Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 861


1) Defying warning, Australian activists bound for Papua

Posted at 05:32 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

A boat with Australian activists campaigning against Indonesian human rights abuses has left Queensland for Papua.

The boat, the Pog, which is reportedly carrying six people, is expected to be intercepted by Indonesian forces as Jakarta hasn’t cleared the voyage.

Australia’s outgoing foreign minister has said it feels it has no obligation towards the group, which could be jailed in Indonesia for five years.

However, the foreign ministry says the group can expect normal consular services if there are arrests.

In Papua, there have been meetings in support of the voyage, with police detaining several people in response.

Last week, Amnesty International called on Indonesia to drop the charges against four Papuan activists arrested for their activism.

Seven years ago, a group of 43 Papuans crossing by boat to Australia in a protest caused a diplomatic crisis between Jakarta and Canberra because they were given protection visas.

Radio New Zealand International

2) PNG Foreign Minister pushes for law on dual citizenship

By Online Editor
4:20 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guineans will be able to hold dual citizenship from next year, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato says.

Pato said in a statement released last Friday that the bill allowing dual citizenship had been gazetted. It is scheduled to be debated in November and passed by Parliament next February.

Pato said the new law would allow Papua New Guinean children living overseas and those of PNG and foreign parentage to assume dual citizenship rights when they turned 19.

“Dual citizens will have most of the same rights as other citizens, but will not be permitted to vote, hold public office, own land or have free access to official documents in PNG,” Pato said.

“We live in a globalised world and our citizens should be able to take advantage of opportunities in other countries without losing their formal ties to their homeland.

“Many people that I talk to have children who are living overseas or who are in PNG but have one foreign parent.

“These children currently face a difficult choice when they turn 19.

“Dual-nationals of other countries don’t have to choose between citizenships when they come of age, so why should ours?”

Pato said that the new law will also encourage many successful Papua New Guineans to reforge their bonds with their home country.

“These people have valuable skills that could help PNG to grow and flourish – they want to come home, but don’t want to completely give up the rights that they have earned elsewhere,” he said.

He also clarified how this would restrict people transferred to PNG under the asylum seeker arrangement with Australia.

“The dual citizenship changes have been gazetted to put beyond doubt the Government’s ability to restrict the personal liberty of people transferred to PNG under regional asylum seeker arrangements or similar arrangements.

“These asylum seeker arrangements are working to stop people smuggling and prevent the tragic loss of lives at sea,” Pato said.

“We need to put in place measures to forestall further frivolous court challenges so that we can get on with the business of providing protection to genuine refugees and sending home people who have just used people smugglers for economic gain.”.


3) Indonesia Accused Of Buying Favor With Solomon Islands
Civil society group questions legality of travel reimbursement

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 9, 2013) – Indonesia is being accused of buying the support of Solomon Islands over the prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo’s recent visit to that country.

Mr. Lilo has faced strong criticism from civil society groups and others for not giving concrete reasons for the trip, as well as for the size and composition of the delegation that accompanied him.

But Mr. Lilo has justified the visit, describing it as a breakthrough moment with benefits that will come in time.

Annell Husband reports:

Mr. Lilo’s lengthy justification in the Solomon Star newspaper, followed by the announcement that Indonesia has refunded the cost of the trip, has done nothing to quiet the opposition. The Indonesian embassy in Canberra says it is still waiting for information on the transaction, but Solomon Islands’ Central Bank has confirmed that US$171,000 from Indonesia was banked. It wasn’t able to give details on exactly which agency the money came from and the Joint Civil Society Group says the supposed refund raises more questions than answers. The group’s interim head, Barnabas Henson, says any advance on the reimbursement by Indonesia would have to comply with the Public Finance and Audit Act.

“BARNABAS HENSON: We’ve searched ourselves and we can’t find anywhere that allows the prime minister to do that. So in fact it was, how we see it, it was actually a misappropriation of funds. It wasn’t in compliance with any of these relevant legislations that guides how you could spend public money.”

Mr. Henson says in the absence of a formalised bilateral agreement with his country there are documents showing Mr. Lilo has invited Indonesian investors to Solomon Islands. He says it appears Indonesia is using Mr. Lilo to buy Solomon Islands’ support for its stance on West Papua – something that will not go down well with either the Melanesian Spearhead Group or the Solomon Islands people.

“BARNABAS HENSON: The question we’ve asked him is will the reimbursement and the invitation of the Indonesian investors into the country compromise the country’s position on West Papua. He hasn’t answered. He hasn’t provided an answer on that. But I can assure you that the country is totally against Indonesia on the West Papua issue.”

Barnabas Henson says his group is finalising a people’s petition, to be circulated throughout Solomon Islands, calling on Mr. Lilo to resign and a public forum on the issue is planned for Honiara in the next week. He says the call has solid backing and that rural people especially will not continue to tolerate a lack of government services in the face of questionable spending – as a recent talkback show indicated. Attempts to get an interview with Mr. Lilo or a representative of his office have been unsuccessful. The Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii’s Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka says the Solomon Islands government cannot afford expensive overseas engagements and the Indonesia trip is only one example.

“TARCISIUS TARA KABUTAULAKA: Take for instance at the UN General Assembly meeting last year. There were about 20 people in the Solomon Islands delegation to the UN and it was quite expensive at that time. But we haven’t figured out how we benefitted from that meeting.”

Dr. Kabutaulaka says now is the time for both a physical and ideological march on parliament.

Radio New Zealand International:

4a) Concerns Chinese immigrants to Vanuatu flouting investment laws

Posted at 05:03 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

Members of the business community in Vanuatu’s capital say new Chinese immigrants have been flouting the law to get easier access to other countries as investors.

Authorities in Vanuatu have begun a crack-down on illegal sales of citizenship certificates and passports.

Beverley Tse was in Port Vila and looked into the issue.

Here in Port Vila, most of the retail and wholesale stores are owned by Chinese people.

