Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 862


1) ‘Freedom Flotilla’ approaches Indonesia’s marine border

Updated 11 September 2013, 17:24 AEST

The flotilla making its way from Australia towards the Indonesian province of Papua is expected to cross Indonesia’s marine border on Wednesday.

Organisers of the “Freedom Flotilla” say they aim to let the world know about human rights abuses in the country’s disputed Papua region.

The group of around 20 people embarked on their journey last month.

The crew includes Aboriginal elders, West Papuan refugees, filmmakers and other activists.

On Monday the group left Horn Island in the Torres Strait.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has warned the group that they will not receive any extra consular assistance if they are arrested or detained by Indonesian police.

Organiser Lizzy Brown spoke to Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat from on board the flotilla’s flagship vessel.

“Today we’ve been really contemplating the whole auspicious occasion of being September 11 and the whole thing of anti-terrorism,” she said.

“And that I guess Australia’s been training Indonesian troops like Detachment 88 to wreak havoc and terror on West Papuan people.”

Responding to suggestions by the Indonesian Navy that the yacht may potentially be armed, Ms Brown said they “come in peace, bearing no arms.”

“We have been absolutely clear about this from the beginning of our journey at the sacred mound springs of Lake Eyre in Arabunna country,” she said in a statement.

“We are letting them know our location via our satellite tracker which is available for the world to see up on our website.”

Deputy chief of Papuan police Paulus Waterpauw says unauthorised boat arrivals will be intercepted by the navy and probably detained by immigration authorities. Radio Australia.

2) PNG to have satellite by 2018

By Online Editor
4:15 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea will launch its own communication satellite by 2017-2018 if everything goes as planned, Public Enterprise Minister Ben Micah told Parliament Tuesday.

“I want to acknowledge the former government of Sir Michael Somare for doing the ground work through NICTA, Telikom and the office of the Prime Minister on the possibility for PNG launching its own satellite because we have two slots that the International Telecommunication Union has allocated for PNG,”  Micah said during Question Time.

“We have not filled the two slots for many years but are leasing the transponders that are costing service providers like Telikom, bemobile, Digicel, Hitron and private companies that access satellite excessive cost on leasing.

Micah said he had done some research on that and has now brought to the Ministerial Economic Committee a proposal that the MEC has discussed and is with the Treasury to look at the financing options.

“We will be going to the National Executive Council shortly for deliberation so we can be able to launch our own satellite and if everything goes according to plan we will launch it between 2017 and 2018.”

Micah said this when assisting Communications Minister Jimmy Miringtoro on specific questions raised by the NCD Governor Powes Parkop on whether there were plans to send up a satellite for PNG.


3) More privilege for PNG politicians

By Online Editor
4:19 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

All police interrogation of political leaders will be done at the office of the police commissioner, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament.

O’Neill said he would direct the police commissioner to effect this immediately when responding to concerns raised by Chuave MP Wera Mori in relation to recent police actions which resulted in his arrest and appearance before a court.

Mori, who is also Vice Minister for Mining, told Parliament he was intimidated and assaulted by police at Port Moresby’s Jackson Airport before he was arrested.

Mori said several armed members of the mobile police squad in four vehicles confronted him as he was returning from Rabaul after chairing the public consultative committee on the review on mining acts and policies on Aug 20 and treated him as a common criminal.

He wanted to know if the police commissioner had authorised police to take such action against him and when members of the constabulary would extend courtesy to national leaders if they had issues to resolve rather than intimidating and harassing them.

Speaker Theo Zurenuoc interjected and warned the member not to abuse the parliamentary privileges and asked the MP to write to the prime minister his personal explanation.

Responding to Mori, the prime minister condemned the actions of the police and said that the kind of action by police in car loads to harass and intimidate leaders was unacceptable.

“It is intimidating, embarrassing and disrespectful to leaders and also to our citizens,” O’Neill said. “Of course, we are all answerable for our actions and we are not above the law and we are subject to these laws that are available to all citizens. I think discipline continues to be a problem in our disciplinary forces.

“I will take the matter up with the commissioner. In fact I told the commissioner that for leaders especially, any complaint, arrest or interviews must be done through his office so that courtesy is given to all leaders. After all we are mandated and respected by our people. What is important to each and every one of us is our reputation and character,” he said.

Several members of parliament are wanted by police for questioning including the Opposition Leader Belden Namah who on Monday called on the police to go ahead and conduct their investigations.


4) ‘Amendments defeat spirit of Constitution’: PNG lawyer

By Online Editor
12:56 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea will have a more dictatorial regime if further constitutional amendments to a 30-month grace period for no-confidence votes are passed, prominent lawyer Veronica Weiang says.

Weing also told the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Laws, Acts and Subordinate Legislations public consultation hearing yesterday that proposed constitutional amendments to reduce the number of parliamentary sitting days from 63 to 40 would add to the already “lacklustre” performance of MPs.

The grace period under which a new government is immune from challenge has already been extended from 18 to 30. The government also cannot be challenged in the fifth and final year of its term.

The new amendments state that a no-confidence vote will require the support of one-fifth (23) instead of one-tenth (11) of the total number of MPs and the notice period extended to one month from one week.
Weiang, speaking as a private citizen, told the committee the proposed amendments were defeating the spirit of the Constitution.

“The effect of these changes is that the legislature can’t change the executive arm of government, even if it was dissatisfied with its performance in the first half of its parliamentary term,” she said.

“The executive arm has already curtailed the ability of the legislature in one of the key fundamental checks and balances in a parliamentary democracy, which is the independence of the legislature.

“This current term of parliament is quite unique because we have an unprecedented majority on the government’s side.

“After 2017, if we were to have a government where we have 40-60% of 70-30% in terms of whoever is in government, then even with that number, we have made it very difficult for the opposition of the day to have any vote-of-no-confidence if the proposed amendments go through.

“The consequences of the changes mean that once an executive government is in power, … it will effectively be assured of a full (five-year) term in office.”

Weiang said the executive arm of government was responsible to the legislature and should be changed if the need warranted.

“The legislature must hold the executive government accountable and answerable for its decisions and promises. If dissatisfied with the executive government, it can and should have the freedom and ability to try and change the government without too much restraints and restrictions.”

On the moves to reduce the number of sitting days for Parliament, she said:  “Currently, the members of parliament are expected to commit only 17% of the total number of days in each year to the business of parliament.

“However, it’s a known fact that members of parliament do not attend all meetings of parliament, and if they do, they are not in attendance for the full length of the sittings.

“The issue is not with the number of days, I think, but actually getting the members of parliament to attend all parliament sittings, each time, over time, and all the time.

“If our MPs took their roles and legislature seriously, and were attending meetings and discussing issues, discussing matters of national interest every time, that would provide data and evidence to gauge whether the number of days required to attend to the business of parliament is sufficient or not.

“With no performance indicators and statistics to back any proposal to reduce the days, it would seem absurd to just reduce the number of sitting days.”.


5) PNG Nationals To Get Dual Citizenship Under New Bill
Dual citizens cannot vote, hold office, or own land in PNG: Pato

By Shirlyn Belden

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 10, 2013) – 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.”

The National:

6a) Vanuatu leader commits to building new court complex

Posted at 01:59 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil says his government is committed to building a new court complex to replace the historic structure destroyed in an unexplained fire six years ago.

The Daily Post newspaper reports the prime minister saying that it is the duty of his government to ensure that the ’pride of the country’ which is its judiciary, is professionally built.

The cost of the new complex has been put at 41 million US dollars.

The chief justice Vincent Lunabek wants the design to include both Vanuatu custom and modern touches so the public feels welcome and not intimidated.

Radio New Zealand International

6b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 11 September 2013

by bobmakin

The Shefa Province consultation with custom land owners, Tuesday, proved extremely successful, Minister Ralph Regenvanu pleased that where land issues are concerned, the Vanuatu Government is now on the same track as land owners. In 2006 in the National Lands Summit, custom owners had been highly critical of past governments’ mis-use of their lands and yesterday they were delighted to see that their 2006 resolutions were being acted upon. Shefa Province custom owners attended a huge gathering in the VNPF premises, learned quite a lot about what the ministry was planning and were asked to give their advice, area by area (such as South Efate, East Efate, Nguna / Pele, North-West Efate, Shepherds and Epi) on a set of questions which will be reflected in new land legislation. Power over land issues is being returned to the farea (which proved to be the correct term for Shefa, rather than nakamal or nasara) – especially to avoid ministers of lands signing leases which might not be approved by the community. Shefa’s was the first of provincial meetings of a similar type which will take place in all provinces in the next fortnight. The minister and his departmental and legal team will hear the views of every area of the country on the remaining outstanding points. Custom land owners are being advised through service messages when Minister Regenvanu and team will be in their province. Changes to already drafted or planned legislation will then be introduced and the legislation come before Parliament at its November sitting.

four billion vatu court house was depicted on the front page of Daily Post today. The artist’s impression of the new building to replace the historical edifice burnt out in 2007 shows it to adequately reflect “local tradition and a people-friendly appearance so that ni-Vanuatu people will not feel intimidated or afraid to enter the building,” as the Chief Justice has requested. Prime Minister Carcasses has said “the pride of our country is our Judiciary and it must be professionally housed.” A tender process for the design was completed in 2009. It is expected tendering for construction will be possible by the end of this year.

