However, it had already happened.

“The strategy to adopt now is for us not to continue to dwell on the past.

“But let us learn from those mistakes, identify and curb our weaknesses, build on our strengths and let us work together to reconstruct and rebuild our relationships, our provinces, and our country.”

Mr Panga told Malaitans that reconciliation between the two provinces is a key policy priority of his government.

“It is my sincere wish to see the two provinces united together in common good and work to foster and rebuild the relationship that we once enjoyed as one people in the past.

“My presence this morning in joining you in your celebrations is manifestation and affirmation of my genuineness and commitment to the reconciliation process between our two provinces.

“It is important that our two provinces have restorative reconciliations before the national government sets a national healing day where the two premiers make joint apology statements to the whole nation for what had happened.”

In urging the two provinces to embrace and progress the peace process, Mr Panga presented a Chupu (Guadalcanal traditional gift giving) to his Malaitan counterpart.

Solomon Star

REFUGEE/ASYLUM+:

29) PNG Supreme Court fast-tracks challenge against asylum deal

Posted at 03:45 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of fast-tracking a constitutional challenge by the opposition against the government’s asylum seeker deal with Australia.

The opposition’s first case against the Manus Island asylum seeker processing centre was thrown out of court on a technicality.

Since then, the opposition has relaunched a fresh challenge after the government agreed to an extended refugee resettlement arrangement with Australia.

The deputy opposition leader Sam Basil told Johnny Blades they are confident that their case has merits.

SAM BASIL: They have broken the laws daily since the deal was signed and executed. That was the urgency of the matter that the Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track the case. So we should be very concerned about the constitution because the constitution has been broken and recently the Prime Minister’s office, in response, suggested that they will amend the constitution in parliament to ensure that the asylum seekers treaty doesn’t break any PNG laws, and that has upset the opposition and upset a lot of Papua New Guineans that the government is going to go back and fix the laws that they’ve broken by executing the asylum seekers deal.

JOHNNY BLADES: What do you see as being constitutionally wrong about the deal?

SAM BASIL: I am not a lawyer so I will not go through many of them but one of those was the amount of time required to hold suspects under detention – that would be one of those laws that would be broken. The others would be if the asylum seekers come into the country and they are part of same-sex couples, they will break some of our rules. How do PNG laws apply to those asylum seekers? There is no policy on asylum seekers currently being adopted by PNG or that is in PNG’s constitution.

JOHNNY BLADES: The government, do you get the feeling that perhaps they under-estimated the depth of opposition to the deal?

SAM BASIL: As Papua New Guineans, we understand our role. We should play our part in this region to mitigate any of those issues and threats that come into our region. In doing so, we the opposition of PNG are asking that we have to do it properly. We have to do it accordingly by our constitution. We understand that there is a federal election coming up in Australia. We believe that the urgency was because the Labor Party wants to use this issue to maybe get popular votes and return Rudd and his team back in to parliament. But not at the cost of our constitution. There is a figure of 450 million Australian dollars that has been mentioned by the Prime Minister of PNG, that that money is what we’re going to benefit from this deal… but that money is actually the normal AusAID money we get every year. But I don’t think that our constitution is worth 450 million dollars. Our constitution is pre-eminent. We must respect it. The case must be brought back to parliament and debated properly but instead they’ve already put the cart before the horse. They realise they’ve broken the law and Prime Minister O’Neill is trying to change the law so that has upset a lot of Papua New Guineans and we must understand that we Papua New Guineans are very jealous of our constitution. When you mingle with it, we have something to say about it. That’s why we bring it to the courts now for the five-judge bench to make a decision.

Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

30) PNG’s Port Moresby faces water shortage

Posted at 03:45 on 19 August, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s capital city, Port Moresby, could be facing severe water shortages in coming months, as levels in its only water source, the Sirinumu Dam, slowly recede with no sign of rain to replenish it.

On Sunday senior executives of the water supply authority, Eda Ranu, appealed to the public to be water conscious.

The chief executive, Henry Mokono and senior management took journalists to the dam to show them the critical state of the city’s water supplies.

A Sirinumu Dam landowner says usually the dam, on the Sogeri plateau, is not affected by the dry weather that affects Port Moresby.

Mr Mokono says the situation is very bad and everyone must start taking some responsibility when using water.

He says washing vehicles with hoses, watering flower gardens and simply wasting water must cease or the city will run out of water.

The utility has also begun a water rationing exercise which will be publicised in the media.

Radio New Zealand International

31) NZ commits to 2020 climate change target

By Online Editor
4:52 pm GMT+12, 19/08/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says the target compares favourably with our traditional partners and reflects New Zealand’s unique national circumstances.