A Chinese businessman who has lived in Port Vila for four decades says the main objective for these people is to make money. Ferdinand Wong says some new immigrants from mainland China have set their sights on larger countries in the Pacific and believe it is easier to enter as an investor with Vanuatu citizenship than with Chinese citizenship.

“FERDINAND WONG (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): If they want to emigrate overseas to Australia or New Zealand or USA, that’s difficult to apply for. But in Vanuatu, applying takes no time. It’s easy. So probably some are here for a few years before they apply to go to Australia or New Zealand.”

The chairman of the Port Vila Chinese Club, Jean-Baptiste Leong, says there is a common belief that many of them have not complied with the law that requires them to reside in Vanuatu for ten years before gaining citizenship. He says Vanuatu is used as a stepping stone to greater opportunities elsewhere and says Chinese always find a way to achieve what they want.

“JEAN-BAPTISTE LEONG: With the money, you’re doing everything you like. I know some people, some Chinese they easily [get] the Vanuatu passport, [in] less than 10 years you have a Vanuatu passport. I don’t know what… something we do… but I know it’s possible maybe with the money.”

The executive director of the Port Vila-based think tank, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, says Vanuatu’s permanent residence visa scheme with Hong Kong, whereby successful candidates can reside in Vanuatu, is also being abused. Derek Brien says some mainland Chinese are using it to settle in Hong Kong or Macau.

“DEREK BRIEN: As I understand the rules of migration from mainland China to Hong Kong or to Macau you need to either have a special permit or you need to show that you’re moving on somewhere else. So by having that permanent residency stamp in your passport, demonstrates that you have an onward destination, in this case to Vanuatu. It doesn’t mean that once you cross the border into Macau or Hong Kong that you get on the plane and come to Vanuatu.”

The president of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says when she was the ombudsman in the 1990s there were reports of politicians selling citizenship and diplomatic passports. She says politicians are treated too well by Chinese people and it has led to bribery and corruption.

“MARIE-NOELLE FERRIEUX PATTERSON: This type of behaviour basically affects both the reputation of our Vanuatu leaders and also the Chinese people who are actually doing that. But to have illegal practices is not acceptable.”

The government is conducting a commission of inquiry into the issue and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is reviewing the appointments of all the country’s diplomatic passport holders. Meanwhile, police have declined an interview, but have confirmed officers have been investigating the alleged illegal granting of citizenship and have made several arrests. Those who have been investigated include politicians, leaders and public servants.

Radio New Zealand International

4b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 10 September 2013

by bobmakin

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is to hold a National Lands Laws Summit next month at the Malfatumauri, Port Vila. It will continue over the 15th and 16th October. It will be to bring together all the ideas that have come from regional forums staring today from leaders in the provinces.

Deputy Prime Minister Natapei says Pacific leaders have agreed it is time the island countries moved a step ahead of the developed countries of the region in entering the solar, hydro and geo-thermal age and invest in such energy producing projects. The South Pacific Forum this year had climate change as its main topic for consideration. DPM Natapei spoke to VBTC News on his return from the Forum meeting. Developed countries do a lot of talking about climate change, and provide aid funds, he said, but there was not enough action, or money on the table. The leaders’ communique stressed the need to take the greatest advantage of our resources to make alternative fuels.

DPM Natapei also told VBTC News that Vanuatu supports the application of New Caledonia to join the Pacific Islands Forum. It is already an observer but wishes to become a full member. The legal requirements will have to be considered before country leaders take the decision concerning New Caledonian membership.

The government planning to revive Vanuatu Livestock Development (VLD), Teouma, as Daily Post indicated yesterday, is intended to boost the number of cattle in Vanuatu. Next year, breeding and supply stations will be established around the country. Agriculture Minister Tosul, an agriculturist, is now planning to acquire the land again according to the ministerial secretary. The Ministry is said to have secured EU funding for the purpose.

Facilities and resources of Biosecurity Vanuatu subject to highly critical appraisal.This is the former Quarantine Department. Government has intended to lift the level of biosecurity, especially at entry points. However, it is claimed that much the organisation tackles is set back by dint of poor equipment. Timothy Tekon of Biosecurity, after his coordination of a three day workshop with colleagues and interested parties at Santo revealed their findings to VBTC News. Inadequate funding is blamed.

Vanuatu has given the right to certain German marine scientists to conduct under water research this year. It was reported that certain under sea hot spots have proven gold deposits. The National Coordinator of Maritime Affairs, Tony Tevi, said the research had already become a concern of the national government. Foreign Affairs ministerial approval is needed before any scientific team can conduct any further research.

Chief Jonathan of Craig Cove says people have problems now accessing fresh and clean water now that we are in the dry season. Not so long ago, Red Cross assisted the West Ambrym people with water pumps, but now these deliver only warm and brackish, salty tasting water, suitable only for washing. VBTC News said Red Cross is looking into the matter.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia has advised that Fr Paterson Alfred Worek will be the next Bishop of the Banks and Torres. He studied to master’s degree in theology level at the Pacific Theological College, Fiji, following a bachelor’s degree at Auckland University. He comes from Motalava and has been working in the Solomons for the Church.



The 2013 Law and Culture Conference began today at USP in Port Vila with some 50 academics discussing, amongst a variety of things, aspects of custom and culture which need to be borne in mind by the legislators in the region. Gender issues and the environment and climate change are high on the list of this year’s priorities.

More importantly for this country tomorrow sees the start of the consultation the Ministry of Lands is undertaking in each of the provinces wherein Minister Regenvanu’s interpretation into statute law of implications from the resolutions of the 2006 Lands Summit will be revealed. This presents a major challenge to custom land owners and the population of this country and Minister Regenvanu has made it a primary objective since coming to power again. It is to be hoped the Shefa meeting tomorrow will not be side-tracked by issues relative to the Rentabau airfield for 747s project, although that does have major implications for Shefa land. All sectors of society, from custom to women and youth are asked to be present and it is to be hoped the VNPF conference room can hold all those who should – who must – be there for the important discussions.

