Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 851

MELANESIA:

1) Protecting PNG borders is vital

By Online Editor
3:55 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Protecting PNG’s borders and ensuring socio-economic development was the message coming from the Commissioner of Customs at the annual conference of Certified Practicing Accountants.

Ray Paul said that the customs service five year plan is spirited and committed to lead in securing national borders that will enhance the security and socio-economic development of the country.

“We are committed to protect PNG’s borders, communities and industries that will enhance facilitation of international trade and travel,” said Paul.

He said within that five year plan they will achieve the outcomes of border security and enforcement, trade facilitation, revenue protection and collection and enabling and implementation of the plan itself.

He also added that their role as the country’s gatekeepers place them in a position where they must always perform their tasks and meet stakeholders’ expectations.

PNG Ports Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Alphonse, also made it clear that PNG Ports for the past few years have played a critical role in facilitating commerce and economic trade within the country.

He said the board and management of PNG Ports early this year decided to take stock of its position in light of the present economic and political landscapes.

They have also developed a strategic plan that will drive its business over the next 20 years and this has resulted in the development of a fresh mission, vision and strategies.

“The plan itself will assist in managing port infrastructure and rehabilitation, develop a dynamic and efficient management and operational structure that will respond to the country’s demand,” said Alphonse.

The two day conference highlighted very important economic and development issues which were shared by professionals from all business houses.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

2) PNG will block pro-OPM boats: Marty

By Online Editor
4:05 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Indonesia

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Tuesday he believed authorities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) would take decisive measures against Freedom Flotilla West Papua, a group of pro-West Papuan independence activists from Australia who intend to enter Indonesia via the neighboring nation.

The city of Daru in western PNG is planned to be the activist’s last stopover before they proceed on land to Merauke, the easternmost city in the Papua province.

In two boats, dozens of activists departed from the city of Cairns in northeastern Australia on Aug. 17 — the day Indonesians celebrated the nation’s 68th anniversary. They plan to arrive in Daru in early September.

“The Papua New Guinean government has said that they will not allow [the boats] to enter [its territory],” Marty said after attending the Special Conference on Irregular Movement of Persons in Jakarta. “If they insist on proceeding, the Papua New Guinean authorities will take enforcement measures,” he added.

Marty also said that he did not want to provide “more platforms” to the movement which he accused of merely “seeking publicity without having any connection to the facts of development currently underway in Papua and West Papua provinces.”

On the sidelines of the conference, Marty had a bilateral meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr who was also attending the Jakarta conference.

After the meeting, Carr reiterated that the Australian government did not support the movement particularly given the activists’ failure to obtain visas and a sailing permit which could carry legal consequences under Indonesian law.

Marty, meanwhile, acknowledged the activists’ movements had been discussed with his Australian counterpart. “I listened to Australia’s reaffirmation of recognition of the developments Indonesia has been making in Papua and West Papua provinces,” he said. Marty declined to say whether the government had conveyed a protest to Canberra for letting the flotilla depart from Australian soil.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto previously said that he had told Australian ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty “that 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.”

A Fiji-based media outlet, Islands Business, published an article on Tuesday quoting a PNG police commander who said that Port Moresby “has been alerted to a proposed celebration to mark the landing of a convoy of ships from Cairns Australia, carrying West Papuan people and rights activists.”

The outlet also said PNG police “would not allow any event to mark the proposed independence of the West Papua people of Indonesia.”

According to Australian media, the “Freedom Flotilla” boats had reached Cooktown in North Queensland on Tuesday. The boat’s last stop in Australia will be Thursday Island, also in Queensland, where they will seek customs clearance and hold a press conference before proceeding to Daru.

SOURCE: THE JAKARTA POST/PACNEWS

3) Australia issues warning to Freedom Flotilla heading to West Papua

Posted at 23:29 on 20 August, 2013 UTC

The Australian Government has issued a formal written warning to members of a Freedom Flotilla en route to Indonesia’s West Papua.

Canberra warns that the crew of the flotilla, a three-boat convoy of around 20 Australian activists planning to land on Merauke in Papua province in the coming weeks, face significant criminal penalties if they breach Papua New Guinea or Indonesian immigration laws.

Speaking from Jakarta, Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr described the flotilla’s proposed illegal entry as high risk, with Indonesian law providing for penalties of up to 5 years for similar immigration offences.

He says if flotilla members are arrested in Indonesia or neighbouring Papua New Guinea, Canberra cannot seek special treatment for them or intervene in local procedures.

Senator Carr says the activists are perpetrating a cruel hoax on the people of Papua and West Papua provinces, by suggesting that independence is on the international agenda.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Promissory Notes Could Divide Vanuatu Government
PM reportedly dismissed legal opinions obtained by Deputy PM

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 20, 2013) – In Vanuatu, Prime Minster Moana Carcasses’ government could be divided on the issue of Parliament agreeing that promissory notes of about Vt33 billion [US$340.2 million] are issued to a Singapore-based company.

The new airport project that was drafted by very top senior government officials during Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s regime and perfected during PM Carcasses time in government through the drafting of a Concession Agreement and the drafting of promissory note for tabling in Parliament this month.

But the Daily Post has been reliably informed that a major party in Carcasses’ coalition has opposed the idea of Parliament tabling Vt33 billion promissory notes given to the Vanuatu Trade Development Limited.

The Council of Ministers (COM) on July 4 mandated Deputy Prime Minister Edward Natapei to get a second legal opinion on the Concession Agreement that gives the Singapore company control over new International Airport for 50 years drafted by very top civil servants.

In his letter to the Prime Minister Carcasses on July 27, Vanua’aku Pati (VP) President and Foreign Affairs Minister Natapei said there was a need for further due diligence prior to the signing of the Concession Agreement.