“Our 2020 target is more ambitious than our Kyoto Protocol first commitment period target, ” says Minister Groser.

“The target is affordable and demonstrates that New Zealand is doing its fair share to address global climate change. In deciding this target, the Government has carefully balanced the cost to New Zealand households and businesses against taking ambitious action to tackle climate change.”

New Zealand is taking the 2020 target under the UN Framework Convention rather than the Kyoto Protocol itself.

“We’re working towards a binding agreement under the Convention that, from 2020, will apply to all parties,” said Groser.

“Taking this 2020 target allows us to take action in the interim, while the shape of this new agreement is being determined. It also gives us the flexibility to begin our transition to the new agreement’s rules ahead of time.

SOURCE: TVNZ/PACNEWS

32) Scientists Find 40 New Species Of Beetles On Tahiti
Tahiti hosts ‘some of the most diverse insects populations’ on earth

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 19, 2013) – A group of entomologists has found more than 40 new species of beetles on the steep slopes of the Tahitian mountains.

The team hiked into areas only accessible from helicopter drop-off points, and never before visited by scientists.

Tahiti is home to some of the most diverse insect populations in the world.

Professor James Liebherr from Cornell University in New York led the expedition and says it’s uncommon to have so many different kinds of beetles in one place.

“The significance in my mind is that the amount of diversity in Tahiti is all restricted to Tahiti.

“They are all endemic species.

“You go to any particular ridges that make up the volcano Tahiti Nui, and there’s been extensive erosion and many of these ridges are quite isolated, and you go ridge to ridge, even then you find different species,” he told Pacific Beat.

“The older volcano on Tahiti is only 1.4 million years old and we’ve discovered over 100 species there, so these things are clicking along at a very rapid rate.”

Professor Liebherr believes many of the beetles can be traced back to one found in Australia.

“My hypothesis is that it’s a very, very common species found across Australia.

“It has wings, it flies, you could be in Sydney or in Perth…it doesn’t matter, it’s everywhere.”

“But when you get back to these island systems the flight wings have been lost, evolutionarily and at that point the ranges become much smaller.”

“They become homebodies, they can’t fly, they simply stay where they are and the populations diverge.”

The group didn’t discover any hybrid species, because they tend to stay in one place and breed with their neighbours.

“You’ll have small populations, perhaps on a ridge constrained by a forest-type or levels of precipitation or particular tree species and they don’t occur anywhere else, and as the slopes fall away in between they’re left high and dry,” Professor Liebherr says.

“We also found on this trip that there were other things that specialise on wet rock faces, so they’re living between the layers of volcanic rock where springs are coming out of the ground.

“Other ones are specific to particular types of vegetation and seem not to be found on other things. and so they’re very, very specific ecologically.”

Professor Leibherr says it’s highly likely there are many more species to be discovered in Tahiti.

“There are four major massifs in the south end of Tahiti Nui that no entomologist has ever been on, so the work certainly hasn’t been done.

“I think we’re about halfway there.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

SPORTS:

33) Yere form sizzling

By Online Editor
5:34 pm GMT+12, 19/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

The form of UK-based rugby league player Menzie Yere should earn him a place in the Papua New Guinea squad for the Rugby League World Cup, says rival international coach Mark Aston.

The powerful centre can win games on his own says Aston who is head coach of Ireland and Yere’s club team Sheffield Eagles.

“Can he score a full-length try? Yes. Can he score a try from two yards out? Yes. Menzie can have an impact,” said Aston.

“If I was Papua New Guinea’s coach I would certainly be looking at having him in there because sometimes when it’s a close game people like him can win it for you.”

Yere is having his best season for Sheffield Eagles who lead the Championship – the second tier competition in the UK professional game. He has set a new club individual try-scoring record with 38 and his career total for Sheffield is 110, only four behind the mark set by Daryl Powell from 1984 to 1995.

Yere burst on the international scene for PNG in the 2008 World Cup and his ferocious tackling in the Four Nations three years later earned him the nickname ‘Jukebox’ – because he has all the big hits.

He joined the Sheffield club in 2009 and faces competition for a place in the PNG squad for this year’s competition from players plying their trade in Australia.

“Menzie did enough to get in the squad in 2008 and I think he’s got better,” said Aston “He’s back to his best.

He’s scoring more tries and he’s playing at a higher level. He’s stronger, more mature.

“Menzie would certainly be given an opportunity to be in the Ireland squad.

What we are looking for at Ireland is that person that can do something different – that’s what all the nations, even those with the riches of the NRL or Super League are looking for. “All the countries from that side of the globe will be full of NRL players.

But it’s about getting the players to gel. The NRL is the best competition in the world but not every player is the best.”