Robert Bohn as leader of the government side of the airports contract Oversight Committee, in Saturday’s Independent, considers the review “all positive” for the VTDL company. One can only wonder how he squares this with the contract already signed with the Shanghai Development Corporation, the work they have carried out for over a year now and their plan to renovate Bauerfield and outer island airports – the only tasks required by the population of Vanuatu. Only the government and opposition seem to need to tarmacadamise Erouiti or Rentabau to receive their Asian investors on non-stop flights from Asia.

Today’s Daily Post says the government plans to revive Vanuatu Livestock Development. This will be dealt with in greater detail later.

This blog will be shorter than usual for a few days.


bobmakin | September 10, 2013 at 6:55 am | Categories: The News, Digested |

5) Fiji Government To Open 5 Telecom Centers In North
Similar access to telecom services a priority: AG

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 9, 2013) – Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will open five new government telecentres in the Northern Division this week.

This will bring the total number of telecentres in the country to 15 as 10 centres are currently in operation across different locations, providing ordinary Fijians with access to the internet and a range of other telecommunications services.

According to latest government figures, the number of people using telecentres has climbed to more than 31,000 and this data is set to escalate following the opening of the new Northern centres.

The first will be opened by the Prime Minister this afternoon at the Seaqaqa Secondary School in the sugar belt outside Labasa. On Tuesday, others will be launched at the Nadogo Secondary School -another rural area – and the Shri Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Labasa town. And on Wednesday, the PM will open Telecentres at the Labasa Muslim College and the Savusavu Secondary School, in Vanua Levu’s second main town.

Attorney General and Minister for Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is accompanying the Prime Minister in this tour and they are also carrying thousands of copies of the new 2013 Constitution – which came into effect yesterday – to distribute during his visit in the three main languages – English, i’Taukei and Hindi.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the opening of the five new telecentres is an important part of government’s overall plan to accelerate development in the North.

“Our ‘Look North’ program is one of the Government’s main priorities and that includes empowering ordinary Fijians by giving them access to the same telecommunications services enjoyed by those living in Viti Levu,” he said.


6) We will support government of the day: Fiji Military

By Online Editor
4:23 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Fiji

With Fiji’s new Constitution now effective, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) says it will support government in all ways possible to ensure there are free and fair elections in 2014.

RFMF spokesperson and Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga told FijiLive that the military knows its role and will always stand behind the government of the day.

“We have an important role to play in ensuring there is peace and security in the country in the lead up to the elections and during the actual voting process,” said Tikoitoga.

“Our role is clearly specified in the Constitution and the RFMF will remain apolitical and will work closely with Police and relevant authorities to ensure things flow smoothly.”

He has also urged our neighbouring countries to stop targeting the military and making false allegations against its officers.

“I want to again make it very clear that we are not in any way working with our neighbouring countries and allegations of spying which surfaced recently are totally baseless and carry no substance.”

“They should stop making such accusations because our soldiers are not even allowed to travel to their countries so how can we be closely working with them and carrying out operations. All the claims are false and we stand loyal and committed to serving our nation with full honour and dignity,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Elections Office has gained experience that will enhance its preparations for 2014’s parliamentary elections during a 5 day long mission to Canberra this past week to observe Australia’s federal election.

“There are a number of lessons that we’ll take back to Fiji with us, on such things as best practices for the setup and management of polling stations. It was also valuable to see the manner in which Australia’s Voter Education program is conducted,” said the Acting Permanent Secretary Responsible for Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

Saneem said that his team also had the opportunity to network with electoral administrators from other countries, as well as with international organisations such as Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

The Permanent Secretary Responsible for Elections has thanked his Australian counterparts at the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) for their invitation to participate in the “Election Visitor Program.

The program included briefings on the Australian electoral system and the structure of the AEC, as well as providing the opportunity to observe pre-polling, polling, the scrutiny of votes, counting after the close of polling and the election night virtual tally.


7) Fiji politicians need to be honest: AG

By Online Editor
11:23 am GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Fiji

The Fijian government will not engage with old politicians who still live in the past.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says, those who continue to object to the 2013 constitution, are trying to hinder their efforts of preparing the country for the 2014 general elections.

“The Bainimarama government does not engage in this ‘he said this, I said that’ tatter-tale type of approach. We take a national approach to issues.”

Sayed-Khaiyum adds the way forward for politicians, is to ensure that they maintain their standards of engagement at all levels.

“His Excellency our president highlighted in his address on the sixth of September, that the way forward for politicians are that they need to have proper code of conduct, proper standards and they need to be decent about these things.”

He said opposition to the constitution has to stop.

“Politics does not mean that you engage in some name calling and to sort of bringing yourself to the gutter level. There needs to be some sort of a certain level of propriety. There needs to some certain level of decency. But more importantly there needs to be a certain level of honesty.”

The Attorney General added the government will continue with its roadmap to take the country back to democracy.

Meanwhile, the i-Taukei community is being advised to understand the provisions of the new 2013 Constitution to avoid any confusion about issues that concern them.

I-Taukei Affairs Permanent Secretary, Savenaca Kaunisela says this is vital particularly the provision about sharing of mineral royalties with the state.

“The Constitution has already set the platform. It is now a matter for all the stakeholders to start working towards it. how and when, it will materialise, it will come but it needs to be fully understood as far as I am concerned my own view at this point in time”.

Kaunisela made reference to Section 30 of the 2013 Constitution ensures fair share of royalties or any other money paid to the state in respect of rights to extract minerals.

“This will need a lot of consultation amongst the i Taukei, the landowners not only them but consultation between all other Ministries that are also involved for example the Ministry of Itaukei Affairs, the Itaukei Affairs Board, the ILTB, the Ministry of Lands, Mineral Resource and so forth.”.


8) Fiji regime wants no more opposition to new constitution

Posted at 05:32 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has told Fiji media that opposition to the constitution has to stop.

The regime imposed a new constitution last week.