Natapei was also in the process of formulating another COM Paper to present to the Council of Ministers to establish a second Taskforce (senior civil servants and members of the private sector) to undertake the due diligence and to formulate a better Concession Agreement for the PM to sign.

Prime Minister Carcasses replied to Deputy Prime Minister Natapei’s doubts in a letter also dated July 27th and refuted all the legal opinions Natapei obtained from a lawyer.

Claims made by the Daily Post that VP and the Graon mo Jastis Party (GJP), the parties in government, may oppose the deal to have promissory notes of US$350 million passed in Parliament was rejected by the VP President.

VP said they would vote for the promissory notes in Parliament.

And during the public meeting Deputy Prime Minister Natapei said the government paid for Prime Minister’s travel to Singapore for medical treatment but Daily Post investigations found that the government only paid for his allowances.

The Daily Post could not contact the GJP President and Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu on allegations the GJP may oppose the promissory notes in Parliament.

The Council of Ministers Decision 88/213: New Vanuatu International Airport mandates “the Taskforce to draft the Promissory note for tabling at the August Parliamentary Session.”

The First Extra Ordinary Session of Parliament begins today.

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

5) Opposition: Solomon Islands PM ‘Barking Up Wrong Tree’
Sikua says Lilo lied about funding sources for recent trip

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 21, 2013) – The Solomon Islands Opposition says Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo’s response to its exposure of the funding source for the Prime Minister’s recent trip to Indonesia misses the point.

Opposition leader Dr. Derek Sikua said it was the Prime Minister who barked up the wrong tree.

“What I was getting at was that the Prime Minister lied in stating that the trip was fully funded by Jakarta,” Dr. Sikua said.

He said he had in his possession documents to prove that the Solomon Islands Government spent more than SBD$1 million [US$136,000] on airfares, per diem and imprest for his 13-member delegation.

“Such a response is only revealing of the cunningness of the Prime Minister in diverting attention away from his irresponsible actions.”

The opposition leader said he never disputed the significant economic and political benefits the trip might bring to the country, except for the fact that he should have also raised Solomon Islands concerns about human rights violations in West Papua with the Indonesian President.

He said the other issue of concern was the size and composition of the Prime Minister’s delegation which he described as ‘bulky and irrelevant.’

“If it was for the discussion of trade and economic issues, why were the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade and the Minister for Commerce, Industries and Labour and their Permanent Secretaries not part of the delegation?

“The inclusion of Government backbenchers in the delegation is totally unnecessary.

“Unless the Prime Minister can explain the significant contributions they have made to the various engagements he had in Indonesia, I maintain my statement that their inclusion was totally unnecessary.”

The Opposition Leader said if the Prime Minister is really serious about economic growth in the Solomon Islands, then he should have been here in the country to receive the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister and his high-level delegation when they were here for the opening of the new Munda International Airport.

“These are the people that are giving the highest portion of their aid money to the Solomon Islands compared to other countries in the region,” he said

Dr. Sikua said if the Prime Minister’s trip to Indonesia was also re-establishing bilateral ties, then the Prime Minister needs to tell the nation whether what he said to the Indonesian President was consistent with the positions of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

As to comments by the Prime Minister that the Opposition needs a lecture on economics, the Opposition Leader said the last person that the Opposition needs a lecture on economics from is the Prime Minister himself.

However, Hon. Dr. Sikua said if the Prime Minister really wants to give an economic lecture to the Opposition, he should ask himself the following questions:

Why did it take him too long to bring a supplementary appropriation bill to parliament?
What is the current status of the 2013 Appropriation Bill 2014? Right now we should be seeing a draft or is he planning to ask Parliament for a resolution to bring the 2014 budget to Parliament for approval in early 2014?
What economic lecture will he give to the Opposition when he brought to parliament a lousy CDF Act and it took him about six months for the formation of a bipartisan group to do the regulations for the bill?
What economic savvy does he have that he gave airport cleaning contracts to Ministers, Government Backbenchers and NCRA Government cronies?
What economic lecture will he give to the Opposition when he gave beche-de-mer export licenses to cabinet Ministers, Government Backbenches and the Asian cronies of his NCRA Government?
What economic sense is he trying to instill in the Opposition when under his leadership, the government cannot even fulfill its obligations to teachers and students.
What economic sense is he trying to instill in the Opposition when MPs are not paid their Constituency Development Funds on time?
What economic lecture will he give on the ‘tenderpreneurs’ whereby he gave big projects to cabinet Ministers and NCRA Government cronies?
What economic lecture will he give to the Opposition when the NCRA Growth Centre Programme has disappeared into the thin air?
If he wants to talk bilateral and economics with Indonesia with its population of 290 million, then what comparative advantage does Solomon Islands have over Indonesia?

Solomon Star

6) Friction a sign of distrust between PNG and Bougainville

By Online Editor
4:07 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Despite the peace agreement, tension between Papua New Guinea and Bougainville has always simmered away in the background.

In recent times though, it’s moved up a significant notch.

Geographically and culturally Bougainville shares closer ties with the Solomon Islands but, like other examples in the Pacific, colonial powers lumped it in with Papua New Guinea.

Anger at how their Panguna mine was being managed, sparked a decade of bitter violent warfare as the people of Bougainville fought for independence.

New Zealand played a significant role in the Bougainville Peace Agreement – which was signed in August 2001 and gave Bougainville greater autonomy.

Now fourteen years later things are not so good.

It’s over money – at least on the surface. PNG gives Bougainville $100 million kina (US$42 million) a year and are unhappy it’s not being spent on infrastructure which it’s intended for but rather on wages and claims.

The Bougainville administration deny this, and say they should be allowed to spend it on what they like.

The friction between the two should not be underplayed as it shows a great level of distrust.

Bougainville’s President John Momis has come out firing.