A ni-Vanuatu has been granted a licence to operate his own airline, Belair Airways Limited. He is Mr Willie Ben Karie, whose name has appeared in this blog in the past, especially in connection with Belair Shipping. His licence will permit purchase of a 10 seater plane. He was handed his licence by the Civil Aviation Director Joseph Niel, greatly pleased to authorise a ni-Vanuatu family-owned business to fly our skies like others.

The Minister of Trade, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Toara Daniel, says that the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority VIPA should adopt a one-stop-shop approach to deal with all foreign investors. He says the system is slow and needs improvement. He has called on the services of Immigration, Customs and Labour who give permits for foreign investment (it was said thus) to cooperate and set a single environment which will welcome foreign investors to conduct business in Vanuatu. Many years of operation of such a policy of welcoming any foreign investor has hardly contributed to the country’s development, but at least everyone has a Chinese shop not far away from home, and Chinese labourers are to be found on many building sites to the exclusion of ni-Vanuatu workers.

The government is undertaking a consultation with the general public over the possibility of a re-introduction of daylight saving. Older residents will recall this phenomenon from the mid-‘Seventies for a brief time as a means of saving power costs in a time of fuel shortage. People are asked to write to the Government PRO by 20 September to give their ideas.

bobmakin | September 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Categories: The News, Digested

7) PM Bainimarama Urges Fijians To Read New Constitution

‘Constitution is the way forward for every Fijian,’ says PM

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 10, 2013) – With Fiji’s new Constitution now effective and treated as the supreme law of the country, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is urging all Fijians to read the document.

The Prime Minister who is currently touring the Northern Division is giving out copies of the 2013 Constitution to members of the community.

Bainimarama yesterday handed copies in Seaqaqa and today visited the people of Nadogo while opening the North’s second telecentre.

“The Constitution is the way forward for every Fijian and it is important for you all to read the document for yourselves,” he told people.

“In a host of ways, it is fundamentally different to the three Constitutions Fiji has had since Independence.”

“For the first time, everyone is equal, everyone is called a Fijian and everyone will have a single vote – of equal value – when we go to the polls by no later than September next year.”

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, Fiji military leader Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says the nation’s armed forces know their role and will always stand in support of the current government. “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,” Tikoitoga said. He has also urged neighboring Pacific countries to stop targeting the military and making false allegations against its officers.]

“Also for the first time, the constitution includes permanent rights to housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, adequate food, clean water, a just minimum wage, social security schemes, health and sanitation. It protects the rights of land owners as well as the rights of tenants.”

“But personally, one of the parts I am most proud of is that it includes a Fijian’s right to education at all levels: primary, secondary and university. This means that any elected government will have to do everything in its power to make education accessible to all Fijians, at all levels.”

“And in primary school, we’re also making the teaching of i-Taukei and Fiji Hindi compulsory under the new Constitution.”

He said he was proud to say, though, that in so many instances in the North, ordinary people already know both languages and have always communicated effectively and he definitely regarded the North as a beacon and role model for the rest of Fiji.

“On my visits to Nabouwalu and Seaqaqa yesterday, we distributed hundreds of copies and I signed many of them at the request of the local people. It’s obviously a document that Fijians already value and see as something they can treasure and pass down to their children.”

“I have brought copies to hand out to those who want to read it and I urge you all to do so. We have versions in English, i-Taukei and Hindi for you to choose from.”

Bainimarama added that he has been struck by the enthusiasm ordinary Fijians are showing for the blueprint that will take us to the first genuine democratic election in our history next year.


8) 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.


9) Tuvalu voters toss out cabinet minister who forced a by-election

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

Leneuoti Matusi has won the by-election on Tuvalu’s Nui atoll.

The seat became vacant after the sudden resignation of Taom Tanukale in July, during a prolonged political crisis.

Mr Tanukale, who had been health minister in the Willie Telavi government, contested the by-election, finishing second with newcomer, Palemene Anelu, third.

Leneuoti Matusi is a former civil servant.

Pacnews reports that is not yet known whether the new MP will support the government or the opposition.

The Tuvalu government had a majority of two going into the by-election.

Radio New Zealand International


10) Guam woman set for US Dept of Interior appointment

Posted at 01:59 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

US president Barack Obama has appointed another Pacific Islander as an assistant secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs.

She is Esther Puakela Kia’aina who was born in Guam and is a resident of Hawaii where she is first deputy director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms Kia’aina would lead the Department’s efforts to coordinate federal policy for Guam, the Northern Marianas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.

She would also have the responsibility over federal assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

Ms Kia’aina replaces Anthony Babauta who is also from Guam.

Radio New Zealand International


11) Senator says Australia should cut wasted aid, not Pacific funds

By Online Editor
10:17 am GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Australia

An Australian senator says proposed cuts to foreign aid should focus on where it has been wasted, not in the Pacific where it is desperately needed.

Before it won last Saturday’s federal election in Australia, the coalition announced it would save US$4.2 billion in future foreign aid spending.

The Democratic Labor Party leader John Madigan, who featured on tv advertisements in the election campaign urging the government to “spend it wisely or spend it at home”, says Indonesia has no need for the huge level of aid provided by Australia.

He said other Pacific countries, particularly those who helped Australia in the past, need to be the beneficiaries of aid.

John Madigan says when he visited East Timor this year he felt ashamed to be Australian.

“They put their lives on the line for us and our soldiers said we will never forget this. But our Government has. And some tacit recognition in any war memorial.. if those diggers were alive today how would they feel about what’s happened to these people, how we’re treating them.”

Meanwhile, a New Zealand charity says it will lobby the New Zealand government to convince Australia not to cut its foreign aid budget to the Pacific region.

The education and advocacy manager of Tear Fund New Zealand, Frank Ritchie, says that policy reneges on a bipartisan promise to increase foreign aid to 0.5 percent of Gross National Income, made by all OECD countries, by 2015.

Frank Ritchie says if the cuts affect the Pacific, it will put more pressure on the likes of countries like New Zealand.

“If there’s any inkling that Australia is going to draw that money out of the Pacific then that leaves a gaping hole on those nations, many of them who I imagine would have forecasted their budgets based on what the last government had predicted they were going to spend. So they are going to have to readjust their budgets and it puts pressure on other aid that’s being shipped into the Pacific.”.


12) Abbott government urged to work with China in region

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

The Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, has urged the incoming Australian government to work with China in the region.

It says better co-operation would send a signal to local states there is no value in playing off the two countries to attract more aid.

It says while Australia and China signed an MOU on development co-operation earlier this year, there were also hints at official concerns from Australia about China’s rise in the region in the 2013 Defence White Paper.

The think tank says an unhelpfully mixed message is being sent to Pacific Island countries which enables their leaders to play on fears in demands to Australia for aid with fewer strings attached.

It suggests co-operating on projects including climate change mitigation, the development of high-yield crops and joint responses to disaster relief.

The Institute says China wants to be seen as a globally responsible player and such a constructive approach would be noticed internationally and give the region’s countries greater certainty.

Radio New Zealand International


13) Research into migration of Pacific women to Asia

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

A New Zealand-born Pacific Islander has been awarded a Victoria University in Wellington doctoral scholarship to investigate the modern migration of young Pacific women to Asia.

Rachel Yates says her research is inspired by her time teaching English in South Korea, where she was surprised to meet so many New Zealand Pacific Islanders studying, working and succeeding abroad.

She says in the past, Pacific migration studies have focused on Pacific Islanders travelling to New Zealand, not about those who leave New Zealand for other opportunities.

She says her research will focus on women, and will use the experiences of those she met in South Korea as case studies.

“For the women, I was interested in transnationalism, which is looking at how they relate to New Zealand and their Pacific nation being in Asia, you know, what that felt like. And just the whole idea of a Kiwi New Zealand OE, just what a Pacific version of that is.”

Ms Yates says she hopes her research will motivate other New Zealand Pacific Islanders to study and travel abroad.

Radio New Zealand International

14) Senator Critical Of Australia’s Proposed Foreign Aid Cuts
John Madigan urged government: ‘spend wisely or spend at home’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 10, 2013) – An Australian senator says proposed cuts to foreign aid should focus on where it has been wasted, not in the Pacific where it is desperately needed.

Before it won last Saturday’s federal election in Australia, the coalition announced it would save US$4.2 billion in future foreign aid spending.

The Democratic Labor Party leader John Madigan, who featured on TV advertisements in the election campaign urging the government to “spend it wisely or spend it at home”, says Indonesia has no need for the huge level of aid provided by Australia.