It replaces the 1997 constitution, which the regime dumped four years ago when the appeal court declared Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s interim government was illegal.

No political party has endorsed the regime process of drawing up the new constitution and international human rights organisations have criticised its contents.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has told FBC News that those who continue to object to the new constitution are trying to hinder efforts of preparing for the 2014 general elections.

He says the government will not engage with old politicians who still live in the past.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says politics does not mean to engage in some name calling.

Radio New Zealand International


9) Australia’s policy on foreign aid cuts criticised by NZ charity

Posted at 03:57 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

A New Zealand charity has criticised Australia’s new government’s policy of cutting foreign aid, fearing the cuts will impact on the Pacific.

The Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott’s policy to cut 4.1 billion US dollars from the foreign aid budget goes against OECD countries’ commitment to increase aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015.

The likely new Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey says the money will be diverted to overdue upgrades to Sydney’s roads.

A New Zealand-based charity, The Tear Fund, says the excuses are not good enough.

Its CEO, Ian McInnes, says the cuts tell poor Pacific neighbours their development needs are not important.

The government-elect has not made it clear which countries the cuts will affect.

Radio New Zealand International


10) Planti tausan i kisin heve long bikpela ren long Solomon

Updated 10 September 2013, 15:03 AEST

Sam Seke

Moa long 12 tausand pipol long ol vilis long North East na Central Guadalcanal long Solomon Islands i kisim heve long bikpela ren ibin pudaun long eria blong ol.

Odio: Cameron Vudi, Disasta Programs Ofisa blong Solomon Islands Red Cross i toktok

Cameron Vudi, Disasta Programs Ofisa blong Solomon Islands Red Cross i toktok (Credit: ABC)

Cameron Vudi, Disasta Programs Ofisa blong Solomon Islands Red Cross i tok bikpela ren ibin pudaun klostu long wanpela wik ikam inap long naba 2 long dispela mun.

Mr Vudi itok moa long wan tausan family long Central na North East Guadalcanal nau i kisim heve long sait long kaikai.

Em itok ol bikpela wara long hap tu i ron na bris long Balasuna River ibin bagarap.

Em itok ol husat agency isave dil wantaim disasta long kantri i nau wok long bihainim disasta management rot blong gavman long halvim ol pipol husat i kisim heve.

Mr Vudi itok oli gohet long wok wantaim Guadalcanal disaster management otoriti long painim aut gutpela wanem kain heve oli gat na wanem kain halivim oli nidim nau ia.

Tasol Mr Vudi itok toktok, oli bin kisim pinis i luk olsem wara ibin bagarapim gaden kaikai blong ol pipol so ol bai nidim sampela Australia

11) America i helpim Bougainville long Human Rights

Updated 10 September 2013, 15:49 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

America i givim sampla moni igo long ol pipal blong Buka Island long PNG long save gut long Human Rights.

Odio: Helen Hakena direkta blong Leitana Nehan Divelopman agensi itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Helen Hakena direkta blong Leitana Nehan Divelopman agensi itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman (Credit: ABC)

Gavman blong America aninit long US Aid progrem blong en i givim pinis moni igo long ol pipal blong Buka long Autonomous rijan blong Bougainville long skulim ol yangpla pipal na ol meri long save gut long Human Rights blong ol pipal.

Laen blong Leitana Nehan Developman agensi long Buka bai lukautim despla projek em bai stat long mun bihaen na bai ron inap long wanpla yia olgeta.

Despla emi nambawan taem stret em US Aid progrem i givim kaen moni olsem blong mekim awenes long side blong Human Rights.

Helen Hakena emi direkta blong Leitana Nehan Divelopman egensi itok emi bin go long Port Moresby long wik igo pinis long sainim ol pepa blong kliarim rot blong despla moni igo long Bougainville long despla projek.

Emi tok planti yangpla pipal na tu ol pipal long ples ino save gut long rights blong ol pipal na planti taem oli save brukim ol despla rights.

Sampla long ol despla Human Rights em, ol meri igat right long skul, oli gat right long vote oa go insaet long wok australia

12) PNG Gavana na autsaed kontrak

Updated 10 September 2013, 10:08 AEST

Paulus Kombo

Gavana William Powi itok ol kaen kaen toktok olsem ol kontrak isave go long ol narapla ino tru

Odio: Paulus Kombo i ripot long wari olsem Southern Highlands provinsal gavana isave givim ol kontrak igo long ol narapla laen

Paulus Kombo i ripot long wari olsem Southern Highlands provinsal gavana isave givim ol kontrak igo long ol narapla laen (Credit: ABC)

Gavana blong Southern Highlands provins long Papua New Guinea itok emi no tru olsem emi save givim ol kontrak wok igo long ol pipal blong ol narapla ples na tanim baksaet igo long ol pipal blong en.

Mr William Powi i mekim depsla toktok, bihain long President  bilong Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce Berry Mini ibin tok, pipol ino luksave long ol bigpela halavim blong National Gavman na ol win moni ikam long ol resources long provins.

Mr Mini i mekim despela toktok  long wanem Gavman isave givim ol kontrak long ol pipol na kampani autsait long provins na ol karim moni igo aut.

Mr Mini itok tu olsem ol lokal bisnis laen isave bungim bikpla heve tru long wonem, klostu olgeta moni emi save go insaet long provins ino stap long provins.

Tasol Mr Powi itok ol toktok blong Mr Mini ino australia


14) Tiga universitas di Australia masuk 40 terbaik dunia

Diperbaharui 10 September 2013, 15:37 AEST

Tiga universitas di Australia tercatat dalam 40 univeritas paling top dunia, menurut daftar ranking universitas yang paling akhir.

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2013/2014 menempatkan Australian National University  pada urutan ke-27.

“Ini adalah hasil yang kita semua boleh bangga, dan merupakan refleksi dari komitmen dan kualitas dari staff dan mahasiswa ANU,” kata Wakil Rektor ANU, Profesor Ian Young.