“They (PNG) are deliberately trying to fragment Bougainville which will not happen, they are deliberately trying to undermine the leadership and the people of Bougainville,” he told us.

He has also accused PNG of breaching the Bougainville Agreement and their own constitution.

PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is more cautious in its language saying he’s “not pleased” with Bougainville’s administration. However the delivery of his comments spoke of a clearly deteriorating relationship between the two.

Given New Zealand’s relationship with PNG and Bougainville in the past, it’s not surprising it’s been asked to step in.

It’s fair to say it’s cautious about doing so.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he hasn’t ruled it out…but the two countries need to have more dialogue. He says “they are closer together on some issues than they realise”.

One thing is clear. The current tension is a grim sign in the leadup to Bougainville’s independence referendum which will be held between 2015-2020.

SOURCE: TVNZ/PACNEWS

7a) Vanuatu call to bar naturalised citizens from political office

Posted at 06:44 on 21 August, 2013 UTC

A veteran Vanuatu opposition MP, Willie Jimmy, says the constitution should be amended to stop naturalised citizens from standing for political office.

Mr Jimmy says only ni-Vanuatu should become members of parliament or town councillors.

He says the current trend to freely issue citizenship to foreigners is putting the involvement of the indigenous population in politics at risk.

Mr Jimmy says if the pposition is returned to power, it will amend the constitution to protect the indigenous rights.

“We allow the naturalised citizen to enter Vanuatu waters to do business and to enjoy the freedom and the environment that they cannot enjoy elsewhere in the world. So that should be enough for them. We must be selfish and greedy about the political system. Political power must always remain in the hands of the indigenous people. That has been my view and I will maintain that all along.”

A Vanuatu opposition MP, Willie Jimmy

Radio New Zealand International

7b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 August 2013

by bobmakin

Daily Post today headlines with a report that there are no deportation orders yet for those persons of the Shanghai Group reportedly “throwing its weight around” over the promissory note issued to the Singapore company (Vanuatu Trade Development Limited – VTDL) for the construction of the Rentabau airport. Benjamin Shing who heads the airport renovation task force is reported by Daily Post still being at pains to deny public money will be needed to cover the promissory note saying it is only “a contingent fiscal liability” and will enhance Vanuatu’s position to borrow in 50 years when the airport concession returns to government.

Yesterday in a press conference the Opposition Group’s Willie Jimmy alleged personal involvement of the Prime Minister in the choice of the Singapore company to do the constructing of an airport for which no plans are available. The new airport project is labelled a scam by Willie Jimmy involving as it does the promissory notes for USD 350 million.

The heavily assisted by New Zealand projects to renovate the portside and seafront of Port Vila have undergone considerable study so far unlike the airport. There is to be a relocation of the Mama’s markets along the wharf road, especially over concerns with safety from the fault line which follows the cliff along that road. Sealing of the road where this has not taken place (owing to natural springs located in the roadway and adding to the mess in wet conditions) will be a priority along with footpaths and park benches. The port boundary fence will be moved. Another option enables a cruise ship passenger arrival area to make bus and taxi collection of tourists easier. Internal Affairs Minister Patrick Crowby says tourism contributes 47% of the domestic economy.

The Motalava water supply is receiving assistance from Unelco it has been reported in Daily Post. Unelco has supplied digging equipment to assist with the trench digging necessary to take water to the populations concerned.

A group of Maranata students and musicians is in Port Vila for money-raising for classroom construction at their Adventist school. They will be going to interviews concerning jobs they might obtain in town and their music night at Club Vanuatu will be tomorrow. Saturday there will be a similar event at Freswota School. This is said to be the first such initiative by a school.

mini Zion Festival takes place today from 3 pm at the Saralana stage.

bobmakin | August 21, 2013 at 7:30 am | Categories: The News, Digested |
8) British diplomat to enhance relationship with Fiji

By Online Editor
1:35 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Fiji

A new British High Commissioner has been appointed to Fiji, and he says he is glad to arrive just before the release of a new Constitution.

Roderick Drummond presented his credentials to the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday.

He says he is looking forward to enhancing the UK’s relationship with Fiji as well as addressing a shared agenda of political and economic development, including the challenges of climate change.

Drummond has also welcomed Fiji’s new constitution which will be released tomorrow.

“The constitutional process has been long and it has gone through many changes so I really have no expectation as to what is in it. The key text will be is it acceptable for the people of Fiji, will it create a condition for a free and fair elections, for a process that moves Fiji forward politically as we all want, but its on the people of Fiji to decide.”

Drummond will serve a three-year term

Meanwhile, a number of permanent voter registration centres are expected to be set up around the country soon.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said people are still registering after the last phase.

The centre is to register people who have not participated in the electronic voter registration process and for those who will be turning 18 soon or before elections in September 2014.

533,553 people have registered so far.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/ FIJI VILLAGE/PACNEWS

9) Union says Fiji military intimidating sugar workers ahead of planned strike

Posted at 06:44 on 21 August, 2013 UTC

The union representing sugar mill workers in Fiji says soldiers have appeared at the Lautoka mill in a clear effort to stop a strike going ahead.

The members of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union voted to take strike action late last month, saying that their wages, in real terms, had declined by 40 percent in the past seven years.

The general secretary of the union, Felix Anthony, says two truckloads of soldiers arrived at the mill in an obvious attempt to intimidate the workers into dropping the planned action.

Mr Anthony has called on the soldiers not to interfere with the workers’ rights.

He says they need to understand the workers and their union have followed the law and are exercising their right to strike because the employer, the Fiji Sugar Corporation, is unwilling to enter into dialogue.

The Corporation earlier warned the workers about the consequences of strike action.