He says other Pacific countries, particularly those who helped Australia in the past, need to be the beneficiaries of aid.

John Madigan says when he visited East Timor this year he felt ashamed to be Australian.

“They put their lives on the line for us and our soldiers said we will never forget this. But our Government has. And some tacit recognition in any war memorial.. if those diggers were alive today how would they feel about what’s happened to these people, how we’re treating them.”

[PIR editor’s note: Elsewhere, New Zealand charity Tear Fund says it plans to lobby the New Zealand government to convince Australia not to cut foreign aid to the Pacific. Tear Fund advocacy manager Frank Ritchie says the proposed cut reneges on a bipartisan promise to increase foreign aid to half of gross national incomes in all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries by 2015.]

Radio New Zealand International:


15) Vanuatu i stopim 1 na 2 Vatu

Updated 11 September 2013, 12:19 AEST

Bethany Keats

Ol Ni-Vanuatu bai no nap moa long iusim ol wanpla na tupla Vatu long baem ol samting

Odio: Acting Governor blong Reserve Bank blong Vanuatu, Peter Tari itoktok wantem Bethany Keats

Acting Governor blong Reserve Bank blong Vanuatu, Peter Tari itoktok wantem Bethany Keats (Credit: ABC)

Stat long mun February long yia bihaen, Vanuatu bai no nap moa long iusim ol wanpla na tupla vatu coins.

Long 2008 oli bin pasim tok olsem oli save lusim planti moni tumas long mekim ol despla kaen coins oa moni olsem na long 2011 ol Banks ibin stop long kamapim ol despla coins.

Nau isi isi oli stop long iusim ol despla moni long kantri.

Acting Governor blong Reserve Bank blong  Vanuatu, Peter Tari itok bod blong Reserve Bank ibin tingting long noken iusim despla tupla coin long wonem oli save lusim planti moni long mekim Australia

16) Nogat Ship imekim Solomon Islands pipal i wari

Updated 11 September 2013, 11:46 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Igat bikpla wari i kamap long Shortland long Solomon Islands bihaen long oli stopim sevis we emi save helpim ol pipal blong despla ailan.

Odio: Bernard Otuana,wanpela komuniti lida long Shortland long Western Provins bilong Solomon Islands itoktok wantem Paulus Kombo

Bernard Otuana,wanpela komuniti lida long Shortland long Western Provins bilong Solomon Islands itoktok wantem Paulus Kombo (Credit: ABC)

Wanpela Communiti lida blong Shortland long Western provins blong kantri, Mr  Bernard Otuana ibin tokaut long despla wari blong en bihaen Pacific Ace  Shipping Service emi ronim ol ship namel long  Shortland na ol narapla ples long provins ibin stopim ol ron blong ol ship long despla hap long wik igo pinis.

Mr  Otuana itok despla  shipping sevis i wanpela bigpela rot bilong ol pipol long hap isave kisim ol halavim na pasin em oli mekim long stopim despla sevis i min olsem bai oli bungim bikpla heve.

Mr Otuana itok, emi ting wanpla samting emi mekim despla kampani long stopim sevis blong en emi bihaenim pasin em wanpla man blong western provins ibin mekim long iusim mobile phone na mekim tok lukaut long paitim kepten na ol boskru.

Emi tok ol boslaen blong  despla kampani ibin tokim gavman long despla kaen tok lukaut olsem na oli stopim despla sevis.

Tasol nau i luk olsem sopos ol ship ino ron igo ikam long Shortland bai kamapim bikpla heve long saed blong helt blong ol pipal na tu long oli ron igo ikam long ol ples em oli laik go long ol long Solomon australia


17) Freedom Flotilla dekati perbatasan Indonesia

Terbit 11 September 2013, 17:51 AEST

Kapal layar Freedom Flotilla yang bermuatan belas aktivis Australia menuju Papua diperkirakan bakal menyeberangi perbatasan laut Indonesia hari ini, Rabu (11/9).

Seorang inisiator penyelenggara pelayaran Freedom Flotilla menjelaskan tujuan pelayaran itu supaya dunia tahu pelanggaran Ham di Papua.

Amos Wainggai, salah seorang aktivis yang ikut dalam pelayaran Freedom Flotilla kepada Radio Australia mengungkapkan total yang ikut berlayar berjumlah 19 orang.

Waingai merupakan aktivis Papua merdeka yang kini tinggal di Melbourne, Victoria, juga ikut dalam pelayaran Freedom Flotilla.

Para kru terdiri dari pengungsi Papua, pembuat film, aktivis dan para sesepuh suku Abrorigin.

Senin (9/9) kemarin rombongan aktivis yang menggunakan kapal layar itu berangkat dari pulau Horn di Selat Torres.

Departemen Luar Negeri Australia sudah memberi peringatan tidak akan memberikan bantuan hukum jika mereka ditangkap karena melanggar hukum menerobos perbatasan oleh kepolisian Indonesia.

Kepada program Pasific Beat Radio Australia salah seorang penyelenggara, Lizzy Brown, menyampaikan bahwa mereka memikirkan semua peristiwa 11 September dan yang terkait dengan anti terorisme.

“Dan saya kira, Australia melatih para personil keamanan Indonesia seperti detasemen 88 untuk membuat malapetaka dan teror pada orang-orang Papua Barat,”katanya.

Wakil kepala kepolisian Papua, Papua Paulus Waterpauw mengatakan kedatangan perahu yang tidak resmi akan dicegat oleh angkatan laut dan mungkin ditahan oleh pihak imigrasi.

Sementara itu, kru Freedom Flotilla lainnya dalam kesempatan wawancara yang berbeda membantah jika ada tudingan yang menyebut perjalanan itu mempunyai misi politik.

“Kalau nanti bisa tiba di Merauke, kami akan buat acara upacara adat. Akan ada upacara penyambutan dari seluruh orang Papua untuk mempersatukan dua pulau yang terpisah sekian lama,” jelas Amos Wainggai.

Perjalanan juga disebut mempunyai misi untuk memperingati pemisahan daratan Australia dan pulau Papua sejak zaman pencairan es 10 ribu tahun yang lalu dan era australia


18) Des milliers de personnes déplacées par des inondations aux îles Salomon

Posté à 11 September 2013, 8:26 AEST

Pierre Riant

Les autorités estiment que plus de 12 000 personnes sont affectées dans la région située au nord-est de l’île de Guadalcanal où se trouve la capitale Honiara.

Des ponts ont été emportés et de nombreuses personnes sont isolées du reste de l’archipel ; des femmes enceintes notamment.

Joana Zoleveke est secrétaire-générale de la Croix rouge aux îles Salomon. Voici ce qu’elle en dit. À l’heure où cette interview a été réalisée, hier en fin d’après midi, personne n’avait encore pu rejoindre les zones sinistrées.

ZOLEVEKE : « Pas pour l’instant car des ponts sont en cours de réparation. Le ministère des infrastructures est sur place et les travaux continuaient hier après-midi. Nous n’avons donc pas encore réussi à pénétrer là-bas. »

Et qu’en est-il des reconnaissances aériennes ? Est-ce que des avions ou des hélicoptères ont survolé l’endroit ?

ZOLEVEKE : « Nous n’avons pas encore de surveillance aérienne, non. Les communications que nous avons se font à travers les réseaux des téléphones portables. Nous savons que des gens se sont présentés devant des ponts qui ont été endommagés. Je sais que des personnes tentent de rejoindre Honiara et les centres de santé les plus proches.»

Est-ce que des informations filtrent sur l’ampleur des dégâts ? On sait pour l’instant que des ponts ont été détruits mais qu’en est-il des cultures, des jardins vivriers ?

ZOLEVEKE : « Nous savons que dans de nombreux villages prés de la zone sinistrée, la plupart des jardins sont sous les eaux et nous savons que des gens tentent de récupérer des quantités de fruits et de légumes. Ils tentent de naviguer sur les rivières en crue pour pouvoir vendre leurs produits mais il n’y en a pas beaucoup. Pas beaucoup de cultivateurs. »

Quelle est la situation au niveau de l’approvisionnement en l’eau ? Est-ce que les villageois ont accès à l’eau potable ?

ZOLEVEKE : « Je ne crois pas car selon des rapports il y a une augmentation des cas de maladies hydriques et c’est là raison pour laquelle les gens se dirigent vers des centres de soins. Nous attendons pour l’instant des informations des autorités provinciales pour savoir ce que nous devons déployer sur place. »

Pour l’instant et selon Joana Zoveleke aucun mort n’est à dé australia

19) Julie Bishop et le Pacifique : quelles relations ?

Posté à 11 September 2013, 8:04 AEST

Pierre Riant

Responsable des Affaires étrangères pendant des années dans l’opposition, Julie Bishop est en passe de devenir la chef de la diplomatie australienne.

Jenny Hayward Jones, directrice du Programme mélanésien au Lowy Institute, un laboratoire d’idées australien, a longtemps observé la performance de Julie Bishop quand elle était assise sur les bancs de l’opposition.