Tapi ANU merosot dari urutan ke-24 tahun lalu dan ke-26 di tahun 2011. “Ranking bukan ukuran yang absolut,” kata Profesor Young. “Tapi ini membuat kita berpikir sejenak dan mengakui apa yang hebat dari ANU. Ranking membandingkan kita dengan universitas-universitas lain di dunia.”

Lembaga pendidikan Australia lainnya yang menempati ranking tinggi adalah University of Melbourne pada posisi ke-31, disusul oleh University of Sydney pada urutan ke-38.

Secara keseluruhan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) di Amerika Serikat menduduki urutan nomor satu di australia


15) Australie: les coupes du budget de l’aide à l’étranger indignent

Mis à jour 10 September 2013, 8:04 AEST

Pierre Riant

Peu avant sa victoire aux élections du 7 septembre dernier, le nouveau gouvernement conservateur de Tony Abbott a annoncé des coupes de 4,5 milliards de dollars sur 4 ans.

Ces coupes auront un impact substantiel et immédiat pour de nombreux pays en développement du Pacifique qui bénéficient de l’aide australienne.  Il faut savoir que plus de 70% de l’aide australienne sont dépensés dans la région Asie-Pacifique.
Le budget de l’aide australienne représente 0,37% du revenu national ou 37 centimes par tranche de 100 dollars. L’organisation caritative World Vision a calculé qu’à la suite des coupes annoncées par Tony Abbott, le budget de l’aide à l’étranger descendra à environ 0,33% du revenu national ou 33 centimes par tranche de 100 dollars.

Norman Gillespie, le directeur de l’UNICEF en Australie, nous fait part de sa surprise : « Ça a été le choc ! De par l’ampleur et la taille des coupes. C’est tout simplement le renoncement au principe qui veut qu’une nation civilisée doit aider ceux qui sont dans l’extrême pauvreté et dans le besoin. »

L’Australie, sous le gouvernement conservateur de John Howard, s’était engagée au début des années 2000 à œuvrer en faveur des Objectifs du millénaire pour le développement. Un engagement concret : injecter 0,5% du revenu national dans le budget d’aide à l’étranger d’ici 2016, c’est-à-dire 50 centimes par tranche de 100 dollars.

Lors du dernier budget du gouvernement travailliste, cette date de 2016 a été repoussée à 2018. Et selon Norman Gillespie, le nouveau gouvernement de Tony Abbott ne pourra même pas respecter cet engagement : « Et nous en sommes là. Une  importante nation de l’OCDE qui devient l’une des nations les moins généreuses alors que notre économie est parmi les plus fortes. »

Paradoxalement, la population australienne serait en faveur de l’aide à l’étranger. Samah Hadid est la directrice du Projet global de lutte contre la pauvreté : « La semaine dernière nous avons remis une pétition à Tony Abbott avec plus de 80 000 signatures d’Australiens qui réclament une augmentation de l’aide à l’étranger. Et la décision de couper l’aide est une gifle à l’opinion publique. Mettons les choses en perspectives : la croissance économique australienne compte parmi les plus rapides, Nous sommes l’un des pays les plus prospères de la planète. Cette coupe de l’aide à l’étranger n’est vraiment pas justifiée quand on regarde l’état de notre économie. »

Tim Costello, à la tête de World Vision, était en Russie au sommet du G20 quand il a appris la nouvelle : « Je suis complètement dévasté parce que la vérité, c’est que nous sommes l’une des quelques nations du G20 où la croissance de l’économie continue. C’est une politique isolationniste qui veut que l’Australie soit une île alors qu’ici au G20 c’est une politique globale. »

Le gouvernement entend utiliser l’argent de l’aide pour financer des infrastructures routières. Andrew Robb, appelé à devenir ministre des Finances dans le nouveau gouvernement de Tony Abbott, résume la position du gouvernement : « Aller de l’avant rapidement avec des projets permettra de fouetter la productivité, la croissance et l’emploi. »Radio Australia

16) PNG : appel pour l’interdiction de la chique de bétel dans la capitale

Posté à 10 September 2013, 8:08 AEST

Pierre Riant

Quand on mastique de la noix de bétel, on crache. Et quand on crache, on contribue à la propagation de la tuberculose.

Et à la saleté générale puisque les grands centres urbains de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée sont zébrés de ces jets rouges crachés par les consommateurs de noix de bétel qui sont aussi associées aux cancers oraux.

Le gouverneur du District de la capitale (NCD) Powes Parkop, est excédé et veut prendre des mesures immédiates. Le gouverneur veut tout simplement interdire cette pratique dans la capitale.

PARKOP : « Nous avons travaillé en ville avec nos gens pour voir où ça en était. Certaines personnes ont changé mais d’autres continuent avec cette mauvaise manie et elles crachent sans arrêt partout. Certains salissent les maisons où ils vont à force de mastiquer. C’est une menace pour notre ville au niveau de la santé, de l’hygiène et de l’image de notre ville. Nous en sommes à un point où il faut prendre le taureau par les cornes et les expulser vers la province centre. »

Mais qu’est-ce qui tracasse le plus le gouverneur, les crachats, les jets rouges sur les murs ou les questions relatives à la santé ?

PARKOP : « C’est un peu de tout ça. Je vais vous expliquer ceci : traditionnellement on ne mastique pas sans arrêt, 24heures sur 24, tout le temps et tout partout.
Traditionnellement, nous le faisons à certains moments. Dans la soirée, avec la famille et après le dîner quand vous avez des invités, c’est une occasion coutumière  comme la dot de la future épouse ou une cérémonie de réconciliation.

De nos jours, c’est purement commercial. Ce n’est plus une espèce d’activité coutumière.
Le problème à Port Moresby est que les gens vendent de la noix de bétel tout partout et c’est très difficile pour nous de les contrôler. Les vendeurs ne veulent pas entendre parler de régulations comme dans les autres business. Ils veulent vendre 14 heures sur 24 où ils veulent. Alors, ils mastiquent et crachent tout partout et c’est la raison pour laquelle c’est un problème dans notre capitale. »

Les problèmes associés à la santé sont aussi préoccupants.