It also asked workers to complete a form saying whether they would strike and revealed plans to offering five-year contracts to retired mill workers.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Fiji parties boycott regime’s constitution briefing

Posted at 06:44 on 21 August, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s main political grouping says it will boycott tomorrow’s briefing about the new constitution by the attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says those who were invited are staying away because the process lacks credibility, claiming that the briefing will be nothing more than a lecture by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

The new constitution has been drawn up by the regime after it threw out last year’s draft by the Constitution Commission.

The UFDF says the regime’s constitution will never be representative of the views and aspirations of the people of Fiji and its planned imposition on the people will never be accepted.

The leaders of the UFDF are to meet this week to complete their own roadmap to democracy.

The regime says there will be two weeks of discussions about the translations of the document before it is assented by the president.

Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA:

11)High speed internet comes to Tonga

Updated 21 August 2013, 15:56 AEST

Tonga’s connection to the outside world takes a giant leap forward as the King launches high speed cable internet.

Audio: Tonga Cable’s Robert Bolouri speaks to Pacific Beat

Tonga’s connection to the outside world has taken a giant leap forward with the launch of a new multi-million high speed internet service.

The service is now live after King Tupou VI commissioned the submarine fibre optic cable link at a ceremony in Sopu.

The new system is expected to be better than the existing satellite connection and improve business, health and education.

Bandwidth, which is currently around 20-30 megabits per second, is expected to increase to up to 10 gigabits per second.

Tonga Cable’s managing director Robert Bolouri told Pacific Beat there is even more bandwidth in the pipeline.

“Now with the cable the bandwidth is practically unlimited compared to demands from the country, much faster speed and more efficient and reliable,” he said.

Mr Bolouri says companies switching to high speed cable will notice a considerable improvement in their online experience.

“Right now for example in Tonga if you try to place an order and go online for supply of equipment for your company sometimes you have to give up because of the time that you have to wait,” he said.

“Sometimes the internet will tell you it has timed-out and it cuts you off.

It will provide much better access and (be) faster, businesses can possibly market their products online especially when it comes to their tourism, they would be able to attract more customers probably.”

Mr Bolouri says the cable service will be more reliable and affordable for businesses and consumers.

“It will certainly benefit everybody in Tonga with a faster, more efficient and lower price internet,” he said.

“At this stage because connection is through satellite, it takes a lot of time if you want to get into internet to retrieve information or download anything and also the bandwidth available in the satellite is quite limited.”

The undersea cable service will connect Tonga to the outside world via Fiji and Australia.

It’s expected that Vanuatu will also hook on to the cable soon, while Samoa and Solomon Islands are also exploring their options.

Mr Bolouri says the cable service won’t be affected by cyclones and other extreme weather.

“The cable is under the sea so it is quite secure, it should not be affected by cyclone or any other weather condition,” he said.

“The building itself where the cable lands is quite solid, it is designed for this purpose.

It should be able to continue operation even during the cyclone and after.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

MICRONESIA:

12) Kiribati MPs vote to remove parliamentary privilege

Posted at 06:44 on 21 August, 2013 UTC

MPs in Kiribati have passed a government bill to remove parliamentary privilege.

A staff member of the parliamentary council says the new law will mean MPs may be sued for anything they say in parliament.

Annell Husband reports.

“Kirata Komwenga says the bill was introduced in April but would not comment on its relationship to a dispute centred on parliamentary privilege between the Kiribati president, Anote Tong and an MP. He says a simple majority of MPs voted in favour of the bill on its first reading but it received a two-thirds majority on its second and final reading. Mr Komwenga says Mr Tong is expected to sign the bill into law sometime after the conclusion of the current parliament on August the 30th. He says the new law puts Kiribati in quite an interesting position and could have a considerable impact on freedom of speech.”

“Mr Komwenga says MPs will not be able to express what they want to say and will be more cautious in their speech.”

Radio New Zealand International

13 ) New Bill Would Require Palau Officials To Undergo Drug Tests
Elected, appointed officials not required to be tested currently

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, August 20, 2013) – A bill was introduced in Palau’s Senate to require elected and appointed government officials to undergo drug screenings.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Surangel Whipps Jr. and co-authored by Sen. Rukebai Inabo, Sen. Regis Akitaya, Sen. Mason Whipps, Sen. Phillip Reklai, Sen. Raynold Oilouch, Sen. J. Uduch Sengebau Senior, Sen. Kathy Kesolei and Sen. Camsek Chin.

Under the existing law, government employees including police officers, Customs and Immigration officers and other employees responsible for public health or safety are required to undergo regular screenings for controlled substances. However, elected and appointed officials of Palau are not required.

The bill states that elected and appointed officials, whose responsibilities to the people of Palau extend well beyond those of public safety officers, should also be held to the highest standards of conduct.

The bill further states that a drug test requirement should be imposed for elected and appointed government officials.

If a government official tests positive for any controlled substance, it is proposed that the test result be released to the public, either by way of press release or by broadcast on T8AA radio.

An elected official who tests positive for any controlled substance shall submit to subsequent blood or urine tests every 180 days until a negative result is returned. Every positive result in subsequent drug screenings shall be released to the public in the same manner it is done with other government officials.

The bill states that nothing in this section shall be interpreted as a limitation of the Olbiil Era Kelulau to discipline or expel its members for testing positive for controlled substance.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Affairs for review.

Island Times: www.islandtimes.us

NEW ZEALAND:

14) New Zealand passes bill allowing domestic spying

Updated 21 August 2013, 20:31 AEST

New Zealand passes legislation allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite strong opposition.

New Zealand has passed legislation allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite opposition from rights groups, international technology giants and the legal fraternity.

The bill to expand the power of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) passed by 61 votes to 59 after impassioned debate, with Prime Minister John Key acknowledging the move had left some people “agitated and alarmed”.

“This is not, and never will be, about wholesale spying on New Zealanders,” Mr Key told parliament.