C’est donc à elle que nous avons demandé à quoi le Pacifique doit s’attendre quand Julie Bishop aura été assermentée au poste de ministre des Affaires étrangères.

HAYWARD-JONES : « La bonne nouvelle pour la région, laissons de côté les coupes du budget de l’aide à l’étranger, est que la nouvelle ministre des Affaires étrangères, était particulièrement assidue quand elle était en charge des Affaires étrangères dans l’opposition. Elle a beaucoup appris du Pacifique et en particulier de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.
Je pense qu’elle désire vraiment élargir et approfondir les relations entre l’Australie et la région. Elle l’a répété à plusieurs reprises et a souligné que le Pacifique et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée devaient être une priorité de la politique extérieure.

Elle veut changer les relations bilatérales avec chaque pays pour mettre l’accent sur le commerce et l’investissement et s’éloigner du cliché des relations qui reposent sur les programmes d’aide.
Elle a déjà parlé de l’Aide pour le Commerce et de l’intégration de la diplomatie économique dans les programmes d’aide. Nul doute qu’elle va se concentrer là-dessus. Elle va essayer d’encourager les investissements dans les pays où l’Australie a mis en place d’importants programmes d’aide. »

Dans les précédents gouvernements travaillistes de Kevin Rudd et de Julia Gillard, des Secrétaires d’État aux Affaires du Pacifique étaient en charge de cette région. Ce n’était pas le cas avec le gouvernement conservateur de John Howard, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’époque, Alexander Downer, s’occupait personnellement du Pacifique. Qu’en sera-t-il avec Julie Bishop ? Va-t-elle déléguer les Affaires du Pacifique à un secrétaire d’État ?

HAYWARD-JONES : « Non, tout montre qu’elle s’occupera personnellement de ce dossier. Elle a dit qu’elle irait en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée à titre de ministre des Affaires étrangères peu après son assermentation.
Elle a passé beaucoup de temps à comprendre la région et elle a rencontré beaucoup de dirigeants.
Lors d’un débat politique avec le sénateur Carr, elle a déclaré qu’elle aimerait que l’on se souvienne d’elle comme d’une ministre des Affaires étrangères qui aura fait de l’Australie un partenaire de choix pour les nations océaniennes du Pacifique. C’est un engagement personnel qu’elle a et je ne pense pas qu’elle va déléguer. »radio australia

20) Tonga : adoption du projet de loi sur la protection de la famille

Posté à 11 September 2013, 8:29 AEST

Pierre Riant

Les associations d’aide aux victimes ont très bien accueilli cette loi qui permet à la police d’émettre des ordonnances de protection instantanées pour assurer la protection immédiate des victimes.

Cette loi attend maintenant la sanction du roi et devrait être mise en application l’année prochaine.

Lesila To’ia, du Centre de crise pour femmes et enfants du royaume estime que cette législation aidera à contenir le problème grandissant de la violence conjugale : «  Pour le moment, nous pensons que c’est un bon départ. Nous attendons que le roi approuve. Et après nous pourrons y ajouter des clauses et réclamer des amendements. Mais pour le moment, nous sommes très contentes de son adoption au Parlement. »radio australia


21) Syria crisis: Barack Obama to give Russia’s chemical weapons plan a chance, states reasons for military action

Updated 11 September 2013, 17:12 AEST

US president Barack Obama has postponed this threat to strike Syria, after Bashar al-Assad’s regime welcomed a Russian plan to gather and destroy its chemical arsenal. In a nationally televised address from the White House, Mr Obama said he had asked Congress to delay a vote on whether to authorise military action while Washington studies the Russian initiative. He said he would stay in personal contact with Russian president Vladimir Putin and would dispatch secretary of state John Kerry to Geneva for talks with his Russian counterpart on Thursday. However, Mr Obama made it clear the US military was ready to respond if diplomacy failed, saying inaction was not an option.

Video: US president Barack Obama addresses nation on case for military action against Syria

United States president over last month’s chemical weapons attack. (Credit: ABC)

United States president Barack Obama has vowed to pursue a diplomatic initiative from Russia over Syria’s chemical weapons use, but voiced scepticism about it and urged Americans to support his threat to use military force.

Mr Obama used a nationally televised address to Americans to denounce last month’s gas attack which killed 1,400 Syrians, including more than 400 children, describing it as “sickening” and a “danger” to US national security.

He stated his case for military action, saying president Bashar al-Assad must be brought to account or he will use chemical weapons again.

“When dictators commit atrocities, they depend on the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory,” Mr Obama said.

“The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it.

Key points

Barack Obama asks Congress to delay vote on military action in Syria
Says plan to have Syria hand over its chemical weapons should be explored
Says US military remains on standby as inaction is not an option

“Because what happened to those people, to those children, is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security.”

However, Mr Obama said he had asked Congress to delay a vote on military action while a Russian initiative was explored further.

Analysis from The Drum

We are seeing the diminished power of the US after Iraq.

Russia yesterday seized on an “off-the-cuff” comment from US secretary of state John Kerry that Syria place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control.

Russia said it would work with Syria to make this happen, and Syria has already expressed a willingness to comply with the plan.

Mr Obama said he would discuss the initiative further with Russian president Vladimir Putin, but expressed scepticism about whether it would succeed.

He said he would work with France, Britain, China and Russia on a United Nations resolution requiring Mr Assad to give up his chemical weapons.

Has Barack Obama’s address convinced you of the potential need for military action against Syria? Have your say.

“Any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments,” Mr Obama said.

“But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.”

How would Syria hand over its chemical weapons?

How might a plan to take Syria’s chemical weapons out of president Bashar al-Assad’s hands actually work?

Europe correspondent Mary Gearin asked Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the UK’s Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment.

The draft resolution gives Syria 15 days to make a complete declaration of its entire chemical arms program, and demands UN weapons inspectors be given immediate access to all sites named in the declaration.

It would also demand inspectors be granted access to all chemical arms personnel, records and equipment.

The resolution threatens Syria with further “necessary measures” in the event of non-compliance.

In what amounted to the most explicit, high-level admission by Syria that it has chemical weapons, foreign minister Walid al-Moualem said earlier in a statement shown on Russian state television that Damascus was committed to the Russian initiative.

“We want to join the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons,” he said.

“We are ready to observe our obligations in accordance with that convention, including providing all information about these weapons.

“We are ready to declare the location of the chemical weapons, stop production of the chemical weapons, and show these (production) facilities to representatives of Russia and other United Nations member states.”

Obama says US inaction is not an option

Mr Obama used much of his speech to lay out the case against Syria, saying there was plenty of evidence showing the Syrian government was behind the deadly attack.

The US military doesn’t do pinpricks. Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.

US president Barack Obama

He argued that Syria should face consequences for using such weapons because much of the world has long since adopted a ban on chemical weapons.

He said if the civilised world did nothing to respond, it would only embolden US adversaries.

Mr Obama said he understood Americans were weary of costly conflicts abroad following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he was of the belief that America could not sit back while chemical weapons were being used “in flagrant violation of international law”.

And amid confusion about the extent of any US military strike, he said that Mr Assad would pay a heavy price if military action was used.

“The US military doesn’t do pinpricks,” he said.

Chemical weapons in Syria:

Syria is understood to have the third largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world – including sarin and other nerve gases.

Amid accusations by Syrian activists that forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad have used nerve gas to kill more than 200 people, we look back over similar allegations made during the conflict.

“Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.”

Mr Obama said the Assad regime did not have the capability to seriously threaten the US military.

He repeated his earlier pledge that any military action would be limited in both its scope and duration and would not involve American boots on the ground.

He said he had ordered the US military to be ready to respond if diplomacy fails.

Mr Kerry and defence secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress earlier that the threat of military action was critical to forcing Mr Assad to bend on his chemical weapons.

“For this diplomatic option to have a chance of succeeding, the threat of a US military action – the credible, real threat of US military action – must continue,” Mr Hagel told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

Mr Obama said Mr Kerry would meet Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday for further talks.


22) US call for security partnerships in the Pacific

By Online Editor
4:22 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2013, New Zealand

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.”



23) Tea compound may help fight AIDS

By Online Editor
12:53 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, United States

A compound found in a medicinal tea brewed from the bark of a tree could help fight AIDS, scientists have found.

The tea used by tribal healers on the South Pacific island of Samoa to treat hepatitis contains the compound prostratin, extracted from the bark of the mamala tree. Scientists have found a way to isolate the compound and synthesise it so it is 100 times more potent.

The new version of prostratin shows promise in laboratory tests for both preventing HIV from infecting human cells and awakening dormant HIV viruses that are hiding inside human latently infected cells.

Latent HIV cell reservoirs are untouchable by today’s antiviral medicines. Antiviral medicines reduce active virus levels in patients’ blood and keep patients healthy. But when patients stop the medication, the hibernating HIV in reservoirs awakens to resupply active virus. Prostratin flushes HIV out of its cellular sanctuaries so that antiviral drugs can attack and hopefully eradicate the HIV from the body.