The Rugby League World Cup 2013 kicks off at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, on Saturday October 26, with matches played in England, Wales, Ireland and France. PNG are in Group B and will face the cup holders New Zealand as well as Samoa and France.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

34) Brigadier General Naivalurua lays down challenge for Team Fiji

By Online Editor
5:31 pm GMT+12, 19/08/2013, Fiji

“You can win the battle but you must also win the war” was advice to Team Fiji from keynote speaker, Brigadier General Naivalurua in his address at the pre-Games departure Team Assembly held at the Fiji Arts Club on Saturday, August 18 in Suva.

Addressing the 108 strong contingent representing seven sports, Brigadier General Naivalurua stressed the importance of family values and maintaining the strong sense of discipline required on the field, also off the field.  He said each member of Team Fiji were seen as heroes of their country and called for patriotism from the athletes and officials, who were not only going into “battle” for their own benefit but rather as representatives of their beloved country and their families.

Brigadier General Naivalurua also presented the athletes and officials with their uniform kits consisting of sports gear from FASANOC sponsor JR White, walk out uniform and casual wear from Unitex and footwear from Dahia Shoes.

During the assembly, the team management also provided an update on what could be expected for Team Fiji’s two-week competition in Wallis and Futuna.

Team Fiji departs Nadi on a Fiji Airways Charter on August 31 and returns on September 12 immediately after the closing ceremony.

Fiji will compete in athletics & parasports, rugby 7s, sailing, taekwondo, weightlifting, va’a and volleyball (Beach and Indoor Women)

Chef de Mission Alini Sovu in her vote of thanks acknowledged the contributions towards Team Fiji’s preparation and participation costs from the Fiji Government, through the National Sports Commission, Team Fiji’s Partners for Gold, FASANOC Sponsors and the International Olympic Committee.
SOURCE: FASANOC/PACNEWS

35) McCaw will never stop playing

By Online Editor
5:44 pm GMT+12, 19/08/2013, New Zealand

By Chris Rattue, NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz

Having watched Richie McCaw motoring around in the Sydney test I’m predicting he might make the 2019 World Cup.

After a long holiday, most people do boring things like mow the lawn and rescue the angry family cat from up a tree.

Maybe Richie McCaw does mow his own lawns and has a cat with a grumpy face but for the sake of this piece, he breaks the rules by – drum roll – playing a rugby test straight after his holiday.

It was absolutely amazing to watch him charging around as if he’d never been away, even though it was hardly unexpected. One of the many things about McCaw is that he is very noticeable. He’s not the biggest of forwards, but he looks like the biggest forward. Whether he’s nabbing a turnover or getting penalised or making a tackle, he seems to fill up the screen.

Sam Cane, his understudy, did a lot of work against France this year but he hardly got noticed. Even when he crucially charged down a drop kick, hardly anyone remembered Sam Cane.

The only time people don’t notice McCaw is when they should. Israel Folau went on one burst late in Saturday night’s test and there in the background you could see the inevitable – R. McCaw steaming into view, holiday forgotten, living on hope, putting himself in a position. And hey presto: Folau chucked the ball straight at – you guessed it – McCaw. Some opponents also claim that referees can’t see McCaw, even though he’s always tangled on their side of the ruck. But that’s another story.

Okay, so this was hardly the perfect return. McCaw got pinged for three offences, fumbled the ball a few times, and was a lifter in a lineout that went wrong from which Will Genia scored a great try. But none of that matters much. He took an early hit, got up, got stuck in, made repeat tackles, made the most All Black runs, messed the Aussies up, scored a try, took everyone’s attention. The Aussies will be having nightmares, thinking they are never going to see the back of McCaw. Cane might be wondering who retires first.

The legend has only grown. Will he ever stop? Did he run home after the test match? Why don’t bits of his body break like everybody’s else’s and when they do, why doesn’t he break?

Is there a chance one day he’ll welcome a youngster with a name like Thorn into the All Blacks and reminisce, “I used to play with your dad”? Could McCaw create yet another record and become the first All Black to get two super sabbaticals? Maybe he’ll play so long that by the end of his career, someone will have figured out decent scrum rules.

It all lies ahead for young, 32-year-old Richie McCaw. For a bloke with 117 tests, he’s showing a lot of promise.

New scrum rules

The new scrum engagement rules are working but seem unfair. There are fewer resets and shenanigans, for sure. But at what price? In the Sydney test, the team putting the ball in – the team that strongly deserves to retain possession – is at a clear disadvantage. I counted 12 scrums in the match, and the team putting the ball in only retained or cleared it efficiently three times for one reason or another, including the concession of penalties. A renewed emphasis on the hooker having to strike for the ball might be handicapping the front row of the team with the put in.

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