“There are threats our government needs to protect New Zealanders from, those threats are real and ever-present and we underestimate them at our peril.”

The push to change the law came after it emerged last year that the GCSB illegally spied on Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom before armed police raided his Auckland mansion as part of a US-led probe into online piracy.

At the time Mr Key publicly apologised to Mr Dotcom, who is a New Zealand resident and should have been off-limits to the GCSB under legislation preventing it from snooping on locals.

However, an official report found that Mr Dotcom’s case was only one of dozens in which the GCSB had overstepped its bounds.

Mr Key then moved to change the law to let the GCSB spy on New Zealanders, arguing it needed to cooperate more closely with agencies such as the police and military in an increasingly complex cyber-security environment.

Mr Dotcom has been one of the strongest opponents of the bill, saying it gives government spies legal access to New Zealanders’ electronic communications, including mobile phone calls.

“This will be the birth of a surveillance state in New Zealand,” he told a protest meeting in Auckland last weekend.

After Wednesday night’s vote, Mr Dotcom predicted a backlash against Mr Key at next year’s general election.

“The #GCSB bill just passed in Parliament against the will of most Kiwis. RIP Privacy. Payback at the 2014 election,” he tweeted.

Global opposition

Tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft have also voiced concern about expanding the GCSB’s surveillance powers.

“Blanket rules requiring data retention and accessibility are blunt tools, which have the potential to infringe on civil liberties and constrain economic growth,” Facebook said in a submission to a parliamentary committee reviewing the bill.

New Zealand’s Law Society, Human Rights Commission and Privacy Commission all made submissions raising concerns about the bill and calling for significant changes.

An opinion poll published in the Dominion Post newspaper on Wednesday found 75 per cent of respondents were concerned about the changes.

Mr Key dismissed such reservations, saying conspiracy theorists and his political opponents had whipped up an alarmist frenzy.

“I have rarely seen so much misinformation and conspiracy as has been perpetrated about this bill,” he said.

“That has some citizens agitated and alarmed, which I regret.

But my regret would be nothing compared to the threat if this legislation was not passed and New Zealanders were harmed because of a gap that currently exists in our security arrangements.”

AF
P

TOK PISIN:

15) Papua New Guinea polis tok orait West Papua Freedom Flotilla

Postim 21 August 2013, 16:08 AEST
Peter Jonah

Polis long Western provins long Papua New Guiunea i tok bai oli givim tokoraet long ol bot bilong West Papua Freedom Flotilla  long sel igo olsem long PNG.

Provinsel polis komanda long Western Provins Sliver Sika i tok bai oli larim ol West Papua Freedom Flotilla sapos oli gat rait treval pepa (Credit: ABC)

Dispela ol lain sip bilong West Papua i lusim Carins long Queensland stete na sel igo bilong kamap long West Papua.

Provincial Police Commander, Silver Sika i tok bai oli larim ol despela activists igo insaet long PNG province sapos oli gat ol travel pepa oa documentation em oli mas karim long travel oa wokobaut.

Ol bot long despela flotilla i bin stat long Melbourne na ron igo antap long Ciarns na nau long solwara igo long Papua New Guinea blong makim independence blong West Papua pipal blong Indonesia.

Inspector Silver Sika i tok klia mo long tingting bilong PNG polis.radio australia.

16) Solomon Islands PM ino wanbel wantem Australia imigreisan

Updated 21 August 2013, 14:42 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Solomon Islands Praim Minista Gordon Darcy Lilo ibin namba tri Melanesian  lida long kisim taem long ol imigreisan ofisa blong Australia.

Gordon Darcy Lilo Praim Minista blong Solomon Islands (Credit: ABC)
Odio: Chif ov staff blong Solomon Islands ofis blong Praim Minista Robert Iroga itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Long Sarere morning long wik igo pinis wanpla imigresian ofisa long Brisbane airport ibin tokim Praim Minista Lilo olsem emi laik chekim bodi blong en nogut emi karim wanpla bomb.

Praim Minista na ol gavman ofisa blong en ino bin wanbel tru wantem despla kaen pasin em oli bin mekim egensim Mr Lilo.

Wankaen pasin olsem ibin kamap tu long tupla lida blong Melanesia olsem Sir Michael Somare blong Papua New Guinea na Praim Minista bifo blong Vanuatu Sato Kilman.

Robert Iroga chief of staff blong ofis blong Praim Minista Mr Lilo i toktok mo long despla asua blong Australia.radio australia.

FRENCH:

17a) La tectonique des plaques, co-responsable de l’élévation du niveau du Pacifique

Mis à jour 21 August 2013, 15:04 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Ils sont influencés par les émissions de CO2 dans l’atmosphère, par La Nina et El Nino – deux phénomènes aux effets inverses, mais il y a aussi la tectonique des plaques. Le climat et le niveau de l’océan dans le Pacifique sont décidément des bêtes bizarres soumises à des forces multiples.

C’est ce qu’expose John Connell dans son nouveau livre intitulé « Îles en danger : économies et environnements en mouvement ». Selon le professeur de l’Institut des Géosciences de l’Université de Sydney, dans l’ouest du Pacifique, l’élévation du niveau de l’océan a plus à voir avec la tectonique des plaques qu’avec le changement climatique. Particulièrement aux limites des plaques tectoniques, dans le nord du Vanuatu, dans le nord de Bougainville, aux Îles Salomon et en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

John Connell ne nie en rien l’existence du changement climatique. Mais selon lui par exemple, les Carterets, devenues des martyres du changement climatique il y a quelques années, doivent en fait leur submersion progressive à des tremblements de terre.