Speaking at the American Chemical Society’s meeting in Indianapolis, Paul A Wender from Stanford University described efficient new ways of making prostratin. Wender and colleagues first developed a way to make the tea ingredient, prostratin, in large amounts from readily available ingredients.

He described how that initial synthesis broke down a major barrier to probing prostratin’s antiviral effects. Until then, scientists had to extract prostratin from the bark of the Samoan mamala tree, and only tiny and variable amounts were so obtained. Samoa is where another scientist, Paul Cox, in 1987 heard a native healer praise mamala bark tea as a remedy for viral hepatitis. It led scientists at the National Cancer Institute to analyse the bark and identify prostratin as a key ingredient.

Wender’s synthesis of prostratin opened the door to nresearch on the substance and enabled his team to change prostratin’s architecture.

“We now have made synthetic variants of prostratin, called analogs, that are 100 times more potent than the natural product,” Wender said. Wender’s group also synthesised bryostatin, a substance that occurs naturally in sea creatures called bryozoans, and appears even more effective for AIDS and have applications for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

“Bryostatin has shown great promise in laboratory experiments as the basis for development of potentially transformative medicines for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and the eradication of HIV/AIDS,” Wender said.

Researchers have designed simpler and more readily synthesised analogs of bryostatin which are up to 1,000-fold more potent in flushing HIV out of its hiding places than prostratin.

24) Fiji Police Ask Public For Help With Suicide Prevention
Commissioner urges more proactive measures to prevent loss of life

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 10, 2013) – The growing trend of suicide cases in Fiji is a reality which needs to be addressed, says Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua as World Suicide Prevention Day is acknowledged throughout the globe today.

Brig-Gen Naivalurua has challenged members of the community to step forward and assist police address this social problem.

He said public awareness campaigns such as World Suicide Prevention Day is being facilitated to prevent and reduce the number of suicide and attempted suicide incidents which the Fiji Police continues to be challenged with.

“We need to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, improve education about causes of suicide, decrease stigmatization, join hands and reach out to our fellow humans who may be emotionally distressed and need our help,” Brig-Gen Naivalurua said.

“It’s extremely worrying that most suicide cases arise from an issue that could have easily been resolved through dialogue.”

The Commissioner is adamant that more proactive measures need to be adopted to prevent further loss of innocent lives.

“While today has been specifically set aside to raise awareness on the prevention of suicides, the issue at hand needs a more concerted and continuous approach and we can’t afford to wait once a year and come up with solutions to this issue, particularly since the victims are getting younger and those deemed to be in their productive years,” he said.

There have been 80 cases of suicide and 83 cases of attempted suicide reported from January to August this year compared to 81 cases of suicide and 91 cases of attempted suicide were reported for the same period last year.

“As Fijians we are always proud of the fact that we live in a communal society so it is sad to see people taking their own lives because they feel isolated to the point that they feel no one around them can help with their problems ” he said.

“Police can’t deal with this problem alone. We are requesting families to spend time with their loved ones, understand what they’re going through, listen and be more understanding.”


25) PNG Doctor Warns Of Cancer From Betel Nut Chewing
Says lime used with betel nut juice leads to mouth cancer

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 10, 2013) – A Papua New Guinea oncologist says funding is needed to inform the public about the risks of mouth cancer from chewing betel nut.

Betel nut chewing involves chewing the palm tree nut mixed with lime powder and mustard, before the red-tinged remains are spat out.

Dr. John Niblett, Director of the Angau Hospital in Lae, has told Pacific Beat the combination of lime and betel nut appears linked to the development of mouth cancers.

“It’s almost certainly due to the lime that’s being used, and there were experiments and research done here in the 70s which showed that mixtures of lime and betel nut juice on to rabbit’s ears caused cancers,” he said.

“Certainly the cancers occur in the part of the mouth where the betel nut is commonly chewed – so each individual chewer would have his favourite spot for his betel nut in the mouth, and that’s where generally we’ll see the cancer.”

Dr. Niblett says there are about 200-300 mouth cancers reported each year in PNG, and he believes that might be linked to the rise in betel nut chewing.

“It used to be common only in the coastal and islands areas of the country and not in the Highlands, but nowadays betel nut is available throughout the New Guinea Highlands, where there’s a large population,” he said.

“It’s chewed on a binge kind of basis, so when the truck goes up full of betel nut, everybody wants to have a big chew and have a smoke and also drink beer, so it becomes a big party issue.”

Dr. Niblett says early detection of mouth cancers can lead to effective treatment.

“If you get it at the very early stage one stage, where you’ve got a small malignancy perhaps less than a centimetre in size, that can be excised surgically,” he said.

“You would expect nearly 100 percent cure rate, providing the patient does not carry on chewing betel nut after that.”

The governor of PNG’s capital, Port Moresby, has announced a crackdown on betel nut chewing, labeling it unhygienic and raising concerns over the spread of airborne diseases.

Radio Australia:


26) Tonga group aiming to export ngatu for high school fees

Posted at 04:00 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

The organiser of a group of women in Tonga making ngatu or tapa for sale overseas says they need the money to put their children through high school.

Melesila Lutolofi Weilert, says 41 women in the village of Ha’atafu on the main island Tongatapu have been making ngatu and selling them to relatives overseas but their aim is to commercially export them.

She says when she returned from living abroad earlier this year she realised she had to do something to help her community improve its standard of living.

“Especially when it comes to the education of the children, they can only make it to a few grades higher than the normal ones then they have to quit and it has to with the parents can’t afford to pay for their education. So I decided I’d rather do something, because that’s my heart. This is my roots and I love it so dearly.”

Melesila Lutolofi Weilert says the ngatu have a dual use as decoration and insulation.

Radio New Zealand International

27) Solomons government being asked to help indigenous businesses

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands government is being asked to give more financial support to help indigenous people kick-start businesses.

There are concerns the biggest obstacle to launching a business is a lack of start-up capital.

Beverley Tse was in Solomon Islands and spoke with those concerned.

The president of the civil society group Malaita Ma’asina Forum, Charles Dausabea, says many indigenous Solomon Islanders who wish to run a business cannot muster enough finances to get off the ground. He says the authorities should take more responsibility.

“CHARLES DAUSABEA: This government puts all the money into the bags of members of parliament. So that’s where the problem is. If they can set up a… more like revive a development bank for Solomon Islanders to do business, they would have an opportunity to borrow money. You have to borrow money to start business with money. And if you don’t have money then sorry it’s not on.”

A local businessman and a former board member of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands, Yoshiyuki Sato, does not see that idea as being wise, as the Development Bank of Solomon Islands went bankrupt.

“YOSHIYUKI SATO: The politicians then were corrupt, went and used their influence and got people who shouldn’t have even been given loans. If we talk about loans, it has to be a proper loan. It has to stand up with its own merits without the improper influence from politicians or pillars of business society.”

The President of the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association says only about 17 percent of the organisation’s 450 members have registered businesses. Rose Usukana says the majority of her members need money to get started and supports the idea of reopening a Solomon Islands bank.

“ROSE USUKANA: I just hope that there are no political interferences in that. If you have something and you say its for these people to utilise, women, the indigenous, and they themselves don’t put their hands in there, politicians, then it will be okay.”

The chairman of the Manufacturers Association, Sika Manuopangai, says there is potential in Solomon Islands to develop the copra and coconut oil industries but says a lack in finances for production and packaging prevents them from competing at a regional level.

“SIKA MANUOPANGAI: It’s very, you know, challenging for us without the government’s support and help because we feel that out products that are made locally should be supported and protected by the government.”

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Heinz Vaekesa, says the ministry understands the concerns and the ministry is doing its best to meet the need.

“HEINZ VAEKESA: As far as resources are concerned, it’s the things that are always a hindrance to kick those problems out. But I think if the government is serious about it, we can get those resources within our national budget.”

Heinz Vaekesa says he hopes to roll out a new programme next year to provide start-up capital to indigenous businesses.

Radio New Zealand International

28) Livelihoods at risk as betel nut ban in Port Moresby pursued

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

A former Papua New Guinea betel nut vendor says the chewing and selling of the nut is likely to go on as usual despite a proposal to ban it from Port Moresby’s streets and public places from October.

But the Governor of National Capital District, Powes Parkop, says he will impose hefty fines on anyone importing betel nut, and push vendors out of the city.

Mary Baines reports:

The former vendor, Martyn Namorong, says a ban on betel nut is unrealistic.

“MARTYN NAMORONG: The governor doesn’t have the capacity to enforce his plan. Because of its economic importance and the livelihood of many families there is no way they are going to give up their livelihood – it is unrealistic to think that betel nut will disappear from Port Moresby from October onwards.”