PARKOP : « Nous avons maintenant 5 000 cas de tuberculose dans la capitale et ça continue de grimper. Ce qui représente environ 1/3 des cas rapportés à l’échelle nationale. C’est donc très embarrassant pour la capitale qui est censée être un exemple pour notre population et pour la nation. C’est vraiment un gros problème que nous avons dans cette ville. »

Le gouverneur est donc parti en guerre contre la noix de bétel même s’il reconnaît qu’il n’est pas prêt de gagner la guerre mais, nous a-t-il confié, au moins quelques australia


17) US call for security partnerships in the Pacific

Posted at 05:32 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

The Chief of Staff for the United States Army, General Raymond Odierno, has called for co-operation in building security structures in the Pacific.

General Odierno is at the Pacific Armies Chiefs’ Conference in New Zealand to discuss greater cooperation in international peacekeeping.

He says the issue is not only about the presence of the US and China as eight of the world’s ten largest land armies belong to countries in the Pacific.

“We want to build partnerships of understanding and partnerships of cooperation that takes away the unknown which then creates potentially in the future issues.”

The Chief of Staff for the United States Army, General Raymond Odierno

Radio New Zealand International


18) Senior Vanuatu doctors hit back at suspensions

Posted at 23:19 on 09 September, 2013 UTC

Three Vanuatu doctors, who had senior positions in the Department of Health, say their suspensions are baseless and illegal.

Drs Glen Tarivonda, Lesley Garae and Russell Tamata say they intend suing the government.

Don Wiseman reports:

“They have categorically denied allegations from the Director General of Health, Dr Santus Wari, that they have not supported the decentralisation of health services. The doctors say they have been part of this process for three years but take issue with a different approach being taken by the newly appointed Dr Wari. They say Dr Wari’s plan was not consulted on and that he plans to bulldoze it through without considering the impact on people’s lives. The doctors say this new plan does not address the current problems faced by the health sector and will cost Vanuatu a fortune. They say instead of one national public health system Dr Wari’s scheme will lead to six provincial health systems at triple the current cost. The doctors want the government to make politicians and directors liable for their wrong decisions. They have also criticised the government complaint to the World Health Organization about the agency’s liaison officer in Vanuatu, Dr Jacob Kool, who they accused of not supporting the decentralisation process.”

Radio New Zealand International


19) Farmers primed to grow coffee in Solomon Islands

Posted at 03:57 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

The backers of a major coffee producer in Solomon Islands’ Isabel province says there are many farmers waiting to be able to start growing the crop.

Varivao Holdings is among 44 Pacific enterprises receiving support under the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade project and one of only three in Solomon Islands.

The export production officer of the project, which is funded by the European Union, says a government production programme with Varivao Holdings is yet to get properly underway.

Sanford Smith says when the project first visited Kolomola there were about 500 farmers planting coffee.

“And this was supposed to go up to at least 1500 by 2013 and they’re still working on that trying to produce the seeds. There’s a high demand for coffee seed but they’re just not able to meet the demand at the moment.”

Sanford Smith says the social impact of supporting Varivao Holdings was one of the reasons its application for assistance was approved.

Radio New Zealand International


20) Tonga Domestic Abuse victims welcome new protection bill

By Online Editor
4:16 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Tonga

Victim’s advocates in Tonga have welcomed Parliament’s passing of the Family Protection Bill 2013 this month.

The bill allows police to issue immediate protection orders to victims of domestic abuse.

It now awaits the assent of the King and is expected to be enacted next year.

Lesila To’ia, Community Education Team Leader at the Tonga’s Women and Children Crisis centre told Pacific Beat the legislation will help tackle the growing problem of domestic violence.

“We think this is a good start…we can add on something later if there are changes or amendments that need to be made in the future” she said.

“But for the time being, we are very happy that this has now gone through Parliament.”

The legislation was finally passed by parliament after three weeks of heavy debate over the definition of the term ‘domestic violence’.

“Some wanted for it to only refer specifically to married people. But we wanted it to include everyone. “Ms To’ia said.

To’ia says the bill would help police in their effectiveness in dealing with domestic violence situations.

“It gives the police [even more of] a duty of care.” she said.

“The family protection bill specifically gives them the power to give a protection order right on the spot for perpetrators and offenders of domestic violence.”



21) PM-elect Tony Abbott tells people smugglers ‘it’s over’ once he takes office

Updated 10 September 2013, 12:24 AEST

By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has declared “it’s all over” for people smugglers, but says his official plan to “stop the boats” won’t begin until after he and his new frontbench are sworn in next week.

Mr Abbott is back in Canberra, working through the process of deciding who will hold which portfolios in the new Coalition government – a process that has been delayed by tight results in some seats.

The arrival earlier this week of an asylum seeker boat carrying 57 passengers, including two foreign journalist, has triggered questions about when the Coalition’s “Operation Sovereign Borders” will actually start.

The operation will be on hold until the official swearing-in ceremony has been held “in the first half of next week”.

But Mr Abbott has been keen to point out that he has already spoken to the Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill about the offshore processing plan put in place by the former Labor government.

“We will make the most of the arrangement which the former government put in place with PNG,” he told Channel 9 this morning.

“I think that is an important element, not the only element, but it’s an important element in the range of policies necessary to stop the boats.

“But stop the boats – we will. The people smugglers are on notice. Their game is up. It’s all over for them.”

The latest boat to arrive was also carrying two foreign journalists – one American, one Dutch – who arrived with valid travel documents and visas.

They were based in Afghanistan for The New York Times and were working on a story about the asylum seeker trade.

Mr Abbott announced Operation Sovereign Borders in July, setting out a military-led response to fight people smuggling, led by a three-star commander.

The response will also establish Operation Relex II – to turn back asylum seeker boats “where it is safe to do so”.