Voilà qui remet partiellement en cause le discours des dirigeants du Pacifique vis-à-vis du reste du monde, qui attribuent tous les maux de leurs îles au changement climatique et donc à l’avidité polluante des pays riches. Cependant l’impact de la tectonique des plaques sur l’élévation du niveau de l’océan est un champ de recherche encore largement vierge. John Connell :

« Le seul endroit où l’impact de la tectonique a été efficacement mesuré, c’est sur l’atoll de Tegua, l’une des îles de Torres, au nord du Vanuatu. C’est le seul exemple de recherches scientifiques poussées. Ce serait bien que des scientifiques se penchent sur d’autres cas dans la région. »

Renonga, une île à l’ouest des Îles Salomon, a été brusquement surélevée de trois mètres à la suite d’un tremblement de terre. John Connell explique le mouvement de bascule quand les plaques bougent :

« Quand Renonga a émergé, il y a de fortes chances que l’autre extrémité de la plaque se soit enfoncée. C’est toujours comme ça que ça se passe, une élévation est compensée par un enfoncement. Et il ne s’agit pas de quelques millimètres, c’est toujours assez spectaculaire. C’est vraisemblablement ce qui s’est passé dans les Carterets, dans l’archipel des Mortlocks, pour l’atoll de Takuu, et pour d’autres atolls dans le monde. »

Globalement, même si des recherches plus poussées sont nécessaires, John Connell estime que les effets de la tectonique sont ressentis seulement jusqu’à 200 kilomètres à l’intérieur des plaques. Ce qui explique pourquoi l’enfoncement des atolls de Tuvalu, du fait de leur situation géographique, n’a rien à voir avec la tectonique.

« Tuvalu est trop éloigné des limites des plaques tectoniques pour en avoir subi les effets. L’archipel est victime de l’élévation du niveau de l’océan qui frappe l’ouest du Pacifique. Mais il y a d’autres causes : des vagues générées par les vents à 2000 ou 3000 kilomètres de Tuvalu. De plus, à Tuvalu comme à Kiribati, la mauvaise gestion côtière est également en cause, avec les chaussées surélevées, l’extraction du sable et du gravier au fond de la mer  pour les utiliser dans la construction, etc. »

Le professeur Connell a une analyse plus optimiste du sort des réfugiés climatiques que la plupart de ses confrères :

« Le problème serait plutôt que les insulaires ne puissent pas quitter leurs îles, qu’ils n’aient nulle part où aller. Parce que jusqu’à présent, l’émigration des îles du Pacifique a été plutôt bénéfique. Par exemple, les fonds envoyés par les diasporas sont très utiles aux populations restées sur leurs îles. Des insulaires qualifiés sont rentrés au pays pour partager leur savoir-faire, l’émigration a donc aidé, ce n’est pas un problème. La plus grande incertitude que nous ayons, c’est si le changement climatique va frapper aussi très durement la Nouvelle-Zélande, l’Australie et d’autres pays, et compromettre l’accueil des réfugiés des îles basses du Pacifique. Car on ne sait pas quelles conséquences le changement climatique va avoir sur les grands pays de la région, les ressources en eau, etc. Et il est très difficile de savoir quelle sera la réponse des gouvernements si le climat change de façon spectaculaire. »

John Connell, de l’Institut des Géosciences de l’Université de Sydney, répondait à Jemima Garrett sur Radio Australie.

Le Pacifique est la région de la planète où le niveau de l’océan augmente le plus vite. Et les habitants le ressentent plus car il y a plus d’atolls que dans les autres parties du globe, mis à part le cas des Maldives, au sud de l’Inde…radio australi
a

17b) Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: arrestation du propriétaire du Rabaul Queen

Posté à 21 August 2013, 14:22 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

L’Australien Peter Sharp est mis en examen pour homicide par négligence.

Le ferry, vétuste et surchargé, a coulé le 2 février 2012, faisant plus de 140 morts. La liste exacte des victimes n’est pas connue car la Rabaul Shipping n’avait pas noté le nom des passagers.

Peter Sharp a été arrêté hier mardi dans les bureaux de sa compagnie de transport, Rabaul Shipping, sur l’île papoue de la Nouvelle-Bretagne. Le chef d’entreprise australien devrait demander aujourd’hui sa libération sous caution. radio australia.

EDUCATION:

18a) Vanuatu’s first Harvard student wants a regional role

Updated 20 August 2013, 8:40 AEST

Anna Naupa is the first person from Vanuatu to be admitted to study at the prestigious Harvard University in the United States.

Vanuatu’s first Harvard student wants a regional role (Credit: ABC)

The rising star is studying towards a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School for Government.

Anna Naupa hopes that her achievements will be an inspiration to other Pacific Islanders to show that them that anything is possible.

Presenter:Geraldine Coutts

Speaker:Anna Naupa, Vanuatu’s first Harvard University Student. ( radio australia)
18b) Student intake drops

Schools fights in Lae city are one of the contributing factors to the decrease in the number of student applications to tertiary institutions nationwide.
The University of Technology is no exception as it has seen a drop in the number of applicants from secondary schools in recent years.
Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor John Pumwa made these remarks during the Open Day ceremony last Friday.
He explained to the visiting students that as chairman of university admissions he had seen over the past decade high academic performance in Lae schools.
But that the trend changed during the last few years and performance had dropped.
He urged students to stop fighting amongst each other and encouraged them to focus on their studies as future leaders of the country.
“Start behaving and develop the right character and attitude when you are down there,” said Prof Pumwa. “You set your goals when you are in grade 11 and 12.”
Meanwhile the Open Day was a success with a lot of educational displays and talks from students from the university and its affiliated colleges, staff and business houses in Lae.
Intending students, the general public including family and friends enjoyed their visits to laboratories, the university’s farm and also getting up to speed on other services provided by various sections of the university.post courier png.

19) NZ’s Lincoln University eyes stronger PNG links

Posted at 03:44 on 21 August, 2013 UTC

Another New Zealand university wants to attract more students from the Pacific Islands.