Mr Namorong says policies banning it have never worked in the past – when vendors are driven away from selling in particular spots, they set up shop somewhere else. He says because the use of betel nut is cultural and addictive, the market will remain. He says Governor Parkop is pandering to upper-class voters who want the city clean.

“MARTYN NAMORONG: Generally speaking, the betel nut ban highlights how far apart elite Papua New Guinea is from grass-roots Papua New Guinea; how out of touch they are with the reality of lives of people.”

An Australian National University academic, Tim Sharp, studies the PNG betel nut trade, and says it is worth between US$16 million and US$25 million to Port Moresby a year. He says a census from the year 2000 shows about 21 percent of households in NCD earn some income from the sale of betel nut, and 50 per cent in the provinces surrounding the city.

“TIM SHARP: Particularly for the urban poor, it would have a really significant impact. The kind of incomes they are getting from betel nut are only maybe 5, 10 kina a day in which they are buying 10 fish for the evening meal, those kind of basic household needs, so depriving them of that income would obviously have significant impacts.”

Governor Parkop says the spitting of betel nut is not only making the city unclean, but spreads tuberculosis. He says motor vehicles, boats and aircraft coming into the city will be checked and if found to be importing betel nut, they will be fined US$4,000. He says vendors will only be able to sell at markets in Laloki and Gaire, outside of the city, to buy and sell betel nut – and they will have to pay a fee to do so.

“POWES PARKOP: The vendors, they don’t pay tax, unlike the vegetable farmers who come in to sell their vegetables. They’re going to designated markets, and they pay a fee and from that fee we clean the markets and where they vend. This is part of the problem with betel nut vendors. They trade anywhere, everywhere, anytime, 24/7. It’s very hard to regulate them.”

Governor Parkop says people will still be allowed to chew and sell in their own homes.

“POWES PARKOP: For the last five years, we have been encouraging them to take betel nut back to their homes, and they can sell it there and they can chew it there, and they are responsible for the waste that comes out of it – especially people spitting and the skin. What is happening now is that they are passing the cost to the public and the public is paying massive amount of money week in week out, month in month out, to clean up this filth.”

Governor Parkop says if vendors co-operate with the new regulations and the markets in Laloki and Gaire are kept clean, he might allow a betel nut market in the city. He says if the ban is not successful, as a last resort he will import a species of beetle that destroys betel nut crops – which will cost him US$25,000 to import.

Radio New Zealand International

29) PNG PM hails economic feat

By Online Editor
4:07 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says fiscal and economic management has contributed immensely to the country’s political stability.

O’Neill was speaking during the opening of the two-day Papua New Guinea International Investment Summit 2013 at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby Monday.

He said legislative changes that the government had been initiating would pave the way for good governance in terms of sound fiscal management, pro-investment and pro-development policies, the delivery of basic community services and providing the infrastructure people needed.

“The development of PNG’s vast natural gas resource could not be better timed even though the construction phase was coming to an end.

“However, PNG would continue to benefit through strong revenue inflows to the government, and export income, when construction ends and export begins,” O’Neill said.

The prime minister said this would result in a high gross domestic product (GDP), especially in 2015.

“The challenge now is to work with gas sector investors and developers to bring new projects to the development stage as soon as possible.

“While PNG is benefiting from the massive construction phase of LNG project, other sectors are being hit hard by low world commodity prices,” he said.

“The world prices for some of our major agricultural product remain depressed, especially cocoa and copra.

“And even industries where prices are better, such as for coffee, infrastructure and other issues remain a serious challenge.”

He said in recent months, gold prices and prices for minerals had generally declined, although there were were some modest increases recently.

“This is already having an impact on our existing mining operations and on projects at various stages of development.

“We need to work with our mining companies to ensure our existing mines continue operating. And we need to help where we can with new projects, which may now be delayed because of low commodity prices,” O’Neill said.

30) Identifying legitimate landowners a huge issue in PNG gas project royalties

By Online Editor
10:13 am GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

When Exxon Mobil’s $US19 billion liquefied petroleum gas project is completed in 2014, the government and landowners will receive multi-million dollar royalties.

However, there are concerns over who will get a share of the profits, with many saying that not all parties involved are rightful beneficiaries.

Once such example is in PNG’s Hela province, where thousands of landowners are due to receive royalty payments and not all appear to be legitimate cases.

To tackle this issue, the manager of the PNG Church Partnerships Program, Bena Seta, says the government’s landowner identification process needs to be more transparent and accountable.

“It is vital that the correct landowners be identified before revenue from the gas project starts to flow,” he added.

The managing director of the project, Peter Graham, says it is too early to say what those royalties might amount to.

He added however, that checks are being carried out to ensure the right owners are paid.

“The Department of Petroleum and Energy is very actively out in the field today in a two-phase program,” he said.

“They are out in the field to talk to all landowners and negotiate deals with the leaders of the clans to identify who the true recipients are.”

Graham is confident that the right owners will be identified by year end.

Another issue is that of rising gender-based violence.

Oxfam Australia’s mining advocacy leader, Serena Lilywhite, says the revenues from the project will be pocketed by more men than women.

This could escalate as more problems with violence against women.

“Too often, the men, when their pockets are full of payments… tend to spend that revenue on alcohol and gambling with women and families missing out,” she said.

Lilywhite added that PNG already has very alarming rates of gender-based violence as a result of alcohol abuse.

Acknowleding the problem, churches in PNG have put in place conselling programs to inform people about their rights and minimize conflict.

The LNG project is the largest commercial development in PNG.

Its footprint stretches from the most remote parts of the heavily populated highlands to Port Moresby, where its big process plant is located.

Some 19,000 people are working on the project and it is expected to deliver its first LNG cargo in the second half of next year.


31) Honiara hosts regional tax meeting

By Online Editor
4:13 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mark Bell has welcomed regional delegates and observers to the 10th Anniversary meeting of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators’ Association (PITAA) to Honiara Tuesday.

Opened by the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Rick Houenipwela, this is the first time the Solomon Islands is hosting the meeting.

In welcoming the delegates, representatives of the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) and observers Bell noted that this is evidence again of Solomon Islands ability to host these large regional gatherings in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The delegates include several Commissioners of tax administrations in other Pacific countries and are therefore well-placed to gain great value from the sharing of knowledge and ideas.

Ten years ago, tax administrations in the Pacific recognized the need to develop a cooperative and collaborative relationship in administering the taxation systems of their respective countries.

In particular, it was recognized that small tax administrations cannot hope to replicate the range of expertise and advanced systems of the more developed tax administrations in larger countries.

In the 10 years since it was formed, PITAA has been instrumental in identifying areas of common need across the Pacific and in turn PFTAC has often provided technical expertise to meet those needs, either in-country or through regional training programmes.

One of the key objectives of PITAA is to help promote international standards and best tax administration practices suitable to the characteristics of Pacific Island countries.

“We all face similar challenges of small administrations, a widely dispersed taxpayer base, a large informal economy and limited understanding of the importance of good business management practices as a key to compliance with tax obligations,” Bell explained.

“Our task as administrators is to try to take those international best tax administration practices and adapt them to the reality of our own environment. We can do that much better by sharing our experiences and learning from each other,” He added.

Up to 16 Pacific tax administrations are to be represented at the meeting which is being hosted by the Inland Revenue Division of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and will run over three days in the Forum Fisheries Agency’s conference centre.


32) Solomons Farmers Looking Forward To Growing Coffee
High demand for coffee currently challenged by lack of capacity

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 10, 2013) – 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:

33) Government To Revive Vanuatu Livestock Development Project
VLD previously closed down after minister gave away cattle for free

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Sept. 10, 2013) – As part of its overall plan to boost the number of cattle in Vanuatu, next year, the government intends to establish breeding and supply stations at various locations around the country.

Part of this plan will involve reviving the government’s Vanuatu Livestock Development (VLD) project center at Rentabao, East Efate.

In the 1980s, after the country’s independence, the government placed much emphasis on developing Vanuatu’s already-becoming popular beef industry, by establishing VLD.

At VLD, different breeds of cattle were introduced and trialed, and some new breeds were crossed with local breeds, to find suitable ones for the country. As a result, the industry burgeoned.

When former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Onyn Tahi was in office, he gave away hundreds of cattle for breeding purposes to farmers all over the country, free of charge. Whilst the move went a long way to assist smallholder cattle farmers, it also drastically reduced the stock at VLD to such an extent that the center eventually closed down. Later still, the government lost the lease to the land on which VLD was located.

Now, the government, under Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries David Tosul, himself an agriculturalist by trade, is planning to revive VLD, according to the ministry’s private secretary, Abel Tapisuwe. This will begin with the re-acquisition of the VLD land.

Tapisue said that in addition to VLD, the government will set up other breeding and supply stations in a number of islands around the country to assist medium, as well as smallholder, farmers.

He said the government has even secured a pledge from the European Union for funding assistance for the project.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

34) ADB to help roll out energy savings in Samoa

By Online Editor
4:15 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2013, Samoa

Replacing inefficient streetlights and installing energy efficient lamps and air conditioners in government buildings and some hotels are just some of the energy efficiency initiatives planned for Samoa as part of the Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (PEEP) project.