PM-elect confident of resolving any issues with Indonesia

Mr Abbott says he is confident of working through any issues with the Indonesian government, despite Jakarta expressing reservations about the plan.

“I know we can work effectively with the Indonesians again because we’ve done it in the past,” he said.

The people smugglers are on notice. Their game is up. It’s all over for them.

PM-elect Tony Abbott

“We have stopped the boats before.

“I don’t pretend that it’s going to be an easy one because this government, or the government that’s just gone, certainly created a terrible situation on our borders, but the solution is now at hand.”

Mr Abbott is expected to receive more calls from world leaders and continue discussions with state and territory leaders today.

His frontbench deliberations have been held up by the count in the Victoria seat of Indi, where Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella may lose her seat.

Independent Cathy McGowan is ahead but it could be days before the result is declared.

In Queensland, former Howard government minister Mal Brough appears to be fending off a challenge from Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party candidate in the seat of Fisher.

The billionaire mining magnate himself, however, is almost certain to be elected the new MP for the Queensland seat of Fairfax.

Mr Palmer’s party is also likely to have two senators from next July as part of an 18-member crossbench.Radio Australia

22) Coalition opens boat talks with PNG

By Online Editor
11:15 am GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Australian Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott has opened talks with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and senior Coalition figures have briefed Customs and navy officials as the incoming government moves quickly to implement its border protection regime.

As the prime minister-elect sought to shift the Coalition’s focus from campaigning to governing, he made a series of calls to conservative state premiers to flag quick action to cut green tape and pledge extra funds for promised infrastructure projects.

Abbott also held talks with Nationals leader Warren Truss and deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop amid discussions on a new Coalition agreement and ahead of a new ministry being named, possibly by the end of the week.

With two boats carrying a total of 145 asylum-seekers having arrived since Abbott’s victory on Saturday, The Australian has learned that in preparation for the introduction of tough new border protection policies, senior Coalition figures have held meetings with officials from Border Protection Command and the Defence Department. Border Protection Command controls Customs patrol vessels, leased civilian patrol aircraft, navy patrol boats and RAAF patrol aircraft.

Abbott said the Coalition’s Operation Sovereign Borders would begin on the day the government was sworn in, possibly Monday next week. He yesterday warned people-smugglers that “they should be under no illusions as to exactly how determined the new government is and how professional our navy is.

“It is going to be a very different situation that they confront, and it won’t simply be on the seas to our north, but it will be in terms of co-operation with Indonesia and other countries.

“There will be a very different situation here in Australia and I guess one of the things that will happen very swiftly is people who come here illegally by boat, even those who might ultimately be found to be refugees, will not get permanent residency of our country and that’s the great prize which the people-smugglers have been selling.”

The Australian has been told the Coalition representatives had explained their border protection policies, including turning back asylum-seeker boats, in their talks with navy and Customs officials. It is understood that departmental responses and explanations of how those policies will be implemented will be included with each agency’s “incoming government brief”.

The navy has taken the position that it will obey any lawful order from the government of the day, but has warned the turnback policy could prove difficult to implement as people-smugglers sabotage their own boats. The navy has warned that situation could prove dangerous for asylum-seekers and Australian patrol boat crews.

Abbott spoke by telephone to O’Neill about strengthening Australia-PNG relations and ensuring processing on Manus Island continues. The Coalition had criticised the arrangement in opposition, but said it would “salvage” what it could from the deal when in government.

O’Neill is anxious for the processing arrangement – which includes a redirection of Australia’s $500 million PNG aid program – to continue.

Abbott Monday flew to Canberra to work on the transition to government, declaring he would not rush to recall parliament for a “photo opportunity”. He would seek to work with a Senate that could include seven new minor party members and pledged to treat them with respect.

“But in the end I think they all need to respect the government of our nation has a mandate and the parliament should work with the government of the day to implement its mandate,” he told radio 2UE in Sydney.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman revealed he and Abbott had discussed the upgrade to the Bruce Highway and Gateway Motorway. “We also talked about the need to take the shackles off the Queensland government in terms of some of these major projects such as the Galilee coal projects,” he said. This could create 11,000 jobs “very, very quickly”.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine used Twitter to post a photo of himself on the phone to Abbott, saying they had discussed infrastructure projects and the need to reverse the Rudd government’s fringe benefits tax changes.

Abbott also spoke to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, who was assured federal money would flow quickly for the WestConnex roads project in Sydney.



23) Homes under threat from bushfires at Castlereagh and Windsor in Sydney’s far north west

Updated 10 September 2013, 14:14 AEST

Bushfires are moving towards homes in Sydney’s far north west as temperatures peak above 30 degrees in high winds. An emergency warning has been issued for the blazes at Devlin Road, Castlereagh and Richmond Road, Windsor. Seven NSW districts are facing very high fire danger today.

Emergency warnings have been issued for two bushfires in Sydney’s west, as temperatures in the city exceed 30 degrees with strong northerly winds. The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) says a grassfire is burning in the area of Richmond Road and Bennett Road at Windsor. The RFS says the blaze could impact properties around George Street and the area of Blight Park. At Castlereagh, near Penrith, an emergency warning was issued around noon (AEST) for a fire which has destroyed a shed and burned 60 hectares. Radio australia

24) Flash floods isolate communities in Solomon Islands

Posted at 23:19 on 09 September, 2013 UTC

Two communities in Solomon Islands have been cut off from the capital Honiara after bridges connecting the areas were destroyed by flash floods.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting reports the flash foods were caused by heavy rain in the mountains.

Chief Bartholomew Vavanga, who is also a former Provincial Assembly member, says the destruction is the second biggest after Cyclone Namu in 1986.

He said the first flash food happened last month and another three followed, isolating communities of Mberande and Mbalasuna.

He fears there may be health problems and food shortages because of the dirty river.

The Guadalcanal Provincial Emergency Operation Centre says an estimated 12-thousand people are affected by the floods.