After Waikato University this month sent a delegation to Samoa and Victoria extended its involvement with Papua New Guinea, Lincoln University this week committed to a greater link with PNG’s Western Province.

The university has extended its LincWantok programme which aims to marry its specialist capabilities with the needs and aspirations of Pacific communities.

Earlier this month it signed a memorandum of understanding with a PNG cabinet minister, Delilah Gore, who says the university can help Papuan New Guineans develop their land.

Lincoln’s vice chancellor, Dr Andrew West, says it is confident New Zealand farming systems are transportable, even into tropical environments.

“So what we are finding is that we have systems in New Zealand that can be, in terms of educating people about the basics of agriculture and how the components fit together, how you manage pests, weevil disease, and how you manage soils, that we are able to do that in a way that is transportable into the tropics.”

Dr Andrew West of Lincoln University

Radio New Zealand International

 BUSINESS/TRADE+:

20) Highspeed broadband goes live in Tonga

By Online Editor
1:28 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Tonga

The World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Tonga Cable Corporation (TCC), media and others joined the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga at a ceremony at the Tonga Cable Limited building today to celebrate the arrival of high speed internet in Tonga.

At the ceremony, from the station’s control room, the King of Tonga, Tupou VI in the presence of the Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano, officially commissioned the service by clicking a mouse delivering high speed internet to the people of Tonga for the first time ever.

The $32.8 million Pacific Regional Connectivity Project financed the development of a submarine cable system which is now delivering the broadband service, is being supported by the World Bank Group, ADB, and TCC.

“Today marks a historical occasion for Tonga and the beginning of a new era as the Kingdom for the first time connects to high speed Internet which has been a dream of Ha’a Moheofo. Faster Internet speed and higher bandwidth at cheaper and more affordable prices is a real opportunity for Tonga,” said Tonga’s Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano.

“The social and economic benefits of the new high speed internet service will be many,” said Adrian Ruthenberg, Regional Director of ADB’s South Pacific Subregional Office at the ceremony. “The people of Tonga will be better connected to the rest of the world, the new service will help businesses to expand, creating jobs and will facilitate access to remote health and education services”

The 827km fiber optic cable system linking Tonga to Fiji via the Southern Cross Cable -the main trans-Pacific link between Australia and the United States – will provide Tonga’s population of 100,000 with affordable, accessible, information and communication technology services.

“The advent of highspeed internet is a landmark event for Tonga,” said Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands. “The cable will make it faster and easier for Tongans to communicate, which will bring profound benefits for development.”

The arrival of high speed broadband is the latest milestone of the project which will boost Tonga’s international connectivity.

The Tonga Cable Limited building was constructed to withstand extreme weather events and the equipment which facilitates the internet service is stored on the top floor in a temperature controlled room in case of flooding. There is a back-up generator in case of power failure.

SOURCE: ADB/PACNEWS

21) Dolphin slaughter affecting Solomon Islands tourism

By Online Editor
3:56 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Solomon Islands

A Solomon Islands tourism operator has called on the government to take urgent steps to resolve a dispute that has led to the slaughter of dolphins.

Earlier this month, Fanalei village on Malaita Island captured and killed 700 dolphins after falling out with US conservation group, the Earth Island Institute.

The dispute was over money the villagers say they were owed, in return for foregoing their annual hunt.

Another 300 animals have since been killed, with the villagers saying the slaughter will continue until they get their money.

Dive operator, Danny Kennedy, says the dispute is affecting tourism to the country and it is up to the government to end it.

“They should be looking to do something within the next few days, fly in somebody from the Ministry of Conservation, maybe the general manager of the tourism authority to go out there and talk to them and try to quell the slaughter.”

The chairman of the village’s representative association in Honiara, Atkin Fakaia, says they are not talking yet.

“They have the negative attitude towards us for the slaughters over a week ago,” he said.

The institute says it has provided all the money it promised but the Honiara-based villagers are not passing it on.

The kill has led to a stand-off in Fanalei, with the chief there criticising it, and then being removed from his position for his words.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

22) Bua Landowners Consent To Further Bauxite Mining In Fiji
Naita mataqali expect mining to provide jobs, more development

By Salaseini Moceiwai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 20, 2013) – Another landowning unit in Bua, Fiji, has given its consent for bauxite mining on its piece of land, 500 metres from the existing mining area in Nawailevu.

This will be the second mining area in the province of Bua on Vanua Levu.

Members of the mataqali Naita from the village of Votua in the district of Lekutu agreed to have their land used for bauxite mining citing growth in development opportunities.

Mataqali spokesman Tevita Raiova said such a development would greatly benefit the landowners and the people nearby.

“The members have already given their consent to the bauxite company and we are looking forward to a new chapter in life,” Mr. Raiova said.

“This will mean employment opportunities for our people and more developments for the whole of Bua province.

“Right now, all relevant discussions have been made and we are just waiting for the company to finalise everything before work starts.”

Xinfa Aurum Exploration Fiji executive Derek Qiu yesterday confirmed that the members of the landowning unit agreed to give their land.

He said the piece of land was 500 metres away from the existing bauxite mining site at Nawailevu.

“We welcome the idea and this is really good news to our operation here in Fiji,” he said.

Acting commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said they were yet to receive the consent letter from the mataqali.

However, he said the proposed development would not only benefit the Bua province but the Northern economy as a whole.

“This is another economic activity that will surely boost the Northern economy and we are thankful to the landowners for having this insight,” Mr. Bolalevu said.

“When this development eventuates, we only hope that the landowners maintain it for the benefit of their future generation.”