“In 2014, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will assist the Government of Samoa by rolling out seven energy efficiency projects which will ultimately mean big savings for public buildings, hotels, commercial buildings and the residential sector,” said Martina Tonizzo, ADB’s Project Team Leader.

The project aims to reduce energy consumption in the residential, commercial and public sectors by implementing energy efficiency measures, and to help establish policy frameworks to move Pacific Islands countries away from fossil fuel dependency.

Energy saving programs will supply up to 2,000 Samoan households with four energy efficient lamps, install efficient air conditioners in two hotels, and install efficient air conditioning technologies such as inverter air conditioners and solar hybrid systems to replace inefficient air conditioners in government buildings.

Total energy savings from these seven projects are estimated to be 899,841 kilowatts hours per year, equivalent to diesel fuel savings of 238,053 litres and greenhouse gas emission reductions of 721 tons per year.

An energy use database, energy efficiency policies and procedures are also being developed under PEEP. Information dissemination and public awareness are also key elements of the project.

Some of the energy efficiency programs of PEEP may be replicated in other Pacific countries. PEEP includes Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

The project is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Governments of Australia and Japan, the Global Environment Facility and the Asian Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion.


35) Australian trekkers injured in deadly attack on PNG’s Black Cat Track

Updated 11 September 2013, 17:03 AEST

By PNG correspondent Liam Fox, staff, wires

Australians are among those injured when robbers attacked a group trekking in Papua New Guinea, reportedly hacking to death two of the group’s porters. Seven Australians and a New Zealander were in the group held up while trekking along the Black Cat Track in Morobe Province late yesterday. Workers from a local mining company helped the injured trekkers walk to their nearby camp, which also has a medical clinic. DFAT is advising trekkers to avoid the track, one of the most popular in PNG after the Kokoda Track.

Two PNG porters have been killed and trekkers injured after a tourist group in what may be a result of a disagreement between tribal groups. (Credit: ABC)

Australians are among those injured when robbers attacked a group trekking in Papua New Guinea, reportedly hacking to death two of the group’s porters.

The group, which included seven Australians and a New Zealander, had set up camp yesterday along the popular Black Cat Track in Morobe Province when approached at dusk by attackers reportedly wielding machetes, bush knives, spears and guns.

Four trekkers were injured, along with seven local porters, with injuries ranging from bruises and lacerations.

Workers from a local mining company were alerted to the attack and helped the injured trekkers walk to their camp, which also has a medical clinic.

The injured Australians are due to be flown to Port Moresby this afternoon.

Key points

Two local porters killed, Australians injured in attack
Reports indicate porters were hacked to death
Injured trekkers awaiting medivac from Wau to Moresby and Lae
DFAT warns trekkers to avoid Black Cat Track
Black Cat Track runs from Salamaua to Wau
Track was originally used by gold prospectors and saw heavy fighting in WWII

Stanley Komunt from the Morobe Mining Joint Venture, who was there when the Australians and the New Zealanders were brought into Wau, says they appeared to be traumatised but they were ok after some treatment.

“They were walking, they were able to talk. The local police were onsite as well. They talked to them,” he said.

“We just provided support in terms of medicine, blankets, water.

“A doctor from the hospital in Lae came up last night and treated the tourists.”

Regarding the attack Mr Komunt added: “About three or four in the darkness, they were attacked by this group. And obviously bush knives, there was a pop gun and a rifle, they couldn’t tell.

“They just took their stuff and chopped up these porters and it was all happening so fast and they were confused as well.”

He says the bodies of the two porters remain on the track and will be brought out by helicopter later.

Mark Hitchcock, a spokesman for the tour operator, PNG Trekking Adventures, says the injured Australians are now comfortable and resting, however the injured porters received more severe injuries and had to be medivacced to Lae for treatment.

“This is an isolated area, an isolated incident that shocked us all. Totally out of character for the track,” he said.

“This is the first ever trouble that we’ve had on any track in Papua New Guinea. It’s a difficult track the Black Cat Track and there have been some issues with other companies a long time ago, but of recent time there’s been a lot development gone into the track since 2005.”

It is being reported that the tour leader is Australian woman Christiana King, who lives in Lae with her husband and children.

Ms King is a registered nurse, and according the PNG Trekking Adventures website, she is an experienced trekker who specialises in the Black Cat Trail.

Australia’s acting Foreign Minister, Tanya Plibersek says the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby is providing consular support.

“This was a tragic incident, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those lost,” a statement from acting Foreign Minister Tanya Plibersek said.

“We also wish the injured safe and quick recoveries.”

Trekkers warned to avoid Black Cat Track

DFAT is advising trekkers to avoid the track until local police have investigated the incident.

“Our travel advice for Papua New Guinea advises Australians to exercise a high degree of caution because of the high levels of serious crime,” the spokeswoman said.

A source close to the local police says there is talk the attack could be related to a disagreement between porters from PNG’s lowlands and locals living in the highlands.

Major Charlie Lynn, New South Wales MLC MP and a Kokoda tour operator, says locals have been unhappy at missing out on profits from tourism in the area.

“I have friends of mine who have got trekking companies that go up there. And they’ve been almost at their wits’ end, because neither PNG tourism nor the Australian Government have expressed any interest in addressing those sort of issues up there,” he said.

It remains unclear who is responsible for the attack and local police have directed all enquiries to the police commissioner in Port Moresby.

Mr Hitchcock says the motive was robbery.

There are doubts over whether police will be able to properly investigate the attack as the local force is typically hindered by a lack of resources and manpower.

After the Kokoda Track, the Black Cat Track is one of the most popular treks in PNG.

The Black Cat Track is a rough track that runs from the village of Salamaua on the coast of the Huon Gulf, south into the mountains to the town of Wau.

It originally started as a trail for gold prospectors heading to Wau.

The trail saw heavy fighting between Australian and Japanese troops during World War II.

A DFAT spokeswoman says there is no change to the department’s advice relating to other trekking trails in PNG. Radio Australia

36) UN survey reveals nearly a quarter of men in Asia-Pacific admit to committing rape

By Online Editor
4:21 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Australia

A United Nations report has revealed nearly a quarter of men surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region say they’ve raped a woman at least once in their life.

The study is based on anonymous interviews with more than 10,000 men aged between 18 and 49-years-old in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea.

One of the report’s authors, Dr Emma Fulu, has told Asia Pacific the figures are shocking, but not necessarily surprising.

“I think this study reaffirms perhaps what we have known by interviewing women in the past,” she said.

“What’s new about this study is that it tells us for the first time, by speaking to men, about what some of the underlying causes are of that violence.”

Around the region, 11 per cent of respondents reported having raped a woman who was not their partner and nearly a quarter – 24 per cent – when their partner was included.

Of those men who said they had committed rape, just under half (45 per cent) said they had raped more than one woman.

Roberta Clarke, regional director of UN Women, says the survey highlights the need for a change in culture.

“Violence against women is a harsh reality for many,” she said.

“We must change the culture that enables men to enact power and control over women.”

The highest prevalence of rape was found in Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea, which may be linked to the decade long civil war on the island.

Esther Igo, organiser of PNG’s Haus Krai anti-violence protests, has told Pacific Beat the figures in the survey feel real.

“It is not surprising,” she said.

“If you read in the papers, every day there is rape in one part of the country, and there may be violence in one part of the country because of the Bougainville issue, but then it’s also similar in other parts of the country.

“So I’m not sure whether it’s the violence, but I think it’s just the mindset.”

Igo says the situation appears to be getting worse, with increasing rapes and violence against women.

“Men think that women are there for one thing,” she said.

“We’ve got so many groups that are out there voicing concerns, leaders coming out in the paper, putting out programs [but] it doesn’t seem to deter these views that men have of women…and these acts that they do towards women, and it’s getting ridiculous.

Until now, research has depended mainly on crime reports, which may be sketchy or skewed, or on accounts by women rather than by men.

Taking a new approach, trained male researchers held lengthy one-to-one interviews with men in cities and the countryside, with the respondents gaining a guarantee of anonymity.

The respondents were not asked directly whether they had committed rape, but instead were asked questions such as “Have you ever forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex?” or “Have you ever had sex with a woman who was too drugged or drunk to indicate whether she wanted it?”

They were also asked why they had done so.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated reasons of sexual entitlement, saying for example, “I wanted her” or “wanted to have sex.”

Fifty-nine per cent did it for entertainment, while more than a third – 38 per cent – said they had raped a woman to punish her.

Of those who admitted rape, half were teenagers and 12 per cent were younger than 15-years-old, while the majority of men surveyed said they had not faced any legal consequences for their actions.

In addition, it found men who had witnessed violence against their mothers or frequently paid for sex were more likely to continue the cycle of violence, she added.