Radio New Zealand International

25) Pacific climate change outlook bleak, says academic

Posted at 05:32 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

A climate change academic says the prognosis for small island states in the long-term is not good, and is getting bleaker by the decade.

Pacific leaders made a commitment at the Pacific Islands Forum to urgently cut green house gas emissions and become leaders in the fight to combat climate change.

Many of the island nations promise to be using at least 50 percent renewable energy by 2020, and some want to join Tokelau and aim for 100 percent.

The director of Victoria University’s post-graduate programme in environmental studies, Dr Ralph Chapman, says the next five years is crucial for the world, but the long-term outlook is pretty bleak.

“Obviously sea level rise is a major one, more intense storms, flooding, I see the Majuro international runway was flooded recently, their main international runway was subject to flooding. So there’s intense problems like that, that are only going to get worse, and we do have to look at relocation for a number of Pacific Island populations. That is a long term concern for many Pacific island communities.”

Dr Ralph Chapman says it’s the biggest countries that will make the biggest difference, but they are not doing enough.

Radio New Zealand International


26) Pacific motifs fused with Western pop art by PNG artist

Posted at 05:03 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

Pacific cultural and artistic motifs have been fused with Western pop art in an exhibition in New Zealand by Papua New Guinea-born artist Martin Heuston.

Pac Art is showing this week in Wellington’s Thistle Hall Gallery.

Martin Heuston spoke about the background to his intricate pieces to Johnny Blades, and told him how, as a young boy growing up in the Sepik, he was scared out of his wits by traditional PNG carvings and sculptures.

MARTIN HEUSTON: These elliptical eyes, some of them had elliptical eyes, and then you had carvings. Yeah, there was a certain presence to some of them. Some of the shamanistic… their witchcraft, their animism, it’s just unexplained phenomena. It’s informed my work immensely. And also, too, when I see some of the African carvings they’ve got that same sort of presence to them, too. And I can sort of see how Picasso was taken by them. They’re just one of those things that you can’t sort of explain. Some of them are beautifully carved and they’re very, very intricate, and others are crudely made, but the cruder ones, they’ve got the presence like some of the intricate ones, too.

JOHNNY BLADES: Your work seems to be full of various Pacific motifs, quite a range.

MH: I’ve been into a lot of the oceanic work or Pacific tribal art for years, and I’ve studied their little motifs, the Maori tikis, the Samoan motifs, from Pasifika all the way to the likes of Easter Island, and also I’ve been influenced by the Aztec and the Mayan mandalas. So I guess you sort of gestate things, and then when you start drawing it sort of becomes part of of your vocabulary, visual vocabulary. Like, I know hundreds and hundreds of… It’s almost like a language, you know? A major influence were the music icons like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Bob Marley. So I virtually use the motifs and the influence of the Western…

JB: There doesn’t seem to be a lot of artists out there who are infusing traditional Pacific ideas and forms with pop art. Do you know of many others who are doing it?

MH: Not that I know of. WIthin the contemporary scene there may be some. I’ve even gone on the net, surfing for artists who are fusing pop art and oceanic art, but I haven’t found anyone that’s doing what I’m doing. The only thing I can find akin to some of the work is some of the tattoo artistswho do some quite intricate work.

Radio New Zealand International


27) The Pacific Games Council says no to NZ/Australian involvement

Posted at 05:03 on 10 September, 2013 UTC

The Pacific Games Council has rejected a resolution to invite New Zealand and Australia to participate in the next Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

But members have asked the Executive Board to revisit the issue next year.

Vinnie Wylie reports:

The resolution, proposed at the Council’s General Assembly in Wallis and Futuna on Sunday, would have allowed the Pacific Games Council to invite athletes from New Zealand and Australia to compete in up to eight sports at the 2015 Games in Papua New Guinea. The president of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, says a Continental Games is needed to align the region with what is happening in other parts of the world.

“VIDHYA LAKHAN: Because most of the international federations are now allocating qualifying quotas, particularly for the team sports, to qualify for world championships or qualify for the Olympics, there are continental quotas. If you’re not in the world ranking then you have you have to go back to your continent and qualify. We are getting the international federations to recognise our games as the games in the region, but they’re saying ’you are not a regional game’. We want them to recognise us.”

Some countries expressed concerns over the impact including New Zealand and Australia would have on the competitiveness of Pacific countries and the unique culture of the current Games. Vidhya Lakhan says any first step would only invite Australia and New Zealand to compete in selected sports, where the Pacific is competitive, and would be done on their terms.

“VIDHYA LAKHAN: They just come and play and we will lay down the conditions and if it’s acceptable they come and play sports with us. That is purely to get our people to accept that we can play sports with these people and it is helping them. At the moment because we haven’t had this association with the Australian and New Zealand kids I think there’s a certain amount of hesitancy – they think they will take all the medals and all that sort of thing – but we want to slowly manage it.”

The president of the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee, Sir John Dawanincura, voted against the resolution but raised a late motion, that was passed, asking the Executive Board to re-look at the issue and come back with more information at next year’s General Assembly.

“JOHN DAWANINCURA: Basically where PNG’s coming from is I can’t commit my PGA to it because I haven’t briefed them on it and I haven’t consulted our national federations, but the weightlifting and sailing were acceptable to the idea of Oceania Championships in the 2015 Games, where the medal counts are separated. If some of our guys are good enough to win Oceania medals e it but we have a separate medal tally so there’s no confusion.”

The representative from Norfolk Island, Geoff Gardner, supported the proposal but says there was a lot of confusion around the Council table.

“GEOFF GARDNER: Members rightfully have expressed their concern about maybe a lack of detail and are wanting additional information. That’s what the board has been charged with coming back with, and so I’m sure that all of the PGAs in attendance will be looking forward to that additional information over the next 12 months.”

Meanwhile further discussion were had on a proposal to convert the Pacific Mini Games into a Youth Games, with no decision made. And the Northern Marianas became the first member to formally express an interest in hosting the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.

Radio New Zealand International


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