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

LAW&ORDER:

23)Sharp arrested
Owner of ill-fated MV Rabaul Queen charged with 162 counts of manslaughter

By GRACE TIDEN

HE was willingly escorted into the Kokopo police station and waited amicably as police officers escorting him opened the gate into the dark prison cell block.
Owner of the ill-fated MV Rabaul Queen and long-time Rabaul town resident Captain Peter Sharp was arrested yesterday in Kokopo, East New Britain Province and charged with 162 counts of manslaughter by criminal negligence and one count of sending an unseaworthy vessel out to sea.
The stricken vessel, a 21-year-old Japanese-built passenger ferry, sank with over 300 passengers on board off the coast of Morobe Province in February last year.
Over 160 people died including infants and children under the ages of 3 whose names were allegedly not recorded on the ship manifest.
Mr Sharp was arrested and charged around 12.30 pm yesterday at the New Guinea Islands Police headquarters at Ralum in Kokopo by a police investigation team, which was set up soon after the Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of his ship.
The four-man team led by Detective Chief Inspector Ben Turi arrived in the province over the weekend and took him in for questioning yesterday morning, which later led to his arrest and charging.
The record of interview was conducted at Ralum and Mr Sharp was accompanied by his lawyer David Lidgett of Warner Shand Lawyers and his family.
He was later brought down to the Kokopo police station and locked up.
Attempts by his lawyer and family to apply for bail late yesterday afternoon at the Kokopo National Court were unsuccessful.
Mr Sharp will appear for mention today at the Kokopo District Court.
It is understood that the captain of the sunken vessel, Anthony Tsiau, is also expected to be arrested today along with three government officials attached with the National Maritime and Safety Authority and based in Rabaul, Kimbe and Madang. Some other suspects include Rabaul Shipping crew members and ground staff.
The Post-Courier understands that the investigation team has relied, in part, on the facts provided in the Commission of Inquiry Report into the sinking of the MV Rabaul Queen
New Guinea Islands Divisional Commander Anton Billie confirmed Mr Sharp’s arrest, saying questions raised by the general public – especially relatives of those who perished – on when police will act have now materialised.
However, he said Mr Sharp is still innocent until proven guilty and added the matter was now before the courts.
He commended the investigation team for their efforts.post courier png

24) PNG police charge owner of Rabaul Queen ferry

By Online Editor
10:37 am GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Police have arrested the owner of the Rabaul Queen which sank last year killing hundreds of people.

The arrest follows over a year of investigation by a Commission of Inquiry and then an independent probe by the police.

Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Simon Kauba says 69 year old Peter Sharp from Scotland was arrested in East New Britain Tuesday afternoon.

Captain Sharp is the Managing Director of Starhips Limited in Rabaul which operates the Rabaul Queen among its fleet.

Kauba says Captain Sharp has been charged with more than 162 counts of manslaughter and one count of taking unseaworthy vessel out to sea.

Police confiscated his passport and he’s been remanded in custody at the Kokopo Police Station after an unsuccessful attempt late this afternoon by his lawyer to get an order from the National Court for bail.

Captain Sharp is expected to appear at the Kokopo District Court today.

A police investigation team from the National Capital District was in the East New Britain province this week to carry out the arrest and interview before Captain Sharp was formally charged this afternoon.

His arrest is the first of many others to follow including the captain of MV Rabaul Queen and three other government officials from the National Maritime Safety Authority and others who may have neglected their part to ensure safety of the passengers on board the fateful journey on February 2nd 2012.

Investigators say the case will go to the district court and if there is enough evidence, then he will stand trial at the National Court.

SOURCE: NBC NEWS PNG/PACNEWS

25) Port Moresby ‘needs 5,000 Police officers’ to combat crime

By Online Editor
4:01 pm GMT+12, 21/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Police Metropolitan Supt Andy Bawa says Port Moresby needs 5,000 officers to effectively combat crime in the nation’s capital.

He said the suburban police stations which used to have 10 officers per shift now had only up to four which was inadequate to fully implement the operational plans of the police in the city.

He said this yesterday on FM 100 talkback in the company of two other senior officers.

Bawa said the police strength in the National Capital District was 658, catering for a population of  more than 500,000.

“That is quite a huge number of people to look after,” he said

“In the past, police reserves increased the number to 1000 but they were stood down.”

Bawa also said a 24-7 toll free hotline would be set up for members of the public to report any cases of harassment by police officers in the city.

Chief Insp Perou N’Dranoh, the Operations Superintendent of NCD/Central, said police would act immediately on complaints of police officers harassing the public.

Jim Andrews, the NCD/Central divisional commander, said Bawa had been reappointed Metropolitan superintendent.

He took over from Chief Insp Godwin DukaDuka who was acting in the position.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT:

26) PNG Oppositions Renews Manus Asylum Centre Challenge
Namah maintains processing, resettlement ‘unconstitutional’

By Firmin Nanol

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 20, 2013) – Papua New Guinea’s Opposition has relaunched a legal challenge to the immigration processing centre on Manus Island.

Mr. Namah’s court action comes as Australia’s federal attorney-general, Mark Dreyfus, revealed that an Australian Federal Court challenge had been filed against the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea.

In his court action, opposition leader Belden Namah claims the transfer, processing and possible resettlement of asylum seekers in PNG is unconstitutional.

Mr. Namah’s lawyer, Loani Henao, says a detainee, Rawed Reza, has sent them an email expressing fears over the treatment and condition of the detention facility and wants to be a party to the case.

Mr. Henao has filed an application asking for access to Manus Island detainees.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the foreign affairs and immigration minister, Rimbink Pato, and Attorney-General Kerenga Kua have been given the chance to be part of the opposition’s court challenge.

The matter returns for a full directions hearing on September 10 when Mr. Namah’s lawyer will seek the orders to access the facility and talk to the asylum seekers.

Both the government and opposition lawyers say the substantive matter will be heard by a full bench of more than three judges.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/

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