In the Indonesian province of Papua the rates were at nearly 49 per cent, while 26 per cent of respondents in Jakarta admitted to the crime.

Rates in the one Chinese area surveyed reached 22 per cent while those in Cambodia were at 20 per cent.

The report’s authors say it is not intended to be an authoritative statistical overview of rape in these six countries or of the Asia-Pacific region.

Fulu of Partners for Prevention says the pattern can be broken.

“As well as a criminal justice response, we really need to start working towards trying to stop violence before it happens in the first place,” she said.

“That’s a longer term project of working to change attitudes and beliefs and practices, particularly among young boys.”

The study was released on the same day that a court in India found four men guilty of gang-raping and murdering a student on a bus last December.

Her shocking death turned a spotlight on sexual violence, raising questions about what can prompt some men to accept rape or perpetrate it themselves.


37) Fiji scientists using New Zealand mapping system for conservation planning

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

Conservationists in Fiji are using high-tech maps to pinpoint where they should focus their efforts to protect endangered species.

A natural sciences lecturer at New Zealand’s Unitec Institute of Technology Glenn Aguilar and a colleague are collaborating with researchers at Suva’s University of the South Pacific using geographic information systems maps.

Dr Aguilar says the mapping system is using existing data to help with the conservation of threatened plants, birds and animals, including tree frogs and beetles. He spoke to Annell Husband.

GLENN AGUILAR: We have been working with researchers at the Institute of Applied Sciences. And we have been teaching them how to develop the models. So they are now capable of using this software for generating maps. And the maps show suitable areas for the species… For instance, we worked on endangered tree frogs and the beetles and also several birds and other plants and animals that are endangered. So using the maps that they have developed they now can produce areas where these species are most suitable, so that they can focus their attention in terms of research and conservation planning on those areas.

ANNELL HUSBAND: And I understand this mapping can also be useful in terms of predicting what might happen as the climate changes.

GA: Yes, that’s essentially what we are doing now. Based on the work we did last year, we got another grant from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Because last year’s airport was Unitec-funded and this year I got a grant to model the affects of climate change. So we are now working on several climate change scenarios to see how the distribution of the species will change. And we are doing processing for several endangered species of frogs and beetles so that they can have an idea of what the effects of a several degrees change of temperature will have on the habitats and the distribution of these organisms.

AH: Will the scientists in Fiji be using the mapping for any other species?

GA: Yeah. There was interest in work on freshwater organisms, mangrove-area organisms and also for trees that they have.

AH: And what about using it in other countries in the Pacific?

GA: Yes, we are trying to explore that possibility so trying to find partners that we are proposing projects with, and actually going there again in three weeks time to look at possibilities of a wider coverage of the research in conjunction with researchers from the University of the South Pacific.

Radio New Zealand International

38) Solomons flood victims urged to be patient as food becomes scarce

Posted at 05:36 on 11 September, 2013 UTC

A disaster official in Solomon Islands’ Guadalcanal province is assuring people in the region hit by floods over the past few days that food is on its way.

Heavy rain in the mountains caused flooding that has destroyed food gardens, commercial crops, homes and public infrastructure in the Tetere area of eastern Guadalcanal.

Annell Husband reports.

“Bridge washouts several days ago severed the access to health services and markets of about 12-thousand people in the Ghaobata, East Taimsboko,Vulolo and Paripao wards. Komukama village is still not reachable because of flooding. The Guadalcanal Provincial Disaster Management officer says temporary bridge repairs are enabling people to cross but they will also be washed away if the heavy rain that is predicted creates further flooding. Herrick Savusi says people are short of food but he is hoping supplies of rice will start arriving from the capital Honiara tomorrow. He says supplies of clean water are also an issue and the Good Samaritan Hospital is reporting an increase in water borne illnesses such as diarrhoea as well as flu and colds.”

Radio New Zealand International

39) Hawaii tiger shark migration in fall coincides with rise in bites

By Online Editor
10:14 am GMT+12, 11/09/2013, United States

Traditional Hawaiian stories warn about an increased danger of shark bites in the fall, from September to November.

A recent study shows that there could be something behind this folk wisdom: During this time, an increased number of tiger sharks make their way to the islands, likely to give birth.

“Both the timing of this migration and tiger shark pupping season coincide with Hawaiian oral traditions suggesting that late summer and fall, when the wiliwili tree blooms, are a period of increased risk of shark bites,” said study co-author Carl Meyer, a researcher at the University of Hawaii, in a statement.

But Meyer and lead author Yannis Papastamatiou, a researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said that people shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this migration is directly related to recent shark bites near the islands. That’s because shark bites are extremely rare — claiming only an average of 15 lives per year globally, according to The International Shark Attack File — and so they’re difficult to study and to understand the reasons behind them, Papastamatiou told LiveScience. There are only two to four shark bites in Hawaiian waters every year, he added.

The study that found the potential link involved tagging tiger sharks over a seven-year period, and included more than 100 animals, most of them female. About 25 percent of the female sharks are expected to return to the main Hawaiian Islands every year, according to the study, to be published in the November issue of the journal Ecology

While some tiger sharks arrive and depart the islands each year, a larger percentage sticks around, the study found. That agrees with recent research on other animals showing that migrations typically don’t involve every member of an animal population, and — counter to popular belief — a large number of individuals typically stay behind during migrations, Papastamatiou said.

“You see that in all groups — birds, fish, whales, turtles and now we’re seeing in sharks as well,” he said.

The tiger sharks tagged in the study carry acoustic tags that can be read by 143 underwater “listening stations” positioned around the islands, which register an animal’s location and identity when it passes by.

When the sharks leave the area, though, it’s unclear where they go, since the stations are clustered near Hawaii. One animal tagged in the Hawaiian Islands was caught by fishermen off the coast of Mexico, showing the tiger sharks can make long voyages, Papastamatiou said. But why certain sharks voyage that far, or how often they do it, remains unclear, he added.


40a) Pacific climate change outlook bleak, says academic

By Online Editor
10:22 am GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Australia

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 Ralphsays it’s the biggest countries that will make the biggest difference, but they are not doing enough.



40b) PNG rules in Wallis

By Online Editor
1:09 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Wallis and Futuna

With the last day of competition today, Papua New Guinea is set to win the 2013 Mini Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna.

The closing ceremony is set for the Kalifa Stadium in the Wallis and Futuna capital tomorrow and Team PNG has the Games in the bag with 28 gold, 20 silver and 22 bronze medals, far ahead of closest rival New Caledonia.

This will be the second time PNG has won the mini version of the Pacific Games. The first win was at the second Pacific Mini Games in 1985 when the Cook Islands capital of Rarotonga hosted it 27 years ago.

PNG sent the biggest contingent to the Wallis and Futuna Games and that made them favourites to win.

Team PNG press officer Thomas Hukahu said from Wallis and Futuna that PNG was aiming for the last gold medal in men’s volleyball when the Amoa take on host, Wallis and Futuna today in the gold medal play-off.

They advanced into the last round of the competition after beating favourites New Caledonia 3 sets to 2 ( 29-27, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19, 25-16).

The 2010 Oceania champions came into the first set with spectacular hits from the front and back court to beat PNG 29-27. The French territory players used their height and size advantage and continued their attack by taking the second set 25-19.

Coach Tommy Luis spoke to his players after the second set and they started getting into the game by blocking the power hitters of New Caledonia and paid closer attention to their passes.

As a result, the Amoa won the third set 25-19 and continued the tempo into the fourth set by winning 25-19. Possibly though the humidity took a toll on their opponents, PNG came strongly in the last set to walk away 15-6 winners.

PNG will possibly meet the same team or Wallis and Futuna in the gold playoff tomorrow.

PNG women, however, did not do well and lost to New Caledonia 3-0.

New Caledonia looked more confident in their game and beat them in straight sets 25-13, 25-14 and 25-16.
In the beach volleyball competition, PNG picked up a silver medal after losing to pre-match favourites Vanuatu 2-0 ( 21-9/21-11)

Solomon Islands beat Palau for the bronze.

PNG men’s team of Richard Batari and Harry Omoa were successful this time in beating Tonga 25-23, 21-15.

In the gold playoff, Tahiti beat Samoa 21-17, 26-24.


40c) Team Fiji wins three awards at Pacific Mini Games

By Online Editor
1:04 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2013, Wallis and Futuna

Team Fiji has scooped three awards given out during the Pacific Games Council general assembly on Sunday.

Fiji paralympic hero Iliesa Delana won the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year, while swimmer Matelita Buadromo was the Outstanding Junior Athlete of the Year.

While weightlifting section manager Liliam Amasa was given the Outstanding Administrator of the Year award.

Nominations were received from six Pacific Games Associations and the winners were judged to have made “the most meritorious international performance and contribution in their respective categories over the period 1 July 2012 until 30 June 2013.

40d) Pacific Games Council Votes Down Invites To Neighbors
Resolution to invite New Zealand and Australia rejected

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 10, 2013) – 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… 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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